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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1149 - September 3, 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.

THE OLYMPICS
The Olympic Programme Commission has looked at all sports and made recommendations which will effect a number of sports' programmes, either by reduction of the event or complete expulsion from the Olympic programme for the 2008 Olympics, Beijing, China.

In respect of sailing, the Commission recommends: "the reduction of the athlete quota and number of events".The Programme Commission went on to recommend that keelboat events should be reduced, due to the cost and complexity.

ISAF does not feel this to be justified and it should also be noted that removing this event would have a negative impact on the current events in the Paralympic Regatta. At this stage, it should be noted that this is a recommendation from the Olympic Programme Commission, which is yet to be fully considered by the IOC Executive Board. The IOC Executive Board will further consider the proposals made by the Olympic Programme Commission prior to making any recommendation, which would then be considered at the full IOC session who meet 26-29 November 2002. - ISAF Website, www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=3014

NEW BOW FOR STAR & STRIPES
Team Dennis Conner has announced that the repair work on USA-77 is going extremely well and she is expected to be sailing again by mid-September. After a full review of the hull and structure, it was determined that the only significant damage was to the front end of USA-77. To ensure the repairs would not add extra weight or compromise the structural integrity of the hull, Team Dennis Conner decided that the best option is to replace the bow from the mast forward. The America's Cup rule allows repairs and modifications to be made to the hull with prior approval from the Class Technical Director as long as they do not exceed 50% of the hull area. After observing the two boats (USA-66 and USA-77) sailing together and after reviewing data from hundreds of tests, Team Dennis Conner and the team's designer Reichel/Pugh agreed on ways to optimize the performance of USA-77 by modifying the bow section during the repair. Team Dennis Conner was required by the America's Cup Protocol to request permission for the change from America's Cup Class Technical Director Ken McAlpine, who reviewed the drawings of the change and granted permission.

The new bow is being built at New England Boatworks (NEB) in Portsmouth Rhode Island where USA-66 & USA-77 were constructed. The new part will be finished this week. The final logistics of flying the new bow down to the Team Dennis Conner training base in New Zealand, where it will be fit to the rest of the hull, are still being finalized. Once the new part is on site, the Stars & Stripes boat building team and a group of boat builders from New England Boatworks will begin the process of splicing the two sections together. The joint is designed in a zig zag fashion and incorporates part of the existing internal structure of the boat, eliminating any additional weight added or strength lost.

To assure perfect alignment of the parts, two of Team Dennis Conner official suppliers (Arc Second and Xygent) will use laser measurement data files that were collected during the construction of USA-77. These 3D shape files will be matched with the files of the new shape. With the use of the Arc Second laser measurement system that they will bring to New Zealand and the specialized Xygent software, the builders will be able to match the shapes to less than half a millimeter. The whole procedure is expected to take seven to ten days. The team expects to be sailing USA-77 again in mid-September allowing Team Dennis Conner's two-boat testing program to resume. In the meantime, the team will train on board USA-66 in preparation for the Louis Vuitton Cup which begins on October 1.

Team Dennis Conner launched Stars & Stripes USA-66 September 1 and took her out on the Hauraki Gulf off of Auckland, New Zealand. - www.stars-stripes.com/

FAVORITE PART
I think my favorite part is the deep pockets. Sure I like the great look of my Camet Sailing shorts, and the fact that the Supplex really dries quickly; and the way the Cordura seat patch stands up to rough non-skid patterns And Lord knows I love the 1/4 inch foam pads that can be inserted into the seat patch to eliminate "butt" fatigue. But I still think I like the deep pockets best. They hold lots lots of stuff, but more importantly-nothing ever falls out. Never! Take a look at the shorts and all the Camet gear at: www.camet.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* There are five New Zealand sailors on the OneWorld syndicates team- grinder Andrew Taylor Richard Dodson, Jeremy Scantlebury, Matthew Mason and Craig Monk. In fact, walking on to OneWorld's base is like visiting an old New Zealand team, there are so many familiar Kiwi faces. To be exact, 35 per cent of the OneWorld team - including designers, boatbuilders and shore crew - are New Zealanders. - From Suzanne McFadden's long and interesting story about Andrew Taylor in the NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

* Almost 50 years after he conquered Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, Sir Edmund Hillary will lend his support to another great challenge, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Now in his eighties, Sir Edmund, one of the most famous mountain climbers and adventurers of the 20th century, has accepted an invitation to be the Official Starter for the 2002 Race.

* On September 1 the race village for the Around Alone single-handed around-the-world race opened in Newport, R.I. The fleet will set out from Newport bound for New York in an exhibition prologue race on Sept. 12. Leg 1 of the actual race will start in New York Harbor on Sept. 15 as part of the Sail for America weekend. - Herb McCormick, NY Times, www.nytimes.com/2002/09/01/sports/othersports/01BOAT.html Event website: www.aroundalone.com

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 Bruce Parsons: I should like to point out that while OLN has the rights and is carrying America's Cup coverage in the US, this service is not at present being offered in Canada. That's right, even though both Alinghi and Oracle contracted the same Canadian company to do their tank testing, no one in Canada will be able to see the races. This is hard to understand, as it seems most of the alternate programing concerns chimpanzees and other wildlife programs with even less Canadian content than the America's Cup. I would like to suggest that your Canadian subscribers make their preferences known to the Canadian distributer of OLN at www.facetheelements.com

* From Platt Johnson: I agree with Morten Christoffersen's comments on this issue. Pumping can be controlled but fair and complete enforcement of the rule 42 kinetics is impossible in boats small enough to be influenced by a sailors weight. In the lightest class, windsurfers, the body is so much more mass than the board that efforts to restrict kinetics was given up as unenforceable and detrimental to top athletic performance. Certainly a more noisy response but also more honest.

I admire Mr. Hendersons efforts but until a pinball machine Tilt Switch can be added to a sailboat I am afraid that the only fair choice for sailors who won't get in top physical shape and can't hide their kinetics gracefully is to either sail in those classes where the boats are heavier or take up radio controlled sailing. Otherwise we abandon control of our Corinthian sport to fallible human judges. A distasteful and unaffordable prospect.

* From Ken Boyle: Participant enforcement of the Rules is part of what makes sail boat racing such a wonderful sport, but it can only work if sailors do, in fact, enforce the Rules. Raise your red flag when someone breaks a Rule. If you break one, take your penalty, whether or not you are protested. If we don't do these things we are breaking the Rules and encouraging others to do the same! If we play by the Rules and insist that others do so as well, we can avoid the need for oversight by officials that other sports rely on.

Sailboat racing is a sport played on a much larger field than other sports. It is virtually impossible to provide consistent observation of an entire fleet. Boats may be miles apart! If Judging is not consistent across the entire fleet it's fairness may quite reasonably be questioned. How could we govern it like other sports?

Sailboat racing is different from other sports! No other sport provides the diverse challenges of sailing including stamina, strength, talent, determination, experience, strategy, team work or individual effort, science, weather, nature and luck, just to mention a few. Why should we govern it like other sports?

Making a conscious effort to propel one's boat in a manner which one knows to be a violation of the Rules and thereby gaining an advantage over one's competition sounds like cheating to me.

* From Ken Beashel (edited to our 25-word limit): I would like to say that sailing a boat via a tiller or as most do with an extension allows one to feel where the boat needs to be placed in relation to its best angle to be taken through the water with the least restriction, this feel is what is known as seat of pants sailing except for perhaps some very straight line boats like catermarans. Most all boats I have sailed do transmit this feel and its always been the way that to get the best out of your boat is to move your body in a swaying manner otherwise the boat will capsize as the boat pitches then a fore/ aft movement comes into the feel, this could be called ooching but really this is a sailor getting the feel of the boat not necessarily a sailor cheating.

Sailing is a physical sport otherwise it would not be in the Olympics would it? So please if we are to have umpires then get them from expert small boat sailors and not some old fuddy duddy's I see at some regattas. I have never not sailed a boat without this feel unless it is very flat water and then you need to be more delicate in your approach to movement so really its the water we sail in that dictates the amount of movement we do and as this is a natural movement then isn't that sailing?

* From Lisa Marsaudon: In response to the ISAF presidents points about kinetics, Mr. Malm argued that sailing should be about strength. I disagree with this. Being one who often finds herself as the only female in a fleet of Lasers, I find that strength can be a huge dividing barrier when it comes to kinetics. One of the reasons I enjoy the sport of sailing so much is that in a boat I am equal with the men. When the game becomes only a test of strength, then that leaves us women at a great disadvantage. Sailing is one of the very few coed high school sports. If kinetics are legal, then that will turn away many of the girls who can no longer compete as equally with the guys.

* From C. Keith Stump: Mr. Christofferson's letter unfortunately reflects the sorry state of morals in our world of "situational ethics." To see that this ethical morass has invaded the Corinthian sport of sailing is particularly sad. When we sail long-distance races, we're totally out of sight of other boats. So if breaking a rule is okay as long as you don't get caught, as Mr. Christofferson would suggest, what's the point of rules?

I frequently had friends who asked about, and were incredulous of sailboat racings self-policing practices. They were all either new to sailing or power-boaters. Hopefully Mr. Christofferson will just give some more thought to the ultimate result of his premise, and change his thinking.

* From Chris Ericksen: In 'Butt 1148, Phil Pape reports that the Stamford Yacht Club included a rule that PFD's be worn "when on deck at the start, the finish and from sunset to sunrise" for the 2002 Vineyard Race. I think the same rule (or one similar) applies in the Transpac Race. My question is, why is this restricted to at the start and finish and overnight? Why not when on deck, period? I am not advocating this, mind you, I am truly curious as to why regatta organizers drew a line and did not required PFD's during the entire race, 24/7. I'd like to know, and ask this in a spirit of simple curiousity with no axe to grind or anything.

* From David McNicoll (Re: Your America's Cup Trivia): Successful Australian ocean racer Syd Fischer has also challenged five times for the America's Cup, equaling Lipton's record.

AROUND ALONE
NEWPORT, Rhode Island -- New Zealand's solo sailor Graham Dalton has passed into the penalty zone for failing to arrive in Newport, Rhode Island, in time for the Around Alone race. Dalton, sailing his new Open 60 monohull Hexagon, was still 1,000 miles from Newport on Friday and struggling to get to the start of the Around Alone race after a series of major setbacks. At the present rate of progress he would face a crippling penalty of at least 30 hours on the first leg.

The rules of the Around Alone race, organised by Sir Robin Knox Johnston's Clipper Ventures Group, say all competitors have to be in the marina in Newport for pre-race scrutiny by August 28. After midnight on September 1, any late arrivals will be penalised by six hours for every 24 hours they are delayed, to be added to the elapsed time for the first leg from New York to Torquay, England. - CNN.com / Inside Sailing website, full story: www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/08/31/dalton.ppl/index.html

THE FASTEST SAILS DEMAND THE FASTEST CLOTH
Why are Ullman Sails are the fastest sails on the planet? It's simple: fast designs need the fastest cloth! That is why Ullman Sails chooses only the best cloth from Contender, Dimension / Polyant and Bainbridge International. Our fast designs combined with superior cloth have allowed our customers to collect 90% of the trophies coast to coast in all major J/105 regattas. If you and your crew are ready, let Ullman Sails bring our speed technology to your sails. Call your nearest Ullman Sails loft or visit us at www.ullmansails.com

ON THE HAURAKI GULF
It was definitely an escalation in the hard preparations for the America's Cup, which starts with the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series in just under one month's time. The Swedish Victory Challenge sailed both their boats for the first time against another syndicate - Oracle BMW Racing - who turned out with both their new boats. "Now we know we're on a par with and have the capacity to beat a team like Oracle. It's an important verification", says Mats Johansson, skipper and strategist aboard Örn (SWE 63) today.

Accurate results of the four matches that were sailed will remain the secret of the challenger syndicates. Both teams were in agreement on this point before the boats were towed out to the blue course, just north of Rangitoto Island in Hauraki Gulf. - Bert Willborg, Victory Challenge, www.victorychallenge.com

OWNER-DRIVER?
Will Larry Ellison drive the boat? That's a question Oracle Racing has probably been asked a thousand times. As the billionaire backer of the Californian syndicate, it is understood Ellison has expressed an interest in helming the boat - but just when he plans to take the wheel is anyone's guess.

"I can't speak for Larry, he is a powerful, smart man," said Oracle's regular helmsman and Swedish match tour champion Peter Holmberg. "I believe he intends to race the boat, but I don't think he has made any firm commitments to anybody as to what he will do on board."

Ellison was a "recognised yachtsman" whose maxi yacht Sayonara had won several world titles. "He has trained with us a number of times and has done a great job," Holmberg said. Ellison could be the team's 17th man, but in that position he is just an observer and cannot contribute to the running of the boat. "He will be on board," Holmberg said. "I think if he feels his skills meet the need he will drive the boat." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

RANKINGS
The ISAF has just released new rankings for match racing and for the Olympic Classes. North America's who made the top ten include Virgin Islander Peter Holmberg, who has lead the World Match Race Open Rankings since March 21. Liz Baylis is the third ranked in the Women's Match Race Rankings.

In the Olympic rankings, North Americans only broke into the top ten in two classes - the Star and the Yngling. Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl have regained the top spot in the Star class. Other North Americans in the top ten Star rankings are: 2. Peter Bromby & Martin Siess from Bermuda; 8. George Szabo & Austin Sperry.

Yngling Rankings: 7. Betsy Alison, Suzy Lech & Lee Icyda; 8. Hannah Swett, Melissa Purdy, Joun Touchette. www.sailing.org/matchrace/mrranking.asp / www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=3004

SAN FRANCISCO NOOD
San Francisco Bay served southern California weather to the 120 yachts racing in 9 classes in the San Francisco Sailing World NOOD Regatta, presented by Mount Gay Rum and hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. The light airs suited the crew of the winning boat in the 30-boat J105 class to a T. "We grew up sailing in light air in Long Beach so we were more experienced in the conditions than the rest of the boats," said Sean Bennett, of J105 Zuni Bear. "Knowing what to do to tune the boat for six to eight knots and then having the guts to do it made a big difference. We cracked off six turns on the shrouds."

The moderate airs were no help at all to the crew of Ego, Don Jesberg's Melges 24. After winning the Hall Spars & Rigging Boat of the Day award as the fleet's top performer on Saturday, Ego lost her rig in the last race on Sunday. With Ego picking up 20 points in that race, Seadon Wijsen, of San Francisco, moved into first place.

Other class winners: Farr 40: Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; J/120: Chance, Barry Lewis; 1D35: Zsa Zsa, Bill Wright; J35: Fast Lane, John S. Wimer; Express 27: Baffett, Tom Baffico/ Forest Baskett; J/80: DBI, Mark Varnes; J/24, Jaded, Dave Klatt. Complete results: www.sailingworld.com/sw_nood_article.php?articleID=1248

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* September 4-7: Etchells NAs, Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach, Calif. - abyc.org

* September 5-11: 470 Worlds, Cagliari, Italy. - www.470worlds.com

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.