Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 3000 - Tuesday, January 5, 2010

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.

Scuttlebutt on Twitter:
Scuttlebutt on Facebook:

Today’s sponsor is NorthU, Morris Yachts, and Oyster Marine.

When the New York Yacht Club held the America’s Cup for twenty four
successful defenses (and one not so successful), they were not beyond an
occasional tilt of the playing field to help their cause. But the latest
move by defender Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) may have set a new
precedent in how to fluster a challenger.

How about a Notice of Race that requires the challenger Golden Gate Yacht
Club (GGYC) to moor their boat in a harbor that they can’t get into? Now
that both the Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing teams have arrived with their
boats in Valencia, Spain, Tom Ehman, Director of External Affairs for the
challenger, comments on the latest event debacle:

“They are trying to force us to dock in the Darsena (harbor used for the
32nd America’s Cup), which they say is for the ‘sake of the event’ when they
know full well we can't get into the canal safely with the wing up, and, of
course, we cannot take it down until we are in the harbour and at the

“Moreover, there is not room for a proper mooring buoy in the very small
Darsena. When the wing is down it needs a 100m+ radius mooring area (60m for
the rig, another 15 for half the width of the boat, and another 25 of
cushion to allow other boats to pass safely around it -- to say nothing of
allowing scope on the mooring buoy anchor, etc). That’s a circle centered on
the mooring buoy with a 200m diameter.

“And even if we were able to sail in safely (with the wing up), and we could
moor it, there is no guarantee we could get back out of the Darsena the next
morning. That’s why we have set up a boatyard over in the commercial port
where there is much more space, the entrance is not affected by the stormy
northerlies frequent this time of the year (the Darsena entrance is
north-facing -- the only one in the Med, go figure; commercial port entrance
is south-facing), etc.

“Moreover, you can bet you'll never see Alinghi enter the Darsena with their
sails up! So why are they trying to force us to sail into the Darsena? Uh
huh. Finally, during the last Cup teams were prohibited from sailing into
the Darsena for safety reasons -- now they are demanding that we keep the
boat in the canal knowing full well we would have to sail in. Amazing, eh?

“Oh, and they have a measurement regulation saying that measurement will
take place in the Darsena. Right!” -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Photo of harbor layout:
SNG letter to Consorcio Valencia 2007:
SNG letter to GGYC:
GGYC letter to SNG:

The inaugural Best Sailor's Bar contest hosted in sister publication
Scuttlebutt Europe has posted the establishments that made the Top 10 list
of the best of the best. Driven by public opinion, the rampant loyalty and
extent of the customer databases and club members was staggering, with no
shortage of technical shortcuts and competitive spirit demonstrated to
elevate their favorite watering hole. Not sure if the abundance of North
American sites on the list is an indication of the importance that this
element is to the sport in this continent… but here is the list for 2009:

1. Peter-Cafe Sport - Horta, Azores
2. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club - Hong Kong
3. IYAC - Newport RI, USA
4. Maddie's Sail Loft - Marblehead, MA USA
5. The Candy Store - Newport, RI, USA
6. Le Select - St. Barts
7. Bitter End Yacht Club - British Virgin Islands
8. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club - Hamilton Bermuda
9. Foxy's Tamarind Bar and Grill - Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
10. Willy T - Norman Island, British Virgin Islands


NorthU Trim seminars teach fast fast. In one day you learn to control and
balance power for better upwind performance, trim your spinnaker (A or S) to
run faster and deeper, and how to set, jibe, and douse like a pro; plus
you’ll take home the NorthU TRIM Seminar-on-CD for review and home study.
Coming soon to a town near you. Visit or call
800-347-2457 for full info and schedule.

The 40th Contender World Championships is being held this week in Brisbane,
Australia. Which notable America’s Cup yacht designer also penned this
singlehanded trapeze dinghy? (Answer below)

* For youth racers, the Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami, FL is one heck of a
Christmas present. Despite the perceived upheaval of family holiday plans,
the event continues to grow, with 722 sailors travelling to attend the event
on December 27-30. Photog John Payne was on the Laser course, where he
provides a vivid display of what it is like to race this singlehander in
what is likely the very best place for U.S. winter sailing:

* American Chris Welsh describes the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this
way: “The pre-race dock atmosphere is electric, the start like a illegal
drug, the race itself is a constant sprint push, and the post-race in Hobart
is bullish sailing crew meets a quaint down under village and the bars are
open.” Shooters Daniel Forster and Kurt Arrigo provide us with a visual
tease of this classic race:

* When 108 boats signed up for the 2010 CST Composites International 14
World Championship, the tight confines of Sydney Harbour in Australia was
going to make this event a cozy affair. Photographer Christophe Favreau
offers a glimpse of the action early in the event:

by Ken Legler, Tufts Sailing Coach, National Race Officer

A Port-line boat is not a pin boat that motors around near the starting pin
“helping” the race committee sight the line. It is a starting mark,
anchored, engine off, with a tall orange flag. More important it is manned
with one or two race officers with loud hailer and/or radio. The advantages
of using a Port-line boat are huge. With the proper ground tackle, Port-line
boats can adjust the angle of the starting line right up to the preparatory
(two-minute) signal. The biggest advantage is sighting the line. By sighting
the line accurately from both ends, the number of general recalls can be
reduced by 90%.

