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SCUTTLEBUTT 2724 - Thursday, November 13, 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, Ullman Sails, and J Boats.

Madrid, Spain (Nov. 12, 2008) - Italian windsurfing legend Alessandra Sensini
and three-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie of Great Britain confirmed
their status as sailing heroes when they were announced as winners of the 2008
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. The Awards are recognized as the
highest honors a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding
achievements during one year.

At 38 years old, Alessandra Sensini is no stranger to success and she added her
name to record books this year when she became the first woman to have ever won
four Olympic medals in sailing. Sensini's 2008 season began by winning the 2008
RS:X World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand and the HRH Princess Sofia
Trophy Mapfre in Palma, Spain. At Qingdao, the sailing venue for the Beijing
Olympic Games, Sensini posted impressive results finishing every race within the
top ten and ending the competition with the silver medal.

Ben Ainslie is also a familiar face at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
Awards, having won the Award twice before in 1998 and in 2002. At 31 years, he
is the only sailor to have won the Award three times. Ainslie is Britain's most
successful Olympic sailor with three gold medals and a silver. Following
Ainslie’s Gold Medal win at the 2004 Games, Ainslie won the Finn World
Championship four consecutive times before winning the gold medal once again at
the 2008 Beijing Games.

Complete report:

Madrid, Spain (Nov. 12, 2008) - The ISAF Annual Conference is now in its seventh
day. All the recommendations from different Committees will be collated and
compiled Wednesday night, ready for the start of the ISAF Council meeting, which
begins Thursday and continues through until Saturday. The key decisions on
Submissions and Olympic equipment are scheduled for Friday. Regarding the
Olympic equipment for the 2012 Games, the Event Committee is recommending to the
Council the following:

Ballot 1: Women’s Windsurfing - RS:X
Ballot 2: Men’s Windsurfing - RS:X
Ballot 3: Women’s 1 Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Ballot 4: Men’s 1 Person Dinghy - Laser
Ballot 5: Men’s 1 Person Dinghy (heavyweight) - Finn
Ballot 6: Women’s 2 Person Dinghy - 29er XX
Ballot 7: Men’s 2 Person Dinghy - 470
Ballot 8: Men’s 2 Person Dinghy (high performance) - 49er
Ballot 9: Women’s Keelboat Match - equipment decided at a later date
Ballot 10: Men’s Keelboat - Star

The only changes in equipment from the 2008 Games were in Ballots 6 and 9 (and
also the loss of the multihull event). For the Women’s 2 Person Dinghy, it was a
close vote in favor of the 29er XX over the incumbent 470, with the decision
seen as a move to develop the sport and create a new pathway for young female
sailors. Women’s Keelboat Match is a new event, and there is a desire to
maintain it as a non-equipment driven event, thus delaying for now the type of
boat to be used. However, in the event that the Council disagrees with this
position, the Events Committee voted in favor of the selection of the Elliott 6m
by a large majority. -- Complete report:

Full list of nominated equipment:

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Ground tackle setup:

(Nov. 12, 2008) - With the Vendee Globe fleet now clear of the Bay of Biscay,
and the horrific boat breaking waves and 40+ knot wind speeds that had pummeled
their close hauled course, a left turn has taken the Open 60’s offwind down the
Portuguese coast, with the leaders now adjacent to Gibraltar - the gateway to
the Med. Seb Josse (BT), whose inshore course has skirted the edge of the Azores
high pressure system, also allowed him to gybe inside the fleet and into the
lead. The whole of the fleet is gliding along downwind under spinnaker in a
north to north-easterly flow at 15-20 knots. The seas are calming and the air
and sea temperatures are rising, making conditions much more comfortable for
this solo, non-stop event that hopes to reach the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne
(FRA) by February. -- Event website:

Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants)
1. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 22865.5nm Distance to finish
2. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 4.1nm Distance to leader
3. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 8.8nm DTL
4. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 18.0nm DTL
5. Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB, 28.2nm DTL
12. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 62.3nm DTL
13. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 64.4 nm DTL
21. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 203.8nm DTL

Damage Update
Vendée Globe rules stipulate that if they suffer damage, competitors may only
return to Les Sables d’Olonne to carry out repairs before heading off again.
They must cross the start line by 13:02 on 19th November. Dominique Wavre aboard
Temenos II restarted Sunday night while 2001 winner Michel Desjoyeaux on Foncia
restarted Tuesday morning.

>> Entrants that need repair (4):
* Bernard Stamm, Cheminées Poujoula - Bowsprit is repaired and mast restepped;
should restart Wednesday evening.
* Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty, Groupe Maisonneuve: Arrived in Les Sables d'Olonne
Tuesday night with major structural deck problems on the port and starboard
sides of the coach roof. Repair time estimate is 2 to 3 days.
* Derek Hatfield, Algimouss Spirit of Canada: Working on electrical repairs and
pulled rig out to repair mast track. Hatfield’s biggest concern now is his
* Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss: Arrived Wednesday morning, hauled the boat, and
described the hull damage as a transverse crack running through the outer and
inner skin of the boat. The crack extends 5 metres along the post side to almost
centreline. The unidirectional fibres that make up the outside layer of the boat
have peeled off from the start of the crack to the back of the boat. The team
notes the damage may have been caused by a submerged object, and will decide by
Thursday if they will attempt a repair.

>> Entrants that have officially retired (3):
* Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel - Dismasted
* Yannick Bestaven, - Dismasted
* Marc Thiercelin, DCNS - Dismasted

Cape Town, S.A. (Nov. 12, 2008) - "Can we have the icebergs back?" joked Bouwe
Bekking, the skipper of Telefonica Blue. It's not a common request, but then the
challenges of the new route are not particularly common either. Instead of
dodging icebergs and braving Southern Ocean storms, the crews lining up for the
4,450nm second leg from Cape Town to Cochin, India beginning on November 15th -
and indeed the two further trips through Asia after that - are taking measures
to ensure the threats of piracy and collisions with small unlit fishing vessels
are minimized. -- Read on:

* SECOND LEG SCORING: Following the start, the fleet may initially enjoy
westerly winds to make some easting, but then it'll make a hard left turn
northwards to the finish port of Cochin, India. Along the route is a scoring
gate, which will award 4 points to the first boat to pass, 3.5 to second, 3 to
third and so on. The scoring gate is at 058 East longitude, approximately 2,000
nautical miles from the start. There's no intersecting latitude point; the fleet
simply has to get east to cross the line of longitude to collect the points.

The race committee presumably left the scoring gate open to give the fleet a
routing option. Sailing north after clearing the Cape of Good Hope means a
shorter distance to the finish, but more miles to 058E longitude. Sailing a
great circle route to the scoring line means a quicker trip to the points, but
longer distance to the finish, where the points are double that of the scoring
gate. The overall points winner of this leg may be the team that balances both
scoring opportunities the best. -- Full report:

* PUMA OCEAN RACING: Bowman Jerry Kirby has revealed that business interests in
America will keep him out of the team’s offshore crew until leg five. It was
announced last week that the 52-year-old veteran was making way for an
undisclosed amount of time, but Kirby, whose construction company employs 130
people, confirmed he would return after taking care of business at home.
Initially that will be for the Singapore in-port race, but his offshore return
will come when the team sets sail in February on the 12,300-nautical mile
marathon from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. -- Read on:

Overall Leaderboard (Team - Skipper - Total points)
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 14 points
2. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 13 points
3. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 11 points
4. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 10 points
5. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 7 points
6. Anders Lewander/SWE, 5 points*
7. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Ger O’Rourke/IRL, 4 points
8. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 4 points
*Scoring penalty:
Race website:

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* Sailors and their friends can walk in and register on the spot for the Race
Management Seminar this Friday, November 14, and the One-Design Symposium
November 15-16 at the Atlanta Yacht Club (Acworth, GA). Join Dave Perry, Greg
Fisher, Craig Leweck and many other one-design experts for a fun and educational
weekend. Race Managers can receive credit toward certification by taking the
one-day course on Friday. --

* (Nov. 12, 2008) - In a race dominated by Santa Cruz 70s, it was of little
surprise that Ed McDowell’s Grand Illusion, skippered by Patrick O’Brien, was
first overall on corrected handicap time under both PHRF and ORR systems in the
804-nautical mile 2008 Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race
hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. Bob Lane’s Andrews 63, Medicine Man, raced to
first in PHRF and ORR Division I, and fourth overall. Missing from the podium
was Doug Baker’s Andrews 80, Magnitude 80, losing its mast early on the second
day. -- Complete report:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the ratification of a new
Singlehanded World Record from Cadiz to San Salvador, which was set by Francis
Joyon (FRA) aboard the 98ft Trimaran "Idec". Completing the passage from 28th
October to the 7th November 2008, Joyon’s elapsed time for the 3884 nm route was
9 days 20 hours 32 minutes 23 seconds for an average speed of 17.91 kts. The
previous record of 10d 11h 50m 46s was set by Thomas Coville (FRA) aboard the
60-foot "Sodebo" in July 2005. --

* Dean Barker and Ben Ainslie are amongst the 12 confirmed skippers competing
for the New Zealand Match Racing Championships. The Open entry list comprises 10
men and two womens crews. The event, managed by the Royal New Zealand Yacht
Squadron, will be in Auckland on November 26-30, 2008. -- Full list:

State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has thrown his support behind America’s
first west coast entry in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. The race
organisers Clipper Ventures Plc announced that California will field a racing
yacht in the next edition of the biennial event and host a stopover when the
fleet races in from China in April 2010. California will compete against nine
other internationally sponsored ocean racing yachts in a gruelling 35,000-mile
circumnavigation of the globe.

On September 13, 2009, the Clipper fleet will set sail from the Humber in the
north east of England returning on 3 July 2010 after ten months of ocean racing
and 14 port stopovers. The only round the world yacht race for non-professional
sailors brings together crews from all walks of life and different nationalities
who are joined by the desire to take on the challenge of a lifetime and
represent their countries on a global stage. -- Complete report:
Governor’s message:

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Reader commentary is encouraged, with letters to be submitted to the Scuttlebutt
editor, aka, ‘The Curmudgeon’. Letters selected for publication must include the
writer's name, and be no longer than 250 words (letter might be edited for
clarity or simplicity). You only get one letter per subject, and save your
bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere. As an alternative, a more open
environment for discussion is available on the Scuttlebutt Forum.

-- To submit a Letter:
-- To post on the Forum:

* From David Pike, Western Australian: It is very sad to hear of any boating
accident, especially the circumstance of Mr. Wenner as I have sailed in 18 foot
skiffs for over 15 years. I was wondering if Mr Wenner was wearing a life vest,
and if so, whether this may have caused the problem. It should be noted that the
18 foot skiffs are the only sailing vessel (apart from Yachts) that have an
exemption from wearing life vests for the very reason that if you capsize and
end up under the trampoline (which is quite common), then you have to swim DOWN
to get out from under the trampoline to then come to the surface. If you have a
vest on you can be trapped. I thought it might be useful for the Scuttlebutt
readers to be aware of this exemption to help avoid tragic accidents in the

* From Mike Blecher: As a parent active in junior sailing in Southern
California, I knew "PJ" since he was a little kid, and watched him grow into a
fine young man and an accomplished sailor. This awful accident is a sobering
reminder that sailing, while an exciting, often breathtaking, sport, is an
activity not without risk. Acceptance of that risk to enjoy a day of racing or
cruising separates sailors from those that would be happy spending that same day
sitting on the couch with a bag of chips and a video game. I am glad to have
known PJ, and my heart just aches for his parents, Peter and Suzie, and the rest
of the Wenner family. Rest in Peace, PJ.

* From Siebe Noordzy, Euro Marine Trading, Inc., Newport, RI: Over the years I
have read about these tragic accidents happening with crew members getting
trapped under an overturned multi hull. Has anybody ever considered equipping
safety boats with a scuba set? With proper training of both safety officers and
crew members to get a scuba set to a trapped person, it would provide ample time
to free the person. Perhaps something to think about.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I know that whenever BMW Oracle Racing trains on their
BOR 90 trimaran, they are followed by support boats with scuba divers. It is
likely hard for every trapeze boat to have similar support, though in this
instance, there was a support RIB following the skiff at the time of the
accident. Here are a couple of links with information and adoration:

Facebook group site in support of Peter:
ESPN College Sports:

* From Jenny Howells, IRC Manager, RORC Rating Office: There is currently a
rumor circulating that the IRC rating increase for composite standing rigging is
going to be removed for 2009. While it is true that the IRC Technical Committee
is looking at the rating cost of composite standing rigging, it is unlikely that
there will be any change at all. If there is, it will be small. There is
certainly no intention for 2009 of removing the rating cost for composite
standing rigging.

* From Peter Ingram, Brighton: Tuesday night saw the ISAF Rolex sailors of the
year awards, this prestigious award went to two very special and talented
sailors Ben Ainslie and Alessandra Sensini. It seems strange that Alessandra was
picked out of the list of nominees as winner. While one cannot question her
ability, we must remember this was the 'Sailor of the Year' award (year being
from 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008) and not a lifetime achievement award.

Whilst Alessandra won a World Championship in 2008 she did not win a Gold Medal
in Beijing (she won Silver). Is ISAF telling us they consider a World
Championship in an Olympic year is more important that a Gold Medal? I see that
Ayton, Webb and Wilson won a Yngling World Championship, European Championship
and Gold in the same year, Rechichi and Parkinson won Olympic Gold in the 470,
and Tunnicliffe earned a Laser Radial Gold (and what about Jian Yin… she took
Gold too). Did Alessandra achieve excellence greater than them? More ISAF
strange handshakes?

* From Rowan Maxwell: With some of the Americas cup challengers “negotiating”
with Alinghi, it will be interesting to see if they are pressured into allowing
Alinghi to take part in what used to be called the Challengers Series.

In order to preserve one of the main attractions of the Cup - the mystery
associated with the relative boat speeds in America’s Cup races proper - then a
possible response could be to (as a block) undertake to lose to Alinghi. This
way, Alinghi cannot judge their true speed and Alinghi cannot influence the
outcome of the challenger series. If Alinghi does wish to affect the outcome,
then they themselves would want to lose certain races as well, thereby creating
a potentially entertaining spectacle of who can sail the slowest (eg, spearing
off on a header, selecting heavy weather sails on a light day, etc.) or they
could disqualify themselves by doing something illegal such as dropping the
mainsail by means of a man up the mast in full view of the impartial TV

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the
inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” - Winston

Special thanks to, Ullman Sails, and J Boats.

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