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SCUTTLEBUTT 2729 - Thursday, November 20, 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 Charleston Race Week.

The World Sailing Speed Record (WSSR) Council is the lone authorizing authority
for record claims. Established by the International Sailing Federation in 1972,
their mission is to maintain consistent standards for a variety of record
setting categories. The quest for the outright world speed sailing record is
being played out on several fronts, with recent excitement coming from Luderitz
in Namibia where kiteboarders were displaying that they are currently the

American kitesurfer Rob Douglas set a new speed record of 49.84 at the Luderitz
speed strip on September 19th, which was later ratified by the WSSR, beating out
the previous record of 49.09 kts set earlier in the year by windsurfer Antoine
Albeau (FRA). During the same speed event that Douglas set his record, called
the Lüderitz Speed Challenge, the event announcement came on October 3rd that
Sebastien Cattelan of France become the first human being to sail at more than
50 knots, a world record he held for only 24 hours before compatriot Alexandre
Caizergues snatched it away with a top speed of 50.57 knots.

The speed set by Caizergues was announced as the new speed record, but the only
problem is that over a month later, no formal claim for the record has been
requested of WSSR, who is still awaiting the documentation from the event
organizers. According to the record books, Douglas is still the holder of the
outright world speed sailing record. -- Scuttleblog,

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has announced the new members of the
ISAF Council, the final decision-making body of ISAF. The new members of the
ISAF Council were announced at the ISAF General Assembly in Madrid, Spain. The
Council is chaired by the ISAF President Göran Petersson (SWE) and also includes
the seven Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer (non-voting), 28 representatives of
ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) and one representative each from the
ISAF Classes, Offshore sailing and Women’s sailing. In addition, the ISAF
Presidents of Honour, His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and His Majesty King
Constantine, are entitled to attend and participate in Council meetings although
they do not hold a vote. The new Council members will serve a four-year term up
until the ISAF General Assembly in November 2012. -- Read on for complete list:

(Nov. 19, 2008; Day 5) - The fleet is counting the cost of the last 24 hours of
boom and bust as the Southern Ocean continues its hostile takeover of events on
board. Like the global economy, there have been casualties – both structural and
psychological – as the leaders charge towards the scoring gate at longitudinal
58 degrees east. Among the ruins there are more broaches to be found than in
your grandmother’s jewelry box. Said Ericsson 3’s Media Crew Member, Gustav
Morin. “Last night, in complete darkness, we had a quite dramatic broach,” he
reports. “We were sailing in steady 30 knots and rough seas when a big squall
came in. In just a few seconds the wind increased to over 40 knots. Mange
(Magnus) Olsson was helming and when he felt the wind coming he said a prayer:
‘No broach, please God, no broach’.” -- Read on:

* PUMA have sustained serious structural damage for the second time in 24 hours
and are considering whether to re-route away from the rest of the fleet to
Cochin. The night before last, they crashed off a wave which caused several
cracks in the longitudinal frames of the bow section. They bent the bow pulpit
and shredded an asymmetric spinnaker in the process. The fix took seven hours
but cost PUMA little in time to their rivals at the head of the fleet. Then at
04:30 GMT this morning, as the fleet blasted along in 25 knots of squally
southern ocean, they suffered a further blow when the boat was launched off
another wave. This time the main section of the boat took the brunt of the
impact - just behind the keel frame. "This time it's a bit more serious,"
skipper Ken Read said. "This one may be a bit tougher to work around. Not only
is this break in the central structure for the entire boat, but it will take
quite a bit longer to put a fix on - maybe as long as 24 hours." -- Read on:

* Video reports:
PUMA problems:
Team Russia’s Chinese gybe:

* A reminder of how this leg is confusing, as the race for the scoring gate (due
east) and the race for the finish (near north) have little in common, yet both
reward points. The fleet as a whole has been going for the gate, but with the
wind now veering to a more westerly direction, some are now gybing to port and
heading north toward the finish line, thus costing miles toward the gate. 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 only in fifth to
the gate, but a fifth to the gate (2 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
seventh for the finish (2 pts).

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. 20,
1:00am GMT):
1. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 3219 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 40 nm Distance to Leader
3. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 50 nm DTL
4. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 53 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 59 nm DTL
6. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 61 nm DTL
7. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 86 nm DTL
8. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 105 nm DTL
Overall scores:
Race website:

For the third straight year, Ullman Sails customer Ken Buhler and team on J/30
“Jalapeno” continued their reign as top overall boat at the Lake Pontchartrain
Racing Circuit regatta in New Orleans, October 25-26 and November 1-2. In a
two-weekend event with six races and one distance race, the “Jalapeno” team
finished first overall in the 9-boat C division with 100% Ullman Sails
inventory. Over the past three years, “Jalapeno” has compiled an impressive
record of 18 first place finishes and three second finishes for the event.
Ullman Sails - Make a commitment to excellence. Visit us at

(Nov. 19, 2008) - The brakes are well and truly on for the Vendee Globe fleet.
Speedos slacken, tension rises as the leaders are dealt a large serving of the
real Doldrums experience. The overwhelmingly favored downwind angle for the Open
60 fleet is on port, and if there is any concern as to how far east the fleet is
approaching the crossing point of the zone, it is countered by the lost miles
down course that occur when gybing to starboard for a more westerly approach to
seek better winds. While Loïck Peyron is currently in the lead (7 degrees north
latitude), he is also amongst the most easterly of the lead pack (26 degrees
west longitude). Roland Jourdain is most westerly (28 degrees west longitude),
and while only in 10th position, he has made significant gains, and we need only
remember how a month earlier in the Volvo Ocean Race that Green Dragon took the
race lead at this point by crabbing to a position 275 miles further west than
Peyron (30 degrees west longitude). -- Event website:

Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants)
1. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 21123.7 nm Distance to finish
2. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 25.3 nm Distance to leader
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 47.8 nm DTL
4. Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA), Brit Air, 49 nm DTL
5. Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB, 56.9 nm DTL
12. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 251.8 nm DTL
16. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 351.2 nm DTL
21. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 540.5 nm DTL
25. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1564.6 nm DTL

It was four days of racing in September, reveling in the conditions that San
Francisco is famous for, but the season’s hallmark event of the Rolex Big Boat
Series had yet to hand out the trophies for its most populated class - the
J/105. Amongst the 110 boats competing in ten classes (four IRC divisions and
six one design events), one remaining Steel Submariner Rolex timepiece had been
residing in the safe of the St. Francis Yacht Club for the past two months, and
not on the winning skipper’s wrist.

When Rolf Kaiser’s crew aboard the J/105 Donkey Jack came to the dock at the end
of the regatta, the winning math was indisputable, and the champagne was
flowing. However, an alleged infraction involving a tanker crossing during the
final race pulled the Donkey Jack team into a protest, effectively ending the
party, with a lengthy hearing continuing well past the awards ceremony. When the
protest decision went against Kaiser’s team, the St.FYC race officials sensed
that this was not the end of it, and have held onto the prizes… until now. --
Scuttleblog, read on:

SAIL Magazine has announced their 2009 Best Boats Awards for Innovation and
Excellence, with their team of judges - Bill Springer (senior editor), Charles
Doane (editor-at-large) and Nigel Calder (systems expert) - examining the 2009
fleet of new sailboats debuting at the Newport and Annapolis boat show in order
to determine the most innovative and best designed sailboats of the year. Here
are the winners who emerged in the following categories:

* Flagship (>50’): Outbound 52, a center cockpit cruiser with well-conceived
construction details.
* Cruising Multihull: Moxie 37, a South African designed and built catamaran
that combines high-performance fun and leisure-mode cruising in a single
well-conceived package.
* Performance: Santa Cruz 37, almost all-carbon, this boat displays excellent
sailing performance.
* Small Boat: Bug by LaserPerformance, a bright new alternative in the sail
trainer category for kids.
* Accommodations: Hunter 50, incorporating every shoreside amenity a sailor
could wish for.
* Systems: Tartan 5300 with its dedicated attention to “systems room,” making
all core connections, circuitry, batteries and equipment readily accessible to
the user.
* Deck/Cockpit: Outbound 52 for its deep, narrow, and secure cockpit design.
* Cruising Monohull (<50’): There was no clear single winner in this category.
Full report:

The place to be next April is apparently Charleston. Tracking the first 2 weeks
of registration, entries have increased by 85% compared to the first 2 weeks of
registration last year. Chris Hamilton, new local fleet captain for the
Melges-24 said, "With 10 Melges-24's now racing out of Charleston, we are
expecting over 30 total Meleges-24 entries. Charleston Race Week always treats
teams to great racing, unforgettable parties and the racers' favorite Dark 'n
Stormies!" The event has rolled back the price of shoreside passes to 2006! Also
ranked the friendliest city in the nation by Travel & Leisure.

* A yacht racing management seminar has been scheduled for December 6, 2008 at
Larchmont Yacht Club for yacht clubs and race managers who organize events for
yachts racing IRC, PHRF, and One Design. Owners and Crews are also encouraged to
participate, with the goal to provide the latest information about IRC, share
best practices and consider ways of improving racing and increasing
participation. Speakers include Andrew McIrvine, Commodore of the Royal Ocean
Racing Club (RORC); Eddie Warden-Owen, Chief Executive RORC; Dan Nowlan (US
Sailing); Peter Reggio (PRO); and Dick Neville (PRO). Full details:

* (Nov. 19, 2008) - Frenchman Thomas Coville and his 105-foot maxi-trimaran
Sodeb’O is seeking to establish a new solo round the world record, and is
currently holding a 47.5 nm advance over Francis Joyon’s record after nearly a
day and half. For this global record attempt, Coville will have to pass the
Petit Minou lighthouse at the entrance to Brest harbour in France by January 15,
2009 at 03 hours, 27 minutes and 20 seconds GMT to set a new record. --

* The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is offering grant
funds up to $4,000 each for community non-profit groups to develop projects that
address environmental problems on local waterways. Since 1997 the annual BoatUS
Foundation Clean Water Grant program has awarded over $300,000 to improve the
marine environment, funding 149 projects in 35 states. This year’s deadline to
apply is February 2, 2009. -- Read on:

George Olson has lost a long battle with cancer last weekend. He died on
November 12 in Santa Cruz, surrounded by wife Lyn Neale, his two grown children
Adrian and Kristina, and other family. George was 68. Olson was a true
renaissance man — a jack of many trades and master at more than a few. Antique
car restoration, model railroading, surfboard maker, boatbuilder, landsailer and
amusement park ride designer were just a few of the passions during his life. We
don’t know what sort of a mark he left on most of those pursuits, but the one he
left on sailing is huge and indelible: George was a key ingredient in the
primordial soup that gave the world ultralight sailboats. -- Latitude 38, read

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Nov 21-23 - Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship - Miami Beach, FL, USA
Nov 22-23 - Turkey Day Regatta - Long Beach, CA, USA
Nov 23 - ARC - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers - Gran Canaria, Spain
View all the events at

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 Kimball Livingston, SAIL: (re, letter in Scuttlebutt 2728) I got caught
up reading Paul Heineken's defense of the thrills and tactical aspects of skiffs
in the context of ISAF's 470 Olympic selection - the more so because Dr.
Heineken did not bother to stipulate the many hours he spent paying his dues in
Finns and Lasers in his younger years. Nor did he mention his penchant for
leaving the family cruising sloop parked while he takes off kiting with son
Johnnie (who did OK in 29ers before moving on). Nor to mention that he hit the
big 3-0 about 3-0 and change ago, so this is not the voice of a hotblooded
youth, but certainly the voice of someone fully dialed into our sport.

In a recent San Francisco Bay regatta, I made, shall we say, "an appearance" on
the wire of a 29er, crewing for Paul, and I figured out this much: If only I
could re-up my age eligibility, this is the way I would go.

But whose loss is it that 29ers won't become a women's Olympic class anytime
soon? It's public knowledge that the Star class increasingly finds it a mixed
blessing to be home to its many pros and Olympians, while my 505 friends have
been ducking the Olympic bullet forever. And 505s are doing so very fine.

* From David Howie: (re, how International Sailing Federation refers to the type
of Olympic classes as ‘equipment’) Why not call them boats? Boats is a perfectly
good word that we all understand. My equipment is elsewhere; my boat is sitting
on the hardstand waiting to go sailing.

* From Zane Murdoch, Mahone Bay, NS, Canada: I am trying to figure out why the
current Volvo Ocean Race is so much less interesting to me than the (con)current
Vendee Globe event. Primarily, I think, because the single-handers are easily
identified by country or by personality, each of their stories becomes
compelling, and I can be caught up in the drama of their gains and losses. The
Volvo boats are corporate entities with professional teams and, mayhem
notwithstanding, less personable. Yes, the Vendee skippers are all sponsored
too, I know, but it is my very subjective interpretation of the races I refer

The mess of in-port races and scoring gates for the Volvo race does not help.
This pushes the event even more into the realm of professional sport, complete
with league play - and away from the more straight-forward challenge of people
and boats vs. the elements, and the simple concept of first-around-wins.

A racetrack is a place where the windows clean the people.

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and Charleston Race Week.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at