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SCUTTLEBUTT 2518 – January 24, 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 23, 2008) It’s been feast or famine at Acura Key West 2008,
presented by Nautica. Organizers and competitors alike have been frustrated
by the fact winds have been either too strong or too light on two of the
initial three days of the largest winter regatta in North America. A
northeasterly that held steady in the range of 25-30 knots forced
cancellation of racing on Monday. Mother Nature delivered the opposite end of
the spectrum on Wednesday with a southeasterly providing a mere three knots
of pressure and forcing officials with Premiere Racing to abandon again.

“The wind never reached the threshold at which we felt we could have a
quality, fair race,” event organizer Peter Craig said. “Our race committee
has certain standards and we are not going to sacrifice quality in order to
just get in a race.” Division 4 managed to start a race in what Principal
Race Officer (PRO) Wayne Bretsch called “sail-able” conditions. However, the
bulk of the fleet had not reached the first weather mark when the wind died
to two knots or less and Bretsch pulled the plug. -- Read on:

On-the-water updates:

For those of us not lucky enough to be in Florida this week for Acura Key
West 2008, event organizer Premiere Racing has made sure that we are not left
in the dark. Daily videos are being produced by Gary Jobson each day, and
posted online soon after the sails are folded and the Mount Gay drinkies are
poured. We will continue to update this page to include them all… enjoy!
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:

If you have ever watched MTV’s Real World show, you will note that at the
beginning of each show, the introduction states, “This is the true story...
of seven strangers... picked to live in a house... work together, and have
their lives taped... to find out what happens when people stop being
polite... and start getting real...The Real World.” That was what we thought
of when we read the following story on the blog of Justin and Ryan Visser,
brothers born in South Africa, who have been racing 49er’s competitively
since 2005. As their blog states, “This is a blog about our experiences from
racing on the 49er Olympic circuit, to training on the waters surrounding
Britain. We have plenty of stories to tell, and plenty of time to tell them.”

Here is one of their stories, which begins with Ryan and Edd Chapman
borrowing somebody’s 29er skiff, and borrowing somebody else’s 29er XX rig
(super-sized for bigger teams), putting them together and heading out in
25-30 knots. They are sailing offwind, and have just survived a gybe. Ryan
picks it up from here:

“As we hit the straps, Edd called a big gust rolling in. We both hit the
knots and flattened out as the breeze kicked up. In front of us, two
International 14’s pitchpoled in unison, leaving the crew flying through the
air. Huge grins on our faces, Edd heated the boat up to sail over the top of
the upturned skiffs. Everything from here on in goes into slow motion. With
the boat sailing a hotter angle, we are sailing about as fast as the 29er XX
can ever go. As we launch ourselves past the guys in the water, my heart
stops. We are sailing someone else’s £6000 29er, with a brand new XX rig
attached, and we’ve just sailed about two metres away, at 20 plus knots with
spray everywhere, past a guy standing in thigh deep water. Oh crud…” -- There’s
more, read on:

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Franck Cammas and his nine crew left their shore base in Lorient, France this
Wednesday evening at 1600 GMT to make for the start line of this Jules Verne
Trophy attempt (crewed circumnavigation around the three capes) from between
Lizard Point (UK) and the Créac'h lighthouse (Ushant). Groupama 3 should set
off on their round the world record attempt between 0600 and 1000 GMT
Thursday morning.

Bruno Peyron, aboard the maxi-catamaran Orange 2, set the current record
March 2005, when his team sailed the course in 50 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes,
and 4 seconds at an average speed of 17.89 knots. Cammas’ crew will need to
eclipse that pace for the 21,760 mile track, which begins and ends from a
line that is virtually defined between the island of Ushant and Lizard Point
lighthouse (UK), and leaves the Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn to
port. The specs for Groupama 3 are:

Length, 31,50 meters
Width, 22,50 meters
Mast height, 39 meters
Mainsail surface, 356 sq meters
Solent Surface, 201 sq meters
Gennaker surface, 472 sq meters
Draft, 5,70 meters
Weight, 18 tons
Architects: Van Peteghem - Lauriot Prévost
Built by: Multiplast and Lorima
Construction beginning: December 2004
Launch: June 7th 2006
Groupama 3 website:

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

(Day 74 – January 23, 2008) After having these past two days been caught up
in storms and squalls, skipper Jean-Pierre Dick onboard Paprec-Virbac 2
seemed relieved to have found a more stable breeze, commenting,. "The Trades
are steadier and stronger now, we're reaching in 15 to 20 knots of breeze.
The sea is very blue, it's getting warmer and the conditions are great… it's
like tropical sailing!” said Paprec-Virbac 2's skipper, enjoying the sight of
his boat's speedometer while knowing that further back, his rivals aboard
Hugo Boss were significantly slower. "They're going through what we
experienced ourselves, and going upwind on the kind of boats we sail is
really painful. We're going to extend our lead, but the Doldrums lie ahead,
so we'd better gain as many miles a we can while we can, because Hugo Boss
will come back strong at some point." --

Positions at 18:00 GMT (+gain/-loss from leader since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 3,673 nm DTF (+296)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 666 nm DTL (-106)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 1,666 (+80)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,732 (+76)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,966 (-72)
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 leader
Paprec-Virbac 2 nearing the gate off the eastern tip of Brazil, and tracking
nicely straight up the Atlantic toward the equator. Hugo Boss, on the
otherhand, is dealing with upwind angles along the South American continent.
Following the gate, the fleet will continue to Gibraltar to enter the
Mediterranean Sea and bolt to the finish at Barcelona, Spain. See photo from
race tracker at

(Day 6 – January 23, 2008) In its attempt to break the 14,000-mile record
from New York to San Francisco, the 110-ft catamaran Gitana 13 crossed the
equator Wednesday after leaving New York 6 days, 14 hours and 52 minutes
earlier. We can compare this performance to those of sailors attempting to
break the round-the-world record. The distance from New York to the equator
is 200 miles longer than from Brest to the equator. The fastest time for this
latter route belongs to Olivier de Kersauson, who did it in 6 days, 11 hours
and 26 minutes on his 34-meter trimaran Geronimo back in 2003. Gitana 13
logged 3 hours and 26 minutes more than de Kersauson, but also covered 200
more miles. --

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by Cory E. Friedman, America’s Cup legal analyst
(January 23, 2008) Today’s hearing, which should have been the end of the
first leg of the America’s Cup litigation, turned out to be the sailor’s
nightmare – becalmed within sight of the finish line and suddenly discovering
that someone left the time limit out of the Sailing Instructions. A lawyer’s
responsibility is to zealously represent his or her client within the bounds
of the law and the Code of Professional Responsibility. Sometimes it means
implicitly arguing that “we don’t have to show you any stinking rules.”
Sometimes it just means confusing the issues. Often it is not pretty. Société
Nautique Genève (SNG) did not win today, but their lawyer Barry Ostrager
justified his billing rate by not losing. He was not eloquent. His
presentation was halting and he was often painfully at sea and grasping for
basic terms and concepts on the sailing issues, but he managed to stave off
an order, perhaps for a while. He stayed alive, which beats the alternative.
His client is undoubtedly happy. A happy client makes a happy lawyer.

Despite having outlawyered SNG in the exchange of letters to Justice Cahn
Friday and yesterday (letters are completely outside the rules, but common in
NY Practice), Golden Gate YC (GGYC) could not close the deal. Focusing on the
fact that attempting to reopen the issue of whether GGYC is a valid
challenger violates a host of rules, GGYC lost sight of the KISS principle
and could not explain why the whole “keel yacht”/multihull confusion issue on
GGYC’s challenge is a red herring and should not be delaying entry of an
order. Even if Justice Cahn believes that SNG is violating the rules by
raising a new issue at this stage of the litigation, he has to feel
comfortable that his ruling is substantively correct. -- Read on:

by John Rousmaniere
(January 23, 2008) Wednesday, in the latest hearing in the America’s Cup case
at New York Supreme Court, just a few minutes into the oral arguments,
Justice Herman Cahn interrupted Barry Ostrager, the lead lawyer for Societé
Nautique de Genéve (SNG), and asked, “Have the two sides had any
conversations since our last hearing?” Ostrager replied, “No, your honor.
There are irreconcilable differences.”

