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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1123 - July 26, 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.

As [Team Dennis Conner's] boat was raised near sundown, observers were alarmed to see an 18-inch-long crack on the starboard gunwale opposite the mast. Later, it was learned there was a similar wound on the port side.

"We heard some cracks when it went down, so we're kind of confused a little bit on whether it was the pressure of the water in the bow or whether it touched the bottom, so we're still trying to sort that out," said Bill Trenkle.

"But those other failures happened back by the keel area, which is much more highly stressed, well aft of the mast where the keel is in a much more highly stressed part of the boat. That's where you don't want to have a failure. In the bow of the boat forward of the chainplates, the only structure is some centerline beams that hold the headstay tension. It's not really a critical part of the boat."

The boat was designed by the Reichel/Pugh team of San Diego. John Reichel inspected USA 77 the next day, while Jim Pugh expressed cautious optimism.

"We don't have a complete damage assessment," Pugh said. "What you can see doesn't always tell you how much damage there is, [but] it's very repairable. We're confident that it'll be sailing in September, probably better than it was."

"[USA 77 will] go down to New Zealand and be repaired and we'll be sailing by the end of August, as we planned," Trenkle said. "We have all the boat builders in-house that can do it in our shed. We're pretty sure it's not going to make a big impact."

Then USA 77 will be placed on a container ship Wednesday across a narrow channel from the team's training base on Terminal Island in L.A. Harbor. USA 66 will follow a week later on Aug 6. -- Rich Roberts

Full story at

On Glenn Bourke's curriculum vitae are three Laser World Championships, acclaim as the head of sailing events at the Sydney Olympics (the best Olympics ever for sailing), and work with the illbruck VOR syndicate and AC Challenge. He has recently joined Team Dennis Conner. What's this got to do with the story above? Glenn was aboard OneAustralia when she sank off San Diego in 1995. A number of his friends have inquired as to whether Glenn was aboard USA-77 when she sank at Long Beach (with the usual gallows humor and cheap shots about luck, etc.). We have confirmed that he was not aboard the boat, and thus cannot claim the title of only IACC sailor to be on two sunken ships.

Kingston, Ontario: One race today as the breeze finally died after the cold front leaving glassy conditions across the lake. Racing was again on the inner Alpha course and the fleet got off on an "I" flag start in a 4-6 knot easterly. After yesterday's races, where the left paid huge rewards, most of the fleet favored the left side today with many boats finding themselves overstood on the left side. Rudy Wolfs and Andy Horton picked the layline well and found themselves in a commanding lead at the top mark. Those two never looked back and finished first and second respectively. With winds becoming variable, the committee again chose to shorten the course and finish after the second downwind leg before sending the fleet back to shore.

Post race competition continued with high-speed, bobsled style, dock cart races in the parking lot. Texan Curtis Tarpley's impressive run to the flagpole proved to be unmatched, and he remains the undisputed cart racing champion.

Boat racing is scheduled to begin one hour earlier for tomorrow's final day. -- Eric Faust

Top five after today's race (7 total sailed so far, one throwout allowed)
1. Brad Read, 33 points
2. Mike Ingham, 38
3. Andy Horton, 46
4. Geoffrey Moore, 48
5. Britt Hughes, 48

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Lunenberg, Canada: No report from Thursday's racing was posted at press time. 2 races were completed today for all classes. Friday is the final day of racing.

Class leaders after Thursday's racing:
29er boys - 11 races, 2 discards: Nathan Outteridge / Ayden Menzies, AUS
29 girls - 11 races, 2 discards: Pippa Wilson/ Jenny Marks, GBR
Laser boys - 11 races, 2 discards: Andrew Campbell, USA
Byte girls - 11 races, 2 discard: Jennifer Spalding, CAN
Mistral boys - 9 races, 2 discard: Thomas Ashley, NZL
Mistral girls - 8 races, 1 discard: Zofia Klepacka , POL

Volvo Trophy Standings (Top 5) - 30 nations are represented.
1. New Zealand, 329 points
2. USA, 275
3. France, 273
4. Australia, 245
5. Great Britain, 243

Solomons, Maryland: The 2002 Screwpile Regatta was sailed in the waters off Solomons July 21-23. The tenth anniversary edition of the annual event drew a record fleet of 155 boats. Sailors descended upon Solomons from all corners of Chesapeake Country--contingents were on hand from Baltimore, Annapolis, Oxford, Hampton, Deltaville, Dahlgren, Solomons, and everywhere in between. The Screwpile truly is the centerpiece of the Chesapeake racing season, and it is the only annual big boat event which features teams from all over the Bay racing head-to-head.

The event included PHRF (spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker) classes as well as one-design starts for Tripp 26, J/105, J/30, J/29, and Catalina 27 classes. A six boat MORC class was also on-hand and contested the East Coast Championship as part of the regatta.

The Calvert County Trophy, recognizing the Screwpile's overall Boat of the Regatta, was presented to Sanford Richardson and the crew of his Farr 395 Kahuna.

