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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1198 - November 13, 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.

ISAF ROLEX WORLD SAILORS OF THE YEAR
The International Sailing Federation announced the winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2002, in recognition of outstanding sailing achievement during the period 1 September 2001 through to 31 August 2002.

Olympic Sailors Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa of Greece won the female award for their domination in the Olympic women's double-handed event in the 470 Class. Their opening season result of a win at the ISAF Grade 1 SPA Regatta set the standard, and was followed by wins at virtually every ISAF Grade 1 and Grade 2 event they entered in the past 12 months. They have sat firmly at the top of the ISAF World Rankings during the period of nomination, having successfully defended their World Champion title twice, in September 2001 and again in September 2002 (although September 2002 was outside the period of nomination). Similarly, they defended their European Championship title in July 2002. With a win at the 2002 Athens Test Event, Sofia and Emilia have their sights set firmly on Olympic Gold for Athens 2004.

Ben Ainslie was awarded the male ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2002 by ISAF President Paul Henderson in recognition of his outstanding transition from the Laser to the Finn Class. Having jumped from the Laser to America's Cup sailing, Ben returned to the Olympic circuit at the beginning of 2002 with his sights set on the Olympic men's single-handed event in the Finn Class. After only six months in the class, Ben had won the Finn Europeans, to be followed by the Finn Gold Cup and then the 2002 Athens Test Event leaving the more experienced Finn sailors in his wake. His plans evidently include another Olympic Medal in 2004.

The winners were each presented with a Rolex Yachtmaster chronometer and an ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Trophy.

The nominees for the respective female and male ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2002 were - Female: Sofia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE), Christine Briand (FRA), Adrienne Cahalan (AUS) and Helena Darvelid (SWE), Sari Multala (FIN), Alessandra Sensini (ITA); Male: Ben Ainslie (GBR), John Kostecki (USA), Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez (ESP), Iain Percy (GBR), Bruno Peyron (FRA). - www.sailing.org

FOUR LVC RACES - THREE PENALTIES
Top qualifiers Alinghi beat Prada of Italy by 1 minute, 18 seconds, after leading by only eight seconds at the final mark, and Oracle beat OneWorld by 12 seconds. Racing was delayed two hours Wednesday by light winds but the quarterfinals started in a breeze of between 14 and 19 knots.

OneWorld carried a penalty from the second leg of the race, when, as it gibed toward the bottom mark, it failed to allow Oracle room to keep clear. Oracle was already flying a red flag in protest over an incident earlier in the race. OneWorld discharged that penalty by completing a 270-degree turn as it approached the final mark, giving up the lead to Oracle which rounded 14 seconds in front. Although OneWorld closed to within meters on the final run, Oracle maintained its composure and its lead.

The match between Alinghi and Prada was similarly dramatic. Prada earned a penalty when its bow touched Alinghi's stern as the boats sailed in each other's shadow down the first run. - CNN.com, Inside Sailing website, full story: www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/11/13/lvcup.quarters.r1.spt.ap/index.html

* Attempts to offset an earlier penalty incurred in the pre-start proved to be the undoing of Team Dennis Conner on Wednesday afternoon, as GBR Challenge went one up in their first quarterfinal match, crossing the finish line one minute ahead. Stars and Stripes lead the British around the entire course, but lost their lead in the latter stages of the run when helmsman Ken Read unsuccessfully tried to force GBR70 into a penalty, leaving GBR to race ahead. - Fiona McIlroy, nzoom.com website, americascup.nzoom.com/americascup_detail/0,2523,147982-296-297,00.html

RACE RESULTS
Alinghi beat Prada by 1 minute 18 seconds
GBR Challenge beat Team Dennis Conner by 1 minute
Oracle BMW beat OneWorld by 12 seconds
Victory Challenge beat Le Defi by 2 minutes 3 seconds

YESTERDAY ON THE HAURAKI GULF
Foul weather forced organisers to postpone yesterday's Louis Vuitton Cup quarter-finals but the top contenders still found time to head for the Hauraki Gulf. Alinghi, Prada and OneWorld Challenge all went sailing, despite howling winds which gusted over 30 knots.

