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SCUTTLEBUTT 1395 - August 18 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.

Light five knot winds could easily have made the last day of the Swedish
Match Tour's Danish Open about as interesting as watching paint dry.
Nonetheless, the more 1,000 spectators packed onto the mole off Skovshoved
Havn were treated to a day of lively and highly tactical match racing
between some of the top names in the business, with the ultimate result
being a decisive win for Sweden's Magnus Holmberg of Team Stora Enso over
this former Victory Challenge teammate, Jesper Bank of Denmark.

This is Holmberg's third straight Danish Open win (he didn't complete last
year due to commitments to the Victory Challenge) and the second
consecutive time he has ended up in the finals facing Jesper Bank.
Additionally, the win here this week marks Holmberg's sixth overall on the
Swedish Match Tour, moving him two ahead of Team New Zealand's Dean Barker
and Denmark's Jesper Radich, with four wins apiece.

With the onshore sea breeze established for the afternoon's finals and
petit-finals the start line was moved to a position within 100m of the
spectators, who were able to see the full cut and thrust of the pre-starts.
These were particularly hard fought between Radich and Gilmour, sailing for
the bronze medal, which Gilmour won with a 2-1 score. - Shawn.Mcbride,

Danish Open Final Standings:
1 .Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team Stora Enso
2. Jesper Bank, Denmark
3. Peter Gilmour, AUS/Team Pizza La
4. Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich
5. Kelvin Harrap, New Zealand
6. Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot
7. Andy Beadsworth, GBR/Team Henri Lloyd
8. Karol Jablonski, POL/Jablonski Sailing Team
9. Roy Heiner, Netherlands
10. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane
11. Lars Nordbjaerg, Denmark
12. Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team

There's a lot of rumour and conjecture about the shape of the new ACC rule
that will be released some time in September. Tom Schnackenberg keeps his
ear very close to the ground in such matters and is adept at winnowing the
wheat from the chaff. He believes the America's Cup 2007 organizers have
resolved to help preserve the value of existing boats in an effort to keep
costs down. Changes will be limited so that existing boats may be modified
to become viable racing under the new version 5 of the ACC rule.

However they are working to fine-tune the Rule formulae to make the boats
more exciting. Tom understands that racing this year and next will probably
be under the old Rule, Version 4. But racing in lead-up regattas in 2005
and 2006 will be under the new Rule, Version 5. A Draft of version 5 will
be published in September, presumably in San Francisco where the race
between Alinghi and Oracle is taking place. - Team New Zealand Newsletter

The America's Cup, Volvo, Vendée, the Mega Cats and the Super Maxi's: Musto
is the favorite brand of foul weather gear amongst the crews. It is
available to purchase across the States - try one of the following
retailers or by going on-line:
PX Annapolis Performance Sailing -
Fawcett Boat Supplies -
Layline -
Fisheries Supply -
Pineapple Sails -
Team One Newport -
West Marine Stores -
You don't need to be a professional sailor to experience Musto. Give it a
try next time. http://

* More than 1,000 sailors were on hand at the Royal Citadel in Plymouth
for the Fastnet Race prizegiving. Charles Dunstone's Nokia Connecting
People, won Best Overall under IRC for the Fastnet Challenge Cup, while
Mike Slade on Leopard won Best Overall under IRM for the Fastnet Rock
Trophy. Both winners were awarded a Rolex Yachtmaster Rolesium. -

* The Antarctica Cup web page crew register is a real league of nations
with 212 sailors from 26 nations registering their interest. The top
countries in terms of registrations are Australia (75) UK (43) USA (34) NZ
(20) Italy (15) Ireland (6) France (5) Canada (5) registrations have been
received from Hong Kong, The Philippines, Croatia, Norway, South Africa,
Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay, Brazil, Belgium, Scotland, Lithuania, Austria,
Argentina, Chile and Poland.

*Those interested in starting a Yngling campaign now to work toward 2008
may be interested to find one of 2003 Yngling World Champion Betsy Alison's
boats for sale. Says Betsy, "USA-332 was fast out of the box, and was a big
part of our victory at the 2001 Women's World Championship." The US Yngling
Trials are scheduled for February 12-22, 2004 at Key Biscayne Yacht Club.
Boat information at

* US Sailing's Committee on Sailors with Special Needs has created the
Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Service to Disabled Sailing and
Sailors. The first award will be made in November, during the 2004 US
Paralympic Team Trials - Sailing, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St.
Petersburg Florida. Nominations of individuals, or organizations, which can
be made on-line at

* Barrett Sprout, with his father Randy as crew, repeated as Coronado 15
North American Champions, winning the 33-boat regatta sailed at Half Moon
Bay, California. Blair and Mark Elliott finished second with Mike Shea and
Bob Anderson in third place. -

* The 46th Annual Lido 14 Class Championships were held on Mission Bay (San
Diego, CA) with reigning champions Mark Gaudio and John Papadopoulos
narrowly retaining the title against 26 other teams. Kurt Wiese, sailing
with Anne Wiese, finished three points back in second place - winning a
tie-breaker with Stu Robertson & Erin Frederick. This marks the third Lido
14 Class Championship in a row that Gaudio has won. -

* Steve Aspery (Worthington, OH) sailed a remarkably consistent series
despite five days of very light and shifty conditions to win his second
Interlake Sailing Class National Championship hosted last week on Portage
Lake near Ann Arbor, MI. Sailing with his wife Lisa, the Asperys compiled
scores of 2-2-(7)-1-1-1-4-5, clinching the series before the last race.
Another former national champ, Scott Savage (Columbus, OH), finished second
six points back, with Jeff Clark in third in the 34-boat Interlake fleet.

* The Mini-Transat doesn't start until September 7th, but already one of
the favorites has his boat listed for sale for after the race. Says
Jonathan McKee, "It has been a lot of fun sailing this little boat. I guess
this is an opportunity for another American to have a crack at the Mini
Transat with a fully dialed in boat. I am selling my Mini at the conclusion
of the Transat, so it is available either in Brazil (October) or France
(December)." -

* Cedar Point YC (Westport, CT) is hosting the Charles Schwab 2003
Lighting North American Championships this week ... the first races were
Sunday. Seventy boats are competing in the regatta. After three races, Ched
Proctor, with crew Tom Proctor and Kathryn Josenhans lead the Qualification
Series ahead of Bill Healy and Tom Allen. The fleet will be split after the
next race with the top portion continuing on in the Championship Series.

* In 2000, US Sailing Olympic Director Jonathan Harley's "Diary from
Sydney" provided a behind the scenes look at what goes on during the
Olympics. With sailing's second and final test event for the 2004 Games set
to begin, follow along as he reports back on the progress in Athens at

What began as J Boats' family-friendly entry model for its sprit boat range
(26'-53') is now ISAF recognized with 600+ boats in twelve countries. The
2003 Worlds are in Fort Worth, TX, October 11-17, and a special package is
currently available from J Boats. -

J-105 NAs
Local Favorite Good Timin skippered by Chris Perkins won this year's J-105
North American championship hosted by The St. Francis Yacht Club and San
Francisco Bay Fleet 1. The winning team included Jon Perkins, Phil Perkins,
John Collins, Amy Leroy, and Dave Wilson.

Thirty nine boats from all over the country competed in this seven race, no
throw out regatta. Zuni Bear (Rich Bergmann / Shawn Bennett, San Diego, CA)
finished second overall in the regatta, and Bold Forbes (Jack Franco / Ed
Cummins, Corona Del Mar, CA) took third place. Peter Wagner from Atherton,
CA on Nantucket Sleighride finished fourth, and Jim Sorensen from Sag
Harbor, NY on Masquerade finished in fifth place. - Anika Leerssen,

Moscow, Russia - Light winds of 6-10 knots greeted the sailors on the
reservoir both Friday and Saturday, creating lake like conditions with
tricky shifts. Mikee Anderson-Mitterling and Graham Biehl of the USA won
two races on Friday, securing their Snipe Junior World Champions title.
They did not have to sail the final race on Saturday.

The Argentine team of Adolfo Benavides and Federico Pierson took second
place with Russia's Maxim Kuzmin and Alexander Shirokov finishing third.
The USA's Adam and Melanie Roberts sailed a 3-2-1 series the final two days
to move them into 5th overall. The top two finishers of the Junior Worlds
qualify for the 2005 Worlds to be held in Gamigori, Japan. - Jerelyn Biehl,
final results will eventually be posted at:

Is your Ockam system still living in the 1980's? Because backward/forward
compatibility has always been a mainstay of Ockam's engineering approach,
your system can easily be updated to 2003 standards. Consider Ockam's newly
developed products, updated existing components, firmware and software. We
even offer trade-in credit for older gear. Want to interface that new GPS
and trade-in your old Loran interface? Update Version 14 CPU firmware for
Unisyn V16? How about swapping out your clip-in card type 005 displays for
the amazing Matryx? Unisyn CPU to Tryad T1!? Contact Tom Davis
( or look for dealers at

(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 nor a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)

* From Glenn Bourke, CEO, Volvo Ocean Race: We can assure not just Magnus
Wheatley, not just the media, not just all our registered competitors and
their sponsors, but anyone who takes an interest in the Volvo Ocean Race
that we are fully alert to all the opportunities of bringing the event to a
growing and wider-based audience.

We understand how the choices are made by those producing the major
national and international newspapers, magazines, radio and television
programmes. Just look at the audience figures. We think the international
media do a great job when it comes to digging out the stories and battling
for the space and airtime to present them.

We have made a major investment at our headquarters to ensure a constant
stream of information is available both to the media and direct to the
public. The competitors, also, make sure they are making a parallel effort.
So, there are six-hourly reports, there is supporting audio and video,
there are e-mails from the boats, all of which also pours on to the web
site, and there are media operations at every stopover. Some have even
complained there is too much information!

We have also, for a number of years, constantly monitored the audience, the
changes that are occurring during the race, the areas of strength, and the
areas of opportunity.

We put a lot of effort and resource into running a good media operation,
but, primarily, we have to run a grand prix yacht race. The first name on
any crew list is the skipper's, not least because his is the responsibility
for the safety of all the others on the boat and his is the responsibility
of putting together a winning crew and a winning performance.

The technology of communications has changed since 1983 and so has the
multi-skilling of the crews. Under the new format there will be onboard
places in our event for the media during the inshore races. It is unlikely
that, when football or baseball teams run out on to the pitch there will be
a journalist among them. After that, every crew-member has to earn his
place. And, in the Volvo Ocean Race, it is possible to interview the key
players while the game is in progress.

Are we listening? Yes, 24 hours a day.

* From Bob Fisher: Magnus Wheatley should understand that his tirade
against journalists is uncalled-for and untimely. He must also learn what
makes a news story and what is considered acceptable by the Sports Editors
who have the final say.

To suggest that the 'first name on the crew list should be the media guy'
is to lower the standard of the crew even if, as he claims, there are
'good, young, fit, informed journalists out there.' None of them could hold
a candle to the professional crews on the boats that make news.

Three out of the four broadsheet national dailies in Britain have sailing
correspondents who have done their time aboard boats and occasionally have
provided the first-person story, but that is far removed from journalism.
No one expects even David Beckham to report on each match he plays.
Reportage must be derived from observation of the entire event and this is
obtained from all available sources, not a single boat's viewpoint, nor
simply by surfing the Internet, which provides information for the general
public and is not a primary source for a reporter.

The style of reportage derived from competitors' stories that are, in
themselves, material for journalists. The e-mails from crews aboard the
last Volvo Ocean Race were a case in point. They needed careful editing and
compiling before they could become a news story.

Just what sort of story could have been provided by the majority of boats
in this year's Fastnet defies comprehension. It was a dull and largely
boring race, except for the front-runners duel. It was hardly a race that
would have done anything for the sport on radio or television - sailing's
image would have been tarnished rather than enhanced.

Our sport is not a main line item on any sports desk. That is fact. The
only occasions where we can expect lots of ink to be consumed on sailing is
when there is a sinking or a rescue - Bullimore and Goss provide excellent
examples. That too is a fact, however regrettable.

Curmudgeon's comment: Out of respect for the position held by Mr. Brooke
and a significant stature of international yachting journalist Bob Fisher,
both of these letters were allowed to run a bit over our normal limit …
although Mr. Fisher's comments were in fact pruned down by the editor, who
as he acknowledged in the above, "has the final say."

* From Michael Short, Sydney: I second the comments of Jerry Coe. Ben
Lexcen is a king amongst yacht designers. During his life he designed many
boats, from skiffs to maxis; many continue to race competitively.

Under his original name, Bob Miller, he was responsible for the design of
the Contender skiff. Probably one of the most difficult yet exhilarating
classes yet created - with the probable exception of current generation
Moths. The Contender is such a superb design that people credit the lines
to the design team of Ben Lexcen and Bob Miller. Designed in 1967 as a
successor to the Finn, it achieved international status in 1968. A single
handed trapeze rigged boat - it was deemed by many as being too much of a
handful to generate the universal appeal necessary to gain Olympic class
status. Nevertheless it remains a highly competitive class. The Contender
and development classes like the Cherub, of which Lexcen was also a
designer and sailor, mark the beginnings of the light displacement lineage
we now race and enjoy. This lineage developed other greats in design like
Farr and Russell Bowler.

We should all owe our gratitude to Ben Lexcen for the steering of yacht
design away from heavy displacement IOR dinosaurs and giving sailors faster
and more forgiving yachts. A trailblazer, Ben Lexcen died in May 1988 at
the height of his fame. His loss is sorely missed. He also designed a small
white 12-metre called Australia II.

* From Bob Afflerbach: I read with interest, Gary Jobson's advice on
planning which side to play. I agree with such advice but feel that it
simplified beyond good advice. Getting to the proper side in the first run
is certainly good advice but making that final decision before the start is
too prone to a low level of success. If that is so well shown before the
start, you will be very busy getting there first and in my limited
experience one wind shift on the way to the first mark is a dream not reality.

The statement about just starting to that side where the shift is
anticipated requires a lot of planning just to accomplish that, so make
your decision well early, or if having no anticipation, start in the center
and you have already planned a left side and most likely the back end of
the fleet. The comment about sticking to your choice is going to make some
of your opportunities to make shifts work for you on the way to the buoy
impossible. Go deep to either side and you have cast your only chance to
succeed. I make reference to the AC races to illustrate the plans to work
the middle until a strong gaining position becomes obvious. When wind
shifts occur being on the wrong layline is very harmful.

My whole point is that planning for a good start preempts planning for a
good side.

* From Steve Clark: Further to Cam Lewis' point. The almost ideal safety/
coach craft is already on the market. It is called the Jet Ski. Hated by
almost everyone for the idiocy of its operators, this vessel is cheap,
fast, unsinkable, and safe around swimmers. I have watched the Maverick
surfers in California and have been absolutely amazed at what the wave
runners are able to do in the most testing of all conditions to support
these surfers. Jet skis have also been used as support craft for long
distance canoe and swim races. Combined with modern waterproof
communication gear and clothing, they are almost the ideal small boat
support vessel. They are very good thing if the testosterone level of the
operator is under control.

* From Ronald Katz: Maybe a good alternative between the lack of
maneuverability of a jet drive and the inherent risk of a prop drive can
best be served by installing a prop shield around the propeller as some
measure of protection. If memory serves me correctly, recent court
decisions have held that these are a safer remedial measure than an
unprotected spinning prop. Nevertheless, I truly believe it always comes
back to proper operation of the powered vessel whether prop or jet drive
that will insure safety to fellow sailors and other boat operators.

The worst thing about accidents in the kitchen is eating them.