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SCUTTLEBUTT 1549 - March 29, 2004

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CAYARD & TRINTER ARE GOING TO ATHENS
MIAMI, Fla.--- The biggest sailboat race of his life figured to be a
cakewalk Sunday - all he had to do was finish within 12 places of the
second-place boat to clinch the U.S. Olympic berth in the Star class - but
Paul Cayard didn't vary from his pre-race routine. The winds had gone light
after several days of boisterous breeze, and light wind usually means
tricky shifts that can turn a race into what sailors call a "crapshoot.

In a three-lap, light-air tour of the windward leeward course won by Howie
Shiebler and crew Will Stout, Cayard/ Trinter finished a comfortable fifth,
only two places behind Andy Lovell and crew Magnus Liljedahl, who needed to
put 12 boats between them to force Cayard/ Trinter to sail one or both of
the last two races. As it was, they counted those as their allowable pair
of discards to finish with 40 points. "I just wanted go get it over with
and get back here [to shore]," Cayard said. "I'm feeling pretty tired."

So were 42 others from 21 boats, especially Andy Lovell and Magnus
Liljedahl---the latter a 2000 gold medallist crew with Mark Reynolds at
Sydney - who ground back from a double DNF and DNS disaster when their mast
broke on Day 1 to finish second, 25 points behind C/T. Lovell and Liljedahl
were Cayard/ Trinter's tuning partners the last few months and are first
alternates for the Olympics.

While many great sailors' careers have progressed from Star boats to
America's Cup or Whitbread/ Volvo races, Cayard has gone back to his roots.
"That's a pretty cool thing at my age," he said. "It's not the norm." One
reason may be, he suggested, is that "kids in the U.S. can't afford to do a
[serious] Star campaign. I've spent at least a hundred grand, as have some
others here." But getting there is only half the fight. "This was a
necessary step," Cayard said. "I'd like to win the gold medal." - Rich
Roberts, YachtRacing.Com website, complete story and photos:
www.yachtracing.com

Final results (22 boats, 16 races, two discards):
1. Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter, San Francisco, 40 points.
2. Andy Lovell/Magnus Liljedahl, New Orleans, 65.
3. George Szabo/Mark Strube, San Diego, 69.
4. Eric Doyle/Brian Sharp, San Diego, 76.
5. Mark Reynolds/Steve Erickson, San Diego, 80.
6. Vince Brun/Mike Dorgan, San Diego, 80.
7. Howie Shiebler/Will Stout, San Francisco, 90.
8. John MacCausland/Brad Nichol, Cherry Hill, N.J, 95.
9. Rick Merriman/Bill Bennett, San Diego, 102.
10. Andrew MacDonald/Austin Sperry, Laguna Beach, Calif., 102.

Complete results: www.ussailing.org/olympics/olympictrials/2004
Check out our amazing on-line photo gallery for the Star Trials:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/usstartrials/

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EVERYBODY'S DOING IT
* Team Kan-Do (tm), the Chesapeake Bay syndicate hoping to enter the next
Volvo Ocean Race will put their title sponsorship package on the on-line
auction block at eBay. The eBay auction will begin on April 1, 2004 and
close on April 10, 2004. The minimum bid is ten (10) million dollars (US).
The "buy it now" offer, set at fifteen (15) million dollars (US), will
allow the bidder the sole Team Kan-Do sponsorship. The Kan-Do auction will
be listed on ebay motors (keyword: sailboats).

According to the syndicate, a sponsor program has been developed and will
provide the sponsor with a possible 30 month long global marketing
opportunity, which includes all traditional sailing sponsor propositions
enhanced by Kan-Do's minority outreach programs, educational mission and
charitable activities. A value proposition and business details will be
available on the Kan-Do website. - www.kan-do.com. The Volvo Ocean Race
starts November 12, 2005 in Vigo, Galicia, Spain and ends in June 2006 in
Northern Europe. - www.volvooceanrace.com

Curmudgeon's Comment: April 1 may have been an unfortunate choice of dates
to launch this auction.

