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SCUTTLEBUTT 2745 - Tuesday, December 16, 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 Doyle Sails, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and J Boats.

US SAILING Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner comments on some of
the big picture issues as the new Olympic cycle begins:

* Regarding recruiting sailors vs. developing campaigners:
BRENNER: We only have interest in developing sailors who have the right
combination of talent AND commitment. For the sailor with the talent and some
results, we’ll meet their commitment with our commitment. We are now reaching
down further than ever before, looking to develop Olympic sailors at an even
earlier age. But it will all still rely on commitment. We talk to kids all the
time who already have their hearts and minds set on the Olympics. We need to
nurture their talent in their younger years until they can make an Anna
Tunnicliffe-type of commitment when they get a little older.

* Most Americans begin to seriously train after college. Is this a good age?
BRENNER: I don't think there is an easy answer. But we do know that kids need to
start sailing internationally in Olympic equipment before they graduate from
college if they want to succeed on the Olympic level. Waiting until after
college is over is not a recipe for success, unless that athlete plans on
starting at the ground floor in Olympic sailing at the age of 22, and spend a
minimum of 6-8 years training for the gold medal. So an athlete can certainly
wait for full-time training until after college, but there needs to have been a
lot of good work done in Olympic-style racing and Olympic equipment before that,
so that when they make the full-time commitment they are already pretty far
along the path.

* What about Olympic classes that are not well established in the U.S.? -- Read

(Dec, 15, 2008; Day 36) - Vendee Globe leader Jean-Pierre Dick (Paprec-Virbac)
today experienced a violent collision with an unidentified object in the water.
The impact of the collision caused the starboard rudder to kick up. As he tried
to get it back in place, Dick realised that the connecting arm which joins the
two rudders is broken and that the rudder stock is also damaged.Dick, who has
lead the solo round the world race since last Wednesday Paprec-Virbac 2 has
slowed and is sailing with just the port rudder down and will need to ride out
the storm which had already brought the leaders 35- 40 knot winds this

Said Dick, “I was sailing about 20 knots of speed when I hit an object in the
sea which broke the ‘fuse’ of my rudder, but while the rudder cam up it
destroyed the bearing at the top of the rudder, but also the connecting bar that
enables the rudder to go up and down in its case. I am in a bad situation
because I can only use the windward rudder which is a big problem when going
downwind because I can only use a small area, only three reefs in the main, so I
will wait for this big storm to go through. After the gate I will try to gybe
and repair the rudder which will become the windward rudder. It is a really
complicated repair but I think I can make it, I can make it happen. On the
transom it is not going to be easy. I can do funny things on the boat and so I
try to do this so I can continue this beautiful race.”

The leaders are expected to cross the longitude of Cape Leeuwin Monday night,
the second of the three great Capes along the course. Bernard Stamm, who had to
divert to the Kerguelen Islands due to problems with his rudder bearings, saw
his boat Cheminées Poujoulat driven ashore in 45 knot winds late Sunday night.
He has since refloated his boat, but it is now damaged and cannot be sailed, and
will need to be shipped to a site with repair services. -- Event website:

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, 13973.3 nm Distance to finish
2. Mike Golding (GBR), Ecover, 34.3 nm Distance to leader
3. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 54.0 nm DTL
4. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), Foncia, 55.4 DTL
5. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 78.1 nm DTL
11. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 864.2 nm DTL
13. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 1314.7 nm DTL
17. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 2181.0 nm DTL
19. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 2606.0 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Race tracking:

The world’s largest StackPack is under construction right now to go under
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mizzen will measure over 22 feet. A Doyle StackPack can be added to any existing
main – it doesn’t have to be new or Doyle! To learn more about the Doyle
StackPack and how it can revolutionize your sailing experience, call your local
loft (800-94-DOYLE) or visit

(Dec. 15, 2008; Day 3) - With 800 nm remaining for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on
their easterly upwind leg to the top of Sumatra, Team Russia Wouter Verbraak
navigator describes the situation, “To give you an idea of just how long a leg
this is, it is as far as Miami to New York! It is not like we haven't been
warned though. The statistics from the weather studies were daunting when we
first got them. Whereas previous Volvo Ocean Races have been mainly a downwind
and reaching trip around the planet, this edition we are in for a good
beat(ing). Both this leg and the next leg stick out like a sore thumb with this
one being the light to medium upwind stretch and the next leg to China the big
breeze beat.”

