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SCUTTLEBUTT 1525 - February 24, 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.

(After winning the Laser World Championship twice, plus silver and gold
medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, 27-year old Ben Ainslie from
Lymington, England has become the dominant force in the Finn class, winning
the Gold Cup three consecutive times. Scuttlebutt spoke with Ainslie about
his recent accomplishment, and why UK sailing has lately been so in phase.
Here are a couple of excerpts from this story now posted on our website.)

Arriving to the site of the 2004 Finn Gold in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a
month in advance gave Ainslie the chance to participate in the Brazilian
Nationals and the South American Championships. Assisting in the build-up
was the UK's team approach. "There were four of us in the British squad for
the Worlds. For the first two weeks Paul Hobson from North UK coached and
also worked a little bit on the sail development," Ainslie revealed. "For
the World Championships David Howlett was out as coach, which was great for
me as I seem to work very well with 'Sid' at the big events. Like most of
the other teams we were receiving daily weather reports and we also put
some time into trying to work out the currents, although that did seem to
be quite futile at times."

* A comprehensive, calculated event circuit schedule requires certain
financial pieces of the puzzle to be in place. "I have been fortunate that
my past results have enabled me to secure sponsorship with 'Volvo' as a
title sponsor," Ainslie remarks, but "contrary to popular opinion we (UK)
don't run half million dollar budgets and funding is actually very tight
for the whole squad. Most top sailors in the UK have personal sponsorship
in one form or another!"

A look at the 2004 UK Olympic Team, where every member is either a past
medalist, a current or previous world champion or at worst, a top ten
world's finisher, Ainslie appears to be in good company during the final
stretch toward the Olympics. "We have been very fortunate in the UK. After
a dismal 1996 Olympics the government finally decided to give Olympic
sports some financial assistance and British sailing gained from this by
having an extremely well run National governing body (RYA). The last decade
has also seen a new generation of sailors come through who seem to be
pushing harder and getting better results."

As the UK continues to gain momentum, Ainslie notes the advantages his
country has provided him over the Americans. "US sailing from the outside
seems to be well organized but perhaps struggles for resources, which is
strange for such a huge nation. The fact that the US is so big also makes
it hard to run national training clinics or regattas with all the top
talent. In England we don't have those sorts of issues."

Ainslie also wonders if the US sailors will need to start campaigning
earlier, rather than completing college prior to making their Olympic
commitment. "I think the college sailing in the US turns out some very
tactically sharp sailors, but it's very different to Olympic sailing. The
choice talented young sailors have to make is whether to go to college and
try for the Olympic after you graduate or to save the studying for
retirement. It's a very hard decision but increasingly sailors worldwide
are taking the latter option and gaining the experience early or at least
studying part-time whilst on the circuit." - There is much more to this
exclusive Scuttlebutt interview:

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* After a day of extraordinary tension and teamwork, Cheyenne skipper Steve
Fossett reported late this afternoon that the giant catamaran's wayward
forestay, displaced during the previous night, had finally been reconnected
- and Cheyenne and her team of 13 were once again sailing at speed and on
course in their attempt at Bruno Peyron's 2 year old Round the World
Sailing Record of 64 days 8 hours 37 minutes. The bars of Cape Town can now
stand down.

At 1710 GMT Monday evening Cheyenne and crew were traveling E/SE at 21.8
kts in a 23 kt westerly breeze. Before this morning's drama, Cheyenne was
over 500 nautical miles ahead of the 2002 record track of Orange. Even
during the 16+ hour repair process, excellent downwind progress along the
course was made, the big cat covering 196 nm over the past 12 hours, and
446 miles over the past 24 hrs - at an avg speed of 18.6 kts. Not bad for
'running repairs'.

"The repair process was accomplished using hand tools - where this type of
work is usually done in a rigging shop with specialized heavy equipment,"
explained Skipper Steve Fossett. "This is defining of the most professional
distance sailors. They can fix things at sea where normally we would have
to retire to the nearest port. Despite meticulous preparation, these high
performance multihulls cannot be expected to make it Round the World
without mandatory repairs at sea." -

* After a weekend's hard work by the sailmakers, Olivier de Kersauson's
maxi trimaran, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric sponsored Geronimo, is
now ready to leave for a Jules Verne attempt and it looks as though there
may be favourable conditions for a fast ride to the Equator by mid-week. -
Yachting World,

* On Thursday 19 February at 11.00 GMT, the maxi catamaran Orange II
announced the damage to its starboard bow - the crash box having
disappeared during the night. At the speed that these boats go, the
crash-box on the front of the bows is absolutely indispensable. In the
event of a collision with a floating object, it enables the frontal shock
to be absorbed so as to avoid extensive structural damage. The one on the
Orange II's starboard hull fulfilled its role perfectly with the crash box
becoming detached cleanly. The structure is completely sound. As a result
the boat can continue its course, which she did by returning under her own
power. "The hulls are equipped with a double security system." Gilles
Ollier expanded. "There are two successive crash boxes. The first is
intended to take low impact; the second is for more intensive collisions.
This device has a similar function to car bumpers. They mustn't be too
solid in order to absorb the energy of the impacts, thus avoiding more
extensive damage.

As regards the cause of the damage, no explanation was really given, though
the crew affirm that they didn't hit anything. With all the ambient noise
on these boats when you hurtle along at 30 knots, not all collisions can be
identified. Orange II's crew didn't notice the damage until during the
morning's daylight inspection, though the crash box must have disappeared
in the preceding hours. There was no indication or reduction in performance
to warn them of any damage. A thorough inspection on shore has lead Gilles
Ollier to believe that a collision could be the cause for this damage, as
is suggested by the slight damage to the leading edge of the starboard
daggerboard. - Multiplast & Gilles Ollier Design Team,

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(The following items are reprinted from the Cup In Europe website -

*The K-Challenge was the first French campaign launched for the America's
Cup 2007 but, as the team can't find the money to start, the initial
enthusiasm seems to have petered down. But Stéphane Kandler continues to
believe and, even if he had to stop the team members contracts, he want to
maintain the hope. "We are discussing with a foreign partner for 10 to 15
million euros", said the K-Challenge General Manager. "It is our last chance".

* According to the French newspaper Libération, citing rumors circulating,
Bertrand Pacé would be ready to jump off the Team France project and to
sign with the new Bertelli's Luna Rossa Challenge. In spite of the hopes
raised by the Loïck Peyron's notoriety, the Team France has already pushed
back the deadline three times and doesn't have anything concrete to present

* The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia announced a slight increase in the
IRC (International Rule Club) upper speed limit, from 1.61 to 1.615, and
the continuation of the 30 metres overall length limit (LOA). The CYCA
decision follows a process of consultation with a number of affected owners
and a review of the impact on boats in last year's race following changes
to the IRC. The decision means that a boat such as Skandia, which won line
honours in 2003, will remain eligible to compete in 2004 despite its rating
having increased.

* Jean Luc van den Heede's 84-foot aluminum cutter Adrien is in the
doldrums - hardly moving at all. And it looks like he has at least another
day of this before getting to the Northeasterly trade winds. VDH covered
just 56 miles in the last 24 hours and is now 3,481 miles from the finish,
24 days and 5 hours ahead of the 'westabout' singlehanded global record
held by Philippe Monnet. -

* 45 boats competed in the J/24 Midwinters, held 2/18 - 21 at David Island
YC on upper Tampa Bay, Florida. The international fleet, with competitors
from Sweden, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US, saw conditions build from 8 -
12 Northerlies to 20+ shifty Northwesterlies on the first day, followed by
2 days of no wind. Geoff Moore survived two Z Flag penalties in Race 2 to
win the high scoring regatta with 39 points. Bob Harden placed second with
48 points and Tim Healy took third with 53 points. -

* Lisa Pline and Kim Couranz have won the three race Women's Snipe
Nationals and Snipe Women's Challenge at the San Diego YC, with 9 points.
Two points back in second place were Carolyn Brown Krebs and Laurel O'Neill
while Megan Magill and Anna Brun finished third in the 29-boat fleet. -

