Scuttlebutt’s April Fools edition

Published on April 1st, 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: Doyle Sails and APS.

Reminder: This is the April 1st edition. Read with caution. Disclaimer at the end.

NOTE: Are you receiving the free Scuttlebutt e-Newsletter?

(April 1, 2011) – Charlie Sheen has announced that one of the confirmed/confidential AC challenger teams is the one he will be leading through the Royal Titicaca Yacht Club. When asked about the Deed of Gift requirement that a challenger have an annual regatta on an ocean course on the sea or an arm of the sea, Lake Titicaca being 3,811 meters above sea level, his attorney, former Société Nautique De Genève (SNG) counsel Barry Ostrager, responded that for Mr. Sheen that is “not high at all.”

Ostrager continued that Mr. Sheen indeed has an annual regatta cruise in the arms of Amber Buttafuoco, a mermaid porn star. Mr. Ostrager went on to say that in Amber’s arms was good enough under the Deed. He suggested that “if you don’t believe me, try it.” Mr. Ostrager further reported that Mr. Sheen found himself in Amber’s arms “because he loves his country so much that Amber and the Cup happened in his life.”

Hamish Ross, ACM legal counsel is on his way to Lake Titicaca with the latest ultra-sensitive NASA equipment to check tides and salinity. He soon will have to determine whether rejecting Mr. Sheen’s challenge would violate laws barring discrimination against mermaids under the civil rights laws, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Fish and Wildlife Act, the Endangered Species Act, or all of the above.

Mr. Sheen initially had the enthusiastic support of Ernesto Bertarelli and Fred Meyer to challenge through the Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), a former trustee. Mr. Meyer even offered to chair the race committee, “just to make sure everything is perfectly fair and by the book, as always when SNG is involved.” New Zealand’s Graham McKenzie offered to serve as Chief Judge, “In order to bring the highest level of ISAF judging to the event.” On behalf of ISAF, David Kellett offered to look the other way.

However, when asked to return as IPRO with Mr. Meyer’s team, Harold Bennett exclaimed, “Crikey!” and was seen running away at top speed. Lucien Masmejan, Mr. Bertarelli’s personal attorney, declined to comment on reports that SNG’s participation was scotched when Mr. Bertarelli’s wife, Kirsty, informed him that Amber better not be seen so much as buying a cuckoo clock anywhere near Switzerland. — Read on: http://www.I’

Six-time Olympian Paul Elvstrom (DEN), a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, has expressed concern about his record being broken by Britain’s Ben Ainslie (3 Gold and 1 Silver) at the 2012 Olympics. Elvstrom, who was a pioneer in fitness and training, has gone back to the gym to prepare for the Olympic Qualifier, the 2011 World’s in Perth, AUS.

“I have forgotten more about fitness than that pretty boy Brit will ever know,” noted Elvstrom. “And Ainslie better not stand in way. My famous quote about sportsmanship and earning your competitor’s respect was fine for when I was young, but I’m no longer thinking about the attendance figures at my memorial service.”

Elvstrom was 17 years old when he won his first medal (Ainslie was 19), winning 13 World Championships in 7 classes, last competing at the 1984 Olympics with his daughter as a 60 year old. The next Olympics he would be older.

The 89m “Maltese Falcon”, 75m “Mirabella V” and 58m “Kokomo III” were all on the same starting line at the 2011 St. Barths Bucket with 100% Doyle Sails. “Mirabella V” and “Kokomo III” carried the latest Doyle Stratis sails, while “Maltese Falcon” carried her 25,791 square feet of Dacron Doyle sails that have taken her over 90,000 miles. But perhaps the belle of the ball was the 37m “AXIA”, one of the smallest yachts in Les Grandes Dames, who won her class with her new Doyle Stratis sails. To read more about this impressive regatta, visit

With the development of the European mega builders such as BJ technologies owners of Beneteau, Jeanneau, Monte Carlo brands, and the recent development of Bavaria, Dufour, Del Pardo Group, the balance of power seems to be moving towards Europe. Not any more as a surprise release confirmed this week.

The announcement of the merger states that Lewmar, Ronstan Selden, Sparcraft are now under the administration of Harken Yacht Equipment. “I wanted to leave the Industry with something interesting before I retire,” explained Peter Harken. “Given the strength of personalities involved from these companies, I anticipate some lively Board Meetings, but we cannot let those Pommie and Frog Companies get too much of a grip on this industry. With this new holding company called Supplier Hardware Associated Group (SHAG), we retain an American grip on the supply market.”

The new entity will trade under two sub companies: American Retail Supply of Equipment. (ARSE) and Trade With American Trade (TWAT).

In an effort to answer the demands of the new wing-powered America’s Cup catamarans, BLANK has developed WingSpeed.

A new concept in high performance rope, BLANK engineers have focused their efforts to manufacture line that actually adds lift to any sailboat by orienting the line’s wing shape to the apparent wind while offering low stretch and high strength without any weight sacrifice.

WingSpeed, a single braid construction blended two fibers that are patented by BLANK – Expensium and Unobtanium. This twelve strand line can be cleated, winched, spliced or hand held by sailors.

“WingSpeed can be used for halyards, control lines – even sheets,” reports Dr. Are Chew, Head of Engineering at BLANK. “We field tested the product with a wide variety of sailing craft – from Maxi Multihulls to kite boards,” Dr. Chew added.

“BLANK developed this high modulus line by listening to the top sailors in high speed multihull sailing and considered the wildest dream for rope,” according to Recreational Marine Sales Manager, M. Python. “Since we can’t find lots of places for rope on these boats, we needed to find something to give our customers the edge!”

NOTE: The above ‘report’ was amended on April 5, 2011.

By Frank O’Neil, The Plain Dealer
Oracle Racing, current holder of the America’s Cup, has announced a revision of the Protocol governing the next match for yachting’s oldest and most ornate, if not grandest, prize. Oracle’s sudden and totally unexpected requirement that all boats competing for the Cup – challengers and defenders alike – be crewed by nationals of the country represented has caused substantial ripples (more like a Tsunami) in the international sailing community.

Among the America’s Cup cognoscente, there has long been advocacy for a nationals rule. But no one imagined there was a chance of such a thing actually coming to pass. At a press conference held in a chilly breeze on the San Francisco waterfront this morning, Oracle spokesman Tom “Don’tTouchMyMicrophone” Ehman told a stunned group of reporters that his boss, Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison, has determined that enforcing the “nationals” rule would be in the Cup’s best interest.

Who could disagree? That’s how the Cup began 160 years ago, and certainly the diminished interest in the Cup caused by the lengthy lawsuit preceding the last match, followed by the switch to a multihull as the boat of choice, would be greatly revived by returning it to a patriotic competition among countries. Bringing the crew into line with other existing national requirements – design, hull, appendages, and sails must be designed and built in-country – makes total sense. Can anyone imagine an Italian playing for Brazil in the World Cup? But this is truly a giant step for Ellison, who has loaded his entire racing team, on and off the water, with foreigners (primarily New Zealanders) since he began racing his first big boat, SAYONARA, in 1995.

Oracle Racing has suffered criticism for selecting a multihull, given the team’s unique experience in developing and racing its 110-foot trimaran in the last Cup match. But when it comes to enforcing a nationals rule, Oracle Racing arguably has the most to lose. Tom Ehman spoke to that point, saying simply, “It has to be done. If not now, when?” Ehman added, “If anyone is tough enough to do it, it’s Larry Ellison.” When asked by one reporter who would sail the boat, Ehman smiled. “There are plenty of excellent multihull sailors in America,” he said. “Some even have Olympic medals.”

Blame it on the weight difference. One Annapolis native went up against another last week, and the results surprised everyone. Eight-year-old Matt Kenman was the victor in the first race of the Naptown Optimist Regatta over opponent Terry Hutchinson. Kenman credits his new APS Opti Mainsheet System for his leverage rounding the leeward mark. The System has not yet been released to the public but is featured in the 2011 Spring catalog due out April 15. The winner plans to celebrate by taking advantage of the Charleston Race Week Crugear Special and have t-shirts made that say ‘I beat Terry!’

Researchers at NMMA University in Rhode Island have identified several genes associated with boat ownership, according to an article to be published in the Flotsam/Jetsam section of the Marine Industries daily dealer e-mail blast. Four boating-specific genes have been identified:

* Those who buy the next boat before selling the old one exhibit the risk-taking gene ORA-MT, found to be shared with orangutans. These primates move by grabbing the next branch before letting go of the last one, and are usually fortunate enough to inhabit the Money Tree. This extreme variant is also demonstrated by compulsive gamblers and serial divorcees.

* Those who sell the old boat and then spend weeks, months or even years “between boats” exhibit the recessive gene ACK-BMT. Behavior includes aversion to check-writing and/or boat maintenance technician duties.

* The gene identified for new-boat only buyers is NNN-1, so called since those buyers are only satisfied with boats that are nice new now.

* The majority of used-boat buyers and owners do not apparently exhibit specific dominant genes, since the ones they have are just fine, thanks anyway.

“The target-marketing implications are enormous, and our understanding is in its infancy. In fact, we can now target infants!” declared Don Finkle, the marine association’s newly-appointed Director of Genetic Marketing. “Also, this does help explain why we keep seeing the same people at the fall boat shows.” More details here:

The newly formed Fairfield (NJ) Yacht Club has released the Notice of Race for the 1st Annual Passaic River Basin Challenge Cup. The Race is open to all residents and municipal Emergency Management employees of Fairfield, Wayne, Lincoln Park and Little Falls New Jersey. There will be individual starts for classes including aluminum skiffs, Rescue RIBS and floating dumpsters.

The race will start in the parking lot of the Willowbrook Shopping Center and use government marks as turning points. These marks will include but are not limited to street and highway signs, telephone poles, cell towers, and the Fairfield Town Hall.

Republican Governor Christ Christie, after viewing the course from both helicopter and amphibious military vehicle applauded the race concept. “This is the kind of demonstration we need of cooperation between towns and a cost sharing of public services,” said Christie. However, across the aisle Democratic Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez called the race elitist and said that the “Yachters were just taking advantage of the rains caused by global warming.”

Launtenberg plans to introduce a bill that would place an additional tax on anything that floats including dumpsters, refrigerators and furniture. Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, speaking from his boat in Newport Rhode Island, declined to comment on this proposed tax but said that he’d be more than happy to enter the regatta.

The Race is scheduled to be run the first week of each March until such time as Army Corps of Engineers completes the construction its planned umbrella, which will cover the entire Passaic River basin area.

It was announced today that the new Wisconsin Capitol Building will be totally rotational with the support of Torlon Ball Bearings from Harken. “We decided that if Wisconsin is really drawing all this media attention because the Governor wants to kill the public unions and the Democratic Senators have fled to Illinois, we might just make more news by spinning the entire Capitol building and getting things really going around and around,” said founder Olaf Harken.

“We created a new structural bearing system based on the design of our winches and took a patent out on it so no other state can spin as fast as we can,” said Peter Harken. “We have always been very proud of our balls!”

‘Wisconsin Has Balls’ will be shown on ‘How Did They Do That’ – a documentary show on History Channel. “This program focuses on stuff no one really cares about, but we’re a Midwest company so we’re used to it,” noted old time Harken Florida guy Neil Harvey.

The 89m “Maltese Falcon”, 75m “Mirabella V” and 58m “Kokomo III” were all on the same starting line at the 2011 St. Barths Bucket with 100% Doyle Sails. “Mirabella V” and “Kokomo III” carried the latest Doyle Stratis sails, while “Maltese Falcon” carried her 25,791 square feet of Dacron Doyle sails that have taken her over 90,000 miles. But perhaps the belle of the ball was the 37m “AXIA”, one of the smallest yachts in Les Grandes Dames, who won her class with her new Doyle Stratis sails. To read more about this impressive regatta, visit

The US Sailing Summit in Chicago this weekend is to hear that US Sailing is proposing to invoke a little known ISAF rule to prevent the “dinghyification” of Olympic Sailing. “It’s gone far enough,” said Gary Jobson (USA), US Sailing President, referring to submissions that suggest dropping keelboats altogether from the Olympics. “Where will it all end,” echoed Mark Reynolds (USA) a three time Olympic medallist in the Star Class. “Those brits walking the halls at ISAF are so twisted from all the friggin dinghies that have invaded their shores.”

Using ISAF constitution provision 66(b) (“the office of a member of Council or the executive shall be vacated if they become of unsound mind“), US Sailing will propose to have any Council member proposing or seconding a slate that excludes keelboats declared “unsound” and thus prevent their vote.

“It is clear that proponents of these slates have lost their marbles,” said Dean Brenner (USA), US Olympic Committee Chairman. “Keelboats were in the Olympics 20 years before dinghies were introduced.” 470 Class President Stanislav Kassaroff (BUL) dismisses the American claims. “If anyone is bonkers it’s the Yanks,” said Kassaroff. “Who wants to watch two fat old men at 4 knots?”

Matters will come to a head at the ISAF conference in St Petersburg (RUS) in May. Jobson expressed confidence in the US Sailing proposal, noting that he had received support for the move from the “clearly sane” members of the ISAF community. Not wishing to be drawn on who these might be, he did let slip that the sailors of Krygrzstan, Zimbabwe and the Solomon Islands were particularly supportive.

The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) this week ratified a new all out speed record for 500 meters, set by 12 year old Brandon Douglas aboard his Opti SUPER GOOSE.

Brandon, his father Nate, and two team members carried the Opti to the top of 2,425′ (739 meters) Yosemite Falls, where they rigged and launched SUPER GOOSE over the Falls with young Brandon at the tiller.

Verified by radar spotters, Douglas achieved an incredible 107.75 knots for the required distance before bailing with his parachute, landing without incident in the parking lot of Degnan’s Deli. SUPER GOOSE sailed into history during its 10 second voyage, never to be seen again.

Faster than an AC 72, more stable than a trimaran, a new concept in hull design is taking shape in Kent, England with a strange looking 90’ craft with four hulls. Designer David Redfern explains:

“I have experimented over the years with keels that have a moveable vertical surface that is based on the way that the flaps on a large aircraft extend, leaving a gap between the wing and the flap yet behaving as if it is a solid. This gives a more controllable surface without weight constraints. I have also designed a mast that slides at the foot from port beam to starboard beam, giving maximum power at all angles of tilt.

“I am combining these principles into a logical extension of the monohull, catamaran and trimaran into what I describe as a Quattro, where I have four ninety-foot hull hulls each thirty feet apart and arranged on a curve when seen from the front. This curved formation means that at extreme angles of cant, there are always two hulls in the water, giving much better stability and a more controllable rig than a cat. It also allows tight manoeuvres for match racing which one hull in the water does not.”

Combined with Redfern’s deep dagger-board keel that has the extended flap system, there are almost infinite ways to control the speed and stability of this monster craft. Sea trials will begin in 2012 in the waters off Whitstable, Kent, where there are ideal conditions for fast sailing, and each section is currently being built at four separate yards to avoid compromising the secrets of the design. An expected, cruising speed approaching 35 knots is the benchmark.

If successful, this could be offered to the America’s Cup organisations as the logical next step in providing a high-tech advancement in hull design.

Organizers of the annual races to Bermuda (Newport, Annapolis, Charleston, etc) have been working furiously to change their Sailing Instructions to reflect the new social media. They have basically agreed on the following, with some details to be finalized:

* The prior 4-hour delay for satellite tracking will be eliminated in favor of constant 24/7 communication;

* Placement of Sat phone antenna must be 3 feet above the mast head for clear reception;

* Coax cable must be replaced with fiber optic cable, and power source must be N+1;

* All yachts must have VHF, GPS, EPIRB and AIS all networked with Wi-Fi;

* Twitter feeds will be required from the rail, the bow and the cockpit;

* Waterproof smart phones or protective boxes will be required crew gear;

* Facebook/MySpace/MyLife/ISAF status must be updated for each crew member at each watch change;

* YouTube channel shall be updated with new video no less than daily;

* Navigation may be performed by crew consensus using the iNav “Hero or Zero” voting function ;

“We believe these changes will bring the various Bermuda races, one of which has been run for over a hundred years, into the 20th century,” announced Annapolis Yacht Club race director Linda Ambrose. At press time, safety engineers were working on Bluetooth compatibility and rollable flat screens for life rafts.

Blame it on the weight difference. One Annapolis native went up against another last week, and the results surprised everyone. Eight-year-old Matt Kenman was the victor in the first race of the Naptown Optimist Regatta over opponent Terry Hutchinson. Kenman credits his new APS Opti Mainsheet System for his leverage rounding the leeward mark. The System has not yet been released to the public but is featured in the 2011 Spring catalog due out April 15. The winner plans to celebrate by taking advantage of the Charleston Race Week Crugear Special and have t-shirts made that say ‘I beat Terry!’

After more than 20 years of service at the main loft for North Sails, John Bertram (Johnny B.–named changed to protect identity) was offered a spot by an owner to crew in an upcoming Swan 42 Class regatta. Now this class specifically disallows any professionals except the boat Captain to participate and teams load up with very good Category 1 sailors.

As he excitedly reported to the yacht on day one, another owner recognized Johnny B. and made a mental note of the yacht Johnny was stepping on-to. As the regatta progressed, the skill and luck of Johnny’s yacht put her firmly in 1st place–such that she didn’t even have to compete in the last race of the regatta to secure the win overall.

The now-disgruntled owner who noticed Johnny B. on day one filed a protest–even though winning the protest wouldn’t have helped his low-ranked standings one iota. At the protest hearing, the following conversation was transcribed:

Jury: So, Johnny, you are employed by North Sails?

Johnny: Yes, I’ve been working there for over 20 years.

Jury: Well, this seems to be pretty cut and dried…protest is upheld and a DSQ for the winning yacht for having an ISAF category 3 racer onboard.

Johnny: Excuse me, what is an ISAF Category 3 racer?

Jury: Ahhemm. Johnny, if you have worked for over 20 years at North Sails, you know very well what your ISAF category is and why–after all, you are a professional sailor.

Johnny: Um, well, yes, like I said, I have worked at the loft for a very long time–I come in at 8pm and clean the whole building five nights a week. I love my job as it allows me time in the day to do landscaping part-time and make extra money.

Jury: like we said, protest upheld, you are a Category 3 racer and your yacht is DSQ’d.

An estimated $30 billion in Libyan gold has been found and efforts are underway to freeze the assets. It turns out that for years, Libyan strongman Mohamar Gadhafi has been storing gold in the most unlikely places. Sailboat keels.

It was a perfect place to hide gold procured from oil revenue, an anonymous NATO intelligence source stated. Once cast and painted, they are virtually identical to lead keels. He would move from larger to smaller boats as the price of oil went up and down. He was currently working on a 7.4 ton bulb keel for the first Libyan Volvo Ocean Race 70 entry, thinking that he could strategically move the gold around if things got hot at home.

A savvy measurement team at the Saint Barth’s Bucket regatta noticed a retro schooner had slightly more stability that it should. “At first we thought they might be using spent uranium for added weight, but when we scraped off several layers of bottom paint it turned out to be gold,” noted PRO Peter Craig.

Rumors are rampant that the Middle East revolts are due to the America’s Cup format. Said Russell Coutts, “This explains why Gadhafi went ballistic when he heard of our plans to race multihulls for the next AC instead of a larger version of the IACC monohull.”

All sailboats passing through the Panama Canal or visiting Caribbean ports in Central America north of the canal, including Belize, will be prohibited from landing in the USA. The concern is over cockroach eggs from a breed of cockroach originally introduced to fight killer bees.

“These cockroaches were selected, bred, and introduced to help stop the march of killer bees up the Isthmus,” according to a spokesman for the mayor of San Jose, Costa Rica, Maureen Clarke. “They are not particularly large, but exceedingly tough and immune to common pesticides. Since their introduction the cockroaches have been very effective in stopping killer bees – their preferred food – but not without unintended consequences.”

Recent reports from San Jose, Costa Rica and Managua, Nicaragua tell of traffic jams caused by the cockroaches. “Apparently, when they cannot get their preferred food – the killer bee – the cockroaches attack car radiators in pursuit of the sweet glycol in engine coolant. The roaches can puncture radiators and thrive on the glycol. It’s a nightmare,” noted Clarke.

US customs and immigration officials say cockroach eggs laid on board would be too hard to detect and eradicate. “We simply cannot allow any of these yachts to land,” said an unnamed official. “The risk is too great. Can you imagine this in Miami?” Boats will be prohibited from entering US ports for 12 months after a Central American visit, as the eggs can lie dormant until conditions are suitable for hatching.

To this point the prohibition does not apply to the Pacific coast, but “it is only a matter of time,” observed the official.

The 89m “Maltese Falcon”, 75m “Mirabella V” and 58m “Kokomo III” were all on the same starting line at the 2011 St. Barths Bucket with 100% Doyle Sails. “Mirabella V” and “Kokomo III” carried the latest Doyle Stratis sails, while “Maltese Falcon” carried her 25,791 square feet of Dacron Doyle sails that have taken her over 90,000 miles. But perhaps the belle of the ball was the 37m “AXIA”, one of the smallest yachts in Les Grandes Dames, who won her class with her new Doyle Stratis sails. To read more about this impressive regatta, visit

US Sailing President Gary Jobson announced a new program to increase participation in Sailing. “US Sailing has created a new iPhone App to bring sailors on board the most impressive sailboat fleet in the United States,” explained Jobson. “The iEye App will make Captain Jack Sparrow cringe! Sailors have romanticized about the life of a pirate in the Caribbean for years, and with the shortage of sailing days available to those desk bound dreamers, we decided to bring the experience to their smart phones.”

