Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2694 - Thursday, October 2, 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.

(October 1, 2008) The call came last night. A story from a friend about a
ski shop owner hiking in the mountains off trail above Mammoth Lakes,
California near the area of Minaret Lake and Minaret Mine. Apparently the
man came across what appeared to be some papers lying in a remote path, but
what he may have found wasn’t some wayward trash left by a careless camper.

Tattered and crumpled on the ground, the Mammoth Lakes local found what
appears to be two FAA cards that listed the name Steve Fossett, both were
apparently either issued or had some sort of connection to the State of
Illinois. The two cards were found with a small amount of money and not far
away, a sweat jacket, also a bit worn and beaten up from the weather.

The Mammoth man went and told his wife, who happens to be a local
firefighter, and then the couple and a few close friends searched the area
all yesterday afternoon, after the find and then got back into range and
called local authorities, who then contacted the lawyers involved in this
case. Will this find lead to a lost crash site of the missing millionaire
aviator? More information about a possible renewed search effort to come. I
did speak with a police sergeant in Mammoth Lakes and he confirms that the
items have just been brought to the station and they are looking very
closely at the papers and will be getting back to us shortly. – Fox News,
read on:

* Fossett disappeared Sept. 3, 2007, after taking off in a single-engine
plane borrowed from a Nevada ranch owned by hotel magnate Barron Hilton. A
judge declared Fossett legally dead in February. This year's biggest search
for Fossett focused on Nevada's Wassuk Range, more than 50 miles north of
Mammoth Lakes. That search ended last month. Mammoth Lakes is a community at
an elevation of more than 7,800 feet on the eastern flank of the Sierra
Nevada, where peaks top 13,000 feet. – CBS News, full story:

* The hiker, Preston Morrow, said he found an FAA identity card, a pilot's
license, a third ID and $1,005 in cash tangled in a bush off a trail just
west of the town of Mammoth Lakes on Monday. He said he turned the items
over to local police Wednesday after unsuccessful attempts to contact
Fossett's family. Aviators had flown over Mammoth Lakes, about 90 miles
south of the ranch, in the search for Fossett, but it had not been
considered a likely place to find the plane. The most intense searching was
concentrated to the north of the town, given what searchers knew about
sightings of Fossett's plane, his plans for when he had intended to return
and the amount of fuel he had in the plane. -- Union-Tribune, full story:

Newport, RI - Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and Whitney
Slade, headmaster of St. Michael's Country Day School, have launched a joint
educational initiative to connect teachers and students from around the
globe with major ocean voyages starting with the upcoming 2008-2009 Volvo
Ocean Race starting on October 11.

"With St. Michael's help, we are now able to take our effort regionally and
even globally,” says Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport. "This is
the biggest sailing event on the international schedule over the next 8
months, and with the drama of the race, the ports of call, the unprecedented
access to the teams while racing and the fact that one of the teams called
Newport home over the last 2 years (Puma Ocean Racing trained in Newport
over 07 and 08) it just fits. We feel we can get more children excited about
sailing and the water than ever before possible,” Read adds.

The online program will include tracking the eight ocean racing boats as
they circumnavigate the globe. Newport sailor, Beth Holland, who is director
of academic technology for St. Michael’s Country Day developed the school
curriculum which integrates Geography, Marine Science, Language Arts,
Mathematics and Physical Science. Holland used state and federal guidelines
to help develop the program. Each lesson ties back to the national standards
as well as the Rhode Island/New Hampshire/Vermont GLEs (where possible), and
provides an opportunity for all schools to integrate the excitement of the
Volvo Ocean Race into the classroom. -- Complete announcement:

Portsmouth, R.I. (October 1, 2008) - The end of the 2008 sailing season is
approaching and, with that, comes the opportunity to recognize those U.S.
sailors who have collected impressive regatta results at home and abroad in
2008. US SAILING is now accepting nominations for its Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman of the Year awards, widely acknowledged as the foremost
individual sailing honors in the nation. Through November 30, 2008, every
member of US SAILING may nominate the one male and one female sailor they
think has had the most outstanding on-the-water sailing performance during
the 2008 calendar year.

At the conclusion of the nomination period, a shortlist of nominees is
presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists who discuss the
merits of each and vote by secret ballot to determine the individual award
winners. In February 2009, each winner will be presented with a
specially-engraved Rolex timepiece. Originally created in 1961, US SAILING's
Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards have been sponsored by
Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980. Sally Barkow and Jeff Linton were winners of
the prestigious distinction for 2007. Nominations can be made online through
the US SAILING website at

Finding speed in 6-12 knots of breeze while dodging kelp was the name of the
game at San Diego’s 2008 Beneteau Cup. In the end, Ullman Sails’ Kirk and
Kathy O’Brien and their team on Beneteau 40.7 “Drumshanbo” took top honors,
earning the 2008 Southern California Championship title as well. In the
8-boat one design fleet, the “Drumbshanbo” crew showed exceptional speed
with 100% Ullman Sails. The regatta, September 20-21, hosted a total of five
races with no drops, leaving little room for error. Ullman Sails - Invest in
your performance. Contact a local Ullman loft and visit

by Kimball Livingston, SAIL
I interviewed Tom Perkins while the 289-foot Maltese Falcon was still in
build, and it was like talking to a 13-year-old boy who had just seen—really
seen—a girl for the first time.

We're talking enthusiasm. Perkins had owned big sailing yachts and found
them addictive but difficult and here was this concept, the Dynarig, that
promised to go them one better. The concept had been around for decades but
no one had paid it off. That would require someone who thinks big, lives
large, and has a sense of adventure about it.

Later, being an inventor type who developed into a creative capitalist, it
was only natural for Perkins to catch the fever when he came across Graham
Hawkes and his concept for "flying" submersibles (buoyant, descending on the
power of inverted wings). That was a couple of years ago at the Monaco Boat
Show. Perkins wrote a check for hull number one, for practical purposes
funding the development. Part of the program in having Maltese Falcon on San
Francisco Bay right now is to pick up Tom's new sub. -- Read on:

“The forecast for Friday and Saturday (in Namibia) is on fire. WindGuru is
calling for 31 kts…that means 40 to 50kts in the 2nd Lagoon. The biggest
battle of the event is shaping up to go down … five Frenchman - Bila, Taub,
Cattelan, Caizergues, Prin Guenon; one South African - Bredencamp; and one
American (me)…standing toe to toe with the world record speed sailing trophy
on the line - 40 to 50kts of liquid smoke -a no holds barred event that will
leave one man standing as “King of the Strip” and the “fastest man on the
planet.” - Rob Douglas, current world record holder,

by Luis Leal de Faria, International Judge
One may say that society is no longer as it was, sailors behavior is no
longer as it was, and all that bla bla, but it is my opinion that we,
judges, mainly international judges, share a great deal of responsibility in
that situation.

From the very first time that I was a member of an International Jury, at
that time only as a national judge, I was surprised to see how reluctant
judges are in applying the appropriate rules and penalties to boats who,
being aware of having broken a rule, did nothing about it. Formerly there
was Fundamental Rule D, now we have the Basic Principle "Sportsmanship and
the Rules" and rule 2. The result in infringing either former Fundamental
Rule D or current rule 2 is the same: DNE (formerly DND; ie,
disqualification [other than DGM] not excludable under rule 89.3[b]).

However, very seldom I see these rules applied. Also very seldom I hear the
question "why didn't you take a penalty or retire?" or "did you know that
you broke a rule?". More surprisingly to me, also very seldom a penalty of
DNE is applied, even after the Jury knows that the competitor was aware of
having broken a rule. It is also very rare that I hear any mention of the
Basic Principle, the very first rule in the rulebook. However, it is not so
uncommon to hear judges complaining of this sort of behavior from sailors.
--Look to Windward, read on:

The 2008 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta not only had record entries, but it was
also a success for one local child. On the 2008 online entry form,
participants were able to make a donation to the youth sailing program of
the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, organizers of the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.
This was the first time the event made the plea to fellow sailors to help
make a difference in the lives of the youth sailors on St.Maarten.
The end result allowed Sint Maarten Yacht Club to sponsor one local child to
have sailing lessons for an entire year! Eight year old Zack Sabaroche was
the ideal candidate, and according to Zach’s mother, “He is so excited about
sailing on the Optis, he even talks about it at school so much that his
teacher called home to learn more about the program because so many fellow
students were excited about it after hearing Zach talk.”

The success of this program is extremely important to the Sint Maarten Yacht
Club whose goal is to increase sailing on the island of St.Maarten. For the
2009 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, which is to take place March 5 to 8 2009,
the program will be in place again, with the goal now to triple their
success and be able to add three more children into the program. -- Complete

Southern Spars extends best wishes and safe passage to all teams competing
in the 2008-09 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, and particularly to Delta
Lloyd, Ericsson Racing Team: International & Nordic Crews, Green Dragon, and
Puma Ocean Racing, who all chose to carry Southern Spars mast packages. 7 of
the 8 teams are also using Southern Spars’ EC6+ continuous carbon rigging.
Racing round the world presents one of the greatest challenges in sport,
taking crews and yachts to their limits. For the ultimate in proven rig
performance and endurance, Southern Spars and EC6+ is the clear choice. To
learn more:

* Santa Cruz, CA (October 1. 2008) - Lars Guck continued to pull away from
the fleet at the A-Cat North Americans, hosted by Santa Cruz Yacht Club.
Guck posted a 1, 1 in today's two races. In second is Pete Melvin who sailed
a consistent 3, 3, with Phil Kinder and James Spithill slipping in between
Guck and Melvin to cop a second in Race 4 and Race 5, respectively. Winds
gusted to 28 knots by the second race, which led to a third of the fleet
unable to finish. -- Full report:

* Newport, RI (October 1, 2008) - With 13-14 knots of breeze from the south
and heading southwest, reigning Australian M 30 Champion Guy Stening
(Sydney, AUS) sailing Optimum won the first two races and finished 3rd in
Race three to take Boat of the Day Honors on Day 1 of the M 30 World
Championship. Stening won the 2008 Coastal Living Sail Newport Regatta in
July, so he is no stranger to the waters off Newport, RI. Vincenzo Onorato
(ITA) in Mascalzone Latino is currently in second with hometown favorite Jim
Richardson's Barking Mad in third. Racing continues through Oct 4th. -- Full

* Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker sees frustration over the becalmed
America's Cup as a key reason for the big interest in a new yachting regatta
in Auckland early next year. When the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series was
announced two weeks ago, organisers had expected six teams, including hosts
Team NZ, to be involved. However, 23 teams have expressed interest in the
match-racing event from January 31 to February 14. Of those, seven have
already registered and paid the entry fee, which means that, with a fleet
limit of eight, just one berth remains. -- 3News, read on:

* The ISAF Athletes' Commission held their annual meeting at the ISAF
Secretariat on September 24-25, chaired by 2008 Olympic silver medallist
Marcelien De Koning. The Athletes’ Commission reports directly to the ISAF
Executive Committee, with its members representing the athletes in each of
the Olympic events. Members present were: Marcelien De Koning (NED) -
Chairman - Two Person Dinghy Women; Ben Barger (USA) - Vice-Chairman - Men’s
Windsurfer; Olga Maslivets (UKR) - Women’s Windsurfer; Mark Reynolds (USA) -
Men’s Keelboat; Dan Slater (NZL) - Heavyweight Dinghy; Peter Kruger Andersen
(DEN) - Skiff; Will Howden (GBR) - Multihull; and Laura Baldwin (GBR) -
Women’s One Person Dinghy. -- Complete report:

* At the US SAILING One-Design Sailing Symposium in November, up to five
awards are presented to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations
in one-design sailing. The categories are: Service, Leadership, Club,
Regatta, and Creativity. These awards highlight role models of creative
leadership in one-design sailing. Nominations are due by October 25. --

* The Canadian, Derek Hatfield, who reached Les Sables (FRA) during the
evening of September 30th at the helm of his Open 60, met with his Vendée
Globe. sponsor, Frédéric Baffou, the CEO of Algimouss. The French company
has previously sponsored Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Route du Rhum in 1998
and Raphaël Dinelli in the 1996 Vendée Globe. The Vendee Globe round the
world alone race begins November 9th. --

* Volvo Ocean Race entrant Team Russia is hopeful Mike Joubert will be fit
to sail in Saturday's in-port race despite the South African’s tumble
overboard during training on Wednesday. The 36-year-old, who joined the team
last week, is understood to have slipped and caught his ankle during a
spinnaker drop in Alicante Bay. He was spotted two boat lengths behind the
stern and was quickly recovered by the team’s RIB before being taken by
ambulance to a local hospital, where X-rays and an ultrasound have since
revealed only bruising. --

* Somalia authorized foreign powers on Wednesday to use force against
pirates holding a ship loaded with tanks for $20 million ransom, raising the
stakes for bandits being watched by the U.S. Navy. There was no indication,
however, that the Americans or anyone else was preparing to take action.
Last week's hijacking of the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina - carrying 33
Soviet-made T-72 tanks, rifles and heavy weapons - was the highest profile
act of piracy off this Horn of Africa nation this year. Several U.S. ships
patrolled nearby and American helicopters buzzed overhead. -- Union-Tribune,
read on:

* CORRECTION: The scores listed in the Scuttlebutt 2693 e-Newsletter for the
A-Class Catamaran North Americans were wrong, which occurred when we pulled
results from the event website that was not updated. Our apologies, and
corrections have been made on the Scuttlebutt website.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Oct 4-5 - Outback Regatta - Lexington, SC, USA
Oct 4-5 - Hobie 40th Anniversary Regatta - Dana Point, CA, USA
Oct 4-5 - Ice Breaker (LEFS) - Grosse Pointe, MI, USA
Oct 4-5 - Sound One Design Championship - Seattle, WA, USA
View all the events at

(October 1, 2008) - The sailing world lost a pioneer journalist today. John
Biddle was an internationally recognized filmmaker and lecturer who passed
away in his sleep this morning. The cause of death was from cancer. From
1956 through 1997, John Biddle, 82, dazzled over 3,000 audiences with his
beautiful show films and informative, witty narration. During this period,
Biddle filmed ten Americas’ Cup Race events (1958-1987). Among the thousands
of images he captured, by being in the correct place at the precise moment,

> Gretel surging past Weatherly in 1962
> The fatal crash of a press helicopter
> Baron Bich taking the helm of his challenger
> President’s Eisenhower and Kennedy watching the Cup races in person
> Alan Bond unveiling his secret winged keel of Australia II
> Exclusive footage shot onboard 12 meters with Ted Turner, Dennis Conner,
Bus Mosbasher, and Bill Ficker

In addition to the America’s Cup Races, John Biddle filmed many Bermuda
Races, the Tall Ships including the infamous collision between four sailing
ships in 1976. He was aboard the Christian Radich. His audiences ranged in
size from 100 to over 3,000. For many sailors throughout the United States
the only time they got to see the America’s Cup Races is when John Biddle
came to present his films. John Biddle was scheduled to be inducted into the
Herreshoff Marine Museum America’s Cup Hall of Fame on October 23, 2008. The
induction ceremony is being postponed until the spring of 2009. -- Gary
Jobson, complete report:

"There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, 'I know
what I'm doing. Just show me somebody naked'." - Jerry Seinfeld

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Southern Spars.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at

To submit a Letter to the Editor:
To post on the Forum: