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SCUTTLEBUTT 2738 - Friday, December 5, 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 Melges Performance Sailboats and Doyle Sailmakers.

Dave Perry won the Congressional Cup in 1983 and 1984, easily the most prominent
match racing event in the United States. Family and work responsibilities have
kept his name out of the headlines until recently, but in 2006, Perry returned
to the national stage by winning the U.S. Match Racing Championship, a feat he
repeated in 2008. In between, he was the Rules Advisor and Afterguard Coach for
Victory Challenge, the Swedish America's Cup Challenge Team. While Perry has
remained vested in match racing, the top match racers are now coming from Europe
and AUS/NZL. How come?

Said Dave, “Well, to be fair, the last winning skipper of the America's Cup is
an American (Ed Baird) as is the tactician for last year's World Champion (Bill
Hardesty). But Ed and Bill have done very little match racing in the US in the
last few years. Regions such as New Zealand and northern Europe have done a
great job building a buzz around match racing that has attracted not only their
top sailors but also sponsors and the media. The result is they have sailing
centers dedicated to match racing with boats and race officials running lots of
events. It is relatively easy to sail in 10-15 match racing events a year, in
addition to racing locally in ladder challenge matches. And the World Rankings
are based very much on quantity of participation as well as quality of

Are you on a mission to change the balance? “Absolutely, along with many others
who have seen the benefits to the sailors, officials and to the sport that match
racing can provide,” noted Perry. “Once people try match racing, or see it in
the faster boats we are using now, they are easily hooked to the excitement and
challenge. We need to create that buzz here in North America, establish a Tour
of regattas and clinics so sailors in this region can build their skills and
raise their rankings. And then some teams will want to continue to pursue their
skill development by participating in Grade 1 events and the World Match Racing
Tour around the world, and we will see more North Americans in the top seats
before too long, including on the medal stand for the 2012 Women's Match Race
event at the 2012 Olympic Games.” --

* Dave Perry will be leading a unique match racing clinic to teach good sailors
the X's and O's of match racing, as well as help experienced match racers raise
the level of their game. The Clinic will be February 2-4, 2009, immediately
after the Olympic Classes Regatta in Miami, in the Laser SB3. Dave is also
leading a women-only Clinic just before the OCR. Space is limited. Complete
details at

by Herb McCormick, Sailing World
It's been a weird spring down here in Sydney, Australia. If you don't believe
me, ask the folks in the southern "alps" of Thredbo, New South Wales. A few days
ago, a massive low wound its way up and across the Southern Ocean from
Antarctica and pasted the ski resort with a highly unseasonable foot of snow
before descending on Sydney and submerging the city under a cold, harsh deluge.
Board sports are a way of life Down Under, but this time of year you're supposed
to be thinking surfboards, not snowboards.

With summer, such as it is, squarely on the horizon, there's something else
unusual happening in Sydney right now. The annual 635-mile Rolex Sydney-Hobart
Race is just weeks away-- it starts on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas-- and
the entry list numbers 108 yachts, over two dozen more boats than set off on the
event in 2007. At a time when entry lists for major races everywhere seem to be
tanking as a consequence of the free-falling global economy, the Sydney-Hobart
classic is enjoying its second biggest fleet since 1998, when a "weather bomb"
went off in the Bass Strait, about a third of the way down the track, sinking
five boats and killing six sailors. Scores of others were rescued at sea in the
worst ocean-racing disaster since the infamous edition of the Fastnet in 1979.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of that deadly episode, and in the midst of these
strange, strange days, the race appears healthier than ever. The obvious
question: Why? -- Read on:

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(Dec. 4, 2008) Debate rumbles on as to why Ericsson 4 have taken such a grip on
this race, and among the reasons why give some clue to the depth of Ericsson's
preparation in the two years they gave themselves to get two boats ready for
this race. Among the challenges of Cochin, India is that there is no major
existing marine industry to call for help, and also the integration into a
different culture. However, as Ericsson Racing Team shore boss Herve LeQuillec
notes, “It is not a surprise to us. I came here four times before so I had a
pretty good idea of what to expect. In context, Telefonica sent staff here on a
single reconnaissance mission in the buildup, while PUMA, Team Russia, Green
Dragon and Delta Lloyd could not accommodate such a move within their budgets.
-- Complete story:

* Telefonica shore boss Campbell Field remains unsure whether collisions were
responsible for the broken port daggerboards suffered by both the team's yachts
in the second leg. The Blue crew's daggerboard was the first to go, breaking
eight days into the leg when they were reaching in 15 knots of breeze, before
Black lost theirs a day later in marginally stronger conditions. Initially a
collision was suspected by Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking for his team's damage, but
both boats have since been hauled from the water and Field says there are no
conclusive indications of what happened to either. Despite the issues, Field
insisted the team was not considering the option of ordering a stronger set of
daggerboards. -- Complete story:

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 of the ten
leg event:
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:

(Dec, 4, 2008; Day 25) - As the Southern Ocean delivers the first big winds of
this Vendée Globe, speeds at the front of the fleet climb proportionately. The
leaders are well into 35-40 knots of wind and big rolling seas, anticipating
forecast gusts of 45-50 knots tonight as the gales peak for about 10-12 hours.
The challenge as ever is not just pressing hard when you can through the worst
of the storm, knowing how little distance separates the top 10 boats, setting
the Open 60 up to deal with the big squalls and gusts, but anticipating when the
wind is building and when it is starting away again. Most are now predicting
that this system will be relatively short and sharp.

Seb Josse and Yann Eliès remain locked together after 25 days of racing, side by
side, with Josse’s British built BT representing the Farr design office for whom
the Vendée Globe represents one of the sport’s peaks they have yet to conquer,
and Eliès’ Generali carrying the hopes of the French design office Finot Conq,
incumbents and most regular winners of this legendary solo race. Loïck Peyron,
who had lead this race for longer than any other skipper, has climbed back in to
third place on Gitana Eighty 28.5 miles behind Josse, holding a course some 80
miles to the north of the main, chasing pack. -- 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, 17872.0 nm Distance to finish
2. Yann Eliès (FRA), Generali, 2.5 nm DTL
3. Loïck Peyron (FRA), Gitana Eighty, 27.5 nm Distance to leader
4. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 46.1 nm DTL
5. Jean Le Cam (FRA), VM Matériaux, 48.2 nm DTL
14. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 548.0 nm DTL
16. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 675.2 nm DTL
20. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 950.0 nm DTL
23. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1447.9 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Event website:

(Dec. 4, 2008) - The day was full of exciting racing with crashes, penalties,
mistakes and celebrations as the top 12 international match racing teams fought
for dominance on the waters off Terengganu, Malaysia, in the final event of the
World Match Racing Tour. At the top of the leader board is Paolo Cian's Team
Shosholoza, who has now beaten Mathieu Richard, Adam Minoprio, Torvar Mirsky,
Magnus Holmberg, Johnie Berntsson, Nurul Ain and Dato' Peter Gilmour. His only
loss has been to Williams in Wednesday’s racing. “It is an important event and
an important tour for Team Shosholoza,” said Cian. “I strongly believe the World
Match Racing Tour is an important part of world match racing.”

Eight flights were completed Thursday, with six remaining to finish the round
robin, and determine the top eight teams that will advance to the quarter
finals. Next in the rankings are Adam Minoprio's Black Match Racing and Torvar
Mirsky's Mirsky Racing Team, who also completed the round robin series in this
event a year ago in the same positions, with 23 year-old Minoprio currently
holding the upper hand with his win today over the 22 year-old Mirsky. Regarding
the quarter finals, Minoprio's team notes, “With the top qualifiers choosing who
they are to race during quarter final stage, it is always very interesting. As
we found out last year when top qualifier Peter Gilmour chose to race us even
though we had qualified second, it pays to be one of the teams choosing.” --
Complete recap:

Round robin standings after 11 of 17 flights:
1. Paolo Cian (ITA) 7-1
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) 6-1
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 6-1
4. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) 4-3
4. Ian Williams (GBR) 4-3
4. Sebastien Col (FRA) 4-3
4. Ben Ainslie (GRB) 4-3
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) 3-3
9. Mathieu Richard (FRA) 2-5
10. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) 2-6
10. Keith Swinton (AUS) 2-6
12. Nurul Ain bt Md Isa (MAL) 0-7
Event website:
Video highlights:

* The Monsoon Cup is the final event of the World Match Race Tour, with the
points earned from this event used to determine the International Sailing
Federation 2008 Match Racing World Champion title. The remaining skippers with a
chance at the World title are Ian Williams, Sebastien Col, and Mathieu Richard.

The International Melges 32 Class Association is proud to inform it has been
awarded ISAF recognized class status. With this esteemed honor, the class can
truly validate the strength, fleet growth, popularity and longevity of the
Melges 32. “For the class, this was a logical next step. We are simply
thrilled,” said International Melges 32 Class President Jeff Ecklund. “The
Melges 32 is a first-class sportboat in the performance, one-design category.
With this milestone, we are certain this boat will continue to grow fleets
worldwide.” This weekend the Melges 32 has its Gold Cup Championship at the
Lauderdale Yacht Club. Race to to check out the news!

