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SCUTTLEBUTT 1474 - December 9, 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.

We read with amusement the lead story in yesterday's Scuttlebutt (1473)
attributed to the Cup in Europe website regarding plans for Oracle BMW
Racing in Spain. The week before last, a few of our team members did have
an initial look around Valencia following the host city announcement.
However, none us visited Castellon de la Plana, met with anyone about
basing our team there, nor do we have any intentions of doing so.

The rest of the article was just as fanciful, including the purported
number of team members we would have in Valencia by next September for the
first pre-Regatta. This was overstated by at least a factor of four.

We appreciate Sr. Tirado's enthusiasm and efforts to embrace Oracle BMW
Racing, and it is typical of the warm and friendly reception we received
from all during our short visit to Spain. Valencia has every prospect of
being an excellent venue and host for the next Cup.

For future reference, those wishing to fact-check stories before printing
them can contact our team's tried-and-true media relations pro, Jane
Eagleson ( - Tom Ehman, Oracle BMW Racing

There have been many rumors flying around about what the new boat might
look like. Among these have been the possibilities of a canting keel, maybe
an arrangement like the Reichel-Pugh sponsored CBTF system, a dramatic
lightening of the boats and a general 'turboing'. What has in fact
transpired is a very minor development of the ACC rule that should provide
a fraction more horsepower downwind.

"The whole design space within the rule has compressed - when you see it on
a graph you have to use your glasses to see it!" says Derek Clark, GBR
Challenge's head of design who attended the meeting in Valencia. "Some of
our guys describe it having become a restricted rule with some fuzzy edges."

With the exception of Oracle, all the ACC boats in Auckland were in one
area of the box as defined by the rule and version five effectively
discards the 'unused' areas of the box. "Essentially where they have gone
is to reflect where all the boats were and said 'look guys, don't worry
about these other boats, why don't you push yourself into this area'." says
Clark. - Excerpt from a major story on The Daily Sail website, full story:

Who has won the most US Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards?
(Answer below)

First, we were aboard illbruck winning the Volvo Ocean Race with Kostecki.
Then the America's Cup with Butterworth and his mates. Now we congratulate
Paul Foerster, Kevin Burnham, Katie McDowell, Isabelle Kinsolving, Mark
Mendelblatt and Peter Wells, as the first American's named to the 2004 US
Olympic Sailing Team to Athens! Along with international stars Siren
Sundby, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Chris Nicholson, Kaenon Polarized is
focused on the podium. View the complete collection of Kaenon Polarized
premium products and find an authorized dealer nearest you at - Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically.

The Volvo Baltic Race will be back again in the summer of 2004, with a new
look to the race-track and an even bigger and better infrastructure.
Sponsors of the event will once again be Volvo and SEB. The 2004 event will
start in Gothenburg on June 19th, with a pit stop in Denmark and a stopover
in Germany, before finishing in Sandhamn with the final prize giving being
held in Stockholm on July 8th.

Once again, the Volvo Baltic Race will provide a challenging mix of inshore
and offshore racing in the VO60 yachts formerly raced in the Volvo Ocean
Race. The event promises to be one of 2004's biggest regattas, during which
the fleet will take part in Kieler Woche and the Accenture Round Gotland
Race as well as several windward/leeward courses, which will be very
interesting for the public to watch.

Volvo Ocean Race veteran, Sweden's Gurra Krantz, who put together the
winning crew of Team RS in last summer's race, says: "The Volvo Baltic Race
was a really thorough competition requiring a huge effort from the crew. We
won the event and if we can put together a really good team, we will try
and do so again next year."

During the Volvo Baltic Race, spectators and sailing fans will have a
greater opportunity to see these boats, which have raced around the world.
It is an opportunity usually only seen during the stopovers of the Volvo
Ocean Race, which is held every four years. The event makes offshore racing
more accessible to the general public and also gives sailors a possibility
to compete in a mixture of offshore and inshore events prior to taking part
in the Volvo Ocean Race itself.

Patrik Mehks, project manager and director of marketing at Viamare, the
Swedish company which organizes the event says: "The response from the race
this summer has been overwhelming; from sponsors, the public and the media.
The competition was a huge success with an even fight right the way to the
finish line in Marstrand. It has made skippers and sponsors call us and
demand another event." - Lizzy Green,

Sean Langman, who surprised the world by almost catching Neville Crichton's
state of the art Alfa Romeo in last year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,
is again slicing, lightening and rearranging his eight year-old boat
Grundig for maximum speed downwind this year. He has made a host of recent
changes to his 66-footer and following this Friday's Canon Big Boat
Challenge, Langman is planning "more surgery" by replacing his twin rudders
with new retractable rudders that have been designed to reduce drag.

"We have looked at the competition and decided the only way we stand a
chance is to put maximum effort in to our strongest area - downwind
sailing," he said. "A 66-footer against a 98-footer upwind doesn't stand a
chance but in running conditions and with the changes we've made, I'd rate
us a 20 percent chance of line honors in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart."

