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SCUTTLEBUTT 2582 - April 24 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 John Rousmaniere
George Schuyler and John Cox Stevens got it right when they founded the
America's Cup in the 1850s. Half a century later, a cup historian, Herbert
L. Stone, said this: "The America's Cup, after all, is a synonym of things
brave and big and famous." That may not seem the case today as we sadly peer
into the slough of despond into which the cup has been allowed to topple,
but it's what the America's Cup was as recently as last June, when the Kiwis
and the Alinghis brawled off Valencia.

The owners of the yacht America dedicated the trophy she won in England as a
challenge cup. No challenger, no race. One of the founders' strokes of
genius is that they encouraged the two sides to negotiate terms over boats,
schedules, race courses, rules, and anything else. Another is that Stevens
and Schuyler set mandatory conditions to force the defender to hold a race
should there be no mutual consent. The challenger first blows the trumpet,
then the challenger and the defender together have to play a tune. It may
not be the tune the defender likes, but he has to play something, and it
must be a duet, unless the defender forfeits.

What's wrong with that? Not much. Those simple rules have worked well for
almost 130 years because defenders usually understood that they were not
owners of a trophy but trustees for the most exciting kind of competition
there is, which is a challenge match. Nearly 40 years ago the New York Yacht
Club advanced the principle further by opening the event to multiple
challengers. That worked, too, and for a long time. Now we're being told
that this solid foundation is crumbling because it requires the defender to
actually listen to the challengers - a terrible thing, apparently, even
though it has succeeded more than 30 times.

A judge in New York has been reminding us that nobody holds title to the
America's Cup. Yet the story of cup racing is the property of somebody, and
that is the legion of lifelong cup admirers. Syndicate heads and skippers
come and go, but not the vast population of sailors and landlubbers who are
not ashamed to say that they love things brave and big and famous. So let's
reserve a few minutes of every day to celebrate the better and brighter
lights in the long history of the America's Cup, and then we can shout out
in protest: "IT'S OUR CUP TOO!"

by Cory E. Friedman, America's Cup legal analyst
If following the last few legal maneuvers has required heavy weather skills,
this report is not even going to require hiking. The America's Cup defending
club, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), has filed its opening brief in the
Appellate Division, First Department on April 21, 2008. The new and improved
Challenger of Record club, Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), filed its response
to SNG's formal motion for a stay pending appeal and cross-motion to dismiss
the appeal the next day on April 22, 2008.

At a forest killing 12,468 words (just 1,532 shy of the 14,000 word limit),
SNG's brief, which cites only seven cases, is long (very, very long) on
recycled rhetoric and short on anything new. When a lawyer has that much to
say about so little law, you know he or she is in trouble. If you have
followed the story thus far, you are up to speed. The only things noteworthy
are SNG's attempts to evade the motion to dismiss that SNG knew was coming
(more about that in a minute), and SNG's public willingness to blame Justice
Cahn for the lack of a DoG Match date - which SNG is responsible for - while
Justice Cahn is in the midst of setting a date. This is especially strange,
as if Justice Cahn holds for SNG and sets the DoG Match for May 2009 or
later, SNG will have all it can reasonably expect to get. Given the state of
the appeal, if Justice Cahn sides with GGYC on the date, SNG's goose is
cooked. Once again, very strange salesmanship. -- Read on:

* It must be tough to be Alinghi President Ernesto Bertarelli these days.
The America's Cup is an absolute mess based on his vision of the event (and
his insistence to take flyers in the NY Courts). Last week's Farr 40 Worlds
wasn't rewarding enough for him to even attend the prize giving to receive
his sixth place pickle dish. And now we learn that at the UBS annual general
meeting (AGM), vocal shareholders have come in droves, seriously mad about
the bank's $37.4 billion (23.65 billion euros) losses in recent months. Among other
things, they are calling for "useless" members of the board to resign, and named
Ernesto Bertarelli in particular. -- Complete story:

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Hyeres, France (April 23, 2008) One hundred eighty degree shifts and puffy
conditions made a mixing bowl of the Bay of Hyeres today, with most of the
fleets able to get at least one race off during the last gasps of the dying
westerly Mistral from Tuesday's blowout. The offshore 8-15 knots provided
puffy racing and made for some big ups and bigger downs on the scorecard for
many of the regatta players. Starting on time at 11am, the 45 races run in
the 6 racing areas ended 8 hours later. Racing on Thursday will see the last
opportunity for qualifying into the medal race that will be held on Friday.

