Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2602 - May 22, 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 21, 2008) Catamaran training for the America's Cup is proving to be
full of lessons, but when you make a mistake like capsizing, the results are
generally messy. The Alinghi team learned this on March 29th when they
submerged the bows, lost steering, and capsized forward on the 60ft trimaran
Foncia off Lorient, France. They snapped the mast, and two of their crew had
to be airlifted for transport to the hospital. Now it was the BMW Oracle
Racing team's turn to cross the line, and while during an in-house regatta
with their two Extreme 40 catamarans today in Valencia, Spain, one of the
boats capsized during a downwind luffing match.

While no one was seriously hurt during the capsize, team CEO/ Skipper
Russell Coutts (NZL) incurred a cut to his leg while the crew was attempting
to right the boat that later required nine stitches. The other crew on board
with Coutts were helmsman Franck Cammas (FRA), Jonathan Macbeth (NZL) and
Alberto Barovier (ITA). There were no other injuries. During the retrieval
of the catamaran, the mast broke. The boat and mast were towed back to the
team base for repairs. Winds were 17-20 knots at the time of the incident,
with the other boat helmed by James Spithill (AUS) with John Kostecki (USA)
calling tactics, Dirk de Ridder (NED) grinding and Alan Smith (NZL) on the
bow. -- Team report:

by Tristan Nichols, The Herald (UK publication)
Now this may come as a shock to some but not really to many, I don't really
have much of an interest in sailing. Ok, I hold the post of Maritime
Reporter (and in the past yachting types have laughed at the fact I can list
my sailing experience on the back of a postage stamp) but it's not really my
bag. For me it's too involved. There's too much to do, hoisting sails,
twisting this and turning that... I'd much rather be in the water (surfing)
than on it (sailing). With that in mind a website dedicated to sailing would
have to be pretty special to tempt my gaze. So ladies and gentlemen... let
me introduce you to the Artemis Transat's fab website

The site's developers have gone all out to create something which will be
appealing to the masses and not just the sailing enthusiast. As well as race
news updated throughout each and every day, the site provides breakdowns of
all the teams competing in the race (which started in Plymouth on May 11),
as well as pictures and videos from the skippers. However, by far the most
appealing are the two live race tracker features which allow visitors to
pinpoint exactly where each competitor is, how far they have travelled, how
far they have to go, the speed of which they are travelling, and the route
they have taken. You can also zoom in and out to show the distance between
the competitors on a map of the Atlantic. -- Read on:

While leading the Open 60 fleet on Day 10 (May 20, 2008) of The Artemis
Transat from Plymouth (GBR) to Boston (USA), Vincent Riou onboard PRB was
forced to abandon his boat due to keel problems from an apparent collision
with a shark. Fortunately, Loick Peyron onboard Gitana Eighty, who was
running in second place at the time, was only fifteen miles away, and the
weather conditions permitted an easy rescue. Lucky for us, Peyron also had
the video camera on during the transfer, which has now been produced into
the Day 11 recap.

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:

Newport Shipyard, born in 1834, came kicking and screaming out of bankruptcy
10 years ago. An anniversary of sorts this summer. Most people at the time
said, "forget it".... can't be done, lousy business! But yachts had gotten
bigger, order books longer, and the Shipyard was able to brand a new
philosophy that shipyards could be clean, capable, action-packed, and well
located..... all at the same time. Newport Shipyard got very "can-do" and
the crews and owners noticed. The bar had been raised.....

(May 21, 2008) -- Dressed in dry suits and fleece hats, over 566 Olympic
class sailboats took to the water on Wednesday for the first day of the
Delta Lloyd Regatta 2008 in Medemblick, Holland, which continues on through
to the medal race on Sunday, May 25th. For the eleven Olympic class
dinghies, skiffs, sailboards and multihulls, variable conditions remained
throughout the day as some fleets started their set of races in the morning
and others waited to take to the water in the afternoon. The days are long
and the nights are short this time of year, and today the winds started out
strong but abated in the early to mid-afternoon, only to storm in again in
the late afternoon.

Many competitors are leading their classes with two bullets. In their home
waters, the Dutch are leading the RS:X Men's and the Tornado classes. Tops
among the North American contingent would have to be Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
in the Laser Radial, who arrived here on the heels of her wedding and
honeymoon (to Laser/Moth sailor Brad Funk), and rolled to a 1-1-2 in the
71-boat fleet. While not all fleets are well-represented, other strong
performances would include Johnny Lovell/Charlie Ogletree (USA), fifth in
the Tornado; Andrew Campbell (USA), 7th in the Laser; and Stu McNay/Graham
Biehl (USA), 7th in the 470 Men. -- Lynn Fitzpatrick, read on:

* US SAILING has launched a new website dedicated to members of the 2008
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams, with athlete bios, event
schedules, photos, news, press releases, etc. now available. During the
Olympic Regatta on August 8-24, the plan is for the site to be updated daily
with news, blogs, and pictures from China. --

* Larchmont, NY -- The Storm Trysail Club's 63rd Block Island Race, an
annual distance race that serves as one of New England's first competition
tune-ups for the summer season, starts Friday, May 23rd, at 5 p.m. and will
host a fleet of more than 100 boats. The fastest boats are expected to
finish by early- to mid-afternoon on Saturday after sprinting 185 nautical
miles from a starting line just inside Stamford (Conn.) Harbor, down Long
Island Sound, clockwise around Block Island (R.I.), and back to Stamford. --
Read on:

* The Storm Trysail Club and the San Francisco Bay IRC Owners Association
have agreed to partner and organize the Northern California IRC Championship
Series, which will consist of one popular ocean race and four
around-the-buoys weekend regattas. The 2008 series started in mid-May with
the two-day St. Francis Yacht Club Stone Cup Invitational and ends in
mid-September with the St. Francis Yacht Club's Rolex Big Boat Series. --
Full details:

* Newport, RI -- Some of the world's hottest new IRC designs are gathering
in Newport, R.I., this summer, and the New York Yacht Club 154th Annual
Regatta presented by Rolex ( June 13-15) promises to provide the first
glimpse of their collective-competitive prowess. Amongst the 100+ boats
sharing the course will be Dan Meyers' Judel-Vrolijk 66 Numbers, Bob and
Farley Towse's Reichel/Pugh 66 Blue Yankee, Roger Sturgeon's Farr STP65
Rosebud/Team DYT, Jim Swartz's Reichel/Pugh STP65 Moneypenny, and Hap
Fauth's Reichel/Pugh 69 Belle Mente. Also expected is the new Juan
Kouyoumdjian 99-foot super maxi Speedboat, George David's Reichel/Pugh 90
Rambler, and Puma Ocean Racing's new VO 70 Il Mostro. -- Complete report:

The high cost of fuel got a little higher Tuesday for one boater who was
feeling a little fuelish in Stuart, Fl. Tuesday when he pumped about 100
gallons of $4.39 gasoline into the boat's fishing rod holder. Not only was
it an expensive mistake - the gas tank was still empty at the end of the
day. A employee of the Finest Kind Marina said the owner of the
approximately 28-foot center console fishing boat was getting ready to fill
his gas tank when his cell phone rang. Distracted, he put the fuel hose in
the rod holder, which was only about 6 inches from the fuel tank and looks
similar to the fuel tank opening. He walked to the other end of the dock to
talk on the phone while his "tank" was filling. The fuel went into the bilge
and the mistake was discovered when the fuel got high enough to kick on the
bilge pump. -- Read on:

In the final winner-takes-all match race to determine the 95th Lipton Cup
Challenge last weekend in San Diego, the Southwestern Yacht Club team came
from behind on the final downwind leg to claim victory over the reigning
champions from San Diego Yacht Club. The winning team on J/105 'J-OK,'
helmed by Ken Manzoni, competed with Ullman Sails, ending SDYC's three-year
winning streak. The SDYC team competed on J/105 'Wings' helmed by Bill
Hardesty. Ullman Sails have consistently outperformed the competition at
Lipton Cup for five years straight! Contact a local Ullman Sails loft and
visit our new website

(May 20, 2008) Eleven yachts set sail from Tel Aviv nine days ago as part of
the Med-Red Rally sailing event, during which they were meant to pass
through Egypt's Suez Canal. However, Egyptian authorities delayed the yachts
for over a week at Port Said, eventually forcing the disappointed yachtsmen
to turn back without completing their long-awaited journey. The Med-Red
Rally is considered the largest sailing event in the Middle East, and this
year marks its fourth anniversary. The route begins in Turkey, passes by
Israel and continues through southern Egypt towards the Red Sea. The yachts
left Tel Aviv's port last Sunday on their way to the finish line at Sharm
el-Sheik, but were stopped at Port Said.

According to the yachtsmen, Egyptian authorities refused to allow them to
pass, citing various excuses. "Every day they gave us different excuses,"
said Commodore Izzy Swisa. "Once it was a large ship that was passing,
another time it was heavy traffic....I believe it those were pretexts, and
the only reason was that I was Israeli, which is too bad." Swisa was the
only Israeli participating in the segment of the sailing event passing
through Suez. The other yachts came from various countries worldwide. "The
goal of the event is to encourage naval tourism between Israel and its
neighbors," Swisa explained. "But unfortunately this year the Egyptians
decided to dampen our spirits." On Tuesday the Egyptians finally granted the
sailors permission to sail, but unfortunately only back to Israel. --
Complete story:,7340,L-3545788,00.html

* Planning is well underway for the Eighth Annual Summer Sailstice
celebration on June 21-22, a world-wide sailing celebration to encourage
boating on the longest day of the year. The event is free to all
participants and has grown from 200 boats signed up in 2001 to well over
2,000 boats today. Summer Sailstice participants who register automatically
become eligible to win one of over 300 prizes from the event sponsors, from
yacht charters to sailboats to gift certificates from top sailing retailers.
Additional information is at

* Boating supplies and accessories retailer West Marine, Inc. has announced
a multi-store development agreement for Turkey with East Marine Denizcilik &
Turizm A.S., and plans to open its first franchise store in Istanbul by July
2008. Other locations are being identified along Turkey's Aegean and
Mediterranean coasts.

