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SCUTTLEBUTT 2690 - Friday, September 26, 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.

Australia's Laser sailor Tom Slingsby was the gold medal favorite going into
the 2008 Olympic regatta. He'd won the last two World Championships and was
in winning form. But he had a shocker, finishing 22nd overall in Qingdao.
Now Tom talks about what happened and the road ahead.

“Since I have returned from the Olympic Games in Beijing I have been asked
one question over and over - 'What happened?' The simple answer is 'I don’t
know'. If I knew, I would have changed something during the event. I will
give you a rundown of my view of the Olympics and what it was like from my

“After arriving in China from our team camp in Hong Kong, we were straight
into the Olympic Sailing Village. I began training on 29th July which gave
me plenty of time to practice in my allocated boat before my event began on
the 12th August. While I was training before the event started, I had
already noticed I was struggling a little for boat speed in practice races.
I was very surprised as in the lead-up events I had been very fast in light
wind races and with my lighter weight (75-76 kg), why I was having problems?

“Arthur and I began working on things to try to get my speed edge back but
even now, a month later, I don’t know exactly what the problem was. So when
day one of racing arrived, I knew deep down that I was going to have to sail
the regatta of my life to keep up with the fast guys.“ -- The Sailing Scoop,
read on:

With positive forecasts for Friday, competitors are returning to Luderitz in
Namibia for the next set of record attempts, and to possibly exceed the new
outright World Speed Sailing Record of 49.84 knots that American kitesurfer
Rob Douglas set at the Luderitz speed strip on September 19th. Several of
the top contenders returned to Cape Town to have repairs done to their
boards and other equipment, and to stock up on the many items that you can't
purchase in this remote town.

As for the equipment used to verify the record attempts, the times for each
run are measured by Markus Schwendtner from, veterans
of the meticulous art of measuring the speeds of racing craft of all
descriptions. A video camera monitors the start line, connected to the
timing system by radio link. This is synchronized with a second video camera
that monitors the finish line, and with the timer. The video camera method
is not only extremely accurate, but it provides a way to go back and review
events to be sure that everything is correct - both timing and the identity
of the competitor.

Initial measurements taken live by HighSpeed-Timing under observation by the
World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) official, Michael Ellison, and
are published immediately to “Live” as provisional times. We then update
these posts with the reviewed times a few hours later, when the video
records are rechecked frame by frame to give exact timings. The WSSRC
official also may apply an adjustment correcting for currents, according to
accurate measurements taken during the day's competition, particularly when
someone does a record speed run. The verified speeds are still subject to
final ratification by a sitting of the World Speed Sailing Records Council,
but this is normally just to ensure correct procedures were followed in the
records claim. --

The Navy has abruptly reefed one of its most popular sailing traditions–the
use of sailboats to train Naval Academy midshipmen in navigation, seamanship
and leadership. This summer, the Annapolis–based school sharply reduced the
opportunities for students to go to sea on one of its Navy 44 offshore
sloops. Instead of sending 837 mids on summer sail–training cruises, as it
did in 2007, this year it is letting only 166 do so.

The shift was partly a bow to modernization–and partly to the views of the
Academy's new superintendent about the role the 163–year–old institution
should play in the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Vice Admiral
Jeffrey Fowler, a submarine officer who took the helm of the Academy in June
2007, decided that with the U.S. now at war, mids should be spending all of
their summer training cruises on gray–hulls, the standard Navy warships on
which they'll be serving later as ensigns. -- Mad Mariner, read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: This story first occurred in Scuttlebutt this past
spring when the plan to limit training cruises was still in the discussion
stage, and we were overwhelmed by the email in opposition to this
initiative. Here is the story and some of the comments:

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Troia, Portugal (September 25, 2008) - After yet another picture-perfect day
of match race sailing off the Troia resort venue, three French teams have
emerged among the top four of the standings after 13 flights of racing at
the seventh stage of the World Match RacingTour. ISAF number one-ranked
Mathieu Richard (FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit
continued their winning ways from yesterday, adding three more wins to his
score card, and losing only once to team mate Damien Iehl (FRA), who lies in
fourth. And another team mate, Sebastian Col (FRA) and his French Match
Racing Team/K-Challenge, has had an even better day, winning five matches to
earn a 6-1 score to lie in third among the field of twelve teams at Troia
Portugal Match Cup.

A brief delay and course readjustment in the late afternoon allowed racing
to continue in a new fresh westerly, with genoas traded for jibs in the last
two flights. Match race action resumes Friday morning with the re-sail of
the Paolo Cian (ITA) and Magnus Holmberg (SWE) match from Flight 9 before
continuing into Flights 14-22 to complete the First Stage of the event. --
Complete report:

Current standings:
Mathieu Richard (FRA), French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit 7-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team 6-2
Sebastian Col (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge 5-1
Damien Iehl (FRA), French Match Racing Team 4-4
Paolo Cian (ITA), Team Shosholoza 4-2
Ian Williams (GBR), Team Pindar 3-4
Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Alandia Sailing Team Team 2-4
Alvaro Marinho (POR), 2-3
Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Victory Challenge 2-3
Adam Minoprio (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 1-4
Manuel Weiller (ESP), 1-4
Nick Cherry (GBR), 1-6

by Dave Reed and Stuart Streuli
The Melges 20 is on the streets. It was only last year, this very weekend of
the Newport International Boat Show where the Boys from Zenda discretely
announced the imminent arrival of the Melges 24's mini-me. Whether they'll
admit it or not, the popularity of the Laser SB3 in Europe and its arrival
in the U.S., as well as the strengthening other 20-foot sportboat classes,
played at least some part in finally getting the Melges 20 off the drawing
board. It was at the Newport show last year where salesman Sam Rogers handed
me a card-stock pamphlet with a sail plan and intentionally vague ad copy
hyping the boat."Here you go," he said with a playful smile "Now you know as
much as I do."

Now, one year later, the first two Melges 20s have arrived from McConaghy
Boats' China operation and the Melges factory team is piling on the mileage
with demo rides in San Francisco, Zenda, and Newport. Annapolis is up next
in October at the U.S. Sailboat Show, and the boat will be available for
those of you looking to take a spin (if you're really keen, schedule
yourself a time slot ahead of time). The various reviews from those who've
sailed it have been all good, with most everyone taking an easy dig at the
boat's $47,000 price tag. We'll get to that later. First let's get to the
sailing. -- Read on:

In anticipation of the general release for the MORNING LIGHT movie on
October 17th, the number of special showings and fundraising programs is
growing… fast. To help keep track of these events, there is now a special
Morning Light Forum on the Scuttlebutt website. This Forum can be used for
all types of postings, from encouraging your local one design fleet to go on
a certain night, to full on organized cocktail and pupu programs.

To market these events, post them in the Forum, and Scuttlebutt will help
promote them. Here is a list of the events currently posted:
October 2 - Miami, FL
October 3 - Newport, RI
October 4 - Toronto, ONT
October 7 - Premiere in Hollywood- by invitation only
October 9 - Annapolis, MD
October 10 - Baltimore, MD
October 11 - Mill Valley, CA
October 12 - Portland, OR
October 13 - Seattle, WA
October 14 - San Diego, CA
October 15 - Newport Beach, CA
October 16 - Honolulu, HI and Santa Cruz, CA
November 7 - Sheboygan, WI

Post events here:

Here is the list of theatres where the movie will be opening on October

Paraloc’s patented parallel braiding process which interlocks the lines
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* Fuzzy Wuzzy skippered by Bengt Johannson won the 2008 J/30 North American
Championship. Additionally Bengt captured the honors for the best overall
"all amateur crew" finish. Bristol Yacht Club hosted the regatta on
Narragansett Bay with a great venue for sailing and celebrating. Competitors
represented boats from districts across North America including California,
Nova Scotia, Northern New England, Southern New England, Chesapeake, Eastern
Great Lakes, and Long Island Sound. -- Event website:

* The WSSR Council has announced the ratification of a new Transatlantic
Singlehanded world record by Thomas Coville (FRA) and his 105 foot Trimaran
"Sodebo". The new record for the 2925 nm crossing was completed on July
15th, 2008, and is 5 days 19 hours 30 minutes 40 seconds with an average
speed of 20.97 kts. The delay in confirming this ratification was due to
fact that the Council had to carefully confirm the finish that was in thick
fog. The previous record of 6d 4h 1m 37s was held by "Idec" and Francis
Joyon (FRA). --

* A number of Canada’s best sailors will be at the 2008 National Qualifier
Regatta (NQR) for Laser & Laser Radial Classes. This NQR is taking place at
St. Margaret Bay Sailing Club in Nova Scotia October 3-5, 2008. The
Laser/Radial NQR is one selection event for the Canadian Sailing Team, and a
qualifier for national carding as outlined in the CYA’s Canadian National
Team Carding Criteria 2008-2009. In addition – for athletes born in or after
1991 – the Laser/Radial NQR will select the single-handed entries to qualify
to the 2009 Youth World Sailing Team, as per CYA’s 2009 Youth World Sailing
Team Selection criteria. -- Details:

* (September 25, 2008) - Louis Vuitton confirmed today an overwhelming
response to the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series to be sailed in Auckland, New
Zealand, in February next year with 23 teams spontaneously expressing
interest and seven teams who have already registered and paid the entry fee.
With eight berths available in the regatta, the entries are almost closed
only one week after announcing the new event. -- Read on:

* Willii Gohl, IJ (GER) has posted online a synopsis of the changes in the
Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 in a format that compares the latest
rule book with the 2005-2008 edition. --

* (September 25, 2008) - It was at 0522’06’’ UT today when the
maxi-catamaran in the colours of the LCF Rothschild Group slipped past the
Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the entrance to the River Thames. Lionel
Lemonchois and his nine crew have thus erased the reference time, held by
Philippe Monnet since 1990, to become the new holders of the Tea Route
record with a time of 41 days 21 hours 26 minutes 34 seconds. Leaving Hong
Kong on 14th August 2008, the sailors of Gitana Team covered the 15,312
miles at an average speed of 15.23 knots. --

