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SCUTTLEBUTT 2536 – February 20, 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.

SPORT SAILS OUT OF FASHION
They go together like, well, monogrammed luggage and the first-class
cabin of an ocean liner. Yet next time the America's Cup, sailing's
premier prize, is contested, Louis Vuitton is destined not be there.
Last July, the brand announced it would not be renewing its long term
sponsorship of the so-called Challenger series: the succession of races
that determines which boat will have the honor of taking on the reigning
champion for the right to lift the America's Cup.

Meanwhile, Prada has also announced its exit from the competition after
a decade's involvement, and together the two statements seem to point to
a schism between the world of luxury and one of world sport's most
exclusive events. Which raises the question of why, and where, the
brands' not-insignificant budgets for the Cup will be spent in the
future.

For Louis Vuitton, the decision not to "lend its name" to the next
Challenger selection series was attributed to a "more commercial
approach" defined by the new America's Cup rules, according to a press
release issued at the time of the announcement. "We don't like the trend
to make it just another soccer cup," says Bruno Troublé, a former
America's Cup skipper who has been a consultant for Vuitton for 25 years
and introduced the company to the sailing event in 1983. "There is a
need for events which are exclusive."

"We were on the verge of having a competitor with a big pizza on the
mainsail," according to Troublé. "The Swiss [organizers] were heading
towards popular brands." Michel Hodara, chief executive of America's Cup
Management, counters that Louis Vuitton consented to every company
brought in as a substantial sponsor. Moreover, some prospective sponsors
were rejected because it was felt their presence was inappropriate.
ACM's approach is not "making money for the sake of making money", he
says. "Most of the money goes back to the teams which are the core of
what the competition is." For Hodara, Louis Vuitton's decision to end
one of sport's longest-running sponsorship deals may have a different
explanation. After 24 years "in the middle of the show", he suggests, it
was unwilling to accept a more peripheral role. -- David Owen, Financial
Times, full story: http://tinyurl.com/28mm4y

SALVAGE OPERATION
Franck Cammas and eight of his crew have taken to sea in a 245-foot tug
boat to return to the zone where Groupama 3 capsized. The crew, who were
taking part in the Jules Verne round-the-world yacht race, was rescued
uninjured when their craft overturned. Yves Parlier remained on shore to
ensure the link between the Groupama team in Lorient and salvage team at
sea. "The Groupama team in Lorient sent us a plan and a set of
procedures, which should help us to right the boat again,” Cammas
explained. “We've got a trip of around twelve hours before we find it.
If all goes well, we could be back on shore with Groupama 3 in tow in
four days, most likely at Christchurch". Once they get Groupama 3 back
to shore that they will be able to finely assess the damage and then she
will probably be loaded aboard a cargo ship bound for its base in
Lorient, France.
Website: http://www.cammas-groupama.com/en/index.jsp

FIRE
On Friday February 15th fire ravaged the Rigging Solutions facility. The
fire, which lasted no longer than a half hour scorched the Southern New
England business, leaving only the slightest resemblance of what
formerly existed. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the business was
insured. The full inventory of rope, hardware and tools are a total loss
but the greatest destruction took place in the extensive library of
manuals and out of print material which had been gathered through the
thirty years that owner Joe Mello had been in field. The mobile shop
with everything included (historic rig plans, templates, manuals and
traditional rigging tools) was a total loss and the vehicle forward of
the rear axle was unrecognizable.

The speculated cause of the fire may come as a surprise to many as it is
presumed to have originated in the engine compartment. Yes, the engine
compartment. The business, Rigging Solutions LLC begin in 2005 with the
idea of going directly to the customer and boat yards of the South
Coast. To accomplish this, a mobile shop was built within a Winnebago;
the layout included a full length work bench one side with array of
power tools and inventory down the opposing side. The idea may seem a
bit honky-tonk in theory, but it had the capability of doing a full
range of rope and wire work along with various other tasks that were
needed to keep hundreds of boats in top working order. The entire
business (with the exception of bookkeeping and mast storage) was based
out of the traveling shop.

A replacement vehicle has been located and retrofitting it into a new
shop will begin next week. After such a devastating situation, things
are beginning to look up for the company and there is no one around here
hanging their heads. The many local customers and yards have been
supportive and understanding. It won’t be long before Joe Mello and
Rigging Solutions are back on the road!

ETCHELLS JAGUAR SERIES
After winning the Piana Cup and Sidney Doren Regatta, North Sails One
Design celebrates another massive Etchells victory in the Florida State
Championship. Teams powered by North Sails took the top 4 spots!
Congrats to big winner Bill Hardesty, Randall Pittman, Chris Busch, and
Jeffrey Siegal. All 4 teams used the PC-F mainsail, LM-2 and GM-6.5
jibs, Full Radial and VMG spinnakers. For more information on North's
FAST Etchells sails, go to http://www.onedesign.com

FIRST OF THE NEW CROP
(The Daily Sail subscription website took an in-depth look at Ericsson 3
– the first of the new VO70s launched for the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean
Race. Here’s an excerpt.)

Designed by Juan K and his team in Valencia, the new Ericsson 3 is a
clear development of ABN AMRO One with her heavily chined, powerful hull
shape. Her chines appear to have a more accentuated angle at the transom
and extend further forward along the topsides. The transom also seems to
be more elevated from the water. Compared to last time the yachts are
expected to encounter more light winds as well as more upwind work. As
the race is much longer crews can expect to see a wider range of wind
conditions and as a result this has affected the volume distribution
along the length of the hull as well as the size and positioning of the
appendages.

While the twin asymmetric boards on board Ericsson 3 appear to be
similar in length to ABN AMRO One, their positioning is noticeably
further inboard and they are less toed out. These changes, Juan K says,
should improve their effectiveness upwind. Their profile seems to be the
same as with ABN AMRO. Less obvious is that the beam of Ericsson 3 is
the maximum permissible of 5.7m, whereas we understand that it wasn't
quite with the black boat. So despite the lighter weather expected on
the new course the hull is more powerful. This is due to the ever lower
wind speeds the new generation boats will be fully powered up in given
their new-found ability to fly masthead Code Zeros. --
http://www.thedailysail.com

FUN(D) RAISER
The OKI 24 Hour Race which gets underway this weekend, 23 February, at
Lake Pupuke will include Emirates Team NZ Skipper Dean Barker. One of
New Zealand’s most unique yachting fund raising events, the OKI 24 Hour
Race requires competing teams to sail non-stop in rotating shifts for a
period of 24 hours in Laser class boats. The Race gets underway with
competitors running down the banks of Lake Pupuke in a Le Mans style
start and then jumping into their boats. Each team member can sail for a
maximum of three hours before they are required to rest for a minimum of
one hour. Funds raised from the event, which has been running since the
1960s, are used by the Murray’s Bay Sailing Club for youth coaching. --
Sail-World website, full story:
http://www.sail-world.com/nz/index.cfm?nid=41975&rid=6

TRENDING POORLY
According to the 2007 North American Sailing Industry study, production
in the sailboat sector fell 5 percent in 2007 to 14,158 units. The drop
represents seven years of slow decline in sailboat production.
Highlights from the study include that the 20-foot to 40-foot category
took the hardest production hit, dropping 15 percent from 2006 to 2,284
boats. One segment that saw growth in 2007 was the 46-foot and above
category, increasing from 145 units in 2006 to 249 boats in 2007. The
estimated value of 2007 sailboat production increased 6 percent to $802
million.

Also included in the report is the 2007 Bareboat Charter Industry Study.
The total number of boats chartered in 2007 declined to 3,044 boats.
Boats charted are continuing to decline, down 452 boats from 2003 to
2007. The total weeks chartered saw only a small change from 2006 to
2007. Weeks chartered fell from 26,781 in 2006 to 26,296 in 2007.
Also included in the report is the 2007 North American Import Sailboat
Report, which suggests imports were down 5 percent in 2007 from 420
units in 2006 to 398 units in 2007.
Full report: http://www.boating-industry.com/output.cfm?id=1452511

MIAMI GP TECH & TAP TEAM
Need to tune your winches or replace that handle you misplaced
overboard? Harken's full-service mobile workshop is equipped with a
drill press, grinder, corkscrew, hand tools, and lots of spare parts.
We'll even charge your VHF or European cell phone! If you don't find
Harv, Scott, or Rick on the water or at the Harken Tech Team Trailer in
the Miami Beach Marina parking lot, try the local establishments where
we've volunteered to fine-tune and cycle-test the taps.
http://www.harken.com/scuttlebutt/Harken-Miami_techteam2008.php

SAILING SHORTS
* U.S. Olympic Team member Anna Tunnicliffe finished fourth in the Medal
Race of the massive Singapore Airlines Sail Auckland 2008 regatta to
take home the bronze medal in the 46-boat Laser Radial Women’s Class.
Sari Multala from Finland won the Gold and Lijia Xu from China took the
Silver. In the 40-boat Tornado Class, U.S. Olympic Team members John
Lovell and Charlie Ogletree finished seventh, with Australia’s Darren
Bundock and Glen Ashby claiming the Gold by 17-points over Germany’s
Roland Gaebler and Gunnar Struckmann. --
Event results

*After four races at the World Laser Radial Masters Championship in
Terrigal, New South Wales, Australia, the USA’s James Liebl holds a four
point lead over John Jagger from Australia. In the Laser Masters
Standard category a trio of USA sailors hold down the fifth, sixth and
seventh spots after three races: Tim Landt, Charles Tripp and Tracy
Usher respectively. In Grand Master competition Canadians Ken Brown and
John Dawson-Edwards hold down spots seven and eight after three races
and Peter Seidenbery (USA) leads the Great Grand Masters Laser Radial
Category after four races. -- http://aus08.laserinternational.org/

* Southern California youth sailors displayed their strength over the
President’s Day weekend at the 76-boat Club 420 Midwinter Championship
at the US Sailing Center at Martin County in Florida. The teams claimed
first through fourth and took seven of the top 10 spots. With 7 bullets
over 12 races Chris Barnard won for the second year in a row, this time
with Perry Emsiek as crew. His crew from last year, Chris Segerblom,
moved to the skipper position and placed third with Kayla McComb
crewing. Both teams are from Newport Harbor YC. Oliver Toole and Willie
McBride from Santa Barbara finished second. -- http://www.usscmc.org

* Route de l'Or (crewed route from New York to San Francisco): Lionel
Lemonchois and his nine-man crew are again plying northern-hemisphere
waters, having crossed the equator on Tuesday. Team Gitana thus spent 26
days 17 hours and 32 minutes covering the 7,500 miles between equator
crossings in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. With less than 2,600 miles
to go before Gitana 13’s hulls reach the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge,
the team’s ten sailors are ready for the home stretch of their attempt
at breaking the record between New York and San Francisco. --
http://www.gitana-team.com/en/gitana10/homepage.asp

* A new Yahoo groups page for US owners of Corsair Sprint 750 trimarans
has been setup to encourage new and prospective owners and interested
sailors to join and to share information about the boat and the class.
There are already pictures and files posted on this group site:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/USSprint750Class/

*More than 60 boats from 13 different countries have entered the Acura
Miami Grand Prix which begins on Thursday, March 6. A Farr 40 class
approaching 30 boats, two IRC classes and over 20 Melges 32s, teeming
with international talent and world champions, make up this
extraordinary grand prix fleet. The Acura Grand Prix trophies for the
best combined Key West and Miami scores will be awarded at the
conclusion of racing in this four day, 10-race regatta.
Event website: http://www.Premiere-Racing.com

IT’S ALIVE… IT’S ALIVE… IT’S ALIVE!!!
We’re pleased to announce the birth of our new global website:
http://www.laserperformance.com. Log on and check us out for the latest
and greatest in small boat sailing. Over the next few months we’ll
continue to add content and functionality to better serve you. Enjoy! --
LaserPerformance

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
-- Scuttlebutt Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum

* From Karl Wittnebel (edited to our 250-word limit) As you point out in
your story about the Moth in Scuttlebutt 2535, Bladerider have done a
fantastic job of bringing new sailors into the class, and are building a
fast boat that is well supported. However I feel it is important to
present a balanced view of things. As such I do not think it fair to
provide direct links to Bladerider's site from your story without even
mentioning the other builders on the scene.

