Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT No. 998 - February 1, 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.

AMERICA'S CUP In an extremely disappointing scenario Germany may well be poised to withdraw from Cup. Michael Illbruck, the German businessman who is financing the Illbruck Challenge for the 2003 America's Cup, has revealed that the team is in danger and now, he may pull the plug on Auckland challenge.

When Illbruck launched the syndicate in January 2001, he said that his Company paid 90% of the projected budget. Now, with the escalating costs of running a campaign, he said the firm illbruck has reached their borders and it's clear that the commitment is more expensive than planned.

Illbruck now wants a commercial backer or group of companies to come in and help him pick up the rest of the campaign. "We have until the end of April to find fitting partners," he said. If not, even though the new boat is being built in Bremen (the hull is already finished), the German challenge will not coming to Auckland.

The strong wind from the northwest has finally set in, accelerating the fleet immediately. Amer Sports One was the first boat to gybe onto port, and then started shooting off to the southeast. Within six hours they made up 10 miles on the leader of the previous sked, News Corp.

Shortly later djuice gybed, followed by illbruck, then SEB and Assa Abloy. djuice decided two hours after their first gybe to go back to their southerly course to get faster towards the approaching front of the low pressure system.

Amer Sports One still races more with the cold front than against the other yachts in the Volvo Ocean Race. This front lies like an impenetrable wall in front of the main group. Amer Sports One races as hard as they can to keep it like this for the longest possible time.

Amer Sports One is on latitude 50 nautical miles to the north of the two southernmost boats, News Corp and Tyco and sailing in around 25 knots of wind. Her boat speed gains of the last sked are not so noticeable now, with the rest of the fleet keeping up with her on pace. illbruck and Amer Sports One both hit 20 knots [boat speed] for a short while earlier, but the wind is generally down from the initial big breeze that came through.

Positions on January 31 at 0358 GMT: 1. Amer Sports One, 5541 miles to finish; 2.News Corp, 9 miles behind leader; 3. illbruck, 14 mbl; 4. Assa Abloy, 19 mbl; 5. Team Tyco, 20 mbl; 6. Team SEB, 21 mbl; 7. djuice, 26; 8. Amer Sports Too, 95 mbl. -

Whatever it is you may race, Prams off the beach, a racing catamaran, a PHRF 'lead mine' or a Maxi Sleds offshore, Ullman Sails have proven time and again they can accelerate you into the winner's circle. Check out our website and find out what many already know -- Ullman Sails can help you dive into the silver:

The Government might put even more money into New Zealand's America's Cup defence and associated promotions than the $2.9 million announced yesterday and the $5.6 million in May 2000. Prime Minister Helen Clark and America's Cup Minister Trevor Mallard gave details of the latest taxpayer funding for the event at the Team New Zealand base in Auckland.

Asked if further state money was possible, Mr Mallard said: "We might, depending on how the budget goes, be able to (consider) a little bit more next financial year." Though some of these events would not happen till 2003 they were things that required considering now, he said.

The $2.9 million announced yesterday will not go to Team New Zealand but to a dozen or more promotional activities aimed at New Zealand trade and tourism cashing in on the cup defence.

* The promotional activities include about $250,000 for two business facilitators to chase business opportunities from the event, $150,000 to bring 40 tourism and trade journalists to New Zealand next month to whet the appetites of people in their home countries, and $500,000 for seminars and presentations in the United States and Europe promoting the cup and New Zealand investment, trade, tourism, food and beverages.

Others include funding for official welcomes for competing syndicates, "welcome packs" outlining investment opportunities for rich "superyacht" owners who come for the event, and supplements in overseas marine industry magazines promoting the New Zealand yachting industry. Eleven activities were announced yesterday with more to follow later in the year. - Daid McLoughlin, The Dominion, NZ.

Full story:

(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 Brian Raney: While it is true that the Miami OCR is currently the only ISAF Grade 1 Olympic classes event held in the USA, it is not "the only international Olympic classes ranking event held in American waters." Other graded events are also held here. Historically, only a handful of events have been graded. A contributing factor to this has been the bureaucracy (read "paperwork").

For 2002, the Laser class and US Sailing have submitted the necessary forms to have all of our Laser championships graded by ISAF. Hopefully some additional events will make Grade 1 in the near future.

* From Paul Swanson: Being that the Volvo Ocean Race, may be getting less affordable or appealing, Has anyone thought about a Volvo Ocean 60 world Championships. Fremantle would be a great venue for this for a few reasons:

1: Fremantle has still got facilities from the Americas Cup.
2: Very good Sailing conditions (as seen in the AC in 1987)
3: Deep water close in to make racing available visible to the public.

