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SCUTTLEBUTT 1469 - December 2, 2003

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WHERE'S RUSSELL?
If you had tuned in to Radio New Zealand or trawled the sailing websites
this weekend, you would believe that Russell Coutts, the three-times
America's Cup-winning skipper, was quitting the Swiss Alinghi team. So
fevered was the speculation that in Auckland one of the leaders of the
odious Blackheart campaign, who had vilified Coutts for leaving Team New
Zealand in 2000, said he would welcome him back.

The root cause of the rumors was Coutts's absence from last Wednesday's
announcement of Valencia as the Swiss pick for the 2007 America's Cup host
city. This was simply Coutts's way of making it plain that he had nothing
do with the choice. Where the Swiss challenger was one body in 2000, they
are now split in two. Michel Bonnefous heads America's Cup Management, who
will run the 2007 cup, and Coutts leads the Alinghi sailing team whose job
is to defend it. The two are as separate as their respective Geneva and
Lausanne offices suggest.

Ignored in the speculation was the fact that, two days before the venue
announcement, Coutts had hosted his own pair of media conferences in Zurich
and Geneva with Alinghi's sport director Jochen Schumann. What Coutts had
to say made it plain that the Alinghi defense would be formidable. "I've
started this early before in a campaign, but have never been this far
progressed," Coutts said. He has the bulk of his £70 million budget in
place with only one second tier sponsor and some suppliers to be secured.

As Alinghi's crushing victory last February proved, a formidable strength
of Coutts's management is his canny appointments. He has refreshed the
sailing team with US Virgin Islander Peter Holmberg, who had such a
bruising experience in the Oracle BMW team last winter, as tune-up skipper
because he has the talent and personality to blend in within Coutts's core
group. The prodigiously talented Dane Michel Richelsen has also been added
to the design technology team.

The web-based rumors that Holmberg has been brought in as a replacement for
Coutts are way off the mark. Likewise, suggestions that the move of design
team leader Grant Simmer into a wider role signify something other than
merited promotion are similarly wrong. - Tim Jeffery, the Daily Telegraph,
full story: http://tinyurl.com/xalu

PETER HOLMBERG
Speaking from the Alinghi base in Switzerland Holmberg told thedailysail
that he had taken a pro-active approach to securing his new position. "When
I finished the last Cup I identified what I wanted and I went after it.
Those that I wanted to work with, I let them know that was my interest. I
didn't just sit around and wait. Alinghi is the dream team in my opinion. I
studied them closely the last time and got to know them very well. So I
decided to shoot for the very best.

"My criteria for joining the team was professional management, that was one
thing I really looked at," he continues. "I wanted to be in an organisation
that placed great value on running the operation professionally with proven
business techniques, etc. That was critical for me. Then the people - I
want to be involved with a group of people where it was team first, open,
straightforward. These are lessons learned that I am going to take forward
in my choices. Then the final one was the resources - these guys have done
a brilliant job at satisfying their sponsors and getting the resources in
place to do everything they need to next time." - The Daily Sail, full
story: http://www.thedailysail.com/

THE CUP
Some twenty thousand people have visited Valencia Town Hall to have a look
at the Americas Cup, which was has been on display for the last three days
in the Crystal Room. Last Saturday alone, 6,000 people came to see it,
whilst yesterday amongst the public was the President of the Valencian
Community, Francisco Camps, who came with his wife and children, queuing,
just like members of the general public. Today, the Cup will be returned to
Geneva, and will come back to Valencia prior to the World Cup races
actually taking place in 2007.

