Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2631 - Thursday, July 3, 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.

by John Gallagher, Sailing World
Every other year during the 330-mile Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac it
seems the fleets spend at least half a day becalmed and drifting under the
center of a slow moving high pressure system. If such conditions lie in
store for this year's Chicago-Mac, skippers who understand the interaction
of gradient winds with shoreline thermal breezes will have a competitive
advantage. While satellite weather equipment can forecast the size and
movement of a high, racers still need to decide where they want to be with
respect to the shoreline when the system arrives.

Shoreline thermal breezes develop as the result of shoreline land heating up
above lake temperature during the day and dropping below lake temperature at
night. Sea breezes are directed onshore and land breezes, offshore. Both
thermals initially develop perpendicular to the shoreline.

Gradient wind is wind that develops from the atmospheric pressure gradient
around a high pressure center, often called cyclonic air flow, and around a
low pressure center, often called an anti-cyclonic air flow. Wind flows
clockwise around the center of a high and counter-clockwise around the
center of a low. Air movement is strongest near the center of a low and
weakest near the center of a high--that's why a forecast of light and
variable winds frequently accompanies the arrival of a high pressure system.
While lows typically follow the path of the jet stream, passing fronts can
dramatically change the direction of the wind. -- Read on:

Marstrand, Sweden (July 2, 2008) - The fourth event of the World Match
Racing Tour continued with sunny skies today for day two of Match Cup
Sweden, but the wind did not. Nonetheless, race officials from the Royal
Gothenburg YC (GKSS) valiantly shifted courses in the fiord to suit the
morning easterly offshore breeze, then to the westerly sea breeze which
never built above about 7 knots. In all, 7 flights were completed in the
day's schedule.

The shifty breeze seemed to suit the Scandinavian teams most familiar with
the DS37's used in the competition, as Dane Jes Gram-Hansen and his Trifork
Racing Team won five of seven matches today to take the lead on a 7-3
record. With only one flight left in his eleven-match Round Robin, this
guarantees him a place in the next stage of the competition, the Quarter
Finals, to be sailed on Friday. Also going to the next stage on six wins
each will be Swedes Magnus Holmberg and his Victory Challenge Team, as well
as yesterday's leader Mattias Rahm and his Stena Bulk Racing Team.

Round robin racing will be completed tomorrow in day three of Match Cup
Sweden, with four flights scheduled for the afternoon. More sunny skies,
warm temperatures, and light winds are forecast. -- Complete report:

Results (Round robin completed when each entrant has 11 matches):
1. Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN), Trifork Racing Team 7 - 3
2. Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Victory Challenge 6 - 4
3. Mattias Rahm (SWE), Stena Bulk Racing Team 6 - 4
4. Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team 5 - 2
5. Peter Gilmour (AUS), PST Team 5 - 3
6. Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Alandia Sailing Team 4 - 3
7. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team 4 - 4
8. Sebastian Col (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge 4 - 4
9. Ian Williams (GBR), Team Pindar 3 - 4
10. Damien Iehl (FRA), French Match Racing Team 3 - 5
11. Ben Ainslie (GBR), Team Origin 3 - 7
12. Paolo Cian (ITA), Team Shosholoza 0 - 7

Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy (July 2, 2008) - A pair of well won victories on
the Gulf of Cagliari by Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the crew of the TP52
Quantum Racing not only earned the American boat the overall lead on the
Audi MedCup Circuit 2008 today, but sees them just one point behind Mean
Machine (MON) the leaders of this Audi Region of Sardinia Trophy regatta.
While Mean Machine posted a second and third from an interesting day's
racing which, despite the slightly one sided courses, proved a good test of
starting, upwind and downwind strategies, Quantum's two near identical
starts and the ability to earn the lion's share of the favored right early
in both races, was the key to their twin successes today.

Said Terry Hutchinson, on the team's performance at the third MedCup event,
"After Marseille we worked on my starts at the windward end of the line. Ian
(Moore, GBR, navigator) and Morgan (Larson, USA, tactician) have done a good
job of their analysis of stuff, and when push comes to shove then there are
certain times when all of us have to do our jobs on the boat and it's good
to be able to do it. But it's a really good fleet. It's the end game we are
focused on. We need days like this to win races but then follow up with
another good race. A lot of things have to happen well for us." Hutchinson
explained. Going into Thursday's Coastal Race, which effectively offers
double points, the top two boats have already built a decent points cushion
in the quest for the Audi Region of Sardinia Trophy. After five races Bribon
lies in third place, 17 points behind Quantum. -- Full report with results:

Congratulations to Ullman Sails customer Peter Rebovich and team on Cal 40
"Sinn Fein" who snatched up multiple honors at this year's Newport Bermuda
Race, including the prestigious St. David's Lighthouse trophy for the top
finisher in the IRC division. Sailing with full Ullman Sails inventory, this
is the second consecutive time the team has won the Lighthouse trophy. "Sinn
Fein" also won the Class 1 division for the fourth consecutive time and was
the first to receive the North Rock Beacon Trophy. For the "Fastest Sails on
the Planet," contact a local Ullman loft and visit

