Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2516 – January 22, 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 Dave Reed, Sailing World
(January 21, 2008) At Key West's Galleon Resort and Marina, this week filled
with millions of dollars worth of play toys, our ride is tucked between Glenn
Darden's immaculate Swan 42, Hoss, on the one-side, and Hasso Plattner's Farr
40 Morning Glory on the other. Flanking Glory is Phillippe Kahn's Melges 32
Pegasus. In this one 50-foot stretch of dock there are enough hired guns to
form a small army.

There's plenty of elbow-rubbing opportunities in our sport - but there are
few events equal to Key West Race Week in this regard. You can more than
knock elbows here - you can share a hose. And with an entire generation of
Cup sailors toeing the AC unemployment line, there is no better time to be
here amongst them than now. They are literally all here, in such surplus that
even supremely talented guys like Morgan Larson are in coaching mode. The
best pros are getting in while the getting is good, and the fleet of Farr 40s
assembled here will be the toughest racing its seen yet - once we get racing.
With no shortage of talent available, and with the Worlds around the corner
in Miami, it's all happening for these guys.

But the beauty of being surrounded by such programs is what you learn simply
by watching (OK, and a bit of eavesdropping) on a morning of an extended
high-wind postponement. These guys have their programs down pat; they get to
the boat, it's already prepped to go, there's maybe a bit of tweaking, but on
the whole they're just kicking back, waiting for the AP to come down, which
is promptly followed by the owner's arrival—let's say in this case, Kahn, who
steps aboard, as lines are cast, and off they go with not a single frantic
word spoken. That's Exhibit A. We're Exhibit B: a team collectively thrown
together for the first time. -- Read on:

* A storm front hitting Key West Sunday morning lingered, providing race
officials on Monday with a fierce northeaster delivering consistent winds
ranging 25-30 knots and routinely gusting higher. Event chairman Peter Craig
huddled with his four principal race officers and the decision was made to
postpone sending the 262-boat fleet out for two hours. Just after 11 a.m.,
the fleet was sent out to the four racing circles with the pronouncement that
no racing would begin until 1 p.m. Regatta officials had hoped the wind would
stabilize at a reasonable level in order to hold one race, but with the
conditions clearly “on the edge” - and given that this was the first day of
the event - the decision was made to abandon all racing. Forecasts call for
winds to decrease to the high teens on Tuesday morning then ultimately drop
to 8-10 knots by the afternoon. Craig said Premiere Racing will “work very
hard” to complete two or three races on Tuesday. -- Complete report:

by Lynn Fitzpatrick
(January 21, 2008) It’s been decades since Nevin Sayre spent time training in
Miami as a member of the US Boardsailing Team. Nowadays, whether it be
sailing, windsurfing, or kiteboarding, speedster Sayre knows how to have fun,
and he is focused on bringing that attitude down to junior sailing. Nevin and
his entourage were in town to host the O'Pen BIC Midwinters, and they put on
a spectacle at sailing’s fun zone - Shake-a-Leg Miami - this past weekend.
Nearly forty junior sailors from Key Biscayne, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort
Pierce, Clearwater, and New Orleans elevated Nevin’s and O’Pen Bic’s rule
number one - Have Fun - to a new level.

Camp Director Sayre, sporting a red T-shirt emblazoned with “bailing is
prohibited,” launched his loosely competitive, unorthodox ‘unregatta’ from
among the white sands and sea grapes of one of Miami’s restored spoil
islands. Sayre paraded the group of eleven and unders and the oldsters around
untraditional courses. As they planed from one hoppity-hop to another, Sayre
instructed them to stand up, capsize, and do 360-degree turns. He gave them
extra style points if they could sail with both feet on the rail of the
9-foot, open hulled O’Pen Bics. Smiles spread over the waterrats nearly as
quickly as their boat-handling skills improved. In no time at all, some of
the kids perfected the art of letting their mast tip hit the water and
bounding up onto the daggerboard to right their boat almost instantaneously.
Some were so good that they gained places during the legs in which everybody
had to capsize. -- Read on:

Dave Perry, David Dellenbaugh, and Brad Dellenbaugh are teaching Rules and
Tactics Seminars in 18 locations this winter. Perhaps you could learn a thing
or two... From fundamental principles to nuances highlighting the difference
between right-of-way and control, these rules gurus teach the rules and the
tactics rules dictate. The case-based curriculum teaches situations, not rule
numbers. Enrollment is limited. Sign up now (risk free) and receive Perry’s
Rules Quiz book and Dellebaugh’s Rules DVDs with the course. Learn more at
NorthU. Call 800 347-2457 or

Last year was not a good one for Challenged America, San Diego's pioneering
disabled sailing program. “We became something of a victim of our own
success,” Challenged America co-founder and director Urban Miyares said
recently. “Financially, we couldn't keep up with the demand we created.” The
problems last summer forced Challenged America to withdraw before the start
of its third Transpacific Yacht Race. Shortly after that, Challenged America
sold its Tripp 40 flagship B'Quest and suspended operations.

But by the end of the sailing season, Challenged America was racing again.
And Miyares sees brighter days ahead. “We have other boats available to us,”
Miyares said. “What we need to do is find a financially feasible permanent
home and locate alternative funding. Our fundraising has been terrible.”
Although Challenged America was one of the world's first disabled sailing
programs when it was launched in 1978, most clubs that followed its lead have
headed in other directions and had more financial success. -- SD
Union-Tribune, read on:

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

(Day 72 – January 21, 2008) While winds are 25 to 28 knots in the Southern
Ocean for Educación sin Fronteras, race leaders are dealing with light and
fickle conditions as they struggle to make progress towards the equator.
"It's a bit better for us today, we have a bit more wind than we were
supposed to have,” said Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson. “But the general
trend is light and cruddy for us and downwind and trying to get across the
front to the other side where Paprec-Virbac 2is. Although Damian and
Jean-Pierre are in light conditions, they can see the light at the end of the
tunnel, whereas for us, we have to get across the front first before we can
see the light." --

Positions at 18:00 GMT (+gain/-loss from leader since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 4,179 nm DTF (+155)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 541 nm DTL (+10)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 1,902 (+152)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,972 (+173)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,959 (+206)
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)

by Kimball Livingston, SAIL
There's no explaining the Three Bridge Fiasco to people who expect things to
make sense. We're talking about a race sailed in the dead of winter, when you
can't count on breeze on San Francisco Bay, but you can expect the currents
to be running big-time. A bay, we call it, because the sea floods in, but the
Golden Gate is also a drain spout for 16 rivers swollen with winter rain. And
coming to the 2008 Fiasco this Saturday, we've had rain, baby, we've had

Racing the Three Bridge Fiasco, you have three marks to round. Each mark is
at or under one of three bridges. The shortest-possible route (over the
ground, not necessarily the shortest route through the water) is 21 miles,
and it does not simplify things at all that going from a reverse-order,
pursuit start, you may round these marks in any order or any direction at
all. The likely turnout come Saturday? Try 255+ boats, once again the biggest
fleet for any race of the year in Northern California. Which only goes to
show, if you declare a fiasco, they will come. Darned if the name isn't a
brilliant stroke of marketing. -- Read on:

With a record like that, there is no question that North Sails One Design
delivers the fastest one-design sails in the world. Building on more than 50
years of sailmaking success in over 100 one-design classes, North is backed
by a specialized, 100% one-design dedicated team. For complete details about
North’s one-design products, service, and tuning, visit

(January 21, 2008) The 110-ft catamaran Gitana 13 is blasting southeast down
the Atlantic, five days into a nonstop record attempt at the 14,000-mile
Route de l’Or: the ‘route of gold’ from New York to San Francisco. After a
bumpy start - the boat was sailing double reefed for the first few days in
shifty winds and choppy seas - G-13 is currently riding the tradewinds
southeast under full sail, gobbling up the Atlantic ocean at the rate of 26+
knots for the last 24 hours.

