Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2688 - Wednesday, September 24, 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.

Galveston, TX (September 21, 2008) - Technically, Cliff Rodrigue's offshore
fishing boat is still tied to the same dock where he left it before
Hurricane Ike roared ashore. But now, the dock and Rodrigue's boat, Hot
Sauce, are resting on the shoulder of Interstate 45, yards away from the
marina. Rodrigue, who bought the offshore fishing boat six months ago, had
never gotten a chance take it for a spin.

Across the island, salvage crews are trying to move hundreds of boats from
their new resting places, where they were pushed inland by Ike's tidal
surge. There are boats in roads, in yards, in parking lots, in medians and
on the base of the causeway. Working to clear the paths for rescue crews,
debris removal crews unceremoniously shoved landlocked boats, worth more
money than some homes, into piles along roads.

Boat salvage crews, when they were finally allowed back on the island,
hastily recovered what was left. Boats docked at Payco Marina in Galveston
washed ashore at the base of the causeway, dragging with them pieces of
pilings and piers. State authorities told salvage crews they had until
Monday to clear the wreckage before they demolished what was left, said
Chris Cotter of Land and Sea Services, a boat salvage company based in La
Marque. -- Read on:

* Updates from local yacht club websites:
Houston Yacht Club:
Texas Corinthian Yacht Club:

* U.S. Coast Guard helicopter video:

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 now have shortlisted five candidates in each group. Mixed among the
Olympic medalists are the top ranked male and female match racers, both who
have dominated their field, along with the solo, non-stop around the world
record holder and the three time Farr 40 Worlds champion.

Put your bias aside, nationalistic or otherwise, and cast your vote on who
you find to be truly the most deserving nominees. Vote here:

* PUMA general manager Kimo Worthington anticipates tough competition for
overall race honours from the Ericsson Racing Team, but he expects another
blast from the past to steal a few of the headlines along the way. "After
seeing that ABN AMRO ONE boat in the last race I would think Delta Lloyd is
more than capable, first generation boat or whatever, of scoring some good
points in this race," he said. "In boat terms, there is not a lot wrong.
There have been developments in a lot of areas since the last race, but not
huge changes. "When I was at Pirates, there was a bigger gap in terms of
performance between us and ABN AMRO ONE than there is now between that boat
and the current fleet. Cumulatively, though, Worthington thinks the
international crew on Ericsson 4 will be the tough out of the gate. He said:
"They have huge resources, a good backer and the benefits of two-boat
testing. I think you'd have to say, at this point before anyone has raced
anyone, that they are favourites. -- Complete story:

* (September 23, 2008) - Training begins again today in Alicante for the
Media Crew Members (MCM), the embedded reporters who will, for the first
time in the history of this race, sail onboard each boat in the fleet racing
in the Volvo Ocean Race. Using the HD video cameras, both fixed and
handheld, the MCM will record the rollercoaster ups and downs of life
onboard and then edit the material and transmit it to Volvo Ocean Race Head
Quarters (RHQ) in quantities ranging from 95 minutes for the longest leg and
10 minutes for the shortest leg. In addition, they will be taking still
photographs, record audio interviews, and file written stories and crew
blogs. While the MCM is not permitted to help sail the boat, they are
allowed to cook, empty the bilges, and be used as ballast. Additionally, the
MCM will participate in an international environmental study on the
discharge of ballast water from ships. --

For the sixth time, Jud Smith won the Etchells North American Championship.
Jud Smith, Mark Johnson, and Nik Burfoot won the Championship with 9 points.
Hank Lammens, Dirk Kneulman and Dwayne Smithers came in 2nd with 17 points.
Wade Edwards, Justin Muller, and Tim Platt finished 5th in the 30-boat fleet
packed with pros and former Etchells Champions. Presented by Pat Stadel and
awarded to the top all amateur crew, Wade's team won the Corinthian Cup.
When you want to put in a winning performance, contact your local Doyle
loft: 800-94-DOYLE,

Cannes, France (September 23, 2008) - Wilf Tolhurst was killed today when
two British yachts collided in 20-knot north-easterly winds and confused
seas on the opening day of the Regates Royales in the Bay of Cannes today.
Tolhurst, 64, with his son as one of the other seven crew, was at the helm
of his 8-Metre Safir and said to be trying to avoid a right of way boat,
British America's Cup boss and Admiral's Cup team captain Graham Walker's
1912-built 65-foot Nathaniel Herreshoff-designed Rowdy. At 35 tons, Rowdy
would be over twice the weight of Safir.

The 8-Metre was dismasted and Walker's bowsprit, which was locked between
Safir's mast and its forestay, was snapped. Making the announcement,
Jean-Claude Montesinos, president of the Yacht Club de Cannes, said that,
although Tolhurst was lifted off and rushed to hospital, he was thought to
have died instantly, hit by the mast and boom as it crashed down.

He added that the Tolhurst family had said that they wished the regatta,
which finishes on Saturday, to continue. It was the first death in a regatta
celebrating its 30th anniversary. All the rest of the 168-boat fleet will
carry black tomorrow. The regatta is used by Societe Nautique de Geneve, the
club which is the holder of the America's Cup, to fulfill the Deed of Gift
requirements that they host an annual regatta on the sea or an arm of the
sea. Geneva does not meet that requirement. -- Stuart Alexander, The
Independent, full story:

Curious who won the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards after the
last Olympics? It was Robert Scheidt (BRA) and Sofia Bedatorou/Emilia
Tsoulfa (GRE). How about the first boat to finish the 2003 Chicago Mackinac
Race? It was Randall Pitman's Dubois 90 Genuine Risk? Whatever you have read
in Scuttlebutt is stored in the Archived Newsletter section of the
Scuttlebutt website. Any newsletter you might have missed is posted there
too. To make it easier to find information, there is a Google search tool
there that will specifically search only the Scuttlebutt website. Find it
all here:

The Laser Training Center in Cabarete, Dominican Republic played host to
Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe and 16 other athletes that competed
at the 2008 Olympic Games, providing equipment, coaching, and ideal sailing
conditions, The center is now in the final stages of producing a Laser boat
handling DVD to allow the everyday sailor to see and learn from the same
footage the Pros use to get even better. However, they are faced with some
translation issues, and are struggling to find words or terms that exist in
many other languages, but not in English.

One of the issues they face is for the many uses of the English word 'luff'.
An example is that the leading edge of the sail is the luff, the opposite of
bearing away is to luff, and when the leading edge of the sail is flapping
the sail is luffing. Comments Ari Barshi of the Laser Training Center, "In
English you can ask a person to luff (head upwind) but then scold him for
luffing, as his sail is flapping with no force."As a result, Ari is eager
for alternate words to describe the flapping of the sail in the leading edge
that is NOT luffing.

Ari is also looking for a word that describes a sudden and forceful
extension of the body to windward. This is usually done when completing a
tack in light and medium winds. Once done, the sailor sits back in the boat
or begins to hike in continues mode. (By the ISAF Rule book the word is
maybe Torque, but most people think of torque as a repeated fore and aft

Post your suggestions here:

* The names of the members of the New Brunswick province's sailing team at
the 2009 Canada Summer Games have been released by the New Brunswick Sailing
Association. They are Catherine Richards (Laser Radial), Chris Thomas
(Laser), Meredith Evan and Erin Moir (Women's 29er), and Alex Black and
Kelvin Galliland (Men's 29er). The 2009 Games will be held out of the
Summerside Yacht Club in Prince Edward Island, Canada during the first week
of the Games, scheduled for August 15-29, 2009. -- Full story:

* The Maltese Falcon, considered to be the most technologically advanced
yacht in the world, will be making its first trip to the continental United
States, entering San Francisco Bay on Saturday, September 27th. Owner Tom
Perkins is bringing the 289-foot yacht into the bay in support of The
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's third annual XOJET Leukemia Cup Regatta on
October 4-5, 2008. The Maltese Falcon will enter the bay at 2:00pm at low
tide because the masts rise 191 feet over the water and there will only be
about 20 feet clearance under the Golden Gate Bridge. --

* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 2687, the US SAILING report noted that Sayville
Yacht Club was hosting the U.S. Championship of Champions in Sunfish, and
that racing would be on Long Island Sound. Actually, the boats will be
launched from the beach at Blue Point onto the waters of the Great South
Bay, on the southern shore of Long Island. -- Event website:

It is an exciting time at J World San Diego as never before! With
refurbished boats, new sails, a new location, and a new website we have. new
energy! Our Staff is ready to help you escape to your 'Happy Place' on the
water each and every time you visit us. The summer goes on and on in San
Diego so book now for a one-time special of 20.08 % off any course or
membership booked before October 11, 2008. To Contact J World San Diego
about our special and to check out our new website, click here:

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 Barrie Harmsworth, ISAF Youth and Development Committee member: (re,
story in #2686) Andrew Hurst's comments show sympathy for emerging nations
but he is wide of the mark. The cost of boats is not the inhibiting factor
for these nations but rather the cost and time to develop sailing as a
sport. ISAF has a programme called "Connect to Sailing" and this project is
addressing that problem amongst a few select nations. For an emerging nation
to become one of the sailing family it is essential to attract the young and
hold them during their teens. Without this happening the chance that they
will need any sort of Olympic class is remote. It has become apparent that
the progression from Oppy to Laser 4.7 then Radial and finally the Olympic
class standard rig holds the best promise. During that time, the sport has
to be run by a member national authority, either government or private
sponsored, and competent trainers have to available locally (and in most
cases funded). As "Connect to Sailing" has found out this is no mean task
and it requires dedication, money and above all patience. That it would be
as simple as a low cost boat then we would have many more nations in ISAF.

* From Sally Burnett, Secretary, International Optimist Dinghy Association:
With reference to Andrew Hurst's article in Butt 2686 may I make the
following points:

1. A way HAS been found to "introduce more emerging nations into our great
sport". The International Optimist is currently sailed in 110-120 countries,
double the number of 15 years ago. For example in Africa it is sailed in 14
countries of which 10 were represented at the recent Optimist African

2. It is possible to "produce an exciting and attractive small boat for
under $1,500 using local labor". In the past 12 months four separate
manufacturers have supplied or quoted "emerging countries" for "top-level"
Optimists at under USD 1,600 (USD 1,100-1,200 with entry level sails and

3. Andrew draws the comparison with "a perfectly workable small car". The
Optimist is more than a perfectly workable small boat: it survives in the
bumpiest conditions, lasts for at least ten years due to virtually
indestructible spars and "old-fashioned" Dacron sails, and is built in 20
countries. Last year more than 4,300 Optimists were sold which suggests that
the real market finds them sufficiently "exciting and attractive".

Optimist Class success in introducing more emerging nations into our great
sport is fully documented at

* From David Barrow, Lymington, Hampshire, UK: Regarding Ted Jones's
comments (in #2687) on Andrew Hurst's letter on the stitch and glue boat, I
think you will find that the boat he had in mind was the Mirror dinghy. Over
the last thirty years or so some 70,000 have been built, it is not the
prettiest boat, but almost has a VW beetle type of quality about it.

It is a great father and son trainer and has got a big competitive following
after all these years. I believe two girls, Anna and Holly, won the World
Champs in South Africa last year; you might want to keep an eye out for them
in the future. It was designed by Jack Holt and the construction was
developed by a do it yourself guru of the time called Barry Bucknell. It was
sponsored by a red top newspaper called the Daily Mirror. 10's of thousands
of these boats were built in garages all across the UK for a few hundred
pounds and we are still seeing the results of this with many current
champions in other classes having started in a mirror dinghy.

It is easy to be complacent and say that big money will always win there are
many other little street fighters who are out there who would beg to differ.
Good idea for Seahorse to develop the idea, we need another Mirror but using
new materials?

* From Wilder Lewis, Sutton, Quebec: (re, story in #2687) Please, give me,
and most intelligent sailors, a break from the mealy-mouthed words and
self-serving actions of BMW Oracle. They can't really think that we believe
that rot about saving sailing and the integrity of the Cup as they flood our
bilges with Ehmanisk words in a vain attempt to justify their greed and
failure on the water. Yup, Alinghi ain't no heroes but the smarmy words
coming out of the GGYC make the Swiss seem almost gentlemenly. I read
Scuttlebutt every morning with my coffee but the milk is turning sour so I
think I'll give it a rest. What a shame.

* From Bruce Munro: Tom Ehman may be getting a lot of heat from the sailing
world for being such an active supporter of the litigation against Alinghi,
but I applaud him for it. The Alinghi protocol and phony Challenger of
Record made a mockery of the America's Cup that should not be allowed to
stand. The clearest proof of that is the desertion of the event by Louis
Vuitton and such long time stalwarts as Dyer Jones. The real question for
Ehman should be what BOR will do if it should win the next America's Cup.
Will they continue with the same system that lets the winner call all the
shots for the next event or will they reform the event so this nonsense
cannot happen again? Put another way, will they take the high road or the
low road as Alinghi has done.

* From David Tabor: (re, the America's Cup) WHO FREAKING CARES anymore? I
can honestly say my apathy meter is pegged at 10 now. Or as the song says,
MY GIVE A DAMN'S BUSTED. I thought I didn't care last year but I realized
after reading yet another story about the bickering that I just don't have
any interest. Not one iota. I don't even care how the court rules on
whatever the current issue is to be decided. (they ARE still in court aren't
they?) I've been enjoying actually SAILING, and talking sailing, and working
on the boat, and thinking about skipping work, and well, you get my drift.
And reading about the Nick Scandone/Maureen McKinnon Tucker Gold Medal! You
know. things that actually matter. Jeez.

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world and I
can take you out."

Special thanks to Doyle Sails and J World San Diego.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at