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SCUTTLEBUTT 2716 - Monday, November 3, 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, Team McLube, and Speed & Smarts.

(Nov. 2, 2008; Day 23) Ericsson 4 skipper Torben Grael was in no mood for brash
statements after winning the first leg on Sunday morning. “Is this race over?”
he asked. “No chance whatsoever. It is impossible to say who will win at this
stage.” It flies in the face of the stat which shows that the winner of the
first leg in the last five races has gone on to win overall. “It was such a
close race,” he added. “Our speeds between the boats are so close. We had visual
contact with PUMA for maybe 70% of the race, maybe 80% - this race will go to
the wire.”

It could be argued that Ericsson 4 had to be tougher than anyone else in the 21
days, 17 hours and 54 minutes they took to sail from Alicante to Cape Town. Just
six days in Tony Mutter had to be evacuated from the boat at Cape Verde, which
saw the team concede their early lead and fall 50 miles off the pace. However,
by day eight they were back in third position, 56 miles behind PUMA, and
rounding the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha they took the points for

Thereafter the fleet raced south with Ericsson 4 neck-and-neck with PUMA before
turning east and smashing the world record for distance covered in 24 hours.
Grael said: “A lot of the reason for the record is due to our training base in
Lanzarote. We sailed in conditions close to that for one year. That was
important for our performance in those conditions. It wasn’t too windy, it was
about 30 knots, quite steady, and good wave conditions, (just like for the

PUMA skipper Ken Read, regarding his second place finish, “The best team won,
but we have more in the locker room. This yacht has a few more gears. Ericsson
raced like a team that has had two years' preparation, and absolute credit to
them, they did a superb job. But a year and half ago there was no such thing as
PUMA Ocean Racing - our learning curve was so steep in this leg - and soon we
will feel as comfortable pushing hard as they do, and then we’ll reach their
speeds. We have a lot to build on and a lot to learn.”

The length of Leg One is 6500nm; Current standings (as of Nov. 3, 1:00am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, Finished Nov. 2, 05:54:00 GMT
2. Puma, Ken Read, Finished Nov. 2, 17:44:50 GMT
3. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 36 nm Distance to Finish
4. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, 40 nm DTF
5. Telefonica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, 123 nm DTF
6. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, 176 nm DTF
7. Delta Lloyd, Ger O'Rourke, 254 nm DTF
8. Telefonica Black, Fernando Echavarri, 353 nm DTF
Race website:

* The 4,450nm Leg 2 from Cape Town to Cochin, India begins November 15th.

* Hosted by world renowned sailor Gary Jobson, there are 39 half-hour weekly
episodes that chronicle the race to be aired on public television stations
nationwide. -- Details:

By Simon Fisher, Telefónica Blue navigator
I know this race now has a new Asian flavour to it - what with visiting China
and Singapore, but I wasn't expecting a taste of the orient quite so soon in the
form of a massive Chinese gybe last night. The guys on deck were pushing hard to
keep the miles up when they got caught by a nasty wave a wham! There we were,
over on our side. I was downstairs at the time, having checked the weather and
gone a few rounds with an intermittent Sat C. I had just climbed into my
sleeping bag and was getting ready for a nice snooze before the next position
report was due in.

However aspirations of that were to be short lived when the boat listed one way
then the other. I groaned to myself knowing full well what was about to happen,
and before I knew it, I was standing on the side of the hull still half in the
sleeping bag, the bunk having tipped up as we had gone over. Probably not the
nicest way to have to get up! Inside the boat was relatively tranquil, albeit a
little disorienting with the boat being so far over the wrong way. Still
standing on the side of the hull I pulled my boots on then literally climbed
into the navstation on my way to getting on deck. --

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Among the thirty entrants in this non-stop, solo around the world race is
veteran Mike Golding sailing his Open 60 Ecover. Here are some of Mike’s
thoughts with less than a week before the November 9th start.

