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SCUTTLEBUTT 1501 - January 21, 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.

A KEY WEST FOR ALL AGES - 14 TO 70
John MacLaurin, a lifelong sailor from Los Angeles who just became a
septuagenarian, celebrated his initiation into the international Farr 40
class at Terra Nova Trading Key West 2004, presented by Nautica, by sailing
his new Pendragon V to City of Key West Boat of the Day honors with first-
and third-place finishes. And guess who took over first place from his
father in the Melges 24s. 14 year old Samuel (Shark) Kahn of Santa Cruz,
Calif. and Hawaii went 4-1 and flew away from the rest of that 58-boat
fleet with a 12-point lead after four of nine races. This is the same Shark
who stunned the sport last October by winning the Melges 24 Worlds - the
youngest sailor ever to win a major world championship, as far as anyone knows.

Despite MacLaurin's success, Steve and John Howe's Warpath from San Diego,
with John Cutler as tactician, and James Richardson's consistently sailed
Barking Mad, Newport, R.I., with Terry Hutchinson, slipped into a
first-place tie among the 23 boats. Warpath won the second race in ideal
conditions of 12-15 knots of breeze and relatively smooth seas. "The key to
winning (the regatta) is not necessarily to win any of the individual
races," Steve Howe said. "It's consistently being among the top five or
eight boats. The boats are so competitive and everyone is going the same
speed, so it's easy to finish 15th or worse."

A few other sailors also tested the emerald waters, although not by choice.
Bowman Ken Nevor went swimming off Tom Hill's R/P 75 Titan from Newport,
R.I. when a line tangled around his foot. The crew recovered Nevor after a
minute of surfing alongside but lost their spinnaker in the process. Three
crew members on Stuart Townsend's Farr 40, Virago, were dumped during a
Farr 40 start when a lifeline gave way. All were quickly recovered unharmed.

The Farr 40s owner-driver rule that says the owner must drive for the
start, finish and all mark roundings, but can take relief at other times.
On the other hand, the younger Kahn isn't nearly old enough to drive - a
car, anyway. But he has an excellent handle on a Melges 24. He took over
first place from his dad Philippe, who dropped to second place with a 20th
after three consecutive seconds.

Richard Bergmann, whose Zuni Bear from San Diego was Boat of the Week last
year, said after a 1-2 day that moved him into first place by one point,
"It's easier with two of these Southern California kids that know the
shifts on the boat." He referred to Sean Bennett of UC Berkeley and John
Horsch of USC. Bennett called it "college sailing---really shifty and
tactical, rather than all-out racing." - Rich Roberts

Tuesday's weather: 69 F.; wind 12-15 knots N. Wednesday's forecast: 70 F,
wind 10-15 knots N, seas 1-2 feet.

Complete results: www.premiere-racing.com/04_KW_Results/kw_2004_releases.htm
More great Rick Tomlinson photos have been added to our Key West photo
gallery: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/keywest/

THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
The climax of Australia's summer sailing program, Skandia Geelong Week is
widely acknowledged as Australia's largest sailing event - 55 yacht races
over five days. This year's event has attracted 330 yachts, the largest
ever in the 160-year history of the event.

Skandia Geelong Week is a combination of the former Festival of Sail and
the Geelong Waterfront Festival and it is truly a total entertainment
package ... the Melbourne Cup of the sailing world! An estimated 70,000
visitors will head for the waterfront precincts over the 2004 Australia Day
long weekend. The event has an extensive and diverse shore based program
that includes 48 live performances on four waterfront stages, two aerobatic
displays, two spectacular fireworks displays, street performers, buskers,
art exhibition, sand sculptures, tall ships and more.

