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SCUTTLEBUTT 2537 – February 21, 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.

It is an event rarely seen in the sporting world of solo sailing, the
gathering of many of the great solo sailors from the past, present and
future who came together to celebrate the official launch of the 13th
edition of the oldest solo race history, now known as The Artemis
Transat. Dame Ellen MacArthur, who won the race in 2000 aged 23 years
and went onto finish 2nd in the solo Vendée Globe, stood alongside Mike
Richey (aged 90) who competed in every edition of the race from 1964
onboard the famous Jester. The first edition of the race in 1960 was
founded by Lt Col Blondie Hasler and Sir Francis Chichester (Gipsy Moth
III) who was the first to reach New York after 40 days - it now takes
the modern-day IMOCA 60 racing machines a little over 10 days to cross
the 2800-mile course to Boston. "I think the reason The Artemis Transat
is so special is that it is THE race that kicked off and started solo
sailing," commented MacArthur.

Britain's Mike Golding OBE (Ecover) who won the race in 2004 has every
intention of defending his IMOCA 60 title but he will be facing tough
competition from the other skippers representing one of the strongest
field of IMOCA 60 solo skippers in the history of the race. Fellow Brits
Brian Thompson (Pindar), Jonny Malbon (Artemis Ocean Racing), Dee
Caffari (Aviva) and Samantha Davies (Roxy) all pose a strong threat,
whilst the combined force of the very best of the French solo sailors
including Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia), Seb Josse (BT), Vincent Riou (PRB)
and Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement) to name a few, will make the
IMOCA 60 title a hotly contested affair. --

* Entries for the Artemis Transat solo race in May have closed at 27
boats. This is a remarkable number given that organizers Ellen MacArthur
and Mark Turner took the bold step to cull multihulls and other classes,
leaving just the IMOCA Open 60 and Class 40 in the quadrennial
transatlantic classic. "We think the 17 IMOCA boats could be a race
record for a single class," said Turner. -- Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph,

Wednesday, February 20 -- News sources in New Zealand are reporting that
the giant French multihull, Groupama 3, has being recovered and is under
tow back to New Zealand. The reports say that she is due to arrive
sometime this morning, under tow from the Clan MacLeod. Groupama 3
capsized 80nm off the coast of Dunedin early Monday afternoon, NZT.

The Clan MacLeod was engaged by the Groupama 3 crew on Tuesday, leaving
at 20:00hrs on Tuesday night arriving at the upturned hull and debris on
Wednesday morning. At that stage it was expected that the trimaran would
have drifted north and out to sea to be 120 nm from the New Zealand
coast. The plan was to retrieve the broken mast on board the Clan
Macleod, and tow the two pieces of hull structure.

Fortunately conditions in the area were perfect for the salvage attempt,
and from television footage it would have been expected that the
operation would proceed very quickly, if it was going to be possible. It
would seem that is exactly what has happened. Next task will be to find
a way of shipping the damaged multihull back to France, where it is
intended to effect repairs and make another attempt of the Jules Verne
Trophy. – Sail-World website,

by Kimball Livingston, SAIL
Zach Railey has seen a few things, going this far with the U.S. Olympic
Sailing Team. For one, he saw every journalist's slam dunk
brother-sister story of the year go up in smoke when world female Sailor
of the Year Paige Railey did not make the team. For another, he went
from high-place finishes in lead-up regattas to tanking the Finn class
worlds. But there's a reason why this 23-year-old first-generation
sailor can wrap it all up in a kit bag and smile.

It's not about finishing 28th in the worlds when, as he said, "A week
before I had finished fifth against the same competitors, in the same
venue, with the same race committee." But it's related. Railey says, "A
lot of people, after a bad regatta, just pack up and leave. I never do
that. I go to the ceremony and look at someone on the podium holding the
award that I wanted to win. I let that sink in. Then I go home and train

Railey is home in the US (briefly) after a long stint in the antipodean
summer. I caught up with him as he passed through California on his way
to the Finn Midwinter Championship starting Friday at Fort Lauderdale,
Florida. Then it's off to Europe, but really, it's the road to Qingdao.
His bottom line on the worlds, where Briton Ben Ainslie won an
unprecedented fifth Finn Gold Cup: "There were times when Ben and I were
together on the first upwind, and we saw that we couldn't win on that
side, and Ben took his losses early. It sounds simple, but I guarantee
you it's hard to resist hanging in for the magic shift that's going to
change everything. Ben had the discipline and experience to know when to
take a risk and when not to. That's my takeaway." -- Read on:

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Matt Struble, DN US183, of Wixom, Michigan, won his second consecutive
DN Gold Cup! The DN Gold Cup (World Championship), which is sailed in
the US and Europe in alternating years, was sailed February 17th-20th on
Lake Lipno, Czech Republic 183 entrants, including 14 from the US,
competed in four fleets, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Aluminum. Matt
finished with 18 points in the 50 boat Gold Fleet, besting second place
finisher Lukasz Zakrzewski, DN P155, by 10 points. Other Gold Fleet
finishers from the US included Ron Sherry, Canton Twp., Michigan – 5th,
John Dennis, Mound, Minnesota – 9th and Aaron Stange, Toledo, Ohio –
10th The 47 boat Silver Fleet was won by Leon LeBeau, DN US2000, of St.
Clair Shores, Michigan. -- Harold Hoffman, Official results:

The ISAF World Match Racing Tour announced its new ‘Tour Qualifier
Series’, a group of nineteen events which will act as official qualifier
regattas to the ten stages of the 2008 World Match Racing Tour. The
concept behind the Tour Qualifier Series is to provide up and coming
match racing teams a structured gateway to competing on the World Match
Racing Tour.

As Tour Director Craig Mitchell explains: “In the past, each stage of
the World Match Racing Tour has hosted qualifier events in their own
country. The new Tour Qualifier Series offers up to two qualifier events
to each of the Tour stages, and also in different countries to the host
country. The result is the series extends the opportunity for foreign
teams to gain entry to the official Tour events.” Two of the qualifying
events are in North America -- the Bermuda MR Championship (BDA) and the
Knickerbocker Cup (USA) -- both of which serve as qualifiers for the
Bermuda Gold Cup.

The winner of each Tour Qualifier Event will automatically receive an
invitation to the corresponding Tour Stage. “The Tour Qualifier Series
is a tremendous development for the Tour” commented Tour President Scott
Macleod. “We are constantly receiving requests for entries to the Tour
and these qualifier events provide an ideal opportunity for teams to
earn their place against the top sailors competing on the Tour”.

Contact details for the Tour Qualifier Series events can be found on the
Tour website at

Connecticut yachtsman Jeffrey Sochrin, will be sailing his fifth St.
Maarten Heineken Regatta this year. Sochrin competes in the bareboat
class with his mates from the Milford Yacht Club, and he always calls
his entry Team Goldendog. Of course, there’s a story behind the name. It
started with a pretty simple notion,” Sochrin said. “We wanted to sail
competitively, but with a cause. I’d always wanted a Golden Retriever
and I ended up rescuing and adopting a dog back in the States. So it
seemed kind of natural to try and identify homeless animals and find
them a good home. And it just kind of took off from there.”

Last year, Sochrin’s Beneteau was covered with stickers from the 27
sponsors who now back Team Goldendog). In addition to working with the
Yankee Golden Retriever Association, they always try to address the
problem of stray animals on St. Maarten, an island Sochrin and friends
have come to respect and love. Specifically, they contribute to a
program that neuters and spades dogs and cats.

This year’s St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is March 7-9. --

Route de l'Or (crewed route from New York to San Francisco)
Gitana 13’s recent return to the northern hemisphere corresponds to the
second encounter with the Intertropical Convergence Zone for Lionel
Lemonchois and his crew. The ten men onboard Gitana 13’s crew hopes to
work through the Intertropical Convergence Zone and find the exit in the
next 24 hours. This estimate is purely hypothetical, since the
conditions in the zone in which the 33-meter catamaran is now sailing
have a propensity to change quickly.

Ullman Sails customers finished on top at last weekend’s SCYA Midwinters
Regatta in San Diego hosted by Southwestern and San Diego Yacht Clubs.
Geoff Longnecker’s team on Melges 30 ‘Nemesis’ dominated the PHRF-3
division, winning every race in the 14-boat fleet. In offshore one
design racing, John Laun and crew on ‘Caper’ won the J/120 fleet,
finishing the regatta with three bullets and two third places. And
Flying Tigers ‘Mile High Klub’ and ‘Niuhi’ took second and third in the
10-boat fleet. For more on the ‘Fastest Sails on the Planet,’ contact an
Ullman Sails loft and visit

* Not all of the fleet has finished, but American George David's 90-foot
Reichel Pugh-designed "Rambler," skippered by Ken Read, managed a hat
trick in the 22nd Rolex Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro Race, taking line
honors, the overall handicap win and setting a new race record for the
course, taking 9 hours off the previous record. The American boat was
the first boat to finish the 1,123-nautical mile race last Thursday,
covering the course between the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires and
Rio de Janeiro, with an elapsed time of 4 days, 9 hours, 55 minutes and
45 seconds. --

* Thousands of local residents have flocked to the Olympic Sailing
Center in Qingdao China to see the Clipper yacht fleet. The Olympic
Sailing Committee issued 80,000 tickets to the public to attend a number
of open days, which have been organized to showcase their new facilities
for Beijing 2008 and their entry in the Clipper 07-08 Round Yachts Race.

* USWatercraft, LLC, of Portsmouth, RI is set to begin production of new
M 30 One Design sailboats. The class (formerly known as the Mumm 30) is
currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity world wide and will be
holding its 2008 World Championship in Newport, RI on October 1-4. The
new boats built at US Watercraft will be the first M 30s with a standard
deck package comprised primarily of Harken Yacht Equipment. The first
boats out of the molds are scheduled for completion in late spring.
Stagg Yachts, Inc. is the sales office for the M 30 --

* On Monday 25 February, the first race will start off Takapuna Beach in
New Zealand for the 2008 Tornado World Championship, the final qualifier
for the 2008 Olympic multihull event. Fifty entries are confirmed with
representatives from 21 different countries coming to North Shore City
for this World Championships. An important lead-up regatta for those on
the road to the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao, China, the
Tornado World Championships has attracted an unprecedented fleet of
Olympic multihull sailors to New Zealand, including U.S. Olympic Team
members John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree, 2004 Olympic silver
medallists. -- Event website:

* North National Outdoor Group Inc. has announced its partnership with
RS Racing for distribution in North America. RS Racing, dba LDC Racing
Sailboats, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of recreational and
racing sailboats. Headquartered near Southampton, England, RS
manufactures a range of 14 boats, including the ISAF recognized Feva and
Tera. Their international dealer base now includes 22 different
countries around the world. North National Outdoor Group, originally
founded in 1981 by 6-time Olympian Hans Fogh, is Harken’s longest
serving international distributor, as well as the North American
distributor for GUL, Blue Performance and now RS sailboats. -- Complete

* Mt. Pleasant, SC - A grass- roots campaign for a sailing center at
Memorial Waterfront Park is being spearheaded by lawyer William J.
Hamilton III, who lashed out at the town last Friday for changing course
on the project. Hamilton said that for two years the town has promised a
sailing center at the park. Recently, though, it put the program on the
back burner, he said. -- The Post and Carrier, complete story: click here

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
March 2-7 -- Bacardi Cup, Miami, FL
March 11-12 -- Lightning Midwinter Championship Miami, FL,
March 14-16 -- Sailing World NOOD - San Diego San Diego, CA,
View all the events at

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 Richard Clark (regarding rumors that Ernesto Bertarelli is
seeking to sell Alinghi - ‘Butt 2536): It appears to this kiwi that both
Ernesto and Brad have already sold their souls and so selling Alinghi
appears the next logical step. I so loved the America's Cup, but now . .
I need to get on with my life.

* From Tracy Usher: Just a fun fact -- Peter Seidenberg is sailing in
his 25th Master Worlds tying him with Dennis O'Sullivan for the most
ever Master Worlds. According to Peter they both missed the first one
because "nobody told us about it" but have not missed since. North
American Laser sailors are pulling for Peter to win the Great
Grandmaster division once again!

* From Oliver Dewar (ref offshore backside management recommendation) I
am compelled to write and advise strongly against the use of baby powder
as a cure or preventative measure for gunwale rot as recommended in your
letters section today(‘Butt 2536). Baby powder has minimal antiseptic
properties and while the short term relief provided by its use may be
profound, the net result of repeated application on extended offshore
voyages is an evil, toxic slurry incubating in one’s thermals.
Undertaking vital research, I experimented with teat and udder cream
(available in most farm supply shops) during a fairly brutal
transatlantic race seven years ago: it proved to be 100% effective. Used
on cattle and goats (and, presumably, yaks etc) to inhibit the risk of
‘dairy rash’ from intensive milking, the cream’s basic ingredients are
paraffin and beeswax. Although smelling like an antiques shop may be
embarrassing and applying the cream publicly can prove disturbing for
other crew, this product is, I believe, indispensable if a trip beyond
the limits of the continental shelf is planned.

* From David Redfern (re Daniel Forster baby Powder recommendation in
Scuttlebutt 2536): Round about 1990, after a very drawn out interview I
did with Australian solo sailor Jon Sanders who from 1986 to 1988
circled the globe three times the wrong way in 657 days, I asked him
what was the most important thing in long-distance sailing. He said
'clean underpants - boils on the bum can be a pest!'

* From Brian Kfoury (edited to our 250-word limit): As a California
sailor, instructor and professional mariner that has watched the AC go
farther away from the everyday sailor and club racer, and is seen as
less a sport than an alien diversion set on mars for the non-sailing
public, please consider the true spirit of the original AC. Combine that
with modern sailing technology, and consider the excitement of faster
vessels (Formula 1 racing vs Old Formula Ford).

Look toward reducing the restrictions and possibly the size. How about:
no restrictions on number of hulls or underwater appendages, no
formulas. Retractable topmasts and hydrofoils come to mind. All must be
human (hydraulic?) powered. I would subscribe to the "square meter"
rule, that is say 20 meters square. That is maximum 20m LOA by 20m wide.
(the 90' X 90' per the Deed of Gift is too big, reducing the number of
teams racing) No other restrictions. No restrictions on rig or sail
area. No movable ballast except crew. Now you would see fans worldwide
watching tacking duels at combined 50+ knot closing speeds, crews
running across 60 feet of beam, tacticians using radar guns to keep
track of the speed of their opponents, and jibes on a plane, where the
boats can cut hard enough to generate g- forces that can leave crew
hanging from their MO harnesses. And stop the snickering of the sailing
public with cherry-picked multinational crews. It was the Americas' Cup
for a reason.

Mummies have trouble keeping friends because they are so wrapped up in

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