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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 785 - April 2, 2001

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 and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome.

As Team Legato was leading Warta Polpharma by almost 320 miles this morning and was making a beeline for the Strait of Gibraltar, when a major technical incident occurred. The mast-step ball joint upon which the mast is stepped broke and the mast moved downwards, remaining more or less vertical, in what was a dreadful din. The crew grabbed the shrouds to prevent the boat from dismasting altogether and she is continuing her route to Madeira, most likely bound for Las Palmas where she will call in and probably make repairs.

The Poles on Warta Polpharma are continuing their route north and should be getting into Gibraltar roughly a week from now. With 2364 miles to go to Marseille, the Polish boat is making about 12 knots or so. Over the next few days, they will have to find their way through the Azores High, which ought to be the last strategic challenge of the course.

The other three boats have already finished The Race and left Marseille this morning. Team Adventure has headed off to Palma in Majorca. Her mainsail left for Palma in a truck a few days ago. The boat is going to be prepared for a series of record attempts. Club Med and Innovation Explorer are heading over to La Ciotat where both are to have their masts un-stepped and undergo a thorough overhaul. Mireille Vatine Translation Nikki Scott-Despaigne Service de Presse de The Race. -

(On the madforsailing website, Bob Fisher talked with One World skipper Peter Gilmour about their coampaign. Here are a couple of excerpts from that interview.)

Fisher: You were pretty lucky in being able to obtain America True and Stars & Stripes.

Gilmour: Yes, they were two very strategic opportunities for us, we were going to purchase the Nippon boats and their programme, we had an option to do that, but we first got Stars & Stripes and getting America True was a very good coup for us. It gave us two good variant designs that probably hadn't been fully utilised by the people who had them previously and from our own experience they have benefited by being worked on by us and tuning up against each other [both came from single boat challenges].

Fisher: What are the sailing plans for the team right now?

Gilmour: We are not going to sail the America's Cup boats in the US summer. We are going to do a lot of match racing and other regattas outside of America's Cup. We have people going off in different directions at different times all over the place, and then we will be back in Auckland next summer, sailing Stars & Stripes and America True again. We have no plans to re-locate ourselves and we realise the importance of having an on-season and an off-season. Testing and tuning America's Cup yachts takes a lot of energy - it needs a one-to-one relationship with a day on the water balanced by a day off the water. We have six months on the water, so it is balanced by six months off the water in IACC boats.

Fisher: When do you expect to have your new boats on the water?

Gilmour: We haven't finalised that. It will be sometime in 2002; the latest possible date we have discussed is September and the earliest is in March. It will be somewhere in that range; it depends on the design development. - madforsailing website.

Full interview:

Imagine a pair of shorts that keeps you organized with giant cargo pockets to store everything, parachute chords just in case, flashlight holders, and plenty of places to attach those whatzamacallits that can open, close, chop, slice and dice everthing. While Camet hasn't yet created the Swiss Army Knife of shorts, the have bomb-proofed and engineered their highly popular quick drying Camet shorts for their crews to feel comfortable on the weather rail. For Antigua, BVI Rolex, Yachting Cup, Ensenada etc they are a must have.

(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: Malcolm McKeag
ISAF, I am told, finally got round to finalising and releasing the new rules at the end of February. British sailors received their first new rules books on the weekend of March 10th, with bulk shipments going out from the Royal Yachting Association (here in "jolly old England") week beginning March 19th. All British racing sailors should thank their lucky stars to have an organisation like the RYA behind them, and raise a glass in particular to Martin Smethers and Trevor Lewis, of the RYA Racing Rules Committee, and the publications staff at the RYA for a fantastic job well done on their behalf.

Interesting that the Aussies have decided to defer introduction to July 1st. New rules used to come into force January 1st - and it was at the Southern Hemisphere's request that the date was slipped until April 1, Jan 1 being the middle of the Antipodean season. Let's hope in four years time ISAF doesn't lock into the Aussie deadline again.

* From: Sjur Klafstad
In Norway the 2001 - 2004 Racing Rules of Sailing has been available in a translated, printed version for almost a month. You are welcome to use the printed Norwegian translation of the racing rules of sailing anytime.

From: Howard Paul
The other day I called US Sailing to find out where I could get a copy of the "New" rule book. I found out that ISAF was 6 weeks late in getting the "new" rules to US Sailing therefore, US Sailing would be 6 weeks late in getting it out to its' members! Why I have to call US Sailing to find this out is beyond me.

This illustrates that US Sailing has a lack of direction, lack of management, and above all has lost touch with its members and "their" needs. Without its' members US Sailing would not exist! Terry Harper wrote how we needed to expand US Sailing to include more of the sailing population. Great! So what has US Sailing done? US Sailing need only to look at other successful associations to see what can be done. AOPA (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association) provides a magazine published 12 times a year, a weekly email newsletter to its members, insurance services, title search services, credit cards that provide discounts on aviation related purchases, hi yield CD's, scholarships, townhall meetings throughout the nation, and is one of the major lobbyists at both State and Federal levels of government on aviation issues, and AOPA makes a profit. All this at approximately the same cost as a US Sailing Membership! Wake up US Sailing!

