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SCUTTLEBUTT 2505 – January 7, 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.

The Silver Panda Team Racing skippers Clay Bischoff/ Pete Levesque/ Colin
Merrick and Anna Tunnicliffe have won the 2007 Scuttlebutt US Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman awards. Based on a vote by Scuttlebutt readers, these award
winners were selected based on their sportsmanship, varied accomplishments,
and in the case of the men, value to their team. Runners-up for the awards
were J/22 North American champion Greg Fisher and Silver Panda Team Racing
crew Amanda Callahan/ Liz Hall/ Lisa Keith.

In 2007, the Silver Panda team accomplished the previously unheard of triple
crown of team racing: ISAF World Championship, the U.S. National
Championship, and the Wilson Trophy, with the later being one of the longest
running and best known team racing events (held in West Kirby, England).
Additionally, the Silver Panda team has been huge boosters for the promotion
of team racing, which is enjoying a record rise in popularity, and the team’s
success is likely pushed by the strong participation of the top US Olympic
and collegiate sailors.

For Tunnicliffe, she is credited with consistently dominating the Laser
Radial class, capping off a fine year with wins at the US Olympic Trials and
Qingdao Pre-Olympic regatta. She also demonstrated her range by finishing
third at the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. However,
above and beyond her accomplishments is a reoccurring theme for Tunnicliffe:
she is very well liked. This voter comment is similar to many: “Anna's
continued dedication to the sport of sailing and her promotion of the sport
throughout the world make her my #1 pick. She shares her talents by teaching
young people at workshops in her off time, and she is also totally committed
to being a team player during team competitions. She is a constant in the
world of sailing.” -- Results and comments can be viewed at

* Scuttlebutt would like to thank US Sailing and the Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman committee for helping select the group of nominees for the
Scuttlebutt awards. The Rolex award remains the most elite recognition
provided to an American sailor; look for the announcement of the 2007 winners
to be provided next week.

(January 6, 2008) The International 49er class was the first to launch the
World championship season this past weekend for Olympic classes, with a fleet
of eighty teams from 29 nations competing in the qualifying series on Friday
through Sunday, with the championship to be sailed Monday through Wednesday.
The top North American team is US 2008 Olympic rep Tim Wadlow and Chris Rast,
who provide the following report after finishing 10th in the qualifying

“It was all on today. 18-24 knots of breeze from the land. Flat water,
shifty, and full on racing. The last race of the day was pretty intense. The
wind was averaging over 20 knots. We sailed a great beat to round the
windward mark in 1st, with some Brits right behind. They passed us on the
downwind, but then shortly after flipped in a dramatic capsize. We pulled off
the first jibe, but then coming into the gate we still had one more jibe to
get down to right gate. We had a monster puff come through the fleet and we
didn't survive the jibe. As we flipped, I looked up to see the French and
Italian teams "pitch it in" right after we did. So in the end, the first four
boats in the race all capsized. The teams just behind got to the gate in a
lull and survived the rounding. After righting the boat, we ground back to an
8th place finish (becoming a 7th after protests). Only about half the fleet
actually finished the race. Now that's 49er racing!” -- Full report:

* As a precursor to the Laser World Championship that will be held in
Terrigal, Australia on February 7-13, a 64-boat international fleet
participated in the Australian Laser Nationals last week in Victoria. Winning
the event was current World Champion Thomas Slingsby (AUS), with the North
American contingent filling most of the top ten slots: 2. Michael Leigh
(CAN); 5. Andrew Campbell (USA); 7. David Wright (CAN); 9. Abe Torchinsky
(CAN); and 10. Michael Kalin (CAN). -- Results:

