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SCUTTLEBUTT 3214 - Friday, November 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.


Today's sponsors: Team One Newport and Doyle Sails.

By Jim Bolland, A Brush with Sail
In these modern times, with so many professional sailors competing in so
many high profile regattas, only professional race management will ‘cut the
mustard’ and satisfy the expectations of high profile corporate naming-right
sponsors, professional media teams and race boat teams that are packed with
professional sailors!

Enter the Principle Race Officer (PRO). The abbreviation could also stand
for Professional Race Officer, for these are the people whose position in
sailboat racing, has developed specifically to satisfy the high standards
that are now expected for racing at the top end of our sport.

There are many PRO’s controlling the many high profile regatta’s that are
sailed, particularly in the northern hemisphere and increasingly in the
southern hemisphere, but none are better known around the sailing world than
Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio.

“I’ve basically been on the water all my life,’ Reggio said. ‘I started
sailing as a kid (7 or 8) and have been around sailing ever since. I raced
as a junior and have sailed on everything from dinghies to maxi boats. My
race committee involvement started at my local club and evolved from there.
As a sailor, in the beginning of my RC work, I tried to run races, as I
would like to have them run if I was competing. I still try to do that!”

In my years of sailing in NZ, I have seen a huge change in the attitude to
race management in this country. I asked Peter if, when he travels the world
and apart from the very top events that he controls, does he consider that
race management, even down to local national events, is of a high standard

“I’ve always run races putting the sailors first,” he replied. “After all,
they are the customers. The ‘old school’, i.e., the ‘us against them’
mentality that permeated race management is slowly fading away. And that’s a
good thing! It’s been a long road and my attitude met with a great deal of
resistance in the beginning.

“I was, thankfully, not alone in my approach as there were others moving in
the same direction as me. I was part of the process, not responsible for the
concept (I’m not that smart). However, because of the number of events that
I’ve done and the visibility of some of them, I’ve been tagged as someone
involved in the changing attitude of race management.

“Fortunately, that change had evolved into more and more people running
events for the sailors and not for their own personal aggrandizement. My
feeling is that sailors, and owners, pay their entry fees to have fun at an
event . . . not to get their balls busted! So, I try to be as fair and open
minded as possible. Sometimes I get in ‘trouble’ for it but it seems to
work.” -- Read on:

It was on Wednesday of the 3542 mile Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale (France
to West Indies) when Oman Air Majan skipper Sidney Gavignet reported that
his 32 m trimaran had substantial damage to the leeward front beam and had
lost its mast. Gavignet was soon rescued by a bulk carrier and is now en
route to Turkey. Here is an interview with Gavignet from the carrier:

* Can you explain the conditions you were in and what happened?

SIDNEY GAVIGNET: I was going upwind, at 70 true wind angle and I had two
reefs, and a J2. I was ready with the J3, the wind was increasing and
planned to increase a little bit. But I thought it was still safe handling
for the boat.

It was daylight, I was well rested, well fed. Everything was fine, I thought
nothing was damaged on the boat at that time so far it was a good race on
that side. After we jumped over a wave, probably a little harder than
others, I heard a crack and I thought it was the daggerboard even if the top
of it was higher than deck level which is quite far up. Then I came out and
looked around and I saw on the front leeward crossbeam probably 1m away from
the float the crossbeam was broken. Then it went very, very quick, in
probably 2 to 3 seconds I was easing the traveller and the float came out of
the crossbeam I think it was still linked at that time with the aft
crossbeam. But because the front was not linked to the float the boat
capsized almost, the mast was horizontal and platform vertical.

I was pretty disorientated at that time but the damage was done so my first
concern was to find my survival suit, liferaft and grab bag, which I found
very quickly. I then realized in fact there was no massive panic as I had a
feeling very quickly that the boat would stay afloat, and was safe in the
boat. Which was my first concern in the beginning. I put the survival suit
on and I called Race Director Jean Maurel. I didn't reach him so left a
message and then I called Seb Chernier from Oman Sail to explain the
situation, I told him I would put the eprib on.

Yachting World, full story:

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North Sound, Virgin Gorda, BVI (November 4, 2010) - Big wind visited the BVI
for the final day of fleet racing in the BEYC’s Pro Am Regatta, and the
finals of the Harken Scuttlebutt Sailing Club’s Championship.

