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SCUTTLEBUTT 1447 - October 30, 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.

(It's not often that Sports Illustrated magazine does a feature on
recreational sailing, but that happened in their July 14 issue. Here are a
couple of excerpts from that piece.)

With the loss of the America's Cup in 1983, local yachtsmen in Newport RI
saw a chance to alter the destiny of the sport in one of the finest sailing
environments in the world. After a failed attempt to attract 12-meter boats
for a world championship regatta (a prelude to the America's Cup), Sail
Newport focused instead on public sailing -- lessons, scholarships,
reasonably priced rentals and events that would hardly get an old-line
yacht club member to reach for his monocle. After all, why should Newport's
deep water, reliable winds and sheltered harbor be reserved for the elite?
Says Robin Wallace, a pediatrician who helped found Sail Newport's facility
in Fort Adams State Park, "When the America's Cup left, it's almost as if
the average person said, 'Maybe I could come to Newport to sail.'"

Today almost 50 sailing events a year begin or end in Newport's waters, or
circumnavigate them. But the Newport Regatta has held a special place since
its founding in 1985. It's a populist festival-at-sea, open to 21 classes
of boats, 15 of them manufactured in Rhode Island, from dinghies to wooden
classics to champagne yachts. The racing is strictly "one design," i.e., no
alterations allowed -- which means being well-heeled won't make your boat
any better-keeled. Organizers accept entrants up to an hour before the
race, so the exact start list depends on whether some couch-potato
commodore in Westerly can line up a babysitter or a weak-stomached retiree
in Warwick likes the look of that morning's weather forecast. "If you can
get a boat in the water," says race director Kim Cooper, "you're in."

"Looking back, losing the Cup was probably the best thing that could have
happened for our sport," says Brad Read, Sail Newport's executive director.
"Sailing here is more than alive and well, it's dynamic. That a certain
silver mug is no longer bolted to a table in New York City means very
little to someone who goes out sailing on a summer day." - Alexander Wolff,
Sports Illustrated, full story:

* A decision on where the 2007 America's Cup is to be held is expected
within the next few weeks, the man leading Lisbon's bid to host the
yachting regatta predicted. Organizers must make their choice by December
15 but Patrick Monteiro de Barros, heading Lisbon's candidature, believes
it will come sooner than expected. "They've (organizers) let it be known
that they'll give a definitive decision earlier than forecast, probably by
the end of November," he told a press conference. "I reckon that'll be
between November 15 and 20," he added. - Yahoo News, full story:

* "I think we have in Cascais the best race area in Europe and one of the
five best one in the World", said Lisbon organizing committee president
Patrick Monteiro de Barros. "Perhaps there is wind (in the other cities)
but the lapse of time during which he breathes is shorter. There are
thermal breezes related to heat. There is wind just during the summer".

A vision that Bertrand PacÚ doesn't share. On the contrary, "unforeseeable
winds reinforce the interest in a competition. it is not because there are
winds breathing somewhere that it is beautiful regatta there.In Cascais,
races likely to be held in a wind range of 15 to 20 knots but they do not
offer many things of interest", Bertrand said. On the same, "In Valencia,
the thermal breeze is strong and stable. it will be monotonous". "As
sailor, the place where one can have fun is Marseille", he concluded. "The
bay is fantastic with three different modes of principal winds". - Cup in
Europe website, full story:

Clipper Ventures PLC has today selected the port of Fremantle as the
first-ever Australian stopover for the Clipper 2005 Round the World Yacht
Race. The AIM listed company chaired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston also
announced that the State of Western Australia will sponsor one of the ten
yacht entries in the competitive event. Tourism Minister for Western
Australia, Bob Kucera, said: "One of the ten 68-foot yachts will be known
as 'Western Australia,' acting as something of a roving tourism ambassador
across five continents.

The Clipper 2005 event will start from Liverpool (UK) in September 2005 and
follow the longest route of all round the world races. The sole
Australasian stop is scheduled for late December 2005 in Fremantle, before
the 10-strong racing fleet heads for the islands of Indonesia and then
China. -

QuadroflexT, a 4-way stretch fleece, offers thin, thermal, water-friendly
layering that is non-bulking, body conforming and stretches when you do.
Perfect for the active sailor who does not want to be over bulked yet seeks
warmth and breathability. Offered in farmer johns, pants and shirts. Ideal
for drysuits! Ask us about our drop-seat farmer johns. Breaker Sailing Long
pants are breathable Supplex sailing trousers with double knees and butts.
Knee pads and bottom pads are optional and insertible. The perfect
watch-pant and fall regatta gear. Find them all at Sailing Angles -
Designers and Manufacturers:

The design challenges facing Ron Holland and his team as naval architects
and interior designers of the 245ft (75m) sloop Mirabella V, and those
facing the engineering and other contractors involved in the project, will
result in a positive 'knock-on effect' for the marine industry as a whole,
claims the well known designer. Addressing the media last week at the
latest media viewing of the project at VT Shipbuilding in Southampton,
England, Holland said that the 'pioneering, performance oriented project'
had afforded the opportunity to 'reach new limits' on the research and
development front.

'This experience has already proven invaluable to us with our other current
projects, which range from 46ft (14m) to 220ft (67m). In fact, I credit the
recent nomination of our Discovery 55 design for the 2004 Cruising World
Boat of the Year Awards to our being able to apply design and technology
experience developed for superyacht designs to a wide range of our
projects,' said Holland. Holland has just seen his design predictions
confirmed in another project - the 210ft (64m) Felicita West. However, this
elegant ketch, the first Perini Navi project involving independent
designers, presented a different range of challenges than Mirabella V,
which is a composite sloop. Felicita West is the largest aluminum sailing
yacht built to date, carries the tallest mast afloat until Mirabella V is
commissioned, and was the first sailing yacht to exceed the 500 tonnes
limit for MCA classification. - Sailing online, full story:

At the Melges 24 class AGM in September the class voted on and decided to
adopt Kevlar sails. The proposal, put forward by Nigel Young of North Sails
UK, was principally aimed at increasing the life span of the sails, and in
particular the jib. two years ago the class voted to use battens in the
jib, which Young says, "Made a serious improvement in the life of the
sails, the headsails on a Melges 24 get furled up and take a bit of a bashing."

Two years on and Young has received plenty of feedback from his customers:
"Comment from some of our regular customers that the Pentex sails weren't
lasting as long as they had hoped. The serious guys and also the semi
serious guys were considering whether they would need a new jib for each
major regatta." Choosing to use Kevlar also has the added advantage from a
marketing point of view as it helps to maintain the image of the class and
make it look fresh and modern.

For the mainsail, the change to Kevlar helps but the sail does not get the
same amount of abuse as the jib, as Young explains, "There will be a real
benefit for the mainsail, but because the sail is effectively fully
battened, with the top two battens full length and the bottom two shorter,
the mainsail doesn't suffer in quite the same way as the jib. Kevlar will
definitely add life to the sail." - Daily Sail website, full story:

Based on the title - "Maximum Sail Power" -and on the comprehensive list of
subjects covered in this jumbo-format 300-pager, you'd think Brian
Hancock's new book might read like a textbook. Not so. It's a very
interesting read by an author who obviously has his stuff together. It's
also a book that you do not have to read chapter by chapter. In fact, I
suspect many readers will jump around a bit - going first to information
that interests them most.

But it's all there - from how to select what sails you should have; how
sails are made; the pluses and minuses of the various types of sailcloth
and of methods of manufacture; the important elements of a sail inventory;
sail trim and sail handling; questions to ask your sailmaker, and even a
look at the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic theory of how foils work. But more
importantly, it's written and illustrated so well, and so interestingly,
that you'll enjoy taking this trip with an author who has obviously 'been
there and done that.'

Apparently I'm not the only person who liked it - Hancock's new book
carries impressive endorsements from the who's who of our sport, including
Ellen MacArthur, Gary Jobson, Skip Novak, Tom Whidden, Cam Lewis, Herb
McCormick and Brad Van Liew. Maximum Sail Power is published by the Nomad
Press, and although the sticker price is $44.95, I found it on
for $31.47. - The curmudgeon

Yes, we know we have procrastinated too long, but this time we wanted to
get it right. And we have - great quality Scuttlebutt Sailing Club polo
shirts and baseball hats, at prices that really make sense. It's all on the
new merchandise page of the Scuttlebutt website. Take a look at the
terrific new schwag, and while your there, you can download your free SSC
membership card.

Four days after the start eight boats have now completed the 607-mile long
Rolex Middle Sea Race, whilst another 25 are still at sea. Charles
Dunstone's Nokia, the second boat to finish yesterday, currently has the
best corrected time and looks likely to keep this honour. Skip Sheldon's
Zarraffa is in second place and line honours victor Alfa Romeo lies in
third. Fresh Westerly winds are sweeping the fleet still at sea, one of the
smallest boats, Anton Valentino's First Ever, has been dismasted in 35
knots of wind near the Italian island of Pantelleria. A steady stream of
finishers are expected over night as the current conditions are yielding
fast downwind sailing for everyone still at sea. -

With very cold weather yesterday morning, and a heavy fog covering the
Ecole Nationale de Voile, the morning briefing took place with the sailors
and manufacturers to set out the day's activities. Measurement continued in
the morning, alongside two speed tests and a race planned for the morning.
Crews were also assigned to their boats.

The sailors were out on the water at about 1300 hours, and whilst the fog
had given way to glorious sunshine, the breeze had decreased to 10 knots.
Two speed tests were carried out successfully, but the decreasing breeze
meant the cancellation of any racing. All of the ISAF Evaluation Panel had
a good opportunity to look at the boats in a light breeze with a slight
chop and all boats performed well in the conditions.

Wednesday morning the wind was 15-20 knots from the west, which provides
superbly flat conditions in the Bay. The forecast is for a steady 20 knots,
with 30-35 knots this afternoon. The schedule is for more speed tests in
the afternoon, followed by two races. Crews will be rotated throughout the
fleet to ensure fairness of trials. The real test will be today, seeing how
the boats perform in the heavier breeze.

Over the next two days, the ISAF Evaluation Panel will be meeting with each
manufacturer to discuss business plans, class association structure and
other details. -

* The Etchells class has just announced their new 'class rankings' - based
on regattas up to and including the 2003 World Championship, and reflect
race results over the last two years. Dennis Conner (USA) tops the list
followed by Stuart Childerley (GBR) and John Bertrand (AUS). Ken Read, the
run away winner of the 2003 Worlds did not make the top 30. -

* At the end of last week, the IOC President announced that THG will be
tested at the 2004 Olympic Games. Since the release earlier last week of a
statement outlining its position with regard to recent revelations that
athletes tested positive for the designer anabolic steroid
tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), at the end of last week the IOC received the
confirmation of the validity of the THG test. The IOC President welcomed
this new development and announced that THG will be tested for during the
next Olympic Games in Athens. -

* Auckland's Viaduct Harbour has been cleared of commercial naming rights
and could be renamed Blake Harbour as early as next year. The Auckland City
Council is developing a strategy for the marine events area, including ways
to celebrate yachting icon Sir Peter Blake. Mayor John Banks said naming
the harbour after the man who turned it from a neglected basin into a
vibrant village for the America's Cup warranted consideration. - NZ Herald,

* The strong low pressure system forecast for the Jacques Vabre Transat
kick-off has spiced up dockside conversation. The Race Director will take a
decision on the multihull start this Friday morning as the forecast is
still for a strong low pressure system to arrive on Sunday morning. The
monohull start is not affected as there will be a small anticyclone to calm
the conditions enough for their Saturday afternoon start. -

For years Trophy Braid has been a staple at Samson Rope. Our customers love
it for its soft, easy to grip hand, variety of colors and value. Look at
the cruising boats at the dock and many will have Trophy Braid coiled
around the winches. Now look again. We have improved Trophy Braid with new
fiber that is stronger, more abrasion resistant, colorfast, and still
supple in the hand - and the price hasn't changed. What a bonus! Enjoy.

(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 Chip Johns: Just to make sure all 'Butt readers have clear facts
about Joshua Slocum. Joshua Slocum was from Nova Scotia. The Spray was
located in Fairhaven, Mass. when she was given to him. Mr. Slocum rebuilt
her in Fairhaven and then departed from New Bedford harbor on his voyage.
He did stop in his home port of Nova Scotia on his way around.

* From Roger Martin: Say Wha' ? Tim Patton doesn't follow the Cricket World
Cup. He is not alone in the US, but tell Kiwis, Australians, South
Africans, the British, Pakistanis, Indians, West Indians - I could go on -
that cricket doesn't enjoy success Internationally, & they will wonder
where you've been! Cricket & sailing are about equally difficult to
televise, though. But have you seen the wicket-cam!

Think about everything you say, but don't say everything you think.