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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1023 - March 8, 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.

(In anticipation of the return of the 18 Foot Skiff racing in the United States in San Francisco nest September, Rich Roberts the current World Champions Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin for the Yacht Racing Website. Here are two excerpts from that story.)

* There was a time when it seemed two of sailing's icons would remain rooted in their particular venues ad infinitum. Like the North Star and the Southern Cross, the America's Cup would reside forever in the Northern Hemisphere and the JJ Giltinan International Championship for Australia 18-foot skiffs would endure Down Under.

The face of the Cup changed in 1983, and now the Giltinan rests in the hands of three Californians: Howard Hamlin, 49, of Long Beach; Mike Martin, 37, of Dana Point, and Trevor Baylis, 42, a Canadian who lives in Santa Cruz. What they accomplished in January was to skiff sailing what Australia II's victory was at Newport, R.I.

By combined ages, Hamlin, the skipper; Martin and Baylis were the oldest crew on Sydney Harbour. They won by out-sailing a fleet of 14 Australians and 10 other foreigners. In a fleet where most of the entries are sponsored, they sailed General Electric/US Challenge. Hamlin and Martin are members of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

Twenty-five boats may not seem like much of an international championship regatta, but there's a reason for that. "Not very many people sail an 18 footer," Hamlin said. Martin added: "Not very many people are capable of sailing them."

* Technically, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) doesn't recognize a "world" championship for the 18s because there aren't enough of them. But that doesn't detract from the excitement. "It's funny," Hamlin said, "because the 18s have been around a lot longer than ISAF."

Hamlin and Martin, in particular, have been sailing together for 10 years, which is about how long it takes most sailors to master the boat. "They're the hardest and most challenging boat you can sail," Hamlin said. "Hands down," Martin said.

Both say the 18s are more difficult to sail than a 49er, the new Olympic class. "We've sailed 49ers," Martin said. "The 18s are tougher. Anyone who has sailed them will tell you that." Jonathan and Charlie McKee of Seattle went to Australia to sail 18s for several years before leading the development of 49ers in North America. They won a bronze medal at Sydney in 2000.

The only other American skipper at Sydney was 49er sailor Dalton Bergan, one of the ranked Olympic prospects. He finished 19th. The Aussies are so good, Hamlin and Martin say, because of a youth development program that starts youngsters in smaller skiffs and builds up to the 18s. Hamlin describes sailing an 18 like a cowboy might talk about bull riding. "They're extremely rewarding when you do well-and very punishing when you don't," he said. Martin: "We haven't completed one of these championships without capsizing." - Rich Roberts, Yachtracing website

Full story:

(Following is an excerpt from a story by Graeme Kennedy in the National Business Review about the Italian Prada America's Cup Syndicate.)

Luna Rossa skipper Francesco de Angelis is pleased with the way this campaign is going after the crushing defeat in 2000 and has been training on the Hauraki Gulf with his own Luna Rossa and Young America's two boats from the last regatta while the team's new yachts are being built in Italy. "We won the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to challenge New Zealand," he said. "The other competitors were more disappointed than we were - we were successful to a certain stage but we do not know yet if we will have a better chance this time than last.

"We have the same amount of funding but the big difference is that last time we had all the set-up costs of tank-test facilities and bases and sail-lofts in Italy and New Zealand. This time, a lot of major capital costs have already been taken care of and we have more funds for other things. It's the same budget but the money is being used in different ways, such as the research and development and operational sides. We are trying to work in different areas - design, the sailing team and everything in between - as last time there were a lot of things we could not approach due to other priorities.

"In 2000 we started from scratch, sorting boats out, learning how to sail in that type of yacht and how to match-race. But now we have had three years' experience and learned more, so we can focus on concepts gained in all our previous races." - Graeme Kennedy, National Business Review.

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As the weeks become days before the Princess Royal names the GBR Challenge America's Cup contender in Cowes on April 12, one person remaining four-square pragmatic will be Paul Standbridge, the man in charge of sailing operations. Standbridge was bowman on Britain's last Cup challenger in Fremantle in 1987 and since then has skippered yachts for the likes of the head of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli, and Dennis Conner in the Whitbread.

"Our aim is to be in the eight that go through after the second round-robin," Standbridge said. "People say we should set our goal higher but we have slotted in a certain level, with a certain budget, a certain time frame and a certain goal, and we think we are on the way to achieve that goal. Any more than that is a bonus. We would like to go out and win the America's Cup, don't get me wrong, but we must get Britain back into the America's Cup."

It was this siren call that made the Internet entrepreneur Peter Harrison to commit £22 million to the cause, though the search for commercial backers continues, ideally providing up to 50 per cent of the budget. "I want British and international companies to see the value of it, then I will feel that the initiative I've started was right," Harrison said. "I feel enormously proud that we've made fantastic progress in 17 months."- Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK

Full story:

Le Defi Areva began its training session in Lorient since March 1st until July. They are sailing with the two Trial boats - FRA 46, the former 6e Sens, and NZL 32, the victorious Team NZ 1995). FRA 69, the new boat, is under construction at Multiplast shipyard in Vannes and scheduled to be launched around May 1st 2002. Then, Le Defi will begin a high number of modifications already planned for FRA 46 (the new boat ?).

"Our aim is to have two really competitive boats at mid-June", underlined Luc Gellusseau. At the end of July, the team will begin the demobilization work of the compound in Lorient which will be shut down as the team will relocate to Auckland, New Zealand, in September.- Hauraki News

Full story and crew list:

(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 Steve Dashew: Noticed the dialog about races in which you can motor. My wife and I have done a couple of East Coast races to the Caribbean where you can motor and I can attest to the fact that this adds another dimension to the tactics. Since you typically pay a penalty for using the motor, VMG towards the destination and/or the best weather have to be considered vs. the penalty to be paid.

Using the engine also makes it possible to sail short-handed, and have fun, without the work/frustration of two people trying to make progress in the light stuff.

We much prefer to sail, but for crossing oceans, when it is light and sloppy it is much easier on the rig and sails (and the crew) to fire up the engine and head for the breeze (or finish line). This is especially true in areas where the weather is likely to change for the worse, before it gets better.

* From Fred J. Robinson: I was surprised to see on the YC Burgee list of best YC websites that EYC was now in NY. I checked their website and they are still in Erie PA.

* From Jan Visser: I would like to comment on the brief note made regarding the flurry of lawsuits involving the '98 Sydney Hobart race. Yes it's the skippers choice and that must be noted by all, however there are some brave souls here in the US and those are the folks that put forth the ORC regs, they are there to make things safer. The recent ORC 6.01 makes it a REQUIREMENT to attend safety at sea seminars. These are put on by some dynamite people, as the Secretary to the Sailing Foundation, I have always been outside the door, this year they moved my table inside and it was thrilling and so very informative, yet I am seeing some race committees who exchange the word require for recommend, I really think they are doing the sailor a disservice.

Stand up and be counted, if there is an accident you can stand in front of Judge Wapner and say that your Race Committee met these requirements, not that you thought it might be nice but didn't enforce it. These folks that put these seminars on have seen and been a part of many life experiences at sea. They can benefit everyone from their experience and sadly enough it takes an event like the Sydney Hobart or Fastnet to affect change but it is there for the good and benefit of all who sail. Seize the opportunity and avail yourself of these opportunities and Race Committees don't be a wuss, enforce these requirements.

Bruno Peyron has chosen to leave the Cape Verde islands to his leeward. Between losing one's wind or getting caught in a venturi effect, Orange's skipper is sticking with his general strategy and last night was pursuing a southerly route slightly curved to the west without as much as a glance at the last inhabited land posted on the route of his catamaran. Barely slowed during the night, the 110-foot catamaran Orange is maintaining her pace: more than 2500 miles under the twin transoms since Ushant, at an average of 20.5 knots. Sir Peter Blake's record to the Equator can tremble. But with 700 miles still to go before changing hemispheres, Peyron remains prudent. The Doldrums, the intertropical convergence zone will rise up before their bows tomorrow and impose and the men and their machine its legendary whims. "For the time being" explained Peyron the pragmatic, "the wind is still NNE and is pushing us at about fifteen knots. We're nice and westerly now, much more than on my last voyage with Commodore, and according to our weather files, we should benefit right to the end from a little air." To bag this very symbolic first record, Orange must enter the Southern Hemisphere before 1200 on Saturday.

Extremely technical, this first part of the race has required considerable responsiveness from the crew. As emphasized by Yann Elies, "our very full set of foresails enables us to constantly adapt to the slightest variations of wind in strength and angle. This results in an impressive number of manouvers, 38 sail changes since the start."

