Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2508 – January 10, 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.

An ISAF press release distributed Wednesday provided details on the 2008
Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, where over 250 young sailors
from more than 60 nations are expected to come to Denmark for the event on
July 10-19. Scrolling through the release, they comment on how the event has
the support of the Royal Danish Court, and that HRH Crown Prince Frederik
will be the Royal Patron of the Championship (not sure what that means,
though we suspect there is some financial benefit for the event, which is
extremely expensive to host). But what we were really looking for was the
equipment to be used in the event, which we found at the very end.

Maybe we are ignorant, naive, or simply won’t ever understand. However, we
thought the purpose of the ISAF Youth Worlds was to provide top young sailors
with an international event of the highest prominence, and to be a building
block toward future excellence. Those that gain entrance to this event are
the best from each country, so what other events would the Youth Worlds build
toward? How about the Olympics?

The Olympics makes sense, except that the Youth Worlds equipment is not in
synch with the next Olympics. For the astute Scuttlebutt reader, you likely
have guessed where this is headed. Among the events in the 2008 Youth Worlds
is a multihull class, an event that is NOT among the classes to be used at
the 2012 Olympics. Here is the list of events for the 2008 ISAF Youth Worlds:

Boy’s One Person Dinghy - Laser
Girl’s One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Boy’s Two Person Dinghy - 29er
Girl’s Two Person Dinghy - 29er
Boy’s Windsurfer - Neil Pryde RS:X with 8.5m2 sail & 60cm fin
Girl’s Windsurfer - Neil Pryde RS:X with 8.5m2 sail & 60cm fin
Open Multihull - SL 16

Again, is it too much to ask that all these events are part of a plan
that leads toward the Olympics? -- Scuttleblog,

Team Great Britain sailing boss Stephen Park has warned that unhelpful
conditions on the water and potential inflexibility over race-planning may
hamper Britain’s medal prospects in Beijing this summer (at the Olympic
Games). He described his squad as the strongest Britain have ever fielded,
but insisted that three medals is a realistic prediction from what will be a
very difficult competition – despite the team winning five medals in Sydney
and again in Athens.

The selection of Qingdao as a venue for the Olympic regatta has long been a
source of some frustration given that the conditions – light winds, strong
tidal currents and sometimes blanket fog – are hardly conducive to staging a
world-class event. Park maintained that with most days restricted to just a
“two-or-three-hour window” of available sailing time and just four courses
for 11 classes, some could end up being judged on just a couple of races
unless the Chinese authorities are flexible with the race schedule.

Park said: “With the full series of 11 races – or 15 for 49ers – we would be
more confident the results would go in line with the form book. But at the
test event only one race was required to confirm the series and a very short
series of races brings in a far higher degree of variability.” Park is hoping
the organisers in Qingdao will use all days between the opening and closing
ceremonies to complete the sailing or risk turning it into a lottery. “They
will make a decision on the minimum number of races in March, but we just
hope they are prepared to be flexible. -- Daily Express, complete story:

Melbourne, Australia (January 9, 2008) – The 49er World Championship had to
complete one final race Wednesday before the top ten advanced to the double
score medal race to immediately follow. However, when faced with a lack of
wind, organizers abandoned the race, selected the top ten based on the
sixteen completed races, and put the medal contenders on standby. Their
patience was rewarded three hours later with twenty knots of wind, and host
country favorites Nathan Outteridge and Ben Austin (AUS) went out and won the
race and the overall title. Top North American Tim Wadlow/ Chris Rast (USA)
finished fifth in the medal race to maintain their overall position. Top ten

1. AUS - Nathan Outteridge/ Ben Austin, 60 points
2. GBR - Stevie Morrison/ Ben Rhodes, 64
3. UKR - Rodion Luka/ George Leonchuk, 79
4. ITA - Piero Sibello/ Gianfranco Sibello, 87
5. USA - Tim Wadlow/ Chris Rast, 88
6. GER - Jan Peter Peckolt/ Hannes Peckolt, 93
7. ESP - Iker Martinez/ Xabier Fernandez, 97
8. DEN - Jonas Warrer/ Martin Kirketerp, 112
9. GBR - Paul Campbell-James/ Mark Asquith, 116
10. AUT - Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth/ Nikolaus Leopold Resch, 119

* Next up in the Olympic class world championship season is the RS:X Men’s
and Women’s Worlds at Takapuna, New Zealand on January 10-20. Over 200 men
and women are entered along with 51 coaches registered. Interestingly, of the
North American contingent in attendance, Mexico is the only country with the
benefit of a registered coach. --

There’s nothing like racing in Puget Sound in January -- particularly when
the wind range is somewhere between 15 and 43 knots. But Ullman Sails
customers loved it as they kicked off the New Year, winning three divisions
of the Duwamish Head Race, January 5. The race is the second in the four-race
Southern Sound Series 2007-8. Cal 33 ‘Teaser II’ and Olson 30 ‘Sidewinder’
both remain undefeated with two wins in the series. And Express 37 ‘Kahuna’
took home its first victory. For the ‘Fastest Sails on the Planet,’ contact a
local Ullman Sails loft and visit

For a country that invented windsurfing, it is arguably the weakest event for
the United States. This reality is particularly hard for the Scuttlebutt
staff, as we can still recall the origin of the Windsurfer. The factory was a
short walk from our home waters in Marina del Rey, CA, and Hoyle Schweitzer
and his gang would come out and join the Lasers and Sabots for the local
Thursday twilights during the summer; it seems like yesterday. But the early
boardsailors were all surfers, and it didn’t take long before the equipment
evolved to merge the two disciplines, and for sailor interests to begin
exploring the outer edges of their sport.

With ideal weather and waves at Hawaii, the top windsurfing racers would
gradually travel to the island, experience the aloha lifestyle… and never
come back. Among these top sailors is Kevin Pritchard, who is a multiple
world champion in wave sailing and formula racing. This week’s video comes
from Kevin, where his awesome wave riding footage(4:05 minutes) is a pretty
good testament on why the top Americans might prefer Hawaiian living to the
brutal non-stop pumping now seen on the Olympic windsurfing race course.
Also, if you have a video you like, please send us your suggestions for next
week’s Video of the Week. Click here for this week’s video:

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

(Day 60 – January 9, 2008) Race leader Paprec-Virbac 2 anticipates an early
afternoon (GMT) rounding of Cape Horn, marking their final day in the
Southern Ocean. Said co-skipper Damian Foxall, “We’re nearing the end of a
major part of the ‘round the world’.” Behind, Hugo Boss has stabilised its
position, with better wind now and is moving at good speed following a
stretch Tuesday when skipper Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape had to drop their
mainsail to make a repair. --

Positions at 18:00 GMT (+gain/-loss from leader since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 7,065 nm DTF (+316)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 1,028 nm DTL (+3)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 2,862 (+35)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 3,023 (-126)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 3,551 (-78)
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 mast)

* The Scuttlebutt website’s weekly snapshot of the fleet finds the lead Open
60 preparing to turn the corner at Cape Horn at the tip of the South American
continent, where it will then head up the Atlantic Ocean for Gibraltar to
enter the Mediterranean Sea and bolt to the finish at Barcelona, Spain. Race

* (Day 47 – January 9, 2008 - 19:04 UTC) The fast pace of Francis Joyon and
his maxi-trimaran IDEC have returned in their solo round the world record
attempt, with speed and distance numbers for the latest 24 hours now at 21
knots while covering 503.5 nm. Joyon is about 600 mile south of the equator,
and has increased his advance by 203 nm over the 2005 record set by Ellen
MacArthur (71d 14h 18m 33s), which is now at 2,707 nm with only 3,561 nm
remaining before the finish at Brest, France. --

An article posted on the Alinghi website entails a discussion with Tom
Schnackenberg, who was employed by America’s Cup Management (ACM) to
coordinate the development of the AC90 rule, which was to be the rule for the
90-footers to be used in the next America’s Cup. Apparently, Schnackenberg
remains employed, and in the story he discusses the 90 x 90 challenge by BMW
Oracle Racing. The Alinghi group contends that boat described in the American
challenge is a barge, and Schnackenberg discusses the thought process behind
what it would take for the defender to design a fast barge.

