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SCUTTLEBUTT 1490 - January 6, 2004

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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.

THE PREZ SAYS
(Following are excerpts from a letter by ISAF President Paul Henderson, not
yet posted on the ISAF website.)

As ISAF looks forward into a New Year there appear major challenges which
lay ahead. This will be a year of major ISAF delegate change. 2004 will see
many of the familiar faces retire, including the President, and new sailors
will be nominated to fill their places. It is essential that that the
leadership of ISAF have adequate representation from sailors who are in
their 40s and 50s. The challenge to MNAs is to nominate dedicated sailors
who are willing to serve and who will bring with them modern and relevant
new viewpoints and who are closely associated with the needs of today's
international sailors. This is especially true for those who will be
elected to the Executive Committee as several Vice-presidents have chosen
to retire. ISAF has made a major step forward by ensuring that at least 2
women will be elected to the Executive and that 25% of the Council will
also be women.

The latest debates have shown how important the Olympic Regatta is to the
World of Sailing. The decisions made on how the Olympic Regatta is run has
a ripple effect into many areas of sailing. The Olympic Regatta is much
more than just an event held every four years affecting only a few elite
sailors. There are two areas where ISAF must act this year. They are the
technical aspects of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the selection of the
equipment to be used in 2008.

Olympic Classes are said to be for the most part "One-design". One-design
should be interpreted as follows: "If it is not in the rules it is
illegal". Needless to say this could be taken to ridiculous extremes but
should be judicially enforced to ensure a "level playing field" for all
competitors. For Athens 2004, ISAF has addressed many issues so as to
endeavour to ensure an equal and fair playing field for all competitors:
- Intense measurement procedures never before enacted to ensure
"One-Design" rules are met.
- Impounding of sails so as to ensure they can not been altered after
measurement.
- Two high level independent Race Officers on each course.
- Limitation of electronic and other equipment on coach boats.
- Limitation of race course areas that coaches can access.
- Class familiar Int. Judges to adjudicate Rule 42 compliance.
- Addressing OCS procedures.
- Time Limit Scoring system.

ISAF will send measurement personnel to many of the last Olympic Qualifiers
so as to indicate to the competitors and coaches what standards they can
expect at the Olympic Games.

ISAF Council at the November 2004 ISAF AGM must make a selection of the
equipment which will be used in the 11 events for 2008 in Qingdao. This is
always a very controversial and agonizing decision. The Olympic Games
equipment and regulations should err on the side of "talent" not
"technology". ISAF Council should consider that 5 of the 11 events have
supplied equipment as ISAF now does for the Laser. It is not just the cost
at the Olympic Games that this suggestion impacts but training events and
Regional Games.

It is discouraging to see the escalation of cost of the Olympic equipment
and the need for special, customized boats which makes it difficult and
expensive to charter boats for even training regattas. Supplied, standard
equipment should be considered for at least 5 events of the Games. Some of
the costs may have to be the responsibility of ISAF. The Laser concept has
served the sport of sailing well and it epitomizes the true Olympic Spirit.
To select 5 of the 11 events where the equipment is not a major factor
would be a major step forward in ensuring the health of competitive sailing
worldwide. - Paul Henderson

GRINS
Ellen MacArthur and the 16-strong shore team now in Sydney, Australia are
in countdown mode to the official naming of the new 75-foot B&Q trimaran
that will take place on Thursday, 8th January outside the stunning National
Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney. The naming will form part of
the opening ceremony at the Schroders London Boat Show via a satellite link
hosted by communications partner, BT. The show opening starts at 1100 GMT
and after the naming of the new trimaran, Ellen will also officially
co-open the 50th Schroders London Boat Show.

The boat testing of the new Nigel Irens designed trimaran has already begun
in Sydney: "We have been out sailing three times so far in varying
conditions from light conditions to a good sea breeze gusting up to 25
knots," said MacArthur. "The tri sailed really well in both conditions and
we saw 28 knots of boat speed in the last sail - it was pretty awesome and
there were lots of big grins on the guy's faces."

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SAMSON ROPE TECHNOLOGIES
2003 has been a great year at Samson Rope Technologies. Progen II was
recognized as a high quality, low stretch PBO halyard. Samson ICE is the
best heat/abrasion resistant cover available. Many thanks to our
supporters: the top riggers, dealers and distributors. Of course, thanks to
you sailors dedicated to using the best line available. For new products
and splicing instructions, please check our website. Have a great Sailing
New Year. http://www.samsonrope.com

DOING DRUGS
The ISAF Anti-Doping Code is effective from 1 January 2004 and is available
online at the ISAF Medical and Anti-Doping Sitelet. At the 2003 ISAF
Mid-Year Meeting ISAF accepted the World Anti-Doping Code, a universal code
which each International Federation has been required to adopt by the World
Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The ISAF Anti-Doping Code is adopted and
implemented in conformance with ISAF's responsibilities under the World
Anti-Doping Code.

Anti-Doping Rules, like Competition rules, are sport rules governing the
conditions under which sport is played. Athletes accept these rules as a
condition of participation. The ISAF Anti-Doping Code applies to ISAF, each
Member National Authority (MNA) of ISAF,and each participant in the
activities of ISAF or any of its MNA's by virtue of the participant's
membership, accreditation, or participation in ISAF, its MNAs, or their
activities or Events. Doping control is administered in order to uphold the
requirement of RRS Fundamental Rule 5. - ISAF website:
http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=6131
ISAF Anti-Doping Sitelet: www.sailing.org/medical

NEWS BRIEFS
* UK Sailmakers invites you to send them your questions and they will
answer as many as we can on their website. Even if you don't have a
question, you can learn from the posted Q&A. If they turn your question
into a future rules quiz, they will send you a free copy of our Real Time
Racing Rules Quiz CD - a $40 value. UK's objective is to clarify and help
you understand the Racing Rules of Sailing - their answers and responses
are not meant to conflict with exiting decisions rendered by Protest
Committees or Juries. http://www.uksailmakers.com/RulesQuiz/forum.html

* Harken announced that a new operation will be opened to service the Swiss
marine market. This move represents a shift in distribution for Harken from
Lambelet and Hayner, SA to a new distributorship operating as Harken Swiss.
Harken Swiss will be managed by Harken's long-time German distributor Peter
Frisch GmbH based in Munich, which has been responsible for Harken
distribution in Germany, Poland, Hungary and Austria for the past 23 years.
The new team includes Eddy Eich, Michael Schnell, Florian Boehm and Jan
Dicks, and there will be a dedicated salesperson in Switzerland. Harken
Swiss will be a trade-only business established to service the OEM customer
base and the aftermarket, dealers and riggers.

*Sydney to Hobart organizers set their sights on tripling the fleet size
for the race's 60th anniversary celebrations next year. Cruising Yacht Club
of Australia Commodore John Messenger said the race board would meet in
Sydney early next week to consider rule changes he hoped would boost the
fleet up to 150 in 2004 - almost triple this year's 57 entries. This year's
event matched the record 30-year low of 2002's 57-strong fleet - compared
to 371 for the 50th anniversary in 1994. - nzoom.com, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/ysk3s

TRIVIA QUESTION
What is the largest island in the world? (Answer below)

A MOVING WINDOW TO THE SEA
20x20, launched to celebrate Kos' twenty year career in marine photography,
displays more than 200 artistic images in a 10kg carbon-fibre bound book,
designed to be wall mounted like a large framed picture. With a Foreword by
His Highness the Aga Khan, the work has attracted collectors of art and
many high profile clients. 20x20 is hand-bound in 1000 individually signed
editions. Whilst many were pre-sold, some unique numbers were retained by
Kos and these are now being released. Price of 850 (approx. $1,500)
includes wall mount and UK mainland courier delivery. Preview at
http://www.kospictures.com/book.asp

UPDATE: GARY JOBSON
(The following is just a brief excerpt from a story about Gary Jobson by
Bill Handleman that was published Christmas Day in the Asbury Park Press.)

