Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1368 - July 10, 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.

(The curmudgeon stumbled upon the following last week whilst in the UK -
sailing in the Swan European Regatta. It was posted on the wall of the
Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes. The date of this regulation is unknown.)

It is an established rule, and should be most strictly attended to by all
yachtsmen, that where two vessels have to cross each other on opposite
tacks, the one on the starboard tack must invariably keep her wind, and the
one on the port tack must keep away and pass to leeward, or tack short when
the smallest doubt exists of her not being able to weather the other. All
expenses of damage incurred by vessels on opposite tacks running on board
each other, falls upon the one on the port tack; but where the one on the
starboard tack has kept away with the intention of passing to leeward, and
they have come into contact, the expenses of damage have fallen upon her on
the starboard tack; because, by her keeping away, she may have prevented
the other passing to leeward.

When a vessel on the starboard tack sees another attempting to weather her
when it does not seem possible, rather than keeping away, she should put
her helm down; for the less damage they will sustain and the less frightful
will be the collision. Should both vessels put their helms up, and run
onboard each other, the most fatal consequences may arise; and, therefore,
nothing should induce the vessel on the starboard tack to keep away. All
vessels going free must give way to those on a wind.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Complain all you like about the Racing Rules of
Sailing, but it's pretty obvious that we've come a long way.

"A big cheer on board the mighty Pegasus." That was the word from Pegasus
77 owner/skipper Philippe Kahn after Wednesday morning's position reports
showed his Reichel/Pugh 77 had taken the lead from Roy E. Disney's R/P 75
Pyewacket in their Division 1 match race of the 42nd Transpacific Yacht
Race to Hawaii.

Both boats suffered in winds lighter than usual. Grant Baldwin on the
communications vessel Alaska Eagle reported, "Weather conditions have
deteriorated for the entire fleet. Trade winds are down, boat speeds are
down . . . and fish count is down."

Pegasus 77 sailed only 265 miles in the previous 24 hours but that was 31
miles more than Pyewacket, which has endured the added pain of bearing
south away from the rhumb (direct) line in search of stronger breeze.
Pegasus 77 is now headed more directly toward the finish line 1,447 miles
away, eight miles closer than Pyewacket in the 2,225-nautical race. "We
invested in the south and our investment is starting to pay off," Kahn said.

The unstable conditions are such that two smaller Transpac 52s sailing in
better wind patterns had better days than Pyewacket. Division 2 leader Beau
Geste, sailed by Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok, logged 235 miles and Bill
Turpin's Alta Vita from San Francisco was second only to Pegasus 77 with 254.

Perhaps significant is that Stan and Sally Honey's Cal 40, Illusion,
regained the race's overall lead on corrected handicap time as it sailed
farther south than any other boat except Andy Sibert's Enchanted Lady, a
Roberts 55 ketch from Seal Beach, Calif. that had the best day among the
Aloha competitors with 173 miles. - Rich Roberts

Tracking charts for selected boats or the entire fleet may be viewed by
clicking on the link at the right side of the website's home page. Daily
position reports and photos also will be posted until the completion of the

The 470 Europeans started Wednesday in Brest, France, but Day One was a
fizzle. With a robust forecast of 2-3 knots, no one had high hopes. After a
long postponement ashore the women were sent out in a weak seabreeze that
briefly built to 6 -7 knots, but collapsed before a race could be started.
Tomorrow's forecast is more promising. We may see 10 knots. There will be a
huge celebration if it happens.

This regatta will be the first or second event in the Olympic selection
process for many top teams, so the intensity will be higher than normal.
There are 5 men's and 2 women's teams competing for the United States. - US
470 Coach Sip Whyte, Event website:

The USA men's teams are:
Steve Hunt / Eben Russell
Paul Foerster / Kevin Burnham
Mikee Anderson / Graham Biehl
David Dabney / Brock Schmidt
Stuart McNay / Arthur Kinsolving

The USA women's teams are:
Katie McDowell / Isabelle Kinsolving
Erin Maxwell / Jen Morgan

Curmudeon's Comment: In 'Butt 1367 we mistakenly gave the results of the
101 boat Cornu Cup - a warm-up for the 470 European championship. -

American sailor Adam Seamans is enroute to France to begin the 4,200 mile
2003 Mini Transat race scheduled to start in September. Adam will become
only the fourth American to compete in this challenging race that will
finish in Brazil. Samson is proud to participate in this effort by
supplying technical support and Warpspeed and Litespeed lines to Adam's
efforts. To find out more about Adam, go to

Bob McNeil's 86ft Reichel-Pugh maxi Zephyrus V was favourite for both
elapsed time and handicap honours in the DaimlerChrysler Transatlantic
Race. However this didn't quite go according to plan, as navigator Ian
Moore explained to The Daily Sail. "The most important thing that went
wrong was that we broke the runner on the first night. We were reaching on
port, in not very much breeze 15-18 knots and not really overly pressed and
the runner broke - it failed in the middle."

