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SCUTTLEBUTT 3275 - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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: Harken, Point Loma Outfitting, and J Boats.

Belgian Bruno De Wannemaeker, an ISAF International Judge and member of the Race Management Team at the 2008 Olympics, finds his experience with board classes to be relevant to the sport:
For some years Race directors on Windsurf (and now also Kitesurf) and planning-sailing and Optimists have not been using the P-flag (preparatory) anymore and substituted it for the I-flag on the first starting attempt.

The ISAF still believes that the use of an I-flag is bad: “Some Race Officers regard this penalty as very unfair. It penalizes a boat that is on the course side in the middle of the start line more than a boat at the end. This can create extra difficulties for the Race Officer by making the fleet bunch at both ends while leaving quite a large space unused in the middle of the start line.”

We feel strongly that the P flag has no place on a windsurf, kiteboard (and also on planning sailboats, Optimist... and why not on all) fleet race starts. Its use during Grade 1 windsurfing events during the previous years has caused untold disruption and inequitable racing. This is an example of a good (?) dinghy idea having adverse effects on windsurfing where boards have a reverse gear and don't need an invitation to sail down on an opponent.

There are two main arguments in favor of the use of the I flag:

- The practical argument is that boats having to go back, around-the-end, through the fleet and start, in a course with a 15-20 minute target time, have no chance in the race.
- The philosophical argument is that we are anyway talking about boards that broke a rule (the definition of start). It is more important to provide a fair and safe start for all the boards than worry about giving an, anyway irrelevant, advantage to some of the rule breaking boards as opposed to some other rule breaking boards

To take it a little further: I flag will lead to fewer boards over the line than P flag. This means that the start will be easier to be monitored and in turn will lead to less general recalls and more clear starts or individual boards recalled. This is better because:

- Individual recalls are fair: the board breaking the rule (definition of start) is recalled. She may either start properly within the appropriate time limit, or she will be scored OCS. A “punishment” fitting the “crime”.
- On the contrary, a general recall is unfair: when a general recall is used, the boards breaking the rule (definition of start) receive no punishment. Instead, they get a second chance to start, while the boards that started without breaking any rule are “punished” by having their start canceled.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: It is interesting to relate the various sailing start systems to the single system in track, where runners are permitted only one false start and are automatically disqualified for a second false start. Look for a poll on this topic in Scuttlebutt on Thursday.

The success of two members of the US Sailing Team Alphagraphics last month at the Rolex Miami OCR has gotten the attention of the US Olympic Committee (USOC).

Paige Railey, who dominated the Laser Radial event, is being voted on for USOC Female Athlete of the Month. And by finishing second in the Women’s Match Race event, Team Tunnicliffe (Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, and Debbie Capozzi) is being voted on for USOC Team Athlete of the Month.

To show your support... for your sport... vote here:

Paige Railey - Female Athlete of the Month:
Team Tunnicliffe - Team Athlete of the Month:

Admittedly, this is far from science. It is a sophomoric popularity contest, but with the vote count being fairly low at press time, Scuttlebutt readers can completely tilt the standing in favor of these Olympic sailing candidates. Poll closes Wednesday at 7:00pm ET.

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(February 8, 2011; Day 11) - When you are faster than your competition, yet you remain behind them, there can only be one answer: you are going the wrong way. But in the case of Thomas Coville’s solo round the world record attempt, Coville is going the only way possible. While current record holder Francis Joyon was able to cut a diagonal route across the South Atlantic, Coville is forced to hug the Brazilian coast to avoid the trappings of the St Helena High.

Despite his southern position relative to where Joyon was at the same time, the growing deficit will continue until Coville finds an opportunity to head east toward the Cape of Good Hope. His weather team hopes to find the opening in the next couple days to allow him to sneak under the high pressure but above the high concentration zone of icebergs that the satellites have been observing for the past few weeks in the Southern Atlantic.

