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SCUTTLEBUTT 2728 - Wednesday, November 19, 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 North Sails, Ultimate Sailing, and Premiere Racing.

(Nov. 18, 2008; Day 4) - It’s getting wet and very wild out there as the Volvo
Ocean Race fleet have their first real whiff of the Roaring Forties, now on
their fourth day from Cape Town, S.A. to Cochin, India. Widespread sickness has
meant involuntary diets for some crew members as the weather gods serve up a
menu of 40+ knots and confused, 8-10 metre seas. Shredded sails has become the
standard, plus a Chinese gybe for Team Russia, Green Dragon broke a boom,
Ericsson 3 flooded the boat to their knees when they hit a wave doing 35 knots
and broached, and for PUMA, skipper Ken Read simply declared that “last night

Read continues, “The proverbial ‘you-know-what’ hit the fan when we got about as
vertical in a sailboat as you ever want to be going down a big dark wave that
sort of snuck up on us. And when going straight down a big wave the inevitable
bow crash is coming into the wave in front. Not only did the bow crash into the
wave but the prod, the bow pulpit and about 15 feet up the asymmetric spinnaker
we had up at the time. Bang. Spinnaker in many pieces and a long night for
Justin Ferris.

”Then, soon after a watch change we found another beauty of a wave. Take off!
This one was different than the other 10,872 smashes over the past 48 hours.
This one caused several cracks in our longitudinal frames in the bow section.
And for those laymen out there, these frames are the spine of the boat which
don’t allow it to fold in half. And they also don't allow the bow to cave in
when we hit waves. Kind of important piece to the puzzle. I figure it cost us
only about 30 miles on the race track.” -- Complete report:

* The format of this leg is confusing, as the race for the scoring gate (due
east) and the race for the finish (bearing 40 degrees) have little in common,
yet both reward points. The current standings are based on the distance to the
finish line, not the gate, but it is the combination of both points that count.
PUMA is currently only in fourth to the gate, but a fourth to the gate (2.5 pts)
and a win at the finish (8 pts) is still better than Ericsson 4, which is
leading to the gate (4 pts) but is in fourth for the finish (5 pts). Clear as
mud? - Photo:

* Media crew member (MCM) Guy Salter sailing onboard Ericsson 4 won the Inmarsat
Media Prize for broadcast material produced during the first leg of the Volvo
Ocean Race, from Alicante to Cape Town. -- Complete announcement and highlight
video from Leg 1:

The length of Leg Two from Cape Town to Cochin, India is 4,450 nm, with the
leader expected to finish by November 30th. Current standings (as of Nov. 19,
1:00am GMT):
1. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 3363 nm Distance to Finish
2. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 18 nm Distance to Leader
3. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 21 nm DTL
4. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 25 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 27 nm DTL
6. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 55 nm DTL
7. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 78 nm DTL
8. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 97 nm DTL
Overall scores:
Race website:

Brest, France (Nov. 18, 2008) - Frenchman Thomas Coville and his 105-foot
maxi-trimaran Sodeb’O crossed the start line of the solo round the world race
against the clock in a multihull today at 13:54:14 GMT, seeking to beat Francis
Joyon’s record of 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds. It was on
December 17, 2007 when Coville last attempted to break Joyon’s record, setting
the current 24 hour solo distance record of 619.3 miles on the 20th day of his
campaign. However it was also on this day, January 7, 2008 in the Indian Ocean
between the Cape of Good Hope and the Kerguelen Islands, when Coville discovered
that the crash box on the starboard float had been pulled out. As the bow
section of the float, the crash box serves as a fuse in the event of impact and
it is designed to come apart in the event of impact in order to prevent the
float itself from exploding. Coville promptly retired.

Coville tested his repaired maxi trimaran this past July, when he set a new
North Atlantic crossing record. For this global record attempt, Coville will
have to pass the Petit Minou lighthouse at the entrance to Brest harbour by
January 15, 2009 at 03 hours, 27 minutes and 20 seconds GMT to set a new record.
“We decided to set out today because this morning the situation between the
Canaries and the Cape Verde islands has become clearer, without being completely
transparent!” explained Coville. “The routing we did at 0900 hours this morning
with the grib files fulfilled the ‘theoretical’ objective of making the equator
in 7 days.” Coville expects a downwind descent in the Atlantic, with a fairly
easy sea state at the start in a 20-25 knot NW’ly, which will be followed by a
N/NE’ly wind rotation. --

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(Nov. 18, 2008) - For the Open 60 fleet of solo global circumnavigators, the
leadership of the Vendée Globe swings back to Loïck Peyron (Gitana Eighty) as
the leading boats of this non-stop event enter the northern fringes of the
Doldrums. Since Sunday night both Peyron and Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) have
now lead five times apiece over the ten intermediate position schedules. In the
East North Easterly breeze the leading pack crabs south and west in steps
towards the favoured crossing point to break through the sticky, light winds of
the Doldrums. Heat and humidity on board the leading boats leave the skippers
dripping with sweat, with Peyron now at 10 degrees North latitude and 27 degrees
West longitude, about 200 miles east of the winning path that the Volvo Ocean
Race leaders had used a month earlier. -- Event website:

Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants)
1. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 21302.1 nm Distance to finish
2. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 54.8 nm Distance to leader
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 55 nm DTL
4. Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA), Brit Air, 57.1 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), VM Matériaux, 63 nm DTL
14. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 253.5 nm DTL
16. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 364.6 nm DTL
21. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 551.8 nm DTL
25. David Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1612.8 nm DTL

by Craig Leweck, Scuttleblog
This past weekend I was in Atlanta for the US SAILING One Design Symposium. The
attendees included a complete range of individuals, from the active sailor to
the class administrator, to the industry professional eager to share advice and
support the sport. There was an enormous amount of information exchanged, and
thanks to Mount Gay, nearly as many cocktails consumed. But by the end of the
event, there were two significant ‘take aways’ that are as applicable to the one
design sailor as to any other category of the sport.

The first is that the sport is our recreation and our passion, and that our
experiences need to be shared. Everyone in Atlanta would love to see their part
of the sport grow, and everyone was in agreement that this can be done by
sharing the experience with others. Either through story or through splashes,
presenting the sport in a positive light will git’er done. The second is how our
sport is run by a volunteer army. While there are plenty of entities that profit
from the sport, the heavy lifting is done by those with no more to gain than the
desire to give back. The more we support this army (and the less we berate
them), the better off the sport will be. -- Read on:

US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has announced a new Olympic sailing
training pipeline, which will help guide talented sailors from youth programs to
the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. As part of the new pipeline, the OSC will
launch two new teams in 2009: The US Sailing Team - U18 (Under 18) and US
Sailing Team - U23 (Under 23). As a long-time supporter of youth racing,
LaserPerformance has signed on as the official sponsor of both teams. US SAILING
will provide the teams with elite-level coaching, as well as educational,
administrative and logistical support throughout the year. The country’s top
youth sailors will gain invaluable experience by competing at major national and
international regattas, learn how to campaign for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team
AlphaGraphics and choose, prepare and maintain equipment. -- Full details:

* NOTE: Team members will be selected by application, with a submission deadline
of December 7, 2008. Team members will be announced by December 19, 2008.

An Ultimate Sailing T-shirt. From those folks that annually bring you the best
sailing calendar, you can now choose from long or short sleeves with an Ultimate
Sailing logo and graphic design chosen from Sharon Green’s extensive photo
collection. The Ultimate Sailing website offers you a fantastic array of gifts:
2009 calendar, jackets, vests, t-shirts, caps, and custom prints.