Following the successful launch of the revolutionary Series 55 Orbits,
Ronstan launches the next range of Orbit ball-bearing and ratchet blocks.
Ideal for sheet applications on keel boats up to 30' and for control line
applications on larger boats, the Series 70s offer the same innovative
features that have made Orbit Blocks the hottest new blocks available today:
light-weight fiber reinforced cheeks and sheaves and a "stronger-than-steel"
Dyneema rope-link. The Series 70 Auto-Ratchet features 25:1 holding power and
superior rope wear performance which allows many boats to forego the use of
winches and the doubling-up of ratchet blocks. Details at

by Frank Ustach
Jensen Beach, FL USSCMC (January 1-3, 2008) -- This year’s U.S. Team Racing
Association (USTRA) Midwinters championship, like most, saw a mix-n-match of
members from the US’ top team racing teams, along with a strong collegiate
presence. With a cold front approaching and temperatures expected to reach
record lows and winds expected above 20kts, the Race Committee was eager to
get racing underway on day 1. With 23 teams registered, the events largest
attendance since I have participated in 2001, the format for the event was a
modified Swiss-league, used at events, like Hinman, Charles River Open, and
Wilson Trophy, where a large number of teams are present and a round robin
format is unlikely to be finished. Teams are preseeded and split into even
groups and then are awarded points for wins in those groups, with the higher
level groups earning more points for a win. After each round the groups are
reseeded based on record, not points, allowing teams to move up brackets and
have a chance to earn more points. The final standing are based off which
team has earned the most points. -- Read on:

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

(Day 57 – January 6, 2008) It’s been a challenging weekend for the Barcelona
World Race fleet. The two leaders are having uncharacteristic Southern Ocean
conditions on their route from New Zealand toward Cape Horn, with
Paprec-Virbac 2 losing miles due to light headwinds, while Hugo Boss is
blocked by a ridge of high pressure (though they have gained 54 miles on P-V2
over the past three days). Both Temenos II and Mutua Madrileña have concluded
their stopover in Wellington (NZL) but have been suffering in light winds
following their departure, which has also nearly becalmed Educación sin
Fronteras in their approach to Cook Strait (NZL). --

Positions at 18:00 GMT
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 8,111 nm DTF
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 762nm DTL
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 2,767
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 2,924
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 3,244
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 44 – January 6, 2008 - 18:20 UTC) Calm weather conditions continue to
plague Francis Joyon and his maxi-trimaran IDEC in their solo round the world
record attempt. Speed and distance numbers continue to fall, with the latest
24 hour speed average of only 9.4 knots while covering 226 nm being nearly a
third of what Joyon has posted for much of the trip. With 4,602 nm remaining
toward the finish at Brest, France, positioned now in the Atlantic Ocean off
the Brazilian coast, Joyon has lost over 500 miles in the past three days on
his advance over the record set by Ellen MacArthur in 2005, which is now at
2,661nm. --

* (Day 20 – January 6, 2008) Precisely five minutes after beating the 24 hour
distance record and whilst sailing at the latitude of the Kerguelen Islands,
Thomas went up on deck to reduce the sail area and discovered that he had
lost the crash box from his starboard float. Even though it's too early to
say whether it's the result of impact or not Thomas had observed that there
were some growlers - pieces of partially submerged ice - around the boat.
Acting as a kind of bumper, the crash box is there to avoid breaking the
whole boat in the event of impact with something and also ensures the float’s
watertightness. The trimaran is currently rerouting to Cape Town (South
Africa) some 1,300 miles away.

In setting the record (yet to be ratified by the WSSR Council), Thomas
covered the 619.3 miles at an average of 25.8 knots. In so doing he beats the
record held by Francis Joyon (616.03) by three miles. It should be noted that
Thomas broke the record during his 20th day at sea, just like Francis Joyon,
whilst in the same zone of the Indian Ocean, with a fairly similar weather
pattern, ahead of a depression. --

“At 48° 45 South and 10° 19 East, I am an eyewitness to this infamous global
warming. As far as I can remember, I’ve never seen ice so far North during
this season.” -- by Thomas Coville, whose position was below and just west of
the southern most tip of the African continent.

Winter has its own special set of challenges. Richard G. McLubes the inside
of the chute on his snow blower to keep it free of snow and ice build up.
Sydney R. McLubes his cross country skis to keep the fish scale surface ice
free and fast on the glide, yet still grippy on the push. Bill L. McLubes the
forestay and jib tabs on his Sonar to help the jib raise and lower more
freely. Click on to see more creative
McLube applications, and we invite you to share your favorites with us. How
do you McLube?

