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SCUTTLEBUTT 2677 - Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is published each
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Racing got underway Monday at the Paralympic Sailing Regatta in Qingdao, China.
It was a long and challenging day on the water for all three classes, as they
first endured delays due to a lack of wind, and then later battled
quickly-changing wind and current conditions. As a result, the fleet leader
frequently changed throughout the races: Sailors experienced opportunities to
gain or lose at least five places in less than five minutes. The 2.4 mR and
SKUD-18 course became increasingly difficult as the day wore on, because the
current and wind started going against each other, resulting in almost
three-foot seas kicking up.

Best placed US crew is Nick Scandone and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker in the SKUD 18
class. They scored a first and second to have a two point edge over the Chinese
crew with Australia third. The points are very close over the first four

In the 2.4mR singlehanded keelboat, Paul Tingey (CAN) stamped his authority on
the one-man boat, notching up two wins, with Heiko Kroger (GER) in second just
ahead of the USA's John Ruf.

After winning their first race, the US Sonar team of Rick Doerr, Tim Angle and
Bill Donohue finished 10th in the 12 boat fleet to slide down to fifth overall.
Racing is very tight in the Sonar fleet with just seven points covering first to
eight overall.

Three races are scheduled Tuesday in all three classes, starting at 1 pm local
time, weather-permitting. Sailors will race a total of eleven races over five
days throughout the week. Medals will be awarded on the final day of racing,
Saturday, September 13.

One-person keelboat (2.4MR - 16 boats)
1. CAN, Paul Tingley ,1-1, 2pts
2. GER, Heiko Kroger, 3-2, 5pts
3. USA, John S Ruf, 2-6, 8pts

Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18 - 11 boats)
1. USA, Nick Scandone / Maureen McKinnon Tucker, 2-1, 3pts
2. CHN, Hailiang Jia/ Xiujuan Yang, 1-4, 5pts
3. AUS, Daniel Fitzbibbon/ Rachael Cox, 4-2, 6pts
4. CAN John Scott McRoberts/ Stacie Louttit, 3-3, 6pts

Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar - 12 boats)
1. FRA, Bruno Jourdren/ Herve Larhant/ Nicolas Vimont-Vicary, 4-1, 5pts
2. GRE, Vasileios Christoforou/ Theodoros Alexas/ Nikolaos Paterakis, 2-5,
3. NOR, Jostein Stordahl/ Per Eugen Kristiansen/ Aleksander Wang-Hansen, 6-2,
5. USA, Rick Doerr/ Tim Angle/ Bill Donohue, 1-10, 11pts
12. CAN, Ken Kelly, Don Terlson/ Marc Shaw, 10-12, 22pts

Complete results:

To drive to the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, you need to take a
ferry, and the prominent Ferry landing is in Anacortes, WA. For this town of not
quite 15,000, that was its primary distinction. But when the BMW ORACLE Racing
team chose Anacortes to be the site where its two AC class boats would be built
for the 2007 America's Cup, and now again for its Deed of Gift 90-foot trimaran
challenger, that all changed.

While the AC boats left the shed with little fanfare, tightly wrapped and
quickly flown out of town, the trimaran has stayed, and on August 25th was
christened on-site, and lowered into Fidalgo Bay adjacent to the boat yard where
it was constructed on the Anacortes waterfront. With the weather window still
open in this part of the country, the team decided to test and trial their new
horse locally on the Rosario Strait, and utilize their existing facilities to
address any design and construction issues.

To arrive in Anacortes, it is an hour and a half drive north of SEA-TAC, the
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The team has secured the services of a
transportation company, and needless to say, they travel the route often. The
driver noted that most of his passengers have been foreigners. The girl at the
hotel front desk was curious too, and wondered why there were so few Americans
involved in the America's Cup. In both instances, however, it was clear that the
activities of the team had brought some sizzle to this ferry landing town.

Scuttlebutt was on-site Monday and toured the base, met with the Build/ Design
team, observed the trimaran in action (sadly, no boat rides yet for journos),
chatted with the sailors, and experienced firsthand the excitement the launch of
the trimaran has created. Although no announcement has been made, it now appears
that the team will be ending their training in Anacortes this Saturday and
moving South -- probably to San Diego -- where the testing will resume again in
early October. More details to follow.

A behind the scenes chat with the man in charge of the sailing events at the
2008 Olympic Games:

* The top sailing countries have noted how much advanced effort was spent on
researching the winds and tides. Did your team have to make a similar effort?

COOK: Several of the teams had very complex weather and tidal forecast products.
We were provided with some of their products as a courtesy. They were quite
good. We also had a lot of sophisticated products, including some type of radar
for measuring and predicting current. However, the most accurate forecasts were
the least expensive and most simple - our eyes. After so many trips to Qingdao
several of us got pretty good at predicting what was going to happen during the
day. We also had a secret weapon - Shao Xianli. He was the lead Chinese official
on the BRAVO course. He's been working on the waters off Qingdao his entire
life. His experience and predictions were almost always spot on.

