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SCUTTLEBUTT 2751 - Wednesday, December 24, 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 sponsor is Seahorse Magazine.

The discourse last month in Scuttlebutt regarding sponsorship had elicited
over fifty submissions from the ‘buttheads, with a really long and
comprehensive one from Benjamin Jarashow. Here is something to mull over
during the holidays:

"In certain classes (I can specifically think of the Stars, Etchells, J/24,
and Melges 24), most competitors I know of do LIKE to compete against pros -
interestingly, of those classes, they span the range of Advertising
allowance..... The Melges class is a good microcosm, I think, of allowing
sponsorship, which makes it easier to field a professional team, which keeps
the level of competition very high, which keeps interest for competitors,
viewers watching an event, and other prospective sponsors. An upward spiral,
hopefully. That said, I do seem to recall many discussions over the years
about how to tread that fine line. The Melges 24 class’ embracement of the
"Corinthian division" seems to be effective presently.

"My understanding is that sponsorship is more prevalent in Europe, for various
reasons - one is simply that sponsorship is more accepted a practice across
the board there. The branding on sports team jerseys, billboards, etc. is much
more obvious and obnoxious - but it's what they are used to (as opposed to the
backlash against banks buying naming rights on stadiums here). I have been led
to believe that the tax codes are friendlier to corporations spending money
for sport than is the case here.

"The sailboat racing world is going to divide up into classes that people want
to sail - every owner wants something different for his or her racing
experience. Part of that decision right now includes whether the owner wants
to race in a class where pros are allowed, or sponsorship is allowed, etc.
Once part of a class, they are part of the membership which, generally
speaking, gets to be a part of the decision if the class wants to change its
regulation. In the case of the handicap classes, they are generally handled
locally - your local PHRF-board, or Yacht Club may choose whether IT wants to
allow these things. Owners that travel to Key West know what they are getting
into, and they may certainly choose to go to some other event where there are
Category A advertising rules, instead of Cat. C. They'll probably spend less
money to go to some other event anyway. If a grass-roots team wants a certain
racing experience that includes no pros and no advertising, there are classes
like the J/105 that are very successful classes with close racing and lots of
boats." -- Read on:

(Dec. 23, 2008) - Team Russia today announced it has suspended racing upon
arrival in Singapore at the end of Leg 3 due to insufficient funds to continue
the campaign. The team has been seeking sponsorship in recent months to secure
enough financial support to continue to Qingdao and beyond. However no
sponsorship has been forthcoming and the team has no alternative but to
suspend racing until further financial support can be secured.

“From the outset, it was always a goal to bring commercial partners into the
project,” said Oleg Zherebtsov, the Team principal. “Until now, I have
financed the team with my own money, in advance of anticipated sponsorship
funding. By this stage in the Volvo campaign we had intended to find
sponsorship, but this process has been impacted by the global economic

Cessation of racing also means that Team Russia is unable to continue its
partnership with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). The team
was proud to “Sail For The Whale”, during the first three legs of the race and
was instrumental in spreading the call for safe habitats for whales and
dolphins around the globe. WDCS is very proud to have been a part of this race
and will continue to work for the creation of 12 large marine protection areas
by the year 2012 and will find new ways to work with the international sailing
community as well as the general public to achieve this goal.

Delta Lloyd, struggling since December 18th with a damaged canting keel
system, finished today to complete the conclusion of what had mostly been a
light air upwind route. The next event for the Volvo Ocean Race teams will be
the Singapore In-Port Race on January 10, 2009. After that, the fleet will
begin Leg 4, the 2,500 nm route from Singapore to Qingdao, China, on January
18, 2009. -- Race website:

Finish positions for Leg Three from Cochin to Singapore (1,950 nm).
1. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, Finished Dec. 22, 14:51:22 GMT
2. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, Finished Dec. 22, 15:08:01 GMT
3. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, Finished Dec. 22, 15:09:48 GMT
4. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, Finished Dec. 22, 15:10:28 GMT
5. Telefonica Black (ESP),Fernando Echavarri/ESP,Finished Dec. 22,17:36:23 GMT
6. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, Finished Dec. 22, 22:49:36 GMT
7. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, Finished Dec. 23, 00:08:25 GMT
8. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, Finished Dec. 23, 20:07:05 GMT
Race tracking:

Current standings after Leg Three
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 35 points
2. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 30.5 points
3. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 27.5 points
4. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Anders Lewander/SWE, 23.5 points
5. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 20.5 points
6. Telefonica Black (ESP), F. Echavarri/ESP, 19.5 points
7. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, 10.5 points
8. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 9 points
Overall scores:

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(Dec, 23, 2008; Day 44) - Michel Desjoyeaux has been in the fast lane of the
Vendee Globe since December 16, but it looks like the speed limit has just
been reduced with Foncia and Veolia Environment slowed by a ridge of high
pressure, and the two pairs of boats which have been fighting to stay with him
are now hitting the accelerator hard whilst they still can.

Racing on a near-parallel track, the third and fourth-placed duo of Sébastien
Josse (BT) and Jean Le Cam (VM Matériaux) have made significant gains, with
Josse eager for the race to become more of a tactical battle and less about
sheer speed. As already demonstrated amongst the breakdowns within the fleet,
high speed involves equal parts risk and reward.

Things will soon change again, however, thanks to a thundery low-pressure area
coming down from Auckland: this low is generating moderate northerlies, which
will back SW'ly and strengthen to 35 knots with some very strong gusts. This
new front will particularly affect the leaders Michel Desjoyeaux (Foncia) and
Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement).

As for the medical status of Yann Eliès, he was successfully operated on in
Perth, Australia to have a pin fitted to his femur, and it was good news to
find that his ribs were not fractured. Mike Golding is also making steady
progress on the dismasted Ecover 3, and should complete his 1000 nm to
Fremantle by Christmas Day (local time). -- Event website:

Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (Top 5 plus of 30 entrants; 18 now competing):
1. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), Foncia, 11111.1 nm Distance to finish
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 54.7 nm Distance to leader
3. Sébastien Josse (FRA), BT, 146.5 nm DTL
4. Jean Le Cam (FRA), VM Matériaux, 163.3 nm DTL
5. Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA), Brit Air, 373.6 nm DTL
8. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 1508.7 nm DTL
11. Dee Caffari (GBR), Aviva, 1987.5 nm DTL
15. Rich Wilson (USA), Great American III, 3129.5 nm DTL
16. Derek Hatfield (CAN), Algimouss Spirit of Canada, 3278.2 nm DTL
Complete standings:
Race tracking:

In an effort to improve the USA’s future Olympic Windsurfing results, the
Windsurfing Task Force (WTF) would like to send our country’s top junior
prospects to the 2009 Techno 293 Windsurfing World Championship this August
(the Techno293 is the de facto breeder class for future Olympic hopefuls and
this year’s world championship is being held in the location of the 2012
Olympics at Weymouth, UK).

This is a chance for everyone to put their money where their mouth is and help
turn things around for a brighter future (even $5 or $10 could make a
difference - we already have $2K matching grants from US Windsurfing). It
starts with helping juniors race and becoming competitive on an international
level. Thus traveling to the world championship with our top prospects is an
important element on the path for future success. Contributions to this cause
are made here:

* To help the cause, the progressive WTF t-shirt is available for sale, with
each purchase of a t-shirt helping to send the top USA talent to compete in
the world championship:

A lawsuit against Cape Fear Yachts took a new turn last week when a US Coast
Guard report concluded that the cause of the sailboat's failure was due to
improperly repaired damage to the keel rather than any manufacturing defect.
The widow of a sailor who drowned aboard a Texas A&M University racing yacht
initiated a lawsuit against Cape Fear last summer, alleging that shoddy
manufacturing and poor design contributed to the shearing of the keel.

But a US Coast Guard investigation into the accident concluded that the boat
failed because it had not been repaired properly after numerous earlier
groundings. The sailboat failed on the night of June 10, about 10 hours after
the start of a race from Galveston, Texas to Veracruz, Mexico. Roger Stone, a
Texas A&M safety officer on board, pushed two students through the doorway of
the cabin before being trapped inside the cabin. -- IBI Magazine, read on:

New Zealanders now have the option to bet on yacht racing. Yachting New
Zealand has reached an agreement with the New Zealand Racing Board which
allows TAB - which runs all betting on racing and sport in New Zealand - to
conduct betting on yachting. Most major New Zealand sports have allowed
betting for some time, and this is sanctioned under section 5 of the Racing
Act 2003. Yachting New Zealand's Chief Executive Des Brennan says, "Most
sports funding is sourced from gaming activity, and when Yachting New Zealand
sought the views of members last year, we found that there was little strong
opinion against the move." While it is not foreseen that funding from betting
will be a major source of income, it is hoped that it will be a useful one. It
is also hoped that any promotion of events carried out by the TAB will
increase the visibility of yachting and increase interest in its principal
regattas. --

Loki, the replacement for Stephen Ainsworth’s previous boat of the same name
that had to be abandoned during the 2007 Rolex Middle Sea Race when its rudder
broke, was fast-tracked by McConahgy’s so the new Reichel/Pugh 63 can be amid
the 100 starters for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December
26th. The owner, sailing master and many of the crew sailing in this year’s
Rolex Sydney Hobart aboard the brand new Loki were airlifted off the stricken
Loki (previous boat, a Reichel/Pugh 60) in October last year as it foundered
off the northern coast of Sicily in stormy conditions. The boat couldn’t be
salvaged but at the time, sailing master Cameron Miles posed the question,
“Will there be a rising from the ashes?” -- Race website:

* Photo just prior to going aground:

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 Reynald Neron: (re, letter in #2570; edited to the 250-word limit) Rasa
Bertrand asks why do Aussie tax payers (as, for instance!) pay for
rescue efforts in the southern ocean every time a Vendee Globe (or Volvo race,
or any other race) comes by? It is simple: Because they also would like to be
rescued if they get in trouble anywhere else in the world. That is why all the
nations came together some years ago and signed a treaty (somewhere in Germany
I believe), agreeing to share the oceans of the world and be in charge of
rescuing people in the areas under their responsibility.

Under that treaty, Australia's responsibility covers an huge area, given the
size of the country, and the fact that they are in charge of the waters all
the way to Antartica. That treaty covers the people, not the property (as
in... boats) which is why the yacht of the Vendee Globe sailor was left

I also would like to point out that France is rescuing more Australian every
year, in the Alps, when young Aussie backpackers get in trouble in the
mountains. They do it free of charge too. Obviously, France also rescues
people at sea in the Med and Atlantic area, Caribbean, South Indian Ocean,
South Pacific Ocean, due to their overseas territories. (And to make sure I
disclose all the information about me, I am both French and Australian, I work
at sea and pay my taxes in Australia...)

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: This debate often surfaces following these amazing
rescues. With the Holidays upon us, this thread is now closed.

* From Capt. Gary P. Joyce, Aquebogue, NY: (re, Photos of the Week in #2750) I
hate to be a stickler, but that's either an M-60 or a M-249 SAW on the nose of
the CG Defender-class boat in Tom Causin's (of Ashburn, Virginia) shot of the
in-port racing from the Volvo in 2006. It definitely isn’t a .50 ...

* From Jim Durden, Southern California: (re, Nile photos in #2570) One of my
main reasons for going to Egypt in April was to sail a Falucca on the Nile. We
sailed around Elephantine Island, as the early Egyptians did thousands of
years ago, with little difference in the classical design, but a big
difference in modern materials. No, not carbon fiber, or mylar, or even
fiberglass, but all Faluccas' on the Nile these days are made of steel. The
way those guys sail, if they were made of wood, they would be toothpicks in
less than a month. The three-hour sail was an experience of a life time, but
just like sailing anywhere in the world, just when you need wind, it dies.
Fortunately, the local powerboat shuttles understand the sailors' dilemma and
graciously towed us back to our mooring, no fenders needed.

* From Andrew Troup, New Zealand: Once again keel canting rams - or the
structures mounting them - are failing offshore. The most recent example is
the wonderfully cosmopolitan Dutch/Irish VOR entry with the highly respected
Argentinean designer. This is actually a 'much-modified' ABN Amro One, so some
of what I have to say may not be applicable in this specific instance,
depending on the extent of the modifications.

If a pattern of failures emerges in a new generation of VOR competitors, this
may be a cause for deeper concern. Ahead of this possibility, while there's
still potentially time to do something about it, I care to provide a few
observations, hopefully in sufficient depth to at least be meaningful,
possibly useful. It goes without saying that this is the last area one would
*want* to see failures. It is also the last area I would *expect* to see
failures, for reasons I hope to explain. -- Read on and post comments here:

* From James Marta: (re, close VOR finish in #2750) I was a crewmember aboard
Scaramouche in the 1973 Transpac when we sailed for five days and nights
within sight of its sister ship, Aura. We finished but a very few minutes of
each other and Scaramouche corrected first in Class "B" by 42 seconds! That
was close for a 2,225-mile race to Hawaii!

On my wish list for Santa is a final resolution to the America’s Cup legal
quandary, a smooth transition to the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing, the
launch of new Olympic dreams, the sparks that grow the sport, and a week’s

Since I can only control the last item, I will take it now to enjoy the
holidays. To all the Scuttlebutt readers, contributors, and sponsors, thank
you for another great year. Best wishes from the Scuttlebutt team - look for
the newsletter to return January 5, 2009.

Special thanks to Seahorse Magazine.

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