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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 979 - January 7, 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.

VOLVO PROTEST
The following notice has been issued by Bryan Willis, Chairman International Jury for the Volvo Ocean Race: Team News Corp has lodged a Request for Redress under rule 62.1(a), claiming they should be awarded redress because:

1. Tyco finished leg 3 and was awarded points to which she was not entitled

2. Whilst racing in the Sydney to Hobart race, News Corp and SEB treated Tyco as if she were not a competitor.

Team SEB has lodged a similar Request for Redress.

The parties are: Team News Corp, Team SEB and The Volvo Ocean Race Committee. The authorised press observer, and an observer from each boat, are invited to attend.

Racing Rule 62.1(a) A request for redress or a protest committee's decision to consider redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat's finishing place in a race or series has, through no fault of her own, been made significantly worse by ... an improper action or omission of the race committee or protest committee,

The preliminary hearing will be at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Westhaven Drive, at 10h00 on Monday 7th January 2002. The jury will hold the two hearings (4 and 5) concurrently. - www.volvooceanrace.com

AWARDS
The winners of the e-peopleserve British Nautical Awards 2001 were revealed tonight, Friday 4th January 2002 with women making a clean sweep of all four top sailing Awards. Internationally famous round the world yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur took the premier title and the most prestigious Award in British boating, the e-peopleserve YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award as well as the Challenge Business Offshore Yachtsman of the Year Award.

Ellen adds the e-peopleserve YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award to the many accolades she has already received in 2001, including the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year and being runner up to David Beckham for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Runners up for the e-peopleserve YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award were: Simon Curwen; Ian Sanderson & Peter Dredge. Runners up for the Challenge Business Offshore Yachtsman of the Year Award were: Jo Burchell and Lorna Graham; Helen Tew.

The Rawlinson sisters, Emma (17) and Victoria (16), also claimed two Awards, including the MDL YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award and the WS Atkins Inshore Yachtsman of the Year Award for which they competed against top ranked adult sailors. Runners up for the WS Atkins Inshore Yachtsman of the Year Award were: Stuart Childerley, Simon Russell, Nick Pearson; Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield. Runners up for the MDL YJA Young Sailor of the Year Award were: John Pink and Tom Weeks; Mark Powell.

For the first time ever in the British Nautical Award's history, the Sealine Marine Media Award has been won by a website. Madforsailing.com provides up-to-the-minute, original and creative reporting in the sport of sailing to 'blue water professionals' and 'club racers' alike. An established source of key worldwide sailing news and features, in a single month www.madforsailing.com hosts over 50,000 unique users and receives over 750,000 page impressions. James Boyd, Editor of www.madforsailing.com, accepted the Award. Runners up were: 20x20 by Kos; Yachting World's coverage of the America's Cup Jubilee.

LDC's RS K6 won the Yachting World Sailboat of the Year Award. This dinghy style keelboat has already impressed sailors with its high quality build specification and speed. Runners up were: Ker 11.3; Oyster 49. - www.e-peopleserve.com

YOU NEVER KNOW?
Contender Sailcloth knows. We've seen it all, used it all. The staff of Contender Sailcloth is on the water nearly every weekend, sailing with our products, sailing with our competitor's products. We sail one-design, we sail PHRF, we sail IMS and we cruise. We sail America's Cups, we sail beer can races. And we use this experience to design our products to the ever-changing face of sailing. To see through the trendy fads you, the end user, are subjected to. The most experienced sail cloth supplier in the world. You never know when you'll need us. www.contendersailcloth.com

VOLVO OCEAN RACE
In pouring rain Amer Sports Too was the last of the V.O.60 fleet to arrive in Auckland. They enjoyed a quick ride through the second half of the Tasman Sea and down the New Zealand coast. In Auckland the team has to do some work on the boat after the emergency repair done to the damaged rudder in Hobart.

No other arrival saw as many spectators lined up as for Amer Sports Too, the docks were crammed and cheers filled the air.

