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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1057 - April 25, 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.

The US$4,625,00 entry fee into the Antarctica Cup Race buys you a one design, high performance 82-footer from Ron Holland, fully equipped with carbon fibre mast, a comprehensive inventory of racing and training sails, plus a full suite of electronics. The boat is yours to keep after the 14,600 nautical mile non-stop yacht race around Antarctica, but what will it be like? John Roberson explains.

The design of the boats is still very much in the concept stage, and will not be finalized until after the Antarctica Cup Conference in July, when all interested parties will have a chance to discuss the project. However Ron Holland has given some indications of the way he is thinking, but says it is a refreshing change to find a race organizer seeking input from the competitors.

He says that, "one design opens up more interesting options than people immediately think," and while the aim is to produce a very fast maxi boat, he will be keeping in mind such things as safety factors, and the need for the boats to have a life after the race.

"This race is very much conditions specific," he commented, likening it to the Transpac. "The race to Honolulu is the only other race where you've got such a consistently predictable set of conditions that you are going to be sailing in."

On the subject of the general hull shape he says, "the experience with the turbo sleds in California, for the Honolulu race is pretty interesting. Those boats really, undoubtedly are the fastest downwind monohulls, and they gain a lot of it by being narrow, and I'm not sure if we want to be that extreme in beam/length ratio. In the Honolulu race they have proved over and over again that long, narrow, light boats are the fastest down wind.

"Our beam is probably not going to be as much as if it was an all round, normal ocean racing boat. I think the downwind influence might mean that we are fractionally narrower. The fact that the boats need to have a use after the race pulls you back into a non-extreme proportion boat."

"I think we should go a little higher in the freeboard than is the convention at the moment, and I don't mean by much, but you'd err on slightly higher freeboard. Because, why not? When all the boats are the same, you're not trying to lower the center of gravity by being lower with your deck than your competitor, which is the main reason to go low freeboard. This gives us less green water on deck, and a slightly more useable interior volume. I don't see any down side of that."

"Another example I think could be the design of the rudder, where in an open class, you are just paring away your rudder area to the bare minimum, because it's less drag than the guy next door to you with a bit bigger rudder. You've taken the risk of spinning out a little earlier than him, or gambling on having better helmsmen than your competitor has got, so that you don't spin out."

He added, "but when you look at the boat, it will look like a modern race boat. It's not going to be obvious when you are looking at it, that it's anything other than what the trend is at the moment for these fast, fairly light boats." - John Roberson,

Construction continues in Auckland's Viaduct Basin on the base for the America's Cup challenger Mascalzone Latino from Italy. The syndicate arrived in Auckland in March 2002 and has two practice boats, having purchased Dennis Conner's 1999 contender Stars and Stripes from One World. They plan to return to Auckland with their new boat in July. - NZ Herald, full story:

Working with a major binocular manufacturer, West Marine has developed a new line of marine binoculars called the Society Island Series which includes five models: Bora Bora, Huahine, Raiatea, Moorea and Tahiti. While each model is unique in its specific combination of features, all of the models share some common characteristics: Blue, rubber-armored housings for protection and a secure grip, fully-coated optics and extra-long eye relief for comfortable viewing while wearing glasses. Each model is backed by a limited warranty and are priced affordably. For more information, please visit your nearest store or

Leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race begins from Annapolis, Maryland, USA, this Sunday, April 28th at 1300 local time. The eight-strong fleet will slog 3,400 nautical miles across the Atlantic on its way to La Rochelle in France, and is estimated to cross the finishing line on May 11th.

The fleet is currently based in Baltimore and will sail in company down the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis on Friday, where it will gather for the weekend. The parade of sail will give sponsors and VIPs the chance to stand at the helm of one of these ocean racers.

1. illbruck, 41
2. Assa Abloy, 34
3. Amer Sports One, 32
4. Tyco, 27
5. News Corporation, 31
6. djuice, 20
7. SEB, 21
8. Amer Sports Too, 10

* Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race saw the eight competing teams dive deep into the Southern Ocean and a field of growlers, for Leg 7 the Race Committee are going to do the utmost to steer the boats away from ice. Recent reports from the various organizations that monitor icebergs and growlers in the North Atlantic are placing hazardous ice down as far as 40 degrees north off the east coast of New Foundland. This is slap bang in the middle of the racetrack.

"Between 51 and 45 degrees west the boats will have to keep below 40 degrees north," said Race Director Michael Woods. "This is provisional, and we will review the reports on Friday and Saturday, but we've got the information so we will take notice of it." The Race Committee will create waypoints in the race track to keep the boats away from the ice. - John Greenland, Volvo Ocean Race website, full story:

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (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 Ed Sherman: Jack Tallman and Cole Price recently addressed the MOB delima. A good, fast way to get a MOB back on the deck is to lower the jib unhanking it as it descends the forestay down to the top two hanks (leave top two hanked). Then lower the jib into the water like a sling, swim the MOB into the sling, and roll him aboard by raising the halyard and maybe winching the sheets.

* From Geoff Newbury (edited to our 250-word limit): The problem in most MOB recovery situations (and even in the 'going for a swim' situation) is that the person in the water has no method of supporting themselves except hanging by their arms from whatever. If you can provide a step of some sort, the MOB can use the large muscles of the leg. I recommend a 'climber's aider' or etrier as the quickest and easiest 'swim ladder' you are likely to find. Basically, it's a 5 or 6 step ladder made from webbing. It can easily be shackled to the toe-rail or chainplates or hung from a winch. My experience with rigid boarding ladders is that they cannot be used except in a calm.

It's small, easy to store on-board and cheap - $28.50 (US) at REI.COM (search on 'etrier') or $32.50 CDN at Mountain Equipment Co-op (search on 'aider').

In the situation recently recounted, the MOB was not incapacitated and could have climbed a ladder. Once the MOB gets their waist to deck level, the hard part is done. (Different considerations apply if the MOB is unable to help themselves, but if necessary, another person could help by standing on the ladder and helping to lift the MOB.)

The Canadian Small Vessel Regulations were amended a couple of years ago, to require that all boats over 6 metres carry a 'reboarding device' if the freeboard is over .5 metres. The change was because it's almost impossible to climb back on board a sailboat while wearing heavy clothing.

* From Ian Brown: Some interesting points made by Michael Hobson on race preparation and 'what it takes to win'. As we all know, Michael is quite correct in pointing out that sailing is one of the most complicated sports out there. Perhaps it is THE most complicated sport, with sailors having to understand the complexities of their boats and environment, and having to rapidly make rational decisions based upon the input of changing and often conflicting data.

But lets not forget the other mental skills that are required in order to perform at the top level; the ability to remain focused in spite of distractions, to remain confident even when things look like they are going wrong, being totally committed to every part of the program, being prepared to take calculated risks, accepting total responsibility for one's actions, being in control of one's thoughts and emotions, being appropriately goal oriented, and so on. These are the types of qualities that combine to create what sport psychologists call 'mental toughness'. As sports performers become more elite, the physical and technical differences between them become less, which places an additional premium on their mental skills. It is mental toughness that is often the difference between the winners and the also-rans. As Jimmy Connors once said, 'at the highest levels of the game, Tennis is 95% mental and 5% ability.'

* From Enrico Alfredo Ferrari: Mr. Hobson makes many valid points on the variables needed for sailing. Perhaps these two should be added. This sport is a lifelong learning activity like dance or music in that one cannot achieve perfection and thusly promotes a certain amount of positive addiction for those who would value an ideal. Secondly, I have always described the captain of a race boat as a conductor of a very complicated score of music having to blend several elements into a pleasing performance. There are many ways to do it and that is part of the thrill!

* From Jeremy Walker: I agree with Geoff Stagg's comments in 'butt 1051 about the demise of the Royal Hawaii/ Kenwood/ Clipper Cup, and salute Ken Morrison for the tenacious and superb event promotion and management he's done over the years. It really was one of the best ways to go racing - who can forget the weather, the Molokai Demolition Derby, the Hate the State Race, and of course being welcomed home at Waikiki with a tray of mai tais.

It's interesting that the original 3-boat national team Admirals Cup format, with 3 inshores, a 200 mile overnight and a 650-mile distance race, was so successful that it spawned the Onion Patch, Southern Cross, Sardinia Cup, Royal Hawaii/ Kenwood/ Clipper Cup and others too. But where are these series now?

It might be worth remembering that the main purpose of 3 of these events was to encourage foreign participation in an established offshore race, respectively the Fastnet, Bermuda and Hobart. With continuing evolution of raceboat technology, owner/crew time constraints, general anathema to hiking 40-footers for 3 or 4 days, and other pressures, it's perhaps inevitable that we move on to different formats. Would be sad to lose the mai tais, though.

* From James C. Malm: Please stop publishing the ''Sailing World' College Rankings. These Rankings are biased and are only the opinion of three coaches. Posting the results of each major event would be appropriate, but only including certain viewpoints is unScuttlebutton.

World match racing rankings are based on a point system which an individual can follow, the college rankings are not. Point: Mr. Holmberg can plan his season ahead of time and sail in the events that will hopefully give him the most points to lead the series. College sailors do not know which event the 3 coaches like or what point system they have to follow to get ranked.

Rankings bring in $$$$$$. I am curious to know what are some of the fall outs of ranking the challengers as of today for the CUP. I do believe those are very arbitrary too, and should be stated so.

LONDON, England -- Damage on the maxi-catamaran Orange has thrown into doubt the boat's record-breaking round-the-world voyage. Crossing the Equator on Wednesday morning, Orange skipper Bruno Peyron said the mast-to-hull joint, on which the 42 metre rotating wing mast sits, had partly cracked. If the ball joint broke completely the mast could fall. The most likely cause of the problem is lack of lubrication to the joint.

"The titanium ball that supports the mast is cracked around 170 degrees," said Peyron. He said the solutions were to head for the nearest port, "or continue and pray or try to reinforce the ball by laminating carbon round it in the hope that it will hold." The crew had decided to continue sailing due to the "good state of the sea and the fact that we're sailing downwind." Naval architects at the Multiplast yard had advised the crew to bond carbon reinforcement around the ball.

Orange is on the final leg of the Jules Verne Trophy, heading up the North Atlantic to the finish line at Ushant. - Inside Sailing website, full story:

Orange website:

Whatever it is you may race, Prams off the beach, a racing catamaran, a PHRF 'lead mine' or a Maxi Sleds offshore, Ullman Sails have proven time and again they can accelerate you into the winner's circle. Check out our website and find out what many already know -- Ullman Sails can help you dive into the silver:

Saturday, April 27: Volvo Ocean Race (Leg 5) - 3:30 PM EDT
Sunday, April 28: Volvo Ocean Race (Leg 6) 3:00 PM ET
Wednesday, May 1: Volvo Ocean Race (Leg 5 re-air) 2:00 PM ET
Thursday, May 2: Volvo Ocean Race (Leg 6 re-air) 2:30 PM ET

All programs air on ESPN2.

May 9, 2003: Hemingway Ocean Race from Ft. Lauderdale Florida to the Chesapeake Bay, the Storm Trysail Club, Ocean Race Chesapeake and the City Of Baltimore. In addition to IMS, divisions may be offered for Americap, IRC, Swans, and other qualified entrants. -

Sugar Land, Texas (32 boats) - Final results:
1st Peter VanRossem (CANADA) 54 points
2nd Jon Elmaleh, Brooklyn, NY 56 points
3rd Steve Landeau, Orange, CA 98.5 points
4th Don Martin (CANADA) 148.8 points
5th Gary Ward, Houston, TX 184 points
6th Dick Carver, La Habra, CA 193 points
7th Jeff Weiss, Irvine, CA 199 points
8th Craig Mackey, Arizona 205 points
9th John Rizopoulos, Sugar Land, TX 208 points
10th Rob Davis, Dallas, TX 218 points

Clyde Marine, the Glasgow-based deck hardware manufacturer whose group comprises Lewmar and rigging manufacturer Navtec, has reported a profit of GBP 0.1 million before tax, interest and goodwill, in its financial figures for 2001. After interest charges, a GBP0.6 million cost of amortising goodwill, and tax, the company reported a loss of GBP 2 million. This compares to profit after tax in 2000 on a comparable basis of GBP 3.3 million.

The loss per share was 27p compared with earnings per share of 44p in 2000. Turnover fell from GBP 59.3 million in 2000 to GBP 50.7 million.

The company's chairman Rhoddy Swire commented in the report: "Throughout 2001 the leisure marine market in the US was in decline, with some weakness also being felt in the Far East and parts of Europe. At the end of the year, the order books were very low. There has, however, been a surge of orders in early 2002 as boatbuilders have drawn confidence from the many boatshows around the world. - Ed Slack/IBI, Yachting World website, full story:

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.