Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2670 - Thursday, August 28, 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.

Since the 1996 Olympics Games, the United States has led all countries in
the total medal count for each of the four Games. Interestingly, it was also
the 1996 Games when parity entered the sailing events, with the sailing
medals being shared by a greater number of countries. The amount of time,
energy, and money being invested in Olympic sailing has risen, and likely is
now at a par with, many of the elite Olympic events. The US did not keep
pace with this rise, and are now playing catch up. However, there are some
unique aspects about the US and the sport within they may make this task
more challenging.

Some of the distractions in attracting top Olympic candidate are equal for
all counties, such as professional sailing or non-sailing careers. Some of
the obstacles in the US are beyond the leadership of US Olympic Team, and
will require cultural shifts amongst youth sailing. Among the keys for the
US is for the best sailors to be competing in the Olympics, not just the
ones who are able to. Make Olympic sailing exciting and sexy, develop the
necessary skills earlier, improve the level of play in North America, and of
course, improve funding so that sailors without superior financial backing
can take on the task.

With some consideration, we have tried to identify the unique challenges the
US faces in improving their medal count. Among the points made include
geography, size of country, class development, marketing, funding, youth
development, youth boats, and college sailing. Please read though, and we
are eager for the ‘buttheads to add their comments:

The first ISAF Sailing World Cup is set to launch at the end of 2008,
bringing a new annual series of sailing to the international sailing
calendar. The World Cup will be open to the sailing events chosen for the
2012 Olympic (and Paralympic) Sailing Competitions. ISAF President, Göran
Petersson said, “The ISAF Sailing World Cup will bring a new focus to
Olympic sailing, demonstrating the excitement, skill and passion of the
sport. It will give Olympic sailors a clear annual competition structure,
the media a definitive series to feature and sponsors exposure across a host
of top quality events that will be at the forefront of the sailing
calendar.” The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 will consist of the
following events:

16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
04-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
21-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain

Notice of Race:

When did the sport name in the Olympics change from ‘yachting’ to ‘sailing’?

by Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing skipper
(August 26. 2008)- PUMA Ocean Racing was born in March of 2007. What a year
and a half it has been. And today, it all came together. This morning at
11:00AM Eastern Standard Time, we set off from Newport, RI., bound for
Alicante, Spain. Our team has called this our personal "leg 1" of the Volvo
Ocean Race. We have practiced everything imaginable with this boat and crew
for a good part of the year and a half, so why not practice an actual Volvo

We had everyone and everything (the boat, the sails, sailors, and families)
consider our leaving a race day. Even our shore team was in the mindset, and
they are probably breaking down the shore base back in Newport as I write.
And thank goodness we pulled it off because we would have looked pretty
silly to all the press that showed up for our send off.

So now we've been offshore for about 5 hours and have heard the 55th version
of Jerry Kibry's story of running "Yankee Girl" up on a small island called
No Man’s Land off the tip of Martha's Vineyard. I swear he really thinks he
is telling us this story for the first time. And man does he crack himself
Anyway, when we come by these parts again in about 8 months time hopefully
we will have circumnavigated the world with just 4 short legs to complete
the full Volvo Ocean Race. Boston, the only North American stopover in the
race is just a shoirt trip around Nantucket and Cape Cod (from where we are
right now). Joe Fallon and his team at Fan Pier have promised us a heck of a
party when we get there.

So where do we go from here? Only time will tell, but I sure know where er
have been. Tons of work has gone into the campaign from more people I can
ever list or thank. Starting with PUMA, who believed in this race and our
team. We are on our way to the official start of the Volvo Ocean race
2008-2009 in Alicante, to really get things going, but it's a huge relief to
get on our way and begin our personal "leg 1." --

Join a winning team. Hall Spars & Rigging has an immediate opening for a
spar design engineer in our U.S. facility. Hall engineers work with our
sales, project management, and production teams to create the optimum spar
and rigging solutions for each customer. The position requires a minimum of
three years' experience in spar engineering, naval architecture, or related
marine engineering. If you love sailing and are skilled in AutoCad,
Solidworks and Excel, visit our website for a sample of the exciting
projects we work on every day. Email resumes to or

