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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 738 - January 26, 2001

Scuttlebutt is a digest of yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions, press releases and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome.

ISAF ELIGIBILITY CODE
Concerns about the oppressive provisions of the new ISAF eligibility code are now officially a thing of the past. 'Buttheads no longer need to be concerned about the onerous new rules that require EVERY competitor (including crew members) to, ".be a member of a Member National Authority or an affiliated organization." Those worries are gone for Scuttlebutt readers.

Just go to the Sailing Source website, join the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club and download your membership card. It is absolutely FREE- no strings attached.

The SSC is an officially certified, bona fide, paid-up member of the US Sailing Association. As such, all of our members enjoy the full umbrella of protection from Section 21 of the new ISAF Eligibility Code.

To download your free membership card: http://sailingsource.com/scuttlebutt/

Once you're there, you'll see separate links for color printers and for black & white printers. Just pick whichever is appropriate to download and print your new SSC membership card. That's all there is to it.

Lots of our readers have asked about SSC shirts, burgees, stickers, hats, belts etc. We're working on that right now, and we'll let you know how to order those items as soon as they become available.

Because the curmudgeon and his partners at Boats.com feel strongly that it would be inappropriate for us to profit from this situation, all of our net proceeds from the sale of SSC apparel will go directly to the US Paralympic Team or other worthwhile causes. Isn't it nice to know that something good will come from the havoc generated by these short-sighted rules?

To read the ISAF Eligibility Code:
http://www.sailing.org/regulations/eligibilitycode.pdf

THE RACE
More than 600 miles distant, Lo•ck Peyron's Innovation Explorer continues to whittle away at Grant Dalton's race-leader Club Med. In the last 24 hours, Innovation Explorer has cut its deficit by 91 miles to 681 miles late Thursday afternoon. The two boats are so far apart, separated by almost five degrees of latitude and more than 22 degrees of longitude, that they're sailing in completely different weather systems. Club Med is in a northwesterly breeze and Innovation Explorer in a southwesterly.

But both boats have conditions that allowed them to open the throttles. According to the 1800 GMT position reports, Club Med had logged a 24-hour run of 599.2 miles (average speed 24.96 knots) and Innovation Explorer 584.5 miles (average speed 24.35 knots).

* "We are struggling to put more time on Innovation Explorer, although we are certainly trying hard," Dalton said. "They are sailing well. They had a tricky weather scenario they had to work through over the past 36 hours, and they have done it perfectly. Now they are sailing on the front of the high in a completely different weather pattern to us, so anything could happen."

Novak readily dismissed that news. "Club Med, yet again, looks to be in a better weather pattern, and we expect her to increase the lead even further during the next few days," he said last night. "Grant Dalton is reporting that he is worried about high pressure on the horizon near New Zealand and that his position might be threatened. "With almost 1,000 miles ahead of us - the second boat, a boat with half the number of sails that he has - I would suggest he is exaggerating and could spend his time more effectively, like worrying about his stock portfolio. That's right, I am jealous of the 1,000 miles, and the portfolio!" Novak said.

Back in Cape Town, Team Adventure skipper Cam Lewis reported today that he and his nine crewmembers plan to return to sea tomorrow morning. "Departure tomorrow morning, Friday, at 0900 precisely," Lewis announced. - Sean McNeill, for Quokka Sports

Full story:
http://www.quokkasailing.com/stories/2001/01/SLQ_0122_therace_WFC.html

POSITIONS - January 26 @ 02:11 GMT: 1 Club Med, 2. Innovation Explorer +949 miles, 3. Team Adventure +3177 miles, 4. Warta Polpharma +3587 miles, 5. Team Legato, +4734 miles.

TEAM ADVENTURE
* Live on the NOW Player today, Team Adventure skipper Cam Lewis confirmed he had asked the other captains in The Race to allow him to replace two injured crew with fresh hands. Speaking from Cape Town, where his boat has now finished two days of repairs following last Thursday's front beam damage, Lewis confirmed he would be rejoining The Race with four less crew than he arrived with in the South African port.

