Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1406 - September 3, 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.

This year, the world's most respected and best Olympic classes sailors will
be gathering in and around the nautical city of Cadiz in Spain for the
largest World Championship ever held in the history of our sport. Split
between three venues, Puerto Sherry, Elcano and Rota, over 1800 sailors
from more than 50 countries will battle it out for not only the prestigious
title of world champion, but also to secure qualification for their country
at the 2004 Olympic Regatta.

With all eleven of the Olympic events racing over a two week period, the
list of entries reads like a who's who of sailing superstars. Young, up and
coming athletes, many of whom have recently competed at the ISAF Youth
Sailing World Championships in Madeira, Portugal, will compete against
experienced Olympians. Sailors for whom the passion of the Olympic classes
fails to leave them.

Entry qualification quotas for this prestigious World Championship were by
the ISAF World Sailing Rankings, which were released on 2 July 2003 and
each ISAF Member National Authority received a guaranteed two entries, with
a further four available depending on how many sailors a particular nation
had in the top 100 in the world.

Because of the magnitude of this event, and the desire to make it the
pinnacle of World Sailing for 2003, entry numbers were strictly limited to
ensure manageable fleet sizes, and the highest possible quality of racing,
important for both the athletes competing, spectators, and the sport of
sailing as a whole. In each of the eleven World Championship fleets, it is
the second opportunity for nations to qualify for an entry to the Olympic
regatta in Athens in 2004. The first was each class' individual World
Championship last year, and the final opportunity will be the Class World
Championships in 2004.

So, the entries are now closed, confirmed and athletes and nations are
making their final preparations for the Championship. But what of the
sailors themselves, who are the likely front running candidates for
individual World Championship titles, and who will win the coveted IOC
President's Cup for the top performing nation, currently held by Australia,
who won the trophy at the last combined Worlds prior to the Olympic Games
in Sydney 2000.

The number of nations competing in Cadiz exceeds any previous Olympic
entry. Back in 2000, Iceland, Morocco, Peru and Sri Lanka made their first
every foray into the arena of the Olympic Regatta, countries which now
regularly have sailors competing on the Olympic circuit. Whilst 2003 will
certainly welcome some new nations, we will wait and see which will make
their debut appearance at the Olympic Games come 2004. - ISAF website, full

Oracle BMW Racing's chief executive Chris Dickson has his team training six
days a week in preparation for their rematch against America's Cup winners
Alinghi in San Francisco next week. Oracle will line up against Russell
Coutts' Swiss syndicate in the Moet Cup, a 12-race series from September 15
to 20. In five of the races, owners Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli
will be at the helms of their yachts.

Dickson said Oracle had their new boats USA71 and USA76 in San Francisco
and a team of around 80 people working on the water and on shore. "We are
training and practicing solidly in our two boats with a full complement of
crew, and we've got new equipment and new sails coming," Dickson said.
"Last time we raced Alinghi [in the America's Cup challenger series final]
we lost 5-1, and we would be very disappointed if that happened again."

* It is not known whether Dickson has re-signed New Zealand-born designer
Bruce Farr. "I expect we will be a smaller team this time around. We
envisage about 50 to 80 for most of the time, and we will increase it for
short periods only." Dickson said no decision had been made on whether the
syndicate would remain based in Auckland.

"At the moment we have an administrative base in Auckland and an
operational base in San Francisco," he said. "We don't know the venue of
the next cup yet, we don't have dates, we don't have a class rule
finalised, we don't have the rules of the regatta. Without that information
we are not in a position to make a decision on what is best for this team."
- Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

Tornado, Sabots, Yngling, 470's, J/105, Schock 35, Etchells, Acat's, Farr
40, 505, Cal 20, Coronado 15, Fireball, J/24, CFJ, 420, Europe Dinghy,
Harbor 20, International 14, J/22, Holder 20, Flying Scot, Lido 14, Lehman
12, Lightning, Melges 24, Optimist, Snipe, Thistle, Cal 25, Soling, Sonar,
Santana 20, Santana 30/30, Capri 14.2, El Toro, Ultimate 20, Flying Junior,
J/80, Hobie 21, San Juan 24, Nacra, Prindle , J/120, Antrim 27, Olson 30,
Mumm 30, J/109. Ullman Sails has been one designing 30+ years, give your
local loft a call or visit us at

What was the first year that skirts (used by competing yachts to hide their
hull shape and appendages) were introduced to the America's Cup? (Answer below)

* The threat of Hurricane Fabian has caused the postponement of the
fifteenth stage of the Clipper 2002 Race, from New York to Jersey. The
fleet of eight boats remains at their present berth at the
Intrepid-Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, until it is prudent for
them to sail. It is possible that the Clipper 2002 race fleet will now
start Race 15 from New York on Friday, 5th September - however a more
likely date is Saturday, 6th September. The race delay will doubtless also
have an effect on the subsequent Clipper 2002 schedule.

