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SCUTTLEBUTT 2597 - May 15, 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.

Last weekend the New York Yacht Club team Silver Panda, comprised of Clay
Bischoff/ Martha Carleton, Colin Merrick/ Amanda Callahan, and Pete
Levesque/ Mandi Markee, defended their title at the 2008 British Open Team
Racing Championship, becoming the first ever American team to repeat as
winners. The team is picking up where they left off in 2007, wherein they
garnered the unofficial triple crown of team racing: the British Open, the
US Nationals, and the ISAF Worlds. Here is an excerpt from Levesque’s

“Video cameras were rolling for a spectacular final series (against fellow
Larchmont YC, USA) that saw old friends and rivals meet again and where each
of the 6 boats had a past or current Team Racing World Champion in it. The
Pandas jumped out to an early 1-0 lead winning the first race 1-2-4. Race 2
was one of the most exciting, interesting and classic 1-4-5 / 2-3-6 battles
any of the competitors remember being part of. It was so intense that I can
barely remember what happened other than the Pandas converted a 2-3-6 into a
2-3-4 on the run. The final beat involved so many tacks, circles lead
changes and combination changes that I can't even pretend to sort out the
details. So, on to race 3.” -- Read on:

Ya, Ben Ainslie’s a Brit, part of that dominant Olympic sailing team, plus
he is good looking. Probably has nice manners too. All in all, the kind of
qualities to wish for. Therefore, human nature says we’d like to see him
fail, right? Steal his girlfriend, slip him a mickey, give him wrong
directions… who could blame you? Last week it looked like the 5-time Finn
World Champion, 3-time Olympic medalist, was going to stub his toe in the
Finn Europeans, really get a big, bloody stump. Guess again. Here is his
report following the victory:

“I'm finished with racing. Well, for the next three months anyway. The
European Championships have just ended in Italy for my Finn class and that's
it for me and my main rivals until we all meet again in China. So it was
nice to lay down another marker before the Olympics by claiming victory off
the coast of Tuscany. It was a difficult one to pull off, though. The
conditions were changing the whole time and for a number of reasons it was
not the best regatta I've sailed. At one stage it even looked as if I might
not make the top ten and going into Saturday's medal round I was eight
points behind Guillaume Florent, of France, meaning I had to beat him by
four places to take the title. Florent and I have what you might call
“form”. In the second race of the Olympics in Athens four years ago, he made
an official protest that I had blocked his right of way. I didn't agree, but
the judges disqualified me from that race. Fortunately, I did well enough in
the subsequent races to win my second Olympic gold medal.” -- Times Online,
read on:

Alicante, Spain (May 14, 2008) -- The second day of the 2008 Audi MedCup
Circuit belonged to Peter de Ridder’s new Mean Machine, scoring back to back
wins in Race 4 and Race 5 of the regatta. But it is the current holders of
the City of Alicante Trophy, Bribón, whose consistency across three good
quality races today earns them an overall lead of eight points after five
races. Jose Cusi’s Bribon, with double Olympic medallist Ross Macdonald
(CAN) calling tactics for helm Dean Barker (NZL), won the first race and
then posted a pair of fourth places to lead the American afterguard duo of
Terry Hutchinson (helm) and Morgan Larson (tactics) onboard Quantum Racing,
while the 2005 MedCup Champions, Mutua Madrilena skippered by Vasco Vascotto
(ITA) sit third overall.

Day one sweethearts Tau Ceramica Andalucia, who won both races on Monday
sailing 2007 MedCup champion boat Artemis, have dropped to fourth overall
after averaging 8th place in the second day races. With the sun breaking
through later in the afternoon the breeze increased across the races to
provide a great blend of tactical racing in 5-7 knots in the first contest,
giving way to a more physically demanding 15-16 knots in the third. Once
onshore, Bribon had to sweat it out due to a protest against them by
Platoon, but it was later dismissed after considerable deliberation.
Wednesday is the 30-mile coastal race, which has a scoring gate half way
through the race, with each entrant’s position passing through the scoring
gate and the final finish line counting as two separate scores. -- Event

Congratulations to the Concarneau-St. Barth team skippers Eric Peron and
Miguel Danet who took third place in the 9th Transat AG2R Tuesday afternoon
after 23 days, 9 minutes and 26 seconds of racing. Peron and Danet, sailing
with Ullman Sails, were awarded the trophy for the most progress in 24 hours
FIVE times during the race as they accelerated through the fleet last week,
moving from 27th to 1st place. The team finished the race just over five
hours behind the winner ‘SNEF et Cliptol Sport.’ Contact a local Ullman
Sails loft and visit our new website at

This week’s video is a brilliant spoof from the movie “A Few Good Men”
(1992) which starred Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore. In this
particular scene, Lieutenant Kaffee (Cruise) is questioning Colonel Jessep
(Nicholson) in court, which leads to the famous “You can’t handle the truth”
speech. For our video, this outstanding production adapts the speech toward
a storyline that had a bowman cut the spinnaker halyard on a ‘samurai
douse’, and who is later confronted regarding his decision in the bar when
the high cost of the replacement halyard is learned. Really funny! As a
bonus, we also have the Cruise-Nicholson video, and that section of the
script. Also, if you have a video you like, please send us your suggestions
for next week’s Video of the Week. 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:
May 15-18 - J/24 National Championship - Staten Island, NY, USA
May 15-18 - Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race - Astoria, OR, USA
May 16-18 - North American Albacore Championships - Rock Hall, MD, USA
May 17-18 - Jamie Boeckel Fund Memorial Regatta - Oyster Bay, NY, USA
May 17-18 - Lipton Cup - San Diego, CA, USA
View all the events at

* After two of the nine stages of the World Match Racing Tour, Team Pindar
skippered by Ian Williams leads the World Match Racing Championship
standings with by one point over Sweden’s Bjorn Hansen. Team Shosholoza’s
Paolo Cian and Damien Iehl are two points back in a tie for third. The World
Tour now heads to Korea for the first time for the Korea Match Cup on June
10-15, which boasts $320,000 in prize money to make it the richest event on
this year’s World Tour. The event will take place in the Gyeonggi province
as part of a new marina development and the Korean International Boat Show.

* Nick Peate, a member of the Australian team that was to compete in the
Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Denmark this July, suddenly
passed away last weekend after experiencing depression. He was just 17. --
Full story:

* The ISAF Sailor Classification Code has been updated to clarify the affect
of paid-for advertising on a sailor's classification. The changes to the
Code follow the ISAF Council’s approval of Urgent Submission M05-08 at the
2008 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Qingdao, China. The ISAF Sailor Classification
Code is a service provided by ISAF, giving events and classes a cost-free,
international system for classification of sailors. --

* France continues to dominate at the top of the ISAF World Match Race
Rankings as Mathieu Richard and Claire Leroy hold on to the world #1 spots
as of May 14, 2008. Both French skippers hold significant leads over their
nearest rivals after an impressive start to their 2008 seasons. Their
success is just the pinnacle of a very impressive performance from the
French match racing team, who count a total of six skippers in the world top
ten across the Open and Women’s Rankings. --

* (May 14, 2008) The leading Open 60 pack in the solo Artemis Transat is
still amazingly tight in terms of distance to the finish, after more than
800 miles spent at sea following their start last Sunday in Plymouth.
Tactically speaking, the big question of the day lies within the 80-mile
latitude gap separating the top six boats in the 13 boat fleet. Class40
leader Giovanni Soldini’s Telecom Italia holds a 19 mile lead over the 10
other entrants, as both fleets head toward the finish in Boston, MA. Race
officials announced today that a 36-hour positions blackout will start
Friday at 18:00 GMT. -- Race site:

* (May 14, 2008) The ten catamaran teams competing in the six leg 500-mile
race from Key Largo, FL to Tybee Island, GA have completed their fourth leg
from Cocoa Beach, FL to Daytona Beach, FL, though damage is starting to
become a factor. Chief amongst today’s incidents was the dismasting of
Marleys Orange while passing Cape Canaveral, a broken spinnaker pole
following a rough beach landing by Marleys White, and some undisclosed
damage that caused Team Moose-Burd to limp home in last. Team Tybee gained
another leg victory to further pad their overall elapsed time lead. -- Event

* A record 32 competitors from 18 nations will get funding support from
ISAF's Athlete Participation Programme to attend the 2008 Volvo Youth
Sailing ISAF World Championship, which will take place in Arhus, Denmark
from July 10-19. Sailors from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America
will all benefit from the APP this year, an ISAF initiative to expand the
global reach of key events by assisting with entry and travel costs for
athletes from those countries who may not otherwise be able to participate
at the championship, and also provide them top-level coaching once on site.
-- Complete report:

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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 John Rousmaniere: Once again we see how prescient John Cox Stevens
and George L. Schuyler were when they kept the deed of gift simple and
focused on putting on a race. The judge's job is to lay out their rules, not
play Daddy and work things out to the perfect convenience of the parties.
The deed allows racing in March, correct? It also allows the parties to
negotiate almost everything, correct? The two sides have plenty of room and
opportunity to follow his order without further instructions. So let's get
on with it.

* From Adrian Morgan: Glad to see the smug, holier than thou Oracle have
been told by Judge Cahn to give the poor, downtrodden Swiss a sporting
chance to get a cat on the water in time for a proper match. Just waiting
for them to declare what weapon they intend to wield or we'll have an
ignominious mismatch (again). As for the venue, let them do it somewhere out
of sight in the Southern Ocean so we don't have to endure any more pathetic
bickering between these spoilt billionaires. Or maybe just scrap the match
and donate the proceeds to Burmese cyclone relief (fat chance).