* The Sausalito (America's Cup) Challenge Exclusive Sponsorship Auction
will go live on eBay Motors at 1am PST - Friday, April 2nd. Final tests are
being run and the auction, eBay's largest to date, will also be the largest
to ever sell online. The online audience is expected to top that of Virtual
Spectator during the 2003 America's Cup races. When the auction goes live,
more than 1500 companies will have downloaded the sponsorship package
worldwide and the Challenge-Series web site hit by more than 500,000 people
in less than a month. The Sausalito Challenge Sponsorship Auction on eBay
Motors April 2-9 (keyword: sailboats).

"This is just the first step in our campaign to change the way the
America's Cup team operates," states the co-founder John Sweeney. "From the
auction idea to the design of our radical new yacht, this is new thinking.
Our compound in Valencia will be a clear glass box allowing the world to
watch our team at work day and night. We will announce the acquisition of a
2003 America's Cup yacht May 1st. Following that we will announce our
design and sailing team June 1st. On June 17th we will hold a press
conference and unveiling party for our exclusive sponsor on the eve of the
first Challenge Series regatta. And finally our new America's Cup yacht
will be launched July 1st 2005 in San Francisco." - www.challenge-series.com

ROUND THE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPTS
* After 50 days on their official Round The World Sailing record attempt,
American Skipper Steve Fossett and his crew of 12 on board the
maxi-catamaran Cheyenne crossed the Equator at 08:13 am Sunday March 28 and
re-entered the northern hemisphere. Seven weeks of hard sailing, plus a
powerful 543 mile run over the past 24 hours leaves them with an imposing
lead of more than 3 days over the current global record (set at 64 days 8
hours 37 minutes in 2002 by French Skipper Bruno Peyron on the catamaran
Orange). Fossett and Cheyenne hope to reach the official start-finish line
between France and the UK in 10 days. - http://www.fossettchallenge.com

* Geronimo is taking a beating. The trimaran's anemometer readout rarely
fell below 45 knots on Day 31 of this attempt. With no sail flown at all,
the boat was sailing under her mast alone. It became difficult to move,
everything was soaking wet and icy cold, the sea was monstrous, with a
westerly swell and 7-metre waves coming from the south. The Cap Gemini and
Schneider Electric trimaran has traveled 412 nautical miles in the past 24
hours, at an average speed of 17.20 knots. - http://www.trimaran-geronimo.com

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NEWS BRIEFS
* With a slight delay due to a strike on Livorno's port, ITA 74 and ITA 80
will be shipped to Spain. Only 32 hours are necessary for the cargo ship to
reach the venue of the 32nd America's Cup. They will be very soon followed
by Francisco de Angelis and good part of the new Luna Rossa Team (50
people, including 24 sailors), in order to begin the first step of training
to prepare the AC 2007. - Cup in Europe website:
www.cupineurope.com/LatestNews/2007PradaLN1.htm

* The 59 entrants in the Olympic Classes Regatta, held at Alamitos Bay
Yacht Club were treated to every kind of weather - a blustery Friday that
saw multiple capsizes and gear failures among the four classes competing.
This was followed by a shifty Saturday and then a Sunday of perfect
Southern California weather. Andrew Lewis of Waikiki dominated the 35-boat
Laser class from start to finish, scoring an 11-point win over second-place
finisher, Canadian John Romanko. Geoffrey Beck from Canada easily won the
12-boat Laser Radial class. - Photos and complete results: www.abyc.org

* The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is issuing a modified version of the
2004 List of prohibited methods and substances. The changes, which do not
affect the substances currently on the List aim at preventing any legal
loophole in case of the discovery of a new designer steroid. The discovery
of the designer steroid, Tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), has made clear that
the definition of analogue as defined under sections S4 and S5 of the
former List is inappropriately restrictive. Full details:
http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=6729