After his family saw the Cup yesterday, Mr. Camps announced that the
Valencian Government would be forming a special department to look after
the Americas Cup, and other 'important events' in the Valencian Community.
He added that this would be a completely new organization that will
coordinate, centralize and ensure the overall success for major events such
as the Americas Cup. - Valencia Life Network, www.ValenciaLife.net

CREW GEAR FOR KEY WEST
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shirts and the Camet fast drying padded shorts. The shirts are made out of
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GOING FOR GOLD ON A SHOESTRING - Rich Roberts
Peter Wells was jubilant. Lanee Beashel was buoyant. They had just won the
U.S. Olympic Trials in the men's and women's Mistral sailboard classes in
Florida. Wells, 29, of Newport Beach, was an Olympian for the first time,
Beashel, 33, for the fourth (the first three times as Lanee Butler, before
she married Australian sailor Adam Beashel this year). On to Athens! Go for
the gold!

Just one catch. They'll have to make it pretty much on their own. The day
after they won they learned they would be receiving only $2,000 each in
official funding to carry them through to the Games next August. Fred
Hagedorn, chairman of US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee, and head
coach Gary Bodie gave them the news on a conference call. Wells and Beashel
know that the U.S. is about the only country whose government doesn't back
its Olympic sailors financially, and they knew that they'd have to do a lot
of personal fund-raising to supplement the peanuts dished out for their
expenses. But . . . $2,000 to go to the Olympics?

"I'm not looking for a free ride," said Wells, who estimates he has spent
about $50,000 on equipment, travel, entry fees, coaches and whatever over
the last three years to get this far. "I don't think anyone is. I knew I'd
have to keep fund-raising, but we were led to believe the whole time that
if we did win the Trials we'd get a significant amount more of funding."

Beashel says the annual $2,500 stipend for sailors ranked first in their
classes on the designated U.S. Sailing Team hasn't changed since she
started her first Olympic campaign in 1989. "It doesn't go far anymore,"
she noted. And now their shares are cut to two grand apiece.

Oh, some competitors will be getting more. Much more. The way it works, US
Sailing doesn't provide any funding itself but passes along whatever it can
get from the U.S. Olympic Committee---and the USOC calls the shots on which
sailors get the most dough. After the basic distribution of $2,500 (now
$2,000) per sailor) from a $35,000 pot, finishing in the top eight in a
world championship qualifies for USOC's "Operation Gold" plateau for more
money from a special cache of cash called "performance funding."

That pot holds more than $300,000 this time around, but Wells and Beashel
won't see much, if any, of it. Wells finished 45th in the men's Mistral
Worlds, Beashel 25th in the women's. Thus, the big bucks will go to the
Star class, where the U.S. is traditionally strong, and the new women's
Yngling class, where Betsy Alison's and Hannah Swett's teams have dominated
world competition. The other classes fall somewhere in between, except for
Finn, which grovels on the Mistral level. - Excerpt from a story by Rich
Roberts in The Log, full story:
http://www.thelog.com/columnists/sectionview.asp?s=91

VALENCIA
Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, is close by the Mediterranean
situated at 39 degrees, 26 minutes North, 18 minutes West, roughly parallel
to Atlantic City, N.J., in latitude. This area of Spain is called the Costa
del Azahar (the Orange Blossom Coast), for the groves of orange trees that
grow on the coastal plain. Thanks to a warm Mediterranean, the climate is
pleasant and described as spring-like, with mild winters, and an annual
mean temperature of 63 degrees. The big weather worry for sailors is the
Levante gale, which can occur during the spring and fall, and blows hard
(up to Force 10) out of the east to northeast for as long as a week at a
time. Pilot information for the area also reveals that there's a
south-flowing current running at about 1 to 2 knots, but that a Levante
could increase the current to as high as 4 knots. The tide is minimal. -
Sailing World website, full report:
http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=2079

HOW YOU CAN WIN THE RACE, ONE LEG AT A TIME
There's a race on in foul weather gear technology, and Team Henri Lloyd's
top-level testers are winning-which means that you'll win the battle for
optimum performance, too. Check out Henri Lloyd's new advanced marine
technology at http://www.henrilloydonline.com

THE BITE OF RULE 69
As a result of an infringement of Racing Rule of Sailing 69 - Gross
Misconduct, the ISAF Eligibility of four sailors has been suspended with
immediate effect. The following four sailors are suspended from competition
as detailed in Regulation 19.3, until the dates specified:

Juan Majdalani (ARG) - until 5 May 2008
Daniel Luza (ARG) - until 5 May 2005
Ignacio Luza (ARG) - until 5 May 2005
Juan Dato Montero (ARG) - until 5 May 2005

The above sailors are not permitted to participate in the events as
detailed in the ISAF Eligibility Code, Regulation 19.3. - ISAF website,
http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=5898

NEWS BRIEFS
*The California International Sailing Association (CISA) held an advanced
racing clinic in nine recently purchased International 420s at Alamitos Bay
Yacht Club over the Thanksgiving weekend. Eighteen of the US' top junior
sailors attended, many having sailed these boats for the first time, while
others, veterans of previous CISA sponsored teams to the I-420 Worlds and
US representatives to the ISAF Youth Worlds, had a chance to re-acquaint
themselves with these boats. Coaches Zach Leonard, Stu McNay and Mikee
Anderson-Mitterling led the clinic with guest coaching by JJ Isler, and Jay
and Pease Glaser. - www.cisasailing.org

*Two Italians, Andrea Gancia and Matteo Miceli of Team Tris Ocean Cat are
about to embark on an attempt on the catamaran transatlantic record. The
record they are after was from Dakar to Guadeloupe - a distance of 2,700nm
- set in 1999 by Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin with a time of 15 days
2 hours and 26 minutes aboard a 19ft cat. The record, recognized by the
WSSRC is the most significant of the long distance records established by
beach cats. - The Daily Sail, http://www.thedailysail.com/

SPANISH AC CHALLENGE
Asked by a Spanish journalist about the date on which the Desafio will be
certain, Agustín Zulueta said that the new Spanish challenge is already
sure to be present in the competition which will start in September 2004.
"The project is already confirmed and the press presentation will be done
in few days time", he said. "The project is on its way. We have offices, a
company created, shareholders and a financial plan". According to him, the
€60 money would have started coming in very rapidly, which will allow for
the purchase of two Class America and for the installation of a base "by
the end of the year". - Cup in Europe website citing the Spanish language
Masmar.com, http://www.cupineurope.com/LatestNews/2007Desafio-LN.htm

SPAIN IS WAITING
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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 John Rumsey: Paul Henderson's comments provide a good reason to be a
non-Olympic Class or even an international class.

* From Chris Ericksen: I was gratified - and a little chastened - to read
the letter of ISAF President Paul Henderson in 'Butt 1468. As a member of a
non-Olympic one-design class mentioned in the letter, I was gratified to
see that ISAF seeks to turn more "self-administration over to the
individual non-Olympic Classes." President Henderson also used the word
"autonomy" in his letter and cited the recently debated scoring issue as an
example of where the individual non-Olympic one-design classes get to
choose for themselves.

I sincerely hope this extends to the rules and conditions under which the
non-Olympic one-design classes run regattas. The issue of requiring
ISAF-approved race officers at international and continental championships
is one such issue. I have always felt that this is has been up to the
classes themselves and not ISAF; apparently President Henderson agrees with
me (which is why I am chastened, for I believed that President Henderson
was the lead proponent of this idea).

The problem in this and other areas, then, obviously exists lower in the
leadership of ISAF: individual committees and/ or chairmen are evidently
seeking to enact their own agendas in contravention of the wishes of the
non-Olympic one-design classes and ISAF President Henderson himself. I hope
these middle-level leaders within ISAF also read President Henderson's
letter and get the message: if it ain't an Olympic Class, let the class
decide everything that pertains to the running of the class and class events.

* From John Rousmaniere (Responding to John A. Drayton's request for titles
of good books): Here are three of my favorite reads of 2003 plus some tips
on how to find books.

"Cruising at Last" by Elliott Merrick (Lyons Press, 2003) is a wonderful
old-fashioned coastal cruising book. No great storms here, just a
passionate, articulate, wry sailor in a small boat, demonstrating the
transforming art of living aboard a boat and visiting interesting places.

