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SCUTTLEBUTT 2574 – April 14 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.

This was the headline in Scuttlebutt 2471 (November 8, 2007) leading into
the meeting at the ISAF Annual Conference where the events for the 2012
Olympics would be decided. The ISAF Events Committee, which had been tasked
with recommending to the ISAF Council the events to be used for the Olympic
Sailing Competition, had just submitted their list, and keelboats were not
included for either the men or the women. The Events Committee was
affectively ‘the experts’ and their recommendation was intended to help
inform the Council’s decision. By all accounts, it appeared as if the Star
and Yngling sailors at the 2008 Olympics would be enjoying the end of an

Of course, we all know now that the ISAF Council paid little attention to
the Events Committee recommendation, and went about voting for those events
that served the voting members’ personal agendas. However, now that the
international sailing community has convinced ISAF that a review of the
selected events is in order, the ‘buttheads were asked last week what their
preferred event list would be. Guess what… the ‘butthead’s list of events is
the same that the Events Committee had initially submitted. In case those
with a vote at the ISAF Mid-Year meeting are listening, here is the list of
preferred events… AGAIN:

Men’s Events (only six events get chosen)
1. Two person dinghy
2. One person dinghy
3. Windsurfer
4. Multihull
5. Two person dinghy - skiff
6. One person dinghy - heavy
7. Keelboat
8. One person dinghy - skiff

Women’s Events (only four events get chosen)
1. Two person dinghy
2. One person dinghy
3. Windsurfer
4. Two person dinghy - skiff
5. Keelboat
6. Multihull
Link to complete poll:

With all the dreary news in international sailing these days -- the
interminable America's Cup onshore wrangling and the usual pre-Olympic legal
intrigues -- there's an upbeat development, as well. The Volvo Ocean Race is
back, replete with peril and derring-do plus a competitive new U.S. entry.
Sometime this month, Rhode Island skipper Ken Read will splash his rakishly
fast new 70-footer in Boston Harbor and begin training a team of 10 in
Newport, R.I., for the start of the world's most challenging round-the-world
race this fall. The boat is called Puma, after the athletic gear
manufacturer sponsoring it.

Seven Volvo 70s leave Alicante, Spain, on Oct. 8, bound for South Africa,
India, Singapore, China, Brazil, Boston, Ireland, Sweden and Russia. The
fifth leg, from Qingdao, China, to Rio de Janeiro, will test offshore racers
as they rarely are tested. It's 12,300 nautical miles, up to 40 days at sea,
deep into the frigid Southern Ocean to round the world's scariest headland,
Cape Horn, as fast as humanly possible. Why would anyone embrace such danger
and discomfort? "In a lifetime," says Read, 46, a veteran helmsman with
three America's Cups and countless inshore regattas on his résumé, "there's
just so many 'round-the-buoys races you can do before you go insane. Then,
all of a sudden you're racing around the world in a boat that can do the
speed of a car without even trying.
-- Washington Post, read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The Puma team hasn’t been too eager yet to turn
their campaign into a publicity event, not yet disclosing crew lists or
design features, so it was a bit of a breakthrough for Read to provide
author Angus Phillips with the first tour of the boat that’s in the final
stages of construction.

by David Schmidt, SAIL Magazine
Sailing a multihull is just like sailing a monohull, right? Wrong. If that
was the case, there is simply no way that Alinghi would have flipped Foncia,
the high-octane ORMA 60 that the team had been using as a training platform
for the 33rd America’s Cup, which will be a Deed of Gift Challenge between
Golden Gate Yacht Club’s BMW Oracle Racing (BOR) and Societe Nautique de
Geneve’s Alinghi. Currently, the “where” and the “when” are being wrangled
in Justice Cahn’s courtroom, but for the first time in months there is a
glimmer of hope: The sailors have taken to the water aboard multihulls,
giving Cup enthusiasts a glimpse at the exciting, and unorthodox,
match-racing event that will constitute the next Cup. But what is so
different about multihull sailing that requires some of the best sailors in
the world – men like Russell Coutts, Brad Butterworth, James Spithill, and
Ed Baird — to rethink how they sail? -- Read on:

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Olin Stephens turned 100 years on April 13, 2008, and the ‘buttheads have
been enjoying the celebration cake and the big birthday card that is posted
online. As of our publication date, there have been 138 notes posted to
Olin, and the link will remain active forever for those that arrive
fashionably late to the party. Here are a few of the comments so far:

* Thank you for designing the Lightning....the best one-design class in the
world. What a fantastic boat and class which has endured now 70 years.

* As a young couple we owned an S&S30 which we sailed far and wide. Whilst
in NY, we rather cheekily phoned the S&S office to ask some questions about
the boat. We were amazed and delighted when you yourself were put on the
line to answer everything with great clarity and patience. We have been
'brand loyal' ever since!

* You have encouraged and educated me in invaluable ways. I consider your
autobiography my manual on how to conduct myself as a yacht designer, and
your book of Lines as one of my primary sources of inspiration. Thank you
for all that you have given me. I hope that you have a wonderful birthday.

=> There is plenty of space left on the card to post your sentiments:

Miami, FL (April 13, 2008) -- With less than four knots of wind, the Race
Committee at the Star Worlds Championship at Coral Reef Yacht Club waited,
reset the start line, and waited again for the wind to pick up. It was the
third day of the event, with the first two days dominated by Mateeusz
Kusznierewicz/ Dominik Zycki (POL), who had rolled off two firsts in the one
race per day format. The storyline from Saturday was how one fourth of the
104-boat fleet had earned the black flag starting penalty, so when the winds
edged up to a shifty seven knots almost an hour and a half later, the fleet
started safely with only four boats tagged as OCS.

The Polish team took a beating on this day, coming in 44th, and will need to
wait until the completion of the fourth race before they are able to drop
their worst score. That won’t come until Tuesday, as Monday remains a
reserve day, and it is currently the consistency of John MacCausland/ Kevin
Murphy (USA), who finished eighth today, and Iain Murray/ Andrew Palfrey
(AUS), who took a fifth place, that finds those two teams at the top of the
results. As for the top rankings from today, it was all past World Champions
in the top three, with two-time winner Xavier Rohart/ Pascal Rambeau (FRA)
taking the gun over defending champion Robert Scheidt/ Bruno Prada (BRA),
with 2006 winner Hamish Pepper/ Carl Williams (NZL) in third. -- Event

Preliminary results (Top ten of 104)
1. USA, John MacCausland / Kevin Murphy, 15- 4- 8, 27 points
2. AUS, Iain Murray/ Andrew Palfrey, 11-11-5, 27
3. ITA, Diego Negri / Luigi Viale, 3-3-25, 31
4. JPN, Kunio Suzuki / Daichi Wada, 9-15-10, 34
5. USA, Mark Mendelblatt / Mark Strube, 2-6-32, 40
6. CAN, Ross Macdonald / Steve Mitchell, 25-9-7, 41
7. SWE, Fredrik Loof / Anders Ekstrom, 27-8-9, 44
8. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 1-1-44, 46
9. FRA, Xavier Rohart/ Pascal Rambeau, 26-21-1, 48
10. USA, Carl Buchan/ Jamie Buchan, 31-7-12, 50

(April 11, 2008) Helicopter-borne French troops swooped in on Somali pirates
Friday after they freed 30 hostages from a yacht, seizing six of the
hijackers and recovering sacks of money -- apparently ransom paid by the
ship's owners. The pirates had boarded the 288-foot French luxury yacht a
week ago, capturing its mostly French crew off the coast of Somalia in the
Gulf of Aden. Pirates seized more than two dozen vessels off the Somali
coast last year.

Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, chief of staff of France's armed forces, said the
pirates released the hostages after negotiating with the ship's owner. That
phase of the operation was calm, with no weapons fired, he said. The
hostages were brought to safety and the pirates went ashore. After the
pirates were on Somali territory, a French attack helicopter chased a
vehicle carrying some of them, firing to destroy its engine, the general
said. There were conflicting reports about what happened next. -- Washington
Post, read on:

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Oakland, CA - Strictly Sail Pacific, the largest sailboat show on the West
Coast, will host a special preview of select scenes from the
yet-to-be-released film Morning Light on Thursday, April 17. The film is the
real-life adventure story of one of the youngest crew to compete in the
legendary Transpacific Yacht Race, an offshore sailboat race between Los
Angeles (California) and Hawaii. This is the first time a West Coast
audience will have an opportunity to view scenes from this film, produced by
Walt Disney Pictures and Pacific High Productions and due to be released on
October 17, 2008. -- Read on:

Show dates are Wednesday, April 16 to Sunday, April 20 at Jack London
Square. The Morning Light preview will be held April 17th from 7 pm to 9 pm
at the Waterfront Plaza Hotel (Spinnaker Room). The preview is open to
Strictly Sail Pacific exhibitors and ticket-holders for Thursday's show.
Here are details on discount show tickets:

* US SAILING members will enjoy a discount of two tickets for the price of
one for all of the upcoming Strictly Sail and SailFest events in the next
year. --

* Scuttlebutt readers are able to buy discount tickets for all dates of the
Strictly Sail Pacific show through a special link set up on the Scuttlebutt

* The 2008 Fort Lauderdale to Charleston Ocean Yacht Race, set to start
April 23rd, has been postponed and will be rescheduled for 2009 at a time
that is consistent with Charleston Race Week and the Charleston to Bermuda
Race. This event marks the rebirth of a race that originated in 1968 and ran
for 10 years. The race traditionally starts just outside of Port Everglades
in Fort Lauderdale and finishes just outside of Charleston Harbor. The race
record of 33hr:28min:56sec was established in 1974 by Phantom, a C&C 66
owned by Ralph B. Ryder Jr. Event website:

* Miami, FL (April 12, 2008) -- American boats took the top two spots at the
33-boat Farr 40 Pre-Worlds that finished Saturday. In winds that ranged from
8 to 13 knots over the two day event, William Douglass’ Goombay Smash was
the winner with Rod Jabin’s Ramrod in second, while 2006 and 2007 World
Champion Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino (ITA) finished in tenth place.
Competition for the 2008 World Championship will begin Wednesday, April 16th
and continue through Saturday, April 19th. Schedule, entries and crew lists
can be found at the event site:

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

Toledo, OH -- John H.C. Thompson, Jr., 59, a power boater who fell in love
with the sport of yacht racing and worked to ensure smooth sailing for
events on Lake Erie and Lake Huron, died of cancer last Tuesday in his
Sylvania home. “He was like a guru,” said Donald Wood, a longtime friend who
worked with him on the annual Mills Trophy Race on Lake Erie. “He was held
in high esteem. “He held many positions in [race] management,” Mr. Wood
said. “I can’t think of any individual who did not have kind words for John

Mr. Thompson was a former general chairman, logistics chairman, and chairman
of Put-In-Bay operations for the Mills race. He was a key player in reviving
the race in 1981 after a hiatus of three years, said Mr. Wood, who has been
a Mills chairman and race operations chairman through the years. Mr.
Thompson was a past commodore of the Toledo Yacht Club and of the Western
Lake Erie Cruising Association. He was a past president of the Inter-Lake
Yachting Association trustees and was a past association yachtsman of the
year. -- Complete story:

While the U.S. SAILING Team prepares for the Olympics, their support RIBs
are already packed and China bound. As the Official RIB of the U.S. SAILING
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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 George Schirtzinger: (re, story in #2573) This lawsuit is not going
to enhance the reputation of lawyers or boaters. The change from MTBE to
ethanol came out of the solons in Congress. Not only that, but as another
payoff to the trial bar, Congress refused to indemnify MTBE manufacturers
from lawsuits when they mandated ethanol, so the manufacturers stopped as
fast as they could, which was much faster than the ethanol infrastructure
could be built up. This lead to shortages and price hikes, which of course
were blamed by Congresscritters on the oil companies.

I read car magazines and the incompatibility of ethanol with some components
in fuel systems was well publicized. I don't know where boaters were or what
was in boating magazines at the time. I find it incredible that there was
some kind of plot by the oil companies to deceive boaters.

As to oil company profits, what is important is the profit rate on sales,
not the dollars. Oil companies are averaging about 9% by this measure,
whereas Microsoft is about 25% and the S+P 500 average about 8%. Their
profit dollars are huge because their sales dollars are huge, not because
they are gouging. Since 2000, IIRC, FTC has done 34 investigations of
gasoline pricing and found no malfeasance. Accusations about price gouging
make good news copy, but are dishonest, since I can't use stronger words.

* From Kenneth Redler: In response to Peter Harken's claim in 'Butt 2572
that the Finn should be in the Olympics because of all the great sailors
that have come from the class, then why not have the Optimist in the
Olympics. No other fleet has graduated more great sailors than the Optimist.
If "producing the best of the best" is a criterion for being an Olympic
class, then the Optimist is clearly a shoo in.

