Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1041 - April 3, 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.

(Following is the full text of a letter by ISAF President Paul Henderson posted on the ISAF website.)

Over the years I have often grappled with how to properly position Women in Sailing, both competitively and administratively. I have always come to the position that I do not support women as an absolute but support their involvement because it promotes all of sailing for if the Women are involved the Men and Youth will also be there.

In 1988 ISAF obtained a separate class for women in the Olympics. I agonized over whether this was good for sailing to segregate sailors by gender. After much debate it became clear that if we did not give women their separate event they would not get Member National Authority (MNA) and government support or funding for Women's Sailing in most of our 130 countries.

Since that time ISAF has been able to obtain 4 events of 11 in the Olympic Games for women and raised the total participation from 19% in Savannah to a guaranteed over 35% in Athens.

Personally I am a strong supporter of having at least one mixed doubles event as that would send a strong message that we are for Men and Women competing together but that is for another time

ISAF must now face up to the fact that there are not enough women appointed to the ISAF Executive Committee and to Council. ISAF must get at least 20% on each governing body. As offensive as it is, unless ISAF decrees this happens reality says it will not. I will therefore propose that for 2004 the following guidelines be initiated.

ISAF Executive Committee: That two of the seven Executives be women. There is now only one.

ISAF Council: There are 39 delegates and there should be at least 8 women. There are now 4.

Member National Authorities are represented by "Groups". They will be asked to appoint from their allocation as follows:
Area/Groups - Women Now - Women Proposed - Total Seats
Executive - 1 - 2 - 7
Europe - A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H - 1 - 3 - 15
Americas - M,N,0, P - 1 - 2 - 7
Asia - I,J,K - 0 - 0 - 4
Oceania/Africa - Q,L - 0 - 0 - 3
Others - 1 - 1 - 3
Totals - 4 - 8 - 39

The one women in the "others" is a delegate elected by the women to represent directly their interests on Council and that person should be appointed cognisant of this responsibility. I trust that ISAF Council will positively address this proposal and that the Groups will look ahead and nominate to Council in 2004 the minimum number of women suggested. - Paul Henderson,

There are few similarities between Naples Sabot mainsail and the #3 genoa for a Reichel/Pugh 70. But there will be one dramatic similarity if both of those sails have an Ullman Sails tack patch -- they will both be fast. The same applies to a 470 jib, a J/120 A-sail, the main for a 505, a blast reacher for a Transpac 52 or a Schock 35 kite. Right now is the very best time to find out how affordable improved performance can be:

NEW YORK, April 2, 2002 - UBS announced today that it will sponsor the "UBS Challenge," the first and only sailing championship to pit the United States' best amateur sailors against America's Cup teams.

Part of the prestigious Swedish Match Tour, the "UBS Challenge" begins May 4 with six regional qualifying races for amateur sailors and culminates in an early August pro/am race weekend in Newport, Rhode Island. The "UBS Challenge" Finals mark the first time America's Cup contenders have competed in Newport since 1983 and is the one of the last major opportunities these crews will have to race against each other before the 2003 America's Cup trials. Currently, nine America's Cup crews and two top-ranked professional sailors are confirmed to race for the $100,000 purse, one of the biggest in sailing.

The "UBS Challenge" Finals, sailed in identical racing yachts supplied by UBS, follow a mini America's Cup match race format along a short course near a shore-side spectator venue. The Finals are preceded by a series of Regional Qualifier events in six U.S. cities: Chicago (May 4-5), Detroit (May 18-19), Los Angeles (June 15-16), New York (June 21-22), Houston (June 29-30) and Boston (July 13-14).

The winner of each Regional Qualifier will compete at the UBS Challenge U.S. Championships against the last year's top 3 finishers from the U.S. Match Racing Championship, the top ranked U.S. Women's match racing team and the 2001-2002 College Sailor of the Year.

The top three finishers of the UBS Challenge U.S. Championships will advance to the UBS Challenge finals. All three events are match race formats sanctioned by US Sailing, which is the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing in the United States, and will be judged by official umpires from the International Sailing Federation. and

(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 Scott Walker (Re: April 1 issue of Scuttlebutt): For those who seem as if they may be taking life a bit too seriously: "...If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."- J. Buffett

* From Madeleine McJones (Re: April Fools negative letters): I highly recommend that folks who take such things personally and cannot laugh at such light should sail single handedly.

* From Ronald Dominicus (Netherlands): Anybody who cannot see the humor of the well invented stories in Butt's April 1 issue (I particularly liked the one about the Swans being used in the next VOR) is an April fool himself.

* From Zvi Ziblat, Israel: Thanks for a refreshing 1st April issue. Keeps one's mind on the important issues in life.