With two other crewmen 'jumping ship' in Cape Town, reducing his original 14 man crew to 10, Lewis had hoped to appeal to the other skipper's sense of 'fair play'. Although it is outside the agreed rules of The Race, Lewis petitioned the other four challengers to replace two crewmen, injured in last week's accident.

In his interview, Lewis told NOW: "We have thought about the rules and have asked all the other skippers to see if they would mind if we bring on extra crew. We asked for only two, that would bring our number up to 12. Grant Dalton and the Poles had no problem, didn't hear back from Bullimore. But, Innovation Explorer skipper Skip Novak said 'Definitely not!'"

Lewis continued: "Without unanimous approval from the other skippers we left it there. If all the other skippers would have said yes, then we probably would have made an appeal to the International Jury to see if they could change the rules." He finished by saying: "Rules are meant to be changed, I think." - Colin M Jarman, NOW Sports website.

Full story: http://www.now.com/feature.now?cid=997704&fid=1217953

* In response to Cam Lewis' revelation live on NOW this afternoon, The Race Office, in Paris, has moved quickly to confirm the official line on replacement crew. As far as the Race directors are concerned, there was never any question of Team Adventure replacing crew in Cape Town," said co-Race director David Adams.

On Tuesday 23 January, Team Adventure co-navigator Larry Rosenfeld applied to the co-Race Directors, Denis Horeau and David Adams, who refused the request. The Race rules are quite clear on this point: Each competitor's skipper may only put ashore members of his crew during The Race period for medical reasons. Any members of the crew put ashore may not be replaced.

Adams continued his statement, saying: "Cam and Larry wanted to get a vote on the issue from the other skippers, and if all the skippers agreed with them, they were going to apply to the international jury. "Whether the other boats said yes or no to Cam had no bearing on the rules and the position of The Race directors. The skippers all agreed to the rules before The Race started, and it's our job to apply them." - Colin M Jarman, NOW Sports website.

Full story: http://www.now.com/feature.now?cid=997704&fid=1218797

TURN YOUR PASSION INTO YOUR CAREER
Sailmakers wanted (As well as sailmakers trainees)- Because of North Sails unprecedented growth, North Sails Manufacturing is hiring at all levels, all skills, all over the country. Excellent wages, 401K with company match, Health and Dental Insurance. These opportunities offer room for advancement, growth potential, & structured training. Join our team and let your sailing skills work for you. Specific locations include: North Sails Manufacturing in Long Island, Rhode Island, San Diego, Toronto, Connecticut & Maryland. Contact Peter Bove, Director of Manufacturing, North Sails <peter@nmo.northsails.com> - 203-783-0871 for the nearest or best suited opportunity.

VENDEE GLOBE-By Philippe Jeantot
VendŽe Globe fleet leader, Michel Desjoyeaux (PRB), has just passed under the 4000 mile barrier, the remaining distance to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne. At an average of 10 knots, he should arrive in the VendŽen port in 16 days, which means around the 10th February. Between Cape Horn and the finish, Desjoyeaux is keeping up with the time record of 34 days, which Alain Gautier holds.

After Desjoyeaux and second placed Ellen MacArthur (Kingfisher) yesterday, the Saint Helen high pressure system has released a few more prisoners. The following four boats have felt the North Easterly breeze building, enabling them to head North at last. No great boat speeds are being clocked, but every mile gained to the North is invaluable now for them.

The two leaders are reaching 13 and 12 knots, fairly impressive speeds considering that the wind has barely stabilised in direction or strength. However, it's not a cruise in these irregular Easterly winds. Ellen remarked briefly: "Life's not at all easy. Right now I've got a lot of work on deck to do, "and at that had to excuse herself to get back up and fine tune the sails to the shifting breeze.