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: As mentioned above, Peter Rebovich's Cal 40 took
top honors in the entire 123-boat 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. However, they were also 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. --

Ask any skipper about the best way for an inexperienced sailor to step into
the vibrant Bay Area racing scene. The response is quick and surprising. Who
wants to be rail meat? The age-old tradition of new sailors pairing
themselves up with captains for use as movable ballast continues at yacht
clubs all over Marin, CA. "Think of yourself as a big sandbag," said former
rail meat CJ Spady of Sausalito. "Skippers need you, because of your weight,
to sit on the rail and keep their boats from heeling over too much. Over
time, while you are keeping out of everyone's way, you observe. Then you
become a sandbag who can do something." - Jan Pehrson, Marin Independent
Journal, read on:

(July 1, 2008) It is the tenth day of the Victoria to Maui International
Yacht Race, and Kevin Reath's Beneteau First 40.7 Something Wicked is now
safely ashore, having arrived in San Francisco late last night after having
lost her rudder. Here is an email from Something Wicked as she limped her
way to shore:

"We have our emergency rudder lashed in forward position and dragging a
drogue that is fastened to the boat as follows. Spinnaker pole lashed across
the push pit with either end sticking out sides of boat. At each end a rope
that goes back about 20 feet and forward to a winch. When we want to steer
to port, we take up on the port line to the drogue or ease the starboard
line. For fine tuning we use the mainsail sheet. Works not badly, certainly
not as good as having a functioning rudder on a wheel! But it works.

"We have been on 12 hour email reporting to San Francisco coast guard; last
evening they increased reporting to 6 hours due to seas and face we were
taking on our beam. They obviously thought there was a greater danger of a
roll over. We did not as long as we did not get hit by a rogue wave. Of
course it is pitch black with no moon.

"We think the rudder stock may have been bruised when the boat hit the rock
in Enterprise Channel. The hull would have flexed and the bearing may have
bruised the stock. Carbon fibre is stronger than stainless steel but it does
not like to be bruised. It will be interesting to see the broken off part
when SW comes out of the water.

"First thing I called for after the rudder was gone was to check to see if
we were taking on water where the rudder stock protrudes through the hull. A
Beneteau 40.1 on the east coast sunk when it lost its rudder and left a
large hole in the hull. A relief when I saw no damage or water. We monitored
it closely thereafter and now infrequently. As my late father would have
said, 'It could have been worse.'" --

Katie Abbott is getting a second chance at Olympic glory. The 21-year-old
Sarnia, Ontario woman and her two teammates just missed qualifying (in the
Yngling class) for the Beijing games following an equipment failure during
their first sailing race together in February (at the class world
championship). But thanks to an invitation issued by the International
Sailing Federation, the Canadian women's team will fill a vacant spot at the
August games. "It's really come as a breath of fresh air for all of us," she
said of the news, which came last week.

It's a chance to prove what they can do and overcome the frustrating turn of
events in Miami (at the worlds) when the upper shroud on the main mast broke
10 minutes before the start. "It was a bit of a shocker for us," Abbott
said. "Sailing is a mental game and that was something we had to deal with
the best we could." The three-woman crew of Abbott, Jen Provan and Martha
Henderson came together just days before the Miami event. But they have a
few races under their belts now, including a 7th place finish at an Olympic
regatta in Holland in May. -- The Observer, read on:

What better place to explore the energy and excitement of the summer boating
season then the San Diego Summer Boat show! The show is July 24-27 at the
Sheraton Hotel and Marina, Harbor Island, San Diego. Stop by and say hi to
our team and check out the J/Boats line, the Rivolta Coupe 4.5, and the
Delphia 40 GT. For more information on new boats, used boats, or similar
lines, visit our website at or give our office a
call at 619.224.6200. Hope to see you all there!

* Americans Ben Barger (RS:X Men), Graham Biehl (470 Men), and Kevin Burnham
(Coach) all received some television airtime when they were interviewed for
a segment that was aired on NBC Nightly news. What was the subject? You
guessed it. algae. Link:

* In the ISAF World Sailing Rankings released on July 2nd, the final World
Ranking release before the Olympic Games, Australia reclaims the lead of the
national standings from Spain with crews occupying three world #1 spots and
one #3 spot across the 11 Olympic events. Spain, Poland and Great Britain
also count four crews in top-three positions, plus a timely boost for Japan
in the Women's 470 and China in the Laser Radial. Among the North Americans
with top ten rankings, from USA are Amanda Clark/ Sarah Mergenthaler (7/ 470
Women), Anna Tunnicliffe (1/ Laser Radial), Sally Barkow/ Deborah Capozzi/
Carolyn Howe (5/Yngling), and Tim Wadlow/Christopher Rast (9/ 49er). Among
the Canadians are Oskar Johansson/ Kevin Stittle (7/ Tornado), Christopher
Cook (10/ Finn), and Michael Leigh (5/ Laser). --

Camden, Maine - Baldwin, an experienced ocean solo sailing enthusiast and
boat builder, and Starr, a local sailor, have developed the first off-shore
miniature yachts that are currently in the open sea in the process of
sailing from near Maine to Europe, trying to make the difficult
trans-Atlantic voyage. The two 4-foot miniature yachts, named Osolomeo and
Running Free, should prove to be strong and self-righting and cross the
Atlantic Ocean from the East of the United States to the shores of Europe,
Starr said.