Production Moths have been available for years. As an example, John
Ilett of Fastacraft (builder of my boat) has been selling foiling moths
for at least five years, and in fact invented the foiling moth as we
know it. His boats are hand built in Australia by John (a former F1
component builder) and the cost is equal to a Bladerider. Both boats
have won world multiple world championships, and Rohan Veal, the current
world champion, sailed a Prowler before he began working full time for
Bladerider.

The backlog for Bladerider's boats is about four months in reality. The
backlog for Prowlers (Ilett's boat) may be a month longer, but for all
intents and purposes the difference in build time is not a limiting
factor in acquiring a moth from either builder. These build times may
however be an incentive to buy a Moth from one of the other several
manufacturers listed on the international Moth website:
http://www.moth-sailing.org. Further information on US
Moth fleet activities may be found on the US class website:
http://www.int-moth.us

* From Andrew Mason: Chris Eriksen's letter in Butt 2535 is incorrect in
one detail. Rather than being an example of good sportsmanship,
Atalanta's trip down the Erie canal to the 1881 America's Cup, heeled
over with stones in her bilges to prevent her from scraping the sides of
the canal, was a one cause of the Deed of Gift being rewritten to
exclude the Canadian yacht clubs.

Shortly after Atalanta had been defeated the New York Yacht Club
returned the America's Cup to George Schuyler, resulting in the Deed of
Gift being altered to require the challenging yacht club to have its
annual regatta on an arm of the sea and for the challenger to proceed
under sail on its own bottom to the Cup match.

W.P. Stephens commented on the revisions to the Deed in his book
"American Yachting", saying - "Some points in the (2nd) deed bear
directly on the two Canadian challenges; all Canadian yacht clubs, save
the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, were excluded, this being the only
one with a course on the sea. All canaling was prohibited by the
provision that the challenger must 'proceed under sail.' Taken all
together, the revision in no way improved the original deed or tended to
perpetuate the spirit which inspired it."

* From Gary Wood: Well, Audi would certainly not award the “Audi Sailor
of the Year Special Award” to Larry Ellison of BMW-Oracle would they? I
have always enjoyed driving my Audi A6, but this award makes me want to
trade it in for a BMW.

* From Jim Fulton: Regarding the rumors that Ernesto Bertarelli is
seeking to sell Alinghi … we can only hope!

* From Daniel Forster: In response to Karen Cooper’s comments in
Scuttlebutt 2535, I would like to say that Baby Powder is God’s gift to
long distance sailors. See the special line in every Volvo Ocean Race
and Route du Rhum yacht’s budget: Miscellaneous survival gear:
“Johnson's B P”. They use this code not to embarrass the tough
macho-men. The rumor that they use disposable diapers as well has not
been confirmed, butt I think it’s posable (sic).

* From John Cole (re the letter from Art Karpf in Scuttlebutt 2535 about
the Ecoboat’s teak cockpit sole): Many places in the world practice
proper logging practices and growing techniques. According to the United
Nations, forests in North America have expanded nearly 100 million acres
over the past decade. Through photosynthesis trees stores CO2 -
approximately 250 kilograms per cubic meter - an environmentally sound
idea. Steel and plastic are heavy carbon emitters through production.
Young forests outperform old growth in carbon sequestration. This being
said I don't think we should cut down every tree everyday. I do not
encourage wholesale deforestation. I live among forests and want to take
care of our natural resource. The Ecoboat could have an environmentally
friendly deck. Maybe they wanted to start up a dialogue on the subject.
For an example of a modern teak forest plantation, see:
http://www.panamateakforestry.com/English/GTI/history.htm

CURMUDGEON’S CONUNDRUM
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Special thanks to North Sails, Harken Yacht Equipment, and
LaserPerformance.

A complete list of Scuttlebutt’s preferred suppliers is at
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers