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SCUTTLEBUTT 1544 - March 22, 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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(There is a lot of speculation right now as to whether Team New Zealand
will be a player in the 2007 America's Cup. Following are excerpts from
several different media outlets. We'll let you be the judge as to what will

* Team NZ will not meet a self-imposed deadline to find international
sponsors for a possible 2007 America's Cup challenge. The syndicate had
given itself until the end of this month to sign big-money supporters to
help pay for a challenge in Valencia in three years. Organizers now concede
they will not meet their target, but are downplaying suggestions Team NZ
will not have the finance to challenge for the 2007 America's Cup. Team NZ
managing director Grant Dalton would not comment on the implications of the
missed deadline. A briefing for media on how the challenge is going is
scheduled for tomorrow.

While the mood within the camp remains positive, it is understood the
syndicate's money-men are having to look long and hard at its finances.
Team NZ is even believed to be considering selling off the boats that won
the 2000 America's Cup, NZL57 and NZL60, to raise more cash. There are a
few other options under consideration, such as leasing the boats out, or
using them to fulfill sponsorship requirements. Team NZ is also believed to
be engaged in talks with America's Cup organizers, asking for concessions
on the syndicate's entry fee and the cost of renting a base for the
challenge. - Oskar Alley, Sunday Star Times, full story:,2106,2851319a1823,00.html

* Team New Zealand is on track to announce a decision soon on their role in
the next America's Cup. Speculation that the syndicate was preparing to
confirm at a press briefing on Monday it will be in Valencia to try to win
the cup back was quashed yesterday by spokesman Warren Douglas. "We fully
expect to be there, but there will be no announcement either way on
Monday," he said. The date floated months ago for an announcement was March
31. - NZ Herald, full story:

* "We still haven't funded the campaign. And we still have a self-imposed
deadline of 31 March. Unless we find enough money to be competitive we
won't go. But since I got here Team New Zealand has worked on the basis
that we are going; that we'll stop if we can't, not start if we can. Right
now we are doing the America's Cup. If I have to pull the plug, I will." -
Grant Dalton talking with Tim Jeffery in the April issue of Seahorse

* With a forecast for wind at half the strength it was Saturday on Biscayne
Bay, the 22 teams of Star sailors competing in the 2004 US Olympic Team
Trials-Sailing got in two races on a Sunday afternoon that couldn't have
been more perfect. Winds on the course ranged from 9-11 knots. - Jan

* Paul Cayard, 44, and Vince Brun, 57, swapped 1-2 finishes that shot
Cayard into first place by eight points and lifted Brun from the back of
the pack into serious contention with 12 of 16 races remaining. With a
modest shuffle in the early standings, eight of the first nine boats are
from California. The lone intruder is another seasoned Star campaigner,
John MacCausland, 43, from Cherry Hill, N.J., who is sailing with Brad
Nichol and reached third place, one point ahead of Olympic regular Mark
Reynolds, who is three ahead of Andy MacDonald/Austin Sperry, Laguna Beach,

Eric Doyle and crew Brian Sharp, who won both races Saturday, started off
on the wrong foot Sunday with an early start but held onto second place
after returning to start and finishing ninth, followed by an eighth in the
next race. With the light winds, the race committee set a pair of three-lap
courses on a relatively short windward-leeward course. The Howie Shiebler/
Will Stout team appeared to be making a move but fell from second to eighth
on a similar error. They led the second race for awhile and finished
fourth, which would have kept them second overall.

They weren't the first to suffer the dreaded OCS but, like the others,
didn't learn they had been disqualified until they returned to shore.
That's the way it works in the U.S. Olympic Trials. A second gun and signal
flag tells competitors that somebody was over early, but nobody knows who
until returning to shore at the end of the day and checking the result
postings. In Doyle's case, after he restarted properly the flag came down,
and everyone else blew a sigh of relief knowing they were clear to race. In
Shiebler's case, the flag stayed up because he didn't go back. - Rich
Roberts,, full story:

Standing after four races with no discards (22 boats):
1. Paul Cayard/ Phil Trinter, 2-6-1-2, 11
2. Eric Doyle/ Brian Sharp, 1-1-9-8, 19
3. John MacCausland/ J Brad Nichol, 6-8-3-6, 23
4. Mark Reynolds/ Steve Erickson, 5-2-10-7, 24
5. Andrew Macdonald/ Austin Sperry, 11-7-5-4, 27
6. George Szabo/ Mark Strube, 4-5-14-9, 32
7. Vince Brun/ Mike Dorgan, 23/OCS-9-2-1, 35
8. Howie Shiebler/ Will Stout, 3-3-6-23/OCS, 35
9. Rick Merriman/ Bill Bennett, 7-4-17-13-41
10. Karl Anderson/ Ezra Culver, 13-10-15-5, 43

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Yachting New Zealand is to appeal to world sport's highest disputes body
over the quashing of two of its Olympic nominations. It has decided to
appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn two
decisions by the New Zealand Sports Disputes Tribunal last week, which has
thrown a spanner in its selection process for the Athens Olympic Games. It
will be the fifth time a New Zealand case has gone to the court and the
first since swimmer Trent Bray appealed against a four-year doping ban in
2001. It was partially upheld, being reduced to two years.

