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SCUTTLEBUTT 2575 – April 15 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.

The seeds of on-the-water umpiring were planted in the 1986-87 America’s Cup
at Fremantle where the dusk-to-dawn protest hearings marked Australia’s
defense as an extreme example of taking the fun out of the game. But it was
the only protest system match racing knew. From there, the frustration and
foresight of certain people who knew there must be a better way took the
bold steps to make it happen. Tom Ehman, now head of external affairs for
the BMW Oracle Racing America’s Cup team, was instrumental. As a racing
judge and rules advisor for the New York Yacht Club’s America II team at
Fremantle, he knew the dysfunction firsthand.

"We figured that if juries were right 75 per cent of the time [in settling
protest hearings], if umpires could do that well it would be great,” Ehman
said recently. “It turned out to be better than that. It has led to instant
decisions and made television practical, which in turn brought in
sponsorship." After Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup back for the San
Diego Yacht Club in ’87, Ehman rounded up enough support later that year to
try the scheme in the match racing finals of the Maxi Worlds fleet racing
regatta hosted by Sail Newport. It worked.

The next major full-on match racing event was the ’88 Congressional Cup.
Ehman later wrote in the UK’s Seahorse magazine that he agreed to serve as
jury chairman on one condition: “That you let me do the umpiring thing.” He
recalled, “The whole thing was risky at best, having never been tried in a
high-level match racing event---and Congressional Cup is the granddaddy of
them all.” -- Complete report:

* The 44th Congressional Cup presented by Acura on April 29-May 3, 2008
marks the 20th anniversary as the first major match racing event in the
world to feature on-the-water umpiring.

The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Coed Dinghy National
Championship will be held in Newport, RI on June 2-4, 2008, and this season
is initiating a new format to determine which schools will qualify for the
event. To earn one of the 18 available slots, the previous format awarded
each of the seven Districts with a set number of slots for the Nationals
based on the size of their membership, with these slots then being awarded
to the top finishing teams at each of the seven District Championship

The new format will have two Semi-Final events, where the top nine schools
from each event would then go to the Nationals. The number of schools from
each District attending the Semi-Finals will still be based on the size of
the District, but it will be less restrictive than the current allotment for
the Nationals, providing for a field of 18 schools at each Semi-Finals. As
in the past, schools will need to qualify for the available Semi-Final slots
through their District Championship.

The result of the new format should heighten the competitiveness of the Coed
Dinghy Nationals. Where some Districts are traditionally less competitive
than others, they have still had representation at the Nationals. This will
likely change, as each District is now only assured a trip to the
Semi-Finals. From there, it will be the top nine teams in each Semi-Finals -
regardless of their District affiliation - that will qualify for one of the
18 available slots at the Nationals. Here are the teams that will be
attending the Semi-Finals:

Eastern ICSA National Semi-Final Coed Dinghies
Geneva, NY (Hobart/WmSmith), April 26-27, 420s
MAISA: St. Mary's, Hobart/WmSmith, U/Penn, Washington College
*MCSA: Wisconsin, Michigan
NEISA: Boston Coll, Connecticut Coll, Vermont, Harvard, Tufts
NWICSA: U/Washington
PCCSC: Stanford, UC/San Diego
SAISA: Eckerd, Florida, Florida Atlantic
SEISA: South Alabama
*Subject to RP confirmation

Western ICSA National Semi-Final Coed Dinghies
Long Beach, CA (USC), April 26-27, FJs
MAISA: Georgetown, NY Maritime, Kings Point, Old Dominion
*MCSA: Minnesota, Notre Dame, Northwestern
NEISA: Brown, Yale, MIT, Roger Williams
NWICSA: Western Washington
PCCSC: USC, Hawaii
SAISA: Charleston, South Florida
SEISA: Texas A&M Galveston, Texas
*Subject to RP confirmation
ICSA website:

* Sailing World's College Rankings as of April 11, 2008 find St. Mary’s
still atop both the Coed and Women's rankings. -- Complete ranking:

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by Tess Bogar, Librarian, New York Yacht Club
It was on this day in 1912 that the R.M.S. Titanic departed Southampton,
England, on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. It was supposed to arrive
in New York City on April 15th. It was the biggest passenger ship ever built
at the time at 882 feet long and 92 feet wide. Its hull had a capacity of
more than four and a half million cubic feet. The Titanic is generally
remembered as a luxury liner, but only 325 of the 2,224 people on board were
traveling in first class. Many of the passengers were European immigrants
hoping to start new lives in America.

