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SCUTTLEBUTT 2527 - February 6, 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.

Malin Burnham’s five-point plan (published in Scuttlebutt 2526) to put
the America's Cup on a modern sports footing while preserving the
tradition represents a solid concept. It is similar to a plan put
forward by the board of directors of the challenging association at the
1999 Louis Vuitton Cup. The board appointed a committee made from the
New York Yacht Club (Young America), the Italian challenge (Prada), the
San Francisco Yacht Club (America True), the Spanish Challenge and the
St. Francis Yacht Club (AmericaOne). I was the chairman of the
committee at the time.

Our committee came up with a specific plan to put the America's Cup
under the jurisdiction of an international organizing authority similar
to the IOOC. It would have a CEO called the Commissioner of the
America's Cup with authority similar to the commissioners we see in
professional sports. Constituents of the organization would have been
all the defender yacht clubs and recent challenger yacht clubs. It
would have removed the home court advantage of the defender except for
the right to select the venue.

When the plan was submitted to all the challengers, it was defeated by a
close vote. Those teams that thought they were going to win voted "no"
because they wanted to retain the advantage that goes to the winner. It
was also opposed by Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht
Squadron because they were the defender at the time and they figured
they were going to win it again, which they did.

If our 1999 plan had been adopted by all the interested parties at that
time, we would not have the mess we are in today. We need some real
leadership now that is not coming from the current defender. As Malin
suggests, the New York Yacht Club is the one independent party that has
the position and clout to do something about it.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Bruce Munro was the 2000 Commodore of the St.
Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

by Lynn Fitzpatrick
If you win the Snipe World Championship, you put yourself in the company
of sailing legends. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, Tomas Hornos
was one of the youngest to achieve such an accomplishment. Tomas
returned from Oporto, Portugal to the US with lots of fanfare. Cottage
Park Yacht Club threw a party in his honor; Tufts University Coach Ken
Legler added Hornos to a long list of Jumbos who have won world
championships; even Tufts President, Larry Bacow, a sailor himself, sent
a special note of congratulations to young Tomas. To quote Tomas, “It
was one of the best times in my life”. None could be prouder, or more
supportive of Tomas sailing career than his father, Luis.

Tomas had a unique winter break. Now 19 years old, his Snipe Worlds win
earned himself a place among the US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
nominees. Additionally, rather than spending skiing or sailing and
goofing off with friends, Tomas has been working on an interesting
project with his father. The pair has been Star sailing in
Miami…together. Tomas is at the helm and incredibly zealous, Luis has
been donning the droop suit and harness and crewing. -- Read on:

In big winds and seas off The Haven at Terrigal in the late hours of
last evening, the start vessel for the Laser World Championship broke
its moorings and washed up on the beach. On loan from the Royal Prince
Alfred Yacht Club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the motor boat was
swamped by waves and lie on its side on the beach semi-submerged
throughout the night and this morning.

Local police, the NSW Fire Brigade, inclusive of a Hazardous Materials
Response Unit arrived at The Haven shortly after 10:00 this morning and
are working away to lift the waterlogged and sand drenched boat out and
onto land, where it will be inspected. It is yet to be determined
whether the boat can be salvaged or not.

Jeff Martin, Executive Secretary of the International Laser Association
and Rob Lowndes, Event Chairman, said this morning that whilst obviously
it was upsetting to have the incident happen, particularly when the boat
was so generously loaned by the RPAYC, that: “the show will go on, there
will be a Championship.” The Laser Worlds get underway tomorrow with a
practice race for the 160 competitors representing 56 nations, starting
from 14:30, provided conditions are suitable. --

Team One Newport has just released the 2008 College and Scholastic
Program. Your school team can get quantity special pricing on your
sailing gear and team uniforms. Team One Newport is world renown for its
service, expertise, and product selection, not to mention their
incredibly smart looking crew uniforms. Call 800-VIP-GEAR or email or and they will be
happy to forward you the offering. For the latest sailing and active
wear on the market, visit

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

(Day 87 – February 5, 2008) It's been a fantastic 24 hours for the
leading boat in the Barcelona World Race as Paprec-Virbac 2 gybed
overnight and began heading more towards Gibraltar at good speed. As a
result, skippers Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall have piled on the
miles, adding over 150 miles to their lead over the last 24 hours. But
trouble looms ahead as the weather forecast is for lighter headwinds for
much of the rest of the way to Gibraltar and even beyond into the Me
diterranean. This means the impressive mileage is going to slow and
second placed Hugo Boss is likely to make a deep cut into the lead over
the coming three or four days. Latest projections have Paprec-Virbac
reaching Gibraltar on the 8th of February. That would make their finish
in Barcelona likely to be on the 11th. --

February 5 positions at 18:00 GMT
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 1,036 nm DTF
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 677 nm DTL
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 1,520
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,610
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,980
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 12 - February 5, 2008; 17:22 UTC) 23 hours separate Orange II and
Groupama 3 in the space of three years! Bruno Peyron's maxi-catamaran
`virtually' passed along the same trajectory as the giant trimaran this
Tuesday at 0800 UT with a deficit of 590 miles... This is good news
since Franck Cammas and his men have thus saved two and a half hours on
the reference time since their passage of the equator, despite a
succession of gybes slowing their pace. Indeed, though the averages have
grazed and even exceeded an average of 27 knots over the past two days,
the trimaran has extended its course by performing successive hooks to
the SW to get clear of the pitfalls of the Saint Helena High.
- Distance covered in the past 24 hours: 641 miles.
- Lead in relation to Orange II: 590.8 miles

* Since 2004, the Scuttlebutt website has been posting photo galleries
from the Grenada Sailing Festival. While there are a variety of boats
that compete in this beautiful setting, we love the images of the work
boats, and have another outstanding selection this year provided by
photographer Tim Wright. --

* While most of the Dragon class National Associations are based in
Europe, there is one in the USA that claims to have fleets in Vancouver
(BC), Toronto (ON), and Cleveland (OH). Theoretically, there are 37
boats here in the States, but for those that have lost touch with this
class, Fiona Brown has provided the Scuttlebutt website with images from
a recent 40-boat event in Monaco. --

* There is no time to waste for BMW Oracle. The American team received
their Extreme 40 yesterday morning and by noon today she was already on
the water. Apparently it will not be long before she goes out for her
first test sail on Valencia's waters. If one is to believe the current
rumor in Valencia, in about 40 days from now, Franck Cammas will be
sailing a lot on that catamaran... – Valencia Sailing,

* Yachting New Zealand's Olympic Committee have nominated the youngest
ever crew to sail in the 2008 Olympic sailing regatta in Qingdao. 17
year-olds Carl Evans and Peter Burling have been nominated to the New
Zealand Olympic Committee by Yachting New Zealand for inclusion in the
New Zealand Olympic Sailing Team (470s). The NZOC will now consider the
nomination and has the final say in the selection process. To convince
Yachting New Zealand selectors, sailors need to demonstrate that they
have Olympic medal winning potential. While medals in Qingdao are the
immediate goal, selectors may look beyond 2008 to 2012 for outstanding
sailors. --,

* Royal Bermuda Yacht Club marina is now a sellout for the 2008 Newport
Bermuda Race that starts June 20th. It’s now a ‘waiting list only’ at
the host club in Bermuda. After only three weeks of online entry for the
2008 Newport Bermuda Race, 156 boats have already applied for entry. So
far, 55 of those are new boats for the NB race (some repeat owners have
new boats) and 72 of the owners did not enter the record breaking
264-boat 2006 centennial race. Race Chairman Nick Nicholson said, “We
have a probable fleet of 186 boats to date.” --

* Hitchhiker, the Champion Yacht at the inaugural Hamilton Island Race
Week in 1984 and one of Australia’s most famous ocean racing yachts of
that era, is to return for the Audi sponsored 25th anniversary edition
of the regatta in August this year. West Australian yachtsman Peter
Briggs, who has retained ownership since he had the 41-footer built in 1980,
announced today that he had initiated plans to transport the Frers-designed
Hitchhiker across the continent by road from Perth. Hitchhiker also won the
hotly contested Two Ton Cup World Championship in Sardinia in 1981. --

“Normally, I look at the sailing scene with the same gusto that a 5 year
old boy eyes a box of chocolates but unfortunately this week (actually
this whole month) is just a drag. We've got Paprec and Capey coming to
the end of their lap of the planet (bored), we've got Groupama moments
away from collapse (bored), the AC is stalled in the high courts
(really, really bored), all the pros are living it up in Vegas and
taking a well-earned rest and now the Laser Worlds are stalled because
the Committee Boat has been washed up on the shore...sums up this week
really! Bring on the summer....!!!” -- Magnus Wheatley,

Will Hanckel and "Team Emocean" and Robert Hibdon and "Team Temptress"
- both powered by North Sails - scored a combined total of 13 bullets at
Acura Key West RW 2008 to win their respective PHRF classes. "North
sails have great shape and are very durable, we have a North jib on the
boat that is three years old and still works great," said Hanckel. "The
service at North has been great also. If we have problem, the sail is
fixed and put back on the boat within a few hours. I will definitely
continue buying North sails." When performance and durability matter,
head North:

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 George Backhus (edited to our 250-word limit): Tom Ehman's
comments regarding how to make fleet racing more fun are absolutely
spot-on. Many of us enjoy the social aspects of yacht racing nearly as
much as the thrill of the on-the-water competition. I would like to
toss in a couple more ideas that seem to work:

Most of the Yacht Clubs in Auckland, New Zealand, have some sort of
weekly "rum race." This is the antipodean version of a beer can race,
except the prizes for line honours, 1st, 2nd and 3rd on handicap are
bottles of rum, donated by a sponsor, who has naming rights for the
season's race series. In the case of the Ponsonby Cruising Club
Thursday evening race, most of the sailors in the fleet gather for an
hour or so after the race on one of the boats and enjoy the rum won the
previous week. It is an almost free happy hour (crew bring coke and
chips). The club welcomes anyone who wants to go for a ride, even
newbies and tourists, and the owners always make room for them. More
than a few of these casuals have become keen regulars, boat owners and
club members over the years.

A few years back I participated in an evening race in Melbourne on Port
Philip Bay. After the race the Yacht Club had a reasonably priced
buffet dinner, and live music with dancing after, which seemed to be a
draw for the ladies - which is always a draw for the guys.

* From Rick Dominique (re Tom Ehman’s thoughts on making fleet racing
more fun – edited to our 250-word limit): Tom Ehman said "Most important
for those interested in improving one-design sailing is to remember that
most people race to socialize as well as compete. They want to have fun
- party, party, party"

While socializing is fun, it cannot become the major focus. Many race
days on Long Island Sound have been called at 2pm because the caterer is
showing up at 4pm, and at 2:30pm a nice southerly breeze fills in. The
racers spend the best part of the day on shore talking about the great
breeze left unutilized. In my opinion, if your main focus is to drink
rum, beer and eat cocktail hour food (all of which I enjoy) you could
sell your boat and use the $60,000 to buy enough rum, beer and cocktail
food to last the rest of your life! I vote for sailing first, the party
a pretty distant second.

Crewing on my father's PHRF boats on Long Island Sound through the
1980's and 1990's, we raced around government marks against other people
who chose to race whatever boat they owned. There were 10 times the
number of boats competing then than now. After the race, we would
return to our club and have dinner with other club members. Trophies
were awarded at dinner parties during the winter, giving us all part of
that sailing fix we needed and the opportunity to meet and socialize
with the owners and crews from other clubs.

* From Mike Titgemeyer, Annapolis MD: Ok – Am I missing the proverbial
boat or does it seem that GGYC wrote their challenge in terms that
couldn’t be understood on purpose...Who would fathom racing a 90x90
anything? Then to boot they threw in the “keel yacht” phrasing, just
make confirm. Incase anyone thought the 90 thing could make sense...My
theory it was spin to show a scenario so ridiculous as to send the
message to Alinghi and the other challengers that mutual consent
negotiations would be the only path to 33...Anyone else have this
conspiracist theory? 33 – this number ought to be left to the Rolling
Rock Beer mystique, not the America’s Cup mystique...maybe a few
Greenies would help - I’ll buy the beer, Russ, Brad, Lar & Ernie – Happy
Hour at the Boatyard?

* From Paul Henderson: Malin Burnham is a great sailor and friend and a
businessman first class. I trust Alinghi and Oracle will listen to him.

* From Roger Vaughan: Thank you, Malin. Simple and brilliant, like the
man said. So let's get it done.

* From Robbie Wallace: As to Charles Moore's claim of a huge stewy body
of plastic amassed in the North East Pacific High Pressure Zone. Give
me a break! Moore makes it sound like we need an icebreaker just to
sail back from Hawaii. The amount of debris is minimal and has actually
decreased since the late 70's and early 80's. I am sure that several of
my peers who have also made that passage 40 or 50 times since the early
70's would agree. The coveted Japanese glass balls are certainly all
but gone, but all we really see anymore are the occasional plastic ball,
fishing net or light bulb. Nothing unusual to expect really in any
"ocean Gyre". From my eyes, 99 percent of the time the water is a deep,
deep blue and there's great fresh sailing with clean decks! A huge
"Garbage Patch twice the size of Texas?" I must have been off watch
when it went by!

"What's the point of being around if you don't give your opinions,
whether anybody wants to hear them or not?" – Newfoundland politician
John Crosbie

Special thanks to Team One Newport and North Sails.

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