With the click of a few strokes on a smart phone, sailors will be transported to tropical islands with plenty of rum, bounty and fair winds to enjoy. The game portion of the app will allow sailors to chart courses in the islands, hide from the Navy ships and plunder towns and merchant ships for bootie. Build up your treasure chest and hide it on sandy beaches of your choosing. Beware, however, as you may find a scoundrel on board, ready to scuttle your best efforts and steal your loot!

“Remember this will not be a sport boat day sail,” Jobson reminded sailors. “Your ship will be slow and heavy! Your ability to claw to windward will be limited to your ship design and sailing ability. Like sail racing – there will be winners and then those that are captured by the Navy!”

Found at the Applications Store for all smart phones, the US Sailing iEye app will be available for $9.95 per year and will be discounted to US Sailing Members. Check for more details.

Gougeon Brothers, of Bay City, Michigan, have announced a new line of fiber/resin products that will drastically reduce costs of sails. The key item is trademarked 4DL, a carbon fiber reinforced Mylar resin.

Just like the leading sailmakers have done for years, the first step is to attain the winning sail of a major regatta, and with the sail raised on the boat, tip the hull over on its side. The new sail is sprayed with a thin layer of a special release agent. Then the 4DL material is sprayed on, with a thicker buildup at the head, tack, clew, and other stressed areas. After the resin sets up, the 4DL material is lifted off and becomes a new sail.

Any number of copies of the original sail can be moulded, at a typical cost of about 12% of a new sail. A key ingredient is the development of the water-soluble release agent. One good rain squall and the sail used as a mould has no lingering effects. It is, however, recommended to completely wash the topsides afterward as they could be a bit slippery if the release agent is allowed to dry again.

North Sails One Design has threatened to file a lawsuit for the illegal copying of their unique sail designs. However, Greg Fisher, for many years a key expert within North Sails, admitted that their sail shape designing software has become so sophisticated that no one can say for sure what their sail shape really is. A spokesman said Xerox Corporation has filed for licensing fees, as their original 3D copier patents have not yet expired.

Seeking the silver lining, US Sailing marketing director Amy Larkin said that this process will be a tremendous boon to reversing the decline of existing fleets. “There are thousands of hulls left in the weeds around the country, where the boats are worth less than the new sails required to use them. Now yacht clubs and schools can accept such donations and afford to get them out on the water again.”

The development is also expected to raise the competitiveness of the average racing skipper. He no longer has to worry about expensive replacement costs of sails blown to pieces from crew mistakes and too much wind. The crew can tape the shredded sail back together and build it back up with 4DL, not using release agent. Gudgeon Brothers is also developing an aerosol version of a chopper gun for use offshore by blue water sailors. A couple of chopper gun cans and some tape can replace a whole inventory of spare sails on board.

Scuttlebutt has learned that a South African challenge has been submitted for the 34th America’s Cup. Funds in excess of R 70 million have been made available and a potential crew has been handpicked by team manager, Hans Handsalot, a former Dutch AC bowman with hands on experience in four AC campaigns.

Helmsman to be, Shaun Ferry, said he was delighted with the prospect. “Helming SA’s entry in the CUP will show the world what made me into SA’s most prolific Hobie Cat Sailor.” Mainsheet trimmer would be Alex Simonis, as it is thought all of his multihull design experience will bring loads to the campaign. Looking after the bow, and only just pipping Jan Dekker, will be Rob Sharp, a relative newcomer to the Bow but brings in-depth knowledge to the campaign and will also look after the Media and PR requirements including pre and post Race cocktail parties.

They will base their campaign out of Knysna, where it is said that conditions are very similar to the Cup venue of San Francisco. In an unprecedented coup, the team have secured Johnny Clegg as Shore Manager, who has extensive round the world experience and is looking forward to the next gig in Valencia.

Blame it on the weight difference. One Annapolis native went up against another last week, and the results surprised everyone. Eight-year-old Matt Kenman was the victor in the first race of the Naptown Optimist Regatta over opponent Terry Hutchinson. Kenman credits his new APS Opti Mainsheet System for his leverage rounding the leeward mark. The System has not yet been released to the public but is featured in the 2011 Spring catalog due out April 15. The winner plans to celebrate by taking advantage of the Charleston Race Week Crugear Special and have t-shirts made that say ‘I beat Terry!’

In a last ditch effort to be included in the 2016 Olympics, the Star Class convened an Emergency Committee to adopt new rules with the hope of influencing the ISAF mid-year meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia in May. These rule changes are designed to increase the athleticism of its sailors, lower the cost of equipment, and remove barriers to new participants. In this issue we will deal with the biggest change; that of crew weight. Noted Bermudian Star sailor Peter Bromby explains:
“While it is an absolute necessity to have heavy crew, it has been determined that in the spirit of Olympic competition and the athleticism of its participants, new rules regarding crew and skipper weight will be adopted. The formula for calculating maximum combined weight of skipper and crew has been changed to include certain body mass indicators.

“The crewmember’s buttock weight (determined by BMI analysis) shall not exceed by a factor of four the weight in grams of the skipper’s head multiplied by its circumference measured in cm. Furthermore, the size and weight of the skipper’s head shall be no more than one half the combined weight of the crew member’s buttocks and paunch. This is known as the fat-ass/fat-head rule.

