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SCUTTLEBUTT 1426- October 1, 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.

GUEST COMMENTARY - Magnus Wheatley
Is the America's Cup about to become the America's Duck?

A 'Cup in Europe' sounds attractive on paper but right now it's looking
dicey to say the least. The B's say that they're making the 2007 event
'sponsor friendly' but with corporate America closed (ask Dennis Conner),
Europe wondering what all the fuss is about and broke, plus a host of
always-say-they-will-but-never-do's on the fringes (Russia, Germany,
Poland, Bahrain etc...) it's looking like the biggest lame duck in history.
With the two French syndicates, K-Yachting and the Loick/ Bertrand outfit
setting unlikely deadlines in December and the GBR lot unable to find
sponsorship past a freight carrier, what are you left with? Mascalzone
Latino, possibly an Australian team, the remnants of Prada, maybe the
Swedes (unlikely), Team NZ (very unlikely) and er, I'm struggling ...

If you were a billionaire or corporate head would you seriously have a go
at the Cup in 2007? A fool and his money are lucky enough to come together
in the first place. Why would you stump up $60-$100 million when Alinghi
and Oracle have the top 120-250 players already under contract and are so
far ahead in design and sailing ability? It doesn't make sense on any
level-commercial, passionate or otherwise.

I hate to say it but Larry and Ernesto, despite their apparent goodwill are
in serious danger of being the only two guests at their own party. If the
costs aren't capped and the new rule comes out with fundamental (read
costly R&D) changes then the death knell will be sounding. Maybe the Moet
Cup was as good as it's likely to get. I hope not. - Magnus Wheatley

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published today the 2004 Prohibited
List approved by the Agency's Executive Committee. This List shall come
into effect on January 1st, 2004. ISAF already complies with the WADA Anti
Doping Code, approved and signed by all major sports federations and over
80 governments, and as of 1 January will adopt the new prohibited list,
along with a number of sports exclusive restrictions. ISAF is also in the
process of updating the ISAF Regulations, to comply fully with the WADA
Code and Prohibited List, with the aim of the new regulation 21 - ISAF
Anti-Doping Code being effective from 1 January 2004. - ISAF website:

Full details of the code and the new prohibited list can be found on the
WADA website:

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

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While yesterday's heavy wind with 25-knot gusts showcased boat-handling
skills, today's shifty, light air put a premium on tactics at US Sailing's
Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship where 66* teams are
competing in four-person International J/22s. The critical juncture for the
regatta was today's second race, the fifth for the series, which--upon its
completion--gave competitors the ability to discard their single worst race
score. With yesterday's top-four overall performers turning in mediocre
performances today, the door was kicked open for Sally Barkow (Nashotah,
Wisc.), the winner of today's first race, to climb from sixth to second
overall behind Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.). Alison, the event's five-time
winner who finished 12-9 today, used her allowed throwout race to trim off
a whopping 67 points (taken yesterday for jumping the gun on a black-flag
start) from her final score. Alison and Barkow now share a 23 point score,
with the tiebreaker going to Alison a five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the
Year. Molly O'Bryan (Kaneohe, Hawaii) currently sits in third with 28
points, and Karleen Dixon from New Zealand is in fourth place with Nancy
Haberland in fifth. - Media Pro Int'l,

Complete results:

* 227 Optimists gathered for the Atlantic Coast Championship Regatta at
Brant Beach YC in New Jersey. Kids came in from Bermuda, Texas, Louisiana,
Connecticut, Maryland, California, Rhode Island, Maine, New York, Illinois,
Wisconsin and Nova Scotia. The regatta was shortened to five races because
of fickle wind on the final day: Championship results, 5 races with one
discard (203 boats) - 1. Matthew Archibald, Royal N.S. Yacht Squadron, 7;
2. Devin Laviano, Bellport Bay YC, 9; 3. Steven Barbano TRYC/ BBYC, 11; 4.
Michael Warren, Surf City YC, 12; 5. Mike Russom, TRYC 14. -

* 250 Laser sailors from 29 countries are competing at the Laser Masters
World Championship being held from the same venue as the recent ISAF World
Championship, the Bay of Cadiz. The overall fleet is divided into 4 age
groups: Apprentices, ages 35 to 44; Masters, ages 45 to 54; Grand Masters,
ages 55 to 64 and Laser Radial, which includes the Great Grand Masters aged
65 years plus. The Apprentices and Masters are using one race area and the
Grand Masters and Laser Radial another area. - Full results:

* Australia has qualified in all 11 2004 Olympic sailing events. -

* The Sonar Class Association has decided, after consultation with the host
organization (the St. Petersburg Yacht Club) to postpone its next World
Championship until February 2004. It was scheduled for October 2003. Class
President Peter Galloway said "holding the Worlds in St. Petersburg in
place of the already established Midwinter Championship will certainly
attract a larger and more diverse group of competitors." The racing dates
for the Sonar World Championship will be Sunday, February 8, through
Thursday, February 12. The Sailing World St. Petersburg NOOD Regatta will
follow on February 13-15.

* No Racing at the Hobie 16 North American Continental Championship today.
Heading out to the racecourse there was five to ten knots, and with
dramatic wind shifts starting was difficult. After three general recalls
race one got under way. The wind decreased as the race progressed causing
the race to be abandoned by the third leg. The fleet was sent back to shore
for a few hours under postponement but the breeze failed to materialize,
and racing was eventually abandoned for the day. Racing continues through

* Once again there was 15-18 knots of breeze for the Canada's Cup match
race series in Toronto, Canada. Bob Hughes' Team Heartbreaker won the
second of two races on Tuesday to even the score against Terry McLaughlin's
Team Defiant from Canada, 4-4. and

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Plenty of breeze and plenty of action were on tap for today's final races
to conclude the elimination series for the International Catamaran
Challenge Trophy (ICCT). The sight of F18HTs flying along Narragansett Bay
was in stark contrast to their ability to seemingly stop and start on a
dime. Even veteran race committee member Pam Kirk (Portsmouth, R.I.)
couldn't get over the speed with which these catamarans can accelerate. "I
was counting down to the start and there were no boats in my peripheral
vision at four seconds," said Kirk. "I kept thinking 'do they know we're
starting, do they know we're starting,' and then bam, they flew past me
from behind." Events which feature match racing using catamarans are a
rarity, so while this 23rd running of "The Little America's Cup" is proving
exciting to watch, it is also challenging the participants ­ more familiar
with fleet racing -- to think outside the box.

John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and crew Charlie Ogletree (Houston, Texas),
representing Southern Yacht Club, were undefeated in the round robin and
received a bye for the semi-final round. They continued their undefeated
streak with two wins over Chris Brown and CF Oliver to be named the Defender.

Alberto Sonino and Edward Canepa appeared to have the edge as they
maintained their series lead through the conclusion today of the Challenger
s round robin, posting a 6-2 win-loss record over Daniele Saragoni and crew
Teo Di Battista at 4-4. Saragoni and Di Battista then went 2-1 over Sirena
and Bassani, to pit the two teams representing Club Nautico Rimini against
each other for the finals. Pulling off an upset, Saragoni and Di Battista
went 2-1 over Sonino and Canepa to become the Challenger. - Media Pro Int'l.

Racing for the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy will continue after
tomorrow's planned lay day. The Defender and Challenger will compete
head-to-head in a best four out of seven series for the Trophy on Thursday
and Friday, October 2-3.

For more information, visit or

At 1500 GMT Tuesday Jonathan McKee had taken a five mile lead in the Mini
Transat singlehanded transatlantic race to Brazil. Because the first three
days were particularly difficult for the 21-foot boats, 20 out of the 68
starters to have dropped out of the 2900-mile stage from Lanzarote to Brazil.

1. Jonathan McKee, Team McLube, 2234.5 miles to finish.
2. Armel Tripon Moulin Roty, 2239.5 mtf
3. François Cuinet, Reglisse, 2264.5 mtf
4. Samuel Manuard Tip Top Too, 2270.9 mtf
5. Pierre Rolland Extrado, 2276 mtf

Event website:

(Jonathan McKee's wife Libby just returned from the volcanic island of
Lanzarote following the start of the second stage of the Mini Transat.
Following are some of her impressions about the singlehanded sailors who
will spend the next three weeks at sea.)

They come from all ages and levels of experience. Some have dedicated their
lives to sailing and hope to become France's next famous single handed
sailor. The Mini is a right of passage for those want to do the Open 60
circuit or the Solitare du Figaro. The likes of Isabel Autissier, Michel
Desjoyeaux, and Ellen McArthur have all done the Mini Transat. Others are
the young "unwashed" out for an adventure and have no plan for after the
race or for their next step in life. They sleep on their boats in the
harbor (quite common for all levels of Mini sailor) and have pulled
together every last dime to build their boats and do this race. Others are
professionals - Lawyers, businessmen, yachtsmen - who have left jobs and
lives ashore to do this race. (they are more likely to sleep in a hotel or
at least have a few good restaurant meals when in port!)

Because of the mix of levels of sailors, finances and the fact that the
boat is single handed, the Mini Class has a feeling of camaraderie and
friendship among the competitors. Everyone helps each other. When the last
boats arrive, people scramble to help those needing repairs, to get them
done and ready for the start. - Libby McKee

The latest generation Airmar Smartducer on our Recommended Components list
(029AFP) outputs NMEA sentences for both depth and sea temperature. Ockam's
028 NMEA Depth interface now accepts both sentences, providing Depth Keel,
Depth Surface, and Sea Temperature functions on the displays. Bermuda bound
in /04? Now's the time to setup for Sea Temp. Contact Tom Davis
( or visit the Ockam website for more info:

(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 Andy Bird, United Kingdom: Recent commentary in Scuttlebutt has
revealed participants who believe the budget for a serious AC campaign to
be $100mm. Paul Cayard also bemoaned the lack of funding available for the
US Olympic hopefuls in comparison to that here in the UK.

Just imagine the programme that that money spent over 4 or more years could
support. Firstly support the Olympic effort, all classes with 4 teams
funded to compete for each spot. Then a Volvo Ocean race entry with a
feeder programme consisting of Beneteau Figaros in turn supported by a
fleet of mini's with racing both in a newly created US circuit and in
Europe. Particpants qualifying for the next level based upon their
performances. Multiple teams in the Tour Voille including entries in the
student division. Fastnet, Sydney-Hobart, Newport-Bermuda, KWRW, SORC, Copa
del Rey, Admirals Cup, Swedish Match Tour, Vendee Globe, Around Alone ...
inshore, offshore, fully crewed or single handed - the possibilities are
almost endless.

I know which I think offers better value, profile and long term benefits.

* From Ambrose, Paradise Valley, AZ (edited to our 250-word limit): It is
nice to hear that all hand were saved on the J-24 and that each were
wearing PFDs. In our country of great freedoms, we have the opportunity to
participate in numerous activities which often present significant skill
challenges which surpass participant's abilities. And unfortunately in many
of them participants don't find out surely that they did not have the
prerequisite skill sets until after disaster strikes. This often leads to
blame pointed towards manufacturers of equipment and providers of access to
venues. It is a problem found principally in the this country and reasons
why we have 60 dollar ski tickets, and need outrageous liability insurance
for certain endeavors.

Every time you take a craft out on the water it is the skipper and crews
responsibility to ensure safety. One should not blame Race committees for
not dictating conditions intended to ensure safety, as one should not blame
ski areas for not marking trees rocks and cliffs. If we did we might
ultimately have to cater everything to the lowest skill set participating
subsequently diminishing the enjoyment of those who have taken the time and
effort to be proficient in or at their craft.

The weather, the environment, and the skills for survival are part and
parcel to all these sports. Don't blame anyone but yourselves if you get
hurt. Otherwise all the things we love to do will eventually be priced out
of the fun range.

* From Emma Paull: Here's a simplistic view but I strongly believe that by
participating in a sport such as sailing that can be dangerous you
automatically lose the right to blame anyone else but yourself for anything
that happens and that includes boat on boat crashes.

When I leave the dock either as skipper, crew or go solo I understand there
is a slight chance that I might not come back again but I choose to go. If
I am not happy with the boat, the skipper, the conditions or even my own
abilities then I can stay in the bar. If anyone else hurts me I understand
they didn't intentionally do it (a bullet to the head is intentional!) and
it is partly my fault for putting myself there in the first place so I have
no right to blame them after all both parties should make every effort to
avoid a collision.

The whole point of good seamanship is knowing when not to go sailing,
taking responsibility for yourself and your boat and not relying on anyone
else to get you home.

The only disclaimer we should all have to sign is "I am responsible for
myself and accept that I could be injured or even die from participating
and that by being here in the first place I have understood that the only
person I can blame is myself". I am sure it would make the Race Officer's
job a lot easier!

* From Tim Kent: I must agree with Dean Hubbard about the comparison of
Mari Cha IV with Bernard Stamm's Open 60. I stood on the dock in Newport
recently looking over the awesome expanse of deck that the 140' Mari Cha IV
possesses, at her towering rigs, at her well-dressed - and large - crew,
and thought of the sheer throw-weight of dollars behind them all. Then I
thought of diminutive Bernard and the self-built Open 60 that he and three
friends who had never sailed together before blasted across the Atlantic in
the teeth of a fall gale, finishing with the canting keel jury-rigged in
place, the "old" Mari Cha's record broken. It is pure homage to Bernard's
passion, bravery, and skill that it will take 140 feet and 20-some pros to
beat him for this record. Kudos to Bernard - and to the gorgeous new Mari
Cha IV - may they both sail long and fast.

One of the benefits of growing old is that in a hostage situation you are
likely to be released first.