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SCUTTLEBUTT 3343 - Tuesday, May 17, 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: West Marine, Atlantis WeatherGear, and Interlux.

Tory Read was just a grade-schooler the last time her dad got the crazy
idea to race around the world in a 70-foot carbon fiber yacht. I don't
think my daughter was old enough to figure out, every time I left the dock,
'Hey, this could be the last time I see Dad,'" Ken Read said. But Tory is
now approaching high school, and Ken - skipper of the Puma-sponsored Mar
Mostro - knows there is no truth-hiding any longer. Death is only a
crashing wave away.

That's the bargain made by all that participate in the Volvo Ocean Race, an
eight-month, 39,000-mile competition whose 10-city circuit includes a stop
in Miami next May. This most-extreme sport is not for those that possess
"sanity," at least in the traditional sense. Most boaters stridently avoid
storms; Read and his 10 crewmates will seek them out.

"I do not claim to be the brightest person on the planet," said Read, in
town last Friday for a Volvo Ocean Race media event that included Miami
Mayor Tomas Regalado. "It's going to be cold, wet, hot, miserable, lousy
food, and I can't think of anything I'd rather do," Read added. "It's
incredibly fulfilling."

Fulfilling, yes - but also demanding. Between Oct. 29, 2011, and the
following July, at least six yachts will spend roughly 130 days and nights
on the seas. They'll start in Alicante, Spain, take the southern route past
South Africa's Cape Town, Asia and Chile's Cape Horn before heading back
north to Europe, making a stop in Miami on the way.

Miami will be the race's lone North American port city. Miami officials
plan to turn the stopover - expected to run May 6-20, 2012 - into a
two-week cultural festival at Bicentennial Park. "Miami should be the
sailing capital of the United States," said Miami Commissioner Marc
Sarnoff, who was a critical player in the city's bid to lure the Volvo
Ocean Race. "This event will put us on the map." -- Read more:

MORE: The Miami stopover team has started to shape the 14-day festival -
Volvo Ocean Race Miami 'Beyond Water' - which will take place at
Bicentennial Park in May 2012. Beyond Water will consist of dynamic
entertainment, interactive pavilions and wrap-around events all located in
an international race village. This festival will also include an exciting
In-Port Race for the Volvo Open 70 fleet along with the Volvo Ocean Race
Academy programme, which is a series of youth sailing regattas. The
Inter-Collegiate Semi-Final National Championship, water sports
exhibitions, sail boarding, kite sailing, wakeboarding and an educational
programming will also be packed into the busy schedule of events for the
festival. --

Corpus Christi, TX (May 16, 2011) - After weeks of training in near extreme
conditions, the forecast for the first day of the 2011 Melges 24 World
Championship was for light to medium conditions to prevail. The first race
was sailed in an oscillating 7-10 knot breeze and saw Alan Field at the
helm of USA 811 WTF, take the win after overtaking the initial leader,
Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr just before the second windward mark.

By the time the second race got underway the wind had clocked significantly
to the right and built in strength up to around 14-16 knots. Kristen Lane
steering USA 812 Brick House 812, led around the first mark, and despite
letting her grip on the race loosen for a while on the second beat, she
came back strong to retake the lead at the final top mark. From then on she
was totally in control, and after sailing a tactically astute second run,
she eased home to take a well deserved race win.

With a more familiar local weather system now appearing to establish
itself, there is a good chance that Tuesday will see the full arrival of
the Corpus Christi thermal breezes. To give the wind its best chance to
develop, the start time for racing on Day 2 has been pushed back to 13.00.
Racing continues through until Saturday May 21, with two races per day
scheduled. -- Full report:

Day 1 Standings - Top ten of 32
1. Conor Clarke (IRL), Embarr, 2-5, 7
2. Lorenzo Bressani (ITA), UkaUka Racing, 6-2, 8
3. Eivind Melleby (NOR), Full Medal Jacket, 5-3, 8
4. Kristen Lane (USA), Brickhouse 812, 8-1, 9
5. Flavio Favini (SUI), Blu Moon, 3-6, 9
6. Andrea Racchelli (ITA), ALTEA, 4 -7, 11
7. Alan Field (USA), WTF, 1-11, 12
8. Eiichiro Hamazaki (JPN), Esprit, 11-4, 15
9. Alec Cutler (BER), hedgehog, 9-8, 17
10. Riccardo Simoneschi (ITA), AUDI, 7-12, 19
Full results:

RECOGNITION: 2011 Melges 24 World Championship Regatta Chair Teri Ficken
was presented with a special award as Most Valued Partner by The Convention
and Visitors Bureau of North Padre Island in recognition of the work she
has done in bringing to Corpus Christi an event expected to net in excess
of US$70,000 in revenue for the city.

