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SCUTTLEBUTT 1503 - January 23, 2004

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KEY WEST, Fla.---Three boats have clinched class championships with a race
to spare in Terra Nova Trading Key West 2004, presented by Nautica, but
center stage is set for a fiery final act in the internationally spiced
Farr 40 and Melges 24 classes Friday.

The top five of 23 Farr 40s are within two points, precariously led by
Crocodile Rock. Alexandra Geremia and Scott Harris' defending champion from
Santa Barbara has no wins but a one-point lead. Jim Richardson's Barking
Mad, Newport, R.I., and Peter de Ridder's Dutch entry, Mean Machine, share
second, with Steve and Fred Howe's Warpath, San Diego, and Marc Ewing's
Riot, Northeast Harbor, Maine, another point back.

How the day will go between France's Sebastian Col and California's
14-year-old world champion, Samuel (Shark) Kahn, to settle the Melges 24
issue is anyone's guess. Although Kahn won both races on a windy Thursday,
Col, helmsman for Philippe Ligot's P&P Sailing Team, discarded his 59-point
second race and leads by five points coming into the ninth and final
go-round. Nobody else can catch them.

"Tomorrow we can match race," said Col, 26, the 2002 European rankings
champion, 2003 U.S. national champion and strategist for France's Le Defi
Challenge in the last America's Cup. "I'm very confident with my match
racing because I'm match racing all the time.

Les Crouch of San Diego, Mike Rose of Kemah, Tex. and Michael Gray of New
Orleans will be more laid back. Crouch's R/P 43 Storm, Rose's J/133
Raincloud and Gray's Melges 30 Tiburon have first place secured in PHRF 2,
3 and 4, respectively.

Thursday's sidelights included an America's Cup veteran, Peter Holmberg,
going overboard off Tom Hill's R/P 75 Titan, the largest boat in the
regatta, and Joerg Esdom's J/105 Kincsem from Rye, N.Y. losing its mast in
a collision with a non-regatta powerboat while returning to port after
winning the last race.

Meanwhile, the California roll continued for Boat of the Day honors. Tom
Coates' J/105 Masquerade from San Francisco made it 4-for-4 on Lewmar Day
after first and fourth places and is six points behind a familiar
California foe, Rich Bergmann's front-running Zuni Bear.

Crocodile Rock finished seventh and 13th Thursday - its first double-digit
finish - but hung onto its lead. Tactician Vince Brun said, "It's like a
basketball game in this class. The first part is just showtime. The last
five minutes is when everything happens." Rich Roberts

Thursday's weather: 65 F.; wind 14, gusts to 20, N-NW. Friday's forecast:
60-65 F.; 15-20K, N.

Complete results:
You must see the new additions to the Key West photo gallery - they are

Skipper Steve Fossett advised earlier today that the present weather
pattern for the start of the Round The World sailing record bid by the
maxi-catamaran 'Cheyenne', although imperfect, was still a potential 'Code
Green' for a departure from Plymouth base Friday midday. He is en-route to
Plymouth from the USA, arriving Friday morning to join his 12 man crew on
the 125' maxi-catamaran.

"We've been on weather standby since mid-December - and the current weather
pattern is the best we've seen so far," Fossett said. "We would, of course,
prefer a rapid trip south - but we might have to accept nine days to the
equator. We'll make a final decision on Friday morning. Otherwise the next
opportunity is into February." -

* David Scully, watch captain aboard Steve Fossett's 125ft super-cat
Cheyenne, filed what could be his final report before the
start of the Jules Verne Challenge: The forecast is not the best. We will
have good wind to the Canaries, and then the progs show light air
conditions for a day or so before the trades return. As of noon today, we
are looking at a nine-day trip to the equator. This is two and a half days
longer than the top time, set by Enza. Is it good enough to go on?

As Joseph Stalin used to say, "Happiness is the ideal combination of
expectation and reality." If this picture is not the one we want, we will
have to wait until 5 February for the next one. Will we find happiness up
against the sill of the forecasting window, or is it reality that we could
wait a long time for the perfect pattern? - Yachting World, full report:

(In the February issue of Seahorse magazine, the Swedish Match Race Tour
Director, Scott MacLeod was asked by Tim Jeffery why the Tour pays so
little regard to the ISAF Match Race Rankings in determining who they
invite to their events. Here's MacLeod's response.)

"Because they have no creditability. We know the ranking do not contain the
sailors considered by most people to be the top 10 in the world. The
rankings lose more credibility every day. The Bermuda Gold Cup is about to
be downgraded from a Grade 1 event because it does not meet ISAF
requirements. That shows you how out of touch ISAF are. Look at the quality
of the sailors … is being downgraded our fault for not inviting sufficient
'ranked sailors' or is it the fault of the system for being out of touch?"

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The Transat 2004 is coming to Boston in early June for the first time since
it began in 1960. The Transat - created as the OSTAR - is a solo ocean race
from England to America - and is arguably one of the world's toughest
trans-ocean races.

