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SCUTTLEBUTT 2634 - Wednesday, July 9, 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 Dave Reed, Sailing World
In May, the iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series announced that sailmaker
and multihull guru Randy Smyth, 54, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., would be
back on the helm of the Tommy Hilfiger catamaran. It was on this very boat
that Smyth, along with his core crew of Jonathan Farrar and Stan Schreyer,
pasted four other teams in the Volvo Extreme 40 series, which brought
dizzying close-quarters racing to the viewing public at several of the Volvo
Ocean Race stopovers. Since then, Smyth has been keeping a low profile,
managing his company of one (himself), and dodging gators in the Everglades,
but he says he's ready to jump back into the traveling catamaran circus,
which features stops throughout Europe.

First off, about racing around the Everglades, Smyth replies, “It's called
the Everglades Challenge. It's like an adventure race in the spirit of the
Worrell 1000. You can bring what you want, but you need something that's
adaptable to sailing in shallow water, mud, or whatever you run into. It's
not nearly as organized as the Worrell 1000 [a now-defunct 1,000-mile
offshore stage race from Florida to Virginia]—it's more like, "We'll start
together and see you at the finish line whereever that might be. It's fun to
step away from the normal world, and it's a part of Florida that you don't
see going to Key West or Miami regattas.” -- Read on:

* This entertaining article delves into the personal relationship of the
father- and son-in-law team of Americans John Dane and Austin Sperry, who
will race together in the Star class in the Olympics. The story starts this
way: "When John Dane and Austin Sperry first met, it's safe to say neither
regarded the other as a potential teammate for an Olympic medal bid - or a
future relative. The year was 1999, and Sperry was sailing at a regatta at
Pass Christian Yacht Club in Mississippi, where Dane was the commodore. Dane
noticed Sperry had taken an interest in his daughter, Sally, so he asked him
if the two were dating. 'No,' Sperry said. 'That's good,' Dane shot back at
the California native, 'because I've got a shotgun and a shovel, and you're
not going to be missed in Mississippi.'--Complete story:

* Fuel prices are soaring and credit markets tightening, but the super-rich
are still lining up to pay tens of millions of dollars for mega yachts. The
well-heeled buyers of the floating mansions are increasingly coming from
emerging economies - in the Middle East, Russia and South America. The
source of their wealth runs the gamut - technology, venture capitalism, new
industries. And, yes, oil. "There are a lot of people with new wealth
looking for relaxation and enjoyment," said John Dane III, president of
privately owned Trinity Yachts, the largest U.S. builder. These days, the
biggest problem at Trinity's shipbuilding yards is having enough workers to
handle the 24 custom contracts the company currently is working for the
luxury vessels. --

Oil companies once viewed drilling in the deep waters off Florida as cost
prohibitive. Politicians feared even the slightest sign of support would be
career suicide. No more. Record crude oil prices are fueling support for oil
and natural gas exploration off the nation's shores. In Florida, movement
was underway even before President Bush called on Congress last month to
lift a federal moratorium that has barred new offshore drilling since 1981.
The early activity in Florida stems from a 2006 Congressional compromise
that allows drilling on 8.3 million acres roughly 125 miles off the
Panhandle — an area that had been covered by the moratorium, which was
enacted out of environmental concerns. In exchange, the state got a
no-drilling buffer along the rest of its beaches. -- Read on:

Here at Atlantis HQ in Marblehead, we don’t just make gear for the “sailing
market”; we make gear for sailors - the ones we sail with and against every
Wednesday night and every weekend. The gallery on our web site
( is full of pictures of the
customers that inspire us. Folks doing what they love to do on and around
the water. Folks with whom we share a strong bond - the feeling that every
time you leave your mooring, you’re going to discover something new – about
your boat, about your world or about yourself. Hop on board. Discover: Your

