Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1509 - February 2, 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.

It took a little more than 10 months from the time Alinghi won the
America's Cup for the Swiss to finalise the terms of challenging for the
next one in 2007 and to amend the protocol that governs the event. The
laborious effort has resulted in the completion of the stringent
regulations to ensure that there is no possible way in which a competitor
can obtain an unfair advantage, but it comes with a heavy price tag.

The Swiss, from the Société Nautique de Genève, have worked with the
Challenger of Record, Larry Ellison's Golden Gate Yacht Club of San
Francisco, as America's Cup Management (ACM) to cover every aspect of the
proposed three-year racing programme that is demanded of all the
challengers. This will provide a much-enhanced image of the event that will
require every challenger to post a €1m bond in addition to a bank draft of
€50,000 as an initial contribution to fund the Challenger programme and a
further bank draft of US$25,000 to protect the America's Cup trademarks.

The bond, subject to the conformity of the individual challenger to all the
regulations, will be repaid after the Cup is over in July 2007. It replaces
the usual entry fee, unnecessary because ACM have raised a reputed €100m
from their skilful handling of the bidding for the venue and the
sponsorship from the fashion house of Louis Vuitton and the Spanish power
company Endesa. Valencia is likely to spend as much as a billion euros in
upgrading the local infrastructure, which includes the building of a canal
from the harbour to the race course.

While the financial restraints appear draconian, although there is not the
US$400,000 entry fee imposed in Auckland, there is considerable
liberalization elsewhere, notably in the extension of the limits by which
existing boats may be altered. It is proposed that as much as 60 per cent
of the hull surface of boats built before the completion of the Cup races
last March may be altered - twice as much as formerly allowed, but limited
to two boats per team. This is in addition to the two boats that each team
is allowed to build for the 2007 Cup.

* This move has been well received by all the teams as it will allow
radical yet inexpensive design development. These boats will be among those
that take part in the proposed three build-up regattas held each year until
the Cup races from April to July 2007. These regattas, to be held at
various venues, predominantly in southern Europe, will be funded by ACM and
include free transportation of one boat, two masts, four containers and a
crew of 17 sailors to the event. - Excerpts from a story by Bob Fisher in
The Guardian, full story:,10087,1136213,00.html

QUOTE/ UNQUOTE - John Sweeney
"After looking at the options of what we already have in place in San
Francisco, it seems logical to take the Sausalito Yacht Club America's Cup
Challenge to the next level. We plan to assemble a Board of Directors and
work along the lines of setting up a team that will train in San Francisco.
We have set out to obtain a modest budget of $40-50 Million Euros from one
or two individuals and a sole sponsor. Our base will be Treasure Island
were the Challenge Series is currently set up. We are working on securing
two new generation yachts and plan to build one new AC yacht for the 2007
America's Cup. We hope to have two yachts training in San Francisco by late
summer 2004.

"I will update you on any news that is of value. I plan to have the key
Board Members in place by mid March. Yes, it's a long shot, but the rumor
that was started has really opened some options. Lets make it a reality.
Look for a homepage soon for the SYC Challenge." - website,
Sweeney's Challenge Series website:

See exciting pictures by Gilles Martin-Raget of the new Orange flying a
hull, Steve Fossett's maxi cat Cheyenne blasting around the English Channel
and the best action captured by Sharon Green at Key West 2004, in the new
Events section on Also featured by Carlo Borlenghi, the
Ice Sailing World Championships 2004 from Lake Balaton in Hungary. Sunset
sailing at its best! Visit now or call our Picture Research Team on +44 (0)
207 801 0044 for all your picture requirements. -

FRANCIS JOYON sailing IDEC, the 90ft trimaran, is still in line for
breaking the world singlehanded speed record. The Frenchman who set off 69
days ago on 22 November is aiming to beat Michel Desjoyeaux's 93-day
current record set during the 2000-01 Vendee Globe race.

Now after 70 days at sea Joyon is heading north up the Atlantic towards
Brittany and is currently just off the Azores. Speaking from the boat this
morning in a fresh westerly breeze, Joyon commented: "At 18kts, the boat is
going well under mainsail and small storm gennaker - the conditions are
good. I'm hoping to cross the finish line on Tuesday morning."

However, Joyon is aware he still has a long way to go with more bad weather
forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World,
full story:

* STEVE FOSSETT, skipper of the maxi-catamaran Cheyenne, sent an e-mail to
his crew Sunday extended the 'Code Red' status - no go - for his RTW
sailing attempt start until next weekend at least. "The potential start on
6 February is not going to work. The earliest possible start from Ouessant
(NW corner of France) is when the winds veer from SW to W or NW," he said.
"When that occurs it will be too late to round the corner at Finisterre (NW
Corner of Spain). before the High pressure moves in to stop us cold.