For the ‘butthead community, the communications from the boats during this
Volvo Ocean Race will be unprecedented. We will be virtually onboard, but
eating better and a lot less salty. To better getting the feeling of what it
takes to sail a VO70, Justin Chisholm hopped onboard with skipper Ian Walker
and the Green Dragon team for a training sail from Dublin to Cork. Here is
an excerpt of his report:

“With several hours of sailing on starboard ahead of us the crew set about
‘stacking’ the boat. This procedure involves using the weight of any the
moveable items aboard to counteract the heeling effect of the wind and make
the boat go faster. Literally everything, sails, boxes, bags and sleeping
crew are shifted to the windward side. By far the heaviest items to move are
the sails, which need to be moved across the deck at shoulder height whilst
trying not to damage the winch pedestals. The weight of each of these sails
is inconceivable. To get some idea imagine a bag, roughly the same
dimensions as a family sofa, filled with wet sand. Now imagine you have to
man handle it over your dining room table from one side to the other without
dropping it on the best china dinner service.”

“When Green Dragon tacks or gybes it takes five crew working at full
capacity, to get the sails un-stacked, manhandled across the boat and
restacked on the new high side. Meanwhile the rest of the crew are below
moving the entire contents from one side of the boat to the other. Once
everything is transferred the final manoeuvre is to swing the canting keel
onto the new side. Happily this is achieved effortlessly, care of the
dedicated generator and a set of huge hydraulic rams.

“The process of tacking or gybing takes the Green Dragon crew around fifteen
minutes. ‘We are getting faster at this the more we do it’ Walker assures
me. ‘It’s a pain in the backside to have to do this every time you want to
change direction. Gybing is the most difficult. First of all you have to
slow down for ten minutes whilst you prepare to gybe. Then you have to gybe.
Next you have to sail slowly whilst you restack everything. It’s a
nightmare. I reckon on a windy leg, when the boat could be doing twenty five
knots, it costs us about seven miles to put a gybe in’.” -- Offshore Rules,
complete story:

Carthagena, Spain (August 27, 2008) Consistency is hard to strive for, but
the story for the second day of the Region of Murcia Trophy, fifth event of
the TP52 Audi MedCup Circuit 2008, was the teams that rolled steady scores
and the teams that didn’t. The shifty 15-21 winds and rough seas regularly
mixed the dividends on either side of the track, whilst downwind there were
always extra gains to be made in the surfing conditions.

The day’s biggest misfortune visited Platoon powered by Team Germany, who
won the first race but was forced to retire just prior to the second race
when their forestay fitting failed. Quantum Racing proved they were entirely
fallible too, as summed up by their skipper, a visibly frustrated Terry
Hutchinson (USA), “I sailed like a lemon. That’s all there is to it.”
However, two teams that have worked all season for better scores, found the
day much to their liking, with both Mutua Madrilena and Desafio gaining only
four points each in the two races.

After winning a protest against Artemis, Bribón remains on top of the
leaderboard. Thursday’s schedule calls for the double point offshore race,
with the fleet returning to buoy races on Friday and Saturday. -- Complete

Standings after four races (Top 5 of 14)
1. Bribón, ESP (1, 3, 8, 3, 15pts)
2. Mutua Madrileña, ESP (6, 5, 2, 2, 15)
3. El Desafio, ESP (9, 4, 3, 1, 17)
4. Quantum Racing, USA (5, 1, 4, 8, 18)
5. Matador, ARG (2, 6, 5, 5, 18)
Full results:

Newport, RI, (Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008) – New York Yacht Club 1 won the Morgan
Cup Team Race Invitational, hosted at the NYYC's Harbour Court, August
22-24. New York was tied with Pequot Yacht Club, of Southport, CT, but won
by virtue of a tie-breaker. Sailing for NYYC 1 were Colin Gordon, team
captain, Ben Kinney, Ned Jones, Martha Carleton, Robbie Richards, Senet
Bischoff, Stu Saffer, Monique Roeder, Clay Bischoff, Joe Aleardi, Brit
Bischoff and Brian Fox. This is the NYYC's fourth win in as many years.

