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SCUTTLEBUTT 1440 - October 21, 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.

Monday, the doors were opened up to the yachting press at the VT
Shipbuilding yard in Woolston in Southampton, Yachting Universe were there
to see how the final stages of construction on Mirabella V are shaping up.
She is probably the largest composite construction in the world at 75.22
metres (247 feet) long overall and her 90-metre mast (295 feet) is the
largest Carbon construction in the World. Other vital stats include the
fact that she has a wider beam then a Type-42 Destroyer measuring in at
14.80m (48.5 ft) wide. She cannot fit in the Panama Canal, nor can she get
under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, as the mast would be
standing 40 feet above the bridge. Her volume she could probably fit 57 to
58 40ft ISO containers inside her hull.

VT Shipbuilding Managing Director Programme's Andrew Bunney explains, "We
recognized from the start that Mirabella V would present challenges which
were unprecedented in yacht building". Unprecedented is an understatement
when you consider what the owner a Mr. Joseph Vittoria was looking for in
his new boat. The design rules have really been re-written, there are so
many areas of the boat that have ground-breaking technology. So many areas
of the yachts design and construction are not tried and tested in real life
size yet, designer Ron Holland explained that "very little of the sailing
equipment was off the shelf gear". The V1 shroud (the one from the first
spreader to the deck) weighs in at impressive 1 ton!

With a rig so big one needs to understand what is underneath the yacht,
there will be a lifting keel which has a 110 ton bulb attached, fitting
this will not be an easy task either with the keel placed in the bottom of
a dry dock the 247 foot yacht afloat will then be allowed to settle on to
the keel which will then be attached internally to its lifting ram. With
the keel fully down the boat will draw 10 meters (33 feet) and when the
keel is up she will draw 4 meters (13 feet). The idea with the lift keel is
like that of many other yachts, it allows the boat to be brought into
shallower areas of sea which give the charter customers and the owners more
choices of destination.

Mr. Vittoria explained that he was realistically hoping to charge about
£250,000 per week for charter of his yacht. With that price it's only going
to be the serious rich who can afford such luxury, despite the price tag he
hoping to book the yacht out for 20 weeks a year. The price to many still
might seem expensive but when you consider that if you were to blow out the
main sail, the replacement sail would cost more than the engines. -, full story:

Auckland City has bought the old Team New Zealand base at the Viaduct
Harbour for NZ$230,000 and now wants suggestions on how to use it. Pardon?
Are they kidding? The answer seems so obvious.

Scuttle the unloved proposal for a $10 million ship-in-the-bottle memorial
to slain America's Cup icon Sir Peter Blake and celebrate his life - and
the total America's Cup adventure - in the historic tin shed where so much
of the drama was played out. Not only would the costs be more manageable,
but instead of locking away the cup-winning NZL32 in the sterile confines
of an outsized museum display case, it could star in its natural
environment, the tin shed where a nation's dreams were both realised and
then lost. True, Black Magic's glory days were in San Diego, not Auckland,
but it's still hard to think of a more appropriate resting place than the
base from which subsequent teams sailed out to defend NZL32's honour.

Team New Zealand moved out of the base three months ago to a new home in
the nearby old One World base, but the spartan surrounds remain unchanged.
For those who believe walls talk - or for the rest of us happy to just soak
up the atmosphere - it's all there. The room where the crews met before
going out on the Hauraki Gulf to do battle, the tracks in the carpet where
Sir Peter Blake and other team leaders paced about planning tactics. Okay,
so I'm making that bit up, but you get the idea. - Brian Rudman, NZ Herald,
full story:

What is the origin of the term, "As The Crow Flies?" (Answer below)

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San Francisco, CA - The wind was late in arriving again today but race
number 3 got off around 13:30 in 14 knots of wind. The current was ebbing
so this kept the racecourse as open as it can be on the City front. The
second race started in much the same conditions, 14 knots of wind but the
current was starting to slacken from the max ebb situation we had in the
first race. - Paul Cayard

Standings after four races (40 boats):
1. Paul Cayard/ Phil Trinter, 12
2. Frederik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, 17
3. Howie Shiebler/ Will Stout, 20
4. Terry Hutchinson/ Andrew Scott, 23
5. Flavio Marazzi/ Enrico De Maria, 25
6. Eric Doyle/ Rodrigo Meireles, 26
7. Mark Reynolds/ Magnus Liljedahl, 30

Event website:

After a taut day of racing featuring many protest flags, numerous penalties
and a couple of crashes, the unseeded qualifiers for Round 1 of the
Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup have been

Leading the three skippers coming out of Group 1, New Zealand's Cameron
Dunn, a former member of the Oracle BMW Racing America's Cup team, scored
two wins to finish 6-1 overall atop the standings. He will be joined in the
Gold Cup by Finland's Staffan Lindberg (5-2) and Paolo Cian of the Riviera
di Rimini Sailing Team (5-2).

