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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1031 - March 20, 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.

STEINLAGER/LINE 7 REGATTA
Frenchman Luc Pillot put in another strong day at the Steinlager/Line 7 Regatta, on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, suffering only one defeat from four races, to hold top spot on the leaderboard. Pillot sailed through the early part of the day undefeated, beating Peter Holmberg, Magnus Holmberg and Ken Read, before taking a hammering at the hands of Gavin Brady.

Behind Luc, two skippers share second place, with a six win, three loss scoreline, Magnus Holmberg, current leader of the Swedish Match Tour, and non-America's Cup skipper Jes Gram-Hansen from Denmark. Also assured of a place in the quarter finals is Prada Challenge's Gavin Brady, who also has six wins, but has suffered four defeats.

The battle of the other four places in the quarter finals is on for young and old, with so much hanging on Friday's three remaining flights of races, and so many premutations and combinations of what could happen, nobody's fate is entirely in their own hands. - John Roberson

RESULTS after day two:
1. Luc Pillot - France, Le Defi Areva, 7 wins 2 loss
2= Magnus Holmberg - Sweden, Victory Challenge, 6-3
Jes Gram-Hansen - Denmark, 6-3
4. Gavin Brady - Italy, Prada Challenge, 6-4
5= Paolo Cian - Italy, Mascalzone Latino Challenge, 5-4
Ed Baird - U.S.A. 5-4
7= Rod Davis - Italy, Prada Challenge, 4-5
Peter Holmberg - U.S.A., Oracle Challenge, 4-5
Ken Read - U.S.A., Team Dennis Conner, 4-5
10= Dean Barker - New Zealand, Team New Zealand, 3-6
Ian Walker - Britain, GBR Challenge, 3-6
12. Andy Green - Britain, GBR Challenge, 2-8

Complete results: www.steinlagerline7cup.co.nz

VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Who can stop John Kostecki's illbruck now? It seems only Assa Abloy and Tyco have a real chance of catching them as the boats reach across the trade winds towards Miami. Behind the leading trio, there is now a huge hundred-mile gap to SEB in fourth. Gurra Krantz's Swedish entry has now converged with the rest of the boats to consolidate their position and it seems as if they will be happy to settle as victors of 'group B' and cover the advances of Grant Dalton's Amer Sports One as she attacks from behind.

All boats are lined up behind illbruck in the constant trade wind. The wind constantly oscillates between east-northeast and east-southeast, sometimes in the low twenties, then dropping to the high teens. The gaps are widening as the trailing boats are sailing constantly at a slightly lower speed than the one ahead. All the yachts are enjoying easy 330 to 350 miles a day, which should be maintained for the next couple of days.

This time it is navigator Roger Nilson's turn to vent his spleen. "With about 2100 nm to Miami we are locked into the north-east trades and the sailing has become a bit boring. Often your best job is just sitting on the rail to improve speed. Not so much to do for navigators and tacticians except trying to optimise the approach to Barbuda." All the yachts should be in Miami by March 27.

The leaders of the fleet are currently less than 400 nautical miles from the Caribbean Islands. They will be passing close to all the islands before heading on up to Miami, which currently lies just over 1500 nautical miles from the leaders. Amer Sports One has made the most gains in the last few hours closing the gap between herself and SEB to just 27 nautical miles.

POSITONS on March 21 @ 0400 GMT: 1. illlbruck, 1548 miles from finish; 2. Assa Abloy, 15 miles behind leader; 3. Tyco, 17 mbl; Team SEB, 122 mbl; 5. Amer Sports One, 149 mbl; 6. News Corp, 173 mbl; 7. Amer Sports Too, 187 mbl; 8. djuice, 228 mbl. - www.volvooceanrace.com

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AMERICA'S CUP
* Former Assa Abloy skipper Roy Heiner has joined Oracle Racing on a trial arrangement. Dutchman Heiner sailed in the first leg of the round-the-world race before he was replaced by Neal McDonald.

