Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1349 - June 12, 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.

Gavin Brady is the new helmsman for the Oracle BMW Racing Team, announced
Wednesday in Auckland by CEO Chris Dickson. The 29 year-old New Zealander
has agreed to join the team for the 2007 America's Cup Challenge. "We are
delighted to have recruited Gavin for our team. I believe he is the best
young helmsman in the match-racing world, " said Chris Dickson. "After
competing in the final of the 2003 Louis Vuitton Cup in Auckland against
Alinghi, we are now planning our campaign for 2007. Gavin is the right man
for this task and our team; he's young, determined and exceptionally
talented." Brady sailed with Dickson as tactician in the Louis Vuitton Cup
semi-finals in San Diego in the 1995 America's Cup.

"I am very excited about being able to take part in the next America's Cup
with the Oracle BMW Racing Team. We have ambitious goals, but with Chris
Dickson and the support of Larry Ellison and BMW, I am sure we can mount a
powerful challenge," said Gavin Brady at the announcement. "Now my goal is
to concentrate on improving my helming and match-racing skills so that I
can be at the top of my game for the next America's Cup. I'm really looking
forward to working and sailing with Chris again, he's a world class sailor
and is committed to helping me to improve."

(Following are two small excerpts from a story in the June issue of
Seahorse magazine by aerodynamicist David Hollom.)

I was asked, just after the unveiling, whether I thought that the hula was
within the spirit of the rules. My reply was that for a designer, there is
no spirit of the rules. A designer's job is to examine the rule in minute
detail looking for loopholes. If he can find some and other don't, his job
just got easier. Although it is sometimes known as rule cheating it isn't
cheating, in the true sense of the word, because the rule inadvertently
allows it. Cheating is doing something the rules don't allow and hoping you
get away with it, like using carbon in a class that does not allow its use.
To my mind the hula is clearly legal and a clever bit of lateral thinking.
Whether it works or not is another matter.

* There has been much talk of modifying the ACC Rule. Just why you would
want to modify a rule that has produced such close racing I really don't
know. Clearly the loophole of the hula should be plugged … but did I read
somewhere that hollows might yet be allowed again, so you could design the
boat you wanted without resorting to the hula? I though you designed boat
to a rule, not designed the rule to fit the boat you would like to design.
- David Hollom, Seahorse magazine. Although the story is not online, here's
the magazine's website,

Hall is known for our spectacular carbon-fiber work, but we're also experts
in high-tech running rigging (sorry, no carbon rope yet!). You can buy
custom running rigging on Hall's website - we've made selection easy with a
tidy chart under the "custom line lengths" link in our store. First, choose
the application (halyard, sheet, or control line) and then click your type
of sailing (racing, cruiser/racer, or cruising). Up pops a wide selection
of line recommended by Hall experts. We stock everything you see, and our
prices are as competitive as you are!

Alinghi is very keen to retain and build on the talent and experience they
have developed within the team and most of the Swiss (America's Cup)
syndicate's sailing team (23) has been retained, under the continued
direction of Jochen Schüemann. Nevertheless, a "young blood" effect is
necessary explained Russell Coutts and "around seven or eight people will
be selected to renovate the team" (among which a new helmsman "if an
opportunity will be given").

Design team members include Grant Simmer, Rolf Vroljik, Dirk Kramers and
Mike Schreiber. Confidential discussions are also underway with a view to
strengthening that team with four current America's Cup designers but for
obvious reasons these discussions are confidential at this stage. - Cup In
Europe website, full story:

The other shoe has dropped on John Podmajersky, the Mum 30 owner of the
boat that won the 2002 Overall victory in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to
Mackinac. His boat Illusion was entered by his "first," crewmember Robert
Brandenburg under an informal charter agreement. Brandenburg entered the
race and outfitted the boat with the Mac Race-specific safety gear at his
expense. Then, within weeks of the race, Podmajersky decided after all to race.

The race's instructions allow competitors three hours after finishing to
protest or change their entries. For whatever reason, Podmajersky and
Illusion failed to correct the entry listing that had Brandenburg as
skipper and "person in charge." There ensued a lengthy series of protests
by Podmajersky, in which the Mac Protest Committee overruled him.
Podmajersky then chose to take the issue to the courts, suing both Chicago
Yacht Club and Brandenburg. He also allegedly hired a PR firm garnering
extensive media coverage mostly along the lines of, "Yachtsman Sues Club
Over Trophy."

