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SCUTTLEBUTT 2649 - Wednesday, July 30, 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.

Just when we thought the America’s Cup couldn’t get anymore disheveled, and
that the pending decision from the New York court system would provide
clarity as to when in 2009 the behemoth multihulls of the Swiss and American
teams would face off for the 33rd Match, the court’s decision today has
given this event an extreme “brain freeze.” Thankfully, Scuttlebutt Legal
Analyst Cory Friedman will guide us through this mess. Read on:

(July 29, 2008) By now many ‘Buttheads know that a sharply split Appellate
Division, First Department, has voted 3-2 to reverse Justice Cahn on the law
and reinstated the now teamless Club Nautico Espańol de Vela (CNEV) as
Challenger of Record. Having incorrectly predicted that the First Department
would affirm Justice Cahn, it is time for me to do my penalty turns. That
said, unless BMW Oracle Racing's Larry Ellison throws in the towel or a
mutual desire to settle breaks out, this case is going to Chief Judge Judith
Kaye (who is actually quite svelte) and the Judges of the New York Court of
Appeals in Albany, NY, who will have the final say.

The two dissenting votes in the Appellate Division give Golden Gate Yacht
Club (GGYC) an automatic right to appeal. While the Appellate Division,
being a division of the Supreme Court, has the power, unlike almost every
other appellate court, to reverse on the facts or the law or both, the Court
of Appeals may only reverse on the law. As the Appellate Division reversed
solely on the law, the Court of Appeals has a relatively free hand on any

The majority opinion, written by Justice DeGrasse, recently elevated after a
mammoth trial in which Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Barry Ostrager’s firm,
appearing pro bono, successfully argued that New York’s school funding was
unconstitutional, has some pretty severe problems which may give GGYC an
opening in the Court of Appeals. Although no one argued before Justice Cahn
that the Deed’s “having” language is ambiguous, the Appellate Division sua
sponte raised the issue, found that it was ambiguous, and that extrinsic
evidence needed to be considered to resolve the ambiguity. That
determination is questionable. -- Complete report:

Court decision:
Alinghi statement:
GGYC statement:

Here are a few of the ‘butthead comments after hearing the court’s decision:

“I had to check my calendar; I thought it is April 1st.” - Peter Szasz

“I believe this may be a final blow to the America's Cup as a prestigious,
highly sponsored event. I don’t feel I’m alone in that view.” - Robbie Doyle

“What a F... Up!! The America's Cup reached such a high level in Valencia
sitting on the Sport Podium with "The Masters" and "Wimbledon" thanks to the
integrity and class of Louis Vuitton and the wonderful cadre of Challengers.
Now the egos involved have plunged the most high-profile event in the
Sailing Spectrum into total disrepute. What a travesty!” - Paul Henderson

* From American Laser representative Andrew Campbell: “Let this be the place
to tell you that starting August 8th, I’m not allowed to print anything
other than descriptions of my personal experience on the site, no photos
from inside the venues, no movies, no interviews with other athletes,
nothing Olympic sponsors could make any money off of their exclusive rights
I suppose. Everybody’s giving me a little grief about my being disturbed by
the severing of our first amendment rights, but I’m a bit peeved to say the
least by their removal.” --

* As Typhoon Fung Wong (Phoenix), which smashed across Taiwan a few days ago
crosses China's south east coast a little less than halfway between Hong
Kong and the Olympic venue of Qingdao, Wednesday’s practice could be blown
out with wind gusts up to 30 knots possible. Fung Wong is the eighth
tropical storm to hit China's coast and the strongest so far this year, with
the latest five day prognosis showing that the breeze will be between 15-25
knots for the week in Qingdao. -- Sail World, full story:

* The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has launched their new Olympic
Games microsite, will include live mark-by-mark roundings and results from
every race, daily galleries featuring the best photography from the Games,
full details on every competing sailor, nations and event, a complete
database of Olympic sailing results and all the latest news and features
direct from Qingdao. View site at

Doyle Sails powered John Barbour‘s Velero VII to 2nd in the NA40 division of
the 84th Bayview Yacht Club Port Huron to Mackinac Race and to win the
Chicago-Mackinac Trophy Division in the 100th running of the Chicago Yacht
Club Race to Mackinac. Doyle customers won 11 classes in the Bayview to
Mackinac Race: C&C 35, Cruising B, Cruising C, Cruising D, IRC C, IRC D, IRC
F, IRC G, J/105, J/120, NA 40. When you are ready to put in a winning
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San Diego, CA - Proud mothers all over America are preparing to watch sons
and daughters head for the 2008 Olympics in August. In Point Loma, two of
those mothers - Jerelyn Biehl and Sherri Campbell - sit five feet apart in
the business they run together, bursting with pride. One son, Graham Biehl,
21, will sail the 470 class with crew Stu McNay of Boston; the other son,
Andrew Campbell, 24, will race singlehanded in his Laser class.

