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SCUTTLEBUTT 2547 – March 6, 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.

(March 5, 2008) Antoine Albeau (FRA, Starboard) and Patrik Diethelm (ITA,
F2, North) have broken the existing 500 Metre speed sailing records today in
Saintes Maries de la Mer, France. After months of waiting for the big
mistral winds, the speed canal at the shores of the Mediterrean Sea came to
life again. Strong mistral winds with 45-50 knots hit the speed strip in a
perfect angle, and although the conditions were quite gusty, several riders
set personal best speeds.

Already the first runs of the "big three" Antoine Albeau, Patrik Diethelm,
and defending world record holder Finian Maynard (BVI, F2) showed, that this
day would have the potential to become historic. At 9:30 hours, Patrik
Diethelm was the first one making waves, setting a new world production
speed record with his F2 Missile XS at 46.51 knots, subject to WSSRC
ratification. Around noon, 12:29 hours exactly, Frenchman Antoine Albeau hit
a big gust and flew down the 1km man made canal. The scoreboard stopped at
49 knots, after extensive video checking with the observer from the World
Speed Sailing Record Council, the speed was verified at 49.09 knots, 0.4
knots faster than the old record of Finian Maynard.

The riders then pushed for the elusive 50 knots mark, the magical barrier in
speedsailing around the world, but til the end of the day no one was able to
increase the previous performances. -- Markus Schwendtner, Tour Manager,
Speed World Cup,

The minutes of the ISAF Executive Committee meeting of February 15-17, 2008
have been published on the ISAF website, with discussions including debate
on the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition, reports from the ISAF Commissions,
Youth Olympics, Advertising Code, ISAF World Cup, track and trace
technology, etc. Regarding the Olympic Events, the ISAF Executive Committee
noted letters received from three ISAF MNAs regarding the selection of the
events for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Whilst not formal
submissions, the letters suggested that ISAF could reconsider the decision
on the events at the forthcoming 2008 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting through the
submission process.

The ISAF Regulations govern submissions which may be considered at the
Mid-Year Meeting and state that only “urgent” submissions can be put forward
and considered. The ISAF Executive Committee has the sole responsibility to
determine whether a submission is “urgent” or otherwise. The Executive
Committee has decided that submissions for re-addressing the decisions on
events for 2012 in the mid-year are not urgent and should be dealt with in
November 2008.

The Executive Committee recognizes that some ISAF MNAs do not agree with the
Council decision taken in November 2007 on the ten events for the 2012
Olympic Sailing Competition. This position, which has been formally notified
to ISAF by a few ISAF MNAs, should not enable the valid Council decision to
be reviewed at the 2008 Mid-Year Meeting. The decision on the equipment to
be used for each of the ten events will be made at the 2008 November
Conference. At the upcoming 2008 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting, the ISAF Council
will make a list of the equipment it considers may possibly be appropriate
for selection at the 2008 November Conference. -- Complete report and

* There has been a particularly loud outcry within the multihull community
regarding the removal of their event for the 2012 Olympics. Scuttlebutt 2473
announced the events for the 2012 Olympics, as decided at the 2007 ISAF
Annual Meeting last November. The ten events are:
One person dinghy - Men
One person dinghy heavy - Men
Two person dinghy - Men
Two person dinghy high performance - Men
Windsurfer - Men
Keelboat - Men
One person dinghy - Women
Two person dinghy - Women
Keelboat match racing - Women
Windsurfer - Women

by Peter Isler, Sailing World
Although I've done plenty of racing with Dennis Conner over the years, it
had been nearly 25 years since I'd gone offshore in a race with him. It was
during an SORC in the early 80s when I got to do my first race with Mr.
America's Cup. Back then Dennis was still approaching the height of his
America's Cup accomplishments. He'd already won the Cup twice, but his
biggest victory, in Fremantle, was yet to come. I remember being amazed by
his mathematical mind, how he could take a few tidbits from our
navigator—the legendary E. Ben Mitchell—and convert them into tactical
axioms that became the crux of our game plan.

