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SCUTTLEBUTT 2622 - Friday, June 20, 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.

Two countries in opposing hemispheres are now vying to be the first to break
the current world speed sailing record, and crack the holy grail of 50
knots, regarded as the equivalent to the aeronautical sound barrier. “No one
remembers the second man to walk on the moon,” says Sean Langman, the
creator and pilot of the radical purpose-built Australian 9m sail boat/sail
plane called Wot Rocket who is acutely aware of the “race against the French
to the 50”, and the possibility they could snatch his boyhood dream clean

Wot Rocket’s 500m world speed sailing record attempt was forced to shift
gears following the launch of the French flying trimaran l’Hydroptere on 22
May. “I want to go official now because the French have. Everything’s been
stamped urgent,” admits Langman.

He is currently awaiting advice from the World Sailing Speed Record Council
on whether a Trimble GPS receiver can officially record Wot Rocket’s speed.
This would negate the need to have an official timekeeper on the course each
time Wot Rocket heads out to attempt to beat French sail boarder Antoine
Albeau’s fastest time over 500m of 49.09 knots (90.9 kph), and break through
the magic 50 knot milestone. -- Read on:

* According to their website, last Saturday l’Hydroptere was clocked at 46.8

With the scheduled start of the 46th Newport Bermuda Race on Friday
afternoon, customs officers from Bermuda worked till late to pre-clear
thousands of sailors heading for Bermuda who have traditionally had to queue
in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to get clearance before being allowed to go
ashore for an overdue shower. Final entries have dwindled from 218 to 198
entries. One boat sank on delivery, another was t-boned on its mooring, one
had an electrical fire and other crews have dropped out for business or
personal reasons. Yet this is still the second largest fleet in the 102 year
history of the race.

Weather forecasters are predicting winds of about 10 knots from the
south-southwest for the start. The bigger, faster boats may experience some
light airs in the middle of their race and end hard on the wind. The breeze
is then expected to fill on Monday and Tuesday, putting the smaller boats on
a reach to give them a fast passage. The way the Gulf Stream is running,
there are no significant reasons this year to sail away from the rhumb line
(the direct route from Newport to Bermuda) in search of a southward push
toward Bermuda.
Race website:
Boat tracking:
Start commentary and video:

by Derby Anderson, US Olympic Team Media Relations
The members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams for Sailing have spent
years developing strong individual training methods, but in the last months
before the 2008 Qingdao Games, what can they do differently to ensure their
best performances? Depending on which sailor you ask, the answers vary. For
Zach Railey’s upcoming training camp, he plans to drop ten pounds and sail
his Finn so hard that he says, “Each day I plan to be totally exhausted.”
Debbie Capozzi explains that she and her Yngling team don’t plan to change
much as they treat all training the same. Graham Biehl says, “I have noticed
many of the other 470 teams beginning to go a little crazy. Individual teams
are doing things which may hurt them in the long run, and keeping it simple
is best. Above all I like to keep everything fun.”

Austin Sperry, the Star boat crew from Gulfport, MS, brings up a crucial
point about his attitude toward the training camps at the Yin Hai Yacht Club
(shown at right). “Last year when we were sailing in the test event my head
wasn’t really into it. I was focused on the big picture: our Olympic Trials
for Sailing.” He continues, “This year I will be a lot more comfortable,
more focused and get down to business. My expectations for this camp are
high. They should be.”

No matter how the sailors approach their training, the main goal here is to
peak at the right time to win Olympic medals in August. A term many sailors
don’t even have to consider, “peaking” is a nearly essential philosophy for
a quadrennium campaign. -- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The updates we receive from Austin Sperry are proof
that the Chinese sensors have not caught up with him…yet. Here is an excerpt
from a recent email: “Re-fueling our tenders is a process too. First, we
have to pre-pay for the gas; we have to guesstimate how many liters we might
need then pay for it. We wait about 30 minutes for a pallet jack to arrive
near the boat where there are about ten five gallon fuel tanks. This is how
we manually fuel our coach boats. Entertaining nonetheless. You know it's
gonna be a great day when you actually get more fuel in the gas tank than
you do all inside the tender and in turn all over the sails that are coming
out for the day.” -- Complete report:

3D chart prizes…unique across the world! Latitude Kinsale is proud to be
associated with the Boat International Superyacht Regatta. A selection of 3D
charts showing Porto Cervo, Bonifacio Strait, and the Maddelena Islands will
be presented as prizes at the upcoming Superyacht regatta July 22-26 with
over 30 entries. Whether as prizes or gifts, a 3D chart is unequalled. Each
piece is hand-made in Kinsale/Ireland to commission, any nautical chart,
anywhere in the world! Checkout the sample galleries on our website and let
us know what area you would like.

Gary Jobson/Sailing World magazine predict that the key ingredient for
success at the 2008 Olympics will be patience. Here are a couple comments:

One important factor that will be evident from the first gun is the
extremely tough competition in all 11 classes. Every sailor will have his or
her hands full in their quest for a medal. In Athens (2004 Olympics), 21
countries won at least one of the 33 medals awarded. And, in fact, several
perennially strong sailing nations—including New Zealand, Australia, Russia,
The Netherlands, and Germany—went home from Athens empty handed. You can be
sure these teams will be hungry to collect in China.

Another interesting fact from Athens was that 76 individual boats won at
least one of the 126 races held. In most classes, averaging a eighth was
good enough for a medal, so with the capricious winds and currents expected
to test every sailor's attitude throughout the Games, maintaining a low
average will be key. Patience will be paramount. -- Complete story:

The Dynamic Stability System (DSS) is the brainchild of Hugh Welbourn and
Gordon Kay. It is the result of over 5 years of research and development and
delivers revolutionary innovation to the world of sailing. The DSS increases
the stability of the yacht (and therefore the speed) without the risks
associated with canting keels. Instead of having a canting keel weighing
down the windward side of the boat, the DSS uses a retractable foil to
generate stability and progressive dynamic lift on the boat's leeward side.
The Dynamic Stability System can be used on both racing and cruising yachts
in a range of sizes.

* What inspired this unique concept?
WELBOURN: I had been thinking about how to make boats lighter and faster. In
effect I was looking at the canting keels and the benefits and downsides of
those systems that led me to reverse my thinking and make the obvious

However, there were many potential downsides, so the idea sat on the back
burner for a couple of years, but never really went away. Some other work I
was doing in the GBR America' Cup campaign made me rethink some aspects of
the idea. Then after the BOLS Super Maxi program, we began the R & D process
in earnest. -- Read on:

Sorting out the meal component when traveling to regattas is as much a part
of preparing for the event as is tuning the rig and training the crew. This
is a task that someone has to take care of, and it escalates quickly as the
size of boat increases, or the unfamiliarity of the event site (read:
foreign country). Simply finding restaurants that can handle the crew can be
a monumental event, and then adding in the cost, eating out for a week long
regatta like Block Island, Key West or a world championship can make
participating in the event prohibitive.

At the J/24 Worlds last week, one of the American teams sought support for
their food needs, and enlisted Private Chef Barbara Gold to join them for
the event. Said Gold, “It might sound extravagant, but it is actually one of
the smartest things a boat owner could institute in his/her program and they
will probably see better results overall.” While the crew was focused on the
event, Gold stayed shoreside to shop, prep, and serve the meals.

For those teams already renting crew houses or large suites for events, the
availability of the kitchen provides the facilities needed for the private
chef to insure that the crew is eating healthy (read: avoid food poisoning)
and the owner is avoiding large restaurant bills while keeping the team
together at the central housing/eating location. Additionally, with the
advent of professional sailing, knowing the hired help is well-fed and early
to bed (and not doing cocktail R&D) could be reason enough to include the
chef as part of the team component. (Barbara Gold can be contacted at

Cuyler, Cindy, Sam, Sophie, and Thomas Morris will set sail aboard Morris 45
Firefly from Maine next week for the Great Lakes. Their route will take them
through Newport, down Long Island Sound, then up the Hudson to the Erie
Canal, to Buffalo, then up the Detroit River to Port Huron. Once in Bayview,
MI, sailing will get serious and the family will head back to Maine and the
racing crew will come onboard to race in the Bayview Mackinac Race and the
100th Anniversary of the Chicago Mackinac Race! Check out Cuyler’s blog at:

* South Kingstown, RI - For the first time since the 1960s, the Point Judith
Sailing Club will not be teaching children how to sail this summer. The
sailing club was formed to train Point Judith Yacht Club members’ children
to sail and race. But as the yacht club membership aged, the sailing group
became a separate nonprofit so as to offer lessons to local children as
well. Last year, more than 90 children – largely local residents – learned
how to sail through the program. It is believed that the program was
terminated to facilitate the yacht club’s expansion plans. -- Complete

* The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Small Craft (Sailing)
Technical Panel has announced the launch of SNAME Journal of Sailboat
Technology, which is intended to be an online peer-reviewed journal whose
objective is to provide a medium for the publication of research
achievements and engineering practices in this field. It is intended to
cover not only fundamental studies on analytical and numerical models,
theoretical developments, tank and wind tunnel experiments, but also results
and analysis of full scale experiments. --

* Hampton Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club (Annapolis) will be reviving
the annual Down the Bay Race on May 22, 2009, the Friday before Memorial
Day. The race, which began in 1935 but went into hiatus after 1999, is
non-stop, through the night (and maybe parts of the following day) from
Annapolis, MD to Hampton, VA. --

George Vance Fisher, age 81, of Hilliard, Ohio, passed away June 19th at the
Kobacker Hospice House after a courageous battle with cancer. George was a
past Commodore and member of Buckeye Lake Yacht Club, member of Hoover Yacht
Club, past President and life member of the International Lightning Class
and past Vice President of the Interlake Sailing Class. A champion sailboat
racer, George had won 19 North American Championships in the Interlake and
Lightning Classes since 1977. Not only a champion competitor, he was an
enthusiastic ambassador for the sport, imparting his knowledge in coaching
both children and adults at many levels. George was awarded the US Sailing
Sportsmanship award in 2002 and thereafter chaired the Sportsmanship
Committee and was a past Chairman of the One Design Class Council for US

