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SCUTTLEBUTT 2736 - Wednesday, December 3, 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 Morris Yachts, North Sails, and Premiere Racing.

2008 J/22 World Champion Greg Fisher (USA) has made a career focusing on dinghy
and small keelboat one design classes, and replies to a few questions concerning
this part of the sport. Greg works for North Sails, and is based in Annapolis,

* How do you feel about the grass roots level of the sport?
FISHER: Obviously there's a lot of concern and discussion about the health of
this sector of the sport..but my personal opinion is that the grass roots is as
strong as ever. There certainly are some classes where the grass roots are not
attended to as well as in others. But there are so many other classes and clubs
who recognize that the families, the youth, the newer but enthusiastic sailors
are what provide the "mass", the base and the future for the sport. There are so
many great education programs and focused and engaging social functions being
developed that involve everyone that I think the sport of one design sailing
will see a resurgence in strength and energy once we get through all these tough
economic times.

* Has the need to succeed affected the bottom tier?
FISHER: I imagine in every sport there are competitors who value winning, or
competing at a high level so much that they sometimes forget where their roots
were or where they once began. Maybe it’s difficult to play at such a high level
and still maintain accessibility to the newer sailors. But the beauty of this
sport is that there are plenty who do work hard to put back and make sure the
newer, less experienced sailors receive the help and attention they deserve. As
we know few sports involve the number of variables or areas that must be
mastered to compete at a higher level. We all need help improving our game! --
Read on:

(Dec. 2, 2008; Day 18) - With only Team Russia yet to finish Leg Two of the
Volvo Ocean Race, stories are now emerging from this new route for the race:

* Kenny Read, PUMA Skipper: “Painful. That is the only way to describe this leg
(from Cape Town to Cochin, India). The give and take that has occurred is like
no other race I have ever been a part of. First off, huge credit again to our
team for fixing what looked like a very grim situation, when our longitudinal
frames broke - twice. Sure it cost us miles, but we got ourselves back into the
game. We didn't do the doldrums well, but we keep talking about it and we aren't
really sure where we went wrong. We got dealt on by a few clouds that ate up our
mileage while others were chugging along. We entered the doldrums just ahead of
the pack that we have been duking it out with since then, but the fact is we
were within striking distance of Ericsson 3 for third. We didn't pull it off. We
need to get better.” -- Read on:

* It was initially suspected that Green Dragon, who snapped their boom in a
48-knot gust just three days out of Cape Town, discussed stopping at Mauritius
to pick up a spare only to drop the idea in favour of a jury rig. However,
Walker confirmed that plans were so advanced they had even received clearance
from authorities at the island of Diego Garcia to fly in their replacement boom
from Amsterdam. It was only when the island refused permission for the boat to
dock that the idea was scrapped altogether and the team proceeded to a
hard-fought seventh place finish. -- Read on:

* Wind conditions are forecast to improve for Team Russia as they soldier on
towards the finish line for leg two of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team is
currently battling very light and variable winds, but the forecast is for the
breeze to build as a Northeasterly funnels between the tip of the subcontinent
and Sri Lanka. The stronger conditions, if they materialise, will help bring the
team to the southern tip of India, where hopefully, they can utilise the heating
effect of the land and the sea breezes that generate. At 04:00 GMT, Team Russia
had 334 miles to run to the finish and weather routing software has the team due
to arrive just after midnight, GMT, on Thursday the 4th December, or with the
sunrise, local time. -- Read on:

Leg Three from Cochin to Singapore is 1,950 nm, begins December 13th with the
finish estimated on December 23rd.

Current standings after Leg Two
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 26 points
2. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 19 points
3. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 18 points
4. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 16 points
5. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 14.5 points
6. Telefonica Black (ESP), F. Echavarri/ESP, 13.5 points
7. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 7.5 points
8. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 7.5 points *
Overall scores:
Race tracking:
Race website:

* Team Russia has been given the points for finishing Leg 2 in eighth place,
though they still have not yet finished.

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(Dec, 2, 2008; Day 23) - Seb Josse is hanging tough at the front of the Vendée
Globe fleet, but it is Jean-Pierre Dick, the southernmost of the chasing group,
who has reaped the reward of his positioning, setting the highest intermediate
average speed of the race to date, aiding his recent rise in the rankings. The
lead fleet remains on port gybe, and for the southern track held by Josse and
Dick, the first ice gate lay dead ahead of their easterly course.

As reported in SBUTT 2735, it is expected that Yann Eliès high ranking will soon
suffer when he is must gybe to starboard from his northern latitude to come down
to the gate (CORRECTION: Entrants may either pass to the north of both ends of the
gate, or pass through the gate). As for Loïck Peyron, his continued slide to fifth
is a result of the struggle to bring his gennaker back on board after it tumbled.
into the water and became temporarily trapped around the keel. Exhausted after
clearing and rehoisting, Peyron took an extended rest and will soon have to climb
his mast to retrieve the halyard.

