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SCUTTLEBUTT 1556 - April 7, 2004

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), 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.

PROFESSIONAL SAILING
Round the world yachtswoman Tracy Edwards joined forces with Qatar Sports
International (QSI) to announce the first global sailing challenges to
start and finish in the Middle East. Both the Oryx Cup non-stop race in
2005 and The Quest in 2006 will now see the world's fastest and most
advanced sailing vessels begin and end their circumnavigations in Doha, the
capital city of Qatar. The Oryx Cup had originally been planned to start
from the Solent on Sunday 23 January 2005. The non-stop round the world
race is open to multihulls of LOA 100ft and greater and monohulls of 90ft
and greater. The prize for first place is US $1 million, the biggest cash
prize in sailing history.

The Quest 2006 will start from Doha on 20 December 2006 to coincide with
the staging of the Asian Games in Qatar. The race around the world will
include several stop-over stages to be announced later this year. "We
decided it would have more impact if both races began and finished in Qatar
and set a new focus for the sport in the Middle East and the beginning of a
whole new era in international sailing," said Tracy.

The two challenges form a major part of the 38m four-year sailing
programme agreed between Tracy Edwards and QSI last year. Tracy's new
company Maiden Ocean Racing Qatar will be spending 18m on the two events
through international partnerships designed to bring further investment
into Qatar. - ISAF website
Full story: www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=6807
Event website: www.maidenoceanracingqatar.co.uk/

* Team Adventure's skipper, Cam Lewis and navigator, Larry Rosenfeld said
their 110-foot catamaran Team Adventure will race again around the world,
competing in the Qatar-sponsored Oryx Cup. Lewis and Rosenfeld also
revealed their plans to sell sponsorship for their round-the-world bid on
the eBay online auction web site. The opening bid is $1.0 million and the
buy-it-now price is $9 million. A reserve price has been set at $7.5
million for the exclusive title sponsorship, but bids for less than the
reserve may potentially be included as supporting sponsors. The seven-day
online auction started Tuesday, April 6 at 4:30pm London daylight (8:30am
Ebay) time, and can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/35w9w

Team Adventure, which sailed to third place in The Race of the Millennium
in the winter of 2001, has remained in storage in Portsmouth, RI, since the
big cat was damaged when it hit an unidentified submerged object in
mid-ocean while making a transatlantic record attempt in August 2001. "We
have much to do before Team Adventure can race again but we are confident
we will be on the starting line," Lewis said today. "The race starts in one
year. Repairs and improvements will take six months. We will spend the
remaining time training and preparing for the race. We must also sign a
major sponsor or sponsors. We're keen to get on the water again and resume
our Team Adventure education programs." - Keith Taylor, www.TeamAdventure.org
Oryx Cup website: www.maidenoceanracingqatar.co.uk

EBAY UPDATE
There are just four day left on the eBay action for the Kan-Do Volvo Ocean
Race sponsorship, and less than two days remaining in the auction for
America's Cup sponsorship of the Sausalito Challenge. Bidding so far - none.
Kan-Do auction: http://tinyurl.com/3hg67
Sausalito Challenge auction: http://tinyurl.com/2angu

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ROUNDING THE HORN
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is now at the entrance to
the Drake Strait at 59S, where a wind of around 20 knots is gradually
changing direction from East to South. This rotation should continue
through the rest of today and tonight and eventually result in the overdue
release of the 11-man crew from their icy nightmare. Since the large
depression is moving a little more slowly than forecast, they are literally
having to wait. This is neither the place nor the time to put the structure
of the boat at risk, especially since a gigantic depression will arrive
here on Saturday, finally closing the door on the Pacific Ocean for this
winter. It will be best for all concerned to be far away from here by then.
Day 40 Update: 264.60 nautical miles covered in 24 hours at an average
speed of 11.02 knots. Distance from Cape Horn: 571 nautical miles. -
http://www.trimaran-geronimo.com

THE END OF A RTW RECORD ATTEMPT
The Polish VO 60 crew under the command of Captain Roman Paszke left port
at Cape Town, South Africa aboard the BANK BPH on a return course to
Europe. The yacht had to turn back from its round-the-world course and head
for port on March 18th due to a broken boom. In Cape Town the yacht was
repaired and given a thorough inspection. It has passed its sea tests and
may return to the open ocean fully functional.

The crew is also ready to continue the circumnavigation voyage. However out
of concern for the safety of the crew, Captain Roman Paszke together with
the expedition sponsor, Bank BPH, decided to resign from the attempt to
sail around the world. Autumn is just beginning in the Southern Hemisphere,
and the weather conditions on the Southern Oceans will be worsening from
one day to the next. Continuing the voyage would be an unnecessary risk to
the crew's safety. - http://www.race2000.pl/index.php?language=en

AND THE WINNER IS . . .
From over 500 entries worldwide there are now only ten remaining in the
finals of the Pindar Ocean Racing competition to select who will be will
become part of the Pindar team participating in some of the leading ocean
races, sailing alongside Emma Richards; learning and competing on the world
stage. The competition, which was open to anyone between the ages of 16 -
23, began with hopefuls having to submit a 250 word entry. A final 20 were
then selected to attend a semi finals day in London where they undertook a
series of tests and interviews in order for a panel to choose the final 10.

