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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1191 - November 4, 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.

Auckland, New Zealand: The Oracle BMW Racing crew gave skipper Chris Dickson a fantastic birthday present on Sunday, winning both races, and leapfrogging up the leaderboard to finish Round Robin Two in second place.

Racing was postponed in the morning to allow the Southerly breeze to settle and fill in, and the conditions were perfect for racing in the afternoon. Dickson celebrated his birthday under sunny skies and with strong 14-20 knot Southerlies to power his boat around the race course.

Le Defi Areva's victory over Mascalzone Latino on Saturday had knocked out the first-time syndicate. The two teams had been tied with one point each going into the last match of round robin two and knew the match would determine which team progressed to the quarterfinals.

With the conclusion of Round Robin Two, the Louis Vuitton Cup moves to the Quarter-Final stage of the regatta. --

Standings after Round Robin 2:
Team - Races - W - L - Points
Alinghi** - 15 - 13 - 2 - 13
Oracle - 16 - 12 - 4 - 12
OneWorld* - 16 - 13 - 3 - 12
Prada - 15 - 10 - 5 - 10
Victory - 16 - 7 - 9 - 7
GBR Challenge - 16 - 7 - 9 - 7
Stars & Stripes - 16 - 6 - 10 - 6
Le Defi Areva - 16 - 2 - 14 - 2
Mascalzone Latino - 16 - 1 - 15 - 1***

* = OneWorld previously deducted one point by arbitration panel
** = Alinghi's total has been reduced by one point over protest by GBR
***= Eliminated from further competition

CNN Inside Sailing:

Swiss America's Cup challenger Alinghi will race Italian team Prada in the first quarterfinal phase of the Louis Vuitton Cup yachting series on the Hauraki Gulf here.

Alinghi earned the right to choose which of the other top four contenders they would take on after finishing with top points in the second round robin competition.

Victory Challenge chose Le Dé fi Areva as opponent in the quarterfinal of Louis Vuitton Cup.

With seven points and the fifth place after the opening rounds of Louis Vuitton Cup, Victory Challenge has the privilege to choose their opponent.

With Victory Challenges decision regarding Le Dé fi Areva, the other quarter final in the single chance group will involve Stars & Stripes and GBR Challenge.

Some new composite photos of NZL-81 are posted by the folks at (same fellow who did the composite shots of all the hulls we ran a few weeks ago):

The decision [to remove Peter Holmberg in favor of Chris Dickson] backfired on Ellison, who has shelled out $85 million of his own money (and some of BMW's) and had been heard to remark, "I shall drive whenever Peter lets me behind the wheel." Not any more. No sooner had Dickson sailed the boat in one race, and won against the lowly placed Mascalzone Latino, than he instigated his own re-structuring.

In charge of the sailing team, Dickson, the man that Ellison had fired a year earlier for being a disruptive influence in the crew, said, "You're off the boat," but to Ellison.

Full story by Bob Fisher at

San Diego Y.C. chose Ullman Sails to defend the San Francisco Challenge against St. Francis Y.C. because they wanted the fastest sails! Why are Ullman Sails so fast? Simple, fast sail design demand fast cloth! At Ullman Sails we choose only the best sail cloth from Contender, Dimension / Polyant and Bainbridge International. What good is a fast design if the cloth can't hold the shape? Our fast designs combined with superior cloth continue collecting trophies for our customers across the country. If you and your crew are ready, let Ullman Sails bring our speed technology to your sails. call your nearest Ullman Sails Loft or visit us at

Clipper Ventures, the Around Alone organizers, have announced schedule changes for stopovers in Cape Town (S. AFR), Tauranga (NZL), and Salvador de Bahia (BRA).

The restart of the next leg from Cape Town, South Africa, is rescheduled for the 14th December 2002, 6 days on from the 8th December start. The restart in Tauranga, New Zealand is now planned for the 2nd February 2003, one week on from the original date on the 26th February. Restart in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil is March 30th.

The new schedule was a results of the unusually strong storms in the Atlantic which forced 7 skippers to seek shelter in Spain for several days. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said "Given that their ETA in Cape Town will now be delayed considerably, we had to review the itinerary, and have made a sporting decision to reschedule the restart in Cape Town for the 14th December. Around Alone is above all about the competitors who take part, and it would be contrary to the ethos of the event if we effectively eliminated half of the fleet from the race now."

The leading Open 60 skippers voiced that they preferred to have the smaller boats on the start line with them and all head into the Southern Ocean together. This also will give Simone Bianchetti, whose dismasted Open 60 Tiscali is undergoing an emergency refit of a replacement rig, more time to reach Cape Town and start the next leg.

Current positions
Class 1 - Open 60s
1. Bobst Group, Bernard Stamm, 2453 miles to finish of leg 2 in Capetown
2. Pindar, Emma Richards, 217 miles to leader
3. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 262 nm
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 509 nm
5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2330 nm
6. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 4346 nm

Class 2 - 50s and 40s
1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, Brad Van Liew, 4691 miles to finish
2. Spirit of Yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 294 miles to leader
3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 373 nm
4. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 381 nm
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 391 nm
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 434 nm

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON - (until the Curmudgeon returns in a week from the Bitter End Yacht Club)
(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 David Irvine: Following on from Will Wagners' comments (with which I whole heartedly agree), the 18 foot skiffs in Australia, some years ago, became immensely popular on television by introducing a head cam (mounted on a helmet) and microphones on each boat, so that the television audience were more involved. Something similar on AC boats and crew may work. Although in Australia at present, we would be thankful for any footage of the sailing.

* From Jim Stevralia: The idea of an AC Class fleet race regatta is a really good one to promote to the broadcasters. It would be a bonus to OLN for putting up with all the postponements and cancellations so far this year. It also could be developed into somewhat of a solution to NZ which has hosted several great AC challenges regarding what to do with the basin if/when NZ is not the defender. The fleet race would lack the heritage of the AC, so it would need committment from the teams to participate on the A level, but media support should be encouragement. How about a series of 12 or 15 fleet races, one point to the winner all others zero, high points wins. Even have prize $$ similar to Indy, overall places and for each race won.

* From Michelle Slade: For those sailors who find aren't finding much fun in the current LV Cup challenger series, but are interested America's Cup Class racing fleet-style, I suggest they go to, and check out the IACC racing schedule beginning May 2003 in San Francisco. IACCSF currently has a fleet of five IACC yachts expected to make the start line in May. San Francisco is a great racing venue and the sight of these great boats on the Bay is something to see.

* From Peter Evans: The Admiral's Cup has always been billed (or maybe billed itself) as 'the Unofficial World Championships of Offshore Racing'. In light of the recent unfortunate 'developments' between RORC and the Royal St George YC, and the 're-relocation' of the 2003 AC, is it not time for a body such as ISAF (while disregarding for the moment the current squabbles over their management style) to create a REAL World Championships of Offshore Racing? By all means keep to the new 2-boat format and nationality requirements, but by rotating venues - and I am sure there are many Clubs well capable of running such an event - I think that the Offshore World Championships, whether badged as the Admiral's Cup or not, could be completely revitalized. Any comments?

* From Bernd Gadow: We loved to see Dennis back onboard and driving Stars & Stripes to a much needed victory over Mascalzone Latino. He still has not lost his magic touch and we hope that he can be persuaded to take the helm in future races against more challenging opponents.

* From Ron Katz: It is interesting that in all the critiques against fleet racing for the Americas Cup, people have failed to mention that the yacht America successfully won its fleet race against the rest of the British fleet to win the first "Americas Cup", while sailing around an Island!

* From Stuart Hebb: After having read the responses from the last few days, i can respect the viewpoints from the traditionalists for the America's Cup however fleet racing would turn this into a spectacular event and really launch the sport of sailing into the mainstream which I think is more important than the cup. Maybe then sailors who want to pursue a professional career will have more options than following or leading one other boat around the track or dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean.

* From Peter Wykeham-Martin, General Manager RORC: William Burke's letter in Scuttlebutt 1190 criticises the RORC for the loss of sponsorship for his potential team for the Admiral's Cup. The RORC sent out over 200 copies of our press release announcing our decision to hold the Admiral's Cup in Cowes in July 2003 to those who had expressed an interest in the event. More specifically, our Commodore, Peter Rutter sent a letter explaining the move to those Clubs and owners that we knew were contemplating an entry. Since we had not been informed by Mr Burke, or by anyone in Ireland, of his interest in entering the event, we were not able to keep him up to date with any decisions affecting the Admiral's Cup.

I can also assure your readers that the RORC has never intended any "insult to the good people of Dublin bay sailing community, and the people of Ireland in general."

* From Larry Pierce: When the LV series began and Prada was stinking up the race course everyone assumed they were outclassed by the newer Swiss and US syndicates. When Bertelli abruptly fired Doug Peterson it was seen as desperate act and it was hard for even Scuttlebutt not to show contempt for that drastic measure. When Bertelli took design measures into his own hands the implication here and in all media outlets was that Bertelli was out of control and had completely melted down. The snickering of the experts could be heard loud and clear. Imagine a shoe designer thinking he knows more about yacht design than the pros! Outrageous!!

Since Prada has come out of the shed she has kicked butt. Why have we not heard a word about how and why this was accomplished? Nary a word of praise and barely recognition for their dramatic improvement. Prada's improvement has been reported as footnote at the end of a report on the day's victory. Bertellii proves all of the sailing media genius wrong and they are all too full of themselves to even address it. They all have egg on their faces and no one steps up to the plate to even acknowledge this incredible accomplishment. Shame on the media and hats off to Bertelli.

What "upwash" IS NOT: vertical movement of wind flowing up towards the masthead, spilling off the upper leeches of the sails and messing up the wind. So what IS upwash? Picture a rock in a river. The water begins bending around the rock well before it reaches the rock; that's what wind does as it meets your sailplan - upstream, ahead of the sails, the "true wind" shifts: upwash. Ockam systems offer upwash calibration. Contact Tom Davis ( for a calibration crib sheet or to schedule an onboard calibration and system checkup.

St. Petersburg, FL: Grade 1 Women's Match Race Event, held at the St. Petersburg YC November 1 - 3

Top three final results:
1. Betsy Alison, Lee Icyda, Dini Hall, Suzy Leech
2. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Marjon Kooistra, Trinitje Zuiderbaan, Nanda Nengerman
3. Alessandra Marenzi, Giulia Mazzotti, Angela Baroni. Giulia Conti

Annapolis, MD: Sailed at the Annapolis YC.

Top five final results:
Place - Skipper - Boat - Total points
1. Waldek&Chris Zaleski, Twins, 42.00
2. Max Skelley/ Fat Boyz, 51.30
3. Rudy Wolfs/ ING Direct, 53.00
4. Paul Van Ravenswaay/ Sundance, 57.00
5. Tim Healy/ Anna, 73.00

Complete results will be posted shortly at

On Wednesday, November 6, 2002, US SAILING and Southern Yacht Club will host the 2002 Hinman Team Racing Umpire Clinic. The event, which will run through Sunday, November 10, will be held at Southern Yacht Club (New Orleans, LA). In addition to the seminar, an examination to obtain US Umpire Certification will be held.

The seminar and exam are commonly given at the same time, but beyond that are not much related. The seminar covers How to Be a Good Umpire, whereas the exam tests whether we know the rules, principally those of Part 2 and the Team Race Call Book

The cost of the Hinman Team Racing Umpire Clinic is $30, which covers the meals provided.

Everyone is welcome to attend the clinic. People who wish to participate on-the-water must send an email to Clinic Organizer Betsy Altman (

The Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US Sailing has named the first members of it's 2003 Pan American Games Team. The five sailors -- recent winners of the selection trials in the Hobie 16 and Lightning classes -- will represent the U.S.A. at the XIV Pan American Games, scheduled for August 1-17, 2003, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The U.S. has qualified to enter all nine events featured in the sailing competition: Laser (men) and Mistral (men and women), and the non-Olympic Laser Radial (women), Hobie 16, J/24, Lightning, Snipe and Sunfish (all open).

Lightning - Skipper Brian Taboada (Island Heights, N.J.), and his crew of Ryan Dunn (Brick, N.J.) and Theresa Colantuono (Portsmouth, R.I.)

Hobie 16 - Paul and Mary Ann Hess (Napa, Calif.)

Upcoming Pan Am Trials:
October 31-November 3, 2002 - Mistral, US Sailing Center-Martin County (Stuart, Fla.)
November 14-17, 2002 - Laser and Laser Radials at Houston Yacht Club
January 4-6, 2003 - J/24 at Key Biscayne Yacht Club
March 21-23, 2003 - Snipe at Clearwater Yacht Club
April 25-27, 2003 - Sunfish at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (Sarasota, Fla.).

In a recent Scuttlebutt we had a typo for the 2003 Mumm 30 Worlds. It sure isn't October 22-5, it's October 2-5. See

Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff they use to make the indestructible little black boxes?