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SCUTTLEBUTT 1573 - April 30, 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.

Well - yes and no. Earlier in the week, Dr. Richard Schmidt wrote a letter
to Scuttlebutt that dealt with popular misconceptions about practice
methods used to improve sailboat racing skills. In addition to being a
university professor and an accomplished racing skipper, Dick is also a
good friend … so it was easy to impose on him to put together some
guidelines that would help recreational sailors improve their results on
the racecourse. He did it, and we are sure you'll find his message both
eye-opening and beneficial. It's now posted on our website as our
recommended reading selection for the weekend. Enjoy:

US Sailing, the ORC, and RORC formed the Rule Working Party (RWP) almost
eighteen months ago. US Sailing has stepped back from the RWP because this
group was unable to reach a consensus on the fundamentals of a new grand
prix rule. The void is still there and we must move to fill it. Therefore,
US Sailing is embarking immediately on a collaboration with yacht clubs,
race organizations, sailors and other interested parties to review the
current state of offshore racing in the US and develop a program to address
the needs of our sailing public. With respect to grand prix racing, we will
incorporate much of what we learned working with the RWP and ensure that
the interests of existing grand prix initiatives within the US are served.

US Sailing will, of course, communicate with the ORC, RORC and other
international organizations in the hope that ultimately there will be
common ground for an international rule. - Jim Teeters and Dan Nowlan for
US Sailing

Olivier de Kersauson's Cap Gemini Schneider sponsored grey trimaran crossed
the notional finish line for the Jules Verne Trophy, between the Lizard and
Ushant at 1517 local time on Thursday 29 April. Her elapsed time of 63 days
14 hours, 59 minutes and 46 seconds is approximately 18 hours faster than
that of the previous Trophy holder, Bruno Peyron in his maxi cat Orange.
However, although de Kersauson is now the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy,
originally awarded for the fastest outright time sailing round the world,
it must be a hollow victory because the Trophy no longer has that cachet
since Steve Fossett and his crew on Cheyenne, not members of the Jules
Verne 'club', broke the outright record earlier in the month and were still
almost 5 days faster than Geronimo. - Yachting World, full story:
Geronimo's website:

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levels eliminating the need for layer upon layer. Focus on the course, not
your clothing. Available at APS now…

An audacious move by Doyle Sails New Zealand has seen it take centre stage
in its US parent's ambitions to become the world's largest sailmaker. A
year ago, the Auckland operation appeared to face a gloomy future with the
rest of the New Zealand yachting industry after the loss of the America's
Cup. But proposals the Kiwis put forward to merge with Doyle's operations
in Marblehead, Massachusetts, have been accepted and carried through.

The new entity, Doyle International, will form an operations hub for the
entire 65-loft network of Doyle sailmakers worldwide in locations as
far-flung as Africa and Japan. Not only will Kiwis drive international
sales for the whole group, they will also head up design and R&D for the
network. They aim to grow the number of Doyle's lofts worldwide in a bid to
overtake the world's number one sailmaker, North Sails.

Chris McMaster, chief executive of the NZ operation and now chief operating
officer of the newly formed Doyle Sails International, said: "Our position
today is somewhat different from that of a year ago." Though former
Olympian and America's Cup veteran Robbie Doyle, who founded the US
operation in 1982, has been named chief executive of the new entity,
McMaster will drive the new business, with Doyle in a more ambassadorial
role. - Rob Stock, NZ Sunday Star Times, full story:,2106,2885718a13,00.html

Gaeta, Italy - It's official: The Star Class World Championships is right
back on song after a thrilling day of racing and some excellent, top drawer
decisions made by the on-water race committee. After a postponement of
several hours, racing got underway at 2:30 pm in a building 15-18 knot sea
breeze. The conditions had 'tactical day' written all over them and the
racing certainly didn't disappoint despite only one race being completed as
the official schedule is moved further back. However they (the RC) did
their level best in tricky course-laying conditions and were a credit to
this prestigious class, gaining plaudits from the star-studded (no pun
intended) fleet.

One of the great sights in world sailing has to be a fully powered up
Starboat with the crew at full extension and off the line the fleet were
going at it hammer and tongs. A long line saw the main title contenders at
odds with each other on their starting position with a slight weight bias
in talent to the port end starters where the likes of Percy/ Mitchell,
Neeleman/ Van Niekerk and Grael/ Ferreira elected to start. Interestingly
the American contingent started mid-line almost together and played the
shifts up the middle of the beat.

As the fleet converged as the finish line loomed, it was Neeleman who had
extended his lead to take the winners gun from Percy, Beashel and Grael.
However there was another twist to come in this tale as the competitors
stepped ashore and with no returns after an individual recall flag was
flown, all eyes were on the official notice board in the marina. It was
heartbreak for Neeleman who read disbelievingly that he was adjudged OCS by
the race committee. - Excerpts from a story by Magnus Wheatley, full story:

Standings after three races:
1. Frederik Lööf & Anders Ekström, SWE, 11 points
2. Torben Grael & Marcel Bastos Ferreira, BRA, 14
3. Peter Bromby & Lee White, BER, 23
4. Iain Percy & Steve Mitchell, GBR, 24
5. Roberto Bermudez de Castro & Pablo Arrarte Elorza, ESP, 26
6. Stig Westergaard & Dann Neergaard, DEN, 37
7. Roy Heiner & Alex Breuseker, NED, 43
8. Rohan Lord & Andrew Taylor NZL, 44
9. Leonidas Pelekanakis & George Kodogouris, GRE, 45
10. Giampiero Poggi & Giovanni Stilo ITA, 51

Event website:
Some really amazing Carlo Borlenghi photos of the event have just been
posted in our gallery:

Last week three J Class yachts competed at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.
Velsheda won, with Ranger and Cambria to follow. However, of the three
yachts, one of them was not designed to the J Class rule and was only
recently accepted into the class. Which one? (Answer below)

The 18th crew position on Oracle-BMW is being raffled for the UBS Challenge
practice day in Newport, RI, June 16, 2004. Limited tickets still available
at $100 each or 6/$500. Proceeds benefit the Museum of Yachting. To
purchase tickets: 401/847-1018 or Major credit cards and
personal checks accepted.

Lake Garda offered one of its spectacular days of strong southerly breeze
up 20-25 knots and sunshine to the ten crews competing in the ISAF Grade 1
Garda Trentino Open Match Race. With the local breeze "Ora" settling in at
around 10am, the Race Committee was able to complete round robin one and
start round robin two. Jesper Radich had a very good day, scoring 8 wins
and suffering only one loss to Paolo Cian. Current match racing world
champion Ed Baird scored seven wins and lost only one match to Radich.

Total leaderboard (skipper/wins/losses)
1. Jesper Radich (DEN), 11/2
1. Ed Baird (USA), 11/2
3. Mathieu Richard (FRA), 10/3
4. Paolo Cian (ITA, Italia Challenge), 9/4
5. Mark Campbell-James (GBR), 7/6
6. Ian Williams (GBR), 5/8
7. Johnie Berntsson (SWE), 1/3
8. Maxim Taranov (RUS), 3/10
8. Michael Dunstan (AUS, Ozboyz Challenge), 3/10
9. Andrew Arbuzov (RUS), 2/11

Cup in Europe website, full story:
Event website:

* Two hundred and forty three Hobie 16 teams, representing twenty-eight
countries, are registered for the World Championship in Cancun Mexico. It's
the biggest ever! Five separate championships will be contested in
sixty-four brand new Hobie 16s provided by the Hobie Cat Company. Racing
for the Women, Master, Grand Master and Youth World Championships will be
sailed on the May 5, 6 and 7. The Open World Championship will start on the
8th with a two day qualifying round for the semi-finals. The semi-finals
will be sailed for three days followed by two-day finals with the top 56
teams. -

* Gale force winds forced the abandonment of all races at Hyeres Olympic
Week. Friday will be the final day of racing, with two races scheduled for
each of the Olympic classes.

* After a Lay Day, Antigua Sailing Week returned Thursday with 6-8 foot
seas and winds topping 30 knots. Spinnakers shredded, mainsails blew and
deck hardware popped in winds that although strong were shifty as they
swirled off the shore. There was a steady stream of boats heading back to
Falmouth Harbour for repairs. One was Atalanta II, the fresh out of the box
Farr 70. Launched March 21, and off on its delivery to Antigua April 4, her
first regatta outing is also her shakedown sail - and a hard one at that.
For results, standings and photos:

Of the three J Class yachts that competed at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
last week, Cambria was the only one not designed to the J Class rule. Built
in 1928 and originally designed to the 23 meter International Rule, she
joined the J Class in 2003 after the new J Class Rules created in 2000
permitted her inclusion with any modifications. Photos of Cambria and the
other J Class yachts in Antigua are at

Used by Mari Cha IV, Cheyenne, and 80% of the Volvo/ Vendee racers. MaxSea
Weather/ Routing/ Navigation software is now legal for Trans-Atlantic,
Pacific Cup, and Bermuda. Easy to use, the most powerful weather routing
functions take just two mouse clicks. Now predicts lifts/headers.

(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 John Stovall: We get this bureaucratic letter from US Sailing on our
Moratorium on our involvement in the Grand Prix Working Party (RWP). The
e-mail says "nothing." Why is the Moratorium being placed on our
participation? This just looks like another case of US Sailing's famous
"wasn't authored here" approach. Americap and IBM System Nine are exactly
alike. The only difference is that IBM finally realized it created
something nobody wanted and wrote-off the investment. Just more of why
"offshore One Designs" are taking over all the money in our sport.

* From Donal McClement: We are obviously now it a situation that is the
worst case scenario. I think the ' It was not invented here' is ruling the
roosts so we don't agree with it. Come on US Sailing lets move forward and
respect what the people who matter want. I mean the Owners, the people who
allow us, the minions, to race on boats that we would have no opportunity
without them. Get real US Sailing and let's move on. More importantly let's
have boats that are a joy to sail and not boats that are stifled by a
stupid, restrictive Rule. Please be ambitious not negative

* From Count Enrico Ferrari: Another set of kudos for Steve Fossett and his
gang are deserved for leaving the Jules Verne title unpaid for. They are
being nice to the Capgemini Schneider Electric trimaran folks, giving them
something to shoot for as they struggled around the world in their bid to
set a record. What sportsmanship! The race to the finish for the tri is now
filled with anticipation for them on getting a 'gun' at the finish and
setting a record. Without Fossett's clairvoance and self sacrifice (of not
paying the $50k for the trophy) those trimaran guys would be ho-humming
along dreaming of real food and just getting off the water. As it is there
is fun to come from staying focused and racing with all they have.

* From Rich Roberts: The curmudgeon asked if he was the only one amused to
read that Russell Coutts is ranked 103 and Peter Holmberg is number 133 on
these 'official' rankings? Not at all, and I find it equally amusing to see
ISAF running a "Match Racing World Championship" without Peter Gilmour and
Gavin Brady, not to mention Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Terry
Hutchinson, Dean Barker, Chris Dickson, etc. Of course, while ISAF takes it
tribute for bestowing its official blessing on the America's Cup, it
doesn't recognize AC performance in its rankings. Just what "world" is ISAF
living in?

* From Larry Harcourt: I saw the curmudgeon's note on the ISAF World Match
Race Rankings and I don't understand these rankings either. How can someone
be ranked 5th in the world (no offense to Matthieu Richard) by only
counting one Grade 1 event out of their 8 events and to not have competed
or scored any points at a Swedish Match Tour event? I can only recognize a
handful of sailors in the top 20 and where is Peter Gilmour who is a top
the Swedish Match racnkings? Who is in charge of these rankings? This does
not look like it really reflects the top 20 match racers in the world?

* From George Peters: In Response to Dave MacVean's posting about the
Ensenada Race, I must counter. I agree that organization of the overall
event and planning was phenomenal and a huge success. However there seemed
to be a distinct separation in quality between the event planning and the
Race Management. Several class separation issues, starting line placement
for the size of fleet, separation between Race Committee and Registration
Committee with the onus of "just start with the class indicated in the list
and they will redress at the finish" left many with heartburn.

I hope that next year they plan to clearly distinguish the responsibility
separation between event planning and race management with better control
and informative communication. I agree with the Curmudgeon's original
posting that for such an event billed as the "Largest International
Offshore Regatta", allot was left to be desired such as posting results
that evening or next day. Yes photos can wait.

* From Bronny Joy Daniels (This is in reply to Jim Mahaffy's comments
regarding NOSA in Scuttlebutt 1572): I am sure the NOSA committee will take
these comments to the next meeting to ensure that the race information will
be handled differently in the future. However, I am not embarrassed to be
on The NOSA Race committee or for anything NOSA did. I worked the Outside
start boat and the Race Room and saw the dedication of so many people who
worked on the NOSA committee to ensure that the Newport to Ensenada race is
accurate, safe, successful, and fun!

* From Mark Michaelsen (re communication with families during the Ensenada
Race): Mike Dobbs is one of the members of the Afterburner crew and also a
ham radio operator. For a very small sum of money Mike had our boat live at
all times on the Internet with close to real time charts and locations for
the convenience and fun of the families and friends of the crew. He used a
Ham radio and a GPS interface inside a pelican case.

* From Frederic Berg (in response to the recent editorial regarding Kevin
Hall's practice methods):
Seems there should be a distinction made between repetitious practice, ie.
Jibing many times in a row for the sake of jibing and improving downwind
skills. Repetition by definition excludes the learning process. It makes
sense that Drs. Schmidt and Lee suggest a repetition cycle of one for a
specific task. Why would you want to repeat something many times if you
have mastered it?

Kevin clearly spent time in the boat not repeating a single action he knew
how to implement (such as taking off on a wave and surfing), but breaking
new ground in techniques perhaps as diverse as reevaluating vang settings
in 30 or more varying wind an sea conditions to experimenting with new
methods of hiking for a more direct transfer of energy to the sail and
blades in waves.

Based on Kevin's description of his results, he has raised the level of
downwind performance in his class. Rather than repeating proven techniques,
he developed, through experimentation, new techniques that are better than
the old. We can now repeat Kevin's new techniques once to go faster as well
- that is if we copy successfully - otherwise we may have to follow Dave
Ullman's advice after all.

* From Ron Baerwitz: I have first hand knowledge of Dr. Schmidt's research
as I had the luxury of attending his classes and conducting studies with
him on this very subject. I also had the pleasure of sailing with Dr.
Schmidt as tactician for two of his National Titles (which gives me one up
on ya Curm and makes me a better man!). I also had the privilege of an
Olympic Campaign many moons ago so the subject matter is close to many
aspects of my heart.

Kevin Hall's practice methods and Dick's (oh, sorry, Dr. Schmidt's)
theories have very little relation. Kevin was not learning motor skills or
kinetics. He was not practicing techniques against another boat. He was
simply becoming comfortable and confident sitting in and sailing his boat
downwind for miles. A yachtsman of Kevin's level feels a boat under him at
the highest level. He does not always need a training partner to gain
skill, particularly downwind. Figuring out proper heal, trim and steering
techniques is a "feel" and can only be learned by time in the boat. The
more time, the more comfortable.

You know you've reached 'maturity' when all you want for your birthday is
to not be reminded of your age.