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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1019 - March 4, 2002

Scuttlebutt is a digest of yacht racing news of major significance; commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions, press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

AMERICA'S CUP: CORM RACE COMMITTEE TRIALS
With a terrible weather forecast for the Hauraki Gulf today the start of the CORM Race Committee Trials was postponed for 24 hours.

That didn't stop several of the challenger syndicates from making their own arrangements and setting up racing themselves. Team Prada spent all day practising starting manoeuvres, Victory Challenge raced its two black boats against each other.

The only inter-challenger racing that did take place was between GBR Challenge and OneWorld, who laid their own courses. They sailed two races n 12-15 knots of breeze from the North West and at the end of the day the score was one all.

In the first race GBR Challenge missed a shift on the first beat, losing OneWorld in the process. The second race was hotly contested with Peter Gilmour taking a penalty in the pre-start and featuring plenty of tacking and gybing duels. Around 30 seconds separated the boats at the finish line. -- From Hauraki News, www.hauraki-news.com/LatestNews/CORM.htm, with reports from Mad For Sailing at www.madforsailing.com/SAIL/ and the Louis Vuitton Cup website: www.lvcup.com

SUNDAY EDITORIALS
* Herb McCormick in the New York Times:

The 2000 edition of the [Newport to Bermuda Race] underscored the variety of yachts that enter the offshore classic, as well as the challenge to race officials to provide a level playing field for the wide range of amateur and professional sailors who participate.

The race organizers, the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, had made a concerted effort to address the desires of the competitors. To that end, they have added a second trophy for the fleet sailing under the International Measurement System, the rating rule under which the majority of the boats compete.

This year the new Gibb's Hill Lighthouse trophy will be presented to the winner of the I.M.S. Racing Division, which race chairman John Winder believes will attract up to 36 boats. The I.M.S. Cruiser/Racer Division, with upward of 100 entries, will still sail for the St. David's trophy.

The Cruising Divisions which make up the remainder of the fleet, including a double-handed class, and which will be scored under the Americap rating rule will also have separate awards.

Full article at www.nytimes.com
Bermuda Race site: www.bermudarace.com

* Bob Fisher in the Guardian:
Britain's two leading female sailors will next year compete head to head in multi-million pound attempts to break the round the world record and claim a unique place in sporting history.

Tracy Edwards, 39, and Ellen MacArthur, 25 confirmed that they will navigate the world's most dangerous stretches of ocean in twin assaults on the Jules Verne trophy - an open challenge to sail 26,000 miles non-stop from the English Channel, round the Cape of Good Hope, through the seas around Antarctica, past Cape Horn and back to the English Channel. They will sail in virtually identical 110ft catamarans.

Although the pair may not race at exactly the same time - competitors pick their own starts over a four-month weather window - their participation will ignite media interest and open the way for sponsorship worth millions of pounds. It will also shine a spotlight on what is believed to be a frosty relationship between the two women.

Full article at: www.guardian.co.uk

* John Burnham in Sailing World:
Being a pro sailor isn't as glamorous as it seems. At one end is the spills and chills of the Southern Ocean. At the other is the drudgery of a Cup campaign. And there isn't much in between.

Fifteen years ago there were two professional sailing circuits - remember ProSail and the Ultimate Yacht Race? A future of cash-prize major-league sailing seemed to beckon, but then fizzled when funding dried up. Sponsors and audiences didn't buy into the concept - as a rule they still don't in North America - and pro sailing around the buoys hasn't developed, except for sailors in some classes who earn per diems to race. Instead, big-league racing today falls into long-distance and match-racing categories, and neither is what I'd call glamorous for the majority of participants.

Full article at www.sailingworld.com

RACING COACHES WANTED
J World, America's Top ranked sailing school is seeking racing coaches for our 4 US locations in Newport RI, Key West FL, Annapolis MD and San Diego CA. Applicants should have a strong and varied racing background and EXCELLENT helming, boathandling and spinnaker skills. Seasonal or full time employment available. Housing assistance provided. Call 800-343-2255 or email jwrld@aol.com

TROPHEE JULES VERNE
* Geronimo is on its way back to Brest

While off the North coast of Brazil at 10° south, the trimaran Geronimo abandoned its attempt this morning to break the Jules Verne record because of mechanical problems.

A steering problem rendered the boat un-manoeuvrable at high speed and under certain conditions, and the impossibility of making repairs at sea have forced the Jules Verne Trophy record-holder to turn back towards Brest.

The primary concern of the sponsors Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric has always been for the safety of the crew and the boat. Breaking the record is secondary. Therefore it is for safety reasons that Olivier has made this decision in full agreement with the sponsors. -- www.grandsrecords.com

* Orange sets off
After leaving Vannes Friday evening at 1845, the maxi-catamaran Orange crossed the Jules Verne Trophy starting line Saturday at 08h 36mn 21s, only two weeks after having broken her masthead during her first attempt.

A zone of high pressure centred over the Channel is pushing away a low off Portugal. This is resulting in a strong NE flow (25 knots and more) which will sweep the Bay of Biscay for 48 hours. On clearing away to the south, the low will continue to generate NE winds as far as Spain. Passing the centre of the low will be tricky to negotiate before a swing to the NW sometime on Monday.

To beat the record set in 1997 by Olivier de Kersauson on Sport Elec (71 days 14h 22mn), Bruno Peyron and his 12 crewmen must return before 12th May 2002 at 23h 57mn 29s. -- www.maxicatamaran-orange.com

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
leweck@earthlink.net
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others disagree.)

* From Edward Trevelyan: I just found it funny to read Chris' statement about how wonderful the campaign is and how happy he is to do whatever Larry wants him to do (after being unceremoniously dumped off the sailing crew). Cash has a way of making everything all right. A bit of sour grapes here from someone who won some national and world championships and a gold medal back in the days when you did it for fun and made zilch!!

* Glenn McCarthy: Responding to the Pope, while Figure Skating is subjective, I and many of my fellow sailors presume that sailing is not. We believe that the first one to the finish line wins (in one-design). If my history is any good, back around 1968 the U.S. called their Olympic Trials, the "Olympic Selection Trials". First one to the finish line did not necessarily go to the games. The one who was thought to have the best chance of winning a gold medal was "selected". This arbitrary and subjective system was abolished in the U.S. However, didn't we see this subjective system in the most recent Summer Games, when the Aussies who won their trials in the 49'er did not represent Australia in the games and second place in their "selection" trials went to the Olympics in 2000? Sailing is not quite so squeaky clean, yet.

* From Pat Healy, Past Chairman - ISAF International Judges Sub-Committee: Paul Henderson is providing good leadership when he and his ISAF Executive require that sailing minimize the actual and perceived conflicts of interest by sailing officials. And, although there were some who questioned the severity of the problem, I wish Paul would have given credit to the majority of the 500 IU's and IJ's who support his efforts.

Of equal importance to this effort are the quality of the Racing Rules. When a judge or umpire must decide whether a leeward boat luffed too quickly or the windward boat responded too slowly, sailing is exposed to allegations that factors, other than an official's best efforts, played a part in the decision.

* From Walter Bostwick: As Peter Holmberg is a US Virgin Islander, whose citizens carry US passports, it seems to be OK to be on a US Cup team. He did win an Olympic silver metal for the USVI in 1988. Of perhaps more humorous interest, John Cutler joined Peter's VI Challenge team early in the last Cup, becoming a (US) Virgin. With his virginity established, he then became available to US teams when the financial side of the VI Challenge lost steam, joining and helming America True. If John is now truly American, or truly Virgin, I don't know. But he is truly a great guy to sail with anyway.

