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SCUTTLEBUTT 1221 - December 17, 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.

THE LATEST MONKEY WRENCH
Team New Zealand yesterday invoked America's Cup rules in an attempt to
stop the leading challengers using boats that are said to have copied the
black boats' hidden hull design. The off-the-water move came immediately
after Swiss challenger Alinghi, skippered by New Zealander Russell Coutts,
won a direct passage to the Louis Vuitton challengers' final. If Team New
Zealand's claim succeeds it will prevent Alinghi or its nearest rival,
Oracle BMW Racing, from bringing out the boats they have been holding in
reserve.

The hull adaptation, which takes the form of a partial false hull, or outer
skin, is said to be one of the most creative circumventions of the design
rules seen in 151 years of the America's Cup. The radical second skin
effectively lengthens the hull so the boats can sail faster. The design has
been hidden under the skirt of at least one of Team New Zealand's new
boats. But the innovation has been copied by Alinghi and Oracle, Britain's
Daily Telegraph reported yesterday.

In response, Team New Zealand have written to the challengers' management,
warning that the rules for the challenger series are in conflict with the
America's Cup Protocol and pointing out the protocol has precedence. Under
the protocol, they note, it is the "yacht" that wins the semifinals and
progresses to the challenger finals that can win the right to sail for the cup.

* The claim drew a strong response from challenger series regatta
director Dyer Jones, who said Team New Zealand were trying to "stick it to
the competitors". "But that's part of the game they play," he said.

In a note to the challengers, Jones explained why he thought Team New
Zealand's interpretation of the rules was wrong. Jones said that boat
substitution between the semifinals and finals was "absolutely" allowed. He
had no idea what was going to happen with the Team New Zealand letter, but
he considered it was a "stupid" letter for them to have sent. - n.z.p.a.,
The Daily News, as posted on the Stuff NZ website, full story:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dailynews/0,2106,2140851a6649,00.html

THE APPENDAGE
* Call it a second-skin, a prosthetic underbody extension or even an
outer shell but the latest design innovation sported by Team New Zealand,
and now replicated by the Swiss Alinghi and Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW
team, is one of the most creative circumventions of the design rules in 151
years of America's Cup racing. "We don't really want to talk about our
boats. We've got to keep pretty tight on this," says Tom Schnackenberg,
boss and design leader for the America's Cup defenders, who had fervently
hoped to keep the ruse secret until the official unveiling ceremony on 7
January. - Tim Jeffery, yachting World website, full story:
http://www.yachting-world.com/auto/newsdesk/20021116061729americascup.html

* The design rule requires the hulls of the America's Cup yachts to be
fair, without hollows, creases or bumps that might increase speed. However,
two moveable appendages are allowed to be hung from the boat. One, the
rudder, is use for steering, while the other, a winged lead bulb keel with
a moving trim tab like an aircraft wing flap, is used for stability and
lateral resistance.

The Team New Zealand designers have realised that the rule does allow
further appendages as long as they do not move. After receiving a
confidential interpretation from the rules' technical director Ken McAlpine
in October 2001, Team New Zealand built their second new boat with a false
underbody that is attached to the hull by an appendage. This effectively
increases the sailing length of the boat so that it is faster. -
CNN.com/inside sailing website, full story:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/12/16/lvcup.tnz.design/index.html

LEARNING CURVE
America's Cup challenger Alinghi has been testing the so-called 'false
hull' appendage that is believed to one of Team New Zealand's secret
weapons. Although the appendage has only been used on the Swiss team's
second boat so far, Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts said today it could
easily be transferred to SUI-64, the boat that has dominated racing in the
challengers' series.

The concept of using an appendage to effectively lengthen a boat's hull,
and thereby increase its potential speed without violating the rules
governing hulls, is believed to be one of Team New Zealand's design
innovations for this America's Cup regatta.

Team New Zealand, which has kept its boats' hulls completely draped while
being towed in and out of the Viaduct Harbour, yesterday sent a letter to
organisers of the challengers' regatta saying it believed that Cup rules
would not permit challengers to switch boats between the semifinals and
final races.

There is speculation that the letter from the America's Cup defenders was
an attempt to slow development of a false hull system by other teams. It is
thought that Oracle BMW has, like Alinghi, been testing the 'false hull'
principle. Coutts said today that Alinghi's version of the concept could
easily be applied to the boat it has used thus far. That would effectively
circumvent Team New Zealand's objections over the switching of boats. - NZ
Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/acstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3047544&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup&thesecondsubsection=challengers

SOME BACKGROUND
Speaking at a press conference of Tuesday morning Alinghi helmsman Russell
Coutts said they were aware of the (appendage) innovation back in September
2000 but did not believe it would be deemed legal by the measurers. "It's
something we are well aware of. I think it was an idea that was first
mooted during the last Cup. Certainly back in September our design team
were on to this. "But we felt, probably unwisely, that the measurers
wouldn't allow it."

The Alinghi crew are on to it now though, and with just three weeks till
the final the pressure is on. "It has been a bit of a rush for us to design
it and to get it through the testing programme. But we're out there testing
it now and I think there's something in it," said Coutts. "It's all about
getting volume into the extremities of the boat, via the appendages. It's a
development class not a one-design class and I think Ken McAlpine and the
other measurers are trying to encourage innovation and obviously deemed
this to be a positive innovation." - Fiona McIlroy, nzoom website, full
story:
http://americascup.nzoom.com/americascup_detail/0,2523,156285-296-297,00.html

HEADING FOR KEY WEST
As you dream of sailing on the nice clear waters out of Key West, you can't
forget to take your Camet padded Sailing shorts. They are perfect for the
nice warm weather, they are fast drying, and the pads are a must for those
long hours on the rail. As you check out the Camet web page to order your
shorts, add one of the Mylar bags to carry the rest of your gear down to
the boat. http://www.camet.com

PRADA WINS BATTLE - LOSES THE WAR
The Italians needed to sail two races on Tuesday, the last day allocated to
the semifinal series, to tie the scoreline and force a sail-off on
Wednesday. So with just one farcical race completed, which Prada won by 17
minutes and 46 seconds, taking the scoreline to 3-2, OneWorld as the
leading yacht automatically go through to the repechage series and Prada
are out.

The two syndicates headed out to the racecourse early on Tuesday morning to
allow for two races. The temperamental wind out on the Hauraki Gulf,
however, had other ideas and fluctuated from one to six knots throughout
the day. Principal race officer Peter Reggio kept his officials and the
crews on the racecourse right till the 4pm deadline in the hope of getting
a race underway, which they did firing the warning gun right on the dot of
deadline.

But it was a ridiculous and pointless race with the wind shifting almost
360 degrees throughout, and with OneWorld unlikely to agree to alter the
rules and sail another race, Prada had lost the series before even crossing
the startline. Fiona McIlroy, nzoom website, full story:
http://americascup.nzoom.com/americascup_detail/0,2523,156399-296-297,00.html


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 Greg Siewert: Well, well, well. It seems that the long-speculated
"magic" up the Kiwi's sleeve may now becoming revealed to the America's Cup
audience. Though it has yet to be proven, the fixed hull appendage appears
to be a brilliant tack to the solution of designing a faster boat than the
millions of design dollars the challengers have footed.

Having the privilege of spending time in NZ, both before the cup (BC) and
just recently, I have a mixture of awe and envy to how designers and
yachties approach the sport of sailing. It is as if one were a kid again,
exploring different ideas, wild as it they may seem. There's sailboat bows
sticking out of nearly every available shed, like the way stock cars appear
down here in the Carolinas. Just look at what the Kiwi's have brought to
the mainstream of boat design, from asymmetric kites and carbon rigs, to
easily driven and fast fractional-rig cruisers.

After the total domination of NZ 60 last time, naval architects all over
the world must be thinking "Awww, why didn't I think of that?" But, the two
important questions I have are; first, how did this "secret" get out to the
two other Kiwi syndicates (Alighni, and Oracle), and two, why haven't more
American designers come with breakthrough designs? Could it be our press
for more one-design and equitable PHRF racing, and cruisers designed by
marketing departments, stifle the creative development?

* From Nelson Weiderman: Dennis Conner was obviously wrong about there
being too many rules for the Americas Cup. If a second skin qualifies as an
appendage under the rules, then we still have too few rules and probably
always will with so many dollars chasing after the loopholes. But unlike
the fin keel, the second skin will have no social redeeming value for yacht
design and this ruse will go down as yet another tawdry footnote in the
history of the AC.

* From Grant Braly: Olin Stephens could not be more correct in his
statements regarding intellectual property and the America's Cup. The
problems are exacerbated by the fact the rules we have were written more
because of the advantage it would give the Defender and Challenger of
Record (both of whom expected to continue their already existing design
programs) than out of a desire to preserve and protect the integrity of the
event. This is perhaps no more devious than in past America's Cups, but it
may be the first time such actions were cloaked under the veil of
integrity. Team New Zealand did not win the Cup in 1995 by hiring a bunch
of people with no knowledge of successful America's Cup designs. They in
fact hired Doug Peterson, fresh off of his 1992 victory. Doug then went to
work for the other author of the protocol, Prada.

Making these problems even worse is the fact that the rules were
deliberately written to be vague and to require interpretation. It is often
difficult for teams to tell what the rules are. Add to this the fact that
the Arbitration Panel was basically on strike for months. Activities that
were common practice as little as three years ago are now deemed illegal,
in some cases where the rules are the same but the interpretation is new.
That's crazy.

Hopefully one of the five remaining teams (including TNZ) will win this
thing and take a long, hard look at the protocol.

* From Gregory Scott: Olin Stephen's words are very well said. I am
familiar with both the architecture and yacht design applied principle of
who owns the design. I have also done work in the technology world. The
chasm that exists has only just come clear to me in reading Mr. Stephen's
words.

The obvious solution to this protracted debate would to have been, Laurie
Davidson stepping forward long ago and making the argument offered by both
Bruce Kirby and Olin Stephens. As Mr. Davidson is an employee of two of the
more influential software / intellectual property players, I'm sure that
allowing Mr. Davidson to make those assertions while in their employ would
be opening a can of worms that would have been hard to manage. It does
however open a line of discussion that will in my modest opinion, impact on
future AC campaigns and possibly a far wider range of influence.

* From Roger Strube: The response from OLN in the last Scuttlebutt is
right on the mark. OLN has improved coverage with every race and is now
providing excellent TV viewing for experienced, novice and non-sailors.
They are now covering all the critical elements including starts and mark
roundings. Supplemented with Virtual Spectator and improved "play by play"
commentary, they are giving this spectator very enjoyable viewing. I do not
feel ESPN will provide any better coverage and will only offer the viewer
more diversity of commercial support.

* From Scot Citrin (re: George Schmirnoff's commentary in Scuttlebutt
1220): Here is constructive criticism on how to improve your programming.
Get rid of your producer and editor and replace him with a racing sailor.
He will be able to produce/ edit the delayed film in a way that sailors
will enjoy. By that I mean if you go to break and the trailing boat is all
of a sudden leading after the commercials, it needs to be shown how it
happened. I must congratulate OLN on it's improved performance in showing
mark roundings. And I have to agree with another subscriber's commentary
about letting us listen in on the boats much more. We realize you are
paying the commentators, and there insight is useful at times, but much
less of their interpretations of what we are seeing and much more of what
they are saying on the boats I am sure would be more interesting to the
viewers.

* From Jim Lyndon: I just wanted to pass a word of commendation to OLN
for their prompt and detailed response to recent criticisms of the Louis
Vuitton TV coverage. While I am the first to agree with many of the
sentiments expressed in recent 'Butts on this subject, I must say it's
refreshing to see the entity that's the brunt of these criticisms so open
and willing to listen to our carping.

We certainly don't have the luxury of choice in seeing the racing on TV and
there's no doubt that much of the coverage is maddeningly sloppy at times
(particularly in the commentating area). But let's support OLN's efforts
and be constructive in our criticisms. Every response I've seen from their
executives to date displays understanding of our frustrations and a
willingness to try to improve.

* From Hal Smith: As someone who eagerly waits for 9:00 to arrive every
evening (east coast), I cannot believe that I am in the minority enjoying
OLN's coverage of the LVC. Many of Scuttlebutt's respondents would have you
think that OLN's LVC coverage is so pathetic that it deserves sponsorship
boycotts. I cannot imagine where that comes from.

I too would like to see more of the mid-leg action when even a failed
passing effort happened, but the time and format does not allow for
everything to be shown. Let's loosen the leather ties on our topsiders and
sit back and enjoy the unique opportunity to watch high-tech sailboat
racing for two hours most evenings. Dawn Riley, Ed Baird, Peter Isler and
especially Peter Montgomery have been great. I can think of no better way
to end the day unless we were on our own boat.

* From Derek Paterson (Re- John Rousmaniere playing baseball on a
triangle): Home base plus bases 1, 2 & 3 make up a square of some sort.
Called a "diamond" down here, but certainly more rectangular than triangular.

NEWS BRIEFS
* The latest rankings for all Olympic Classes have been released and are
published on the ISAF website The next issue of the rankings will be
released on 5 February 2002 following the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes
Regatta in USA. - www.sailing.org/rankings/

* Membership has its privileges, and those of you who are members of US
Sailing may exercise that privilege by nominating a deserving male and/or
female sailor to be the Rolex Yachtsman and/or Yachtswoman of the Year.
Nominations will be accepted through January 31, 2003, after which they
will be presented to a panel of noted sailing journalists. This panel will
discuss the merits of each nominee and vote by secret ballot to determine
the award winners. You can make your nomination on-line:
http://www.ussailing.org/faces/rolex%5Finfo..htm

DIRTY DOGS AT PYACHT.COM
We just had 50 pairs of Dirty Dog Zee polarized sunglasses fall into our
lap at a very special price. These polycarbonate shades are available to
Scuttlebutt subscribers while supplies last for $39.95 plus $10.00 shipping
& handling. With sunglasses this tough at a price this low, you can toss
them in the sink or sheet bag and not worry too much about it.
http://www.pyacht.net/online-store/scstore/dirty_dog_special.htm

PFDs
The United States Coast Guard's Life Jacket Rule will go into effect
December 23, 2002. It stipulates that all children under 13 years of age
wear Coast Guard approved life jackets, while aboard recreational vessels
underway, except when the children are below decks or in an enclosed cabin.
This Rule affects only those States that have not established requirements,
by statute or rule, for children to wear life jackets. For the remaining
states, the rule recognizes and adopts the existing state regulation, even
if it is less stringent. Penalties for a boat operator who fails to have
all children under the age of 13 wear a life jacket are similar to those
for failing to have life jackets on board. Penalties may be assessed up to
a maximum of $1,100 for each violation. - http://www.uscg.mil/news

AROUND ALONE
The front runners are on the edge of the Roaring Forties and if the wind
gods come through, they should be roaring by this evening. The first big
wind of Leg 3 is fast approaching from the west and the skippers are
preparing for a long night. - Brian Hancock , http://www.aroundalone.com

Standings 2200 UTC December 16, 2002 CLASS 1:
1. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 6703 miles from finish
2. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 66 miles behind leader
3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 122 mbl
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 167 mbl
5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 169 mbl
6. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 183 mbl

CLASS 2:
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 6955 miles from finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 5 mbl
3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 47 mbl
4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 96 mbl
5. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 150 miles behind leader
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 180 mbl

FROSTBITING
Chris Johannessen of Fairfield, CT overtook Philip Hood of Westport, CT to
win the Laser Fall Series at Cedar Point Yacht Club . The nine-week,
67-race series for 93 competitors saw eight different daily winners. Final
results: 1. Chris Johannessen, 2. Philip Hood, 3.Kevin Kelley, 4. Ryan
Minth, 5. Eric Robbins. Complete results:
http://170.224.10.44/uploads/laser_series.htm

THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
On what part of the monkey do you use a monkey wrench?