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SCUTTLEBUTT 2709 - Thursday, October 23, 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 Goetz Custom Sailboats and Ullman Sails.

by Herb McCormick, Sailing World
Most everyone's heard the old line about chickens and pigs, and their
respective relationships with ham-and-egg breakfasts; it's a parable on the
differences between involvement and commitment and a favorite anecdote of
high-school football coaches since the dawn of, well, ham and eggs. The
chicken, of course, is involved, but the pig? He's committed.

I was reminded of this tale earlier this month during the U.S. Sailboat Show
in Annapolis, Md., after a long chat with Jeffrey Dingle, a fledgling sailor
and budding entrepreneur from Marblehead, Mass., who was on hand with the
shell of his brand-new M65 Mini-Transat racer, the first production Open
6.50 rocket to be launched in the U.S. You meet all sorts of boat builders
and yacht brokers at the Annapolis show, which is as close to an annual
sailing convention as you'll find in this country. Most of them are
"involved" with their products. But Dingle? Man, he's committed.

The Classe Mini, as it's known in France, is the growing domain of one of
the more interesting and radical designs in offshore sailing, the Mini. For
the uninitiated, the 21'3" (6.5 meter) Mini resembles a scaled-down version
of a Vendee Globe-type round-the-world racer: It could be the centerpiece of
a movie entitled ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Boat’. Like many Open 60s, it sports a
plumb bow, massive beam, a big asymmetric flown off a sprit, and twin
rudders. Like the Open 60, it's generally raced solo or doublehanded. There
are basically two subsets of Minis. The Serie, or production Minis, like the
French-built Pogo and Dingle's M65, must conform to strict, rather
conservative class requirements (no carbon, aluminum spars, etc.). With the
so-called Prototype Minis, anything goes (carbon hulls and spars, canting
keels, etc.). -- Read on:

(Oct. 22, 2008; Day 12) - Today’s Volvo Ocean Race report is racked with
assumptions, and provides perhaps some unwarranted amounts of credit to the
lead boats in this race. Regardless, a look at the tracking report provides
a classic situation for upwind sailing… and that is what everyone has been
doing all day since exiting the doldrums.

Now grab a sheet a paper and draw this up: By early Wednesday evening, the
true wind direction for Green Dragon is 144 degrees, they are on port and
near the layline for the scoring gate, but not quite laying it. Astern of GD
are PUMA in second and Ericsson 4 in third, both also on port. PUMA is
slightly to leeward of GD’s line, and E4 is near dead astern of GD and
slightly aft of PUMA. Have you drawn that? (Click on this link to compare
your drawing to their actual positions:

Here is where it gets fun. What happens if they get lifted to the mark? GD
rounds in first though things will get tighter between second and third.
What happens if they get headed? GD moves into a stronger covering position,
and will be on top of the group when they tack for the mark. As for PUMA,
they would benefit much more from a header, which would move E4 off their
hip and more astern. Heck, it would move the whole fleet there too, since
everyone else is stacked up on port off of E4’s hip. Lift and GD lays the
mark. Header and the whole fleet shift directly behind them. Dang, the GD
team must just be loving this (Bad news for PUMA as the wind has lifted the
fleet at the early Thursday report)! Only 118 nm more to go before they get
to the Fernando de Noronha scoring gate.

The length of Leg One is 6500nm, with teams expected to finish by the first
week in November. Current standings (as of Oct. 23, 1:00am GMT):
1. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 3477 nm distance to finish
2. Puma, Ken Read, 26 nm distance to lead
3. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 29 nm DTL
4. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 60 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 129 nm DTL
6. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 176 nm DTL
7. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 202 nm DTL
8. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 205 nm DTL
Race website:

* A video update from aboard PUMA taken on October 21st provides some
insight into their last few days, plus showing some sail changes in the
team’s equator outfits: shorts and no shirts:,,12573~1428978,00.html

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The race website is full of great information, but
my daily favorite is reading THE TEN ZULU REPORT by Mark Chisnell. His
combination of wit and wisdom succeeds in revealing the race decisions
without me suffering through the bad food and stinky accommodations. For
back issues, here is the race news archive:

As Eric Goetz of Eric Goetz Custom Sailboats Inc. enters into his 34th year
in the custom boat building industry, he would like to take the time to
acknowledge and thank several of his longtime employees for their
dedication, loyalty and hard efforts. Without these individuals, achieving
the success and growth that the company has experienced, would not have been
possible. Thank you all for your dedicated service to our company! They are:
John Hawkins - 34 years
Robert Pelletier - 28 years
Vincent Pard - 25 years
Kelly McMillan - 25 years
Gary Wolfang - 23 years
Jud Chase - 19 years
Sean Lane - 17 years
Rick Hail - 15 years
Jason Feld - 15 years
Tom Black - 10 years
Mike Santos - 10 years
John Boone - 8 years
Kim Catalan - 7 years
Steve Baker - 5 years

The 99ft monohull maxi-yacht Virgin Money (ex-Speedboat owned by Alex
Jackson, USA) set sail this morning on its Cross-Atlantic Challenge. Sponsor
and co-skipper Richard Branson is joined by the TEAMORIGIN crew, which
includes Mike Sanderson as co-skipper and triple Olympic Gold medallist Ben
Ainslie, in an attempt to break the world record for crossing the Atlantic
Ocean, currently set at 6 days 17 hours, 39 minutes and 52 seconds. Virgin
Money set sail from New York and passed the official start line at Ambrose
Lighthouse at 04:00 EST (09:00 BST) on 22 October 2008. The yacht will have
to make the target of Lizard Point, the most South Westerly point of the UK,
no later than 21:39.52 EST on 28 October 2008 to break the record.

Announcing the start of the challenge, Sir Richard Branson said: “I can't
quite believe we've decided to leave four hours earlier than planned to
ensure we jump in front of a huge storm. The first 24 hours we'll endeavour
to out-run a storm and navigate another that could cause major damage to the
boat and destroy our chances of breaking the record. We need to navigate
these two storm systems perfectly to have any chance of succeeding. It’s
going to be a very challenging six days." -- Complete update with crew list:

America’s Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the
Defender Alinghi and their event organising body AC Management (ACM) are
taking the necessary steps to get the 33rd America’s Cup back on track in
partnership with the Challenger of Record – Club Náutico Español de Vela
(CNEV) – and all challengers keen to join the competition.

ACM is re-opening entries for a multi-challenger 33rd America’s Cup from now
until 15 December 2008 with the intention of having a Match in 2010 in a new
and modern class of race yacht and with pre-regattas in 2009 on the existing
Version 5 ACC yachts. Teams already entered under the 33rd Protocol along
with any new entries will participate in the consultation process to take
place in the coming weeks. Subject to a final agreement with the Spanish
authorities, the 33rd America’s Cup will take place in Valencia.

If, next year, the New York Court of Appeals ultimately decides CNEV is not
the valid Challenger of Record, SNG may be forced to meet Golden Gate Yacht
Club in a Match governed by the terms of the Deed of Gift. In this event,
ACM intends to continue with a series of regattas in Valencia scheduled for
2009 and 2010; these will be independent of the Deed of Gift Match. --
Complete announcement:

* In reply to the Alinghi team’s announcement, the BMW ORACLE Racing team
provided the following statement: “We (GGYC/BMW ORACLE Racing) remain very
receptive to engaging in direct discussions about the future of the
America's Cup with Alinghi, and including all the other competitors, but
without Alinghi's unreasonable preconditions.”

* Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth provides additional insight into the
team’s plans in this audio interview:

Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Oct. 22, 2008) - The TP52 World Championship in
Puerto Calero is all but boring and we were served a third day of intriguing
competition on the waters of Lanzarote that resulted in yet another overall
leader. We started with Artemis on Monday, then Mutua Madrileña yesterday
and now Quantum Racing following the results from today’s 35-mile coastal

After a less than average performance on Tuesday, Artemis found their form
on Wednesday and crossed the finish line ahead of Quantum and Bribón, after
clearly dominating from start to finish. Commenting Russell Coutts,
tactician on Artemis, “This is definitely a better day than yesterday. The
first leg was very important. Fortunately, we round the first mark leading
and from there on it was just a matter of protecting the lead, not making
anything stupid and making the correct sail calls. Obviously, we did some
damage to ourselves yesterday but we still have some chances to get back on
the game.”

Current standings (top 5 of 14)
1. Quantum (USA), Terry Hutchinson, 2-6-1-4-6-2.50, 21.50 points
2. Mutua Madrileña (CHI), Vasco Vascotto, 3-1-6-1-1-11.25, 23.25 points
3. Artemis (SWE), Torbjorn Tornqvist, 1-2-2-11-13-1.25, 30.25 points
4. Bribón (ESP), Dean Barker, 10-12-4-2-5-3.75, 36.75 points
5. Platoon (GER), Jochen Schuemann, 8-9-12-3-3-6.25, 41.25 points
Complete report and standings:

This summer, the Ullman Sails UK team in Plymouth put their heads together
with G24 Innovations in Cardiff to create a staysail that incorporated solar
panels. The project was for the 67-foot racing yacht ‘2041’, a floating
goodwill ambassador sailing worldwide to increase environmental awareness.
Ullman Sails affixed 12 solar panels to the sail on neoprene patches to
protect them from stretch and match sponsor BP’s flower design. The sail
connects to the “2041” electrics and has been helping power the project ever
since. Ullman Sails – Making an investment in your performance (and the
future). Visit us at

* Owned by Robert Swan, the ‘2041’ is named after the year in which the
'Madrid Protocol' comes up for debate. The protocol, signed by nearly every
nation, provides additional protection for the Antarctic Treaty and
designates the continent as "a Natural Reserve Land for Science and Peace".
It also places a ban on mining and mineral exploration in Antarctica for 50
years (1991-2041). On April 8, 2008, '2041' launched from San Francisco, CA
after being refitted to operate entirely on wind, solar, and biodiesel
generated energy, and began a multi-city global tour to highlight renewable
energy and engage the youth of the world to take positive steps toward
renewable, sustainable energy practices. --

Major changes are in the wind to revolutionise one of the most spectacular
sailing classes in the world as it campaigns to earn its place back in the
Olympic arena. Moves are afoot to completely revamp the class, breaking the
old mould and transforming it into a more accessible, more friendly,
one-design class with appeal to the masses, media and a new fleet of
Generation Next sailors.

The idea is to transform Tornado racing from an arms race back into a
sailing race accessible to everyone and conducted on a level-playing field.
To have the racing decided on the water, not by a development program or
technological edges. To have a new generation of athletes racing high-octane
craft into a new era. In essence, the men and women of the International
Tornado Association are responding to the winds of change constantly blowing
through world sport, to update and freshen the look of the fastest boat at
past Olympics, making it a more appealing and attractive prospect to a
rising tide of new, young sailors looking for the ultimate thrill - and
Olympic glory. -- Read on:

* San Francisco, CA - Kiwi Dan Slater has become US National Champion in the
Finn class, after winning three races out of a possible eight in the 33-boat
championship held from October 17-19 in 8-18 knots. Slater, who placed
twelfth in the Finn class at Qindao, and was second in the World
Championships in Melbourne last January, finished with 14 points, one point
ahead of second place getter, Canadian Richard Clarke, and six points ahead
of American Zach Railey. -- Results:

* Ithaca, NY - Cornell University and Hobart William Smith Colleges hosted
the 2008 National High School Singlehanded Championship for Cressy Trophy on
October 17-19th. 18 Laser and and 18 Laser Radial Sailors from around the
country competed with 36 brand new Lasers provided Laser Performance,
completing 17 races for the series. Luke Lawrence from Martin County High
School (Stuart, FL) won the Laser Division and Christopher Stocke from
Sarasota High School (Sarasota, FL) won the Laser Radial Division. Complete
report and results:

* Valletta, Malta (Oct. 22, 2008) - The Rolex Middle Sea Race rarely does
things in a small way. Last year was too much wind, with many drop outs but
setting a new course record. This year was not enough wind for the 77
entrants, with Andres Soriano's Mills 68 Alegre finally crossing the
Marsamxett Harbour finish line this morning to take line honours in the 29th
edition of the 607 nautical-mile race in just over 3 days 19 hours, about 44
hours outside the course record. Next to finish was a pair of STP65s, with
Moneypenny crossing 35 minutes later and Rosebud finishing nearly 6.5 hours
after Alegre. --

* Oyster Bay, Long Island (October 19, 2008) - The American team
representing Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club has won the British-American
Cup for the 5th consecutive time, by a score of 7 races to 4. The racing was
held in Sonars on Oyster Bay, with light air and chop on day one, medium
breeze and chop on day two, and heavy air and flat water on day three.
Representing the USA were: Karl Ziegler, Greg Stevens, Mike Welch; Tim
Wadlow, Robbie Deane, Joel Hanneman; Andy Herlihy, Peter Johnson, Ryan
Costello; and Josh Adams, Dean Brenner, Chris Museler . -- Complete report:

Last week at the U.S. SAILING Annual Meeting there was a presentation on
why/how sailing programs should be including windsurfing as an option. The
Windsurfing Task Force was established by US SAILING in March 2008 to foster
youth development in windsurfing with long term goals of the 2012 and 2016
Olympics. This week’s video is from the 2008 East Coast Junior Windsurfing
Championship at Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, which is part of US SAILING
Junior Olympic program with Under 19, U17, U15, and U12 age groups. The
event used the Techno 293, which is the ISAF approved and world-wide
accepted One Design board for junior windsurfing. This was the only major
U.S. junior championship on T293 in 2008, but the 2009 calendar has already
expanded to three major events (and other minor ones). 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

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Oct 22-25 - Rolex Osprey Cup - St. Petersburg, FL
Oct 22-25 - S2 7.9 Class Championship Regatta - Nashville, TN
Oct 25-26 - Fall Dinghy & OCR - San Francisco, CA
View all the events at

John Edward (aka Jack) Balmer, a very significant force on West Coast Canada
sailing in the 1970's and '80's, died on October 10, 2008. Amongst his many
attributes was to have built the Vancouver Soling fleet almost
single-handedly. Jack imported Abbott Solings and sold his cost...
to build the BC fleet to more than 20 boats. One of the benefits was the
Olympic efforts of Dave Miller, Paul Cote and John Ekels who went on to win
bronze at Kiel in 1972...with Jack as coach and mechanic. Previously Jack
owned Fulmar, a classic pre-world war II Clyde-built 6 meter. Here is an
excerpt from an obituary that Jack wrote for himself:

“As this is my auto-obituary, I'd like to write it in my own fashion! Apart
from practising dentistry in Vancouver for over 30 years, I have also at one
time or another been fairly adept as a skier, private pilot, race car
driver, vintner, mechanic, model builder, marine aquarist, carpenter,
photographer, plumber, scuba diver, writer, boat builder, Olympic team
member (coach - for a bronze medal), marine Master (CSC3), advanced ham
operator (VE7CTC), offshore sailor, lecturer in electronics and seamanship,
and a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary member. As well, more of my life was
spent being a C.Y.A. Vice-President, founder of the B.C.Y.A...(now B.C.
Sailing Assn.), a member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club for over 61
years, including serving on their Executive 11 times.

I died from a touch of lung CA; since I know smoking is not harmful, I
probably got it from a bad ice cube! My ashes will be scattered at sea, my
meager estate paying for the wake, which is the only way anyone would
attend. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Corinthian Fund at R.V.Y.C.
would be appreciated. Since I've had a ball in life, with no regrets and
nothing left still undone, and since our world seems to be quickly
deteriorating, it's a good time for me to cash in. Goodbye, and good luck!

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

The only word in the English language that contains all five vowels in
alphabetical order is ‘FACETIOUS’.

Special thanks to Goetz Custom Sailboats and Ullman Sails.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at