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SCUTTLEBUTT 2564 – March 31, 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.

Comparing Snipes and Lightnings is like comparing apples and oranges. They
are similar, but not the same. Same goes for comparing Farr 40s and TP 52s
on the grand prix circuit. However, comparing America’s Cup class boats and
offshore multihulls is like comparing apples and asteroids. Okay, maybe not
that far apart, but if they didn’t both float and use sails, the list would
get pretty short. Regardless, with the next Cup looking to be a showdown
between Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing in multihulls, both teams still appear
to be using their talented monohull sailors, and enlisting multihull coaches
to fill in the gaps. Based on the tremendous failure experienced this
weekend by the Alinghi team, we now know the size of the gap: think Grand
Canyon. Read on:

(March 29, 2008) AT 11:30 this morning, in 20 plus knots and a lumpy
Atlantic swell, the 60ft trimaran Foncia capsized off Lorient, France with
Alinghi sailors onboard. Of the 10 crew onboard, Piet van Niekerk and
Francesco Rapetti were airlifted to hospital, both are safe and with no
serious injuries. The rest of the crew, along with helmsman Ed Baird and
consultant Alain Gautier, were involved in securing the boat and towing it
upside down ashore, where it will be craned out and assessed for damage. The
capsize occurred when the team was bearing away and buried the leeward and
the central bows. -- Complete release:

* If you were wondering what helmsman Ed Baird was thinking before this
fateful outing, here is an interview with Ed from the day before:

* Teaching America’s Cup sailors in the finer points of multihull sailing
might be harder than some thought. There are the subtle nuance to learn…
like how not to capsize. Photographer Thierry Martinez was on the scene when
the Alinghi team arrived in port – upside down. --

* Spanish teams Iker Martínez & Xabi Fernández and Federico & Arturo Alonso
finished the 49er European championship as the top two teams, beating out 62
other entrants in Palma, Spain. The lone North American team, Tim Wadlow and
Chris Rast (USA), finished sixth overall. Brilliant photos by Ingrid Abery
and Claire Matches. --

* The inaugural Virgin Island Race Week began this past weekend with the
International Rolex Regatta in the US Virgin Islands, and from a look at the
images from shooter Ingrid Abery, the event looks to have a nice mix of sun,
scenery, and competition. We’ll take a round, and keep the tab open. Enjoy!

* The St. Barth’s Bucket is an invitational regatta set in the Corinthian
spirit, open to yachts over 100-feet in length. Swanky yachts, Caribbean
location, and more cocktail parties than races leads to some sweet imagery,
provided here by photographer Cory Silken. --

If you are going to Sail Newport's "COME SEE PUMA FLY" presentation this
Thursday in Newport, RI, then consider yourself lucky! But the rest of you
can still be a part of skipper Ken Read’s Volvo Ocean Racing team by
visiting the Team One Newport's website and buying some really cool Puma
team gear. Be sure to check out the new Ronstan watches too! And the new
Woolrich clogs and thongs as well as the Olukai sandals are in too!! Shop
from the team that has the best service, selection, and expertise. Call
800-VIP-GEAR or check out

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: Seven teams are committed for the VOR, which will be
starting October 4th. New boats are already beginning to splash, so look for
the pace of race updates to soon speed up. To learn more about attending
this week’s PUMA event, go to

The latest in the legal drama that has become the America’s Cup finds the
defender Alinghi back in court to determine when the 33rd event must be
held. They have submitted their position papers, as have the Challenger of
Record club Golden Gate Yacht Club, for the April 2, 2008 hearing.
Scuttlebutt’s legal analyst Cory Friedman has reviewed both sides, and as
you will find in his opinion below, a new phrase has now entered our
knowledge base: Tolling Agreement. Here is Cory’s 19th report:

(March 30, 2008) In response to letters from both Societe Nautique de Geneve
(SNG) and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), Justice Cahn has set a 9:30 am
hearing on April 2, 2008, presumably to consider setting a date for AC 33,
the Deed of Gift (DOG) Challenge. GGYC has set October 1, 3 and 5, 2008 as
the dates and SNG is insisting on nothing earlier than May 1, 2009. SNG
should be sitting pretty going into this hearing. Indeed, SNG should be in a
position to push the Match out for years. Instead, thanks to a spectacular
blunder, almost as bad as not going around a mark, SNG is going into the
hearing with its pants around its ankles begging for mercy from Justice
Cahn, whose decision on SNG’s last motions practically had “we are not
amused,” as the refrain.

