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SCUTTLEBUTT 3448 - Friday, October 14, 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 and New England Ropes.

Sarah Everhart Skeels not only exemplifies 'triumph over adversity,' she's
an elite athlete with a passion for sharing her love of sailing with other
people with disabilities.

"I have known Sarah for over 20 years, and she's the most outstanding woman
I have ever had the pleasure of working with," says Robie Pierce of
Newport, RI, a pioneer of disabled sailing. "She has pedaled a handcycle
across this country, achieved a Master degree, married Brian Skeels,
mothered her six-year-old daughter Ellie, managed ski programs, contended
in four Paralympic sailing trials, and taught therapy courses at Brown
University - all from a wheelchair. She always has a smile on her face and
she's always ready to give to the disabled community."

"I met Sarah when we hosted the US Disabled Championships at American Yacht
Club in 2008," says Bill Sandberg of Riverside, CT, Chairman of Robie
Pierce Women's Invitational (and WindCheck Contributing Editor). "My friend
Robie Pierce told me, 'When you meet her, you won't want to let her leave.'
He was right. She is one remarkable person - a gifted athlete, great mother
and wife and successful businesswoman."

"Before my injury I was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Virginia,
and then I got into triathlon," says Sarah, a resident of Tiverton, RI. "In
1990, I was training for a triathlon on a bicycle when I was hit by a car
at an intersection. My back was broken and I had a spinal cord injury, and
I've been paralyzed from the chest down and exploring life from a
wheelchair since then." -- WindCheck, read on:

The great and the good from the 38-year history of the Volvo and its
predecessor Whitbread races are gathering for the Volvo Ocean Race Legends
Regatta and Reunion to be held in conjunction with the start of the 2011-12
Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain on November 1-5.

Among the field will be Lionel Péan, the original skipper of Whitbread
1985-86 winner L'Esprit d'Equipe, who will reunite with his crew and boat
for the event. "Twenty-five years ago, I gathered together a team of 10
amazing sailors who built a campaign like no one had ever done before,"
said Péan, who at 29 years old at the time and remains the only French
skipper to win the race.

Back in 1985, the French sailor had chosen a boat built for the previous
race. The former 33 Export was a lightweight Briand design that had shown
great promise until losing her mast in the Southern Ocean. Péan asked the
designer to update the alloy yacht and, after spending three months in a
shipyard, she re-emerged as L'Esprit d'Equipe, meaning 'team spirit'.

L'Esprit d'Equipe arrived in Cape Town at the finish of the first leg with
nothing more than flaked paintwork to take an 11-hour lead over nearest
rival, the Dutch yacht Philips Innovator. On leg two she was becalmed for
two days on the approach to Auckland, which allowed Philips Innovator to
take the advantage. But, during the New Zealand stopover, the crew noticed
the mast was bent. A sleeve was bolted to secure the damage and Péan set
off again into the Southern Ocean.

Eleven days out into the ice-strewn South Atlantic, Péan reported to race
control that the mast had split in two places below deck while surfing
towards Cape Horn. More sleeves were constructed by the crew as they
continued to push the boat as hard as they could. By the time they reached
the Uruguayan stopover, L'Esprit d'Equipe had recaptured the lead and had a
five hour advantage. Equipped with a new section of mast, Péan and his crew
sailed the perfect final leg to claim the winner's position.

L'Esprit d'Equipe will be joined at the Volvo Ocean Race Legends by some of
the most interesting and famous boats ever to race around the world.
Original crew from over 60 boats which have competed in the past 10 races
are planning to participate in the reunion. --

Congratulations to Bora Gulari and his team aboard the Melges 24 'New
England Ropes' for winning the 2011 Melges 24 US Nationals on Lake Geneva,
WI in early October. Powered by a complete North Sails inventory, Gulari
discussed the win in an interview with Vince Brun: "Just like every other
North product I have had the pleasure of using, the (sails) are high
quality, user friendly and FAST." North-powered boats finished 1,2,3,4 in
the very exciting 45-boat regatta. When performance counts, the choice is

When the Snipe North American Championship was held last week off Mission
Beach in San Diego, CA, the light winds were augmented by the kelp that
often strays from the beds off Point Loma. Where the kelp had gathered on
the course, avoidance was the only option. Does a 'kelp island' qualify as
an obstruction? Lee Griffith flew in for the event from Pennsylvania, and
was curious how the rules applied to kelp.

