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SCUTTLEBUTT 1585 - May 18, 2004

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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.

IT'S HAPPENING
Confirmed entries in the coming weeks should silence the doubters who
suggest that the round-the-world 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race is struggling
for viability, say the race organisers. It's on, full-on," race chief
executive Glenn Bourke said. "If we are lucky-ish, we'll have 10 boats on
the starting line. If we don't have much luck, I'd expect eight." Among the
prospective entries is a yacht from St Petersburg in Russia.

Bourke, who managed the winning Illbruck campaign in the 2001-2002 race and
the 2000 Olympic regatta, was brought in by the race's Swedish parent to
revitalize an event which began life as the Whitbread 30 years ago.
Bourke's main innovations have been the replacement of the 60-footers with
a faster, more powerful Volvo Ocean 70 class, and selecting stopovers based
on their ability to enter a boat. This prompted the choice of Vigo and
Sanxenxo in Spain to host the November 2005 start, thanks to Pedro Campos'
Telefonica campaign. "I accept that the public might be a little confused
because we haven't finalized the route," Bourke said, "but that's the
beauty of it. It puts boats in the race."

Bourke will not name teams, as sponsors want to make announcements in their
own time. However, he has four more entries in addition to Campos's Spanish
boat and Roy Heiner's pair from Holland backed by ABN Amro. "The
announcements take a hell of a long time, which is a bit of a shame for
us," Bourke said. "It would be good to get the word out so that other
corporations who are looking at us understand that we already have a
fleet." Two of the confirmed entries are believed to be from Brazil and the
United States. Bourke is prepared to say that there are serious and viable
efforts going on in Britain and Sweden, and a possibility in Russia.
"There's great political will there, it's a fantastic city [St Petersburg]
and it does fit logically into a race route," he said. "There are people
pushing pretty hard and I expect an answer by the first half of June." -
Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full story: http://tinyurl.com/25jnc

FASTEST SAILBOAT ON THE PLANET
Under IRC the z86 Maxis rate 1.648 and Mari Cha whilst not having an IRC
certificate is thought to rate about the same. So imagine a mono hull with
an IRC rating of 1.704! Well pretty soon this won't just be for your
imagination. Stefan Fein's new Full Pelt is about to be launched at the end
of May. The yacht is off the Richter scale. Full Pelt is 36ft long and
weighs in at 1600kg and 800kg of that is the keel bulb which cants 110
degrees. The hull is made of wet lay carbon/nomex, and she has a Proctor
carbon rig.

She has better displacement length ratio than a 49'er and will be equipped
with UK Ultra Sails supplied by UK Hamble. One hanked jib, roller code
zero, a big kite, and a small kite - so not too many options to choose
from! As far as boat speed the numbers were plugged into a VPP and it just
errored, the programme thought it was a powerboat! Full Pelt will be
shipped to Lake Geneva in June to compete in the Bol D'Or and will be
returning to compete in the Round the Island Race at the end of June;
apparently this beast does meet the stability requirements! The true
objective of the designer Jo Richard is that Full Pelt will plane upwind
and I for one will be interested to see if they can achieve this. - Bang
the Corner website, full story: www.bangthecorner.com/default.asp?m=da&id=11426

CHANGING THE RULES
This year's 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is expected to
see a dramatic increase in fleet numbers as a result of the Cruising Yacht
Club of Australia's new initiatives for the ocean classic aimed at
attracting a wide and varied range of boats from Australia and overseas.
The single biggest change to affect this year's fleet, however, is the fact
that the Overall Winner of the 2004 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be
the boat that wins the IRC (International Rule Club) handicap category
overall on corrected time, announced by the CYCA in February. There will be
no IMS category in this year's race, only IRC, PHS and one-design class
divisions.

To allow for early planning and a maximum international fleet to celebrate
the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Notice of Race, or
requirements of entry, and Application for Entry is now available on the
race website with printed copies expected by mid-year. After a process of
consultation with a number of affected owners, the CYCA also announced
earlier this year that there would be a slight increase in the upper speed
limit from 1.61 to 1.615. The decision means that a boat such as the 30m
LOA Skandia, will remain eligible to compete in 2004 despite its rating
having increased. - Peter Campbell, www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

GOOD THINGS IN LIFE
Sailing is one of the good things in life, but to make that even better,
use the Camet Padded shorts. The padded shorts will help you feel more
comfortable and enjoy the hours of sitting on the deck; combine these with
a Coolmax shirt for sun protection and you have turned it into the best day
of sailing. Visit the new Camet website for information on Shorts, Pants,
Bubble Tops, Coolmax shirts, Belts, Mylar bags, Rashguards, etc.
http://www.camet.com

A SPECTACLE NOT TO BE MISSED
In 14 days from now the signal from the Royal Navy's HMS Tyne will mark the
start of the 12th single-handed transatlantic race on Bank Holiday Monday,
31 May. At the Plymouth Yacht Haven, construction starts on The Transat
Race Village this week. Under race rules, the competing boats in The
Transat are required to arrive in Plymouth on or before Saturday, 22 May -
the contingent of American skippers Rich Wilson, Kip Stone and Joe Harris
are all already berthed safely in Plymouth following their trans-oceanic
delivery trips.

With eleven 60ft trimarans and one 60ft catamaran along with 18 Open 60
monohulls making up the bulk of the entries, the race fleet will take up
considerable acreage and will be one of the most impressive gatherings of
the world's fastest and most advanced ocean racing machines ever seen. This
is the only occasion in the four year offshore yacht racing cycle that
these two classes of boat gather in the UK and it will be a spectacle not
to be missed.

The Transat Race Village will be open to the public from 22 May to 31 May
and will house a multitude of exhibitors. The Royal Navy display will
include a submarine simulator and Renault will be displaying one of their
Formula 1 racing cars alongside many exhibitors from the British and French
marine sector. - Yachting World, full story:
www.yachting-world.com/auto/newsdesk/20040417110620ywnews.html

NOSTALGIA
Picture this: Nat Herreshoff's 1891 "Gloriana" and 1899 "Columbia"; Olin
Stephens' 1932 "Brilliant"; J-Class yachts like "Yankee" and "Enterprise";
Team New Zealand's 2003 "Hula"; Twelve Meters, classic schooners, and
glistening mahogany Runabouts, too. A dream, perhaps? Ahh, but the venue
exists ... all in perfect, meticulous, functional detail and scale ... at
this summer's "World of Model Yachts" exhibit that's just opened at the
Museum of Yachting in Newport, RI. I attended Friday night's preview with
dozens of other sailors, and was awestruck by this unprecedented gathering
of pond yachts bridging 120 years of design innovation. - T.J. Perrotti

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar

2004 SHOULD BE BIG
With just under three months to the start of the biennial Rolex Commodore's
Cup, the 2004 team line up looks highly competitive. The current holders,
France will be returning to the fray in force. There is a real prospect of
three French teams on the start line. From the Netherlands, winners of the
Admiral's Cup in 1999, there are plans to enter two teams. The British
yachting community plans to enter four teams and the RYA selectors under
the chairmanship of David Aisher are looking at a minimum of two English
teams with the possibility of a team from each of Wales and Scotland. There
is a long list of interested owners.

The RORC is quietly confident that the event will exhibit a quality field
across the board and anticipates 12 teams in total, as it continues its
efforts behind the scenes to assist National Authorities from Scandinavia,
Spain and Russia to put forward entries. The continued use of IRC has
allowed Authorities to choose from a wide selection of competitive yachts.
The reintroduction of banding will mean that like yachts race against like
yachts, adding to the overall attraction of this event. The Rolex
Commodores' Cup will be held off Cowes, Isle of Wight, from 25 July to 1
August. Entries close on Monday 21 June. - ISAF website, full story:
www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=7133
Event website: www.rorc.org

THEY ARE EVERYWHERE ...
From crews on Max Z86s to Farr 40s to J-120s and 29ers, its popularity is
spreading like no other apparel in the industry. The patented Dryshirt's™
are being ordered by Yacht Clubs, Junior Programs, race teams and event
organizers at an amazing pace. Dryshirt™ material is completely different
from Nike Dryfit or Coolmax™. The Dryshirt™ repels water, is breathable,
maintains an SPF 50 whether fully immersed or on deck in the baking sun. No
other gear offers this level of comfort and protection from the sun and
spray. For a list of dealers: 1(800) 354-7245.
http://www.sailingproshop.com/dryshirt.htm

HARKEN LASER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Bitez, Turkey - After a one hour delay waiting for two conflicting breezes
to sort themselves out the first day of finals in the Harken Laser World
Championship provided some excellent racing. For the first time all the top
sailors sailed two races together in the gold fleet and, as expected, the
racing was close and tough with mistakes costly. Good starts were essential
as was a good first windward leg. In an 8 to 10 knot wind the gold fleet
got away at the second attempt under a black flag. The wind increased to 13
knots average for the second race. There are just four more races
scheduled. - Jeffery Martin

Gold Fleet standings after eight races with one discard (73 boats):
1. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 14 pts
2. Michael Blackburn, AUS, 18pts
3. Mark Mendelblatt, USA, 27pts
4. Hamish Pepper, NZL, 37pts
5. Andreas Geritzer, AUT, 38pts
6. Karl Sunneson, SWE, 52pts
7. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 62pts
8. Peer Moberg, NOR, 66pts
9. Paul Goodison, GBR, 71pts
10. Gareth Blackenberg, RSA, 74pts

http://www.laserchampionships.org/worlds04/

NEWS BRIEFS
* Wednesday evening beer can racers should set up their VCRs or Tevos right
now to watch America's Cup veteran and TV commentator Gary Jobson review
the past 25 years of sailing on ESPN Classic on May 19 at 9 p.m. ET. The
one-hour program will re-air again three hours later and will cover the
America's Cup, record passages, the cruising of the Poles, storms and
racing around the world, plus Key West, youth sailing and the America's Cup
Jubilee.. - www.jobsonsailing.com

* With the conclusion yesterday of the 470 World Championships, the final
Olympic qualifying event for the class, the USA has now qualified teams for
each of the Olympic sailing disciplines in Athens. At the 470 Women's
Worlds, Katie McDowell (Barrington, R.I.) and Isabelle Kinsolving (New
York, N.Y.) placed eighth overall in the 53-boat fleet, their best finish
at a world championship. Previously the pair had won the US Olympic Trials,
but were not assured of berth in the Olympics until the USA became
officially qualified for that event.

* Valencian University economics professor Aurelio Martinez yesterday gave
out some figures concerning the Americas Cup that is to be staged in
Valencia in 2007. According to the professor, some 1,560 million Euros are
being spent on such items as communications, boat building, and general
organising, whilst 3,562 million Euros are expected to be spent on
infrastructure for the races, which will generate some 12,500 jobs and
increase the turnover of the hotel and construction industries by a
whopping 9.413%. - www.valencialife.net

* Gill, the UK-based specialist performance clothing company, has appointed
Gill North America (NA) as the Canadian distributor of its range of sailing
clothing and accessories. Gill NA will commence its Canadian operation in
August. - www.gillmarine.com

* The fact that the Hobie 16 World Championship is over has not stopped us
from posting some truly great photos from Peter McGowan on our website.
Take a look for yourself:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/h16worlds/

* Light air caused the cancellation of the first day of racing at the Rolex
IMS Worlds. 63 boats in three classes are in Capri for the regatta. Racing
resumes Tuesday with the Offshore Race. The regatta has attracted a
plethora of rock stars including, Thierry Pepponnett, helmsman on Near Miss
a new Grand Soleil 42; Pedro Campos, helmsman on Bribon Telefonica, a new
Judel/ Vrolijk Evento 46; Terry Hutchinson (helmsman), Peter Isler
(navigator), and Adrian Stead (tactician) on the new Botin/ Carkeek 58,
Talisman; Vasco Vascotto, helmsman on the new Grand Soleil 42. -
http://www.regattanews.com