Sean Langman is lucky in that he can continually 'tweak' the skiff-like
Grundig at his boatyards in Berry's Bay, Sydney, and Wickam, Newcastle, but
it has still cost him upwards of $250,000 for this latest overhaul. The
most significant change Langman has made is to lighten his mast and with
160 kilos removed at a cost of $1,000 per kilo, some might call it an
expensive gamble but removing this weight has also allowed him to chainsaw
10% off the bulb, which has in turn reduced the 'drag' on the boat.

Stripping the boat completely of antifoul and "long boarding" it with
sandpaper to create a completely smooth hull surface has also assisted to
reduce drag but it means every time the 7.5 ton boat is used, it must be
craned out of the water and cleaned off. A new paint job on the hull,
including a mermaid now adorning the bow where the famous shark's mouth
was, has been undertaken and there have been other "ergonomic" changes made
inside the boat to allow it to compete in the 627 nautical mile passage
with a crew of just eight.

Langman pushed the minimum crew requirement to the extreme in this year's
Sydney Gold Coast Race when he convincingly took line honors with only five
others on board. While he considered racing to Hobart with a crew of six,
it was a decision by everyone on the boat to sail with eight and so he will
be joined by his regulars David Sudarno and Joseph De Kock, as well as the
former world champion 49er and 18-foot skiff champion Chris Nicholson.

Given the speeds this lightweight flier regularly reaches under spinnaker,
Sean has decided to address the issue of the boat nose-diving by installing
a hydrofoil on the bow. "No one else has explored the concept of limiting
speed to avoid a nose-dive and while we trialed it successfully in the
heavy conditions of the Flinders Island Race, we aren't sure yet whether it
will stay on for the Rolex Sydney Hobart," said Langman.

Grundig is one of 18 entries received for this Friday's Canon Big Boat
Challenge in Australia. - Lisa Ratcliff

Curmudgeon's Comment: We've posted a picture of Grundig on the Scuttlebutt

Alex Thomson spent three days leading the Defi Atlantique solo race from
Brazil to La Rochelle, but yesterday he ground to a halt as the pack, 200
miles east, pressed ahead. "It's like standing on the deck and waving
somebody goodbye," said Thomson. - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph,

Standings at 1600 GMT on December 8:
1. Mike Golding, Ecover , 2340.9
2. Vincent Riou, PRB, 2410.1, 13.1 miles to leader
3. Sebastien Josse, VMI, 2448.8, 45.7 mtl
4. Nick Moloney, Team Cowes, 2465.6, 72.9 mtl
5. Jean-Pierre Dick, Virbac, 2482.4, 96.7 mtl

Event website:

Make sure that you keep this information for the next time you're sending
out a bid package for your newest and fastest yacht. Townsend Bay Marine
knows light and fast and is a world leader in composite construction. For
immediate attention, contact Paul Zeusche or David King: 1-360-385-6632 or

* Check out the images of Roy Disney's new Reichel-Pugh Z-86 Pyewacket
undergoing sea trials in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf:

* Seve Jarvin (aged 17), Robert Bell (aged 16) and Sam Newton (aged 18)
representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia won the ISAF Grade 3
Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship adding a fifth title
to their resumes in as many months. The lads surviving a spirited challenge
from runners-up the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who caused a major
upset by displacing the host Royal Prince Alfred crew after having
themselves just scraped into the repechage round in eighth place on
countback! -

* Leading British yachtsmen from the world of power and sail have been
short-listed for this year's prestigious Raymarine YJA Yachtsman of the
Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards. Short-listed for the Raymarine
YJA Yachtsman of the Year are 5-times Class 1 World Powerboat Champion
Steve Curtis, hot Olympic hopefuls Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks, and
solo circumnavigator Emma Richards. - Yachting World,

* The match race momentum in San Diego is building, with boats are out
dueling Tuesdays and Thursdays at year round, plus periodic scheduled match
race regattas. The level of sailing is high with regular match racers like
Bill Hardesty, James Spithill, Peter Isler, Chris Busch, Scott Dickson, and
more. The next San Diego Match Race Event will take place in 2-3 months
time. For more information contact Bill Hardesty:

* Boating Partners, a UK based company that specializes in creating
marketing opportunities in ocean racing's premier events, announced today
that they will be representing the United Kingdom in the inaugural
Antarctica Cup International Yacht Race in February 2005. The Antarctica
Cup is a circumnavigation of Antarctica in identical high performance
85-foot maxi-yachts racing above and below the Antarctic Convergence, a
distance of some 14,600 nautical miles. It is a pure nation vs nation race,
with each 'national' boat being entirely crewed by that very same

Betsy Alison has captured the annual award five times, spanning from 1981
to 1998. Ted Turner claimed the honor four times during the seventies.

