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SCUTTLEBUTT 1462 - November 20, 2003

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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.

THE PREZ SAYS
(Sailing World magazine has posted an interview with US Sailing's new
president, Janet Baxter on its website. Here's an excerpt.)

Sailing World: What's the most important thing you plan to focus on as
president?

Janet Baxter: Membership, membership, membership. Our mission is to touch
sailors, and the more sailors we touch the better job we can do. Membership
is our report card: if we're doing a good job people will sign up; if we're
not, then they won't. Membership also has a fairly significant financial
impact.

SW: Why should sailors be proud to be members of US Sailing?

JB: It's the only organization in the U.S. that supports sailors in all
areas of sailing, whether it's learn to sail, or the top-end Olympic, or
anywhere in between. The strength of the organization is that it's very,
very broad. We have different people working on different projects
simultaneously. For example, in the race-administration area - which is our
bread and butter - they're looking at having fewer appeals committees. This
would provide faster justice and better committees, because each committee
would have more cases and would get more practice at hearing them, instead
of hearing just one or two cases a year. It would also help us train and
identify who's really good to be on our top-level appeals and rules
committees. Right now we have some of the top rules guys in the world, and
we're not going to let them go, but it sure would be great to have a few
more. - Sailing World website, complete interview:
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=2076

MATCH RACE RANKINGS
The delayed rankings released on 31 October 2003 are now available on the
ISAF website and include, both for the Open and Women's rankings, the King
Edward VII Gold Cup, held in Bermuda, in the calculated skippers points.
Despite losing the ISAF World Match Racing Championship title, Karol
Jablonski (POL) still retains his position at the front of the rankings
with a superb run of consistent form. Behind him however, the resurgent Ed
Baird (USA), recently crowned World Champion, has popped into second
position in the rankings, swapping his previous third place with Danish
skipper Jesper Radich.

Baird's jump into second comes after a fantastic year so far following the
culmination of the America's Cup in February. Only getting back onto the
scene after being the television voice for the cup, Baird has put in top
three finishes in the Trofeo Locman, Match Race Germany and the Cento cup.
This, added to winning the 2003 ISAF Match Racing World Championship, sees
Baird with his eyes firmly on Jablonski's top spot.

Not much change at the top of the Women's rankings as Marie Bjorling (SWE)
still leads fellow countrywoman, ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
nominee, and ISAF Women's Match Racing World Champion Malin Millbourn.
Paula Lewin (BER) is ranked both in the Women's Match Racing and the
Keelboat Women's Rankings and her position in the match racing rankings is
rapidly catching up with her current sixth in the Yngling. The victory she
scored at the Bermuda International Women's Match Racing Championship
certainly did her no harm at all and she has jumped from 17 to 11 in the
rankings. - ISAF website, Complete rankings:
http://www.sailing.org/matchrace/mrranking.asp

TRIVIA QUESTION
The tallest peak on land, Mount Everest, could be sunk without a trace into
what ocean? (Answer below)

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Knee pads and bottom pads are optional and insertible. The perfect
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Designers and Manufacturers: http://www.sailingangles.com

SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Sweden's Magnus Holmberg of the SeaLife Rangers, battling flu-like
symptoms, won all five of his round robin matches today to establish the
early momentum at Nippon Cup 2003, the third event on Swedish Match Tour
2003/2004. Under the morning's gray, threatening skies, Holmberg, sailing
with his crew of Stefan Rahm, Lars Linger and Magnus Augusston, shook off
the effects of an illness that forced him to miss last evening's Sail-Off
Party, the regatta's official opening ceremony, to establish the early lead.

Following the first five flights, the second half of the draw took to the
water. However, due to a fast fading breeze, they were only able to
complete one flight of racing before the Hayama Marina Yacht Club race
committee suspended sailing for the day. In the afternoon's abbreviated
action, seven-time regatta winner Peter Gilmour of Australia and his
Pizza-La Sailing Team won their only match, dispatching Great Britain's
Andy Green of British Green Racing. - Shawn McBride, www.swedishmatchtour.com

Standings:
1. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/SeaLife Rangers, 5 - 0;
2. Jesper Radich, Denmark, 3 - 2;
= Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot, 3 - 2;
4. Gavin Brady, Oracle BMW Racing, 2 - 3;
= Eiichiro Hamazaki, Japan, 2 - 3;
6. Dean Barker, NZ/Omega Match Racing Team, 1 - 0;
= Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, 1 - 0;
= Peter Gilmour, AUS/Pizza-La Sailing Team, 1 - 0;
9. Andy Green, GBR/Team Racing Green , 0 - 1;
= Staffan Lindberg, FIN/Team Henri Lloyd, 0 - 1;
= Yautaka Funazawa, Japan 0 - 1;
12. Takao Ninomiya, Japan 0 - 5;

NEWS BRIEFS
* Lolita, the Swan 56 owned by Frank Savage, has already signed up to
defend its title at Antigua Sailing Week 2004. She topped this year's
regatta winning her class and best overall in the racing division taking
home the Lord Nelson's Cup. The two other Antigua Sailing Week winners also
registered are Roy E. Disney and Dr Hasso Plattner. Both will be sailing
their respective new MaxZ86s, Pyewacket and Morning Glory. Although not
registered to date, Robert Miller's Mari 140-foot Cha IV and Peter
Harrison's 115--foot Sojana are expected to be part of the racing scene in
Antigua. - www.sailingweek.com

* From Peter M. Schwarz: I too enjoyed "Master and Commander" for its
excellent sailing and historical perspectives. However, the unremitting
violence, including dismemberment and graphic surgical procedures spoiled
it for me. Am I the only one who finds such scenes repulsive and unnecessary?

* Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric
trimaran, covered 432 nautical miles in the first 24 hours in their attempt
to break PlayStation's record for the Discovery Route record from Cadiz to
San Salvador. To beat it, Geranimo must complete the 4,700 miles by 22:15
(GMT) on Thursday, November 27. The maxi-tri is currently enjoying between
17 and 23 knots of north-easterly wind under sunny skies. www.grandsrecords.com

ROLEX FARR ONE DESIGN INVITATIONAL
There is nothing like warm Florida sunshine and steady 15-knot breezes to
knock the cobwebs out of that portion of the brain responsible for sailing
a boat. Many of the international sailors competing in the Rolex Farr One
Design Invitational have come from as far away as Brazil, France, Greece,
Italy, the Netherlands and Norway and have not been on a racecourse since
the end of the summer season.

For the 27 teams competing, a spin around the buoys just off Miami's South
Beach provided a welcome start to the winter sailing schedule. This
first-ever event combines class starts for the Rolex Mumm 30 and the Rolex
Farr 40 North American Championships where winners will be awarded
specially engraved Rolex timepieces. An open class for Farr 395s is also
being run by the Storm Trysail Club Race Committee. The 11-race series that
continues through Sunday, November 22.

In the Farr 40 class, Virago, owned by Stuart Townsend of Chicago, Ill.,
opened with a 3-4-2 and leads the highly-competitive 17 boat fleet, but at
this stage it's anybody's game and all of the owners, tacticians and crews
will have their work cut out for them. Atalanti, owned by George Andreadis
of Athens, Greece is in second with Samba Pa Ti, owned by John Kilroy of
Los Angeles, Calif. in third.

The Mumm 30 class is led by Off the Gauge, owned by Jack Lefort of Stuart,
Fla., who considers this week a fun sailing vacation for him and his
friends. They finished fourth in the first race, but went on to a second
and ended the day with a win. Lucky for Lefort, his "friends only crew"
includes two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and America's Cup sailor Ken
Read sailing as tactician. - Media Pro Int'l, full reports, photos and results:
www.farrinternational.com/rolexinvite03

The BIG "O"
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FOR THE RECORD
Virgin Atlantic Airways announced its sponsorship of American adventurer
Steve Fossett as Lead Pilot for the planned 2004 attempt to fly solo
non-stop around the world. Virgin Atlantic chairman Sir Richard Branson is
the First Reserve Pilot. 'The 'First Solo NonStop' record attempt - which
will also be flown without mid-air refueling - is expected to take off and
return from a location in central USA in either April or October of 2004
(depending on the seasonal jet-stream of high altitude winds) and is
planned to follow a northern hemisphere flight path passing near Montreal,
Gander, London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Bahrain, Karachi, Calcutta, Shanghai,
Tokyo, Honolulu and Los Angeles. Target time - 80 hours.

The aircraft is 38.7' (11.8 m) long and is a twin-boom design with a
central nacelle and pressurised cockpit for the single pilot, with a
wingspan of 114' (35 m). Designed by Burt Rutan and built by Scaled
Composites in Mojave, California, USA, this single engine turbofan aircraft
can carry over 18,000 lbs (8180 kgs) of fuel in seventeen separate tanks -
and is specifically designed for this non-stop circumnavigation.
Construction is entirely of the latest ultra lightweight composite
materials for strength and efficiency. http://www.Fossettchallenge.com

TRIVIA ANSWER
Mount Everest could be sunk without a trace into the oceans deepest abyss,
the 35,800 foot-deep Mariana Trench, in the Western Pacific.


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 Olympic Gold and Silver Medallist Rod Davis (edited to our 250-word
limit): I would like to make a couple of points in response to the ISAF
Olympic change and address some miss conceptions. I, like Ben Ainslie, am
taken aback that ISAF would make a late change to way the Olympics will be
scored. I heard no mention of the change at the recent ISAF Olympic class
worlds, nor at the Pre Olympic regatta, no canvassing the ideas of the
potential Olympians and now, this change has come less than nine months
before the Olympics. While I can understand both sides of the issue, I am
disheartened by the process.

I think a few things should be pointed out in order to have a complete picture.

OCS - in the Olympics there is only a recall flag, no hailing of numbers
and no radio recall. When are 30 Olympians starting, and every one is
close to the line, it is impossible to tell if you are the one, or one of
how many boats that are over. The Farr 40 class has a simple solution,
recalls over the radio and it works. In the Olympics we are not allowed
radios.

Rules compliance in general will improve True. I like this aspect of the
no discard system. Will it increase the cheap shot side of protests? -
Perhaps.

Solve the OCS problem one and we can work though the others with different
possibilities after talking about it with the sailors that it will affect.

* From Richard A. Schmidt: In response to Tom Ehman's comments about
throw-out scoring, there is another good reason to avoid throw-outs based
on statistical issues and so-called "test theory." Think of a regatta as a
"test," where you are trying to measure the competitors' true skills - to
find out who is really best, second best, and so on. Imagine giving several
such hypothetically identical regattas, and measuring the competitors in
each of them. For test theory, such a test will be best if the competitors
all ordered themselves identically on each regatta. If the ordering turns
out to be the same (or very similar) on each of them, it is said that the
test has high "test-retest reliability." The test is more stable,
repeatable, or as the name implies, reliable.

Now, it is well established that one way to maximize reliability for a test
is to use as many observations as possible and/or to use all of the
available data. Throwing away data, and basing the score for each
competitor on a smaller data set reduces reliability and makes the test
less effective for determining who is best. This is even so if the data
excluded are considered "outliers" of some kind, such as bad races or
breakdowns. There is really no good statistical justification for throw-out
scoring.

* From Hal Smith: How a regatta handles the scoring of DNF's resulting from
time expiration when all scores count is not a shoe that fits all. First,
eliminating the RRS default throw-out scores positively changes the conduct
of competitors in ways previously mentioned by others. As a competitor and
a race officer, I strongly believe all scores should count. It is true,
however, that the RRS does make the default score for DNF overly harsh in
some cases when it is due to time expiration.

Dick Rose recently wrote that the SI's can specify that a DNF in this
situation can be scored 1 plus the number of starters (if so stated in the
SI's). I prefer to make it two plus, but the amount is a function of class
size. I have also risked making everyone mad by stating that these DNF's
will be scored at the discretion of the RC. When venues vary from skinny
inland creeks to open ocean courses, different likely conditions require
different solutions for fair racing. Our Corinthian fore-sailors would have
never considered making excuses for dropping scores, but they would have
found a way to be fair in the scoring. PRO's must think about their SI's
and occasionally amend the RRS, because it is not perfect in all cases.

* From Zvi Ziblat (in response to Tom Ehman "no discards" item in 'Butt
1460): A very interesting idea worth deep discussion and may be consent.
But hoping that Tom will agree that it is a major game change and 9 months
before the games maybe too short to get the competitors and jury getting
used to. Another, and not less important issue is the new and many rule 42
interpretations to which we are not sure the jury know how to implement and
we might face medals being decided by the jury not competitors.

* From Ed Sherman (re Master & Commander): Five Stars. Without a doubt, the
best "age of sail" movie ever made ... realistically wet ... convincing ...
spiritual ... powerful ... tender ... cunning ... fraternal with
magnificent attention to details of speech. vocabulary, friendship,
rigging, hulls, weapons, instruments, manners, music and battle. Take your
foul weather gear, a dictionary and a blindfold for your companion. Russell
Crowe for Rolex Yachtsman of the year!

* From Trevor Pardee: While I applaud efforts to develop a new racing rule,
it seems to me that a box rule will require a single boat to have different
modes to perform at a top level. For example, if you want to sail your New
Rule 40 in the Transpac, you'll be in one corner of the rule. Then change
rigs and keels to race in Long Island Sound or Chesapeake Bay from another
corner of the rule. Maybe another change to the middle of the box for
Florida. The iterations are limited only by the time and money of the owners.

* From Les Smith: Holy S%#t is an understatement. Seriously, great photos
and thanks for organising the competition. I can sympathise with the guys
who rolled their boat in to windward and came up without a rig - having
done the same thing myself. Tho' the water in Lake Macquarie (just north of
Sydney, Australia) is a lot warmer than Nova Scotia.

The photo in the first gallery of the 16' skiff Friday going in backwards
has I am pretty sure an incorrect date. by the look of the rig and hull,
the boat in the photo is Peter Sorenson's Friday, sailed out of Middle
Harbour 16' Skiff Club in about 1971/2. BTW - Soro later went on to win an
world 18' title.

* From Robert S.M. Stirling: I was very sorry to hear that one of the ship
mates, racing sailor, navigator, judge & umpire - David Kilponen (Fang) is
gravely ill in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Numerous of his shipmates are
providing a very special vigil and all our thoughts & prayers are for Fang
and his family. Fang is one of the greats and has contributed to the
advancement of Yacht Racing for many, many years.

CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
It's definitely not necessary to stare at can of orange juice just because
it says, 'concentrate.'