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SCUTTLEBUTT 1411 - September 10, 2003

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), 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.

STAR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Torben Grael won the final race of the Star European Championships to win
the regatta with a three point advantage over Mark Neeleman from the
Netherlands, who finished fourth. Just as in the four previous days, by
1300 hours, the Stars started leaving Marina de Cascais heading for the
racing area. The difference was in the weather conditions: very strong wind
(more than 25 knots) and choppy sea, "It means impracticable conditions for
the Star class," said Josť Cancella de Abreu, Clube Naval de Cascais races
responsible. Nevertheless, at the scheduled time (1400) the Race Committee
fired the starting shot for the last race of the 2003 Star European
Championship.

However, in sight of the lack of the smallest security conditions to the
boats and its crews, the Race Committee was forced to hoist the
postponement flag, which made the crews come back on shore waiting for new
instructions. Until 16h00 there could have been a new start.

At 1514 the postponement was struck and the Stars went one more time to the
sea - this time about half of the fleet had chosen not to get in the race
again. The final race stared at 1628 with the wind blowing from the north
at about 18 knots, which fell to ten by the end of the race.

Final standings of the 62 boat Star European Championships (six races with
one discard):
1. Torben Grael/ Marcelo Ferreira, BRA, 14
2. Mark Neeleman/ Peter Van Niekerk, NED, 17
3. Colin Beashel/ David Giles, AUS, 33
4. Iain Percy/ Steve Mitchell, GBR, 34
5. Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, SWE, 35
6. Peter Bromby/ Martin Siese, BER, 36
7. Ross Macdonald/ Kai Bsorn, CAN, 52
8. Mark Reynolds/ Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 57
9. Iain Murray/ Andrew Palfrey, AUS, 58
10. Mark Mansfield/ Killian Collins, IRL, 59
15. Rick Merriman/ Bill Bennett, USA; 78

Website: http://www.stareuro2003.com/Home_Event.asp

THE VENUE
Portugal is willing to make a "significant investment" to help stage the
America's Cup in 2007 if it wins the right to host the yachting regatta,
Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso said Monday. "Considering the
benefits which this investment would bring in terms of tourism and image
for the country, the government is open to making a significant investment
to make sure it is held here," he said at a joint press conference with
visiting Swiss President Pascal Couchepin.

The prime minister would not say how much money his centre-right
government, which is struggling to contain a ballooning public deficit,
would be willing to set aside to cover the costs of the event, considered
the world's most prestigious yachting trophy. Switzerland won the right to
organize the event when its Alinghi team thrashed the defending Team New
Zealand 5-0 in Auckland in March. But the land-locked country cannot defend
the trophy on Swiss water as Cup rules specify the competition must take
place at sea.

Switzerland is now engaged in a search for a host port for the next
challenge, with various European coastal cities vying for the honour. In
June the Swiss syndicate and Alinghi, which are organizing the next
competition, shortlisted the candidate cities down to five: Lisbon,
Portugal; Marseille, France; Naples, Italy; Palma de Mallorca and Valencia
in Spain. Barcelona in Spain and Tuscany-Elba in Italy were eliminated from
the running following on-site visits and technical checks on facilities and
local weather patterns. Patrick Monteiro de Barros, president of the Lisbon
organising committee, has said the former fishing town of Cascais, located
just outside of Lisbon, offers the best wind conditions of all the
candidates. "I am not saying the others are also not good, but aside from
offering excellent winds, we have wind all year," he told weekly newspaper
Diario de Noticias on Sunday. - The Daily Times, full story:
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_3-9-2003_pg2_27

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AC HALL OF FAME
Sailor and businessman Ted Turner will be on hand October 16 when the
Herreshoff Marine Museum (HMM) honors its 2003 inductees to the America's
Cup Hall of Fame -- Alan Bond (Fremantle, Australia) and Gary Jobson
(Annapolis, Md.). Turner will lend his personal insight to the introduction
of Jobson's considerable accomplishments. As skipper and tactician,
respectively, the pair captured the America's Cup aboard Courageous in
1977. Introducing Bond, the entrepreneur who led the Australian effort to
win the Cup in 1983, will be the Australian Consul General Ken Allen.