(Here is Part 12 in a series of America’s Cup articles by NY lawyer Cory
Friedman, where he holds our hand and walks us through the legalese for an
event that used to be about sailing. The trimmers and tacticians have been
replaced by law clerks and litigators, with the next Act set for January

(January 6, 2008) Société Nautique Genève (SNG) lost before Justice Cahn
despite having the “best lawyers.” With new counsel SNG is not just losing.
It is getting crushed. If that were not bad enough, SNG’s counsel is making
SNG look like a crew of lubberly knaves tumbling from the rigging on an out
of control goose wing jibe. The capper of this “Pirates of Switzerland”
performance is that the motion to renew and reargue is OCS and too late at
the same time.

New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) 2221, which governs motions to
renew and/ or reargue is titled “Motions affecting prior order.” Although the
term “settlement order” has somehow crept into sailing publication
discussions of this case, there is no such thing in New York practice.
Justice Cahn wrote a Memorandum Decision, not an order, and directed that
Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) “Settle Order.” Settle is a verb used in the
somewhat archaic sense of “settle the plate on the table.” On or after the
settlement date, now effectively January 14, 2008, Justice Cahn will enter an
Order. Until he does so, there is no order to affect. Indeed CPLR 2221(d)(3)
mandates that a motion to reargue “shall” [mandatory] be made within 30 days
after the order in question is entered and served with notice of entry.

Why did not GGYC even mention that the motion is premature? Perhaps it was
because the time to renew, which is a minor part of the motion, is not
governed by the 30 day rule. More likely it is the same reason that a match
racer slam dunks an OCS adversary, or a slugger crushes a fat slightly out of
the strike zone pitch on a 3-0 count. Real litigators are competitors.
Dominating is what they are about, just as it is for Russell Coutts, a major
league slugger or pitcher, or any real athlete. More importantly, credibility
is key to success in litigation. If you can destroy your adversary’s
credibility, he sails on a perpetual header thereafter. Credibility is like
virginity. It is hard to regain. -- Read on:

* GGYC’s latest filings can be found at

“Journalists are supposed to try to balance their stories by presenting the
arguments of both sides. But as television news pioneer Edward R. Murrow
pointed out about 50 years ago, ‘Some stories only have one side.’” -- Eric
Sharp, Detroit Free Press, regarding the latest legal actions by the America’
s Cup defender,

* (January 6, 2008) The Star Levin Memorial Cup regatta, hosted by Coral Reef
Yacht Club, raced on Miami’s Biscayne Bay this past weekend in shifty 5-12
mph winds revealing international rivalries that will continue to build
toward April’s Star Worlds 2008 in Miami. With 38 boats entered from eleven
nations, New Zealand’s Hammish Pepper and Carl Williams won the event,
followed by Switzerland’s Flavio Marazzi and Enrico Demaria, Norway’s Eivind
Melleby and Peeter Pedersen in third, and US 2008 Olympic representative John
Dane and Austin Sperry in fourth. -- Complete results:

* The International 470 Class Association launched in 2006 the Olympic
Pathway Solidarity Grant (OPSG) to support talented 470 sailors with sailing
ambitions and abilities on Olympic levels who were faced with financial or
infrastructural obstacles. Over 10,000 Euros have been granted by the OPSG to
finance transport or charter fees to the 470 World Championship in Melbourne,
Australia on January 24-30 for those crews who have not qualified their
country and have been admitted to the 2008 edition of the OPSG Programme. --

* In a 27-page report released from the Valencian Finance Institute, the 32nd
edition of the America’s Cup generated almost 74,000 jobs in Valencia, and
the overall economic impact of the Cup races was responsible for a 3.29% hike
in employment and an increase of 2.67% in the Gross Domestic Product of the
Valencian Community. Regarding the current contract held for the 33rd event
between the city and America’s Cup Management (ACM), there does exist the
possibility of withdrawing from the contract, but not altering it. If ACM
does need to break the contract, it must refund all the money paid thus
far. -- The Valencia Life Network,

Abbot Montague Geer, of East Haddam, CY, died at home on Monday, December 31,
2007 at the age of 82 years. A lifelong sailor, he was the proprietor of
Abbot Geer Public Relations, a firm that specialized in the promotion and
marketing of marine manufacturers. He retired in 1998 after nearly 50 years
working in the marine industry, including being the first professional hired
to promote the America’s Cup in 1958. He was a life member of the American
Boat and Yacht Council and a member of Boating Writers International. He is
survived by his wife, Barbara (Cusack) of 52 years; his daughters, the Rev.
Victoria McGrath of Chatham, NJ, and Sabra Donovan of Orange, CT; and his
son, Cornelius of Chicago, IL, their spouses and 5 grandchildren. A memorial
service was held on January 5th in East Haddam; donations in his memory may
be made to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church or the East Haddam Historical

Team Morris heads to Germany for Boot Düsseldorf January 19-27. Come see the
M36 in Hall 16 booth A53! The West Coast Team heads to Seattle for the Boats
Afloat Show January 24-February 2, Chandler’s Cove where the Morris 48 makes
her West Coast debut. Details at 207-244-5509 or

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 Ned Roseberry: While I presume there is some "deed of gift" for the
Rolex, I find the comment about the nature of the role of the award to
"recognize individual achievement" as outdated, but precisely why a dominant
team racing team should be considered strongly. The whole point of team
racing is that you have six athletes effectively acting as one, knowing
precisely what to expect from every one of their teammates at every point in
time - its something every team strives to achieve, some, like Silver Panda,
with astounding consistency. If nothing else, team racing should in a way be
the pinnacle of "individual achievement" because you can't win the US
Championship, the Wilson Trophy, the Team Race Worlds, and every other
regatta you entered unless you have six people acting effectively one
individual. Taking nothing away from the outstanding accomplishments of the
other nominees, it seems like the principle of the award is to recognize
outstanding performance - "deed of gift" rhetoric notwithstanding. Good luck
to all the nominees and congratulations to everyone on their successes.

* From Pablo Godel, Cincinnati, OH: (regarding story in Issue 2504) As with
so many things with this US Administration, I wonder what is happening with
Common Sense ? A permit for deck runoff for a Laser? This is absolutely
ridiculous when there are thousands of industries, power plants, and freight
vessels contaminating our waters.

* From Tom Donlan: (Re the note about the US Coast Guard from Robin Wallace
in Issue 2504) About the TV ad showing Coasties on a CG boat underway with
nobody wearing Coast Guard approved PFDs, I think it would send a perfectly
fine message if it means the CG is getting rational about life jackets.
Coasties wearing big bulky Type I life jackets on a pleasant summer day sends
the (usually false) message that they are out of touch with reality.

* From Scott Winn: (regarding story in Issue 2504) 10,000 pounds of coffee on
a 42-foot boat? Wouldn't this amount nearly double the displacement of this
boat? I imagine that the reserve buoyancy was next to nothing, which might
explain why they encountered troubles in route to Texas and needed to be
rescued. Must be some good coffee!

* From Scott Smith: In Scuttlebutt 2503, The NY Times article, "Olympic
Dream," highlights the importance of how US Sailing officials, acting as the
national governing body, need to conduct themselves with the utmost diligence
especially when selecting their Olympic athletes. It is incomprehensible that
this Jury only heard testimony from the only person who would benefit from a
positive outcome of the redress request and who they would elevate to first
place and onto the Olympic team. The Jury must have known what was at stake
when they made their decision, not to mention the years of personal sacrifice
these girls must have endured, and that the decision would be non-appeal.
Instead their conduct leads one to believe they were lazy, incompetent, or
worse. Either way their conduct would have enraged competitors at a local
beer can race. You have to feel sorry for both girls, especially Farrah Hall,
who is forced to pursue a fair hearing through the USOC arbitration process
at a cost that must be staggering. On the other hand what will it cost US
Sailing to defend their actions?

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: The NY Times article was not clear as it inferred
that Hall was not involved in the hearing. Because she was not a party to the
redress protest, she was not included in the process. However, because the
outcome of the hearing would effect her final placement, she was invited by
the jury to hear the facts found and the final decision, and was allowed to
ask questions if desired. As I understand, it was within her right to file a
redress protest of her own, however, she did not do so within the time
permitted. In what now appears to be an attempt to correct this mistake, she
is pursuing every option that remains available.

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Events listed at

There is the speed of light and there is the speed of sound. There is also
the speed of time, which after careful review in 2007, still remains at one
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Special thanks to Ronstan, McLube, and Morris Yachts.

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