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SCUTTLEBUTT 1533 - March 5, 2004

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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.

Drug testers love Kevin Hall. "I fail every test miserably," he says. Hall,
34, is from Ventura, although currently living in Bowie, MD. Last month he
won the U.S. Olympic Trials for the singlehanded Finn class.

Before writing another triumph of the human spirit, there's a problem to
resolve. "It's testosterone," Hall said. "I don't produce any, so the test
shows that it all comes from the outside and I'm a quintessential cheater."
That's Hall's humor from the dark side. Hint: what do Lance Armstrong and
Kevin Hall have in common? Both are survivors of testicular cancer. Hall
survived by giving up both testicles to surgery, which means he can't
produce any testosterone himself.

"The urine tests measure the ratio of a precursor to the actual
testosterone in your body to establish if any of it is
exogenous---administered from the outside," Hall said, "and a hundred per
cent of mine is exogenous, which is very exciting for the substance control
people." No wonder. Testosterone is a steroid, and steroids are a blight on
the integrity of modern sports. Hall has no aspirations to hit home runs or
become a 350-pound offensive lineman. All he wants to do is sail his little
boat, and the International Olympic Committee will have the final say about
that. "They are very reluctant to establish a precedent that testosterone
is OK to take," Hall said. "They know it's a steroid that's been the
subject of a lot of abuse and cheating."

Hall has been dealing with the issue off and on since his second of four
Olympic trials in 1996. This time he's more concerned because, he said,
"There was a deadline of one year before the Games to apply for ability to
compete using my banned medication which came and went some time ago. Under
a strict reading of that deadline, I will not be allowed to compete." Fred
Hagedorn, chairman of US Sailing's Olympic Committee, has talked to Hall
and tried to ease his concern. "I think he's over-reacting," Hagedorn said.
"There's nothing to say he's ineligible to compete in the Olympics yet."

The stakes ride on getting Hall a therapeutic approved exemption, or TAE,
for the Games. The one-year deadline may not matter. "A new code went into
effect on Jan. 1," Hagedorn said. "All the TAE paperwork has to be
resubmitted. He has a TAE with extensions that carry him all the way up to
the Olympics. He has to have a new TAE approved, which gives us time with
him and the USOC to get the new TAE approved." - Rich Roberts, The Log,
full story:

Sailing chiefs today said the proposed Portland (UK) windfarm could scupper
any chance of the area hosting the 2012 Olympic sailing events. And they
believe that the giant turbines could make all world-class sailing
impossible and damage the long-term viability of the National Sailing
Centre being built on the island. Energy company Powergen wants to site 11
100-metre turbines in the harbour waters, and has started monitoring wind
flow with two tall masts.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) said new research shows that the
100-metre high structures will affect the flow of air around them and cause
turbulence that would make race sailing impossible. And the RYA, the
governing body for sailing in Britain, has said the turbines will affect
nearly all of the five proposed racing areas that would be used for the
Olympic Games.

Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy chairman Bill Ludlow said: "Portland
Harbour and Weymouth Bay have the best small boat sailing waters in
northern Europe and these turbines will be right in the middle of them. The
top of the turbines will be taller than Portland itself. We are very
concerned at the prospect of these wind turbines being put there because
long-term arrangements for international sailing events could be
jeopardised. - Caroline Short, Dorset Echo, full story:

Iain Percy, UK Olympic Star skipper and 2002 Star World Champion, on the
Bacardi Cup next week, which will be the final tune-up prior to the US Star
Olympic Trials: "The quality is absolutely ridiculous, which is great. It
is hard to look at the Star not being a Olympic class because it attracts
so many of the top sailors." - The Daily Sail,

While it is still cold out, and your competition is reading books or
attending some seminar in a classroom, come enhance your racing skills is
beautiful San Diego. J/World San Diego offers their renowned five-day
racing clinics twice a month throughout the spring. There will be no more
than four students on our J/80's with the coach for individualized
attention. Our goal is to have you do more starts in one week than you
would in a season. Call J /World San Diego at 800-666-1050, or visit our
website at

(The follow is from a story on the SailNet website by Dean Brenner)

The classic mistake after the bad start is to split immediately with the
entire fleet. It's almost natural to say to yourself, 'The left is favored.
We had a bad start. Let's bang the right corner!' This is not sound logic
and can put you in an even worse position relative to the other boats. If
you find yourself in the position of suffering a bad start, take a deep
breath and quickly consider your options. To ensure that you make the most
of a bad situation, keep the following points in mind:

Keep your eyes up the course. It's important to identify the favored side
of the course and keep an eye on what the top teams are doing. Try to use
the boats ahead of you as an indicator of the wind shifts and take
advantage of the information that their headings offer you.

