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SCUTTLEBUTT 1559 - April 12, 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.

The Swiss Alinghi team, who from a cold start in June 2000 became the first
European winners of the America's Cup 13 months ago, have put their design
secrets up for sale. Alinghi hope to find a buyer from one of them, though
this does not include Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW Racing, the only team so
far to match Alinghi's budget, activity and potential. Their asking price
is £1.1 million and the design data includes the lines of SUI 64, the yacht
that trounced Team New Zealand's NZL 82 to win the cup 5-0. Most interest
has stemmed from groups in Eastern Europe (believed to be Poland), the
Middle East and Australia.

That the Swiss team is selling their data says much of the self-belief in a
design team centered around skipper Russell Coutts and designers Rolf
Vrolijk, Manolo Ruiz de Elvira, Dirk Krammers and Grant Simmer. Coutts
said: "It's obviously valuable information and, rather than sit on it, it
is better to get some value from it now." Simmer sees a double benefit. "If
we can sell technology to new challengers it will kick-start their
technology, getting their design programs established quickly and at a high
level," he said. "We will be able to use this funding to further develop
our technology and move ahead of our opposition."

After winning the cup in Auckland, one of the rule changes Alinghi
instigated was to allow an open market for design data until October 2004.
"What's really useful is that this allows a team to start off immediately
from the level of winning boat," Coutts added. "This will be a big benefit,
especially if a team want to launch their first boat early." A clue to the
value of the package is what Alinghi spent last time. Tank testing carried
out in Newfoundland cost £436,500. Masts cost £152,800 each to create. The
development cost of Alinghi's 2003 generation yachts SUI 64 and SUI 75 ran
out at £1.1 million apiece. Coutts confirmed that the much-modified 2000
generation yacht SUI 57 is for sale too and that SUI 75 will be marketed
quite soon as well. - Excerpts from a story by Tim Jeffery in the Daily
Telegraph. Full story:

The World Speed Sail Record Council announced the ratification of the Round
the World, non stop, crewed, any type - the Outright record: Yacht:
Cheyenne Sailed by: Steve Fossett and a crew of 12; Dates: 7th February to
5th April 2004; Elapsed Time: 58 days 9 hours 32 minutes 45 seconds;
Average speed: 15. 52 kts - John Reed, Secretary to the WSSR Council -

* Last Friday at 2 am PST bidding ended for the Exclusive Sponsorship of
"The Sausalito Challenge" for the 2007 America's Cup. Yet the auction has
recorded zero bids. "It was a great success." said John Sweeney, the head
of San Francisco challenge and co-founder of Challenge Series and Sailing
Billboards. "As we did not sell our sponsorship package on line, we have
definitely gained very valuable exposure. " Sweeney continued. "What this
has allowed us to do, even if there were no bidders, was to expose
ourselves to very board public and present our sponsorship package in a
different way."

Sweeney also said that they may try the eBay auction again, but he feels
the companies are a little reserved to bid on line and they are more likely
to close the deal in private. "We have been contacted by a number of
companies in private, and we expect getting our sponsorship that way rather
than through public auction. We are waiting for offers and we will see what
will happen (this) next week" - Excerpts from a story on, full

* The auction for sponsorship of the Kan-Do Volvo Ocean Race syndicate
ended without any apparent bids nor could we find any new information on
the syndicate's website.

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The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran left the roaring forties
behind Saturday night as she continued close-hauled on a virtually direct
course. The South Atlantic is not particularly well suited to covering long
distances at the moment. Further north and to the west lies the region of
high pressure that Geronimo is now trying to skirt around to the left and
which is slowing her down. There is no better option to the right, nothing
is moving in the middle and the left is mediocre at best. But at least Day
45 has allowed the 11-man crew to maintain their lead over Orange [but are
behind Cheyenne's pace] as they await the arrival of better conditions. Day
45 update: 372 nautical miles in 24 hours, at an average speed of 15.50
knots. -

On the final day of racing of the huge (528 Olympic and former Olympic
class boats) Princess Sofia Trophy in the Bay of Palma in Spain, American
sailors John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree have won the Tornado class. They
took the lead early in the regatta and remained on top throughout the week.
Final standings for top U.S. sailors in each class: 470 Men: 15. Foerster/
Burnham; 470 Women: 13. McDowell/ Kinsolving; Europe Women: 3. Meg
Gaillard; Finn: 8. Kevin Hall; Laser: 6. Mark Mendelblatt; Tornado: 1.
Lovell/Ogletree; Yngling: 8. Cronin/ Filter/ Haberland.

