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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1152 - September 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.

Internet giant Yahoo! has won the internet rights for the America's Cup and Louis Vuitton challenger series, providing worldwide exposure for New Zealand sports animation company Virtual Spectator International.

Louis Vuitton spokesman Bruno Trouble said Louis Vuitton was paying a six-figure sum to build the website, which was due to be launched on September 16, and would provide the content.

"Yahoo! will pay for the hosting, which is an enormous responsibility because we expect to get 500 million page views during the event. Yahoo! is also going to promote the event extensively with millions of banners on all its pages."

He said as part of the Yahoo! deal Virtual Spectator had exclusive rights to use the data coming from the boats on the internet. "That means they will be the only ones able to do 3D animations for pay per view over the internet."

In the 2000 America's Cup Virtual Spectator had to link up with John Bertrand's Quokka Sports, which was trying to create a business out of sports event web sites. Quokka eventually went bust.

Streaming video was not possible because of rights issues.

Full story at

Long Beach, CA: The early stages of the 2002 Etchells North American Championships have seen fog, giant ocean swells and a dramatic finish, but Thursday's racing was abandoned for lack of an element no regatta can do without: wind.

In a scene as serene as a Monet seascape, the 38 boats drifted encircled by fog for more than 2 1/2 hours after the scheduled noon starting time before principal race officer Barney Flam declared the situation hopeless. The wind had peaked at about 3 knots, but by 2:30 p.m. flags were hanging limp ashore and at sea.

The Etchells, which have no engines, were towed or paddled back into the basin at the host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, where the anemometer wind sensor atop the clubhouse was motionless.

It all meant that Dennis Conner remained in first place on the strength of Wednesday's opening win, but it won't be an official regatta until at fewest four of the seven scheduled races are sailed.

The villain in the scheme is Hernan, the onetime hurricane now downgraded to a tropical storm lurking off the tip of the Baja California peninsula some 900 miles south. Hernan sucked the life right of the event Thursday.

The forecast was for subtropical showers and perhaps even thunderstorms. Temperatures were expected to remain in the 70s.

Event chairman Chris Ericksen said, `We'll have a meeting with the race committee tonight to talk about the schedule and evaluate our options. I don't think it's likely that we could run three races on any day with a fleet this size and an event so important.`

That means that, at best, there would be two races each on Friday and Saturday for a total of five. There is no provision to use Sunday as a reserve day. -- Rich Roberts

The leaders (after 1 of 7 races):
1. Dennis Conner, San Diego
2. Jud Smith, Marblehead, Mass
3. Thornburrow/Parsons, Hong Kong
4. Erik Bentzen, Seattle
5. Dirk Kneulman, Burlington, Ontario.

Complete results at

San Francisco, CA: With four more races sailed, local favorites and world championship Howard Hamlin, Mike Martin and Andy Zinn have increased their lead at the 18 foot skiff regatta being sailed out of the St. Francis YC on San Francisco Bay.

Current points standings,seven races , no throwouts yet:
1. General Electric, Howard Hamlin / Mike Martin / Andy Zinn, USA, 16 points
2. RMW Marine, Robert Greenhalgh / Dan Johnson / Jonny Meers, AUS, 20
3. Yandoo, John Winning / Jack Young / Euan McNicol, AUS, 26
4. Omega Smeg, Trevor Barnabas / Trent Barnabas / Cam Lewis, GBR, 28
5. Total Recall, Tony Hannan / Greg Windust / Cameron McDonald, AUS, 36

Event site:, photos at

Cagliari, Sardinia: The US is represented by eight teams at the 170 boat Worlds, 5 men and 3 women. The men's fleet will be divided into three groups and the women into two. Six qualifying races are scheduled over three days to determine which teams advance to the Gold Fleet finals. For the first time, the scores from the qualifying round will be carried into the final round, which has been reduced to eight races from twelve.

On the men's side, our squad covers the gamut from super veterans to rookies. Our super vets, Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham, are returning Silver Medalists from the 1992 and 2000 Olympic Games. They are making their international debut in their second event as a team. Everyone is wondering if these guys still have the right stuff. (Those of us on the inside know that they do.)

In today's first day of racing, Paul and Kevin wasted no time showing the rest of the world that they for real. At the end of the day Paul and Kevin are leading with Ivey/Cromwell 49th, McNay/Anderson 61st, Hunt/Miller 67th, and newcomers Mikey Murison and Eben Russell in 101st.

