Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2555 – March 18, 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.

A PROPOSAL TO SHARE THE BURDEN
US SAILING wrapped up its Spring Meeting in Newport, R.I., last weekend, and
one of the more prominent issues discussed was a possible new requirement
for racing sailors to be US SAILING members. President Jim Capron comments:

* Why do you feel it's important for US SAILING to get more sailors to join
the organization?
CAPRON: Active competitive sailors expect a level playing field through
standardized rules, offshore rating certification, trained and certified
race officers, judges, and sailing instructors, and much more. All these
services are provided by the national governing body, US SAILING. There is
also a consensus among the Board of Directors that, in fairness to everyone,
those who participate in the competitive aspect of our sport and benefit
from these services, should be members of US SAILING.

* How would US SAILING get more competitive sailors to join?
CAPRON: For several years, the leadership at US SAILING (the Board of
Directors and numerous committees) has discussed the necessity and fairness
of getting sailors to be members of the organization. The most likely method
of obtaining membership would be through a new US SAILING Prescription for
the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing that would require US SAILING
membership of racing sailboat owners and skippers. This possible requirement
is currently being reviewed.

* Why is US SAILING doing this now?
CAPRON: Frankly, we are one of the few national authorities for sailing in
the world for which membership of all competitive sailors is not required.
We are also one of the few U.S. sports' national governing bodies for which
membership is not required, either directly or through clubs or regional
associations. The majority of national governing bodies of U.S. sports
require membership, such as figure skating, skiing, and tennis.
Complete interview: http://www.ussailing.org/News/2008/capron_interview.asp

QUALITY CONDITIONS CONTINUE IN PALMA
Palma, Spain (March 17, 2008) For nearly 600 boats and 900 competitors, many
of which are using this event as part of their Olympic training schedule,
medium breeze and sunshine provided for another day of superb racing in the
bay of Palma at the 39 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE. Despite a
pessimistic weather forecast before the start of the regatta, the
competition has been granted with medium sea breeze varying from 8 to 12
knots, sometimes shifty but fair conditions. A picturesque sunset ended the
second day of racing in Palma predicting (a common knowledge here) stronger
wind for Tuesday!

With all the Olympic classes except the Star competing, those classes with
more than 50 entries are sailing qualifying rounds through Tuesday, with the
final rounds on Wednesday and Thursday. All classes will have a medal race
on Friday, where only the top ten will compete, and the scoring points are
doubled. The top North American entrants so far are Zach Railey (USA), who
is second in the Finn, and the American Yngling team of Sally Barkow, Debbie
Capozzi, and Carrie Howe, who rolled a 2-2 today to move up to third
overall.

Daily report:
http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/cronicas.php?idiomaz=3¬i=95
Complete results:
http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/result.php?miclase=470%20Men

REFUSE TO PART WITH YOUR PARTS?
If the Harken Tech Team saved your aft at that legendary regatta, if your
smelly 1st-edition shoes were banned from the house, or if you've still got
your very first Harken block, we want to hear from you! Send us your story
at: http://harken.com/Survey/MyStory.aspx

CHARITY SAILBOAT RACE ENDS IN TRAGEDY
San Francisco, CA -- A sailing race from the San Francisco Bay into the open
sea turned deadly this past weekend when two Marin County sailors and their
boat vanished in heavy swells. One of the men's bodies washed up Sunday
morning, while the other remains missing. The race from the Golden Gate
Yacht Club in San Francisco to a buoy about 12 miles west of the Golden Gate
Bridge, began Saturday on a clear winter morning marked by 12- to 16-foot
swells and high winds, authorities said. But when the three dozen competing
boats finally struggled back to port at the end of the day, the 32-foot
Daisy was missing.