* Donald Wilson and team, sailing his Chicago-based Farr 40 Convexity, won
3-0 in the final round against Bob Hughes’ Heartbreaker (Holland, Mich.) to
win the second annual Windy City Match Race. In the petite finals, two
Chicago boats went head to head with co-skippers Helmut and Evan Jahn on
Flash Gordon defeating Richard West’s Gravitas. The three-day event took
place Sept. 19-21, 2008, at Chicago Yacht Club’s Belmont Station. --
Complete report:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the U.S. arrival of the Maltese Falcon, Laser SB3 Worlds in Ireland,
the first Weta racing in North America, PUMA City in Spain, end of the
Alerion season on Nantucket Harbor, big build in Rhode Island, high
elevation Star racing in Colorado, and New England dignitary Harry Sherman
after a day of sanding the bottom of his classic Knud Reimers double-ended
cutter "Hawk". If you have images you would like to share, send them to the
Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

* The next best thing to sailing TP52’s in the Med must be photographing
them, as both Amory Ross and Ian Roman have done well to capture the
brilliant colors of the boats, the waters, and the landscape. With Ian in a
heli and Amory on the water, this Scuttlebutt gallery of the final Audi
MedCup event in Portimão, Portugal will have the cubicle work force
submitting their resignation letters and heading for the docks. --

* Between the national news coverage of the U.S. Presidential election and
the economy, the damage from Hurricane Ike in south Texas has not been
afforded the same exposure as Hurricane Katrina received, yet the damage is
extremely extensive. If you don’t feel sufficiently aware of the hardships
that are occurring now in the storms aftermath, these 71 photos will fix
that. Unbelievable! -

* A slide show with mostly TP52 images is mixed with an audio interview by
American Terry Hutchinson, where he covers the details of his successful
Audi MedCup circuit win along with his thoughts on the America’s Cup
situation. --

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 Jim Champ: (re, Brad Butterworth interview in #2689) BB: “The sport
is not run by the sportsmen, but by Committees.” Can you spot any
non-sailors on those committees, BB? Because I can't. They all look like
sportsmen to me...

* From Jennifer Langille: While I cannot disagree with Mr. Butterworth that
sailing is a complicated sport, I would argue that there exist venues which
break sailing down to its rawest of levels and extremely easy for a
non-sailor or novice to follow. Since I write this from Alicante and the
start of Volvo 2008-9, I cannot think of a better event to hook people into
the sport and passion of what sailing is to most of us who do sail. If we
only focus on how hard sailing is, putting the emphasis on such and the
events/organizations which make it harder, the opportunity to keep it simple
and easy to explain slips under the radar. It pains me of all the coverage
on a current non-event (i.e. AC) while eight teams of incredibly talented
sailors are about to take on one of the greatest sailing venues in about two
weeks. An event that will have something to entertain and teach all a little
more about sailing everyday for about 9 months and the rules are technically
quite simple: survival of the fittest and be the first around the world.
Just my 2 cents.

* From David Hughes: (re, their omission from the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of
the Year Awards list) Wilmot and Page won the 2008 Delta Lloyd Regatta, 2008
470 Europeans, and 2008 Olympic Gold with the Medal Race to spare. In doing
so, the duo has now won everything there is to win in the 470. Not putting
them on the ISAF World-Sailors-of-the-Year short list is a gross oversight.
They are sailing legends by any measure.

* From Rob Mundle: On September 26, 2008, it will be 25 years to the day
since Australia II won the America's Cup (when it was a real event). For
those of us who were there, let's raise a glass on the day to some wonderful
memories, special friends, a history making regatta and a spectacular
achievement. And let's not forget two very special people - Ben Lexcen and
Warren Jones. Here's to Australia II!

* From Zvi Ziblat, Israel: In response to the "sailing elitist sport" story
in Issue 2686, may I suggest a different view. What is wrong for a new comer
to our wonderful sport of sailing, and in a new comer may I include those
"new emerging nations", if the entry level racing dinghy is a second hand
one which can be purchased for as low as 25% of a new one. We all know that
to learn to race all one needs is a fleet of similar performance boats and
these are available in any one design fleet, and the older these are the
more similar they become. And please don't confuse us with only 15 Ynglings
in the Olympics - nothing to do with price, only IOC restrictions on number
of sailors.

* From Bill Canfield, St. Thomas: It has gotten to the point that a one-time
avid fan simply skips over the America's Cup articles / news in Scuttlebutt
and right now I really can't tell the difference between Oracle and Alinghi.
It has gotten to the point I almost can't remember who I once rooted for.
The big question to me is why has ISAF not involved themselves in this mess
as a mediator, arbitator, direction giver, or just an interested party with
opinions. I believe the event is sanctioned by ISAF. I thought they had
something to do with administering to the world's sailing. Undoubtable the
"B" boys put themselves above ISAF so it is probably a moot point.

My mother taught me GENETICS: "You're just like your father."

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