Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1114 - July 15, 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 report published yesterday in National Business Review is yet another in a long series of negative stories that are regularly published in NZ by the general and business media on the subject of the America's Cup and TNZ in particular. This trend has been in place since Fremantle. The agendas of these journalists have to be seriously questioned when they are very quick to publish a so-called investigative story which "lifts the hood" on TNZ (almost invariably in a negative or sensational theme), yet when TNZ won the Cup for the first or second time there was complete silence. The only thing they can be relied on is to put a negative spin on any given set of "facts",

Initially this pattern could have been thought of as objective reporting. That when TNZ were successful there would be some balance, and they would report with equal fervour of the TNZ success. But no, TNZ's success is greeted with a thundering silence. And at least two national publications are stand-outs on this regard.

One only has to keep a very basic mental list of the stories that are run in the general media on TNZ that claim to "lift the lid" on some TNZ issue, and then compare the reality of the situation. The story a few months ago that Dean Barker was about to be replaced as skipper because of his performances on the international match circuit is but one case in point. Of course the non-sailing media are quick to report this, however their reticence to report the current successes of Dean Barker on the same circuit, is equally obvious. Of course, they will not report the fantastic job that TNZ has done for youth and club sailing in NZ through their match racing road show with Etchells.

As for the accountability and expenditure of public money, it is over to the NZ politicians to decide whether want to give the money in the first place. It is not a compulsory activity. Most of these grants from the "public" purse are tagged for specific purposes and don't go into a slush fund as the general media wish to believe. The politicians have been around for long enough to know that if the money is demonstrably misspent then they will be accountable, more so than TNZ.

As someone who has covered the sport of sailing in NZ for many years, we know that TNZ don't have big budgets; are very careful about their spending priorities - and will always ask "how does spending this make the boat go faster?" Your international audience would be well advised that public support for TNZ is absolutely rock solid; for a number of reasons will be several levels above that experienced in 2000; and that in spite of the general media's attempts to the contrary, the NZ public's trust in TNZ is 100%. - Richard Gladwell, NZL

The America's Protocol specifies only one penalty for a breach of Article 10 - Automatic Ineligibility. And there seems little doubt that Prada breached Article 10 when they filed a lawsuit concerning Oracle BMW Racing's barge. Their subsequent withdrawal of that lawsuit does not seem to negate that breach.

In the latest development, Oracle BMW has just gone record with the America's Cup Arbitration Panel that they do not wish to see Prada banished from the event, "except by their losing on the water to a superior team." They've stated that while Prada's breach is serious and one which should not go unpenalized, "the sailing and sporting worlds would not understand how such a breach could result in disqualification of a team that had spent so many years and so many millions in preparation - and before sailing even one race."

So where do we go from here? Oracle BMW Racing has asked the Arbitration Panel to amend the protocol so a more appropriate penalty may be imposed. That sounds like a pretty intelligent way out of what could be a very ugly situation.

There are few similarities between Naples Sabot mainsail and the #3 genoa for a Reichel/Pugh 70. But there will be one dramatic similarity if both of those sails have an Ullman Sails tack patch -- they will both be fast. The same applies to a 470 jib, a J/120 A-sail, the main for a 505, a blast reacher for a Transpac 52 or a Schock 35 kite. Right now is the very best time to find out how affordable improved performance can be:

* The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) invites amateur and professional skippers to apply for 13 of the 16 unseeded skippers' berths in the 2002 ADT Gold Cup, to be raced in Bermuda October 12-20. A three-day round robin qualifier round is planned aboard International One Design class sloops, with the top six skippers advancing to Round One of the ADT Gold Cup.

* Long Beach YC is still accepting resumes from experienced match racers for the Ficker Cup - a grade 3 match race to be sailed in Catalina 37s on September 21-23. The Ficker Cup winner will receive an invitation to the 2003 Congressional Cup. Resumes can be sent via email to

* GBR Challenge's first new ACC boat, GBR-70, Wight Lightning, finally touched the water in Auckland on Saturday morning. Some of the boat building team quickly jumped on board to check for leaks whilst members of the design team checked the trim of the boat. All was declared well and less than an hour later GBR-70 was towed out of the harbour to conduct some early steering and systems trials. The next stage will be for structural static loading tests to be carried out before the sailing crew are allowed to put sails on board and take the boat for its first sailing trials.

* The Chicago Yacht Club's annual Race to Mackinac on July 20 will use Microsoft"s RaceNet technology to provide officials with improved race registration, results posting, progress reporting and website posting processes. This program should enable race officials to deliver more accurate and timely results to racers and fans. Also, Roy Disney's R/P 75 Pyewacket is in the Great Lakes to take a shot at the monohull course record of 25:50:44 set in 1987 by Dick Jennings' Pied Piper. -

* There's a neat weather website that downloads data from a NOAA satellite that uses RADAR to collect worldwide ocean wind strength and direction.. -

* Sweden's Victory Challenge is back in Auckland and sailing on the Hauraki Gulf. They've also added a new crewmember, Jonas Wackenhuth. A professional ocean racer for eight years, Wackenhuth, 32, just finished the Volvo Ocean Race and like 12 other Victory Challenge crewmembers, he is a world champion.

* Bill Lynn of Eastern Yacht Club, sailing with Peter Frisch, Steve Kirkpatrick, took first place in the UBS Challenge Regional Qualifier held at the Courageous Sailing Center, Boston to qualify for the UBS Challenge U.S. Championship, held in Newport, Rhode Island, July 27 - 29. Anthony Kotoun finished second with Paul Wilson third.

* The Interscholastic Sailing Association's National High School Team Racing Champions, the Milton Academy team, has won the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association (BSDRA) Team Racing Championship for 2002 on 8-9 July. The Milton team made final travel arrangements under some pressure, and with the assistance of a partial travel-grant from ISSA with funds obtained from the U.S. Sailing Foundation. ISSA teams have traveled to the UK for some years. - Larry White

* Five months after forsaking the America's Cup (OneWorld Challenge) for Olympic competition, (the UK's) Ben Ainslie has won the European Championship in his new class, the Finn. Inevitably, thoughts turn towards Athens in 2004 and the chance of a third Olympic medal for the man who already has a gold and silver in the Laser class from the last two Games. Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK

On July 11th, Canada and the world of sailing lost one of its most gifted sailmakers and a wonderful human being. Jose (Joe) Fernandes was without a doubt the most humble person I ever met in my entire life and a dear dear friend for over thirty years. Joe started making sails in Portugal and immigrated to Canada where he was for many years with the Tom Taylor loft in Toronto before venturing out on his own. He went through several brands including Horizon and Doyle before settling on his own Triton Sails brand.

While Joe was never a super competitive sailor, he did teach me a lesson I have never forgotten and that was "Winning was not everything, but giving a good account of yourself was much more important." His idea was, that it did not matter whether you were first, second or third at the end of the race. As long as you were in one of those positions "and gave a good account of yourself" you would prevail over the long run. I was the beneficiary of his wisdom.

Visitation is in Oakville, Ontario at Kopriva-Taylor on Lakeshore Blvd on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM. The funeral is in the chapel at 10:00 on Tuesday morning. - Aidan S. Bolger

WB "Bart" Dalton passed away Saturday evening. Bart was one of Lake Ontario's greatest sailors. Whether in dinghies or keelboats, at home or at some regatta, Bart was a fierce competitor with an acute sense of the sport. Bart was of a generation of sailors that is so important. The sport we love today and the awards we are proud to win are based on the remarkable accomplishments of men like Bart. Kingston YC and LYRA have few awards that aren't inscribed with his name. Further, he was instrumental in the foundation of CORK prior to the 1976 Sailing Olympics in Kingston. CORK remains as one of the world's top regattas. He will be missed around the lake and around the world of small boat sailing. - Gregory Scott

Another superb winter season at KWRW and the SORC, with Ockam equipped boats dominating the results. Kudos to the KWRW teams on "Rima" winner of Class 1A1, "Chessie Racing" (1A2), "Rio" (1B), "Tango" (1E), and "Wild Thing" (1D35). At SORC, "Idler" won the IMS class, "Chessie Racing" took PHRF1, and "USA 320" was top Mumm30. Not every Ockam equipped boat was racing - prominent motoryachts with Ockam systems aboard seen keeping tabs on the fleets included "Affinity", "Magpie", and "North Star". Please visit our website to learn more about the uniquely capable Ockam system.

The winds were from the wrong direction at 3-5 knots. So, we played the waiting gameÉagain. The pool at the yacht club and the hoses at the regatta site were huge hits for the kids as they waited for the "go" signal. At 14:30, Race 12 was started in 5-9 knots of breeze and went off without a hitch. Races 13 and 14 went well in slightly more breeze, but, again, it was anyone's day. So many different competitors were seen at the front of the pack, yet the leaders were right there as well. It was great to see different faces and their smiles after a high finish spotÉat The Worlds!

Do they run the last race tonight or wait for possible winds in the morning? It is supposed to be calm, wind from the West and raining. The Race Committee did an excellent job of starting Race 15 in declining winds and a setting sun. In the end, Croatia had two on top of the leader board, with Spain, Bermuda and The Netherlands rounding out the top 5. Xu Lijia was Top Girl, also in 6th place.

1 CRO Filip Matika, 35
2 CRO Stjepan Cesic 81
3 ESP Eduardo Zalvide 85
4 BER Jesse Kirkland 91
5 NED Steven leFevre 92
6 CHN Xu Lijia (Girl) 103
9 GBR Hannah Mills (Girl) 121
17 MEX Erick Brockmann 154
28 USA Kyle Rogachenko 205
59 USA Jackson Benvenutti 292
97 CAN Evert McLaughlin 375

Only three boats now remain at sea in the Victoria to Maui Transpacific Ocean Race. Based on Sunday's positions, "Oriole" and "Piper" are expected to arrive within a couple of hours of each other Monday evening (July 15). At roll call they were 203 and 236 miles away respectively. Whether "The Rusty Unit" can meet the extended deadline of July 16 is more problematic. She still has over 450 miles to go, and still seems to have been sailing in less wind than those ahead. Her present ETA is the evening of July 17. Provided the retired "Niye Keema" (now in better wind) can maintain the 144 mile average she clocked today, she should reach Lahaina about 0100 the morning of July 16.