NEWPORT TO BERMUDA - RIGGED TO RACE
Southern Spars Service in Newport, RI is fully staffed and stocked to
fulfill all lightweight and composite rigging requirements. Our 40' black
rigging trailer is onsite in Newport Shipyard next week. Get rigged and
schedule your local onsite pre-race rig inspection. Talk with our experts
at 401-683-6966 or http://www.southernspars.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 William Pentleton: Eligibility classifications result from governing
bodies addressing concerns of their constituencies, namely boat owners. To
disparage the attempts of these governing bodies to meet the needs of these
governing bodies is counter-productive. ISAF etc. has a difficult job
trying to determine what constitutes a pro. Some determinations are
obvious, others evaluations are more subtle. If there is a silver bullet
questions that would satisfy the constituency, I feel fairly certain that
it would have been asked by now. In my experience, if you ask 10 sailors
which way to go, you will get 10 different answers.

* From Bruce Thompson: I agree with Andrew Bray that the problem in 1979
was the IOR. But we still have problems. Now we have owners & designers who
want to participate but not be constrained by the rules, especially Rule 51
Moveable Ballast. We've seen a proliferation of "cruising" daysailers,
thankfully racing mostly in Category 4 races. I've had Farr 40s show up at
the start with no reef points in their mains! Read the Hanson Medal stories
of their adventures (9/9/01). And most of these boats have professionals in
their crews. Another one lost 4 crew overboard when the lower lifeline failed.

Andrew Tripp has a disagreement over Tony Marchaj's thoughts regarding
rudders. All the more reason to read the book. But I wonder what his
experience tells him about the chances of record attempting boats (e.g.
Cheyenne) would be in similar situations. Or could he visualize a water
ballast tank delaminating from the pounding and releasing thousands of kgs
of free water into the leeward bilge? Or a CBTF strut striking an
underwater object with the resultant pressure pulse blowing the rupture
disc on the hydraulic accumulator with complete loss of hydraulic power and
therefore control of the keel?

* From Ian Parkes (Re Mr Ericksen's comment): I thought Mr Pope's point was
not so much that the speeds required to win the Transpac's Barn Door have
increased with changing boat configurations, but that the upper limits have
been very 'convenient.' Maybe Marie Cha IV wouldn't have had a hope anyway.

* From John Casey: Chris Ericksen correctly stated in his Transpac letter
that, "Roy Disney joins such folks as Bill Lee in Merlin, Robert Johnson in
Ticonderoga and even H.H. Sinclair in Lurline, winner of the first
Los-Angeles-to-Honolulu race, in pushing the envelope of speed in offshore
racing yachts and setting new elapsed-time records." However, Mr. Ericksen
overlooked one important distinction - when Messrs. Lee, Johnson and
Sinclair were 'setting new elapsed-time records,' they were not members the
Transpac Board of Directors. In recent years this board has repeatedly
'adjusted' the upper speed limit, which obviously has a direct affect on
the elapsed time for the fastest boats … and the elapsed-time record.

* From Craig Fletcher (re Philippe Kahn interview - 'Butt 1584): Philippe
Kahn could not be more spot-on with his "Positive attitude approach."
Sailing and the world would be better off if we all followed his advice.

* From Brad Ruetenik: In Scuttlebutt 1584 Philippe Kahn was quoted as
saying, "When you show a kid an Optimist, they think that it's a floating
bathtub. It's a great platform to learn a certain type of sailing. But
sailing has to become more like the X-Games and that's why we must promote
windsurfing, kite-boarding, skiff sailing and capture the imagination of
the kids. Times have changed and the platforms need to change. Speed and
adrenaline will bring sailing to the masses." Kahn's quote rings familiar
to what Many I-14 sailors have known and said for years. People keep asking
where young sailors go after High school and college, well Optimists and
Sabots, CFJs, and 420s are just not inspiring boats to sail. There is a
perfect opportunity to become involved w/ skiff sailing, and now is the
time to get ready for the International 14 Worlds coming to Long Beach in 2006.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand.