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SCUTTLEBUTT 2586 – April 30 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.

Geneva, April 29, 2008 – The brand new sailing boat Mirabaud LX was
presented to the media this morning at Société Nautique de Genève, in
Switzerland. Supported by the Banque Mirabaud & Cie banquiers privés, this
project is the result of Thomas Jundt’s creativity and experience with
highly competitive sailing boats. Aimed at flying on its hydrofoils, this
33-foot prototype has a very special characteristic: it has no hulls,
although a marginal floatability remains, aimed at preventing the boat from
sinking until it reaches flying speeds (approx 8 knots). Conceived around a
structure of carbon fiber tubes, weighing only 330 pound, this boat is a
concentrate of high technology. Every single element has been optimized in
order to reduce the overall weight and allow it to fly on its foils as
quickly as possible. As of today, it is the only “hull less” boat on earth.
-- Full story and photos:

When Roger Sturgeon sailed his boat Rosebud to victory in the Rolex Sydney
Hobart Race in December, he did not realize the impact that triumph would
have on his life. Rosebud, a Storm Trysail-Transpac 65, won the overall IRC
handicap title on corrected time, won the IRC B fleet and claimed the
regatta's Tattersall's Cup trophy for taking overall honors.

That made Sturgeon, who was racing in the event for the first time, only the
third American in the 63-year history of the regatta to win the overall
title. That victory has resonated throughout the sailing world. "It's been
amazing," said Sturgeon, of Fort Lauderdale, who was in town this week along
with his impressive boat. As Rosebud tactician Kevin Miller put it, "I
didn't realize how important that race really was until after we won it." --
Read on:

* Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) and Rosebud Racing has joined forces to
become Rosebud Racing/Team DYT. Owned by Roger Sturgeon of Ft, Lauderdale,
Fla., the STP-65 will benefit from the alliance in August when it is
transported by DYT from Newport, R.I. to Sardinia, Italy for events in the
Mediterranean. --

Long Beach, CA (April 29, 2008) --Scott Dickson says he was sizing up the
opening day's scorecard in his Long Beach Yacht Club's 44th Congressional
Cup presented by Acura when he thought, "There's no way Gavin [Brady] and I
can catch these guys. We've got a score of about 300 already." Pause. Oh,
wait, that's our ISAF [international match racing] rankings." Actually,
Dickson and Brady, a pair of immigrant Kiwis living in the U.S., are ranked
137th and 89th but stand 5-0 and 4-1 after the first day of racing against
several world tour regulars, which they are not.

Brady, with his America's Cup duty with BMW Oracle, hadn’t sailed a tour
event in more than a year, and this is one of only two events that Dickson
does most years along with the Ficker Cup qualifier that has been his ticket
to enter. Second place has been his best finish in 11 previous
Congressionals, but Dickson, a Long Beach resident who has an older brother
named Chris, said Tuesday, "I hope after 12 years I'd be getting the hang of

In succession, reveling in the fresh but shifty south to southwest breezes
that built from 6 to 14 knots through a sunny afternoon in the mid-60s (F.),
he outsailed a U.N. lineup of New Zealand's Simon Minoprio, France's
Philippe Presti and Damien Iehl, Russia's Andrew Arbuzov and Sweden's
Johnnie Berntsson. His crew of Mark Ivey, Matt McKinlay, Tony Stuart, Mark
Strube and Chuck Stevens is all Southern California-grown talent. Ivey is
the tactician. They had about a half-dozen practice sessions over the last
few weeks. "Today we enjoyed the fruits of all the practice we put in,"
Dickson said-- – Read on:

The Sperry Top-Sider Annapolis NOOD Regatta featured 265 boats in 17
classes. Jimmy Praley and his crew (mostly family including his uncle and
father) won the 15-boat Cal 25 class onboard their entry, "UpChuck". "We had
superior boat speed and height to windward, which we attribute to the sails
North built for us," said Praley. "In a very competitive one design class
like the Cal 25, great sails are probably the best investment you can make."
Congrats to the "UpChuck" team for their second consecutive win at the
Annapolis NOOD. When speed and performance matter, head North.

Last week, America’s Cup Defender Alinghi hosted a Media Day in Valencia,
Spain where they presented three details that did not seem to warrant a
party, but they probably figured that providing cocktails and poo-poos to
the yachting scribes might get them some complimentary publicity. Their
message was:

* We are training on multihulls
* We are going to build a multihull
* We are in favor of a May 2009 defense

Not entirely riveting news, but there is an old adage of law that states:
“When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your
side, argue the law. And when you don't have either the law or the facts on
your side, you pound on the table.” Maybe Alinghi is now pounding the table,
and if they say May 2009 enough times, they could get their wish. The smart
tactician identifies the situation, and succeeds or fails in how they
utilize the options available.

