Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1465 - November 25, 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.

Team Alinghi today confirmed that it has signed helmsman Peter Holmberg,
43, to join the afterguard of their America's Cup team. Highly regarded on
the international match racing circuit, Holmberg was most recently helmsman
on Oracle BMW Racing during the America's Cup 2002/3, and raced in the
afterguard of Stars & Stripes in the America's Cup 2000 Challenger series.

"We wanted to bring another experienced helmsman into the Alinghi
afterguard," explained Jochen Schuemann, Alinghi Sports Director. "Peter is
highly regarded on the match racing circuit and his skill as a helmsman
will be a huge asset to the team."

A native of the Virgin Islands, Holmberg learned to sail in the warm waters
of the Caribbean, starting his international racing career when he was just
nine. He won the Silver Medal in the Finn Class in 1988 at the Olympics in
Korea after which Peter began his professional racing career, winning two
world championships and many other international sailing events including
the 2001/2002 Swedish Match Tour.

At the same time, Team Alinghi announced its new partners for their
America's Cup 2007 campaign: UBS and Infonet (main partners), Audemars
Piguet, SGS and Nespresso (co-sponsors). Thus, three of Alinghi's partners
from the 2003 Cup remain with the team, while Nespresso and SGS represent
two new co-sponsors joining for the next campaign. S. Pellegrino joins the
Team as an official supplier. Three additional co-sponsors will also join
the team in the near future along with official suppliers who provide the
team with crucial support. EPFL remains the scientific partner of the team.

Alinghi's preparations for the next America's Cup are already underway. The
Alinghi design team has begun working together while the sailing team has
continued to sail independently in various international regattas. The Team
will participate in a series of promotional pre-regatta events organized by
ACM starting in 2004. -

After weeks of speculation and rumour the official existence of a new
Italian Challenge for the 32nd America's Cup was finally revealed this week
end in Livorno. As rumoured, the Toscana Challenge has purchased USA 66 and
USA 77 from the Team Dennis Conner. These yachts will enable the team to
undertake a two boat training programme in Italian waters from which
benchmark data will be derived to aid the development of two new IACC boats
(will be called "Mediterranea" and "Mediterraneo"), as well as giving the
sailing team maximum experience.

The Toscana Challenge also introduced his crew, which will include :
- Terry Hutchinson (USA, tactician for Stars & Stripes 2003);
- Karol Jablonski (POL);
- Adrian Stead (GBR, tactician for GBR Challenge 2003),
- Pietro Dali (ITA, mainsail trimmer for Prada 2000 & 2003);
- Stefano Rizzi (ITA, trimmer for Prada 2000);
- Claudio Celon (ITA, trimmer for Prada 2000 and Italia 1987);
- Morgan Trubovich (NZL, trimmer for Stars & Stripes 2000 & 2003);
- James Baxter (NZL, trimmer for AmericaOne 2000);
- Peter Dorian (AUS, trimmer for AmericaOne 2000)
- Giacomo Picchi (ITA);
- Lars Borgstrom (ITA, trimmer for Prada 2000 & 2003);
- Flavio Grassi (ITA, trimmer for Mascalzone Latino 2003);
- Massimo Galli (ITA, grinder for Prada 2000 & 2003);
- Alberto Fantini (ITA, bowman for Mascalzone Latino 2003);
- Danilo Arvigo (ITA);
- Angelo Romanengo (ITA);
- Shannon Falcone (ITA, grinder for Mascalzone Latino 2003);
- Romolo Emiliani (ITA).

Cup in Europe website:

The high-tech Camet Breathable Polo Shirt is made out of a patented
microblend yarn, which consists of a special polyester blend with a trace
of cotton. The microblend fabric moves moisture quickly from the skin
though the fabric and into the air. The unique polyester and cotton mix
makes it lightweight, resistant and soft to the touch. The yarns of the
shirt have been specially treated to safely neutralize odors and keep you
and your clothes fresh. This shirt will not shrink, pill or lose its shape
and is designed to be washed and worn. High UV protection.

(On his website, Peter Wells gives an excellent 'blow-by-blow' description
of the just concluded Mistral Olympic Trials, which Peter won to earn his
spot on the United States Olympic Team for the Athens Olympiad. His report
concludes with the following commentary.)

Now the real work begins. The Olympic Trials was a huge step, but not the
end. The mission is to win a medal in Athens. I will be going in under the
radar and definitely not be expected to medal. That's perfect.

The US Sailing people have shown me how little they believe in me. In a
conference call yesterday I was told that for making the team I will
receive a $2,000 grant to cover the entire time between now and the time I
board the plane for the Games in August, that's it. That quickly brought me
down from the high I was still on after winning the trials.

Kids are told growing up at sailing clinics that if they want to go to the
Olympics in sailing, they must do a lot of fundraising in order to win the
trials. However once they make the Olympic Team everything gets easier and
all the support comes. I guess that's not the case and it will be back to
the dreaded fundraising. A bit of a bummer, but I will make it happen.

If you are reading this you most likely helped me in some way or another.
Thank you for making my dream come true! - Peter Wells, full report:

* Singlehanded, crewed, westabout, eastabout, mono, multi - we are being
treated to all manner of round the world record attempts this winter. The
latest departure - Francis Joyon aboard the 90-foot trimaran IDEC -
embarked on his solo non-stop round the world voyage on Saturday. Meanwhile
Jean-Luc van den Heede is into the southern hemisphere and Geronimo has
bailed from her Route of Discovery attempt. - The Daily Sail website, full

* BTW - Jean Luc van den Heede is nearly two days ahead of Philippe
Monnet's time after 16 days at sea. Van den Heede set off from Les Sables
d'Olonne on his fourth attempt at setting a new solo non-stop westabout
record on 6 November. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World

*On the 26th November at 1130 in Geneva Switzerland, AC Management will
identify the name of the Host City for the 32nd America's Cup. The event
can be followed live on the official America's Cup website

* Van Gorkom Yacht Design has just announced the design commissioning by an
Australian client of the first purpose-built Open 30. This announcement
comes on the heels of Van Gorkom's collaboration with Perrotti Performance
Design, LLC to produce a Volvo 70 design for the Volvo Ocean Race
2005/2006. - / ,

"It is essential that everyone faces the fact that the Olympics are unique.
Every time ISAF faces the challenges of the Olympic Regatta and alters the
regulations the sailors react either positively or negatively according to
their own experience level or bias.

"ISAF must diligently tighten their regulations so as to ensure that the
"Olympic Scandals" which have impacted other sports do not happen to
sailing. ISAF must err on the side of ensuring that not only is it clean
but appears to be clean. ISAF must act immediately to the Olympic pressures
as they arise and cannot defer to four year cycles. If those restrictions
put stricter restraints on the sailors than they are used to then that is
the price they must pay to be Olympians. The same holds true for Classes
who choose to be Olympic.

"Non-Olympic Sailors should realize that their classes or events need not
be impacted by the regulations required to ensure Fair Sailing and the
integrity of the Olympic Regatta. They must choose for themselves how they
sail. ISAF sets very wide guidelines so as they can enjoy sailing as they
wish." - Excerpts from a letter by ISAF President Paul Henderson posted on
the ISAF website, full letter:

In the Pacific Northwest there are a talented group of boat builders
specializing in the construction of extremely fast and complicated
composite sailboats. They are now actively seeking owners and designers
planning to build big fast custom racing yachts. 60 feet and up. Contact
Paul at 360-385-6632, or

They're off. With moderate winds and sunny skies, conditions were near
perfect for the start of ARC2003. 212 boats started in two divisions - a
"Racing" Division and a Cruising Division. The last boat across the line
was the French catamaran "Tambay", not in any rush and enjoying the clear
air and water at the back of the fleet. Why rush with nearly 3000 miles
ahead of you?

The ARC starts from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria every November, and follows
the classic "trade-wind" route to the Caribbean, some 2,800 nautical miles
across the Atlantic Ocean. Finish destination is Rodney Bay on the island
of St.Lucia, one of the Caribbean Windward Islands.

News stories and pictures from the ARC, together with yachts positions can
be viewed on the ARC website at:

This weekend the sailing community has lost a legendary sailing cameraman
and someone loved by so many around the world. In the early hours of Sunday
morning Erik Lindkvist died peacefully in his sleep at home in Stockholm.
Since being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year Erik has been so
positive and so concerned that those close to him should not worry about him.

Erik was known and loved by so many in the sailing world and his television
images are legendary from his filming at the Whitbread, the Volvo Ocean
Race, the Vendée Globe and much, much more. Erik's pictures will be with us
for ever. So many people around the world will have their own memories of
Erik: Erik the cameraman, Erik the Viking.

The smile, charm and irresistible personality that took him into areas that
even the best press accreditation would not allow, the bear hugs when he
squeezed the oxygen out of people when he met them, the way Erik made
everyone he met feel special, from a small child to a famous name. -
Richard Simmonds and Andrew Preece

If your holiday shopping list includes the sailor who has everything, odds
are they don't yet have any gear from the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club store.
If you happen to be that sailor who is hard to buy for, here's your chance
to make life easier for your loved ones (and they don't have to go to the
mall to do so). Polos and caps are available from Scuttlebutt Sailing Club,
the official club of Scuttlebutt and officially recognized by US Sailing.
Check out these new offerings from the SSC Merchandise Store,
professionally managed by The Pirate's Lair:

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 Paolo Sheaffer (Re: Christian Fevrier's remarks on the ICCT): It
seems that abandoning the C-class for some parts-bin "A-cat for two" (sorry
A-class) is like Michael Bonnefous and ACM saying, "Due to lack of
interest, the 2007 AC will be sailed in Corel 45s."

* From Bret Hall (Regarding the Time Limit issue): I very much agree that
points plus number of Starters is rather harsh, particularly in a large
fleet where, say, only a third of the boats make the time limit (and I
agree with eliminating the "throw-out" race). Adding two points to the
number of Finishers is a reasonable solution (the "TLE" suggestion).

