Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1446 - October 29, 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.

Sailor Tim Patton might have ruffled a few feathers, but his point was
valid. His argument that sailing is more worthy than either cricket or
soccer to carry the banner of Bermuda's national sport is difficult to
counter, taking into consideration the contrasting fortunes of all three.
It was just a couple of years ago that Government declared what most
observers already took for granted - that cricket and soccer be officially
recognized as the Island's national sports. Given their respective
popularity at opposite ends of the calendar, nobody had ever questioned
their status. Yet times have changed.

It's been some years now since either cricket or soccer have enjoyed any
success on the international stage, and domestically both have floundered -
the recent debacle involving the touring Barbadians perhaps indicative of
how cricket, in particular, has fallen on hard times.

* Conversely, sailing has gone from strength to strength. Because of our
geographic location, it's hardly surprising that such a sport should
prosper and through the years Bermuda has always maintained a reputation as
something of a sailor's paradise. We've frequently produced international
class sailors, never more so than in the last few years. As Patton pointed
out, hardly a week went by this summer when a sailor from one class or
another wasn't making headlines.

The successes of Peter Bromby and Paula Lewin have been well documented.
They became the first Bermudians to qualify for next year's Olympics and in
all probability will remain our best hopes for a medal. Malcolm Smith
snared a silver medal at the Pan-Am Games in the Dominican Republic last
month and were the Sunfish considered an Olympic class, he too would be on
his way to Athens.

But it's not so much the established sailors, but the new kids on the block
who have caught the eye in recent months. A carefully developed crop from
Bermuda Sailing Association's youth programme suddenly produced a bumper
harvest. Laser enthusiast Zander Kirkland has rapidly moved up the world
rankings, his younger brother, Jesse, came away with a silver medal at the
Optimist Worlds in Spain, and literally dozens of other youngsters have
been competing - and competing successfully - all around the globe.

* Given Bermuda's tiny population, those partaking in an individual sport
are always going to have a better chance of succeeding internationally than
those in a team sport where lack of depth puts a severe limitation on what
can be achieved. And of all of the individual sports, sailing is
undoubtedly leading the way. Whether Government agrees or not, its recent
record makes it deserving of the title 'national sport.' - Adrian Robson,
The Royal Gazette, Bermuda.

To read all of Robson's comments:

As one of the smallest Open class yachts in the world, the Transat 6.50 is
a class that attracts pure enthusiasts who mostly race their boats on an
amateur basis. Some have been fortunate enough to gain individual
sponsorship, but most struggle to do the entire campaign on a shoe-string.

Like all restricted classes, the Transat 6.50, particularly the Prototype
class, is continually developing; it's the designers' playground. This is a
class, like a development dinghy classes where high and low-tech bond
together; carbonfibre/plywood, canting keels and daggerboards/fixed keels
and waterballast. All the boats are different and every owner has his own

Like all restricted classes, the Transat 6.50, particularly the Prototype
class, is continually developing; it's the designers' playground. This is a
class, like a development dinghy classes where high and low-tech bond
together; carbonfibre/plywood, canting keels and daggerboards/fixed keels
and waterballast. All the boats are different and every owner has his own
ideas. - Excerpt from a story by Sue Pelling on the Tachting Wolrd website,
full story:

The next America's Cup will be a much bigger deal believes defending
syndicate skipper Russell Coutts as "companies are starting to realize that
it will be a completely different event and a new opportunity in Europe."
He expects more interest from sponsors, but money alone doesn't win the
America's Cup.

"It is interesting to note that Alinghi had only the fourth largest budget
[last time]", Coutts said. "You can go back to 1987 or even further, and
all of the time, the team that spends the most does not win". "I think
while you need a certain amount to get the campaign rolling, it is not all
about money, a lot of it comes down to how you use your resource within the
time frame. I think next time you probably need 60 million dollars to be
competitive." - Cup in Europe website,

Congratulations to Shark Kahn and crew of Team Pegasus for winning the
Melges 24 World Championships. At J Fest, Ullman Sails customers continued
their domination: J/105 class- 21 competitive teams and Ullman Sails
customers sailed away with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th places finishes; J/120
class- 2nd, & 3rd; PHRF B- 1st and 2nd. At the Dana Point Harbor
Championships: 1st overall- Henderson 30 "Power Point," powered by full
inventory of Ullman Sails. If you and your crew are ready for the "Fastest
Sails on the Planet" call your local Ullman Sails loft or visit us at

Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, the Caribbean - The thirteenth Aruba Heineken
Catamaran Regatta will be the biggest ever. On Saturday October 4 2003, 49
catamarans were loaded in the harbours of Rotterdam and Felixstowe to be
shipped to Aruba where 53 teams will compete from November 9 until 14 2003.