1. Mystic (Class A) 2. Icon (A), 3. Alalanta (A); Class A: Mystic, B: Mojo Riding (7th overall); C: Greyhound (8th overall); D: Oriole, (12 overall). - Peter Bennett,

M-Project is heading back to the Mainland with rudder problems. They are fine and in contact with Coast Guard for monitoring purposes. Alakazam also has rudder problems and is babying the rudder post. They figure they will be in Wednesday. Coqueliquot is also taking it easy on her rudder. Zephyrus V declares that it used its engine, in accordance with the rules, and will make a full declaration onshore.

According to Philippe Kahn's log on the R/P Pegasus 77, "In the last 24 hours, we actually did more miles than both of them (the much larger Zephyrus and Mari-Cha), 367 miles to be precise. I knew that those surfing contests would make us fast! And what did we use those extra miles for? Building leverage. We are now a whopping 90 miles South of Zephyrus and Mari-Cha who are in sight of each other. Yesterday we faked them right and kept them power reaching and got to their right. We got pretty excited when we heard our mutual positions. Is this a sure bet? Certainly not. But if we don't take some calculated chances, why race? So we are now 50 miles behind Mari-Cha and Zephyrus, but 90 miles south of them."

Here's another item in Kahn's log - The top 10 Reasons why you know that you're not on the Volvo Race:
1. There is always food left over
2. People apologize when they wake you up for a watch change
3. You get upset because your opposite watch hasn't fluffed your pillow
4. You get upset because the chef put too much cilantro in your Indian-style chicken with fresh vegetables and couscous
5. You're not surprised when you wake-up and there is a 12 year old at the wheel putting up just as good numbers as the rest of the drivers
6. The tough choice of the day is picking your favorite flavor of Gatorade
7. You can do a sail change without getting your feet wet
8. No stacking!
9. Personal towels and bunk cushions are not considered excessive.
10. You are sailing to Hawaii!

CLASS LEADERS: Division 1: Wildflower (24 hour run - 258nm) Div A: Spirit (253nm) Div B: Cayenne (256 nm) Div C: Notty Hotty (249 nm) Div D: Scorpio (247 nm) Div E: (230 nm) Div F: Azul (236 nm) Div G: J-Bird III (226 nm) -

NOTE: Tom Zinn was on the water for the final start for the West Marine Pacific Cup and has posted some hot images of Pegasus, Mari-Cha, Zephyrus and Rage on his website:

RAVENNA, ITALY (07/14/2002) - OneWorld Challenge's James Spithill defeated Denmark's Jesper Radich 3-1, to win the Swedish Match Tour's Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini Match Race, the first event of Swedish Match Tour 2002/3. This was Spithill's first appearance on the Swedish Match Tour since last year's Trombini Match Race when he and his same crew of Joe Newton, Ben Durham and Andy Feathers finished fourth. Spithill compiled an overall match record of 18-5 on the week with all but one his losses to Radich.

Steady rain and passing thunderstorms did little to dampen the excitement of the regatta's final day. Shifty conditions however, resulted in several course changes between matches. The Swedish Match Tour's next event is the UBS Challenge in Newport, RI, USA, July 31 to August 4. Shawn McBride,

1. James Spithill, OneWorld Challenge
2. Jesper Radich, Denmark
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane
4. Karol Jablonski, POL/Team MK Cafe
5. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto
6. Gavin Brady, Prada Challenge
7. Lars Nordjberg, Denmark
8. Matteo Simoncelli, Italy
9. Bjorn Hansen, SWE/Team GOL Sailing
10. Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden
11. Martin Angsell, Sweden
12. Chris Law, UK/Team Outlaw

Former Star World Champion Paul Cayard was the only skipper to win two races in the Star District Championships this past weekend, and he needed them both to break the first place tie with Howie Shiebler. Forty-four boats sailed in the championship hosted by the California YC, that will also host the Nautica Star Worlds next month. It was not easy sailing, with fluky winds mostly in the 6-10 knot range, and enough shifts in both directions to shake up the fleet standings on a regular basis. In four of the five races, Schiebler had finishes in the top three, but in this no throw-out regatta he had to a carry the 15th he earned when he got caught on the wrong side of a major shift in race number three. No one finished the regatta with all single-digit finishes.

Final Results:
1. Paul Cayard/ Hal Haenel, 23
2. Howie Shiebler/ Rick Peters 23
3.Eric Doyle/ Rodrigo Meireles 27
4. Robbie Haines/ Bill Hardesty, 32
5. Rick Merriman/ Bill Bennett 38
6. Peter Vessella/ Brian Fatih 38.

* July 18-26: J24 World Championships Kingston Ontario Canada.

* July 18-26: Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, Lunenburg YC, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Racing in Bytes, Lasers, Mistrals, 29'ers. -

Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.