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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1038 - March 29, 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.

Having failed to finish two of the previous four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race due to rudder failure and dismasting, SEB skipper Gunnar Krantz now faces a protest by race officials for the collision with overall race leader Illbruck at the start of the fifth leg off Rio de Janeiro.

SEB sailed straight into Illbruck in a crossing, and punched a tennis ball-sized hole in the German boat. When SEB reached Miami - the finish for the fifth leg - on Wednesday, a big chunk of foam and dinner plate-sized areas of its own Kevlar hull skins were missing from the false-bow area, a feature which all boats have as collision protection.

"In the opinion of the race committee this constitutes serious damage," said the race committee's protest form. Having taken action in Cape Town against Illbruck's illegal propeller strut weed-cutter and against two boats for failing to observe traffic separation zones when leaving the South African port (subsequently dropped, somewhat ironically, as the race committee found the rules did not apply to yachts) the move against SEB comes as no surprise.

SEB performed a 720-degree penalty turn at the time to acknowledge its foul. In Miami all Krantz would say of the incident was that "it was simple human error" in communication between the bowman and helmsman when trying to dip behind Illbruck. Krantz and Illbruck's skipper, John Kostecki, have agreed not to identify the helmsman. In nearly 30 years of Whitbread/Volvo races, this is believed to be the first boat-to-boat collision.

Krantz's team finished leg five in fourth place, their best result, but lie seventh overall. Despite having his rules adviser on hand, Kostecki decided not to file his own protest: having led for a week and finished second, claiming compensation would have been tough. - Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK, full story:

* From the VOR Race Committee: "Standard Sailing Instruction 1.6.1 requires the Race Committee to protest SEB for having caused serious damage to herself during a collision with illbruck, for which she acknowledged her breach of RRS 10 (racing rules of sailing) and took the required penalty at the time of the incident.

"On the first night of racing during leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race from Rio de Janeiro to Miami, a collision occurred between SEB, skippered by Swede, Gunnar Krantz, and illbruck, skippered by American John Kostecki.

"The loss of non-structural skins and damage to the underlying foam forward of the collision bulkhead on SEB does not, in our opinion, constitute 'serious' damage. However, other damage to SEB, specifically the partial crushing of the forward collision bulkhead and the associated damage to the hull immediately aft of that bulkhead, has compromised the watertight integrity of the hull in an area frequently immersed during sailing. In the opinion of the Race Committee, this constitutes 'serious damage'. The Race Committee does not consider the damage sustained by illbruck during the collision to be serious damage." -

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: The Yacht Racing website has a great Andrew Ferguson photo of SEB's mangled bow. It's really ugly:

The two back markers djuice and Amer Sports Too crossed the finish line off MiamiThursday. Sailing in the so-called B-group for most of the leg, they lost ground during the final days of this leg from Rio to Miami. Unfortunately for them, they were becalmed right at the moment when sixth placed yacht Amer Sports One finished. A long, frustrating waiting day followed, until djuice got the breeze first and sailed away. Amer Sports Too followed an hour later and finished last, having spent a total of 118 days at sea in the Volvo Ocean Race - 15+ days more than illbruck.

1. Assa Abloy 17d 13h 19m 57s
2. illbruck Challenge 17d 14h 21m 52s
3. Team Tyco 17d 14h 34m 15s
4. Team SEB 17d 17h 16m 20s
5. Team News Corp 17d 18h 26m 28s
6. Amer Sports One 17d 20h 47m 40s
7. djuice, 19d 00h 37m 50s
8. Amer Sports Too, 19d 02h 33m 27s.

RACE STANDINGS after five legs:
1. illbruck Challenge, 36 points
2. Assa Abloy, 28
3. Amer Sports One, 25
4. Team Tyco, 24
5. Team News Corp, 23
6. djuice, 19
7. Team SEB, 17
8. Amer Sports Too, 8.

Previous ads for Ullman Sails have talked about the Olympic medals their sails have won; the World and Continental Championship triumphs; big regatta wins; and the impressive performance and durability Ullman Sails demonstrated in the Around Alone Race. But the real beneficiaries of the knowledge and know-how at the 24 Ullman lofts are the thousands of PHRF sailors who never get the headlines, but use their Ullman Sails to routinely collect regatta trophies - weekend after weekend. Find out how affordable improved performance can be:

(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: We've used an articulating bowsprit on our 78'-ketch, Beowulf, for nearly 40,000 miles now. For leadmines which are apparent wind machines, these provide a huge improvement in the down wind rig efficiency and VMG. And, if the control mechanism is set up correctly with "preventers" the risks of the bowsprit falling to leeward are negligible. If the bowsprit is set to leeward, or caught there in a jibe, the impact on the rig is one of lowered efficiency.

My wife and I sail Beowulf on our own, and always have either an asymmetric chute or code zero flying on the end of our bowsprit downwind - and we've yet to have a major problem.

* From Steve Brownsea: How quickly we forget, in regards to the living space in the VO60, if you have ever done a distance race on a IOR one toner you will have a different perspective on comfort.

* From Ken Guyer In 'Butt 1037 Enrico Ferrari says that One World's Cup campaign and their "focus" on environmental recycling, has taken the moral high ground and should be a shining example for all involved. With all due respect, I think I will wait for the outcome of the investigations and lawsuits alleging theft of design and technology on the part of One World before I am able to digest that statement to agreement.

Also the notion that an American challenger should be comprised of Aussies, Kiwis, and Brits ("One World") does not belong in the long tradition and origin of the America's Cup. If you want that to be the prevailing theme, spend your dollars creating your own regatta.

* From Bruce H. Munro: On the question of the Europeans building their own GPS, will Americans have the right to use it royalty free just as they have been doing with our system for the past several years? If so, we could switch back and forth between systems to see which is more accurate.

* From John Forster: Having lived in both Europe and the US over the last 10 years I think the opening comment on your article is insulting to Europeans. At present the Europeans are level or ahead in a number of aspects of technology. For example it is very easy to purchase a cell phone in England that will work on all systems easily throughout Europe and the world. This is new expensive technology in the US. I could then move on to other more mundane items but will not.

I'm sure your comments will be taken as a considerable insult to Europeans and think it deserves either an apology or details on the facts that have lead to this statement. In this you should consider all aspects of technology.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: I'll certainly make sure that the editors of Latitude 38 - the source of that story - become aware of your thoughts.

LONG BEACH, Calif.---Peter Holmberg, winner of the last two events on the Swedish Match Tour, will try for three when he brings match racing's top rankings back to Long Beach to defend the Congressional Cup championship he has won three of the last four years. The event is scheduled April 9-13 (Tuesday through Saturday) in the Long Beach outer harbor near Belmont Pier, which will have free bleacher seating and narration for spectators. Racing will start each day at noon, weather conditions permitting.

The 40-year-old sailor from the U.S. Virgin Islands leapfrogged Sweden's Magnus (No Relation) Holmberg in the Swedish Match Tour rankings by winning the Steinlager/ Line 7 Cup at Auckland, N.Z. last week, following his Bermuda Gold Cup victory in October. This week, updated calculations by the International Sailing Federation also moved him past his Swedish rival in the ISAF rankings for all of the world's match racers. Peter Holmberg now has a narrow lead over Magnus, 10,673 points to 10,613, but figures to stretch that in Magnus' absence. Earlier, Gram-Hansen had replaced Magnus Holmberg in the Congressional Cup lineup because of demands in the Swedish Victory Challenge's development program for the America's Cup.

The Congressional Cup skippers and their new and previous ISAF rankings are:
Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing, 1 (2)
Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark, 3 (5)
Luc Pillot, Le Def’ Areva, 7 (7)
Gavin Brady, Prada, 8 (8)
Dean Barker, Team New Zealand, 18 (19)
Ed Baird, USA, 19 (18)
Rod Davis, Prada, 23 (39)
Andy Green, GBR Challenge, 31 (30)
Ken Read, Team Dennis Conner, 38 (46)
Scott Dickson, USA, unranked.

The lineup includes the last six winners: Holmberg in 1998, '99 and 2001, Barker in 2000, Brady in '96 and '97, and Davis, the only four-time winner, in '81, '85, '89 and '93---the first two when he was a California resident before moving to New Zealand.

The Congressional Cup's total purse is $25,000. The top eight finishers receive Swedish Match Tour Championship Prize points. The top eight point leaders at the conclusion of the Swedish Match Tour divide a $200,000 prize purse, with the Swedish Match Tour champion receiving $60,000. - Rich Roberts,

Finally! A "0" weight solution to halyard identification even after covers are stripped! Samson Rope Technologies introduces its exclusive ColorMatch 24 system. All high tech Samson lines have colored cores that match the tracer colors. With multiple halyards forward, there is no need for colored halyard balls or other identifying hardware after the covers are stripped. The entire core is still color coded with the cover tracer. For more information check

One day hove to. Two days beating into a nasty head sea. The maxi-catamaran Orange has paid dearly for the right to take on the fearsome southern latitudes. At twenty knots on a sea that is once again manageable Bruno Peyron and his boys are all smiles at last. The very deep low that is moving away ahead of their bows is opening the door to the south. The great disturbed westerly flows are beckoning the maxi-catamaran on. Time lost on Orange's score card: a day? A day and a half?? Passing the longitude of Cape Leeuwin next Sunday or Monday will let Orange's men know exactly much the entry ticket to the Screaming Fifties will have cost.