Graham and Andrew both attended Silver Gate Elementary School, where their
mothers worked together on the PTA. Graham and Andrew came up in the junior
sailing program at San Diego Yacht Club. Their mothers went into business
together four years ago at OneDesign Management, doing the administrative
work for sailing associations around the country and the world. -- Peninsula
Beacon, read on:

by Kimball Livington, SAIL WEST
For one thing, son, it's a lot more fun than another day in America's Cup
court (take my breath away, Justice DeGrasse) and it's a game that's perfect
for San Francisco Bay. Once upon a time, when the original Laser Generation
was coming on (Bertrand, Madrigali, Cayard, Silvestri for a short list)
people came from all over the world to play. Now, with the Laser North
Americans just completed, we have a new Laser generation stepping up.

Picture two rows of buoys side by side, windward-leeward. Two competitors
rally-up at the bottom of the course, each of them nose-to one of the bottom
marks. When the judge figures they're even, he signals a start. The job is
to tack up through the marks, cross over, gybe down through the marks, and
repeat, and don't crash, and finish first. Keeping the marks close together
keeps the gybes "interesting." Two days into a three-day event, we've seen
moments when both boats were down.

The bigger the breeze, the better the Slalom. It's supposed to be hard. Work
your way through the eliminations ladder to the finals, and you have
bragging rights. Our 2008 North American champ, David Wright of Toronto,
says he grew up on "the legends" and wouldn't miss this opportunity to take
a crack a Laser Slalom himself. -- Read on:

* Complete results for the Laser North Americans (Standard, Radial, and 4.7)
can be found here:

Twenty six Vipers raced in the Viper 640 North American championships in
Marblehead that finished on Sunday. The number of competitors has increased
by 45% for two consecutive years mirroring the growth of interest in this
modern 21 foot sportsboat. The Class Association has grown from a mere 20
boats 2 1/2 years ago to 100 boats in North America today. What makes this
growth particularly interesting is that it occurred without the extensive
marketing and promotion that is usually associated with the launch of
one-design sportsboat classes. The Viper class pursued a different formula.

"It was back to the future" says Justin Scott, Viper 640 Class Association
president. "The great classes of yore like the Lightening and the Etchells
and the Star were not launched with a large marketing campaign and expensive
advertising budgets, They were beautifully designed, well built boats and
the classes grew by word of mouth because they were fun boats to race and
sailors told other sailors about them.” -- Read on:

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* Marblehead, MA - More than 1,000 sailors with hometowns ranging California
to Canada set sail on Massachusetts Bay last weekend looking to clinch the
championship of the Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design (NOOD)
Regatta. Local Justin Scott and his boat, Dr. Who & The Daleks, came out on
top of the Viper 640 class and as a result were awarded the overall victory
among the 10 classes with 181 entrants. The title earns Scott an invitation
to the 2008 NOOD Regatta Championships in the British Virgin Islands in
November, where he'll compete against the overall winners from each stop of
NOOD's nine regatta circuit. -- Full story:
Final results:

* Lysekil, Sweden (July 29, 2008): Reigning World Champion, ISAF world
ranking leader and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2007, Claire Leroy
from France, had a very convincing start at the Lysekil Women’s Match, the
world’s largest women match racing event, where she rolled with five
victories and no losses when the racing started Tuesday. Lone North American
entrant Elisabeth Baylis (USA) remains winless at 0-3 and is currently at
the bottom of the leaderboard. -- Complete report:

* The Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii is officially now in the books, with
double-handed sailors Joby Easton and Bill Huseby aboard the Cascade 36
Raindrop achieving the coup of winning both class and overall honors. Complete results:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the ratification of a new
24 Hour World Record (Powered Sails - WSSR rule 21c) by the 30m monohull
"Leopard". Skippered by Chris Sherlock (GBR), the record was set May 27,
2008 after the team covered 466.4 nm for an average speed of 19.4 knots.
There was no previous record in the 21c category, which was claimed during a
Transatlantic crossing. --

* Premium luxury German automobile manufacturer Audi has added yet another
sailing event to its portfolio, with Audi Australia announcing that the
company has secured Naming Rights to the 2009 Etchells World Championship,
to be held at Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne, Australia in March
2009. --

* (July 29, 2008) The bulk of the troops in the 7th Transat Quebec Saint
Malo (Canada to France) are traversing a zone of transition in the weather
which is favouring the leaders. In the 50 footer camp led by Crępes Whaou!
there is everything to play for amongst the pursuers, who are beginning to
stretch away from the Class 40s. The focus of the race now seems to have
shifted with some big strategic decisions the order of the day. -- Read on:

* From August 29 to October 8, 2008, US SAILING will hold its annual
election to fill three seats on its Board of Directors. While President Jim
Capron and Board member Bill Stump are running unopposed, the following
nominees are vying for the remaining two positions: Paul Callahan, Susan
Daly, John Dane III, Amy Gross-Kehoe (incumbent), and Dawn Riley. --

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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 Ralph Taylor: (re, Steve Fossett in #2648) It seems that, whenever a
body isn't found and there are no eyewitnesses, some will speculate the
person isn't really dead. It happened with a friend of mine who drowned in
Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Utah, along with several others. In that case,
there were witnesses who saw -- from a distance -- the boat capsize & sink,
people in the water, then bodies disappearing. Still, some claimed the
deaths were faked.