A decision of the Mac Committee Jury in October found Podmajersky guilty of
infringing Rule 69, "Gross Misconduct…Breech of good manners or
sportsmanlike conduct," and recommended that he be suspended from competing
in Chicago Yacht Club events for at least a year. They also found him
guilty of a gross breach of Rule #3, "Acceptance of Rules". Following that
decision, the Board of Directors of Chicago Yacht Club began to deliberate
sanctions against Podmajersky. On June 10 the Board of Directors of Chicago
Yacht Club voted unanimously to expel John Podmajersky from the Club. In an
official statement the Club stated, "Mr. Podmajersky was…guilty of conduct
injurious to the interest and welfare of the Club. Accordingly, the Board
expelled Mr. Podmajersky from its membership." Podmajersky was also barred
from participating in Club events through 2004. Further appeals are
expected. - Norris McNamara

Sailing Angles trademarked Sailing Shorts and Longpants have padded rear
and knee fender options and come with rugged double Cordura seats and
knees! You'll love their functional deep pockets, non-corroding zippers,
waist adjustment straps, and double waist buttons - all designed to help
you sail and play hard. Breathable, water resistant Supplex makes these
quick dry shorts easy to pack and an absolute pleasure on the race course!
Sizes: 26"-44", 4"-14" in women's, and available in 2 leg lengths. Colors:
aloha silver, navy, khaki, red, black and khaki/navy combo. Now at APS,
Layline and

Following in the footsteps of Britain's Matthew Humphries, the youngest
skipper ever in the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing Dolphin and Youth in 1993-94,
this year there will be two youth teams competing in the Volvo Baltic Race,
starting on June 21st. Meeting the team of Swedish young sailors team,
sailing Dennis Conner's former Whitbread entry Winston, will be Pontona
Youth, from Denmark. Skippered by Thomas Dahl Jensen, who has managed this
racing team since 2001, and the crew will be partially chosen by the Danish
Sailing Federation.

Meanwhile, Matthew Humphries, now living in Sweden, skippers Challenge, the
former News Corp, with Whitbread winner, Ross Field among the crew, in
attempt to be the first winner of the inaugural Volvo Baltic Race.

The Volvo Baltic Race is a two-week event held in Germany and Sweden
providing class racing for V.O.60s, the class of boat formerly used over
three races in The Whitbread and latterly, the Volvo Ocean Race. A mixture
of inshore and offshore racing, the event commences as part of Kiel Week
with the 25 nm Eckenforde Race in Germany, on June 21st. - Lizzie Green,

* June 21-22: Thomas R. Smith Sea Scout Regatta, Chicago Yacht Club.
Winners qualify for the International/National Sea Scout Regatta. -

* June 27-29: North Sails Race Week, co-managed by Golison and Golison
and Premiere Racing at the SeaPort Marina Hotel, Long Beach CA. The West
Coast's largest inshore keelboat event. -

* August 1-3: US Independence Cup and North American Challenge Cup,
Chicago Yacht Club. Season championship event for disabled sailors.

Pegasus 77, the ultimate Turbo Sled, winner of Transpac 2001, is for sale.
Launched in 2001, she is the very best in every aspect. Designed by
Reichel-Pugh as the next generation Turbo Sled, Pegasus 77 will be
available August 2003 right after Transpac. Details and photographs are at

* Dawn Riley's America's Cup campaign, K-Challenge, has announced that they
will host a press conference on Tuesday, June 17th during which they will
announce their skipper, sailing team Manager, design team manager and
members of their afterguard. -

* Acheson Rossa Custom Yachts of Cape Town has just launched the first high
tech custom designed carbon racing yacht built in their new Cape Town yard.
The unique 55' IRC boat designed by Jason Ker will be skippered by HRH King
Juan Carlos of Spain, and will represent the Spanish team in this year's
Admirals cup. Managing Director Richard Acheson says "This is a giant leap
forward for the South African boat building industry."

(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 Peter Harken (Regards the power boat /Tornado smasharoo):
Milwaukee YC is hosting the Youth Championships starting June 21. We have
been asked to provide individual power boats for each of the multitude of
coaches arriving. Uh, excuse me, but I thought this was supposed to be a
sailboat regatta for the young lads and lasses and since it's a
championship I guess they are supposed to be fairly adept at sailing out to
the coarse and back without individual oversight and a tender following
them with all sorts of redundant instructions that they've already heard
over and over during training periods.

This country has lost or is rapidly losing what is called "personal
responsibility" due to our overly litigious society. Sailboat racing builds
individual strengths and personal responsibility if and only if we let it!
Take the leash off folks and let these youths sort it out for themselves.
Yes, I'm also an anachronism!

* From Ronald Dominicus, Regatta Center Medemblik BV: I agree with Jon
Rogers that RIBs are an increasing problem, but not limited to Olympic
classes. It already starts with the Optimists where parents follow the
races in bigger and bigger inflatables, comment on and sometimes insult
races committees, power through the fleet just to see their kid round a
mark and create problems for marina management by parking their boat where
they please.

During the SPA regatta (Olympic classes event) we have over 250 'rubber
ducks' in our marina, mostly driven by professional coaches. Many of these
"professionals" pretend not to know that in most marinas around the world
certain speed restrictions apply, if not for safety then at least for the
comfort of other users of the marina. I for one would like to hear
suggestions on how to limit the number of coach/ support boats in large
sailing events.

* From Danny Smith: If you were to race the next Farr 40 Worlds do you,
1) Get your local crew and spend no $$, 2) Get a local pro/ sailmaker and
spend some $$$, 3) Get a national Pro and spend more $$$$$$ or, 4) Get a
Super Pro (Cayard/ Dickson) and spend lots of $$$$$$$. Where does it
stop? Only four pro's allowed! Give me a break. There are tons of Group 1
pros. Most Farr 40's sail with almost all pros.

* From J. Joseph Bainton (re Play for Pay): The simple fact is that sailing
on "boats with beds" is for most members of the crew not nearly as much fun
as sailing in one designs like Stars, Etchells, 505's or even Lasers. I
find it telling that some of our most elite sailors like Paul Cayard and
Russell Coutts spend some of the money they earn sailing supporting their
participation in one design sailing. Someone should explain to marginal
owners of boats with beds that they can buy an Etchells, still pay somebody
great to drive it, travel all over the world staying in first class
accommodations and save serious money.

* From Toby Tobin: How does paying sailors make the sport better as alleged
by Max Rosenburg? This anachronism thinks Gary, Steve, Olin and others of
their opinion are right on the mark.

* From Steve Glassman: Rich man's sport? How many races are conducted
each year populated by "recreational" sailors, club racers, part timers,
fun seekers and the like, versus the number of "big boat" regattas where
money rules? By the numbers, I'll bet the former leads by nautical
mile. And while I might wish to have the skills (which I do not) to be
paid to sail, I get and got as much enjoyment of racing for the fun of it,
for a soda or a beer at the club house, for smiling broadly after a win (as
part of the crew, never an owner) and for vicariously enjoying the pleasure
of others when they won as those who get paid, or at least I think that is
the case.

For those who do get paid, I am jealous, but more of your racing skills
which entitle you to the money, than for the money itself, which I can
equal in my own job. And that, after all, is your job. For those of you,
like me, who race for the fun of it, all I can say, as they do in the
military, is hoohay!

* From Douglas Johnstone: I am surprised no one has recalled Jim Kilroy's
quote from the IOR Maxi days. When asked if this isn't a rich mans sport,
Jim replied " No it isn't: there's one rich man on board and there's
twenty-five poor men and they enjoy it more than the rich man does!" I
think this still rings true in the greater percentage of yacht racing.

* From Leslie Keller (In response to Enrico Ferrari on Portsmouth starts
for dinghies): With race committee volunteers in abundance at yacht clubs
these days I'm certain all it would take to get a Portsmith start for your
dinghy in a one design event at your local yacht club would be to provide
the race committee with a dedicated timer person who can read a watch, a
scribe to record the finishes with times, Portsmith scoring software and
someone who knows how to use.

One Design events do not require a dedicated timer person, or even a watch
if you use one of those automatic timing/horn devices or sophisticated
software. For one design events filling the committee boat with helpers is
a lot easier. So when the plethora of volunteers forget to show or miss the
boat it's still pretty doable to run lots of races for many one design
classes in an event with just a couple of people.

So you want to race Portsmouth? Just provide the race committee with the
resources they need to give you what you want. They are out there to serve
you - the racer.

Curmudgeon's Comment: We just got word that in response to Enrico Ferrari's
letter, Corinthian YC in Seattle has just announced an effort to start a
Portsmouth dinghy class as part of its Thursday evening series for their
Puget Sound racing program.

* From Paul Miller: I'm not sure that the claim that the Canada's Cup is
"Oldest Freshwater Challenge Trophy" is true. The British were coming over
to the Thousand Islands to challenge the Americans and Canadians for the
New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup (for sailing canoes)
beginning in 1884, 12 years before the Canada's Cup. This cup is a team
race currently sailed at each World Championship of the International 10 sq
meter Sailing Canoe. Currently the UK holds the cup. For more info, see

* From Ralph Taylor: Bill Stump seems to have a misconception about how
regattas get planned - at least the good ones. A "target" race time is an
important basic regatta planning consideration; it determines the number of
races per day, course length in the typical conditions, and many other
factors. To me, Jochen Schumann's discussing the target, this early and
this candidly, is an example of Alinghi's open approach to making the
competition fair, perhaps, more so than it's ever been.

Now, syndicates and sailmakers know a little more for their "design and
build" phases. Prospective venues can fine-tune their bids. Crews have an
idea of the physical conditioning needed. All this is good and I don't see
an implication that they're changing the racing rules. Or, we could
resurrect the "sail to the venue on her own bottom" rule; it was a huge
advantage to the home team.

Curmudgeon's Comment: For the record, Bill Stump was the PRO at the 2002
Star Worlds, and that event won US Sailing's St. Petersburg Trophy as the
outstanding regatta of the year.

Legally drunk