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SCUTTLEBUTT 2562 – March 27, 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 meeting between the Swiss defender Alinghi and American challenger BMW
Oracle Wednesday ended in stalemate. A court most likely will decide
whether they race an America’s Cup in 90-foot multihulls in October, as
Oracle insists, or in May 2009, as Alinghi wants. The failed
negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, prompted Team New Zealand, one of
four countries that have held the most prestigious trophy in sailing, to
call for Alinghi owner Ernesto Bertarelli to forfeit the cup immediately
and let Oracle hold a conventional event with multiple challengers in

New Zealand leader Grant Dalton said, “Alinghi has had as much time to
design and build a multihull as BMW Oracle. It is apparent that Alinghi
was so certain of a victory in the New York Supreme Court that it had
not developed a viable contingency should the judge rule in BMW Oracle’s
favour,” as happened earlier this year. Having admitted that they cannot
be ready by October, we believe that Alinghi should forfeit right now,
allowing BMW Oracle and the other challengers to get the America’s Cup
back on track and minimizing challengers’ continuing financial hardship
that (Alinghi) created,” said Dalton, whose syndicate has sued Alinghi
for monetary damages allegedly caused when Alinghi unilaterally
cancelled the America’s Cup planned for 2009.

Tom Ehman, who is Oracle’s negotiator, said, “Alinghi told us they can’t
build a boat by next October. But back in December Ernesto told a
newspaper that they were already working on one. It could be that they
are using the Br’er rabbit strategy –please don’t throw me in the briar
patch. The Swiss are great sailors with a lot of experience in
multihulls, more than we have,” Ehman said. “They say that they need
more time, but back in 1988 Dennis Conner built two catamarans in six
months, and the technology has certainly improved a lot since then. I
think that they now understand that we pick the date, they pick the
place. It’s time to stop stalling and get on the water and race,” Ehman
said. -- Detroit Free Press, full story:

Alinghi has just made it official -- the Société Nautique de Genève
(SNG) WILL go back to court and ask Justice Cahn to determine the dates
for the event, as contemplated in his order of March 19.

This summer, the American Sailing League kicks off its inaugural
Championship Series at PIER 39 on San Francisco Bay. Racing will take
place over two weekends, with five teams competing for a $10,000 purse
just off pier’s end in 18 foot skiffs. With the typically strong bay
breeze, event organizers are hoping to showcase the speed, athleticism,
and wipeouts of the class, all within close range of the spectators.
Click here to view their promo video:

Just weeks after its finish in San Francisco, where it racked up a new
reference time from the Route de l’Or (New York – San Francisco via Cape
Horn) in 43 days 3 minutes and 18 seconds, the crew of Gitana 13 will
take to the seas again. Lionel Lemonchois and his men will be attacking
the North Pacific crossing record between San Francisco and Yokohama; a
record which today belongs to French sailor Olivier de Kersauson and his
crew aboard a 34 metre trimaran Geronimo. The crew of Gitana 13 will
have to better the reference time of 14 days 22 hours 40 minutes and 41
seconds to be able to add a new record to their conquests.

Given the latest weather information from Sylvain Mondon (Météo France),
Gitana 13 may well set off to tackle this new record at the end of the
week: “We were aiming for a gap around 27th, 28th March but the window
seems to have shifted slightly and today we’re focusing more on a
departure between 29th and 31st March,” Lemonchois said. “The situation
which the various weather files are presenting will enable the crew of
Gitana 13 to gain westing for 3 to 4 days to hunt down the tradewinds.
It's an attractive configuration in terms of gaining ground along the
route.” --

Ullman Sails customers are gearing up for 2008 Corona del Mar to Cabo
San Lucas International Yacht Race, starting Friday, March 28, with
faster divisions leaving Saturday. Balboa Yacht Club is hosting a
37-boat fleet for the 3-5 day race. Good luck to competitors, including
the long list of boats with Ullman Sails like J/120 “Adios” – making its
first trip to Mexico – and Catalina 42 “Wind Dancer” who could be a
force if the wind stays steady through to the end. We are committed to
building the ‘Fastest Sails on the Planet.’ Contact an Ullman loft and

