Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2609 - June 3, 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.

by David Schmidt, SAIL
If you've ever been caught out Laser sailing in a serious squall, you have a
taste of what it's like to be completely self-sufficient in an
over-canvassed boat, with the safety net of land feeling like an
untrustworthy mirage. Now imagine that you're alone in the middle of the
North Atlantic, with land nothing more than a week-old memory, on a wildly
powerful IMOCA Open 60. Now you're starting to get a feel for the life of
Loick Peyron, the only man to have won an historic three Transat races.

I caught up with Loick in Boston Harbor, a few days after his trifecta, and
joined him for an afternoon of sailing aboard Gitana Eighty, the
Farr-designed steed of which Peyron is the skipper. The winds were blowing a
moderate 12-15 knots out of the northeast, and the seas were flat. Still,
Boston Harbor and the fairway leading out to the open waters beyond the
Boston Harbor Islands are hectic. Lobster pots punctuate the otherwise
watery canvas, and commercial vessels-many of them in the supertanker
category-regularly transit this working waterfront. And that's not to speak
of the myriad pleasure boats, ferries, and sailboats that also occupy these
waters. So, while these conditions were mere child's play for a man tough
enough to win three Transats, they had their own challenges. An Open 60 is
designed to make tracks over wide-open expanses. It is hardly suited to
close-quarters piloting. -- Read on:

Porto Cervo, Italy (June 2,2008) - There was no racing today for the
114-boat fleet at the Volvo Melges 24 World Championship hosted by the Yacht
Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo. The second day of the championship
dawned with overcast skies, rain showers and extremely light winds, so
initially the race committee announced a one-hour postponement to see how
the weather would develop. The fleet was sent out with hopes of a 12:30
start, but after over three hours waiting in the hot sun, the fleet was sent
in to wait for further signals ashore. However, shortly after 1500 it was
clear that the situation wasn't going to improve, and racing was called for
the day. With only two races completed, the qualifying series continues
Gianni Catalogna's ITA727 Pilot Italia continues as the regatta leader with
an 2-1 score-line from Sunday, with the qualifying series continuing Tuesday
with three races anticipated. The 12-race series runs until Friday and a
minimum of five races is required to complete the series.

There are five teams representing the U.S.A. at the Worlds: the Wisconsin
team of skipper Brian Porter, sailing with his brother John Porter (both
Lake Geneva), and Harry Melges and Andy Burdick (both Zenda) on Full
Throttle; the all-California team led by skipper Bruce Ayres with Jon
Pinckney (both Newport Beach), Don Smith (Long Beach) and James Malm (Laguna
Niguel) on Monsoon; skipper Alex Shafer (Clermont, Fla.) with Martin Kullman
(Tampa, Fla.), Leonora Ross (Nashville, Tenn.) and Bill Wiggins (York, S.C.)
on Sweaty Betty; Doug Clark (Mystic, Conn.) at the helm of Gazoo with
Geoffrey Pierini (Bernardsville, N.J.), Scott Norris (Portsmouth, R.I.) and
Anthony Kotoun (Newport, R.I.); and Simon Strauss (New York, N.Y.) with
brother Quentin Strauss (GBR), James Hill (GBR) and Bill Hardesty (San
Diego, Calif.) aboard Team Sevenstar SLAM. --

Doyle sails powered Tom Londrigan Jr. and Steve Cutting to win the 55th
Annual Tulip Time Tuneup Regatta held at the Gull Lake Yacht Club. Tom and
Steve dominated the fleet of 26 Stars with finishes of 1-2-1-2-1. Doyle
sails are fast and easy to trim over a wide range of conditions. For more
information on how Doyle can power your boat to victory, contact your local
Doyle loft, 800-94-DOYLE,

Newport, RI (June 2, 2008) - The top 18 college sailing teams in the nation
have begun the contest they hope will end with their win of the most coveted
title of the year - the ICSA/Gill National Championship. From June 2-4,
Narragansett Bay will be the stage for this grand finale of the college
sailing year after an exciting lead in over the past week that saw Boston
College win back-to-back college national championships at the ICSA Women's
National Championship and the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship.

Only two races were completed for the first day of this championship due to
fluky and light breeze, with Harvard University currently leading with both
A and B division teams finishing the day in third place. Georgetown
University is second thanks to a 1-2 scoreline by freshman B Division
skipper Charlie Buckingham and Alex Tayler ('10), with College of Charleston
in third, powered by senior Chris Lash and Britney Haas ('09) leading A
division. Racing continues through Wednesday, June 4.

Daily report:

Friends for more than 15 years, Americans Charlie Ogletree and John Lovell
have been to three Olympic regattas in the Tornado, bringing home the silver
medal from Athens in 2004. With the Tornado voted off the roster for 2012,
this will likely be the pair's last Olympic regatta. Here is an excerpt of
an interview with Ogletree about his sailing career, the Tornado and what
the pair expects from Qingdao:

* How does your friendship influence your abilities as a team? Do you think
you have an advantage because of it?
OGLETREE: It's a big advantage. We've seen everything. We've screwed up
everything you can screw up. We used to get mad and yell at each other. But
now we're calmer and we know how to deal with adversity. It's like in golf
you have 18 holes and if Tiger screws up one hole he knows how to move on.
In sailing you have ten or 11 races. If you sail one bad race you can forget
about it and move on.

* Will the regatta in Qingdao be bittersweet?
OGLETREE: It will be bittersweet. It's time for the end in a lot of ways.
The Tornado is not in the next Olympics so it forces our retirement. But
we've said this was going to be our last Olympic campaign for a while.
Johnny has a three-and-a-half year old and I had pretty much decided to stop
after this. In a way it makes it easier, but it's also tough because I love
the boat. All is not lost though; there is a meeting in May to try to get it
back for 2012. -- Complete interview:

The 3,571-nautical mile race from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti has been
run intermittently a dozen times from 1925 to 1994. There had been a 16 year
gap before the last race, and now 14 years have transpired prior to this
year's event, scheduled to start on June 22. Despite getting 78 starters in
last year's 2,225-nautical mile LA to Honolulu Transpac Race, only five have
signed up for the latest rendition of this Polynesian adventure.

Low turnouts for the Tahiti race are typical, which has averaged not quite 6
entrants from its beginning, and only once reached double digits (14
entrants in 1970). However, five boats would seem to be the bare minimum for
an event. Four boat events aren't races, they are deliveries. Sadly, the
2008 rendition may be on the verge of falling into the "delivery status", as
Bill Boyd, owner-skipper of the Santa Cruz 50 Mighty Tongaroa, is seeking to
add final crew members. For those that are interested, can get away for
nearly 3 weeks, and have a checkbook to help share the costs, contact Boyd
at 808.230.5551. -- Scuttleblog,

As these two racing yachts square off during the next Newport to Bermuda
Race, the one thing they will have in common is their custom designed team
shorts from CAMET. From Rambler's custom colored shorts to SPEEDBOAT'S hand
tailored design, CAMET design and manufacturing stepped up to deliver
innovative designs for these innovative yachts. To get your team onboard,
give us a call or checkout for all your team

Over one week ago, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland was among
the final events the Olympic fleet would compete in before they focus on
their final training for the Qingdao games. In 2009, the Medemblik event
will be among the seven events that form the inaugural ISAF World Cup
Circuit. Journalist Lynn Fitzpatrick was onsite to report on the Olympic
event, and provides some insight into the facility that hosted the 566

"Situated approximately 40 kilometers north of Amsterdam, the Medemblik
Regatta Center has just about everything going for it. Medemblik is an old
community by any standard (founded in the 10th century and established as a
village in 1289). Medemblik is a small community (7,600 population). It has
lots of tightly packed, well-maintained two story homes; church steeples
dotting the skyline; and a main street with outdoor cafes, bars, bakeries, a
grocery store and a castle protecting the main harbor entrance." -- Read on:

* Bladerider International, a leading manufacturer of International Moth
Class boats, has announced the forthcoming launch of its new model, the
Bladerider FX. In an effort to produce a more affordable option to their
World Championship all-carbon X8 model, the FX has a fiberglass hull and
simplified rack system to drop the price point down, though raising the
weight to approximately 40kg as opposed to 32kg on the X8. Early tests show
the FX lifting out of the water in approximately 6-7 knots of wind (as
opposed to 5-6 knots on the X8), and showing similar speeds to the X8 once
foiling. -- Complete details:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has announced the ratification of a
new 60ft Monohull 24 Hour World Record set by Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape
onboard the Open 60 Hugo Boss on December 6-7, 2007. Sailing a distance of
501.3 nm at an average speed of 20.9 kts, this record was established during
the Barcelona Double handed World Race 2007, but had only recently sought
ratification. The previous record was set by Alex Thompson in 2003. --

* All ten of the 68-foot yachts of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht
Race are now in Lower Manhattan's North Cove Marina, arriving overnight Sunday
at the end of their latest leg from Jamaica. The fleet will now be preparing
for the next leg of the race to Nova Scotia that will begin on Wednesday June 4,
where after they will pass through Cork en route to their final finish line in
Liverpool, England. --

* Of the fourteen TP52's competing for the City of Marseille Trophy at the
second stop on the Med Cup Circuit, which begins on Tuesday, two of the
boats are lead by BMW ORACLE Racing crew. Among those on the team's brand
new boat will be team owner Larry Ellison at the helm with team skipper
Russell Coutts (tactics), James Spithill (strategist), and Michele Ivaldi
(navigator). Another ten BMW ORACLE Racing team members will join Torbjorn
Tornqvist on board the TP 52 Artemis, led by John Kostecki will calling
tactics. Complete crew list here:

* The Farr designed 100-foot super maxi ICAP Leopard, owned by Mike Slade,
is currently on course to break a transatlantic speed record currently held
by the 246-foot luxury yacht Phocea of 8d 3h 29m that was set in July 1988.
This record is a special sub-category for vessels that utilize powered
sailing systems. ICAP Leopard is expected to finish overnight on Tuesday,
June 3rd, and must complete the 2,925 nautical mile crossing by 04:30 BST on
Wednesday, June 4th in order to break the current record. The outright
monohull record is held by the 140-foot "MariCha IV"of 6d 17h 52m 39s set in
October 2003. --

* Henri Lloyd, specialist marine clothing brand has announced their support
as the Official Technical Clothing Partner of TEAMORIGIN's Extreme 40
programme and Match Racing Team for 2008. TEAMORIGIN's Extreme 40 team will
be competing in the 2008 iShares Extreme 40 Catamaran Circuit skippered by
Robert Greenhalgh, while Ben Ainslie and his team will fly TEAMORIGIN's
colours at three World Match Racing events this year - in Marstrand at the
Swedish Match Cup (30th June - 6th July), in Hamilton at the Bermuda Gold
Cup (7th October - 12th October) and in Malaysia at the Monsoon Cup (9th
December - 14th December).

* Hamilton Bermuda -- To facilitate entry of foreign yachts wishing to
compete in the June 27th Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta, the
club has established a Crew Pool system on its Anniversary Regatta web site.
Skippers who are looking for sailors to fill out their crew after arriving
on the Newport Bermuda Race and Bermuda sailors or crew aboard arriving
boats that are not competing are urged to put their names on the list to
find a match. - Details:

Summer is here and to celebrate the Onne van der Wal Gallery is offering 10%
off everything in the gallery. Our Memorial/ Father's Day sale includes
purchases in the gallery and also on our website! We have new photos added
to our Limited Edition Collection from Onne's adventures in Thailand. Visit
the online gallery:

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 Mark Porter: (re, comments in #2604) I find it unbelievable when Dean
Brenner states no money comes from US SAILING to support the Olympic Team
and its activities. The staff at US SAILING plans and executes all the
activities of the Team. Dean's budget does not include the charges for staff
time. Truth and Trust - ho hum.

* From Peter Huston: (edited to the 250-word limit) Having been involved
with USYRU/US Sailing for a decade, and sitting on a variety of committees,
I became highly disenchanted with the organization when it shifted focus
away from yacht racing to becoming the waterfront nanny organization it is
today. While being an increasingly vocal critic of US Sailing, I reasoned
that I needed to take away the potential for the organization to be critical
of me for complaining without being a member. So, I rejoined yesterday,
which was an interesting process in and of itself given the way their
website is set up.

But you know what I found utterly ironic? We all know that one way or
another US Sailing led the way for the elimination of the multihull from the
Olympics. Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner even bragged about
his rationale for wanting to get rid of mulithull's, saying we don't have
any clear medal talent in the class. But when I finally figured out the
process to rejoin, you know what sort of grayscale image appears on the
"membership card" in the "store - a picture of a mutilhull. Go figure,
multihulls were a good enough image to help promote the sport on the US
Sailing membership card, but multihulls aren't good enough for US Sailing to
support as part of the Olympics. Here's the link to that image....

And to think that the notion of mandatory membership led to me becoming a
member again. Perhaps President Capron should have been careful what he
wished for!

* From John Walton, San Diego, CA: In Scuttlebutt 2608 the Star Class
competitor indicated, "We put 16 variations in the computer of hull shapes.
We found one in 8 knots or less of wind that seemed superior than our
current boat and the one most competitors will sail". The clear result of
that degree of variability in the design specifications for the Star is the
requirement for access to extremely sophisticated technology and substantial
expense to be competing on a level pitch. Both the level of sophistication
and the funding will restrict the breadth of competition further diminishing
the willingness of the IOC to support sailing. Further, since those
requirements are diametrically opposed to the proffered guidelines of the
ISAF used to select Olympic equipment, it is amazing that the Soling and
Match Racing have disappeared from Olympic sailing.

* From Jackson Phillips: In 'Butt 2608 you carried a story about John Dane
and Austin Sperry running 16 Star boat hull variations and came up with one
that tested 'unbeatable' for conditions expected at the Olympics in China.
Does this mean that a future Star championship events, in addition to
several masts, a plethora of sails, the top teams will also bring three or
four hulls -- each one designed for a specific wind strength or for varying
sea conditions? You gotta love "one-design" racing.

* From Michael Rosenauer: Anybody who thinks that large cats in the
America's cup will be dull or boring should look at the video of Alinghi's
capsize, not so much for the unfortunate turn of events, but for how the
other boats handle the carnage in front of them, sheet out and take off. --

The most endangered species.........Dedicated Leaders.

Special thanks to Doyle Sails, Camet International, and Onne van der Wal

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at