LIVE UPDATES: Here are two sources that will keep you close to the

What can we say? You caught us in good mood. The sun is starting to make
appearances in many places, races are going on around the country, we're
all in the outfitting frame of mind and anticipating a great Memorial Day
weekend. We invite you to take 10% off sitewide at, Tuesday
and Wednesday, May 17 and 18. This is a two-day offer, so be sure to jump
on it quick. Use coupon code SAVE10 at checkout. This offer is good online
only. Please visit for complete details. --

While training in advance of the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds, tactician's job has
been to learn how to adapt to the sailing venue of Corpus Christi, TX.
After seeing a lot of days with strong winds, and noting the steep chop
that kicks up on the shallow race course, top tacticians Richard Clarke
(Alec Cutler, Hedgehog) and Steve Hunt (Alan Field, WTF) share their

Richard Clarke:
"Biggest issue here is figuring out sail selection and rig tune, because
starboard tack is straight into the waves and with them hitting on the side
on port tack. You need to tune to rig asymmetrically. We've also been
tweaking our sail designs to cope with the strong winds."

Steve Hunt:
"The faster you go in a boat, the less maneuvers you want to make because
of the difference in speed between tacking, jibing and hauling the mail
around the course, so yes, there will be less maneuvers than normal here
(when it's windy). Also it's so choppy it is tough to find a flat spot to
tack through upwind. Part of the tactician's challenge will be figuring out
if the gain from playing a shift will outweigh the loss from the additional

The ISAF Classification system is a service to classes and events who want
to define who they want to sail. If there is a limit on the number
professional sailors that can participate on a boat, the Classification
Code is the system that must be used.

The challenge of the Code is to fairly determine what types of activity
warrant a sailor to be classified as Group 3 (professional), and what is
permitted within the Group 1 (amateur) classification. One of the tools of
the Code is a list of over 120 frequently asked questions (FAQs), with
their answers helping to define Group 1 and 3.

Here are the FAQs for Builders, Dealers and Brokers:

Q. An employee or owner of a company whose sales include boats that race
never races with the clients. Is he Group 1?
A. Yes, he is Group 1

Q. Is an employee or owner of a company that only sells boats that do not
race Group 1?
A. Yes.

Q. A sailor has paid work that includes selling boats that race and races
with the customers. Is he Group 3?
A. Yes.

Q. A broker sells a boat to a client and races on her for many years. Does
he remain Group 3 throughout?
A. No, he is Group 3 for the first 24 months as his paid work in this
period has included supplying a boat that he then raced on. [Code
22.2.2(b)] He must then go through the timeout period before becoming Group
1. This is 24 months and will date from his last race in the initial 24
month period. If he sells another boat and races on it he must go through
the whole cycle again. However if the boat sold and on which he races is
being used to market, demonstrate or in any other way influence the
purchase of a boat by other customers (whether or not he then races with
them) he remains Group 3 as Code 22.2.2(a) applies.

Q. An employee or owner of a company that sells boats races on a boat that
is owned by that company. Is he Group 1?
A. No, he is Group 3.

