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SCUTTLEBUTT 1479 - December 16, 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.

Geneva ­ 15th December 2003 ­ Following many months of work and
consultation with designers, sailors, teams, and the America's Cup
community, Version Five of the America's Cup Class Rule has been published.
The result is boats that are lighter, quicker and more responsive.

Version Five of the America's Cup Class Rule makes a number of small,
significant changes with a view to 'turbo-charging' the boats for the
Mediterranean venue of the 32nd America's Cup. The goal was to make
America's Cup racing closer, more vibrant and compelling, and increase the
possibility of place changes downwind.

Work on a new draft of the Class Rule began nearly immediately following
Alinghi's victory in the 31st America's Cup in March 2003. The parties
responsible for the America's Cup Class Rule are the Defender, the Société
Nautique de Genève, the Challenger of Record, the Golden Gate Yacht Club,
and the event authority, AC Management, represented by the Class Technical
Director, Ken McAlpine.

With the announcement of Valencia, Spain as the host city for the 32nd
America's Cup, the parties felt some small, yet significant changes were
appropriate. Among the developments:
- A drop of one tonne in maximum allowable displacement
- An increase in maximum allowable draft of 100mm
- An increase in allowable downwind sail area of up to 8%
- An increase in working crew, from 16 to 17
- A general narrowing of permissible design parameters

The drop in displacement, and increase in draft, coupled with the increase
in downwind sail area, should make for much more lively performance off the
wind, and increase passing opportunities on the runs. The increase in crew
will help the sailors tackle that extra horsepower, while a narrowing of
design parameters is intended to keep the racing close.

Boats measured to Version Four of the ACC Rule for the last America's Cup
will be permitted to sail in the 2004 pre-regattas. By 2005, Version Five
of the ACC Rule comes into force. For older boats to comply some simple
modifications will be required to bring the hulls back into class. The
biggest part of this will entail hanging the bulb (with 1000kg of lead
removed) 100mm lower. This will give an ACC yacht similar stability to the
old configuration, and the same speed upwind. But, with up to 8% more sail
area downwind, a longer spinnaker pole, and 4% less displacement, the new
rule will make for a more interesting boat downwind; one that will
accelerate better, respond to gusts more quickly, and ultimately sail
faster through the water.

With Valencia as host city, SNG has provisionally scheduled the 32nd Match
to start on 23 June 2007 in a first to win five race series, and it will be
preceded by the Louis Vuitton Challenger races and a Fleet Race Series
scheduled to begin on 3 April 2007, ending on Easter Weekend.

Version Five of the ACC Rule is available online at

Two economists from Valencian University have estimated that the fact that
the Americas Cup is coming to Valencia would considerably increase the net
interior product as well as profitability in both the City and the
Community as a whole. Professors Ismael Fernandez Guerrero and Aurelio
Martinez estimate that the Cup will generate expenditure of between 840.2
and 1,825.6 million Euros, and the Net Internal Product figure would
oscillate between 928.5 and 2,017.5 million Euros, generating employment
for between 23 and 52 thousand people. The study adds that the economic
impulse generated by the Cup would be 'considerable', and would lead to a
gradual increase in profitability, probably from 2005 onwards. - Valencia

The ideal crew gear is one of the new Camet High Tech Breathable Polo
shirts and the Camet fast drying padded shorts. The shirts are made out of
a microblend fabric that moves the moisture away from the skin through the
fabric and into the air. The unique patented microblend makes it
lightweight, resistant and soft to the touch. Designed to be washed and
worn. High UV protection. The Camet shorts are made of a breathable fast
drying Supplex, with a reinforced Cordura seat pocket for optional foam
pads, available in several models and different colors.

The new breed of big, fast, cutting-edge offshore racers will sail in a
"demonstration" division for the next Newport Bermuda Race starting June
18, 2004. The Big Boat Demonstration Division is open to IMS Racing yachts
with speeds between 413.9s/m GPH and 344s/m GPH, based on the 2004 IMS
Rule, and not exceeding 30 meters LOA.

Having the traditional Bermuda Race with the traditional trophies and speed
limits sailing along with this high-speed division with a new set of
trophies promotes modern design creativity without obsolescing the
investments made in the traditional fleet. The new demonstration division
will not affect competition in regular IMS Racing and IMS Cruiser/Racer

Traditional Newport Bermuda Divisions including two regular IMS and two
AMERICAP divisions will continue to race for their elapse time "line
honors" under the traditional 414s/m rating limit. The Big Boat group,
Division 5, will race for its own prizes and its own line honors trophy.

This Big Boat Demonstration Division is open to IMS Racing types including
canting keel and water ballast boats fitting within the rating band. All
entries must meet ISAF/ORC regulations and Newport Bermuda safety and
stability requirements.

The regular IMS Racing Division will, as previously announced, be open to
boats with water ballast, but not cant keels. Entries in this division may
not rate faster than 414s/m GPH based on the 2004 IMS Rule and may not
exceed 30 meters LOA. The IMS Racing Division races for the Gibb's Hill
Lighthouse Trophy.

