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SCUTTLEBUTT 2679 - Thursday, September 11, 2008

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus. Scuttlebutt is
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Match racing is about nimble teams outmaneuvering their opponent. When talk
began of 90 foot multihulls competing in the America's Cup, it was assumed
traditional tactics would need to be replaced. The amount of speed a
multihull loses through a turn is costly, making it hard to adequately
control their opponent... or so we thought. Now, after a day of observing
the BMW Oracle Racing (BOR) trimaran in action, the consensus among the
media was that this boat was far more maneuverable than expected.

Going upwind there are a few interesting aspects to note. The mast can be
canted to windward up to 8 degrees, which means that when the boat is
sailing on the main hull and leeward float, the mast is roughly vertical.
The mast only has one set of side stays, and they are mounted aft on the
floats, just forward of the aft beam. When sailing upwind, the loaded
windward shroud twists the aft end of the float up. According to the team,
while this looks odd, the twisting is limited to the windward float, and
since the hulls in the water remain properly aligned, the extra weight
needed in construction to prevent this would not be warranted.

There is a huge hydraulic ram that connects the side stay to the float,
which is then used to adjust the cant. The controls for the ram are in the
form of foot pedals at the helm station, with another set of controls at the
mainsheet. Watching the boat tack is pretty impressive. here are the steps
to observe:

* There is a lead RIB that watches for debris. When the RIB "tacks" you know
that the boat is soon to follow.
* With the helm stations so far apart, there is a helm assistant that steps
into the leeward station prior to the tack.
* As the boat begins the tack, the mast cant is dropped completely to
leeward, which soon will be the new windward side. This happens quickly, and
with a mast height of 158 feet, the amount of distance the mast tip travels
is over 45 feet (our best estimation based on a swing of 16 degrees).
* During the tack, four coffee grinder stations are in full tilt. These
stations could not be any closer to each other, positioned just forward of
the aft beam. At this moment over half the crew are spinning handles within
a very confined space.
* The boat is now on the new tack, the mast is already canted to windward,
and the primary helmsman is now running up the trampoline to the windward
steering station to resume driving.

Complete story with images:

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: The questions for the BMW Oracle Racing team that
were posted in the Forum have all now been replied to:

The starting gun was fired on Monday, September 8 for the US Paralympic
Sailing team in Qingdao, China as racing begins for up to 25 nations in
three fleets at the satellite Olympic sailing venue through Sept. 13. For
the team of six disabled U.S. athletes, the struggle to get to that starting
line cannot be underestimated. Primarily handicapped through events
encountered in their adult lives, these lifelong sailors don't just talk
about overcoming adversity, they live it every day.

Disabled sailing has evolved as a worldwide sport and was included in the
Paralympics at Sydney in 2000. For many of these athletes, the transition
from able-bodied to disabled sailors brings their prior sailing knowledge
and more recent physical limitations to the highly competitive playing

"These other sailors here are more than just sailors in the Paralympics,
more than just great competitors, they are accomplished individuals that did
not 'get over' their disabilities by accident," said Maureen McKinnon
Tucker, 43, of Marblehead, Mass. who is competing with skipper Nick
Scandone, 43, of Newport Beach, Calif. in a Skud-18. "They are champions in
life too, and we are fortunate to know and compete with these other sailors
and to have their camaraderie and respect." -- Read on:

* Qingdao, China (September 10, 2008) - Wednesday was a lay day at the
Paralympics, with two races planned for Thursday. Standings after five of 11

One-person keelboat (2.4MR - 16 boats)
1. CAN, Paul Tingley, 1-1-5-2-(9), 9pts
2. USA, John Ruf, 2-6-1-(9)-1, 10pts
3. GER, Heiko Kroger, 3-2(11)-6-4, 15pts

Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18 - 11 boats)
1. USA, Nick Scandone/ Maureen McKinnon Tucker, 2-1-1-1-(3), 5pts
2. AUS, Daniel Fitzbibbon/ Rachael Cox, (4)-2-2-2-2, 8pts
3. CAN John Scott McRoberts/ Stacie Louttit, (3)-3-3-3-1, 10pts

Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar - 14 boats)
1. FRA, Jourdren/ Larhant/ Vimont-Vicary, 4-1-1-2-(8), 8pts
2. AUS, Harrison/ Boaden/ Martin, (8) 4-2-3-3, 12pts
3. GER, Kroker/ Prem/ Mainka, 5-(6)-3-1-4, 13pts
8. USA, Rick Doerr/ Tim Angle/ Bill Donohue, 1-9-10-7-(12), 27pts
13. CAN, Ken Kelly, Don Terlson/ Marc Shaw, 10-12-(14)-11-10, 42pts
Complete results:

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Becoming professional in sailing has a lot to do with luck; being in the
right place at the right time and meeting the right people. For me
personally it wasn't actually a conscious decision but something that
evolved out of coaching some university teams and Olympic classes, and being
captain of a boat led on to other things too. I did a Soling Olympic
campaign where I met a few more people, went sailing one day on an America's
Cup boat for fun and ended up getting hired to do the Young America Cup
campaign! So there is a little bit of luck involved as well as the timing,
being asked to do some fun things and being available to do them! I had a
great deal of support from my family just out of university, as the first
few years weren't so lucrative, but I now have a family of my own and two
children. We live a nice life, and I get to do some fun things - I can sail
for a living and that is fantastic!

I think I have two different skill sets. One is communication (which
incidentally was what I studied at university) and that has really helped me
in my sailing career, more than I could possibly have imagined when I
studied it! The other is having an understanding of all the different
aspects of the boat. I've spent a lot of time doing other kinds of sailing
(next week in Sardinia I'm tactician on a Maxi), some match racing,
trimming, and the pit for example, and it gives you a bigger picture of what
is happening around the boat at all times. You actually anticipate what the
tactician is thinking coming into a mark rounding, and that makes a
boat-handling role more proactive than reactive. I think that is very
beneficial to the team, and has helped me get where I am. -- Tom Burnham,
Pitman on TP52 Quantum, full story:

by Jos M Spijkerman, International Umpire/Judge
In rule 61.1 there's a critical timing in displaying the red flag and
hailing protest with the words: "first reasonable opportunity for both".
Protest Committees are asked to give a decision on that timing when the
validity of a protest is being investigated. In my opinion there are a
couple of criteria that should be considered before deciding this:

> Where there any safety issues that delayed the hailing or displaying the
> What was said first?
> Was the flag available to be displayed immediately?
> What where the circumstances? I.e. waves, wind strength, type of boats,
place of the incident, etc, etc.

After rule 61.1 there is another directly linked timing issue in rule 44.1:
How much time does a boat get to decide to take a penalty after a protest
has been hailed and a flag has been shown? The wording in rule 44.1 is a lot
less specific: "may take a penalty at the time of the incident" The penalty
itself in rule 44.2 may have a specific short time: "... as soon after the
incident as possible", but that time only starts after you have decided you
may have broken a rule. Something that now has been emphasized by the other
boat showing a red flag "... at the time of the incident" ?

Well, for sure, not half an hour later on a different leg or just before the
finish. But a minute? Or maybe two? Or should it be within seconds? -- Read

* Clear Lake, IA (September 10, 2008) - While the second day of racing was
abandoned on Tuesday due to light winds, today at the Hobie 16 North
Americans brought perfect winds averaging about 15 knots with gusts in the
20's. Seven races were run on the day making for some exhausted sailors when
everything was over. Conditions were shifty and puffy making for lots of
gear changes up wind as well as lots of jibing downwind as sailors tried to
stay in the narrow wind bands moving down the course. -- Full report and

* Porto Cervo, Sardinia (September 10, 2008) - Day two of the Rolex Swan Cup
found the Swan Maxis on a hefty 30 nautical mile hike up and down Bomb
Alley, whereas the Classics undertook a shorter, 24 nm stroll. Meanwhile,
the sprightlier Swan 45s and Club Swan 42s were given their own part of the
park to play in and tackled two four-leg windward/leewards of 8 and 7.2 nm.
The overall leaders of the four competing divisions are Hendrik Brandis'
Earlybird (FIN) for the Swan 45s, Enrico Scerni's Kora 4 (ITA) for the Club
Swan 42s, Roel Pieper's Swan 601 Favonius (BVI) among the Maxis and John
Bainbridge's Swan 48 Zen (GBR) in the Classic division.
Daily report:

* Lake Minnetonka, MN (September 10, 2008) - Today was the second day of
the J/24 North American Championship Regatta, where Tim Healy has taken
the lead in the lead of the 33-boat fleet, followed by Bill Fastiggi and
Will Welles. Winds were 15 to 20 knots with about the same forecasted
for Thursday. -- Results:

* Newport, Rhode Island was synonymous with the America's Cup for a
generation. In 1983, after the loss of the cup, the future of the Newport
marine community was in doubt. Out of the ashes of the loss of the Cup came
a renewed interest in Sailing Events through the creation of Sail Newport by
three local businessmen, with forward thinking sailors of all types rallying
around that cause. On Friday, September 19, 2008, Sail Newport commemorates
the end of one era and celebrates the beginning of another with their Sail
Newport 25th Anniversary Celebration. -- Details:

* In co-operation with US-IRC, US SAILING has agreed that all new
certificates or re-validations issued after September 30, 2008 will be
priced at 50% off the regular price. Discounted certificates will be issued
after September 30th. They will be valid for all IRC events from October 1
through December 31, 2008. -- Details:

The talent laden Dragon Class has held its annual Gold Cup Championship
since the 1930's, but this year was different. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox became
the first female helm to ever stand on the podium. Double-Olympic Gold
Medalist Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen narrowly won by making the gains he needed
in the final meters approaching the finish. Both teams credit McLube
Hullkote for a clean, super-fast hull after being moored in the waters of
Cascais, Portugal for the required 7 days and nights. No oily waterline and
zero marine growth. What are you waiting for? Go make your own history with
McLube Hullkote. --

We are the crew of the yacht Rumours, the Thompson 35 owned by Tim Woodhouse
who is having the race of his life against Leukemia. As Tim is undergoing
Chemo this week we wanted to sail and raise money for the Leukemia &
Lymphoma Foundation. Scott Murray who owns Unplugged has offered us his boat
as Rumours has been put away for the season. The Leukemia Cup is to be held
at the New York Y.C. in Newport on September 12 and 13, and hope that we may
ask for your support for Unplugged and the Rumours Crew in honor of Tim
Woodhouse for this event. Participating in the Leukemia Cup is an
opportunity for us to make an effort to give something back through a sport
which has given us so much, and any donations are truly appreciated by the
victims and families of those suffering from leukemia and associated
diseases, the number one disease killer of children. Please make a donation
to help our cause:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Sept 11-14 - Rolex Big Boat Series - San Francisco, CA, USA
Sept 12-14 - Special Olympics Georgia Sailing Regatta - Lake Lanier, GA, USA
Sept 13-14 - Bruce Goldsmith Memorial Regatta - Manitou Beach, MI, 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 Adrian Morgan: (re, story about America's Cup trimaran in #2678)
Oracle is trying to pull a fast one with a 90ft tri that's really 100ft.
What's the game? To have a fair match, like for like or turn up with a
pistol when your opponent has a rapier? What happened to fair competition
(let alone friendly)? While Ernesto has real fun blitzing the opposition in
a smaller boat vs larger ones, Mr Ellison plays fast and loose with the
words of the Deed of Gift. C'mon. It's not clever, just sneaky. And it
doesn't say much for sportsmanship. Reminds me of the Big Boat vs Catamaran
fiasco, which robbed the yachting world of a genuine spectacle in favour of
a farce. OK, so the Cat won, but not in the spirit of the game. Pah...

* From Damian Christie, Melbourne, Australia: The Wall Street Journal
On-line article about Ernesto Bertarelli and Larry Ellison was fascinating
reading (in 'butt 2676). It illustrated just how out of touch with reality
Bertarelli is in his desire to micromanage the America's Cup. Bertarelli's
analogy about multihull sailing on Lake Geneva at the close of the article
perfectly sums up the Cup's current impasse: "I killed the competition. But
I learned that money can be a detriment to fun."

Well, clearly, Bertarelli hasn't learned anything at all. Thanks to his
hubris, the Cup has ground to a halt and even if he is victorious in the
end, the quality of the Cup competition will sink to an all-time low. Prada
and Louis Vuitton have already left the building, Oracle will walk away from
the game, TNZ may even struggle to make it to the start-line and we will be
left with a second-rate competition where Alinghi is dominant over a
weakened field of lapdogs such as CNEV and Shosholoza. Who would want to
watch that?

To also accuse Coutts of "destroying Team New Zealand" and now "trying to
destroy Alinghi" is also plain childish. Bertarelli certainly had no qualms
about hiring Coutts in the first place and raiding the sailing stocks of TNZ
and a host of other countries in his desire to win and defend the Cup! He is
certainly no bleeding heart or innocent in this controversy. The day Ernesto
Bertarelli leaves the America's Cup will truly be a day to cherish.

The hidden flaw never remains hidden.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and McLube Hullkote.

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