Russell Coutts' Swiss team had left the Viaduct Harbour with one of their boats by 7am, an hour before the afternoon's racing was officially called off, and trained on the gulf until mid-morning. their quarter-final rivals Prada, of Italy, followed at a more leisurely hour, and stayed inside the inner harbour, running through a few gentle manoeuvres on ITA74 before heading back to base after about half an hour. OneWorld followed Alinghi out to the gulf, also with only one of their boats.

Alinghi spokesman Bernard Schopfer said the Swiss were not trying to play mind games with Prada by heading out in the bad weather. "Not at all. Everybody has their own programme," he said. "There haven't been many days since the end of the round robin and we wanted to go testing." - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz

AMERICA'S CUP CLOTHING
You can now buy official Challenger, Defender, and Event clothing at the online superstore of the America's Cup 2003. Now selling Team New Zealand, ORACLE BMW Racing, Victory Challenge, GBR Challenge, Alinghi and Le Defi official team clothing. America's Cup 2003 clothing, Replica Silverware, and accessories including Official Programs are also available. You can order from the comfort of your home or office with worldwide delivery at low freight rates. www.americascupstore.com/display.asp?uid=21&c=46

NEWS BRIEFS
* The French America's Cup Challenge team, Le Defi Areva, has just launched an English version of its website. The English version is more simple than the original, containing only essential information about the French team. http://www.ledefi.com

* On Thursday, November 21, Sailing World and Cruising World magazines will announce the winners of their Boat of the Year (BOTY) Awards at Sail Expo St. Petersburg, a four-day sailboat show that runs November 21 to 24 at the Vinoy Basin (St. Petersburg, Fla.). This marks the 19th year that Sailing World and the 9th straight year that both Cruising World and Sailing World have hosted the Boat of the Year awards.

* The Stars and Stripes Shop at the Viaduct Basin was broken into on Tuesday last week. Among the stolen items were 24 pairs of Nautica sunglasses, five Citizen watches with the Stars and Stripes logo on the back, 10 dark navy long-sleeved Nautica jackets with the Stars and Stripes logo on the front left breast and a Nautica emblem on the upper left sleeve and a silver America's Cup tankard. - NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz

* Cruising World magazine has been awarded two top journalism honors. First was Folio Magazine's Editorial Excellence Award in the boating/yachting category for consumer magazines. The Folio competition was based on how each magazine entry fulfilled its editorial mission. The Genmar Trophy from Boating Writers International for Best Article of the Year went to Bernadette Bernon's "Midterm Reflections from a Semester At Sea" in Cruising World's October 2001 issue.

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 Rob Mundle: Ah, yet again the wind was too strong in Auckland and another day of racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup was lost. What a shame that the world is being robbed of the sight of spectacular sailing, all because the America's Cup match in February will probably be sailed in light to moderate winds.

It's logical that the challengers find the fastest yacht in those conditions to take on the kiwis. But how good would it be if we could bring back those wild and windy days of Fremantle, where tough yachts and determined sailors combined to create potent television and newspaper images? They were images that got sailing onto major television news bulletins and into important publications around the planet, much to the delight of the sponsors and sailors the world over. The yachts were semi submarines. It was exciting stuff.

Windy racing is one asset that the sport has when it comes to entering the public arena. In times when it's becoming increasingly difficult to secure sponsorship we can only hope that next time around a breeze in the mid to high 20's won't be deemed to be too strong for racing. Racing in such conditions would see Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup delivering invaluable exposure for the sport worldwide. eanwhile, those of us who were in 'Freo' will continue to savour the memories while waiting for something exciting to happen in Auckland.

* From Dallas Johnson: People are always complaining about how hard it is to grow the sport, and then you've got someone like John Sweeney who just goes out and does it. The IACC-SF might be something of an upper-end hybrid when compared to your local racing fleet, but the fundamental marketing principles of getting the word out that your local fleet is cool and accessible is 80% of the battle.

