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SCUTTLEBUTT 1298 - April 1, 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.

Melbourne to Osaka yacht 'Mad Max' hits reef.

The crew on the Elliott 12 Mad Max were helicoptered off the boat at
0800hrs EST 01/04/03 and are now on board the Japanese Icebreaker, Shirase,
heading for Rabaul. We confirm that Mad Max has been abandoned.

This afternoon the Shirase reached the yacht carrying two Sydney sailors,
which is holed and high on fringing coral reefs off Rossell Island on the
south eastern tip of Papua New Guinea. Owner skipper 49 year old Jim
Murchison and crew 54 year old Jeff Thomas were sailing north towards
Bougainville on their 12 metre ocean racer Mad Max, when they struck the
reef at 2:45 am Monday morning. Both sailors are uninjured and in no
immediate danger.

Hitting the reef on a rising tide the vessel was holed and started taking
water. Mad Max activated their Emergency Beacon (EPIRB) and AuSAR in
Canberra managed to reach the crew by HF radio within a short time, after
Taupo Radio in New Zealand heard their Distress transmissions. At 8:15am
this morning, the 11,600 tonne Japanese icebreaker Shirase, returning from
an Antarctic research mission, advised they were 150 miles south of the
stricken vessel and were steaming at high speed to render assistance.

AuSAR (Australian Search And Rescue) spokesman Brian Willey advised that
the Japanese vessel had reached the vicinity but were unable to affect a
rescue due to difficult sea conditions and failing light. - Rob Kothe,
Sail-World website, full story:

Sailboat racing devotees who can't get to Long Beach will be able to follow
the Long Beach Yacht Club's 39th Congressional Cup Tuesday through
Saturday, April 8-12, as never before. For the first time the prestigious
match-racing event will be broadcast live on local radio and worldwide on
the Internet, and streaming video highlights will be available on the
Internet every night.

The club has secured a temporary FCC license to broadcast the event locally
each day on 810 AM radio and provide travel and parking information for
viewing from Belmont Pier, starting at about 11 a.m. daily. Those
broadcasts will be fed simultaneously to Long Beach City College's Web
site,, which is available to anyone with access to the Internet.

In a separate production, about 15 minutes of edited highlights of the
racing produced by GenCast Networks, Inc. of Long Beach will be presented
in streaming video each night through a link on the LBYC website that will
be accessible anytime from anywhere on the Internet at viewers'
convenience. - Rich Roberts,

Hiking for many hours on the rail is tiring on your legs, which affects
your performance. The Camet Padded Shorts make the difference; new for this
year are the Bemuda length shorts and the women's Ocean shorts. Made out of
a fast drying Supplex® which has a UV protection of 97.5 % and a Cordura
seat patch, which holds the optional foam padding. Several styles in 7
different colors. Made in California, USA. Go to the Camet web site for
more information on the Shorts, Hiking Pants, Coolmax shirts and more
performance gear.

In a joint press release issued by the OneWorld Challenge syndicate and the
Oxbow Corporation, it was disclosed that 1992 America's Cup winner, Bill
Koch, has acquired the assets of Craig McCaw's now defunct America's Cup
syndicate. "The deal includes both USA-65 and USA-67, the spars, sails and
all of our spares," stated Bob Ratliffe, OneWorld spokesman.

Gary Jobson has been retained as the Chief Operating Officer for Koch's new
ForAmerica syndicate, and the group has secured a four year lease for
training facilities in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas in the US Virgin
Islands. OneWorld Operations Manager Kimo Worthington is now preparing the
boats for shipment to St. Thomas where the ForAmerica syndicate plans to
start crew training and testing early in 2004.

"Mr. Koch has retained Doug Peterson as the syndicate's principal
Designer," Jobson stated, "and Doug is currently talking with former
members of the OneWorld design team about possible roles in the new
campaign. While we are fully funded to build two new boats, having USA-65
and USA-67 to work with will certainly jump-start our testing and
development program."

While no announcements were made concerning members of the sailing team,
Jobson acknowledged that the new syndicate has talked with both Peter
Holmberg and Ed Baird about "significant afterguard assignments," but no
commitments have been made. - Walter St. James, New York Times, full story:

Derek Hatfield with his dismasted Spirit of Canada is still in Ushuaia. The
Around Alone race committee has granted Hatfield dispensation from the rule
regarding arrival in port five days before the scheduled restart of the
next leg, subject to Spirit of Canada's compliance with regard to returning
to the position at which the motor was started and making a stop of not
less than 48 hours in Salvador before starting Leg 5. Spirit of Canada's
start time for Leg 5, from Salvador to Newport RI, will be the official
start time of the race at 13:00hrs local time on 13th April 2003. In
granting this dispensation, Spirit of Canada will receive a 24 hr penalty
to be applied to the elapsed time for Leg 5, for late arrival into Salvador.

The new mast was due to arrive in Ushuaia on Saturday and the new sails, if
they make it through customs, should arrive on Monday. The sailmaker from
Canada is hand-carrying the 70 kg package as checked baggage hoping that
the eagle-eye Customs man in Buenos Aries will not notice. Actually there
should not be any problem getting the sails through customs, they are after
all goods-in-transit, but South America dances to it's own drum and Mr.
Customs man may turn a blind eye, or he may be looking to bolster his
retirement fund. You never know.

Last week when some of the electronics were being hand-carried into
Argentina as goods-in-transit, an $800 import fee was imposed. The luckless
traveler was not moving from country to country with that kind of cash
readily available, so Plan B had to be implemented. The company making the
new mast was fortunately located in Buenos Aries and they sent a courier
with a check, but not until after flights had been missed and tempers
frayed. Let's hope the Canadian sailmaker has better luck.
- Mary Ambler & Brian Hancock,

Team New Zealand announced plans on Tuesday afternoon to re-sign key
personnel, whose contracts expired on Monday evening, for up to a further
six months, while they decide whether to mount a challenge for the next
America's Cup. They plan to complete a feasibility study on a 2007
challenge by October this year, but have a commitment from syndicate head
Tom Schnackenberg if a New Zealand challenge goes ahead.

According to a media statement from Team New Zealand chairman Ralph Norris,
they are "determined to never again be as vulnerable as we were in 2000 to
defections. "We regard the commitment by Tom to be part of any future
challenge to be critical, and he will be the nucleus of any 2007 Team New

The $5.6 million received from the New Zealand government in early March
will be used to underwrite the salaries of an extended group of core team
members. "The seeding finance from the Government will be treated as a loan
until a decision is made to challenge, and the sale of assets will cover
repayment in the event we do not challenge," wrote Norris.

They are also seeking to appoint a Managing Director to take on overall
responsibility for the syndicate and a Director of Sailing to lead the
sailing group and control the boat design process. However, until the
future contracts are signed the identities will be kept confidential. -
Fiona McIlroy, website, full story:,1278,179696-2-124,00.html

* Kiwi round-the-world veteran sailor Grant Dalton has said that he is
prepared to help Team New Zealand win back the America's Cup in 2007. Team
New Zealand lost the cup to Swiss syndicate Alinghi in February. As the
current crew contracts expire on March 31, about 80 team members gathered
on Monday in Auckland to hear syndicate chairman Ralph Norris outline the

Norris and fellow Team New Zealand trustee Peter Menzies have approached
Dalton to see what role he might be able to play. "A job like that is a
huge challenge and as a passionate Kiwi it's hard to say no to a
challenge," said Dalton. "I am interested but it all depends on terms and

Even though the New Zealand government has pledged US$3 million to prevent
key members being poached by foreign syndicates, it is expected that most
of the team will be laid off.

Dalton is seen as coming from a similar mould to Blake, bringing practical
offshore and organizational experience from his round-the-world victories.
Dalton is aware that it is important to start planning for the next
America's Cup as soon as possible. "Things that happen now will decide how
2007 pans out. I don't believe it's as desperate as 2000 when huge
chequebooks were waved around to get our best sailors. But we can't afford
to lose key people again." - Excerpts from a story on the website,
full story:

With much in 'Butt focusing on big boats, it would be interesting to know
how many readers were once dinghy sailors. Do they still sail dinghies, or
perhaps, still yearn to sail them? Frank Bethwaite defined "age" in sailing
as the difference between getting up from a chair, turning around and
sitting down (tacking) versus sitting on the floor and doing the same
thing. Try it! There is a beautiful Farr designed performance dinghy that
is easily beach-launched, tacked and planed and which carries mature weight
without performance loss. It's the Megabyte. Come see it at:

A field that included three former College Sailors of the Year as well as
numerous former College All Americans and Southern California's top three
current college teams enjoyed a weekend of great Team Racing in Alamitos
Bay this past weekend. 65 races were sailed in 18 CFJ's. Using a developing
Observer/Umpire system, minimal time was spent on protests. Santa Ana
conditions made early sailing on Saturday interesting with 50 degree shifts
and 15 knots variations in wind strength. However the sea breeze ultimately
filled on both days. Beautiful sailing in temperatures over 80 degrees off
the beach in Alamitos Bay made for a very nice weekend! - Michael Segerblom

1. Hardesty/ Stout/ Pruett, 13/4 Won Sail Off against USC
2. USC - Campbell/ Levy/ Anderson, 13/4
3. Bergan/ Deermount/ Harrill, 9/8 Won Sail Off against Beeckman
4. Beeckman /Zimbaldi/ Uznis, 9/8
5. UC Irvine - Boyd/ Korss/ Brown, 8/6
6. Adamson /Sellers/ Graves, 7/7
7. UCSB - Jones/ Warnock/ Gillette, 3/11
8. Wiggers/ Cassidy/ Carey, 0/14

For complete Results:

St. Petersburg Yacht Club - Americans swept the 2.4 meter class, which is
raced in the Paralympics. Tom Brown of Northeast Harbor, ME was first with
5 points followed by John Ruf (Peawaukee, WI) in a close second with 7
points. Tom Franklin of Miami was third. 12 boats competed with
representation from Canada and Singapore.

In the Martin 16 class, there were 16 two-man boats racing. In first and
second places were teams from Ontario, Canada. Brad Boston and Liz
MacDonald finished with 5 points and Danny McCoy and Ken Carpenter with 8.
In third were Australians Daniel and Greg Fitzgibbon. Countries also
represented were the USA and England, with the majority of the field from

In the Sonar class, which is also a Paralympic class, there were nine teams
competing with a skipper and two crew members. The USA finished 1-2-3 in
competition that was very close. Winning overall was Paul Callahan from
Providence, RI with crew Keith Burhans and Mike Hersey with 18 points. Also
with 18 points, but losing the tie-breaker was Rick Doerr from Clifton, NJ
with crew members Tim Angle and Richard Hughes. In third was John Ross
Duggan with J.P. Creignon and Mike Ross. England, Ireland and the
Netherlands were also represented. -

(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 Hugh Elliot, Past Chair, US Sailing, Committee on Sailors with
Special Needs: It is obvious that, whatever the state of her physical
disabilities, Kimberly Birkenfeld has not lost her ability to think
clearly. I hope that she, and other sailors with disabilities, will now
consider getting involved in Paralympic sailing which is, now, intensely
competitive and of a standard that sometimes amazes those who still have a
fully functioning leg at each corner.

The current World Champion in the Open 2.4mR class is the 2000 Paralympic
Gold Medal winner and the 3rd place finisher at the recent Open Sonar
Midwinters was a Paralympic eligible team. If she, or any other disabled
person, is concerned that they are "too disabled" to compete effectively,
they should know that the skipper of the winning team at the recently
completed International Disabled Midwinters is paralyzed from the chest
down and that I, a bi-lateral above knee/below knee amputee, am rated as
"5" on a scale of 1 (most disabled) to 7 (least disabled but still
eligible). For more information:

* From John McBrearty:Kimberly Birkenfeld's e-mail was poignant and
timely! Sponsorship, at all levels of sailing, is the future. As an aside,
when I raced bicycles in Scotland in the '60's, having any sort of
sponsorship material on your bike or clothing was prohibited. Result, bike
racing was a "minority" sport. Contrast: Europe, Tour de France, Giro
D'Itilia, etc. etc.,

Wake up & smell the roses. At the top level of our sport, there is abundant
sponsorship! Let anyone who can generate sponsorship interest, benefit from
it. Scottish bike racing did! So did the English. And, politically
unpopular as this might be, when it comes to sport's sponsorship, the
French have always had it right!

* From Jim Barber: Regarding some of the challenges associated with
rescheduled races and previously allocated programming for the television
coverage of LV and AC cup races: While the business realities of the
television networks are unlikely to change in the next four years, (i.e.
limited ability to provide live coverage of races that have not been
planned months in advance due to programming conflicts), the Internet will
evolve and more people will have cable modem, or DSL, or other types of
"high speed" Internet access. This presents an opportunity to link the
web-based coverage to the Television coverage by augmenting a Virtual
Spectator type of service with video and audio feeds from both boats, the
commentators in the studio, etc.

While the video quality may not match a television broadcast, there is no
reason not to have good quality audio. This would enable viewing what is
going on, hearing what is being said, and giving the viewers the
opportunity to switch from the commentator to the race boat, or chase boat,
or helicopter ­ or even watch a race boat view and listen to the
commentator. Clearly this would rely on some sort of business arrangement
between the television broadcaster and the web- based service provider.
Perhaps this could be investigated by the licensor (presumably Alinghy) and
incorporated into the terms and conditions of broadcasting license.

* From Bob Austin M D: As someone who has been giving medicine at sea
lectures for over 40 years and sailed over 180,000 miles offshore , let me
suggest as an amendum to Dr Richard Shulman's excellent post: Eat lightly
the day before you leave port. Ginger ale, or ginger cookies are often
helpful in the early stages of motion sickness. Consult with your physician
before taking any medication. (Anti-motion sickness medication may be
contraindicated in people with pulumonary disease, who have glaucoma or
difficult urinating.)

Start any medication at least 8 hours before your shove off. Although
Stugeron is effective, it is not FDA approved, not available in the U S A
and can have significant side effects. A safer alternative is Meclizine or
Bonine 25 mg, which is available over the counter. If you choose to use
Transderm Scop, be very cautious to be certain that none of the medication
gets in your eye. Be particularly alert for possible confusion and
hallucinations--not the best of companions if shorthanded at sea! Be aware
that the precautions advise to avoid "driving or operating dangerous

* From Morgan Stinemetz: As a sailor of some 27 years tenure, I have not
been hit with sea sickness very often. It is not much fun, though. Several
months back I came across a topical sea sickness remedy that (a) stopped
the symptoms in minutes (b) requires no prescription and (c) has no side
effects whatsoever. Called Motion Eaze, it is widely used in the commercial
fishing industry. Sailors need a heads up on this product. It works.

* From Dick Holmberg: My wife tried all the remedies without any luck
until the captain of Ice Nine, which anchored next to us in Antigua
prescribed: Ephedrine Sulfate 25mg. Promenthazine (AKA: Phenergan) 25mg.
Take one of each before boarding and every 4 hours. I would swear this did
the trick, but after taking the first dose, our sailboat was struck by
lightening. So maybe she was just too scared to be sick.

* From Lenore Goldman: Sometimes I think that I'm the only person that
loves the water after getting sick over and over again. It's good to know
that I'm not. I have been motion sick on all the nicest boats. I've even
been sick as the driver on my own boat…between getting the marks set during
a regatta. I've tried all of the remedies…ginger/honey don't work. Bonine
and Dramamine are useless. Phenergen works but only if you have time for a
nice long nap.

The only thing that works well for me is the "Relief Band". It is an
electronic…battery operated wrist band. I didn't believe it would work…I
didn't believe it could work…but I tried it since nothing else worked
either. Two or three good electrical pulses at the proper pressure point
and that sick feeling was gone…yes…even after I started to feel ill…this
worked for me. I carry it all the time.

Before you start calling people or writing to me about Bill Koch's new AC
campaign, remember it's April Fool's Day.