Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 2791 - Monday, March 2, 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 Doyle Sails and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.

When it comes to running the races at major yachting events across the globe,
one name is consistently at the top of the list of people to call. Peter
‘Luigi’ Reggio has ticked the boxes on all of the big regattas – America’s Cup,
Olympics, TP52 MedCup, RC44 European Circuit, Farr 40 Worlds, Melges 24
Worlds….and so the list goes on. His unique expertise reputation for fairness
and open dialogue with the competitors makes him a popular choice with regatta
organisers and sailors alike. Here is an excerpt of an interview with Reggio
from the Offshore Rules website:

* Is it fair to describe you as the most high profile PRO on the major regatta
scene right now?

REGGIO: Unfortunately. [LAUGHS] To be honest with you I really don’t pay much
attention to that sort of stuff. The reputation, if you can call it that, is
based on the fact that some people made some nice comments about the job I
have done in the past. But the truth is that can all fall apart in one race.

* Given the obvious pressure and stress associated with running the racing at
events like the America’s Cup and the other events you run, we wondered why
you want to put yourself through all that? How did you get to be where you are

REGGIO: Well you know I have sailed and raced all my life and I was a sail
maker for a short while at North and I spent a good deal of time at Sobstad in
the seventies and early eighties. The race officer thing just really evolved
from me doing some local stuff and because I was actually a sailor I just did
things a little differently. -- Read on:

(Mar. 1, 2009; Day 16) - The Volvo Ocean Race is amid the Pacific Ocean - the
largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions - and yet the fleet were still
confronted by a complete obstacle on their route to Rio: the island nation of
Fiji. Every team echoed the same plan - go east. With the easterly wind
direction, getting to the windward side would be an upwind struggle, but the
weather routing forecasts offered few choices.

It was therefore a huge shock on Friday, with the North American ‘buttheads
waking up, how PUMA and Telefonica Blue turned right and decided to pass
between the largest of the two islands, and take on what PUMA skipper Kenny
Read described as “a million living reefs growing to the surface everywhere.”
While T-Blue’s decision was forced upon them due to their westerly position to
the fleet, PUMA just thought it would be better. Said Read, “(the tactic)
started to take shape when the weather routing for the next week began to
unfold. Essentially we liked being to the west of the group after Fiji, so the
plan to get around Fiji wasn't really that big a deal - it was where we wanted
to be after the fact.”

Since the easterly route required some painful tacks to execute, PUMA and
T-Blue shot instantly to the front of the fleet, but as time passed, and as
the better conditions to the east materialized, the positions slowly returned
to the pre-Fiji splits. Immense separation, huge islands, varying wind
conditions, and very little change. With the fleet nearing the halfway mark of
the leg, all eyes will be on the scoring gate that lies due south of the
fleet, over 600 miles ahead.

Crewed around the world race in VO 70’s, with ten distance legs and seven
In-Port races. Leg Five from Qingdao, China to Rio de Janiero, Brazil is
12,300 nm, with the finish estimated on March 20th. Current positions (as of
Mar. 2, 1:00 am GMT):
1. Ericsson 4 (SWE), Torben Grael/BRA, 7,693 nm Distance to Finish
2. PUMA (USA), Ken Read/USA, 7 nm Distance to Leader
3. Ericsson 3 (SWE), Magnus Olsson/SWE, 21 nm DTL
4. Telefónica Blue (ESP), Bouwe Bekking/NED, 46 nm DTL
5. Green Dragon (IRL/CHN), Ian Walker/GBR, 51 nm DTL
Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Echavarri/ESP, Did Not Start
Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Bermudez/ESP, DNS
Team Russia (RUS), Andreas Hanakamp/AUT, DNS

Event website:
Overall scores:
Race tracking:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: If you hadn’t clicked on the Race Tracking (above)
during the weekend, the Fiji sequence is pretty revealing. After the tracker
loads, click on the “back” arrow that moves the boats backwards in three hour
intervals. Once the fleet is north of Fiji, click on the “go” arrow to watch a
day and a half of racing in under a minute.

