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SCUTTLEBUTT 2708 - Wednesday, October 22, 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 Doyle Sails and LaserPerformance.

(Oct. 21, 2008; Day 11) - The French nature documentary film, March of the
Penguins, depicted the yearly journeys of the emperor penguins of Antarctica
where they leave their normal habitat of the ocean to walk inland to their
ancestral breeding grounds. It is a painful journey, and some fair better
than others. Change channels now to the Volvo Ocean Race, and theme is the
same - a painful slog through the doldrums, seeking the light at the end of
the tunnel, or specifically, the southeasterly trades of the Southern

By late Tuesday, the leaders, which have essentially maintained the same
order all day (perhaps a race first), began to get some Latin love as the
wind has increased, nearly to the teens, and has clocked around to between
145-160 degrees per the standings below. Of course, that is about an upwind
angle to the Fernando de Noronha scoring gate, 393 nm away for Green Dragon,
who is now positioned just north of the equator at 2 degrees latitude with a
bearing of 186 degrees to the gate.

The length of Leg One is 6500nm, with teams expected to finish by the first
week in November. Current standings (as of Oct. 22, 1:00am GMT):
1. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 3751 nm distance to finish
2. Puma, Ken Read, 28 nm distance to lead
3. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 34 nm DTL
4. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 69 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 123 nm DTL
6. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 149 nm DTL
7. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 165 nm DTL
8. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 188 nm DTL
Race website:

* GEOGRAPHY LESSON: Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago in the Atlantic
Ocean, part of the State of Pernambuco, around 354 km offshore from the
Brazilian coast with a population of 2,051 (2000). The position is 03
degrees 54’S latitude, 32 degrees 25’W longitude . The islands of this
archipelago are the visible parts of a range of submerged mountains.
Consisting of 21 islands, islets and rocks of volcanic origin, the main
island has an area of 18 km squared, being 10 km long and 3.5 km at its
maximum width. The base of this enormous volcanic formation is 756 m below
the surface. The main island, from which the group gets its name, makes up
91% of the total area; the islands of Rata, Sela Gineta, Cabeluda and São
Jose, together with the islets of Leao and Viuva make up the rest.

* ERICSSON 4: The crew is adapting to life without helmsman/trimmer Tony
Mutter, who was transferred off the racing yacht last Friday, Oct. 17, due
to complications from an infected knee. Mutter was taken to a hospital in
the Cape Verde Islands, where he was met by team physician Dr. Antonio
Coido. Mutter has been receiving antibiotics intravenously twice a day since
being removed from Ericsson 4 and arrived today in Cape Town, South Africa,
to join his family and meet the crew when they arrive. --

By Kenny Read, PUMA Skipper
(Oct. 21, 2008) - It is well documented that this is my first doldrums
crossing--and of course my first equator crossing. Yeah yeah, I know. The
antics of "King Neptune" are not far away now. Casey Smith, Mickey Mueller
and myself have that to look forward to! But, for the last couple of days or
so it has felt like we would never get to those antics. Light air running -
just getting going only to be smacked by a cloud that has no wind. Then a
cloud with pressure gives you hope. And then a clearing that brings slapping
sails. And it goes on, and on, and on.

Early in the race we knew that this was going to be a major trap. The
doldrums as described by Capey (Andrew Cape - navigator) in his typical
understated tones were "unusually large." Which is translated to," Holy
crap, there isn't any wind forever!" Actually what he described is that the
doldrums are exactly where they usually are, and aren't really that large,
but there is a huge band of no wind to the north of the doldrums making it
seem like the world’s largest doldrums. And he was right.

So we entered in the lead with only our historical data, some pretty sketchy
weather analysis and a prayer. I think in this particular case it was
certainly a disadvantage to enter this massive doldrums in the lead. A few
of the boats had a nice shot at seeing our 3 hour position reports and
seeing what the wind was doing with us and evaluating their weather files
and deciding where to go next. We always liked the west, but to go there
meant to jibe away from the entire fleet at one point and give up the lead
for positioning sake - while still in the lead. -- Excerpt from full post

(Oct. 21, 2008) To insure they arrive to the start on November 9th for the
Vendee Globe, the team from Alex Thomson Racing have been working around the
clock since the collision with a French fishing vessel on Friday (Oct 17th).
In addition to this, Sir Keith Mills (Chairman of Alex Thomson Racing) has
brought in support staff from Team ORGIN in the form of Team Director Mike
Sanderson, Shore Operations Director David Duff and others to assist Alex in
making the start line a reality.

The damage that HUGO BOSS suffered through the collision was severe. The
mast, which came down during the incident was broken 5 metres from the deck,
but luckily it was recovered on Friday evening. David Barnaby from Southern
Spars has been on site and the mast has been deemed repairable. All the
sails were recovered and remarkably were undamaged, they have been sent to
North sails France to be serviced.

The team have been working alongside Pascal Conq the designer at Finot Conq,
structural engineer Dr. Paolo Manganelli from SP and Multiplast in Vannes to
decide the best way to repair the extensive damage. The team have also
brought in specialist in ultrasound to assess the structural damage. The
priority right now is to find a solution that allows a strong repair but
also a fast one. This will be a difficult to balance, but crucial to the
team’s goal of making the start line on November 9th. -- Complete report:
Race website:

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Guy Salter, Media Crew Member aboard the Volvo Ocean Race entrant Ericsson
4: “The hot weather - although uncomfortable has brought its fair share of
laughs, namely in the array of marginal clothing being sported. There are
some budding tailors onboard and the odd wannabe ballet dancer (in lycra
skin tight leggings) but for me the prize of most marginal has to go to a
Brazilian and his very short shorts (they get shorter by the day). At least
the Speedos have not made an appearance yet, probably because the shoe horn
needed to get into them has been left ashore! How about getting your crew
shorts back on Torben! Please!” --

The International Melges 24 2008 North American Championship will descend on
the Eastport YC in Annapolis, MD next week, which will also be the site for
the 2009 Melges 24 World Championship in twelve months time. As a result,
the entry list is shaping up to be a who’s who of Olympians, serial world
champions and America’s Cup veterans. Defending North American champion (and
current US National winner) Brian and John Porter’s Full Throttle will be
there along with 2007 Melges 24 World Champion Dave Ullman, America’s Cup
legend Terry Hutchinson, and One Design guru Chris Larson with tactician
Allan Terhune by his side. -- Complete report:

* With 48 boats currently registered for the North Americans, talk amongst
the locals is how a club with nominal space like Eastport YC will be able to
handle the measurement, launching, and storage logistics of events of this
scale. According to Measurement and Logistics chair Liz Filter, it is not
going to be a problem, but it will require high levels of patience and
cooperation. To that end, Filter has outlined a comprehensive “Policy Paper”
that other event organizers may want to file away for future needs. As for
the NA entrants, read up:

Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Oct. 21, 2008) - It was another tricky day on the
Lanzarotean waters for the 14 crews taking part in the TP52 World
Championship – Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The race committee had to move
the starting line a mile further offshore, trying to get a better breeze,
but had to fire the gun with no more than 7 knots of a northeasterly to
begin the second day of the championship. There was no shortage of
challenges for the tacticians today, but for Mutua Madrileña it was another
day in the office as they gathered bullets in both races to now lead the

As for the Artemis team, which fell hard from first overall to third,
tactician Russell Coutts commented, “Today we had a light and complicated
breeze, we were early over the line and had to go back and if you stay back
in this fleet it’s really tough to climb, it’s a real battle. Under these
wind conditions you don’t try to win, you try to avoid losing and you have
to be quite conservative. We had a couple of opportunities to separate from
the fleet but some stupid errors made us slip back.”

Current standings (top 5 of 14)
1. Mutua Madrileña (CHI), Flavio Favini, 3-1-6-1-1, 12 points
2. Quantum (USA), Terry Hutchinson, 2-6-1-4-6, 19 points
3 Artemis (SWE), Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1-2-2-11-13, 29 points
4. Bribón (ESP), Dean Barker, 10-12-4-2-5, 33 points
5. Matador (ARG), Alberto Roemmers, 6-4-5-7-11, 33 points
Complete report and standings:

Valencia, Spain (Oct. 21, 2008) - The second edition of the Trofeo Desafío
Español on November 8-9, the annual regatta organized by Club Náutico
Español de Vela (CNEV), will this year include yachts and teams from the
32nd America’s Cup. Sailing ACC V5 boats used in the 2007 match, Alinghi -
the sailing team of the Defender, Société Nautique de Geneve, and Desafío
Español - the syndicate of Club Náutico Español de Vela that is currently
recognized as the Challenger of Record, have already confirmed their

“Our desire is for the America’s Cup to start as soon as possible back in
Valencia,” said Manuel Chirivella, president of the CNEV. “We want Trofeo
Desafío Español to be the beginning of testing, training, and racing, not
only for Desafío Español and Alinghi, but also for other America’s Cup teams
that are willing to take part in the races, which are open to all.” -- CNEV

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* Veteran show producers Show Management of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Sail
America of Middletown, RI have merged two successful, long-standing boat
shows into one all-new “super show” now called St. Petersburg Boat Show and
Strictly Sail slated for December 4-7, 2008 in St. Petersburg, FL. For the
first time, the show features the very best of boating and sailing worlds,
with more than 200 power boats and 50 sailboats anchored in new floating
docks. Additionally, a newly expanded Accessories Tent with hold 275 booths.

* Weather reports announce a passage of a front Wednesday in the middle of
the day, moving little by little into Thursday. As a result, the 60-foot
l'Hydroptère should be going to the speed base at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône
to take advantage of the Mistral wind which is forecast. Alain Thébault and
his crew are seeking to break the world outright speed record, which is
currently held by kiteboarder Alex Caizergues (FRA) at 50.57 knots (not yet
ratified). --

* Once a year the top echelon of New Zealand sailors are recognized for
their achievements with a nomination for the Yachting Excellence Awards.
These people, coming from the ranks of Olympic, America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean
Race, and other great sailing disciplines, have reached the pinnacle of
yachting on a national and international level, and join the likes of Sir
Peter Blake, Russell Coutts, Mike Sanderson, Barbara Kendall, and Team New
Zealand in our sport’s hall of fame. Those who are nominated will be
recognized at the Yachting Excellence Awards on November 28, 2008. -- Full

* (Oct. 21, 2008) - The doublehanded Class 40 Kazimir Partners, sailed by
Van Der Wel brothers Lenjon and Peter, hit a whale while competing in the
Portimão Global Ocean Race. Said skipper Lenjohn, “We were traveling at 8
knots and came to an abrupt stop. We are not sure on damages yet but will
drop the spinnaker and investigate later today. The bow seems intact and
believe contact was made in front of the keel. Rudders seem ok.” It is now
Day 9 for the two singlehanded Open 40s and four doublehanded Class 40s,
with their first leg extending from Portimao, Portugal to Cape Town. --

(Oct. 21, 2008) Sir Richard Branson and triple Olympic gold medallist Ben
Ainslie are on standby in New York to begin a Transatlantic Record Attempt
aboard the 100ft Virgin Money (formerly Speedboat). With a potential weather
window approaching, the crew hopes to set sail early Wednesday morning with
TEAMORIGIN’s Team Director Mike Sanderson as skipper. Sanderson set the
current transatlantic record of 6d 17h 52m 39s aboard the 140-foot Mari Cha
IV in 2003.

With a potential start from North Cove Marina, New York, Ainslie,
TEAMORIGIN’s America’s Cup helmsman, will be on the wheel as the boat passes
Ambrose Light, and the clock starts. The course will take them through
treacherous winter conditions in the North Atlantic before finishing at
Lizard Point, off the coast of Plymouth. The Juan Kouyoumdjian designed
supermaxi has been on standby since they first attempted the record on June
29th, but were forced to return during the first day when one of their daggerboards broke.

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:
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* From Gene Hinkel: (re, story in Issue 2707) As TD for the 2007 IFDS
Worlds, it was an honor to ask Peter Wood to be one of the ISAF Judges. His
work with Disabled Sailing and ISAF is what makes our sport Great. The TV
coverage is vital to bring awareness to programs anywhere but without a
sparkplug like Peter these programs do not happen. With Canada bringing home
two medals from Qingdao it will help the Paralympic efforts for the sailors
competing but the basic grass root programs just to get people in boats
needs all our support in funding and volunteers. Thanks to the bald plumber
or rather master plumber when I asked for an ISAF Canadian Judge suggestion.

* From George Albaugh: After going to the Annapolis Boat Show (I'm a regular
attendee, mostly because I'm a local), I found myself thinking that if it
wasn't for the roast beast samich and a big beer at the Fleet Reserve Club,
the show itself wouldn't be worth the time, money and effort for a dinghy
sailor to attend. I shoulda spent the day sailing. (the samich was good,
howsomeever). The Brits, on the other hand, have what appears to be a
wonderful annual dinghy show at Earls Court. Why don't we have that here in
the US?

I didn't bother kicking my shoes off to go aboard a single big, more than
I'll ever be able to afford tub, bobbing up and down at the floating docks.
Even if I could afford one, a big boat just seems boring to a Moth Boat guy
(I started racing Moths in 1959 and haven't bothered to aspire to anything
bigger--no need to). I did spend time in the vendor tents and bumped into
various folks I know, but for the small dinghy racer, there is really
nothing that I'd call exciting to rev up the imagination at a typical
In-The-Water boat show.

In past years, yes, OK, there was a foiler Moth and Rohan, etc. but one guy
and one boat every five or ten years--is that all there is? Well-meaning
peeps are always submitting hand wringing letters to Scuttlebutt asking the
same question: "Oh, what can be done to turn around the slumping growth
curve for U.S. sailing?"From my perspective, some effort needs to be applied
to the "grass roots" level of sailing---dinghy sailing. We need an annual
dinghy show of our own! Is anyone listening? Does anyone care?

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: No doubt, the Annapolis Boat Show is selling new
boats, and while there was a nice display of dinghies from LaserPerformance
and RS Racing, this show is certainly not run by local OD fleets seeking new
members. Does anyone have examples of an annual dinghy show?

The Scuttlebutt newsletter provides a limited amount of text ad slots in
each issue, and these are often sold out well in advance. Most of the ad
slots for 2009 will be booked in the next few months, so if you are
interested in advertising, but always had heard how hard it was to get on
the schedule… think again. Ad placement for 2009 is now available; contact
Craig Leweck for details: 619-299-5678 or

Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?

Special thanks to Doyle Sails and LaserPerformance.

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