ISAF CONFERENCE REPORT
(Scuttlebutt Europe #110 carried a detailed report from several of our insiders present at the 2002 ISAF Annual Conference in Cyprus. Here are a few excerpts.)

The first two days of the Circus are over and the winds of change are not blowing all that hard. In both the International Classes Committee (ICC) and the Youth and Development Committee (YDC), ISAF President Henderson's initiatives were shot down. The President has always decried the excessive and illegal use of kinetics in the sport but, at least, it has him to thank for the controls, whatever you may think of them, that exist today.

His proposal that all mainsheet purchases be increased to 4:1 was seen as a direct infringement on Class prerogative and it was rejected. To give him his due, he said he never thought it would fly but he wanted the issue addressed so he put it on the table hoping to eventually define the limits by rule rather than by Jury.

The third area that is of concern to him, and on this one he is passionate, is that the sport not bring undue pressure on those that are too young by allowing them into World Championships at too young an age. There is certainly merit in his concerns because at the little league level, there is a significant segment within the parent group that neither sets a good example nor provides good guidance to their children. Whether or not that it is up to ISAF to take this on is open to debate. In the Youth and Development Committee it looked like the minimum age of 15 would be agreed but, as debate continued it was eventually voted down.

Another proposal, (but not from the President), that was found in the fine print was the change of a single word "approved" to "appoint" and it concerned the make up of Jury and RC for a Grade One events. At present ISAF has the right to approve a Jury but not to appoint one. The truth is there is no mechanism within ISAF to remotely begin to take this on and the veto is already there so the ICC saw no reason why ISAF should need this additional control.

To read the whole report from Scuttlebutt Europe #110: www.sailingsource.com/scuttlebutteurope/index.php

B&G INSTRUMENTS
B&G Network remains one of the most truly innovative and high-performance marine electronics products available throughout the world. If you thought B&G prices were out of your league, think again. Significant price reductions allow you to purchase a complete system or individual components for about the same price as any other name-brand instruments. www.pyacht.net/online-store/scstore/h-brookes_and_gatehouse.htm

ROUTE DU RHUM CARNAGE
A second capsize in the Route du Rhum cut the number of 60ft multihulls in the solo transatlantic race to 10. It also prompted the vastly experienced Loick Peyron, lying second in Fujifilm, to comment: "You have to be really careful with these boats. It's not a game. It's hell."

Hell was fresh winds across the Bay of Biscay. Even tiptoeing was not enough to prevent Francois Joyon's Eure et Loire from flipping at 0130 GMT yesterday. Joyon, who won the Star transatlantic, Round the Island and Fastnet races in this boat in 2000-01, was hard on the wind in rough seas. He was working at the mast with the boat steered by autopilot when a squall hit. "The boat was immediately on one float and I rushed back to the cockpit but I did not have time to ease the sheets," he said. "The boat capsized in two seconds." Joyon is safe and remaining on board. His shore team are organising a salvage effort rather than calling on rescue authorities.

* Two singlehanders in the monohull classes have been involved in collisions with ships. Remarkably, both are safe and their boats afloat. Loick Pochet is in Brest after hitting a freighter with his Open 60 le Rage de Vivre, and Christophe Huchet is nursing a dislocated shoulder and torn knee ligament after his Open 50 Apic A3S hit a ship off Ushant. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, UK, full story: sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/

ROUTE DU RHUM SUMMARY: Of the 58 starters, ten have abandoned the race, seven are in port for repairs leaving 41 competitors are on the racecourse.