If this seems unlikely and ridiculous, it is based on the contention by
Alinghi that the Deed of Gift challenge by the Americans is a monohull
because it makes reference to a “keel yacht.” However, the recent analysis
provided by Scuttlebutt legal consultant Cory Friedman states this to be a
non-issue in the latest round of litigation. In short, Société Nautique
Genève (SNG) didn’t present this fact in the original case, and it is highly
unlikely that it will be accepted during their attempt to reargue the case on
January 14th.

While it is believed that when SNG replaced their previous “best lawyers”
with this new firm, it was for the purpose of buying time for the Alinghi
team (pretty expensive at these rates). However, Friedman adds, “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.” For the
passionate America’s Cup followers, here are the links:
> Schnackenberg comments:
> Friedman comments:

For all those lucky sailors that are heading to the Southernmost point in the
US, you can still get your gear that you need from Team One Newport. Need a
new pair of Gill Quick Dry shorts and Harken gloves? What about those Ronstan
boots and Henri-Lloyd Shadow jacket? Did you check out the Musto Caribbean
jacket and the Railriders hydro-zip with custom embroidery? Team One Newport
has plenty of Patagonia’s awesome Continental shorts and Capiliene 1 shirts
which a great sun protection. They can even still make up some embroidered
polos and jackets if you need them. Call 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327) or visit

* US Sailing has just opened up the application period for the 2008 U.S.
Youth Championship, the premier American youth sailing championship of the
year. The event, sponsored by LaserPerformance and Nautica, will be held in
Lasers, Laser Radials, Club 420s, and 29ers at the San Francisco Yacht Club
in Belvedere, CA, from June 26 to July 1. Applications for the event will be
accepted until March 15, 2008. --

* Registration is now open for US Sailing's Spring Meeting, to be held in
Newport, RI, March 13-16. The meeting gives sailors the opportunity to make a
difference in our sport by attending and participating in numerous committee
meetings (from National Championships and Race Administration to Safety at
Sea and Offshore). A special discounted rate is available at the Newport
Hyatt Regency on Goat Island, where the meeting will be held, room
reservations should be made by February 12. --

* West Marine, Inc. announced that it will be hosting its third "New Product
Review Day" on January 25, 2008 at the Watsonville, CA Support Center. New
Product Review Day allows prospective vendors to pitch their products to West
Marine's retail management team for an opportunity to sell at West Marine's
372 retail stores and through its website, catalogs and wholesale
distribution company. To set up an appointment for New Product Review Day,
email West Marine at

* With air temperature in the 30’s and brief snow showers predicted, those
heading to the Toronto International Boat Show this weekend may think they
are being greeted by a mirage as they ender the Ricoh Coliseum. By pumping in
one million gallons of water from Lake Ontario, show organizers will create
an indoor marina that will be used for sailing, canoe rides, and even
wakeboarding. Three large fans will provide the wind needed for sailing,
while wakeboarders will benefit from a winch that simulates the pulling
action of a speedboat. -- Show site:

* French boatmaker the Bénéteau Group reports that first quarter financials
for the 2007-08 year, which ended November 30, 2007, totaled €117,281,000 in
their boat sales division, compared to €108,965,000 for the same period last
year (1 euro = 1.47 US dollars). Bénéteau's total sales for the period,
including sales from their mobile homes division, amounted to €165,915,000, a
rise on €132,516,000 for the same period the previous year. First quarter
sales growth for the company is reported as 25.20 per cent. Boat sales, the
group's main business, are up 7.6 per cent, or 8.9 per cent on a constant
exchange rate basis. -- IBI Magazine,

* Correction: Information in Issue 2507 regarding Charleston Race Week
incorrectly stated that the event is on May 17-20, 2008. The correct dates
are April 17-20, 2008. --

If you are an event organizer, promoter, sponsor, etc., and you haven’t yet
tried to get free publicity in the Scuttlebutt newsletter, you are not doing
your job. But before you add to the number of requests that Scuttlebutt
already receives, you need to post your event on the Scuttlebutt Event
Calendar. Self-serve tools make it easy, and the sponsorship by West Marine
keeps it free. Find it all 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 Bill Pringle: (regarding post in Issue 2507) The Sabot class in
Australia is similar but not quite the same as the Sabot class in California.
Both are great training boats and the photos you supplied are very true to
the conditions that prevailed at the recent National Sabots here at Vaucluse
in Sydney. The comments that the majority of the boats were double-handed is
incorrect, however, as they sailed in two fleets in the National
Championships, 1-up and 2-up. The 1-up (max age skipper 15 years) fleet
(approx 50 boats), being almost twice the size of the 2-up (max age skipper
12 years) fleet (approx. 30 boats).

* From R. Alemeet: As an American TV watcher, I can attest that most of us
learned about flag etiquette by watching Gilligan's Island on TV. After
carefully perusing pictures of the SS Minnow, both underway (out of Marina
Del Rey, CA harbor) and on the hard in some godforsaken place (probably
Catalina Island) we can see that she flew nothing on her mainmast atop the
flybridge, nor from a stern staff or taffrail. As a motor vessel this
deviates somewhat from the discussion pertaining to sailing vessels, but
nonetheless served as our first impression of handling flags, burgees and
ensigns in a yachtsmanlike manner. Yes, I know it's hard to conceive of, but
the SS Minnow did not fly any colors. Naked.

Certainly, Gilligan and the skipper have turned the NYYC rule book on its
ear. To occupy such a prominent place in US history, while so blatantly
flaunting decorum, thoroughly cements what we have long suspected: you can
believe everything on TV, but don't believe everything you read. Surely as
Harvard scholars are often vigorously countered by UC Berkeley and UC San
Diego intelligentsia, so must the NYYC rules sit in comparison with, say, the
Santa Cruz YC. Would Bill Lee or perhaps Ron Moore weigh in on the subject?

* From Lank Thompson: There are many inconsistent doctrines for displaying
the national ensign. In the US Navy, morning colors occurs at 0800 local time
and evening colors occurs at local sunset. This schedule is commonly adopted
by American yachtsmen. (The US Army flies the national flag from sunrise to
sunset.) I assumed that the yacht pictured in the Scuttlebutt card was a
foreign yacht visiting American waters. It is appropriate to fly a "courtesy
flag" in these circumstances. When visiting Canadian waters, I have flown a
small Canadian flag from the spreaders in addition to the full-sized American
ensign at the stern (when not racing).

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I must confess that the yacht pictured in the
Scuttlebutt card is the one that I chartered with friends in Tahiti, and that
we were just eager to raise the flags, and likely put more thought into
mixing our next adult beverages than in how the flags were hoisted.
> Link to the flag report:
> Link to the Tahiti report:

* From Neil Gladwell: (regarding story in Issue 2507) I’m afraid that you,
like many others, have picked up on the petition about UK tidal data
copyright without knowing that one of the basic statements of the petition is
wrong. I publish tide tables here in the UK, I have a license from the United
Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) to do it and as of last year, that license
cost me nothing at all. Its not true when Mr Bartholomew states “Currently
Her Majesty's Government is requiring payment by any who wish to use and
publish this data.” Sure I used to have to pay but it was a tiny amount,
around 1p sterling for each copy of my main publication, and that was only
because I wanted to use the data for commercial ends. I hope you have the
chance to mention the petition isn’t correct or amend your report.

One of the signs that you have grown up is when you find out your friends are
pregnant, you congratulate them instead of asking "Oh no, what the hell

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Team One Newport.

A complete list of Scuttlebutt’s preferred suppliers is at