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SCUTTLEBUTT 2589 - May 5, 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.

Dave Reed, Sailing World magazine, May 2008 Issue
As I write this, a sealed envelope with a US SAILING logo on the upper left
corner sits at the bottom of a pile of unopened mail. It’s been there for
weeks. I know what’s inside—another plea for my membership dues. It’s not
that I’m intentionally ignoring it, I simply haven’t gotten to it. Or maybe,
deep in my psyche, I was wondering whether I really needed to spend the $60
to belong in the first place. However, come next January when our governing
body makes good on its rule requiring membership for helmsmen who race (see
For the Record, p. 22), I will never have to wonder again. As long as I’m
driving, I will be required to be a member, and I’m all for it.

After discussing the membership requirement at length with US SAILING
president Jim Capron, it was clear to me why I should be a member. At the
very least, I owe it to the organization after having mooched off the system
during the years I wasn’t a member. All those times I sat in protest
hearings and enjoyed all those superb races without paying a dime to those
who provide the basic services and maintain the standards we expect when we
pay our regatta entry fees.

Mandatory membership makes perfect sense, actually. The money I give to the
one and only domestic organization charged with organizing my sport is an
investment in assuring my experience on the water is a good one. To nurture
the sport requires money; there’s no way around it. If you don’t support it,
you have no place demanding better services. Capron perhaps says it best in
my interview with him in this issue. He has never heard any good reason not
to join US SAILING. So it stands to reason, he says, that there’s no
difference between why you should join and why you must join. The problem is
no one likes to be told they have to do something. -- Read on:

* Curmudgeon’s Comment: For some of you, this concept is not very popular.
Before you fire off your comments to us, please read the entire article, and
if you are still angry, we suggest that you point your arrows to US SAILING.
This thread already had legs in Scuttlebutt, and it would be handy to let
them do the heavy lifting this time. A listing of the US SAILING Board of
Directors can be found here:

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), which is the national sailing
authority for the UK, has teamed up with EireTech, manufacturers of the
Race-Trax GPS tracking system, in the continuing bid to assist race
officials in making tough start line judgments. EireTech will be granted
access to key RYA events in order to allow experiments to continue in the
quest to have a system that allows race officers to identify all competitors
who start over the line and are on course side (OCS). The idea is to place a
Race-Trax GPS unit on each boat, and when combined with integrated software
that can identify the position, direction and speed of the boat to an
accuracy of less than 20cms, race officers will receive a signal on a
computer screen displaying the identity of all offending boats.

During this experimental phase, the information will only be used in a
retrospective way, comparing the real-time decision of the race officer with
video recordings and the input from the computer screen via the Race-Trax
devices. Race teams and competitors will not be able to be use the
information to challenge decisions. It is hoped that during the trials, a
database to evaluate the devices in live race systems will be generated
prior to any introduction as an aid to race officers in high-profile events.
Additionally, the idea is to use the system to view live race animation and
instant final results. -- Complete announcement:

Want to sail with champions? Or be one? When Acura presents Ullman Sails
Long Beach Race Week June 27-29 there will be a ton of title trophies
waiting to be won. Catalina 37 national championship (charter one). Melges
24 Gold Cup. J/29 West Coast championship. Olson 30, Flying Tiger 10 and
Schock 35 Pacific Coast championships. Beneteau 36.7 Southern California
championship. J/80, J/105, J/109 and J/120 and Southern California High
Point Series. Last stop on the Ullman Inshore Championship. Carl Kendrich
Cup for Cal 25s. Yacht Club Challenge. Kent/Golison Family Trophy (load up
the boat with kinfolk). All information:

Long Beach, CA (May 3, 2008) -- Gavin Brady joined a small, elite club of
match racing sailors with a common problem Saturday: what to do with all of
those Crimson Blazers in their closets. Only Rod Davis and Peter Holmberg
also own four of the traditional winner's wardrobe in Long Beach Yacht
Club's Congressional Cup presented by Acura, now counting 44 years of
consecutive competitions among the best in the world at their specialty.
Brady collected $10,000 of the $41,000 prize pot. Simon Minoprio won $1,000
for winning the fleet race for those who didn't reach the sailoffs.

After winning 15 of his 18 round robin contests, Brady drove through the
sailoffs with a steady and steely determination in sweeping local pride
Scott Dickson (in the Semis) and Sweden's Johnie Berntsson (in the
Finals)---who was coming off seven consecutive wins---in two straight races
each in the semifinals and finals, respectively.

Berntsson had swept France's Philippe Presti, 2-0, in the other semifinal,
and Presti took the measure of Dickson in the consolation final. Brady, a
New Zealand native who has lived in Annapolis, Md., since the mid-90s, won
his first two Congressional Cups in 1996 and '97 when he was only 22 and 23,
then his third in 2006 after building a professional sailing career of
America's Cups and various ocean races. -- Read on:

Final standings
1. Gavin Brady, New Zealand
2. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden
3. Philippe Presti, France
4. Scott Dickson, New Zealand
5. Simon Minoprio, New Zealand
6. Damien Iehl, France
7. Dave Perry, USA
8. Andrew Arbuzov, Russia
9. Pierre-Antoine Morvan, France
10. Chris VanTol, USA
* Daily videos from the Congressional Cup were produced by with
commentator Tucker Thompson:

If you spent the last 20 years or so earning a name for yourself as a
leading America’s Cup tactician, then moving to a Deed of Gift match race -
aboard boats where manoeuvring is costly and a gale force wind from one
direction is the feature of the upwind leg - is perhaps not your first
preference. Despite his position in the afterguard becoming slightly less
critical aboard a 90ft long monster multihull, Brad Butterworth is
maintaining a brave face when we theorise with him over the 33rd America’s

An America’s Cup legend, who aside from his role as tactician jointly runs
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team with one time Australia 2 navigator Grant
Simmer, Butterworth says he will certainly be in the afterguard on their new
multi. “I want to sail on the boat definitely. Even if I say - ‘okay, we’re
going this way for 20 miles! They will be big boats and tacking will be
expensive and you’ll see the boats being sent in different directions - it
is more of a Nascar event. But it is still about design and sailing.”

Butterworth warns that the sailing public will be in for a shock when the
new boats are finally unveiled. “I don’t think anyone really envisages what
they’ll see with these boats when they are launched in terms of the size of
them and the power of them and the speed of them. It will be something that
hasn’t been seen before. The multihull fraternity hasn’t had this much money
thrown at it for a while. As a yachtsman who has come through Cup cycles,
you see what happens when these Cup teams get behind a new rule: A lot of
resource gets put into designing these boats to the nth degree. Everything
is custom designed. It will be quite spectacular.” -- The Daily Sail, read
on (subscription required):

There have been many aspects in sailing that have trickled down from the
America’s Cup. Historically, they have had to do with materials and design,
but the latest fad – litigation – is becoming exceedingly fashionable in
Olympic circles. The US has been embroiled since October in a dispute
involving the women’s boardsailing rep, and now the Irish are getting into
the act. With three teams vying for the lone berth, and with a system for
selection that appears to include both nominated events and subjective
committee determination, there is holy hell being raised by one of the teams
that – you guessed it –were not selected.

When it was recently announced that Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne were
chosen, it was Max Treacey and Anthony Shanks that were overlooked as were
Maurice O'Connell and Ben Cooke. Treacey is now appealing against the
decision made by the Irish Sailing Association. Said Treacey, "We truly
believe that our record stands for itself. Without reflecting on any other
sailors, Anthony and I won outright on the water, we alone qualified the
country, we are the highest placed Irish Star sailors in the World Rankings,
we won the nominated events by an indisputable margin, we were 4th in the
Grade 1 Spring Europeans last year against virtually all of the current
nominated countries for the 2008 Olympics, we are the only Irish sailing
team this year across all classes to have attained the status of 'world
class athletes' with the Irish Sports Council."

As the stakes increase, so do the risks. The Olympic world has become a high
stakes game… just look at the number RIBs and support personnel at an
Olympic class event. Any selection system with a quotient of subjectivity is
going to get beat up by those on the outside looking in. -- Read on, and if
there are any other disputes that we failed to mention, you can add them to
the comments section in the blog:

Doyle sails powered Hank Lammens to win the Etchells class at the 2008
Annapolis NOOD. The all-amateur crew, as determined by ISAF ratings, of Hank
Lammens, Dirk Kneulman and Dwayne Smithers, won the class against a team of
top pros after a match race in the last day. Equally impressive as their
win, the Lammens crew was powered to victory by year old Doyle sails.
Lammens reserved his new inventory of Doyle sails for the upcoming Worlds.
Doyle sails are designed for sailors, not sailmakers - so you can focus on
racing, not tuning. Call 800-94-DOYLE or visit

“When sailing, one should bring a cat onboard for good luck. If the weather
becomes inconveniently calm, one should lock the cat up in a cupboard. A
breeze will pick up shortly.” -- Vogue’s Book of Etiquette , first edition
(1948), page 638; reprinted at Fancy Notions blog,

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

* (May 4, 2008) The 2008 USODA Team Trials were completed on Sunday, where
four days of racing was hosted for the 198 entrants by the Annapolis Yacht
Club. Winning the event was Duncan Williford. -- Complete results:

* Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua (May 2, 2008) -- Over 180 boats of nearly every
size and description – ranging in size from the 100-foot canting-keel maxi
ICAP Leopard to a dedicated one-design fleet of 29-foot International
Dragons– made up the entry list for the 41st running of Stanford Antigua
Sailing Week. The annual Caribbean festival of top-tier yacht racing and
world-class “après sail” parties completed racing on Friday, where
competition was held in six Grand Prix racing divisions; three classes of
Performance Cruisers; three separate categories of multihulls; a cruising
class; four divisions of bareboat charter yachts; and the one-design
Dragons. -- Photos and event details:

* Among the annual Australian Yachting Award s were the Male Sailor Of The
Year 2008 that went to back-to-back World Laser Champion and NSW Central
Coast local Tom Slingsby, while the Female Sailors Of The Year honour was
awarded to the Women's 470 team of Perth sailors Elise Rechichi and Tessa
Parkinson. Slingsby, Rechichi and Parkinson are part of the Australian
Sailing Team aiming to match their sport's best ever Olympic result of four
medals when they compete in China later this year. -- Complete list of

* American television network NBC has launched the sailing section for the
2008 Olympic Summer Games website:

* The 81st Anniversary of the 2008 Bermuda International Invitational Race
Week was completed on Friday, where participants from Australia, Sweden,
Norway, Canada, US and the UK competed for five days in the IOD, Laser,
J/24, J/105 and Etchells. -- Event details:

* The Green Team’s Volvo Open 70 has emerged from McConaghy Boats in Zhuhai,
China and is being prepared for shipping to the UK. Construction of the
Reichel/Pugh design started in October and has been completed on schedule,
with the boat due to depart on May 8th. 40,000 man hours have gone into the
build. Expected to arrive in the UK by early June, the boat will then be
assembled and tested for two weeks before heading to the team’s homeport of
Galway in Ireland, which will be the team’s base before leaving for Alicante
in September. -- Complete report:

* (May 2, 2008) Jonny Malbon today confirmed that Artemis Ocean Racing II
has withdrawn from The Artemis Transat, starting on Sunday May 11 in
Plymouth. The team has been working tirelessly to get the state of the art
IMOCA Open 60 ready for her qualifier, and ultimately The Artemis Transat,
but it has not been possible to complete the extensive list of checks and
sea trials in time. --

Whatever your destination this summer, Ocean Racing's Offshore Duffel will
keep you sailing kit dry. Quality features include heavy duty waterproof
fabric, zippers, sewn, taped and RF welded seams. Add the matching Offshore
Backpack with its removable neoprene computer sleeve and you'll have the
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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 Bob Fisher: If Derek Blanke (in 2588) believes that a race between
two 90-ft waterline multihulls will be " not a sail boat race worth
watching," I suggest he is more out of line with reality than the majority
of sailors. Personally, I can hardly wait for this.

* From Vlad Pocuca: I am trying to purchase a photo of Australia II for my
own personal use, to frame up with a John Bertrand signature I have. Gosh
it's hard to find a nice photo for purchase! I noticed on your website a
page called “Memories from the 1983 America's Cup” where you have a photo of
Australia II which would be great (Australia II under sail while sail
testing; photo and caption by Larry Moran). Is there any way I might be able
to get a copy of that photo?

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: While we gave Larry credit for the photo, we failed
to save his contact information. If Larry sees this (or if you know Larry),
give us a shout so we can help out Vlad. Here was the photo link:

* From Doran Cushing, St. Petersburg, FL: An opinion concerning multihulls
and the Olympics was voiced that said "for while these boats are indeed fun
to sail, due to the huge differences in boat speed resulting from very small
changes in wind and tuning, there are few opportunities for any meaningful
tactics on the race course."

This person obviously has never raced a catamaran or a trimaran...from beach
cat to the 100-footers that can race around the world with one or two crew.
The learning curve when racing multihulls is like Mt. Everest. Your first
instinct as a monohull racer is to slow down. You quickly learn about
port/starboard crossings, decelerating at marks, and not breaking the boat.
The tactics happen at warp speed instead of at turtle-crawl 6 to 8 knots.
The subtle wind shifts amount to huge gains or losses. Downwind, the skill
of the helmsman and the trimmer can put a boat hugely in front of the less
capable teams. The "spectacle" is about a dozen or so boats crossing tacks
and jibes at speeds far greater than the true wind. Laylines are not decided
at 5 knots but at 15 knots. I'd challenge any amateur monohull tactician to
call the laylines on boats going two to three times the monoslug speeds. It
would be like NASCAR racing showroom Fords and Chevies...Unless you are on a
state-of-the-era monohull with canting keels, water ballast, and rigs which
copy the multihull standards, you are going slow in the wrong direction.
When a pro like Ed Baird flips a 60-foot cat while practicing, it says that
the mono guys and gals have a lot to learn.

* From Stevan Johnson: In Issue 2585, Garry Hoyt points out two very
specific problems with sailing in the Olympics. One is the lack of obvious
athleticism in some of the boats such as the Star and the Yngling (obvious
as opposed to actual, but a real distinction for commercial success), and
two, the expense of some of the boats, again the Star comes immediately to

The Star has produced some of the finest technical sailors in the world, or
perhaps it’s simply that they have found a home there. There is no question
that I have neither the ingenuity nor the attention span to create a truly
fast Star. But is that something the Olympics should reward? As Lance
Armstrong said...It's not about the bike. A similar argument could be made
about the match racing. What Olympic sport relies on a deep knowledge and
instantaneous application of the rule book to have success? It’s not about
the rules, either.

Let’s sail…fast. However, the waist band issue is irrelevant. There is a
place for shot-putters in the Olympics. Remember, it's higher, faster,

On Cinco de Mayo, never give yourself a haircut after three margaritas.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, Doyle Sails, and Ocean

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at