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SCUTTLEBUTT 1516 - February 11, 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
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welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

ISAF, the Olympic Classes and the Organizers of the multi-Olympic Class
Grade 1 Olympic Class Events met in Bern, Switzerland on Sunday to discuss
the introduction of an Olympic Classes "World Series" tour. As yet to have
a final title, the "World Series" will be created to introduce a more
consistent and professional circuit for Olympic sailors, and provide the
mechanism to achieve greater exposure and visibility for sailing.

Representatives from the Olympic Classes and multi-Olympic Class Grade 1
Events, including Sail Melbourne, Semaine Olympique Francaise (Hyeres), SPA
in Holland and Kiel Week in Germany, urged ISAF to take the lead and
provide the vision by which the "World Series" could be formulated, and all
present affirmed their desire as stakeholders in the sport to move forwards
in the best interests of the future of sailing to create a more dynamic
event program, which would maximize the sport and create a global circuit.

It was agreed that there should be a clear route of "World Series" tour
events around the world. ISAF will further encourage the creation of a
Continental Series in the country/ region of the "World Series" events,
which in turn could be preceded by a National Series, thus creating a clear
path of participation, which would also support the development of sailing
in that region.

It is the intention to utilize the existing multi-Olympic Class Graded
events within the "World Series", and to encourage new events particularly
in Asia, Australasia and the America's to be part of the "World Series"
tour. It was emphasized that the "World Series" would not be a closed box
and events will be encouraged to become included on the tour.

Events within the "World Series" will be consistent in all aspects, from
format issues to technical matters, and will be easily recognizable by the
media as the premier tour for the Olympic sailors. In scheduling the series
to synchronize with other Graded Olympic Class events, not only will a more
cohesive event calendar be created, but the costs to the sailors in
traveling and shipping equipment will be reduced. Moving forwards, it was
agreed that ISAF, the Olympic Classes and multi-Olympic Class Graded Event
Organizers will prepare proposals, and consider the overriding principles
and philosophy for the "World Series", focusing on the four key areas of:
Sailors, Sport, Media and Event Quality.

It was agreed that the "World Series" proposals would be put to Council at
the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in June 2004, for final approval at the ISAF
Annual Conference in November 2004. It was accepted that there will be
proposals for the "World Series" on which some event organizers or classes
will disagree, but that the success of the tour should not be compromised,
and that they will ultimately support ISAF in enforcing the criteria of the
"World Series".

Moving forwards, it was agreed that ISAF, the Olympic Classes and
multi-Olympic Class Graded Event Organizers will prepare proposals, and
consider the overriding principles and philosophy for the "World Series,"
focusing on the four key areas of: Sailors, Sport, Media and Event Quality.
It was agreed that the "World Series" proposals would be put to Council at
the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in June 2004, for final approval at the ISAF
Annual Conference in November 2004.

An order for 20 Optimists placed last week by the Sailing Foundation of
Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles (AHO) marks the latest step in the
program to get Optimist fleets established in all the six countries of the
southern Caribbean. These are Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent,
Trinidad and now AHO. Local enthusiasm is the key to this success and the
latest development in AHO is driven by former Sunfish world champion and
Laser Olympian Cor van Aanholt.

Five years ago the International Optimist Association (IODA) started to
talk to local enthusiasts. Most islands had a few rather battered boats of
various types to teach a few kids to sail but there was little incentive
for them to progress further. IODA identified three essentials: Optimists,
coach-training and local regattas.

Starting with St. Lucia in 1999 IODA began to offer subsidies to islands
that were prepared to buy batches of Optimists, with the guideline of one
free boat for every five bought. Some eighty boats have been subsidized in
this way to date, always with the proviso that they must be freely
accessible. Builders on three continents were keen to tap this new market
and low prices were further helped by the willingness of most governments
to waive import and sales taxes.

Coach-training was initially centered in Trinidad but as numbers grew it
made more sense for the instructor to travel round the islands. In early
2003 IODA sponsored Peruvian coach Fernando Alegre, aptly nicknamed
"Happy", to spend five weeks touring the region. He is now based in
Trinidad and IODA has been helping other islands, most recently Grenada
last month, to hire him to raise the standard of coaching.

The third element is local regattas to provide incentives for the young
sailors. The existing Schoelcher Week in Martinique was the first chosen,
again with small IODA grants to help with travel. Last Christmas Trinidad
hosted its first "Caribbean Invitational" with 34 entries and in 2005
Tobago will host the IODA North American Championship, so young sailors
from all over the islands have a big incentive ahead. Barbados has even
succeeded in getting sailing recognized as an official school sport.

The "gold standard" in masthead wind sensors continues to be a tall
vertical carbon fiber wand. Keeping the cups and vane as far from the
sailplan as possible provides markedly improved wind information, and
carbon fiber keeps the weight aloft to the absolute minimum: great
performance at an admittedly steep price. What if you could get most of the
performance benefit in a strong aluminum vertical wand at about the same
price as a stubby, forward-pointing sensor? Wow! For information, contact
Tom Davis in North America at or Campbell Field in Europe at

Olivier de Kersauson's trimaran Geronimo which is a day and a half behind
(Cheyenne), stormed along averaging nearly 20 knots in the first 24 hours,
putting her ahead of Orange's record first day position. Cheyenne,
meanwhile, is some 300 miles behind the record breaker's position but has
picked up speed and was, at the last report, averaging 17 knots as she
heads for the Trades and was close to Madeira. - Andrew Bray/Yachting

*Skipper Steve Fossett and crew aboard the 125' maxicat Cheyenne made an
excellent 1/2 day's run through daylight Tuesday, racking up over 250 miles
as they took advantage of a fair easterly breeze and a good wind angle to
come South towards the Canary Islands. That 21 kt average speed will drop
later this evening as they head West away from the islands in lighter air
(10-12 kts), anticipating increasing N/NE winds later Wednesday and good
Trades Wednesday night for the run South. -

* On her first full day of racing (coincidentally, Jules Verne's birthday),
Olivier de Kersauson's Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran has
progressed better than expected. Having covered 461.24 nautical miles in 24
hours, she is slightly ahead of the time set by current record holder, the
maxi-catamaran Orange. Given that the first hours of this attempt have been
calm to say the least, this performance is encouraging in terms both of men
and machine. Geronimo is averaging over 18 knots in around 15 knots of
south-easterly wind, a long way west of Lisbon.

There are now sailing instruction jobs listed on the Scuttlebutt website
from twenty states in the U.S. (plus one listing from Hong Kong). Is your
Yacht Club on this list? If you are a job shopper, take a look to see
what's available at

*Jud Smith, Henry Frazer and Mike Craig dominated the fifty-nine boat
Alpine Jaguar Etchells Mid-Winters, the final event of the Alpine Jaguar
series, graciously hosted by the Biscayne Bay Y.C. Feb 4th - 7th. Smith
scored two firsts and four seconds to win the event by eighteen points from
reigning World Champion, Ken Read who was consistently placed in the top
ten for a safe second overall. 1998 World Champion Dirk Knuelman prevailed
in a tight battle for third over Robert Bell (fourth) and Steve Girling
(fifth). - Full results:

* Barclays will become a yacht sponsor for the upcoming Global Challenge
round-the-world yacht race. Roger Davis, chief executive of UK Banking for
Barclays said: "The ethos of the Challenge Race, about allowing ordinary
people to test themselves in exceptional circumstances, really appealed to
us when deciding to take on the sponsorship. Building on this we would very
much like to get our own employees involved as much as possible." -

* New Zealand Marine (Marex) announced that the fourth Yacht Vision Design
Symposium will take place in Auckland on 9th - 13th March 2005. Yacht
Vision 2005 will continue the success and popularity of the previous
symposia, once more playing host to the world's leading naval architects,
interior designers and marine journalists. In addition there will be
presentations from owners, builders and project managers exploring the
delicate relationships in the unique boat building process. The program
promises to combine distinguished speakers, lively debate on a range of
issues facing the marine industry world-wide, and fun social events,

* Dehler North America, Ltd. has opened a new 'National Showspace' in a new
marina facility in downtown Chicago. Patterned after similar Dehler factory
showrooms in Freienohl, Germany, and Monnikendam, The Netherlands, the
facility will showcase examples of various Dehler models, their
construction methods, as well as handle all marketing, dealer- and
client-support functions. Currently, the showroom houses the Dehler 47,
Dehler 39 and Dehler 34.

* In a recent meeting of ISAF Windsurfing class chairmen and elected
representatives at the London Boat Show, Peter Krimbacher (AUT) was elected
to fulfill the rotating role of President of the International Windsurfing
Association for 2004. Krimbacher is also chairman of Windsurfing Austria.

* The first sailing pictures of the new Owen Clarke 65' cruising sloop
built by Marten Yachts can now be seen on the Owen Clarke and Outside
Images websites. With her lifting and canting keel system, plus a sailing
displacement of less than twenty tonnes, her stability, comfort and sailing
performance are unlike any 'normal' blue water cruiser. Designed to sail
downwind as a normal fast cruiser with keel centred, on the reach and
upwind the boat powers up with the keel swung to windward and where
necessary a single gybing daggerboard is lowered. - /

* Jean Luc van den Heede's 84-foot aluminum cutter Adrien is plugging along
nicely on his bid to lower the 'westabout' singlehanded global record
presently held by Philippe Monnet. VDH is now just 5,711 miles from the
finish, having covered 229 miles in the last 24 hours. He is now 26 days
and 9 hours ahead of Monnet's record -

(The following is a report from Brian Thompson aboard Steve Fossett's
'Cheyenne' on their attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy.)

At present we have the standby team working with our sailmaker Paul van
Dyke (Whirley) on the head of the blast reacher sail, the head having broke
just a foot down from the top. He is putting on a lot more webbing
reinforcement to take the massive loads on this heavily loaded sail. There
is a lot of punching of holes in the material followed by hand-sewing.
Whirley estimated that it could take 3 standby watches to fix, 12 hours. We
are going to work non stop on it. Fortunately its not a sail that we need
right now and it should be stronger than ever when we are done.