* From: "Amy Chalmers"
Amoung the ideas suggested by the ISAF to celebrate their 100th birthday was a "World Sailing Day - an open day of Sailing at clubs and other facilities to encourage as many people as possible to 'have a go' at Sailing."

I have a question: Must those people all carry membership cards from a club or association in order to "have a go"?

* From: Tom Farquhar
In response to the letter from Karen Pearson: Try looking at the race management page on the US Sailing web site. There has been an article there for almost two months describing the new RRS 26 starting system and how to use it:

* From: Patty
(edited to our 250-word limit) So often I hear sailors bemoaning that US SAILING does not represent them well. As Vice Chair One Design Class Council, I like to address the one-design sailors' concerns. The primary purpose of ODCC is to encourage the growth of small boat sailing and class racing and to facilitate communication between one-design class associations. About 20 classes came to the Spring ODCC meetings. Meetings are open to class representatives-not just class officers. The existing framework for representing sailors works very well.

In addition to addressing the concerns of sailors, the ODCC and US SAILING offer:
The ODCC web page is a great way to get more information about ODCC services and keep abreast of the latest news. See for more information about what is listed below.
The ODCC inter-class listserv facilitates communication between classes.
A comprehensive class listing, with links to member class web pages.
Free web space for member classes.
A calendar of events lists all sailing activities in the country. Sailors can add their own events.
The Sailing Newsletter Article eXchang.
Class Management Handbook is a compilation of the best ideas from all classes.
The Fleet Captain's Manual is designed to help with fleet leadership.
Growth and participation seminars are a dynamic way to learn about class building.
Leadership awards recognize outstanding one-design sailors.
Championship of Champions regatta.
Liability insurance coverage.

Join the ODCC listserv ( to continue this discussion.

* From: Bryan McDonald
Rand Milton talked about a chip used at the NY Marathon to keep track of the competitors that might be used for identifying premature starters. The championchip ( is based on the radio-frequency-identification system (RFID) from Texas Instruments. Texas Instruments says the read ranges are between 20 cm and 200 cm. With runners, bikers or other land based activities, it's fairly straightforward to set up a mat that everyone has to run across to be recorded.

On the other hand, how do you get within 200 cm of a every sailboat across a start or finish line? In light air and fresh water, this is doable (I'd set a cable between the pin and the RC boat to read the chips from the centerboard of each boat). In breeze with ocean swells or steep chop, the 200 cm limit is a challenging constraint to overcome. How about hanging a chip off each bow w/ 500 cm of line that was weighted with a non-obstrusive sinker? Or how about attaching the chip to a flexible pole to the top of the mast that would rub across a suspended wire? Both ideas would yield a larger range necessary in wavy conditions.

(John Kostecki, skipper of the illbruck Challenge, spoke to SAIL magazine about his team's preparations for the Volvo Ocean Race. Here's a brief excerpt.)

There are seven entries, about half what was expected, but for once the platitudes that usually go, "It's a small fleet, but very competitive," have the ring of authenticity. "It's simply going the way all sailing is going these days," Kostecki said. It's getting more competitive in the same way that the America's Cup is more competitive, one design racing is more competitive-it's harder to win-and you see these very experienced names coming back that will keep raising the level of the game. Grant Dalton (just off his Club Med triumph in The Race). Roy Heiner. It's actually a long list," Kostecki said.

Kostecki plans to race with the maximum complement of 12, with more people on the team and a ready reserve. "It's pretty common that people get hurt or sick and can't finish the race," he said. "We're undecided as yet whether or not to actually plan a rotation."

Illbruck's highly-experienced crew had a lot of input for the new design, Kostecki said. In designing for the Volvo Ocean Race, beam is an important issue. You want the stability that comes with adequate beam, but you don't want to push an unnecessary volume of boat through the water for 33,000 miles. Without getting into numbers, Kostecki said: "We put a lot of research time into the beam issue and ran extensive weather studies. In the computer we raced different designs through various scenarios for all nine legs. We factored in the opinions of our people who have been there, done that, and now we have a boat." Sail magazine website

Full story:

OK, Bertrand Pace, you're it: the logical favorite to win the Long Beach YC's Congressional Cup April 25-29. After winning the Steinlager Line 7 Cup against a similar field at Auckland, N.Z. two weeks ago, the 39-year-old Frenchman was boosted from sixth to third in the International Sailing Federation's world match race rankings. The only sailors ahead of him are Dean Barker, the non-defending champion and Pace's new boss at Team New Zealand, and Denmark's Sten Mohr, who isn't entered, either.

Gavin Brady will call tactics for four-time winner Rod Davis as part of the entry from Italy's Prada Challenge. Brady, 27, won back-to-back Congressionals in 1996-97 and reached the finals of both recent Down Under events. Peter Gilmour, the '88 winner, will be in Long Beach, too. He now leads the OneWorld America's Cup Challenge from Seattle, which will be represented by two boats sailed by Morgan Larson and 21-year-old James Spithill. Gilmour could be Spithill's tactician.

Also entered besides Pac, Pillot, Davis, Larson and Spithill are Ken Read, helmsman for Team Dennis Conner; Peter Holmberg, '98-99 winner now with Oracle Challenge; Andy Green, Britain's GBR Challenge, and Jesper Radich, Sweden, and Sebastien Destremau, Australia, who have no America's Cup affiliations. - Rich Roberts,

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The cancellation of the Admiral's Cup and its replacement with a substitute regatta is expected to be announced today by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, organisers of the event which, since its inception in 1957, has been the most important for offshore yachts held in British waters.

This will certainly be a traumatic day for the club, akin to rugby authorities being forced to announce the cancellation of the Six Nations, but the reality is that Admiral's Cup has been in steady decline since the beginning of the 1990s while at the same time the sport of sailing has enjoyed a spectacular rise in popularity and British sailors have enjoyed unprecedented success.

The inescapable conclusion is that the world of sailing has moved on and left the Admiral's Cup behind. The event peaked in 1977 and 1999 when 19 international teams brought their yachts to Cowes to compete in a series of inshore and offshore races, culminating in the famous 600-mile Fastnet Race.

This year the club has been trying with increasing desperation to find a minimum of five teams, but when the United States announced recently that it would not be entering, all hope was lost.

The coincidence is that the strongest British team for many years were waiting in the wings. With team sponsorship from Barlo Plastics and strong support from Peter Harrison and his GBR Challenge team, who were due to man the two larger boats, the IC45 and Sydney 40, the prospects looked excellent. Also a lively competition was about to commence for the third place in the Farr 40 team.

In recent days the international Committee of Management of the Admiral's Cup has been in virtually continuous session by phone, fax and E-mail in an effort to come up with a new formula for the event. No miracles can reasonably be expected. - David Pelly Daily Telegraph, UK,

April 21-22 Ahmanson-Dickson-Skylark Regatta for Farr 40, OD 35, J-105, Schock 35, 30/30 & 40's, PHRF. Melges 24 will be racing their PCC's. -

Gulf Harbour - Australian John Bertrand won the New Zealand Etchells Championship with US America's Cup sailors placing prominently in the top ten. The One World America's Cup syndicate entered 4 boats that came 2nd (Morgan Larsen), 3rd (Bruce Nelson), 5th (James Spitthall) and 7th (Kelvin Harrap). Dennis Connor was 9th. Cameron Thorpe, the first Kiwi finished 6th place.

Final Results (50 boats): 1. Two Saints And A Magpie (AUS) John Bertrand, Ernest Lawrence, Bill Browne, (17 pts) 2. The Grenade(USA) Morgan Larsen, Matthew Mason, Will Bayliss, (19) 3. USA 1184 Bruce Nelson, Mark Mandelblatt, Jeremy Scantlebury (25) 4. Contender Sailcloth (AUS) Jan Scholten, Mike Hughe, Simon Grosser, (30) 5. USA 1183 James Spitthall, Ben Durham, Joey Newton (33) 6. The Boat (NZL) Cameron Thorpe, Steve Barton, Paul Morrish, Angie Crafer (37) 7. Irish Crystal (NZL) Kelvin Harrap, Craig Monk, Peter Weymouth, (46) 8. Doctor Evil (AUS) Jake Gunther, Tom McPhail, Andrew Palfrey, (47) 9. QANTAS (USA) Dennis Connor. Steve Jarvin. Matt Day. (52) 10. AUS 243 Harken Evisha, Julian Plante, Nick Garland, David Stevens, Greg Barber, (54). -

Fort Worth Boat Club - This developmental women's match racing clinic and regatta is an ISAF grade 4 women's event and is open to unranked and lower ranked women match racers by invitation. It's also a feeder to the Grade 1 Santa Maria Cup at the end of May. While eight teams were expected, last minute cancellations resulted in only five teams competing. Temperatures were in the low 40's with lots of rain and 5-15 knots of breeze. Final Standings: 1. Liz Baylis, 2. Liz Hjorth, 3. Charlie Arms, 4. Lynette Edenfield, 5. Tammy Ouellette.

Alexandre Paradera & Edvard Paradera from Porto Alegre Brazil won the Zimmerman trophy for the lowest combined score in the four regattas that comprise the Snipe Midwinter Circuit. The Snipe North American Championships starts on Sunday and continues through Tuesday in Nassau with 2 races per day. - Alex Pline,

One of the factors behind cherubic argonaut Ellen MacArthur's strong showing in the Vendee Globe was recently brought to light by the design brain trust responsible for her 60-foot speedster Kingfisher. The designers revealed at a recent demonstration that the boat's secret weapon was it's ability to be righted like a small dinghy. By stepping out onto on the boat's 14-foot keel, MacArthur was able to right her vessel several times during the race.

She had to remain mum about the maneuver to avoid detection by her competitors. "I can't remember how many times we capsized to be honest," said the inspiring 23-year-old to a gaggle of sailing parparazzi gathered at the unveiling. "The boat actually sails well at heel angles close to 90 degrees," she said, and by using this simple righting technique, "the team was able to construct a very, very light boat." -
SailNet website in their special and very clever April 1 issue :-)

Full story:

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.