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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1027 - March 14, 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.

Recently, the Swiss Alinghi America's Cup applied to the America's Cup Arbitration Panel for an interpretation of provisions of the Deed of Gift, the Protocol Governing the XXXIst America's Cup ("the Protocol") and the America's Cup Class Rules regarding the use center-boards and sliding keels.

They got their answer today. It was "NO!"

The Panel's decision stated, "Rule 19.9 (e) of the ACC Rules applies to the current Match, because the Notice of Challenge of the Challenger of Record proposed that the terms of the Protocol, which includes the ACC Rules including Rule 19.9 (e), should apply, and in accordance with the mutual consent provision in the Deed of Gift, the Challengers and the Defender have agreed that it should apply to the XXXI America's Cup."

Not only that - the Arbitration Panel dinged Alinghi US$2,000 for the "costs of the Panel on the application."

ISAF World Sailor of the Year 2001 Ellen MacArthur will be in illustrious company if, as tipped, she is nominated for the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards. Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, tennis players Lleyton Hewitt and Jennifer Capriati are the other strong contenders to be nominated in New York on Tuesday (March 19) for the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards.

All four athletes have starred on the global sporting stage over the past 12 months and could be among the nominations submitted by a Selection Panel of more than 1,000 sports journalists from 75 countries around the world. Briton MacArthur last year became the youngest competitor ever to finish the Vendée Globe yacht race and only the second person to go round-the-world solo in under 100 days. MacArthur also won the ISAF World Sailor of the Year in 2001.

Nominees will be announced by members of the elite World Sports Academy including Boris Becker, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Kapil Dev, Emerson Fittipaldi, Kip Keino, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Morne du Plessis, Hugo Porta and Daley Thompson.

Golfer Tiger Woods, another genuine contender for honours in 2002, won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award in 2000 and 2001 while athletes Marion Jones and Cathy Freeman won the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

The eventual winners of the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards, as voted upon by the World Sports Academy, will be unveiled during a television ceremony staged in the regal surrounds of Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, on the night of May 14. - ISAF website, More news:

As a result of a positive drug test, taken at the Europe Class World Championship held in Vilamoura, Portugal, June 2001, and in accordance with the procedures laid down in ISAF Regulation 21.2, 21.3, the penalty of a 2-year ban from the sport of sailing, both on a national and international level has been imposed on Mr Felipe Meira (BRA). The substances found relate to nandrolone and anabolic steroids, and therefore, following the contravention of Rule 5 of the ISAF RRS 2001-2004, and the procedures laid out in RRS 69.3, the ISAF Executive Committee imposes the suspension of Mr Meiras' ISAF Eligibility with immediate effect. This ban is effective from 6th August 2001. - ISAF website,

West Marine is proud to announce the first annual West Marine Sailing Seminar and Expo, to be held April 6th at the Newport Beach Marriott at 900 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach, California. In addition to a host of educational seminars, the West Marine Sailing Seminar and Expo will hold an exhibit with a wide variety of vendors to showcase their products. Don't miss this exciting event. Tickets are $5 for Seminars and Expo, and $20 for Seminars, Expo, and Lunch with featured guest Gino Morelli. Available at any West Marine Southern California location.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - Compounding the funding woes that forced the illbruck syndicate to withdraw from the America ' s Cup, backers of the German campaign discovered Wednesday that they'll also forfeit US$600,000 (1.43 million New Zealand dollars) in bonds. The syndicate had paid the required US$100,000 to enter the America' s Cup regatta and lodged two performance bonds of US$250,000 by the January deadline, which guaranteed its participation. The bonds are non refundable. The German syndicate had already established a base in Auckland, complete with sail loft, boat shed and offices, and had a meteorologist based in the northern New Zealand city. After announcing the decision Tuesday, syndicate chief executive officer Glenn Bourke said the yacht that illbruck had planned to race was about three-quarters finished. - Associated Press Newswires

Assa Abloy has made a slight gain in the last few hours pulling two miles ahead of her nearest rivals, illbruck and Tyco. For all the crews in the Volvo Ocean Race nightfall brings a slight respite in the extreme heat and weather conditions being experienced, with daytime temperatures exceeding 30 degrees as the fleet continues its way north towards the equator.

