Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2542 – February 28, 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.

When California Republicans killed a recent effort to close a loophole on
luxury boats, recreational vehicles and planes, they argued that a tax
change would chase away working-class jobs. "The immigrant who sprays
fiberglass on a boat will lose his job. The small-business owner who
installs avionics on an airplane will lose his business," state Sen. Dennis
Hollingsworth of Temecula told GOP members during a Feb. 15 floor debate.
"Those are the people who are going to be affected by this. It's not the

Yet when the state's nonpartisan fiscal analyst looked at the proposal, she
came to a different conclusion. Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill supported
closing the loophole because she found it could generate $21 million a year
for the state without causing serious harm to the economy. Republicans are
so opposed to taxes in principle that both sides are bracing for rough
waters ahead as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature try to steer
the state through the remaining $8 billion state shortfall projected for the
fiscal year starting July 1. Though Democrats hold a majority, budget
changes require GOP support to pass on a two-thirds vote.

Schwarzenegger and Democratic lawmakers support a tax change that would make
it more difficult for wealthy Californians to dodge the state sales and use
tax, which is 7.75 percent in Sacramento County. The proposal calls for
boosting from 90 days to one year the time a large private vehicle, vessel
or aircraft would have to be kept out of state in order for residents to
claim a tax exemption. The 12-month requirement had expired June 30, and the
governor proposed making the tax change permanent. -- Sacramento Bee,
complete story:

Following up on the “wildly successful” first year of the Lightning Boat
Grant Program, the International Lightning Class Association (ILCA) has
announced the nominees for the 2008 Program. This program is designed to
fund young sailors who want to experience the high level of competition
offered by the ILCA, and after reviewing nineteen applications from North
America, Greece, and Finland, five teams ranging in age from early teens to
late 20’s have been granted fully rigged, insured, and race-ready
Lightnings, while a sixth team was given a “Developmental” grant boat.

“The boat grant program has gained momentum,” said ILCA president Steve
Davis. “Not only did Allen Boat Company and Nickels Boat Works both lend
brand-new boats, we have new suits of sails from North Sails, Quantum Sails,
and Vermont Sailing Partners. It goes to show how deeply committed the
class - and its suppliers - are to fostering young teams.”

“These are new or nearly-new Lightnings, with all the bells and whistles,”
reports Bill Fastiggi, one of the originators of the program. “Thanks to the
generosity of the class and the vendors, these teams can pretty much hook up
the trailer and hit the road to do as many regattas as they can.” In
addition, Fastiggi explained, each team has an official mentor in the class,
who can provide coaching, advice, guidance, and help manage the day-to-day
upkeep of the boats. -- Read on to learn of the 2008 recipients:

Lausanne, Switzerland (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
director general David Howman announced on Wednesday that the organization
was considering an appeal in the case of New Zealand yachtsman Simon Daubney
who tested positive for cocaine during Team Alinghi's successful defense of
the America's Cup. Daubney became the first sailor in America's Cup history
to fail a doping test after providing a sample containing two metabolites of
cocaine on the opening day of the 2007 competition.

The yachtsman subsequently resigned from his Swiss team but had his
suspension lifted last month by the International Yachting Federation
(ISAF). The Federation said it had based its decision on a ruling by the
Swiss Olympic Association whose disciplinary chamber ruled that Daubney had
not infringed any anti-doping rules. "We are looking at the Daubney case
very closely because he was fully exonerated for an adverse finding," Howman
said. "We have not yet received the full reasons which is why we have yet to
make a final decision, but the first review causes us concern." -- Complete

Ullman Sails customers maintained their winning record in southern multihull
racing, sweeping the top four places in the Corsair 28R class at the 2008
Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta, February 15-17. Doug Fisher
and crew on ‘Bad Boyz’ won the regatta with four bullets, seven points ahead
of second place. Peter Katcha and his team on ‘Relentless’ finished second,
followed by Robert Onsguard’s ‘Fifty-Fifty’ in third, and Katherine Garlick’
s ‘Evolution’ in fourth. All four boats competed with full Ullman Sails
inventories. For information on the ‘Fastest Sails on the Planet,’ contact a
local Ullman loft and visit

Takapuna, Auckland (February 27, 2008) - There was no racing on Day 3 of the
2008 Tornado World Championship, as the south westerly breeze over the
initial two days of competition died away to becalm the Hauraki Gulf. The 51
boat fleet left the beach for the planned 1 o'clock start but were back
ashore around an hour and a half later when the light breeze collapsed to
next to nothing. A decision was made at 4:30pm to abandon racing for the day
and advise sailors that Thursday’s reserve day would be used to try and
catch up. A light and variable breeze is predicted in Auckland, while
looking further ahead wind from the north east is forecasted to fill in on
Friday and increase for Saturday. The regatta concludes on Saturday. --

(February 27, 2008) Records are meant to be broken, which is what Doug Baker
and the crew of Magnitude 80 did when they crossed the finish line of the
1000-mile San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race at 04:07:35 PST, crushing the
course record of 3 days, 21 hrs, 55 min, 36 sec by just over six hours
(06:08:01). The course's previous record was owned by Pyewacket in the first
race SDYC hosted to the destination of Puerto Vallarta in 1998.