"The next potential pattern to start is on 8 or 9 February. Right now this
forecast time is not quite right, but a small improvement in wind pattern
would be sufficient. On a positive note, the long range forecasts are now
showing High pressure in the mid-Atlantic where Lows dominated during the
last half of January. Highs are a prerequisite to finding a Start on the
Round the World from the English Channel." -

The latest Internet virus, MyDoom, has kept us busy at Scuttlebutt
headquarters, but has hopefully not disrupted the delivery of your
newsletter. Be assured that the Scuttlebutt list server is running the
latest virus software and definitions, is kept up-to-date with all current
security updates, and is monitored for suspicious activity 24/7.
Additionally, the design of the server system prevents a virus infestation
such as MyDoom.

Like most recent mail-bourne worms, MyDoom spreads by sending itself to any
e-mail address it finds on an infected machine. So if one person gets
infected, the virus will send itself via e-mail to any e-mail address it
finds on the person's PC, including their contact list,etc. The virus also
forges the From: field, so if you receive this virus, it most likely did
not come from the addresses it appears to have come from.

If Scuttlebutt was arriving irregularly last week, it is likely due to the
settings on your home or office computer that are designed to limit
incoming spam or virus email. For information about email filters, and how
to help ensure the timely delivery of Scuttlebutt each weekday, you can
review the following information on the Scuttlebutt website. -

North U. Tactics, Cruising, and Weather Seminars will improve your
on-the-water skills and confidence with top instructors and dynamic
multi-media presentations. 64 Classes are scheduled throughout North
America from February - April. North U - The world leader in sailing 800-347-2457 or visit to Learn More. -

* Sydney boat-builder Colin Beashel is heading to his sixth Olympic Games
after he and long-term crewmate David Giles were the first Australians home
in their final Olympic nomination regatta in Miami at the weekend. The
Atlanta bronze medallists finished behind former world champion Mark
Reynolds and his team in the Miami Olympic Classes regatta to secure
victory in the Australian trials for the two-man Star class. - Herald Sun,
full story:

* Thanks to the selection process carried out by AC Management, the
European cities discovered the America's Cup and its formidable potential.
It's particularly true in Spain and, after the running to host Team
Alinghi's defense of the America's Cup, the struggle is now focused on who
will be the homeport for the new Spanish Challenge, christened "El Reto".
El Reto will unveil the identity of its homeport on Friday 20th February.
The favorite are Barcelona and Palma de Majorca, with a slight advantage
for this last one the rumors said. - Cup in Europe website, full story:

* Maiden Ocean Racing Qatar (MORQ) announced that one of France's top
sailors, Olivier de Kersauson has pledged his full support and
participation in Qatar's two new global race events - The Oryx Cup in 2005
and Quest 2006. The skipper of 'Geronimo' commented, "We have confirmed our
full support and commitment to Tracy Edwards and we are looking forward to
participating in her events and offering any support she needs in the build
up to the start of The Oryx Cup." - Yachting and Boating World,

* The bottom has fallen out of Auckland's rental housing market, going
against the national trend of escalating rents. Across the city, rents are
plummeting as landlords drop their prices rather than risk losing tenants.
Real Estate Institute vice-president Howard Morley, cited the loss of the
America's Cup and declining foreign student numbers as factors affecting
rental properties. - NZ Herald,

When it comes to experience in the world of sailing, there is none to match
him. And that is exactly what Team Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts did as he
shared from his vast treasury of experiences with young sailors at the
Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) on Thursday.

Down in Dubai on a special invitation of the organizers led by Saeed Hareb,
general manager of DIMC, the "genius helmsman" had a lot to tell his young
admirers. "If you've got a dream to be successful as a sailor, then don't
let anyone tell you, you can't do it," Coutts told the eager young sailors.
Tracing his introduction to the sport of sailing by his elder brother,
Coutts said that nothing is impossible when it comes to achieving results.

"I tried and failed at the World Youth Championships on two occasions.
After failing to win the second time I nearly gave up sailing. But then, I
moved myself to go one more time... and this time I won the title," Coutts
beamed. "One has to go through the school of hard knocks if he or she wants
to be a champion," Coutts added. "There can be no short-cuts to hard work."
- Gulf News, full story:

And Team One Newport will be there with the official Acura SORC clothing.
There is still time to get your personalized crew uniforms for this "fun in
the sun" event. Or you may need a new pair of Aigle boots, Henri-Lloyd
Sprint salopettes, Musto Carbon jacket, Patagonia silk weight top, Gill
sailing shorts (with the pads, of course), or a pair of new Gill sailing
gloves which also come in Women's sizing. Team One Newport can help you out
with all of your sailing needs. Call 800-VIP-GEAR or visit

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 Richard Benner: The International Hobie Class Association, IHCA, has
demanded that the Class restrict their regattas to Hobie only boats. The
Hobie Tiger comes from the factory with a half inch protruding seam down
the length of the hull on the bottom. Some owners decide that they will
have this removed and gelcoated. The boat comes with a spinnaker snuffer
system that includes a midline spinnaker pole with a retrieving bag made of
fabric and a fixed tack. This now has been expanded to include designs with
full length retriever sleeves of hard plastic, midpole plastic sleeves with
tack lines and custom designed one off systems. The spinnaker hoisting
systems sport similar multiplicities of design. The trampoline and its
attachments to the hulls are produced differently now than boats of two
years ago.