Everything about John Dane III is larger than life. For some people in
this world, having a roof over your head and being able to provide for
your family is a dream. For others, having a positive role model to help
you through tough times is a dream and for yet others, representing your
country at the Olympics is a dream. Dane has the trifecta - his dreams
are ambitious and his efforts to help others achieve their dreams are
even more far-reaching and supportive. This July, as he rids himself of
jet lag and acclimates to the living conditions at the Olympic Sailing
venue in Qingdao, China, Dane will celebrate his 58th birthday. Yes, at
58, he will be pinching himself about achieving a lifelong dream of
being in the Olympics.

Dane’s Olympic pursuit started in 1968 when he sailed his first Olympic
Trials in the Dragon with OJ Young. Young and Dane finished second to
the boat skippered by Buddy Friedrichs; the boat that went on to win the
Olympic Gold Medal that year. At 18, young Dane learned some important
lessons. Not only did he realize what it would take to compete at the
highest level, but he also realized how important having mentors such as
Friedrichs and other sailing legends like Gilbert Gray, Barton Jahncke
and Click Schreck were to helping him achieve those dreams.

Dane soaked up everything that he could from his sailing mentors and
applied the lessons to his educational, civic, family, and sailing
communities. A native of New Orleans, Dane earned his B.S. and his Ph.D.
in civil engineering at Tulane University. A three-time All American
Sailor and the 1968 Intercollegiate Sailor of the Year, Dane has
continued to support Tulane University as a board member to the
University’s Presidents’ Counsel and an advisor to the School of
Engineering. A Southerner through and through, Dane’s business career
started in New Orleans, prospered, was decimated by Hurricane Katrina,
and rose like a phoenix to lead the Mississippi Gulf Coast revival. --
Read on:

* John Dane III will be honored by Shake-a-Leg Miami at its Night of
Launching Dreams on April 5, 2008. Details at

* West Marine reported sales of US$118.3 million for its fourth quarter
ended December 29, 2007, a decrease of 4.6 per cent compared to the same
period a year ago. The company also reported a net loss of US$65.7
million for the quarter, compared to a loss of US$12.8 million a year
ago. Same-store sales decreased 3 per cent during the quarter. Same
store sales were down by 1.9 per cent for the year. It also reported a
net loss of US$50.2 million, compared to a restated net loss of US$7.7
million a year ago. -- IBI, full story:

* S’Arenal (Majorca), 26 March. - Strong, gusty and changeable SW winds
of an average speed of 18 knots blew again in the bay of Palma for the
final three races of the 54-boat 49er European Championship qualifying
series. After eight races the US team of Tim Wadlow and Chris Rast stood
eight in the standing and moved into the 27-boat championship flight.
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez from Spain are dominating the regatta,
with a three way tie for second place betweens from Spain, Sweden and
Austria. --

* The inaugural Virgin Island Race Week kicks off on Friday. This 10-day
holiday for sailors and sailing families encompasses the International
Rolex Regatta held in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British
Virgin Islands Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, hosted out of Tortola
& Virgin Gorda. The beauty of this Virgin Islands holiday is that it
offers both intense racing and quality family time. Sailors and their
families can customize their sailing vacation by mixing and matching
hardcore racing, just-for-fun racing, and leisurely cruising, plus a day
of duty-free shopping and dining in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

* The 27 smaller, slower-rated boats in Balboa Yacht Club's biennial
race from Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas will start the 800-nautical
mile run to the tip of Baja California, Mexico on Friday, followed by
the 10 larger chargers Saturday. Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80, which broke
the 10-year-old record in last month’s San Diego to Vallarta race, will
be is trying to break its own record for the course off the Balboa
peninsula to Cabo San Lucas set in 2005: 2 days 13 hours 26 minutes 58
seconds---an average speed of 13 knots (15 mph). --