The record she is attempting to break is currently held by Yves Parlier,
whose Open 60 Aquitaine Innovations covered the route in 1998’s The Gold Race
in 57 days, 3 hours, 21 minutes. The multihull record, set in 1989 by Georgs
Kolesnikov’s 60-ft trimaran Great American, is 76 days, 23 hours, 20 minutes.
By the way, all these ‘gold’ references harken back to the days when sailing
ships delivered gold seekers to California from the east. The best of the
best back then was the 229-ft clipper Flying Cloud, whose 1851 mark of 89
days, 21 hours stood for more than 130 years.

Assuming no breakage or other delays, G-13 and her 10-man crew should have no
problems annihilating all these marks. If all goes as planned, the big cat
and her 10-man crew are expected to arrived under the Golden Gate on or about
February 20. -- Latitude 38, complete report:

* NINJA Mobile, a leading developer and publisher of innovative mobile
applications, and Tidelines announced the release of Mobile Tides, a new
mobile application that offers user-friendly tide information for over 4,500
locations world wide. Powered by NINJA Mobile’s content distribution
platform, Mobile Tides displays up to 30 one day graphed tide images,
downloaded, and stored for quick access on a mobile phone. A default tide
location can be chosen for the user’s local coastline. When traveling,
destination tides can be substituted and carried on the phone with no need
for network coverage anywhere worldwide. -- Complete announcement:

* The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has unveiled the names of the
cities from which a final winner to host the first Summer Youth Olympic Games
in 2010 will be voted on by the IOC membership. Moscow and Singapore were
chosen by the Executive Board last week, and will now be submitted to a
postal vote by the IOC members. The winning city will be announced by IOC
President Jacques Rogge in a live web cast on provisionally
scheduled for February 21st. -- Full report:

* An instructional seminar for interested participants of the Annapolis to
Bermuda race will be on Saturday, February 9 at the Eastport Yacht Club from
10:00am to 1:00pm. For information, contact Eastport Yacht Club at
410-267-9549 or

You need only to dock your boat at Newport Shipyard to be within walking
distance of shops and restaurants. Newport's only full-service yachting
facility, Newport Shipyard is the yachting hub for events like the 2008
Bermuda Race, spring and fall boat shows, Newport Bucket and more... and
you'll love your neighbors! Make your dockage request online today:

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 John Rousmaniere: Since new books often take a while to be discovered,
I’m writing to say that anybody seriously interested in boats and the sea
should be aware of THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MARITIME HISTORY, published by Oxford
University Press and edited by John Hattendorf. The American Library
Association recently named it the best reference book published in 2007. With
four volumes and almost 1,000 entries, this is by far the largest and most
authoritative publication available on this vast international subject. The
topics are broad (naval architecture) and narrow (ballast). Naval warfare in
all ages and places is covered, and so are oceanography, ancient Chinese
voyagers, maritime art, shipwrecks, navigators, films, maritime law,
literature, terrorism, religion, major ports. . . and on and on, from A to Z.

The 12 entries on yachting (which I wrote as a consulting editor) concern the
sport’s history and literature, the America's Cup, Joshua Slocum, four great
yacht designers (Herreshoff, Watson, Stephens, and Farr), and 31 important
classes over the past 125 years, including New Zealand’s P, Australia’s
18-foot skiff, Scandinavia’s Folkboat, and England’s X-OD, plus the A-Cat,
Hobie 16, Lightning, Melges 24, E-Scow, J-105, and IACC.

All this does not come cheap, of course. But here’s an acquisition that
should be considered by yacht club librarians and students of our great

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The Encyclopedia of Maritime History is available at
Amazon, and if you use this special link, the college fund for the
Scuttlebutt publisher's kids gets a little bit fuller:

* From Paul Jacobs, Saunderstown, RI: As most sailors know, for years we have
heard about the virtues of Corinthian sailing; good sportsmanship, honest
competition between amateur sailors for the joy of the sport, etc., etc.
However, I thought the Buttheads would appreciate this incredible bit of
irony that I came across while doing some research on the Apostle Paul.

I was reading a wonderful old book "The Story of St. Paul's Life and Letters"
by one J. Patterson Smyth, published in 1917 (nothing like quoting from an
obsure reference to make it difficult for others to check one's veracity!). I
quote, "Thus Paul began his ministry in Corinth. His failure in Athens had
evidently shaken him. I think he expected to fail in Corinth too. One hardly
wonders. For Corinth was about the most wicked city of the world at that
time. It's vice was so rampant and un-blushing that it became a proverb. 'A
Corinthian drinker', 'a Corinthian banquet' were bywords for the lowest

The next time I hear about a yacht club with the word Corinthian in its
title, or "the spirit of Corinthian yachting"...I will surely smile!

* From Rich du Moulin, Larchmont, NY: I agree with Skip Allan (in Issue 2515)
about leading the preventer to mid-boom, but have a further suggestion. On a
trip home from Bermuda aboard my Express 37 LORA ANN years ago we used a
normal three-ply 1/2 inch nylon dockline as a preventer. It worked so well
that we have improved the system and leave it rigged 100% of the time for
distance and day racing. Using a 70 foot nylon line, we clove hitch the
center of the line around the boom just aft of the vang attachment, and lead
the two tails forward port/starboard to snatch blocks on the rail just
outboard of the shrouds and inboard of the lifelines, so a gybe doesn't bend
the stanchions. Then the tails lead back to cockpit winches. When set up, we
put moderate tension on the nylon. The modest stretch softens the motion, and
when we have gybed, the stretch minimizes shock and allows the boom to swing
about halfway to centerline. This stretch also reduces load on the boom when
dragging in the water. By being lead aft, the crew can ease the preventer if
the boat gets pinned, or shift port/starboard during a gybe without leaving
the cockpit. Even for our windward-leeward day racing we use this rig, since
it allows us to pull out the boom and get everyone on the windward side so we
can roll our assym to windward (we have a sprit). On the Transpac we used
this same rig with a 5/8 inch nylon three ply on FORTALEZA, a Santa Cruz 50,
and it worked fine.

* From Stuart Lochner, Seattle, WA: I inherited what I think is the ultimate
boom preventer system when I took over as skipper of the old 75' maxi
"Ondine" (now "Atalanta"). It consists of: two pendants attached to the boom
end running down both sides of the boom snap shackled off near the gooseneck,
a dedicated angled turning block on both port and starboard toe rails just
aft of the bow pulpit, and two lines with snap shackles run through the
turning blocks back to a spare winch (we use the lazy primary winch). When
settled out on a jibe, a crew member unclips the leeward pendant at the
gooseneck and clips it to the line through the leeward turning block (which
leads outside the leeward shrouds). Then the line is tensioned preventing the
boom. With the line is attached at the boom end and run to the bow the loads
are reasonable and it is almost impossible to break the boom. The pendants on
the boom could be a single line depending on how it is attached to the boom
end and as long as it is re-run around the boom vang after a jibe. And the
turning blocks on the bow can just be snatch blocks clipped to a strong point
allowing a clear lead to the boom end.

We have done some big rolls, dragging the boom in the water and gone by the
lee enough to put the main aback and just straightened the old girl out and
kept on racing. It did take me a while to figure out what those two big
stainless turning blocks mounted on the bow at a funny angle were for.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: There have been some great submissions on the boom
preventer subject, but far too many for us to print in the newsletter. We
have, however, created a special file on the website, and have included them
in the News index for anyone seeking information on the subject, either now
or in the future. Link:

After a certain age, if you don't wake up aching may be dead.

Special thanks to North U, North Sails, and Newport Shipyard.

A complete list of Scuttlebutt’s preferred suppliers is at