Heiner, who has competed in the last four Olympic Games, has been given the responsibility of helming one of Oracle's training boats. He brings a wealth of sailing experience to the team, including an impressive list of dinghy sailing achievements and numerous matchracing successes. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/sportsstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=1191899&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup&thesecondsubsection=general

* An article on Le Défi Website affirms, in connection with IACC 2003, that "Le Défi Areva has only one boat programmed, FRA 69, which currently is being built at Multiplast shipyard in Vannes. The French will also have FRA 46 (Sixième Sens) which will enter in yard in May to be deeply modified". - Hauraki News website, full story: www.hauraki-news.com/LatestNews/LeDefi-LN6.htm

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 Paul Henderson, ISAF President: I read with pleasure the observations of my close personal Star friend Joe Bainton with regard to my IOC Political Aspirations or Expirations. Let me give you reality.

I was elected President of ISAF in 1994. I am allowed to remain until 2004 when I will fortunately be replaced. The IOC Reforms in 2000 allowed for 15 of the International Federation Presidents to be appointed as IOC Members as long as they remain President or reach the age of 70 whichever comes first. Sailing, I feel, was honoured by having their President appointed as one of the first five such IOC members which shows that sailing is very relevant to the Olympic Movement.

I know it will come as a shock to sailors like Kirby and Munster to say nothing of Commodore R. D. Grant of my beloved Royal Canadian Y.C. but one week after I leave ISAF in 2004 I have my 70th Birthday. I get beheaded by the IOC twice within one week so if I am looking for some IOC political position I better hurry up.

It is really irrelevant what I do because I have been totally by-passed by the election of an old Finn sailor who we all sailed against in Acapulco to President of the IOC, Dr. Jacques Rogge, and who showed great leadership in Salt Lake City. Hopefully everyone feels that sailing is very well positioned.

* From Gregory Scott Kingston: In the Volvo Race we have put some of the most capable and competitive sailors in the world onto the fastest boats sponsored by the most successful companies. We set the dogs loose on stretching rule tolerances in design, construction and course routing as well as tolerances in human endurance and comfort. We then expect them to act like "gentlemen" (ladies included). The nature of this race completely goes against that premise. The Volvo organizers missed the mark when they didn't institute doomsday penalties for reckless behavior. These guys were able to miss icebergs at twenty knots in the dark; now they can't cross tacks without playing "chicken."

* From Peter Bowker: You take up space in Scuttlebutt #1029 to advise us that Steve Fossett has set a record for the Fastnet course. So what? It's just not the same when you sit around and study weather maps? Waiting days or more for suitable weather and tidal conditions has nothing to do with racing, when competitors start at a time determined by the race committee without regard to weather. Records in track and field and most other sports are set in competition, not solo efforts dependent upon climatic conditions. Why is sailing different? We are comparing apples and oranges here.

Similarly the Transatlantic Race record set by the schooner Atlantic in 1905 still stands. Charlie Barr and his fellow skippers were not afforded the luxury of waiting for a weather window (not that they knew what that was!). The gun went and they were off. In 1997 the NYYC ran a race over the same course from Sandy Hook to The Lizard with a view to beating Atlantic's record, but it was not to be. Headwinds over the last 900 miles slowed the 15 participants and first to finish Adela was more than a day outside Atlantic's time. That's yacht racing folks!

US SAILING TEAM
The Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has named the first members of it's 2002 US Sailing Team. Created in 1986 to recruit and develop athletes for upcoming Olympiads, the US Sailing Team annually distinguishes the top-five ranked sailors in each of the nine classes (11 divisions) chosen for Olympic competition. For 2004 those classes (divisions) are: Europe (women); Finn (men); 470 (men and women); Laser (open); Mistral (men and women); 49er, Star, Tornado (all open); and Yngling (women). The 2004 Olympic Regatta is scheduled for August 13-29, in Athens, Greece.

US Sailing Team rankings are based on attendance and performance at a series of qualifying regattas. This year, for the first time, the ranking system designated a mandatory ranking regatta -- the Rolex Miami OCR -- for sailors working toward the team.

Membership on the US Sailing Team identifies sailors as strong contenders for an Olympic berth and provides them with coaching, training opportunities and financial assistance in addition to national recognition. The US Sailing Team is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Vanguard Sailboats. Extrasport, Gill North America, Nikon, Sperry Top-Sider, Team McLube and Yale Cordage are suppliers.

