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SCUTTLEBUTT 2512 – January 16, 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.

By Herb McCormick, Sailing World
For Australian ocean racers who wish to eschew the rigors of the annual
Sydney-Hobart Race--or who simply come to their senses after getting their
brains beat out in one of the rougher editions--there is an eminently
sensible and civilized alternative. The annual Sydney-Coff's Harbor Race
starts a week after the Hobart, on January 2, and takes its fleet on a
210-mile course northward (as in, towards the equator, not away from it) to a
seaside holiday resort where all manner of merriment reportedly ensues.

Sounds good, right? So when an old sailing pal, Rod Mackay, asked me to come
along on the boat he was racing, a Laurie Davidson-designed 34-footer called
Illusion, I happily accepted. Rod's a "Fair Dinkum" Aussie who ran boats out
of my hometown of Newport, RI, for several years before returning to his
roots in Newcastle, where he works as a yacht broker. He's also good for more
than a few chuckles so I was psyched to sail with him again, even though it
meant a bit of a scramble to get to the boat on time, as I'd just finished
racing the Hobart myself.

This year's Coff's Harbor Race, however, went pear shaped even before it
began. It's been a weird, mainly crummy summer in Oz, especially for the
residents of Queensland, who have endured non-stop easterly gales and monsoon
rains; the combination of the two forced the closures of countless beaches
all along the coastline and, you guessed it, Coff's Harbor, the entrance to
which became impassable. -- Read on:

It has been a fairly tough run for the mid-Atlantic, mid-winter sailboat show
effort. This is a shame, really, because these shows offer the industry a
valuable opportunity to connect with potential customers in an otherwise slow
period, and they offer sailors unprecedented access to seminars and industry
experts. After a decade or so of shows in Atlantic City, most of which seemed
to coincide with major meteorological Winter Events, a pair of shows in
Philadelphia filled the void in recent years. The Philadelphia shows were
held in a very strong location but yet another ill-timed Winter Event gummed
things up in 2005 and a show-less gap year followed in 2006. The momentum was
slowed. The 2007 edition was decent but... a change is gonna come.

Baltimore, and the well-located Baltimore Convention Center, has long been
viewed as a strong potential site of a mid-winter sailboat show and in recent
months, industry leaders, led by the National Marine Manufacturers
Association (NMMA) and including regional marine industry leaders such as
Dana Scott and Mary Ewenson from SpinSheet and PropTalk magazines,
brainstormed a plan to piggyback a large “Sailfest” component to the existing
Baltimore Boat Show. The big event is set for January 23-27, where an
additional 50,000 square feet have been dedicated to the sailing component of
the show. – Floatline, read on:

* (January 15, 2008) A study released today at the Toronto International Boat
Show says that recreational boating had a C$26.8 billion impact on Canada's
economy in 2006. The study was launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary
of the Toronto show. The study said that Canada's boating industry generates
C$26.8 billion for the economy in jobs, sales, travel, repairs, taxes,
tourism revenues, and consumer spending. That equals 373,606 jobs. Direct
expenditures by Canadian boaters on boat and engine sales, accessories and
other boating expenses was C$15.6 billion in 2006. -- IBI Magazine, read on:

* Strictly Sail Chicago, the largest indoor sailboat show in the country,
will be held January 31 – February 3, 2008 at Navy Pier. Scuttlebutt has
discount tickets to help attend the four-day event to see the latest
sailboats and sailing accessories on the market. -- Details:

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* Melbourne, Australia -- With the 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, and
Tornado each having their World Championships within the next couple months
in either Australia or New Zealand, the Sail Melbourne regatta is where most
of the top Olympic sailors can be found this week. After the second day of
qualifying on Tuesday, strong performances from the North American contingent
include the continued domination by Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving
(USA) as they lead the Women’s 470 class. Also turning in great efforts to
pull themselves up in the standings was Michael Leigh (CAN), now sixth in
Laser; Tania Elias Calles (MEX), now second in Laser Radial; and Zach Railey
(USA), now sixth in Finn. -- Daily report:
-- Complete results:

* Takapuna, New Zealand -- The qualifying series at the RS:X Men’s and Women’
s Worlds completed on Tuesday, and after a layday on Wednesday, racing in the
Gold and Silver flights will commence Thursday and conclude on Saturday.
Currently topping the women is Barbara Kendall (NZL), with Nikola Girke (CAN)
as the only North American making the Gold flight in 38th among the 76
competitors. As a result of Girke’s position as the only Canadian to make the
Gold flight, she has automatically earned the country’s bid for the 2008
Olympics. In the 117-board mens event, Tom Ashley (NZL) leads, with Zac
Plavsic (CAN) in 27th, David Mier y Teran (MEX) in 38th, and David Hayes
(CAN) in 46th as the North Americans qualifying for the Gold flight. --

New York, N.Y., USA (January 15, 2008) – Peter M. Passano of Woolwich, Maine
was selected by the Cruising Club of America to receive its prestigious Blue
Water Medal for 2007. The medal will be presented by CCA Commodore Ross E.
Sherbrooke of Boston, Mass. at the club’s annual Awards Dinner in New York on
January 15, 2008.

