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SCUTTLEBUTT 2546 – March 5, 2008

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is
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A dust up in the UK regarding Skandia Cowes Week and canting keelers have
brought the spotlight on event organizers and their mission to balance the
priorities of their customers… the sailors. The magnitude of the event has
likely played into this brawl as well. Since 1826, Cowes Week has been a key
part in the British sporting summer calendar and is one of the UK’s longest
running and most successful sporting events. Scheduled for August 2-9, 2008,
it now stages up to 40 daily races for over 1,000 boats and is the largest
sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

When the event announced on February 25th that they did not anticipate
enough canting keel boats in 2008 to provide them with their own class, and
since they did not feel canters could be fairly rated to compete alongside
non-canters, they stated that any boat over 14 metres overall with a canting
keel would need to fix their keel amidships for entry, and would be eligible
to apply for a new, lower IRC rating. As you might suspect, this didn’t sit
too well with some.

Skandia Cowes Week is managed by Cowes Week Limited (CWL), and to help
clarify the situation for Scuttlebutt readers, CEO Stuart Quarrie has
provided the following update, for which a few highlights are presented

* The owners and crews of some of our classes believe that boats designed
with canting keels are as far apart from their boats as multihulls and in
general do not wish to race against them – not because the canting keeled
boats will always win but because the quality of racing is compromised.

* At the smaller end, owners of fixed keel boats racing against these
(canters) have not expressed the same concerns as we have seen from owners
of bigger boats.

* The RORC Rating Office recognises that canting keel boats are different
from other boats. They have performance profiles which are such that when
they find their conditions, their actual performance versus predicted
performance can make good racing difficult to achieve.

Complete statement can be read here:

Larchmont, N.Y. (March 4, 2008) – After working at length with Storm Trysail
Transpac 65 (STP65) class participants, designers and Chief Measurer Andrew
Williams, the STP65 Board of Directors has released the "box" rule and
bylaws by which the class will be governed. The two documents, which
Williams says are "beneficial in both understanding the rule and class
management," are now posted in their final versions online.

"Many of the questions raised recently have been regarding the accommodation
requirements, so the answers to those are included in the rule," said
Williams, also Chief Measurer for the Farr 40 class. In addition, the bylaws
include an update to incorporate the move to an Owner/Category 1 Driver
Class that, according to Jim Swartz (San Francisco, Calif.), "will be
attractive to a number of owners."

Swartz, well known for campaigning his successful Swan 601 Moneypenny, is
currently building a Reichel/Pugh-designed STP65 at McConaghy's Boat Yard in
Australia. Another owner, Udo Schutz (Selters, Germany), also has begun
construction of a Judel/Vrolijk-designed STP65 at Premier Yachts in Dubai,
UAE, while a third STP65 -- launched in June and making waves in the
yachting world ever since -- is Rosebud, designed by Farr Yacht Design for
owner Roger Sturgeon of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Read on:

by Amy Smith Linton
Yeah, okay, I’m working with government math: 50+ years at Savannah, 40+
years in Miami, and 60+ in St. Pete. But in a one-design dinghy that
celebrates its 70th anniversary this summer, the 2008 ILCA Southern Circuit
comes out to a lot of years any way you add it up.

And a lot of racing (Weather willing! Knock wood!), as sailors start racing
over the weekend at Savannah YC’s Deep South Regatta (March 8-9) in
Georgia, then after a day for travel, race Tuesday-Wednesday on the aqua
waters off Coral Reef YC for the ILCA Midwinter Regatta in Miami, FL.
Another day for travel back up Florida, and the racers finish up at the St.
Petersburg Winter Championship next Friday-Sunday (March 14-15).

Teams from as far off as Nigeria and Chile are expected, and in the past few
years, attendance has been excellent: close to 60 boats or so in both
Savannah and Miami, and 70 or more in St. Petersburg. Some skippers partake
in only one or two of the events, but a dedicated group of 40 or so will
race all three. The fleet include a mix of male and female, youth, seniors,
and people in-between, making a mighty competitive fleet with an unexpected
number of families on the water. Olympic 470 sailors Amanda Clark and Sarah
Mergenthaler will be racing, as well as my own favorite skipper, 2007 U.S.
Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Jeff Linton. – Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: This is Scuttlebutt’s third year following the
Lightning Southern Circuit, which is as much a three event series as it is a
traveling circus. Amy will be coordinating reports along the route, but we
encourage everyone to join in and share their stories in the Forum thread,
“Lightning Southern Circuit 2008.”