* From Sean Jeffery: May be all the upset April fool readers actually didn't realize they had been had, and proceeded to tell there friends about all the exciting gossip they had. Then to find out the truth and feel really stupid.

* From Gareth Evans: It's a shame so many people failed to see the funny side of yesterday's Scuttlebutt. I thought it was the most entertaining issue so far! And it's about time you guys "across the pond" adopted the IRC handicapping system.

However, where can I get a pair of the Totalban Sunglasses? The link to their website doesn't seem to work!!!

* From Ed Nygard: Can't tell you how disappointed I am to find out the "new 2006 America's Cup formula" was a hoax. Finally a touch of reason; a spur to real innovative development, and it turns out to be all smoke!

* From Gregory Scott Kingston: Two weeks ago Montoya shunts Schumacher, this week the favor is returned. NASCAR drivers are metering out post race justice in pit lane rear enders. Now Volvo boats can play smack and dance because the boats are built tough enough to take it. Let's hope week night tiller jockeys don't think this is a good model to follow. "It's all fun, until someone looses an eye."

* From Chris Ericksen: I applaud your coverage of the incident in the Volvo Ocean Race between Illbruck and SEB. I also applaud the decision of the International Jury. And I think the commentary by John Greenland touches on the very core of this point, if only obliquely.

John asks if SEB would have continued the race had this collision occurred in Auckland at the start of the leg that took the boats through the Southern Ocean; while we cannot know that, my guess is that she would not have. I further guess that, given those circumstances, the International Jury might have decided the damage to have been serious.

This points out a problem with the issue of "serious damage:" it must, in the final analysis, depend on the circumstances and conditions of the race in which the damage occurs. And that is why we must rely on juries to decide this. While there is little question about port and starboard or windward and leeward, the determination of "serious damage" must be left to the judgement of a jury. I think the VOR International Jury reached an excellent decision based on the situation; it may not have been right in another context, but was spot on in this one.

* From: Richard Kempe: Do you have to kill someone before it is serious damage?

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Tom Zinn's website has some new photos of SEB's shattered bow, along with other images of the VOR boats finishing in Miami:

* Tim Prophit: You know, it's too bad your IRC story was an April Fools Joke. We need some alternative to PHRF beside IMS and Americap, which US racers are staying away from in droves.

* From Nick Longhurst: It is said that every joke is funnier if it contains a grain of truth and there was more than one grain of that truth in your fake announcement of moves to IRM /IRC from PHRF. This is an idea with perfect timing. Although we have had more than enough slamming of PHRF in these pages the tremendous growth of these handicap rules speaks for itself...

* From: Peter Brown: Please tell me that the "Nothing Last Forever" story is an April Fools Joke. This puts a whole new spin on a two-boat campaign. Now everyone will need a new boat after the Southern Ocean legs, one that is "stronger, lighter, and with improved ballast system". If they get away with it I think the boat should start with the score it has earned. I think that is four DNCs.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: April Fool's joke was the first thing that crossed my mind too. We checked, but apparently not far enough. Here's a note I got early Tuesday from Jim Stone, Skipper Assa Abloy II: "As the skipper of the twin boat, I too, was a bit surprised to learn of the impending change. But, as I soon found out, much to the delight of the shore crew, yesterday was indeed April Fools Day."

* From Gareth Evans: With regard to the GPS/Galileo story. The Russians already have their own equivalent of GPS, named GLONASS. Although there is a large overlap between the systems, GLONASS provides better geographical coverage in areas that GPS coverage is poor (particularly in the higher northern latitudes, I believe). As a result it is possible to purchase "dual band" GPS/GLONASS receivers.

As somebody who works in the construction industry who uses GPS for work and pleasure, I know only too well the frustration of waiting for enough satellites to come into range to get a decent position estimate. There is no reason why this proposed system could not be integrated with the existing systems to provide even better geographical coverage.

* From Robert Constable (Re Dieter Loibner's comment on GPS): "It also might have been used to fly planes into buildings. This technology - at no fault of its own, of course - has had as much part in destroying lives as in saving them." Same with the whiskey compass, the sextant, the cell phone, and any other technology advancement. You can't name a technology that can't be put to nefarious use. How about the use of the rigid inflatable in the USS Cole attack.

GPS has added as much to aviation safety and versatility as it has to ocean navigation. It has enabled instrument approaches (i.e., landing in poor weather) to small, out-of-the-way airports that could not afford standalone navigational aids. It's allowed for more direct routing (lower fuel consumption) and made negotiating complicated airspace far easier.