But the race hasn’t been peaches for other entrants, and as previously
reported, making the turn at the tip of the Baja Peninsula plays heavily in
a racer’s overall outcome. Just ask Jim Madden onboard his Reichel Pugh 66
Stark Raving Mad, “It's 12:20 am Wednesday as I type this. What a cruddy day
was Tuesday! After arriving at 5:30am, we finally got past Cabo - the
slowest crossing of the Cape I've had in 6 races. We lost about 12 hours
being stuck, so any boats behind caught up substantially, and any that got
thru ahead before the breeze died should have done quite well. Definitely a
‘re-start’ for the race for us - very frustrating but comes with the
territory for a Mexico race. We're heading toward PV now under a 10-12 knot
westerly, and we're about 180 miles out. Beautiful moonrise tonight,
Southern Cross earlier, and clear skies.”

Onboard Dennis Conners’ Stars and Stripes, Peter Isler adds to the family
thread that he saw in Scuttlebutt 2540: “Jerry LaDow provided the chef
duties tonight, grilling the steaks on the hibachi clamped on to the stern
pulpit. Jerry is a veteran of innumerable Mexico races with DC and is one of
three generations of LaDow's onboard our 60-foot sloop. His son, Andy LaDow,
is currently at the helm and his grandson, 14 year old Jake LaDow is on the
coffee grinder, keeping the spinnaker filled as we surge down the swells in
13 knots of wind.” --

* Have you submitted your entry for the Vallarta Race Story Competition? If
you have ever competed in any of San Diego Yacht Club’s Mexican races, share
a quick story about the people you sailed with or a memory from the race.
Stories can be submitted until February 28, 2008, with a special story prize
to be given from 2008 Vallarta Race entrant Dennis Conner. --

* Navigator Mark Rudiger onboard the Santa Cruz 70 Holua is providing daily
race audio updates:

* (February 27, 2008) After setting out six weeks ago in the conquest of a
record never before coveted by a maxi-multihull of Gitana 13’s 110-foot
dimensions, Lionel Lemonchois and his nine crew are experiencing their final
hours at sea on this Route de l’Or record attempt from New York to San
Francisco. Despite a weather system that has the crew sailing upwind angles,
the team still expects to arrive Thursday morning, where it will cross the
finish line situated just off the infamous prison on Alcatraz Island. --

* The UC Irvine Sailing Team will be hosting their Alumni & Friends Regatta
in Newport Harbor, CA on March 8, 2008. Among the early commitments include
past US Olympic team member Peter Wells and 2008 US Paralympic sailor Nick
Scandone. Schedule includes sailing and extensive land-based activities.
Complete details at

* In order to help newcomers to sailboat racing, ISAF have produced a one
page set of Introductory Rules for Racing complete with some explanatory
diagrams. The aim of the Introductory Rules for Racing is simple; make as it
easy as possible for people to start racing. Consequently the Introductory
Rules are as basic as possible, although they remain compatible with the
principles and fundamental rules in the full ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing
(RRS). -- Download rules here:

* This past week, the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Florida, was host to the
2008 29er Midwinter’s East Regatta. Sailors from the USA and Canada competed
in two days of intense racing. Day 1 and 2 of racing saw conditions of
steady winds of 10-14 knots with 5 races held each day. Racing on day 3 was
cancelled due to no wind conditions. First place went to Max Fraser and Hans
Henken of California. --

* Effective January 1, 2008, travelers may no longer pack spare lithium
batteries of any kind in checked baggage. Passengers wishing to carry spare
lithium batteries for devices such as laptops, cell phone and cameras are
now required to pack them in their carry-on baggage with the terminals
covered/ insulated or stored in plastic bags. Travelers may check bags that
contain batteries, as long as they are installed in electronic devices.
Lithium batteries found during the screening process may be removed by the
TSA. --

Join Atlantis WeatherGear's Navigator's Club and you'll instantly be entered
to win a Grand Prix Softshell Jacket (Link:
Every Friday, one lucky winner (hopefully you) will be picked at random from
the Navigator's Club entries, so sign up now.
*** Congratulations to last week's winner, David Elliott!
Navigator's Club members receive special coupons, discounts on our coolest
new gear (the '08 line is on its way) and breaking news straight from
Atlantis HQ in Marblehead. Enter now for your chance to win this Friday!
Enter here:
Discover Atlantis WeatherGear

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Feb 29-Mar 2 - Jaguar Cup Series - Etchells Midwinters - Miami, FL, USA
Mar 1-7 - MEXORC - Nuevo Vallarta Nay, Mexico
Mar 1-2 - San Felipe MEX Hobie Midwinters - San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
Mar 2-7 - Star Bacardi Cup - Miami, FL, USA
View all the events at