The first clues to what might have happened emerged at 10:30 a.m. Sunday
when officials retrieved debris from the boat about 5 miles west of the
Golden Gate Bridge. And then, an hour later, the body of one of the missing
sailors, Anthony John Harrow, 72, of Larkspur, was pulled out of the water
at Moss Beach in San Mateo County, officials said. The other sailor, and
owner of the boat, 68-year-old Matthew Kirby Gale, has not been found. The
Coast Guard suspended the search for Gale on Sunday night. -- SF Chronicle,
read on:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/16/MNHDVL22R.DTL

TAKING THE SKUD 18 FOR A SAIL
Designed by Julian Bethwaite and selected in 2005 as the new two-person boat
for the 2008 Paralympic Games this summer, the SKUD18 is still flying below
the radar… but not for long. Its introduction in North America has been
focused on disabled sailing, an area of the sport that lives in the long
shadow of able-bodied competition. Disabled sailor Nick Scandone, who won
the 2005 US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award, and who will represent the US
at the games in China, is showcasing the boat on the west coast, and
Scuttlebutt took it for a ride last week.

The SKUD 18 is a lead-assisted skiff. With a tube-launched asymmetrical
spinnaker and a modified high performance 29er stayed rig, the boat is by no
means limited to disabled sailors. Really easy to sail, it is possibly the
perfect platform for learning how to sail. It’s fast and fun, but with the
fixed seats, it eliminates the awkwardness that new sailors experience when
moving around in a boat. For the daysailor, add surround sound and drink
holders, and the SKUD 18 is a dandy way to tool around the harbor. Or, for
the keelboat sailor who wants to experience dinghy sailing without all the
athleticism needed, this would fit the bill too.

The skipper’s role is steering only, with a motorized seat that can tilt to
match the boat’s heal angle. As for the crew, they are busy with all the
controls in front of them, which include the main, jib, and spinnaker
sheets. They too enjoy the motorized seat, and probably also shield the
skipper from some of the splashes that likely occur when the breeze is on.
It is easy to be excited for disabled sailing with the SKUD 18 being an
option, and it will be interesting to see if the boat’s role grows beyond
the disabled sector and into the mainstream of the sport. -- See photos:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/08/skud/

“I WOULD DO WHAT I DID AGAIN”
Lawrence Lemieux had a choice. And, at the same time, he had none at all.
Angry waves wrestling with winds that gust to 35 knots, Lemieux looked to
his right and saw two sailors in trouble -- one hanging onto their capsized
boat, the other being swept further and further away. "The first rule of
sailing is, you see someone in trouble, you help him," said Lemieux, who was
born in Edmonton, Canada and now lives in Seba Beach.

Except that this was different. This wasn't just another sailing trip in
rough waters; Lemieux was competing in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, just out of
the lead, a medal most likely in sight. So now what? Lemieux's reasoning
never got that far. He simply did what he had to do. Competing alone in the
Finn class, he veered off course, abandoning any thoughts of an Olympic
medal, and went to the rescue of the two Singapore sailors, who were
competing in a separate two-person race.

Lemieux said he first called out to the sailors asking if they needed help.
But the wind and the crashing of the waves off Pusan, 32 kilometres from
South Korea's capital, kept bringing his words right back to him. "My
thought process was: do they really need help because a lot of times you are
able to save yourself. But I couldn't understand if they were saying yes or
no. I just had to go. If I went to them and they didn't really need help,
c'est la vie. If I didn't go, it would be something you would regret for the
rest of your life.”

Lemieux first went to the aid of the sailor, Joseph Chan, who was being
carried further away from his boat. But that wasn't easy to do. For one
thing, the current was going in the opposite direction of the wind, which
was causing the four-meter waves to break. For another thing, Lemieux had to
go downwind to go to the man's assistance, which meant his own boat started
taking in a lot of water. Lemieux pulled Chan onto his boat and then went
back to where the other man, Shaw Her Siew, was clinging to the boat's
centerboard.