In addition, by not having a pram in the Olympics, ISAF is clearly stating
that blunted bow boats are not part of the "established" sailing community.
Gaff rigged boats are so dissed by ISAF, that many of the "acceptable"
classes have to resort to disguising their gaffs by using a full length top
batten. This is an outrage! More sailors have sailed prams than all the
other boats combined, and yet they are not a part of the Olympics...
unbelievable! It's time that all sailors lobby their ISAF representatives
and tell them that we demand there be an event in the Olympics for one
person dinghy - pram - light - youthful. Of course once prams do make it
into the Olympics, ISAF will most likely select the Naples Sabot....

* From Mick Christensen, San Diego: As a semi-ancient mariner (raced a 470
when it was a 'brand new' boat), I am sympathetic to the decision making
process that reviews and recommends change in the sailing portion. In many
other Olympic events, change and technology are equally important. Ever
compare a 2008 bow to what was used in the earliest archery events?

While I am sure that the boats have evolved over the years, they still must
adhere to one design principles. What I believe makes the Finn and Star
produce so many world class sailors is he fact they have been Olympic
classes for so long. I doubt seriously anyone who says Finns produce better

Olympic events should (and do) contain sailing events that are for
individuals, male and female, small teams (doublehanded) and larger teams.
What particular vehicle they use for those groups can change. I think it
needs to have some aspect of stability - you can aspire to be an Olympic
sailor 8 or 12 years from 2008 and have some assurance that the boat you
(and your teammates) are practicing on will be there.

* From Brian Raney: (regarding the Glenn Selvin’s comments in #2573) 1)
Entry to the Laser US Olympic Trials was limited to 33 boats due to the
equipment being provided (see point 3); 2) My six-year-old Laser isn't in
the dumpster, and is as stiff as the day I bought it; 3) Like your carbon
wing mast? It means you're not sailing true one-design. And true one-design
allowed for the Lasers/ Radials to be provided equipment, not a mix and
match of sails and spars and hulls.

I've got no beef with the Finn sailors I know, and think it's a fine boat.
Been tempted to play in one at times. Please don't drag the Laser into your
rant, though.

* From Richard du Moulin, Fales Committee (retired), US Naval Academy: (re,
story in #2571) Midshipmen at the US Naval Academy need sea-time aboard grey
ships, and dinghy racing is a great sport fitting for the Academy, but sail
training (ocean racing and passages) provides the basic skills and judgment
that every commissioned officer needs. Aboard a sailboat with a small team,
the Midshipman is given immediate responsibility and learns hands-on
navigation, seamanship, leadership and boat handling, forming a basis for a
successful naval career. Aboard the smaller vessel, the Midshipman usually
gets more responsibility than on a bigger ship. About 35 years ago, the US
Navy had a series of ship handling mishaps resulting in hundreds of millions
of dollars of damages and many lives lost (one was a collision of a carrier
with a destroyer). I recall the Navy followed up with a fleet-wide
seamanship test which had a surprising finding that officers with Academy
sailing program experience did significantly better than other officers.
That "discovery" served to re-invigorate funding for sail training. Today
the daily cost of a ship, and the cost to train an officer, is higher than
ever. Sail training is a very smart investment for the Navy.

* From Gordon Livingston: (re, letter in Issue 2573) This is a gratuitous
insult that has no place in Scuttlebutt. French sailors have demonstrated
their competence and courage many times over. Shame on Mr. Bieberbach for
writing it and on you for running it.

* From Don Goyette: Fred Bieberbach. Jr.'s gratuitous slur (in #2573) on
French Commandos -- and probably by extension all things French (sound
familiar as in "Freedom Fries"?) -- was in exceedingly poor taste and I'd
have thought below Scuttlebutt's level.

* From Chris Ericksen: I'm sorry, but I found the letter by Fred Bieberbach,
Jr., printed in 'Butt 2573, in very bad taste. I believe I have a generally
conventional sense of humor and recognizes anyone's right to say what they
want, regardless how Francophobic it may be, but I found the comments
neither humorous nor edifying.

“The taxpayer. That's someone who works for the federal government but
doesn't have to take the civil service examination.” -- Ronald Reagan

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