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SCUTTLEBUTT 2522 - January 30, 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.

Miami, Fla. (January 29, 2008) - After postponements due to light wind, 369
and Paralympic sailors from 34 countries basked in sunshine and steadily
increasing breezes on Biscayne Bay, completing day two of US SAILING's Rolex
Miami OCR.
Ynglings, Lasers and 2.4mRs have now completed five races, while the Laser
Radials, Stars, SKUD-18s and Sonars have each completed four. The regatta,
as important for establishing a sailor's world ranking as it is for
providing a warm-weather elite training option for Europeans, has this year
attracted dozens of teams selected by their countries for the 2008 Olympic
and Paralympic Sailing Regattas, set for August and September, respectively,
in Qingdao, China.

One of those teams is Nick Scandone (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and Maureen
McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.), the USA's Paralympic representatives in
the SKUD-18 class and the only ones at this regatta with a perfect score.
With four points overall, they are eight points ahead of fellow US Sailing
Team AlphaGraphics members Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett
(Boca Raton, Fla). The duo has turned in significant margins of victory in
the 10-boat fleet, including a two-minute lead at the finish of race one
today. -- Read on:

Day 2 Results
Laser (24 boats) -- 5 races
1. Maciej Grabowski (POL), 2-1-[6]-4-2, 9
2. Kyle Rogachenko (USA), 1-4-1-[24/OCS]-6, 12
3. Marcin Rudawski (POL), [11]-3-4-2-4, 13

Laser Radial (39 boats) -- 4 races
1. Paige Railey (USA), 1-4-1-1, 7
2. Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), 3-1-3-2, 9
3. Penny Clark (GBR), 6-2-6-9, 23

Star (70 boats) - 4 races
1. Rick Merriman/Brian Sharp (USA), 1-4-2-1, 8
2. Eivind Melleby/Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR), 6-2-1-5, 14
3. Hamish Pepper/Carl Williams (NZL), 1-3-7-7, 18

Yngling (28 boats) -- 5 races
1. Sarah Ayton/Sarah Webb/Pippa Wilson (GBR), 6-6-1-[23]-1, 14
2. Ekaterina Skudina,/Diana Krutskikh/Natalia Ivanova (RUS), [19]-2-3-3-9,
3. Monica Azon/Sandra Azon/Graciela Pisonero (ESP), [16]-3-2-2-13, 20

2.4mR (25 boats) -- 5 races
1. Damien Seguin (FRA), [4]-2-1-3-1, 7
2. Stellan Berlin (SWE), 2-[7]-2-4-2, 10
3. Paul Tingley (CAN), 1-9-[26/OCS]-2-4, 16

SKUD-18 (10 boats) -- 4 races
1. Nick Scandone/Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (USA), 1-1-1-1, 4
2. Scott Whitman/Julia Dorsett (USA), 5-3-2-2, 12
3. John McRoberts/Stacie Louttit (CAN), 3-2-3-4, 12

Sonar (11 boats) -- 4 races
1. Jens Kroker/Tobias Schuetz/Siegmund Mainka (GER), 1-3-2-2, 8
2. John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Steve Thomas (GBR), 6-2-1-5, 14
3. Bruno Jourden/Herve Larhant/Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA), 2-4, 6
Complete results:

* Rick Merriman and his mom must have had a very special relationship. Kathy
Merriman rooted for her son through his entire sailing career, including the
recent US Olympic Trials in the men’s keelboat event. But Kathy passed away
on Sunday, January 27th, and now must be in heaven teaching all of the
angels about Star sailing because Rick and crew, Brian Sharp, started the
regatta with a bullet and are currently leading the fleet after two days of
racing. -- Read on:

* Melbourne, Australia (January 29, 2008) Britain’s freakishly talented
single-handed Finn sailor Ben Ainslie, with a second placing in the medal
race of the Finn Gold Cup today, won the class’ world championship for the
fifth time. Ainslie already held the world record for the number of wins in
this long established and legendary Olympic class; well ahead of Paul
Elvstrom (two wins), Willi Kuhweide, Jorg Bruder, Lasse Hjortnaes, Freddy
Loof, who all had three wins. And he has Olympic gold medals in both the
Laser class (2000) and Finn (2004).

Ainslie finished just a wave behind British teammate Ed Wright in the medal
race, which is restricted to the top ten sailors after eight races in the
82-boat fleet, but well ahead of New Zealander Dan Slater, who had been only
a point behind him going into the medal race. A fresh 15-knot sou-‘wester,
with only minor variation in direction, made the race probably the regatta’s
fairest. The outcome was decided at the start with Ainslie getting away well
towards the middle of the line while Slater was buried and had to tack off
on port early but in disturbed air under the Canadian Chris Cook. Slater
ended up second overall, with Cook finishing the Gold Cup in sixth place. --

Event website:

* Melbourne, Australia (January 29, 2008): It's an all too familiar sight
going into Wednesday’s medal race in the 470 Women's world championship
medal race with Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving (USA) maintaining first
place comfortably, just as they did at the Asia Pacific Regatta earlier this
month. After completing the final fleet races, the American women are
guaranteed no worse than second overall as they maintain a 16 point lead on
Giulia Conti/Giovanna Micol (ITA), who pose the only threat. On the men’s
side, Alvaro Marinho/ Miguel Nunes (POR) remain in first, but a redress
hearing for Nic Asher/ Elliot Willis (GBR) awarded them average points for
the three races they missed following a dramatic collision, and now the
British team is only 3.1 points off the lead going into the final medal
race. The top North Americans Stu McNay/ Graham Biehl (USA) finished the
Worlds in 21st place. -- Event website:

by Andy Rice
There is a good news, bad news scenario playing out at the 470 Women’s World
Championship for the Americans. The good news is that they have a team going
into the medal race that can finish no worse than second, and is very well
positioned to win. The bad news is that this team is not going to the
Olympics, and in fact, the team that is going to the games failed to earn a
position in the final medal race. Herein lies the weakness of the
one-regatta, winner-takes-all Olympic trials system still favoured by US
Sailing, yet long since abandoned by other leading sailing nations such as
GBR. How many reigning 470 World Champions have been left behind, not even
able to represent their nation, let alone win a medal?

A lot, by my reckoning. When I was campaigning 470s in the early 90s, I
remember Jordi Calafat and Kika Sanchez (ESP) winning the 1992 Worlds just a
few months before the Games, and noting at the time that this would be the
first time that a reigning 470 World Champion would actually be competing at
the Games. For example, Kiwis David Barnes and Hamish Willcox won three
Worlds in the space of four years, leading up to Long Beach 1984, only to
finish fourth (I think) in the New Zealand trials. Four years later,
reigning Pre-Olympic and World Champions Nigel Buckley and Pete Newlands
could only manage fourth at the British trials in Weymouth. New Zealand
didn’t come close to winning a medal in 1984, and Great Britain didn’t come
close in 1988. For reasons like these have some sailing nations moved to a
more subjective, selection-based system. -- Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: Reigning Melges 24 World Champion Dave Ullman (USA),
who last week won the Melges 24 class at Acura Key West, is another 3-time
470 World Champion who never qualified for the Olympics.

Most sailors would agree that starting the season off in Key West is fun,
competitive and a nice break from the cold weather. We think the crews on
"Barking Mad", "Star", "Masquerade", "Bandit", "Stark Raving Mad", "Bad
Girl", "Temptress", "Emocean", "Murka 2" and "Numbers" are especially
psyched about winning their respective classes among some heavy competition.
What do these highly competitive boats have in common? They all used North
sails to power their way to the top. When performance matters, head North -

By Herb McCormick, Sailing World
It took Jim Richardson eleven tries to win the Farr 40 class at Acura Key
West Race Week, but when he finally did, it was in extremely dramatic
fashion. Trailing Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino by a single point
going into the eighth and final race, Richardson and his crew aboard Barking
Mad recorded a bullet with Mascalzone a close second. That put the
scoreboard at 29 apiece for the two boats, but Barking Mad broke the
tiebreaker by virtue of more first-place finishes. And because the 25-boat
Farr 40 competition was so tight—there were seven different winners over the
series—Barking Mad earned an impressive double by being named Boat of the
Week. Afterwards, Richardson and long-time tactician Terry Hutchinson talked
about the honor.