While an adverse current of up to three knots is slowing the progress of the
entire fleet, there exists a division on the course as to which route will prove
best. Said Verbraak, "It is clear that there is consistently more wind up north
in the Bay of Bengal. Go further east to get that better right hand shift, or go
earlier to get to the stronger wind first." -- Full report:

Leg Three from Cochin to Singapore is 1,950 nm, with the finish estimated on
December 23rd. Current positions (as of Dec. 16, 1:00am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 1416 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 3 nm Distance to Leader
3. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 8 nm DTL
4. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 11 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 19 nm DTL
6. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 29 nm DTL
7. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 32 nm DTL
8. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 58 nm DTL
Overall scores:
Race tracking:
Race website:

* The Scuttlebutt stories last week on iceboating helped bring to the surface
some images of the world’s largest iceboat, the 54-foot stern steerer 'Deuce'
from 2003 before the hull was broken and then also following the repair at the
Harken 40th Anniversary party in 2006. --

* Photographer Cory Silken was in Antigua and has provided a gallery of images
from The Superyacht Regatta, an event for the big and schwanky yachts that tour
the world:

* The Ancient Mariners Sailing Society in San Diego, CA held their Half
Pint-o-Rum Regatta, which appears to be an excuse to go sailing and enjoy a bit
of rum. Got a problem with that? Photographer Gretchen Dorian provides the story
and photos:

There’s a private grade school a few blocks from my house where the tuition for
kindergarten is $18,000. I am sure it is a great school, but I always thought
that the fee was pretty high, and was intended more so to keep some people out
than to cover the costs of teaching their kids. Call it a filter.

The America’s Cup has a filter too, as it should. I mean, who wants a bunch of
marketing people with business cards and a box of stationary pretending to be
actual teams. It takes a lot to be a team, and while money is a primary
requirement, the type of people involved is vital. The America’s Cup is not just
a means to earn a living, or to market a product. The America’s Cup is a regatta
of the highest order, and only teams ready to play at this level should apply.

The challenging club requirements has been the focus of the legal dispute
between defending team Alinghi and American team BMW Oracle Racing. Per the
entry form, a club must supply:

1. An original notarized certified copy of the Yacht Club's certificate of
2. An original notarized certified copy of the Yacht Club's trade register
3. A Notice of Race (NOR) of the Yacht Club's annual regatta
4. The By-Laws of the yacht club
5. The organisation rules of the Yacht Club

It was Item #3 that caught our attention, so Scuttlebutt asked Ana Gil-Robles,
legal counsel for the event, about this issue. Knowing that Alinghi’s Challenger
of Record Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV) had not hosted an event prior to
their entry, we wondered if this applied to others. -- Scuttleblog, read on:

* The entry deadline for the 33rd America’s Cup was December 15th, with the
Alinghi team planning to announce the entry list later this week after the
necessary validation process. Of course, if the New York Court of Appeals finds
in favor of BMW Oracle Racing in their litigation against Alinghi, the event for
which the teams have entered will be cancelled.

Just in time for Christmas, we have some great gift ideas for the discriminating
sailor. There is an exciting new J boat being built, the J/95, a 31 foot low VCG
keel with a fully retractable centerboard and twin rudders. This new performance
sailboat is going to be the new hit in 2009. Give us a call and order yours now
and be one of the first ones to experience this exciting new boat. If you are in
the market for a used boat, we also have some great listings so stop by the
office or check out our website at

* In association with the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS),
the Southern California Yachting Association will hold its 20th annual Women’s
Sailing Convention on February 7, 2009. The day-long educational and networking
event was started in 1989, and is open to all women from novices to experts. --
Full report:

* On Sunday, Dec. 14, “CBS Sunday Morning” reported on the America’s Cup, its
history and current situation. The piece, more than 8-minutes long, included
interviews with Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts, novelist Joseph Wambaugh, and
America’s Cup historian, John Rousmaniere, as well as footage of the BMW ORACLE
Racing trimaran. Watch video:

* Following the reconstruction of the 103-foot Groupama 3's following her
February 18th capsize in the Indian Ocean, the 2009 season will see skipper
Franck Cammas and his crew seek three record attempts in the Mediterranean, the
Atlantic and finally around the World. In addition to these ocean-going
journeys, Team Groupama will be participating in the entire Extreme 40 iShares
circuit that hosts five events in France, England, Germany, Switzerland and
Holland. -- Full report:

* The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee issued its first announcement concerning
the safety rules governing the 2010 Bermuda Race. Details at

* The International Lightning Class Association (ILCA) is still accepting
applications for the third year of its innovative Boat Grant program, which puts
race-ready Lightnings into the hands of sailors who might otherwise not have the
opportunity. The deadline for the 2009 program is December 31, 2008. Details and
applications can be found at

Mik Beatie died suddenly, yet peacefully, at his Corte Madera home on Thursday,
December 11, with wife Suzi at his side. He was 67. Michael Lauren Beatie was
born in Hood River, Oregon, on April Fool’s Day, 1941. The son of a Navy
officer, he was raised in San Diego, Hawaii and Marin County. Mik learned to
sail early on with his father, a big boat racer back in the day. In 1964, the
23-year-old Mik was invited to sail the Tahiti Race aboard the ketch Orion, and
thus began a long career on the water. He went on to sail on some of the premier
American racing yachts of the time including Bohemia, Kirawan, Vixen,
Stormvogel, Ticonderoga and Windward Passage. -- Latitude 38, read on:

This new 31 footer from J Boats not only draws 3' of water, she’ll sail circles
around other modern daysailors while in complete comfort and control. The carbon
mast, retracting centerboard, wheel steering, removable transom locker and many
other features set this J apart. The first hull will be infused this week in
Bristol, RI.

