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SCUTTLEBUTT 2742 - Thursday, December 11, 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

Joining the year-end "best of" lists is US SAILING's short list of nominees for
the 2008 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. Established in
1961, the annual presentation is widely regarded as the sport's ultimate
recognition of an individual's outstanding on-the-water achievements for the
calendar year.

Nominees for US SAILING's 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award:
505 East Coast and Midwinter Champion Ethan Bixby (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
J/22 World Champion Greg Fisher (Annapolis, Md./Columbus, Ohio)
Etchells World Champion Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Ca.)
Sunfish World Champion Paul Foerster (Heath, Texas)
TP52 World Champion Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.)
Newport Bermuda Race winner Peter Rebovich (Metuchen, New Jersey)
SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Nick Scandone (Fountain Valley, Ca.)
Finn Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Lightning North American Champion Allan Terhune (Annapolis, Md.)

Nominees for US SAILING's 2008 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award:
470 Women's World Champion Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.)
470 Women's World Champion Erin Maxwell (Stonington/Norwalk, Conn.)
SKUD-18 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.)
U.S. Women's Match Racing Champion Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (San Diego, Ca.)
Laser Radial Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.).
For full details on each nominee:

Indeed, what about ice and land sailing speed records? Because the ‘buttheads
are mostly “soft water” sailors, there is interest in these types of speed
records. The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) does a nice job of
keeping order in this department, but sailing is sailing, and a desire to use
the wind for high speeds on land and on “hard water” exists as well. However,
the WSSRC does not handle land or ice records.

For land, there does seem to be decent information available, with the North
American Land Sailing Association (NALSA) ratifying the current speed record set
on March 20th, 1999 by Bob Schumacher, who sailed the 'Iron Duck' to a top speed
of 116.7 mph (187.7 kph). Some of the details include:

Probable wind speed during the fastest runs: 25-30 mph.
Configuration: Asymmetric
Length: 39-feet
Width: 23-feet
Weight: 1600 lbs.
Wing Height: 23-feet
Side Tires: 14-inch wheel, 23-inch diameter
Tire life: ½ to 2 days.
Designer: Bob Dill
Complete details and photos:
Land speed record rules:

However, for speed records held by ice boaters, there seems to be as much
folklore as fact. Here is a report provided to Scuttlebutt by John Harwood-Bee,
Chairman of Project 100 Ltd:

"We at Project 100 spent some time researching and evaluating the three
significant sailing speed records, those of land, ice and water. This was on
behalf of our client Steve Fossett. As you know Steve was always looking for the
next challenge and we presented this trio as a possible goal for him. He and
Peter Hogg gave consideration to the project but it was shelved whilst Steve
made attempts on the outright Land Speed record and the Oceanic Depth record.

"Our research indicated some confusion in the verification of certain claims.
With the water record it was and is easy to check for existing data. Similarly
with the land speed record. What was most difficult to establish was an accurate
and verifiable ice yacht speed. The fastest speed claimed was 143mph, supposedly
attained in 1938 by John Buckstaff on Lake Winnebago. Buckstaff had a 60' long
ice yacht carrying almost 1000 sq feet of sail. It is impossible to verify this
now and there does not appear to be any record of the equipment used to measure
it. The Guinness Book of Records did list it and they are normally very
thorough. They however have only been around since 1955 so were probably working
from historic detail.