As far as 9/11 goes, I was in New York City that day, and it was, in the old flying vernacular CAVU--ceiling absent, visibility unlimited. Those guys could see the World Trade towers from fifty miles out. They didn't need GPS, Loran or any other technology to navigate to their target. Besides, with their limited training, they probably wouldn't have known how to operate the planes' complex NAV systems.

(Mark 'Crusty' Christensen, watch captain on board illbruck Challenge, reveled in observing the opposition during the 4,500 nm drag race from Rio de Janeiro to Miami on Leg 5. Here's an excerpt from a story posted on the VOR website.)

I stand by what I have said earlier in that the winner will come from one of four boats, Tyco, Assa Abloy, News Corp and ourselves. Though I believe News Corp needs to change the way they are sailing to stay up there. Assa Abloy is probably the best all round boat in the fleet, but they do struggle with their sail inventory. Tyco is the best vmg (Velocity Made Good - or speed and direction toward the destination) boat, however it is the fact they have an awesome sail inventory which covers a lack of reaching speed. News Corp seems good all around.

illbruck is a good boat, maybe the best, but it is our sails and knowledge of how to use them that seems to set us apart. For long periods of this race we sailed beside Assa Abloy and Tyco. Often had the same speed - sometimes slower. The difference was we had sails for every angle and knew when to use them. It allowed us to stay closer to the course. Some of our sails are more versatile as well and it allows us to avoid sail changes when the breeze changes. It also allows our afterguard freedom to choose any course they want. - Mark Christensen, Volvo Ocean Race website, full story:

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

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (April 2, 2002) - The Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US Sailing has announced seven of the eight members of the team which will represent the U.S.A. at the 2002 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World Championships. Scheduled for July 18-27 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the event will offer competition in the 29er (boys and girls doublehanded), Byte (girls singlehanded), Laser (boys singlehanded), and Mistral (boys and girls boardsailing). The eight members of the 2002 U.S. Youth World Team are the winners of the following events, who have not have reached their 19th birthday in 2002.

Girls Singlehanded Entrant: US Sailing's 2001 Female Athlete of the Year Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), winner of the 2001 U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship (Leiter Cup) held in Laser Radials at Richmond Yacht Club, Point Richmond, Calif.

Boys and Girls Doublehanded Entrants: Alex Bernal and Tedd White (both Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Molly Carapiet (San Francisco, Calif.) and Mallory McCollum (Concord, Calif.). Bernal and White won the 29er Midwinters, held at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, Fla. Carapiet and McCollum, qualified for the team at the same event where they were the top-finishing girls team, placing fifth overall in the 36-boat fleet.

Boys and Girls Boardsailing Entrants: Philip Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and Ericka Kofkin (Melbourne, Fla.) qualified at the Calema Midwinters Windsurfing Festival, held in Merritt Island, Fla., in Mistrals. Both Muller and Kofkin have also qualified through the rankings as members of the 2002 US Sailing Team.

Boys Singlehanded Entrant: Will be determined at the 2002 U.S. Youth Championship, scheduled for June 21-27, 2002 at San Diego Yacht Club, San Diego, Calif., in Lasers. -

"To be honest, I must say that apart from what you already know, we had a little problem that could have had more serious consequences..." wrote Bruno Peyron in his e-mail of the day. Indeed, four days ago the maxi-catamaran Orange had a delamination problem with a part of the aft beam fairing. In addition two inside bulkheads were cracked in this zone that is very exposed to the violent slamming of the waves. After diagnostic, reflection, and repair, this "little problem that could have had more serious consequences" has now been sorted out and the maxi-catamaran Orange will be able to get back into her stride and "really show what how these boats can perform!" said Bruno Peyron. "Today we've got about 30 knots of wind and we're under either a full main or with one reef and the storm spinnaker." -

In yesterday's 'Butt we provide a link to what we thought was a CNN April Fool's story. Several technology-savvy readers wrote to let us know that the IP address was tip off that CNN had been hacked. The IP address belongs to, and it was someone there with the poor taste - not CNN.

PALMA, SPAIN-Olympic sailors in Palma were in shock after an Austrian Tornado sailor drowned just before the start of the final race of the Princess Sofia Trophy last weekend. Johannes and Martin Haeupl capsized and the Tornado turned upside down. It is believed Johannes got his hook caught in the trapeze equipment and was trapped underneath the trampoline. His brother tried to get him clear but his efforts were fruitless. A rescue RIB finally came to help but there was no knife onboard to cut through the trampoline.

The Danish Tornado coach was next to arrive and slashed through the trampoline, but this was 20 minutes after the boat had capsized. After Johannes had been cut free of his trapeze harness, he was dragged out of the water and attempts to resuscitate him began, but to no avail. Johannes is believed to have drowned some minutes before the Danish coach's arrival. - SailNet website, full story:

The aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way through Congress.