While on charter, “True North”, a Privilege 65, sustained a tear in her
mainsail. Captain Virginia Wagner knew that taking the sail off the boat to be
repaired would mean a minimum of 9 hours downtime. The sailmakers at Doyle BVI
brought the sewing machine to the boat resulting in a downtime of less than 2
hours. When your time matters, contact Doyle. For a photo of a Doyle sailmaker
going the extra mile, visit:

The frequency of the position reports on distance races dictates how
navigators and strategist perform their jobs. The 2005-6 Volvo Ocean Race used
a six hour schedule, with the current race using a three hour interval. Chris
Bedford, the Ericsson team’s meteorologist, explains the difference:

“As you know, tactical sailing is heavy on "what's happening now" or
boat-to-boat considerations such as covering, etc. Strategic sailing puts more
emphasis on the "long view" or sailing the weather to achieve the fastest
route between A and B regardless of what your competition is doing at a
particular moment. In essence, with more frequent position reports, the
balance shifts toward protecting your position or making incremental changes
and puts a little less emphasis on big picture weather features. In addition,
these tactics tend to put an even bigger premium on boat speed (since you
can't gain much leverage in 3 hours before your opponents see what you are

“I truly believe the 3-hourly position reports are why we've seen more cases
of boats sailing thousands of miles just a relatively short distance apart.
There have been a number of cases (passing of Fiji being one of them), where I
would have liked to see the boats sailing to the long-term weather, rather
than protecting a relatively small lead or just going for incremental gains on
the leader(s).” -- Read on:

(Mar. 1, 2009; Day 112) - As the next expected Vendee Globe finisher of the
three remaining, and on target for a great ninth place, Rich Wilson (USA) is
trying to make his way round the labyrinthine weather pattern, one which finds
his course getting closer to his native Boston than to the finish in Les
Sables d’Olonne. With 1635.0 nm remaining, Wilson is currently faced with
headwinds, but is hoping that he will soon gain better wind angles as he gets
to the north of a tightly formed low pressure system.

Event website:
Complete standings:
Race tracking:

=> Curmudgeon’s Comments: I was reminded by several readers that the headline
in Issue 2790, “British and French Equally Share Top Ranks”, was somewhere
between a stretch of the facts and pure fantasy. Okay, I am guilty of
“over-cheering” for the anglo-saxon success in this race. However, of the top
eight finishers, half were French and half were English. Interestingly, with
all the recent redress debate, Vincent Riou received a redress award that
tilted the Vendee Globe standings. While I believe it was the right decision,
Vincent could have just as easily finished better as not finished at all. Life
goes on…

Pat Shaughnessy, President of Farr Yacht Design, is keen to offload a fact of
which his firm is justifiably proud: in the 2008-9 Vendee Globe their designs
led for 97% of the race. Whether it is good or bad, we can’t say, but the lead
was tossed around between not one but four of their designs - initially Loick
Peyron’s Gitana Eighty, then Seb Josse’s BT, Jean-Pierre Dick’s Paprec Virbac
2 before Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia took over for the latter half of the race
ultimately clinching victory 5 days 6 hours ahead of the next boat, the
biggest margin since Christophe Auguin’s win in the 1996-7.

So in Shaughnessy’s opinion why did Desjoyeaux win? “I think he was trying
harder. I think all of the boats are still being used at something like 60-70%
of their capacity and I think he was using more of his than other people were
using theirs. A lot of it is the man, but if you have a boat that is well set
up, that’s balanced and kindly, then the autopilots can use more of the boat’s
potential. Then there is a fair amount of risk assessment – how hard am I
willing to push the platform? How much do I trust the thing I have? I think
probably he had some weather breaks helping to get back in there and after
that I think he pushed pretty hard to get back into contention. Then he stayed
with the pack for a while and then he decided when he wanted to press on a
bit…” -- The Daily Sail, read on (subscription required):

Have you checked out JK3 Nautical Enterprises and their latest brokerage
boats? We have the largest selection of used J/Boats on the market, which
currently include a J/32, a J/160, two J/105’s, three J/120's, four J/109’s, a
J/124, and a J/125, along with numerous other makes and models. Our team of
Jeff Brown, Roy Bream, Whit Batchelor and Bill Matchett look forward to
helping you find the boat that fits your needs. Give us a call at our San
Diego office 619-224-6200, our Newport Beach office 949-675-8053, 866-376-7761
(toll free), or take a look at our website at

