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SCUTTLEBUTT 2503 – January 3, 2008

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is published
each weekday with the support of its sponsors.

Two of the top Americans in women’s windsurfing are packing their wetsuits
and traveling to New Zealand in early January to compete in the RS:X world
championships as part of their training for the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
This is not unusual for athletes preparing for the Games, but only one of the
women, Nancy Rios, is slated to represent the United States next summer. The
other woman, Farrah Hall, is disputing the results of the team-selection
trials in October. She contends that the results of an arbitration hearing in
the winter will have her, not Rios, walking in the opening ceremony.

Shortly after the trials, Hall filed a grievance with US Sailing, which has
since been dismissed. Now she is awaiting the results of an arbitration
hearing. Hall also plans on filing a complaint with the United States Olympic
Committee, saying that the trials were unfair because they did not allow for
appeals of jury decisions. The Olympic Committee’s bylaws allow for the
elimination of appeals in a selection process, but Hall’s position is that
the organizers of the trials did not receive approval to change the rules.

It is not unusual for athletes to contest positions on Olympic teams. “Often
these are two very deserving people for only one spot on a team,” said John
Ruger, the U.S.O.C.’s athlete ombudsman. “When an athlete challenges for one
of those positions it becomes a bit of a zero-sum game. It quickly becomes
athlete against athlete.” Ruger became the U.S.O.C.’s first athlete ombudsman
in 1999. He said he received about 500 inquiries a year, and so far there
have been three arbitrations contesting spots for the 2008 Games. Besides
Hall’s case, there is a pending hearing in rowing and one that was dismissed
for tae kwon do. -- NY Times, complete story:

Scuttlebutt has taken the short list of 2007 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman
of the Year nominees, and we are challenging you to select the sailors that
you feel best embody the sport as it pertains to you. This is a challenging
request as the sailors with the best record, or winning the more prestigious
events, might not be your choice. How does an America's Cup helm compare to a
Pan American Games helm or a Team Racing Worlds team? Like we said, this
isn't easy.

We suggest your criteria gauge the sailor's sportsmanship, varied
accomplishments, and value to their team (if applicable). For additional
background information on the nominees, and to place your vote and comments,
go to

The first boat that crosses the line gets the gun. That’s the Gunboat, and
the 2008 St Maarten Heineken regatta expects to see as many as six of the
high-tech Gunboat catamarans to inject a shot of adrenaline into the
multihull division of the 28th annual event to be held March 6-9 2008. The
boats, built in Cape Town, South Africa, and sailed to the Caribbean on their
own keel, are gaining worldwide popularity as an alternative to a performance
monohull. Designed by Morrelli and Melvin, the hulls are made of composite
materials, Swedish built carbon fiber mast and spars, and Kevlar rigging,
making the boats light and fast but still providing all the cruising

Said Gunboat company founder Peter Johnstone, "Gunboat is developing a
premier owner based class, and the Heineken Regatta has clearly established
itself as one of the best all around regattas in the world. A magical,
tropical island hosting fabulous breezes, wonderful people, great racing, and
parties. All of which are ideal elements for a Gunboat class event." The 2008
regatta can expect a mix of Gunboat 48s and 62s, but the company expects to
have their bigger boats, the 66s and even a 90, at future events. --

Southern Spars would like to acknowledge the outstanding performances in the
2007 Sydney to Hobart race: Wild Oats XI taking out its third consecutive
line honors win and STP65 Rosebud, the overall IRC winner. Using leading edge
spar and rigging technology, both yachts have demonstrated the power in going
'all out' carbon on their rigs, with EC6+ continuous carbon rigging now being
used on the yachts. Learn more about these rigs by visiting

The upcoming Alex Caviglia Bluewater Classic, Jan. 18, 19, 20, 2008 @ Shake A
Leg Miami will showcase two very interesting classes:

* Hobie Adventure Island—This will be the first human powered hybrid sailing
regatta in history. The AI is a Hobie Mirage Drive Kayak with two large akas,
a roller furling 5.5 meter sail and you actually pedal and sail it AT THE
SAME TIME. This reporter has had the pleasure of racing this craft all summer
against a variety of sailboats, dinghies and windsurfers. The results are
very interesting and somewhat surprising…..although only 16’ long, it has
basically the same speed as a J-22 in moderate conditions in an
upwind-downwind course, is definitely faster in 0-8, and probably not quite
as fast when it is good and windy. But the Mirage Drive does provide an added
boost in all conditions, more so in lighter than windier, of course. Pedaling
will be allowed all over the course, all the time. No sailing/pedaling into
the wind with your sail luffing, everything else is good to go.

* O’Pen Bic Dinghy—A dinghy for youth that is really changing the
game….simple, durable, very high performance (fully planning), no bailing and
strict one design. In the racing, they run downwind slaloms where the
competitors actually have to turn the boat over (!) and they also do
freestyle in addition to the traditional racing. But the winner is the kid
who has the most FUN, not necessarily the winner of the triangles. Sailing is
supposed to be fun, isn’t it? I believe that Bic will redefine youth sailing
not only with this boat, but with how they actually conduct the events,
putting the emphasis back onto FUN and less on tech. Newport was a huge
success, Miami will be even better. More info:

(It was just over twenty years ago that the America’s Cup found itself in the
NY Supreme Court. Here’s a nice recap of the events, dated November 27, 1987)

A court decision two days ago upholding New Zealand's challenge for the
America's Cup next summer has left the guardian of the cup - the San Diego
Yacht Club - in turmoil. But officials of the New York Yacht Club, which held
the trophy for 132 years, have said that they expected the court to rule as
it did. San Diego Yacht Club officials met late Wednesday night and again
yesterday with their attorneys to decide how to proceed in the wake of the
New York State Supreme Court ruling. Thomas Ehman Jr., manager of a 1991
America's Cup defense for the San Diego club, said yesterday that he was
''very surprised and very disappointed'' at the ruling.

Despite previous statements by the San Diego club's officials that they would
appeal an adverse ruling, Ehman said that the club and his management group,
Sail America, were reconsidering the idea. On Wednesday, Justice Carmen
Beauchamp Ciparick ruled against San Diego on two counts. She accepted New
Zealand's challenge, which the San Diego club had rejected, and she refused
to allow San Diego to reinterpret basic tenets in the regatta's deed of gift.
The century-old document, which sets the rules for racing, was fundamental to
both rulings. The New York court oversees the deed as a charitable trust. --
NY Times, read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comments: If you would like to read a seemingly convincing
argument why the latest legal maneuvering by Alinghi is doomed to fail, here
is Sail-World NZ's Editor Richard Gladwell’s comments:

Ever wonder what about the fancy headsets worn by the crew on some of premier
racing programs? “The Loop” communication system was on three of the 2007
America’s Cup teams, notably Alinghi, as well as multiple maxi programs.
Scuttlebutt reader Paul Larkin, the founder of CSC&E, produces “The Loop” and
he himself is still a sailor on the America’s Cup and maxi scene. Here is his
report on what his company has developed:

Technology has increasingly been incorporated all over the racing industry,
and consequently the yachts are continually becoming faster and louder. This
was putting a premium on crew work and taxing crew communication. The
technical growth in yachting was so impressive everywhere, but ironically we
still could not simply speak to each other despite all the impressive
technology surrounding us. Crews resorted to yelling and hand signals. The
advent of the Z-max 86 class in 2003 with Pyewacket and Morning Glory
prompted a search into advanced crew communication systems.

For the next three years communication products (headsets, radios, intercoms)
touting clear communication in hazardous environments were gathered from the
world over, military and otherwise, and ultimately all failed to provide what
was needed. In the military or hazardous industry the individuals all wore
helmets and so we sailors were at a disadvantage. Radios were not under
consideration because buttons needed to be pushed or one channel lockout
repeatedly caused too many issues. -- Read on:

The New Orleans 2008 Capdevielle Series started with a bang – three bangs,
actually – as Ullman Sails customers Jeff Lindheim with David Bolyard and
Snoann Jones won all three races in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Race of Champions
Regatta, December 29-30, 2007. The regatta was raced in Flying Scots in light
breezes ranging from 2-10 knots. Lindheim’s team represented Ponchartrain
Yacht Club and walked away with two records with their win. Ponchartrain took
home its third-straight trophy (a record) and Lindheim was named winning
skipper for the second-straight year (also a record). Contact a local Ullman
Sails loft and

Open 60 doublehanded round the world race (started Nov 11; 25,000-miles)