Why now? Port-line boats have been commonly used by the ILYA (Inland Lakes)
for forty years. Elsewhere they have been used somewhat sparingly all over
the world. A couple things have changed in college racing in the last few
years which increase the need for a Port-Line boat now. One is the use of
gate marks. Instead of one or two marks at the bottom end of the course,
there are three or four; two gate marks and start marks. When the wind
shifts and the marks get moved, which is which? If the start mark is either
a boat or a tiny anchor buoy for that boat, the gate marks stand out. The
Port-line boat not only avoids this confusion, it can also help adjust those
gate marks.

Another reason is that our major regattas have become deeper. There are many
more great teams in this century than at any time in the last century. Now
every boat is on the line, and if they cannot see the pin, more boats are
over early. This adds up to more general recalls, which are unfair and a
waste of precious racing time. There are also more RC boats than before
since team racing switched to N courses and are often umpired. In team
racing we use a start boat, a finish boat and often a mark boat as well. In
fleet racing we can have a two start boats and a mark boat. If only two
boats are available, either start boat can cast off from their tiny anchor
buoy and adjust marks fast. -- Forum, read on and comment here:

Cuyler Morris accepted yet another Boat of the Year Award. The M52 won
Cruising World Magazine’s Boat of the Year Bristol Award, an award rarely
given out and only when a boat cannot be categorized but exceeds
expectations and demands to be recognized. Past award winners include the
Morris M42 - Best Special Purpose Cruise; Morris 42 - Domestic Boat of the
Year; Morris 34 - Overall Winner and Best Mid-Size Cruiser; Morris 40 -
Overall Winner and Full-Size (over 40) Winner; and the Morris 44 - Bristol
Award Winner. See the M52 here:

* Long Beach, CA (January 3, 2010) - Racing at the 25th annual Rose Bowl
Regatta was cut short when the wimpy winds that had prevailed all weekend
gasped their last breath, with Point Loma edging out perennial rival Newport
Harbor amid the 54 high school teams, and Georgetown University holding off
College of Charleston to win the 26-team college competition. -- Full story:

* Sydney, Australia (January 4, 2010) - Day two of the CST Composites
International 14 World Championship was held in light to moderate east
nor'east conditions and, thankfully, increasing sunshine. The two fleets of
the Qualifying Series completed one race each, with Ben Austin (AUS) taking
first place in race one, with Archie Massey (AUS) winning Race Two. For
Massey, he now leads overall after his request for redress on the black flag
from day one was granted. The regatta continues Tuesday with more Qualifying
Races for the divided 108 boat fleet. -- Complete resport:

* Freeport, Grand Bahama (January 4, 2010) - The 2010 Seiko 49er and 29er
World Championship began today for the 62 49ers and 35 29ers in sunny and
mild weather and 15-18 knots of wind. After three races, Nathan Outteridge/
Iain Jensen (AUS) are atop the 49ers and Oscar Haumann/ ? (DEN) lead the
29er fleet. -- Results:

* The 160nm Fort Lauderdale to Key West race starts January 13th, and with
55 boats signed up, the event has its biggest numbers in 15 years. Entries
will be accepted through January 8th. During the race, live updates and real
time race tracking will be posted on the event website. -- Full report:

* The Singapore Sailing Federation has announced that Andrew Sanders, Chief
Executive Officer, will be handing over the helm of the organization to
Edwin Low, incumbent Secretary-General and Head of High Participation, in
the first quarter of 2010. --

* (January 3, 2010) - Spirit of Australia was first across the start line to
the delight of the home crowd as Race 5 of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World
Yacht Race got underway. Hundreds of supporters lined the breakwater in
Geraldton, Western Australia, and cheered as the Australian team raced past
with the other nine internationally sponsored yachts beginning the route to
Singapore. The fleet is expected to arrive by January 23rd, with only a
quick stopover before they restart on February 2nd for the race to Qingdao,
China. --

* G.Lawrence (Larry) Gadsby, Portsmouth, RI, a great supporter of disabled
issues and sailing programs, passed away Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009, from
complications of Pneumonia. Larry devoted his time and generous talents to
various non-profits in the Newport area. He spent more than 25 years
building the Shake-A-Leg, Newport program as board chairman and COO. He was
instrumental in the founding and operations of the C.Thomas Claggett Jr.
Regatta. Larry was an active board member of the Newport Visiting Nurses
Association and an adjunct faculty member of Johnson & Wales College of
Business. Larry will be greatly missed. -- Robie Pierce,

* Barton Beek passed away January 2, 2010 in the hospital in Houston. He was
a long-time Star sailor from Newport Beach, CA and supporter of junior
sailing through CISA and other organizations. Tough as nails, he once rowed
a dory from Newport to Avalon on his 70th birthday, but also an exceedingly
caring and kind individual. -- Post additional information here:

* Ross Ritto, music industry professional and San Diego, CA sailor, passed
away from cancer on Wednesday, December 23, 2009, at the age of 60. Born in
Rochester, NY, Ross spent nearly 40 years in the sound business, helping to
grow a company that had provided touring systems for the likes of Jimmy
Buffett. His involvement in the Southern California sailing scene included
his Farr ILC 40 High Five and involvement as a PHRF handicapper. -- Post
additional comments here:

The Contender dinghy came from the sketch pad of Ben Lexcen, who designed
the America's Cup winner Australia II. Originally designed as a future
single handed Olympic dinghy by the young Queenslander in 1966, when he was
still known as Bob Miller, the Contender dinghy is this week celebrating its
40th World Championship in its Queensland design birth place.