In the realm of team racing, the Morgan is a biggie - the "Best of the Best"
by resume only, with a 3-on-3 format in Sonars with spinnakers. It is the
keelboat version of the Hinman for dinghies, and is filling the void in the
post-college (and post-post-college) sailors' high-level competitive
offerings. Many World and National champs in various classes as well as
Sailors of the Year come from all around, and this year it was filmed
(gimbaled on-boards, chase boat plus hi-res camera on shore) by Gary Jobson
(direct from his Olympic duties). The umpire roster was equally impressive.

As a newer/broader category of team racing (keel boats), the Morgan has
become the model event that has really sparked a lot of interest and
requests for participation, as well as a lot of follow-on keelboat team
racing such as events and program at Newport Harbor, Boston Harbor, St.
Pete, Southern, Seawanhaka, and soon Chicago. -- Complete report:

During Anna Tunnicliffe’s Olympic campaign, which led to her Gold Medal
finish in the Laser Radial, we have come to realize that she is one of the
most respected, well liked elite athletes in the United States. We know that
on the long trail of her life that led to the Podium, Anna has touched many
people, and provided a sterling example of how the sport should be played.
We don’t always have the opportunity to share good stories about good
people… or even thank them for being them… so here is an opportunity to do

Tufts University coach Ken Legler shares his Anna story, “I was running a
college women's regatta in March one year on a cold and blustery day when
one team turtled and couldn't get righted. As they were struggling in the
cold water I brought them in and looked for some Tufts sailors on the dock.
I found Anna Tunnicliffe and her Old Dominion crew dressed in drysuits ready
to go. Knowing they were really fit, great sailors and good sports, I asked
if they would help and they jumped at the chance. I dropped them off on the
upside down boat in the 40 degree water where they immediately righted the
boat and sailed it in.”

Do you have a favorite Anna story that you can share? Please post it here:

Last week’s 2008 J/22 World Championship in Rochester, NY, was the scene of
a hard-fought, world-class event featuring a competitive fleet filled with
national and world champions. In light, shifty conditions, Ullman Sails
customers showed top speed, placing in the top five overall out of the
104-boat fleet. Ullman Sails’ Phil Wehrheim along with Greg Koski and Max
Skelley claimed 3rd overall, followed by 2008 Etchells World Champion Bill
Hardesty in 5th, both competing with 100% Ullman inventory. These two boats
were the only teams among the top five finishers to win a race. Visit Ullman
Sails at

* Ridgeway, ONT (August 27, 2008) – After three days of racing at the
Sunfish World Championship, hosted by Buffalo Canoe Club, leader Paul
Foerster has widened his gap on the 72-boat fleet. Foerster now holds a 32
point lead after nine races over fellow Texan Greg Gust in second. Earlier
this month, Foerster won the U.S. Singlehanded Championship at Sayville
Yacht Club in Blue Point, N.Y, also sailed in Sunfish. Racing at the Worlds
continues through August 28th. -- Event website:

* Westport, CT (August 26, 2008) - A 3-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., girl died
Tuesday morning when the Hobie Cat sailboat carrying her and three others
capsized off Cockenoe Island in Long Island Sound. Alexandra Vitale was
unresponsive when rescued from the water by police and was later pronounced
dead at Norwalk Hospital. Alexandra was on board with an instructor and two
cousins, William Howell, 3, and Andrew Howell, 6, also of Brooklyn. All
three children were wearing life jackets, according to police. -- Complete

* Thirty-four entrants participated in the 31st T-10 North American
Championship Regatta, hosted by Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club with three
days of racing off of Montrose Harbor in Chicago, IL. Following the event,
which was won by the Sampson/ Smith team onboard Portable Fun Box, a number
of special awards were presented. Wild Norwegian, from the host Chicago
Corinthian YC, was awarded the Sparkman & Stephens Trophy for the greatest
margin of victory, finishing 9th, 25 points ahead of 10th place. Earning the
Charlie Britton award designated for best comeback performance was Cheap
Thrill, Tim and Nancy Snyder, Chicago Yacht Club. --

