Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1477 - December 12, 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.

Patrizio Bertelli, in another dramatic 'coup de theatre', now announces:
"There is a 70 percent of chance that we can be there again, but with a
different team". This is a complete change of position for the Italian
billionaire who has previously said he would not mount another challenge. A
new position he fully assumes. "The common sense and a comprehensible
bitterness leaded me to say 'basta' but the mood for challenge doesn't go
away easily", Bertelli explains. "Further more, it would be an offence not
to use the extraordinary patrimony of means and experiment we have built
during the two campaigns in Auckland".

Ready to go again. But after he spend more than US$120 million on his two
America's Cup campaigns, Patrizio Bertelli will not return without a
partner in an adventure he now estimates about $75-80 million. "There will
be no more Prada boat but a new Luna Rossa in which my group will be one
partner", he says. "I'm meeting a lot of people and I'm looking for someone
who shares my enthusiasm and who understands the range of the event when
the whole world will be focused on Europe."

So the time is now come to rebuild a new team and, while appreciating the
value of the Prada's assets, Patrizio Bertelli affirms he learns the
lessons of earlier campaigns. "We will start again with Francesco de
Angelis as skipper, but regarding the rest, we will set out again for
nothing", the Italian says. "The historical group, around a hundred people,
will be renovated with youngest members".

The main victim of this new program is Doug Peterson who will have to leave
his place for new designers who will be able to build the Luna Rossa 2007.
"I will not remake the error of trusting Doug Peterson", Bertelli explains.
"I finished with the despotic designers. The boat for Valencia will be
created by a group which ears and stays in contact with Francisco de
Angelis and the others. It will have to be a completely new boat". -
Excerpts from a story on the Cup in Europe website, full story:

The America's Cup Regatta 2003 in Auckland injected $529 million into the
economy, according to an economic impact report released today. "This level
of pay-off certainly made the Government's investment of around $10 million
into Team NZ worthwhile," said Trevor Mallard, Minister for the America's
Cup. The figure is higher than the benefit gained from the 2000 event,
which was $495 million. "The study well and truly demonstrates the value of
the last two America's Cup events to New Zealand, with major benefits for
our marine, accommodation and hospitality, retail, entertainment and
transport sectors," Mr Mallard said.

Tourism Minister Mark Burton said the event had been a catalyst for global
media exposure. "This has successfully reinforced New Zealand as a
sophisticated and attractive destination," he said. The study showed that
between 2000 and 2003, the America's Cup generated an extra 9360 fulltime
jobs nationally. While 85 per cent ($450 million) of the $529 million went
to Auckland, there was a substantial effect in other regions as
international visitors traveled to other parts of the country. - NZPA,
StuffNZ website,,2106,2756829a13,00.html

VT Halmatic has completed production of the world's tallest yacht mast,
which will be fitted on the 247-foot Mirabella V under construction by
parent company VT Shipbuilding. The 295-foot. hollow carbon epoxy mast,
which has a maximum cross section of 1.6 metres (more than five feet) and
structural thickness of up to 40mm, will support some 3400 square metres of
sail. When the mast is stepped the mast would stand some 40 feet taller
than the road which spans the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and it will
dwarf the impressive J Class Yachts.

Having been loaded onto a barge at VT Halmatic's Portchester shipyard, the
mast was transported to Southampton Docks where the rigging will be dressed
and the mast will be stepped before fitting out is completed. The mast has
been manufactured in halves, with the back half comprising two sections and
the front half divided into three sections. - Excerpts from a story on the website, full story:

Walt just returned from Tacktick's Micronet factory and is psyched about
their progress. During the visit, Tacktick was installing and bringing
on-line two additional pick-and-place robots that are linked to
state-of-the-art optical quality control instruments - cool stuff! Walt is
building his American referral team and needs Rigging/Installing
Professionals he can depend on. Layline already works with many riggers…
So, if you or someone you know would like to be part of the Layline
Performance Team enjoying Micronet's Award-Winning Opportunity, please call
800-542-5463 or e-mail Need more info? Visit

In conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee, US Sailing has recognized
the sport's 2003 Coaches of the Year in three categories:

- Scott Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.) was recognized as the sport's National Coach
of the Year for his contributions at both the collegiate and international
level. Ikle is head coach of the Hobart and William Smith Sailing Team, a
position he has held for 10 years. In 2003 Ikle coached the team to the
spring college national championships and five of his sailors were named to
the 2003 ICSA/ Ronstan All America Team.

