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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1129 - August 5, 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.

A deal protecting the America's Cup Arbitration Panel from lawsuits is expected to be agreed to this week after breakthrough talks between several syndicates. A settlement securing a deed of indemnity and insurance against legal action for the five international panel members should be signed by all 10 America's Cup syndicates in the next few days. Details of the deal are not known, and are not expected to be released.

The Herald reported on Friday that negotiations to settle insurance issues and costs had reached a stalemate, worrying organisers of the challengers' series, the Louis Vuitton Cup, which is due to start in eight weeks. The Arbitration Panel was refusing to release any rulings on disputes between syndicates until members had a guarantee they would not be sued. Concern was growing that unless the legal issues were resolved, some of the panel might quit. With syndicates spending up to US$100 million on their campaigns, the panel had become concerned about crippling legal action stemming from their decisions.

However, the Herald understands talks have been held between some syndicates and counsel for the panel since Friday, and a settlement is likely within days. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald

Full story:

Responding to speculation in the national press, Kit Hobday has confirmed a Peter de Savary conditional challenge for the 2006 America's Cup. An official announcement will be made tomorrow evening (5 August) at the Skandia Life Cowes Week hospitality marquee. Hobday issued an official statement saying, "In no way is this conditional challenge meant to detract from the excellent job being undertaken by Peter Harrison's GBR Challenge."

Hobday has a long America's Cup connection with de Savary since the 1980 Lionheart challenge. He served as deputy chairman and team manager for the 1983 Victory challenge and with the abortive Blue Arrow challenge at the end of the 1980s.

Whilst discussing the matter with Yachting World's Tracey Clarke, Hobday confirmed that one of his staff had been "slightly over zealous" and "leaked a story into the Daily Mail last week which has caused no end of repercussions." Hobday asserted, "it is a conditional challenge and there are a lot of conditions." - Tracey Clarke and Kim Hollamby / Yachting World website

Full story:

The United States qualified to send a women's Yngling team to the 2004 Olympic Regatta as a result of the Bronze Medal earned by Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Lee Icyda (Stuart, Fla.) and Suzy Leech (Avon, Conn.), at the recent Yngling World Championship on Lake Lucerne, Brunnen, Switzerland. This is the first sailing berth the US has secured for the 2004 Olympics.

All nations, with the exception of host country Greece, must qualify for entry in each class at the Olympic Regatta, scheduled for August 13-29, 2004, in Athens, Greece. The qualification process is a result of entry limits set by the International Olympic Committee and the International Sailing Federation that specify no more than 400 total athletes in sailing, along with other restrictions. Starting this year, the world championships of each class will qualify their entry quota as follows: 35% in 2002, 45% in 2003, and 20% in 2004.

For 2004, the nine classes (11 divisions) chosen for Olympic competition are: Europe (women); Finn (men); 470 (men and women); Laser (open); Mistral (men and women); 49er, Star, Tornado (all open); and Yngling (women).

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* GBR 78, newly named 'Wight Magic' was placed on a barge in Cowes last Saturday and towed past the Royal Yacht Squadron where she was toasted by representatives from GBR Challenge's 28 sponsors, gathered on the lawn. This week Wight Magic will be loaded into a Russian Antenov aircraft - the largest planes in the world and the only ones capable of taking the 80' yacht to New Zealand. After stopping in Bangkok and Singapore, GBR 78 is due to arrive in Auckland on Saturday 10th August. - Mark Bullingham,

* The first of Team New Zealand's two boats to defend the Cup will be taken from its North Shore boatbuilding yard this week to the team's Halsey Street base for final work. The boat will have deck hardware fitted within the security of the base, ready for launching about the end of this month. - NZ Herald,

* With more than 800 boats racing each day, the Skandia Life Cowes Week is almost too big to cover. However, the regatta organizers have developed a website that does a good job of touching all of the bases:

* Eleven teams/ 33 yachts in total will compete in this year's Rolex Commodores Cup, which will be raced off Cowes, Isle of Wight, between 11th and 18th August. The competition for three boat teams comprises a series of inshore and offshore races (including the RORC's famous flexi-course which ensures crews are kept at sea for 24 -36 hours irrespective of wind conditions). 50% of each crew must be amateur according to the ISAF Eligibility Code, thereafter the only restriction is that an amateur must helm during the inshore races and at the start of the offshore race.

