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SCUTTLEBUTT 1497 - January 15, 2004

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.

In light of the many letters and comments received regarding the "PFD Wear
Issue", for the record, I would like to clarify some points and explain the
sequence of events that lead to the decision to have a PFD workshop in
Miami on February 13th from 3-5pm.

At the NASBLA conference last October, a lengthy discussion took place
about Canada's implementation of mandatory lifejacket legislation for all
boaters. This issue was further discussed at the National Boating Safety
Advisory Committee's (NBSAC) meeting last November in Chicago. A resolution
was proposed by NBSAC recommending consideration of similar U.S.
regulations. That particular resolution was tabled, however; another
resolution was passed directing the U.S. Coast Guard to host a PFD workshop
in order to explore any and all means of increasing PFD wear while boating.

The Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA - an
affiliate of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, (NMMA) agreed
to co-sponsor this event with the U.S. Coast Guard. The Miami workshop will
discuss the challenges, obstacles and opportunities facing all segments of
the marine community regarding PFD wear. The prime objective shall be to
investigate ways to increase PFD wear while boating, thus reducing the
number of annual boating fatalities through drowning.

There is more than one approach to this challenge, and we will be
discussing the pros and cons of each - including legislation - in detail.
We will have representatives from the paddlesports and angling/ hunting
communities as part of our panel, and we are expecting a large turnout.
Every opinion matters and we look forward to lots of open dialogue. This
event is open to everyone, and will take place at the Miami Beach
Convention Center on Friday February 13th, from 3-5pm. - Bernice McArdle,
Executive Director, PFDMA, <>

Skipper Steve Fossett and his 12-man crew on the 125' (38.1m)
maxi-catamaran 'Cheyenne' have spent the past several days considering an
immediate opportunity for their round the world record attempt - but Steve
reported this morning that the wind prognosis had deteriorated overnight
and a departure this week has been rejected as 'just too marginal' in
getting decent winds to the equator.

"We are fully prepped, fully loaded and would much rather sail than sit.
But the current weather pattern is quite weak to the equator - and while we
might just thread our way south past Portugal towards the Canaries, it
would be too slow," Fossett said. "We were prepared to consider it in order
to get going, but have now dropped the idea. On the other hand, a 'monster'
Low Pressure system - the same one we have been tracking since last week -
is now over Newfoundland. It will work its way across the Atlantic, with a
High Pressure cell centered in the Atlantic behind it, allowing for a
possible departure around 28-29 January. This is a classic weather pattern
to drive us quickly to 0 degrees latitude. Our target for this first
segment will be 8 days or less. We know 'Geronimo' is also on standby - so
it looks like we'll have company."

The start / finish line for the current WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record
Council) RTW record on the Jules Verne course is a line between the Lizard
in Cornwall, UK and the French island of Ushant (Ouessant), where the
official observer will be sited. Ushant, the most westerly of the islands
off metropolitan France, is 14 miles off Finistère - and about 120 miles
from Cheyenne's Plymouth, UK base. -

At the starting signal, the race committee observes three boats on the
course side of the starting line. The race committee identifies Boat A and
Boat B by sail number, but cannot identify the third boat. The race
committee properly signals individual recall, but only the two identified
boats return to start. After the race, Boat A and Boat B protest Boat C for
not starting according to the definition and RRS 28.

Based on the information in the protests, the race committee decides that
the protested boat (Boat C) is the boat they could not identify at the
start. Before the protests are heard, the race committee scores Boat C OCS
without a hearing, in accordance with rule A5

Question 1: Is the race committee allowed to score a boat under rule A5
after the race?

Question 2: May a race committee decision to score a boat OCS under rule A5
be based on observations or statements from competitors or other persons
outside the race committee?

(Answers to the Rules Quiz are below)

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History was made in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, and
it was also made that year in the Transpac. The Transpacific Yacht Club's
biennial dinner meeting February 6th will honor the sailors of the
gear-busting '69 race, which saw many boats retire and many records fall.
An all time high of 72 boats started the race, and 51 boats broke the
corrected time record. Two new maxi's, Bob Johnson's Windward Passage and
Ken DeMeuse's Blackfin battled for first to finish and a new course record.
Passage finished first, but Blackfin ended up offically winning when
Passage was penalized for a starting line foul. The most dramatic finish
occured when George O'Brien's big 78' ketch Mir knocked down 400 yards from
the finish line and lost her rig, but finished the race stern first under
mizzen spinnaker.

