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SCUTTLEBUTT 1560 - April 13, 2004

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releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

THE BLACK CLOUD IS FROM THE BOATSHED
The Team New Zealand boatshed will be a busy place for the rest of 2004 and
right into 2005. Work is underway on NZL82, the defending boat in 2003.
Side decks have been removed and replacements are being built at Hakes
Marine in Wellington. The work, which started in early March, is expected
to take three months. In June we will start similar work on NZL81 and that
will be another three-month job. NZL 82 and 81 will be the basis for our
testing this year.

Next month we will start work on NZL57 and NZL60 to bring them up to
sailing condition. These yachts were built for the 2000 Cup defense. We are
looking to sell NZL57 and charter NZL60 to a syndicate working towards a
challenge in 2007. NZL 60, the successful defender in 2000, will return to
New Zealand at the end of the charter.

Following successful negotiations with Michael Illbruck, we can report that
we have secured the use of GER68, the boat that was built for the Illbruck
challenge that did not go ahead. GER68 has never been finished. We will
complete the boat and prepare it for sailing next summer with NZL82. We
expect to have GER68 in the shed by July. The two yachts are significantly
different in design concept and will allow us to make detailed comparisons
as we prepare to design new generation boats for Valencia 2007. Illbruck is
a narrow boat, akin to Alinghi, Oracle and One World, and there's a lot we
can learn from the summer sailing programme. Also factored into the "works
programme" for this year is a start on the first of the Version 5 rigs for
regattas in 2005.

In June NZL82 will be sailing on the Hauraki Gulf so we can check sails and
rigs and prepare for regattas in Europe. We are now investigating the
logistics of shipping NZL82 to Europe in time for the regattas and, more
importantly for us, getting the boat back here for the full summer testing
programme. A final decision will be made as soon as possible. - Excerpt
from the March 2004 issue of Team New Zealand's "2007 Update." -
http://xtramsn.co.nz/teamnewzealand

TECHNOLOGY
The 2004 Olympic Games will be the first Games ever to offer access via
mobile phones to the Internet and to the information system of the Games.
Athens 2004 is the first Organizing Committee to apply high technology for
using wireless data communication services. Using Cosmote network and the
GPRS connection facility, Olympic mobile telephone users will be able to
access all data available on the INFO2004 information system or receive
special messages addressed to all users or to particular user groups.

Through INFO2004, Olympic Family members can receive in real time
information on Games results, records and medals, together with news of any
developments of their interest. Using their mobile phones, users will also
have access to Games competition schedules, data and photos of the Venues,
athletes CV's, even summaries of the rules of each sport, all of them
enhancing the users' enjoyment of the events that they will be watching. It
is estimated that approximately 12,500 people (1,000 VIPs, 4,000 customers
and 7,500 workforce) will be able to access this information system. - ISAF
website, full story: http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=6830

TRIVIA QUESTION
To compete in the Olympics, each country must qualify for a limited number
of entries permitted in each class. Even though the US has completed the
selections for their 2004 Olympic team, which class must they still qualify
to compete in at the 2004 Olympics? (Answer below)

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support. Just order $100 or more and receive a free 2004 US SAILING Team
Hat! Offer good until May 31, 2004. Purchase US SAILING apparel today at
http://www.ussailinggear.com

FOR THE RECORD
Now off Uruguay, Geronimo is battling upwind towards Brazil, through
squalls, weak northerlies and, occasionally, north-easterlies. Short
periods of acceleration and changes in wind direction are inevitably
followed by a return to the never-ending headwind. The crew has been
tacking two or three times an hour since yesterday evening, with every drop
in the wind accompanied by a change of course, as if they were sailing a
weekend regatta. "Given the winds we have, we're going quickly! It's okay,
but it's not great. On the other hand, I keep telling myself that
statistically at least, we can't have a worse time in the Atlantic than we
had last year. Which is kind of reassuring...".

The crew is taking advantage of this mediocre weather to catch up on some
regular maintenance and repair work. Quite a lot of the boat's equipment is
showing signs of wear, which was coped with at the time, but now demands
replacement. The identical winches are dismantled in-situ in the cockpit so
that each can be worked on without disrupting maneuvers. The only real
concern is with the new sails, which caused problems during Geronimo's
first attempt when she set off in hot pursuit of Cheyenne and which
continue to demand days of re-stitching. The solent, the large foresail
used to sail upwind, has just failed for the second time, despite the fact
that it is the boat's basic means of propulsion in light winds.

At this point, Geronimo appears to be about even with the tack of Jules
Verne Trophy holder Orange I, but almost two days behind the track of Steve
Fossett's Cheyenne - www.trimaran-geronimo.com

ANOTHER BIGGY
The Mistral Worlds is going on right now at the Altin Yunus Resort Hotel
near Cesme, Turkey. Another huge regatta - 99 boards in the men's division
and 59 in the women's. Only a few months before the Athens Olympic Games,
this Championship is the last chance for some nations to qualify to compete
in the Olympic Regatta. The USA has already qualified for the Olympic Games
in the Mistral Men and Women fleets. Peter Wells (La Canada/ Newport Beach,
Calif.) and Lanee Butler Beashel (Dana Point, Calif.) are participating in
the World Championship to prepare for the competition at the Olympic Games.
After two races, Lanee Butler Beashel (USA) is the top North American women
in 34th place, while the top North American male is Canadian Kevin Stittle
in 24th. - http://www.mistralworlds.com/results.htm

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The new Hobie Mirage Sport was scheduled to be introduced in 2005, but that
was before some key retailers across the country caught wind of the
'rumour'. They told Hobie that the new sit-on-top kayak was just too hot to
hold that long and asked for an early introduction. Hobie listened.
Inspired by their lightweight, compact, and super-manageable Lanai and the
unique Mirage Outback SUV, designed with Hobie's patented MirageDrive pedal
technology. Hobie introduces the Mirage Sport.
The extremely lightweight Hobie Mirage Sport is designed with a unique
adjustable seat that accommodates a wide range of users from four-foot
youths to six-foot adults. As the seat is moved forward, the pedals move
backward, shortening the distance for smaller paddlers and vise versa for
taller paddlers.

Like all Hobie kayaks, the Mirage Sport is designed to enhance fitness and
exercise or for the enjoyment of recreational interests such as fishing,
photography, diving, and bird-watching at any age and skill level. It has a
built-in mast receptacle for the optional sail package and goes easily to
windward for all levels of sailors. An optional Sportsman Kit that includes
a plug-in cart, anchor kit, tackle box, and insulated cooler accommodates
the growing numbers of those who enjoy fishing from their kayak. - The
Daily Sail website, full story and photo: http://www.thedailysail.com

Hobie website: www.hobiecat.com/kayaking/kayak_sail.html

PRODUCTS WITH A PEDIGREE
Great looking medium duffel bags for spring from OceanRacing.com featuring
material from well-known yachts, heavy-duty zippers and padded shoulder
straps. These bags are just right for an overnight race & fit perfectly
into airline overhead bins. Yacht clubs, racing crews and one-design
classes should call for wholesale pricing. http://tinyurl.com/2ovl3

CHANGING TIMES
If Jane Correia ever decides to change her life totally she could consider
joining a circus. After all, she does a great juggling act and it just
got more intense! Already the general manager of Correia Construction and a
soccer mum who despite standing down as chairman of their board remains
actively involved with her son's school, she recently assumed her most
challenging assignment. On March 19, the 41-year-old created history being
elected unopposed as the first female commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht
Club; this a mere six years after the 160-year-old establishment admitted
women for membership.

It's an accomplishment of immense proportion and prestige also given the
fact that, as the trailblazer herself put it, "women were not recognized
(at the club) until the early 60s and 70s". "Here we are in 2004 and they
are finally recognizing women instead of segregating us and saying this is
a male-dominated world. "I think it says a lot. They have the confidence
that a woman is capable of running a club with the type of reputation that
this one has." - Gayle Alleyne, Royal Gazette (Bermuda), full story:
http://tinyurl.com/2zqpa

NEWS BRIEFS
* The final day of racing at the ANZDL Etchells New Zealand National
Championships boiled down to a pair of match races between the regatta
leaders, Australian John Bertrand and Cameron Appleton of New Zealand.
Bertrand was able to control Appleton in the series finale to score a two
point regatta win over Appleton. Kiwi Grant Turnbull took third place
overall and American Dennis Conner was fifth in an event that was
essentially sailed in 15-22 knots of wind. - Anne Hinton

* Doyle Sails, the world's second largest sailmaker, has recently merged
its Marblehead and New Zealand lofts to form Doyle Sails International. The
move relinquishes the Marblehead loft from solely providing guidance and
support to their franchise system, and permits significant department
consolidations in providing services to their 65 lofts.

PARTY TIME
It's happening this Thursday evening at Pacific Sail Expo in Oakland,
California. The Bitter End Yacht will be pouring some of the Dry Creek
Vineyards very finest wines as they announce the names of the skippers for
this year's Pro-Am Regatta (Yes - Russell Coutts and Keith Musto will be
returning to defend their title). The details of the Musto Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club Championship Regatta (which runs concurrently with the Pro-Am,
November 30 - November 6) will also be revealed. This all takes place at
the BEYC's booth (#208) right after the curmudgeon's 6:00 PM "Spreading the
Word" discussion in Area A. - www.BEYC.com

TRIVIA ANSWER
The US has yet to qualify to compete in the 470 Women's class at the 2004
Olympics. The final qualifying event will be this May at the 470 World
Championship in Croatia, where a US team must finish in the top five among
the previously unqualified countries so as to permit the US to compete in
the 470 Women's class at the 2004 Olympics.

THE BEST LOOK
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Neoprene Hiking pants, Polo Shirts, Mylar bags and the new Toiletry kit
bag. Check out the Camet web page at http://www.camet.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 Donal McClement, Cork, Ireland: Further to Larry Bulmans diatribe on
IRC I feel he could well mislead potential users of this outstanding
Handicap Rule. Yes it is subjective and there are secret elements to it but
ask the thousands of users world wide if it works. Yes it is time on time
but we here in Ireland do not have the strong tides that you get in the
Solent and the South Coast of England. Neither does the Med and many other
places and the Rule is used successfully there.

As the Principal Race Office for Cork Week from 1986 to 2000 with IRC
Fleets of up to 400 boats the system coped superbly well with a huge
variety of boats and race courses and the statistics fed back to the RORC
and indeed UNCL over the past 17 to 18 years have enabled the Rule to be
very finely tuned indeed.

Because it was not invented in the US of A there is obviously some
negativity towards it but all I can say, as a very satisfied end user, is
give it a go. I am certain you will be really surprised at how good it is.
Please also don't forget the Endorsed option that is available for the
higher profile Events.

* From Mike Dailey: How about we send Steve Fossett a cup, or better yet, a
platter, and call it the "Round the World Record Trophy?" Or, the
"Cheyenne" trophy? Face it, the "Jules Verne" trophy was for breaking the
sub-sonic speed records of old. It is dated, done, old news. Like the
Clipper ships of an era past. To qualify for the new "Cheyenne" round the
world trophy, one antes up 30.00 Euros, (the cost of engraving) and you are
off around the world.

* From Dan Spurr (Re: Steve Fossett and the Jules Verne Trophy
controversy): According to your explanation of Fossett's position, he was
willing to pay the lesser fee of 11,000 Euros charged to those engaged in
repeat attempts, but not the 30,000 Euros charged to first-time
challengers. So it seems Fossett's issue is whether his recent record
breaking circumnavigation was his first or second attempt (he withdrew
Playstation in an earlier attempt), not whether he should pay at all. It
makes a difference.

* From Peter Huston: While I understand the notion behind the "Sailor
Athlete" designation within US Sailing, I'm wondering why this is
necessary. During the 10 years I was active with USYRU/ US Sailing, the
vast majority of people with whom I served would all have been considered
"Sailor Athletes". If we are going to categorize one group of members, why
not categorize them all? Sailor Educator. Sailor Powerboater. Sailor
Administrator. Sailor Drinker. May I please have my own category, "Sailor
Muckraker."

* From Jeremy Pape: One only needs to look at the USA's finish's at the
Princess Sofia Regatta ("Butt 1559) to see that we are right at the
threshold of many medals in Greece in August. Step up and show your support
of these athletes that have busted their asses and checkbooks to get to
this point. We're four months away from major bling bling. Go to the US
Sailing website and do what you can do to give support to our athletes.
Every little donation will help. www.ussailing.org/olympics/fundraising
www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/

* From Jeff Carlile (edited to our 250-word limit): Ratings are derived
from formulae using hull design and sail plan with the intent of estimating
relative performance. Handicaps are derived from the experience of the
competitors with the intent of leveling performance. How an event uses one
or both depends on the goal. If you sail one-design, and the goal is to
reward the best sailor, record the finishes; if the goal is to have fun and
an equal chance for all, rewarding the sailor who sailed better than usual,
use handicaps. In open-design events, if the goal is to have fun in a club
series, start with ratings and then tweak parity using handicaps; if the
goal is to reward the best boat/ crew, stick with the ratings.

The second aspect of the debate boils down to the goal of entries in
open-design rating events. If you sail a T10 with buddies who only get on
the boat Wednesday nights, and you enter an event against the Alinghi AC
boat and crew, and you hope to win, then you've likely set a bad goal or
entered the wrong event. If you have built/bought a boat to the rating
formula, then you knew the game when you entered it: you knew it was an
imperfect system, that others could build/ buy a boat better suited to the
formula or the venue-don't gripe later if you were out-built/ out-bought/
out-crewed/ out-sailed. Obviously, the least chance of parity is in the
open-design one-off event. It's a given.

* From Peter Jones: With regards to comments concerning Ben Lexcen and the
design of the Australia II keel ("If it had been known that a Dutchman had
designed the keel it would certainly have roused a protest on the part of
NYYC"), the New York YC did protest but took so much heat for it the
commodore finally gave it up and soon after resigned from the Club. I
remember being disgusted with what I read because it sounded like everyone
thought the NYYC was out of line trying to see that the rules were
enforced. Looking back, it was just the beginning.

* From Jerry Moulton: I think I found a spelling error in the article about
eBay auctions. You quote John Sweeney as saying in part, "What this has
allowed us to do, even if there were no bidders, was to expose ourselves to
very board public." Obviously the correct spelling is 'bored.'

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Senior citizens are frequently the 'life of the party' - even if it lasts
until 8:30.