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SCUTTLEBUTT 2517 – January 23, 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.

(January 22, 2008) As the results rolled in during the first day of racing
Acura Key West 2008, presented by Nautica, there were a lot of familiar names
finishing at the front. Winners in the Melges 24 class included such
perennial contenders as Franco Rossini and Riccardo Simoneschi. By day’s end,
Masquerade was in her usual perch atop the J/105 class. Two-time defending
world champion and past Key West winner Mascalzone Latino seized the early
lead in Farr 40. Dan Meyers, who has raced a variety of big boats in Key
West, showed off his new Numbers while moving quickly to the top of IRC 1.
Other opening day pacesetters with a history of success at Acura Key West
include the J/80 Rumor and the Mumm 30 Groovederci.

However, there were also some newcomers atop the leader board after Day 1. No
Naked Flames, a brand new Slim 37 owned by Irish brothers Andrew and Carl
Allen, performed well right of the box in taking the lead in IRC 2. Stark
Raving Mad, James Madden’s new J/125, also posted superb results while
showing it could be the boat to beat in PHRF 1. Meanwhile, the Swan 42 class
made its one-design debut at Acura Key West with Tiburon, owned by Mark
Watson of Newport, R.I.,

Action at Acura Key West 2008 was scheduled to begin on Monday, but high
winds and heavy seas forced regatta organizers to abandon on all four courses
without starting a race. Winds were still strong, but more manageable, on
Tuesday – blowing steady between 17-20 knots out of the east. That enabled
officials with Premiere Racing to complete three races for 15 of 16 classes –
the first time that has happened in the 21-year history of the popular
regatta. -- Full report and results:

by Kimball Livingston, SAIL
I'm working from an update-free zone, but a sail-assisted cargo vessel was
scheduled to have sailed Tuesday from Bremerhaven, Germany to Venezuela as
the first practical test of a towing-kite system intended to reduce fuel
consumption. Will it tow us into a brave new world?

The MS Beluga SkySails is 132 meters long and carries a 160-meter kite that
reportedly developed five tons of pull, in a mild breeze, in recent testing.
Wind angle is critical - you won't be going upwind with this rig - but the
numbers tossed around by SkySails GmbH & Co. developers start at a 10 percent
reduction in fuel consumption under certain circumstances, peaking at a 50
percent reduction under optimal circumstances. The technology is intended for
series production. Stephan Brabeck, Technical Manager at SkySails, says, “The
daily routine will bear many challenges. It is important to raise the
manageability and robustness of the system to the level demanded by our

I patiently sat through the video on the SkySails web site, and what I think
I saw was a retrofitted, telescoping mast on the bow of the ship, with the
kite stowed in a large metal box below. In the nature of testing, deployment
involved quite a bit of manpower, a helicopter as a camera platform, etc, but
yes, by and by there was a kite out there, flying in a towing position. --
Read on:

by the EVK4 SuperBlog
I have a standard answer to why I'm doing the Pacific Cup (from San Francisco
to Hawaii). I need to cross an ocean where it gets warmer every day rather
than colder. See, on my Eastward Atlantic crossing, every day was colder than
the last. By the end I was miserably cold. Going West in the Pacific, every
day will be warmer than the last. If nothing else, you get to pack lighter.

But that's really not it. As I dive deeper and deeper into middle age, I've
realized that many of my best stories are from sailing. And, believe it or
not, I like to tell stories. Some of my trans-Atlantic stories are getting a
bit stale; for example, my wife never ever wants to hear about the lone
Clorox bottle again. With these ~14 days of warm-weather sailing, I can
replenish my stock of anecdotes.

But that's not really it either. As I dive deeper and deeper into middle age,
I've realized that many of my best stories are from sailing. And, believe it
or not, I like to tell stories. Some of my trans-Atlantic stories are getting
a bit stale; for example, my wife never ever wants to hear about the lone
Clorox bottle again. With these ~14 days of warm-weather sailing, I can
replenish my stock of anecdotes. But that's not really it either. -- Read on:

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

(Day 73 – January 22, 2008) Educación sin Fronteras has become just the
second boat in the Barcelona World Race to round Cape Horn without stopping
since the start of the race. In fifth place on the leaderboard, the tandem of
Albert Bargués and Servane Escoffier has left the famed landmark to port and
raced into the Atlantic Ocean. Said Escoffier, "Sometimes you ask why you are
here because it's so hard. Sometimes with the wind and the cold you ask
yourself why am I doing this but after Cape Horn, you know why. Maybe
tomorrow, I'll say 'no more'. But today, at Cape Horn, we're very happy."