Continuing on the theme of threes, the Alinghi team also took advantage of
the Media Day to pay tribute to a previous Curmudgeon’s Observation: “The
secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.” Breaking it
down, the problems surrounding the defense of the America’s Cup fall into
three categories:

* Those that designed the Protocol
* Those that presented the Protocol
* Those that defended the Protocol

For those that designed the Protocol, they will remain nameless to protect
their family and innocent bystanders from retribution. For those that
presented the Protocol, Pacco Latorre, Alinghi head of marketing
acknowledged that "we didn't do very well at explaining the team's vision
for the 33rd America's Cup.” For those that defended the Protocol, Lucien
Masmejean, Alinghi head of lawyering noted, “We haven't done very well so
far from a legal point of view. The way the American legal system works is
completely different to what we are use to in Europe. … It is all very
confusing and that's probably why we have not been showing a great deal of
strengths to date. We are a bit naïve in this …”

Beware of things that come in threes. From a numerological standpoint, the
33rd America’s Cup was doomed. -- Scuttleblog,

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Stuart Alexander of The Independent has a nice chat
with Alinghi CEO Brad Butterworth, where Brad discusses how the sailing team
is dealing with the current stalemate. -- Audio:

The Bermuda Sailing Association (BSA) began its sixth annual WaterWise
programme this month. The programme has nearly 150 students participating in
this year's programme. The M1 students (6th grade, 11-12 years old) from
eight schools across the island start with the dry-land sessions using the
Opti Simulators on the school courts and fields. These sessions include
seminars on points of sail and parts of the boat as well as practice
sessions on boating skills.

This is a feeder programme into the Sloop Programme, which is targeted at M3
students (8th grade, 13-14 years old) and is put together by the same
curriculum developer as the Sloop Programme. ACE has donated $8,000 toward
developing the curriculum. In June, the students will put their new skills
and knowledge, learned through the WaterWise Programme, to practice on the
water. Students will use Opti sailboats at Darrell's Island, Royal Bermuda
Yacht Club, Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, Sandy's Boat Club and Sea
Cadets (St. George's). Deborah Sullivan Gravelle, program director for the
BSA said: "Sailing is, and has always been, a national past-time in Bermuda.
“ -- Read on:

* SEA-TV has won two Platinum Awards at the 41st annual Worldfest film
festival in Houston, Texas for their documentary, High Seas Schooner. They
won both for the feature length documentary and for the 90 second preview
for the production. High Seas Schooner chronicles a three week voyage on the
classic 100-foot wooden schooner, Harvey Gamage, as it sails from the Virgin
Islands to Gloucester, Massachusetts. The excitement builds when the
schooner encounters storms and high seas in the North Atlantic. Rigging
breaks and the skills of the crew are tested as they battle the extreme
conditions. --

* Eight teams will be competing in the Royal Thames Cumberland Cup 2008 two
boat international team racing contest. The Contest will take place at The
Royal Victoria Dock, London from the May 16-18, with the winner being
presented the 1912 replica of the 1781Cumberland Cup. The teams are Royal
Thames Yacht Club (GBR), New York Yacht Club (USA), Royal Perth Yacht Club
(AUS), Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club (CAN),
Southern Yacht Club (USA), Royal Alfred Yacht Club (IRE), and Verine
Seglerhaus am Wannsee (GER). --

* Annapolis, MD -- For more than a decade, would-be sailors and newcomers to
the Bay have turned to the SpinSheet publication for advice on how to get
into the sport. On April 20 at SpinSheet’s annual Crew Listing party, the
Chesapeake Bay sailing magazine will debut its free new sailor guide, Start
Sailing Now, a free, 24-page guide to getting into sailing, from casual
daysailing to racing, on the Chesapeake Bay. It will be distributed at
outdoor retail outlets, community festivals, and other hand-picked locations
where potential sailors (such as active cyclists and hikers) look for
regional event information, and will soon be online at

* The Valencia Sailing website reports that Valencia's main newspaper, Las
Provincias, is stating that BMW Oracle Racing owner Larry Ellison was in
Valencia this past Monday and held a secret meeting with Francisco Camps,
the president of the Valencia Region, and Rita Barberá, the city's mayor.
The purpose of the meeting is believed to be in regard to hosting the 34th
America’s Cup in Valencia, in the event that Ellison’s team wins the 33rd
America’s Cup in their DoG match against the Alinghi team. -- Complete

* British America’s Cup TEAMORIGIN announced that on May 1, 2008 they will
reduce the retained team to a smaller core group. This group will comprise
some of the management team, key design and sailing team members, a limited
commercial/marketing team and essential support functions. Team members are
now able to pursue other projects with the knowledge that they will be
brought back into TEAMORIGIN once the next multi-challenger America’s Cup
programme is properly defined. A number of sailing programmes are already
defined during the Cup ‘interim’ period. -- Complete report:

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Soundings Trade Only’s associate editor JoAnn W. Goddard died unexpectedly
of natural causes this week in Washington, D.C., while covering the American
Boating Congress. Goddard, 44, worked for Soundings Publications for 10
years. Prior to being promoted to associate editor of STO, she was a staff
writer for Soundings for nearly seven years. She was an award-winning
journalist whose compelling stories reached many in the marine industry.
Boating Writers International honored Goddard numerous times throughout the
years, including presenting her with its prestigious top prize recognizing
journalistic excellence, which she received in 2001. -- Complete report:

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 Bill Kasey: I recently attended a rules seminar. I thought it would
be a simple brush up on how to avoid confrontation on the race course.
Instead, it seemed to be directed towards how to use the rules as a tactical
weapon. I understand that there are times when a sailor needs to defend
their patch of water, but to actively seek a foul on another boat seems
beyond the scope of the fundamental principles of recreational competition.

Yet worse was the discussion about how to reopen a hearing, and how to
appeal. What exactly constitutes “new evidence”? What are the limits of what
can be presented as “new evidence”? What does someone have to say or do to
prove that the Protest committee made an error? How exactly do you prove to
the people you are claiming made an error that they accept they did?

On the subject of appeals – I can only surmise that this is a hot topic
because the America’s Cup seems to be lost in legalese, and the Judges are
trying to prepare for a flurry of protest room nonsense this summer. If that
is the legacy that Alinghi has left in the sport, pretty soon our best way
to get the sport televised will be on Court TV.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Don’t forget US windsurfer Farrah Hall, who has
also been seeking to overturn a jury decision from the US Olympic Trials.

* From Ralph Kelley, Rockwall, TX: (re, lead story in Issue 2585) Garry
Hoyt's proposals are right on! Who cares about a match race in Ynglings? I
started sailing in 1940 and have been in dinghies all my life (plus some
time in smaller one-design keel boats), but this will be so dull that I will
watch something else. While his comments on the size of competitors needs to
be understood that some sports require lightweights and some require
heavyweights, his suggestions for proper TV coverage are perfect for today's

* From Ben Jarashow: Garry Hoyt is right; Olympic sailing should consider
the visual implications of the classes chosen for inclusion in the Games. I
must disagree with one major point: Speed does NOT equal excitement. In
Aussie Skiffs, for TV presentation, the crashes have at times been SPED UP
in replay to make them seem more exciting (unlike NASCAR, where crashes are
replayed slo-mo). Among the best sailing video EVER was during the 1987
America's Cup in heavy, pig-like 12m boats.

Instead, I submit that two things are exciting to all audiences: First,
action: Close racing, lots of tacks & gybes, more boats on the course. Even
crashes are OK, but should not be the primary reason to watch. Second,
spray. A planing hull goes fast by saving energy - not generating waves.
Fast, but it doesn't look fast to the untrained eye, and is especially
difficult to show effectively on TV.

I agree with Garry's recommendations for classes. The Moth and Kites look
crazy, even on video. A-Cats are the cutting edge of the sport, and
non-sailors can relate to Windsurfers. I don't think the Olympics are the
place for a heavy keelboat - leave that visual presentation to AC & Volvo. I
want to add one more exciting visual idea to the mix: With the most tacks &
gybes on any racecourse ever, the closest racing with something always
happening - Team Racing. It's incredibly exciting – non-sailors will watch
until they learn the more complicated bits.

* From Corky Aucreman: Right on Garry! My only difference would be to
include a high performance boat that requires teamwork, which is an aspect
that people understand and appreciate. That could be the 49er, what a

* From Charles "Butch" Ulmer: (re, banana story in #2585) This is a repeat
of something I sent to Scuttlebutt years ago. Bad luck stories and
superstitions about bananas are conjecture! Here are some cold, hard facts!
For those of us who do or have suffered from Mal de Mer, the much maligned
banana tastes as good on its way up as it does on its way down (to your
stomach) and being nice and soft, it doesn't irritate your throat. Small
comforts like this mean a lot when you're hanging over the leeward rail!

* From Chris Dowling, Sag Harbor, NY: In regards to the superstition of
carrying bananas on board, the superstition is true! For the 2004
Newport-Bermuda Race, we started on a Friday, had bananas on board, had a
woman on board, and we came in second. Damn bananas!

* From Tom Adams: Green boats are also bad luck, along with starting a trip
on Friday.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Either the green boat voodoo is limited to the
Americas, or the Europeans just don’t care because the Spanish America’s Cup
team (formerly known as Desafio Espanol) seems to have embraced the color,
shown here with their GP42 entry:

* From Tom Hagoort: The article (in ‘butt 2585) about the threat of
small-boat terror reflects the effort of big-government advocates to use
fear to expand regulation of every aspect of everyday life. Could not one
say with respect to pedestrians wearing bomb vests that "While the United
States has so far been spared this type of strike...., terrorists have used
[pedestrians wearing bomb vests] in other countries", thereby justifying a
requirement for every pedestrian to carry federal government registration?
Common sense tells us that a terrorist intending to use a small boat will
not be discouraged in the least by any of the requirements suggested by
Homeland Security. If the atmosphere sought to be created by those at
Homeland Security were to occur, the terrorists would have produced the loss
of freedom they so much desire.

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