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SCUTTLEBUTT 2581 – April 23 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 Dave Reed, Sailing World magazine
(April 21, 2008) There was a silent pause in my conversation with Ken Read
as we sat in the fresh spring grass outside Goetz Custom Boats, in Bristol,
R.I., and as Puma Racing Team's new 70-footer hovered 20 feet off the
ground, spot-lit in the late afternoon sun, suspended by the long arm of a
yellow crane. Then he chuckled and pointed out the irony of how it was the
sailors, not builders, standing on the deck. Just like that, they'd taken it
over like a bunch of surfers taking new sticks from their shapers--eager to
carve their first turns. The boat was theirs now to ride, and ride it they
will across many an ocean mile. And my, oh my, will it be a killer ride.

"It really is incredibly amazing," Read tells me, his eyes hidden behind
stylish Puma-branded shades. "I swear, 24 hours ago, this boat looked
nothing like it does now. The deck looked nowhere finished [in fact, the
final bit of graphics on the deck had just gotten its final touches the
night before] it was all covered in plastic wrap and there was still stuff
that had to go down." But Goetz's crew put in the final push to get the
thing out the door, knocking off 14-plus hour days. In the end, says Read,
some were napping in their cars to get it done. -- Read on:

* The Puma Volvo 70 exited Goetz Custom Boats this week, with the
anticipated extreme graphics living up to expectations. Photos by Sally
Collison and Meghan Sepe:

* If ten identical 68-footers rolled into your harbor from finishing a leg
of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, it would look something
like the photos that Rich Carlson has provided Scuttlebutt. Here the fleet
is prepping for their next leg through the Panama Canal to Jamaica. --

* Just like the event name would indicate, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
in the West Indies brings out the finest in yachting, amidst the delightful
Caribbean sailing conditions. What a shock that supreme shooters Cory
Silken, Thierry Martinez, and Sally Collison would be on hand to catch the
“action.” --

Hyères, France (April 22, 2008) Since last weekend, the weather experts had
predicted a strong Mistral for Tuesday, and the building morning breeze
proved them right. Despite the alarming forecast, the racing committee tried
to give the larger fleets an extra race before they were divided into Gold
and Silver divisions on Wednesday (RS:X men and Women, 470 men, Laser and
Radial). Despite moving the course toward shore for protection, it was soon
after the first start (470 men) when the Mistral began gusting up to 35
knots, cancelling further racing for the day. One of the teams that likely
took advantage of the day off was 2004 Silver medalist John Lovell and
Charlie Ogletree (USA), whose European Tornado season has had a rough start
thus far.

The Americans took delivery of a new boat, but had shipped their masts and
sails from the New Zealand Worlds a month earlier. When the shipment didn’t
arrive in time, they were forced to borrow a set-up from a Greek team. With
big breeze preceding the event, they missed out on training opportunities,
and were now feeling unprepared and likely off the pace. Strong winds in the
first day of racing furthered their problems, for when a boat capsized just
in front of them at a weather mark, their attempt to avoid collison led them
into a radical pitch-pole that kept them from finishing the race. Worse yet,
Ogletree needed medical attention to repair his right hand and forearm that
suffered bruising and nerve damage in the capsize. Their current scoreline
of 17-22/DNF-20-11 finds them uncharacteristically in second to last place.
-- Regatta website:
* Lovell/Ogletree website:

How does a sailmaker, who has never built Star sails, design sails fast
enough to power the top American finisher in the 2008 Star World
Championship? It is by continuing to perfect our theoretical models with
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* Curmudgeon’s Comment: This year’s Star Worlds was not for the faint of
heart, as over 20% of the participants had already attained World
Championship, Olympic, and/or America’s Cup accomplishments. Full list of
achievements here:

UK windsurfer Farrel O’Shea has been around long enough to have seen the 20
knot barrier broken, and now recently set the British record with a speed of
44.34 knots. Here are a few comments on the battle to break the 50 knot

* Hydrofoil boards might be the way forward, but the practicality of putting
the development into it… you need some pretty clever blokes! Asymmetric
sails and fins - that’s the way it should go. Plus fitness…it’s not just the
bulk, but you’ve got to be pretty fit and strong. Small changes will nudge
it up a little bit and that’s what we must continue to do.

* We have got major challenges from the kiters. They seem to be able to
breeze up to speeds, like 42 knots, which is a massive barrier in the
windsurfing speed world. Windy, shallow locations, small kites and a number
of them are cruising up to 47 knots speeds. They are simply more consistent
at it. But the major threat is the French/Swiss boat (Hydroptère). The
technology in that boat is far beyond what we have seen so far in
windsurfing. But the windsurfers have got a chance.

