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SCUTTLEBUTT 1480 - December 17, 2003

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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.

It was an eye-opener when we walked into the Paris show and saw the new
Farr designed Beneteau First 44.7 with what looked to me to be a cruising
mast. I asked the first factory person I ran into, "why did you display the
boat with a cruising rig?" His response was "this is the IRC rig." The
discussion that followed centered on the changes taking place in handicap
racing rules and where they are headed.

It seems that the Europeans are divided on where to go. Those on the Med,
especially in Italy, are still proponents of the IMS system. When first
introduced, IMS was hailed as a genuine improvement, as it initially
fostered healthy designs that were fast, stable and wholesome. In fact I
can recall personal conversations with designers such as Bill Tripp, who
were delighted at that time that they could draw boats that were fast and
fun and could still have interiors. Fast-forward to today, and the
designers have figured out how to beat the rule (they always do, given
enough time) with boats that are anything but fast and fun.

The purpose-built custom IMS racers of today are rule-beaters that are slow
and tender by comparison. The Italians seem to have this down pat, and they
are happy because they are winning. The rest of Europe is not happy with
IMS at all, and they seem to be enamored of IRC. So with this background,
the designers are making their newest boats IRC-compatible. This rule
penalizes anything that makes a boat more "racy", such as rod rigging,
triple spreaders, removable cockpit lockers, and so forth. This complicates
matters for the builders.

Take Beneteau for example. In the US most of our racing takes place under
PHRF, and there are no specific penalties for construction or equipment
(with a few exceptions such as the propeller). Therefore, to be attractive
to US buyers, they will have to offer boats with rod rigging, tapered
masts, more spreaders, and so forth. For Europe, they need to have clunky
rigs with cable shrouds. Fortunately for us, Beneteau will do this on their
larger boats, and the 44.7 for example is available both ways. It was
precisely this kind of nonsense that drove many of us to one design in the
first place! - Don Finkle, RCR Yachts' Performance Newsletter #45, December

The NSW Coroner has recently completed his Inquest into the deaths of two
(of the six) members of the crew of the yacht Rising Farrster, a Farr 38
owned by a UK based organization, and built in 1993. The Coroner found that
both deaths occurred as a result of drowning when the keel of the yacht
separated from the hull causing the vessel to capsize. The Coroner has
recommended that a précis of his summing up, findings and recommendations
be distributed to owners of light displacement yachts fitted with fin keels
built subject to pre 1994 ABS approval. His Worship made this
recommendation so that appropriate decisions can be made by owners as to
checking and/or modification of yachts.

In conclusion, the Coroner found that "The expert evidence is, however,
that there was a combination of design, build and ABS requirements that
resulted in the hull shell being inadequate for this type of keel. This is
of concern to me, assuming there are other yachts constructed and designed
similarly. Accordingly, I propose to make a Recommendation pursuant to
Section 22A, Coroners Act 1980".

His Worship's relevant recommendation is "The Australian Yachting
Federation (now known as Yachting Australia), in conjunction with the
Yachting Association of NSW, and yacht clubs endeavor to contact owners of
light displacement yachts fitted with fin keels subject to pre 1994 ABS
approval, to provide them with a précis of my summing up, findings and
recommendations at inquest in order that appropriate decisions can be made
by owners as to checking and/or modification of yachts." - Excepts from a
story posted on the ISAF website; full story:

What country has the longest coastline? (Answer below)

Spain is waiting for the arrival of the Raider RIBS. Just as in the last
America's Cup, where the Raider RIB from Aquapro proved to be tough and
capable support boats for Oracle/BMW Racing, Prada, and Stars & Stripes,
syndicates will again be looking for the reliability of the Raider RIB. You
have a choice when it comes to Raider RIBS: the tough/versatile Center
Console or the tough/luxurious Cabin Model with a Galley, Head/Shower and
hot water. Either style provides you a great boat at an appropriate price.
Call Toll Free 1-877-7RAIDER or check it out online:

I'm a bit of an Olympic history buff. As I send in my meager donation to
the US Olympic Sailing Teams current fundraising effort I'm thinking about
one of the greatest Olympic Sailing Teams ever, the 1964 team. Prior to the
1960 Olympics sailors had to pay their own way to the Olympic games. The
USOC had the view that sailors were all wealth individuals who could easily
afford to pay for themselves.

Realizing that the USOC policy was eliminating some our countries best
sailors before the trials even started, Olympic Sailing Committee chairman
James 'Tip Trenary decided to do something about it. In 1960 it was
announced that money would be raised to send American sailors to the
Olympics so that the inability to pay ones own way would not keep anyone
off the team. The fundraising campaign didn't have an immediate effect but
by the 1964 trials more of Americas best sailors had moved into the Olympic
classes. The result was an Olympic medal in every class. The team roster
reads like the legends of American sailing.

