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SCUTTLEBUTT 2721 - Monday, November 10, 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 Team One Newport, U-K Halsey Sailmakers, and Ribcraft RIBs.

(Nov. 9, 2008) - The sixth edition of the Vendée Globe got underway with
hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the sea walls and clambering onto
precarious vantage points to give the 30 skippers the famous Les Sables d’Olonne
send-off. At the start it looked like Mike Golding on Ecover 3 was set for the
best start, but was OCS, while Alex Thomson showed great pace off the line in
Hugo Boss. It was defending champion Vincent Riou on PRB who got his nose in
front first, with Paprec-Virbac (Jean-Pierre Dick) and Sebastien Josse on BT
climbing to join him on the charge out to sea, Josse taking the lead after
around an hour of racing. Dee Caffari got a confidence-boosting flying top-five
start on Aviva, carrying full mainsail – as did Riou and Thomson, while the rest
of the fleet opted for a reef. -- Race website:

* The forecasters promise little time for the 30 skippers to find their feet,
but those who can maximise the gains through the first night have the best
chance of making an early break as they cross the 300 miles or so from the Les
Sables d’Olonne to Cape Finisterre before they slide south in lighter winds
paralleling the coast of Portugal. Conditions in the Bay of Biscay will see the
SW'ly wind, moderate at the start, gradually strengthen to 25 or 30 knots during
the night, then 30 to 35 knots with gusts reaching 40-45 knots. The NW'ly swell
mixed with a SW'ly wind will combine to create rough to heavy seas with waves
reaching 5 to 6 metres (16 to 18 feet).

* At around 20:00 Sunday (French time), Bernard Stamm had a collision with a
fisherman boat while he was working inside the boat. The bowsprit of Cheminees
Poujoulat is broken and after assessment by the skipper cannot be repaired at
sea. 72 miles after the start skipper turned around to head back to Les Sables
d’Olonne. He should arrive at around 2 or 3 o’clock early Monday morning.

* Dominique Wavre and his team have identified the electrical problem on
Temenos, which led the skipper to return to Les Sables d'Olonne. It was the
computer unit in the system, which had stopped working. A new part is on the way
from Lorient. The sailor is expected to set sail again on the next tide at
around eleven Sunday night (French time).

* The International Jury will be meeting to make a judgment concerning the fact
that four crewmen were still aboard Bahrain Team Pindar in the four minutes
leading up to the start.

* British yachtswoman Dee Caffari, who sailed into the record books in May 2006
by becoming the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world against the
prevailing winds and currents, hopes to complete the Vendee Globe, thus becoming
the first woman to sail solo and non-stop both ways around the world.

* The Vendée Globe Virtual Race is incurring problems due to the large number of
connections to the server, which race administrators hope to resolve soon.

Madrid, Spain (Nov. 9, 2008) - The ISAF Annual Conference is now in its fourth
day. Here are a couple of the issues discussed over the weekend:

* A new Advertising Code: Providing clearer text and increased space for class
advertising. Alberto Predieri (ITA), the President of the International 470
Class Association, an ISAF Committee member and part of the Working Party,
explained the thinking behind class advertising: “The most valuable space in on
the sails and the sailors should take value from that space. What we wanted to
avoid was to dilute the value of this space by forcing the sailors to carry a
class sponsor on the sails that may end with a big conflict with their own
sponsors. So we went down to the bow, where it is commonly agreed to have an
event sponsor, to make that space available to the class sponsor.”

* ISAF Youth World Championship: Future hosts, equipment used, adding an
additional event, and the relevance of the event for Olympic development.
Looking at the relationship between the Youth Worlds and the Olympic Games,
particularly in the context of events and equipment, Phil Jones, the CEO of
Yachting Australia and an observer at the meeting, posed the question, “Are we
leading or are we following?” The Sub-Committees response to this was to state
the championship must find the right balance. Firstly all agreed that the
Olympic pathway is a key element of the Youth Worlds, but Sub-Committee chairman
Fiona Kidd also stressed the championship must remain on the cutting edge, “Our
challenge for the future is to target our events and make sure they are what our
competitors want to be sailing in their future.”
Complete report:

The Volvo Ocean Race just finished an exciting first leg. Congratulations to all
the team and especially PUMA RACING. Be a part of the action and wear the
official gear by Puma. Team One Newport has the best selection of the t-shirts,
fleece tops, jackets, duffels and backpacks! These make great holiday gifts.
It’s also time to prep for the Acura Key West Race Week and Team One Newport has
the best crew uniforms! Call them at 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327) or visit

Their job list might not be huge, but PUMA Ocean Racing’s general manager Kimo
Worthington is keeping his staff busy until the Volvo Ocean Race fleet departs
for the 4,450nm second leg from Cape Town to Cochin, India on November 15th. The
American and his shore manager, Neil Cox, have hired five locals to their team
in an effort to get il mostro “as close to 100% as possible” ahead of the

Their motivation is obvious. “If we and the other boats do not get our repairs
done here, the chances are we won’t catch up,” Worthington says. “History shows
this is a critical stop. You either get it fixed or you don’t, especially as the
first leg traditionally brings a lot of damage because guys are racing for the
first time.”

