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SCUTTLEBUTT 2559 - March 24, 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.

Farrah Hall's Olympic dream might have caught its second wind. The
Annapolis windsurfer finished second at the RS:X team-selection trials
in October after a jury's controversial decision to grant another
competitor's appeal. After Hall won the regatta on the water, a jury
ruled that Nancy Rios' race was affected by a tear in her sail and
awarded the Cocoa Beach, Fla., windsurfer the trials' win. Only the
first-place finisher is slated to represent the United States at the
Summer Olympics. The jury initially declined to hear Hall's request for
redress because it was filed too late. But confronted with new
photographic evidence, US Sailing has decided to reopen the case and
hold a special hearing next month.

"From the beginning, we have been completely confident in the process
and the decision that the original jury made," Dean Brenner, chairman of
US Sailing's Olympics Sailing Committee, said today. "The right thing to
do when new evidence is presented is to take a look, consider it and
decide whether it merits a reopening." Hall's case will be heard in
Providence, R.I., on April 9 and 10 by the same jury that initially
ruled against her. Two additional jury members have been added, Brenner
said, and the five members will hear testimony from Hall, Rios and

The trials, held in Long Beach, Calif., consisted of 16 races in eight
days. While Hall led for the early portion of the competition, Rios won
six races in a row and carried a slight lead into the final day's two
races. Hall won the first race, but the second was marred by a collision
shortly after the start. In her complaint, Rios said her sail was torn
during the collision. Two of the three initial jurors witnessed the
crash but did not see the tear in the sail until after the race. Hall
crossed the finish line first and was under the impression that her
ticket to the Beijing Olympics had been stamped. As she celebrated,
though, Rios was formally protesting the decisive race. -- Rick Maese,
Baltimore Sun, full story:

Ernesto Bertarelli, the billionaire owner of the Swiss Alinghi team that
holds the America's Cup, Friday told the American Oracle team that "it
is simply impossible for us to construct a boat to defend the cup in a
seven month time frame" as the Americans say the Swiss must do. The
Oracle team, which represents San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club,
already is building a 90-foot multihull, believed to be a trimaran, for
a match next October. And from the tone of Oracle's reply Friday, it
appeared that the Swiss pharmaceutical heir may learn the truth of an
old American maxim: Lack of foresight on your part does not constitute
an emergency on mine.

The latest squabble started a new round of rumors about a possible
forfeit by Alinghi, which would be the first in the 157 year history of
the event. Bertarelli's team sent a letter to the Americans on Wednesday
asking that the race to be postponed until July of 2009. That request
came after a New York State Supreme Court justice ruled on Mar. 17 (and
for the second time) that Bertarelli must meet a one-on-one challenge
from American billionaire Larry Ellison, the owner of the Oracle team.
The Americans replied Thursday with a letter from Oracle skipper and CEO
Russell Coutts, denying that request and saying that the Swiss must be
ready by next October. --, full story:

* On Friday, Alinghi's issued a strongly worded press release which
stated, "We regret the tone and the content of the response from BMW
Oracle Racing to our proposal. It looks as if they plan to stick to
their destructive strategy that has been successful so far, eliminating
all Challengers and qualifying in court directly to the America's Cup
Match, thus putting hundreds of people in the sailing community out of
business. Now they want to use the same plan to beat the Defender
without fighting a fair duel on the water. We communicated to them that
to have a fair and high-quality race the event must take place in 2009."
To read the full release:

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Good news -- the press releases slowed down
over the weekend and Scuttlebutt has learned that the two syndicates are
now trying to work out the time and place for a meeting later this week
-- probably either Wednesday or Friday.