Qualifying at the top of Group 2 was American Ed Baird of Team XL Capital
(6-1) followed by American Bill Hardesty (5-2), competing in just his third
match racing regatta. Bermudian Peter Bromby (4-3) captured the third spot
in this group from Scott Dickson (4-3) on a countback. "We've had a great
time this year," said Dickson. "Anytime you look at your scorecard and
you've got a point against the Swedish Match Tour leader and a point
against the ISAF Match Racing Champion, you'd think you'd be in pretty good

In the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship, Bermuda's
Paula Lewin of Team Ace Group finished the round robin portion of the
regatta undefeated at 7-0. As top seed Lewin can choose her semifinal
opponent from the other three qualifiers, Sweden's Jenny Axhede of Team
Panorama (5-2), American Sally Barkow (4-3) and American Elizabeth Kratzig
(3-4). Kratzig advanced on countback off a three-way tie with fellow
American's Betsy Alison and Deborah Willits. -

Final Standing - Unseeded Skipper, Group 1:
1. Cameron Dunn, New Zealand, 6-1; 2. Staffan Lindberg, Finland, 5-2; 3.
Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, 5-2; 4. Cameron Appleton,
NZ/Team Triangle Riggins, 4-3; 5. Kelvin Harrap, New Zealand, 4-3; 6. Adam
Barboza, BER/Team Bacardi, 2-5; 7. Matthew Gregory, USA, 1-6; 8. Maxim
Taranov, Russia 1-6.

Final Standing - Unseeded Skipper, Group 2:
1. Ed Baird, USA/Team XL Capital, 6-1; 2. Bill Hardesty, USA, 5-2; 3. Peter
Bromby, BER/ Team ACE Group, 4-3; 4. Scott Dickson, USA/ Dickson Racing
Team, 4-3; 5. Mattias Rahm, SWE/ Team Stena Bulk, 3-4; 6. Blythe Walker,
BER/ Team Bacardi 2-5; 7. Andy Green, GBR/ Team Renaissance Reinsurance,
2-5; 8. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/ Team Continental Airlines, 2-5.

Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championships:
1. Paula Lewin, BER/Team Ace Group, 7-0; 2. Jenny Axhede, SWE/ Team
Panorama, 5-2; 3. Sally Barkow, USA, 4-3; 4. Elizabeth Kratzig, USA, 3-4;
5. Betsy Alison, USA, 3-4; 6. Deborah Willits, USA, 3-4; 7. Sandy Hayes,
USA, 1-6; 8. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Netherlands, 2-5.

* Alinghi has received yet another boost to its afterguard with the
addition of Peter Holmberg to the sailing crew for the 2007 America's Cup.
Peter raced in the afterguard of Stars & Stripes in the America's Cup 2000
Challenger Series where they finished third. Oracle's helmsman during the
America's Cup 2003, he had been removed after the second race of round two
by chairman Larry Ellison who was disappointed by his team's performances.
- Cup in Europe website, full story:

* More than 300 attended a black-tie affair in New York City to induct Alan
Bond and Gary Jobson into the America's Cup Hall of Fame last Thursday
night. Jobson was the winning tactician in 1977, sailing with Ted Turner on
Courageous, and has been a Cup broadcaster since 1987. Bond challenged and
failed three times, including 1977, but the feisty entrepreneur from
Western Australia won the Cup on his fourth try, 20 years ago, with
Australia II. - Grand Prix Sailor,

* Just when Australia's internationally acclaimed yachtswoman, Adrienne
Cahalan, thought that 2003 couldn't get any better … it has. She will be
the navigator when the giant catamaran, Maiden 2, would make an assault in
January on the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest ever non-stop passage
around the world. It caps an incredible year of international sailing for
the 39-year-old who hails from Sydney's northern beaches, which includes
being navigator aboard Aftershock on the Australian team that won the
Admiral's Cup in Cowes. She also navigated Bumblebee 5 to third in the Maxi
World Championships in Sardinia. - Rob Mundle

* The Portuguese bid to host the next America's Cup is first page on Major
Swiss newspaper la Tribune de Genève titled "Lisbon, our favourite in the
America's Cup". Marseille and Naples are almost out of the race. La Tribune
bases their statistic on five crucial requisites for the final choice:
winds, sportive qualities, infrastructures, tourism interest of the area,
political support and safety. Lisbon appears first on the classification,
with a grade of 18 out of 20 to its constant and predictable winds. - Cup
in Europe website, full story:

* 41-year-old Dutch sailor Den Engelsman, has won the J22 World
Championship at Porto San Rocco (Trieste). Strong north-east winds over 40
knots first, then calm sea enabled to compete only five of the thirteen
scheduled races, nevertheless sufficient to make the championship valid.
Races were held with a wind blowing over 20 knots. Den Engelsman won with 7
points ahead of fellow countryman Nil Boc and Denmark's Kim Christensen.
Gabriele Benussi finished in fourth place. -

* US Sailing has named Darline Hobock (Tulsa, OK) recipient of its C.R.E.W.
Award. This award recognizes US Sailing staff and volunteers who
effectively set clear expectations, show mutual respect, and are committed
to collaboration within the organization. Darline Hobock was selected
because of her dedication and commitment to the organization, as well as
for the way in which she works with others. She has been a US Sailing
committee member for 29 years and Chair of the Portsmouth Numbers Committee
for more than 20 years. -

* It might just be the snail mail, but Scuttlebutt Sailing Club's
membership department has had more requests for membership cards from
California than any other state. However, Florida ranks next, which is
impressive considering their significant distance from the SSC mailing
address in San Diego, CA. Check out the new SSC section on the Scuttlebutt

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The term "As The Crow Flies" came from British coastal vessels that
customarily carried a cage of crows. Crows detest large expanses of water
and head, as straight as a crow flies, towards the nearest land if released
at sea - very useful if you were unsure of the nearest land when sailing in
foggy waters before the days of radar. The lookout perch on sailing vessels
thus became known as the crow's nest.

(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.)

* Mark Eustis: Let me get this straight. Someone "invents" a no limits,
non-stop round-the-world race for really big sailboats. Then someone else
"steals" this completely unique idea that no-one else, anywhere, could ever
have thought of (imagine that, a non-stop around the world race for really
big sailboats!)...then finds a sponsor and announces another no-limits,
non-stop, round-the-world race for really, really big sailboats. And the
"inventor" of this "idea" sues? Oh, the effrontery! Oh, the perfidy! Oh,

* From Richard Price: As far as I can see Bruno Peyron is just smarting
that Tracy Edwards has been able to achieve something he hasn't, to find
the backing big enough to stage an 'around the world' race. If he had not
delayed the running of 'The Race', then he would have grounds to make such
comments, however his project has stalled and Tracy Edwards has every right
to try and make the race concept work.

* From Adrian Morgan: Your newsletter depresses me. Frenchman threatens to
sue British yachtswoman over round the world race; Rich American kid's Dad
buys him world title; rules, regulations, ISAF, Olympics, America's Cup,
money, money, money etc, etc. Strewth, as they used to say in Dickens'
days. What a sad diet of politics, professionalism and bureaucracy.

* From Peter Huston: Since when did the world sign over the marketing
rights for the seven seas
to Bruno Peyron?

* From Andrew Vare: I was struck by the commentary posted by whomever in
'Butt 1439 which was both congratulatory to Shark Kahn and somewhat
mitigating, pointing out his access to his father's resources. I think his
achievement is altogether more incredible considering he has,
metaphorically, sailed out from underneath such a large wind shadow. The
sooner the Olympic Sailing Committee (and their backers) sends him a check
for his 49er campaign, the sooner he gets out from underneath the stigma
and allows himself the clear air that a sailor of his caliber needs. He
schooled the fleet, folks, and he's 14 years old. Bravo!

* From Ian Charles: I want to say congratulations to Shark Kahn for his
Melges 24 Worlds victory and to his father Philippe for setting the
platform for the win. There are a lot a participants in this sport that
will claim that Shark's success was due to the presence of the pro's in the
program, but that is simply not true. I've watched Philippe take on the
sport of sailing from the bottom up, helming his own Finn in cold and wet
conditions in an effort to learn the multitude of facets that make this the
most complex sport around. Philippe has obviously passed this desire onto
his son in a way only a father can do. Regardless of the budget that Team
Pegasus has, both Philippe and Shark have a true love for our sport and
that passion was clear for all to see in Sharks victory.

* Grant Chyz: To even imply that wealth and the opportunities provided by
the "mighty Pegasus yacht racing organization" could explain a win by 14
year old Samuel Kahn in the Melges Worlds diminishes the accomplishment of
what has to be a talented and dedicated sailor. As mentioned in the report,
racing at this level, in this class pits the best of the best against each
other. All of the top boats are prepared. All of the top boats have "world
class" crews. Kahn should be congratulated without exception.

* From Martha Kirkland: It is sensational that a 14 year old wins a
specialist Class worlds. I am a little embarrassed for the sport of
sailing. I admire much more the achievement of 13 year old Filip Matika
(CRO) who has now won two Optimist World Championships against the best
kids in the World his age, alone in a 8' dinghy. Can we agree that the
strategic growth value to competitive sailing lies with more kids having
more community access to grass root sailing programmes?

* From Glenn McCarthy: In response to Roger Strube, The Myers-Briggs
Regatta Liability insurance has not contemplated any form of certification
of race officers, or others. And your suggestion that it could come, won't
even be considered. We want increased sailboat racing participation and to
keep the doors of sailing open to all, not a select few.

Conference: The confusion of one person multiplied by the number present.