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SCUTTLEBUTT 2813 - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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. Please consider the date when reading this newsletter.

Today's sponsors are Team One Newport and Doyle Sails.

State of New York, Court of Appeals announced their decision this morning, finding the defender Société Nautique Genève (SNG) had breached their fiduciary duty and has instructed that the America's Cup shall be returned to the custody of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) who will conduct a two boat challenge between SNG and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) in Long Island Sound no later than September 1, 2009.

Judge Smith, writing the decision stated, "The defender (SNG) has clearly ignored the spirit of the Deed of Gift by creating a challenger yacht club Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV) to gain an advantage and rewrite a set of rules that have served the Cup well for many years."

The GGYC challenge is approved and NYYC shall act as escrow agent and shall conduct a best of seven series from their base in Newport, RI. The race dates should be announced next week. SNG shall immediately transfer the Cup to NYC as escrow agent.

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Obviously tired of petty argument over what is an arm of the sea, which was resolved many years ago when Chicago was deemed to be on an arm of the sea, since you could reach the sea by travelling the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence Seaway and the declensions of the word ‘having’ over ‘having had’, the Supreme Court decided to back the traditionalists but with a twist.

Following the race between Société Nautique Genève (SNG) and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) will in the future be the perpetual custodian of the cup, taking into account that it is what they did for 135 years with few arguments. The simplicity of the decision is that NYYC will organise a defenders’ series, open to all yacht clubs from friendly nations, and that Newport RI will be the permanent home of the Cup races.

The winner of the defenders’ series will then race against a yacht from a similarly organised Challengers’ series, again organised by the NYYC. This will avoid all collusions, stop the practice of trouser pocket challenges, and provide a stable platform for a series of top quality racing, on a four year cycle, that will provide long-term stability and attract investment into an event that is tottering on the brink of extinction.

It is believed that several yacht clubs that have taken part in the America’s Cup over its 158 year history were consulted on the Supreme Court’s thinking, including England’s Royal Thames, Italy’s Porto Cervo, Yacht Club de France, Royal Perth YC, and to represent the newcomers, but considered the oldest yacht club in the world, Russia’s St Petersburg YC. New Zealand was not consulted due to the upsets caused by Michael Fay by not allowing a Challenger series in 1990, leading to the first catamaran challenge in San Diego, which many consider to be the beginning of the era of squabbles.

It is expected the first races in the new order will begin in 2011, avoiding the Olympic year 2012.

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CANBERRA, A.C.T.---(Southern News Service) Citing the extraordinary costs of deploying warships for the rescue of non-commercial sailors in distress in the Southern Ocean, pleasure craft operating south of 40 degrees latitude will be required by January 1, 2012, to carry one
Fulton surface-to-air recovery system (STARS) unit for each person aboard the vessel, Australian Defense Minister Warren Snowdon announced Tuesday.

The system, known in military circles as Skyhook, utilizes a small blimp-shaped helium balloon attached by a cable to a harness worn by the person to be extracted. After the cable is borne aloft, a specially-equipped aircraft flies at the cable, which it captures using a V-shaped device on the aircraft’s nose. The rescued person is pulled aloft and hoisted into the aircraft by the cable. A separate aircraft pass is required for each person to be rescued. Experts estimate that a crew of six can be recovered in as little as 30 minutes.

Snowdon made the announcement in the Australian capital after meetings with Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, which endorsed the measure. Australia has borne the budget brunt of rescuing sailors participating in various yacht races, and also had support of the New Zealand, Chilean and Argentine Navies, and the South African Maritime Force.

“With Skyhook, we can have an aircraft on scene in hours,” Snowdon said. “So rather than look at these measures as not dispatching a ship, they should be seen as a faster way of bringing mariners to safety.” Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and South Africa all operate C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, which can mount the recovery hook. Fulton STARS units can also be air-dropped to victims.

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We're all doing our part to help stimulate the economy and Mad Martha from Team One Newport has gone madder! Get the Musto Soft Shell jacket (MUSB0060) for 40% off if you are a Scuttlebutt reader. Visit and be sure to type SSCSP for your 40% off this Musto jacket (we will adjust the price when we receive your order). Or call 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327) and speak to a Customer Specialist. This offer ends on April 8th. We also have great new product in like the Henri-Lloyd Shadow and the Gill Keelboat racing line.

Gary Jobson added to his leadership legend today, announcing that his first act as President of America’s Cup Management has been to forge an agreement between defender Alinghi and the new Challenger of Record, BMW Oracle Racing. This follows his repair of the divisions in Olympic Sailing in his position as ISAF President, the first person ever to hold that job while concurrently acting as President of US Sailing. When asked how he was able to persuade the warring Cup factions to settle their differences so abruptly, Jobson said, “It was easy. I locked Ernesto, Brad, Larry and Russell in a room and refused to let them come out until they had a working agreement. It took five days ­ they were awfully tired and extremely hungry, but they got it done. And no medical assistance was required!”

As preparations for the 33rd America’s Cup kick into high gear, Jobson joined the two Cup teams and their respective yacht clubs at a press conference to announce that, as part of the après regattas, Alinghi and BMWOR will hold a three race series in the giant mulithulls built for a possible Deed of Gift match. The winner of the series will earn the honor of choosing the menu for the America’s Cup BBQ. (Ed. Note: All parties concerned have agreed never to use the word ‘Acts’ again.) A welcome sight at the conference was legendary Cup aficionado Bruno Trouble, on hand to officially welcome back long-time partner and sponsor of the Challenger series, Louis Vuitton. Rumors abound that several high-level challengers had threatened to bolt to a new series, sponsored by Louis Vuitton and entitled “If We Don’t Do Something Fast, We’re In Trouble”.

The Cup resolution is not the first accomplishment in Jobson’s unprecedented clean up of sailing’s ills. Jobson has also been credited with the decision to reinstate multihulls into the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Working with the International Multihull Council and the ISAF Event Committee, Jobson took the extraordinary step of adhering to the recommendations of a committee. There has been no confirmation that Jobson has been contacted by Major League Baseball to take on the job of Commissioner, following the ouster of Bud Selig on tax evasion charges.

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Jim Capron, President of US Sailing, announced today that membership in US Sailing would be mandatory for all sailors starting July 1, 2009. “Last year we considered the idea of making membership mandatory for all racers, but scrapped the idea after some negative feedback from sailors who were too cheap to pony-up the dues,” said Mr. Capron. “But this year we’ve gotten a sponsorship deal from the big banking conglomerate UBS.”

In a related press release from UBS, it was revealed that UBS will contribute $1 to US Sailing for every member on the books by the end of 2009. An unidentified UBS source stated, “Now that UBS has cut its ties with Alinghi, we have some extra sponsorship money. We still want to reach that desirable ‘sailing’ demographic, because everyone knows all sailors have a lot of money, and this is an excellent way to reach those rich sailors without being associated with Ernesto Bertarelli.”

When asked what would be different about mandatory membership this time around, Capron explained, “We won’t be charging dues. The $1 per member that we’ll get from UBS will bring in much more revenue than we could have ever raised from dues. And we will expand the mandatory membership to include skippers, helmsmen, navigators, grinders, trimmers, foredeck, railmeat, cooks, marina yard workers, cruisers, day sailors, anyone who sails as a guest (even once), people who look at sailboats from shore or from powerboats, and even children who play with plastic toy boats. This mandatory membership will be all-encompassing. Anyone who sings a sailing-related song or watches the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie will become a member of US Sailing.”

It is anticipated that US Sailing will have the largest membership base of any sports organization in the universe as a result of this action. It is not known if US Sailing will continue to provide free rule books and window stickers to its members.

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As professional sailors scramble for the few remaining pro sailing gigs, a few of them branched out to start a new sort of company. In the past, Paul Cayard and Mark Strube have turned down many offers for spreads in GQ and Esquire, but as the sailing offers slowed, they have decided to start out on a new path and try modeling, and have joined forces to start ACME: America’s Cup Modeling Enterprises. Mark Strube has been ardently tuned to “Runway” to learn the skills of the runway cat walk, while Paul Cayard has spent time doing self portraits to ensure the photographers always shoot his best side. In addition, they have recruited a coach, Austin Sperry, often seen working out prior to the Olympics on
YouTube, to help keep their fitness level up. A sample photo of Paul can be seen here:

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In an effort to stiffen up the softening marine industry, the U.S. President Obama’s administration has incorporated a nautical twist within their stimulus package. This grant opportunity is targeted to fall in line with other green initiatives, which will focus on the “zero carbon” benefits of sailing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “This will be not only good for the environment but for all my friends in the Bay Area who love sailing.” Ms. Pelosi went on to say, “We also welcome the commercial partnerships between companies as well.” Pelosi cited the newly announced joint marketing effort between mast maker Southern Spars and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, makers of Viagra. The two companies have launched a new advertising campaign targeted to the male sailing audience with their slogan; “A stiff rig is hard to beat”. The first commercials are due to air during the next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

On the Republican side of the House, not everyone is convinced. “When you look at modern sailing yachts today, most of these vessels are fitted with carbon masts. How can this administration look us straight in the eye and say this package is focused on “zero carbon” when the masts are carbon? I don’t care if you put the carbon in the atmosphere or up in the sky in the form of a mast, it’s all the same carbon in my book,” said Ron Paul of Texas.

Clearly, like the bailout funds sent to AIG, the devil is in details. While this form of economic stimulation may be penetrating new territory, there’s no doubt, a prolonged feeling out process remains.

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It all came down to the final race of the 2009 Coral Reef Cup. The top 3 boats went into the 7th race within 3 points of each other. Scott Piper with crew Stuart deLisser and Richard Shellow pulled off a perfect boat end start and managed to maintain a 2-5 boat lead around the course to clinch the series by a 5 point margin. When asked about his winning strategy, Scott stated he credits “much of our success to the new jib”. Read the full interview:

Ken Legler, longtime Tufts University sailing coach, has been tapped by President Obama to become the new Director of NASA. Legler, neither the tallest nor smartest on the short list, was selected for his ability to get sailboat races off on time. NASA officials, plagued by shuttle flight delays, said getting flights off on time saves the taxpayers billions of dollars. An unidentified official, unable to comment since he is not an authorized member of US Sailing, said. "The cost of gas to keep that thing idling on the launch pad while a bunch of guys from ITT Tech check out problems is a major factor in our current economic downturn."

In a related story, Tufts University, fearful that the popular Legler's departure for outer space will lead to the cancellation of his popular reality series "Coed Corner Bangers" (on Fox, annually, 7pm), is considering a plan to sell the naming rights to the Dental School. Hall Spars, of Bristol RI, is considered the front runner and a good match due to the financial success of its carbon tooth implant technology. Hall Spars’ Nan Hall, unable to officially comment since Ben was away at the family compound in Florida, said ' Go Jumbos!"

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In a surprise move, it is believed that International Sailing Federation (ISAF) are going to recommend to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the 11th medal in the 2012 Olympic Games should be awarded for a new discipline - Cruiser Racing. While the decision will not formally be taken until the ISAF mid-year meetings in Poland in May, and the final decision about an 11th medal awaits the IOC August meeting, sources close to ISAF say that President Goran Petersson (SWE) has sounded out IOC President Jacques Rogge (BEL) and has received a positive indication of support for this initiative.

It has been believed for many months now, that, should an 11th medal be awarded, the multihull would be restored to the Games. However, in a private conversation with an ISAF Vice President, Scuttlebutt has learned that the global financial crisis has prompted ISAF to consider ways in which it can contribute to an upturn in the marine industry.

According to Scuttlebutt sources, there was unanimity at the recent ISAF Executive committee meeting that ISAF should use its influence at IOC to stimulate activity within the sport of sailing, which is facing a severe downturn in the current global financial crisis. President Peterson was particularly concerned about the rate of closures of boatyards and boat building facilities around the world, especially in his native Sweden. The ISAF Executive agreed that ISAF should use its influence to the best possible effect and felt that this move would give a huge boost to sales of cruiser racers around the world.

While details of the format are sketchy, it is believed that the racing will take place under one of the current rating/handicap systems supported by ISAF, with an emphasis on genuine cruiser racers that have the ability to be used for a family cruise as well as offshore racing. Any boat that can be rated can represent their country. Already the battle for supremacy has started amongst the rating/handicapping systems. Mike Urwin (GBR), Technical Director of RORC, and chief guru of IRC, noted that only IRC can provide the platform necessary for such an event incorporating both age allowance and a “fudge factor” to prevent chequebook sailing that would advantage the bigger countries. Bruno Finzi (ITA), Chairman of the ORC, stated that an event of the status of the Olympic Games required the openness and transparency that ORC systems such as IMS and ORC International and ORC Club provided and he confidently expected that one of these systems in place.

John Derbyshire (GBR), the Royal Yachting Association’s Racing Manager, said that the Organising Committee at Weymouth, Sailing Venue for the 2012 games, had incorporated the possibility of a cruiser racer discipline into the timetable. “We will start them off the pier at Weymouth, set a Channel course which can be extended to ensure they don’t arrive back too early and finish them running up the Solent to Cowes. You couldn’t have a better climax to sailing in the Olympics”

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(April 1, 2009; Day 47) - Ericsson 3 has finally crossed the Volvo Ocean Race starting line in Rio De Janeiro to win Leg 5. After an agonizing march to glory, Norwegian skipper Magnum Oldmon and his men unofficially finished at 10:37:57 GMT. On arrival, a jubilant Oldmon, buoyed by the result, said: "It's unbelievable. Fantastic! We had a fantastic strategy when we needed it. Ansel (Madrigali) did a fantastic job on that. It was fantastic for sure! We executed that fantastic strategy in a very fantastic way. We were so tired but we were fighting on with fantastic spirit right to the end, everybody worked fantastically well with each other. And, finally, it was fantastic how we nursed the boat really well and didn't have any breakdowns. Fantastic! Oh, and by the way, this steak sandwich I am eating is really fantastic!"

