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SCUTTLEBUTT 2533 – February 14, 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.

The inconvenience of winter proved to be a strong motivator for attending
the Thistle Midwinters West last week, with 8 of the top ten crossing state
lines to attend the event in San Diego, CA. Among the participants was a
young family from Phoenix, who took this opportunity to compete against a
national caliber fleet, with four of the top five from last year’s nationals
in attendance. This family was new to the sport, but after growing up near
the sailing community of Toledo, OH, it wasn’t until the move to the Arizona
desert before the sailing bug fully bit. What did it take? While the
interest in sailing was there, it wasn’t until viewing the movie “WIND” when
they decided to take the steps to get involved in the sport.

How many kids take up baseball because they want to be like the guy they
watched hit the homerun? How about folks go out into the street at half-time
to throw the football, all jacked up after watching the game in HD? Imagery
is powerful stuff. The television coverage from the 1987 America’s Cup set
new standards, bringing us onboard to experience the feisty conditions of
Fremantle, Australia that served as the backdrop for Dennis Conner’s
stunning victory against the Kookaburra III team. It was powerful stuff, and
countless stories were heard in how those shows were largely responsible for
a period of growth in our sport.

If you are a skier (or boarder), attending the Warren Miller ski movies in
the fall is how you get fired up to start planning your next trip. When I
watched this year’s film, ‘Playground’, I kept thinking about how sailing
could do the same thing. This film was eye candy for folks who held an
interest in the sport, or were just curious what it was all about. The movie
had the same formula we often see in the Scuttlebutt VIDEOS OF THE WEEK –
quick editing, pounding music, exciting footage, and humor. Following the
movie, which charges premium prices and shows in smaller community theaters,
the audience was clearly jacked up.

We eagerly await the release of "Morning Light", the movie by Roy E. Disney
and Pacific High Productions that 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, and we are hopeful that
this movie provides the kind of interest that gets folks off the couch, and
out on the water. -- Scuttleblog,

by Tom Leweck
You'd think that after 59 (soon to be 60) long distance races to Mexico,
they'd all start to blurr, but that's certainly not the case. One of my most
vivid memories is the 1978 Manzanillo Race -- a race I sailed with Jim
Phelps aboard the Spencer 62, Ragtime. Space does not allow me to enumerate
how this early ULDB (Ultra-light displacement boat) differed from the IOR
Mark I boats I'd sailed on during my previous eight Mexican races, but
steering would certainly be near the top of that list.

One beautiful evening, while steering Rags down waves at 18 knots under a
full moon, I took my hands off the wheel and spun around quickly -- doing a
tight little 360-degree turn in the back of the cockpit. And then another
360. And then I did a third 360 before I grabbed the wheel again. With both
hands back on the wheel, I checked the compass to find that Rags had only
drifted 5-degrees off course during this period of inattention, and was
still charging down waves at 18 knots. It was an act that would be
impossible to replicate on any of the squirrelly, IOR 'lead-mines' of that
era. The '78 Manzanillo Race was also the first time I'd logged more than
300 miles, point-to-point between the daily roll calls. On Ragtime -- that
was simply effortless.

Looking back now after 30 years, that memorable race was like heaven opening
up to warmly welcome me to the wonderful world of ULDB offshore racing.

* Do you have a San Diego YC Mexican race story you’d like to share? Email
them to Scuttlebutt, or view details and posted stories at

Ullman Sails customers continue to dominate racing in the Flying Scot class,
sweeping all five races in last weekend’s New Orleans Yacht Club’s Mardi
Gras Regatta with a 14-point margin between first and second place. The
winning Pontchartrain Yacht Club team competed with full Ullman Sails
inventory in a Capdevielle format of racing where team members trade places
helming and crewing throughout the regatta. The Mardi Gras win sets the team
’s record at eight bullets in a row after winning all three races in
December’s Allstate Sugar Bowl Race of Champions. Contact an Ullman Sails
loft and visit

