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SCUTTLEBUTT 1233 - January 6, 2003

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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.

The two remaining Challengers in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Swiss Alinghi
Team and the American Oracle BMW Racing team, have elected to sail the same
boats they've used all along when the best-of-nine challenger Final begins
on the 11th of January. The winning Challenger must use the same boat in
the America's Cup Match, beginning February 15th.

The Defender, Team New Zealand, has kept its options open by opting not to
declare a boat at this time. That means both Team New Zealand boats are
subject to the 'no-change' period beginning on the 7th of January. Team New
Zealand must make a boat declaration on February 10th ahead of the
America's Cup Match.

In choosing SUI-64, Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts takes a boat with an
impressive 21 - 3 record into the Louis Vuitton Cup Final. It is the same
boat the Swiss team used to sweep the Oracle BMW crew in four straight
races in the Semi Final.

For Chris Dickson's Oracle BMW Racing team, USA-76 has a 20 - 8 record.
Dickson's squad rebounded from the Semi Final loss to Alinghi by sweeping
OneWorld out of the Semi Final Repechage 4 - 0.

The first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup Final is scheduled to start at
13:15 on January 11th. There will be a skipper's press conference at 09:30
on January 10th. - Peter Rusch, Louis Vuitton Cup website, full story:

Tuesday in Auckland (which is Monday in the US) is designated as "Unveiling
Day", the time when the covers come off the underbodies of the two
challengers who will battle out the Louis Vuitton Cup, and, to even things
up for first time in this competition, the defender of the America's Cup.

First to reveal will be the Swiss syndicate, Alinghi, followed by
Oracle-BMW Racing and then Team New Zealand, but what will they show? There
is an increasing belief in and around "Syndicate Row" that the appendage
issue may turn out to be nothing but hype. The argument against the use of
false hulls is that there is no way that they can be made sufficiently
rigid to pass the rules of the America's Cup Class, which insist that there
shall be no part of them touching the hull more than 500mm either side of
the centreline. - Bob Fisher, Grand Prix Sailor, full story:

Mr. Wax is now making available convenient storage boxes for your boat
trailer. Sturdy fiberglass construction insures dry, secure storage for
your sails and hardware. Boxes are 13'4" in length. These boxes are in
stock and affordable to ship anywhere in America. Check them out at:

As Chairman of the International Jury for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race I
would like to make some comments on the points made in Butt 1231 and 1232.

Mr. Baker first has the wrong facts as neither protest was declared invalid
because of both no hail or flag. Maybe reading the Australian has led him

There were two protests involving serious damage and both had MOB sailors
which were declared invalid as follows:

Valheru v Peugeot Racing No hail admitted in the Protest Form. The time to
fly the flag of approx 15 minutes was acceptable under these circumstances
of recovering a man from the water and ensuring the boat was not sinking.

Trump Card v Loki Inadequate flag as a red T shirt was used as the protest
flag was in a drawer in the Navigator's Table. There is also ISAF Case Law
defining a 'flag'.

All members of the International Jury were not 'armchair' people but
experienced offshore competitors who continue to race at the present time
and one is also a member of the ISAF Racing Rules Working Group.

In both cases the Protestee's did not consider there had been serious
damage which differed from the view of the International Jury.

I agree with most of the comments by Trevor Lewis but if the hail/flag is
to be ignored for serious damage where does this start and end. The wide
area of interpretation would create as many problems as the current rules do.

Nobody likes throwing out a protest on a 'technicality' but the protest
requirements are as much a part of the Racing Rules as say RRS 10 or 16. To
have your protest flag in a table below deck would also have likely been
too late in displaying it, in say a simple port/starboard incident.

Personally speaking I feel this hail and display rule does need some
further review, as does the penalty for not retiring under RRS 44.1,
especially in a one off race like the Sydney/Hobart. - Ronnie R. McCracken,
ISAF International Judge

(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 Grey McGown: Chris Welsh's letter triggered thoughts of the
earliest swing keel yacht I can remember. In his Common Sense of Yacht
Design Vol. 2 1948 p. 119, genius yacht designer and social curmudgeon L.
Francis Herreshoff discusses his proposal for a 45', 7500 lb., ULDB with a
swing keel - a good piece of history for the "nothing new under the sun
department." J

* From Steve Schupak: Craig Yandow obviously you haven't had the pleasure
of sailing on a CBTF boat, otherwise, you would know first hand how easy
they are to sail, and in fact, when sailing, they are much faster and
quieter than with the propeller in gear. Try it and see for your self that
canting ballast is a natural progression of gybing centerboards and trapeze
gear on dinghies.

* From Hank Evans: As if all the cheating, protests, rulings and
penalties weren't enough, now there are threats of violence to women and
children of Alingi crew. What a disgrace the America's Cup has become to
the sport of sailing. Instead of a friendly competition between nations
showcasing their talents on the water, it has become an ugly exhibition of
money, greed and scandal. The gentlemen of this sport and event like Sir
Thomas Lipton must be rolling over in their graves.