Named in the 470 men's class (skipper and crew): 2001 470 North American Champions Steven Hunt (Poquoson, Va.) and Michael Miller (Fairport, N.Y.); Stuart McNay (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) and Ross Anderson (Preston, Conn.);'99 College Sailor of the Year Mark Ivey (Hungtington Beach, Calif.) and ICSA All-American Howard Cromwell (New Orleans, La.); Mark Teborek (Winnetka, Ill.) and Matthew Herbster (Manchester, Mass.); and Mikey Murison (Sausalito, Calif.) and Rusty Canada (Tiburon, Calif.).

Named in the 470 women's class (skipper and crew): '96 Europe Olympic Bronze Medallist Courtenay Dey (Westerly, R.I./Rye, N.Y.) and Linda Wennerstrom (Miami, Fla.); ICSA All-American Katie McDowell (Barrington, R.I.) and Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.); ICSA All-American Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Karen Renzulli (Needham, Mass.); ICSA All-American Lee Icyda (Stuart, Fla.) and Mallory McCollum (Concord, Calif.); and Elizabeth Kratzig (Corpus Christi, Texas) and '96 Olympian Louise Gleason (Miami, Fla.).

Named in the Laser class: 2002 Laser Midwinter West Champion Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.); ICSA All-American Brett Davis (Largo, Fla.); 2002 Laser Midwinter East Champion Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.); Andrew Lewis (Honolulu, Hawaii); and Kurt Taulbee (Buffalo, N.Y.).

Named in the Tornado class (skipper/crew): An interpretation of the 2002 Tornado rankings necessitated scoring skipper and crew separately. As a result, the crew of two teams did not receive the same ranking as their skipper, and an additional skipper and crew were named to the team. In ranking order one through four: 2001 Tornado National Champions Lars Guck and Jonathan Farrar (Bristol, R.I./Miami, Fla.); Robbie Daniel and Eric Jacobsen (Clearwater, Fla./Annapolis, Md.); two-time Olympians ('00, '96) John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree (New Orleans, La./Newport Beach, Calif.); skipper Doug Camp (Boerne, Texas), and crew Forbes Durdin (Houston, Texas). Ranked fifth are the husband and wife team of Greg and Caroline Scace (both Gaithersburg, Md.); skipper Stan Schreyer (Newport, R.I.); and crew Kenny Pierce (Miami, Fla.).

Named in the Yngling class (skipper and two crew): Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.), Liz Merrifield Filter (Stevensville, Md.) and Kate Fears (Key West, Fla.); 2001 Yngling World Silver Medallists Betsy Alison, Joan Touchette (both Newport, R.I.) and Nancy Haberland (Annapolis, Md.); Jody Swanson (Buffalo, N.Y.), 2000 470 Women's Olympic Silver Medallist Pease Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.) and Cory Sertl (Rochester, N.Y.); Hannah Swett (Jamestown, R.I.), Dawn Riley (San Francisco, Calif.) and Melissa Purdy (Tiburon, Calif.); and Kim Logan-Gochberg (Miami, Fla./New York, N.Y.), Suzy Leech (Avon, Conn./Annapolis, Md.) and Dina Kowalyshyn (Annapolis, Md.). Of the 15 women named to the 2002 US Sailing Team in the Yngling class, five have received Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year honors: Betsy Alison ('81, '82, 84, '93, '98); Pease Glaser ('00); Dawn Riley ('99); Cory Sertl ('95, '01); and Jody Swanson ('89).

A complete explanation of the ranking system is available at: www.ussailing.org/Olympics/2002/rankingsystems.htm

NEW PERFORMANCE LAMINATES FOR GRAND PRIX RACE BOATS
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QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
"I have learnt a lot about myself right now, and especially about how to control myself and not lose focus. Pretty hard sometimes! First you spin around the boat pushing the guys to move a loose t-shirt from leeward to weather bunk as we have to do everything we can to gain every single inch on the water. The next moment you are faced with ten pair of eyes, staring at you, wondering why we lost 30 miles to most of the boats and no one else ended up in no wind...." - Knut Frostad, djuice

