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SCUTTLEBUTT 2530 - February 11, 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.

Last week, a drained Nick Scandone sat at the Coral Reef Yacht Club bar in
Miami after dominating an international sailing fleet and winning the
Paralympic Skud 18 class at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta with
seven firsts out of 11 races. For Scandone, a member of the United States
sailing team, this was one of many training regattas on his schedule leading
up to the race of a lifetime in China at the end of the summer.

Scandone battles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s
disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in
the brain and the spinal cord, but he remains a favorite at the Paralympic
Games in September in Beijing. Scandone’s situation is special, however,
because he gets weaker each month. “A.L.S. is fatal and the outcome is
certain,” said Dr. Judith Rabkin, a professor of clinical psychology at
Columbia University. The reality is that by September, Scandone may not be
physically able to compete for the United States. “The question came up at a
meeting,” said Gary Jobson, a member of the Olympic Sailing Committee, “and
I stood up and said, ‘Nick Scandone will tell us if he can’t do it. Until he
does, he’s our guy.’ ” -- Excerpts from NY Times story,

by Ben Barber, US 2008 Olympic rep - RS:X Mens class
That's right, part two. For the past 3 months, I have been through all
levels of grief and joy, not only preparing for the Olympic Games this
summer, but also continuously defending the selection decision from the
Olympic Trials this past October. Here's what I have been deaf silent on
since the Trials, and what I can finally share more completely now.

Altogether I didn't have to only race on the water at the Olympic Trials
held this past October, I also had to defend myself continuously in a
monotony of un-founded allegations that have just recently concluded. During
the event itself, I was protested 7 times, all were dismissed or withdrawn.
Then on the final day, while I was receiving my award, my opponent took it a
step further and filed a report that I had allegedly cheated, claiming I
hadn't done a 360 penalty when in a collision with another competitor. I can
look anyone in the eye and tell him or her that I did do the 360 turn.

Unfortunately my competitor, and his coach boat full of five witnesses,
further filed a report that alleged cheating was involved. During the 9-day
Trials event, I was in front of four different jury panels, all ruling in my
favor after carefully looking at all data submitted. But as the Sailing
rules state, decisions of the International Jury, which were present at the
event, are final and non-appealable. However, a Rule 69 report can be
submitted at anytime during the event or even after the event has ended. My
competitor had submitted a 69 report on me after the event had ended as the
only available method left to possibly change the results. -- Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: Claims against Ben Barger were filed by runner-up
Mike Gebhardt, while claims against Gebhardt were filed by the event’s
organizing authority. A protest committee of Kirk Brown (California), Brad
Dellenbaugh (Rhode Island), Hal Haenel (California), Joe Krolak (Maryland)
and Bill Thorpe (Michigan) determined that no actions should be taken, and
all claims have been dismissed.

* Terrigal, Australia (February 10, 2008) - World champion Tom Slingsby
(AUS) grabbed a marginal lead at the Laser World Championship, reveling on
his home waters off Terrigal during the final day of the qualifying segment
of the event. The fleet will be split into Gold, Silver and Bronze for the
Finals starting Monday, with the qualifier races and final races counting
for total points in the championship. The event is proving difficult for the
North American contingent, with Abe Torchinsky (CAN) leading the way in17th.
American Brad Funk was in strong contention prior to Sunday, but his BFD-RAF
scoreline pulled him down to 33rd. --

* Miami, FL (February 10, 2008) - The Brits and the Kiwis took the bullies
at the first day of racing at the Yngling Women World Championship, with
Biscayne Bay living up to its reputation as one of the world’s finest
sailing waters with a wind of 14-16 knots, sunny skies and warm
temperatures. The American team of Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie
Capozzi were in the lead for a large part of the first race but were finally
overtaken by defending World Champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa
Wilson (GBR). In the second race, Barkow’s team were over the line early and
had to turn back below the starting line, and Sharon Ferries, Raynor Smeal
and Olivia Powrie (NZL) won the race a boat length in front of the 2007
European Champion Ekaterina Skudina, Diana Krutskikh and Natalia Ivanova
(RUS). Current overall leaders are the GBR team Ayton/ Webb/ Wilson, with
the Americans sitting in 8th place. --

Since 1953, San Diego Yacht Club has been sending racers down the Baja
California coastline for distance races to Acapulco, Manzanillo, Mazatlan,
and Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. These events have created lasting memories, and
now it’s time to share your SDYC race story. There is no better way to
inspire people to go on a similar adventure than to pass on to them a morsel
of your own. Stories need not be long – whatever it takes to share the
mental snapshot that you have held on to. This year’s Vallarta Race begins
February 21st, and stories can be submitted until February 28th. Special
story prize to be given from 2008 entrant Dennis Conner (who has submitted
his own story). Email story to Scuttlebutt. Additional details at

Ben Ainslie has revealed that several British sailing squad members are
close to "three strikes and you're out'' with regard to out-of-competition
drugs tests. World and Olympic champion Ainslie, speaking at a Sports
Journalists' Association lunch, referred to the demands of the testing
regime under which an athlete in any sport risks a ban if they miss three
tests in an 18-month period. "I am not worried that there is doping in
sailing,'' Ainslie told insidethegames. "But the whereabouts rule is a real
worry. There are two or three guys on the team who are on three strikes and
you're out. It might all be for perfectly innocent reasons, but in our
sport, where we are travelling all the time, it can be really hard just
keeping up.'' -- Complete story:

It’s not all lawyers and courtroom drama for the BMW Oracle Racing America’s
Cup team. As the Valencia Sailing website reports, the American team hasn’t
forgotten that it is still about the sailing:

* Last Friday, team member James Spithill took the helm of the American
team's Extreme 40 catamaran and carried a test sail for a couple of hours
off Valencia's coast. We assume that BMW Oracle is getting ready for a
Deed-of-Gift multihull race, if finally that's what Justice Cahn orders. BMW
Oracle will certainly have a busy 2008 sailing season in Europe and the
Middle East. First of all, the second Extreme 40 catamaran is rumored to be
arriving here in Valencia shortly. We assume it won't be long before we see
the Americans carrying out two-boat training in Valencia.

* BMW Oracle Racing is currently building a TP52 yacht, 50km north of
Valencia, to be used in the 2008 Audi Medcup circuit. In addition, Russell
Coutts will once again call tactics aboard the Swedish TP52 Artemis, joined
by a handful of BMW Oracle sailors. As a result, the Americans will be using
one and half TP52 for their training. Additionally, Russell Coutts and James
Spithill will be actively participating in the RC44 racing circuit, starting
a month from now in Abu Dhabi. -- Full story:

Depending on where you live and sail, there are likely yacht or sailing
clubs there as well to support the interests of their members. How well they
do it is another question. Docks and decks do not a yacht club make, and
trophy cases tell only one piece of the club’s story. The serious glue that
makes a club succeed is the devotion and friendliness of its members. How do
the members treat visitors, prospective and new members? How do racers and
race officers treat competitors out on the race course – and after the races
are ended? Is the club a respected, giving member of its community? What
does the club give to the sport of sailing? The answers to questions such as
these reveal the true heart and Corinthian spirit of the club. Which grade
would you give the clubs you belong to or frequent? Here are six profiles to

Let Doyle service your sails now so they are ready to go in the spring.
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ones. Contact your local Doyle loft. 800-94-DOYLE,

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

(Day 92 - February 10, 2008) Home is in sight for the leading crew of the
Barcelona World Race as Paprec-Virbac 2 prepares for what could be their
last night at sea. It’s been a difficult few days for the race leader,
having seen their lead diminish dramatically earlier in the week. More
worrisome has been the weather – the approach to Gibraltar was in true
boat-breaking conditions with 40 knots headwinds, and steep choppy seas. And
of course there is heavy commercial shipping traffic in the area. To add the
final insult, the pair is running out of food, making do with the dregs of
their three-month supply.

Paprec-Virbac 2 is expected to finish early in the evening on Monday, with
Hugo Boss still in the Atlantic Ocean but due at Gibraltar by midnight
Sunday and in Barcelona on Wednesday. Temenos II is forecast to reach
Gibraltar late on the 14th. --

Positions at 18:00 UTC

1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, 247 nm DTF
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 326 nm DTL
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 1,152
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,405
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,710
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 17 - February 10, 2008; 23:45 UTC) The weather conditions and above all
the sea state have become sufficiently manageable again for the 103-foot
maxi trimaran Groupama 3 to lengthen its stride downwind whilst remaining
along 42° South latitude. Having previously battled with challenging
conditions, the past 24 hours have markedly improved, providing for an
average speed of 26.6 knots to rattle off 637 nm. The team’s advance over
the Orange 2 record is now at 470 nm, with their course taking them North of
the Kerguelen Island, and roughly mid span of the Southern Ocean between the
Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and Cape Leeuwin (Australia). --

* Route de l'Or (crewed route from New York to San Francisco):
(Day 25 - February 10, 2008; 23:30 UTC) After an excessively long delay at
Cape Horn due to bad weather, the 110-foot maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 has
returned to the race since rounding Cape Horn on Friday. Now 900 miles up
the Chilean coastline at 43.2 degrees S latitude, they have managed an
average speed of 17.1 knots over the past 24 hours while traveling 411 nm,
and are now 5,446 nm from the finish. --

* San Diego, CA - A thirty-eight boat fleet enjoyed sunny conditions for the
Thistle Midwinters West Championship, hosted by Mission Bay Yacht Club, with
some of the class’s top sailors making the trip to the west coast. Paul
Abdullah (FL) led the out-of-state onslaught, followed by Greg Fisher (MD),
Skip Dieball (OH), Mike Ingham (NY), and Craig Koschalk (MO). Top instate
sailor was Doug Hart (9th) from San Diego, CA. -- Complete results:

* Miami, FL (February 10, 2008) - Bill Hardesty with Eric Shampain, Mary
Anne Ward, and Steve Hunt dominated the eighty-nine boat Florida State
Etchells Championship, amassing only 13 points in four races. Hardesty’s
finished 19 points ahead of Randall Pitmann’s team and 23 points ahead of
fellow San Diegans Chris Busch, Chad Hough, Chuck Sinks and Peter Burton.
The two teams from San Diego are now first and second in the overall
Etchells Jaguar Series, with the final regatta in the Etchells Jaguar Series
being the must-count, Etchells Mid-Winters to be held on February 29, March
1 and March 2nd. -- Complete story and results:

* Miami, FL (February 10, 2008) - New Zealand’s Rod Davis (age 52) and crew
Jamie Gale won the Star ZAG Masters last weekend. Rod is an Olympic medalist
and Jamie won the Star North Americans in 2000; both are America’s Cup
veterans. Although the minimum skipper age was 50, Coral Reef Yacht Club’s
Star ZAG Masters still had 38 boats competing with skippers from nine
nations. All came with great credentials. In second place, was Rolex
Yachtsman of the Year Augie Diaz (age 53) sailing with Phil Trinter. Steven
Kelly from the Bahamas took third with Bill Holowesko as crew. -- Complete
story and results:

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Did you know that the 3rd annual Gulf Stream Series started Wednesday
January 14th with the Ft Lauderdale Key West Race and it concludes 18 events
later in the STC East Coast Championship? Get all the US-IRC news at

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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
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* From Robert Wilkes, Secretary, International Optimist Dinghy Association:
(regarding story in Issue 2529) May I support with some facts the view of
ISAF secretary general Jerome Pels that fair racing is possible in Qingdao.
In 2001 the International Optimist Class held its Worlds in the same city.
Winds were indeed very light, and even multiple Olympic race officer Michel
Barbier could only complete 7 of the 15-race schedule. However, of the top
20 in the 208 boat, 44 nation fleet, here are some interesting statistics:
> Four had placed in the top 20 the year before in Spain.
> Seven placed in the top 20 the year after in the USA.
> Three later won medals in the ISAF Youth (Under-19) Worlds.
> The gold medallist was the silver medallist of the year before and later
won a medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds. These are not the sort of results you
get from a lottery.

* From Bruce Munro: In Issue 2528, the America’s Cup View blog suggests that
it would be a hijacking of the America's Cup if the New York Yacht Club
stepped into the breach and tried to provide some adult supervision over the
adolescents who now control it. If the bloggers had been paying attention,
they would have noticed that the Cup has already been hijacked by Mr.
Bertarelli. He seems to feel that the next Cup will be sailed on his terms
or not at all. Only the courts now stand it a position to make him act
reasonably and that could take a long time. As we all have said many times,
sailboat racing should be decided on the water not in the protest room or
the court room, if at all possible. Under the present ownership of the Cup,
the desired alternative does not seem possible. It is Ernesto's way or the

* From Craig Fletcher: In Issue 2526, Malin Burnham suggests forming a
committee to rule the America’s Cup - a committee like the Olympic committee
or say any government bureaucracy. Enough said. The AC survives because it
is unique. Leave well enough alone and enjoy the history, sailing - and
yes - the fun of controversy that the Cup creates.

* From Rob Tomkies: (regarding story in Issue 2529; edited to the 250-word
limit) There has always been a tax to obtain entry into Australia by sea. To
clear your vessel within a reasonable time frame, you have to deposit a tax,
such as a bottle of spirits or a carton of cigarettes, into the open empty
briefcase carefully positioned on your nav table. If you do not comply, the
Customs “officers” will take about 3 hours noting camera lens numbers and
the like before grudgingly clearing.

Now the government is joining the fray, requiring at least 24 hours notice
of arrival or face a fine of $4,000.00. I understand that today’s security
measures require clearance of people to help avoid importation of
terrorists, but really let us get this into context. Every morning between
about 7-9am 1,600 passengers arrive from New Zealand into Australia, giving
a maximum of about 3 hours notice of arrival! What chance of a decent
passenger scan happens here?

Let us consider a youth on their world adventure - a 30-foot home on the sea
with all his possessions onboard arrives via somewhere and at an average
speed of about 3 knots. Ignorant of the new border control, and unable to
pay his fine, he might find himself having to forfeit his home/yacht. What a
grand experience to start life with? I suppose that when Customs ask, “Have
you any convictions?”, the reply would be that you didn’t know that it was
still compulsory!

* From Bob Sargent: In regard to the story “What’s In A Name” (Scuttlebutt
2529), my favorite boat name listed is LAST BOAT VII.

* From Steffi Schiffer: You missed a biggie on #3 of the boat names. SECOND
WIND is a Jimmy Buffett song, which is the major reason for it's huge

Teamwork means never having to take all the blame yourself.

Special thanks to JK3 Nautical Enterprises, Doyle Sails, and US-IRC.

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