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SCUTTLEBUTT 2726 - Monday, November 17, 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 Spars & Rigging, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and Speed &


For the second consecutive year ISAF Council has ignored the recommendations of
its expert committees and sub-committees and opted - as it invariably does - for
the status quo. I suppose any of us that wanted progress should be happy that
the 29erXX even made it this far, and the 19:16 vote suggests it is only a
matter of time before the women get their high performance double-hander. The
trouble is that in the Olympic world, 'a matter of time' is measured out in
batches of four years.

The earliest that women will now be able to compete for a medal in a modern high
performance skiff is the 2016 Games, which would mean the women got their high
performance boat 16 years after the men got theirs, the 49er having first
appeared in Sydney 2000. It's a sad indictment of the inherent conservatism and
lack of vision of ISAF's top table. Remember that ISAF Council can't even take
credit for the 49er's inclusion. That was the then-President of ISAF, the
maverick Paul Henderson, who railroaded the 49er past the selection process.
Sometimes dictatorship gets better results than democracy.

So who voted 470 and who voted 29erXX? Er, we don't know, because it was a
conducted under a secret ballot. And only yesterday Goran Petersson was telling
us: "it is the Council who are the true democratic voice of ISAF." And here was
me thinking that openness and accountability were the underpinnings of a
democratic process. - SailJuice website, full story:

* The Greg Elliott designed, Elliott 6 Metre, was selected as the equipment for
the new Women's Match racing Event for the 2012 Olympic sailing regatta in
Weymouth. Elliott becomes the first New Zealander to have one of his designs
used in the Olympic Games. It is likely that Elliott (who also designed the
giant 140fter Mari Cha IV) will continue to work with the ISAF to establish the
new class and make small modifications to the design, and it may become known as
the ISAF 6 Metre. Probably the biggest advantage of the new yacht will be its
use in fleets purchased by countries to both develop match racing at all levels,
but also for sail and youth training. -- Richard Gladwell, New
Zealand newsletter

Classes selected by the ISAF Council to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games:

Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser

Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy - Finn

Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470

Men's Two Person Dinghy High Performance - 49er

Men's Windsurfer - RS:X

Men's Keelboat - Star

Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial

Women's Windsurfer - RS:X

ISAF website:


* Göran Petersson of Sweden has been re-elected to serve a second term as
President of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) at the ISAF General
Assembly in Madrid, Spain. The seven Vice-Presidents for the next four years
were also elected: Tomasz Holc (POL); Nazli Imre (TUR); David Irish (USA);
Teresa Lara (VEN); Teo Ping Low (SIN); Alberto Predieri (ITA); Eric Tulla (PUR).
The President, the seven Vice-Presidents and the two ISAF Presidents of Honour
will form the ISAF Executive Committee for the next four years.

* In recognition of their roles in leading and managing the International
Optimist Dinghy Class (IODA), Helen-Mary Wilkes and Robert Wilkes were presented
with the ISAF President Development Award. Helen-Mary Wilkes became
Vice-president of IODA in 1985, President from 1989-1998, Vice-President of
Honour from 1998-2005 and President of Honour in 2005. In addition to her work
with the Optimist class, she has had a long-time involvement with other areas of
development of the sport and within ISAF. Robert Wilkes has been involved with
the Optimist class for over 30 years and the Secretary of IODA from 1996 to
2008. -- ISAF website:


A revolution begins tomorrow with the official introduction of SCR 35. The
epicenter is the Hall Spars & Rigging display at the METS trade show in
Amsterdam. SCR 35 was devised from true 21st Century thinking that could only
come from the innovative minds at Hall. What is SCR 35? The answer is only one
day away.


In leg one, Ericsson 4 and PUMA sailed within sight of each other for "maybe 75
or 80 percent of the leg," according to Torben Grael, the Ericsson skipper.
Well, guess what? They're at it again. With the entire fleet charging Eastward
in 20+ knots of breeze, Ericsson 4 has PUMA solidly her hip with the two boats
positioned South of the rest of the fleet. "One small issue on board is a bit of
a flu that has taken hold," said PUMA skipper Ken Read. "It's not very much fun
for a few of us and the great news for the rest of the group is they can almost
be guaranteed to get the cold eventually, based on the unavoidable hygiene on a
lovely V-70 petri dish."

With Americans Jerry Kirby and Jonathan McKee not sailing on the PUMA for Leg
Two, skipper Ken Read will be the only American aboard. Read's crew for this leg
will be Andrew Cape/AUS - navigator, Rick Deppe/GBR MCM, Sidney Gavignet/FRA -
watch captain, Chris Nicholson/AUS - watch captain, Michael Müller/GER -
helmsman/bowman, Rob Salthouse/NZL - helmsman/trimmer, Robert Naismith/NZL -
helmsman/trimmer, Casey Smith/AUS - bowman, Shannon Falcone/ANT - trimmer/pitman
and Justin Ferris/NZL - helmsman/trimmer.