* Veteran round the world racer Grant "Fuzz" Spanhake will step onboard Team Tyco as specialist trimmer for the 4450 nautical mile leg from Rio de Janeiro to Miami. He will replace Australian crew member Jim Close for this leg. As the Sail Designer for Team Tyco, he's been heavily involved with sail development from the start of the project. New Zealand-born Grant "Fuzz" Spanhake is a veteran of three Whitbread races, sailing on Lion New Zealand in 1985-86 with Sir Peter Blake, in 1989-90 onboard Fisher & Paykel, and with Chessie Racing in 1993-94. He has participated in four America's Cups, winning it in San Diego in 1992 on America3. Spanhake has three Sydney-Hobarts and four Fastnet races under his belt. -

* Dee Smith replaces Paul Cayard on Amer Sports One; Melissa Purdy replaces Carolijn Brouwer on Amer Sports Too. -

* Team News Corp take two new crew members with them on leg five. Peter "Spike" Doriean comes from Australia and is on-board as a trimmer. Matt Humphries (UK), on his fourth time around the world, steps in as a watch leader. -

"Everything is basically the same on the boat. And unless we are having somebody getting sick, we're going to go with the same crew as well, so we're going with the same program." - John Kostecki, skipper, illbruck

Swiss syndicate Alinghi were the latest team to venture into enemy territory. Oracle Racing have invited nearly all the syndicates to their base for some "neighbourly fun and refreshments" in the cup build-up. Oracle have tried to make their fellow challengers feel at home, serving up dishes from their home countries, but Oracle's head chef, Mark Reihana, believed that the Swiss dish of fondue should be left off the menu given the large attendance, so opted for a New Zealand barbecue. Oracle Racing have also hosted GBR Challenge and OneWorld. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald,

Dirty Dog Eyewear feature frames that are strong yet extremely lightweight, designed to fit snuggly around the face, providing optimum comfort and maximum protection from glare. The choice among sailing professionals around the globe, Dirty Dog returns to Miami this week as an Official Supplier to the Acura SORC and will be introducing new 2002 frame styles and colors available in polarized lenses. Can't get to Miami? Then check them out at and register on-line to be entered in a weekly drawing for free Dirty Dog Products.

* Brian Ross has joined Doyle Sailmakers' Ft. Lauderdale facility as a sales consultant. Ross, formerly manager of North Sails Ft. Lauderdale's service center, has more than twenty years of experience in all aspects of sailmaking, including design, production, and service. In April, Doyle Florida East will relocate its operations to an expanded Ft. Lauderdale facility.

* The hottest skiffs on the water- an Aussie-18, I-14, 49'er, 29'er, 29.5'er, and a Vector will be on display at Pacific SAIL EXPO in Oakland, California on April 17-21. A skiff performance seminar will be given by World Champion I 14 and Aussie 18 sailors, Trevor Baylis and Zach Berkowitz at the show on Sunday, April 21. -

* March 22-24: Olympic Classes Regatta, Alamitos Bay YC. Competition in eight Olympic and Pan American Games classes, plus Solings.

* March 30: West Marine Pacific Cup Preparation & Safety at Sea Seminar, Fort Mason Conference Center Landmark A Building, San Francisco, CA. -

* April 19-21: Protector Boats Ski/ Sail National Championships, Lake Tahoe & Squaw Valley Melges 24, Vanguard 15's and Lasers with the ski racing in an open GS format.

Ken McAlpine has just issue sail number 75 to the Swiss Alinghi America's Cup Challenge.

On the Acura Course, the Farr 40s gathered to begin contesting their US National Championship. El Seguendo, CA's John Kilroy, aboard Samba Pa Ti, began defense of his Acura SORC class title by winning the day's first race. After a sixth place finish in the second race, Kilroy was runner-up in the days' third and final race to George Andreadis aboard Newport, RI-based Atlanti XII. As a result, Samba Pa Ti finished the day with a three-point first-place cushion.

In the IMS class George David of Hartford, CT, ran the table with three first place finishes aboard Idler. In the PHRF competition two first place finishes were the key to a Day 1 lead. George Collins' Chessie Racing of Fisher Island, FL, led the way in the PHRF 1 competition while Garth Dennis of Ithaca, NY aboard Smiling Bulldog and Annapolis, MD's Bruce Gardner on L'Outrage followed suit in the PHRF 2 and 3 competitions, respectively.

The Acura SORC resumes tomorrow with the J/80, J/105, Melges 24 and Mumm 30 classes joining the action. Shawn McBride,

Coral Reel YC - Results after five races with one throwout (99 boats):
1 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl USA 5
2 Paul Cayard & Phil Trinter USA 22
3 Jose Van Der Ploeg & Diego Fructuoso ESP 24
4 Augie Diaz & Christian Finnsgard USA 33
5 John A. MacCausland & Sean Delaney USA 33
6 Alfonso Domingos & Bernardo Santos POR 35
7 Iain Percy & Steve Mitchell GBR 36
8 Peter Bromby & Martin Seese BER 37
9 Marc Pickel & David Giles GER 41
10 Riccardo Simoneschi & Ferninando Colaninno ITA 51

Why is it that to stop Windows 98, you have to click on "Start"?