"I could have won gold. But, in the same circumstances, I would do what I
did again," said Lemieux, who, while never making it back to the Olympics,
collected silver medals at the 1990 world championship and Kiel Week, became
the first Canadian to win the European championship in the Finn class, and
won all seven races in 1991 to win gold at the Pan-American Games. --
Excerpt from http://tinyurl.com/yre93p

THERMOMOLDED + TAFFETA CORE = NORTH 'TC' SAILS
North Sails is proud to introduce TC, a breakthrough sail construction that
makes 3DL and 3Dr sails more durable and versatile than ever. With an
additional internal core of tough, lightweight woven taffeta, TC sails stand
up to furling, flaking, folding and flogging. North’s new TC is the only
sail available that combines the durability of taffeta with the unmatched
strength and shapeholding of 3DL and 3Dr. Get tough...contact your nearest
North Sails representative today. http://na.northsails.com

RAD MAN GETS RESPECT
by Kimball Livingston, SAIL WEST
Multihulls are on-topic so it's doubledog right in 2008 to see Dick Newick
as the first multihull designer since Nathanael Herreshoff inducted into the
North American Boat Designers Hall of Fame. In one adventure, Cap't Nat
designed and built a cat named Amaryllis, sailed it 200 miles from Bristol
to New York at an average of 14 knots, and then gave the 1876 Centennial
Regatta fleet such a walloping that he was told to come back with a monohull
next time or don't come back at all.

Ninety-three years later another phenomenon arrived, and on that I quote
myself: "It's a story worth telling around the campfires of each new
generation, how an outside-the-box 40-foot proa sailed by Tom Follett
electrified the sailing world with an unexpected third-place finish in the
1968 Singlehanded Transatlantic Race, launching the multihull era in the
Atlantic and launching the design career of one Dick Newick." -- Read on:
http://sailmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/03/rad-man-makes-good.html

AMERICAN GLORY AND HARDSHIP AT LASER RADIAL WORLDS
Auckland, New Zealand (March 17, 2008) Sarah Steyaert of France has taken
the overall lead at the 2008 Women's Laser Radial World Championship being
sailed off Takapuna Beach, North Shore City, Auckland. A postponement due to
lack of wind delayed the scheduled start for the 116 boat, however, a light
north easterly sea breeze gradually filled in and the fleet left the beach
at around 1o'clock for a 2 o'clock start to racing. After the first race was
completed, an attempt at a second race failed after the breeze faded eight
minutes after the start and the committee called it off.

The day belonged however to Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Lijia Xu (CHN) who
both brought home a race win with a solid leading margin in their respective
qualifying fleets in today's race. Despite this neither Tunnicliffe of Xu
are featuring in the top ten as the American is carrying an OCS and lies
36th overall while Xu has a DSQ on her scorecard and lies 30th at this stage
in the regatta. Both will likely rocket up the leader board once the first
discard comes into play.

As for USA sailor Paige Railey, she was penalised for a RRS42 infringement
at the start, believed to be for pumping (with her body movement). Railey
was the most leeward competitor at the pin end and may have incurred her
penalty as she squeezed around the leeward starting vessel. Railey was
forced to sail off the course and retire from the race, as this is her
second penalty for an infringement of RRS42 in the Worlds. If she infringes
again in this regatta, she will be excluded from the World Championship, as
happened to her once previously in the 2006 World Championship.

Preliminary results
1. FRA, Sarah Steyaert, 6-1-2, 9
2. BEL, Evi Van Acker, 1-2-7, 10
3. AUS, Sarah Blanck, 1-4-8, 13
4. NZL, Jo Aleh, 7-6-5, 18
5. SUI, Nathalie Brugger, 7-5-14, 26
24. CAN, Lisa Ross, 37-14-3, 54
32. USA, Paige Railey, 3-2-DNF, 64
36. USA, Anna Tunnicliffe, 6-OCS-1, 66
Complete results:
http://www.takapunaworlds.org/index.cfm?Nid=42688&RequestTimeOut=180

TAKING ANOTHER PROTEST TO COURT
by Jos Spijkerman, ISAF International Umpire
Reading a posting in the VillageSoup of Knox County, about a pending court
case between the owners of a classic New York 30 yacht Amorita and a 94 foot
Ketch Sumurun, something struck me as very odd. Why was this in court? Didn’
t a Protest Committee sort this out? At the base of this case is an incident
that happened during the Museum of Yachting's Robert Tiedemann Classic
Regatta in Newport, R.I., on July 7, 2007. Sumurun ran into another New York
30 Alera and then into Amorita which, within minutes after being hit, sank
to the bottom of Narragansett Bay! Now in court, the owner of Amorita is
asking for compensation for damages and costs in the amount of one million
dollar. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/2zoma3

LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED MARINE ELECTRICIANS
Keefe Kaplan Maritime Inc. (KKMI) is looking for experienced marine
electricians. Recently voted Boatyard of the Year, KKMI provides a
comprehensive benefits package and an exceptional working environment. Our
Team leads the industry in training, craftsmanship, safety, and follows the
highest environmental standards. Interested parties please contact (510)
235-KKMI, http://www.KKMI.com

SAILING SHORTS
* Hosted by Lake Eustis Sailing Club, National Champion Jamie Kimball from
Fontana, Wisconsin won the 36th Annual National Midwinter MC Scow Regatta
amid 60 boats on Lake Eustis. The top master was George Scarborough, top
grand master was Lenny Krawcheck, the top mega master was Jack Kern, and the
top woman was Kelli Farrar. – Complete story:
http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=5918

* The family of the late Jim Forquer has announced that a memorial ceremony
to commemorate his life will be held at 3 p.m. next Tuesday, March 25, at
the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar. The well-known sailor died as the
result of a tragic accident late last Sunday at Barra de Navidad, Mexico. --
Latitude 38, http://tinyurl.com/2fwga4

* (March 17, 2008) On day 51 of the Antarctica Cup solo record challenge,
Fedor Konyukhov, the Russian solo circumnavigator reported problems early
today with a bolt connecting the starboard rudder on his Open 85ft yacht
Trading Network Alye Parusa. The 56 year old sailing adventurer, who is
trailblazing an extreme sailing course around Antarctica, first suffered
problems while rounding Cape Horn last Monday when the bolt connecting the
rudder to the above-deck steering assembly suddenly failed. Fedor quickly
replaced this with a spare bolt but this too failed early today after only a
few days. -- http://www.antarcticacup.com

* The Orange Peel Regatta is the last stop on the Thistle Southern Circuit.
Annually hosted by The Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville, FL, this year’s
event had big breeze on Saturday and medium/volatile winds on Sunday. After
five races, Paul Abdullah from Jacksonville added another big win in 2008 to
his list (he won the Thistle Midwinters West in February). Skip Dieball from
Toledo, Ohio was second and Mike Ingham from Rochester, NY was third. The
Thistle Southern Circuit, which had 10 races combined from Thistle
Midwinters East and the Orange Peel, was won by Mike Ingham. -- Orange Peel
results: http://tinyurl.com/ywrwor


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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: editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com
-- Scuttlebutt Forum: http://sailingscuttlebutt.com/forum

* From Don Becker: Regarding Geoffrey Mason's comment that George Johns'
camera brought the ONLY pictures of the sinking of One Australia. I worked
as a media advisor in San Diego that year and the other reason these are the
only pictures is that the Louis Vuitton Cup management prohibited
photographers from the race course. We were only allowed to be near the
boats at the start, finish and mark roundings. They actually threatened us
with patrol boats and chased photographers off the course at one point. One
of the photographers I worked with took two photos into the Louis Vuitton
management, they were the same shot. One had the Louis Vuitton emblazoned
mark and the other had it cropped out. He asked which they would like him to
send to his editor. The L/V management loosened up a bit after that.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Unfortunately for everyone who enjoyed watching the
video of One Australia sinking during the 1995 America’s Cup challenger
trials, the video is no longer available on YouTube. Scuttlebutt’s promotion
of the video last week got the attention of the rights holder, and they
apparently had not given permission for it to be online. While Scuttlebutt
was not involved with it being online, we were being held responsible, but
after a few email exchanges, they finally contacted YouTube to have it
blocked. Here is a link to read the first salvo:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/blog/2008/03/boat-sinks-letter-stinks.html

CURMUDGEON’S OBSERVATION
Alabama state motto: “At least we're not Mississippi.”

Special thanks to Harken, North Sails, and Keefe Kaplan Maritime Inc.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/suppliers