Excerpt from Spinsheet Magazine -

Complete results at

Honolulu, Hawaii: After 3 days of racing in every possible wind condition, four different types of boats, 13 different fleets with a total of 120+ competitors, The 2002 Hawaii Junior Olympic Festival came to a close.

Martin Sterling - 1st Place in El Toro
Michael Scott - 1st Place in Laser
Nick Cervantes/Mark Towill - 1st Place in Club 420

Full results at

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON ( -- until the Curmudgeon returns next week)
(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 Dick Enersen: Mike Kelsey was one of the great ones; a terrific navigator, a great raconteur and a big time contributor to our sport. We sailed in several SORC's in Charisma and Congere, years ago. He smoked English Oval cigarettes, one after another, sometimes two at a time, mostly at the nav station, as he rarely came on deck. He was the only guy I really liked who smoked below.

* From Ted Beier: Maybe the WWF mentality needs "crashes, close calls, and scary situations", but true sailors don't. The interesting part of cup races are the tacking duals, attempts to hang on to a safe leeward vs getting rolled, and the cat and mouse game of a close run with numerous jibes and blanketing attempts. The problem in the past is that the TV crew jumps around too much to really watch these things develop. If you want to watch multiple fast vehicle chaos, follow NASCAR and quit sailing where crashes are against the rules.

* From Diane Swintal: If we look back on history, we realize that perhaps we learn the most about ourselves from our failures. Look at Apollo 13 - rescuing the astronauts from the crippled spacecraft taught NASA a great deal about technology, and taught all the men involved a great deal about themselves.

And so it will be with Stars & Stripes. Instead of whining about the fragility of the current AC design, might we not applaud the quick thinking of the crew, the support vessels and the recovery ship, in getting the boat back to the compound relatively in one piece. The team seems to have the positive attitude that tends to bond a group and get them through crisis situations such as this.

Knowing DC, he'll come back from this even better. Remember - that which does not kill you makes you stronger!

* From Bill Mais: The Wizard [Ed.: Bill Lee] had another good idea for the America's Cup he told me years ago - At the end of a lap, the winning boat is awarded 1 point and has to circle back and duck the other boat. First boat with 4 points wins the day.

* From David Palmer: In reply to Russell Painton on his views about multihulls (he said cats, but I presume he means all multihulls) for the AC, I presume he hasn't seen some of the ORMA 60 ft trimaran Grands Prix. OK, not all the boats are evenly matched, but you've just got to see some of the tussles between the likes of LoĽck Peyron (Fujifilm), Franck Cammas (Groupama), Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) or Alain Gautier (Foncia) and their crews. This is not only high speed, highly tactical racing, it can be high speed match racing.

* From Bob Adams: The latest run of comments about what's wrong with the America's Cup is truly amusing. Yeah, I think the lead mines are slugs, and it is pretty ╩stupid to be sailing boats that have to be followed around the coarse by a support team with balloons and high pressure pumps. But how can having such coverage, such investment, such intense competition, be a problem? I'd like those problems.

I am entered in the Around Alone in a boat a whose construction I financed entirely on my own. Short of a miracle I am not going in the race, because building the boat and helping others do the race over-drew my account. Read our Obit on

* From Sean Leonard: I can see the Kiwi's jumping out of their collective sheepskin boots at the assertion of Jon Alvord in Scuttlebutt #1122 that "a 60ft catamaran beat the Ausie 120ft monohull entry to retain the cup."

Aussie's are quite prepared to be associated with their neighbours across the╩ ditch when its to their advantage (e.g. Russel Crowe & Crowded House) but I doubt you'd get too many Aussies wanting to be associated with that particularly farcical edition of the cup.

* From Graham Kelly: Steve Hastings said: "How about the eight Santa Cruz 50's racing to Hawaii in the Pacific Cup. Not bad for a twenty year-old design...."

I agree with Steve that this is a great tribute to Bill Lee's design and the construction crew at Santa Cruz Yachts.

However, I think the SC 50's are more like a 30-year old design.

The twenty-year old Bill Lee design would be the SC70's. Many of those boats are now on the Great Lakes, where they race in the Great Lakes 70 class. In the 333 mile Chicago-Mac Race eight GL70's finished within 3 minutes and three seconds of each other. They were led by Holua, an SC 70, with Evolution, another SC70, in second place, 25 seconds later. That sounds like a real race to me.

Both statistics must be a record of some kind. Bill Lee's boats have always been fun and easy to sail, well built, (relatively) inexpensive, and they haul the mail.

Newer designs were first to finish in both races, Zephyrus V in the Pacific Cup, and Pyewacket in the Chicago Mac. Both are Reichel/ Pugh designs, with the latest in construction, appendages and sails. However, the sheer number of Bill Lee's boats which are continuing to race are a tribute to "the Wiz's" ability to design great boats.

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It was not a good day for sailing in parts of Europe today as both the Yngling World Championships, Brunnen, Switzerland and the Finn Gold Cup, Piraeus, Greece had to be cancelled due to a lack of breeze.