* New Orleans, LA - The 2008 Great Oaks Regatta, hosted by Southern Yacht Club
this past weekend, had 28 high school 420 teams attending from around the US and
Caribbean. No races were sailed Saturday due to high winds, but 16 races were
completed on Sunday, with St Edwards High School from Vero Beach, FL as the
overall winner. The Great Oaks is an event for schools that have not qualified
for the Mallory (doublehanded) or Baker (team race) National Championships in
the past four years to encourage travel and competition for aspiring high school
teams. -- Full report and results:

* The International Lightning Class Association has announced the third season
of their boat grant program, which is designed to fund young sailors who want to
experience the high level of competition offered by the ILCA. The ILCA grant
program will award at least three young teams a competitive boat plus
substantial regatta expenses for one season of racing. There will be mentoring
provided and the goal is to expose more youth racers to the ILCA circuit. Grant
application forms must be submitted by midnight December 31, 2008. -- Full

* US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee announced the equipment for the 2010 US
SAILING International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Qualifier, which
will be held January 16-18, 2010 at Clearwater Yacht Club in Clearwater,
Florida. Competition will be held in eight events, with the winner of each event
receiving invitations to represent the United States at the 2010 Volvo Youth
Sailing ISAF World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey, July 8-17, 2010. -- Full

* Savannah, GA (AP) - The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that a state law
protecting coastal marshes doesn’t extend to residential developments on dry
land, handing a setback to environmentalists hoping for tougher construction
standards along the state’s 100-mile coast. The court ruled 5-2 in favor of the
developers of Cumberland Harbour, a 1,014-acre gated subdivision being built on
a peninsula near the Georgia-Florida border. The developer, Land Resource
Companies, was granted a state permit in 2005 to build two marinas and three
community docks at Cumberland Harbour in St. Marys, providing for more than
17,500 linear feet of floating docks. -- Orlando Sentinel, full story:

* Australian Nathan Wilmot lost his gold medal in a Melbourne nightclub. Police
are appealing for its return after it disappeared at the Odeon Nightclub at
Crown on Monday night. Wilmot, who flew out of the country on Wednesday, is
believed to be devastated at the loss. He and Malcolm Page combined to win the
men's two person dinghy 470 sailing category at the Beijing Games in August.
Wilmot was in the city to attend the Melbourne Cup as a guest of retailer Myer.
-- The Australian, full story:,25197,24623414-5006785,00.html

* (Nov. 18, 2008) - Belgium sailor Michel Kleinjans (Roaring Forty) stormed
across the Cape Town finish line to win the first leg of the single-handed Open
40 division of the Portimão Global Ocean Race. It was two days earlier on
November 16th when Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme (Beluga Racer) took line
honours plus the doublehanded Class 40 win, followed three hours later by Felipe
Cubillos and José Muñoz (Desafio Cabo de Hornos). The second leg of the Portimão
Global Ocean Race will be from Cape Town, S.A. to Wellington, New Zealand. --
Event website:

* BMW Oracle Racing team has posted online a 10-point plan that presents changes
to the proposed Protocol for America’s Cup 33 that they believe would address
their concerns and those of other Challengers who want to ensure that the rules
of AC33 are fair.
10 Pt. Plan:

* The list of Race Officials who have successfully been approved for ISAF
International Race Official status in November 2008 has been published on the
ISAF Race Officials microsite. ISAF has a global network of over 650 ISAF
International Race Officials who ensure fair and competitive racing at the
world’s top sailing events. At the ISAF Annual Conference in November 2008, 53
applicants have been appointed ISAF International Race Official status for the
first time, together with 166 successful applications for reappointment. --

* Amsterdam, Netherlands - The Design Award METS (DAME) jury announced the
winners from a short listed group of 53 products out of the 136 entered to win
this year's competition at the Marine Equipment Trade Show, which is the most
prestigious marine products competition in the world. Winners listed here:

Less than 60 days until the start of Acura Key West 2009 (January 19-23)…then
another 41 and racing begins at the 2009 Acura Miami Grand Prix (March 5-8).
Warm Florida sunshine, great breeze, international competition, professional
race management, and shore side fun await you! Details and invited classes

