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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1014 - February 25, 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.

TROPHEE JULES VERNE: THE EQUATOR IN THEIR SIGHTS
Six and a half days after crossing the start line off Ushant at 01:25 GMT (02:25 French time) last Monday and 2,785 miles later (an average speed approaching 18 knots), Geronimo is approaching the equator. The Cap Gemini Ernst & Young - Schneider Electric team seems set to improve significantly on the time set for this leg on the successful 1997 record attempt. The trimaran Olivier de Kersauson was sailing on that occasion took 11 days, 4 hours to reach the Southern Hemisphere.

All now depends on the weather conditions Geronimo encounters in the next few hours of her journey south along the African coast. "We will have to be patient", said the current record holder in his latest radio bulletin. He knows very well that the present options open to his giant trimaran are strictly limited. Geronimo's strategy is therefore pretty straightforward: to reach the equator as quickly as possible by the most direct route and cross into the Southern Hemisphere to pick up the southern trade winds.

"We've had virtually no wind since we passed the Cap Verde islands", says Olivier de Kersauson. "It's never risen above 18 or 19 knots. Even then, it's coming from behind us and right on our heading. We've been manoeuvring the boat all night. We haven't stopped!"

This slow progress meant that Geronimo was still 350 miles from the equator at 12:00 GMT (13:00 French time) Sunday, but still hoping to cross it by daybreak Monday.

www.grandsrecords.com

THE WEEKEND'S EDITORIALS
Herb McCormick in the NY Times:

For the record-setting Australian sailor Jesse Martin, setting off to sail around the world, by himself, at the age of 17, was straightforward and proved to be relatively easy. When the voyage ended, he had turned 18 and become the youngest person to complete a solo nonstop circumnavigation without outside assistance.

Two weeks from today, he will once again set out from Australia, but this time aboard a 54-foot ketch named Kijana with a crew of four friends, all in their early 20's.

The plan is to undertake a two- year trip on which the quintet will travel the world with many landfalls, where they will head inland to interact with local people and different cultures and produce a series of documentaries about their adventures. It could be a cross between MTV's "Real World" and "National Geographic Explorer."

Full article: www.nytimes.com/2002/02/24/sports/othersports/24BOAT.html (requires registration, but it's free)

Andrew Hurst in Seahorse Magazine:

The new format for the 2003 Admiral's Cup certainly got people's attention. Whether the solution is the correct one only time will answer. What is certain is that no one answer was ever going to please everyone. A decision was, however, taken based upon a general consensus that was soundly based.

The decision on Admiral's Cup format was seen as a blow by some lobbies, not least by some who support the RORC's very own IRM Rule. While IRM's current lack of international penetration ruled out its use in 2003, I am sure there are nevertheless excellent prospects for this rule in the future. With or without the Admiral's Cup.

John McWilliam and Ford Cork Week have now made a stand. If you've got what is really a raceboat, IRC or IRM, especially if you want to employ professional crew, then you must race in Cork Week's new IRM-based High Performance Class. That is 'must', not 'can'.

This is the best chance that IRM has ever had to get a jump in international recognition. There will be plenty of international visibility at Cork. I am sure IRM will meet the challenge.

Full article: http://www.seahorsemagazine.com (go to Current Issue for complete editorial)

James Boyd in Mad For Sailing:

Is illbruck invincible? For those who have followed previous Whitbreads and watched the campaigns of Steinlager II, New Zealand Endeavour and EF Language, there is a feeling of deja-vu descending upon the Volvo Ocean Race with illbruck's third win out of four legs.

Illbruck are unique in being the only team to have been working on their campaign for this race since the end of the last one, in a similar fashion to the way most America's Cup teams now operate. Over this time it seems Kostecki has developed the perfect cocktail of skills necessary to win a race such as this.

The question is, can anyone hope to catch illbruck between now and the finish port of Kiel, Germany? "Nothing's impossible, it's just going to be extremely hard," [Paul Cayard} replied in his cool Californian accent. "It's going to take illbruck slipping up and almost the rest of the teams to get together and beat them."

Full article: www.madforsailing.com

APEN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD?
Just as a sword cuts a swath through your competitor, Contender Pentex sailcloth cuts a swath through your sailing competition. After a year of development, Contender Sailcloth is pleased to re-introduce our performance APEN PENTEX laminate line featuring our new, higher quality Pentex fiber. APEN film-on-film scrims for the serious racer. Durable APEN-T film-on-taffeta scrims for the racer/cruiser. Rugged ACL-PEN taffeta-on-taffeta scrims for the serious cruiser. 80% higher performing than Polyester, Pentex is an economical upgrade to your sail inventory whether racing, cruising or both. Your competition will get the point. For details visit: www.contendersailcoth.com

ROLEX RENEWS US SAILING ADULT CHAMPIONSHIPS SPONSORSHIP
Rolex Watch U.S.A., which has been supporting sailing excellence for over four decades, has returned for its sixth year to sponsor US Sailing's 2002 adult sailing competitions. The events, which begin in May and continue through November, will be hosted by nine different yacht clubs throughout the country and utilize direct subsidies from the Rolex sponsorship to improve the quality of racing. This year's schedule:

U.S. Multihull Championship (Alter Cup) Syracuse, NY
(Hobie Tiger) June 9-13, Rolex clinic

U.S. Independence Cup (Hovey Trophy) Chicago Yacht Club, Ill.
(Freedom Independence), August 3-5, Rolex clinic

U.S. Singlehanded Championship (O'Day Trophy) Crescent Sail Yacht Club,
Grosse Point Farms, Mich. (Laser), August 9-11, Rolex clinic

U.S. Men's Sailing Championship (Mallory Cup) Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club,
Corona Del Mar, Calif., (J/24) September 25-29, Rolex clinic

U.S. Match Racing Championship (Prince of Wales Bowl) Seawanhaka Corinthian YC,
Oyster Bay, N. Y. (Sonar) October 1-5, Rolex clinic

U.S. Offshore Championship (Lloyd Phoenix Trophy) Long Beach Yacht Club,
Calif. (Catalina 37), October 3-6

U.S. Women's Sailing Championship (Adams Trophy) San Francisco Yacht Club,
Calif. (J/24) October 5-9, Rolex clinic

U.S. Championship of Champions (Brown Trophy) Lake Norman Yacht Club,
Charlotte, N.C. (Flying Scot), October 22-26, Rolex clinic

U.S. Team Race Championship (Hinman Trophy) Southern Yacht Club,
New Orleans, La. (Vanguard 15), November 8-10, Rolex clinic

U.S. Women's Match Race Championship, TBA

See www.ussailing.org

YOUTH INTERNATIONAL MATCH RACING SERIES
Known as the "unofficial" World Youth Championship of Match Racing, this year 10 teams from 7 nations (UK, FRA, DEN, AUS, USA, JPN, NZL) took part at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland.

The two teams from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron took first and third, second place went to the UK's Royal Yachting Association team.

Complete results and info at www.rnzys.org.nz/racing/events/coke/front.html

Great report on Mad for Sailing: www.madforsailing.com

PWA JOINS THE IWA
The Professional Windsurfer's Association (PWA) has joined the new International Windsurfing Association (IWA) as an Associate Member. Phil McGain, the chairman of the PWA, has been invited to sit on the IWA board as a director.

Bruno de Wannemaeker, IWA Chairman, welcomed the news by saying "It's a full house! Now all significant windsurfing classes and organizations are under one roof and working hard to make a difference. The next step is to set the principles of competition structure so that windsurfing in each continent is empowered to develop the broadest competition base possible for all age and ability groups."

www.internationalwindsurfing.com

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
dmccreary@boats.com
(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 John Longley: Liv Sherwood referred to Laurie Davidson as an example of a designer changing camp. I think the first in the modern era, if not the first ever, was when Baron Bic asked Britt Chance to design Chanceceer as a trial horse for his first challenger. When he went on to build France it was to most people's eyes a virtual sister ship, even though a French designer was given credit.

In 1977 Johan Valentijn helped Ben Lexcen design Australia. Johan was living in Australia at the time and working with Ben so I guess he would have passed the current rules. Of course Johan then became a Dutch-Australian-American and designed Liberty that lost the Cup to Australia II. As a part of our personal motivation the crew of Australia II used to refer to Liberty as the "Rusty Dutch Barge" because after Dennis rubbed down the topsides just prior to the Match they became virtually rust colored.

* From George Albaugh: I've been watching the winter games and wondered why ice boating is not featured. It seems me that DN racing would be the perfect combo of speed and photogenics that TV dwells on. It would be as watchable as some of the other "sports" that are featured. Can anyone comment on if ice boating was every included in the Olympics? How does one lobby the IOC to consider adding "new" sports to the line up? Skeleton sled racing was, for example, added back for the current games.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I recall seeing something a few years back on the ISAF website about Ice Sailing making it into the Olympics (with a Skeeter piloted by Paul Henderson as the Canadian entry, co-sponsored by a consortium of orthopedic surgeons and the Molson's brewery). If memory serves the dateline was April 1....

PS2000 MIDWINTER FESTIVAL
Sailed at Sarasota FL, February 14 - 17. 59 boats, 3 classes (Byte, Megabyte, 29er), light to heavy winds

Megabyte: 1. Evert Bastet, Hudson, QC (5 points) 2. Paul Gingras, Palm Beach, FL (9) 3. Ian Aukema, Toronto, ON (14)

Byte: 1. Jennifer Spalding, Vancouver, BC (20 points) 2. Paige Railey, Clearwater, FL (24) 3. Nicole Bastet, Hudson, QC (26) Top Master: Mary Ewenson Annapolis, MD

29er: 1. Alex Bernal/Ted White, Santa Barbara, CA (14 points) 2. Chuck Ullman/Jon Bell, Newport Beach, CA (42) 3. Frank Tybor/ Jeffrey Boyd, Coronado, CA (51) Top Female Team: Molly Carapiet/Mallory Mccollum, Belvedere, CA; Top Mixed Team: Christine Wheatley/Trevor Parekh, Dorval, QC

EASY TRANSITION
Most of Charlie Ogletree's sailing for the past couple of years has been hanging from a wire as he and Johnny Lovell campaigned a Tornado catamaran for Sydney Olympics. Recently however, Ogletree drove Mike Stone's Melges 24 in a talent-laden 23-boat fleet at the San Diego NOOD - and they won the event. Convincingly! How did a relative newcomer in this tough class find that kind of boat speed? It could be the complete inventory of Ullman Sails. Get an online price quote for your boat now. Improved performance is more affordable than you think: www.ullmansails.com

ROLEX WOMEN'S MATCH
Sunday was what the sailors (and the Chamber of Commerce) ordered. Northerly winds filled in about 0830, as predicted. The starting time had been moved from 0930 to 0830 in order to take maximum advantage of the Northerly before the sea breeze killed it off. Five flights were run in shifty winds ranging from 345 to 020 degrees, at velocities of 7 to 11 knots. Then a resail of a race from Saturday was run. This completed a full round-robin of 45 races for the ten teams.

The race committee was kept busy moving marks, and the racing was concluded by about 1345. Prizes were awarded in a brief ceremony at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

Top Five: Sally Barkow, Arabella Denvir, Evan Brown, Nance Zangerie and Jessica Lord.

Complete results at www.spyc.org

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The latest edition of the Rules in Brief is now available for sale to individuals, clubs and community sailing programs. The Rules in Brief is a summary of the ten most important racing rules that apply when boats meet. These ten "commandments" are not on a stone tablet. Instead they are on a 4" x 9" plastic card, and the text has been revised to make it consistent with the current edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing. This card provides an easy and inexpensive way to introduce a new sailor to the sport of racing sailboats.

The Rules in Brief cards are available at US Sailing's web site (www.ussailing.org) at its e-store. The price for members of US SAILING is $ 2.50 per card, for up to 10 cards; $ 2 each for from 11 to 49 cards; and $ 1.50 each for 50 or more.

NZL 20 JOINS SAN FRANCISCO IACC FLEET
David Thomson has joined the IACC - SF fleet with the acquisition of NZL 20. David has been instrumental in organizing the Sayonara Maxi Boat campaign as well as his own Peregrine Farr 40 racing team. NZL 20 will be managed by Brent Ruhne and Nick Crabtree. She will rejoin the growing San Francisco fleet in a few months after her refit at KKMI. Last weekend she finished a close second to Peter Stonebergs Il Moro 1 at the CYC Midwinter's. For a complete history of NZL 20 check out www.iaccsf.com

THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATIONS
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. - Douglas Adams