* Tell us about the week.
TH: A tough one. On Monday eight of our ten crew came down with a stomach
virus. On Tuesday six of us were throwing up while we were racing. So we
were completely bogged down with that. So to battle in the manner that we
did, we're really happy about that. And with the Farr 40 Worlds coming up,
it was quite a big deal. By no stretch did we sail our best regatta. I made
a lot of tactical mistakes; I can put my hand on the table for about seven
points. But it's pretty gratifying to come up against this field and to be

* Tell us about your preparation. What's the key to success in Key West?
JR: We got here early. We went sailing on Thursday, then full practices on
Friday and Saturday, half a day on Sunday (racing was Mon-Fri).

TH: Sunday was interesting. It was really windy, and there were about five
or six Farr 40s that went out. We specifically went out and practiced jibing
the boat and heavy air, because Monday was going to be really, really windy
so we figured if we're going to win in heavy air we have to practice in
heavy air. So we took it on and it was a little gnarly but it was a good
thing to do.

JR: It was definitely a good thing to do. I saw 34 knots out there and we
had the masthead kite up. Terry was driving the boat and he turned around
and said to me, after we did one jibe, water just pouring over the deck, "Do
you want to give it a go?" And I laughed and said, "Not really, you're doing
just fine!" We put a fractional kite up after that and I steered for a while
but it was very, very good for us to go out and do that. -- Read on:

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

(Day 80 – January 29, 2008) If the crews of the Barcelona World Race thought
they'd left the tough times behind them when the rounded Cape Horn, they've
been sadly mistaken. Although storm force winds aren't the problem here,
light, upwind conditions are making for slow progress home. "I think that
these are the worst 24 hours I've experienced since the start," wrote
Michèle Paret from Temenos II last night. "The wind was coming from every
direction and we found ourselves upwind and then downwind. It was just
surreal. We were manoeuvring constantly and changing sails. It was a very
thankless task struggling to get the boat making headway without any result.
We stayed with the same cloud, which blocked our way for several hours in a
row. It would send us a few little puffs of air so we could start moving
very gently at 5 or 6 knots, but as soon as we escaped its influence the
boat would stop dead in its tracks as if it had hit a wall. We had to wait
for the cloud to catch up with us so as we could get going again." --

Positions at 18:00 GMT (+gain/-loss from leader since previous day)
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 2,469 nm DTF (+164)
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 452 nm DTL (+79)
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 1,612 (+31)
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,679 (+8)
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,835 (+80)
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)

* Jules Verne Trophy (crewed circumnavigation around the three capes):
(Day 5 - January 29, 2008; 20:00 UTC) The equator is the next objective for
the 103-foot maxi trimaran Groupama 3, which was just 350 miles away midway
through this afternoon. The weather forecasts suggest that Franck Cammas and
his crew won't be too slowed by a rather inactive Doldrums. At this pace,
the crew may well make it into the Southern hemisphere just after daybreak
on Wednesday, which would give the giant trimaran its first intermediary
time. With the exception of the first day at sea and a few squalls off the
Canaries, Groupama 3 has essentially sailed in light to moderate breezes of
normally less than twenty knots. In 2003, Geronimo sailed this first leg to
the equator in six days, eleven hours, twenty six minutes, whereas current
record holder Orange II wasn't very fast during the initial stage of its
victorious trip around the world in 2005, making it to the equator in only
seven days, two hours, fifty-six minutes. At an average pace of twenty knots
this Tuesday, Franck Cammas and his crew should pass into the South between
0700 and 1400 hours GMT on Wednesday, making it from Ushant in six days,
give or take a few hours. Presently, Cammas sees their advance over the
current record as 496 nm. --

* Route de l'Or (crewed route from New York to San Francisco):
(Day 12 - January 29, 2008; 11:17 UTC) Since Sunday afternoon, the 110-foot
maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 has taken advantage of a sustained southeasterly
wind to once again chalk up boat speeds Monday afternoon that permited a
600+ day. Still cruising along the Uruguayan coast and nearing Argentina—the
route chosen to keep a good distance from the Saint Helena high-pressure
system—Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are preparing to enter
another zone of unstable winds. The clear sailing along the Latin American
coast will be interrupted on Tuesday when the team encounters a stormy
low-pressure system, however, they hope to catch another set of solid
high-pressure system winds in the evening to help carry them toward Cape
Horn. The goal of the crew is to set a time benchmark for a maxi multihull
on the 14,000-mile New York to San Francisco route, and improve Yves
Parlier’s record (Route de l’Or 1998, on 60-foot Aquitaine Innovation
multihull). The record dates back to 1998, when Yves Parlier and his crew
finished the Route de l’Or in 57 days, 3 hours and 21 minutes. --

For the ten year history of the publication, readership growth had been
largely due to satisfied “customers” spreading the word about the
publication. When Scuttlebutt initiated the Word of Mouth campaign last
month, it was a call to arms for the ‘buttheads to get back to their roots.
Looking at the results of the campaign, we were very pleased to see that our
loyal audience took the message to the streets, and that the e-Newsletter
subscriptions took a healthy spike upwards. We would like to thank everyone
that helped make this happen, and would like to encourage the continuance of
this word of mouth campaign. It is very easy to spread the word at this

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 Ron Holland, Ron Holland Design, Ireland: (ie, the current debate in
the courts regarding the ACUP challenge for GGYC) Regarding the latest
analysis of Keel yacht versus Multihull terminology, I think it should be
noted the keel of any vessel - (including racing yachts) has traditionally
been the primary centerline structural member of the hull. Monohulls have
one and Catamarans have two.

While recent developments in composite hull construction have replaced the
"Keel Centerline member" with overlapping laminates, it could be argued this
increased hull shell thickness can still be called the "Keel area" of the

* From Paul Henderson: When are the AC combatants going to stop embarrassing
our beloved sport of Sailing? Valencia was a great success. Build on that
and stop the "boolsheet". Here are the salient points:
> Venue: Valencia is ready and were great hosts. Let’s go!
> Hospitality: The AC needs Louis Vuitton/Bruno Trouble back as they add
> Timing: Should have been in 2009; now need to lock in 2010 or 2011 and set
the program immediately so the sailors can prepare.
> Challenger of Record: There are several bona fide YC's challenging. Pick
one who will represent all Challengers and not be merely a contrived YC.
> Yachts: 70', 80', 90'. Who cares! Whether it goes 12 kts or 12.5 kts is
unimportant. Match Racing is team against team in close jousting, Match
Racing must be in boats that go the same speed upwind as down wind. The
closer the cut and thrust the better. Multi-hulls should be in the Olympics
but not for Match Racing with or without a "keel".
> Jury/Umpires/Race Officials: Must be independent adjudicators and not
subject to the individual whims of one syndicate either Challenger or
Defender. The group assembled in Valencia 2007 did a great job. All ISAF
certified. No other legitimate sport allows the holder of the trophy to
decide the officials.

Alinghi and Oracle are embarrassing our beloved sport of Sailing. They are
both culpable. The America's Cup is the #1 competition in our sport which
non-sailors gravitate to and who are perplexed by the ridiculous court
proceedings. Sailing must be decided on the racecourse.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: What are the odds of either one of these teams
waking up one morning and saying, “Enough of this nonsense. Do whatever the
heck you want and let’s get on with it?” Odds are pretty slim. It all brings
me back to some sage advice that I was provided prior to my wedding
regarding arguments with my spouse. To paraphrase, assess each argument for
its value. Arguments can often lead far down pathways that were never
intended. Determine early on how much you are willing to risk “just to be

The Scuttlebutt publisher is working hard to recover from the dead hard
drive that he woke up to Monday morning. There was a pile of email that went
down with the ship, so if you sent any letters to the editor, ad inquiries,
story ideas, etc. to the Scuttlebutt publication since last Friday, it would
be very helpful for them to be resent. Thanks to those who already have done
so, and for the helpful advice that others have sent.

When blondes have more fun, do they know it?

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