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SCUTTLEBUTT 1458 - November 14, 2003

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AMERICA'S CUP VENUE
Cascais, Portugal - It is easy to imagine the next America's Cup here, in
2007. It's easy to picture high-tech yachts gliding by off shore instead of
the cargo ships plodding by in the sunshine this week. Or Russell Coutts
and his formidable band of Alinghi mercenaries driving their luxury cars or
taking their training runs along the pretty coastal road, with its ocean
views and seafood shacks.

"It's going to be like the Oscars," said Monteiro de Barros, 59, a former
Olympic sailor for Portugal who conceived and is running Lisbon's bid.
Unlike the Oscars, there are four nominees, not five, still alive from the
original 60, and although Marseille is considered an outsider and Naples is
considered a long shot, Valencia is not. Spain's third largest and
increasingly dynamic city has been pre-approving funding and building
projects linked to the Cup at an intimidating clip and making liberal use
of King Juan Carlos I's royal aura and strong sailing connections.
.
All of which is enough to make Monteiro de Barros, a businessman clearly
accustomed to winning, start hedging his bets. "I think it's been to our
advantage to be considered the favorite," he said. "But whatever the end
result is - and the cost of putting up the bid was not cheap because we had
at one time 70 people working on it - a lot has been said about Portugal in
terms of Lisbon and Cascais. And if you look at the media result of this
bid, I think it's been a very good deal."
.
The most powerful men in sports for the next 12 days are Ernesto Bertarelli
and Michel Bonnefous. Bertarelli is the Swiss billionaire who owns the
pharmaceutical group Serono and who created and sailed for Alinghi, the
syndicate that stunningly won the America's Cup in New Zealand in February
on its first attempt. Bonnefous is Bertarelli's confidant and is now the
chief executive officer of America's Cup Management, the newly created
organizing authority for the event. The men from Alinghi have a precious
gift to give, one that could change the course of a city's or a region's
fortunes.

"Our numbers are that if the Cup comes here the direct economic impact will
be between 1.3 and 1.5 billion euros," Monteiro de Barros said. "That would
be more than double the impact of Euro 2004. We also estimate that it will
create, over the entire period, the equivalent of 12,000 to 15,000
one-year, full-time jobs and that it will bring over the entire period
about half a million visitors." Not to mention the worldwide publicity it
would generate for a country that is intent on making tourism its major
industry in the decades to come. Euro 2004 will last three weeks; the
America's Cup competition, including the races that determine the
challenger, stretch over three months or more. No other major sporting
event gives its host that sort of extended exposure, and the exposure will
be greater than usual for this America's Cup because of the novelty effect.
- Excerpts from a story by Christopher Clarey in the International Herald
Tribune. Full story: http://www.iht.com/articles/117533.html

THE NEW GRAND PRIX RATING RULE
(Following the latest meeting of the working party in Barcelona, the RORC's
Stuart Quarrie discusses the direction of the new Grand Prix rating rule on
the Daily Sail website. Here's an excerpt.)

One of the unexpected points to come out of the survey of interested
parties was the number who want to race offshore. "We were very surprised,"
says Quarrie. "A huge number - about 80% of the 82% who thought that an
international rule is needed - want to have boat that is capable of sailing
offshore as well as inshore."

As a result the new rules will have to incorporate a number of features for
the boats to improve their sea keeping abilities - such as minimum
freeboard, some sort of basic accommodation and even minimum scantling
requirements. Aside from round the cans races, the new generation of boats
should be seaworthy enough to go offshore in events such as the Rolex
Sydney-Hobart and Fastnet races. However Quarrie says that the working
party wants more than this. "The stakeholders have committed to promoting,
persuading, cajoling and introducing events around the world to produce,
both regional and world circuits."

One of the most positive aspects of the new rule is that it will
deliberately type-form to produce fast, stable boats. "What we got back
from the survey - and it is pretty self-obvious anyway - is that people
want boats that are stiff, that are fast and are fun to sail. Nobody in the
world wants a new rule that produces boats with wooden keels and tons of
internal ballast."

Full story: http://www.thedailysail.com

TRIVIA QUESTION
What is the oldest Olympic class still currently being used? (Answer below)

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TRANSAT JACQUES VABRE
The Open 60 Multihull Groupama is already through the Doldrums with a big
lead, and could complete the 4,300-mile Le Havre-Brazil race by Sunday night.

Standings - 0300 GMT on November 14:
Open 60 Multihulls: 1. Groupama, Franck Cammas & Franck Proffit, 1060 miles
from finish; 2. Belgacom, Jean-Luc NÚlias & Loick Peyron, 173 miles from
leader; 3. Biscuits La Trinitaine, Marc Guillemot & Yann Guichard, 195 mfl.

Open 60 Monohulls: 1. Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick & Nicolas Abiven, 1254 miles
to finish; 2. Ecover, Mike Golding & Brian Thompson, 105 miles from leader;
2. Sill, Roland Jourdain & Alex Thomson, 110 mfl. - www.jacques-vabre.com

US OLYMPIC TRIALS
The promised cold front passed over Houston Yacht Club a few hours before
race time bringing beautiful wind from the Northeast. For the first time in
recent memory the sailors were looking at lots of whitecaps. There were
some early gusts to 20 knots, but the real breeze was in the 13-17 knot
range. Just perfect for the 470s!

After eight races in the men's 470s, Foerster/ Burnham retain an
unblemished record with a discard while consistency eludes the rest of the
fleet. Ivey/ Cromwell, are second, but 15 points out of first. Anderson/
Biehl are one point further back with McNay/ Kinsolving another 5 back. In
the women's racing, McDowell/ Kinsolving had moved out of their tie with
with Clark/ Mergenthaler to a 4 point lead with Maxwell/ Morgan now 7 out
of first. Three races are scheduled Friday and the flag is still whipping,
so everyone is hoping for more excellent racing. - Skip White

* Houston YC - Lasers (32 boats - 8 races with one discard): 1. Mark
Mendelblatt, 14; 2. Brad Funk, 30; 3. Andrew Lewis, 33; 4. Zach Railey, 41;
5. John Myrdal, 43.

* US Sailing Center of Martin County- Windsurfing Men (10 boards - 8 races
with one discard): 1. Peter Wells, 13; 2. Ben Barger, 20; 3. Kevin Jewett,
24. Windsurfing Women (7 boards - 10 races with one discard): 1. Lanee
Beashel, 9; 2. Taylor Duch, 23; 3. Beth Winkler, 24.

* St. Petersburg YC, Paralympics Trials, 2.4 (5 boats- 9 races with one
discard): 1. Tom Brown, 11; 2. Thomas Franklin, 19. Sonars (5 boats- 9
races wit one discard): 1. John Ross-Duggan, J.P. Creignou & Brad Johnson,
14; 2. Paul Callahan, Keith Burhans & Roger Cleworth, 16.

Official website: http://www.ussailing.org/Olympics/OlympicTrials/2004/

NEWS BRIEFS
* US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) is soliciting nominations for
Coach of the Year awards in three categories: National Coach of the Year,
Developmental Coach of the Year and Volunteer Coach of the Year. Working
with criteria approved by USOC, a panel designated by the OSC will evaluate
each nominee's accomplishments for the competition period beginning January
1, 2003. Nominations are due by December 1. For more information:
www.ussailing.org/pressreleases/2003/coachnominations.htm

* Technical difficulties experienced with the ISAF website over the few
days prior to the ISAF conference in Barcelona have delayed the release of
the much anticipated ISAF World Match Race rankings. The rankings, due to
have been published on 31 October will now be released on Wednesday 19
November. This rankings release will include the results from the ISAF
Grade One, Bermuda Gold Cup and will be a precursor to the final release of
the year, due at the very end of November.-
http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=5769

* Entries from seven countries - Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, the
Netherlands, Norway, and the U.S. - will converge on Miami's South Beach
for the Rolex Farr One Design Invitational on November 19-22. The inaugural
event will be an 11-race fleet racing series that will serve as the Mumm 30
and Farr 40 North American championships. Preceding the main event will be
a two-day match-racing regatta in Farr 40s on November 17-18. -
www.farrinternational.com/rolexinvite03

* Nine top international skippers, including seven America's Cup veterans
and the reigning Swedish Match Tour champion, head to Hayama, Japan,
November 16-23, to join three local teams in competing for Nippon Cup 2003,
the third event on Swedish Match Tour 2003/2004. The skippers include Peter
Gilmour, Jesper Radich, Magnus Holmberg, Dean Barker, Gavin Brady, Andy
Green, Luc Pillot, Paolo Cian and Staffan Lindberg. -
http://www.swedishmatchtour.com/

GET THE BRIDLES OFF YOUR BOAT, PERMANENTLY!
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when our heads are down in the boat digging for that next ounce of boat
speed? Layline's new Bridleless Carbon Spinnaker Poles for 30-footers let
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off a last-second "Mexican." Down, round, "clear to tack!" Using a slightly
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stiff enough to be able to take the punishment of close reaching in a blow,
without bridles! Take a look: www.layline.com/llf/prod/forte/nobridles.htm

MORE AMERICA'S CUP VENUE
A special meeting of Marseille's Municipal Council will be held on November
14, 2003. Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of the City, asked councilors to
endorse the final agreement with AC Management. 'This document will make
the contractual link between both parties if the Marseille bid is chosen',
the Marseille town hall explained in a statement.

Meanwhile, a strong team of Marseille business leaders has launched a
campaign and a Website (entreprisesmarseilleamerica.com) to support
Marseille's bid. 'We, Marseille Businessmen, are behind our City bid,
encouraging the initiative of the Mayor of Marseille and putting our skills
and experience at the service of this enormous challenge', explained them
in an advertisement. 'All the players on the Marseille economic scene want
the whole World to know that they are ready to mobilize themselves around
this great challenge'. -Boating-online website, full story:
http://www.boating-online.com.au/welcome.cfm

TRIVIA ANSWER
The oldest Olympic class boat is the Star, which debuted in 1932 and has
been sailed in every Olympiad since, with the exception of 1976.


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com)
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 Spencer Ogden (Re: Eric Hall ballast tanks): Why not shape the tanks
like hulls so that they don't slow you down in the water. And remove all of
the ballast because it's not needed. Then name it "tri" something...

* From Andrew Howes (re the comments of Eric Hall): Could it be that what
you're thinking of is called a trimaran? Yes, I do think you're onto
something. On that note it's probably time you guys came out to play in the
60 ft ORMA Trimaran class. It's a fleet worthy of a world series if ever
there was one. Check out the Transat Jacques Vabre website for their
2-handed race across the Atlantic. http://www.jacques-vabre.com

* From Roger Strube (Re: Eric Hall's Comment in Scuttlebutt 1457- "...a dog
of a different gender..." - edited to our 250-word limit): If it's not a
cat it's a dog. I can't help thinking that if Rub Goldberg were to design a
sailboat, it would be a water-ballasted, swing keel, canting mast unimaran.
It's all about form stability vs. ballast, light vs. heavy, simple elegance
vs. complexity, comfort vs. stress and sailing on vs. plowing through the
water. In the November issue of Cruising World Magazine, Angus Phillips
wrote, "The Cat that Delivers the Cream" that for comfort, convenience and
performance there was no contest. Even though by all objective measures the
catamaran was superior to the unimaran, the writer preferred the monohull
concluding, "As for me, give me a heeling, pitching sloop charging to
weather with the lee rail plowing under in the buffs, and I'll gladly sleep
on a pile of sail bags in my foul-weather gear and eat freeze-dried food
with my bare hands". Me thinks he will be doing a lot of sleeping and
eating alone.

My wife looks forward to extended cruising on our Ocean Catamaran with it's
full size kitchen sink, un-gimbaled 4 burner stove/oven, 12 volt
refrigerator/freezer, hot and lukewarm running water, and large head/shower
compartments. We never even take the microwave or toaster oven off the
counter tops when we cross the Gulf Stream. She has not been seasick since
we purchased the catamaran. If you would rather cruise with your spouse
than sleep on a pile of sail bags, charter a catamaran in the islands, any
islands, and experience the difference.

* From Laurie Fullerton: I think the lumping "sailing as a rich man's
sport" with the lack of minorities involved in sailing makes a strong
argument for organizations like the Courageous Sailing Center of Boston and
Dorchester, Mass. which offers sailing instruction to the youth of the city
for free. The success of this non-profit organization is that it draws a
lot of minority youth from less than stellar neighborhoods into sailing.
During the first annual PHRF Flip Flop regatta last August, an event that
raised money for the Ally Foundation after the senseless murder of sailor
and fundraiser Ally Zap; the sailing center got its kids farther offshore
than they had ever been for their first race in big boats. To witness
minority youth on the rail or at the helm of a big boat for their first
time, looking both nervous and excited, is a step in the right direction.

* From: Robert Constable (re the comment from David Howie, " Anyone who
cannot observe for themselves that the vast majority of participants in
sailboat races are light skinned, male, and have either a net worth or
annual income well in excess of the national average, must have their
masthead stuck in the sand."): Mr. Howie - The vast majority of hockey
players are light-skinned and male, with incomes across the range, the vast
majority of college hoops players are dark-skinned and male, who aspire to
have incomes about fifty times the national average, the vast majority of
rugby players are light-skinned and frequently concussed.

What's the point? I think the respondents to the "idle rich" thread have
made the point that sailing is accessible to - and accessed by -
participants of average means. As to female participation, look at the
college rankings and you will see that, at that level at least, the sport
is well gender-integrated. And certainly in my limited universe (club
level) there is no shortage of women out there battling for their place on
the line.

As to skin color, is it your contention that there are racial barriers? I
just don't think so. Competitive sailing's cultural heritage is from the
coastal towns of Europe, North America, Oz and NZ - most of whose
populations are historically and predominantly 'light-skinned'. The racial
make-up of our sport is by circumstance, not design. In fact, many of the
wonderful community sailing programs around the country are doing great
work in introducing the sport to people of different cultures. I would
characterize your observation as two-thirds wrong and one-third missing the
point, if there is a point.

* From Diane Swintal: I wonder if some of 'Butts readers write letters for
the shock value - either that, or the curmudgeon prints them just to gauge
our reaction! Well, David Howie's has done just that. Just when this
'weekend warrior' was agreeing with Brooks Benjamin's letter about enjoying
the 'eye candy' of the AC and megayachts, there's Mr. Howie's nastygram.

Check out your local J-Fest, Mr. Howie - the vast majority of us don't have
huge paychecks (but we'd sure love one!), and an increasingly large
percentage are women. But when I look around the West Coast J/105 fleet, I
see a lot of regular folks just as committed to racing and winning as the
guys we love watching on OLN. And I, for one, am saving up for my vacation
at the Bitter End YC, so I can join in the Pro-Am fun!

* From Fred Ploetz (Re comments about Baja marina developments in #1455):
It burns me up to hear these people talk as if the Baja Peninsula was their
property and therefore they have a right to preserve their playground,
coming from the very developed northern Pacific Coast, having their boats
in well equipped marinas and all the comforts of modern life at home, and
having nicely developed National Parks with good roads and facilities.

First of all, Baja belongs to Mexico, not the US. The whole Baja region
suffers from extreme poverty (which appeals to these travelers, looking out
from their comfortable RVs and yachts- ("it's so quaint"). Just go visit
Turtle Bay and walk the streets of that town - these people are poor. The
Mexican government is trying to foment tourism to improve the economy in
that region because there is not much else in that arid region.

I think these people exhibit an appalling amount of arrogance when they
clamor for the status quo for "their" Baja. Maybe they should establish
such playgrounds along the US Pacific coast, so they can play there.

* From Chuck Riley: If the Mexican government really wants to increase the
number of visiting yachtsman on the Baja Peninsula, the first thing they
need to is clean up the archaic, corrupt and costly customs/immigration
process. Until that is fixed, no amount of marinas will help encourage
cruising in the region.

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.