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SCUTTLEBUTT 2720 - Friday, November 7, 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 Melges Performance Sailboats and Ultimate Sailing.

A lifelong passion for sailing led Tufts alum Alex Jackson toward the
achievement of a lifetime: breaking the transatlantic sailing speed record.
“I’ve always been kind of intrigued by [the idea of crossing the Atlantic],”
Jackson said. “I spent a lot of time sailing dinghies, and I spent time sailing
with Mike Sanderson, who won the last Volvo Ocean Race, so he and I got together
and designed the speed boat with Juan [Kouyoumdjian]. Mike and Juan are the only
two people in the world with the knowledge of how to control a boat that
powerful. To actually physically sail the boat requires a lot of expertise.”

While Jackson credits much of his crew as world-class sailors, he himself was an
All-American honoree while sailing at Tufts. “Tufts was great,” Jackson said. “I
spent a lot of time sailing, [and] it was a central part of what I did when I
was there. After I left, I stopped sailing as much because of work. Tufts was
where I reached the pinnacle of my expertise … The sailing team at Tufts is of a
very high caliber, and it was a very motivating activity.” -- The Tufts Daily,
full story:

* Jackson’s boat, the 99-foot Speedboat which had been rebranded Virgin Money
for the recently aborted transatlantic record attempt, is currently in Bermuda.
The plan now is to move the boat to Florida and consider some of the winter
events such as the 810nm Montego Bay Race from Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica, the
605nm Caribbean 600 amid the West Indies, and Antigua Sailing Week. A summer
schedule is also being evaluated before another record attempt in Fall 2009. For
Jackson, more immediate plans include the Melges 32 winter circuit in Florida
where he will reportedly be joined by David Ullman. --

The climax of the 2008 World Match Racing Tour is the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia
which will be sailed from December 3-7, 2008. The Monsoon Cup is the last stage
of the 2008 Tour that has included nine events hosted on four continents.

The pressure is on for the 2007 Monsoon Cup winners and 2006-2007 World
Champions, Bahrain Team Pindar skippered by Ian Williams, who must beat France’s
Sebastien Col to retain the World title. Additionally, the current World number
one ISAF ranked sailor Frenchman Mathieu Richard is also a mathematical threat.
Here are the top five positions from the leader board going into the Monsoon

1. Ian Williams, GBR Bahrain Team Pindar, 92 pts.
2. Sebastien Col, FRA French Team/K-Challenge, 88
3. Mathieu Richard, FRA French Team/French Spirit, 77
4. Adam Minoprio, NZL ETNZ/BlackMatch, 53
4. Torvar Mirsky, AUS Mirsky Racing Team, 53
Scoring rules:

The Melges 20 class is growing as this exciting new boat tours the country. The
Melges 20’s are on their way to Houston, Texas where John Kolius and KO Sailing
will be giving test drives on Saturday, November 8. The Melges 20’s will remain
there for an additional 10 days. The next stop: Macatawa Bay in Michigan on
Saturday November 22. Stay tuned to and so that you have
the opportunity to see this hot new sportboat up close! --

The current system in selecting the Olympic equipment (ie, the boats used for
each Olympic event) is that the issue gets revisited every four years, which
translates to the equipment potentially getting changed after every Olympics.
While it might be nice for ISAF to have this kind of flexibility, it also puts a
great strain on the sailors and countries in terms of long term planning. For
the sailor putting together a two quad program, there is no promise that what is
gained during the first quad will be applicable for the second campaign. Not a
good situation.

A new feature for Olympic athletes for this quad will be the ISAF Sailing World
Cup, which is a seven race series that will be used to heighten the focus of
Olympic sailing. However, a problem that the early World Cup events are faced
with is in how to deal with the newest event: Women’s Match Racing. The first
event is Sail Melbourne in Australia (December 16-21, 2008) and it has not
included the match racing event in their Notice of Race. The next event is the
Rolex Miami OCR (January 25-31, 2009), with US SAILING choosing to supply the
boats for the women’s match racing, wherein 12 Laser SB3 boats will be used.

There are 1392 days until the 2012 Summer Olympics, athletes around the world
are plotting their future campaigns, and nobody knows what equipment will be
used. The equipment decision will be made next week at the ISAF Annual Meeting…
I for one can’t wait, but remain wondering why the current system requires that
I do. -- Scuttleblog,

Two of the top Volvo Ocean Race teams have announced crew changes for the
4,450nm second leg from Cape Town to Cochin, India on November 15th. Here are
the reports:

* PUMA Ocean Racing has announced that veteran duo Jerry Kirby (bowman) and
Jonathan McKee (trimmer/driver) will be rested for the forthcoming leg to India.
The American pair, aged 52 and 48 respectively, will be replaced for the
4,450-nautical mile trip to Cochin by Shannon Falcone of Antigua
(trimmer/pitman) and New Zealand’s Robbie Naismith (trimmer), a previous race