The runner was a PBO rod. Traditionally if these break it is usually at a
fitting or at a chafe point, but this was not the case on Zephyrus. "It
wasn't in a bad place. It was somewhere where there might have been a small
amount of wear, maybe where you pull the runner forward, but not somewhere
where it was chafing. It just failed through structural fatigue. "It is
about a year old and it failed in such an unexpected way from cyclic
loading. The sails are all Cuben fibre which doesn't stretch very much at
all so you don't know where the load is all going and it turns out that the
runners are getting loaded pretty heavily cyclically and ultimately it just
failed through fatigue." - Excerpt from a story on the Daily Sail website.

Intense action is virtually guaranteed when six America's Cup syndicate
members match race for prize money sailing light-weight three-person
trapeze boats on the tiny (five kilometer) Lake St. Moritz. The skippers
are Francesco Bruni, Prada; Murray Jones, Alinghi; Jesper Bank, Swedish
Victory Challenge; Luc Pillot, Le Défi Areva; Marc Mendelblatt, One World
Challenge; and Thierry Peponnet, K-Yachting Challenge. These professional
Teams will be joined by two amateur teams, who will qualify a week before
for the ISAF Grade 3 match race hosted by the Sailing-Club St. Moritz on
July 18-20. -

Sailing Angles trademarked Sailing Shorts and Longpants have padded rear
and knee fender options and come with a rugged double Cordura seat 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
drying clothes easy to pack and an absolute pleasure on the race course!
Sizes: 26"-44"; 4- 14 in women's; shorts come in two leg lengths. Colors:
Aloha Silver, navy, khaki, red, black and khaki/navy combo. Now at APS,
Layline and

Ellen MacArthur has suffered a cut on her shin from a knife in an accident
during a manoeuvre on the catamaran she was sailing with the Australian
Nick Moloney on the second day of the Archipelago Raid race in Sweden.
Racing several more hours overnight caused her leg to swell with increasing
pain. The cut, which is quite deep, is proving too painful to put pressure
on the leg, and using a balancing trapeze harness to lean out over the side
while racing became impossible.

During the one-hour pit stop in Sandhamn yesterday morning, MacArthur and
Moloney decided not to continue racing on the 18-foot catamaran Omega.
MacArthur said: "It was a really stupid accident as it just happened as I
lent over the boat and a sharp knife in the tool bag pierced my leg - it
managed to cut through the tool bag and two layers of offshore gear before
it even reached my leg. - Stuart Alexander, The Independent, full story:

* North Sails has partnered with Chris Bedford of Sailing Weather
Services to provide a free weather forecast for the Chicago YC's July 12
race to Mackinac. To sign up for an email copy of the forecast, visit
North's online Weather Center:

* After six races in the Opti European Championships, Piotr Radowski from
Poland has three bullets in the 178-boat boys class, and only nine points.
The top North American male is Keil Killeen from the USA in 22nd. In the
105-boat girl's division, Italy's Bettina Bonelli has three bullets and
just seven points. The USA's Alaina Bussell is the top North American in
47th place.

* The Roberto Trombini Challenge Trophy ISAF Grade 1 match race series
starts today in Ravenna, Italy - sailed in Tom 28s. The competitors are:
Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN, 2); Jesper Radich (DEN, 3); Ed Baird (USA, 5) ; Paolo
Cian (ITA, 7); James Spithill (USA, 16); Matteo Simoncelli (ITA, 20);
Cameron Appleton (NZL, 35) ; Chris Law (GBR, 38); Luc Pillot (FRA, 67); Roy
Heiner (NL); Tommaso Chieffi (ITA). -

* Results after four races of the Junior Women's Double-handed
Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy. The event is hosted by Windycrest
Sailing Club at Lake Keystone west of Tulsa, OK (25 boats). 1. Leigh
Kempton/ Kaity Storck, NJ, 5; 2. Casey Williams/ Kristin Rittenhouse, CA,
12 3. Adrienne Patterson / Melanie Roberts, CA, 14.

* July 12-13: Club 420 United States National Championship, Youngstown
Yacht Club, Youngstown, NY.

* July 24-27: Marblehead Sailing World NOOD Regatta, Eastern YC. More
than 200 sailboats from 17 to 34 feet are expected in 17 different classes.

* July 26-27: International 110 Atlantic Coast Championships, Ida Lewis
YC, Newport, RI.

Available at TeamOne Newport, Boat Locker, Darien; Annapolis Performance
Sailing; Island Sports, Middletown; Seattle Sunglass Company; Robert
Normann, New Orleans; The Eye Glass Shoppe Honolulu; Eye Gallery, Atlanta;
Alain Mikli NYC; Edward Beiner, Miami; l.a. Eyeworks, South Coast;
Solstice, and West Marine.

Chris Little is the man with the huge task of restoring Britain's one-time
premier big boat racing series, the Admiral's Cup, to health. After the
2001 series was cancelled through lack of interest, eight teams line up in
Cowes on Saturday for a fortnight's intensive inshore and offshore racing.
"I'm delighted that we have eight teams taking part," said Little, a London
businessman who has just started his three-year term as commodore of the
organising Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC).

In its heyday in the Seventies, the Admiral's Cup comprised 19 three-boat
teams, from countries as diverse as Poland and Papua New Guinea and with
owners as famous as Sir Edward Heath and CNN founder Ted Turner. Little's
predecessor pared the series down to two-boat teams, representing clubs
rather than countries, and dropped the Fastnet Race.

* Clearly the RORC would have welcomed more than eight teams - four
representing the United Kingdom. "I think the Iraq War has prevented the
Americans from wanting to come over," said Little, "but I do believe this
marks the return of the Admiral's Cup to the circuit." - Tim Jeffery, The
Daily Telegraph, full story:

(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 John Fox, head of engineering at Carroll Marine 1989 to 1997 ( re
letter from Dan Hirsch highlights some very big issues) First, one designs
will not always be able to race as a one design class, for some venues they
will race under a handicap rating or not at all. Hopefully it's a fair one.

Second, one designs are not equal boats. Their measurements fall within a
set of tolerances that a builder can live with, but anyone who has raced in
any OD class should know that there are fast boats and dogs.

When I was involved with the Mumm 36 & 30, and Farr 40, weights were very
closely monitored, but there was about a +/- 5% variance in the allowable
weight of any GRP molding. Since the all up weight variance was about 1%,
that meant that light decks were paired with heavy hulls or keels or vice
versa during the build.

The IMS stability measurement actually did pick up these differences, but
of course the marketing guys were quick to point the finger at "measurement
irregularities" and howl at the rule makers.

Apparently Americap also picks up the inequality of one design boats. Good
on you rule writers! Instead of crying foul, we should be grateful for a
job well done!

* From John Strassman, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Commodore
(Response to Dan Hirsch's comments about AmericapII in the Chi-Mac): There
a two issues here. The first is the issue of the Great Lakes Americap II
certificate and the other is the nature of one design racing. I don't know
if all of the Farr 395's had their flotation checked and gotten a "real"
Americap II rating. The Great Lake's certificate which was offered to Mac
participants (without flotation point verification) assumed that their boat
was one of the lightest of all of the sister ships and a correspondingly
received a "fast" rating. God bless all of the builders and their quality
control but not all boats are created equal.

I measured the flotation points of one of those Farr 395's (after a very
thorough pre-measurement inspection) and that puppy was floating low and
had an extra 600 pounds in it. Somebody lose a barrel of resin? Or did
somebody else take his or her corrector weights out? Or maybe it was that
built-in refrigeration system for the quarter barrel? There are "sister
ships" of some 35-foot OD's that have 3,500 lb. variances.

The other point some smaller one-designs like Solings, Lightnings & etc.
weigh the boats for every big regatta. Some offshore one designs have some
kind of flotation marks. Off-shore one designs have to have 1) some real
clever quantitative measurement procedures or 2) live with it and just sail.

* From Andy Roy: I sailed in the 1985 Liberty Cup match race event in
NYC, and prior to the serious racing there was a "celebrity skipper" race.
One of the celebrities was none other than Buddy Ebsen, and it was
wonderful to meet him and listen to him tell a few sailing yarns on the
dock. There was a draw to match up celebrities with crews for the race, and
I think it was Gary Jobson that drew Buddy. We were disappointed as we
really wanted to sail with "Uncle Jed". For our celebrity we had to settle
for a scantily clad Miss New Jersey.

* From Ted Garman (edited to our 250-word limit): In 1971 I was a student
in the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the
University of Michigan. I read in the paper that Buddy Ebsen was currently
appearing in a play in Detroit. Knowing of Buddy's sailing exploits, I had
the notion to invite him to address our student club, the Quarterdeck
Society, about his yacht racing experiences and his Polynesian Concept
catamaran. After a couple of phone calls, I found myself talking with Mr.
Ebsen. He generously accepted my invitation.

Buddy spoke to a standing-room only crowd about his some of his yacht
racing experience and opinions. He informed and entertained us with an
impromptu talk about the design philosophy for the Polynesian Concept,
inspired by the ancient Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoes, and told
a few sea stories about racing ocean cats, including his win in the 1968
catamaran Trans-Pac race. Afterwards, we gave Buddy a tour of the Naval
Arch Department drawing room and towing tank. We had rigged up a catamaran
model and demonstrated a resistance test as Buddy rode the towing carriage.
All too soon, Buddy had to get back to Detroit for his performance later
that day. He did not even have time to eat lunch, so we fixed him a
sandwich to go.

Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called
witchcraft. Today it's called golf.