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SCUTTLEBUTT 1229 - December 30, 2002

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ROLEX SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
Sydney yachtsman Bob Steel with his state-of-the-art 46-footer, Quest, is
the Overall Winner of the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The veteran
sloop Zeus II, skippered by another Sydney yachtsman, Jim Dunstan, on his
25th Hobart race missed out on an historic second win by a mere half mile
after 630 nautical miles of exhilerating sailing. Zeus II, a Currawong 30
launched in 1979, had to finish by 10.08 AM today to dislodge Quest, a
state-of-the-art Nelson/Marek 46 that this year has undergone a major
upgrading of its rig and sails. Zeus II crossed the line at 10.16.28 Monday
morning, just 4 minutes 47 seconds short of winning Overall.

Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton's super maxi took line honours, surfing up the
River Derwent under her massive spinnaker before a fresh sea breeze to
cross the line off Hobart's historic Battery Point at 5.58.52 Saturday
afternoon. Her elapsed time for the race, 2 days 4 hours 58 minutes and 52
seconds was well outside the 1999 race record set by Nokia, but is the
second fastest in the 58 year history of the 630 nautical mile bluewater
classic. Dockside this evening, owner/skipper Neville Crichton admitted it
was an easy race. "We didn't break any records but we didn't break the boat
either. We would love to have started a day later; this would have put the
race record under serious threat."

Alfa Romeo, designed by USA naval architects Reichel/Pugh and built in
Sydney by McConaghy Boats, Alfa Romeo, which began her racing career only
four months ago as Shockwave, is the largest yacht to take line honours in
the Sydney Hobart race.

Apart from the two retirements at the start on Boxing Day, December 26,
when the fleet left Sydney Harbour, all 55 yachts have finished the 630
nautical mile passage. Class Winners - IMS: Division C - Another Challenge
(Lou Abrahams); Division B - Zeus II (Jim Dunstan); Division A - Quest (Bob
Steel); IRC: Division C - Redrock Communications (Chris Bowling); Division
B - Quest (Bob Steel); Division A - Starlight Express (Stewart Thwaites);
PHS Division: Delta Wing (Bill Koppe); Sydney 38, - Andrew Short Marine
(Andrew Short). - www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

SYDNEY - HOBART SIDEBAR: Madame Guillotine awaits Christophe Vanek and his
French/Australian crew on Peugeot Racing when they arrive in Hobart,
probably tomorrow. They will almost certainly be disqualified from the
Sydney to Hobart for T-boning the Tasmanian yacht Valheru on Sydney Harbour
shortly after the start. The French boat did not have the right of way
because it was on port tack, while Valheru was on starboard. That they say
they tried to bear away below the stern of Valheru but jammed their
mainsheet, disabling the steering, is immaterial. Aside from being
responsible for damaging another boat, Peugeot continued to race after such
a devastating collision. This was the more serious of their actions. Vanek
usually sails Peugeot Racing under the name Savoir Faire ... but if they
had any savoir faire, they would not still be at sea. In yachting, honour
and principle are as important as the rules that govern the sport. The
Peugeot crew are in breach of all three. The French boat wrecked Valheru to
such an extent that it is probably unable to be salvaged and will cost
owner Tony Lyall, or his insurance company, $500,000 to replace. That is
"serious damage'' and Vanek knew it. - Bruce Montgomery, Sailing writer,
The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Here's what the rules state:
44.1 Taking a Penalty - A boat that may have broken a rule of Part 2 while
racing may take a penalty at the time of the incident. Her penalty shall be
a 720 Turns Penalty unless the sailing instructions specify the use of the
Scoring Penalty or some other penalty. However, if she caused serious
damage or gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her
breach she shall retire.

COMMETTES TAKE "DEAD OF WINTER" TITLE
Peter Commette and his daughter, Sheehan, sailed consistently to win this
competitive regatta over a wide range of conditions. Chris and Antoinette
Klotz were second; Rob and Bridget Hallawell were third. Peter's other
daughter, Morgan Commette, was highest placing junior. For a complete
report and photos, check http://snipeus.org/. This is just one of many
regattas keeping Snipe sailors active throughout the winter months in both
Florida and Southern California. Don't just daydream about sailing; get a
Snipe, and get racing. Start sailing Snipes and say goodbye to cabin fever.

TRADEMARK MONEY
A high-powered meeting will be held Saturday over the question of Team New
Zealand's use of America's Cup money. The Herald understands that the New
York Yacht Club and Prada's club, Punta Ala, have organised the meeting, to
which Team NZ have been invited. Team NZ spokesman Murray Taylor said the
syndicate were aware of the meeting, but did not know details. The two
members most likely to attend it, Team NZ chief executive Ross Blackman and
rules adviser Russell Green, were not available.

The debate over use of money earned from rights to the America's Cup
trademarks has gathered momentum over the past few days with a document
doing the rounds of syndicates setting out arguments why challengers should
get a slice of cup profits. The issue has been further complicated by a
mystery challenger who asked the New York Attorney-General's office to
investigate.