If this is what the premier event in our sport has become, the auld mug
should be confined to Davey Jones locker. Who needs such a disgraceful
exhibition every few years to drag our sport through the gutter?

* From Scott Boye: I am sure that the New Zealand police will investigate
and prosecute the perpetrators of these threats against children of the
Alinghi team to the fullest extent of New Zealand law. And personally, I
hope they "nail 'em to the wall". This kind of behavior just can't be

I'd suggest that it go one step further. After these perpetrators are
identified and convicted I'd suggest that the national governing body of
New Zealand sailing carry out a protest hearing against these folks for
unsportsmanlike conduct and ban them from sailing for a period of time.
Three years at a minimum, for life if possible. I for one, don't want to
ever come across somebody that would do such a thing, especially out on the
race course.

* From Richard Clark: I address this letter to the Citizens of New
Zealand, be they on or offshore. Enough of the insanity of threatening
letters, sailing is not worth it, it's a bunch of sailors out doing what
they love, this is not about the America's Cup anymore, this is about how
we stand up to those amongst us who would be so bloody stupid as to take a
sporting event and turn it into a personal vendetta that will leave a stain
on the fair faces of all Kiwis, wherever we live. Enough.

To the people of Blackheart, you may have thought there was something
clever in winding up the fruitcakes in their arm chairs but you have
allowed your misguided passions to be come a threat to the extraordinary
goodwill build over the years by Sir Peter Blake, Russell Coutts, Chris
Dickson, et al, the yacht designers, sail makers and boat builders, the
sailing clubs and the Corporations who make it all possible for New Zealand
to Host and reap enormous benefits from the America's Cup. You are meant to
be role models to all those kids who, in every spare moment, launch their
dinghies from the beaches and dream of emulating their heroes, on the
water, where sailing belongs.

* From Tom Donlan: David Hagler in Scuttlebutt 1232 says it's unfair to
take more than 30 seconds to fly a protest flag, because the person who
committed the alleged foul might not get adequate notice that he's being
protested. That should be the chance he takes when he'se a port tacker
squeezing across a starboard tacker's bow, or when he's an inside boat
establishing a late overlap at a mark. In my book it's tough noogies if
something bad happens when you go into a close situation as the burdened boat.

I know that the powers-that-be have told the judges that the hail must be
immediate and the flag not delayed more than 30 seconds except for extreme
circumstances, blah, blah, blah. Just because it's not "arbitrary" doesn't
mean it's not officious bunk. It ought to be changed, as the case in
Australia illustrates. Protest committees should be able to read the case.
If a clear foul is alleged--not just serious damage--they should hear the
case, flag or no flag.

Knowing that so many protests are thrown out this way has led many sailors
(frequently including me, I'm sorry to say) to play the game on the basis
of "no flag, no foul." You can scream at them all you want, and yell
protest all you want, but if you don't wave a flag in 30 seconds, they're
going to sail on, no matter how wrong they were.

* From Bruce Thompson: I would point out to Trevor Lewis that judges
should administer justice. In the specific instance in question, there was
no question that the collision caused serious damage. Valerhu was therefore
under the immediate requirement to withdraw. There should not be any need
to even hold a protest! Hails & protests flags are irrrelevant. Indeed, the
jury probably should have held a hearing against Valheru under the
acceptance of the rules and allegation of gross misconduct principles.
Throw offenders out of the sport for a year and you'll see an improvement
in rule compliance!

* From Cherie Tripp Lejeune: I knew Stanley Rosenfeld well - he
recalibrated my sense of light, he introduced me to Watercress soup for
breakfast, he allowed me to say and do silly things, just like a father.
Our meeting in 1980 was critical for both, resulting in memorable chapters
of professional growth and recognition. His best moments were in his
listening, akin to his waiting quietly for a shot embraced, not gunned down
with an auto drive as Guy Gurney related.

He hated the limelight, probably because he spent almost 7 decades, simply
working hard. And he only put down his camera when he lost his sight. His
images taken after age 70, of Italian widows sweeping a piazza or the
marble statues in Florence that he turned to flesh with his lens simple
demonstrate his visual trademark-passion for any subject. That he heard
from so many before he died was a sweet cantata. Heather, his remarkable
wife, I, and others close to him always told him, when you create a feast
for the eyes, you must accept the compliments to the chef! Thank you Stanley.

Scuttlebutt readers will enjoy the Hall Spars website. More than just
providing cool stuff, it's focused on essential information and essential
gear. Find what you need in their web store to improve sailing performance
and enjoyment. Mark January 16th on your calendar, as Hall Spars will be
announcing a Scuttlebutt special in the newsletter.