When hitting the dock, skipper Lisa McDonald said: "It is a great sense of accomplishment that we have managed to overcome each and every obstacle which we have come up against in this leg and I think it says a lot for the crew that we have attacked each problem as it has arisen with great professionalism, the quickness of figuring out what the problem is and solving it, coming to a conclusion and carrying on with the race says a great deal for this team and I am very proud of the whole group." On the much talked about dash from Sydney to Auckland she commented: "I am not going to call it a sprint ever again."

ELAPSED TIME for leg 3:
1. Assa Abloy, 8d 11h 50m 42s
2. Amer Sports One, 8d 13h 39m 06s
3. Tyco, 8d 14h 48m 39s
4. Illbruck, 8d 14h 52m 41s
5. News Corp, 8d 14h 54m 54s
6. Djuice, 008d 17h 46m 49s
7. Amer Sports Too, 10d 05h 57m 52s.
8. Team SEB, retired.

LEADERBOARD:
1. illbruck, 21
2. Amer Sports One, 18
3. News Corporation, 16
4. Assa Abloy, 15
5. Tyco, 12; 6. SEB, 11
7. djuice, 10
8. Amer Sports Too, 5.
www.volvooceanrace.com

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 Steve Dashew: I don't understand the fuss about Grant Dalton and the professional racing circuits. He and his cohorts are at the top of the food chain. They are the best, endure incredable physical punishment while performing at levels the rest of us cannot even comprehend, and get well paid - thats a wonderful change from the the earlier model where only the rich could play.

* From Max Rosenberg (Regarding Daltons comments): Indy car racing is won with dollars and talent. Nascar racing is still dollars and more talent. But IROC races are pure talent. The respect goes to racers in equal boats. One design sailors rarely are braggarts.

AMERICA'S CUP
As GBR Challenge continue their preparations for Britain's first return to the America's Cup since 1987, some fear that the syndicate could get into trouble by buying the two Nippon yachts and associated equipment and personnel. The question is: have the GBR Challenge flouted the rules in the cup protocol which forbid teams from buying "plans, specifications and design information" from another team?

The rules are designed to ensure each syndicate entering the Louis Vuitton Cup has its own independent designers and is not the product of shared technology?

GBR general manager David Barnes said that in the case of the GBR Challenge it was clear that the Japanese boats - both of which sailed in the 2000 Louis Vuitton series for the Nippon Challenge - were simply a starting point for the campaign. "We specifically acquired the assets, but none of the design information - you are not allowed to." - NZ Herald, Full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/

IACC INSTRUMENTS
Results matter. That's why in the waters off Auckland during the last battle for the Cup Ockam Instruments were used by the winner Team New Zealand. And, Ockam dominated amongst the vast majority of Challengers still standing in the later rounds: AmericaOne, Stars & Stripes, America True, and Nippon Challenge all relied on Ockam Instruments. Are you looking for superior results? Visit our webpage, www.ockam.com, or email Tom Davis (tom@ockam.com).

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* January 26 & March 30: Safety at Sea and Preparation seminars, Pacific Cup YC, Fort Mason Conference Center, San Francisco CA. Seminar #1 - "Getting the Boat Ready;" Seminar #2 - "Getting the most out of your Human Capital." Certificates of completion will be issued to all attendees. charles@clcunningham.net

* February 20 - 24: Staggered starts for the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race, San Diego YC. - www.sdyc.org

* April 4-7: CISA Advanced Racing Clinic, The California International Sailing Association, at Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach, CA. The four-day program consists of lectures ashore and on-water drills for tactics and sail trim. Classes available are Laser, Laser Radial, Europe, 420, Club FJ and 29er. The deadline for applications is February 1. - www.cisasailing.org

* August 3-9: Sunfish Senior/ Junior/ Midget North American Championships, Barrington Yacht Club, Barrington, Rhode Island. barringtonyc.com/02sunfishNAmain.htm

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
Sailing Central and Zuse, Inc. have formed a new management team to host Block Island Race Week 2002 and all even years upcoming. The event organizers anticipate a broad range of classes including the J29, J105, IMS 40, Farr 40 PHRF and the 12 meter class at Block Island June 17-21, 2002. The Race Management Team includes Peter Regio and Mike Griz Thompson. Mike Tappert has signed on as organizer on the water and land jury and staff. - Guy deBoer, www.birw.net

ORANGE BOWL
With 383 competitors registered, the 2002 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta was the largest Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in US SAILING's history with the event. This is a 10 percent increase over last year's attendance. Light winds predominated throughout the competition, which began Wednesday, December 27th and wrapped up on Sunday, December 30th.