How did SNG dig itself this hole? If, based upon past history, you chose (a)
“overreaching,” you win and move on to the next round. Ordinarily, the
deadline to do anything is unaffected by litigation. In special cases,
statutes provide a stay while litigation is pending. For example,
governmental entities usually get an automatic stay of enforcement of a
judgment while they appeal. Those statutory stays are relatively rare and
none apply to this case. At the very first hearing on September 10, 2007,
Justice Cahn suggested a tolling agreement to stop the clock on GGYC’s July
4, 6 and 8, 2008 challenge. Both sides supported in general terms a toll of
the July 2008 dates, but with no specificity and no court reporter to take a
detailed “agreement” down, New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) 2104
renders their statements unenforceable, unless reduced to a writing and
signed by the parties, which customarily then would be submitted to Justice
Cahn for his signature and entry on the docket. -- Read on:

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

The stopwatch is back in action aboard Gitana 13. On standby in San
Francisco since February 28th after setting a new record for La Route de
l’Or (New York to SF), the 110-foot maxi-catamaran set off this Saturday
March 29th at 22h45’45” UT, for a record attempt between San Francisco and
Yokohama, Japan. Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew are tackling the North
Pacific crossing, hoping to beat the current record of 14 days 22 hours 40
minutes and 41 seconds set by Olivier de Kersauson and his team aboard
Geronimo on April 27, 2006.

When Olivier de Kersauson and his ten men set off on April 12, 2006, the
conditions reigning over the Pacific forced them to choose a very southerly
route over the first few days at sea, distancing them from the direct
course. Though Geronimo made the most of it to pass between the Hawaiian
Islands, rounding the mark of "Diamond Head" after 4 days and 19 hours. In
so doing, it established a new reference time between San Francisco and
Honolulu (Hawaii). This passage off Honolulu, also proved to be an
opportunity for Olivier de Kersauson and his crew to glean the record
between Honolulu and Yokohama.

* The Gitana 13 team hosted a press junket last week, where they took media
types for a buzz on San Francisco Bay. Here is a report of the event shared
by the Latitude 38 publication:

* The Sailing World College Rankings as of March 25 has St Mary’s still in
the lead of both the coed and women’s divisions. --

* Auckland, New Zealand (March 29, 2008) The conclusion of the Laser Radial
Men and Youth World Championships provided some familiar names among the 113
boats. Canadian Olympic Laser representative Michael Leigh won the Laser
Radial Men division, with another Laser sailor, Brad Funk (USA), finishing
second. On the youth side, Claire Dennis was sixth. Complete results:

* The 2008 circuit for the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series has been
unveiled with five European events focusing on high-octane, competitive
close-quarter racing, accessible to the viewing public whilst providing an
unforgettable VIP experience. Five new catamarans have been constructed,
bringing the total fleet size to 14 – and three America’s Cup teams now own
Extreme 40s. -- Full report:

St. Thomas, USVI (March 30, 2008) -- After completing a single distance race
Sunday, the eight class leaders nailed down overall victories at the 35th
annual International Rolex Regatta, which began Friday. The trade winds that
made the prior two days so exciting delivered once again as sailors on 90
boats completed the Pillsbury Sound course, set between the east end of St.
Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, and its smaller sister
island of St. John. The International Rolex Regatta is the first part of
Virgin Islands Race Week, which bridges this event with the BVI Spring
Regatta. – Daily reports and results:

* (March 30, 2008) After starting on Saturday, it took about a day for the
fastest boats to overcome the 24-hour head start by some of the
slowest-rated boats in Balboa Yacht Club's biennial Corona del Mar, CA to
Cabo San Lucas race. About halfway through the 800-nautical mile race down
the Baja peninsula by Sunday afternoon, leaders Doug Baker’s Andrews 80
Magnitude 80, was now well inshore of Jim Madden’s Reichel/Pugh 66 Stark
Raving Mad III. Two boats have dropped out---Tom Holthus’ J/145 Bad Pak with
steering problems and George Minardos’ Aeolos Beneteau 44 with a broken
boom. -- Daily report:

* Clarification: In the letter from Thomas Hubbell, Vice President, US
SAILING that was in Issue 2563, he made a reference to infer that the bilge
water discharge issue is over. It is not. The current exemption for
recreational boats to have a permit to discharge clean bilge, cockpit water,
or deck water overboard will expire September 30, 2008. US SAILING and many
other boating organizations are actively working to get new legislation
passed before then that would permanently exempt recreational boats from the
permit process. It is recommended that interested boater contact their two
US Senators to voice their opinion on this matter, with additional
information available at

Congratulations to Jud Smith for finishing second at the 2008 Etchells
Midwinters. Jud equipped his brand-new Etchells with Paraloc running
rigging. Paraloc’s patented parallel braid interlocks the lines cover and
core fibers, producing a line that resists kinking and has better holding
power in clutches. Whether you’re a world class Etchells sailor or
recreational cruiser, if you’re looking for simpler, more precise sail trim,
its time to join the running rigging revolution. Paraloc can be found at
Sound Rigging (Essex, CT) Ontario Yachts (Burlington, Ontario), Rig Pro,
(Newport, RI) and Rigging Systems (Miami, FL) or visit

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 Ross Emmans: In his letter in ‘butt 2563, Mr Cockburn noted to have
finished well behind Mr Dane in the 1967 Sears Cup sailed in Sharks, but
he's learned a thing or two since then. He beat 68 other teams to win the
2002 and 2003 Shark Worlds. I remember that exciting summer of sailing in
'67, having sailed in my first world championship in the OK Dinghy, where I
finished behind almost everybody.

* From Chris Chatain, Chicago, IL: And don't forget that John won the Flying
Dutchman US Championship in 1969. He crewed for me in that regatta in
Jackson, MS and together we went on to Adelaide in Australia, where we came
in 8th in the 1970 FD World Championship. I think those were the only two
regattas he ever sailed in an FD. The Adelaide Worlds was very windy, and I
think he decided the view from a trapeze didn't suit him.

* From Derek Blanke: In ‘butt 2562, Doran Cushing asks in his letter
regarding monohulls and multihulls, “Why does anyone want to go slow when
you can go twice as fast with less effort and less crew?” Easy one to answer
– mooring charges. As most boats remain unused most the time, hanging around
in marinas and on moorings while the owners beaver away to pay for them, the
cost of a monohull is considerably less than a multihull (all one word…).
Parking boats is a big enough issue without doubling the size of them! Most
multihulls (all one word…) are small boats sailed off beaches or massive
racing machines – have you ever wondered why?

* From Brad Avery: (regarding racing to Hawaii in ‘butt 2563) As a
card-carrying member of Transpac Anonymous, I couldn't agree more about the
bait-n-switch tactics of Transpac marketing. This shameful practice has been
going on a hundred years, luring in the inexperienced and veterans alike
every two years. Some of sailing's most miserable moments (days...) have
been spent crashing westward in a freezing early July northwesterly.
Sometimes the sun comes out on day seven or eight. Despite all this, many of
us fall off the wagon every odd year. I think TPA needs to schedule some
meetings prior to the "Race to Paradise." I'm afraid my case is chronic, but
others might be saved. Pacific Cuppers should be saved too. I'm not sure
which race is more "fun," but I think it has something to do with the group
of addicts you sail with.

* From Robert D. "Dan" O'Brien: Shame on you for being so provincial. There
is another race to Hawaii that is way more fun than the other "Fun Race to
Hawaii", that being the Victoria BC to Lahaina Maui Race, or just plain old
Vic-Maui. True it isn't fun for the wimps that can't stand a few days of
slogging to weather, or those not smart enough to get around the Pacific
High. Vic-Maui is co sponsored by real Yacht Clubs. The prestigious Royal
Vancouver Yacht Club of Vancouver BC, and that notorious nest of decadence
the Lahaina Yacht Club of Lahaina Maui. Who ever heard of anyone having fun
in Lahaina? This year marks the 21st edition of the event so please don't
forget to mention the really fun race to Hawaii. The race where the "veddy
veddy" and the not so "veddy" can square off and get it on. What could be
more fun than that?

* From Emory Heisler: (RE: Photos Of The Week and the Curmudgeon's apparent
ignorance of the Buccaneer 18 Class) For hundreds of years, the Buccaneer 18
fleet has pillaged its way across the high seas…oops…wrong Buccaneer story.
ARRRR! The Buccaneer 18 was designed in 1966 by Rod Macalpine-Downie and
Dick Gibbs. An integrated spinnaker launch tube, roller furling jib, and
well-constructed sail plan make it a great two-handed racing dinghy. The
original builder - Chrysler Marine - produced over 4000 boats, and over 5000
have been produced in the past 40 years. The Bucc 18 is currently produced
by Nickels Boat Works, with the largest fleets concentrated in the
Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, greater Chicago-land, Denver and, yes,
of all places, Arizona, where there are over 25 of these speedy little
dinghies. --

* From Keith Taylor, Auckland, NZ: (Re "How to save the America's Cup" -
Scuttlebutt #2563) Bravo, bravissimo Vincenzo Onorato! With the exception of
last year in Valencia, I was involved in some way or another with every
America's Cup defense since 1967 and I'm only too aware of the power of the
Cup to influence attitudes. Ernesto Bertarelli has employed legions of
lawyers and endless verbosity to underpin his fumbling efforts to hijack the
America's Cup and it seems he hasn't even "got it" yet! Vincenzo on the
other hand has nailed it in one. Tons of great one-liners in this treatise.
My favorite is: "I do not agree with Alinghi's avidity, which unfortunately
is not even backed by an intelligent commercial strategy." Anyone who calls
into question the months of wrangling and name-calling we've endured over
the past months should be made to read this Cup challenger's insights -
slowly, and aloud - at least three times.

* From Fred Bieberbach: (In response to Tom Hubbell, Vice President, US
SAILING’s comments about the “sailing tax” in ‘butt 2563’) Vice President
Hubbell is correct. We should maybe not be “listening to the non-members
carping about the value of US SAILING”…but we should maybe listen to its

One would expect a member of the Executive Board or a Cabinet Member to
defend their existence and expound on the features, benefits and advantages
of “big brother taking care of business for us”. Big politics always seems
to slip into the forefront and present itself as the savior of the masses.
There are many other organizations and individuals that are constantly in
the forefront on issues (such as the gray-water issue/ bilge-water, etc.)
but look to their memberships for donations and encourage others to join

Vice President Hubbell’s comment: “The money I save insuring 3 small boats
via US SAILING pays for my membership; seems like a real value to me. The
money I saved registering for 12 regattas last year covers another year of
membership; so just those two benefits put me $60 ahead”... is EXACTLY what
US SAILING should be selling. Telling individuals (as individual as sailors
can often be) that they must become members… is the wrong approach to

* From John Wade: Regarding Tom Hubble's note (in ‘butt 2563) promoting the
proposed membership requirement, he notes advantages such as insurance
provided through US Sailing. The only thing I ever received from US Sailing
was a membership card. I have never been advised of any specials on boat
insurance. I don't even get a new rules book when they come out. Do you have
to be a vice-president to enjoy these perks?

Mariette, Rebecca, Meteor, Puma, Groupama, Parlay, Barking Mad, Orange II,
Arcadia, Belle Aventure, Hissar, Ranger, Alinghi, Black Knight, Perseus,
Morning Glory, Rambler, Excellence III, Endeavour, Intuition, Stealth,
Turmoil, Wild Horses, Limitless, Zingaro, Whisper, Georgia, Scheherazade,
Twizzle, Oracle, Adix, Hetairos, Moon River..... The Wall of Fame at Newport
Shipyard. 401-846-6002,

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad
people will find a way around the laws." - Plato (427-347 B.C.)

Special thanks to Team One Newport, R & W Rope, and Newport Shipyard.

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