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SCUTTLEBUTT 2617 - Friday, June 13, 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.

Canadian Laser sailor Mike Leigh, ranked 5th in the world, provides insight
from the ISAF Grade 1 Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland last month:

“I think one of the big takeaways from this event was equipment preparation.
At top level laser racing, sails really only last one major grade 1 event,
and then get demoted to training or use at smaller regattas. Therefore, I
normally go through between 5-7 sails a year. Typically, I buy all my sails
for the season at one time, so that I can put them all up and compare
shapes, note imperfections, and then rank them-saving the best ones for the
most important regattas. However, for the Holland Regatta, I didnt have time
to look at the latest batch of sails. Unfortunately, I had grabbed a sail
with a really tight leech, and my speed suffered. It took me most of the
first day to figure out the problem, and after that, I figured out how much
I needed to free the sheet to bring back my normal groove.

“Now I am not blaming my gear for my lack of speed. Instead, I am blaming my
lack of preparation, as this was well within my control, and presents an
interesting scenario for the games where the lasers are receiving supplied
equipment. In China (at the 2008 Olympics), it will be of the utmost
importance to identify the differences between our normal gear, and the
supplied gear. In particular, the stiffness of the mast, mast rake, and the
shape of the sail. Then we will need to take this information, and be able
to adapt our normal setup so that we are still getting the correct shapes
and feel to maximize our boatspeed. I know this problem has plagued almost
every top laser sailor I can think of at one stage or another, and whilst
adapting may not win the Olympics, not adapting could certainly lose it.” --

* Riva del Garda, Italy (June 12, 2008) - The 86 men and 33 women teams at
the 2008 ISAF Grade C1 470 Europeans on Lake Garda gripped with another day
of random lake-like conditions. Noted Americans Stu McNay and Graham Biehl,
“None of the coaches know what to do, which makes it even more challenging
for the sailors. We’ve found huge shifts to move in for no reason, and leave
just as fast, with huge pressure differences.” After four days of racing,
Americans Amanda Clark and Sarah Mergenthaler lost their lead position after
rolling a 5-31 and now sit in third overall. However, steadily moving up in
the ranks is Molly Carapiet/ Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (USA) who are now in
eighth position. Friday is the final day of fleet racing before the top ten
advance to the Medal Race on Saturday. -- Results:
McNay/Biehl website:

by Richard Spindler, Latitude 38
(June 12, 2008) In just the next chapter in the book on complete crap
justice in California, on Wednesday Judge Richard Martin ruled there was
enough evidence for 39-year-old Bismarck Dinius of Sacramento to stand trial
on charges of vehicular manslaughter in the April 29, 2006, boating accident
on Clear Lake, CA that resulted in the death of Lynn Thornton. In a world
where there was even a smidgen of justice, Judge Martin would have stopped
the four-day hearing during the first 10 minutes to excoriate the Lake
County District Attorney for charging the wrong man with the crime. For as
the outrage now stands, Deputy Sheriff Russell Perdock, who on that dark
night slammed his high-powered speedboat into the quarter of the sailboat
that Thornton was on at an admitted 40 to 45 mph - and perhaps as fast as 60
mph - hasn't been charged with anything! -- Read on:

Larchmont, NY - What happens when you mix over 100 Vanguard 15s, including
over two dozen former college All Americans with short course racing? No one
knows for certain, since the Vanguard 15 class has never had a regatta this
size before, let alone a national championship. But with 100 boats from 15
states already pre-registered to race at Larchmont YC on June 14-15 in the
Nautica Vanguard 15 National Championship, we will find out the answer soon

The event, expected to be one of, if not the largest one design national
championship in the United States in 2008 (excluding junior boats), will
have all competitors on a single starting line racing on the short courses
that have defined the Vanguard 15 class since its inception. The regatta has
attracted a larger crowd than in past years due to the growth of the class
on the East Coast and the convenient timing of the championship, which
avoids conflicts for college sailors and junior sailing coaches who make up
a large portion of the class, as well as team racers. Hosting the event at
Larchmont YC, home to the largest Vanguard 15 fleet in the country, helped
the cause as well. -- Full report:

At this year’s 185-mile Block Island Race, two grand prix behemoths were
challenged in the overall standings by a J/120. Her name was Rocket Science;
she came Third in Fleet, First in Class, with nary a pro aboard in a fleet
that topped 100 boats; the science was in her UK-Halsey sails. The IRC Class
1 winner, SirenSong, used the same science. Real Boats, Real Sails, Real
Fast. So, when someone says, “It aint rocket science,” don’t believe them:
more and more “rockets” are turning to UK-Halsey’s Tape-Drive and MatriX
string sails: rocket science that’s winning. 800-253-2002.

Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea (June 12, 2008) - After a day
spent trouncing many of their elder rivals, it appears that some relative
newcomers to the World Match Racing Tour are now well on their way to
securing berths in the next Quarter Final stage of the Korea Match Cup. Adam
Minoprio (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/Black Match Racing has
amassed eight points thus far in the Round Robin, second only on a tie-break
to Jesper Radich (DEN) and his Rudy Project Sailing Team, while Torvar
Mirsky (AUS) and his Mirsky Racing Team currently lie in third.

Radich secures his spot in the next round on his impressive 8-3 record, but
said this about the young talent he faces in this competition: “I know it
wasn’t too long ago that I was the ‘young guy’ in the field, but I know
that’s not true anymore, because I got my butt kicked by another young guy
today.” He was referring to Mirsky, who at 22 is indeed the youngest
competitor at this event, but has also this year been active at many others
on the Tour. Besides Radich, Mirsky dispensed today with two other past Tour
champions and recent America’s Cup veterans, Magnus Holmberg (SWE) of
Victory Challenge and Paolo Cian (ITA) of Team Shosholoza. -- Complete

Stage One round robin racing concludes tomorrow morning, followed by the
start of Stage Two in the Quarter Final knockout series. Scores after 16 (of
22) flights:
Jesper Radich (DEN) Rudy Project Sailing Team 8-3
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 7-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 5-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar 5-2
Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza 4-4
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 3-2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-2
Sébastien Col (FRA) K Challenge/French Match Racing Team 3-2
Wataru Sakamoto (JPN) Siesta Team 3-4
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 2-6
Peter Gilmour (AUS) Team PST 2-5
Seung Chul Lim (KOR) Korea Gyeonman Team 0-11

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The Mirsky Racing Team sent us an update on their
first two days at the event, which is now posted here on the Scuttlebutt

There has been a lot to complain about lately. The 33rd America’s Cup is in
the crapper and the Catamaran is out of the 2012 Olympics. Add the war in
Iraq, human rights concerns in China, a tough US economy, rising gas prices,
environmental issues… it makes for quite the Molotov cocktail. In this
climate, why the heck would US SAILING initiate the concept to require the
American sailor to join the national sailing authority?

We strongly suspect US SAILING did not anticipate the reaction of the
American sailor. Now they are in an awkward position of arguing with their
customers, trying to explain their value when they haven’t sufficiently
demonstrated it. Based on the recent Scuttlebutt poll and comments, there
are plenty of people that feel they should join US SAILING, but they feel
quite differently if it is required.

If you are highly vested in the sport, actively playing the game, supporting
US SAILING shouldn’t be a hard sell. However, US SAILING has done such a
total botch job in presenting the idea of required membership, and now finds
itself in a stand-off with the very people they need to be working with. The
Board of Directors will vote on the issue next week, and the burning
question will be in how well they listened to their customers. For them to
say, “Heh, we screwed up” would solve a lot of problems, and would likely
provide a pretty nice starting point for the American sailors to reunite and
move forward again… together. -- Scuttleblog,

* Cannigione, Sardinia (June 12, 2008) – Three races were reportedly held on
the fourth day of the J/24 World Championship, however, the online results
are incomplete with only one new race being posted showing Mark Hillman (USA
in the lead after six races. -- Results:

* (June 12, 2008) Salvage experts on Wednesday recovered and towed to shore
the 38-foot sailboat Cynthia Woods, which capsized Friday night, leading to
the death of one of the six people on board. Investigators with the U.S.
Coast Guard, assisted by experts brought in by Texas A&M University, will
begin inspecting the boat to determine why its keel separated shortly after
it set off on a race from Galveston to Veracruz, Mexico. The university
system has authorized its own inquiry into the deadly accident, to be headed
by Deputy Chancellor Jay Kimbrough. -- Houston Chronicle, read on:

* (June 12, 2008) Neville Crichton has smashed his own course record in the
Giraglia Race, after steering his 100-foot maxi Alfa Romeo across the finish
line at Genoa at 0803 hours this morning. This is the 56th edition of the
Giraglia Race, a 243-mile marathon starting from St Tropez via the Giraglia
Rock at the northern tip of Corsica to the finish in the Italian port of
Genoa. Crichton completed the 243-mile course in just over 18 hours, a
massive improvement on the record set by Crichton's previous Alfa Romeo, a
90-footer which set a time of just over 22 hours back in 2003. --

* This weekend more than 500 sailboats will be taking part in Europe's
largest lake regatta -- the Bol d'Or Mirabaud - on Lake Geneva, bordered by
Switzerland and France. Hosted by Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), among
the entrants will be the high-tech multihulls, including more than 100
Surprise sailboats, the Décision 35, the new Mirabaud LX on hydrofoils, and
the M2 class. --

* The UK's Formula Yacht Spars has been placed under voluntary
administration after failing to stem its losses on the UK market. The
company, which is based in Lymington, Hampshire, claims to be the largest
producer of performance carbon and aluminum yacht spars in the UK, supplying
its products to America's Cup and Volvo Open 60 vessels, as well as
superyachts. Formula's European operations in Montpellier, France and
Blokzijl in the Netherlands have been recovered out of the administration
and continue to trade as normal. -- IBI Magazine, complete report:

* (June 12, 2008) Sailing World's College Rankings has Boston College
finishing out the season atop both the Coed and Women's rankings as
determined by SW's coaches panel: Michael Callahan (Georgetown), Ken Legler
(Tufts), and Mike Segerblom (USC). --

* Ian Walker, skipper of the Green Team, has officially announced the
majority of the Green Team's squad for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. The
team along with 15 shore crew are already hard at work at Endeavour Quay,
Gosport preparing their new Volvo Open 70 for sea trials. Amongst the crew
are Ian Moore (IRL) Navigator; Damian Foxall (IRL) Watch Leader; Justin
Slattery (IRL) Bowman; and Tom Braidwood (AUS) Trimmer/Driver. -- Yachting
World, full report:

* Correction: The story in Issue 2616 titled GETTING READY FOR THE 2008
BERMUDA RACE by Tony Bessinger, Sailing World seemingly missed the fact
checker. Here are the corrections: the Reichel/Pugh 69 Bella Mente is owned
by Hap Fauth, the 99-foot Speedboat is owned by Alex Jackson and designed by
Juan Kouyoumdjian, Dan Meyers's 66-foot Numbers is designed by
Judel/Vrolijk, and George David's Rambler is a Reichel/Pugh 90-footer.

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Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include British Olympic Team gala, Alfa Romeo setting records in the Med,
Kiteboarders competing in San Francisco, routing to Tahiti, traditional
boating in the Canary Islands, and Raptor sailing in Wisconsin. If you have
images you would like to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here
are this week’s photos:

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 Chris Rast. US 2008 Olympic 49er representative: (re, letter and
story in #2615-2616) Tim Wadlow and I have had the honor and pleasure to
work with this very dedicated 49er Team for over a year now. The Peckolt
brothers (or "Peckis" as we call them) show an almost insane amount of work
ethic and always go that extra mile when necessary. Our partnership with
them has been very fruitful for both of our teams and has helped us close
the gap with the top teams. We have an extremely open relationship and share
(almost) all information. Yesterday Jan (the skipper) started an equipment
discussion with me on a subject that our team has done a lot of development
with two other teams in the past. In fairness to these two teams I had to
tell him that I was bound to an agreement not to disclose too much
information on this subject. My fear of having upset him with this statement
was totally unwarranted then his response was: "Oh Chris, thanks for talking
so frankly about this. This speaks only for you and I have complete respect
for that. But maybe I can tell you about some of my ideas?"