Jobson got out of the hospital five weeks ago. He went in for his last
treatment Tuesday. "Full recovery, they say, is 100 days from the stem cell
trans-plant," he explains. "In about a month I'll know." In the meantime,
his eyes are now wide open, his senses heightened. Colors might be a little
more vivid to him now, sounds a little more enchanting, his family a little
more precious.

Full story: http://www.app.com/app/story/0,21625,876110,00.html

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CY
For many years we have called on January 1st, both to wish Cy and Camille
Gillette Happy New Year, but also to wish Cy Happy Birthday. This year was
special -- it was Cy's 90th. After the usual chit chat about the America's
Cup, I asked, foolishly, if he were still sailing -- "yes, of course, and I
won the last two Cal 20 races before Christmas."

Ken Morrison - "Cy also umpired the Hawaii YRA Prince of Wales elimination
series this year. Although taking life a bit easier these days, Cy is still
spry and his mind is as sharp as a tack."

Bryan Willis - "One of our sport's most valuable contributors, a
world-class judge and umpire, and a great sailor."

Dennis Conner - "A great sailor, a great friend, a great father, they don't
come any better! Best wishes to Cy for many more."

All of Cy's friends around the sailing world will be pleased to know he is
still going strong. Birthday greetings for the party on Jan 17th can be
sent care of Ken Morrison (klmorrison@compuserve.com) - Tom Ehman.

TRIVIA ANSWER
Greenland, with 840,000 square miles, is the largest island. This is not to
be confused with Australia, which is a continent and therefore cannot be an
island. New Guinea (306,000 square miles) is the second largest island,
Madagascar (226,658 square miles) is the fourth largest island, and Great
Britain (84,200 square miles) is the eighth largest island.

GEAR UP FOR RACING AT KEY WEST
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and free gifts. Call store for details 305-295-0999.


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 Graham Byrnes: I couldn't agree with Lou Morgan II more. Like Lou I
wear a life jacket a lot of the time, but I feel I should have the right to
decide when I should clip on my harness or put on my foul weather gear or
wear my life jacket. What's next? Surf boards are under 20'. Surfing is far
more hazardous than rowing out the 100' to my 32' sailboat in a protected
creek.

I believe that I saved my life by rolling under my surfboard one time as
an out of control board came hurtling straight at me. The nose of that
board punched a large hole through the bottom of my board just inches from
my head. Surely the buoyancy of a life jacket would have prevented me or
slowed me down that micro second from using my board as a shield. Type 2
and 3 PFD's will not hold an unconsious person's head above water! Will
they later decide that we must wear type 1 PFD's, and make it impossible to
function in a racing dinghy.

This is another prime example of the government coming up with a possibly
well intended but certainly ill concieved "law" that has been written by
the ignorant to "protect" the stupid from the consequences of their own
actions. Shame!

* From George Morris, Scotland (edited to our 250-word limit): Though I am
not an American and do not live or sail in America, I am horrified that a
bunch of busybodies (the USCG and 'industry' representatives) are going to
sit down an 'mandate' the wearing of PFDs. Is this the 'land of the free'
or what? What America does today everybody else does tomorrow so that's why
it matters to me. Of course we all wear PFDs when we race dinghies and when
we row out to our moored cruisers but there are other times when I'm
mucking about in a boat in benign conditions when I don't. Has anyone ever
seen anyone wearing a PFD in the Virgin Islands? If the USCG is going to
become the arbitrator of what safety devices we have to wear on the water,
how long will it be before mountaineering, skiing, all forms of motor
sport, most forms of private flying etc are banned altogether?

Another story concerned the antics of the New Zealand government in trying
to prevent someone from rowing to South Africa. A cost of some $64,000 was
quoted for the use of the P3 search plane. Well let me tell you how
military costings work: there is an allowance of so many dollars a year for
flying hours. This can be spent 'training', rescuing people or flying to
remote parts of the globe and parachuting Christmas Trees to the
inhabitants. Most crews regard a good search and rescue exercise as the
best training they will ever get.

* From Scott King: Your recent reporting of the rescue of English rower,
Jim Shekhdar, and the possible claim of his boat as salvage to pay for the
rescue effort should be commented on further. As a (former) professional
mariner and sailor with numerous ocean passages to my credit I would ask if
the average yachtsman has any idea what the diversion costs a rescue incurs
to the shipping company and their insurers is? Even a small research vessel
will cost $7-10,000 dollars per day.

No one will question the bravery of those who risk their lives to help
sailors in peril at sea. Should these brave folks be risking their lives to
rescue someone who has prepared badly or is embarking on an inherently
dangerous voyage for the simple reason that they can? I find this even more
distasteful when it is the second such rescue!

I am not suggesting that society should restrict ocean racing, single
handed sailing, trans-ocean rowing or even a seemingly simple passage with
a couple friends to Bermuda. Nor do I anticipate that fools will cease to
venture forth on ill-prepared craft or highly dangerous passages. But all
persons who have the right (and freedom) to do these things should also
take the responsibility to make plans (financial and physical) to
facilitate their own rescue...or be prepared to suffer the financial
repercussions for having failed to do so. Personally I think a two time
loser should forfeit more than his boat.

* From Chris Ericksen: Bruce Thompson ('Butt 1487) says the starting system
in the RRS is biased toward single-class races and not well suited for
multiple-class racing. I agree. Blake Middleton ('Butt 1488) reports that
the clubs with which he is affiliated have kept the old System 2 in lieu of
"required sound signals (gun, horn or whistle) every single minute" and
"enough one armed paper hangers (to handle multiple class/ preparatory
flags) to sink our signal boat."

Alamitos Bay YC in Long Beach, California, faced this years ago and came up
with a key feature: inserting a one-minute pause between the start of one
race and the warning for the next. ABYC also shortened the actual flag
sequence to three minutes from five, allowing the RC to get a start off
every four minutes. And the timing and signaling can be done with three
people: a timer/horn operator (no guns here!), a single halyard operator
for both warning and prep halyards and a person to handle the recall flags
(which we mount on staffs).

I implore Mr. Middleton and other race officers--and the race-management
people at US Sailing--to talk more to the clubs that have struggled with
implementing the new starting system into a multiple-class regatta format.
And I also hope that we don't return to System 2. Let us move forward, not
back.

* From Bruce Thompson: I disagree with Chris Luppens (Butt 1489). I am
quite impressed by Mr. Middleton's credentials, two clubs and 130 racers
asking for his services speaks for itself. But let's compare the two
starting alternatives. Mr. Middleton's version of system 2 lasts a total of
24 minutes to start seven sections. It requires 9 sound signals, 9 hoists,
three shapes and no simultaneous hoist/ drops.

The current system requires 22 sound signals at one minute intervals and 14
hoists. It takes 8 flags and has six simultaneous host/ drops. It also
requires faith in one's ability to make one sound signal serve two separate
races (a question put before ISAF in Submission 096-03).

To eliminate the ambiguity, you ought to insert a minute between starts,
which would put you up to a total 27 minute sequence. It would have 28
sound signals, 14 hoists and no hoist/drops.
This increase in sound signals has obsolete the shotgun blank and
replaced it with the propane cannon. Propane cannons have a 1.5-2 second
delay and if the button is held too long give a double shot.

So the question is have we served those 130 members of US Sailing who race
under Mr. Middleton? Have we served race committees in general by
increasing the number required by one body (hoist/ dropper) for every race
date of the season? Why eliminate something that works?

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
One good sign that you've finally grown up is when you don't know what time
Taco Bell closes anymore.