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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1096- June 19, 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 49er World Championships in Hawaii began with controversy when one of the Norwegian teams raced without their lead corrector weights for the first four races of the crucial qualifying series. When Christopher Sundby and Bovim Frode came ashore at the end of a perfect day's racing in Kaneohe Bay, they had completed a solid day of results, finishing fourth in their group. But when the measurer discovered that they had failed to attach 5 kg of corrector weights, their feeling about the day must have changed dramatically to one of dejection. But the jury decided that a 6 point penalty across all four races would suffice as a punishment. They had been let off the hook, for an infringement that could have seen them disqualified from the whole day's racing.

The lenient decision has certainly caused outrage amongst the 49er sailors who have spent a lot of money to come to compete in the most important regatta of their season. Few doubt that Sundby failed to attach the lead to his transom bar through anything more than forgetfulness, but it is nevertheless viewed as a major error. In such a lightweight planing skiff like the 49er, sailors are obsessive about stripping every last milligram of excess gear off their boats, let alone 5kg of lead. So the debate could rage on beyond today. - Andy Rice, madforsailing website, full story:

* This decision has been very unpopular with the fleet who have started a petition this morning to the jury, requesting that they review their decision and take a tougher stance on measurement infringements. The jury decision is made all the more important as this regatta is the classes first Olympic selection event, where the first 5 nations qualify for the Athens Olympics in 2004. - Event website:

Harvard University graduating senior Sean Doyle (St. Petersburg, Fla.) has been awarded the Everett B. Morris Trophy as the College Sailor of the Year. A finalist for the award in 2001, Doyle was also named an All-American for the third year running. Doyle had a standout senior year with the Crimson placing fifth at last fall's National Singlehanded Championship, then skippering the team to its second straight North American Sloop Championship win. At the spring championships in Hawaii, he helped Harvard to its first-ever ICSA North American Team Race Championship win, which they claimed by posting a perfect 17-0 score.

Other finalists were College of Charleston senior Marcus Eagan (New Orleans, La.); Old Dominion University senior Brad Funk (Clearwater, Fla.); and Tufts University sophomore Peter Levesque (Portland, Maine).

The Robert H. Hobbs Trophy for the Outstanding Sportsman of the Year was awarded to Blaine Pedlow (Bellingham, Wash.), a graduating senior from the University of California - Berkeley. Pedlow, an ICSA district President, was instrumental in helping the student-run Berkeley team work out arrangements that would allow them to sail out of the Treasure Island Sailing Center.

The Leonard M. Fowle Memorial Trophy, recognizing the year's best all-around performance determined by points accumulated at ICSA North American championships, was awarded to Harvard University for the second year in a row. The Crimson sailors won both the ICSA North American Team Race Championship and ICSA Sloop North American Championship and placed second at the ICSA/Gill North American Dinghy Championship.

Fifty-seven collegiate athletes were named to the 2001/2002 ICSA/Ronstan All-America Sailing Team. - Coed All-American Skippers: Matt Allen (Beverly, Mass.) - Old Dominion University '02 Chris Ashley (Point Pleasant, N.J.) - Brown University '04 John Birkett (Boston, Mass.) - Tufts University '02 Clay Bischoff (Coral Gables, Fla.) - Harvard University '03 Brian Bissell (Newport Beach, Calif.) - Georgetown University '02 Sean Doyle (St. Petersburg, Fla.) - Harvard University '02 Marcus Eagan (New Orleans, La.) - College of Charleston '02 Brad Funk (Clearwater Beach, Fla.) - Old Dominion University '02 Scott Hogan (Newport Beach, Calif.) - Dartmouth College '04 Brent Jansen (Weston, Mass.) - St. Mary's College '02 Bryan Lake (San Diego, Calif.) - University of Hawaii '05 Peter Levesque (Portland, Maine) - Tufts University '03 Cardwell Potts (New Orleans, La.) - Harvard University '04 Tyler Pruett (Del Mar, Calif.) - Boston College '02 Ken Ward (Tampa, Fla.) - Georgetown University '02 Travis Weber (Surf City, N.J.) - U.S. Naval Academy '02

ICSA/Ronstan Women All-Americans: Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.) - Old Dominion University '02 Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) - Connecticut College '04 Corrie Clement (Metarie, La.) - Old Dominion University '03 Emma Lichtenstein (Jamestown, R.I.) - Brown University '03 Molly O'Bryan (San Diego, Calif.) - University of Hawaii '02 Ali Sharp (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) - St. Mary's College '03 Jamie Smith (West River, Md.) - St. Mary's College '03

