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SCUTTLEBUTT 1433- October 10, 2003

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talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
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welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Robert Miller and the 23 crew members on board his 140 foot super yacht,
Mari Cha IV, re-wrote sailing history when they sailed past Lizard Point,
off the south west coast of England, at 11:32:20 BST Thursday to shatter
one of the world's most historic and prestigious sailing records - the West
to East Transatlantic speed record.

Mari Cha IV set sail from Ambrose Lighthouse, New York, at 17:39:41 BST on
Thursday October 2, and completed their 2,925 mile crossing in 6 days, 17
hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds,* beating the existing record by over two
days and giving them their place in the record books as the first monohull
ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean in under seven days. Their average speed
for the passage was 19.5 knots!

The previous record, held by Switzerland's Bernard Stamm aboard Armor-Lux,
stood at 8 days, 20 hours, 55 minutes and 35 seconds and was set in
February 2001.

The Mari Cha team had already smashed one record during the transatlantic
crossing when they beat the 24 hour distance record on Tuesday, sailing
525.5 nautical miles in a 24 hour period.* They beat the previous record of
484 nautical miles set by John Kostecki's Illbruck in April 2002, becoming
the first monohull to ever sail over 500 miles in a day.

Next year, the Mari Cha IV team plans to launch an attempt to become the
first monohull ever to sail around the world in under 80 days. The current
record held by Michel Desjoyeaux's PRB is 93 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and
32 seconds. -

* Curmudgeon's Comment: All records must be ratified by the World Speed
Sailing Council before they become official.

The organizing committee for The Race has decided to postpone the start of
the crewed non-stop race around the world for 2004. The Race had been
scheduled to start in Marseilles next year on the 29th of February.

This decision, made together with the City of Marseilles and the event's
partners, is the result of the current economic climate which has changed
the initial prospects of the event. The Race and its partners have decided
to take the time necessary to reflect on these issues in order to announce,
before the end of the year, the decisions to be taken and the event's new

"We have ambitious objectives for the second edition of The Race and the
conditions necessary to meet those objectives have not come together," said
Bruno Peyron. "That is why we have decided to modify the priorities of our
programme in order to focus ourselves straight away on the long term and
avoid exposing our partners to unnecessary risks. We wanted to organize the
second edition of The Race in under 3 years in order to avoid conflicting
with other events in 2005. We could have safely set our sights on 2006 but
we attempted to accelerate the process. Although this timing suited the
event's organizers, it turned out to be a little too short for some of the

"First of all, there is genuine uncertainty right now as to both the
respect by certain challengers of their undertakings and the capacity of
other challengers to ensure their operating budgets, Peyron continued.
"Such is the case for Kingfisher II, whose team Offshore Challenges has not
confirmed its undertakings given in the spring of 2002. It is also true for
Team Adventure (Cam Lewis) and Maiden II (ex Club Med) who are still
looking for commercial partners. The difficulties encountered by
challengers is in large part due to the complexity of the current economic
climate, which has penalized the development of major projects. -

Each day the conditions are a little more than the day before. And a little
less than tomorrow. It appears that the ride to the finish in El Salvador
de Bahia will be fantastic. But you never know how the coast of Brazil will
shuffle the deck.

Standings at 1500 GMT Thursday:
1. Jonathan McKee, Team McLube, 1072 miles to finish.
2. Pierre Rolland, Extrado, 1125 mtf
3. Samuel Manuard Tip Top Too, 1134 mtf
4. Armel Tripon Moulin Roty, 1140 mtf
5. Alex Pell, Aquatec - Santaiveri- Texknit, 1186 mtf

Event website:

How corny does that sound? Reminds me of the late nineties... Our phones
will be forwarded on Friday 10/10, but our online store is open for
business, and we will be shipping on Columbus Day (Monday 10/13). If you're
in Annapolis, look for the Layline Team at the Tacktick/ Micronet booth -
next to the hotel, in the same tent complex as Bob Bitchin and Latitudes &
Attitudes. Click here to visit our website for all your boat gear needs,
Micronet info, and tons of stuff on sale:

ISAF and Rolex have announced the male and female sailors shortlisted for
the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2003. The criteria for
nomination for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2003 was
"outstanding achievement" in the period 1 September 2002 to 31 August 2003.
To this nomination period were added the results from the 2003 ISAF World
Championship, with all Gold Medallists included amongst the shortlisted
sailors, with the exception of those who won the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of
the Year Awards in 2002.

