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SCUTTLEBUTT 2561 – March 26, 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.

America's Cup Defender, Alinghi, will meet with BMW Oracle Racing on
Wednesday in Geneva to sort out the details for the America’s Cup Deed
of Gift match between the two teams -- most importantly, the dates for
the series. Alinghi's two negotiators will be their chief legal adviser,
Lucien Masmejan and SNG Vice Commodore Fred Meyer. BMW Oracle Racing
will be represented by skipper Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman. Based on
the quotes from the two syndicates, that's not going to be easy.

* Vice Commodore Fred Meyer of the SNG has said: "We are not in a
position to race this year because we always understood that tolling
would take place during the legal proceedings. Furthermore, we have not
started construction of our boat and will not be ready to compete this
year. We are surprised as to why Larry Ellison, who considers himself a
competitive sailor, would wish to take part in a second rate race or win
by legal maneuvers."

* BMW Oracle Racing representative Tom Ehman has said: "When we
challenged we gave them twelve months notice, not the required minimum
of ten. During the litigation we proposed a tolling agreement that they
rejected. After Justice Cahn's November 27th decision, we proposed
another ten months from then - October 1, 3 and 5, 2008. They filed new
motions with the court two days after Christmas. The Court has now
rejected those motions; and Justice Cahn has said our original challenge
is valid. We stand by our offer of the October 2008 dates. Everybody is
ready to move on. It is time to get real and get on with the next event,
which we believe should be in October 2008." --, full

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Based on this update from the Alinghi team, it
looks like they are taking a step closer to the maxi multihulls proposed
for the Deed of Gift match: “Members of the Alinghi sailing team,
including American helmsman Ed Baird, traveled to Lorient in France on
Tuesday to begin multi-hull training with well-known French sailor Alain
Gautier on the ORMA 60' trimaran, Foncia, to prepare for an America’s
Cup match against BMW Oracle Racing. Gautier won the Solitaire du Figaro
in 1989 and the Vendée Globe in 1992, among many other multi-hull grand
prix titles.” --

Was Lijia Xu unlucky to lose the gold at the Women’s Laser Radial Worlds
last week, after her disqualification from the final race due to
excessive kinetics? Or should the Chinese sailor count herself lucky to
hang on to silver?

It depends on how you view kinetic infringements, I suppose. It wasn’t
so long ago that Paige Railey fell foul of the system on two big
occasions – racking up three RR42 penalties which up until recently was
sufficient to see you disqualified from the whole regatta. Railey was
booted out of the 2006 Worlds and then at the Rolex Miami OCR in early
2007. You could argue that Railey got what she deserved, if the American
sailor was pushing the limits to such an extent when the penalty was so

But are pumping, ooching, or other forms of kinetics really the worst
misdemeanours that we see in sailing? I don’t think so. And yet they are
punished more harshly than almost anything else in the sport. Under the
old system, disqualification from an entire regatta was a penalty far
too far. The punishment must fit the crime.

So at least ISAF has relaxed the penalties to the point where
non-discardable disqualification from the race (DNE) – and not the
series – is the penalty for your third RR42 infringement. This is a step
in the right direction. I doubt this would have happened under Paul
Henderson’s watch when he was President of ISAF. -- Andy Rice, SailJuice
Blog, full story:

Annapolis, MD -- Opposed by preservationists hoping to save a historic
waterfront home, the National Sailing Hall of Fame warned the City
Council last night of the "significant likelihood" the organization
would haul anchor if it doesn't get explicit support from Annapolis
government. The Hall of Fame has proposed leasing the William H. Burtis
House at City Dock from the Department of Natural Resources in a move
vehemently opposed by the Burtis descendants.

Doug Lashley, a founding member of the Sailing Hall of Fame, sternly
warned the council that the hall could relocate to another city if a
resolution proffered by Alderman Richard Israel, D-Ward 1, supports the
hall coming to Annapolis but opposes it at Burtis House. Mayor Ellen O.
Moyer supports a separate resolution in favor of the City Dock location.
More than 100 people crowded into the council room for the public
hearing on the resolutions last night, many wearing Hall of Fame
stickers while a few wore "Friends of William H. Burtis" buttons to show
their support. -- Excerpt from a story by Andrew Childers, full story:

Kick off the 2008 sailing season by refreshing your skills and learning
something new with a J World San Diego sailing class. Maybe you are just
starting out and need the basic skills from “A Learn to Sail Class” or
want to fine tune your racing skills in one of our racing classes. Don’t
miss out! Give us a call today before the schedule fills up! We look
forward to hearing from you at 619.224.4774 or check us out on the
web at

This year will mark the 30th running of the Port Huron to Mackinac Solo
Challenge and the 12th running of the Chicago to Mackinac Solo
Challenge. Both of these races will begin on Saturday, March 21. In
2007, 17 sailors started the Port Huron Challenge and 28 started the
Chicago to Mackinac Challenge. These are not French solo sailors; their
boats are mostly production cruiser/racers – or cruisers – but this does
not diminish the accomplishment that sailing one of these events
represents. The emphasis is on finishing the challenge, not winning the
race, and every finisher becomes a full member of the Great Lakes
Singlehanded Society; it is the only way to get in. Although the the
GLSS has sent Steve Pettingill and Tim Kent off to do solo around the
world races, you would be hard pressed to recognize the boats or sailors
who take this challenge every year.

This year some of the sailors will go farther; this is a SuperMac year,
so that sailors that wish to do so will pass up the charms of finishing
on Mackinac Island and complete both legs of the course, either Port
Huron to Chicago or Chicago to Port Huron, which means completing a 595
mile course solo. For the first time, the GLSS is offering the chance to
compete in the longest freshwater solo race ever – the SuperMac and
Back. These competitors will race either from Port Huron to Chicago and
back to Port Huron or Chicago to Port Huron and back to Chicago, a 1,190
mile long course. Several skippers of the some of the faster boats in
the fleet have committed to this event. For more information on the
Mackinac Challenges or any of the events offered by the GLSS on Lakes
Huron, Michigan, Superior, Erie or St. Clair, visit their website at

* It’s hard to ignore how many West Coast sailors there are on the team
that qualified to represent the United States at the I-420 Class Junior
European Championships to be held in Zadar, Croatia, August 7 – 15,
2008: Oliver Toole & Willie McBride (Santa Barbara, CA) - Chris
Segerblom & Kayla McComb (Newport Beach, CA) - Shone Bowman & Nick
Kaschak (San Diego, CA) - Kevin Laube & Jake Reynolds (San Diego, CA) -
Sydney Bolger & Caitlin Beavers (Newport Beach, CA) – Sam Williams &
Patrick Mignon (New Jersey) - Mac Mace & Jeff Aschieris (Newport Beach,
CA). --

* It was 30 years ago since the first launch of the Olson 30 - the boat
designed by George Olson at Pacific Boats in Santa Cruz, California with
then-revolutionary ultra light displacement boat (ULDB) fiberglass
construction. In celebration, the Olson 30 Class Association will be
conducting their 30th Anniversary National Championship at the Channel
Islands Yacht Club in Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, California from
July 17-20. The Olson fleet now extends across the United States from
the Pacific states to the Great Lakes, Canada, the Chesapeake, the
Northeast, Texas, and the Southeast, extending to Florida. --

* Although 2007 was a tough year for both powerboat and sailboat
builders, sailboats are weathering the tough times better than
powerboats. While powerboat sales dropped a painful 13 percent last year
in terms of unit sales—and 10 per cent in dollar terms—the sailboat
industry was only 5 percent down in unit sales, a better performance
than in 2006, when production fell 7 percent. Boat sales have been
declining since 2000. --

* The J-Class Association will soon make an announcement to the press
that a fourth replica is to be built. Details are scant at present, but
a contract has been signed between an owner and a shipyard for the build
of the yacht. She will join two other replicas in build at the moment -
of Endeavour II and of a Ranger variant - as well as a replica of the
original Ranger built in 2002. With the three original Js that are still
sailing - Shamrock V, Velsheda and Endeavour - the total class will
increase in number from four to seven. --

* The Newport Spring Boat Show will be held May 16-18 at Rhode Island’s
Newport Yachting Center. In addition to the in-water portion and the
exhibitor booths along the shoreline, this year’s show also includes the
new marine consignment tent, which will be filled with used items from
boaters and boat dealers alike. -- Read on:

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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 Alan Shore: I’m a semi-retired businessman, and now just casual
sailor. I have several grandchildren who love to sail, and I willingly
support this activity. But how do I explain to them that US Sailing is
going to make them join? My daughter can't even get them to make their
bed in the morning. Does anyone at US Sailing have teenage children? Do
they know that the moment you start talking about "making" them do
anything, they do exactly the opposite?

In my business experience I employed lawyers frequently. I never for one
moment ever considered letting them speak on my behalf, and found that
usually when someone had a lawyer speaking for them, they were probably
hiding something. How do I explain to my grandkids that two high profile
sailors, from the wealthiest man in Switzerland, Ernesto Bertarelli, to
a young girl from Florida, Nancy Rios, both have lawyers doing the
talking for them?

It saddens me to see this legal slugfest taking place in both the
America's Cup and Olympics. And worse perhaps, is US Sailing trying to
dictate another level of governmental red tape. Racing used to be fun.
Maybe all of this is why I stopped. I hope my grandchildren can learn
the best of human characteristics from sailing, but those are not
evident by the current holder of the Cup, the winner of the ladies
windersurfer trials, or the leadership of US Sailing. A grandchild who
doesn't make their bed looks like an angel by comparison.

* From Damian Christie, Melbourne, Australia: Now that Justice Cahn has
dismissed Alinghi’s petty excuses, I challenge Larry Ellison and Oracle
to show true sportsmanship – that is, sit down with Alinghi and not only
decide a date for America’s Cup XXXIII, but replace the farcical Deed of
Gift match they have concocted with a race programme that includes all
international challengers in the AC90 class for 2011.

Ellison certainly owes Alinghi no quarter. However, he should reward
peers like Grant Dalton, Stephan Kandler and Vincenzo Onorato for their
loyalty and support by demanding Alinghi accept a 2007-style Cup
protocol. Alinghi is now boxed into a corner; faced with the prospect of
a DoG match as early as July, Ernesto Bertarelli and his cronies will
probably bend over backwards to revert to that protocol.

Since last July, Oracle has spun the tale that it wants a fairer and
inclusive America’s Cup for all challengers and defender. It’s now time
for Oracle to live up to that spin. It is inexcusable for Ellison to
persist with his DoG challenge simply because he is already building his
yacht – he has enough wealth to build 10 multihulls without serious
financial loss.

Ellison will win the admiration of the sailing world if he shows true
sportsmanship and selflessly invites all comers back to the fold for
America’s Cup XXXIII. But he won’t – because like the US Cup holders of
old, he will ‘waive the rules’ in his favour to rule the waves. Prove me
wrong, Larry.

* From Bruce Munro: To the editorial in SB 2560 by Valencia’s Peter
Gooch, I have one word -- Amen. Until and unless an impartial
international organizing organization is set up to administer the
America's Cup, the gutter press level described by Gooch will continue
into the foreseeable future.

* From Bruce Brown (edited to our 250-word limit): Like Dawn Riley, I am
a member of US Sailing - and was a member of USYRU in that day. I have
been frustrated with the focus of the organization for many years and
have commented on it to members of the board a number of times. The
discussion of membership is long standing topic and as another writer
commented, membership is not such a burden when the product is
attractive enough. Other national sailing organizations have the concept
of representing the sailing community's interests rather than having the
racing members interests be dominate in the organization.

Boating regulations are much more stringent in some European countries
than in the US. Remembering that the racing part of our sport is a minor
part of the sailing population will bring us closer to the target of
making membership in US Sailing a value to all sailors. While racing is
the visible and focal point for many of Scuttlebutt's readers, the fact
remains that racing is very small percentage of our sport's

Working on safety regulations and representing the interests of sailing
clubs and charter organizations will bring more interest to the
membership. Keeping a voice in the national discussion on boating
regulations will also keep membership levels up. Making US Sailing the
true voice of sailors - not just racing sailors - may bring new
interested members. Working to get power lines raised near launch ramps
brought many Hobie Sailors to USYRU. Let's not forget those lessons of
the past.

* From G. E. Kriese: Jim Capron, head of the U.S. Sailing ‘family’,
still doesn’t make his case as to why mandatory membership in US sailing
should be required. He cites some vague reasons but no specifics. Tony
Soprano's crew makes a similar argument regarding payment of protection
money. Both are shakedowns, but Soprano has better salesmen.

Capron says “Mandatory membership in the national authority is common
practice for other sports in the United States…”. So what? Things have
worked fine for years without the extra tribute to the bosses. What of
the extra revenue windfall? Goomah’s and committee boats named
‘Stugots’? Salary increases at US Sailing for sure.

It easy to understand that Capron & US Sailing want more money to do
whatever it is they do, but that’s not good enough. I want less, not
more bureaucracy, rules, fees and paperwork associated with the sport I
love. US Sailing is free to justify its existence and anyone who wants
to join can. But US Sailing should not look to yacht clubs to be their
bag men and enforcers by prohibiting non-US Sailing members from
entering regattas. Capron is making us an offer we can and should

* From Mary Buckley (Regarding US Sailing Mandatory Membership): It is
true that the best (and really only) way to increase membership is to
provide value. But I am curious about what is described as a "certain
level". If the "level" is fairly high - say like the Championship of
Champions - chances are most of those are already members, and there
just aren't that many participants anyway, so this isn't likely to
substantially increase membership. If the "level" is fairly low - say
like national or regional one-design regattas - I wonder how this rule
would be enforced - and by whom. The last thing regatta organizers need
is another burden placed upon them.

People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either of
them being made.

Special thanks to JK3 Nautical Enterprises and North Sails.

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