* Conditions (must improve), because the equipment has definitely moved on.
I have been around for so long that I have seen all the ‘barriers’ broken
down. I was windsurfing when the 20 knot barrier was broken. I certainly
remember the 30 knots with Fred Haywood, the 40 knot with Eric Beale, now we
looking at 50 knots which was almost unthinkable back then. The curve is
slowing down but that’s what it is like in every sport now. Look at the 100m
sprint… they are breaking the record by a 1000th of a second. -- Windsurfing
Magazine, complete interview:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Nearly a year ago, the VIDEO OF THE WEEK featured
footage of windsurfing and surfing with hydrofoils. Really cool:

* The World Sailing Speed Record (WSSR) Council announced that Francis Joyon
(FRA) had set the Equator to Equator, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean
singlehanded speed records onboard the 97-foot trimaran IDEC. The elapsed
times are: Equator/Equator: 41 days 9 hours 14 minutes; Indian Ocean: 9 days
12 hours 6 minutes; and Pacific Ocean: 10 days 14 hours 26 minutes. Joyon
also briefly held the 24 hour singlehanded distance record of 613.5 nm in
December 2007 before Thomas Coville (FRA) established a new record onboard
the 105-foot Trimaran Sodebo of 619.3 nm on the January 6, 2008. --

* The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the largest private, national
organization devoted to melanoma in the United States, today announced John
Dane III, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team, will serve as a
national spokesperson for the organization, promoting melanoma awareness,
prevention and early detection. –

* Cagliari, Sardinia -- The second event of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2008
begins this week, with recently crowned World Champions Mateusz
Kusznierewicz (Star) and Vincenzo Onorato (Farr 40) joining Ben Ainslie,
Russell Coutts, James Spithill, Sébastien Col, Larry Ellison, Cameron
Appleton, etc, onboard ten strict one design RC 44’s. The Cagliari Cup will
start on April 23rd with the match racing event, with the team owners then
taking the helm for three days of fleet racing and a long distance race to
end the event on April 20th. -- Class website:

* New Zealander Jack Lloyd, a well known figure in international yacht
racing, has joined the Volvo Ocean Race as its new Race Director. Lloyd, 54,
was Chairman of the International Jury for the 2005-06 race after serving as
member of the jury for two previous races. Lloyd takes over from Andy
Hindley, and completes the race management line-up for the 2008-09 race
following last month’s appointment of Norwegian Knut Frostad as CEO after
the departure of Glenn Bourke, who returned to Australia. -- Full report:

* The 2008 Newport to Bermuda Race will enjoy the presence of some exciting
new launches, with Jim Swartz’s Reichel/Pugh designed STP65, Moneypenny now
in route from its building in Australia. Also planning on competing is the
new Juan Kouyoumdjian, designed 100ft maxi, Speedboat, which was launched
last week in New Zealand. These two entries will be joined by the 2007
Sydney Hobart Race winner, Roger Sturgeon’s Farr-designed STP65 Rosebud.
Also joining the fleet will be George David’s 90-footer Rambler, and if this
year resembles 2007, look for strong winds as the Rambler was a lightning
rod for hurricane force forecasts last year. --

* The Jury Decision from the 2008 Farr 40 World Championship protest in the
ninth race between winning team Mascalzone and second place team Joe Fly is
posted on the Scuttlebutt website:

On the suggestion that Alinghi was negotiating to hold the multihull deed of
gift America’s Cup match in Valencia, Spain, Russell Coutts was unsure:
“Alinghi said it would not appeal, and in the end it did…. Bertarelli said
last December that it was ready for a Cup with multihulls in 2008 and now
says it is not ...” -- From an interview with Coutts in Las Provincias:

Hall Spars & Rigging is the place to start your regatta preparation. We are
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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 Michelle Slade: I've written a story for a women's fitness magazine
about how women can get into sailing (and the joys thereof, etc.). The
editor wants to include in the story the approximate number of women
participating in the sport of sailing in the US. I have made a ton of calls
to my reasonably extensive sailing network, and even those you would expect
to have an answer, don't. Not a current figure anyway.

Dawn Riley came up with some stats from a study dating back to between
1995-1998, used when she was fundraising for America True. Then, the number
was over 1.7 million women sailors, although the study doesn’t state on what
basis they reached that figure. The stats were provided by US Sailing, The
National Sporting Goods Association and The United States Census Bureau.
However, US Sailing doesn’t have any current information, and sadly, the
NSGA no longer provides research on sailing (however camping, muzzle loading
and scooter riding are among the women’s sports they do research, go

Please have the ‘buttheads contact me if they have any data that can be
shared. Email:

* From Cameron McIntyre: What Bruce Brown has to say should not fall upon
deaf ears (from Issue 2580). Having lost a friend and fellow crew member
that fateful Wednesday in April and experiencing the most feared tragedy a
sailor can face, I took a very serious look at my sailing practices and how
a simple slip or seemingly inconsequential blunder can have catastrophic

I understand there was a man (woman) overboard and rescue this year at the
NOOD in San Diego. This skipper has published his thoughts on the event and
only after the fact, in hindsight, was able to completely comprehend the
importance of all those small safety practices. I also learned this morning
that this last weekend at the Strictly Sail Show a sailor fell overboard and
was rescued on a sea trial. Sailing, especially when competitive does have
inherent dangers and taking some extra time in the beginning of the season
to refresh our minds and sharpen our reactions is time well spent.

