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SCUTTLEBUTT 1242 - January 17, 2003

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.

In another tension-wracked match, Alinghi and Oracle BMW Racing put up a
sensational battle on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf today, with each team holding
the lead at different stages of the race and the outcome never certain
until the closing stages of the final leg. At the finish gun, the Swiss
Alinghi yacht, skippered by Russell Coutts, swept across the line to go 4-1
up, needing just one more win to take the Louis Vuitton Cup. The Louis
Vuitton champion takes on Team New Zealand for the America's Cup on 15

The tension was high from the very beginning as the yachts towed out to the
race course, sent off to battle by their loyal supporters. When Oracle BMW
Racing won its first match of the finals in light airs and flat water
conditions yesterday, the big question was whether a momentum switch had
taken place. Would the San Francisco-based team skippered by Chris Dickson
be able to build on its first win and seriously threaten Alinghi's early
dominance? The answer was provided in a spellbinding contest with both
teams sailing well, but Alinghi coming from behind and showing enough of an
edge to claim a vital victory.

The Gulf turned on perfect racing conditions with a southerly breeze of
between 11 and 14 knots and flat water - not as shifty but otherwise
similar to the combination that saw Oracle BMW Racing excel yesterday.
Despite a slow start on port tack, USA-76 climbed out to an early advantage
and led around the first three marks. But, on the second downwind run,
USA-76's previous superiority off the wind was not in evidence and Alinghi
rolled into the lead under gennaker. From there, the Swiss were relentless
in protecting their lead and took the final gun by 13 seconds. - Louis
Vuitton Cup website, full story:

SERIES STANDINGS: Alinghi leads Oracle BMW Racing 4-1 in this 'first to
five wins' series. The two crews now have a lay day to develop their plans
for the final race(s) of this series.

America's Cup police refuse to "confirm or deny" they are carrying guns on
patrol boats and working undercover at the Viaduct Basin. The East and Bays
Courier understands undercover officers are mingling with visitors to the
viaduct basin, and firearms are on board patrol boats in preparation for a
possible seaborne terrorist attack.

Police communications manager, Jeoff Barraclough, says he would neither
"confirm nor deny" this information. "It is no secret that police are ready
and available to make preparations to deploy additional resources rapidly
if circumstances require," Mr Barraclough says. "We have the ability to
call on other resources than the 107 police we have down here now. What
these resources are I do not have liberty to say. But every (terrorist)
scenario has been looked at and will continue to be looked at," he says.

Police assess information daily and make preparations based on the
intelligence available to them, Mr Barraclough says. But no matter what,
the overall likelihood of a terrorist attack is low and remains low." East
& Bays Courier, as posted on the stuffNZ website, full story:,2106,2198123a11,00.html

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* There will be a split start for the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic
Challenge 2003. The majority of the fleet will cross the starting line in
Newport, as previously planned, on Saturday June 14 to compete in the
3,500-nautical-mile race to Cuxhaven, Germany and on to Hamburg, but the
larger and faster yachts will start one week later on Saturday June 21. The
reason for the change is to provide enough time for as many competitors as
possible to arrive in Hamburg for the weeklong maritime festival to be held
July 4-12 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hamburgischer Verein
Seefahrt (HVS). Three months prior to the April 1 entry deadline more than
40 owners have entered and more than 60 additional owners have expressed
interest. - Dana Paxton,

* The Liberty Cup Transatlantic Race is an inaugural race, due to
commence on June 14, 2004, and intended to run every four years. Sponsored
by The Blue Water Sailing Club and Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead,
Massachusetts, USA), the race will be run under the IMS Category 1
regulations. It primarily targets the "family cruising yachtsman" - people
who are looking for the adventure of crossing the Atlantic, safely and in
the company of the others. The race is designed to provide the adventure of
a transoceanic passage, while encouraging good seamanship and sound
navigation at sea, and to provide opportunities for cross-cultural
exchange. -

* UK Sailmakers has posted a new animated rules quiz on their website.
This one will not only test your rules knowledge - it also offers some
tactical advice for when you run into this situation on the racecourse:

* When Larry Ellison's Oracle-BMW team won its America's Cup challenge
series race on Thursday, the syndicate sent its fleet of 10 BMW 7 Series to
the end of a wharf near Viaduct Harbor and had chauffeurs flash headlights
and blow horns as its yacht came into port. Friday those cars stayed in the
garage. - Warren St. John, NY Times,

(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 Jonathan McKee: I wish to clarify a quote by me in Butt 1240. In
the Seattle Times article my comment was taken out of context, and I wish
to set the record straight regarding OneWorld's boats and boatspeed. Lets
face it, we lost some races by not covering. Of course, decisions on the
water are not so easy. I've lost races by doing the opposite- covering! Our
boats are fast, and probably fast enough if we had sailed very well. But
it's still a sailboat race. The competition is stiff, and in the end we
fell short.

* From Dan Howe, London: I read with interest Robert Berg's views on
obscenities on the AC boats while racing ('Butt 1241). Having myself sailed
on a number of teams where bad language is not uncommon on the racecourse,
it is often a case where this behavour is accepted as the norm amongst team
mates and not considered or taken as offensive. These Cup sailors have been
working together for up to 3 years now and so this is how they choose to
behave and speak to each other in the privacy of their own boat while racing.

We are priviledged now by having 'fly on the wall' access to what is said
on the boat. Surely we should appreciate the opportunity to hear what they
say rather than passing judgement on the manner in which they say it.

Rule 69 sufficiently governs what you can legitimately say to your fellow
competitors but I think that it is none of our business how the teams
choose to talk amongst themselves. However, I am sure that if team members
took offence, they would be quick to draw this to the attention to their

* Steven Levy: What a wonderful idea, banning language you don't like.
Next we can ban advertising we don't like, and follow that by banning
people from disagreeing with the government. Once we've cleaned that up,
let's go ahead and make it a crime for people to disagree with me. After
all, if I'm the standard by which speech is measured, then there's no
reason I can't be the standard for other definitions of 'right.'

My TV has a few interesting buttons. One pair, with up and down arrows,
controls the volume; keep pressing the down arrow, and eventually the words
you don't like will no longer be audible. The other, a large button, has
this silly symbol of a circle with a vertical line through the top, or
perhaps a zero cut by a one to represent its binary nature; in any case, if
you really don't like what you see, push it once, and all offending content
will be removed from your sight. Then, as long as the dang thing is off, go
out for a sail.

I do enjoy two competitions with completely circumscribed vocabularies, one
with two words and the other with fifteen. In some ways, sailing is indeed
like chess and like bridge, but our sport is a bit more physical. Our
language reflects that difference.

* From Richard Clark: Are they f@*#ing kidding, penalising an "expletive
deleted"! Come on guys and gals, this is sailing, salt air, salty language,
this is not kindergarten nor is it prime time ABC, this is Cable. The
writers of The Sopranos get paid big bucks for this, maybe we should pay
Brad Butterworth, Peter Holmberg et al for their colourful personalities. I
applaud when I see the opening credits of Sex in the City, Ab Fab,
Sopranos, Six feet Under stating Nudity, Sex, Language, etc. This is why I
pay big bucks for Cable because I am a grown up and want to watch
Television as it should be. Beats reality shows any day. Go Chris and
Russell, you da boys!

* From Larry Suter: Race #3 of the LVC seemed to again bring out the
worst of the simplified rules, and again showed why the "old" rules had the
"mast abeam" provision. When you luff, initially the weather boat's bow
moves away from the leeward boat, but at about the time 'mast abeam' would
kick in, the weather boat's transom starts to move toward the leeward boat,
and the convoluted "avenue of escape", and "no contact," kick in with the
non calls causing frustration on the part of the leeward boat. Going into a
protest room to explain it when professional judges can not make the call
seem to make the rule moot.

It would seem that the "mast abeam" provision actually made the rule
simpler in application. Maybe the best alternative would be to adopt the
Pro-Sail rule which stated that once the weather boat acquired an overlap,
the leeward boat had to go back to its proper course. This keeps traffic
moving down the leeward leg and the protest room empty of frustration fouls
which we saw in LVC Race #3.

* From Todd Jones: I have owned Thomas Hardware since buying it from my
Father, the world famous (at least Great Lakes), Warren Jones in 1993. It
is a struggle owning a small business in today's world, but we enjoy it and
carry on. When West Marine moved to town, five locations in a 45 mile
radius of Detroit, we thought the sky was falling and it would only be a
matter of time before we were on the streets. Well, a funny thing happened,
our sales went up.

This is a service orientated industry and large, overpriced, big box stores
do not meet all the needs of the consumer. There is plenty of opportunity
to sprout in the shadow of the redwoods and it is an easy formula.
Excellent service, product knowledge, and fair pricing keep customers
coming back.

* From Gary Bruner: I would like to echo the sentiments of Michael
Moradzadeh in 'Butt 1241 in which he expresses his dismay at the thought
that West Marine has now taken over BoatUS stores. As he states, this might
be a good move for stockholders, but I can see no upside for sailors, or
any boater, who has to live within a budget.

While over the years West Marine could justify slightly higher prices
because of somewhat expert and experienced advice for the novice, it seems
that, in my local store at least, the employees are very young and not
nearly as able to give the advice I need. Seems to me that bigger isn't
often better, especially when a company reaches a near monopoly. Hurrah for
the few local, independent chandelries! Competition is a good thing.

QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Russell Coutts
"The most important decision you ever make in the America's Cup is the
people you hire at the outset. You get that right and it all becomes a lot
easier. It's a lot simpler to manage good people." - The Daily Telegraph,

Latest high-tech fiber shackle. Goal: overcoming line strength loss caused
by "light weight" knots in high tech lines. Looplocks use a splice in your
line redirecting it gently while developing a very secure, small, light
connection. They have been under continuous development on the water and on
the bench. So far, bench-tested versions at .02 oz were stronger than the
" Dyneema/Vectran for which they were designed. Being further proven
during Key West. I'll have some in my pocket to show you if you visit our
Tent. See You There, Walt.

Kingfisher2 has officially gone "on standby" for the non-stop round the
world Jules Verne record attempt this morning. The 14 crew will now go into
standby mode - the crew will put on 3 types of alert when a weather window
begins to materalise:
- RED : 24 hour alert - crew must be within Europe - no obvious weather
window in view
- AMBER : 6 hour alert - crew must be within 6 hours of Lorient -
possible departure within 36 hours
- GO : crew must be with Kingfisher 2 in base - departure within 12 hours

Once the crew arrive at the base, Kingfisher2 can be ready to leave the
dockside within hours, but it could take up to 12 hours to sail to the
start line off of Ushant, north west tip of Brittany, France.

"Looking at the weather ahead over the next 7 days there does not look like
there will be an opportunity to leave" said MacArthur. "But we will be
looking at the weather every day - we need the wind to swing to the north
and there is a possibility that next week if a High builds in the east it
could force a swing in that direction but we will have to wait and see."

The crew will take the opportunity to visit family and friends in the next
few days before their departure. After several months of hard grind
preparing Kingfisher2, this is much deserved and needed before 2 tough
months at sea. -

* GERONIMO - Everything continues to go well on board Geronimo as she
makes rapid progress towards the Equator. With the trade winds remaining
reasonably stable, she has managed to average 21.88 knots over the past 24
hours. The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric crew have moved further West
to try and find the best position from which to attack the Doldrums (ITCZ:
Intertropical Convergence Zone), which appears to be moving around quite a
lot at the moment; a fact which concerns everyone on board. It is very
difficult to predict whether the Doldrums will be predominantly to the West
or to the East of this stretch of the Atlantic in 2 day's time and indeed
what area they may cover.

The great grey trimaran continues to extend her lead over the time set by
Orange and is now some 100 nautical miles nearer the Equator than the
maxi-catamaran was at the end of Day 5. This lead is all the more
encouraging to the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric team, because the time
set by Bruno Peyron and his 12 crewmembers in their dash to the Equator was
extremely fast at 7 days and 22 hours.

As the wind plays havoc with the bulk of the SAP Cape to Rio fleet, the
battle for handicap honours and the coveted South Atlantic trophy is
heating up. The oldest competitor Gawie Fagan on board the smallest yacht,
the 9-metre Suidoos 2, has recaptured his pole position and has now 1860
miles to go to Rio de Janeiro.

The Fast 42's are continuing their race within a race with Investec and
Baleka in second and third position on the handicap ratings with a coverage
of 149 and 155 miles respectively. Line honours contender Morning Glory has
slipped down to fourth place while the other Fast 42 in the race, John
Martin's MTU Fascination of Power, moved up into fifth position. It seems
that the lighter winds conditions around the South Atlantic high are
suiting the 42-footers and Martin managed to cover 163.6 miles during the
past 24 hours. -

* April 12-15: CISA Advanced Racing Clinic, Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach,
CA. 120 of the nation's top youth sailors will be accepted by resume in the
420, Laser, Europe, Radial, CFJ and 29er classes. Coaches include Charlie
McKee, Kevin Hall, Nick Adamson, Brian Doyle and Peter Wells. Application
deadline is February 1st.

* September 27-October 3: Rolex International Women's Keelboat
Championship, Annapolis YC, Annapolis, MD. 11-race format in J/22s preceded
by "Road to Rolex" adult clinics. and

Mediocrity takes a lot less time, and most people won't notice the
difference until it's too late.