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SCUTTLEBUTT 2748 - Friday, December 19, 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 Southern Spars and Scuttlebutt University.

Luiz Kahl, Executive Director of the US-IRC, provides an update on how this
handicap rule is progressing within the United States:

* Where are the IRC hotbeds in the US? Has IRC become the default system
KAHL: IRC has been pretty well accepted in the USA. Starting with the BBS in
2004, it really picked up steam the following year on the East Coat and the
Great Lakes. Today, IRC shares the handicap system with PHRF at various events
around the country with IRC prevailing for the main racing classes. In the Great
Lakes, primarily the Detroit Area, IRC has been the predominant handicap system
since 2005 when it was originally adopted by the Bayview Mackinac Race and it
runs alongside with One Design and a much smaller PHRF class

* Any misconceptions for a newbie that has resisted so far?
KAHL: I don’t think that there are many misconceptions per se as much as there
are misunderstandings about the rule. Let’s face it, a move to IRC is a change
from a system that we have been using for over 20 years and, although we
disagree with, we’ve been comfortable using it. Such change rattles the comfort
zone we’ve lived in for so long. For example, we’ve grown accustomed to doing
PHRF’s simple Time-on-Distance (ToD) calculation (handicap deltas multiplied by
course distance), so it takes a little getting used to IRC’s Time-on-Time (ToT)
where corrected times are calculated based on your time spend on the race
course, and unknown until you crossed the finish line. With ToD, we would leave
the dock and depending on the wind conditions, we knew if it was our day or boat
XYZ’s day since corrected times were based solely on the distance of the course
and not related to wind strength. ToT, since it uses your time on the course, is
a fairer handicap system, but although very simple to calculate (handicap
multiplied by elapsed time), it does take a little time to make the transition
and get used to it. The best way to understand IRC – and ToT – is to try it. I
can guarantee you will like it. -- Read on:

(Dec, 18, 2008; Day 39) - As high as second position in the Vendee Globe two
weeks ago, Yann Eliès is now dealing with a new adversary - his health. While
working on the bow of Generali Thursday morning, Eliès was thrown along the deck
and sustained a fracture to his thighbone. With competitors Marc Guillemot
(Safran) and Sam Davies (Roxy) directed to come to his aid and assist as needed,
the decision has also been made for the Royal Australian Navy’s 118-meter HMAS
Arunta to be dispatched, which has left Perth and expected to be onsite Saturday
afternoon. At the moment Eliès is safe in his bunk and trying to conserve his
energy. While his condition is stable, he is in pain, but has not yet been able
to reach his medical kit. Generali has three reefs in the main and a small
staysail set, hopefully sufficiently conservative until assistance arrives.

Over the past 24 hours, race leader Michel Desjoyeaux shows no signs of letting
up as he posts the highest mileage total of the fleet (422 miles). The fleet is
soon to pass the East Australia Gate, with recent information regarding ice
location has caused race organizers to move the coordinates of the New Zealand
ice gate 8 so as to protect the fleet. -- Event website:

Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants; 19 now competing):
1. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), Foncia, 12821.9 nm Distance to finish
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 46.0 nm Distance to leader
3. Jean Le Cam (FRA), VM Matériaux, 128.1 nm DTL
4. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 136.7 nm DTL
5. Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA), Brit Air, 364.7 nm DTL
10. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 1019.1 nm DTL
12. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 1590.9 nm DTL
16. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 2600.5 nm DTL
17. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 2861.0 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Race tracking:

Rig Pro's fully outfitted mobile rigging trailer will again be heading south to
Key West Race Week. Stop by our trailer at the Caroline St site (across from the
race village) and let us help you with all your cordage, hardware and rigging
needs. As always free t-shirts and wet notes while supplies last. For pre-race
orders call us on 401-683-6966 to power up for Key West 2009…and beyond. Visit:

(Dec. 18, 2008; Day 6) - PUMA skipper Ken Read is less than enamored by the new
route for the Volvo Ocean Race. Said Ken, “Bringing these boats here for this
leg is like using a Ferrari for a Tractor Pull.” Green Dragon skipper Ian Walker
was less kind, “Going upwind in a Volvo 70 sucks. I am beginning to question the
merits of the new route through Asia if so much of it is upwind. The first
problem is that these boats don't point very high so it takes forever to get
anywhere truly upwind. The second is that the hulls have so little rocker and
are so flat that they slam on every wave. The third is, of course, that the
boats are so powerful that in any wind the waves that make life so uncomfortable
come thick and fast. The next leg to China will be a nightmare.”

Ken describes the next section of Leg 3, “Once we enter the Strait of Malacca,
that’s when the fun really begins. This is the channel between Indonesia to the
south and Malaysia to the north. It is one of, if not the, most used commercial
shipping lane in the world. There is an Indonesian navy who is rumoured to stop
random boats and request fees to pass through. Potential outright piracy. And
supposedly heaps of fishing boats, which may be lit or unlit, with lines or
nets. Let the fun begin.”

Delta Lloyd, trailing the rest of the fleet for much of this third leg from
Cochin to Singapore, were dealt a savage blow today when they broke a hydraulic
ram on their canting keel mechanism. They have implemented a temporary fix to
centre the keel using the starboard ram and are continuing to limp along at 9
knots. The shore team is making plans for a repair in Singapore in time for the
in-port race on 10 January. -- Race website:

Leg Three from Cochin to Singapore is 1,950 nm, with the finish estimated on
December 23rd. Current positions (as of Dec. 19, 1:00am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 746 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 1 nm Distance to Leader
3. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 16 nm DTL
4. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 20 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 35 nm DTL
6. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 37 nm DTL
7. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 83 nm DTL
8. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 138 nm DTL
Overall scores:
Race tracking:

By Matt Gregory, Delta Lloyd navigator
I was lying in a bunk catching up on sleep. Dreaming about something, I don't
remember what. I woke to the sound of a deafening explosion. There is just no
other way to describe it. BAM! Something major. Broken. I sprang up. I waited
for the rig to hit the water. I heard nothing. The sails weren’t even flapping.
Screams from the crew:

“It’s something in the boat.”
“Check the chain plates!’
“Are the bulkheads ok?”
“Did we de-laminate?”
“We are taking the headsail down. Can we have another body on deck?”
“Get the tool box. I need the Allen keys. We need to open the keel box to see
the rams”
“Holy sh#t. This is it! It’s bad!”
“Emergency water pumps ready.”

Grab bags and survival suits were pulled out of the locker in case. I got on the
sat phone. The first call was to the Volvo Race HQ. “This is Matt Gregory. We
have a problem. We’ve had a massive failure to the port side bulkhead that
attaches the keel canting hydraulic ram to the boat. We aren’t sure of the
situation yet. Can you put everyone on standby? We might need help from the
Russians; they are the closest boat to us. Are you receiving our position
through the telemetry?” -- Read on:

Melbourne, Australia (Dec. 18, 2008) - The star names lead the way on the third
day of racing at Sail Melbourne as bigger breeze arrived on Port Phillip Bay for
the first of seven World Cup events across Oceania, North America and Europe. In
stronger 10-15 knot winds on Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay, Olympic gold
medallist Malcolm Page and skipper Mat Belcher continue to dominate proceedings,
sitting on top of the leaderboard on seven points, three clear of the US Olympic
representatives Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl who experienced some boat trouble
in the race three. “Our trap wires kept coming untied and we lost a lot of
distance fixing those in the first race today,” Biehl said.

The top of the Laser Radial leaderboard also has a golden glow to it, with
Beijing Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) already 14 points ahead in
the overall standings. Tunnicliffe revelled in the stronger conditions today,
winning all three races to take a commanding lead into the second half of the
regatta. World #4 Laser skipper Michael Leigh (CAN) began his fight back after a
disappointing first day and moves from seventh to fourth overall on the back of
8,4,5 scores today. -- Complete report:

There are a few things in life that are still within reach. Anybody can enter
the America’s Cup with a completed entry form and 50,000 euros, anybody can be a
member of Scuttlebutt Sailing Club by downloading the card, and anybody can
‘appear’ educated by wearing Scuttlebutt University gear. Find the hooded
sweatshirts and t-shirts in the Scuttlebutt store:

(Dec. 18, 2008) - AC Management today announced the entry list for the 33rd
America's Cup that includes 19 teams, eight of which are new entries. All of the
32nd America's Cup challengers have re-entered except for BMW Oracle Racing
(USA). Aside from the Defender, Alinghi and the Challenger of Record, Desafío
Español, a total of 21 teams presented a Notice of Entry and 17 were accepted.
Three of the entered teams are pending minor details towards their official
registration and have been granted an extension until January 15. Three other
teams were denied entry as no further documentation beyond the Notice of Entry
was received by the December 15 entry deadline. Carbon Challenge has withdrawn.

The teams have been working together over the past few months at regular
Competitor Meetings to amend the 33rd America's Cup Protocol and to design the
new class rule; this process is ongoing and will continue into the New Year with
further meetings planned and a publication date for the class rule scheduled for
the end of January. The 33rd America's Cup schedule is for two pre-regattas in
Valencia in 2009, the first in July and the second in October, plus the Club
Náutico Español de Vela annual regatta in November, followed by an America's Cup
Match in 2010.

33rd America's Cup teams (in order of entry):
Alinghi, Société Nautique de Genève (SUI) – Defender
Desafío Español, Club Náutico Español de Vela (ESP) – Challenger of Record
Shosholoza, Royal Cape Yacht Club (RSA)
TeamOrigin, Royal Thames Yacht Club (GBR)
Team New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (NZL)
DCYC, Deutscher Challenger Yacht Club (GER)
Green Comm Challenge, Circolo di Vela Gargano (ITA)
Ayre Challenge, Real Club Náutico de Dénia (ESP)
Victory Challenge, Gamla Stans Yacht Skallskap (SWE)
Argo Challenge, Club Nautico Gaeta (ITA)
Mascalzone Latino, Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia (ITA)
Team French Spirit, Yacht Club de St Tropez (FRA)
Luna Rossa, Yacht Club Punta Ala (ITA)
Russia Team - Fiona, Yacht Club Seven Feet (RUS)
Joe Fly, Società Canottieri Lecco (ITA)
K-Challenge, Cercle de la Voile de Paris (FRA)
Greek Challenge, N.O.K. Poseidon - Nautical Club of Kalamata (GRC)
Dabliu Sail Project (ITA)
China Team, Qingdao International Yacht Club (CHN)
Complete report:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Kudos to the Alinghi team for organizing the next
event, and for attracting 18 challengers to front a 50,000 euro entry fee.
However, there is a big difference between entering the event and having
sufficient funding to compete. Time will tell to see who is still standing in
2010. Also, 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.

Surfing just yards from the unstable 150 metre high walls of the Chenega glacier
pro windsurfer Florian Jung became the first man ever to windsurf in the barren
wilderness of Alaskan waters. Facing Arctic winds and water temperatures of just
one degree Celsius Mr Jung achieved a lifelong dream. "I have always dreamed of
windsurfing near a glacier," said the 24-year-old German. "No one else has
surfed in front of the glaciers in Alaska before and I wanted to be the first. I
normally surf big waves in Hawaii, and when I revealed my dream to a surfing
friend back in Hawaii, he told me it couldn't be done. So I put my 1972 VW van
on the line and off I went."

Flying out to the small town of Whittier in the glacier region of Alaska in
August, Mr Jung set about his unusual adventure accompanied by a marine
biologist in a boat. He said: "The population there is only 183 and when we
arrived they couldn't believe what we were attempting to do." Measuring one mile
in length the Chenega Glacier is highly unstable with giant ice rocks breaking
off and crashing into the water almost every half an hour. -- Telegraph, read

* (Long Beach, CA) Opportunities are still available to enter the Butler Cup
Match Race Championship series, an event to promote match racing in the United
States spanning three weekends: qualifying competition, classroom clinics and
on-the-water training Jan. 17-18 and April 4-5, followed by the finals for the
top six teams June 6-7. Winner will be invited to compete in the 2009 Ficker
Cup, June 12-14, with the Ficker Cup winner invited to the Congressional Cup in
2010. Men and women wishing to compete and learn how to match race should
contact race chairman Charles Legeman at or
562-899-1528. Additional information:

* Sebastien Col hit the top in the Open Rankings as France maintains its
domination of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings in the final release of the
year on 17 December 2008. France ends the year in the same fashion as it began,
holding both top spots in the Open and Women’s Rankings, where Claire Leroy
(FRA) continues to hold a huge points advantage. The next release of the ISAF
World Match Race Rankings will be on 28 January 2009. -- Full report:

* With the completion of the fall college season, Sailing World's coaches' panel
has determined the rankings in each of the seven ICSA conferences. --

* The new megayacht marina at Seattle’s Wards Cove recently opened as part of
the Lake Union waterfront development project. The marina features Bellingham
Marine’s Unifloat system designed for megayachts, with 11 slips measuring 95 to
100 feet in length. Nine of those slips have already been leased. -- Full

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
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-- To submit a Letter:
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* From Dan Chesson, Ockam Instruments: (re, story in #2747) I have tried to
communicate the effects of lightning to my customers for years. A lightning
strike contains an impressive amount of energy. Temperatures in a lightning bolt
can easily exceed those found on the surface of the sun, and the electrical
current can exceed 40 kiloamperes! Even if the electronics survive a lightning
strike, they should be treated with suspicion, as the component parts have
probably been subjected to induced voltages or currents outside their specified
maximum tolerances.

Lightning protection on boats is used to minimize structural damage, not to
protect electronics. Protection for electronics against lightning strikes would
have to be similar to what the military uses to harden installations against
nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP): a Faraday cage with electrically isolated
power and signals. On a racing yacht, the weight and power required for that is
prohibitive. Without protection against EMP, even a nearby lightning strike may
induce enough current in the yacht's wiring to damage on-board electronics. I
have encountered many instances where a boat was not directly struck by
lightning, yet had several electronic items fail.

As mentioned in the article, the best strategy is to get insurance coverage for
your electronics, and keep up on the premiums. There's little that can be done
to repair an item when lightning has burned through the circuit board!

“I want to warn people from Nigeria who might be watching our show, if you get
any emails from Washington asking for money, it's a scam. Don't fall for it.” -
Jay Leno

Special thanks to Southern Spars and Scuttlebutt University.

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