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SCUTTLEBUTT 2556 – March 19, 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 18, 2008) First came the press release from the camp of the America’s
Cup defender Alinghi, announcing that the New York courts had upheld the
decision for BMW Oracle Racing (representing Golden Gate Yacht Club) to be
the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup, and that they would not
appeal. The announcement went on to say that the two teams would meet on the
start line of a Deed of Gift Match in July 2009, likely bringing the
biggest, fastest creations known to man. Hurray… right? Finally, the clouds
were parting, and the horizon was clear…right? Wrong!

It turns out that Alinghi’s announcement left out some details. New York
attorney Cory E. Friedman, who has been providing his unbiased analysis of
this case for Scuttlebutt from the beginning, offers his commentary here
regarding the current situation:

“First the news. Justice Cahn, in a decision dated March 17, 2008, has
denied Societe Nautique de Geneve’s (SNG) motion to renew and reargue his
November 27, 2007 decision declaring CNEV’s challenge invalid and Golden
Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) the Challenger of Record. Justice Cahn also denied
SNG’s twin motion to declare GGYC’s Challenge invalid. Although we have two
outstanding decisions, it is not clear whether Justice Cahn’s recent
decision technically is an order, or whether he still needs to enter an
order on the original November 27, 2007 decision, starting the time to
appeal. Regardless, SNG has announced it will not appeal. Importantly,
Justice Cahn ruled that, if the parties cannot resolve that dates for the
Deed of Gift Match, they can either come back to him for a ruling, or,
citing the New York Court of Appeals’ Mercury Bay decision, have it
arbitrated by “a neutral associated with the yachting community.”

“Now the real news. After Justice Cahn’s decision was handed down, Ernesto
Bertarelli called me. He confirmed that SNG will not appeal, he wants to
decide the Cup on the water, rather than in court, and that the next match
will be a Deed of Gift Match in multi-hulls. When questioned about the date
for the Dead of Gift Match, he said that SNG would not be ready to race in
October 2008 if that turns out to be the date. He further confirmed that, if
pressed to race in October 2008, SNG will forfeit.

“I called GGYC to ask for their comment and spoke to Tom Ehman. His position
is that GGYC, as challenger, has the right under the Deed to chose the Match
date and, if SNG does not want to accept October 2008, SNG has to take the
initiative to get it changed. He expressed great respect for Team Alinghi’s
abilities, expects them to be ready to race at the highest level whenever
the Match is scheduled, and does not believe they will forfeit.” -- Read on:

* Alinghi statement:
* GGYC statement:

* Team Shosholoza has issued a statement categorically denying reports in
the international media at the weekend that the team has “gone bust.” Team
managing director Captain Salvatore Sarno said that on the contrary a busy
schedule was planned for 2008 and the structure of the team hadn’t changed
since July last year. Said Sarno, “In South Africa, our naval architect Alex
Simonis and his team is working on our new AC 90 campaign yacht. We are
going ahead even though the rules and dimensions might change.”
Additionally, Sarno also states that they continue to maintain staff at
their Valencia base in Port America’s Cup.

The vernal (spring) equinox is officially on Thursday, March 20, 1:48 am
EDT, which means that it is time to burn your socks. The tradition of sock
burning dates back to the mid-1980s when Bob Turner, then manager of the
Annapolis Yacht Yard, got tired of the winter blahs. He’d spent the whole
season working on OPBs (other peoples’ boats), all the while collecting
metal filings, bottom paint grindings, sawdust, fiberglas fibers, and globs
of paint, caulk, resin and filler in his socks. On the first day of spring
one year, he took off his socks, put them in a paint tray, doused them with
lighter fluid, and toasted spring with a longneck beer while they burned.

Traditionally, die-hard boaters wear deck shoes sans socks from the vernal
equinox until winter arrives. The tradition has been commemorated in verse,
which is recited every year:

Ode to the Sock Burners
By Jefferson Holland, Poet Laureate of Eastport, 1995

Them Eastport boys got an odd tradition
When the sun swings to its Equinoxical position,
They build a little fire down along the docks,
They doff their shoes and they burn their winter socks.