Jonny Malbon will do his best to put his recent problems behind him after
damaging his starboard daggerboard in a collision with a marine mammal on
Monday. Said the Artemis II skipper, “It was nothing soft at fifteen knots. I
did not see anything, There was nothing evident; it was just a sudden stop. The
bow went right down, we got hung up on whatever it was for about a minute and
then finally we shook ourselves free, and looking out the back of the boat,
there was a big grey-green mammal writhing on the surface around in a lot of
pain, which was really horrible to see.” -- Race tracking:

Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants):
1. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 18511.3 nm Distance to finish
2. Yann Eliès (FRA), Generali, 37 nm DTL
3. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 48.2 nm DTL
4. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 62 nm DTL
5. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 62.3 nm Distance to leader
14. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 518.4 nm DTL
15. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 665.6nm DTL
20. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 901.8 nm DTL
25. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1542.6 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Event website:

Britain's Ian Williams of Bahrain Team Pindar, will begin his pursuit to retain
his World Match Racing Tour title at the Monsoon Cup, which takes place December
3-7 in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. Williams will be hoping to repeat his
performance at the 2007 event when he became the first ever British sailor to
win the World Match Racing Tour. Williams, from Southampton, heads to the ninth
and final stage on the 2008 tour in a strong position, leading the standings by
four points with America’s Cup skipper Sebastien Col (French Team/K Challenge)
and current ISAF World Number 1 Mathieu Richard (French Team/Team French Spirit)
both also in contention for the title. -- Read on:

Peter Montgomery or better known as PJ to the sailing fraternity around the
world, is a rare breed in sailing since the TV and radio broadcaster is better
known to the world than most of the world class sailors, sportsmen and women
whose deeds and feats he describes. When New Zealand yachting sailed the waves
of unprecedented popularity in recent years, it was the distinctive voice and
style of PJ that stirred the elements and intensity of the competition, which
helped raise the public perception of sailing in New Zealand than any other

The voice of New Zealand yachting and world sailing for over 3 decades, Peter
Montgomery has covered all the major events including Nine America's Cups, Seven
Olympic Games, all Nine Whitbread/Volvo races and all three Monsoon Cup races,
which this year will decide the champion of the World Match Racing Tour. Said
Peter, “I came to Malaysia for the first Monsoon Cup in 2005 and what I saw was
just a conceptual vision and ingenuity of Malaysia's ideas on a skeletal basis
with only marquees lining up the Heritage Bay but today there is a world class
permanent structure with world class marina facilities to put Terengganu on the
world sailing map.” -- Read on:

The 2008 'Round the County Race' was sailed Nov 8-9 in the waters off the San
Juan Islands in WA. Day one brought winds gusting up to 40 knots and although
conditions were challenging, North Sails-powered boats won Div X (Steve Travis);
Div 0 (Jay Platt); Div 3 (Steve Kleinbart) and placed 2nd in Divisions X, 0, 1 &
2 (Charles Burnett, Bob Brunius, Michael Kalahar and Chris White respectively.)
When performance and durability matter, the choice is clear.

With each America’s Cup, there is typically some new development that trickles
down to the rest of the sport. Sail material, electronics, and winch systems
have all improved as a result of the event. Despite the 33rd America’s Cup being
tied up in a legal system, developments continue, with a recent media tool being
now regularly used called the “Open Letter.”

The Open Letter is not a press release, which is sent out to the media to
announce or inform. This is not a private letter sent to an individual or entity
to communicate a message. The Open Letter is a little of both, plus a tool to
seek recognition. It is written and sent to an individual or entity, but also
sent to the media. The latest Open Letter comes from Pedro Perelló, CEO of the
AYRE Challenge, which is a new team from Spain that is among the entered
challengers for the 33rd America’s Cup, and was “sent” to Russell Coutts, CEO of
BMW Oracle Racing. Interested in getting a peak? Here it is:

* An interview with America’s Cup defender Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth
discusses the steps being taken to plan for the 33rd Match, particularly the
effect that their December 15th entry deadline may cause. Read here:

* Mandatory, online registration for US SAILING’s 2009 Rolex Miami OCR opens
today at the event website. All competitors and coaches must register online
before January 19, 2009, as there will be no on-site registration. Women’s match
racing teams have an earlier deadline of December 16, 2008. The 2009 event,
scheduled for Sunday, January 25 through Saturday, January 31, with racing
beginning on Monday, is one of seven events chosen by the International Sailing
Federation (ISAF) for the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup. --