On the fifth night of the ship's voyage, the weather was clear and windless.
There was no moon. It had been an especially warm winter and many icebergs
had broken off from glaciers farther north, so the lookout men had been told
to keep an eye out for them. At about 11:40 (on April 14th), one of the
lookouts, Frederick Fleet, saw a huge dark object floating in the water in
front of the ship. He yelled, "Iceberg right ahead," and rang an alarm bell.
Many of the passengers awake that night later said that they felt a slight

The sinking of the Titanic was one of the worst maritime disasters in
history, and it has been a great inspiration to artists of all kinds. More
than 500 songs were written about the disaster, most famously "It Was Sad
When That Great Ship Went Down" by Pop Stoneman, with the lines, "Oh they
threw the lifeboats out o'er the dark and stormy sea / The band struck up
with 'Nearer My God to Thee' / Children wept and cried as the water rushed
through the side / It was sad when that great ship went down." The disaster
has also been the subject of more than a hundred books and at least a dozen

* For the American ‘buttheads, April 15th is also the deadline for
submitting their 2007 tax returns. Further, it was on April 15, 1947, when
Jackie Robinson put on his first Brooklyn Dodgers uniform (number 42) and
broke the Major League Baseball "color line".

POINT: The Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has today (April 14, 2008)
announced that it proposes to file an immediate appeal with the New York
Appellate Court in order to accelerate the current legal process to return
the America's Cup to the water with a competitive race. The intransigency of
Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) since the day they filed their law suit has
forced SNG to move the case to the next level in the New York legal system.
In an attempt to obtain a swift resolution to the current uncertainty, an
expedited process is being requested together with a motion to stay the
case, this in order to suspend the implementation of Justice Cahn’s previous
order until the Appellate Court rules. -- Read on:

COUNTERPOINT: The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) said today (April 14, 2008)
that further legal attempts by the defender to delay the next America’s Cup
Deed of Gift match are regrettable and the club will be doing everything it
can to ensure the event remains on track. “Buried within the legal language
of this press release it appears clear that the defender is unsatisfied with
Justice Cahn’s decisions and now intends to file an appeal,” Tom Ehman, the
club’s spokesman said today responding to a press statement issued by the
defender who have filed further papers with the New York State Supreme
Court. -- Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comments: While Alinghi not appealing would truly be a means
to “accelerate the current legal process”, there is some method to their
madness, and our America’s Cup legal consultant Cory Friedman will share the
details in Scuttlebutt 2576.

San Francisco, CA -- Minutes after a freighter sideswiped the Bay Bridge in
dense fog the morning of Nov. 7, a distraught harbor pilot told the captain
he had misunderstood the chart. Sailing in a soupy fog and struggling to
understand the images on the radar screen before him, the pilot of the Cosco
Busan asked the ship's captain to point out the "center" of the Bay Bridge.
What Capt. John Cota, the pilot, wanted to locate on the radar screen,
according to newly released transcripts, was the center point between the
bridge's towers. The captain, a Chinese national, showed him the center of
the span, which was also the location of one of the towers. That
miscommunication led Cota to guide the 900-foot cargo ship into the bridge,
causing a spill of more than 50,000 gallons of bunker fuel, the worst oil
spill in San Francisco Bay in decades. It fouled beaches from Marin to
Contra Costa to San Mateo counties and killed more than 2,000 birds. --
Tri-Valley Herald, read on:

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Laurence and Marianne Sunderland of Marina del Rey report that their
16-year-old son Zac, who has 15,000 ocean miles to his credit, will set off
in May from Southern California in an attempt to become the youngest person
to circumnavigate singlehanded. According to Sunderlands, the Guiness Book
of World Records says that the current record is held by David Dicks, who
completed his circumnavigation in '96 at the age of 18 years and 41 days,
thereby beating the record set by Brian Caldwell of Honolulu with his
Contessa 26 Mai Vavau. Caldwell was 20 when he finished. Alas, the Guinness
folks are a little behind the times, as Aussie Jesse Martin completed a
circumnavigation at age 18 with the S&S 34 Lionheart. For what it's worth,
he did it non-stop. -- Latitude 38, read on:

* (April 14, 2008) The World Sailing Speed Record (WSSR) Council announced
the ratification of the new outright world record from San Francisco to
Yokohama, Japan by Lionel Lemonchois (FRA) and a crew of 10 onboard "Gitana
13". The team covered the 4501 nm route on March 29 to April 9, 2008 at a
time of 11 days 12 minutes and 54 seconds (17.04 kt average). Also ratified
were the following national records, all set at the Southend on Sea, GBR:
John Kenny (Ireland), Windsurfer, 40.44 kts on January 31, 2008; Dirk
Doppenberg (Holland), Windsurfer, 44.49 kts on March 10, 2008; Philip
Adamidis (Greece), Windsurfer, 42.74 kts on March 12, 2008. --

* South Korea in recent years has been obsessed with a shopping spree of
international sporting events. The latest sport to drop in the cart is
competitive sailing. The inaugural Korea Match Cup, third of the 10 World
Match Racing Tour events scheduled for 2008, will be hosted in the port of
Jeongok, Hwaseong City, from June 11-15. The event will be staged in
conjunction with a boat show, predictably titled ``Korea International Boat
Show 2008," all part of a $282 million government initiative to expand and
promote the country's leisure boating industry. -- Korea Times, complete

* New York state has decided to reject Broadwater Energy's proposal to moor
a liquefied natural gas plant in the middle of Long Island Sound,
Connecticut officials said last week. The long-awaited decision sets the
stage for an almost certain federal court battle. Broadwater officials
faulted New York's assessment of the project, but opponents on both sides of
the Sound cheered the decision. The plan was to hitch the 1,200-foot-long,
200-foot-wide vessel to a mooring 9 miles off Long Island and about 10.5
miles off Branford for tankers to use for delivering overseas supplies of
liquefied natural gas. -- Complete story:

* When the sacred flame began its journey last weekend at the seventh stop
in the Olympic torch relay outside of mainland China, Buenos Aires, it was
windsurfing champion Carlos Espinola that was the first torchbearer. The
athletic 36-year-old has been awarded Olympic medals in each of the past
three Olympic Games, earning two silvers and a bronze in the 1996, 2000, and
2004 Olympics, respectively. His eyes are fixed on the gold in August. --

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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 Carol Stephens (Olin Stephens daughter in law): I was sent to
Scuttlebutt on behalf of Olin Stephens who celebrated his 100th birthday
yesterday near his home in Hanover, NH. This celebration was one of many
planned during the coming month, and it was a very warm and delightful
family gathering. He is well, enjoyed the party very much, and is off doing
his weekly grocery shopping today. He is also looking forward to other
parties that are coming along, including a big one (100 days of Olin
Stephens) at Mystic Seaport in May. His energy and enthusiasm for life is
alive and well. I know that Olin would be most happy to see and hear from
all his friends out there in Scuttlebutt land. So, if people would like to
contact him and send their cards and wishes to him, he can be contacted at
his home in Hanover NH:

Olin J. Stephens II
Kendal at Hanover
80 Lyme Road
Hanover, NH 03755

* From George McCroskey: It was with great sadness that I read the
announcement in Butt 2574 from Don Wood about the passing of John Thompson.
I had the honor of serving on the Mills Race Committee with John for the
last few years. John's attention to detail and his hard work (not to mention
his skill at getting that big bus used by the race committee over to South
Bass Island) made all the elements of the race come smoothly together. John
was an expert at race management. No detail was too little or too big for
him to handle. John did it all. Registering yachts, working on handicaps,
recording finish times, and driving that big ass bus! Whether it was making
sure that the finish line tent was set up; or that the finish line buoys
were set properly between Middle and South Bass; or that the committee
members had the taxi cab company's phone number, John attended to it all. He
was a true gentleman and he will be missed. Sail on John.

* From John Potter: (re, Olympic poll results) I forget who said it, but it
went, "The Olympics need the Star boat more than the Star boat needs the

* From Peter Ingram: Paul Henderson wrote an interesting and passionate
letter giving his personal preferences in Scuttlebutt 2570 about the boat
choice. In his letter, he mentioned that the Finn MUST remain in order to
provide a boat for big men - what about big women?

* From Paul Fuchs: While the Video of the Week is interesting (in #2572), I
think that this photo shows that it is not a new idea. This book did not
have a date on it, but a copy of it was donated to the Harvard Library in
1938. In the 60's, I saw people doing this on skates on the ice on Lake St.
Clair. I made one of wood with cotton sails which caused me many a
tremendous crash at fairly high speed. -- Photo:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The book, “Self Culture for Young People” by Andrew
Sloan Draper and Charles Welsh, was published in 1907.

* From Tom Hulme: Let's see if I have this right – the Olympic committee
decides to include the keelboat and exclude the multihull from the 2012
Olympics, and the multihull sailors raise hell and outrage in Scuttlebutt.
After months of letting this thread about the purported injustice continue,
Scuttlebutt has a poll. What happens – the concerned multihull sailors vote
for the multihull over the keelboat. Meanwhile the keelboat sailors who are
happy about the decision go about their business. They are not paying
attention and do not develop any response. Guess which boat loses in the

* From Gregory Scott: One thing I love about reading ‘Butt is when someone
pisses in the cornflakes of a dinghy class (Star, Finn, etc.), the
point-counterpoint is often just this side of Aykroyd vs Jane Curtain on SNL
... all very funny and worth while reading.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: This certainly was the case with the Finn last
week, and we have collected all the letters, both published and unpublished,
and posted them on a special website page. As for the thread status, we will
halt it for now in the newsletter. Here are the letters:

* From Dulaney Collins: In response to your article, please encourage all
Buttheads to write their Senators and Congressman regarding appropriating
funding for training budding Naval officers. It is outrageous what the Dept.
of Defense spends - this is a legitimate military training activity and
needs to be funded through the D o D. Currently, my younger brother, a Lt.
Commander with 23 years in the US Navy, is serving in Iraq in the green
zone. Apparently the Army is all tapped out so D o D has started pulling
Navy folks into deployment. All I know is he's spending a helluva lot of US
taxpayer dollars purchasing phone lines, cell phone towers, and other
logistical equipment to rebuild that country. Meanwhile a dozen Iraqi
citizens, who've been working in the green zone for the U.S. gov't, just got
10 year work visas to come to the U.S. Go Figure!

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Time to stop this thread too, but all the letters,
both published and unpublished, can be found here:

I've learned that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.

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