"What if you were on the port tack layline to the finish, and there was a
'kelp island' directly in route to the port end of the finish line. And you
had a port tack boat just to leeward of you and their bow was even with
yours. Can you hail for room to avoid the obstruction, requiring both you
and the leeward boat to bear off to get around the kelp, then come back up
to course on the other side of it to finish? If so, how much kelp makes an
obstruction? "

See answer below.

Scuttlebutt not only provides the daily sailing news, it archives it too.
While the home page posts the very latest, each issue also gets a unique
website address in the Archived Newsletter section. If you want to share a
newsletter with a friend, pointing them to the home page is risky as it
changes each day. The best option is to use the unique website address in
the Archives.
Home page:

* The Bahamas 2011 Optimist National Championship was won by Spencer
Cartwright. This year's event was held October 1-2 in front of the Taino
Beach Resort in Freeport, right off the beach in beautiful turquoise waters
and light to moderate winds. Seventy-six participants came from Freeport,
Nassau, Long Island, Harbour Island, Governor's Harbour, Abaco and even
Cayman Islands attended despite the hurdles encountered by Hurricane Irene.
-- Full report:

* New Orleans, LA (October 13, 2011) - New Orleans native Benz Faget held
on to his first-place position on day 2 of the Allstate Sugar Bowl J/22
World Championship hosted by Southern Yacht Club. With consistent finishes
in the top 12 (dropping the 12), Team Fats tallied just 26 points over the
first seven races of the regatta. With crew Randall Richmond and Thomas
Sweeney, Faget is four points ahead of Texan Terry Flynn who was the low
point scorer for the day with a 3, 5, 5, 1. Competitors enjoyed gorgeous
conditions on Lake Pontchartrain with 10-15 knots, brilliant sunshine and
temperatures staying around 80 degrees. -- Full report:

* Islamorada, FL (October 13, 2011) - After calm winds cancelled the first
day of racing on Wednesday at the 2011 A Class North American Championship,
the outlook for wind today was equally grim. After taking sailors, family
and friends out snorkeling while under postponement to look for lobster,
enough wind filled in late to allow the 40 boat fleet to complete one race
which was won by Woody Cope. The forecast is for continued light air on
Friday and possible blow out conditions for Saturday and Sunday. --

* Almeria, Spain (October 13, 2011) - The second day of Extreme Sailing
Series Act 8 was a mixed affair of four open water races staged outside the
port of Almeria and a stadium race inside the harbor. Light winds prevailed
with more breeze forecasted for Friday and Saturday. Ben Ainslie's team on
Oman Air kept hold of the top spot, while Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed
by Adam Beashel, managed to keep in the mix all day to cimb into 2nd place,
only 3 points behind Oman Air. -- Full report:

* In Sailing World's College Rankings as of October 13, 2011, the College
of Charleston holds the lead in the coed rankings while Yale dominates the
women's rankings. Full rankings here:

Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include the beautiful Bahamas, Hugo Schreiner, Long Island dinghy racing,
college keelboat racing, San Francisco spectating, and vital accessories.
Here are this week's photos:

BONUS: The 'Barcolana' race is huge. Any time you can attract 1762 boats as
in 2011, something is going right. Safe to say that this day race in
Trieste, Italy is hitting the target, and esteemed photographer Carlo
Borlenghi was there to capture the immense scene:

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

Working inside NYC schools, Brooklyn Boatworks helps young people develop
life skills through the building and use of small boats. Their programs
teach communication, teamwork, perseverance and craftsmanship, and help
young people create a strong connection to their urban environment.

During the course of a year, groups of students work together to build and
rig an Optimist sailboat constructed in plywood using simple hand tools.
The program is designed for middle to high school students living in an
urban environment with no prior woodworking experience.

Brooklyn Boatworks has started a new season of boat building in New York
City schools, and it was a few months ago their students proudly launched
their hand built wooden Optimist sailboats into the Hudson River. Here is a
video to share the program and the launch:

BONUS: In Episode 12 of 'America's Cup Uncovered', skipper James Spithill
gives AC commentator and USA Olympic hopeful Genny Tulloch something to
talk about with a race on board ORACLE Racing. Then we head to Lake Geneva
in Switzerland to uncover the man behind Artemis Racing. But not before we
hit the gym with Emirates Team New Zealand's Winston Macfarlane, who gives
us the lowdown on how he became part of a team who carry the weight of a
nation's expectation. This latest episode will be online by Saturday 15
October approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:

BONUS: World on Water October 14, Week 41 Global Boating Video Weekly News
Report covers the TP52 World Championships in Costa Smeralda, Italy, Indian
International Regatta Chennai, India, WMRT Argo Group Gold Cup Hamilton,
Bermuda, Oyster Yachts Regatta Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Volvo Ocean Race
Qualifying Race Alicante, Spain, Transat Jacques Vabre Preliminaries, Le
Havre, France and in our regular "action" segment "Fresh to Frightening" we
feature the dramatic rescue in a gale of Alex Thomson by Mike Golding in
the 2006 Velux 5 Oceans Race. See it on approx 1200 BST,
0700 EDT.

BONUS: The Extreme Sailing Series Act 8 is in Almeria, Spain this week,
with 11 Extreme 40 trading paint on offshore and inshore courses. Daily
highlights here:

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

While not a rules expert, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck has sailed enough
on the same track to offer an answer to the kelp question:

"Yes, the kelp beds can be obstructions, and given their density in San
Diego, I think the burden of proof is pretty low to prove. Some of those
kelp beds can swallow you whole. Per the definition in the rules, an
obstruction is 'an object that a boat could not pass without changing
course substantially...'.

"In the racing scenario given, Rule 19.2 applies, which states that the
right of way boat (leeward boat) is allowed to decide which side of the
obstruction they will pass. But once the leeward boat decides to pass to
leeward of the obstruction, they are obligated to give the windward boat
room to do so too."

In the event the leeward boat does not feel obligated to give room, the
windward boat needs to be ready with a Plan B. "If the leeward boat says
'no!' and doesn't give room," offers rules authority Matthew Knowles, "the
windward boat can't just force her way in there. She won't be exonerated in
the way she would when denied mark-room at a mark." The wiser plan is for
the windward boat to quickly slow down, drop behind the leeward boat,
follow them around the kelp bed, and protest.

New England Ropes outfitted Bora Gulari's Melges 24 with Endura Braid Euro
style, STS-12-75 and STS-12-90 throughout the season. We also loaded Bora's
boat with our newest development, MATRIX. Matrix was used as mainsheet for
ultimate control and performance. Our design team received valuable
feedback on the desired characteristics for the ultimate mainsheet and
turned it into action. Look for MATRIX to hit the water in full steam by
the time Key West comes around. For more information on all our products,

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 Gary Wood:
Regarding helmets, 15 or so years ago we were in a Sloop Tavern race (a
true "beer-can") in Seattle. One of my crew was Jim Williams. Jim and I had
sailed together for many years - on Merlin in the Vic-Maui, on his Cal 40
Blue Marlin, on my ¼ tonner, and on my present cruising boat. As we
approached the leeward mark we saw a guy in the water who had fallen off
his boat, with another boat picking him up. I went a bit by the lee to go
around them, and announced to the crew that we might be jibing soon. Jim
didn't hear me, and the boom smacked him in the head. As he laid on the
deck bleeding like a just caught salmon, he said "It's OK, it only happens
to me every 30 years!" My comment back was something about it was the first
time we were leading, and he got his head in the way of the boom. A helmet
would have helped that evening!

COMMENT: As a teen I knew of a crew on a local boat die from a boom-related
head injury. I think about it often when the boom is not stable. And let's
not forgot how noted sailor Bruce Goldsmith was knocked out of his J/29
into Lake Erie four years ago, dying from a gybing boom blow to the head.
This past summer, deaths in the Chicago to Mackinac Race were attributed to
blunt force trauma to the head. As we learn more about the after effects of
head injuries, a helmet doesn't seem that extreme an idea. - Craig Leweck,

* From Justin Scott:
Regarding the editor's comment (in Scuttlebutt 3447) about connecting youth
sailing with the rest of the he nailed it. Except, I don't
believe it's a bridge between two different continents that we need. I
think we need to get back to just one continent.

I came back from sailing in the UK this summer, blown away by the
multi-generational nature of club sailing in the UK. There isn't intense
"youth sailing" at lots of these clubs; there are just young people

They are often sailing their own boats rather than program boats and (this
is important) there is no "boat snobbery". Rotomoulded boats are cool, fun
and inexpensive. Dad buys Johnny his own boat without breaking the bank
account. Johnny learns the fun and responsibility of boat ownership and
races some youth races but also goes to open meetings and races against
both young and the young at heart.

There is some advice for the "young uns" but no dependence. The teat of
youth sailing programs is not suddenly pulled away; it's a seamless growth
and rather than aging out of sailing one sees the 65 year olds who have
never grown up, sailing International 14s, Fireballs and Mirror Dinghies.

* From Ed Vitrano:
Each day, I look forward to the email notice that the latest edition of
scuttlebutt has arrived. I peruse most, if not all, of the items but have
noticed a subtle trend . . . that being a tendency to publish anti-AC
threads. Is it simply my perception? I look on the "second guessers" as
being someone who wants to be able to say he/she was right when something
goes wrong . . . and almost hopes it does.

Americas Cup has been a source of head-shaking fodder ever since I was a
kid and started following it. Current conditions are no better or worse.
For anyone to wish for the old days is being foolish, or worse being viewed
upon as a dinosaur. Since I'm in my 60's, I might be viewed upon as a
Flintstone but I am intrigued by the latest technology and view the current
attempts at modernization with eagerness. Does anybody really pine for the
"dial-ups before the start and tacking duels upwind" as claimed by Bill
Sandberg (in Scuttlebutt 3447). He certainly is right when he claims "those
won't happen with catamarans!" When I watched races with mono-hulls in past
AC's, I would quit paying close attention after the starts since very
little changed after that. You certainly can't do that now!

While I love the new technology AC gives and the trickle-down effect to the
boats I race on, by far the most disappointing development for me has been
the removal of the national citizenry requirement. That disturbing fact was
changed by the very group that some now lament as being better managers of
the tradition? Where's the skewering of that decision?

COMMENT: Not sure about a trend toward anti-AC reports, but Scuttlebutt
does strive to publish respected opinions. We also strive to hold the
defender accountable. Just like politics, we often forget the promises and
predictions made to sway and convince. We can't always be right, but we can
always be transparent. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

* From Mal Emerson:
Bill's column in WindCheck was just another example of much of sailing
media's bias against the new format of the America's Cup. He was actually
happy to report that his former denigration of the Cup is still true today.
If he were giving the Cup the least bit of credit, he would have been sad
to say that. His article continued down from there.

Stan Honey's efforts don't have anything whatsoever to do with video games.
Technology certainly will not the America's Cup make. It will, however,
make it more easily understood by the non sailor and, I would contend, the
non racer as well. Just as the sticks weren't visible across the field, the
boundaries, wind, etc. lines weren't in the America's Cup. Stan's efforts
have made following the race accessible to a greater number of fans. How
does that detract from the Cup?

While Stan's efforts might indeed "not work" according to Bill, The
relative speeds he reports can as easily be expressed in another way. It's
all relative. The average driver is familiar with 70 or so mph so the 200
or so that NASCAR produces becomes exciting. So 3 times the familiar speed
is exciting. The average sailor sees maybe 8 kts on a good day. Even the
IACC boats were lucky to see 10. Using Bill's numbers a factor of three
between the average sailor and the AC 45 is even easier to reach than
between the average driver and NASCAR. -- Forum, read on:

You are such a good friend that if we were on a sinking ship together and
there was only one life jacket... I'd miss you heaps and think of you

IYRS - Harken - North Sails - Gowrie Group - Salt Harbor Studio
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