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SCUTTLEBUTT 2653 - Tuesday, August 5, 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.

The Santa Barbara to King Harbor race was held August 1-2, 2008, and is a 81
mile race from Santa Barbara, CA, through the Channel Islands, to King
Harbor in Redondo Beach, CA. Here is a story by Sue Senescu regarding an MOB
incident on her boat:

“I was the skipper onboard Rattle & Hum, our Antrim 27, with crew Judy Rae
Karlsen, Betsy Crowfoot, and Valerie Navarro. All of these women are
experienced offshore racers with 8 Transpacs and numerous Cabo and PV races
between them. We have trusted each other with our lives many times, but this
time we called in the card.

“We were having an absolutely awesome ride past Anacapa Island to King
Harbor (Redondo Beach) in 25 gusting to 31 kts of wind running at upto 16
kts boat speed when we had a violent roundup that tossed Judy and I
overboard. None of us were wearing our inflatable harnesses and tethers. We
thought about it, as we were surfing like a spray ball of water, pumping and
grinding. We had been burying the bow into the waves in front of us every
fifth wave or so, taking on green water over the deck. We were mesmerized by
that need for speed. The thrill is addicting.

“We had made the time to move every bit of interior cargo and our bodies to
the aft of the boat, but we didn’t take the time to get ourselves tethered.
BIG mistake number one. At the moment the accident occurred I was driving
and Judy was on main, Betsy was on the weather aft stanchion (blessing
number one as you will see) and Valerie was on the winch. The boat was
pinned, with our largest running spinnaker flailing in the wind. I was lucky
enough to pop up and grab the aft stanchion, but Judy Rae was drifting away.
I’ll never forget looking at her as she said ‘I’ll be OK’.” -- Read on:

* Results:

When the idea is to introduce an innovative course configuration to a
premier field of one-design racers at one of their largest events, you
better have done your homework. Rather than surprise the entrants at the
Etchell Midwinters with the information in the Sailing Instructions, here
was the approach taken by PRO Dave Brennan:

“With 80 Boats registered for the 2008 Jaguar Etchell Series, and the
Etchell Midwinters (held February 29 - March 2 in Miami, FL) we knew we
would have numerous challenges to deal with. In the first couple of regattas
in the series, it was clear with the boats setting up more than .5 mile from
the windward mark (same length as the starting line) on the starboard lay
line and so many boats trying to jam in where there wasn’t any room at the
mark, with numerous collisions we needed to do something. I thought it would
be a good time to try the windward gate again; it wasn’t a new idea.

“I started by selling the idea to the Etchell Class & Etchell fleet 20
representatives with no problem. I then made a series of phone calls to
other race officers friends that I know that have experience with big
one-design fleets, and they all thought it was a good idea and each had many
good suggestions on course management. I next checked in with my Chief Judge
for the series and laid out my plan, very excited about trying something new
and progressive, and fine-tuned the Si’s for the change. Next, I started
calling some of sailors in the series that I knew well, shared my plan, and
asked their thoughts, each had suggestions and ideas on how to implement the
windward gate.” -- Read on:

* Midwinters photos:

All ask for CAMET Hobart Extreme Sailing Shorts. The lightest shorts on the
market, they weigh in at only 9 ounces, and are designed with offset side
seams to reduce chafing. The improved design provides extreme flexibility,
while the Titanium silver nylon fabric has a durable water repellent finish
that dries quickly with a UV rating of 40+ and so much more… Ask for it by
name! Also check out the new color in the 3000 model.

* US 470 rep Sarah Mergenthaler sent to Scuttlebutt an assortment of images
from the Olympic village. Sarah gives us a tour of the boat park and some of
the sailors, plus a panoramic view from her 15th floor accommodations. View

* Regarding US Finn rep Zach Railey’s plans for after the 2008 Games,
“First, I am going to take about two months off. Then I will start to look
for sponsors and funding for 2012 and will kick off my Olympic Campaign for
the Olympic Games in London. I want to continue to sail the Finn for 2012 –
for a guy my size the Finn is really my only option to sail at the Olympic
level and that is why it is such a perfect boat for the Olympic Games.” --
Full interview:

* US Men’s RS:X rep Ben Barger on recent training in Qingdao: “It was the
first day for me to line back up with all the best guys and see how my
abilities stack up. Fortunately I did as well as hoped, if not a bit better.
This is good news, but not getting ahead of myself, training races with
these guys isn’t the Olympic Games, but I was just behind the guy that won
the event last year, and if I would have potentially pushed harder, well
we’ll see. But that wasn’t the purpose today, it was to get the cobwebs out
of the lungs and get ready for the feeling of pumping hard for 30+ minutes
at a time.” -- Read on:

* US Laser rep Andrew Campbell on pre-Olympic measurement: “What is there to
measure in a class of boats where the organizing authority of the event
provides all the equipment to the sailors? As laughable as it is, the Laser
class does have to go through a measurement, even at events where equipment
is provided, mainly to check the rigging systems, to confirm that nothing
has been tampered with, and to sign a contract that you don’t intend cheat.”
-- Read on:

* Twice, American Morgan Larson has missed going to the Olympics. Twice,
he's come about as close as you can get without actually making it. But
there is little room for error in one-boat show of Olympic sailing where one
team qualifies for each of the seven different craft divisions. Larson
sailed in the 49er skiff division during the 2000 and 2008 U.S. Olympic
Trials and finished second and third each year, respectively. The difference
between him watching the games and participating in them came down to a few
simple things. "Nervousness, and a bit of luck," said Larson, a 37-year-old,
Capitola native. -- Read on:

* The US Olympic Sailing Team has set up a dedicated email address to enable
the ‘buttheads to send messages to the whole team or anyone within the team.
Emails can be sent here:

Dillon, CO - Dillon Yacht Club commodore Jeff O’Neill compares sailing on
the Dillon Reservoir to going through a boxing match. “It’s fun but it can
really beat you up out there,” he said. This is why some may have found it
strange when 12-year-old Jordan Nelson stood in the Dillon Marina Saturday
morning trying to talk his way onto one of the 86 crews that raced in the
Alpine Bank Dillon Open this past weekend. Nelson wandered around the herds
of sailors, most of which were more than 25 years his senior, with a sign
that read, “Jordan Nelson wants to crew. Is experienced.”

“There are actually a lot of junior kids that sail on bigger boats,” said
Nelson, who has been sailing for two years. “So, I was hoping that someone
would want me on their crew.” It didn’t take too long for Nelson to find a
boat, as Susan Strasia of the the Kachina picked him up to fill a traveler
position she had open. Nelson was just one example of how the 35th running
of the world’s highest regatta (at 9,017 feet) was truly an “Open” event. --
Read on:

By Cory Silken, Silken Photography & Publishing
My participation in the final ‘race’ at the Nonsuch Rendezvous 2008 was most
certainly the silliest yacht racing experience I’ve had on the water in a
long time, possibly ever! I hope these images will give the 'buttheads a
chuckle, as we were bawling with laughter. Our first laughs came with the
announcement of the start. The downwind start was a unique technical
maneuver, the likes of which we’d not previously practiced. The starting
moment was on a whim, about as random as Captain Jack Sparrow’s compass in
Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It was denoted only by the untimed and
unannounced lowering of a flag on a committee boat, which was underway,
making way downwind! Further, all boats were allowed to use their engines
until that moment. – Complete story with images:

The Melges 20 has been introduced and is sailing with fantastic success –
see a new video now at A very successful Melges 32 National
Championship held recently at New York Yacht Club was the buzz on
Narragansett Bay. Melges just unveiled a new look website for,
with an expanded parts section for their one-design racers that is sure to
expand over the coming months. Whether you sail a Melges 24 or one of the
Melges Scows, you can get detailed information on the new site.
Look for the Melges 20 up close and live at the boat shows! Race to

With the threat of multihull racing in the next America’s Cup, and the
bitter litigation between cup defender Alinghi and the BMW Oracle Racing
Team, much had been made of the two teams meeting recently at the iShares
Cup Extreme 40 catamaran event at Skandia Cowes Week in Cowes, UK.
Challenging conditions of brisk winds and confused sea played havoc on the
fleet, with three of the 11 entrants failing to finish the series. Alinghi
was only one of two teams to complete all of the 16 races, making skipper Ed
Baird’s group a worthy winner of the event.

Following the event, each team supplied the media with their press release,
and it was interesting to note the strategic differences taken in the
message that was presented. Here are the first quotes from each:

* “We improved each day in our performance,” BMW Oracle Racing helmsman
James Spithill said. “The teams that have spent time in the class showed in
their consistency.” -- Complete release:

* “This is where we prefer to compete to win: on the water, rather than in
court,” declared Alinghi team skipper Brad Butterworth. “There was a brief
glimmer of hope last Tuesday – when Société Nautique de Genève won the
appeal reinstating the Spanish Yacht Club as Challenger of Record and
kicking off a multi-challenger event – that there might be a return to some
normality and that the 33rd America’s Cup could get underway again with the
teams that had signed up last year, but that has been snatched away.” --
Complete release:

* iShares Cup report:

* Fort Lauderdale, FL (August 1, 2008) - The Southern Ocean Racing
Conference (SORC) announces the official opening for entries in the 29th
Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race. Schedule to start on February 6, 2009 just
outside of Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, the race – known
affectionately by sailors as ‘Mo Bay’ – runs 811 nautical miles to Montego
Bay, Jamaica and offers navigators, tacticians and crews a challenging
all-points-of-sail blast to a fabled destination. The current race record is
held by Titan 12, set in 2005, with an impressive elapsed time of 2 days, 10
hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds. --