Standings (as of 1:00 a.m. GMT)

1. Ericsson 3, Anders Lewander, 4115 nm to finish

2. Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, +3 nm to leader

3. Green Dragon, Ian Walker, +6 nm

4. PUMA, Ken Read/USA, +8 nm

5. Telefónica Blue, Bouwe Bekking, +11 nm

6. Telefónica Black, Fernando Echávarri, +22 nm

7. Delta Lloyd, Roberto Bermudez, +31 nm

8. Team Russia, Andreas Hanakamp, +37 nm

Race website:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)

Events listed at


At 1637 hours GMT Sunday Jean-Baptiste Dejeanty became the final competitor to
re-start. Having repaired small cracks in the deck and hull of Maisonneuve, he
set off more than 400 miles behind Derek Hatfield, CAN, (Spirit of Canada).

Seb Josse, who has moved up to second place, commented, "The important thing is
to be in the right pack, the actual positioning is less an issue. It's very
satisfying to have sailed well, to have taken the right options. Then again,
it's not like we have been the first ones to enter the Southern Ocean, the
Doldrums still have to be crossed and that can obliterate our lead. The Cape
Verde Islands passage is another story, there are several ways in and out, it's
an interesting tactical moment."

Standings at 2000 GMT, Day 7 for the 26 remaining competitors

1. Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) 21614 miles to finish

2. Seb Josse (BT) + 31.7 nm to leader

3. Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) + 38.9 nm

4. Jean.Pierre Dick (Paprec.Virbac 2) + 102.8 nm

5. Vincent Riou (PRB) + 110.1 nm

12. Sam Davies, (ROXY) + 273.7 nm

16. Dee Caffari, (AVIVA) + 430.5 nm

19. Rich Wilson, (Great America III) + 576.2 nm


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* After five months at sea, teenage solo circumnavigator Zac Sunderland arrived
at Port Louis, Mauritius Nov. 12. The stop marks the halfway point in the
16-year-old's attempt to set a record as the youngest sailor to circumnavigate
the globe alone. His father, Laurence Sunderland, met Zac on the island, off the
African continent. Sunderland intends to become the youngest sailor to
circumnavigate the world, breaking the current record held by Australian David
Dicks, who completed the feat at age 18. Zac Sunderland plans to stay at
Mauritius for a little more than a week before heading for his next stop in
South Africa. Sunderland is scheduled to return to Marina del Rey next April,
completing the voyage at age 17. - Read on:

* A 16-year-old British youth set off from the southern English coast on
Saturday in a bid to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world,
travelling to places that will include Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia as he
seeks to break the record held by an Australian. Michael Perham, who became the
youngest person to cross the Atlantic alone when he was 14, left Portsmouth
harbour at 11.10am (2210 AEDT on Saturday) aboard a 15-metre (Open 50) yacht.
Perham is expected back in Portsmouth in March next year, around his 17th
birthday, breaking a nine-year-old record held by Australian Jesse Martin, who
achieved the feat aged 18 in 1999. - Read on:

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: Although both teenagers have the same goal, there seems
to be some confusion as to who holds the current record.


* It's official. The World Sailing Speed Council has ratified the 24-hour record
of Torben Grael and his crew of 10 aboard the VO70 Ericsson 4, which covered
596.6 nm on 29th October 2008 for an average speed of 24.85 kts. This shatters
the previous record set in 2006 by Sebastien Josse aboard ABN Amro Two -- 562.96
nm / average speed of 23.45kts. --

*A steady 15 to 18 knot breeze made the last day of the Club Marine NZ National
Keelboat Championships 2008 an intense battle between the top two crews, young
Olympian Peter Burling and regatta-hardened Dean Barker from Emirates Team New
Zealand. The stronger winds today saw most of the Platu 25s including Barker's
crew come close to laying the mast in the water due to the excitable nature of
these brand-new boats. The positions changed regularly during the day's racing
but in the end, Barker's experience resulted in consistent placings and he and
his crew won the regatta by 10 points. - Sail-World website, full story:

* Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race executive director Graham Quinn has
stated that measures could be implemented or next year's event to ensure that
modern advances - such as online boat tracking - are not used as a means of
gaining an "unfair advantage" over the course of the 645 nautical mile voyage
from Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts to St.David's Head, Bermuda. One option
currently being reviewed calls for delaying of boat positioning online by at
least an hour or so, a ploy that was widely accepted among this year's Newport
to Bermuda fleet.

* Stay tuned -- Cory Friedman has spent the weekend in the legal library and
will have analysis for us tomorrow on the latest papers filed by Alinghi in the
America's Cup court case.


