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SCUTTLEBUTT No. 990 - January 22, 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.

TERRA NOVA TRADING / YACHTING KEY WEST RACE WEEK
Opening day of Terra Nova Trading/Yachting Key West Race Week Monday was better for swimming than sailing, and Wild Thing took the cue.

While two of the four race courses never got enough wind to race, Chris and Kara Busch's 1D35 from San Diego ran away from the class on a hot and humid day when Chris went for an unscheduled swim.

"We caught a lobster pot at the last leeward mark and I had to jump in the water [to free it]," he said. Helmsman Ben Mitchell said, "It was just like catching an anchor."

Fortunately, Wild Thing wasn't moving very fast-nobody was Monday-and it had a lead of 150 yards, which was reduced by half.

There are 324 boats from 33 states and 14 countries competing on four courses. The 1D35s shared the Division IV course with the Farr 40s and Mumm 30s, alongside the Division I course, which also managed only one race for the big IMS boats, PHRF 1-through-5 and the F-28R trimarans, who never began to stretch their legs. The starts were scheduled for 10 a.m. but those were delayed 1 1/2 hours waiting for wind, and Divisions III and IV threw in the towel at 1:15 p.m.

The Division III washout means that the 78 Melges 24s [sailing their world championship] now need to work in their 10 scheduled races in the last four days. The other 17 classes need only eight races each total.

The good news is that, according to the National Weather Service office in Key West, wind up to 15 knots was supposed to arrive Tuesday, although the air will remain humid. -- Rich Roberts

Monday's winners:

FARR 40-Nerone, Masimo Mezzaroma, Savona, Italy.
1D35-Wild Thing, Chris and Kara Busch, San Diego, Calif.
MUMM 30-Warp Factor VI, Nick Morrell, Hamble, GB.
IMS-Idler (N/M 49), George David, New York, N.Y.
PHRF 1-Decision (Andrews 70), Stephen Murray, New Orleans, La.
PHRF 2-Strabo (J/145), Martin Fisher, Newport, R.I.
PHRF 3-Wairere (Thompson 30), Trice and Chris Bouzaid, Jamestown, R.I.
PHRF 4-Tsunami (Farr 395), Preben Ostberg/John Aras/Bud Dailey, Annapolis, Md.
PHRF 5-Dame Blanche, (Beneteau 1st 40.7), Annapolis, Md.
F-28R TRIMARAN-LIL Loe, Tim McKegney, El Paso, Tex.

Complete results, event information, photos and results: www.Premiere-Racing.com

SAIL FASTER. SAIL SMARTER. WIN MORE RACES!
Whether you're a new racer or an experienced racer looking to move up in the fleet, don't miss the Performance Race Weeks presented by North U and Offshore Sailing School. Held at South Seas Resort on Captiva Island, Florida, the Race Weeks are based on North U's Performance Racing Tactics and Trim curriculum. Each week includes six full days of instructional racing action, morning seminars and evening video review sessions. If you want to win more races next summer, come to Captiva this spring. For information call 888-454-5216 or visit: www.offshore-sailing.com/courses_content/performance_race.htm

ORANGE LAUNCHED: JULES VERNE ATTEMPT
The 110 foot catamaran 'Orange' was officially launched today in Marseille. The former Innovation Explorer (2nd in The Race) has set off for Brest in for final preparations and to wait for the weather window that will set them on their way on the Jules Verne Challenge. The record to beat is 71 days around the globe. They could leave any time after February 8th or 9th.

Nick Moloney, from the Offshore Challenges Team (with Ellen MacArthur) was named as watchleader.

Orange is sponsored by, and named after, French Telecom's mobile subsidiary. Photos of the launch and sea trials by Gilles Martin-Raget at www.pixsail.com. Interview with Nick Moloney at www.offshorechallenges.com

ALL- STAR FINN REGATTA
Some "old" sea dogs found the blustery conditions a bit willing in an all-star reunion of Finn sailors. Many of the world's best sailors were left a little worse for wear after yesterday's all-star Finn-class regatta in Auckland.