* The 2004 Laser Master's Midwinters East was sailed in Clearwater,
Florida, and the fleet consisted of sixty four masters from Australia,
Germany, Bermuda and the Dominican Republic in addition to those from the
North American region. The list of participants read as a who's who of
Laser Masters sailing with two current Master's World Champions and several
past Masters' World Champions. Californian Chris Raab scored an impressive
15-point win over local sailor Kevin Kelly. Andre Martinie of the Dominican
Republic won a tie-breaker with Mark Bear to take third in the six race,
one discard series. -

* The overall winner and first master at the 49-boat Zag Cup Masters
Regatta (Star boats) was Joe Bainton, sailing with Peter Bromby. Second
were Steve Gould/ Chris Gould and 3rd were Larry Whipple/ Mark Strube. In
the Grand Masters Division (13 boats) the winning team was Steve Haarstick/
Todd Schmaker, followed by Guus Bierman/ Duncan Skinner and Steve Rubinkam/
Rohan Lord. The winners of the exalted grand masters division (7 boats)
were Harry Walker/ Mark Reynolds, followed by Robert Van Wagnen/ Eric
Beckwith and Jack Button/ John Button. -

* The J World Match Race Regatta in San Diego, California introduced a new
flavor for match racing. The competitors sailed Etchells, Tom 28's, and two
sets of J80's using both symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnakers. Sailing
in a spectator-friendly area, the teams changed boats after every race for
the round robin which brought a new challenge to the teams of changing trim
set up, and boat handling in three very different designs. Final Results:
1. Scott Dickson; 2. John Pinckney; 3. Bill Hardesty; 4. Jes Gram-Hansen;
5. Matt Reynolds; 6. Jeff Pape; 7. Liz Baylis; 8. John Ziskind.

* Based on our web traffic report, the poor penguin in the game on the
Scuttlebutt website really got smacked around last week. More than 6,000
people gave it a pounding.

Ben Ainslie and Richard Clarke, one-two at the Finn Gold Cup wearing Kaenon
Polarized! Winning a round trip ticket to Athens are Kevin Hall, Johnny
Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, Tim Wadlow/ Pete Spaulding and Meg Gaillard. All
wearing Kaenon Polarized. It's no coincidence Kaenon Polarized was on board
the victorious America's Cup boat, Volvo Ocean Race winner illbruck, and is
now the most prominent lens technology in Olympic sailing - Kaenon
Polarized is winning equipment! Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. Find an
authorized dealer nearest you 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.)

* From John Kehoe: I take great difference to Fred Applegate's comments re.
the results of the Yngling Olympic Trials. The winning team, Team Atkins,
consisting of Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland, sailed a
terrific regatta that was the result of tremendous focus and hard work,
learning from every practice session and every regatta, including the
Yngling World Championships were other American teams faired better. Over
the last two years, I have had the benefit of receiving many e-mails
up-dates; the positive outlook, commitment and focus on improving make this
result particularly impressive. Beyond the solid result in the recent
Trials, with six months to go, I believe that Team Atkins' proven ability
to learn and continually improve makes them a terrific team to represent
the United States in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

* From Steve Podlich: Contrary to Mr. Applegate's comments in 1524 I'd like
to extend hardy congratulations to Carol Cronin, Liz Merrifield Filter and
Nancy Haberland, the 2004 US Olympic Yngling representatives. This is not
an unknown team, who has never been heard of before the Olympic trials,
which lucked into a win at the trials. They attended the Worlds and while
they did not win, they did respectfully. And they have sailed in hundreds
of other races in the past 24 months (I think they even won one). They
sailed head to head against 2 former world champs and other fine sailors in
a selection trial of 16 races. Tell me, what IS wrong with this picture?
Not a thing. Team Atkins has been working consistently toward their goal
and they PEAKED at the right time. Please join me when I say "Go get 'em in

* From Russ Silvestri (To Martin Kiely on the Olympic trial turnout): It
takes a lot of dedication and support to go to the Olympics let alone win
the Olympics, it is not the easy thing to do, so American kids don't do it.
The bar has been raised very high by our foreign competitors who have the
support side better figured out than we do.

