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SCUTTLEBUTT 1557 - April 8, 2004

Powered by SAIC (, 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, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

There could be between eight and 12 challengers for Europe's first
America's Cup, which will be held off Valencia in 2007. At a get-together
at the venue, around 17 prospective challengers have met the Swiss
organisers and other interested parties including the defending Alinghi
team and the Spanish hosts. Three groups stayed away to remain incognito -
from south-east Asia, Germany/ Poland and the United States - and the
recently unveiled South Africans were not there either. But a 30-50 per
cent conversion rate from 20 or so teams gives the likely turn-out in three
years' time.

Italy is heavily represented with five possible teams. Other teams will be
long shots. Going up against Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing for fellow
Americans is especially tough. Team New Zealand, the beaten defenders, sent
their technical chief, Andy Claughton, rather than chief executive Grant
Dalton to the gathering, a hint that Dalton is keeping his powder dry. All
the signs are that TNZ are close to their £55 million budget, with a Middle
East airline tipped as title sponsor.

The mood in Valencia is optimistic. The major infrastructure works start
this summer and a television plan, a headache in recent America's Cup
series, is geared to audience ahead of revenue. Tim Jeffery, Daily
Telegraph, full story:

The Southern Ocean Racing Conference - a Florida corporation known to
racing sailors around the world as "SORC" - has reached an agreement with
Peter Craig and his Premiere Racing organization, which will step in and
produce the Miami event beginning in March 2005. The Marblehead, MA based
company has built Terra Nova Trading Key West into the top annual keel boat
event in North America and one of the elite race weeks on the international
racing calendar.

"SORC has had a remarkable run," said spokesman Bob Meagher. "However, the
business of regatta management has changed over the years and it's become
too much for the clubs to handle themselves. The consortium of five Yacht
Clubs was formally established in 1941, founding a series of five
point-to-point races that included stops in Nassau, Key West and Havana,
Cuba during the first "Southern Circuit". Over the years the SORC has been
a condensed history of American ocean racing with the circuit ultimately
growing to 6 races spread over 4 weeks. Its popularity would peak in 1973,
before changes in offshore racing designs and increasing demands on the
leisure time led to waning interest in distance racing. The current format
of an intense week of windward / leeward day racing off Miami Beach made
its debut in 1990. Acura has been the title sponsor at SORC since 1999.

The Miami Beach Marina will remain the Official Site for this mixed-class
event (One Design / PHRF / IMS). Premiere Racing is in the process of
polling boat owners, class organizations and the industry to determine the
ideal racing dates going forward. The Thursday to Sunday racing format will
continue with the 2005 regatta dates to be announced later this month.
Information and details on the Miami regatta will be posted on the Premiere
Racing web site:

Australia's OzBoyz Challenge announced that Michael Dunstan will be the
skipper of their America's Cup 2007 syndicate. At just 22 years of age,
Dunstan is Australia's leading match racer with an ISAF World Ranking of
28. A graduate of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron youth training program,
Michael is a two times Australian Match Racing Champion, as well as winner
of the Australian Youth Match Racing Championships in the 2001 and 2002
World Series Yachting Super Nines. He was also runner up at the 2000 World
Youth Match Racing Championships in New Zealand.

The core team members competing with Michael include Adam Garnaut, Nick
Partridge, Seve Jarvin and Paul McKenzie. Their first event will be the
Trentino Garda Cup in Italy at the end of April. It will immediately be
followed by the Elba Cup which is part of the Swedish Match Tour. Then the
team will compete in Croatia, England, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Portugal,
France and other venues yet to be confirmed. -

Ullman Sails congratulates Robert Hobbs, racing his B-32 "Abbey Normal,"
and Peter Wormwood on his 27-foot catamaran "Deuce Coupe" and their crews
for a string of victories. Over the past three weeks on Tampa Bay, they won
their classes in the Anchor Cup, Michelob Cup, and Suncoast Race Week.
Mono-hull or multi-hull, Ullman Sails designers are dialed into the winning
numbers. Also mark your calendar, as Ullman Sails in Newport Beach will
conduct an Ensenada Race Weather Seminar on Tuesday, April 13th at 7:00
p.m. For reservations call (949) 675-6970. Visit our website at