He is survived by his wife of 55 years Martha, sons Greg (Jo Ann) Fisher,
Annapolis, Md., and Matt (Lisa) Fisher, Columbus, Oh., daughter Gayle (Tom)
Mulvey, Granville, Oh., and grandchildren, Martha, Kurt, Bessie, and Addyson
Fisher, Amanda and Stuart Fisher, Kara, Gwen, and Ian Mulvey. Calling hours
will be 2-4 pm and 6-8pm Sunday June 22nd at Schoedinger Funeral Home 1740
Zollinger Rd. Columbus, Ohio 43221, (614) 457 5481. A funeral mass will be
held Monday June 23rd at 10am at the St. Brendan Church 4475 Dublin Rd,
Hilliard, OH 43026, (614) 876-1272, followed by a celebration of George’s
life at 1:00pm June 23rd at Leatherlips Yacht Club, 9230 Shawnee Trail,
Powell, Ohio, 43065. In lieu of Flowers, George requested donations be made
to the Kobacker House c/o OhioHealth Foundation 180 E. Broad St. Columbus,
Ohio, 43215 or St. Brendan Church. -- Complete obituary:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the speed record seeking Wot Rocket, the “Volvo 70 on steroids”
Speedrocket, Olympic surprises in Qingdao, a Volvo Ocean Race team’s
air-freighted mast, Superyacht Cup action from Palma, and a slide show
comparison between Dan Meyers' Judel-Vrolijk 66 Numbers and Team Puma's
Botin & Carkeek designed Volvo 70 il mostro. If you have images you would
like to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s

* Eric Proust and Romain Motteau, Team Kalix, have completed an outstanding
six day Formula 18 catamaran race through the Stockholm, Åland and Finnish
archipelago. Twenty teams competed in the twelve leg event, reaching 47
island checkpoints and sailing nearly 600 nautical miles. Photographers
Thierry Martinez and Oskar Kihlborg share the majestic sights from the race

* If you were sailing in the Around the Island Race of the Annual Regatta
last weekend in Newport, RI, or like photos of racy looking boats, or just
like the Lyle Lovett song “If I Had a Boat”, here is a video slide show from
the event:

Reader commentary is encouraged, with letters to be submitted to the
Scuttlebutt editor, aka, ‘The Curmudgeon’. 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, 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 Tom Priest: (re, recent letters concerning US SAILING Pres. Jim
Capron) I don't believe anyone is doubting Mr. Capron's commitment to US
SAILING...I'm certainly not! But forced membership was 'misguided' at
best....Simply joining an organization you disagree with WITHOUT 'whining'
(as you would call it) is what I call being a sheep...or maybe even a
lemming! I suspect US SAILING showing its ability to listen and ultimately
change it's mind will spur more memberships and renewals than you can
possibly imagine. Relatively cheap fees or not...I will not put my money
into any organization that doesn't at least listen to its members....I've
been out of US SAILING for several years...I am now re-joining. Let me be
clear: It was never about the AMOUNT of was what they did with it
that forced the issue. Given no other option, people vote with their

I do have one favor to that I am re-joining can you please save
the obviously cash-strapped organization some hard-earned money and stop
sending MULTIPLE renewal notices to members that are already current? That
was another reason I left in the first place!

* From Chris Ericksen: As a long-time member of US SAILING (and USYRU before
that), I cannot but share some of the sentiments of Bill Sandberg printed in
'Butt 2621. Not only US SAILING President Jim Capron but all the members of
the Board of US SAILING should be thanked for their "hard work and
dedication," as should all the volunteers who make our sport work. And I
believe that US SAILING deserves the support of--and membership dues
from--every racing sailor in the United States, regardless of what they do
aboard a boat. But I am puzzled by his decrying the withdrawal of the
proposed proscription requiring membership in US SAILING "because of all the
reaction of their constituents." Reacting to their constituents is exactly
what we in America expect our elected leaders to do; they should be praised
for doing so, not criticized.

* From David Searle: Good on US SAILING for withdrawing the mandatory
membership requirement. You don't herd cats by telling them where to go. You
herd cats by providing them a compelling reason to go where you want them to
go. If US SAILING focuses on providing value to their members (like the
efforts of Dave Perry), and maybe does a better job of telling us the value
US SAILING already brings us, they will end up with far more members than a
mandatory requirement could ever bring! Now, if I could only get my
membership card...

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Regarding David’s missing membership card, I
forwarded his email to US SAILING Membership Manager Kate Daley, who I
understand to have promptly replied to David and handled his needs. If
anyone else needs help with their membership issues, we suggest you reach
out to Kate at

"It's all part of progress I guess. That's why I live in the past." - Dan

Special thanks to Latitude Kinsale and Morris Yachts.

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