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SCUTTLEBUTT 2668 - Tuesday, August 26, 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 discussion began immediately after the 2004 Olympics… was Qingdao going
to provide a fair regatta? The predominant conditions – light air and strong
current – were already known then, and while the pull of the Olympic Games
is strong, some top sailors were wondering if another four years of training
for what could be a crapshoot event was worth it. So now we ask, with the
Games completed, was it worth it? Were the Olympics standings a result of
the progressive growth of each sailor? Or, were they an aberration, with
some competing far above expectations, better handling the unique sailing
conditions and event pressures than their competitors?

Tough questions, and to provide some statistical answers, we went to the
ISAF rankings (as of July 2, 2008). These rankings rate skippers based on
their performances over the last two years, with more prominent events
earning bonus points, and events which have taken place within the last
twelve months holding an additional bonus. Each skipper can count a maximum
of seven events. For the sailor who had made a late charge to the top of his
class, we also looked at the 2008 World Championship standings.

What did we learn? We learned that Gold Medalists Ben Ainslie was the fourth
best British Finn sailor according to the ISAF rankings, that the Laser
Radial and 49er top five standings were closest to form, and that Gold
Medalist Jian Yin sailed in only six ranking events outside of China in the
past two years (to improve on her Silver in 2004). Here are the stats:

(Olympic standing - Country - Sailor - ISAF ranking - 2008 Worlds standing)

1. GBR, Iain Percy/Andrew Simpson, 12, 52
2. BRA, Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada, 6, 3
3. SWE, Fredrik Loof/Anders Ekstrom, 3, 11
4. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Dominik Zycki, 1, 1
5. SUI, Flavio Marazzi/Enrico De Maria, 2, 4

1. ESP, Fernando Echavarri/Anton Paz Blanco, 2, 7
2. AUS, Darren Bundock/Glenn Ashby, 1, 1
3. ARG, Santiago Lange/Carlos Espínola, 18, 13
4. CAN, Oskar Johansson/Kevin Stittle, 7, 2
5. NED, Mitch Booth/Pim Nieuwenhuis, 3, 6

RS:X Men
1. NZL, Tom Ashley, 9, 1
2. FRA, Julien Bontemps, 4, 11
3. ISR, Shahar Zubari, 14, 3
4. GBR, Nick Dempsey, 8, 6
5. BRA, Ricardo Santos, 12, 25

RS:X Women
1. CHN, Jian Yin, 25, 24
2. ITA, Alessandra Sensini, 11, 1
3. GBR, Bryony Shaw, 10, 8
4. ESP, Marina Alabau, 1, 3
5. AUS, Jessica Crisp, 5, 14

1. GBR, Paul Goodison, 3, 7
2. SLO, Vasilij Zbogar, 13, 4
3. ITA, Diego Romero, 19, 31
4. POR, Gustavo Lima, 9, 24
5. NZL, Andrew Murdoch, 2, 13

Laser Radial
1. USA, Anna Tunnicliffe, 1, 6
2. LTU, Gintare Volungeviciute, 9, 4
3. CHN, Lijia Xu, 2, 2
4. AUS, Sarah Blanck, 3, 5
5. FRA, Sarah Steyaert, 8, 1

470 Men
1. AUS, Nathan Wilmot/Malcolm Page, 1, 8
2. GBR, Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield, 4, 9
3. FRA, Nicolas Charbonnier/Olivier Bausset, 7, 4
4. NED, Sven Coster/Kalle Coster, 2, 12
5. ESP, Onan Barreiros/Aaron Sarmiento, 12, 7

470 Women
1. AUS, Elise Rechichi/Tessa Parkinson, 8, 3
2. NED, Marcelien De Koning/Lobke Berkhout, 6, 4
3. BRA, Fernanda Oliveira/Isabel Swan, 20, 7**
4. ISR, Nike Kornecki/Vered Buskila, 10, 16
5. ITA, Giulia Conti/Giovanna Micol, 2, 2
** Did not attend 2008 Worlds. Position was from 2007 Worlds.

1. GBR, Ben Ainslie, 28, 1
2. USA, Zach Railey, 11, 28
3. FRA, Guillaume Florent, 23, 21
4. SWE, Daniel Birgmark, 7, 17
5. CAN, Christopher Cook, 10, 6

1. GBR, Sarah Ayton/Sarah Webb/Pippa Wilson, 1, 1
2. NED, Mandy Mulder/Annemieke Bes/Merel Witteveen, 4, 13
3. GRE, Sofia Bekatorou/Sofia Papadopoulou/Virginia Kravarioti, 12, 14
4. GER,Ulrike Schuemann/Ute Hoepfner/Julia Bleck, 2, 3
5. FRA, Anne Le Helley/Catherine Lepesant/Julie Gerecht, 16, 12

1. DEN, Jonas Warrer/Martin Kirketerp Ibsen, 3, 8
2. ESP, Iker Martinez de Lizarduy/Xabier Fernandez Gaztañaga, 1, 7
3. GER, Jan-Peter Peckolt/Hannes Peckolt, 7, 6
4. ITA, Pietro Sibello/Gianfranco Sibello, 2, 4
5. AUS, Nathan Outteridge/Ben Austin, 6, 1

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: One last thing we learned was that when the ISAF
website was redesigned since the 2004 Games, all the links from past events
are dead. The ISAF website lists medal winning countries and sailors
from past Olympics, but we could not find a complete list of past competitors.
From the information available, we saw that 8 of the 33 medals earned
in 2008 were by sailors who had also medaled in 2004. Here is the link for
the ISAF rankings:

Congratulations to the 13 medalists in Qingdao who were powered by North
sails. We salute your hard work and dedication to get to the Games and are
proud of your outstanding accomplishments. Congratulations also to North
Sails' Greg Fisher on winning the J/22 Worlds this past weekend in
Rochester, NY. Seven of the top ten boats were powered by North. When
performance matters, head North:

by Charley Cook, Principal Race Officer, 2008 Olympic sailing events
Much has been written about the 49er Medal Race. A lot of what I've read is
simply wrong. I'll address two issues: the conditions, and the arbitration
brought by Italy and Spain.

The conditions weren't nearly as extreme as has been reported. At the start
the race committee measured 18 knots. We saw a maximum of 22 knots. The time
weighted average was 19 knots. This is well within the limits publicly
announced by ISAF in October 2007. The 49er class President was on venue. A
former 49er class Race Manager was on the race management team for the Medal
Race. Both agreed that the class would have conducted racing in those
conditions at a class championship.

Two boats failed to finish. One of those because it suffered a broken mast;
a common occurrence in the class.

Two teams requested redress, claiming that the race should not have been
conducted in the conditions. One was Denmark (for reasons that will be clear
as you read this). At the hearing virtually every team acknowledged that the
conditions were challenging, but within reasonable limits. Many teams
indicated that the problem was that they'd all lost weight for the expected
light air conditions and hadn't practiced much in conditions like the Medal
Race. One of the unhappy teams had been seen on the race course sitting on
the bottom of their upside down boat. Two separate jury boats and one race
committee boat offered assistance. The same response was given - the team
was waiting for the time limit to expire and said it wanted a jury hearing.
-- Read on, and post comments here:

New York, NY – (August 25, 2008) – New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Commodore
Charles H. Townsend announced today the inaugural New York Yacht Club World
Invitational Cup, an invitational fleet-racing regatta. Its essence is to
bring together amateur yacht-club teams to compete against teams from around
the world. The sailing will be tough and demanding, allowing each club to
demonstrate the skills of its top sailors. Commodore Townsend remarked,
“This event will once again bring the Corinthian spirit to the forefront of
the sport, and enable us to share the excitement of sailing on the waters of
Rhode Island Sound.”

Invitations have been sent to many of the world’s most prominent yacht clubs
to compete in this first biennial event, to be held September 15-19, 2009 at
Harbour Court, the NYYC’s on-the-water clubhouse in Newport, RI. Racing on
Rhode Island Sound will utilize the newly developed NYYC Swan 42 fleet. “We
expect the New York Yacht Club World Invitational Cup to be a friendly
competition between the world’s most prominent yacht clubs,” said Commodore
Townsend. Full details can be found at

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Among the 26 invited clubs, we noted that the
defending America’s Cup club, Societe Nautique de Geneve, was on the list,
but somehow their preferred Challenger of Record, Club Nautico Español de
Vela (CNEV), did not make the cut.

E10, Is a gasoline blended with up to 10 % ethanol alcohol and is now in
widespread use in the U.S. Ethanol, ethyl alcohol, is made from corn, sugar
and other grains. E-10's use in boats is State dependant. On the East Coast,
MD and VA and points north use E-10 while NC uses pure gasoline. On the West
Coast, Hawaii uses E-10 while the Midwest has been using E-10 for over a
decade. The main issues with E-10 are:

1. The biggest concern is the level of Ethanol in your gas. Outboard motors
and gas engines are now warranted by the engine manufacturers to use E-10.
However, more than 10% can be dangerous to your engine. When you fill up ask
what you are getting.

2. Ethanol attracts water. The water will drop out of the Fuel and settle at
the bottom of the tank, taking the ethanol with it. If the water does not
get to the height of the pickup you may not have problems. However when it
gets rough, the water gets bounced around and gets sucked up into the
engine, now you have a problem.

3. Ethanol is a excellent solvent, which means it will dissolve many
particles and contaminants in your tank and even the tank itself if its
fiberglass. These dissolved particles can find their way to your engine. The
answer here is to use a 10 micron fuel filter and check with your engine
manufacturer for recommendations. Older Fiberglass tanks can be a problem.
If you suspect your old tanks you may be better off replacing them.

4, Due to its solvent nature Ethanol can eat away fuel system parts. However
since the introduction of E-10, motor manufacturers have come to address
these issues. The solvent issues have been addressed by making the fuel
system alcohol proof. New engines are now E-10 ready.

5. In most states (not all) it’s required by law that pumps pumping E-10
must be labeled.

Additional information on the subject can be found here:

The Melges 20 will be going through the paces in San Francisco Bay this
upcoming weekend. The new and modern sportboat plans to jet around from
Friday through Monday. The new Melges 20 will also be seen at the Newport,
Rhode Island Boat Show and then again at the Annapolis Boat Show. Don't miss
out on the first peek! –

The first time he raced a sailboat around the planet, Derek Hatfield was
nearly killed when a vicious storm sheared off his mast and tossed his boat,
the Spirit of Canada, like a helpless cork in the lethal seas off Cape Horn.
Hatfield survived the storm, repaired his boat in an Argentine port, and
finished the Around Alone race against all odds in 2003.

Now the former Mountie is back with a bigger, faster boat, preparing for an
even greater challenge. He is the lone Canadian entrant in the 2008 Vendee
Globe, competitive sailing's toughest race and arguably the most difficult
sporting event in the world. While the 2003 Around Alone took place in
stages - allowing sailors three rest-and-repair stops as they
circumnavigated the globe -_the Vendee is a non-stop affair in which
skippers must race single-handed around the world without pause or outside

Starting in November from the French port of Sables d'Olonne, Hatfield and
29 other elite, somewhat zany skippers will race down the Atlantic, across
the Indian and Pacific Oceans, around Cape Horn and back up the Atlantic to
France. -- Read on:

* San Francisco, CA (August 24, 2008) - The 2008 J/105 North Americans
attracted thirty-six entrants for the four day, 10 race event on August
21-24. The California presence was dominant amid the fleet, with only three
boats crossing state lines to see the dominant performance of Donkey Jack ,
where the team of Scott Sellers, Rolf Kaiser, Eric Ryan, Geoff McDonald, Cam
Geer and Ted Conrads annihilated the rest of the fleet by eeking out a 23
point lead over Good Timin (Dave Wilson/Chris Perkins) on 45 points. --
Daily reports, results, and video at

* Newport, RI (August 24, 2008) - After seven tight races in Rhode Island
Sound and Narragansett Bay, Deneen Demourkas’ Groovederci showed superb
speed and consistency in capturing the crown of M 30 North American Champion
for 2008. The team from Santa Barbara, CA finished six points ahead of John
Podmajersy’s Illusion in second, who was tied in points with third place
Bodo & Nick von der Wense’s Turbo Duck. – Daily reports and results:

* The International 14 North American Championship was held Friday through
Sunday in Newport, RI. Defending NA Champion Andrew Yates and current
Pac-Rim champion Kris Bundy battled it out against 14 other boats from San
Diego, Seattle, Toronto, and Ottawa, as well as CT, RI, and MA. Bundy, with
crew Fritz Lanzinger, won by six points over Yates and crew John Curtis. --