* From Chip Pitcairn: (re, lead story in Issue 2580) I realize I'm tilting
at windmills but the correct term is Man Overboard, not Crew Overboard. It
covers both genders and changing it just adds to the confusion surrounding
nautical terms. My GPS and most electronics in use today use the
abbreviation MOB. Why Change? Must we now refer to our boats as ‘it’ instead
of 'her’? I love the tradition and history of sailing and usually the
updating of terms doesn't bother me. I grew up racing with a gentleman from
NZ who referred to spinnaker sheets as braces. This is a harmless variation
in nautical terms. But the change from MOB to COB just adds to the confusion
in an already stressful and life threatening event. I pray that being
politically correct doesn't risk lives.

* From Andrew Hurst, aging Star boat enthusiast and Seahorse Editor: (re,
the thinly veiled attacks on Mark Reynolds in Issue 2580 for his honest and
entertaining letter in support of the Star Class in the present Olympic
classes dispute.) To those who do not know Mark, and that clearly includes
your contributors to Edition 2580, Mr Matthews and Mr Morris, there is no
one who I have met in sailing less self-serving than Mark, and few sailors
who are more ready to help both their direct rivals and enthusiastic
beginners alike. Ask a few recent Star Olympic medallists just how much help
they have received from San Diego's double gold medallist and they will no
doubt tell you, "far more than I would ever have given any of my own

* From Alex Arnold: (re, Olympic Classes) Anyone, seriously, advocating
dumping the Star from the Games should read Jerry Klein's article entitled,
"Starstruck" on page 44 of May's Sailing Magazine. It tells us of his
growing up sailing Stars at the Illinois Valley YC [IVY and certainly not
HYP] starting in the '50s [pre self-tacking deck sweepers] and the spirit
and tradition that has grown, not faded, with time. Get out the Kleenex and
read it. What was the Sharpie?

* From Doug Mills: I would like to comment on the NOSA requirement that
participants in the Newport Ensenada Race belong to an SCYA yacht club, or
similar organization if one is an outsider to SoCal.

An SCYA club must actively run sailboat races. The cost is appreciable in
terms of dollars expended, time spent by members on race committees,
purchasing and maintaining marks and flags, and providing committee/chase
boats. Good races don't materialize out of thin air at no cost. It is argued
that to participate in a sport that places such demands on the host
organization, those involved should join the community. The cost of some
SCYA clubs can be appreciable, but there are active member clubs with
initiation fees and dues are that are a small fraction of the cost of
maintaining a racing boat.

NOSA is not a yacht club. But virtually all its volunteers, officers and
others are members of SCYA yacht clubs. Also, the equipment used for the
Newport Ensenada Race, including Committee boats, are contributed by members
of SCYA clubs. Some clubs support the race with direct dollars. The
organization is thus an extension of SCYA.

I know of races in the SoCal area one can enter without being a member of an
SCYA club. This offers the "newbie" the chance to try things out before
making the commitment of joining a club. But if you want to play with the
Big Dogs, you have to get off the porch, as they say.

* From Fred Roswold, Phuket, Thailand: It should be obvious why SCYA doesn't
seem to want SSC as a member of their organization: they don't want to see
any their own club members flee to SSC. What these organizations, the
traditional yacht clubs (and US SAILING), need to recognize is that they
need to provide the services that sailors will pay for without the coercion
to buy what might not be wanted (fancy club house, a nice bit of waterfront,
professional race committee, junior program, etc). Those are good things but
some sailors are not interested. This arm twisting and coercion, in the end,
will backfire, and racers will either leave the sport or find their own
races which don't come with the “yacht club” baggage. The SCYA are simply
trying to exclude SSC from offering the product at a lower price. In some
jurisdictions this would be considered price fixing.

I am a member of both an excellent “traditional” yacht club, and an
excellent “paper yacht club” . I support them because I want to, and I don't
even race in any of their races. But if they tried to force me, I'd let my
membership lapse; I don't like my arm twisted.

Second marriages are a triumph of hope over experience.

* The theme this week is marriage… please submit your advice and
observations here:

Special thanks to Doyle Sails and Hall Spars & Rigging.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at