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SCUTTLEBUTT 1423 - September 26, 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.

(Since 1994, Peter Craig, President of Premiere Racing, has managed the
on-water portion of what is now known as Terra Nova Trading Key West. In
1997, Premiere Racing took over the complete event management of what is
now arguably the premiere multi-class keelboat event in the US. Scuttlebutt
recently checked in with Peter about Key West, what today's sailors are
looking for and how all events can improve themselves. Here is an excerpt
from our exclusive interview now posted on the Scuttlebutt website.)

Scuttlebutt: What do you see as the current trend with race week events?

Peter Craig: I believe the race week type events are probably a dying
breed. With a premium today on leisure time, at least in this country, the
one, two, and three-day regattas over a weekend are more commonplace than
the more lengthy events of a week or longer. You just need to look at the
demise of the old SORC format, Kenwood Cup, and Admirals Cup to name just a
few. Some of the major regional events are shorter today than they were in
the past. Time in many respects has become more critical than money. Key
West Race Week is an exception. First of all it is a long way to bring your
crew and your boat for two or three days of racing. Secondly, it has
evolved into a championship-caliber event.

Scuttlebutt: But isn't there still a desire for folks to branch out beyond
their local racing?

Peter Craig: Part of it is the need for a destination location. For a
keelboat regatta, as opposed to dinghies or easily trailerable keelboats,
you have got to have a real good reason to pack up the boat and get your
sizeable crew wherever it is that you are going. When you are doing all
that, with both the expense and the time factor involved, and you only have
two or two and a half days of racing, that includes a bad weather day, boy,
that's a huge effort to come up short. You're finding that in the keelboat
arena today, to get yourself out of your local regional area, and your boat
on a truck and where it needs to be, there's got to be a real good reason
to do so.

Scuttlebutt: What do you feel most of these sailors are looking for?

Peter Craig: Sailors at Key West cover the whole spectrum. We've got the
not-so-serious club racer on one end right up to the elite grand prix
program in the other. But, the one thing that they are all looking for is
competent race management. You have got to have that. We focus really hard
to get that just right for all four divisions. There is a lot to putting on
a great event, but above all else you better make sure that you're making
good decisions on the water.

Scuttlebutt: Recent Scuttlebutt dialogue has included how PRO's (principal
race officers) interact on the water with competitors. Is there a game plan
covering this for Key West?

Peter Craig: We have been in tune with that for six or seven years now. We
indeed have a game plan. With the four separate divisions and PRO's coming
from four different regions around the country, it's important for
continuity sake to have a detailed, written standard operating procedure,
which we do. And that includes communications. We use a fair amount of VHF
communications to keep competitors apprised with what we're up to. We
receive very positive feedback about our on-the-water communications, but
no, we don't coach competitors in the last minute before the start. I
certainly don't think that's what sailboat racing is all about.

Read the entire interview:

Greenwich, Connecticut, USA - Ken Read got two more bullets on Thursday.
That's five bullets in seven races, and his regatta lead is now 45 points.
With just two races remaining, it sure looks like this party is over - that
Read, a six-time J/24 World Champion, is on track for a nomination for his
third Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award.

Standings (7 races with one discard - 93 boats):
1. Ken Read, K. Anderson & S. Norris, USA, 7
2. Jud Smith, H. Frazer & A. Wills, USA, 52
3. Cameron Miles, P. Smidmore & J. Mayjor, AUS, 64
4. Hans Fogh, R. Cheer & T. Fogh, CAN, 97
5. Cameron Appleton, P. Merrington & P. Gudmunson, NZL, 101

Event website:

We hope you got your boat out of Hurricane Isabel's path last week and that
it weathered the storm unharmed. But if your boat now needs a little
repair, call the Hurricane Relief (Lay)line: 800-542-5463. We've got plenty
of replacement parts in stock, and our riggers are ready to help get your
boat back in the water for those last few races of this season. Feel like
you've already spent too much on your boat this year? Check out our new
sale items page for end-of-season bargains on cordage, hardware, and gear:

There are two ways to provide for Olympic sailing. One is a purpose-built
permanent marina, of which Kiel (1972) was the first modern example and
Barcelona (1992) by far the best. In Spain's case, it rejuvenated a
run-down waterfront area. Ten years on, it is a crucial part of the Catalan
capital. The other is to make a temporary marina. In Sydney (2000) a
waterfront domain in Rushcutters Bay served its purpose, yet left nothing
to remind Sydneysiders that Olympic yachting had taken place there, even if
the harbour had provided a natural grandstand.

In Savannah (1996), on Georgia's low-lying and environmentally sensitive
coast, the Atlanta hosts spent millions towing barges from Texas to make a
marina that was miles from the sailors' village, the media village and the
town. It was a shining example of what the Americans can achieve by
throwing money at a problem, yet ultimately it was pointless and wasteful.

Athens should be like Barcelona, leaving a facility with a useful second
life. The site is state-owned and will be sold. (ISAF President) Henderson
estimates a $250 million (152m) sale price which could turn a $100 million
(61m) profit. "I predict that sailing will be the biggest single profit
centre in the Games," he said. "Furthermore it will be one of the most
vibrant legacies left to Athens." - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full

* As reported here in the last issue, Robert Miller's revolutionary
all-carbon fibre 140-foot super-maxi is in New York and on stand-by to
attempt to capture the prestigious west to east transatlantic speed record.
Those who want to follow this closely can do so on a new website which goes
live this weekend.

* Lake Geneva Yacht Club in Fontana, Wisconsin is the host of US Sailing's
Championship of Champions competition for the Jack Brown Trophy sailed in
Melges MC scows. To the surprise of no one, the current MC national
champion, Justin Hood took the early lead with a 2,1,1,2 series. Lightning
Champion Allan Terhune, trails Hood by seven points.

John Bertrand has revealed the legendary Australia II, which brought the
nation America's Cup glory 20 years ago next week, was almost dumped for
the 1983 Bond campaign. As his 1983 crew gathers for a gala reunion in
Perth tonight, the skipper recalled the famed winged keel had not performed
up to scratch in trials off Fremantle and in Port Phillip Bay. Bertrand
feared the revolutionary boat would be too sluggish downwind for the huge
challenge of taking sport's most elusive trophy off the New York Yacht Club
after 132 years. "I didn't want to go into the America's Cup with a boat
that left us exposed," Bertrand said.

It was only the faith of designer Ben Lexcen in his cherished keel and the
determination of Alan Bond - who sank a fortune into Australia II - that
swayed him. "Benny's heart was with Australia II and Alan was very strong
on it, being more of a high-risk person, you might say," Bertrand said.
Bertrand thought Lexcen's other design, the conventional Challenge 12, was
equally capable. "But we developed new spinnaker shapes for Australia II
and had to make a dramatic change in moving the keel forward 20cm. That
covered our achilles heel and showed the advantages of the keel's superior
performance." - Neil Wilson, website, full story:,4057,7310637^421,00.html

With cold weather just around the corner, now is the time to prepare.
Annapolis Performance Sailing's eye for performance can see you sailing,
and warm, in Gill's new i4 Performance Fleece. Incorporating classic
styling with technical fabrics and features like flat seams for comfort
under layers, the i4 series is available in vibrant colors and can be used
as a performance mid-layer or casual outer layer. Annapolis Performance
Sailing and Gill remind you to respect the elements. If you've got an eye
for performance and want to stay warm sailing, check out i4 Fleeces at

(Following is an excerpt from a lengthy report written by Jill Nickerson
about 'Day Six of Racing' at just-concluded ISAF World Championship Regatta
in Cadiz, Spain.)

Before the first race even started, Mike Fletcher, coach for the Australian
team, had a near death experience on the way to the course. He had stopped
to watch the Finn class, who were on the way out to the Tornado course. As
he was standing in his stopped coach boat looking through the binoculars, a
Danish Finn coach boat came flying in from the side at about 25-30 knots.
Nether had seen the other, when suddenly the Danish inflatable boat ran
right into and over the Australian boat, spinning the Australian boat
violently and spitting the Australian coach out of the side of the boat and
dangerously close to the spinning prop of the Danish boat. In a desperate
attempt to stay away from the propeller, Mike swam as deep as he could, as
quickly as he could and missed the propeller. Finally he surfaced, dazed
and a bit battered, climbed back onto his boat, changed into some dry
cloths he had on board, and went about the day almost as if nothing had
happened, other than the fact he could not see a thing because his glasses
had been lost, and he had a large gaping hold in the side of his boat. His
winning Australian team Bundock and Forbes said that they had to go over
the finish line first, otherwise their coach would not have been able to
find them.

QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Bill Trenkle
"If we have enough funding we will be there. We have the experience and
expertise to do it. If it looks like the costs will be too high and the
funding is not there, then it may be time to sit this one out and watch
from the sidelines, but let's hope it does not come to that". - Bill
Trenkle, Team Dennis Conner, discussing the next America's cup. Cup in
Europe website, full story:

As near as I can tell, this issue marks the sixth anniversary of
Scuttlebutt - although it's hard to know exactly because the 'launching' of
this newsletter's was pretty casual and unstructured. That first issue went
to 40 of my sailing friends in Southern California, and it was never
intended to be much more than a way of exchanging rumors and gossip.

