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SCUTTLEBUTT 2671 - Friday, August 29, 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.

Marblehead, MA - Don’t think the quest for medals in Beijing is over just
because you’ve watched the closing ceremonies. Marblehead’s Maureen
McKinnon-Tucker, disabled following a fall from a seawall in 1992, overcame
that obstacle to become the nation’s first woman to compete on the U.S.
Paralympic sailing team. She said she is allowing herself to get excited
about the Paralympics now, adding that she’s more curious to see what a gold
medal looks like than any part of China. “I’m not planning on doing any
sightseeing until I get the job done,” she said.

McKinnon-Tucker’s past year indicates she has the tenacity to do just that.
McKinnon-Tucker’s challenges continued this year when her 2-year-old son
Trent was diagnosed with cancer. He recently underwent surgery and continues
chemotherapy treatment for a brain tumor.

She left Marblehead Wednesday, flying to Colorado to meet up with sailing
partner Nick Scandone of California, from which they will depart for China,
where competition in their SKUD18 class begins Sept. 8. Scandone was named
2005 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year despite battling ALS, commonly
known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. -- Full story:

Honolulu, HI (August 28, 2008) - With the hundreds of thousands of tons of
plastic debris floating around in the Pacific, it would have been difficult
to spot the one collection of garbage moving with a purpose. A bunch of
plastic bottles, strapped together with old aluminum spars and topped with
an airplane cockpit and a mast, would have barely stood out from the mass of
plastic garbage in the Pacific Gyre, yet this questionable craft has carried
two brave men across the Eastern Pacific, and into the history books.

Nearly three months ago (June 1, 2008), Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal
sailed out from Long Beach, California, on a boat made of 15,000 plastic
bottles and a old Cessna 310 fusilage, which they appropriately named
"Junk". Eriksen and Paschal took this little 87 day, 2,600 mile cruise in
order to bring awareness to the issue of ocean pollution. Today, the team
made land at the Ala Wai Harbor Fuel Dock on the Hawaiian island of Oahu -
meeting their goal, and then some.

With a top speed of 3.2 knots, it wasn't a fast ride, and there were some
serious issues, but a steady pace over the last several weeks has brought
vessel and crew in to port safely. Thanks to modern communications
equipment, photos and video from sea have been posted online to bring
special attention to the Pacific Ocean pollution and the North Pacific Gyre
- a clockwise rotating mass of water roughly twice the size of the U.S.,
described by the team as a toilet bowl that never flushes. -- Complete
Team website:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Norm Reynolds sent us an email this week, also
noting the Pacific Ocean conditions: “For all those who believe that there
are no more Japanese glass fishing net balls out floating in the High
Pressure zone between Hawaii and the West Coast, you are way off the mark.
There must be thousands. Granted the new plastic ones are more numerous,
along with all the partial fishing nets that get attached to keels, rudders,
and propellers. But, there are plenty of the green glass variety out there.
We scored 9 (one giant, six normal large, and two small) on a 15 day
delivery from Kaneohe to San Diego earlier this month, aboard Sabrina,
Calkins 50.”

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. A posting is now on the Forum that
has identified some of the realities standing in the way of increasing the
medal haul in the future. Here are some of the comments that the ‘buttheads
have made:

* “In my view, the key issue is that the US does not race the same classes
the rest of the world does, and actually focuses on a different style of
racing. Most of the rest of the sailing world has strong sailors racing
international classes, these provide an excellent environment for developing
skills. The strongest sailors from these classes try Olympic classes. The US
trains kids in Optis (a true International class), then puts them into Club
420s (US only, and very different from the International 420, which is a
very wide-spread International class). Then at college, sailors race Club
420s or Club FJs (not International) without spinnakers or trapezes. The
short course racing emphasizes starts, roll tacking and gybing and short
course tactics, but not boat speed, or medium/long course tactics.”

* “It seems that the way for the US to get more medals is to make it more of
a professional sport, but I am not sure the donations-route is ever going to
do that. It needs a steady flow of funding rather than a continual
"tin-cupping" approach. That being said, it would be interesting to see the
funding break-down by sailor (and relative results) to see how well we
directed our funds.”

Please read though, and we are eager for the ‘buttheads to add their

The Olympic sailing competition has finished, so we can now catch up on
sleep and prepare for our own “personal best” regattas. Team McLube’s new
citrus-based Hullkote Speed Polish is designed to help you better prepare.
It’s simply a faster finish… kind of like a full length racing swimsuit for
your hull. Hullkote applies in half the time and effort it takes for regular
petroleum based polishes. Just wipe on and wipe away excess. No buffing or
heavy polishing needed. Hullkote is eco-friendly, safe and easy to apply,
seals all surfaces completely, and leaves a very fast high-gloss protective

“The penultimate day of racing” means what about the day being referenced?
(Answer below)

* PUMA Ocean Racing left Newport, Rhode Island August 26th for their final
warm-up before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, beginning their
transatlantic crossing from their training base at Newport Shipyard in
Newport to Alicante, Spain. Skipper Ken Read reports from Day 2: “We are
always in a dilemma. When practicing, or in this case delivering the boat
across the Atlantic Ocean, we have to learn, with the goal being keep making
the boat and team faster. But, at the same time, if we break the boat we
will have to limp back to Rhode Island or up to Halifax, or wherever the
wind would take a wounded boat in the North Atlantic. That would be bad,
real bad. After all, we do not want to miss the start of this race.

“Don’t worry, we aren't broken. Actually, we're anything but. However, what
I have ringing in my head though is our illustrious Operations and Shore
Team Manager Neil Cox stating one very specific demand about 2 minutes from
pushing us off the dock in Newport in his best Australian tongue, "Mate,
whatever you do, don't break the vessel." Well Coxy, it is pretty hard to
tame the monster at times. Navigator Andrew Cape got us nicely situated on
the back side of a cold front and we just knocked off 254 miles in 12 hours.
Not quite record pace but pretty quick none the less. And this is all
happening while having "don't break the vessel" ringing in our ears. Anyway,
all is good here. We're getting back into the rhythm again, one of being wet
and eating lousy food.” --

* The Green Dragon Volvo Open 70 set sail from Ireland August 23rd for the
1400 nm delivery trip to Alicante, Spain. Here is Skipper Ian Walker’s
update: “It feels like after four days of sailing, someone or something is
trying to stop us entering the Mediterranean Sea. We currently have 30 to 35
knots of wind, bang on the nose and steep seas to contend with. Sailing with
2 reefs and a number 4 jib, the boat seems well balanced and easy to steer
but tacking back and forth across the Straits of Gibraltar is tough on the
crew who seem to spend all day carting sails from one side of the boat to
the other only to tack and have to do it all again - welcome to the world of
Volvo Open 70 sailing.

“It is amazing to be sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar. The winds
funnel through the Straits between the high land on either side and they
then spread out either side thereafter. Jim Saltonstall would love trying to
explain all these wind bends and local effects - but don't worry Jim we are
taking notes of wind patterns conscious that the next time we come through
will be during leg 1 - the leg could well be won or lost right here. All we
have to do now is another 300 miles up the coast to Alicante; arriving in
the Med feels like another landmark occasion for this team and it is a
fantastic feeling.” --

Carthagena, Spain (August 28, 2008) Vasco Vascotto and crew of Mutua
Madrileña will remember today’s distance race in the Region of Murcia Trophy
regatta as one of the most challenging and exciting coastal races of the
last couple of years on the MedCup Circuit. With the mid race scoring gate
and finish line counting for position points, Vascotto’s team benefited from
their consistency today to escalate them to the top of the standings.

In 18-23 knots of NE-E’ly breeze Bribón’s hard work to lead around the
windward mark and to the first leeward turn was undone when their spinnaker
refused to come down due to a halyard clutch malfunction. Platoon, which a
day before endured a forestay failure, overcame a foul to Quantum Racing and
a shredded gennaker to rally for a second by the finish. Bribón, which led
in the standings coming into today, also made a steady recovery to salvage
the day, but dropped down now to third overall.

Another average day by Artemis has dropped them to third in the overall Audi
MedCup Circuit standings, with Bribón now in second and slowly chipping away
at Quantum Racing’s (USA) lead. The Region of Murcia Trophy regatta is the
penultimate event on the circuit, which concludes at the Portugal Trophy in
Portimão on September 15-20. Racing in Carthagena concludes with buoy racing
on Friday and Saturday. -- Complete recap:

Standings after five races (Top 5 of 14)
1. Mutua Madrileña, SPA (6,5,2,2,1,3, 19)
2. Matador, ARG (2,6,6,5,3,1, 22)
3. Bribón, SPA (1,3,9,3,5,4, 24)
4. Quantum Racing, USA (5,1,4,8,4,6, 28)
5. El Desafio, SPA (9,4,3,1,7,5, 29)
Full results:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Paul Cayard has been skippering El Desafio during
the 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit. The team has had moments during the season,
but inconsistency holds them down at seventh overall. Paul’s report from
today quickly keys on their latest issue: “Not a great day for us on El
Desafio today. It started out with someone forgetting one of the important
sails for the coastal race, ashore... the A3 gennaker. That made things
tricky for us on the reaches.” --

Frederikshavn, Denmark (August 28, 2008) – The first day of the Danish Open,
Stage 5 of the nine stage World Match Racing Tour 2008 season saw 12 crews
from 7 countries take to the waters off the Jutlandic peninsula where a
shifty gusty breeze blew off the land up to 22 knots. Among the 12 teams
attending are 6 of the top 8 from the current Tour leader board, the current
World Tour leader, the current ISAF No 1 ranked skipper and four teams
representing America’s Cup syndicates. Hosted by the Royal Danish Yacht
Club, Royal Match Race Centre and Frederikshavn Sejlklub, the event is
sailed in the DS37, with a $100,000 purse prize on the line.

