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SCUTTLEBUTT 2687 - Tuesday, September 23, 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.

By Kimball Livingston, SAIL
Wow. Summer is officially gone and nobody has broken 50 knots and the
inching closer has all been in the muscle category. Remember when everybody
thought big ole l'Hydroptere would have done the deed by now? Instead Rob
Douglas shows up in Namibia with a kite and gets the breeze and ever-so
slightly ratchets up the speedsailing record to 49.84 knots. It's the first
time since 1987 (Erik Beale, windsurfing, in the Trench) that an American
has held the record.

Though I imagine that, while it was happening, it didn't feel anything like
ever-so-slightly to Rob. If you fall at that speed it hurts plenty. And 50
knots? Close. Ridiculously close. And what of the glory teams with their
complicated machines?

> L'Hydroptere? Sitting in the south of France, still in commission. The
latest update at reads: "Thursday 11th September The
technical team took advantage of a few days in dry dock to check the sails."

> Wotrocket? The last update at reads: "12 August Spectacular
cartwheel ends Wot Rocket’s first official world speed record attempt."

> Sailrocket? Hope springs eternal. I quote Paul Larsen: "It may well turn
out that the timing of the last failure was perfect. With a destroyed
steering system and without the distraction of going sailing, Malcolm,
George and I sat down with a clean sheet of paper to completely redesign
Vestas Sailrocket's control systems." -- Read on:

* The month-long Lüderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia, which is hosting speed
sailors from around the world, is calling for suitable conditions to return
by Thursday. --

ISAF and Rolex have announced the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor
of the Year Awards 2008. ISAF received nominations from across the world
representing all aspects of the sport in two categories - male and female -
and the following 10 nominations have been shortlisted. The qualifying
period is the year up until 1 September 2008 and all achievements during
this time are taken into consideration. The 2008 nominees are:

Sarah Ayton/ Sarah Webb/ Pippa Wilson (GBR) - Yngling Gold Medal
Claire Leroy (FRA) - #1 ranked ISAF Women’s Match Racing
Elise Rechichi/ Tessa Parkinson (AUS) - Women’s 470 Gold Medal
Alessandra Sensini (ITA) - Women’s RS:X Worlds (1), Silver Medal
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) - Laser Radial Gold Medal

Ben Ainslie (GBR) - Finn Gold Medal
Tom Ashley (NZL) - Men’s RS:X Worlds (1), Gold Medal
Francis Joyon (FRA) - Solo, non-stop around the world record
Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) - Farr 40 Worlds (1)
Ian Williams (GBR) - ISAF Match Racing Worlds (1), World Match Race Tour (1)

The winners will be selected by the ISAF Member National Authorities, the
national governing bodies for sailing around the world, who are now invited
to vote for the one male and one female nomination who they believe most
deserves the Award. The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World
Sailor of the Year Awards presentation and dinner which is being held on
Tuesday 11 November 2008 in Madrid, Spain. Each winner will be presented
with the prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Trophy and a
distinctive Rolex timepiece. -- Complete report:

Congratulations to Brian Porter and his team aboard 'Full Throttle' for
winning the Melges 24 Nationals in Charleston, SC this past weekend. Racing
with a full North Sails inventory including an AP-3K Mainsail, J-7K Jib, Max
Runner Spinnaker and Power Zone Reacher, Porter edged out a one point win
over 2nd place Stuart Simpson and his team aboard 'Team Barbarians'.
Congrats to 'Team Barbarians', 3rd place 'Simplicity' and 4th place
'Lightwave' who all raced with full North Sails inventories. When
performance matters, the choice is clear.

Tom Ehman, BMW Oracle Racing spokesman, has been in the America’s Cup game a
long time. He knows the history of the event and the people who are vested
in the event. He knows that the legal action his team initiated, actions
that he is actively involved in, have brought an entire division of
professional sailing to a near halt, and completely derailed the record
interest the 32nd event had attained. With a veritable mountain of mudsling
raining down on him, he remains clear on the basis for their argument. And
the problem, he believes, is simpler than many realize.

As Ehman says, it comes down to the America’s Cup Deed of Gift. The defender
holds the trophy, and their club must accept a contest from a qualified
challenging club. In the era of multi-challenger events, this first
challenging club (aka, the Challenger of Record or COR) also has the
responsibility of negotiating the regatta rules with the defender’s club to
insure a fair contest for all challengers. The Deed defines what qualities
are needed for any club to challenge.

What BOR questions is whether the rules for a fair event can occur when a
defender, who has an interest in keeping the Cup, selects for its COR a club
that was formed on short notice, and specifically for the job (as was the
case in July 2007 when Alinghi announced that Club Nautico Español de Vela
would be the COR). Additionally, and what concerns BOR even more, is if this
relationship is okay for the next event, then the precedent will be set for
all future events. It is this concern, Ehman contends, that is driving the
team down this legal path, and it is his hope that the short term pains this
causes the event will be rewarded by protecting the rights of all
challengers in the future.

(September 22, 2008) - America’s Cup teams Alinghi (SUI) and BMW Oracle
Racing (USA) are at it again. On September 8th, the Swiss team’s club -
Société Nautique Genève (SNG) - sent a strongly worded letter to the
American Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) reiterating what would seem to be a
moot point, that being how the Americans have yet to submit a Custom House
Registry (CHR) certificate of their boat. This is, by the way, a valid Deed
of Gift requirement - a document that is to confirm that the challenger has
indeed built a boat that they described in their challenge - but it is a
requirement only of the Challenger of Record, a status that SNG was able to
have successfully removed from GGYC during the most recent legal judgment.

The pending decision of the Court of Appeals may re-establish GGYC as the
official event challenger, in which case they would need to supply this
certificate. But what remains unclear is whether the Americans would need to
supply it for the trimaran they recently launched, a boat they refer to as
BOR 90. Considering that the soonest date for the next America’s Cup is
either late 2009 or, more likely, 2010, this would provide sufficient time
to build another boat. If that were to occur, BOR 90 would be relegated to
lab experiment status, and arguably never intended to have been the GGYC
race boat.

Anyway, the GGYC response to the Swiss letter of September 8th came today,
it was equally strong, and concluded with a declaration that, to borrow from
the English idiom, puts the ball back into the Swiss court. Read on:

“If you would agree to immediately support a conventional multi-challenger
America’s Cup regatta in Valencia that would include GGYC and be conducted
under the rules like the ones in the 32nd America’s Cup, then we will
dispose of the current lawsuit and avoid a match race in multi-hulls (which
GGYC did not desire in the first place), thus resolving your CHR (Custom
House Registry) complaints. If you choose to continue the litigation route,
then when we win in the Court of Appeals we will still seek through the
mutual consent process a multi-challenger event similar to the 32nd
America’s Cup and only revert to a match against you in multi-hulls when and
if you decline to accept a multi-challenger event similar to the 32nd
America’s Cup. “

SNG letter:
GGYC letter:

* A story from The Sunday Times this past weekend insinuated that there was
new hope of a peaceful solution to the legal war between the Swiss and
American teams. It noted how Alinghi’s Ernesto Bertarelli had recently held
a series of private meetings that included Larry Ellison of BMW Oracle
Racing to establish a binding format for future editions of the America’s
Cup. Scuttlebutt contacted both the Swiss and American teams regarding this
claim, and by our press time had heard only from the Americans who noted
that Ellison had in fact called Bertarelli in mid-August, seeking to find a
resolution and help move the Cup forward. Here is The Sunday Times story:

* (September 22, 2008) Team Delta Lloyd’s mission to get in race shape will
be boosted by the arrival of a number of sailors who will undergo trials for
final places on skipper Ger O’Rourke’s crew list. Arriving in Alicante today
was a quartet made up of Dutchmen Gerd Jan Poortman, Ed van Lierde, Sander
Speet and Belgium’s Bert Schandevyl. They will be joined later this week by
Holland’s Peter van Niekerk and Jochem Visser for three days of training in
a bid to land a spot onboard. They will have to impress a selection panel of
O’Rourke, watch captains Stu Wilson and Stuart Molloy, and Maurice
Paardenkooper, Holland’s Olympic sailing coach. In theory two spaces on the
team are up for grabs, but Tom Touber, the team’s general manager, has not
ruled out appointing all or none of them when the squad is finalised on
October 3. -- Read on:

* (September 22, 2008) Team Russia CEO Michael Woods has revealed repairs to
the yacht’s broken mast have been successful and they will be back on the
water tomorrow. The team sustained damage to the new rig towards the end of
their six day delivery trip from Portland, England to the start port of
Alicante. However, having spent four days repairing the damage, the team
plans to weigh and step the mast this afternoon before putting it to the
test during two days of sailing from Wednesday. Woods said: “The damage was
on the way down but the repairs are all finished now. They basically pulled
apart the jumper which broke the structure. -- Read on:

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Put down the rake and celebrate fall with a visit to Hall.

Bringing home a gold medal from the Paralympic Games has been a seven-year
journey for Marblehead sailor Maureen McKinnon-Tucker. Earlier this month,
the journey finally ended — with the perfect result. McKinnon-Tucker and her
partner, Nick Scandone of California, won the SKUD-18 Class at the 2008
Paralympic Games in China. Was it all worth it to McKinnon Tucker?

"Oh yeah," said McKinnon-Tucker, who returned home to Marblehead last Friday
morning and was feted with a parade in her honor on Saturday. "If I came
home with anything less than gold I wouldn't feel that way. We were the
favorites coming in, but I watched the Summer Olympics and saw a lot of
unexpected things happen - some surprise winners and other favorites
experience back luck. It weighed heavily on my mind."

The road to the Paralympics was a bumpy one, but McKinnon-Tucker never lost
her focus. Scandone does not long to live and is progressively getting
weaker. McKinnon-Tucker was fighting another battle on the homefront after
her 2-year-old son, Trent, was diagnosed with a brain tumor last January.
But she vowed to carry on, knowing if she didn't, Scandone's dream would not
be fulfilled. -- The Salem News, read on:

* This Saturday, Sept 27, the Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly, MA will host
its champion member. On Friday, Oct. 3, there will be a Piers Park reception
for McKinnon-Tucker (where she teaches sailing to inner city youths), with
hors d'oeuvres and live music and an appearance by Boston mayor Tom Menino
at the Hyatt Harborside beginning at 6:30 p.m. There is also a visit to the
White House Oct. 8 and to the US SAILING Annual Meeting in Florida, plus she
has already been offered two book deals for her inspirational story.

* Pewaukee, WI (September 21, 2008) - The Pewaukee Yacht Club hosted the
42nd annual National E-Scow Blue Chip, which featured 20 of the country's
best E Scow skippers and crew. Top rated skippers and crew from the Midwest,
Colorado and New Jersey attended the event, along with the event’s long time
tradition of hosting a mystery guest, who this year was Ullman Sails founder
and multi-titled Dave Ullman. Kevin Jewett won the event while Ullman tied
for second with Vincent Porter and Art Brereton, losing the tiebreaker with
Porter to finish in third. -- Daily reports:

* The 62nd National Championship for the WoodPussy class (USWPCA) was held
at Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club (SSYC), Oceanport, NJ on September 20-21.
It was a five race series and winner for the second time was John Garth from
SSYC. Denis Farley, nine time winner, Monmouth Boat Club, was second
followed by Dan Vought (MBC), Chris Pratt (SSYC), and two time Nationals
winner, Priscilla Gettis from MBC. The WoodPussy is a 13'6" catboat designed
by Philip Rhodes. -- Full report:

* Twenty of the top U.S. one-design sailors will be at Sayville Yacht Club
(N.Y.) September 24-27 to compete in the U.S. Championship of Champions for
US SAILING's Jack Brown Trophy. All of the competitors have qualified after
winning a National and/or North American Championship in a one-design class,
with this year’s Championship to be held in Sunfish on the waters of the Great
South Bay, on the southern shore of Long Island. For a complete of entrants:

* The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee - made up of members from the
Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club - have announced
the appointment of Bjorn Johnson (Red Bank, N.J.) as the new chairman for
the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race. Johnson will replace Richard Shulman
(Barrington, R.I.) who had to step down due to demands from his medical
practice and personal obligations. -- Complete story:

The Vago from LaserPerformance is an all out speed machine. Voted 2008 Boat
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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 Ted Jones: (re: story in #2686: Does Sailing Have to Remain an
Elitist Sport?) The boat Andrew Hurst is looking for is the Fireball, which
started out as an inexpensive high performance plywood box designed for home
building, but then the class switched to fiberglass to save costs. It didn't
work out that way just as it hasn't worked out for the Optimist Pram, begun
as a plywood box built over a weekend. Backdating these boats to backyard
builder status won't work because the teams with enough money will always
find ways to spend it to good advantage. We're not going to be able to
convince Formula One race car owners and drivers to revert to soap box
racers, and I don't see how we can downgrade high performance sailboats to
the sailing equivalent (the original Optimist was as close as we are likely
to get). Face it, sailing and racing cars are expensive sports. I, for one,
would like to relax and enjoy them for what they are -- and what my limited
budget will allow -- not what the world might like to change them into so
everyone can play on a "level field."

* From David Munge: Andrew is in a great position to promote his idea
through his excellent Seahorse magazine. I notice that he seems to have
taken up the cudgels on behalf of the Flying Moths, but even these boats
probably are too expensive to make sailing practical for emerging nations,
and there for minnows. Perhaps Andrew should set up the Seahorse design
competition for the best suitable design to bring into the 2016 Olympics; it
will take that long to get it spread sufficiently wide and accepted.

There is one section of society that is totally excluded from sailing with
the exception as crews and that is the "Big Man ". Even Finns, which our
enlightened ISAF leaders like to call "Heavy weight" is really for light
weights of 90/95 kilos, and there is a vast section of the world's
population that have no hope of seeing that weight again. So Andrew, two
designs, one under 2.5K and one for 120K.

* From Barry Auger, Vancouver: The story of Alan Bond and Australia (in
‘butt 2686) is a charmer and I'm delighted to hear that boat is restored and
on display. But there was another Australia! Vancouver's Expo 86 had an
Australian pavilion and there was a full size replica of Australia in front
of it complete with deck hardware and standing rigging and of course the
winged keel. After the Expo, the "boat" turned up in Victoria, sold as part
of Expo's leftovers. The last time I saw it someone had made an attempt to
make a real boat out of it, bolting on some sort of lead keel and grafting a
bulb onto its bow. I found it leaning up against a building like a drunk on
Saturday night. Sad to see, even if it was a model.

* From Ryan Hamm, Charleston, SC: (re, iShares Cup story in ‘butt 2686)
Alinghi has sailed well. We can only hope that by winning the Extreme 40
circuit they are not in charge of it now. Better read the Deed of Gift
closely. I bet it scares the heck out of organizers when these teams show
up. Alinghi’s and BMW’s court battle has helped create a new series in New
Zealand that will not be the America’s Cup and has stirred up the Multi-hull
series. Maybe it is a good thing. Hope everyone know the America’s Cup is
not named after the United States. Some history needs to be remembered
before the entire event is obsolete.

* From Mark Gannon: (re, Curmudgeon’s Observation in ‘butt 2686: My mother
taught me about time travel: "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock
you into the middle of next week!") I used to tell my son that one too. When
he was seven years old and got a treble fish hook caught in his leg, he
wondered (between sobs) if I could "knock him into the middle of last week".
When I asked him why, he said because then it would not have happened!

My mother taught me LOGIC: “Because I said so, that's why."

Special thanks to North Sails, Hall Spars & Rigging, and LaserPerformance.

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