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SCUTTLEBUTT 2578 – April 18 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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Traverse City, MI (April 17, 2008) The Grand Traverse Yacht Club caught fire
around eleven-thirty Wednesday night, bringing multiple fire departments out
to respond. Elmwood Township fire officials responded to flames shooting out
of the roof of The Grand Traverse Yacht Club...and only hours later the
building was a complete loss. "Our deputy chief was driving by coming back
from another fire that we were on in Grand Traverse County and he saw the
flames through the roof and proceeded to call out equipment," says Elmwood
Township Fire Chief Ray Haring.

Chief Haring says nobody was inside the building when it began burning,
since the last people left the yacht club around ten fifteen at night. At
some point between that time and before midnight is when the blaze began.
"We're not sure where it started at. Mainly because of the wind, you can't
really tell. The wind could have pushed it from one place to another before
we even got here, but it would have broke through the roof before we got
here," says Chief Haring. The warm temperatures, dry conditions and strong
wind gusts only made the flames spread faster throughout the building. --
Complete story:

Miami, FL (April 17, 2008) -- In a stark contrast to Wednesday’s 18-knot
winds and lumpy seas, today’s light-air conditions gave the international
fleet competing in the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship a new challenge.
With a total of six races completed so far in the 10-race series, Italian
teams hold the top two spots -- Mascalzone Latino in first, with a three
point lead, over Joe Fly in second. The tactician’s role onboard Mascalzone
Latino has been a carousel, with Morgan Larson filling in at the last minute
on day one for Adrian Stead, who had to get home for the birth of his first
child. But Larson had to move on too, so today it was John Kostecki who
assisted owner and helmsmen Vincenzo Onorato in putting together finishes of

Thus far, each team has suffered a mid-fleet finish, pushing par for this
event a bit higher than the 2007 Worlds. In that event, Mascalzone Latino
won with a 5.22 points per race average (and 4.5/race after 6 races), while
their present average race score is over a point higher at 6.33. They had
also amassed a twelve point lead at this stage, which would be a handy
margin right now with lighter winds in the forecast for Friday and Saturday.
-- Complete story:

Preliminary results (Top ten of 33; no discards permitted)
1. ITA, Mascalzone Latino, Vincenzo Onorato, 3-12-1-14-3-5, 38 pts
2. ITA, Joe Fly, Giovanni Maspero, 9-1-8-15-6-2, 41
3. USA, Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, 23-5-3-2-16-6, 55
4. MON, Mean Machine, Peter de Ridder, 24-3-9-9-14-1, 60
5. SUI, Alinghi, Ernesto Bertarelli, 8-14-6-6-7-20, 61
6. GRE, Atalanti, Stratis Andreadis, 5-2-25-7-24-11, 74
7. GER, Opus One, Wolfgang Stolz, 15-16-21-1-5-23, 81
8. USA, Ramrod, Rod Jabin, 22-8-17-3-10-21, 81
9. AUS, Kokomo, Lang Walker, 20-7-20-12-15-7, 81
10. USA, Warpath, Fred & Steve Howe, 12-13-14-24-11-8, 82
On-the-water updates:

Miami, FL (April 16, 2008) -- Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL)
won the 2008 Star World Championships at Coral Reef Yacht Club with a fifth
place in the sixth race and a total of 14 points overall. The sixth race got
off in 10 knot winds with seven boats black flagged, and saw Patrick O’Leary
and Stephen Milne (IRL) round the first weather mark in 11th position, grind
through the top ten and take the lead at the second weather mark, then hold
off the 104 boat fleet for the final lap of the final race. Moving up into
the top ten was Rick Merriman/Brian Sharp (USA), rolling a 6-3 in the final
two races to leap up the standings. The Worlds results decided the four
remaining slots in the Star Class for the 2008 Olympic Games, which went to
Switzerland, Croatia, Ireland and Austria. -- Complete story:

Final results (Top ten of 104)
1. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, 1-1-(44)-3-4-5, 14 pts
2. ITA, Diego Negri / Luigi Viale, 3-3-(25)-9-2-6, 23
3. BRA, Robert Scheidt/ Bruno Prada, (37)-12-2-1-14-4, 33
4. SUI, Flavio Marazzi/ Enrico De Maria, 6-14-(47)-10-8-2, 40
5. GER, Marc Pickel/ Ingo Borkowski, 5-(105/BFD)-6-18-5-11, 45
6. NZL, Hamish Pepper/ Carl Williams, 12-(105/BFD)-3-2-15-19, 51
7. USA, Mark Mendelblatt / Mark Strube, 2-6-(32)-17-11-20, 56
8. AUS, Iain Murray/ Andrew Palfrey, 11-11-5-24-(31)-18, 69
9. FRA, Xavier Rohart/ Pascal Rambeau, 26-21-1-4-20-(27), 72
10. USA, Rick Merriman/ Brian Sharp, (58)-20-29-19-6-3, 77