­ Rob Hallawell (Marblehead, Mass/Coronado, Calif.) was recognized as the
Developmental Coach of the Year, in part for his work as head coach for the
Point Loma High School Sailing Team. Under his leadership the team won the
Mallory Championship (in both A and B divisions by an unprecedented 86
points), and the Baker Team Race Championship, where they were undefeated
in the finals

- Park McRitchie (Port Clinton, Ohio) has been recognized as the sport's
first Volunteer Coach of the Year. He has been a volunteer coach at Port
Clinton Yacht Club for about eight years, and is the Education and Training
Director for the Inter-Lake Yachting Association. Widely known for his
ability to communicate with young sailors, his number one priority is
safety, with fun a close second.

From the winning coaches in 45 Olympic and Pan American sports, five
coaches in each category will be selected as finalists for the USOC Coach
of the Year and will be presented at a special function early in 2004. -
Media Pro Int'l,

Wanna be an ocean racer? This may be your chance. Pindar, the international
print and electronic media company who sponsor British yachtswomen Emma
Richards and Hannah Mills, has launched of an innovative international
competition to find a new recruit for their ocean racing team. The
competition will provide one winner with a unique three-year apprenticeship
where they will work as part of the Pindar team, sailing alongside Emma
Richards. It will give the winner an opening into the world of ocean
racing, and a opportunity to participate in some of sailing's most
prestigious offshore races.

The competition is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 23. The
selection process will begin with entrants writing in 250 words why they
think that they have the attitude and aptitude to win. A panel of judges
will interview the leading 30 entrants, they will also undergo a number of
physical and mental tests. The judges will then select ten finalists to
attend a day sail in May 2004 with Emma Richards on-board Pindar's Open 60,
where the winner will be chosen.

Emma Richards says: "This is a fantastic opportunity. One of the biggest
problems in ocean sailing is that it is really tough for young sailors to
find enough funding to break into the sport"

Pindar, who has sponsored Emma Richards for the past four years, has set up
the competition to continue their support of sailing and its positive
impact with their customers. For further information contact Victoria
Fuller ( or Camilla Green (

OSTERVILLE, December 11 - A raging five-alarm fire ripped through the
historic Crosby Yacht Yard last night, shooting flames 50 feet into the air
and destroying dozens of luxury boats stored for the winter. No injuries
were reported. Three large boat storage sheds and their contents were
consumed by the huge fire, which was reported at approximately 9:30 p.m..
More than 50 boats were believed to have been destroyed in the blaze.

More than 100 firefighters from Hyannis to Falmouth fought a battle of
containment, dumping enormous quantities of water on the burning buildings
on the edge of Osterville's historic waterfront surrounded by multi-million
dollar homes. Witnesses to the blaze were awestruck by its size and
strength. Heat from the fire could be felt from hundreds of yards away.
Explosions from within the sheds, believed to have been caused by flammable
materials used to repair and maintain boats, rocked the night

Gregory Egan, who identified himself as the owner of Crosby Yacht Yard,
which was founded in 1850, stared at the inferno with disbelief. "We have
no idea what happened other than it's a tragedy," said Egan. "There's all
types of boats in there. Beautiful boats, nice boats. That's the worst
thing about it. It's filled with our clients' boats, and that's our main
concern." - Eric Williams, Cape Cod Times, full story:

* The day was obviously cloudy and the wind was obviously light, but for a
sneak preview of Hasso Plattner's new R/P MaxZ86 Morning Glory on its first
sail, see:

* On Monday evening, the French sailing world honored their top sailors on
the occasion of the Evening of Champions and presentation of the Sailor of
the Year Trophy. During the evening, eighteen different awards were
presented to sailors who achieved outstandingly during the year. The
pinnacle award, Sailors of the Year, was presented to Xavier Rohart and
Pascal Rambeau in recognition of their success in winning the ISAF World
Championship in the keelboat men event in the Star Class, with a race to
spare. - ISAF website,

Whether blasting through the Southern Ocean on growler duty or doing some
winter longboarding of your hull, one thing's for sure: You'd like to be
warm. This means having the right layering gear, starting with under
layers. Enter Gill's new i2 Tec baselayers. Polartec Powerdry fabric with
anti-microbial properties and flat seams for comfort, the quick drying
fabric is 2-way stretch and perfect for preventing chilling by being worn
next to the skin moving moisture away through the fabric. If you too enjoy
being warm, Annapolis Performance Sailing has you covered. Check the styles

Scuttlebutt Sailing Club continues to grow to meet the needs of the
Scuttlebutt community. You asked for an affordable yachting club, so we
created one. You wanted club gear, so we made available an online club
store for your shopping needs. The latest feature is the Club Library,
where over 100 book titles are listed, all highly recommended by the
'buttheads. Stop by for a virtual beverage:

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 Graham Kelly: I was interested to see Scott Mason's letter
applauding Paul Henderson's contributions to our sport. I believe that the
present controversy (about scoring at the Olympic Games) harkens back to
the basic principles of democracy and governance. History shows that even
the wisest philosopher king can make mistakes of judgment. Therefore, it is
disturbing to see that the president of ISAF is operating on the
philosopher king model, rather than a democratic model which solicits and
takes into consideration the views of others in the sport, including (in
this case) past Olympic champions whose opinions should have carried
substantial weight in the decision.

I think that no matter where we come down on the decision, the process by
which it was reached was fundamentally flawed because the proposal was
never presented to the National Authorities for discussion, prior to its
adoption by ISAF. ISAF has a procedure for making fundamental changes of
this kind, and it was not followed in this case.

I think our political philosophy and history shows that a process which
takes into consideration the opinion of the interested parties leads to
better governance of nations - and sports. No matter how well intentioned,
the decision in this case, and several other recent controversies suggest
that a more collegial- and less autocratic - process would better serve the
interest of sailing.

* From John Stovall (re Paul Henderson): When we were all kids - maybe
around 30 or so - and full of "P & V" - there was Hans Fogh, the Stuart
brothers, Bob James with his Virginia drawl, all racing FD's against this
plumber from Toronto. Canadian FD National's at R.C.Y.C. I think. Well -
there were these two "hot" young kids who were very good, but broke - the
"Kidd" brothers. On Saturday morn, the plumber took his hat down to the
"offshore" racers dock and went boat to boat collecting "contributions" for
the "Kidd-Brothers-to -Europe" Fund. I never knew how much he collected but
he wanted "checks" not pocket change; and a couple of deserving Jr's were
off to Europe to train against the "big-boys" in the FD fleet.

* From Butch Ulmer: Regarding Mr. Illingworth's comments about the schooner
rig on Mari Cha IV, I know of many schooners with Marconi mainsails and
I've seen some with Marconi foresails. Staysail schooners have no foresail
but they do have a jib type sail set between the masts (the mainstaysail)
which is usually used with a Fisherman or Golliwobbler. The world famous
"Nina" was rigged as a staysail schooner.

* From Stan Stanley: I must correct Mr. John Illingworth and his statement
that schooners must be gaff rigged and not have a staysail between the main
and fore masts. I have attached the results of the 1955 Newport to
Annapolis with a picture of the winner; DeCoursey Fales' beautiful 59'
staysail schooner Niña. As can be clearly seen she in marconi rigged and is
flying her staysail from the main mast. I know her well as she beat us on
Royono for line honors in the 1961 Race. DeCoursey Fales was the ultimate
gentleman and I recall many delightful times when he entertained us
Midshipmen aboard Niña after races.

* From Bruce Thompson (edited to our 250-word limit): Several of the recent
issues discussed are affected by the standard of proof used by judges. Are
the RRS a criminal or civil legal code? Clearly, they used to be a civil
code. Currently, many judges act as though it's a criminal code. The main
difference is in the standard of proof, either preponderance of the
evidence or beyond a reasonable doubt. We didn't have the plague of OCS in
1970 when the NAYRU rule 51.6 stated "Failure of a yacht to see or hear her
recall notification shall not relieve her of her obligation to start
correctly". Requests for redress by an OCS boat would have been laughed out
of the hearing! Of course, in those days competitors also repeated the
number of a boat that was OCS down the line from the committee boat! No
silence from the RC either! What's changed is judicial decisions.

When you sit as a judge, you recognize how little forensic capabilities you
have at your disposal. You rely on the veracity of the witnesses. It's a
tough job. But there seems to be a trend toward focusing on the alleged
offender as if he is a criminal defendant. The slightest defect and your
protest is invalid. An object lesson comes from the start of the
Sydney-Hobart where one yacht port tacked and hit another, knocking a
crewman overboard and doing enough damage to total the victim. Yet her
protest was disallowed because they failed to promptly display a protest
play. Puhlease!

* From Richard Clark: Good for Rich Roberts to once more draw the focus to
that section, not so small, vocal and ever growing cancer of the New
Zealand public. These are not NZ Sportsmen in the tradition of
Hilary-climbed a few hills I believe, Halberg-ran a bit, Lydiard-coached in
Europe didn't he, Tom Clark-remember Ceramco, Don Clarke-kicked a few
balls, Snedden-polished a few balls, Charles-whacked a few balls, et al.
Coutts, Barker, Dickson, Blake, bloody hell what does it take to simply
acknowledge that these guys have brought more recognition to the shaky
isles than any politician.

* From Geoffrey Phillips Sydney, Australia: Let me assure you that the vast
majority of Kiwizone is not very much concerned whether or not Russell
Coutts is a valid contender for "Sportsman of the Year". Quite apart from
his still debatable justification for scuttling Swiss-side, Russell is well
down the list of NZ sporting achievers in year '03. The stunning and
dynamic world champion netball ladies push him down to number 12 even
before the start of voting. And, in the sport of sailing, Neville Crichton
and his Alfa Romeo/ Shockwave team have notched up an unprecedented series
of victories in several of the world's premier sailing events.

* Chuck Sinks: Lorin Weiss's engaging smile, baritone laugh, quick wit and
intriguing sea stories left wonderful memories with this So Cal sailor. Our
sailing community has lost a jewel. They do not come along often.

* From Diane Swintal: Sad to hear of the passing of Lorin Weiss ? but what
a legacy! In all the discussions of race committees in 'Butt this year, I
can't imagine one eclipsing the job done by NOSA during the
Newport-Ensenada race. Getting over 400 boats off of two start lines with
virtually no problems is a Herculean feat.

It was so reassuring to hear the calm voice carrying the constant coundown
to each start. Every competitor knew exactly when their boat was due to
start, how long they had left and where they needed to be to get to the
line. It went long way toward keeping the competitors calm and the level of
enjoyment high to hear that voice guiding them along. I can't imagine that
start line if the NOSA race committee had chosen to have the standoffish
nature some competitors noted earlier this year in 'Butt's race committee
thread. The picture in my mind of my first 'magenta strobe' will live
forever. Fair winds and following seas, Lorin.

Curmudgeon's Comment: The Weiss family has requested that in lieu of
flowers, please send donations to Newport Harbor Nautical Museum in Newport
Beach California.

When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by
doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.