* Malaysia will host the IODA (International Optimist Dinghy Association)
World Sailing Championship (WSC) in 2010 at the National Yachting Training
Centre. Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA) general manager Mohd Afendy
Abdullah said China and Thailand were the only two Asian countries to host
the WSC in 2001 and the 80s respectively. Brazil will be hosting WSC 2009,"
he told Bernama here Sunday. Afendy said the MYA will need RM5 million (1.5
million USD) to host WSC, mostly for buying 300 boats for the championship
and 30 boats for the trainers. – Complete story:

* The final entry in the Singlehanded TransPac fleet finished last Saturday,
with the official results of the event from San Francisco to Hanalei Bay,
Kauai as follows: Multihulls: Hecla, Hammerhead 54, Jeff Lebesch (1 boat);
Large Monohulls: Alchera, J/120, Mark Deppe (4 boats); Sport Boats: Polar
Bear, Olson 30, Eric Thomas (4 boats); Medium Monohulls: Haulback, Spencer
35, Jim Kellam (6 boats); Small Monohulls: Wildflower, Wylie Custom 27, Skip
Allan (5 boats); First to Finish: Dogbark, Open 60, Al Hughes; First Overall
(corrected time): Wildflower. -- Latitude 38, full report:

* Port Washington, NY - Twelve teams will be converging on Manhasset Bay for
the Knickerbocker Cup on August 20-24 to match race in Colgate 26’s. This 26
year old event is now a World Match Tour Qualifier Event, with the winner
gaining an automatic entry to compete in the Bermuda Gold Cup this fall. In
addition to last year’s winner Chris Van Tol (USA), the contenders will
include top-ranked Andrey Arbuzov (Russia), Keith Swinton (AUS), Sergey
Muskihin (RUS) Evan Walker (AUS), Juan Ignacio Grimaldi (ARG), Phil
Robertson (NZ), Takumi Nakamura (JAP), Robbie Allam (GBR), Francesco Bruni
(ITA), and Elizabeth Baylis (USA). --

* Danish sailmaker Elvström Sobstad is to revert to its original name,
Elvstrøm Sails, as of August 1, 2008. The re-naming of the company follows
the completion of the merger between Elvström Sails and US sail manufacturer
Sobstad in 2002. Since then, the company has used the joint name of Elvström
Sobstad. -- IBI Magazine, read on:

* Correction: Since Issue 2652 was published, corrections have been made to
the 2008 Buzzards Bay Regatta results for the Club 420 class. The actual
winner of the 123-boat fleet was Ian Liberty and Jane Rew, with Matt Wefer
and Alex Herring coming in second. -- Results:

Quantum Newport welcomes Tim Healy to their team! Tim, winner of over 15
National and Continental Championships, will be working with Quantum One
Design in a variety of classes. As one of the best One Design sailors in
North America, he will make a wonderful addition to the team!

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 be no longer than 250 words (letter
might be edited for clarity or simplicity). 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 Damian Christie, Melbourne, Australia: Let me get this straight. In a
Monty Pythonesque ruling, the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court
has handed back the mantle of Challenger of Record for America's Cup XXXIII
to CNEV - a purported yacht club with no members, no vessels, no annual
regatta, no telephone number or website and, most importantly, no team to
represent it at the next regatta!

The Appellate Division has erred. Justice Nardelli correctly argues that
challenges for the Cup should come from yacht clubs with the experience to
organise regattas of the Cup’s magnitude. Even if GGYC’s challenge is
invalid, at the very least the court should have dissolved CNEV’s
“challenge” on the available evidence and declared, in accordance with the
Deed, that fresh challenges be reissued to SNG within 30 days. It would then
have been up to the cleverest challenger to get their notice in first and
seek robust negotiations with Alinghi for a fairer, equitable protocol.

The Appellate Division’s decision effectively enables any Tom, Dick or Harry
to challenge for the Cup. In fact, I’m tempted to issue one on behalf of the
Alice Springs Yacht Club – a club which hosts its annual regatta on a dry
riverbed in central Australia, but has at least been represented in past
ocean races such as the Sydney to Hobart. ASYC has more credibility than
CNEV ever will – and all it needs to do is ‘promise’ to hold an annual
regatta in future on the open sea!

* From John Longley: I wonder who will be first to launch a yacht called

* From Doran Cushing St. Petersburg, FL: (re, story in #2652) Wonderful to
hear about the major numbers of participants in the Buzzard's Bay Regatta.
However, it is unfortunate that again, a repeating theme with regatta
organizers, that the multihull participants end up the bastard children. For
whatever bizarre reason, the multihull boats are listed at the bottom of the
PHRF Cruising results. Garbage in/garbage out.

The "sport" can continue to ignore the multihull community but the fastest
growing segment of recreational sailboat sales are large, somewhat expensive
catamarans. And the next America's Cup, if it ever happens, may be sailed on
multihulls. And the last America's Cup reflected technology innovations
which came from the multihull fleets - square-top mains, asymmetrical
spinnakers, screechers...just look at any performance monohull and see the
reflection of a multihull from a few years past. But don't go out of your
way to get our results posted...we don't matter.

Can absence make the heart grow fonder AND familiarity breed contempt?

Special thanks to Camet, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Quantum Newport.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at