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SCUTTLEBUTT 2667 - Monday, August 25, 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 Jos M. Spijkerman, International Judge, Netherlands
In the articles and news stories about the Olympics, I read over and over
again that we are viewing the first Olympic Medal races. True enough, but a
little derogative for all those people who have developed the system in the
last six years.

A lot of time, experiencing and rules tweaking has gone into getting to a
concept that works. I remember a SPA regatta four or five years ago where
the medal race was still an experiment. A lot got done since then. By ISAF,
by Rules Specialists, by the Sailors, by Race Management and by Organizing
Authorities. All to keep the sport of sailing into the Olympics.

It is very easy to have critique about what is flawed about this concept and
perhaps uninteresting to have an eye for all the positive effect that it
has. With all it's drama, in heartbreaking moments for losers and
jubilations for the winners, it brings out the best in sailing. It gives the
ten best sailors of the opening-series a direct chance to sail in front of
the camera's, sail in front of their countrymen, sail for their families and
friends and show them what they have worked so hard for, in all those years.

With direct judging everybody knows who is the winner, as soon as the last
boat is in. I refuse to believe that an average viewer is unable to
understand a simple points system and must be satisfied with first over the
line. Add a little more effort in tracking and superimposing positions on TV
and everybody will be able to empathize with the sailors, even more.

Of course there are exceptions, sailing is a complicated sport with many
variables. But that adds to the drama. Nobody had thought beforehand about
this particular sequence of events in the 49er Medal Race, with DEN sailing
in the CRO boat. It got handled. The Jury reached a decision after looking
at all the facts and hearing evidence from all the parties. Twice. The shine
on this particular Golden Olympic medal will last a lifetime. --

=> MEDAL RACE SURVEY: Do you like the concept of the Medal Race? The races
are short, and with double points, a lot can potentially happen. Should so
much be riding on this sprint? Or, does the Medal Race provide each event
with a needed highlight moment, shining the spotlight brightest for the ten
best entrants, and making the medal winners fight it out for their place on
the podium? Post your vote and comments here:

Rochester, New York, USA (August 24, 2008) - Greg Fisher of Annapolis, MD
prevailed over 103 other J/22 teams from around the globe at the J/22 World
Championship in Rochester, NY. Sailing with wife JoAnn, Jeff Eiber and Sarah
Paisley, Fisher finished the 10 races 17 points ahead of Anthony Kotoun of
the Virgin Islands in second place and 30 points ahead of Phil Wehrheim of
Rochester, NY in third. Fisher was also the victor at last year’s J/22 North
American Championship. Racing began on August 20 and concluded Sunday with
variable breezes of 5 to 10 knots. Multiple nations were represented at the
championship, including the Netherlands, South Africa, France, the Virgin
Islands, Canada and the United States.

Final Results – Top 10 of 104 entrants
1. What Kinda Gone, Greg Fisher, USA, 51.00 pts
2. bob's yer granddaddy, Anthony Kotoun, ISV, 68.00
3. Team Traffic, Flip Wehrheim, USA, 81.00
4. Solid Layer, Chris Doyle, USA, 97.00
5. Team 865, Bill Hardesty, USA, 99.00
6. Palmer Legal Staffin, Peter McChesney, USA, 101.00
7. Thunder Chicken, Jim Barnash ,USA, 105.00
8. Leading Edge, Todd Hiller, USA, 122.00
9. Dieselsnack, Rob Johnston, USA, 144.00
10. TBD, Allan Terhune Jr, USA, 150.00

Complete results
Daily reports:

Just like Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy/ Andrew Simpson, and Nathan Wilmot/
Malcolm Page - Anna Tunnicliffe has Gold Medal winning vision! More
specifically, these Gold medalists all relied on Kaenon Polarized in Qingdao
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* Back in February, Scuttleblog predicted doom for the British Olympic team
because they had announced that Bollé would be their Official Supplier of
sunglasses and prescription eyewear. Well, we all know that the Brits did
just fine at the Olympics, perhaps in part because many stuck with their
preferred brand… Kaenon. Another rebel was RS:X Silver Medalist Julien
Bontemps who split from the French team’s deal with Bollé - and gave up the
podium money that Bollé was providing - to use Kaenon Polarized. --

(August 22, 2008) - BMW Oracle Racing has confirmed that after nine months
of intense activity its team in Anacortes, WA is in the final stages of
preparing its new 90-foot multihull yacht for sailing. The carbon fiber
trimaran emerged from under wraps at its purpose-built construction shed
here for the first time today. The trimaran is the third yacht constructed
for the team in this waterfront community 100 miles north of Seattle.

The yacht is a key element of the team’s preparation for the next America’s
Cup, representing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), on which a
ruling is expected from the New York State Court of Appeals in the next six
months. The team partnered with Van Peteghem / Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) of
France and one of the most successful skippers in multihull racing, Franck
Cammas, to design the innovative trimaran. -- Complete report:


=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: If you have forgotten how the America’s Cup has
gotten so off track, or would like a quick booster shot to get up to speed,
BMW Oracle Racing has posted their view on the timeline of events from July
2007 to current:

Also, if you were curious how Alinghi feels about all that has transpired,
cartoons on their website might give you a glimpse:

by Kimball Livingston, SAIL
I wasn't far along with my project of the day, querying America's Cup
helmsman Ed Baird about sailing these real fast multihulls he's racing
nowadays, when he interjected, "A lot of my friends have been asking the
same questions you're asking, and yes it's different but it's not so
different. I grew up racing Lasers and the like, and when boards came along
they were fast and different, but I learned how to sail them too. Now it's
cats and tris. Definitely it's fun to go this fast. The moment you leave the
dock you're on edge. You have to be mentally on.

"Cats have their own behavior in terms of stability and acceleration," Baird
said, "but if you think about it, design evolution in the monohull world is
bringing us closer to this kind of sailing. We're on a learning curve, and
I'm curious just how far up that curve we really are." -- Read on:

* Beijing, China (August 23, 2008) - The ad hoc Division of the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today dismissed the applications filed by
the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE)
against two decisions of the International Jury of the International Sailing
Federation (ISAF) related to the gold medal race of the 49er event which
took place on 17 August 2008. As a result, the final results as posted are
officially confirmed. -- Complete report:

* Following the medal count, counting the number of entrants that qualified
for the Medal Race has become a secondary tier to gauge a team’s success.
The top three medal winning countries were equally strong in the medal race
category, with the British qualifying for the medal race in all eleven
events, while the French were in 8 and the Australians were in 7. For the US
and Canada, they had entrants in 4 events and 3 events, respectively.

* Qingdao locals told me, as the last of the racing events finished up, that
they were more than happy to see the games finally leaving town. It’s not as
if the games have provided this city of 7 million with a tourist bonanza. In
fact, according to the locals with whom I spoke, Qingdao has suffered a
decline in visitors during the Olympics. Qingdao’s famed beer festival,
always held in mid-August, was cancelled by a government fearful of drunken
locals, and, the bogeyman of every Chinese government: instability. But even
before the cancellation of the beer festival, Qingdao—a tourist town—was
less than welcoming to outsiders interested in attending the sailing events.
Tickets were cheap, but they were only available for purchase in Qingdao’s
post offices (events in other cities were available through a Chinese joint
venture with Ticketmaster). The result has been mass vacancies in Qingdao’s
hotels, made much worse by the proud refusal of local hoteliers to drop
their Olympic room-rates despite the low occupancy rates. -- Adam Minter,
The Atlantic, complete story:

* Boris has never been to an Olympics before. Never hoisted a sail, never
even set foot aboard a boat. Until now, in fact, Boris has been kept well
and truly under cover. But the '18th member' of Australia's gold-medal
winning sailing team has been unmasked as the secret behind their success.
Commissioned two and half years ago by the CSIRO, the sophisticated weather
program - nicknamed Boris by the Australian sailing team for no particular
reason - propelled Australia's most successful sailing team to their best
Games since Sydney 2000. -- Read on:

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Believe you me, the place went bonkers after Yin Jian won China's first ever
sailing gold medal, and it seemed as though Chinese supporters appeared from
every nook and cranny until we feared the jetty would sink under their
weight. You could understand their enthusiasm, though, for this was another
sporting breakthrough. And it is just the start. Just as you can bet your
bottom dollar that there are young kids all over China being handed a racing
bike and told to go and get gold in four or eight years' time, the Chinese
sailors aiming to knock Team GB off their top slot have been launched.

Rather frighteningly, there are already 80 yacht clubs in schools in Qingdao
alone, with 42 schools offering specific courses in sailing. The city
authorities reckon that they have 2,000 children from the age of 11 out on
the water and the ten best performers are picked out annually and sent on
intensive training courses in Kiel, Germany. Today it is Ainslie and the
Yngling girls, tomorrow it could be the turn of an 11-year-old Chinese kid
who has decided to follow in the wake of Yin Jian. -- Times Online, complete

* With the bulk of Olympians coming from the Optimist class, a look at the
2008 Optimist Worlds results might hold a glimpse of the future. For the top
three countries in the medal count, their top sailor in the Worlds was 4th
(France), 53rd (Great Britain), and 89th (Australia). Where was China?
Fifteenth place. -- Results:

* George Reichhelm, sailing “Shucks” out of Cedar Point Yacht Club
(Westport, CT), won the Atlantic Class 80th National Championship held
August 20-22 at Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club in Blue Hill, Maine. The 34-boat
fleet was the largest since 1981, and marked the first time the championship
was hosted by the Maine Fleet. The Class of 30-foot keelboats, designed in
the 1920s, completed a five-race series over three days on Blue Hill Bay,
with five different clubs represented in the top five trophys. – Complete
report and results:

* Over 70 entries have come to the Buffalo Canoe Club in Ridgeway, ONT to
compete in the 38th Sunfish World Championship, with racing scheduled for
August 25-28. The countries being represented are Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda,
Canada, Colombia, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Holland,
Martinique, Peru, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, USA, and Venezuela. --
Event website:

* Fourteen yachts from nine countries will race for the Region of Murcia
Trophy, the fifth stage of the six event 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit, held in
the Spanish Mediterranean Navy Town of Carthagena. Leading after four events
is the American entry Quantum Racing, with skipper Terry Hutchinson having
led his Botin/Carkeek-designed yacht to wins in two events. Last year’s
champion Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis is 30-points adrift in second. The
race schedule is for inshore buoy races to be held Tuesday, Wednesday,
Friday and Saturday, whilst Thursday will see a double points scoring
coastal race of up to 50 nautical miles. --

* The 2009 Stanford Antigua Sailing Week has announced a new race format and
schedule that will sail off a day earlier for the racing and cruising fleets
on Saturday April 25th and will culminate on Thursday April 30th. The
bareboat fleet will start their regatta on Sunday finishing on Friday. Both
divisions will race 6 days rather than the previous 5 days. -- Full details

* Formula One officials turned down the opportunity to tie in the inaugural
grand prix in Valencia this past weekend with the world of sailing,
according to the British newspaper The Times. A walk around the port city
layout on Thursday showed that many America's Cup teams are based nearby,
and a glance at some of the boat components demonstrated how closely-related
the two technology-based sports are. But sailing sources said F1 did not
want any 'contamination' of its product by associating with the America's
Cup teams. "All of the (sailing) teams wanted to be part of the F1 show and
F1 said no," said a source. --

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Reader commentary is encouraged, with letters to be submitted to the
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must include the writer's name, and be no longer than 250 words (letter
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* From Phil and Tracy Lyon, Grosse Pointe, MI: Cheers to the US SAILING Team
for the excellent choice of the incredibly talented Kenneth Andreasen to
succeed Gary Brodie. He is a consummate gentleman that combines the rare
ability to communicate to athletes in a way that brings out the best in
performance while taking organizational elements and politics in stride.
And, yes, his CV does include a great tenure with the Optimist fleet.

* From James Stewart: (re, the arbitration hearing for the 49er medal race)
What miserable and ungracious beings must hide under the disguise of the
Italian and Spanish Olympic committess to try to overturn the decision to
allow the 49er medal race to stand. The Danes overcame the great adversity
of breaking their mast priotr to the race, the Croations sportingly gave
them their boat and they survived to finish and win the gold medal. The
Italian and Spanish only had themsleves to blame for not doing better during
the week and in the medal race. Is sportsmanship truly dead in the Olympic
sailing world?

* From Frank Pong: Larry Ellison and Ernesto Berterelli should come to a
compromise and not go to Final Appeal. Everything to gain for both persons
in a settlement for the next AC33 in monohull AC90 boats in multi fleet
format, under a set of rules that will reflect the wishes of both parties
and the other entrants. Nothing to gain for either man from whichever way
the Final Ruling falls.

A resolution between the two on the next, 33rd, edition sailed with the much
faster 90 footer monohulls will regain the applause of the sailing world.
That is what should happen if they are reasonable people; they don’t really
need to be reasonable, just being sensible will do. Their lawyers and
advisers are most likely urging them to settle, all the points have been
made already. Going to the Court of Final Appeal in New York is merely
handing something the two persons can resolve, over to a few people who need
have little care about the whole issue.

What they are asked to do is to decide on what they think a few words
written in the Deed of Gift in 1851 was intended to mean, and how it
reflects in today's use of the English Language. The Final Appeal will not
even rule on whether Alinghi or Oracle was right in doing what they had done
between July 2007 up till now. That is the sad and silly part. Yes, fight
over the Protocol, but there is no need to hand over you prerogatives to an
unconnected third party.

We cannot fail to win unless we fail to try. - Tom Clancy, American novelist

Special thanks to Kaenon Polarized, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and The
Pirate’s Lair.

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