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SCUTTLEBUTT 2601 - May 21, 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.

(May 20, 2008) Leading the Open 60 fleet on Day 10 of The Artemis Transat
from Plymouth (GBR) to Boston (USA), Vincent Riou onboard PRB reported
hitting a large sea mammal at 3:00 AM this morning, but his initial
assessment was that the damage remained superficial... The skipper realised
this afternoon that one of his keel pins was missing, and that the appendage
was only held by the ram used to cant it. With an approaching storm, Vincent
Riou decided to abandon ship and has been rescued by Loick Peyron onboard
Gitana Eighty, who was running in second place at the time. Here is Vincent
Riou's account of the events:

"Last night at around 3:00 GMT, reaching rather fast, between 15 and 18
knots, I felt a shock which didn't worry me too much since it was violent
but 'soft' - I didn't hear any carbon crack. I'm sure it was a shark, and
actually I think I cut it in two since I saw two portions emerge at the back
of the boat. I assessed the possible damage, and only saw a minor problem on
the fairing of the keel box, nothing serious but anyway I slowed down a bit.
I took advantage of the ridge we crossed today to stop and get a better
look, and that's when I discovered one of the keel pins was missing. The
keel was being held in place because it was canted and somehow stuck, but I
didn't really want to face the gale expected for tomorrow on a boat whose
keel could fall off at any time." -- Read on:

* The area of high-pressure and light winds to the south of the Class40
fleet in The Artemis Transat caused an overnight stall for the entire fleet
with the northern group of race leader Giovanni Soldini with Telecom Italia,
Thierry Bouchard with Mistral Loisirs – Pole Sante ELIOR (2nd place), Yvan
Noblet on Appart’ City (4th place) and Christophe Coatnoan’s Groupe
Partouche (8th place) escaping the worst of this calm period. Sodini
currently holds a 58nm lead with 1,393nm to go.

Desafío, the former Challenger of Record of the 33rd America's Cup, decided
last month to abandon the newly formed CNEV (Club Náutico Español de Vela)
and instead represent a well-respected and traditional yacht club. As a
result, Desafío chose to fly the colors of Real Club Marítimo del Abra,
located in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao. Officially, the reason the
team opted for that yacht club was that it was the first one in the
alphabetical order of all Spanish clubs although it is strongly believed it
was a decision by Iberdorla, the syndicate's main sponsors, whose
headquarters are a few kilometers from Abra.

On Monday morning, at exactly 00:50 am, a car bomb exploded right in front
of the yacht club's main building. According to the initial press reports,
there were at least 60kg of explosives inside the van that was parked on the
city's boardwalk, just 10 meters away from the building's entrance but also
very close to a number of adjacent houses. The Basque terrorist group ETA
had warned the police at 11:55 pm on Sunday that a bomb would explode within
the following hour in front the club's premises. And so it did and according
to witnesses the explosion was heard miles away. Unaware of the bomb threat,
people in the vicinity thought a nearby chemical factory had exploded. There
were no victims since the police had managed to evacuate the area but
material damage was severe. -- Valencia Sailing, read on:

by Verlyn Klinkenborg, NY Times
Just above the desk in my office hangs a U.S. Geological Survey map of New
York and Vicinity made in 1901. When I sit at my desk, the top of my head is
about level with the Narrows between Staten Island and Brooklyn, where the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge later went. I used to admire this map mainly for
the vast expanses of swamp and salt meadow it shows and for the still
incomplete hatch work of streets. But now I find myself looking at the
waterline — especially the waterline of what the map calls the Upper Bay of
New York Harbor, north of the Narrows and south of the Hudson River proper.

What has made the difference is sailing in the harbor. A couple of weekends
ago I joined a two-day sailing class at North Cove, a small marina in
Battery Park City. From the floating dock, you can see the current scouring
past the marina’s narrow exit and the wake of tour boats. In the distance, a
tug-powered barge slides past, as big as a tabular iceberg. The harbor looks
like a scene of tumult. The school boats — 24-foot sailboats — make their
way under power through the slot and out into the great wide open. We kill
the motor, set the sails — main first, then the jib. The wind lifts us
across the water, and suddenly there is plenty of room. We are sailing, in
fact, in a problem of perspective. -- Read on:

What better place to explore the energy and excitement of the summer boating
season then the Dana Point Boat Show!! The show is May 29 - June 1 on the
docks in Dana Point. Stop by and say hi to our team and check out the
Delphia 40 and Hunt Harrier 25. For more information on boats, tickets or
similar lines visit our website at or give our
office a call at 619.224.6200. Hope to see you all there!

by Herb McCormick, Sailing World
They call him "the Hippie," and it's not hard to see why. Jon Shampain is
one of the West Coast racing scene's most ubiquitous, well-known figures, a
fellow who knocks off miles and miles to Mexico, Hawaii, and other Pacific
Ocean ports-of-call almost every year. He's a traveler, all right, but with
his long, gray ponytail and beard to boot, it's obvious there's one spot
Shampain has not visited in quite some time: the barber's chair.

