Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1331 - May 16, 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
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Did we miss it? Did the Big One finally whack off California at the San
Andreas Fault and set us adrift to become the next Survivor island? Why
else would we be left forlorn and forgotten by US Sailing, with only one of
18 annual adult and youth national sailing championships scheduled for the
West Coast this year and next? And who, for the love of W, voted to award
Florida six of the seven sites for U.S. Olympic Trials---and the other one
to Texas? Is it too late for a recount?

Has it been forgotten that three of the USA's four Olympic sailing medals
at Sydney were won by men and women from this side of the country? It's
enough to give Western sailors a Rodney Dangerfield complex.

West Coast sailors have complained for years about an Eastern slant, real
or imagined, in US Sailing policies. Hey, we'll match ours against theirs
any day. Weren't six of the last seven Rolex Yachtsmen of the Year
California-grown? Weren't a San Francisco guy and gal - John Kostecki and
Liz Baylis - the latest Rolex winners? Haven't San Francisco natives -
Kostecki and Paul Cayard - led the last two winning Whitbread/ Volvo
campaigns? Didn't a California boat - Roy Disney's Pyewacket - run the
table in the Caribbean and Great Lakes last year? Didn't we give the world
Brad Van Liew?

And this just in: three California high schools---Pt. Loma, University of
San Diego and Newport Harbor---just finished 1-2-4 in the doublehanded
nationals in New Hampshire (details in Racing Roundup). Sailing World
magazine's on-line Grand Prix Sailor included this Easterly spin: "As
impressive a performance as this was by the West Coast schools, it was
actually a notch below what they'd done the previous four years, when they
claimed first through fourth in the 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 Mallory

Gosh, are we slipping? Itching for answers, we went right to the top: David
Rosekrans, president of US Sailing. "We have a policy of rotating the
championships around the country as much as possible," Rosekrans replied by
e-mail. "Locations chosen for championships depend on bids received as well
as the desire to move them around. When there are no bids in an area for
some time we do go out and seek bids from potential host clubs."

So what's the problem? Do West Coast clubs have "no soliciting" signs up?
Only one of 11 adult nationals is scheduled in the Pacific Time zone this
year: the U.S. Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy at San
Francisco Aug. 22-24. None of the seven youth nationals is farther west
than Tulsa, Okla.

Rosekrans: "The system is to move each championship around, not try for a
given number in an area in any year. A number of championships are held on
the West Coast. There were at least four every year in the last three
years. In 2000 there were six. Having fewer [nationals] on the West Coast
in a given year or two in no way portrays a direction in which the
organization is heading. Looking ahead, there will be at least one national
championship on the West Coast in 2004."

That's a given---the U.S. Offshore Championship that alternates between
Long Beach and Annapolis---but the youth schedule continues exclusively
easterly. Be patient, Rosekrans advises, with the promise of "at least four
[nationals] in California alone in 2005." That would include two youth
events to be hosted by Newport Harbor YC and another by Del Rey YC. "Not
all are assigned yet for 2004 and 2005, so there may be more," Rosekrans
said. "We are currently accepting bids for events."

Is he saying, all we need to do is ask? - Rich Roberts, The Log, full

Defending event champion, American Ed Baird of Team Musto, and Australia's
James Spithill, former helmsman for the OneWorld Challenge, advanced
through the Quarterfinals Repechage today to round out the semifinals of
the Swedish Match Tour's Toscana Elba Cup - Trofeo Locman. Baird and
Spithill join former Swedish Match Tour champion Magnus Holmberg of Sweden
and local skipper Paolo Cian of the Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, and
former helmsman for the Mascalzone Latino America's Cup challenge, who had
previously qualified for the semifinals of the sixth event on Swedish Match
Tour 2002/2003.

After defeating Great Britain's Chris Law of "The Outlaws" 2-1, in a
spirited series in the Quarterfinals Lower Division, Baird swept past
current Swedish Match Tour leader Jes Gram-Hansen of Team Victory Lane,
2-0, in the Quartfinals Repechage round to stay alive and earn the chance
to defend his title.

Spithill, like Baird, had an exciting battle with France's Luc Pillot,
former helmsman for the Le Defi Areva Challenge, before advancing, 2-1. "It
didn't go well against Luc. Our jib halyard broke on the final beat of our
second match, allowing Luc to overcome a three-boat length lead and end up
winning," said Spithill. "It was a bit frustrating but, just one of those

Spithill then defeated Poland's Karol Jablonski 2-1, in the Quarterfinals
Repechage to advance to the semifinals, after encountering some additional
mechanical challenges. "In the third match the backstay broke off down
below as we were in the freshest part of the course. We sailed Karol way
past the mark to allow us more time to try and fix it while going downwind,
but we couldn't get it rigged up, causing us to minimize our tacks on the
second upwind leg," explained Spithill. "Luckily we were able to hold him
off and all our hard work and good crew work paid off."

Tomorrow is a scheduled lay day, with all the teams participating in a golf
tournament. - Shawn McBride,

Man, what a winter! We thought it would never end, but finally we are
feeling warm breezes. Due to this weather, we've all been scrambling to get
to our boats ready and on the starting line. To ease the pain of lost
sailing time, Tacktick N.A. is offering an "Instant Rebate" program through
Layline and other participating dealers. Receive $250 off Sailmaster, $150
off Speedmaster, $100 off Racemaster, and $50 off Micro Compass at time of
purchase. Already have a Tacktick? Check out the new solar-powered wireless
Micronet Instruments. 1-800-542-5463 or

Following a review of the Around Alone 2002-03 yacht race, race organisers
Clipper Ventures plc, along with leading sports marketing company Fast
Track, have today unveiled a new format for the next edition in 2006, which
will be renamed 5-Oceans. 5-Oceans: the new name for Around Alone 2006.

- The 5-Oceans will start either in France or on the Eastern seaboard of
the USA in Q3 2006.
- The route will comprise 4 stopovers of no more than 3 weeks duration.
- The remaining stopovers will be South Africa, Australasia, South
America and either USA or France.
- Winning host ports will be announced at the Paris Boat Show 2003.

- The race will be competed in Open 60 & 50 foot monohulls.
- The aim is for skippers to be entitled to a reimbursement of their
entry fee on completion of the race.

- Title sponsor will receive branding on each of the 5-Oceans' competing
yachts in return for significant cash and service benefits.
- Two sponsor seminars will be run for skippers and campaign managers at
both the Newport Boat Show (mid-September 2003) and also at the start of
the Transat Jacques Vabre in France (end of October 2003).
- Registered skippers will be provided with a multimedia sponsorship
pack to assist with their campaign fund-raising.
- A proportion of cash sponsorship will be allocated to a new prize
money fund.

Commenting on the changes, Clipper Chairman, Sir Robin Knox Johnston said:
"In May 2001, Clipper Ventures plc acquired Around Alone and thereby
secured its future in the offshore ocean racing calendar. The last 8 months
has given us the chance to review the future for the race and ask skippers,
ports, media and sponsors what they feel we should do differently next
time. Their advice has been clear; stay focused on safety, shorten the
duration of the race, reduce campaign costs for skippers, and put more
resources into the event through attracting more sponsorship and media
interest We feel that the changes announced today have gone along way to
responding to these requests" - Mary Ambler,

When Great American II--the 53-foot trimaran taking a run at the Hong
Kong-New York record logged by the clipper ship Sea Witch in 1849--entered
the doldrums, she had some breathing room. As GAII approached the doldrums,
Sea Witch was an estimated 500 miles behind. But skipper Rich Wilson
(Rockport, Mass.) and Rich du Moulin (Larchmont, N.Y.) knew better: they
knew this band of fickle winds and squalls could be a parking lot--and it
could easily devour the space they put between themselves and their
legendary nemesis.

After GAII emerged from the doldrums, Wilson and du Moulin had some bad
news. While they only logged a 4.6-knot average speed in the doldrums, Sea
Witch was much speedier, averaging a pace of 8.1 knots. But the good news
was their pace was fast enough to retain a one-day lead on Sea Witch.
Today, GAII is sailing in Northeast trade winds and logging some of the
best 24-hour runs in her history.

"In ideal conditions, with a following breeze and flat water, the boat
glides along like a toboggan on new snow," said Wilson today in a radio
broadcast. "She was built as a cruiser/racer 15 years ago and is not
capable of the sustained high speeds of today's modern racing multihulls.
But she easily attains speeds of 15 knots and higher in these ideal
conditions." On May 14, GAII logged 292 miles in 24 hours--the best run
Wilson and this boat have made together to date.

As of today, GAII is some 2,780 miles from New York. Wilson and du Moulin
will have to cover that distance in 15 days in order to break Sea Witch's
record. But the strong Northeast trades they are enjoying today won't last:
storms, headwinds, and lulls in the breeze could easily lay in their path.

For Wilson, du Moulin, and some 360,000 school children following their
voyage, this ocean adventure could be over in just two weeks. Students have
been schooled in math, meteorology, the hard lessons of life at sea, and a
myriad of topics through the unique sitesALIVE!

To break Sea Witch's record, GAII will need to reach the Statue of Liberty
during the week of May 26. - Keith Taylor,

It was a nip and tuck battle again between the four top contenders for this
race: Tybee Island, used to being the brides maid and not the bride in the
Worrell 1000, pulled off a big victory today and put the team in first
place overall by over 9 minutes. - Catamaran Sailor website, full story:

Overall Standings:
1. Tybee, Steve Lohmayer/ Kenny Pierce, 31:26:06
2. Castrol I, John Casey/ Jay Sonnenklar, 31:35:25
3. Key Sailing I Kirk Newkirk/ Rod Waterhouse, 31:44:17
4. Tommy Bahama, Alex Shafer, Nigel Pitt, 31:46:19
5. Halsey Lidgard Paul Vandyke, Brad Cavanaugh, 32:13:24
Event website:

According to the Star Spring Championship of the Western Hemisphere regatta
schedule at Gull Lake YC in Michigan, four races (and a golf tournament)
should be completed by now, but nothing is posted on the event website. And
although there are postings on the website for the J/24 NAs at Valle de
Bravo, Mexico, I truly can't figure out who's leading the regatta. Sooo,
you're on your own:

Team McLube Sailkote and APS congratulate Scott Ferguson for winning the
APS Laser Atlantic Coast Championships last weekend. Although conditions
were trying, with 106 boats the energy far outweighed the conditions making
the event a huge success. Weather is uncontrollable. To ensure success,
it's important to take advantage of the things you can control. The most
successful Laser sailors know using McLube Sailkote is an important part of
boat preparation. Whether you're sailing Lasers or PHRF boats, Sailkote can
help you too. APS encourages you to learn about Sailkote's many
Laser-specific applications and others by clicking here...

* Russell Coutts, skipper of the victorious Swiss team Alinghi in the
America's Cup, said Thursday the European city to next host the competition
would be announced early this fall. "We will have it down to two cities by
the end of July, with the final decision more likely to be in October," the
New Zealander told reporters in Paris. - Fox Sports website:

* David Pescud and his six crew members from Sailors with disAbilities
sailed back into Sydney - their attempt to break the Around Australia
record on hold. They encountered a rudder problem on KAZ, just north of
Sugerloaf Point on the NSW coast, and a repair at sea not viable. 'It
wasn't dangerous, it just meant we would have had bail the boat a bit
during our trip, which just takes a bit of the fun out of it. We also had a
couple of other little problems with the boat, so we decided we would come
home, fix the yacht, and head out again when our meteorologist, 'Clouds'
(Roger Badham) tells us when the next best weather opportunity is.' -
Sail-World website, full story:

* A Portuguese tug was due to reach Ellen MacArthur and four other crew
aboard Alain Gautier's capsized 60ft trimaran Thursday night. Foncia, some
60 miles south-west of Lisbon, overturned during third day at sea in the
2,750-mile Challenge-Mondiale Assistance race from Cherbourg to Rimini, via
the Strait of Gibraltar. - Tim Jeffery,

* Wells Fargo will sponsor the International America's Cup Class San
Francisco (IACCSF), a four-regatta yacht racing series hosted this summer
in the company's headquarters community. A Wells Fargo team will compete in
USA-11 (formerly Stars & Stripes). Up to ten teams, including Larry
Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing, are expected for the San Francisco Bay
competition. An Open House is scheduled for June 7-8 at The America's Cup
Class Yachting Center at Treasure Island, where the yachts are displayed
and maintained. http:///

There are lots of few rumors going around about the sailing events at the
Pan Am Games. Officially however, no final determination has been made
about restoring the non-Olympic classes to this event. Right now, all of
the rumors are pure speculation.

(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 Ken Legler: Stadium sailing at it's best. Past 'butt writers have
suggested team racing might make a better spectator event than the
America's Cup. Such an event just occurred, the 54th Wilson Trophy in West
Kirby, England.

Picture this: A marine lake with walled in sea water providing steady winds
and zero waves. 12' Fireflys with colored sails and hulls. Grandstands
within 30 meters of the starting line. Two teams at a time, three boats per
team and races that last no more than eight minutes each. A new race starts
every three minutes, up to 128 races per day. Mark traps, pass backs,
collisions, capsizals; the action is so close you can hear the competitors
yell "Umpire." Running commentary descibes the action with as many as six
lead changes per race. Some races come down to brilliant blocking manouvers
within a length of the finish line.

The quarters, semis and finals are all within a two hour time block (Sunday
2-4 p.m.) as the spectator gallery swells to 300 cheering, jeering and
heckling fans. 224 preliminary races in a day and a half. Three US teams
made the semis this year but none could upset the defending New Forest
Pirates from Southampton. Last US winner was the New York Yacht Club in
1999. US equivalent (Hinman Trophy) on the San Fran waterfront August 24.

* From Kris Anderson: After reading the factoids from Brad Van Liew's
Around Alone Race it occurred to me why it is a solo race they can't get
anyone to go with them.

* From Manfred C. Schreiber: Mark Schipper wrote, "Countless sailors, made
plenty of money and advanced careers in AC2003. Why must so many
'professionals' run around screaming, 'It's not my fault it's theirs!' An
accomplished individual can manage imperfection without blaming others." Is
that not one of the strength of the mighty Team Alinghi that you have not
heart anyone complaining on anything. Not in the lots of interviews after
winning the Cup and not before? You might think it is easy when you are on
a winning streak but I strongly believe it is their Team ethics and just
one of the pieces which has lead to their success. TeamNZ, stop whining and
go back to start. You need to be in there.

* From Frank Sticovich: I heard there is a new meaning to Team New
Zealand's 'Loyal' flag waving: "Look, Our Yacht's A Lemon".

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.