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SCUTTLEBUTT 3347 - Monday, May 23, 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: Summit Yachts and Harken.

Corpus Christi, TX (21 May, 2011) - On the final day of the Melges 24 World Championship, a third place in the first race for reigning world champion Lorenzo Bressani on ITA 817 Uka Uka Racing, was enough to see him retain the title he won in Tallinn, Estonia last year, with a race to spare. Despite not sailing the final race, Bressani's overall winning margin was still a massive 23 points. Brian Porter on USA 749 Full Throttle took second with 47 points, and Nathan Wilmot on IRL 607 Embarr took third with 54 points.

Bressani and the Uka Uka Racing crew's performance this week has been nothing short of remarkable, winning six out of the twelve races and never finishing below sixth in any of the races they sailed. Tactically astute throughout the series, they started well in virtually every race and both upwind and downwind they always appeared to hold a speed advantage over their competitors. This is Bressani's third World Championship win in the Melges 24 Class, an achievement also matched by both team owner Lorenzo Santini and tactician Jonathan McKee.

In the all-amateur Corinthian Division, Eiichiro Hamazaki on JPN 783 secured the 2011 Corinthian Melges 24 World Championship title by a margin of 17 points over second placed Christof Wieland on GER 635 Unsponsored. Scot Holmgren on USA 674 Rosebud took third place on count back, having tied on points with fourth placed August Hernandez on USA 533 High Voltage. -- Full story:

Top Ten Overall (of 32)

1. ITA817 - Uka Uka Racing - Lorenzo Bressani - 24 pts
2. USA749 - Full Throttle - Brian Porter - 47 pts
3. IRL607 - Embarr - Nathan Wilmot - 54 pts
4. BER655 - Hedgehog - Alec Cutler - 55 pts
5. USA812 - Brick House 812 - Kristen Lane - 58 pts
6. SUI596 - Blu Moon - Flavio Favini - 62 pts
7. ITA819 - AUDI - Riccardo Simoneschi - 78 pts
8. USA811 - WTF - Alan Field - 92 pts
9. ITA735 - Altea - Andrea Rachelli - 92 pts
10. USA820 - New England Ropes/West Marine - Bora Gulari - 95 pts

Full results:

Seattle, WA (May 22, 2011) - Sorry Beach Boys, but Daddy won't take the T-bird away. At the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Seattle NOOD, the 53-year-old Thunderbird class continues to tear up the track. 53-year-old Ben Seaborn designed the Thunderbird as a plywood kit boat in 1958. Since then, the hard-chined 26-footers have been emerging from boatyards and backyards throughout the Pacific Northwest and as far off as Australia. No two boats are alike, but they all sail about the same speed. When T-birds convene as nine have here at the Seattle NOOD, the racing between the boats is as tight as the camaraderie between the folks who sail them.

Each Thunderbird is a little bit different. Some are wooden, some are fiberglass. Some boats have wood hulls and fiberglass decks. Mast and shroud placement vary from boat to boat. Some of the boats sailing here are more than 40 years old; Duane Emnot launched his plywood masterpiece Thunderbaby two years ago.

Thunderbird sailors are a dissimilar lot, too. There are veterans like Raptor's Ken Lane, who's been racing T-birds for decades. (Lane's daughter, Haley, recalls playing games down below while, on deck, her father raced the boat in 40-knot winds.) There's young talent like the hard-partying twentysomethings - I'm talking to you, Tim Satre, and Brad Sainsbury racing Nick Wayand's Zoe. And there are newcomers like Nutter Butter's Gordon Hofman, who has fallen in love with this quirky yet versatile kitboat. -- Full story:

* The Seattle NOOD, which began Friday, is the fourth of nine events in the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD series. More than 150 teams in 22 divisions converged on the Emerald City for three days of racing. Event website and results:

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Cascais, Portugal, (May 22, 2011) - On Sunday, Quantum Racing and Iberdrola won the Cascais Trophy for the TP52 and the Soto 40 series respectively, the opening event of the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit.

Both successful programs roll forward from a previous iteration. For Quantum Racing (USA), who won five races from nine starts, it is the first victory in the class for America's Cup winner Ed Baird (USA) and for a brand new Botin Partners designed boat which is a successor to their 2008 circuit winner, while for Iberdrola Team (ESP) who win the first ever Soto 40 regatta in Europe - their success takes up the reins from previous campaigns at America's Cup, TP52 and GP42 circuits.

Quantum Racing came into the regatta well behind their desired schedule but were soon able to reveal excellent upwind speed in the brisk winds which prevailed through the nine races, a strong foundation on which to build success on the windward-leeward track which more often than not favored one side of the courses and also in the high points value 38 miles coastal race in which they finished second.

Though they made several crew changes since last season, continuity at the back of the Quantum Racing line up was ensured with world championship winners Kevin Hall (USA), navigator, Ado Stead (GBR), tactician and mainsail trimmer Skip Baxter (NZL) able to give valuable support to Baird, whose confidence grew noticeably through the regatta. -- Read on:

(May 20, 2011) - Challenge Italia, an Italian team based in Palermo, has announced it will compete in the World C Class Championship, also known as the Little America's Cup, to be held in 2013 in Falmouth, Cornwall. Challenge Italia will compete under the flag of Club Canottieri "Roggero di Lauria", the prestigious club based in Palermo (Sicily).

Roberto Grippi, Team Manager of Challenge Italia, expressed his enthusiasm on behalf of the whole team for the progress made since the project began in October 2010, and stressed the importance of the technical and logistical support of a Club that among its many noteworthy activities is now the only Italian club participating in the next America's Cup challenge, after the retirement of Mascalzone Latino.

The Olympian Francesco Bruni will be the helmsman of the Italian challenge. Born in Palermo, skipper of Azzurra in 2010 and a member of team Luna Rossa in the last two editions of the America's Cup, Francesco is an international champion in match racing and world champion in Laser, Melges 24, TP52 and other classes, he has participated in three Olympics with three different classes: Laser, Star and 49.

Founded in 1961, the C class has now established itself as a source of ideas for experimental techniques that have been used afterwards in major sailing classes. One example is the "wing sail", a major factor in Oracle's victory in the last edition of the America's Cup which was developed in the C Class at the beginning of the '70s. Over the years the C Class competition has been dominated by American, British, Danish and Australian teams and, in the last two events, by the Canadian team. Italian teams have taken part in the 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1982 events, but not since. -- Full story:

(May 22, 2011) - It might not conjure up the same warm, windblown thoughts as Hawaii sailing, but when you see Hannah Tuson-Turner graduated from Orcas Island High School in Washington, her sailing cred goes straight up.

Her talent has soared in the same direction since she got to the University of Hawaii. Two weeks ago she earned All-Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference honors for the fourth time. Tomorrow, she leads the Rainbow Wahine to their 12th national appearance in 14 years at the ICSA Women's National Semifinals in Cascade Locks, OR.

Hawaii won the 2004 coed national championship at the same site, on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. Three years earlier, the Wahine won UH sailing's first national title in Boston.
After getting shut out in the semifinals last year - the wind never picked up in Wisconsin, canceling the first two days and leaving Hawaii out of the final two - this Wahine team is focused solely on getting to Wednesday. Tuson-Turner leads the charge in almost every imaginable way.

"She's got great passion, good fire," UH coach Andy Johnson says of his A Division skipper. "She is a really intense competitor. She gets out there and she doesn't want to lose a race. We've been trying to work on that a little to tone it down so she will have better focus."

The intensity eases on dry land. Tuson-Turner is soft-spoken and, at 5 foot 4, unimposing. She picked up sailing in grammar school when a friend asked her to come along to a class. Tuson-Turner got hooked.

"I just didn't leave, and after a while they said if you're going to keep coming you can just help us and don't pay for the class," Tuson-Turner recalls. "I said OK, I'll just keep showing up. That program I ended up helping to run." -- Full story:

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Events listed at

* San Diego, CA (May 22, 2011) - With the Etchells World Championship to begin in two weeks, 46 boats took advantage of the Sailing Supply Etchells ORCA Bowl as a final tune-up before the championship. Partly cloudy conditions with winds under 11 knots proved the theme of the weekend, which is not unlike San Diego. After three races on Saturday, Dennis Conner took the lead with all scores in the top seven. However, it was 2008 World Champion Bill Hardesty with Steve Pickel, Mandi Markee, and Craig Leweck that rolled two firsts on Sunday to take the title. Results:

* Charleston, SC (May 22, 2011) - Day 2 in the biennial Charleston Bermuda Race dawned with light, fluky southeast winds and nearly flat seas for the 11 boats competing in this 777-mile contest. Most of the crews spent the early morning hours adjusting their boats' sail trim as they labored to keep the vessels moving at all if not toward Bermuda. As of mid-afternoon, the offshore winds had increased, with some boats experiencing double-digit wind speeds, enabling most of the entries to make steady but not stellar progress down the course. Event website:

* American solo sailor, Joe Harris has entered Gryphon Solo 2 in the single-handed version of the Class40 round-the-world race, the Global Solo Race 2013-14 (GSR). For Harris, a highly-experienced solo sailor, former commercial fisherman and boat builder who is currently running his own real estate investment, development and consulting firm, entering the GSR is the first step in fulfilling a longstanding goal. -- Full story:

* The 2011 MIT Charles River Team Race Open held over the weekend saw eighteen teams competing in 192 races held over 2 days in mostly easterly 5-13 knots. The format was a modified Swiss league using 30 FJs with each team sailing at least 20 races. The champions were determined by a semi-final and final best of 3 rounds. The finals were won by Boom (2-0) vs Ruckus. Third place was secured by Who Dat (2-0) over Go Below Me. -- Results at

* The discount entry fee deadline is fast approaching for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, the West Coast's largest keelboat regatta running June 24-26. On June 1, the fees will jump from $165 to $215 for boats 30 feet and less, and $350 to $400 for those over 50 feet. The three-day regatta is hosted by the Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs. The online entry process includes payment of entry fees and arrangements for free docking or mooring for out-of-town boats. Catalina 37s sailed in the Congressional Cup are still available for charter. -- Event website:

* Nine J/105s signed up for the Inaugural Manhattan Regatta, which took place in 11-15 knot winds in New York Harbor under the gaze of the Statue of Liberty. Photographer Pim Van Hemmen was on hand for this urban experiment:

* The idea of the Atlantic Cup was to provide an event to encourage shorthanded sailing, and to help the growth of the Class40 boat in North America. After an offshore leg from the Manhattan skyline of New York to Newport, RI, the fleet had a series of inshore races in Narragansett Bay. George Bekris shares images from Newport:

* There is a short list of keelboat one design classes that are internationally recognized AND can attract a large fleet size to their World Championship. The SB3 did it last week when 103 teams representing 14 nations competed in Torquay, UK for the class’s top title. Elite shooter Thierry Martinez was also there:

* The TP52 Audi MedCup Circuit began its five event series in Cascais, Portugal last week, attracting the highest level of professional sailing in the sport. When the beauty of these boats is combined with ideal sailing conditions and the experienced touch of photographer Chris Schmid, it provides imagery to die for:

Scuttlebutt has special ordered t-shirts to provide for raffles to any of the championship events occurring this season in North America. Are you an event organizer in need of raffle prizes? Post your event details in the Forum. A random drawing will be held May 27th. Here is the link:

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 Bruce Thompson:
The saga of the Rhodes 19 Peter Pan discussed in 'Butt 3344 & 3345, leads me to offer an alternate strategy to add to your toolkit. Microbursts tend to appear before the thunderstorms that spawn them, so even experienced sailors can get caught in one. But if faced with one, you might consider anchoring and riding out the storm, rather than trying to sail through it.

The duration of the microburst and following storm is likely to be reasonably short, in this case about 45 minutes. Running before the wind as you drop sail and anchor is sure to be uncomfortable, but it might be better than the alternative. Even if the boat does get knocked down, it will remain at its last reported position, which is the first place rescuers are likely to look. So it might be the lesser of two evils.

* From John Sweeney (re, Scuttlebutt 3346):
I'd like to congratulate Peter Craig and thank Quantum for the new lease on life for KWRW. I'd also like to second Peter's comment about Bouwe Bekking. During the recent St. Thomas Rolex Regatta, Bouwe gave willingly his time and expertise before, during and after the event. He even donated copies of his book as bonus award for each class. He exemplifies the meaning of giving back to the sport.

Pros and amateurs, however they are defined, should recognize that most regattas welcome input and feedback to ensure delivery of a quality product. Quality regattas require more than participation on the race course. 2012 marks KW's 25th and St. Thomas' 39th anniversaries. Sustainable events like these rely on support of bold sponsors but thrive on considerate
participants. The debate over defining who's a pro will likely be a moving target because the sport will necessarily evolve. That amateurs compete with and against pros is one of the great things about the sport and should be promoted.

* From Clark Chapin:
I observed the US SAILING Competitor Classification Committee at its meetings before it was superseded by the ISAF Sailor Classification Code. The Committee grappled with many of the same questions and situations, but one moment is etched in my mind. The Chair of the Committee, a Past-President of US SAILING, summarized their dilemma when he said, "Sail lofts must be the cleanest places in the world. They seem to hire all of these Collegiate All-American sailors to do nothing more than sweep the floors."

Unfortunately, the Code has evolved to its present state because a simpler, plainer code was so easily circumvented by boat owners who want to win and sailmakers that want to sell more sails.

* From By Baldridge:
With regard to professional or amateur status in sailing, I like the rules in golf. There are two ways to be a professional golfer. 1. You accept prize money, 2. You say you are a professional.

I took an IQ test and the results were negative.

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