The 93 competitors at the Finn Gold Cup saw little breeze all day and eventually the decision was made to abandon racing. This means that the results stand as day two with Olympic champion and RYA team GBR sailor Ben Ainslie leading the pack from Karlo Kuret of Croatia in second place and fellow Olympian Sebastien Godefroid of Belgium in third position overall. With four races sailed so far, it is hoped to get in a nine race series with racing concluding on Sunday.

The Yngling fleet suffered their second day of no wind, a light wind did appear and the fleets were sent out onto Lake Lucerne, but the wind was too random and racing could not get underway, eventually causing the race committee to abandon racing for the day. Therefore the results still stand as day two with the American trio of Betsy Alison/Lee Icyda/Suzy Leech leading the 46 boat women's fleet from Ulrike Schümann/Wibke Bülle/Winnie Lippert of Germany. Top British sailor is Olympic champion Shirley Robertson, sailing with Sarah Ayton and Inga Leask, who is currently in 24th place overall. With tomorrow being the last day of the championship the race committee will be hoping that they can get in a few more races for the competitors. -- Sacha Oswald, RYA

Finn Gold Cup:
Yngling Worlds:

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts: This year Edgartown Yacht Club's race around Martha's Vineyard celebrated the 400th anniversary of the first recorded sail around the island. In 1602 the English explorer, Bartholomew Gosnold sailed his ship, Concord, around the island and named it after his daughter, Martha. Edgartown Yacht Club has held this race annually since the 1930's.

The line honors trophy for the first around on elapsed time is, appropriately, the Concord Cup. This year, in a fresh to strong breeze, it was closely contested by Jack Desmond in his new Swan 48, Affinity, and Jay Pasco-Anderson in his J-160, Heron. Heron bumped the sand rounding the buoy supposedly marking the southern end of Mutton Shoal off the southeast corner of Chappaquiddick Island, but was off it in a moment and back on her pace to take the Concord Cup. Heron was not the only boat to touch the shifted bottom of Mutton Shoal, but there were no injuries and there was no damage. Despite the forecast the wind held up splendidly all day, and every boat finished the 52 mile circumnavigation in daylight.

There were four yacht clubs competing for the Yacht Club Team Trophy for the three boat team with the lowest aggregate corrected time: Beverly, Vineyard Haven, Edgartown and New Bedford yacht clubs. The team of Desmond's Affinity, Dailey and Wakeman's Star Eyes and Jack Gierhart's Aegir, both J-105's, took the trophy for Beverly Yacht Club.

The Venona Trophy is for the best corrected time in the premiere class. It is named after Edgartown's Commodore E. J. Bliss's schooner which was a leader in the early years of ocean racing and won the Bermuda Race in 1908. The names inscribed on the Venona Trophy include many of the great names in the history of yachting. This year it was won by X Dimension, owned by Dave Collins of Beverly Yacht Club, a regular participant in the contest.

Full results at

Commodores Bill Whitney of the Cruising Club of America and Les Crane of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club are pleased to announced that the 44th biennial Newport to Bermuda Race will start off Castle Hill, Newport, RI on June 18, 2004. The Onion Patch Series which includes the ocean race, the NYYC Annual Regatta and the RBYC Anniversary Regatta, will be sailed June 12-25th.

The two clubs also announced that John S. Winder of Manchester, MA, has been re-appointed as Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 2004 event. Winder is a veteran of the Newport Bermuda Race, having completed his 15th in 2000. He served as Chairman for the record-breaking 2002 race and served in past races as Inspector, Chief Inspector, and as Chairman of the Qualifications Committee. He is currently a member of US Sailing's Offshore & Safety at Sea Committee, and the Cruising Club of America's Safety at Sea Committee. He is a member of the CCA and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Bayer today announced sponsorship for skipper John Dennis in Around Alone, a 28-thousand mile solo sailing race spanning the world's most remote and dangerous oceans. John Dennis, a 57-year old commercial real estate manager from Toronto, will be making history with this race as the first skipper with diabetes to compete in a solo global yacht race. The announcement was made in conjunction with the planned "rollover" at 10:30 am, Friday, July 26th at the Brewer Cove Haven Marina in Barrington, Rhode Island. The rollover is a dramatic test in which the boat and skipper are turned completely upside down in the water as part of the certification requirements for the race.

Dennis has named his boat "Ascensia" in honor of his principle sponsor, Bayer. Ascensia is the brand name for Bayer's monitoring products and services for people with diabetes. Dennis is the first person with diabetes to enter the Around Alone race. and

Having missed the America's Cup Jubilee last summer (to avoid the wrath of my wife, as we'd just moved across the country), and having long had a fascination with the J Class (who doesn't?), I found a recent email solicitation very interesting. At 406 pages, 13 pounds and sized 12" by 36", the newly published "J Class, The Book" would be a terrific choice for my daughter's fall leaf-pressings, but at ú199 she'd be in big trouble. Small price for my wife to pay, however, to get me to shut up about the Jubilee. Have a look at

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. -- Ben Franklin