Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2645 - Thursday, July 24, 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.

* In the last two days the wind has broken through in Qingdao. Yesterday
we experienced 20 knots, today it was 22-25. In the fresh winds, nice
waves quickly build up, especially when it is blowing against the tidal
flow. For two days, the difficult marine conditions has forced the
Chinese navy, fishermen and volunteers picking the algae out of the
water to remain onshore. The green problem is now back. When planning
down waves and the bow dives through a weed spot, boatspeed decreases
even quicker than usual with all this green stuff flying away. It is
also quite interesting to see how, as everybody lost quite few kilos for
racing here with expected light winds, differences in the breeze are
bigger. -- Michele Marchesini, International Finn Association website,
photos are posted at:

* Last week, Dutch Team Zwitserleven, Tornado sailors Mitch Booth and
Pim Nieuwenhuis, revealed a revolutionary sail for the Olympic
competition in China. Because of the expected light winds in Qingdao,
the duo focused on developing a special gennaker. It is a lot flatter
and smaller then the regular gennakers used on the Tornado. That allows
the team to use this sail upwind in anything under 12 knots, something
which is impossible with the traditional gennaker. Booth and Nieuwenhuis
believe that this will give them a big edge over the other competitors
in the predominant light breezes of Qingdao. Also, while it has been
uncertain for a long time, it is now confirmed that Team Zwitserleven
has secured accreditation for their coach, USA sailmaker Jay Glaser, and
will be able to bring him to the Olympics. -- read on:

* The Venue: The sailing venue has been at a satellite site for most
Olympics. But no site has been as far removed from the hub as Qingdao.
US Olympic Laser sailor Andrew Campbell said. “We're going to the
Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and while we won't be in the big
(Athletes Village) in Beijing, Qingdao will offer a cleaner and more
intimate atmosphere focused only on sailing, so that's very exciting.
What more can we ask for? Maybe a little more breeze, but we'll see what
happens.” -- Read on:

* Quote of the day: “The only other worry is the surreal fog that
descends quickly, making Qingdao resemble Gotham City. It is a reminder
that we can have all the technical support, but if the weather closes in
on us, we are helpless.” -- Ben Ainslie (GBR Finn sailor)

A golf cart carrying a century of greatness greeted sailors returning
from the sea Saturday during the New York Yacht Club’s Race Week. Olin
Stephens, who turned 100 in April, rode shotgun on a short run along the
Harbour Court dock, where many whose classic boats he designed waited to
pay homage. I hadn’t seen such adoration in this region for someone in a
golf cart since another legend, Ted Williams, was swarmed at the 1999
All-Star Game in Fenway Park. Lordy, what these two New England icons
did for the world of sports with a narrow piece of wood.

The Splendid Splinter wanted to be known as the greatest hitter whoever
lived. Stephens is known as the most successful yacht designer of the
20th century. And that makes him royalty in the City-by-the-Sea.
Fittingly, hundreds turned out Saturday night for a centennial tribute
to the man known as NYYC Member No. 1, a fixture in the club since 1930.
Not bad for a college dropout. Stephens went to the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology for a term, but at 21 became one of the major
sparks in the founding of Sparkman & Stephens. It was the best dropout
move in the Boston area until Bill Gates departed Harvard. -- Rick
McGowan, Daily News, read on:

Like many one-design classes, the J80 North American and World
championships have been dominated by professional skippers and crews. In
the United States, sailmakers typically win these events, probably
somewhat motivated by commercial interests. Given that dominance,
members of the class have struggled with generating a lot of interest in
participating at the top level as there really isn't a realistic shot at
the top spot(s). To overcome this roadblock the J/80 class has
introduced trophies for boats that compete with a totally amateur crew
as determined by a valid ISAF Category 1 rating. This concept is not
new, as the Farr 40 and Melges 24 classes, among others, currently
acknowledge "Corinthian" racers. The intent is to encourage greater
participation in racing and to expand the fleet. This year, the J80 NA
championships will be hosted by California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey
beginning July 31st. -- Ed Cummins

From Malin to Hebrides, Fair Isle and Viking, through seas made familiar
by the shipping forecast, some 60 sailing ships are racing from
Liverpool to Norway. The annual tall ships race, which began in earnest
yesterday, shows, magnificently, that the age of sail is not over.
Around a million people are said to have come to see the ships in
Liverpool this week, as the city's docks were filled, just as they were
150 years before, with sloops and barques, ketches and full-rigged
square ships, a jumble of spars and masts that dominated the waterfront.
The ships come from all over the world, offering excitement and training
to their crews, many of them young people who have never done anything
like it before. The vessels are living things, kept at sea by people who
love them; so much more vibrant than other ocean-going relics now tied
up as museums. -- The Guardian, UK, read on:

In the first ever Marseille Alger Cup, the French team of Laurent
Bourguès and Nicolas Boidevezi finished second overall in the roundtrip
1,000 nautical-mile race from Marseille, France, to El-Jazair, Algeria.
The team, competing on Mini 6.50 “Adrenaline La Fete Bleue Marseille”,
raced with 100% Ullman Sails inventory and held on to a podium position
despite suffering keel damage 40 miles from the finish and losing their
lead on the fleet. “Adrenaline” finished on July 9th in 5 days, 5 hours
and 49 minutes – just over 5 hours behind the first place boat “Soitec.”
Visit Ullman Sails at