The Blue Water medal was inaugurated by the Cruising Club of America in 1923
to “reward meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by
amateur sailors of all nationalities that might otherwise go unrecognized.”
Previous Blue Water Medalists have included such luminaries of the world of
ocean voyaging in small vessels as Alain Gerbault, H.W. Tilman, Carleton
Mitchell, Eric and Susan Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Eric Tabarly,
Bernard Moitessier and Minoru Saito.

Peter Passano is the skipper of his 39-foot, home-built steel cutter Sea
Bear, which during the past 17 years has taken him on ocean voyages spanning
the length and breadth of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Taken together
with his previous boats, he has sailed over 125,000 nautical miles. -- Read

* British sailor and ocean racer Mike Golding was selected by the Cruising
Club of America to receive its 2007 Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding
Seamanship for his heroic rescue of Alex Thomson in the Southern Ocean during
the 2006 Velux 5 Oceans Race. -- Read on:

* For 2007 the Far Horizons Award is awarded to Gillian West, for her
successful circumnavigation in her 34’ sloop, Khamsin, a notable achievement
for a woman of 74 years. It was a 14-year series of passages which took her
to unusual places and was carried out with outstanding competence and
seamanship. Particularly noteworthy was her unique cruise in the Gambia River
in West Africa. -- Read on:

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

(Day 66 – January 15, 2008) Hugo Boss has put on a remarkable performance
over the last 24 hours, taking advantage of difficult conditions that are
slowing the race leader Paprec-Virbac 2. “We had a great night with really
favourable conditions, perfect for the boat, and up over 20 knots for quite a
while. I think we averaged 18 knots for the night,” said Hugo Boss co-skipper
Andrew Cape. While Hugo Boss enjoys strong downwind conditions, PaprecVirbac
2 finds itself tacking on the shifts upwind due to the enormous Saint Helena
high pressure system that is much further west than normally expected and is
acting like a roadblock in front of the race leader. Reports are for the
conditions to get even stronger for Hugo Boss in the coming days, as Andrew
Cape says the forecast is for a deep low pressure to engulf them over the
next day or so, which could bring winds as high as 50 knots. --

Positions at 18:00 GMT (+gain/-loss from leader since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 5,444 nm DTF (+178)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 622 nm DTL (+143)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 2,405 (+149)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 2,678 (+76)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 3,537 (+45)
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)

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Red Dragon account for over 27,000 square feet of sail area - an impressive
feat by anyone’s standards, with the Reacher alone coming in at just over
8,500 square feet. Join the Stratis revolution! Contact your local DOYLE
loft, 800-94-DOYLE. For more information on Red Dragon, visit

(Day 53 – January 15, 2008 - 19:00 UTC) While the start of the night was
characterized once again by some tough sailing, with some unexpected squalls
popping up, creating 35 knots of variable winds to shake up the large IDEC
trimaran and her single-handed skipper, the night was to end with the
long-awaited calmer conditions for Francis Joyon. By veering more easterly,
the trade wind blowing to the south of the Azores eased off significantly and
became much steadier, making it easier for the red multihull to make her way
north. With the wind on the beam, resting on her port float, IDEC was sailing
along at first light at 16-18 knots on seas that were still quite nasty.
Although with a touch of tiredness, Francis’s voice also expressed a little
relief. While the threat of seeing his shroud break away from the mast
remains present, what lies ahead for the solo yachtsman after 53 days of
uninterrupted struggle, seems much clearer, with a route strategy very much
in line with what is considered normal in the North Atlantic. He has to round
the high, and then it will be full speed ahead in the SW’ly flow sweeping
right across the NW corner of France today. – Read on:

* Joyon’s ETA at the moment is calculated to be between Sunday and Monday,
January 20th and 21st. In the past 24 hours, he clocked an average speed of
16 knots while covering 383 nm. With only 1,889 nm remaining to the finish at
Brest, France, his advance over the 2005 record set by Ellen MacArthur (71d
14h 18m 33s) is at 2,873 nm. --

To celebrate the 2500th issue of Scuttlebutt, we marked the moment by
celebrating the great events from the 2007 sailing season. We asked the
'buttheads to submit their favorites, and came up with a list of 41 events
that hit their hot button. If you are planning your sailing schedule for
2008, here is a list of events that you might want to consider:

Congratulations also go to contest winners Justin Scott, Jennifer Langille,
and T.L. Lissenden. As for this week, here are a few of the events that are
coming up:
Jan 16 - Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race - Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Jan 17-20 - St. Maarten Classic Yacht Regatta - St. Maarten, N.A., Caribbean
Jan 18-20 - 48th Annual Arizona YC B-Day Regatta/Leukemia Cup - Phoenix, AZ
Jan 18-21 - US Youth Worlds Qualifier/ Multihull Champs - Long Beach, CA
Jan 19-20 - O'Pen BIC Mid-Winters - Miami, FL
Jan 21-25 - Acura Key West 2008 - Key West, FL

To post an event, or to view the events currently online, go to

* Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won the prestigious title of Raymarine/YJA
Yachtsman of the Year, with Laurence Greenough taking the title of Raymarine
Young Sailor of the Year. These awards are the principal awards for British
sporting excellence for both power and sail, with the list of past winners
including all the great names in yachting – Eric Hiscock, Sir Francis
Chichester, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Chay Blyth, Edward Heath, Tracy
Edwards and Ellen MacArthur. – Sail World, complete report:

* Long Beach, CA -- The future of American sailing will be on display
Saturday through Monday when Alamitos Bay Yacht Club hosts the 2008 US
Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship. Boys
will race singlehanded full-rig Lasers, girls Laser Radials; they'll sail
two-person 29er skiffs in separate classes, and some will combine talents on
doublehanded Nacra SL-16 catamarans. The winners will advance to the Volvo
Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship at Aarhus, Denmark in July. The
catamarans also will be competing for US Sailing's Youth Multihull
Championship for the Arthur J. Stevens Trophy. --

* The US Department of Commerce's Commercial Service has organised a trade
mission for US companies involved in the recreational marine industry. The
trip, which takes place April 5-13, revolves around the China International
Boat Show in Shanghai. According to a statement, the trade mission will
involve meetings with "vetted and interested" Chinese equipment and yacht
manufacturers as potential trading partners. It will also include briefings
and network events organised by the US Consulate and China Boat & Trade
Industry Association. Finally, there will be site visits to Chinese marinas
and yacht facilities. -- IBI Magazine, read on:

* Peter de Savary, the property entrepreneur and a contender in the 1983
Americas Cup, has sold a marina in the Caribbean for US24m. Camper &
Nicholsons Marina Investments, the AIM-listed Guernsey-based marina
investment company, has bought the marina at Port Louis, located in St.
George's, the capital of Grenada in the Caribbean. -- Complete story:

Online registration is open and discount applies until January 31! Come enjoy
great racing in the harbor and offshore in one of America’s favorite cities.
Amazing beach parties every evening featuring Gosling’s Dark n’ Stormies and
grand prizes on Sunday from event sponsor Raymarine. PHRF, one-design and IRC

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: Thanks to all the ‘buttheads who came to the rescue
last week when there was information in the newsletter saying that CRW was in
May, instead of the correct dates of April 17-20.

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 Harrison Hine: It was interesting to see the article on accidental
jibe fatalities in Issue 2511. It was in the late 1970's when Stan Harrison
was killed in the CYC Overton Series Santa Barbara Island race. As I
remember, Stan was working the foredeck when during an accidental jibe, the
boom hit him in the head, he went overboard in the middle of the night, and
was dead when he was recovered. As the article stated, it was a tragedy that
could have been avoided with a preventer. In the early 60's, setting up a
preventer when running downwind in heavy weather was standard procedure.
Gradually we stopped doing it as we became a little cocky and more sure of
our ability to "control" things with the lighter boats we started to sail
(i.e., Cal 40's, etc.).

* From Rob Stephan: I applaud CCA for publicizing a simple and effective
solution for setting up a “preventer”. As I circulated this info among fellow
sailors, several commented about their own head cracking learning
experiences. This past year on a local basis, I know of two serious injuries
that could have been much worse. It will only be used if it is installed and
ready to go. Don’t just read this and tuck it away, install the turning
blocks and the line before the first race. You want to be able to tell the
story of how it saved you or a crewmember instead of them telling stories
about you at your memorial.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comments: Just out of curiosity, are there any stories of
booms breaking because of the boom preventer? Of course, much better to break
a boom than risk harm to the crew. Please reply.

* From Ted Jones (Re: George Carmany tribute to Gordon Ingate, Scuttlebutt
2511). I've had no interaction with Gordon Ingate since the 1977 America's
Cup when he sailed a previous generation 12-Meter (Gretel II) with
distinction and determination. To laud Gordon as a fierce competitor is only
part of the story. He is also one of the finest gentlemen of our sport,
gracious in defeat as well as in triumph. After Gretel II was eliminated from
the competition, Gordon invited the press corps for a sail so we could see
first hand what is was like to sail a Twelve. He had to drag me "kicking and
screaming" from the helm so others could have a chance to steer. A credit to
his country, a credit to our sport, and a throwback to a time when it truly
mattered more how you played the game than whether you won or lost. There
could not be a more deserving winner of Australia's Dragon Championship.
Goodonya Gordon!

* From Robin Wall: The letter from Steve Bodner in #2510 notes little support
for windsurfing "from the Olympic Sailing Committee who funds only medal
potential." I guess that explains why Nancy Rios and Farrah Hall are
currently battling without USST support at the RS:X Worlds in New Zealand to
qualify the US for the 2008 Olympics. Among the other countries seeking
qualification is Mexico, whose sailors are benefiting this week from coach
support at the Worlds. But for the three US women there… nada!

“I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools.
Let's start with typewriters.” -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Special thanks to Doyle Sails, Ronstan, and Charleston Race Week.

A complete list of Scuttlebutt’s preferred suppliers is at