With 49 European catamarans (27 from the Netherlands, 19 from England, 2
from Belgium and 1 from Austria) and four from Aruba, the fleet numbers
twelve more than last year. After a successful Aruba Heineken Catamaran
Regatta 2002, with lots of positive promotion and a good television report,
the entries poured in and a waiting list was the result.

Organizer Edwin Lodder commented "Of course, I hoped for a small increase,
but I did not expect such a big interest in the event. I want to maintain
the high level of quality; therefore I had to disappoint ten teams.
Unfortunately for them, they are on the waiting list for Aruba." -

Quiberon, France - The boats at the Youth Multihull Trials were all weighed
and measured before an informal free-sailing period Tuesday afternoon. With
eight boats entered for the trials, the majority are modified designs/ rig
configurations. The one entry which has been specifically designed to the
ISAF criteria is the Hobie Concept, otherwise known as "The Max".

The following boats have entered the trials: Dart 16 Sport; SL 15.5; SL 16;
Hobie 16 Race / Spi; KL Booster; Nacra Blast; Hobie Concept; Loday / White
Stream. -

On Wednesday, October 29 at the New York YC, Babson College will honor
Ernesto Bertarelli, a member of the Babson Class of 1989, CEO of Serono
(the third largest Biotech company in the world), and winner of the
America's Cup. ". "He ran his America's Cup team like a small global
company - getting the best sailors, the best materials, the best designers
in the world and then energizing them with a common purpose," said Babson
President Brian M. Barefoot. "He's a great role model for young people
today of what entrepreneurial leadership is all about."

Make this year's Hot Rum Series in San Diego one to remember by chartering
an IACC boat. Race dates are 11/9, 11/16 and 12/7. Reserve the entire boat
for one race or the whole series by October 31st. Individual sales start
November 1st on a first-come, first-serve basis. 800-644-3454 or

With the final withdrawal of Victorinox from the race, there are now a
total of 76 skippers competing on 38 boats in this 6th edition of the
Transat Jacques Vabre. It really is the calm before the storm here in Le
Havre as the sun shines down on the fleet moored in the Paul Vatine Basin,
and the shore teams quietly go about their last minute preparations - a far
cry from the conditions expected at the weekend.

The weather forecast for the weekend starts is not looking promising: for a
start, there will be a strong SW current during the first hours of racing.
For the monohull start on Saturday 1st November at 1500hrs French time, a
weak high pressure system will create winds from the South West over the
English Channel. However, the force is between 15 - 20 knots on the start
line, a better scenario than the prediction for Sunday's start.

For the multihull's starting on Sunday 2nd November at 1500hrs French time,
it is looking rather bleak: A south Westerly breeze will pick up to around
30 - 40 knots at the time of their start, and a choppy sea is expected with
it, which will constrain maneouvrability not just for the multi's but also
the mass of spectator boats.

Good news, however, comes from the Race Organisers, of the prizes to be won
during this event. No less than 150,000 euros will be distributed amongst
the victors. The first three boats in the two 60ft classes will receive
respectively 45,000, 15,000 & 10,000 euros. The Open 50 winner will receive
8,000 euros, and the second placed boat 2,000 euros.

Baume & Mercier Trophy: Official Timer for the Transat Jacques Vabre, Baume
& Mercier are giving two watches to each of the winning skippers in the 4
classes, and also a watch for the boat which establishes the best 24hr
mileage (between 1200hrs one day and 1200 hrs the next), both for multi and
monohulls. - Mary Ambler,

n the stroke of noon on the third day of the Rolex Middle Sea Race Neville
Crichton's Alfa Romeo entered Marsaxmsett Harbour and crossed the Royal
Malta Yacht Club's finish line in first place. Less than three hours later
Charles Dunstone's Nokia sailed through the same stretch of water to
collect provisional corrected time victory. With the fleet now spread out
over half the 607-mile long course local weather conditions are dictating
everybody's fate. Mike Slade's Leopard of London crossed the finish line
third shortly after sunset this evening. Thirty five boats are still at sea.

