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SCUTTLEBUTT 2705 - Friday, October 17, 2008

Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features and
dock talk . . . with a North American focus.

Today's sponsors are UK-Halsey and Acura Key West 2009.

(Oct. 16, 2008; Day 6) - There have been plenty of times on inland lakes,
late in the season, when the water gets low. Islands that weren’t there in
June are now in the middle of the leg. Fleet splitters. Make the right move
and you are the winner; make the wrong move, and well, you can look as bad
as Telefonica Black has so far in the Volvo Ocean Race. Painful to watch,
really. Reminiscent of watching American Olympic favorite Sally Barkow wrap
her Yngling around the weather mark of the medal race. Ouch!

Leg One from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town is beginning to resemble a
miniature golf course, and the Canary Islands are but one windmill eager to
spit out your ball. While the fleet is now past them, there are plenty more
obstacles to go, but in sailboat racing, particularly when you are in the
lead, a good way to stay there is to manage the fleet, or should we say
corral the fleet. If this was a North U tactics course, they might call it,
“Spending your lead.”

PUMA began the day with a 40 mile advantage on second place Ericsson 3 (yes,
that’s the Swedish team’s ‘B’ boat), and then proceeded to slowly spend it,
getting all the way down to a single digit margin, but all the while pulling
the fleet together through various jibes on another day of 20 knot offwind
sailing (not time to pity these guys yet). The name of the game is now about
the approach to the doldrums, which is described by Wikipedia (apologies for
getting techy) as” a low-pressure area around the equator with light or
variable winds and more severe weather, in the form of heavy squalls,
thunderstorms and hurricanes.”

When passing through King Neptune’s playground, a few degrees of longitude
here or there can be the difference between the carpool lane and the thick
of Los Angeles traffic. Spending some lead to corral the gang could prove to
be a safe investment, even in these turbulent times. What is interesting now
is how the wind has clocked, and while starboard angle a few days ago would
have given a nice ride from the African continent to the scoring gate off
Brazil, it now has you shopping for Cuban cigars. The fleet is sitting at 19
degrees N latitude, and they are all seeking some consensus among their
routing software programs on where the lane of least resistance is for the
doldrums, and how to make their move west. So far, no one is ready to submit
their opinion, but we suspect they will need to soon.

The length of Leg One is 6500nm, with teams expected to finish by the first
week in November. Current standings (as of Oct. 17, 1:00am GMT):
1. Puma, Ken Read, 4880 nm distance to finish
2. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 19 nm distance to lead
3. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 22 nm DTL
4. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 82 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 90 nm DTL
6. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 98 nm DTL
7. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 148 nm DTL
8. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 226 nm DTL
Race website:

* As each team has a crew whose only job is to provide media support, we
have been patiently waiting for their video to bring us onboard the race,
and we finally have a video clip that accomplished that. Using footage
filmed onboard both E4 and PUMA, we have a produced segment that includes
interviews with both skippers Torben Grael and Kenny Read, plus some
humorous commentary by PUMA watch captain Sidney Gavignet. Really great! -,,12573~1422726,00.html

The Morning Light film opens nationwide on October 17th, and this week
Scuttlebutt has been introducing the fifteen young people that were selected
to participate in the project. Here is the rest of ‘em, saving some of the
best for last.

Chris Welch, 19, of Gross Pointe Park, Mich., was a sophomore at Michigan
State when he applied for the “Morning Light” project. Though just 18 at the
time, he’d already put in a lot of time on the water. “I had quite a lot of
big-boat experience, including offshore, through racing and boat
deliveries,” he says. “All of my sailing experiences encouraged me to keep
striving for the best opportunities.”

Kit Will, 22, of Milton, Mass., grew up on sailboats on Cape Cod, cruising
with his parents as a toddler. By age 13, Will was skippering 420s on the
race team. Still, he recognized the challenge of “Morning Light.” “While I
was very confident in my sailing talent, I had no doubt that this race would
push all of us to the extreme of our abilities and test our character. I
knew it would be immensely rewarding, regardless of the final outcome.”

A native of Sydney, Australia, Jeremy Wilmot, 21, came to America to attend
St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “I had been racing offshore in yachts since
I was 10. I did my first delivery at 15, spending seven days at sea, and
raced on the circuit around the world from then on.” Wilmot tried to form a
crew of young sailors himself prior to hearing about “Morning Light.” “I
always believed a bunch of young sailors who were determined and keen to
learn from each other could actually perform better than some of the

* The Morning Light film opens nationwide on October 17th. If there are any
special events planned for your city, or you just want to encourage all your
local fleet members to go on a certain night, list the event in the ML Forum
and have it promoted in Scuttlebutt. Here is a list of the events currently
October 17 - Philadelphia
October 23 - Kingston, ONT
October 23 - Long Beach, CA
November 7 - Sheboygan, WI
For a complete list of theatres, events, background movie info, movie
trailer, etc.:

UK-Halsey’s animated rules quizzes have saved lots of racers from
embarrassment in hearing rooms as well as from disqualification. But now
we’ve got a whole new set of racing rules to understand and master, new
definitions, and far too many ways to go wrong. Not only is UK-Halsey
redoing their on-line quizzes but Butch Ulmer is blogging on rules details.
So, you can post comments or question him and get virtually personal
answers. As always, UK-Halsey provides this information and help – free:
just log on and get smart. 800-253-2002.

With the top three leading teams in the World Match Racing Tour having
gotten no further than the Quarter-Final round at last week’s King Edward
VII Gold Cup presented by Argo Group, the race tightens in the final push
for the World Championship. The broad 24-team format of the Gold Cup is
twice that of most other Tour events, and proved to be a minefield of
potential traps where many non-regular teams in the field stopped the unwary

And while the event in Bermuda was a tremendous opportunity for teams which
don’t normally compete on the Tour go up against the world’s best, the focus
will now shift towards who will be in a good position to win the tour’s
grand prize, the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. The tour is a nine
stage event where skippers earn points at each stop. Of the first eight
stages, skippers count their best five finishes, but each contender must
also count those points earned at the final stage at the Monsoon Cup to be
held December 3-7 in K.Terengganu, Malaysia.

Given the closeness of points, any of the top three teams can win the
Championship, particularly since the standard tour points schedule is
multiplied by 1.5 times at the Monsoon Cup. On strategy going into the final
event, Richard said he will be “very aggressive because we have all to gain
and nothing to lose” compared to last year when he had a slim lead in points
over Williams, who ended up winning the overall title.

Current World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard (Top ten teams after Stage 8 of
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
Complete report:

While the college racing season is in only its second month, the districts
around the U.S. have now completed their qualifying events to deem the
entrants for the first of the three major national championship events.
While the dinghy and team race championship will wait until the spring, and
the sloop nationals will be held next month in Florida, the field is now
finalized up for the 2008-2009 ICSA/Laser Performance Men’s and Women's
Singlehanded Championship at Cornell on October 24-26.

Women’s event (18 entrants - Laser Radial)
MAISA: Stephanie Roble, Old Dominion; Morgan Wilson, Old Dominion; Kelly
Crane, Hobart/WmSmith; Sara Morgan Watters, St. Mary's.
MCSA: Lauren Knoles, Michigan State; Christine Porter, Wisconsin.
NEISA: Anne Haeger, Boston College; Krysta Rhode, Coast Guard; Maggie Shea,
Connecticut Coll; Jane Macky, Yale; Megan Watson, Harvard.
NWICSA: Molly Jackson, Western Washington.
PCCSC: Taylor Grimes, Stanford; Carolyn Prioleau, Stanford.
SAISA: Kim Witkowski, South Florida; Shannon Heausler, Charleston; Allison
Blecher, Charleston.
SEISA: Laura Stamets, Texas A&M Galveston.

Men’s event (18 entrants - Laser)
MAISA: Charlie Buckingham, Georgetown; Michael Menninger, St. Mary's; Robert
Crane, Hobart/WmSmith; Kyle Rogachenko, Old Dominion.
MCSA: Ryan Lashaway, Toledo; Kevin Campbell, Wisconsin; James Costakis,
NEISA: Fred Strammer, Brown; Cy Thompson, Roger Williams; Thomas Barrows,
Yale; Billy Martin, Boston Univ.
NWICSA: Glen Stellmacher, U/Washington.
PCCSC: TJ Tullo, Stanford; Paige Johnstone, Cal Maritime.
SAISA: Juan Maegli, Charleston; Zeke Horowitz, Charleston; Zack Marks, South
SEISA: Jonathan Atwood, Texas A&M Galveston.
College sailing website:

If you long for the days of America's Cup excitement, you could try your
sailing skills with a pair of international America's Cup class yachts on
the market. The yachts, AUS 29 and AUS 31, aren't exactly new. They were
built for the 1995 America's Cup challenge (as oneAustralia and Sydney 95)
and last raced in the 2000 challenger elimination series in Auckland when
they were both, at different times, known as Young Australia.

Veteran ocean racer and four-time America's Cup challenger Syd Fischer sold
them after they were eliminated from that regatta, and in recent years they
have been used for tourist outings in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. But with the
latest IACC yachts costing more than $10 million each, the asking price of
$350,000 for both yachts appears a bargain. Yacht broker Vicsail says the
pair come complete with four masts, 30 sails and three shipping containers
of spares. -- Scuttleblog,

by Mascalzone Latino
(Oct. 16, 2008) The Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia and the Mascalzone
Latino team today asked New York State's highest court, the Court of
Appeals, to overturn a lower court's ruling that enabled the America's Cup
Defender, Alinghi, and its host yacht club, Sociétè Nautique de Genévè (SNG)
to accept a "sham" yacht club as Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's

The amicus curiae ("friend of the Court") brief read, "SNG has breached its
fiduciary duties and violated the Deed of Gift by accepting as the
Challenger of Record , Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV), a newly
manufactured entity of no substance whatsoever which had never held an
annual regatta. SNG did this to get CNEV to go along with the outrageous and
unprecedented Protocol for the 33rd America's Cup which grants SNG unchecked
authority and eliminates challenger rights." -- Read on:

Just three months until the start of Acura Key West 2009, presented by
Nautica (January 19-23). Join racing sailors from around the world making
plans to escape winter’s chill in the island paradise of Key West. One
Design, PHRF, and IRC sailors wage battle on warm azure waters by day and
enjoy legendary nightlife by night. As race week veterans know, it’s too
much fun to only do it once! “KWRW” is a great week of unrivaled
international competition, professional race management and awesome
conditions. Entries are rolling in as temperatures drop. Entries, invited
classes, logistics, and more at

* For boat owners worried about getting crew, the Scuttlebutt crew board
already has 36 people who have indicated their interest to hike endlessly,
endure harsh sun rays, and to refill your Mount Gay drinkee when needed. You
can find them here:

* After the hooter on the start boat sounded thrice, signaling the
cancellation of race seven of the 505 Worlds, the British team of Ian
Pinnell and Carl Gibbon threw their hands up in glee - then Gibbon promptly
chucked Pinnell in the Mediterranean to celebrate their World Championship
victory. This has been a tough series for all involved, with winds in
Mondello, Sicily, rarely reaching above six knots and many races were run
with crews folded and contorted to leeward. Perennial runner up, and
previous World Champion, Howie Hamlin and crew Andy Zinn (USA) finished
second. -- Sail World, full story:

* Sailing World's college rankings as of October 16, 2008 finds Boston
College still atop the Coed rankings, while Yale has jumped to the top of
the Women's. Full rankings:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the ratification of a new
Hong Kong to London world record. Lionel Lemonchois FRA and a crew of 9
sailed "Gitana 13" from August 14 to September 25, 2008 for an elapsed time
of 41 days 21 hours 26 minutes 34 seconds over the 12947 nm route. There had
been no previous WSSR records for this route, but a time established by
Philippe Monnet in 1989 of 67 days 10 hours on a broadly similar voyage was
used as a benchmark. --

* CORRECTION: The dates for the Melges 24 North Americans have been changed
from those posted in Scuttlebutt 2704. The new dates are October 26 -
November 2.

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the PUMA boat that is full of power, the Disney mouse that is full
of pleasure, Sea Scouts that are full of hope, the Med when full of boats, a
son that is full of purpose, a photographer that is full of talent, and a
college regatta that is full of action. If you have images you would like to
share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

Robert "Jack" LeFort, 82, of Stuart, Fla., and Ocean City, N.J., former
chairman of a commercial design firm whose passions were family, the
University of Pennsylvania, and sailing, died of a stroke last Friday at
Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart. Mr. LeFort was a member of Penn's
sailing team as an undergraduate and later coached the team. He also was a
founder and coach of the Martin County Sailing Team in Florida. He was past
commodore of the Ocean City Yacht Club and founded the club's Heart Cup
racing event to benefit the Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point. He
attended the 25th anniversary of the race this summer.

A world-class sailor who won national and regional championships, Mr. LeFort
was past vice president of the U.S. Sailing Association. He was the founder
of the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County in Stuart and served as
president for many years before becoming chairman emeritus of the board. The
center is his greatest legacy to sailing, his son said. Under his guidance
it became one of two Olympic training sites in the United States. The center
also organizes regattas and runs a program to teach youngsters to sail.

A remembrance celebration will be at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the U.S. Sailing
Center of Martin County, 1955 N.E. Indian River Dr., Jensen Beach, Fla.
34957. Memorial donations may be made to the U.S. Sailing Center for a
scholarship fund to help children learn to sail. -- Philadelphia Inquirer,
full report:

For the second year running, Scuttlebutt partner Mike Hobson, who is the
editor of the website, has reviewed the gear on display at
the Annapolis Boat Show, and has now posted his findings online. At the show
he looked at many boating products and equipment, some new and some not so
new. The above deck products include the Dax winch handle, mainsail furling
systems, Deck mounting suction cups, Solar panels mounting stik, Garmin
Shadow drive, Harken under deck Furler, and Ronstan Boom tent. The personal
gear includes the Spinlock knee pads; below deck items were dock water
filter, pots and pans; in safety and navigation, the news is that AIS B is
legal in the US and a look at the ACR iPro new EPIRB. See the complete
review 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 Casey Schnoor: My wife, my 5 yr. old daughter and I attended the
premier of the Morning Light film last Tuesday night in San Diego. We
thoroughly enjoyed the film! The story line was entertaining and the sailing
well represented. I had previously had the pleasure to meet and share some
navigation chats with ML crew Piet van Os before the PV race earlier this
year and was very impressed with him, but what an impressive group of young
adults as a whole and what a stellar program Roy Disney, Robbie Haines and
all the others developed. The film was extremely well done!

It was also a treat for me to share with my wife (an inshore\coastal racer)
and daughter (a Sabot beginner) something of what it is like when I go
offshore as well as share a story or two from my first Transpac ride aboard
Shamrock (an early Disney yacht). It gave them some great perspective of
life at sea and left me anxious to see the film again. I would recommend to
all of our sailing and non-sailing friends alike to go see the film! It is a
worthwhile investment.

I also send a hearty well done to Roy, Robbie, the crew and the supporters
and a sincere thank you to Roy for his significant commitment to creating
this project and bringing it to the public.

Don't join dangerous cults. Practice safe sects!

Special thanks to UK-Halsey and Acura Key West 2009.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at