* Did the demands of television broadcasting factor in to race committee

COOK: We had an excellent, collaborative relationship with Beijing Olympic
Broadcasting Co. (BOB). A liaison was appointed by BOB, who was excellent. I was
in touch with him at least 3 or 4 times a day. As an active sailor he understood
our challenges and was very easy to work with. I've read some of the internet
comments about decisions being made to satisfy the needs of TV. In reality, that
wasn't true. BOB provided input on which class it would prefer to start first on
Medal Race days, and requested some time delays on Medal Race days in order to
move on-board cameras from one class to another. In every case BOB made clear
that it understood that race management concerns took precedence over their

Every day BOB posted a camera person and a leader (I don't know the actual
title) on the signal boat that was working the course being televised. The
leader was an Olympic Gold medalist (470 - AUS). She had direct contact with
every BOB boat and the helicopters. If we needed a boat or helicopter moved, it
happened very quickly. The leader was not there to interfere in our job. Her
role - which she did very well - was to keep all BOB resources updated on what
we were doing.

The media boats, however, were a challenge. Early on we had some issues with the
positioning of media boats and the driving skills of the operators. I think we
had that sorted out within the first few days. -- Complete interview:

What better place to explore the energy and excitement of the fall boating
season then the Lido Yacht Expo!! The show is September 11th -14th at the Lido
Marina Village, Newport Beach, CA. Come on board and chat with Roy Bream and
John Bohne, our friendly and knowledgeable sales agents and check out the
Rivolta 4.5 and the Delphia 40 GT. For more information on these boats or
similar lines, visit our website at or give our office
a call at 619.224.6200. See you at the Boat Show!

(The following is an excerpt from a story posted on The Daily Sail subscription

Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli was a surprise guest in Porto Cervo last week
for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, behind the wheel of Dan Meyers' all conquering
Judel Vrolijk 66, Numbers. During a post Cork Week golf match with Brad
Butterworth, Meyers managed to capsize a golf cart and ended up underneath it.
Injuries sustained during this accident resulted in him being unable to sail for
the rest of this year and so, seeing as the boat is already crewed by the
majority of the Alinghi sailing team, Meyers passed the wheel over to
Bertarelli, just days before the start of the regatta.
"The boat was in Europe, the crew already lined up - it was a difficult offer to
refuse with such an amazing yacht," claims Bertarelli - the happiest we have
seen him since winning the America's Cup last year in Valencia, clearly
overjoyed to be back afloat with the majority of his Cup team for the first time
since July 2007. He was also no doubt enjoying the fact that once again Numbers
was showing her winning ways, scoring four bullets in five races, losing just
one to Roger Sturgeon's STP65 Rosebud/Team DYT.

"It is probably one of the best boats I've sailed on," Bertarelli said of
Numbers. "It is a real racing machine. A lot of the development of this boat
comes from the America's Cup and our Alinghi design team. You see the results -
we are a lot faster than some bigger boats. It is probably one of the easiest
and nicest boats to sail upwind that I've ever sailed." -- Full story:

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: While the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup took place in Sardina,
we counted 39 American sailors in the 40 boat fleet. As you might suspect, they
were mostly professional sailors and a few owners. Included in that assemblage
were Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and John MacGowan (Newport, R.I.) who
sailed with Bertarelli on Numbers. Event website:

(The VO 70 Puma arrived in Alicante, Spain late last week for the start of the
Volvo Ocean Race. After a night or two in a real bed, here are some of the
thoughts of American skipper Ken Read.)

Even after only 10 days at sea it's amazing what a shower, shave and real meal
will do for your soul. Our last 24 hours was fast and fun. Downwind in 20-33
knots of breeze through the night, caught out with all the big gear up from time
to time. Yikes! Several sail changes and lots of high speed sailing. Getting
used to the speeds is a big part of our training and we certainly got that
checked off on this transatlantic adventure. Also, we arrived nearly a day and a
half ahead of schedule, making Kimo (Kimo Worthington, GM of PUMA Ocean Racing)
and the operations folks scramble a bit for hotel rooms. But, they pulled it off
as always.

Our trial leg certainly wasn't without excitement from time to time. We snapped
a canard - check that - we snapped both canards on unidentified objects. Not
exactly the best way to get us to sleep soundly at night as there is certainly a
lot of uncertainty in these vast oceans. We are quite sure that both mishaps
happened on objects - not marine life, so our Save the Whales friends need not
come knocking on our door.

So where does that leave us? Work lists are being created and a final re-build
of the boat is in progress as we speak. Our shore base (base one was packed up
in Newport and shipped directly to Cape Town) is buzzing with excitement as the
shore team gets the boat back and they, with the help of the sailors, get things
in order. We'll get safety courses out of the way soon and then the team will
have a few days off. After a short break it's right back at it to do final
checks on race sails which are on their way to us from North Sails.

