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SCUTTLEBUTT 2763 - Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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 North U and Charleston Harbor Fest.

(January 19, 2009) As Executive Director of Sail Newport, Rhode Island's Public
Sailing Center, Brad Read is in the business of attracting new sailors to the
sport. Leveraging the Volvo Ocean Race, Read is now reaching into the school
classrooms to present sailing as a tool for learning.

* Explain the education program you are involved in with the Volvo Ocean Race?
READ: We are linking classrooms from all over the country to the Volvo Ocean
Race using a web based curriculum designed by St. Michael's Country Day School
(Beth Holland), Michael Boardman Web Design, and Sail Newport. It is a way for
teachers to create classroom content which links in with the powerful story of a
sailboat race around the globe. Language Arts, Mathematics, Geography, Ocean
Science, and Basic Navigation.

* Is it self-maintaining or does it need regular updating?
READ: Teachers and students help populate the site, but we made sure that for
the most part it is self-maintaining. We utilize the National Geographic
website, the Volvo Ocean Race site as well as "onsite reporters" who are tied in
with the race. Using RRS feeds for videos, podcasts, and daily news reports from
the race website keeps the Global Learning site fresh.

* For anyone interested in setting up a similar program, what suggestions would
you have?
READ: First, join in with our Global Learning site as the tools are there for
you and it is free to any schools that are wishing to utilize them. Use what we
have to create curriculums that fit in with your state and federal standards of
learning as without that link, public school systems will just not buy into it.

Our biggest efforts were to MAKE IT FREE to any teacher and have the site be
able to adapt to different races each year. Next year we may link the site to
the Barcelona World Race, or a Single handed effort of some kind that is taking
place. This link of sailing, exploring and the classroom has the potential to
introduce more children to the water and the sport than we can imagine. --
Complete story:

By Mark Denzer
Honolulu, Hi (Jan. 16, 2009) - Jesse Andrews, Kea Ho, me and my son Gavin
decided to attempt a Flat-Water World Speed Sailing Record for Lasers. Actually,
setting the record was not so hard: there is no world speed record for Lasers.
Sounds crazy to me. The Laser is a race boat, racers are supposed to be fast but
there is no speed record. During a few weeks of emailing, all of the following
organizations stated that they do not maintain such a record:

- International Laser Class Organization
- World Speed Sailing Record Council
- Guinness Book of World Records

So we are claiming that record for ourselves today, 1/16/09. Top speed: 16.8
knots, or 28 feet per second without the help of waves (we were overtaking the
waves). If you want to beat us, find some flat water, take an accurate GPS, get
three reputable witnesses, and go for it. ‘Till then, we hold the world record.
We are making it easy for you because the wind never got past 30 knots or so.
Somebody has to keep track, might as well be me. -- See photos:

(Jan. 19, 2009; Day 2) - Oh, how we hate those one tack beats. Tactical options
are limited, our bodies get tired, heck… they are just boring. Welcome to Leg 4
of the Volvo Ocean Race. Following a few quick mark roundings after the start on
Sunday, these seven teams have only been on an upwind port tack angle. Heck,
with the wind staying in the mid teens, they may not even have had a sail
change. Talk about fine-tuning the polars! This leg was predicted to be an
upwind grind, but when the race committee added a waypoint to the right side of
the leg, in theory to help the fleet avoid a forecasted storm, it guaranteed
this long, painful march.

Comments Green Dragon skipper Ian Walker, “It is already very clear this will be
a tough leg for us. To date we have relied on strong downwind sailing and
strategic and tactical decisions to keep us in the frame and this leg looks like
a bit of a soldiers’ course right now, with everyone having to follow each other
in their tracks. Tacking off would be suicidal with the impending right hand
shift. Many tactical options have been eliminated by the race officers’ decision
to put in a new waypoint to keep the boats closer to shore when some expected
strong winds come in later this week. This may turn out to be an inspired
decision, but right now, it is an irritation. Maybe we do need saving from
ourselves in this way!”

Leg Four from Singapore to Qingdao, China is 2,500 nm, with the finish estimated
on January 30th. Current positions (as of Jan. 20, 1:00am GMT):
1. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 2011 nm Distance to Finish
2. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 3 nm Distance to Leader
3. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 6 nm DTL
4. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Magnus Olsson/SWE, 14 nm DTL
5. Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, 16 nm DTL
6. Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, 18 nm DTL
7. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 29 nm DTL
8. Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, Did Not Start
Race website:
Overall scores:
Race tracking:

The Three Length Zone is just one of the changes to the rules. US Sailing Racing
Rules Seminars are now underway. Presented by North U, the seminars cover all
the rules - new and old - and include a Racing Rules Workbook created by Dave
Perry. US Sailing members save $40. Check the schedule and sign up by visiting or by calling North U at 800-347-2457 or 203-245-0727.