* Regarding the boat: "This boat has been a bit of a bugger since the beginning.
Someone asked me the other day: do you treat your boat like a person or a tool?
I had to admit it was more like a tool. This boat is definitely in the tool
department but hopefully it will do a good job for me and I suppose I might grow
to like it more as time goes on. I don't think I'll ever fall in love with her
but hopefully we can make friends. Right now we're not hitting it off, at all."

* Regarding the race forecast for downwind conditions: "This, I have to say, I
wouldn't mind at all because I think we are quite well placed for those
conditions and she'll [Ecover] do a good job. The strengths of the Owen Clark
designs are upwind and downwind. Reaching is our weakest point of sailing so I
know I'll have to work hard to hold my own reaching, harder than others I

Regarding his appraisal of the fleet: "I think from a total fleet angle you'd
have to look at Loick Peyron as having the most recent good track record. Also
Mich [Desjoyeaux], Vincent Riou, Seb Josse are all pretty strong contenders. And
from the UK I would say it's still, despite his problems, Alex [Thomson], and of
course Brian [Thompson]. I think Brian is probably sitting on the fastest boat.
The general consensus is that boat's got more potential than any other; with a
two metre bigger rig she's certainly the most powerful, but the question is, can
he fulfil her potential? “
Complete report:

A nervous week of waiting comes to a welcome end for the British solo ocean
racer Alex Thomson when his IMOCA Open 60 Hugo Boss emerged from the boat shed
last Friday ready to be slipped back into the water of Les Sables d'Olonne's
Port Olona early Saturday morning. To the untrained eye there is no obvious sign
of the substantial damage inflicted in a collision with a local fishing boat two
weeks ago, in the very early hours of Friday 17th October at the entrance to the
start port of the Vendée Globe, Les Sables d'Olonne.

A team of nearly 30, comprising specialist engineers, boat builders, riggers and
mast builders have completed the repairs to the mast of Hugo Boss which was
broken in two by the impact of the collision, and to a three metres by two
metres gash in the high tech carbon fibre laminate hull and the deck of the Open
60, have collectively worked more than 1000 man hours to ensure that the
perfectly repaired boat left the Alliaura Marine boatshed on schedule.

The carefully planned operation required a replacement sleeve to be
manufactured for the mast in Auckland, New Zealand where the mast was originally
built, a complete new set of standing rigging from Valencia in Spain, and a
perfect facsimile sections of the hull and deck to be manufactured in Vannes,
three hours north of Les Sables. -- Read on:

Annapolis, MD (Nov. 1, 2008) - At the end of four days of racing and with a
total of eleven races sailed in the widest possible range of conditions, Terry
Hutchinson and his crew aboard USA 751 Quantum Racing, are the new at the 2008
Melges 24 North American Champions. After crossing the finish line in fourth
place in the second of two extremely nervy races in Annapolis today, a delighted
Hutchinson immediately praised the performance of his crew which comprised
tactician Scott Nixon, Brian Janney, George Peet and Amy Ironmonger. "Seriously,
you cannot underestimate the significance of the team effort that has gone on
here this regatta. I have been the weak link on the boat and these guys have
pulled us through."

The Corinthian division for the all amateur crews competing at the championship
was dominated by Othmar von Blumencron USA 679 Gannet, adding the Corinthian
North American Championship to his 2007 Corinthian World Championship victory.
-- Complete reports from each day:

Final results (Top 10 of 49; eleven races)
1. Terry Hutchinson - 4, 2, 4, [9], 2, 6, 1,4, 1, 6, 4 = 35
2. Gabrio Zandona - 9, 6, 2, 1, [12], 8, 1, 3, 12, 4, 10 = 56
3. Flavio Favini - 2, 7, 1,2, 29, 3, [50/DNF], 7, 4, 2, 9 = 66
4. Dave Ullman- 1, 3, 3, 12, 4, 17, [50/DCS], 21, 5, 5, 1= 72
5. Chris Larson - 8, 8, 7, 6, 1, 7, 6, 9 [24], 7, 16 = 75
6. Morgan Reeser - 10, 4, 17, 8, 15, 12, [50/OCS], 2, 3, 1, 8 = 80
7. Bruce Ayres - 5, 9, 8, 4, 10, [15], 5, 6, 15, 8, 14 = 84
8. Brian Porter - 6, 10, 6, 10, 5, 24, [25], 1, 2, 9, 18 = 91
9. Alan Field - 18, [21], 5, 15, 9, 21, 9, 10, 11, 3, 2 = 103.00
10. Othmar Blumencron - 13, 12, 9, 7, 3, [14], 10, 12, 16, [21], 13 = 109
Complete results:

Photo gallery with images from Paul Todd and Stefano Gattinin:

Video interviews and race coverage:

* With $1,000 in cash on the line, Melges 24 teams competed in the Velocitek
Speed Challenge to see who would attain the highest 10 second average speed on
Oct. 30th, the second day of the Melges 24 North Americans. Chris Larson and
West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes won with a 14.9 knot speed average. --
Full report:

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Two years and two thousand miles separate the dramatic mid Atlantic wipe out
suffered by NE yachtsman, Ross Hobson, and the sad but exciting news that his
boat, the trimaran "Mollymawk", has found refuge on a beach in the Bahamas.

It was on the 8th November 2006 that Ross Hobson's leading position in his class
during the 3,550 mile Route du Rhum yacht race (St. Malo, France to Guadeloupe,
French Caribbean) came to a wet and dangerous end. Mollymawk (renamed Ideal
Stelrad for the race after the major sponsor) capsized in horrendous weather,
2000 miles from land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Ross endured eight
hours alone in the darkness in the upturned hull, unaware of the major search
and rescue events taking place to save him. At 2am on 9th November 2006 the
freighter Carmen homed in on Mollymawk's EPIRB and after a skilful demonstration
of ship handling took Ross onboard and delivered him safely back home.

The saddest part of the recovery was the fact that Ross had to leave behind his
beloved boat and give her up to the mercy of the Atlantic Ocean. Now Mollymawk
has been found! Last week she was discovered nestling on Eleuthera Island beach
in the Bahamas; 250 miles east of Miami, Florida and 2000 miles west of her near
tragic capsize. -- Read on:

* (Nov. 2, 2008) - Zack Railey scored an unbroken string of bullets in the Laser
class of the preliminaries of the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship
Regatta, and Ed Baird was similarly overpowering in the Hobie Wave class. But
guess what? The pros attending the event -- which is held in conjunction with
the Bitter End YC’s Pro Am Regatta in the BVI -- are not eligible to move up to
the SSC finals. The six finalists who will race for the crown in Hunter 215s on
Thursday are Steve Rossini, Jim Durden, Marlene and Mick Schlens, Gib Rachleff,
Joseph Motil and Tom Storey. --

* A bailout plan offered to the troubled German yard guarantees that production
can continue. For now. The government of the German state of North
Rhine-Westfalia offered a bank guarantee to the ailing sailboat builder Dehler
Yachts, the German magazine YACHT reported. This move came on the heels of an
audit of Germany’s third-largest builder of sailing yachts (behind Bavaria and
Hanse AG). Only last January, Dehler went on expansion course when it acquired
the Belgian Etap yard. How this development influences Dehler’s North American
business remains to be seen. -- Complete report:

* Emirates Team New Zealand’s move back into the accepted America’s Cup
Challengers’ fold may not be without penalty. Alinghi skipper, Brad Butterworth,
said that they (Team New Zealand) 'have their problems with the Arbitration
Panel, and still have, when they sued Ernesto and the Yacht Club when they
realised the Cup was not going to be in 2009.' The implication is that Team New
Zealand may still get hauled in front of the Arbitration Panel as a result of
breaching the 33rd America’s Cup Protocol because they had taken legal action,
and did not accept the prescribed adjudication process. -- Sail World, full

* Miami Beach, FL. (Oct. 31, 2008) - An aging, rusty boat carrying up to 42
people, including some migrants, ran ashore early Friday, killing at least three
people and sending Coast Guard rescue crews frantically searching for an untold
number of missing. The U.S. Coast Guard said it planned to search until dusk,
and had found 24 people by midday. As many as 18 people still could be lost, and
authorities weren’t sure if some of the passengers had made it safely to land.
-- Orlando Sentinel, read on:

* The Australian yachting federation, Yachting Australia, along with the
Australian Olympic Committee, have agreed to withdraw the sailing events from
Australian Youth Olympic Festival, scheduled to take place from January 14-18.
Last week, three of the six confirmed international teams have withdrawn, with a
further two stating that they do not intend to bring full teams. Most of the
teams have indicated that the current economic situation has been a major factor
in the decision to withdraw. -- Full report:

* The Royal Yachting Association has announced that it is to build a
multi-purpose sailing facility in Portland Harbour, Dorset, that will be a hub
for the sport in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games and beyond. The $6.4
million (U.S.) RYA Portland House project, located at the Castle Court
development in Portland, will provide accommodation and conference facilities
for the RYA, and, it is hoped, a competitive advantage for the British sailors
in the lead up to and during the 2012 Games. --Yachting Monthly, read on:

* Today more than 25 nations from all the continents have fleets of 25 or more
IRC boats. More than 7 000 yachts are IRC rated, which is a major part of the
international fleet using a rating system for racing. Moreover, this figure is
increasing each year (increase of 5 % so far this year). --

* Amsterdam, Netherlands - The Design Award METS (DAME) jury has short listed 53
products out of the 136 entered to win this year's competition at the Marine
Equipment Trade Show, which is the most prestigious marine products competition
in the world. A total of 136 products entered the DAME competition from 110
companies in 21 different countries. The winners will be announced prior to the
start of METS on November 18th. List of nominees:

* On a delivery from Rhode Island to South Carolina, a 44-foot sailboat was
overturned about 100 miles southeast of Atlantic City, N.J. when it was hit by a
rogue wave, injuring three and killing one person. Coast Guard rescue efforts
were hindered by the 40-mph winds and roughly 50-foot seas. -- Full story:

* (Oct. 31, 2008) Alain Thébault and his crew on l’Hydroptère have established
two new records: an average of 43,09 knots over one nautical mile and an average
of 46.146 knots over 500 meters (pending ratification). --

* CORRECTION: Last week it was stated that Francis Joyon was attempting to break
the singlehanded Discovery Route record, a 3,884 nautical mile couse between
Cadiz, Spain and San Salvador, El Salvador. Actually, the route is from Cadiz to
San Salvador in the Bahamas. Thanks to William Howe for his help.

Speed & Smarts is a bi-monthly newsletter full of race-winning advice on
boatspeed, tactics, strategy, rules and more! Subscribe today and get a FREE
copy of our special 16-page issue with David Dellenbaugh’s 100 best racing tips.
You’ll also get our next issue explaining the new 2009-2012 racing rules.

By Bill Springer, SAIL
I took advantage of the week after the Annapolis Boat Show to test a wide
variety of new boats. And no one designer of any of the new boats at this year's
fall shows illustrates variety better than Tim Kernan. Two of his designs--the
stiff, light, fast, Santa Cruz 37, AND the big, sturdy, offshore ready, Outbound
52 debuted this year. Kernan was on board during my test sail of the Santa Cruz
37, so I got to ask a few questions while we sailed out into a building breeze
off Annapolis. I wanted to learn what it's like to design two very different
boats as well as the design philosophy behind the Santa Cruz 37. He provides
insights on both boats:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

Special thanks to Doyle, Team McLube, and Speed & Smarts.

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