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SCUTTLEBUTT 2725 - Friday, November 14, 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 Charleston to Bermuda Yacht Race, Charleston Race Week, and
Newport Shipyard.

Madrid, Spain (Nov. 13, 2008) - The ISAF Council held the first of three days of
meetings in Madrid today as the key decisions begin at the ISAF Annual
Conference. The work of the sub-committees have submitted their opinions, but it
is the ISAF Council that is the final decision-making body of ISAF, chaired by
the ISAF President Göran Petersson (SWE) and includes the seven Vice-Presidents,
28 representatives of ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) and one
representative each from the ISAF Classes, Offshore sailing and Women’s sailing.

To open the session, ISAF President Göran Petersson (SWE) reminded Council
members of their obligation, not just to represent their national groups, but to
consider issues from a global perspective, “I’m sure you’ll all exercise your
votes in accordance with the best interests of the sport worldwide, even if
sometimes that means national interests take second place,” said the President.

Among the decisions that will garner significant attention is the choice of
equipment for the 2012 Olympics, which will be the focus on Friday, and of the
ten events being decided, the one that could be most emblematic as to the
mindset of the ISAF Council is within the ranks of the Women’s 2 Person Dinghy.
The choice of boats is literally between old and new - the 470 versus the 29er
XX skiff. Here are excerpts from two reports in support of the future, filed by
Andy Rice:

* Cory Sertl, one of US SAILING’s representatives on ISAF Council, said: “It’s
surprising how strongly the skiff is gaining support. I think people are
realizing that younger sailors are being drawn to this kind of sailing. I look
at what younger people are sailing in the US; we sail a heavier, collegiate
version of the 420, which is not that exciting, and they look to the Olympics,
and they see the 470 which looks like a bigger version of the 420.”

* American Dina Kowalyshyn, vice chairman of the equipment control subcommittee,
feels it’s time that women get a boat that excites them, and that it’s time to
make amends for mistakes made in the past. “We didn’t supply equipment that was
right, and instead of giving them an exciting class we gave them the Yngling, a
decision that I’m embarrassed to say I was involved in. I think we’ve
disenfranchised an entire generation, and we need to make up for that. Women
deserve a chance to expand their skills. We’ve mastered the 470, let’s move on.”

* Andy Rice: “As an ex-470 sailor I have an affection for the venerable old
boat, but given that it's a fight between new skiff and old dinghy, I'd vote for
the skiff. The 470 has had its chance to attract hoards of women into Olympic
sailing. It's been moderately successful, certainly more so than the Yngling,
but it hasn't exactly been a runaway success. The 29er XX has a greater
likelihood of attracting young women into top-level competition. For that reason
alone, it deserves to succeed. Will ISAF Council see things the same way? I hope
so, but I'm not betting my house on it.”

29erXX set to topple the 470? -
Will Council vote for old or new? -
ISAF Annual Conference Meeting News -

The Charleston to Bermuda Yacht Race brings 70 foot sleds, 40 foot student
cruisers, Swans, Cats, and classic tall ships together for a good time. C2B is
all about having fun and experiencing a true blue water adventure May 29-June 6,
2009. --
Charleston also feels your pain! Charleston Race Week is rolling back the price
of shore passes to 2006, not increasing our registration fees, and continuing
our epic beach parties. Registration is less than half the cost of Key West.
Charleston Race Week registration is open, NOR posted - April 16-19, 2009. Come
enjoy the Lowcountry y'all! --