"As often in this race, we have two races within the fleet. The A-group and the B-group. We concentrate totally on winning the B-group race and it will take a big wind stop up front to catch the A-group. Life onboard is disturbed by the heat and humidity. I have found being less hot sleeping straight on the bottom of the hull rather then in a bunk. Actually our aft bunk is made for 1.5 persons but we have to sleep two. Easy to get your legs tangled up we the other person's legs. Does not help to create peaceful sleeping in this uncomfortable sauna conditions." - Roger Nilson, Amer Sports One

"Our trusty Raytheon Radar that helped us miss icebergs in the Southern Ocean is now running just as hard to track our competition. During the day, we can see Tyco and what they're up to by eye so we can cover. At night, we rarely see their running lights, so must cover a lot by radar. By the rule, the radar is mounted on the mast for better range and clear vision ahead. The bad news is there is a blind spot astern, (where Tyco is hiding at the moment), and we have to rely more on the spotters then. We know they're trying to find a way to sneak by, so we have to stay on our toes. The radar also gives early warning of squalls and how they're tracking. The one time we really have hard time keeping track of the other boats is in a rainsquall. We are blind during that period." - Mark "Rudi" Rudiger, Assa Abloy

"I've noticed is, that on every generation of Whitbread / V.O.60s I sailed, the bunks seem to get smaller. At this rate, if they stay with the same boats, we will have to employ pigmies for crew. Wedged with my nose against the deck, and my knees doubled up while my feet are against the mainsheet turning block, I swear I'm going to get race management [people] or better still boat designers to sleep in the starboard upper aft bunk while at sea. After which I'm sure common sense will prevail in boat interior layout." - Grant (Fuzz) Spanhake, Team Tyco

"The most fun is dodging the flying fish at night. Nico [Chris Nicholson] got slimed twice last night. Sailing at 14 knot and the fish flying at eight knots the other way, can cause a bit of pain if hit in the wrong place." - Dee Smith, Amer Sports One

"Conditions on deck are wet and warm. You can either wear wet weather gear and sweat or not and get wet. Both options are causing skin problems for our crew. I have been delving into the medical kit to check out the latest spot developed, but so far, nothing worse than a little heat rash or gunwale bum." - Mark (Crusty) Christensen, illbruck

"Washing- and baby wipes have become very popular with the "spotty arse syndrome" in full swing, so it should be good for all the single blokes on board, as we all know that chicks dig it. Spotty arse that is." - Tom Braidwood, SEB

TROPHEE JULES VERNE
250 miles away from the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope, the maxi-catamaran Orange is extending her long easterly heading at a fast rate of knots. Sir Peter Blake's record between Ushant and Good Hope should be beaten tonight. On the edge of the fearful forties, the Atlantic has offered Peyron his best day's conditions yet, strong winds and steady seaway. And apologies for spoiling a myth, even the air is quite warm, the water at 16C and the legendary albatrosses are having their show stolen by... flying fish!

"We have just hoisted the medium gennaker, I'm in oilskin pants and stripped to the waist, running with sweat!" Philippe Peche can't get over it. The northwesterly that has been propelling them at full speed for two days seems still to be impregnated with the warm atmosphere of the tropics. 19th day of the race for Orange: 32 33 knots! The wind is still rising. - www.maxicatamaran-orange.com/site/en/index2.cfm

SPONSORSHIP
Skandia Life has agreed to continue on as the title sponsor of Skandia Life Cowes Week for an additional three-years. The new contract with the Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC) commences in 2003.

LIGHTNING SOUTHERN CIRCUIT
Savannah YC (41 Boats): 1. Steve Hayden 2. Larry MacDonald, 3. David Gorman; Coral Reef YC, Miami (50 Boats): 1. Larry MacDonald, 2. Tito Gonzalez, 3. Jeff Linton; St. Petersburg YC - Winter Championship (71 Boats): 1. Jay & Jody Lutz, 2. David Starck, 3. Tito Gonzalez; Overall Circuit: 1. Larry MacDonald, 2. Jay & Jody Lutz , 3. Tito Gonzalez. - www.lightningclass.org

THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Why is it that when you work late you go unnoticed, but when you leave early, you meet the boss in the parking lot?