The Contender was awarded International status in 1968. The first World
Championship was held in Britain in 1970. In 1974 and again in 1988
Contender World titles were sailed out of the Royal Queensland Yacht
Squadron (RQYS). Now, in the Club's 125th year, the Contender World
Championship returns with a 60 boat international fleet. --

Oyster Marine is looking for an established player in the high-end yacht
market to lead and develop our US Sales of bluewater cruising yachts 46ft to
82ft and to promote our 100 and 125 Superyachts. Based Newport, RI. Contact
Robin Campbell at:

Please email your comments to the Scuttlebutt editor (aka, ‘The
Curmudgeon’). Published letters must include writer's name and be no longer
than 250 words (letter might be edited for clarity or simplicity). 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 Peter Isler: (re, Sailing Faster Than The Wind in Scuttlebutt 2998)
The clip from the website that was trying to explain sailboat speeds
relative to the wind got things pretty tangled up. The quote from BMW
Oracle's Mike Drummond was out of context and made things even more
confusing/incorrect. Of course many sailors have sailed faster than the wind
speed... on a reach even a small monohull keelboat can attain such
performance. But to "beat" the wind when sailing downwind…that's pretty

Of course no boat can beat the wind if steered on a directly downwind point
of sail... and that was Mike's point. But heat it up a bit (turn toward the
wind) , let the sails start acting like a wing rather than a barn door and
lots of multihulls and probably some monohulls can "VMG" faster than the
wind speed. That is, if you let a helium balloon loose at the windward mark,
the boat would beat the balloon to the leeward mark! (Of course it would
have to gybe at least once).

Training for the 1988 America's Cup on the Stars & Stripes catamarans (we
had two identical cats, one powered by a wing and the other by a traditional
mast/sail rig), we noticed an interesting phenomena in our racing practice.
On the downwind legs, the leading boat could "cover" the trailing boat and
give it "dirty" air! That leading boat advantage is expected on upwind legs,
but it turns out, if the two boats are "vmg-ing" faster than the wind speed
on a downwind leg... the leading boat retains that tactical weapon. Another
good reason to get in the lead off the starting line!

* From Eric Hall:
Of course the America's Cup country of origin question about sails has
nothing to do with popularity polls or letter writers' opinions. The
question is whether the Deed of Gift applies to sails. I believe there is
precedent for the answer. If memory serves, the New York Yacht Club waived
the Deed of Gift sail requirement after 1958 allowing the Aussies to buy
US-made Hood sails for Gretel II for the '62 match. Until then - as far as I
know - sails were made in challengers' countries.

The point may be mute. North is now talking about a 100% Swiss-technology
"black sail" product. Alinghi tested such Swiss-made sails during the last
Cup. If the product is ready for prime time, they're covered.

* From Euan Ross:
As a small boy who cried myself to sleep during past iterations of the
America's Cup, if it turns out that the Deed of Gift does not in fact
include sails, may we now ask the New York Yacht Club for a rerun of all
these tragic challenges from Britain and Australia in the 50s and 60s, when
the competition was preempted by our lack of access to US cloth? Because, as
we know now from the classic 12 metre circuit, when equipped with equal
sails, our boats from that era are not half as bad as they appeared to be at
the time.

* From William F. Cook:
There has been some chatter recently concerning the AC
Constructed-In-Country rules. "Constructed" does not mean the same thing as
"designed" and none of the patents or other issues which are often brought
up apply. The rule simply says that you have to build it in the country from
which you are challenging or defending. None of the historical exceptions to
this rule which are so often cited apply because all of those exceptions
come about from mutual consent agreements. There is no mutual consent in
this America's Cup.

For the first time in history the two parties have agreed on nothing (even
in 1988 they had some mutual consent!). As a result, the event rules are
derived from the Deed alone. I would suggest that it is probably worth
someone's time at SNG to actually read the thing, which they clearly haven't
done. GGYC notified SNG of the CIC issues more than a year ago in an attempt
to make SNG understand the implications of failing to arrive at mutual
consent, but the overtures were ignored. GGYC has taken great pains to
follow the letter of the Deed in the absence of such an agreement with the
understanding that their challenge would be scrutinized for any infraction.
It isn't too much to ask that SNG either do the same or finally come to the
bargaining table and agree to a fair protocol, although it's undoubtedly too
late for that now.

Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
relatives will. Stay in touch.

Special thanks to NorthU, Morris Yachts, and Oyster Marine.

Preferred supplier list: