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SCUTTLEBUTT 1589 - May 24, 2004

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

GOING, GOING, GOING . . .
Britain's two most talented sailors could be working for an overseas team
at the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia. Iain Percy has joined the Italian
Clan Des Team America's Cup challenge - according to Britain's GB
Challenge, to whom he had been linked last summer - and fellow Olympic gold
Medallist Ben Ainslie is also a target for the Italians. Percy was giving
nothing away yesterday as he traveled with his crew-mate Steve Mitchell to
next week's Spa Olympic classes regatta in Holland. Ainslie is in Holland
too, attending this weekend's British Olympic sailing team get-together in
Noordwijk.

Ainslie has been linked with Team New Zealand since he sailed with Dean
Barker last October and assisted the Kiwi skipper in his own Olympic
campaign, yet a move to Italy cannot be discounted. That is because the man
talked about as possible Clan Des Team skipper is Luca Devoti, who won
silver behind Percy in the Sydney Games and whose company is builder of
both Percy's and Ainslie's Olympic Finn dinghies. - Tim Jeffery, The daily
Telegraph, full story: http://tinyurl.com/36k33

GETTING SERIOUS
Team New Zealand's NZL82 will be back on the Hauraki Gulf next month to
prepare for the first of the America's Cup regattas in September. The
yacht, which broke down twice in five races during the last America's Cup,
has been undergoing strengthening work for the past three months after an
independent study into why it and its sister yacht, NZL81, failed. The
findings of the study have not been made public but Team New Zealand
managing director Grant Dalton said they had identified precisely what the
structural issues were. Once NZL82 has been thoroughly tested, it will be
shipped to Europe for the first of the America's Cup class regattas. Work
will then begin on NZL81 and the former Illbruck boat GER68, which arrives
in Auckland in July.

The first of the cup regattas is in Marseille from September 5 to 11 and
will involve fleet and match racing. The second and third regattas will be
held in Valencia, the host of the 2007 America's Cup. The first regatta,
from October 5 to 12, will be match racing and the second, from October 14
to 17, will be fleet racing. All the regattas will be used to help seed the
challengers for the 2007 challenger series but it is not yet known how much
weighting this year's regattas will have. Immediately after the regatta in
Valencia, they plan to ship NZL82 back to Auckland. Either it or NZL81 will
be then modified to comply with the new version of the America's Cup class
rule, which will apply for the regattas in 2005 and beyond. The "hula" will
be removed and changes made to the draught and displacement. - Julie Ash,
NZ Herald, full story: http://tinyurl.com/2cflh

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
His round-the-world yacht was lime green, but German businessman Michael
Illbruck won't mind if his America's Cup yacht GER68 is painted in good old
black. Illbruck has loaned to Team New Zealand, free, his yacht, which was
built for the last cup but was never completed after his syndicate failed
to raise enough money. Designed by Michael Richelsen, who has recently
joined Alinghi, and Friedrich Judel and Torsten Conradi from the firm
Judel/Vrolijk, the hull has been lying in a boat yard in Germany for the
past two years.

The yacht, which is similar in style to Alinghi and Oracle, is expected in
July in Auckland, where it will be completed and sailed against the black
boats. Now a member of Team New Zealand, Illbruck doesn't have a specific
role, but will contribute to the syndicate financially and will return to
Auckland this year to see GER68 launched. He also hopes his support will
help Team New Zealand and their sponsors and raise the profile of the
America's Cup in Germany. Illbruck said the Cup had almost become too much
of a rich man's game. "The sailing world is at the mercy of a few
individuals. We have to bring sailing to more of a corporate sponsorship
level." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story: http://tinyurl.com/2opsk

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GRAND PRIX RULE
(The Daily Sail website interviewed Jim Teeters about why the USA pulled
out of the Rule Working Party developing a new rating rule for Grand Prix
racing. Apparently, one of the key areas of disagreement was who RWP was
writing their rule for. Here are a couple of brief excerpts from that story.)

