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SCUTTLEBUTT 1534 - March 8, 2004

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(March 07, 2004) South Africa will enter the America's Cup Challenge in
2007 - the first time this country has ever taken part in one of the
world's oldest and fiercest sporting events. World-class Cape Town
yachtsman Geoff Meek, who has won a string of races in his career, will
skipper the South African entry, Shosolosa, which will be built in the city
by top British designer, Jason Ker. The city's Royal Cape Yacht Club has
been nominated as the SA Challenge club.

The announcement was made at the weekend by Salvatore Sarno, chairman of
Mediterranean Shipping Company South Africa, who is also managing director
of the South African America's Cup Challenge campaign. The training vessel
for the crew, the America's Cup Luna Rossa, arrives in the Cape Town
harbour today. It will be the first America's Cup yacht seen in South
Africa, and marks the official start of the South African Challenge.

Sarno, an Italian who has lived in South Africa for 14 years, said the Luna
Rossa will be refitted and re-rigged in the official SA Challenge colours:
a black hull with a beaded wave pattern in the colours of the South African
flag. - Cape Town, full story:

America's Cup history will also be made. This will be the first time in the
race's history that a black crew will take part. Thinking long-term, Sarno
started to train young black crew members several years ago. "We will have
six or seven highly trained, wonderfully skilled black crew on board," he
said. - IOL, full story:

(Sailing forums have been busy debating the merits of how one America's Cup
campaign, the Sausalito Challenge, is taking their pursuit of sponsorship
dollars to eBay auction. Sausalito Challenge co-founder John Sweeney
provides us their thoughts behind this decision)

First off, we know of almost a dozen companies that will sponsor a Cup
team. We also know that most have not made a decision on what team to
sponsor. So it was logical to create a global marketing idea that got us in
front of these decision makers before we missed out. Ebay was the only
choice because we would be there largest auction they have ever had. The
size of the auction would generate needed global marketing and awareness.

We believe that any company looking at the Cup will have to take a strong
look at our package. Why would you want to pay $25 million to be one of
five sponsors when you can be the sole sponsor for $30 and have your own
team? That's the theory at least; we will have to see if it works. The
second point that many don't understand is that eBay actually does have the
kind of folks who can make a decision to buy such a large item. Let me give
you an example from a few months ago. I was looking to buy a Ferrari, and
saw that eBay had almost 120 Ferraris for sale daily. After following the
auctions, I realized that hundreds of Ferraris were being sold each week on
eBay. I then saw an Enzo Ferrari being auctioned off. To my amazement there
were 45 bidders at or around $1 million dollars.

Now if you know eBay, you then realize that these folks are all
pre-qualified to bid at this level. So you can see that at one time 45
millionaires were trying to buy this Enzo and all were surfing within an
hour of each other. If you're buying an Enzo, you most likely have a ton of
disposable income and also would likely be a high level CEO or business
owner who makes key decisions. So the idea stemmed from this auction and
ever since I have seen all sorts of exotics cars, yachts and watches sell
on eBay for millions of dollars.

We have had companies contact us this week from many different sectors.
Airlines, Tech, Auto, F1, Fashion, Tourism Boards and several wealthy
individuals (B's). If you look at what we offer, and what a regular
America's Cup team sponsorship usually offers, there simply is no
comparison. Yes, we are thinking of the sponsor first, but that doesn't
mean you can't also have the best group of sailors/team. There are only two
teams with funding right now, so we have just as good of a chance as the
others to make it to the big show. Plus, we already have the facilities to
start training, three America's Cup yachts and a healthy $10 million to get
us started. Log onto eBay motors April 2-9 and watch for yourself. - John
Sweeney, Co-Founder, Sausalito Challenge

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(The two new MaxZ86s, Pyewacket and Morning Glory raced for the first time
at the Heineken regatta in St Maarten this week. Matthew Sheahan was aboard
Pyewacket for this report)

Two hours 30mins after the start and 35 miles later Pyewacket took line
honours at the end of the first race in the Heineken regatta in St Maarten,
beating Morning Glory by 55 seconds. But for me, aboard Pyewacket and many
others watching, it was the spectacle of these two extraordinary maxis
slicing downwind that was most impressive. The final result was almost

Seeing an 86 footer planning with ease makes the hairs on the back of your
neck stand up whether your watching or participating and carving through
the 250 boat fleet at 20 knots plus is not something I'll forget easily
either. When you see them in the flesh and in action, these boats really
are as impressive as many have been suggesting and offer an exciting vision
of the future for high performance racing. - Matthew Sheahan, Yachting
World, full story:

Curmudgeon's Comment: While Pyewacket may have won the first battle, by the
end of the series Morning Glory had won the war. Full results,

* (March 7, 2004 - 1710 GMT - Day 29-1/2) Steve Fossett and Cheyenne put
the pedal down even harder on Day 29 of their Round The World attempt,
running off 304 miles over the past 12 hours (avg 25.33 kts). Their lead
over the 2002 RTW record position of Orange is over 1800 nm, and they will
cross the International Date Line later today some 4 days ahead of the
record-holder. The next 12 - 24 hours could also be very productive, as
both sea state and wind direction seem to be cooperating. Commented
Fossett, "Although we now enjoy a 4 day lead, we are not relaxing. Matching
the record pace becomes more difficult because Orange had a truly
outstanding Pacific crossing in 2002. Our full concentration is now
directed to maintaining our speed - while not causing stress to boat. We
think of all the equipment problems we had in the first half, and know that
we have many more problems to solve in order to get to the finish line." -

* Every major weather system scattered across the Atlantic seems to demand
its tribute from Geronimo. After an Azores High that was displaced too far
to the East, the Doldrums marked the passage of the Cap Gemini and
Schneider Electric trimaran by doubling in volume. Now it's the turn of the
St. Helena High to demand its 15 minutes of fame. Normally centred over the
island of Napoleon's exile, it now sprawls all the way from Argentina to
South Africa, literally barring the South Atlantic. Yes, it's moving
towards Africa, but rather slowly and by stretching itself out like slug.
The passage to the South is not forecast to open up appreciably until March
10, and even then a long way to the West. The problem is that Geronimo will
be there well before then. Oh for the South, its well-established weather
systems and long, high speed tacks! -

Curmudgeon's Comment: It appears for now that Cheyenne is in phase with the
world weather conditions and Geronimo clearly is not. Although Cheyenne is
blistering the RTW record, the Geronimo website reminds us that their
attempt does not comply with the requirements of the Jules Verne Trophy.

J Boats' new 33' daysailer, the J/100 is beginning production next week at
TPI Composites in Rhode Island. The hull is long and sleek, the cockpit
huge, and the mast tall, Hall and carbon.....just a few reasons why this J
may be 100% perfect for your next day's sail.

Miami, FL- The much anticipated Bacardi Cup got in their first race on
Sunday, but their fancy event website provides neither a story nor results
as of our press-time. Thanks to the Star Class organization, who found
their way to post the standings for this ninety-three boat "star" studded
fleet: 1. Paul Cayard / Phil Trinter, USA; 2. Marc Pickel / Ingo Borkowski,
GER; 3. Ross Macdonald / Mike Wolfs, CAN; 4. Frederik Loof / Anders
Ekstrom, SWE; 1. Rick Merriman / Bill Bennett , USA; 12. Mark Reynolds /
Steve Erickson, USA; 17. Vince Brun / Mike Dorgan, USA; 18. Peter Bromby /
Lee White, BER; 77 (BFD). Geroge Szabo / Mark Staube , USA; 77 (BFD). Iain
Percy / Steve Mitchell , GBR - Star Class website,

Event website:

* OzBoyz Challenge has confirmed the participation of a team in the 2004
Match Racing European Circuit. The OzBoyz Challenge Match Racing Team will
commence their program with the Elba Cup. This Grade 1 event will be held
from May 02nd to 09th on the picturesque Island of Elba in Italy. The
details of the OzBoyz Challenge Match Racing Team will be released in March
04. - Cup in Europe, full story:

* The organizer of the 32nd America's Cup, AC Management, will announce the
2004 racing schedule on March 16th for the "Pre-Regattas" to be held this
fall. Valencia, host of the next defense in 2007, has already been named as
one site, and target dates for all three events have been released
(September 5-12, September 25-October 3, and October 17-23), but the two
remaining locations are yet to be determined.

Valencia's pre-regatta, which had been tentatively planned (although
officially unconfirmed) for September 5-12, will likely exchange those
dates for one of the two later slots on the fall schedule. Though the other
two cities chosen to hold the 2004 Pre-Regattas are not known, one is
expected to be in the north of Europe and one in the south. It is also
believed that one of the cities could be a venue passed over by ACM's
selection of Valencia for the America's Cup match. - CupInfo, Félix García,
full story:

* São Paulo, Brazil- Tommy Sumner of Brazil, with crew Felipe Brito and
Mark Pineda, beat eleven other teams to repeat as 2004 Lightning Youth
World Champion. Americans Robert Ramirez, Eric Aronsohn, and Nick Oliveira
were the top North American finishers in eighth place. Full results,

* St Petersburg, FL- Sixty-two boats competed last week in the Thistle
Midwinters East, with the Toledo, OH team of Skip Dieball, J. Francis and
S. Paisley winning the event. The victory completes a bi-coastal midwinter
coup for Dieball, as he won the Thistle Midwinters West in San Diego, CA in
January. - Full results and photos,

* David Mendelblatt beat out Tom Whitehurst and sixty-four other entrants
at the 2004 Sunfish Midwinter in Pensacola, FL. - Full results,

* Investigators on Friday were piecing together the cause of a fatal
boating collision between a cabin cruiser and a sailboard on the Indian
River Lagoon near the Melbourne Causeway (FL). "He accelerated, got up on
plane and hit the boardsailor," said Lt. Steve Wayne of the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "It's an awful situation," said
Schuyler Dejung of Indialantic as he packed up his sailboard near the area
where the accident occurred. "I've never had even a close call. Generally
the boaters have been courteous." The area is popular with sailors, Dejung
said. - 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 Magnus Wheatley: Laughable! That's the only word I can come up with
for the latest accommodation prices around the Agios Kosmas sailing centre
in Athens (for the '04 Olympics). Paul Henderson's assertions that the
centre is fantastic and, more than likely, the best facilities of any sport
may well be valid but I would like to throw into the pot that I have just
been quoted 297 Euros per night for a double room (approx $367.00 USD) at
the Hotel London, Glyfada. What's more, the crafty Greeks are insisting on
a minimum stay of 20 nights, so by my math that adds up to 5940 Euros
(approx. $7,340.00 USD)! I could buy a boat for that kind of money!

Instead, with tongue firmly in cheek, I'm busy buying up as many hotels on
the South Coast of England for the Olympics in 2012 (so sure am I of the
London bid!) to artificially inflate all the prices and thereby go against
the Olympic spirit of 'sport for all' wonder sailing can't shake its
elitist image. However I look forward to over-paying for a campsite in
Athens on the 14th August and employing shanks's pony as my means of transport.

* From Clifford Bradford: With respect to Portland's wind farm issues it
may be possible to stop the wind turbines during sailing events. There are
other offshore wind turbine installations in Europe (I know of one off the
Dutch coast I think). Does anyone have experience sailing near those? As
sailors we ought to be conscious of the environment and the fact is that
every kilowatt a wind turbine produces is one that a fossil fuel burning
power plant won't have to produce.

* From Kevin Hall: The US Olympic Sailing Committee exists to try to
identify our country's best prospects for a medal in each class during the
years before the Games. In 1998 Morgan Larson, and Jonathan and Charlie
McKee and I mapped out a road we believed was most likely to lead to a
medal in the 49er. This road would require breaking with the tradition of
having the Trials just a few months before the Games, and in essence meet
the European format half way: we requested that the Trials be a year before
the Games, so the winning team could rest and then have the ability to
prepare for one event (the Games), not two (the Trials then the Games),
with the undiluted backing of the OSC for the final year. The OSC saw the
wisdom in this and our Trials were in October for the Olympics the
following September, and the McKees went on to win a bronze medal.

Once the US Olympic Team is selected, the OSC exists to help each athlete
or team prepare for the Olympic regatta. This includes funding, logistics,
shipping, coaching, and a bit of paperwork. I am now on the 2004 US Olympic
Team, and considered by US Sailing to be a medal prospect, though a
darkhorse. I am confident that US Sailing and the OSC are doing everything
they can to provide me the opportunity to sail my best in Athens.

* From Terry Hutchinson: Having competed against Kevin Hall since we were
kids, it was great to see Kevin succeed at the Finn trials. Like Lance,
Kevin is a testament to what a little human will power can do and overcome.
I hope that everybody at US Sailing and the Olympic committee do not under
react and take "this is not a big deal attitude" as Kevin has battled and
deserves to be in the Olympics.

* From Ian Bruce: What an extraordinary, but not unexpected, outcome to the
Iverson saga. We are slowly but surely slip-sliding away from the reason we
(99% of all sailors) are in the sport. We like to sail and we like to
compete but what we really want to do is go head to head with our friends
and others who make up the community we sail in and to enjoy their company
after. This is obviously not Olympic sailing but at least one Class, the
Star, does offer the added bonus of being able to sail against the Olympic
rock stars as many are well established, and long standing, members of our
community and not transients seeking a medal. George is one such person and
there are six more mentioned in yesterday's Butt reference to the Bacardi.

Come and sail with us, George, at the inaugural Montreal Star Regatta this
June (Montreal is the newest Star Fleet). We are just up the road from you
and we don't give a damn what you or your skipper weigh!

* From Harrison Hine: One of the reasons I left the Star Class was the
European takeover of the class and the insane weight policy put in place by
the Italian president. They were arrogant and ignored the long time
traditions of the class. It's bad enough that a few small insignificant
sailing countries dominate the International Federation, but it's worse
when you take a venerable organization like the ISCYRA and start putting in
restrictive rules that don't improve or promote the class.

The Star Class is the "ONLY" one design organization to last any length of
time with a strong organization. The competitive nature of the sailing in
the Star Class is it's main appeal, but the class organization run by
rational and experienced yachtsmen has kept the class alive and thriving
through thick and thin.

It's too bad that a small group were able to come in and change the basic
nature of a the classic one design class.

* From Craig Fletcher: (re: Chris Ericksen's statement, "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.") If sailboat racing is not real life, what is?

The difference between a jet ski and a vacuum cleaner is the location of
the dirt bag.