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SCUTTLEBUTT 2606 - May 29, 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.

The latest release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings on May 28th finds
Spain has risen to the top of the national standings. For the second month
running all 11 Olympic class crews occupying the world #1 spots remain
unchanged, but just behind them several shifts have made for some
significant changes in the best-nation standings. Led by Marina Alabau
(ESP), who holds the world #1 spot in the Women’s RS:X, Spain now has five
crews Ranked amongst the top-three in the world across the 11 Olympic
events. Not only does this enable Spain to leapfrog Australia, Poland, Great
Britain and Italy to hit the top of the national standings, it is also the
best performance amongst any nation since Britain held six top-three spots
back in May 2007. Among the national standings, the top North American
country is the United States, which is tied with Denmark in eighth.

Here are the top ranked sailors from North America in each Olympic class:
Laser Radial: 1st Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
Laser: 5th Michael Leigh (CAN)
Yngling: 5th Sally Barkow/ Deborah Capozzi/ Carolyn Howe (USA)
Tornado: 6th Oskar Johansson/ Kevin Stittle (CAN)
49er: 8th Tim Wadlow/ Chris Rast (USA)
470 Women: 9th Amanda Clark/ Sarah Mergenthaler (USA)
Finn: 10th Chris Cook (CAN)
Star: 11th George Szabo/ Eric Monroe, Rick Peters, Andrew Scott (USA)
470 Men: 13th Stuart McNay/ Graham Biehl (USA)
RS:X Men: 28th Zachary Plavsic (CAN)
RS:X Women: 29th Nikola Girke (CAN)
ISAF Rankings:

* North America’s strength in the Laser class may be due to its local roots,
with the longest running Laser event in the world to be hosted this weekend
in Surf City, New Jersey, USA. The first winner in 1972 was Skip Whyte,
current US Olympic Team Coach, and he will be returning to try to regain the
title after 36 years. The NOR is posted on the Surf City YC website:

The tough economy and rising fuel prices has at least two groups taking a
proactive stance to insure that these factors don’t stand in the way of
their operations. A couple weeks ago RIBCRAFT, a Marblehead, MA based RIB
manufacturer, announced that they were hosting a Free Gas Promotion, where
they would provide a $1,000 gas card for customers who purchase any new
RIBCRAFT rigid inflatable boat (RIB) 19' and greater between May 15th and
June 30th. On the event side, the 2008 J/22 Worlds, which will be held in
Rochester, NY in August, is offering a $150 gas card to any entrant that
drives over 400 miles from their home base to the event, and a $300 card for
teams driving over 800 miles. While the large J/22 fleet in Annapolis, MD
might be out luck (384 miles away per Google Maps), this might be just the
push that the Gulf Coast contingent needs to drive.

Have you heard of any other interesting marketing ideas? Add them here:

Newport, Rhode Island (May 28, 2008) – Only eight races – four in both A-
and B-Divisions – were left to be contested on the third and final day of
racing for the 2008 ICSA Women’s National Championship. The dramatic finale
of the women’s college sailing year got underway with cooler temperatures
and 10-12 knots of breeze coming down Narragansett Bay out of the north
courtesy of a front that had passed through the area overnight.

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) came into the final day in second
place overall, having made a significant move from seventh on day two. Early
on, the Eagles took the overall lead when A-Division junior skipper Leigh
Kempton (Island Heights, N.J.) and senior Emily Flint (Longmeadow, Mass.)
smoked the competition with three back-to-back decisive wins that saw them
cross the finish line almost 10 boat lengths ahead of the fleet in one race.
The B-Division team of juniors Martha Pitt (Milton, Mass.) and Lily Beck
(Larchmont, N.Y.) were 2-5 before a 16 in the third race threatened to put
the brakes on the Eagles hopes of winning the title.

Despite Brown University (Providence, R.I.) freshman B team skipper
Elizabeth Barry (Riverside, Conn.) and crew Maria Mahler-Haug (Branford,
Conn.) picking up their fourth straight win in the last race, BC’s B team
bounced back from their 16 to finish second in the final race reverse the
final order while keeping the two-point spread. Boston College won the
championship with 186 combined points to Brown’s 188.

Daily report:
Lots of photos by Amory Ross and Glennon Stratton:

Ullman Sails Hawaii is looking for a new loft manager to join their team. A
small loft located in Honolulu, the U/S loft is searching for a
‘jack-of-all-trades’ to handle work on the floor and in the office starting
this summer. Initial duties would include sail repairs, canvas work and some
new sail production. You would also handle sail production and repair
scheduling, estimates and inventory. This is a unique opportunity to migrate
to Hawaii and become an integral part of a long-standing, successful team.
For more information, contact Larry Stenek at Invest in your performance. --

* For anyone not yet signed up for June 27-29 when Acura presents Ullman
Sails Long Beach Race Week, the early entry fee deadline is Monday, June 2.
After that it goes up $50.