The hulls of the boats are made of foam core covered with waterproof
fiberglass. The hull weight is six pounds, the lead ballast is 10 pounds and
the boat's displacement 17 pounds. The boats are 48 inches long, with a beam
of 15 inches, a draft of 19 inches and a waterline length of 42 inches. The
rigs are made of fiberglass and the sails of nylon Spinnaker. The height of
the rig above the deck is 32 inches and the sail area is 340 square inches.

Earlier this month, the miniature boats sailed aboard the Maine Maritime
Academy yacht Bowdoin, captained by Rick Miller of Camden, to Newfoundland.
At that point, the boats were placed in the ocean off the coast of
Newfoundland and now they are on their way to the shores of France, England
or Spain, depending where the wind and sea take them. GPS information is
providing data on the journey of the boats. Their intended destination is
the Bay of Biscay in France and the estimated date of arrival is early
August. -- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Not to seem cynical, but to launch the boats off
Newfoundland, aren't the ocean currents rather than the wind doing most of
the heavy lifting in this transatlantic passage?

* (July 2, 2008) For the Transpacific Yacht Club's 13th Tahiti Race, Doug
Baker's Mag 80 is projected to finish the 3,571-nautical mile course at
about 2:52 a.m. PDT Friday - midnight Thursday in Tahiti - more than two
days under the record of 14 days 21 hours 15 minutes 26 seconds set by Fred
Kirschner's Kathmandu in the last Tahiti Race in 1994. --

* Interlux Yacht Finishes is challenging boaters to take steps to help
improve their local waterfront - and giving them a $60,000 incentive to do
it. The Waterfront Challenge will award eight grants of $5,000 to $25,000 to
support grassroot efforts by boaters to create sustainable waterfront
environmental improvements in their communities. For more information and to
apply for a Waterfront Challenge grant, visit

* Tantallon, Nova Scotia - St. Margaret Sailing Club will host the 2009
Laser world sailing championships, organizers announced last week. The
worlds will run from August 17-September 5, marking the first time the Laser
worlds will be held in Canada in 28 years. The event is expected to bring
135 sailors from 60 countries to St. Margarets Bay for the world
championships, and about 350 athletes to the masters event for sailors 35
and over. The club previously hosted the 2006 Laser North American
championships and will host nationals this July and a qualifying regatta for
the worlds in the fall. -- Complete story:

* The 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships will take place in
Buzios, Brazil. The event dates are July 9-18, 2009. Team Canada selection
criteria for Boys' and Girls' One Person and Two Person Dinghy entries is
now posted online, along with Athlete eligibility details. --

* Correction: It was noted in Issue 2630 that the Alinghi team would not be
competing in the third iShares Cup for Extreme 40s scheduled for August 2-4
and coinciding with Skandia Cowes Week. The defending America's Cup team
Alinghi will in fact be competing in Cowes, along with America's Cup
challengers BMW ORACLE Racing team and TEAMORIGIN. A total of 11 teams are
currently entered. -- Full details:

Don't like the stink, roughness, and low UPF of polyester moisture shirts?
The Nylon Helix weave of Prowik wicking tees is without peers. 50+UPF,
superiorwear, and comfort second to none. Increase your regatta sales by
carrying the most effective technical gear. Log on to for the Mount Gay Rum versions
or (888) 724-5286 for team and regatta planning.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
July 4-5 - Marina del Rey to San Diego Race - MDR/San Diego, CA, USA
July 4-6 - Robert H. Tiedemann Classic Yachting Weekend - Newport, RI, USA
July 5 - Statue of Liberty Race - Atlantic Highlands, NJ, USA
July 5 - Toronto Easter Seals Regatta - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View all the events at

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: One of the best ways to market your event to
sailors and the media is to post it in the Scuttlebutt Calendar. It's a
free, self-service tool to get your event information online.

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Olympians Andrew Campbell (Laser) and Graham Biehl (470 Men) finding
familiarity in China, a foiling 18ft skiffs at the 2008 European
International Championship in France, complete chaos in Cowes, big bucks on
the Bay, Flying Tigers in Long Beach, super sailing spirit in Newport, and a
dandy side story from Bermuda.

If you have images you would like to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt
editor. Here are this week's photos:

* Photographer Peter Lyons sent a selection of images from the US Youth
Championships, where it was essentially nuking for the entire event. Nice
group shot too:

In the United States, Independence Day (commonly known as the Fourth of
July) is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of
Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of
Great Britain. At Scuttlebutt, we will be declaring independence from
working, so there will be no newsletter distributed for July 4th. Look for
the next issue of Scuttlebutt on Monday, July 7th.

You know you're a redneck when your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks

Special thanks to Ullman Sails, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and The Pirate's

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at