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SCUTTLEBUTT 1597 - June 4, 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.

There is little question that our sport is changing, and it's obvious that
many active sailors don't always agree with the direction being taken.
Since the first issue of Scuttlebutt, our readers have had no problem
identifying things to complain about. Apparently it's easier to write to
Scuttlebutt than get to take a role in the decision-making process … but
that could be changing.

Several years ago US Sailing created the Sailor Athlete Council (SAC) to
include the views of active racing sailors in their policy decisions,
mandated that a minimum of 20% of the membership of key committees must be
active racing sailors, and a permanent seat was established on the US
Sailing Executive Committee for the SAC chair.

They've also made it easy to become a member. Anyone US Sailing member who
races on the national or international level qualifies and the entire
process can be done on-line in less than five minutes. And it's free. But
for whatever reason, they have not attracted a lot of members. Of US
Sailing's approximately 40,000 members, only slightly more than 500 have
gone on-line to register as an athlete and support SAC.

It seems reasonable that if more active sailors got involved in the
decision making process at the sport's National Governing Body, we should
expect to see positive changes. So … I've just registered and am now a
member of the SAC. It's just possible that if enough active racers join me,
it might make a difference. - The Curmudgeon

To become a member of the Sailor Athlete Council:

The 32nd America's Cup is making changes to the format of the event in
order to make it a more TV-friendly product. TWI has been contracted as
ACM's media consultants and distributors. Among the changes are:

- A series of 'pre-regattas' (to be called Acts) around the world. These
will be the first Acts, before the main story of the Louis Vuitton Cup and
America's Cup Match in 2007, to build anticipation for the climax of the
- Shorter races of 90 minutes for easier insertion into TV schedules
- The introduction of fleet racing for the first time in recent history,
when all boats compete simultaneously, providing the dramatic 'bigger
picture'. Match racing (head-to-head duels) will continue to be the heart
of the America's Cup
- Extension of wind limits to reduce the number of delayed matches due to
adverse weather conditions.

Improvements being made by TWI to the television coverage include:

- Richer 3D 'virtual sailing' animations
- Improvements in the on board cameras and microphones to capture the
high drama at source
- Better access to the teams and skippers behind-the-scenes - the 'stars'
of this particular story - played out across the oceans and lakes of the
world. (including Spain, France, USA, Switzerland and Italy)
- TV magazine programmes concentrating on the glamorous lifestyle and
passion of the exclusive world of sailing, as well as human interest stories.

An Olympic Measurement Committee (OMC) has been appointed by ISAF and has
the final responsibility of interpreting the class rules for the regatta
and for determining whether equipment complies with the class rules. All
boats, including their spars, sails and equipment entered for the 2004
Olympic Sailing Competition may be measured in Athens in accordance with
their class rules and any special rules contained in the Notice of Race,
Sailing Instructions and the Measurement Regulations. The OMC shall have
the right to change the Measurement Regulations and any changes that are
made during the 2004 Olympic Sailing Competition will be posted on the
official notice board.

The OMC is headed up by Chief Measurer Jean-Pierre Marmier (SUI) and
includes Cliff Norbury (GBR), George Andreadis (GRE) James Schoonmaker
(USA), Simon Forbes (ISAF) and Sebastian Edmonds (ISAF). There will also be
a team of measurers in Athens responsible for each class - details are
available in the Officials section of the ISAF Athens 2004 Microsite. -

…and throughout the summer. Newport Shipyard is the host site for the UBS
Trophy, Rhode Island between Team Alinghi and Oracle BMW Racing June
19-26th. These elite sailing teams know that Newport Shipyard is where the
best of the best call homeport, for both our harborage and our expert refit
and repair capabilities. However, you do not have to own an America's Cup
Class yacht to find satisfaction at Newport Shipyard. Come and see what the
buzz is all about in Newport Harbor.

For the multihull skipper their choice of tactics Thursday night will prove
to be one of the most significant moments in The Transat as they tackle
their first major depression of the race. Skippers of today's 60ft racing
multihulls taking part in The Transat have been liasing with their
shore-based meteorologists and routers to monitor the track and speed of
this depression using a variety of sophisticated tools from GRIB weather
files to satellite images since the start of the race. While the skippers
could sail the shortest course down the great circle route this would have
presented them with slow and potentially boat-breaking strong headwinds.
Instead for the last 48 hours they have been aiming for the bulls eye - the
centre of the depression. The object of the exercise is to keep the wind at
a favourable angle ie not from ahead, thus allowing the boats to sail fast
without threatening their safety.

Sailing towards the heart of the depression from the east the multihulls
began experiencing southerly winds of 30-35 knots on Thursday afternoon.
Past the centre of the depression the wind will rapidly turn to the
northwest providing them with a fast wind angle to sail south west out of
the depression. In short, instead of surviving the gale, they are not
merely racing through it - they are using it to their tactical advantage.
Karine Fauconnier on board Sergio Tacchini is trying another tactic and has
turned left early in the hope that she can make gains not through sailing
as fast but by sailing less miles. At present all the multihulls are well
north of the great circle (and shortest) route to Boston.

While the next 24 hours are looking rosy for the multihulls' speed, there
is also considerable danger ahead as to the southeast of Newfoundland is a
minefield of icebergs. In the area between 50 and 51degW and between two
and three degrees due east of Newfoundland the latest charts show there to
be 85 recorded icebergs currently resident. For the Open 60s monohulls, now
some 500 miles astern of the multihulls, the threat of icebergs is greatly
reduced as their track currently takes them along the present southerly
limit of the iceberg field. Standings at 1700 June 3:

ORMA 60 Multis: 1. Geant, Michel Desjoyeaux, 1546 miles to finish; 2
Sodebo, Thomas Coville, 27 mi. distance to leader. 3. Banque Populaire,
Lalou Roucayrol, 46 dtl 5. Groupama, Franck Cammas, 85 dtl

IMOCA Open 60 Monohulls: 1. Virbac, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1983 mtf; 2. Ecover,
Mike Golding, 15; 3. 3. Pindar Alphagraphics, Mike Sanderson, 26 dfl

Open 50 Multihulls: 1. Trilogic, Eric Bruneel, 2019 mtf; 2. Crepes Whaou!,
F. Y. Escofier, 62 dtl

Open 50 Monohulls: 1. Artforms, Kip Stone, 2173 mtf; 2. Wells Fargo -
American Pioneer, Joe Harris, 42 dtl.

Event website:

Open 60 Transat skipper Mike Golding on Ecover has been busy puzzling over
the next challenge presented to him by the failure of his keel pump motor
which cants the ballast bulb from side to side. "I haven`t quite reconciled
how I'm going to cope with it downwind. It's not going to be easy." Golding
is considering wearing round rather than gybing, as he is not sure that the
boat will allow him to gybe with the keel hanging to leeward. "I'm probably
going to do what I do upwind, tacking round and doing a full spin from one
gybe to the other. But with 30 or 40 knots of breeze, I will probably have
to change down the sails before I do the spin. This will mean first getting
rid of any big headsails, reefing the mainsail, doing my manoeuvre, and
then hanging all the sails out again. It won't be quick doing this, but it
should be quicker in the long run." -

At what latitude was the iceberg that sank the Titanic? (Answer below)

Combine weather & currents. Strategize early. Bill Biewenga is bringing
Commanders' Weather and OPC meteorologists together Learn about the trends
and options in a new online interactive weather seminar convenient to your
schedule. Other races available. Be part of the June 10&11 online
interactive events.

For those 17 readers who might be interested, we are pleased to announce
that the ISAF has just released a new issue of the "Official Rankings for
Olympic Classes." The only North American sailors in the top three are
Peter Bromby & Lee White in the Star Class (3rd), but a bunch made it into
single digits: Paul Foerster & Kevin Burnham (470 men-4), Tim Wadlow & Pete
Spaulding (49er- 4), Carol Cronin (Yingling-4), Meg Gaillard (Europe-6),
Betsy Alison (Yngling-6), John Lovell & Charlie Ogletree (Tornado-7), Paul
Cayard & Phil Trinter (Star-9), Ross MacDonald & Mike Wolfs (Star-9) and
Mark Mendelblatt (Laser- 9)

We found lots of humor in this issue, but it was hard to stop laughing when
we learned that just two weeks after Brazil's Robert Scheidt won his
seventh Laser World Championship, the 'Official Rankings' moved him DOWN
from first place into second place in that class. (Huh?) We suspect there
were other 'interesting' changes, but after that blockbuster we stopped
reading the report:

* The second day for the Trofeo TAB, Blurimini 2004 match race Grade 2
ISAF, in Rimini produced another sunny day, with wind of 6-10 knots, and 12
flights sailed. Just two flights (13 and 14) remaining to complete the
Round Robin. Current standings: Matteo Simoncelli (ITA) 8-2; James Spithill
(AUS) 8-3; Ian Williams (GBR) 8-3; Karol Jablonski (POL) 6-3; Mathieu
Richard (FRA) 6-4; Michele Ivaldi (ITA) 5-4; Kelvin Harrap (NZL) 4-5;
Philippe Presti (FRA) 4-6; Fabio Mazzoni (ITA) 4-6; Eugeniy Neugodnikov
(RUS) 3-7; Staffan Lindberg (FIN) 2-8; Lars Nordbjaerg (DEN) 1-8. -

* The New York Yacht Club will host the 2005 International Sailing
Federation (ISAF) Team Racing World Championship Sept. 24-Oct. 1 at Harbour
Court, its Newport, Rhode Island, clubhouse. The biennial event will be
sailed in Vanguard 15s and is expected to draw teams from as many as 20
nations. The 2003 event, held in Auckland, New Zealand, before the 2003
America's Cup Match, was won by the U.S.A. -

* North Sails will be providing complimentary weather forecasts for the
Sailing World Detroit NOOD regatta from June 4-6. Daily forecasts will
include a brief synopsis, temperatures, current conditions, wind forecasts
and much more. To sign up for this service, simply log on to North's
Weather Center:

* At the first day of racing for the Farr 40 North American Championship/
Watts Cup at the Los Angeles YC, the "June Gloom" overcast skies kept the
thermal breeze at bay during the first race, but winds built to almost 15
knots by late afternoon. The leaders of the 12-boat regatta after three
races are: 1. Samba Pa Ti, 6 pts; 2. Crocodile Rock, 11; 3. Le Renard, 12;
4. Groovederci, 15; 5. Pegasus, 16.

On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic collided at 22 knots with an iceberg
estimated to be 70-150 m long and 20-40 m high above the water surface. The
collision happened at a latitude of merely 42° N. It is notable that huge
icebergs last to such a low latitude (the same as that of Rome), after
drifting from Baffin Bay within the Arctic Circle. Such drifts are
relatively rare. It is estimated that of the 15,000 to 30,000 icebergs
produced annually by the glaciers of Greenland only one percent (150 to
300) ever make it to the Atlantic Ocean.

Warm summer breezes. What every sailor waits for all winter after spending
hours in garages and huddled under covers gearing our boats up for the
season. But, are you geared up? Those breezes and that sun sure feel great
but at the end of the day if you're not wearing sun protection you won't be
happy. Whether dinghy racing and needing a rash guard, or sailing big boats
and in search of polos you can wear straight to the club, APS has you
covered. Stocking Camet, Henri Lloyd, Gill and Sailing Angles, we're your
"one-stop-shop" for sun protection.