* Terrigal, Australia (February 13, 2008) - Defending world champion Tom
Slingsby was declared the 2008 World Laser Champion after nasty southerly
winds and whipped up seas forced Race Organisers to abandon all attempts at
the final day of racing this afternoon. Slingsby, who finished with 27
points, won the Championship from Argentina’s Julio Alsogaray by two points,
with Javier Hernandez from Spain finishing third with 39 points. The Worlds
was used as the Olympic qualifier for Canada, which presently has five
athletes amongst the top 50 in the World rankings. Abe Torchinsky set the
pace early, but as the event wore on, the consistency of Mike Leigh earned
him the right to represent his country in the Olympics. The top finisher
amongst the North American contingent was Brad Funk (USA) in 9th place, who
easily outdistanced American Olympic rep Andrew Campbell, who finished a
disappointing 29th. While the Laser World Championship is over, regatta
management now has the final planning for the Laser Masters World
Championships which get underway this coming Sunday. --

* Miami, FL (February 13, 2008) – Only one race was completed at the Yngling
Worlds on Wednesday, which was won by frontrunners Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb,
and Pippa Wilson (GBR) to further distance themselves from the field. The
top North American team – Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe, and Debbie Capozzi
(USA) – took it on the chin big time, finishing twelfth and possibly halting
any hope of climbing up to the podium. They slipped to 8th overall, and will
need some stellar finishes amongst the twenty-eight boat fleet on Thursday
and during the final medal race on Friday to get into the top three. --

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

(Day 95 - February 13, 2008) The final miles for Hugo Boss are being sailed
on a glorious winter day in Barcelona, under bright, blue skies. Skippers
Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape are closing in on the finish line quickly,
sailing close-hauled in 20 knot easterlies. The wind is forecast to shift
slightly to the right, which should allow them to sail their final miles
slightly more free to the wind, with expectations of a finish at around
06:00 Thursday morning.

Just outside the entrance to the Mediterranean, Temenos II is preparing to
fight the strong Easterly ‘Levante’ winds that are being funneled through
the Strait of Gibraltar. Now nearly 300 miles in arrears of Temenos II, the
Spanish skippers on Mutua Madrileña feel like they’ve played their last
tactical card, and it hasn’t worked. That being said, they expect to make up
some miles the evening as Temenos II slows on the approach to Gibraltar. --

Positions at 18:00 UTC
1-Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick/ Damian Foxall, finished
2-Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson/ Andrew Cape, 108 nm distance to finish
3-Temenos II, Dominique Wavre/ Michéle Paret, 714 nm DTF
4-Mutua Madrilena, Javier Sanso Windmann/ Pachi Rivero, 1,000 nm DTF
5-Educación sin Fronteras, Servane Escoffier/ Albert Bargues, 2,455 nm DTF
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)

* Photographer Thierry Martinez shares his finish line photos of the winner:

* Jules Verne Trophy (crewed circumnavigation around the three capes):
(Day 20 - February 13, 2008; 22:04 UTC) The 103-foot maxi trimaran Groupama
3 is in a bizarre situation at 51-degrees South latitude, just a few hundred
miles from Cape Leeuwin (Western Australia) and unable to free itself from a
strong, disruptive front. The N'ly wind has suddenly backed to the West as
it eases and their lead over the reference time is melting like an iceberg
in a tropical sea! For the past 24-hours, their average speed has dropped to
19.3 knots while gaining just 463.3 nm down the track, with their advance
over the record slipping further to 391.6 nm. Despite the lackluster
conditions, the giant trimaran is still likely to improve on the record
established by Orange II in 2005 by crossing the Indian Ocean (Cape
Agulhas - Southern Tasmania) in less than 9 days 11 hours 4 minutes. --

* Route de l'Or (crewed route from New York to San Francisco):
(Day 28 - February 13, 2008; 22:30 UTC) Lionel Lemonchois and his nine-man
crew onboard the 110-foot maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 now celebrate the end of
their fourth week at sea, having left New York on January 16th. The team has
been able to keep the full main up along with the genoa staysail and the big
gennaker, and despite being positioned at just 24-degrees south latitude,
they are already thinking about the equator crossing. Their options include
a northwest route to cross the narrowest part of the doldrums, but then deal
with headwinds afterwards, or take an easterly route, which will take longer
to cross the doldrums, but will provide for better wind angles during the
final leg to the finish. For the past 24-hours, their average speed has
dropped to 16.9 knots while gaining just 406.3 nm down the track, with 4,419
nm remaining. --

“My diet for China started 10 minutes ago.” - Tom Slingsby (AUS), after
winning the windy 2008 Laser World Championship in Australia, in regard to his
preparation for the light winds expected this summer at the Olympics.