While the defender and challengers are licensed to use the America's Cup
symbol, only the cupholder - in this case Team New Zealand - can raise
money through its use. The money raised is used to host the event, but any
surplus can be used to run the defender's sailing budget. - Anne Beston, NZ
Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/acstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3048995&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup&thesecondsubsection=teamnz

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
A revised format for the Louis Vuitton challenger series will be debated
after the America's Cup amid unrest at a lack of racing during New
Zealand's peak holiday period. Challengers' management head Luca Birindelli
said he and regatta director Dyer Jones had ideas about the event's format,
and an assessment of the current schedule and any recommendations for
change would be included in a formal report once racing ends.

The new-style racing format for the challenger series has caused some
concern, with no racing during the main New Year holiday period. There are
only two teams left, and they do not race again until January 11. Team New
Zealand skipper Dean Barker this year described the format as a shame and
said the Viaduct Harbour, bristling with crew activity until now, may end
up a ghost town over New Year. Even the elder statesman of skippers, Dennis
Conner, has questioned the racing schedule. "How does that make sense? To
have everybody gone by Christmas, when the holidays come and you've got all
the good weather." - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/acstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3048875&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.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 Angus Phillips ,Washington Post (Re: letter from Art Engel, who
says: "In my experience, reporters virtually always get it wrong in ways
they consider minor and unimportant but some of us would consider critical
... I put this down to lack of time and limited experience with the subject
rather than evil intent."): I have an idea for Mr. Engel. Walk a mile in my
shoes. Or even 50 feet, if you can, which I sincerely doubt. In the
meantime, stick a cork in it.

* From Peter Huston: Tom Ehman points out the fundamental absurdity that
prevails within the America's Cup. Every team has been using a piece of
technical equipment, all in plain sight of each other, and just now the
question is being asked as to whether or not this is legal? And the answer
is "no"? But there's no penalty? Only a question - "hey, do you guys all
want to fight with knives or guns?"

Everyone says the Cup should be this or that, it should or shouldn't
change, it always has been or never really was screwed up. None of what any
of us think is relevant except for the two remaining Commodores and
officers of the respective clubs left in the LVC and RNZYS. I don't care
who wins this cup - except that I hope it is someone with a vision who can
make the Cup understandable to and relevant for people who enjoy watching
sailboat racing more than document reading and interpretation. Maybe a new
group of Judges should be recruited from the New York Time book review section.

The dumb part about all this is that with a faster boat, who cares how much
distance you are gaining on each leg? And if you are slow, there isn't a
radar gun on the planet that is going to make a boat leap up out of the
water and sail past the better boat.

* From Clark Chapin: Tom Ehman's title, "Director of Rules Compliance" by
itself points out the complexity of the interplay between the Deed of Gift,
Protocol, Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, IACC Measurement Rule,
Measurer's Interpretations, International Jury, Arbitration Panel, ISAF,
CORM, and the New York State Attorney General (I'm sure I've omitted a few,
but you get my point).

* From: David Sligh: I'm perplexed at people getting so worked up over
the AC legal maneuvering or OLN's coverage of the sailing. It's snowing in
my hometown so OLN is the only sailing I'm going to see until the tundra
thaws. Unfortunately, I'm not a billionare, but it sure is fun watching
them throw all that cash around. It's the clash of the titans and we get a
ringside seat! Please keep the thread going so I've got an alternative to
shoveling snow!

* From Dick Enersen (edited to our 250-word limit): Spurred partly by Ed
Trevelyan's comments, I really wonder about the electronic wizardry in
Oracle's "Goose." Another publication speculated that the device might
include Doppler radar, which, I gather, can "see" different textures on the
water surface a long way away. Ed seems to think Oracle and company were
"lucky" in taking "flyers," which enabled them to overtake OneWorld twice
in fluky conditions. Maybe so, but I know that Oracle never put a foot
wrong in the "crapshoot" conditions which seemed to dominate the series.

I read that the Jury says the Goose, whatever it does, is illegal, but no
penalty accrues to its use heretofore.

We could on about OneWorld's "failure to cover" for a long time, but I
would only point out a couple of historical examples of situations in which
the boat with a generous lead gets stuck on the wrong side of a free leg
and gives up the lead. There are lots of factors, procedural, psychological
and meteorological which enter in to the "what do we do now?" decision.
Stupidity, interestingly, is not often the problem and, if the Goose is
made legal, maybe no lead boat will ever do the wrong thing again.

* From John Reiter: As we've all heard, read, and some witnessed, the 'old
days' of cup shenanigans were at least as exciting as today's. The
conversation surrounding the America's Cup would have been debated ad
nauseum by the "internet-erati" had the technology been available in the
heyday of NYYC. The only forums available for comment back in those Newport
days were coffee shops and pubs on Thames St., and even at that only a
select few knew how much the rules were being amended as time ticked off
for the challengers.

To have Scuttlebutt (and many other sources) for reporting, is it a case of
too much of a good thing can be bad? The wise usually recommend,
"everything in moderation" - how about filtering the amount of information
you read each day, or find an insider from Newport to fill you in on the
real old-school forms of skullduggery? Either way, it's just a boat race,
and what happens under the America's Cup big-top has no effect on whether
you point higher or sail deeper your next time out...

* From Tom Ehman (in reply to Rick Merriman in 'Butt 1228): Oracle's Goose
is not a LIDAR or similar. LIDAR and similar "on-board instruments capable
of sensing wind direction or strength at a distance from the yacht" are
explicitly prohibited by the Conditions governing both the LVC and the
Match. This rule was adopted after the 1992 Cup as a cost-cutting measure
(along with, for example, the "two-boat rule") as LIDARs can cost upwards
to a half million dollars. Nonetheless OneWorld had a shore-based LIDAR
overlooking the racecourse. Shore- or tender-based LIDAR is not prohibited
under the rules, though it goes without saying that yachts may not receive
communications from off the boat while racing, i.e., "outside assistance."

* From Bob Kiernan: Stanley Rosenfeld - A time in life...I am a sailor, a
sportsman and mostly a participant in our sport. All my experiences were
great Stanley saw what we did and captured it to give others a view too. As
a volunteer for the America's Cup Organizing Committee in '88,'91 & '92 and
the media consultant aboard a Photo Boat. Up to this one day he was aboard
the big press boats for his elderly age and frailness.

I took personal responsibility and pleasure in assisting Stanley Rosenfeld
on the racecourse. Also aboard that day were Daniel Forster, Guy Gurney,
KOS, Sharon Green, Dan Nerney and Bobby Grieser. They were all in awe of
him too. With slight glances they watched as he chose his image and hoped
for the same result. I thank Stanley for his enlightenment, inspiration and
the images we get to share from him, his followers as well.

KIWI CLIP ON
(Following are two excerpts from a story by Angus Phillips in the
Washington Post.)

The challengers are poised to dispute the legality of Team New Zealand's
breakthrough design innovation, a clever appendage the Kiwis attached to
the bottom of their race boats to increase the working length and thus
potential top speed.

* Challengers think the clip-on contravenes the intent of the class
design rule. They will press their case to international measurers who
certified the Kiwi boats as legal. Chief measurer Ken McAlpine says the
measurers are not meant to divine a rule's intent, only interpret the
actual words. McAlpine also says measurers' rulings are not subject to
appeal, but sources in the challenging camps say they will present new
evidence which should be considered.

If in the end New Zealand's appendages are ruled illegal, it would put the
Kiwis in a vulnerable position as they apparently have the attachments on
both of their race boats and thus have no fall-back. In the event that they
are not ruled out, as seems more likely, both Alinghi and Oracle have been
testing copycat appendages of their own. Alinghi's boat shed rang with
shrieks of cutting tools over the Christmas break.

Team New Zealand has disputed the legality of copying the design and
questioned the right of challengers to switch over to boats with the
clip-on appendages between the end of semifinal trials and the Cup match.
Alinghi skipper Coutts and owner Bertarelli have publicly decried Kiwi
efforts to stop them from developing or switching boats. Bertarelli said
with the "built-in advantages the defender already has" in competing for
the Cup, Team New Zealand ought to focus on winning on the water and not in
legal briefs. -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48568-2002Dec28.html

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http://www.mrwax.com/mainfram/Storagebox/storagebox.htm

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"If the America's Cup were tomorrow I am not sure we would be ready, but I
believe on the day we'll be ready to go. There is still a lot of work to
do." Joey Allen, Team New Zealand bowman,
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/acstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3049022&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup

AROUND ALONE
The leaders are through the "gate" and are heading south once more. Bernard
Stamm on Bobst Group Armor lux and Thierry Dubois on Solidaires have passed
north of the obligatory waypoint and are heading back into the Southern
Ocean. There are a number of compulsory marks of the course for leg 3
starting with the most obvious one; the start line. The waypoints are there
for the safety of the fleet. They are designed to keep the yachts closer
together and to keep them out of the deep Southern Ocean. - Brian Hancock

STANDINGS 2200 UTC December 29, 2002 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux,
Bernard Stamm, 2704 miles from finish; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 313
miles behind leader; 3. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 657 mbl. CLASS 2: 1. Tommy
Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 3942 miles from finish; 2. Everest Horizontal, Tim
Kent, 377 mbl. 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 432 mbl. -
www.aroundalone.com

CLIPPER 2002
"A perfect day and a perfect start," reported Colin de Mowbray as the eight
Clipper yachts raced away from Panama yesterday, Saturday 28 December,
heading into the mighty Pacific. Race Four is 895 miles long and takes the
fleet from Panama City to the centre of the Galapagos Islands, just to the
south of the Equator. Previous races have found the conditions at the start
to be very difficult with light and fluky winds for the first 100 miles in
the Bay of Panama. On this race, the start is two weeks later and the
northerly winds appear to be holding - a great benefit in getting the fleet
out to sea early. The estimated date of arrival in Galapagos is 5 January
2003. - www.clipper-ventures.com

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Sea captains do not like crew cuts.