To say that Hobie is a One Design boat ignores the striking differences in
configurations. To say that one's wallet size doesn't matter also ignores
the costs that these modifications demand. David Brookes, of IHCA says that
Lasers don't belong in a 420 race and therefore Hobies should race against
Hobies. I say, within the "Formula" model, racing works. Tigers can sail
against F18 boats. Porsches race against Ferraris and Chevy against Ford.
It brings out the best. No correction formulas needed. When my teenaged
kids ask me why we won't be racing anymore with their friends with Hobies I
tell them that Hobie is a business and they forgot how to play.

* From Donal McClement, Cork, Ireland: I have to take issue with Adam
Crowley ('Butt 1508) and his diatribe against Andrew Hurst and Tony Castro.
There is no doubt that any VVP base New Rule will be unacceptable to the
vast majority of sailors and will only represent IMS under a different
guise. It is imperative that those of us who wish to se a vibrant and
successful Offshore Racing scene speak up NOW and get the Rule Working
Party to realize that the direction the appear to moving is not the right one.

Surely the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid) is the way to go and a
Simple Box Rule must be an easy way to achieve this. No existing Computer
programme can effectively work a VPP Programme as all the variables change
too often. Have any of us ever sailed in conditions that remain constant
for more than a few seconds. Indeed even in the Americas Cup boats which
are probably the most even you can have significant differences in
performance of boats less than 50 yards apart. How can we expect any VPP
Programme to cope ?

* From Jon Alvord: While I whole heartedly believe AED are important and do
benefit those who need them, I don't think that every boat in a fleet
should have them. Premiere Events should have them on there comittee boats,
or on a medical boat. For the amount of Money that the entrants are forking
over to attend that should be min. If that were the case the life lost at
KWRW could have been easily saved by a quick call to the RC, who could, and
would have abandoned racing to save a life! Whats more important, a race or
a life. Come on lets not all rush to fill the pockets of those selling
these machines, I'm sure they would love to sell them to everyone!

* From Mike Vining, Edgewater YC Vice Commodore: Three years ago after a
tragic death on the water during a club race, the leaders of Edgewater
Yacht Club in Cleveland purchased two AED's. One has been placed in a
public area of the clubhouse. The other, in a special waterproof container,
is placed aboard the fastest RC boat we have for every club sponsored race.
Our Fleet Surgeon is now charged with training, and every spring makes sure
all employees and RC staff have a working knowledge of the device. The
cost, at less than $10,000 for both was not considered to be much money at
the time.

I encourage every Yacht Club to do the same. If larger boats make the
choice do so individually, good for them! No one believes that the AED will
save every life, but if we use it even once, that will be good enough. The
life that is saved might be your own.

* From Ed Sherman: A doctor from Atlanta recently purchased a Beneteau 57,
for which he paid over $750,000. The doctor found a berth for his new toy
in a slip at City Marina in Charleston. One recent night, someone, or some
folks, stole down the dock gangway, down the dock, stepped aboard and
sailed away. I find it astounding in this day when a boat of that caliber
is not equipped with a hidden GPS device (a la GM's OnStar for cars) for
just such an emergency. I know that Hatteras, Jarrett Bay and others offer
this feature as SOP for various reasons other than theft but theft is also
a consideration. Would you spend $750K and not have it?

Curmudgeon's Comment: We understand the boat was recovered in the Bahamas.

* From Dan Byrnes: The Jerry's argument applying Case 83 is badly flawed.
Case 83 applies to trimming, but a maneuver like a douse is different.
Keeping the chute full while the pole is stowed allows a clean douse. The
alternative of dropping the spinnaker in the water can be slow, dangerous,
and expensive. I kind of hope you close this thread before you even read
this e-mail. Enough.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Good idea - this thread is officially dead.

* From Les Smith: When I read Howie Hamlin's comments ('Butt 1505) as to
the most difficult boat to sail, I though to myself, bet Howie hasn't
sailed a Twelve Footer. So I was doubly pleased to see Jim Champ's comments
in 'Butt 1506. Having sailed Twelves, Sixteens and Eighteens (some, like
many) years ago I always regarded the Twelves as the most challenging of
the three. In fact the largest of the three Twelve rigs on one boat had the
same working sail area as a Sixteen and the larger spinnakers far exceeded
the old-style single luff Sixteen kite. As for the Moths, well David McKay
(Sydney) won the Moth Worlds and later had a successful Sixteen career.

* From Alistair Murray: Those that know me know that I'm the first in line
for a fun regatta and a party. I'm no wet blanket! As an employer though,
of a couple of hundred people in the sailing industry (Ronstan), my blood
boiled when I read your editorial under SICK DAYS, which says "Employers
expect illness during the winter, so use those sick days and head south for
sailing. Want to crew at the Acura SORC in February?"

Maybe the work ethic is different in Australia, (I don't think so), but
amongst my mates taking sick days to go sailing is regarded as theft from
your employer, pure and simple. I, more than anyone, want to see more
people sailing, but let's encourage people to do it in their own time, not
with someone else unknowingly paying for it. How would most employers
feel, greeting an employee with a fantastic new suntan back from illness?

Do you think it's a coincidence that when you put 'The' and 'IRS' together,
it forms, THEIRS?