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SCUTTLEBUTT 2350– May 23, 2007

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is
distributed each weekday, with support provided by UBS, main partner of
Alinghi, Defender of the 32nd America's Cup (

(May 22, 2007) Strong Northeasterly onshore winds forced the Race Committee
to postpone Tuesday’s semi-final match between Emirates Team New Zealand and
Desafío Español 2007. With winds between 20-25 knots, the Race Committee
considered the sea state off Port America's Cup (with waves up to two
metres) such that it could cause damage to the racing yachts (rules for this
ACUP prescribed the boats to be designed for 7-22 knot winds). The forecast
for Wednesday is for more moderate Northeasterly winds, although the sea
state could remain an issue.

First team to win 5 races advances to challenger finals. The pairings are:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 1-1-0-1-1-0-_-_-_ = 4
4. Desafío Español 2007 (ESP) 0-0-1-0-0-1-_-_-_ = 2

2. BMW Oracle Racing (USA) 0-1-0-0-0-0-_-_-_ = 1
3. Luna Rossa Challenge (ITA) 1-0-1-1-1-1-_-_-_ = 5 - WINNER

* Race schedule: Semi-final racing will continue with 1 race scheduled for
Wednesday through Friday, but the series will be completes as soon as either
Emirates Team New Zealand or Desafío Español 2007 gains 5 wins. If the
weather conditions prevent racing on Wednesday, than two races will be
planned for Thursday and Friday. The winner of this match will then pair up
with Luna Rossa Challenge in the challenger finals beginning on June 1st. --
Complete schedule:

* Television schedule: Versus’ coverage of the Semi-Finals will consist of
live coverage from 8:30–11:00 a.m. ET, with replays from 12-2:30 p.m. and
4:30–7 p.m. ET. --

* Auction: Scuttlebutt has taken Desafío Español 2007 team gear off of Paul
Cayard’s back, and is auctioning it to the highest bidder this week. Maybe
you didn’t turn the handles during the Spanish team’s outstanding campaign,
but you can look like you did with Paul’s autographed gear. Proceeds benefit
youth sailing. Cap and floppy hat have now joined the jacket, vest, and
backpack. Details at

* Good times: The Louis Vuitton Cup in Valencia is clearly having a
considerable effect on the City as almost all the hotels of three stars and
higher are already filled. Last Sunday alone, some 60,000 people visited the
Port area, and four thousand of these came from Italy to encourage Luna
Rossa in its quest for the America’s Cup. Equally, the large stores in
Valencia have registered a 13% increase in sales that can be directly
attributed to the competition. -- Valencia Life Network,

* On the rebound: After closing the chapter on an ill-fated America’s Cup
campaign with +39 Challenge, Iain Percy with new crew Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson
begin their Star Olympic campaign this week at the Breitling Regatta,
Medemblik, Holland (23-27 May). Also, Star world champion Hamish Pepper is
getting his crew back, as BMW Oracle Racing has released Carl Williams of
his duties so he can return to his training with Pepper.

(May 22, 2007) Since my arrival in Valencia I have been watching BMW Oracle
in awe. They seemed to have it all: the most money, the best technology, the
fastest boat, solid crew work, a great track record. By all accounts it
seemed hard if not impossible see this team fail to make it to the finals of
the Louis Vuitton Cup and event the America’s Cup. What went wrong?

Let the facts show they really did have the best of the best in terms of all
the ingredients necessary to win the America’s Cup on paper. I was amazed at
how refined the game has become in terms of technology and design. Every
possible controllable variable has been analyzed and the outcome of its use
predetermined. In essence there are few surprises in this America’s Cup
generation. Boats can be changed or moded to fit a given wind range or even
set up to capitalize on the weaknesses of a given competitor. BMW Oracle
literally had a shelf full of every changeable part that could be added or
removed from the boat to optimize it for any scenario. The boat itself was
proclaimed to be the fastest and lightest in the entire fleet- a true
breakthrough. Without giving away too much, every BMW Oracle sailor I spoke
to was literally blown away by USA 98’s capabilities. The team was not shy
to admit this to the media either. In their minds it seemed they truly felt
they were unstoppable. -- Tucker Thompson, read on:

* Armchair quarterback: Got an opinion for the demise of BMW Oracle Racing?
If so, there is a thread on the Forum for you:

In 1977 Bill Lee broke the Transpac course record with his ULDB 70 Merlin
and put Santa Cruz designs at the forefront of the "Sled" sailing movement.
The father of "Fast is Fun," Lee designed ultra light racers like the Santa
Cruz 70 specifically for downwind races like the Transpac. The 65-year-old
currently works as a yacht broker in Santa Cruz, and is serving as Entry
Chairman for the 2007 Transpac. In the June issue of Sailing World, editor
at large Herb McCormick speaks with Lee about the state of Transpac design;
in the following online exclusive, Lee shares his opinions about hired guns,
explains the difficulties of developing Grand Prix boats under traditional
ratings rules, and reveals the best way to rid your crew of pesky
grinders. --

The Sydney 38 is a hot class, and last weekend Michael and Kate Kennedy’s
Doyle-powered “Copernicus” proved hottest of the hot in the St. Francis YC
Stone Cup -- three bullets in four races. Meanwhile in the IRC division,
Mike Garl's Beneteau 40.7 “White Dove” dominated the competition with a full
Doyle inventory, including a new IRC Code 2 jib. If you want to go stone
cold fast, contact Doyle Sailmakers at 1-800-94-DOYLE or online:

(May 22, 2007) PUMA announced that the Botin Carkeek design team and custom
yacht builder Goetz Custom Boats have been commissioned to begin work on
PUMA's new Volvo Open 70, which will compete in the Volvo Ocean Race
2008-09. Marcelino Botin and Shaun Carkeek are internationally known for
their outstanding reputation, with Botin being currently the lead designer
for Team New Zealand in the America's Cup Challenger Trials. The designers
have had resounding success in the highly competitive IMS and TP 52 classes.
For Goetz Custom Boats of Bristol, Rhode Island, USA, this will be their
fifth build for the VOR. The schedule is for PUMA Racing Team's new VO 70 to
be ready to sail in early 2008.

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: It is always nice to see the Scuttlebutt advertisers
succeed. Congrats to our friends at Goetz Custom Boats, who this week have
also launched their new website:

(Canadians Kevin Stittle and his Tornado skipper Oskar Johansson jumped up
on the big stage by winning the most recent Olympic event in Hyeres, France
last month. Here are some excerpts of an interview with Stittle, who is in
Medemblik, Holland this week for the next event on the Olympic circuit – the
Breitling Regatta – where racing begins on Wednesday for more than 1200
competitors from 62 countries.)

> About your partnership:
Oskar and I are a fairly new team, we have only been together for about 2 ½
years. We have tried to make up for this by putting in lots of hours on the
water. We both had extensive prior Olympic campaigns in other classes so
that experience has helped fast track our Tornado program. The two of us
have pretty different approaches and sailing styles. The counter balance has
worked really well for us; I think it’s an important characteristic to any
double-handed team.

> About your Olympic Campaign and having won Hyeres:
Winning Hyeres was a huge stepping stone for our Campaign. We had a good
Europeans and we knew with a few less mistakes we could perform even better
but we never imagined coming out so strong in Hyeres. Everyone back home is
really pumped, the response has been awesome, it’s been 20 years since the
last Canadian double handed team won Hyeres in any class. It was a surreal
experience, a lot of things came together for us at that event.

> About how important training (European season) is:
The European season is the proving grounds for any Olympic class, it is
impossible to get to the top without attending the majority of these high
level events. We certainly feel it’s a bit of a disadvantage to not be from
a European country, it makes for long trips from home for a good part of the
year. Traveling definitely wears on you, but the significance of the grade 1
circuit in Europe can’t be ignored. The level of competition in Europe is
unparalleled in our sport, if you want to be the best you have to be ready
to spend a lot of time there. -- Complete interview:

Ever since his keel failure in Leg 1 of the Velux 5 Oceans, Alex Thomson has
been back on the horse in his quest to capture short-handed titles. Along
with his title sponsor - the swanky fashion brand Hugo Boss - he is the
midst of a new Open 60 build that will be his steed for the Barcelona World
Race this November, a new two-handed, non-stop round the world yacht race
covering 25,000 miles over three months. However this is merely a build-up
for Thomson’s real pursuit, The Vendee Globe, arguably the toughest and most
extreme sporting event in the world – single-handed, non-stop – alone at sea
for 80+ days.

On top of this, Alex Thomson Racing has launched another boat, Hugo Boss II,
a Volvo 60 that is coming to America. It is due to arrive any day now in New
York for its first race - the Block Island Race on May 25th. After that it's
overland to Toronto, and then onto LA for the start of the Transpac, a
2,550-mile race from the US mainland to Hawaii. --

Larchmont, NY - Sailors from the northeast have emerged from hibernation and
targeted this week's Block Island Race as a major tune-up for the '07
season. The spring classic, hosted by the Storm Trysail Club and in its 62nd
running, is a distance race of 185 nautical miles from Stamford, Conn., down
Long Island Sound, to Block Island, R.I., and back. Last year's event hosted
over 100 boats, and this year's fleet -- comprised of IRC, PHRF and
doublehanded boats -- is shaping up to be impressive when it sets out at
1700 on Friday, May 25. Currently, the smallest boat entered is the Olson 30
Wave Dancer, skippered by Benoit Ansart (Old Greenwich, Conn.), while the
largest is the Reichel/Pugh 81 Bon Bon, skippered by Stephan Reith (Hamburg,
Germany). The larger boats generally finish on Saturday afternoon, with the
majority of the fleet finishing between midnight Saturday and 8 a.m.
Sunday. --

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Norfolk, Virginia (May 22, 2007) - The ladies are up first as the ICSA
Women's National Championship - the first of the three Intercollegiate
Sailing Association (ICSA) National Championships, sponsored by PENTAX
Imaging Company and Vanguard Sailboats - gets underway Wednesday hosted by
The Lady Monarchs from their Sailing Center at Old Dominion University
(Norfolk, Va.). Competitors from 18 schools, all of which qualified for this
championship through conference eliminations, will race FJs on the Elizabeth
River over three days (May 23-25), followed by the announcement of the
Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year at the conclusion of racing. --

(May 22, 2007) Elvström Sails A/S, Europe’s largest sail maker has been sold
to Peter Jørgensen, a Danish businessman. 42 year old Jørgensen will assume
the role as Chairman of the Elvström Sobstad Group. The company has been
sold following a personal decision by Claus Olsen, owner and chairman of the
Group since 1980. Claus will, however, remain at the company in a management
role to oversee the Groups subsidiary companies in the UK and Norway, plus
purchasing and other foreign supply contracts. None of the other 100
employees at the main factory in Aabenraa, Denmark will be affected
including Andrew Smith, who remains as Group Vice President responsible for
design, development and production. -- Full report:

* The Notice of Race for the 30th Anniversary Singlehanded Transpac from San
Francisco to Hanalei Bay, Kauai, has been posted. With the start Saturday,
July 12, 2008, and full moon six days later, already 30 skippers have
returned participant replies. The 2,120-mile SHTP is run by and for sailors
who wish to encourage and develop short-handed sailing and enjoy the
camaraderie that has been a hallmark of this “bring what you got”
non-commercialized event since 1978. Info at

* Now Playing on T2P.TV is the Congressional Cup 2007, Presented by Acura.
Daily footage from Long Beach, CA of the most famous match-racing event in
the US. --

* The latest episode on Yachting TV includes a test of the top 3 of
lifejackets on the market, a segment on boat building, and a sailing skills
episode that looks at headsail boat handling. --

* The NMMA's 2006 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, which will be
released on June 1, reports that US boating participation increased last
year, while unit sales of "traditional" powerboats declined by five per
cent. Boat registrations reached their highest levels since 2001. According
to an NMMA statement, about one-third (73 million) of US adults went boating
in 2006, a participation increase of approximately 1.3 million Americans
from the 2005 total (71.3 million). The study also reported that the number
of boats in use increased to nearly 18 million, and boat registrations
surpassed 13 million for the first time since 2001. -- IBI Magazine, full

* (May 22, 2007) The rich get richer, as the saying goes, and that appears
to be the case among the 15 boats still competing in the Charleston to
Bermuda Race. Though light and variable winds affected most of the fleet for
much of Monday, moderately stronger breezes favored the leaders near the end
of the day and through the night. These marginal increases in velocity were
enough to cheer a few crews, among them the Open 50 Gryphon Solo, who have
thus far managed to maintain a comfortable if not commanding margin over
their closest rivals. -- Results and fleet tracking are available at

Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name, and may be
edited for clarity or simplicity (letters shall be no longer than 250
words). You only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot,
don't whine if others disagree, and save your bashing and personal attacks
for elsewhere. As an alternative, a more open environment for discussion is
available on the Scuttlebutt Forum.

-- Scuttlebutt Letters:
-- Scuttlebutt Forum:

* From Derek Bouwer, Commodore, Algoa Bay Yacht Club, Port Elizabeth, South
Africa: (In reply to Paddy Boyds letter in Issue 2348 regarding the lack of
ethnic diversity among the Nigerian Lightening team) While I cannot speak
for Nigeria, here at ABYC we run a very good Community development sailing
school in partnership with the Love Life organization (as do many other
clubs, sporting disciplines, and institutions). The mission is to serve all
colours of the skin tone spectrum and to comply with the Government request
to bring a previously white dominated sports to those who where previously
disadvantaged, though we face many obstacles.

Soccer is the sport in Africa, with all other sports lagging behind and
sailing, I am afraid to say, is a dismal quadrillionth in the list. Swimming
also lags far behind, and because so many people have a fear of drowning,
most of our prospective sailors come through swimming lessons before getting
their bums into boats. We have progressed from white sailing coaches to the
sailing school being run and coached by black sailors who have come up
through the coaching ranks.

Unfortunately, the image of sailing suffers from the stereotyping, in all
spectrum of the of the skin tone spectrum, as being the playground of the
ultra rich and as such a lot of people shy clear of sailing. Disappointing
as it may be, these factors have a direct bearing on sailing in South Africa
and I would say sailing in Africa in general. It will thus take some time
for the complexion of sailing to change in both South Africa and Africa, but
we are working on it.

* From Adrian Morgan: (Re Buck Downes '...I expect Larry Ellison is sitting
on his mega yacht sipping a one hundred year old single malt scotch
wondering what the hell just happened'.) Single malts don't improve with
age. On bottling at five, ten, 18 years, or so, their unique character is
captured forever. However, once exposed to the elements they deteriorate
rapidly, like a five-year-old semi-finalist in a Louis Vuitton Cup, and
should be drunk quickly (as were most of Oracle's crew, I imagine, that
evening...) Mr. Ellison should try a ten-year-old Talisker if he wants to
drown his sorrows, or a Lagavulin...

* From John Polli: The overhead views of the prestart are beautiful to the
eye, but need an important addition to make them much more understandable.
The overhead picture needs a simple arrow pointed at the start line. The way
it is now, I don't really know what in hell I am looking at until the last
30 seconds or so. The tactics would be much clearer if I knew which
direction they were going. The verbage from the announcers occasionally
tells which direction they are going but it is spotty. Put an arrow on top
of the picture pointing towards the start line. Second complaint: Show the
computer graphic showing the position of the boats much more. Too much
sailing lingo and not enough overhead graphics showing the relative position
of the two boats. I have owned two sailing boats and still don't understand
some of the specialized lingo from those two guys. Where is the guy who
announced from a tossing boat in Perth? He was great.

* From Frank Betz: (regarding story ‘Confessions of a Sailing Writer’ in
Issue 2349)"Laconic, self-effacing and given to few explanatory words"? I
guess sailing writer Morgan Steinmetz never had a chance to interview Ted

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never
stop growing.

Special thanks to Doyle Sailmakers and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.

Scuttlebutt is also supported by UBS, main partner of Alinghi, the Defender
of the 32nd America's Cup.