* Port Washington, NY (August 24, 2008) - Takumi Nakamura, Albatross Match
Racing Team (JAP) has won the 2008 Knickebocker Cup and secured an
invitation to the prestigious Bermuda Gold Cup, a grade 1 match racing event
that is part of the World Match Racing Tour. Nakamura, with crew Norio Igea,
Nathan Hollerbach and Tetsuya Sasaki, won every Cup match except for one on
the first day of racing. Rounding out the top teams were Sergey Musikhin
(RUS), followed by Keith Swinton, Black Swan match Racing (AUS), and Chris
Van Tol, Van Tol Match Racing Team (USA). -- Daily reports:

* Long Beach, CA - The Mercury class has held a National Championship every
year since 1947, and last weekend there were 22 entrants at the annual
event, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Chris Raab and Kenny Dair won the
Nationals for the second year in a row, with Kevin and Cathy McCarthy
earning Silver Fleet honors. Also notable among the entrants was the team of
Tom Priest and Bob Burns in 17th place, proudly representing Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club. -- Results:

* The iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series arrives in Kiel, Germany August
29-31 for the fourth event of the five regatta series. After 45 races there
is just one point separating TEAMORIGIN (GBR), skippered by Rob Greenhalgh,
from Ed Baird, skipper of Alinghi (SUI), who has won the past two events.
Ten Extreme 40s will be racing at Kiel, including leg one winner double
Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson on JPMorgan Asset Management. The
fifth and final event of the 2008 season will be held in Netherlands,
Amsterdam on September 19-21. -- Event site:

Owners in elite racing classes like the Farr 40, Melges 32, Mumm 30, NY 42
and others are learning the genuine value of engaging a team coach to help
them reach their goals. Your program can grow with help from Shore Coaching.

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 T.J. Perrotti: As I read the 'butt 2667 story describing how Formula
One wants "absolutely no 'contamination' of its product by associating with
the America's Cup teams," the lyrics of the "Talking Heads" and their
"Psycho Killer" song began ringing in my head, and likewise in the heads of
many, many potential future Cup sponsors: "Run, run, run ... RUN AWAY!" Very

* From Eric A Sorensen: The new 90'x90' trimaran built in Anacortes is less
than a mile from my slip while it is on the hard. As a result, everyone in
the Anacortes area associated with sailing has an interest in the new boat.
The photos reveal a boat unlike anything in the area. Yes, we do have 100'+
boats, and trimarans and cats but this boat is in a league of its own. Our
little Fildago Bay, while 2+ miles across, is a bit smallish looking for a
testing ground for Oracle's latest phenom. Likely, they will be dragging it
or sailing it out to mess about in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Just where would this 'Darth Vader' looking boat end up if the AC cup stays
with CNEV? Would someone buy it to vie for line honors on Puget Sound? Is
there a fleet of this size somewhere? It seems a bit small for round the
world racing and yet it is too big for most other venues. If looks count for
speed, this thing will be in first place! Reality might rear its head when
it goes looking for competition.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: If I was Alinghi, after taking a look at the
slender hulls of the BMW Oracle Racing trimaran, I would oblige the Deed of
Gift challenge, and set the race course in the Southern Ocean. Note the
comparison with IDEC, the triamaran Francis Joyon sailed to gain the solo
elapsed world record:

* From Rob Brodsky, Houston, TX: I've read the tale. It is heartwarming that
the Croatian 49er team offered their boat to the Danes to help them make the
start of the medal race by 4 seconds. That's wonderful, but it's not
sportsmanship. If the Croatian team had been IN the medal race or perhaps
even in medal contention and given up their opportunity to race, then THAT
would have been sportsmanship. Instead, the Danish team got a mulligan -- as
in a free additional shot with no penalty. No other team got a mulligan.
None of the teams that crashed and were unable to finish got to restart. If
they had broken their mast before any other race they would not have been
able to get a gift boat. It was unfortunate. They busted their boat right
before the final race. That's sports. Nothing against the Danish team --
they obviously were very good and should have won the gold. But take a look
at all of the other Olympic competitors that should have won gold but for a
mishap -- such as the track teams that dropped the batons or the leading
woman hurdler who hit the second to last hurdle and finished 7th. The Danes
were handed a gift.

The reason I’m smiling is because I can’t hear a word you’re saying.

Special thanks to North Sails, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Shore

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at