"There's the guy who says 'rate my boat, here it is, I'm not going to
change it, just give me a fair rating. And there's the guy who says give me
a rule and I'll get a team together and we'll design and build a boat to
beat that rule," explains Jim Teeters "Both are very honorable forms of
racing, but I don't think you can service both of them with the same
solution." Rules such as IMS, IRC and PHRF handle the former admirably
while the new Grand Prix Rule or ORCA's (Offshore Racing Club of America)
new equivalent should deal with the latter.

In the UK the situation is not nearly so black and white. There are few
programs run along America's Cup lines with professional crews and boats
that undergo regular wholesale development or are replaced every two or
three years, as one finds in the upper echelons of the IMS class in Spain
and Italy. There are however many more semi-pro boats where the owner has a
reasonably quick platform, has one or two 'pros' or semi-pros sailing on
board and season to season might tweak the keel slightly and get some new
sails. The disagreement between the original Grand Prix Rule stakeholders
boils down to whether or not a Grand Prix rule should encompass this group
- should a Grand Prix Rule apply to the top 20% of race boats or the top 5%
internationally for example? RORC think the former, fearful of another
Admiral's Cup where no teams turn up, whereas US Sailing think that is not
'Grand Prix' enough and prefer the latter. - The Daily Sail, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/3e8ax

IMS WORLDS DECIDED BY THE JURY
On Thursday, a number of boats protested the running of Race One that saw a
big wind shift during the race. The jury upheld the protest eliminating the
race. That put Marco Birch's new Botin/ Carkeek 58, Talisman - a US entry
steered by Terry Hutchinson, with Peter Isler navigating and Adrian Stead
calling tactics - as the top boat in the Non Corinthian Class of the Rolex
IMS World Championship. But then the jury changed its mind. After further
consideration, the jury reinstated Race One, moving Meridiana-Italtel into
1st place from 3rd and dropping Birch's Talisman from 1st place to 4th
place overall. Very light air conditions caused the final races to be
cancelled on Friday.

Non Corinthian Class Final Standings:
1. Meridiana-Italel, ITA, Antonio Orlandi, Grand Soleil 42R, 17.5
2. X-Prozac ITA, Stefano Spangaro Grand Soleil 56R, 34.5
3. Fram XV, NOR, Einar Sissner, Farr 50, 42
4 Talisman, USA, Marco Birch, B/C 58, 48.75
5 Near Miss, SUI, Noel Frank, Grand Soleil 42R, 57.75
Complete results: www.yccs.it/files/stagioni/2004/rolexIMS/results.htm

J/22 WORLDS
Annapolis YC, Annapolis, MD, USA - Alec Cutler with crew Max Skelly and
Paul Murphy of Annapolis, Maryland won the 130-boat J/22 World
Championships in the final race over 2003 champion John den Englesman of
the Netherlands. Conditions ranged from 4-14 knots with strong current
being the topic of the week. Final results - Gold Fleet: 1. Alec Cutler,
USA, 40; 2. John den Engelsman, NED, 42; 3. David Van Cleef, USA, 61; 4.
Henry Filter, USA, 67; 5. Scott Nixon, USA, 74; 6 Greg Fisher, USA, 80; 7
Matt Beck, USA, 82; 8. Marvin Beckmann, USA, 95; 9. Terry Flynn, USA, 98;
10. Terry Foster, USA, 98. http://www.j22.org/worlds

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ATLANTIC 1000 CATAMARAN RACE
Kill Devil Hills NC - No surprises. It was Worrell veterans Kenny Pierce
and Brian Lambert of Team Tybee taking all the honors for both the first
Atlantic 1000 and the Outer Banks 500. Close behind, as they've been since
Islamorada 12 days ago, were the adventurer/racers Semp Toshiba with
co-skippers Roberto Pandiani of Brazil and South African Duncan Ross (who
last year were the first to sail the Drake passage on a 21-foot catamaran).
Injuries prevented two teams from continuing the full thousand and three
others were registered for just the Outer Banks half in which all were
racing Inter 20's.

"I think we deserve a lot of respect for putting on this race for only five
boats," said Jon Britt of the Outer Banks Catamaran Club. "People were
saying 'Why don't you just cancel?' But we couldn't do that to the sailors
who were so enthusiastic for this. It wasn't easy to pull it off with just
five registration fees, but we made a commitment and we kept it. We've
learned a lot and we'll do it again with more boats next year." - Diana
Prentice, www.obx500.com and www.catsailor.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* Sixteen nations will participate at the 2004 Paralympic Sailing
Competition in Athens, Greece, with racing from 18-23 September 2004. Based
on the Paralympic Qualification System, 15 nations have qualified in the
Three-Person Keelboat - Sonar and 16 in the Single-Person Keelboat - 2.4mR.
For the first time, the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games will
also be responsible for organizing the Paralympic Games. - ISAF website,
full story: www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=7152

* This past weekend saw roughly 40 million worth of ocean racing yachts
arriving in Plymouth ready for the start of The Transat, single-handed race
to Boston. The entries stand at: 12 ORMA 60ft multihulls, 17 IMOCA Open
60s, six 50ft multihulls and four 50ft monohulls a total of 39 boats in
all. The public can view the boats on the pontoons at Plymouth Yacht Haven
until the May 31 start. The Transat Race Village is also open to the
public. - www.thetransat.com

* The Etchells Long Island Championships were completed from Milford Yacht
Club, Milford, CT. The scheduled five race series became a three race
series after two mornings of fog delay. PRO Peter Reggio of Essex, CT.
managed to juggle the wind and fog combination each day to get the 33-boat
fleet some good racing. The regatta was won by Connecticut native Hank
Lammens, with Dirk Kneulman of Torento taking 2nd and Westport, CT resident
Steve Girling finishing 3rd. Full results: www.etchellsmyc.org/04lis.htm

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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 Andrew McIrvine, UK: It seems a sadly backwards step for the world
of international offshore sailing that just a few weeks after the US
contingent suspended their involvement in designing a new truly
international rule they launch one of their own. What hope of continuing
progress to encourage owners to build and race internationally now. Why
does the US want to go it alone? Hopefully the rest of the world will see
more sense.

* From Mike Leneman: ORCA is also a long standing multihull organization
(Ocean Racing Catamaran Association) which has been around for over 40
years. We rate offshore multihulls in So. Calif.

* From Jack Klompus (edited to our 250-word limit): Mid-regatta spot weighs
or weighs of top daily finishers will cause the best performing crews to
not drink water during the regatta/ day's racing as they anticipate a
weigh-in to come, this is unhealthy, and folks should be able to eat a
decent dinner and drink plenty of water without worrying about possibly
causing the team to be DSQ'd. Replacing the present system in order to
avoid extreme pre-regatta weight loss will simply result in extreme
mid-regatta weight-gain prevention, by dehydration in advance of expected
weigh-ins.

The top teams will always push the envelope, and a new weigh-in system
merely shifts the issue to a regatta-long ordeal rather than handling it
pre-regatta and being done with it. Even if the current system is abandoned
in favor of spot weighs, the Class should reject a "zero tolerance" rule;
instead, competitors should have 1-2 hours to get under weight if they fail
on first weigh, along with a one-pound tolerance. Being automatically DSQ'd
or prevented from racing, etc., just for being one half pound over on a
surprise weigh, with no chance to lose the weight, is something no rational
boat owner would agree to -- such a system could suddenly cause the boat's
(very expensive) participation and chances at a major regatta to be
unilaterally ended, with no recourse.

Finally, it seems like a bad idea to adopt a new weigh-in procedure several
months before the Farr 40 Worlds that many boats have been prepping for a
year or more.

* From Max Rosenberg: Why don't we just weigh the top three crew's and some
random weigh ins, half way through the regatta and at the end for the top
three. Allow for a five pound per person gain after initial weigh in so all
crewmembers can eat and drink afterwards. This way if someone fasts or
dehydrates, they can only bulk back up five pounds. Then impose a no
tolerance deviation other than the five pounds. Six pounds over and you are
out.

I think it is a little bizarre to weigh in at the beginning and then to not
allow for any weight gain as Robbie suggests. Isn't it fun to participate
in regatta's socially by going out to crew dinners etc.? Furthermore crews
may still fast to get a particular person on board and this will cause the
whole crew to stay in the dehydrated state if a no weight gain limit is
imposed. I specifically remember going to dinner with a Farr 40 crew the
night before weigh in and watching them all look at my food like starving
models. The practice of famine before regatta's may be fast, but at what
cost? Health? Fun?

* From Al Russell: I'm not in favor of daily weigh-ins. Let's make our
sport as hassle free as possible. I'm tired of people imposing rules on top
of rules. If people diet to the extreme to make weight that's their problem
- they are responsible for their actions.

* From Kenneth Throckmorton: The racing rules of sailing have a lot of
trust built into their structure. During offshore races, no one would think
of running their engines at night when they couldn't be seen. And any
skipper who cheated like that would never be able to put together another
crew. However, some classes also have rules that establish a maximum crew
weight, but too often once the weigh-ins have take place, boats will
blatantly violate that rule - with no shame whatsoever. Did I miss
something? When were competitors given the option of which rules they would
adhere to, and which ones they could ignore? It seems that the competitors
would rather knowingly violate the maximum crew weight - which is cheating
- than give up the parties or the crew dinners.

* From Malcolm Kirkland: When I read Philippe Kahn's interposing the view
that kids find the Optimist a bathtub, I wonder if he and other adults have
modeled that view for the son. When we bought our Optimist for our son at
age 13, it was as if we had turned over the key to Cutty Sark. The fact is
that unfortunately most sailing venues do not have good waves for surfing.
In terms of the actual skill of sailing waves, is that a lifelong
disadvantage? It doesn't appear so from looking at top Olympic sailors. I
see Mark Mendelblatt, a flat water ex-Optimist sailor and college sailor in
his formation, reigns supreme again in the Laser, certainly in North America.

* From Stephanie Helms: I'd like to express my appreciation of Mark
Washeim's remarks regarding Mr. Huston's comments on "morality" and the
IOC. Gender dysphoria is an agonizingly painful condition for those who
suffer from it. Taking affirmative steps to squarely face the issue often
involves great anxiety and suffering for all involved. To think anybody
would undergo sex reassignment in order to achieve a competitive advantage
in some sporting contest is such a ludicrous notion it hardly bears
comment. In any case, such an individual would likely be denied the
procedure by the medical community that performs it.

Sex reassignment surgery is generally performed under the Harry S. Benjamin
standards of care which, among many other things, require two psychological
practitioner's (one possessing an MD) referrals for the procedure after at
least one year of therapy which includes living in the target gender role.
The ultimate goal of the therapy is to bring mind, body, and spirit into
accord. This is hardly a trivial matter. It was the testimony of medical
professionals with real knowledge of the psychological, emotional, and
physical circumstances of gender dysphoria and its treatment that the IOC
relied on in its recent ruling. Thankfully, they relied on professional
expertise and experience, not knee-jerk uninformed bigotry and salacious
judgmentalism in forming their policy.

* From Brad Avery: We're all in agreement that the decade of sled fleet
racing for first-to-finish in Transpac was terrific. But the caravan has
moved on. Maxi boats around the world are bigger and much faster. It will
be great to have two MaxZ86's race for the Barn Door in 2005; maybe with
another boat or two sailing at the limit. I want to see these incredible
boats (and the video footage!) talk to the sailors, and be in Hawaii when
the record is shattered. I'm also looking forward to seeing another big
fleet of Cal 40's, a fleet of super-fast Transpac 52's, and a bunch of well
sailed modern racer-cruisers. Long live the camelot sled era, but bring on
the 86's and the new (and old) fleets!

Curmudgeon's Comment: On this note from a past commodore of TPYC, we
declare this thread officially dead!

* From Richard Hazelton, Editor 48 North: I was more than disappointed
that Gary Jobson's 25 years of Sailing wasn't aired at a viewable time. I
structured an reflective editorial around it and touted its showing on
ESPN. My phone rang off the hook during the times (6 & 9PM PDT) it was
supposed to be on, with cries of "Where is it?" I've registered my
complaint with ESPN and will think twice before publicizing another of
their "specials". Hopefully it will come on again, but like most things
sailing on TV it will be potluck to catch it.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Of course, so does
falling down a flight of stairs.