News Corp is still managing to make gains on the front group (albeit slowly but surely), whilst the rest of the fleet continues to become more spread out with the girls on Amer Sports Too suffering the biggest losses once more. They are currently trying to hold onto seventh position and stay ahead of SEB in these variable and fickle wind conditions, whilst djuice is keeping the pressure on and closing the gap between themselves and Amer Sports One.

POSITIONS on March 14 @ 0410 GMT:
1. Assa Abloy, 3510 miles from finish
2. Team Tyco, 2 miles behind leader
3. illbruck, 2 mbl
4. News Corp, 16 mbl
5. Amer Sports One, 59 mbl
6. djuice, 63 mbl
7. Amer Sports Too, 72 mbl
8. Team SEB, 74 mbl. -

(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 Doug Smith: When did it become ok to hit another boat and do just a circle? If I don't like you and ram you just because, do a circle that's ok? I think penalizing for collisions should be much harsher. Good thing illbruck was made of Kevlar or a good bit of the back end of the boat would be missing! How much do you think it's going to cost to fix the damage? $15,000? That's ok SEB - just do your circles!

* From Andy Vare: What ever happened to the gentleman's philosophy where, when contact occurred between boats, the burden boat retired? I always felt that this was the natural limitation on competition, that you were never "too close" until you went over the line and touched, and then you had to accept the penalty. This notion allows for extremely close competition between proficient sailors, and also makes for a game of nerves, with the highest possible penalty on a negative outcome.

By reducing the severity of the penalty, the natural incentives are removed and the "games" begin. Now, you get to hole a competitor, do a 720, and off you go? Tell me it isn't so. Besides, one would think that professional sailors on the Volvo are good enough to avoid each other?

The curmudgeon made a terrible pasting mistake in 'Butt No. 1026. In our lead story, I pasted a photo caption right into the middle Andrew Hurst's gutsy Seahorse editorial. As a result, there were two sentences inserted that did not fit into the logical arguments Hurst presented in his commentary dealing with reforming the America's Cup protocol.

(Those sentences were: "Still the supreme IACC sailors - Team NZ lead into the box in Auckland last month. But with numerous defections a lot is riding on Tom Schnackenburg's design team for the next Cup.")

Do yourself a favor and read the portion of Hurst's editorial posted on the Seahorse website. However, to read the entire editorial, you'll have to do what the curmudgeon has done for decades - subscribe to Seahorse:

(Following are some excerpts from a story by Irene Chapple in the Business section of the New Zealand Herald.)

French-born (TAG Heuer president Jean-Christophe) Babin, 41, was in Auckland during the weekend to visit the Oracle Racing team. TAG Heuer has sponsored the team in a deal Babin - with the same passion he has for his watches - describes in the terms of a relationship. He calls the TAG Heuer brand "daring and passionate, and we wanted a team consistent with that image. We have a long-term commitment."

Even if Oracle lost, TAG Heuer would remain enamoured, muses Babin. "I think in sport and in business, you accept you cannot win all the time. We have put in all the ingredients and theoretically we should win, but even if they lose we would still support them. This is not a piggyback or hijack - it's the right partnership."

The relationship has cost TAG Heuer millions - how many, Babin wouldn't say, except that it was between US$1 million and US$10 million ($2.3 million to $23.3 million). That is peanuts for a company owned by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moet, Hennessy), which turned in a €722 million ($1.5 billion) profit for 2000.

The luxury market suffered last year, partly because of the terrorist attacks in America, and the company's net profit dropped to €10 million. But Babin hopes the sponsorship deal will return $3 for every $1 spent. The 123-member Oracle crew will wear TAG Heuer Link Searacer watches and Sport Vision sunglasses, which went on sale early this year and will be available in New Zealand in June. - Full story:

Bainbridge International has recently combined there renowned 'off shore' (OS) scrim and a gray pigmented adhesive system into a range of inshore racing laminates that provide improved shape retention, greater strength and longer life. The OS DIAX has proved to be very versatile and this development will allow the inshore sailor to benefit from the increased performance that is offered by this range of laminates. For more information contact your sailmaker or go to

* "This morning we had Assa Abloy camp on us and block our every move from 20 degrees below course to 30 degrees above course. They were determined not to give us any quarter. A bit odd really as we both lost a lot on all the other boats as they covered our every move. Eventually we slipped past them anyway so it was all a waste of time for them. One wonders if someone on board has a personal vendetta against us?" - Stu Bannatyne, illbruck