In choppy conditions, leading sailors such as Dean Barker and Russell Coutts, along with Olympic medalists Craig Monk, Brian Ledbetter, Jochen Schuemann and current world Finn champion Sebastian Godefroid, could all be excused for feeling totally exhausted after the event.

The 17 competitors were often left gasping for breath as they battled strong winds in four races off Hobson Wharf. For many of them it was the first time they had been in a Finn in a very long time.

New Zealand Finn sailor Clifton Webb organized the regatta, thinking it would be a good idea to make the most of the presence of some of the world's top sailors in Auckland. "It is the first time the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race have been here at the same time so we thought it would be good to organize an event," said Webb. "I think it has gone really well but I hope the sailors are still my friends after what I have put them through!" -- From the ISAF site, see sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=1808

Results:
1. Sebastian Godefroid 16 pts
2. Brian Ledbetter 18 pts
3. Stuart Bannatyne 19 pts
4. Craig Monk 21 pts
5. Richard Clark 22 pts
6. Stig Westergaard 27 pts
7. Anthony Nossiter 28 pts
8. Joe Spooner 29 pts
9. Jochen Schumann 31 pts
10. Dean Barker 35 pts
11. Glenn Bourke 39 pts
12. Peter Lester 39 pts
13. Russell Coutts 44 pts
14. Tony Mutter 44 pts

Event website: www.chosenkiwi.com

COLD WEATHER SAILING
Right now is the time to get ready for cold weather sailing. At the top of your list should be the Camet Neoprene Hiking pants, the power grip padding covers the reinforced battens that have been designed for effective hiking. They are available in the suspender style with adjustable shoulder straps, or the high waist style with an adjustable waist belt, or the Kiwi 3/4 length model. Combine one of these with the Breathable Bubble Top and you are in for a comfortable day on the water. Check all the performance apparel on the Camet International website: www.camet.com

PEROTTI NAMED 'PERFORMANCE MANAGER' FOR STARS & STRIPES
Perrotti Performance Design, LLC has joined forces with Team Dennis Conner in their bid to win the 2003 America's Cup. T.J. Perrotti, an accomplished naval architect and former America's Cup designer, will serve as Performance Manager for Team Dennis Conner and train with the crew on-site as they prepare for racing in Auckland, New Zealand.

This announcement coincides with the debut of the team's newest yacht, the Reichel / Pugh-designed Stars & Stripes USA-66, which was unveiled recently at the New York Yacht Club's headquarters in downtown Manhattan. See www.PerrottiDesign.com

ATLANTIC SAIL EXPO OPENS THURSDAY
The Atlantic Sail Expo opens Thursday with what is being called the largest indoor display of sailboats and equipment on the East Coast.

The show runs through Sunday at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J. More than 200 exhibitors will display boats ranging from 8- to 47 feet.

Also on display will be a piece of the 110-foot catamaran Team Adventure, damaged last August in the North Atlantic during an attempt to set a speed record.

The Team Adventure display is part of Atlantic Sail Expo's centerpiece exhibit on "Sailing into the Future." Larry Rosenfeld, navigator for Team Adventure, will also be on hand to explain the educational efforts behind the vessel's voyage.

The first plans for Operation Sail America will be announced Saturday morning at the show. The event is a "sailing extravaganza" planned for New York Harbor Sept. 14 to commemorate the Sept. 11 tragedies.

For tickets, directions and complete show information, visit www.sailamerica.com or call (800) 817-7245.

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON -- This week to dmccreary@boats.com
(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: Hey, gate or no gate, if we really want to make the America's Cup entertaining for the masses - and ourselves - then we just need to take it back to Fremantle! Remember 1987?

* From Stephen Wells: It seems to me that making the AC a good spectator event is impossible given that the boat that wins the first crossing usually wins the race and the boat that reaches the lay line first almost always wins.

The only way to make it exciting would be to have lots of starts and declare the winner at the first crossing or at the latest the windward mark. Perhaps do it like a base ball game. 9 races per day, you need to win 4 out of 7 days. That's a long way from traditional sailing but it would be a lot more fun to watch and sail in.

