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SCUTTLEBUTT 1558 - April 9, 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.

Pinnacle Race Management Group (PRMG), a U.S.-based syndicate, announced
that Volvo Ocean Race veteran Chris Larson will skipper their bid to race
in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race. The PRMG yacht will be designed by Farr
Yacht Design, and built by Goetz Custom Yachts. Hall Spars will design and
build the mast, and Harken will provide the hardware and accessories. Grant
Spanhake, a four-time Volvo Veteran and sail designer from North Sails will
develop the sail inventory.

"In a nut shell we are a "no compromise" affiliation focused on delivering
results," said PRMG Syndicate Director, Michael Castania. "Chris' inclusion
signals a significant milestone in our team preparation and fund raising
efforts. We've spent the last 18 months searching for the most talented and
most capable people." Because the past two Volvo races have been won by
U.S. skippers on foreign-flagged boats, PRMG's aim was to have a U.S.
skipper on a U.S.-flagged boat.

Minneapolis-based Pinnacle Race Management Group produces one-of-a-kind
sponsorship and sports marketing opportunities for blue chip global clients
to maximize business results and increase their brand's share of mind with
their internal and external audiences by participating in The 2005-2006
Volvo Ocean Race. -

Thirty years ago today - at 1330 GMT on April 9, 1974 - Great Britain II
crossed the finishing line to complete the first Whitbread Round the World
Race. She had been 144 days at sea, and at that time, it was a record for a
round the world passage under sail. The new Volvo Open 70s are predicted to
race around the 31,000 nm course in 2005-06 in just 103 days, achieving
over 500 miles in a 24-hour period and reaching top speeds of over 40 knots
in extreme conditions. The Volvo Ocean Race will start with an in-port race
in Sanxenxo, Galicia, on November 5, 2005. The start of leg one, the first
offshore leg, will be from Vigo, on November 12, 2005. -

For those who can't be on Belmont Pier to see the 40th Congressional Cup
from a front-row seat April 20-24, the next best place will be at their
computers - wherever they are in the world. The match racing classic may be
the only sailing event on the planet that offers live radio commentary and
nightly video replays, both on the Internet. Streaming video highlights and
live radio reports of the Long Beach Yacht Club's prestigious Swedish Match
Tour event were introduced last year to popular response. Expert sailing
journalist and participant Dobbs Davis and local sailor Steve Steiner will
split the radio broadcast commentary, Steiner working the first two days
and Davis the last three. Both are past competitors in the event.

The shows will originate on local radio 810 AM, receivable within a
four-mile radius, and be distributed worldwide on through the
cooperation of Long Beach City College, in partnership with LBYC. Video
highlights of each day's racing will be shown that evening on the club's
Web site. Video of past Congressional Cup action is available on the site
now. - Rich Roberts,

What is the longest coral reef in the world? (Answer below)

The road to your championship begins at Hall Spars & Rigging. Chris Larson,
two-time J/22 World Champ, began his 2004 training with a call to Hall
Spars & Rigging. We have him prepped for the big game -- the J/22 Worlds in
Annapolis. An optimized spinnaker pole, the latest in running rigging, and
impeccable standing rigging -- it's all being delivered right to his door.
Make Hall Spars & Rigging your go-to team, too. You'll get the same
equipment used by prime-time players like Chris. Call us or buy online,

Having rounded Cape Horn, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is
making headway due north to the west of the Falkland Islands. The crew is
still stunned by their 10-day beating in icy cold temperatures. "Never
again, whatever happens. If we'd known, we'd have stopped at New Zealand.
Now that we're out of danger and look back at what we've been through, you
have to admit that what we did was bloody stupid and we must never repeat
the same mistake...", said the skipper this morning, reflecting the huge
relief felt by all eleven men. As soon as they were able to gain the
shelter of the South American coast, Geronimo helmed to port. With 30 knots
of well established wind, she is now making due North at over 20 knots in
normal seas. "We can get back to doing some yachting here...".

The weather forecasts for the coming week seem pretty good, raising hopes
of a rapid passage north to the Equator. The huge expanse of cold air from
the Antarctic, combined with the unusually northerly position of the
Atlantic low pressure areas, should feed air into all the ocean's weather
systems, at least in the South Atlantic. Despite the fact that every member
of the crew is completely exhausted, they will not be slow to recover their
appetite for doing battle with the stopwatch. Day 41 update: 420 nautical
miles covered in 24 hours, at an average speed of 17.5 knots.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

Do you see things in our sport that you would like to have changed? Members
of US Sailing, who are active racers competing on a regional or national
level, may become involved by registering as a sailor-athlete. This enables
them to join other active racing sailors who elect the members of the
Sailor Athlete Council (SAC). Elections will be held this fall for half the
seats on SAC. Every registered athlete can nominate people and vote, and
all A and B level athletes are eligible for election to SAC. The Council
has a permanent seat on the US Sailing Executive Committee, can nominate
individuals to the USSA Board of Directors and can place registered sailor
athletes throughout the organization.

There is no cost for US Sailing members to register as an athlete - it can
be done on the US Sailing website. And if you are not a US Sailing member,
the Sailor Athlete Council is asking active sailors to join the
organization, register as a sailor-athlete and be heard. You can view the
definition of a sailor athlete at:

* According the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, the former
K-Challenge skipper John Cutler (who was also Technical Director and design
team coordinator) has now signed with Mascalzone Latino. Good news for the
Italian team if it's true. Another bad signal from the French challenger
which had announced last June the signing of the New-Zealander. - Cup in
Europe website, full story:

* The Minister of Sport, Mr Ngconde Balfour, will be officially introduced
to the sailing and shore crew of the South African America's Cup Challenge
2007 this Saturday, April 10 at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Weather
permitting Mr Balfour will be offered the opportunity of trying his hand at
the helm of the first America's Cup yacht ever seen in South Africa - the
Italian Prada America's Cup 2003 Challenge. The South African America's Cup
Challenge will be officially launched in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on
Monday, April 19. -, full story:

* Paul Goodison put in a remarkable effort to win the RYA UK Olympic Trials
2004 and today was named by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as the
eighteenth and final member of the sailing squad for Team GB Athens 2004.
The RYA UK Olympic Trials took place from the Weymouth and Portland Sailing
Academy and Goodison, who is currently ranked number three in the world,
won six out of the eleven races sailed to win the event by nineteen points
from nearest rival Ed Wright. - The Daily Sail, full story:

Berths available: incredible passages & legendary landfalls. June: Newport
Beach (CA) - Easter Island (4,000 miles non-stop); July: Easter Island -
Pitcarin - Marquesas. Aboard 65' S&S sloop Alaska Eagle, led by
professional skipper, mate & cook. Program is designed for sailors
interested in building modern offshore/navigation skills. 949-645-9412,

The eBay auction for sponsorship of the Sausalito Challenge syndicate will
have ended by the time most 'Buttheads read this, and the Kan-Do auction
ends this weekend. While there are presently no bids listed on either of
those auction web pages, that could change before our next issue. Below are
the dates and times that each auction ends, plus an abbreviated link to
each auction page:
- 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):

There are 528 Olympic (and former Olympic) class boats racing right now at
HRH Princess Sofia Trophy - XXIX Palma International Week at Palma de
Mallorca. On Thursday, shifting winds on most courses forced postponements
for several classes but all completed at least one race. After winning the
sole race of the day in the Europe Women fleet, American Meg Gaillard
maintains her lead. In the Tornado class, the American team of Lovell and
Ogletree are also maintaining their lead In the Men's 470 fleet, Americans
Foerster and Burnham have moved up into third position overall.

Scuttlebutt will do a complete rundown on this huge event on Monday, but
for the moment here are the leaders in each class along with the top North
American boats (if any):

Tornado (53 boats-8 races w/1 discard) 1. John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree
(USA) 33. (10 point lead)

Europe Women (126 boats - 9 races w/1 discard) 1. Meg Gaillard (USA) 28 (5
point lead)

Europe Men (58 boats - 7 races w/1 discard) 1. Christopher Gundersen (NOR) 18

470 men (71 boats - 9 races w/ 1 discard) 1. Javier Conte/Juan de la Fuente
(ARG) 39; 3. Paul Foerster/ Kevin Burnham (USA) 55

470 women (36 boats - 8 races w/ 1 discard) 1. Natalia Via-Dufresne/ Sandra
Azon (ESP) 50; 16. Katie McDowell/ Isabelle Kinsolving (USA) 108

Laser (58 boats - 11 races w/2 discards) 1. Karl Suneson (SWE) 23, 5. Mark
Mendelblatt (USA) 69

Finn (53 boats - 7 races w/1 discard) 1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) 6, 8. Kevin Hall
(USA) 74

Yngling (30 boats - 10 races w/1 discard) 1. Annelies Thies/ Annemieke Bes/
Petronella de Jong (NED) 44; 9. Carol Cronin/ Elizabeth Filter/ Nancy
Haberland (USA) 94

Dragon (43 boats - 8-races w/1 discard) 1. Harm Müller Spreer/ Vicent
Hoesch/ Bahr Gunnar (GER) 26.

Event website:

More than 3.000 people - competitors, parents, coaches, relatives - are in
Riva del Garda for 22nd annual International Optimist Class Meeting. Hosted
by the Fraglia Vela Riva, this regatta has already been listed in past
Guinness World Records. However, this year the event has reached a new
record of entries: 784. The following nations are represented: Belgium,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Greece,
Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lituania, Norway, Poland, Republic of San
Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, USA. Snow-capped
mountains and the bright blue waters of Lake Garda provided the perfect
backdrop for this April 8 to 11 festival of sailing. -

The Great Barrier Reef, along the continental shelf of northeastern
Australia, is the longest coral reef measuring about 1,243 miles long.

DDW in the Southern Ocean? Yeah, that could be considered cool running but
that's not what we mean. We're talking about cool running rigging. A blend
of Zylon® (PBO) and Vectran® fibers, Samson's new ICE™ cover makes for some
cool running rigging engineered to beat the heat that quickly degrades
lesser covers. Designed to mate with high performance 12-strand single
braided lines, it's easy to install for any length of coverage required
providing the ultimate protection for applications like running back stays.
Samson ICE and the rest of Samson's other "cool runnings" are available at

(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 Wesley Cartwright: Let me see if I have this straight. The French
wanted 30,000 Euros - more than $36,000 - from Steve Fossett for the
opportunity to potentially have his name engraved on the Jules Verne
Trophy, should he be fortunate enough to break the Round the World speed
record - about a 50/ 50 chance according to most knowledgeable observers.
Or Fossett could take that money and buy a new Lexus, or Mercedes or
whatever. Duh - you don't need Fossett's business credentials to make that

The real losers here are the French. They once had a trophy that symbolized
something special - but not anymore. Because of what appears to be greed,
the Jules Verne Trophy will now only recognize the 'has-beens'… and maybe
some future 'also-rans.' Steve Fossett owns the record, and the Jules Verne
Trophy Association is left clinging to memories of their former significance.

Maybe the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club should donate a perpetual trophy to
recognize sailing's Round the World speed record. It would instantly become
more important than the Jules Verne Trophy.

* From Mark Gray: There is a lot of misconception regarding the awarding
the Jules Verne Trophy, so let me help by explaining the situation a bit
clearer. The Jules Verne Trophy is awarded to the second fastest
circumnavigation of the world, this of course could end up going to the
third, fourth or even more in later years, it all depends on how much you
pay. Steve Fossette and his crew obviously were not good enough, and did
not achieve what the Trustees of the Jules Verne Trophy really wanted,
being money. It is simple

* From Christian Fevrier: Let's try to raise up the debate. And look at
what has been done positively. On October 20, 1992, five French ministers
signed the the Jules Verne Trophy Association's birth. Sir Peter Blake, Sir
Robin Knox-Johnston, Bernard Moitessier attended the signature ceremony at
the Yacht Club de France. They were totally enthusiastic at this idea, not
arguing with the fee. Because nothing of this kind existed before. JVT
rules were ratified on April 21st 1992, both by the IYRU and the WSSRC.
Jack Lang, the respected French Minister of Culture, launched an internal
competition for the prize. American artist Tom Shannon won it with his
magnetic hull sculpture, probably the purest yachting award worldwide.
Bruno Peyron, then Peter Blake and Robin Knox Johnston, followed by Olivier
de Kersauson and again by Peyron have created the unmistakable worldwide
aura of the event.

What others countries have offered similar? Nothing! The WSSRC was more
than happy to use the JVT starting line as their benchmark for the Round
the World non-stop record. Steve Fossett refused to paid his entry fee like
all other international sailors including Elen MacArthur and Tracy Edwards.
He chose to start behind the JVT starting line, being sure to beat this
recognized record if he was succesful. In spite of the Cheyenne's
outstanding new performance, I must say that I have mixed and bitter
feelings with this controversy. Most of the world most respected sailors
have created the decor. Steve Fossett decided to ignore it, still using its

* From Richard Fischel: I chuckled when I read the Cap Gemini and Schneider
Electric position update in Scuttlebutt 1557, in which two time references
were given: one comparing it to the current Jules Verne Trophy holder; the
other to Steve Fossett's round-the-world record, certified by the World
Sailing Speed Record Council. Now that the Jules Verne Trophy does not
represent the award for the fastest time around, why continue to report it?
It would seem that the importance of that trophy has been trivialized until
such time that it once again represents the fastest time around. I'm sure
Mr. Peyron is very proud to be the holder of a trophy that recognizes
second best, as will Mr. de Kersauson be to follow in his footsteps, but
why should Scuttlebutt perpetuate the fallacy that the Jules Verne Trophy
stands for anything other than an asterisk in the record books. I can't
wait to see the headlines in the French newspapers: de Kersauson breaks
Peyron's record; wins Jules Verne Trophy signifying the second fastest trip
by a sailboat around the world.

Three cheers for the holder of the new round-the-world record, and a Bronx
cheer for those individuals that would attempt to diminish the accomplishment.

* From Michael McCutchon: I applaud George Bailey for thinking outside the
box. Unfortunately, when he says that lifting a canting keel out of the
water would make the boat a multihull, he is confusing ballast with form
stability. While both achieve the same end--righting moment--it is not
ballast that contributes to a multihull's performance, it is form
stability. The value of thinking outside the box is that it generates ideas
that lead to new innovations. The ultimate goal is to pile on sail area,
with maximum righting moment, and limited weight and wetted surface, right?
Lifting the canting keel out of the water would help achieve these goals.

Perhaps, instead of canting the ballast, it could be shuttled across the
deck and out over the water with each tack. But wait, we've already done
that one, too. It's called an International Canoe. Canoes are famous for
their speed, but I assume they're quite difficult to sail. The next step,
as I see it, is to take the human factor out of the International Canoe.
Somebody needs to start working on a boat that automates the process of
shifting ballast out over the water, adjusting it to each puff of wind, and
keeping the heel of the boat level. Then, you could just pile on the sail
area, and watch it go. The key word is "watch." I wouldn't want to be the
crash test dummy in that R&D process.

"After you turn 70, you still chase women, but only downhill." - Bob Hope