American Andrew Campbell best describes what it can be like on the Laser
course: "When the final series at any Grade 1 event, World or Continental
championships on the Laser circuit comes along it is commonly revered as
some of the closest, most difficult and most chaotic racing in the world.
Minor mistakes put me in 38th in the race overlapped into the finish with
the two-time defending World Champion. Gold fleet is indeed 'the juice.'
That's probably the best way to describe the power and the mayhem involved
with 55 boats starting absurdly close to the line and all arriving to a mark
nearly a mile away 12 minutes later all within less than a minute. Then
every mark from that point forward, regardless of the wind strength, the
mark roundings will be overcrowded and hot with road rage, egos, collisions
and speed. So many fouls occur through the races it would boggle most
people's minds, but where the fleet lacks civility it retains a clear level
of efficiency of getting around the course quickly."

The North American contingent is now being led by the 49er team of Tim
Wadlow and Chris Rast (USA) who have retained the top spot in their class.
Michael Leigh (CAN) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) remain strong in the Laser
and Laser Radial, lying in 2nd and 4th respectively. Christopher Cook (CAN)
has slid down to 6th in the Finn, while Americans Sally Barkow/ Debbie
Capozzi/ Carrie Howe continue to fall down the Yngling standings, now in 8th
overall. A glimmer of hope found 470 Men Stu McNay and Graham Biehl (USA),
who closed the day with a bullet to pull them up to 19th overall. -- Regatta
* Andrew Campbell website:

* Cagliari, Sardinia (April 23, 2008) -- The first day of racing for the
Cagliari RC 44 Cup found the ten teams match racing in 25 knots of wind,
surfing down the waves and crossing rivals by mere seconds. Leader of the
event after day one, Larry Ellison and his crew onboard BMW ORACLE Racing
impressed a lot of people by the quality of their performance in those
difficult conditions. Teams led by Ben Ainslie and James Spithill share the
same record as Ellison, but both lost to the Oracle boss. - Full report:

* Vitoria, Espirito Santos, Brazil (April 22, 2008) -- Brilliant sunshine
and a steady 10-12 knot easterly breeze gave the perfect start to Tuesday's
first day of match race competition in the Brasil Sailing Cup, the year's
first event of the World Match Racing Tour. Ian Williams (GBR) and his Team
Pindar are showing their World Champion style, being undefeated among their
five other rivals in Group A, while Paolo Cian (ITA) of Team Shosholoza and
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) of Alandia Sailing Team in Group B emerged undefeated in
their two flights of the day. The schedule continues with round robin on
Wednesday and Thursday, Quarterfinals on Friday, and Semifinals and Finals
on Saturday. --

=> From Steve Barry: "I went overboard in the last race in IRC 2 at the 2008
Key West Race Week. I did not have a life jacket on, though my Dubarry boots
did a fine job of keeping me afloat. I learned how to "drownproof" while I
was at boot camp in the Coast Guard. The only thing that I was really
concerned was another boat coming down wind and running me over. I watched
my boat finish the jibe, take down the kite and sluggishly make her way
back. After getting back on board, we fixed the broken lifeline, started
racing again and finished.

=> From Mark Mueller: "Before the gun went off in NYYC Series off
Beavertail, Rhode Island, in very lumpy conditions with the wind against the
tide, I was launched over the side as we tacked and fell off a wave. The
skipper, Bob Manchester, and Matt who was in the cockpit yelled man
overboard and Matt began pointing directly at me while standing on the cabin
top. This enabled Bob to concentrate on the boat, the other boats in the
starting area, and the recovery. For my part, I had bibs on but no PFD. I
was cold but floated quite easily. Wildfire, a Tripp 37 sailed away, tacked
and sailed by me to windward. All the while Matt just pointed at me without
being distracted by anything else happening on the boat. Bob never had to
look for me even when I would disappear in the swells as he watched Matt's

"After gybing Bob elected to try and pick me up on the windward side of the
boat as the swells were quite steep. The boat came up and stalled right next
to me and I was able to reach the rail and hang on. There was no way that I
could have climbed back on the boat without assistance. Kevin reached down
and grabbed my bib strap. I told him that it was elastic and he was able to
reach the side of my bibs and pull me up under the life lines. The whole
crew executed the man overboard rescue as if we had practiced it for days
before the event, for which Iwas very grateful. They did a wonderful job. I
was able to change into dry clothes but was not able to do anything for the
rest of the race. I have been sailing for 50 years and never once even felt
that I was close to falling over. It can happen to anyone and very quickly.
It is best to practice with a person in the water and not just the regular
PFD or cushion being used as the actual effort to get a person on board is a

The 2008 Ullman Sails Inshore Championship is underway in Southern
California with last weekend's Ahmanson Cup Regatta hosted by Newport Harbor
Yacht Club. Bennet Greenwald and his team on J/105 'Perseverance' took top
honors in the regatta's biggest fleet with a full inventory of Ullman Sails.
And Alec Oberschmidt's Reichel Pugh 50 'Staghound' made a clean sweep of
Division 1 PHRF with all Ullman Sails as well. The championship series
continues with San Diego Yacht Club's Yachting Cup, May 3-4. For more news
on the event and information on the 'Fastest Sails on the Planet', visit