It didn't take long for those memories to be rekindled as we headed out of
San Diego harbor on Dennis's Farr 60 Stars & Stripes enroute to Puerto
Vallarta, Mexico, 1000 miles down the coast. I was doing the navigating and
we had barely cleared the harbor before DC began peppering me with questions
relating to the racetrack and the weather forecast. Whereas most offshore
sailors today use computers and weather GRIB files to help determine
strategy, Dennis still does it all (or mostly all) in his head. He's a
master at calculating the geometrics of VMC (velocity made good on course)
so important in sail selection and steering, and he's done so many Mexico
races that he knows the coastline and the local conditions better than most.
For the next four and a half days, whilst I mined the tactical information
available on the boat's computer, DC kept up his mental navigation
calculations going as a check to the computer numbers. -- Read on:

With springtime knocking on Melges' door, big announcements as well as the
latest news about the Melges 20T will be revealed sooner than you think -
cool, new developments and perhaps some irresistible eye candy too. The
interest level is high and many orders have been confirmed over the last
several months with ongoing opportunities to place deposits. Call Melges
Performance Sailboats direct at +1 (262) 275-1110 and get your Melges 20
today! –

by Paul Cayard
The Farr 40 class has landed in Miami this week for the second regatta of
the spring, the 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix. We just got our new Warpath and
Monday was our first sail. So far, things feel pretty good so I am
optimistic that we will have a little bump in our performance over Key West.

There is a lot more to getting a new boat ready to go than just ordering
one. Dave Armitage, our mainsheet trimmer and sail designer, has done a
really nice job getting all our Quantum sails built in time and they look
very good. The boat has a new Southern Spars rig and Even Evens has
installed the new B&G H3000 instrument package onboard. Brad Fitzgerald and
his team at Fitzgerald Racing have put the perfect bottom on the boat (nice
bottoms are good in sailing too). Chris Cantrick and CT Olander, who work
for owner Fred and Steve Howe, did a great job preparing the boat. The crew
has been working on all the details here the past two days and it will
continue for a while until every detail is perfect. -- Full report:

* Much to the chagrin of the top Star boat sailors (and the Farr 40 teams
that would like to hire them), they will be missing a potential paycheck as
the Star Worlds and the Farr 40 Worlds, which will both be held this spring
in Miami, FL, are scheduled to overlap. The Star Worlds are April 11-18 and
the Farr 40 Worlds are April 16-19.

* The 2008 Acura Miami Grand Prix begins Thursday, March 6th, with entrants
representing 13 countries to compete in the ocean waters off Miami Beach. In
addition to a 20 boat Melges 32 class and two IRC classes, a star-studded
29-boat Farr 40 fleet will use this series to further prepare for the Rolex
World Championship in April. Updates at

* Starting Thursday night, Jobson Sailing will be hosting the Acura Miami
Grand Prix video reports which will run through Sunday night. –

Miami, FL (March 5, 2008) An ominous front enshrouded the Miami skyline
while the 100+ boat Star fleet tuned up in an 8-10 knot southeasterly for
the fourth race of the 81st Annual Bacardi Cup. As the lightning bolts
flashed and the downpour approached the bay, the Race Committee hauled their
anchor and headed east toward brighter skies, but could not outpace the cold
front from the NNW that brought with it a downpour that flattened the seas
along with winds gusting to over 30 knots. Racing was abandoned for the day,
with the prospect of two races held on Thursday to get back on schedule.
Five races must be sailed before competitors are allowed to discard their
worst race. -- Full story:

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:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Mar 6-9 - Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta - Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, NA
Mar 8-9 - Lightning Deep South Regatta - Savannah, GA, USA
Mar 8-9 - TransMonroe - Sanford, FL, USA
Mar 8-10 - Melges 17 Midwinter Championships - Eustis, FL, USA
View all the events at

* In the latest release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on March 5, 2008,
Australia holds on to its three world #1 spots and Great Britain fights back
in the national standings. The next release of the ISAF World Sailing
Rankings will next be on April 9, 2008, including results from the Laser
Radial World Championship and Princess Sofia Trophy. --

*, one of the ten yachts competing in the Clipper
07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, has been dismasted during the race from
Qingdao to Hawaii.At 0600 GMT on the eleventh day of the 4,400-nautical mile
Pacific leg, the team representing Western Australia reported that their
81-foot (24.5 metres) mast had snapped approximately halfway down whilst
sailing in approximately 10-15 knots of wind under spinnaker. The yacht is
currently located approximately 700 nautical miles east of Yokohama, Japan
in the Pacific Ocean. Due to strong winds from the west, the yacht will
continue towards Hawaii under jury rig. --