Offshore Challenges of England, the race organizers, chose Boston for the
12th running of the Transat in part because the city has the infrastructure
to cope with the record number of 60-foot long (and in the case of the
triamarans 60-foot wide) boats from 13 countries expected to take part in
the Transat 2004. Offshore Challenges is partnering with the Boston Harbor
Hotel which is located at Rowes' Wharf just off the Transat finish line.

To inspire the next generation of sailors, Offshore Challenges will donate
proceeds earned during the event to Courageous Sailing Center, a non-profit
sailing center that provides free sailing to all city youth in Boston.

As the solo sailors compete across 3,000 nautical miles, the world's best
single-handed, professional sailors will arrive in less than 10 days,
traveling at speeds of up to 30 knots. Three New Englanders, Boston-based
Rich Wilson, Joe Harris of Manchester-by-the-Sea and Kip Stone of Freeport,
Maine will race in the Open 50 class. - Laurie Fullerton,

* New England Boatworks (NEB), a Portsmouth-based yacht manufacturer and
marina, has donated $12,000 to become a Corporate Level Partner of Sail
Newport's Fleet 2004 Capital Campaign. They join J/Boats, Hood Sailmakers,
US Watercraft, Harken and Hall Spars as Rhode Island corporations that have
donated in-kind products or funds to help Sail Newport's campaign to
purchase twelve new J/22 sailboats. To date, the non-profit organization
has pledges exceeding $200,000 towards the campaign's $300,000 goal. To
show solidarity with RI's marine industry, Sail Newport committed to
construct the fleet entirely in Rhode Island. -

* America's Cup broadcaster and professional racing sailor Peter Isler is
giving a special presentation on "The State of the Sport of Sailing" at
4:30 pm on the opening day of the Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show -
Chicago's Navy Pier, Thursday, January 29. After the presentation The
Bitter End Yacht Club is hosting a reception at their booth (#182) so their
past guests, industry partners and Scuttlebutt Sailing Club members (that's
you) can meet Peter and get caught up on this year's upcoming Pro Am
Regatta and Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championships.

* Suspended from a crane like a dragonfly, Franck Cammas's new 2.9 million
Euro, Van Peteghem/ Lauriot-Prévost-designed 60ft trimaran Groupama 2 was
finally, after 13 months under construction, lowered into the water
yesterday. She will now be towed over 30 miles to Lorient and put in dry
dock to enable Cammas and team to complete the build. Cammas hopes that
Groupama 2 will be ready for sea trials in May but has decided to sail his
original Groupama in The Transat which starts from Plymouth, UK, on 31 May.
- Sue Pelling, Yachting World, full report:

We got a flood of mail about the obviously flawed answer to yesterday's
trivia question which stated, "Earth is covered by one hydrosphere or one
layer of connecting water. Even though the ocean is broken up into seven
ocean parts, all the oceans are connected, one flowing into the other."

Here's what says on the subject: "Of the four major units
that comprise the world ocean, three - the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific
oceans - extend northward from Antarctica as huge "gulfs" separating the
continents. The fourth, the Arctic Ocean, nearly landlocked by Eurasia and
North America and nearly circular in outline, caps the north polar region.
The Antarctic Ocean is sometimes considered a fifth, separate ocean,
extending from the shores of Antarctica northward to about 40°S lat. The
major oceans are further subdivided into smaller regions loosely called
seas, gulfs, or bays. Some of these seas, such as the Sargasso Sea of the
North Atlantic Ocean, are only vaguely defined, while others, such as the
Mediterranean Sea or the Black Sea, are almost totally surrounded by land
areas. -

It probably should be noted that considers the Antarctic a
true ocean.

While a bit embarrassed by the error, the curmudgeon totally enjoyed a
letter from Douglas Johnstone which said in part, "I bet that if one tried
to give that hydrosphere answer in a high school quiz about how many oceans
there are, one would receive a resounding F, followed by having to write
out the names of all seven oceans on the chalk board one hundred times
over! Of course it has been twenty years since I was in high school. Maybe
they have changed that class instruction."

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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 Tom Keogh: Paul Henderson's rant in 'Butt 1502 is way out of line.
What organization should tolerate a leader who expresses such open contempt
and derision towards its membership? He thinks there should be more female
delegates to ISAF - fair enough. I expect most sailors would agree, but not
for the reasons he gives. His broad and bigoted generalizations, name
calling and selective use of facts were offensive and unbecoming of his office.

He says that the way to have more female delegates is to set a quota. I
think that's wrong - a quota is a blunt instrument. It coerces behavior
which would not occur voluntarily. In other words - it is a failure of
leadership. This is another example of ISAF becoming too big, intrusive and
bureaucratic. If this continues, they will make themselves irrelevant to
most sailors.