The Orange Bowl was distinctly international with competitors from Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Holland, Peru and Canada. U.S. sailors came from as far away as Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and California to participate. Competitors sailed in Optimists, Lasers, Radials and Club 420s.

Racing on the 420 fleet circle was a spectacle with 55 boats on the starting line. The ability to sail in light and shifty winds seemed more important than local knowledge. Juston Law and Nathan Tupman, both 16 and both from Newport Beach, California, dominated the seven race series with four first place finishes, two second place finishes and one third that was their throw out for a total of 8 points. Competition was tight for silver with Derby Anderson and Meredith Adams, both 17 and from Annapolis, Maryland, grabbing second place with a total of 22 points. Bronze medals went to John Howell, 17, and Jimmy Attridge, 17, both of Annapolis, Maryland, who also had a total of 22 points.

The Radial fleet was also a large one, with 65 boats on the course. Andrew Smith, 16, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida won the gold medal. The silver medal went to Paige Railey, 14, of Clearwater, Florida and Chris Alexander, 15, of Cape Coral, Florida won the Radial bronze medal. - Penny Piva Rego

Complete results: www.coralreefyachtclub.org

MARK SOVEREL
Mark Soverel passed away last Thursday at his home near Stuart, Florida. He was 52. Soveral had been diagnosed with cancer last year. Many will remember Mark as a real "sailor's sailor". He designed the boats, went into the shop and built it, assembled an all-star crew, and won regatta's driving. Grand Prix regattas such as the SORC, MORC Internationals, Admirals Cup, More than a handful of current "pro's" either worked with Mark, sailed with Mark, or were involved with his projects. "Moody Blue", "Locura", "Volition", "Virginia Leigh", "Grey Mist", "Blue Angel", "JB Express" and many, many others.

All of his designs were innovative and pushed the edge of both measurement rules and engineering principals known at the time. The Soverel 33 was about as light and fast a boat that could be built at the time. One particularly nasty Lipton Cup in the S-39 we broke the rudder off 1' below the hull and without blinking, Mark had us sail the last 20 miles upwind in 25 knots steering with the sails in order to try and preserve our series standing over the other new one-tonners.

As a sailor, Mark's skills were world-class level. Pedro Isler once called him "the best downwind driver" he'd ever met. Most of his design work was as a result of his extraordinary "feel" for how a boat moved through water. When the Soverel 33 was conceived, the design consisted of notepad sketches, a few beers, and a bunch of guys sawing up the Soverel 30 plug laying behind the shop. A hole was dug in the ground outside and keels were poured. Some fairing, a mast tube from Kenyon and a bit more beer resulted in the first boat. Far from being one-dimensional, Mark was a successful real estate developer, fisherman, surfer, diver, powerboat designer, and cruiser. His sailing abilities alone could have propelled him to the top echelons of the grand-prix circuit. Mark simply enjoyed sailing and was always an inspiration. He truly left his mark on the sport and the world and his legacy will carry on. - Tom Lihan

18 FOOT SKIFF INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
One glance at Rob Greenhalgh's face as he emerged from the protest room this morning (Sunday) was enough to tell that he had been disqualified from yesterday's Heat, in which he had finished first by a huge distance. However, he and his team mates Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers were able to put their disappointment behind them and come up with the perfect response by winning Heat 2 in convincing style on Sydney Harbour this afternoon. - Peter Danby

STANDINGS AFTER TWO RACES:
1. 'General Electric-US Challenge', Howard Hamlin, USA, 3 points
2. 'Newport Arms Hotel', Matt Felton, Australia, 14.7 points
3. 'Sunday Telegraph', Michael Coxon, Australia 22 points
www.18footers.com.au

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.