(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 Andrew Besheer: It should be noted that Jack Sutphen, highlighted in 'Butt 1128 for winning the PC Nationals was a many time multiple season champion at Larchmont YC prior to moving to the left coast. The annual prize given to the best frostbite crew was rededicated this season in memory of his late wife Jean who also spent more than her fair share of winters racing IC dinghy's.

* From John B. Kelley: Given the ongoing "legal standoff" regarding the America's Cup arbitration panel, & their fear of financial litigation: isn't it time to bewail the profound gloomy depths to which a once-upon-a-time "gentlemen's sport" has sunk (i.e., competitive sailing)? Seems we're afflicted these days at every turn by the power of "filthy lucre"!

* From Rand Milton The threat of ruinous litigation in the America's Cup is terrible for our sport! All the competitors, as an entry requirement, should be required to sign a waiver eliminating lawsuits against the arbitration panel which has been empowered to enforce the rules of the event. I am sure there must be acceptable solution to this problem, otherwise the panel will not be able to do its job which could ultimately destroy the credibility of the America's Cup. In general, we sign waivers holding RC's harmless against litigation in most regattas. So why can't this be done in the America's Cup? Let the outcome be decided on the water, not in a court room!

* From Chris Bouzaid: I understand that, on national TV, in New Zealand, they showed the raising of Stars and Stripes. I assume all of Team New Zealand, (which really means everyone in the country) turned their TV's off immediately to ensure they did not break the terms of the Protocol.

* From Mike Kennedy: I believe that I speak for thousands of racing sailors and enthusiasts of the sport that would like to hear the positions, arguments and/ or reasonings of such as Time Warner, Dish Network, DirecTV and Outdoor Life Network for why, as of now, the Louis Vuitton Series is not going to be available to those of us in the State of Hawaii.

* From Dave Few (Regarding Jack Mallinckrodt's statement in #1128, "all scoring systems require knowledge of course distance and time on the course.") The TOT system using PHRF TCF as specified in the USS Handicap Manual requires only the elapsed time for each boat. Comparison of TOT and TOD systems reveals that Scoring by these two systems, approach the task from different philosophies, with similar results only when conditions are nominal, --moderate winds, no unfavorable or favorable currents and accurate course distances.

Time on Distance - Regardless of the conditions of wind, current, accuracy of course measurement, and time taken to sail the race, assumes you are always "x" seconds a mile faster or slower than your competitor.

Time on Time - Regardless of the conditions of wind, current, time to sail the race and accuracy of course measurement (not a factor for TOT) assumes you are always the same "%" faster or slower than your competitor. TOT has a tendency to cancel out the beneficial or detrimental effects of wind and current, and accuracy of course length since time on the course is the operative parameter not the length of the course.

TOT & TOD both retain the relevancy of the conditions for which your boat is optimized. Neither system is perfect but TOT seems fairer overall to the NCPHRF committee still using single number ratings. It is about as simple as you can get though probably less accurate than Americap-II (depending on the still debatable accuracy of the A&B ratings)

* From Brendan Hanna (Regarding Americap: Enough already): The option is there. Use it or don't. This is getting rather tedious!

Someone got a picture of Peter Harken's iceboat and entered greatly enhanced versions in a web based photo contest. The results are hilarious:

"Boat speed wins the America's Cup. We think we have two good boats, and hopefully they're great. The crew's job is to sail well and let the boat do its thing and not mess it up. That's what we're happy to do. It's what we're looking forward to doing." - Stars & Stripes skipper Ken Read from an interview with Herb McCormick in Sunday's New York Times. Full story:

Do you know how to interpret Polar data? The difference between target speed and polar speed? How to Wally on a short course or adjust Heading based on VMC while distance racing? The OckamU manual covers all this and more in easy to understand terms. Whatever brand of instrument system you use, the OckamU manual is an invaluable resource. The price is $25. To order, please email Tom Davis ( with your name, street address and method of payment. See

In Friday's 'Butt we had a brief item about 82-year old Jack Sutphen's win at the PC Nationals. Since then we've found a great series of photos on SDSailing website labeled 'Anatomy of a Master's Pin End Start, which show Jack in action. They are defiantly worth a look. -
Full regatta story:

NEWPORT, RI, USA (08/4/02) - Great Britain's Chris Law and his Outlaws defeated American Ed Baird and Team Musto, 2-1, in a thrilling three-match final to win the Swedish Match Tour's inaugural UBS Challenge. The victory is Law's first on the Swedish Match Tour and comes just one year after the 50 year old ended a two-year "retirement" from professional racing.