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Miami, FL (March 4, 2008) The second day of a moderate sea breeze left
Biscayne Bay awash with handfuls of seaweed and partly sunny skies for the
fleet to contend with during the third race of the series. After the third
attempt at a start, most of the 118 entrants headed toward Key Biscayne and
a cloud bank to the northeast on their first tack to a mark that was set at
165 degrees, 2.4 nautical miles away. For the second time in three races,
past Star World Champion Alan Adler and Ricardo Ermel (BRA) put together a
great start and a spectacular first beat to round the weather mark in first,
but it was the young Irish team of Guns O’Leary and Stephen Milne that would
soon parlay their sixth place position at the first mark with a bullet by
the finish. With their third place finish, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson
(GBR) pulled into the regatta lead. Said Percy, “I’ve won a lot of races in
the Bacardi over the years, but I haven’t won the Bacardi Cup yet.” -- Full

Current results (top 10 of 118)
1. GBR, Iain Percy/ Andrew Simpson, 3-14-3, 20
2. BRA, Lars Grael/ Marcelo Jordao, 7-1-16, 24 points
3. POR, Afonso Domingos/ Bernardo Santos, 12-9-7, 28
4. BRA, Alan Adler/ Ronald Seifert, 2-19-8, 29
5. IRL, Peter O'Leary/ Stephen Milne, 14-15-1, 30
6. ITA, Diego Negri/ Luigi Viale, 16-7-12, 35
7. ITA, Alberto Barovier/ Nando Colaninno, 23-4-9, 36
8. BRA, Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, 4-12-21, 37
9. USA, Augie Diaz/ Phil Trinter, 9-3-29, 41
10. SUI, Flavio Marazzi/ Enrico De Maria, 15-21-5, 41.0001
Full results:

* Team USA is taking applications for teams interested in competing at the
I-420 World’s Championship to be held in Athens, Greece on July 22-31, 2008.
Teams will be chosen on the strength of their double-handed sailing resume’,
their training regimen and dedication to advancing in the International 420
One Design Class. Entries must be returned to the US I-420 Class Association
office no later than March 28, 2008. Final Team selections will be made the
following week. -- Complete details:

* The JJ Gilitinan International Championship, the unofficial World
Championship of the 18 foot skiff class, will be held in Europe for the
first time ever in 2009. Previously held on Sydney Harbour, the 2009 event
will be held in Carnac, France from the June 27 to July 5, with the best
Australian, New Zealand, and American teams already confirming their
presence. -- Complete announcement:

* North Sails has partnered with Sailing Weather Services to provide free
weather forecasts for Acura Miami Grand Prix from March 6-9, 2008. To sign
up for these complimentary daily forecasts, including an event overview on
Weds., March 5, log on to North Sails' online weather center:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the ratification of a new
world record from New York to San Francisco by the 110ft catamaran Gitana
13. Skipper Lionel Lemonchois FRA, and nine crew sailed the route from
January 16th to February 28th, 2008, setting an elapsed time of 43 days, 3
minutes and 18 seconds. --

* Chicago Yacht Club has announced that it has closed entries to the 2008
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Lands’ End Business
Outfitters. 2008 marks the 100th running of “the Mac,” the world's longest
annual freshwater sailing distance race. The 100th Race will start off
Chicago's lakefront on July 19, 2008 with 460 entries, breaking the old
record of 325 entries set back in 1998, and tracking position transponders
will be on all entered boats to follow the race on the event website. --

* The entry deadline for Balboa Yacht Club's biennial race from Corona Del
Mar to Cabo San Lucas is Wednesday, March 5th. Starting March 28 and 29,
the race currently has 40 entries. Details at

In Issue 2545, we provided a rules question, but in our attempt to
paraphrase the situation that is posted on the ISAF website, we apparently
messed up the applicable rules. So much for a simplified system. Here is the
situation again, with some help from the ‘buttheads:

Two boats are sailing closehauled, both on port, overlapped, and a half of a
boat length apart with the leeward boat’s bow slightly ahead. They are
approaching the finish line, of which a committee boat is on the right side
of the finish with a finish line flag positioned halfway between the bow and

While the windward boat can fetch the finish line flag, she can’t fetch the
bow of the committee boat. The leeward boat cannot fetch the finish line
flag, and her course is directly aimed toward the committee boat, and will
likely need to tack to both cross the finish and clear the stern quarter of
the committee boat. Can the leeward boat hail to the windward boat that she
needs room to tack, and is the windward boat obligated to keep clear?

Because the windward boat cannot fetch the committee boat, Rule 19.1
applies, which permits the leeward boat to hail for room to tack due to the
obstruction, wherein the windward boat must either tack as soon as possible,
or immediately reply “you tack”, in which case the hailing boat shall tack
as soon as possible and the hailed boat shall give room. However, if the
windward boat was able to fetch both the finish line flag AND the committee
boat, then Rule 19.2 applies, and the leeward boat would NOT be entitled to
room to tack under 19.1. However, in this situation, the windward boat must
still keep clear if the leeward boat wants to luff up and shoot the finish
line flag.

* Here is the link to the example on the ISAF website:

Morris Brokerage Director James Allen and Service GM Dayton Arey and their
teams are heading to Portland, Maine for the Maine Boat Builders Show March
14-16. This rustic show is a harbinger of the boating season! Come chat with
them about service projects and the best brokerage boats on the market. Next
up is the Charleston-in-the-Water Boat Show April 17-20 in Charleston, SC.
Morris will be showing off Tom Morris’ very own M42 and a M36. For her
maiden voyage, Tom will sail his M42 from St. Augustine to Charleston! For
more information: or call

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 Moose McClintock: I have to shake my head about Lynn's comments
(letter in ‘Butt 2545) regarding the Star and Etchells racing last Sunday in
Miami. Sailing on an Etchells, I was totally stunned when the Star RC set
their starting line inside the port layline of the ongoing first race of the
day for the Etchells. As we sailed from the left corner to the first weather
mark, we sailed almost a quarter mile above the Star RC boat, then had to
dodge 115 Stars that were tuning, having to dip starboard tackers who told
us to “f@#k off” when we said we were racing, and having to sail in bad air
under multiple Stars that were sailing upwind on port testing against each
other with absolutely no regard to the Etchells race.

The Etchells fleet was already being pushed far south of our regular sailing
area to accommodate the Stars (and we didn’t complain, and we moved even
further for our second race), but to come down on us after we were told over
the radio, by our RC, to sail a compass course (at great pace, he mentioned,
to avoid the Stars), and especially after the Stars completely dismissed
their encroachment on the Etchells course (more than 45 minutes before their
first start), to say that the Etchells fleet did anything but go out of
their way to accommodate the Stars is incorrect.

I might also add, before we started the last race, the RC told us to make
sure we went down and around the Star course after we finished. However,
while we were sailing, the Star RC set up so there was a diagonal 2.5 mile
strip across the bay that we couldn't get around, hence trying to get across
the gap as quickly as possible. It wasn't a good scenario.

* From Mark Jefferies: (In response to Lynn Fitzpatrick's comments regarding
the Etchells sailing through the Star race course) If someone had asked me
that morning to insure that the Etchells would sail through the Star race
course, I would have done everything that the Star race management did.
Consisting of: Starting their day later than the Etchells, centering the 3nm
race course on the rhumbline to the very narrow Dinner Key Channel, starting
the Star's first and only race as the Etchells were finishing their 2nd and
last race of the day, and placing the left side of the course against the
shallows, eliminating the option of sailing to leeward and up the far side
of the course. Doing all this, on the last day of the Etchells series,
knowing that 81 boats will be keen on getting to the hoist, and on the road,
what did they expect?