At the front of the fleet with just under 4000 miles to the finish,
Paprec-Virbac 2, has consolidated its race lead and slightly stretched it
today, finally able to ease the sheets as the wind has shifted aft for the
first time in what he says seems like ages. “We’ve been waiting for this for
like, nine days or something!” skipper Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been beating
upwind and it has been really, really tough - really hard. It’s still not
going to be a motorway, but hopefully we’ll now find a good track so that we
stay in the lead.” --

Positions at 18:00 GMT (+gain/-loss from leader since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 3,969 nm DTF (+210)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 560 nm DTL (-19)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 1,746 (+156)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,808 (+164)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,894 (+65)
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)

(Day 5 – January 22, 2008) In its attempt to break the 14,000-mile record
from New York to San Francisco, Gitana 13 is now approaching the Doldrums.
The boat speed, while kept above 20 knots on average, has considerably slowed
onboard the 110-ft catamaran owned by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. This
serves as confirmation that Lionel Lemonchois and his crew of nine are
currently nearing the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

This stretch of the route will be in contrast to the hectic pace imposed by
the weather conditions over the first 4,000 miles of their voyage. Said
crewman Léopold Lucet, “The early days of this record attempt were pretty
tiring because we were kept very busy on deck trying to squeeze the full
potential out of the boat. But, little by little, we have gotten into the
swing of things and are already able to recuperate better. We have stuck
closely to the schedule that we set in New York, and the mood onboard is
excellent.” -- Complete report:

After a month and a half's wait at its base in Lorient, Groupama 3 is due to
set off on its Jules Verne Trophy attempt (crewed circumnavigation around the
three capes) from the Créac'h lighthouse off Ushant, France, late morning on
Thursday, January 24th. The programme for Franck Cammas and his nine crew: to
reach the equator in six days and complete a circumnavigation in less than
fifty days...

"Everything comes to those who wait..." This proverb is very fitting for the
crew of Groupama 3 on stand-by since 6th December 2007. Solely two weather
`windows' have presented themselves in the past month and a half and neither
of these were sufficiently striking for the 31.50 metre maxi-trimaran to set
off on the 21,600 miles that make up the Jules Verne Trophy course. The
reasons for this are that on this record, held by Orange II since 2005 (50
days 16 hours 20 minutes 4 seconds), the gain acquired over the first phase
of the course is initial proof of success. In this way, the mid range
forecast gives a descent of the Atlantic in six days, which would provide
Franck Cammas' crew with a day's bonus on changing hemisphere. -- Read on:

Great softshell? That’s right, for those of us not fortunate enough to have
made the trip to the “southernmost point” this week, here’s a fun way to
start looking forward to the next regatta: get a new Grand Prix softshell
from Atlantis. Then, when your friends get back and show off their new tans,
you can show off your new jacket.
Visit or call us at 877-333-SAIL to find
out where you can get one. If you can’t get to Key West, at least get some
cool gear. Discover Atlantis.

Despite being the last syndicate to go public, preparations are well advanced
for the 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean Race’s seventh entry – the Green Team. And
while the city of Galway publicly confirmed its participation only in
November, covert operations in Ireland to ensure a battle-hardened team for
the October 4th start in Alicante, Spain had been going on for months,
matched by a determination to create an international platform. Reichel Pugh
are well advanced with the design program and the build of the Green Team’s
Volvo Open 70, which is in the hands of McConaghy Boats in China.

As for skipper Ian Walker, a round-the-world debut at the age of 37 would
appear a tall order, but the Briton is unfazed by his lack of ocean racing
pedigree or the file marked ‘jobs pending’ in his in-tray. “Yes, we are late
and there’s an awful lot to do,” Walker concedes. “Everyone would love to
have an unlimited budget and unlimited time, but that’s not the case for us.
We need things to go well from now on. We need to keep the boat on time and
we need to raise more money. There’s no point worrying about it, you either
get on and do it, or you just stay in bed all day. We are going to make the
best job of it we can.” Walker can take heart from the fact that there were
precedents in the previous VOR. Pirates of the Caribbean was late out of the
shed yet finished second overall. Brasil 1 did not take to the water until
July and they were third. -- Read on:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified the new Around the
World Singlehanded record set by Francis Joyon (FRA) onboard the 98-foot
trimaran IDEC. Finishing on January 19, 2008 in Brest, France, the new record
is 57 days 13 hours 34 minutes and 6 seconds at an average speed of 15.84
knots. The previous record was set November 2004 by Ellen MacArthur (GBR)
onboard "B&Q" in a time of 71d 14h 18m 33s. --