I believe the strongest evidence for Fossett's death is that the plane is
still missing. A plane disappearing is something like a vessel going missing
at sea, except than an airplane has a limited capacity to stay aloft. The
eastern Sierra Nevada is wild, rough and desolate terrain; the deserts to
the east aren't much more forgiving. A lone, unprepared person has little
chance of survival.

The Civil Air Patrol Major's statement that they found six other downed
planes while searching for Fossett only says the CAP's prior searches for
those planes weren't effective, casting doubt on the reasoning that the
plane -- if it were there to find -- must have been found.

As to the Lloyd's investigator, I can only say "Absence of evidence of the
occurrence is not evidence of non-occurrence." Doesn't Lloyd's have many
records of "overdue" ships? Perhaps, some of those missing 18th century
vessels will soon sail into port and Steve Fossett will land at an airport
near you.

* From Charles J. Doane: (re, the Appellate Court decision) As a recovering
attorney I remarked back in November that the reasoning behind Judge Cahn's
decision seemed skewed (though I agreed with the result), so I am not at all
surprised it has been overturned on appeal. I am very surprised, however,
that the appellate court has ruled in SNG's favor rather than sending the
case down for more fact-finding.

As we all know, what this case is really about is Ernesto Bertarelli's
failure to act as a responsible trustee. It seems very likely he cut a deal
with the Spanish that Valencia would remain the AC venue if he were allowed
to draft a protocol heavily favoring Alinghi as defender. If an already
incorporated Spanish club already hosting an annual regatta had signed on to
such a scheme, the breach of fiduciary duty would be just as gross.

The courts have been very remiss here. Judge Cahn (very wrongly, I believe)
dismissed GGYC's breach of duty claim saying there is no fiduciary
relationship between GGYC and SNG. Who does SNG have such a relationship
with? Who are the beneficiaries of the trust created by the Deed of Gift?
The courts need to answer these questions once and for all. We also need to
see Bertarelli---under oath, under penalty of perjury---answering questions
about how his protocol for the 33rd match was created.

* From George Oestreich: I love sailing, I love racing but I also find the
endless litigation somewhat disheartening, regardless of whether it is at
levels of the America's Cup or on the race course. 90% of all infractions on
the race course are clear cut and in the "old days" a competitor would drop
out acknowledging their infraction (some great stories about legends such as
Ted Turner, having to start his engine for 10 seconds to avoid the tower in
Buzzards Bay, dropping out). Today you do a couple of 360's (equivalent to a
Hail Mary) and go on. There also seems to be a number of occasions recently
where people who are at fault just refuse to admit they could do anything
wrong, such as during a "classic regatta" not too long ago.

To sit down at a race committee hearing and have those infractions that are
in question resolved was a great way to keep the rules in force. Also it
reinforced the idea that next time that the ultimate action is to avoid
dangerous situations. It appears that many race committees have abdicated
their responsibilities by avoiding telling their peers they are wrong.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The game is played a little differently wherever we
sail, but the responsibilities for how it is played still remain largely
with the sailors. I heard a horrible story today about how a recent
elimination event for a U.S. junior championship was plagued by litigation,
all stemming from underage drinking. Guess what… the accused sailor got the
case dismissed. Nice lesson!

* From Jonathan Rankine: (re, story in Scuttlebutt 2647) It was nice to see
John Morgan get some well deserved recognition with your coverage of the
Splash Worlds in one of your recent newsletters. This is just one of the 5
world championships John's athletes have won in the last 3 years. John has
played a key role in developing the new breed of exciting young sailors
coming out of NZ, which at the moment include Peter Burling and Carl Evans
and former Radial #1 Jo Aleh.

I was coached by John in the early stages of my career in New Zealand and
was lucky to be part of many title winning squads and culminated for me
personally winning an under 19 matchracing title. Recently John played a key
role in a good result for our team in the NZ matchracing nationals. He
helped us to prepare for the regatta, analyze our performance during the
regatta which meant we were able to iron out some of the bugs in the team
before the regatta reached knock out stage.

It’s important these coaches are recognized as they play such a crucial role
in developing our sport.

* From Gary Edelman: Regarding Bob Patterson's letter in Issue #2648, while
Terry Kohler has indeed been a major supporter of various aspects of the
sport of sailing, and through the Windway Capital Corp. owns a controlling
interest in North Sails, his relatives would have a fit if they heard he had
suddenly taken over the Kohler Corp. that makes all those plumbing fixtures.

The more you complain, the longer God makes you live.

Special thanks to Doyle Sails, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, Inc., and Southern

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