2007 Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) ended the day 4-1 with his match
against Torvar Mirsky his only loss. With a further 14 flights left in the
Round Robin the standings are pretty wide open but that will soon change as
the team scramble for the 4 places in the semi-finals. -- Complete report:

Standings After Day 1:
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar 4-1
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 3-2
Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 3-2
Mads Ebler (DEN) Team AWL Grip 2-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 2-3
Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) 1-4
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit 2-1
Peter Wibroe(DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team 2-1
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 2-1
Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team 1-2
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 1-2
Johnnie Berntsson (SWE) 1-2

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“The penultimate day of racing” means that the day being referenced is the
next to last day of the event. For sailing event reporters, this phrase
seems to be in vogue of late.

* Ridgeway, ONT (August 28, 2008) - The four day Sunfish World Championship
finished today with Paul Foerster (USA) as winner, 28 points ahead of Marx
Chirinos of Venezuela in second. The Buffalo Canoe Club hosted the 72-boat
fleet. -- Event website:

* Hull, MA - The International 110 class held its national championships
last week on the waters of Hull Bay, just south of Boston. It all came down
to the last day when fours boats were all but tied for the lead and the
breeze came in at 12-15 knots allowing skippers to hike hard and crews to
fully trap out during the one scheduled race. After multiple lead and place
changes Mark Van Note (Jamestown, RI) and Josh Hill (Exeter, RI) took the
lead on the final run to finish the short beat to the finish in first,
taking the regatta. -- Full report:

* Annapolis, MD - More than three years after sailing enthusiasts began
searching for a suitable site in Annapolis for a museum and hall of fame,
the project's boosters say they are close to reaching agreements with
preservationists that could allow construction to begin at a historic home
at the foot of City Dock. The city's six-member Historic Preservation
Commission - one of a handful of public and private watchdogs that monitor
Annapolis' historic district - is set to decide August 28, 2008 whether to
approve an agreement that spells out how the National Sailing Hall of Fame
will consult with the city panel as work begins on the design and
construction of the museum. -- Read on:

* Alex Jackson, who owns the Juan K designed 100-foot Speedboat, has inked a
deal with Richard Branson and Virgin Money to sponsor their sailing program.
She will sail this weekend in Newport, RI with the Virgin Money logo on the
hull and sails as well as the Union Jack on one of the rudders. Speedboat
has been on standby in Newport, RI to attempt a transatlantic record run,
with plans to seek out a satisfactory weather window in September and
October. -- SailKarma,

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Alinghi’s latest cartoon spoof, International 210s in Boston, PUMA
Ocean Racing leaving Newport, the Atlantic Class in Blue Hill (Maine),
J/105s in San Francisco, Scows in Iowa, Olympic flags in Weymouth, and the
U.S. O’pen Cup in New Bedford. If you have images you would like to share,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

Decent summer winds in Florida are tough to come by, so kite surfers need to
take advantage of the storms when they do pass through. However, when winds
reach 60 knots, it might be time to pack it in. As Tropical Storm Fay
reached the coast, Kevin Kearney learned a lesson he will never forget.
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:

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 John Turvill: Two comments about the recent Olympic regatta: firstly,
as someone currently living in Indonesia where the only coverage available
was on the web, and with insufficient usable bandwidth to be able to watch
streaming video, I really think a big opportunity was lost in not
capitalizing on the Virtual Spectator technology that worked so well for the
AC (when there was sailing!). Surely I'm not the only one who would like to
see a VS replay of how Ben starts, or how 11 seconds was the difference
between 5 and 10th in the Star medal race...Secondly, I would be much more
inclined to listen to those claiming that the weather was so extreme for the
49er medal race IF the boats had not been flying spinnakers and attempting
to gybe, If you can even contemplate either of those, in my book (speaking
as a retired 505 crew) the conditions cannot be classified as extreme.

* From Jim Mullervy: (re, VO70 sail stacking in ‘butt 2670) Why not go back
a hundred years or so ago and carry a cargo of sandbags to use in tacking

* From Andrew McIrvine, Vice-Commodore Royal Ocean Racing Club: It has
always struck me as moderately crazy to stack all the sails on deck on the
Volvo boats. You have described how labour intensive it is, but there is a
significant safety issue in that the weight of the sails on deck has the
potential to carry away stanchions and lifelines in severe weather. A simple
rule change banning sail stacking on deck would solve the problem and
lighten the work of already hard-pressed crews.

Like most people in the USA, the 'Butt staff will be celebrating the Labor
Day holiday on Monday, September 1st, and will not be publishing the
newsletter for that day. Look for the Scuttlebutt newsletter to resume for
Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend!

Military Wisdom: Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you.

Special thanks to Team McLube and

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