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SCUTTLEBUTT 1512 - February 5, 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 is ironic that one of the costliest sports often offers relatively
little or no prize money in its most prestigious competitions. The typical
yacht on the world's premier sailing circuits costs about US$1 million on
average. Yet, owners continue to pour money into these seemingly bottomless
pits in the pursuit of what some would regard as really ugly trophies with
quaint names like the Tatersall's Cup, the Fighting Finish Trophy and the
Auld Mug.

The first of these is the reward for the winner of the Sydney to Hobart
race, that starts on Boxing Day every year and is run from Sydney Harbour
to Hobart in Tasmania, 627 nautical miles away.

This year's winner, accomplished Victoria state yachtsman Grant Wharington,
sold his family home to finance the building of his winning yacht. While
not exactly short of money, even the millionaire Australian property
developer had to dig deep to pay for a boat that cost A$5 million (S$6.4
million) to build. The only hope of any monetary return was a paltry
A$10,000 for the first boat out of Sydney Heads, the first leg of the race.

The Fighting Finish Trophy is the prize for the winner of the Volvo Ocean
Race, one of yachting's premier blue water races where competitors race
around the world over nine months. The winning boat in the last edition of
the race over 2002/03 was sponsored by German construction magnate Michael

The yachting and sporting world's oldest and best-known trophy, the
America's Cup, is affectionately named the Auld Mug. First known as the 100
guineas Cup, it was nearly melted down by one of its early winners hoping
to extract some tangible value. But one suspects that even with the rising
price of gold in recent years, this would not be able to make up for the
US$60 million average campaign cost of the contenders in the last cup
series in 2003.

What makes them do it? Passion for the sport and the desire to win. Of
course, it's not as simple as that. There is financial gain and other
economic benefits to be made from sponsorship deals and advertising
exposure and so on that ensues from a yacht's winning campaign, but at the
end of the day one must admit that there are easier ways to achieve the
same ends. And the fact that many of the owners are also skippers or crew
on the boats they race suggests that they are really in it because it's
what they love to do. - Vincent Wee, The Business Times, full story:,4567,104233,00.html

After a return trip to England in stiff, upwind conditions, the giant
catamaran Orange made it back to the Défi Français base in Lorient last
weekend. The boat is bigger, more rigid and heavier than the previous boat
but cracked sheet sailing in heavy seas will never be the favoured point of
sail for catamarans. The crew made the most of the conditions to put the
beast to the test and were happy with its performance. They also tested a
rough weather sail configuration with a storm jib and 2-reefed mainsail. On
this occasion the crew was able to check that it was better to hank the
storm jib onto the main stay as well as keeping the trinquette on its stay
just in case, as the manouvre on the foredeck in these conditions is akin
to an assault course.

The boat had its mast removed and was put on the hard in Lorient yesterday
so as to repair the damage caused to one of its floats by a neighboring
boat in the Multiplast yard when Orange was still in Vannes right at the
start of January. We'll use this time to perform our last checks and
preparations with a view to the round the world attempt. Orange should take
to the liquid element once more on Friday from where it will go to La
Trinité-sur-Mer in southern Brittany again for its official naming ceremony
on 11 February. The idea is to be ready to set off on a Jules Verne as soon
as the forecast lends itself to the occasion after this party date. -, full story:

For the past two years at Terra Nova Trading Key West, Team
Bergmann/Bennett sailed "Zuni Bear" to victory in the J/105 class, with
Ullman Sails taking 3 of the top 4 places. More Ullman Sails Results: Top
two in the Corsair 28R class (1st- Team Harkrider's "Bad Boys"; 2nd- Team
Freudenbrg/Hudgins "Condor"); Top two in the Corsair 24 class (1st-
Remmers/Onsgard "Breaking Wind"; 2nd- Steve Marsh's "I-Fly"); Bob Berg's
"Love that Chicken" dominated the J/109 class; 2003 Melges 24 World
Champion Samuel "Shark" Kahn finished 2nd; Michael Carroll's Henderson 30
"New Wave" was 2nd in PHRF 4. -

The first of six ISAF World Sailing Rankings releases for 2004, prior to
the Olympic Games in Athens have been released following the culmination of
the Rolex Miami OCR last week - a regatta that several of the US athletes,
who previously qualified for the US Olympic team, did not attend. Here's a
sample of what you'll find if you go to the ISAF website to read their
gripping report:

The Star class, distinctive both in design and by the characters within its
folds is a class that attracts some of the most experienced and diverse
sailors in the world. Finn silver medallist in Sydney 2000 Freddie Loof,
still leads the epic line-up, but he must be a little concerned looking
over his shoulder and seeing the likes of Colin Beashel, Mark Reynolds,
Mark Neeleman, Paul Cayard, Iain Murray etc, slowly or in some cases very
quickly, climbing the rankings towards him.

Mark Neeleman (NED) was a trimmer for Alinghi in the last America's Cup
and, given time off to pursue an Olympic dream, seems to be making the most
of his time away from Switzerland. In the last rankings of 2004 he was in
24 position. Now he is tenth, his highest position since pre 2002.

Paul Cayard has also upped his game somewhat as the Olympic trials for the
USA draw near. He has risen from 22 to 14 in the rankings, whilst 2003
World Champion Xavier Rohart (FRA) has fallen a further three places from
tenth to 13. Rohart now sits less than 100 points in front of the ever
hungry Cayard. -

Ellen MacArthur knows she faces a massive challenge to overturn the solo
round-the-world records achieved by Francis Joyon this week.

MacArthur has been busy preparing her newly launched 75ft catamaran B & Q
for ocean testing but kept tabs on Joyon's solo non-stop circumnavigation
of 72 days, 22 hours and 54 minutes which set remarkable monohull and
multihull marks. MacArthur's new vessel has the potential to challenge the
record but that will not be enough. She will have to find two months of
near optimum weather systems, experience high reliability and enjoy a dash
of good fortune.

Though it was Michel Desjoyeaux's 93-day record that fell, MacArthur was
only a day shy of that in finishing runner-up in the 2000-01 Vendee Globe
race. And her B & Q has been built specifically to take a tilt at a trinity
of solo records: the 24-hour maximum run; the west-east Transatlantic; and,
all being well, round the world non-stop. MacArthur said: "Until other
people go out there to try to break that record it is pretty difficult to
say just how hard he [Joyon] pushed. My gut reaction is pretty damn hard."

B & Q has sailed from Sydney, where she was built, and is now in Auckland,
preparing for some Southern Ocean tests, before returning to the UK. - Tim
Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full story:

(The Daily Sail Website has done a comprehensive story on Francis Joyon's
amazing campaign that produced a new solo round the world record. Following
are some brief excerpts about the boat.)

A design by Marc van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Joyon's trimaran
was built by CDK Composites for Olivier de Kersauson to campaign in the
1986 Route du Rhum. Fresh out of the box she was 75ft long. During the
1990s the boat was solely used by de Kersauson to make attempts on the
fully crewed non-stop around the world record. In 1993 the boat, named
Charal and much modified, had its first go alongside ENZA New Zealand and
Bruno Peyron's Commodore Explorer. For the following season the boat was
modified further - extended to her present length of 27m (89ft) with new
floats and a slightly taller mast. For the 1994 attempt the boat was
renamed Lyonnaise des Eaux Dumez and this time made it round - but in a
slower time than ENZA. After other attempts on the record, including
several aborted ones, it was finally in 1997 that de Kersauson succeeded in
winning the Jules Verne Trophy.

With de Kersauson now strutting his stuff in a new maxi-trimaran - Geronimo
- Joyon was able to charter his old boat. One of the most remarkable
aspects of Joyon's voyage was that IDEC was little changed from when she
was Sport Elec. The only ostensible difference is her paint job, which
Joyon is rumoured to have applied himself with a roller, and she now has
roller furling headsails. Her mainsail for example is the same one de
Kersauson used on his Jules Verne Trophy win in 1997. - The Daily Sail,

Quantum Sail Design Group in Annapolis MD is seeking a highly motivated
individual with sailmaking experience and excellent people skills to work
in our Service loft. Full-time position and great benefits available. If
interested please email Jason Currie; or call

(With the dust beginning to settle on Joyon's amazing feat, heads are
turning towards Médiatis Région Aquitaine, Parlier's new extreme machine
which is set to make a serious impact on the ocean racing scene. Following
are a few excerpts from Sue Pelling's compelling story on the Yacht World

This 60ft hydroplane with twin rigs was designed by Romaric Neyhousser,
Guillaume Verdier, Loic Goepfert and Gregoire Durousseau of the Aquitaine
Design Team whose brief included designing a boat which could reach target
speed of 35 knots for 24 hours, 40 knots for one hour and short bursts of
45 knots plus. Yachting World's Matt Sheahan who was at the launch last
Monday spoke to Parlier about what he hopes to achieve. Parlier said: "As
far as her outright speed is concerned, I suppose her max is probably 50
knots, maybe 55 would be possible, but this boat is not about breaking
outright speed records. If we'd wanted to do this we would need to go for
more aerodynamic shapes and possibly even wing sails."

* Reducing drag was also key to this design. The stepped underwater profile
of the hull, which follows the same principle commonplace on performance
powerboats and sea planes, helps to prevent the water from sticking to the
hull when a certain speed is achieved. Sheahan says: "By forcing the water
to separate from the hull, the drag is reduced substantially. In the case
of Parlier's boat, once at speed, none of the hull abaft the step will be
in contact with the water and the boat will ride on just 3m2 of each hull.
Compared to a conventional multihull this means a fourfold reduction in drag."

* The twin rig is also an interesting one. Unlike on trimarans where the
centre hull acts as a structural backbone for the mast, Parlier has gone
for a mast on each hull. This is avoid structural problems that often occur
single-masted catamarans where the compression produced at the mast foot
has to be supported by, invariably, a hefty crossbeam. Parlier's idea is to
have deck-stepped, rotating wing masts but stayed only on their inner
faces. A solid aerofoil profile spacer bar mounted at the hounds will link
the two masts and provide support. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World, full

* AC Management, the event organizer of the 32nd America's Cup, has
launched the Official Spanish Version of the America's Cup website.
America's Cup dot com, the official website of the America's Cup has been a
bilingual website supporting English, the official language of the event,
and French, since June 2003. Following the decision to make Valencia in
Spain the Host City for the 32nd America's Cup in November 2003, the
building of a Spanish version of the was put under construction. The
Spanish version is now online. -

* US Sailing awarded three of its Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals in the
month of January for separate rescue incidents. In all three incidents, the
rescuers selflessly helped fellow mariners who had fallen overboard. The
medals were awarded to Kevin and Karen Kelly, Eric Willis and to Jim Roe
and Ryan Miller. To read the details of these three exemplary acts of

* Annapolis, MD - Grog & Gruel Provisioning of Wilmington, DE has become
the name sponsor of the bi-annual the Bermuda Ocean Race. The 2004 BOR will
be known as the Grog & Gruel Bermuda Ocean Race through 2006.

Two Cubans who tried to sail to Florida in a truck converted to a pontoon
boat last year are making another attempt, this time piloting a seagoing
1950s-era Buick with four other adults and five children, relatives said.
Marciel Basanta Lopez and Luis Grass Rodriguez, who were sent back to Cuba
in July after they failed to reach Florida in a converted 1951 Chevrolet
pickup, were at the helm of the newest vehicle-boat conversion, and had set
out to sea on Monday, relatives said. "My uncle is very brave; he is not
irresponsible," Eduardo Perez Grass, a nephew of Luis Grass, said in
Havana. "There is no danger to the children. The car is very safe."

The Coast Guard refused on Wednesday to confirm the status of the
tailfinned car or the origin of photos of it in the water that were
broadcast on television Tuesday. U.S. policy prevents the disclosure of
information on such cases until they are resolved, such as by sending the
participants back to their home countries, Petty Officer Sandra Bartlett
said. Under U.S. immigration policy, Cubans who reach U.S. shores are
allowed to stay while those caught at sea are usually returned. - Fox
Carolina website, full story:

Campbell Field now heads Ockam in Europe. He's a respected sailor,
navigator and instrumentation expert, and as Ockam's authorized distributor
offers full sales and service: from both the Ockam Europe office in
Lymington and through a quickly growing dealer network in Europe's primary
sailing centers. Whether cruising or racing, based in Europe or visiting,
contact Campbell by email, or visit

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Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
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* From Sir Robin Knox-Johnston:To put Francis Joyon's outstanding solo
circumnavigation into context, it is two days faster than we achieved with
Enza NZ in 1994 with a crew of 8. It is four days faster that Oliver de
Kersuason managed with the same boat with a crew of 5 that same year.
Records are there to be broken, but Joyon has kicked this one almost out of
sight - a phenomenal achievement.

* From Peter Commette: Those who were offended by Vanguard's ad ("buy an
all white boat and hide yourself on the line") should sail nice neon
colored boats, so the rest of us can find them on the starting line and
tuck ourselves in below them. It's a fact of successful racing life, go
when the rest go (or slightly before) and hope you've tucked yourself away
well. Oh yes, I almost forgot, and sail a boat that doesn't stand out, like
an all white boat. I thought the ad was funny, as it was intended.

* From Sergey Leonidov: White boats that blend with other white boats are
less visible on the line than the colored boats, it's a fact of life, no
need to get offended about it.

* From Paul Lowell: Take a look at the cover of the latest issue of Sailing
World. I love a crew that hikes hard, but look at those lifelines. Is the
apparent deflection an optical illusion? Does the Melges 24 have lifeline
tension rules? Did this regatta not use ORC reg's?

* From Rich du Moulin: When the Storm Trysail Club developed its Safety
Guidelines, we did not deal with MOB at a turning mark, a situation
described in Scuttlebutt yesterday. However, while sailing a frostbite
dinghy at the Interclub Nationals years ago on the frigid Connecticut
River, I had the good fortune to be rounding the leeward mark near the top
of the fleet. An out of control planing competitor jammed between me and
the mark, his boom hit me in the head, his mainsheet caught around my body,
and I was pulled out of the boat into the water. As I surfaced (I was
wearing a PFD) and looked upwind. The fleet of 75 Interclubs were all
planing straight at me. For safety I swam to the mark and draped myself
over it, hoping the fleet would round the mark without hitting it, and me.
Fortunately, their boathandling was better than the fellow who hit me. When
the smoke cleared, the crash boat came over and removed me from the mark.
Lessons learned: wear a PFD, don't fall overboard, swim to the mark. The
last one is of marginal use in ocean racing ... swim to Bermuda?

* From Andrew Vare: Three cheers for John Sweeney's new America's Cup
effort. Of all the sailors involved in vying for the Cup, I am sure John
has all of the right stuff. If we want to bring the Cup back to America, a
winning campaign must first have heart and soul. This core element cannot
be engineered to any degree, nor bought with the spoils of a software boom,
nor assembled hastily and packaged with a cookie cutter and force fed to
the public with so many media dollars. It starts with character and
determination, which John is not short on. Look for him on the podium.

It's a pretty good sign that you've (finally) grown up when dinner and a
movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.