In the women's fleet, At the end of the day the Russians are leading with a 1,7 followed by the Spanish. US Sailors Erin Maxwell and Jen Morgan are 7th with Katie McDowell and Isabelle Kinsolving, 23rd and Amanda Clark and Sara Mergenthaler 46th. - -Skip Whyte, US Sailing Team Coach

Complete results are on the official site:
Reports from Darren Dunkley-Smith, Class VP are on

Capture the spirit of America's Cup 2003 from the comfort of your home or office with official America's Cup product from the online America's Cup Store. Currently selling clothing ranges for Americas Cup 2003, Team New Zealand, Alinghi, and GBR Challenge. Additional Challenger ranges are coming soon. See also the stylish America's Cup Gold & Silverware including replica America's Cups. Perfect for gifts, promotions, and staff rewards. Worldwide delivery is guaranteed at very low freight rates.

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON ( -- until the Curmudgeon returns later this month)

* From Cappy Pratt: Mr. Conner's day one standing at the top of the Etchells North American Championships is made all the more impressive by the fact that he "launched Stars & Stripes USA-66 yesterday and took her out on the Hauraki Gulf off of Auckland, New Zealand for her maiden voyage in Kiwi waters" (q.v. Scuttlebutt 1151).  Quite impressive.  By the way, go Team Bentzen!

* From Colin Andrews: Hats off to Keith Pelley for a quick and positive response to the concerns that Canadians wouldn't be able to watch LV and AC racing. There will now be a lot of happy fans in our club lounge, watching and armchair skippering the races. 

* From Ronnie R McCracken, ISAF IJ: I was Chairman of the International Jury for the Open and Women's Worlds at this event. This was the third Radial Worlds in five years where I have been on the Jury and the standard of judging has been similar for all 3 events. The problem in Canada was that many of the competitors were unaware of what was expected despite notices being posted defining what was and was not allowed and the daily coach briefing announcement of the rule policing.   It was noted that foreign competitors on the whole discussed the reasons for the penalty after the race. Sometimes the discussion started with "Was I penalized for doing .....".  On the other hand home based competitors sometimes waited until they had a second penalty before approaching the jury after the race or not at all.   I sent an e mail to the North American Laser Class Association Laser List with various statistics on penalties after the Regattas and this stimulated some interesting discussions.   I have also noted that at the recently completed Laser Radial European Championships a number of competitors had their regatta curtailed with 3 penalties. Another sign of consistent judging.   * From Robert Middlemas: I recently read Skip Novak's book "One Watch At A Time". It's the story about the 1984-85 Whitbread aboard the Ron Holland designed maxi "Drum".

A round-the-world race on a large boat is clearly fertile ground for good stories and Mr. Novak shares many. As interesting as that element is, I find more interesting the people who signed up for the race and how many of them are still at the fore of racing today.

Here is a rundown of those who where on board:

Lawrie Smith - Ultra 30 champion, AC skipper, Whitbread and Volvo skipper.

Magnus Ollson - Co-skipper on several Whitbread and Volvo boats. Sailed in the last VOR aboard Assa Abloy.

Roger Neilson - Navigator on many Whitbread and Volvo boats. Sailed in the last VOR aboard Amer Sports One.

Skip Novak - Numerous sailing projects. Skippered the ill-fated Soviet entry Fazisi after the original skipper committed suicide. Sailed in The Race aboard one of the maxi-cats.

Bill Biewanga - Numerous Whitbread's. Last year he broke the New York to Sydney passage record.

Brian Hancock - Numerous Whitbreads. Guide for the Around Alone event/website.

Adrian Thompson - Designer of many record setting multi-hulls and designer of the ill-fated Goss cat. He worked on the composite engineering on Drum.

* From Michael Short: I agree wholeheartedly with Benjamin Cohen's comments about the lack of any America's Cup coverage on Australian television.  This is a disappointment to all Australian yachtsmen.  It is my understanding that not only is the racing not on free to air television but that the pay television providers have ignored the event as well. 

Whilst it might be understandable if the providers had ignored a sport that Australians have no, or very little, involvement with; for example baseball or NFL.  It is unforgivable for the networks and providers to ignore an event with such history and where we have campaigned with such distinction.

Not less than like 15 individual Australia syndicates have appeared and either raced in the cup itself or the right to challenge/defend the Auld Mug.  They have participated in 8 America's Cup matches starting with Gretel in 1962.  2002/2003 is the first challenge, with the exception of 1964 and 1988, when to misquote a legend, "a dog raced a cat", that Australia has not been present.

The Australian media have largely treated the cup with ignorance and contempt.  It is presented to the public as "the trivial adventures of rich men getting their bottoms wet".  In fact, large sections of the public still believe the cup continues to be raced in 12 metre boats.

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Race with Betsy Alison one of the top female sailors in the United States, on the second weekend of the Manhassett Bay Yacht Club Fall Series. Bidding officially starts on August 22, 2002 and will continue up to and including the awards ceremony at the Regatta on Oct. 12, 2002 at the Port Washington Yacht Club. All bids made via the Internet must be submitted by Oct 10, 2002. The winning bid will be announced at the Port Washington Yacht Club on Oct 12th. Bidding will start at $1200.00 and proceeds benefit the Leukemia - Lymphoma Society. Go to

It is with great sadness that Canada lost it's pre-eminent yachtsman Paul J. Phelan CM Monday September 2, 2002.

PJ's enthusiastic spirit, kindness and generosity will be missed by his many friends and extended family. A true gentlemen, Past Commodore of The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, philanthropist and Corinthian Yachtsman, visionary, friend and mentor to all who knew him, PJ's unfailing support of sailing in Canada won him many admirers. His generosity through life brought him love and recognition from all sectors, The Order of Canada, the B'nai Brith Foundation Award of Merit, The International Sailing Federation's Gold Medal and the Beppe Croce Award.

Reception and visitation to be held at 8 Old Forest Hill Road Friday September 6th, 2-7 pm. Visitation at Rosar-Morrison Funeral Home 467 Sherbourne St. Toronto, Sunday September 8th 4-7pm.

Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Rosary Church at 10.30 am Monday September 9th. Reception to follow at 8 Old Forest Hill Road. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Royal Canadian Yacht Club Corinthian Fund.

A celebration of PJ's life will be held at The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Island) September 24th from 4-6pm -- Aidan S. Bolger

Thirty one crews battled it out Labour Day weekend on English Bay at the Martin 242 North American Championships presented by Granville Island Brewery and hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

According to Mike George from California the conditions for the 8 races were often "Brain Burning" due to variable wind directions and strength combined with a strong current and the presence of anchored freighters in the bay at the foot of the coast mountains.

Rob Cullen, Matt Alexander, Tanya Wand and crew from Vancouver held off Mike George, Mike Pentecost, Jim Durden and Christel Billhofer from Marina del Rey to win the event by one point.   Pierre Parkinson, Dave Higgs, Charlie Huntley and Bob Neil placed third.

Complete event results:

CORK - Series 1 - August 17-21, POH, Kingston, ON Bytes - 66 competitors 1. Jo Aleh (NZL); 2. Timothy Tan Wei Yan (SIN); 3. Alexandre Bourgeois (CAN); 4. Andrew Thomas (CAN); 5. Katie Gallagher (CAN)

Byte Pacific Coast Championships Aug 30-Sep 2, Richmond YC, CA 19 competitors 1. Jeff Sloan (USA); 2. Blake Warner (USA); 3. Max Paulus (USA); 4. Dan Ouellet (USA); 5. Sean Kelly (USA) full results:'s_02.htm

We haven't hit the 15,000 subscriber mark quite yet (about 200 shy), but we're close. And when we do -- some very lucky Scuttlebutt subscriber is going to win 4 days, 3 nights (for 2 persons) FREE at the Bitter End Yacht Club for the BEYC Pro Am / Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championships this November.

The Pro-Am Regatta is where we mere mortals get to sail with and against the likes of Lowell North, Rod Johnstone, Butch Ulmer, Keith Musto, Paul Cayard, Mark Reynolds, Marie Bjorling and Dawn Riley. Sail all day, party all night, it's not to be missed. The Curmudgeon will be there as well, sailing in the second annual Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship.

Initially we thought, OK, let's award this to the 15,000th subscriber. Then we thought, hmm, we're talking about sailors here, sly devils they are, how many of the 14,800 are going to get a dozen new hotmail or yahoo accounts and try to game the system?

And why reward just new subscribers, why not those who've been with us for years?

So here's how this will work: when we hit 15,000, we will pick 10 emails completely at random from the database. We will contact all 10 by email and ask for their names and addresses. On October 11, at the Pro-Am Party at the Annapolis Boat Show, we will pick one of the names out of a hat, announce it there and in the next issue of Scuttlebutt (and no, you don't have to be present to win). The prize is transferable to anyone if you can't make it to Pro-Am in November. Meals are included, airfare is not.

If you're reading Scuttlebutt on the web, and aren't on the subscriber list for email distribution, or know some sailor who should be on our list, go to to subscribe. That gets everyone closer to that cheeseburger in paradise we all need so badly in November.

For more information about the Pro Am and the Bitter End Yacht Club, see

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?