In this huge field of boats, it was impossible to ignore the amazing
performance of the talented Brit - Ben Ainslie. In the 53-boat Finn class,
he won seven of the nine races in which he competed - sitting out the last
race with an insurmountable lead. Other class winners:

- Tornado (53 boats) John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree (USA)
- Laser (58 boats) Karl Suneson (SWE)
- 470 men (71 boats) Nick Rogers/Joe Glanfield (GBR)
- 470 women (36 boats) Sofia Bekatorou/Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
- Europe Men (58 boat) Christopher Gundersen (NOR)
- Europe Women (126 boats) Siren Sundby (NOR)
- Yngling (30 boats) Annelies Thies/Annemieke Bes/ Petronella de Jong (NED)
- Dragon (43 boats) Thomas Müller/Markus Wieser/Thomas Auracher (GER)

Event website:

*Edgar Diminich of Ecuador scored a convincing win in the 156- boat
Optimist South American Championship without sailing the last two races.
His team mates from Ecuador -Pedro Velez and Rafael Quintero - took home
the silver and bronze medals. Sean Bouchard of Bermuda finished second -
eight points behind Diminich -but was not eligible for the South American
medals. Earlier in the week, Peru took gold and silver in the South
American Team Racing Championship, while Mexico took bronze in front of USA
1. - &

* At the massive 789 boat International Optimist Class Meeting on Lake
Garda, two girls dominated the Division A (82 sailors born in the years
1994-1995). Maria Ottavia Raggio (Italy) made it to the top, four points
ahead of Sara Piasecka from Poland. Kacper Zieminski from Poland won the
huge 707-boat Division B (sailors born from 1989 to 1993) with Tim Saxton
from Great Britain just seven points behind. Ann Heager (USA) was the top
North American boat, finishing in 22nd place. -

Curmudgeon's comments: The on-the-water images of this event give new
meaning to the phrase, 'packed like sardines.' You gotta see these:

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Twenty-five years ago this August, the Fastnet Race was torn by a storm
that led to the loss of 15 lives among racing sailors and the sinking of
five boats. The anniversary of the most tragic event in yachting history
will be honoured during summer 2004 by Cape Clear Museum & Archive, located
on the southwest coast of Ireland within sight of the Fastnet Rock which is
the turning mark for the race. On Sunday afternoon May 23 the island Museum
will open an exhibition on the 1979 Fastnet Race, and on Sunday August 15th
it will host the 1979 Fastnet Race Remembrance, at which a permanent
memorial to those who died in the race will be unveiled.

A short account of the 1979 Fastnet Race and of the lighthouses at the
Fastnet Rock will be published in July to permanently record the tradegy of
August 1979. In mid July the Fastnet Race of 1979 will also be recalled
during Lifeboat Week on the island. These events will be part of the
museum's recognition of the 150th anniversary of a lighthouse on Fastnet Rock.

Cape Clear Museum Archive invites the submission of documentation of any
kind relating to the 1979 Fastnet Race. Memories, photographs, newspaper
accounts and film material will be welcome for inclusion in the Island
Archive. Anyone who has, at anytime participated in the Fastnet Race is
invited to record their experience and have it preserved for posterity at
Cape Clear. - Dr. Éamon Lankford,

* As of Good Friday, 144 boats had completed their application process and
had been invited to enter the 2004 Newport Bermuda Race. Among a host of
new and returning competitors, Skip Sheldon's St. David's Lighthouse winner
Zaraffa and Bob Towse's Gibb's Hill Lighthouse winner Blue Yankee will be
back to defend their 2002 titles. Ninety-two year old Jim Mertz will be
back again in Americap NS in the Beneteau 42 Allegra sailing his 30th
thrash to the Onion Patch.

* On Easter Saturday, Grant Wharington and crew sailed his super-maxi
Skandia into Gladstone from Brisbane, setting a new mono-hull record of
20:24:50 and racking up their 23rd consecutive Line Honours victory.
Wharington's super-maxi remains unbeaten since her launch in October 2003.

It will be one of the hottest one-design keelboat championships in recent
history and the largest J regatta ever. And there's still time to sign up!
Annapolis YC is the host and all info is at Even
new J/22s are backordered three months at US Watercraft!

(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 Tom Cain: I know it would be totally against Fossett's principle
that not "trophys are not for purchase." However, out of respect for him
and his 12 man crew, how about all of us sailors sending a small donation
to an "E-Bay address" payable to the controllers of the Jules Verne Trophy?
That would be much more fun and deserving than an America's Cup auction!

* From Robert Middlemas: All I can say about the comments by Christian
Fevrier regarding the JVT is simply to note that it was the accepted
practice once to sacrifice virgins to appease whatever god was having a bad
day. This practice was conceived and accepted by the most respected people
of the time and was considered justified by most. Thankfully they don't do
that anymore. Why? We evolved. Personally, I don't think Mr. Fossett gives
a rat's butt about the JVT. And why should he? Frankly, I have respect for
the man for following his vision and dream. We could all perhaps learn from
that. Good on Mr. Fossett, you did what you set out to do. Good luck with
your next endeavourer.

* From Gregory Scott, Canada: In reply to Christian Fevrier's worthwhile
comments with the caveat that I do not know enough of the background behind
the "entry fee": I tried and failed to think of racing venues where an
entry fee is due and the organizer didn't own or control the "track" as
well as the rules. In sailing, we have "races" in which a record time is
set and we also have record times for sailing a geographic distance. What
Mr. Fevrier's submission eloquently points out, is the unfortunate
oversight by the founding members of the Jules Verne Trophy Association
when they conceived the grand idea, developed a set of rules along with a
deserving trophy. What they failed to envision, was their inability to keep
someone off their "track" and the WSSRC's ability to measure the result of
a vessel using the "track" creating the conundrum we now have.

It is difficult to accept Christian's premise, Cheyenne used someone else's
"track" and without paying the entry fee. However, as I see it, the
significance to Mr. Fossett's crew, is being on board when Cheyenne
shattered the times of their respected peers on other boats which had, by
"entry" into the Jules Verne formula, established the benchmarks they felt
were worth striving for. Mr. Fossett sets his own standards and that is
what has made him successful in many adventures. The Jules Verne
Association and Mr. Fossett need to find a solution or risk adding another
asterisk to the world of sport.

* From Andrew Besheer: The idea floated in today's 'Butt for a 'Round the
World Trophy was actually a pretty good one. What if you did sponsor that,
readers could make contributions at the website via credit card, if you
achieved a minimum amount buy the trophy and offer it to Fossett at the
BEYC event in November. Probably an interesting enough event to get him to
show. If we don't pledge enough, none of the cards get charged and the
whole thing gets forgotten as a bad idea. My sense is that the feelings are
strong enough based upon some of the absurd comments originating out of
France that you'd have no trouble raising the requisite funds (suggested
donation is 20, or maybe its 35 and you get some kind of commemorative
Scuttlebutt round the world hat). I realize this is probably a hassle for
you but the isn't the potential upside for your sponsors/ advertisers
pretty good?

* From Larry Bulman, Chair - US Sailing IMS Owners Committee: There seems
to be some confusion as to whether or not the RORC is selling a measurement
rule or a PHRF Rule. They have professional that are paid to produce a
sales package that people will buy and yacht clubs will use and not giving
the ultimate end user the full story about what the Musto IRC Rule is. One
thing it is not and that is a measurement handicap alternative to PHRF. It
is not a velocity prediction rule as Americap or IMS. The Musto IRC Rule is
much closer to PHRF and the U.S. sailors should understand that the
calculation of the IRC ratings is secret based on owner supplied
measurements, much like PHRF. Similar to PHRF, it contains subjective
elements. These subjective rating adjustments are exercised in the sole
discretion of the rating authority. This rating authority is Seahorse
Rating Limited, a profit corporation with offices in England. Any request
for information, all rating disputes for the Musto Rule are answered by IRC
Seahorse Rating Limited Office and not U.S. Sailing. U.S. Sailing will be
nothing but a conduit in this process.

The other big difference between the Rules that we use in this country is
that IRC is scored on time on time to deal with tides and currents that are
experienced in the Solent and the English Channel. Hopefully, U.S. sailors
will understand what is being offered to them so they can make an
intelligent choice in their offshore sailing.

* From Victoria Hamilton: Isn't the fact that US Sailing had to add "Sailor
Athletes" to their never ending list of bureaucracies an admission on their
part that they have failed to attract "Sailor Athletes" to help run the
organization? Or, were "Sailor Athletes" driven away by all the
distracting, non racing services that US Sailing seems to delight in
foisting upon us?

Yes the USOC mandated that "Sailor Athletes" be a bigger part of all
National Governing Body Board of Directors. But did the USOC want another
committee within an NGB, or did they want "Sailor Athletes to populate
current Board and Excom positions? Wouldn't it be better to have "Sailor
Athletes" be involved, if not running, all of the various committees and
councils within US Sailing, than having them all lumped into one relatively
small group.

* From Chris Ericksen: Regarding the piece in 'Butt 1558 on the US Sailing
Sailor Athlete Council (SAC): I want to encourage every single racing
sailor--I mean every one of you--to check to see if you qualify as a

The SAC is made up of sailor-athletes and represents them directly. If you
belong to a yacht club or a one-design class or sail under PHRF, you are
represented through one of a number of committees - but indirectly, and
through the representation of your club or class. As a registered
sailor-athlete, the SAC speaks for you: it has a permanent seat on the US
Sailing Executive Committee and can nominate folks to US Sailing Board of
Directors. Think of the SAC as the House of Representatives of US Sailing:
it is the sailors' committee. And it is one of the few things at US Sailing
that is both free and easy to sign up for.

If you have competed in a class championship, either the nationals or the
NA's, or an Olympic Trials, or a Worlds or continental championship or the
America's Cup--just competed, mind you--you are eligible. And it ain't
exactly a high bar, folks - I'm registered.

* From Bruce D. Williams: While your story on the '73 Whitbread is correct
in stating that Great Britain II crossed the Leg IV finish line first and
set a new 'round the world record of 144d, she did not actually win the
race. Sayula II of Mexico was first overall with a time of 133d 13h
according to

A Salmon Day: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream
only to get screwed and die in the end.