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 Bill Stump: Tuesday afternoon. California YC. Marina del Rey,
California. Six CFJs roll tacking in the narrow channel, honoring the sailor
not there; most skippers wearing white shirts and ties; some crews wearing black
silk tops. Coach boat / RC in full on dress-up gear. Somewhat earlier, two
dozen sailors from his University of Hawaii team, wearing sailing team logo
t-shirts and shorts, took the podium, in turn, to extol his virtues and reveal a
couple of vices… and crushes. Earlier still, 700+ family, friends, and fellow
sailors crowded into nearby St. Anastasia Church, to bid a heartfelt farewell to
a 19-year old sailor / racer - Peter ‘PJ’ Wenner. Too soon, too young, too
totally unexpected. Volvo and Vendee racers circle the globe in harrowing
conditions, yet we lose one close to home - too close. Sail On PJ; and, for the
rest of us - be ever thankful for all our days on the water.

=> Facebook group site in support of Peter:

* From Paul Heineken: Non-skiff sailors, when defending the obsolete, regularly
describe newer designs as "layline" or "non-tactical". However,
apparent-wind-creating crafts like skiffs offer tactical opportunities that
sailors of conventional boats have never dreamed of. On downwind legs, skiffs
sail with the apparent wind forward of the beam. Therefore the course expands
laterally, creating distance between boats and passing lanes. Just as when
sailing to windward, wind angle changes create tactical opportunities, but even
greater opportunities are created by wind velocity changes. A well timed jibe
into a puff accelerates a skiff, and creates a large favorable windshift. Also,
boat-to-boat jibing tactics are far more interesting and exciting than the usual
downwind parade of boats sailing with stalled sails. A well executed wire to
wire planning spinnaker jibe to grab a puff is a far greater Olympic feat than a
roll tack responding to a 5 degree header.

Upwind, it doesn't pay for a skiff to tack on every little wind shift, but
because skiff velocity is so sensitive to wind angle, and because underwater
blades are more effective at higher speed, a well sailed skiff can drive through
the lee of a leading boat. Again, the race course widens, creating new and
different tactical challenges.

Unfortunately, the recent ISAF Council decision set women's sailing back years.
This change will happen, the only question is when? And how many kids around the
world will miss the chance to participate?

* From Alex Watters: (edited to the 250-word limit) There is a lot of pro and
con chatter regarding the 470 vs the 29er XX, and this is my 2 cents worth. I'll
lead off by saying the ISAF dinosaurs have, once again, chosen to ignore the
sailing world and keep active a near pre-historic boat. The main argument I hear
over and over is the lack of 29er XX fleets worldwide and lack of women's events
worldwide. Combine that with the already in place 470 fleets and regattas and
the argument seems to hold some water. But....if the 29er XX had been chosen
just how long does anyone think it would take for this to change....a few months
and the tide would have turned.

The 29er XX is less costly, way more fun to sail, appeals to the younger set, is
nowhere near as extreme as its big sister - the 49er (so stop using the medal
race as a knock against skiffs) - and would rejuvenate a pretty lack luster
lineup of Olympic classes. Worldwide it's certainly easier for developing
nations to get a class started that is far less expensive and gets the juices
flowing in its young sailors. The regattas and fleets would happen overnight,
sailing and the Games would be better off for it. Oh flag blows in
favour of the 29er XX!

* From Corky Aucreman: (re, trapeze hook issues) Maybe there should be more use
of a ball and socket trapeze hookup. My crew and I were using those on Hobies
over 20 years ago for the very reason that we didn't want to get trapped or
hooked on rigging at any time, let alone a turtle capsize. We used that rig for
years and never had an accidental separation. The other benefit was that it was
a lot more comfortable to lie on your stomach, for example when the crew was on
the leeward hull in light air.

I gave my son a hint. On his room door I put a sign: Checkout Time is 18.

Special thanks to North Sails, Ultimate Sailing, and Premiere Racing.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at