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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1091- June 12, 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.

It's now winter in Auckland with strong winds, big seas and heavy rain squalls hitting hard over the last few weeks. Winter "down under" in New Zealand is officially 1 June to 31 August but you could be forgiven if you'd thought winter started in early May this year.

Alinghi Challenge (Switzerland), OneWorld Challenge (USA), Oracle Racing (USA), Victory Challenge (Sweden) and the defender Team New Zealand are all conducting their entire ACC training programme in Auckland.

Now there is only OneWorld left training regularly on the water in Auckland. The rest of the syndicates have returned home for a break, to finish their new boats being built in their home countries, participate in international match racing events in Europe, or go on promotional road-shows with their sponsors.

GBR Challenge (Great Britain), Prada Challenge (Italy) are all maintaining training bases in Auckland and their home town, gaining the advantage of moving between Northern and Southern Hemispheres to conduct their training in "endless" summer conditions. They both moved back to their home base a couple of months ago.

Mascalzone Latino (Italy) trained in Auckland briefly in March and April after their purchase of USA-55 from OneWorld once the American's had launched their second new generation boat and USA-55 became surplus to requirements. Apart form this brief visit to Auckland, this all-Italian team has trained form their home base at Portoferrio on Elba Island, Tuscany.

Team Dennis Conner (USA) and Le Defi Areva (France) are training from their home bases and plan to arrive in Auckland one to two months prior to the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup on 1 October

Alinghi were first out of the blocks with a new generation ACC boat in the water back in November last year. Victory Challenge followed with Orn, flown out on the same cargo plane as Alinghi's boat. Dennis Conner was next, launching Stars and Stripes (USA 66) in January. In March OneWorld launched their two new generation boats and are currently the only team with two new boats in the water. In April, GBR Challenge launched Wight Lightening (GBR 70) at Cowes. In May the two Italian syndicates, Mascalzone Latino and Prada Challenge launched new boats in Italy amongst great fan fare. Also in May, Le Defi Areva hit the headlines launching FRA 69 which was then damaged by Greenpeace protestors. The boat is now back sailing. - Cup News website, full story:

The maxi-trimaran Geronimo was violently rammed early on Sunday afternoon whilst moored alongside a pontoon in Brest's Moulin-Blanc marina. Olivier de Kersauson, explains the damage.

"After her 8-week major refit at Brest we were ready to cast off on a training run with Geronimo this Monday morning. We were moored alongside and finishing off fitting our mainsail when a Figaro-Benéteau suddenly appeared and missed its tack. It came straight into Moulin-Blanc under sail in 25 knots of wind, which isn't such a great idea when you don't know how to sail. The boat came straight at Geronimo, 90 degrees on and at full speed and rammed us violently aft of the beam mounting on the starboard (right) float. The float is shattered over a length of 1.3 to 1.4 metres below the waterline. The longitudinal uni-directional strands that make up the carbon fibre structure have been cut through. The damage is what you might see if some moron in a 4X4 drove into the Formula 1 pit lane during a Grand Prix and straight into the race car and its pit crew. That's exactly what happened here!

"The immediate consequence is that we'll have to take the boat out the water again because repairs like this can't be made afloat. What that means is that the crew will have to completely strip the boat again. They'll have to seal the damaged float so that we can get Geronimo under the crane, then take off the sails, the rigging and the mast and rebuild the tent on the quayside before getting down to the real work.

"This time of the year is very important because the days are at their longest and you can work at sea for long hours. Summer also offers us a good chance of picking up strong winds off the Brittany coasts. It's an ideal time to do our testing as part of the training sessions. It's hard for me to talk about the consequences of this collision at the moment, but what I can say very simply is that this is an appalling blow for the whole team working on and around Geronimo!" -

View and purchase the stylish Scuttlebutt Sailing Club clothing range from Line 7. Included in the range are a selection of Jackets, Vests, Sailing Jerseys, Polo Shirts, Short and Long Pants, and Hats. This is the equivalent clothing to what is worn by the Team New Zealand Crew and many other world class sailing teams that demand quality and style. 17.5% of sales paid to the US Sailing Junior Olympic Program. The Scuttlebutt Clothing Store is included in the official online America's Cup Store under "Casual Yachting". Click here to view:

In an effort to make US Sailing's huge website more digestible, they have inaugurated a monthly feature called, "Site of the Month." The featured site for June is Race Management, which will help viewers find a Race Officer (search), draft some quick Sailing Instructions (already in Word, fill in the blanks), compare Race Scoring Programs (software), use on-line Race Management Tools and Links or consider an application for your Race Committee to compete for the St. Petersburg Trophy (race management excellence). There is also information on the Race Officer Program and the Race Management Seminars. - Glenn McCarthy,

* Today, at around midday UTC, Maiden II will attempt to break the 24-hour distance record of 687.17 nautical miles that is currently held by Steve Fossett on board Playstation. The 110 ft maxi-catamaran will depart Newport, to sail approximately 250 nautical miles South-South East to a point that has been identified by navigator Adrienne Cahalan as the possible starting point for the record. There the team hopes to pick up a weather system that will help them maintain an average speed in excess of the 28.63 knot target speed for 24 hours.

* Oracle Racing's Legal Counsel, Melinda Erkelens, christened USA 71 in Auckland Tuesday in front of team members and their families. This new generation America's Cup Class (ACC) boat has a charcoal gray hull with the brilliant red Oracle logo on her bow. USA-71 will be joined by USA-76 in early July when the second boat is shipped to Auckland from Ventura, CA, where both boats were built. A special commissioning celebration will be held for the two sailboats in Auckland this July. -

* Following her launch in Cowes, Wight Lightning, the new boat of Peter Harrison's GBR Challenge arrived yesterday at the British team's base in Auckland. Having Wight Lightning in addition to the two Japanese boats in the British compound has made for a tight squeeze, but GBR-70 is now inside their shed, where a contingent from her build team are finishing her off in preparation for her maiden voyage. -Madforsailing website,

* The remains of Blue Point native Jamie Boeckel, the yachtsman who was lost off the racing yacht Blue Yankee on May 24, were found in the Long Island Sound off Port Jefferson yesterday, Suffolk police reported. Boeckel, 34, was knocked off the yacht in the Sound off Fairfield, Conn., during heavy seas. Police said a passing boater found the body about five miles from Port Jefferson Harbor shortly before noon yesterday., full story:

(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 John Christman (In response to Leslie Oplinger comments about containers lost at sea - and edited to our 250-word limit): There are many people around the world who are working full time on container securing and lashing to insure the safe transport of cargo on board ships. These efforts range from new ship designs to new lashing systems to better lashing analysis tools to post-loss failure analysis. The world's ship classification societies (e.g. America Bureau of Shipping) all have guidelines and rules for the ship structure and lashing system components based on these efforts. Cargo loss, be it containers or other cargo, is not something that anyone wants and everyone take seriously. After all, shipping companies get paid for moving cargo not losing it.

The fact is that the amount of cargo lost at sea each year is small and the oceans are very big resulting in a very small chance of a container and sailboat being in the same place at the same time. However, like many other risks in our society, the actual chance of hitting a container has been made to seem as though the sea were literally littered with the * From m and that is simply not the case. This is not to say that a boat and crew should not be prepared to handle a situation where the hull is cracked or holed whatever the reason. It is just that the chance of being damaged by hitting a container is small enough that it is not worth special consideration - the chances of hitting a sleeping whale are greater than those of hitting a container.

* From Sue Mikulski (edited to our 250-word limit): As a volunteer in Baltimore and Annapolis, I found crowds of people anxious to see the boats who knew nothing about. People waited in line for 30-60 minutes just to be able to walk past the bow of the boats in Annapolis. I have to disagree from at least the stopover in this area, that the enthusiasm was absolutely present. While it may have been slightly less with no local entry as we had in Chessie four years ago, I was pleasantly surprised especially in Annapolis at the reception. Just to have 1200 plus spectators in those conditions was amazing. I also think maybe they could have shortened the race as they did in Kiel timing it where spectator boats could go out and watch and welcome them to port.

One huge impact that never made the papers in Baltimore or Washington D.C. was the global aspect that the Volvo folks have added to the race which was not part of the Whitbread race. That is Volvo Ocean Adventure. 1500 local 10-14 year olds from our area were taken through a wonderful educational program seeing an IMAX film, Living Under the Sea, hearing a NASA scientist speak, and hearing some of the crew speak with a question and answer period. Volvo is doing something at every stop, and that is educating our future generations about the importance of the ocean and research and what that means for the future of the earth.

* From Neil W. Humphrey (In response to Tim Jeffery's Daily Telegraph Commentary on the VOR and with his statement of "without its stars the race is nothing"): I totally disagree! My disagreement is based upon the lack of marketing by the VOR and ISAF to the sporting media outlets that channel sports to the masses. Heck, in Canada we are only just getting the first leg of the VOR on our sports networks being aired this past May.! That's not good marketing - that's called filling dead air space!