Fifteen Cal 40's raced, with Mort Andron's Argonaut winning overall with a
crew in their early 20's including 17-year old Gary Weisman, now president
of North Sails. Tom Corkett's Cal 48 Salacia won class B, besting eight
Columbia 50's and 12 other now classic yachts. George Phillips' 34-foot
Esprit, the smallest boat in the fleet, won class D, along with winning her
starting line protest against Windward Passage and setting the stage for
the big ketch's triumphant return in the 1971 Transpac. Maestro, a 37- foot
sloop out of Santa Barbara was last to finish in just under 15 days, and
one day before Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind.

The Transpac Yacht Club biennial dinner will be held at Newport Harbor
Yacht Club, Friday February 6th. Along with the stories and film footage
from this epic race, legendary Windward Passage will be dockside in bristol
condition more than 35 years after her launching. Information on Transpac's
centennial 2005 race will be announced at the meeting.

For more information contact Transpac Commodore Brad Avery at 949-645-9412

(The UK's Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie talks candidly about the
build-up to Athens.)

I never really expected the success I had when I switched single-handed
classes from the Laser to the Finn. But when, in 2002, I won world,
European and national titles it was just the medicine I needed. It went
right to my competitive instinct. The thrill of winning is why I do sport.
And if you love sailing, there's nothing better than being on the water

This goes right to the heart of why I quit the United States-based
America's Cup team OneWorld. I had joined them after the Sydney Olympics as
the America's Cup is a long-term ambition. It was a great opportunity but
pretty soon I was not enjoying what I was doing. Being one cog in a huge
sailing team and not having any control over the direction the team was
taking was very frustrating.

I never like giving up on something, but it proved to be one of those
occasions where you follow your heart. My head was saying that leaving was
not the best thing to do to my career. In sport, though, you have to really
enjoy what you are doing to be successful and that had gone missing at
OneWorld. In hindsight, quitting was the right thing to do. - The Daily
Telegraph, full story:

Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers and Appraisers are currently accepting
property for its Marine Paintings, Ship Models and Nautical Works of Art
sale on March 16, 2004. Please contact a specialist if you wish to discuss
the sale of your property in this auction. Visit

* For all you Gary Jobson fans, not only is he feeling better, but he will
be at the Atlantic Sail Expo in Atlantic City New Jersey this weekend
giving two lectures at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

* Jean Luc van den Heede is still well ahead of Philippe Monnet's
record-breaking time at this stage of his west-about global challenge.
Sailing his 85ft aluminium cutter Adrien on this solo non-stop global
record attempt, Van den Heede is now 18 days ahead of Monnet after 67 days
at sea but over the last few days hasn't made up any significant time.
According to Den Heede this morning the night was rough with gusts up to 50
knots. - Sue Pelling/Yachting World, full story,

* Four more members of the British Olympic Sailing Team have been announced
for Athens 2004. Christina Bassadone & Katherine Hopson have been selected
in the 470 Women's class, Laura Baldwin in the Europe class and Natasha
Sturges in the Mistral Women's class. 13 sailors have previously been
announced as members of Team GB following the Sailing World Championships
in Cadiz in September last year. For more biographical information on these
athletes and other sports' athletes selected for Athens visit and access the Team GB icon on the website. - Yachts
and Yachting, full story:

* Derek Hatfield, (Canadian) 2003 Rolex Sailor of the Year and the only
Canadian to finish the Around Alone Yacht Race in 2002/03, announced his
strategy to build and compete in a state-of-the-art Open 60 Spirit of
Canada for the sixth edition of the 5-Oceans Solo Round the World Yacht
Race (formerly Around Alone). Decoma International Inc. was a major sponsor
for the 2002/2003 Around Alone Race and will continue its support. Along
side Spirit of Canada in 2002, were 2500 individual sponsors who provided
financial and moral support by having their names printed directly on the
boat. -, full story:

Answer 1: Yes. Under rule A5, the race committee may score a boat, or
correct a score, at any time.

Answer 2: No rule specifically prohibits the race committee from using
other evidence than its own observations when scoring a boat OCS. However,
if Boat C requested redress for being scored OCS, the protest committee
would decide whether the race committee's procedure for identifying boats
was proper.

Source: ISAF website:

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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 David Sligh: An excerpt you printed from Sail magazine stated "The
absolute world speed record under sail is 46.52 knots." All due respect,
any weekend DN sailor goes over the 46.52 kts "record" on any weekend that
there is halfway decent ice. I would bet that guys like Ron Sherry and
Karol Jablonski go a bit faster.

* From Frank Sticovich: On a yacht, particularly anything over 40', there
is a strong possibility of a person:
- Being hit on the head by a fast approaching boom or spinnaker pole
- Losing his/her fingers on a block
- Being neutered by flying coffee-grinder handles
- Slipping on a wet deck and damaging their spine
- Stubbing their toes on a shroud base or railing
- Smashing their shins on one of many foot high obstacles
- Having teeth dislodged by winch handles
- Suffering rope burns when handling lines
- Being hit on the ribs by your sailing companion's elbow
- Falling down hatchways causing all sort of injuries
- Losing their fingernails when handling sails
- Plus many other realistic consequences

As a result, will skippers and crews be required to turn up at the yacht
club wearing, apart from their obligatory PFDs, protective equipment a la
American football? Most sailors go to sea with the sole intention of
staying on the boat and most sailors (selfishly or encouraged by their
skippers or shipmates) have enough sense to wear a PFD when it is
warranted, without the interference of the legislature. By the way, why is
it that airlines don't issue passengers with parachutes?

* From Bill Tingle: Regarding the discussion about Personal Flotation
Devices I am reminded of the motto on the New Hampshire auto license
plates- "Live Free or Die".

* From Scott Brown: I've worked in recreational marketing for 25 years from
motorcycles to snowmobiles to all types of marine activities. The issue of
forcing someone to wear a lifejacket is similar to helmet laws and other
"we'll protect you from you" attitudes. One thing has remained constant --
government cannot successfully legislate people to think. Nor should it.

* From Nick Barran: Stefan Lloyd (Scuttlebutt 1496) writes that he owns his
own business, would like to advertise it on his boat but is deterred by the
large entry fees charged for Category C advertisers. In ISAF Code IV,
20.10(h) Competitor Advertising is defined as ..."advertising, which is
applied to a a condition or as a result of a payment made to or more of the competitors in respect of such boat"

Thus, I read all this to mean that if a competitor (Stefan Lloyd) does not
receive a payment for the advertising from his own company (himself) a key
element of the definition of competitors advertising is missing.
Consequently, the placing of a sign/logo etc. on his boat fails the test
for lack of payment, is not banned, and not subject to Category C entry
fees. However, I am not clear what effect, if any, 20.8 has, which states
"There should be no variation of entry fees based on competitor's category
of advertising for the boat in which he is competing." This would seem to
strengthen the argument for no fees, especially when no payment has been
received. Surely, however, we can agree that any "advertising" that is not
paid for is not advertising and subject the Category C fees.

* From Peter Commette: I am really happy for Augie Diaz to have won The
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Besides being a great guy, he just had a year
of which few are capable and even a select few of those will ever
accomplish. I also am happy for the Diaz family. Anyone who has had the
privilege of sailing against Augie has had the equal privilege of meeting
at least part of his clan, because that's the way they do things --
together. Together, they have been teaching the rest of us for years by
their example the proper definition of sportsmanship, graciousness,
competitiveness, humility, friendship...and, most importantly, family. The
Diazes are a shining example of what sailing can offer a family and what a
family can give back to the sport.

* From Alex Pline: Upon reflection of the results of this year's men's
Rolex Award, I think one of the great statements this year is that Augie is
purely a small(er) boat one design sailor who is motivated solely by
personal achievement. Not that there is anything wrong with professionals,
but it is rare in these days of pay for service big boat programs that this
type of sailor wins this award. Makes it all that much more sweet. To me,
it appears Augie was not looking to further his wallet, sell a product or
become famous, just kick the crap out of the competition. Hats off to Augie!

* From Jerry Kaye: It's not easy to throw out the sleazy cheaters we (more
often than not) share the water with. Too many times Protests of alleged
cheating are disallowed or poorly ruled on because of personality
conflicts, "it's too late to bother with this," misapplication of the
rules, arrogant PC members, "it's only a Wed. night race" or some other
silly reason. Too many times the protested party lies his way out of it.
Too many times he who speaks up (vehemently) about a cheater usually winds
up being the bad guy for doing so. The rules we sail under would work in a
perfect world. It ain't. PCs need to make reasonable decisions that
reinforce the gentlemanly aspect of sailing as there are too many ways for
the rules to be used (and abused).

USSA rule makers should consider the 'attacker' as having a greater burden
than the other party. To illustrate: He who luffs should have to prove that
he did so per the rules exactly. He who changes course close aboard another
racer should be made to have the burden of a lookout and must allow time
for a response, etc. Also, the rules makers need to understand not just the
"game," but the flow of the game... For example, an inside boat claiming an
overlap will not tack away in front of a line of onrushing port tackers or
turn in front of a line of startboard tackers just because the lead boat
hails "no-overlap!"

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
-Ben Williams