* From John Smith: I'm wondering why people are trying to come up with new courses for the AC. I think the current course works well. Although fans could get closer to the action in some scenarios, and perhaps the racing would be more entertaining to watch, the race would lose sailing credibility. Would it also be more exciting to watch on the water if each team had to dive in the water and swim around the boat five times before rounding a mark?  Perhaps they would also have to consume a hot dog each. Teams could taunt other teams like pro-wrestlers too.

Would we also see the NFL start each quarter as a new game? The first team to win 3 quarters wins.

Watching sailing from the water can be kind of like watching a bobsled race. You can stand there all day, but see very little of the action. However, if you watch bobsledding on TV, you see each full run in its entirety. Let's not change the rules, lets get better coverage of the event. 

* From Erik Hauge: Is Trevor Bayliss really a Canadian? He never finishes his sentences with "eh". I don't think he can name three Canadian beers. His knowledge of hockey is weak.

* From Sam Baldwin: This may seem like a far out suggestion, but it's just possible that Oracle has tinted their windows to keep the very bright mid-day sun from shining directly in someone's eyes. I would guess that Oracle's employees find Prada's discomfort to be an unexpected and uproariously funny bonus.

One might also conclude that Prada has gotten upset because camera surveillance is something they wouldn't have any qualms about doing themselves. Sometimes an accusation says more about the accuser than the accused.

* From Georges Bonello DuPuis: I refer to what Ken read wrote in "Butt 989" regarding what rule to use where he mentions the Newport to Bermuda Race. The Royal Malta Yacht Club has been using this system for the past 5 years now in the Middle Sea Race. In fact, we let sailors choose from IRC, IMS, ORC Club and even an Open Class (no rating system). So in fact, a boat could easily compete in any or all of the above. In fact, in November 2001, Christian Ripard on a J-125 "Strait Dealer" claimed line honors, 1st in IMS and 1st in IRC. Had he entered the Open Class (boat for boat and unrated), he would also have won that class.

* From Gareth Evans: I notice that we are only 11 issues away from the Millennium Edition of Scuttlebutt. Are there any plans for a limited edition commemorative issue, or maybe a set of commemorative stamps?  I look forward to 5th February with excitement and anticipation!

Guest Editor: The Curmudgeon will back at the helm for that momentous issue. I, for one, plan on celebrating with an extended five-star vacation in the South Pacific. To that end, please send your credit card information to me at dmccreary@boats.com. I'll be sure to write. Really I will.

SWIFTSURE INTERNATIONAL YACHT RACE
May 25-27 2002 are the dates set for Royal Victoria Yacht Club to host the 59th Annual Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is one of North America's most challenging overnight offshore competitions. The Juan de Fuca Strait's fickle combination of occasional fog, unpredictable winds, strong tides and tricky currents tests seamanship, strategy, stamina, tactics and teamwork.

Swiftsure includes races ranging from 78 to 140 NM. The Swiftsure Steering Committee encourages members of the sailing community to forward suggestions and ideas for future races. Email swiftsure@rvyc.bc.ca, or visit the event site at www.swiftsure.org

MIRABELLA V
Josephy Vitorria, former AVIS car rental CEO, has commissioned the largest superyacht in the world. The yacht is being constructed by UK warship builder Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton. Mirabella V will be the biggest single-masted yacht ever constructed, measuring 75.2 metres (245 feet) and weighing 700 tonnes.

The Mirabella V requires everything from new hi-tech sailcloth, new developments in rigging and captive hydraulic winches to be custom designed and built. Mirabella V will be completed by August 2003, when she will set sail to the Mediterranean and then to the Caribbean for the winter charter season.

Complete story at www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/01/14/mirabella.v/index.html

(Guest editor: Make that SAILING superyacht, there are no less than 25 motoryachts longer than 245 feet, see powerandmotoryacht.about.com/library/weekly/aa080701b.htm)

CORRECTION:
In Scuttlebutt #988 we listed the following:

* July 12-14: US Youth Multihull Championship for the Hoyt/ Jolley Trophy, Port Clinton YC, Ohio. Twenty new Mystere 4.3 catamarans. Winners will become US Sailing Team Members. www.ussailing.org/multihull/youth.htm

US Sailing's Lee Parks informs us that winners will become members of the US YOUTH SAILING TEAM.

THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTES
I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it. - Garrison Keillor