Miami, FL (March 1, 2009) - The fourth and final event of the Etchells Jaguar
Series - the Jaguar Mid-Winters - garnered a 55-boat fleet this past weekend,
and provided a show down between the preeminent teams in the class. Last
year’s Jaguar champion, Bill Hardesty’s team had been playing catch-up this
season after missing the first event (DNC-5-1), and needed a good regatta to
overcome the consistency of the co-skippered Dirk Kneulman/Jud Smith/ Hank
Lammens (1-6-2) to have a chance at repeating. Hardesty was on form this
weekend, and had built an 8 point lead over Tom Lihan going into the last
race. However, after a poor start that dropped Hardesty back to the twenties,
a rally was rewarded with a 13th in a tight row of downwind boats, making it
hard to call onboard, but ultimately they took the regatta by one point over
Lihan. With the Jaguar Series scoring counting the best three events, the
third place finish at the Mid-Winters by the Kneulman/ Smith/ Lammens trio
earned them the Jaguar Series title by one point over Hardesty.

* Special thanks to scribe Paige Brooks and photog John Payne for providing
Scuttlebutt with great info from each of the four Jaguar events. -- Complete
story and photos:

* David Clark and his Sydney, Australia team of Andrew Smith and Sean Leonard
won the 44-boat Entire Port Phillip Championship, used a tune-up
event for the Audi Etchells World Championship to be held on Melbourne’s Port
Phillip on March 8-14. Next on the results were John Bertrand and his Triad
team of Ben Ainslie and Andrew Palfrey who finished five points behind Clark.
-- Sail World, full story:

* New York, N.Y. (Feb. 27, 2009) – While it may be moored in the concrete
canyons of Manhattan, the New York Yacht Club’s unequivocal ties to the sea
were on full display during US SAILING’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of
the Year Awards luncheon. The club’s renowned Model Room was the setting for
celebrating 2008 award winner’s Terry Hutchinson’s (Annapolis, Md.) and Anna
Tunnicliffe’s (Plantation, Fla.) 2008 competitive sailing achievements as
family, friends, sailing dignitaries and members of the press looked on. --
Full story, photos and video:

* Due to a recent sewage spill in Contra Costa County that dumped almost a
million gallons of raw and partially-treated sewage into the San Francisco
Bay, a county advisory regarding the water quality led to Richmond YC
cancelling two small boat events over last weekend. -- Latitude 38, full

* (Honolulu, Hi) - The Waikiki Yacht Club announced that FujiSankei Business i
will be the title sponsor of the 2009 Waikiki Offshore Series, to be held July
22 to 26 on the waters between the islands of Oahu and Maui, Hawaii and will
include the 145 mile Molokai Race, a 40 Mile medium distance race and six
windward-leeward races. The Molokai race record is in jeopardy this year with
the Transpac 52’s and bigger boats in Transpac interested in the event.
FujiSankei Business i is the largest business newspaper publisher in Japan
with over two million readers. -- Race website:

* Puerto Calero, Canary Islands (Mar. 1, 2009) - Chris Bake’s Team Aqua
prevailed at the Puerto Calero Islas Canarias RC 44 Cup, winning by four
points over Torbjorn Tornqvist and his Artemis team. Six out of eight boats
have won races this week, whilst both Team Aqua and the local team ESP 1 have
managed to win two of them. Winner of the DHL Trophy, the fleet race ranking
and second of the match race event, Chris Bake’s Team Aqua takes the lead of
the Championship Tour 2009. -- Final day report:

* Antigua, W.I. - RORC members John Burnie and Stan Pearson are two well known
characters in the yachting community in the Caribbean, and were among the
founders of the inaugural RORC Caribbean 600 that was held last week. Among
the event winners was Mike Slade's 100ft Maxi ICAP Leopard that set the
monohull elapsed time standard for future races, Burnie's ORMA 60 Trimaran,
Region Guadeloupe set the elapsed time record for the multihulls, and Adrian
Lee's Irish Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners that won IRC Class Super Zero,
Canting Keel and the prize of Overall winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 under
IRC. -- Photos and event details:

* The World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA) 2009 World Championships
in Riga, Latvia 16-21 February 2009 saw 101 competitors from 14 countries
compete in three racing categories: Open Class: Any sled powered by a
windsurfing rig; Wing Class: Any hand held sail – usually Kitewing; and Kite
Class: All kites. -- Full report:

* Eric Sharp of the Detroit Free Press, who has been among the American
journalists following the America’s Cup legal wrangling, provides a refresher
on the event’s status:

* CORRECTION: In Scuttlebutt 2789, it was noted that Dennis Pennell would be
adding an entrant to the growing Southern California TP52 fleet. Actually, it
will be his brother Ernie.

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

Scuttlebutt Sailing Club, the official club of the Scuttlebutt newsletter, was
officially sanctioned by US SAILING in 2001 so as to provide sailing
enthusiasts with an affordable solution for the club requirement to compete in
most events. What’s more affordable than a self-addressed envelope or the
effort to download the card from the Scuttlebutt website? A letter received
last week from Stephen Gabbert was a nice reminder of the purpose of SSC:
“Please send me a membership card. Great club, now I can race in San Diego
without forking over 2 grand to join one of the clubs. Thanks!” If you need
yacht club affiliation, details are here:

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 Chris Mitchell: I'm looking for plans for an upright laser storage
rack--dimensions, materials list, etc. Please post in the Scuttlebutt Forum:

* From Buck Gillette: (re, Charleston schedule in Scuttlebutt #2787) Don’t
forget about the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston Race, the 397-nautical mile
classic that starts April 8th in the Port Everglades and finishes just outside
of Charleston Harbor. Great way for competitors planning on attending
Charleston Race Week to some healthy competition on their way to Charleston.

* From Judy Hanlon, Tampa, FL: Regarding the USOC decision – Everyone is
focused on details of the redress process. Perhaps US Sailing should review
the overall concept of redress. I am not aware of any other sport that will
change the results of an event, after the fact, if a competitor’s score “has,
through no fault of her own, been made significantly worse.” If a spectator
jumped out and tripped Tiger, breaking his leg while he was leading a golf
tournament, he would not be awarded first place. The final results of a NASCAR
race are not changed if one of the competitors was inadvertently damaged by a
spinout. Olympic competitors in other sports are determined based on results
of their events, and results are not changed after the fact based on how a
competitor might have finished if they were not adversely impacted by some
unfortunate situation. Stuff happens! Perhaps US Sailing should respond by
deleting redress from the rule book.

* From Doug Paine: Last week I wrote an article concerning the liability
aspects of parents towing club trailers. I just wanted to thank Scuttlebutt,
and all the individuals who gave their best opinions and advice on the issue.
I especially thank Glenn McCarthy for his extensive exploration and
recommendations. All of the forum responses provided facts and insights that
continue to bring us closer to a solution where in parents can tow with the
knowledge that they are covered in the event of an accident or other incident.
Our Junior programs depend on parents being able to fulfill this function.
Again, thanks to all and to Scuttelbutt for making this conversation possible.
-- Forum link:

* From Olof Hult: (re, Video of the Week in Issue 2790) Here is another
example of using windurfing rigs to sail on ice. The Isabella yacht is
designed to be a low cost alternative to the DN ice yacht, using a standard
windsurfer rig, and homemade hulls, either fancy or plain, (pressure treated
2x4 & plywood). Speed and records recorded by GPS. -- Link:

* From Linda Frederick: (re, Curmudgeon’s Observation in #2790) Tread
carefully, friend. You must know you're on dangerous ground with today's
comment -- them's fightin' words! To my almost certain knowledge, Kentucky
contains at least two dozen surnames. So there. Hell, there may be more than
that, among my Casey County kinfolks alone. Lest anyone think me rash or
unreasonable, I am prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt here, and
assume that your knowledge of dry-land geography may be less than perfect, and
that you were really thinking of ... West Virginia?

“Every year around Lent, you have to give up something that's very important
to you. One year I gave up Catholicism -- caught 'em on a technicality.” -
Paul Provenza

Special thanks to Doyle Sails and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at