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SCUTTLEBUTT 1454 - November 10, 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.

Mexican officials have approved a controversial project to develop a
necklace of marinas around Baja California over the objections of
environmentalists who say it will endanger the breeding grounds of sea
turtles, migrating whales and other wildlife.

The Escalera Nautica, or Nautical Ladder, will consist of 27 marinas
ringing Baja California and is designed to attract armadas of pleasure
boaters from the Pacific Coast of North America. The initial development is
projected to cost $127 million but could increase if planned airports,
hotels and golf course resorts materialize. The project is part of a plan
to develop the 1,000-mile-long Baja peninsula, most of which is barren,
roadless and unpopulated desert.

The developers want to create a chain of marinas spaced roughly 120 miles
apart that boaters could hopscotch among on lengthy trips - spending money
along the way. Government estimates are that at least 50,000 boats will
visit annually, attracting 1 million tourists and creating 250,000 jobs by
2014. The project will include a road or "land bridge" midway down Baja, on
which many boats could be towed between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of
California without making the long passage around the peninsula.

Environmentalists' concerns focus on Baja's Scammon's Lagoon and San
Ignacio Lagoon on the Pacific Coast where California gray whales give
birth. Bahia de los Angeles on Baja's east coast provides the feeding
grounds for sea turtles, marine mammals and whale sharks. Fishing groups in
the Mexican state of Sinaloa oppose the project, saying yachters will take
over their coastal workplaces. Homero Aridjis, a Mexico City
environmentalist and poet, said he fears that the Gulf of California on the
east side of the peninsula could be overrun by boats and unbridled
development. The late oceanographer Jacques Cousteau once referred to it as
the world's largest aquarium.

A study released this year by EDAW, an international consulting firm based
in San Francisco, concluded that Mexican tourist officials had exaggerated
demand by up to 600%. The study, commissioned by the Los Altos,
Calif.-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, recommended that any
tourist investment should focus on improving facilities at ports in
Ensenada, Los Cabos, San Carlos, La Paz and Mazatlan. "The most important
thing is that that project doesn't make any sense economically," said Serge
Dedina, the San Diego-based co-director of Wildcoast, an international
conservation group. - Chris Kraul and Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times,
full story:

470 / LASER: Houston Yacht Club (La Porte, Texas) will host three events
(470 Men, 470 Women and Laser) when racing gets underway there November 8,
concluding on November 16, 2003. The planned 16-race series will allow
competitors to drop their worst finish after five races, with a second drop
after 12 races have been completed. - For complete results, US Sailing,

470-Men (9 boats; 3 races)
1. Foerster/ Burnham (Rockwall, TX/ Miami, FL) 3 pts
2. Anderson-Mitterling)/ Biehl (Coronado, CA/ San Diego, CA) 6
3. Dabney / Schmidt (Mandeville, LA) 12

470-Women (7 boats; 3 races)
1. McDowell/ Kinsolving (Barrington, RI/ New York, NY) 3 pts
2. Clark/ Mergenthaler (Shelter Island, NY/ Matawan, NJ) 7
3. Maxwell/ Morgan (Stonington, CT/ Shoreline, WI) 11

Laser (32 boats; 3 races)
1. Mark Mendelblatt, (St. Petersburg, FL) 10 pts
2. Brad Funk, (Largo, FL) 16
3. Kyle Kovacs, (Pennington, NJ) 18

MISTRAL: The US Sailing Center-Martin Co. (Jensen Beach, Fla.) will host
the two boardsailing events (Mistral Men and Mistral Women) with racing
scheduled for November 8-16, 2003. The planned 16-race series will allow
competitors to drop their worst finish after five races, with a second drop
after 12 races have been completed. - For complete results, US Sailing,

Mistral-Men (10 boards; 4 races)
1. Peter Wells (Newport Beach, CA) 8 pts
2. Kevin Jewett (Deephaven, MN) 9
3. Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, FL) 14

Mistral -Women (10 boards; 4 races)
1. Lanee Beashel (Dana Point, CA) 4 pts
2. Taylor Duch (Savannah, GA) 10
3. Beth Winkler (Cocoa Beach, FL) 12

Racing in the two Paralympic classes -- the three-person Sonar and the
singlehanded 2.4 Metre -- began November 7 and concludes November 14, 2003.
A 14 -race series is planned with competitors allowed to drop their worst
finish after five races. A second drop will figure into the scoring after
12 races have been completed. St. Petersburg Yacht Club, (St. Petersburg,
Fla.) is the host for the Paralympic Trials. - For complete results, US

Sonar (5 boats; 4 races)
1. Paul Callahan (Bourne, MA) 7 pts
2. John Ross-Duggan (Newport Beach, CA) 8
3. Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ) 9

2.4 Meter (5 boats; 4 races)
1. Tom Brown (Notheast Harbor, ME) 5 pts
2. John Ruf (Pewaukee, IL) 8
3. Thomas Franklin (Miami, FL) 11

Steiner Binoculars and SeaLife Underwater Cameras at The Pirate's Lair! I
know you've drooled over the Steiner Navigator II Compass Binocs. Well, we
have them as well as the rest of the Steiner marine line. Try out the
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we're talking submersible to 160ft. Available in 35mm and Digital. Call
(888)SAIL-BUM (724-5286) or log on to

Virgin Gorda, BVI - America's Cup winner Russell Coutts teamed up with
Olympic Silver medalist Keith Musto to win the Bitter End Yacht Club's 17th
Annual Dry Creek Vineyard Pro-Am Regatta, adding their names to a perpetual
trophy that reads like a Who's Who in racing history.

The regatta used a Triple Racing format, which is a three-boat match race
with only the winner collecting a point. Sailed for the most part in
pleasant 10-15 knot Caribbean trade winds, there were still enough 20 knot
gusts on the BVI's North Sound to keep things exciting. On more than one
occasion, such a blast was blamed for launching an embarrassed crewmember
off a slippery deck of one of the shiny new Hunter 216s used by the
'junior' skippers in the event. One particularly strong puff rolled down
the Sound while the juniors were on a running leg, permanently inverting
the masts of all three of the Hunters in that match. The juniors quickly
switched to the BEYC's venerable Freedom 30s for the rest of the races
schedule that day. Final standings:

- Russell Coutts/Keith Musto, 5
- Andy Burdick/Butch Ulmer, 4
- Dawn Riley/Lowell North, 4
- Peter Holmberg/Rod Johnstone, 4
- Ed Baird/Tom Leweck, 3

The Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship Regatta was run
concurrently with the Pro-Am, with many of the Pro-Am skippers competing
against other Bitter End guests in Lasers, Hobie Waves and the Hunters. The
championship finals had been scheduled to be sailed in the Hunters, but
were moved to the Hobie catamarans when the mast damage sidelined three of
the keelboats. While Ed Baird won the championship, the top-placing
amateur, Paul Faget from Seattle, came away with the big prize - a free
return trip to the BEYC for next year's Dry Creek Vineyard Pro-Am Regatta.
Final standings:

1. Ed Baird, 10
2. Keith Musto, 11
3. Andy Burdick, 13
4. Nigel Musto, 16
5. Paul Faget, 20

Event website:

Internationally renowned designer Clay Oliver has teamed up with Open 60
designers, Owen Clarke Design to form a design group aimed at the next
Volvo Ocean Race. For work on the new Volvo 70 class, a clear synergy
exists between Oliver's six Americas Cup campaigns and previous
Whitbread/Volvo experience, and the work in the open classes by Owen Clarke

Owen Clarke are now on the design of their ninth swing keel boat. No
stranger to swing keels himself however, Clay Oliver's recent projects
since being principal designer for Team New Zealand have included the
record-setting Mari Cha IV and the soon to be launched swing keel 90'
Genuine Risk.

Other resources and members of the design group include The Wolfson Unit,
SP Technologies, and a number of the Americas cup community working in
fields such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis
(FEA) and aero/hydrodynamics. Work is well advanced with the preliminary
structural analysis having been completed by SP in September and with the
initial hull and vpp work complete funding is now required to commence tank
and wind tunnel modeling. - Owen Clarke Design Group,

A non-stop race around Britain and Ireland on newly refitted 72' one design
yachts is scheduled for next spring to leave from Southampton. Berths are
available for all those who can meet the challenge. Full training is given
(initial training of two 5 days sessions plus 4 day race training session
with you Race skipper and crew), you will receive a training pack, branded
foul weather gear and crew clothing, race insurance, invitations to the
farewell party, prize giving and a photo CD. Berths are available for 3750
payable in installments by monthly direct debit.

Each yacht will be under the command of a skipper chosen after an extensive
search from the many hundred who applied. They will be assisted by a
professional mate, allowing 16 ordinary men and women per yacht to take
part. The 12 identical yachts will be freshly refitted with; new paint job,
masts and rigging, deck gear and many new sails. - Challenge Business,
complete details:

It accelerates so quickly in the lightest of puffs you wouldn't know this
new 43 footer has a full cruising interior with 6'4" headroom. Last week,
J/133 was named Sailing World's 2004 Overall Performance Boat-of-the-Year
and Cruising World's 2004 Best Performance Cruiser. Wow!

* The deadline for Applications for Entry into the Rolex Sydney Hobart
Yacht Race was last Friday, 7 November, but at the request of several
Australian and overseas yacht owners still finalising yacht charters and
mandatory crew and safety paperwork, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
has agreed to extend this date until Tuesday week, 18 November. Of the 62
yachts whose Applications for Entry had been received by the CYCA today
(Friday), more than 50% are contesting the 627 nautical mile race for the
first time or are returning after a short or extended break, and are
representing all Australian states, Britain, Sweden, New Zealand and the
United States of America. The fleet covers the entire spectrum of Category
1 ocean racing, from 30-footers upwards to the super maxi yachts, from
veterans built more than 30 years ago to brand new boats contesting their
first major long ocean race. - Event website,

* The two largest boats ever to race in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,
both 30 metres (98 feet) long, have begun intensive sailing preparations
for this Trans-Tasman duel for line honours in the 59th annual bluewater
classic. Skandia, built for Melbourne's Grant Wharington's Wild Thing
Yachting, and Zana, built for New Zealand yachtsman Stewart Thwaites, will
head an international fleet in the 627 nautical mile ocean race starting on
Boxing Day, 26 December.

These brand new "super maxis" are state of the art carbon fibre
construction and incorporate the latest concepts in design, hull
engineering, rigging, sails and trimming techniques. Skandia has a
revolutionary canting keel, said to be the largest in the world; Zana has a
fixed keel but has opted to use a rival system of water ballast to optimise
her performance. This clash of the Trans-Tasman Titans is racing rivalry at
its best. Both boats have been designed, built and equipped in their own
countries and will be crewed by the cream of ocean racing talent from
Australia and New Zealand. - Event website,

* You can now cast your nomination for who you think should be awarded the
prestigious Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. Make your
nomination before November 30, 2003 at

* The ISAF Multihull Committee decided the Hobie Max, NACRA Blast, SL 16,
Stream and KL Booster are the boats they think will replace the Hobie 16.
They expect to make a final decision by June 1. This will be a long drawn
out process and the Hobie 16 with spinnaker will continue being the boat at
least until 2006. The committee put forward and it was agreed the Hobie 16
with spinnaker will be the boat starting 2005 as they decided there wasn't
enough time for all the participating nations to train with spinnakers on
cats. - US Sailing,

* UBS, one of the principal partners of Team Alinghi for the America's Cup
2003, has received an award from the Swiss Association of Marketing
( This prestigious award marks "the exemplary success of the
marketing strategy of UBS", and celebrates its association with Team
Alinghi. Executed worldwide, UBS' campaign, the "Power of Partnership" was
seen by millions of people. Through its support of other sailing events
(such as the Volvo Ocean race and the Louis Vuitton Cup), UBS has
established a solid reputation, crowned by Alinghi's victory in the
America's Cup 2003. - Alinghi website,

The "gold standard" in masthead wind sensors continues to be a tall
vertical carbon fiber wand - keeping the cups and vane as far from the
sailplan as possible provides markedly improved wind information, and
carbon fiber keeps the weight aloft to the absolute minimum. Great
performance at an admittedly steep price. What if you could get most of the
performance benefit in a strong aluminum vertical wand at about half the
price? Wow. Contact Tom Davis ( for information.

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 Doug Schickler: Responding to Jim Pugh's comments on AC class rules
with all due respect, I think he must have mis-typed. AC class boats are
not upwind machines because of a 20+ ton bulb; they have 20+ ton bulbs
because they are upwind machines. Reducing maximum displacement will not
change the fact that the first beat, indeed the first layline or shift, is
the goal. Want to rethink AC class design and lighten them up? Redesign the
course! Start just 200-500 meters below the top mark, or even start
downwind (which would cause havoc with standard match racing start tactics).

* From Craig Fletcher: (Reply to Gail M. Turluck) Which part of "Sailing is
a rich man's sport don't you understand." Always has been, always will be.

* From Larry Suter: Before writing off the USA 470 Team, remember that
since 1984 there were a total of nine possible 470 medals to be won in the
Olympics (by one country) and the USA sailors won seven, with 1996 being
the 0 for 2 Olympics. That is the best 470 Medal haul of any other country.
Not bad for a country that traditionally dominates the keelboats.

Don't you find it weird we teach our kids: scrub a dub dub, three men in a tub?