(Nov. 13, 2008) - The islands of Madeira are isolated in the Atlantic, 500 miles
from Lisbon and 250 miles north of the Canary Islands, running along the African
continent. For the Vendee Globe fleet heading south, these two island groups
also require tactical decisions on how to get around them, or specifically, how
to avoid the significant wind shadows that these volcanic formations present.
With the exception of Jean Le Cam (FRA), the lead group has timed their gybe to
port in the 20 knot NE’ly to sail a shorter course outside of the Madeiras, but
are running the risk of their shadow and the nominally lighter offshore winds.
More will be known on this decision in the next 200 miles, which is when the
fleet must negotiate the Canaries. Another observation is the hotter offwind
angles by new leader Loïck Peyron (FRA) - does the 3-time winner of the Transat
race know his boat better than his rivals? Time will tell. Good news for Bernard
Stamm who has restarted, while bad news for Alex Thomson who is forced to drop
out (see details below). -- Event website:

Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants)
1. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 22520.4 nm Distance to finish
2. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 8.2 nm Distance to leader
3. Jean Le Cam (FRA), VM Matériaux, 14.9 nm DTL
4. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 15.8 nm DTL
5. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 47.8 nm DTL
13. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 140.2 nm DTL
15. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 164.5 nm DTL
21. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 350.4 nm 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 (electrical) restarted Sunday night while 2001 winner Michel
Desjoyeaux on Foncia (water ballast/engine) restarted Tuesday morning. Bernard
Stamm, aboard Cheminées Poujoula, restarted Thursday morning following the
repair of a broken bowsprit, three damaged ballast compartments, the port dagger
board, and mast rigging.

>> Entrants that need repair (2):
* Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty, Groupe Maisonneuve: Work to repair the major
structural deck problems on the port and starboard sides of the coach roof
should allow for a Sunday evening restart.
* Derek Hatfield, Algimouss Spirit of Canada: Working on electrical and mast
track repairs. Assisted by a technical team from Bahrain Team Pindar, best
estimates now have Derek leaving port on the Friday morning tide.

>> Entrants that have officially retired (4):
* Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel - Dismasted.
* Yannick Bestaven, - Dismasted
* Marc Thiercelin, DCNS - Dismasted.
* Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss: Officially retired Thursday due to damage sustained
Monday night that is not deemed repairable by Wednesday's restart deadline. It
is thought the damage was sustained by a collision with a submerged object. In
addition to the transverse 5 meter crack that runs through the outer and inner
skin of the boat - wherein the outer skin was peeling off from the crack to the
back of the boat - there is also a 10cm x 10cm compression to the hull which has
pushed the core in and a deflection inside the hull. -- Complete report:

Amongst all the problems in the Vendee Globe fleet are the only two women that
remain in good shape, and have found themselves in close proximity thus far.
Here are their quotes:

* Dee Caffari: “I have just literally crossed gybes with Samantha on Roxy. We
chatted on the VHF and agreed that it has been great being close enough every
other day or so to chat together and to realise that we are not alone out here
in this massive ocean. It was a great morale boost the other day to chat after
the first 48 hours and that first cup of tea suggested by Sam was wonderful.
Even just sharing how we are feeling helps and that some decent sleep really
helps recovery physically and mentally. We all know this but to hear it from
someone else doing the same seems to hit the nail on the head.” --

* Samantha Davies: “I crossed tacks with Dee Caffari again, pretty close. We had
a chat on the VHF and she told me that she has found photos hidden by her team
around her boat; the Aviva boys obviously have "calendar" talent. Dee explained
that the photos of them were taken nude, with strategically placed objects to
hide certain areas of their bodies. She was laughing so much, and we were both a
bit sad that it wasn't daylight otherwise she would have tried to show them to
me! Anyway, she promised me that she would show me after the race.” --

Cape Town, S.A. (Nov. 13, 2008) - If Leg 1 was the old friend that you don’t
initially recognise, then Leg 2 is the glamorous, dark-eyed stranger casting
seductive gazes in your direction at a party. Your attendance at this rage is
required, with the bus departing Saturday at 13:00 (local), so let me introduce
you, as we’re all about to get to know each other a little better.

Back in the day, when Leg 2 was a rip-roaring,
padlock-the-halyards-to-the-cleats, last-one-to-Freo’s-a-sissy sort of affair,
there was only one way out of Cape Town – south. Go south, wait till it’s
blowing 40 knots (but in the Volvo Open 70, 25 knots is plenty) and then turn
left. Simple to say, not so simple to do - sailing at right angles to where you
want to go for days on end.