“To simplify the measurement procedures, participants will be measured only once for a regatta, on the day before competition. However, to ensure compliance (and address the epidemic incidence of gout among the fleet), certain pre and post regatta dietary restrictions will be strictly enforced. Red meat will be limited to eight pounds per day and seafood is limited to ten pounds per day. Also, the smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes will be prohibited after the starting sequence has begun. There are no restrictions on the consumption of alcohol before, during, or after competition.

“It is hoped by adopting this rule change, the ISAF Olympic Committee will recognize the Star Class’s commitment to ensuring its participants are the best physically trained and healthiest athletes participating in Olympic sailing.”

America’s Cup officials have announced an unprecedented agreement establishing a protocol for the 35th America’s Cup before the 34th America’s Cup has even begun.

“The chief executives of all sailing teams entered in this edition of the America’s Cup have agreed to keep striving for better and faster racing,” said spokesman Noah Bottiuno. “The new protocol should create the fastest craft ever to vie for the Cup, and the teams recognized the need to begin research as soon as possible.”

The 35th America’s Cup will be contested with two-person crews in afterburner-equipped twin-turbojet aircraft with variable-geometry wings having a maximum 64-foot wingspan. Speculation is that the aircraft will be based on the retired U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat fighter jet. Courses are expected to be four legs, windward-leeward with each leg of approximately 250 miles. Races should take slightly less than 45 minutes. Allowing for pre- and post-race commentary and analysis, the program should fit neatly in a one hour television timeslot.

“We can’t let the America’s Cup get stale,” Bottiuno said. “This will make it better and more exciting to kids, especially the way the wings will move back and forth. It’s just like ‘Transformers.’”

When new, F-14 Tomcat fighters cost approximately $40 million each, so perhaps the slow economic recovery has begun causing once-untouchable AC budgets to be trimmed.

Around the world sailing will become more than just an ego polishing achievement, according to officials of what is being billed as the “Greenest Regatta on the Blue Planet,” the Earth Green Ocean Race.

Sailboats – with hulls made from recycled plastic bottles and sails cut from a compound made from recycled facial tissue and paper towels – will leave Ireland for a race around the world starting June 31, 2011.

The ultra-light displacement 70-footers are expected to complete the circuit in less than 100 days. Why so long? During their journey, they will trail nets to collect trash floating on the oceans’ surface. “It’s time to start tackling the garbage situation,” said Aaron Water, chief executive of the organizing authority. “EGO will get this done.”

The 89m “Maltese Falcon”, 75m “Mirabella V” and 58m “Kokomo III” were all on the same starting line at the 2011 St. Barths Bucket with 100% Doyle Sails. “Mirabella V” and “Kokomo III” carried the latest Doyle Stratis sails, while “Maltese Falcon” carried her 25,791 square feet of Dacron Doyle sails that have taken her over 90,000 miles. But perhaps the belle of the ball was the 37m “AXIA”, one of the smallest yachts in Les Grandes Dames, who won her class with her new Doyle Stratis sails. To read more about this impressive regatta, visit

Fort Lauderdale, FL (March 31, 2011) – On the eve of the US Snipe Class Pan American Games Trials Regatta, competitors from throughout the U.S. are preparing to battle for the sole American slot. Distinguished Snipe and multi-class champions including Augie Diaz/Kathleen Tocke, Andy Pimental, Peter Commette, Ernesto Rodriguez, Hal Gilreath, Henry Filter, Brian Kamilar, and a host of other competitors have assembled their teams in South Florida at Lauderdale Yacht Club.

Along with the competitors, a veritable “who’s who” of North American and International Judges have been hastily assembled to respond to several newly-adopted Snipe Class rules passed in the past few weeks. In response to continued pressure from fractions of skiff and planing dinghy sailors who have recently lobbied on-line sailing websites for the 2016 Olympic Games’ class roster, the Snipe Class has attempted to “modernize” its class rules to attract what has become known as the “Facebook” generation and “cupheads” who favor non-traditional race courses, live web-based race viewing and dazzling displays of technology.

The Jury and measurement committee has been presented with numerous appeals and individual cases of rules interpretations and has worked feverishly throughout the past three days to certify each boat’s measurement certificate. Noted sailing photographer John Payne was quoted as saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this…once they opened up the sail area, blade specs, and hull weight restrictions all these guys have gone nuts!” The local West Marine store has been sold out of Fast Cure Epoxy and Hardener, and every yard of biaxial carbon in South Florida has been hoarded by this fleet.

Noted foiler Brad Funk was been seen removing bits from his Mach 2 Moth near Peter Commette’s garage, boat builder Andy Pimental was taken to a local emergency room for fiberglass dust inhalation and exposure to ground lead particles, and world youth radial champion Ericka Reinecke has been placed into a droop-hike harness to help Augie Diaz and Kathleen Tocke sail their massive star boat main/jib combination upwind in the expected moderate to heavy conditions for the regatta.

Instead of adding sail area, reducing hull weight, and improving foils, other regatta participants were seen attempting to substitute hulls under the standard Snipe rig. Noted America’s Cup designer Pete Melvin (born in Fort Lauderdale) was seen in Ernesto Rodriguez’s nearby boat shop with several 17’ long canvas- cloaked shapes believed to be cut-down A-cat hulls with surface piercing foils.

It will be up to the measurement committee and Jury to decide if Ernesto’s Laser pumping abilities will be construed as illegal power and whether two hulls or even three hulls will violate any of the new Snipe Class guidelines. Sailing journalist and former Snipe Class participant Lynn Fitzpatrick was circumspect in her observations however. “Looking at all this untried technology, I will be most intrigued by what ‘Old Man’ Diaz concocts,” Fitzpatrick noted. “He has been in the boat park rigging his boat with all the tricks no one has noticed for 40 years. I predict he will sail circles around these other guys and finally find himself on the way to the Pan Am Games!”

The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Port Credit Yacht Club and Barrett’s Privateers LLP announced at today’s news conference on a Halifax Pier that they are challenging for the 34th America’s Cup.

Elcid Barrett, President of Barrett’s and Stan Rogers, Media Relations stated they are fully prepared for the challenged. “Our team will be known as Team Antelope after a famous Canadian privateer,” Stan stated.

Mark Ellis & Bruce Kirby will lead the design team. Fred Eaton will be leaving the Oracle Team to lead the winged sail development. Memorial University, with their new tank will be the site for hull and sail design. Navtech has agreed to develop the tactical software. It is expected that Elci will be the Anteple’s captain, Scuppers Cook and Derek Hatfield will lead crew development and on water tactics.

Mark Buckman will be the prime contractor with initial trials to be conducted in Lake Ontario and final work up in Bedford Basin due to its similarities to San Francisco. $100M of the estimated $250M program will be provided by the Canadian Participation Program, a Harper Government spokesman stated.

The United States will soon claim the “youngest singlehanded circumnavigator” record once and for all. Combining the American “can do” spirit with world-class technology, an American will soon be the youngest solo sailor to do a singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation, east to west, via the five Great Capes. The sailor will be minutes old when the voyage begins and will be no older when the voyage ends. This is all made possible by a combination of fertilization, robotics and sailing technology.

A foundation, funded by reclusive billionaire Aalvar Hanso called “United Solutions for All Purposes” (USAP), will launch a 40-foot, purpose-built winged triamaran outfitted with high-capacity solar panels, wind generators a small nuclear reactor and mechanized sail controls on October 31, 2011 carrying a newly fertilized embyo in a frozen canister. This sailing vessel will circumnavigate the globe, starting and finishing from Long Beach, California. Upon completion of the voyage, the embryo will be implanted in a surrogate and the record holder will be born 9 months later.

As the child will be less than 1 day old at the beginning and the end of the voyage the team and the foundation have petitioned Guinness for inclusion in the Book of World Records. While no final word has been given, early indications from Guinness are positive.

The Boat
A completely automated trimaran is indeed a cutting-edge achievement. The team has been working with Morrelli & Melvin on hull design, wing design and control systems. The vessel will be capable of sailing approximately 250 – 300 nautical miles per day at speeds of up to 20 knots. State-of-the-art robotics and a 1.21-gigawatt cooling system will be installed to keep the embryo frozen. The vessel will be propelled by a 25 meter high wing with 3 elements and 12 panels. Using pioneered sensors and controls, the trimaran will be a self-contained cradle capable of sailing anywhere.

The Sailor
Mr. Hanso has chosen to put his own seed on the boat. He has used his sperm and the egg of a former figure skater to create this embryo. Using the latest in bio technology, the sex of the child has been pre-determined. The boy will be Mr. Hansos’s heir and, as the permanent “youngest circumnavigator” record holder, will be born with one great achievement. The position of surrogate has yet to be filled, and applications are being taken at this time. Interested parties should contact USAP.

Mr. Hanso is also funding initiatives to set additional records in similar manners. He is hoping to have the youngest child to summit the seven major peaks and the first child conceived in space (pending cooperation with the international space agency).

Press Inquiries
Mr. Hanso will be holding a press conference at the launching of the trimaran, as well as at the beginning and conclusion of the voyage. Press inquiries should be sent to

Blame it on the weight difference. One Annapolis native went up against another last week, and the results surprised everyone. Eight-year-old Matt Kenman was the victor in the first race of the Naptown Optimist Regatta over opponent Terry Hutchinson. Kenman credits his new APS Opti Mainsheet System for his leverage rounding the leeward mark. The System has not yet been released to the public but is featured in the 2011 Spring catalog due out April 15. The winner plans to celebrate by taking advantage of the Charleston Race Week Crugear Special and have t-shirts made that say ‘I beat Terry!’

Millions of Henry Lloyd seaboots have been found floating in the north Atlantic gyre. “They are slowly revolving in the calm of a giant circular island near the Sargasso Sea,” said veteran sailor Tony “Socks” Bandimore. “All the boots are floating soles upwards; we don’t know if there are people under them or not.”

Seaboot rescue squads are being formed in nations around the Atlantic Ocean. It is reported that the French squad will race giant catamarans to the site. “We have speed, we have space on the trampolines and we have volunteers ready to go on this arduous mission. Thousands of seaboots will be saved for the youth of our nation,” said Henri de Lesseps, commodore of the French yacht club de San Michelle in Lorient. “Our fleet comprises the fastest sailing yachts France has to offer.”

In England similar efforts are underway. “We will be sending a flotilla to investigate,” said the commodore of the Best Western YC in Devon, England. Twenty-two yachts are currently committed to the journey. “We just need to find a sponsor for the fuel,” admitted the commodore. “We estimate we will have a sponsor signed up in sixty days. In the meantime, three of our chaps are on their way in their own twenty-two footers.” It is also rumored that the British parliament is looking at ways to tax the rescued seaboots. A BAT (boot added tax) of three percent has been proposed, but the conservatives want 10% while the Lib-dems want the boots to be free to the sailing youth of the country.