Current position as of February 8, 2011 (23:00 UTC):
Ahead/behind record: -341.4 nm
Speed over past 24 hours: 22.3 knots
Distance over past 24 hours: 535.5 nm
Distance remaining: 19,914 nm

Team website:

BACKGROUND: Thomas Coville (FRA) and the 105-foot trimaran Sodebo is seeking to set a new solo round the world record under sail. Coville began the attempt Jan. 29th and must cross the finish line off Ushant, France by March 28, 2011 at 00:40:34 (UTC) to break the record (57:13:34:06) set by Francis Joyon in 2008 on the 97-foot trimaran IDEC.

(February 8, 2011: Day 40) - As Virbrac Paprec 3 crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin this morning at around 1010hrs UTC, the leading French pair were moving at more modest speeds seeing their record lead ebbing again as the chasing trio catch up steady miles

For Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron they are simply at the mercy of the more benign conditions as they transit the second Australian safety barrier, but the leading team have shed 100 miles to the pursuing trinity, MAPFRE, Estrella Damm and Groupe Bel since Monday.

“It is not so very fast at the moment, but the conditions are due to get windier,” reports Loick Peyron (FRA) on Virbac-Paprec 3. “We are looking forward to the passage of the Cook Strait, but before that you never really can be sure what will happen. But being at the front does not really influence how we sail. We are a little more careful and conservative in the maneuvers. On the other hand we push hard all the time but slow down when we feel we have to.”

Race Tracker:

Standings (top 5 of 14 as of 20.01.07)
1. Virbac-Paprec 3, Jean Pierre Dick/Loick Peyron (FRA/FRA), 13,935 nm DTF
2. Mapfre, Iker Martinez/Xabi Fernandez (ESP/ESP), 635.9nm DTL
3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, Alex Pella/Pepe Ribes (ESP/ESP), 654.0nm DTL
4. Groupe Bel, Kito De Pavant/Sebastien Audigane (FRA/FRA), 795.3nm DTL
5. Renault, Pachi Rivero/Antonio Piris (ESP/ESP), 1106.0nm DTL

Full rankings:

BACKGROUND: This is the second edition of the non-stop Barcelona World Race, the only double-handed race around the world. Fourteen teams are competing on Open 60s which started December 31st and is expected to finish by late March. The 25,000 nautical mile course is from Barcelona to Barcelona via three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait, putting Antarctica to starboard. Race website:

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* The International Melges 24 Class Association and The San Francisco Yacht Club have confirmed that the 2013 Melges 24 World Championship will take place on San Francisco Bay from September 28 through October 5 2013. The event will follow the schedule of the America’s Cup, which has the finals slated for September 7-22, 201. --

* The 70th annual Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail, running February 17-21, 2011, has launched an application for iPhone and Android mobile phone users. They claim to be the first U.S. boat show to have its own mobile application, which allows attendees and exhibitors to use their phone to navigate and organize their boat show experience. Details here:

* Glenn Mazzella, a former boat dealer and one-time chairman of the Marine Retailers Association of America, was indicted last month as part of the FBI's roundup of 127 suspected mafia members on charges of racketeering, extortion and conspiracy. The indictment was filed in U.S. District Court against Mazzella and three other men, who it alleges conspired to steal property by extortion and instilled fear of physical injury or damage to the property of two anonymous parties. -- Boating Industry, read on:

* The move to multihulls for the America’s Cup has boosted the profile of the Extreme Sailing Series, which finds its deepest field for the fifth season of this Extreme 40 catamaran circuit. World Champions and ocean racing record holders will be squaring up against Olympians and America’s Cup hotshots for the nine event tour that commences in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in February 20-24. The series will have its first North American stop during the summer in Boston June 30-July 4. -- Full report:

* (February 8, 2011; Day 3) - Despite the past few days of champagne sailing for the VELUX 5 OCEANS fleet, leader Brad Van Liew (USA) is ever aware of what awaits on the 6,000 nautical mile sprint to Punta del Este in Uruguay. The fleet must first survive the Southern Ocean before rounding the notorious Cape Horn, the southerly tip of South America. Van Liew leads Zbigniew Gutkowski (POL) by 10 miles. -- Full report:

* (February 8, 2011; Day 4) - George David's Rambler 100 (ex Speedboat) has taken the elapsed time title for the 811 mile Pineapple Cup - Montego Bay Race from Ft Lauderdale, FL to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Light winds protected the current record of 2d, 10h, 24m, 42s, with Rambler crossing the line at 3d, 01h, 48m, 52s. --

Donelson (Don) C. Glassie, Jr., died Thursday, Feb. 3, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The sailor/entrepreneur had been a Newport resident since the mid 1970s. He was 76. His first sailing experiences were aboard a Herreshoff “12 ½” in Falmouth, MA, where his family spent a portion of many summers.

Circa 1974, Don spied “Fortune” in Newport Harbor. The 1926 Crowninshield-design schooner needed lots of work, but was soon a presence in classic yacht races in Newport, down the Connecticut coast to Long Island, northward as far as Maine. In 2001, “Fortune” was shipped across the Atlantic to take part in the America’s Cup Jubilee - celebrating the 150th anniversary of the race around the Isle of Wight which established the America’s Cup - in Cowes, England.

By 1977, Don had taken up residence in Newport, where his focus became real estate. He started with a single building on Spring Street and worked his way up to converting historic buildings into condominiums and renovating small inns. His company, Yankee Development Corp., operates the Yankee Peddler Inn, Jailhouse Inn and Harborside Inn to this day.

On the Newport waterfront, Don’s legacies include harbor tour boats “Madeleine,” “Rumrunner II” and the 160’ sailing cruise yacht “Arabella.” Then there were the Used Boat Shows, which he initiated and operated (as Yankee Boat Peddlers) for more than a twenty years. He was also an early supporter of the Museum of Yachting at Fort Adams, a partner in the Newport Shipyard as it was undergoing revitalization and a regular patron of the Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 2 p.m., at Trinity Church, Queen Anne Square, Newport. Additional details at

The Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum encourages companies to post their personnel, product and service updates. Scuttlebutt editors randomly select Industry News updates each week to include in the Thursday edition of the Scuttlebutt newsletter. Here is the link to post Industry News updates:

The J/108 is the newest “shoal performance” model from J Boats following the success of the J/95. This shoal-water capable 35' cruising yacht has a comfortable interior, easy sail handling, and spacious cockpit. She draws only 4' with board up and twin rudders provide exceptional control for a fun, easy ride.

Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250 words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.


* From Ken Legler:
Video can work for starting line evidence but must zoom in for the far end and wide angle for the near end. With separate video operators at both ends perhaps we could do this for the competitor’s sake.

Like Pete Levesque, Morgan Reeser feels a bit of "us vs. them" with the RC. That's how many young motorists feel about the police since RC's have the authority to pull, I mean call, you over. Like the police, the RC is there to serve but has a human ego. From my viewpoint as coach, I liked Pete's advice to hold back on Black Flag starts.

Before seeking redress for OCS, engage the PRO if possible. If you were nowhere near the line perhaps you were identified by mistake. If so, some PRO's might even file redress on your behalf or just reinstate you without a hearing. However, if you were seen over early, your chances of winning redress is slim. Most RC's never OCS a boat unless they are certain that boat was over. As hard as it is to see the line perfectly, the RC has a far better view from the ends than the competitors in between.

With all due respect to (my old friend and former instructor) Bill Sandberg, the I flag does not force the fleet to start at the ends (per Bill’s letter in Scuttlebutt 3273). Only those planning on being over should start near the ends; the others should avoid those boats and start in the less crowded middle. If a Black Flag start is subsequently recalled, boats seen over are randomly tossed out, while boats seen over early on the first general (before the Black Flag) and/or on the penalty start but not identified are still in.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Morgan’s request for feedback was well received, with all the letters now posted in the Forum where the conversation can continue. Here is the link:

* From Hugh Elliot, Alexandria, VA:
Stephen Van Dyck's letter (in Scuttlebutt 3274) reminded me of a question asked by one of my non-sailing friends: "Now that you are an International Judge, does that mean that you will start to get paid for all of the time that you put in?" I replied: "No - and in sailing, unlike in certain other Olympic sports, there is no tradition of bribing the judges."

He then proceeded to regale me with tales of how much money his sons - starting at the ages of 16 and going through college - had made umpiring Little League games. Three games a day, two days a weekend, at $50 per game comes up to a decent income for a teenager. The vast majority of sailing judges - presumed, I suppose, to be rich - work for the love of the sport (including paying their own travel expenses) plus occasional meals and the odd regatta shirt.

I have been campaigning gently for increased CPE (Continuing Professional Education). A single Race Official's (Judge, Umpire, Race Officer) Workshop every four years is entirely inadequate but if race officials were paid, much higher standards could be demanded and enforced.

* From Paul Gingras, Palm Beach, FL: (re, Rozalia Project in SBUTT 3274)
My suggestion concerning the proliferation of floating garbage on our waters is for all boats, competitors as well as coach and committee boats, to carry a short-handled net aboard to retrieve some of flotsam we pass by while underway. These items weigh very little and are easily disposed of in a proper manner when returning to the mooring or dock.

* From Deanna Wilson:
I commend the Rozalia Project on their efforts to clean up the marinas and educate the public about the importance of a clean marine environment. The problem of litter accumulating in our oceans is worldwide. In 2006 a group of the wives, partners and friends of America's Cup personnel formed Agua Limpia which had very similar goals to that of the Rozalia Project. There is also a group in California and useful information can be found on their website at I'd like to thank these groups for their efforts.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: When discovering the polluted the waters in Valencia, Spain, Libby Johnson McKee was among the group that launched the Agua Limpia prior to the 32nd America’s Cup. They would go to schools and present information to classes about the sea, and about what can be done to keep it clean. “The workshops focus on the conservation of the marine environment and its inhabitants, the importance of clean oceans, the causes of sea pollution and the potential solutions,” explained McKee in Scuttlebutt 2127. “We strongly believe that by educating young children to respect water and the marine environment, it is possible to reach out to the adult generations, too.” --

* From Chris Boome, San Francisco: (re, lead story in SBUTT 3274)
Years ago when we were building a local Laser fleet at the Palo Alto Yacht Club (a long ago victim of overzealous environmentalists), my friend David Vickland came up with the idea of awarding a "Middle of the Fleet" award. The thought was to recognize someone from the middle of the pack who was fighting it out for their spot. For many, moving up to the middle was a great accomplishment, for some it was the only chance they would ever have to receive a "trophy" (remember this was in the early 70's, so some of our "trophies" were pretty innovative).

Last year the California Laser sailors, led by Richard Leland, created the Tony Dahlman Award. Tony was one our middle of the fleet sailor who loved sailing and racing his Laser, truly one of those people who always had a smile on his face. Tony had a massive stoke and died during the first race of the 2009 Laser Masters National Championship in Monterey. The Tony Dahlman Trophy is to be given each year to the Master who finishes in the middle of the fleet at the US Masters National Championship.

The award was given for the first time in 2010 and won by someone who was racing Laser Masters for the first time. His daughters had talked him into it and were so happy that their dad won this beautiful trophy. Richard Leland and Tony's widow Maria traveled to the East Coast for the regatta - Richard to race and to help present the award and Maria to see who would be the first to carry on Tony's love for our beautiful sport.

Let's never forget that it's those guys in the middle of the fleet that make the hot dogs up front look so good.

* From Steve Gregory:
Outstanding lead story in Scuttlebutt 3274! While it is good fun to follow the elite level of sports, we cannot forget the purpose of sport... to have fun. This is our recreation, and we can only screw it up by taking it too seriously.

If anybody failed to click on the link for the rest of the story titled ‘A Toast To The Back-Of-The-Fleeters’, please include in Scuttlebutt the final poem that was at the end:

But now that the protests are settled
And we drift with a favorable tide,
Let us think of the fun in just racing
Here’s health to all those who tried!

Tonight we’ll sail not for prizes
And no one shall sail for fame,
But losers at last will be winners
With no stigma attached to their name.

Here at the annual dinner
With fellowship’s cup at the brim,
Let us drink to the health of the losers
Without whom no winner could win!


Never underestimate the kindness of your fellow man.

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