* The French duo of Claire Leroy and Mathieu Richard remain on top in
the latest release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings on 26 March.
France has now held the top spots in the Open and Women’s simultaneously
for the last four Ranking releases. Sally Barkow (USA) at number five in
the Women’s ranking remains the only North American in the top ten of
either the Open or the Women’s rankings. Complete rankings:

* According to, Tom Perkins has put Maltese Falcon
on the market for 115 million euros (US$182 million). It’s being listed
by Perini Navi, which built the boat. Maltese Falcon has been in the
water for less than two years. Update: Yacht brokers confirmed that the
boat is being discreetly marketed, but at a price probably closer to 150
million euros (US$238 million.) -- Wall street Journal, full story:

* Correction: While Single-handed sailors are indeed a tough breed, we
need to point out that the races mentioned in the Going Solo story in
‘Butt 2561 start on June 21 -- not March 21. Legendary solo-sailor Tim
Kent pointed out to us that, “Only a crazy person would sail a race like
this in March.”

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Mar 27-30 - St Barths Bucket Regatta - Gustavia, St Barths, FWI
Mar 28 - CDM to Cabo San Lucas Race - Corona del Mar, CA, USA
Mar 28-30 - Hobie Midwinters East - Panama City, FL, USA
Mar 28-30 - International Rolex Regatta - St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
Mar 30-Apr 1 - 70th Annual Snipe Midwinter Champs - Clearwater, FL,
View all the events at

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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 Doran Cushing: It would really be nice if at some point in the
immediate future the media, the sailing organizations, and yacht clubs
could learn how to spell "multihull." It is one word. Monohull is one
word. Ninety percent of the time I read "multihull" on NORs, SIs, press
releases, and even Scuttlebutt posts, the word is bastardized into multi
hull or multi-hull. There remains so much arbitrary discrimination
against the fastest sailboats on Planet Earth. Why does anyone want to
go slow when you can go twice as fast with less effort and less crew?
Beats me.

* From Kent Gardam: My hat's off to this collection of tough as nails
solo sailors on the Great Lakes (SB 2561). Most of them are in their 50s
or 60s or later and they are a lot tougher than I am. Chicago to Port
Huron to Chicago or vice versa non-stop solo? Amazing.

* From Mark Gannon: A small correction regarding the Solo Mac Challenges
this year. The date is June 21 not March 21. As someone who completed
his first last year I am eagerly looking forward to this years event. In
fact I am purchasing a boat this week that will be a better fit for solo
sailing than the boat I used last year (borrowed). The GLSS fraternity
welcomed me with open arms and the prize giving luncheon after the event
was on of the best I have attended.

* From Bill Canfield: In Sailing Shorts on Wednesday (SB 2561) the west
coast was promoted as a breeding ground for junior sailors. This is
quite definitely true, but what is possibly as impressive is the
accomplishments of ST Thomas Yacht Club with just 400 members, one
employee in the sailing program, and less than 50 kids sailing. In the
past 4 years they have won 2 North American Championships in Laser and
420 finishing 2nd in another 420; 2 US High School Championships
finishing 2nd in another; 3rd in US Single Handed Championship; a 1st
and 2nd at the Youth Champs in laser and 420; two 2nds in the Bemis and
Smythe; 4th in the Gov Cup. Just recently a very impressive 1st place in
the Optimist South Americans and a 2nd among girls. There are other
accomplishments in the Orange Bowl and Buzzards Bay etc but enough
hubris . Not all great sailors come from the west coast.

* From Brian Hancock: Sometimes I fumble for the right thing to say in
response to some thread on Scuttlebutt, but when I read Alan Shore's
comments in Butt 2561 I just had to respond. Mr. Shore has, in his own
way, very eloquently summed up half of life's problems in three simple
paragraphs. We love sailing, we don't need lawyers involved and better
yet we don't need any more bureaucracy. The reason we love sailing is
because it's simple and uncluttered; let's keep it that way.

* From Justin Scott Viper 640 Class Association President: US Sailing
President Jim Capron is doubtless reading the overwhelming
correspondence opposed to mandatory membership of US Sailing. May I
suggest an alternative? Instead of requiring membership of US Sailing to
participate in competitive sailboat racing, simply require it in order
to file a protest. The advantages of this are:

1. It achieves Mr Capron's desired objective of getting more sailors who
are currently not members but who benefit from US Sailing rules and US
Sailing judges to pay their share.
2. It leaves the happy- go- lucky Weds night beer can racer alone.
3. The precedent is already there. The rules require a fee of $75 if you
are not a US Sailing member in order to file an appeal. The rules could
simply extend the requirement to filing a protest.
4. Best of all, it may even reduce the number of protests!

* From Paco Sanchez: McDonald's is a successful corporation that has a
good business model. McDonald's has a "Hamburger University" to train
its franchise owners and managers the efficient ways of delivering the
customer a burger, fries and shake. The McDonald's Corporation makes its
money off of the franchise fees, and selling the foodstuffs to
franchisees. The franchisee in turn sells the foodstuffs to the public.

US Sailing is the equivalent of McDonald's, Yacht Clubs are the
equivalent of the franchisees and Sailors are the equivalent of the
customer. These "franchisees" put the big dough up for buildings,
waterfront property, committee boats, etc. just as McDonalds franchisees
pay for their building and fryers). US Sailing has a Yacht Club
membership fee (in a sense a franchise fee) in place today. US Sailing
"University" provides the judges and race officer training and charges
for this today. The yacht club in turn sells races to the public.

McDonald's does not require me to be a member of their company in order
to buy a hamburger, fries and shake. US Sailing should not require me to
be a member to enter a race at a club.

I propose the opposite direction for US Sailing. Since the benefits of
individual membership are weak and inconsistent, and the services to
clubs remains its mainstay of training the club's judges and race
officers, they should abandon the individual membership category in
total and use the McDonald's business model.

* From Matt Bounds Editor, Hobie Class Association Hotline Magazine:
While I agree with Bruce Brown that US Sailing needs to define their
focus and produce meaningful products that sailors will want to purchase
(as opposed to being forced to purchase), his history is a little off.
His statement "[USYRU] working to get power lines raised near launch
ramps brought many Hobie Sailors to USYRU" is incorrect. It wasn't USYRU
that got powerlines raised - it was the Hobie Cat Company.

From the "Bounty Hunter" program of the late 70's, to the first mast
warning stickers, to the invention of the Comptip mast - Hobie Cat has
been at the forefront of power line awareness and relocation programs
for over 30 years. I'll warrant that the vast majority of Hobie sailors
are not US Sailing members and never have been. They have even less
incentive to join after the Olympic multihull fiasco.

* From Robert Johnston: I am surprised by the wave of negativity
inspired by the suggestion of US Sailing membership for racers,
especially on Scuttlebutt, where presumably most readers have a
particular interest in racing. The dominant theme seems to be "What have
they done for me lately?" I would have thought the right question was
"What more can US Sailing and its members do to promote sailing,
particularly for racing?" Arguably, Scuttlebutt has done more to promote
racing than any number of national or international bureaucracies, but
communications is just one part of it. If racing is to rise above a
water-born form of street stickball, it has to be organized and
regulated. There's no easy way to please everyone, but neither are there
any other viable options around.

* From Douglass Sisk: People who love sausage, respect the law, and
enjoy America's Cup yacht racing should never watch ANY of them being

One of the biggest advantages of adult education is that if you cut
classes no one calls your parents.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and R&W Rope.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at