Race veteran, Marcel van Trieste once admitted (hopefully, it’s long enough ago
that the Navigators Union will allow me to make this revelation without legal
action), that he had resorted to changing the compass calibration. It had then
appeared to those on deck that they were going south-east, when they were
actually going west of south, so counter-intuitive were his instructions to the
watch captains.

But that was then, and this is now - we’ve already seen the fleet do exactly
this type of thing in Leg 1, when they sailed south from Fernando de Noronha
(BRA) until they hooked into the low pressure and cold front that brought the
leaders to Cape Town. The $64 question for this new-look Leg 2 to Cochin, India
is whether or not the old rule will hold true. After all, you don’t want to go
east now, but north-east - so surely, sailing south from Africa in search of
breeze is madness? -- by Mark Chisnell, read on:

* Green Dragon’s preparations for the second leg to were dealt a blow today when
they broke a spreader during a practice sail. The team were sailing upwind in 30
knots when the J4 lock strop broke and caused the head swivel on the sail to
break away and come down, damaging the tip of the third starboard spreader in
the process. It is a recurrence of a problem that first occurred in Alicante
prior to the race start, and while it is concerning that the cause still exists,
the team remains on track to start on time. -- Full report:

* The start of leg two is scheduled for November 15th (11:00 GMT/6:00 EST) on
Table Bay, with audio coverage found on the race website and video broadcast at

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:

WE GIVE THANKS... our customers who docked with us at Newport Shipyard during 2008. Without
you, the scene wouldn't be anything. Additionally, Dock Master Eli Dana notes,
“This has been our busiest fall period in a decade.” With yachts like Eleonora,
Knickerbocker, Windcrest, Chippewa, Freedom, Looking for Elvis, Four Jacks,
Kizbel and more now on the hard, our team of marine specialists and local
contractors are working long hours. During questionable times, it's essential to
have your boat running well! Complete details at

Three years ago, Seiko and the International 49er Class Association forged a new
kind of partnership in the world of sailing. Seiko became the sponsor of the
Class worldwide, and has supported the global growth of 49er sailing with an
innovative package of financial resource, equipment and aid for the development
of the sport in emerging markets.

Seiko and the 49er Class have now agreed to extend the partnership for a further
year, up to the end of March 2010. Under the terms of the new agreement, Seiko
will have a significant presence at the 49er World Championships in July in
Italy and the European Championships in Croatia in August, and will continue its
financial and technical support to the Class.

In addition, in an important expansion of the programme, Seiko will become the
sponsor of the 29er XX Class, a sister class to the 49er. As with the 49er
Class, Seiko will assist the 29er XX Class Association to develop the sport on a
worldwide basis and will support its efforts to achieve the highest levels of
international recognition. -- Read on:

* St. Petersburg, FL - College teams who have qualified to attend the ICSA Sloop
Nationals at St. Petersburg YC on November 21-23 are NY Maritime, St. Mary's,
Miami/OH, Notre Dame, Coast Guard, Brown, Western Washington, USC, South
Florida, and Texas. Teams of four will be sailing in Sonars. --

* This October marked the 6th anniversary of the BIG Team Regatta. Between
events in San Francisco and Annapolis, these regattas achieved a milestone,
helping to raise over $500,000 for the youth education and adaptive sailing
programs of Kids Set Sail, Reach The World, and the Treasure Island Sailing
Center. -- Full report:

* The National Marine Manufacturers Association this week eliminated 18
positions in its U.S. offices. Year-to-date, the Chicago-based association has
eliminated a total of 30 positions and made sharp cuts in its program expenses.
“Reducing our work force was a very difficult decision, but allows NMMA to
maintain a strong financial position and continue serving our members in this
challenging economic environment through our 23 boat shows, government
relations, marketing, engineering and other core association efforts,” NMMA
president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. NMMA now has a total of 124
employees. -- Soundings Trade Only, full story:

For the 'buttheads that weren't able to fit the 2008 Hong Kong to Vietnam Race
into their race schedule, Josh Tucker from North Sails brings us aboard his ride
- a TP52 called 'Freefire' with this week’s video. Imagine sailing 25-40kts...hitting a top speed of 28.2kts...and just
hauling the whole way.