* A reception for Olympic Laser Radial Gold Medal winner Anna Tunnicliffe
(USA) will be held at Norfolk Yacht and Country Club this Sunday, August
31st from 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Norfolk Yacht & Country Club. -- SBRNYCU, club

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Aug 29-Sept 1 - Bronte Rocks - Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Aug 29 - The Stamford Vineyard Race - Stamford, CT, USA
Aug 30 - Herb Elphick Memorial Race - Jacksonville, FL, USA
Aug 30-31 - Crab Regatta - Annapolis, MD, USA
View all the events at

The name of the sport in the Olympics changed from ‘yachting’ to ‘sailing’
at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

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 Mike Esposito: I think it's interesting that Societe Nautique de
Geneve (home club of Alinghi) is invited, but not Golden Gate YC (home club
of BMW Oracle). If any place should have space to accommodate the competing
egos, you'd expect New York YC to be it -- they managed to host the
America's Cup for 132 years for heaven's sake.

* From David Sligh: It was wonderful to see the distinguished list of
initial invitees to the New York Yacht Club World Invitational Cup. Several
tremendous clubs, all with a rich racing heritage. However, it's surprising
that Royal Canadian Yacht Club is the only Great Lakes representative when
there are several clubs worthy of participating. For instance, Macatawa Bay
Yacht Club is the current holder of the Canada's Cup having won a hard
fought series with RCYC last year. MBYC also won three out of the past six
CYC's Race to Mackinac. Chicago Yacht Club and perhaps even Detroit's
Bayview YC could also be outstanding inclusions into this event.

* From Andy Vare: Obtusely absent from that distinguished list is the
Mercury Bay Sailing Club, home of Sir Michael Fay's 1988 NZ-1 challenge,
designed by no less than Bruce Farr. Since the Cup has devolved into the Big
Little America's Cup, replete with catamaran's and legal proceedings, it
seems only fair to give the NZ-1 crew a seat at the table.

Also conspicuously absent is the Golden Gate Yacht Club, something of an
abomination really, considering that Mr. Ellison has run his challenges
through them for several cup cycles now. Still no room at the inn? I see Sir
Thomas Lipton's club represented. Well done. When exactly did they last
field a challenge? And whither the network coverage? Does Coutts get
broadcast rights at the dinner?

The whole invitation thing is a sticky wicket, with the NYYC facing certain
criticism no matter how good their intentions, so let's refer the topic to
Abigail Van Buren for consideration. When she pronounces, we'll have
something to go on.

* From Benjamin Jarashow: (edited to the 250-word limit) Oh, no! My favorite
(insert name here) Yacht Club did not get invited to the NYYC Regatta! With
respect to all other yacht clubs in the world, I must say that NYYCs list
seems sensible from what appears, to me, to be a regatta held in true homage
to the ideals of Corinthian competition, of which NYYC holds themselves,
rightly or no, as a pinnacle.

From their press announcement: "Its essence is to bring together amateur
yacht-club teams to compete against teams from around the world." Around the
world, not around the block - no disrespect to other USA Yacht Clubs, but it
would be hard for them to be taken seriously, if for this event they invited
a slew of other American Clubs. Again, from the press release: "world’s most
prominent yacht clubs". Not the ones against whom NYYC has competed in the
past, nor even those with the absolute best race records, though I'm certain
that does help a Clubs prominence, within our sport, but those YCs who are
seen by international peerage to be active and interested in the same
Corinthian goals as NYYC.

If this regatta is intended, as I infer it to be, the inheritor of the
mantle par excellence with title "friendly competition between nations",
then I am rather taken aback when the first reaction to it's announcement is
indignation from some. Rather, I recommend taking this event in stride, and
in comparison to its predecessor, previous holder of that same mantle, which
currently and for the foreseeable future resides in a courtroom - not
friendly, nor being competed for by nations.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: In the theme of "No good deed goes unpunished," we
consider this thread now closed in the newsletter.

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another
country. - Elayne Boosler

Special thanks to Hall Spars & Rigging and Ullman Sails.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at