Ericsson 3 started 7 hours behind the scheduled starters after a pit stop for repairs in Thailand en route to the leg finish in Qingdao. Oldmon admitted the steak sandwich seemed a long way off at the time. "We didn't look like a winner then, and as you can plainly see we don’t look like one now!" he said. "Getting there (Qingdao) tired, carbon dust all over the head and 7 hours late and a few guys in the new crew and all that, but we managed to turn it around, it's fantastic, it really is, fantastic!." --
Read on

Crewed around the world race in BO 70’s, with seven distance legs and ten In-Port races. Leg 5 from Qingdao, China to Rio de Janiero, Brazil is 1,230 nm. Current positions (as of Apr. 1, 10:15 pm GMT):
1. Ericsson 3 (NOR), Magnum Oldmon/NOR, Finished Apr. 1, 10:37:57 GMT
2. Ericsson 4 (NOR), Holy Grael/BRA, 5 nm Distance to Finish
3. PUMA (USA), Quick Read/USA, 54 nm DTF
4. Green Dragoon (IRL/CHN), Ivan Walker/GBR, 376 nm DTF
5. Telefónica Blue (ESP), David Bouwe/NED, 547 nm DTF
Telefonica Black (ESP), Fernando Valenzuela/ESP, Did Not Start
Delta Lloyd (IRL), Roberto Azorez/ESP, DNS
Team Russia (RUS), Andy Handkerchief /AUT, DNS

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by Bluey "Long Pockets" Robinson (AUS), Retro media communcation
Hi from the guys on the Volvo 70 Retro. As a late entrant in the Volvo Ocean Race we had a low profile as on the early legs our communications gear packed up so we were sailing in stealth mode until we got to China.

Our original comms gear was provided by a principal sponsor TA (Telecom Albania) which worked once on the first leg, picking up the collective workers Samba hour from Cuba, then silence until a bit of static from a North Korean trawler off Yemen on leg 2. We replaced all the hardware in India, courtesy of CEE (Colonial Empire Electronics), and have fitted out the boat with all the Bakelite rotary dial telephones and valves the British left behind in 1947. The systems take a bit of getting used to.

To gybe the keel over we have to get one crew on the black Bakelite port phone, who dials STB 040, or whatever angle he wants the keel to gybe to. A guy on the starboard side pick up the receiver, confirms the keel is good to swing, and another crew in the centre of the boat pushes the correct plugs into the telephone switchboard panel whilst shouting " PUTTING YOU THROUGH!" in a firm BBC type voice, causing the keel to glide elegantly across. It works well if you remember to put the receiver back on the phone cradle. If you forget, the switchboard gets an engaged tone and you have to try again later.

The boat is holding up fine, it is a Farr design (Terry Farr, not Bruce). Terry is a Welder from Glasgow, who has been designing North Sea fishing boats in his spare time. His work was first publicized in Practical Boat Owner magazine in the late 70's, and he takes most of his inspiration from the mid 1940's, which he describes as "The golden era of landing craft". The boat was built by BBB (Backyard Boat Builders) in a set of joined cow-sheds in the far west of Sydney, and BBB by their own admission are relatively new to the world of composites. As yard manager and project foreman Terry Savage explained prior to the launch, "After I had the pacemaker fitted things got a bit better, but this project has been a complete nightmare."

Due to the change in navigators in Qingdao with little time for a handover, the diesel calculation for this leg may be a bit out, meaning we could be short by the time we arrive in Rio. We are trying to conserve as much as we can and to help this, Kiwi crew member Grant "Wedgie" Wedge has made some reading lamps cut from the base of our condensed milk cans. With a short wick teased out from an off-cut of Spectra, the lamp is filled with fish oil "Wedgie" renders from flying fish he finds on deck. The result is a bit smoky, but at least I can see enough to enjoy my Jane Austen hardback whilst tucked up in my bunk with a good cup of Bovril.

The food is going well, if a bit monotonous. Roberto "Poncho" Gonzales is in charge of the provisions onboard, so before we left Qingdao he ordered seventeen hundred Chinese takeout meals. After we finish every meal the styrofoam containers are rinsed and stacked tight in the bow, which gave us a second crash bulkhead a foot thick before we got to the Horn.

The crew are getting on fine. On the bow we have "Lightning" Rod Smiles (UK), Mast and pitman Grant "Wedgie" Wedge (NZ), Trimmer and sailmaker Tim "Fingers" Fuller (NZ), Trim and helm Roberto "Poncho" Gonzales (ESP), Pit and trimmers Norm "Two-heads" Bennet (AUS), Garth "The Van" Van der Mere (RSA) and Barry "Bazza" Forbes (Aus), Navigator Malcolm "Mogadon" Quirk (UK), Skipper big Wally "Wombat" Birdsville (AUS), Nipper and general roustabout Bob "Fumbles" Bashful (UK), and self, Bluey "Long Pockets" Robinson (AUS) as MCM.

More on the boat, our life onboard and the crew as we close in on Rio, starting with a profile on Norm Bennet, who is nicknamed "Two-heads" because people wonder how he can be so ugly and only have one head. Cheers from onboard the Retro for now.

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We're all doing our part to help stimulate the economy and Mad Martha from Team One Newport has gone madder! Get the Musto Soft Shell jacket (MUSB0060) for 40% off if you are a Scuttlebutt reader. Visit and be sure to type SSCSP for your 40% off this Musto jacket (we will adjust the price when we receive your order). Or call 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327) and speak to a Customer Specialist. This offer ends on April 8th. We also have great new product in like the Henri-Lloyd Shadow and the Gill Keelboat racing line.

By Ian Walker, Green Dragon skipper
Sorry I didn’t get this to you sooner, but we were involved with trying to finish the race. This occurred when we were still two days out from our finish at Rio. As I wrote in prior e-mails, fuel was critical, the generator on the alternator was not functioning, and we were only eating one meal per day. We had sailed through several schools of yellow fin tuna and seen the occasional turtle.

Phil Harmer tried his luck with spear-fishing, taping a knife to a batten. No luck. Pitman James Carrol was not to be denied. He was determined to fabricate a lure, and mostly we needed a hook. Necessity being the mother-of-invention, we found a light-weight "D" ring in the sail repair kit. It was light relative to the loads on this boat, but quite heavy for fish-hook.

James went to work on it. Using a hack-saw, he cut out a section of the curved part of the stainless steel "D", leaving enough to form an "eye" (lots of squeezing with the vice-grips) and the lower curved portion that would be the hook (barb-less, of course). He must have spent at least an hour sharpening that hook with a flat-file.

Now to the "feather" part. That was easy. We have multiple sails in various stages of de-lamination. It was just a question of removing scraps from the sails and (using seizing twine), attaching the "feathers" to the hook. One of the crew had heard that "Mexican" colors were best, so we used red and green magic-marking pens to color the "feather". Eighth inch spectra cord would be our fishing line. Sure, it was oversized, but it was our only choice.

We set our rig, and, seriously, we snagged an 18" tuna in less than 10 minutes. Sushi Time!!! Fresh tuna, and no wasabi. What a tragedy. After heading and gutting the tuna, we re-set our lure, about two boat-lengths off our stern. We went back to our real job ... sailing the boat.

It was probably 30 minutes later when our Navigator, Steve Hayles came up from below and realized that we'd hooked another tuna. No one had noticed, and that tuna might have been on that big hook for several minutes. As Steve worked his way aft to haul in our catch, the fish literally disappeared in a surge of white foam.

The tuna had become the bait, and we had now caught a shark. It looked big to us, and turned out to be a blue shark, nearly 7-foot long. That big stainless steel hook had obviously set, and the spectra cord was holding, so far. Ordinarily, I'd have just cut the line, but our situation was rather unique. We had only that one hook, we were very low on food, the three boats ahead were already in, and Telefonica was not going to catch us. Besides, there's a huge macho/adrenaline thing about actually boarding a shark. Besides, with the wide open transom, it shouldn't be that hard.

The shark actually jumped once, but then seemed to tire rather rapidly. We put the spectra cord on a winch, and literally "ground him in". Chris Main (Mainiac) went to the stern, and lifted the shark's head above the transom trailing edged while the crew continued to grind. In the end, he just slipped up on the leeward side of the aft deck. With some caution, we used some more spectra cord to secure him in place. He "spent the night" there.

Truth-be-told, none of us had ever tried to filet a shark before, but as it turned out, once we got through the tough shark-skin with our sharpest knifes, the filleting process wasn't that difficult. We ended up with enough "shark steaks" to last us for the rest of the race, and jettisoned what was left.

Well, just another day of boat racing in the South Atlantic.

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Scientific testing was done on the recent leg of the Volvo Ocean Race to determine the value of food on a racing yacht. A double blind test was held without the knowledge of the participants in the race. Crews were given food that had no nutritional value, crews were given food that had nutritional value but not the "right value", crews were given food that had all the required nutritional value, and crews just starved during the test.

Results are still being evaluated but the preliminary results show that those that ran out of food had really aggravating periods of time on board. Those with food with no nutritional value thought the stuff they were eating was better than those with real food. Those with the fake nutritional value did not care because they were drinking all the time and selling the "hidden supplies" each sailor has learned to carry during these races.

Some crews reported eating paper scraps and found them to be "wonderful with gravy and a spot of claret."

One food critic wrote that the plastic boil bags seem to get a bit oily tasting after the fourth week on board. However, most did not complain. Some found that the after dinner drinks served after the meals were a bit lacking. One written complaint came about the table service. The writer found it slow and the wine glasses were refilled with too much wine. In general the desert selections were found weak and most asked for more selection.

Findings confirm that everyone was hungry at the end of the leg. Final reports of this test will be available through the scientific entry "Food on Board - a Test of Wills" published in the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club annual magazine.

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In a surprise move, the two global leaders of sailing hardware, Harken of USA and Ronstan of Australia, have formed a joint venture to make a new generation "Air Block". These blocks add 69% less weight than conventional blocks, a huge advantage when every ounce counts. Speaking on behalf of Harken, Bill Goggins said, "This block is made of black carbon goo infused with air, sort of like a Milkey Way bar." Alistair Murray of Ronstan said, "We came up with the idea by accident while watching things that would typically sink, float instead; they had more air than mass."

The new company will be called HarStan and will be headquartered in Switzerland. Notes Peter Harken, "With all of the air in the components, we decided to make them where Swiss cheese is made." It was surprising that Wisconsin, headquarters of Harken and home to famous cheese wasn't chosen. The new company will begin by producing only a small boat range of blocks which will be made from 69% air and the remainder of carbon composite secret "goo".

They are so light weight that they aren't practical to be used with standard dacron lines, says Tom Yale of Yale Cordage. “We have been approached to develop complimentary cordage to be used with the new blocks. We have been secretly working on a molecular ‘AirAmid’ hybrid that is so lightweight, a 500' spool of 3/8" diameter line only weighs 2.5 pounds," says Yale. The new hardware and cordage is still in the developmental stages says Olaf Harken. "Much of our hardware, although designed for marine use, is used in outer space,” notes Olaf. “We have made block and tackle systems for the space shuttle and the International Space Station but we're not sure how these would hold up in an absolute vacuum. One thought is that all the air would vanish and you'd be left with the 31% powderized carbon stuff.”

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* The Federal Justice Department has announced that they are investigating how Eric Goetz was able to retain ownership of his Rhode Island-based yacht building company after it filed for receivership in January. On March 6, Goetz needed to bid only US$540,000 for the holdings of Goetz Custom Sailboats, despite a US$1.9m loan that Citizens Bank made to the company. Among the areas the investigation will cover is how Goetz Custom Sailboats was awarded a Governor's Workforce Board grant of $68,000 to train 20 new employees as well as gain financing that helped the company build a 43,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bristol.

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* Due to the complete inability for the major America’s Cup competitors to agree and arrange any sort of event, they have decided that their methods are not working. It has now been decided after long meetings in Valencia, who do not want to play anymore, Geneva where UBS cannot really afford to play anymore, Paris where Louis Vuitton shrugged and said we’re bored, USA where judges have to be woken up after dozing through long diatribes from fleets of lawyers, that something must be done.

During a particularly long meeting that took five private jets to carry the lawyers to the meeting and three more to carry the two major protagonists, a decision was made that the America’s Cup is back on track and we will be sailing again soon, err sometime soon, err yes very soon, err well not quite sure when but soon, err well we will let you know soon, err it was a positive meeting honest, err we are very excited, errrrr anyway got to go now.

It was finally confirmed that if the involved parties had not made a decision by April the 1st, then an online vote would occur to determine what the participants of the sport desired, and that it would be hosted by the sailing media website, Scuttlebutt. When asked about the choice of Scuttlebutt, a source with the defender said on the condition of anonymity, “All parties seemed to hate them the least.”

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* Jacques Rogge, the IOC president and past Olympian for Belgium in the Finn class, announced that Ice/Snow Sailing has been added to the schedule for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The announcement was made at the IOC meetings that just concluded.

Four medals have been added, 80 athletes, 20 in each fleet. The events announced are Men's and Women's DN class and Men's and Women's kite sailing. There is an option for additional four medals within the existing athlete quota, a judged jumps category for kite sailing and a timed speed event for the DN.

Sailing is now the second Olympic sport to have a summer and winter medal. The first being Hockey, Ice and Field. The International Sailing Federation is positioning itself as the representative international body for both Kite and Ice Sailing.

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* Washington, DC, April 1 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama moved to fill one more of the four most senior Treasury Department positions on Wednesday, by announcing his intent to nominate US SAILING President, James Capron as deputy assistant Treasury secretary. An engineer by trade, Capron is the founder and president of Capron Company, Inc., a facility automation design and contracting firm located in Rockville, Maryland. "Jim was convincing in his interviews with both Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and I, and we are pleased to welcome him to the team," President Obama said during the brief announcement.

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* (Pewaukee, WI) - Following the announced merger between Harken and Ronstan (see above), it was announced that Peter and Olaf Harken will leave the company they founded in the hands of the CEO, Bill Goggins. The successful Wisconsin brothers will begin operating a new company that focuses on friction reduction on a larger scale. The Harkens will remove friction from business applications and contend that they can make business all but invisible.

"We know there is a use for brick and mortar shops," said Olaf Harken. “My background in low friction sailboat hardware allowed us to buy some elite technology for a few dollars cash. We hope to move on our investments and bring more water to the Great Lakes for improved sailing year-round," he continued. Harken and his brother have invested in developing real estate in Pewaukee over the past few years.

"We build a building a few years ago that cannot be taxed by any government agency because we move it on ball bearings every time a tax assessor arrives. Harken Headquarters has been seen in four countries, several states, many counties and some 129 cities since the new building was completed," reported Peter Harken. “This new technology should allow us to see if the world is really flat! We plan to keep all our business on the move," said the older Harken.

The Harkens plan to leverage their technology by selling the use applications to private industry only. It is thought that McLube is involved in the new plans somehow but details were a bit hard to gather. (We kept dropping all the handouts they gave us - pretty slick!)

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* Ernesto Bertarelli, team owner of Alinghi and current defender of the America’s Cup, has been named a new President of Honour by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Said ISAF president Goran Peterson, “Mr. Bertarelli has made great improvements to the America’s Cup with his new format, and we look forward to supporting his management company in any way we can. His contribution to ISAF has been significant, and the least we can do is elevate him to the status typically reserved for royalty.”

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* According to a recent US Boating survey, Saylor and Kai top the charts for the most popular children’s names in 2008, pushing Calypso and Jack into seventeenth and third places respectively. “We surveyed over seven thousand boat-owning new parents, and these are the top names for nautical tots this year,” said Carington Huntsman, spokeswoman for US Boating.

As for the expected trends in coming years, Huntsman notes, “Biblical names are still strong for boys: Noah and Jonah of course, but also Ishmael. We've seen a small cluster of 'Moby's' in New England. For girls, mythological names like Ariel, Lorelei, and Maris are becoming rare. Watery names, like Aqua, Navy, Sea (spelled Cia, Cea, Syah), and Ocean are on the rise.”

Huntsman added that the boating-industry group will be digging into research in the coming months to uncover the country's most popular dog names.

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* The world renowned high-end RIB manufacturer, Scorpion RIBs from Lymington, Hampshire, UK, is launching a world first - a new 8.5m Tubeless RIB - at this year’s RIBEX Show in Cowes, Isle of Wight which runs between 8-10 May. This ground-breaking stepped hull design incorporates the Scorpion-trademarked ‘Pressure cordless and tubeless technology’, which will be applied in the vicinity of the widest portion of the RIB’s body with annular reinforcement ribs extending continuously along the entire circumference of the boat’s body at the side walls.

Adjacent to the first annular ribs are a second set of annular ribs located between the side walls and the shoulder region of the cockpit section. The first and second ribs at each side wall define an annular groove between. The build-up results in an even hull thickness of 8mm making for a lightweight but very strong shell. Foam transverse stringers are fitted and fibre glassed over for lateral strength and rigidity. Decks are fully moulded and bonded to the hull with fuel tank(s) bonded between the hull and deck.

Managing Director of Scorpion RIBs, Patrick Byrne, is very excited about his company’s new technology commenting, “This is a truly stunning boat which must be seen to be believed.” It features the very latest ergonomic console, GRP 'A' frame and stepped hull. Seating arrangement is 2 x 3 person jockey seats, full aft bench seat. Electronics include the latest Navman Radar/Plotter/GPS/engine management, VHF/DSC, CD player, 2 gorgeous Verado 175hp outboards. Price on application.

For more information about the truly remarkable tubeless 8.5m and the full range of RIBs designed and manufactured by Scorpion, visit:

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It all came down to the final race of the 2009 Coral Reef Cup. The top 3 boats went into the 7th race within 3 points of each other. Scott Piper with crew Stuart deLisser and Richard Shellow pulled off a perfect boat end start and managed to maintain a 2-5 boat lead around the course to clinch the series by a 5 point margin. When asked about his winning strategy, Scott stated he credits “much of our success to the new jib”. Read the full interview:

As seen on E-bay, Catamaran for sale, 90 ft + long, almost as wide. Never seriously sailed. Original owner, Comes with enormous sail inventory. Best suited for flat water only. Good daysailor but not well suited for family cruising as has no cabins, toilets, bunks, or cooking facilities. Motivated seller. Starting bid at $1.99.

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* From Zim Kuelsdorf: (Re: Sunscreen Rituals) I fortunately don't have any of the dreaded skin diseases yet, as I know that my use of sunscreen is perfect. Rather than waste it applying it to my skin, I simply ingest it every night before bed. It doesn't matter what kind of sunblock, just drink about 4-5 ounces and in the morning, viola, the sunscreen permeates from the inside out.

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* From General Hunt Stockwell: I heard a heartwarming story from an unusual source today, the iconic mid-Atlantic boatyard owner, "Bilge Rat" Bill. Last week Bill was working late, as usual, at his yard, servicing winches on a large sailboat. The weather was miserable, a fine misty rain, blown in off the Atlantic by a cold nor'easter. The boat belonged to Bill's least-liked owner, Mr T, a surly AIG executive who Bill said worked "with something called derivatives." As Bill's frozen fingers worked grease onto the winch parts, he looked up and shuddered when he saw Mr T approach the boat.

Mr T had tortured Bill for over 25 years constantly accusing him of bill padding, shoddy workmanship, and even piracy while almost always being late with payments. He had once accused Bill or one of his workers of purloining a bottle of 1967 Rothschild Chateau Neuf du Pape and presumably guzzling it down. When Mr T did pay his overdue accounts, it was always late on Friday evenings, depriving Bill from one of the few pleasures the demanding yard allowed him: Friday happy hour.

"Hi Bill," Mr T said cheerfully as he pulled the collar of his cashmere coat up around his ears. "You are definitely the man, working late by yourself, just to get my boat ready for an early launch." Bill grunted. "You really are great guy, Bill," said Mr T. "On the way over here I had something of an epiphany. I realized I've treated you horribly over years and it's time I did something about it. I got a huge bonus from AIG this year and I'm going to send you and your family off on a vacation. Your choice of destination, anywhere in the world, no expense spared." A stunned Bill could only mutter, "Jeez, thanks."

Mr T continued on," It's no more than you deserve, and by the way, it was my teenage son who drank the Chateau Neuf du Pape. I should have told you. Sorry. I won't keep you any longer, but I'll be back next Wednesday to make the financial arrangements." Bill, still in a state of joyful shock said, "Wonderful, that would be Wednesday, April 1." Now chuckling as he walked away, Mr T replied, "That's right, Bill. Be sure to arrive early so I don’t miss you.”

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* From Simon Cowell, East Sussex, England: Regarding Steve Barrett’s letter in Scuttlebutt 2812, which noted that among the causes of the 1979 Fastnet disaster was “the then-lousy UK weather forecasting system, which was blindsided & failed to get warnings out to race management or radio bulletins to the fleet in time.” Has anyone taken pause to consider why the forecasting system was so horrid? It was because the weather in the UK is …simply put… horrid. Back then, the less it was discussed, the better off the tourism might be. The whole bit about the royal family and the changing of the guards got folks to forget about whether their hotel had a pool or not. Now that the waters are much safer, and people know exactly how miserable it can be here, the sport of sailing has been thriving. Go figure!

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* From Huey, Dewey, and Louie: Considering all the frustrating news worldwide, whether it's the housing market decline, financial institutions on the brink of bankruptcy every day, or some new Ponzi scheme knocking on your door, it was certainly refreshing when I saw that Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli had taken a week out of their busy schedules to vacation together with us at Disneyland. After they were seen riding together, hands in the air, laughing and screaming, in rotating tea cups… it almost brought a tear to my eyes. It seems like the power of Disneyland was just too much to keep these two men apart - we truly are the “Happiest Place on Earth.” And they say there is no more good news ... who knew!

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Special thanks to Team One Newport and Doyle Sails, who provided the only legitimate information included in this issue of Scuttlebutt.

Thanks also goes to the faithful ‘butthead readers for contributing every “news” item in Scuttlebutt 2813. You all are the best!

A complete list of preferred suppliers is at

Scuttlebutt Sailing Club

GMT Composites

Team McLube

Lemon & Line

Newport Shipyard

Kaenon Polarized

Melges Performance Sailboats

Atlantis WeatherGear

North Sails

North U.

Team One Newport

Doyle Sails

Annapolis Performance Sailing

Ullman Sails

Point Loma Outfitting

click here for list of preferred suppliers

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