If the sport of sailing was marketed with a creative vision for the future and understanding of today's youth markets, the sport would make it through to the media outlets without our so called stars as it's the marketing of the sport that makes the stars and not the marketing of the stars that make the sport.

Compare sailings marketing performance to other sports that have come along say in the last 20 years. We all know which sports they are. Hey, sailing is getting its butt kicked when it comes to marketing!

IMO, it's time for ISAF and it's MNA to jointly create and implement a real marketing plan from the top down. As a sport that doesn't lack finances or high profiled people, its time to get our heads out of the RRS book, IMS ratings, the America's Cup and into creating a global marketing plan with guidelines, calendars and etc for the sport to work from. Otherwise, as reported in the latest ISAF Sailing Summit, our sport faces further declines in participation!

(Graeme Kennedy profiled Mick Cookson and New Zealand's Cookson Boats in May 31 issue of The National Business Review. Here are a few excerpts.)

Some of the biggest mega-million-dollar overseas syndicates asked Mick Cookson to build them yachts for the coming Louis Vuitton series and, hopefully, to take on Team New Zealand in the America's Cup final next year. But having built NZL 57 and 60 for the 2000 defence and been involved in the event since the early 1990s, the Cookson Boat Builders managing director could not be swayed.

"They were offering huge amounts of money," he said. "But we decided that while the Holy Grail was in Auckland, after taking so long and so much effort to get it here, we would build the defender boats for 2003 if our services were required.

"We are pushing the envelope ... The intention is to make substantial gains in structure, strength and weight for speed gains. Stiffness is critical and essential for speed - the boats are strong enough but we've got to stop bending. I think we are in pretty good shape." - Posted by Cheryl on the 2003AC website,

Just about one month to go for the big event and now is the time to complete those last minute upgrades to make sure your boat is ready for the starting line! If you act now, you can save 20% on rigging orders @ West Marine Rigging. All you have to do is call 888-447-7444 and mention this ad to any of our custom rigging specialists. West Marine Rigging will also be on-site in the Chicago West Marine store, July 16th - July 19th, to assist you with all of your pre-race rigging needs.

The GBR Challenge Education project, Crew Challenge, is now well under way with schools across the Great Britain learning about one of the most exciting and secretive areas of the America's Cup - boat design. Teams in classes and youth groups are having fun learning the basic principles of sailing and boat design and then building and testing model boats.

The project is linked to the physics, science and design curriculums and new activity summaries have been developed to incorporate Cad/CAM for teams wishing to use this design software to develop their model. Cad/CAM is a package enabling pupils to generate products through computer aided design and link it to manufacturing processes. In short, the groups could design their yacht and then link the package to a production facility. The winning team gets a trip to New Zealand to see part of the Louis Vuitton Cup. - Jo Tipper,

Hungry for TV coverage to America's Cup boats? The IACCSF website has posted some footage of their recent inaugural Sausalito Cup Regatta that features onboard and aerial footage of the five IACC boats in the event. -

If you've enjoyed the animated rules quizzes on the UK Sailmakers website you're going to love the new CD that they've produced. The CD contains the ten animated rules quizzes plus the entire verbiage of the Racing Rules of Sailing. The animated quizzes take you through ten situations we've all encountered on the racecourse. Then, there is a written explanation of who was right and who was wrong in each of the situation, and that explanation contains hot links to the relevant rules. Click on that link and the language of the rule pops up on the screen (covering up the UK logo) so there is no flipping of pages during the learning process. It's a painless and very useful learning tool. -

* July 12-21: New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport. Americap II handicapping will be integrated into the first part of this two-part regatta (July 12-16) that has been traditionally reserved for IMS and PHRF-rated yachts. A daylong distance race on July 17 is an option for all yachts, and from July 18-21 the one-design classes take over.

On June 11, racing was cancelled due to light winds at the North American Championship, hosted by Lake Sunapee Yacht Club in New Hampshire, USA. Two races are scheduled for June 12. Results after three races (52 boats): 1. Reynolds/ Liljedah, 8 pts; 2. Schofield/ Braverman, 14; 3. Bromby/ Pritchard, 15; 4. MacCausland Jr./ Meireles, 17; 5. Sustronk/ Wolf, 18. Complete results:

A beauty parlor is a place where women curl up and dye.