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SCUTTLEBUTT 2540 – February 26, 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.

by Emma Paull
In Issue 2538, the story titled ‘MOST UNENVIABLE JOB IN OLYMPIC SAILING’ put
a spotlight on Yachting New Zealand, and how the Kiwis won’t send a team to
the Olympics this summer unless they are considered a serious medal
prospect. Because their Yngling team, led by skipper Sharron Ferris, has
been outside the “medal zone” at recent events, their Olympic Director, Rod
Davis, is now deciding her fate.

I started writing this letter about how Ms Ferris should be going to the
Olympics for New Zealand because she qualified her country and her team,
plus she has carried on training and sailing whilst pregnant to ensure her
team’s goal of a medal and hers of having a family are achieved, which is a
whole fantastic tale in itself. But then I realized that this wasn’t the
story at all. What we ALL should be more worried about is the continued
trend towards only achieving medals to get funding for the Olympics at the
cost of everything else that the games are supposed to stand for.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and
better world by educating youth through sport practiced without
discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual
understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. It
would be foolish to think that money and professionalism won't affect the
Olympics. After all, it affects everything else in the world, but when we
start discriminating against people because of it… well, we should start
trying to find ways around it. -- Read on and comment:

* The 2009 Olympic Congress will identify the current status and the
challenges lying ahead for the Olympic Movement and for the first time the
general public can submit their views on the topics under consideration. --
Read on:

“When the ship is sinking, it’s time to get creative.” This kind of thinking
can be applied to most every situation, and with the recession that the
sport of sailing has been experiencing, this approach been actively applied
herein. What’s interesting to learn is that through our struggles, we need
not have a “WHY ME?” sentiment, as at least one other sport is feeling the
pinch as well… golf. Here is a New York Times article titled, “More
Americans Are Giving Up Golf”, and it is not a stretch to say that many of
the challenges noted in this article are shared by sailors as well:

Hauppauge, N.Y. - The men gathered in a new golf clubhouse here a couple of
weeks ago circled the problem from every angle, like caddies lining up a
shot out of the rough. “We have to change our mentality,” said Richard
Rocchio, a public relations consultant. “The problem is time,” offered
Walter Hurney, a real estate developer. “There just isn’t enough time. Men
won’t spend a whole day away from their family anymore.”

William A. Gatz, owner of the Long Island National Golf Club in Riverhead,
said the problem was fundamental economics: too much supply, not enough
demand. The problem was not a game of golf. It was the game of golf itself.
Over the past decade, the leisure activity most closely associated with
corporate success in America has been in a kind of recession. The total
number of people who play has declined or remained flat each year since
2000, dropping to about 26 million from 30 million, according to the
National Golf Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers
Association. -- Scuttleblog, read on:

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by The Curmudgeon
I hate to admit it, but I fell asleep while watching ‘An Inconvenient Truth’
, the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary film about global warming,
presented by former United States Vice President Al Gore. The film focuses
on Gore and his travels in support of his efforts to educate the public
about the severity of the climate crisis. There are few that can still argue
that his claims are not real, and that changes need to be made. However, at
the same time, we all have our habits, and changing habits is not easy.

Too often, we make our personal changes too late, like improving our diet
after a heart attack, or seeing the mistakes made by an ailing friend. Other
times, it is the iconic force of something we closely relate to that can
make us take the first step. For sailors, that could be the program being
devised by the Carbon Challenge’s Race Against Global Warming, and its entry
in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09.

The group owns the second place entry from the 05/06 race, Pirate’s of the
Caribbean, currently docked in England. They believe the boat is still very
competitive, and at most is a half a day slower around the world than the
latest designs. More importantly, they feel the boat can be sailed with the
intention of emitting a carbon footprint that is 20% below of their
competitors. But whether successful in the race or not, their goal is to
highlight how carbon reduction as a policy that can be implemented quickly
and embraced by the most ambitious companies, teams and individuals.

The group is not fully funded, but feels like there is a better than even
chance they will be on the start line this October. By April, the GO-NO GO
moment will come, but in the mean time, Scuttlebutt challenges you to
discover your carbon footprint by using the EarthLab Carbon and Lifestyle
Calculator. As a reference, the Curmudgeon’s Earth Conservation Plan (ECP)
score was 376, just above the US national average of 325. Test yourself at

=> Team website:

(February 25, 2008) The German crew of Roland Gaebler and Gunnar Struckman
have come out on top after day one at the 2008 Tornado World Championship
which started today off Takapuna, North Shore City, Auckland. Conditions
were reasonable for the start of the five-day, ten race series which
concludes next Saturday, with the stormy weather experienced over the
weekend abating, allowing for a shifty south westerly breeze of around 12 to
18 knots. Amongst the 51 entries from 22 countries, it was John Lovell and
Charlie Ogletree (USA) who were next in the standings, having earned a 2nd
in race one and then 5th in race two to hold second overall at this early
stage in the regatta.

