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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1143 - August 23, 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.

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.---A one-second win by Bermuda's Peter Bromby over England's Iain Percy Thursday was the overture to what looms as a rousing three-way battle Friday for the 81st Nautica 2002 Star Class World Championship. Bromby only wishes he could be a part of it.

Instead, it will be Percy and crew Steve Mitchell fighting to hold off the relentless Brazilians, Torben Grael and crew Marcelo Ferreira, and those persistent Frenchmen, Xavier Rohart and Yannick Adde, for the most prestigious of one-design crowns. Grael won it in 1990; Percy and Rohart would be the first from their nations to win it.

After discarding his worst score---19th in Race 1 last Sunday---Percy counts only a string of 4-1-3-2 finishes for 10 points, 4 better than Grael. He broke Grael's three-day grip on first place Friday, but neither could shake off Rohart, who discarded a 33 to leave him at 19 points with a 3-1-5-5 record.

Grael can afford to sail more aggressively than the other two because his worst finish has been a ninth. "He can come for us because he has a discard to give," Mitchell said, "and if he comes for us there isn't much we can do." "We'll just have to sail a safe and smart race," Percy said.

Grael wasn't tipping his hand. "It's different when you have three boats," he said. "If you fight with the first guy the third boat's going to win."

Grael and Ferreira, triple Olympic medallists, do not figure to go easily. In Thursday's solid 12 knots of breeze they dug themselves a deep hole on the first upwind leg when they sailed up the middle and "got passed on both sides," Grael said. After the first 2.1 miles they were 26th, then clawed back progressively to 14th, 10th and seventh on ensuing mark roundings and finally to a fifth-place finish. - Rich Roberts

The leaders (after 5 of 6 races, worst score discarded):

1. Iain Percy/Steven Mitchell, UK, (19)-4-1-3-2, 10 points.
2. Torben Grael/Marcelo Ferreira, Brazil, 3-1-5-(9)-5, 14.
3. Xavier Rohart/Yannick Adde, France, 6-8-2-(33)-3, 19.
4. Paul Cayard/Hal Haenel, San Francisco, 7-9-4-8-(40), 28.
5. Rick Merriman/Bill Bennett, San Diego, (53)-7-8-4-15, 34.
6. Peter Bromby/Martin Siese, Bermuda, ( 33)-2-32-5-1, 40.
7. Mark Mansfield/Killean Collins, Ireland, 2-13-17-(25)-7, 40.
8. Mark Reynolds/Magnus Liljedahl, San Diego, (78)-5-29-1-10, 45.
9. Colin Beashel/David Giles, Australia, (41)-19-11-2-18, 58.
10. George Szabo/Austin Sperry, San Diego, 1-20-10-(30)-27, 58.

As sailors, we are inevitably exposed to too much sun and a higher risk for skin cancer. If you or your doctor sees a troubling spot, it is important that the right treatment path is taken from the first step. Simple mistakes can be made at the first visit (before you know it is a problem) that will preclude the best treatment later. The following questions are critical to ask your doctor if you have a suspected melanoma:

1. Will you be doing a punch biopsy to determine if I have a melanoma?

2. If I have anything other than a shallow melanoma, will you plan to do the Sentinel Node (Blue Dye) test on me?

If the answer to either of these questions is 'No,' you need to research the matter and become better informed before you do anything.

The Punch test is what you want. It is the best way to determine the very important depth level. A quick removal of the spot prevents the depth from being measured later, if the biopsy turns out to be serious. The punch test is like taking a core sample with a hollow needle - removal is done after finding out if the spot is serious.

The Sentinel Node trdy could save your life. The Sentinel Node test is done by injecting radiated material directly into the punch biopsy site, followed by blue dye. The blue dye drifts toward a lymph node and the lymph node it selects becomes the Sentinel Node. If your melanoma has spread, this test could lead your doctor to the exact lymph node to which it has spread. It is vital. The Sentinel Node test is most effective before the entire melanoma has been removed. Some doctors want to remove the melanoma first, thus perhaps denying you the possibility of this very important diagnostic tool.

Meanwhile, put your hat on (not a visor), wear sunscreen, protective clothing (a tee shirt is only about 6 or 7 spf, less if wet). See your dermatologist and make sure you have a full body check, including your head, regularly. Build awareness in your children. - Sally Welsh

The full text of the melanoma information is available at:

Want to know about the newest in racing gear this week? Find out on our Hot New Items page - updated today and every Friday. Looking for great deals? Click over to our Sale Rack where we just published this week's additions. While you're at it, check out our great selection of racing cordage, rigging, hardware, apparel and accessories that make APS the most comprehensive performance sailing store in the Americas.

Most of the skippers in the Around Alone race are counting on large corporate sponsors to fund their race around the world, but Bruce Schwab is relying on friends and family to support his single-handed adventure. The California sailor has raised about $1.4 million, spent about $1.6 million, and says he still is "dialing for dollars" to finance his participation in the race, which begins Sept. 12.

