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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1125 - July 30, 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.

TNZ FUND RAISING
The largest Internet auction to be undertaken in New Zealand is part of a major fundraising initiative being organised by Bayleys Real Estate for Team New Zealand. Jeff Davidson, the Managing Director of Bayleys Corporation, says it is hoped to secure in excess of 2,000 donated items for the on-line auction in which bidders will enter a dedicated internet site to make their bids.

The Great Team New Zealand Auction will go live on September 12 and run through to October 18, culminating in a gala fundraising dinner and live auction in Auckland. Funds generated will go to Team New Zealand.

The Bayleys group will leverage its national network over the next six weeks sourcing items for auction from local communities. Items sourced will have a minimum value of $300 per item for the online auction to $5000-plus for the dinner. A number of substantial items have already been pledged, including a Lexus Car and US holiday with return airfares.

There is virtually no limit to the items that can be donated from retail products through to restaurant meals, homestays, accommodation and collectibles along with services such as lawyers, accountants or dentists. Just about anything and everything of value can be donated, says Mr Davidson.

Using the internet will enable bidders throughout New Zealand and around the world to bid for donated items. The auction will be non-reserve to encourage as many bidders as possible. Trade Me has been choosen to provide the auction system. Bidders will be able to access Trade Me www.trademe.co.nz directly or via the Team New Zealand website www.teamnewzealand.com or the Bayleys site www.bayleys.co.nz. The highest previous bid will be displayed on each item and bidders will receive an e-mail alert when their bid has been exceeded.

The auctions have been timed to coincide with the start of the Louis Vuitton Challenger series in Spring. "By that stage we anticipate people will be getting really excited about the America's Cup again and it's a good time to be raising money for Team New Zealand," says Mr Davidson. - xtramsn.co.nz/teamnewzealand/0,,7137-1629150,00.html

MOB
What's up with all the sailors falling off grand prix yachts lately? The list of prestigious racing boats that have had MOB drills in the last two months includes Blue Yankee, Bright Star, Boomerang, Morning Glory - and now the R/P 86 Zephyrus V. Those of you following the recent Pac Cup already knew that Zephyrus V had engaged their engine during the second day of racing. Many armchair sailors suspected that a man had fallen overboard, a fact which was confirmed when Z-5 reported the incident to the Race Committee after finishing.

The incident is still coming into focus, as the Z-5 paid professionals are understandably reluctant to discuss what happened. But word around the bar at the Kaneohe YC is that it was the owner, Bob McNeil, who went swimming during a night-time baldheaded spinnaker change. Conditions at the time were 18-20 knots of breeze, with 8-foot seas. The MOB package was deployed, and McNeil was able to swim to it.

The Coast Guard was notified of the situation, as was Mari-Cha III, which was behind Z-5 at the time. M-C III dropped their sails to join the search for the MOB, at which point their bowman - who sails for Team NZ - lost part of a finger in a block. McNeil was retrieved by Z-5 about half an hour later, apparently no worse for the wear. From the sound of it, the Z-5 crew reacted perfectly, thanks perhaps in part to some unplanned practice they already had during sea trails around the Bay (a pick-up foredeck crew was knocked overboard for about ten minutes when he found himself on the leeward side of the jib as it went up during a spinnaker takedown). - 'Lectronic Latitude, www.latitude38.com/LectronicLat/2002/July2002/July23/July23.html#anchor181850

WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA
Yes, What an awesome idea. Imagine a pair of shorts that keeps you organized with giant cargo pockets to store everything, parachute chords just in case, flashlight holders and plenty of places to attach those whatzamacallits that can open, close, chop, slice and dice everything. While Camet hasn't yet created the Swiss Army Knife of shorts, they have bomb-proofed and engineered the highly popular quick drying breathable Camet sailing shorts to feel cool and comfortable on the weather rail. For Big Boat Series, Key West, America's Cup etc. These are a must have. www.camet.com

ALINGHI SWISS AC SYNDICATE
Alinghi SUI 75, Team Alinghi's second racing boat, was launched last Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand. Designed by the Alinghi Design Team, under the Direction of Grant Simmer (Coordinator of the Design Team) and Rolf Vrolijk (main architect), SUI 75 is the result of a Team project, with all twelve of Alinghi's designers involved in its development. The polytechnical school of Lausanne (EPFL) also played an important role in the design as many of its researchers were involved in the development of the boat.

The second Alinghi yacht of the 2002 generation, Alinghi SUI 75 has been built in Switzerland, in Corsier sur Vevey, by the Decision SA boatyard. The yacht was transported to Auckland by truck (to Basel), barge (down the Rhine, to Rotterdam) and cargo ship. www.alinghi.com/en/index.html

NEWS BRIEFS
Team New Zealand said it would not run a "red socks" fundraising initiative, as a mark of respect for Sir Peter Blake, the former team head, who devised the original sock campaign.

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (leweck@earthlink.net)
(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 Hugh Wainman-Wood (Responding to the selling of Americap by Jerry Fipps): Americap provides a nifty system for recognizing the effects of wind strength, supposedly making it superior to PHRF. It should be noted however, that it is the determination of the underlying rating that is the crux of any system, not the method you use to adjust it for wind speed. Thus, if the Americap VPP algorithm provides an inappropriate number, the boat will be scored incorrectly in spite of the result being massaged for wind speed.

Complaints about PHRF are always about the base rating. People accept that 'last night wasn't our wind' provided they have a chance to win at some wind strength. With PHRF when there's a glaring error in the number it can be addressed whereas if the Americap VPP produces an error you're stuck with it. Also there's the matter of course length forming part of the scoring. I think many race committees would have trouble determining accurate course lengths and this introduces subjectiveness into the 'objective' Americap system. Has there been any sensitivity analysis to see how the results change if the committee is out by 10 or 20% on course length estimate? Finally, it is interesting to note that, while not as comprehensive as the Americap solution, using PHRF with Time on Time corrections does partially recognize the effects of wind strength. The challenge for all rating systems will always be to get a good base rating number, not how to tweak it afterwards.

* From Bob Johnstone (re Jerry Fipp's letter): We all want to see Americap work. The IRC seems to be working very well among production and custom boats in Europe. So, it's a bit surprising we haven't been able to come up with some universal equivalent to provide comparably fair racing here in the US. Americap in theory is wonderful. We're rooting for US Sailing to pull it off. But, in practice there's a long way to go in refining the VPPs...strange as that may seem considering all the work done on AC boats, etc. Americap pretty much parallels IMS as can be seen from the boats that seem most favored according to an analysis of the Chicago Mac race that just occurred with one section scoring Americap for boats also racing under LMPHRF. Comparisons can thus be made on the handicap allowances applied under both rules for a variety of designs. One might conclude that Americap is not a people's rule, as large custom boats seem to be advantaged.

One of my biggest concerns about the Americap project, from US Sailing's point of view, is based on a marketing axiom:. There's nothing like good advertising to kill a bad product. It would be a mistake to push Americap before it is ready and proven. If too many people try it and don't like it, it will be almost impossible to get it off the ground, once fixed.

If the Chicago Mac was a test market, this product is in trouble. Best to pull back. Fix it. Then relaunch.

COURAGEOUS
Following the completion of a historic restoration, on Saturday, July 27, the Museum of Yachting and The Courageous Foundation re-christened and launched the 12-Meter Courageous, (US-12/26) - two-time America's Cup winner and Rhode Island State Yacht. The ambitious $1million dollar project which began in March 2002 included restoring her 1977 hull form as well as major refits including a new keel, mast, spars, rigging and sails. The Museum of Yachting will continue to be the homeport of the yacht. There are ambitious plans to campaign Courageous on Narragansett Bay as well as regattas throughout the world, including the 2006 12-Meter Championship.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
When Dennis Conner's America ' s Cup yacht Stars & Stripes (USA- 77) sank in the waters off Long Beach, Calif., Tuesday, the law of unintended consequences kicked in. For the New York Yacht Club's sailing team, which was training hard for the October start of Cup trials in Auckland, New Zealand, the sinking was an obvious setback that Conner and his team hope is only a bump in the road, and not a roadblock. But as the footage appeared the next day on national news outlets, the sinking became an unofficial kickoff - in this country, anyway - to America's Cup 2003.

