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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1182 - October 21, 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.

In a thrilling Final Round of the Bermuda Gold Cup, Denmark's Jesper Radich defeated countryman Jes Gram-Hansen before a large spectator crowd on Hamilton Harbour, becoming the first Scandinavian to claim the coveted King Edward VII Cup of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). Radich and his crew of Christian Plinius, Peter Poulsen and Andres Kristensen sailed to a victory worth $20,000 and valuable points on the Swedish Match Tour. He is now ranked No. 2 right behind Gram-Hansen after four of the nine events.

"We do a lot of racing against Jes and without him I don't think I would have gotten to here." Today's racing in light and shifty wind put a premium on boathandling in the International One Design (IOD) class yachts and calling the shifts. "In very shifty conditions you'll never win without being lucky," said Radich. -

In the petit finals, local hero Peter Bromby defeated Poland's Karol Jablonski 2-0. - Dana Paxton,

The next stop on the Swedish Match Tour is the New Zealand Cup in February 2003.

Final results:
1. Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich, US$20,000
2. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, $12,000
3. Peter Bromby, BDA/Team Ace Group, $7,000
4. Karol Jablonski, POL/Team MK Cafe, $5,900
5. Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden, $4,800
6. Paula Lewin, BDA/Team Ace Group, $4,200
7. Mattias Rahm, SWE/Team Stena Bulk, $3,700
8. Staffan Lindberg, FIN/Team Musto, $3,400

Swedish match tour standings:
1. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane 64
2. Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich 53
3. Chris Law, GBR/"The Outlaws" 31
4. James Spithill, OneWorld Challenge 31
5. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto 30
6. Mattias Rahm, SWE/Team Stena Bulk 26
7. Karol Jablonski, POL/Team MK Cafe 24
8. Staffan Lindberg, FIN/Team Musto 19

Sailboat racing is such a great sport. And traveling to events like the Bermuda Gold Cup certainly underscored that for me. Hamilton Bermuda is probably 4000 miles from my home, but the event organizers made it incredibly easy for me and for their hundreds of guests to feel welcome, comfortable - and have a great time. And what a great regatta they put on.

The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is blessed with the most magnificent small boat sailing amphitheater I've ever encountered. It's such a perfect venue for match racing, it's no wonder they've been running their Gold Cup Regatta for 54 years now. Warm weather, warm water, warm hospitality, fun parties, and great race management - it doesn't get any better than that.

The 33-foot IOD sloops used for the regatta are probably unique among the variety of boats used on the Swedish Match Race Tour. These 7120 lb meter boats designed in the '30s have long overhangs and a full keel and an attached rudder. Beautiful boats - but the heavy boats accelerate and turn slowly, it took a bit of tactical adjustment for the veteran match racers who generally race in more nimble craft.

Bermuda is north of the Trade Winds and the land mass is too small to develop any thermal winds, so the breeze is totally a result of the passing weather systems. At this year's Bermuda Gold Cup Regatta, we saw the wind coming from a different direction every day.

Swedish Match Tour Director Scott Mac Leod feels Hamilton Harbor in Bermuda has more wind shifts than any of the stops on the Tour. That fact coupled with scattered wind shafts and plentiful holes in the wind patterns frequently makes the competitors abandon conventional match race tactics and go for the pressure. Sometimes that pays with big rewards and other times it only provides embarrassment.

The racecourse is always in flat water and right in front of the yacht club's marina. And there were probably more spectators on plastic chairs on the seawall than there were on fiberglass boats on the racecourse. One of the benefits of watching the races from the dock was hearing Brad Read's insightful commentary broadcast over the yacht club's powerful PA system. It was a very nice touch.

The Bermuda Gold Cup is more than just a regatta - it's an event. Everyone gathered for breakfast at the club each morning and the yacht club stayed Ďalive' each evening after the racing. And when skippers were eliminated from the competition, they never seemed in a hurry to leave the wonderful island.

The Gold Cup is a warm, relaxed, leisurely-paced event where the race organizers understand it takes more than just good racing to make a great regatta. They have definitely figured it out, and have absolutely no trouble getting their top choices to accept the invitation to participate. Me too - I'm ready to return to this idyllic island again. Soon I hope. - The Curmudgeon

The America's Cup Hall of Fame announced Malin Burnham, Sir Michael Fay and Stanley Rosenfeld as the 2002 Inductees into the Hall of Fame. The Induction Ceremony into the America's Cup Hall of Fame will be held during the America's Cup races at The Auckland Museum, Auckland, N.Z. on February 17th, 2003.

Malin Burnham of San Diego was praised for his nearly three decades of enthusiastic hands-on involvement in the America's Cup Competition. In 1977, he was tactician and then skipper of Enterprise in defender trials. In 1980, he sailed frequently as helmsman of the trial horse boat for Dennis Conner's winning Freedom Campaign. In 1983 he did likewise for the Liberty Campaign. In 1987 he founded and served as President/ CEO of the Sail America Foundation, which funded and provided logistical support for Dennis Conner's winning Stars & Stripes Campaign. In 1988 he chaired San Diego Yacht Club's successful defense.

Sir Michael Fay has played a pivotal role in New Zealand's extraordinary America's Cup success. With his involvement, leadership and support of many campaigns, the Kiwis have achieved victory in the remarkably short time span of 10 years. Right from the start, the New Zealanders approached the Cup with an open mind and had the confidence to try new things. Kiwi ingenuity covered a wide range of areas, including using fiberglass in the construction of 12m boats for the first time and the simple logic of having two absolutely identical boats for practice and training - something that had never been done before.

Renowned marine photographer and chronicler Stanley Z. Rosenfeld began at an early age to assist his father, Morris Rosenfeld, in marine photography. Stanley worked both in the field and in the darkroom. The Rosenfeld's photographic chronicle of the dramatic America's Cup competitions is a signal contribution to the history. Stanley Zachary Rosenfeld, son of the renowned Morris Rosenfeld, has worked tirelessly to assemble and preserve the family's photographic legacy of the America's Cup competition spanning a century. The remarkable history of the America's Cup competition owes a great debt of gratitude to the legendary Rosenfelds, whose zeal and passion for great photography of sailing vessels has produced some of the most remarkable photographic images of boats under sail, particularly those of the America's Cup. -

Sunday morning at 03.50 GMT, Simone Bianchetti skipper of the Italian 60 Open yacht Tiscali informed his shore-team that he had dismasted. When the mast broke in three parts Simone was inside, the boat was running South West at 16 / 20 knots and the weather conditions were rapidly getting worse. Simone was not harmed in the accident, he is in good condition and is currently recovering all the pieces of the mast and making a jury rig with the intention of heading into La Coruna in Northern Spain, 90 miles from the point where he dismasted.

Bianchetti has erected a jury rig and at 16:15 UTC was 40 miles from La Coruna on a heading of 170 with boatspeed at 4 knots. The main problem is that the wind is howling from the south and his destination is south of his position. It is unlikely that he will reach landfall before midday Monday 21st October.Under race rules, Simone must sail Tiscali to Cape Town to be eligible to continue racing in Around Alone.

Standings Fleet Positions 14:00 UTC October 20, 2002 - CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 6023miles from finish; 2. Pindar, Emma Richards, 131 mbl; 3. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 179 miles behind leader; 4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 241 mbl; 3. 4. CLASS 2: All boats are in port waiting out the storm, 6719 miles from the finish.

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* The team of Hannah Swett, Melissa Purdy and Joan Touchette won the right to compete in the 2003 Yngling Worlds in Germany by winning an eight-boat qualifying regatta hosted by the American Yacht Club. Ellie Field, placed second - 14 points back - with Betsy Alison in third. -

* Sir Michael Fay is about to become the fourth New Zealander to enter the Hall of Fame at the New York Yacht Club, following in the footsteps of the late Sir Peter Blake, Russell Coutts and Tom Schnackenberg. The President of the Hall of Fame Halsey Herreshoff says an international selection committee reviews nominations for membership to the institution each year and only those of outstanding merit are selected. - IRN News

* A fundraising auction for New Zealand's defence of the America's Cup was expected to pass the NZ$1 million target in Auckland last night. One bidder paid $100,000 for the wheel of NZL60, from the successful 2000 cup-winning boat. Auction organiser Neil Prentice says had been a huge success. ntemore than 900 people made donations and bid on hundreds of items, including a Toyota car and overseas trips. NZ Herald, full story:

* The Victory Challenge's mid-bowman Martin Krite, 21, fell through an open hatch and was rushed to the team base and taken by ambulance to an Auckland hospital, where he was held for several hours. Victory spokesman Bert Willborg told The Associated Press Krite suffered no serious injuries but was in considerable pain. He still hopes to sail in the second round of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, which starts on October 22. / inside sailing website, full story: Victory Challenge:

* Since October 14 Team Prada has been working around the clock in the shed of their Auckland operations base in order to have Luna Rossa ITA 74 ready for racing in Round Robin Two. A series of modifications on the hull have been carried out and on Monday Luna Rossa showed off a new bow. That outing was the first opportunity that Team Prada designers, technicians and crew had to test the new configuration of ITA 74.

* Sweden's Victory Challenge could be the only syndicate to change yachts for the second round of the Louis Vuitton challenger series. The Swedes announced yesterday that they would use their second yacht SWE73 (Orm) for the round which starts on Wednesday. Sweden used their first yacht SWE63 (Orn) to finish seventh in round one with three wins and five losses. Victory Challenge spokesman Bert Willborg said the decision to change yachts was made after several days of racing SWE63 against SWE73 during the week-long break between rounds. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald,

* The average finish delta in the 33 completed matches of Round 1 was 2 minutes, 12.638 seconds. In 1999, the average delta for 47 completed matches was 2 minutes, 12.045 seconds. - LVC website, full story:

(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 JA Booker: As an OptiDad with a nine year old on the water four days a week year round (a major advantage of living in Florida) I say, try and tell him or his teammates it is a boring boat. They love it. His six year old sister can't stand the fact that she has to wait two more years. They also love the regattas and getting to know other sailors from around the country and world.

All of this raises a concern about recent ISAF discussions regarding limiting world and continental competitions to sailors over the age of 15. As I understand it all sailors under this age (read: everyone who sails an Opti) will be limited to club and regional contests. What are they thinking? I can't conceive of a better way to reduce the size of the next generations of sailors. My son watched some of every night of LVC coverage on Virtual Spectator because he knows the goal of racing against the best from around the world is something he can do in the near future, not only after he grows up. I hope ISAF will think this one through.

* From Donna Wotton (edited to our 250-word limit): It's true that the new skiffs feed that extreme sports frenzy that attracts many teens. But that's hardly the charter of most junior programs. We're teaching sailing basics, tactics and rules, the physics and aerodynamics of making a boat go through the water, sportsmanship, and mentoring them with a host of other skills that will be reflected in their lives, not just on the race course.

The 420 and FJ have become the highly dominant junior classes in the US because they provide great training and excitement for teens. Many programs sail them without spinnakers and trapezes, as if prepping for college sailing. The stripped-down version, sailed in the standard format fleet racing can be boring. But few things are more fun to a 16-18 year old kid than planing an FJ or 420 across the bay with the chute up and hiking like crazy, the gybe mark closing fast. Its like a great golf shot. It will keep them coming back for that next great day out there.

If your club is experiencing waning enrollment in the older kids, you don't need the latest speed machine. You need a coach/ instructor/ parent/ team member that motivates the kids toward personal excellence, teaches them how to make the boats perform (with chutes and traps), how to handle lots of wind (and the drifters), hones their tactics, and helps them find good competition. Then you won't have any trouble keeping them in the program till they hit those college ranks!

* From From Guy Gurney: Having read the letters about the Columbus Day Regatta I thought I'd do a quick web search to find other material. Boy, is there a lot of it. The Sun-Sentinel seems to have printed a more balanced story than the Miami Herald:

However I'm not sure it's all the Herald's fault. Other sites offer a glimpse of what much of the general public apparently believes is what the regatta's about.

CURMUDGEON's COMMENT: Guy Gurney was nice enough to provide some other links that hyped this regatta. Our editorial staff checked them out and felt it was in our best interests not to display those XXX-Rated links here.

Information displayed at the mast doesn't just make it easier for the driver to process instrument data while watching where he's going - it focuses the whole crew, and over time builds a stronger team of sailors. Communication between the crew forward of the cockpit and the crew aft is greatly enhanced. Downwind gains are particularly significant with spinnaker trimmers keeping an eye on the numbers while describing sheet pressure to the driver, resulting in better synchronized sailing. For a great selection of mast display pods in anodized aluminum and carbon fiber visit

American Skipper Steve Fossett and his multinational crew aboard the 125' maxi-catamaran PlayStation began their Round Britain and Ireland record attempt Sunday at 1538.39 GMT (1638.39 BST) at Ramsgate Harbour for an attempt on the Round Britain and Ireland sailing record. Wind 22 knots east, boat speed about 25 knots. Sky overcast; light rain. Barometer falling steadily. It is necessary for her to beat the record of Maiden 2 (GBR) which stands at 4d 17h 5m 22s. So finish line off Ramsgate must be reached by Friday 25th October at 8h 43m 18s UTC (one minute margin required).

(The following is a brief excerpt from a story written by Swiss journalist Mathieu Truffer and printed in the New Zealand Herald.)

Sport is not just any kind of business. It is also about emotion. In sport, rivalries flourish. Passion erupts. Supporters shout, laugh and cry. Subjectivity takes over.

Whether Alinghi can create such passion, in Switzerland and abroad, remains to be seen. The syndicate has made tremendous efforts to create interest at home. It has flown journalists around the world, financed and had broadcasted dozens of television stories. But so far, it has yet to create anything close to what Prada did in Italy in 2000, or, above all, what Team New Zealand have achieved at home.

It is all the more striking because Switzerland's interest in sailing is strong. When Pierre Fehlmann's UBS won the Whitbread round-the-world race with a Swiss crew in 1986 ahead of Sir Peter Blake's Lion New Zealand, the country was ecstatic. And Swiss sailors have done more to make people cheer in recent years. Bernard Stamm, who is leading the single-handed Around Alone race, is an extremely popular figure.

It is obvious that Coutts and Bertarelli have developed more than a business relationship in the last two years. Both are roughly the same age, immensely successful in their jobs, and have strong personalities. They are now real friends and have a mutual understanding. But the team still needs to find itself a purpose which could be significant to the public.

Alinghi's boats were built in Switzerland using the country's best technology. The team's management has so far been swift and efficient - very Swiss. But no man in the team has so far captured the public's imagination. Bertarelli himself keeps turning down interviews. Coutts, Butterworth and Co have never craved for media attention and probably never will.

It is an open question whether Bertarelli's private ambition can capture the public's imagination, or whether it will remain just a business. - Mathieu Truffer, NZ Herald, full story:

The lone outstanding match from Round Robin 1, Prada versus Mascalzone Latino, is scheduled for Tuesday, 22 Oct. Round Robin 2 will begin Wednesday, 23 Oct. and is scheduled through 1 Nov. -

St. Petersburg Yacht Club - Final results (26 boats):
1 C. Krebs & J. Redler San Diego, USA, 18.5 pts
2 K. Eikeland & J. Krefting Fana, NOR, 20.75
3 B. Hallawell & S. Suarez Coronado,USA, 21.5
4 A. Foglia & M. Foglia URU, 23.5
5 C. Cronin & K. Fears Jamestown, USA, 27

Long Beach YC - Final results (Catalina 37s):
1. Liz Hjorth, 12
2. Colleen Cooke, 20
3. Carla Thorson, 24

Unfortunately, it's time for the curmudgeon to leave Bermuda - a prospect that becomes even more dreary when I realize that Monday's schedule includes 14 hours in airplanes and airports. The next issue of Scuttlebutt will be distributed on Tuesday at our "normal time" - late evening in Southern California.

Free advice is worth what you paid for it.