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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1010 - February 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.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE
By the time you read this Leg 4 will be history. At 0350 GMT Tuesday, illbruck was just 6 miles from the finish line with a 37-mile lead on the closest boat. Surely they will win the leg and strengthen their lead in the overall standings. In anticipation, spectators are lining the wharfs. It's a hot night with a Samba band playing.

Any one of four boats could take second place on this leg. At 0350 GMT Tyco, djuice, Amer Sports One and Assa Abloy were all just 43 to 45 miles from the finish line - moving very slowly. The current is strong over the final couple of miles into the finish and the tide is going out.

My advice - go to the race website right now for the Leg 4 order of finish - www.volvooceanrace.com

FOR THE RECORD
Geronimo, the largest trimaran ever built, has crossed the start line in an attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy. French skipper Olivier de Kersauson set out at 0200 GMT on Monday from Ushant, off the coast of Brittany, France, to break his own 1997 Jules Verne Trophy -- 71 days 14 hours 22 minutes. Kersauson is well known for his passion for the round-the-world trophy, making this his sixth attempt.

The 34 metre (110 feet) three-hulled Geronimo is expected to be much faster than Kersauson's previous record holder, Sport Elec, and is considered capable of completing the 26,000 mile course in less than 60 days. Despite being in the water since last summer, Geronimo has not been fully tested in the conditions expected in the Southern Ocean. In late November the program suffered a major setback when the top of the mast broke in relatively benign training conditions. A new mast was built in record time and was installed on Friday, but had no proper testing before the departure. - CNN.com / Inside Sailing. Full story: www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/02/18/geronimo.spt/index.html

* Orange reset for 2 March? The Jules Verne Challenger may be repaired one week ahead of Bruno Peyron's self-imposed deadline of 10 March. French yard Multiplast have thrown a whole team at the urgent task of repairing the 110ft maxicat's mast so that it can still catch the weather to mount an effective attempt at stealing the 71-day record this year.

Rather than repair the top-most segment, whose failure was caused by the halyards cutting into it, the decision has been taken to create a 5m section from scratch and the first carbon layer was already in the mould by this afternoon. The new piece is scheduled to be completed by 23 February, after which time it has to be scarfed onto the main section using layers of carbon cloth. Kim Hollamby, Yachting World Website

Full story: www.yachting-world.com

MATCH RACING
A new and updated version of the Umpires and Match Racing Manual (Edition 5/02), based on the 2001 - 2004 Racing Rules of Sailing has now been finalized and is available for download from the ISAF Website at www.sailing.org/manuals/default.asp

The Umpires and Match Racing Manual has been rewritten to reflect the development in Match Racing over the last few years, and contains description of new scenarios as well as new umpiring techniques. Although parts of the Manual may appear to remain unchanged, the changes throughout the book are extensive, and all umpires should study this new book carefully as it is one of the basic tools for umpires.

However, the Manual is not only meant for Umpires. There is a complete Race Management section, and also references to any document an organizer of a Match Racing event may need. No doubt other groups, like match race sailors or media, who want to understand the umpiring system, may benefit from reading the manual as well. - Making Waves, ISAF website. - www.sailing.org

WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA
Imagine a pair of shorts that keeps you organized with it's giant pockets to store everything, parachute cords just in case, flashlight holders, and plenty of places to attach those whatzmacallits that can open,close, slice and dice everything. While Camet hasn't yet created the Swiss Army Knife of shorts, they have bomb-proofed and engineeered their highly popular quick drying Camet shorts for their crews to feel comfortable on the weather rail. For Antigua, BVI Rolex, Yachting Cup, Ensenada etc they are a must have. www.camet.com

DOWN UNDER
They may be bluff-bowed and only 8ft long but Optimist dinghies are the future of international junior sailing in Australia, says AYF/AIS head coach Victor Kovalenko. And such is Victor's enthusiasm for the international trainers that Kulmar Boat Builders in Sydney have tooled up to build them for the first time in Australia.

The first production boat is due to be launched mid February. An international measurer will then fly to Australia to perform the strict one-design checks before a licence is granted. Builder Paul Kulmar plans to build 130 boats a year. - www.yachting.org.au/AYF/default.asp?site=AYF

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 Bob Scott: Last summer I had the honor of Olin Stephens sailing on Falcon (S&S NY32) in the Castine Classic Yacht Race on the Maine coast. With the forecast of wind on the nose I registered as non-spinnaker to gain handicap edge. I told Olin and explained my reasoning. He said (paraphrase), "Bob, it's not sportsmanlike to take advantage of such local knowledge. You are trying to manipulate results by putting an experienced yacht and crew in a category that ought to be reserved for legitimate non-spinnaker boats." This principle of racing ethics had never occurred to me, but Olin made perfect sense. He said, "Let's see the scratch sheet." He looked over the fleet of 38, quickly analyzed it, and said, " If we change to spinnaker, we won't win." Knowing I couldn't associate him with even a hint of questionable sportsmanship, I asked the RC to switch us to spinnaker. They agreed. As predicted we did not need the spinnaker. After the race, the RC chairman said, "Olin, if you hadn't switched, you would've won." Olin replied, "I know," and looked at me with a grin and said shaking his head, "I am sorry, Bob."

Racing with this extraordinary man was a lesson in Noblesse Oblige. Today's professional and amateur racing sailors would do the sport and themselves a service to read Olin's book, "All This and Sailing Too."

* From Bob Rice: In regards to the Seahorse article by Rod Davis, I'd guess that after the boats are designed, after the sailing team has trained, after the syndicate has been organized and the finances have been paid, there will come that time when the boats go out to race. At which time the weather will become the dominant topic of conversation.

Too bad that the many dedicated and talented members of the various A.C. weather teams are not included as an asset to be evaluated. Or is it a tribute to be lumped in with the mysterious "X Factor", graciously referred to as "lots of stuff".

* From Peter Huston: Over the past few years, a list of pro sailors has emerged, which it can be argued is somewhat flawed, but which seems to have generally improved the sport. Would classes like the Farr 40 and J105 be thriving as they are without this list?

Perhaps the time has come to create a list - and more importantly - a licensing system, run by ISAF, for the purpose of reigning in the lawyers who run unchecked through the sport. Just as pro leagues like the NFL license players agents, so too should sailing license "Agents" for sailors and designers.

The current America's Cup design information flap has nothing to do with sailors - it has been caused by lawyers. Why do we want to allow the sport to be tarnished by a few misguided barristers?

* From Bruce Parsons: Years ago before the draft and an urge for parity, every talented hockey player that was born raised and trained in Quebec ended up playing for the Montreal Canadians, and it was one of the longest and most dominant dynasties in professional sport, and of course much hated because of it.

So they introduced the draft which had such effects as Marcel Dionne playing his entire career in LA and never getting near the Stanley Cup (there might be a million Canadians in LA, but they are the million who have no interest in hockey) . Supposedly it was for the greater good of the sport/business - ask Marcel what he thought of it.

Les Canadiens have since fallen on hard times and are no longer are a dynasty, but if they had every Quebec born hockey player on their team...?. Do you suppose there is some parallel between this and the ultimate loss of the Cup by the NYYC, and the subsequent inability to retrieve it? Is this to the betterment of the sport? Who but hard core sailors ever heard of the AC before Australia II took it away? Your call.

* From Helen C. Johnstone: It is a shame that the sport of sailing's integrity is being tainted by threatening lawsuits amongst America's Cup teams. I grew up believing this was a "gentleman's sport". Can't the issues at hand be resolved in a professional and straightforward manner without having lawsuits involved? Better yet, why don't all the "old ladies" that are bickering about lawsuits jump into a boxing ring and settle it there. Or, why don't you all take up figure skating and join the "old ladies" that are creating havoc in that sport. This entire situation is certainly a good reason to not watch the America's Cup.

* From Derek Paterson: Perhaps a solution to the nationality / guns for hire problem is a "stand-down" period of one AC challenge before crew or designers can go work for another team. This would reduce the "brain-drain" and perhaps reduce some of the costs.

* From Malcolm McKeag: Let it be clearly understood that Tommy Sopwith's professional Endeavour crew did not go on strike for more pay. Can we please get this well-established Establishment slur on honest workingmen out of America's Cup history once and for all. They were East Anglain fishermen, engaged as was then conventional for a summer season's yachting, ending in August. The America's Cup races were scheduled late in September, and Sopwith sought not to release them at the usual time, but take them to America - without paying them. The trip would have delayed them getting their fishing boats ready and earning the other part of their regular living for two to three months. With Sopwith refusing to compensate them for this loss, they hardly unnaturally declined to go. Sopwith, in an act of spite, which he later publicly regretted, went to the Royal Corinthian YC and recruited his amateur crew there. It was no strike.

* From Jerry Kaye: Finally! Somebody, Robbie Doyle, mentioned it! Stacking sails on the weather side is moveable ballast. There are some lovely photos taken from up the mast of Pegasus, Phillipe Kahn's Transpac entry showing the sails stacked (neatly) on the weather rail on the Transpac site. At least they were neatly stacked. I'll bet that most of the other boats were not so neat! Check it out at www.pegasus.com/log.htm. Just scroll down half way. Moveable ballast is just that and simply should not be tolerated or encouraged. Period.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: It should be noted that sail stacking WAS permitted on the Transpac Race. The Sailing Instructions specifically stated: "Movement of sails not in use while racing is allowed."

QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
* "This has been the most full on three weeks of my life. I hope my wife recognizes me on the dock in Rio, with the amount of hair loss I've experienced, I'm sure she will have to look twice. The Southern Ocean was just incredible, literally weaving through growler packs, sailing through snowstorms and probably the most radical sailing moment of my life, driving Illbruck through a 47knot rain squall at 2 am in the morning in total darkness with the spinnaker up, we were absolutely on the edge of control. Wipeouts in those conditions are fatal! As proven by SEB." - Ray Davies, illbruck

* "It is amazing how after 7000 miles here we are stacked up in a row. It would be really exciting to have the other three boats here as well, although we have our hands full with these four. Now we have to survive a different endurance test: to try to stay focused and active in increasing heat and light, frustrating wind. It is harder than you think." - Mark 'rudi' Rudiger, Assa Abloy

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* March 6-10: North Sails Farr 40 US National Championship, Acura SORC, Miami Beach, FL. www.acurasorc.com

* June 8 & 9: New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport. Racing for Americap II, IMS, 12 Metre and NYYC CR (NYYC Members only). Held in conjunction with the Onion Patch Series for yachts also entered in the Newport Bermuda Race. www.nyyc.org

* July 3-14: 40th annual International Optimist World Championship, Corpus Christi YC. Returning to the United States for the first time since 1966, each of the 90-plus member nations will send their five best Opti sailors to the event. There are more than 11,000 registered Optis in the United States, with more than 113,000 registered worldwide. - www.optimistworlds2002.com/index.php

THE OTHER ITALIAN SYNDICATE
"Mascalzone Latino XII," the yacht which takes the same name as the syndicate headed by Vincenzo Onorato, has been assigned sail number 72 by Ken McAlpine, committee chairman of the Technical Office of the America's Cup Organization Committee. Construction of the Giovanni Ceccarelli-designed IACC boat is underway at the Tencara Shipyard. The all-Italian crew is working to fine tuning the boat acquired from the Spaniards and practicing with the Mumm 36 boats used during the match races. - www.mascalzonelatino.it

NEW PERFORMANCE LAMINATES FOR GRAND PRIX RACE BOATS
Bainbridge International has recently combined there renowned 'off shore' (OS) scrim and a grey pigmented adhesive system into a range of inshore racing laminates that provide improved shape retention, greater strength and longer life. The OS DIAX has proved to be very versatile and this development will allow the inshore sailor to benefit from the increased performance that is offered by this range of laminates. For more information contact your sailmaker or go to www.sailcloth.com

ROCK STARS
Gauze dressings covered all of (James) Spithill's left leg and arm and he walked with a noticeable limp after a motorcycle accident on Thursday night came within inches of claiming his life. Thursday night's accident was kept low-key within the OneWorld syndicate and Monk and the crew assumed Friday was Spithill's day off. But he had come off his bike when doing about 60km/h and the wheels of the car involved stopped about 15cm from his head as he lay on the road. "I haven't told my parents but I did have a word with our CEO and told him I must be in line for a company car now," Spithill said, adding it was the last time he would ride a motorbike.

Now, James Spithill seems to be a Crucial Member of the Team. For Craig Monk, a veteran of Team NZ who won and defended the America's Cup before joining OWC 15 months ago, the 22-year-old Australian helmsman James Spithill is showing the type of leadership and intelligence to top an illustrious list. "I've sailed with a lot of young guys before but he is way, way out the best of anyone I've sailed with," Monk said. "He's just got that natural ability. He's hungry, hungry to win and he has that natural ability to lead. - Hauraki News website

Full story: www.hauraki-news.com/LatestNews/OneWorld-LN4.htm

STAR MASTERS REGATTA
Coral Reef YC, Final results (34 boats):
1. Brooks Sperry / Austin Sperry, 8
2. Foss Miller / Greg Newhall, 16
3. Larry Shiebler / Howard Shiebler 17
4. Trig Liljestrand / Magnus Liljedahl, 20
5. Jimmie Lowe / Andrew Higgs, 22
6. Hans Fogh / Georg Iverson, 24
7. Bill Allen / Brad Lichter, 27
Winners of subdivisions - Grand Masters: Hans Fogh / Georg Iverson
Exhaulted Grand Masters, Gene and Glenn McCarthy
Exhausted Masters, Durward Knowles / Rick Peters.
www.coralreefyachtclub.org/starclassmasters.htm

NATHAN COWAN
Nathan Cowan was killed in a single car accident this past weekend. Nathan was traveling to Clearwater, FL to train and race at the Laser Midwinters East Regatta. He was a carded athlete in the Laser class and a member of the Canadian Sailing Team.

Also traveling in the same car were 4 other students from Queens University. Queen's student Jessie Jean Fenning was also killed in the accident. Leslie Piccuianto and Melissa Vassallo are currently in stable but serious condition. Kimberley Coons is listed in fair condition.

CYA Coaches Brian Todd, Rob Fox and Tine Moberg-Parker are currently in Clearwater, Florida coaching the Canadian Laser contingent prior to the Laser Midwinters East Regatta. Close to 40 Canadian and American sailors and coaches gathered last night to commemorate Nathan.

IACC ACTION
San Francisco Bay provided the backdrop for three vintage IACC yachts that met at the Corinthian Yacht Club to kick off the beginning of this new project organized by John Sweeney and Tina Kleinjan of America's Cup Media. The trio sailed two long bay courses in flat water and winds from 8 to 18 knots as 60 of the Bay's top sailors had there first chance at sailing these massive yachts.
Final results: 1. Il Moro Di Venezia 1 - Peter Stonberg
2. New Zealand 20 - David and Karie Thomson
3. New Zealand 14 - Paul and Chrissy Kaplan
www.iaccsf.com
Photos: adrenalinimages.com/Corinthian_Midwinters/page3.html

SONAR MIDWINTERS
Peter Galloway, representing the Noroton Yacht Club of Darien, Ct. won the Sonar Midwinters at St. Petersberg, Y.C. over a strong 27-boat field.
Results:
1-Peter Galloway, P, Steinborn, B. Hayes, I. Cohen
2- Josh Goldman, C. Proctor, M. McClintock, K. Smith
3 - Dave Curtis, R. Myers D. Morgan, T. Miller
4- Dave Franzel, G. Anthony, W. Trafton, J. Hurley
www.spyc.org/OneDesign/Sonar/results.htm

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.