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SCUTTLEBUTT 2618 - Monday, June 16, 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 Texas A&M University-Galveston sailboat that capsized last week when its
keel fell off had been drydocked for keel repairs in 2007 after running
aground. The vessel, christened Cynthia Woods, lost its keel on the night of
June 6 not long after the start of a race from Galveston to Veracruz,
Mexico. The crew was thrown into the water, and one of them, safety officer
Roger Stone, drowned while getting two student sailors to safety. The five
survivors floated in the Gulf of Mexico for 26 hours before being rescued by
the Coast Guard.

Though Texas A&M's investigation into the incident is in its early stages,
those familiar with the vessel's design, construction and repair history are
offering their opinions on what may have gone wrong. Here are some excerpts:

* It could be related to an earlier grounding that required the keel to be
pulled off, with bolts that had come loose to be tightened at Galveston
Yacht Service. Company owner Herschel Payne said the keel was reattached
properly but that he did not particularly care for the bolt arrangement or
the interior supporting structure of the 38-foot racing boat.

* Peter Ross, the man who built much of the prototype for the Cynthia Woods,
said that several years ago he warned the company that produced it about a
poor keel design that could result in catastrophic failure. Ross, a custom
boat builder living in Rhode Island, said he thought the keel was too big
and heavy for its "footprint" and had doubts about the methods used to
ensure the rigidity of the structure.

* The president of Cape Fear Yacht Works, Kent Mitchell, said the boat
should have lasted 20 years with no major problems. Mitchell said he
discarded Ross’ concerns as he did not have the engineering expertise to
know what he was talking about and was not even referring specifically to
the Cynthia Woods. Naval architect Bruce Marek, who was responsible for the
final design, stands by the keel that was chosen and the process used to
secure it to the hull. -- Houston Chronicle, full story:

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has applied for
international class status inside the International Sailing Federation
(ISAF). This application is supported by several ISAF Member National
Associations and ISAF classes. For the time being, kiteboarding events are
organized by two rivaling tour operators, the KPWT and the PKRA. With the
adoption of submission 55-07 during the ISAF midyear meeting, the way is now
open to implement kiteboarding under the world wide accepted umbrella of the
International Sailing Federation.

"We worked hard with the people at ISAF to change the Racing Rules of
Sailing, to allow kiteboarding become member of the world wide sailing
family" states IKA Executive Secretary Markus Schwendtner. "The goal of the
International Kiteboarding Association is not to compromise the existing
event organizers, but with two rivaling companies organizing world
championships the proper development of the sport is simply not guaranteed,
and no one is taking the sport as serious as it should be. We have to avoid
a structure as in boxing, with several self-proclaimed world champions and
their organizations. We will work with all interested parties to include
their events in a unified world ranking and help to bring kiteboarding to
the next level,” Schwendtner continues. -- Read on:

If you are not a regatta where they are selling the Mount Gay Rum gear, you
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sponsored regattas (look for the Mount Gay Rum gear on sale at these
regattas) at

Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea (June 15, 2008) In a fabulous
display of match race talent played in front of tens of thousands of
spectators at the Korea International Boat Show and live TV beamed to 90
countries, Sebastian Col (FRA) and his K Challenge/French Match Racing Team
of Gilles Favennec, Christophe Andre, Erwan Israel, and Christian Scherrer
has won the inaugural Korea Match Race Cup. In a first-to-three point Final
sailed in shifty, puffy conditions, Col defeated Ian Williams (GBR) and Team
Pindar in four tough matches filled at times with collisions, penalties, and
numerous lead changes from pre-start to finish.

For their efforts, Col and his team claimed the top prize of 75,000,000
Korean Won (US$75,000) in a total purse of 300,000,000 Korean Won
(US$300,000), the largest awarded to date in any event on the World Match
Racing Tour. “This is a fantastic event,” said the normally quiet but now
beaming Col, “because it strikes just the right balance of being close to
shore where all these people can see match racing, but also have the right
winds to have good sailing.” Of their battle in the Finals, the reigning
World Champion Williams said “Seb just seemed to have a little more pace
than us today. I don’t know if was technique or that he just had more
breeze, but he and his guys just seemed to sail around us. They did a great

Col’s path to the Finals included an 8-3 record in the Round Robin, a 2-1
win over Torvar Mirsky (AUS) in the Quarter Finals, and a 3-1 win in the
Semi Finals versus Jesper Radich (DEN). Williams’ path to the Finals
included a 7-4 record in the Round Robin, a 2-0 win over Paolo Cian (ITA) in
the Quarter Finals, and a 3-2 win in the Semi Finals versus Adam Minoprio
(NZL). This was the third event in the nine match tour, with racers heading
next to the Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand, Sweden on Jun 30-Jul 6, 2008.
Full report:
Complete results:
Tour leaderboard:

Hyères, France (June 15, 2008) After three days of racing for the 11 Extreme
40’s in the second event of the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series, it
was all to play for going into the final double-point race between America’s
Cup contenders, Alinghi and TEAMORIGIN. The British TEAMORIGIN, skippered by
reigning iShares Cup champion Rob Greenhalgh, started the day best with two
wins in gusty 20-knot conditions that saw several boats narrowly avoiding a
capsize. But as the wind eased over the afternoon it was America’s Cup
winner Ed Baird on Alinghi who came to the fore, taking three wins in a row.

The 18th and last race of the event set the scene for a spectacular finale.
TEAMORIGIN pulled away to lead the fleet all the way round, with Alinghi
buried deep in the pack. The Swiss needed to rally to seventh or better to
earn the title, and a steady charge to fourth in the race secured the
overall event for the Alinghi team. In the overall series points TEAMORIGIN
lead Alinghi, with Shirley Robertson’s JPMorgan Asset Management - winners
of the first event in the series at Lugano – in third. The next event on the
2008 iShares Cup Sailing Series takes place at Skandia Cowes Week from
August 2-4. -- Full report:

* From Kimball Livingston, SAIL: “Wondering how much air time NBC plans for
sailing coverage during the Olympics in China? Wonder no more. Sailing is
one of 22 events going large—webcast online at—and shrinking
at NBC broadcast television. I dialed Annapolis to talk to Mr. TV Facetime,
Gary Jobson, who will be commentating. ‘It's a tradeoff,’ he pre-comments.
‘There will be no sailing coverage on television except for special moments
[a gold medal? a pantsing?] but sailing is one of 22 sports for which the
entire daily feed will be available online as a download. That could be 90
minutes worth of sailing. Just go to It's an experiment,
but I'm liking it.’" -- Read on:

* Riva del Garda, Italy (June 14, 2008) - After a dominant first day at the
2008 ISAF Grade C1 470 Europeans on Lake Garda, Americans Amanda Clark and
Sarah Mergenthaler slowly lost their control of the 33 boat field, finally
landing in fifth overall. Sylvia Vogl/ Carolina Flatscher (AUT) were the
eventual winners, with Nathan Wilmot/ Malcolm Page (AUS) being low score in
the 86-boat Men’s Division. -- Results:

Sally Barkow, the skipper of the U.S. Olympic Yngling team, will be steering
her boat with a Forespar carbon fiber “Big Stick” this summer in China. In
her words, “The Big Stick is incredibly light and stiff, it provides a great
feel in light air and doesn’t flex in a breeze.” Buy a Big Stick (7/8” dia)
or bigger brother Giant Stick (1 1/4” dia) from APS
( at a great price and
get a Free Forespar racing decal with all the flags and signals. The decal
is a perfect to have onboard as an easy reference for racing. For more
Forespar products:

* A safety alert and recall inspection notice has been issued for the
Switlik life raft by manufacturer Switlik Parachute Co. due to a potential
problem with the inflation system. Switlik has had reports recently of
Switlik life raft S-2630 inflation valves failing to operate properly and
discharge the gas from the CO2 cylinder into the life raft during
performance of annual service and standard 5-year operational and inflation
testing. Switlik is implementing a corrective action that mandates
replacement of the S-2630 inflation valves currently in service. -- Full

* Newport, R.I. (June 15, 2008) -- A total of 110 boats competed this
weekend in New York Yacht Club's 154th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex,
participating in seven IRC classes, J/105, Farr 40, and three 12-Metre
divisions. Dan Meyers' Judel-Vrolijk 66 Numbers took IRC Class 1, where most
of the attention focused, while Kevin Grainger won the J/105 class with his
Gumption3. The Great Corinthian Trophy, awarded to the yacht club team with
the best score, went to Annapolis Yacht Club with team members Rush, Flying
Jenny VI and Tsunami.
Full report:
Complete results:

* Chicago, Ill. (June 15, 2008) Among the 267 boats within the 15 various
fleets competing this weekend at the 20th annual Sperry Top-Sider National
Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in Chicago were standouts Robert & Dr.
Cornelia Zerban of Kenosha, Wis. The Zerbans and their boat Zeitgeist paced
the J/ 109 boat class on all three days and finished with a final score of
18-points. As a result of their outstanding performance this weekend, Robert
and Dr. Cornelia were named the overall winners of the 2008 Chicago NOOD
regatta. -- Complete report with results:

* Cannigione, Sardinia - At the 2008 J/24 World Championship, Friday the
13th was a lucky day for Andrea Casale (ITA), back on the water after a
collision repair, and leading the standings following the redress hearing.
When the day started with Mistral winds at 28 mph building to 40 mph, racing
was cancelled to close the regatta with Casale winning, Milev Rossi (CAN) in
second and Ian Southworth (GBR) in third. Defending World champion Mauricio
Santa Cruz finished fifth with top North American Mark Hillman in sixth. --
Yachts and Yachting, full report and results:

* Los Angeles, CA - American Zac Sunderland quest to be the youngest sailor
to attempt a solo global circumnavigation began June 14th with his departure
at 1:00pm from Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey. The 16 year-old
homeschooled A student from Thousand Oaks, California is sailing an Islander
36, with his first landing scheduled to be in 4.5 weeks at the Marshall
Islands in Micronesia. --

* In the legal case between New Zealand and Swiss America’s Cup teams, New
York Justice William Pauley has agreed to an Alinghi motion to hold a
pre-motion conference and initial pre-trial conference for June 20th at
11.00am in New York. The case has two fronts - firstly that of an anti-trust
suit and secondly that Alinghi/SNG/Ernesto Bertarelli had breached a
pre-entry agreement between themselves and Emirates Team New Zealand,
wherein Emirates Team New Zealand's CEO Grant Dalton claims that running a
multi-challenger event in 2009 was a pre-condition of their entry. -- Sail
World, full story:

* Darien, CT (June 13, 2008) After 10 races over three days at the US 2.4
Meter Championship, American Mark LeBlanc edged out John Ruf (the US
Paralympic representative) to win the 2008 event hosted by Noroton Yacht
Club. Both sailors finished with 21 low points and three first place
finishes, but Mark had more second places to win the tie breaker. The first
four places were taken by disabled sailors, with Canada's Bruce Millar in
third and Canada's Paralympic representative Paul Tingley in fourth. --

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

* After Alinghi’s spectacular capsize in the first Extreme 40 iShares Cup
event, this weekend in Hyères, France it was the Randy Smyth skippered Tommy
Hilfiger (pitchpole) and TEAMORIGIN (capsize) that gave the shooters some
memorable moments. Here are some event photos:

* In its debut this weekend at the New York YC Annual Regatta in Newport,
RI, the 99-foot Juan Kouyoumdjian designed super maxi Speedboat was "fresh
out of the box" having been shipped upon completion of her build in New
Zealand. Photographer Dan Nerney gives us an early look at this modern

* (June 14, 2008) Marco Paolucci's Comet 45, Tartaruga, was confirmed as
winner of the Giraglia 56th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, the 243-mile
race starting from St Tropez via the Giraglia Rock at the northern tip of
Corsica to the finish in the Italian port of Genoa. Additionally, Neville
Crichton’s owerful 100-foot Super-maxi Alfa Romeo took line honours with a
new record time of 18 hours, 3 minutes, 15 seconds. View the masterful
images submitted to Scuttlebutt by photographer Carlo Borlenghi at

The Stratos Keel is a fantastic, race inspired day-sailor with the stability
and simplicity of a lifting keel. Just over 16’ and with 7’ of beam, it has
plenty of room without sacrificing performance. A sail plan of 320sq ft and
dolly come standard! --

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 Ted Cremer, US Laser Class, District 8 Secretary: (re, story in
#2617) I am reading Mike Leigh's comments as it relates to Laser preparation
and sail selection and am mystified that in a one design class, that sails
created by the same manufacturer could have such differing cuts that a
sailor's speed could be impacted. It is my hope that the manufacturer, I am
assuming it is North Sails in his case, would respect the free research and
design that Mike has generously offered and step up on their quality
control. I will be competing in a Laser District event this Saturday and am
praying that the new sail I just spent $530 on doesn't have some obvious
flaw that will take me the weekend to work through. Most of my peers that I
race with do not have the luxury of buying multiple sails, and I am hoping
that the sport of Laser sailing hasn't evolved to a scenario similar to that
of having to pick through lumber at your local Home Depot in the hopes of
finding a couple of straight ones.