* Thanks to photographers Fried Elliott, John Payne, and Thierry Martinez
for supporting the event gallery on the Scuttlebutt website:

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The Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s 61st race to Ensenada, Mexico, a
125-nautical mile run from Southern California to Baja California, is
looking less fun these days. This April race attracts a broad spectrum of
sailors, from the very serious all the way down to cruiser with no previous
yacht club affiliation. The Scuttlebutt Sailing Club (SSC) usually gets a
lot of calls before this race, as there are plenty of folks that want to do
it, but don’t want to pony up the big yacht club fees to do their very first

The problem is that the event requires local entrants to be members of a
Yacht Club recognized by the Southern California Yachting Association
(SCYA), and this organization doesn’t seem to want SSC as a member. SSC is
an officially recognized club by US SAILING, and would gladly pay the SCYA
annual fees to support their organization, but SSC isn’t able to secure the
sponsors needed within SCYA to complete the membership application. The
brotherhood of SCYA clubs seems to be protecting their turf, and excluding
clubs like SSC that don’t charge a membership fees. Apparently the sport is
doing so well so as to keep these “fringe” racers from joining this fun

However, maybe these newbies are better off staying in the marina this year.
Sadly, there has been no shortage of news regarding violence along Mexico’s
border cities, which support teams would be frequenting on their way south
to meet the boats, and that crews would be driving through to return home.
While race officials have reported no problems during their organizational
trips to Ensenada, they still felt the situation was bad enough to publish
the following list of precautions. -- Read on:

* The Sailing World website has a sweet story profiling the Curmudgeon, who
is known for, among many things, the sixty races that have taken him south
of the U.S. border. He claims to have done his final Mexican race earlier
this month, but he has said that before. However, in the article he provides
some of the pointers he has learned over the years, possibly now making him
obsolete. Read on:

by Jos M Spijkerman , Netherlands, International Judge, Umpire
Last month, the New York Yacht Club hosted a Judges Round Table, where there
was a discussion about the definition of "serious damage" in the Racing
Rules of Sailing. From the report:

"In the open session, Rule 44.1 brought the most conversation. Many were
interested in discussion on "serious damage". We never reached a consensus
but agreed that the term might apply differently to events of different
types, where one might consider intrinsic value, and a different event might
rely on the ability to continue sailing, or safety issues. Something that
needs to be discussed with the OA for guidance prior to an event perhaps."
This is what the International Judge Manual says about damage: -- Read on:

Alinghi team president Ernesto Bertarelli on describing the next America’s
Cup. “I was at a Formula 1 Grand Prix, and I was talking to Ron Dennis, the
head of McClaren, and he asked what the next Cup is going to be like. I
explained it's like if Formula 1 decided to allow any technologies in the
cars. All rules are off, just make it as fast as possible. Dennis said, ‘The
designer and the pilot are going to love it, but that's a nightmare for the
owner of the team.’ That's exactly it. It's a nightmare for the owners of
the teams because it's going to be extremely expensive, but for the designer
and the sailors it's an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. “--

* Adios, America’s Cup: The organizational body of the Valencian Grand Prix
that is to take place on August 24, 2008 next in and around the City of Arts
and Sciences has revealed that over 112,000 tickets to the event have
already been sold, just ten days after the box office initially opened.
Valmor Sport also revealed that it was considering the possibility of
including more seating due to the interest aroused in the event. -- The
Valencia Life Network,

* More F1: The president of double America's Cup yacht race winners Team
Alinghi is keen for his squad to start a technical partnership with Ferrari.
Said Ernesto Bertarelli, "F1 and the America's Cup have a lot in common,
from the technology to the organisation. I noticed that there's a debriefing
too, after a GP, just like we do at the end of the regattas. The difference
is that we are 17 on the yacht, while in the car there's just one driver. I
would like (a collaboration with Ferrari) because the next America's Cup
will be held with multi-hulls, so if there was an F1 engineer wanting to
design a boat, this would be the right time to do it.” --

UK-Halsey happily announces the latest addition to its worldwide sailmaking
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they sail, now with more than 54 lofts and service centers worldwide.
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* The Laser SB3 World Championship has reached their maximum capacity of 120
entries six months before the event date. The National Yacht Club, Dun
Laoghaire (IRL), has confirmed entrants from twelve countries, including New
Zealand, Australia, USA, Dubai, France, Italy,for the September 20 -26, 2008
event. --

* A cutting edge media photographic service, including a state-of-the-art
online archive, will ensure rapid delivery of stunning images from the
2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race to every corner of the globe. To complete the
picture, Rick Tomlinson, leading marine specialist, has been appointed
official photographer while London agency onEdition will manage image
distribution. --

* The next European Olympic class regatta will be the 40th Semaine Olympique
Française de Voile in Hyères, France, where 10 of the 11 events for the 2008
Olympics (no Stars) will be competing Sunday through Friday. Around 1000
sailors from over 50 countries are expected to take part in the ISAF Grade
One event. -- Regatta website:

* The 15-metre long ship, named after the Norse god Thor, is made from 15
million recycled ice-cream sticks glued together by U.S.-born stuntman
Robert McDonald, his son and more than 5,000 children. “If you can dream it
you can do it … I want to teach children that anything is possible,”
McDonald said. Badly injured as a child in a gas explosion that killed the
rest of his family, he has loaded his ship with cuddly toys and plans to
reach London and visit children in hospitals. He and his crew hope to cross
the Atlantic later on the ancient Viking route to North America via Iceland
and Greenland. -- See photo:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Grand Traverse Yacht Club after the fire, Juan Kouyoumdjian’s
designed 100ft maxi Speedboat, German Frers new Swan 90, Clipper 07-08 Round
the World Yacht Race winner in Santa Cruz, Sandy Hayes winning team from the
2008 Rolex Women’s Match, racing at the Star and Farr 40 Worlds in Miami,
and the final leg of 56-year-old solo circumnavigator Fedor Konyukhov’s on
the 16,000-mile Antarctica Cup Racetrack route. If you have images you would
like to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s

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 Tim Patterson: Thanks for the "Shout" video (in ‘butt 2577)… a
different time, for sure. In regard to 90 foot cats, ocean-going cats are a
different breed [ of cats ] than a cat to race around a closed course. One
needs only to have been in the 1985 Round Europe race and seen the race in
Torquay to know this. It will be interesting to those of us who have sailed
blue water in cats to see how some of these issues are addressed. I, for
one, look forward to it.

* From Richard Johnson: In Scuttlebutt 2577, Eric Sorensen spoke of the
'catamaran activity' at the Oracle building site in Anacortes, WA. When they
finally roll out the 90-foot AC boat from that shed, I don't think he should
be surprised if it has three hulls -- not two.

* From Adrian Morgan: (re, story in ‘butt 2577) Why not go the whole hog:
black out news from the OSTAR and all other long distance rtaces from the
moment the last press helicopter runs low on fuel and heads for home. Bring
back the old days when a sail would appear from the mist after a long period
of silence, flags waved, wives cheered and the media had their story. Now we
get hourly blogs about sail changes, surfing speeds, dietary details and -
bless them - occasionally the news that "after ten days I've finally managed
to wash my hair". At least three days of news blackout is better than
nothing, but tacit acceptance that a constant stream of news is boring. You
gotta laugh though...

* From Craig Fletcher: Who cares about having sailing in the Olympics and
why? Would you rather have a first in a Star, Snipe or E-22 Worlds on your
resume or an Olympics medal (a regatta where you raced against possibly five
or six great sailors as compared to all of the great Star, Snipe or E-22
sailors in the world)? Would you rather win a Worlds run by an uncorrupt
bunch of amateurs or one run by one of the most corrupt groups in the world?
This is a no brainer. You all know the answer. Sailing is our sport; it does
not belong to a corrupt bunch of bureaucrats. Let's take back our sport and
just tell the Olympics' we just really do not need you, you are

* From David Gill, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Just a quick note with regards to
Mack Montgomery's comments in (#2577) I would be willing to bet more than a
few people will be watching the martial arts portion of the Olympics this
time around. Especially considering the Olympics are being held in China or
more generally in SE Asia. We tend to forget the Olympic audience in Asia is
a little different than the one in the western world. Considering the
Chinese economy grew at over %10 last year while the American economy was
one step away from the grave of a recession, it would be wise to consider
the choices in cutting Olympic events carefully. Maybe the idea should be to
create more interest in sailing throughout the world, to keep all the
sailing events?

* From Eric Gonzalez: (Thoughts on why classes should or should not be
included in the Olympic roster; edited to the 250-word limit) It concerns me
reading opinions on why certain classes are "justified" to be in the
Olympics. Many of these classes of boats were started several decades ago
when, at that time, and for many years afterwards, these were considered
high tech boats. They were also very popular, provided fair competition and
therefore were included in the Olympics. However, times, technology and the
interests of the youth in our sport have changed.

It is a mistake for us to maintain the mentality that the top sailors of the
future will (or should) be developed sailing those same boats. We are
already experiencing reduced overall participation in the sport. Arguably
(or not) this is related to many years of the sport pushing for boat designs
that were not fun to sail, unpopular or just plain dangerous. This is no way
to introduce new blood into the sport and we are seeing the results now;
generations later. I see this starting to change with the acceptance and
growth not only of sport boats but fun and friendly big boats as well.

We need to make sure this trend spills into the Olympic movement so that the
desire to become an Olympian in sailing is only an extension of the normal
process of competing at the local level.
I applaud the reaction of much of the sailing community to the class
selections for 2012. This was not done in the best interest of the sport and
we should expect a correction.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.....

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