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SCUTTLEBUTT 1590 - May 25, 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.

GBR CHALLENGE
GBR Challenge issued an update about its sailing programme, which starts on
28th June 2004. A squad of sailors has been put together to complete this
initial period of sailing and on water testing. This complements the
overall design testing programme and begins the next phase of team
development and progress. Derek Clark, Head of Design, stated, "Our design
programme has been ongoing since April 2003 and we have already carried out
two stages of tank testing, which have led to some exciting results. We are
finalizing modifications to GBR 70 so that we can move quickly to full size
on water testing during this summer period." A sailing squad has been put
together for the Summer 2004 programme and it includes many of the talented
sailors that were involved in the previous GBR Challenge campaign.

"For this testing period, we were looking to bring in sailors who could
immediately step into the frame, in order to maximize the effectiveness of
this test period. The Summer 2004 sailing squad gives us continuity from
the last Challenge. Many of the sailors have existing commitments at this
stage, so a squad is an ideal way for them to ramp up their involvement in
GBR Challenge. We are currently in conversation with a number of other
potential squad members, from both the UK and abroad, and will be adding
further sailors as time progresses," commented James Stagg, who has been
responsible for coordinating the squad.

GBR Challenge is in the final stages of sponsor negotiations and, with the
start of sailing and increased team visibility on the water from end June
onwards, sponsors will be able to see an immediate benefit from their
involvement. Vicky Low, www.gbrchallenge.com/

KINANTHROPOMETRY
With a brisk northeasterly wind blowing, 10 of the 11 crews registered in
the ACI HTmobile Cup spent today practicing for the sixth of eight events
on the Swedish Match Tour. The day began with the crews going through the
ritual weigh-in process. The bane of sailors worldwide, some crews had to
go through the process more than once when they were over the 437.5
kilogram (964.5 pound) weight limit. during the process, some crews also
participated in a voluntary survey being conducted by a local professor of
physical education.

Mladen MarinoviŠ, the professor of Physical Education at the School of
Kinesiology in Split, collected data on 15 sailors. He studies
kinanthropometry, which he defines as the sports science dealing with the
study of human size, shape, proportion, composition, maturation and gross
function in order to help understand growth, exercise performance and
nutrition. "I'm trying to determine what makes a sailor physically,"
MarinoviŠ said. MarinoviŠ has conducted the study on athletes from sports
such as rowing, tennis, swimming, volleyball and basketball. He's also been
working with sailors for the last six years. "Six years ago, when I started
doing this survey, sailors used to have a big amount of body fat," said
MarinoviŠ. "They didn't pay attention to fitness training." MarinoviŠ said
it was too early to determine the results of the data he collected this
morning.

Skippered-teams include: Mate Arapov (CRO), Gavin Brady (NZL), Frano Brate
(CRO), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN), Kelvin Harrap (NZL),
Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Staffan Lindberg (FIN), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Mattias
Rahm (SWE) and Mathieu Richard (FRA). The field was reduced by one when
Italain Paolo Cian withdrew at the last moment. - Sean McNeill,
www.swedishmatchtour.com/

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

FAST DOWNWIND?
It's easy to sail target speed downwind. Slow? Sail 10 degrees closer to
the wind and watch the boatspeed jump. Unfortunately, this kind of fast
generally isn't. Finding the right angle at the correct speed is not so
easy without Ockam. We've got lots of ways to help you nail the angles -
the Tryad T1 processor serves target angle directly from its CF card.
OckamSoft 4 turbocharges the 001 CPU, 25 bucks for the OckamU manual shows
you how to get started on a piece of duct tape in the cockpit. Contact Tom
Davis (tom@ockam.com) or visit http://www.ockam.com

STATISTICAL PROBABILITY
Statistics from the past eleven editions of The Transat indicate that
(based on averages) slightly less than three quarters of the race fleet
will cross the finish line in Boston. For those entered in this year's race
there is a probability that seven of the yachts will not complete the
course due to retirement forced by equipment failure or injury sustained by
a skipper, abandonment of a yacht or disqualification for an infringement
of the race rules.