The Induction Ceremony will take place Thursday, October 16, 2003, at the
Union League Club in New York City, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the
black-tie affair are available individually ($250-$350) and by the table
($2,500-$5,000). For information: j.russell@herreshoff.org

1D35 US NATIONALS
John Musa's Jacaibon from Dillon, Colorado claimed this year's eight race
1D 35 National Championship Regatta, held over a three day period September
7-9, at the San Francisco YC. With Terry Hutchinson as the tactician,
Jacaibon notched her first major regatta victory for owner John Musa in
commanding fashion, finishing ahead of second place Chris and Kara Busch's
Wild Thing (San Diego, CA) by a whopping 24 points. The third podium finish
belonged to the DeVos brothers from Holland, MI.

Final Results (8 races with no discards): . John Musa, Jacaibon, 17; 2.
Chris and Carla Busch, Wild Thing, 41; 3. Dick & Doug DeVos, Windquest, 42;
4. David Kirk, Detente, 44; 5. Bill Wright, Zsa-Zsa, 49. -
http://www.sfyc.org/Regattas2003/Results/031D35CSV.HTM

NEWS BRIEFS
* Having been waiting patiently on shore since Sunday for the weather to
settle, the 70 competitors in the Mini Transat finally made their way to
the start line off La Rochelle Tuesday afternoon. The decision by Grand
Pavios and Class Mini to postpone the start for two days was well received
and the weather for the eventual start at 1730 couldn't have been better.
In a 20kt north-north-westerly and two-metre swell the 70-boat fleet
crossed the start line and commenced their 1,350-mile first leg of the
course to Lanzarote. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World website, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/mt3q

* The World Tour of 18' Skiffs came to St.Francis YC last week. Nine
races were sailed in 18 to 25 knots. With starts, finishes and mid course
gate set 100' from the St.FYC bar, the spectators could feel the adrenalin.
Fresh from their International 14' World Championship win, the highly
polished works team of "RMW Marine" Rob Greenhalgh and Dan Johnson sailing
with Sam Gardner won the event. In second was "West Marine" with reigning
World Champions Howie Hamlin and Mike Martin sailing with Andy Zinn. The
2000 World Champs - "Yandoo," John Winning, Geoff and Euan McNicol - took
third. - www.stfyc.org

* Among the casualties when Hurricane Fabian swept across Bermuda, with
winds in excess of 140 miles per hour, was Tim Kent's Open 50, Everest
Horizontal. During the storm, the dock lines parted and the boat was driven
onto the rocks behind Ocean Sails. Kent reports that the boat looks pretty
good, and is presently trying to raise the money to fly to Bermuda to
assess the damage before the boat is re-floated her. www.everesthorizontal.com

* Light winds in Nova Scotia caused the Clipper 2002 fleet to motor East
from Halifax into open water where the eight teams staged a Le Mans start
on Tuesday. Hurricane Fabian caused the start of Race 15 to Jersey to move
from New York to Nova Scotia and delayed it by a full week. -
www.clipper-ventures.com

* With the goal of raising $15,000 - $30,000 for the Washington DC area
Kids Set Sail program for urban teens, J World Annapolis and GEL have
teamed up to invite area corporations and organizations to enter the
October 24th B.I.G. Team Regatta. J World is providing 26-foot J/80s
staffed with a professional sailing coach and each entering organization
will receive an evening or afternoon session of team building and race
training in the weeks before the event. Enthusiasm, not sailing experience,
is the central requirement. For information: http://www.gelcorp/big

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LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com)
(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 Roger Strube: Get over it. Sailing is a rich man's sport. The
irony of Mr. Matus' comments critical of elitist yacht club members posted
in same issue of Scuttlebutt as the Sailing World story listing the
preseason top five coed school rankings was glaring. Sailing, and more
specifically sail racing, is very expensive. I don't know if the decline in
participation in sailing is directly related to increasing separation
between the rich and poor and the decline in the middle class but it would
seem to make sense. For sailing not only is perception reality, the
perception is accurate. The real issue and the threat to our sport is the
decline in numbers of participants. Sailing just dropped out of the top 20
in participation.

