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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1155 - September 12, 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.

I recoiled when I read Brad Van Liew's excerpt in Scuttlebutt #1154 in which he spoke about the start of Around Alone coming to New York City and the concern that "it's not perceived as exploitation."

Anyone who ever suggests such a thing to Brad, or anyone else, does not know the facts.

It was the sailors inside New York City who reached out to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to bring the start of Around Alone here. We had only an emotional reason to offer. That sailors from all over the country would be coming to this city for Sail for America, to show solidarity, to remember and to help heal.

We had no money to offer. The harbor still has very few marine facilities. Moving the start to New York would surely upset the great sailing community of Newport. There was every reason not to do this. And there was only one small reason to do it - to help New York City.

We appealed to Sir Robin on an emotional level and asked him to bring the race here so that the start would be the final act of Sail for America and the week long of remembrance.

This start will be hugely symbolic and it will raise the spirits of all New Yorkers as the great round-the-world fleet sets out with a message from us to the world, "Thank you for your support."

In moving the start to New York City, Sir Robin and all the Around Alone sailors have made one of the great gestures in sailing history. Twenty, thirty years from now, when people look back at all of the great races, the start of Around Alone off Ground Zero one year after the singular most defining act of our generation will be remembered as part of the triumphant response of the human spirit.

The unselfish way this came about, the sponsorship that Sir Robin had to walk away from in Newport and the risk he undertook in trusting the untested sailing community in New York, was huge. In this country, we have not seen an act of such sportsmanship since the days of Sir Thomas Lipton.

On Sunday, when the cannon fires for Around Alone, the first round-the-world race ever to start from New York City, I, a citizen of New York and a sailor from Manhattan, will shed a tear of thanks to this dream that has come true.

I apologize to and thank the people of Newport and Rhode Island for allowing this start to come to our city. You have helped us greatly and for this, we are thankful.

- Michael W. Fortenbaugh, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Sail for America,

Ventnor, Isle of Wight: Maiden II claimed a second significant record of the summer by reaching Ventnor yesterday morning, to slice 28 hours off the 1,790 mile Round Britain & Ireland record, 4days 17hrs 4mins 23sec since leaving the Isle of Wight start line last Thursday.

Unseen throughout the eastabout circumnavigation of the British Isles was Olivier de Kersauson in Geronimo. It meant that the Frenchman and Maiden II's skipper Brian Thompson withheld their positions for fear of giving the other a competitive advantage.

Geronimo's eventual time was 4days 22hr 5min 52min, as both 110ft multihulls effortlessly beat the 1994 record held by Steve Fossett's 60ft Lakota.

Eight years ago Lakota averaged 12.67 knots for the passage. Maiden II's average was 15.80 knots, but this was pedestrian compared to the world record 24-hour run set in June, which covered 697 miles at a 29 knot average.

In both instances, former Fossett watchleader Brian Thompson skippered Maiden II for Tracy Edwards, as she concentrated on project managing and fund raising ashore. -- Tim Jeffery in the Telegraph, full article at

Cagliari, Sardinia: Simon Cooke and Peter Nicholas (NZL) broke through the fleet to improve their overnight Bronze Medal Position to secure Gold with a fourth place finish in the final race of the 470 Worlds, this despite having only sailed two 470 regattas together this year (Peter has been busy running his construction company in Scotland and Simon is involved with the Oracle-BMW team in Auckland).

Subject to ratification by ISAF, the following 10 Nations have qualified in the men's event for the 2004 Olympic Regatta - New Zealand, Spain, Israel, Australia, USA, Portugal, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Argentina - and the following 6 Nations have qualified in the women's event - Netherlands, France, Russia, Germany, Spain and Australia. The host country of the Olympic Games, being Greece, automatically receives an entry.

Top three, Men:
1. Simon Cooke/Peter Nicholas, NZL, 60 points
2. Andreas Kosmatopoulos/Konstantinos Trigonis, GRE, 65
3. Gustavo Martinez/Tunte Cantero, ESP, 69
US results (Gold Fleet)
6. Paul Forester/Kevin Burnham
33. Steve Hunt, Michael Miller

Top three, Women:
1. Sofia Bekatorou / Emilia Tsoulfa, GRE, 40 points
2. Lisa Westerhof / Margriet Matthijisse, NED, 61
3. Ingrid Petitjean / Nadege Douroux, FRA, 61
US results (Gold Fleet):
28. Erin Maxwell / Jen Morgan
31. Katy McDowell / Isabelle Kingsolvings

Full results at

Newport, RI - The eye of Hurricane Gustav has passed Newport and the storm is heading out into the Atlantic. It's still a wild afternoon at Newport Shipyard where the skippers of the Around Alone yachts are finishing last minute chores before Thursday's Prologue start. While the Around Alone competitors are relieved to have missed the worst, there is serious concern for another fleet of yachts sailing towards Boston.

There are six boats competing in the Challenge Transat, a transatlantic race from Southampton, England to Boston, MA. The bulk of the fleet are sailing over the Grand Banks and are directly in the path of Gustav. There is concern for all mariners in that area. Gustav is predicted to combine forces with another low pressure system south of Nova Scotia and perhaps turn into another "Perfect Storm" scenario. --Brian Hancock,

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Excerpts from Matthew Lowe's article in The Sunday Star Times:

Team New Zealand could be preparing for its last shot at the America's Cup due to a lack of funds and plans to bulldoze the event's Auckland base.

Unless the title is successfully defended, there are fears the nation will be unable to mount a fresh challenge on foreign shores. "It would be more difficult for us to challenge for the America's Cup overseas next time," said Team NZ spokesman Murray Taylor. "The costs would be considerably more. I don't want to say we couldn't do it but it would be extremely difficult."

Massive construction work on syndicates' row, established as a base for teams since the 2000 event, will get under way once racing is over. The 10 America's Cup teams have signed leases until April next year after which they must vacate the area, removing buildings and pontoons.

Peter Kiely, America's Cup Village Ltd chairman, said the future of team bases on land owned by the company would not be decided until after the event. "We are making contingency plans to develop other areas around Wynyard Wharf or an extension beyond the existing Prada base."

Auckland mayor John Banks said officials were reviewing how the event could be staged around the harbour in the coming years. "Just how we do that right at this time has been left up in the air but one thing is for sure we intend to make sure we have the ability to host the cup again.",2106,2044805a6442,00.html

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

* From Diane Swintal: It is 8:00 pm on Monday night in Southern California - and despite OLN's televised guide, the UBS Challenge and the Road to the Louis Vuitton Cup are NOT on tonite.

I had this happen over the weekend as well - programs #3 and #4 were supposed to be on at a certain time on Saturday, and they weren't.

I hope this is not indicative of OLN's coverage - it's pretty discouraging to expect a program to be on based on TV Guide and Internet television guides, and have the programs not be on.

* From Joe Dervin: Was surprised to read Jerry Kaye's complaint re. not being able to access OLN on his AT&T cable in Marina del Rey, Ca. One mile South (as the seagull flies), in Playa del Rey, I'm getting OLN, and all the "Road to the LV Cup" coverage so far, from (you guessed it) AT&T Cable. You'd have to believe it's the same company. Could OLN coverage really stop on the South side of Ballona Creek?

* From Scot Citrin: In response to Scott MacLeod re: OLN on Cablevision of CT. If you get past the electronic secretary and speak to an individual you can request they add OLN to basic service. If enough people do this, we might have a chance of having it happen, especially if enough sailors say they are considering dropping their Cable service and getting a Dish if they do not broadcast the LV Cup, or America's Cup.

* From R. C. Keefe: I was interested in your report suggesting that our Kiwi friends are perhaps sailing with a forward rudder, and how revolutionary that might be. I am looking at a photograph of 12 US61 taken during a race in ferment during the 1987 America's Cup trials which clearly shows her forward rudder. She was indeed revolutionary then and probably still would be today. She was at times blazingly fast, but was all that Tom Blackaller could do to control her. To his credit he got her to the final four which scared a lot of people. That became evident in 1989 at the 12 meter class annual meeting held at Porto Cervo. The class voted to ban future forward rudders, but to their credit grandfathered 12 US61. Had they not, and had the America's Cup remained in the 12 meter class, development of the concept could not have been ignored, and we might have seen many new 12's and others built with forward rudders. In 1989 we did indeed design a 6 meter with a forward rudder, but never built her.

* From Lincoln White: During a yacht race it has always been a known that he who fly's his national ensign during a race has committed a sin. So most sailors know when they see a yacht sailing, with it's national ensign flying, it is probably not racing. Therefore most sailors when racing do not fly their national ensign. Pretty unpatriotic, huh?

Well, if it is a known that sailboat racers don't fly their national ensign while racing, how about more sailboat racers fly their national ensign while they are not racing. Put it up before the race, take it down for the race and put it up after. Fly it sunset to sunrise. Fly your colors proud.

* From Scott Truesdell: Brad Van Liew: "A winning 50 program [costs] about 2 million bucks. This is as much a team sport as a Formula One team. We have six people that work full-time on this project."

Richest F1 program: Ferrari:
Est. 2002 Budget: $274,000,000 USD;
Workforce: 430 Employees.

Poorest F1 program: Minardi:
Est. Budget: $74,000,000 USD;
Workforce: 110 Employees.

But who's counting, right?

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After a short stay at Oregon Health and Science University Hospital (OHSU), US Sailing Team member Kimberly Birkenfeld (Miami, Fla./Myrtle Creek, Ore.) has been discharged. While at OHSU, Birkenfeld had been working with a physical therapist and made progress in walking and speaking. She will now continue her recovery at the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon (RIO) at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital (Portland, Oregon) where she will receive intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy on a daily basis. Birkenfeld is the number one ranked Women's Windsurfer on the 2002 US Sailing Team. She was injured in Greece on August 8 by a motorboat propeller while preparing for the Athens 2002 Regatta.

Further updates on Birkenfeld's condition will be issued as her progress dictates. -- From US Sailing

Hamilton, Bermuda - The next America's Cup winner could be discovered in Bermuda. As one of the few Grade 1 regattas in the world to offer amateur skippers and up-and-comers a chance to match race against the professionals, the Bermuda Gold Cup regularly shows up on resumes of the world's best yachting skippers. Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour and Gavin Brady have all made their mark on this event and there are scores of young sailors working their way toward future America's Cup campaigns by gaining valuable experience on the Swedish Match Tour.

The eight seeded skippers are: Bjorn Hansen (Sweden), Jes Gram-Hansen (Denmark), Karol Jablonski (Poland), Lars Nordbjerg (Denmark), Jesper Radich (Denmark), Steffan Lindberg (Finland) Mikael Lindqvist (Sweden) and Matthias Rahm (Sweden).

The RBYC also named the unseeded skippers who will compete in a qualifying round with the top-finishing eight teams advancing into Round One of the Bermuda Gold Cup. The unseeded skippers include: Sally Barkow (USA), Bill Buckles (USA), Scott Dickson (USA), Andy Horton (USA), Peter Bromby (Bermuda), Michael Green (St. Lucia), Marten Hedlund (Sweden), Henrik Jensen (Denmark), Anthony Kotoun (U.S. Virgin Islands), Chris Law (U.K.), Tucker Thompson (USA), Mason Woodworth (U.K.) and Karl Ziegler (USA), and the top two skippers in the Bacardi Cup (September 28-29 in Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda).

The Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship will serve as a unique qualifying round to the Bermuda Gold Cup, with the winner and runner-up advancing to Round One. The skippers for the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship include: Elizabeth Baylis (USA), Marie Bjorling (Sweden), Sandy Hayes (USA), Elizabeth Kratzig (USA), Paula Lewin (Bermuda), Lotte Pedersen (Denmark), Deborah Willist (USA) and Klarrtje Zuiderbaan (The Netherlands).

With a 32-skipper format - the largest of its kind in the world -- the Bermuda Gold Cup remains as one of the few grade 1 match-racing events that offers an opportunity for unranked skippers to break into the sport of match racing.

The Swedish Match Tour's UBS Challenge, held last month in Newport, RI, will be broadcast at 2pm ET on Saturday, September 14 on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) in North America.

The inaugural UBS Challenge marked the first return of America's Cup teams to historic Newport since the Cup left almost 20 years ago. Nine teams representing 8 challengers for the upcoming America's Cup, as well as several of the world's top match racing teams, competed in the event. Check local listings for station number/satellite frequency.

James Barnhill from Southern Spars, in Minden sent this in: In Scuttlebutt #1153, Graham Dalton's new mast is listed as being a Southern Spars mast built in New Zealand. This is not completely correct, it is indeed a Southern Spars mast but it was built at the shop in Minden, Nevada.

Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?