The IMS Cruiser/Racer Division races for the traditional St. David's
Lighthouse Trophy. IMS-C/R is for conventional designs, not including water
ballast or cant keels, sailed by an amateur captain with a predominantly
amateur crew. The 2004 IMS Regulations with US SAILING Prescription 104
limiting professionals will be applied. The Americap™ Non-Spinnaker
Division is intended for less intense programs. - Talbot Wilson,

Little more than a month ago the Defi Atlantique solo race was considered
just a convenient trip home from Brazil after the two-handed Transat
Jacques Vabre event, with the bonus of counting as an early qualifier for
the 2004-05 Vendee Globe round the world trek. But for the 10
single-handers involved it has turned into an absorbing doggedly-fought
contest in which Jacques Vabre-winner Jean- Pierre Dick is limping along
under jury rig, Alex Thomson has set a solo Open 60 24-hour record and with
just more than 300 of the 3,800-mile course remaining, any of top four can win.

Yesterday, Mike Golding regained the lead he had lost a week ago in Ecover
as the boats sailed North-East from Cape Finistere, across the Bay of
Biscay, to the La Rochelle finish. "Of course it's great to be leading the
race, but it's so close anything could happen," Golding said. - Tim
Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph,

Standings at 1600 UT on December 14:
1. Mike Golding, Ecover, 322.7 miles to finish
2. Sebastien Josse, VMI, 10.6 miles to leader
3. Alex Thomson, AT Racing, 13.2 mtl
4. Vincent Riou, PRB, 18.5 mtl
5. Nick Moloney, Team Cowes, 87.9 mtl

Event website:

* The 2004 supplement to the ISAF Match Racing Call Book is now available
for download by sailors and umpires in a pdf document form. Included in
this supplement are the latest umpire interpretations of a number of match
racing situations, including the reiteration of Call UMP 32, which was
released as an additional supplement in 2003. Umpires will be sent a hard
copy of the new supplements in the new year for inclusion in their copies
of the Case and Call Books. In the meantime, please use this:

The "gold standard" in masthead wind sensors continues to be a tall
vertical carbon fiber wand. Keeping the cups and vane as far from the
sailplan as possible provides markedly improved wind information, and
carbon fiber keeps the weight aloft to the absolute minimum: great
performance at an admittedly steep price. What if you could get most of the
performance benefit in a strong aluminum vertical wand at about the same
price as a stubby, forward-pointing sensor? Wow. Contact Tom Davis
( for information.

They're down to the final stages of assembly of Ellen MacArthur's new B&Q
75-foot trimaran at the huge shed loaned to the team by Sydney Port
Authority and P&O at Glebe before the boat is craned into the water on
Thursday - the 30.6m mast will also be fitted on the same day. Construction
has taken more than 30,000 man hours over a seven month period since May
this year. The Nigel Irens designed B&Q trimaran was constructed at the
Boatspeed facility north of Sydney in Australia. Through this time more
than 30 boat builders worked regularly on the project simultaneously and
there were occasions when they would work shifts around the clock.

The official launch is scheduled for Darling Harbour outside the National
Maritime Museum to coincide with the official opening of the opening day of
the Schroders London Boat Show on Thursday, 8th January 2004. You can see
the action in the assembly shed by going to the website and clicking on the
webcam icon:

Yendys, Ichi Ban, Ragamuffin, Bounder, Chutzpah…these are the boats that
stand out as the potential Overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht
Race after three days of concentrated round-the-buoys racing in the Rolex
Trophy Series off Sydney Heads. Add to this list last year's winner, Quest,
along with the US boat, Zaraffa, Another Challenge and the little Toecutter
from Melbourne, which did not contest the Rolex Trophy Series. The sum
total is that the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has an outstanding
line-up preparing to contest the grand prix IMS division of the Rolex
Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

However, unlike the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race where there is just one
Overall winner, there are two Overall winners of the handicap divisions of
the Rolex Trophy Series, for the IMS (International Measurement System) and
the IRC (International Rule Club) divisions. All eligible boats entered
both IMS and IRC handicap categories for the Rolex Trophy Series, as they
may for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

The super maxi Skandia was the exception because of her canting keel, but
she placed well on corrected time in the IRC Division and must be
considered a strong prospect not only for line honours but also IRC
handicap honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. And then there was
the Farr 40 One Design Division, starting their preparation for the Rolex
Farr 40 World Championship to be hosted by the CYCA in March 2005.

The winners of all three divisions today received Rolex Trophies at a
post-regatta presentation at the CYCA and will have their name engraved on
the historic perpetual trophy as joint winners for 2003. And the winners were:
* Yendys, Geoff Ross' former European champion 52-footer designed by
Judel-Vrolijk, with a scorecard of 4-1-1-1-1-1-1-DNS in the IMS Division.
* Ichi Ban, Matt Allen's Farr 52, winning the IRC Division with placings
of 1-4-2-1-1-1--3-4.
* Team Shockwave, super maxi owner Neville Crichton's 'other boat',
winning the Farr 40 One Design Division with placings of 4-1-2-1-4-3-2-1.