Since 1968, when 50% of the fleet failed to complete the course, advances
in boat design and technology have been matched by an increased focus upon
the importance of safety measures onboard competing yachts. Britain's
Department of Transport first became involved in formalizing the regulation
of safety equipment on transatlantic race yachts in 1972 and today the role
of ensuring that the current race regulations are met rests on the
shoulders of The Transat Race Direction team. The monohulls and multihulls
are also regulated by their independent class associations - ORMA for the
60ft multihulls, IMOCA for the 60ft monohulls and FICO the for 50ft fleet.
- http://www.thetransat.com

ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON . . .
San Francisco, CA - On Sunday May 23, Chip Wasson (Treasure Island, CA)
Steve Gibson (Mountain View, CA) and Jeff Kafka (Pacifica, CA) completed
the 28 mile crossing from the South East Farallon Island through the Golden
Gate Bridge landing in San Francisco at Crissy Field, each riding a 4 foot
board and powered solely by kites. Landing on the islands is prohibited so
riders had a support team of two boats with a crew of experienced
kiteboarders to create the right conditions for an open ocean launch in the
Shark-infested waters. "Our primary challenge was getting the kites rigged
and launched from the boats in the windy, choppy conditions. Once all 3
launches came off with out a hitch we knew we had a pretty good shot at
completing the crossing" said Chip Wasson, The Northwest winds averaged
between 12-28 MPH as the riders rode downwind from the Farallon Islands to
the Golden Gate Bridge, completing the journey in exactly 2 hours.

Kiteboarders have completed other major crossings from Catalina Island to
Long Beach CA and from Florida to Cuba but the Farallon present a unique
set of challenges since riders can not land on the island and because of
the reputation as a shark breeding ground. Trip coordinator, Steve Gibson
commented, "We probably could have used more time to prepare, but based on
the wind, currents and shark migration patterns we knew we had a narrow
window to hit so we decided to go for it. Sharks were definitely a
consideration, but sharks can't fly and kiteboarders can"

MEGA YACHTS
* After completing sea-trials in Auckland in April and May, the 54m (178ft)
Dubois-designed sloop Tiara landed an EC 130 helicopter on the aft-deck. It
is believed Tiara is the first privately-owned sailing yacht with a
helipad. Tiara, built by Alloy Yachts Auckland New Zealand, was
specifically designed to accommodate the owner's seven-seat helicopter. The
aft deck has landing lights sunk into the teak and the yacht has aviation
communications systems. For landings and take-offs, the twin backstays have
to be disconnected. The rig was designed with swept-back spreaders, so that
it remains supported without backstays. The boom is swung out to one side,
the pushpit and aft-deck stanchions are removed and the yacht is ready for
the helicopter to land. A few days after the helicopter landing, Tiara
departed Auckland, heading across the Pacific for Panama via French
Polynesia on its way to the Mediterranean. Trust me - you've got to see
these images: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/tiara/

* The Yachting Universe website has a two-part photo tour of Mirabella V
posted. If you like big, you'll like the tours: http://tinyurl.com/28oje &
http://tinyurl.com/2j5w9

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HARD WATER SAILING
What's a sailor from Wisconsin to do from November to March? I've tried it
all: frostbiting Lasers in Lake Michigan - frozen mainsheets convinced me
to give that up. Traveling to Key West for race week, south for a
one-design Midwinters, or even the Caribbean were other options that help
northern sailors through the dark months. I used to think these were good
options, but then I caught the bug, the iceboating bug, that is. My wife
would probably call it a terminal disease. Now I race iceboats. DN iceboats
to be exact.

It kind of sneaks up on you, and then wham! You're hooked! It's the Speed-
Jorg Bohn, a German DN sailor was recently clocked doing 77 mph downwind at
the World Championships in Balaton, Hungary. It's the Competition-currently
there are fleets in 20 countries. The World championships regularly draw
over 200 competitors and the competition is fierce. It's the
competitors-I've never met a friendlier group of sailors in any class.
People are willing to share information or help with equipment problems
like I've never seen. It's the boats-The DN is a very dynamic platform. The
mast, sail, runner plank, hull, runners, and skipper must all work together
in harmony to get the most out of the boat.