It is expected thatThomas Coville's latest attempt to break the
single-handed Northern Atlantic record onboard his 105-foot maxi trimaran
Sodeb’O will commence when he crosses the start line off Ambrose Light
Wednesday morning, July 9th, between 0600 and 1200 UT. On stand-by in New
York since May 19th, Coville will leave Brooklyn Harbour this evening,
Tuesday, prior to nightfall (local New York time) in order to position
himself on the start line off Ambrose Light. To break the record, he’ll have
to reach Lizard Point (south-west tip of England) in less than 6 days, 4
hours, 1 minute and 37 seconds. This record was previously set by Francis
Joyon aboard the trimaran Idec I in July 2005. --

by Erin L. Schanen, Sailing Magazine
In the northern reaches of Lake Michigan, nature in its most pristine form
is boundless. Towering sand dunes make up the mainland Michigan shore.
Islands, many uninhabited by humans, dot the horizon. As you sail farther
north, the scent of pine fills the air, and yes, you can drink the cold,
crystal clear water. It is here, in this most unlikely place to find a
long-distance sailboat race course, where the Chicago-Mac Race is often won
or lost.

The challenge found in the second half of the 333-statute-mile race, where
knowledge of local conditions, weather patterns and a great deal of luck
determine a competitor’s fate, is what keeps sailors coming back year after
year - decade after decade, even - to the longest annual freshwater distance
race in the world.

Officially it’s called Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, but to the
thousands of sailors who take part in the annual ritual it’s “The Mac,” or,
if necessary to delineate it from its sister race up Lake Huron from Port
Huron to Mackinac Island, the “Chicago-Mac.” On July 19, a record fleet of
up to 460 boats will cross a starting line about a mile off Chicago’s
skyscraping skyline for the 100th Race to Mackinac. -- Read on:

When the crew of A. Findlay Gibbons’ Custom 42-1 Zulu withdrew from the 2008
Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race this week due to light winds, it
was not for a lack of suffering. Here is their tale:

“Pull up a stool and I will tell you a tale. A true tale. A tale exactly as
I remember it. So we started the Vic-Maui 2008 race amongst the fleet, a
fair start on a fair day. A day full of expectations and hopes and vigour. A
great day for a sailboat race out across the wide sea. A last sad wave to
loved ones and the big blue bus was away. And as we settled into our
watches, the conversations were all about adventure and sun and trade winds.
About the dinners provided by the ladies of the Sydney North Saanich Yacht
Club, about the general preparation of the boat and new gloves and radio
checks and the like. But not about what really mattered.......

“As you all know there are many strange denizens of the deep blue sea. Each
stranger than the next. Some are spoken of in classrooms, some in small
groups and some, some are spoken of in whispers in bars late at night
amongst old and trusted friends. But there are some that are never spoken of
at all. The scientists and meteorologists have long since known of the
phenomenon called the Pacific High. A fairly predictable region of clear
skies and light winds surrounded by a super highway of 15 to 20 kt winds
rotating in a clockwise direction. Its seasonal migration is charted and
plotted, its every nuance graphed and calibrated. But the essence, the soul
of this giant has never before been documented.” -- Read on (Day 16):

Weymouth, UK (July 8, 2008) - It is the third day of the CST Composites 2008
Moth World Championships, and for the 99 entries from 18 countries, the plan
was to have now finished three days of qualifying races to see who would be
sailing in the Gold fleet for the championship, or the Silver fleet for
bragging rights. Wednesday was supposed to be a layday, with Thursday and
Friday set aside for the finale. However, this schedule has long been
forgotten, as Tuesday was the third consecutive day of excessive of winds
that have kept the fleet ashore.

Sailors are now getting disappointed after four days now of not being able
to get on the water, and the forecast for Wednesday is not looking good. The
race committee is more hopeful for Thursday and Friday, however, the number
of races for the championship is rapidly diminishing. At the sailor's
briefing at 9.30am, the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy race committee
indicated that the sailing instructions have been amended to reduce the
number of qualifying races to four with one drop. However, with the end of
the race period closing in fast, they will be more willing to send sailors
out in the upper limits of the wind spectrum of 25 knots. --

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: It is ironic that while the much maligned 2008
Olympic site in Qingdao, China is plagued by light winds (and pretty much
everything else), the site of the Moth Worlds and the 2012 Games is now
enduring too much wind.