Sailing the IC24s for the Pro Am, Russell Coutts obviously enjoyed the 20+
knot gusts that rolled through the North Sound as he marched unwaveringly to
a 12-point victory over the field of professional sailors who raced with
guests of the resort as their crews. There was a tie for second place
between Ken Read and Peter Holmberg, which Read won on the second
tiebreaker. UK sailor Stu Bithell finished fourth. However, Bithell had to
leave early to go to Australia, so Paul Cayard will take his place in the
match races on Friday, drawing the red hot Coutts as his opponent.

The big wind caused the regatta organizers to shift Harken Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club’s Championship Regatta from the IC 24s into Hobie Wave
catamarans (to protect the IC 24s) as the guests at the Bitter End raced for
Harken prizes, and for free nights at the resort at next year’s Pro Am
Regatta. Gordon Le Grande of Atlanta, GA was clearly the class of the field
as he and crew Marian Evatt won all six races and scored a 15 point lead
over Mary Jordan who raced with James Beauchamp. Jim Rand and Paul Harrison
won a tie breaker to finish third.

Also competing in the SSC finals was Russell Coutts’ 9 year old son Michael,
but he was not scored because his pro sailor dad was along as tactician.
They lead at every mark in the first five races, but dropped to third in the
regatta finale when Michael's tactician took him to the wrong corner on the
first beat. --

By Dave Reed, Sailing World
Until recently, I knew of Ted Turner only what can be found in his memoir,
Call Me Ted: media tycoon and pioneer, charitable do-gooder, land conserver,
and one seriously feisty and skilled sailor. I got a full dose of this last
trait when I sailed on board American Eagle at the 12-Meter North Americans
in September.

Ted built his reputation as one of the best ocean-racing skippers of the
early 1970s with American Eagle, but he hadn’t sailed the red-hulled Luders
design in 35 years, nor had he done any racing of late. After less than 30
minutes behind the wheel on our practice day, he proclaimed the speedo was
off by a fraction or two, prompting the boat’s owner, Herb Marshall, to
fetch the electronics manual and fix the problem.

His longtime friend and tactician, Gary Jobson, started the regatta’s first
four races but surrendered the wheel to Ted thereafter. It took a few laps
before Ted hit his stride, but when he did so, the boat felt alive. From
behind his sunglasses, I could sense he was in tune with the telltales, the
yarns on the shrouds, and the speedo. He didn’t need to be told whether he
was too high or too low. He knew exactly how to coax the ol’ girl around the

On the last day of the regatta, he was more talkative and feisty. Maybe he
felt more confident after a few races, or maybe it had something to do with
our desire to beat a faster Columbia - a feat the American Eagle regulars
had failed to do all summer long on the 12-Meter circuit.

On this two-race day, Gary relinquished the starts to Ted, who nailed the
first one, crossing the line with speed, and with Columbia and Easterner in
his hip pocket. Our lead quickly grew, at which point Ted looked over his
shoulder and declared, “Hot damn! Look at that! Hee-hee.”

During the second start, Ted deftly stuffed Easterner in the final 30
seconds and forced Columbia, to weather of Easterner, over the line. At 10
seconds, he put the bow down and was on pace when the gun fired. The lead
was ours to protect, and, as we later neared the port layline, Ted grew

“I want to tack, Gary,” he said. “We’ve gone too far, damn it.”

“No, Ted. We’re fine,” Gary responded, all cool and collected. “Not yet.
Give it a few more boatlengths.”

Ted wouldn’t have it, and promptly barked, “Tacking!”

Read on:

* US SAILING will be accepting Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year
nominations. Nominators will automatically enter a sweepstakes to win two
tickets to the Awards Ceremony at the New York Yacht Club's Model Room with
travel and accommodations provided by Rolex and US SAILING. The Rolex
Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognizes one male sailor and
one female sailor for their individual outstanding on-the-water achievements
within the calendar year. Nominations will be accepted for these awards
through November 30, 2010. Details here:

* (November 4, 2010; Day 19) - As Velux 5 Oceans race leader Brad Van Liew
(USA) altered course from the Brazilian toward the Cape Town finish line,
his nearest competitor cut the corner to match moves. This tactic by second
place Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL) has narrowed the margin to 119 nm, with Van
Liew now 2647 nm from the finish. -- Race website:

* (November 4, 2010; Day 5) - In the IMOCA Open 60 class of the 3542 mile
Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale (France to West Indies), it is a buoyant
Roland Jourdain (Veolia Environnement), the Farr designed former BT and
Armel Le Cléac'h on Brit Air, a Finot Conq design, both of three years
vintage which currently top a fleet which contains no fewer than three new
designs launched already this year. In the clash of the giants that is the
Ultime class, Franck Cammas and Groupama 3 lead their fleet by over 300 nm.
-- Event website:

* A Detroit, Michigan resident has been convicted and sentenced in federal
court for making a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard, announced
United States Attorney Barbara McQuade and Captain Stephen Torpey, Chief of
Incident Management for the Ninth Coast Guard District. Andre D. Cheatom, 19
years old, was sentenced to 18 months incarceration, supervised release for
three years, a special assessment of $100.00, and ordered to pay $14,302 in
restitution for knowingly and willfully causing the Coast Guard to attempt
to save lives and property when no help was needed, in violation of Title
14, U.S. Code, section 88(c). -- Full report:

* The Coast Guard is searching for the owner of a life jacket discovered
floating inside of a search area off the coast of Block Island, R.I.,
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. Coast Guard personnel believe the life jacket,
found by a fisherman in the area, may be linked to the sighting of multiple
flares in the area. The Coast Guard launched a search for a possible person
in distress after receiving reports from three separate witnesses of
multiple flare sightings between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2. -- Read

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Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include Russell Coutts multihull training, November computer background,
Goetz unfinished business, costume contest, keelboat team racing,
refreshment break, torture, and French support. Here are this week’s photos:

BONUS 1: The Hillman Capital Management J/24 East Coast Championship enjoyed
three days of picture perfect fall conditions on Chesapeake Bay, with
entries coming from Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Canada, and throughout the eastern
U.S. Capturing the title was current World Champion Tim Healy. Capturing the
photos was Tim Wilkes:

BONUS 2: Intangible as the normal scope of daily living, color bursts into
our lives in a continual stream. Colors send signals to the brain without us
even thinking about it. Some are soothing, some are not. Some help us focus,
some are distracting. Photographer John Payne decided to edit some of his
images with colors typically not found on the water. Can you say

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

Next year on October 29th, the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race begins with the
In-Port race in Alicante, Spain. The race course is confirmed, and the most
committed of entries are now building their boats and training their crew.
During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, the teams will sail over
39,000 nautical miles of the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town,
Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon,
Lorient, and concluding in Galway, Ireland, during early July 2012.
With a media crew member on each boat, there will be an unprecedented amount
of video and images coming from the boats. A whole host of programming will
be produced and distributed, with live video conferences, daily and weekly
news updates to be broadcast around the world. Here is some footage from the
2008-9 race, and interviews with a couple of the teams competing in the
2011-12 edition:

BONUS 1: The Australian Sailing Team has released a new video, highlighting
the major results from a very successful 2010 in which the team won two
World Championships, won a Silver and Bronze medal at two others and a
number of medals across the seven rounds of the ISAF Sailing World Cup:

BONUS 2: British Olympian's Nick Dempsey, Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark
swapped sails for wheels when they took part in a Volvo Pride driving day at
Rockingham Speedway. The day involved, off roading, use of the wet grip
facility and a lot of laughing:

BONUS 3: Making the sport of sailing visually attractive has become one of
the primary concerns of both classes and event organisers worldwide. This
doesn't just mean publishing great photos and spectacular footage, but also
the way in which they are presented. A new video released this week by the
International Finn Association hopes to demonstrate what is possible and is
offered to showcase how appealing sailing can be, as much as it showcases
the Finn:

SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:

As published in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Sailing World magazine:“I have
never sailed on such a seaworthy boat,” said Sidney Gavignet, a veteran of
four Volvo Ocean Races, who is competing on one of the Irens/Cabaret
trimarans, Majan Oman Air. “We had 70 knots in the Indian Ocean from Cape
Town to Perth. It is almost too comfortable for racing.” Gavignet was
rescued Wednesday from his 32 m trimaran during the Route du Rhum-La Banque
Postale (France to West Indies) when the boat incurred substantial damage to
the leeward front beam and lost its mast when sailing upwind in 20 knots and
moderate sea. --

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

Special thanks to Team One Newport and Doyle Sails.

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