Life moves pretty fast these days...Spring begins in less than 40 days,
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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 Marc Fountain: The way to re-invigorate the Corinthian spirit is to
return to racing rules (1990?) that contain a clear burden of proof or onus
in the right-of-way rules. One boat, the 'burdened' boat must feel that the
facts are so much in her favor that she will overcome the burden of proof
in the protest room. If the facts are not in the burdened boats' favor,
then the burdened boat should not (and in practice will not) press the
issue. The burdened boat will likely either alter course to avoid the
interaction or if committed to a course of action that results in a
possible foul, take an alternative penalty at the earliest opportunity.

The burdened boats' choices are rightfully determined by the odds of
winning the protest and few skippers would repeatedly go to the room with a
weak case and continue to be thrown out of races. The current system of
having a 50/50 chance (in practice) of being thrown out whether one is on
the right or wrong side of a rule regardless of the facts is ill-conceived,
ill-applied and not helpful for building the sport. The rules should be
re-written or rolled back so that the odds of winning in any situation are
unequal. That will encourage sailors to learn and follow the rules. It's
possible that the current rules are workable for regattas with on-the-water
judging but not in most regattas where competitors are expected to police

* From Fiona Brown: If an owner wishes to race outside the Melges 24 Class
structure he must obviously comply with the safety and handicap
requirements laid down by the relevant organizing authority, as will any
other class of boat. The International Melges 24 Class cannot be
responsible for safety requirements of yachts competing in anything other
than its own regattas; however, the Class fully supports organizers of
other regattas in setting the requirements they deem appropriate for their
events. No class association, particularly an international one, can make
allowance for all the permutations of safety requirements issued by regatta
organizers around the World.

* From Damian Craig - I think the point most are missing here is that white
boats are practical not just tactical. Anyone who races in a one design
fleet know that boats get dinged, scratched and dented. When it comes time
to fix a ding on a boat try and color match 3 year old green. Just talk to
a boat like Flash Gordon who uses Porsche Silver or any custom color on a
boat and has to completely repaint the boat once a year to get all the
little repairs to match. Colored boats are pretty but as an owner why when
it costs more to maintain, it makes you more visible on the line , makes
you more visible to your competitors on the race course and you can't even
see it anyway.

* From Peter Harken (edited to our 250-word limit): Regards the "kafuffle"
(love that word, perfect) about Vanguards Laser "White boat Ad". First
advice if you're going to race in that hot class: Get one! You'd be
committing suicide if you ordered a Red laser or some noticeable "pretty
color"! This has nothing to do about cheating, that's a non-issue! In any
competitive fleet start with 30 boats and over, unless you're on either pin
end, and even then you won't see the opposite pin, you really have no idea
exactly where you are regards the line.

I said competitive fleet folks, where you are gunnel to gunnel, nose to
nose, a couple of feet from what you perceive is the line, luffing, inching
forward at 1/100th of a knot and still 45 seconds to go, an eternity, and
then before you think you should sheet in, your mind say's "too early
dammit," you hear the mad ratcheting of multitudes of mainsheet blocks and
sheets whistling in, and you of pure thought says "too early, let them go,
I'm righteous, see the pretty transoms, but I'll have clean start"! Ya sure
and pigs fly! Like Peter Commette said, "they go and you go!" No ifs ands
or buts or you will be sucking transoms all around the course no matter how
many recalls!

Driving a bright nosed boat? OCS guaranteed! Red boats and red cars, I've
had both. One got me OCS's and the other got me lots of expensive tickets
and several rounds of mandatory Driver's Ed school.

* From Robbie Doyle: (re Black Flags): Dave Brennan and his Biscayne YC
race committee team just completed their fourth series of an average of 50
Etchells per series, and peaking at 65 for the final series. The Etchells
fleet, like most fleets with top level sailors is known for aggressive
starting and thus many general recalls and ultimately black flags. Dave
completed these four series without any general recalls! At times he and
his team called half the boats over early!

Were their calls perfect, I doubt it, but it sent a message. And the calls
were as accurate as could be made. And just like in any sport, one learns
how to read how the official is calling it, however, imperfect. Thus, as
the series went on the better sailors and starters got more and more
conservative at the starting line. Regatta winner Jud Smith commented that
calling the boats as Dave was is still a better solution then general
recall after general recall until the committee eventually just lets them go.

* From Bruce Thompson: I would suggest to Tom Ehman ("Butt 1513) that the
solution to the OCS problem at the Olympics is right at hand, judicious use
of AP plus the black flag. It is a sorry state of affairs that strict
compliance with Rule 28.1 is seen as being inversely proportional to one's
ranking in the world. But the PRO can implement the corrective actions.
Start the regatta as normal, but at the first instance of OCS general
recall the fleet. This is their one warning. Then run all subsequent races
under the black flag. If anyone is OCS, general recall again and cull the
offender from the fleet. That way, every start that counts is guaranteed to
be a clean start that was fair to those who complied with the rules. Only
the guilty get punished. By avoiding individual recalls, the VHF question
becomes moot. This program is in strict accordance with the rules and
requires no modifications. And it removes the judges from the process. The
people wiggling the tillers have total control of their fate.

Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?