The lighter-air trend that began over the weekend has continued to
affect the Pacific Cup fleet. Joby Easton and Bill Huseby aboard the
Cascade 36 Raindrop have held on to first overall and first in
Doublehanded 1 for the second straight day. Dean Daniels' Sleeping
Dragon (Hobie 33) has hit the South corner quite hard but remains in
second overall while leading Class D. Bullet, Michael Maloney’s Express
37 is in third place overall, first in Class C, and is further South
than any other boat in his class. --

Puerto Portals, Mallorca -- Mean Machine emerged from a classic sea
breeze day of three good races on the Bay of Palma to lead the 14th
Regatta Breitling by seven clear points from Matador. Peter de Ridder’s
team were on top of their game when they chased Bribón across the finish
line of the first race before going on to win the second race by a
comfortable margin, but once again it was their ability to rescue a
solid single digit result from the depths of the fleet early in Race 6
of the regatta which also highlights their class in this fleet. The
double points coastal race around the full span of the Bay of Palma is
scheduled for Thursday. --

Breitling Regatta leaders after 6 races:
1 Mean Machine MON (1, 5,1, 2, 1, 7) 17 pts
2 Matador ARG (3, 1, 3, 9, 7, 1) 24 pts
3 Quantum Racing USA (11, 2, 2, 8, 2, 2) 27pts
4 Mutua Madrileña ESP (2, 12, 8, 4, 5, 5) 36 pts
5 Platoon powered by Team Germany GER (7,4,6,7,6,6) 36 pts

Audi MedCup Circuit Standings after 32 races
1 Quantum Racing USA 156
2 Artemis SWE 175
3 Mean Machine MON 175
4 Bribón ESP 178,2
5 Matador ARG 216

Both Ericsson boats have endured a bruising encounter with the North Sea
during their Volvo Ocean Race qualifying run. Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4
ran into 40 knots within 24 hours of a relatively gentle departure from
Sweden on their round trip to the team training base in Lanzarote.
'We've had a pretty full-on trip up until now,' said Phil Jameson,
bowman on Ericsson 4. 'It's hard to believe that its not long since we
launched the boat, and already we've sailed 1,200 miles in her, done 30
knots of boat speed, had three reefs in the main, and banged away upwind
in 20-25 knots for 36 hours. It has been a good way to find out about
all the niggly little problems that you encounter with a new boat.’ --
Full story:

I’ve just noticed that according to the rankings on the ISAF website,
Ben Ainslie (GBR) is ranked number 28 in the Finn class. Hmmm.

In 2002, a little over a year after moving into the Finn class, Ben won
the Finn World Championships. He successfully defended this world title
for the following two years, equaling the record of three wins set by
Brazilian Jorg Bruder in the early ‘70’s. He won the Finn class gold
medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. In 2005 he then made history to
become the most successful Finn sailor ever by winning his fourth
successive Finn Gold Cup. In January of this year Ben secured a fifth
world title, at the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne -- a totally
unprecedented record in this long established, legendary Olympic class.

Well done Ben -- ISAF has now ranked you the number 28 Finn sailor in
the world. Perhaps someone can explain to me why I feel that any system
that ranks the reigning world champion #28 must be terribly flawed? --
The (original) Curmudgeon, ISAF Rankings:

Hall Spars & Rigging now offers a range of ferrules perfect for
cascading purchase systems, floating leads, and fairleads. The clean,
circular, anodized aluminum Hall ferrule was fully engineered in our
factory and tested here and on the water. Available in six sizes, the
ferrules make any system cleaner and lighter. When we replaced a Melges
32 backstay using a series of ferrules, we saved 7 pounds over the
factory set-up. We're sure you'll find many uses for something so
simple, you'll wonder why no one offered it before. Prices and breaking
strengths available at

* In the wake of the untouchable red multihull Crêpes Whaou! which
rounded the Percé mark at dawn this Tuesday, the fleet of the 7th
Transat Quebec Saint Malo is continuing to make headway as best it can
towards the infamous pierced rock that forms the second course mark
along the banks of Gaspésie. However, all 27 crews are battling with
some extremely random conditions at the mercy of the light airs and the
wind holes which are dotted about the course. Just one thing is certain:
rounding Percé in glorious sunshine with a zone of high pressure is
making things more than a little complicated. --

* Fifty J/22 competitors from as far away as Texas, Ohio, New York,
Maryland and Canada made the trip to the Buffalo Yacht Club for Eastern
Great Lakes Championship Regatta, or better known as the "Raw Bar"
Regatta. Conditions for the event were extremely challenging on
Saturday. It was anyone's guess as to where the next shift would be
coming from. Saturday's breeze peaked around 10 knots from the west
southwest with varied chop. Final results: 1. Mo'Money, Kevin Doyle; 2.
Thunder Chicken, James Barnash; 3. Leading Edge, Todd Hiller,; 4.
Deadbeat Club, Chris Doyle, 5. Panic Attack, Gunner Richardson. --

* Patrick Arrington and Sam Walker from Coconut Grove Sailing Club Sea
Scout ship 1946 have won the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup
Regatta. The Sea Scout Cup is a biennial international regatta for the
top Sea Scout sailors from around the world – forty teams compete.
Second place went to the Kiwi team of Gareth Moore and Hayley Anderson
while the USA’s Jeff Adam and Delana Stoica finished third in
“challenging” sailing conditions. This is the first time in the Koch
Cup’s 8-year history that it has been won by a team from somewhere other
than Del Mar, CA. --

* US Sailing has launched a revamped learn-to-sail website, making it
easier than ever to learn about sailing courses – from beginner to
instructor-level training – and find US Sailing accredited sailing
schools in 46 cities across the United States and Mexico. In addition,
the website lists news and offers posted by US Sailing accredited
schools across the country and has created a forum for the leisure
sailing, or cruising, community where experts and sailing instructors
provide tips and sailors can share their questions, experiences, and
favorite destinations. --

* Thanks to the generosity of Lipton Tea, the Sir Thomas Lipton
InterClub Challenge Cup, has returned home, after being lost as a result
of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The original cup was commissioned by Sir
Thomas Lipton and presented to Southern Yacht Club in 1919. Last year,
the original silversmith, Comyns of London, Ltd., was commissioned to
create a new cup. The new Lipton Cup is crafted from sterling silver
from a mold taken from a half-model built in the early 1970s, It was
‘unveiled’ at a special ceremony at Southern Yacht Club on July 19.

* ISAF has issued the first draft Notice of Series for the 2008-2009
ISAF Sailing World Cup. Due to launch at Sail Melbourne in December
2008, the ISAF Sailing World Cup has created to provide sailors and the
media with a definitive annual series for Olympic sailing. The Notice of
Series outlines the proposed points and scoring system that will be used
for this first season, throughout the year this will be closely
evaluated to ensure fairness and competition. Any queries with regard to
the Notice of Series should be directed to ISAF at

* Veteran show producers Show Management of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Sail
America of Middletown, RI have merged their two long-standing boat shows
into one all-new “super show” now called St. Petersburg Boat Show and
Strictly Sail slated for December 4-7, 2008 in St. Petersburg, FL. --

* Part two of the sixth biennial Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex
begins on Thursday. Two IRC, two PHRF and four one-design classes will
begin a four-day racing series that includes the NYYC Club Swan 42s NAs,
J/109 NAs, J/122 East Coast Championship and the Northeast Championship
for Beneteau First 36.7s. Joining the racing on Friday will be the
Melges 32 class, sailing its National Championship, and the J/105 class,
sailing its East Coast Championship. All told, 120 boats will take to
the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound for a three- or
four-day "weekend. --

* Correction to report in 'Butt 2644: The top females in the just
completed 2008 Club 420 National Championship were Chanel Miller, with
Melanie Johnson crewing, placing 7th overall. Eliza Richartz and Rebecca
King, who were reported as winning the female title, were 8th.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
July 24-27 - Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta - Marblehead, MA, USA
July 25-27 - 29er US National Championships - Cascade Locks, OR, USA
July 26 - CHIX ONLY Team Race - Bristol, RI, USA
July 26 - Long Island Sound Match Racing Champs - Southport, CT, USA
July 26-27 - Youngstown Level Regatta - Youngstown, NY, USA
View all the events at

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.

-- To submit a Letter:
-- To post on the Forum:

* From Jay Gowell: In an effort to enlighten the recent debate in 'Butt
2641 and 2642 about the geographic origins of the US Navy, I provide the
following summary written by colonial historian Bruce MacGunnigle:

On 12 June 1775, the Rhode Island General Assembly, meeting at East
Greenwich, passed a resolution, which created the first formal,
governmentally authorized navy in the Western Hemisphere: “It is voted
and resolved, that the committee of safety be, and they are hereby,
directed to charter two suitable vessels, for the use of the colony, and
fit out the same in the best manner, to protect the trade of this
colony... “That the largest of the said vessels be manned with eighty
men, exclusive of officers; and be equipped with ten guns,
four-pounders; fourteen swivel guns, a sufficient number of small arms,
and all necessary warlike stores. “That the small vessel be manned with
a number not exceeding thirty men. “That the whole be included in the
number of fifteen hundred men, ordered to be raised in this colony...
“That they receive the same bounty and pay as the land forces...”

Wasting no time, on 12 June 1775, the same day as the above resolution,
Governor Nicholas Cooke signed orders addressed to “Captain Abraham
Whipple, commander of the Sloop Katy, and commodore of the armed vessels
employed by the government…”

A number of other towns also claim to be the birthplace of the American
Navy, but none are as early, and none involve specific government
authorization. -- MacGunnigle's complete analysis:

Trust me. At my age I’m an expert on everything.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Hall Spars & Rigging.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at