Meet Paul Mixon and Bill Pinkney. Both men grew up in Chicago and both went
into the Navy, but it wasn’t until their mutual love of sailing and a desire
to make a difference brought these remarkable men together. Paul is the
founder of Black Boater’s Summit - a summer event held in the British Virgin
Islands - and Bill is the first African American to sail around the world
solo. Together, they are on a mission to introduce sailing to more African
Americans. 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

* The Box of Rain Foundation, an Annapolis non-profit maritime based program
for local at-risk children, will be hosting a motivational and exciting
presentation by Captain Bill Pinkney, the first African American to sail
around the world solo – a 22-month voyage covering 27,000 miles. The event
will be on Saturday, March 8, 2008 from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm at the
Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, MD, with a reception immediately
follow the presentation. The event is free and open to the public. --

Melges 24 competitors down south battled in light, shifty conditions at last
weekend’s 2008 Melges Suncoast Championship Regatta in Tampa, Florida.
Ullman Sails customers won and took three of the top five places in the
13-boat fleet. Doug Fisher and crew on ‘Fisher’ won the event by 12 points,
competing with full inventory of Ullman Sails. Steve Kopf and team on ‘Blur’
finished fourth, followed by Jeff DuVal’s ‘Doc Holiday’ in fifth. Ullman
Sails is dedicated to providing the highest quality sails and service to
each customer. Invest in your performance. Contact a local loft and visit

Al Van Metre, who headed up one of the area's largest privately-owned
development companies, died March 2 at the age of 82. His company, Van Metre
Cos., has built more than 15,000 residential units in the region and was the
backer of a pair of Loudoun County's biggest master-planned communities,
Broadlands and Stone Ridge. Van Metre was also an accomplished sailor,
tallying more than 200 victories in various races on his Annapolis-based
yacht, Running Tide. And he had to fend off a deep-pocketed fellow sailor to
keep the name on his boat at one point. "I actually had a battle with Ted
Turner [who sailed in some America's Cup competitions] over it," Van Metre
said, in the 2006 interview. "He wanted the name, and he came to me once and
said, 'You know, for the good of your country, you should let us have it.'
That didn't fly with me."

In 1982, Van Metre and his wife, Joan, founded the Hospice Cup Regatta, an
annual race to raise money for local non-profit hospices. Since then, the
event has raised $8 million. His family and Van Metre Cos. have given more
than $500,000 annually to various charities in the Washington area. Van
Metre is survived by his wife, Joan, three children, five stepchildren, 17
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. -- Washington Business Journal,
full story:

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 Fietje Judel, Judel/Vrolijk Yacht Design: (regarding the news release
in SBUTT 2547 from the STP65 organization) The new STP 65 Container is under
construction at Knierim Boatyard in Kiel, Germany (and not in Dubai as
noted). The hull and most of the interior structure is finished, and the
lamination of the deck has just started. Container shall be delivered to the
owner by the end of June with the first race scheduled to be Copa Del Rey.

* From Jonathan B. Luscomb, Dockmaster, Palm Beach Town Docks: I sail on
Biscayne Bay and I am not surprised at Moose's comments (in ‘Butt 2546)
regarding the Stars, nor am I surprised at the feedback he received on the
course from the Star. My experience is that they expect to be "watched out
for" because they are Stars. It is quite irritating. On the other hand, my
experience with the Etchell's fleet has always been gentlemanly, helpful,
and accommodating: something the rock "Stars" could learn from.

* From Lenore Goldman: (regarding the conflict between Star and Etchells
events last Sunday in Miami) The Stars have nothing to complain about, as
they are not perfect. They cut across the Laser/ Radial course for the first
two days of the Miami OCR...even the ones being towed by coach boats. It
took two days of the Laser course PRO asking to get it to stop. I'm not
saying the Etchells are right...but it happens.

