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SCUTTLEBUTT 2650 - Thursday, July 31, 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 Jeff Zarwell, National Race Officer
Going into my first windward-gate regatta as a race officer, I anticipated
increased mark-set responsibilities and a need for experienced hands to pull
off the initial set and then to maintain a four-buoy weather-mark
configuration. I was right. However, the benefits of the windward gate were
greater than I expected.

The two-day regatta was sailed in J/105s out of The San Francisco Yacht Club
in Belvedere, California. Courses were laid in what we call the Olympic
Circle, a relatively shallow, relatively tide-protected area on the Berkeley
side of San Francisco Bay, often used for higher-level competition.

We ran the first two races with a single weather mark and offset, adding the
weather gate for the final race of the day after an initially backing breeze
stabilized. In the first rounding of the windward gate, it was clear that
that most of the 28 competitors had not calculated (or were not able to
calculate) risk/benefit between left and right marks. With the left side of
the course favored for the downwind leg, only 9 (including the
ever-competitive Chris Perkins) took the starboard mark. On the second
rounding, however, that number increased to 16. -- SAIL, read on:

* From American Laser representative Andrew Campbell, regarding the process
for assigning the supplied Laser boats and boards: “The boat draw was done
with oversize ping-pong balls in the official Chinese lottery powerball
machine, … and Chinese numerology played a huge part in whether coach Bill
Ward, team Leader Dean Brenner, myself and Anna (Tunnicliffe) reacted with
happiness or disdain to the numbers called in the bingo-like atmosphere.
Eight is an extremely lucky number here in China, as demonstrated by their
insistence on starting the Olympics on the eighth minute of eight o’clock
the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the millenium (even
though they don’t use the same calendar as we do? hmm…) 8:08pm on 8/8/08. We
found out from the Chinese guys sitting in front of us at the meeting that
the number 4 means “death” so we were obviously cheering for other teams to
receive the 4th, 14th, 24th, etc. boats out of the ball machines. 44 was
especially bad as far as well could tell.” -- Complete report:

* The Canadian Sailing Team has gone live with their Olympic microsite,
which includes athlete bios, images and blogs. View site at

* CBC's digital channel ‘bold’ is home to exclusive, live daily coverage of
Sailing events for BEIJING 2008: THE OLYMPIC GAMES. Peter Rusch and Fiona
Kidd will track all the sailing action and medal hopefuls from Qingdao
Olympic Sailing Center. -- Read on:

The event schedule in San Francisco, CA this summer has been full of
dinghies, and this week we pay tribute to a few of these events. Nicely
edited videos from the U.S. Youth Championship and the Laser North Americans
succeed at delivering the “scent of the event.” Following the Laser NA’s, we
have a video of the first heat from the revitalized Laser Slalom event that
was taken from the railing of St Francis Yacht Club, providing the same
outstanding vantage point enjoyed by the spectators for this event.

Also, if you have a video you like, please send us your suggestions for next
week’s Video of the Week. Click here for this week’s video:

At last week’s Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge in southern Maryland, Ullman
Sails customers dominated the J/105 division as they swept the top four
spots in the 15-boat fleet. Cedric Lewis and Fredrik Salvese’s team on
“Mirage” led the way, taking first overall with a definitive 11.5 points
ahead of second place. Michael O’Toole and crew finished in second, followed
by M. Hubiltz and E. Hornick’s “Veloce” in third. Fourth place went to Bob
Reeves’ “A Train.” All four boats competed with 100% Ullman Sails inventory!
Make an investment in your performance. Contact a local Ullman Sails loft
and visit

When the New York Supreme Court removed the Club Nautico Español de Vela
(CNEV) last fall as the 33rd America’s Cup Challenger of Record (COR), it
was because it believed that CNEV did not fulfill a term of the Deed of Gift
that – in the eyes of the court - required challenging clubs to already have
a regularly held annual event on its calendar. This decision was appealed by
the defending club, Societe Nautique de Geneve’s (SNG), and the opinion
issued this week by the Appellate Division, First Department reversed the
decision, and reinstated CNEV as the COR. To have, or to already have had,
is the question, and who better to understand the intent of the Deed of Gift
than America’s Cup historian John Rousmaniere. Here is John’s report:

“There is a statement by George L. Schuyler and John Cox Stevens providing
good, strong evidence of their intent when they wrote the now famous and (I
think) unambiguous “having” clause in the America's Cup Deed of Gift that
requires a challenger to hold an annual regatta.