Schwab, 42, is the only American in the big-boat division of the race. His shore crew consists of volunteers devoting their vacation time to preparing his racing yacht, Ocean Planet, for the race.

This week, crews were sanding the bottom of Ocean Planet, preparing it for the fluorescent-orange paint job race organizers require, and a friend was working on the rigging as Schwab worked the telephone, "dialing for dollars."

The skipper is scraping. In Newport, he is staying at the home of marine photographer Billy Black, and he's driving a truck lent by Victor Pinheiro, a member of the New Bedford Yacht Club whom Schwab met in the Azores. He's counting on a last-minute surge in contributions to get him to the starting line in New York, and is even offering a berth in the prologue race to anyone who contributes $10,000 or more. In one message to supporters, Schwab said he might have to play his guitar for tips in sailors' bars.

As the start of the race comes closer and preparations become more frenzied, Schwab appears to be calm. "I'm playing it by ear," he says. - Tom Meade, Providence Journal, full story:

* The Oracle BMW Racing team recently took delivery of 20 BMWs which consisted of 13 models of the BMW 3 Series, five models of the 5 Series and two models of the 7 Series. Easily identified by the logos on each side of the cars, the fleet will be used for a myriad of transportation purposes ranging from transporting the team and equipment to and from their Auckland base, through to transporting select team members to various public engagements and events.

* 10 000 guests have visited the Alinghi Interactive Plaza since it opened three months ago.

* Mark Campbell-James is on course to become one of the youngest captains to ever compete in the America's Cup. The 21-year-old, from Sidlesham, is wanted by multi-millionaire Peter de Savary to skipper a boat for the British challenge in four years time. Campbell-James, who recently married Georgina, de Savary's goddaughter, doesn't think his age will be a problem. - Mike Donovan, Newsquest Media Group Newspapers

(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 Grant Braly: There isn't a single person who was anywhere near the water in 1995 who believes that Aus-31 or even Aus-35 were equal to NZL-32. That includes the Australian sailors and even the designers. It was a valiant effort, and they were certainly very good, but Team New Zealand had a better boat that year. While it is true that Aus-31 was able to win a single race against Team New Zealand, it was in fact TNZ's slower boat, NZL-38, which lost an extremely close contest and which, despite being hammered by a well-sailed Australian boat all the way up every beat, managed to be threatening for the entire day. And in the IACC class, it is very difficult to be threatening once you've rounded the leeward mark in second place.

One only has to look at the direction designers have taken in the newer boats to tell that it is not the hull of oneAustralia that they admired.

* From Christian Fevrier (edited to our 250-word limit): Bruce Parsons is absolutely right in remembering the single victory of One Australia on the water. However, he should add that the Black Magic crew sailed that day without any hydraulic and electronic help, which was quite a huge penalty. In Russell Coutts's brilliant book, 'Course to Victory' he wrote, "Oil started to leak all around Warwick, who controlled the hydraulics, and suddenly we were sailing by the seat of our pants." All weather recording information was lost, and the laser range finder measuring the performance difference between the two boats was not functionning. Other information lost was such sail-control measurements as the load of the headstay which determines the sail depth and shape of the headsail."

Now about the predictions of the America's Cup 2003 ( Richard Endean on Garry Jobson recent comments), was not the same ESPN commentator who predicted at the first AC luncheon of the 1995'cycle, that Chris Dickson would defeat PACT'95 in May America's Cup?

At the end of 1986, John Bertrand himself was quoted saying : "I reckon on the paper it will be Australia IV narrowly ahead of Kookaburra III successfully defending against America II, then New Zealand or Conner."

And in 1992, Syd Fisher, talking about the Michael Fay challenge, said also : "They're just like the Australians, only usually 10 years behind".

If I was an "official" commentator, I would be more careful about my predictions, and wait for the action.

* From Richard Clark: Gary Jobson's comments will surely return to bite him on the Bum. I have a bunch of 47 cent NZ dollars to put against his Wall Street Dollars. "They don't have the resources" - 4 million people pulling together is a pretty amazing resource. "The loss of Peter Blake" - Sir Peter's spirit lives on in every New Zealander.

Gary's points are simply a lack of understanding of what the Americas Cup represents to New Zealand. Young kids from all over the country will handily fill the shoes left by Russell, Brad, et al. It is the same courage, talent and raw guts that got Hillary to the top of Everest, Jackson to Lord of the Rings, and, arguably, Richard Pearse into the air before the Wright Bros. I for one, will be wearing my red socks exclusively for the next six months.

* From Sean Jeffery: I would have to agree with Richard Endean in Butt 1142 on Gary Jobsons comments regarding TNZ not defending the cup. I would be surprised if Gary has got a pass to the TNZ compound, therefore he is only guessing, yes guessing on there performance and capabilities. In the heat of the battle on the course where it really matters, I doubt whether they are thinking about Sir Peter (no disrespect) or how much money they have left in the bank or there follow team mates who have moved on. They will be worried about one thing, winning the race. Its been said many a time, the fastest boat always wins the AC. Is Gary implying TNZ have a slow boat? (refer beginning of comments)

* From Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (reluctantly edited to our 250-word limit): Mr. Graham Dalton's comments in Scuttlebutt need a little amplification. On 26th March 2002 he sent in a statement of his intended qualification voyage, namely Auckland to Sydney. He set off on the 29th before there had been time for the Race Committee to respond since they are spread throughout the world. He arrived in Sydney with a damaged boat and injuries to himself and announced to the Race Chairman on the phone that he had completed his qualification. He was advised that Trans Tasman was crossing a sea not an ocean as required by the rules, and this specifically had been turned down in the past.

The rule, No 7.1 of the Notice of race requires "each contestant to complete an authenticated single-handed transoceanic voyage, of not less than 2000 miles, without anchoring or putting into port, in the yacht entered in the race". It was suggested that if Mr.Dalton wished his trans-Tasman voyage to be accepted he should present his logs and proof to the Race Committee for a decision. He stated he could not do this, as his logs had been soaked as had his calculations for a sight reduction, which is also a part of the qualification.

It was only then that he decided to apply for redress claiming his trans-Tasman voyage was a qualification. The Race Committee officially refused to accept this and he appealed to the International Jury who have also denied his request.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: A copy of the request for redress and the jury's decision is posted at:

Greenpeace has pledged not to disrupt America's Cup racing during protests against the nuclear sponsorship of the French challenger Le Defi Areva. Spokeswoman Bunny McDiarmid said Greenpeace was not opposed to the America's Cup or to the French team, but was opposed to the involvement of nuclear company Areva. "It's not about being anti-America's Cup or anti-French. It's about being anti-Areva."

* Greenpeace New Zealand has asked supporters to email their protests to Areva, or to fly anti-nuclear pennants from their boats as they watch the challengers racing from October 1. - NZ Herald, full story:

J World, America's Top Ranked sailing school is seeking coaches for our Key West FL branch. Applicants must be motivated, fun loving and upbeat. In addition, excellent keelboat boathandling and spinnaker skills are necessary along with a strong racing background and good communication skills. Employment will begin January 1, 2003 and housing assistance in Key West is provided. Long term employment at J World is possible. Previous teaching experience and US Sailing Keelboat Instructor status is a plus. All applicants must call John or Denise at 800-343-2255 for information and to apply. No e-mail resumes please.

Come 1 October and the start of the Louis Vuitton Series it will be a toss up between Magnus Holmberg, 40, and the equally talented former Dane and Soling gold medallist Jesper Bank over who will take the helm of the Swedish Challenger. "Normally me and Jesper are steering one boat each," Holmberg says of their training programme. "The decision has not been made as to who will steer. It will be a decision made right before we start the Louis Vuitton Series and we're a small team, so it will be very important to keep everyone on their toes.

"We don't want to divide the team into an A and a B team. We're one team and we're all going to do it together and I'm sure there'll be changes down the road, maybe someone will get injured or we'll see how people develop. So who is on the boat for the first race it won't be clarified until we are very close." - James Boyd, madforsailing website,

ATHENS, GREECE -Top North American regatta performers after ten races with one throw-out:

Yngling: Hannah Swett/ Joan Touchette/ Milissa Purdy, USA, 3rd place
470 Mens: Steven Hunt/ Michael Miller, USA, 26th place
470 Women: Katherine McDowell/ Isabelle Kinsolving, USA, 18th place
49er: Andrew Mack/ Adam Lowery, USA, 7th place
Finn: Mo Hart, USA, 14th place
Mistral Men: David Miery Teran, MEX, 23rd place
Mistral Women: Dominique Vallee, CAN, 33rd place
Tornado: Robert Daniel/ Eric Jacobsen, USA, 13st place
Europe: Lauren Bernsen, USA, 8th place
Laser: Brett Davis, USA, 13th place

Full results:

Lake Carlyle, Illinois: Rob & Bridget Hallawall of San Diego, sailed a consistent series in "the most wind Carlyle has seen all summer" where the last day was cancelled due to heavy thunderstorms. The 46 boat fleet at the Snipe North American Championship had breezes of 12-15 knots during the 2 days & 5 races held on Lake Carlyle. John & Maggie Manderson of New Jersey finished 2nd followed by Henry Filter & Lisa Griffith of Annapolis, MD; 4th Steve Stewart & Adam Roberts of San Diego and Hal Gilreath & Aimee Graham of Annapolis, MD. Top 2 have qualified for the 2003 Worlds in Sweden. - Jerelyn Biehl

Reports, photos & results:

You know you're getting old when you replace your wild oats with prunes and All Bran.