"There is controversy surrounding that claim and it is 'examined' in detail by
modern ice sailors who, working with the latest GPS equipment etc, have only
managed 84 mph.” -- Read on:

* Here is a classic from the VIDEO OF THE WEEK archives, providing retro footage
from the 1930's of an iceboat racing a Chevrolet on a frozen lake in Michigan
with 'play-by-play' narration:

Ullman Sails customers enjoyed a successful weekend in New Orleans at Southern
Yacht Club’s AllState Sugar Bowl Regatta, December 6-7th. Ken Buhler’s team on
J/30 “Jalapeno” continued their winning streak, taking first place overall in
the PHRF B division, fully powered by Ullman Sails. Alan Robson’s J/35
“Footloose II” also showed superior speed, winning the six-boat fleet in PHRF A
with an Ullman spinnaker and FiberPath jib. And Louis Lambou’s Easterly 30
“Koala” finished second overall in the non-spinnaker division with 100% Ullman
inventory. Make an investment in your performance. Contact a local Ullman Sails
loft and visit

Monaco, (Dec. 10, 2008) - The economic situation and the need to better manage
our sport, including the America’s Cup, were at the heart of today’s debates at
the World Yacht Racing Forum. The Cup debate was definitely one of the
highlights of the day, with Tom Ehman and Brad Butterworth trying hard to
convince the audience that their point of view is the right one.

How do we drive the global growth of our sport? What are the keys to its
development? These were some of the key issues debated by ISAF President Göran
Petersson, who was on many occasions challenged by some of the speakers and the
public. Everyone’s goals are different; ISAF has to please the IOC and work
towards the development of sailing, including in developing countries, whilst
most participants in the Forum represent commercial organisations, hence the
differences in opinions.

Mr Petersson and most panellists agreed on the fact that “the key element to the
growth of our sport is exposition and media coverage.” A fact confirmed by Knut
Frostad, who believes that the sailors are still often a long way behind
understanding the importance of media for the development of their sport. Race
calendar management is probably one of the easiest targets to achieve between
the different sailing classes. Head of communication for the Vendée Globe,
Christophe Baudry agrees, “ Having the Vendée Globe and the Volvo Ocean Race
taking place at the same time is nonsense. We should talk together.” -- Excerpts
from full report:

The next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race leads the fleet to another heretofore
unseen port in the Volvo race. Singapore, an island state at the southern tip of
the Malay Peninsula, will host the fleet through the upcoming holiday season.
The 1,950-nautical mile leg from Cochin, India is expected to take between nine
and 11 days. "This is a tricky leg," said team meteorologist Chris Bedford. "I'm
going to rate its difficulty between six and seven on the weather side, but a 10
on the navigation side."

After the start the fleet will work its way southwards down the India coastline
battling the light seabreeze and land breeze that marked the finish of Leg 2.
Following on the strategies employed approaching the previous finish, expect the
boats to stay close to the shoreline on Saturday night as they look for the
slightest of zephyrs. Once south of the tip of India and Sri Lanka, the fleet
turns easterly towards Sumatra. The upwind route is a precipitous balance
between avoiding the southern edge of the northeasterly monsoon, and the
northern edge of the equatorial Doldrums. -- Read on:

* REPLACEMENTS: Tom Addis will replace Laurent Pages on Telefonica Blue; Rob
Greenhalgh will replace Robbie Naismith on PUMA Ocean Racing; Steve Hayles and
James Carroll will replace Ian Moore and Tom Braidwood (respectively) on Green
Dragon; and Sergey Bogdanov will replace Mark Covell on Team Russia.

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, 10, 2008; Day 31) - Loïck Peyron, who had already fully endorsed his
ranking as one of the popular favourites to win this Vendée Globe, reported to
the Course Direction early this afternoon that he had dismasted. Peyron, who had
lead the pack down the Atlantic for 16 days, was down below in his Farr designed
Gitana Eighty studying weather information when he heard a very loud bang. When
he got in deck his immediate fears were realized when he found his mast in three
or four pieces. Said Peyron, “There was 30 knots of breeze and Gitana Eighty was
under one reef mainsail and solent. There was no reason for the boat to be under
pressure and everything was going very well aboard when the mast fell violently
without any warning.”

He spent more than an hour and a half cutting free the rig and sails. Peyron is
only left with the boom and had set about building a jury rig with it. He will
now see how Gitana Eighty performed under jury rig, before making a decision
where he would head too. Cape Town is about 1850 miles to his NNW and Cape
Leeuwin, Australia about 3000 miles to the east. The French skipper reported
that there was no damage to the hull and that he was uninjured and in good
physical shape. Winds were around 30 knots, he was sailing under single reefed
main and Solent headsail.