Q. A sailor owns a boat that is built by the company he works for and races
on it. Is he Group 1?
A. No, he is Group 3.

Q. A sailor works for a dealer and owns and races a boat sold by the
dealer. Is he Group 3?
A. Yes.

ISAF Sailor Classification Code:
ISAF Sailor Classification Code FAQS:

* John W. Graham, 37, of Seattle, Washington was indicted May 11, 2011 by a
federal grand jury for three counts of making false statements related to
phony reports of a vessel in distress. On November 18, 2009, Graham
transmitted a signal to the Coast Guard on the International Hailing and
Distress Frequency (VHF Marine Band Channel 16), in which he falsely
claimed he had heard and was relaying a distress call from a sailing vessel
that was taking on water with three people on board south of Friday Harbor,
Washington. The U.S. Coast Guard scrambled two choppers and a boat to
search for the vessel. Graham will be arraigned May 26, 2011. -- Full

* Larry L. Deffenbaugh, 59, formerly of Virginia Beach, Va., has been
convicted of conspiracy and communicating a false distress signal to the
Coast Guard. According to trial documents and testimony, Deffenbaugh, also
known as "Mike Meyers," was boating on the Chesapeake Bay, May 10, 2009
with his brother when he led his brother to believe that he had fallen from
the boat and into the bay, thereby causing his brother to contact Coast
Guard authorities seeking help. As a result of the allegedly false distress
call, the Coast Guard deployed resources in an effort to save Deffenbaugh's
life, even though he was not in any peril. Despite an extensive search, the
Coast Guard search team could find no trace of Deffenbaugh. Deffenbaugh is
scheduled to be sentenced, Sept. 19, 2011. -- Full story:

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As of this week 119 teams from 15 nations have committed to the 2011 ORC
International World Championship in Cres, Croatia to be held June 18-26.
This is the highest and most diverse turnout of any ORC championship
regatta in its 40-year history, an event sanctioned by the International
Sailing Federation (ISAF) as the sole official offshore World Championship.
While most entries are from the Adriatic region, the event has also drawn
interest from the USA.

Alice Martin and her team from Chicago are taking a break from racing their
Sydney 38 at home to charter the Salona 34 One for the Worlds. "Every year
we try to look for an out of town sailing adventure," said Martin. "Last
year it was the Newport-Bermuda Race, and this year we will bring much of
the same team to Cres. What attracted us to come here is the beauty of the
area, the timing in our schedule, and having the opportunity to compete at
a World Championship. This all gives us a lot of bragging rights at home!"
-- Full report:

* Venice, Italy (May 16, 2011) - The Lauderdale Yacht Club's Optimist team
race squad won the XXV Trofeo Marco Rizzotti International Optimist Class
Team Race held May 12-15. Arguably the most prestigious international team
race regatta for the class, this year's event featured teams from
Singapore, France, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Switzerland, Holland and
Italy. Sailing for LYC was recent U.S. team trials champion Wade Waddell,
along with twins Alie and Liza Toppa, Sophia Reineke and Mack Fox.
Competing against mostly national teams or regional all-star teams, the Ft
Lauderdale, Florida team defeated Italia in the finals. --

* Following the offshore race from NYC to Newport, the inshore portion of
the Atlantic Cup took place May 14-15 on Narragansett Bay in Newport, RI.
In its first year, this professional event for Class40 teams combined both
scores to determine the overall winner. In second after the offshore race,
the team of Rob MacMillan/ Ryan Finn on the Owen Clarke designed
Cutlass/11th Hour Racing overcame the deficit on the inshore races to win
the title and the top prize of 7,000 from the $15,000 prize purse. --

* Newport Beach, CA (May 15, 2011) - Hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club,
the Ahmanson Cup fielded 43 boats that competed in the Farr 30, Farr 40,
Schock 35, PH Fast 40, PH Fast 50+, and i52 classes. Winning the event
perpetual trophy that's awarded to the winner of the largest one-design
fleet was Jeff Janov, who led his Dark Star team over the 10-boat Farr 40
class. -- Event website:

* Santa Barbara, CA (May 14, 2011) - Steady wind allowed for new course
records to be set in the Hardway Race. Dr. Laura Schlessinger established a
new course record for the 67 nautical mile course from Santa Barbara to
Ventura the hard way, around Santa Cruz Island, in 7 hours, 9 minutes and
37 seconds aboard her new Custom 47 yacht Katana. In the multihull ORCA
division, the 47 nautical mile course around Anacapa Island also saw a new
course record set by Bill Gibbs aboard Afterburner, a 52 foot catamaran,
with the time of 3 hours, 25 minutes and 56 seconds. -- Full report:

* Charleston, SC (May 16, 2011) - Since the start of the 3,600-mile sprint
of the VELUX 5 OCEANS from Charleston, USA, to La Rochelle, France, on
Saturday, the four boat ECO 60 fleet has been battered by thunderstorms,
50-knot winds and confused seas. Now trailing the fleet, Zbigniew 'Gutek'
Gutkowski was forced to stop his boat completely for four hours after
breaking three cars at the top of his mainsail as well as picking up a
fishing net on his keel. Overall race leader Brad Van Liew and young gun
Chris Stanmore-Major are dueling for the lead. --

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* From Chip Pitcairn: (re, report in Scuttlebutt 3342)
As to the lack of "family friendly attractions" at the Melges 24 Wolds,
Corpus Christi can't match Chicago or San Diego for non-sailing activities.
But we do have lodging and dining at a more modest rates than the bigger
cities, with at least six hotels and numerous restaurants within walking
distance of the marina. We have space to contain all shore side activities
and docking within the same area, which includes trailer storage, parking
for cars, and storage for equipment.

The race course is close to the dock but free of most land induced shifts.
Our race committee and regatta organization is almost identical to the
group that a few years ago won the St. Petersburg Trophy for excellence in
regatta management for the J/80 World Championship.

As to family activities, we have the Texas State Aquarium and the Aircraft
Carrier Lexington. Our world class Art Museum of South Texas is currently
hosting a Norman Rockwell exhibit. There is a fine museum of natural
history; it's not the Field but it is interesting. The Padre Island
National Seashore has 50 miles of beach you can drive on. The King Ranch is
nearby and offers tours. We are well known for our birding and fishing.
Kayak tours are offered in several locals close by. How about a Segway
rental and tour of the marina and downtown?

I'm sure we can match Tallinn, Estonia, site of the last Melges 24 World
Championship for activities. The sailors I have spoken to at previous
regattas talk of Corpus Christi's hospitality and all have said they would
return for another championship.

COMMENT: I haven't spoken to anyone at the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds that
hasn't raved about the venue, conditions, and hospitality. But the problem
remains that this is a very low turnout Worlds (32 boats) for the most
prominent international sportboat class. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Ted Beier:
In Scuttlebutt 3340, Jim Champ, apparently from the UK, states that,
"sailing everywhere else isn't like the scene (in North America) you are
used to, and it seems very hard to really appreciate that". If Mr. Champ
were to explain why this is so in his opinion, instead of being rather
arrogant and dismissive, perhaps I might 'appreciate that'. Otherwise, I
agree with Andrew Campbell, Carol Cronin, and other of our Olympic
aspirants, and believe that ISAF remains totally screwed up.

I always thought that one of the great things about competitive sailing was
that one could continue to compete at high levels well into, and beyond,
middle age. Can't folks outside the "land of the free and home of the
brave" appreciate that?

COMMENT: British Olympian Ben Ainslie, who won his four medals in the Laser
and Finn, said last week he was very disappointed the Men's Keelboat event
would be eliminated after the 2012 Games as he was considering a move to it
from the Finn. This is not uncommon, as many of the current crop of top
Star sailors had transitioned to the class from smaller boats. When the
slate of events for the 2016 Olympics was being debated, the anti-keelboat
coalition questioned whether the Olympic events should provide a path that
'aging' athletes could continue on. I guess we know who won the
debate...this time. -- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Jim Champ:
Craig Fletcher wrote in Scuttlebutt 3342 that the ISAF Classification
system be simplified to state that "If you are paid in any form to race
sailboats (including prize money), you are a professional sailor." But in
the days when sailing was an amateur sport with no professionals allowed at
all, there were an amazing number of "sailmakers" who never seemed to go
into a sail loft and spent an awful lot of time sailing, as amateurs, on
boats which by some strange coincidence had complete inventories of sails
from the "sailmaker's" employer.

Now you may believe that in this modern age no-one would seek to evade the
rules like that for competitive advantage but I fear some of us old fogeys
are rather more cynical. The reason the categories are as complex as they
are is because of all the evasions that were used in those days.

* From Barry Ault:
Craig Fletcher and I often find ourselves on opposite sides of issues but
this time he beat me to the punch - word for word. The ISAF system is
moronic and designed to keep bureaucrats employed. Craig's simple rules
nail it.

Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

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