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SCUTTLEBUTT 2700 - Friday, October 10, 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.

(The editors of The Daily Sail subscription website claim the Farr-designed
"Telefonica boats are the most radical in this year's Volvo Ocean Race." Here's
a very brief excerpt from their comprehensive analysis.)

The most striking about the Farr design, as well as being one of its greatest
weight savings, is the cockpit which appears to have come straight out of an
America's Cup boat with no side decks, the cockpit sole extending out to the
hull. The main advantage of the cockpit arrangement is what this means for the
laborious stacking of sails. While the stack on the other boats is precariously
perched on the side decks, the arrangement on the Telefonica boats allows the
stack to be lower and when the boat is heeled this means it is further outboard
and contributing more to the righting moment. "And it keeps the windage down,"
says (Telefonica Blue skipper) Bouwe Bekking.

"Normally the stack goes all the way up to the lifelines and with this you can
stack it nice and low and you can sit on the top of the stack as well and you
are still safe. The other thing is it is easy to get the stack from one side to
the other side and you can even gybe and can basically leave the stack partly on
one side and you can only have to move two or three sails over, because the
sheets can go over the top of it, so it is very easy to maneuver. Plus it is so
easy to trim the headsail - you can sit to leeward of the winch and if you have
to do any work to leeward you can just walk up the leeward side, because you are
always safe." -

The waiting ends on Saturday for the eight teams entered in the Volvo Ocean
Race. Leg one is a 6,500nm sprint to Cape Town - second only to the 12,300 nm
leg five across the Southern Ocean. The section through the Mediterranean,
shortly after the start in Alicante, will be the first Mediterranean leg in the
history of this race. But, once the fleet clears the Straits of Gibraltar and
heads out into the open Atlantic, things will start to look more familiar.

It's not long after the autumn equinox, traditionally a time of unsettled
weather. And while we all think of the Med as a place of balmy nights and warm
evenings, that isn't necessarily the case in the autumn. So the fleet could face
anything in the battle to be first out through the gates of Gibraltar and into
the Atlantic.

All of the eight boats have already earned some points in the recent in-port
race in Alicante, and the next opportunity will be as the fleet rounds Fernando
de Noronha, an island off the coast of Brazil during the first leg of the race
from Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. The Volvo Ocean Race is a high scoring
event -- the team with highest score is the winner. There are three different
areas where the eight teams can score points: in-port racing, scoring gates and
offshore legs.

Volvo Ocean Race Leaderboard
1. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/Iker Martinez) 4 points
2. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri) 3.5 points
3. Puma Il Mostro (Ken Read) 3 points
4. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) 2.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker) 2 points
6. Delta Lloyd (Ger O'Rourke) 1 point
7. Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander) 0.5 points*
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) 0.5 points

* One point has been deducted from the Ericsson 3 score as per the jury decision
number JN04, October 2. To follow the action online:

"This morning I packed my bag for leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. 6,500 miles to
Cape Town from Alicante, which is exactly 5,891 miles further than I have ever
raced before." -- Ian Walker has won two silver medals at the Atlanta and Sydney
Olympic Games and was skipper of the Team GBR challenge for the America's Cup in
Auckland in 2003. Now he is skipper of the Galway-based, Chinese-partnered Green
Dragon team in the Volvo Ocean Race. - The Independent, full story:

The flagpole on the Main Green doesn't typically inspire romantic flights of
fancy in the students studying on the grass next to it. Yet the flagpole, a
campus mainstay since 1939, is as much an historical artifact as it is an
overlooked lawn fixture. A closer inspection of the pole reveals an
index-card-sized bronze plaque near its base that reads, "This flagpole was
formerly the mast of an American racing yacht and was presented to Brown
University by its owner, C. Oliver Iselin."

The 50-foot-tall landmark comes from not just any dinghy, but - according to
letters in University archives - from the Columbia, the first vessel to win the
prestigious America's Cup twice in a row, and only one of three yachts in the
history of the 157-year-old race to do so. - There's more to this story
published in the Brown Daily Herald:

From now on you can choose the quality and the design of your rigging
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hydraulics, including integral backstay adjusters, control panels, cylinders and
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of the Extreme 40 catamarans that intensively use our hydraulics and winches in
the spectacular iShares Cup and Volvo Ocean Race Grand Prix. You will find us in
Tent C, booth 67. --

After the seventh and last flight of the Round Robin, six of eight teams have
qualified to advance to the Quarter-final round in the King Edward VII Gold Cup
presented by Argo Group, with a five-flight Repechage round amongst six teams
also determining the final two slots.

Among these are two undefeated teams from the UK, reigning World Champion Ian
Williams and his Team Pindar along with Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Ainslie and
his Team Origin. These two will meet, respectively, Mattias Rahm (SWE) and his
Stena Bulk Sailing Team and Tour newcomer Keith Swinton (AUS) of Black Swan
Racing when sailing resumes Friday morning.

Other teams qualified from the Round Robin include Mathieu Richard and his
French Match Racing Team/Team French Spirit, Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Sebastian
Col and his French Match Racing Team/K Challenge, and on count back, Adam
Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/ BlackMatch Racing Team. Racing today
was once again in ideal 6-12 knot conditions in Hamilton harbor.

Despite the top-two qualifying positions of their rivals, Rahm and Swinton may
have an initial advantage coming into this first-to-three point series for
having had to battle an additional five flights of racing in the Repechage
round. 'We definitely feel the extra competition has helped hone our skills
coming into tomorrow,' said Rahm, though rival Williams jokingly pointed out
that while Rahm may have won every match today, he lost every match yesterday,
'so I wonder which Rahm we'll face tomorrow?' Williams then remarked 'No, I
think he will bring their A game, so it will likely be a tough fight.' - Read
the whole story with results on the Sail-World website:

Larry Ellison is facing a potential shareholder revolt over the size of his pay
packet.The Oracle CEO is the highest paid CEO in the US, and one of the richest
men in the world, with a cash and shares pay package of $83.4m last year.
Shareholders that object to such high levels of pay are now being urged to vote
for a say in executive pay at the company's annual meeting tomorrow. Several
shareholder groups, backed by a consultancy group, Proxy Governance, are urging
the proposal of a measure that would give them a say in payment of executives,
rather than having pay awarded by a committee of board members as it is at the
moment. Ellison's remuneration comprised of a $1m salary, $10.7m cash incentive
payment and stock options of $70.2m, plus $1.4m other payments.

Ragtime - the 60 footer built for Sir Tom Clark in 1964 under the name of
Infidel - has made an epic 7,000 mile southwards journey to New Zealand, only to
turn around and nearly immediately depart on another epic journey in the
opposite direction, a 119 nautical mile sailing marathon between Auckland and
Russell in the Bay of Islands.

It was 1964 when the Ragtime (nee Infidel) was built by John Spencer for the
late Sir Tom Clark and since then she has accumulated more than 100,000 blue
water miles. Based in the Based in the Northern Hemisphere since 1970, when she
was virtually extradited from New Zealand because of her lightweight design, she
has sailed more Transpacific Los Angeles to Honolulu races than any other boat
and winning four of them between 1971 and 1974.

But Ragtime, who came to the Southern Hemisphere via a race from California to
Tahiti, and to New Zealand just for the HSBC Premier Coastal Classic, is not
going to be content with simply putting in an appearance. The boat, which has
pre-applied for Cat 3, IRC and PHRF prior to its arrival here, is demonstrating
great potential even against boats more than 40 years her junior. - Sail-world
website, full story:

Racing teams with a high level of success employ coaches to help them define
their goals, assess their strengths and improve their weaknesses. As you plan
your winter racing program, let Bill Shore help find you a coach to improve your

* If you'd like to take a virtual tour of the BWW Oracle Racing compound in San
Diego, check out this Sailkarma blog:

* Emirates, the Dubai-based global airline, confirmed its continued support for
New Zealand and the sport of sailing by renewing its successful partnership with
Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ). The airline has committed to backing Emirates
Team New Zealand on the Mediterranean TP52 regatta circuit next year. The team
has started building a TP52 yacht in Auckland. It will be launched on 17th
February and shipped to Europe in mid-March. It will compete under the Emirates
banner, with the award-winning airline and Matteo de Nora funding the project.

* The World's largest racing trimaran sailboat, the Banque Populaire V, was
officially christened in France this week, and over 20,000 sailing fans were
there to see the excitement. The yachting community is now abuzz with talk and
anticipation over what this mammoth can do, and whether it's components or
sailing records we might watch her break in the coming year. After more than two
and a half years of construction, and successful test sails over the last month
and a half, Maxi Banque Populaire V is now officially christened, and ready to
show the world if bigger really is better. --

* Newlyweds Sarah Ayton, one of the three golden blondes in a boat and fellow UK
Olympian Nick Dempsey, will tonight be honeymooning not on an exotic Caribbean
island but in a camper van somewhere in Scotland. 'We'll be all right,' Ayton
said. 'The camper van has got a heater.' That's just as well since Ringo, the
couple's new cocker spaniel, would otherwise be filing a complaint to the RSPCA
before snuggling into the sock drawer which is home to his mistress's two gold
medals. Ayton is the dog lover who had to persuade her husband three was
company, even if just married. --

* Team Pindar announced a partnership with the Kingdom of Bahrain, exactly one
month before record-breaking skipper, Brian Thompson, sets sail in the non-stop
solo round the world yacht race, the Vendée Globe, on November 9. The
partnership, which has been granted approval from the Bahrain Tourism Authority,
will feature the Kingdom of Bahrain royal crest prominently on Team Pindar's
state-of-the-art Open 60. The deal also includes sponsorship of Team Pindar's
World Match Racing Champion, Ian Williams, who is currently leading the 2008
World Match Racing Tour, as he strives for a second consecutive world crown. -

* Kiwi Luke Smith, is aiming to complete the first ever freestyle motocross
(FMX) back flip over an America's Cup yacht into the Viaduct Harbour on Monday,
October13. Smith will race down a ramp on a 250cc motorbike and back flip over
America's Cup yacht - NZL 41 - before falling almost four stories high into the
water below. His stunt will officially launch ticket sales for the Crusty Demons
2009 Unleash Hell New Zealand Tour. --

The eight teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race begin their first distance leg
on Saturday, October 11th, and among the teams with a North American connection
is the PUMA Ocean Racing, which was had been built and based in Newport, RI
since the hull came out of the shed in April 2008. Skipper Ken Read gives a fun
interview where he comments on the makeup of the team, talks about how the shore
team will celebrate their departure, and why his favorite port of the race will
be the site of the finish line in St Petersburg, Russia. Click here for this
week's video:

* If you have a video you like, please send your suggestion for next week's
Video of the Week to

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
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* From Todd M. Hiller: With all due respect with Scott Ridgeway's post, he is
absolutely correct. US Sailing definitely will have their hands full and
scratching their heads as to who should be the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.
However, there is one more individual that he forgot. Greg Fisher, who also
headed a formable campaign to emerge victorious in a 105 boat fleet at the 2008
J22 World Championships held in Rochester, New York and the Thistle National
Championships in Pensacola, Florida.

* From Paul Warren, USCG Licensed 100T Master (re collision between Maltese
Falcon and Stand By): Unbelievable! As a 25-year sailing instructor, one of the
lessons I try to teach is that "the law of gross tonnage wins out!" At 289',
Falcon should be considered in the same category -- and given the same "safe
distance" -- as any freighter or tanker steaming on those waters. This is common
sense, regardless of right of way rules. Stand By's skipper is, indeed,
fortunate that there were no casualties on either side, other than relatively
minor fiberglass and wood repairs.

It sounds like the crew on Stand By was guilty of "wanting a closer look" at the
beautiful Falcon. It seems they forgot/ ignored the fact their actions were
selfish, risky and totally against the "Rules of Navigation": Both vessels have
an ultimate responsibility to avoid a collision at sea.

I once worked as a lumberjack, but I couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

Special thanks to Holmatro and Shore Coaching.

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