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SCUTTLEBUTT 1592 - May 27, 2004

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Five teams have confirmed their intention to race in the "Marseille Louis
Vuitton Act," the first of three Acts (translation: regattas) scheduled in
2004 for the 32nd America's Cup. Because of space limitations, just three
spots remain open for the first Act. Obviously, the defender, the Swiss
Alinghi team, and the Challenger of Record, the U.S. Oracle BMW Racing team
will be there - 'challenged' by two French teams, Le Défi and the
K-Challenge, as well as the South Africa's Shosholoza team. All have signed
on to participate in the first three Acts of the 32nd America's Cup. "We
want to show our current sponsors and our potential partners what the
America's Cup has to offer in Europe," said Stephan Kandler, the CEO of the
K-Challenge. Shosholoza captain Salvatore Sarno added, "I think these first
races in Marseille will remind our team of how much work we still have to do!"

AC Management will ship each team from Valencia, Spain, to Marseille,
France, and back again. They will move the race boat, ship's tender, three
gear containers, and two masts as part of a package of logistics and
shipping assistance to each America's Cup team registered in all three Acts.

- Act 1: Fleet and Match Racing - September 5-11 (Marseille)
- Act 2: Match Racing - October 5-12 (Valencia)
- Act 3: Fleet Racing - October 14-17 (Valencia)

Racing for the 32nd America's Cup will continue in 2005 with four more Acts
in Europe and America.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Am I the only one wondering why it took more than 150
years for the America's Cup to get its "Act together." :-)

* In preparation for the 32nd America's Cup in 2007 in Valencia, BMW and
Oracle Racing have announced a new campaign under the name of BMW Oracle
Racing. The syndicate made clear the more significant involvement of BMW in
the new America's Cup campaign by renaming the sailing team, BMW Oracle
Racing. On the technology front, four engineers from the team of Professor
Dr. Raymond Freymann, Managing Director BMW Group Research and Technology,
will be integrated permanently into the boat's design team. The work of the
BMW engineers will focus on structural design and construction materials
used in the yacht. -

* The construction of the 800-metre canal connecting the Port of Valencia
directly to the sea could be affected as Valencia 2007 has yet received
four proposals in response to the notice published March 1st, 2004.
Considering the Environmental Impact Statement which was just released to
the public, nine residents groups claim the construction will adversely
affect natural coastal landforms. According to the Report, the canal will
cause negative long-term erosion affects on the north beaches. Meanwhile,
sand will be transported to the South, and accumulates in the large sand
beaches called "Playa de Pinedo" and "playa de El Saler". The late release
of this report is a little bit surprising giving that the canal connecting
the upgraded and renewed Port directly to the sea was one of the main part
of the Valencia America's Cup bid. - Cup in Europe website,

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With five days to go before they set sail upwind across the North Atlantic,
the very last thing teams wish to discover are severe structural problems
with their boats. However, this is exactly what has been experienced by
teams due to take Monday's start of The Transat. In the Open 60 class for
the last two weeks there has been major concern about the canting keels of
the brand new Marc Lombard designs Sill and Bonduelle. Since their launch
within the last month the keels on both boats have developed an alarming
vibration when being pushed hard. During the recent 1000 Mille de Calais
race concern over their keel's integrity was enough to prompt Roland
Jourdain on board Sill to retire from the race. Ironically her sistership,
Jean le Cam's Bonduelle, went on to win the race.

Since then both Sill and Bonduelle have been taken out of the water to have
their keels fully checked. It appears the vibrations are occurring due to
their keel foil twisting when the boat is powered up. After discussions
with designer Marc Lombard and the structural engineer Herve Devaux they
have attempted to solve this on Sill by casting a new keel bulb and fitting
it to the foil, but in a position further aft to alleviate the twist.
However this modification has not worked and the team are now back to
square one. As a result Sill has been forced to withdraw from The Transat.
"It is not a question of taking the risk," commented skipper Roland
Jourdain. "This transatlantic race is already hard enough with a perfect
boat. To do it with a boat that is not 100% reliable is foolish."
Significantly Jourdain competed in the 2000 Vendée Globe and so does not
have to take part in The Transat in order to race qualify for November's
single-handed round the world race. -

Split, Croatia - On a day of predominantly light winds, Bertrand Pacé of
France overtook Australian Peter Gilmour for the overall lead at the ACI
HTmobile Cup, an event of the Swedish Match Tour. With Round Robin 1 and
the first two flights of Round Robin 2 complete, Pacé leads the event with
a 10-2 record. After winning his first seven races yesterday, Gilmour
stumbled today when he won two of five matches. While the Race Committee
rolled off eight flights and 40 matches yesterday, today they were able to
complete just five flights and 25 matches. The lighter winds forced a
different mode from the crews when compared to yesterday's 15-knot breeze.
Sweden's Mattias Rahm explained that it requires a more tactical mindset
than when there's more pressure. "You have to be more focused and
concentrate harder," Rahm said.

Staffan Lindberg proved his resiliency by going 3-2 on the day to move up
to ninth overall. Lindberg underwent surgery at the City Hospital of Split
to repair the zygomatic arch, the arch of bone that extends along the front
or side of the skull beneath the orbit, on the right side of his face. Last
night, Lindberg was measured for a special mask that was delivered this
morning. Ivancev emphasized to Lindberg that he should wear the mask to
protect the damaged arch in the event of another accident. Lindberg was a
bit hesitant to wear it. "I can't see that well out of it," he explained
about the inhibited periphery vision. "And I might not be able to see the
boom if it comes across again." - Sean McNeill,

ACI HTmobile Cup Standings after 13 of 22 scheduled flights:
1. Bertrand Pacé/FRA, Team France, 10-2
2. Magnus Holmberg/SWE, SeaLife Rangers, 9-3
3. Peter Gilmour/AUS, Pizza-La Sailing Team, 9-3
4. Jes Gram-Hansen/DEN, Team Denmark, 8-3
5. Gavin Brady/NZL, Oracle BMW Racing, 7-5
6. Mathieu Richard/FRA, 6-5
7. Kelvin Harrap/NZL, Team New Zealand, 5-7
8. Mattias Rahm/SWE, Team Stena Bulk, 5-7
9. Staffan Lindberg/SWE, 3-9
10. Frano Brate/CRO, 2-8
11. Mate Arapov/CRO, 1-9

The first day of the North American Women's Championships on the Columbia
River saw eighteen teams begin the racing in a dreary 8-10 knots and rain.
Later in the day a squall bringing rain and winds at 15-20 knots capsized
over half of the B Division, wherein after a brief break, the day finished
in 10-15 knot breeze and very light rain. A Division completed six races
and B Division finished four races. Racing continues in FJ's through Friday.
(A Division - B Division, Total Pts)
1. US Naval Academy, 28 -14, 42 pts
2. Yale University, 37-15, 52
3. Old Dominion, 32-22, 54
4. Connecticut College, 40-21, 61
5. Dartmouth College, 38-30, 68
Event website:

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Over 1000 competitors representing 61 countries have descended upon the
Dutch town of Medemblik for the 20th SPA Regatta. Just three months before
the Athens Olympic Games the world's top Olympic sailors have come to
compete in all eleven of the Olympic sailing disciplines. The event got
underway Wednesday and continues through until Sunday 30 May. It's cold
there - 55 digress, with a bit of rain and 8-14 knots of oscillating
breeze. You'll want to go to the website for complete results, but we'll
list those North American teams who are in the top 10 in their respective
- 470 Men (31 boats): 4. Paul Foerster/ Kevin Burnham, USA
- 49er (49 boats): 8. Tim Wadlow Pete Spaulding, USA
- Europe (63 boats): 6. Meg Gaillard, USA
- Laser (74 boats) 7. Andrew Lewis USA; 8. Bernard Luttmer, CAN
- Mistral Men (38 boards): 5. Benjamin Barger, USA
- Mistral Women (21 boards): 8. Lanee Beashel. USA
- Yngling (23 boats): 9. Sally Barkow USA; 10. Felicity Clarke, CAN
- Star (33 boats) 4. Paul Cayard/ Phil Trinter USA; 6. Ross Macdonald/
Mike Wolfs, CAN
- Tornado (28 boats) 4. John Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, USA

