Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1052 - April 18, 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.

As the fleet of the Volvo Ocean Race continues racing up Chesapeake Bay, a shift in the wind direction is helping to blow the yachts towards Baltimore and assisting the crews in avoiding the shallow waters and fish nets that are common to the bay. The fickle winds have started to average out at 10 knots over the last couple of hours allowing the yachts to achieve some slightly better speeds once again, currently the fleet are doing between eight and nine knots!

The front pack are split over thirteen nautical miles and currently being led by News Corp, Amer Sports One is hot on her heels just four miles behind. Overall race leaders illbruck are currently in fourth place, seven miles behind News Corp.

The biggest competition however is at the back of the fleet where Tyco, djuice and Amer Sports Too are fighting for sixth and seventh positions. With only one mile separating these yachts, nobody wants to be the "Chessie tailend Charlie".

The first boats are expected to cross the line just after midnight local time in Baltimore.

Positions at 2213 GMT:
1. News Corp, 65 miles to finish
2. Amer Sports One, 4 miles to leader
3. Assa Abloy, 6 mtl
4. illbruck, 7 mtl
5. Team SEB, 13 mtl
6. Team Tyco, 55 mtl
7. djuice, 55 mtl
8. Amer Sports Too, 56 mtl --

Deliberately, and because there is no other choice, Orange has surrendered herself to the anticyclone. The wild run started under Australia has butted up, off Tristan da Cunha, against the soft belly of high pressure circulating off Africa. Speeds are tumbling. The sails are barely being filled. Helmsmen and trimmers are hunting the tiniest breath of air on a sea of little swell. They must gain ground to the NE, to reach the other side of the high. Because the threatening low is thundering up behind, with 45 knot winds more treacherously oriented NW, which would be right on the nose of the maxi-cat from Marseilles.

At 0800 GMT Wednesday April 17, the maxi-cat was off the coast of Brazil headed northeast. Relative to the position of current record holder Sport Elec after the same time at sea, Orange is farther north and farther east. --

From GILL, CAMET, RONSTAN, EXTRASPORT, NORTH SAILS & MORE ...Yes, FREE. We are celebrating our 15th year in business this and every week this year by giving away FREE sailing equipment from these and other leading manufacturers at Stop by and see why our website receives more than 100,000 hits per month from high performance sailors worldwide. Our staff sails on some of the highest performance boats in the world and we stay up to date with the latest innovations from the finest manufacturers of sailing gear. TOLL FREE ordering, competitive prices & no sales tax outside California.

Pyewacket's dominance at the BVI Spring Regatta has cemented its position as the leader of the 2002 Caribbean Big Boat Series (CBBS) after two events. With only Antigua Sailing Week to go in the CBBS he looks unstoppable.

Pyewacket, racing for the first time in the Caribbean, took five bullets after the two days of racing at the BVI Spring Regatta while Tom Hill's Titan (2,2,2,3,2) beat Bill Alcott's Equation (3,3,3,2,3) by three points.

"It's great, it's terrific," said Roy Disney on the CBBS. "I didn't really know about it [the CBBS] until we started talking and made this schedule and realized that there was this overall event. It's fun to be in something that's a continuing deal."

Full story at

At the request of Member National Authorities, the Organizing Committee of the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games have decided to extend the entry date to 1 June 2002.

The 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games will be held in Marseille, France from 29 June to 10 July. --

Tracy Edwards and her team aboard Maiden 2 have 1666 miles to go to the finish at San Salvador, at the end of Day 6 of their transatlantic crossing from Cadiz and are 60 km behind current record holder Club Med's position at the end of 6 days. (Edwards purchased Club Med and renamed it Maiden 2). They have travelled 2242 miles at an average speed of 15.56 kts, and need to maintain 15.10 kts over the remaining miles to break the record.

"Tough times still lie ahead as we take an unfavored gybe into the south in a race to get to the new wind down at 24S. As the centre of the high pressure system continues to chase us south, we are just trying to stay one step ahead to keep in 15-17kts tradewinds. We have struggled with rain squalls this morning that have slowed us down. It is always difficult to decide whether to gybe away from them or tough it out through them , because although you can see their size on the radar, often the windless areas on the approach or departure from a cloud can be a little tricky to get exactly right." -- Adrienne Cahalan, navigator


Not much is truly custom made anymore - but Ockam Instruments has quietly provided custom products since the early 1980s. A few examples from our "099 Custom " series: Depth Below Keel that changes with centerboard height, Yanmar engine RPM, oil and water warnings on Ockam displays, enemy tracking by laser gun or radar screen "pinging", dual depth sounders (fore and aft for BIG boats), weather boat systems, race committee boat systems, and more. To discuss your custom application email Tom Davis ( Visit

(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 Olin Stephens: This is just to say briefly how pleased I was to see Geoff Stagg's letter in Butt 1051 and how strongly I wish to second and support his hope that the powers that be might get together to produce a simplified scoring version of the IMS.

* From Fabio Colivicchi: Please note that a deal has recently been signed between NZ and RAI network, for the next America's Cup coverage rights. RAI will be again, as in the 2000 Cup, the TV covering the ACC for Italy. RAI itself will close a deal for the digital/satellite coverage.

* From Mike Blecher: Some years ago I gave my then nine year old a gift--a shiny new rigging knife. We sat together, comparing her new one to my old, much less shiny one, showing its years of wear and tear. We then used her new one to assist in splicing a painter to the mast step of her training Sabot, a boat that, incidentally, was considerably older than she was. I used that opportunity to sit quietly and explain that the knife was an important tool for a sailor--a potentially dangerous one that should be treated with respect, but always taken with, whenever there was sailing to be done.

Unlike the myriad other gifts made to daughters by indulgent Dads, that knife is today still very much a part of her kit--now carefully packed in checked baggage while she, now as a teenager, travels to national-level regattas around the country. Oh, how I remember the parental uproar when West Marine quite generously, I thought, donated some knives to be used in a local junior regatta as trophies! If we teach early on about the important level of safety they provide the sailor, the lack of one nearby should not ever cost someone's life.

* From David Greening: As an active dinghy sailor and ex-14er a few points - I have never found the problem of being unable to detach from the hook in a capsize, but I can recognize the problem. If a non-hook trapeze attachment is to be established then it must be as easy to attach and detach as a conventional hook, otherwise sailors using it will be at a competitive disadvantage and therefore not use it, alternatively make the new style attachment mandatory.

With regard to PFD's in trapeze boats, I can see why a full buoyancy vest is can be a problem, but the modern "minimum" buoyancy vests seem ok, the difficulty is that whereas a PFD may be difficult whilst under a capsized boat, it is comforting to have one when separated from the boat!

The most scary thing is being trapped under the main or kite in a capsize and being disorientated with regard to the best route out, the advice of having a knife is good, and I can think of a couple of occasions when it might have been used, though I am still here! We live in an increasingly litigious society, it saddens me that race officers have to protect themselves legally, races are increasingly called off in lower wind strengths, I would prefer that competitors sign a disclaimer and accept responsibility for their own safety.

* From Larry Ehrhardt: I am disappointed to read Hans Graf's claim that, with respect to safety, we, as race officers, are responsible for the sport. Other letters in the same issue seek to raise again the fears and arguments on the PFD question. It was just four years ago that your readers witnessed a long and bitter debate on these questions. At the end of the day, most sailors and organizations chose to ignore the efforts to impose mandatory PFD use and the world did not come to an end. Race committees bear the same awesome responsibility as everyone else to give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger, no more, no less. The only exception should be in certain situations such as junior events where organizers may act in loco parentis.

These principals are clearly established in Rules 1 and 4 and by the detailed waivers which have become the norm on most entry forms. Let's not reopen this thread again, just direct your new subscribers back to the Scuttlebutt archives ( from March and April 1998.

Guest Editor's Note: The best way to search the 'Butt archives is with the keyword search at Type in Scuttlebutt and any other word or phrase. A search for Scuttlebutt PFD (using the 'All Words' option) yielded 47 results dating to 1998.

* From Bruce Gresham: Twenty years ago, the vast majority of junior sailing programs did NOT require juniors to wear lifejackets while sailing. After attending a (then) USYRU sailing instructors program, we made it mandatory, for the first time, that junior sailors wear PFDs at all times during the summer sailing program. You should of heard the parents howl. " little Johnny won't wear a PFD. Suzy will get caught under the boat. Yada Yada." They sounded like some of today's Scuttlebutt readers. What happened? The kids would not take the lifejackets off. They wore the PFDs all the time. They wore them rigging the boats, eating lunch, in the pool... and of course while sailing. Today the VAST majority of junior sailing programs require PFDs at all times. The new generation of sailors should hear us old salts preaching "Wear PFDs!"

* From Tim Robinson: Enough on listing crew as part of the team! Any reasonable sailor knows this is a team sport, there is no argument here. But if you want to fix the problem, the problem is fairly simple. I spent years as an editor at Sailing World chasing race organizers for skipper and crew names(a job gleefully passed on to me by previous editors at Sailing World with the same problem).

And I know those race organizers spent a far longer time chasing skippers and crews to fill out registration forms with the full first and last names, legibly. What a difficult concept!! I can't tell you the amount of time spent at Sailing World and I'm sure many other magazines, PR organizations and US Sailing chasing these small details to give recognition where it is due. Let's spend our time addressing bigger, more complicated issues like that which Geoff Stagg refers to, because this one is a no-brainer.

* From Scott MacLeod (Tour Director, Swedish Match Tour): In response to Rick Wrightson comments on the Swedish Match Tour's - Congressional Cup, the final release and all of the event releases did mention the team members. They were probably dropped by the editors covering the event due to limits they have on words and lines of copy they are allowed. There is no other series that is probably more "team" oriented than the Swedish Match Tour. Top sailing teams competing in one-on-one match races in identically supplied racing yachts on 20 minute courses creates very close competition. Only the best "teams" rise to the top in these circumstances and make it to the final day. Peter Holmberg went to great strides to thank and congratulate his team and each member throughout the Congressional Cup.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: While Scott and his team do an excellent job publicizing the Swedish Match Tour, I'm relatively sure that the final Congressional Cup release we got did not mention the names of Holmberg's crew - and I'm positive the story on the Swedish Match Tour website does not:

Also, there is the same omission in the event's final story on the Long Beach Yacht Club's site:

The Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame invites the public to celebrate Season Opening activities on Saturday, April 27, 2002. A day-long slate of events designed for the novice sailing historian and connoisseur alike will commence at 11:00 a.m. in Bristol, R.I. All activities are free (regular admission charge is $5/adult) and suitable for children. Clam Chowder and other refreshments will be served at Noon.

The Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame is located on the corner of Route 114 and Burnside Street in Bristol, R.I. More information and travel directions are available at or by calling the Museum at 401-253-5000.

The European Match Racing Championship gets underway Thursday in the Bay of Calpe, Alicante Spain. Twelve teams from seven countries are taking part in the Championship. Four of the top 10 ISAF ranked match racers are in attendance: Jesper Radich Johansen (3rd) Denmark, Jes Gram-Hansen (5th) Denmark, Bjorn Hansen (6th) Sweden, and Francois Brenac (7th) France. The organizer is the Club Nautico Calpe. See

Never miss a good chance to shut up. -- Will Rogers