General aviation seems to be facing the issue of shrinking participation
and the root of the problem may be the same the shrinking middle class. The
EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) has sponsored the "Young Eagles"
program where kids are taken flying to introduce them to the sport. If you
want to improve participation in our sport join US Sailing. They have the
knowledge, information and materials necessary to build a yacht club,
community sailing center, high school or college sailing instruction and
racing program. Become a volunteer. We will never change the image of our
sport. It is just too accurate and real. What we can do is facilitate
involvement of young and not so young wanabees in our sport to reverse the
participation down trend.

* From Peter Branning: I'm sure you have heard this a million times, but
there is no secret to the fact that the America's Cup is boring to the
average viewer. It's just not much fun to watch. With the array of exciting
boats such as skiff's, 49ers, Catamarans as well as others that could be
developed for a lot less than a cup boat, why doesn't the America's Cup
Committee choose a boat that will create the thrills and chills that will
elevate this event to the spectator sport that the viewing public demands?
Erratic television coverage of such an event is inevitable otherwise.
Sponsors will be frustrated. The public will continue to be bored. Rich
sailors will continue to play what is actually a rather personal game - as
it always was really.

* From Alan Ouellette: The idea that the RC needs to immediately
individually notify every OCS boat puts them on a very slippery slope (what
else is in the box Pandora?). It is ultimately up to the competitors to
start properly and I think that the RC's job should be to minimize the
impact that OCS boats have on boats that have started properly. To this
end, it seems more appropriate to broadcast OCS boats a minute or two after
the start and post OCS boats on a board at the weather mark. The only thing
worse than sailing the entire race only to find out it didn't matter is
realizing you may unduly affected the race of a boat that started properly.

* Peter Horsch: While I have the utmost respect for Paul Cayard as a
sailor, I find it ironic that he suggests the United States use lottery
revenue (or some other government money) to help fund olympic campaigns,
when in the same breath he refers to going to the Olympics as his anecdote
(I think he means antidote) for his mid-life crisis. (September 2, 2003)
Improved education or public transportation would have a much greater
impact on the quality of my life, as well as most other Americans, than the
color of the medal of an Olympic sailor.

* Nancy Noyes: As a local sailing writer, I've watched with great
interest the discussions in recent issues of Scuttlebutt about why press
coverage is hard to come by and what we can all do to make it better. I'm
grateful to have the support for coverage of our sport from our local
daily, The Capital (Annapolis, MD), which does a creditable job making
space for this important local form of recreation -- at least between April
and October. But as recent writers also have been pointing out, it's true
that there is an unfair perception in the greater outside world -- at least
in the U.S. -- that sailing is a rich man's sport. These two topics
actually are related.

Apparently that perception of privilege and trust funds also is shared by
many sports editors, and is another serious factor in why coverage for
sailing events can be so hard to obtain. Years ago, when writing a weekly
sailing column for a large regional daily, I was horrified at the response
from my editor when I suggested an additional mid-week story on a large
local regatta only to be brushed off with a snide remark: "What's that?
Biff and Muffie go yaaachting?" This kind of attitude, promulgated by
wannabe or washed-up-jock sports editors who can't relate to anything not
involving the use of a ball, eventually led to that newspaper cutting back
sailing space so extensively that it wasn't worth my time and effort.

* From Peter Grimm Jr.: Tim Kent is spot on! I have been involved with
the Hospice regatta for over five years now and I can tell you it is the
most successful event in south Fla. because everyone from cruisers to
racers and everything in between race for fun and raise money for Hospice
care of S. Fla. The reason that it is successful is that it really is fun
and no protests in 5 years! 90 plus boat regatta... the cruiser racer and
family folks love this event because they don't feel intimidated even
though we have world class sailors racing here.

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
One of the perks of being over 65 is that there is nothing left to learn
the hard way.