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SCUTTLEBUTT 2701 - Monday, October 13, 2008

Scuttlebutt is published each weekday, and is a digest of major sailing
news, commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North
American focus. Today's sponsors are:,, and LaserPerformance.

(Oct. 13, 2008) - The five day US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, MD this past
weekend is an immense gathering of marine industry leaders, presenting the
best products for the sailing public at the front end of the boat show
season. The hot topic coming into the show had everything to do with the
quality and quantity of show attendees, and whether the problems with the
economy would interfere with the passions of the sailor. When studies show
that boat shows are an integral part of the buying process, the thinking was
that if this show was going to be a clunker, than the 2009 season was going
to be a clunker as well.

Following the close of the show today, there will be an accounting of
attendees and show exhibitors to get a better sense of which way the wind is
blowing. Until that data comes, the industry gatherings were at least
upbeat, and there was general optimism among the show exhibitors and their
seat of the pants feel from the talk on the docks. As industry icon Peter
Harken remarked, these are not times to retreat, but to “keep the blinders
on and go forward.” While the industry was going to need to be smart, these
were not times to run and hide, but to seek out the opportunities and stay
the course. -- Scuttleblog, read on:

* For marine accessories, Scuttlebutt partner was walking
the aisles to scour the new and exciting solutions available, and will soon
be providing the ‘buttheads with a complete report. If you were at the show,
post your comments here:

For the past quarter-century, the sailboat industry has recognized the best
in sailboat building through Sailing World and Cruising World's annual Boat
of the Year awards. Over the weekend at the United States Sailboat Show in
Annapolis, Md., the two magazines announced the latest nominees for the '09
BOTY awards. Boat models introduced to the North American market between the
2007 and 2008 Annapolis Shows were eligible to be nominated.

First-round nominating judges scrutinized the latest boats at the Newport
International Boat Show in Rhode Island and earlier this week before the
U.S. Sailboat Show got underway; over the next week, nominees will be
evaluated by independent judging panels during dockside inspections and sail
testing on Chesapeake Bay.

Sailing World has nominated 16 performance-oriented models for its awards as
follows: Archambault 35, Archambault 40, Andrews 28, Bavaria 38, BC 27, Bug,
Dufour 40 Performance 40 +, Grand Soleil 43, Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200, Melges
20, Open 6.50, RS Tera, Santa Cruz 37, Summit King 40, Summit MD 35, and the
X-34. -- Complete report:

Our communications category has had several new additions lately. See them
here; VHF, SSB, Satellite, Wifi, Cell and Bluetooth connections
( We look at the
best of the communications from all manufacturers, used by the professionals
and amateurs alike. Browse through the selection to see what products are on
the market. will help you find the best gear, by reviewing
hundreds of boating products and bringing the best ones to you. stores product information for access anytime, anywhere, and
organize them into 200 plus easily-accessible categories. --

Alicante, Spain (Oct. 12, 2008) - The long-awaited start of leg one of the
10th running of the Volvo Ocean Race dawned grey and very windy in Alicante
on Saturday, delivering a strong north-easterly breeze of 25-30 knots for
the fleet to sail an initial upwind leg to round a turning mark before
heading out to sea. First around was Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) who rounded
the windward mark ahead of PUMA (Ken Read) and Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander)
in a surprise third place. From there, the teams set spinnakers and enjoyed
a blistering pace toward the Straits of Gibraltar, the next target before
turning left down the Atlantic Ocean toward a scoring gate off of Brazil,
and then to the finish in Cape Town, SA.

American skipper Paul Cayard, race winner in 1997-98 and second in 2005-06,
once said, “You can’t win the Volvo Ocean Race on the first night, but you
can certainly lose it,” and these wise words were likely echoing onboard
Telefonica Blue as skipper Bouwe Bekking’s team became the first to endure
problems. Just 20 miles into the first leg, Bekking reported they had broken
a tiller arm and were down to one rudder, and while their cautious course
along Spanish coast proved advantageous in the softening breeze, the team
officially suspended racing near Gibraltar at 18:53:26 GMT Sunday night to
undertake repairs, a decision that will cost them a 12-hour penalty before
they can resume racing.

Also, taking the northern route out the Mediterranean Sea were the two
Ericsson boats, helping them to build a 30 mile lead in front of the fleet
as they passed by Gibraltar on Sunday. However, since entering the Atlantic,
the Ericsson boats have slowed considerably, providing a near even race
amongst the top five teams at press time. The length of Leg One is 6500nm,
with teams expected to finish by the first week in November.

Standings (as of 1:00am GMT)
1. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 6158 nm distance to finish
2. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 1 nm distance to leader
3. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 1 nm DTL
4. Puma, Ken Read, 2 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 4 nm DTL
6. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 18 nm DTL
7. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 48 nm DTL
8. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, No data
Race website:

* Ericsson Racing Team was informed last Friday night that the International
Jury would not reopen the case involving the keel fin of Ericsson 3. The
boat was refused a measurement certificate when it was found that the fin
keel did not abide by the rule stating that it must be solid. Race
administers are permitting the team to compete but are applying a one point
deduction for each in-port race day, one point for each scoring waypoint and
two points for each offshore leg. Ericsson Racing Team has now confirmed
that they currently have a new keel in construction in Italy and are
striving to ensure that it is ready for the Second Leg from Cape Town to
Cochin, India. --

Lüderitz, Namibia - The Lüderitz Speed Challenge 2008 finished last
Thursday, and it was a triumph, both for the competitors, who broke almost
every record there was to break, and for the organisers, ESF Events, who not
only proved that the speed strip in Lüderitz is one of the best speed
sailing destinations in the world, but that a world-class, WSSRC sanctioned
event could be successfully run here. The Lüderitz Speed Challenge 2009 is
already being planned, and will likely run over four weeks in October next

“This event has been fantastic in every way. We achieved what we came to do
– to break the 50 knot barrier and set a new world record in Lüderitz. We
also saw every competitor sail faster than they’ve ever sailed before. The
speed strip here has massive potential – we have only just started. We are
looking at new ideas for the chop killer, other strips that can provide
windsurfers great sailing, and getting a better idea of how the wind and
tides work here to get the best possible conditions to take us to the 100kph
level and beyond,” said Fred Dasse of ESF Events.

Among the records set during the Luderitz Speed Challenge was the world
outright record by kiteboarder Alex Caizergues (FRA) with 50.57 knots and
the women’s outright world record by kiteboarder Sjoukje Bredenkamp (RSA)
with 45.20 knots. --

The BMW Oracle Racing team’s BOR 90 - aka their Deed of Gift challenging
trimaran - has been relocated from its initial trialing location in
Anacortes, WA to San Diego, CA, and began testing again on October 7, 2008.
Scuttlebutt founder Tom Leweck joined the team on October 11th to see
firsthand what all the ruckus is about. Here is his story:

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I walked into the San Diego BMW
Oracle Racing camp, but I was not quite prepared for the dead serious, down
to business, “full court press” atmosphere that prevailed. Forget Kenneth
Grahame’s oft-quoted line about the joys of “… messing around in boats."
What I saw were professional sailors putting in long hours conducting the
sea trails on a nasty looking, incredibly physical and powerful multihull
that may never become fully tamed.

For the sailing team, the days begin at 7:15 AM at the gym where the
syndicate’s health and fitness guru, David Abercrombie, focuses on the
‘hardening’ process. You quickly see that it takes a lot of strong, hard
bodies to do anything on the syndicate’s 90-foot trimaran. Nothing happens
easily, and every person, except the driver, takes his turn spinning the
handles on one of the winch pedestals. -- Read on:

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Gurra Krantz will simplify the sailing sport; he wants to arrange a race
without rules! An experienced Swedish sailor with an America's Cup and Volvo
Ocean Race behind him, Krantz wants to renew the sailing sport. He believes
there's need for simplification. He has clear views on how sailing can be
developed to be more understandable to the public and more interesting for
sailors. "Remove all rules," said Gurra Krantz. "But if there is contact
between the boats, disqualify both."

Krantz plans to try and arrange such a race in Sweden next year. "Something
must be done to lift the sailing sport," he said, referring to the upswing
in interest that hockey has had since someone dared to change the format.
"It is impossible to compare sailing and hockey in all aspects," he said.
“But from being fairly interesting, hockey is now the most interesting of
all TV sports. Something must be learned from that," he claims.

Krantz will make it so that it is allowed to touch marks, he will remove
rules on mark roundings and the basic keep clear rules. "Everything is
allowed, except for the collision. Then both will be disqualified," he said.
"If that doesn't work, we begin at the other end and enter simple rules that
we need." -- Excerpt from post on Racing Rules of Sailing:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Why do I have this feeling that Gurra’s idea is how
the sport began, but slowly rules were needed to legislate against the few
that would mess things up for the masses?

(Oct. 12, 2008) - On yet another spectacular day of match race sailing on
Hamilton Harbor, Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and his Berntsson Racing Team has
defeated Adam Minoprio (NZL) and his Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch
team in a decisive 3-1 Final for the prestigious King Edward VII Gold Cup
presented by Argo Group.

'This was a fantastic event for us,' said Berntsson, 'because not only did I
feel we sailed really well, but we also really had fun.' Winning must have
certainly played a part in having fun, as Berntsson’s overall win-loss
record of 15-3 in this long competition was indeed impressive: on his road
to the Finals he led his group of eight skippers on a 6-1 Round Robin record
into the Quarter-finals, then beat third-ranked Tour regular Mathieu Richard
(FRA) and his French Match Racing Team/French Spirit 3-1. He then defeated
fellow Swede Mattias Rahm and the Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-0 in yesterday’s
Semi-Finals before winning today 3-1 in the Finals.

In Petite-Final action, Ben Ainslie (GBR) and his Team Origin held off an
aggressive Rahm to win the first-to-three point series in three straight
matches, using the same smooth style he’s displayed all week with excellent
timing and calling of shifts with help from fellow Olympian Iain Percy. --
Complete report:

Final Results (top 8 of 24)
1. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team $50,000
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing $20,000
3. Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin $10,000
4. Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team $7,000
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar $5,500
6. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing $4,000
7. Sebastien Col (FRA) French Team/K-Challenge $2,500
8. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Team/Team French Spirit $1,000
Complete results:

Current World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard (top ten teams)
(After Stage 8 of 9)
1. Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar, 92 points
2. Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 88
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team/ French Team Spirit, 77
4. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing Team, 53
4. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 53
6. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge, 51
7. Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team, 46
8. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 43
9. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team, 40
9. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team, 40

* Palermo, Sicily - Ethan Bixby and Erik Boothe led a US charge in the 505
Europeans, with three of the top six places in the 69 boat fleet held by
Americans. This event was the warm up for the 505 World Championship that
continues from Oct 11-17, with 16 US entrants and one Canadian on a
competitor's list that includes 124 boats from 12 countries. --

* (Oct. 12, 2008) - The inaugural Portimão Global Ocean Race got underway
today from the seaside town of Portimão, Portugal for the four Class 40
doublehanded teams and two Open 40 solo entries. The race is a new around
the world event designed to fill a niche in the realm of offshore ocean
racing, where the opportunities for non-professional sailors to participate
in these kinds of events was practically non-existent. The five legs of the
race include stops in Cape Town, South Africa; Wellington, New Zealand;
Ilhabela, Brazil; and Charleston, USA before returning to Portimão,
Portugal. -- Event website:

* Trieste, Italy (October 11 2008) - Patrick de Barros and Russell Coutts
won the Friuli Venezia Giulia RC 44 Cup, closing the margin on tour leader
Patrick de Barros’ Team Banco Espirito Santo with only one event remaining,
the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup in the Canary Islands on December 10-14. --

* (September 25, 2008) - Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, Rhode Island's
premier professional mariner training facility, today announced that they
have become an approved training center for the UK based Royal Yachting
Association. The RYA's training certification allows Confident Captain/Ocean
Pros to instruct all RYA courses from Competent Crew to Day Skipper as well
as the much sought after Coastal Skipper and for the truly elite Yachtsman,
the prestigious Yachtmaster certification. --

* A new winter training opportunity now exists for Canadian sailors looking
to further develop their sailing skills outside the Canadian sailing season.
The new Port Tack Option Sailing Development center will be opening their
doors for the first season this winter in Mexico. Situated on the Pacific
Coast in the small quiet town of Melaque, the PTO center will offer Laser,
Radial and Bic Techno 293 windsurf rentals. The center is hosted by two CYA
Orange / level 3 coaches. And as a member of CYA, PTO will be able to
evaluate and certify sailors who wish to obtain their levels. -- Details:

Purchase a new LaserPerformance boat before December 31st and receive your
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CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

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 Peter O. Allen, Rochester, NY: (re, story in #2699) It seems likely
that, along with a loss of all common sense, the skipper of Stand By also
experienced a loss of the wind and thus control as he sailed into the wind
shadow of Maltese Falcon. It seems like an improbable way of getting to meet
Tom Perkins.

* From Matt Princing: (re, letter in #2700) I would emphatically second Todd
Hiller’s maverick nomination of Greg Fisher for Rolex Sailor of the Year.
Greg has historically been a top notch sailor in many classes including
J/22’s, Thistles and Lightning’s and has many major championships under his
belt including this year’s J/22 Worlds. Greg is a great example of who we
need in our sport, a great and approachable ambassador who is always willing
to give a hand.

* From Douglass Sisk: Congratulations on Scuttlebutt #2700. No double-zero
anniversaries should go unremarked. My math comes out so something greater
than ten years now that we've been enjoying the news (even if we're
sometimes distressed by it), gossip, discussion, and witty repartee in our
email boxes every weekday morning. Thank you for keeping us all informed.
Please keep up the good work.

Speed is life. Altitude is life insurance.

Special thanks to,, and LaserPerformance. A
complete list of preferred suppliers is at