Late last night in Ireland, Paddy O’Doul said the Duke of Cork YC will be sending their own flotilla. “We plan on leaving tomorrow to make sure we are ahead of the English. The green and orange of Ireland should be part of this dramatic rescue operation. Forty-nine curraghs have already left. They are perfect for circling the gyre. They left at dawn and are already three miles off the southwest coast.”

A group of high-speed powerboat enthusiasts are due to leave Germany this evening. “We have farther to go than do the English or the Irish so we have developed a special high-speed boot scoop which will be deployed at the scene,” said Wolfgang Hunger. “We plan on bring the boots back and distributing them to charities for children with no sailing boots.”

In America, the authorities are rumored to be bringing the old aircraft carrier Saratoga out of mothballs in Newport, RI. “We need the deck space to dry the boots, plus we have remote controlled booter-scooper helicopters under test,” explained activist Chuck Nichols. “We plan on leaving in forty-three days. It will be a great test of our new technology for rescuing stranded boots from shorelines around the country.” In the meantime, forty-two Marine divers will HALO drop into the boot camp and attach magnets to each sole to get it ready for harvesting.

In Washington the Senate is holding a special commission on the seaboots. “We plan in finding out why the boots are there and the most efficient way to harvest them. We are debating whether to extend our coastal defense zone out two thousand miles which would put the gyre in our zone of influence,” Senator Adrian Coxley (D) Nebraska said today. “We are also negotiations with Russia and China to ensure the boots are returned to their rightful owners.”

President Ernie Proman, of the National Organization for the Protection of Electric Eels, known as NOPEE, says that the boots are part of a special shipment sent to the Sargasso Sea under the sponsorship of Astellas Pharma, Inc, and Boehringer Ingelheim. “Global warming has affected the amount of seaweed floating around in the Sargasso Sea and eels were having a hard time finding enough weed to nest in,” explained Proman. “Our experts have determined that a sailing boot is just the right size for an eel’s nest, so we had the Henri-Lloyd experts design boots that would float soles up. We strongly advise people not to harvest these boots. If anybody falls overboard wearing them, they will float upside down.”

A newly announced team of unlikely partners has submitted an entry for the defense of the America’s Cup in San Francisco. Representing Scuttlebutt Sailing Club and sponsored by the Lazy Boy Furniture Company, the team will have the financial backing of Bill Koch and Ted Turner, the multihull helmsmanship of Dennis Conner, and the tactics of Gary Jobson.

“We want to show those youngster billionaires that you can still have fun in this sport and only spend a few hundred million,” said self appointed spokesman Ted Turner (formerly the “Mouth of the South”). “Lowell North wanted to join our team but there’s so little canvas aboard these new boats that he suggested DuPont might be a better partner.” The team will be known as the Sofa King, Fast Racing Team.

Regarding the pairing of Gary Jobson and Dennis Connor, Turner said these two guys have forgotten more about sailing than all the other teams combined. “When you have as much money as us,” said Turner, “mid-life crisis extends to your 80’s and beyond; look at Hefner”. Bill Koch then interjected that Dennis still has a great hand in a multi-hull and Gary is as sharp as ever so we’re confident that we can win even with both hulls in the water. It sure will be interesting to see how old money races against the nouveau riche.


* A partnership between N.AT.O and the Volvo Ocean Race will provide sharp-shooting lessons to the race participants. Each boat will be equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun, and it will be the media crew member’s job to not only shoot every fisherman off the coast of Somalia, but to also film it too.

* American Laurence Sunderland is planning to sail solo, nonstop around the world on an ORMA 60 trimaran. His goal is to cross the Southern Ocean during the winter, and have ghost writers update his blog daily to share the adventure. His trip will be sponsored by Qantas Airlines, a relationship that began when daughter Abby needed to be rescued during a similarly ill-conceived attempt.

* The RORC World Council has announced that the IRC “secret rules” will now be available for a one million dollar (USD) fee to any individual. The organization decided that it was time to provide for a level playing field, and that getting access to the “black box” formula will provide better boats and fairer racing.

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 Christopher Cross:
It’s not far down to paradise, at least it’s not for me. And if the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility. The canvas can do miracles, just you wait and see. Believe me, sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be. Just a dream and the wind to carry me, and soon I will be free.

* From Dennis DeYoung:
I’m sailing away, set an open course for the Virgin Sea. ‘Cause I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me. On board, I’m the captain. So climb aboard! We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore. And I’ll try, oh Lord, I’ll try to carry on. I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory. Some happy, some sad. I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had.

We lived happily forever, so the story goes. But somehow we missed out on the pot of gold, but we’ll try best that we can to carry on. A gathering of Angels appeared above my head; they sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said.

* From Lyle Lovett:
If I had a boat I’d go out on the ocean, and if I had a pony I’d ride him on my boat. And we could all together go out on the ocean. Me upon my pony on my boat. If I were Roy Rogers, I’d sure enough be single. I couldn’t bring myself to marrying old Dale. It’d just be me and trigger; we’d go riding through them movies. Then we’d buy a boat and on the sea we’d sail.

“I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Special thanks to Doyle Sails and APS, 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 3311. You all are the best!

Gowrie Group – Summit Yachts – Team One Newport
Melges Performance Sailboats – Southern Spars
Point Loma Outfitting – North Sails – LaserPerformance
Ullman Sails – Mount Gay Rum – Doyle Sails – APS

comment banner

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.