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SCUTTLEBUTT 2538 – February 22, 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.

Meet Rod Davis, the man with most unenviable job in Olympic sailing at
the moment. New Zealand has qualified for Beijing 2008 in the Yngling
class and Sharron Ferris' crew is the designated team. It now falls to
Davis to tell Ferris whether she will be going to China or not. Ferris
finished 9th at the recent Yngling Worlds, comfortably beating the last
four nations (Norway, France, Greece and Italy) to qualify for China,
but this may not be good enough to get her to the Olympics.

You see, the Kiwis are taking a very hard-nosed view of who they send to
race at Qingdao in August. Unless considered a serious medal prospect,
Yachting New Zealand won't say yes and it falls to Davis as Olympic
Director to exercise Solomon-like judgment. Who better? Davis has his
own Gold and Silver medal around his neck, winning in the Soling class
in 1984 in his home state of California when he raced with Robbie Haines
and Ed Trevelyn. By 1992, he was steering the Star for New Zealand with
Don Cowie as crew, having married Kiwi Lizzie Schnackenberg and settled

Pound for per capita pound, New Zealand's sailors dominate the yacht
racing world, but their offshore and America's Cup success has come at
the expense of Olympic results – with the honorable exception of
windsurfing's Barbara Kendall, with three medals already and going to a
fifth Games – sucking talent and dollars out of the system. It's fallen
to Davis to put the Silver Fern back on the podium. And talent and
dollars is want it comes down to. It's thought the Kiwis would have
liked to see if Ferris could finish in the top 5-6, the so-called medal
zone, at the Yngling Worlds. She came up short, as she did at the
preceding Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta (result: 19th).

Compared with the First Class Olympic sailing programs such as China,
Holland, Britain, Australia, Spain, Denmark and Italy, the Kiwis are
definitely Economy Class by comparison. There is very limited cash and
resource available. -- Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, full story:

Fedor Konyukhov sailing his 85ft (27m) yacht Trading Network Alye Parusa
on his Antarctica Cup record attempt is now half way to Cape Horn from
his starting point at Albany, Western Australia. "There is less than
3.000 miles left to the Horn – sounds like a Transatlantic race distance
and no-longer looks so far-far away." he said. "I know it is full moon
now, but I am sailing in complete darkness. I have thick cloud, constant
rain and frequent snow showers which makes it very unpleasant to work in
the cockpit. All my gear is wet and I can only change one wet
foul-weather jacket for another which ‘dry out’ for 2-3 hours on the
hook in my cabin. It is just as wet inside as it is out on the deck.

“Condensation is everywhere. My sleeping bag feels like it has been
washed but not dried out. I have several sleeping bags and this helps,
but I wish I had 10 of them. With the rolling seas we have now, I can at
last think to open the deck hatch for ventilation." Here in the Southern
Ocean you are always fight something. Now that the storm has passed I’m
fighting the cold. I have to put plastic bags on my feet to keep them
warm and not lose body temperature. Obviously hat and gloves are on, but
basically I am sailing inside a refrigerator." --

Alinghi's two Extreme 40 catamarans were spotted this afternoon on the
water in front of the team's base. Now that construction of the Formula
1 race track I n that part of America's Cup Port has ended, the Defender
of the 33rd America's Cup seems to be able to fully use its base once
again. We suppose that it is only a matter of days before the Swiss team
resumes training after a pause of some weeks, weather conditions
allowing of course. After a week of very cold, windy and especially
rainy weather, Valencia is enjoying sunshine, clear skies and notably
higher temperatures.

While the Swiss are back on the water, a few hundred meters away BMW
Oracle's only catamaran is back on dry land and has been there for quite
some time. After some intensive sailing activity that saw various
sailors helming the yacht, with Russell Coutts and James Spithill the
most notable, the Americans seem to have paused. – Excerpts from a
report posted on the Valencia Sailing website; full story:

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Day 4 of the Laser Masters Worlds in Australia and some decent wind, a
south/south-easterly breeze that finally reached as much as 14 knots,
off Terrigal, New South Wales, Australia, in what has been very much a
light weather affair so far. With bullets in races 4-5&6, James Liebl
(USA) now has a 7-point lead over Australia’s John Jagger in the Radial
Apprentice class. After five races in the Radial Masters, American Chris
Rabb is in fourth place with Canadian Al Clark in fifth. Andy Roy (CAN)
holds down third place in the Standard Masters while American Tracy
Usher has slipped to 13th ahead of Charles Tripp (USA) in 14th. In the
Standard Grand Masters Doug Peckover (USA) is in eighth and Ken Brown
(CAN) is in ninth. And the USA’s Peter Seidenberg is still the main man
in the Radial Great Grand Masters with four bullets and a deuce – and a
six point lead in this 30-boat class. -

by Lynn Fitzpatrick
If you want to meet someone who has been involved in winning sailing
programs, here’s your opportunity. Debbie Capozzi of the 2008 US Olympic
Yngling Team of Barkow, Capozzi and Howe is a winner. She was captain of
the Old Dominion University sailing team for two years and a key
contributor when the team won the ICSA National Championship title. She
has traveled the globe with Sally Barkow and other phenomenal women
sailors helping Sally steer her way up the charts of the ISAF women’s
keelboat and match racing rankings. During the past four years, Debbie
has had sailing successes independent of the Yngling team. She has been
part of Jeff Eklund’s winning Melges 32 campaign aboard Star and has
taken the helm at various match racing regattas.

Debbie earned a BA in education at ODU, but learned “how to win regattas
and events” from her ODU sailing team coaches which included Mitch
Brindley and Mark Zagol. Situated on the water, ODU attracts talented
sailors and seems to be a significant part of the US Sailing Team’s
feeder program. With Sally Barkow, Corrie Clement and Anna Tunnicliffe
as her team mates during her college sailing career, Debbie skippered
and crewed her way to ICSA All-American status. -- Read on:

The International Moth might only be 11-feet long, but the class has
shown the world that if you fasten hydrofoils to the tip of your
daggerboard and rudder, and that they allow the boat to be sailed a
couple feet up into the air, you are going to get a lot of attention.
Now that the class has landed in North America and that racing has
begun, it will be an interesting year to see what kind of growth they
can sustain. To help stoke the fire, we have a video of world champ
Rohan Veal working with one of Scuttlebutt’s favorite photographers,
Thierry Martinez, on an underwater photo shoot, with another video
showing Rohan’s boathandling practice before last year’s worlds. Both
videos are well-edited, and provide a great look at this developing
class. 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:

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* Franck Cammas and his crew were unable turn the capsized trimaran
Groupama 3 right-side-up during their salvage attempts off of the New
Zealand coast. Consequently, they are towing the maxi-trimaran
up-side-down to Dunedin, over 70 miles away, making just 3 knots of
headway. --

* With just over two weeks to go before the start of the 28th edition of
the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on March 7-9, race organizers have
already received some 224 entries. The field is comprised of a vast
cross-section of yachts ranging from flat-out Grand Prix racers, to
laid-back bareboat cruisers, to an ever-expanding fleet of multihulls
that come to this regatta in search of “serious fun.” There are 123
entries in the bareboat classes, 19 catamarans and trimarans, a big
contingent of Swans and more than a dozen big boats topping 65-feet in
Event website:

* All Blacks fitness trainer Graham Lowe has quit New Zealand rugby to
join Larry Ellison's BMW-Oracle America's Cup team. Lowe, 34, a father
of three boys, will start work in Valencia next month after more than a
decade in rugby that began with the Otago rugby union in 1996. --

* Principal sponsor of the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, Audi Australia,
will give away a second car - an Audi A3 - as a major prize at the
Regatta from March 1 to 3 in order to drive up entries for the event to
a new record of 300 yachts. All yachts that enter the ASHR will go into
a lottery and one will win the new Audi A3. –

* Apparently J/Boats are hot in Europe. J Europe shipyard, set in
western France resort Olonne sur mer, is now building 12 J/80s each
month and they’ve doubled their tooling so they can now pop out a
40-foot J/122s every four days. The Vendée based company delivered 220
boats in 2007.

* Six inches from the ice and cruising at 100 mph ... no, there really
isn’t anything else like ice boating. “It’s like sailing on
steroids,”said Steve Schlak, a member of the Northwest Ice Yachting
Association race committee. Friday through Sunday, Geneva Lake will host
the Northwest Ice Yachting Association regatta. It’s one of the oldest
ice boating regattas in the world, dating back to the late 1800s. “The
Northwest is the granddaddy of them all,” said soft water and hard water
sailing legend Buddy Melges of Zenda. Organizers expect between 85 and
120 boats with racers from throughout the upper Midwest. --

* Bremerton, WA - The new Bremerton Marina is expected to be completed
by the end of March, with work about 70 percent done by mid-January. The
$30 million marina will have 235 permanent slips and 100 guest slips.
The old marina, which was closed in June, only had 41 slips for visitors
and no permanent space. -- Full story:

Following the recent resignation of Andy Hindley as Race Director of the
2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race, the event is actively seeking to fill this
position. Reporting to the CEO, the Race Director runs the Race
Management team and is responsible for managing all aspects of
delivering the on-water operations for the race both before and during
the event. Closing date for applications is March 14, 2008. Complete
details at

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at
Scuttlebutt include the new 29erXX, the St Pete NOOD, local snow in
Southern California, the Aussie 18 “Worlds", and the latest America’s
Cup imagery from Don Allen. If you have images you would like to share,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

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 By Baldridge (re the discussions of butt rash remedies for
offshore sailing – ‘Scuttlebutt 2536-7): Everyone from Louisiana and
Texas knows that Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and silk boxers are the way to
go. For your feet, mohair socks can be worn forever and will never smell
or change shape.
=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: On this ‘high note’ we declare this thread
officially dead.

* From Derek Blancke: A quick AC rant from London. In Scuttlebutt 2537
Brian Kfoury writes using Formula 1 car racing as a reason to go
unrestricted in the AC. This is not the case. F1 is capping the
expenditure and has very strict design rules in place. The problem is
not everyone can win so to increase the number of participants and gain
more sponsor money an event has to show value for money by making it
worthwhile to participate - not just for the winner. Since M Schumacher
retired from F1 the viewing figures have greatly increased because there
is a chance of up to 6 drivers being able to win the Championship =
exciting. In AC the boat is a big billboard, the sailors should be
feature personalities. F1 is a circus. It is entertainment as well as
sport. The Volvo Ocean race tries to adopt this model to retain and
maintain TV viewing figures thereby generating sponsor dollars. If the
AC is to avoid becoming an anachronistic historic ego battle between the
mega rich and dieing through lack of interest it will have to become
something else entirely. Or just let evolution take its course. Does
anyone care that much - time will tell!

How do crazy people go through the forest?
They take the ‘Psycho Path.’

Special thanks to North U and True Wind.

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