Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2626 - Thursday, June 26, 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.

Chicago, IL (June 25, 2008) -- The third day of the 2008 Etchells Worlds
brought tricky conditions and high scores for many of the regatta’s leading
boats, while some of the struggling pre-event favorites cashed in with a
good day to raise their overall standings. After an onshore postponement
until noon, competitors headed out under overcast skies and scattered
showers in a moderate SSE breeze. However early into the first beat, Race 4
began to look a lot like Race 1; a continuous right shift filled in,
punishing a large portion of the fleet that had worked their way out to the
left side of the course.

The overall lead established by San Diego boat Bill Hardesty and crew in
Monday and Tuesday’s racing has kept them in first place despite their 39th
place finish today, while Vincent Brun’s team dropped from second to third
due to their 51 point finish. The 2007 World’s runner-up Jud Smith and crew
Henry Frazer, and James Poter are finally in the top ten courtesy of their
second place finish, as is the Newport, RI team led by skipper Senet
Bischoff, who led the fleet around every mark for the win, bumping his team
up to seventh in the overall standings. -- Complete report:

Preliminary results (top ten of 83 entrants)
1. USA, Bill Hardesty/Erik Shampain/Steve Hunt/Jennifer Wilson, 7-1-1-39, 48

2. USA, Peter Duncan/Thomas Blackwell/William Barton, 17-22-10-5, 54
3. USA, Vincent Brun/Ben Mitchell/Jeff Pape, 4-5-5-51, 65
4. USA, Aaron Housten/Daniel Somers/John Harford, 3-30-12-21, 66
5. USA, Judson Smith/Henry Frazer/James Poter, 15-9-41-2, 67
6. USA, Chris Busch/Chad Hough/Chuck Sinks/Peter Burton, 49-2-4-19, 74
7. USA, Senet Bischoff/Colin Gordon/Ben Kinney, 8-50-17-1, 76
8. USA, Fred Joosten/David Williams/Niels Heemskerk, 10-44-16-9, 79
9. USA, Robert Wray/Scott Nixon/Mike Wolfs, 37-4-9-34, 84
10. NZL, Andrew Wills/Anatole Masfen/Alastair Gair, 14-8-43/SCP-24, 89

In September 1996 a group of top-flight sailors travelled from around the
world to Lake Garda for a trial of many different classes, to see which
would go forward as the new twin-trapeze skiff for the Olympics in Sydney
2000. Among the entrants was a new boat by Julian Bethwaite called the 49er,
and after an intensive week of trialing the various designs, it was the 49er
that had stood out among the rest, and by November 1996 it had been ratified
as the new Olympic skiff.

Since that time the class has gradually evolved, more or less typical with
the normal types of refinements that a one-design class expects. However, to
maintain its position as a high performance leader, there are now some big
changes occurring, with 2008/2009 to go down in the class archives as a
milestone period. The most obvious changes will be the spar and the
mainsail. The switch from aluminum to carbon is expected to lighten the rig
(by nearly 30), improve longevity, and provide a more forgiving spar to
tune. With the stiffer mast, the class is also switching to a bigger,
fathead-style mainsail. All in all, a much sexier set-up that should also
elevate the boat’s performance.

Additionally, the class has grown courtesy of three builders, but their
original moulds are rapidly coming to the end of their lives, so it is at
this time that some significant changes are planned for the boat. A new plug
is being built to insure that the hull is symmetrical, simpler wings are to
be incorporated since they are no longer being adjusted (class rule change),
and the structural design is being changed to improve hull stiffness. The
estimated cost for the development and completion of the new moulds, sail
design and mast is believed to be in excess of $200k, but it is also
expected that savings in how the boats will be built in the future will be
used to pay down the expenditures. These noted changes are all expected to
be phased in later this year. -- Full report:

* Scuttlebutt sponsor Southern Spars has been chosen by the 49er class as
the exclusive spar supplier, with production to occur in their newly
established facility in Sri Lanka.

* (June 25, 2008) It was the first day for the Olympic classes at the Kiel
Week festival in Kiel, Germany, with winds in the 12 knot range for the two
or three races completed in each division. This event is likely the final
test for the Olympic representatives prior to the games, and it proved to be
a decent beginning for the North Americans in attendance. In the Lasers,
Canadians Abe Torchinsky is in 4th with Michael Leigh in 11th. The Laser
Radial class has Tania Elias Calles (MEX) in 5th and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
in 6th. Zach Railey (USA) is 4th in the Finn, while Zac Plavsic (CAN) is 6th
in the RS:X windsurfer. Racing continues through June 29th. -- Race website:

* As online media evolves, new names are developed for the tools created by
the computer geeks. For the 2008 Olympic Games, the Scuttlebutt website is
hosting what is referred to as a “widget”, which is like an appetizer table
for news. There you will find bits of this and that for all sports,
including sailing:

The O’pen BIC Tour now planes into Michigan after visiting Indiana,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Kids are excited to try the modern
design with contemporary rig, super quick set-up, low maintenance, low cost,
and self-bailing. Sign up for the U.S. O’pen Cup “Un-Regatta” in New
Bedford, MA at For info, or

(June 25, 2008) Sinn Fein, Peter Rebovich’s Cal 40 from Metuchen, New
Jersey, beat the other ten boats in Class 1 and the entire 123-boat St.
David’s Lighthouse Division for top honors in the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race.
This is Rebovich’s fourth successive Class 1 win and his second win in a row
in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, a category of the race which allows
a limited number of professional crew, but only amateurs are permitted to
helm the boat.

In addition to claiming the St. David’s Lighthouse Division victory, Sinn
Fein is the first boat ever to win the North Rock Beacon Trophy, which was
donated this year by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for the winner on
corrected time among all of the boats in both the St. David’s and the Gibbs
Hill Lighthouse Divisions, with the later group allowing an unlimited number
of professionals aboard, including professional helmsmen. -- Race website:

Summer weather can mean the merging of recreation and lightning storms.
Florida has earned its reputation as lightning capital of the U.S. and has
more lightning strikes and conversely more deaths and injuries than any
other state. They say that if you want to experience getting struck by
lightning, play golf at 4 p.m. on Sunday in July in Florida. Sunday has 24
percent more deaths by lightning than any other day, followed by Wednesday.

Take lightning seriously. According to figures, men are four times more
likely to be struck than women and you’re boat is more likely to have more
severe damage on fresh water than salt water. About 50 percent of the deaths
and injuries happen to people involved in recreational activities, and
almost 40 percent are water related. While no boat can be protected from a
lightning strike, there are things that can minimize its effect. -- Orlando
Sentinel, read on:

When the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced that the Byte CII
dinghy was chosen as the one person dinghy for the boys and girls events at
the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (and the Bic Techno 293 for the
windsurfing events), it came as a slight surprise given the popularity of
the Laser Radial. Curious for background info on the boat, here is a report
from Ian Bruce, the designer, builder, and copyright holder of the Byte:

“The Byte was designed in 1990 specifically as a dinghy that responded to a
typical weight range in the 120 - 140 lb range. That it looks like a Laser
is not a surprise as I started Laser in 1970. In a nutshell, I had the
concept, Bruce Kirby created the lines drawings and I created the boat - the
rest is history! The Byte is two feet shorter than the Laser and weighs 25
lbs less.

“I had designed the Laser Radial rig in 1983 but, by 1990, it still was not
mainstream. When testing the Byte at the Coral Reef YC (in Miami, FL), we
had a difficult time finding anyone in their Junior program prepared to even
sail a Radial to compare. Radials were for kid's - you know, not the "real
thing"! I used the Radial mast in the Byte (I did not bother to re-invent
the wheel!) but shortened the foot of the sail. There was nothing special
about the rig.” -- Read on plus photos:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: We have learned that each country is allotted two
positions for the Youth Olympic Games. They could be both in the single handed
or both in the board OR one in each discipline. However, if there are two
entries, one MUST be female and one MUST be male.

Ullman Sails customer Furio Gelletti and crew on Comet 45 “Wanderlust” took
top honors in the IRC Italian long distance race “La Cinquecento” last week,
June 15-21, 2008. “Wanderlust” won the crew division with 100% Ullman Sails
inventory. This year’s event was the 34th edition of the 500-mile race on
the Adriatic Sea. Competitors start in Venice’s Porto San Margherita, racing
to Sansego Island in Croatia, then to Tremiti Island in Italy, and back
again to Sansego on the way to the finish in Venice. Invest in your
performance. Contact a local Ullman Sails loft and visit

* A bill regarding new public access rules for marinas in New Jersey was
passed unanimously yesterday by its legislature. The bill, if signed into
law by New Jersey's governor, would put a moratorium on new state rules that
require marina owners to provide 24-hour public access to their marinas. The
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a rule last
December that called for unlimited public access along marina basins, with
enough room for the public to reach the water's edge. -- IBI Magazine, read

* The US SAILING 2007 Annual Report to Members is now available online:

* (June 25, 2008) ICAP Leopard, the 100 foot super maxi yacht owned by Mike
Slade this morning broke the BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race record. Crossing
the finish line off Wicklow at 05:48:47, Mike Slade and his crew knocked 10
hours, 35 minutes and 10 seconds off the previous record, set by Colm
Barrington in 1998. ICAP Leopard sailed the 704 mile course round Ireland in
65 hours, 48 minutes and 47 seconds, to take her second record in a month,
having broken the Transatlantic speed record for yachts with powered sailing
systems on June 3rd. --

* Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK -The Rolex Commodores' Cup begins on Monday, June
30th , with 15 three-boat teams spread over six nations to be competing
through July 6th. Full list of teams at

* Britain's Ian Williams takes over at the top in the latest release of the
ISAF World Match Race Rankings on June 25, 2008 whilst Claire Leroy of
France remains well clear of the chasing pack in the Women's Rankings. Ian
Williams’ (GBR) recent runners-up finish at the latest World Tour stage in
Korea propels him past Mathieu Richard (FRA) to the top of the World
Rankings, where both world #1 spots are now occupied by the reigning Open
and Women’s ISAF Match Racing World Champions. The next release of the ISAF
World Match Race Rankings will be on July 30, 2008. -- Full report:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
June 25-28 - Force 5 North Americans - Canandaigua, NY, USA
June 26-29 – J/24 Internatinal Womens Open Championship - Marion, MA, USA
June 27-29 - Acura Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week - Long Beach, CA, USA
June 27-29 - JY15 North American Championship - Niantic, CT, USA
June 28-29 - Sarcoma Cup - Richmond, CA, USA
View all the events at

The new 99-foot Juan Kouyoumdjian designed super maxi Speedboat was "fresh
out of the box" when she arrived by ship in Newport, RI just prior to the
Newport Bermuda Race, and she quickly got the full attention of the yachting
crowd. She is very big, very cool, led by a top team, and is so often the
case, has raised the bar again. This week we provide two videos of her, both
produced by Franklin Tulloch, where he has mixed the two clips with
different music so as to appeal to the varying preferences of the ‘butthead
crowd. Also, if you have a video you like, please send us your suggestions
for next week’s Video of the Week. Click here for this week’s video:

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 Bob Patterson, Panama City, FL: (re, stories and letter this week)
Reaches are boring, except when it's breezy. In the 505 class, the worlds
course is a WL, equilateral triangle, followed by either WL (very exciting
finishes, sailing hot angles in breeze!) or WLW. Now, the class makes a
pretty good point of only having worlds where there's breeze, so this works.
At local races, we do WL sausages until the breeze gets to about 12. The
only other time reaches work is in team racing.

The Byte CII is a great choice of boat for the Youth Worlds. Some of the
ladies at SSA in Annapolis were upgrading to the new carbon ring, and I
understand it makes all the difference. The South African writer does have a
point though- developing countries will either have to pay through the nose
to import the boats, or the manufacturer will need to establish local
production, either of which makes some older classes (like the sunfish) more

* From Manfred Schreiber: (re, letter by Ray Tostado´s on windward/leeward
tiredness in Butt 2624) Yes, a good point, Ray. The Moth class discussed
this with the race officer at the just completed Kiel Week and we were able
to get back the old Kiel Week triangle course. Actually: triangle, sausage,
triangle. The Europe class was following our wishes and I am sure they liked
it. Great work by the race committee in Kiel, setting up two boats for start
and finish and accepting the Grand Prix rule for the International Moth
class on course Hotel. Thanks to the organizers for their openness and
willing to go against the mainstream.

* From Peter Harken: (re, George Carlin Starbucks comments in #2625) Thanks
gents, for recognizing one of the master's of humor and not being afraid to
be unpolitically correct! What a great piece of work. He's a true loss for
all of us who don't live in fear of threatened lawsuits, and especially
those of us who still know how to laugh at ourselves! George Carlin versus
today's over sensitivity to everything? Carlin wins with, "No second in
sight, Mum!" For those in the big sky overhead, brace yourself!

* From Jeff Butzer: US SAILNG’s mandatory dues episode has concluded, but
that doesn’t also mean the reason they wanted it went away. A too-high
percentage of work burden comes from volunteers. Example: even though I
volunteer year-round, doing Race Committee & Protest Committee around the
country, I’m a big consumer of US SAILING volunteered efforts. Consumption
is in the form of rules publications written by volunteers, Race Management
& Judging seminars put on by volunteers, etc. I’ve met many of the
long-time, serious, visible, volunteers. They work hard for our sport,
receiving recognition that is nowhere near being commensurate with their
contributions. Many of these contributors are getting closer to the end of
the pier. I can only imagine the fright-filled speculation that US SAILING
must have when considering how the efforts of these people are going to be
replaced. Bottom-line is that the work effort has to come from somewhere.
They didn’t get the money, so they/we will need volunteered work effort even
more. Find a way to contribute to our excellent sport.

From George Carlin: “If you need to shave and you still collect baseball
cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your
idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.”

Special thanks to O’pen BIC and Ullman Sails.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at