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SCUTTLEBUTT 1396 - August 19, 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.

In order to launch their campaign for the America's Cup 2007, Team Alinghi
and Oracle BMW Racing will race for the Moet Cup on San Francisco Bay from
September 15 to September 20, on a shortened but very windy course that
will introduce a number of new concepts.

The regatta will be raced on very short courses and the yachts will
complete "out and back" circuits in under one hour, which should guarantee
an exciting view for the many numbers of spectators expected. Unlike the
America's Cup, the finish of each race will be on a close reach rather than
downwind. This will allow spectators to experience the event in the best
conditions and be as close as possible to the boats.

The Moet Cup is divided into two events: a professional regatta and an
owner/ driver race. As such, Ernesto Bertarelli and Larry Ellison will go
head to head on the race course before handing back the helm to Russell
Coutts and Gavin Brady respectively.

The Alinghi team sailing on SUI-64 will be a slightly different
configuration that that seen in Auckland. This week fourteen members of
Team Alinghi have the job of putting together some hundred tons of
materials - boat, masts, keel, support boats, sails, and to reassemble
SUI-64 to winning condition. This is an impressive task managed by Michel
Marie and his team. The Alinghi crew will also be a little different to
those involved in Auckland. As such, Jochen Schuemann will hold the
position of tactician while new crew will be on trial during the racing.

The Moet Cup will give the two teams the opportunity to present their
program for the coming year. In effect, both Alinghi and Oracle BMW Racing
will demonstrate their intention to modernize the America's Cup and enable
spectators to be closer to the racing with this event. A number of regattas
are planned for each year, The Moet Cup being the instigator. -

Team New Zealand will compete in an international regatta next year with
the black boats that failed so miserably in the America's Cup. Beaten 5-0
by Alinghi, Team New Zealand were let down by their race boat, NZL82, after
it broke down in two of the five races.

Team New Zealand's managing director, Grant Dalton, said an independent
study was about to be conducted into why NZL81 and NZL82 failed. Once it
had been established what was wrong with the boats, they would be repaired
and Dalton hoped to have them back out on the Hauraki Gulf by February.
"There is no point going sailing in them now. They will sink," Dalton said.

"We need to find out what went wrong with them, whether it was engineering,
the way they were built, the materials or all of the above. "When we know
the answer - and we know there is an answer because the other boats didn't
break - then we need to fix whatever it is." Dalton said the study, which
would take until December to complete, would be conducted by labs and
outside computer modelling experts.

Alinghi are planning a series of regattas to seed the challengers leading
up to the next cup and if Team New Zealand manage to find the estimated
$150 million needed to mount a challenge they will need reliable boats as
early as next year.

Syndicates will not start constructing their new boats for the 2007 cup for
some time, which means 2003-generation boats will be used in the regattas
in the meantime. "We will go sailing for a short period in February after
the boats are structurally sorted and checked," Dalton said. "Then we will
go to our first regatta in Newport, Rhode Island, at the end of June. We
will probably take the same boat on to Europe and maybe do two regattas.
"Then we will come home and alter the boats straight away."

Team New Zealand became the talk of the yachting world during the last cup
regatta when their boats were unveiled sporting revolutionary hull
appendages. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

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://

Peter Harrison's next America's Cup campaign took a distinctly upward turn
recently with the news that Finn Gold medallist and Star World Champion
Iain Percy has been signed up to the fledgling team. Percy says that the
first meetings to discuss his coming on board GBR Challenge took place a
couple of months ago. "I've been keen from the beginning to get involved
with a British America's Cup challenge. It's been in the back of my mind
for ages." He says, canny bloke, that he wanted to make the annoucement now
to quash any rumours and speculation that might detract from his Olympic
campaign, which is still very much his priority in the short term.

Within the new look GBR Challenge Percy sees himself having at least two
roles - on the water and off it. The make-up of the afterguard for GBR
Challenge v2 is still far from finalised, but the scenario many are seeing
is Percy as part of the tactical team with Ben Ainslie behind the wheel.
"We've been talking a lot to Ben," says Percy. "It is all very positive -
it is just a matter of timing when he comes on board." Like Percy, the most
pressing matter at present for Ainslie is his Finn campaign for Athens.

Percy believes that this combination will work well - he and Ben have been
priming themselves for the helm/tactical roles for some time, although
apart from a couple of occasions when they have sailed on big boats
together for sponsors such as Volvo and Skandia, they have being developing
these roles independently. - The Daily Sail website, full story:

* A 43-year-old French woman from Morbihan who crossed the Atlantic on a
windsurfer has set off from Peru hoping to cross the Pacific Ocean alone
and unassisted in the same manner. Her board is 7.8m long 1.3 m wide and
1.05 m deep. It carries batteries and solar panels and a desalinator to
make fresh water from seawater. She also has an Iridium satellite phone, a
VHF radio, and GPS. She has four carbon masts and three aluminum booms and
a 90 day supply of dehydrated and freeze dried foods. - Yachting Monthly,

* Royal Yacht Club Hollandia, Medemblik, The Netherlands. On day one of
the J/24 worlds, the wind came at 16.30. Results of race one: 1. ITA,
Gabriele Benussi; 2. ITA, Gingerinup Fabio Nocera; 3. BRA, Mauricio Santa
Cruz; 4. USA Horton/ Wolfs; 5. GER, Leif Tom Loose. -

* Fourteen crews from the US, Canada and Mexico descended upon the
Columbia River Gorge for this year's 49er US National Championships hosted
by the Columbia Gorge Racing Association at Cascade Locks, Oregon.
Saturday, was no disappointment. Under a clear blue sky and with winds of
18-24 knots gusting to 28. Sunday brought more moderate breezes of 14 to 20
knots. Finals results: 1. Andy Mack /Adam Lowry 9; 2. Mogan Larson/ Adam
Koch, 23; 3. Patrick Whitmarsh/ Paul Allen, 26. Complete results and photos

* Laser II World Championship, Watersport Vereniging Hoorn, WSV Hoor,
Medemblick, The Netherlands, final results: 1. IRL, Noel. Butler 26; 2.
USA, Kevin Teborek , 30; 3. GBR, N.Skudder, 40: 4. GBR, G. Bristow 42; 5.
GBR, M. Joesburry, 54.

(The following item was found on the Yacht Racing Website.)

After a quick visit to the official site, it has come to our attention that
due to lack of sponsorship, the organizers of The Challenge Series have
called it a year. The Challenge Series, ex International America's Cup
Class San Francisco (IACCSF) was founded by John Sweeney to promote the
racing of vintage America's Cup class boats on the San Francisco Bay. The
following is the official word from their site:

The Challenge Series: The Challenge Series has now completed five regattas
over two years. We have grown from two yachts to seven and along the way
saved four AC yachts from the scrap yard. The partners, Tina Kleinjan and
John Sweeney, have funded the events until now. At first we planned on one
event and then it was three, four, then five. The line has been drawn at
five, and we now need a company to back the Challenge Series to make it an
ongoing event. The deadline to achieve this was 8/14/2003, and although
many sponsors have showed great interest, nobody has committed to a level
that would let the events be self sufficient.

We have cancelled the September 5-8 event unless somebody provides funding,
and will do the same for October. The plan is to wrap everything up and set
our sights on three great events in 2004 with sponsors and television. We
will change the rules to only allow 1992 and 1995 AC yachts and work
closely with America's Cup Properties to secure the official Vintage
America's Cup Class rights. The regattas have been a huge success, not only
for the sailing community but for Bay Area public who finally got to see
America's Cup Class racing in the perfect amphitheater.

John, Tina, Nick, and the team appreciate all the support everyone has
offered. This is a passion of ours and a very large undertaking. We look
forward to seeing it grow again next year and hope with time and planning
to make it an even bigger success. If you are interested in funding it or
know who might be, please let us know ASAP. It's a shame to see such a
great series of events cancelled. - Yacht Racing website,

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(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 Warren St. John: In criticizing Magnus Wheatley's entirely
reasonable, if impassioned letter to Scuttlebutt, Andrew Bray inadvertently
makes Magnus's point. He says Yachting World's "bread and butter' is
finding 'someone on board that boat who can string a few words together and
commission(ing) them to send in reports. Who writes these "commissioned
reports"? The very crew that is being reported on? Aren't they by nature
going to be predisposed to paint events in a positive light? In the best
case, such reports are unreliable, and in the worst cases, as we saw often
at the America's Cup in Auckland, they are intentioned to mislead. And
something else; sailors are good at sailing; and journalists are good at

* From Peter Ernstved Rasmussen (Comment to Bob Fisher): Magnus Wheatlys
tirade against journalists is not untimely. It is about time! The main part
of Sport Editors all over the world finds sailing very boring. Therefore
every yachting journalist has to think about how to make the sport more
interesting. Magnus Wheatley has one idea, and he deserves to be praised
for a very well-founded proposal.

In this sport organisers and participants have never learned the importance
of giving professional information about what is going on, and that is one
of the reasons why sport journalist and editors never pick up the stuff by
they're own. With all respect for your lifelong writing about Sailing we
all need to think in a new way to hit the columns - and the Media en
general. Instead of accepting the facts with old-fashioned and traditional
thinking we need to brake down walls in the Media organisations. Why should
we as yachting journalists yield to the incompetence of the Sport Editors
and accept they're condescending attitude to sailing?

* From Cynthia Goss: I applaud Magnus Wheatley's ideas on how to generate
more media coverage for sailing. But as someone who has handled public
relations for regattas, I also understand why many believe, no one cares.
Wheatley's strategy of putting a strong reporter onboard is spot on: Having
a Paul Cayard racing around the world and sending dispatches works, because
he is articulate, an excellent writer, and digs beneath what is happening
onboard to tell a deeper story. He wrote about things people could relate
to--whether they sailed or not. But not every boat has a writer like that -
so it should be the job of sailors, PR people, and journalists who want
more column inches to pull the interesting stories off the boats.

I think the key is to stand back and figure out, what would interest a
non-sailor about this event? Surely not the lefthand shift on the second
upwind leg. But a 70-year-old skipper duking it out on the starting line
against sailors half her age? That might fly. It's not rocket science. It's
a sales and service job to the media that takes some creativity and
persistence. It may not work every time, but I believe the only way to get
our sport on the mainstream media's radar screen is to lead the press to
the good stories.

* From David Gill: With regard to Magnus Wheatley's Commentary - I would
like to offer a different perspective. Sponsors and media coverage, is that
what sailing is about? Will sailing continue to be a sport even without
having paid crews and boats that cost as much as a small country's GDP? I
would venture to say that there are people out there who love to sail and
will do it regardless. The competitive spirit lives at all levels. It is
this spirit that brings the inspiration and appeal of a sport. Without
sponsors and the media, people will continue to race. They probably won't
be racing multi-million dollar boats with all of the latest and greatest
equipment. They will be racing, challenging themselves and others to live
life to its fullest wondering what is at the edge and not what is in their
bank accounts.

* From Bill Schoenberg: Thank you Cam Lewis. Every day I read the butt to
find out what is going on in our sport. Every day I get to read about who
has spent what amount of money to get the best sailors to sail in the back
of their boat. Finally I get to read a post that will actually have a
positive influence on the future of our sport. I don't know whether jet
boats are the best approach, or whether better motor boat training is the
answer, but I do know that by raising the question and asking for input, we
are much closer to improving the safety of all sailors.

* From Mark Green: It seems to me that all of the discussion about
propeller vs. jet drives on coach boats misses the fundamental point: any
collision between a coach boat and a competing vessel is unacceptable and
will cause damage, if not personal injury, regardless of the means of
propulsion. Why aren't we talking about keeping coach boats out of the way
and having them driven by operators who are alert and capable of avoiding

* From David Hazlehurst: I can relate to Bob Afflerbach's point that it
may not be wise to decide which is the right side before the start. Part of
my exercise regimen is playing tennis and some of my worst shots occur when
I decide where to hit them long before they get to me. With that parallel
it seems that waiting until you are over the starting line may be the best
time to decide which is the right side.

* From Henry (Harry) H. Anderson, Jr. (Re Michael Short's comments about
Ben Lexcen): The Contender was declared winner by the IYRU (now ISAF)
committee (of which I was a member) conducting the Observation Trials at
Mdemblik, Holland, to replace the Finn as the Olympic singlehander. A
factor in its never achieving the popularity - worldwide distribution - to
win approval as the replacement was the addition by the Permanent Committee
(now Council) of ca. 25 pounds to its structural components. This
perceptively compromised its performance. The sensitivity of the PC to
criticism over the light construction of some of the International Classes
was not justified in the case of the Contender.

It's downright annoying to argue with a fella who knows what he is talking