All-American Crew: Sarah Angel (Far Hills, N.J.) Hobart/William Smith '02 Liz Biondi (Norwalk, Conn.) - Old Dominion University '02 Susan Bonney (Westford, Mass.) - Harvard University '02 Liz Bower (Fairport, N.Y.) - Old Dominion University '03 Anna Cobb (Mechanicsville, Va.) - Old Dominion University '03 Suzy Galen (Marina del Rey, Calif.) - UC Santa Barbara '02 Caroline Hall (Tiverton, R.I.) - Tufts University '03 Sarah Helming (Sharon, Conn.) - Boston College '02 Marisa Ihara (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) - Brown University '03 Cindy Keppel (Rochester, N.Y.) - Dartmouth College '02 Galen Largay (Osterville, Mass.) - St. Mary's College '03 Catherine Littlefield (Princeton, N.J.) - Yale University '04 Emmy Spencer (Rockville, Md.) - US Naval Academy '02 Kara Sweeney (Milton, Mass.) - Stanford University '03 Emily Taylor (Bay St. Louis, Miss.) - College of Charleston '04 Jen Vandemoor (Centerville, Mass.) - St. Mary's College '04 Jennifer Warnock (San Diego, Calif.) - University of Hawaii '04 Leah Williams (S. Dartmouth, Mass.) - Georgetown University '02 Melanie Wood (Skaneateles, N.Y.) - Georgetown University '02 Michelle Yu (Mountain View, Calif.) - Harvard University '03

Honorable Mention Coed Skippers: Mike Buckley (Sandwich, Mass.) - Washington College '04 Curtis Flood (Richmond, Kentucky) - Georgetown University '02 Kevin Horrigan (Pawcatuk, Conn.) - Dartmouth College '02 Stu McNay (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) - Yale University '04 Danny Pletsch (Sarasota, Fla.) - St. Mary's College '03 Caleb Silsby (Manchester, Mass.) - St. Mary's College '03 Mark Teborek (Winnetka, Ill.) - Boston College '03 Dave Wright (Oakville, Onatario, Canada) - US Merchant Marine Academy '04

Women's Honorable Mention: Whitney Besse (Guilford, Conn.) - Brown University '03 Eliza Burnes (South Dartmouth, Mass.) - Boston University '02 AJ Crane (Warwick, Bermuda) - Tufts University '04 Carrie Howe (Grosse Point, Mich.) - Boston College '03 Roseanne Monti (Jamestown, R.I.) - College of Charleton '03 Jen Morgan (Seattle, Wash.) - Dartmouth College '02. -

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* The fifteen 25 metre maxi yachts for The Antarctica Cup will be built by Oceanfast, part of the Austal group of companies based just south of Fremantle. The Antarctica Cup is a 14,500 nautical mile, non-stop, dash around the bottom of the planet, starting and finishing in Fremantle, with a total of US$6.4 million in prize money. The race has entries from the United States, Britain, the Netherlands and Australia, with further entries expected from Brazil, Denmark, France, New Zealand and Ireland.

* Seattle's America's Cup Team joined Tuesday with the Seattle Yacht Club Junior Sailors and Seattle Parks and Recreation youth from local community centers and area Lincoln dealers to clean up the beach at Seattle's Golden Gardens park. More than 100 sailors and volunteers gathered in their OneWorld Beach Cleanup Team t-shirts to clean the beach, remove non-native plants and illegal fire pits.

* US Sailing has re-created "Sailing Medallist" as a monthly on-line magazine. In the June issue two-time Olympic medallist Charlie McKee discusses effective communication. Also included are reports from Hyeres (49er), the Star Spring Championship, the Tornado Europeans and the Elvstrom-Zellerbach Regatta (Finn).

* Louis Vuitton Watches have been named the Official Timing Partner of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Races for the America's Cup, and they will be responsible for the publication and distribution of all timing related issues relevant to the Challenger Selection Series. This includes live mark rounding times posted on the host TV feed and the statistics and internet-posted results boards.

(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.)

* Richard Hazelton: I just returned from New Zealand and was down there when the Laurie Davidson binocular incident took place. Of course there was a large picture of him with a rather nondescript article, trying to create something. I'm also sure he was joined on the public pier by many tourists and journalists also getting a look at the new boat. With their skirts on, you can't really see much of the other boats but even to just an average observer you can sure see Davidson's knuckle bow on every challenger.

The NZ press is incredibly biased and seizing every opportunity to embarrass those countrymen who are now on other teams. Even in an article about the Volvo race they only interviewed the Kiwis on the team, mentioning the American skipper in one line mid-article. It was exciting to be in NZ, where the people are wonderful and sailing is a passion. New Zealand is a nation of sails and keenly interested in everything that happens with the AC. I know they've got to sell papers, but the press could do the sailing world and the America's Cup a favor by reporting the goings-on with a bit less sensationalism. Thankfully, sailing will begin in a few months and we can concentrate on what's going on the water, which is what it should really be about.

* From Duncan Wood (edited to our 250-word limit): People have been falling off boats since man first ventured onto the sea. While the recent tragic loss of Jamie Boeckel has heightened our awareness, people will inevitably continue to go overboard, usually at the worst possible moment. It is a credit to the crews of Morning Glory, Boomerang and Bright Star in the recent Bermuda Race that they were successful in retrieving overboard crew. On Saturday, June 15th on Casco Bay three boats competing in a local race had crewmembers go overboard in difficult conditions. As with the Bermuda Race boats, all were retrieved successfully and the boats continued racing, a credit to the skippers and crews of those boats. Those of us who have time and experience on the water do our best to minimize the potential overboard situation, accepting that it is still going to happen and we still must deal with it

I have to agree with Bright Star's Craig Fletcher('Butt 1095). In out high tech world with the perceived premium on lightness, much of this high tech safety gear is woefully inadequate. It may work well under test conditions, but a real overboard situation is not a test. I can't imagine anything inflatable on the end of a line being much good in a blow. Safety gear and safety on the water is ultimately the responsibility of the Captain (skipper). There's nothing new or unusual about people going overboard. Let's concentrate on education and awareness and not get carried away with more rules and regulations.

* From Mike Howard: It comes as a surprise that there were four people who ended up in the 'pool' during the Bermuda race. What is even more surprising is they were all brought back on board safely? Obviously a tribute to the crews left on the various boats mentioned. Knowing many of the parties involved it is no surprise that they responded in such a professional manner.

What does surprise me is the fact no one had a safety harness on in the conditions described? Having just completed the last 5 legs of the Volvo Ocean Race I became a believer in the necessity of wearing a harness in questionable conditions, especially at night. Yes, there are those times you get caught out, (I recall being under water in the Bay of Biscay on the bow feeling pretty vulnerable).

It is the responsibility of the Captain or watch captain to see that they are worn. Neil Mc Donald our Skipper made sure this rule was followed. Staying on the boat is the best remedy. In light of our past brethren who have left us at sea the fact hits home that much greater. We have all lost a few we have loved, or at least respected.

* From Peter Huston (re 49er Worlds) What on earth is the point of a jury in the sport of sailing any longer? All too often, they are nothing more than the parole board for releasing felons.When we see a team in the Volvo modify sponsor-supplied equipment and get a fine that is less than the cost of a decent crew dinner, we know we are watching a freak show at the circus. We can understand this behavior - everyone is just in that game for the money. The event sponsor only wants a slap on the wrist, so that's what the jury dished out. And then I lost complete interest in and respect for the Volvo, both as a race, and as a car. In fact, I just bought a BMW, and I was previously a Volvo owner.

Now we have an Olympic class world championship that has modified long-standing tradition in the sport of DSQ'ing sailors who have boats that don't pass measurement? I simply can't understand why the jury didn't just chuck the offending team for all those races. What's next, oversize A-sails and 2 point penalties? Is Olympic sailing about to be dumbed down like the rest of the sport?

The consequences of losing the Cup would not only affect sailing in New Zealand, but it would also have a major impact on the country's economy. New Zealand has gained some $800 million in revenues from the America's Cup in tourism and the harbour has been completely redeveloped.

More, losing the title could also mean New Zealand would not participate in the next America's Cup tournament. "I think if we were not to win the Cup, conceivably we would have no right to be guaranteed a strong challenge for the next Cup, explained Manager Tom Schnackenberg. "The New Zealand economy may not be able to afford a challenge, depending on where the Cup was to go".

"We just assume that if we lost the Cup, it would be game over. We are carrying the hopes and aspirations of the country." - Hauraki, News, full story:

Roy Disney's first comment to the press after his record-breaking finish in the Newport Bermuda Race was, "You would not have wanted to be on the boat."

Disney said that going through the Gulf Stream on the 635 mile ocean race was bone-jarring rough. The big meander in the stream ran parallel to the rhumb line and just to the west. The 25 to 30knt South-southwest winds were stacking up huge square waves against the 4 to 6 knot South flowing current.

"At one time we had to go into speed control mode," said tactician Robbie Haines. "We slowed down to 8 to 10 knots, with no headsail and a double reefed mainsail to keep the boat from breaking up." "We were pounding off the 10 foot waves," Disney added. "As the old guy on the boat, I stayed below much of the time. And the guys were glad not to have to take care of me on the deck. Nobody could sleep because of the sound when the 75 foot sled hit the trough at the bottom of a 10 foot wave, 20 feet from top to bottom.

Disney said, "The good news is we are in the Gulf Stream The bad news is we're in the Gulf Stream."

"We had sick people and food was a problem," Disney said. "Nobody wanted to smell food cooking while we were in the stream." - TalbotWilson, Newport to Bermuda Race website, full story:

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QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Peter Holmberg
"When I looked at it (USA 71) the first word I got was "a weapon". I think Bruce Farr and his team are incredible. You can see they've put a lot of thought into it. It doesn't look like the other boats I've seen. I think we've got something different here and with the workmanship that our guys have put into it, I couldn't be more proud." - Posted by Cheryl on the 2003AC website,

Kaneohe Yacht Club, Kaneohe, Hawaii - ISAF World Ranked number one Rodion Luca and George Leonchuk (UKR) are leading the 49er World Championship after four races in 15 - 18 knots of wind on day one. Standings after four races (49 boats): 1. Rodion Luka/ George Leonchuk, UKR, 13; 2. Alistair Richardson/ Pete Greenhalgh, GBR, 18; 3. Pieter Lantermans/ Pim Nieuwenhuis, NED, 19; 4. Santi Lopez-Vazquez/ Javier De La Plaza, ESP 22; 5. Paul Brotherton/ Mark Asquith, GBR, 28; 7. Andy Mack/ Adam Lowry, USA, 28. 18. Morgan Larson/ Ed Smyth, USA, 41; 20. Jonathan McKee/ Charlie McKee, USA, 44. Complete results:

Karol Jablonski (POL), ISAF World ranked at number 12, has upset the form book to win the Amer Sports Cup ISAF Grade 1 Match Race event. He defeated Jesper Radich (DEN), ISAF World ranked number 3, by two flight to one in the finals. Bjorn Hansen (SWE), ISAF World ranked number 8, took third place by defeating Cameron Appleton (NZL), ISAF World ranked number 27, by two flights to one in the third place play off. Final results: 1. Jablonski POL; 2. Radich Johansen DEN; 3. Hansen SWE; 4. Appleton NZL; 5. Lindberg FIN; 6. Lindqvist SWE; 7. Williams GBR; 8. Sutherland AUS; 9. Angsell SWE; 10. Arbuzov RUS.

The curmudgeon is back from the Encinal YC's Coastal Cup Race, which turned out to be a very quick trip down the California coast. On the way from San Francisco to Catalina Island we had a lot of downwind sailing in the low to mid 30 knot range, with 37 knots being the top wind we saw on Martin Brauns' new Santa Cruz 52 Winnetou. It was an incredible ride, and we finished second in class A and fourth overall.

There were 39 starters, but eight bailed out along the way for various reasons, most of which had to do with the big wind. The J/105 Tiburon lost its rig, and there are lots of kites that will never race again. Doug Baker's Andrews 68 Magnitude set an elapsed time record of 32 hours, 52 minutes and 41 seconds for the 360-mile race.

CLASS WINNERS - Class A (and second overall): Raven, Nelson / Marek, 39, Mark Thomas; Class B: Wired, Beneteau 40.7, Robert Weed; Class C: Zuni Bear, J/105, Kennedy/ Bergman; Class D (and third overall): Takeoff, Laser 28, Joan & Greg Byrne; Class E (and overall winner): Sleeping Dragon, Hobie, 33, Mark Halman. - Complete results:

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