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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1097 - June 20, 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 six men accused of murdering New Zealand yachting hero Sir Peter Blake have been found guilty in a Brazilian court. Ricardo Colares Tavares, the 23-year-old who confessed to shooting Sir Peter in what he described as self-defence, was sentenced to 36 years and 9 months. The other five received various sentences of at least 26 years 8 months. Several of the sentences were largely symbolic, because under Brazilian law no one can serve more than 30 years in prison at a single stretch.

Speaking from the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, New Zealand Embassy First Secretary Jeff Langley said all six were also found guilty of simple armed robbery. But a third charge relating to a shot that grazed one of the Seamaster's crew as the bandits were leaving the boat was dismissed. They all have five days in which to decide whether to appeal against the sentence.

Although the men confessed within days of Sir Peter's death on the Amazon last December, a federal judge had been deciding whether the charge they all faced of latrocinio (armed robbery leading to death) was appropriate. The judge last week disallowed defence claims that the ringleader Tavares, who fired the two fatal shots into the back of the skipper, was mentally ill at the time.

Blake, 53, was shot dead on Dec. 5 last year by pirates who boarded his sailing vessel Seamaster, anchored at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil's poor northern state of Amapa. Seamaster had just completed an expedition up the Amazon and was due to leave Brazil within days. - NZ Herald, full story:

The International Jury at the 49er World Championships re-opened the protest hearing of the measurement infringement of the Norwegian team of Christopher Sundby and Bovim Frode. Many competitors were unhappy that the team was only panelized 20% of her score in races when they failed to carry their 5 kg corrector weights. Following a public hearing on the matter, the jury decided on the harsher penalty, and the team was disqualified in all four races that day.

The IJ invited competitors to air their opinion in a public forum, before deciding to re-open the protest hearing from the previous day. Taking competitor views into account, along with the class chairman and secretary, the jury deliberated over this decision that has set a precedent in the 49er class for measurement infringements.

The integrity of the team involved was never questioned as they admitted to sailing without the lead in all four races that day, where the group came ashore after race 2 and re-launched in the afternoon for 2 more races. The missing lead was due to human error, rather than a malicious attempt to gain an advantage over other competitors.

It is clear from this overturned decision that the future of the 49er class is being firmly directed by the right people, the sailors. - Tom Fitzpatrick, event website:

AMERICA'S CUP STORE is the official 2003 America's Cup online store - your one-stop shop for America's Cup clothing and memorabilia from the comfort of your home or office with worldwide delivery. Offering Team New Zealand, Challenger, and America's Cup 2003 event clothing plus, America's Cup silverware & memorabilia. Also selling Scuttlebutt Sailing Club, Swedish Match Tour, Team Newscorp, Team Tyco, illbruck Challenge and Line 7 Technical Marine Clothing.

AC 2006
(K Yachting has announced their challenge for not this America's Cup, but the next. madforsailing asked Riley what she felt made this campaign different. Here's an excerpt from that story.)

"For me, learning to speak French! It is the first time a team have gone totally active before the end of the previous America's Cup. It's is a lot of the America True system translated into French - a co-ed team, with less experienced crew working with the more experienced crew". Of the 41 crew members, currently eight are women and 16 not from France. K Challenge also wants to develop younger talent. Among the main players are match racing specialist Thierry Peponnet, plus 1991 Admiral's Cup winner Alain Fedensieu, 1998 ISAF World champion Fran¨ois Brenac and former Junior Match Racing World Champion Nicolas Charbonnier.

In their blurb K Challenge describe themselves as 'an open challenge. We wish to integrate the best skills from a worldwide talent pool. Women, and young sailors will be encouraged to be a part of the team. We think that wealth and creativity of the project depend on the diversity of the people and finally, the most important factor will be a sense of teamwork.' James Boyd, madforsailing website, full story:

* Ed English has been appointed President of the newly formed First 36.7 One Design Class. With over 280 boats on order worldwide, fleets have started to form on the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, New England, and on the West Coast. The Inaugural Great Lakes Championship is set for July 27-28 in Youngstown, NY and the North American Championships will be November 2-3 in Annapolis, MD. Plans are underway to create a fleet web site:

(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 Lloyd Klee: The man overboard incidents can be stopped by clipping on with a good tether to a good harness. The shame of it is that there are very few harnesses on the market that are any good. Tests conducted in the past year on 14 tethers and harnesses saw 13 out of 14 fail to meet Australian or New Zealand standards . Why, because their drop test is required to use a 132Kg manequin and the CE standard is only 100Kg. Most harnesses on the world market are now made to the CE standard because it is cheaper. How many yachties are close to 100kg (220lbs) .

Tests were also undertaken on UV exposure that showed conclusively a deterioration of 60% loss of strength after five years of regular use.

* From Bill Elmer: I agree wholeheartedly with Mike Howard's comments. Why were these people not wearing safety harnesses? Just plain stupid seems to be the answer. When we head to Hawaii in Pac Cup in month, everyone wears a harness and is attached when they step out of the cockpit. Period. Sails are replaceable, people are not

* From Mike Dawson (savagely edited to our 250-word limit): The junior committee of US Sailing elected to have this years Sears cup (3 person) junior championship at the Naval Academy in Colgate 26 sloops. In electing to use the boats at the academy they also increased the amount of people on the boats to four.

US Sailing should take the position and tell the Area directors to use a boat that is similar to the finals boat as possible. Using a Lightning in the semi finals after the quarter finals were held in J/24 and then telling the winning quarter finals team they must sail with 3 instead of 4. The teams that are 4 persons have been told to drop back to 3 people and leave one crew person out of the semi's.

If an area club bids to host the semi finals in a US Sailing championship junior regatta, the host club should be able to provide like boats to use as the teams are going to use in the finals. Using a Lightning in the semi's and then going to the finals in a Colgate 26 is not a good choice. Some of these juniors have been practicing for months as a 4-person keelboat and then to be told they must lose a crew person for the semi's. If the Area elects to use a dinghy in the semi's then it should allow allow crew rotation on the water when they boats are changed out during the round robin.

* From Joe Dervin: In 'Butt 1095 John Kostecki mentions the idea of larger boats for the next Volvo Ocean Race, and everyone heard from seems to support this. An 86 ft. length has been mentioned several times --- similar in size to the new Transpac upper limit boat. Kostecki suggests that limiting sail inventory might help offset the cost of this size boat's campaign. However, wouldn't the additional cost of a given sail for an 86 footer versus a 63 footer eat up any saving based on limiting the number of sails?

* From Lindsay Curtis: I followed the VOR on an almost daily basis since it started in September last year. I read that Kostecki (and probably others) is non committal as regards his possible interest in the next event in 2005. Obviously increasing the number of entries is a huge benefit to the race and the overall impact of the event, but I don't know that by reducing the number of stopovers will increase the interest in the event especially your country is excluded form the list. I would have little or no interest in a World Ocean Race that didn't stop in Australia whilst circumnavigating the globe, especially when considering that they would sail past us in the southern latitudes....

I can understand the logistical problems related to stopovers having seen the 'Volvo Circus' in Sydney, but isn't the interest of all of those boat owners, sailors and the general public, any Sponsors' main concern when they tip in Corporate Dollars trying to attract interest in their product, service or whatever. My opinion, reduce the number of stopovers. Forget the race.

* From Jonathan Gravit (Re Winn Story email): As a Kiwi I didn't find either the '95 or '00 Americas Cup boring. In fact I'm quite looking forward to the '03 Cup being much the same! We are lucky to be able to watch these incredibly powerful boats sail out of Auckland on a regular basis. We may be able to spot a few design differences above the waterline but most sailors here leave those details to the syndicates and media to hype and speculate We have seen the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Americas Cup, and lately the Road to the AC regatta. There have been some incredible sailing sights and I feel fortunate to be able to view it. In training there were often 10 boats out on a daily basis spread over the Hauraki Gulf. We can't wait until they get the new boats racing together.

In early June syndicate row was like a ghost town with only One World showing any form of life. All the other teams had packed up for a break or gone home. But now, slowly, the teams are returning and preparing themselves for the 1st of October.

Of the nine syndicates competing in the Louis Vuitton Cup currently OneWorld Challenge (USA) and Oracle Racing (USA) are actively training on-the-water in Auckland. GBR (Great Britain) have just arrived with their new boat 'Wight Lightning' and are preparing to resume training. Alinghi's new boat is on it's way to Auckland by ship and we are expecting to see the other syndicates resume their training here over the next couple of months. - Cup News website, full story:

Bainbridge International's AIRX 500 - more tear strength, more burst strength with a new ripstop construction. Both Bainbridge's AIRX 500N and 500N-VMG are now available with a new stronger ripstop construction. Tear strength has been increased by 15% while burst strength has been improved by over 20%. AIRX 500N is the ideal firm finish 0.5oz spinnaker fabric, while 500N-VMG has a medium finish for those lighter choppier conditions. For more information contact your sailmaker or go to

Are you sailing this Friday, June 21st? If not and you need a reason why you should take the day off and go sailing here it is: Summer Sailstice!You should also sign up at, the website developed to host this new holiday just for sailors. By signing up you're eligible to win prizes collected from many marine suppliers (West Marine, Ronstan, Doyle, North, UK and more) and will be joining others from around the country (34 states and two Canadian provinces so far) who are celebrating sailing on the 'longest sailing day of the year'.

The long-term idea is to have this become a 'real' holiday for sailors so that by 2005 when June 21st does fall on a Monday all sailors will get the day off and have a three-day weekend for Summer Sailstice! (That's the incentive plan. It's an event you can help create that won't make you work weekends and could actually make your weekend longer.)

To participate you sign up and sail wherever you are, however you like and enjoy the beginning of the long summer of sailing ahead. Please pass this on to your sailing friends, associates, customers and club members. -

US Sailing has announced the team that will represent the U.S. at the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games. Regatta organizers anticipate that 64 nations will be represented in Marseille, France, when the competition, scheduled for June 29-July 10, 2002, gets underway on the Mediterranean in seven classes.

The U.S. will send two entries apiece to compete in nine of the 10 events: the Formula Windsurfer (women), 470 (men and women), Laser (men), Laser Radial (women), Hobie 16 (men and women), J/22 (women) and J/80 (men). At this time, the U.S. has not confirmed an entry for the men's Formula Windsurfer event. The US Sailing Foundation has awarded grants to each competitor on the U.S. team. - Jan Harley

The team representing the USA is as follows: FORMULA WINDSURFER WOMEN: Karen Marriot (Arvada, Colo.) and Julie Rosenberg (W. Palm Beach, Fla.); 470 MEN (skipper and crew): Mark Ivey (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with Howard Cromwell (New Orleans, La.); and Mark Teborek (Winnetka, Ill.) with Matt Herbster (Manchester, Mass.); 470 WOMEN (skipper and crew): Katie McDowell (Barrington, R.I.) with Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.); and Genny Tulloch (Houston, Texas) with Lindsey Duda (Dallas, Texas).

LASER -Zach Railey (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Brad Funk (Clearwater, Fla.); LASER RADIAL - Emily Hill (Miami, Fla.) and Jane Codman (Marblehead, Mass.); HOBIE 16 OPEN (skipper and crew) - Mike Montague (Santa Rosa, Calif.) with Heather Mathews (Westfield, N.J./Marina del Rey, Calif.); and Tom Korzeniewski (Syracuse, N.Y.) with Amy O'Connor (Annapolis, Md./Syracuse, N.Y.). HOBIE 16 WOMEN (skipper and crew) - Barbara Poe Perlmutter (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with Susan Stockdale (Los Angeles, Calif.); and Susan Korzeniewski (Manlius, N.Y.) with Stephanie O'Connor (Rochester, N.Y.).

J/22 (skipper and three crew) - Melinda Berge (Annapolis, Md.) with Sandra Malakis (Annapolis, Md.), Linda McKee (Houston, Texas) and Lisa Simpkins (Annapolis, Md.); and Kris Zillman (Lakewood, Ohio) with Sue McDowell (Bay Village, Ohio), Kellie Hawkins Schaffner (Bay Village, Ohio) and Suzie Wulff (Cleveland, Ohio).

J/80 (skipper and three crew) - Chris Wientjes (Metairie, La.) with Pearce Wood (New Orleans, La.), Ward Pitard (Metairie, La.) and Chris Wilke (New Orleans, La.); and Michael Lague (Stewartsville, N.J./Central Falls, R.I.) with Joe Waters (Columbia, S.C.), Josh Kerst (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and PK Carelli (Lakewood, Ohio).

The support team accompanying the U.S. sailors includes Team Leader Katie Richardson (Barrington, R.I.), and coaches Scott Ikle (Geneva/Manhasset, N.Y.), and Robert Kjellen (Sweden). Event website:

Kaneohe YC, Kaneohe, Hawaii - After the second day of the qualification series in the 2002 49er World Championships, the team from the Ukraine (Luka Rodion and George Leonchuk) currently ranked number 1 on the ISAF rankings are leading the the points in the RED group on 18 points, second the spanish team of Santi Lopez-Vazquez and Javier De La Plaza 3rd place is the Australian team of Chris Nicholson and Michael Blackburn who had a fantastic day, scoring 1,3,2.

STANDINGS after nine races ( 49 boats):
1. Luka Rodion /Leonchuk George, 18
2. Lopez-Vazquez Santi /De La Plaza Javier, ESP, 23
3. Nicholson Chris /Blackburn Michael, AUS, 27
4. Brotherton Paul /Asquith Mark, GBR, 30
5 Richardson Alistair/ Greenhalgh Pete, GBR, 30
10. Mack Andy /Lowry Adam, USA, 39
11. McKee Jonathan /McKee Charlie, USA, 40

* June 21-27: US Youth Sailing Championship, San Diego YC, San Diego, CA. Participants are selected by their sailing resumes. Double- and single-handed fleets are sailed in Club 420s and Lasers.

* July 6: Route Halifax Saint-Pierre International Ocean Race, Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and Yacht Club de Saint-Pierre. 360 mile race for PHRF boats.

* July 8: West Marine Pacific Cup, Pacific Cup YC. More than seventy boats racing with staggered starts from San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. -

* July 13: Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race, Bayview YC. 260 yachts and 3000 sailors will race north on Lake Huron from Port Huron, Michigan to Mackinac Island.

* September 2-11: Olympic 470 Class Men's World Championships and Women's World Championship, Yacht Club Cagliari - Sardinia (Italy).

A plateau is a high form of flattery.