The South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association, which represents 40 clubs and
associations within Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, has
announced their opposition to US SAILING's proposal for mandatory membership
that is to be voted on at their June 2008 Board Meeting. The action was
taken at the SAYRA’s spring meeting on May 10. Prior to the meeting, the
committee had solicited comments from the SAYRA membership. Written
responses were received from clubs, sailing associations, dinghy sailors,
PHRF sailors, lake sailors, offshore sailors, high school sailors and even
non-sailors who participate on race committees. Ninety-three percent of the
responses opposed the US SAILING proposal, citing a wide variety of reasons
and offering numerous alternatives for addressing US SAILING's cash-flow
difficulties. Several noted that the proposed prescription would be
impossible to enforce.

The committee understands that its opposition is likely to have little
effect on US SAILING's decision to implement its scheme, but it hopes the
final version will include exemptions for local races (in which no boat
travels more than 50 miles to take part), races that are conducted for the
purpose of teaching sailing, races that are intended principally to attract
new participants to the sport, and all ISSA events. In addition, the
committee urges US SAILING to make its membership database more accessible
to regatta organizers, who must have accurate, real-time information
available if they are to enforce the mandatory membership provisions. --

* Among the feedback received by the SAYRA was a letter from Craig Milliken,
Commodore of the Lake Norman Yacht Club:
“In 1989, Lake Norman Yacht Club (LNYC) proposed the concept that became the
‘Golden Anchor Program’ to USYRU. The proposal included recognition,
discounted fees and other benefits for yacht clubs with 100 percent
membership in USYRU. LNYC became the nation’s first Golden Anchor Club. LNYC
remains a Golden Anchor Club today; our annual dues include US Sailing
membership for all active members. We continue our participation in the
Golden Anchor Program because we believe it benefits our club and
membership. We agree it is important to increase membership in US Sailing
for all the reasons that have been provided. However, we are concerned about
the method being considered and the manner in which it was presented to US
Sailing members.” -- Read on:

by Tim Wadlow, USA 2008 Olympic 49er skipper
Chris and I just returned home from China. We are pretty seriously jet
lagged at this point. Qingdao, China is a 12 hour time change from the East
Coast, so we think it's impossible to be more anymore jet lagged! We had a
super productive trip, and we were very happy with our choice to spend more
time in China, and less time in Europe racing.

On the water:
Racing in Qingdao created a long list of unique challenges. The average wind
speed is very light, and this is exactly what we experienced. We sailed 9 of
10 days, and were shut down with no wind only once. However, almost all our
our training was in less than 8 knots of wind. The waves in China are also
very unique. The swell comes in off axis, and there is a lot of chop. Waves
breaking over the bow on the downwinds, and surfing waves upwind are common.
Every day is different.

The weather is super humid, and often there is a haze/fog that drastically
reduces visibility. Without the ability to see land, and with off axis
waves, keeping track of the wind shifts is very difficult. Finding the marks
can also be challenging. Probably the biggest challenge is the current. It
moves at up to 8 boat lengths/minute. Combined with the light winds, this
means that at times it is difficult to make progress. The mark roundings and
laylines are also very critical.

Off the water:
Most of the countries we travel to we find quite a few English speakers, but
in China English is rare. The only Chinese words Chris and I know are hello
and thank you, so this doesn't get us very far. Communicating is a big
challenge. Food is also a big challenge. We put a lot of effort into eating
very carefully so that we didn't get sick. We had the guidance of Luther
Carpenter, who has been to China 3 times before. He was coaching us as much
about what to eat, as he was on the water. His adivce paid off--none of us
got significantly sick. We also started to learn what foods we like to eat.
-- Read on:

* The topic of food comes up a lot in reports from China. Anybody hungry for
Scorpion Brochettes or Dog Brain Soup? The Chinese version of fast food can
be pretty frightening… you got to see this slideshow:

by Cory Friedman, America’s Cup Legal Analyst
Since Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) succeeded in consolidating the
appeals before the Appellate Division for one big shoot out on June 5, 2008,
the appeal has begun to resemble the Democratic primary melodrama. For one
thing, the briefing has been dragged out with two extra briefs. The rhetoric
has also gone pretty far over the top. Although Simpson Thacher & Bartlett,
SNG’s law firm, does considerable pro bono work representing Guantanamo
detainees, suing the State of New York to get more money for New York City
schools and the like, its bread and butter is representing the richest and
most powerful interests in the world, for which it is well compensated.

Thus, it was hilarious when, tearing a page from the playbook of a certain
multi-millionaire Wellesley/Yale Law graduate knocking down boilermakers at
Bronko’s Bar, Simpson Thacher filed a brief for billionaire Ernesto
Bertarelli’s SNG bewailing the attempt of a “billionaire ‘sportsman’ [Larry
Ellison] utilizing Tonya Harding litigation tactics . . . .” It actually
went downhill from there. You would think Ernesto Bertarelli was an
impoverish worker out of a John Grisham novel injured by the kinds of
interests Simpson Thatcher might represent in a Grisham novel. Asking the
Court to allow SNG to proceed in forma pauperis (as a poor person relieved
of filing fees) would have fit right in. The catalog of Ellison’s evil deeds
even extended to teeing up a two boat match race – something unprecedented
in AC history. Perhaps Barry Ostrager plans on offering to knock down
boilermakers with the Justices of the Appellate Division at oral argument.
-- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: This is Cory’s 25th report - 27,622 words in all -
helping us navigate through all the twists, turns, and “forest killing”
briefs that each team’s esteemed legal representatives have provided. For
now, the next stop is oral argument at 2:00 pm on June 5, 2008 at 25th
Street and Madison Avenue.

