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SCUTTLEBUTT 1593 - May 28, 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.

Every Olympic quadrennial, ISAF reviews both the events and the equipment
for the forthcoming Olympic Sailing Competition. This selection and
decision making process is an onerous task, and one which by its very
nature will cause much debate and heated opinion. In November 2003, ISAF
decided the eleven events which will be sailed at the 2008 Olympic Sailing
Competition, Quingdao, Beijing, China as:

- Men's windsurfing
- Women's windsurfing
- Men's single-handed dinghy
- Open single-handed dinghy
- Women's single-handed dinghy
- Men's double-handed dinghy
- Open double-handed dinghy
- Women's double-handed dinghy
- Men's keelboat
- Women's keelboat
- Open Multihull

The selection of the equipment is also taken in a two-stage process, with
the list of possible equipment being considered at the 2004 ISAF Mid-Year
Meetings, for a final decision in November 2004. Essentially this means
that at the forthcoming 2004 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting, the ISAF Council will
consider all the equipment which has been put forward and may choose to
shortlist suitable equipment for consideration in November 2004, rather
than go forwards with the entire slate of 25 classes (equipment) which has
been proposed.

There is considerable interest in the Single-Handed Dinghy Women event,
with 5 classes challenging for the slot which has been held by the Europe
Class since its selection in 1998 for use at the 1992 Olympics in
Barcelona, Spain. In respect of the Windsurfing Event, the recently
concluded ISAF Olympic Windsurfing Equipment Evaluation Event assessed and
evaluated all the boards in a range of conditions and by a cross-section of
sailors. The report of the Evaluation Team will be made at the 2004
Mid-Year Meeting, in which they will make their recommendation on the
equipment to be selected for both the men's and women's events. The Soling
keelboat which lost its Olympic status after the 2000 Olympic Games in
Sydney, is seeking selection for both the men's and women's keelboat events.

When it comes to the criteria which ISAF will use to select the equipment,
there are some guiding principles set down in the ISAF Regulations, which
will lead the process, as follows:

- Must allow athletes around the world, male, female and of different size
and weight, to participate;

- Must achieve the current IOC objective of the minimum level of
participation for women;

- Must give the best sailors in each country the opportunity to participate
in readily accessible equipment;

- Must combine both traditional and modern events and classes, to reflect,
display and promote competitive sailing.

The Events Committee will meet on 10-11 June 2004 in San Diego, USA and
under the chairmanship of Bjorn Unger will have the responsibility to
consider the equipment and ensure the recommendation they make to the ISAF
Council (final decision making body of ISAF) reflects the best interests of
the sport, with the final decision to be made on 12-13 November 2004. -
ISAF website, full story:

Following the withdrawal from The Transat yesterday of Roland Jourdain's
brand new Open 60 Sill, and now her sistership Bonduelle has also been
forced to pull out. Sill was forced to pull out of The Transat after
experiencing severe cavitation problems with her keel, that the fitting of
a newly cast keel bulb last week failed to solve. In contrast Bonduelle has
retired despite to date having experienced no keel issues. "We never had a
problem with Bonduelle, but exactly the same boat did have a problem, so we
don't want to take the risk," commented designer Marc Lombard.

With uncertainty over their boat's reliability, Jean le Cam in conjunction
with his sponsor Bonduelle have announced their retirement from the Transat
in order to allow them time to find a solution without endangering skipper
and boat and to focus on their primary objective - November's Vendée Globe.
Fifteen IMOCA Open 60 boats will now take to the start line of The Transat
on Monday amongst a fleet of 37 boats in total. -

"Four days of light to medium, semi-shifty (breeze) with mild pressure
differences. With our Copper-tint Kore's it was easier to pick out the best
puffs, which in a 65 boat fleet made all the difference." - J22 World
Champion Alec Cutler's bowman and breeze reader Paul Murphy on the Kaenon
Polarized Kore sunglasses. Utilizing Glare 86® Polarizing Element and Light
Transmission Control™ (LTC®) technology, the Kaenon SR-91® lenses cement
Kaenon clearly ahead of their competition. Calling puffs from the bow or
reading shifts from the rail, Kaenon will put you ahead of your competition
too. Available at APS.

