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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1130 - August 6, 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.

AMERICA'S CUP
Britannia could once again be ruling the waves in 2006, if Peter de Savary's proposal to stage a British challenge for the America's Cup is successful. Though the entrepreneur was in the United States, he still managed to make his presence felt at Cowes yesterday, as details emerged of plans for a boat named Britannia to enter the yachting world's most prestigious competition.

Though there was no direct statement of intent from de Savary, his associate, Kit Hobday, spoke for him. "Peter's said 'conditionally, I'll go for it' ". Hobday revealed that the Knightsbridge-based Royal Thames Yacht Club had been approached to be a conduit for the challenge, and that no objection had been received from Buckingham Palace for the use of the name Britannia.

De Savary's challenge for the Cup in 1983 was conducted through Essex's Royal Burnham YC, with a boat called Victory and a mascot, Winston the bulldog, giving it a patriotic theme. Britannia has strong royal connotations, having been the name of the magnificent G L Watson-designed vessel which graced British sailing for over 30 years in the hands of the "Sailor King" Edward VII, both as monarch and Prince of Wales, and then his son, George V. On his death she was scuttled south of the Isle of Wight.

Any new bid would only be considered if the Cup came to Europe or the east coast of the United States. This would happen if Team New Zealand's second defense fails next February. While Italy's Prada and Switzerland's Alinghi are highly fancied, it is Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing, from California, who are rated the best of the three American teams. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, UK. Full story: sport.telegraph.co.uk/

MORE ON THE BRITANNIA SYNDICATE
(De Savary's) spokesman, Kit Hobday, said here yesterday that the crew would not have big salaries and would do it "for patriotism, glory and honour" in an echo of 1991, when de Savary said that, if necessary, his crew would sleep in tents on the beach. That challenge, unlike the Victory Challenge of 1983, sank without trace and cost Blue Arrow, the company backing it, 25m. - Stuart Alexander, The Independent, UK, full story: www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=321898

REACTION - GBR CHALLENGE
(Following is a statement issued by GBR Challenge head Peter Harrison concerning Peter De Savary's announcement.)

Myself and the team are totally focused on the start of Louis Vuitton Challenger Series that is just eight weeks away and doing everything to ensure that our first British entry for 15 years performs as well as possible. Our final building block, GBR 78, is flying to NZ on Wednesday, so that really marks the start of the last preparation phase of our campaign for the 31st America's Cup. Once the America's Cup is over, we'll appraise the situation either as the defender or as one of challenging nations. - www.gbrchallenge.com/gbr/default.asp

THEY HAVE SAILED AROUND THE WORLD, NOW IT IS YOUR TURN.
Some of you may still be procrastinating about getting your Camet breathable, fast drying padded shorts. Don't wait any longer. They have 7 different colors in the Camet 3000 shorts. Their newest design the Cargo shorts come with those extra big pockets to store more of those things you always wish you could have with you, when sitting on the rail. Take a look at the Camet web site, you will find the shorts and all of the Camet outstanding gear. www.camet.com

STERN SCOOP
High on the agenda at the America's Cup Challengers meeting in Newport last week was to get a final "gentlemen's" agreement that no challenger would trial against Team New Zealand with a new boat. Russell Coutts has told the challengers it was "a huge help" last time when Peter Gilmour's Nippon Challenge raced TNZ. The Curmudgeon has learned that all challengers except one -- the Swedish Victory Challenge -- have agreed not to race TNZ. The Swedes continue to hold out, and the other challengers are studying possible sanctions.

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 Michael Roth In butt 1129 'Mike Kennedy wrote "as of now, the Louis Vuitton Series is not going to be available to those of us in the State of Hawaii." The Dish Network is carrying OLN on their 110 W satellite but not their 119 satellite. Hawaii can only see the 119 bird. I have a request that the 119 bird carry OLN but it does not look good. Time Warner - Oceanic Cable has responded that they are in negotiations with OLN to carry the channel. Petitions have been circulating at the Hawaii, Kaneohe and Waikiki Yacht Clubs and all Oceanic customers are encouraged to contact your local carrier to request the carry OLN.

* From Ken Sheehan: I spent Saturday and Sunday in the stands and along the sea wall in front of the Hyatt Newport at the UBS Challenge watching the best in the world put on an incredible display of match racing skill. Peter Gilmour ducking Ed Baird and tacking back instantly with a burst of speed to take a momentary lead, dial-ups before the start and at the top mark, downwind blanketing attacks and luffing counter attacks - all within easy sight of shore while Peter Montgomery kept up a running commentary worthy of Ali-Frasier III. The venue was wide open for the general public and UBS and the other sponsors are to be congratulated.

