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SCUTTLEBUTT 2674 - Thursday, September 4, 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.

It’s early days with the new BMW ORACLE Racing 90 but first impressions are
positive from the sailors who have been sea-trialing the new trimaran on
Puget Sound in Anacortes, WA. “We’re not even at 50 percent yet and it’s
already pretty impressive,” said James Spithill (AUS), one of the team’s
helmsmen. Franck Cammas (FRA), long-time crew from the Groupama multihull
program, is the helmsman for the Anacortes testing session. “The important
part is to take it slow as we continue to learn about the boat. Most of us
have not done anything like it. It’s a huge credit to the designers and boat
builders that everything is working so well at this early stage.”

The sea trials are a progression as the team slowly ramps up the boat and
its systems. On Monday, the team sailed the massive multihull for the first
time ever. The first day, the boat was sailed with two reefs in the mainsail
to reduce the sail area and the power. On Tuesday, the boat sailed without
any reefs and with a Solent headsail. Progressively the loads on the boat
will be increased. “Today is another step forward and we will continue
refining the systems, “ Spithill said before dock out for Day Two of the
Anacortes shakedown. “Each day we will push things a little bit harder and
harder,” said team tactician John Kostecki (USA). “This boat is testing the
limits. We are like test pilots and we’re taking it gently and carefully so
we don’t have any majors. We’re quite happy with the initial performance of
the boat.” --

* A recent exchange on August 22nd between the Société Nautique Genève (SNG)
and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) concerned an unresolved dispute, wherein
the Swiss club wants the Americans to submit to them the Custom House
Registry, as is required by the Deed of Gift. The certificate would provide
the basic design parameters of the 90-foot trimaran, and the Americans do
not appear to be in a hurry to provide such information. Their exchange of
letters are posted here:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Scuttlebutt publisher Craig Leweck will be in
Anacortes this Monday to join the team, meet with the sailors, and see this
Deed of Gift challenger up close. If you have any specific questions for
Craig to ask the sailors and designers, post them here:

(September 3, 2008) Following on from the sailing events at the 2008 Beijing
Olympic Games there are some major changes amongst the leaders in this
release of the International Sailing Federation World Rankings. While there
are many detractors to the ISAF system, this could be one time every four
years that the rankings get closest to the on-the-water performance of each
sailor. 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.

Because the rankings are a formula system, there is no subjective mechanism
to sufficiently boost top sailors who do not sail enough ranking events, and
thus many top sailors remain poorly ranked. While the latest rankings list
was not posted at press time, this is likely the case with Gold Medalists
Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Jian Yin (CHN), who in July were ranked 28th and 25th
in the Finn and RS:X, respectively. Regardless, Australia holds on to their
top nation standing in this Ranking release, though losing one of their
three world #1 spots after their Laser star Tom Slingsby (AUS) endured a
very difficult Olympic debut. Just behind them Great Britain climbs up from
fourth to second in the national standings after topping the medal tally
with one of the best-ever national performances at the Olympic Sailing
Competition, winning four gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Here are
the current top ranked sailors in each Olympic event:

Finn: Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN)
Laser Radial: Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
Laser : Paul Goodison (GBR)
470 Men: Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm Page (AUS)
470 Women: Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol (ITA);
49er: Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP)
Star: Mateusz Kusznierewicz and Dominik Zycki (POL)
Yngling: Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson (GBR)
Tornado: Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby (AUS)
RS:X Men: Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL)
RS:X Women: Marina Alabau (ESP)
Complete report:
Rankings by event:

* British Columbia will provide the anchor for Canada's sailing team at the
2008 Paralympic Games with the first races set to begin Monday, September
8th in Qingdao, China. Of the team's six sailors, five are Victoria
residents who train out of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Crews aboard three
boats will hoist the Canadian sail in a bid to reach the podium, something
the team failed to do at the 2004 Athens Games. A good bet for a medal is
the tandem team of crew Stacie Louttit and helmsman John McRoberts, both of
Victoria. The pair, who sail in the two-person SKUD keelboat, finished
fourth at a test regatta in Qingdao in May. -- The Vancouver Sun, read on:

* The 2008 US Paralympic Sailing Team arrived in Qingdao, China on August
30th. After two days of Team Processing at the Olympic Training Center in
Colorado Springs, and an overnight in San Francisco, the Team was China
bound. Despite the lengthy travel across the globe the athletes are settling
in nicely. Our first full day in Qingdao together as a Team consisted of
unpacking bags and unloading containers. Many of the athletes made it a
priority to sneak a nap in to help adjust to the time difference. We are
staying in the same Athlete Village that the Olympic Sailing Team lived in.
It is absolutely wonderful. Many of you have most likely read that the
Village will be turned into a five star hotel after the Games are over.
There are more hotel staff members here than we can count, and all are eager
to meet our requests from special dietary needs to extra bath towels to
handing us water bottles in the gym after a workout. -- Read on:

* Universal Sports will be providing online broadcast coverage of the 2008
Beijing Paralympic Games to the American audience. is
offering 3 separate Live segments each day, for users to watch for FREE
online. Additionally, these segments will be offered On-Demand for viewing
at any point after the Live broadcast. While they are unsure at this time
how much coverage will be extended to the sailing events, they do intend to
report on the events that occur each day on the highlight shows that are to
run at 4 a.m. & 12 p.m. ET. --

From California to New Jersey and Wisconsin to Texas, you saw them on the
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for 2009.

Newport, RI - After spending over than seven weeks at sea and sailing more
than 3,000 miles - alone - a storm just off of Bermuda nearly killed Alexei
Fedoruk. Somehow, though, he managed to find his way into Newport Harbor.
There, the helping hands of Newport’s tight-knit sailing community rallied
to give him new life. His journey to Newport began in June for the start of
the Jester Azores Challenge, a single-handed race from Plymouth, England to
Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel for vessels under 30 feet.

After finishing the race in just over 11 days, seven hours, Mr. Fedoruk set
out to prepare himself for his next challenge: The 2010 Jester Challenge
from Plymouth to Newport. A sail from the Azores to Bermuda proved to be a
relatively easy one, he recalled. Then, on the morning of July 16, trouble
struck. For over 12 hours, Mr. Fedoruk, a sailing instructor in his home
country of Russia, endured 64-knot winds and F12 conditions.

A 360 degree capsize roll broke his mast in three pieces, split his antenna
and damaged his rudder beyond repair. He spent the next 600 miles riding a
southwest breeze and the Gulf Stream. With no rudder and little more than a
stub left for a mast, he sailed under jury rig, steering with his sail,
until remarkably finding his way to the waters just off of Nantucket. Then,
for five days, he floated. With no wind, he drifted 100 miles in the
Nantucket Shoals, circling aimlessly until a fishing crew happened upon the
battered craft. -- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The rest of the story provides a wonderful tribute
to the sailing community of Newport as it details how they rallied to help
Fedoruk and his boat.

St Moritz, Switzerland (September 3, 2008) – The World Match Racing Tour is
in St. Moritz this week, one of the most prestigious ski resorts in the
world. The event is raced on Lake St. Moritz, in the Engadin region of the
southeastern Swiss Alps. The lake is at an elevation of 5,624 feet (1,856
meters) above sea level, making it possibly the highest-elevated match race
regatta in the world. The lake is surrounded by peaks surpassing 10,000
feet. This year the event is using a newly designed boat called the Blu26, which
is a boat designed for the lake with low freeboard and a big rig.

The St Moritz Match Race got under way today, where among the 12 entrants
are eight of the top ten ISAF ranked teams vying for the $135,000 prize
pool. The format for this regatta sees the teams split in to two groups for
the Round Robins, where each team races each other once, with the top three
teams from each group proceeding to the quarter-finals. The bottom three
teams from each group will compete together in a repechage Round Robin to
decide the final two quarter final places.

Group A completed their Round Robin, with Sebastien Col (4-1), Eric Monnin
(3-2), and Mathieu Richard (3-2) automatically advancing to the
quarterfinals. Group B did not complete their Round Robin, but is currently
led by Adam Minoprio with a 3-0 record. -- Daily recap:

Bouwe Bekking is one of the ‘brains’ behind the ambitious project that is
the Telefónica team, which is fielding two boats for the Volvo Ocean Race.
Joining the Spanish team for the second time, Bouwe Bekking’s five previous
participations make him one of the most experienced sailors in this edition
of the race.

* One team, two boats and two shipyards: Why the decision to build
“Telefónica blue” and “Telefónica black” in different places?
BEKKING: Initially the plan was to build only one new boat and to use the
former Brasil 1 for going around the world, but then fortunately Pedro
Campos found the funding to build two new boats. Unfortunately, by the time
we decided to build the boats, the yard in Alginet didn’t have enough space
available, as they already had new bookings, so we had to find a new space
and that is why we went to Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand.

