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SCUTTLEBUTT 2691 - Monday, September 29, 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.

A collision on September 23rd in Cannes, France at the Regates Royales led
to one death. When an 8-Meter and a 1912-built 65-foot Nathaniel Herreshoff
design collided, the 8 Meter was dismasted, and its helmsman was thought to
have died instantly, hit by the mast and boom as it crashed down. After
reading of the event, Scuttlebutt received a letter wondering why terrible
collisions (with serious injuries) happen with alarming frequency at classic
boat regattas. Among the comments received came from Jim Cassidy. Read on:

“As an insurer of classic boats, organizer of classic regattas and an
organizer of a series of WoodenBoat Regattas I have some very definite
opinions on this topic. To recognize why some of the recent terrible
collisions have happened is to review the history of such regattas and an
evolution in the types of boats and the types of crew members they have
aboard. In distant times, say the 1970’s and 1980’s, classic boat regatta
fleets saw friendship sloops, gaff rigged cutters and schooners, work boats
or work boat derivatives all. Then, slowly came the yawls, the CCA sloops,
even some ketches. Slowly the faster boats, the Herreshoffs and the Sparkman
and Stephens and the Fifes began, often after a complete restoration, to
show up on the scene. The fleets then were extremely diverse. The
proliferation of "performance" or more race oriented boats gradually drove
away the slower, more wholesome boats, probably because, among other
reasons, their owners felt outclassed speed capability wise.

“With the steady influx of faster boats came another factor. Younger, more
aggressive crew members who normally raced on "go fast" modern boats and
wanted to get on these classics, fly chutes and make them go, but with no
real experience on the difference in handling characteristics between the
modern and classic boats. The heightened level of aggressiveness on the
classic circuit was more evident this year than ever before. – Read on:

* Scuttlebutt also conducted a reader survey and received additional
comments. Click here for the information:

by David Schmidt, SAIL
Imagine sailing at a mind-boggling 49.84 knots. Everything is rushing
at you at what appears to be warp speed, the trees ashore are rendered
a mere blur, and the water reduced to a media similar to asphalt under a car’s
tires. But now imagine that you’re going this fast on water that’s only
4 inches deep. Normal sailing this is not, but since kite surfing came on
the scene, somewhere around 1999 or so, kite surfers have sought out stretches
of flat water that’s uninfluenced by current or fetch. While some
flock to places such as “the Trench” in Saintes Maries de la Mer
in France, others, such as Robert Douglas, who attained this fantastic speed
run, have gravitated towards the shallow, flat-water conditions off the town
of Lüderitz, on the coast of Namibia. And judging by Douglas’s unbelievable
attempt on the 50-knot barrier, there’s no denying that Lüderitz is fast.
The question now arises if it’s fast enough to allow Douglas to break speed
sailing’s Holy Grail.

When asked what’s it like to take a full-value wipeout at speed on a
kite-surfing board, Douglas replies, “It looks a lot worse than it actually
is. If you do it right and relax, it’s not so bad – it's nowhere near as bad
as crashing on a windsurfer. If you can get clear of the [kite-surfing]
board – which is important to protect your knees and legs – you skip like a
stone and you’re all right. What’s intimidating about Lüderitz is that
you’re only sailing on 4 inches of water, which is a little bit of a
concern, but if you skip, you bleed off speed as you go.” -- Read on:

* Lüderitz Speed Challenge 2008 webstit:

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Last month, the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre in
Malaysia issued a red alert to ships "to be extra vigilant" while sailing
through the Gulf of Aden following increased hijackings. The bureau
specifically mentioned the Eastern and Northeastern coasts in Somali as the
"high risk areas for attacks and hijacking," and advised vessels not making
scheduled calls to ports in Somalia to keep "as far away as possible from
the Somali coast".
"They should ideally sail more than 250 nautical miles until a more
permanent and encouraging sign is seen. Mariners are advised to report any
suspicious boats to the centre," read the warning from the bureau's website.
The bureau alert came only 48 hours after four ships had been attacked and
hijacked and crews robbed and captured by the armed Somali pirates. The
pirates, warned the bureau, fired automatic weapons and Rocket Propelled
Grenades (RPG) in attempts to board and hijack vessels. -- Read on:

* Pirates in Somalia have demanded 24 million Euros to release a Ukrainian
freighter containing tanks and grenade launchers that was seized last
Thursday as it neared the Kenyan port of Mombasa. The crew of 21 was also
taken hostage, and three of its members are Russian, which led to Moscow
sending a warship to the area. It has also been revealed that the pirates
are currently holding about twelve large vessels, but released a Japanese
vessel yesterday after a ransom of $2 million was paid. However, later on
Saturday the pirates sprang into action again, this time taking a Greek
chemical tanker with a crew of nineteen. -- Valencia Life Network,

by Louay Habib, Bang The Corner
For the first time in history, the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will have a
dedicated media crew on board each yacht, as they hurtle through the world’s
oceans. Beaming back; high definition video, high resolution pictures and
text of life at the extreme as the drama unfolds. This has only become
possible by innovations in satellite communication technology.

“We are entering new territory, this has never been done before but we have
an amazing opportunity with the on board media to reveal a fantastic story,”
commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad. “A lot of it has never been
told and it will be very personal, it will be easy for viewers to relate
their own circumstances to the life on board a Volvo 70, racing around the

We will show how people react to disappointment or success and how people
react when they get scared. We have a story to tell which will be compelling
to everybody, not just a sailing audience. It will be a tough job for the
journalist and it will be difficult for the teams but it is something that
we must do. I look at this almost like a war reporter; someone telling the
story from the front line, showing what life is really like in such extreme
conditions.” -- Read on:

Troia, Portugal (September 28, 2008) - After a long day that started with
having to defeat one of his own team mates from the French Match Racing
Team, Sebastian Col (FRA) and his crew of Gilles Favennec, Christophe Andre,
Philippe Mourniac, and Olivier Douliard have won the Troia Portugal Match
Cup. Getting past Magnus Holmberg (SWE) and his Victory Challenge team 2-0
in an exciting Final series, Col and crew have taken the top prize of
US$30,000 of the $125,000 purse and earned 25 points on the 2008 World Tour
leaderboard. -- Daily reports:

Final Results
1. Sebastian Col (FRA), French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge $30,000
2. Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Victory Challenge $20,000
3. Mathieu Richard(FRA),French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit $18,750
4. Damien Iehl (FRA), French Match Racing Team $13,750
5. Paolo Cian (ITA), Team Shosholoza $10,000
6. Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Mirsky Racing Team $8,750
7. Ian Williams (GBR), Team Pindar $7,500
8. Alvaro Marinho (POR), Seth Sailing Team $6,250
9. Adam Minoprio (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing $2,500
10. Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Alandia Sailing Team $2,500
11. Manuel Weiller (ESP) $2,500
12. Nick Cherry (GBR), Cherry Racing Team $2,500

* With two events remaining on the World Match Racing Tour, defending
champion Ian Williams has narrow six point lead over Sebastien Col in
second, with Mathieu Richard lurking five points further back in third. The
next event will be October 7-12 on Bermuda’s Hamilton Harbour at the King
Edward VII Gold Cup. --

The crew at Team One Newport wants to wish Puma’s IL MOSTRO and all the
Volvo Ocean Race boats great luck and safe passage. The first Inshore Race
is October 4th and the start is October 11th. You can get the Volvo Ocean
Race official gear and Puma sailing gear by visiting or calling 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327). You can
also see the latest from the top manufacturers of sailing gear including
Henri-Lloyd, Musto, Patagonia, Gill, Atlantis, Ronstan, Suunto, Extrasport,
Astral Camet, Kokatat and lots more! For the best service and selection go
to the Experts at Team One Newport.

(September 28, 2008) -- The paralysis which has gripped the America's Cup
for over a year seemed to be relaxing over the weekend after a one-to-one
summit between the Swiss holder, Ernesto Bertarelli, and the man challenging
him in the courts over the structure of the next event, the American Larry
Ellison. The two billionaires met in San Francisco on Saturday for something
over an hour in 'a private environment', but there were different
interpretations afterwards, Bertarelli's Alinghi syndicate saying it was
"positive", Ellison's BMW Oracle that it was "cordial". In New York, one of
Ellison's senior advisers, Tom Ehman, was putting the finishing touches to a
lengthy deposition to be lodged today (Monday) with the New York Court of
Appeals. -- Stuart Alexander, The Independent, read on:

* The BMW Oracle Racing trimaran arrived in San Diego, CA by barge on the
morning of Friday, September 26th, and was promptly offloaded to its new
base near the Convention Center in the downtown area of the city. The team
will now be readying the boat for its next round of training that is
expected to begin October 7th. Photos on Scuttleblog:

* Someone needs to remind James Spithill that he is a famous America’s Cup
helmsman, known for humiliating his opposition during the pre-start.
Spithill has gotten bitten hard by the multihull bug, and while you will not
find him this week sailing the BMW Oracle Racing team’s Extreme 40 or the
BOR 90, you will find him up in Santa Cruz prepping for the A-Class
Catamaran North American Championship. See report:

The ugly side of yachting's becalmed America's Cup has reared its head.
"Cash-strapped" Team New Zealand crew member Nick Heron was forced this week
to sell the uniform he proudly wore in the regatta in Valencia last year.
Heron was made redundant when the cup was plunged into limbo by billionaires
Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli scrapping for control of the cup in the
courts. To make ends meet Heron took the drastic action of flogging his team
issue shorts and shirt on TradeMe, where he's asking for about $200.

"I've been out of work for months and I'm basically pretty broke as a
result," Heron told the Sunday Star- Times. "I had a heap of uniforms, some
of them still in their wrappers, just sitting in a box in my wardrobe and
thought: 'why not?'. "I've been holding on in the hope this thing would sort
itself out. But it hasn't and I needed the money. I'm cash-strapped"

Heron joined Team New Zealand in 1988 and hasn't missed a campaign since.
But last year's regatta in Spain now looks as if it will be his last. "I
tried my best to hold on and even turned down several job offers in the hope
the whole thing would get going again," he said. "But it just dragged on too
long. There's no telling when it will end so I've taken a normal fulltime
job [with Southern Spars] on the condition I stay put for a while and don't
take off [to another America's Cup]. So that's ended my [America's Cup]
career." -- Read on:

* Dun Laoghaire, Ireland (September 26, 2008) - Geoff Carveth (GBR) and his
Hayling Island crew have been crowned champions at the inaugural 130 boat
Laser SB3 World Championships after a high-pressure finish in Dublin Bay.
After an early dogfight with his closest rivals in the final race, Carveth
pulled off a stunning comeback from the bottom half of the fleet to finish
second and take the world title. -- Event website:

* The Notice of Race for 2009 Transpacific Yacht Race is posted, and the
most significant change is to allow any boat to use power and stored energy
instead of old-fashioned manpower. The Transpac board of directors last
April voted to raise the race's LOA (length overall) limit to 30.48 meters
(100 feet) without a rating limit. The minimum LOA has been raised from 26
to 30 feet, the minimum rated speed to that of a Catalina 36 with spinnaker,
155% jib and a solid three-bladed propeller. The early entry deadline is
Feb. 27, 2009; US Sailing members get a $50 discount. --

* The Maltese Falcon, the biggest privately owned yacht in the world, sailed
into the San Francisco bay on Saturday. Considered the most technologically
advanced yacht in the world, the 289-foot ship arrived as the tide was low
enough to allow its 191-foot masts to clear the bridge by a mere 20 feet.
The ship is owned by Belvedere billionaire, Tom Perkins. -- SailKarma, read

* KeyBank’s departure from the marine and RV lending business is raising
concerns from analysts about the supply/demand imbalance in the industry.
“Shrinking credit availability has the potential to further destabilize
these industries,” said Edward Aaron in a report for RBC Capital Markets
issued Thursday after the KeyBank announcement. -- Soundings, read on:

* A group of Annapolis, Md.-based investors has offered an alternative to
the city for the production of the U.S. Powerboat and U.S. Sailboat shows
held at City Dock. Dowling is joined in this effort by Jim Barthold, former
general manager of the shows. The group submitted an ordinance to the City
Council at a Sept. 22 meeting. The ordinance is expected to be open for
public comment in October. -- Soundings, full story:

After a successful Newport Boat Show, we will be heading down to Annapolis -
come and visit the Onne van der Wal Gallery road show in Tent A, Booth 48
and get 15% off anything and everything! Our newly designed 2009 wall
calendars will be the hottest item at the show! –

(September 27, 2008) - The International Sailing Federation has devised
hundreds of pages of carefully calibrated rules for racing, few of which
apply to the colorful shenanigans that took place Saturday on the high seas
of Louie’s 10th Last Regatta. Competitors mooned each other, danced about in
German beer wench costumes and generally cavorted in a fashion wholly
lacking the requisite respect for a dignified pursuit and the largest
regatta in Milwaukee. Clearly, the pre-race nourishment of bagels, beer and
Bloody Marys contributed to the midrace debauchery on Lake Michigan and the
post-race revelry on the riverside docks of the Milwaukee Ale House. It
seems the race officials allow a good bit of rule-bending in deference to
the real serious business at hand: raising money for Children's Hospital of
Wisconsin. -- Journal Sentinel, read on:

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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 Hal Smith: (re, lead story in ‘butt 2690) I pay attention to the
competitive sailing world, but Tom Slingby's name had never caught my eye.
Now I feel like I know him as if we had been friends for years. His words of
reflection about his disappointment in Qingdao are eloquent and inspiring. I
copied those words and sent them to my grandsons, so that they might gain in
their growth as teenagers becoming young men in a competitive world. Tom
wrote about much more than a sailboat race. Thank you for articulating the
best parts of the game we play. Now if you will excuse me, I think I have a
mountain to climb.

* From Bill Seifert, Warren, RI: (re, Naval Academy story in ‘butt 2690)
Your story should have mentioned the commitment to buy additional new
sailboats, the need of which is certainly questionable in light of the
current decision to have less involvement in sailing. Reminds me of Navy
housing in Newport area, RI which was rehabilitated then torn down a few
years later. As taxpayers, we should expect better long term planning for
our money.

* From Mike Doyle. Honolulu, HI: If the Navy Academy cuts back on sailboat
training, they had better anticipate some heavy ship repair bills from the
numerous collisions these midshipmen/women will produce as they become ship

* From Derek Bouwer: (re, Brad Butterworth interview in ‘butt 2689) Sailing
in not a complicated sport, but we make it complicated by one not
understanding its rule or by not even bothering to read them. We know the
rules of the road, and sailing has similar rules but put in different words.
What makes sailing complicated are the sailors who have lost their
sportsmanship and want to win at all costs.

* From Sean Tracy: I could not agree more with Brad Butterworth's opinion
about the RRS being far too complex. I've studied the rules for more than 20
years and I still find them confounding. Despite that, I'm known as a local
expert serving on the jury of most regattas I attend.

I wish that the rules committee for the 2009-2012 RRS would have taken to
heart one of the comments that the famous mathematician Stephen Hawking
wrote about his book on the cosmos, "A Brief History of Time." Stephen wrote
that his publisher had told him that for every mathematical equation he put
into his book that he would cut his audience in half. In the case of the
RRS, every added parenthetical phrase and every added limiting condition
noticeably reduces the number of people who really understand the RRS.

* From Bryan McDonald, US Sailing Appeals Committee Member: Wonderful to see
so much racing rules press on Scuttlebutt recently! I was delighted that you
showcased Mr. Gohl's synopsis of the changes in the rules for 2009-2012 (in
‘butt 2690). One thing I noted that may be improved by his synopsis is the
subtle point regarding new rule 64.1(b) for 2009 (which is a rule about
Penalties and Exoneration). Mr. Gohl says that there was no such rule in
2005 when I believe this is actually a new place for old rule 44.4(b),
Limits on Penalties, from the 2005 rule book (and more information about
this can be gleaned from ISAF Sub 127-06 from the RYA (which basically said
it was unclear if the scope of existing rule 44.4(b) applied only to rule 44
penalties, to rule 31.2 and rule 44 penalties or to penalties for breaking
any rule. The addition of the final words in the 2009 rule 64.1(b) prevents
a boat escaping a DNE penalty by retiring)).

Old is when going braless pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

Special thanks to, Team One Newport, and Onne van der Wal

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