* From Peter Strong, Director, US Sailing Center of Martin County, Jensen
Beach, FL: (re, Fred deNapoli, Groveland, MA letter in #2617) Fred is right
on the $ here. We want our sport to grow, but we don't want to allow
sponsorship, especially at a junior level. In order for the sport to grow we
need more things that lower the barriers to entry. Look at a sport like
surfing where kids start to get sponsored at an early age and are given help
to travel to surf and compete in contests. More interest in the sport from
newcomers and better success for gear and equipment suppliers. Obviously
surfing is not a perfect correlation to sailing but when kids wear gear they
got for free at school and their friends see it, then they think about it

When parents start to hear that if their kids get good at sailing they might
get help to send them to regattas, maybe they think twice before they say
this sport is too expensive for me. When parents find out that their kid
that is good at soccer and sailing but can't get a college scholarship for
sailing, what do you think they choose for their kid? I know from working at
a community sailing center that also has a strong Opti program, that when we
use money we raise to help people that can't afford it go to regattas, they
start to commit. We should start to think of new ways to bring people in,
not always sticking to ways of thinking that have us wondering why people
don't come out.

* From Joe Hummel Chicago, IL: I'm a member of US SAILING and an avid sailor
on Lake Michigan. But I've recently lost faith in US SAILING as an
organization, and seriously challenge the idea of mandatory membership when
US SAILING cannot provide basic services to its existing members. I'm
entered in this year's Chicago Mac race, and have been waiting since April
for the required ORR certificate. I have one week before my filing extension
expires with the race committee, and even with daily phone calls, I continue
to get no response from US SAILING. They claim they are waiting for data
from the manufacturer, but enough is enough. I'm trapped by the very
organization that requires me to be a member! We should follow a model that
rewards the organization which earns the right, not the organization that
claims it.

* From Hugh Elliot, Alexandria, VA: I was Chair of US SAILING's
Communications Committee from 2001-2002, and worked very hard to sell the
organization on two propositions. The first proposition is that membership
organizations write to their members and that the writing cannot consist
solely of the statement "SEND MONEY." The second proposition was that the
web works really well for breaking news (supplemented by e-mail) and static
information but does not work well for feature articles. For that you need a
magazine or newsletter. Reading e-mail in the bathroom doesn't work either!

We managed to get a newsletter (supposedly quarterly) approved and it
actually happened - for a while. It had some excellent and interesting
articles. It lasted a few years and was squeezed out for budgetary reasons
(i.e. not a revenue generator) although the value received in terms of good
will was large compared to the cost of around $10,000 per issue.

Had US SAILING continued a quarterly, or better developed a monthly, written
publication - and the bare bones Annual Report really doesn't count - I am
sure that the level of good will towards the organization would be
significantly greater and the resistance to mandatory membership from
existing members much less. If you don't act as if you care about your
customers, you should not be surprised if they respond in kind. This is
Marketing 101.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Regarding the US SAILING Mandatory Membership
proposal, I have not seen the latest concept, though it is rumored to have
been revised from the recently publicized version. If there still remains a
plan that will require a tier of American sailors to financially support
their national authority, I do understand that it will be presented to the
US SAILING Board of Directors on Monday where it may be put to a vote.

I know there are avid Scuttlebutt readers among the members of the Board,
and I would like to thank all the ‘buttheads that have written in on this
thread, and have personally contributed their position on this topic. As is
typical, we received far more letters than we could print, but each letter
received has helped to formulate the opinion of the Scuttlebutt Community
that we here represent and advocate for. Thanks again!

“An error doesn't have to become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”
- John F. Kennedy

Special thanks to Mount Gay Rum gear, Forespar, and LaserPerformance.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at