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

It is with great sadness that I tell you all that Hal Pickering of
Pensacola, FL has passed away. Hal was our US Melges 24 Class President
from 2000 through spring of 2003. He campaigned has own Melges 24 Chacal,
USA 86, for over four years. Hal spent many a waking hour working for the
Melges Class and his efforts are seen in the strength of the class today.

Hal is survived by his wife and number one crew, LeAnne. Our prayers go our
to her and all of the family. Funeral arrangements are tentatively set for
Thursday in Pensacola. Hal made the world a better place by his presence.
He was a young man taken before his time. He will be sorely missed. - Doug

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 Andrew Besheer: I can't help wondering when the nice folks in the
New Zealand media are going to get over Russell Coutts sailing for Alinghi.
Hasn't this gone on long enough? Isn't there a steroid scandal or someone's
secret sex life that you guys can focus on? I just can't believe that life
in the land of the long cloud is that dull!

It's pretty funny as an American - a nationality so often accused of
nationalism and parochialism - to watch this silly display. I don't recall
any similar backlash by American sailors (or the sailing media) against
Paul Cayard because he sailed for Italy in the AC and Sweden in the Volvo
or John Kostecki because he sails so often under German colors (let's see
there's also been Kenny Read sailing for a Japanese owner, Rod Davis
carrying so many passports that the Talking Heads could have written "Life
in War Time" about him....).

* From George Washburn: With all due respect to Scuttlebutt and the NZ
Herald, I have to point out to readers of Scuttlebutt that there is more to
New Zealand than the NZ Herald which is nothing more than a daily
newspaper. I believe that Scuttlebutt is quoting the NZ Herald far more
often than other more reputable sailing sources and that this is unwise.

I think the NZ Herald employs various column writers, so you are almost
certain to find something in the newspaper that agrees with your own views,
no matter how one-eyed you might be. The newspaper seems to have reported
both positively and negatively about the America's Cup at various points in
history; I hesitate to call it balanced, more of an editorial policy change
to quieten certain columnists.

When excerpts from these various articles are published in Scuttlebutt I
think they are often misleading with respect to NZ public opinion. That the
Curmudgeon personally acknowledged a NZ Herald journalist in a recent issue
of Scuttlebutt could be considered worrying. And on a similar matter I
think a few people would have cheered recently when Tom Ehman wrote his
reply regarding the 350 strong contingent of Oracle going to Spain next
year (not).

Scuttlebutt is a great source of news, I read it nearly every day, I have
been a subscriber for a long while, but the Curmudgeon needs to keep things
balanced too.

* From David Cook (Re: Peter Huston's comments on PHRF by David Cook): I
couldn't agree more with Peter's comments about asking too much of any
Handicap Rule. As a past PHRF Handicapper, I had many newcomers or lazy
veterans approach me whining about their or their competitors' PHRF rating.
It seems most weren't taking a good honest look at their own commitment to
improve and skill level. For the vast majority of racers, the choice should
be simple, one-design or PHRF.

PHRF has and will always have a place ... it gives non-one-design racers an
excuse to go out racing. Years back I heard a rumour that in Russia they
used to mandate that if you want to race, it be an Olympic class. Maybe not
such a bad idea? Other than Maxis and maybe Big Boat Grand Prix Racing
where the owners have the money to spend on innovative design, keep it simple.

* From Craig Coulsen: Maybe it is time to throw the Racing Rules of Sailing
out the window and start again. Certainly nobody seems to worry too much
about them, notwithstanding that the purpose of the RRS should be to make
sailboat racing safer for people and their boats (and the insurers). The
Basic Principle and RRS 1 and 2 are honoured only by the lack of
observance. Also having been involved in protests on both sides of the
table it seems that the RRS require finding of fact not able to be properly
made without a better forsenic process than that of a protest hearing.

The simple fact is too many people plainly lie in hearings and the
complexity of the RRS amplify this problem. So let's rewrite the RRS so
that disputes can be resolved by finding simple facts and dual culpalibilty
(remember in a collision under Collision Regulations there is no right or
wrong as both vessels are at fault). Finally National Authorities must be
prepared to enforce the RRS especially in respect to RRS 69 matters.

* From Ralph Taylor: To add to what Mssrs. Brand and Fountain have said
about protests, I've long believed that protest hearings are like a
re-enactment of "Rashomon". There seem to be at least four different
stories for each protest: (1) What the protesting boat's crew experienced,
(2) What the protested boat experienced, (3) What the protest committee
gets out of the evidence, and (4) What really happened out on the water.
Often, these four versions bear little resemblance to each other.

* From Bill King: With reference to what constitutes a yawl, many years ago
someone corrected me when I said a boat was a yawl when the mizzen mast was
aft of the steering . I was told the true definition is when the mizzen
mast was aft of the waterline. I would love to know which is the true
definition and if the waterline definition is correct, from whence did it come.

You know you're 'white trash' when you let your twelve-year-old daughter
smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.