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SCUTTLEBUTT 2566 - April 2, 2008

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is
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* From Dean Brenner, Chairman, US Olympic Sailing Program:
I am a member of the Board of Directors of US SAILING, and I voted to
support idea of mandatory membership for people who race sailboats.

Some people claim US SAILING adds no value to the sport. I used to be one of
those people. Long before I was on the Board, or in charge of the Olympic
Sailing Program, I campaigned for the 2000 Olympic Team, and I was the first
one to stand up and criticize. Now, after being involved for the last 8
years, I have a deeper insight into the value US SAILING provides. The
statement that US SAILING adds "no value" is simply and patently false. If
you race sailboats outside of your club (and sometimes even if you race ONLY
AT your club), you benefit from what US SAILING provides. Whether you
realize it or not, you get huge ROI on your $60. How? If you race, you use
the rules, you benefit from trained race officers, judges and umpires. The
people who organize your racing rely on manuals and procedures that people
at US SAILING work tirelessly on. US SAILING funds youth programs and runs
regattas and championships. We organize handicap racing certificates. US
SAILING lobbies the government for changes in laws and regulations that
affect all of us. We certify and train coaches that teach in junior programs
all across the country. I could go on, but the simple fact is that you get a
lot for your $60.

The more important question in my mind is not "what does US SAILING do for
me today?" The more important question is "what will US SAILING do if they
add all these members?" That question is more about what we want the sport,
and US SAILING's role in it, to be in the future. And our Board talks about
this all the time. What would we do with a broader member base, and, yes,
more revenue? We would do a LOT more of the things we already do - we would
train more judges and umpires and race officers. We would run more clinics
and train more coaches. We would conduct more learn-to-sail initiatives. all
things that you benefit from and should support.

Cynics might say we just need the money. False. US SAILING has never been so
financially secure. Cynics might also say "Dean wants more support for his
Olympic Program". False again. Currently the Olympic Program supports itself
and all your membership dollars go to other initiatives.

The bottom line is this. many in our sport benefit from the work US SAILING
does, but yet refuse to join. They take, don't support, and often are the
first people to stand up and criticize. After 8 years of working hard to
make our sport better through my involvement at US SAILING, I now firmly
believe that nominal membership dues to this organization are a small price
to pay for all the benefits racing sailors enjoy. I stand firmly and
publicly in favor of this decision.

* From Debbie Mussen, Public Relations Executive:
I am a step-mother who has to keep with what my husband's kids are involved
in, and this sailing stuff is all new to me. My step-kids have turned me on
to your site, which I find valuable in keeping up with the trends in the
sport. However, what is not new to me is the subject of Public Relations,
and I have noted with interest the message(s) currently being delivered by

I'm not sure what US SAILING really does, but from my background in Public
Relations and Marketing, based on letters like their Vice President's (in
Issue 2563), it is clear to me that they believe they are in the business of
only selling commodities at the lowest price. Either that, or they believe
they are running for President. "Send us your money, and we will give you
more services whether you asked for it, want it, or need it. We know what is
best for you". What exactly is the message that US SAILING has, or wants to
send? Good deals on insurance and something about different entry fees? Huh?

Mr. Hubbell seems offended that readers scoffed at the notion of mandatory
membership because of what the President said in the first press release (in
Issue 2555). Well, rule #1 one in Public Relations has to be, know exactly
what you want to say when first say it, and then repeat it until everyone
understands it. Sorry if we take exception to being told that mandatory
membership was coming and assuming that it meant for everyone, but that is
what your President said. Perhaps not everyone on the Board got the memo.

There is an axiom in the marketing world that says "the quality remains long
after the price is forgotten". There is also a companion piece that says
"never apologize for quality". It seems to me that US SAILING spends a lot
of time apologizing for price, not quality.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Scuttlebutt is halting (for now) this thread until
US SAILING further defines their new membership plan. We have moved all the
letters sent to us to the Forum - both published and unpublished - and
encourage communication to continue there if desired. Link:

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by Kimball Livingston, SAIL WEST
San Francisco, CA - I don't know why, but the Doublehanded Farallones Race
produces more "adventures" than any other event on the California coast.
Well, a windy ocean, a narrow Golden Gate Strait, some pretty big currents
and doing it in the springtime certainly factor in. We saw 30 knots out
there over the weekend - Gitana 13 started for Yokohama because that's the
breeze they wanted, but then the guys didn't like the sea state at all - and
30 knots is not uncommon in the springtime in the Gulf of the Farallones.
And when it blows for a while you get your 10-15 foot seas and an occasional

Having been around the Southeast Farallon a few times (or more), and being
unable to remember a time when I ever clicked in with a harness, I reckon I
won't be preaching to anyone what a good idea it is to do just that. But I
suspect that two people by the names of Luc de Faymoreau and Disun Den Daas
are recent converts to the concept. They were pitched out of their boat and
. . . Read on:

(April 1, 2008) Since setting out from San Francisco on Saturday night (UT),
Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew have been experiencing a diversity of
weather, characteristic of this east to west crossing of the North Pacific.
On starboard tack heading of 241, the team prepares to encounter her next
system: there is good cloud cover dropping down from the NW with 30 knots of
wind forecast. As a result, the wet atmosphere is still par for the course
for Gitana Team for the next 24 hours.

By Tuesday morning, Lionel Lemonchois and his crew had a 371 mile lead over
the reference time currently held by Olivier de Kersauson and his giant
trimaran Geronimo, with the 110-foot maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 maintaining an
average pace of over 20 knots, and now collecting over 500 miles in a 24
hour period. --

Cabo San Lucas (April 1, 2008)---Amid an armada of high-powered, high-tech
ocean racers and smaller boats sailed aggressively by energetic youth, top
honors in Balboa Yacht Club's race from Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas may
be going to a 50-year-old wooden boat with a mostly AARP crew. This is not
an April Fool's joke. The morning after Magnitude 80, Doug Baker's Andrews
80 from Long Beach, broke its own course record by virtually surfing the 800
nautical miles in 2 days 10 hours 23 minutes 27 seconds, Chris Calkins'
"double-ender" Sabrina, a Calkins 50 from San Diego, finished in 3 days 22
hours 40 minutes 30 seconds to wrest the overall lead on corrected handicap
time from Tom Garnier's Reinrag2, a J/125 from Portland, Ore. Calkins' boat
was designed by his father, with all the comforts of the good old days. "I
think it was the only wood boat in the race," Calkins said. "I know it was
the oldest boat." -- Read on:

* From Tim Jeffery, Telegraph:
Seems I am not alone in believing that the world governing body 'misspeaks'
when ISAF trots out the argument that the media desires match racing to back
in the Olympics. This is why they want to introduce it when the Games come
here in 2012 and we go sailing on Weymouth Bay. Not only this, but ISAF
wants to make it an event for women too. The gender point is this. Women
have already been dished out a duff deal by ISAF when in an extra women's
event in 1996 (which was right) they decided to use the dull-as-ditch water
Yngling class (which was wrong).

Women's match racing is not as well developed as it is the men. Fewer of
them do it and they come from a smaller spread of countries too. So it looks
as if we will have a new medal in 2012 for a sub-set of a sub-set. It was
another ISAF how-did-we-get-here-from-there? decision when it was made last
November. Certainly women's match racing was not what the majority of
countries urged in their submissions. And yet without much debate at the
annual meeting the decision was made. "The media tell us the entire time
match racing is good for the sport" was the justification used. Again.
Hmmmm. -- Read on:

* From Henry L. Menin, Chairman, ISAF Match Racing Committee:
I thank you for your comments on Women's Match Racing in the 2012 Olympics.
It gives me the opportunity to try to set the record straight on some
matters that are either in error or misleading in your article. I wish that
you had contacted me, as Chairman of the ISAF Match Racing Committee, or any
members of our committee or the Executive Committee of ISAF or the Executive
Secretary of ISAF, any of whom could have disabused you of some of the
erroneous information that you may have received from other sources.

Women's Match Racing, worldwide, is probably the fastest growing aspect in
our sport today. There are currently approximately 200 women match racing
skippers on the ISAF match racing ranking list. There are more who have not
made that list. There are around 1200 to 1500 women who crew on those match
racing teams. There are more than 40 women's match racing regattas every
year (only for women's teams.not all the other Open regattas where many
women's teams also compete). There are more than 40 nations with active
women match racers. There are active women match racers in at least 5
continents (Europe, Asia, Australia/Oceana, South America and North
America). -- Read on:

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* The BSPORT ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championship will commence in
Auckland, New Zealand this Wednesday April 2-6 on the inner Waitemata
Harbour. Using the dinghy-like Elliott 6s. The gathering at the Royal New
Zealand Yacht Squadron includes six of the top eleven ranked skippers in the
world: These are three times and reigning World Champion Claire Leroy of
France, World #2 Lotte Meldgaard Pederson (DEN), #3 Katie Spithill (AUS), #4
Christine Phileppe (FRA), # 6 Silke Hahlbrook (GER), and #11 Elizabeth
Baylis (USA), who is also Executive Director of the Women's International
Match Racing Association. -- Event site:

* 32nd America's Cup challenger United Internet Team Germany has decided to
stop working for the time being as of March 31, 2008. In a meeting held on
the 10th of March 2008 in Ingolstadt, the German Challenge decided together
with its partners United Internet AG, AUDI AG and Porsche Consulting to
continue its previous, trustful, and successful work in the 34th America's
Cup on a basis of a new protocol / rule. The contracts of all team members
are discontinued and the base in Valencia will be closed for the time being
after March 31, 2008. --

* Newport Beach, CA -- Applications are now being accepted for a limited
number of invitations to enter the 42nd annual Governor's Cup International
Junior Match Racing Championship taking place July 16-20, 2008 with
applications due on May 1st, 2008. Hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club, and
recognized as the oldest international junior match race series, the
Governor's Cup Challenge attracts the most promising sailors under the age
of 20 from around the world. Full details on the Balboa Yacht Club's website

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 Gary Edelman: (re, 'butt 2563 on the expansion of a sailing center to
better host social functions) As someone who was the executive director of a
community sailing center, was co-commodore of another, and was part of the
architectural and design team of others, I can tell you that you are

On more than 10 occasions, I've heard people who have never been near the
water, or never sailed, exclaim how wonderful the facility was that they
were enjoying, and how great it would be to try the sport. And actually came
out and did so. Instead of walling our sport off, and limiting it to the
exclusive and often exclusionary enclaves, community sailing seeks to be
inclusive and invite people in to our great sport. Get a clue, or watch
sailing die. --

* From Tom Hart, Annapolis, MD: Requiring U.S. Navy and Coast Guard sailors
is a GREAT way to expand US Sailing membership. Obviously, shore-based
(hyphenated) personnel should not be required to join, but it does leave the
submariners in limbo as mentioned - as well as naval aviation squadrons that
are embarked on carriers. One can only wonder how US Sailing has overlooked
the opportunity to further increase its base even further - by requiring
membership by all U.S. citizens who sail on cruise ships.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: As mentioned above, this thread is dead for now in
the newsletter, but additional comments are welcome here:

* From Karen Kelley: Did no one else wonder if perhaps April Fool's Day came
a day early? In the Team One Newport ad on March 31 (Scuttlebutt #2564),
their promotion of Woolrich clogs are one thing, but Woolrich thongs sound a

* From Dave Stringer, New Zealand: As you well know, we get the days a
little earlier than you down here in God's Own, so one of my after work
pleasures is reading 'Butt. I have to say that, after a long hard day
Monday, it was the greatest pleasure to read today's edition and have a
great belly-laugh at the first few articles. Like many an April Fool's Day
lark, they had enough credibility to get through a sentence or two before
the guffaws started, but the AC in A class was the best thing I've read
about the 'auld mug saga for many a month - a great laugh. Keep 'em coming,
your service to humanity is greater than you will know in this life.

* From Chris Ericksen: In his letter in 'Butt 2565, Skip Coggin says he
feels badly that "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" and that he is "in favor of taking
America's name off the contest." Was this another April Fools' gag? The most
cursory review of the history of the America's Cup will reveal two things:
first, that hard feelings, off-the-water conflict and court actions are as
much part of the legacy of this contest as on-the water competition; and
second, the term "America's" in the name of the cup does not infer ownership
or donation by the United States of America but refers to the name of the
schooner-yacht "America" that won it in the first place.

* From Steve Maseda: I take Judel's comments (in 'butt 2565) as being
offered in the vein of the day - April Fools' Day, that is. If not, he must
be an adviser to Alinghi. This kind of advice is what got them into this
sorry state of affairs, and if they don't stop and read the deed of gift,
and forget about the ISO, they will stay there, all to the loss of those of
us who love and have followed the Cup for almost 50 years.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Fietje Judel is a partner in the Judel/Vrolijk & Co
Yacht Design and Engineering, which has been the lead design firm for the
Alinghi team. It is only a coincidence that Fretje's letter appeared in the
newsletter dated April 1.

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