Before last month, the last time I saw Shampain was in the summer of 2005,
somewhere near Antioch, Calif., in the latter stages of the annual Delta
Ditch Run from San Francisco Bay to Stockton. He was, unfortunately, in
rather dire straights; the mast of his Hobie 33 was buckled over and he was
in the midst of gathering the debris. I hollered over to see if he needed
assistance though it was abundantly clear he and his crew were on top of the
situation. His thumb went up, and he bent back down to his labors as we
sailed on. -- Read on:

There are only eleven weeks remaining before the start of the Olympic sailing
event on August 8th. Athlete training is occurring onsite in Qingdao, with
many this week in Medemblik (NED) for the Delta Lloyd Regatta (former
Holland Regatta). There are 566 entrants that will compete in this annual
Grade 1 Olympic sailing event on Wednesday May 21 with the last Medal Races
on Sunday May 25th. Here are some recent reports from the North American

* Andrew Campbell (USA) - Laser: Medemblik greeted me with an apparently
standard Dutch greeting: a rainy, windy, cold slap in the face. The reality
of why I have not been to Holland in five years since my first
Olympic-circuit Laser regatta hit me as I pulled into the boatpark and the
rain started coming down and the temp struggled into the upper fifties. And
yet, here I am, ready for action. The sailors are the same and the boatpark
is different. The dependability of having good sailing when you show up in
Europe is so rare and, in reality the reason that we keep coming back. --

* Stu McNay/Graham Biehl (USA) - Men’s 470: Immediately after training in
Poland we left for Mendemblik, Holland for the Grade 1 Holland Regatta that
starts on May 21. Unfortunately we had some travel trouble and seemed to
have burned out our axle and brake on our left trailor tire. We were lucky
enough to be just outside Berlin when it happened and not Poland, because
English being our only language made things difficult enough. We got our
trailer trucked to a repair shop outside Berlin where we ran into more
language barriers, and some translation favors were called in to a friend in
Vienna, and our Austrian training partners who had passed us 2 hours before.
So all is sorted, but not fixed. The parts and repair couldn’t be made until
Wednesday, so we had to truck the trailer on a flatbed to Mendemblik. We’ll
keep our fingers crossed. --

* Tim Wadlow/Chris Rast (USA) - 49er: We have found the Chinese to be
incredibly friendly and hard working. Getting things done in China can be a
challenge, and the language and cultural barriers are significant. On this
trip we have had the guidance of coach Luther Carpenter, who has been to
China three times. We are sailing from a yacht club near the Olympic sailing
venue. Yesterday we tried to sail into the Olympic Harbor to check it out,
but we were chased away by high speed security boats with flashing lights
that didn't seem very amused by out stunt.

One really interesting observation: There is a fleet of roughly 25 wooden
fishing skiffs moored near the yacht club. For the first few days we saw
them heading out on water in unison, and then anchoring near the race course
where a Paralympic Test Event was going on. When the racing was over, the
fleet of boats would come in. We later learned that this fleet of boats was
out picking up trash, so the sailors wouldn't have to avoid it. --

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: If there are Olympic sailors that you would like
Scuttlebutt to follow, please send their website address to

* The Hudson River Community Sailing Center (HRCS) has opened on Pier 66 in
New York City - 26th St & the Hudson River. HRCS offers free programming to
urban youths in metropolitan New York City as well as numerous sailing
opportunities for the general public. To help support this new community
sailing effort, they are hosting their first annual HRCS fundraising event
on June 5 at 7pm. For more info, visit

* The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association All America Selection Committee
is now accepting nomination forms. The committee is particularly interested
to receive nominations for the Hobbs Trophy awarded annually to the top
sportsman in college sailing. Forms may be found at

* Marina del Rey, CA -- Ten of the famous west coast maxi sleds gathered
last weekend for the Cal Cup at California Yacht Club to enjoy a three race
level fleet event, with Brack Duker’s Santa Cruz 70 Holua edging out the win
by a point over the Kernan 68 Peligroso owned by Mike Campbell/ Dale
Williams. -- Complete results:

Doyle sails powered the top two finishers at the first one design event in
the U.S. for the J/122. Co-owners Mike Bruno and Tom Boyle on "Wings" won
the J/122 class at the American Yacht Club Spring Series, followed closely
by Andrew Weiss's "Christopher Dragon." Doyle sails are fast and easy to
trim over a wide range of conditions, allowing the crew to concentrate on
boat handling and tactics. For more information on how Doyle can power your
boat to victory, contact your local Doyle loft, 800-94-DOYLE,

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* From Bob Daniel: Scuttlebutt's article (in Issue 2599) on Abracadabra &
Dr. Jim Andrews reminded me of a business trip to Wichita,KS. I arrived late
at night to my hotel and went to sleep. In the morning I opened the curtains
and to my surprise I saw an A-CUP boat on a cradle outside my window! There
was still a bit of snow left on the ground as I walked over to confirm what
I couldn't believe my eyes were telling me. For more details of another
retired A-CUP boat:

* From Sutter Schumacher: (re, the Yellow Jersey story in #2600) Great minds
must think alike. The skiff fleet my husband races with here in New Zealand
( has borrowed cycling's yellow jersey tradition for about 10
years. At the end of each day during the R Class Nationals, the
series-leading skipper and crew receive the yellow jerseys to wear until the
end of the next day. But the class has a good-natured twist on the jersey
concept: the skipper and crew on the lowest-placed boat that has managed to
finish every race receive brown jerseys at the end of the day. (At least the
brown shirts are usually received with good humor...). -- Post additional
comments here:

* From Hugh Elliot: My understanding is that NOOD stands for National
Offshore One Design (as in Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design
Regatta). I am just bright enough to understand that Lasers, 505s, and
similar dinghies are National in scope and definitely One Design, but would
someone please explain to me how they qualify as Offshore boats? Or is that
only in Seattle?

* From William Alexander: I was surprised that the 29ers, Lasers, and Tasars
were allowed to establish classes at the inaugural Sperry Top-Sider National
Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in Seattle. Obviously, no reasonable
person would ever categorize any of these boats as "offshore" classes, so it
seems that without any fanfare, Sailing World magazine has silently buried
an 'O" and converted its NOOD regattas into NOD events.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: We were wondering about this too, and asked
Sailing World Editor Dave Reed for his reply:

“The success with the inaugural Seattle NOOD goes to the clubs and the class
spark plugs that pulled their people together, especially those that had
never formally raced as a class. That there were 231 registered boats says a
lot for a vibrant, underrated sailing scene, and we can only improve on what
we think was an excellent start. As far as the "offshore" element of the
event, it certainly has changed from its inception 20 years ago. But so,
too, has the sailing landscape. Each of the nine regattas embraces the local
one-design scene, and in the case of Seattle (and San Diego, which this year
had Int'l 14s and 505s) that sometimes means a few high-performance dinghy
classes are invited as well, if the host club can accommodate them with
their own circle.

“It's well known that the Seattle NOOD would have competed on the calendar
with SYC's longstanding SOCKs Regatta, which would have been ridiculous. But
thanks to the persistence (and insistence) of SYC's Brian Ledbetter and Ben
Glass, the regatta ultimately brought everyone together. Losing the
“offshore” element in N.O.O.D., wouldn't necessarily make it the "NOD." I
guess it could instead be considered the Sperry Top-Sider NOAOD (National
Offshore AND One Design) Regatta, but that sure is a mouthful of marbles.
We'd still prefer to sail in the NOOD, and look forward to it again next
year in Seattle.”

* From Scuttleblog: (re, story in #2600 about Puma being sexier than the
Green VO70) I don't know about that! Green team’s rp may be Plain-Jane to
you, but just look at her…she's dead sexy! For the record, it's not all
about the dress, and if all goes according to plan that dress belongs on the
floor of the bedroom. -- Post additional comments here:

* From Bill LeFevre: (re, PUMA christening) Reminds me of the christening of
the Soviet sub in the 2002 movie K19:Widowmaker starring Harrison Ford and
Liam Neeson:

There. Someone had to say it. I hope things don't turn out likewise.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Within the History link above, it mentions how it
is a bad omen for the champagne bottle to bounce off without breaking, and
how tradition calls for a woman to do the christening. As Jobson observed,
“After four attempts at breaking the champagne bottle, crewman Jerry Kirby
had the presence to step forward and give the actress (Salma Hayek) an extra
hand.” For the superstitious ‘buttheads, let’s hope this cat has nine lives.

* From Chris Wentz: The Zaleski brothers are far too modest of blow their
own horn so I'm going to do it for them. As reported in Issue 2600, they won
the J/24 Nationals last weekend. Not reported was that this was their second
consecutive Nationals win. Add to that, this was the seventh major J/ 24
class win in a row. I asked Jeff Johnstone if anyone ever managed such a
feat in the class and he didn't think so. Their energy and devotion to the
J/24 class is worthy of note.

* From Jamie Leopold: Not to be too nitpicky, but the article from the
Baltimore Sun, reprinted in Scuttlebutt 2600, and titled “PERCENT PURE BLISS
- 10 PERCENT TERROR” stated that Doris Colgate started the Offshore Sailing
School 40 years ago. This is not correct. According to the Offshore Sailing
School website, “Steve (Colgate) founded Offshore Sailing School in 1964.”
And as I recall, Doris attended the school as a student, and the rest as
they say is history.

* From Zane Murdoch, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia: (re, story in #2600)
Statistics are very impressive - 90% of boat accident fatalities aren't
wearing lifejackets - but often not informative. What percentage of the
boating population in general wears lifejackets? That is one of the problems
with being keen on counting without supplying context. We know that boating
accidents and deaths are higher than they should be but the numbers provided
in the report don't give any indication of the effectiveness of lifejackets
or skipper training.

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