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SCUTTLEBUTT 3391 - Tuesday, July 26, 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: North Sails, Melges Performance Sailboats, and Southern

By Nancy Michelman, BoatU.S. Magazine publisher
For several years BoatU.S. has been concerned about the "hassle factors"
increasingly impinging on our ability to go boating. We've written about
the myriad access issues around the country as it gets harder to get to the
water, on the water, and as we face continued changes in where and what we
can fish.

Most disturbing are some recent legislative developments that unfairly
single out boaters. For example, if a state is going to ban the use of
copper antifouling bottom paints, as Washington state just did, why should
the ban apply only to recreational vessels? Certainly commercial and
military vessels use far more paint than we do and represent a far greater
impact to the environment. The answer is simple: A larger ban wouldn't have
passed. We understand why many people would like to get rid of copper in
bottom paint. However, on this issue, it looks like the little guy is
bearing the brunt of this ban alone.

Recreational boaters are also being unfairly singled out with proposed
federal legislation called the "Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act"
that would eliminate the existing second-home mortgage-interest deduction
for boats with galleys, heads, and bunks, but not for second homes and RVs.
Applying a new law to all second "homes" would be more equitable. That this
legislation is even on the table illustrates a continued need to better
inform Congress about who boaters really are.

As we've been reporting, the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers
continue to push mandatory life jacket wear for adults. While BoatU.S.
strongly supports boating safely, when we recently asked members, they
overwhelmingly opposed (9 to 1) mandatory life jacket wear for adults.

We actively support the development of comfortable jackets that don't
inhibit movement, the acceptance of alternate jackets already used and
approved in Europe, and streamlining the USCG approval process. We believe
that safety education works. In fact the U.S. Coast Guard just reported in
the 2010 Recreational Boating Statistics that total boating fatalities have
fallen to the lowest number on record. -- August/September 2011 edition,
read on:

It will come as a disappointment to U.S. America's Cup fans but no surprise
to those close to the team to learn that Oracle Racing's giant trimaran
USA-17, which swept to victory against Alinghi in Valencia (Feb. 2010),
will never sail again. Now residing in San Francisco, insiders have
confirmed that for every hour that USA-17 sailed, about 100 hours were
expended by the shore crew on maintenance and modifications. It is now a
Cup article of faith that the two races USA-17 won were the longest two
sustained periods of sailing it achieved without a stop. -- Seahorse, July

North-powered boats dominated the 2011 Transpac Race with 'Bella Mente'
being the first boat to finish the race and 'Grand Illusion' winning 1st
overall on corrected time. North Sails would like to congratulate all
Transpac competitors on a well-sailed race. North-powered boats won six of
eight classes (Bella Mente, Div 1; Patches*, Div 2; Grand Illusion, Sleds;
Bad Pak*, Div 4 (back-to-back Transpac class winner); Peregrine*, Div 6;
Gracie, Aloha Division) and 25 of 47 finishers raced with North sails.
* = partial inventory. When performance counts, the choice is clear:

The Detroit Red Wings hockey team are winners, but not on the ice. They won
on the high seas when their adopted boat, Sorcery, crossed the finish line
first in the second annual Pro Team Challenge Cup, during the 87th sailing
of the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race.

Sorcery, a J/105 owned by brother Larry and Brian Smith, of St. Clair
Shores, Michigan, flew the Red Wings' colors during the three-day race that
began Saturday in Port Huron, along the southern shores of Lake Huron.

The Pro Team Challenge, sponsored by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters
Association, included all four major sports teams in Detroit: Red Wings
(NHL), Lions (NFL), Pistons (NBA), and Tigers (MLB).

Sorcery crossed the finish line in Mackinac Monday at 3:13 a.m. EDT. The
Pistons' boat, the Brandilee (X-402), finished second at 5:34 a.m., and the
Limerick (S2 10.3), while flying the Tigers' colors, finished third at 9:15
a.m. The Lions boat, Shillelagh (Tartan 30C), withdrew from the race. --

UPDATE: First to finish honors went to Cheekee Monkee, an F31 multihull
owned by Ron White of Chicago, finishing the Shore Course (204 nm) at 3:32
p.m. on Sunday. Windquest set a course record for the longer Cove Island
course (254 nm), clocking in with an elapsed time of 26:11:25. Windquest
owner Doug Devos his own record -- set in 2003 in a former boat also called
Windquest -- of 26:41:01. The current Windquest is a Max Z86; the old
record was set in an Andrews 70. --

Race website:

* When the Governor's Cup International Junior Match Racing Championship
was founded in 1967 by the late Chet and Glee Purcell, their vision was to
create a national match racing competition for younger sailors similar in
format to the internationally recognized Congressional Cup Regatta. This
vision has grown to become arguably the most revered youth match racing
competition in the world, one that has attracted the likes of James
Spithill, John Kostecki, and Paul Cayard. Scuttlebutt Sailing Club was
proud to be represented by Judge Ryan, Kevin Laube, and Caitlin Beavers -
winners of the Chet Purcell trophy for Sportsmanship. Photos by Bronny