It was mixed fortunes also for Oskar Johansson and Kevin Stittle (CAN) who
were 21st in race one and then took the gun in the second race of the day,
and are currently 8th overall. "The wind strength ranged from 12 - 18 knots,
but very shifty," said Johansson. "Up to 30 degree shifts with holes, so
made it difficult. In the 2nd race we managed to pick the first shift, which
was the key to winning it. We are trying to win one of the remaining four
Olympic spots left and it is a very high standard." In what promises to be a
hard fought battle Canada, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and the Ukraine are
currently the best placed of the nine nations who are on the hunt for one of
the four remaining Olympic places to be decided at the this event. --

* From Mike Leigh, Canadian Olympic Laser representative: The 2008 Laser
Worlds in Terrigal, Australia finished up a couple of weeks ago, and after a
difficult event, I managed to qualify (as the Canadian rep) for the
Olympics. I have quite mixed feelings about the event, as although I am
ecstatic about qualifying for the Games, I was incredibly disappointed with
my overall World’s score of 23rd (of 157 entrants). I had put in a heap of
work in the months preceding the Worlds, and had been sailing much better at
the regattas in lead up. For the most part, I executed my trained skills
very well. I had consistently good starts, and my speed for the most part
was significantly better then my standing indicates. The area where I ran
into trouble was from 30 seconds after the start until the first weather
mark. I had not adapted my decision making to the Worlds style of racing,
and had far too many calls go the wrong way. It was not until the finals
series races that I finally started to get my act together, and became more
patient with the shifts. -- Read on:

* From Andrew Campbell, American Olympic Laser representative: When
approaching a Laser Worlds like the one we just finished in Terrigal, and
similarly to the one going on at present for the masters fleet, there are a
few concepts as well as concrete preparations you can give yourself to
maximize your experience and performance at that regatta. After a few days
to reflect on my event and drawing upon my own set of experiences I’ve come
up with a few things worth remark. My first Worlds in 2001 in Ireland, I was
a 17-year-old high schooler fresh on the scene and fresh to the boat in
reality. I had only recently come out of the laser radial and was probably
over my head thinking I could jump right in with any real success. Now, at
24 after having sailed in Cadiz (’03), Jeju (’06), Cascais (’07) and
Terrigal (’08) I have a better feel for what to expect and how to approach
the event mentally and physically. -- Read on:

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(February 25, 2008) To San Francisco Bay Area residents, 40 days and 40
nights might invoke the biblical weather we've been having the last few
months. But to the 10 sailors aboard the 110-ft catamaran Gitana 13, it is a
measure of pride and progress. Today marks the 40th day since the big cat
left New York on a quest to set a new sailing record to San Francisco.
Currently off Mexico, the most current estimates have her sailing under the
Golden Gate on Thursday, probably in the afternoon. If that comes to pass,
skipper Lionel Lemonchois and his crew will break the old 57-day Route de
l'Or record by almost two full weeks. -- Latitude 38, read on:

This story is what we term “non-essential” to the current America’s Cup
landscape, yet it has found some traction in the media, likely because of
its soap opera element. It is included in Scuttlebutt only for background,
and again, for only the real faithful followers of the Cup (and even you
folks might run in droves). We commented in Issue 2539 on the drama
surrounding Ernesto Bertarelli, the Décision 35 Class and their event
schedule on Lake Geneva. Here are some of the updates that have now

* Nicolas Gonet announced his withdrawal of his boat, “Banque Gonet” from
the D 35 Class. This has come as a result of his relationship with Russell
Coutts, who has been part of Gonet’s team for the past few years, and Gonet’
s intention to have the BMW Oracle Racing team onboard. While he saw this as
a means to bring together two bitter rivals (Alinghi and BOR) for some
friendly competition, most Class members have shown hostility toward the
move. As a result, Gonet said he prefers to withdraw from a competition
whose values he no longer shares. -- BYM News:

* The Association for Multi-hull Competition (AMC) was the brainchild of
five founding members: Ernesto Bertarelli, Philippe Cardis, Jean-François
Demole, Guy de Picciotto and Nicolas Grange, who created and developed the
Décision 35 five years ago as an owner-sailor class on Lake Geneva, with
high-level competition on the water and friendship ashore. It was not the
intention of the AMC to exclude the "Banque Gonet" boat from competition nor
forbid anyone from sailing, however, the AMC clearly expressed to Nicolas
Gonet that in the D35 Class, we put sport before commerce and therefore, his
objective was in conflict with that of the other owners. -- BYM News:

* Audi AG has signed a three-year contract to become the title sponsor of
the MedCup Circuit which will feature the TP52 Class racing in six regattas
between May and September in Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal. Now in its
fourth year the circuit, to be called the Audi MedCup Circuit, features the
TP52 Class, which has become a premier platform America’s Cup teams,
professional sailors, owner-drivers, Olympic champions and Royalty. --

* Audi officially announced the 2008 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series, which
will include five events between May and October in Italy. Audi specifically
chose the Melges 32 for its uncompromising performance, adrenaline, speed
and competitive fleet characteristics. The principal idea behind the
creation of this sailing series is to reaffirm and strengthen a racing
circuit, a practice and heritage that Audi has fostered for more than ten
years. --

* Italian newspaper Fare Vela is reporting via newsletter that a new race
circuit for Version 5 America's Cup Class yachts will be held in 2009 at
venues to include Cowes, Kiel, Trieste, and Valencia. One major sponsor will
be Porsche/Audi, who also supported United Internet Team Germany. Team
Origin, Shosholoza, and Victory are mentioned as participants. The ACC
yachts were scheduled to be phased out of America's Cup competition by 2009
anyway (depending on who was doing the scheduling), so it seems likely that
the new circuit will not be directly affected by the outcome of the current
pitched battle taking place in court and elsewhere. --

The Melges 32 class has its final Winter Series event in Miami where there
will be over 20 Melges 32’s on the start line. The recently held St. Pete
NOOD regatta had over 50 Melges 24’s racing for its championship, and the
Scow Midwinter Championship will take place at Lake Eustis in central
Florida where there will be over 70 Melges MC’s racing and over 100 scows in
all. For some of the very best one-design sailing in the world, look to a
Melges Boat as they are fast, exciting, simple to travel with and easy to
rig. A complete race ready package comes from Melges – jump in and go for
it. Race to

* The Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race Organizing Committee will offer an
Ocean Racing Symposium on Friday, February 29, 7-9 p.m. at the Boston Yacht
Club in Marblehead. The program will be an opportunity for ocean racing
participants to meet, learn about the MHOR race and its rules, talk with
each other, and hear from experienced race alumni. Internationally known
America's Cup competitor and race commentator Gary Jobson will be the
keynote speaker. In addition, ocean racing competitor Jack Slattery will
talk about navigation, sail trim, and crew logistics, and BYC member Bernie
Coyne will discuss OSR2 compliance, boat modifications, and safety gear.
Details at

* Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, LA), Pensacola Yacht Club (Pensacola,
FL), and the Club de Yates de Isla Mujeres have announced that an IRC racing
division will be added to the 2008 Regata al Sol. A biennial 555 nm ocean
race, the event begins mid-May on Pensacola Bay on May 14th and finishes off
the northern point of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. --

* Organizers of the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA)’s youth sailing
championships in 2008 have signed ING Insurance as the title sponsor for the
national event. The ING CYA Youth National Sailing Championships will take
place at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS) in Halifax in August.
More than 200 athletes from across the country, representing the best young
sailors in Canada, will compete on the waters of Halifax Harbour in seven
classes, including Laser, Laser Radial, Laser4.7, Byte CII, 29er and the
Club 420. --

* French vineyard owners are returning to a slower pace of life by starting
to export their wine by sailing boat - a method last used in the 1800s - to
reduce their carbon footprint. Later this month 60,000 bottles from
Languedoc will be shipped to Ireland in a 19th-century barque, saving
18,375lb of carbon. Further voyages to Bristol, Manchester and even Canada
are planned soon afterwards. The three-mast barque Belem, which was launched
in 1896, was the last French merchant sailing vessel to be built, and each
bottle will be labelled: 'Carried by sailing ship, a better deal for the
planet.' – The Observer, complete story:

“The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a
government program.” -- Ronald Reagan

Special thanks to JK3 Nautical Enterprises, North U, and Melges Performance

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at