At all the regattas around the world, just look at what the crews are
wearing. It is no surprise the Camet Padded Shorts, Bermuda Shorts, Cargo
Shorts and Pants are everywhere, from Opti sailors to the Farr 40's, Maxi's
and cruisers. The comfort of the pads, the reinforced Cordura seat and the
quick drying breathable Supplex fabrics, along with the 97.5% UV protection
is the solution to hours on the water. Check out the Shorts, Coolmax
shirts, Neoprene Hiking pants, Bubble Tops, Rash Guards and Mylar bags on
the Camet website:

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 Craig Coulsen (re rules quiz in SB 1472): The ISAF interpretation is
clearly wrong. The purpose of Rule 44.1 is to be a deterrent so that if you
put your boat in dangerous position where you may cause serious damage and
do, that is the end of your 'event". The requirement to retire is not
qualified by the words "race" or "series." The words "race or series"
qualify the words "gained a significant advantage in the race or series."
This is simple English. Such a conclusion is consistent with the penalty
fitting the offence. Further the RRS Basic Principle is not qualified in
any way.

If you cause serious damage your obligation is to retire from the event and
the rule on restarts does not change this. If you don't retire especially
when asked to do so the jury must disqualify you for the breach of RRS 44.1
and the Basic Principle.

The rule is a deterrent - Get it? So don't put your boat in a position
where you can cause serious damage. It does not matter you don't think the
collision caused serious damage and you continue to race or do a 720
because if you cause another boat to retire due to damage you caused that
is serious damage for the purpose of the rule and what the rule is designed
to stop. And don't forget a good race committee will protest both boats
involved where there is serious damage.

* From Jim Capron: Regarding the discussion about rule 26, Tom Donlan in
Scuttlebutt 1473 writes, "This authoritative interpretation by the ISAF
apparently has been around since 2001, which only means it should be
removed all the more quickly."

Notice! The ISAF Q&A's published on the ISAF website are not authoritative
interpretations of the rules. The description of the ISAF service found at
the Q&A top page states in part: "Unlike the ISAF Cases, which are
authoritative interpretations and explanations of the rules, these answers
are solely to assist judges in applying the rules in a consistent way"

By the way, Q&A 103 stemmed from a real incident (somewhat different facts)
in which the protest committee disqualified the boat that caused four other
boats to retire with damage after the first of three general recalls. The
original protest committee's decision was based on the preamble to Part 2
overriding rule 36; for reasons other than those offered by Messrs. Donlan
and Pellerin.

We seem to have difficulty accepting an outcome in this or any other
situation where the application of the rules seems unfair or does not quite
take into account some inequity. Boats break rule 44.1 often, when they
take penalties not available to them. A protest committee would rarely
consider rule 69 after disqualifying a boat for breaking rule 44.1, and it
needs to apply the same standard for rule 69 when rule 36 prevents the boat
from being penalized.

* From Russ Burke (Re rules quiz): The RRS 3/ RRS 69 argument is weak.
There's nothing in the quiz that indicates that Boat A broke RRS 3 by
failing to accept the rules. It is important to note that the RRS 3(b)
provides that the competitor accept penalties and other actions, subject to
the appeal and review procedures provided in the rules. Sometimes it is not
clear on the water that a collision has caused serious damage - and in
those cases, it is usually a protest committee that makes the determination.

So, for A to be DSQ (following arguments of Donlan and Pellerin): 1) the
Protest Committee would have to determine that there was serious damage (B
presumably proceeds with her protest and request for redress); and 2) the
Protest Committee or MNA would have to convene a RRS 69 hearing,
demonstrate that A broke RRS 3 to an extent that it would merit invoking
RRS 69 (which at least requires proving A knew she caused serious damage
and did a 720 instead of retiring), and then apply that to the result of
the race in question (DSQ under 36 by way of 69).

It sure looks like RRS 36 provides a loophole to the serious damage
language in RRS 44.1 in instances where serious damage is not immediately
obvious. Finally, if A causes serious damage at the start followed by a
general recall and she does not do turns, she gets a free pass under RRS 36
without any of the RRS 3/ RRS 69 complication.

* From Ted Beier: I agree with the Curmudgeon; calling a vessel whose
accommodations make a cell at Sing Sing look good, and that moves that fast
a cruiser is strange at best. Equally strange is calling Mari-Cha IV a
schooner, and then calling her masts main and mizzen as has been done
recently in several publications. If the forward mast is taller as main/
mizzen would imply, then she is a ketch, or yawl depending on the location
of her rudder, but not a schooner.

* From Andy Aitken: You are not the only one that thinks the ARC record for
elapsed time is an oxymoron. It looks like someone went looking for a
record they could break just to be in the record books.

* From Bob Adams (Re your "comment" about a Volvo 60 being called a
cruiser): Does a double oxymoron become a doxymoron?

ELBONICS (el bon' iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one
armrest in a movie theater.