Linda Elias, one of Southern California's most successful woman sailors,
died Friday at her home in Surfside, near Long Beach. Elias, 52, was a
nine-year survivor of ovarian cancer. She continued to race sailboats
through a series of surgeries and treatments after she was diagnosed with
the disease early in 1994.

She won the Women's One-Design Championship at Long Beach in '92, '94 and
'96 and sailed four Transpacific Yacht Races to Hawaii---on the legendary
Ragtime in 1989 and '91, on Joss in '93 and Cheval in '99, as well as the
Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii in '98 and several races to
Mexico. She was a recipient of the Peggy Slater Award as the Southern
California Yachting Association's yachtswoman of the year and was a past
commodore of the Voyagers Yacht Club in Newport Beach.

She also was one of the founders of the Team Spirit Breast and Ovarian
Cancer Walk, a support group that has raised $170,000. In lieu of flowers,
it was requested that donations be sent to that group in care of the
Memorial Medical Center Foundation, or to the Linda Elias Sailing
Scholarship, in care of the Long Beach Sailing Foundation. Donations may be
sent to P.O. Box 3116, Long Beach, CA 90803.

Elias is survived by her companion, Richard Parlette, husband Mike Elias,
mother Evelyn Lindskog of Las Vegas, three brothers, one sister and 10
nieces and nephews. Memorial services are scheduled Friday, Jan. 10, at the
Long Beach Yacht Club. A burial at sea voyage will depart at 9:30 a.m.,
followed by a shoreside service at noon. - Rich Roberts

While the hunt to find those responsible for sending threatening letters to
Alinghi continues, Russell Coutts' Swiss syndicate have taken some comfort
from the letters of support they have received from throughout New Zealand
and the world.

The police were called in to investigate last week after the Swiss
America's Cup syndicate backed by pharmaceutical billionaire Ernesto
Bertarelli received two letters from a group who threatened violence to
team members' families and damage to their property and the syndicate base.
The group is understood to call itself TTTAL - Teach The Traitors A Lesson.

Scrutiny shifted to the BlackHeart group after it was noted that some
phrases in the letters resembled quotes from the group's email newsletters.
Detectives were given access to the member database of about 3000 people.
But Auckland police communications manager for the America's Cup Jeoff
Barraclough said BlackHeart, who have openly criticized those who left Team
New Zealand after the last cup, make up just one avenue of their investigation.

Alinghi spokesman Bernard Schopfer said no further threats had been
received and the team was focused on their upcoming series against Oracle
BMW Racing in the final of the Louis Vuitton challenger series which starts
on Saturday. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

There is no stopping skipper Simon Rowell and Jersey Clipper crew. After
hardly putting a foot wrong on this tricky race from Panama to Galapagos,
they sailed an inspired route and achieved a very fast passage to the
equatorial Islands to take their second consecutive win.

The scrap for second place went all the way to the finish. The wind held
and London Clipper, skippered by Ed Green, finished at 02:22 UTC closely
followed by New York who took third place at 02:47 UTC - just twenty five
minutes behind the Londoners after some 895 nautical miles of racing.
London Clipper now has 3 podium places out of 4 finishes and this result is
just the tonic New York Clipper, helmed by Samantha Fuller, needed after
finishing at both extremes of the fleet in the previous two races.

FINISHING PLACE: 1. Jersey, 2. London, 3. New York, 4. Glasgow, 5. Bristol,
6 Liverpool, 7. Hong Kong, 8. Cape Town.

OVERALL STANDINGS: 1. Jersey (Simon Rowell) 28; 2. London (Ed Green) 23; 3.
New York (Sam Fuller) 20; 4. Bristol (Richard Butler) 19; 5. Hong Kong
(Justin Taylor) 16; 6. Glasgow (Rupert Parkhouse) 16; 7. Liverpool (Adam
Kyffin) 15.5; 8. Cape Town (Roger Steven-Jennings) 5. -

STANDINGS 2200 UTC January 5 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, 704 miles from finish; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 352 miles
behind leader; 3. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 627 mbl, 4. Tiscali, Simone
Bianchetti, 712 mbl; 5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 1011 mbl; 6. Ocean Planet,
Bruce Schwab, 1099 mbl.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 1963 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 527 mbl. 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield,
810 mbl; 4. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 971 mbl, BTC Velocity, Alan
Paris, 1529 mbl. -

* January 9-12: San Diego Boat Show, San Diego Convention Center and
Marriott Marina.

* January 11-16: Sail Melbourne Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta,
Sandringham Yacht Club. The only International Sailing Federation (ISAF)
ranking 1 event in Australia, and the selection event for the Australian
Olympic Sailing Team for Athens. Classes include: 49er, 29er, 470 Men and
Women, 420, Europe Women, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, Mistral Men and Women,
Tornado, Star ,Yngling plus a junior Optimist class. -

* April 11-13: Protector Boats Ski/Sail National Championships. Laser,
Vanguard 15 and Melges 24. -

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to