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SCUTTLEBUTT 2608 – June 2, 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.

When the US Sailing Olympic committee chose against the catamaran for the
2012 Olympics, they opened the door for the kind of dissent that the
Internet age can offer. There was no shortage of disappointment aimed toward
the US national sailing authority, coming from all sailing disciplines, both
within their borders and abroad, and no amount of politicking with ISAF
could undo what the US and others endorsed. Catamarans were no longer part
of the Olympics.

As if that saga wasn’t enough, US Sailing decided that this would also be
the year that they would propose mandatory membership. Talk about piling on.
It should then come as no surprise that of all the sectors of the sport that
are not in support of this proposal, the catamaran contingent are leading
the pack. The largest group among them is the North American Hobie Class
Association (HCA), and they officially submitted their position to the US
Sailing Board of Directors on May 30th.

To quote from their letter, which firmly states that the association “will
not support a US Sailing prescription to the Racing Rules of Sailing that
would require MNA membership for all racing skippers”, they go on to say
that “this initiative would expose our events to unnecessary protests that
would detract from the friendly culture in our class.” -- Complete letter:

American Olympic Star team of John Dane and Austin Sperry just returned from
Kiel, Germany, where they tested a new Star boat built specifically for
China. "We put 16 variations in the computer of hull shapes," Dane said. "We
found one in 8 knots or less of wind that seemed superior than our current
boat and the one most competitors will sail. We decided to build one. We
tested it against our German counterparts who qualified for the Olympics and
just finished fifth in the World Championships in Miami. Whoever was in the
new boat would win the racing. Only two have been made in time for the
Olympics. Hopefully, we have a secret weapon." -- Complete story:

Newport, RI (June 1, 2008) - Proving that they are a force to be reckoned
with, the Boston College Sailing Team has won their second national
championship title in less than a week on the waters of Narragansett Bay. On
May 28, the Lady Eagles won BC’s first-ever sailing title when they claimed
the 2008 ICSA Women’s National Championship after three days of racing saw
them triumph over 17 other colleges who had also qualified to take a shot at
the championship crown. After a day off, action on-the-water resumed with
the battle for the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship (May 30-June 1)
testing the 14 colleges vying for that title.

Faced with a dying northerly, racing on day one of the ICSA/APS Team Race
National Championship did not get underway until early afternoon when a
southerly filled in to allow the completion of 42 races in 5-10 knots of
breeze. Divided and racing in two groups, the top four from each then
advanced to the Championship Round: Harvard University (5-1), St. Mary’s
College (5-1), College of Charleston (5-1), and Brown University (3-3) from
group one; and Boston College (5-1), Stanford University (5-1), Georgetown
University (5-1) and the U.S. Naval Academy (3-3) from group two. The eight
advancing teams also carry that part of their win-loss record from amongst
themselves forward, which served to place a greater emphasis on performance
in the opening round. – Read on:


* Up Next: The centerpiece of the three Intercollegiate Sailing Association
national championships, the ICSA/Gill National Championship will be held
June 2-4 in 420s, with New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court headquarters for
the championship.

Come see the Morris 45, M42 and M36 on Saturday June 21 and Sunday June 22
from 10-4pm at Brown & Howard Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island. It’s all part
of the first Luxury Yacht and Exotic Car Show. Located on Newport’s Thames
Street, it promises to be a nice little affair. After this event, we head
back to Maine for the summer. Plan on attending the Morris Boat Show July
18-20 in Northeast Harbor, Maine. This event is a spectacular opportunity to
see the largest number of Morris Yachts at once. For more information:

Porto Cervo, Italy (June 1,2008) - The Volvo Melges 24 World Championship,
hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, got off to a challenging start
today with the 114 strong fleet from 16 nations completing two of twelve
scheduled races. The large number of competitors means that the fleet must
be divided across two race courses. The fleet has been split into four
groups and will sail a six race Round Robin series with each group racing
the others twice to identify the Gold and Silver fleets for the final six
races of the series. Italy’s Alberto Bolzan, helming Gianni Catalogna’s
ITA727 Pilot Italia, leads the regatta with an impressive 2, 1 score-line
proving that their Pre-Worlds victory last week was no fluke.

Today’s two races were extremely tough with winds ranging from under 5 to
almost 20 knots with massive shifts, big holes in some areas and mini
squalls under the clouds in others. There were regular rain showers across
the course initially but conditions did improve later with the second race
finishing in sunshine. Race Committee member Wayne Bretsch gave an example
of just how extreme the conditions were saying. "Between races the weather
mark boat was reporting 18-20 knots from around 115 degrees, but at the
committee boat end we had as little as 5 knots from 060 degrees. We waited,
tried to start, postponed relatively fast, could see the wind on the water
that the weather mark boat was reporting and waited for it to hit us, which
it did with a vengeance at about 18 knots from 125 degrees. It w as a rough
day for the competitors and it was a rough day for the race committee and
the mark boats. The mark guys in particular did an outstanding job of
reporting wind and putting marks in very accurately at short notice.”

Top North American is reigning Melges 24 North American Champion Brian
Porter of Chicago, IL, aboard USA649 Full Throttle, who is tied for third
place on eight points. -- Full report:

The spotlight has been on the Extreme 40 class as America’s Cup teams
Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing have sought out catamaran experience by
training on the platform. The first of five events that comprise the 2008
iShares Cup Sailing Series saw nine Extreme 40s on Lake Lugano on the
Swiss-Italian border last weekend, and it was double Olympic gold medallist
Shirley Roberston (GBR) that stole the show, winning five of the nine races
to take the series opener. Adversity hit the Alinghi team in the first race
with a capsize that would also break their mast, but they would return the
next day to compete, ending fifth overall. The next event is in Hyeres,
France on June 13-15.
> Wrap-up report:
> Alinghi capsize video:

When the 33 year old Sam Davies finished The Artemis Transat Race, she did
so in just under 15 ˝ days, she was the first British sailor, first female
sailor, and fifth Open 60 entrant. It was her 15th transatlantic race and
the sixth onboard her pink boat since being appointed skipper at the end of
2006. With the surprisingly gentle conditions in the first week, The Artemis
Transat didn’t quite live up to its reputation as being one of the toughest
races in sailing, but still nearly a third of the Open 60 entrants failed to
finish, and Davies herself faced adversity when a collision with a whale
damaged one of her daggerboard.

While it is hard to fathom a two week solo race on an unbelievably powerful
platform such as the Open 60, some of the stats from Davies race help to
bridge the gap:
- 15 days 10 hours, 0 minutes and 51 seconds; average speed of 8.04 knots
- Top speed of the boat: 30 knots (35 mph)
- Average sleep per day: 4 hours, in ten 40 minutes naps
- Water onboard Roxy at the start: 54 litres
- Freeze dry meals at the start: 28 (two weeks) + porridge for breakfast
- Treat onboard: 4 tablets of chocolate
- Average amount of calories consumed per day: between 3000 and 4000
- Pair of socks: 6
- Sea water bucket showers: 2
- Sails onboard Roxy: 8, including a 330 lb. mainsail and a 132 lb. gennaker
- Ships seen during the race: 10
- Wild life seen during the race: 4 whales (1 hit!) and a school of dolphins
More info:

Gas prices are outrageous but wind is free, so sailboat racers can't afford
to be left out when Acura presents Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week June
27-29. Also, those who sign up online for the early entry fee by Monday,
June 2, will get in $50 cheaper (worth about 12 gallons at the pump) plus
free berthing, a free shuttle boat between the Alamitos Bay and Long Beach
Yacht Clubs and complimentary hors d'oeuvres at the parties Friday and
Sunday evenings. So forget the gauge and sail free all weekend. Go to

The Artemis Transit Race from Plymouth (GBR) to Boston (USA) is now
completed, with each skipper now filing away their notes for future use. One
of the race variables was the Gulf Stream current, with the race website
providing a couple of stories on. Here are some factoids:

* A comprehensive study was first done by Benjamin Franklin in 1770 in
order to optimize the travel time of mail sent to Europe.

* The Gulf Stream, like all major currents, is governed by wind-induced
circulation on the North Atlantic scale, circulation which intensifies on
the western edge along the U.S. due to the earth’s rotation.

* The Gulf Stream affects water up to a depth of 1500 to 2000 metres, and
the relatively high temperature is due to the fact that the current carries
waters originating from an area located between Florida and the Bahamas,
with the cold/salty water diving under warmer/less salty waters.

* The Gulf Stream can reach a width of more than 90 miles with a maximum
depth of roughly 4,000 feet. In the Straits of Florida, the volume of water
transported by the Gulf Stream is estimated at 30 million cubic metres per
second and this figure rises to 80 millions m3/s at 35° N! By way of
comparison, the combined flow of all rivers that empty into the Atlantic is
approximately 0.6 millions m3/s.

> More Gulf Stream:
> Climate change and the Gulf Stream:

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

* Los Angeles, CA, May 30, 2008 - A late and irreparable mechanical failure
has forced the postponement of Zac Sunderland's departure to be the youngest
American sailor to attempt a solo global circumnavigation. The 16 year-old
from Thousand Oaks, California was scheduled to leave Burton Chace Park in
Marina del Rey at 12 noon on Saturday, May 31. The launch has been
rescheduled for June 14. --

* Annapolis, MD (May 31, 2008) The 2008 BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup hosted ten
invited international crews for this ISAF Grade 1 match race event in
J/22’s, with American Olympic Yngling team of Sally Barkow/ Debbie Capozzi/
Carrie Hower - joined by Annie Lush – winning the event. After losing only
two races in the 18 race qualification series, Barkow’s team beat American
Molly Carapiet 3- 1 in the semi-finals before thunderstorms halted their
final match against French skipper Anne-Claire LeBerre with the Americans
ahead 1-0. --

* Gmunden, Austria (June 1, 2008) The Slovenian team Ceeref confirms its new
leadership over the RC 44 Class, winning the Austria Cup, the third of six
events that comprise the class circuit. After having won the match race
event on Wednesday/ Thursday, Igor Lah and James Spithill have also
conquered the three day fleet regatta ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua and
Patrick de Barros’ Banco Espirito Santo (with Russell Coutts as tactician).
The latter is the winner of the long distance DHL Trophy. The next regatta
of the RC 44 Championship Tour is the Malcesine Cup, on Lake Garda, on July
9-13. – Full report:

* The maxi catamaran Gitana 13 went about setting its fourth Asian record,
with skipper Lionel Lemonchois and crew sailing from Taipei, Taiwan to Hong
Kong in 1 day 58 minutes and 27 seconds. When the team crossed the finish
line at 1132 UT on Saturday 31st May, they improved on the previous
reference time by over 1 day and 14 hours. --

* Detroit, MI (June 1, 2008) Never before in the Detroit NOOD regatta’s
16-year history has there been a female overall winner- until this year. The
Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in Detroit
hosted 192 entrants in 17 classes, with Sue Grassley and her boat
Sho-Wae-Cae-Mette winning the Beneteau 36.7 boat class and named the overall
winner of the event, qualifying Grassley for the 2008 NOOD Regatta
Championships in the British Virgin Islands in November. This was the fourth
stop of the nine-event NOOD series, with the tour now heading to Chicago, IL
on June 13-15, 2008. -- Event site:

* Marina del Rey, CA (June 1, 2008) The two day Cal Race Week hosted 99
entrants in 11 classes, with the largest fleet - fourteen Martin 242s -
being won by local Mike George. -- Event site:

GE Capital Solutions and Sail America, the trade association for the U.S.
sailing industry, will be hosting the inaugural “Growth Through Innovation”
Sailing Industry Conference and Regatta this June 11-13, 2008 in Newport,
RI, at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS). This conference is
designed to help companies that provide sailing-related products and
services achieve success in today’s tough market environment.

A welcome reception on the eve of June 11th features a presentation by Volvo
Ocean Race PUMA Skipper Ken Read, and a talk by Tom Ehman at the Gala Dinner
about the latest news from the AC world. Other presenters include best
selling business author, Dan Coughlin; Wachovia senior economic analyst Mark
Vitner; and US Olympic Sailing chair Dean Brenner. Additionally, teams from
throughout the sailing industry will vie for bragging rights in Sail
America’s first Industry Regatta on June 13 in Newport, RI. There are still
openings for two more teams to join the event, where 12 company crews of
four will compete in Sail Newport J/22’s out of the Sail Newport facility at
Fort Adams. -- Complete details:

In recognition of performance and dedication to the Brand, LaserPerformance
has awarded a small group of dealers “Platinum” status. These dealers offer
a full line of LaserPerformance products and top-notch customer service. To
find the Platinum dealer closest to you check out the dealer locator at The Platinum dealers are the ones with the
Platinum stars!

By his own admission, Vancouverite Mike Leigh wasn't much of a sailor when
he first started out. Of course, he was only seven years old at the time.
Now, some 16 years later, Leigh not only has qualified to represent Canada
in the Laser class at the 2008 Olympic sailing competition at Qingdao on the
Yellow Sea, but he's put himself right into contender status for the medal
podium. Representing Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Leigh won the Sydney
(Australia) International Regatta last December. He was second in the 2008
Australian nationals over December-January, and in April he won the Semaine
Olympique Francais, a prestigious ISAF Grade 1 event at Hyeres, France.

"I think my results have been great this year," said Leigh, now ranked fifth
in the world. "I've been really pleased. At the major competitions last year
I struggled, but I learned so much. I think I'm reaping the rewards this
year. "I think I've got a shot [at a medal], but the Laser is such a
difficult class. There are six guys with a very good shot, but there's the
potential for 12 guys to win a medal and it wouldn't be a big surprise if
any of them won." The RVYC will send four sailors off to China. Besides
Leigh, Ben Remocker is in 49er and Nikola Girke and Zac Plavsic made it in
RS:X boardsailing. -- Read on:

Fourteen TP52 teams are expected this week for the City of Marseille Trophy,
the second leg of the Audi MedCup Circuit, with racing to commence on
Tuesday. No team in the world of professional sailing has more on at the
moment than the BMW Oracle Racing Team. Catamaran training and developing
for the Deed of Gift 33rd America's Cup Cup Challenge may be the top
priority, but the sailing team have been competing actively on the RC 44
Circuit as well as preparing their brand new Reichel/Pugh-designed TP52,
USA-17, a sistership to Artemis.

The new boat was not ready for the Alicante (ESP) leg of the Audi MedCup
Circuit two weeks ago, so rather than rush and compromise finishing the
boat, the team have consolidated and the boat was launched for the first
time, in Valencia, just ten days ago. The sailing team have managed just two
or three days tuning and testing before the majority headed to Austria to
compete in an RC44 event last week. USA-17 arrived was delivered to
Marseille on Saturday and the team will arrive late on Sunday, the day
before the practice race on June 2nd. -- Read on:

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

Special thanks to Morris Yachts, Acura presents Ullman Sails Long Beach Race
Week, and LaserPerformance.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at