* From Joanne Clark: Searching for people who knew Arthur Knapp, Jr. to write a sentence or paragraph about Arthur and any experiences they might have shared or memories of him. Info to be included in article for Larchmont Yacht Club "Mainsheet." Send to joanneclark1@aol.com

* From Paul Patin: Wanted Raven Class Sailboat owners and interested parties. The Raven Class Corporation is attempting to reorganize and reestablish the Raven Class. All owners and interested One Design sailors are requested to contact the Raven Class Corporation at email address ravenp2@aol.com. Further information will be provided once a roster is established. It is our near term intent to form a roster and listing of boats with information on the boat for those interested. The Raven is a 24-foot centerboard One Design boat that can be raced or day sailed. Three or four adults race the boat. Please provide your name, address and boat number with email address.

APEN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD?
Just as a sword cuts a swath through your competitor, Contender Pentex sailcloth cuts a swath through your sailing competition. After a year of development, Contender Sailcloth is pleased to re-introduce our performance APEN PENTEX laminate line featuring our new, higher quality Pentex fiber. APEN film-on-film scrims for the serious racer. Durable APEN-T film-on-taffeta scrims for the racer/cruiser. Rugged ACL-PEN taffeta-on-taffeta scrims for the serious cruiser. 80% higher performing than Polyester, Pentex is an economical upgrade to your sail inventory whether racing, cruising or both. Your competition will get the point. For details visit: www.contendersailcoth.com

NEW USVI GOVERNOR'S RACE KICKS OFF INTERNATIONAL ROLEX REGATTA
Organizers for the 29th annual International Rolex Regatta have fine-tuned the competition's optional four-day format and have a brand new USVI Governor's Race to showcase as a kick-off event. For the larger boats, including perennial favorites Donnybrook, Mermaid and Equation, the USVI Governor's Race, sailed on Thursday, March 28, will count toward their series scoring. Other classes - including those for one-designs and beach cats - will stick with the traditional three-day format and begin their scored series on Friday, March 29. Several of these classes still will participate in Thursday's Governor's Race, however, making the most of the regatta's expanded sailing opportunities and embellished social agenda.

The Governor's Race will be celebrated on Thursday evening with its own awards ceremony and Caribbean beach party. At the awards for the International Rolex Regatta, on Sunday, March 31, a Rolex timepiece will be awarded to the winner of every class.

For more information, visit www.rolexcupregatta.com or contact Chairman Chuck Ollinger at 340-774-0871; Rolexregattadir@aol.com.

PYEWACKET BIG BOAT WINNER AT HEINEKEN - DAY ONE
Wind and sea conditions at the 22nd annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta were perfect for the first day of racing with 12 to 15 knots of northeast breeze and flat-to-moderate seas. Two hundred and thirty boats participated in 16 classes with skippers from 31 countries.

Sixty-foot trimaran Paragon was fastest around the island with an elapsed time of three hours twelve minutes and 11 seconds in the race which started and finished in Simpson Bay. However, on corrected time she was relegated to fifth place while Triple Jack, a BVI-based trimaran, took the top slot with Tryst from St Maarten in second and another St Maarten boat Plantation Furniture was third. Orange with Laurent Bourgnon onboard came a somewhat unexpected eighth out of the nine boat class.

Roy Disney's Reichel-Pugh 75 Pyewacket had the fastest elapsed (spinnaker) monohull time in the around the island race finishing in three hours, thirty five minutes and eight seconds. After calculating corrected time the first three places in this division were unchanged with Pyewacket first in Big Boat Class and first in the Caribbean Big Boat Series; Tom Hill's Andrews 70 Titan second and Bill Alcott's Santa Cruz 70 Equation, third. The best elapsed time in the cruising class went to Bill Titus' Frers 80 Valador. -- www.caribbeanracing.com/artman/publish/article_45.shtml

INDUSTRY NEWS
* The Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) is to be the presenting sponsor of the newly named 28th Annual Newport Spring Boat Show (formerly the Newport Used Boat Show), to be held from May 31-June 2, at the Newport Yachting Center in Newport, Rhode Island.

"The decision to change the name of the show comes at a good time with respect to YBAA's increased involvement and the public's request for more variety," said Nancy Piffard, show director, Newport Exhibition Group. The show will feature power and sail boats, multihulls and dinghies from 8-50ft. -- www.ibinews.com

* The new Frank Bethwaite-designed Ovington 59er made its debut at the Sailboat and Windsurf Show this weekend. This two-man sitting out boat was certainly drawing the crowds and if any of the other Ovington boats any thing to go by, this new design has every chance of success.

To ensure the boat can be sailed equally by similar weight crews there's a minimum crew weight of 150kg. So if you're too light, you simply need to add some lead kilos to get up to weight. 'It's a penalisation system,' says Hall, 'to stop the lightweights winning all the time. They're welcome to sail but they'll have to top up their weight.'

Although the layout and rig is virtually the same as the 29er and 49er, the hull is quite different. To take the increased crew weight, there's more volume and the chine is further aft.-- Report on YBW.com: www.ybw.com/auto/newsdesk/20020203090947ybwnews.html
More information at www.ovingtonboats.com/content/59er/boatinfo.htm

UBS PRIVATE BANKING SPONSORS OYSTER REGATTAS
UBS Private Banking is to be the title sponsor of two events being held during 2002 for Oyster yachts, their owners and crews.

The first event, the UBS Oyster Regatta Antigua 2002, will take place from 12-19 April and follows the successful inaugural event held last year when thirty-three Oyster yachts took part.

The UBS Oyster Regatta Palma 2002 will take place from 23 -27 October from Palma, Majorca for Mediterranean based Oysters. The timing will also allow yachts planning to cross to the Caribbean for the winter season to join the event.

Both UBS Oyster Regattas will provide a combination of social events, cruising and racing, with a number of different overnight stops planned for each event.

UBS is already involved in sailing sponsorship, with the current Volvo Ocean Race and as main partner of the Swiss Challenge Team Alinghi for the America's Cup 2003. -- www.caribbeanracing.com

QUOTE / UNQUOTE: PAUL CAYARD
At the moment, with Dee Smith scheduled to return to Amer Sports One for the rest of the race, there is no room for Paul Cayard. But never say never in the world of professional sailing. Cayard himself says: “We don't have any confirmed plan for my return to the programme yet. But I'd enjoy rejoining the team. I've enjoyed sailing with Dalton and I know the team pretty well. I've done the hard part of inserting myself to the team, so it would be a pleasure.

"illbruck's game is probably even more oriented to the short game. They have so many crew on board who know the right angles, the right numbers, the right time to use the sails. When you're shifting gears a lot, whether it's tacking, gybing or putting things up or down, they have a higher awareness per person of where things should be than any other boat, so I think the short legs will play right into illbruck's hands.

"[Amer Sports One] is not slow, but it's not an easy boat to sail. I can remember the difficulty in the Southern Ocean. It'll plough into a wave and doesn't knife through the waves the way a Farr boat does. A Farr boat just cuts right through, and works right through to the next one. It's easier to keep working through the waves. A Frers boat is harder to make work, but it can be done." -- From an interview by Andy Rice on the Volvo Ocean Race website. See www.volvooceanrace.org

CURMUDGEON RETURNS, CURMUDGEON IN TRAINING IS OUTTA HERE
Tom Leweck is back from the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race tonight, and will take over the helm again starting with the next issue. I'm off to Miami for the Acura SORC (with a side trip to the Bacardi Cup, they're sure to have free drinks there...) Thanks for the letters, notes, quotes and jokes, particularly those far too offensive to print here. -- David McCreary

THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATIONS
A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree. - Spike Milligan, British comedian and author (died Feb 27, 2002). He has asked for his tombstone to read 'Here lies Spike Milligan. I told you I'd not been well!'