Growth was never a goal, but today we'll deliver more than 17,500 copies to
computers around the globe, and over twelve thousand visitors went to the
Scuttlebutt website last week to view the latest issue, check out the photo
gallery, see what's available on the classified ads page, use the event
calendar, etc:

Scuttlebutt still feels like a hobby to me and it's still fun - thanks to
the assistance, encouragement and the infusion of sophisticated technology
provided by the good people at SAIC, and by the energy, support,
perspective and structure provided by Inbox Communications. And lastly, I
am very thankful for all of our loyal readers, whose feedback and
contributions continue to help us steer Scuttlebutt into the 21st century.
- The curmudgeon

Cruisers and racers can all learn how to interpret the weather and form
strategy on that info. Our advice: sail safely and efficiently. Use the
weather. Seminars held in Newport, RI on Sept. 27th and Long Beach, CA, on
Oct. 4th. Details and online signup available 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 Spencer Ogden (Re: "Little America's Cup"): Not to demean what will
do doubt be a fantastic event, but how is the new format of the ICCT
comparable to the America's Cup? No doubt it is an "International Catamaran
Challenge" and will feature some of the best catamaran sailors from around
the world. However, something raced in a one-design cannot be the Little
America's Cup, the comparison makes no sense. The Congressional Cup isn't
called the 'Little America's Cup' just because it is match racing. The real
AC is about development and I look forward to watching the C Class boats
race for the LAC next year.

* From Robert Wilkes: Question - Where did four of the world champions from
Cadiz sail against each other in the same class championship?

Answer: At the 1991 Optimist world championship in Greece. For the record
their positions then were: Gustavo Lima 4th, Gabrio Zandona 13th, Chris
Draper 19th, Ben Ainslie 109th. The ISAF silver medallist Christoffer
Sundby was 14th.

Former Optimist sailors, all but one of them former participants in
Optimist world or continental championships, won 16 of the 27 boat medals
in Cadiz. Further details at:

* From Steven Levy (Re Heavy weather): Nobody's mentioned the upper left
hand corner of America (i.e., Seattle) for its variety of sailing
conditions. Although Puget Sound has light winds (0-15) more often than
not, there are many race days each year with a steady 30+ knot breeze,
gusting into the low 40s. Couple this with the current from 15 foot tidal
swings, and you've got some serious equipment-wrecking days. The Sound is
also frigid (49-53 degrees year round); hang onto the boat.

I have a light boat and much prefer the light stuff, where we occasionally
pick up some hardware, but we've learned how to get around and have fun
when it's blowing like stink. (Besides, even when we chicken out on running
a chute, surfing downwind is a blast at a steady 11 knots in a 35 foot
monohull under a #2 and full main.)

You deal with it -- which can include motoring back to the marina if you
don't feel comfortable in the conditions. The other racers don't think less
of you. Sometimes finishing first means just that -- put the boat away and
get to the beer and burgers before anyone else!

Most importantly, to race or not to race is my (and the crew's) decision.
This is not a race committee responsibility. In this litigious society,
this remains -- so far -- one area where personal responsibility governs.
We go down to the sea in ships, not attorneys.

* From Richard Spindler, Publisher / Executive Editor, Latitude 38 : In
yesterday's Scuttlebutt reader Marc Fountain referred to the Sergeant
Schultz incident, in which the crew of a J/24 set a kite and had a really
wild ride for about half a mile one windy winter day on San Francisco Bay.
Fountain says says it was blowing "in excess of 50 knots". As the
photographer who took the sequence of photos that made the incident
modestly famous in Latitude 38 sailing magazine, my recollection is that it
was gusting to something like 35 knots - but certainly not over 50 knots.
Had it been blowing 50, I would have been getting inundated on the
flybridge of our Bertram 25 photoboat and seeking shelter.

I'm no expert, but I similarly think Marc is slightly overstating the case
to say it blows a steady 20 to 30 knots from April to October on San
Francisco Bay. It certainly will blow 30 knots during the summer, but not
on a regular basis. I think it would be more accurate to say that it almost
always blows 12 to 22 knots from noon to the early evening - but that
everyone has to be prepared for those less frequent occasions when it does
pipe up to 25 or even 30 knots.

* From John Culter: If Adam Loory thinks race committees on Long Island
Sound are fostering poor seamanship, could I suggest that seamanship can be
learned any time it's blowing hard? Our sport is called sailboat racing,
and it's supposed to be fun, and safe. We're happily past the days when
survival seemed the first priority. The problem for race committees is
that, leaving the litigation aside, the competitors are our friends. We
drink with them in the bar after the race. It's a small community. So if we
run races in conditions where people fall overboard, or break parts of
their bodies, we'll lose some friends, and most of us would rather not do
that.The pious language of rule 4 is there to make some ISAF folk feel
better, but in practice, the Long Island Sound race committees are doing
what they are supposed to do: provide fair and safe racing for their fleets.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Enough - this thread is officially dead.

* From R.J. Lewy: If you saw Gary Jobson on OLN last week covering the Moet
Cup you probably thought he was doing better with his fight against
Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Well, he has taken a turn for the worst. While he
was in San Francisco, he had to be hospitalized for his pain.

Now he is in the hospital back home and undergoing aggressive chemo
treatments. The doctors are trying to get him strong enough to be present
at his induction into the America's Cup Hall of Fame ceremonies that take
place on Oct. 16th at the Union League Club in Manhattan. Let's keep our
fingers crossed and say a prayer for him.

Seasickness: At first you're worried you'll die; Then you're worried you won't!