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SCUTTLEBUTT 1241 - January 16, 2003

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digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
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Oracle BMW Racing have clawed their way back into contention for the Louis
Vuitton Cup, taking the fourth race by two minutes and 13 seconds over
Alinghi of Switzerland on Thursday, to trail the series 3-1. The Americans
won the start but lagged by 38 seconds at mark one.

Their victory coming from a separation of more than one kilometre down the
first run, which allowed the Americans to cash in on a big left-hand shift
to round the bottom mark 56-seconds ahead.

After that there was no looking back, as the crew on board USA76 showed
their dominance in the light fluky conditions to round marks three, four
and five ahead of the Swiss. - Fiona McIlroy, website, full story:,2523,162017-296-297,00.html

SERIES STANDINGS: Alinghi leads Oracle BMW Racing 3-1 in the 'first to five
wins' series.

West Marine, Inc. announced that the Company will acquire BoatU.S. retail
stores, catalog sales and wholesale operations for $72 million in cash and
the assumption of certain liabilities. Boat Owners Association of the
United States (BoatU.S.) will continue to operate its Association which
represents the interests of, and offers numerous services to, boaters
across the country.

John Edmondson, CEO of West Marine, characterized the deal as "a long-term
strategic alliance that will enable both West Marine and BoatU.S. to
maximize their respective strengths in order to better serve the boating
public." The BoatU.S. stores will continue to operate under the BoatU.S. name.

Richard Schwartz, founder and chairman of BoatU.S., said, "BoatU.S. will
now concentrate its resources on developing new programs of value for boat
owners to complement the Association's marine insurance, towing, boat
financing, consumer advocacy, and government representation programs."

West Marine, headquartered in Watsonville, Calif., is the nation's largest
boating supply chain with 258 store locations in the U.S. and Canada. The
acquisition of BoatU.S. retail operations will add 62 store locations.
Under the terms of the agreement, West Marine will promote membership in
the BoatU.S. Association at each of its retail stores, while the
Association will exclusively promote West Marine as the preferred supplier
of boating equipment to its members. - Yahoo News,

US Sailing has announced the selection system which will determine the
athletes to represent the U.S. at the combined world championships to be
held later this year. The 2003 ISAF World Sailing Championships, scheduled
for September 11-25, 2003, in Cadiz, Spain, will have a set number of
berths available per country per class in the nine Olympic classes. The
2003 US Sailing Team rankings will determine which U.S. athletes will
receive the first four entries available to the USA. Determination of any
remaining berths to be awarded will be made subjectively through a process
to be announced by March 1, 2003, once additional information is received
from ISAF. Questions should be addressed to - Jan

To celebrate the launch of their new web store, Hall Spars & Rigging is
offering Scuttlebutt readers 10% off their first halyard order placed
online, now through Feb. 28 (US orders only). After you enter your shipping
information, enter the code 'Scuttlebutt' under "Redeem Coupon." One-design
sailors will find what they need in dedicated stores; all others can shop
using "Custom Line Lengths." Or send an email to Need
recommendations for high-tech line? Read the "Essential Information"
section and their "Guide to Cordage" and "Guide to Shackles."

* Three remarkable yachtsmen whose contributions to the America's Cup
competition have been notable and outstanding over the years will be
honored in a special black-tie ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand, in
February. Malin Burnham, Sir Michael Fay and the late Stanley Rosenfeld
will be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame during the America's
Cup races, at The Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland, N.Z. on February
17th, 2003. Presiding over the induction ceremony will be Halsey C.
Herreshoff, President of the Herreshoff Marine Museum and America's Cup
Hall of Fame, and the America's Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee. -

* Auckland police expect more than 3000 spectator craft around the course
each race day for this month's Louis Vuitton Cup final, and the February 15
start of the nine-race America's Cup challenge. -,2106,2196184a6497,00.html

* The United States Sailing Center in Long Beach successfully obtained
grants totaling $137,900 in 2002. A major boost was an $89,000 grant by the
Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles. Additional funds came from Long
Beach Third District Councilman Frank Colonna and Eighth District
Councilman Rob Webb, the California Department of Boating and Waterways,
California International Sailing Association/ Roy Disney grant and the
Kiwanis Club of Long Beach. The grants allow the Sailing Center to expand
its youth programs, hire a program development director, buy additional
boats, increase the coaching staff and expand the high school sailing
program. - Rich Roberts

* Some 13,000 sailing enthusiasts attended Atlantic Sail ExpoŽ--held
January 9-12 at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Convention Center According to
Scot West, Executive Director of show producer Sail America, this year's
gate represented a dip in attendance by 15 percent, compared to a highpoint
in 2002. Yet the level of attendance is above the three-year average for
this sailboat show.

* Scuttlebutt readers who are traveling to Key West without a notebook
computer will be able to pick up a daily printed issue of 'Butt each
morning at the Terra Nova Trading tent, along with the race forecast
weather briefing. The virtual match race tournament for the Terra Nova Cup
will be occurring daily at the tent after the races, as will the post-race
expert panel discussions to provide race recap. You can still register for
the tournament by downloading the free Virtual Skipper 2 regatta simulator
on the Terra Nova website.

* Those readers of Scuttlebutt who commented on Rich Roberts story about a
new World Championship of Sailing will be interested in looking at a poll
take by The Log - the California publication that originally carried this
story. It seems Roberts' approval rating exceeds that of President Bush.
When I check last, 76% agreed with Roberts' thoughts and only 24% did not.

(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 J A Booker: So, is no one going to comment on the irony of a giant
squid attacking a boat in it's quest for the Trophee Jules Verne. Perhaps
we've all forgotten that scene from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.

* From Chris Boome: Does anybody else think that doing the penalty turn
on the upwind leg just before the last weather mark is a whole lot better
than hoping for a miracle gain on the last run? It seems to me that besides
taking less time to do an upwind turn, if I did not quite make it that I
would rather be a boatlenght or two behind and have the whole run to
attack, rather than hoping for some lucky puff that will gain enough
distance for me to do my turn.

* From From Michael Moradzadeh: Having just read the news that West
Marine is going to merge with Boat US, my first feeling is one of dismay.
Over the last decade, we have seen chandler after chandler succumb to West
Marine's competition. This has meant, in many cases, a loss of
knowledgeable service. Locally, however (Sausalito), the recent arrival of
Boat US has added welcome competition, and a store with a superior customer
service attitude.

I am worried that the proposed merger will effectively end competition in
the retail marine market. Of course, the Internet can provide an
alternative, but, in many cases, there is no substitute for the ability to
see and touch an item, or to get it right now. While this may be nice for
shareholders, I don't see any benefit for boat owners

* From Robert Berg (edited to our 250-word limit): Being able to hear the
on-board discussions during LVC on OLN has really enhanced viewing Race 3.
I find the content of the various discussions is not only exciting, but
also educational. With that said I am struck by what, as a sport, is a
topic we need to consider.

There seems to be a foul-language issue that we as a sport are not
acknowledging. On a couple of occasions I heard a few choice words used on
both boats. I'm no saint, but I have to say that a system of rules that
does not address the use of profanity in these situations may be suspect.
If I were to be on the racecourse and use this language toward another
competitor, I would be held accountable (and admittedly have been).

But what about those comments that are, perhaps, directed at crew or just
used in a moment frustration and directed at no one in particular. Most
legit sports have ways of dealing with this that's fair and useful for the
participants and help maintain the spirit of sport in general. We do not.

Today in the paper I read that Serena Williams was at risk Tuesday in an
Australia Open match and was given a warning for an audible obscenity and
probably would have faced a fine if she kept it up. Even in my "senior"
recreational hockey league there are consequences for using bad language
even when from the bench.

* From: Bruce Kirby: I was surprise to see in Butt 1240 that OneWorld's
Jonathan McKee blamed lack of speed for their defeat by Oracle. From what
we could see on OLN and Virtual Spectator a major part of the problem for
OneWorld was highly questionable tactical decisions, and in particular
simply not covering when well in the lead - and on more than one occasion!
If it is true that speed can make a tactician look faultless, it is also
true that flawed tactics can make a boat look slow?

* From Pedro Lucca, Argentina: In relation with the issue of the
mandatory hula clearance with the hull itself, it is surely and
definitively not difficult to install a instrumentation system, from
several types to choice from, to register if the "appendix" makes contact
with the hull in any moment or condition, by pressure or vibration - or
both combined - . All without interfering with the performance of the boat,
if it is clearly legal. I think that the only unavoidable condition is the
firm decision or the correponding authority, and clarity on procedures.
Perhaps it is not necessary to made this control in a true race, the race
conditions can be duplicated.

The plan was as audacious as it was spectacular: snatch the America's Cup
and speed off with it up the Waitemata Harbour. Once out of Team New
Zealand's grasp, the world's oldest sporting trophy was to be held for
ransom - perhaps as much as $1 million.

One of New Zealand's most notorious criminals was behind the plan, but it
was foiled when Auckland detectives heard about it through the underworld
grapevine. The cup was whisked off to a bank vault and the affair was
hushed up, although it was the most serious security scare since the Auld
Mug was bashed with a hammer soon after New Zealand won it in 1995.