In claiming the UBS Challenge title Law and his crew of Tucker Thompson, Dobbs Davis and Jeff Brock not only outdueled Baird but also bested the nine America's Cup affiliated crews assembled this week. For Baird, it is the second time he has finished as a runner-up at a Swedish Match Tour event, previously coming in second to Denmark's Jesper Radich at this past May's Match Race Germany.

In the petit finals OneWorld Challenge skipper Peter Gilmour and his Pizza La team put on a textbook match racing demonstration to sweep past Mascalzone Latino's Paolo Cian 2-0, to claim the $12,000 third place prize. - Shawn McBride

Final standings:

1. Chris Law, Great Britain/The Outlaws, $35,000
2. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto, $18,000
3. Peter Gilmour, USA/Team Pizza La, $12,000
4. Paolo Cian, Mascalzone Latino, $9,000
5. Ken Read, Team Dennis Conner, $8,000
6. Andy Green, GBR Challenge, $7,000
7. James Spithill, OneWorld Challenge, $6,000
8. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, $5,000

RANKINGS - Swedish Match Racing Tour 2002/2003:
1. James Spithill, One World Challenge, 31
2. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto, 30
3.Chris Law, Great Britain/The Outlaws, 20
4. Jesper Radich, Denmark, 20
5. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, 19
6. Peter Gilmour, USA/Team Pizza La, 15
7. Paolo Cian, Mascalzone Latino, 12
8. Karol Jablonski, POL/MK Cafˇ Sailing 12

After five consecutive trys (crewed three times, and driven twice) Harry Melges at the helm for Jeff Ecklund captured the top spot today overall to become the 2002 Melges 24 World Champion in Travemunde, Germany. Even though Harry scored a 9th place finish and took a DNS on the last race as his discard, Harry maintained the top position. Final Results:

1. USA - Harry Melges / Jeff Ecklund, 36
2. FRA Sebastien Col / Philippe Ligot, 64
3. GBR - Jamie Lea / Richard Thompson, 66
4. FRA - Bruno Jourdren, 75.5
5. FRA Oliver Ponthieu 76.

Sarasota Sailing Squadron - Final results, 11 races, on throw-out (196 boats): 1. Jackie Sims (Girl) 29; 2. Price Hartenstine, 41; 3. Blake Cabassa, 80; 4. Michael Booker, 84; 5. Chris Sullivan, 94; 6. Ben Alcocer, 99; 7. Antolin River, 127; 8. Mac Agnese, 132; 9. Jordan Factor, 147; 10. Corey Page, 147.

The 2002 Thistle Nationals were sailed at Eugene YC in Eugene, Oregon. Most of the seven race no throw-out series was sailed in windy and fairly shifty conditions. Final results (74 boats): 1. Mike Ingham, John Baker, Joy Martin, 14pts, 2. Bruce King, Mark Makielski, Erin Sherer, 15pts; 3. Blair Dryden, Kyle Finefrock, Nicole Finefrock, 37pts; 4. Eric Gesner, Judy Gesner, Charlie Bailey, 56pts; 5. Terry Lettenmaier, Dave Lettenmaier, Lori Weitkamp, 66pts. -

Chicago YC - Standings after five races: Freedom Independence 20 Class - 1st: Kostanecki/ Leatherman, 9 pts; 2nd: Strahle/ Hitchcock 15.7; 3rd: Benson/ Sullivan 17.1 (There's a protest pending that could affect Strahle's standing). 2.4mR Class: 1st: McRoberts, 9; 2nd: Kelly, 13; 3rd: Franklin, 17.1.

* US Sailing Junior Olympic Festivals:

- August 9-11: Rochecster YC -
- August 10-11: San Francisco YC -
- August 11-14: Pleon YC -

* August 13-18: Danish Open 2002 - Swedish Match Tour, Copenhagen, Denmark.

* Feb. 7-14, 2003: Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht Race, Del Rey Yacht Club. 1125-nautical mile. PHRF divisions for racing, cruising and cruising non-spinnaker.

Why is it that when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but when you take him in a car, he sticks his head out the window?