On a sadder note, Russian skipper Fedor Konyukhov (Modern University for the Humanities) has officially announced his retirement from the VendŽe Globe. He sent a letter to the VendŽe Globe race office to say that, 10 days after his first kidney troubles and serious technical problems, he has decided to stop in Sydney, Australia. "I endured very bad storm, the third one in the last 10 days, which completely destroyed everything that I had repaired before. It was a test storm for myself and the boat. Now I am sailing under staysail, heading to Sydney. Due to my health problem and sail damage, I will have to stop in the port to repair the boat and receive medical attention."

Therefore, when he reaches port in Sydney, Fedor will officially be retiring from the race, the rules clearly stating that it is "non-stop, without assistance." Fedor added that he would not continue the VendŽe route back to Les Sables d'Olonne afterwards. Taking into account the length of time he is behind the fleet, he knows that most of the skippers racing would all be in the North Atlantic by the time he reaches Sydney. Fedor is the 8th skipper to announce his retirement from the VendŽe Globe.

STANDINGS: 1. PRB, Michel Desjoyeaux, 3949 TO FINISH, 2. Kingfisher, Ellen MacArthur, 96 miles behind leader, 3. Active Wear, Marc Thiercelin, 512 mbl, 4. Sill Matines & La PotagŹre, Roland Jourdain, 598 mbl, 5. Union Bancaire PrivŽe, Dominique Wavre, 827 mbl, 6. Sodebo Savourons la Vie, Thomas Coville, 848 mbl. http://www.vendeeglobe.com

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (leweck@earthlink.net)
(Letters selected to be printed may be edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude unfounded speculation or personal attacks. This is not a bulletin board or a chat room - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others disagree. We don't publish anonymous letters, but will withhold your e-mail address on request.)

* From: David Raymond Reich <DAVID@ReichCompanies.com> Weigh in daily should not be a problem if done following the days racing activities. Crew weight is generally lower after a day on the boat.

* From: "Hugh Elliot" <tinleg@worldnet.att.net> I have recently had my second leg amputated (no sympathy required - it was well past its "best used by" date) and was, last week, asked the question: "What do you weigh?" To which I responded: "In what configuration?"

On a Sonar, I will wear one prosthesis - on the side where I have a knee - as jib trimmer and tactician. As helmsman, I will wear both. On a larger keelboat, I may well be more mobile with neither!

* From: Glenn McCarthy <gmccarthy@myersbriggs.com> Imagine being 6' 2" and 225 lbs., walking around at a championship, feeling and looking like a kid at an adults party. Being this size, it is a strange feeling to look upwards to talk to your competition. They are all huge. But more importantly than that, they all got pounds on you and those pounds have proven to be significant over the length of the course.

A few years ago, weight limits were brought into the Star Class. Clearly the gargantuan's had to lose weight and for those that compete frequently, there is no sense to binge and purge like a bulimic and many have lost the weight and kept it off. What positive benefits are happening? Crew are healthier. They can effectively carry their new weight and lead a longer career.

I know a couple that teamed up last year and combined had to lose 65 pounds to make weight. They did it. Now 7 months later, each has added single digit pounds back, but for their health, what a great benefit. Carrying the excess weight needed in the past, is no longer a necessity.

It's not like the scale has forced anyone to look like Twiggy anyway. Was it a land based or water based operation that came up with the phrase, "Shape up, or Ship out!"

* From: "Bruce Berriman" <tigermothathome@email.msn.com> I agree with Jon Rogers, the AC is a unique event and deserves a unique boat. Let us also remember that the America's Cup is an event for developmental vessels. Among the original owners of the yacht America were shipowners, interested in designing and building faster more seaworthy vessels which could give them an advantage in trading. They were able to beat the Brits with a better design and better sails based on designs similar to New York pilot boats, which also needed both a speed advantage and being more weatherly.

They also challenged the Brits in the hope of benefiting financially so little has changed. This may be trite but all sailors will eventually probably benefit somehow from developments seen in the AC just as we have all benefited from developments in the space program.