But it is worth pointing out that there is no "one size fits all" solution
for applying this. In closed-course races expected to last 45-60 minutes;
but with a 3-hour time limit, one way is to say "boats not finishing within
30 minutes of the first finisher shall be scored TLE." But, is it the
earlier or the later of the 30 minutes or the 3-hour time limit?

In one-design racing it's pretty straight forward to figure out when a
boat's time has expired. But, how do you handle rated fleets? Do you add
the boat's time allowance for the course to the time limit or not? Again,
there are variations. Also, how would an OCS boat or someone that retired
earlier in the race than when time became a factor be scored?

How the writer of the Sailing Instruction handles these issues has
interesting implications that must be considered up front to mesh with the
interests of the sailors and the objectives of the regatta-even the shore
committee running the party might want to have some input in some events.

* From Bruce Kirby: Chris Bolton's mention of Capt. Thomas Cochrane begs
further information on this most extraordinary seaman, whose arch enemy
Napoleon described as the Sea Wolf, and "the greatest fighting sea
captain". If Cochrane were living today, instead of sinking thousands of
tons of French and Spanish shipping, he would have won both the America's
Cup and the Volvo in the same year. Unlike Russell Crowe's Jack Aubrey of
the new movie Captain and Commander, and the Jack Aubrey of the Patrick
O'Brian novels, Cochrane was the real ticket. O'Brian admitted that his
Aubrey was a direct takeoff of the flesh and blood Cochrane.

This 6' 3" Scottish nobleman made the oceans of the world unsafe for anyone
who spoke Spanish or French. And it was his fearless spirit and all
encompassing understanding of wind and water that made his impossible
exploits possible. Although volumes have been written on Cochrane, the
three book I have consumed are: - Cochrane, Britain's Last Sea King, by
Donald Thomas. This one is hard to find, but worth digging for. A good
library might have it or be able to locate a copy. I bought one from the
Rare Books Department of Barnes & Noble. The other two are: - Cochrane, The
Life and Exploits of a Fighting Captain, by Robert Harvey; and The Sea
Wolf, by Ian Grimble. If you liked the Russell Crowe movie or the O"Brian
novels, you will love these biographies of The Real Man.

* From Frederick H. Hagedorn and Hortensia Sampedro Hacker, US Sailing: The
questions was asked in 'Butt 1464 if there is anything being done to "fix"
the funding problem for our sailors who are committing so much to Olympic
campaigns to represent our great country. The answer is an unequivocal yes!

The Olympic Sailing Committee, with the US Sailing Foundation, is not only
actively raising funds to augment our current funding for 2004, we are also
preparing to build an endowment to help solve this problem in its entirety.
I mentioned this two weeks ago in an editorial, and at least one person
volunteered to assist us. This is a huge undertaking, and it will take
time, but the only real solution is to build an endowment that provides the
additional funds necessary to bring us equal or ahead of our competitor

Join us in this effort! Contribute Money, Contribute Time and Effort,
Contribute Support to US Sailing, the Olympic Sailing Committee and the US
Sailing Foundation, so that we may provide the support our nation's
athletes deserve!

* From Anson Stookey: Athletes in the US have a hard enough time training
and raising money for Olympic campaigns without having a portion of the
funds they secure siphoned off to support other initiatives. US sailors
often turn to US Sailing's 501(c)(3) US Sailing Foundation to make
donations tax deductible. Fred Hagedorn, Chair, Olympic Sailing Committee,
US Sailing now tells us "when a donation is made to the US Sailing
Foundation, a management fee is charged by the Foundation, this is how the
foundation is able to then make grants to unique international
opportunities." This means when a supporter donates funds through USSF
earmarked for a specific athlete's campaign a percentage of those funds is
redirected to support other programs under the misnomer of a "management fee".

I first became aware of this practice when Tony Rey and I were holding keg
parties and writing countless letters to raise funds for our 1992 Star
campaign. We were young and the Star Class is a little capital intensive,
so the idea that 10% of the funds we scraped together were taken away was
quite frustrating. Unfortunately we were unaware of any alternatives. A
number of alternatives do exist, however. The St. Francis Yacht Club has
long had a foundation through which Olympic hopefuls can channel tax-free
donations, members of the New York Yacht Club recently established the
Sailing Foundation of New York and a group called the Connanicut Island
Sailing Foundation also offers sailors a similar alternative. I'm sure
there are others.

* From Eric Zoehrer (Regarding Andrew Hurst's editorial in Seahorse): I'll
buy the fact that it's going to cost a whole lot of money to mount a
challenge with any chance of being competitive; but the notion that all the
sailors who could be competitive are already locked up is a little harder
to accept. All the sailors a sponsor might bet that kind of money on
perhaps ... but there's gotta be other sailors out there who make a
credible run for it.

* From Phil Ross, Sydney, Australia: Aw sh*t, Fang; see you later mate.
After Huey has welcomed you in can you say g'day to Bruce, please?

To keep a healthy level of insanity, when the money comes out the ATM,
scream "I won, I won - third time this week"