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SCUTTLEBUTT 1435 - October 14, 2003

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digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
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(An exclusive report for Scuttlebutt readers by the Volvo Ocean Race Press
officer, Lizzie Green.)

With just over two years to the start of the next Volvo Ocean Race, there
are 25 teams who have paid their preliminary entry fee of £1,500 meaning
that they have formed syndicates and are actively putting together
campaigns to race in the next edition of the event. This, compared with two
years before the last race, is about double. However, to make it to the
start line, a number of obvious, yet critical elements are required:
funding, a boat, a crew to sail her and a backup support team, possibly in
that order.

While we can't announce where many of the 25 are coming from, it appears
that we have a greater global coverage than ever before with teams from
South America, Spain, USA, Australia, UK, Scandinavia and many more
actively pursuing viable sponsorships.

Of the 25 preliminary entries, four teams have made their existence known
publicly. The rest, which are all working hard at securing funding, prefer
their activities to be kept confidential at this time. What we can tell you
is that we have a least five teams tying up the final loose ends to secure
full funding, and that build slots have already been reserved.

After achieving step one - finding the funding - the second step is to
evaluate the new design of the boat and spend time on research and
development. Perhaps one of the most critical decisions is to evaluate how
much time should be spent on research and design versus time on the water.
Which is the most valuable? Do you spend more time on R&D with a view to
producing the most tested and therefore the quickest design of boat? Or do
you carry out less research and capitalise on development time on the water
while learning how to make the boat fast?

These are questions only the teams can answer, and the right decision is
the difference between winning and losing. As the event is starting much
later in the year (November 5th), there is a large part of 2005 which can
be spent on-the-water training, using events such as the Rolex
Transatlantic Challenge as a qualifying race, and the Rolex Fastnet as a
final tune up, therefore leaving more time to be spent on R&D and construction.

A Volvo Open 70 will take about seven months to construct. To take
advantage of maximum R&D time, but without being left short of time on the
water, a boat could be launched in April 2005 and still have six months of
on water trialing. - Lizzie Green,

There is lots of speculation about what has happened to American Mini
Transat competitor Jonathan McKee. Here are two very different media reports:

* From, posted on Monday 13 October @ 14:32:20: The
uncertainty is over. Jonathan Mc Kee's Team Mc Lube is no longer in the
race. After being the victim of a dismasting on Saturday and continuing
under jury rig, the American failed to round the island of Fernando course
mark to starboard as required.

"He took the shortest route and looks very likely to be heading towards
Natal," explains the race management. "He is on a course of 208 degrees
that will take him directly to Brazil." Sébastien Roubinet's Adrénaline is
following a similar course after suffering the same fate as McKee and is on
a direct route towards Natal or Cabedebo, unless he is planning to make the
city of Joao Pessoa. McKee and Roubinet are out of play, though they still
figure in the rankings as they haven't yet informed race management of
their retirement. - Full story:

* By Tim Jeffery, Tuesday's Daily Telegraph: The mystery surrounding
Jonathan McKee's Mini Transat progress remained unsolved last night. The
American double Olympic medallist was still limping along 48 hours after a
major technical failure, neither heading for the next waypoint nor having
informed race organisers of his precise circumstances. It was on Saturday
that McKee triggered his emergency beacon in the sequence that let the Mini
Transat organisers know that he was in difficulty but did not require help.
- Full story:

Standings at 1500 GMT Monday:
1. Samuel Manuard Tip Top Too, 504 miles to finish
2. Armel Tripon Moulin Roty, 552 mtf
3. Alex Pell, Aquatec - Santaiveri- Texknit, 612 mtf
8. Jonathan McKee, Team McLube, 741 mtf

Event website:

When was the very first Olympic women's yachting event, and who won?
(Answer below)

Big boats, big classes and yet another big fleet for Key West next January.
The R/P75 Titan, Swan 70 Strabo, Andrews 72 Equation, CM60 Highland Fling
and Swan 68 Chippewa are all making their Key West plans. Add a 10-boat
Swan 45 class and record 30-plus J/105s and the forecast is indeed.... big.
There's still plenty of time - for boats big and small - to make your
arrangements and enter America's premiere regatta: Terra Nova Trading Key
West 2004, presented by Nautica (January 19-23, 2004).

AS SEEN FROM THE TOP - Paul Henderson
In Cadiz I spent a great deal of time walking through the boat park
listening to sailors. The main topic was that ISAF must control the
Principal Race Officers (PRO's) for all Grade 1 events and especially
Continental and World Championships for ISAF Classes. The sailors explained
how much time and money they spend going to events and that the local race
officials, although eager to do a good job, are not always up to the task.
They are also adamant that good race management, customized to their class,
is much more important than any other service including Juries that ISAF
must provide. Each class has idiosyncrasies peculiar to the specific class.
The Tornado has totally different requirements and understanding than say
the Snipe, as does the Laser from the IMS Classes or the Farr 40 from the 49er.

Sailing is no different than any other sport. The competitors know who the
good PRO's are and when they see them there the competitors relax. In fact
one class stated that most of the protests happen against Race Committees
and they are non-existent when the PRO they respect is controlling the
race. This was truly evident with the Tornado in Cadiz.

The serious problem is that local Race Officers supported by the
nationalistic focus of certain MNA's are doing everything possible to
ensure that only nationals of the host country adjudicate at major World
and Continental Championships. This cannot happen and is against the ISAF

I cannot believe that very high-profile MNA's are demanding that they
control the appointments of PRO's and International Juries. This is against
all that is proper in sport. The first priority is to give the sailors
competent and class specific Race Management free from national bias, or
the perception of national bias. The local Race Officers should be thankful
that an ISAF PRO who has the respect of the sailors and is knowledgeable
about the unique needs of the class is present to guide the event.

I trust that the ISAF Classes will support the ISAF initiative which
ensures that only qualified ISAF appointed PRO's are in charge and that the
MNA's are also receptive to this direction. It is not politically
acceptable in any sport to allow the host MNA to dictate who will govern
the integrity of the event. ISAF must be involved, with the input of the
specific class. It is clearly against the ISAF Regulations for the MNA's to
endeavour to be so nationalistic and force their officials on the top level
of International Sailing. - ISAF President Paul Henderson,
ISAF Race Officials Webpages:

There were more than 250,000 spectators in Trieste, Italy this past weekend
watching Alfa Romeo beat an enormous field of 1983 yachts (sailed by 24
thousand sailors) to take line honours in the Barcolona 35. "I have never
seen anything like it," said Alfa Romeo tactician, Brad Butterworth, who
also performed the same role on America's Cup winner Alinghi. "The crowd,
the people, the excitement, the boats - everything at the finish was bigger
than even the America's Cup!"

It was a very slow race sailed in a light south-east breeze, varying from
zero to three knots - perhaps reaching six knots a few times. Take a look
at what a starting line looks like with nearly 2000 race boats lining up:

How come Bob Miller's 140-ft schooner Mari-Cha IV was able to smash the
transatlantic record last week, beating the previous record held by Bernard
Stamm, and the record before that held by the 144-ft Mari-Cha III? The new
boat did the crossing in just 6 days and 17 hours, while the longer old
boat took 8 days and 23 hours.

Weight was a major difference. MC III displaced a whopping 109 tons, while
the new boat, built of carbon and with all weight carefully controlled,
displaced less than half that at 50 tons. - 'Lectronic Latitude, full

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products or visit the Camet website at

St. Francis YC, San Francisco, CA- After a four hour postponement the sea
breeze finally made it in under the Golden Gate Bridge and racing for the
Melges 24 World Championship got under way on the Berkley circle in around
14 knots from 230 degrees. For the second race the wind had increased to
around 18 knots with occasional gusts up to 20 knots from 220 degrees. The
increase in breeze and the building ebb tide resulted in a building chop.

Harry Melges, helming for Jeff Ecklund won both races in the 68-boat fleet
and now leads by six points over Shark Kahn (8 points) with Luca Santella
third (9 pts), Rob Greenhalgh fourth (11 pts), Philippe Kahn fifth (12 pts)
and Flavio Favini sixth (16 pts).

"We had good boat speed up wind which helped us a lot and we were able to
get off the starting lines without too much trouble and if you can do that
and get in the right lanes and go where you want it definitely helps a lot,
but you have to have good speed," commented Harry Melges after racing. -
Fiona Brown, full story, results and interviews:

* German businessman Michael Illbruck announced that his Pinta Racing
syndicate has stopped all America's Cup activities for a second time. The
withdrawal followed a recent decision by the German car maker Audi to
withdraw its support for the project, said Michael Illbruck. -, full story:

* At least three Volvo 60s, possibly four, will contest this year's Rolex
Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has received
applications for entry from the two former D'juice Dragons VO 60s built for
the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race, now called Andrew Short Marine and
Seriously Ten. A third V0 60 entry is expected from Magnavox 2UE, the
former EF Language, winner of the 1997-1998 race around the world. Another
VO 60 now owned by Kookaburra Challenge may also compete in the 627
nautical mile blue water classic starting on 26 December.

* The Acura Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC), announced the renewal
of its partnership with Sailing World. Under the agreement, Sailing World
receives prominent signage at the event venue and entitlement of the event
"Race Village". In exchange, Sailing World will assist with sponsor
fulfillment, competitor recruitment, and overall promotion of the event
both in its pages and on its website. This agreement extends Sailing
World's association with the Acura SORC to four years. -

* 49 boats from four countries have registered for the J/80 Worlds which
starts today at the Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas, USA. During the regatta
the event organizers will be posting race results on-line as they happen.
Additionally, photos and daily summaries will be provided to allow website
viewers to keep informed.

* The long wait for the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club to re-open up for
membership is over. Learn more about SSC and how to get your membership card:

* "Today in Australia if someone says 'we're going to do a Aus$150 million
(America's Cup) challenge to win the Cup' - well they don't know what they
are talking about. Because unless you are Alinghi and you can have the
money right now and buy Russell Coutts - which you can't do - you can't win
the Cup. So what we are saying is that we are not going to win the Cup this
time. If we get the budget in place in time, we will have a good solid
campaign and we will have lots of experience after that and we will be
ready to have a winning project for the following time. So it is a long
term project, an on-going thing." - Sebastien Destramau talking about
Australia's new Ozboyz America's Cup challenge, The Daily Sail website,

Brindabella, an 80' icon of Australian maxi yachting. Sydney Hobart line
honors and race record holder. Outstanding, all-around ocean racing yacht.
Brindabella's current configuration ensures she is equally at home around
the cans, blue water racing or sailing short-handed. For further details,
contact or see at

Women's yachting event was introduced to the 1988 Olympics with a
doublehanded division sailed in 470's. It was in Seoul, Korea where
Americans Allison Jolly and Lynne Shore won the gold.

(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 Thomas Carroll (In response to rocky Blakewood's comments in 'Butt
1433): I think the message you should have taken from Mr Westerhuy's
comments is that Edgar, a Dutch person, is saying others outside the U.S.
think our legal system is great , while most Americans have distain for it.
If others praise what we have and we look down at what they praise, I guess
we have it pretty good!

Curmudgeon's Comment: This appears to be the perfect spot to end this
thread, which I have now officially done.

* From Bob Merrick: I want to point out that Hobie Cat USA will continue to
produce a number of race boats that include the one-design Hobie 16 and the
Hobie Tiger, designed to the formula 18 rule. These two classes are
thriving in North America and there are many years of great racing in their

* From Rory Paton: Isn't it funny when somebody beats a record how somebody
else like Kurt Biannually whinges about the budget/ lack of Corinthian
attitude rather than congratulating them for a great effort and moving on.
I'm sure Mari Cha IV is more advanced and more expensive than the Cutty
Sark etc and that's why she's able to smash records. I'm also sure Bernard
Stamm's effort was fantastic and he deserved all the plaudits when he got
his record but now somebody new has come along and records are there to be
broken. Congratulations to Robert Miller for having the courage to invest
in sailing, make the right decisions and get the right result - a role
model to many.

* From David Gill: Everything is relative. I am more impressed with the
voyages of Captain Cook and the first non-stop solo voyage by Bernard
Moitessier than I am with the sailing record set by Bernard Stamm and Armor
Lux. Mari-Cha IV is a beautiful boat and she is pushing the envelope. I
feel like a giddy child just wondering what is next.

* From Philip Walwyn: I think one should call the average speed for this
fantastic record, the distance of the course over the elapsed time and this
gives a figure of a shade over 18 knots, not 19.5 knots as stated.

* From Scott Shwarts: did an unfortunate job of translating
into english the article quoting Stephane Kandler of K-Challenge that
appeared in "Libération". Kandler did not say that the budget is reduced to
$15 million. He said that the immediate goal is to raise an additional $15
million by the end of the year. If you read the French version without the
editorializing by the translator, this point is made.

If I'm a nobody, and nobody is perfect - does that mean I'm perfect?