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SCUTTLEBUTT 1523 - February 20, 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.

More light air in Florida - Thursday's Olympic Trial races started in 8-10
knots of Northerly breeze, but the wind softened as the day wore on. Carol
Cronin sailing with Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland made the biggest move of
the day with first and second place finishes to leap-frog from third in
class to the top of the heap in the tightly-packed Yngling standings.

Meg Gaillard was finally was beaten in the Europe class- but her impressive
1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2 series has provided her with a 14-point lead over
Krysia Pohl. Kevin Hall (Finn) and the 49er team of Tim Wadlow and Pete
Spaulding also have double digit leads, but John Lovell's lead over Lars
Guck has shrunk to just five points.

Sixteen races are planned for the Europe, Finn, Tornado and Yngling
competitors, with 24 planned for the 49er fleet.

EUROPE DINGHY (14 boats) - standings after 10 races w/1 discard at the
Lauderdale YC): 1. Meg Gaillard, 9; 2. Krysia Pohl, 23; 3. Christin
Feldman, 25.

FINN (23 boats) - Standings after 10 races w/1 discard at the Lauderdale
YC): 1. Kevin Hall, 17; 2. Geoff Ewenson, 28; 3. Bryan Boyd, 41; 2. Mo
Hart, 41.

49ER (11 boats) Standings after 15 races w/2 discards at the Key Biscayne
YC: 1. Tim Wadlow/ Pete Spaulding, 23; 2. Dalton Bergan/ Zack Maxam, 35; 3.
Andy Mack/ Adam Lowry, 37.

TORNADO (8 boats) Standings after 10 races w/1 discard at the Miami YC: 1.
John Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, 12; 2. Lars Guck/ Jonathan Farrar, 17; 3.
Robbie Daniel/ Enrique Rodriguez, 28.

YNGLING (6 boats) Standings after 10 races w/1 discard at the Key Biscayne
YC: 1. Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland 21; 2. Sally Barkow,
Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi 24; 3. Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette and
Melissa Purdy, 24.

Curmudgeon's Comment: US Sailing has a great job of getting timely results
posted on their website:
However, it really is sad that the national governing body for the sport of
sailing is unable to also post daily stories on their website about the
trials to select the athletes who will represent the United States of
America in the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad.

* Orange II is heading home, having abandoned their attempt for a Round the
World record after just a day at sea. They'd covered 580 miles in their
first 24 hours, but early Friday morning a "technical incident" occurred
onboard. After consulting his crew, Bruno Peyron decided to turn back and
head for Brittany. "What happened does not allow us to continue racing, and
we're still close enough to home to come back quickly, have this problem
fixed, and take another start," Peyron said. "The real concern is that we
were sailing in exceptional sea and wind conditions, downwind, and now
we'll have to come back upwind against 35 knots of breeze." -

* Steve Fossett and Cheyenne found improved and consistent NE breeze
driving South through the S Atlantic throughout Day 12 of their RTW attempt
- a day that eventually saw them cover over 454 nm (avg 18.91 kts),
catching up to and then passing the 2002 Day 12 position of Orange.
Measuring ahead to the next probable course waypoint - South of Cape of
Good Hope - Steve Fossett and crew are approximately 95 miles ahead of
Orange after 12 days. "We are now facing two or three days of challenging
conditions, and might well fall back slightly over these next several
days," Fossett said. -

* Jean Luc van den Heede's 84-foot aluminum cutter Adrien is experiencing
light air - dead down wind. Having covered just 191 miles in the last 24
hours VDH is now 3,927 miles from the finish, 26 days and 7 hours ahead of
the 'westabout' singlehanded global record held by Philippe Monnet. -

* After first 24 hours into the round the world record attempt, Bank BPH
yacht has covered 286 nautical miles. At 10:00 AM UTC, Polish yacht was
positioned just 50 miles of the city of La Coruna and 60 miles from Cape
Finisterre on coast of Spain. "Weather conditions were just as we have
predicted"- said Wojciech Dlugozma - "The 30-35 knots of Northwesterly
wind, allowed us to cover a lot of miles in the first day and we are making
steady progress south." With help of German meteorologist Meeno Schrader,
who works as a part of shore crew as yacht's router, Polish sailors had
nailed the perfect weather window in the Bay of Biscay which is known for
light easterly winds.

* Thierry Martinez was kind enough to send Scuttlebutt some great photos of
the Polish VO 60 on its fully crewed monohull round the world record
attempt - a new category, as there is no existing record. (Apparently, if
they make it around the world, they automatically get into the record
book.) To view the images:

How tall was the tallest iceberg in the world? (Answer below)

Balancing your desires and your needs is tough. It's a matter of
practicality. You may want the most expensive offshore gear available but
chances are all you really need is a good set of inshore gear for the
"round-the-cans" racing you're doing. It's a tough thing to admit. Enter
Ronstan's Inshore Jacket and Trousers. Deemed a 'Best Buy' by Practical
Sailor, fully waterproof and breathable, fleece-lined pockets and collar,
two-way zip, adjustable cuffs, reflective tape and stowaway hood, they'll
satisfy your desires and practical needs. Check them, and their practical
price, out at Annapolis Performance Sailing.

* The Oracle BMW Racing team starts a two-boat sailing programme this week
from the team's base in Auckland, New Zealand. "This session will be an
evolution of our testing programme and at the same time will provide
further opportunity to trial sailors and other personnel for the team,"
says Chris Dickson, Oracle BMW Racing CEO. "The facilities in Valencia are
not in place yet so we can operate cost efficiently using the
infrastructure and support facilities that are still here from the 2003
campaign." - Oracle BMW website, full story:

* According to the Spanish Website, the new Luna Rossa Challenge
and the French Team Le Défi came to an agreement with the Club Náutico de
Valencia to use (at Alinghi's side) the former Desafio's base for the Louis
Vuitton Cup 2000. The two teams will head to Valencia in the next two month
as the new Defender is already beginning its installation there. - Cup in
Europe website,

* The only race sailed Thursday in the Finn Gold Cup in Rio de Janeiro saw
another downwind comeback for Ben Ainslie (GBR), giving him a third place
and moving him 18 points clear at the top of the results, ahead of Mateusz
Kusznierewicz (POL), who is just one point ahead of David Burrows (IRL).
However the day belonged to Brazil, with Bruno Prada winning the race ahead
of veteran Finn sailor Jorge Zarif. -

* There are now twelve entries for the 5th Caribbean Big Boat Series (CBBS)
making it the biggest and most competitive to date. In the racing class two
brand new MaxZ 86's, Pyewacket and Morning Glory have entered. These two
boats have yet to sail against each other. Also in the racing class are
CBBS, Venom and Spirit, both Volvo 60's from Great Britian, plus Tom Hill's
new R/P Titan 12 and Bill Alcott's Equation - racing with a modified keel.
Full story:

* Hunter Marine Corporation, part of the Luhrs Marine group, said that it
has formed an exclusive partnership with SailTime, to exclusively offer the
Hunter 33- and 36-foot sailboat models to members of SailTime's global
network of fractional sailing bases. SailTime currently has 10 bases in the
United States including: Miami, Houston, San Francisco, Tampa, Boston,
Austin, Lake Texoma, Jacksonville, San Diego, and the Channel Islands.
Discussions are currently underway to open at least a dozen more bases
throughout the U.S and Europe before the 2004 sailing season gets into full
swing. -

Auckland, New Zealand - The Russell Coutts eligibility controversy divided
the nation this week but last night his presence was cheered by other
sporting greats at the annual Halberg Awards. And the America's Cup
yachtsman was left in the wake of world champion kayaker Ben Fouhy for
sportsman of the year and beaten by the Silver Ferns netballers for the
supreme Halberg Award.

Fouhy received the award at the ceremony in Christchurch ahead of Coutts,
Indy Car driver Scott Dixon and karting champion Wade Cunningham. He
thanked Coutts for coming to New Zealand and said he hoped the country
could move on from the controversy. - Monique Devereux, NZ Herald, full

The tallest iceberg, measuring 550 feet, was located in 1958 off the coast
of Greenland (the equivalent of a 55-story building).

Yves Parlier whose new Médiatis Région Aquitaine is one of the most
radical, ground-breaking boats ever conceived. For starters she's a
catamaran. Competitive 60ft multihulls have been around for several decades
now and over this period three hulls have time and time again proved faster
than two - the central hull allows them better forestay tension going
upwind, they have more beam and better righting moment when reaching and
less wetted surface area in light conditions.

Yves Parlier's boat has the most massive beam of 15.05m - almost 50ft -
giving her the biggest beam to length ratio of any racing catamaran we have
come across. But the greatest innovation is in her hulls and rig. The
former have the complex shape of a seaplane undercarriage, while the latter
ressembles a less extreme version of Pete Goss' Team Philips, with
effectively a wingmast in each hull. To many the boat would seem like sheer
lunacy, were it not for the fact that the brains behind the Médiatis Région
Aquitaine project is Yves Parlier.

* Unlike Team Philips the masts are in fact not mounted on the hulls but on
the arch of the crossbeams close to the hulls. The rigs are also stayed,
not freestanding as Team Philips' were. In fact the masts are not mounted
on the crossbeams to allow the possibility of outboard stays, but to enable
a main sheet track to be used. - Excerpt from The Daily Sail. To read more
about this innovative boat and see images of it and of several test boats:

The America's Cup, Volvo, Vendée, the Mega Cats and the Super Maxi's: Musto
is the favorite brand of foul weather gear amongst the crews. It is
available to purchase across the States - try one of the following
retailers or by going on-line: Annapolis Performance Sailing
(APS); Fawcett Boat;; Fisheries;
Pineapple; Team One or West Marine You
don't need to be a professional sailor to experience Musto. Give it a try
next time.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

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.)

* Guy P. Brierre (re: Paul Henderson's ground rules) ­ How timely was Kyle
Henehan's letter in the very same 'Butt (1522) when he said "I think that
the top end of the system always thinks that they know what is best for the
sport." and "they could do more good by … listen(ing) to the people in the
sport more." This is but the latest of Mr. Henderson's many attempts to
shove his beliefs down the throats of what is supposed to be his
constituency. The average age of the Olympic Class boat is 41 years. Where
does ISAF come off telling the Star Class, who has been legislating and
interpreting their rules for nearly a century, that all of a sudden he
thinks he knows better. Even then, if all rules have been interpreted and
applied consistently (which would continue if they used Class approved
measurers instead of ISAF measurers), then the playing field remains level,
which is what it is all about, isn't it? ISAF has reached an all time high
of arrogance in this latest move. I hope Mr. Henderson's replacement
recognizes that the ISAF is there to serve and not dictate.

* From H. Lane I am amazed at how the cancellation of the Timberland
Europrix just came and went like with no real comment from 'butt land" It's
really unfortunate that another "great idea" for a new sailing event with a
major title sponsor couldn't get even get their first event off the ground.
I wonder how Timberland feels about their sponsorship of sailing. Just add
this one to the long list of cancelled or ill-conceived events and burned
sponsors. Where was the governing body when all this happened? Wasn't the
Timberland Europrix announced as an ISAF Major Event with great fanfare?
Didn't ISAF do their homework or did they jsut collect the fee? I hope
Timberland can see past this blip to continue to support sailing events
that have a tracked record of success.

* From Robert Middlemas (One the subject of the merits of record setting):
I feel it's important that there are people willing (and able) to set the
bar higher, farther, faster and longer. What, without that, are we to call
the best? I disagree that record setting is without merit and boring. Mt.
Everest has been climbed many times but never easily and without peril.
Sometimes nature wins, sometimes we do. To me, it's the journey that
fascinates. What strength and fortitude one has to show in pursuit of a
record is what is intriguing. Is it everyone's cup of tea? Obviously no.
Those camps have spoken and have been heard. Now, be nice and let the
people who are interested enjoy without distraction.

* Tim Bohan (re Magnus Wheatley's comments): I am equally board with the
America's Cup racing since the nationality rules were changed. It's nothing
more than a "big boat" regatta now. Who cares who wins? Just the few
millionaires involved, that's all. It was supposed to be about which Nation
could produce the best racing boat and team. Now it's about who has the
most money and can buy the best team, nationality has nothing to do with
it. What does concern me is the amount of money being put in at the top
end, with little or no money being invested in the grass roots of the
sport. Everyone wants the sport to grow yet I see few opportunities being
created for newcomers to the sport. If you want the sport to grow, you have
to start watering the roots.

* From Richard Bond/Hong Kong: Further to Mangus Wheatley's editorial in
#1519, I suggest he exercises self censorship if he does not want to read
something. For the rest of us, one hopes that the media will continue to
report on all forms of sailing, from dinghy racing to record attempts.

* From Michael W. Fortenbaugh (In response to Magnus Wheatley's suggestion
of a global race with no limits): I would like to offer New York City as
the host for the start and finish. NYC is the capital of the world and the
center of media. If we are going to pursue such a grand vision, we must go
big time.

* From Kim Klaka: With the current flurry of attempts at Round The World
records, I wonder if there is anyone out there game enough to try and beat
the greatest record of them all - Jon Sanders' solo non-stop triple
circumnavigation (1986-1988). Now that's what I call a challenge!

* From Chris Boome: How could the USA schedule the Olympic trials at the
same time as the Finn Gold Cup? Are we planning for failure? Don't you get
better by sailing against the best people in your class?

* From David Gill: I must admit I am a bit perplexed by all the controversy
surrounding Russell Coutts and the supreme Halberg Award/New Zealand
Sportsman of the Year award. The naysayers are dragging New Zealand through
the mud, giving the impression that New Zealand is a country of squabbling
brats, rather than taking pride in the fact that New Zealand has created a
great sailor. New Zealand is a wonderful place, full of friendly
competition and enthusiasm. Why not revel in it's achievements on both the
national and personal level?

* From Angie Coen, NZ: Enough already: Fact is that Russell Coutts is a
great sailor and helmsman. That he gained the America's Cup for a Swiss
club with half of his old NZ crew from the previous event was an
outstanding achievement, a great Team EffortComputer , and Brad Butterworth
should also be mentioned here. But the Halberg Award? I am under the
impression this award goes to the NZ sportsman of the year, not the team of
the year which happens to be Swiss to boot. Please consider this before you
start beating up on the selection committee's (and the country's) fragile
psyche because they chose someone else deserving the award.

"I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house."
- Zsa Zsa Gabor