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SCUTTLEBUTT 1329 - May 14, 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 focus. Corrections, contributions, press
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welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Madeira, Portugal - With the entries now closed for the ISAF Youth Sailing
World Championship representing the pinnacle of sailing for youngsters
around the world, the second largest number of countries in recent years
will be competing at this year's Championship. Held from 17-26 July on the
beautiful island of Madeira, over 250 competitors from 44 countries will
compete for the accolades of ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion in
individual classes, and overall for the Nations Cup.

As was the case in 1992, the last time the event was held in Portugal, the
event will be sailed in six disciplines, using four classes of boat: girls
and boys single-handed, the Laser and Laser Radial respectively, girls and
boys double-handed, using the 420, and girls and boys sailboard, using the
Mistral. Racing will take place in manufacturers supplied boats, ensuring
the fairest possible competition.

Looking back at past events, one of the most dominant periods from any
nation was between 1978 and 1981 when in both the boys double-handed 420
and Laser II, and the single handed Laser and Europe, New Zealand dominated
the proceedings, taking no less than 4 gold medals, one silver, and one
bronze. Those sailors doing the work for their country, even at this early
stage, included none other than Chris Dickson, and Russell Coutts, sailing
different disciplines, but at that stage, on the same team.

Dickson's record of three gold medals in a row stood for a number of years,
but was equaled in 1995, then surpassed in 1996 by Sally Cuthbert (GBR) who
won four consecutive gold's in the girls double-handed discipline.

From 1992, the Nations Cup was introduced as an overall trophy to be
presented to the nation with the best results across all disciplines. Since
then, only four countries have lifted the coveted prize, both the inaugural
winners and current defending nation being France, who have also won the
Cup a record six times in the last ten years. Australia has won the Cup
once, in 1993 in Italy, when a good all-round team performance was capped
by the victory of Natasha Sturges in the girls sailboard. She has now
changed nationality and can be seen on the Olympic circuit as a member of
the GBR squad.

Many of the current flock of Olympic medallists and hopefuls first found
success at the Youth Sailing World Championship, the likes of Ben Ainslie
(GBR - Gold Medal, boys single handed in 1995) went on to take the silver
medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, before winning gold in Sydney
2000 in the single handed dinghy, open. Below are some more of the world's
best sailors who found their first taste of success at the Youth Sailing

- Jordi Calafat (ESP) - Silver, boys double-handed, 1986 and Olympic
gold medallist, double-handed dinghy men, Barcelona 1992
- Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE) - Bronze, boy's sailboard, 1986 and Olympic
medallist, sailboard men, Atlanta 1996
- Dean Barker (NZL) - Gold, boy's single-handed, 1990 and Skipper, Team
New Zealand America's Cup Defence, 2003
- Robert Scheidt (BRA) - Gold, boy's single-handed, 1991 and Olympic
gold medallist, single-handed dinghy open, Atlanta 1996

ISAF website, full story:
Event Website:

106 competitors coming from 15 U.S. states and Canada raced in the APS
Laser Atlantic Coast Championship hosted by the Severn Sailing Association
this past weekend in Annapolis, Maryland,. Final results: 1. Scott
Ferguson, (also top Apprentice Master -age 35-44), 3pts; 2. Dan Neri, (top
Master - age 45-54) 10pts; 3. Peter Seidenberg (top Great Grand Master -
age 65+), 12pts; 4. Alden Shattuck, (top Grand Master (age 55-64) 17pts; 5.
Andrew Campbell, 17.00. The top female was Diane Burton - 49th overall. Top
junior (age 18 and under) was Patrick Curran - 16th overall. - Ted Morgan

Samson Rope Technologies congratulates Bruce Schwab and Brad Van Liew for
their incredible effort and performances in the Around Alone race. Nine
months at sea and the boats, lines and sailors are still intact. Bruce's
input over several years has been vital for our development of high tech
lines. His positive support and correspondence helped convince Brad to
switch to Samson mid-race. We are also proud to be a part of Brad's
record-breaking effort. Both boats were completely rigged with Samson's
high performance lines which proved up to the task.

Poland's Karol Jablonski sailed flawlessly in "Round Robin Pianosa" on
Portoferraio Harbor today to advance to the quarterfinals of the Swedish
Match Tour's Toscana Elba Cup - Trofeo Locman. In addition to his core
crew, Jablonski has a couple of familiar faces sailing with him this week,
German skipper Markus Wieser, former winner of Match Race Germany, is
serving as tactician and Eberhard Magg, event organizer of Match Race
Germany, is working the pit. For Jablonski, the "German engineering" has
paid immediate dividends.

Joining Jablonski as an automatic qualifier is Paolo Cian of the Riveria di
Rimini Sailing Team who avoided the repechage round by advancing on
count-back over defending champion American Ed Baird of Team Musto, who
posted an identical 2-2, record on the day. On Monday, Jes Gram-Hansen and
Magnus Holmberg also qualified for the quarterfinal round.

The conditions for the second day of the Toscana Elba Cup - Trofeo Locman
were especially light and shifty, resulting in a two-hour delay between the
first and second flights. The regatta continues tomorrow with the round
robin repechage. - Shawn McBride,

Pianosa Group Standings:
1. Karol Jablonski, POL/Jablonski Sailing Team, 4 - 0
2. Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, 2 - 2
3. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto, 2 - 2
4. Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot, 1 - 3
5. Chris Law, GBR/"The Outlaws," 1 - 3

Montecristo Group Standings (from Monday)
1. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, 5 - 0
2. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team Holmberg, 4 - 1
3. James Spithill, AUS/Team Spithill, 3 - 2
4.Sebastien Destremau, Le Defi Areva, 2 - 3
5.Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich, 1 - 4
6.Andy Beadsworth, GBR/Team Henry Lloyd, 0 - 5

Auckland helmsman Gavin Brady has been in talks with Oracle boss Chris
Dickson, but says as far as his sailing future is concerned he is keeping
his options open. Brady, who was backup helmsman for Prada in the last cup,
said that although he would be keen to compete in another event, he was
waiting for the right position. "I want to make sure if I sign up with
someone that it is in a role I am happy with." Brady said he had spoken to
Dickson, Oracle's chief executive, but had not signed with the American

Brady was tactician on Dickson's Tag Heuer in 1995 and has sailed with him
several times since. "I am pretty good mates with Chris, we have sailed
together a bit. We have talked and that is really the stage where a lot of
guys are at. "With the venue unknown, and with Alinghi changing the
residency clause, there is not such a big hurry to sign guys up. "There is
probably more urgency to sign designers, as once they sign with a team they
cannot change syndicates."

Brady, who finished second in last month's Congressional Cup, said securing
an America's Cup job was only one of several options. "With the cup so far
away, there's the Olympics and the Volvo Ocean race, which looks pretty
exciting with the bigger boats. "I just want to have some fun and get into
some other projects."

The 29-year-old has teamed up with former OneWorld grinder Craig Monk in
the Star class, and together they hope to qualify for the Olympics. The
pair will compete in the first of the European regattas in Holland next
week, and then Keil week in the German port next month.

Brady will compete in the Transpac Los Angeles to Honolulu race in July.
Teaming up with fellow Kiwis Sean Clarkson, Kevin Harrap, Jamie Gale, Jon
Gundersen and Peter Thomas, Brady will race on the Farr-designed Transpac
52 Beau Geste, owned by Karl Kwok. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

* The 60-foot trimaran, Foncia, participating in the Challenge Mondial
Assistance from Cherbourg to Rimini, capsized at around 50 miles off the
Portuguese coast. The five members of the crew are safe and sound and are
sheltering in the central cockpit. Alain Gautier, the skipper, specified
that they required no assistance and he was organising the recuperation
operation of the multihull Foncia with his shore crew. The boat was under
gennaker and mainsail at 25 knots. The crew on watch were surprised by the
sudden acceleration of the boat whose bows dug down and capsized
frontwards. -

* The RORC announced that a second Spanish team from the Real Club
Nautico San Genjo of Galicia, and sponsored by Telefonica, has entered the
Admiral's Cup 2003. The team comprises Bribon Telefonica Movistar, the
recently launched Jason Ker designed 55' IRC boat owned by Jose Cusi. His
Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain will skipper the boat and the crew
includes Eddie Warden-Owen as tactician and Bouwe Bekking as principal
helmsman. The IMS600 entry is the Rodman 42 Telefonica Movistar, owned and
skippered by Pedro Campos. The boat will have crew from Campos' 2002 Copa
del Rey winning team. -

* David Pescud and six crew members from Sailors with disAbilities
quietly slipped out of a sparkling and sunny Sydney Harbour today, heading
north aboard their yacht KAZ, in their attempt to break the unofficial
Around Australia record. Pescud and his crew are trying to circumnavigate
Australia non-stop and unassisted on the group's Lyons 54' yacht, KAZ. In
doing so, the aim is to beat Kanga Birtles' unofficial time of just under
44 days, set in 1999 and therefore create an official World Record - a
first for an able-bodied or disabled crew. -

J/24 NAS
Valle de Bravo, Mexico - After four races in the 27-boat J/24 North
American Championships, it appears that the USA's Bob Harden has a seven
point lead over Yon Belausteguigoitia from Mexico, with Mike Ingham just
one point further back. However, the results on the website are not easy to
read, so you may want to check me on this one.