It all starts next Saturday morning January 24th, with the start of the
Williamstown to Geelong race. The 2003 Sydney to Hobart line honours winner
Skandia is expected to lead the massive fleet away from the start line.
Accompanied by tall ships and a large spectator fleet, Port Phillip will be
witness to an Australia Day long weekend sailing spectacular. -
www.skandiasetsail.com

ELLEN MACARTHUR TRI'S WITH MUSTO
Ellen's sailing adventures have taken yet another giant leap forward, with
the recent launch of her new B&Q 75-foot trimaran in Sydney, Australia. "My
next ambition will be to attempt to set new solo speed sailing records,"
says Ellen. "Musto will be providing their latest range of offshore weather
gear to protect me against the ocean's elements and in this environment I
will need them more than ever..." Follow Ellen's exciting program at
www.teamellen.com. You don't need to sail a 75-foot trimaran to experience
Musto. Give it a try next time: http://www.musto.co.uk

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY
The 505's Golden Anniversary will be celebrated by several special events
including a "Retro" 505 Regatta on the Seine River near Paris, at the site
where the first 505 was first launched and sailed. The event will be held
September 11th and 12th. Several 505s built in 1954 will be competing,
along with newer 505s. The 505 class was created on January 16th 1954 when
members of the French Caneton Association voted unanimously to adopt John
Westall's new design.

The 505 may be best known for being the quintessential two person high
performance dinghy, attracting the biggest names in the sailing world
including Paul Elvstrom, John Marshall, John Marshall, Dennis Surtees, Dick
Deaver, Sally Lindsay, Paul Cayard, Steve Benjamin, the McKee brothers,
Chris Nicholson, Ian Barker, Howard Hamlin, Carl and Carol Buchan and many
many more. The list of sailors who have won a 505 world or continental
championship is impressive. The list of world-class sailors who have tried
but not won is much longer.

A restricted development class, the 505 has adopted newer and better
technologies over time, without obsolescing hulls. In the first fifty years
the 505 was a pioneer in the hull flare, the use of the trapeze, the
spinnaker launcher, aluminum spars, synthetic cloth sails, and cored
construction with epoxy, Kevlar, and carbon fibre. Two years ago, on the
class's 48th birthday, the class went with a longer luff spinnaker, to
tweak up the speed just a little more. As the class reaches its golden
anniversary and the ripe old age of 50, it boasts over 200 members in the
United States and over 1200 worldwide. The 50th 505 World Championship will
be held in Wannamunde Germany in August of 2005. - Ali Meller,
http://www.int505.org/

AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM
Most of the big names are there and hopes are high they can match or better
the four medals won at the 2000 Sydney Games after Australia's Olympic
sailing team was all but finalized at the weekend. There were no big
surprises as 13 of the nation's top sailors booked their spots in the
Athens team following strong performances at Sail Melbourne, the fourth and
final Olympic trial for nine of the 11 events.

National coach Victor Kovalenko said the team had the potential to better
the two golds, a silver and bronze won at the 2000 games. "Most of our guys
now in the team are the best in the world, they have top rankings, they're
medallists in world championships," Kovalenko said.

He believed Australia's top medal prospects were in the Tornado (world
champions Darren Bundock and John Forbes), 49ers (Chris Nicholson and Gary
Boyd), Lasers (Michael Blackburn) and 470 men's (Nathan Wilmot and Malcolm
Page). Wilmot and Page will be aiming to match the gold medal won by Tom
King and Mark Turnbull in 2000 while the women's 470 duo of Jenny Armstrong
and Belinda Stowell will defend their Olympic title.

Only the Star class is yet to be determined with the final qualification to
be held in Miami at the end of the month. But Colin Beashel and David Giles
are favoured to represent Australia giving Beashel a record sixth
consecutive Olympic appearance. The Mistral sailboard team from Sydney
returns to compete in Athens with Lars Kleppich and Jessica Crisp while
Sarah Blanck will represent Australia in the Europe class and Anthony
Nossiter in the Finn. Ynglings (Ynglings) trio Nicky Bethwaite, Kristen
Kosmala and Karyn Gojnich were selected earlier this month. -, full story:
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/01/18/1074360625779.html

HUGE
J/Boats comprise over twenty-five percent of all entries at the Terra Nova
Trading Key West regatta this week. The J/105 class is the second largest
class overall, the J/133 (2004 Boat of the Year) is dominating PHRF 3, and
the J/109's and J/120's own PHRF 5. Latest J/News at http://www.jboats.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* John Reed, Secretary to the World Sailing Speed Record Council has
announced the ratification of a new World Record of 46.24 knots on the 500
Metre Course which was established in a 10 Sq M Class Windsurfer at Les
Saintes Maries de la Mer by Finian Maynard of the British Virgin Islands on
December 3, 2003. http://www.sailspeedrecords.com/news.html

*Harken Yacht Equipment has named noted Around Alone sailor Tim Kent as
Harken's Sales Manager. In his new position, Kent will work closely with
both Harken's aftermarket and OEM sales operations worldwide. Kent will
also work with Harken's distributor offices around the world, Harken's five
offices in the US and their operations in the United Kingdom, France and
Italy. Kent, a life long sailor, recently finished second in Division II of
the Around Alone race aboard his Open 50 Everest Horizontal. -
www.thedailysail.com

*US Sailing is launching a new line of high-quality performance apparel
that is designed to fit the diverse needs of cruising and racing sailors
and the proceeds from their 'Authentic Collection' will help support US
Sailing's programs and mission. The Authentic Collection offers a variety
of apparel branded with the US Sailing logo, which can also be personalized
to include a boat name, sail number, and boat logo. In addition, a line of
customizable products is available for regattas, yacht clubs and class
associations. www.ussailinggear.com

* In 'Butt 1500 we did a story about the evening of extreme indoor
windsurfing at the London Boat Show. You've just got to see the sensational
photos of the crowd pleasing action that resulted from 25 fans sending 30
knots of wind screaming across the indoor pool:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/0118pwa/

FEELING RUSTY?
Team Hall Spars & Rigging is on site in Key West helping our customers
fine-tune their rigs. Even if you're not sailing at Key West, you can still
work on your rig. It's the perfect time to get out your standing rigging
and give it a thorough check. The turnbuckle threads should be free of rust
and turn easily. Check the turnbuckle barrel for signs of corrosion and
cracking. Also check the swages--you want to be sure the wire strands
aren't damaged by rust. If you need standing rigging, check our online
special at http://www.hallspars.com


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 Marc Fountain: Suppose for a moment that we are writing the RRS from
scratch... Would you write a rule that results in each boat having an equal
chance of winning a protest in the room regardless of which tack or gybe
she is on, or whether inside or outside at a mark when boats meet, and
perhaps hail or perhaps collide (gently or not)? Would you write a rule
that encourages boats to consistently overstand the weather mark by over 20
boatlengths (observations from a recent world championship) in order to
avoid the port tack layline? Would you write a rule that is ambiguous
enough to make ooching and pumping off the line unenforceable? Those are
the rules you have now.

Wouldn't you prefer to see an RRS that has a burden of proof for each
protestable situation? Wouldn't you prefer to see the person who pumped
their mainsheet madly for the entire beat enrolled in a separate
'air-rowing' regatta? Wouldn't you prefer to have your competitors think
"I'm not going to win this protest, I'd better take the alternative
penalty" when you raise the flag rather than "who cares, they'll probably
drop it" or "we have a 50/50 chance so let's just sail on"?

Let's throw out the RRS and start over because they are fundamentally
flawed. Let's start over from scratch (or at least 1990)! Bring back the
onus, please.

* From Scott Ridgeway (re the Global Challenge): I find it absolutely
amazing that people would ante up a big pile of money to sail around the
world (the wrong way) with a crew they've never met before. I've logged a
lot of offshore racing miles, but the key to saying either 'yes' or 'no' is
always based on who will be on the crew sailing with me. Offshore sailing
with the wrong people is pure torture, but the opportunity to sail offshore
with the right people is the reason we all go back for more.

* From Jerry Kaye (Regarding Paul Henderson's desire to have 25% of the
[ISAF] council to be female): I'd bet an iced igloo of brew that there are
a lot less than 25% active racing (20 days a year or more) sailors that are
women, be it world wide or just in the US. Equitable representation is
reasonable. Mandating a quota that exceeds female participation appears to
be a lame attempt to just meet some nice girls.

* From Rich du Moulin, Vice Commodore, Storm Trysail Club (edited to our
250-word limit): When I lived in New Hampshire I thought the state motto
"Live Free or Die" was cool. However, I wouldn't apply it too liberally to
ocean racing, where serious responsibilities play a role:

1. Event Organizer -- a sponsor club has a responsibility to consider
the safety of competitors. A "hands-off' policy is difficult to justify.
The RORC post the 1979 Fastnet and CC of Australia post the 1998
Sydney-Hobart have had to deal with this.
2. Captain/Owner-- he can delegate tactics, steering, and sailtrim, but
the one responsibility that a captain/owner cannot delegate is the safety
of his crew. It's one of the oldest maritime traditions: think of Captain
Cook or Ernest Shackleton's care of their men.
3. Personal-- should the individual crew be the sole judge of wearing a
PFD or harness? No. Not all crew are equally qualified to make the call,
and a crew who falls overboard risks the lives of the remainder of the
crew. Think of MOB incidents where another crew jumped in the water to try
support a MOB who was not wearing a PFD. Now there are two MOB and a
depleted crew to attempt the pickup.

At Storm Trysail Club we elected to create and publicize reasonable
Guidelines that simulate the decision-making of a knowledgeable
captain/owner/crew and are compatible with the good works of the CCA, ORC,
and RORC. Even a solo-sailor who practices "Live Free or Die" may risk the
lives of rescuers who have to come to his/her aid.

* From David Garman: If my math is correct, we would save far more lives by
banning smoking on boats than we would by requiring PFD's.

* From Andy Roy: The PFD thread has certainly initiated some lively debate.
This prompts me to let the Curmudgeon know that I'd be prepared to take
time out of my schedule here in -25C Canada to represent the interests of
all Buttheads at the PFD workshop in Miami Beach on February 13th. Any room
in the budget to cover expenses?

Curmudgeon's Comment: I suspect if we opened up the checking account for a
trip to Florida we'd have lots of volunteers but they'd all be in line up
behind me ;-)

* From Bruce Schwab: As a singlehanded sailor and solo racing fan, it was
with mixed feelings that I read of Brad Van Liew's retirement from solo
southern ocean racing. I guess I had a feeling it was coming, as we talked
often over the satphone during the Around Alone and he clearly was just as
(or more) stressed about missing his new daughter and wife Meaghan then he
was about approaching nasty weather!

To say that Brad has been an inspiration to us other American singlehanders
is an understatement. His struggles to finish the 98/99 race aboard Balance
Bar despite hideous storms and his dismasting on the final leg kept me and
most of my friends glued to our computers. After meeting him in person soon
after, his open and humorous nature made it easy to strike up a friendship.
I wound up helping him sell his boat and we had great fun delivering up the
California coast together.

During my own up and down Around Alone experience on an all-too-new boat,
Brad always encouraging and helped me stick it out. Even though I was on an
Open 60 to his 50, his highly tuned boat was difficult to shake as he had
he race of his life demolishing Class 2, winning each leg. After such a
performance, it's easy to understand his feeling that it's time for a
well-deserved break from our risky sport!

To Brad: Dude, thanks for the inspiration and help!

* From R. C. Keefe <rckeefe@sbcglobal.net>: We often hear and read about
yachts, yachting and cruising in Cuba. For a book, I am writing about the
great racing yachts sailing just before and after World War II I need some
information/help concerning the following. "Ciclon" was a 52' S&S sloop
built in Cuba just before the war. She was a beautiful yacht, and very
successful racing in Florida from 1945 well into the 1950's. "Criollo" was
a 67' S&S yawl that was built in the same yard in Cuba as "Ciclon" I
believe for the same Cuban owner. She was a beautiful first class yawl with
bright varnished topsides.

I sailed in the St. Petersburg Havana race in 1952 on "Escapade", and in
1953 on "Ticonderoga". Both "Ciclon" and "Criollo" were in those two races.
I seem to remember that "Criollo" won in 1953. I would like to know what
ever happened to these two Cuban yachts?? It seems that there is no record
of either after the Revolution in 1958. Were they destroyed?? If sold, one
would think that there would be some record of them. Perhaps one of your
readers may be able to shed some light on the subject. By the way, there
was a fine fleet of Star Boats in Havana, and of course many beautiful
sports fishing boats at the yacht club. I wonder what ever became of them.

CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
We have enough youth, how about a 'Fountain of Smart?'