(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 Ross Cameron: Noel Field's article points out a couple of
interesting issues. First, any event basing entry on age, particularly age
by year, should provide volunteers with a large sign identifying the year
that controls registration. Since we moved to year end the year is enough.
Secondly, and presuming the ruling becomes SOP as far as control at
registration is concerned, then it's fair to point out that Race Committees
will need to make a notification somewhere in the official paper that it is
the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that they are entered in the
correct class or division. Now, will that notification go in the Notice of

* From John Standley (re to the article by Noel Field): From the facts as
set out in Scuttlebutt it would seem that the entry form did not require
that the entrants nominate which division they were to sail in. As such it
would be up to the "Volunteer" - a Race Committee member - to assign a
division to each entrant. If this was done in error, then why did the Jury
not give redress for this error of the RC by asking the RC to recalculate
the results with the boat assigned to the correct division? This would have
been possible as all boats sailed the same course at the same time. It
would seem harsh to disqualify 13 and 14 year old sailors from an event for
something they should have seen, but presumably didn't. If however they
knowingly and deliberately continued to sail in the wrong division then
this would be a different story.

* From Ralph Taylor (Regarding Noel Field's report): A 13-year-old &
14-year-old are disqualified essentially because of RC errors at entry &
scoring and the officials worry about precedent when US Sailing's Appeals
Committee overturns the DSQ? What's wrong with this picture? What is the
race officials' responsibility to follow their own rules? Should a jury
look only at legalistic answers without exploring practical ones? Does this
encourage or discourage youth from continuing in the sport? Rule 62.1,
Redress, could apply: ".. a boat's finishing place.. has, through no fault
of her own, been made significantly worse by: (a) an improper action or
omission of the race committee or protest committee." The jury might have
directed the race committee to score the boat in the correct division; but
it seems to focused on blaming the competitors.

Are kids this age as culpable as adults might be? Anyone who's worked with
teens knows that they are often confused by our adult tendency toward
complex rules; they just want to go sailing. They are also reluctant to
speak up against their elders. They were told what division they were in
and the posted results agreed. It doesn't help the committee to say the
registration clerk is a "volunteer"; paid or not, she is still a member of
the RC and it's her decision starting this sad chain of events. Apparently,
the RC didn't catch the mistake in a timely fashion; thus it is the RC's &
jury's job to find a fair resolution.

* From Chuck Sherfey (re Jerry Kaye's response in 'butt 1596 to Noel M.
Field Jr's. US Sailing Appeals Committee note): If Mr. Kaye's response is
not a personal attack, I have never seen one.

* From Jacob Doyle: It is simple really; in the future there should be a
line on the registration form for the competitor to fill in that states
what division the competitor is entering. This way the burden of selecting
the proper division is on the competitor as it should be and not on the
regatta volunteers. In the event of a mistake on the competitor's part he
gets chucked for failing to meet the specification in the NOR.

Curmudgeon's Comment: OK - unless we get a response from US Sailing's
Appeals Committee, this thread is now officially dead.

* From John Fretwell: Per your news brief today, actually Genuine Risk is
in San Diego now. The boat was sailing all afternoon yesterday and then
dropped by to watch the start of the first Beer Can race. I guess the boys
thought the course was a bit short for their taste. Anyway she's pretty
damn impressive, even when dwarfed by (one of) Pittman's other toys, 146'

* From Preston Wake: There is also one other big boat with a canting keel
and twin foil to be launched this year it is Magnitude 80, the Andrews 80.
Although the lead foil is a dagger board similar to a laser.

* From Dave Beck: While I cannot speak for Mike Golding, my guess is that
his KISS solution to his ballast strut problems will be to install a more
robust hydraulic drive motor. The performance advantage of canting ballast
in these light boats is too great to ignore, and the acceptance of powered
ballast struts is a done deal. Every innovative technology goes through a
period where the best engineering solutions are sorted out in the hard,
real world. These solutions then become commonplace and accepted as normal.
Anyone who has sailed a performance oriented canting ballast boat knows
they are too fast and too much fun to ignore. This is the way to do it.

Have you ever seen a horse fly? A match box? A jumbo shrimp?