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SCUTTLEBUTT 2672 - Tuesday, September 2, 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.

August 31 2008 -- The uncertainty of the next America's Cup, locked as it is in
the New York courts, took another twist last week with the launch of Larry
Ellison's American challenger, and the enormity of the problem brought into
sharp focus when a 100-foot long trimaran hit the waters off Anacortes in
Washington State. This gigantic three-hulled vessel has a 158ft mast. Nothing
like this has ever been seen before and its proportions would indicate that
Ellison's BMW Oracle Racing team has covered all possible bases. The entire
structure was completed in a specially built complex in order to control the
temperature and humidity within fine limits.

The trimaran was launched by Melinda Erkelens, appropriately the legal advisor
of the Golden Gate Yacht Club through which Ellison's challenge was lodged, on
22 August, 157 years, exactly, after the original race around the Isle of Wight
that began this competition. It marked the culmination of nine months' work by
the 30-strong design team and a vast number of builders, involving a total of
80,000 man hours.

Construction is principally in aerospace-quality carbon fibre, chosen for its
high strength and lightness, and uses other materials more usually associated
with this high-tech industry. Nothing has been left to chance in the design and
construction of this boat and the sailing team is anxious to begin sailing
trials. The 500 square-metre mainsail - more than twice the size of the ones
used by the boats in the Cup races last year in Valencia - was due to be put
aboard yesterday and hoisted for the first time today. It will be complemented
by headsails of up to 350 square metres and asymmetric spinnakers of up to 700
square metres - a total downwind sail area of almost two football pitches. --
Bob Fisher The Observer, full story:

* One week after being launched, BMW Oracle Racing's new 90-foot multihull yacht
hoisted sail here for the first time on Monday and began its shakedown in 6-8
knots of breeze over four hours of testing on the Rosario Strait. "This boat is
incredibly challenging," said team CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts. "We will take
it conservatively in this testing session as we learn more about the boat and
its potential." --

While the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, China was being swept clean of
Olympic memorabilia and converted to a more user friendly venue for the
Paralympics, I stole away to Rhizaou and discovered what's really happening with
the development of sailing in China.

The Opti regatta the following morning awakened me more to the realities of
sailing in China. While the fleet of privately funded and sponsored Optis from
various coastal communities sailed their final race, a handful of Optis, without
colorful sponsors' logos on their sails, maneuvered around a separate course and
a different coach boat. That was the Chinese National Optimist Team. I was told
that the team members had been handpicked from the Chinese public schools
because of their physical builds. They were selected at an early age, in a
similar fashion to the tall and slender teenagers and twenty somethings that
would descend on the sailing center early in the afternoon to make a 13:00 start
outside the mouth of the marina.

An Opti dad and big supporter of sailing in his community told me that in China,
there is little room for fun and mediocrity. If kids don't study hard and do
well in school, there is little opportunity for them. The rapidly growing middle
class has great aspirations for their children, yet some of them recognize that
extracurricular activities are healthy. In the case of the young sailors on the
provincial teams, I was told, they weren't very good students. They were
recruited to sail; not to study. If they didn't excel in sailing, their futures
were limited because their reading, writing and arithmetic would have taken a
distant back seat to training. - Excerpts from a story by Lynn Fitzpatrick, full

I was laying in my bunk here on PUMA's il mostro wondering what all Volvo
skippers must be wondering but afraid to ask out loud. Is our boat fast enough?
Is it strong enough? Will it go the distance? The crazy thing is that 7 of these
Volvo 70's have been built in the last year and nobody knows the answer. It's
like opening day of the baseball season. All teams have great hopes of winning
the pennant and reaping the rewards. Fact is nobody really knows what their team
is going to be like over the long haul. This race is exactly like opening day.

As the last skipper to join the blogging fray, it has been fascinating to read
the upbeat reports from all the teams on how great the boats are and how their
programs. Why wouldn't they be optimistic? All is rosy when none of us have ever
lost a race against another Volvo 70! But the simple fact is we are all fibbing
in a way. We don't know what this race has in store for us. Well, maybe Ericsson
knows because they had the distinct luxury and foresight of purchasing the
winner of the last race and testing their new boats against it. As for the rest
of us, we can only guess. And am I willing jump in and say we have the be
all/end all boat of the century? Absolutely not! We like our boat, but fact is
we won't know anything until the gun goes in the beginning of October. --

If you've been following Ken Read's daily logs during PUMA Ocean Racing's
Trans-Atlantic crossing, you might wonder where to buy PUMA Volvo Ocean Race
gear. Look no further... North Sails has the new 'il mostro' tees ($22 for short
sleeve, $28 for long sleeve) and more cool gear from PUMA available. North also
carries Henri Lloyd's new sailing jackets (for men & women), which are perfect
for Fall! When performance, style and having cool gear matter, head North:

Kiel officials estimated 50,000 spectators came to watch Day Three of racing of
Round Four of the iShares Cup the - packing the shore 10 deep in glorious
sunshine a perfect 10-15 knots. However, much of the drama ended in the second
race of the day when Team Origin got hit and holed, forcing them to sit out the
rest of the day. Though Team Origin was given average points for the four final
races, that left skipper Rob Greenhalgh and his British crew in second place --
two points behind Alighi, steered by Ed Baird. Team Aqua, helmed by Alister
Richardson, finished third, 18-points further back. By taking a third place on
the double-points final race of the day, BT (Team Ellen), skippered by Nick
Moloney, finished fourth at the Kiel regatta.

Alinghi has now captured their third title in a row on the European Extreme 40
sailing circuit, and now heads for the final stop of the tour tied with Team
Origin for the overall lead. In the series standings, BT is now in third place
of iShares Cup 2008 Championship, which will be decided in Amsterdam, Holland
from September 19-21. --

Frederikshavn, Denmark - An estimated 30,000 people have come to see the sights
and sounds of Frederikshavn this week as the town played host to the fifth stage
of the World Match Racing Tour. Having won the Round Robin stages, with 8 race
wins, the Ian Williams and his Team Pindar crew elected to take on Sweden's
Johnie Berntsson (Berntsson Sailing Team) in the semi-final. It was a bold move
for Williams, who had lost to Berntsson on Thursday, however the decision paid
off as the crew sealed a 3-1 victory. The Danish Open ended with Ian Williams
(GBR) of Team Pindar going 3-0 in the final against Sebastien Col (FRA) French
Match Racing Team/K-Challenge.

Danish Open Final Standings:
1. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar $ 32,000
2. Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge $16,000
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team $13,000
4. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team $10,000
5. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit $9,000
6. Peter Wibroe (DEN) Wibroe Sailing Team $8,000
7. Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates TNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team $7,000
8. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge $5,000
9. Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team
10. Mads Ebler (DEN) Team AWL Grip
11. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team
12. Andrey Arbuzov (RUS)

The match racing team left Denmark on Sunday and are now in St Moritz,
Switzerland for Stage Six of 2008 World Match Racing Championship Season -- the
St Moritz Match Race, which runs from September 2-7. They'll be racing Blu26s
for $130,000.00 in prize money. After five events on the Tour Ian Williams Team
Pindar has upped his points to 72 and stretched his lead to 15 points over
Sebastien Col's French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge who lie second with 57.
Both Mathieu Richard and Torvar Mirsky leap froged Bjorn Hansen to make third
and fourth on 47 and 45 points respectively leaving Hansen in 5th on 40. --

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

After four days of moderately fresh breezes, the final two races for the TP52 in
Cartagena were contested in a light sea-breeze which carried some big changes in
direction to frustrate and challenge crews. The Dean Barker skippered Bribón won
the final race of the regatta for a two point victory over Alberto Roemmers'
Matador. Bribón has now regained second place overall on the Audi MedCup
Circuit, behind Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the crew of Quantum Racing (USA) who
leave Murcia and head for the final regatta in Portimao having extended their
overall lead from 30 points to 41.2 points. Paul Cayard (USA) skipper-helmsman
of Desafio, won the final day with a 1-6, which lifted his Spanish AC team to
third place in this 10-race regatta.

Final Results for the Region of Murcia Trophy Regatta
1. Bribón, ESP (47pts)
2. Matador, ARG (49)
3. El Desafio, ESP (51)
4. Quantum Racing, USA (54)
5. Mutua Madrileña, ESP (57)

Audi MedCup 2008 Overall Standings
1. Quantum Racing, USA, 215pts
2. Bribón, ESP, 256.2
3. Artemis, SWE, 271
4. Matador, ARG, 287
5. Platoon by Team Germany, GER, 310

Compete results:
Photographer Thierry Martinez and Ian Roman have brought the TP52 action from
Spain to the Scuttlebutt website:

Anchors come in a variety of types, Fluke, Claw, CQR, and even the Fisherman.
Each has their own strengths. If you want to know which anchor type you need and
which size, read this week's newsletter
( to find out about all boat anchor
types and anchoring methods! will help you find the best gear,
by reviewing hundreds of boating products and bringing the best ones to you. stores product information for access anytime, anywhere, and
organize them into 200 plus easily-accessible categories. --

* Sheboygan, Wisconsin will become an official U.S. Sailing Center, making it a
training site for the U.S. Olympic sailing team. It will be the first such
center on the Great Lakes and the fourth in the nation. The other three U.S.
Sailing Centers are located in Miami, Martin County, Fla., and Long Beach,
Calif. Local donors, corporate sponsors and members will fund the sailing
center's events and infrastructure. The Sheboygan location will specialize in
match racing, which will be a first-time Olympic event for women in 2012.

* Light air plagued the 74th running of the 238-mile classic Vineyard Race which
led to many retirements. Hosted by the Stamford Yacht Club and sponsored by
Vineyard Vines, the race is one of the East Coast's classic distance races. Nine
of the 56 entries sailed the shorter Cornfield Point race which takes boats to
the mouth of the Connecticut River near Old Saybrook, Conn., and back. The rest
raced to Buzzards Bay Light Tower off Martha's Vineyard. Rima2, John Brim's
Reichel R/P55 won the Vineyard Trophy for the best IRC corrected time. Full
reports and results at:

* Bill Koch, the winner of the 1992 America's Cup, signed a check to pay off the
Kansas Sports Hall of Fame's debt of nearly $97,000 to the City of Wichita. The
hall of fame had until next week to pay the city or face eviction from its Old
Town building. The museum will now focus its attention on lobbying the state
legislature so it won't find itself in this position again. Koch was inducted
into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and has now given the hall more than
$500,000. --

* After four days of regattas against twelve boats Neapolitan Vincenzo Onorato,
already three times Farr 40 World Champion (2006, 2007, 2008), has won the 2008
Farr 40 European Championship. The championship was characterized by unstable
winds, which made regattas and tactics difficult. During the ten races,
Mascalzone Latino was placed five times first, twice second, once sixth, fourth
and eight, scoring 27 points. Giovanni Maspero's Joe Fly finished second only
short by one point with 28 points, while the Finnish Siragusawa of Lumijärvi and
Olli-Pekka took third with 37 points. - complete results:

* Brian Angel has won the Long Beach Yacht Club's Ficker Cup Match Race Series
(ISAF Grade 3), and along with the silver perpetual he received an invitation to
LBYC's 2009 Congressional Cup Regatta. Plagued by "atypical shifty light winds,"
the race committee was "just" able to complete the scheduled double round robin
in the Catalina 37s used for the three day event. Final Standings: 1. Brian
Angel, 11-3; 2. Phil Robertson, Auckland, New Zealand, 10-4; 3. Scott Dickson,
8-6; 4. Don Wilson, 8-6; 5. Dave Perry, 6-8; 6. Chuck Simmons, 5-9; 7. Chris
VanTol, 5-9; 8. Bruce Stone, 3-11. --

* Motor racing and former sailing and America's Cup correspondent for the Times
(UK), Ed Gorman was in Valencia last week, with one eye over the F1 circuit and
the other over the empty America's Cup bases. We spoke to him after the race. "I
see this as a huge missed opportunity to showcase the America's Cup in a Formula
One environment", he says. "There was absolutely no visible evidence of the Cup,
not a single boat on show. All America's Cup presence has been obscured by the
commercial control of the Formula One organization. I guess that's why Bernie
Ecclestone is so successful: he controls everything." - World Yacht Racing Forum

* After a 1500-mile delivery trip from Ireland, the Green Dragon Racing Team has
arrived in Alicante, Spain (the southern part of the Valencian Community) for
the start of the fully-crewed round the world Volvo Ocean Race. "Last night we
spent five hours dodging commercial shipping as we tacked our way through the
Straits of Gibraltar into a 35-knot headwind," said skipper Ian Walker. The boat
construction and design was funded by a syndicate of Irish business people,
while the campaign is funded through a group of companies from China. --

* Dense fog on Cascais Bay prevented any racing on the third and closing day of
the 8th Trofeu Quebramar-Chrysler. Desafío won this fifth event of the Quebramar
GP42 Cup, with four victories in five races. Italian Airis was second while
Madrid grabbed third place. Desafío has now increased its overall Quebramar Cup
lead and now has an 18-point advantage over Airis with Near Miss in third place.
The final event of the Quebramar Cup will be the Trofeo Cesar Manrique, in
Puerto Calero, October 16 - 18. --

Onne van der Wal's Photography Gallery, located in the heart of the Newport Boat
show (Sept 11-14), will be offering 15% sale storewide & booth-wide. Then we set
up shop at the US SailBoat Show in Annapolis (Oct 9-13) at Tent A/ 48. Stop in
and see what's new!

Eight Bells for one of the west coast's legends, Dennis Riegler. Riegler
competed on many of the famous racing boats in the 60's, 70's, & 80's. His
involvement with mastmaker Sparcraft, was also an important part of the current
rig development we enjoy on today's racing yachts. No services scheduled at this
time. -- Kirk Elliott

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 Fred Scuttle, (re, Virtual Spectator solution for the Olympics in 'butt
2671): The contract between the IOC and the broadcasters (who basically pay for
the Olympics) does not allow any moving images on websites. The only video from
the Games was on NBC's own website, and then only available to people viewing
from with the US. Omega/Swatch/Swiss Timing have had tracking devices on the
boats since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, but are not allowed to display the images
on websites. The tracking is used for TV graphics and in some cases to
automatically generate mark roundings, finish placings, and OCS boats. A pity,
but that's the way it is - until the lawyers can work out a solution, there will
not be any moving images on any sites.

* From Doran Cushing: The Olympics are such a can of worms. You can have three
Americans in the finals (and more in the prelims) of a track event but only one
at the start of the sailing competition. Who makes up these rules? Pros playing
basketball but other standards for other sports. I'm glad I don't have to deal
with the hypocrisy...there's enough in PHRF and US Sailing.The trials are so
arbitrary....have a bad day and your last 4 years are toast. Both Anne and Paige
are likely the two best sailors in the Radial goes to China, one
stays in FL for the next hurricane. By the 2012 Olympics they both may have
matured to the extent they don't "fit" the Radial any longer. So what's left ...
the two of them on a 470? Interesting concept.

* From Barry Ault: Who is kidding who? Since the "swingers" are basically
powerboats anyway, why not let them use hydraulics to move everything and not
just the keels and the water. And how about a gadget under water to improve the
rate of flow over the foils. I hear Hobie has some pretty trick duck feet that
would work nicely!

Did you happen to see the report of the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a
root canal in an effort to 'transcend dental medication?'

Special thanks to North Sails,, and Onne van der Wal's
Photography Gallery.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at