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SCUTTLEBUTT 2703 - Wednesday, October 15, 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 Team One Newport and South Carolina Maritime Heritage Foundation.

(Oct. 14, 2008) - The racing on Monday was the first full day for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the Atlantic Ocean, and the tempo amid the lead teams resembled one long boring tuning session, with each content to pace each other offwind on starboard jibe to see what can be learned. Seemingly, nobody made a move without checking with others first. However, what's great about offwind sailing is that when a boat starts going really well, they are able to sail a little deeper angles, and often carry a bit more speed. And when the tail end teams of Delta Lloyd and the now repaired Telefonica Blue did just this Monday night, making up huge ground as they sailed low and fast along the African coast, it was time for the tempo to change.

Tactics by early Tuesday were more akin to the match race moves seen last week in Bermuda at the King Edward VII Gold Cup. One boat gybes and four others match the move. Again and again. By 10am, the lead pack locked into a suitable port gybe angle to dig into the coast. Once there, and now able to defend against the low road, the decision was when to gybe back to starboard, as the Canary Islands posed a considerable tactical option. Gybe early and you might be able sail above them. Wait longer, take advantage of the superior coastal weather, but your long starboard gybe would take you through theme... and all the wind shadows they present.

As we publish this report, all the teams are on starboard, with wind speed and boat speed both in the high teens or low twenties, and carrying the true wind direction at plus/minus 140 degrees. Just humming along downwind. Green Dragon, Ericsson 3, and Telefonica Black are on a high road that is currently sending them into the heart of the Canaries. Leaders Ericsson 4 and PUMA, having delayed their gybe to starboard, are sailing lower and faster on the low road, and it is now appearing their coastal route may carry them below the islands. These two teams have been inseparable all day, and it is of particular note that E4 skipper Torben Grael had used these islands as his training base since launch. Maybe that is what Ken Read's PUMA team is thinking too. -- Position photo:

The length of Leg One is 6500nm, with teams expected to finish by the first week in November. Current standings (as of Oct. 14, 1:00am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 5638 nm distance to finish
1. Puma, Ken Read, 0 nm DTL
3. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 3 nm DTL
4. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 14 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 16 nm DTL
6. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 52 nm DTL
7. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 77 nm DTL
8. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 81 nm DTL
Race website:

* The acronym within the results of DTL previously was labeled "Distance to Leader" which is how it is stated on the race website. However, Scuttlebutt has changed it to "Distance to Lead" as we feel that more accurately states the information. DTL is derived by taking each boats distance to the finish, and comparing it to the leader's distance to finish. It is a big ocean out there, and if X and Y are five miles apart, but X is one mile closer to the finish than Y, than the DTL for Y is 1 mile, not 5 miles.

* From PUMA skipper Ken Read: "Major issues below as Salty (Rob Salthouse) lost one boot. Seriously distressed (as he has no other shoes on board) he started to rip the boat apart and decided to wait it out until the boat was emptied by a little wind and getting all the stuff below back on deck. Of course we all wound him up with stories that the boot may have been packed in the spinnaker and gone up and over on the last hoist. The breeze finally filled and the gear went up and somehow the boot was found by the distressed owner as if he had placed a photo on a milk carton." Here Read's complete report from this audio podcast on Tuesday afternoon:

A court has ruled that a boat advertised on an internet auction site must be handed over for just 22.50 euros ($30 US) after the seller forgot to set a minimum price for it. Jakob Kauder had expected to sell his 21ft boat for at least 12,000 euros ($16,000 US) when he placed it on a German auction site. When he realised his mistake he tried to retract the boat from auction on the site, citing "technical problems" and "errors" on the website. Judges in Koln ruled that the sale was legally binding, however, because no reserve price had been placed on the boat. A court spokesman said, "The seller must make good on his offer. He can't say after the fact that he didn't want to sell." -- Motor Boats Monthly,

Starting this Thursday, Team One Newport will have their SPECIALS button back up with awesome warehouse sale items! And while you're saving tons of money there, you can look at some of the great new items such as Sharon Green's and Amory Ross's 2009 Calendars and our newest book, MESSING AROUND WITH BOATS for 80 YEARS, with Jack Sutphen. Don't let the gloomy headlines get you down, shop at for the best service, selection and expertise in the world of sailing clothing. Or call 800-VIP-GEAR for a Customer Service Representative.

The Morning Light film opens nationwide on October 17th, and this week Scuttlebutt will be introducing the fifteen young people that were selected to participate in the project.
Jesse Fielding, 20, of North Kingstown, R.I., credits his love of sailing to where he grew up. "When your backyard's the ocean, you start playing around on boats," he says. "I feel a connection to the water - it makes me wake up every day and want to go sailing." Fielding believes it was more his gut instinct than his sailing experience that helped him earn a spot in the top 15. "'m a versatile team player driven to find a successful solution," he says. "That is what I think made me successful."

Robbie "Turtle" Kane, 22, of Fairfield, Conn., started sailing at age 10 and says he's always wanted to be a professional sailor. Kane made the team with offshore sailing experience as a bowman and a strong will to learn. The landscape architecture major from the University of Rhode Island realized how eager he was to teach as well. "That's what the sport's all about," he says. "You learn from someone - a mentor - and then you pass that knowledge down to someone else. That's how the sport keeps going."

Steve Manson, 22, of Baltimore, Md., became involved with sailing when he was selected for a summer job at Baltimore's Downtown Sailing Center via Youth Works. He learned rigging, operating, docking and how to teach small keel boat handling. He became a U.S. Sailing Certified Instructor in 2004 and went on to teach inner-city kids to sail. Says Manson of the "Morning Light" project: "I'm always up for learning and doing new things. I'm definitely a team player." In fact, Manson, who was not a strong swimmer during team trials, went through intense training to improve his skills prior to training.

United States Naval Academy member Chris Schubert, 22, of Rye, N.Y., has been sailing since he was a baby, cradled in a fruit hammock below the deck of his father's boat. He first heard about the project from his sailing coach at the Naval Academy. "I thought a well-trained junior crew could really surprise all the old salts with their success," he says. Since it's not customary for midshipmen to take time off from school for external activities, he solicited coach Robbie Haines to convince the admiral to make an exception.

Kate Theisen, 20, of Socorro, N.M., grew up cruising on a sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean. "When I was 3, my family moved aboard a 41-foot Gulfstar sailboat which I continued to live on till I left for college." The astrophysics major from New Mexico Tech brought a unique perspective to the team. "People who haven't done long-distance cruising are not really used to sailing upwind because you try to avoid that in a race. I've done it because sometimes you have to get somewhere."

* Full details on the movie:

Detroit, MI (Oct. 14, 2008) - The 2009 Bayview Mackinac Race will offer three monohull sailboat rating options and two separate race courses for sailors to increase participation and provide a longer race hoping to attract more of the larger and faster boats, it was announced today.

In 2007 Bayview dropped its "shore course" and the longer "Southampton Course" in favor of a single new course -- the fourth in race history -- called the "Thunder Bay" course which is 252 nautical miles. The club has elected to retain the "Thunder Bay" course and add a famed and revered course called the "Cove Island" course which adds some 40-miles to the race to Mackinac Island. The actual course length will be determined once a buoy is placed in Lake Huron as the mark for the turn toward Mackinac Island.

Bayview, widely regarded as one of the premier racing sailing clubs in the nation, is also among the first to adopt multiple rating systems to encourage maximum participation by sailboats of all sizes and designs. This year, PHRF Cruising, IRC and ORR will be the three rating systems allowed. -- Complete report:

CISA (California International Sailing Association) recently honored Tim Hogan who retired as President after joining the Board in 1989 after 19 years of service. In gratitude of his years of service, the CISA Board voted to create the Tim Hogan High School Fund to assist in the growth of High School sailing in the United States through various clinics and programs by way of a $25,000 grant. Tim's hopes are to use the capital for matching grants to help grow the fund. In his years of service, Hogan has been instrumental through CISA in: establishing the Club Flying Junior class; assisting Pacific Coast high school sailing with growth from 10 schools to 80+; working with Roy Disney to assist youth sailing including providing 60 suits of sails to the PCISA; purchasing a fleet of 9 I-420s for elite training including competition in European events; raising the level of the CISA Advanced Racing Clinic; sending 35+ Calif. teams annually to the Orange Bowl regatta, and creating a fall youth multihull, 29er and I420 clinic. The CISA Board named Jerelyn Biehl as his successor. For more information on CISA:

The sailors of South Carolina will prove tO 'buttheads from across America in 2009 that all the hype about Charleston's hospitality and charm is true. Charleston Race Week scheduled for April 16-19 offers 3 days of tough racing with some of the country's best race management. The beach parties overlooking the harbor don't hurt making this one of the best regatta scenes ever. ( If blue water adventure suits you better, race in the Charleston to Bermuda event just one month later (May 29-June 6), which features serious racers as well as student-crew entries and a whole-lot-a-fun attitude (

* Hamilton, Bermuda (Oct. 13, 2008) - The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup International Optimist Dinghy regatta wrapped up Sunday with fifteen year old Balder Tobiasen (DEN) in first place with 54 points, thirteen year old Chris Willford (USA) second with 55 points and twelve year old Olivia McKay (NZL) third on a tie-breaker with 55 points. Fifteen of the fleet of thirty-nine young sailors, all from 12-15 years old, came from twelve countries to compete this week in twelve races. They sailed the twelfth and final race in Hamilton Harbour Sunday during an intermission in the finals of the World Match Racing Tour's King Edward VII Gold Cup. -- Complete report:

* PHRF, IRC and One Design classes for Acura Key West 2009 will be shaping up in the coming months. With entries typically coming from over 30 states and as many as 20 different countries, the final composition is different from year to year and unknown until the entry deadline. The PHRF National Championship will again be a highlight in Key West. Robert Armstrong (USVI) will be defending the title won by his J/100 Bad Girl, in his "twin" boat Good Girl. Early application entry deadline is December 12, 2008. -- Full report:

* The Rolex Middle Sea Race rarely does things in a small way - too much wind, not enough wind; not one, but two active volcanoes on the course; whirlpools and tidal gates; fast races, slow races. This is a course long on stories and adventures, short on the mundane and routine. This year looks to be no different. As of close of entries, eighty boats from twenty nations have registered. If all cross the start-line in Marsamxett Harbour on 18th October a new entry-record will have been set, eclipsing the previous best of sixty-eight in 2006. -- Read on:

* The Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta will, for the first time in the history of Caribbean Regattas, run a match racing event just before the event on Tuesday March 3rd. The Budget Marine Match Racing Cup will look to take advantage of the presence of the many top-level sailors that are so often present to crew the magnificent big boats that participate in the Heineken Regatta. These top sailors will have the opportunity to win the $5,000 USD first prize by coming a few days early. The race takes place in Jeanneau 20 boats with three man crew in the Simpson Bay lagoon. -- Full details:

* San Francisco, CA (Oct. 14, 2008) - The fire on historic Angel Island is 90 percent contained this morning and is expected to be fully contained later this afternoon, according to fire officials. The blaze, which has destroyed about 380 acres, did not damage any of the 120 buildings on Angel Island state park, including historic structures such as garrison and artillery posts used during the Civil War and an immigration station from the early 1900s, were damaged in the wildfire. -- Complete story:

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 Mike Jablonski Riverview, MI: I agree with Greg Scott of Kingston, Ontario (Scuttlebutt 2702) that sailing and sailboat racing, while not the cheapest pastime, does not have to be super expensive to be a lot of fun. When we bought our Morgan 27 (Lickety Split) in 1976, it was one of the hotter race boats around. Thirty two years and lots of racing and family cruising later, we still own the boat and it is a competitive PHRF racer, doing well in local and regional races on Lake Erie.

Since we have a cottage in northern Michigan, we recently added a 24 year old S2 7.9 (Lickety Split Too) to our fleet for PHRF racing on Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan. Both of these boats together cost less than a new 20 foot racer, but do not decrease the fun that we have sailing and racing them.

While we still look at all of the new, hot racing machines which are always being introduced (and which my sons keep encouraging me to buy), the older boats are still competitive racers and fun to sail, and they fit a lot better into my budget. This is the formula that needs to be promoted to encourage the long-term growth of sailing.

* From the Forum (Crayton Walters): (re, story in Issue 2702) This new regulation is absurd, asinine, and dangerous. For the Volvo Ocean Race, tell Kenny and the boys to take the sails down and motor in at 10 knots to Boston. Make sure that PUMA, Ericsson, and Telefonica know that the spectacular blazing finish has been cancelled by NOAA. This ridiculous law affects every boat over 65 feet within 20 miles of the East Coast. I am sure the sponsors, Volvo, and families cannot wait to see the boats drift into Boston. The start can be fun to watch, at 20 miles away in the ocean. At least the whales are safe.

Fact: One whale ship strike has been documented in the last 10 years. It was off of New Brunswick. The Pineapple Cup start will really be a well watched event; 20 miles off. The SORC should be fun for the big boats while they motor around the course at 10 knots. I hope the race committee does not mind going 20 miles off of Newport to start the big boats. One oil spill off of an East Coast port because a ship could not move over 10 knots in a channel, will pale the loss of a single whale in the past 10 years. --

* From Mats Grip, Sweden: (re, Dan Meyers' letter in Scuttlebutt 2702) When exactly are Americans like Mr. Meyers going to stop using the "You would be German if it wasn't for us" argument as soon as they disagree with the French? Come on, it's been sixty years and change, you can't use that any more. Do you think you deserve some kind of special treatment from the French because of WW2? In that case, the French owe a lot to other nations as well, like the British and the Canadians. Why not the Russians while you're at it. If you really, really want to play the history card, America would be British if it wasn't for... wait for it.... oh yes; the French.

* From Philippe Herve: I am surprised you broke your own rules and published Dan Meyers' bashing and personal attacks. The fact that General George Patton and the American Third Army played a fantastic role in the second world war, does not give anyone, regardless of his nationality, to blatantly reject the rules of a 21st century sailing competition. Considering the time and money it took to bring the boats to St Tropez, a small investment could have been made to read the sailing instruction.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Aside from the history lessons, there are a few items to take note of in this mess. It is unclear why the race officials waited until the third race to raise the issue of advertising rather than deal with it at the beginning, why they chose to disqualify all the offending yachts in the third race rather than issue a warning, and how there could be a contention among the inflicted boats that the English version of the race documents did not limit advertising. Interestingly, the Notice of Race (NOR) is online - in both French and English - and states that "The French version of the text shall prevail over the English one." Seems to me that it is not worth translating the document at all if it is not assured to be accurate. Also interesting is how at the very top of the NOR online it clearly states that the event would use the Category A Advertising Code, which means that the boats could not have any additional advertising beyond what was required by the event organizers. It is hard to believe how 19 boats missed this requirement, assuming that the online information was consistent with the documents that were provided to the contestants.

Last Will and Testament: Being of sound mind, I spent all my money.

Special thanks to Team One Newport and South Carolina Maritime Heritage Foundation. A complete list of preferred suppliers is at