In "Wayward Sailor" (International Marine, 2003), Anthony Dalton tells the
true story of Tristan Jones, the sailor-writer, whose best creation turns
out to be his own enchanting biography. This great seaman and fine
adventure writer also was a brazen mythmaker who was loved even by the
people who knew the truth about him.

R. T. McMullen's "Down Channel" (out of print) was a pioneer cruising book
when first published in 1869 and remains enthralling and instructive to
this day. Full of adventure and eccentricity, this classic is the record of
vigorous voyages by a man who took keen pleasure in meeting challenges with
what he called “my hard sailing habits." He enjoyed discomfort. Nobody
summarized the pastime better than McMullen when he observed that cruising
under sail is like “successfully gathering roses off thorns.”

A new or recent book can be ordered from a bookstore, an online book
service, or its publisher. A Web search usually turns up at least one
distributor. For books that are out of print (meaning they're no longer
being published), I go to Abebooks, a cooperative of used-book stores,
where prices can be as satisfying as the books themselves.
(http://www.abebooks.com/)

* From Al Schreitmueller (re John Drayton's questions): Armchair sailors
never worry about throwouts or rating rules during this season. On the
shelf: Uffa Fox's "Big 5" - reviews of designs and events during the 1930s:
"Sailing, Seamanship and Yacht Construction"," Uffa's Second Book"," Sail
and Power", "Racing, Cruising and Design", and "Thoughts on Yachts and
Yachting". Drawings and critiques are great; the accounts are unique.
Highlights include the classic transatlantic aboard Typhoon, a
transatlantic race aboard Stormy Weather with the Stephens' and a neat
review of Olin's (new) design of Dorade.

Forgotten with the O'Brian hype is C.S. Forester's Hornblower series, to be
read alongside "The Hornblower Companion" maps, and followed with C.N.
Parkinson's "The Life and Times of (H.H)." Forester's "Capt. from
Connecticut" is good also. Any sea story by Joseph Conrad is worthy. A Pole
with English as a 2nd language, his use of words is masterful. With
patience and a dictionary, the depth of the story and characters is remarkable.

One can never cease finding interesting sea books. Two such recents: "Down
to the Sea" by Joseph Garland, an account of the Schoonermen of
Glochester.They lost nearly 700 vessels and 4,000 men in the 60 years that
were their prime. The 2nd is a Chesapeake Bay winter story by Kenneth
Brooks called "Run to the Lee" . If home water is Chesapeake Bay, it's a
must read. . Many of these are "out of print", requiring hunting. Enjoy the
hunt, and uncover more "gems" than you started to look for.

* From Jim Newman, UK: Regarding the ISAF intention of dropping the
discard, there has been much debate but nobody has considered as far as I
am aware the possibility of illness. It is not uncommon for athletes
visiting foreign lands to experienced tummy bugs, if a sailor lost a race
because of illness and could not discard, would that be fair?

As for fittings failure, as has been pointed out, fittings can break no
matter how careful a competitor is about maintaining his boat, even new
fittings can break. It is not difficult to think of other scenarios whereby
a competitor could lose a race through no fault of his own, for example, a
collision before the start resulting in a holed boat, a situation I think
where redress or YMP could not be requested. I think the discard should stay.

* From Scott Ridgeway (re Olin Stephens's letter): Perhaps those
formulating the new offshore rule should, like Mr. Stephens, be not only
engineers, but also be artists.

* From Art Ahrens (Melges 24 owner): In light of Olin Stephen's comments
regarding Nostalgia, I recently purchased a 1966 Pearson Triton, and am
finding a great deal of satisfaction restoring the boat to her original
condition and configuration. It was the first boat that I sailed on and
learned to sail in back in 1967!! It is great to feel her sail. Very solid,
and seakindly. I am also crewing on a friend's Pearson 39, designed by Bill
Shaw, and I would race that boat offshore any day!

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement is just one
bananosecond.