Doyle Sails powered Will Stout to victory in the 19-boat Etchells class
at the San Diego NOOD. Will was also voted the San Diego NOOD Regatta's
overall winner. While back on the East Coast, Jud Smith won the 2008
Coral Reef Cup sailed on Biscayne Bay, and Doyle sailor Buddy Cribb
finished second. For more information on how Doyle can power your boat
to victory, contact your local Doyle loft, 800-94-DOYLE,

Palma, Spain -- The Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia offered the sailors a
beautiful last day with strong breeze, waves and sun for the Medal
Races. With south-westerly wind ranging from 16 to 25 knots across the
bay. US Olympic Team member Zach Railey (Clearwater, FL) earned a spot
on the podium in the Finn class. Going into the last race of this
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 2 event, Railey was in
danger of losing his third place position. Railey has previously said he
likes pressure situations, and he proved himself in the last race. The
necessity was to keep tabs on his closest competitor, Sweden's Daniel
Birgmark, and Railey controlled the results by keeping the Swede
directly behind him for the whole race.

By finishing that race in eighth with Birgmark in ninth, Railey clinched
the bronze medal at this season's kickoff regatta. Great Britain's Ben
Ainslie, three-time Olympic medalist, handily won the Finn Class before
the last race and was followed by Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic of Croatia with
Canadian Christopher Cook placing ninth.

The United States had notable finishes in three other classes at the
Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta. In the Yngling class, Team Seven of Sally
Barkow, Deb Capozzi and Carrie Howe came in fifth place out of 16 boats,
only one point out of fourth place. Andrew Campbell finished ninth in
the 107-boat Laser fleet, and the 49er team of Tim Wadlow and Chris Rast
finished 12th of 52 boats, again just one point out of 11th place.
Skandia Team GBR medal tally for this major European circuit event was
in impressive three golds, two silvers and one bronze.

Daily reports:¬i=98
Complete results:

* Thanks to photographers Rick Tomlinson, Ingrid Abery, and Claire
Matches, the Scuttlebutt website has four pages of images from this very
picturesque event. Enjoy:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

March 22 -- A very wet and weary (TP52) Strewth crew appeared out of the
murk at Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, at 1500hrs today, accompanied by the
faithful guard ship Cloud, the RHKYC's Kellett VI, and RIB M69. It was
easy to tell which of the two yachts motoring up the harbour was Strewth
- the one with the pronounced roll. Just 36 hours earlier she had lost
her keel approx 170 nm south east of Hong Kong, en route to Subic Bay in
the Rolex China Sea Race 2008.
Geoff Hill and skipper Ben Jonson told the tale: 'At 0300 watch-change
yesterday (21 March), we were fine reaching at about 12 kts in 18 kts of
breeze, and there was a loud crack. Several crew checked everything we
could think of, but couldn't see anything wrong. 20 m ins later there
was another loud crack, and 30 sec after that, she went. The bow went
down maybe 30 deg, and the boat rolled 45 or 50 eg - just enough to get
the gunwhale wet - the main trimmer dumped everything, and we came
upright again with a bit of a kick on the stern from the seaway. It was
all very weird, we actually started to trim up and sail again, and were
hitting 8-9 kts of boat speed, but the boat was way too tender and had
serious leeway, and she was very, very light on the wheel. Definitely
wrong. So we rounded up, and checked the keel bolts - one of them was
loose, so we thought maybe one had sheared, and the keel had swung out.

'So it was everyone on deck, harnesses on, we ran through the safety
routine. Richard Grimes went over the side to see what was happening
down there, and came back and said, 'Nada. There's nothing, there, it's
all gone. Heck, we even sent him back for a second look just to make
sure! We were really worried that the boat might roll over at any
moment. If she did go, it would probably have been just like a slow roll
that didn't stop, just roll, roll, roll and keep going.'

* Roger Eastham, RHKYC Boatyard Manager, contacted the boat's designer,
Jim Donovan, who advised that a roll past 50 deg would push us past the
point of vanishing stability - so we were proceeding very cautiously. 'A
big roll and it might all be over very quickly. Also, we didn't want to
let the boat slam at all - both keel bolt head were still visible inside
the boat, and yes we did have appropriate-sized wooden plugs to hand,
but we really didn't want the bolts to pop out. As it was we were
leaking only about half a bucketful every four hours from the aft keel
bolt. 'The rest of the trip home was very straightforward. We set a
watch, and everyone lived on deck.' -- Excerpts from a story posted on
the Sail-World website, full story and photos:

Spring has finally arrived and it's time to grab that can of Team McLube
Sailkote and apply it to everything that slides. Terry H McLubes all
full length mainsail battens for easier tacking and gybing, especially
in light air. Bob B McLubes his mast track and sliding hatches. Jud S
McLubes his jib telltales to keep them flying freely. Remember, just a
little McLube goes a very long way. See more helpful McLube tips and be
sure to tell us your McLube story at: Team McLube Sailkote. For
everything that slides.

* The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has reopened the case of New
Zealand sailor Simon Daubney, cleared after testing positive for cocaine
during the last America's Cup in Valencia. WADA's director general New
Zealander David Howman last week lodged papers appealing Daubney's case
with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Howman said:
"WADA has a mandate to look at all such decisions internationally to see
whether they have been consistently applied. If we feel there are some
inconsistencies to discuss, we have the ability to put the case in front
of the court." -- NZ Herald, full story:

* The Garda Easter Meeting, already in the record books as the biggest
single-Optimist Class event in the world, has this year moved up several
gears to record an entry of 999 Optimists from 29 countries. The
logistics are incredible. Three race courses run five simultaneous
races, three for the 866 under-16 "Juniors" and two with shorter races
for the 133 11- and 12-year old "Cadets". As well as the three
race-committee teams, over 200 support boats, each because of local law
with a qualified driver and tightly controlled crew, are involved. --

* Planning ahead -- the Yacht Club de France announced its core team for
Team French Spirit in the 34th America's Cup in 2011. Marc Pajot is the
team's President and team manager, while Philippe Presti has been signed
as skipper and Bertrand Pace will be the team's helmsman. All have very
solid AC credentials

* Omission: For our Trivia question last Friday guessing at Ernesto
Bertarelli's least favourite movie (Star Trek II: The Wrath of "Cahn"),
we forgot to thank Stephen Roffey, of Geneva, Switzerland.

This position will report directly to the CEO and will have overall
responsibility for strategic and operational marketing, creative
services, research, database management, visual merchandising,
advertising, public relations, brand development, packaging and company
identity. The successful candidate will be an avid bluewater boater with
successful senior management experience. Email resume and cover letter
to Ona Allen:

Daniel D. Strohmeier of Damariscotta, ME, formerly of Scarsdale, N.Y.
and Nonquitt, MA, passed away peacefully at home on March 15, 2008.
Daniel was an avid sailor and cruiser who was convinced that if the
leaders of the world could share a glass of rum at anchor in a quiet
harbor in the warmth of the cabin of a wooden boat, the world would be
at peace. In 1951, he bought his first Concordia Yawl and renamed her
after his first wife's father's schooner, Malay. Daniel campaigned Malay
up and down the East Coast over the next 50 years. In 1954, he entered
Malay in the Newport to Bermuda race and won the Saint David's Light
House Trophy for best-corrected time and overall winner. The following
summer he repeated his triumphs taking overall honors in the Marblehead
to Halifax race.

He was a long standing member of the Cruising Club of America, The Ocean
Cruising Club, past Commodore of The Storm Trysail Club, life member of
the Little Scorpions Club and memberships at the New York Yacht Club,
Larchmont Yacht Club, New Bedford Yacht Club, the Cabedetis Boat Club of
Round Pond, MA and a long-time member of the Fales Committee at the US
Naval Academy. Memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday,
June 21, 2008, at the Congregational Church of South Dartmouth, MA. --
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 Dawn Riley: To be honest, when I was growing up I thought it was
already mandatory to be a member of USYRU (yes I am that old). Probably
someone told me that I should be a member if I wanted to be a "real
sailor" but for sure it was considered my duty by the people that I
sailed with. They were correct in saying that I benefited from the
infrastructure, the rating system, the race committee training and
occasionally the appeals process. I was very proud to be a member and
get my first rule book which I read nightly for at least one long cold
Michigan winter waiting for the ice to melt.