On 25 March, Clan Des Team revealed themselves as the first official
Challenger in the 32nd America's Cup after the Challenge of Record, Oracle
BMW Racing. Since then the team have changed their name and are now to be
known as +39 (presumably after the international dialing code for Italy
rather than the age of the crew). Today Luca Devoti has been announced as
skipper of the +39, and Iain Percy helmsman. The latter appointment will
come as a blow to GBR Challenge who were anticipating Percy not only being
a key member of their afterguard but also one of the spokesmen and
ambassadors for their campaign. Devoti and Percy have had a long
association. When Percy won Gold in the Finn at the Sydney Olympics, it was
Devoti who picked up Silver. Devoti is also well known in the UK for his
Burnham-on-Crouch based company Devoti Sailing which he set up in 1992 with
Tim Tavinor. They quickly established themselves as builders of 'the' Finn
to have and have since moved into the Optimist, 420, 470, Snipe, Melges 24,
Star and Musto Performance Skiff.

Aside from Percy, +39 has also signed French Star sailor Xavier Rohart and
his crew Pasqual Rembeau, who were World Champions in 2003; Spanish Finn
sailor Rafael Trujillo, second in the Finn World Championship in 2003 and
Britain's number 2 Finn sailor to Ben Ainslie, and Andrew (Bart) Simpson.
Devoti says there is a strong possibility of +39 signing other British
sailors, although they are not in discussions with Ben Ainslie. - The Daily
Sail, full story,

Norris Dresser Hoyt of 9 1/2 Malbone Road, Newport, died Monday, May 24 at
the Grand Islander Health Care center in Middletown, R.I. He had celebrated
his 90th birthday with friends on March 19. He also spent every summer on
boats. He sailed 23 Transatlantics, Bermuda races, Fastnets, and even a
Capetown to Rio. And in between, he and Jerry Nevins broadcast the
America's Cup races on WADK to the yachting world. In 1975 he and Kitty
retired to sail the Bahamas and Caribbean. He sold the final boat at the
age of 85. He was a gifted raconteur, as every yacht club and power
squadron on the east coast can attest, and his photography was legendary.
He became a regular contributor to Sail Magazine, and was an associate
editor until shortly before his death. A Memorial Service will be held on
Sunday, June 6 at 2:00 pm in the St. George's School Chapel, Purgatory
Road, Middletown.

Alec Cutler with crew Max Skelly and Paul Murphy, using a newly developed
Mainsail and Spinnaker from Ullman Sails, defeated defending 2003 world
champion John den Englesman and an additional 128 talented teams to win the
2004 J/22 worlds. With wind conditions ranging from 4 to 14 knots, sail
versatility through the wind range was key to Alec Cutler's boat speed. If
you and your crew are ready for "The Fastest Sails on the Planet" contact
your local Ullman Sails representative or visit us on line at

(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 Carl Schellbach (Re the NTSB and mandatory PFD item): Is it just me,
or is there something telling about a group wanting to "big brother" the
boating community being located on L'enfant Plaza?

* From Jeff Conery: I too had hoped the mandatory PFD threat (and thread)
had gone away. According to the statistics in Butt 1591 only 5% of boaters
(in open boats) wear PFDs and yet 15% of drowned boaters have them on! A
300% increased chance of drowning doesn't seem a good enough reason to ruin
my suntan.

* From Steve Orosz: Maybe we've got it backwards. Instead of a weight limit
maybe more classes should institute a minimum weight requirement like the
Hobie class (T.L. Lewis, Scuttlebutt 1591). Which is more of a test of a
sailor's skill? Winning with a light boat or winning with a heavy boat? A
realistic minimum weight requirement would, perhaps, be more inclusive
since crews might need to add another person to make weight. Making weight
before an important regatta would also be a heck of a lot more fun than it
is now.

