Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1230 - December 31, 2002

Powered by SAIC (, an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, 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.

An international yachting jury disqualified the French-crewed Peugeot
Racing for continuing to sail in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race after
wrecking the Tasmanian yacht Valheru off Sydney Heads at the start. In
addition, the jury found that the Beneteau 47.7, owned by Malcolm Roe and
skippered by Christophe Vanek, did not do all it could to help Valheru
crewman Peter Fletcher who was thrown overboard in the collision.

In another decision, Stephen Ainsworth's Sydney yacht Loki was also
disqualified for failing to retire after holing the Queensland yacht
Trumpcard in the stern on the start line. The Valheru incident was more

Valheru skipper Dr Tony Lyall fought back his tears after the decision.
"No-one can imagine what it's like to feel your boat being crushed by
another boat. It can be repaired but you would never have the confidence to
take it to sea and race it to sea again." He said both the designer and
builder had inspected the damage and had written off his uninsured $500,000
boat. Despite yesterday's finding and Peugeot Racing's acknowledgment they
had caused the damage, he would now have to take civil action to replace
her. Vanek said he thought the decision was disappointing for his crew but
probably fair. "In all the action, I decided to keep on going," he said. He
defended his role in the rescue of Fletcher, saying he stayed on station to
assist but he didn't want to go towards him to injure him. "It happened
very quickly. There are a lot of things happening on the boat. I had to
look after my crew. I had to check my boat. I had to make sure the
gentleman in the water was not hurt. I had my eyes on him at all times.
It's hard."

The international jury had initially ruled Valheru's protest invalid
because it did not hail "protest" at the time and did not raise the red
flag at the earliest opportunity. The jury then initiated its own protest
because serious damage had occurred. - Bruce Montgomery, The Australian,

Auckland, NZ - America's Cup Minister Trevor Mallard expressed confidence
that the 2003 campaign was in top form but, should the Team NZ win, a new
question is how to ensure America's Cup syndicates can stay at the Viaduct
Harbour if New Zealand hosts another campaign. Four of the 11 syndicate
bases at the Viaduct will be lost after this Cup because they are on
private land due to be developed into apartments.

Today, a taskforce set up to decide how to provide enough room at the
Viaduct once the four bases were lost to commercial development proposes an
extension of the Halsey St wharf which would provide enough room for two or
three new bases, at a cost of $16 million. It could be developed separately
or alongside a second $6 million option involving the widening of the
western Viaduct area, which now houses Prada, which would also provide
enough room for two extra bases.

America's Cup Minister Trevor Mallard said the taskforce considered 13
options to set up bases around or outside the Viaduct, including at Gulf
Harbour, but the preference was to keep the syndicates centralised. ACVL
chairman Peter Kiely said each of the existing syndicates had been spoken
to about their plans for future cups, and most had indicated they would
return and wanted to renew existing leases, including two teams housed on
the sites earmarked for private development.

He said it was not yet clear what would happen to syndicates which had
leased more than one site for this cup, such as Alinghi of Switzerland,
which occupies two bases, but most teams had actually asked for increased
land. He said teams also wanted to secure leases quickly. "They've realised
if they want to be competitive in this contest they have to be here for
three years." - Hauraki New Website, full story:

Louis Vuitton Cup Series Chief Umpire Bryan Willis' team started out with
17 umpires. Now that there is just one race a day it has been reduced to
six. The umpires are positioned behind and to the side of the yachts, and
generally do not umpire the teams representing their own country. "What we
are hoping to do is to have one umpire on the back of each boat. Hopefully,
that will be the set-up for the challengers final and the America's Cup final.

"The reason we haven't had them until now is because a lot of the
challengers didn't want that system, whereas Alinghi, Oracle and maybe
OneWorld and certainly Team New Zealand do like this system." It has been
used at major matchracing events and still allows teams to have 17th men.

"The idea of these people is that they can look out and see if there is an
overlap or not. It is very important because it determines the rights and
obligations of the two boats. "We normally do that with one of the wing
boats, but when they are turning rapidly we can't get into position very
quickly, and often can't make a vital call.

"That is the advantage of the system. The other is we can communicate
certain information to the afterguards so when they get to the two
boat-length zone, where rules start changing, the skippers know what the
situation is. Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

Are you ready to shoot your timing officer? Shoot us instead. Regatta
Pro-Start belongs in every Race Committee's tool kit. It's an automatic
starting horn that plugs into the boats' battery or an accessory 12-volt
power pack. It accurately times and shoots its horn for Appendix Q
(dinghy), Rule26 (five minute), and three and five minute rolling
sequences. Push the start button and it does the rest. Coaches love its
one-minute dinghy start feature for practicing starts. It's loud, accurate,
and essential. You can view Regatta Pro-Start online at or call 1-631-321-6997

(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 Frieda K. Wildey: Hear! Hear! Angus Phillips - you should have
also suggested that Mr. Engel sail 50 feet in your Soling, drive a Volvo 60
across the Atlantic as you have done, paddle 50 feet in your kayak, run 50
feet in the fields before dawn with your dog chasing some bird, fish in an
ice cold stream in your hip waders and all those other sports that you
regularly tackle head-on prior to taking pen to paper to share your
experiences with the world. Angus makes the reader feel the wind and water
on your face, ache from the bumps and bruises, smell the salt in the air,
and cringe at the cold dampness of foulies that never dry out between
watches. We are all fortunate that Angus writes about what he knows
first-hand, not just about what he reads online. There are plenty of other
reporters that do the same and recommend that Mr. Engel not paint all
reporters with the same brush.

* From Ken Guyer: I was disappointed to see you break your rule of no
personal attack in allowing Angus Phillips to do just that to Art Engle.
For what it is worth, Art was correct. I don't need to walk a mile in
Angus's shoes to make that statement. Perhaps though Angus should walk a
mile in my shoes. I have been a spokesman for our city's fire department
and housing commission. I also have served as press aide to a successful
mayoral candidate. In addition I worked at NBC here in San Diego in the
news department.

Not as illustrious a career as Mr. Phillips nor as prestigious perhaps, but
I saw it from both sides and Art Engle is spot on the money both in comment
and in reason. Reporters do make what they perceive as minor "adjustments"
to facts as they see them in ways that are major mistakes in the eyes of
those being reported on.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: This is one thread that probably never should have
seen the light of day, and I can think of no reason to extend it into next
year. It's now officially dead.

* From Peter Cullum: While I've enjoyed titillating my curiosity with
daily scuttlebutt updates from the America's Cup soap opera, I'm really
glad the Around Alone race is running concurrently. The two events seem to
define the diametrically opposite characteristics of our sport, and it
would be terrible for our sport if the incessant squabbling in Auckland was
not offset by the courage, camaraderie and self reliance of solo marathon
racing. Sponsors can be judged by the company they keep, and in my opinion,
they would do well to leave the America' Cup to billionaires that enjoy
legal bickering and skullduggery. For a fraction of the cost, advertisers
can associate with men and women displaying a much more appealing side of
the human character.

* From Seymour A. Friedel: I read with great amusement the well written
article by Nick Nicholson about the America's cup rules. "about 40 Pages!"
WOW! In it there are items like, how much rotation a mast is allowed. This
is tragic since mast rotation speeds up boats. Why is this a rule?

This is now the twenty first century and the rules need be revisited and
greatly simplified. I'm sure Nick could come up with a one pager that does
the job. The rules today slow down the boats as well as sailing innovation.

The deed of the cup needs a rework as well. I often read in the 'butt
complaints that this has become a billionaires cup. So what? The money they
spend helps the economy in general and sailing in particular. Some might
argue they could spend the money on more beneficial things. But these
people miss the point. The definition of "my money" is that I can spend it
my way. Who cares if the crews are international? Why is this important?

Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

* From Guy Gurney: In 'Butt 1229 Bob Kiernan recalls a day in San Diego
10 years ago when he drove an official photo boat during the America's Cup
with Stanley Rosenfeld aboard. I also remember that day well. Stanley was,
as usual, charming and funny, and a pleasure to work alongside. But what
struck me was that while I, like the others, was staggering under the
weight of three cameras with motor drives, fitted with huge long
lenses--300, 500 and 600mm--Stan was armed with a single non-motorized 35mm
body with a modest zoom lens.

That day I rattled off maybe a dozen rolls of film, and I suppose I got
some good images, I don't remember. We photogs sounded like a machine-gun
battery every time the Cup yachts went near each other. But Stanley worked
differently. Every now and then you'd hear a quiet click from his
direction, and you'd know he'd made an image. That day he used only one
roll of film. Later I spoke with the magazine editor for whom he was
shooting, and she told me that every picture on that roll was a
winner--sharp, well-exposed, perfectly composed and a great image. At this
point Stanley was 79 years old and getting frail, but still every inch a pro.

Ellen MacArthur and Team Kingfisher headed out to sea Sunday on a cold and
windy December day to start sailing trials on the 110 foot mega-cat
Kingfisher2. Leaving from their base in Lorient, North West France, the 14
strong crew have been battling strong headwinds for the past 24 hours,
making their way initially towards Ireland. They plan to put themselves,
and the boat, through a series of tests and manoeuvres before returning to
base on the 31st. Ellen will then head to the UK (probably for the last
time before the Jules Verne departure) and join fellow team member Neal
McDonald at the London Boat Show on January 2nd, before returning to
Lorient once more on the 3rd ­ ready for the boat to depart on a 5 day
offshore training session that same day.

A final crew change is also announced. Canadian Kevin McMeel will replace
Nick Moloney in the Assistant Navigator spot. After his victory in Class II
of the Route du Rhum, and some post-race reflection, Nick has decided to
focus his energy in the coming months on finding the funding for his Vendée
Globe campaign, and starting his training programme for the 2004 solo event
in which he hopes to follow in Ellen's footsteps. His replacement, Kevin
McMeel has many thousands of miles of offshore racing experience, and
recently worked on the Assa Abbloy Volvo campaign pre-start, alongside Mark
Rudiger. He also happens to be a practicing surgeon ­ hopefully a skill not
to be called on during the Jules Verne, but nonetheless one that would
certainly be very useful if the situation arose.

Kingfisher2 should be ready to go in to 'Standby Mode' in the middle of
January. Meanwhile, Olivier de Kersauson on Geronimo awaits a weather
window in Brest to make his departure, and be the first to head off to
attempt to break this mightiest of records. -

Need more downwind speed for the Wednesday night buoy races but didn't want
to spend so much for a carbon whisker pole? Forespar® offers the new "50/50
Combo" whisker pole. Our half carbon-half aluminum poles offer just the
right blend of materials to provide the racing or cruising sailor weight
and cost savings. Each pole features Forespar's® exclusive "Ultra" end
fittings for further weight reduction and ease of maintenance. See your
Forespar dealer or

A total of 2,130 nm separates first from last boat in the Around Alone race
deep in the heart of the Southern Ocean, where currently 11 skippers and
their Open class yachts are located between the Kerguelens and Southern
Australia. One by one the front boats are passing the virtual waypoint at
46N and of course the second of the three 'Great Capes' in their solo
circumnavigation - Cape Leeuwin.

Current leader of Class 1 Bernard Stamm admitted that "the last two days
were hellish - upwind sailing in very confused seas, constant sail changes,
clinging on for dear life as the boat gets flattened on her side or bangs
into each wave incessantly. Now I am back racing downwind I am happy." On
the other hand, his closest rival, Thierry Dubois, expressed his boredom
when the wind dies down to below 20 knots and there is nothing much to do.
Relief and excitement are relative terms down South. In Class 2, the
'surfin' safari' is on for leader Brad Van Liew on Open 50 Tommy Hilfiger
Freedom America as he clocks 16 knots boatspeed in the fast-flowing
Westerlies riding the top of the low pressure system. - Mary Ambler

STANDINGS 2200 UTC December 30, 2002 ­ CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux,
Bernard Stamm, 2483 miles from finish; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 260
miles behind leader; 3. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 576 mbl, 4. Tiscali, Simone
Bianchetti, 355 mbl; 5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 687 mbl; 6. Ocean Planet,
Bruce Schwab, 888 mbl. CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 3689
miles from finish; 2. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 394 mbl. 3. Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, 465 mbl; 4. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 579
mbl, BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 939 mbl. -

Coral Reef Yacht Club & U.S. Sailing Center, Miami, FL - The Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta is the premiere youth regatta in
the country. Over 450 sailors from around the nation and eight countries
came to Miami this week to compete for the title "Orange Bowl Champion" in
seven classes.

Final Results: Laser, 22 boats; 11 races completed: 1. Greg Helias (Los
Angeles, CA) 21 points; 2. Bobby Noonan (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 33 points; 3.
Adrian Affoo (Trinidad) 42 points; Radial, 77 boats; 11 races: 1. Chris
Alexander (Coral Gables, FL) 39 points; 2. Parker Shinn (San Diego, CA) 42
points; 3. Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, VI) 49 points; Club 420, 75 boats;
11 races: 1. Erik Storck/John Kempton (Huntington, NY) 54 points; 2. Adam &
Melanie Roberts (San Diego, CA) 65 points; 3. Justin Law/Silja Lentnin
(Newport Beach, CA) 65 points; 29er, 10 boats; 11 races: 1. Marcus & Alex
Bernal (Santa Barbara, CA) 19 points; 2. Cameron & Graham Biehl (San Diego,
CA) 34 points; 3. Mykes Gutenkunst & John Goldsberry (Mill Valley, CA) 42

Optimist Green Fleet (novice, age 15 & under): 52 boats; 15 races: 1.
Myaumi Roller (St. John, VI) 18 points; 2. Brandon Long (Miami, FL) 70
points; 3. Alex Sachs (Coral Gables, FL) 71 points; Optimist White Fleet
(age 10 & under) 28 boats; 11 races: 1. Ivan Aponte-Taboas (Yumacao, Puerto
Rico) 178 points; 2. Blake Cabassa (Miami, FL) 248 points; 3. Gregory Dair
(San Pedro, CA) 265 points; Optimist Blue Fleet (age 11-12) 56 boats; 11
races: 1. Emily Dellenbaugh (Easton, CT) 44 points; 2. Tommy Fink (Miami,
FL) 67 points; 3. Nick Voss (Miami, FL) 69 points; Optimist Red Fleet (age
13-15) 48 boats; 11 races: 1. Jesse Kirkland (Warwick, Bermuda) 26 points;
2. Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, PA) 28 points; 3. Carlos Teixidor (San
Juan, Puerto Rico) 44 points. complete results:

You're correct - there will not be an issue of Scuttlebutt on New Year's
Day, but we will return with racing news on January 2.

When you're sending someone styrofoam, what do you pack it in?