Yes, they burn their socks at the Equinox;
You might think that’s peculiar, but I think it’s not,
See, they’re the same socks they put on last fall,
And they never took ‘em off to wash ‘em, not at all.

So they burn their socks at the Equinox
In a little ol’ fire burning nice and hot.
Some think incineration is the only solution,
‘Cause washin’ ‘em contributes to the Chesapeake’s pollution.

Through the spring and the summer and into the fall,
They go around not wearin’ any socks at all,
Just stinky bare feet stuck in old deck shoes,
Whether out on the water or sippin’ on a brew.

So if you sail into the Harbor on the 21st of March,
And you smell a smell like Limburger sauteed with laundry starch,
You’ll know you’re downwind of the Eastport docks
Where they’re burning their socks for the Equinox.

* The Annapolis Maritime Museum will host its seventh annual Sock Burning
ceremony to herald the first day of spring on Wednesday, March 19 at 5:03
p.m. --

UK-Halsey’s website is worth visiting: they just released their 24th
animated rules quiz (port/ starboard situation at windward mark). This great
tool helps you see animated situations develop and makes applicable rules
easy to understand and learn. Start/ stop the action; read the hotlinked
rules. These quizzes really work! Also just posted: 2 safety videos
(necessary care of inflatable PFD’s and SOLAS flares); each takes only
minutes to view and either could add years to your life. All this stuff is
free: just log on and it’s yours. UK-Halsey: Fast sails that last, plus help
that goes beyond winning. 800-253-2002,

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: I wonder how many will know the rules that are
covered in the latest rules quiz on the UK-H website. We didn’t, and it is a
situation that happens all the time in races. Take the test!

Palma, Spain (March 18, 2008) For the third day of racing at the 39 Trofeo
S.A.R. Princesa Sofia MAPFRE, the Olympic caliber field was expecting a
strong south westerly with waves, but the stronger winds today came from the
North. While it granted the Yngling course with 18 knots, and the 49er with
a weakening medium breeze, it failed to reach the Finn course, forcing the
racing committee to abandon the first race of the day. Meanwhile the
Tornados were enjoying a totally different wind from the west! With the last
qualification races scheduled today for the Lasers, 49ers, 470 and RS:X Men,
the weather didn’t make it easy for the racing committees, but all races
were sailed as scheduled.

The North American contingent stumbled slightly today, though there are
still a couple of podium contenders. The American Yngling team of Sally
Barkow, Debbie Capozzi, and Carrie Howe scored an 8-4 in the sixteen boat
fleet to remain in third, but the top four boats are all within two points
of each other. Also, Zach Railey (USA) dropped to fourth overall in the Finn
class after gaining a Black Flag penalty on one of his starts, but is just
six points from second overall in the 46 boat fleet.
Daily report:¬i=98
Complete results:

Auckland, New Zealand (March 18, 2008) It was a mixed day for most on the
water today with some serious shuffling on the leader board as the final day
of qualifying unfolded. Five races have now been completed with two days of
the regatta remaining. Light winds continued to frustrate race management
and made for an eventful day on the water for the Women's Laser Radial fleet
at the 2008 World Championships in Takapuna, North Shore City, New Zealand.
In a rare instance of local non-favoritism, the fifth race was abandoned as
the dying breeze had stalled the sailors towards the back of the fleet, but
with leader Jo Aleh (NZL) on the final leg with a four minute lead. After a
brief delay, the fleet was able to restart just before 6pm, with Aleh
gaining some redemption by finishing second.

Lijia Xu (CHN), now able to drop her disqualification, is in the lead after
a very strong day of 1-3 finishes. Racing continues Wednesday with the fleet
now splitting into gold and silver for finals with a start scheduled for
10am. With just six Olympic berths still available and 23 nations here in
Auckland who have not yet qualified, the battle for national Olympic
qualification is on. Currently Russia, Paraguay, Greece, Spain, Croatia and
Ireland are the top six of the nations not yet Olympic qualified with
Czechoslovakia remaining in touch.

Preliminary results (116 boats)
1. CHN, Xu Lijia, 3-(DSQ)-1-1-3, 8
2. FRA, Sarah Steyaert, 6-1-2-2-(36), 11
3. BEL, Evi Van Acker, 1-2-7-2-(14), 12
4. USA, Paige Railey, 3-2-(DNF)-7-8, 20
5. NZL, Jo Aleh, 7-6-5-(43)-2, 20
16. CAN, Lisa Ross, (37)-14-3-14-20, 51
18. USA, Anna Tunnicliffe, 6-(OCS)-1-33-13, 53
Complete results:

Excerpt from Bob Merrick on SailJuice blog
First the Good News: Last weekend at the US Sailing Spring meeting, the US
Sailing Multihull Council (MHC) introduced the following motion to the US
Sailing House of Delegates to recommend to the Board of Directors that the
US Delegation to ISAF support one or more of the March 2008 Submissions
calling for a re-vote on Olympic Events for the 2012 Games in Great Britain.
The MHC contends that a re-vote on all ten events is fairer than the
Submissions that call for a limited run-off vote of a partial slate.

After considerable discussion, the motion was approved unanimously. What is
the House of Delegates? The US Sailing website describes it, in short, as an
organization intended to serve as an avenue and voice for member sailors.
The House membership consists of delegates from the fifteen councils within
US SAILING and the chairs of the five US SAILING Divisions. The House is
often referred to as the council of councils, with members of the US SAILING
Board of Directors often attending their meetings as observers in order to
hear the debate.

So that’s the good news. The “voice for member sailors” in the United States
unanimously voted in favor of a motion that “the US Delegation to ISAF
support one or more of the March 2008 Submissions calling for a re-vote on
Olympic Events for the 2012 Games.” Now for the bad news: The 15 member US
Sailing Board of Directors firmly rejected the motion put forward by the
House of Delegates. So much for listening to the “voice” of the sailors. --

* These are the countries believed to have made a submission to ISAF on the
issue of Olympic Events 2012: Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Denmark,
Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sweden, France,
Austria, and Russia. --

Team One Newport continues to add a plethora of products to their Virtual
Warehouse Sale and the prices are awesome and falling! These are
discontinued items that are first quality, just a season or two old. Take
advantage by visiting and hit Virtual Warehouse
Sale in the left hand corner. Team One Newport needs to make room for the
great new products coming in from Henri-Lloyd, Musto, Gill, Patagonia, Slam,
Atlantis, Camet, Ronstan, Puma, Sperry, Sebago, Spinlock, Harken and more.
Questions about this mayhem, call 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327)

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: Congrats to Martha Parker and her team for their
66th position in the Catalog Success 200 rankings, beating out heavy hitters
like L.L Bean and Victoria’s Secret (and ahead of all marine retailers too).

* Sydney, Australia (March 18, 2008) The world’s number one woman match
racer, Claire Leroy (FRA) and Australia’s twelfth ranked Nicky Souter will
face off Wednesday in the finals of the Harken Women’s Match Racing Regatta.
Semi finals action this afternoon produced thrilling wins for Souter, who
elected to sail against the Danish number two, Lotte Melgaard Pedersen, in
the major semi final, and Leroy and Katie Spithill (AUS), who fought tooth
and nail in the minor semi final. By virtue of her advancement thus far,
Souter has now secured the final berth at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing
World Championship to be sailed from the RNZYS from April 1-6. --

* The Knickerbocker Cup, an international match racing event on August
20-24, 2008, will this year also be used as a World Match Racing Tour
Qualifying Series for the Bermuda Gold Cup. The Notice of Race and
applications for invitations to the Knickerbocker Cup are now being
available online:

* The ActiveCaptain wiki-style website has led to a database with over
10,000 marinas, over 15,000 local knowledge markers, 4,000 reviews, and
2,000 anchorages. Now available is ActiveCaptain Mobile that combines free
access to thousands of NOAA charts with the database information displayed
on NOAA charts available in a native Palm OS application. -- Additional

* Winterized boats that have used shrink wrap as protection can fully
recycle the low density polyethylene. Remove all straps, metal zippers,
doors, ropes, vents, and other “non-shrink-wrap” material. Keep the wrap
clean and gravel-free, and bundle the pile of wrap like a sleeping bag. --
Floatline, full report:

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 Graham Alexander: Last week one 'butt reader asked what group US
Sailing would disenfranchise next? Well, we've just found out – from no less
an authority than US Sailing President Jim Capron. Now Capron tells us (in
Issue 2555) that our National Governing Body plans to chase away all
occasional weekend and beer can racers from our sport.

By requiring membership in US Sailing by ALL racing sailboat owners and
skippers, I'm sure race organizers can pretty well kiss goodbye all of the
occasional racers that now enter their events. Capron justified this action
by saying, "The majority of national governing bodies of U.S. sports require
membership, such as figure skating, skiing, and tennis." Well, he should go
down to the public tennis courts and try to find even one member of US
Tennis. Or go up to the Mammoth Mountain ski resort and look for members of
the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. Good Luck!

The unintended consequence of trying to force a $60 US Sailing membership on
everyone who wants to race a couple of times a year will be to force them
out of the sport entirely. It's hard to understand how these people think
this is the way to 'grow the sport.'

* From Mason Chrisman: Regarding mandatory membership in US Sailing, this is
long overdue. In spite of the carping and sometime bitter emails putting
down the organization, we are fortunate to have good racing rules, great
race administration, great training, and safety procedures - all of which
are due to the standards set by US Sailing.

* From Dwight Gertz: I am a member of US Sailing but I just can’t buy the
statement in Jim Capron’s interview that other sports require membership of
competitors. I doubt very much that everyone who enters a town tennis
tournament or skis the NASTAR gates belongs to national sports federations.
The base of sailing is the people who do it for fun. Adding another
complication and expense to their lives will just contribute one more cause
to the slow decline of recreational sailing. Why don’t we take the view that
sailors will join when they perceive some actual benefit from membership and
then do our best to offer that benefit? Any marketer will tell you that it
is very hard to force anyone to buy anything.

* From Peter Huston: I'm not sure when Jim Capron started going to US
Sailing meetings, but I was on the USYRU/ US Sailing General Services
Committee for many years. Probably a bit less than 20 years ago this idea of
"required membership" was tossed around by a few people who sought to
acquire control and power, and it was killed pretty quickly by those of us
who thought it was a lame idea.

Capron should also do himself a favor and study our neighbors to the north -
CYA. There are no individual direct dues paying members in Canada. A Past
Commodore of Royal Canadian YC confirmed for me this morning that RCYC pays
about $18,000 per year to CYA. That is roughly $10 per sailing member of
RCYC. Anyone who belongs to RCYC is then by extension a member of CYA.

Beyond being an old, lame idea, what does US Sailing need more members for?
Does it need more money? If so, why? How exactly will more money raised
through mandatory membership help make recreational racing more fun for more

* From Dave Elliott, St. John's, NL: (from ‘butt 2555) While I do not want
to diminish the importance of being well prepared and fully equipped before
heading offshore (and Lord knows far too many people are heading off without
being fully prepared), I have to say in defense of the Skipper and Gilligan
that EPIRB’s did not exist when the “S.S. Minnow” set sail for her fateful
three-hour tour in 1964.

* From Greg Griffin: (regarding Thistle results in ‘Butt 2555) One of the
things that differentiate the Thistle Southern Circuit is the recognition of
the sailors that are not just skippering. It has an Open Division, for which
any sailor that competes in both events - but doesn't skipper both is
eligible. Open division Results: 1. Dave Hansen; 2. Sarah Paisley; 3. Caiti
Dust; 3. Mike Stark; 5. Karl Felger; 5. Dave DeCamp.

“If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your
pocket and then give him only two of them.” - Phil Pastoret

Special thanks to UK Halsey Sailmakers and Team One Newport.

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