The DN is a one design class, but there's plenty of room in the official
specifications to allow tweaking. This makes for a very complex sailing
machine. If you like speed, a high level of competition, great camaraderie,
all on a "boat" that is car top-able and home build-able, give this class a
try! I did and am hopelessly hooked. Given the choice between 15 Farr 40's
on the line in Key West, or 50 DN's on the line on Lake Winnebago in front
of the South Side Ice Yacht Club in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, I'll take DN's
every time. - Steve Orlebeke, Harken website, full story:
http://www.harken.com/sailing/iceboatorley.php

NEWS BRIEFS
* IMS Racing and IMS Cruiser/Racer yachts that have now been accepted for
entry in the 2004 Newport Bermuda Race may now sign up for the seven-race
Onion Patch Series as an individual entry in the three-event series and
also enter as a three-boat Onion Patch team( s ). Once you successfully log
on, your personal and yacht data will be retained for subsequent entries to
the NYYC Annual Regatta, the Bermuda Race and the RBYC Anniversary Regatta.
Entry is 'on-line' at the New York Yacht Club web site: www.nyyc.org

* Ansys, Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies
designed to optimize product development processes, announced a four year
Official Supplier contract with Team Alinghi, the Swiss sailing team.
Ansys' multi-physics-based integrated solutions will be used in the design
of the mast and keel fin. They will also analyze the composite structures
in the boats and study underwater components and the mast/ sail
interaction. - www.ansys.com

* Very light air made it impossible to run races on Day Two of the Harken
Laser Masters Championship in Bitez, Turkey. The standings from Day One are
posted on-line: www.laserinternational.org

TEAM RACING
The ISSA Baker Team Racing Championship (National High School Championship)
was hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy, 21-23 May. Twelve teams representing
districts across the country competed in hot, sticky, light air conditions
Saturday and Sunday. At the end of of the Initial round robin rotation,
Hotchkiss School (Connecticut) was tied with Point Loma (California) with 9
wins and 2 losses. Antilles School (U.S. Virgin Islands), St. Georges
(Rhode Island), and Tabor Academy (Massachusetts) followed, all tied with 8
wins and 3 losses. After a sail off to determine the final four, Antilles
dropped back to the Silver consolation series. Final results after the
Final four round robin were:
1. Pt. Loma 12 wins / 2 losses
2. Hotchkiss 10 wins / 4 losses
3. St. Georges 9 wins / 5 losses
4. Tabor Academy 9 wins / 5 losses

Full results: http://usna.edu//SailingTeam/intercollegiate/baker/baker.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 Richard Goldsmith (edited to our 250-word limit): Jim Teeters
comments on two distinct groups of owners are very true. Two rules in two
main countries however, just draws more owners to one design like Farr 40
and Mumm 30's. I would suggest a freeze of rating date each year - ie you
only build one yacht a year or you can do update mods but by a date say at
the start of the Northern Summer season your rating locks for 12 months.
That's it no change. If you have a yacht measured in or chartered you can't
launch a new one just before the worlds or major serious, your stuck for 12
months with your declared rating.

The other problem with two rules in the major countries is like cars and
driving in USA and UK. Which rule do the minor countries owners follow in
these days of world wide regatta circuit? Come on guys get the boys back
together and sort it out. Draft a rule maybe with choice of clauses in
problem areas. Then email to every registered owner in the rating classes
the new rule is designed to cover. They have 28 days to vote on basis of
one vote per rating certificate owned per yacht (ie don't get 2 votes if
under 2 rules say IMS IRC). The owners after all are the ones who will
decide the new rules success or not and have most money at risk. Democracy?