Are you an Optimist sailor, frustrated by winter, or just frustrated that
you are still sailing this low performance square boat with a square sail?
If so, you are not alone, and now is the time to take control. How can you
update your Opti to provide the excitement you desire? How can you… pimp
your ride? This week’s video shows what one sailor did, jacking his boat up
with a tall mast, bowsprit, and 420 spinnaker. Seems doomed to implode but
doesn’t, so either they ran out of film, or kids these days are the
superstar engineers of tomorrow. Click here for this week’s video:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: Please let us know of any great videos out there,
and keep sending Scuttlebutt those random images for our PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

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 Bill Canfield, St. Thomas, VI: (29er comments from Issue 2540) The
view from one small nation with good international sailors says Annapolis
Yacht Club may have jumped too late to get on the 29er bandwagon. The ISAF
Youth Worlds has already decided to switch back to the International 420 in
2010 after using the 29er for only three years. I am not sure why, but I
reckon by looking at the entries it is because the number of nations dropped
by 10 for the first year of the 29er at the Youth Worlds. The 29er is a
relatively expensive layline boat that is, I grant, an exciting boat to
sail, but I am not sure the trend towards skiffs is as popular as one might
think. The older traditional International 470 had the second most nations
represented at last year's Worlds in Portugal while the 49er had the fewest
nations sailing. I also watch with interest the move to try and get a
woman's skiff into the Olympics instead of match racing, while to my
knowledge, there are virtually no skiff events for women anywhere in the
world as of today. Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? Change is
good, but the Snipe, Etchells, and Star remain popular worldwide while most
of the new designs seem to fall out of sight rather quickly.

* From Peter Johnstone, a 29er Dad in RI: Congrats Annapolis Yacht Club!
Starting a fleet of 29ers is awesome news for your sailors. Great to see AYC
take a leadership role in recognizing what top junior sailors want to sail.
Teens need that next step, and something fresh to sail after fall and spring
at high school regattas. I think the 29er will boost your teen sailing,
especially during the lighter winds of summer. Look forward to seeing AYC
teams this summer. The New England 29er fleet has three major regattas
planned, and is ready for the road show to Annapolis!

* From Jeff Coppens, San Diego, CA: (re stories in Issue 2538 and 2540) If
the New Zealand Olympic sailing team excludes some of its athletes from the
chance to compete due to their medal chances, maybe they should be reminded
about a few sprinters from Jamaica who decided to race a bobsled. Or that
little story about a miracle gold medal for a US Hockey team in Lake Placid.
Were any of these athletes expected to win medals and haven't they created
some of the most inspirational memories in Olympic history? Let them

* From Robert Merrick: The Olympics is not about winning medals. It's about
athletes trying to win medals. It's about the struggle more than the result.
The result is just a measure of how much you have suffered for the struggle.

* From Chris Dowling: (In reply to Alex Arnold's letter in Issue 2540) Alex
sums it up perfectly in his letter when he states that there are all these
new "easy to sail" and day sailing boats being marketed and sold. These
boats are popular because it is hard to find crew these days so people need
easy short-handed day sailors. As the importer of Brenta Yachts, we saw this
trend early on. We found that 90% of people do not sleep on their boats.
People are just too busy these days to spend quality time on the water. Add
that to the fact that new marinas and mooring areas are not being built due
to environmental concerns. These factors alone are making it an uphill
struggle for those of us in the marine industry that are trying to improve
and increase participation in our sport.

For those that are truly interested in keeping our sport alive, I strongly
urge you to get involved with or start a local community sailing program.
This is A) the best way to find new blood and, B) the best way to develop
new sailing sites. Local municipalities usually have jurisdiction or
ownership of undeveloped waterfront access. If it is a true community
sailing program, you can usually get a long-term lead with right to develop
or the option to purchase the property. It is time for all of us to stop
writing letters complaining about it and get involved! Let's get off our
butts and get involved!

* From David Tabor: I was not the least bit surprised to see the letters
generated by the whole global warming/ reduced carbon emissions issue. This
is a very hot topic (no pun intended!) and I'm not certain the science used
to support either position will ever be agreed upon. I am not at all
qualified to make a judgment on the topic of global warming and whether it
is a man-induced phenomenon. I will say that one thing is unquestionably
true; something that Al Gore made clear in his movie. The polar ice caps ARE
losing ice, the Swiss Alps are becoming bare of ice and throughout the world
glaciers are retreating significantly. Why, I don't know, nor do I pretend
to know. Doesn't that make you wonder if just maybe there's something to the
whole Global Warming thing?

But regardless if this is a result of human activity, is it really such a
bad thing to take action to reduce our overall impact on the environment? If
we are going to indulge ourselves in the sport of sailing can we at least
TRY to minimize the end result of our actions? Isn't that something we can
all agree on?

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I am not sure there is even agreement on that.
However, it isn’t going to get solved in Scuttlebutt as we are halting this
thread, but we have posted in the Forum many of the letters we received, so
feel free to continue the conversation here:

There are two sides to every divorce: yours and stupids.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Atlantis WeatherGear.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at