Finally, one very interesting part of this race is clearly going to be the 11th
crew member or the media member as Volvo calls it. I have always been a bit
squeamish about watching those reality shows that essentially stick a camera in
your face at any inopportune time and hope you freak out or cry or say something
that will embarrass you forever. Well, I (we) are now living in this reality
world and I really think that the sport could get a huge shot in the arm from
it. Ricky Deppe is really doing a great job, and I am sure that there are
several other good cameramen in this race. These guys should be able to show an
aspect of our sport the world has never seen or even imagined. But, getting used
to that camera constantly lingering about is a bit disconcerting. I guess what I
am trying to say is that I apologize in advance for all the dumb stuff I will be
doing in front of the unseen camera for the next nine months. And I extend that
apology from the rest of sailing team. --

Congratulations to Carl & Scott Gitchell and crew aboard their J/105 'Tenacious'
for winning 2008 Annapolis Race Week! Using North sails, the Gitchell brothers
dominated a very tough class and edged out a two-point victory over the 2nd
place boat. "The North main and jib work so well hand-in-hand, no one can hang
with us upwind," said Gitchell who has been racing the boat with his twin
brother since 2001. 'Tenacious' races with North's Wave J/105 Jib and a
brand-new J/105 Main. When speed, performance and durability matter, head North:

* Sunday's conditions at the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regatta in Larchmont (N.Y).
were a welcome relief from Saturday's gray drifter -- sunshine, a light
northerly with just enough punch to it, and flat water to make it easy on the
boatspeed. However, take a northwesterly, put it on Long Island Sound, and
you're bound to get all sorts of wackiness. We're talking 60-degree shifts from
virtually nowhere (unless you were "there"). A 13-point win in the 11-boat
Shields fleet netted Com Crocker and Kurt Weisenflugh the regatta's overall
trophy, and an invitation to the Caribbean NOOD Championship in November. -
Complete story and results:

* Just six points separated the top three boats at the 36-boat Hobie 14 NAs
sailed at Clear Lake, Iowa: 1. Jim Sajdak, 45; 2. Matt Bounds, 47; 3. Bill
Jeffers, 51. The Hobie 16 NAs are currently underway at the same venue. Complete

*Lake Bluff YC, Lake Bluff, Illinois --The strength of the Sunfish Junior
International Championship fleet was reflected in the fact that eight of the 12
competitors scored at least one race win. Final results: 1. Julian Ramirez,
Bogota Colombia, 25 pts; 2. Bobby Boger, Southold, NY, United States, 34, 3.
Stephan Breeuwer, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 35. - Full report and scores:

* Vincent Porter took three straight bullets on the opening day of the Wawasee
E-Invite - 25th Anniversary Regatta, and then coasted to a third and a second
place finish on the final day of the event to score a 10 point lead over Ken
Wruk. Casey Call took the final spot on the podium in the 23-boat regatta. -
Full scores and report:

* Scott Dixon's second Indy Racing League title has confirmed his status as one
of New Zealand's highest-earning sports-men. But the driving ace still has a
long way to go to catch former Otago sailing great Russell Coutts, who appears
to be the highest-paid athlete we've got. Coutts came into serious money when he
signed for Switzerland-based America's Cup team Alinghi five years ago, and his
salary is now believed to be about $15 million at an Oracle team bankrolled by
American billionaire Larry Ellison. If Coutts can help Ellison take the Auld Mug
from Alinghi next year, he can probably expect a pay rise. --

Cruise to the Newport International Boat Show, Sept 11-14 in Newport, RI or the
US Sailboat Show, Oct 9-13 in Annapolis, MD to see the latest offerings from
LaserPerformance. The SB3, Stratos Keel, Vago, Bahia, and Bug will be on display
along with our other designs. Learn more at

* LaserPerformance has based a Laser SB3, their 20 foot one-design sportboat, at
the North Cove Marina in New York City for the month of September to better
accommodate the increased demand for demo's being requested by sailors in that
area. -- Full details and photos:

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 Jos Spijkerman: In answer to the TP52 issue raised by John Sweeney and
commented on by Terry Hutchinson in butt 2676, two observations. First: the
final photo in the series is taken from a different angle then the previous
three. Look at the boat in front. In three photos we have an angle roughly 40
degrees from behind, while the last photo is taken from straight behind. That
first boat did not alter course, therefore the photographer did. It makes it
very hard to determine if Desafio indeed headed up, passed close hauled. 18.3 is
infringed if that has happened. Because rule 18.2 is off, Quantum becomes r-o-w
boat once her tack is completed and Desafio has to keep clear. But not to the
point she has to go passed head to wind..

Two: Terry Hutchinson claims he had no other recourse then to tack below
Desafio. That might be the case, but by doing so Quantum completed her tack in
the two lengths and became subject to 18.3. If after the tack Quantum could only
get to the mark, by forcing Desafio above close hauled, she breaks that rule.
She is not "forced" to go round the mark, she chooses to do so.

* From Geoff Newbury (re the TP52 rules questions in 'Butt 2676): And did the
other boat on port get away with one? In photos 1 through 3, the leeward boat on
port, ducks a white hulled boat on starboard. It looks like she could just cross
the last starboard tacker. But she tacks, and in the last photo she is about
head to wind, clew of the jib still on the starboard side, and the last
starboard tacker is luffing to avoid a collision. What happened next?

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please
everybody." -- Bill Cosby

Special thanks to JK3 Nautical Enterprises, North Sails, and LaserPerformance.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at