Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT No. 993 - January 25, 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.

Crunch time, and it started getting ugly at Terra Nova Trading/Yachting Key West Race Week Thursday.

In the IMS big-boat class, Idler, George David's Nelson/Marek 49 from New York, protested Isam Kabbani's C/M 60, Rima, but-alas-David did not slay Goliath. So now the Newport, R.I. entry has a small but seemingly insurmountable two-point lead going into the eighth and last race Friday.

In the Farr 40 fracas, John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti protested George Andreadis' Atalanti XI and won but the former Athens banker emerged with an overall lead one point better (4) than he held a day earlier-and Atalanti XI still hasn't had a finish better than third.

Two crews earned the luxury of becoming tourists on the final day: Chris and Kara Busch's 1D35, Wild Thing, from San Diego and Richard Perini's Mumm 30, Foreign Affair, from Sydney, Australia. Each clinched its one-design class with a race to spare Thursday and can afford to send Friday's final race to the discard bin and kick back.

Wild Thing won the Yachting Magazine boat of the day award today.

Foreign Affairs' crew was leaning toward sailing a meaningless race today. "It's a bit rude not to," boat captain Darren Jones said. "We'll just take a carton of beer and a stereo and have a good time." -- Rich Roberts

See for complete results, reports and photos.

The penultimate day of the 2001 Melges 24 World Championship brought an interesting mix of weather and sea conditions and some very exciting racing. Although the race committee had hope to complete 3 more races the dying, shifting breeze resulted in a wise decision to stop at two.

Overnight leader Flavio Favini (helming for Franco Rossini) consolidated his lead in race 7 with another impressive win but race 8 saw him cross the line 7th with a protest hanging over him following an incident with Brian Porter on the final run. Harry Melges meanwhile put in another solid day to take a 2nd and 4th keeping him safely in second place overall.

As we go to press the result of the protest between Porter and Favini, which will have a significant effect on the standings is still awaited. What is clear is that regardless of the result of that protest the championship is still very much open and we can expect some great sailing again tomorrow and Favini and Melges fight it out for the Melges 24 World Title. -- Fiona Brown

See and

The Swedish Match Tour's Australia Cup has been cancelled by event organizer the Royal Perth Yacht Club after unsuccessful attempts to secure sponsors in the current economic climate in Australia. Additionally, the Swedish Match Tour announces the Congressional Cup, April 7-13, in Long Beach, CA, has joined the world's leading professional sailing tour.

The Australia Cup, originally scheduled for March 12-17, was to have been the fourth event of Swedish Match Tour 2001-02. As a result, the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, March 19-24, is now the fourth event on the schedule, with the Congressional Cup following two weeks later.

The Congressional Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious match racing events in the world and is currently one of only two Grade 1 match race regattas in the United States. Organized by the Long Beach Yacht Club, the Congressional Cup is managed by club member volunteers.

Previous winners of the Congressional Cup include Dennis Conner, Bill Ficker, Ted Turner, Terry Hutchinson, Chris Law, Peter Gilmour, Gavin Brady, Peter Holmberg, Chris Dickson and Dean Barker. The Congressional Cup will be the fifth event of Swedish Match Tour 2001-02.

Tommy Mercer joins West Marine Rigging as Technical Sales Specialist and Manager of OEM Sales. Tommy comes to West Marine with an impressive rigging and sailing background and has been hired to head up the company's growing OEM and Custom Projects. He has worked in the rigging industry for over 25 years and has worked for an array of companies. Most recently, Tommy has been President of his own company, Millennium Rigging. Tommy has extensive experience rigging all types and sizes of boats from Dinghies to Maxi boats. To learn more about West Marine Rigging visit,

If you need clothing for sailing offshore, around the buoys, or just to wear around town, we have what you need at We have every style, every size and every color from names you know like Gill, Henri Lloyd, Jeantex and Sailing Angles. Order online or give us a call at 1-877-379-2248. We'll send you what you need the same day you place your order, and pay the freight both ways if you need an exchange.

It's back into the freezing Southern Ocean for the crews when they start the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, 6,700 nautical miles from Auckland, New Zealand, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday January 27th, 13h00 local time.

This is the leg of the race that takes the fleet around Cape Horn, a very symbolic landmark for seafarers, and back up into the South Atlantic, and it is the last of the long ocean passages.

Wind is what the Volvo Ocean racers want, and plenty of it! They will search for the depressions and strong winds of the roaring forties and the screaming fifties. The most direct route would take the fleet to 65 degrees south, increasing the risk of icebergs and very cold weather significantly. Too far south and they run the real risk of being to the south of the depressions and finding strong headwinds.

The sailing will be fast, with mainly following winds, until Cape Horn, where the seas and the wind will funnel between Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic peninsular. The weather can feature some of the roughest conditions in the world before the fleet turns hard left and enters the South Atlantic.

Once round Cape Horn and heading north, the winds become lighter and more variable. "You go from wild and cold to possibly very humid, hot and thundery" explains ASSA ABLOY skipper Neal McDonald. "You have to cater for all those conditions with sail selection, food, clothing. It's the leg that takes the most organization, and, statistically, it is the leg that causes the most carnage" he added cheerfully.

The following crew changes were announced today for leg four:

Amer Sports One:
Off - Dee Smith (USA)
On - Paul Cayard (USA)

Amer Sports Two:
Off - Genevieve White (AUS), Sharon Ferris (NZ), Melissa Purdy (USA)
On - Miranda Merron (UK), Emma Richards (UK), Carolijn Brouwer (NED)

On - Roberto Bermudez de Castro (SPAIN), Joshua Alexander (NZ)
Off - Chris Larson (USA), Jason Carrington (UK)

Djuice Dragons
Off - Erle Williams (NZ), David Blanchfield (AUS), Steve Gruver (USA), Espen Guttormsen (NOR)
On - Thomas Coville (FRA), Peter Merrington (AUS), Grant Wharington (AUS)

Team News Corp
Off - Peter Isler (USA), Jon Gunderson (NZ)
On - Nick White (NZ), Nigel King (UK)

Team SEB
On- David Rolfe (NZ), Pascal Bidegorry (FRA), Anthony Merrington (AUS)
Off - Matthew Humphries (UK), Tony Rey (USA), Sean Clarkson (NZ)

On - Damion Foxall (IRE)
Off - Richard Dodson (NZ)

illbruck - No Changes

Event site:

Is the Volvo Ocean Race in danger of becoming too elitist? What would happen if the present format continued for the next event in 2005-6? These are issues that the Volvo Ocean Race management have been looking into in great depth. They are currently conducting a major survey which will direct the future of their event and, if the rumours are correct, the next race will look significantly different.

Today the larger campaigns have budgets in excess of $20 million - twice what they were eight years ago. And it is certain that if the race maintains its present format it will not become any cheaper... it is hard to see how the race would be a sustainable route in the future in its present format. Today's budgets are on the verge of exceeding the amounts sponsors are prepared to foot for an event such as the Volvo Ocean Race.

If budgets go up again then the Volvo Ocean Race is likely to become an offshore version of the America's Cup, where campaigns cannot deliver enough return to make commercial sponsorship viable and boats are backed solely, or at least partially, by wealthy individuals.

Excerpted from James' Boyd's editorial on

Sunday 1/27/02 Volvo Ocean Race -- Show #4 (Leg 3) 3:30pm ESPN2
Monday 2/4/02 Volvo Ocean Race -- Show #4 (Leg 3) (re-air) 12:00pm ESPN2
Saturday 3/23/02 Volvo Ocean Race -- Show #5 (Leg 4) 4:30pm ESPN2
Friday 4/5/02 Volvo Ocean Race -- Show #5 (Leg 4) (re-air) 12:00pm ESPN2

(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 Ralph Taylor: I applaud Decision's lending their boat to the Titan XI team after the collision which disabled Titan [at Key West Race Week]. No looking for excuses, no weaseling, just acknowledgement of responsibility and attempt to ameliorate the problem. Such sportsmanship needs to be recognized.

* From Chris Johannessen: Regarding Peter Godfrey's past problem at an Indian Harbor YC run regatta where he had a competitor create enough controversy with a protest about inequities in scoring different divisions that started at different times as though they were one - I think he's missing the point.

The beauty of using multiple rating rules is that we can have a variety of boats of different types racing TOGETHER. Starting together in a larger group, scoring together. Each boat that has a rating for a handicap rule supported by the regatta organizers could score under that rule. Maybe this would result in all boats scoring PHRF and some boats scoring Americap and IMS, with three sets of winners lists. Great!

One real problem that Peter's issue does illustrate is how to equitably score boats of widely differing potential speeds. Whether boats are started together in one start or started at 5 or 10 minute intervals, the fleet will certainly be spread apart with the faster boats sailing in differing conditions from the slower boats. I only see three solutions to this and none are perfect:

1) Limit entries to a narrow speed or rating range; 2) Don't award "overall" trophies; 3) Just race level or one design! (sorry, couldn't resist).

Sorry folks, the nature of handicap racing is that boats of different speeds WILL be sailing in different conditions, and in any given race one boat may find more advantageous conditions as a result (big boats finish, then the wind dies, etc).

* From Dierk Polzin (edited to our 250 word maximum): Concerning the heated discussion and excellent report by Dan Winters on the current state of College Sailing in the US. Which can be accessed at

1. ICSA Equity is not just a good thing.. It is a RIGHT!! The current system is abhorrent and has been discussed for years with no results.

2. I think an open discussion and a little embarrassing press related to this is a good thing to focus the discussions. Because it really has not been much of an issue with ICSA.

I think current college racers from SEISA, NWISA and the others are more then a little bit intimidated about speaking out for more equity.

Most current sailors don't remember that star sailors used to pick schools based first on academics.

In fact probably more US Olympic medals have been won by sailors who had minimal coach hand-holding. McKee, Bourdow, Benjamin, all came from programs without coaches.

3. I think it is high time ICSA had a President from outside of NEISA and MAISA. In the 60 years of college sailing it has never occurred. Someone who will stand up for the little districts against the Eastern coaches.

4. ICSA should appoint an Equity Committee at the Winter Meeting representing students and alumni from across the country. A committee that publishes twice a year reports of what they are doing and thinking.

Tracy Edwards, once the first lady of British sailing, has seen her career eclipsed in recent years by Ellen MacArthur, who has amassed a string of successes that is unlikely to be bettered. But Edwards has not given up and is shortly hoping to announce a significant new round-the-world racing project, almost certainly for an all-female crew, who will sail the huge and dangerous Gilles-Ollier-designed 110ft maxi-cat, Club Med.

The intriguing aspect of her plans is that, if they come off, Edwards could find herself going head-to-head against MacArthur's attempt on the 71-day non-stop round-the-world record, which she announced at the London Boat Show and which will be sailed in an identical sister ship of Club Med.

Both women are thought to be planning circumnavigations starting about this time next year. While MacArthur will skipper a mixed crew, Edwards will not sail on her boat herself but will manage the project from onshore.

From Ed Gorman's article in The Times:,,4-2002037187,00.html

"Serious fun"has long been the motto for the Heineken Regatta, but the Caribbean sailing event also has a serious commitment to maritime history. With the financial support of Scotiabank, the Tallships will once more bring that history to life by their majestic presence at the Regatta in March 2002.

Whether seen from the shore or on the water, the Tallships will surely conjure up thoughts of seafaring in days gone by. The Scotiabank Tallship Race & Parade will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2002. The parade will start in Marigot followed by the race to Great Bay, Phillipsburg. See

* International Fireball Race Week and International Fireball World Championships, March 10 - 14 and March 16 - 22, Davis Island Yacht Club, Tampa FL. See or contact the organizer:

* ISAF World Sailing Games, June 29 - July 10, Marseille France. The events and equipment are:

Single-handed Dinghy Male - Laser
Single-handed Dinghy Female - Laser Radial
Double-handed Dinghy Male - 470
Double-handed Dinghy Female - 470
Multihull Male or Mixed - Hobie Cat 16
Multihull Female - Hobie Cat 16
Keelboat Male - J80
Keelboat Female - J22
Sailboard Male - Bic Techno Formula
Sailboard Female - Bic Techno Formula

The entry deadline is April 1, see

When Ken Morrison addressed the skippers at KWRW, he was wearing a hat with a unique burgee not seen before in Key West. Blue and white cross with a big red @ symbol. It's the official hat of the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club. You can have one too... see

Tom Leweck will be back from Key West and at Scuttlebutt's helm for the next issue on Monday. Please send your letters to him at -- David McCreary

I never met a woman I didn't like. -- Groucho Marx