(One of the main areas of change in the racing rules for the 2005 Volvo
Ocean Race is the permitted number of sails and their design. The Volvo 70s
will be in full on build mode next month but the area of sail design has
already started in earnest. The Bang the Corner website enlisted the help
of Stuart Bannatyne to discuss some of the key issues in sail design for
the Volvo Ocean Race. Here are two excerpts from that extensive interview.)

Bang the Corner: Carbon and PBO sails are not permitted in the 2005 VOR due
to their disruption of satellite communication and in part as a drive
towards a lower budget. What materials will be used and how will they
compare to carbon and PBO?

Stuart Bannatyne: Good question as it highlights what will be a very
important part of any team's sail programme. The search for lighter and
stronger materials will be intense. Currently used materials such as
Kevlar, spectra and cuben fibre will probably be a starting point for teams
but the necessity for sail longevity, lighter sails and ease of handling
will certainly influence final choices. Carbon is currently the best
material in use for working sails on most yachts (a minority would perhaps
disagree) so the working sails for the next Volvo Race will be slightly
worse in terms of absolute performance but potentially longer lasting. The
racing life of carbon sails is still a little uncertain. I think PBO has
pretty much been surpassed by carbon so is not really in use anymore for sails.

BTC: Sail modification is permitted; do you see a possibility of sails
being re-cut to different shapes or sizes to suit a particular leg?

Bannatyne: Any team serious about doing well in this race will have a plan
for comprehensive refinement and re-cutting/ resizing throughout the
duration of the race. It was apparent during the last race that new designs
were being built right up until the last leg and I'm sure this will play
out again. The importance of good research and forecasting for each leg
will be as important as ever.

There is a lot more to this interview on the Bang the Corner website:

Split, Croatia - Frenchman Bertrand Pacé remains the overall leader at the
ACI HTmobile Cup, an event of the Swedish Match Tour, but three other crews
are hot on his transom, just one victory behind. Pacé won the only match he
sailed today to move to 11-2 overall. But the crews led by skippers Jes
Gram-Hansen (DEN), Magnus Holmberg (SWE) and Peter Gilmour (AUS) all trail
by one victory. And Gavin Brady (NZL) is just two wins in arrears.

Light winds hampered the efficient race committee work that has been a
staple of the first two days of the 18th annual regatta. The winds were
from the west/southwest, and blowing 3 to 6 knots. The race committee
issued a shoreside postponement this morning instead of the scheduled 10:50
a.m. warning signal. The postponement lasted until 2:15 p.m., when they
finally took to the water and the first attention signal was made at 2:45
p.m. "They were very marginal conditions for racing," said Gilmour, the
overall leader of the Swedish Match Tour Championship Leaderboard. "The
breeze hadn't filled on one side of the course, and the courses were
probably too short. Races were affected by the other matches." - Sean

ACI HTmobile Cup Standings after 15 of 22 scheduled flights:
1. Bertrand Pacé/FRA, Team France, 11-2
2. Jes Gram-Hansen/DEN, Team Denmark, 10-3
3. Magnus Holmberg/SWE, SeaLife Rangers, 10-4
4. Peter Gilmour/AUS, Pizza-La Sailing Team, 10-4
5. Gavin Brady/NZL, Oracle BMW Racing, 9-5
6. Mathieu Richard/FRA, 7-6
7. Mattias Rahm/SWE, Team Stena Bulk, 5-8
8. Kelvin Harrap/NZL, Team New Zealand, 5-9
9. Staffan Lindberg/SWE, 3-11
10. Mate Arapov/CRO, 3-11
11. Frano Brate/CRO, 2-12

The Gorge - The day started for the ICSA Women's North American Dinghy
Championship with light rain and no wind, followed by more light rain and
still no wind. Sailing finally started with B division at 4:35. The
conditions for the races saw rain and breeze was 5-12 knots from the west.
Combined standings for the A & B Divisions after eight races each:
1. Yale University, 42 - 35, 77
2. US Naval Academy, 45 - 40, 85
3. Stanford, 66 - 42, 108
4. Dartmouth College, 59 - 53, 112
5. U. of Hawaii, 56 - 59, 115
Event website:

Onne van der Wal's new book, Wind and Water, is ready to ship. Signed
copies can be ordered and inscribed with a special message. Already a big
hit, Wind and Water features classic racing and cruising photographs from
all over the globe. Order online at 401.849.5556,

Day two at the SPA Regatta brought practically the same weather conditions
as the previous day. Both wind speed and direction fluctuated, which made
it difficult for all competitors. In the 470 Men class, Paul Foerster and
Kevin Burnham (USA) had a very good day - they won all three races, placing
them in the lead with a total of ten points. Johnny Lovell and Charlie
Ogletree (USA) also enjoyed a good day in the Tornado fleet, finishing the
day's racing in third place. Other North American teams who are in the top
10 in their respective classes.
- 49er (49 boats): 10. Tim Wadlow Pete Spaulding, USA
- Europe (63 boats): 9. Meg Gaillard, USA
- Mistral Men (38 boards): 10. Benjamin Barger, USA
- Mistral Women (21 boards): 8. Lanee Beashel. USA
- Yngling (23 boats): 6. Betsy Alison USA; 9. Lisa Ross, CAN; 10. Sally
Barkow, USA
- Star (33 boats) 3. Ross Macdonald/ Mike Wolfs, CAN; 5. Paul Cayard/
Phil Trinter USA;

Complete results:

* The Regatta al Sol sailed from Pensacola Florida to Isla Mujeres Mexico
May 12-18 was a gear buster for some and a joy ride for others. Cruisers
and Cruiser/Racers started on the 12th with fresh southeasterly winds and
the same held true for the racer's start the following day. 35 yachts
started the 555-mile race, but only 25 finished. Talbot Wilson's Jeanneau
52.2 'Paradox' won the racing fleet with Mark Palermo's Beneteau 40.7
'Sapphire' taking first in the Cruiser/Racer Fleet. Jim Oiler's Beneteau
411 'Recess' led the Cruising Fleet. -

* US Sailing and West Marine have renewed their partnership, extending a
relationship that began back in 1997, and broadening the programs that will
continue to promote youth sailing, safety, enhance competition, and
increase participation in the sport. "Kids are the future of boating, and
potentially its greatest beneficiaries," said Tom Carey, West Marine's
senior vice president of marketing. "The USA Junior Olympic Sailing
Festival events bring out the best in boating youth, inspiring them to
learn and demonstrate sportsmanship while keeping boating fun." -

Monday is the Memorial Day holiday, and Scuttlebutt will be taking the day
off - just like the rest of the nation. Our next issue will be Tuesday, June
1. Happy holiday!

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(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 Mark Yeager: The statistics from NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman
Conners in announcing the PFD conference were both misleading and
inaccurate. While it is true that there were 750 deaths in boating in 2002,
524 of them were attributed to drowning not 750. She further uses a Coast
Guard study to illustrate that only 5% of adults were a PFD while boating.
What she did not include was (again, these are their figures, not mine)
that of the 524 drowning deaths in 2002, 425 were in the under 16 age
group, or were on board personal water craft, kayaks, canoes, and small
motor boats.

Fact: There were a total of eight drowning deaths resulting from sailing in
U.S. waters during the year 2002. Eight. Again, this comes from the Coast
Guard. This isn't about being told to wear a PFD during a short-handed
offshore race. It's about being made to wear a PFD in 90-plus degree
weather with five knots of wind on a summer day, or grilling hot-dogs tied
up at the slip. It's your choice now. Make sure it stays that way.

