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SCUTTLEBUTT 1524 - February 23, 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.

US yacht racing fans should be praying for light, fluky air at the
Olympics, because that pretty much describes the conditions at the just
concluded US Olympic Trials in Florida - a single regatta that determined
five of the US teams that will go to Athens.

Meg Gaillard was able to sit out the last day of the trials (which she
did), while Cronin/ Liz Filter/ Nancy Haberland; and John Lovell/ Charlie
Ogletree; and Tim Wadlow/ Pete Spaulding were able to sit out the last
race, which they did. Our only Olympic sailor to compete in all of the
Olympic trials' races was Kevin Hall (Finn), who won the last race of the
event (which he did not have to sail), and he won his class - by a whopping
27 points. Hall had previously finished second at the '96 Olympic Trials in
the Laser, and second in the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 49er class.
Undeniably, the fact that Hall only picked up sailing the Finn within the
last year speaks volumes about the talent that has made him a noteworthy
sailor since he won his first world championship in 1986.

Now, only the US Star class representatives remain to be chosen, and that
will happen on March 18-28, at Coral Reef YC & the US Sailing Center in
Miami, Florida

EUROPE DINGHY (14 boats) - Final results after 16 races w/2 discards at the
Lauderdale YC): 1. Meg Gaillard, 15; 2. Krysia Pohl, 34; 3. Christin
Feldman, 37.

FINN (23 boats) - Final results after 16 races w/2 discards at the
Lauderdale YC): 1. Kevin Hall, 26; 2. Geoff Ewenson, 53; 3. Eric Oetgen, 55.

49ER (11 boats) Final results after 24 races w/2 discards at the Key
Biscayne YC: 1. Tim Wadlow/ Pete Spaulding, 48; 2. Dalton Bergan/ Zack
Maxam, 59; 3. Andy Mack/ Adam Lowry, 64.

TORNADO (8 boats) Final results after 14 races w/2 discards at the Miami
YC: 1. John Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, 16; 2. Lars Guck/ Jonathan Farrar,
24; 3. Robbie Daniel/ Enrique Rodriguez, 38.

YNGLING (6 boats) Final results after 16 races w/2 discards at the Key
Biscayne YC: 1. Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland 31; 2. Hannah
Swett, Joan Touchette and Melissa Purdy, 36; 2. Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe
and Debbie Capozzi 38.

Complete results:

"The US is one of the few countries that still has the 'one regatta'
selection system. Most countries select their Olympic representatives over
a few international regattas. For us it doesn't matter if you have been the
best in the USA over the past four years or have never sailed at all. If
you win this regatta you go to Athens" - Paul Cayard, Seahorse magazine,

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* Bruno Peyron, skipper of the Orange II maxi-catamaran, has revealed that
his boot had lost 30 cm of the starboard crash box, which caused them turn
back after only one day at sea. The boat arrived back in Lorient Sunday
morning, having taken a little more than three days to make the return
journey. No sooner had she berthed in front of the French Challenge (Défi
Français) base, than the shore team was busy proceeding with removing the
mast and hoisting her out of the water back on to dry land. The boat's two
crash boxes (the extreme front of the bow, which acts as a bow fender) have
been rebuilt in the Multiplast boatyard and transported to the site.

The boat's repairs should take three days. As early as Sunday evening, the
two crash boxes (parts made from light density foam) should be stuck back
in place, before they are shaped and laminated Monday, then coated and
painted on Tuesday. As far as the weather is concerned, they are busy
aboard Orange II studying any possibilities of a window of opportunity.
Bruno Peyron said, "We'll do our utmost to be ready to start out again as
quickly as possible. Apparently, there is a weather pattern developing,
which might be favorable for us on the 26th. It's now a race against time".

* Cheyenne - 1217 nm SW of Capetown - Running fast towards the East in the
'roaring forties' for the 2nd day, Steve Fossett covered 578 nm at an
average speed of over 24 kts for the past 24 hours. Their next milestone
will be the longitude of Cape of Good Hope - some 1150 nm distant - 2 days
away at current pace. They still remain over 400 nm ahead of the Round the
World record setting track of Orange in 2002. -

* Olivier de Kersauson's Geranimo is back in Brest, and the sail makers are
strengthening the boat's gennakers for the big tri's next RTW record
attempt, which will happen as soon a weather window opens up.

"It is really about the record. My burning ambition is to break the
official Round the World Sailing Record, set by Bruno Peyron on Orange in
2002. This is simply the most important record in sailing - and why
Cheyenne was built. Despite all the world and race records we've set since
1993, my career in sailing would not be complete without one good attempt
at this record. I am not doing it for the publicity, recognition, or any
financial purpose. The only goal is the RTW Sailing Record - and our sole
attention is focused on breaking it." - Steve Fossett, Cheyenne,

Team New Zealand is denying suggestions that they are struggling to raise
the $150 million needed to challenge for the next America's Cup. Everything
is on track, they say, and plans are being made to ship one of the black
boats to Valencia.