Tension is high in the outright speed record world. Word is that the foiling
trimaran L'Hydroptere, which is seeking to set the outright speed record, had
petitioned the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to rule at their Annual
Meeting last month that kiteboarders were ineligible to compete for the outright
record. ISAF agreed, but given that this decision came AFTER the kiters had
already set the record, it has not been well received from that contingent.

Kiteboarders contend they are being discriminated against, and are requesting
equal treatment. The main point of a recent press distribution had to do with
water depth. A minimum depth of 50 cm had been prescribed for record setting as
it was learned how very shallow water can aid in gaining higher speeds. However,
given that this depth was based on a percentage of the beam of a typical kite or
windsurf board, the board sailors want this standard applied to, specifically,
the foiling trimaran L'Hydroptere. -- Full report posted in Forum:

* A petition is being circulated and signed by individuals that feel
kiteboarding should be considered for the outright world speed record. If you
agree, you can lend your support here:

* Long Beach, CA - The Butler Cup Match Race Championship series is designed as
an introduction to match racing, with the winning skipper receiving an
invitation to compete in the 2009 Ficker Cup, June 12-14, which is a qualifier
for the 2009 Congressional Cup. The ISAF Grade 5 event spans three weekends:
qualifying competition Jan. 17-18 and April 4-5 followed by the finals for the
top six teams June 6-7. -- Full details:

* Twenty yacht club teams from around the world have accepted the New York Yacht
Club’s (NYYC) invitation to compete in the first-ever New York Yacht Club
Invitational Cup at Newport, R.I. Announced in August and scheduled to debut
September 15-19, 2009, the event is for Corinthian (amateur) sailors
representing their yacht clubs and respective nations. "The response was greater
than we could ever have expected given the current business climate that affects
the world,” said NYYC Commodore David Elwell. "Many of the entries actually
arrived after the financial crisis became apparent. To date, we have entries
from five different continents.” -- Read on:

* Jim Bishop of New York, NY has received the 2008 J Boats Leadership Award.
Under Bishop’s presidency, the J/44 class achieved an unprecedented one-design
start for the 1994 Bermuda Race and has continued the streak of continuous class
starts through 2008. In the mid 90's, the J/44 class introduced an innovative
sail-rotation program where the fleet buys class sails in bulk and rotates them
between boats for the inshore buoy events, in order to reduce overall ownership
costs and provide for very competitive racing. The J/44 Class turns 20 in 2009.
-- Full report:

* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 2737, the lead story included a website link to use
for EPIRB registration. If you had problems connecting, the correct link is

(December 5, 2008) T2Productions has provided a segment of footage from a
particularly messy leeward mark rounding at a singlehanded college regatta. When
the fleet converges for the turn, the racing is tight but manageable. However,
just like how an auto accident can quickly snarl a busy city freeway, it took
only one boat handling miscue to quickly engulf the fleet with problems. Click
here for this week’s video:

* 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 record setting SailRocket getting launched in a bad way, Snipe getting
launched in a good way, Reichel Pugh 55 Rima2 launched into the winners circle,
hot babe launching wallets, transport ship launching Key West entries, Indian
Navy launching photographers, and a J/125 launching through the icy Puget Sound.
If you have images you would like to share, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor.
Here are this week’s photos:

In an interview with Seahorse for their January magazine, America’s Cup defender
Alinghi’s Tom Schnackenberg discusses the ongoing process of coordinating the
design of the new class rule for the 33rd America's Cup.

* How savage are you prepared to be to try to create a less costly America’s Cup
for the tougher years ahead?
SCHNACKENBERG: We think we should make the boat smaller and lighter and keep it
fairly simple, at least for the first Cup, but without dumbing it down. Having
one boat per team is another important step in cost saving for the campaign.

* Are you starting with the bones of the AC90 or something altogether newer,
less prescriptive? Smaller even?
SCHNACKENBERG: We are still working on that. A lot of good work went into the
details of the AC90 and it would be a pity to throw that away.

* Brad has talked about the class perhaps being destined for wider use…
SCHNACKENBERG: People are keen that the boats have a life outside the AC. This
certainly helps teams to amortize the cost and enjoy the boats over a wide range
of events rather than the boat being useful only for the AC.

* What do you currently plan as the timeline for the rule?
SCHNACKENBERG: We are planning to publish the rule in January allowing just
enough time to study it, design and build a boat, and work it up to race in 2010
in the trials and Match. I am hoping we can produce the final draft before
Christmas. -- Complete interview:

Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.

Special thanks to Melges Performance Sailboats and Doyle Sailmakers.

Please give consideration to supporting the Scuttlebutt sponsors when making
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