* US Sailing, along with Roy E. Disney and Pacific High Productions, have
organized a special preview of the yet-to-be-released movie "Morning Light"
on March 14 to be held in conjunction with US Sailing's Spring Meeting, held
March 13-16 in Newport, RI. "Morning Light" chronicles one of the youngest
crew ever to compete in the Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii, with footage
also including crew selection and training. The current release date for the
movie by Walt Disney Studios is October 17, 2008. -- Full report:

* What began last year as a windsurfing event, the Alex Caviglia Blue Water
Classic expanded this year to include Paralympic classes preparing for the
OCR at the same venue in a week. Winds ranged from six to fifteen over the
three days with windward-leeward courses. Nick Scandone and crew Maureen
McKinnon-Tucker aced the Scud-18 fleet. Paul Callahan sailing with
able-bodied crew Dave Ellis and John Gray Parker had speed to win the Sonar
over teams from GBR, IRL, CAN and USA. In the 2.4 Mtr class, Paul Tingley of
Canada won by a point over Bruce Millar. For complete results:

* Long Beach, CA -- The future of American sailing was on display last
weekend when Alamitos Bay Yacht Club hosted the 2008 US Sailing ISAF Youth
World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship, with the winners
advancing to the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship at Aarhus,
Denmark in July. The winners were: SL-16 Catamaran- Andrew Mason/Chris
Segerblom, Corona del Mar, CA; Laser- Luke Lawrence, Palm City, FL; Laser
Radial- Anne Haeger, Lake Forest, IL; 29ers- Judge Ryan/ Hans Henken, San
Diego, CA; Girls 29er- Emily Dellenbaugh/ Morgane Renoir, Eaton, CT/ San
Diego, CA. -- Daily reports and results:

On January 9, 2008, British America’s Cup challenger TEAMORIGIN, with the
Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC), lodged a Deed of Gift (DOG) Challenge with
the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG). It called for a Match in 2011 in
Valencia to be sailed in AC90 yachts and it outlined their willingness to
consider a mutual consent match with a protocol along similar lines to the
one signed in July last year.

The RTYC’s most recent challenge was lodged in anticipation of a potential
vacuum occurring should the currently disputed Golden Gate Yacht Club’s
(GGYC) DOG Challenge be found lacking by the New York Supreme Court’s Judge
Cahn. SNG’s motion to reargue and renew points about the validity of GGYC’s
DOG Challenge, part of the legal dispute that has dogged the America’s Cup
since July 2007, was due to be heard on January 14th of this year, along with
argument on settling the order arising from the judgment of November 27th. On
January 14th, however, Judge Cahn further postponed the hearing to Wednesday,
January 23rd. -- Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: It’s times like these that I reach for that popular
youth saying… “whatEVER.” Before we get too excited, we’ll wait for what our
legal correspondent Cory E. Friedman has to say following this week’s
Wednesday hearing.

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 Elliot Oldak: Craig Fletcher laments (in Issue 2515) the closing of
Maddie's in Marblehead (MA), an occasion similar to when Marmadukes in
Annapolis (MD) closed its doors more than 25 years ago in the late nineties,
bringing a black cloud set over this Capitol City. Alas, several years later
a bigger, better, and more sophisticated establishment was born in the
"tradition" of Marmadukes. The Boat Yard Bar & Grill in Annapolis is now
considered to be one of the finest sailors' watering holes of modern times.
Have at it Marbleheadians!

* From Tillerman (on Scuttleblog): Regarding the story in Issue 2515,
“Gadgetry to Find the Two Boat Length Circle,” this sounds like a good idea
but I'm skeptical. Even if you know when the lead boat reaches the two
boat-length zone, there will still always be doubt about whether the other
boat has an inside overlap. And that just doesn't only depend on the distance
of both boats from the buoy but also the angle that the lead boat is
sailing. --

* From Kim Carter: Regarding the Three Bridge story in Issue 2516, there
seems to be a pattern in how these fun races are getting huge turn outs (+255
boats for San Francisco event). My hunch is that there is some psychology at
work. If the race is for fun, the risk of failure is small. I mean, we all
must be fairly adept at having fun, right? Therefore, if folks think they
will not fail, then they are more apt to participate. However, for big time
events that take loads of training and good equipment, the risk of failure is
pretty high. With the risk high, the smaller the pool of people who want to
take the risk. This seems to be the approach that Nevin Sayre is also taking
with the O'Pen BIC (story in same Issue). Whoever heard of a regatta that
includes an “expression session”? Well, maybe that’s our problem.

* From Joe Seymour: A big thanks to Paul Jacobs for his letter (in ‘butt
2516) revealing the true meaning of ‘Corinthian’. For the word to be
associated with the lowest form of being, the America’s Cup fiasco is now
beginning to make sense.

I’m not an alcoholic -- alcoholics go to meetings.

Special thanks to Team One Newport and Atlantis WeatherGear.

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