When you buy electronics or any boating electronic equipment, you are going
to see more and more referring to NMEA 2000. To help understand NMEA and
what it will do for you, see our article NMEA 2000
( will help
you find the best gear, by reviewing hundreds of boating products and
bringing the best ones to you. stores product information
for access anytime, anywhere, and organize them into 200 plus
easily-accessible categories. --

* The five crew of J/24 Juvenile Delinquent were rescued just seconds before
their upturned boat sank stern-first into the waters of Weymouth Bay on
Sunday. The incident happened in the first race of the British National
Championships in winds of 25-29 knots and big seas. -- For photos and
complete report:

* The Notice of Race for the 2009 ISAF Team Racing World Championship,
taking place in Perth, Australia from January 31-February 8, has been
published. Following the successful launch of an Under 21 competition at the
2007 Team Worlds, the 2009 championship will again feature racing in both
the open competition, for the ISAF Team Racing World Championship Trophy,
and in an Under 21 competition for the Ciudad de Gandia Trophy. The New York
Yacht Club Silver Panda team from the USA are the current holders of the
ISAF Team Racing World Championship Trophy. Great Britain holds the Under 21
Trophy. -- Full details:

* Almost half the coral reef ecosystems in United States territory are in
poor or fair condition, mostly because of rising ocean temperatures,
according to a government report released Monday. The reefs discussed in the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report serve as breeding
grounds for many of the world's seafood species and act as indicators of
overall ocean health. It is noted that 25 percent of all marine species need
coral reefs to live and grow, while 40 percent of the fish caught
commercially use reefs to breed. -- Read on:

* (Detroit, MI) WJR is the exclusive radio partner for the 84th consecutive
sailing of 2008 Chrysler Jeep Superstores Bayview Mackinac Race beginning
July 12th in Port Huron. WJR’S Captain John Marshall along with past Bayview
Commodore Ted Everingham will be covering the race start to finish on WJR
with special video reports here at

* Malcesine, Italy - Nine teams are registered to compete on Lake Garda for
the fourth event of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2008, with the match racing
event beginning July 9. After a full round robin, the teams will compete in
the fleet event from Friday to Sunday. The RC 44 Malcesine SLAM Cup
reassembles some of the world’s best sailors, including Dean Barker,
Philippe Presti, Cameron Appleton, Sébastien Col, Russell Coutts, Kelvin
Harrap, Markus Wieser, James Spithill and many more. --

* Landfall announced that it has entered into a Gold Level partnership with
the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA). The company also
announced that it has been named as an official North American dealership
for Optiparts, the leading supplier of Optimist spars, blades, fittings and
accessories. Earlier this spring the company was named as the exclusive
North American distributor for the award-winning Bluemagic Optimist. -- Full

The Transat Quebec – Saint-Malo, the seventh running of this crewed
transatlantic race from Canada to France, finds the growth of the Class 40’
boats to be in the spotlight with no fewer than 21 boats to be on the
startline July 20th in front of the Quebec Yacht Club. Among the 32 entrants
will also include the Class 50’ Open, IMOCA Open 60, open monohulls, and 60’
multihull, and all must have a minimum of three crew members onboard. The
first 400 nautical miles of the race route occur in the Saint Lawrence
River, enabling land-based viewers to watch crews before they head off to
slide under Newfoundland and begin the Atlantic crossing. The race record
was set in 1996 by Loïck Peyron sailing his 60-foot trimaran Fujicolor II,
posting a time of 07 d. 20 h. 24 m to cover the 2950 miles.
Photo of race route:
Race website:

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.

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* From Dawn Riley: (re: women doing well in ocean races) Well there was the
all women's team on Maiden in that little ocean race then known as the
Whitbread Round the World Race and now known as the Volvo Ocean Race. Maiden
won two of the legs in the Southern Ocean and ended up second overall. There
are many other examples and hopefully we will keep seeing an increase in
sailing from the continuing increase of women in sailing because let's face
it - coed is more fun!

After being offline since April, the Forum has returned, now better than
ever. Whereas the newsletter has limits in length and scope, the Forum can
accommodate all comers. The Scuttlebutt editors will be actively looking to
the Forum as a new source for information, and we encourage the ‘buttheads
to take control of this new medium. Presently, the Forum categories are:

> Dock Talk: For all your sailing comments and questions.
> Sailing Event Reports: For posting regatta reports and commentary.
> Collegiate Sailing: For topics specifically relating to college sailing.
> New Product Announcements: For equipment, boats, and clothing/accessories.
> Classified Ads: Free postings for gear, wanted items, jobs, and boats

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