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SCUTTLEBUTT 2558 – March 21, 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.

by Jim Capron, President, US SAILING
There has been a lot of discussion in recent days about a possible new
requirement for active racing sailors to join US SAILING. The requirement
would be a new US SAILING Prescription to the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of
Sailing. In essence, the rule would require skippers and anyone steering the
boat to be members of US SAILING, but only in races above a certain level.
It is NOT our intention to require beginning sailors to be members, nor is
it our intention to have this rule apply to racing at local clubs or sailing
centers open primarily to their sailors.

As the national governing body for the sport, US SAILING creates, organizes
and administers the many programs that provide a level playing field to
racing sailors throughout the country. We train and certify judges and race
officers, administer the racing rules, decide appeals and resolve disputes.
For offshore racers, US SAILING provides rating certificates and administers
the rating systems that open up racing to various types and sizes of boats.
We rely on our members to help us maintain and administer these programs.

Most of the competitive sailors I ask agree that racing sailors ‘should’ be
members of US SAILING to support the sport, but balk at any notion that
racing sailors ‘must’ join US SAILING. Many of those who admit they ‘should’
support US SAILING do not join. The reality is that we spend a lot of time
and energy into trying to convince nonmembers to join, or convince existing
members to rejoin the following year.

Mandatory membership in the national authority is common practice for other
sports in the United States, and it is certainly the norm with other sailing
governing bodies abroad. For other countries, universal membership or
support is mandated either directly by the NGB or its government sports
agency, or through club or association dues. Either way, a significant
majority of racing sailors worldwide contribute to their national authority.
US SAILING is one of the few sports which make membership in the NGB
voluntary and as a result, a minority ends up supporting the majority. --
Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: When the 2001-2004 ISAF rulebook was released, there
was a new requirement that every competitor had to either be a member of a
national authority (such as US Sailing) or a member of a club or other
organization affiliated with his or her national authority. This was what
led to the creation of Scuttlebutt Sailing Club, which was (and still is) a
legitimate, free solution to the requirement. Soon thereafter, US SAILING
together with Yachting Australia were able to amend the requirement to the
current standard. Interestingly, Yachting Australia has recently revised
their stance, and now requires membership in their yachting federation.

Auckland, New Zealand (March 20, 2008) Sarah Steyaert of France has won the
2008 Women's Laser Radial World Championship today after a sensational
finish to the regatta when previous leader Lijia Xu of China was
disqualified (by the on water judges for body movement) from the final race,
ultimately costing her the world title. Steyaert was lying third at the
start of the sixth and final day, and went out and won race nine of the
championship and then placed 5th in the final race to secure the title. The
final day spelt disappointment for Belgium's Evi Van Acker who had a shot at
the title at the outset of racing today, lying second overall. In her worst
day yet Van Acker recorded a 47th and 20th slipping out of the medals and
back to 9th overall. -- Final report:

Final results (116 boats)
1. FRA, Sarah Steyaert, 6-1-2-2-(36)-(24)-20-3-1-5, 40
2. CHN, Xu Lijia, 3-(DSQ)-1-1-3-30-6-4-(DNF), 49
3. GBR, Andrea Brewster, 9-12-(28)-(17)-10-4-15-9-6-4, 69
4. LTU, Gintare Volungeviciute, 5-(DNF)-23-(28)-4-3-9-20-2-15, 81
5. AUS, Sarah Blanck, 1-4-8-(42)-11-8-28-18-(40)-3, 81
10. USA, Anna Tunnicliffe, 6-(OCS)-1-33-13-(34)-1-18-7, 84
13. USA, Paige Railey, 3-2-(DNF)-7-8-34-4-(45)-DNE-1, 118
31. CAN, Lisa Ross, (37)-14-3-14-20-(55)-22-38-19-33, 163
* Scoring note: When 10 or more races are completed, 2 races scores will be
excluded. However no more than one score will be excluded from the finals
series races and only when two or more finals series races have been
completed. DNE is a disqualification [other than violation of 69.1(b)(2)]
not excludable under rule 89.3(b). Complete results:

Palma, Spain (March 20, 2008) The fifth day of racing in the 39th Trofeo
Princesa Sofia MAPFRE didn’t live up to its expectations. The winds for the
Olympic fleets were too strong in the morning, shifty at lunch time and
dying in the afternoon, allowing for only 10 races to be completed across
all the classes. The 470 men and women had their hope cut short after their
race was cancelled after the start. Same fate for the second race in the
Finn and Laser radial. The Laser standard fleets didn’t even hit the water.
Two races were successfully sailed in the Yngling, Tornado, 49er and RS:X

Canadian Finn sailor Christopher Cook has been coming on strong, and by
rolling a 8-1-1 in his final three races, has moved up to tenth overall,
thus qualifying for the final medal race on Friday. Other entrants among the
North American contingent that have qualified are in the Finn (3rd, Zach
Railey, USA), Yngling (5th, Barkow/Capozzi/Howe, USA), and Laser (9th,
Andrew Campbell, USA). Only the top ten in each class are in the medal race,
where finish scores are doubled to determine the final results. A light
south-westerly reaching 10 knots is expected.
Daily report:¬i=98
Complete results:

* US 49er representative Tim Wadlow, on their twelfth place finish: “We
waited onshore most of the day because the winds were too strong. We finally
got two races in the afternoon, but needed the extra race that was
scheduled, but not completed because of the long delays earlier in the day.
So we earned ourselves an extra day of rest and preparation leading up to
the European Champs. This week we had been using older equipment, and
focusing more on developing and testing some new boathandling and tuning
ideas, rather than racing for the best possible final result. Next week at
the Europeans we will break out our good equipment, and go a bit more 'all
out'.” --

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Coaching on the Olympic level has become as common as telltales on a sail.
For the US star team attending the summer Olympic in Qingdao, John Dane and
Austin Sperry are no strangers in this department. Among those coaching the
Americans is Aussie Rodney Hagebols, who shares some insight into the

* What are some of the challenges you foresee for the Beijing Olympics?
HAGEBOLS: Our biggest challenge at the moment is that there are many things
we are currently testing in a limited amount of time. The best news is that
we have a great benchmark with our testing program, the 8230 boat we won the
trials. It is a very fast boat in different wind ranges, and we know this
boat and rig package very well. Any gains from where we are at will be very
small. Other challenges for the Olympics will be the limited amount of
accreditations the team will receive for coaches. So the Trinity team needs
to be as self-sufficient as possible going into the Games. Then there are
always the food and water issues to make sure the athletes don’t get sick.
Being sick in a hot environment can lead to other problems such as
dehydration etc.

* What do you enjoy most about working with the team?
HAGEBOLS: The best thing about this team is that the team is not just Austin
and JD. We have three excellent coaches: Hans Wallen, Steve Erickson and
myself. We really are a “team” and we are all committed to getting the best
result we can in China. We are all currently living in a house in Miami that
provides a great forum for bouncing ideas off each other. It is very

* What is unique about working with a father and son in-law team? -- Read

Clarity? Not quite. For all those who might still actually care about the
America's Cup after the shortsighted shenanigans of the last nine months, we
still do not know when and where sailing's main event will next take place.
But at least we do seem clear on the answers to who, why and in what.

In the wake of Justice Herman Cahn's latest ruling in the New York State
Supreme Court, Alinghi and its owner and crew member, Ernesto Bertarelli,
are obliged to accept that their challenger will be BMW Oracle Racing and
Lawrence Ellison, its owner and crew member. The yacht of choice will be a
multihull, presumably a catamaran.

Such a duel, however painful in the birthing, has its charms. Bertarelli and
Ellison, once allies with the Cup's modernization in mind, are now
old-fashioned antagonists after all the sniping and lawyering. What makes
the duel even edgier is that Ellison's new skipper and mastermind is none
other than Russell Coutts, the New Zealander who once played the same roles
for Bertarelli and is still rightly considered the best Cup sailor of his
generation. -- International Herald Tribune, read on:

What is America’s Cup defender CEO Ernesto Bertarelli's least favorite
movie? (Answer below)

* The International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) has announced
that the Equipment Evaluation for the One-Person Keelboat and Three-Person
Keelboat events will take place in Hyeres, France from April 26-28,
following on from the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française. The
equipment being tested for the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition
will be the N1, FI460, 2.4mR, and High Performance of the Access Liberty for
the one-person keelboat, and the Sonar, SB3 Club, and a development of the
SKUD18 for the three-person keelboat. The equipment for the two-person
keelboat remains the SKUD 18 through to the 2012 Paralympic Sailing
Competition. -- Full announcement:

* Newly revealed America’s Cup Team French Spirit has announced that along
with President and team manager Marc Pajot, that Philippe Presti and
Bertrand Pacé will also be members of the team. Presti is an active skipper
on the World Match Race Tour, and competed in the last Cup with the Luna
Rossa Challenge. Bertand has been involved in the last six Cups, most
recently with the BMW Oracle Racing team. The Team French Spirit Challenge
is made under the burgee of the Yacht Club de Saint Tropez. -- Complete

* The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) has announced that
high-performance line manufacturer Marlow Ropes has been named an Official
Sponsor. In addition to becoming an Official Supplier for all of the 2008
ICSA National Championships, the company will sponsor the Marlow USA Award
which will annually provide free line and rigging support to an ICSA sailor
who is actively campaigning an Olympic class boat. -- Complete announcement:

* Correction: The dates for the Brasil Sailing Cup/ World Match Race Tour
listed in Issue 2557 were incorrect. The actual dates are April 22-26,
2008. --

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the winner of the Women’s Laser Radial Worlds, some of the new faces
with the BMW Oracle Racing team, a Reichel/ Pugh 69-footer under
construction, participants from the Harken Women’s International Match
Racing Championship, media moguls Peter Montgomery and Rob Mundle on an
America’s Cup recon mission, and a sexy, new 12 meter one design. If you
have images you would like to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor.
Here are this week’s photos:

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For better or worse, the sport of sailing has an attached mystique that
stems partly from the exclusive clubs that support its participants. We
suspect that if everyone trailered their boats to city launch ramps, docked
in public marinas, and told sailing stories on park blankets rather than
mahogany bar stools, participation would be sky high. Scuttlebutt Sailing
Club was a start, but folks still like to socialize, so maybe we need to
take a look at how another segment of society handles the club scene:
rednecks. Sang by Craig Morgan, here’s the video for the song “Redneck Yacht
Club” from the album “My Kind Of Livin'”. 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 video:

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 Ian Guanaria: In response to the following from Graham Alexander, we
in Australia have for several years been required to be a member of our
yachting federation and I have never heard of anyone being driven away from
sailing. In fact it is a requirement of most clubs that crew also have to be
a member if they sail more than 3 races per year. It is a small price to
pay, as long as the money is funneled back into our sport. Those of us who
sail class boats also have to be a member of the class Association, be it a
yacht or dinghy.

* From D. B. Tanner: I'm a weekend recreational racer and am already a
member of US Sailing and my class association, and think requiring
membership by the owner/skipper to race is totally legit. No matter where
you race, if it's sanctioned by any organization be it your local yacht
club, local, regional or national class association, you should be required
to have race insurance on it (which conveniently, is offered to members at a
reasonable cost through US Sailing). Wednesday night beer can races aren't
generally sanctioned by anybody but the competitors themselves.

We're talking about racing here, not a casual tennis game. If you want to
race NASTAR (skiing) you sign a release. If you race SCCA (cars) you have to
sign a release and be a member. Sailing is the ONLY sport where lowly lake
sailors like me can enter an event (for example the NOOD's) and as a member
of US Sailing, mix it up (or at least try) with the absolute best pro's in
the world. Try to find those kinds of competitive opportunities in skiing,
figure skating or tennis. They don't exist. If you want to support the
sport, pony up the 60 bucks, save some money on your boat's insurance and
raise your sails; let’s go racing.

* From Richard Hazelton, Editor 48 ° North Sailing Magazine: I couldn't
agree more with those who have expressed their "dislike" of mandatory
membership in US Sailing. It would be different if we saw any benefits at
the local level where most everyone is racing. The rule book is necessary,
but everything else really goes to a small number of top sailors. Of course
they need the support, but so do those club racers that are really paying
the bills. Yacht clubs are working hard to keep up membership and
participation in their events, and to put one more requirement on their
members makes it that much harder. Prediction: the clubs will still have the
racing, they just won't be connected to US Sailing.

* From Ken Legler: Congratulations to Bill Bentsen for the winning the
Harman Hawkins Award for contribution to Race Administration. The 1996
racing rules re-write was absolutely ingenious and Bill was a huge part of

Not long after his Olympic Gold in Solings, Bill was our mentor for a dozen
college-aged and slightly above race managers at the new NA Sailing Center
on Lake Ontario at Association Island, NY (summers 1974-76). Bill combined
expertise, attention to detail, and humor when turning young sailors into
professional race managers. Thanks to Bill's wisdom, we not only
successfully ran dozens of national and world championships but we helped
Bill construct the standard Sailing Instructions used today. The RM
techniques of reading wind, squaring courses, starting on time, eliminating
general recalls - all skills taught by Bill - have been passed on for over a
generation now by those that had the pleasure of working with him. Thanks

* From Al Schreitmueller: (regarding the America’s Cup) In the good old days
a "dispute" that has gotten this out of hand would be settled at 40 paces
with matched pistols, one on one. In some ways it seems a shame we have
gotten away from this. This is no longer about my stable is better than
yours. It's "me and you" up personal. Who's "man" enough? Winner or loser -
both would go down in history for the guts to get granular.

* From John Navas: (re, the loss of s/v Daisy in San Francisco Doublehanded
Lightship race) It's all too easy to forget that yacht racing is an extreme
and hazardous sport, particularly (as in this case) shorthanded, and that
conditions outside San Francisco Bay can be treacherous -- we've lost a
number of good, well-sailed boats in the past few years. A friend of mine
lost his J/35 in a quite similar way a few years ago, but was lucky enough
to survive along with his partner.

In this latest incident there was apparently no EPIRB signal, so it's likely
there was no automatic EPIRB properly mounted and ready, which might well
have alerted the USCG fast enough to save lives. There's been discussion of
making EPIRB mandatory in ocean races, but no action thus far, even though
cost is now quite reasonable (as little as $500). Hopefully this tragic
incident will improve the chances of making EPIRB mandatory in ocean races,
preferably automatic EPIRB properly mounted and ready.

We don’t know if Bertarelli is a “treky”, but if he is, we suspect that the
second feature film (1982) based on the Star Trek science fiction television
series might hit a little too close to home: “Star Trek II: The Wrath of

Andrew Carnegie once said, "Concentrate your energies, your thoughts, and
your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in a basket and watches the
basket." That advice works for the kid hunting for Easter eggs too. Happy

Special thanks to and Tripp Design.

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