(Jan. 19, 2009; Day 71) - For Vendee Globe leader Michel Desjoyeaux, he has
always believed he will successfully escape from these wide, active Doldrums as
he works his way north in the Atlantic, but it must be frustrating Monday
evening for The Professor to be stuck doing less than two knots, still more than
90 miles from the Equator. He is making some ten knots less than Roland Jourdain
in second who has been advancing at 12.5 knots. Desjoyeaux has encountered the
first squalls and unstable winds at 2 degrees South, when normally the Doldrums
would be expected between 4 and 8 degrees North. Now the Doldrums might retract steadily, keeping the leader snared and allowing the return of Jourdain to continue, or they may stay stationary, where they are and so presenting the same brick wall to the return of Veolia Environnement.

Solo, non-stop, around the world race in Open 60s.
Standings as of 18:30 UTC (30 entrants; 12 now competing):
1. Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA), Foncia, 3329.0 nm Distance to finish
2. Roland Jourdain (FRA), Veolia Environnement, 379.9 nm Distance to leader
3. Armel Le Cléac´h (FRA), Brit Air, 1042.4 nm DTL
3. Vincent Riou (FRA), PRB, Dismasted - Redress Given
4. Samantha Davies (GBR), Roxy, 1863.4 nm DTL
5. Marc Guillemot (FRA), Safran, 1964.6 nm DTL
Event website:
Complete standings:
Race tracking:

Key West, FL (Jan. 19, 2009) - Opening day of Acura Key West 2009, presented by
Nautica, showcased the international flavor of the event with foreign entries
seizing the early lead in four of the grand prix classes. Competition in North
America’s largest winter regatta got underway in ideal conditions with strong
westerly winds allowing organizers to hold two races. An ominous squall put a
brief damper on the proceedings, but moved through quickly and allowed the
action to continue under sunny skies.

Vincenzo Onorato and his team aboard Mascalzone Latino overcame the
unexpected loss of three sailors to win both races in Farr 40 class. Two crew
members took ill while another suffered an injury in practice – forcing the
three-time defending world champions to scramble. One substitute was flown in
from Italy while the team coach and chef filled the other vacancies onboard.

Both IRC classes have seen an increase in entries this year and the British
showed their colors on Monday. Skipper Tim Powell steered the
Reichel-Pugh-designed TP52 Ran to a pair of first place finishes in IRC 1 while
owner Tony Buckingham and his team aboard Ngoni (Mills 40) seized the early lead
in IRC 2 on the strength of a 1-2 line. Competitors in the J/105 class were
surprised to show up on the race course Monday and not see Masquerade, the
four-time defending champion in Key West. San Francisco owner Thomas Coates and
team were an unexpected no-show, but Damian Emer’s Eclipse from Mount Sinai, NY
is currently picking up the slack with a 2-1. -- Results and reports:

* Every morning, event organizer Premiere Racing distributes an event newspaper
- Race Week News - that includes all the results along with race stories and
competitor profiles. This year it is also available online in digital form:

* The 7th Caribbean Laser Midwinter Regatta was held in Cabarete Dominican
Republic this past weekend (Jan. 17-18, 2009), hosted by the Laser Training
Center. In the open category Nick Thompson of the United Kingdom took away
$1,750.00 in cash, before Javier Hernandez of Spain, $1,250.00, and Brad Funk of
the US, who went home with $1,000.00.The overall Master groups were won by
Olympic Bronze medalist Terry Neilson (CAN) who donated his $1,000.00 prize
money to the Dominican youth sailing program. In second place, with a one point
difference, was another Laser celebrity - Peter Vessella of the USA. -- Story
and results:

* Recreational boat owners who paid state sales taxes on a boat purchase, or
those who secured a bank loan to finance a boat, may have some tax deductions
available when filing their 2008 federal income tax return. -- BoatU.S., read

* After dumping Team Germany in December, withdrawing funding for the Platoon
TP52 and America’s Cup campaign, Audi have teamed up with Prada to back Luna
Rossa in the Louis Vuitton Paciffic Cup. The “Luna Rossa” team’s mainsail and
team uniform will display the Audi and Prada brand logos. The common message is
that beneath the aesthetically attractive, dynamic exterior of a yacht, there
lies state-of-the-art technology, and only choice materials are used. The
products of Prada and Audi reflect such standards in equal measure - both brands
are the embodiment of exclusive materials and craftsmanship. -- Yacht
Sponsorship, read on:

* The National Marine Manufacturers Association submitted a letter to New York
Gov. David Paterson, outlining reasons to reconsider a proposed tax in boats
more than $200,000. The letter cites the failures of the national luxury tax of
the early 1990s as evidence that a state boat tax would fail at providing New
York with much-needed revenue. It also provides Gov. Paterson with statistics on
the current state of the New York boat industry. -- Soundings Trade Only, read

A fleet of Tall Ships from around the globe will sail from Europe to Bermuda and
finally breach the horizon to arrive in Charleston, South Carolina June 26-29.
More than twelve ships, measuring as large as 295 feet, have already been
confirmed, including the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle. These magnificent ships
will open their gangways to you during Charleston Harbor Fest 2009. There will
be unique sailing opportunities onboard the tall ships for teens and adults to
cruise from port to port at a passenger rate.
Check it out at
Learn more about Charleston Harbor Fest at

Nick Scandone was a regular guy. He fished, he surfed, he smoked, he sailed. On
Sunday, January 18th, just over two weeks after he died (Jan. 2), and four
months after winning the Gold Medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Qingdao,
China, he was remembered. A memorial service at his home club, Balboa Yacht
Club, attracted a standing room only crowd, and an unwavering appreciation for
what he accomplished.

While his battle with ALS is over, the lessons he taught us will live on. There
were tears on this day, but also a tremendous amount of hope. Nick was torn
apart by a disease, but focused on a goal, and refused to die until that goal
was achieved. Nick won his race, and he did so with the respect of all those who
were witness. The rest of us will live on for now, seeking what is important to
us, and using its power to keep us alive too. We should never forget Nick and
what he taught us. -- Scuttleblog, see photos:

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 John Tormey: I am assuming that there was an omission in the reference in
Scuttlebutt 2762 about Thomas Coville being the third solo sailor after Francis
Joyon and Ellen MacArthur to have successfully sailed around the world without
stopovers. Just considering the five completed Vendee Globe races, there have
been countless sailors who have preceded Coville in sailing around the world
without stopovers. However, assuming the facts are correct, Coville must be the
third to sail solo in a multihull.

* From Jim Quanci: (re, letter in Scuttlebutt 2762) Fred Roswold indicated Mr.
Noordzy’s view (in Scuttlebutt 2759) on containers falling over board was a “red
herring”. Frankly this whole container discussion is a “red herring”. It’s like
being scared of being bit by a shark when swimming. Scary to think about but so
very, very rare. Say a few thousand containers over a few years fall overboard
with many sinking. There are several hundred thousand (or more?) whales out
there all on the surface on a regular basis - and none sinking. After
participating in numerous races to Hawaii and several down the California and
Baha coast, say 20 fleets of 20 to 75 boats, maybe a 1,000 boats all told going
2,000 to 4,000 miles per race (round trip), a few million miles of sailing,
there have been a number of whale strikes leading to broken bulkheads,
bent/broken rudders and one sinking - but I cannot remember one incident of
someone hitting a container. One hears of “sea life” strikes by transoceanic
racers pretty regularly in Scuttlebutt - but one container strike in several
years. Maybe it’s just easy to complain about big corporations. Perhaps we
should be worrying about something of real importance instead of this floating
container “red herring”.

* From Tom Webster: I want to say Bill Koch's letter to the NY Court got it
correct. What is amazing is that a non-lawyer got it correct versus the millions
spent so far in the courts. What Ernesto and his gang did to destroy the
momentum of a sport is unreal. With the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007, you just had
the equivalent of a fifth set at Wimbledon, a playoff at the Masters, extra
innings in game seven of World Series. The sport had more momentum and more
sponsors wanting in after the last Cup event than probably any sport at the
time. It couldn’t have been better…but one man's ego, greed or whatever ended it

Congratulations to Koch on an extremely well written brief that may be the only
thing that gets the Cup back on track. The world is a much different place today
than it was two years ago as far as sponsors go. So hopefully Koch’s letter may
remind people it is about sportsmanship as well as sport - not greed and money.
-- Bill Koch’s Amicus Curiae brief:

* From Joe Williams, Seattle, WA: (re, coaching story in Issue 2755) This
article describes several areas of information that a coached boat could expect
to receive between races:

> Ambient condition changes since the last race
> Strategies and potentially tactics – what could have been done better, how to
approach the next race - in small and / or big fleet racing
> Trimming and tuning suggestions for the existing conditions

Having this information greatly advantages a coached boat vs. a non-coached boat
--- for one design racing, where the goal is to even up the advantages of
spending $$ to win and test the sailors’ skills more directly, the above info
provided only to a few swings the “even” nature out of balance. The wealthy
receive an advantage because they have the means.

Even the pre-race information that you cite - Wind direction and current at the
starting line, top mark, left and right sides of the course - hands an advantage
to the wealthy owner. Yes, the non-coached boat could get this information by
sailing the full racing venue and recording on their own….but that’s not the
same as getting it delivered to you just before your warning signal.

The best way to have a true one-design regatta is to eliminate coaching from the
moment the boats enter the race area until the end of racing for the day. This
limitation puts all competitors on an even level for the day’s racing….and isn’t
that what one design racing is all about?

"People who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to
swim." -- Ann Landers

Special thanks to North U and Charleston Harbor Fest.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at