* This has been a big week for Star boats - in addition to the 22 Stars at
the US Olympic Trials in Florida, there are 64 boats at the Star European
Championships at the Club NŠutic L`Escala - Girona, Spain. After two races:
1. Ross McDonald / Mike Wolf CAN, 6; 2. Alesander Hagen/ Jochen Wolfram,
GER, 9; 3. Mark Neeleman/ Peter Van Niekerk, NED, 9; 4. Fredrick Loof/
Anders Ekstrom, SWE, 13; 5. Xavier Rohart/ Rambeau Pascal, FRA, 13. -
http://star.nauticescala.com/

* According to a story on the Cup in Europe website, the new Italian Clan
Des America's Cup Team has signed designer Giovanni Ceccarelli, who was the
Mascalzone Latino design team leader for the last Cup. -
www.cupineurope.com/LatestNews/2007-ClandesTeam-LN.htm

* The ISAF (International Sailing Federation) has accepted a submission for
the Flash sailing dinghy to be selected as the equipment for the women
singlehanded dinghy in the Olympic Games of 2008. After only four years the
Flash shows a strong increase in numbers. At the moment a Working Group of
the International Splash/Flash Organization is very actively promoting the
Flash worldwide. This coming November the ISAF will decide if the Flash is
going to be the new Olympic Sailing Class for Women in China in 2008.
Yachting and Boating World website,
http://ybw.com/auto/newsdesk/20040228104907Sailpower.html

* The 31st year at the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the U.S. Virgin Islands,
hosted 91 boats and hundreds of sailors who were tested by a variety of
wind conditions. This year's regatta started with squall-fueled wild and
windy conditions on Friday, March 26. A fresh northeasterly made way for
glorious sunshine and a distance race for all classes Saturday, and
Sunday's early breeze oscillated and died before strengthening in the
afternoon. - Complete results and photos: www.rolexcupregatta.com

* Ed Baird's Team Musto decisively won the inaugural Annapolis Cup Match
Race, defeating Terry Hutchinson's Team Annapolis Volvo on the Chesapeake
Bay. Both teams of professional sailors came together for three days of
match racing practice in J/105s in preparation for the April 2004
Congressional Cup, the California stop on the Swedish Match Tour. Team
Musto won five of the six races on the final day of the event to claim a
one-sided victory.
http://www.kan-do.com/cuprace/

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LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com)
(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 David Redfern, England (Ref Dick Squire's letter -Butt 1548 edited
to our 250-word limit): Ben Lexcen was not alone with a winged keel in
1983. The British Victory syndicate (of which I was the PR) had a winged
keel. A confidential ruling from the IYRU technical committee on the
legality of the keel had been obtained a year prior to the event by Ian
Howlett - one of de Savary's designers. However, a decision was taken by
Peter de Savary and the designers to go the conventional keel route for the
1983 Challenger's Series whilst still experimenting in Southampton with a
winged keel.

In pursuing Australia II, NYYC tried very hard to get a 'confession' that
the winged keel had been designed by a Dutchman, even to writing to the
Netherlands Ship Basin saying in essence that "(we) understand you and your
team are responsible for the design of a special keel for Australia II, we
are convinced of her potential and would like to build a similar design
under one of our boats"

It was the letter from Tony Watts and the IYRU committee to the British
Victory syndicate however that was to seal the legality of the Australian
keel. The letter that was handed by de Savary to Warren Jones and Alan Bond
and the Cup went to Perth. This was acknowledged with gratitude by Ben in
his later writings. Ben said he didn't think a lot of the cup, and if he
had his way, he would make it into a hub cap.

* From Ray Tostado (re empirical handicapping): It would seem reasonable
that the final untracked parameter available as a handicap rating factor
inclusion would be crew performance; or would it be crew skills? This will
become the ultimate challenge for decent and well intended association
handicappers to perform their duties of maintaining a level playing field.
Some skilled crew individuals have bad hair days. Some qualified, not so
skilled crew individuals, shine given the challenge, on any given day.

One design fleets demonstrate that while all boats are equal, some are
consistently sailed better, at times without the level of skilled crew
which could created a proposed handicap rating burden on the boat. The crew
simply sails better as a group. It's the equivalent to the term used in
business conferencing and in biosciences: "synergism".

Boat designers take months, years, to arrive at a form which meets the
rules and promotes success on the race course. But the outcome is a
constant which can be measured at any time. Human performance is not so,
hence, we have Olympic competition, and Super Bowls. All forms of human
competitions admire the come from behind winner who does it on guts alone.
Can that trait become a rating factor? The means for rating human
performance on the race course is already in place and it takes a scant 15
minutes on the average. It is called the trophy presentation.

* From John Rumsey (re empirical handicapping): I thought the better
sailors should win the races. Will everyone end in a dead heat if the
handicaps are perfect? Sounds like a socialist scheme to me.

* From Hugh Elliot (With respect to the [inadvertently insulting] last
sentence of Cliff Bradford's letter offering "the only such allowance I'm
in favor of is for truly handicapped sailors"): We don't want or need any
such assistance. Witness the first three days of the recent OPEN Sonar
World Championship when the team of John Ross-Duggan (quadriplegic), Brad
Johnson (double amputee AK/BK), J.P. Creignou (blind), augmented by their
coach Colin Park (able bodied), who just happen to have won the USA
Paralympic Trials, raced in a one design event against fully able-bodied
teams. They led the regatta for three days and eventually finished in third
place.

To prove that this was no fluke, the team led by John Robertson
(paraplegic), which will represent GBR at the Paralympic Games (Athens,
September 2004) was in second place for those same three days and
eventually finished fifth. I was there too and our poor showing had nothing
to do with my physical disabilities. Tactical and strategic blunders fully
explain that.

* From Ted Coles - There are hidden problems associated with substituting
IRC for IMS at major regattas. If people start ordering boats optimized to
IRC, it will likely crash in very short order given the nature of that rule
design, with its strength and weakness being the "secret knob twisting
factors" used by the RORC Rating Office to adjust ratings for different
style/ design boats.

Another problem is that IRC, like its predecessor rule the Channel
Handicap, has no direct measure of stability, so that the opportunity
exists for rule-beating by masking upwind sailing ability. Changing keel
shapes is a for instance.

A third problem with IRC is that it will be administered out of the RORC
Rating Office in England by the Brit's Techy who has less experience with
the U.S. fleet than their own fleet. They apparently are not allowing the
USSA to "adjust the knobs" on an ex post facto basis, something that could
very well "warp" the U.S. boats/ fleets in an unpredictable direction - the
beginning of the end for any rule.

It will be very interesting for us to watch the trend over the next three
years. Having raced inshore and offshore under some dozen plus handicapping
systems since 1946, and having watched them go through their design,
implementation, ascendancy, decay and then crash, I am convinced this
effort with IRC will have the same pattern, but its life will be very short
if the designers go after it!

* From Steve Johnson: Responding to Kurt Hoehne's remarks about PHRF in the
northwest, I would apply my experience racing under CCA, IOR, IMS, Americap
and PHRF over forty years. All the rules seem to have provided reasonably
accurate results - for the boats they were intended to rate - until they
were placed under assault. Then they failed. PHRF at least can respond,
albeit slowly, to inappropriate ratings on a boat-by-boat basis. And it
doesn't create bizarre sail slow/rate slower clunkers like IOR and IMS.
PHRF locally is now being asked to meet challenges it cannot handle: boats
that alter displacement by dumping water ballast, boats that plane in
moderate breezes, and manipulations for rating bonuses. The good news is
the dialogue with the local raters and hope springs eternal that changes
are possible. A national advisory body could be useful. Most useful would
be development of a two-wind speed PHRF.

Regarding smaller fleets, only part is due to a "can't win /won't play"
mentality. Smaller fleets came with the introduction of high tech/cost
sails and gear that instantly sorted the fleets by willingness to spend and
increased moorage costs where a few years of dockage can equal the value of
a small boat. And, in Puget Sound, there is the frustration factor. Would
you enter a Formula 1 race without knowing how much fuel you get - none,
enough to get halfway home, or more than you need? So we learn patience and
love sailing anyway. But some find another sport.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Sign at a Chicago Radiator Shop: "Best place in town to take a leak."