Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1449 - November 3, 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.

Headed by billionaire investor Craig McCaw and backed by Microsoft
co-founder Paul Allen, former America's Cup challenger OneWorld has filed a
$US1,053,497.60 summary judgment claim against Sean Reeves, its former
operations manager turned whistle-blower. Filed at the High Court at
Auckland, One World's claim is a bid to have the New Zealand court enforce
a summary judgment handed down by a Seattle court in September 2002 just
before the start of the America's Cup challenger series, the Louis Vuitton

Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled Reeves had retained and disclosed OneWorld's
confidential information without justification or excuse in violation of a
confidentiality agreement. But because Reeves is a NZ citizen and the
United States is not a party to our Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments Act
1934, Reeves could thumb his nose at what he deems a fraudulent judgment.
Reeves maintains OneWorld's legal action has been an attempt to gag him
from blowing the whistle on OneWorld illegally obtaining and using Team
NZ's and other rivals' design secrets.

OneWorld's Kiwi lawyer, Iain Thain of Phillips Fox, says there's nothing
new in the action being taken and Reeves hasn't yet been served. The first
call is set down for December 18. If the case goes to trial, Reeves told
The Independent he'll leave no stone unturned defending himself, promising
a no-holds-barred assault on OneWorld. He says he will subpoena leading
Team NZ figures who, he says, helped cover up OneWorld's cheating. "I will
make a personal crusade of letting the international media know everything.
If this thing goes to litigation, the NZ courts won't pour concrete over it
like the US courts," Reeves said.

Angry at the way OneWorld could prevent the disclosure of key evidence in
the US trial, including Reeves' own affidavits, by sealing documents,
Reeves is hoping things will be different in any NZ trial. "They [the NZ
courts] will not protect the billionaires. This is the NZ system that does
not allow the sealing of documents unless there's an extraordinary
justification for it. All papers filed to defend myself will be available
to the media. Every single thing. And there will be some shockers in
there." - Gareth Vaughan, The Independent, full story:,,5007-2791162,00.html

St. Petersburg YC - Claire Leroy of St. Quay, France has won the Rolex 2003
Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 women's match-racing event sailed in Sonars on
Tampa Bay. Leroy defeated Hannah Swett (New York, N.Y./Jamestown, R.I) in
an exciting final round that went the full five races. Swett had a 2-1 lead
over Leroy, needing just one more win to clinch. But Leroy won the fourth
match to force a final fifth match. In the final match, Swett won the start
and led until she was within a quarter-leg to the finish, when Leroy took
the lead. As the two teams approached the downwind finish, each protested,
and the umpires penalized Swett. Immediately after, Swett was penalized
again and received a black flag, which lost her the match.

In the petit-finals, held simultaneously with the finals, Carol Cronin
(Jamestown, R.I.) upset France's Christine Briand (La Rochelle) by winning
two races to Briand's one. "Cronin just kept getting better and better
throughout the regatta," said Race Chair Tom Farquhar, noting that she,
like Swett and several of the other competitors are 2004 Olympic hopefuls
in the Yngling class. Winning the petit-finals earned Cronin a third-place
finish for the regatta. -

Final Results:
1. Claire Leroy (FRA)
2. Hannah Swett (USA)
3. Carol Cronin (USA)
4. Christine Briand (FRA)
5. Guilia Conti (ITA)
6. Sally Barkow (USA)
7. Elizabeth Kratzig (USA)
8. Deborah Willits (USA)
9. Rachel Silverstein (USA)

Ultimate sailors insist the Ultimate Sailing calendar is the only one they
use. Now available! The 2004 Ultimate Sailing calendar features 24
spectacular images from the camera of Sharon Green. $15.95 each. Order now!
For a complete line of products from Ultimate Sailing:

Le Havre, 2nd November 03 - The fleet of 22 Open 60 and 50 foot monohulls
and two 50ft multihulls in the Transat Jacques Vabre has had an eventful
24hrs in the English Channel in high winds and heavy seas after a
spectacular start from Le Havre, France Saturday at 1500hrs French time.
Already in this classic double-handed transatlantic dash to Salvador da
Bahia, Brazil, one boat has dismasted, two skippers have been airlifted to
safety and three boats are limping into port.

Canadians Georges Leblanc and Marc Nadeau were airlifted off their Open 60
Ciments Saint-Laurent-Océan by a helicopter at 0730hrs Sunday morning. The
boat lost its overnight where the winds were in excess of 30 knots and the
seas very rough. At 0500hrs French time, the Race Office were alerted that
the alarm on the ARGOS beacon on board the Canadian Open 60 had been set
off. Immediately, a helicopter was sent out to fly over the zone, which was
16 miles north of Cherbourg, France and reported that the boat was upside
down without its keel. The pilots could confirm that both safety beacons
that had been set off were in the water, but that at that time of night
they could not see either of the two skippers.

Therefore the Rescue Services initiated an immediate search over the whole
zone, the winds were in excess of 30 knots and the sea was very rough. Then
just as the light dawned one of the skippers appeared from the boat and was
spotted by the helicopter, which engaged immediately in their airlift
rescue procedure. Both skippers are reported to be safe and sound.

Extreme weather conditions in the English Channel led to the decision by
the Transat Jacques Vabre organisation to delay the start for the 14 ORMA
Open 60 multihulls, which were scheduled to start Sunday 2nd November. The
low-pressure system forecast for Sunday over Ireland should generate Force
9 winds (45 knots) and a very rough sea state with wave height reaching 6
metres or more. The start is expected to be delayed until Tuesday or
Full report and current standings available at the event website. -

* The Italian sports' daily "Gazzetta dello Sport" reported last week that
a new Italian syndicate is borning and suggested that this new team has
bought one of the 2002 Stars & Stripes and want to recruit Poland's match
racing ace Karol Jablonski as skipper. More details have been released
concerning the Team led by Gualtiero Pantani, an Italian businessman. The
syndicate, christened "Toscana Challenge", would sail under the Yacht Club
Livorno's burgee and would have recruited former Stars & Stripes tactician
(and AmericaOne trimmer) Terry Hutchinson and Poland's Karol Jablonski, who
was hoping to put together a Polish campaign but commented on Thursday that
this project would not now come to fruition. -

* The K-Challenge team, represented by John Cutler, Romain Troublé, John
Ziskind and Cameron Dunn, will take on Gavin Brady and the Oracle BMW
Racing (with Jon Gundersen, Sean Clarkson and Jamie Gale) in a match-racing
event as part of the China Coast Race Week. This competition is part of the
training plans of the new French challenge working towards the 32nd
America's Cup. K-Challenge will also participate to the match racing world
circuit from next year on, according to their general calendar. -

Offshore. Coastal. One-Design. Women's. Sportswear. Vests. Jackets. Smocks.
Pullovers. Hats. Shorts. Trousers. Check out Henri Lloyd's Web Specials at:

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified the monohull 24-hour
distance record achieved by Mari Cha IV. The new record took place October
6th at 10:03 am to October 7th at 10:03, where Mari Cha IV clicked off
525.7 nm during a west to east transatlantic crossing. -

* US Sailing and the Bitter End Yacht Club, a premier water sports resort
on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, have entered into a
sponsorship and marketing partnership that names the Bitter End Yacht Club
as an official sponsor, resort, and vacation destination of US Sailing. The
agreement provides valuable discounts for US Sailing members on room rates
and vacation packages at the Bitter End Yacht Club, as well as support for
a range of US Sailing programs and events. The Bitter End Yacht Club is
also hosting the 2003 US Sailing President's Club Weekend, which is being
held in conjunction with the 17th Annual Dry Creek Vineyards Pro Am Regatta
and the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championships. - US Sailing, full

* Pindar, an international print and electronic media company, has agreed
to a four-year sponsorship with British youth sailing phenom Hannah Mills.
This includes the purchase of a new state of the art 420 dinghy and
financial support to help with additional coaching and campaign costs.
Mills, 15, from Cardiff in Wales, has recently made the step-up from
Optimists to the 420 circuit and whose long-term plan is to compete at an
Olympic Games. Last year she was awarded the UK Young Sailor of the Year
and BBC Wales Young Sports Personality of the Year.

* The International Boat Industry's 2004 Boat Show Calendar is now
available to view on-line. To check out 2004 show dates, venues and contact

Thousands of racing sailing enthusiasts travel to America's premiere
regatta for world class racing and shoreside camaraderie. Don't be left out
in the cold! Terra Nova Trading Key West 2004, presented by Nautica -
January 19-23, 2004. Details and entries:

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 Vin McAteer: As a kid growing up in Rhode Island, I was always
interested in boats but never had the chance to get on the water and really
learn how to sail...much less race. My father had towed me around Newport
during the Cup Summer of 1983. I like to think that it was that summer and
fall that planted the seeds of a sailing addiction that has gripped me for
the better part of twenty years. It was a few years later that my father
enrolled me in the Sail Newport youth sailing program. Looking back on the
time that I spent as a junior at SN, I cannot think of a better place to be
formally introduced to the sport. The atmosphere was that of positive
teaching, sportsmanship and fun competition. Regular visits by people that
I had only read about in magazines (Kenny Read, Lynn Shore) made the
experience that much more exciting. As a junior, I had a great time messing
around in boats at Sail Newport. As an adult and a boat owner, you can bet
that I will keep coming back.

Brad Read and Kim Cooper have done an amazing job in building SN. Their
relentless work and enthusiasm for the sport have continued to elevate the
organization. Congratulations on the first's to twenty more.

* From Michael H. Koster: (Regarding the U.S. Sailing "Offshore"
Championship in Annapolis) Hey, call me crazy, but has anyone at U.S.
Sailing thought of having the "Offshore" Championship offshore?

* From Steve Greene: (Regarding the Transat) Ah, the multihull debate rages
on! Since any boat can be disabled given the right set of circumstance,
where would you put your eggs- in a boat that can capsize and sink, or a
boat that can capsize and float? Argue all you want, but just compare the
recent tragic Sidney Hobart and Route du Rhum events.

How's this- give each skipper the choice of either starting or delaying
their start until later with a time penalty. This does two things; (1) it
gives those who are confident with taking the risk of starting in rougher
conditions a chance to come out way ahead, and (2) it gives those who would
rather wait for safer conditions a better chance of coming through in one

If those who start out first run into big problems, then the late starters
might easily catch and pass them, making up for the time penalty. But if
the lead group comes through without major mishaps, then they are almost
assured a victory- big risk, big reward.

It all boils down to this: What does it take to win, and what are you
willing to do to get there? If we don't try, we don't accomplish. And
accomplishment is the root of the human endeavor. Failure, injury, death-
it's all part of the game, as is success, triumph and achievement. I'd
rather fail at something really tough, than breeze through something that
was no challenge at all.

* Ross Morrissey: I do the Etchells Rankings, and I'd like to respond to
Mr. Roberts. I can't speak for other systems, but our system works. In
1996, I created the Etchells Ranking system with these goals: To encourage
participation in inter-fleet racing; To recognize excellence in Etchells
racing; To promote the quality of Etchells competition; A simple, easily
understandable scoring system.

Each yacht receives 1-(place/(entries+10)) as a raw score, and the events
are weighted by a multiplier (1200 for a Worlds, 1100 for a Nationals, 900
for a NOOD, etc). We only count the best *FIVE* scores going back two
years. I think the fact that over 600 teams are ranked (about half the
hulls built to date) and that a score of 4700 would have put you in the top
10 in 1998, and will only land you in the top 20 today, demonstrates the
success of the system. Each of the "no-name" sailors Mr. Roberts refers to
are "big-name" sailors in their home waters. They are the sailors who've
moved up in the rankings by hard work: traveling to major regattas and
doing well. Are there notable sailors who didn't make the "top 30" list?
Yes, but Ken Read, Iain Murray, and Grant Wharington would be up there if
they weren't busy with AC, Olympic, and Maxi programs. How did Dennis
Conner get to the top? While Ken Read was helming an AC boat, his boss was
across the Gulf racing in the Kiwi Etchells Nationals and last year's Worlds.

* From Ryan Eric Minth, President International Laser Class Association
North American Region: I hear comments like Rich Robert's frequently.
However, if a Class organization is ranking its members successfully, it is
better served by a system that indicates "which sailor is most likely to
show up and win" than a pure talent, stack ranking system. If a sailor does
not show up often, why should the Class reward a non-participatory or worse
yet, possible non-member? Besides, Rich's pure ranking system is well
served by the ISAF World Ranking list for each of the "official size and
weight" (to use an NFL/NBA/MLB expression) Classes of our sport. To reward
the 'every-helmsperson' sailing Lasers in North America, we operate our own
"Grand Prix" ranking system that promotes Class participation and results
more equitably.

* From Mark Steinbeck (Subject: Ranking lists) I can understand Rich
Roberts' frustration with a ranking system that has the current Etchells
Class Champion ranked 327, but I'm sure than Ken Read will rocket toward
the top of the list once he finds time to sail in more than one ranked event.

As the Fleet Captain of a one-design fleet at a small harbor I don't see
anything wrong with a ranking system that allows a "no-name" sailor to
collect ranking points for "just showing up." After all, the ranking system
in question is run by the class association for the benefit of the sailors
in the class. If the sailors in the class have a problem with it they can
change it at any time.

His name isn't a household word, but I'm sure that an awful lot of Etchells
sailors actually do know the "no-name" sailor who made the top 20 by
sailing in 17 ranked events. I'd sure like to have a few more like him in
my fleet.

* From R. Geoffrey Newbury: (re: Rich Roberts contention that Ken Read
should be ranked higher in the Etchells class rankings) So NASCAR should
make the Winston Cup a one-race crash-fest?

Curmudgeon's Comment: At press time we went to the Etchell's website and
saw that Ken Read had pulled himself up to 178th rank from 327th, and that
Dennis Conner was now the top ranked sailor. However, we also saw that Ken
is ranked 742nd when listed with his world championship crew:

Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.