* From BobKiernan I can see the headlines now. Billionaires tossed from America's Cup Regatta for (pick one):
A. Breaking the rules!
B. Bad business practices!
C. Cheating!
D. All the above and thinking they can manipulate the system.

I am tossing in my 2 cents because I want to see some racing. The Arbitration Panel must have some serious plans and I for one think it's time to make a stand. Down with the gavel and let the future happen. Go ahead toss one out. At any rate it will keep the trade names of all the syndicates in the news for years (promotion is still promotion) and give the big boys something to fight for. Gentlemanly Honor!

* From Howard Paul: Upon hearing about the sinking and seeing the pictures of the raising of Stars & Stripes (USA 77) several things occurred to me. First is Dennis and Team are in a unique position to add a new record to the Americas Cup legacy. Should they go on to win the Americas Cup they will be the first to do it with a salvaged boat. Second is they have added new meaning to the phrase "Going Down Under'.

SWEDISH VICTORY CHALLENGE
One hundred applied. Ten went through tests in Gothenburg. Two were selected. Both of them - Henrik Hasselblad, 20, and Sebastian Tenghage, 23, - after additional two week of rigorous testing with the Swedish America's Cup Challenge in Auckland have received the news. They will stay on. The two strong athletes with no real sailing experience are new on the runner grind position within Victory Challenge.

Henrik Hasselblad biggest successes have come from rowing. He's won 16 national championship, from youth and junior level up to sprint. He has also won the Nordic championship. Henrik Hasselblad is a member of Mölndal's rowing club. He has also played ice hockey at senior level with the second division team Kållered Icebears the last two seasons. As a 15-16 year old, he represented Gothenburg in a national youth ice hockey championship.

Sebastian Tenghage made his debut for the first team when Hanhals Hockey and Kungsbacka Hockey, south of Gothenburg, merged to become HK-Kings for the 1995/96 season. He was only 16-years old then. He has played in the first division since.

"They came here two weeks ago to our very closely knit group, very strong but with no real sailing experience. It's not without its problems. But they have gone through rigorous tests and done well. They've also discovered muscles they didn't know they had. Now they're ready for the next stage", says Skip Lissiman, coach and responsible for the tests. "They've met our expectations. They've got the right ambition and attitude." - Bert Willborg, www.victorychallenge.com/start.phtml?lang_id=1

GOOD READING
There's an interview with Buddy Melges in the new issue of Sailing Medallist that is 'must read' material. Here's an excerpt where Buddy talks about why, after winning an Olympic medal in the Flying Dutchman in 1964, he did not campaign for the 1968 Olympics:

"With all the talk of light winds in Acapulco and a very disappointing Worlds leading to the Olympics I bailed. Why? The FD fleet was rocking and sculling in Montreal's light air. I could not cheat and the class was doing nothing to stop this flagrant action. I quit sailing for two years and trained Labs. They seemed more intelligent at the time than some of the powers regulating kinetics!"

Read the whole interview and lots of other good stuff in the new August issue of Sailing Medallist: www.ussailing.org/Olympics/SailingMedallist/

CARBON FIBER VS. ALUMINUM POLES
Carbon poles produced from pressure cured intermediate modulus carbon fiber and high-performance epoxy resin typically provide weight reductions over similar aluminum poles of 50% or better. A 2 1/2" x 12' carbon pole with composite end fittings and a Spectra double bridal sells for $569.95. A comparable aluminum pole sells for $429.95. Order online from pyacht.com, and you can have carbon pole for the price your rigger wants for aluminum. www.pyacht.net/online-store/scstore/h-forespar_carbon_poles.htm

INDEPENDENCE CUP / NA CHALLENGE CUP
CHICAGO, Monday, August 5 After two days of light air sailing, a Northerly breeze finally arrived for the third and final day of the 2002 U.S. Independence Cup/ North American Challenge Cup, bringing with it some unexpected results.

It was literally down to the wire for the 2.4 meter Gold Fleet sailors, with four boats in close competition for the top three spots. Coming into the final day, Canadian John McRoberts led the fleet with an impressive record of first and third place finishes. Ken Kelly and Tom Franklin were ranked Second and Third, with U.S. Paralympian Roger Cleworth a not so distant Fourth. Day Three's breeze made all the difference for Cleworth as he turned in two First place finishes, pushing him to the top of the pack, and allowing him to win a tie breaker with McRoberts.

After dominating the first two days of the Regatta in the Freedom 20 class, John Kostenecki and Jim Leatherman found themselves struggling to stay on top. Halfway up the first windward leg, they made contact with another boat, driven by Karen Mitchell of Miami. After performing an obligatory 360 degree penalty turn, they plowed forward hoping to regain some lost ground. But in the building breeze, their efforts weren't enough to keep them from making contact with yet another object. This time, it was the windward mark. This meant another penalty turn, and, at that point Kostenecki says, he thought their mistakes would cost them the race and the regatta.

He was wrong. Kostenecki and Leatherman came back in Races 8 and 9 to post First and Second place finishes. Those marks allowed them to hold onto their overall lead, making John Kostenecki and Jim Leatherman the Champions of the 2002 U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup.

FINAL RESULTS: Freedom Independence 20 Class - Gold Fleet: 1. Kostanecki/ Leatherman; 2. Guay/ Cormier; 3.Mitchell/ Gruson; Silver Fleet: 1. Hartz/ Greener; 2. Johnson/ DelVecchio; 3. Jaffe/ Daniher; 2.4mR Class - Gold Fleet: 1. Cleworth; 2. McRoberts; 3.Franklin; Silver Fleet: 1. French; 2. Mazur; 3. Scaramuzzino. www.chicagoyachtclub.org/

BYTE NAs
Mantoloking YC - Storm systems rolling in from the North provided some excellent breeze for the scheduled three-day Byte North Americans. On the first day of racing competitors experienced a light 5-7 knot veering wind. More storms came in during the night alleviating some of the humidity and bringing steady pressure for day 2 of racing. The winds were steady from the North East at about 13-15 knots. Competitors were separated quickly in the windy conditions and the more fit sailors were slowly climbing their ways to victory. Final results: 1. Nicole Bastet, 14; 2, Alexandre Bourgeois, 18; 3. Kelly Struthers, 22; 4. Lisa Laventure, 27; 5. James Meredith, 27. www.byteclass.org/

29er NAs
The North American Championships were held in strong winds from the 26-28th July at Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The Canadian team of Andrew McCorquodale and Hunter Lowden won the event with 11 points, second was last year's champion from the USA, Dan Brandt and Trevor Bozina (34 pts), third place was taken out by another US crew, Chuck Ullman and Jon Bell (37 pts). www.29er.com/news/2002/results/story_nr0mrknsrs_4857.html

OPTI NATIONALS
Correction: The: Optimist National Results in 'Butt 1129 were those of the Green fleet only. The overall regatta winner in the Red, Blue and White fleets (196 boats) was Alex Bunt of Fairhaven, NJ. Brad Turner of Jamestown, NY was second. Third was Wataru Komiya of Enoshima, Japan. The races were sailed in primarily light to moderate winds on Sarasota Bay. - Morgan Stinemetz www.usoda.org/html/02nationalsresults.html#Overall

INTRODUCTION TO SAILING
Gordon Bailey, who hauled his Hobie 16 in from Las Vegas to last weekend's Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 2002 Multihull Invitational won the Hobie 16 B class, but it wasn't easy. He scored three firsts and a second on day one, but crew Adam Tarks suffered severe burns in an overnight accident and was unable to sail Sunday.

Bailey roamed the beach looking for a replacement and found a young woman named Anita---he never learned her last name---from Newport Beach. "She had never been on a sailboat before," Bailey said. "She was just wandering around looking at the boats. I told her it might be rough."

They capsized on their first tack coming out to the starting area from the beach but recovered to finish second in Anita's maiden race. As the wind built, they pitchpoled before the second race and were unable to right the boat in time to start and took a DNS. Then they finished second in the finale to win by a point. "She was made of titanium," Bailey said of his mysterious crew. "At the end she asked me how fast we were going." - Rich Roberts

Complete results at www.abyc.org

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* August 10-25: Athens 2002 Regatta, www.athens2004.com

* August 14-29: Nautica Star World Championship, California YC, Marina del Rey, California, www.starworlds2002.com

* August 26-September 3: Europe World Championships, Ontario, Canada. www.laserchampionships.org/laser_radial/index.htm

* October 1: US Sailing Umpire Seminar, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC, Oyster Bay, New York. Presented by Tom Farquhar and Tom Dugan (Team Racing). For information or to reserve a spot: bacook@optonline.net

THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Do pilots take crash-courses?