Something similar to the Americas Cup would make it very interesting, and throwing in a few back to back, 20 mile fleet races would make it slightly dramatic in 25 knots of wind, with 2m seas. It is a possibility, and thought about by the local authorities.

The lawyer for Sir Peter Blake's killer claims Ricardo Colares Tavares was high on heroin and marijuana when he sneaked aboard Seamaster in the Amazon River and shot the explorer twice in the back. Nielsen Amaral said his client came from a very poor family, was abandoned by his father who used to beat both him and his mother, and was addicted to drugs at the age of 8 after he fell in with a bad crowd. Mr Nielsen told the Herald in Macapa that Colares was sorry for what he had done and was gutted when he found out he had killed Jacques Cousteau's successor, because as a child Tavares had loved the French explorer.

Mr Nielsen appears to be angling to avoid his client being jailed. He said that in Brazil those who could prove neurological disturbance due to drug abuse could get a sentence of treatment at a medical center rather than prison.

But proving his theory may be hard work. Police in Macapa did not do the tests necessary to show that Colares had drugs in his system when he and his gang of water rats robbed Sir Peter's boat on December 5, killing the captain, knocking another crew member unconscious, almost fatally shooting a third and terrorizing and robbing the rest.

But in court on Monday a woman who said she was Colares' cousin and sister of another robber, Jose Irandir Colares Cardoso, known as Junior, said her cousin and brother both came from middle- to upper-class families. The Herald has been unable to speak to Colares' mother but one source who has spoken to his aunt said she had suffered a breakdown after her son's arrest for Sir Peter's killing and had gone for treatment at a centre in Sao Paulo. A poor family would not have been able to afford the air ticket or the treatment. - Catherine Masters, NZ Herald.

Full story:

* "The performances of the boats seem equal except for Amer Sports One. They seem to have a slight advantage in the light air reaching and running. I think Dalts [Grant Dalton] and his crew are finally starting to find the right gears for the Frers boat. I still truly believe, especially on these longer legs, that speed really doesn't matter too much. It is where you place the boat compared to the fleet and position yourself for the weather systems. So, I do not think any boat in this fleet has the excuse to lose!" - John Kostecki, illbruck.

* "Another fine example of Jamie (Gale's) newfound dedication and commitment occurred this morning. On discovery of some weed fouling our strut drive Jamie declared emphatically "This is bull****, we are sailing around with weed on, I'm going in. Where are the flippers?" While Ray scrambled for the flippers and mask someone casually mentioned the fact that we were approaching the latitude of Stewart Island and the water might be a bit chilly. "No problem," replied Jamie, "As a nipper back in Auckland, I used to dive for scallops in water a lot brassier than this, in winter". Not even a nearby basking seal would put him off as he leapt in, removed the offending weed and was back on board before anyone could even offer him a hand. As he went below to dry off, his parting comment to Crusty was, "Maybe you could go a little slower than 4 knots before sending me in next time?" Stu Bannatyne, illbruck.

* Inside the boat is stacked to the roof in the stern. Every single food bag is carefully positioned to weather of the rudder, day 26 all the way in the back. Day 6 is closest to the stern watertight hatch and so is crew gear, spare parts, tools, storm sail, light air sail and medical kits. The only thing left up forward is the safety gear, harnesses, survival suits and the oilskins of the guys who are off watch. The standby watch has already started to sleep in their oilskins, as they need to be on deck quickly when things are happening." - Knut Frostad, djuice.

* "Life as we know it will be extremely different for the next 10 days." - Mark Rudiger, Assa Abloy.

* "Amer Sports One has taken a flyer north, which we believe won't work - time will tell." - Ross Field, News Corp.

Each year, the magazine Latitude 38 selects Sailors of the Year for the San Francisco Bay area. They recently gave the honor to Philippe Kahn for two huge wins - winning the US Admiral's Cup Trials in his Farr 40 and then taking line honors in the Transpac Race while skippering his R/P 75 to Division I victory. Kahn is the first amateur sailor to earn this honor, following Jeff Madrigali, Paul Cayard, Mark Rudiger, Dee Smith and John Kostecki.

Melissa Purdy was selected as the Women Sailor of the Year. The former Brown University All-American was name for her Yngling Olympic campaign and Volvo Ocean Race accomplishments.

Dirty Dog Eyewear continues its commitment and dedication to sailors as a supplier to Tera Nova Trading Key West Race Week. The chosen eye protection worn by the crews of Chessie Racing (Farr OD 52) and Javelin (Farr IMS 49) as well as many other competitors in Key West. Conceived in New Zealand, and worn by sailors in both the Volvo and IACC classes, it is no surprise that sailors choose Dirty Dog for their unique style, superior performance, and extremely affordable price. For our free 2002 catalogue, check us at

February 1, 2002 - American superyacht owner Larry Ellison will have to pay about $160,000 to restore the electricity supply to a Hauraki Gulf island. The crew of his 75m Katana, berthed in Auckland, has acknowledged that the vessel's anchor snagged the undersea power cable from the mainland to Motutapu Island on January 5.

Conservation Department Auckland spokesman Warwick Murray said investigations just completed showed that the Katana's big anchor uprooted the cable from its trench. The cost of repairs - estimated at $140,000 to $160,000 - would be discussed with the Katana's skipper, Andre Preens. Mr Murray said the skipper had been helpful and cooperative despite his surprise over the incident with the cable.

It happened at the end of a Christmas cruise in the Bay of Islands and Hauraki Gulf for Mr Ellison, who heads Oracle Corporation and is ranked by Forbes Magazine as the fourth-richest American. - Wayne Thompson, NZ Herald.

Full story:

MIAMI, FLA. (January 31, 2002) Coral Reef YC -- Biscayne Bay was awash today in a sea of sails as competitors from 26 countries worked the 13-15 knots of wind to improve their positions in the nine Olympic and two Paralympic classes competing here at the Rolex Miami OCR.

Steve Hunt (Hampton, Va.) and Michael Miller (Charleston, S.C.), in the 470 Men's event, couldn't have performed better: they lead their class standings with a perfect score built on three first-place finishes yesterday and three today. The 49er class has completed eight races, while the Sonar, Tornado and Yngling classes have completed seven. The remaining classes -- Europe, Finn, 470, Laser, Mistral, Star and 2.4 Metre -- have sailed six races. All classes now figure a drop race into the overall scores.

STANDINGS: Europe (25 boats)
1. Nik Meylandeg, DEN, 7
2. Meg Gaillard, USA, 9
3. Maria Coleman, IRL, 14

Finn (29 boats)
1. Andrew Simpson, GBR, 8
2. Christopher Cook, CAN, 12
3. Mike Milner, CAN, 15

49er (16 boats)
1. Andy Mack/ Adam Lowry, USA, 11
2. David Fagen/ Bora Gulari, USA, 18
3. Dalton Bergan/ Zack Maxim, USA, 21

470 Men (14 boats)
1. Steve Hunt/ Michael Miller, USA, 5
2. Mark Ivey/ Ward Cromwell, USA 11
3. Stuart McNay/ Ross Anderson, USA, 15

470 Women (7 boats)
1. Courtenay Dey/ Linda Wennerstrom, USA, 19
2. Amanda Clark/ Karen Renzulli, USA, 32
3. Elizabeth Kratzig/ Louise Gleason, USA ; 33

Laser (64 boats)
1. Paul Goodison, GBR, 10
2. Brett Davis, USA; 24
3. Andrew Campbell, USA, 24

Mistral Men (12 boats)
1. David Mier y Teren, MEX, ;7
2. Peter Wells, USA; 11
3. Zachary Plavsic, CAN, 22

Mistral Women (9 boats)
1. Sigrid Rondelez, BEL, 15
2. Dominique Vallee, CAN, 39
3. Kimberly Birkenfeld, USA, 45

Star (49 boats)
1. Marc Pickel/ David Giles, GER, 12
2. Peter Bromby/ Martin Siese, BER, ;15
3. Ross MacDonald/ George Iverson, CAN, 20

Tornado (18 boats)
1. Lars Guck/ Jonathan Farrar, USA, 8
2. Robbie Daniel/ Eric Jacobsen, USA, 13
3. Mitch Booth/ Herb Derksen, NED; 18

Yngling (18 boats)
1. Jody Swanson/ Cory Sertl/ Pease Glaser, USA, 11
2. Carol Cronin/ Liz Filter/ Kate Fears, USA, 12
3. Betsy Alison/ Nancy Haberland/ Joan Touchette, USA, 24

2.4 Metre (15 boats)
1. Tom Brown, USA, 6
2. Hans Meyer, USA, 8
3. Thiery Schmitter, NED, 18

Sonar (6 boats)
1. Paul Callahan/ Keith Burhans/ Mike Hagmaier, 9.

Complete results:

The '84 Olympics in LA came and left without a trace. The '96 Olympics in Savannah also appeared and disappeared without leaving an Olympic legacy behind. The US Sailing Center in Miami will be the building and the site that is most closely associated with Olympic Sailing.

Thousands of sailors from almost every sailing nation have launched from the existing site and competed on Biscayne Bay. Now the million-dollar building that will be the new US Sailing Center is under construction.

When the paint dries this June, the US Sailing Center will need financial support to keep the dream alive. Ask Ding Schoonmaker, Herman Whiton, Paul Henderson, Fred Hagedorn and others how you can help. Or send an email to to get onboard. - Jack Dreyfuss

When an agnostic dies, does he go to the "great perhaps?"