SPONSORSHIP
Travel and financial services company American Express is the new naming rights sponsor of New Zealand's Viaduct Harbour. The spectacular harbour created on the Auckland waterfront for the America's Cup defence is now officially called the American Express Harbour. It will also be referred to as the "Home of the America's Cup Regatta. The naming rights sponsorship of the area is for at least the next three years.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* February 28-March 4: 60th Annual Acura SORC Regatta, Miami Beach Marina, Miami, FL, with up to four days of racing for One-Designs (including Farr 40s, 1D35s, Mumm 30s, J/105s, Hobie 33s and Melges 24s), IMS Racers, IMS Racer-Cruisers, PHRF, Multihulls, and MORC. http://www.acurasorc.com

* March 21-24: Melges 24 U.S. National Championships, Southwestern Yacht Club, San Diego, CA - http://www.southwesternyc.org/2001_melges24_u.html

* April 13-15: International Rolex Cup Regatta hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Contact: LReid@islands.vi

SEATTLE TO KEY WEST AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN
People from every corner of the US are realizing the benefits of owning a Protector Cabin RIB. Not only do they make great tenders for race boats but they are also being used for commuting, spectating, fishing, picnic boating, sea kayaking, camping and more. Last week many had chance to see these boats first hand. We were at Key West Race Week and the Seattle Boat Show, but if you missed us there go to www.protectorusa.com or call 877.664.BOAT

INSIGHT
(You'll want to read the following excerpts from a story Angus Phillips wrote for the Washington Post . . . which will make you want to read the full story.)

* Rick Deppe is a seasoned offshore racer, but he was never comfortable speeding through the night, dodging icebergs in the Southern Ocean at 25 to 30 knots on a 110-foot catamaran. "We were down there 48 hours and I kept saying, 'Get me off this boat. I hate water, I hate water' " he said by phone from Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday. "You should be careful what you wish for," said Deppe, an ex-Briton living in Annapolis. He got an unlikely chance to jump ship when the boat smashed into a wave and was damaged so badly it went into Cape Town for repairs. Deppe seized the opportunity to quit The Race, a 26,000-mile nonstop plunge around the world.

With 1 1/2 Whitbread 'Round-the-World Races and scores of ocean passages behind him, Deppe knew the waters he was getting into. But he said nothing prepared him for the staggering speeds of Team Adventure as it slammed through waves and eluded icebergs 1,000 miles south of the Cape of Good Hope. "It's inherently dangerous. I found my threshold and had the opportunity to deal with it. If we hadn't come in I would have found another way. I might have gone to [skipper Cam Lewis] and said, 'Look, I'm a monohull sailor, I'm used to going 10 knots. I can't deal with this.'

"I feel badly for breaking up a team, but I promised my family I wouldn't do anything I wasn't comfortable with," said Deppe, who has two young children. "When we got back to the dock and had a beer, I got that warm, fuzzy feeling and thought, 'Let's go on.' But then I gave myself a reality check." Deppe and fellow crewman Rob Myles both dropped out, leaving Lewis with nine mates to get the rest of the way around the world.

* Once into the latitudes known as the Roaring 40s, the wind kicked up and the catamaran lit out at breakneck speed. "The boat is so incredibly fast," said Deppe, who counted icebergs during the day and worried about hitting them, or capsizing, at night. "In the Whitbread, you know if you get knocked down, the boat will right itself. In this, I kept thinking if you flip it won't come back up. It's a cumulative thing. You get a little anxious, then a little more anxious. Then you can't sleep and it all compounds itself." - Angus Phillips, Washington Post

Full story:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42384-2001Jan24.html

TELEVISION
It appears likely that Friday evening's ABC-TV World News Tonight will provide coverage of Team Adventure's departure from Cape Town.

THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATIONS
"Life is not fair - get used to it." - Bill Gates


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