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SCUTTLEBUTT 2565 – April 1, 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.

US SAILING President Jim Capron announced in Portsmouth today that US
SAILING's Board of Directors has decided to expand the revenue base of US
SAILING by requiring that all members of the US Navy and the Coast Guard
become members of US SAILING. In a stunning but rational move, US SAILING's
Board concluded that members of the Navy and Coast Guard routinely tell
there families that they are "sailing" when they depart on tours do duty. As
a result of this routing description of their activities, US SAILING's Board
concluded that members of the naval armed forces meet the definition of
those represented by US SAILING. There was internal debate within the US
SAILING Board as to whether this designation should extend to submariners or
just those members of the naval armed forces that serve aboard surface

A special working group of US SAILING has been formed to evaluate other uses
of the word "sailing", including those that operate sail planes and gliders,
including hang gliders and any other sporting activities that make use of
the word sail.

It has been announced today that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will be
sailing’s last appearance at this world renowned event. After officially
eliminating the Catamaran class, and then announcing that Women’s Match
Racing would become the keel boat class for girls, it has since been decided
by the powers to be that sailing simply doesn’t generate enough
international or viewers interest, and as such has been officially
eliminated from the Games.

This comes as a serious blow for the sport which has struggled for years to
gain acceptance on the international stage. Those who use the Games as their
professional springboard into other major yachting events will have to
venture back to university to gain qualifications to ensure their financial
future. Those who were lucky enough to gain a qualification prior to
becoming professional in their bid to make the world’s most recognised
sporting stage will now need to join the ranks of the common people and
resume a 9 to 5 job.

The only major events that sailors can now aim for that gains international
attention is the Fastnet, Volvo Ocean Race or single handed ventures across
the globe.“It’s been said that this could be the beginning of the end, and
slowing the world will see a dramatic decline in one-design yachts and
off-the-beach dinghies,” said one disgruntled sailor. This final decision by
officials could however shine a new light for development class campaigners.

North Sails introduces 3Dtc, a breakthrough sail construction that makes 3DL
and 3Dr sails more durable and versatile than ever. With an additional
internal core of tough, lightweight woven taffeta, 3Dtc sails stand up to
furling, flaking, folding and flogging. North’s new 3Dtc is the only sail
available that combines the durability of taffeta with the unmatched
strength and shapeholding of 3DL and 3Dr. Get your nearest
North Sails representative today.

A resolution to the America’s Cup stalemate came today from unexpected
source. Bill Goggins, President of Sail America, announced that his
organization has brokered an agreement between the rival syndicates. In a
brief press release, Goggins announced that the next Cup will be sailed in
the singlehanded A-Class Catamaran. “The A Cat is an obvious choice,” says
Goggins. “Both teams agree that accepting the class cuts down on preparation
time, limits the expenses, and generally expedites the competition so the
Cup can move ahead.”

Details are still coming to light, but sources say a picture of the
prototype boat appears on the Harken website, and that the talks began at
the Strictly Sail Chicago show. At the time the proposal wasn’t taken
seriously, but given the recent rulings by the NY Supreme Court as well as
the difficulties in building a large multihull in a short time frame, it was
a stroke of genius by Goggins and the A Cat class to revisit the proposal.

We contacted several U.S. A Cat suppliers, but none were able to shed any
further light on the development. “If they need a mast, we’re ready to go,”
says Ben Hall of Hall Spars & Rigging, who is also an officer in the U.S. A
Cat Association. “We’ve just finished wind-tunnel testing V2 of our wing
mast, or we could make 50 conventional masts between now and a fall racing

Peter Harken of Harken Yacht Equipment, and Goggins’ employer, said, “We’re
disappointed from a business standpoint because the boats are rigged with
our smallest, least expensive equipment when we’d rather sell the big,
multiple-winch packages. I’m sure that fact will come up at Bill’s next
performance review. But we’re ready to start supplying the teams right

The One Design Class Council of US SAILING announced today the
implementation of handicap ratings for one design classes. Over the past ten
years the growth of one design fleets has resulted in a general
acknowledgement that in most design fleets there remains a significant gap
in the preparation and abilities of skippers and crews. As a result,
national one design handicap racing formulas have been developed to level
the playing field in one design fleets and promote higher levels of
participation by less qualified skippers and crew.

US SAILING Staff in Portsmouth RI said, "It was the general feeling within
US SAILING that without this significant change in one design framework that
it would had become significantly harder to attract more sailors to one
design racing. This was felt to be a significant factor in reducing revenues
to US SAILING and thereby funding for US SAILING staff.

The US SAILING innovation will be one more step towards bringing one design
classes into the modern sports era and increasing participation. Golf
handicaps have worked wonders in increasing participation and why shouldn't
a new one design sailor be able to sail competitively against Russell Coutts
and a professional crew.