* From Fietje Judel, Judel/Vrolijk Yacht Design: Having carefully noticed
the comments over the previous days, I think the most important question
came not on the table. Can a single number rating rule give fair
handicapping to the wide variance of yachts and innovations ? No it cannot.
With a single number rating you only can achieve that when splitting the
fleet in groups of similar characteristic. Logically boats will fall down
the hill when only a few are there, especially when these are winning too

To broaden the band of yachts racing fairly together in one group you need a
performance based handicap system with variable handicaps. This will never
be perfect, but it will make things a lot fairer. There is a large number of
sailors crying loud when hearing "variable handicaps". I do pretty well
understand their arguments against variable handicaps. But with a variable
handicap system, the canting keelers would have been handicapped much more
conservative from the beginning (see ORC rules), so that the frustration
among the others would not have happened.

* From Charles Doane: Mega kudos to Beau Vrolyk for pointing out (in Issue
2545) the obvious with respect to canting-keel boats. It amazes me there is
so little discussion of the fact that any sailboat that must rely on stored
energy or an engine to sail efficiently is perhaps something other than a
sailboat. As for having to pin keels on the centerline to sail at Cowes, if
the canting-keel crowd find they are overpowered as a result they can always
reef, can't they??? Not that I'm against canting-keel boats. The technology
is extremely impressive. But a canting-keel boat is an entirely different
animal, as different from a fixed-keel monohull as a multihull is, and those
who sail them can't really complain if they are treated differently as a
result. If they want to let it all hang out, they need to play with others
of their kind.

* From Ken Legler: (Re windward gate marks in ‘butt 2545) Thought I'd help
out young Bill Lynn with a smidgen of gate and Etchells history. Paul
Elvstrom did indeed invent the gate course long before he invented triple
racing. He brought the idea to the US at Yale's 1979 Snow and Satisfaction
Regatta where we really enjoyed using windward and leeward gates. He
explained that instead of the inside boat having the advantage, the faster
boat has the advantage with a gate. The Finns and Stars tried them soon
after (with PRO Dave Brennan at Miami OCR) and while they liked the leeward
gate, they struggled with the windward gate and the concept disappeared.

Match racers and team racers are now used to starboard roundings and with 80
Etchells, Dave Brennan braved to pull it out this weekend. Great move and I
look forward to hearing from more Etchells sailors about Midwinters.

The Etchells is over 40 now. Skip Etchells designed it with Olympics in
mind. I was fortunate to be in the travel party of five Etchells 22s to 1969
Marblehead Race Week with Skip, my skipper Jim Fulton, and others. On a day
too windy and wavy for the great IOD fleet and other classes, M'head salts
took rides on this new thoroughbred beauty and within a couple of years the
Etchells 22 was the queen of Marblehead.

* From John Glynn: I read Bill Lynn's bit (in ‘Butt 2545) about the Etchells
Midwinters innovation (a weather gate) with great interest. I'd like to
remind Bill that the Bitter End Pro Am Regatta has been using weather gates
for some years now (at least 10 that I can remember), both in triple racing,
and in fleet racing. The concept has spread to the IC 24 fleet (another
class where everyone arrives at the same time), which uses weather and
leeward gates at the Drake's Challenge Cup Regatta. It makes all the sense
in the world.

* From Mike Esposito: Martin Adams (letter in #2545 regarding leap year)
need not worry, as the calendar actually overcorrects a bit with leap days.
One orbit of the Sun takes a little less than 365.25 days. By correcting
with a full day every four years, we would add about three too many days
every 400 years, which is why three out of four century years (years ending
in double-0, which normally would be leap years) do not become leap years.
The years 1700, 1800 and 1900 did not have Feb. 29 in their calendars, but
2000 did. I believe there were a couple things at work for the “leap
seconds” we’ve had in recent years. One of them is that atomic clocks are
ever-so-slightly imperfect (there was a recent article in, I believe,
Scientific American magazine that explains that). Another is a slight change
in Earth’s orbital and rotational speed, related to our planet rapidly
plunging into the Sun. Hahaha, just kidding about falling into the Sun, but
there are slight changes that occur as we spin in our orbit.

God made man before woman so as to give him time to think of an answer for
her first question.

Special thanks to Atlantis WeatherGear and Morris Yachts.

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