(Day 53 – January 2, 2008) Along the route from New Zealand toward Cape Horn
at the tip of South America, Paprec-Virbac 2 has begun to make miles to the
north as they need to climb over 120 miles to make it through the ice safety
gate. Despite the seawater temperature approaching 10-degrees Celsius at
their position of 53-degrees latitude, P-V2 has reported seven recent
icebergs sightings. However, it is their shorter southern route that has
helped them extend their lead over the more northern Hugo Boss, who is hoping
that stronger winds over the next couple of days will hopefully close up the
margin before both boats reach Cape Horn. As planned, third-placed Temenos II
has hauled out at Wellington (NZL) for experts to inspect the growth of keel
rust, and initial reports claim that it is a superficial issue and not an
indicator of internal damage to the keel structure. Also stopping in
Wellington is fourth place Mutua Madrileña to check all the boat’s systems
and repair a few issues before heading onto Cape Horn. Race regulations will
require both teams a compulsory minimum stop of 48 hours as a form of
penalty. --

Positions at 18:00 GMT - Distance to leader (+gain/-loss since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 9,134 nm DTF (+301)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 836 nm DTL (-92)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 2,211 (-349)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 2,334 (-136)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,921 (-85)
Retired - PRB, Vincent Riou / Sébastien Josse (broken mast)
Retired -Delta Dore, Jérémie Beyou/ Sidney Gavignet (broken mast)
Retired - Estrella Damm, Guillermo Altadill/ Jonathan McKee, (rudder damage)
Retired - Veolia Environnement, Roland Jourdain/ Jean-Luc Nélias (broken

* (Day 40 – January 2, 2008 - 16:34 UTC) With 5,494 nm remaining in their
attempt to set a new solo round the world record, Francis Joyon and his
maxi-trimaran IDEC have posted an average speed of 19.9 knots and a distance
covered of 476.9nm in the past 24-hours. Joyon maintains a comfortable margin
ahead of the record set by Ellen MacArthur in 2005, though he has lost 62
miles since yesterday, still holding an advance of 3,391 nm as he works his
way north in the Atlantic Ocean toward the finish at Brest, France. --

* (Day 16 – January 2, 2008 – 21:30 UTC) In his solo round the world record
attempt, Thomas Coville and the maxi-trimaran Sodeb'O are now in the roaring
forties, making the turn at the tip of the African Continent and gaining good
pace toward breaking the record set by Ellen MacArthur in 2005. In the past
24 hours, his average speed has been 21.6 knots while covering 518.4nm,
extending his advance over MacArthur to 525nm. --

* An optimal weather window for Franck Cammas and his nine man crew onboard
the 105-foot maxi trimaran Groupama 3 has collapsed, dashing their hopes for
a planned departure on Thursday, January 3rd to begin their Jules Verne
Trophy attempt for the fully crewed round the world record. The center of the
low pressure has disintegrated prior to making Europe, thus providing for an
upwind start from Ushant, France, and dispelling any chances to make rapid
headway to the African tradewinds. Bruno Peyron, aboard the maxi-catamaran
Orange 2, set the current record March 2005, when his team sailed the course
in 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes, and 4 seconds at an average speed of 17.89
knots. --

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 Dina Kowalyshyn, Naval Architect: Thanks for presenting that series of
shots of the Coast Guard’s 47’ MLB platform in the Photos of the Week. I have
been working to support its sustainment for the Coast Guard for the last 4
years and I can tell you that it is an amazing boat…and crew! They were all
topside for that roll in Morro Bay, CA! The sailing community should be happy
to see them out practicing… they might need them one day.

The next generation of USCG boats is on the horizon with the first Response
Boat – Medium due to be delivered in March of 2008. Intended as a replacement
of the 41’ UTB, the RB-M is another step forward, with 180 of them to be
built between now and 2012. It is fast (42.5 knots) and maneuverable, and
designed for search and rescue with prominent fendering, large rescue
recesses like the MLB to get people out of the water, and the ability to
re-right after a capsize. It is not intended for surf, but it is fully
capable in 8-foot seas and 30-knot winds and will survive 12 ft seas and
50-knot winds.
Photos of the Week:
Response Boat – Medium:

* From John Tormey: The nominees for the US Rolex awards look to cover the
gamut of events, making this annual apple vs orange comparison hard to
assess. Is it time for this award to better recognize the diversity of the
sport, and have additional categories, like best team or best amateur? I have
a hunch that a potential winner is going to lose due to the lack of publicity
and or understanding of their accomplishment. We all know what Ed Baird did,
but what did it take to win the Snipe, Lightning, Melges 24, Team Race
Worlds, or Pan Am Games?

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never
forgotten this.

Special thanks to Southern Spars and Ullman Sails.

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