STANDINGS, November 12, 2002, 15:00:00 GMT - Multihull 60 ORMA: 1. Sodebo. Thomas Coville 3053 miles to finish; 2. Fujifilm. Loick Peyron 3067; 3. Rexona Men. Yvan Bourgnon 3069; Monohull 60 IMOCA: 1. Sill. Roland Jourdain 3009 miles to finish; 2. Ecover. Mike Golding 3018; 3. Kingfisher. Ellen McArthur 3038; Monohull Class 1: 1. Ville de Dinard. Bruno Reibel, 3268; Monohull Class 2: 1. Ashfield Healthcare. Nick Moloney, 3157; 2. Florys. Luc Coquelin, 3179; 3. Mille Visages. Hervé Vachée, 3209; Monohull Class 3: 1. Storagetek. Regis Guillemot, 3152; 2. Passion Entreprendre. Jérême Thiriez, 3228; 3. Grain de Soleil. Etienne Svilarich, 3235; Monohull Class 2: 1. Crepes Whaou!. F. Y. Escofier, 3048; 2. Yachting-casino.com. Anne Cazeneuve, 3125. Website: www.routedurhum.org

AROUND ALONE
Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm on Open 60 'Bobst Group-Armor Lux' is set to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa Wednesday 13th October. Stamm has covered 70 nm in the last 8 hours. At the moment he crosses the line, Stamm will have completed the 6,880nm leg from Torbay, England to Cape Town, SA hopefully just under or right on the 30 day barrier - a remarkable time for a single-handed monohull passage. - Mary Ambler, www.aroundalone.com

Standings 2200 UTC November 12, 2002 - CLASS 1:
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 126 miles from finish
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 165 miles behind leader
3. Pindar, Emma Richards, 235 mbl
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 419 mbl
5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2953 mbl
6. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 6183 mbl

CLASS 2:
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 2831 miles from finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 842 mbl
3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 923 mbl
4. Spirit of Yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 1090 mbl
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1172 mbl
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 1208 mbl

HINMAN TROPHY
Southern YC, New Orleans, LA - Last weekend the young team of Silver Panda knocked off two powerhouses of team-racing to win the 2002 US Team Racing Championship (Hinman Trophy) and a berth as USA-1 at the upcoming team-racing world championship. Although several members of the Pandas had sailed together before, they just started team-racing together this summer. On their way to the championship, the Pandas fought off one of last year's semifinalists (Longfellows), the 1999 Hinman champions (New York), and world championship silver medallists (Whishbone) to take the title.

Final Results: 1. Silver Panda, Pat Hogan/ Carlos Lenz, Colin Merrick/ John Cline, Pete Levesque/ Liz Hall; 2. Whishbone, Graeme Woodworth /Leigh Woodworth, Timothy Wadlow /Erin Largay, Timothy Fallon /Karen Renzulli. - www.v15gulfcoast.org/Hinman.htm

COLLEGE SAILING
Rice University, Houston YC- Andrew Campbell, the freshman from Georgetown, has clinched the men's singlehanded championship, his first college sailing title. On the women's side, Anna Tunnicliffe, a sophomore from Old Dominion University, took top honors. Campbell's victory is especially poignant, since in 1971, his father, then Midshipman William Campbell, USNA Class of 1973, won the event, also in his first attempt.

Final Results: ICSA / Vanguard North American Men's Singlehanded Championships for the Glen S. Foster Trophy: 1. Andrew Campbell '06, Georgetown, 51; 2. Clay Bischoff '03, Harvard, 61; 3. Vincent Porter '06, Harvard, 76.

ICSA / Vanguard North American Women's Singlehanded Championships for the Janet Lutz Trophy: 1. Anna Tunnicliffe '05, Old Dominion, 69; 2. Molly Carapiet '06, Yale, 79; 3 Lindsay Buchan '04, UC Santa Barbara, 80. - www.collegesailing.org/nas/fall02/singlesres.htm

TORNADO NAs
Cayman Islands Sailing Club - Robbie Daniel and Eric Jacobsen repeated their 2001 North American Champion title by winning the 2002 Tornado NAs with a perfect score off all first place finishes. Second place went to the Canadian Team of John Curtis and Oskar Johansen with John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree taking third. www.tornado.org

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Better to have loved a short girl, than never to have loved a tall.