'The impact [of the tribunal decisions] is it significantly changes the way
we've selected people over the last 40 years and as arguably the leading
medal-winning sport we feel we've done a pretty responsible job of
selection in the past,' said YNZ chief executive Simon Wickham last night.

Yachting's submissions must be with the court by Friday, and the case is
likely to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Wickham said the case had
to be argued either on points of law or must demonstrate that fair and
natural justice was not followed in the tribunal. - David Leggat, NZ
Herald, full story:

* Those interested in the reading the decision of the New Zealand Sports
Disputes Tribunal between Andrew Murdoch and others against Yachting NZ in
the matter of an appeal against nomination under the New Zealand Olympic
Committee Nomination and Selection Criteria may download the 27 page
document at:

* After a frustrating Friday and Saturday slowly breaching a High pressure
ridge, generating very few miles on their RTW record attempt course,
Saturday night's cold front has been a welcome relief as Steve Fossett and
Cheyenne have made excellent progress all day Sunday, logging 298 miles
over the past 12 hours (avg 24.84 kts) as the wind has backed to the SW.
The estimated lead over Orange's 2002 RTW record course is back to just
over 800 miles. -

* On Day 24, Geronimo covered 532 nautical miles - the ninth consecutive
day of 500+ mile advances. It's possible that the Cap Gemini and Schneider
Electric trimaran could improve on her own record time of 2003 for the
passage to Cape Leeuwin. The current record of 26 days, 4 hours 53 minutes
was set during last year's attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy -

* Healthy, safe and in one piece, the crew of the VO60 Bank BPH (ex Assa
Abloy) under Captain Roman Paszke is heading for Cape Town, South Africa,
under rather difficult conditions. Now they have a few days of sailing in
front of them before getting to port where the Bank BPH will get a complete
and exacting inspection. Then the decision will be made whether to continue
the voyage or not. The trip to Cape Town will take a few more days. -

50 Snipe teams are enjoying Serious Sailing, Serious Fun in the sun in
Florida and the Bahamas. The Winter Circuit is comprised of five separate
regattas held in three fantastic venues: Clearwater and Miami, FL and
Nassau, Bahamas. Check out regatta details and results at the SCIRA USA

* Ten four-person women's teams raced in the Sundance Cup - an ISAF Grade 4
match race event at the Forth Worth Boat Club. After completing a double
round robin in J/22s, the top four teams were paired for the semi-finals,
followed by the finals and petit finals: Final results: 1.Charlie Arms
(Vallejo, CA), Colleen Cooke, Dana Riley and Emily French; 2. Sandy Hayes
(Scituate, Mass.); 3. Elizabeth Walker-Sobhani (Warwick, Bermuda); 4. Liz
Hjorth (Marina Del Rey, CA). -

* The Sailing World magazine National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta
Series, wrapped up a three-day weekend of racing in the waters off the San
Diego YC on Sunday as 147 boats in 16 different classes competed. A host of
local sailors defended their Pacific home waters, taking class victories on
Sunday. Complete results:

* The Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami, Florida hosted the 37th Annual
Don Q Rum Regatta, March 19th & 20th. 49 Snipes from around the globe
assembled in beautiful Miami for two great days of racing on Biscayne Bay.
Winds were in the 15-25 knot range for the 5 race series. Final results: 1.
Auie Diaz/ Kathleen Tocke 10.25; 2.Scott Nixon/ Brian Janney, 13.5; 3. Hal
Gilrith/ Jeff Lieble, 17; 4 .E. Rodriquez/ L. Fitzpatrick, 36; 5. Henry
Filter /Kim Courant, 36.

* In an interview published in the French magazine "Voiles et Voiliers",
Loïck Peyron said that the Team France has bought "an excellent last
generation America's Cup Class yacht". If he didn't specify which one,
Loïck said that it's not one of the OneWorld Challenge's boats whose cost
is not justified with the new AC Class Rules. - Cup in Europe website,

Olympic gold medal-winning yachtsman Chris Timms, 56, was one of two men
who died Friday when a plane crashed into the Firth of Thames. Sailing with
Rex Sellars, Timms won gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and silver at
the 1988 Seoul Olympics, both times in the Tornado class. Yachting New
Zealand high performance manager Peter Lester said he was saddened by the
loss of such a fine yachtsman, innovator and character, who was held in
high regard. "We're all in shock," he said. Chris was regarded in New
Zealand and internationally as one of the best technicians in sailing, and
loved as one of our sport's characters.

