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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1104 - July 1, 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.

Neal McDonald has been offered the chance to rejoin GBR Challenge after leaving the syndicate last year to compete in the round-the-world yacht race. The Briton resigned from GBR and took up a job with Assa Abloy so he could spend more time with his wife, Lisa, who competed in the round-the-world race as skipper of Amer Sports Too.

McDonald replaced Dutchman Roy Heiner as skipper of Assa Abloy after the team suffered a chaotic first leg. With McDonald in charge, Assa Abloy came back to finish a clear second overall.

GBR general manager, New Zealander David Barnes, said the door was wide open if McDonald, a trimmer, wanted to return to the syndicate. "We are still talking to him and we'd definitely be keen to have him back. But at the moment he just wants to have a break." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

Brad Van Liew did not like the feeling of being upside down in his custom-designed Open-50 racing yacht. This weekend proved a unique test of Van Liew's ability to re-right Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America from a stable capsize. Affixing a line to the keel's 4,000-pound bulb and lifting it with a crane off the docks at Newport Shipyard purposely inverted the yacht. Van Liew was inside, and faced with the challenge of returning the boat to its upright position.

As Van Liew stood on the ceiling of his living module inside Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, he contemplated the eerie nature of this exercise. "This is not a position I'm comfortable with, not here or in the Southern Ocean," said Van Liew. "At least in the Southern Ocean you have the waves to help push the boat upright. Here it is just my canting keel and I to make it happen."

After 10 minutes of being inverted and checking for leaks, Van Liew used the manual pump to crank the canting keel to the yacht's starboard side. Van Liew was soon running up the curved insides of the hull as it rolled to an upright position. Peter Franzen, Boat Manager for Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, was onboard with Van Liew as a witness. Official IMOCA measurers from France, Canada and the U.S. were onsite. A crowd of onlookers grew rapidly as they saw the uncommon situation evolve.

As a Class II entry in Around Alone, Van Liew is required to certify Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America according to IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) rules, which require that each skipper "must physically demonstrate that the boat, once capsized, is capable of self righting without outside help." Van Liew has already qualified for the race. He is the only skipper entered in the Around Alone race of 2002-3 that has finished the event previously. It will be his second solo circumnavigation. - Meaghan Van Liew,

* As a participant in the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Coaching Recognition Program, US Sailing is soliciting nominations for sailing's 2002 Coach of the Year and Developmental Coach of the Year. Working with criteria approved by USOC, a panel designated by the OSC will evaluate each nominee's accomplishments for the period January 1, 2001, through May 30, 2002 Nominations, due by July 19, 2002. Criteria and full details:

* After several weeks stuck in the port of Brest, Geronimo, the giant trimaran has finally left its berth for the Iroise sea. Geronimo had been awaiting this comeback since its forced return to land, following a problem with the rudder blade, which cut short its attempt to break the Jules Verne trophy record. This return to sea was delayed by a violent collision suffered by the giant multi-hull while docked.

* Italian fashion house Prada Holding NV (I.PDA) Wednesday pulled plans to float just days before its roadshow - the third time it has postponed its proposed public offering in a year. "It would have been suicide to go ahead with such terrible market conditions," a London-based analyst said. Proceeds from Prada's IPO are aimed to help reduce a large debt pile of some 800 million euros, as well as give the company cash to open new stores and develop new lines.

* On July 1 the distribution of Frederiksen Boat Fittings will handled by Ronstan's US office in Largo Florida. Frederiksen, which produces blocks, travelers, and batten car systems, was acquired by Ronstan last year.

* After a weekend of challenging sailing in turbulent weather Yandell Rogers of the Lakewood Yacht Club, closed out the final day of match-racing (8-2) to take first place in the UBS Challenge Regional Qualifier held at the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, Kemah. Skipper Rogers now advances to the UBS Challenge U.S. Championships, held in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 27 - 29.

ASK YOURSELF question. Why are the best sailors in the world wearing Kaenon Polarized? The next generation in polarized lens technology.

(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 Duncan Wood: Dennis Connor and Kenny Read must be laughing all the way to the finish line. While most of the other teams are embroiled off the water shenanigans, Team DC is quietly going about the business of preparing for racing, away from the madding crowd. When the first starting gun fires in Auckland, they will be there with the best trained, best organized, best prepared program on the water. When the final finishing gun of the LV series fires, they will also be there fully prepared to take on the Kiwi's. Guess what? Stars and Stripes is the only American team with crew and support personnel that truly represents the good old US of A. And to think that they leave their ego's on the dock when they go sailing.

* From Mike Ingham (Re Americas cup intrigue): I hate to admit it, but despite all the legal proceedings being disgusting, it really does make for good news leading up to the America's Cup. Since racing has not started, all the other news about the AC preparation is mostly bland compared to the soap opera we hear. The problem that it causes the rest of us is that it tarnishes our image. Most of us sail in small inexpensive boats and want nothing to do involving the legal process in our sailing lives. All my non- sailing friends think that the Americas Cup represents exactly what our weekend sailors do. They realize it is not on that scale, but they still picture a bunch of rich, bitter guys spending a lot of money on toys and lawyers.

* From Steve Secor: I enjoy the reading about billionaires and their lawyers making asses out of themselves. Especially since the arbitration panel won't let them go to court, but the panel won't make a decision until they are sure they won't be sued either. I only wonder if the lawyers and rules people can see the knot they have tied. When the racing starts the sailors will take over, but until then keep I hope to enjoy the steady stream of crying and whining from the billionaires.

* From Mike Hobson: I agree with Andy Green re the Americas Cup and soap operas, it's funny seeing the dirty tricks coming into play to catch the other team out. Reading about all the antics is just like reading the National enquirer or any other tabloid. The America's Cup Is not about real life, it's about big money, big ego's and fighting over a piece of silverware for a spot in History and fame. Just as Peter Harken said, there is nothing new in this, go look back at the history.

Apart from the America's Cup stuff, I read all the time in Scuttlebutt that readers question why sailing isn't more popular, why cant we attract more sponsors and television to the sport, why can't we become a more mainstream sport.

So I put the question: does anyone see a correlation between big money syndicates in the Americas Cup and the lack of sponsorship available to the sport? If you were the head of a Company looking for exposure through sport, would you put money into one of these syndicates? Would you put your company's money into sailing at all? So IS the America's Cup good or bad for the rest of us?

* From David Scully: Bruce Farr makes an interesting point regarding the cost of a new, bigger, Volvo boat. It seems that by going bigger, you replace a slow boat with a more expensive slow boat. The cost of a campaign is already quite high.

Why not invite maxi-multihulls to do the Volvo? The boats are on the cutting edge of tech, go really fast, and could easily fit into the Vovo 60 budget. From my point of view, as a maxi-cat captain for whom French is a second language, we need the race organization and global exposure the Volvo Race could provide.

* From: "Rod Carr: 'Butt # 103 stated "an option that (Bruce) Farr fancies is the idea of having a one design rig and keel and keeping the rest open. "This would allow a freedom of building the boats, but controls some of the key performance issues."

Radio controlled model yachtsmen have enjoyed just such a class for years. Called the International One Meter, the class rule specifies a closely controlled fin/bulb configuration, three one-design sail plans, and a maximum LOA of 1.00 meters. Minimum displacement allows homebuilts to complete with the carbon fiber high tech manufactured hulls, and tolerances on measurement allow homebuilding accuracy to be easily accommodated. The recently completed European Championship drew a fleet of 80 boats!!!

* From Tony Castro: Could I add some fuel to the "what boat to have next Round the World Race" debate. There is no doubt that bigger boats would make for a bigger spectacle. There is also no doubt that costs if kept lower would attract a bigger fleet. One-designs are boring, except to the sailors who are only interested in measuring themselves against each other and for the Designer himself!! . So a compromise is required.

The idea is not new and I remember debating it when the present rule was developed some years ago, but we could have elements of the new class "One Design" like the rig, sail sizes and appendages for example and let the hull be designed to a box rule. In my view this solution would allow costs to be contained more easily and help justify the bigger boats and give more designers a chance to compete as a result of smaller R&D budgets being required.

* From Richard Hazelton: What goes around comes around. Sailing is now far removed from the "sportsmanlike conduct" that used to exemplify the sport. People complain about all the nit-picking and bending the rules of America's Cup, yet it's okay to kinetically propel yourself around the course "because everybody does it". It's okay to go over the boundaries in your class or ratings group if you can win. It doesn't begin at the top but at the club level where kids and ratings sailors learn that it's okay to cheat if you don't get caught. Unfortunately it's at a greater price than that of the trophey, it's at the integrity of the sport. Actually that's wrong - the sport is fine, it's the integrity of the sailors that's in question. The vast majority of sailors play fair, but it's always the few that screw it up for the rest. Enforce the rules or forget them. We can either use the rules to clean things up, or keep bending them until there's nothing left but window dressing. But it all begins at the club level. Sportsmanship and integrity is something learned early on by example.

* From Joe Buck - In this day of rapid communications and internet web sites, some yacht clubs post race results on the internet, but it takes them two or three days to do so. In nice contrast, for the North Sails Race Week, by the time I drove home from the race, the results were posted on the net.

US Sailing has announced the team that will represent the U.S.A. at the 2002 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World Championships in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, from July 18-27:
Boys Singlehanded: 2002 U.S. Youth Champion Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.)
Girls Singlehanded: US SAILING'S 2001 Female Athlete of the Year Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Boys Doublehanded (skipper and crew): Alex Bernal and Tedd White (both Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Girls Doublehanded (skipper and crew): Molly Carapiet (San Francisco, Calif.) and Mallory McCollum (Concord, Calif.).
Boys Boardsailing: Philip Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)
Girls Boardsailing: Ericka Kofkin (Melbourne, Fla.)

Brian Doyle (Darien, Conn./Hanover, N.H.), the head sailing coach at Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) since 1993, will act as Team Leader. Full story:

Charlie Ogletree used a full inventory of Ullman Sails to win the Santana 20 Nationals. And the same people who 'broke the code' by squeezing more boatspeed from the Santana 20 are ready to work with you to improve the performance of your boat - no matter what you sail. The proven and affordable way to make it happen is to work with the pros at Ullman Sails to spruce up your sail inventory. For the location of the nearest loft that can provide you with a price quote:

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia regrets to announce that the skipper of one of the yachts racing in its BMW Sydney Winter Series died from an apparent heart attack after accidentally falling overboard during today's race on the Harbour. Gary McPike, aged 55, an American national living with his wife in Sydney, was owner/skipper of the yacht Joyride, competing in Division C of the series. He was pronounced dead after being brought ashore, despite the efforts of other sailors, including two members of the crew of another yacht, Obsession, who dived overboard and lifted McPike on to their boat. They applied CPR before McPike was transferred to a Water Police vessel and taken to Rose Bay where an ambulance was waiting.

McPike was a yacht racing rules authority and had been a National Judge and Umpire in the United States. Since living in Australia he had joined the CYCA and had been accepted here as an National Judge, also becoming a member of the Racing Rules Committee of the Yachting Association of New South Wales. He had been recently in the USA, umpiring at the Congressional Cup, one of the major match racing events in that country, and had applied for status as an International Judge and Umpire. - Peter Campbell

30/06/02 - The Kiel Finale - While 99% of Germany ground to a halt to watch the historic World Cup final match against Brazil on Sunday, 11 of the 12 fleets racing in the Kiel Olympic Classes Regatta were doing battle on the Baltic for top honours at one of the biggest events on the Olympic sailing calender. Conditions for the final day were identical to the other four with a strong breeze that touched 30 knots while fronts of heavy showers passed through almost hourly.

American's Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedhal were in a league of their own in the Star fleet, winning four of their five races. They were the only American's in the 60-boat Star fleet and the only American's to score a podium finish. However, Betsy Alison took a creditable 6th in the 30-boat Yngling class. -

LONG BEACH, Calif.---Jim Demetriades' luck was due to change, but Tom Carruthers liked the roll he was on. The fortunes of light, shifty winds carried both men to come-from-behind victories on the last day of the 18th North Sails Race Week Sunday, when the competition lived up to its billing even if the weather conditions didn't.

Demetriades' sky blue Transpac 52, Yassou, outsailed the heavy hitters in PHRF 1 class for the biggest boats, which earned him PHRF Boat of the Week recognition. Carruthers, the two-time defending J/105 champion sailing Incorrigible, said going in, "If you see me on the podium again it'll be because I got lucky." But he earned the overall Boat of the Week trophy by winning the most competitive class---which also was the largest with 29 boats---by two points.

Other notable winners included Brack Duker's Revolution in the celebrity studded Farr 40 fleet, with Dave Ullman as tactician; Ventura's Dave Klatt, who claimed a berth in the J/24 Worlds by winning these Western Regionals with no finish worse than second, and Argyle Campbell, who swapped wins with fellow Newport Harbor Yacht Club campaigner Bruce Ayres to win the Melges 24s by one point.

A record total of 171 boats sailed in 13 classes on three courses. Forecasts were for stronger winds the last two days, but especially on Sunday a lingering marine layer may have discouraged the customary sea breeze. While 18 knots were expected, the wind hovered between 6 and 9 all afternoon. - Rich Roberts

Other class winners included: PHRF 2: Cita (Schock 40), Cita Litt, PHRF 3: Pendragon II (Davidson 33), David Gray, PHRF 4: Defiance (B-32), Scott Taylor, PHRF 5: Intense(Olson 30), Allan Rosenberg, 1D35: Tabasco, John Wylie, J/120 North American championship, Indigo, Scott Birnberg, Schock 35 Pacific Coast championship, Whiplash, Ray Godwin, Santana 20, Altitude Sickness, Infelise/Bell/Infelise.

As the fleet picked its way further South today, "Turicum" signalled she has withdrawn from the race. A C&C 44 from the Vancouver Rowing Club, and veteran of two previous Vic-Mauis, she has already altered course for San Francisco, and expects to be there in about two days. Skipper Warren Hale and his crew felt that with current weather conditions ahead, they could not reasonably expect to complete the race within the time limit.

Earlier, three other boats withdrew from the race. They are "Fastrack", a C&C 37/40R from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, "Time Bandit", a J120 from Orcas Island Yacht Club, and "Swept Away" (formerly "Joia"), a J120 from the Corinthian Yacht Club in Seattle.

The remaining 15 boats are experiencing varying wind conditions. The leaders are sailing in about 20 knots of wind from the Northwest. Further back, many boats are struggling in light conditions, four logging less than 100 miles yesterday. "The Rusty Unit" deserves a special moment of sympathy for her daily run of 32 miles at an average speed just over one knot; at roll call she simply reported "no wind". - Peter Bennett,

If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.