Police say their special security operation in the lead-up to the 2000 cup
defence was kept quiet, but people may have noticed some odd behaviour. "It
was one of those interesting little twists that was never told," said the
officer in charge of planning for the last cup, Inspector Brent Holmes. It
probably explains some of the strange things that people might have seen
police doing last time."

Mr Holmes was willing to finally talk about the hijack plan after police
sources revealed the extent of it to the Weekend Herald. Members of the
city's criminal underworld had tipped detectives off, mentioning specific
names and details. The leader was said to be a well-known Auckland
criminal. The scheme was to break in through an outside wall and snatch the
silver ewer from its glass case at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at
Westhaven. The gang intended to zoom up the harbour towards Greenhithe or
Herald Island, although there was an alternative plan to hide on an island
in the Hauraki Gulf.

They initially talked of demanding $1 million, but the figure was later
reduced to $100,000, police sources said. "This was a most serious threat
because [the criminals] had the means to do it," said one senior detective.
"They were stymied by the cup being put in a vault."

* Since August 2000, it has been kept on display at the squadron
headquarters by day and returned to a vault in the ceiling each night.
"Even when it's on display in the squadron, if anyone gets near it, there's
an alert and the shutters come down." - Eugene Bingham and John Andrews, NZ
Herald, full story:

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Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America has crossed the finish line in real style at
15:05:56 local time (02:05:56 GMT), broad reaching at 10 knots, coming in
first place in Class 2 for the third leg running. A spectacular
performance, as American skipper Brad Van Liew has put over a thousand
miles between his boat and his nearest rival in Class 2.

Earlier in the day, the wind died for Bruce Schwab and he parked five miles
from the finish line and waited for the spectator fleet to sail out to
greet him. When it was obvious that he was not going to be going anywhere
fast, Bruce pulled out his guitar and sang for the crowds. His singing also
brought on some wind and with the new breeze Ocean Planet scooted across
the finish line to take fifth place in Class 1. His official finish time
was 10:17:22 local time (21:17:22 GMT on January 15) - Brian Hancock

STANDINGS 2200 UTC January 15 ­ CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, finished; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, finished; 3. Hexagon,
Graham Dalton, finished, 4. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, finished; 5. Ocean
Planet, Bruce Schwab, finished 6. Pindar, Emma Richards, finished.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, finished; 2. Everest Horizontal,
Tim Kent, 990 dtf. 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 1031 dtf; 4. Spirit
of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 1224 dtf, BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1744 dtf. -

The maxi-trimaran Geronimo continues to outpace the existing round the
world record. On Day Four they covered 501nm for an average speed of 20.87

A large section of the SAP Cape to Rio 2003 fleet reported virtually
windless conditions as they battle to circumvent the huge South Atlantic
high-pressure system, which is currently lying directly en-route to Isla de
Trinidade. Swedish trimaran Nicator's tactic of keeping further south than
Morning Glory did not pay off. Her run for the past twenty-four hours
consisted of 82 miles of clawing her way further north, while Morning Glory
headed West for 234 miles.

Adrenalina Pura is sailing the classic course towards the northwest,
further north of both her rivals, but managed to log 264 miles. Morning
Glory retains her handicap lead with Suidoos 2 moving up into second place.
The Fast 42 Investec are now in third place followed by fellow Fast Baleka
in fourth place. -

The Swedish Match Tour, has announced the balance of its events for the
2002/2003 season, with one event changing locales and another added to this
professional sailing series.
- Steinlager Line 7 Cup, March 10 -16. (For 2003, the regatta will move
from Auckland's Viaduct Basin to Wellington)
- Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA, April 6 - 12
- Toscana Elba Cup - Trofeo Locman in Portoferraio, Elba, Italy, May 10 -16.
- ACI HT Cronet Cup, May 27 - June 2, held in Split, Croatia
- Match Race Germany, June 5 - 9,
- Swedish Match Cup, in Marstrand, Sweden, first week of July

With the addition of the Toscana Elba Cup - Trofeo Locman, the Swedish
Match Tour grows to ten events for 2002/2003. As a result, the Swedish
Match Tour Championship will be determined by a skipper's best eight of 10
finishes. -

* March 31-April 5: Sundance Cup Women's Match Racing Clinic and Regatta
Fort Worth Boat Club, Fort Worth, Texas USA. Requests for Invitation are
being accepted until February 28 for this Grade 4 event. US Sailing will
conduct an umpire's seminar on April 1. -

What a difference 30 years makes. 1973: Disco; 2003: Costco