We hope it is fast and fun! But its not too early to check your personal
gear list and make sure that you are prepared to stay warm and dry. Team One
Newport has a Bermuda Race Check list. Make sure that your foul weather is
working and you have all the proper layers. Check on your harness and tether
and your sun protection clothing. Team One Newport has it all and can even
produce your Bermuda Crew Uniforms. They have the latest from Musto, Gill,
Henri-Lloyd, Dubarry, Camet, Atlantis, Slam, and more. Call 800-VIP-GEAR
(800-847-4327) or visit

* Effective March 1, 2008, Luiz E. Kahl (Detroit, Mich.) will assume the
position of the US-IRC Executive Director. John Mendez (Newport, R.I.) had
agreed in 2007 to assume the leadership of US-IRC on an interim basis, and
is no doubt thrilled that Kahl has agreed to relieve him. Kahl is well known
in yachting circles, having been responsible for bringing the US-IRC Rule to
the Midwest and for presenting the rule at many IRC Seminars. Kahl also
created and manages a web-based program for race management, administration
and scoring that is widely used across the U.S.A. -- Complete announcement:

* The Notice of Race draft for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition is now
available, where it states the key conditions for the 11 sailing events at
the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Included in the Notice of Race are details
on the rules, regulations, entry and qualification guidelines, format,
scoring, schedule, venue and courses that will be used to decide the sailing
medallists of the XXIX Olympiad. Racing will be held at the Qingdao Olympic
Sailing Centre in Qingdao, approximately 800 kilometres southeast of
Beijing. Racing is scheduled to take place from August 9-21, with August
22-23 as reserve days. Full details at

* The St. Mary's College (MD) sailing team, which last spring won the
Women's National Championship, be profiled in a Maryland Public Television
(MPT) broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. "Outdoors Maryland" will
air The Sails of St. Mary's as its first piece that evening. --

* The schedule for the 2009 Bermuda One-Two has been agreed upon by the
participating clubs: Newport Yacht Club, Goat Island Yacht Club, and the St.
George's Dinghy and Sports Club. The singlehanded start from Newport, RI to
Bermuda will be June 5, 2009 and the return doublehanded leg from Bermuda
back to Newport will start on June18th. The event anticipates a start for
the Class 40 boats and another for the Open 6.5 Minis (which raced in 2007
for the first time). A Skippers' Forum /Shore Party will be held on March 1,
2008 at the Newport Yacht Club, Newport, RI. For more information:

* According to the Alinghi America’s Cup camp, an entirely erroneous report
is being circulated that Ernesto Bertarelli is on the brink of selling the
team. It is the team’s position that there is absolutely no truth to this

* Participants at the 2008 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas can take advantage
of complimentary weather forecasts provided by Sailing Weather Services.
Starting with this weekend's event in St Petersburg, FL from February 15-17,
entrants can sign up at the North Sails' online weather center:

Thirty-one years after the first production boat was built, the J/24 class
remains immensely popular with builders in the U.S., Argentina, and Italy,
and more than 50,000 people sailing 5,200 boats in 27 countries. This week
was the J/24 Midwinters in Tampa, FL, and with the class world championship
coming to Annapolis, MD on April 30-May 8, 2009, there is bound to be a
tremendous increase in interest among North American sailors. This week’s
videos provide some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of J/24 racing…a
really sweet gybing technique, a really disastrous ramp launching technique,
and general mayhem when a lightning squall hits during a class event. 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:

* Tampa, FL (February 13, 2008) On the final day at the J/24 Midwinter
Championship, Chris/ Waldek Zaleski did what was needed to win the 42-boat
event, but they needed nearly all of their twelve-point to do so. The first
race of the day was sailed in 20+ knots, and after the Zaleski’s rounded the
first weather mark near the lead, they shredded their spinnaker, and were
forced to wing out their headsail on the offwind legs, eventually dropping
to 12th place in the race. Without a second chute, and with one more race
scheduled, their narrow two point lead over Mark Hillman seemed doomed. But
when the winds went light and squirrelly, and the current was strong, the
second race was soon abandoned on the first leg, thus preserving the Zaleski’s
win. -- Results:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
There are a number of one-design class world championships this year in the
US. Here are some that are listed on the Scuttlebutt Event Calendar:
February 8-15 - Yngling Womens Worlds, Miami, FL
April 7-18 - Star Worlds, Miami, FL
April 15-19 - Farr 40 Worlds, Miami, FL
June 19-29 - Etchells Worlds, Chicago, IL
August 19-24 - J/22 Worlds, Rochester, NY
=> To add your event, or view all those currently listed, go to

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 Bob Morris: (ie, story in Issue 2532) Regarding the verification of
speed records, John Reed of the WSSR Council may have left out one detail…
the fee. I suspect all the services provided to verify these record assaults
are not gratis, and in the case of some of the records that occur in mid
ocean (ie, the fastest 24 hour speed), services such as having the presence
of a WSSR Commissioner are not relevant. If you are crossing an ocean, and
your GPS says you broke the 24-hour record, what is the protocol? My hunch
is that you send WSSR your data, and if it pencils out, the record is yours
as soon as you write the check.

* From Carl Franca: Looking at the number of clothing items that the Open 60
guys are wearing in the Southern Ocean (as posted in Issue 2532), I can’t
imagine what it takes to manage that mound of stinky stuff. Besides that,
how do they handle the – dare I say – crotch rash? A day of Laser sailing
does me in, and these guys are dealing with it for three months.

* From Bill Trenkle: In all due respect to Rich Roberts story in Issue 2532,
he left out the important difference between the 1988 America’s Cup and what
is going on now. In 1988, San Diego Yacht Club was defending against a Deed
of Gift challenge dropped on them by Mr. Fay, in an attempt to steal the
Cup. At that time, San Diego was working towards a multiple challenger event
in the established class. What we have now is BMW Oracle Racing taking on
Alinghi because of what most have agreed is a Protocol that is so
defender-biased that it would almost absolutely guarantee that the defender
would win again. BOR took up the battle on this for the goal of competing in
a fair event, very much different than Mr Fay’s goal in ‘88. In any case, it
is ugly and could degenerate further if it is not resolved by cooler heads
that are willing to work towards a resolution that returns the Cup to at
least where is was in 2007, as far as defender/ challenger rights go.

* From George Schirtzinger: (regarding story in Issue 2532) Absent any
proven safety issues, the Newport Harbor speed limit enforcement attempt is
another truism of bureaucrats and the systems they create: the greatest
incentive is to adhere to "policy", without regard to whether "policy"
relates to anything sensible. This does apply to governments and private
companies (when management becomes sufficiently divorced from clients that
they forget why the company exists and what it does, as opposed to what is
written in the policy manual), but is expecially prevalent in government.

The more I see of government screw-ups, screw off's and screw you's, the
less I want government healthcare.

* From Ken Guyer: In response to David Redfern in Butt 2532, I am sure his
tongue was firmly planted in cheek when he suggested the America's Cup
trophy return to England where it, though NOT the event, originated. Sorry
David, a country must first win the America's Cup to be able to display it
in their clubhouse room. I, for one, would hope that success would someday
come to England.

Valentine's Day (val*en*tinez dae) n. - A day when you have dreams of a
candlelight dinner, diamonds, and romance, but consider yourself lucky to
get a card.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Team One Newport, and Happy Valentines
Day to all the ‘buttheads.

A complete list of Scuttlebutt’s preferred suppliers is at