* "Playing the water ballast is an integral part of getting through these shifty conditions, with the wind up and down, left and right, one tank or two, all in or all out can determine whether you win or lose in this squall hopping game." - Lisa McDonald, Amer Sports Too

* "In a single four-hour watch, the wind can shift through 100 degrees and vary in strength from 6 to 20 knots as the cloud formations play havoc with the gradient wind." - Gordon Maquire, News Corp

Unless you want to pay a hefty penalty, applications for entry in the 2002 Newport Bermuda Race are due are race headquarters on or before April 1st. Applications may be filed on-line at or downloaded in PDF format. As of March 13th, 144 entry applications had been filed for the 635-mile ocean classic that starts June 14th in Newport RI. Of these, 21 are AMERICAP cruising, 7 are AMERICAP double-handed, 8 are IMS racing and 108 are IMS Cruiser/Racer.

According to race participation chairman John Osmond, " There are a large number of new skippers and boats to the IMS C/R class. 83 of the 146 skippers who have to date requested application for entry (and paid $50 to begin the process) are new to the race. In addition, we have identified approximately 40 to 50 additional skippers who intend to participate in this year's event."-

The team aboard the maxi catamaran, Orange is still ahead of target for breaking the Jules Verne Challenge but they still have a long way to go and have some immediate major decisions to make.

The are currently 1,745.2 miles ahead of current record set by Sport Elec in 1977 but the decision they make on which route to take on their approach to Brazil could be a crucial one.

They have two route options to tackle the St Helena high pressure zone on the approach to Brazil. Do they go left, the shortest route, and risk a decrease in wind or do they head right, the longer route, in hope of picking up more wind? One thing for sure, when they're through the high, on their way in to the Southern Ocean, lack of wind will not be a problem. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World , full story:; campaign website:

COLLEGATE SAILING The Sailing World magazine website has just published the rankings of college sailing teams as determined by the magazine's panel made up of coaches Michael Callahan (Georgetown), Ken Legler (Tufts) and Mike Segerblom (USC).

COED (previous rank):
1. Harvard (1)
2. Old Dominion (8)
3. Georgetown (2)
4. Navy (12)
5. Hawaii (5)
6. Tufts (4)
7. St. Mary's (3)
8. Boston College (15)
9. Charleston (6)
10. Yale (9)
11. Brown (10)
12. USC (7)
13. Dartmouth (11)
14. Hobart/Wm. Smith (13)
15. UC Santa Barbara (16)
16. Coast Guard (14)
17. Stanford (17)
18. Washington (19)
19. Connecticut College (18)
20. UC Berkeley (-)
Also receiving votes: Texas A&M, UC Irvine, Washington College.

WOMEN (previous rank):
1. Old Dominion (3)
2. St. Mary's (1)
3. Hawaii (9)
4. Brown (2)
5. Dartmouth (6)
6. Charleston (7)
7. Navy (13)
8. Hobart/Wm. Smith (8)
9. Connecticut College (4)
10. Stanford (10)
11. Yale (5)
12. Georgetown (11)
13. Harvard (12)
14. Boston College (14)
15. Tufts (-).
Also receiving votes: UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, USC.

AC TRIVIA: Baron Bich, famous for his white gloves, challenged four times but never even raced against the defender

Walter B. Little was born in Tacoma, WA on April 29, 1909 and died in Seattle, WA on February 28, 2002, at the age of 92. In 1966, Walt brought the PHRF concept to Washington, and with the assistance of some friends at Seattle Yacht Club, the Pacific Handicap Racing Fleet of the Northwest was formed, with Walt Little as Chief Handicapper, Tom Wheeler as President, and Ralph Russell as Treasurer. When Walt stepped down as Chief Handicapper in 1986, there were over 2000 boats sailing with PHRF - NW ratings.

Walt developed the documentation we know today as the Handicapper's Manual, including Table III. And subsequent Chief Handicappers have maintained "Walt's Baby", just as he would have expected. He was a Life Member of Seattle Yacht Club, and in his retirement, he usually ate one or more meals a day there. Most of the effort involved in the development of PHRF-NW and the continuation of its operations emanated from the SYC bar. While never a boat owner, he crewed on many winning boats throughout the years.

Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.