* Thirty three boats descended upon Falmouth Yacht Club in Falmouth, MA
for the International 505 North American Championships. The event was run
in conditions ranging from 5-20 knots with fast moving currents and wind
shifts complicating matters. Final results: 1. Tyler Moore & Peter Alarie,
7; 2. Tim Collins & Bill Smith, 14; 3. Doug Hagan & Rob Woefle, 17; 4.
Ethan Bixby & Erik Booth, 26; 5. Jeff Boyd & Martin Tenhove, 28.

* The Star European Championship starts today as 71 crews from 22 nations
battle for the prestigious title. Italy leads the list with 15 boats
followed by Germany and Russia with five entries each. Australia has
entered four teams and of the three Great Britain entries, one is the World
Champion crew Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell. Additionally, there are a
number of non-European entries, including Star sailors Torben Grael (BRA),
Colin Beashel and Iain Murray (AUS), Ross Macdonald (CAN) and Mark Reynolds
and Rick Merriman (USA). - Event website:

* Sydney, Australia - Nicky Souter and her crew of Stacey Jackson and Nina
Curtis from Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club have won the "Women
2003" Grade 2 Match Racing Regatta defeating defender Katie Spithill and
her crew of Rochanne Barrett and Emma Bullough 3-0 in the final sailed on
Pittwater yesterday under cloudless skies and in westerly conditions
reaching 18 kts. Final results: 1st Nicky Souter, 2nd Katie Spithill, 3rd
Aimee Famularo, 4th Jacqui Bonnitcha, 5th Kylie Mara, 6th Anne Durham.

* Final results of the Rhodes 19 National Championship Regatta held at
the Corinthian YC in Marblehead, MA - Six races with one discard (38
boats): 1. Benz Faget, 6.25; 2. Jerry Blouin, 16.75; 3. Michael Carpenter,
20.75; Kim Pandapas, 25; 5. Justin Scott, 39.

* Correction: The address given for Mr. James Rousmaniere in Scuttlebutt
1405 was incorrect. The correct address is: 655 Main Street South,
Southbury, CT 06488

Skirts are nothing new in the America's Cup. Scottish challenger Thistle
sported canvas screens to hide their underbelly from prying New Yorkers at
the time of their 1887 challenge. They needn't have bothered, as they lost
2-0 to Volunteer.

Word around the docks is that Samson is right on the money. Sy Kleinman's
Swiftsure II, a Schumacher 54, won a recent San Francisco regatta using
Progen II and Validator SK halyards. Chris Tutmark, a professional rigger
from Seattle who is upgrading the existing running rigging, noted that in a
breeze of 6-24 knots, after the halyards were set they did not move. He
had enough confidence in Progen that he felt they could have gone a size
smaller than the 3/8" line they used. Chris called the Progen "a most
impressive product."

Boats for sale, available jobs, etc. listed at
Calendar of Major Events:

(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 Dan Tucker: Kudos to Paul Cayard for pointing out the disparities
in the United States' preparation for the Olympics compared to others. US
Sailing really does the best they can with the resources they are able to
allocate, and nurturing sponsorships for the US Sailing Teams,
unfortunately they simply don't have enough funds. Cayard speaks from
experience, having worked to fund highly visible AC and Round the World
campaigns. He knows just how difficult it is, and it's even more so for the
nearly invisible US athletes, who make so many sacrifices.

GBR's supposed $1M budget in one discipline (Star) is mind boggling, when
most US Olympic hopefuls are grateful for a $100 contribution. Support your
local Olympic and Paralympic sailors, with direct cash contributions to
their campaigns. They're undoubtedly in debt up to their eyeballs trying to
fund their training. If you don't know any sailors, but want to help, you
can donate to the United States Sailing Foundation at

* From Jordan Murphy: While I have a vast respect for Paul Cayard, both
in sailing and life, I would like to draw attention to the notion the
Olympics as a form of country competition, which its roots are not. It is
meant for the individual, regardless of any other affiliation, and these
days it would seem Americans should appreciate this more then anyone.

Sailing is a great activity, no doubt, but we should try to keep things in
perspective If anything could be classified as public, or private, it
should be the yachting, and it should be seen as a privilege. It would be a
shame to drag such a holistic activity as sailing into the political arena
we are subjected to most every other hour,

* From Harry Munns, Executive Vice President, American Sailing
Association: It's no secret the American Sailing Association and US Sailing
are competitors in sailing education so we have a somewhat tainted view of
that organization. We've also been a dues-paying member of US Sailing for
nearly two decades and as such we've earned the right to express opinions
about the organization.

Paul Cayard's article falls short of laying the blame for poor Olympic
performance by American athletes where it belongs, with the leadership US
Sailing. US Sailing's grand mission is to become all things to all sailors
has forced it to lose focus on its main mission, fielding the highest
quality Olympic team our country is capable of producing. I'm sure this
statement will produce heated argument but look at the facts. How else do
you explain what Paul Cayard refers to as the "reality check" of the last
few Olympiads?

The great sailors that make up America's highest level of amateur
competition are going off to compete without the tools it takes to win
while the leadership of US Sailing is expending energy trying to figure out
how to get cruising sailors to pay them dues. What's wrong with this picture?

* From Roy W Sherman (In response to Jesse Deupree comment about
lifelines): I remind readers that unless we police our selves and others
rule breaking will continue. Many classes do not enforce the rules that are
there, mostly due to impression that this would cause less sailors to
compete, or is to time consuming. If you see someone breaking a rule tell
them, they might not know. If they continue to break the rules protest
them. Of course the other competitors will claim it is sour grapes and the
protest committee will ask you to withdraw it but what choice do we have?
The more complicated the Rules the fewer sailors we have. Many PHRF areas
have stopped measuring sails because it is too much trouble to enforce.
Even major big boat regattas do not inspect boats any longer. Lifelines are
only the tip of a large iceberg.

* From Sandy Purdon, Staff Commodore, San Diego Yacht Club : Commodore
Aaron "Chato" Saenz, has been the face and figure of Mexican sailing
particularly at the Club de Yates de Acapulco, S. A., for decades. When one
thinks of big boat sailboat racing that took place for the past 30 years in
Mexico at the Acapulco Yacht Club (AYC), Chato's name always comes up
first. Many of us from San Diego Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, St.
Francis Yacht Club and others would travel to Acapulco to race the AYC big
boats in club competition. Just this past March, many of us from SDYC made
the trip again.

But Chato was the leader of these events in the past. He was Commodore of
AYC forever it seemed. I remember the pre-regatta skippers meetings where
Chato would "negotiate" the use of the boats and the terms of the racing.
Chato's word was god. There were really no negotiations. But it was all in
fun and on Saturday night he would typically host everyone at his lovely
home overlooking Acapulco Bay.

Chato would periodically purchase the latest and "hot" racing 40' -50' boat
from a seller in Southern California. He was always competitive and his
boats were well prepared and sailed well. There are many others in Mexico
that continue to make the Acapulco Yacht Club racing most enjoyable for the
American's who travel to Acapulco, but the figure that will be remembered
most during this era is Chato.

* From Ken Legler: I actually don't talk to competitors in big races
before the start about their being over unless the one-minute rule is in
effect and boats are over. It seems most writers are in favor of
communicating as much as needed to make the racing more fun, providing
unfair advantages are not offered to individual boats. I agree with this
concept of direct communication to competitors in addition to timely and
very large signal flags and found it absolutely necessary when Windsurfer
racing first came on the scene.

Another positive trend among race committees is mobility. I observed the
Edgartown YC Signal Boat up anchor after nearly every start to help signal
mark changes, move marks, set up finish lines at the windward mark,
relocate starting lines, or just observe the gate mark roundings up close.
Still, many RC's today remain anchored as the series of races revolves
around the Signal Boat. Sometimes it seems to be asking much of volunteers
to work the anchor so much but a mobile race committee that is practiced at
anchoring will be appreciated.

* From Bruce Thompson, SRO, Chicago Corinthian YC: This discussion of
communication echos some of the reports I got from my fellow CCYC RC
members who worked the Green Fleet at the Opti Nationals. They chose to
escalate the level of competitor responsibility as the regatta progressed.
Initially they called boats over from one minute. In later races they had
an RIB run the line. Then they let them do it on their own. An adult
solution to running races for inexperienced children. Work with them to
instill good habits. But we should not expect adult sailors to take
direction so well.

It only takes one person to start arguments about material prejudice. They
should know better and should be held to the higher standard. RCs do not
want to send competitors home with an OCS, but even with a good line
competitors can push the start.

It's interesting to note that at the Optis our ROs heard an adult tell a
child to push over early as the RC couldn't see him behind boats to
windward. Of course the RC fooled him by having a pin end boat! But notice
the bad behavior was instigated by nominal grown-ups, not the kids. The
truth is that the more sportsmanship exists in the fleet, the better the
results. Adults are not always particularly sportsmanlike.

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it. -
Franklin P. Jones