Entries flooded in from around the world and this is reflected in the
international nature of the finals, two candidates will fly in from America
and one from France while the rest will come from throughout the UK. At the
finals, which will take place on April 13-14 in Portsmouth, candidates will
have to undertake a number of sailing based activities and tests in order
for the panel to decide on the eventual winner. Throughout the day the
finalists will, amongst other challenges have the opportunity to helm
Pindar's state of the art ocean racing yacht and race dinghies. -
http://www.pindar.com

THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
The 2005 Ultimate Sailing Corporate Calendars. Put your corporate logo on
the deluxe wall calendar or the new Ultimate Sailing desk top calendar. 10%
early bird discount if you order before April 15. Details available at
http://www.ultimatesailing.com/corporate.html

GUEST EDITORIAL - Peter Huston
Just what are Russell Coutts and Paul Cayard up to? One story has them in
Dubai talking about something competitive, but not Cup related. The next
thing we hear they are in the lovely island of Malta, talking about how
interesting it would be to hold a pre Cup event there. These two stories
don't add up. Besides, when did Cayard go to work for ACM? Aren't Coutts
and ACM sort of at odds with each other? Even if Coutts is representing ACM
in venue negotiations, why would he bring Paul to the table? So, what are
we to believe?

Are Coutts and Cayard trying to form their own pro sailing event? If so,
and if there is money from Dubai behind them, then success is all but
guaranteed. Anyone want to bet against either of these guys, or worse, both
of them working together? Some people are stunned that Russell might not
sail for Alinghi in the next Cup. What else does the guy have to prove?
He's won it three times already. What more is a fourth going to get him,
especially if he doesn't have a great financial deal this time, and
perceives that others are benefiting financially from his talents more than
he is.

So, assuming that Paul and Russell are going to go out and create the
biggest sailing event ever, what format will it be? Match Racing in some
sort of 40 foot production boats then puts Paul in competition, of sorts,
with his father in law, Pelle Peterson, who designed the new Swedish Match
boats. Cayard is on the Nautor Board, perhaps they will build a fleet of
turbo'd, canting keel version of the 45, and load them up and cart them
around to various venues on a converted oil tanker.

Whatever Coutts and Cayard are up to, it is likely to be huge, successful,
and move the sport forward. When the next chapter of yacht racing history
is written, they could end up being the Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer of
our sport. Good luck guys. The sport will be better off for your leadership.

AMERICA'S CUP
Grant Simmer, Jochen Schuemann and Rolf Vrolijk met the journalists on
Monday morning during a press conference where they outlined the programme
of Team Alinghi. In its second incarnation, the new Defender is very rich,
but not as Oracle. The Swiss will pour a 80 million plus budget into the
next Cup, 40 percent more than in Auckland. Given the individuals,
continuity is king. If some new blood will inject some life into the team,
70 percent of the crew are from previously campaign.

The Bertarelli's syndicate intends to begin in Spain in June with two boats
(the third was sold to an unknown team) and they will spend their summer in
Spain. Several weeks of hard training, fitness sessions and intense
learning lie ahead for the strong sailing team. The final installation in
Valencia is scheduled in early spring 2005. The team will be based there
until the America's Cup. - Cup in Europe website,
www.cupineurope.com/LatestNews/2007-Alinghi-EN5.htm

GOING SOLO
Boston business executive, Joe Harris, 44, has become an official entrant
in the single-handed Transat Race (previously called the OSTAR) which
begins on May 31 in Plymouth, England and finishes in Boston, MA in
mid-June, 2004. He has purchased and will sail the Finot Open-50 that Brad
Van Liew sailed to victory in the Around Alone race of 2002-3.

Harris is an accomplished sailor who has campaigned a series of boats along
the Eastern Seaboard over the last 15 years, including entries in eight
Newport-Bermuda Races and two Bermuda One-Two solo races. A relatively new
player on the professional sailing scene, he has nonetheless attracted an
impressive group of sponsors, including his own employer New Boston Fund -
he is the Chief Financial Officer of this $1.5 billion real estate
investment and development company. Other sponsors include Goulston &
Storrs, Iridium, Raymarine, and AlpineAire. - www.gryphonsolo.com

UPGRADE YOUR OCKAMS
While Ockam systems installed in the 1980's are still going strong, Ockam
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amazing Matryx? Unisyn CPU to Tryad T1? Contact Tom Davis (tom@ockam.com)
or view dealer listings at http://www.ockam.com


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 Alex Watters: Wow ... what a fantastic achievement by Steve Fosset
et al!! How can Bruno Peyron declare that by not paying an absurd amount of
money to the dictators of the 'Jules Verne Trophy', which they require to
be eligible for that award, confuses and somehow lessens the record. A
record is a record ... period! The whole JV thing looks more like a money
grab than anything else. What do the JV committee actually do for the
money? Nada, zip, zero...they engrave your name on a trophy, big deal.
Lighten up Bruno, Steve beat ya fair and square, Cheyenne is the holder of
the only record that counts ... the fastest wind driven floating object to
circumnavigate the planet earth. Congrats!

* From Justin.Cullen: In issue 1555, Mr Peyron writes "It is a pity that
individualism and various personal concerns lead to situations that are
harmful to the public interest and lead to a certain amount of confusion
for the general public." The Jules Verne Trophy has been consigned to the
history books, A nice name for the Round The World Record has sadly made
untenable by its self appointed administrators. I'm not confused, nor has
my interest been harmed. Perhaps that should have read -- It is a pity that
individualism and various personal concerns lead to situations whereby
rather than saluting the achievements of others, we find it necessary to
have public squabbles for personal financial gain.

* From Ralph Taylor: J. Joseph Bainton may be forgiven his confusion about
what the Cox-Sprague scoring formula does. It's so complex that few
understand it. (Our sailing association yearbook's section on Cox-Sprague
takes two pages, as many as our PHRF rules.)

Cox-Sprague is designed for scoring a long series or different fleets,
where the number of competitors differs. It does not handicap sailors; it
recognizes that beating 20 boats is better than beating 2 boats. It does
not replace any handicapping system, but lies on top of the race scores.

Based on a "percentage of perfection", Cox-Sprague rewards high finishes in
large fleets more than the same position in small fleets. For example 2nd
place in a 3-boat fleet earns 25 points of a possible 31 (80.6%); in a
fleet of 10, 74 points of 80 (92.5%); in a fleet of 20, 94 points of 100
(94.0%). These points are summed, then divided by the maximum possible
(i.e., 1st place in each race) to yield a percentage. Highest percentage
wins. To explain further would take us past the 250-word limit.

* From Simon Corner: Like many other sports a simple solution to competitor
handicapping might be to rate each event, one through to five stars,
Americas Cup and Olympics might be five, regional regattas one star. Each
competitor is required to register (which is normal anyway) and awarded a
number of point relative to the event ranking and his or her finishing
position, the more events the more points, the higher the finish the more
points, all ranking above a certain limit would published by national and
international bodies each year. Event organizers would be in a position to
limit the number of ranked points on each boat. Whether to choose one
Americas Cup winner or Gold Medallist, or three National Champions would be
the owner's decision.

* From David Munge: Draycote Water Sailing Club, near Coventry England, had
a novel slant on personal handicaps. Back in the 80s they had a burgeoning
Finn Fleet, often getting 10/15 boast on the water for Sunday racing. The
mixture of sailors was as normal, ranging from beginners to experts, so one
of the perceived issues was how do you keep the beginners motivated for an
hours race. Everybody had a personal handicap, if you won a race, an extra
15 secs was added to the figure. All boats started the same time, but at
the first windward mark, you sat your personal time out, some people
waiting for 3.5/4 minutes, then off you went chasing the fleet down. The
beginners saw the front of the fleet, and were motivated to hang in to the
very end. Plus it was fun.

* From Thomas Carroll: In response to all emails about crew handicapping.
Since the beginning of handicapping competitors, trying to seek an
advantage, have looked for and exploited all loopholes. Think of old I.O.R.
boats , built to sail slow and poorly , but to rate well. The same has
happened in I.M.S. If a crew handicapping system was to be put in place,
how long would it take for people to start bringing inexperienced and
unqualified people out on the course.

Don't get me wrong , I would love to see new people introduced to our
sport, but what about that super competitive psycho who would bring 3
novices on a race under serious conditions just to gain a advantage. I am
sure advocates of such a handicap say that would not happen, but after some
of the rule beating boat designs, that are totally absurd, you know it
will. And for Pete's sake declare this thread dead!!

* From Daniel Forster: Could you just put all the notes on Competitor
Handicapping into a folder called April 1, 2005 and bring it out at the
appropriate date? The first time this was mentioned I thought that it was a
misdated April fool's joke and I suggest instead of discussing this subject
we should spend our time and effort to combat World hunger or go sailing.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Yielding to overpowering pressure from the readers,
the Competitor Handicapping thread is now officially dead.

* From Bernard R. "Robin" Baker, III: I'll be there are a lot of people who
would like to hear more about the health effects of hiking on big boat
crews from physician readers of Scuttlebutt. I have always thought hiking
on big boats was merely uncomfortable, but never imagined that it could be
harmful. Note that the Melges 24 situation may be different from the other
boats mentioned in Dr McCoy's letter, in that the M-24 doesn't have true
"lifelines" but rather "hiking lines" without lowers, that are designed as
an aid to hiking and permit a more "upright" posture when hiking than is
the case on boats with uppers and lowers.

* From Richard Hazelton: As long as one boat is beating another there will
never be an infallible handicapping system between non-identical boats.
Besides, if there were a perfect handicapping system, it would take a lot
of what appears to be a big part of the enjoyment out of the sport for many
people-Sailors couldn't bitch about their ratings they'd have to talk about
tactics, crew work, boat preparation and, yes, maybe even admit once in a
while that they just got out-sailed.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
A beauty parlor is a place where women curl up and dye.