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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1044 - April 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.

NEW BOATS
It looks increasingly likely that the 31st America's Cup season will see a total of 19 new boats built, bringing the total number of ACC boats built to nearly 80 over the four America's Cups since 1992 when the class was first introduced.

As the first carbon laminate is placed on the mould for each new ACC boat a new sail number is issued. All ten Louis Vuitton Cup syndicates have been issued with at least one new sail number, several with two. So far the defender, Team New Zealand, has none, although it of course doesn't need new boats until a bit later.

GBR Challenge has recently announced that it will build a second new boat, but will not take it to New Zealand. This is not as strange as it sounds as the British Team will benefit, after the next Cup, from possessing two identical, latest generation boats with which to start training for the 32nd America's Cup.

Just recently Team Dennis Conner was issued with a second new sail number for this Cup, putting away any thoughts that this syndicate was short of funding. Germany's Illbruck Challenge has a new boat three-quarters finished but is currently in a state of suspended animation whilst the short-term future of Germany's first challenge is decided. '- Louis Vuitton Cup website, full story: www.lvcup.com

TESTING THE TACTICIANS
Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Miami to Baltimore, is the first of the short legs set to dominate the second half of racing. Although boat speed remains important for the coming legs those teams that have benefited from solid sailing and high average speeds over several weeks will need to establish a different tactic. Chances are it's going to be a battle of the tacticians.

John Kostecki's illbruck has consistently profited from her ability to sustain high speed with few problems; however it took the team three days to get back up to the front of the fleet after the collision with SEB at the start of leg five. Leg six is 875 miles short and is likely to take that same number of days - three - to complete and mistakes will incur heavy costs.

With this in mind teams are going to have to take a strategically different view. Assuming no-one on the illbruck crew falls ill or gets injured before this next leg, second navigator Ian Moore will be rejoining the team in place of Australian Noel Drennan. Kostecki's team has always insisted they have a crew of 13; they are simply unable to sail with all 13 and so have to make the decision when to sail with either Moore or Drennan. The tactical battle likely to take place on this next leg has therefore prompted the team to beef up their afterguard. - John Greenland, Volvo Ocean Race website, full story: www.volvooceanrace.org

APEN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD?
Just as a sword cuts a swath through your competitor, Contender Pentex sailcloth cuts a swath through your sailing competition. After a year of development, Contender Sailcloth is pleased to re-introduce our performance APEN PENTEX laminate line featuring our new, higher quality Pentex fiber. APEN film-on-film scrims for the serious racer. Durable APEN-T film-on-taffeta scrims for the racer/cruiser. Rugged ACL-PEN taffeta-on-taffeta scrims for the serious cruiser. 80% higher performing than Polyester, Pentex is an economical upgrade to your sail inventory whether racing, cruising or both. Your competition will get the point. For details visit: www.contendersailcoth.com

MORE AMERICA'S CUP
* The newest Stars & Stripes (sail number 77), which is still under construction at New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island is scheduled to be finished and delivered to Team Dennis Conner's training compound in Long Beach, California early in the northern hemisphere summer. - NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

* In the May issue of Sailing World magazine, Ian Walker was asked about his expectations for the GBR Challenge's America's Cup campaign. Here's his reply: "That's the hardest question to answer, and it's the question that everybody asks, 'How do you think you're going to do?' You can't say, 'We're not going to win,' because nobody wants to enter thinking they don't have a chance. But history suggests that it's a tough event. Every time we make progress and achieve our goals with our team, we feel more comfortable that we'll be competitive." - www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=780

* Team New Zealand members were in Timaru on Sunday as part of a nationwide build up to the 2003 America's Cup. Local sailors from throughout New Zealand were invited to race against a crew from TNZ in a series of regional regattas. It was all smooth sailing, despite an early southerly wind threatening its cancellation. Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club commodore and race officer Les Baker said he was more than happy with how the day went. "When I woke up I wondered if we would get a regatta at all but once the screaming southerly died down we had ideal sailing conditions, " Mr Baker said. As expected, the TNZ crew won five from five races. - Sarah Jarvis, Stuff NZ website, full story: www.stuff.co.nz

* Formula 1 and the America's Cup have a lot in common: in terms of sponsors, money, technology, attitudes and the egos of the big players. There are lots of crossovers, not least in the marketing where a company called "Travel and More" is applying some F1 ideas in the world of sailing. This is run by Tom Ehman, who was in charge of West's sponsorship of McLaren in the early days and nowadays runs a quietly successful VIP entertainment company in F1 circles, looking after the big cheeses, booking flights, getting the best hotels and delivering the VIPs to the door of the Paddock Club. Ehman is now trying to do for the America's Cup what Allsport Management has done for F1. The "Paddock Club" will be replaced by "The Base Club" but the concept is the same - giving VIP guests a good time around the racing scene with the sponsors paying for it. - Grand Prix.com website, full story: www.grandprix.com/gt/gt00215

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 Bob Fisher: As you recall the repeat digit America's sail numbers that Dennis Conner has had, don't forget he also had sail number 11.

AROUND ALONE
SOUTHAMPTON, England - Clipper Ventures announced that the city of Tauranga, New Zealand, will host the third stopover in the five leg Around Alone 2002-03 solo, round the world yacht race. Located in the Bay of Plenty region on New Zealand's East coast, some 250km south of Auckland, Tauranga is a favourite holiday destination in New Zealand and has defined itself as the 'stop-over in paradise'.

The stop over will coincide with the major holiday season in NZ and so thousands of spectators are expected to watch the arrivals, estimated from the 28th December 2002. The dramatic restart to the second Southern Ocean leg is scheduled for 26th January 2003. The dates also coincide with the lay over period just before the America's Cup finals start, and so Around Alone & Tauranga will have the benefit of the world's media on their doorstep. - Mary Ambler, www.aroundalone.com

HEY OCKAM WHAT ABOUT ME?
The Ockam Tryad system is designed to meet (in fact far exceed) the needs of the boating world's most demanding users - the processing power, input choices, ethernet connectivity options, etc. enable some fairly exotic applications of yacht instrument technology. But what if you want to keep it relatively simple? Can you still get Ockam's legendary primary function performance without having to buy an overkill setup? Actually, by combining the Tryad T2 Multiplex interface with our "classic" Unisyn Model 001 CPU, a new Ockam system costs less and does more than ever before! See www.ockam.com

TROPHEE JULES VERNE
It's a great day in perspective on the maxi-catamaran Orange. The ridge of high pressure crossed in the night barely slowed Orange down. "Only a little windward work in the night" admitted skipper Bruno Peyron. The wind shift to the north happened as forecast and the Marseilles giant greedily took advantage, accelerating on a SSE heading, on port tack and all sail set. Of course with the expected strengthening, they eventually had to reduce sail somewhat, and within a few hours, the whole range of sails had been brought out and aired and brought back in again by a crew as lively as ever; full main and gennaker became single reefed main and solent, then 2, then 3 reefs and staysail. Reduced sail area and perfectly controlled speed. "After a few surfs at 32 knots we're maintaining a steady speed of between 22 and 24 knots along the route" described the skipper from Marseilles.

"The boat is now lightened by about a ton and a half of food and fuel consumed. She is more manoeuvrable and easier to position on the waves." The weather is damp and the warm front brought along its batch of clouds and some precipitation. Orange is once again heading back down towards the deep south. They must seek a passage between the highs that are lazily camping between 50 and 60 degrees south. - www.maxicatamaran-orange.com

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"It's a pretty wild ride and very uncomfortable. People are sleeping on sails in full wet gear in the bilge waiting for a call-up to assist on deck. Some of the lads are suffering from skin irritations from being in wet weather gear for so long and there's a bit of tendonitis in some joints but generally everyone is well and strong. Orange in great shape from what we can tell and see, she stinks a bit though. During daylight tomorrow we will give her a good wash. Starting to see small effects of the distance traveled in her. Patches of antifouling wearing thin, a few rust stains a couple of scars here and there." - Nick Maloney, maxi-catamaran, Orange

"Racing at Key West (Race Week) is like giving blood. At home you think you're the best. Here, you find there's no filler in the fleet because nobody travels 2000 miles with their boat just for fun - they're serious." - Ron Levine, from a story in Sailing World magazine, www.sailingworld.com

"I think illbruck's key is they're incredibly well polished. They know their sails, they know their angles, they don't get too flapped about other people. They get on with their own thing and up until now they've been able to slowly sail away from people. I don't think there's been a leg where they've been ahead at the start. They've just not taken too many risks, they've stayed in the middle of the road and sailed cool and eventually they get round people and slowly get ahead. Hopefully the rest of us are catching up with them and that won't happen anymore or as much". - Neal McDonald, skipper Assa Abloy, madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.com

KEEPERS
Mike Howard made his debut onboard Assa Abloy in leg 5 from Rio de Janeiro to Miami. Howard fitted in extremely well and gentle giant was offered a spot until the finish in Kiel. 'Big Mike' from Malibu California will be the third American to join the crew. Co-Skipper and navigator Mark Rudiger from San Francisco was signed up from the very start of the project in October 2000. Then Chris Larson from Annapolis Maryland joined the team during race preparation in Gothenburg in June 2001. Larson sailed with the team in the victorious leg 3 from Sydney to Auckland and rejoined the crew on Assa Abloy from Rio to Miami to stay until the finish in Kiel.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
April 20-21: Ahmanson Cup / Skylark Trophy / Dickson Ocean Racing Series, Newport Harbor YC. J/105s, Melges 24s, Santana 30/30s, Schock 35s, Transpac 52s and PHRF. - www.nhyc.org

LASER MASTER US NATIONALS
Lake Travis, Austin Yacht Club, Austin TX - 45 boats in conditions ranging from 3-18 kts. First two days brought light shifty, puffy conditions, and Saturday's finale was sailed in 15 with puffs to 18.
Final results:
1. Ned Jones, Newport Beach CA, 68 pts
2. Chris Raab, Sunset Beach CA, 70 pts
3. Scott Young, Austin TX, 83 pts
4. Peter Seidenberg, Portsmouth RI, 92 pts
5. Eric Faust, Austin TX, 92 pts
6. Doug Peckover, Dallas TX, 94 pts
7. David Morgan, Houston, TX, 96 pts
8. John Bartlett, Austin TX, 98 pts
9. Jim Christopher, Eureka CA, 107 pts
10. Brig North, Dallas TX, 110 pts

MELGES 24 NAs
Eastport YC, Annaloplis MD - Final results (28 boats)
1. Star, Ecklund/ Melges, 10
2. Flying Toaster, Dow, 26
3. Kilroy, Jones / Reynolds, 28
4. L5-S1, Filter, 36
5. Pumbaa, Pignoler / Sauer, 45
www.regattaweb.net/Melges24NAs2002/results.htm

HEAVY DUTY
Long Beach, CA - The future of American sailing blew through town, with a firm push from the present. There were 125 of the top boy and girl sailors in the nation who spent four days and three nights, on the water and off, absorbing knowledge dispensed by an elite faculty of world-class competitors. The faculty at the CISA Advanced Racing Clinic at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club included Charlie McKee, Bob Merrick, Meg Gaillard, Mark Mendelblatt, Kevin Hall, Nick Adamson, Carisa Harris, Bill Hardesty, Rich Feeny, Robert Dean, Skip Whyte, Brian Doyle, Zack Leonard, Jon Rogers, Jaimie Malm, Adam Dearmont and clinic director Peter Wells.

Evening talks were presented by Ken Read and Peter Isler, helmsman and navigator, respectively, for Team Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes; Keith Kilpatrick, a Long Beach resident who survived a debilitating illness aboard Amer Sports One in the Southern Ocean during the Volvo Ocean Race, and Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin, who with Trevor Baylis won the 18 Foot Skiff international championship in Australia this year.

After three days of intense instruction, the clinic climaxed with a Sunday regatta in light winds. - Rich Roberts, www.cisasailing.org

SERVER PROBLEMS
The gremlins seems to have completely taken over our mail server, which means that many readers will be getting their Scuttlebutt a lot later than usual - a lot later than we'd like you to have it. This problem will not go away over night, but hopefully, I'll have some progress to report by midweek. In the mean time, I'm pretending to be patient and understanding. Isn't technology wonderful? - The Curmudgeon

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
When you rearrange the letters of 'Snooze Alarms' it reads, 'Alas - No More Zs.'