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SCUTTLEBUTT 2580 – April 22 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.

by Bruce Brown
It was four years ago when the beginning of the beer can season for a
Southern California harbor had a terribly wrong start. One boat sank, four
people in the water, one person died. However, what has happened since by
host California Yacht Club and other local clubs is an effort to help
prevent history from repeating itself.

Each year since that tragedy, a pre series program has been offered on the
lessons learned from that night and crew overboard rescue. Invited
participants have included the US Coast Guard, County Sheriff and the Life
Guards (the real Bay Watch) from the area as well as local instructors that
are trained to teach COB rescue techniques. While not a full Safety at Sea
Seminar, this element of sailing is often overlooked on the around the buoys
events, and with recent COB events in the two short handed races in the San
Francisco Bay area, it should be apparent of the need to remind sailors
about the proper use of safety harnesses and tethers as well as COB rescue

I was among the group of individuals invited to speak this year, and as a
manufacturer's representative for marine accessories, I advise that without
practice, safety gear is only another tool onboard a boat. Our presentation
did not focus on step by step "training" of Crew Overboard techniques
(because an on the water demonstration really makes the point of the need
for practice with the on board equipment.) However, the emphasis was that
each owner must know how the gear operates, and offer instruction to the
crew about techniques for deployment, activation and use.

I would recommend all of us continue to look at programs like this to
instruct sailors about basic safety techniques. Often we consider "around
the buoys" sailing to be "safer" than offshore events. When we consider the
variety of skill levels onboard, and the list of maneuvers requiring crew
movement and coordination in tight quarters, we are all putting people at
risk of falling overboard. I hope that sailors consider rescue techniques to
be important parts of practice for race or cruise events. I commend Cal YC
and their local clubs for their continued efforts to learn lessons from a
past incident. Making this kind of effort can prevent a repetition.

Hyères, France (April 21, 2008) The second day of racing in the 40th Semaine
Olympique Française was blessed with ideal racing conditions and sunshine.
The clouds and rain cleared quickly by mid-morning with the apparition of a
steady 15 to 20 knots Mistral for the 920 Olympic class boats representing
58 countries. Stronger winds are expected for Tuesday, with Andrew Campbell
(USA) commenting, “The debate around many of the boatparks is whether some
of the fleets will even venture out to race in more than 25 knots. Of course
there isn’t any chatter like that in Laserland, where regardless of how
windy it is, I’m sure we’ll be sent out as guinea pigs to see if the more
fragile classes might be able to handle it.”

Following Monday’s racing, the Canadian male singlehanders remain strong,
with Michael Leigh (Laser) and Christopher Cook (Finn) both in second place.
As the ISAF top ranked Laser Radial sailor, American Anna Tunnicliffe rolled
a 2-1 to pull her up to fifth overall, while her teammates in the Yngling
class, Sally Barkow/ Debbie Capozzi/ Carrie Howe, stumbled hard with a 16-10
to drop to fifth. Remaining consistent in the 49er class are Tim Wadlow/
Chris Rast (USA) and Gordon Cook/ Ben Remocker (CAN), who are in 6th and
10th respectively. -- Regatta website:

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by Lynn Fitzpatrick
Looking down the score sheet for most international Women’s Yngling
regattas, there are three Dutch boats in the lineup, with the Netherlands
utilizing a decidedly unique process for selecting their Olympic
representative. Following the 2004 Olympics, casting calls went out over the
Internet and the federation received 80 responses, including the members of
the Dutch Yngling team that sailed at the Olympics in Athens. Following
initial auditions in Mememblick, the field has been methodically reduced
down to nine sailors that now sail the three boats, are fully funded, and on
the road for 240 days a year.

While the three teams have all the advantages of being completely supported,
they also must live with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they will be
named to the team that goes to Qingdao until very late in the game. For each
event, Coaches Maurice Paardenkooper and Marjon Kooistra decide who takes
the helm, who takes the middle and who takes the bow of each of the three
boats, with all nine women attempting to please one another and embody all
of the right things that they feel it will take to be among the remaining
three contestants in a game of survivor.

Most other countries have finalized their decision about which athletes will
be on their Olympic squad. The rationale for those countries’ selection
process is that it will remove one of the greatest uncertainties of being an
Olympic athlete; knowing that you are going. Sometime in June 2008, coaches
Paardenkooper and Kooistra will make a decision about who will be among the
best of the best Dutch representatives to the 2008 Olympics. As Coach
Paardenkooper put it, “The best go.” Until then, it’s anybody’s guess who
will be sailing NED I, NED II, and NED III. --

A survey carried out by a leading US boat insurer has revealed that boaters
put their vessel ahead of many other major life purchases, such as a house
or a car, and are happier for it. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 boat
owners, nearly half said they bought their boat before they purchased a car
or a home. More than a third disagreed with the statement: "a boat owner's
two greatest days are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells it" with
an overwhelming majority saying they 'love boating' and wish they had more
time for it.