* From Ed Cesare: Thanks for excerpting the Daily Sail interview with Jim
Teeters. I think the reason that Jim outlined for US Sailing pulling out of
the RWP is a perfectly valid one. If US Sailing feels it needs to
accommodate the interests of the "top 5%" of Grand Prix owners that is
perfectly OK with me. However, as the national governing body for the sport
they need to communicate that to the membership. I'm sure there are many
other members out there who feel differently than I do.

* From Alice Leahey (Re Richard Hazelton's distress over not finding Gary
Jobson's 25 Years of Sailing on ESPN): Since the show was (as was clearly
announced on Jobson's website, in Scuttlebutt, on the ESPN website, and in
TV Guide) on ESPN Classic, it is no wonder Mr. Hazelton was unable to find
it on ESPN. I successfully recorded the 6PM PDT show while racing on
Wednesday night, and enjoyed watching it the following day. Let's not be
too quick to criticize those who bring us the (very) few shows on our
sport, especially if we have not first ensured that we have our facts
straight. We may wish that these programs were shown on channels more
widely available, but we take what we can get. As for shows being aired at
"viewable times", that's what VCR's and Tivo are for.

* From Reggie Fairchild: Since so many people weren't able to see ESPN's 25
years of Sailing, can someone with a senior contact at ESPN ask them to put
it up on the web? Then people can watch it whenever they're able to.

* From Doug Weitz: "A Weighty Issue" is certainly a topic worthy of further
discussion and regulation, however, a "Zero Tolerance" policy is not the
answer. There are two themes here - health and fairness of competition. On
the health side, I can tell you from experience that rapid weight loss via
dehydration is very dangerous. I developed a kidney stone and can assure
everyone that the misery and effect on performance, far outweighed any
benefit. Education is important, but you cannot regulate how people choose
to take care of themselves. Sailors, like most athletes, will continue to
make the necessary sacrifices to win and a zero tolerance policy may very
well have a negative impact by forcing unhealthy methods of weight loss to
continue days longer and through a period in which excessive physical
activity necessitates proper nourishment.

On the fairness side, teams that lose considerable weight just prior to a
regatta and gain it back for racing, obtain a significant advantage over
those sailing at their normal weight. There should be regulations against
this, but let's be realistic and practical. We all have a certain amount of
fluctuation in weight that is normal - let's say 2% (+/-). That amount
would not provide a team with a significant advantage, but would allow
everyone to eat, drink and be healthy, not to mention merry, for the
duration of the regatta. I agree that weigh-ins, subsequent to the initial
pre-race type (random or otherwise), be conducted, but with a sensible
allowance for fluctuation.

Curmudgeon's Comment: If you placed the "sensible allowance" at say 2%,
wouldn't that in effect become the new de facto weight limit for the class?

* From Guy Brierre: What Messrs. Klompus, Rosenberg, Russell fail to
realize is that weigh-ins are not a rule, they are a means of enforcement
of a rule. Changing the procedures will only catch those who cheat, so if
you don't cheat there's nothing to worry about. If everyone knows that
strict enforcement is in order, everyone will abide by the rules or get
tossed. I am not aware of a single weight rule that says that the max
weight only applies at a certain point in the regatta. It says that the max
weight is "x." It is ridiculous to suggest that each crew should be allowed
to gain up to four pounds during the regatta over and above the already
established max weight. It is a simple rule, people. Either abide by the
rule or find another class.

* From Dave Culp: Stephanie Helms' letter on sexual reassignment surgery
says in part, "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." I would like to believe this is
true, yet I wonder at the proportion of such surgeries, on a per capita
basis, amongst professional and semi-professional sportspersons versus the
general public. However, it does not really matter, in my view.

Any sportsperson seeking unfair advantage due to muscular bulking--be it
steroids, genetic enhancement, sexual reassignment, whatever, needs to be
kept separate from un-enhanced performers. Not necessarily banned, but run
in a separate league. Again, in my view, it is ludicrous to allow sexually
reassigned male athletes to compete against genetic females. I fail to
understand why this has ever been allowed in any sport.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.