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SCUTTLEBUTT 1295 - March 27, 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,
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South China Sea - Fighting in light airs to get clear of the South China
Sea, the crew of the trimaran Great American II is now trailing the ghost
of the extreme clipper ship Sea Witch by three and a half days in its
attempt to set a new sailing record from Hong Kong to New York City.

Aboard their 53-foot trimaran, American sailing adventurers Rich Wilson
(Rockport, Mass.) and Rich du Moulin (Larchmont, N.Y.) have set their
sights on eclipsing the Sea Witch's 154-year-old sailing record on a
non-stop 15,000-mile, seven-week voyage to New York. Their saga is the
focal point of an interactive educational web program called sitesALIVE! to
bring live adventure to 360,000 school children.

Great American II was today 1,680 miles south of Hong Kong and just 230
miles northwest of Djakarta, approaching Sunda Strait, marking the exit
from the South China Sea into the Indian Ocean. On the chart, the
corresponding position for Sea Witch was just west of Christmas Island,
some 500 miles ahead after ten days of sailing.

"It is a very tough and frustrating passage down the South China Sea," du
Moulin reported today via satellite email. "The wind always seems to die,
just when we are getting used to moving along. It is rare for us to achieve
12 hours of continuous sailing without running out of wind."

Strong northeasterly monsoon winds blessed Sea Witch with a string of daily
averages over 200 miles in the early days of her voyage while, apart from a
couple of good days with long runs, Great American II has had to contend
with light and variable conditions.

"Great American II can ghost along with very little wind," du Moulin added.
"She is very sensitive and fun, but light wind sailing takes a lot of work.
Just when we have set the spinnaker, the wind direction or velocity changes
and we have to take it down and put up the reacher. With their associated
gear, these sails are quite heavy and changes are time consuming.

"When we gybe the spinnaker it takes about ten minutes from start to finish
and then the wind shifts and we have to gybe back. We're not complaining
but ten days of these conditions with Sea Witch screaming away from us at
top speed has been difficult. We know we have a challenge ahead but we
believe we can still do it." - Keith Taylor,

Peter Holmberg would very much like to get back into another America's Cup
campaign, but plans to take it easy for a bit first. "My plans are to sit
back and digest everything I've learned from this campaign. It was a great
experience which I believe I have learned a lot from. I would be keen to
put that to use in the next campaign, so I am very interested in doing
another one. The match race game - that is my forte. I love working with
sailors and taking the sailing game to a higher level."

It is likely that he will return to the Swedish Match Tour - which he won
last year with an event to spare, but this will not be until the summer and
possibly until he knows what his next Cup plans are. - Excerpt from a very
long story on the Daily Sail website, full story:

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The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has just launched a regenerated
medical and anti-doping section of their website. As well as including the
latest news from the ISAF news index on anti-doping issues, there are clear
links to a wealth of information on the topic. Information available in
this section includes details of the ISAF anti-doping code and the ISAF
medical commission, along with details and information on the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the IOC approach to eliminating doping in sport.

As the micro-site develops, we will also be including details of all
national anti-doping and medical officers and MNA's are reminded that
notification of your national officers must be received at the ISAF offices
by Monday 31 March. Forms are available for download on the anti-doping
pages. Alongside anti-doping issues, there are also links to reports and
studies carried out by ISAF and other bodies on sailing specific medical
issues and injuries. -`w5-h9,0GxSu7N4XzO~J

* The Yacht Club de France has revived the Coupe de France, which was
inaugurated in 1891 but has not been sailed since 1992. The 2003 Coupe de
France will take place in the Gulf of St Tropez from 28 ≠ 30 March. It will
be run as a three boat team racing event between national teams with each
team consisting of a Dragon, a Melges 24 and a Mumm 30. A total of nine
countries will be represented at this year's event: Germany, Belgium,
Estonia, France, Italy, Monaco, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. - Fiona Brown

* Composite Solutions Inc. (CSI), fabricator of custom composite parts
for the marine industry, has installed a new autoclave for its Hingham, MA
(USA) facility that is rated for 100 PSI @ 350 degrees F. It will allow CSI
to build carbon fiber sailboat masts over 100 feet long.

Clearwater Yacht Club - Final results:
1. Augie Diaz & Jon Rogers, Miami, 6.25
2. John Manderson & Maggie Manderson, Keyport, NJ, 11.75
3. George Szabo & John Kehoe, San Diego, 15.75
4. Birger Jansen & Celilia DeFaire, Norway, 24
5 Andrew Pimental & Kathleen, Tocke, Newport, 25
6. Peter Commette & Morgan Commette, Ft Lauderdale, 31

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* May 17: Charleston to Bermuda Race, South Carolina Maritime Heritage
Foundation. 777 nm offshore race for boats 30 feet LOA and larger with a
valid Americap certificate. -

* August 8-10: Monhegan Island Race, Portland YC. 106 nm race set of the
coast of Maine.

(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 Ray Tostado: We went through this mandatory PFD debate at the
GSLYC some years ago as how we sail overnighters in 42 degree water and
near freezing air temperatures, where survival is a matter of minutes.
After heated debate from the "individual rights" group the lone State Parks
Ranger who patrols this immense body of water stood and requested it be
mandated. "It makes it easier to recover the bodies."

* From Michael H. Koster: Not wearing a PFD and harness at night makes as
much sense to me as riding a motorcycle without a helmut. A social
psychology professor that I know of once commented that participating in
these types of behavior helps clean up the gene pool. I suspect this
observation has a lot of validity.

I would not want to be the owner that has to make the call to the family of
one lost overboard, assuming it was not the owner that was lost overboard.
I'm curious as to how many owner's actually give their crew the choice of
wearing or not wearing. If I were the owner's insurer, I'm not sure I would
underwrite a liability policy for a vessel that condoned sailing without a
PFD and harness at night.

And of course USSA will not be able to enforce this prescription, just as
they cannot enforce the prescription that a boat should not have its engine
in gear while charging the batteries at night (or day!). There are certain
aspects of our sport that still depend on the honor system and a Corinthian

* From James C. Malm: George Bailey's comments on "wind rowing" is yet
another viewpoint at an activity we all love, sailing. Some choose to sail
Mercury dinghies and Cal 20s. Both these boats are not known for "wind rowing".

The FJ which is commonly used for college sailing will flip over if you
stand on the rail while getting on the boat. The boat design enhances the
"wind Row" technique. The young sailors have created techniques to make
these FJ's fly, and it is frustrating to compete against the younger
athletic sailors. At one time I could "wind row" an FJ just as good as the
next guy, but after a few (15 years) my body doesn't row like it used to
.... in fact I think you could call it a paddle. I still like to go out and
race the college sailors, and yes I will let them know they are rowing
faster, but sailing an FJ is what I enjoy.

* From Michael Gian: Way too many years of personal experience, as well
as advice from my salty elders, point out a most important action to
prevent seasickness: Never go to sea on an empty stomach. The salts'
traditional pre-departure meal had been fried (i.e. greasy) pork chops with
mashed potatoes and gravy. I have found that any good meal is effective

* From Norris McNamara: Seasickness can happen to anyone. Big
contributors are lack of food to settle one's gut, exhaustion, dehydration,
or a severe hangover. One easy cure is honey. Since it's predigested - by
the bees - it goes down well and usually stays down. Plus, it's an
ever-handy source of energy.

* From Tony Bessinger: Kathy McKenzie's hints on seasickness are good,
and the exact opposite of what most raceboat crews end up doing. A raceboat
crew's guide to seasickness: The evening prior to boarding, go out and have
a rousing crew dinner; roll into bed at around 2 am. Remember to take
medication three hours into the race, but only if you're allowed to get off
the rail. Find the part of the boat where you're most needed, usually one
of the ends, and cling precariously. Go down below and bleed diesel engine
for two hours. When sailing downwind in light air, run diesel to charge
batteries. Spend hours peering through binoculars trying to determine if
the sail on the horizon is in the class ahead or the class behind. Spend
sleepless off watch clinging like grim death to wet, smelly pipe berth.
Learn to love anxiety and fatigue. Occupy your mind with making the boat go
faster. When you first start feeling queasy, blame it on food poisoning.
Eat Pringles and two-day-old sandwiches. Drink warm water and Gatorade.
Beer? On a raceboat? If really ill, tie yourself to the rail. Seasickness
will disappear as soon as you sit under a tree.

* From Gareth Evans: I am an acute sufferer of seasickness. However, I
consider seasickness to be largely psychological - it's the only way I can
explain being very ill for 3 days, but to instantly want beer and chocolate
when my feet hit the dock. No medical condition can clear up that quick.
I've tried all the remedies and medecines, but none seem to work for me. My
sickness has now got so bad that I have given up any offshore sailing,
sticking only to inshore events.

I particularly agree with the comment about occupying your mind, but this
only tends to delay the effects. Avoiding fatty food is definitely correct
- a fried breakfast before sailing in rough conditions is a definite no!
And keep drinking lots of water - you don't realize how dehydrated you get.

People who are lucky enough not to suffer don't realize that there are two
stages to seasickness: first is the bad stage when you think you're going
to die, then comes the worse stage when you realize that you are not! I
can't remember who it was that recommended the best cure for seasickness:
sit on the grass with your back against a large tree!

* From Steve Greene: Understanding this is not a chat room, I'd like to
offer this "retraction" as a final word. May I be the first to properly
thank the Curmudgeon for giving me the opportunity to open my mouth wide
enough for both feet to fit. A quick search on Google for "Malcolm McKeag
Sailing" returned pages of results which have proven enlightening. That
said, and in my defense, neither through email nor does Mr.
McKeag's comments show up in the "Sarcastics" font on my computer.
Additionally, I did find his comments so blatantly obscure that I figured
he was either trying to prove a point, or completely "nuts" himself. I
obviously chose poorly when I offered a response based on my second, and
incorrect interpretation. FYI, my definition of satiric irony: "In trying
to keep up on things outside my own pond, this young sailor, in fact,
missed the boat!" Thanks to all for making things clear, and for passing on
these lessons- they are the ones character are built on. 'Nuff said.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: It's a slow news day, so just this once we will
ignore the 'one letter per subject' rule long enough for Steve Greene to
eat a little crow.

Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.