Can't relate to the big boat scene? How about a J/80 riding gale Force 7 and 30+
knot gusts under big spinnaker on The Solent in the UK. Nose diving through
rough seas and full on sailing to the max flat out on the plane. Click here to
enjoy both videos:

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

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Peter Tong's record setting Santa Cruz 70, port tacking the Laser fleet
off the start line, AC class racing in Valencia, a new community sailing center
in Traverse City (MI), end of the season in Maine, the California entry in the
Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race, Reggio and Ullman sharing a laugh in
the BVI, and a slide show of Italian windsurfing legend Alessandra Sensini and
three-time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie of Great Britain - the 2008 ISAF
Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards winners. If you have images you would like
to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor. Here are this week’s photos:

* Thanks to Priscilla Parker who sent photos from the match racing at the
Nations Cup North American/Caribbean Regional Final in Charleston, SC:

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 Doran Cushing Sunny St. Pete, FL: The thought of being trapped under a
capsized boat is pretty frightening...maybe deadly. For those who might want to
take the safest route/precaution, the concept of "Spare Air" used by SCUBA
divers might be adapted for use by extreme sailors. The existing "tanks" weight
just over a pound and are bulky in sailing terms but maybe this is a new venture
for a marine entrepreneur? I can imagine it as an attachment to an inflatable
PFD...either spare air or a manually-inflated PFD. But not ever mandated by any
sailing authority or governmental agency. Here is a video of the Spare Air done
by Popular Mechanics:

* From Dave Wilhite, Bellingham, WA: For pure achievement my vote for ISAF
Sailor of the Year is Francis Joyon. My concern is that Ben Ainslie’s
accomplishment and selection might constitute a statement about a lack of global
cultural interest in dated and underutilized sailing instruments. It’s unclear
to me how pushing the win button yet again in a has-been class signals endurance
compared to Joyon’s dominant and unparalleled round the world performance. I
know what some are thinking, Finns are manly but I think there are better tests
for Mr. Ainslie.

Don't get me wrong; Ainslie is without a doubt incredibly skilled, yet "Sailor
of the Year" is apparently not simply about supreme sailing accomplishments but
more about battle on the bays of conquest. I’m not down on Ben; I’ve never met
him and read he's a great guy but his trophy only represents the sport as ISAF
views such endeavors. We’re being told the essence of sailing is buoy racing as
staged naval battles, over sailing as the first merchant vessel home. And may I
remind whoever reads this, as there are no deliverable commodities, there are no
cannons loaded with grapeshot either.

The reality is Rolex and the ISAF value battle tested war heroes above brutally
tough and equally crafty oceanic navigators, even though Joyon’s accomplishment
defines the pinnacle of human endeavor. So, Ben Ainslie, you won; you beat all
human comers in your discipline. Let’s see if you are man enough to beat nature
too. Now THAT would be sport!

* From Tim Dick, Sausalito, CA: I respectfully suggest that ISAF Rolex Sailor of
the Year Awards be titled more honestly in light of the egregious oversight of
Francis Joyon's stupendous upsetting of the non-stop solo RTW race: ISAF Rolex
Monohull Regatta Sailor Of The Year Award.

It is as if Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were ignored on their ascent
of Everest in favor of a new Half-Dome speed-climbing record by a repeat
previous winner.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at
the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." -
Helen Keller

Special thanks to Charleston to Bermuda Yacht Race, Charleston Race Week, and
Newport Shipyard.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at