In Europe it is indeed mandatory to be a member of your national
organization and those organizations are then able to be even more
contributory to the sport. Bottom line: if a kid who was saving for
college by cleaning boat bottoms could afford it then, then certainly
boat owners and skippers can afford it now! You see - it is just simply
the 'right' thing to do.

* From Jay Brown: I had to weigh in on mandatory membership in US
Sailing. They are missing the point: US Sailing needs to create a
product people want to join, not some abstract entity that taxes a
dwindling base of competitors. In my time in sailing I have belonged to
US Sailing, various class associations and international associations
(and a lot of their predecessors). I have never felt well served by any
but the class associations. I do not wish to involuntarily support a
sailing body that as a competitive sailor I never felt offered me any
benefit for my dues. Even if every other sport does it.

* From Robert Austin-LaFrance: It's a sad commentary that my membership
to BoatsUS has had a greater impact on recreational boating than my
membership to US Sailing. As folks have pointed out, with no tangible
"add ons" put forth, this proposal would generate a result 180 degrees
out of phase with its stated goal.

* From Barry Demak:Although I respect John Navas' opinion and his
comments re: the tragic loss of s/v Daisy, her Master and crew in the
San Francisco Doublehanded Lightship race, I can't help but be concerned
that he's jumping to the wrong conclusion to solve a problem we (at
least me, as I write this) don't know the cause of. Between coast guard
requirements for VHF, common sense and reasonable seamanship, there are
plenty of ways that fellow racers or USCG could have learned of a
distress situation. However, to my knowledge, there is no evidence of
communication via visual distress signals or radio traffic. I would
rather people spend that $500 on seamanship lessons, a modern ship's
radio with DSS / position reporting and a good, fully charged, handheld.
There are plenty of requirements already that if applied, increase our
odds of rescue - even without more stringent rules.

I also shudder to think how many boats were relatively close and did not
have their radios on and monitoring 16 in the event a fellow racer was
in distress and broadcasting. Let's remember, the boat was less than 12
miles from the Golden Gate Bridge and Coast Guard assets when the
tragedy occurred.

* Dave Stringer, Wellington NZ: I was sad to see the Herald Tribune
('Butt 2558) giving such a biased perspective on the latest step in the
resolution of the next AC challenge. The route to a fully contended AC
regatta in 2009 was wide open and clear sailing for Alinghi; all they
had to do was agree 'rules of engagement' as the Trib put it, with BMW
Oracle Racing (BOR) and it was all together now again. Instead, The
alone have insisted that a one-on-one deed challenge go ahead, and now
that are trying to impose not only the place (which is their right under
the protocol) but also the date (which is not).

'IzOnor Justice Cahn has clearly ruled that the dates specified in the
BOR challenge are within the strictures of the trust deed, and left no
wriggle room at all for Alinghi to squeeze through. (Even the attempt
at redefining a week-day didn't work for them). So if BOR goes to court
asking IzOnor to enforce the date in the challenge, with Alinghi asking
for it to be put off for a year to give them a better chance, something
tells me he will stick to the challenge as presented as say get on with
it I've had enough. At least I, and the rest of those who love the AC
racing and event, can hope so.

* From Mike Hein: George Fisher was my mentor as well as many others. I
went sailing with George when I was 5 in his son Greg's Lightning and
began sailing lessons the following year. At the age of 12, George
helped my father find an old Lippincott and we began a new fleet at the
club in Ohio. During our Junior years, his son Matt won the Lighting Jr
North Americans, another fellow Lighting sailor Will Petersilge won the
Sears Cup with two Lightning crew, and we won the Lightning Jr North
Americans as well. There were many other North American Championships,
World Championships as well as the America's Cup that sailors that have
been taught how to sail and how to be sportsman from George Fisher.
Thanks George for everything you've done for us all and for the sailing

"Election Results" -- When you rearrange the letters it becomes: "Lies,
let's recount."

Special thanks to Doyle Sails, Team McLube, and West Marine.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at