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SCUTTLEBUTT 2744 - Monday, December 15, 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 Kaenon Polarized, Ultimate Sailing, and LaserPerformance.

by Tim Jeffery, Yachting Journalist
Monaco (Dec. 10-11, 2008) - We’ve seen the signs in hotel lobbies: Welcome to
the Conference of World Wide Root Canal Specialists. Or some such. And maybe,
like me, perhaps you might have wondered the idea of sailing professionals
talking to sailing professionals about professional sailing would be
unimaginative and repetitive. In fact, the inaugural World Yacht Racing Forum
was stimulating, absorbing, informative and thoroughly worthwhile. It is a
conference for conference-adverse people.

What was encouraging more than anything else was the freedom with which
information was shared, a lot of it being proprietary information gained at
considerable cost either through paid audits and surveys or lessons learnt from
having been out there conceiving and running events. More so, when you consider
that many in the room were competitors. To a greater or lesser degree they were
chasing the same sponsorship dollar, the same sailing talent and a slice of the
same media attention.

Intentionally or otherwise, the WYRF was dominated by pro-sailing and this
regard it was absolutely plain that the America’s Cup dominates all other events
in sailing. That its current dysfunctional state is hurting the entire sport and
industry is a brutal truth. Many took note of the frankness of Sir Keith Mills
statement: “I am mightily pissed-off that Alinghi and BMW Oracle have not been
able to settle their differences.” -- Read on:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Along with Tim’s report, the link above includes
observations from Paul Cayard, Lynn Fitzpatrick, David Barrow, Chris Savage, and
Beth Perry.

(Dec, 14, 2008; Day 35) - A solid lead for Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac)
looks to be established as the Vendee Globe fleet leaders prepare for a bigger
storm which should challenge them with winds in excess of 40 knots. While he
doubled his overnight lead last night – despite having to back up several times
to clear week off his rudder and keel – Dick’s gain on Golding is of the order
of 10 miles today. For Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), who started nearly two days late
after returning to fix a water ballast system leak and faulty engine, the
question now is whether he will change his way of sailing.

Said Desjoyeaux,“It’s true that I’ve pushed the boat harder than the others.
What’s changed in my way of sailing now? What’s changed in my way of sailing is
that it’s cold (laughs). Right now, it’s 8°C, but last night it was 3°C. You’re
dressed in four layers on top and three bottom layers… You put your gloves down
below and you take them off when you have to go up top to manoeuvre. The water
last night was at 4.7°C… The first thing you do once you’ve completed
maneuvering with soaked sheets is to immediately dry your hands so as you don’t
get cold. Just 3 or 4 degrees difference between day and night and it’s
incredible how the body reacts. You can feel it immediately! I am even compelled
to rinse my jackets so they dry quicker, because they’re so caked in salt…” --
Event website:

New Retirements:
On Friday, in mid-afternoon, Dominique Wavre of Temenos II reported that the
keel head broke and was now freely swinging under the boat. Wavre is now at the
Kerguelen Islands to try and fix the keel in place temporarily in order to head
for Australia.

On Saturday, Bernard Stamm reported that his rudder bearings around the gudgeon
attachment have worn away. Stamm is also at the Kerguelens to seek a temporary

Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants; 21 now competing):
1. Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Paprec-Virbac 2, 14330.9 nm Distance to finish
2. Mike Golding (GBR), Ecover, 78.6 nm Distance to leader
3. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), Foncia, 109.3 DTL
4. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 110.6 nm DTL
5. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 165.6 nm DTL
11. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 835.5 nm DTL
14. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 1159.9 nm DTL
20. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 2054.2 nm DTL
21. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 2473.9 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Race tracking:

“There's no other way to say it: These are the best sunglasses I've ever worn.
The frames are stylish, yet remarkably comfortable, even after being worn all
day in a driving wind. The polarized lenses are optically pure…” wrote Seattle
Times gear editor Dan Nelson last week recommending the Hard Kore from Kaenon
Polarized. SAIL magazine gear editor David Schmidt writes in this month’s issue:
“…combining stellar optics, great sun protection, and stylish good looks is what
separates good glasses from great. Kaenon Polarized’s sunglasses (made for
sailors) are great.” Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically.

(Dec. 14, 2008; Day 2) As PUMA skipper Ken Read reported, following Saturday’s
start of Leg 3, “We have gotten exactly what we expected so far in the first 20
hours of this leg. Hot, light, tricky and very variable conditions. A good start
for the home team and an early lead, but this is becoming a bit of a theme. In
the evening the lead evaporated as did the wind and all of us took turns at the
front of the pack. As (Sunday) morning came, the entire fleet was stacked up on
top of each other- a long night with nothing to show for it but a re-start. --
Read on:

Delta Lloyd navigator Matt Gregory explains the course description to Singapore,
“Volvo has place an exclusion zone around the south coast of Sri Lanka. There is
a gang of pirates that occupy the region of the exclusion zone. Apparently, they
even have their own 'air force'. In an effort to avoid starting a 'turf war',
the race will pass to the south of a line of virtual marks that will give us a
safe distance between ‘the bad guys’ and us.” -- Read on:

For the top six, which includes Ericsson 3 (+10), it has been all hand-to-hand
combat thus far. "It's been exciting racing despite it being all in slow motion
at times due to the light winds off the coast,” says Telefonica Blue’s navigator
Simon Fisher. "The usual anxiety and anticipation of having to wait for each
sched (position report) every three hours has been absent so far - because we
have been able to see each other for most of the time. Tonight will no doubt be
getting busy again as the wind drops and the fleet compresses once more.” --
Read on:

Leg Three from Cochin to Singapore is 1,950 nm, with the finish estimated on
December 23rd. Current positions (as of Dec. 15, 1:00am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 1534 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 2 nm Distance to Leader
3. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 3 nm DTL
4. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 7 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 5 nm DTL
6. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 19 nm DTL
7. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 24 nm DTL
8. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 41 nm DTL
Overall scores:
Race tracking:
Race website:

Among the 100,000 entrants in the virtual Volvo Ocean Race game are school
programs, and to learn more about this group of participants, race organizers
held a contest to seek the best story. Here is the winner from La Presa Middle
School, Spring Valley, CA, USA, submitted by teacher Doug Paine:

“The La Presa Yacht Club consists of a growing group of low income, multi-ethnic
young sailors from the La Presa Middle School in Spring Valley, California. Even
though many of these kids have never been on a boat, in fact many have not been
to the beach though it is only twelve miles away, these kids are coming in
before school, taking their lunch periods, and logging in after school to
advance their boats. At three am. When Leg 2 started many students who were up,
swapping messages, and ready to start.

"In addition to the friendly and colorful trash talk, they are also talking
about low and high-pressure areas, about compass courses, and about wind angles
and how they effect the boat speed. They learned how to read polar diagrams and
are currently working out the concept of VMG. Though many students could not
find South Africa on a map prior to the race, they are now working in latitude
and longitude coordinates and referring to previously unknown geographical
features with an easy familiarity." -- Read on:

Not all sponsors want millions of eyeballs. This is good news for some sailors
who ask, “how can I compete with sports like football?” One brand that is using
sailing to make their brand more personal is Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko.
Robert Wilson, Seiko’s Director of Marketing made a presentation to the
International Sailing Summit (ISS) recently, in which he described why the brand
is investing in the 49er and 29er classes. Title : Successful sports
sponsorships : The Seiko perspective

For most companies, sport sponsorship is the most debated and least understood
part of the marketing mix. Huge numbers of companies are involved but no two of
them for the same reasons. And this makes it hard for any sport to position
itself successfully to potential sponsors. That was the start point for this
presentation, and I hope that, by sharing the Seiko perspective on this tricky
issue, it might help shed light on what sponsor companies are looking for from a
sport and how a sport, like sailing, might present itself to the sponsor
community. -- Yacht Sponsorship, read on:

2009 is right around the corner. The latest action packed ULTIMATE SAILING
Calendar brought to you by Sharon Green is a real page-turner. 24 dynamic images
will keep you riveted for 365 days. To order your calendar, t-shirts, caps,
jackets, vests, book, notecards and custom prints, go to the Ultimate Sailing
website or call 800-827-3186. --

A cascading series of roofs curved to resemble sailboat hulls define the design
for the proposed $30 million National Sailing Hall of Fame, which would recast
the character of the Annapolis waterfront. Set at a slight angle to the harbor,
the building plan unveiled last week was crafted to fit in with the historical
nature of the state capital, but its mission as an interactive museum and
facility for teaching nautical lore would make it unique in a downtown district
of shops and restaurants.

Designed for a site just across a fence from the U.S. Naval Academy's Halsey
Field House, the new 20,000-square foot structure would be positioned to lure
some of the 350,000 people who visit the academy each year. It also would draw
visitors from the thousands of sailors who make the Chesapeake Bay one of the
nation's most popular sailing venues and serve as a centerpiece to the annual
boat shows that draw tens of thousands of people to Annapolis each October. --
Washington Post, full story.

Miami, FL (Dec. 14, 2008) - The first of four regattas in the Etchells class
Jaguar Series, the Piana Cup, saw big breeze and sea this past weekend. Even
with temperatures in the low 70s, sailors were happy to escape the ice storms
and cold weather in other parts of the country for the more temperate Miami. On
Saturday, the wind started at around 12-15 knots for race 1 and built after that
to a steady 17 with gusts up to 22 knots for the following two races. The race
committee employed the optional windward gates as they did last season for the
58 teams. The forecast for Sunday depended on who you asked - anywhere from 12
to 20 knots out of the east. Light or heavy, the bay was lumpy after several
days of pretty strong breeze for two races. Jud Smith, leading after Saturday,
sailed just well enough on Sunday to beat out Peter Vessella on the tiebreaker.

Piana Cup - Final Standings (top 5 of 58)
1. Jud Smith/ Dirk Kneulman/ Darby Smith/ Tim King, 1-1-5-12-(21), 19 points
2. Peter Vessella/ Tracy Usher/ John Callahan, (22)-11-3-4-1, 19
3. Bruce Gollison/ Stevie Ericson/ Billy Lynn/ Peter Lynn, 2-4-12-3-(16), 21
4. Tom Lihan/ Moose McClintock/ Jim Porter, 10-2-6-5-(18), 23
5. Stuart Childerly/ Robert Elliott/ Sam Richmond, 6-(15)-14-2-2, 24
Full report/photos/results:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

* The "Good Morning America" weekend show on the ABC network profiled the BMW
Oracle Racing team’s BOR 90, with commentary from Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts
and Dennis Conner. View the video here:

* Canary Islands, Spain (Dec. 14, 2008) - The RC 44 season championship
concluded over the weekend at the Puerto Calero RC44 Gold Cup in Lanzarote.
While Igor Lah’s Team Ceeref won the regatta, it was Patrick de Barros’ Banco
Espirito Santo that won the 2008 six event series. The RC 44 fleet returns to
Lanzarote in late February for the 2009 Puerto Calero RC 44 Cup. -- Complete

* (Dec. 14, 2008) - Even though the World Sailing Speed Record Council has
ratified the World Singlehanded 24 hour Record of 628.5 nm that Thomas Coville
set on December 7th, 2008 aboard his 105-foot trimaran Sodebo, Coville remains
1495 nm behind the current solo around the world speed record set by Francis
Joyon. Coville is currently just south of Australia with 12,997 nm remaining. --

* The 18 Foot Skiff International Association has announced a new global
competition, the Mark Foy Trophy, to be sailed for the first time in Carnac
(France) between June 29th and July 04th 2009. As a sign of the importance of
the class outside Australia, and to show particular support for the class in
Europe, the first venue to hold a series of races for this Trophy will be Carnac
in France, often cited as the birthplace of European 18ft Skiff racing. A huge
turnout of 18ft Skiffs is expected, with over 30 boats representing Australia,
New Zealand, the USA and many European countries. -- Full report:

* Cape Town, SA (Dec. 14, 2008) - With a heavy cloud shrouding Table Mountain,
the six boats participating in the Portimão Global Ocean Race set off on their
7,900 nautical mile voyage to Wellington, New Zealand. The start for the two
solo Open 40s and four doublehanded Class 40s had been delayed 24 hours due to
strong winds. -- Event website:

* Cruising World announced the winners of its 16th annual Boat of the Year
awards. Topping this year's list of winners for the most anticipated awards in
the sailboat-building industry were the Island Packet 460 and the Malö 37
Classic. The IP 460 took home the Domestic Boat of the Year award, while the
Malö was named Import Boat of the Year. -- Read on:

* International Judge Jos Spijkerman from the Netherlands announced that fellow
IJ Willii Gohl from Germany has posted online a synopsis between the 2005 rules
and the “new” 2009 rules:

Just in time for the shopping season. Lowest prices on the year for class
approved Laser and Sunfish gear plus a lot more! Check it out at your local
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of $100 or more.

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 Lynne Shore: I was thrilled to see such a strong list of contenders for
the Rolex Yachtsman/women of the Year but I was saddened to see that they
separated the crew from the skipper. Why Rolex or the committee decided to do
this is a wonder to me. A "team" is a "team" - there is no "I" in team and one
member of the team cannot be successful without the other.

I realize there are many team members that have helped the nominees but maybe
there needs to be a distinction as to what qualifies as a "team". In 1988,
Allison Jolly and myself were the first team recognized and it was related to
the Olympic spirit - hence maybe this should be the criteria since the team
established a high profile and commitment for a quadrenium. By separating the
team, in my opinion, may create more problems and possible ill feelings. How do
you choose between Nick Scandone and his crew Maureen McKinnon-Tucker or Erin
Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving - flip a coin? They all deserve it!! - Maybe,
Rolex and the committee should consider Rolex Sailing team of the Year in
addition to the individual awards.

* From Jim Whistler, WholeSail Yachting Products: (re, iceboat speed records) I
can't wait to hear Peter Harken’s reply to this thread. Peter might begin by
saying that he invented the ball bearing and ratchet blocks for Ice Boats, not
soft water sailing but the real treat will be in the tale that he will single
out as the fastest ride he's ever had. Come on Peter, let us have the story.

* From Jane Pegel, 2-time DN North American Champion (edited to the 250-word
limit) I've been racing iceboats for over 60 years and would like to comment on
the issue of speed records. The highest levels of iceboat technology and
phenomenal levels of performance have been accomplished in the A Division of the
Skeeter Class - a bow steering catboat with 75 square feet of measured sail/spar
area. The goal of the designers, builders, and sailors of these craft (usually
one and the same individual) is to win races sailed on a windward-leeward
course, not to sail through a speed trap.

Iceboat races have a standing start with the sailor pushing the boat, climbing
aboard, and with skill getting the boat to accelerate. To reach top speeds the
boat must have well designed runners, runner plank, fuselage, mast and sail --
and a smart sailor who knows how to get the most out of her. As in a sailboat
race, there are wind shifts and other boats to deal with as well as varying
conditions of ice surface.

It is difficult for a soft water sailor to comprehend that the speed range in
one lap around the course can go from zero to 100 mph. The highest speed is
off-the-wind, with the apparent wind still on the nose. Turning the windward
mark and accelerating off-the-wind is an experience not to be missed, especially
when runner-to- runner with the competition and knowing that a twitch of the
helm can wipe out several boats. I look forward to it all year around.

Don’t believe everything you think.

Special thanks to Kaenon Polarized, Ultimate Sailing, and LaserPerformance.

Please give consideration to supporting the Scuttlebutt sponsors when making
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