While maintaining an interest in sailing Chris became very active in flying
in recent years and gained the respect of his flying companions to the same
extent accorded him in sailing and Olympic circles. Chris and a colleague
took off from Ardmore airport (south of Auckland) to practice aerobatic
maneuvers in preparation for an air show scheduled for this weekend.
Observers report seeing them looping and rolling, and then suddenly
spinning straight down into the shallow waters of the Firth of Thames,
south east of Auckland. Neither survived. - Excerpts from stories on the
ISAF website and in the NZ Herald:

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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 Rand Milton (re: Damien Goddard's comments, "...that if Spain does
not support the foreign policy of the United States in the upcoming year,
the US teams should consider pulling out of the next America's Cup.."):
While I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Goddard's comment that the US
decision to pull out of the 1980 Moscow Olympics was one of the worst
decisions ever made in US sporting history, I must strongly disagree with
any decision to use sports as a political tool. It is extremely unfair to
the athletes who have trained so hard and so long for their, in many cases,
once in a lifetime opportunity to compete at the highest levels of their
sport. The boycotts of both the LA Olympics and the Moscow games did not
accomplish anything politically, except to ruin the careers of many athletes.

* From Edward Trevelyan: Damien Goddard suggests that a U.S. boycott of the
Valencia-hosted America's Cup regatta might be in order, presumably to show
objection to Spain's recent election of a Prime Minister openly opposed to
U.S. military action in Iraq. As a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Sailing
Team, I was not happy when asked to give up this opportunity in order to
serve as a tool of foreign spite of my objection to the Soviet
behavior in question. The recent Spanish "behavior," even if one thinks
that it showed contempt for international solidarity in the war against
terrorism, does not begin to rise to the level which justified the boycott
of 1980. By keeping politics out of sport, we allow friendly competition
among nations to play a small part in promoting world peace.

* From Mark Jardine: I'm not even going to approach the political reasoning
behind Damien Goddard's letter suggesting that US teams should pull out of
the America's Cup if Spain don't support US foreign policy. All I say is
keep national politics & policies out of sailing, we've got enough of our
own in the sport! Surely we can put aside differences of opinion and
instead use 'sportsmanship'. Please Curmudgeon, close this thread early!

Curmudgeon's Comment: Agreed - this thread is officially dead.

* From Anson G.P. Stookey: In response to Rich Roberts excellent piece on
Reynolds vs. Cayard in the upcoming Star trials, and with all due respect
to both of those fantastic sailors, I have two words for Rich: Howard Shiebler.

* From Carl Schellbach: The current wrangling in New Zealand makes a
wonderful case for the current system of picking United States Olympic Team
members. I shudder to think what would happen if such ambiguity were
introduced into our process - it's bad enough in the protest room with so
much at stake. As it is, the team we're sending is clearly deserving, and
the competition in each class seems to be offering all the support possible
to the victors. And everybody values the experience. No sour grapes. Life
is good.

* From Laura Sharp: We have raced our 25 year old boat under PHRF in
California and IRC in the UK with very similar results. Our IRC class in
the UK comprises everything from 40 year old boats to hot new boats, and
the results are generally quite close and everyone seems to have a good
shot at the trophies. Unless endorsed certificates are required (unusual
except in high level events) you can submit your own measurements. In the
UK, at least, certificates aren't too expensive. Why not give IRC a shot here?

* From David Jeramiah: What is wrong with US Sailing? With the whole world
watching with bated breath you'd think they could do a better job with the
website for the US Olympic Star Trials. Surely, it can't be that difficult
for the national sailing federation of the richest nation on earth to
arrange for mark roundings, commentary and maybe even a few photographs to
be posted on the internet in real time? Let's face it, the Star Trials is
one of the most exciting shootouts between household names that happens in
sailing... Come on US Sailing feed our appetite for gossip!

Curmudgeon's Comment: There is no question that the web enhancements Mr.
Jeramiah speaks of would be nice to have - but none of those enhancements
comes without a price tag. I think most observers would rather see US
Sailing's very limited Olympic budget used to help fund the campaign costs
of the US Sailing Team.

* From Vinny Gagliani: I would like to inform the sailing community world
wide of an America's Cup Challenge from Saint Thomas, United States Virgin
Islands. The name of team from the United States Virgin Islands is named:
Team Meteora. The founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Team
Meteora is Vinny Gagliani. The team is going through negotiations with
potential team members, and potential sponsors. The team has been endorsed
by several "big names" one of which is an actor who played in a movie as
recent as 2002. The actor will be revealed at another time.

The official announcement of the challenge will take place possibly
sometime in April. If anyone or any company who is interested in being a
partner/sponsor with Team Meteora please contact Vinny Gagliani through
email at: It has been rumored that Rolex may be
a potential sponsor of the team; we have not been contacted by Rolex, so
the rumor is yet another rumor.

I would like to also point out that this challenge is starting as a fresh
slate and does not have any ties with the Virgin Island challenge which was
a challenger but merged with Team Stars and Stripes for the 2000 America's
Cup. A world-class team of designers, boat builders and sailors will be put
together representing many different countries to get the job done.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Why do I have the feeling the 'official announcement'
will take place on April 1?

You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake. - Bob Hope