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 David Cusworth, Recruitment Manager, Clipper Ventures: I recently had the
pleasure of spending a week in the San Francisco Bay area with a colleague. We
were making plans for the 7th edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
One of the yachts in the next race will be called CALIFORNIA and so we were
looking for local sailors to represent their state.

What I’d like to first say, is a huge thank you to all the clubs we visited for
their hospitality, positivity and kindness. I’ve now been involved in 4
circumnavigations and I can’t remember ever meeting such a great bunch of
people. We visited Santa Cruz YC, Sausalito YC, Oakland YC, Golden Gate YC,
Berkeley YC, OCSC, Club Nautique and St Francis YC and if the welcome and
reception we received is anything to go by, the Clipper stopover on the West
Coast in 2010 will be awesome.

On top of that, I personally met so many excited and forward thinking
adventurers. People who were currently following the Vendee Globe and Volvo
Ocean race and who wanted to swap their arm chairs for the open water. There are
now 5 local people that will be circumnavigating with Clipper in our next race,
and a further 7 taking part in individual legs. Professors, bankers, nurses,
engineers and a deputy attorney general will be putting their everyday lives on
hold to take part in this unique event.

CALIFORNIA Clipper will be very well represented by local sailors who I’m sure
will do their state proud. I for one can’t wait to be back.

* From Olof Hult, Los Angeles, CA: Regarding all the discussions about
kite-sailing lately, I would like to bring up a new thread of potential
historical significance. This is from memory only (getting weaker through the
years) of an article in the Swedish magazine Segling a few years back about
Viking ships.

The author was discussing two rather incompatible facts. One, from numerous
written sources describing how those plundering Vikings would arrive, and
depart, seemingly flying over the water, at speeds no other ships could match.
With their billowing sails, texts would describe, they resembled dragons flying
across the sky.

He also noted how numerous archeological finds of well preserved ships and
spars, but only fragments of materials used for sails and ropes, have allowed
many modern replicas to be constructed, true in every aspect including types of
wood, weight and construction method. And they sail like real dogs. Even when
using modern sailcloth, rather than linen fibers, you see them mostly being
propelled by oars, not “flying like the wind across the water”.

With the height of the mast, and length of the yard arm (?) known, the issue
could not be with the size of the sail. Thus the writer theorized, the unknown
factor must be how the sail was carried on the mast. Rather than, like a square
rigger, attached tightly to the mast, could it have been flying a bit like a
kite? Giving the boats a significant lift to these relatively lightweight boats?
It could even explain how these flat bottomed boats could navigate freely
without a keel. It would be interesting if your readers have any insights on
this issue.

* From Ted Sensenbrenner, Grosse Pointe, MI: It was once explained to me, that
ice boats are so tremendously fast because of lack of friction, hence drag. It
was further explained that a runner blade (as found on an ice boat) creates a
certain measurable drag coefficient when it carves its path on ice. However,
when an ice boat gets way on, the runner blade creates heat, thereby melting a
very thin layer of ice. Therefore, the runner is no longer skimming on ice, it
is now skimming (or sailing) on water. And apparently a runner blade on water
has less drag than a runner blade on ice. Hence, it would only seem logical that
ice boats be eligible for the world sailing speed record since it is sailing on
water, albeit the water depth is only 1/1000 of an inch deep. Shallow water,
trench sailing kite boarders, beware…

* From Toby Reiley: While the Yngling is no longer an Olympic class, that
doesn't mean there isn't a place for Ynglings in training our junior sailors.
Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest junior yacht club in the country and a 501 C3
non-profit educational institution, is looking for Ynglings to be donated to
augment its Junior Sailing program for:

1. Training boat for beginners (4 kids and an instructor)
2. General instruction for the kids who love sailing but maybe not the racing
3. Team race and Match Race training for Older juniors
4. Fleet Keel boat racing

If you've got a Yngling that needs a home, please give contact me. We can also
talk about any potential donation. 781-639-6000,,

If cats and dogs didn't have fur, would we still pet them?

Special thanks to Doyle Sails, JK3 Nautical Enterprises, and J Boats.

Please give consideration to supporting the Scuttlebutt sponsors when making
your holiday shopping decisions this year. A complete list of preferred
suppliers is at