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SCUTTLEBUTT 1290 - March 20, 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.

(There is an interview posted on the ISAF website with GBR Challenge
skipper and double Olympic Silver Medallist Ian Walker. In the following
excerpts, Walker discusses AC XXXII.)

I think that the entry level of funding even if you just want to do a bare
bones one-boat campaign is so high that you're not going to have people
hammering at the gate to do it. I think that there are not enough second
hand boats from the relevant European Countries to suggest that a lot of
people could enter with an old boat. I think that if there was any threat
of this then I think Alinghi, or the organizers appointed by Alinghi, would
seek to prevent that from happening. Certainly what the new protocol is
aiming towards is a good, high quality event that delivers good returns for
those teams that enter, and it's not about having masses and masses of
teams diluting the pot for everybody

The way I understand it is that the commission set up by the Challengers
and the defenders would jointly choose the race committee and jury so I
don't think that you are going to see a race committee or Jury appointed by
the defenders, which is currently the case. [Ed Note: The International
Jury for the America's Cup is determined in conjunction with ISAF.] So I
have far fewer concerns in terms of the running of the racing, that's one
side of it.

The other side of it is the whole commercial handling of the event and in
that instance then I think the defender is going to maintain total control
of the organization and particularly the media. Until this event, it's been
done separately so the challengers have organized their event, and they've
organized their selling of media rights, and the running of the racing, and
the defenders have done theirs.

Now really that's a shambles, I mean you shouldn't have the two sides of
the event competing for media for a start, and clearly it's ridiculous
changing the race committee halfway through the event, or at the end of the
Louis Vuitton. So I think there is a lot of merit to what Alinghi are
suggesting, but of course the fear would always be that the defender could
abuse that power because they effectively would handle all the commercial
rights to the whole event, whereas before the challengers handled the
commercial rights to their side of the event.

But realistically you can't do these things by committee, you need to have
somebody who's going to own the event and do the best, and you've got to
trust them to do the very best for the event and all the teams in it. I
think as long as that body that is appointed is accountable and that their
accounts can be audited by all the challengers and the agreements are sort
of agreed in advance then I don't have a problem with it, and I personally
do trust Alinghi and all their intentions in running a fantastic event. -
Ian Walker, ISAF website, full story:

Rolex Watch U.S.A. will continue as the exclusive-presenting sponsor of
NYYC events through 2007. The five-year sponsorship agreement extends the
relationship that was established in 1994. Highlighting the NYYC's schedule
in 2003 is the 149th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex,
scheduled for June 7-8. In 2005, the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge will
feature superyachts attempting to break the world's oldest ocean-racing
record while covering 3,000 nautical miles from New York to England. -
Media Pro Int'l

If you are like most sailors, Spring never comes soon enough. Time to get
your boat ready for the upcoming racing season! To get it into mid-season
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qualified Samson rope supplier. They'll have a full line of the latest
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from the leading manufacturer of high-tech lines…Samson - First in
Innovation, First Across the Line!

Auckland's civic leaders believe a major international superyacht regatta
or marine fair could replace the America's Cup. Auckland Mayor John Banks
says he's keen to support an international yacht regatta or the marine
industry sponsored New Zealand Millennium Cup superyacht regatta. The
Millennium Cup was held over two days before the February start of the
America's Cup challenge 2000. Fifty-five vessels took part in the race
followed by a dinner celebration at Kawau Island. The regatta was extended
over four days this year to include a day of golf at Gulf Harbour.

"I think it is a great idea. I thought the Millennium Cup brought a special
dimension to the America's Cup. The hoopla around that event was most
satisfying and it brought a huge amount of cash into the city," Mr Banks
says. He says the wife of a friend who owns a superyacht spent $100,000 a
day for the 10 days they were in Auckland. "They loved the place and want
to come back.

