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SCUTTLEBUTT 2627 - Friday, June 27, 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 26, 2008) -- No races were held on Day 4 of the Etchells
Worlds, while a large high pressure system sitting over Lake Michigan brings
calm winds, blue skies, and sunshine to Chicago’s lakefront. With little
chance of cooperative weather for the rest of the day, the Race Committee
called the day at 13:30 and pushed tomorrow’s start time forward to 10:30 in
anticipation of nice winds in the morning and storms later in the day. The
race committee hopes to run two solid races tomorrow while the weather
holds. “It’s a classic battle between good and evil,” PRO Tom Duggan said in
reference to today’s westerly and easterly winds. “Neither of them won out,
so we decided to walk away and we’ll try to get two races in tomorrow.” Nine
races are scheduled, with six races required to constitute a series. Racing
continues through Saturday, with Sunday held as a reserve day. --

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

* It is now confirmed that the Canadian Olympic Development Committee (ODC)
has accepted a “wildcard” invitation to compete in the Yngling event at the
2008 Olympic in Qingdao, China. In selecting the representatives for the
Yngling class, the ODC reverted to their Olympic Selection Criteria and
determined at their discretion that the top placing team at the 2008 World
Championships in the Yngling class would receive the nomination. Thus the
team of Jen Provan, Martha Henderson and Katie Abbott will be representing
Canada at the Games. -- For comments and complete details:

* (June 26, 2008) During Kieler Woche 2008, the world-wide known “yellow
jersey” will be worn by the leading team of each class. Like in cycling the
No. 1 crew of each boat class will wear the “yellow jersey” on a day to day
basis, thus defending the overall lead of the preceding race day.
Additionally, the overall second and third teams wear green coloured (2nd
overall) and pink jerseys (3rd overall), which also change on a daily basis.
For the second day of the event, Northern Germany offered perfect sailing
conditions along the Kiel Fjord, westerly breeze 11-16 knots, in gusts up to
20 knots, partly sunny and cloudy. In the Lasers, Canadians Michael Leigh is
in 6th with Abe Torchinsky in 9th. The Laser Radial class has Anna
Tunnicliffe (USA) in 4th and Tania Elias Calles (MEX) in 5th. Zach Railey
(USA) is 7th in the Finn, while Zac Plavsic (CAN) is 6th in the RS:X
windsurfer. Racing continues through June 29th. -- Race website:

* China has called in thousands of people to clean up an algal bloom at the
sailing venue for this summer's Olympic Games, a state news agency said. The
blue-green algae blossomed around June 1 in the waters around Qingdao on the
coast of Shandong province, and some 400 boats and 3,000 people have been
mobilized to clean it up, the Xinhua News Agency said. Chinese news photos
showed the bright-green bloom along the shores of downtown Qingdao. Other
images showed workers loading the algae onto boats as windsurfers sailed in
the background. The photos also showed people wading in the water and
scooping up armfuls of the plant-like organism and putting it into white

Blue-green algae blooms when nutrients, sometimes caused by excessive
pollution, build up in water. The country's three-decade economic boom has
left its waterways and coastlines severely polluted by industrial and farm
chemicals and domestic sewage. About a quarter of the entire population
lacks access to safe drinking water and, despite repeated government pledges
of a cleanup, the situation is worsening. Some algae can produce dangerous
toxins and if ingested can cause vomiting, respiratory failure and, on rare
occasions, death. -- Full story with photos:

(June 26, 2008) Privateer, a Cookson 50 owned by Ronald O’Hanley of Boston
Massachusetts, is now the provisional winner of the Open Division in the
Newport Bermuda Race ahead of Puma’s Volvo 70 Il Mostro skippered by Ken
Read. Chief Scorer, Jim Teeters, noticed a mistake in the scoring for Class
16 and the Open Division. Privateer then posted a corrected time of
60:40:09. That’s 22 minutes and 42 seconds less than the corrected time of
Il Mostro. The Volvo Ocean 70 crossed the finish line nearly 20 hours ahead
of Privateer but now slips to second place on handicap in the four-boat
division and class for yachts with canting keels.

After finishing the Newport Bermuda Race on Tuesday and being declared the
provisional winner of the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division, Tenacious, the
tiny Beneteau First 36.7 skippered by Julien Dougherty faced a protest from
the inspection committee for incomplete compliance with the Offshore
Regulations. Her lower starboard lifelines had loosened during the race
because the stanchions had been bent by hiking crew and she did not have a
'lifesling' man-overboard device recovery device. The international jury
ruled that Tenacious was not compliant with the rules and penalized them one
hour on their elapsed time. -- Read on:

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:

It began as a tale of seamanship, survival and sacrifice. On the night of
June 6, the keel separated from the hull of a racing sloop owned by Texas
A&M University at Galveston, capsizing the boat. After helping two students
escape from the flooded cabin, A&M safety officer Roger Stone drowned. Four
students and another safety officer were rescued after floating 26 hours at

Now the tale continues. The main characters will be Coast Guard officials,
naval architects, insurers and, inevitably, lawyers. A&M officials have
properly vowed to spare no expense or effort in determining the cause of the
accident. The boat, a Cape Fear 38 racer/cruiser donated to A&M by George
Mitchell, has a history of going aground and sustained heavy damage the last
time. A&M spokesman Frank Griffis could not predict how long the
investigation would last, but he said experts should have a better idea of
what caused the separation next week. Meanwhile, Griffis said, A&M's fleet
of sailboats, including a sister ship to the damaged vessel, would stand
down until the investigation is over. -- Houston Chronicle, read on:

by John Reed, World Sailing Speed Record Council
There has been much debate about the attempting of sailing records in very
shallow water. The controversy has only recently come to light because up
until now the need for skegs on windsurfers made water depth self-limiting.
However the high speeds being claimed by kite surfers has circumvented this
as although they need to "edge" their boards somewhat to generate lift, at
50 knots and at deep wind angles, the edge doesn't run very deep. There was
a real concern that unless some sensible ruling was brought in, a world
record claim using water only as a lubricant was a possibility. For example,
creating a record course by covering a large car park with a plastic sheet
and then wetting it to a few mm depth. There was a general feeling that this
stretched the aim of breaking records on "water" too far. -- For comments
and complete report:

* The new rule states that "Record claims will not be ratified when, in the
opinion of the WSSR Commissioner, the minimum water depth over the whole
course is below 50 cms" --

(June 26, 2008) Following their start on June 22nd, it’s now a moment of
truth in the Transpacific Yacht Club’s 13th Los Angeles to Tahiti Race… or
any race across the equator: looking for the sweet spot in the Doldrums.
“Big day today,” Ragtime skipper Chris Welsh wrote Wednesday. “Lots of miles
and a decision to jibe and turn south.” Then this from Ernie Richau,
navigator on Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80: “We have been approaching a critical
part of the race, the point where we decide to head south. It is important
because this is the point where we are setting ourselves up for crossing the
[Intertropical Convergence Zone (a.k.a. “Doldrums”) on the equator]. This
morning we continued to be lifted by the wind until it looked like the
appropriate time for us to make our move. After studying the 12:26 position
report it appears that Rags has also jibed toward the south while Medicine
Man has continued to the west.” -- Complete report:

Newport Beach, CA - Eight years ago, Dave Dixon set some lofty goals,
especially for an unemployed, twice-divorced, middle-aged man with no
savings. He wanted to live on the water in Newport Beach. He didn't care to
work too much. And he aspired to play golf and tennis several times a week.
Today, Dixon, 60, is living his dream, albeit with some compromises.

He lives aboard a beat-up 37-foot mahogany yacht he bought on a credit card
for $10,000. Lacking a permanent mooring, he often anchors in the open sea
off Corona del Mar, and for showers he uses the Orange County Harbor
Patrol's guest facilities. To get around on land, Dixon owns a battered car
with more than 300,000 miles on it.

