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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1160 - September 19, 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.

AROUND ALONE
New York, NY: Rig problems have hit Hexagon as skipper, Graham Dalton, battles through unforecast strong winds. "The first thing I knew about the problem was when the mainsail fell down," reported Dalton shortly after 10am (GMT).

Rough seas and winds of up to 40 knots have so far prevented Dalton from making a full assessment of the problem. Determined to continue in the race, he has altered his course slightly and lashed the mainsail to the deck. Hexagon is continuing to make good speed under headsail only, all be it on a less than optimal course.

Though it is clear that the main halyard has failed, why or where the failure has occurred is not yet known. An initial assessment by Dalton using binoculars to look up the rig from the deck indicates that the main halyard sheave box may be damaged. "Until I can get up the rig, I really don't know what's wrong," reported Dalton by satellite phone.

With the sea currently too rough to contemplate climbing the rig, repairs will have to wait until conditions abate.

Latest position report:

Class 1 - Open 60s
1. Bobst Group, Bernard Stamm, 2131.75 nm to finish of leg one
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 2174.74
3. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2242.96
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 2244.71
5. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 2253.43
6. Garnier, Patrick de Radigues, 2264.39
7. Pindar, Emma Richards, 2327.07

Class 2 - 50s and 40s
1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, Brad Van Liew, 2364.17
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 2440.19
3. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 2456.71
4. Bayer Ascenzia, John Dennis, 2462.08
5. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent 2467.75
6. Spirit of Yukoh, no data available

www.aroundalone.com

LASER WORLDS
Hyannis, MA: Full report not available at press time. Robert Scheidt has won the World Championships without having to sail the final race.

1. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 25
2. Karl Suneson, SWE, 40
3. Paul Goodison, GBR, 51
4. Diego Negri, ITA, 70
5. Brendan Casey, AUS, 79

www.laserworlds2002.com/senior/

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ullman Sails and high performance are consistent partners. This was recently shown at the 2002 Formula 18 World Championships in Travemunde, Germany where Ullman Sails finished 1st, 2nd; and again, at the 2002 Tornado European Championships where Ullman Sails placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Find the nearest Ullman Sails loft location at www.ullmansails.com

AMERICA'S CUP
* After a very close race, Alinghi beat Oracle BMW Challenge today. With a third victory in a row, Russell Coutts and his crew have proved they are one of the great favourites to win the Louis Vuitton series.

In another race, OneWorld Challenge beat Prada. Winners of the challenge series last time, the italians are now considered as an underdog.

Thursday Races (But bad weather is expected in Auckland) :

One World Challenge Vs. Oracle BMW Racing
One World Challenge Vs. Oracle BMW Racing (second boats)
Victory Challenge Vs. Prada Challenge

From www.hauraki-news.com, citing reports in Le Defi's website

* Odds of each syndicate winning the America's Cup have been released by William Hill bookmakers in London :

Team New Zealand (NZL) 3-5
Alinghi Swiss Challenge (SUI) 5-1
Prada Challenge (ITA) 7-1
Oracle Racing (USA) 8-1
Oneworld Challenge (USA) 10-1
Team Dennis Conner (USA) 12-1
Victory Challenge (SWE) 51-1
GBR Challenge (GB) 51-1
Le Defi Areva (FRA) 101-1
Mascalzone Latino (ITA) 126-1

A visit to the bookmaker website will show distinct results for the sole LV Cup (as of Sept 18th) :

Alinghi 2.87
Prada Challenge 4.00
Oracle Racing 4.33
Oneworld Challenge 6.00
Team Dennis Conner 7.00
Victory Challenge 21.00
GBR Challenge 21.00
Le Defi Areva 29.00
Mascalzone Latino 34.00

www.willhill.com

HARKEN WINCH PROMO
Order Harken winches online from pyacht.com between now and October 30, 2002 and Harken will send you a check for 15% of the MSRP when you trade in your old winches. You get 25% off Harken prices everyday from pyacht.com PLUS 15% back from Harken while this offer lasts. That's 40% off, which is an incredible deal. Don't miss it! Order now! www.pyacht.net/online-store/scstore/h-harken_winches.htm