Darren Bundock and John Forbes (AUS)
Russell Coutts (SUI)
Neville Crichton (NZL)
Augie Diaz (USA)
Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks (GBR)
Gal Fridman (ISR)
Torben Grael (BRA)
Gustavo Lima (POR)
Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL)
Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau (FRA)
Gabrio Zandona and Andrea Trani (ITA)

Betsy Alison, Suzy Leech and Lee Icyda (USA)
Adrienne Cahalan (AUS)
Lee Korsiz (ISR)
Malin Millbourn, Linda Yström, Åsa Aronsson and Kim Kulstad (SWE)
Siren Sundby (NOR)
Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette and Melissa Purdy (USA)

For background information of each of the nominees:

Rumors about the demise of the Hobie 17 and Hobie 18 are true. Here is a
statement directly from the Hobie Cat Company: "It is always difficult to
come to the end of an "era", but Hobie Cat Company has had to face the fact
that it is no longer economically feasible to continue to build our Hobie
17 Special Editions and Hobie 17 Sports, as well as our Hobie 18 Special
Editions and Hobie 18 SX's. Both the 17 and 18 enjoyed life cycles that
would make any manufacturer proud. More importantly, we are proud of the
introduction to sailing and enjoyment they provided to so many people for
so many years. For us, it is like saying goodbye to old friends." -, full story:

Portoferraio, Island of Elba, Italy - It was a very pleasant, if not
challenging day on the water for the 41 boats competing at the Mumm 30
Worlds. All three races that were scheduled were completed in a light 6-11
knot shifty southeast wind. At least the bumps were gone, and the four leg
windward leeward courses were sailed on flat water just beyond the entrance
to the port. The wind direction started out at 145 and ended at 105
degrees, with some pretty big shifts throughout the day. Everyone was more
conservative on their starts, the race committee didn't signal any
individual or general recalls. There is no discard in the series, which
helped to reign in the overanxious boats after yesterday's black flag
scores. The top three boats are separated by only two points. Similar
conditions are forecast for tomorrow, when racing will start at 11:00 a.m.
to try and get four races completed. - Renee Mehl

Standings after four races: 1. MON, Bitipi, Savino Formentini, 31; 2. ITA,
Enfant Terrible, Gianluigi Serena, 32; 3. ITA, Cheyenne, Claudio Recchi/
Carla Silva Ubertalli, 33; 18. USA, Team Bold, Nelson Stephenson, 78; 31.
USA, Groovederci, Deneen Demourkas, 105.

"There is place for only one French Challenge", Loick Peyron said in May
and, five months later, this opinion seems more real than ever. While Chris
Dickson announces a $US100 million campaign, the three potential French
teams have yet to secure a budget. By many considered as favorite in this
French competition, in particular thanks to the charisma and popularity of
Loïck Peyron, Team France is still looking for a main backer, ready to
invest several tens of million euros in the adventure. "We went to see
first the CAC 40 companies [the 40 "blue chips" weighted index of the Paris
Stock Exchange] because we defend the French colors", Peyron said. After
having received a final refusal from French oil giant Total, he remains
"relatively optimistic".

Meanwhile, the situation is not better in Lorient. In spite of the last Cup
assets, (in particular a base and three America's Cup Class yachts), the
former Défi Areva now reconsiders its ambitions. "A €80 million maximalist
solution which includes Paul Cayard is not realistic in today's
environment", Pierre Mas regretted at the beginning of week. "One month of
sailing in America's Cup yachts costs a million euros. So we developed a
program with monohull - with lighter development program - for the first
two years of preparation", he added. "This way we reduce the costs to
generate a profitable operation for our partners".

Speaking about contacts "in the United States, in Japan and in Europe",
K-Challenge's Stéphane Kandler appears to have reduced their €80 million
goals. He just said now that his campaign could continue if €15 million
could be found by the end of the year. - Cup in Europe website, full story:

While American Jonathan McKee's "Team McLube" is battling for the Mini
Transat lead, Team McLube will be at the Annapolis Boat Show. McKee and
"McLube" dominated the first half and are entrenched in a heated battle for
the win. If you're at the show too, stop by the Harken/McLube booth for
Mckee's latest updates and to find out how McLube's Sailkote and Harken
have given him a competitive advantage, as they can for you. While you're
there, ask them why APS is the best place for Harken, McLube and all your
performance sailing needs.

US Sailing has announced the names of the skippers selected to compete in
the U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship. The list includes several
members of the US Sailing Team, two world champions, two Rolex Yachtswomen
of the Year, and the new Rolex International Women's Keelboat Champion. The
event will be held off the South Shore of Lake Pontchartrain from November
13-16, 2003, and hosted by Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Charlie Arms
Sally Barkow
Liz Baylis
Louise Bienvenu
Sarah Buckley
Carol Cronin
Elizabeth Kratzig
Sandy Hayes
Jody Swanson
Hannah Swett

The competitors will vie for even more than the prestigious title of U.S.
Women Match Racing Champion, they will also compete for a spot in the 2004
World Women's Match Racing Championship (WWMRC). The highest placing U.S.
Eligible Team that has not otherwise been invited to compete at the 2004
ISAF WWMRC, shall be selected to fill the "host country slot." The World
Championship is scheduled to be held at Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis,
Maryland, in early June, 2004. - Marlieke de Lange Eaton

(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 Kurt Bianculli: While Mari-Cha IV is an awesome display of power, I
still feel compelled to say that I find their Trans-Atlantic record much
less impressive than Bernard Stamm - Armor Lux's record. Armor Lux is 60
feet long, Mari Cha IV is 140 feet long. Armor Lux had only 4 people on
board for their record while Mari Cha IV had 23. Armor Lux was built by
Bernard Stamm with volunteer help in a donated hanger, Mari Cha IV was
built by JMV in France, one of the most technologically advanced builders
in the world. Call me old fashioned, but I find Bernard Stamm's record to
be much more impressive because of its Corinthian nature. On the other hand
Mari Cha IV's record seems more like a record that was bought.

* From J. Joseph Bainton (Reply to Peter Commette): Sponsors of events held
in the United States should always buy insurance for a reason not mentioned
by Peter, namely the "American Rule" regarding attorneys' fees that --
unlike the laws of most civilized nations -- does not permit the winner of
a lawsuit to recover its attorneys' fees from the loser. Insurance
companies typically provide their insureds with a defense to a lawsuit even
if coverage for one or more of the claims being asserted might be in doubt.
The defense of a frivolous case brought on behalf of one or more seriously
injured individuals can go on for years at a monthly cost of $50,000 to
$100,000 or more.

No event organizer (much less a volunteer) should risk having to incur such
expenses from its, his or her personal funds. If the unsuccessful plaintiff
had to pay for all or a substantial part of the cost of defending the
lawsuit he unsuccessfully prosecuted, American courts would be less
congested and insurance premiums would be considerably lower.

While the American Rule and contingent legal fees have the salutary goal of
providing access to justice to citizens of modest means who might otherwise
be denied their day in court on a very legitimate claim, in practice over
recent years the pendulum has swung in a way that has fostered lawsuits
over coffee that was allegedly sold too hot.

* From Rocky Blakewood: Mr. Westerhuys ought to check out his sources
before he quotes an urban myth as proof of his arguments. Versions of the
'cat and the microwave tale' date back to at least 1942 where a wood stove
is the technology at fault. A Google search on "urban Myth" should give him
lots of sources he can use to be a more informed commentator.

* From Chris Woods: I guess sailing doesn't have lots of total injuries
(therefore news about them) because despite all the apparent risks
involved, sailing is a pretty safe sport compared to being hit by a
linebacker, falling off a bike or being whacked by an errant ball.

One notable fact is the quantity and complexity of gear that participants
interface with, much of which they do not own themselves. From an extensive
review that I did with a maritime insurance broker while I was treasurer of
a local yacht club, I found a significant risk exposure to be improperly
maintained equipment. By contrast, on-water decisions of an RC are often
offset by the coincident assumption-of-risk decisions by participants.

A sinking, stuck throttle, un-seaworthiness to perform a rescue, rotten
companionway step leading to a fall, etc. might be things that a reasonable
person would not expect to happen, but could be "caused" by faulty
maintenance. In some cases, the problem may be traced back to a
well-meaning volunteer who chairs the "watercraft" committee at the yacht
club. Perhaps the volunteer isn't basically competent to manage the tasks,
but for lack of an alternative, the boats keep getting sub-standard
maintenance, and that level of performance becomes known/accepted around
the club. Combine obvious inadequate maintenance with the maritime
prerogatives of the Jones Act and you have a recipe for significant
liability, for which most insurance policies are not adequate. Minimizing
such risk by implementing and following good maintenance practices is
important, but often neglected.

* From Edward E Matus: If that rule answer in 'Butt 1432 is a direct quote
then the rule needs to be tweaked a bit. If the spinnaker is set or any
head sail is set they all have a definitive port or Starboard set so while
the boat is on a run the set of the predominant sail (main, spinnaker, jib,
staysail #1, staysail #2, etc. in descending order) should control the tack
definition. In the case of a boat that is wing and wing with multiple head
sails the descending order of precedence in the previous sentence would
determine the tack. In the case of a race where the main sail is destroyed
in say, approaching a mark rounding on a closed course, then the rule as
stated in the Scuttlebutt would make sense but not in open course racing
after the main is completely removed and taken below for repairs or storage.

In open course racing using the last main sail set flies in the face of the
practical impetus for the rules in the first place. An approaching boat
would not be able to determine what tack the boat is on based on the
"removed" main sail but they can see the set of the spinnaker or other head
sail. Also in terms of boat handling the removed main sail is no longer a
factor but the currently flown spinnaker sure is.

Curmudgeon's Comment: As indicated in 'Butt 1433, the rule interpretation
came from the ISAF website:

* From Ian Parkes: I enjoyed your curmudgeon's observation. It Inspired me
to pay a short visit to the thinking cubicle and come up with a few of my
own: Racing drivers retired, alcoholics delivered, laundry workers
depressed, sandcastle builders demoted, hair stylists distressed, loan
sharks disinterested, San Francisco Bay weather forecasters demystified and
sailors disgusted.

Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section
in a swimming pool?