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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
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* Jen Morgan Glass: As a young female skiff sailor and the 29erXX Representative
on the 29er Executive Board, today's ISAF Council vote brought me great
disappointment. Following six years campaigning in the 470 I gave the 29er a try
on a whim in between quadrenniums. I was instantly hooked on skiff sailing and
the true athleticism it brings to the sport. Not long after stepping into the
29er I had the opportunity to try out the 29erXX. It was amazing! A boat where
both the skipper and crew needed to be coordinated, acutely aware of their
actions, and work together with the boat. And when you get all of these things
right, you're generously rewarded with amazing boatspeed. You can't sail the
29erXX without grinning from ear to ear. Now here's a boat I can spend a few
quadrenniums in!

The 29erXX is the future of sailing. We want something fast, fun, physically
challenging and extreme. But today ISAF chose to keep us in 1963.

So I just have one question for the Council. Why put the folks on the Equipment,
Events and Women's Committees through the countless hours they put into their
research and eventual decision, if you're not going to follow what all three of
them recommend?

Lady sailors, let's vote by sailing. The 29erXX will join the 49er at their
World Championship July 12-19th on Lake Garda, Italy. The class is now sponsored
by Seiko and the event promises to be amazing. Come and join us!

* From Jon Rogers, head junior coach, Coronado YC: For America it's a true
bummer to see the vote today on the putting the 470 in for women. Maybe in
Europe and South America it's a different story, but here I'm wondering how many
teams are going to campaign in the 470 for 4 years for 1 spot on the Olympic
team. My guess is 4 or 5 female teams will show up to the Olympic trials in
2011. Hope I'm wrong.

At least the skiff would have been "fast and fun" for the teams that didn't get
1st. I know how it feels to lose in a 470, and I know how easy it is to keep one
upright and I know how many hours (years) I spent meticulously speed testing
minute gear adjustments and spending hours (weeks) on the beach refining the
boat. For me skiff sailing is just more fun and challenging.

Personally, if would have been really great to have a real "carrot' in front of
these young ladies that put them on a more level playing field with the men. How
long have men been racing skiff's hard core? 20 - 30 years? It was time to get
the women on the same track.

Isn't one of the great strengths of this sport is that it is way more co-ed than
most? Don't the women actually kick our butts on occasion? They deserve more

* Scott Fox, President U.S. 470 Class Assoc: The vote approving the Women's 470
as the double-handed women's dinghy came as no surprise to those who follow the
470 class worldwide. With record numbers of high caliber women's teams showing
up at the last several European and World's events the popularity of the 470 has
been solidified Worldwide. The boat is fast, very technical and racing requires
spot-on tactics. No surprise here at all.

* From Larry Suter: To write that a skiff is a contemporary boat is not true.
The 29er is a junior boat, not an Olympic boat. Olympic Sailing is about balance
at the highest level. The 470 teaches tuning and balance, and can race in 20+
knots easily. The 29er is an unbalanced boat, the rig overpowers its hull, which
is why it is on its side a lot like the 49er.

If you read Gary Jobson's remarks on the 49er Class Medal Race, asking if the
boat belongs in the Olympics, you know the answer is no. A boat that has trouble
sailing in light air, heavy air, waves, and cannot reach in breeze (so it has
trouble going from a beat to a run), is not a contemporary boat, it is a freak.
The Tornado rig is in balance with its hulls which is why it races easily in 20+
knots, and is a contemporary boat. If you look at the 2007 ISAF World Cup events
you will find that the 470 participation is more than every other class
including RSX.

The 470 is a contemporary boat with the ability to change mast rake, CB rake,
rudder rake, a boat that teaches, like the Star, how to set up and race at the
highest levels, as well as a physical boat that requires jibing a pole as well
as a spinnaker, not a dummied down A Sail that jibes like a jib, great for
weekend sailors, but not for the highest level.

* From Tej Trevor Parekh, Canada: The ISAF Council needs to get its S*!#

* From Susan (Dierdorff) Taylor, Annapolis, MD: I was saddened to read about the
tragedy of PJ Wenner. Although I did not know him, I have always worried about
trapeze accidents like this one. I am more sensitive to this tragedy since my
15-year old son had a near drowning accident at a guarded pool this past July.
After I resuscitated him, he still spent two days in intensive care on a
breathing tube and two more days on oxygen before he returned home. Having
witnessed how quickly a drowning can occur - within seconds - it seems to me
that the only way to prevent a tragedy like PJ's is to have a knife on hand to
quickly cut him free. Even still, it may have been too late. I am so sorry for
the grief that PJ's family and friends must be feeling.

* From By Baldrige: Concerning capsizes and being trapped underwater and other
disasters at sea. Scuba gear, etc. is never going to be available in time. A
good knife used to be an essential piece of gear for every crew. A titanium
blade knife mounted under the trampoline is practical. It also isn't good to
have too many knives on board. I remember a dismasting of Kialoa V in Hawaii
where we had to treat five knife wounds in the crew after cutting away the gear.


"Fake it till you make it." - Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

Special thanks to Hall Spars & Rigging, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and Speed &

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