That much was obvious to anybody who was there as each side accused the other
of misrepresenting the rules and the facts. Whatever Ostrager said for his
client (the yacht club for cup defender Alinghi) was contradicted by James
Kearney, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, which has
challenged for Larry Ellison’s Oracle. In November, Justice Cahn threw out
the Club Náutico Español de Vela as Alinghi’s choice as challenger of record
and replaced it with Golden Gate. SNG is now trying to convince Cahn that he
made a mistake in naming Golden Gate. -- Read on:

* This article is adapted from a story filed with the Swiss newspaper Neue
Zürcher Zeitung.

* (January 23, 2008) The 2008 Round the World Rally officially began
Wednesday, with 41 yachts including 6 multihulls participating. World ARC,
the new circumnavigation rally organised and managed by the UK-based cruising
rally experts at World Cruising Club (WCC), set off from Rodney Bay, St.Lucia
with a group of enthusiastic sailors beginning a 15-month cruising adventure
of a lifetime. The route and timing have been selected so as to benefit from
seasonal weather conditions, with both the Pacific and the Indian Oceans
being crossed during the optimum period, at the height of the favourable
trade wind season. --

* The Swedish capital, Stockholm, has been announced as the final stopover
for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 before its finish in the Russian Baltic port
of St Petersburg in July 2009. During the stopover, between June 16-25 2009,
Stockholm will also host an in-port race as well as a pro-am race in its
famous archipelago. Starting from Alicante in Spain on October 4, 2008, it
will for the first time, take in ports in Asia. Spanning some 39,000 nautical
miles, stopping at around 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the
Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier yacht race for professional racing
crews. --

* The deadline for non-profit groups to apply for BoatUS Foundation grant
funds of up to $4,000 for projects that educate boaters about clean water
issues and environmental stewardship is February 1, 2008. While applicants
are encouraged to submit proposals that strive to improve the marine
environment, projects that help stop the spread of invasive species will
receive extra consideration this year. -- Read on:

* Melbourne, Australia: The Finn Gold Cup got underway on Wednesday with New
Zealand’s Dan Slater winning the opening two races. Eighty-three Finn sailors
from 33 nations are competing in the Finn Gold Cup at the Black Rock Yacht
Club where Slater, ranked #4 in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, won the day’
s two races after patiently tailing the race leader and delivering the final
blow on the last downwind leg to the finish. The first race was sailed in
moderate winds increasing from 7 to 10 knots. Light shifts made racing tricky
and crowded mark rounding created enough turmoil to upset placings. One race
is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, with the event to conclude on Tuesday,
January 29th. -- Event website:

* Melbourne, Australia: Racing for the 470 Men’s and Women’s World
Championship begins Thursday, January 24th and concludes on Wednesday,
January 30th. -- Event website:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Jan 23-27 - Baltimore Boat Show - Baltimore, MD, USA
Jan 25-27 - Charleston Boat Show - Charleston, SC, USA
Jan 25-29 - Grenada Sailing Festival - St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
Jan 31-Feb 3 - Strictly Sail Chicago - Chicago, IL
View all the events 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 Chris Wick: (regarding letters in Issue 2517) About the closing of
Maddie's, I am amazed that even Elliot Oldak can cram more than 25 years in
since the late nineties, I find it hard to get more than 10-12 in the same
period. As for Joe Seymour, no Corinthians have been involved in the Americas
Cup since the 1987 series. They went out with the 12 meter class, and it has
been all professional since, no matter how you derive the word for
Corinthian. Elliot should know that as he was on Weatherly in 1970.

* From Mark Dolan: (regarding the sail-assisted cargo vessel story in Issue
2517) As a sailor and Mate aboard a 1000' vessel and having done absolutely
no research, I can say NO THANK YOU. You can only use it downwind and I would
estimate a range of only 50 degrees total (25 of centerline port and stbd)
any more and you would add more lateral force leading to more rudder to keep
her on course - what do we all strive for... less rudder. The runs on which
this would be effective are minimal - hard to beat the great circle by 10 to
50 %. The conditions need to be there while on the run. An increase in
manpower would be required. A kite handling mistake could be very costly if
the cables were to foul the screws. This is a time when ALL shipping
companies are trying to reduce costs: fuel and labor. What really is the goal
here, less fuel consumption or cheaper shipping costs for all our imported
goods - cheaper total cost by the shipper. I predict costs would actually
increase, so spend more and buy American.

Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Ronstan.

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