From the Archives: Scuttlebutt 4000

Published on January 16th, 2018

As Scuttlebutt approaches the publication of its 5000th newsletter, here’s a flashback from Scuttlebutt 4000 on January 15, 2014:

• The 4000th Scuttlebutt newsletter occurred a day following founder Tom Leweck’s 83rd birthday. Both milestones broke new records. Amazing to think back at when Scuttlebutt was first launched in 1997, and how it was well before regatta organizers and the sailing media had embraced the Internet. The early focus of the email newsletter was Southern California, but as interest in the publication grew both nationally and internationally, so did the content. The manner in how the sport of sailing would be reported was forever changed.

• Ken Legler, longtime college coach at Tufts University, and well known event PRO, reports on how he has begun seeing movement back toward reaching legs for certain one design type racing in 2014. “Many of the most memorable races I sailed when young included reaches. A J/24 Worlds with an around Jamestown race, windsurfing races, and Laser regattas with crazy fast and long reaches immediately come to mind.”

• The idea of onboard reporters for racing boats was new, but for the start of 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race on Dec. 26, Australian media ABC embedded a journalist for the 628 mile event on the Clipper 70 PSP Logistics. In this report by Kumi Taguchi, she gave the outside world a look at life offshore.

• An early morning fire on Monday (Jan. 13) at the North Sails manufacturing plant in Minden, NV was quickly contained. Fire officials are calling it a “flash fire” that happened in a piece of manufacturing equipment. “Components of the equipment were damaged, but luckily the fire caused no collateral damage to the plant or surrounding equipment,” said Dan Neri, North’s Head of Design and Manufacturing. “All staff was safely evacuated, the fire contained, and damage minimized. It’s a credit to North Sails’ engineering and management staff, the agencies who support North Sails in a creating safety procedure, and the East Fork Fire Department.”

• “C’mon folks; it is pretty clear what a competition between nations means,” noted Karl Kirkman in regard to the America’s Cup. “The trouble is those playing the game are not motivated to keep to the meaning, and the drafters of the Deed of Gift did not contemplate that eventuality. I am reminded of an old quotation: ‘There is nothing harder than getting a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on him not understanding it’.”

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