Remarked Mike Golding from Ecover 3, “Gitana's dismasting s very bad news for
the race as Loïck is such a great ambassador for sailing and French sailing in
particular. Conditions are pretty wild, 20kts plus of boatspeed, diving down
steep awkward waves with winds ranging between 22 and 35kts from the west. Also
add to this that last night was so very cold (SST 3C) that even in full layer
thermals and inside my sleeping bag I just could not sleep. So I got up made a
drink, hunkering down over the stove. Then I charged the batteries which was a
great excuse to have the engine on to warm up the nav station. Then with an
almost endless stream of hot drinks of all description I sat and trimmed sails
and the pilot for many hours - probably in part accounting for my big gains this
morning.” -- 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. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 15925.0 nm Distance to finish
2. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 9.9 nm Distance to leader
3. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 27.3 nm DTL
4. Mike Golding (GBR), Ecover, 35.1nm DTL
5. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), Foncia, 35.4 DTL
14. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 608.7 nm DTL
15. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 766.3 nm DTL
19. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 1360.0 nm DTL
21. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 1861.1 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Event website:

* Steering an Open 60 monohull since November 9, 200,000 skippers are
participating in the Vendee Globe virtual game. Details at

This week we have looked at Night Vision binoculars and Monoculars. Read this
newsletter to see how these devices can help navigating at night, plus pros and
cons and how much they will cost. Also find links to Binoculars and Image
Stabilized Binoculars reviews. will help you find the best gear,
by reviewing hundreds of boating products and bringing the best ones to you.
Product information is easily accessed and organized into 200 plus categories.
MyBoatsGear site:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: In addition to learning about the products available,
if you have ever wondered about the technology used for night vision viewing,
the review link above provides information that even the Curmudgeon understood.
Plus, there is also a really funny video that demonstrates why you should not
play soccer with binoculars strapped to your head.

Three Americans Moth sailors made the trip to Sydney, Australia last week for
the ISAF Grade 1 OAMPS Sydney International Regatta, which hosted 220 entrants
amid the Olympic and invited classes. The 19 boat Moth fleet held plenty of
talent - including the current World Champ John Harris - but the American
contingent garnered three of the top four spots. Tops among the group was event
winner 2000 Olympic 49er bronze medallist Charlie McKee, who provides
Scuttlebutt with this update on the rise of Moth sailing in the U.S.:

“The Moth Class is taking off in the U.S. Many talented sailors are getting
boats because they are so fun to sail. Having the next Moth Worlds in the U.S.
in August 2009 helps too (Cascade Locks, Oregon). Bora Gulari has been our
leader; he is the most experienced and talented U.S. Moth sailor. He encouraged
us to come down to Australia to sail; this is where many of the top Mothies are.
So Bora, Hans Henken (16 year old from Coronado, CA) and myself made the trek
down for OAMPS. Hans and I are off to Melbourne for another regatta this weekend
(Sail for Gold), Bora is back to the U.S. but comes back down in January to
contest the Australian Nationals in late Jan in Geelong.” -- Read on:

* The Notice of Race and Application have been recently sent out for the Bermuda
One-Two Newport to Bermuda Single Handed leg starting June 5, 2009, with the
spring Skippers' Forum/Party scheduled for March 7th. Additional information at

* The Royal Yachting Association website is hosting a Powerpoint presentation to
guide a viewer through the changes in the Racing Rules for 2009 or to be
downloaded to facilitate group presentations. --