At 15:45 GMT Wednesday afternoon, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric
trimaran passed the famous rock that symbolizes the exit from the Pacific
and the seas of the Southern Ocean. Geronimo reached this waypoint after 41
Days, 16 Hours and 27 Minutes at sea, which is 10 hours ahead of the
current Jules Verne Trophy holder (Bruno Peyron), but 48 hours behind Steve
Fossett's new round-the-world record. Now the Atlantic opens ahead of the
Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran; its southern half looks tough,
but with following winds. Remember that this leg of last year's attempt
proved catastrophic, with an almost total absence of wind. Day 41 update:
403 nautical miles covered in 24 hours, at an average speed of 16.79 knots.

(Curmudgeon's Comment: We are getting a lot of e-mail question how Steve
Fossett could demolish sailing's round the world record and not be awarded
the Jules Verne Trophy. Following is a story we ran in issue 1517 on
February 12 that explains the situation.)

A significant political complication with Fossett's bid for the outright
round the world record is that technically he is not going for the Jules
Verne Trophy. Although ostensibly the same, in fact they are not. "The
Jules Verne Trophy is the Trophy. The record is the round the world
record," says Fossett. "We're going for the official round the world record
which is certified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. We would be
very pleased if they present us with the Jules Verne Trophy, as they have
presented previous round the world record breakers.

"The complication is that their rules call for a payment in order to be
eligible for the trophy and for your first year of eligibility it is 30,000
Euros, for any subsequent years to be eligible it is 11,000 Euros. I've
told them I'm willing to pay what my competitors are paying. Olivier and
Bruno would be paying 11,000 Euros this year and I said I'd pay that too.
They have not accepted that offer. "I don't think that is the end of the
discussion. Of course, we'd have to break the record first. If we were to
break the record I'm sure there would be another discussion over our
eligibility to receive the trophy." Other parties (other than Fossett, we
should point out) have questioned exactly what Jules Verne Trophy
competitors get for this money. - Excerpt from a story posted on The Daily
Sail website, full story:

*Steve Fossett is already starting to lay down plans for his next challenge
- flying his glider into the stratosphere. "Then," said Fossett, "I think
we'll go for the 24-hour world speed record and see how we get on with
that." - Sue Pelling, Yachting World website,

* Olin J. Stephens (Hanover, NH) has been named winner of US Sailing's W.
Van Alan Clark, Jr. National Sportsmanship Trophy. The trophy will be
presented to Stephens at the 75th anniversary celebration this summer of
Sparkman & Stephens, a yacht design and brokerage firm of which Stephens is
a co-founder. While Stephens was nominated for the award after a specific
instance in which he demonstrated fine sportsmanship behavior, his true
dedication to the sport is legendary throughout the sailing community. "He
sets a great example for other sailors to follow," said Dean Cady, chairman
of US Sailing's Sportsmanship Committee. -

* Yachting World magazine has been re-launched. The May issue of this
magazine for serious sailors might have the same basic ingredients, but it
looks very different, with busy news columns and glossy features … and
reads differently too. Additionally, the May issue, which is published
today, celebrates 110 years of continuous publication. For more details:

* Patrick Whetter and Spike Thompson, the founding partners of Mallorca
based Vela 2000 who have been aligned with the Doyle Sails camp for the
past two years as DoyleVela Superyacht have packed up their sail bags and
joined Elvström Sobstad. -

Sparkman & Stephens designed the M36 for Morris Yachts. Classic looks and
high performance are perfectly combined for hour-long sails on your own or
weekends with family. The carbon spade rudder, high aspect ratio bulb keel,
self-tacking jib, and carbon spars are standard along with top quality and

Raymarine Warsash Spring Series, Warsash, Southampton, UK - An eventful day
in the 1720 fleet started badly before the racing had even started with Ian
Southworth dropping his rig on the way to the first start, but more was to
come. Splash test dummies was leading the first race of the day but was
involved in a bad collision with G&T forcing Splash Test Dummies to retire.
G&T faired little better when their backstay broke 3 legs later with their
rig coming down. Mad Cow and Gul also had separate collisions and forced
both to retire from the last race of the day having posted good results in
the previous two races, especially Gul with a 1st and a 2nd. - Bang the
Corner website, Full story:

* USA Today recently interviewed Peter Well, the winner of the US Mistral
Men's Olympic Trials. Here's an excerpt:

USA Today: Are Mistral races like auto races with the close proximity? Are
you "trading paint" like they say in NASCAR?"

Peter Wells: Oh yeah. Definitely. It's not uncommon, to come in especially
at the marks, the buoys where you round, everyone comes together and it's
very common to have high-speed collisions, get knocked off your board.
People go flying, people go through each other's sails, people get knocked
in the head with other people's booms and rigs. There are a lot of
collisions when it's windy. It's actually pretty exciting to watch. Unlike
a sailboat or a car, there's no steering wheel or rudder to turn you. You
do everything using your feet and using the sail to turn the board. They're
not the most maneuverable things in the world, so there are some
spectacular crashes.

USA Today: Do you ever have close encounters with fish or other seafaring

Peter Wells: We race in some exotic places around the world. I've hit giant
sea turtles at high speed and had my fin ripped out of the board. You get
flying fish that come along and hit you in the ankle. There are some flying
fish that actually go through your leg if they hit you hard enough. I've
hit manatees in Florida and sea turtles. You see sharks every once in a
while if the water's clear. You try to stay out of the water as much as
possible. - Full story:

At our distribution time, no bids had been listed for any of the three
major sailing sponsorship auctions being held on the eBay website. The
auctions' 'Buy it Now' prices range from $9 million to $45 million, but
Team Adventure has a bargain-priced minimum bid of only $1,000,000. While
this does not meet the auction's reserve price, it almost certainly
guarantees the bidder his or her Andy Warhol-described "15 minutes of
fame." Below are the dates and times that each auction ends, plus an
abbreviated link to the auction data:
- Sausalito Challenge-America's Cup (Apr 9, 2:00 PDT):
- Kan-Do-Volvo Ocean Race (Apr 11, 6:00 PDT):
- Team Adventure-Oryx Cup (Apr 13, 8:30 PDT):

At Kaenon Polarized, we like to see what's coming. If you're young,
talented, and keen to improve your skills, you attend the CISA Advanced
Racing Clinic. Congratulations to all attendees and regatta winners: Parker
Shinn, Allie Blechler, Josh Leighton and Spencer Johnson, Adam Roberts and
Nick Martin, Myles Gutenkunst and Mandy Sackett, and Ryan Ramming and
Cameron Stuart. Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. Available at TeamOne,
APS, Island Sports, Boat Locker, Sailing Supply, Svendson's, Seattle
Sunglass Company, Alain Mikli NYC, Paragon NYC, Edward Beiner, Sunglass and
Optical Warehouse, Lombardi's, Sport Chalet, and West Marine.

(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: Peter Huston's excellent Guest Editorial yesterday
certainly hit the nail on the head when he said, "Some people are stunned
that Russell might not sail for Alinghi in the next Cup." Stunned isn't the
word, amazed more like, where did that come from? Left field?

Team Alinghi are always at the greatest pains to point out that Russell
just needs a little time away and that he very much is, in the words of Mr
Bertarelli "keen and in the program." And there's really no reason to doubt
them. However if this persistent rumour proves to be true then is Alinghi
effectively dead in the water? What are the dream team of Brad, Warwick,
Simon, Murray and Deano going to do? Can't see them hanging around without
the greatest skipper the Cup has ever seen who could probably win the event
with his eyes closed.

Isn't it time that the excellent Alinghi PR machine quashed these rumours
once and for all or should we start looking at San Francisco accommodation
for 2011...Great venue by the way!

* From Ian Jenkins, Perth, Australia: To Steve Fossett, having the Jules
Verne Trophy on the mantelpiece must be about as essential as having a copy
of Penthouse with you on a honeymoon. Wake up Bruno- Mr. Fossett has the
real thing. (And right now, I hope it feels real good!)

* From Jon Guth: First Bruno Peyron congratulates Steve Fossett and the
Cheyenne crew for breaking the record, and in the very next sentence all
but dismisses it as not being within the reference of the Jules Verne
Trophy, accusing Fossett of individualism and of harming the public
interest? Sounds like sour grapes from Mr. Peyron - perhaps as a result of
his recent failed attempt with what appears to be an inferior boat.

So what if Cheyenne's record is not within the bounds of the Jules Verne as
he claims? Could he please explain how the public interest, that he seems
to be so concerned with, was harmed? Could that perhaps be the 'French'
public interest he is speaking of? As part of the sailing 'public', and a
casual observer of the RTW record attempts, it seems to me that Fossett and
Cheyenne have advanced the sport and extended it's global reach, and
regardless of any trophy, are worthy of being called the fastest around the
planet under sail.

* From Andrew Besheer: Is it just the translations, am I reading too much
into the comments, or are other folks a bit put off at the backhand
congratulations that Peyron and DeKersuason seem to have offered to the
Cheyenne team on their round the world record? Every release seems to say
great job and then it contains a big "but" statement such as: but you
didn't set the Jules Verne record and that's what we are using as our
benchmark. I realize that Steve Fossett is far too much of a gentleman, but
if it were me, I would tell the lot of them (comme on dit en francais):
Mangez moi!

* From Rich Jeffries: Did anyone else notice that USA Today, April 6, had a
short mention in the Sports Update section that Steve Fossett and his 12
man crew just broke the round the world record in a 'hot air balloon'? So
much for national awareness.

* From Reto Corfu: Hiking on a keelboat hard on the back? Dr. McCoy should
try sailing a Laser (while driving around the continent living in a rusty
van for a year). I don't want to knock the Laser - I love the boat and the
class, I think it's the most competitive fleet in the world and the purest
form of racing; but it's also gotta be the most painful boat to sail -
after a herniated disk I had to quit. The combination of straight leg
hiking and the kinetic movements required to get the boat rolling smoothly
over waves (don't want to start a rule 42 debate, but that's how you keep a
Laser moving in breeze) has to be one of the worst things you can do to a
lower back. Coaches for youth programs everywhere should encourage young
athletes to spend as much time stretching and strengthening their core and
lower back as they do perfecting that roll tack!

* From John McBrearty: Reading all the comments re: handicapping and
lifelines my initial impression is that nobody likes sailboat racing "as
is". Well, I do! Had a great weekend with "the boys", we didn't sail as
well as we would have liked, but we were completive and had fun! Maybe we
should take a leaf out of the most popular sport in the world, soccer (the
real football), and have rule changes once or twice every fifty or so years.

* From Andrew Brown: Please keep the thread about rating systems going as
long as you can stand it. The constant stream of confused/dissatisfied
owners is a great asset for all of us involved in Selling/ Building/
Racing/ Administering One Design fleets around the world. There is
definitely a need for a rating system in sailing as well as OD. Go the box

* From Dave Culp: Is anyone else as nervous as I, noting the close
proximity (well within mortar, RPG range) that Oryx Cup and Quest 2006
boats will be sailing to Iraqi shores? Or am I just worrying unnecessarily?

* From George Bailey: Seeing some really neat action photos of big boats
with tilting ballast keels recently provoked the observation that those
suckers would produce a whole lot less drag if they could be tilted just a
bit further - so that the bulb came right out of the water! Then I realized
that carrying the weight to weather and out of the water - the natural next
evolutionary step for the tilting keel, is already done. It called a

I joined a health club last year - spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a
pound. Apparently you have to go there.