* Great sailing photos can heighten your interest in areas of the sport
that you may have little interest in. The most talented photographers are
capable of capturing the attention of a broad audience. Of course it helps
when the subject of the images are the dynamic looking TP52s competing in
the Audi MedCup Circuit. Photos by Studio Borlenghi:

* The 2011 Sunfish North American and Youth North American Championships
were held at the Barrington (RI) Yacht Club the week of July 20-24. Chilean
Andres Ducasse won the 98-boat open division, with additional awards in the
youth, master, and grandmaster subdivisions. Photos by Rob Migliaccio:

* When voting for Olympic events, no one would be surprised if the United
States ballot was in support of skiffs for men and women. With 155 teams at
the 29er European Championship in Switzerland, U.S. teams took three of the
top five positions. Winning were Americans Zack Downing/ Andrew Cates with
top female skipper Paris Henken and brother Hans Henken in fourth and Tyler
Macdonald/ Willie McBride in fifth. Photos by Robert Hajduk:

The Summer Military World Games was launched in 1995 as a multi-sport event
for military sportspeople to be held every four years. Last week the fifth
edition of the Games was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with three sailing
events included - Open and Women's Fleet Race, and Open Match Racing.

Teams from Canada and the USA went south for the event... here is a report
from Rob Gorman of the U.S. team:

"Military personnel (any branch) submit our sailing resumes qualifying for
the team. Once the teams are selected we had an opportunity to meet each
other and practice before traveling to the regatta. The boat being used in
the event was the HPE 25.

"One of the most interesting parts of this trip is all the people. There
are over 100 different countries here and it definitely provides some
perspective interacting with them. Obviously the language barrier can make
things difficult but fortunately most know enough English to communicate a
little bit.

"Whether sharing the dinner table with the Iranian team or sitting next to
a Pakistani athlete on the bus, we are brought together as we discuss our
sailing races. It is a unique circumstance that unites us; a situation I
suspect would be otherwise rare and perhaps uncomfortable otherwise."

Event website:

Lots of Melges Racing to come this summer. However, the fall season will be
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by Rob Overton, International Umpire
Rule 32.1 allows a race committee to abandon a race for several specific
(a) errors in the starting sequence;
(b) foul weather;
(c) insufficient wind making it unlikely that any boats will finish within
the time limit; or
(d) a mark missing or out of position.

Then rule 32.1(e) plays a trump card, allowing the RC to abandon a race
"for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the
competition." The rule then goes on to add one caveat: "However, after one
boat has sailed the course and finished within the time limit, if any, the
race committee shall not abandon the race without considering the
consequences for all boats in the race or series."

I understand the reason we need the catch-all reason for abandonment in
rule 32.1(e): Suppose the race committee learns that a big ship is about to
come through the race area and the RC decides that the probability that
someone will get hurt or drown is too great to continue racing. Even if the
fleet is able to get out of the way safely, the race will have become
disastrously unfair to those who had to turn on their engines to avoid
being run down by the freighter or got caught on the wrong side of the
ship. Of course in such circumstances the RC should abandon all races
currently in progress and wait for the ship to come through before

But in the absence of big ships, deadly squalls and other similar
catastrophes, I'm not at all sure what rule 32.1(e) allows, especially with
regard to fairness. I've heard it said that if the wind changes more than X
degrees (30? 40?) or drops below Y knots (4? 3?) the race should be
abandoned, even if it's on its last leg. But suppose a competitor carefully
studies the weather patterns before going out on the racecourse and
concludes that there will be a big shift to the right sometime in the

If she protects the right side in each race after 1 o'clock, is it unfair
to the other competitors when she's in the right place to take advantage of
the shift when it occurs? Or is it more unfair to her if the race committee
abandons the race because the beat is now almost a fetch or the run is a
reach? Suppose a competitor expects the sea breeze to fill in and heads
offshore to pick up the first bit of it; is it unfair for her to lead that
race by a mile when the sea breeze does fill in? Or is it more unfair for
the race committee to take that huge lead away from her by abandoning the

One person's luck is another's skill, and before abandoning a race RCs
should make very sure that whatever happened that made the race "unfair" in
their estimation was really not predictable. -- Read on:

* San Francisco, CA (July 24, 2011) - The five day Bic Techno 293
Windsurfing World Championships hosted 145 racers in six divisions, where
host St. Francis Yacht Club took advantage of the bay's consistent winds to
stage 12 races. A strong team from Great Britain dominated the standings,
winning the U15 and U17 girls divisions and the U17 boys division. Top
North American was Marion Lepert (USA), finishing second in the U17 girls
division. -- Event website:

* Youngstown, NY (July 25, 2011) - The Youngstown Yacht Club called all
hands on deck to man five race courses for the 2011 Youngstown Level
Regatta held July 23-24. One hundred sixty-six boats competed in 23
divisions of IRC, PHRF, and one design. The largest fleet was the Beneteau
36.7 with 22 teams, where local Gary Tisdale only slipped out of the top
five once in the six race series to take the title. -- Event website:

* Buzios, Brazil (July 25, 2011) - The second day of the International
Lightning Class Association World Championship started with perfect
conditions with winds from the East/Southeast at 14-16 kts. The Brazilian
Team of Claus Biekarck, Gunner Ficker and Marcelo Batista da Silva won what
proved to be the only race of the day on the final beat. Increasing winds
to 25 kts combined with large rolling waves with short, steep, chop in
between forced the RC to postpone race 4 and sent the fleet in to shore.
Biekarck is now leading the regatta after three races. -- Full report:

* Active Interest Media chairman and CEO Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III
announced that the company acquired a group of key assets from Dominion
Enterprises, including Soundings Trade Only, Soundings, Woodshop News and
PassageMaker magazines, and the popular Trawler Fest events. -- Full story:

* (July 25, 2011) - Following the announcement on Monday by the America's
Cup Race Management that the Venezia Challenge was excused from the
America's Cup due to unfulfilled obligations, the Italian team now disputes
these facts in a statement that was posted today on their website. With the
exclusion of the Venezia Challenge, the field of America's Cup competitors
is reduced to eight teams. -- Statement:

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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 Rob Britton:
In sailing you can sometimes get away with a lot. I know two guys who
sailed a 5-0-5 from San Francisco to Santa Barbara ... in February! Damn
near killed them. Would any responsible organization sanction such a stunt?
While I was on the PHRF board (1992-1995, Area G Fleet Captain 1994), we
refused to provide offshore ratings for wing-boats and canting-keelers. It
caused a lot of hard words and made us some enemies; commercial interests
don't like being told no after they have invested big bucks.

C. A. Marchaj figured all this out in 1986 and the physics have not
changed. My 1/4 Tonner was far more seaworthy than any wing-boat, as were
lots of go fast fun boats from the Moore 24 to the "Giant Killer" Santa
Cruz 27. Even a 5-0-5 can be righted after capsize. For the Kiwi 35
WingNuts that capsized in the Chi-Mac Race, they should not have been
racing offshore in a sanctioned event. Just my 2 cents...

Here is the link to C. A. Marchaj's book 'Seaworthiness: The Forgotten

* From Barbara Myrvaagnes:
I want to describe some of my experiences on being trapped under boats in
hopes they might prove useful.

Rod and I learned to sail in 5-0-5's in our twenties. Needless to say we
spent a lot of time upside down. I learned that in a dinghy there is
normally an airspace under the boat. If I was really tangled up in lines
(flip while spinnaker up), I could put my head into the airspace, breathe,
cool down and then concentrate on getting free. The 5-0-5 is small enough
so that one (5' 2") can easily reach one's head either inside or out.

Later (older 70's but wiser?) while cruising, I got our pram bailed in
preparation for sailing off. I left the pram in an unseamanlike manner (yes
this was really, really stupid) and flipped. I had on an automatic
inflatable life jacket. Suddenly I was three times my normal size, wedged
inside the boat and panicking. I realized that I was under the boat, not
swept under the dock as I had thought at first, raised my head and found
the airspace. I was then able to call for someone to get the ****** dinghy
off me (they were already running to help).

On the subject of people drowning under boats. Remember that there is
usually air trapped in there. If in a large boat, one may have to release
from the jack line, not always possible but worth a try, or extract oneself
from the life jacket. Perhaps this should be part of a mental drill like
reaching for a fire extinguisher (PASS) or checking the chart when the
visuals don't compute. Of course in some situations (blackout from a head
injury) this won't work.

* From Denis Toothe:
I read with interest all the carping about professional sailors moving
from team to team in the America's Cup. I would imagine that the original
America was crewed by professional sailors, who moved from boat to boat
without a thought except for the paycheck. I also imagine that some (paid)
"local knowledge" was on board when she won the Cup at the Isle of Wight.
After that I recall reading about the skipper Charlie Bahr, who won the Cup
several times, and that his crew consisted of "Swedish Steam," that is they
were from Sweden. I am sure those crew members went to the highest bidders,
as they do today.

I believe the "amateurs" came into the Cup after WWII with the 12 Meter
yachts. The most significant being the "covey of Hovies" who sailed
Easterner. At the end of the 12 Meter era, crew members were
becoming/already were professional and were moving about, and that some
acquired "citizenships" from the countries for whom they sailed. When the
AC boats came in there were professionals on all teams, if not all of each
team, and country of origin be damned. That is where it now stands. Seems
we have come full circle.

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