It is all good news, especially if we could do a lot of work around such an
event and maximise the visit in an investment sense. "It is all win-win for
New Zealand and Auckland. I have withdrawal symptoms when I think of the
mega yachts and the associated credit cards leaving." - Sue Fox, East &
Bays Courier, full story:,2106,2339798a6497,00.html

* April 24-17: US Pan Am Sunfish Trials, Sarasota Sailing Squadron,
Florida. Entries must be received by March 31. -

* June 7: Bermuda One-Two Race, Newport YC. Singlehanded race from
Newport to Bermuda and the doublehanded race back from Bermuda. (Skippers
meeting and Forum on March 22) -

Bobst Group Armor lux was hauled out of the water and the mast and keel
removed. "It's a big job," JC Caso, shore crew for the boat said after
looking at the keel. "First we have to remove the plates that Bernard
installed in the Falkland Islands and then we will have a better idea of
the job we have to do." Work also continues on the other boats. Sails have
been removed and either sent to the sailmaker or repaired on the dock,
while the never ending work lists grow and shrink with regularity. - Brian

From the boats still at sea:
"One of the by-products of the heat and salt water environment are
salt-water blisters. I almost made it through the leg without getting a bad
dose of them, but not quite soon enough. I've had to take off my watch
because of them and they are showing up everywhere. A couple of days of
fresh water showers takes care of them; another treat I can not wait to
enjoy!" Tim Kent, Everest Horizontal

"While I certainly don't recommend around the world sailing as a smart
career move, I do recommend taking an impossible dream, visualizing it, and
making yourself believe that you can do it if you work hard enough. It may
turn out to be even harder than you originally thought. You may come across
huge stumbling blocks that seem insurmountable. You may not get quite the
results you expected, but if you just don't quit you can make something
amazing happen. And in how you overcome the obstacles and setbacks that you
didn't expect, you will find out more about yourself and what you can do
than you thought you would. What will surprise you is that this is one of
the best parts of the whole adventure," Bruce Schwab, Ocean Planet

STANDINGS: 2200 UTC March 19 ­ CLASS 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm Solidaires, finished; 2. Thierry Dubois, finished; 14; 3. Tiscali,
Simone Bianchetti, finished; 4. Pindar, Emma Richards, finished; 5. Ocean
Planet, Bruce Schwab, 93 miles from finish; Hexagon, Graham Dalton,
dismasted, withdrew from race.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, finished; 2. Everest Horizontal,
Tim Kent, 370 miles from finish; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 512
mff; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1053 mff; Spirit of Canada, Derek
Hatfield, 2907 mff - dismasted.

There is less than two weeks before the April 1 deadline for interested
skippers to enter their yachts in the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic
Challenge from Newport, Rhode Island, USA to Cuxhaven and on to Hamburg,
Germany in June. To date, 57 yachts from 40 to 152-feet have registered to
enter this 3,500 nautical mile offshore race across the Atlantic Ocean and
North around the British Isles. - Media Pro Int'l,

According to Ben Hall, round is in! We've seen a lot of experimentation
with other pole styles, but Hall's carbon tubes continue to rock the racing
world. But accidents happen: we've also developed the QuikSplint, a repair
kit that will allow you to finish that distance race in a gale without
carrying an extra pole. Check out prices for our carbon poles and
lightweight end fittings, as well as a description of the QuikSplint, at

Tuesday, a humble sailing friend passed away. William Mavrogiannis was
chief designer for Sparkman & Stephens for 25 years. Bill helped design
many of the famous America's Cup twelve meters. About 35 years ago he
designed the Knickerbocker One Designs which are still actively racing in
Manhasset Bay.

Few of his friends, even his son Mike, were unaware of Bill's distinguished
war record. At the age of l7 he joined the Marines in l943. He survived the
landing and bloody fighting on Iwo Jima; participated in Tinian and Saipan.
When the Korean War started he went to flight school and became a fighter
pilot. Shot down twice: once at sea and the second time behind enemy lines.

Raise a glass to Bill. - Ed du Moulin

(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 Olin Stephens: In explaining, in Scuttlebutt, the coming of
advertising, Paul Henderson has laid his cards on the table and
demonstrated the honest and direct approach that has made him a leader in
the sailing world. At the same time he has, sadly, to my mind, changed the
America's Cup from a tradition into a business, something I deplore. In
sailing, though not in sailing alone, our shrinking world cannot afford to
lose, to the bottom line, traditions that, by differentiation, add sparkle
to our interests and pleasures in life.

* From Tom Donlan: In his reflections on advertising, excerpted in
Scuttlebutt 1289, ISAF President Paul Henderson also wrote: "It is
interesting to see that all those who asked for an ISAF advertising Code,
Aussies, Kiwis and now the Europeans, have won the America's Cup. The
initiative directed, adjusted and administered by ISAF has produced what
was intended."

If the intention of the ISAF really was to intervene in the America's Cup,
it should be ashamed of itself. It should also be ashamed of the trashy
addition of ads on so many racing boats, and it should be ashamed of
abetting the professionalization of a sport that could and should have
remained purely amateur. Nuts to advertising, nuts to sponsorship of
regattas and nuts to professional sailboat racing.

* From: Robbie Doyle: Peter Commette has it just right. As a former
collegiate sailor and parent of our second child participating in college
sailing I can state that without roll tacking as it is now executed,
collegiate sailing would be a different and much duller sport. The rule
makers must work with the reality of the sport and with those who are out
there sailing rather being aloof and at times being a hindrance. I feel
every rule maker should at least witness first hand a collegiate regatta,
and best of all a team race to see the real excitement of the sport. And,
this action/ excitement is often extracted from boats that otherwise would
only be good for flower pots!

While observing the team racing, note how quickly the sailors will do their
circles rather then risk a protest. I once observed an instance where my
son who was competing against his cousin in a team race and had an
incidence when they both did a circle. When I queried them as to what
occurred, they both said they touched but were not sure who was a fault so
both did their circles and continued on.

One additional thought: (US Sailing's newly nominated president) Janet
Baxter with her broad based experience I am confident will be ideally
suited to address such matters extremely well.

* From Craig Leweck: Kudos to US Sailing for recognizing Jerelyn Biehl
and honoring her with the Leadership role. Jerelyn takes on tasks as often
as many of us try to avoid them. On top of her significant committment with
the 2002 Youth Championships, she manages the International and US Snipe
Class office. Her involvment in both junior sailing and the snipe class has
introduced many young sailors to the class. Because of Jerelyn, I have had
the pleasure to cross tacks with elite juniors like Bryan Lake, Mikee
Anderson, Andrew Campbell, Graham Beihl, Tyler Sinks, Adam and Melanie
Roberts, Tyler Pruett, etc. She brought them in while they were still
young, and I was still good enough to cross tacks with them. Thanks Jerelyn!

* From John Sherwood: It seems to me that the Star is one of the few
classes to be broadly popular and have Olympic status. Many Olympic classes
(past and current) have struggled to retain a high level of racing activity
and solid participation, while a number of similar classes not selected for
Olympic participation do well. Look at the success of such non-Olympic
classes as Snipe, 5-0-5, Lightning, J/24, J/22, Melges 24, Etchells.
Compare these with the 470, Flying Dutchman, Soling. The Star thrives
despite its Olympic burden.

As a Star sailor I enjoy seeing the class in the Olympics and did two
campaigns myself (1960, 1968), but I don't think such status is at the core
of the class's success. It hasn't been central to my participation. Rather,
success lies in the quality sailing experience provided by the boat and the
solid, sailor-run class organization. The latter is being sorely tested by
the need to fit into the current Olympic mold.

* From Rob Drury, Sydney Australia (edited to our 250-word limit):
Following the ISAF meeting last November a Rules Working Party has been
formed to develop a new rule for 'Grand Prix' (trans-ocean capable) yacht
racing to re-ignite participation at this end of the sport.

At the 'front end' of yachting the box rule is supreme. The Americas Cup,
numerous races for Open 40, 50 and 60's and the Volvo Ocean Race are Box
rule events and these events attract massive following and sponsorship. Why
not a box rule for this GP niche? Imagine an Admirals Cup or a Kenwood Cup
with teams comprising e.g. a 40ft, 50ft and a 60ft box rule boat, pitting
nation against nation, designer against designer, crew against crew,
sailmaker against sailmaker. Now that would be a yacht race - especially
now, as nationalism in the AC is dead.

History shows handicap/ rating systems are unsatisfactory for this purpose
and have been the subject of constant change with high administration
costs. Handicap/ rating systems are suitable for 'club' racing but surely a
box rule is more suitable for GP and international racing. The last Volvo
Ocean Race clearly showed how close and exciting box rule racing can be.
There is no separation of big and small boats being subjected to different
weather systems with the weather favoring one end of the fleet.

If not a box rule, why not? The KIS rule should also apply-keep it simple!
And there is nothing simpler than a box rule! And it could be set in concrete!

* From John Berry: I am a long-time, avid sailboat racer and enthusiast
of the America's Cup. I think it would be a mistake if any port in France
was chosen as the venue for the next America's Cup. The AC event generates
100's of millions into the economy of the host. I for one, don't believe
that France should be the beneficiary of the America's Cup. I hope those
individuals that have any influence in the decision making process of
Alinghi's choice of venue, both the elite sailors of the world and those in
governing positions within yachting, strongly urge that France not be

You know you're getting old when you stop buying green bananas.