It seems that many boaters surveyed got into boating during more carefree
times in their lives. Nearly a third of boaters surveyed said they bought a
boat before they got married (28 percent), had children (30 percent) or
finished university (19 percent). Carried out by the insurance company,
Progressive, the most revealing statistic was perhaps the attitude towards
insurance. While 70 percent of boaters say they know they should have
insurance, even in the off-season, 29 percent admit to having no boat
insurance at all.

Meanwhile, twenty percent of boaters said that they would NEVER sell their
boat and six percent went as far as to say they would only sell if
threatened with physical harm. And for all the politicians out there.. heed
this: 15 percent of boaters say they're more likely to vote for a political
candidate if he/she is a boater. -- Practical Boat Owner,

* Annapolis, MD -- Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. announced the launch of the
second annual Charles Schwab Junior Sailing Cup. The Charles Schwab Junior
Sailing Cup was developed to provide teens interested in sailing with an
environment that promotes skill development and team-building through a fun,
structured sailing competition. The program is open to all teens ages 13 to
18 with sailing experience. The Charles Schwab Junior Sailing Cup is a
season-long, points-based regatta open to participants in junior sailing
programs in Annapolis on the upper Chesapeake Bay. -- Read on:

* LaserPerformance has announced the appointment of Devin Kelly as President
and Jim Forrest Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Kelly was most recently with
INBEV where he served as Vice President of Marketing for UK and Ireland.
INBEV is the global brewer of many well known brands including Beck’s and
Stella Artois. Mr. Forrest brings to LaserPerformance over 25 years of
financial and managerial experience, most recently as Chief Financial
Officer of the Standard Electric Supply, one of New England’s (US) largest
electrical distributors. Both appointees will be based at the North American
offices in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. --

* The Spanish deep-sea Tuna ship Playa de Bakio was seized by pirates as it
was fishing off Somalia, taking its 26-man crew hostage. The ship was
apparently first attacked with grenade launchers and then boarded by three
or four men, who carried out the hijacking without inflicting any injury on
the crew. A Spanish frigate is now sailing from the Red Sea towards the
site, and in Madrid the ministries of Foreign affairs, Defense and the
Environment are coordinating their efforts to free the crew. This latest
incident comes just weeks after hijackers seized the luxury yacht Le Ponant
in the same area. -- The Valencia Life Network,

* Providence, RI -- The state will seek bids from private developers to
build and operate an offshore wind farm designed to generate 1.3-million
megawatt-hours per year just south of Block Island, under a plan announced
this afternoon by Gov. Donald L. Carcieri. Such a project would require an
estimated 105 wind turbines, making it about the size of the proposed Cape
Wind project off Cape Cod. -- Read on:

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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 Quentin Walsh: (re, Farr 40 Worlds protest) I went to for the first time and was delighted to get their
audio reports to flesh out the circumstances of the "protest". So Joe Fly is
one point down to Mascalzone Latino going into the 9th race and both are
between 3rd and 5th at the first weather mark of race 9. After the rounding,
Joe Fly is told that Mascalzone will protest and Barking Mad will be a
witness and thus they should do a penalty turn. Joe Fly made an egregious
misjudgment to risk a DSQ and championship possibility lost instead of just
several lost places at that point of the race. Maybe justice was truly
served since Joe Fly "seriously overplayed their hand" and accordingly to
audio comments was involved in other problematic close at hand situations
during the regatta. Finally, where was the judge's boat?

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: We spoke with Tom Ehman, who headed the Jury, and
he explained that they were in position on the water, saw the infringement,
but were unclear on whether anyone was going to protest. Apparently, the
jury has an on-the-water whistle system, and if they see an infringement,
AND they know that someone intends to protest, they will blow a whistle so
the parties to the incident know that jury witnessed the incident.

This system has been in place for several years, and the competitors know
that the jury is not on the water to file protest, but rather to be a
witness to the racing. The reason the jury needs confirmation of a protest
before whistling is because there is so much give and take amongst the
boats, that they don’t want to add confusion to an incident where no one
felt they were fouled. For the Joe Fly-Barking Mad-Mascalzone incident, they
did not blow a whistle because they did not know if anyone was going to

As for the appropriateness of Mascalzone’s third party protest, we have
chatted with several folks involved, and the story would not be complete
without mentioning that there were several incidents during the regatta when
the Joe Fly team were arguably overplaying their hand. Sailing is a
self-policed sport, and when the game is played hard and fast, it is up to
the competitors to counsel the offender. Sometimes it occurs onshore,
perhaps with a chat in the bar, and sometimes it happens on the water with a
protest. Nobody likes to see the winner of a major championship decided on a
protest, but from all accounts, the jury goes this one right.