* From Chris Ericksen: While I appreciated the clever observation of Carl
Shellbach in 'Butt 1592 about the offices of the National Transportation
Safety Board (NTSB), "a group wanting to 'big brother' the boating
community...being located on L'enfant Plaza," I never let go by an
opportunity to let folks learn something. L'Enfant Plaza is named in honor
of Pierre Charles L'Enfant (1724-1825), the French-born architect who,
under the direction of George Washington, laid out the "Plan of the City,
intended for the Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States."
While he was eventually fired from the project, the distinctive layout of
Washington, DC, is the work of L'Enfant (although those who have driven
there may not think it a signal accomplishment). L'Enfant is buried in a
memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, overlooking the city he inspired.

* From Scott Truesdell: I have been following the comments on new offshore
rating schemes and box rules. This will always be problematic. Rule
designers can never predict how the designs will eventually evolve. And
when they do evolve toward their endgame you are left with what amounts to
one-design racing. Look at the end of the IOR era for examples of that. The
50-footers had tight racing. Box rules end up being even more type-forming.
For the first few years designers hit all the corners hard, gradually
homing on an ultimate configuration. If that ultimate configuration ends up
being seaworthy and fun to sail, great! Otherwise, time for another rule.
It's been like this forever.

* From Peter O. Allen: Let's just get used to the idea that X pounds is the
absolute weight limit for a given class. That limit should be like the
Black Flag Rule; if you're over, you're out. No percentage fudge factor, no
appeals, no whining; you're just out. Plan your crew selection that way.
Allow for a little (upward) variation in weight when you pick your crew.
Plan so you can have healthy, hydrated crew members. Plan to have a good
time. Wow, what a concept for a regatta.

* From Rod Maier: It seems to me that there are many people who are sailing
the wrong sorts of boats. Have they ever considered the similar but
opposite situation - lightweight people? I would dearly love to sail as a
crew on a Star ... but at 65 kg's wringing wet, the results would be pretty
obvious so I've found boats that are more suitable to me. There's a good
reason why you don't see the 6ft, 110+kg guy sailing an Optimist (and I'm
not talking about the age restrictions). There's a good reason why when
kids grow up they progress through different sized boats. It seems pretty
obvious if your crews combined weight well over the limit, you're not
sailing the right boat and vice versa. It's horses for courses.

* From Simon Rosier, UK: Weight equalization is a farce. Take a look at the
49er Olympic class as an example, the class is weight equalized. Combined
crew weight: 0-149kg, max wing extension, max lead (10kg). 150-160kg, wing
width -100mm (from full extension), 5kg lead. 160kg +, wing width -200mm
(from full extension) and no lead. If you look at the class now they will
all sweat it out to be near as damn it as close to 149kg combined crew
weight. What a waste of time. Mind you, quite funny to see guys running in
bin liners to sweat off the water before weigh in.

* From Rand Milton: I totally agree with Tom Cagnina regarding the
absurdity of the 2% fluctuation factor in helping teams make weight. I am
very weight conscience to the point of using regular exercise and having a
healthy diet to maintain my 180 lbs. weight. And I come from parents that
were very overweight so genetics is not in my favor. I know of too many
sailors that are overweight and they would rather complain about weight
limits vs. changing over to a healthy lifestyle. While it is true there are
some very big guys that are in great shape and losing weight is not an
option, but they represent a very, very small percentage of people in our
sport. The vast majority of us can afford to diet and exercise and lead a
healthier lifestyle.

* From Paolo Sheaffer: As long as people race keelboats, there will be
teams maximizing their righting moment with as much lard as they can pile
on. Anybody else remember the IOR crew limits? Hi Animal and Mongo! And
racing J-24s at around 1200 lbs. crew weight? I have been so dehydrated
that I was mentally incapable of rigging a simple below-deck system on a
new boat. Of course I had lost 25 lbs. in three weeks. And the pizza man
showed up as I was on the scale weighing in, so our crew of 14 probably
raced 70-80 lbs. over limit the rest of the regatta. If a skipper persists
in recruiting overweight crews, those overweight crews are the ones who
need to say no to diuretics, and insist on better planning by skippy.
Simple rules are best, but they need consistent enforcement.

Curmudgeon's Comment: And that's the final word, because this thread is now
officially dead … without consensus.

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is
beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the
wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza." - Dave Barry