"Another little effort and we should be able to worm our way under the nasty secondary low that's been preoccupying us for some days... the cold is back and the boys on watch are taking it in turns at thirty minute stints on the helm under the assault of the fire hoses, " said Bruno Peyton. "The sea is still a bit crossways on. It's damp on board but it's the price to pay for remaining on the right track. The south is living up to its reputation? no surprises!" -

"I don't think anyone sailed better than us the first couple of days, but we were slow unfortunately, and that was the problem. I don't know why we were slow, basically when we were sailing the right way, and they were sailing the wrong way, it looked like we were even. So we relied on the others making mistakes for 48 hours, after the first two days there were no mistakes to be made, it was north of Brazil and pretty straight sailing." - Knut Frostad, djuice

* June 19-23: ISAF Team Racing Umpire Clinic, hosted by US Sailing, MIT and USTRA at the MIT Sailing Pavilion in Cambridge, MA. The seminar will be held in conjunction with the USTRA Nationals, a qualifying event to US Sailing's George R. Hinman Trophy Championships.

* July 12-13: Wall Street and Corporate Challenge Cup, Shake-A-Leg-Newport. Benefit regatta contested in five vintage America's Cup 12-meter yachts.

"Discover Sailing: The Ultimate Adventure," is a free 17-minute video that Sail America, the sailing industry trade association, is making available to the public. The video blends original and manufacturer-supplied footage that highlights the excitement, romance, adventure, fun and sheer emotional escape that is the sailing experience. ESPN sailing commentator Gary Jobson and world-class sailors Martha Parker and Tucker Thompson host the "Discover Sailing: The Ultimate Adventure," video, taking viewers on a smooth, fast ride that includes:

  • Tips on buying the right type of boat for your lifestyle
  • How to get connected to sailing through local programs
  • Interviews with a sailing instructor and how to find a reputable sailing school
  • Information on taking charter sailing vacations
  • Footage that depicts all types of sailing activities - day sailing, cruising and racing
  • Families, couples, friends and individuals share their stories and firsthand experiences, describing how sailing has positively enhanced and changed their lives.

The Sailing World magazine website has published their latest rankings of college sailing teams:
COED (prev rank):
1. Harvard (1)
2. Tufts (6)
3. Old Dominion (2)
4. Georgetown (3)
5. St. Mary's (7)
6. Navy (4)
7. Boston Coll (8)
8. Charleston (9)
9. Hobart/WmSmith (14)
10. Hawaii (5)
11. Brown (11)
12. Yale (10)
13. Dartmouth (13)
14. Stanford (17)
15. UC/Santa Barbara (15)
16. Connecticut Coll (19)
17. USC (12)
18. Coast Guard (16)
19. Kings Point (-)
20. Washington Coll
Also receiving votes: UC/Irvine; U /Washington.

WOMEN (prev rank):
1. St. Mary's (2)
2. Old Dominion (1)
3. Brown (4)
4. Georgetown (12)
5. Hawaii (3)
6. Hobart/ WmSmith (8)
7. Dartmouth (5)
8. Tufts (15)
9. Boston Coll (14)
10. Charleston (6)
11. Boston Univ (-)
12. Navy (7)
13. Connecticut Coll (9)
14. Stanford (10)
15. Yale (11)
Also receiving votes: Harvard; UC/ Irvine.
Sailing World magazine website,

Vanguard Sailboats has agreed to sponsor US Sailing Junior Championships and select Adult Championships through 2006. As a result, Vanguard will become the exclusive supplier of boats and support to major to the U.S. Youth Championships (formally known as the USA Junior Olympic National Championship), the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship (for the Ida Lewis Trophy), the U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship (for the Leiter Trophy), the U.S. Singlehanded Championship (for the O'Day Trophy), the U.S. Junior Singlehanded and Doublehanded Championships, (for the Smythe and Bemis Trophies, respectively), and the U.S. Team Racing Championship (for the Hinman Trophy). Vanguard will supply Lasers, Radials, C420s, and Vanguard 15s. - &

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Indian scientists have come up with a cure for flatulence, by blasting guilty foodstuffs such as beans with gamma rays to knock out the offending chemicals that cause the problem. CNN website, full story:

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.