Crichton and his crew may have been bitterly disappointed to have lost
another record opportunity due to light winds, but he can be happy with the
fact that Alfa Romeo has now achieved the grand slam this year by
collecting line honours in the entire Rolex season of races, which includes
the Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2002, the Rolex Giraglia Race, the Rolex Fastnet
Race, the Rolex Maxi Cup and now the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Class B honours are still currently in the balance, with the Italian
Benetau 40.7 Concetto Costa's Squalo Bianco leading a compact group of
boats that includes the Maltese favourites and last year's winners Market
Wizard owned and sailed by Ripard and Calascione. - Marcus Hutchinson,

Fill out Team One Newport's survey and you could win a 4-day/3-night stay
at the incredible Bitter End Yacht Club in the beautiful British Virgin
Islands! Help us make sure that we are servicing you with the best products
and best customer service. Check out our new items for the Holiday Season
like the Myo Headlamps from Petzl!! And the great calendars including Onne
van der Wal's Desk Calendar! Call 800-VIP-GEAR, email
for survey, or visit

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed 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 Peter Gombosi: I believe that Slocum's homeport was Fairhaven, but
perhaps I am wrong. That is where he ended his circumnavigation, and where
he found Spray. Fairhaven/ New Bedford might be even better than Boston for
ending a race. Boston is a terrible place to sail to (not from), unless one
likes expensive, commercial locales.

* From Michael W. Fortenbaugh (edited to our 250-word limit): Today, the
organizers of the renamed "Transat" announced the finish would go to
Boston. In New York City, we had also been working hard to bring the finish
here, first past the Statue of Liberty and then to dock in Lower Manhattan.
This is part of our effort at revitalization. While we are disappointed not
to have been selected, we recognize how exciting this will be for sailing
fans in Boston.

New York City is still in the early stages of its recreational renaissance.
We wish to bring major events to this city and know that we need to build
awareness in what our city can offer. Last year, thanks to an historic
gesture by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Around Alone was the first
round-the-world race ever to start from New York City. We hope it will lead
to more events.

New York City is the media capital of our country. It is also the financial
and business capital. For races and sailors looking to maximize value for
their sponsors, accessing the NYC market could create significant returns
on investment. A trans-Atlantic race finishing at the Statue of Liberty
would be inspiring to all sailors. And since the Statue was a gift from
France, maybe the race should start from there.

* From Matt Magolan: I find the OCE (Offshore Challenges Events) comments
about keeping the spirit of the OSTAR event alive somewhat humorous given
the fact that the original race was sailed by five boats that ranged from
21 to 39 feet. Hmmm, all boats are now required to be over 40 and the
little guy is out on his ear. So now the only option for a sailor to do
"The Transat" is to be a professional with a pretty large bank account or
sponsorship. If you can't afford a 50 footer you could sail the mini
transat, well I'd have to say that many of the sailors who have
traditionally taken part in the OSTAR, NEWMAN1STAR, etc. in the shorter
boats were not necessarily the same people who wanted to do a Mini Transat.

I think that for the sake of simplifying the format for the Professionals,
OCE has hurt the spirit of the Corinthian classes. Hasler sailed Jester, a
modified Folkboat(!), across in that first race, why can't we see that it
is not necessarily progress to close an event to smaller boats. I believe
that Class III, IV, and V should still be included in The Transat, because
they are still at the heart of the event.

* From J. Joseph Bainton (re Cadiz ISAF World Championship): Paul Cayard's
article in this month's Seahorse describing the recent ISAF World
Championship Regatta is at odds with the glowing reports of Paul Henderson.
I have heard stories about one hoist, very inadequate toilet facilities and
unfair starting line practices. All of the stories praising or criticizing
the event are anecdotal, although it cannot be fairly said that Paul Cayard
lacks relevant experience upon which to base the opinions he expresses in
his article.

I suggest that ISAF consider hiring an experienced polling firm and find
out from those competitors who (a) sailed in Cadiz and (b) had previously
sailed in at least one world championship of the class in which they
competed in Cadiz how the Cadiz event compared to prior world championships
and, more importantly, if they would like the Cadiz format repeated either
annually or quadrennially. In order to elicit complete candor from the
athletes, the responses of each individual should be kept confidential.

* From Doran Cushing (edited to focus on the boating issues): The
Commerce Department is now advising all boaters who intend to go to Cuba
that they will be required to apply for and get an export license for their
boat, regardless of any other Treasury Dept. licenses or exceptions to the
Treasury embargo regulations. Failure to do so could result in seizure of
the vessel and fines. Participants in the annual race from Key West to Cuba
in May of 2003 learned of this new enforcement as their boats were searched
and possessions confiscated upon returning to Key West in early morning
hours after a week or so in Cuba. To date, none of those personal
possessions (which included cameras, film, laptops, notes, logs, etc.) have
been returned.

As a journalist who has visited Cuba nine times in the past 10 years, I was
also advised of the new enforcement upon returning from Havana in mid-May.
I was required to sign forms acknowledging my knowledge of the Commerce law
but no further actions were taken by the government. I subsequently applied
for and received an export license for my F-27 trimaran Triple Trouble ...
the license is free and good for up to three visits to Cuba. I don't know
if the license would have been issued had I not been applying as a journalist.

* From Frederick Stelle: So how much would the sea drop if all the salt was
removed? My guess is somewhere between 330 and 500 feet.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.