Ullman Sails wishes to congratulate our customers who won trophies in 8 of
the 12 Classes in the 2003 San Diego Yachting Cup. Ullman Sails swept the
top 3 places in the J105 and Schock 35 fleets, and amassed 18 trophies at
this year's event. These results spanned a variety of boat types in both
the one design and offshore handicap classes. To see how affordable the
fastest sails on the planet are, call your nearest Ullman Sails loft or
visit us at

Leg two of six-legged Tybee 500 from Florida to Georgia, turned out to be a
78-mile upwind light air beat to the finish line at Jensen Beach. Standings
after two legs: 1. Castrol I, John Casey/ Jay Sonnenklar Inter 20, 1-6,
7pts; 2 Tybee, Steve Lohmayer/ Kenny Pierce, Inter 20, 4-3, 7pts; 3. Key
Sailing I, Kirk Newkirk/ Rod Waterhouse, Inter 20, 7-1, 8pts.

* June 1: Exploring the Possibilities Seminar, West Marine Pacific Cup,
Berkeley YC, Berkeley, CA.

* June 2-10: Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Spring Championships,
hosted by the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association and the Grosse Pointe,
Cresent, Detroit and Bayview YCs, in the Detroit area.

* June 28: The final Transpac Race Safety at Sea seminar, Orange Coast
College of Sailing and Seamanship, Newport Beach. (949) 645-9412, ext. 2.

* July 19: 79th Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race: More than 270 yachts from
across the United States, Canada and Europe will race in the largest fresh
water sporting event in the world on two separate courses.

(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 Stephen Wells: Remember the 5 step program for disasters: 1.
Enthusiasm; 2. Disenchantment; 3. Search for the guilty; 4. Punishment of
the innocent; 5. Rewards for the uninvolved;

Team NZ knew full well that close to 100% of all AC races are won by the
boat that wins the first crossing, they knew that they were financially
challenged and they knew that they had to take chances. Perhaps they danced
too close to the flame but they may have had the fastest boat which really
only needed to last for nine races. It's clear that if you can't finish you
can't win but it also appears that if you can't take the first crossing you
aren't going to win either. To my calculator NZ's effort was more than

I think they ought to stop the silliness out on the water on the AC and
just go straight to the wallet weighing. If they want to go back to sailing
perhaps a tax might make sense. For every dollar spent over $10 million a
second dollar must be contributed to a fund to fight world hunger - at
least he second dollar would serve a worthwhile purpose.

* From James Callahan (edited to our 250-word limit): I, for one, applaud
the Kiwis for their willingness to review and evaluate their efforts during
the last AC campaign. I am sure that all of the syndicates have done a
similar operation, but New Zealand has taken the additional step of making
at least some of its results public.

This is a necessary and should be a constructive exercise, but human nature
being what it is there are some who will want to blame rather than
evaluate. While no doubt aware this tendency, they have nevertheless taken
the steps to revitalize their program and to let the public know that they
recognize the need for improvement. I think this disclosure is
exceptionally fair to their supporters and will have the effect not only of
putting unanswered issues to rest, but of strengthening substantially their
effort for the next cup. I am quite sure other syndicates had similar
catastrophes about which we will never learn! It is quite difficult
sometimes to appreciate who or what you had right when attention is
naturally drawn to the things that are problematic or might go wrong.

As a racing fan I have a selfish interest in finding out "what really
happened" and to find out about the structural failures on the second boat
goes a long way towards explaining how the factors of boat testing, crew
training and overall confidence affected TNZ going into the competition.
Please continue to keep us informed on these matters!

* From Pete Sherwood: (re the capsize of the Yacht "Excalibur" and the
subsequent loss of life - edited to our 250-word limit): I'm jumping on the
band wagon with Alistair Cowan. With all due respect Mr Christie, your
observations and conclusion are not based on fact. I agree that the
delivery crew was a little wide but this would not have helped in any way
in this situation. The simple fact is that if you are on a yacht and the
keel falls off, with little or no warning, after dark, you will be lucky to
be aline The distance to shore is irrelevant, unless the water was shallow
enough to stop the boat from inverting! Conditions of 35-40 knots and 3
metre seas are hardly what I would call "atrocious" for a 50 footer!

I have found "harbour hopping" an effective and comfortable way to deliver
south in early spring on the Australian East coast. This technique would
not have helped those poor soles on the "Excalibur" Some safe conclusions
to be made from this accident are that "one off" builds must have much more
stringent safety inspections. A simple x-ray of the keel of Excalibur would
have revealed the manufacturing defects and prevented this tragedy.

There were only three crew on deck, they had inflatable harness/vests,
strobes and personal epirbs. The Australian East Coast Current flows south
and is always stronger off shore. This is why I feel that blaming the
skipper and crew for poor seamanship in this case is way off target and
most unfair, when it is quite clear that the keel was defective.

Additional reading:

* From Craig Coulsen: Shame on Scuttlebutt for publishing the letter by
Greg Christie in respect to the Excalibur incident. The only conclusion I
can draw is that editor and Mr Christie don't do too many deliveries along
the east coast of Australia.

Curmudgeon's Comment: I can't speak for Mr. Christie, but you are certainly
right in presuming that the curmudgeon has not done many deliveries along
the East coast of Australia.

Who was it that said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got
married, but then it was too late"?