* From Chris Ericksen (edited to our 250-word limit): In fewer than 250
words, ISAF President Paul Henderson has managed to be condescending,
factually incorrect and take a shot at the Star class ('Butt 1502).

First, women have been part of sailing at all levels practically since
mankind took to water. In the 18th and 19th centuries, women regularly went
to sea with their men in merchant vessels, often serving as navigators or
mates. Women have been part of sailboat racing for over 100 years, too,
with more than one example of women aboard championship race boats from the
America's Cup on down, and in positions of responsibility. I don't deny
there are "old boy's clubs," but they aren't found afloat nearly as often
as they are found in boardrooms and barrooms ashore.

Second, I am outraged by the gratuitous slap taken at "the big boys in the
Star" class at the Cadiz Worlds. They were kept ashore by order of the
ISAF-dictated sailing instructions, not timidity (asides in the boatpark
notwithstanding). I wish Mr. Henderson would get over the fact that the
Star Class, alone among the international classes at the Cadiz Worlds,
refused to accept the conditions demanded by ISAF and refused to call the
event their world championship, something that obviously rankles as he has
mentioned it so often and so disparagingly.

And I don't have to comment on the statement;" … where the women are you
can be sure the men will be." The insensitivity and inanity of this stands

* From David Brookes: I would like to comment on Stuart Burnett
interruption of RRS 29.2 and 29.3. If Stuart was the Race Officer in a 100
boat fleet and three boats were OCS and he could identify only two of them
he would signal General Recall. Is that fair to the 97 boats that have
started correctly? Add to the fact that he has identified two out of the
three guilty people.

In this scenario Stuart would have called a General Recall when 99 of the
100 boats have either started correctly or have been identified by the Race
Committee. I guess that is why the smart people the have written the rules
have put in the world 'may' in signally the General Recall. That way the
'smart' Race Officers can decide what is 'fair' for whole racing fleet. I
view the procedure outlined by Mr. Burnett as both archaic and prejudicial.

* From Maxwell Treacy, Ireland: As a racing sailor I have to say that it is
annoying that some race officers are prepared to allow a race to progress
when there are any unidentified premature starters. It is my opinion that a
race is unfair when one or more boats get a lucky head start and are
allowed to continue racing.

ISAF should make a ruling to the international race officers so that racers
can be assured of consistency. As far as I can see, there are currently two
types of race officers; those who are prepared to make a general recall due
to unidentified premature starters and those who are not. I am pretty sure
that the view amongst the sailors is far more unified. We want fair races
where everyone starts properly and we are prepared for the black flag to be
used more readily in order for this to be achieved.

* From Eric Camiel (edited to our 250-word limit): I was appalled by
Patrick Dore's account of going overboard. First, he says boats sailed past
him in the water asking if he was OK. A person in cold water is not OK even
if he thinks he is. Any boat failing to immediately attempt to aid a person
overboard should be disqualified and the skipper banned from racing for life.

Second, 12 minutes to take down the chute and motor back is an excessively
long time and goes counter to most procedures now recommended. I was
filming in the '82 Onion patch with owner Pat Malloy at the helm of
Intuition 50 in 30 knots when we lost a man overboard during a take down.
With the chute still flying, he immediately came into the wind, let the
sheet and guy run, left the chute blowing free from the mast head and
jogged back under main. I timed the incident on the film. We had the victim
back in under 90 seconds.

The first priority should be staying in visual contact with and retrieving
the MOB as quickly as possible without endangering the crew. To do this you
must stop the boat immediately, particularly when going down wind.
Preserving the chute should be way down the list.

Every safety expert will tell you frequent practice and communicating to
everyone about what to expect in MOB situations is the key to a successful
recovery. This is particularly true for a thrown together crew, even if
they are all rock stars.

* From Ricky Chalmers: I think Scott Ridgeway is missing a subtle point.
The Global Challenge is not a yacht race for experienced yacht racers who
would be able to get a place on an ocean yacht race. This is a race for
ordinary men and women who have absolutely no sailing experience, and no
ocean yacht racing experience. We (I am doing the 2004 Global Challenge)
would not be able to get to race around the world in an ocean yacht race
like the Volvo because we don't have the experience.

What we get for our "big pile of money" is the chance to be trained into
Ocean Yacht Racers and to race around the world with like minded
individuals. It is true that racing around the world with "the wrong
people" would be pure torture, but we have the luxury of building our team
over four years of training and then one year of extensive team building
once the race teams get announced (as happened on Saturday the 17th at the
London Boat Show). The next eight months before the race start in October
is going to be critical in ensuring that our teams are filled with "the
right sort of people".

The Global Challenge is far more than a yacht race around the world…it is a
Challenge of a lifetime and a life changing experience. Personally I am
happy to have sweated, and saved to pay the "big pile of money" to be a
part of it all.

While young people enjoy skinny dipping, as you age a bit it's more like
chunky dunking.