Less than six weeks before the March 31 deadline the syndicate set
themselves to decide whether a challenge was feasible, the Herald
understands they are finding it difficult to sign sponsors. In November,
managing director Grant Dalton said he was not far from signing deals for
nearly $100 million, but the syndicate will not say whether those deals
have been completed. Dalton has said he would not go ahead unless he had 65
to 70 per cent of the money and knew where the rest was coming from.

After last year's America's Cup loss, SAP and Toyota indicated they would
continue their sponsorship. The Government has pledged $30 million,
provided Team NZ can raise $60 million. Dalton, who has been overseas
meeting potential sponsors, was not available for comment yesterday. But
Team New Zealand's operations manager, Kevin Shoebridge, said the syndicate
were happy with progress to date. But he would not comment on the team's
financial position. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

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ISAF is charged with the responsibility of all technical aspects of the
Olympic Games ensuring the integrity and Fair Play of the Games. ISAF is
intent upon not having the scandals which have infested other sports. The 9
classes chosen are only the equipment used and all have signed a contract
saying that ISAF can alter the class rules if appropriate. If a Class does
not want to allow this they should not apply for Olympic Status as they
lose some of their autonomy and have partners ISAF. MNA's, IOC and the
NOC's. In most classes the class measurer will be in Athens paid for by
ISAF and the IOC.

The Olympic Games is totally nationalistic with a "win at all cost"
mentality and the wealthy countries will use any means to obtain Gold.
Please do not say that your country or class is the only one playing within
the rules. ISAF must ensure a level playing field. Some of the measurement
procedures which will be implemented are as follows:

- Sails will be impounded: Many countries bring fully equipped containers
with complete sailmaking facilities which allow sails to be altered during
regattas which happens at all class Worlds. This will not be allowed after
measurement and if repairs are needed they will have to petition the Jury.

- Swing Tests: Sailors know that light ends make fast boats and have
sanded the hulls to accomplish this against the class rules. The classes
have not tested for this but ISAF has produced a very sophisticated
measurement device to ensure that this is not allowed.

- One-Design: One monopoly class has had very bad manufacturing
procedures using defective molds. The sailors have been allowed to
customize their equipment against the class rules and ISAF will ensure that
all boats are according to the one-design concept.

- Class Rules: The sailors are always ahead of the class rules analogous
to the chemists always being ahead of the dope testers. ISAF is insisting
that if a sailor has some unique new rule beater that they ask for a ruling
or be subject to having their boat rejected. Any request for a ruling will
be published along with the decision so that all Olympic sailors are fully
aware of it.

- Entries: The classes allow crews to be from different countries. The
Olympics demand all crews be from the same country and that switching
countries must follow a very strict procedure. The National Olympic
Committee selects the competitors and the class entry system especially one
based on fleets and districts does not fit this nationalistic mold.

There are numerous other examples but the above gives the flavor of what
ISAF must do. It is ISAF's challenge and mandate. If a class does not
accept this and wants autonomy and to be above these obligations they have
the complete right to revoke Olympic Status by not signing the 2008 Olympic
Contract. It is the classes choice and ISAF will in no way impact that
decision. Paul Henderson, President, International Sailing Federation

* Milestones in sailing don't come along every day, but in Rio de Janeiro,
there was a very special milestone this weekend. Winning the 55-boat Finn
Gold Cup for the third time in a row, Ben Ainslie (GBR) has equaled Jorg
Bruder's record set between 1970 and 72. Richard Clarke of Canada took the
silver medal in the Gold Cup - 13 points back, with David Burrows from
Ireland in third place. -

* Must See: The Boat Design website has a photo of a furler for the
247-foot Mirabella V which towers waaaaay above the head of the gentleman
standing next to it. Absolutely unbelievable: For
even more photos of this amazing yacht:

* Danish Olympic Sponsorship from two major Danish Companies, Hempel and
Elsam has just been secured up to and including the 2008 Olympic Games in
China. Danish National Coach, Theis Palm is very satisfied. "With two major
Danish Companies backing our team financially this has great value for the
Olympic Team, as it creates a great deal of trust on our sailors. We will
also in the future be able to broaden the base for Olympic Sailing in
Denmark and extend the support for our younger talented sailors and the
Danish Youth Sailing Team." - Sail World website, full story:

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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 Fred Applegate: US teams have won two separate Yngling world
championships in the last seven months, but neither of those winning teams
will be representing our nation at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad.
Instead the winners of a fluky, light air, six-boat regatta in Florida will
go to Athens. What's wrong with this picture?

* Martin Kiely: Thank you Chris Boome for reading my mind regarding US
Sailing scheduling the U.S. Olympic trials at the same time as the Finn
Gold Cup! Also, has anyone noticed the dismal turnout for most of the classes?
- Tornado: 8-boats
- Yngling: 6-boats
- 470-men 9-boats
- 470-women 7-boats
- Windsurfing-men 7-boarders
- Windsurfing-women 10-boarders
- Europe: 14-boats
- 49er: 11-boats

As a soon to be card carrying member of AARP, I know that I'm not in touch
with this level of sailing and I'm unaware of the issues. However, even to
the casual observer, one has to question the effectiveness of US Sailing to
promote and manage our Olympic team. These are unbelievable numbers for the
opportunity to represent the U.S. in what should be the pinnacle event of
our sport, the Olympics! Please, can someone explain what is going on here?

* From David Sprague, President, Canadian Yachting Association, Chair, ISAF
International Measurers Sub-Committee [re Guy P. Brierre (Butt 1523) and
Kyle Henehans' (Butt 1522) comments on is the ISAF in touch with sailors]:
The answer is as much as possible. Guy's implication that ISAF Measurers
are separate from Class Measurers is completely at odds with the facts. No
one is made an ISAF Measurer (IM) for a class without that Class's specific
recommendation. An ISAF Measurer is recommended by the Class as an expert
before being made an IM and only if he or she has experience measuring at
Class World or Continental Championships can they be selected. They have to
have their experience, credentials AND Class recommendation renewed every 4
years. They are the Classes' Measurers too. To suggest otherwise is false.

ISAF is only as good as the volunteers who run it. All the ISAF people are
chosen by their sponsoring bodies to attend ISAF meetings, be it the Member
National Authorities or the Class Association. I know many ISAF people and
although I may disagree with some (or most) of them at times, I know they
do have the interests of sailors at heart all the time. We may not have the
same opinions but I know they are trying hard to do what they feel is best
for the sport. They do listen to the sailors. Sometimes they have to make
hard choices because of differing needs and opinions of different sailors,
but they make the best decision they can. If you don't like what they do,
get involved in your MNA or Class, get appointed to ISAF and make a
difference. Make your opinion heard at ISAF.

* From Bill Gibbs: You just have to love someone who pushes the design
envelope in sailing, be it Pete Goss or Yves Parlier. It's a risky
business, as Pete demonstrated. Regarding your "tris are faster than cats"
comment, this is not generally true, but specifically true for race multi's
of the same length and unrestricted beam. The ORMA 60's have settled in on
tri's as they are a length restricted rule. Restrict the beam further as
well, and cats become superior. Or as demonstrated in The Race, let money
be the only limitation and long cats are preferred as the most speed for
your money. I have to admit that I'm a cat/multi fan, and love following
the current Around the World sailors.

* From Peter Huston: If it weren't so sad, it would be funny that in the
same week US Sailing can't issue daily news stories about the current
Olympic Trials because of budget limitations, but they can issue a press
release about their new motorboat sponsorship deal. Let's see, in recent
months US Sailing has raised basic dues, cut the benefit of Sailing World,
started selling a powerboat training book, and is now in fact promoting the
sale of its own brand of motorboats. Perhaps worst of all, two versions of
this motorboat are named after two of the more important International
classes, one of them an Olympic class. Zodiac and US Sailing couldn't come
up with names other than "420" and "470"?

Am I the only one that thinks US Sailing has completely lost its way when
it comes to leadership for the sport of sailboat racing in the US? Why is
there this sudden reliance on sponsorship deals? Doesn't it seem that US
Sailing should now be called US Selling?

* From Guy Brierre (re: Magnus Wheatley's rant in "Butt 1519" that the
current Jules Verne challenges are boring): Magnus, I'm interested and I
know a number of people who are interested as well. There are many ways to
race sailboats - one design, handicap and against the clock. The current
Jules Verne challengers have to use their weather routing expertise to
decide when to leave - or not leave - to make their very expensive jaunt
around the marble a success or a failure. Then all they have to do is sail
very fast every minute of every day for over two months, quite a task. No,
they aren't racing another boat but then neither are the people who race in
handicap racing, really, they are also racing against a clock.

I, for one, enjoy vicariously the exploits of the JV racers. If you don't
like it, change the channel. As for Cheyenne, Orange II and Geronimo, good
on ya, and good luck.

* From Robert M Grant: I agree with Tim Bonham that the America's Cup was
supposed to be about which Nation could produce the best racing boat and
team. What did upset Kiwis like me is that Coutts and Co deserted their
native country to compete against their own nation in spite of his earlier
criticism of other Kiwi sailors for doing just that! So who care who wins
now - unless of course it's the new Team New Zealand.

You've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the prince. But a prince
probably isn't going to be interested in some frog-kisser.