* From Matt Bounds, US SAILING Club Race Officer: (re, letter in #2596 about
weather cancelling racing at Detroit Cup) I was a member of the race
committee team for this event. At the skipper’s meeting on the last day, the
Umpires and PRO set an upper wind limit of 25 kts sustained, at which time
boats would be sent to shelter to await further instructions.

We were able to complete one flight of matches with wind in the low 20’s
before it spiked up into the mid 30’s, at which time the boats were sent to
the dock. We had already observed several breakdowns and one capsize (by the
eventual winner of the event) before that happened. We were having a hard
time keeping the marks in place, despite being anchored in only 25 ft of
water. Eventually, the committee boat broke loose, even with a large anchor,
35 feet of chain, lots of scope, and 60 lbs of mushroom anchors to keep the
rode on the bottom.

Conditions were monitored until 2:30 PM. The wind never went below 25 kts
sustained and frequently gusted to the mid 30’s. This event was sailed on
club-owned boats. If Mr. Levy was willing to reimburse Bayview Yacht Club
for the damages caused by match racing in such conditions, I’m sure they
wouldn’t have cancelled further racing. However, they made the prudent and
appropriate decision for the sake of the competitors and the club’s

* From Andy Rose: (Re: Earthrace) At risk of disagreeing with my good friend
Craig Fletcher, all biodiesel and ethanol is not bad, in fact if you produce
them in the right way, they could contribute significant beneficial results.
Both biodiesel and ethanol can and are being produced from waste materials
both agricultural and otherwise and those technologies should be encouraged.
However, he is correct that corn and subsidy based ethanol produced in the
United States is probably more part of the problem than the solution.

* From Capt. Scott Rhoads: (re, story in #2595) What! A cap on Open 60's?!
Oh no, please say it isn't so. We already have a bunch of classes that are
capped and doing just fine. There is a never ending supply of capped boats
and PHRF for those of us that need to stay on a "normal" budget. We can also
create a new class called the Not Quite So Open 60's and that would be fine.
If you can't take the heat or can't find the money you can race in any of
these classes. But to cap the Open 60's would be a crime.

Now I want to make it clear that I do not have the budget or skill to handle
one of these new boats. I have enough of a challenge with the older model
Open 60 that I currently sail. At the same time, I am a fan of the ultimate
sailors that challenge themselves and our imaginations with these unlimited
boats. I am not one of the top sailors and don't pretend to be but it does
look like the real top dogs are about to show thier faces to the crowd. No
limits will be their cry. Please don't even start thinking of putting these
most demanding of boats on a diet. Let the top dogs run in the top boats and
let’s cheer for them.

* From Doug Mills: (re, sailing language story in #2596) Sorry to be a
curmudgeon, but John Riise's commentary distresses me. We live in a world
where everything around us is increasingly dumbed down, such as classes in
all levels of schools which set intellectual challenge aside to make
learning fun, fun, fun, and news media that feature light hearted
commentaries rather than serious analysis of the day's events, to name just
two. Tradition in many areas of our life is being tossed aside as irrelevant
to today's moment, with its emphasis on sound bites and flashy schematic
images that scamper across our screens in seconds.

Sailing terminology, most of which an interested person may learn in minutes
of modest effort, is a delightful and charming part of our language. Part of
the fun and intrigue of entering the sailing community is learning these
terms and incorporating them into one's thoughts and language. Isn't there
any area of our life free from attacks from those who want to reduce
everything around us to bland pablum? I know many young people who delight
in learning about interesting traditions, despite the deluge of banal trivia
we are immersed in these days. -- View and add comments here:

* From Jamie Ewing, NYC/Charleston: (re, judge certification story in #2596)
There seem to be two types of commenters here (in the Scuttleblog comments
section): active judges who sail occasionally and active sailors who judge
occasionally. A well-constituted jury should encompass both. Problems,
however, can arise when one group superimposes a good idea for them on the
other. In this case, active judges want to keep their standards as high as
possible, which poses an undue burden on active sailors.

In addition reducing the number of judges available, increasing the
requirements would also separate the full-time judges further from the sport
they judge, which is already a contentious issue in our sport. Active
sailors would find it more difficult to become certified judges while
maintaining themselves at the level of competition they enjoy. This outcome
benefits no one, and thus, a consideration of further time requirements to
certify judges - without provisions for those who actively sail - would be

An alternative that would accommodate and encourage active sailors to judge
would be some sort of sliding scale, where first any seminars and then
required regatta judging to maintain certification would be reduced (though
never below a certain baseline) in proportion to the number of juried class
or rule-sanctioned regattas one sails each year. -- View and add comments

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erection, then he is looking for a sandwich.

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