* ISAF is currently accepting nominations for members of the Committees,
Sub-Committees and Commissions of the International Sailing Federation for
November 2008-November 2012. The International Sailing Federation holds its
quadrennial General Assembly on Saturday 15 November 2008 in Madrid, Spain
(at the end of the ISAF Annual Conference). On this occasion the ISAF
Officers (President and Vice-Presidents), members of the ISAF Council and
all other ISAF Committee, Sub-Committee and Commission members automatically
retire and are eligible for re-nomination or new candidates can be
nominated. --

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
May 23 - Figawi Race Weekend - Hyannis, MA, USA
May 23 - Storm Trysail Block Island Race - Stamford, CT, USA
May 23-26 - Swiftsure International Yacht Race - Victoria, BC, Canada
May 24-25 - ISSA High School Team Racing Champs - Deephaven, MN, 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 Nick von der Wense: (re, story from Issue 2599) I suffered my first
shoulder dislocation during college sailing, and in the years that followed
it got the better of me several times. In the end I faced a difficult
decision about a second shoulder surgery. I called Dr. Andrews office and to
my amazement, told him I was a sailor and he immediately told me to get on a
plane and come see him. During my visit, but he sat with me and my wife and
talked about sailing for nearly an hour, wanted to hear what classes I was
in and if I knew Abracadabra. I have to say he took so much time with me
that his assistant and his residents all piled up by the door to see what
was going on. There we sat, talking a language none of them could
understand, swapping stories about sailing.

* From Adrian Morgan: (re, PUMA christening problems from #2601) Why in this
age of obsolescence when consumer goods are programmed to fall apart after a
certain time do champagne bottles at launchings so often fail to break?
First that big cruise ship, christened by Dame Helen Mirren (which I think
ran into trouble soon after) now Puma, all within a few weeks. There is a
solution: Craig 'Lightning' Nutter, former America's Cup, Volvo, Round
Britain, current TP52 sailor, classic boat owner - the list goes on. His
infallible (and secret), champagne bottle breaking technique has saved
enormous embarrassment to countless actresses and owners' wives over the
years. Hugely expensive no doubt (as it involves skill, precision and many
years of painstaking research with champagne bottles), but better that than
to risk launching an unlucky ship.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: If 'Lightning' is busy or too expensive, an
alternative is to buy a specially designed christening bottle for 11.00 USD,
which "is scored to allow it to break easily and it comes with a fine mesh
bag to ensure that the broken pieces of glass don't end up in the water." --

* From Andre Corkum, Halifax, Nova Scotia: (re, PUMA story in #2600) In this
post-911 world, it is unfortunate that America's profile is viewed
internationally quite poorly. The reality for a company like Puma is that
flying the American flag would be bad for business in many parts of the
world. The other reality is that Sailing is not a high profile media sport
on this continent and would have limited marketing value in the US.

* From Reynald Neron: (re, letter in #2601 about Lasers in the NOOD event)
Some of your readers are wondering how the Lasers can get the NOOD label
(the offshore part of it). I would like to point out that Olympic medalist
Michael Blackburn (AUS) has crossed Bass Straight between Australia
(mainland) and Tasmania. Since then, Lasers have to be considered as an
offshore boat, no? -- Watch the video:

* From Rand, Scuttleblog: (re, Yellow Jersey from Issue 2600-1) I think this
is a good idea for events like Block Island Race Week, Key West Race Week,
Cowes--esp for crews. The crews would be able to strut their yellow jerseys
for a day or so and get a little attention usually the owner/tactician
gets--"Hey, yellow, great job on the bow today, how did you get the
afterbirds around the course so quickly!" -- Post additional comments:

* From Willii Gohl, IJ, GER: (re, the ISAF Classification Code) To say "it's
a joke", "it does not work" is one thing, to say what should be changed is
the better thing! Did you really go through the code and the FAQs? After
having done this, you can say what should be changed and what is wrong. This
is the way to get better results, and this is the seamanlike way. In Germany
we say "put some butter to the fish"! You guys failed to do so! -- Post
additional comments:

* From Jim Good (With reference to the story in #2600 "688 people drowned
were not wearing life jackets"). Heading out one morning during 1984 RCYC
Level Week, Toronto, we came across a "floater" who'd apparently drowned a
couple of days prior. We stood by till Toronto Harbor Police picked the body
up. In follow-up questioning by police the next day, we were told that they
estimate about half of the male drowning victims are found with their flies

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Maybe that is what's meant by the title of Tristan
Jones' book for shorthanded sailing, "One Hand for Yourself, One for the

"If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no
candidates and no measures you want to vote for, but there are certain to be
ones you want to vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If
this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is
always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables
you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the
enormous amount of time on it that truly intelligent exercise of franchise
requires." - A saying of Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein

Special thanks to Newport Shipyard and Ullman Sails.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at