What a great guy. In my book, these two sailors have already won a

* From Steve Hatch: About being a member of US Sailing, in Australia the
prescription says that after any crew member has sailed three times they
must be members of a club and the national authority.

* From Derek Bouwer: I've been reading with interest the debate about
belonging to USSA, the reticence to belong to a national body seems to be a
worldwide phenomenon. In South Africa ,we have encountered the same problem
with people actually leaving sailing because they do not want to pay South
African Sailing (SAS) fee's. Having been actively involved in the executive
of my yacht club and actively involved in SAS, I find this reticence
strange. There are a few perceptions:
1. SAS is only for those sailors that race.
2. The National body does nothing for me.
3. Social yacht club member don't believe they should belong.

I can only speak from the South African point of view but without a National
body that belongs to ISAF as a sailor you would not be able to compete
internationally, hold regattas under the international RR, etc. The National
body engages the governmental structures in matters of safety at sea,
boating regulation, etc. My personal experience is that we would not have
finalised our rental agreement with the local Port Authority had we not been
affiliated to a National body which was affiliated to our Olympic Body. The
rental rate dropped by 80% because all of a sudden they recognised us as a
sport! This benefitted all the member of our club sailors, social, cruiser &
racers because they did not have to finance an exorbitant rental which would
have ultimately cost them more that the yearly subscription to SAS.

* From Barney Harris: I am against mandatory membership in US SAILING. That
said, I am, and have been, a member for decades. I'll bet that 75% of the
activity that goes on in that organization is not necessary for the sport of
sailing. For my annual dues I'd like to get a print magazine and a yearbook
- but these were phased out years ago. What are they spending the $ on now?
I have no idea.

Presently, US SAILING'S revenue is linked to the value they deliver to the
members in the most tangible way possible: if the members don't believe it’s
worth the money, they don't join / re join. US SAILING must listen and
answer the mail - or perish. I believe this is good for US SAILING, the
membership, and the sport. It's a check and balance that prevents US
SAILING'S activities from getting too far from the people and sport it was
created to serve.

I can also understand why US SAILING does NOT like this - their spending is
constrained by the needs and desires of members they serve - just like it
should be. If membership is made mandatory, then US SAILING will no longer
be compelled to serve its members. Don't believe me? I say the fact that USS
would resort to using their position as steward of the RRS as a means to
increase revenue is very telling – it’s bordering on corrupt.

* From Fred deNapoli, Groveland, MA: (re, letter in #2616) More
anti-professional competition whining? If anything there's not enough
sponsorships and professionalism. Sailing is one of the last holdouts where
vast personal wealth can be allocated to an event without a whisper, whereas
teams with sponsorships are looked upon with disdain. This makes no sense.
Young, talented sailors that don't happen to come from wealthy families have
but one hope, and one hope only, to break into the highest levels of the
sport....professional sponsorship. But there are some who feel it should
remain the playground of the landed gentry, exclusively. And fear the
heightened level of competition that sponsorship may bring. And they should,
because it will, and rightly so. Personally, I welcome the opportunity to
test my skills against the best in the world. And while I may get my fanny
kicked, my ego can take it, I'll likely learn something, and I'll be a
better sailor for it.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia: Derived from three Greek words = “Paraskevi” which
means Friday, “dekatria” which means Thirteen, and “phobia” which means

“Democracy is the eagle on the back of a dollar bill, with 13 arrows in one
claw, 13 leaves on a branch, 13 tail feathers, and 13 stars over its head --
this signifies that when the white man came to this country, it was bad luck
for the Indians, bad luck for the trees, bad luck for the wildlife, and
lights out for the American eagle.” - Johnny Carson

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