* Rima2, the Reichel Pugh 55 sailed by John Brim of New York, NY, won the 2008
US-IRC Gulf Stream Series Trophy. On the way to winning the 3rd annual Gulf
Stream Series, Rima2 competed in the Ft Lauderdale to Key West Race, the Block
Island Race, Newport Bermuda, the Ida Lewis Distance Race, the Acura Key West
Regatta, the Acura Miami Grand Prix, the American Yacht Club Spring Series and
Fall Series, the NYYC Annual Regatta, and the Storm Trysail US-IRC East Coast
Championship at Annapolis Yacht Club. Details for the 2009 Gulf Stream Series
are now online. --

* Waterline Systems of Portsmouth, RI, builders of the Farr 40, M-30, J/105, 22
and 24, has announced the launch of their “Adopt an RC Boat” program to support
local yacht and sailing clubs. This initiative offers free or discounted refit,
repair and maintenance work, reserving up to 6 service slots a year for the
program. -- Details:

* The board of directors of Canada's Discover Boating program has voted to go
ahead with the marketing campaign for 2009, though the exact details of that
campaign have yet to be worked out. Last month, Grow Boating in the US announced
that it was temporarily suspending its ad and print media schedules for 2008 and
would transfer that money to US dealers to help boost sales. The association
said it would continue its public relations campaign and DVD distribution
through its website. -- IBI Magazine, full report:

* The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season produced a record number of consecutive
storms to hit the United States and was the fourth-most active since
record-keeping began in 1944, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. There were 16 named storms this season, which ended last Sunday,
including five major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. For the first time on
record, six consecutive tropical cyclones (Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna
and Ike) made landfall on the U.S. mainland. -- Soundings Trade Only, read on:

Temperatures are dropping but the Key West warmth and sunshine don't change.
North America's premiere international regatta - Acura Key West 2009, presented
by Nautica beckons (January 19-23). Great IRC, PHRF and One Design competition.
Reminder: the first entry deadline is December 12th. Special thank you to
Industry Partners and Official Sponsors: Acura, Nautica, Lewmar, Mount Gay Rum,
Sperry Top-Sider, B&G, Marlow Ropes and SLAM. Current entries and more:

Pertti Lipas of Finland, an ISAF International Judge for over 20 years and a key
figure behind the latest edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing, has died aged
76. Pertti Lipas (FIN) has been a key figure in the continued development of The
Racing Rules of Sailing, the worldwide rules which govern the sport on the water
and are revised and published every four years by the International Sailing
Federation (ISAF). -- Read on:

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 Andy Rose: (re, Dick Enerson's note about Ted Turner in SBUTT 2735) Noel
Robins, Alan Bond and I had arrived before Ted and crew and were already sitting
at the dais for the press conference. I had a bottle of Heineken on the table
(we had also joined the Courageous celebration) and Alan suggested for decorum
purposes that I hide it below the table which I did. Once Ted and Gary arrived
and put on the show exactly as Dick and Gary Jobson describe, I turned to Alan
and asked if I could retrieve my bottle noting that, "I don't think anyone is
watching us now!" Needless to say, I finished my Heineken.

* From Martin Tasker, Television New Zealand: (re, Urban Legend in SBUTT 2735) I
wish I could have found Dick Enerson’s footage ten years ago. It was
mysteriously missing from all the archives I searched at the time.

I’d interviewed Ted Turner at the Newport Maritime Museum ahead of the first
Team New Zealand defence and I wanted to juxtapose his famous press conference
antics with those of Peter Blake in San Diego in 1995. Visibly glowing Blake sat
down at the table with Russell Coutts, both soaked in Moet after receiving the
Cup. It was rapidly evident that not all the celebratory champagne had merely
been sprayed…

Question to Blake (from Dave Philips, Providence Journal?): ”First of all, can
you tell us in the absence of the commodore what challenges the Royal New
Zealand (Yacht Squadron) has received up until now?”

Blake: “Ah…I can’t at the moment I am sorry Dave… I’m not really fit to tell you
anything right now…” (Audience collapses with laughter)

I asked Turner what he remembered about his celebrations: “Not much,” was the
terse reply. But he was much more forthcoming when I asked him what the biggest
thrill of his life was? Said Turner, “I think the most thrilling thing that ever
happens... for any guy anyway…is making love the first time, right? I never was
in a sailboat race that was that much fun.” -- Additional comments:

* From Ian Brown: The discussion amongst the Swan 42 class regarding pro sailors
just about sums up the problem with the current ISAF rating system. ’Industry’
professionals such as sailmakers, riggers and deck gear specialists are by and
large classified as Class 3 regardless of their ability to make a boat go fast,
i.e. they are classified as Class 3 just because they choose to work in the
marine industry. I believe that the failure of the current system to distinguish
between industry pro’s and the likes of Russell Coutts and Terry Hutchinson to
be fundamentally flawed; come on ISAF sort it out. -- Additional comments:

Karmageddon is when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and
then the Earth explodes, and it's a serious bummer.

Special thanks to Morris Yachts, North Sails, and Premiere Racing.

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