“The statement goes this way: ‘There shall be an Annual Regatta for a prize
cup, to be given by the Club. The Regatta to take place immediately after
the second general meeting. There shall be an annual expedition of the
Squadron immediately after the Regatta.’ That’s Bylaw 13 of the Rules and
Regulations that Schuyler, Stevens, and the three other members of the Rules
Committee of the New York Yacht Club wrote after the club was founded in
July 1844. The membership as a whole approved those bylaws in March 1845.
Four months later the club held that regatta (which meant a fleet race).
Then its squadron (fleet) headed out on that expedition (the club cruise).
The Annual Regatta and Annual Cruise were still being sailed at the time
Schuyler amended the Deed in 1887 (as, indeed, they are today).

“When the Deed was drafted in 1851, just about the only experience Schuyler
and Stevens had with fleet racing was the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta
(of course, there was that race around the Isle of Wight a year earlier).
Here, therefore, was a simple, handy standard of race management experience.
Four points deserve emphasis.” -- Read on:

Scott Ferguson, who recently won the 2008 Laser Masters US Nationals held at
the New Bedford Yacht Club, is busy these days as he leads the spar design
team for the 33rd America's Cup with the BMW Oracle Racing syndicate as well
as being the head spar designer for the 2008-2009 Spanish Volvo Team "Equipo
Telefonica" which is the Volvo around the world race. "It has been a very
busy year for me. Exactly a year ago we signed with the Volvo Spanish team
and got right into that and just have not stopped. Last August we were hired
by BMW to do the mast for the America's Cup and since then it has been
crazy," Ferguson said.

Part of that craziness stems from the fact that it is important to Ferguson
to be there for the test phase of his masts, which means traveling to Spain
and other foreign waters. He spent the better part of 2007 in Valencia,
Spain working with the Luna Rossa (Italian) team in the 32nd America's Cup.
Ferguson feels lucky that the Cup masts are being built by Hall Spars in
Bristol, although the boat was built on the West Coast. In his own company
of engineers and others, Scott Ferguson, LLC, he designs the masts and other
bits and components that attach to the boats. -- The Jamestown Press, read

* Honolulu, HI--(Marketwire - July 30, 2008) - The Waikiki Yacht Club
announced today that Skipper Philippe Kahn, with co-skipper Richard Clarke
of Canada, set a new doublehanded record for the 2008 Pacific Cup race of 7
days, 15 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds. The prior record, set by Volvo
Ocean Race winner Stan Honey in 1992, was 8 days, 20 hours, 47min on the
Santa Cruz 70 Mongoose. The Pegasus Open 50 had the fastest elapsed time of
all 61 boats, including fully crewed racing machines that ranged from 45
feet to 73 feet in length. --

* In what has to be the closest 11th hour scenario in the US recreational
marine industry's history, President George W Bush yesterday signed the
Clean Boating Act of 2008 into law. The president's signature prevents a
"bureaucratic nightmare" for millions of US boaters as well as the US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also represents a significant
lobbying victory for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
and other boater groups that campaigned for the passage of the bill through
both houses of Congress, all the way to the White House. -- IBI Magazine,
read on:

* Three out of four boaters say that sky-high fuel prices are changing the
way they go boating this season, encouraging them to get on the water less
often, take shorter trips and make other accommodations. A nationwide poll
of 400 boat owners commissioned by Mad Mariner provides a unique window on
how fuel prices are changing the habits of everyday boaters, who have been
forced to adjust as gas prices climbed above $4 a gallon and diesel flirted
with $5 a gallon. -- Read on:

* (July 30, 2008) - Garmin Ltd, which designs, manufactures and markets GPS
navigation, communication and sonar products, today reported sales of US$912
million for its second quarter, a gain of 23 per cent compared to the same
period a year ago. The company also reported a 19 per cent increase in its
net income, up to US$256.1 million compared to US$214.4 million a year ago.
Its marine division, which saw sales decline by 11 per cent to US$71 million
for the quarter, was the only business segment to report lower sales. -- IBI
Magazine, complete report:

* Lysekil, Sweden (July 30, 2008) - Number two on the ISAF world ranking,
Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen from Denmark, stays together with home sailor Jenny
Axhede (SWE) on six victories and two lost matches after Wednesdays
continued round-robin in Lysekil Women’s Match, the world’s largest women
match racing event. Defending champion Linda Rahm from Sweden is, after 4-4
in matches so far, forced to win her remaining three matches to be sure of
reaching the next round-robin. Claire Leroy from France remains unbeaten at
5-0, while lone North American entrant Elisabeth Baylis (USA) was 2-3 on the
day (2-6 overall), and is now in tenth position of the twelve entrants. --
Complete report:

* (July 30, 2008) - Today, at the start of the tenth day of racing and on
the eve of a triumphant finish from Crêpes Whaou!, the fleet taking part in
the seventh Transat Quebec-Saint Malo (Canada to France) is exposed to one
of two extremes on the Atlantic. Out at the front, the multihulls and
leading Class 40 boats are weathering the storm on seas that are full of
potholes in a 35-knot NW’ly (gusting to 40 knots). Further back, it is
mostly light airs, with entrants trying to find a way out of the persistent
calms. -- Read on:

* Mathieu Richard is back at the top in the open division of the ISAF World
Match Race Rankings and together with women's world #1 Claire Leroy
completes a French double with the latest release of the standings on July
30th. Richard is one of three French skippers in the world open top five. --
Complete report:

The Morris M36, M42 and Morris 46RS will be shown August 8-10 at the Maine
Boats Homes & Harbors Show in Rockland, Maine. This show launches team
Morris’ Boat Show Season! This year the team will be splitting up for
September ­ half the team will cross The Pond for the Southampton Boat Show
Sept 12-21st. The M36 will be shown there for the first time. The stateside
team will head to Newport, RI. The teams will join up and fly south with the
geese for the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis Oct 9-13. For more information:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Aug 1-6 - 2008 I-LYA Regatta - Put-In-Bay, OH, USA
Aug 1-3 - IRC Pacific Coast Championships - San Francisco, CA, USA
Aug 1-3 - Dillon Open Regatta - Dillon, CO, USA
Aug 2-8 - 2008 Shark Worlds - Hamilton, Ont, Canada
Aug 4-8- Snipe US National Championship - Pt. Richmond, CA, USA
Aug 4-8 - Thistle US National Championship - Pensacola, FL, USA
View all the events at

While the America’s Cup event flails helplessly like a trout on a dock,
another event that embodied the fighting spirit of sailing in the 70’s
returned this week to San Francisco, CA – The Laser Slalom. Here is the
report from Kimball Livingston, SAIL WEST:

“Even if we never get enough regatta-type regattas there's a yen for that
different thing, and the Laser Slalom fits that need but good. Newly-crowned
North American Laser champion Dave Wright went undefeated through the
eliminations ladder to an all-Canadian final three and then to the final
round and… that's where Abe Torchinsky came in.

“Torchinsky had lost to Wright in their first meeting in this
double-elimination round, but he then went on to eliminate Anthony Boueilh
and set up a final shot at Wright, who needed just one more win to take the
title. Torchinsky needed two wins. Maybe not the house bet, but a good bet.
He did what he had to do.” -- Read on:

* If you have never seen the Laser Slalom video from the early 70’s, where
30 competitors faced 40 knot winds, here it is again:

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 Skip Doyle: (re, quote in #2649) Normally Paul Henderson uses many
words in telling us his take on a variety of sailing subjects. He never
spoke more clearly or accurately than in Wednesday’s ‘Butt when he used just
four little words to describe the current America's Cup situation: " What a
f--- up !!"

* From John Servais, Bellingham, WA: (re, story in Issue 2649) Cory Friedman
is superb in explaining the legal trauma. He is also a good writer - very
good. The second last paragraph of his Part 27 post is an absolutely
hilarious summation of a sad, sad situation. The humor is needed for us to
make sense of it. Thank you Scuttlebutt for carrying Friedman's posts.

Let us hope that GGYC and Larry Ellison will challenge this judgment to the
Appeals Court. As a lifelong sailor and as one who has enjoyed following
every AC since 1958, I feel this decision not only is the wrong decision but
could wreck the AC for the future. The America's Cup future now depends on
the GGYC and Larry Ellison to go forward in a challenge of this travesty of
a ruling. I hope other sailors from around the US will also add their voices
of support to GGYC going forward on appeal.

* From Richard Hazelton, Editor, 48 ° North Sailing Magazine: With the last
bit of dirt being thrown on the grave of the America's Cup, one might look
at racing on the local level and see a correlation between litigation
(protests) and interest. The northwest sailing scene is thriving because of
the fun races that have sprung up. Lots of boats, lots of fun, and the
prizes are drawn out of a hat. It's unfortunate that, especially on the
local level, winning by all means is more important than the experience. Of
course you need rules to sail, but there are many club racers who, if they
sailed more and studied the rules less, would be better sailors. If, at the
end of your sailing career, you've got more trophies than friends, you're
not doing it right.

* From Andy Vare, SF Bay: Oh yeah, another good thing about the Laser
slaloms: they never ended with guys in court suing each other while everyone
else sat around with their thumbs otherwise preoccupied.

The big thing on the SF Laser Slaloms? Whether to go for one reef or two. In
a Laser you can reef by wrapping the sail around the mast, which may not be
necessary now there are smaller rigs. A couple of times Madro won, it blew
40 and two reefs (plus pulling the top batten) was the fast ticket. The
other striking thing about some of the nukefests on the City Front was the
dichotomy of spectator and gladiator. Inside the comfy, dry and well-oiled
StFYC grill room, blazered spectators looked on as the wet and cold Laser
sailors did epic one-on-one battle, clad in life jackets, multiple
sweatshirts and wetsuits. The oohs and ahs which arose from full-monty,
backdoor wipeouts to weather at 23 kts... then turtling in the ebb in 3 foot
chop, grey fog on the deck and early stage hypothermia eliminating any sort
of rational thinking..."Darling, will you be having another fizz?",(clink
clink) "not now, deary, someone is in the water again and it looks
positively awful"...

Most of the gladiators have now become successful professionals. The Slaloms
did so much for their generation, one wonders whether, in the absence of the
regatta, the vacuum behind them serves anyone, much less the spectators in
the grill room? Who's up for the first reinaugural? Ernie?

* From Skippy Cole: Congratulations to Joby and Bill, winning all the pickle
dishes for the Pacific Cup in high style. When I spoke with them after the
race their understated comment was - 'well the boat did all the work'. Come
on boys - that's a Cascade 36 not a Volvo 70'. And you did it double handed!
And you were the underdog of the decade (I can't say 2 decades because you
did it 20 years ago)! You make the Northwest proud to have sailors like you
living up here.

* From Howard Bentley, San Francisco, CA: Steve Fossett was flying a wood
airplane covered in fabric (a single engine Citabria Super Decathlon).
Unlike aluminum planes, not much to see if it crashes with any fuel aboard
at all. Time to go back to your other conspiracy theories folks.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: We agree, it is time to move on and close this
thread. For those interested in more details on Steve’s plane, here are a
couple sources:
Photo of his plane:

I intend to live forever. So far so good.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Morris Yachts.

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