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* Of the thirteen Open 60s that started The Artemis Transat, the nine still
racing have all now finished. In the Class40 fleet, leader Giovanni
Soldini's Telecom Italia finished Wednesday morning in Boston, MA, USA,
completing the North Atlantic crossing in 16 days 22 hours and 11 minutes,
having led the 11 boats in the fleet since passing Lizard Point on the south
coast of England during the first night of the race. -- Event site:

* Gmunden, Austria (May 28, 2008) Following two RC 44 events held on the
sea, Lake Traunsee, well known for its consistent thermal breeze, failed to
produce any stable winds on the first day of the Austria Cup for the nine RC
44s. The format calls for a full round robin match racing event for the
professional drivers, followed by a fleet race schedule for the team owners.
Among the participants are Sébastien Col, who currently sails with the
Championship Tour leader’s gold wheel (similar to yellow jersey), James
Spithill, Cameron Appleton, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Kevin Harrap, Larry
Ellison, Russell Coutts and John Kostecki. --

* Lake Hartwell, South Carolina (May 26, 2008) – Thirty-three Buccaneer 18s
from as far as Arizona, Colorado, Vermont and Ontario converged on Western
Carolina Sailing Club for their North American Championships. With a mixture
of light to medium winds from all points of the compass over the four day
event, David Spira (Denver, CO) with crew Dennis Martinelli (Phoenix, AZ)
secured his 4th championship win with a consistent performance winning four
races and placing no lower than 6th. -- Results:

* (May 28, 2008) The carbon fiber mast for BMW Oracle Racing's new America's
Cup multihull is now under construction at Hall Spars in Bristol, Rhode
Island, the team confirmed today. Located about 20 miles from Newport, the
rig design team will be led by American Scott Ferguson and Hervé Devaux of
France with support from BMW. In the 32nd America’s Cup, Hall Spars worked
with the America’s Cup defender Alinghi, while Ferguson was aligned with the
Luna Rossa campaign and Devaux was with the China Team. --

On May 31st, Zac Sunderland, a 16-year old high school sophomore from
Southern California, will depart from Marina del Rey, CA onboard his 36-foot
Islander in an attempt to be the youngest person to solo-sail around the
world, and the only person to complete the journey before turning 18. He'll
have until January 2010 to break the record held by David Dicks, who left
Australia when he was 17, in 1996, and returned nine months later when he
was 18 years, 41 days old. There will be a reception for Zac prior to his
departure on the 31st at Burton Chace Park in MDR from 10am-12pm (RSVP:
818-766-1544). Take a moment to meet Zac in this week’s video.

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 28-June 1 - Volvo Melges 24 World Championship - Porto Cervo, Italy
May 30-June 1 - Cal Race Week - Marina del Rey, CA, USA
May 30-June 1 - Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta - Detroit, MI, 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 Ian Duff: In response to John Ritter's comments (in #2605) about
prospective mandatory US Sailing membership to race, I too have received
value for the membership fees I've paid, as well as having received value
for the one time fees I've paid such as race officer certification and level
one instructor and level two coach training and certification. Unlike Mr.
Ritter, I object to the mandatory nature of the proposed action. I choose to
buy docklines and sails for my modest PHRF boat.

There have been enquiries of US Sailing leadership as to why membership is
declining, with no useful or informed answer. Determining the root causes of
the membership decline and implementing measures to address these causes
seems to me to be a far more productive use of US Sailing's goodwill and
political capital. Entice rather than force. One can catch more bears with
honey than with traps.

* From Paul Grevens: Sometimes I think our sport is completely lost, as is
exemplified in Tim Jeffery’s story in ‘butt 2605. All these coaches and
coach boats at the Olympic events… holy smokes. Talk about barriers to
entrance. However, I guess that is what’s happening at the junior level in
Optimist, and then again at the top level in the Farr 40, etc. The social
part of the sport is getting squeezed out by the professional approach.
Plenty of people blaming US SAILING for the decline in membership, but maybe
it is just a reflection of a decline in participation. All for what… the
pickle dish? Bummer!

* From Annie Peters: Regarding the VOR media plan (from #2605), I am eager
to hear what their plan is for showing the video footage. With so much
material, it would seem that they would be able to produce a nicely edited
daily show. Getting raw clips from each boat might be fine in the beginning,
but with the race spanning nine months, I suspect it will become tiring
after awhile.

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." -
Albert Einstein

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Team One Newport.

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