* The end of the frostbiting season was ushered out with the 2008 Interclub
National Championships. Over 70 IC sailors competed at the Metedeconk River
Yacht Club in Brick, NJ last weekend. The team of John and Molly Baxter in
Vineyard Vines IC #66 won the event by five points over 470 silver medalist
Steve Benjamin and Charlie McHugh. In third was five-time winner Jim Bowers
and Sarah Hitchcock. John and Molly also won the Wharf Rat Challenge which
is the best showing at the top five interclub regattas, winning every event
along the way not including last year's National Championship. Complete
results and photos:

* National and local organizers of the 2008 U.S. Youth Championship have
reviewed the list of 196 sailors who applied to compete in the event and
have narrowed the entrants down to the country's top 150 youth sailors
(based on sailing resume). This year's event will be hosted by San Francisco
Yacht Club (Belvedere, CA) from June 26 to July 1. Sponsored by Nautica and
LaserPerformance, racing will be held in Laser, Laser Radial, Club 420, and
29er. --

* Two economists and a technology "futurist" outlined very different
scenarios for the downturn that is plaguing the US economy. One economist
sees a recovery in six months, while the other doesn't see a return to
normal levels of boat sales until 2010. The speakers were part of the annual
Marine Design Resource Alliance (MDRA) conference, held in Sea Island,
Georgia. About 25 executives from US boatbuilders, as well as two dozen
others from marine accessories manufacturers and financial institutions,
attended the conference. -- IBI Magazine, read on:

The 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship drew a premier field of 33 teams
to Miami, FL for four days of racing. The conditions never settled down for
the event, with shifty and light to medium winds providing for plenty of
drama through the ten races. Four edited videos from each day provide an
outstanding view of the regatta, and what it takes to compete in this class
(3 min each). The fourth day video even shows part of the foul that decided
the winner of the championship. Click here for this week's video:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Apr 25 - Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race - Newport Beach, CA, USA
Apr 25-27- Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta - Annapolis, MD, USA
Apr 26-27 - Buckeye Lake Spring Regatta - Buckeye Lake, OH, USA
Apr 26 May 2 - Bermuda Intl Invitational Race Week - Hamilton, Bermuda
Apr 27-May 3 - Stanford Antigua Sailing Week - St. John's, Antigua, W.I.
Apr 29-May 3 - Congressional Cup Presented by Acura - Long Beach, CA, USA
View all the events at

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 Jack Griffin: One year ago today (April 24, 2008), Shosholoza
defeated Luna Rossa in their Louis Vuitton Cup round robin match. A
wonderful win for a team full of emotion and energy, against a former Louis
Vuitton Cup winner and one of the heavyweights in the competition. Let's
hope we see both of these teams active and on the water again. Soon!

* From Keith Stump: Chip Pitcairn's letter on COB vs. MOB in Issue 2581
echoed some of my thoughts, and his comment on the proper non-gender use of
the "man" is confirmed in good old Websters:

MAN: 1 a : a member of the human race : a human being : PERSON -- usually
used of males except in general or indefinite applications with collective
adjectives or in the plural . . . .

Perhaps more pertinent, particularly to boat captains or skippers, is that
whereas "Man Overboard" is all inclusive with the proper and common use of
the word "man," "Crew Overboard" would, at least in the common use of the
term "crew," exclude the captain (whether a male or female). For any sailor
of at least some years experience, the phrase "Man Overboard!" creates an
instantaneous alarm and emergency response. "Crew Overboard!" would more
likely create a confused or at least delayed response. With all due
apologies, "COB" is political correctness gone overboard.

* From Gator Cook, Newport Ocean Sailing Association Commodore: (re, the
current misunderstanding about Scuttlebutt Sailing Club members and NOSA
events) NOSA does not discriminate. Contrary to a misstatement in the "ABCs
of entering" (the Ensenada Race) on the NOSA website, a competitor is not
required to be a member of an SCYA yacht club. While a local must be a
member of an SCYA-affiliated yacht club to get a PHRF rating, he may also
race under the XS or ORCA systems. The XS class is open to monohulls and
multihulls; ORCA is multihulls. The XSRacing website says only that an
applicant for membership, other than just a supporting membership, must be a
member of a yacht club. It does not mention Scuttlebutt SC, but its members
probably are eligible to join. NOSA apologizes for the distress and

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: A modicum of satisfaction. thread closed.

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a
restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and
dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays." -- Henny Youngman

Special thanks to JK3 Nautical Enterprises and Ullman Sails.

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