Yet he works only about 15 hours a week, singing at private parties and two
Orange County restaurants to cover his $565 in monthly expenses (not
including food). He gets out on the tennis court or links almost every day,
enough to whittle down his golf handicap to seven and his weight by 40
pounds. And he is rocked to sleep each night by the rhythm of the Pacific
Ocean, surrounded by multimillion-dollar views of the bay. -- Read on:

'Speedboat', Puma's 'Il Mostro', 'Rambler', 'Bella Mente', 'Rosebud',
'Moneypenny', 'Blue Yankee', 'Numbers', 'Rima', 'Mischievous' all flew to
Bermuda faster than most... after prepping at Newport Shipyard. A full house
remains after saying good-bye to the Bermuda boats including 'Timoneer',
'Chevy Toy', 'Starship', 'Mystique' and 'Adela' with the backdrop of the
Spring Charter Show and the Super Yacht Forum. 'Eleonora' and other
gold-platers are en route. Newport Shipyard in full swing with the best boat
action...... in the USA!

* Over 3500 boats and 14,000 sailors joined together to the 8th Annual
Summer Sailstice. With boat participation increasing by almost 40%
worldwide, and an average of 4 sailors per boat, over 14,000 sailors were
out on the water on June 21st and 22nd on a Summer Sailstice sail -
somewhere! Additionally, North Dakota finally became the 50th state to join
other US sailors celebrate the Summer Sailstice holiday! To plan for next
year, the Summer Sailstice 2009 is scheduled for June 20th and 21st. --

* (June 26, 2008) The 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race team Ericsson Racing today
officially unveiled Ericsson 4 to an invited audience of Ericsson employees
and guests at the team's boatyard next to the Global Headquarters in Kista,
Stockholm. This is the second of the two new boats, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson
4, which the team has built. Ericsson 4 is due to leave the boatyard at
Kista on July 5th for sea trials off the coast at Nynäshamn. In mid July
both Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4 will begin two boat testing and will return
back to the training base at Lanzarote. – Full story:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the Olympic course overrun by algae and seaweed, the hub of all
action in Newport, scary storm clouds in Newport, and Volvo Ocean Race
skipper Kenny Read’s PUMA shoes now, and a pair of Chuck Taylors from two
decades ago (man, time sure does fly!). If you have images you would like to
share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

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 Hugh Elliot: As a follow up to your story in Issue 2626, here is a
link to an experimental nearly real-time lightning mapping site.
Unfortunately it only covers part of the north east USA but the zoomed area
is excellent for those of us in the upper and mid Chesapeake Bay. --

* From Derek Bouwer: (In reply to Ray Tostado in #2624): With regard to
windward-leeward courses, these have always been the favourite of Class
racing. Windward-leeward courses give the Skipper of any boat the choice of
port or Starboard side of the course in both the beats AND the runs, thus
giving you the chance to make up ground and even over take boats ahead of
you by making the right decision as to which side of the course you take
(obviously the opposite is also true and you can lose big time).

The tactical options on triangular courses are more subtle, with the larger
factors that come into play is how well your crew perform the gybe at the
mark, and your reaching ability. Yes windward-leeward courses may become
boring but they are a boon in forcing the skipper to make the choices of
which side of the course and when to gybe. For ordinary club races, perhaps
suggest to the PRO to provide a little of both.

* From George Sechrist: Regarding Pat Healy’s comments on reaching legs (in
Issue 2625), what I remember were lots of tactical possibilities, some
worked, some didn’t. Rather than follow the boat in front, go high or go
low, each one has its’ own potential rewards and trappings. How about
rounding inside at the mark of a large group that were fighting on the high
road and you gain 10 positions?

I sailed my first trapezoid courses this winter in the Laser Master series
in FL, and I think they may offer the best of all worlds, i.e. upwind,
reaching, and downwind all in one trip around the course. I encourage more
RC’s to explore this option.

Regarding Pat’s description of the Dragon gold cup course, I’m confused
because the gold cup courses that I sailed for many years were always
reversed, i.e. triangle, windward, and always a leeward finish. The main
advantage of this course was the time savings by being able to start another
race quickly due to the downwind finish and all the boats were ready to
start. If a windward finish was desired, then the Olympic course was used.
Were there actually two different gold cup courses?

From George Carlin: “Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it
doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it
translates to ‘beef with broccoli.’ The last time you did anything
spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not
spiritual. You're just high.”

* Here is a funny video about the type of tattoo referenced above:

Special thanks to Forespar and Newport Shipyard.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at