* The question lots of people will ask is: ‘is there any difference between
the “Telefónica blue” and “Telefónica black” builds?
BEKKING: The boats are exactly equal, using the same lines. The only
difference is in slightly different materials, but that’s just because by
the time we started building the boat in New Zealand there was only one
supplier available at that stage. That’s the only difference, just different
Complete interview:

Tom Gilbert and his crew on Soverel 33 “Grafix” have continued their winning
streak with Ullman Sails this season, claiming two huge wins in the Pacific
Northwest. Last weekend, “Graphix” was first in class and first overall at
the 35th Annual Mercedes Benz PITCH regatta in Bellingham, Washington,
August 30-31. And on August 9th, the “Grafix” team took first in class at
the 2008 SJIYC Shaw Island Classic, the fifth straight year that “Grafix”
has won the Shaw Island event with 100% Ullman Sails onboard. Choose the
“Fastest Sails on the Planet.” Contact a local loft and visit

* A celebration to honor the 30th Anniversary of the “Evergreen” victory in
the 1978 Canada's Cup is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008 at Royal
Hamilton Yacht Club (1430 hours). Join owner Don Green, members of the crew,
the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club “Evergreen” Committee, family and friends in a
walkthrough of an important part of the RHYC history. -- Full details:

* Porto Cervo, Italy (September 3, 2008) - Light air on Day Two of the Maxi
Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 caused a two hour delay before a 5 knot thermal breeze
filled in for the first starting signal just before 1.30 p.m. A 25 mile
course was set for the Racing and Wally divisions while the Cruising and
Mini Maxi divisions were set a 17 mile course. Overall leaders in their
respective divisions are Ernesto Bertarelli’s Numbers (USA) for the Mini
Maxi Division, George David’s Rambler (USA) in the Racing division, Magic
Carpet 2 (GBR) in the Wally division and Ranger (USA) among the maxis of the
Cruising division. Racing continues through Saturday, September 6th.
Daily report:
Audio interviews:

* (September 3, 2008) Mobility Cup 2008, hosted by the Association
québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA) and the Pointe Claire Yacht Club has
wrapped up after a very successful week of racing. 42 athletes with
disabilities from around North America, as well as Great Britain and even
New Zealand were treated to PCYC’s warm hospitality over the five day event.
In Gold, Merle Hickey of Calgary finished first overall of the 23
participants, while the 19-boat Silver fleet was won by Richard Dionne, of
Shediac, NB. -- Complete report:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Sept 6-7 - Cornish Hen Regatta - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sept 6-8 - Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta - Larchmont, NY, USA
Sept 8-12 - Hobie 16 North American Championship - Clear Lake, IA, USA
Sept 8-12 – J/24 North American Championship - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA
View all the events at

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 Toby Cooper: In Scuttlebutt 2673, there was a short story on Sailors
for the Sea and their Clean Regattas program. Next week is the annual Rolex
Big Boat Series at the St. Francis, and I hope David Rockefeller and others
will join in asking Rolex to withhold the plastic bow-stickers, a lot of
which peel off and litter the Bay every day of the regatta. Some seem to
stick and others don't; something to do with hull coats. The support from
Rolex has elevated BBS to world class standing and we are all totally
grateful and supportive. But these pesky stickers stand in the way. I am
sure the Rolex branding will enhanced, not lost, as a result.

* From Dennis Deisinger, San Francisco: (re, story in ‘butt 2673) You hit
the nail on the head with your comment about needing a Hook to attract more
sit-down sailors into competitive boardsailing. While there are a number of
competitive boardsailors in North America - they need to travel overseas to
get big fleet experience and to test their metal against the world’s best.
There aren't many events in the US/CAN/MEX that brings the best in NA
together, let alone attracts the best from elsewhere to come here. Here is
no hype.

Some of us on the left coast are trying to change that. The St. Francis
Yacht Club initiated a boardsailing element into their summer Jr. program
this year, with the kids loving it and asking for more. This fall, the Club
will offer a full Jr. boardsailing program separate from the normal
opti/Laser format. The kids are already racing each other.

What's next? Where's the Hook? Hopefully it’s a case of "Build It And They
Will Come." The STFYC has applied to host the 2010 RS:X Youth Worlds and Bic
Techno Worlds. I believe that by having a regatta of this magnitude within
the reach of NA sailors, we will see an increase in competitive boardsailing
programs and sailors from this hemisphere. The more competition, the better
we (NA sailors) get. The better we get, the more the international sailors
will come and then the bar will rise for all.

We have to have world class events in North America before our boys (and
girls!) can head off to places like Thailand and be competitive.

To successfully start on port tack at the favored pin end is mostly luck;
two in a row is all luck; three in a row is prevarication.

Special thanks to Ribcraft RIBs and Ullman Sails.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at