Scuttlebutt’s April Fools edition

Published on April 1st, 2010

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.

The new management of the Marion Bermuda Race is fulfilling the original
charter of a “competition for fully found cruising yachts.” Accordingly, the
2011 race will add to requirements:

1. Owner and crew must be domiciled on board the yacht for not less than two
weeks prior to start. All food consumed must be cooked on board, and owner
and crew must sleep on board each night. All bathing and personal hygiene
must be conducted on board.

2. All exotic materials other than “resin bonded organic cellulose fiber”
will be heavily penalized if used as a hull or spar component.

3. The use of autopilots will not be allowed. Especially disallowed are
autopilots connected to polar data for the yacht.

4. The race will not allow GPS or other electronic aid from 50 NM after
start until within 50 NM of St. Davids.

5. Yachts are prohibited from logging onto the internet to determine their
position or that of other vessels in the race.

6. Sails made from other than Dacron or nylon will cause a two hour time
penalty per sail carried on board.

7. Use of powered winches or furlers will result in a time penalty.

8. Trophies will weigh a minimum of 100 pounds each, and all won by a yacht
must be carried on board for subsequent races. The cook’s trophy for last
yacht to finish in each class is exempted from this requirement, provided
all crew weigh more at the finish than at the start.

9. Since the major industry of Bermuda is insurance companies, and AIG is
swimming in government bailout money, AIG has agreed to sponsor the race.
This sponsorship, along with a contribution from the Bermuda Department of
Tourism, in recognition of all the money people involved with the MB Race
spend on the island, has resulted in no entry fees for the next Marion
Bermuda race.

10. Goslings Rum has also agreed to be a sponsor, and will give each boat a
liter of rum equal to the yacht’s place in class. Therefore the first place
boat would get one bottle, and the second place boat two bottles, etc. This
should encourage yachts not to drop out of the race, and reward perseverance
of crews.

Race website:

Newly appointed US Sailing President Gary Jobson – the man who put sailing
on TV – has taken bold action in the pursuit of higher TV ratings for
sailboat racing. Prevailing over the long traditions of the sport, and using
his leverage with the US Sailing Board, Jobson has rescinded the Rules of
Part II – When Boats Meet.

“We explored half measures, like rescinding Rule 14 – Avoiding Contact, but
in the end decided it was best to drop all the Rules of Part II. The push
for rules simplification and the search for TV sponsorship have created an
undeniable synergy. Now a port starboard crossing will take nerves (and
bows) of steel,” Jobson explained.

Experimental regatta results have been a huge success. As Charleston Race
Week representative Windy Draft explained, “We’ve always been eager to try
new ideas to promote the sport, so we signed on to test the new rules. What
a difference! Not only does this make great television. It has also been a
boon for area boat dealers, chandlers, and repair facilities.”

But that is not all. As events moved up the coast, the CBYRA event
management team in Annapolis marveled at the lack of congestion at the end
of a recent regatta. “We’re accustomed to a crush of boats trying to load up
and get out at the conclusion of a regatta. Under the new rules we get a
steady flow rather than a late rush. It is much more orderly.”

In its role as the world governing body of the sport, the International
Sailing Federation (ISAF) has seen its luster pale in recent years as it has
cut a conservative path in its leadership position. But apparently that will
change in 2010. Said ISAF Secretary General Jerome Pels, “When ISAF
President Goran Petersson was at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and saw
how strongly some of his peers handled their sports, he sent out a directive
to our staff in the UK that a new sheriff was in town.” Here are some of the
hot topics:

* PROFESSIONALISM: The ISAF Sailor Classification Code received an eleventh
hour makeover before its scheduled April 1 release. Noted Antony Matusch,
Chairman of the ISAF Classification Commission, “We ultimately realized that
our efforts to manage the impact of paid sailors on the sport had been
ineffective, and a fresh approach was needed.” Going forward, all events
will need to state in their NOR if a racing class is Amateur only, Pro-Am,
or Professional. As to what is deemed a professional entry, if a boat owner
has to compensate someone to sail with them, then the entry is considered a
professional team. Said Matusch, “We are eager to get the fun back into the
sport, and support the boat owners that sail for the love it and who don’t
need to pay to be pleasured.”

* WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: There were a number of challenges in 2009 to the
long-standing ISAF Regulation Code (18.1) that requires ISAF approval for
any event that is described as a World Championship. Noted ISAF Executive
Committee VP David Irish, “We have grown tired of event promoters seeking to
water down the relevance of our sport’s elite events. Events should earn the
title, not merely be branded with it.” Added Irish, “People want ISAF to be
strong, but if we don’t enforce the rules we have, how strong can we be?” It
is believed ISAF will require all Rule 18 offenders to complete a secret
financial agreement in order to deviate from any of the ISAF Regulations.

* AMERICA’S CUP MUTINY: A review by the ISAF Race Officials Committee of the
33rd America’s Cup Regatta Report Forms submitted by Principal Race Officer
Harold Bennett and International Jury Chairman David Tillett has been
completed. The incident in question focused on how race committee helpers
representing Société Nautique De Genève attempted to influence and disrupt
the PRO in his role to run fair races during the 33rd Match. Regarding the
committee’s findings, Chairman Charley Cook commented, “We found the members
of SNG demonstrated bad judgment, but could still be reformed. Each
individual was sentenced to 30 days of submissive training with Peter ‘PRO
to the Stars’ Reggio, where they will light his cigarettes, accept his foul
language, and hear stories of how Ernesto Bertarelli also tried to influence
the races during the 32nd America’s Cup.”

The Australian team of David Clark, Andrew “Spot” Smith and Sean Leonard on
Etchells “Fifteen” had a commanding win at the 2010 NSW State Championships,
finishing 21 points ahead of second place. Powered by Ullman upwind sails,
the “Fifteen” team beat out a fleet of 47 boats over a three-day series,
February 26-28. The event was sailed off Sydney Harbour Heads on the same
race course as the scheduled 2012 Etchells Worlds. The team’s win is a solid
addition to their scorecard as they prepare for the 2012 Worlds in their
home waters. Ullman Sails – Invest in Your Performance.

Yachting journalist Bob Fisher and circumnavigator Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
have announced their plan to attempt to be the oldest combined age to sail
round the world. The intrepid team is going to take Fisher’s 112 year old
gaffer Rosene which will proudly carry its OS class mark around the world.
The pair intends to use their record attempt to promote OS “Old Shitter”
racing, which has developed a keen following at the Lymington Thursday
evening series.

“Fisher is to navigate,” says Knox-Johnston. “He has hit quite a lot of
stuff in the past but I think he has got the hang of it now.” As for why
they have decided to take on this challenge, Knox-Johnston remarked, “We are
fed up with hearing about all of these 12 year olds getting all of the
publicity. Fish and I want some of it!”

The team is sponsored by Pussers Rum, Benson and Hedges and Vesta Beef
Curry’s, so provisions and light air performance will not be a problem. As
for concerns, Fisher stated, “One of our major problems is that when we wake
up in the morning we have to hope that one of us remembers where we are and
why? However KJ has been round so many times that I am sure we will be ok.”

Harken Yacht Equipment announced today, in their never-ending efforts to
expand the company in new directions, the acquisition of the Pewaukee
Brewing Company. Harken will be introducing three new brands of beer on the
market: the flagship Harken Ale, followed by the full-bodied flavor of Carbo
Lite, and a darker yet smooth Torlon Draft.

“We aggressively expanded our product line by opening a new hydraulics
division and setting new trends in winch design this past year,” explains US
CEO Bill Goggins. “Harken Brew ‘for sailors, by sailors’ is a natural step
towards that goal of a one-stop solution. Not to mention we already have the
perfect spokesperson, Peter Harken. Who hasn’t had a beer with Peter?”

Pewaukee Brewing Company, established in 1872 by Art Schmickter Sr., will
continue to produce quality beer under the new name Harken Brew. It will be
test-marketed at major regattas along with local participating taverns. Look
for Harken Winch Wenches serving beer at a location near you.

Speedteam Expands
The Harken Speedteam, once exclusive to top-ranked sailors, will also expand
to include other sports where beer is an integral part of the game. Harken
Brew is on the lookout for top softball players, bowlers, and ice fishermen.

“This is an exciting new direction for us,” Olaf Harken said in a recent
interview. “There’s nothing better than sailing with good friends and having
a few cold ones. Harken can now be a bigger part of the total sailing
experience.” Olaf adds, “Just remember to drink and sail responsibly.” —

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: I wholeheartedly applaud this move by Harken, as
the sport needs more providers of après-sailing suds. I look forward to
adding Harken Brew to our other party partner – Scuttlebutt Brewery in
Everett, WA:

In a surprise twist to the long-running America’s Cup saga, the
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) have announced the recall of the
33rd America’s Cup International Jury to study new evidence that has just
come to light regarding the Race 2 penalty that was imposed on Alinghi 5 for
being in the starting area prior to the permitted time. The Jury will
closely examine documents and film footage submitted by representatives of
Société Nautique De Genève (SNG).

ISAF Secretary General, Jerome Pels said, “New evidence may show that there
was undue interference with Alinghi 5 in the pre-start sequence. While the
time limit for hearings has expired, ISAF believe that these proceedings are
in the best interest of the sport.” ISAF officials remaining tight-lipped
about the nature of the evidence, but Scuttlebutt believes it relates to
contact between Alinghi 5’s hulls and a submarine ROV (remotely operated
vehicle) employed by BMW Oracle. The ROV was used to determine surface
current movement on the race course and transmit that information to BMW
Oracle’s skipper James Spithill’s high tech sunglasses that house a
futuristic fighter pilot-style heads-up display (Scuttlebutt 3026).

According to Brad Butterworth, “We were sent some helicopter footage that
appears to show a dark shadow close to Alinghi 5 during the pre-start. The
cameraman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us he thought it was a
dolphin playing around the hulls, but on closer examination, he has made out
what seems to be a logo of some sort.” Butterworth added, “If there is
evidence of interference, a re-sail is the minimum that Alinghi seeks.”

With nearly 190 boats now entered in the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race, race
organizers are eager for a surge to get over the top of 200. With the early
entry deadline on Thursday, April 1, official have released a list of
additional reasons to enter this ocean racing classic.

LENIENT: The drinking age for Bermuda is 18 years old. Only five countries
(including the US) have a drinking age of 21. This feature should help to
recruit crew.

HEALTHY: Kentucky Fried Chicken is the only fast food franchise on the
island. For some people, this could be like landing on Mars. Plan

CLASSY: While Bermuda is a little uptight about public nudity (who isn’t?),
they do disdain those that wear hair curlers in public, or think the street
is their ash tray for cigarette butts. The place is clean, which comes in
handy for when you crash your moped (see below).

CASUAL: Bermuda shorts are worn with jacket, tie and knee sox, and are quite
proper in all business and social settings — but never wear a pair that
rises more than two inches above the knee. Where else can you dress like

SAFE: The dreaded Bermuda Triangle, defined by points at Bermuda, Puerto
Rico and Fort Lauderdale, FL, is south of the race course. The crap shoot
race this week between Ft Lauderdale and Charleston has more to worry about
than N2B (see story below).

FUN: You cannot rent a car in Bermuda, so Mopeds are the popular way to
travel the island. But you will fall and earn the road rash. But the place
is clean, the infections are minimized, and it won’t hurt until you sober

Event website:

“Newport can have it,” decried Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen late yesterday as
he officially conceded the title. “We no longer wish to be known as
‘America’s Sailing Capital’,” a title Annapolis has held onto since it
started the claim. Cohen went on to commend the efforts of those responsible
for bringing the new National Sailing Hall of Fame to Annapolis and
proclaimed that with new responsibility comes the need for a new title.
“Annapolis is now ‘The Nation’s Sailing Capital’, a title more befitting of
the new home of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, The Naval Academy, and

With a high-pressure system plaguing the path of the Fort Lauderdale to
Charleston Race, seven teams set off on Wednesday for the 408-mile road to
the ‘College of Knowledge’ But even the bag of prunes offered to each
entrant, courtesy of event sponsor Healthy Bowel, could prepare them for the
toilet bowl that lies ahead.

Chris Woolsey, winning navigator last year, was concerned prior to the
start. “I have no idea how we’re going to get through the roadblock across
the entire course,” observed Woolsey. Local expert Peter Bowker from
Lauderdale Yacht Club expects the race to be a crap shoot. However, many
believed his sage advice at the pre-race competitor meeting would prove to
be key. “You have to stay in the stream as long as you can but you have to
get out of it to turn off for Charleston,” summarized Bowker.

The first waypoint for tactician Jonathan Bartlett, who would be sailing
with Robin Team on the J/122 Teamwork, was dinner. Said Bartlett, “I plan to
pair a simply-grilled steak with a full-bodied red wine, such as a
Californian, Australian or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins in the
wine combines with the protein in the meat to create a lush, flavorful
taste. If all goes well, I will open the wine 20 minutes prior to mealtime
to allow for the flavors in the wine to fully develop.”

Look for GPS tracking, updates from the race committee, and results on the
race website:

The announcement that the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race will be heading to
Auckland, New Zealand completes the nine leg route:

Leg 1: Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa (start Fall 2011)
Leg 2: Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE
Leg 3: Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China
Leg 4: Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand
Leg 5: Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brasil
Leg 6: Itajai, Brasil to Miami, USA
Leg 7: Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal
Leg 8: Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France
Leg 9: Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland (finish spring/summer 2012)

With the route now revealed, look for details to soon be released regarding
In-Port racing and team announcements. Here are a few early reports:

* The days are over for watching this ocean crossing fleet lumber around the
buoys in typically light air races, particularly after Bouwe Bekking’s
Telefonica team mocked the 2008-9 race by designing their boats specifically
for the lower wind range. After the sailing public went gaga over the
America’s Cup multihulls, look for the return of the Extreme 40 catamaran
that was first introduced during several stopovers at the 2005-06 Volvo
Ocean Race, in an in-port racing format, called the Grand Prix Racing
Series. The VOR teams will now use this one design class as the platform for
all their In-Port races

* The choice of ports to host In-Port races is all about separating the
wheat from the chaff. The In-Port races extend each stopover by a week, so
look for only the glamour cities to get them. The 2011-12 VOR is all about
tourism and fun in the sun, so after Alicante expect to see the next In-Port
races in Abu Dhabi, Sanya, and Miami. For the Kiwi crews looking toward
Auckland for a lengthy spousal conjugal visit, better plan on bringing extra
videos onboard.

* Ken Read, who famously introduced the PUMA lifestyle as skipper of their
entry during the 2008-9 VOR, will be back again with a new program. Said
Read, “While I enjoyed the PUMA gig, and the whole tiger thing on the sails
was pretty trippy, I needed to get closer to my roots.” Look for Read to
skipper CHUCK TAYLOR for Team Converse. “My relationship with Chuckies goes
back to the ’85 SORC when our team gear consisted of a pile jacket and a
pair of red high tops. We felt like kings back then, and I wanted that vibe
again.” Here’s a photo of the 25 year old kicks:
Scuttlebutt Photos of the Week

In an announcement from UPI, on Monday, after word that the Dutch warship,
HNLMS “Tromp”, had successfully thwarted Somali pirates, permission has been
granted from the Dutch Government to escort the Volvo Ocean Race fleet
through waters previously avoided. The ‘Tromps’ successful encounter and
subsequent confiscation of $3 million dollars from the pirate lords, will
help to finance this welcomed effort.

It has been determined by Volvo Ocean Race organizers that this contribution
by the Dutch Government will greatly enhance the course options available to
the fleet, such as the suggested in-port race in Iran. With Abu Dhabi
hosting a leg from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, and the well established
Dutch/Iranian relations, will give credence to possibilities only imagined
before. World-class sailor, Ken Read said, after hearing about the Dutch
support, “I can now feel relieved in knowing guns will not be ‘required
equipment’ in crew bags aboard Puma, along with the comfort of knowing full
protection will be provided during this important leg up the coast of
Africa. This is my favorite leg of the race.”

In a brief interview at the recent Louis Vuitton Trophy series with past
Volvo winner, Paul Cayard, reminiscing about his ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’
entry, Paul stated tentatively about the need for such formidable support
from the Dutch. “It’s a sign of troubled times when a fleet of ocean racers
need an armed escort to ply the waters of the world. Let’s hope they aren’t
needed.” He lightheartedly mentioned a possible name change for his upcoming
entry. It appears there is a historical connection to the ‘Simonson Ltd’
sponsor. Something about the 16th century Dutch pirate, Simon Simonson,
a.k.a. der Tantzer, a.k.a. Delli Reis. sic look it up.

There has been one downside reaction to the HNLMS ‘Tromp’ support, as loudly
noted by Ernesto Bertarelli, when he found out about the generosity of the
Dutch government. Apparently Mr. Bertarelli’s entry was heavily budgeted to
include a full and comprehensive complement of assorted firepower, to assure
ease of passage through the pirate-infested portion of that leg, an
advantage he felt would undeniably guarantee a win over the ‘weaponless’
competition. He further stated that the hundreds of hours of ‘Special Ops’
training for certain crew members would not go wasted in the event the
‘Tromp’ was detained while assisting defenseless competitors.

Future announcements are anticipated from other Volvo entries as the word of
Dutch support spurs interest from their government entities. It is
ascertained that no team would want to be without Naval support from their
country of origin or, lest be ignored by the ‘Tromp’, in the likely event a
‘mayday’ team in question was from an out-of-favor nation.

A survey is being conducted by the Head Coach Commission of the
Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) to collect Assistant Coach
Salary and Benefit information to aid all college sailing coaches.

While it is understood that the timing of this survey falls in the middle of
the season, and you are swamped with practice, travel planning, travel
reimbursements, recruiting, crazy college student issues, etc., please take
a few minutes to provide some information that may help your fellow
professional coaches out. Please reply to the following questions:

How little do you think they can get paid?
What few benefits have you found needed to provide?
Have you found it needed to reimburse them for travel expenses?
How many consecutive weekend events can they coach before they complain?
How have you maximized your free time with the use of assistant coaches?
Did the David Letterman incident cause any ‘sex in the workplace’ issues?

Submit your report here:

U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to sign a transformative health
care bill ushering in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in
the nation’s history – and then hit the road to sell it to a reluctant

The good news: The combined package would reduce the deficit by slightly
more over the next ten years ($143 billion) than previously estimated ($138
billion). And nothing has changed about the projected increase in insurance
coverage. CBO still expects that the legislation would increase the number
of people with health coverage by 32 million in 2019.

The interesting news: Cruisers will be among the 20 million American
households who will qualify for subsidized insurance, according to the
Congressional Budget Office. Yes, that’s right. Folks who live aboard their
vessels on a full-time basis and cruise from port-to-port will qualify
starting in four years.

Just like those who are unemployed, self-employed, or work for businesses
that don’t offer insurance, cruisers need a helping hand when it comes to
healthcare and because the late Senator Edward Kennedy was an avid sailor
himself, he made a back-room deal with President Obama to include this
important benefit.

The subsidy formula is pretty complicated. Basically, though, people who
make three or four times the poverty level would get enough federal money so
that they would not have to pay more than about 10 percent of their income
for a decent health insurance package. And as we all know, many cruisers
live just above the poverty level where boat-bucks translate into Big Bucks
when it comes to all those pesky repairs.

Athens (Hellenic News Collective) – A championship trophy that was once used
to collect alms outside the Temple at Delphi has been confirmed by the Greek
High Court as the oldest trophy in continuous competition. While it was
last won by an Athenian team in competition against Sparta and Thessaly in
404 BCE, the competition was ruled continuous since a mutual consent decree
could not be arrived at for the Auld Urn’s next event.

Athenian oligarch Ernestus Bertarellus had insisted that the event be held
in triremes, while Spartan king Laurius Ellixon held that the event should
be in quadriremes. The case was sent to the Inter-Hellenic Court, which
tabled the matter due to a Persian invasion. The lawsuit briefs were just
rediscovered and the Greek High Court ruled in favor of Athens. Teams are
invited to have their triremes on the starting line off Salamis on Sunday,
June 6, 2010, for the 34th Grecian Urn Regatta. The event will be broadcast
globally by ESPN-Hellespont.

What a foolish day the first of April is! Congratulation to Ullman Sails for
literally providing the only truthful information in this issue, and
Annapolis Performance Sailing for joining in on the theme. Also, a big
thanks goes to the faithful ‘butthead readers for their “news” contributions
in Scuttlebutt 3061. You all are the best!

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