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (dmccreary@boats.com -- until the Curmudgeon returns later this month)

* From Joseph Bainton: Reply to Eric Zoehrer: Keeping yachting in the Olympic Games is all about money to ISAF and its Member National Authorities. Someone with accurate information at hand or the time to research the question should share with 'Buttheads the percentage of annual revenue to each of ISAF and US Sailing that is derived from Olympic participation. If this revenue is lost, how does the bureaucracy support itself? Could our sport survive without materially changing the rules every four years and relying upon volunteers to stage regattas and staff juries? One more question for those in the know -- If the proposals regarding reducing the number of Olympic sailors and eliminating keel boats are adopted, measured in U.S. dollars or some other currency how would those proposals affect the cash flow of ISAF and its MNA's?

* From Brian Burkitt: Team sponsorship in the sailing world can be good and bad. I think it's great for the America's Cup and the technology that's developed, which is eventually passed down from the boat designers and yacht owners. This also applies to the Maxi Catamarans.

I sailed in the ULDB 70 West Coat class for eight years and had the time of my life. I couldn't sail enough. On my team, no one got paid, not even for deliveries. We were all dedicated, week end week out. The fraternity of sailors was tops.

A lot of us started to sail the Farr 40s, once the ULDB 70 racing diminished on the West Coast. Then the Farr 40 racing and owner/sponsorship evolved, which I think ruined their league. XYZ pro sailors are allowed to get paid and sail on the boats. Then the rest of the crews are allowed XYZ $s for their expenses, which means everything is taken care of. So, aren't they all pros too? I started racing in the league as an amateur, which I enjoyed it until the politics came into play, which was directly related who got paid what. Anyone's position could be replaced in a heart beat. There was no job security. It took the fun out of sailing for me.

Now I've been sailing J/105s and the fire is back. There are no pros on board, and it's back to a fraternal team effort. I still tremendously miss the West Coat ULDB 70s.

ON KINETICS: ONE CLASS PRESIDENT'S VIEW
How the Byte class should enforce rule 42? The rule has been hashed over by everyone from Olympic sailors to 8 year olds in Optis (or at least their parents!!!!) The judges / umpires / on the water cops certainly have not even come close to consistently dealing with this tricky rule. All of you have seen the short comings of the rule as it's now applied, perhaps the Byte class can set the standard for other classes to follow.

The first option is not really an option........status quo.

The second option is to prepare a document that will be given to any judge working a Byte regatta. This document will out line in detail how the class wants the judges to judge, ie. what is acceptable and what is not. Because it is hard to ‘judge' the judges my plan call for even greater simplification. In its basic form, I propose zero tolerance in winds from 4 - 10 knots, and in winds 11 knots and up, carte blanche......everything goes, including the judges!! No races will be started in winds under 4 knots, and the race committee has the final say in the wind conditions at the start. They will indicate this via a flag signal. If the wind increases or decreases during the race, and this change crosses over the 10 /11 knot barrier the RC will signal, at a mark of the course, with the appropriate flag, that, from this mark onward the new wind rule applies. This should not be a big hardship on the RC as I'm assuming they are always prepared to make a necessary course change for a wind shift ,so this simply means they need to carry two extra flags. There are lots of little details to be streamlined but they are just that....details. This idea is not totally original, but nicely packaged the class would be the first to use it, and the first to dictate how they want their class races run.

The third option is left open to your imagination. If you have an idea send it in. -- Alex Watters, BYTE Class President

BIG BOAT SERIES PRESENTED BY ROLEX
San Francisco, CA: From the J/105 class with 33 boats to the exotic Americap entries such as a Schock 40 and a Farr 395, the 2002 Big Boat Series presented by Rolex drew a diverse fleet of 109 boats complete with one-design champions, America‚s Cup contenders, Olympic medallists, Rolex Yachtsmen and Volvo Ocean Race winners.

Jim Richardson of Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I., steered his Farr 40 Barking Mad to a victory in the fiercely competitive 20-boat fleet that included two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Mark Reynolds of San Diego, Calif, who sailed with Brack Duker on Revolution and John Kostecki, fresh off his win of the Volvo Ocean Race with illbruck, who called tactics for local favorite Samba Pa Ti, owned by John Kilroy.

Richardson won the Keefe-Kilborne Memorial Trophy, which was established in 1976 to honor Harold Keefe and Ray Kilborn.

Phil Perkins and Dave Wilson's J105 Good Timin dominated the largest fleet of the regatta with a 20-point lead over the second-place boat. There won the Richard Rheem Perpetual Trophy, which was established in 1972 in memory of Richard Rheem, whose famous yacht Morning Star was the elapsed time winner in the 1949 and 1955 Transpac races to Honolulu.

This was the first time that the newly organized Transpac 52 class has raced as a one-design fleet and Jim Demetriades' debut on Yassou included five first-place finishes and two seconds against four other boats. In addition to a Rolex timepiece, Demetriades also won the Atlantic Perpetual Trophy, which was established in 1978 and features the ship's bell of the yacht Atlantic, long-time Trans-Atlantic Ocean record holder (1905).

John McLaurin of Encino, Calif. sailed his Pendragon 4 to a convincing victory in the 10-boat Americap II A class and earned the St. Francis Perpetual Trophy. MacLaurin's Davidson 52 listed Mark Christensen and Richard Clarke (also with illbruck) as crew. Clarke is a two-time Canadian Rolex Sailor of the Year.

The St. Francis Perpetual Trophy was established to stimulate and encourage competition among large ocean racing yachts. This trophy is awarded annually to yachts invited to a race or series of races that are measured and handicapped in accordance with the current measurement rule and rate 40 feet or more. This trophy was donated in 1964 by Commodore A. L. Sandy McCormick.

Paul Kent of Corte Madeira, Calif., won the City of San Francisco Trophy, which is one of the two golden spades used to break ground for the Golden Gate Bridge in 1933. Kent sailed his Farr 395 Chance to an Americap II B fleet victory over eight other competitors.

www.stfyc.org for complete results

2003 ACURA SORC
The Acura Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC) today announced the dates of competition as well as registration information for the 62nd edition of North America's premier winter ocean racing regatta. The Acura SORC will be raced off Miami Beach, FL, February 26 - March 2, 2003, The regatta once again features racing on ocean courses with all shore side activities headquartered at the Miami Beach Marina.

To register for the 2003 Acura SORC log on to www.acurasorc.com. All competitors who register by January 15, 2003, have the opportunity to win a free entry into the 2003 event.

FOERSTER/BURNHAM QUALIFY U.S. 470 MEN'S OLYMPIC BERTH
Eight American teams were among the 340 sailors representing 31 nations at the 470 World Championships held earlier this month in Cagliari, Italy. For the top-10 finishing nations in the 109-boat men's division, and the top-six finishing nations in the 61-boat women's division, a slot to the 2004 Olympic Regatta was part of the high stakes at this world championship.

Olympians Paul Foerster (Garland, Texas) and Kevin Burnham (Coral Gables, Fla.) were the top U.S. finishers, securing the U.S. its Olympic berth by placing sixth overall at the conclusion of the 14-race series. The two Olympic Silver Medallists (Foerster has one from '92 in the Flying Dutchman and a second from '00 in the 470; while Burnham's was won in '92 in the 470) combined their considerable talents for their second outing as a team

Making the cut for the gold fleet along with Foerster/Burnham were Steve Hunt (Hampton, Va.) and Michael Miller (Charleston, S.C.) who finished the regatta in 33rd place overall. Sailing in the silver fleet, Stuart McNay (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) and Ross Anderson (Preston, Conn.) placed 56th overall. Mark Ivey (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with Howard Cromwell (New Orleans, La.); and Mikey Murison (Sausalito, Calif.) with Eben Russell (Charleston, S.C.) were 82nd and 103rd, respectively.

Sailing in the gold fleet of the 470 Women's division, Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.) with Jen Morgan (Seattle, Wash.); and Katie McDowell (Barrington, R.I.) with Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.) placed 28th and 31st overall, respectively. Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sara Mergenthaler (Colt's Neck, N.J.) placed 35th overall, sailing in the silver fleet. The U.S. women will have their next opportunity to qualify the Olympic berth at the 2003 World Championships scheduled for September in Cadiz, Spain. -- Jan Harley

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?