Before the footage of the upper portions of USA-77's rig sticking out of 55 feet of water - blessedly shallow from the sailors' point of view - hardly an American knew that the America ' s Cup was imminent. Not anymore. "We hate to be the ones to get [the Cup] into the news this way," said Bill Trenkle, general manager of Team Dennis Conner and a port- side trimmer on the sailing team, "but it sure has raised awareness. Our Web site is getting a lot of hits, and there's a burst of action in the [online] store with people wanting to buy our products." - Tony Chamberlain, Boston Globe

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"There might be a hundred sailors in the world who have a sailing talent to match John Kostecki at one moment or another, but there are only 10-12 who also have the leadership that it takes to sustain that moment. In the 2000-2001 Volvo Ocean Race, John wore the favorite's hat right out of the blocks, and that's a burden. The best you can do is win. So, he did the best you can do." Paul Cayard, Sailing magazine website, full story: www.sailmag.com/html/briefing.html#havana

RAIDER BOAT WORLD CLASS QUALITY APPROPRIATELY PRICED
The Raider 790, most recently sited at North Sails Race Week in Long Beach, is your best bet in regatta support boats. Available in 7 models ranging from 19' to 46', these are the ultimate "go everywhere" boats built for all imaginable conditions. Order one to use in New Zealand, have front row viewing of all the competition, and then we'll help you get it home. See us at: www.raiderboat.com

BIG
Sydney-based New Zealand yachtsman Neville Crichton has launched his super maxi yacht Shockwave, the bows of the 90-footer firmly aimed at winning line honours in the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Virtually everything about Shockwave, including the hull, keel and rudder, mast and boom, the mainsail and headsails, is carbon fibre. She is the biggest yacht in the world built so far as a maximum rater under the 1.600 rule for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

For his sixth yacht named Shockwave, Crichton commissioned Reichel/Pugh to design him firstly, an all-round maxi yacht capable of withstanding the toughest weather, and winning, the 630 nautical mile Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Then, in her full-on, water-ballasted mode, he asked for a yacht able to outsail the fastest maxis in the world, including in the 2003 Transatlantic Race from New York to Hamburg, Germany. McConaghy Boats, based in the Sydney northern beaches suburb of Mona Vale completed the hull in late June. The hull was then shipped to Auckland for Southern Spars to step the 135 foot carbon fibre mast and complete the rigging. At the same time a special keel was being flown out from America. Her battery of winches and deck gear are from Harken, the sails by North Sails Australia.

"The designers predict that she will be capable of 30 knots on a spinnaker reach, but she has been designed as an all-round performer, with high average speeds to windward, and capable in all conditions," says her owner/skipper. Support for the new Shockwave is being provided by Alfa Romeo and Qantas. - Peter Campbell

OPTIMIST NAs
Hamilton, Bermuda - 113 sailors from nine countries raced in the Colonial Insurance Optimist North American Championship. It was a triumph for the Bermudans at two levels. Not only did they win the individual championship for the first time in its 26 year history but they also won the team racing championship, again for the first time in its history.

Bermuda have sailed Optimists for many years but only started to compete internationally some five to six years ago. Huge effort has gone into developing a genuinely community based program and a rise in fleet numbers has parallelled the improvement in results.

FINAL RESULTS:
1 Jesse Kirkland Bermuda
2 Marco Grael Brasil
3 Jonathan Hernandez Mexico
4 Alan Campbell U.S.A.
5 Geronimo Battista Argentina
6 Kyle Rogachenko U.S.A.
7 Marcello Cortese Argentina
8 Wataru Komiya Japan
9 Fernando Ines Argentina
10 Jackson Benvenuti U.S.A.
www.boda.bm/pages/na2002_top.html