One US SAILING Staffer was overheard observing, "New owners spend a lot of
money for their first regatta and in getting into one design. New owners and
those that don't perform very well after years of trying in a one design
class deserve the chance to "win" just as much as the guys that have put
their time into developing boat speed and are always well prepared for
regattas." -- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: With the exception of the North Sails 3Dtc product
announcement, the preceding stories were in honor of today’s holiday, April
Fool’s Day. A big thanks to our contributors, who apparently felt the recent
dosage of legal proceedings, catamaran catastrophes, and racing events
needed to be lightened up… if only for a day. If you think we missed any
stories, you can add them here:

(March 31, 2008) - The weather which reigned off California this weekend,
won’t have given Lionel Lemonchois and his crew much of an opportunity to
size-up their performance. Setting out on Saturday 29th March at 22h45’45 UT
– or mid afternoon in San Francisco – in a bid to break the record for the
east to west crossing of the North Pacific, the eleven crew on the 110-foot
maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 were caught off guard. Initially surprised by the
icy temperatures, which weren’t dissimilar to when they cast off from New
York in January during La Route de l’Or, then by a NW’ly air flow, blowing
up to 25 knots, causing big seas the minute they escaped San Francisco Bay.

“We were expecting the Pacific swell but we were really shaken about for the
first ten hours at sea: under 2 reef ORC, soaked through despite our
drysuits… There’s certainly nicer introductions! That didn’t last long
though and things have calmed down gradually. The sea state over the first
few hours forced us to drop a little further south than the start forecasts
indicated, but nothing dramatic,” explained Lemonchois.

This start, which could be described as 'feisty', has not prevented the team
from racking up good speeds for this second record attempt, as the 480 miles
covered during the first day bear witness: at the 0830 position report, the
maxi-catamaran equipped by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild had clocked up an
185 mile lead over Olivier de Kersauson’s reference time. This fairly
substantial gain is not that significant after just 30 hours of racing, but
it's still a good morale boost for the crew. --

Wait until you see the press releases and photos of the Melges 32 fleet
racing in Europe. Yes, the Melges 32 has spread like wild fire over there
too. Please check out! For Melges 32 racing in the USA, please
review the solid regatta line up posted on The US National
Championship in Newport, RI is coming up and there are new boats available!

Cabo San Lucas (March 31, 2008) Magnitude 80, Reinrag2 and a lot of other
boats in Balboa Yacht Club's race from Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas may
have food left over. The race down the Baja Peninsula has been so fast it
appeared that when Doug Baker’s magnificent Mag 80 and Tom Garnier’s
tenacious Reinrag2 finished Monday night they’d forego boat grub and be in
town ordering dinner and popping champagne---Mag 80 for breaking its own
course record and Reinrag2 for winning overall honors for the 800-nautical
mile biennial race on corrected handicap time.

Satellite position reports at 3 p.m. PDT Monday indicated Reinrag2 would
beat Mag 80 to the Cabo Falso finish line for bragging honors by about three
hours at 5:05 p.m. PDT. With 40.4 miles to go, the 41-foot J/125 that
started Friday in Class B held a strong 56-mile lead over the hard-charging
Mag 80, an Andrews 80-footer that started Saturday. Reinrag2 was making 10.1
knots to Mag 80’s 15.5. Three other Class Bs, including two Santa Cruz
50s---Jack Taylor’s Horizon (65 miles to go) and Jim Morgan’s Fortaleza
(78)---and Tim Beatty’s Stealth Chicken (74.2) also were looking to finish
late Monday night, although they were touch and go against Mag 80, boat for
boat. -- Read on:

* Fort Worth, TX -- The eight entrants at the 2008 Sundance Cup saw the
range of wind conditions last weekend in this women’s match race event. In
the five-race finals, Molly Carapiet needed all five races against Kristen
Lane before claiming the win, which also earned her an invitation to the
2008 Santa Maria Cup Grade 1 event to be sailed May 28-31, 2008, in
Annapolis, MD. In the petit-finals, Jo Ann Fisher edged out Rebecca Beard
3-1. -- Results:

* US SAILING has announced its schedule for the 2008 USA Junior Olympic
Sailing (JO) Festival program, a nationwide series of regattas designed to
promote the enjoyment of sailing and development of skills to young sailors
as well as to provide an Olympic pathway for talented junior sailors.
Approximately 4,000 young sailors are expected to participate in 21 JO
events held in 15 states between June and December. The list of one-design
classes used in the program includes Optimists, Lasers, Bytes, Sunfish, El
Toros, Club 420s, CFJs, and 29ers, as well as several windsurfing classes.
-- Complete details:

* Kevin Hall, 2004 US Olympic Finn representative, will be honored by Brown
University on May 3rd when inducted in their Athletic Hall of Fame. --

* The International Tornado Association (ITA) has announced its new-look
committee headed by ITA President and 2008 Belgian Olympian Ms Carolijn
Brouwer. The recently-formed new ITA Committee is comprised of some of the
biggest names in world Olympic class sailing who are charged with a number
of objectives, including fighting to have the Tornado class reinstated onto
the Olympic sailing program post the Beijing Summer Olympics in August. The
immediate goals of the new Committee is to work towards overturning the ISAF
Council decision on the 2012 Olympic Events. -- Complete report:

* The America’s Cup team, BMW Oracle Racing, is beginning a two week
training session in Lorient, France aboard the 60-foot trimaran Groupama 2.
Franck Cammas, the skipper of Groupama 2, has been enlisted by the BMW
Oracle Racing team as consultant for the bulk of the America's Cup campaign
in multihulls. During the second week of training, the team will race
against another 60 foot multihull and thus amass experience on these high
performance multihulls. --

Onne van der Wal's gallery of fine nautical photography has marked down
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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 Jim Harvie: Others have remarked on the sailing eminence of the late
Dan Strohmeier in recent letters. While I knew Dan well in that context for
over fifty years, I also knew and respected him as one of the lions of the
shipbuilding industry. After having taken part in the massive shipbuilding
efforts of WWII, Dan emerged as Vice President-Shipbuilding of Bethlehem
Steel Company, where he led it to prominence in development and construction
of the first supertankers and early nuclear-powered surface ships. Just as
he anticipated wind shifts to his advantage in sailing, his foresight enable
him to reduce sharply Bethlehem's shipbuilding activities just as Asian
countries were taking over the world market for ships, and then he retired
to do more sailing. Dan's many stories made and evening with Dan and Cheryl
a memorable experience.

* From Fietje Judel, Judel/Vrolijk & Co Yacht Design: Reading all these
stories about BOR´s plans to challenge with a multihull. I wonder how they
will manage it to solve the conflict with their challenge, where they
clearly specify a monohull. According to ISO standard 8666, which is the
international standard for defining the principal data for yachts, the
waterline beam for a multihull shall be established for each hull
individually. I think it is not possible under this standard to have a
multihull where the waterline beam is equal to the maximum beam. And because
no other definition of waterline beam has been given with the GGYC
challenge, ISO 8666 for sure is applicable.

I can´t believe that the BOR guys do not know ISO 8666, so they must have
some very clever ideas to create a multihull which is being accepted as
monohull or vice versa to design a monohull with multihull performance, else
they might be the losers from the beginning. I´m quite excited to see the
boat they will show up with.

* From Skip Coggin: The pictures of the capsized Foncia (in SBUTT 2564) were
terrific--thank you. Flipping a 60' catamaran must have been a terrifying
experience, even for those hardened sailors. Too bad the traditional
sportsmanship and courtesy exemplified by the America's Cup has deteriorated
to the point where it is contested more in the courts than on the water. I'm
in favor of taking America's name off the contest!

* From Diane Swintal: Kudos to Vincenzo Onorato for his commentary (in ‘butt
2563) regarding the events that have led the America’s Cup to its latest
round of court proceedings. Onorato clearly worked long, hard, admirable
hours to fix the situation following Alinghi’s absurd protocol – and his
rundown shows just how mindless are the inner workings of what used to be a
top America’s Cup team, now gone terribly off course. Has there ever been a
more damaging team in the history of sport? It is my fervent hope that
Alinghi forfeits the Cup so we can stop this nonsense.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: It is a good reminder that the actual holder of the
America’s Cup is the Swiss club that Alinghi represents, the Société
Nautique Genève (SNG). As for Mr. Onorato, the emails sent to Scuttlebutt
fully supported his comments, and we have moved the best ones to be read in
the Forum:

* From Lee Jerry: Since no one else has, I feel it necessary to comment on
Stephen Voller’s letter regarding fuel cells in ‘butt 2554. I believe and
hope that fuel cells will become more prevalent as a power source in various
facets of our society. But let’s be straight on a couple issues. A fuel cell
run on fossil fuel is not a renewable energy source as Mr Voller implies
(“…function alongside other renewable energy sources…).

Yes, hydrogen put into the fuel cell stack will yield electricity, heat and
water. But prior to that, a fossil fuel put into the reformer will have the
hydrogen separated out from all of the other chemicals originally in the
fuel. But it doesn’t take a chemist to realize that the carbon, nitrogen
etc. don’t just disappear. Perhaps they could be combined in a more
environmentally sound form than yielded from combustion (CO2, NOx, etc.), or
perhaps not. I don't know but either way, these chemicals are also waste
products of a fuel cell run on fossil fuel. Otherwise, that’s kind of like
saying the only by product of nuclear energy is heat (used to generate
electricity), while ignoring the spent nuclear fuel issue.

Fuel cells are a good power producer (converter), and getting better, but
when they are run on a fossil fuel certainly not renewable and not as clean
as solar or wind.

* From Barbara Herman: The arguments going on now re: the AC as well as the
talk of boycotting the Olympics are ridiculous. This seems to me like a
bunch of rich spoiled children are playing games. Is there no sportsmanship
left? I remember sailing the Sardinia Cup in 1984 with a stellar crew of
Lowell North, Ron Love, Buzz Boetcher, Lewie Wake, Nils Muench, and others
too numerous to mention and working hard to win and also having fun. I also
remember taking Kimo Worthington on a Mexican race when he needed his
mother's permission to go. How does the yachting community expect the young
people to learn? Are we going to kill racing completely? I hope not.

“It's hard enough to remember my opinions, without also having to remember
my reasons for them.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche, nineteenth-century German
philologist and philosopher.

Special thanks to North Sails, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Onne van
der Wal gallery.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at