Power up your sail plan. Since you are probably now sailing in dirty air
and disturbed water, and will be for the near future, make sure your boat
and sails are set up for power. Ease the outhaul and cunningham, and sheet
both the mainsail and headsail with some twist.

Set realistic goals. Identify the boats that are nearest to you and try to
pick off a few of them on each leg. Don't swing for the fences and try to
hit a home run right away. A good goal for the first beat after a bad start
is to simply try to get back in touch with the fleet by the first mark, and
get yourself in position to start passing boats as the race progresses.

A bad start doesn't mean the race is over for you and your crew. It just
means you have given yourself a disadvantage early on. But by adopting a
good, positive attitude and by adjusted your goals so that they're
realistic relative to your new position, you can get back into the race and
take some of the sting out of getting off the line in bad shape. - Excerpt
from a story by Dean Brenner, SailNet website, full story:

* Trying to stay in front of the cold front which is driving them
powerfully to the east, Steve Fossett's team on Cheyenne have covered 284
nm over the past 12 hrs (23.7 kt avg), leaving them over 1600 nm ahead of
the 2002 position of Orange on her successful RTW record run. With the wind
reaching 30-35 kts and boat speed at over 25 kts, Navigator Adrienne
Cahalan reported that they were starting to get 'a few squalls and gusts'
with this cold front catching them up - but they were 'trying to be
careful'. Blasting conditions throughout Wednesday carried Cheyenne past
the longitude of Cape Leeuwin at 1918 GMT to an unofficial Ouessant -
Leeuwin record -

* Since Thursday morning, the wind has completely died as the Cap Gemini
and Schneider Electric trimaran approach the imaginary line of the Equator.
The trimaran is making about 6 knots in barely 5 knots of wind, but the
Doldrums are already imprisoning the trimaran in their sticky weather
conditions. Air and water temperatures have climbed to over 28°C and it's
like a sauna below decks. After eight days of sailing they are near even
with the 2002 record but significantly back from the pace of Cheyenne who
began their attempt two and a half weeks earlier. -

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* America's Cup syndicate Oracle BMW Racing has recently purchased two of
the specially developed match racing yachts Swedish Match 40 from Maxi
Yachts to be sailed in training and preparations for the Swedish Match
Tour. Oracle BMW Racing CEO Chris Dickson and his crew will be the first
team to use the new SM 40s in their preparations for the Swedish Match
Tour. "The SM 40s will provide a good training platform for our race crew
to hone their match racing skills," Chris Dickson said. "We can train with
the SM 40s for the many Swedish Match Tour events in Europe this year. The
Tour events are part of our overall training for the America's Cup." - ISAF

* In respect to the late Kelly O'Neil Henson, those racing in the Blakely
Rock Race on March 6th in Seattle are asked to make an offering of flowers
to Kelly in proximity to Blakely Rock. Kelly will be there in spirit, borne
on the breeze and caressed by the following sea.

* The schedule for the US Sailing adult championships is now available on
their website:

* All twenty-two entries of the San Diego to Manzanillo race had finished
by Thursday morning. The Andrews 61 Medicine Man won both class and overall
honors, while the Reichel/Pugh 50 Stars & Stripes, the Ross 40 Paddy Wagon,
and the Beneteau 40Tranquility each won their respective classes. For
complete results:

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skiff sailing or, if you don't sail skiffs, it's a great way to appreciate
what it takes to sail them. Available now at Annapolis Performance Sailing…

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 Martha Parker: I think that with all the talk about the Olympics and
the selection process that US Sailing uses, The US is fortunate to have
enough participants to actually have a fair "Olympics" simulation regatta.
I have recently campaigned the Yngling; first for the US and more recently
for New Zealand due to a dual citizenship situation. When I was sailing for
New Zealand, we only had 2 Ynglings with a possible third, so the
selections were a series of European Olympic training regattas. This was to
prevent a single regatta that would be a match race.

We are fortunate in the US to have some of the top sailors in the world who
continue to strive for the Olympics and I can attest that it is grueling on
your body, mind and every aspect of your life. I congratulate all of the
winners and their families of the US Trials because it takes sacrifices
from everyone in this extended family just to get to the Olympics. I know,
I gave up my dream to come home and be with my children and my business. Go
get 'em in Athens and bring home the Gold for the USA!

* From Leslie Osmera (edited to our 250-word limit): I would like to
contribute one last comment to the discussion regarding participating in
the Olympic Trials. I was the 6th place boat in the Yngling Olympic Trails.
There is no better place or venue in which to really get a sense of where
you are in your sailing skills and although there are many other venues,
the Trials raises the level to find out what it really takes to improve and
move yourself up the learning curve. I have been honored to sail in these
Trials, with and against such an incredibly talented group of sailors and
whose level of athleticism and sportsmanship are second to none.

It was with their encouragement and support that I participated, knowing
that I was not going to win, but that I could contribute to the overall
event by putting another boat on the line and push myself to see what was
possible. I know I am a much better sailor for having participated in the
Trials and did everything I could to make it work for me to participate.
You have to show up on the starting line to learn, and you have to set
goals to move forward. I learned so much about myself and what it takes to
compete at this level. I know that we gave our best and I am excited to
take what I have learned to all the other sailing adventures I will have in
the future.

* From Chuck Coyer: Classes have weight limits so that we can all
participate. I weigh between 180 and 190 depending upon my chocolate cake
intake. My son admits to the same weight depending upon his liquid bread
consumption. We sailed our Etchells with Big Country in the last two series
in order to get to 628 pounds, the legal weight. Why should I have to sail
an Etchells in 20+ knots (much of this years Jaguar Cup Series) against
three 250 or more pounders? It would give the heavier crew a literal big
ass advantage. Don't be constructively obtuse. You know why there are
weight limits as well as every one else. If you have eaten yourself out of
the class, go on a diet or get into a class with more crew per boat. There
are multiple weight loss clinics available.

If we waive all weight limits, we should allow unlimited kinetics next. We
could simply measure inclining moment on shore with the crew aboard and
award the prizes based upon stability. No one gets wet and there would be a
lot more time for the party.

* From Chris Ericksen: J. Joseph Bainton noted his disappointment over the
outcome of the ISAF hearing on the Star Class weight limit ('Butt 1529). As
a former Star sailor and member of a class that itself has a weight limit
(Etchells), I don't want to get into the fray on weight limits: there are
pro's and con's, and it is up to the class to work this out, even if by

I am disappointed, too--disappointed that a member of Star Class would
employ a lawyer in his quest to overturn the decision made according to the
By-Laws of the class association to which he is a member. This is indeed a
"sad, sad day for sailing" as intoned by Rob Brandenburg ('Butt 1528) on
this subject, but not for the reason he suggests: while I enjoy the company
of lawyers in our sport, I think outside counsel has no place at the
amateur level of our sport, either in protest hearings or in relations
between sailors and their governing bodies.

Have we forgotten that this is just a game we're playing, for God's sake?
It's just sailboat racing, folks, not real life.

* From Doran Cushing: The careful reader will notice that the Bush
proclamation of Feb. 28 regarding the threat from Cuba is a blank check to
dictate and control ANY vessel whether bound for Cuba or
sections 2 and 3. Neither have the four-letter word "Cuba" in those
sections, thus allowing the feds, state, or local authorities to take
control and possession of any boat anywhere in US territorial waters and
restrain or remove the captain and crew "when necessary to preserve the
rights and obligations of the United States." The timing of this edict is
obvious pandering to the wealthy Cubans who are living in luxury in Miami
and contribute millions to the Bush regime.

* From Peter Epstein: As a Canadian, what GW (Bush) would describe as a
foreigner, I find the excerpt (Butt 1532) of the 6867 proclamation
disturbing. The cold war era is over. Cuba's economy is in a precarious
state. Its military resources are stretched to the limit. What possible
threat could this tiny Caribbean nation be to the all-powerful USA?
Personally, I think GW's friends at the UAW are worried that the mechanics
who still manage to keep 50-year old Chevy's running would be a threat to
the big three. I say bring us Cuba and their great mechanics; they may be
able to help all of those boat owners with Westerbeke, Volvo, and Yanmar
diesels not to mention those who have the venerable Atomic 4. Give us the
warmth of the Cuban sun, its beaches, fine cigars and rum! Shelve the
political rhetoric, open up trade relations, and don't look at Cuba as a
place to conquer either politically or with shopping malls and McDonald's
franchises. Stop this renewed "Blockade"; just go visit.

Congratulations to Bill Herrschaft of Marina del Rey, CA, Tink Chambers of
Annapolis, MD and a shy contestant from Natick, MA for being the first
three 'Buttheads to tell us the missing boat names from the '04 SORC Farr
40 photo gallery. Your Scuttlebutt Sailing Club caps are in the mail. If
you missed these photos by Walter Cooper, here you go again:

All generalizations are false