* From Roger Hall: If Martin Keily wants to know why there was such a
dismal showing at the Olympic Trials he need only talk to team fundraisers
like me. I have been calling on US corporations large and small for two
years asking for help for a 49er team, and have received only the most
pathetic excuses why these companies could not possibly find a few thousand
dollars to help my 49er teammates. Furthermore, there were four athletes
here in Miami from Portland, Oregon competing in the trials, and despite
many hours of advance information sent to the Portland Oregon news media,
not a word was published about the sacrifices of these dedicated sailors.
So why should private donors get on board, if the news media refuse to
recognize the athletes very existence.

* From Janet C. Baxter, US Sailing President: I disagree with Mr. Huston,
who says that US Sailing should not be in the selling business. The Zodiac
boats are being offered to help our member organizations get critical tools
they need to support their sailing programs (helping kids learn how to
sail, providing safety, setting marks and running races), at prices they
cannot get anywhere else.
Zodiac is also providing boats for the US Sailing Team for the next three
years at no cost to the sailors or to US Sailing. That frees up money to be
used for travel, shipping and training. The press release is part of our
support of that agreement.

Our other sponsorships are similar, supporting our corporate partners and
supporting our members. Every dollar that comes in is one less to be raised
by dues or higher prices on our merchandise and services. We have not
raised basic dues in many years. As Dave Sprague points out about ISAF,
governing bodies are only as good as the volunteers that run them. We do
make mistakes, and I'm sorry that our website had results but no story on

* From George Fredrickson: Not only do I agree with Mr. Huston ('Butt
1524), I have decided to not renew my membership in U.S. Sailing but
instead will use the funds to buy a direct subscription to Sailing World
and Cruising World. The balance I will give to my local Yacht Club Junior
Sailing Program were it will be put to good use. I think there are now
other means to stay informed and support this wonderful sport more directly
without empowering some guys in Rhode Island that seem to have lost touch.
For the time being I may join the U. S. Power Squadron (for free) I would
get a 10% West Marine coupon (as opposed to $20 on a purchase over $75 w/USSA).

* From Jerry Bidjiewicz: Paul Henderson is right in that cheating has no
place in the Olympics. But his latest ("charged with responsibility," "have
signed a contract!" "should not apply for Olympic for status!" "ISAF must
ensure!" "ISAF is insisting!" "what ISAF must do!") - with the kicker that
"If a class does not accept this... and wants to 'be above' these
obligations... they have the right to [forfeit] Olympic status," makes me
look forward to the coming change of command at ISAF. As often is the case,
the announcements have a top down, no room for negotiation posture, with
the caveat that if the dues-paying sailor doesn't like it, he/she can have
it his/her way, so long as he/she gives up the Olympic dream.

* From Kenny Robertson: In his letter on Olympic measurement and policing
the weight distribution fore and aft in a boat, Paul Henderson said, "ISAF
has produced a very sophisticated measurement device to ensure that this is
not allowed" - namely a swing test. Interesting, but my understanding is
that a lone Frenchman - supposedly one Gilbert Lamboley - working largely
alone and with few resources back in the 70's produced this elegant test to
measure the fore and aft weight distribution in Finns. Oh and how silly all
those Finn sailors look now after years fretting about their radius of
gyration! Poor men must have been delirious as they could not possibly have
known about this - as ISAF had not yet invented it!

* From Robert T. King: I regret to inform you that sailing's esteemed
photographer Kelly O'Neil has been seriously injured in an automobile
accident. Kelly has touched many of us: she brought smiles to our faces,
music and laughter into our hearts, and Hershey's kisses to our boats.
Kelly preserved our memories in living colour; I ask that the sailing
community remember Kelly and her family in our prayers, and send strength,
hope, and love.

* From Benjamin Richardson: I would issue a correction immediately letting
the sailing world that Andy Lovell was second in the 1996 Olympic Laser
Trials, not Kevin Hall.

Curmudgeon's Comment: You are absolutely correct. Hall competed in 1992 in
the Finn, finishing eighth; in 1996 he finished fifth (not second) in the
Laser; and in 2000, he and skipper Morgan Larson placed second in the 49er

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