* From Franklin Tulloch, Director, 18SKIFF, a Documentary: (18s to hold JJs
in Europe in 2009) I could not be more pleased that the 18 foot Skiff Class
has chosen to hold the JJs in Europe for the first time in the history of
the class. Since 1934, the 18 foot skiff class has held their World
Championship, that's longer than most classes have even existed, yet for
some reason, the ISAF does not recognize the JJs as a World Championship. I
support the ISAF in the sailing world as the governing body, but it is time
to open your eyes, and recognize the JJs as the World Championship for 18s.
It’s on the original Trophy!

It is clear to all who have seen the 18s race, that the competition and
skills shown in the class are top notch, and it is also clear that this is
the World Championship for 18 foot skiffs. With 12 countries represented at
the European championship last year, I would say that the world is
represented, especially in a class with probably the least amount of (one
design) boats in the world.

I remember the Olympic committee having such a problem with letting the
Snowboarders compete, treating them as the rebels, outsiders. It is now the
most popular event in the Olympics. The world of sailing has changed, and
the quicker the ISAF realizes the future of the sport actually began
competing in 1934, and changes their stance, they will miss out on
supporting the most exciting sailing to watch in the World.

* From Chris Ericksen: With all due respect to young Bill Lynn, the windward
gate like that used at the Etchells Midwinter West (see 'Butt 2545) will
probably not go down in history with Dacron, the trapeze and the winged keel
as something that "changed sailboat racing as we know it." Besides, as PRO
Dave Brennan probably knows, it was not even that revolutionary an idea:
back in the Nineties some Olympic classes experimented with windward gates
and were not happy with the results.

What ensued in at least one case was pretty bad: a 470 bore away around a
windward-gate mark and knocked the crew of boat on the adjacent layline
right off the wire. In 1993, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach,
California, was asked to use not only a leeward gate but both a windward
gate and a mid-course gate for that year's Tornado Worlds; the specter of
negotiating a windward gate with boats flying in from two directions at Mach
Nine--to say nothing of boats coming through the mid-course gate from four
directions at Mach Nine--scared the class out of its collective wits and the
idea was dropped thereafter.

Mister Lynn finishes his blog entry, "Ten years from now, we may not be able
to remember what it was like to sail in races with only one windward mark."
I sincerely hope that does not come to pass, and I am confident that it will
not. Great idea on paper--really scary on the water.

* From Charlie Ogletree: In response to Bill Lynn's article "Innovation at
Etchells Midwinter" in Scuttlebutt #2545; The Tornado Class used a windward
gate, middle gate and a leeward gate at the 1993 World Championships in Long
Beach, CA. I can attest that crossing situations in gates, in catamarans at
high speeds was very hairy. It is great to see mono-hulls using catamaran
innovations again; square top mains and now windward gates.

* From rocketdad (in the Forum thread “Skandia Cowes Week '08 – canting
keelers”): This is unbelievable. Same old story. For years sailors have been
reluctant to embrace new technology, claiming "unfair advantage". Check out
the actual results of many races over recent years, and sure there are a few
canters in there, BUT there also are just as many non-canters. Sometimes
they win, sometimes they don't. Let's not kick out new ways of doing things
in this sport. Advancement is good for the sport. I laughed at the comment
(in SBUTT 2546) that "their actual performance versus predicted performance
can make good racing difficult to achieve" - I mean, who defines "good
racing" Do you mean like at the Olympics, where people complain if they
don't get more than 3 races for a final - claiming "unfair conditions"? -
they should reduce it to ONE race, - who ever wins on the day is the best.
It happens in just about every other sport. --

* From Hank Evans: (re the rules question in Issue 2546) So the leeward boat
luffs head to wind to shoot the line and the windward boat stays clear. The
leeward boat has no rights to room and can't tack because windward boat is
there. You already said she couldn't clear the Comm. boat and the line was
amidships. Sounds like her only option after shooting the line is to crash
into the Comm. boat. Does the rule really allow a boat rights to get into
box canyon from which a collision is the only exit?

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Far be it for us to add to this, as we were the
ones to mess it up in Issue 2545, but the diagram on the ISAF website does
indicate that the leeward boat could jibe out of the situation (though that
could be messy with boats coming in on the starboard layline to the finish).
Maybe one of the rules experts could explain why Rule 19.2 applies in this
situation, as it does not seem well suited. Does it really matter - in this
situation - that the windward can fetch or not fetch the committee boat, as
to whether they should be providing room to the leeward boat?

A flashlight is a container for holding dead batteries.

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