According to the team’s general manager Kimo Worthington, the move was taken to
preserve freshness within the team. Worthington revealed it was a policy of the
team to rotate crew throughout the 37,000-nautical mile epic, but would not
divulge when Kirby and McKee might return. He said: “We are evaluating the legs
and seeing who is suitable for what the guys are going to face. Over the race a
lot of people will be coming on and a lot off, but we won’t say who and when. --
Full report:

* Martin Stromberg has recovered from a hand injury in time to take his place
onboard Ericsson 3 for leg two from Cape Town to Cochin, India. The Swede, 26,
was forced to miss the first leg after breaking bones in his left hand during a
practice session at the team’s training base in Lanzarote in August. It paved
the way for Norwegian Star sailor Eivind Melleby to join the team as they
scooped a stunning third place finish into Cape Town, but now the pair will swap
back and Stromberg can resume his duties as a trimmer. -- Full report:

Overall Leaderboard (Provisional)
1. Ericsson 4, 14 points
2. PUMA, 13 points
3. Green Dragon, 11 points
4. Telefónica Blue, 10 points
5. Telefónica Black, 7 points
6. Ericsson 3, 5 points*
7. Delta Lloyd, 4 points
8. Team Russia, 4 points
*Scoring penalty:

The thirty boat Open 60 fleet is near ready for the November 9th start in Les
Sables d’Olonne, France, but one entrant needed a unique solution to deal with
an unanticipated problem:

The Alex Thomson Racing team has been in high gear to repair the hull, mast, and
rigging of their Open 60 Hugo Boss following its disastrous encounter with a
fishing boat off Les Sables d’Olonne on 17th October, on her way to the Vendee
Globe start line. Re-launching the boat last weekend, they emerged after 2-3
days of extensive sea trials to discover there was a chaffing problem with the
main halyard. Apparently, the alloy chaff plate within the mast had corroded
from the time the mast spent on the sea bed following the collision, an issue
that the shore team was unable to anticipate as they could not see that area
inside the mast.

The solution? They used halyards covered in hard jackets, which were wound up
and down under load with the aim to polish the chaff plates, and prevent the
chaffing. Continuously for 15 hours (throughout the night), the team devised a
shift system to hoist the halyard up and down the mast, a total of 1800 times.
They determined that this hoisting represented 50% of the wear and tear the
halyard would experience during the 26,000 miles around the world, and are now
content with the results to the halyard during this polishing and testing. --
Race website:

Sharon Green presents her annual portfolio of colorful, exhilarating images of
competitive sailing. $18.95 each, two or more just $16.95. Visit the website for
new Ultimate Sailing merchandise or call 800-827-3186 to order. --

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: If you're not sailing as much as you would like to be
(that’s pretty much all of us), Sharon’s calendar nicely fills the voids.
Definitely a no-brainer gift for loyal crew, family, and friends. Preview:

* Even in its sixth edition, the Vendée Globe still attracts a huge number of
public in les Sables d’Olonne. What is the recipe for this success in your
> Christophe Baudry, Vendée Globe Communication Director: “First of all,
offshore single handed sailing is part of the French culture. But the event is
also very popular and we work hard to keep this. We’ve had over 550’000 visitors
since the opening of the village three weeks ago. That’s 25’000 people a day
during the week and 85’000 over the week-ends.

* What does the public get; what structure have you put in place?
> BAUDRY: "The access to the event is free for the public. That means people can
walk on the pontoons, see the sailors and look at the boats in detail. The Race
Village is spread over 15,000 square meters. There is an exhibition about the
history of the race, a space for kids (we’ve had 10,000 of them with their
classes), a space for the event’s partners, a restaurant, bars and much more."

* Compared with the Volvo Ocean Race, the Vendée Globe doesn’t provide many
hospitality opportunities. What return do you offer to your partners?
> BAUDRY: "The Race Village opens three weeks before the event and provides many
opportunities to our partners. For example, PRB welcomes 500 visitors a day
during the entire period; that’s a lot of people. There is also a Race Office in
Paris, established at the bottom of the Tour Montparnasse on a 700 sqm space.
This office is open to the public and the event’s partners don’t need to pay to
use it. We’ve put a 3’300 sqm banner on the Tour Montparnasse, visible all over
Paris. Finally, there will be a smaller village in Les Sables for the arrival of
the race. It’s also important to note that we have only three main partners:
Conseil Général de Vendée, Ville des Sables d’Olonne and Sodebo (three
institutional partners and one private). Their visibility is good, and not
diluted with too many stickers. The official suppliers can use the event logo
but they don’t get a direct visibility." -- World Yacht Racing Forum, complete

I hope I am not the only one who has gotten reeled in by the sense of adventure
that these around the around the world races have presented. The boats are
leading edge, the conditions are unforgiving, the weather and communication
systems are real time,… and I am finally learning my world geography. The teams
have attracted elite sponsors, race villages are hosting huge spectator
turnouts, and the quality of online reporting has never been higher. Yes, these
races are good for the sport… but do we really need three at once?

Beginning next week, there will be three going on at the same time. I get the
fact that you need to leave Europe in the fall to balance the seasons in the two
hemispheres, but can’t we balance the schedule so there aren’t three at once?
Wouldn’t it be nice for the sponsor to reap the benefits of total media exposure
as opposed to divided exposure? Or how about the sailors who must choose between

Here is the line-up of around the world races:
> Volvo Ocean Race: 8 crewed VO70 teams w/ stops
> Vendee Globe: 30 solo Open 60s w/ no stops
> Portimão Global Ocean Race: 2 solo Open 40, 4 dbl Class 40 w/ stops

The flooding from daily team media releases shall commence soon…yipee! --

* Virgin Gorda, BVI (Nov. 6, 2008) - It all came down to the final race, but
getting the gun was not quite enough for defending champion Jim Durden. That
victory in the four-race finals of the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club
Championship Regatta still left Durden a single point behind the new champion,
Mick Schlens, who campaigns both a Melges 30 and an Express 37 in Southern
California. Concluding on Friday will be the Vineyard Vines Pro-Am Regatta at
the Bitter End YC, where the Junior/ Master team of Ed Baird and Keith Musto
currently hold a 23-point lead over a field of top pro sailors. -- Photos:

* Louis Vuitton has announced the names of the 12 teams from 11 countries which
will compete in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland, New Zealand next
February. The aim of the regatta is to allow all former Louis Vuitton Cup
competitors to get back on the water and compete in a friendly match race
series. They will arrive in Auckland on January 23rd in order to familiarise
themselves with the boats, which have been loaned for the regatta by BMW Oracle
Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. Two weeks of match racing competition
begins on January 30th. -- Complete report:

* Eight of the fastest monohulls on the West coast start Saturday, Nov. 8 from
just off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier on their 800-nautical mile run in
the 2008 Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race hosted by Long
Beach Yacht Club. Coming to the line for the 12 noon start will be Doug Baker’s
Andrews 80, Magnitude 80; Per Peterson’s Andrews 70, Alchemy; Bob Lane’s Andrews
63, Medicine Man; Peter Tong’s Santa Cruz 70, OEX; Ed McDowell’s Santa Cruz 70,
Grand Illusion; Brack Duker’s Santa Cruz 70, Holua; Kevin Flanigan’s Fox 44,
Ocelot, and Chris Slagerman’s Peterson 68, Cheetah. -- Full report:

* VI Raceweek, a combination of the St. Thomas International Rolex Regatta, BVI
Sailing Festival, and BVI Spring Regatta, is back by popular demand. The three
events are back to back, March 27 - April 5, and within twelve miles of each
other in the Caribbean. Add to the mix of racing and partying in the tropics,
prizes for winning the IRC division are a week's holiday on St. Thomas at the
Frenchman's Cove Resort and the CSA division prize is an all inclusive week's
stay at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI. -- Full details:

The Scuttlebutt website has a special self-serve section for posting event
reports, and this can be done by anyone. The top five event reports now posted
Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship and Pro Am Regatta 2008
Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race 2008
Louis Vuitton Pacific Series 2009
Lightning Frigid Digit Regatta 2008
J/22 East Coast Championship 2008

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Nov 6-9 - ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final - Charleston, SC
Nov 7-9 - Kennedy Cup - Annapolis, MD
Nov 8-9 - Thistle Invitational - San Diego, CA
View all the events at

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt are
from the Cabo race, the Frigid Digit Lightning Regatta, the IRC East Coast
Championship, the US Presidential election, the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club
Championship Regatta, the 505 Europeans, plus some extreme testing in
Christchurch, NZ and Walvis Bay, Namibia. If you have images you would like to
share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

* If you missed it earlier this week, here is a photo gallery from the Melges 24
North Americans with images from Paul Todd and Stefano Gattinin:

David Brookes, Executive Director, International Hobie Class Association: "Forty
years ago six friends sailed their Hobie 14's in the very first Hobie Regatta.
Forty years later, the success of Hobie Racing can be best explained by the
designer of the Hobie 14 and Hobie 16, Hobie Alter. Hobie's philosophy has been
‘it has to be fair and it has to be fun’, which has helped make the Hobie 14 and
16 to become the largest two catamaran classes. Click here for this week’s video
of the 40th Anniversary Hobie Regatta held on October 4-5, 2008:

* If you have a video you like, please send your suggestion for next week’s
Video of the Week to

"A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the
herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed
first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the
general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular
killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only
operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we
know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain
cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker
brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why
you always feel smarter after a few beers."--Cliff Clavin on Cheers explaining
the "Buffalo Theory".

Special thanks to Melges Performance Sailboats and Ultimate Sailing.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at