His sense of urgency is enhanced by the change of race course and schedule.
Traditionally he would be preparing a boat for a charge east to Australia. This
time the fleet will be reaching their way north to Cochin in India.
Traditionally, the fleet would have in the region of 30 to 33 days here to
repair and prepare. This time they have 12. -- Read on:

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:

For the Americans, the new Olympic quad gets launched with the naming of the
2009 US Sailing Team Alphagraphics. Membership has its privileges, and while
there are typically several events used for team qualification, the only one
used to determine the top three teams in each event for 2009 will be the Miami
Olympic Classes Regatta in January. For the new women’s match racing event, the
qualifiers are more complicated as there are only four entrants permitted from
the U.S. to compete in the Miami OCR. To determine who can compete in Miami will
be decided in a mid-December qualifier hosted by St. Petersburg YC in St.
Petersburg, FL. Anyone interested in competing should contact Kenneth Andreasen
at before November 11th.

Francis Joyon sailed the maxi trimaran IDEC across the finishing line off San
Salvador at 02:06 UTC on Friday to break the solo Discovery Route record by 15
hours and 15 minutes, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record
Council. It is another record in an incredible year for Joyon, who smashed the
singlehanded round the world record in January.

Francis Joyon (FRA) had left Cadiz, Spain at 05:30:57 seconds UTC on Tuesday 28
October, before crossing the finishing line in San Salvador, the Bahamas to
complete the 3,885nm Discovery Route, named after the historical track taken by
Christopher Columbus, at an average speed of 16.4 knots. With a running time of
9 days, 20 hours and 35 minutes, he betters the current record, set by Thomas
Coville (FRA) onboard the 60-foot trimaran Sodebo in 2005 at 10 days, 11 hours,
50 minutes and 46 seconds, by 15 hours and 15 minutes.

Joyon and IDEC got off to a flying start on their record attempt, passing
through the Canary Islands little over 24 hours after starting the record
attempt in Cadiz. However from that point on the route proved much more complex,
with the French skipper having to take a very northerly course. In the end, he
actually covered a distance of 4,304 nautical miles, at an average speed of 17.7
knots. -- Full story:

There’s only one new book on the new rules (2009-2012) - and it’s terrific. What
makes this book especially good is its organization by tactical situations, not
by separate rules. So, it takes boat-to-boat encounters and explains what you
can/can’t (should/shouldn’t) do in tactical situations. We’ve got “2009-2012:
The Rules In Practice” by Bryan Willis in stock, ready to ship at $29.95 +S/H.
And Butch Ulmer’s rules blog gets you direct answers to any situations you’re
still unclear about. Willis and Ulmer have great credentials. Log on, order your
book, check out the animated quizzes and blog with Butch.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: A reminder that the racing rules get revised every four
years - timed after the Olympics. The latest update will go into effect in
January… have you read up on the new 3 boat length circle at marks?

by Jos Spijkerman, ISAF International Umpire
As told to me by an experienced umpire, about what he learned in younger

Once upon a time there was a friendly umpire at a nice event. He was enjoying
the sailing and had a great time flying his flags. Because he was in such a good
mood, he showed the green and white flag with extra zest and enthusiasm. But if
needed, he blew his whistle also extra loud for a blue or yellow penalty if he
thought it was an "extra" deserving penalty.

In Flight five, Match two, the two opponents were not very even. Yellow had
clearly been doing this a lot longer than Blue and in the second downwind leg
had almost an 80% lead. Our happy umpire was a good hundred meters away from the
windward mark, when he saw the boom of the Blue trailing boat, hit the orange
Mark. ~Let’s give them a break~ he thought, ~they are so far behind, I will
pretend I didn't see it, and not penalize them~

Five seconds later the halyard of the spinnaker on the Yellow boat broke with a
loud snap and the spinnaker dropped in the water. The boat all but stopped. The
crew immediately went to work to clear up the mess. Blue sailed on and halved
the distance. Yellow - still a good 40 meters away from the finish - struggled
to get the wet spinnaker out from under the bow. Blue found a little extra wind
and came closer and closer. Yellow still moved agonizingly slow.

Our happy Umpire started to worry a bit and he motored closer. -- Read on:

For every sailing area where races are organized, there is bound to be time
spent coordinating the race calendar, and for areas with multiple clubs, there
are bound to be conflicts too. With every effort needed right now to maximize
event participation, it is curious why overlapping events are planned. When
these events require significant sponsor support by both the event and the
competitors, the question shifts from curious to concern.

The situation now with the Volvo Ocean Race, the Vendee Globe, and the Portimão
Global Ocean Race occurring concurrently will repeat again in Oct/Nov 2010:

* VELUX 5 OCEANS - solo around the world Open 60 w/stops
* Barcelona World Race - doublehanded around the world Open 60 w/o stops
* Route Du Rhum - solo multi-class from France to Caribbean w/o stops

How do they all survive? The Open 60 has emerged as the preeminent ocean racing
class, and with each of these events relying on the class, why then divide the
fleet? Additionally, the IMOCA (the Open 60 class association) had previously
included both the V5O and the BWR in its World Championship Circuit, but now the
V5O is no longer part of the class schedule. Tim Kelly, VELUX 5 OCEANS
Communications Director, provides an explanation for the conflicts: -- Read on:

The BMW Oracle Racing team (USA) continues to train daily with the BOR 90
trimaran in San Diego, CA that may possibly be used in a Deed of Gift America’s
Cup match against the defending Alinghi team (SUI). Here are some recent quotes:

* Russell Coutts, team CEO: "When I jump on a horse I've got no control over the
horse. Some people know what to do, but I don't, and the horse pretty much knows
that. That's what I felt when I first jumped on this thing. It's like another
stratosphere in terms of the experience I've had and the sailing I've done. When
I step on this thing, it's just way different."

* Dennis Conner, past Cup winner: "It's quite the machine, isn't it? The whole
sailing world will benefit by having this out on the race course in a lot of
different ways. I applaud Larry Ellison for building this boat. I'd like to see
it race and I'd like to see Larry win because Alinghi is trying to shanghai the

* John Kostecki , BOR team member: "There's still a lot more sailing to go
before we're comfortable with it. Every single day we leave the dock, I
definitely feel like a test pilot, so to speak."
International Herald Tribune, complete story:

No matter where you looked, be it Annapolis, Barnegat Bay, Southern California,
or Long Island Sound, a record number of RIBCRAFT RIBs have carried coaches, set
marks, and hovered around the races this summer. Contact RIBCRAFT today to learn
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* (Nov. 9, 2008) - The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition to find the
world's top match racing nations in both open and women's events and to develop
match racing infrastructure around the world. The Nations Cup encompasses a
series of eight Regional Finals from September-December 2008, from which the top
team will qualify for the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, taking place in Porto
Alegre, Brazil from 23-28 March 2009. The 2008 North American/Caribbean Regional
Final were hosted by the Carolina Yacht Club and the College of Charleston on
November 6-9, 2008, with Americans Dave Perry and Anna Tunnicliffe emerging as
the winners. -- Daily reports:

* (Nov. 9, 2008) - As the boats in the 2008 Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas
International Yacht Race neared the halfway point, Doug Baker’s favored
Magnitude 80 retired from the race early Sunday morning for, at this writing,
unspecified reasons. Meanwhile, the three Santa Cruz 70s in the race --- Peter
Tong’s OEX, Ed McDowell’s Grand Illusion and Brack Duker’s Holua --- all were on
pace to break the race record of 3 days 3 hours 46 minutes 24 seconds set in
1985. Kevin Flanigan’s Fox 44, Ocelot, also retired Sunday morning. -- Daily

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the ratification of 2 new
world records set by Alain Thébault and a crew of 10 aboard Hydroptère on
October 29, 2008 at Port St Louis. France. A new D Class World Record was set
when the team averaged 46.15 knots along a 501.3 meters distance. Additionally,
this same team set a new Outright Nautical Mile World Record by averaging 43.09
knots along a distance of 1853.5 meters. The previous records of 44.81 knots and
41.69 knots respective were set in 2007 by the same team. --

* Valencia, Spain (Nov. 9, 2008) - America’s Cup class racing returned to the
site of the 32nd America’s Cup, with four teams joining 87 boats for the Trofeo
Desafío Español. On board Desafío Español, Laureano Wizner was at the helm,
while on Alinghi, TeamOrigin and Luna Rossa it was Murray Jones, Ben Ainslie and
Peter Holmberg steering, respectively. Six races were held for the ACC fleet,
and after the Alinghi team survived a first race where they ripped three
spinnakers through the gybes, they went on to win the next five races to win the
event, followed by Luna Rossa, TeamOrigin, and Desafío Español. -- Daily

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

Virgin Gorda, BVI (Nov. 7, 2008) - The 2008 Vineyard Vines Pro-Am Regatta will
undoubtedly be remembered as the “Ed Baird show.” The 2007 ISAF Rolex Yachtsman
of the Year asserted his mastery on the opening day by winning the first five
races and was never seriously threatened after that. Baird cruised to an
11-point win over the “tag team” of Paul Cayard and Morgan Larson, with Larson
jumping in after Cayard left to sail in the CNEV regatta in the Mediterranean.
Dave Ullman topped the Masters Division of the 15-race BVI regatta which was
sailed in IC24s at Bitter End YC, with guests of the resort crewing for the
eight invited pro skippers. Ullman finished third overall, just three points
ahead of the UK’s Keith Musto. In the Junior/ Master team competition, Baird and
Musto paired to outdistance Cayard/ Larson and partner Rod Johnsone by 23
points. -- Daily reports and photos:

I went to San Francisco; I found someone's heart. Now what? (Maybe it was Tony
Bennett’s heart:

Special thanks to Team One Newport, U-K Halsey Sailmakers, and Ribcraft RIBs.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at