* From Jim McLellan: What we must keep in mind is that the majority of the
teams are simply there for a good time. They will not win the event; they
are on their vacation. To deprive those people from having a few pops after
the racing or to keep them from going out for dinner is not what the sport
is all about. If you do that you find that the fleets get smaller because
it isn't fun any more. Weight limits are good. But once your event is
perceived to be fair, then let's make sure it's fun.

* From Kathy Weishampel: I really don't understand the current push to
limit crew and skipper weight. In my opinion weight should be a non-issue.
When it is windy heavy crews certainly have an advantage, but when it is
light those same crews that have had an advantage will pay a penalty
because they will squat while the lighter crews pick them off. The only
limiter should be that the same skipper and crew should sail the entire
regatta-no substitutions. Obsession with weight is not healthy.

* From Ian Brown, UK: There are clear advantages to being on or close to
the maximum weight limit in any one-design class that imposes such a limit.
That means that most people will want to sail close to the weight limit.
Fear of disqualification for being too heavy simply encourages sailors to
eat and drink poorly throughout the duration of the competition. The
potential for causing further health issues than what it solves are
obvious. Unfortunately I don't think that there is a simple solution other
than letting common sense prevail and choosing your crew carefully.

* From Cameron Thorpe: I race Etchells at a competitive level and have
competed in the last two worlds. Our combined natural body weights would
put us 20kg over, so we diet, dehydrate etc. I personally lose about 8kg.
In the Etchells class during the worlds 15% of the fleet are randomly
weighed each day. This means you cannot afford to be over weight. Hence my
crew stays starving and dehydrated all week which must be even worse for
our health than just getting to weight for weigh in. The other effect is
that the weight limit ruins the social side of the regatta; crews go home
to stay under the limit as they can't afford to eat and drink. The solution
- technical way to equalize boats with differing crew weights? I'm not sure
if it's possible but it would be great.

* From David Bishop: Other sports where weight is an advantage (or
disadvantage) use alternative penalties. We could take a page from horse
racing, with lead weight added in the ends of the boat to compensate for
the advantage of excess weight on the rail. The class designers should be
able to come up with a formula to balance that out. Or, divide the Farr
40's into 27 different weight classes, like boxing. That way everyone could
be a champion, although it would make the awards ceremonies intolerable.
("and first place in the super middle cruiser weight division goes to...").

Curmudgeon's Comment: Was there a full moon last night?

* From Patrick J. Russell: People who have the desire and the money to
experiment and to build a new boat every few years should be encouraged. I
favor a simple box type rule for what I will call a development or "Open"
class. The rule should encourage new innovations by not penalizing things
outside the rule. I would suggest that there be a "five year" rule. A boat
drops out of the Open class after it is 5 years old. If you take the Open
boats out at one end and the PHRF boats on the other end maybe one of the
current rules can be made to work.

* From Bob Bonney: I'm also disappointed ­ but not surprised ­ that ESPN
chose to air Gary Jobson's 25 Years of Sailing on "ESPN Classic". I
anxiously anticipated watching this program only to discover that the two
ESPN channels I receive with my "basic" cable package don't include the
"Classic" flavor. ESPN has never provided decent sailing coverage. OLN
provided far better coverage on the 2003 Americas Cup and regularly
televise other major sailing events. In spite of the pioneering
relationship between Gary and ESPN, he deserves better. His program should
have run on the "regular" ESPN channel ­ or better yet, on OLN.

* From Leslie DeMeuse - Robert Middemas could not have said it better about
those who complain to the networks about air times about ESPN broadcasts...
As a program producer and packager for ESPN and a few other networks, I can
tell you, it's a tough sales job to get yacht racing air time on the
largest sporting network in the world ... and if it were not for Gary
Jobson and his ability to promote sailing to the top executives and
sponsors, ESPN would have never given sailing the time of day, ever! So,
hold your complaints to ESPN. Compliments would work so much better.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Enough - this thread is now officially dead. (Better
late than never.)

An inferiority complex would be a blessing, if only the right people had it.