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SCUTTLEBUTT 2712 - Tuesday, October 28, 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 North Sails, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Speed &

The Leukemia Cup Regatta started as an event held by the Pine Harbor Yacht
Club for the benefit of the Society's Alabama Chapter in April 1988. The
Eastport Yacht Club, in Annapolis, MD, pioneered the concept of competition
among boats and crews to raise funds for the fight against blood cancers,
with their June 1993 event raising $30,000. In 2008 there were 39 Leukemia
Cup Regatta throughout the U.S., and while each of them made a significant
contribution, none was greater than the XOJET Leukemia Cup Regatta hosted on
October 4-5 by San Francisco Yacht Club. This event inspired participants
and donors to a record-setting $662,000, breaking the all time record for
top individual Leukemia Cup since the series began in 1993.

In just three years, the XOJET Leukemia Cup Regatta has raised $1.1 million
in total donations and beaten all of the standing titles for the highest
first-year gross, highest second-year gross, and highest third-year gross
for a Leukemia Cup Regatta. This year’s winning combination was the result
of the enormously dedicated committee led by Chairman, Ian Charles, and
co-chairs David Joyner and Bill Nolan who are all members of the San
Francisco Yacht Club. Ian Charles was diagnosed earlier this year with
multiple myeloma and recently underwent a successful stem cell transplant
and personally raised an astounding $220,536. Charles was the top overall
individual fundraiser and his J/105 “Indefatigable” was the top overall
winner of the XOJET Leukemia Cup. For Ian Charles this was a weekend he will
never forget. He proudly said “It was truly the most rewarding experience of
my life and I am eternally grateful for the support of my friends and family
that made it all possible.” -- Complete report:

Ragtime - the 60 footer built in New Zealand for Sir Tom Clark in 1964 under
the name of Infidel - has made an epic 7,000 mile southwards journey from
Los Angeles to her homeland, only to turn around and nearly immediately
depart on another epic journey in the opposite direction. Ragtime was
entered in the 119 nautical mile HSBC Premier Coastal Classic Auckland to
Russell Yacht Race, one of the greatest races in the world, and thought to
be the biggest yacht race of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

Brutal upwind conditions were in the forecast, sufficient for around 30 of
the original 229 entrants to withdraw. Said owner Chris Welsh, “The race was
a bruiser, 20-36 knots on the nose the whole way with cold, stinky clouds
and rain. Over half the fleet bailed out. Blew out the #4 half way up and
spent some time reefed with the storm jib up for the first time in my
experience with the boat. Not Ragtime's favorite stuff but a good outcome!”
Ragtime was third monohull to finish and corrected out to first place IRC
Overall. --

It's the Fall Deal at North! The same North sails that dominated the 2008
one design circuit from local racing to the Olympics in Qingdao are now
offered at 15% discount. It doesn't get any better than this: The North
Sails quality combined with North's top service for less! The promotion ends
12/1/08 and is valid in North America only. Don't miss it!

(Oct. 27, 2008; Day 17) - The game of blackjack continues at the head of the
fleet with the strategists contemplating whether to hit or stick. Much
depends on the arrival of the forecast low pressure system and its 40-knot
gales, as to when the navigators take a hard left (east) to Cape Town. For
the time being, the leading pack continues to crab south while working their
way eastward. The east/west split of the fleet shapes the overall position
chart, with PUMA being the furthest east after having turned the corner
sooner, perhaps believing they were far enough south to avoid the South
Atlantic High, yet south enough to capture the low pressure freight train
delivering 40 knots of fuel.

In very rough terms, picture the lead three boats on port and abeam of each
other, spinnaker reaching in 18 knots, and aiming 30 degrees low of Cape
Town. PUMA is the weather most boat, then Ericsson 4, with the Green Dragon
in the southernmost position. If they were to head up right now, and
everything else was equal, PUMA would win. But the reason they are all
heading low of layline is to make sure they are fully tapped into the love
train. The truth will arrive soon enough.

The length of Leg One is 6500nm, with teams expected to finish by the first
week in November. Current standings (as of Oct. 28, 1:00am GMT):
1. Puma, Ken Read, 2528 nm Distance to Finish
2. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, 6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 27 nm DTL
4. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 28 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 33 nm DTL
6. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 50 nm DTL
7. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 101 nm DTL
8. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 172 nm DTL
Race website:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: The VOR website has not been perfect, with problems
including connection speeds, browser lock-up and video display. I have
received a lot of complaints, and have tried to either forward your email or
paraphrase your problems to the race administrators. They are not happy
either, and are working to improve their systems. To help view the videos,
they have provided a list of technical advice to aid you to get the most
from Volvo Ocean Race TV console:

* School children will be able to follow all the thrills and spills of the
Volvo Ocean Race and become a virtual spectator of life on board entrant
Green Dragon thanks to a new programme. Galway will host a stopover on the
round-the-world race in May next year. In anticipation of the first Irish
pitstop for the prestigious race, children are encouraged to watch the
progress of the Irish team, Green Dragon, online. The Ocean Adventure
Schools Programme, which is sponsored by the Irish Independent, was launched
by Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe at the Poolbeg Yacht Club in Dublin and
will introduce students to the technology, history and geography of sailing.
-- Read on:

* Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and Whitney Slade,
headmaster of St. Michael's Country Day School have launched a joint
educational initiative titled “” The program
will connect teachers and students from around the globe with the Volvo
Ocean Race, offering a school curriculum which integrates Geography, Marine
Science, Language Arts, Mathematics and Physical Science, while also
creating interest among the children in the sport of sailing. -- Complete

Initial concepts of the planned National Sailing Hall of Fame museum drew
rave reviews during a city Historic Preservation Commission meeting last
week. Architect Joe Boggs gave local officials and preservationists a look
at his early designs for the building planned for Prince George Street at
City Dock. "We are a small town, a small community but this is a world-class
project," Mr. Boggs said Thursday.

A model of the building and some renderings were presented, all showing the
size and scale of the building. Officials praised Mr. Boggs' use of space
and re-use of the historic Burtis House while staying in character with the
downtown Historic District. The plans call for the new building to be built
up to, and including, the house. -- The Capitol, read on:

* The National Sailing Hall of Fame and U.S. SAILING have launched an online
Sailing Resource Locator, enabling users to click on a state and see at a
glance what sailing resources are located in their state. The Sailing
Resources Locator (SRL) will eventually display resources for all 50 states,
plus Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. As the database grows,
it will expand to include resources in the following resource categories:
Community Sailing Centers & Sailing Schools; College Sailing; High School
Sailing; Youth Sailing; Cruising Clubs & Associations; Yacht Racing
Associations; Yacht Clubs; and Class/Manufacturer Clubs & Associations. --

There are new things at Melges! Of course the Melges 20 has been the most
recent news and this new boat continues to excite the one-design market. The
Melges 20 will make its next stop at KO Sailing in Houston, Texas. There
will be test drives given on Saturday, November 8th. Melges has also been
working hard on producing a new MC scow which will come to market in late
December. Watch for the latest in one-design scow sailing too – a new Melges
MC scow! For more information, race to

The MC-scow was first conceived by Harry C. Melges, Sr., in 1950 and in
1965, Harry and his son Buddy designed today's fiberglass MC scow. The MC is
sailed single-handed most of the time, but a crew member can be added
depending upon the skipper's weight and strength of the wind. Despite its
age, the class still remains very popular, with 69 entrants at the 2008
Nationals. However, during the past two years, the class and its lone
manufacturer - Melges Performance Sailboats - have been working together to
identify enhancements to the MC that will continue attracting both younger
sailors who have many one-design choices from which to choose, and maturing
sailors from other classes who find it difficult to obtain crew.

The class is taking on this task while also protecting the one-design
integrity of the MC and ensuring that no changes are made that would make
previous years' models less competitive. The changes focus on a new deck
design for an updated contemporary look that will provide additional sailing
comfort and safety, increased flotation, and provide a self-bailing feature.
The hull, curvature of the deck, mast placement, rigging, and other
scantling requirements all remain the same. Preliminary testing was
completed this past summer and Melges anticipates that final testing will be
finished in time for 2009 model production to begin in January. --

* (Oct. 27, 2008; 18:20 GMT) All the yachts participating in the Portimão
Global Ocean Race are clear of the doldrums and in a free fall to get south
as fast as possible. Their next target, a waypoint off the coast of Brazil,
a mandatory gate that has to be honored, is coming up quick. At the most
recent poll the leading yacht, the doublehanded Class 40 Beluga Racer sailed
by Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme, was just 280 miles from the gate and 3469
miles from the Cape Town finish. --

* Port Washington, NY (Oct. 26, 2008) - Manhasset Bay Fall Series ended the
major WLIS fall regatta season with 3 days of big breezes, followed by a day
of sun and shifty north-westerlies. Kincsem, Joerg Esdorn’s J/105, with
Duncan Henn, took home the John B. Thomson Sr. Memorial Trophy for the best
overall performance in IRC or one design. Hustler’s straight bullets won
John Esposito’s J/29 the Ted Clark Trophy for Best performance in PHRF
classes. The Huguenot Trophy, awarded to the club with the best 3 finishes,
was Lloyd Harbor YC, a repeat winner from 2006. -- Complete report:

This may prove to be a complicated part of our sport, where fully sponsored
teams compete against absolute amateur efforts. This situation happens all
the time in popular one design classes, where the sailmaker rolls into
regatta with the big logos on the van, and competes with all the advantages
that their business can provide. However, when an event is using the ISAF
Advertising Code Category C, those logos can move from the van to the hull
and sails. The Melges 24 class is run under Category C and Key West Race
Week also uses Category C for their PHRF & IRC classes. If you are an
amateur, and you choose to race in these types of events, there is a good
chance that the playing field may not be level.

The Scuttlebutt Poll question in the Monday newsletter posed the question of
whether it made any difference if a fully sponsored sailmaking team was also
fully branded. The example used in the poll was in regard to Quantum Sails,
and how when permitted, some of their team programs are called QUANTUM
RACING and also include the allowable branding logos on their sails and/or
hull. Is it one thing for a fully sponsored sailimaking team to be
competing, but yet another for their sails and hull to be fully branded by
the sailmaking company? Or does it make no difference at all?

Some of the comments proved how complicated the question was. Some found the
U.S. woefully behind in the world of boat sponsorship, but that wasn’t the
question. There were comparisons to auto racing, but at least in NASCAR,
teams are branded after popular consumer companies, and not what is under
their hood. While the poll results leaned one way, the comments showed a
much closer vote. Here is the final tally and comments:

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* From Lynn Fitzpatrick: Harry Walker wasn't around for quite as long as the
Star Class but he was the most active Exalted Grand Master than any class
could have. It will probably be a while before we figure out how many Star
boats Walker had available for friends to use and and charter, but it was a
nice sized fleet. ,At 87 years young, he participated in Zag Masters Regatta
and Bacardi Cup Regatta this past year and won the Exalted Grand Master
title this year at the Zag Masters with two-time Olympic Gold Medal Star
skipper, Mark Reynolds, crewing for him. A broken arm landed him on the Race
Committee boat rather than at the helm of a Star for this year's Bacardi
Cup, the first Bacardi that he hadn't steered in decades.

Among Harry's other pastimes were following the ups and downs of baseball's
spring training in Vero Beach and treating friends to some of the tastiest
and juiciest grapefruits from his Sunsweet Fruits groves. Always the
gentleman, he leaves behind his wife, Thea, and an extended family that
includes Star sailors from around the world.

* From Pete Williamson: The judges for the US Rolex Yachtie of the Year must
be breathing a huge sigh of relief right now. The pressure is off -- it
should now be a slam dunk for Terry Hutchinson. Sailing against the very
best sailors in the world, Hutchinson totally dominated the TP52 World
Championships with an unprecedented 16-point victory. And when you add that
to his overpowering TP52 MedCup win, it should be a very short meeting for
the Rolex judges. Oh sure, Nick Scandone and Greg Fisher and Paul Foerster
and Bill Hardesty and Zack Railey had very good years, but they certainly
picked the wrong year in which to do it. What Terry achieved this year in
Europe is the most impressive yachting accomplishment by a North American
sailor since -- I was going to say, since a syndicate representing the New
York Yacht Club beat 15 yachts from the Royal Yacht Squadron around the Isle
of Wight in 1851. But compared to what Terry did, that first America’s Cup
regatta sort of looks like a Little League tournament.

* From Kent Gardam: (re, story in Issue 2711) In the article on propulsion
rules, you state: PULLING the main to accelerate down the leeward side of a
wave. LEGAL This is specifically allowed in rule 42.3(c), but only once for
each wave or gust of wind and not on a beat to windward. The latter looks a
little redundant because, how can you surf down the leeward side of a way
going upwind.

It's unusual but it happens. I remember on my first Port Huron to Mackinac
Race in 1985, the wind had been blowing out of the southeast pretty hard on
the leg to the Cove Island Buoy and had built up six to eight foot waves.
Just before rounding and turning to a northwestly heading toward Mackinac
the wind had switched almost 180 degrees to the northwest. So for a couple
of hours after the rounding we were beating into the new wind while still
surfing down the leftover waves from the old wind. It was a strange but fun
experience while it lasted.

* From Robert Johnston: Bertarelli and Ellison's latest exchange reminds me
of the old legal saw, "Ownership is nine tenths of the law". Of course the
New York Yacht Club knew that well enough--there was always no doubt plenty
of legal talent within the membership to keep on top of the game for their
record run--but it has taken a lot of time and money to sort it out once the
outside lawyers took over the game and revved up their time sheets.

Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes,
music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

Special thanks to North Sails, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Speed &
Smarts newsletter.

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