* From Adrian Blunt, Victoria, BC, Canada: Cliff Bradford (in SB 2579)
commenting on the Artemis Transat race, said he would like to see, "one of
the ocean races .... prevent the sailors from knowing where the other boats
are for the whole race." The MiniTransat 650s race without SSB, cell & sat
phones, e-charts, weather faxes and routing information. Mini Transats race
under the rules Cliff advocates.

Mini skippers may hear a daily list of fleet positions (1st, 2nd, 3rd etc)
over VHF if: they are in range of the accompanying support boats VHF;
understand French; are awake at the time of the broadcast; and care to
listen in. But they do not know the lat-longs of the other contestants.

Cliff points out that knowing everyone else's position results in covering
and clustering and no one taking "wild flyers". I hope Cliff will not settle
for just seeing such a race, but might buy a Mini and take a wild flyer

* From Chris Ericksen: (re, letters in Issue 2579; edited to the 250-word
limit) First, as the Curmudgeon knows well, SCYA rules do not allow the
Scuttlebutt Sailing Club to be a member. So-called "paper clubs" such as
those referred to by Craig Fletcher that meet certain requirements do belong
to SCYA. SSC was formed for a particular reason; allowing its
non-dues-paying members--of which I am one--to enter regattas was not it.

Second, most regattas, including the Ensenada Race, are not organized by
SCYA but by individual sailing associations and yacht clubs. Each one gets
to choose the entry criteria, and some choose to open their doors only to
dues-paying members of SCYA-member clubs. Their choice, not SCYA's.

John Tormey may not know it, but most other sports DO require membership in
a local club to participate in events sanctioned by or run under the rules
of that sport. And the final point, Paul Warren, is this: it's yacht clubs
and sailing associations that allow folks like you to participate in our
sport. They and their members pay for the trophies, buy or loan the
race-committee boats, own or borrow the race-committee gear and staff the
race committee. I can tell you that the entry fees paid by participants
usually covers only part of the cost--the rest is subsidized by the members
of yacht clubs and sailing associations who sponsor these events. So, before
one starts bad-mouthing yacht clubs and sailing associations, one should
realize who really does the heavy lifting in our sport.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: If any America’s Cup campaigns are looking for a
club, I think SSC would qualify, as last year we enjoyed our 7th Annual
Scuttlebutt Sailing Club championship, held each year at the Bitter End
Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands (2008 dates are November 1-8). As
for SCYA membership, I am not aware of any rules that would prevent SSC from
being a member. The big hurdle seems to be getting the five SCYA member
clubs as sponsors. SCYA application:

* From Brian Morris: To clarify some of the inaccuracies by Mark Reynolds
(in Butt 2579) in his attack on the Tornado Class, the 2007 ISAF Annual
meeting did not vote in classes but DISCIPLINES. So there is no reason to
suggest the Tornado will be the Olympic boat for 2012. The 2008 ISAF meeting
in Spain will match CLASSES to the DISCIPLINES. So even if the keel boat
remains, there is no guarantee it will be the Star. From the ISAF papers one
other ISAF International multihull has put its name forward as well as
another non-international class to challenge the Tornado to be the Olympic
Class for 2012.

Also if Mark is going to quote Past President Henderson, then please he
should include all his recommendation which included the multihull. Finally
if ISAF does keep the keelboat and it chooses the Star then I believe it
would be the only sport in the Olympics which has chosen a discipline to
keep the old champions active. All other sports look to the future…not the
past. (Paul Henderson’s recommendations can be found as the lead story in
Issue 2570:

* From Bob Matthews: (re, letter in 2579) Nice to see that Mark Reynolds is
protecting his income, seeing that his sailmaking business is largely
reliant on the Star class. However, there is no promise that the Star is
guaranteed to be in the Olympics (or is there?). The only thing that has
been decided so far is the events, not the equipment, so Mark is kind of off
target in his references to the Star and Tornado. The reality is that the
2012 Olympic events are being reviewed at the ISAF Mid-May meeting because a
lot of countries have complained. Has this happened a lot in the past? Plus,
Mark seems to think that classes should be awarded Olympic status as some
kind of reward for their hard work, rather than having events selected for
the kind of sailing they provide, and how that fits into the Olympic ideal.
At least there are no secrets about his bias.

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Marriage: It's an agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree and a
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* The theme this week is marriage… please submit your advice and
observations here:

Special thanks to Camet International, North Sails, and Orange Coast

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