LASER RADIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
After a 1 hour delay on shore a light south westerly wind of 9 knots filled in for the final day of racing at the Laser Radial Open and Womenís World Championship at Buffalo Canoe Club, Canada. In the Women's championship Katarzyna Szotynski from Poland scored a third behind her closest rival, Miranda Powrie NZL and race winner Abigail Devlin USA to take her third Laser Radial title with a race to spare. In the Open Championship Karlo Krpeljevic from Croatia did not have it so easy, scoring an eighth place. His nearest rival Chris Ashley USA helped him by scoring his worst place in the series, a seventeenth. www.laserchampionships.org/laser_radial/index.htm

FINAL RESULTS (with two discards) -
OPEN: 1. CRO, Karlo Krpeljevic, 37.0 pts
2. USA, Chris Ashley, 51.0 pts
3. BRA, Tiago Rodrigues, 59.0 pts
4. CAN, David Wright, 60.0 pts
5. NZL, Jake Bartrom, 60.0 pts
6. TUR, Orkun Soyer, 72.0 pts
7. CRO, Tonko Kuzmanic, 77.0 pts
8. NZL , Craig Prentice. 83.0 pts
9, VEN, Eduardo Cordero, 99.0 pts
10, ARG, Luis Horacio Canuto, 103.0 pts.

WOMEN:
1. POL, Katarzyna Szotynski, 19.0 pts
2. NZL, Miranda Powrie, 26.0 pts
3. IRL, Ciara Peelo, 236.0 pts
4. AUS, Nicky Souter, 59.0 pts
5. AUS, Alison Casey-Hall, 67.0 pts
6. CAN, Katelyn Thompson, 72.0 pts
7. IRL, Debbie Hanna, 73.0 pts
8. USA, Lindsay Buchan, 75.0 pts
9. USA, Abigail Devlin, 80.0 pts
10. CAN, Olivia Simpson, 82.0 pts.

MELGES 24 WORLDS
Travemuende, Germany - 72 boats competing from 13 nations, light to moderate conditions on Lubeck Bay. Standings after two races: 1. FRA Jean Francois Cruette 1, 8 - 9 pts; 2. USA Tom Freytag 6, 4 - 10 pts; 3. USA Harry Melges/Jeff Ecklund 11, 1 - 12 pts; 4. ITA Marion Ziliani/A Preti 2, 11 - 13 pts; 5. GBR Rob Smith/Stuart Simpson 10, 5 - 15 pts. Complete standings: www.melges24.com

VOLVO YOUTH SAILING ISAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lunenburg Yacht Club, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Canada - Final Results US Team:

29er: Boys Alex Bernal Tedd White 4th
29er: Girls Molly Carapiet Mallory McCollum 4th
Laser Boys: Andrew Campbell 1st
Byte: Paige Railey 3rd
Mistral Boys: Philip Muller 17th
Mistral Girls: Ericka Kofkin 12th
Website: www.worldyouthsailingcanada.com/

YNGLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Final Results US Team: 3. Betsy Alison, Lee Icyda, Suzy Leech; 6. Jody Swanson, Cory Sertl, Pease Glaser; 7. Hannah Swett, Melissa Purdy, Joan Touchette; 8. Carol Cronin, Liz Filter. Kate Fears. - www.yngling-worlds.ch/

UBS CHALLENGE
NEWPORT, RI - Ben Cesare, Andy Lovell and Mason Woodworth finished 1-2-3 in the UBS Challenge U.S. Championship to advance to the UBS Challenge Finals, July 31-August 4, in Newport, RI. Each team earned the chance to compete against America's Cup crews for a share of the $100,000 purse.

Semi Finals: Ben Cesare beat Brad Rodi, 3-1; Andy Lovell beat Mason Woodward, 3-2.
Petite Finals: Woodward beat Rodi, 3-1
Finals: Cesare beat Lovell, 3-1
Website: www.ubs.com/ubschallenge

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* August 3-9: Sunfish Senior, Junior and Midget North American Championships, Barrington Yacht Club, Barrington, Rhode Island, barringtonyc.com/02sunfishNAmain.htm

* August 23-25: New England PHRF Championship, Eastern, Corinthian, and Boston Yacht Clubs of Marblehead. www.phrfne.org

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The gene pool could use a little chlorine.