* When French adventurer Anne Quéméré set out from San Francisco on November 4
bound for Tahiti, getting stuck in the equatorial doldrums (ITCZ) was
undoubtedly one of her greatest fears. She was, after all, traveling aboard a
16-ft one-person craft propelled only by a special kite, similar to those used
by kitesurfers. Although full details have yet to emerge, an initial report
indicates that Quéméré made the difficult decision to give up this week, after
idling with no wind for 10 days. During the past month she had completed roughly
half of the 4,000-mile voyage. -- Latitude 38, read on:

* (Dec. 10, 2008) - Lanzarote delivered on its promises of strong wind for the
first day of the RC44 Gold Cup, with the six teams battling to master the gusty
conditions while also trying to win their five flights of intense match racing.
The only boat to keep a clean sheet was Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref, helmed by James
Spithill. -- Read on:

* It's a time for consolidation in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings released on
10 December, with no changes amongst the top-three crews and Australia and Spain
still tied for the top nation spot. -- Complete report:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Here are a few of the events that are coming up:
Dec. 13 - BBCC Single-Handed Regatta - Jacksonville, FL, USA
Dec. 13-14 - Catalina 22 Florida State Championship - Cocoa, FL, USA
Dec. 13-14 - Etchells Jaguar Cup Series, Piana Cup - Miami, FL, USA
Dec. 13-21 - 104th NY National Boat Show - New York, NY, USA
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 Doran Cushing: Sad to hear of the death of Tom Morris (in SBUTT 2740). I
only had one occasion to spend any time with him - it was on a delivery from
Florida to the Chesapeake as captain of this magnificent $700,000 (as listed in
brokerage) yacht. Three memories come to mind, the first being the fact we
caught all the Dorado we could handle in one afternoon along the north Florida
coast. The second memory was trying to solve problem with the head/holding tank.
Turns out the holding tank lever was frozen. In trying to fix the problem, I
came across (in a "spares" locker) a complete head assembly with bowl, base,
pump, hose...just bolt in place and don't get your hands messy. The third memory
was of the incredible attention to detail on the boat. The bilges were spotless
and every cable, thru-hull, valve, or hose was tagged for ID. Of particular note
was the typical small boat fan mounted on a panel over the nav station. But
unlike the plastic casings that come with these box-shaped fans, this one was
wrapped in varnished teak. When I asked Mr. Morris how much it cost to build
that little box, he grimaced and said. "Don't ask." But he'd do whatever it took
to make the customer happy.

* From Anton Huggler: (re Vendee Globe story in SBUTT 2741) Equally impressive
as (the comeback by) Michel Desjoyeaux is Bernard Stamm on Cheminees Poujoulat.
After colliding with a freighter just 70 miles into the race, returning and
spending more than three days to repair the bowsprit and mast, he was 940 miles
behind the leaders when he restarted. On Nov. 24th, he was even 1,174 miles
behind and at the rear end of the fleet. Since then he has consistently
out-sailed his nearest competitors and is now 14th, 534 miles behind the
leaders. It's a long race...! I am fascinated reading the e-mails, looking at
the photos and watching the videos from both, the Vendee and Volvo races. Wish I
was half my age and out there too, instead, I am just warmly dressed.

* From Reynald Neron: (re, letter in SBUTT 2741 about putting a kite on a Vendee
Globe Open 60) I am sure you will remember that a boat tried that in Sydney
Harbour a few years back. It was named AAPT if I recall properly - a former Open
60 yacht, redesigned and modified to be 66ft long, I suspect owned/skippered by
Sean Langman.

They made a lot of noises and PR efforts about doing the following Sydney-Hobart
with that new "rig", but in the try out they did in Sydney Harbour, they managed
great speed, but could not settle to a proper direction. I spend a few days on
the Harbour watching them getting scared as the boat came quite close to shores
and rocks on a regular basis. (Here is an image:

* From Peter von Braun: (re, SBUTT 2741 lead story) I may miss the point of
modern math, but in the old school math 10 knots x 2.5 = 25 knots and 12 knots x
2.5 = 30 knots. What gives with the story?

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the

Special thanks to Ullman Sails and

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