- Bronze, Dragon: Lowell North, Charles Rogers, Richard Deaver
- Bronze, Flying Dutchman: Harry Melges, William Bentsen
- Silver, Finn: Peter Barrett
- Bronze, 5.5 Meter: John McNamara, Francis Scully, Joseph Batchelder
- Silver, Star: Richard Stearns, Lynn Williams

The US Olympic Sailing team was ahead of the curve and we managed to stay
there through the '92 Olympic Games. I have every reason to believe we
could get there again given the proper resources.

After a 'heinous night' at sea last night in 30 knots of breeze, the focus
is to get to the finish and complete qualification for the Vendée Globe.
The fleet has clocked up some serious miles over the last seven weeks
racing in two transatlantic races in succession - 4,340 miles in the
two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre and now 4,100 miles back.

Standings at 1700 UT on December 15:
1. Mike Golding, Ecover, 83 miles to finish
2. Vincent Riou, PRB, 21.3 miles to leader
3. Alex Thomson, AT Racing, 22.5 mtl
4. Sebastien Josse, VMI, 28.2 mtl
5. Nick Moloney, Team Cowes, 86.3 mtl

Event website:

The Canadian Yachting Association is keen to actively promote the
opportunities available to women and girls in sailing through its "Women in
Wind" Awareness Campaign. The goal of this presentation is to:
·- Heighten people's awareness of the opportunities available for women
in sailing
·- Discuss success stories/best practices from clubs, and programs such
as the CYA "women in wind" and/or provincial sailing association initiatives
·- Promote the regattas, events and other avenues which currently exist
for women striving to become involved in the sport of sailing
·- Explain the CYA Women's Committee mandate
- Increase the database of women in sailing
·- Ultimately this campaign is in place to increase the participation of
women in all aspects of sailing, to increase the success level of female
athletes, and to ensure there is an organization in place to ensure "women
in wind" type programs run from one year to the next! - ISAF website:

The presentation can be found online:

On November 11th through 14th, Ponchartrain Yacht Club hosted the A Class
catamaran North American Championships. Thirty-nine A Cats from across
North America came to compete for national honors. Congratulations to Pease
Glaser for winning the title of 2003 A Class National Champion. Ullman
Sails won all five races and finished 1st through 4th overall. Ullman Sails
also won both the Grand Masters and Masters Divisions. If you and your crew
are ready to install the Ullman Sails Speed Advantage into your 2004 Racing
Program, call or visit your local Ullman Sail loft.

Team New Zealand's managing director Grant Dalton said his financial
backers can sleep easy - he won't be knocking on their door seeking money
to cover the changes to the America's Cup design criteria revealed yesterday.

AC Management, which is running the event in Valencia, Spain, has changed
the design regulations to fit the event to the conditions in the
Mediterranean. Dalton said the changes would not mean an increase in the
New Zealand budget, believed to be $150 million. "It will have no effect on
our cost," he said yesterday. "We haven't gone, 'Oh we have to add on $10
million'. It is cost neutral for us. "They had to be careful not to make
the boats obsolete and put costs through the roof, and they have done that.

"Change is constant. The new America's Cup rule will not stifle
development. The cup is about development. It will confine experimental
areas, but I still think you will still see quite different boats from what
you did last time." Dalton said the sails and rigs were two areas in which
he expected to see development. - Excerpts from a story by Julie Ash, NZ
Herald, full story:

* Eight yachts have withdrawn from the original list of 65 that had lodged
applications to enter the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This leaves
57 starters - the same as last year. Line honors looks to be a transTasman
duel between the two 30 metre super maxis Skandia from Australia and Zana
representing New Zealand, but at least ten grand prix ocean racers have a
chance of winning top handicap honors. -

*After several days of light and non-existent wind on Florida's Tampa Bay,
the 10-boat Tornado catamaran National Championship ended with four races
in 7-13 knots of breeze on the final day. Final results (five races with no
discards): 1. Johnny Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, 6; 2. Robbie Daniel/ Keith
Notary, 14; 3. Lars Guck/ John Farrar, 17. - Complete results:

* There are three official Mini Class US events presently under development
for 2004: a Mini Celebrity race in Boston Harbor in June following the
Transat finish (the former OSTAR race); a June 500 nautical mile Mini
Qualifier from Boston to Seal Island off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia and back,
with a stopover in Portland, Maine on the outbound leg; and the inaugural
triangle race in July - a 2,275 nautical mile, three-leg race that will
start and finish in Boston, stopping in Bermuda and Charleston, South
Carolina. An official Notice of Race announcement will be made in January.

* Jean Luc van den Heede currently sailing his 85-ft aluminum cutter Adrien
on a Westabout solo non-stop global record attempt, has left Cape Horn in
his wake and is now six days ahead of schedule. His aim is to beat the
current record of 151 days, 19 hours and 54 minutes, held by Philippe
Monnet. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World, full story:

* Flying in the Andes Mountains, Steve Fossett (USA) and Terry Delore (NZL)
last weekend capped a highly successful 2003 southern hemisphere summer
gliding season with one of the top flights ever in the sport of gliding -
the first ever 1500 kilometer triangle - simultaneously establishing three
new world records for speed and distance, bringing their season record
total to 6 and their career partnership total to nine. Their aircraft was a
two-seat, German built ASH 25 Mi high-performance sailplane of
carbon-composite construction, with a 25 m (82 ft) wingspan and a 60-1
glide ratio. -

* The Scuttlebutt staff wants to share our Christmas card with all of our

Canada has the longest coastline of any country. It is 56,453 miles long.

Sign-ups are now open for the half-day West Marine Big Boat Crewing Tune-Up
at Key West RW on January 18th. (Re) learn the mechanics of the major
positions on a modern race boat (bow, mast, pit, trimmer), including all
the tricks used by the pros. Details at 410-353-3332 or

Event calendar:
Photo gallery:
News & Extras:

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 Bruce Thompson: Following our discussions in the fall, the
recommendation I made to Dick Rose for the ISAF Annual meeting was to
introduce a First Amendment for sailors to re-introduce hailing. It is my
belief that more hailing is better. It would help cut down on the Rashomon
aspects Mr. Taylor mentions. Over the years, many hails have been excised
from the RRS (e.g. "Starboard"). Some of this was a response to arguments
over whether the hail was made/ heard. So we had the jury room driving the

What we need is an improved glossary which could offer standardized hails.
In the old days you called "Room". Wouldn't it be better to have "Overlap"
available? You establish the applicable rule(s) well before reaching the 2
boat length circle. And you get enough time to ensure your hail is heard &
understood. My experience is that hailing is a great benefit to defining
the situation and alleviating protests. They'll also work in your favor in
the jury room. We also need to extend this to race committees. My favorite
hail is "All Clear", an action the judges frown upon!

* From Jim Mahaffy (Regards to Craig Coulsen, Butt 1479, on throwing out
the rules and making them "simpler"): That was done a while back, what does
he want to do? Stop with RRS 10 & 11? I started my judging and umpiring
under the old rules, and these are a great improvement. A long time ago
after playing High School baseball and some college I thought about being
an umpire. After reading the rules for that I decided that being a nuclear
physicist would have been easier. Lord knows what they are like now. Yes!
Anything can be made simpler, but at what cost.

* From David Lackey, Australia: I may be old fashioned, but I while I can
see that making an AC boat "lighter; one that will accelerate better;
respond to gusts more quickly" will add to the sailors' enjoyment and,
indeed, enhance the spectacle, I cannot see how those new rule parameters
will achieve the stated principle aim of "making racing closer". Quite the
opposite, I would have thought.

* From Ed Sherman: (Re definition of a yawl): It is easier to remember that
both a ketch and a yawl have two masts. Each has a main forward and a
mizzen aft. On a ketch the mizzen is in front of the rudder post meaning a
tiller could "ketch" on the mast. A yawl's mizzen is behind the rudder post
so the rudder post says to the mizzen, "yawl catch up."

* From Bruce Parsons, Newfoundland: A yawl originally, in a wooden boat,
had the aft mast stepped aft of the stern post. This could aft or forward
of steering or end of waterline, but was most likely ahead of the latter.
The Boatmans Manual, C.D. Lane, 1979 edition, says a yawl has the mizzen
stepped aft of the rudderhead - virtually the same thing as the stern post
on a wooden boat, and a good reference for any other type of construction.
He goes on to say the area of the mizzen on a yawl is usually one fourth
that of the main, wheras on a ketch it is one third to one half. He also
states that the yawl is essentially a racing rig (?!?) and that since the
rating rules ceased favouring it, it has rarely been built.

* From David Munge: A yawl has the aft mast aft of the rudder post, is what
I was taught. Interesting enough in Master and Commander, by Patrick
O'Brian I seem to remember that the master of the ship always had
suffiencient latitiude to call his ship what he wanted within certain realms.

* From John Williams: Hats off to Hal Pickering, mates - he worked
tirelessly for the betterment of the sport, was a heck of a competitor, and
let us multihullers walk through the front door of the YC, belly up to the
bar and swap fabrications. He'd've been a classy buccaneer in an earlier
time. He'll be greatly missed here in P'cola and in the world of
weekend-warrior sailing.

* From James M. Haupt: It is with great sadness when I first heard of the
loss of Hal Pickering. The Melges 24 group, Pensacola Yacht Club and the
entire Gulf region has lost a good man at way too early of an age.

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow
in Australia. - Charles Schulz