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SCUTTLEBUTT 2571 – April 9, 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.

It was announced last week (#2567) that ISAF had agreed to reconsider the
events selected for the 2012 Olympic Games. As a result of the significant
outcry from the international sailing community, ISAF will vote at their
Mid-Year Meeting to take place in Qingdao, China (May 8-12, 2008) as to
whether they choose to reaffirm their decision on the 2012 Olympic Events
made in November 2007. A simple majority vote against affirmation sends the
voters to the next round, where separate votes for the selected men’s events
and the selected women’s events will occur. It will take two-thirds of the
voters to agree that change needs to occur at this round, and it could be
for only the men, only the women, both, or neither.

Assuming that there is a majority vote at the first round against
affirmation, the recent Scuttlebutt poll asked the ‘buttheads if they found
either of the event lists needed to be changed. The final poll tally finds
that either Scuttlebutt is now the most widely read publication in the
multihull community, or there are simply a lot of dissatisfied people.
Either way, the voters say that change is needed, more so for the men, but
still needed for both men and women.

The next step now is to vote on what events are preferred. However, after
looking at the voter comments from our first poll, there might be some
confusion regarding the terms of the 2012 Olympic Events. First off, there
will be 6 men events and 4 women events, with no open or mixed events. Also,
we are only deciding on events (ie, singlehanded, doublehanded, multihull,
etc.) and not equipment (ie, Finn, 29erXX, Star, etc.). The poll has all the
suggested event choices, and you are now asked to rate each event in how
strongly you feel it should be in the Olympics. To place your vote, go to

Spring is in the air. Around the Chesapeake, boatyards are buzzing as
drydocked sail and power boats are readied for the season. An exception is
at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where a change in philosophy is
raising concern for one of the recent rites of passage for midshipmen. For
years, mids by the hundreds went to sea in the summer on one or another of
the academy's fleet of 44-foot sloops to spend a week or two in close
quarters, dealing with whatever the ocean threw at them between here and New
England. In Navy parlance, it's called small-unit leadership training at sea
and is regarded by many as a cornerstone of preparation for budding

Two years ago, about 1,000 mids made the summer passage either from Newport,
R.I., to Annapolis or the other way around after a week of training on one
of the academy's 21 blue 44-footers, said Cmdr. Jay Cavalieri, a former
all-American dinghy sailor who now runs the school's sailing program. This
year, he expects only 120 or 130 will make the trip. The offshore program
and inshore basic sail training in smaller boats are victims of budget cuts,
said Cavalieri, who has been struggling to keep them afloat on about
one-tenth of the funds he's used to having. Cavalieri said the academy's
intercollegiate dinghy racing operation continues to thrive, financed
largely by a private grant, but funds for maintaining and operating larger
boats and for general sail-training are scarce.

In all, the academy keeps a fleet of about 300 sailboats ranging from
one-man Lasers to the 66-foot, custom-designed, donated ocean racer Zarafa
that, with a crew of mids, was first to finish last year's Governor's Cup
Race from Annapolis to St. Mary's City. Cavalieri says the new academy
superintendent, Vice Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler, made clear when he took over
last June he was committed to continuing the school's strong NCAA dinghy
racing presence but would cut back on noncompetitive offshore and inshore
training operations. -- Washington Post, full story:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comments: Two members of an oversight committee, Gary Jobson
and Tony Parker, voice their concerns regarding the change further into the
article, and will be meeting with committee members on April 22nd to
discuss. If you have an opinion that you would like to share, send us an

Just in time to brush up for sailing season, North U is offering free
shipping to Scuttlebutt readers on all mail orders placed in April. This
deal applies to the full line of North U Books and CDs, as well as books,
CDs and DVDs from Dave Perry, John Rousmaniere, David Dellenbaugh, and
Tucker Thompson. Free shipping for US and Canada. Half price for overseas
shipping. (Not available for express delivery.) Add “Scuttlebutt Free
Shipping” to comments and we’ll deduct the shipping fee before processing
charges. 800-347-2457 or

The Volvo Ocean Race has long resided on the grand scale of international
yachting, and for the North American ‘buttheads, skipper Ken Read and his
Puma Ocean Racing campaign are officially the home team. There will be a
total of seven entries starting this fully crewed event in October - six
based in Europe and one emerging from Newport, RI. Following a presentation
by Read last week to provide an overview of his team, Sailing World
magazine’s Stuart Streuli had these observations:

“It appears that Read isn't taking this tremendous opportunity for granted.
While he has carved a very successful career in the sailing industry and
he's won more than his share of big races, I have wondered whether he would
ever truly stamp his mark on the sport. In my mind—at least if you're an
American sailor—you do that in one of three ways: win an Olympic medal, win
an America's Cup, or win the Volvo Ocean Race. These three achievements
require such an exquisite combination of planning, talent, determination,
and luck that they stand the test of time.

“I don't think you can call Puma a favorite for the VOR crown. That honor,
or weight if you prefer, rests with Torben Grael and the two-boat Ericsson
campaign. But after last night's presentation I'm moving Puma closer to the
top, less of a dark horse and much more of an outside favorite. I was left
with three distinct thoughts after the presentation:

* Read is totally at peace with the commercial nature of the race. His
candor is refreshing. He knows the ultimate success of this venture isn't
measured in points or trophies, but at the cash register. Puma is onboard to
sell its product. I think this is important, as anyone who believes
otherwise at the outset will inevitably have to come to grips with this

* The crew is top notch. Read introduced us to 12 members of the team. Most
are not household names. Two, however, stuck out. Navigator Andrew Cape, who
just finished second in the Barcelona World Race, and Jonathan McKee. The
latter is perhaps the most talented American sailor of his generation, which
includes Read himself. He's also extremely motivated to make his mark
sailing around the world. He was, by all accounts, more than a little upset
about pulling out of the Barcelona World Race after sustaining rudder
damage. He will prove an invaluable asset. Add Aussie Chris Nicholson and
Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, who was a helmsman with ABN AMRO One last time
around, and Read's got himself a stacked core squad. “

Editor Dave Reed adds, “The final bits of hardware are going on this week
and they're looking at first sailing in early May.” --

* Pete Bethune, the skipper of the 78 foot biodiesel powered trimaran
Earthrace has tentatively set the 2008 World Record attempt start for April
27th 2008 from Sagunto in Spain. Earthrace will attempt to set a new world
record for a powerboat to circle the globe, running 100% sustainable
biodiesel fuel, and a net zero carbon footprint. The crew hopes to complete
the voyage in under 65 days. The current record for a powerboat to
circumnavigate the globe is currently 74 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes. This
record was set by UK boat ‘Cable & Wireless Adventurer’ in 1998. -- Sail
World, full story:

* At the Women's International Match Racing Association (WIMRA) General
Meeting last week at the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in
Auckland, New Zealand, the Governing Council and Officers for 2008 were
elected. Nominations were received from the membership via email prior to
the meeting and the members present voted to keep the existing Council and
Officers for another year. Leading the group will again be President Liz
Baylis (USA). -- Complete announcement:

* In Fort Pierce, Florida, Gil and Kathi Coombes have run charter boats for
years. But it wasn't until this January their business really took off.
That's when they added Bikini Girl Charters. Proprietor Kathi Coombes says,
'They will serve drinks and food and sandwiches and run out the baits and
lines and do everything a regular mate would do but they're just in a
bikini.' Their company features bikini-clad deck mates who, for an extra
fee, will drop their tops entirely once they get a few miles off shore. --
Powerboat World, full story:

* Local officials of a small coastal village in northern Somalia dismissed
media reports that the 288 feet French luxury yacht Le Ponant hijacked by
pirates on Friday Apr. 4 in the Gulf of Aden has anchored near the village
of Eyl, 500ikm north of the Somali capital Mogadishu. Officials believe that
the hijacked French yacht had passed Eyl and headed south towards coastal
waters off the region of Mudug, in central Somalia. Unconfirmed reports
emerging from the region of Mudug said the hijacked ship had reached a small
coastal town on the Central Somali coast where armed villagers engaged the
pirates in a skirmish that killed at least two people. -- Sail World, full

* (April 8, 2008 - 09:09) After nine and a half days at sea, the bows of the
110-foot maxi-catamaran Gitana 13 are now positioned less than 730 miles
from the finish. However, the last few hours at sea, in this North Pacific
record attempt, promise to be intense for Lionel Lemonchois and his ten crew
as strong winds may reach 50 knots and will be accompanied by big seas. At
the 0830 ranking this morning, Gitana 13’s lead had stretched to 846 miles,
compared with 606 miles at the same time on Monday; a figure which should
increase further still before their estimated finish on Wednesday. --

* Destined for the luxury charter market, Hemisphere (formerly Project
Gemini), designed by naval architects Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost (VPLP)
and built by Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Connecticut is on course to
be delivered towards the latter part of this year. At a length overall of
44.2m (145ft), she will set the record as the world's largest sailing
catamaran. Her 9.8-foot draft ensures ease of maneuverability and access to
ports and lagoons inaccessible to monohulls of comparable size, and tenders
are ingeniously stowed out of sight and the port transom houses a full water
sports and dive locker served by a large hydraulic swim platform. --
Complete story:

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by John Pearce
Like many sailors, I've seen a lot of this country traveling to and from
regattas. I pulled into Ithaca, NY last night after 2,900 miles of driving
from San Francisco, and the funny thing is that I enjoyed it. The wide open
spaces of Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming are spectacularly empty, and the
constant hum of the road gives you plenty of time to think and dream.

Although my goal is to win sailboat races, what I'm doing isn't really even
about sailing. It is mostly about doing something that I WANT to do,
something that I am fully engaged in and attentive to. Whether it is driving
across America, exercising in the gym, or reading the wind on the water
before a race, the job of the sailing campaigner is to pay attention to the
details, and to dedicate themselves to improvement and awareness.

From Robert M Pirsig, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: "The real
cycle you're working on is a cycle called 'yourself'. The study of the art
of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of
rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to
become a part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The
motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon." --

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The story above was written last summer, but could
just as easily been the sentiments from someone last week. John was training
for the US Olympic Trials in the Laser, and hosted a blog to post
information and news about his campaign, and to share ideas and lessons
learned on the road to the trials.

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 Eric W. Sponberg: I have been a subscriber for years, and this is my
first entry in a letter to the editor. I read Elaine Bunting's article on
Vincent Riou's 60 PRB with the lifting strakes (from SBUTT 2570). I looked
at the article and the photograph, and in my opinion, they are not unique.
In addition, I personally don't think that those lifting strakes, as
designed, will work very well at all.

I designed the open class 60 Project Amazon for the 1998 Around Alone Race
for competitor Sebastian Reidl. We had full-length lifting strakes built
into the aluminum hull, being about 2" wide at the stem, widening to 6" at
the stern. They worked remarkably well. But to be really effective, lifting
strakes have to be wide and long. The lifting strakes on PRB, to my eye,
appear way too narrow and way too short.

Probably one of the most remarkable sailboats with lifting strakes, one of
my favorite designs which gave me quite the inspiration for Project Amazon,
is Mary Falk's QII, a 35' Michael Pocock design from England. I had the
pleasure to meet Mary at the finish of her record breaking run in the 1996
Transatlantic Race in Newport, RI. She graciously let me crawl all over QII
for photographs and a bit of conversation on her experiences. QII also has
full length lifting strakes beautifully sculpted into the hull. Mary has
raced QII successfully in many offshore races, and I think that one of the
reasons for her remarkable successes, apart from her obvious sailing talent,
is due to the unique hull shape of QII.

* From Gregory Scott, Kingston, ONT: The pages of Butt have been littered
with references to, and a suggested desire to bring AC racing in line with
F1. The money, glamour etc. all seem to be something to aspire to. Lost in
the mix is the bitterness that often seems to be an underlying sub plot that
is F1. It seems as though the current holder of the cup is getting closer to
his wishes however. While all the best parts of F1 haven't been reached, we
seem to now be on the way. But sadly, have started at the bottom with the
nasty sniping between old friends. So thanks Allinghi for eroding old
friendships and loyalties and turning this event into a festering boil. It
really doesn't matter how much they did or didn't do for Team NZ. They have
washed away any good with all they have done since. The tawdry legal battles
between two holders of wealth was tolerable. The laying to waste of old
friendships, isn't on. Friendships should never be spent like money. Too

* From Kris Anderson: Great article about food (in #2570). I've been eating
MRE's (an abbreviation for 'Meals Ready to Eat') from an Indian company
called MTR and it is very spicy and very good. It's nice to eat fresh food
but this is a great way to go. Especially on the longer races and with short
crew. This way nobody has to spend an inordinate amount of time in the
galley. Also helpful when the ‘fit hits the shan’.

* From Stevan Johnson: Please, can someone, provide a definitive defense of
keeping the Finn, (a rarely sailed, slow, expensive, heavily weight reliant
and long out-designed - I mean, really, a flat plate center board? -
clunker) in the Olympics as opposed to the Tornado or a Women's skiff? I
guess my bias is showing, but shouldn't the Olympics be about the future,
not the past?

* From Morgan Larson: (re, letter in #2570 on Olympic event selection) Peter
Johnstone, you are my idol!

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