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SCUTTLEBUTT 1605 - June 16, 2004

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), 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.

CLASS ACTION
While the rule-makers continue to talk and talk and talk about a new Grand
Prix handicapping rule, the 'players' seem to be taking things into their
own hands. Last weekend, five Transpac 52s had their New England
Championship, and at a subsequent owner's meeting, plans were laid for an
eight or nine boat TP 52 level-racing regatta at the Big Boat Series in San
Francisco this September. This owner-driver class has also established an
'honor system' 2600 pound weight limit. Although the crews will not
weigh-in prior to racing, each boat is subject to a weight limit protest at
any point during a regatta - which could eliminate the fasting and gorging
rituals seen in other classes.

Interestingly, the existing fleet of TP 52s has been designed by six
different naval architects and the boats have been built in six different
yards. And it now appears that this class will soon be spreading into
Europe - aided enormously by the efforts of H.M. Juan Carlos, King of
Spain. Apparently, the King took it upon himself to develop some TP 52
brochures that included information about how this box rule works, a list
of existing TP 52s with photos, as well as the entire text of both the TP
52 Box Rule that was developed by the Transpacific YC and of the Class
Association Rules. In recent weeks he has spread these brochures to key
people in Europe.

Based on the interest generated, it looks very much like there could be
three or four TP 52s racing in the Mediterranean next summer and twice that
number the following year. More importantly, the Europeans seem totally
committed to embracing every aspect of the TP 52 Association Rules in a
sincere effort to foster international competition. It's quite possible
there could be international Grand Prix racing sooner than anyone expected.
- http://www.transpac52.org/

GROWING THE SPORT
(Rich Roberts interviewed US Sailing President Janet Baxter about a number
of major issues. Here's a brief excerpt from his story in The Log.)

"Growth is going to come from programs that bring new people into sailing,
not the traditional yacht club programs with family or friends. I'm very
serious about this. We need to find events we can partner with, whether
it's cruising or community sailing. "The growth of community sailing
programs is huge. They're bringing in lots and lost of people that yacht
clubs wouldn't touch. We all belong to yacht clubs, but yacht clubs don't
do outreach. We need to bring new people into the sport." I can see those
comments converted into a tabloid headline: "Janet Baxter Says Yacht Clubs
Bad for Sailing." But if you believe that's what she meant, you missed her
point and are (a) probably a yacht club member, as I am, and/or (b) part of
the problem.

US Sailing's new leading lady has the guts to say what she thinks and, from
early impressions, the perception to put her fingers directly on problems.
She recognizes that while US Sailing's mission is to serve all sailors, "By
far, the majority of our [40,000] members are racing sailors. There are
people that think we should only be in racing. But how are you going to get
people who aren't sailors into racing? The ones we are trying to get in now
are non-racing sailors."

She mentioned kite surfers, an intensely popular sailing pastime that
appears to be booming, the way catamarans and sailboards emerged from the
beaches without any apparent organization. Do kite surfers need US Sailing?
Back up a bit. What does US Sailing have to offer them or any other
non-racing sailors? "The work we do with safety and the environment,"
Baxter said. "Our whole training program is very sought-after by non-racing
sailors. If you go to the web site there's a section on how to sail." -
Rich Roberts, The Log, full story:
www.thelog.com/columnists/columnistsview.asp?c=111021

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

NEW ENGLAND ROPES MAKING WAVES IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST
New England Ropes has been named the Official Cordage Supplier to Northwest
Marine Production's 2004 Whidbey Island Race Week in Seattle, WA. The race,
which draws over 150 boats and 1500 participants, is one of the largest and
most visible regattas in the Pacific Northwest. New England Ropes' staff
will be on-site with product for the weeklong event. Whidbey Island Race
Week runs this year from July 18-July 23, 2004. For more information on New
England Ropes or Whidbey Island Race Week, contact New England Ropes at
1-800-333-6679 or visit http://www.neropes.com online.

REGATTA FUN
We all like a bit of fun at regattas, and for the amateurs it is part of
the reason for going, we don't get paid we race yachts for fun, either the
thrill of winning or having a great time with friends. For the
professionals, well they are entitled to a bit of job satisfaction aren't
they? The Bang the Corner website would like to hear about stories from
regattas, the most amusing will be published, to the 11000 people that read
the site. To prime the pump, Bang the Corner recalled this story from the
last Louis Vuitton Series in Auckland:

Peter Harrison, financier of the British Entry (GBR Challenge) in the 2003
America's Cup was asked for a comment after GBR narrowly lost to Stars and
Stripes in the early stages: "When we saw the sponsor Viagra on their boom,
we new we were up against hardened professionals."

To enter this contest: www.bangthecorner.com

TALL SHIPS
The American Sail Training Association's 2004 Tall Ships Challenge Series
launched this week in Jacksonville, FL. Over the course of the summer a
fleet of more than 40 international tall ships and sail training vessels
will race up the Atlantic Coast of North America stopping in Jacksonville,
FL, Charleston, SC, Philadelphia, PA, Greenport, NY, Newport, RI, New
London, CT, Halifax, NS and Saint John, NB. Vessels will be representing
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland,
Romania, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and the United States.

Last summer, this series toured the Great Lakes where over 3 million
spectators came down to see the ships. In Chicago alone, more than 2
million people visited over the 5 day port festival causing an economic
impact of over $110,000,000 and smashing the previous single day attendance
record of The Navy Pier with over 500,000 people on Saturday. In 2005, the
Challenge Series will race down the Pacific Coast of North America and in
2006 it will return to the Great Lakes. - www.sailtraining.org

THE TRANSAT
Fifty-four year old Rich Wilson born in Boston, Massachusetts, was happy to
see The Transat finish line Tuesday afternoon having experienced 40 knot
winds across the deck on his final night at sea. Wilson sailing 50ft
multihull, Great American II, crossed the line at 13:19:40 GMT completing
the 2800 mile solo course in 15 days, 19 minutes and 40 seconds - 23 hours
and 4 minutes after class winner Frenchman Eric Bruneel who crossed the
line yesterday afternoon. - http://www.thetransat.com/

Standings @ 0300 GMT on June 16: Open 50 Multihulls: 1. Trilogic, Eric
Bruneel, finished; 2. Great American II, Richard Wilson, finished. Open 50
Monohulls: 1. Artforms, Kip Stone 4.3 nm to finish; 2. Wells Fargo -
American Pioneer, Joe Harris, 163 nm to leader

OCKAMSOFT WITHOUT THE OCKAM?
OS4 features a NMEA translator module allowing direct connection of a GPS
or other NMEA output instrument system. For the first time, you don't have
to have an onboard Ockam system to put (some of) the power of OckamSoft in
your hands. Plot courses on Maptech BSB charts, turn your computer's screen
into a custom instrument display, and analyze data on multiple function
stripcharts. Fully functional modules will run in timeout mode, with easy
screen-prompted full registration. OS4 everybody. Get ready for Ockam on
your boat - OS4 can be downloaded at http://www.ockam.com/os4/

ANOTHER AC SYNDICATE?
Vinny Gagliani in the US Virgin Islands has announced his intention to
challenge for the America's Cup in 2007, although he did not reveal the
name of this challenge or the identity of the principals. While
acknowledging that the syndicate has neither sponsors nor a website,
Gagliani stated, "Nothing in the world is so powerful as an idea whose time
has come." There was a Virgin Island AC syndicate formed in 1996 under the
leadership of Michael Bornn and Peter Holmberg. That effort ultimately
failed for lack of sufficient funding. Peter Holmberg is now sailing for
the Alinghi syndicate and neither Holmberg nor anyone else from the
previous Virgin Island challenge is involved in this effort.

NEWS BRIEFS
* The biggest one-design regatta ever? This is the claim being made for the
75th Anniversary regatta of the International Dragon Class, at which an
astonishing total of 250 boats are expected to cross the start line in the
Bay of St Tropez in October. Sponsored by Hanseatic Lloyd and promoted as a
'Celebration Regatta' rather than a championship, the event was originally
expected to attract around 150 boats from European countries but has met
with an overwhelmingly favourable response with entries pouring in from 31
countries. - Yachts and Yachting, http://tinyurl.com/3evpz

* With the first races of the 32nd America's Cup beginning in September, a
new brand identity for the America's Cup has been unveiled on the official
website of the America's Cup: 'The Blazing Cup.' The new look created by
Dragon Rouge, a European design and creative agency, is embodied by the
black, red, silver and yellow hues. - http://www.americascup.com

* BMW Oracle Racing will face America's Cup winner Team Alinghi in what
promises to be a great duel for the UBS Trophy from 19-26 June in the
waters off Newport, Rhode Island. This year, the UBS Trophy will be the
only event in the United States featuring the America's Cup rivals Besides
the series for the professionals, consisting of twelve match races, Ernesto
Bertarelli and Larry Ellison will be at the helm for the Owner Driver
series. Four races will be contested to determine the UBS Trophy champion
among the owners. - The Daily Sail, http://tinyurl.com/3gaux

* The Telefónica MoviStar Sailing Team, lead by Pedro Campos, will fight
for the first Spanish triumph in the Volvo Ocean Race. The Project is lead
by Pedro Campos, nine times world champion and America's Cup skipper.
Campos will defy the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time in his sports
career. The project will start to take shape immediately. In a few days the
construction of the new VOR 70 in Australia and the crew's selection by the
Sports Committee will begin. The team will sail under the Royal Yacht Club
of Sanxenxo's (Pontevedra) insignia. Sailhead.com, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/34w6e

* Underneath a tent and amidst a downpour, the opening ceremonies for the
2004 Laser North Americans were held at Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport,
CT. With three hours remaining for registration, there were 88 Lasers, 56
Radials, and 7 4.7's registered for the races beginning Wednesday June 16
and ending Saturday June 19. The competitors, ranging from ages 12 to 74,
hail from ports in the USA, Canada, Bermuda, Australia, and Germany. -
http://tinyurl.com/p9rw

IN MEMORIAM
Bernard Lewis, prominent Australian Maxi yacht owner of the 1980's passed
away on 2nd June after a long illness. In 1978 he renovated and
successfully campaigned the Australian yachting icon Gretel. Late in 1981,
Bernard purchased Vengeance (Siska IV) from Rolly Tasker in Western
Australia, and over the next three years Vengeance went on to take Line
Honours in most of the East Coast races, including Race Records in all the
regular ocean races from Sydney Harbour and competed in the Sydney Hobart
in 1982, 83 and 1984. Bernard represented the CYCA in the 1982 Kenwood Cup
in Hawaii.

Between February and November 1986 the magnificent 83-foot Pedrick designed
Sovereign was created. 1987 was a vintage year for Bernard and his crew;
Sovereign took Line Honours in each of the 30 races she contested, winning
over half on handicap and being highly placed in the remainder. Bernard was
very proud to have been chosen to represent Australia in the 1988 Kenwood
Cup. The sport needs more gentlemen sailors like Bernard Lewis. - Excerpts
from a tribute by David Kellett on the Sail-World website:
http://www.sail-world.com/Offshore/index.cfm?Nid=13786

J/109'S AT BLOCK ISLAND
The J/109 is the first J "spritboat" under 36' with a full-headroom,
cruising interior. Owners are raving about how fast and comfortable this
boat is. Solo, double-handed, full crew or cruising, she does it all. Ten
boats will be racing next week at Block Island! http://www.j109.org


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 Jeff Borland (In response to Steve Gregory): : At the BoatU.S. 2004
ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship the calculations weren't
really all that complicated, we went back to their standings from the end
of the double round robin (a 16 team double round robin - something never
done before in a World Championship), because the quarterfinals were a
knock-out series. (See the tie breaking rules in Appendix C). Why didn't we
extend to Sunday? Most of the teams had flights to get back to work (90% of
the sailors here were not professionals).

It takes nearly 300 volunteer-hours to put away all the event gear (14
suits of sails, marks, flags, umpire gear, etc.), clean and return 14 J-22s
and 11 powerboats, tidy up and restore the club grounds, and a myriad of
other projects. All of this time is done by volunteers at the Eastport
Yacht Club, most of whom have taken an entire week off work to do Race
Committee, fixit boat, change boat, or other duties during the week. Having
Mother Nature put a kink in the last day of the event, should not take away
from EYC's incredible feat of running 266 races over 7 days (60 in one
day!). EYC's volunteers used an innovative starting format which was met
with much skepticism, but was proven to work well.

* From Bill Artuzzi: Certainly there are many ways to determine a match
racing champion, but the notion that each entrant must sail against every
other competitor at least once or twice is probably the least effective and
most time consuming. If the NBA adopted such a format, we'd be watching the
finals in September. What's the matter with seeding, brackets, repechages
(second-chance brackets), with semi-final and final matches pitting winners
against winners? That's what we came to see - the two best teams squaring
off several times to determine who's champion of that event. With all due
kudos to the winners of the recently completed Women's Match Racing World
Championship and last spring's Congressional Cup, those regattas are
startling examples of what happens when the emphasis is placed on seemingly
endless round robins at the expense of the final matches. Hopefully, such
decisions were not made just to keep all the competitors on the water for
the duration.

* From David Doody: Warren Miller films-skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing,
sailing-they make you want to get out there and, as Nike says, Just Do It.
How do we maintain and grow sailing and keep it interesting and exciting
for all levels of participants? That's a tough one, but I do know that in
the "old days" of Windsurfers (teak booms and all) and Warren's early promo
films, that windsurfing was red hot-young and old, male and female, racer,
free-styler, cruiser- out there on bays and ponds and anywhere they could
launch and they were sailing and loving it!

The sport of windsurfing out hi-teched itself and is now largely gone save
for the few pros...when was the last time you were on a board or saw one on
top of someone's car?! I think we have lost one of the great sports in the
world, which directly augmented and fed racing and cruising in big boats -
just look at the correlation between the explosion of snowboarding (still
relatively low-tech and inexpensive) and the renewed growth of skiing - is
there something we can learn here from the fun and enthusiasm approach?

* From Tim Zimmermann: If the suits at either OLN and ESPN were really
smart, they'd get in touch with the folks at Seamaster Sailing (
http://www.seamastersailing.com/) They produce an excellent monthly program
on the best of what's happening in the world of sailing that is
distributed--according to their website--to 50 countries. But not to the
US. Surely a single sailing program once a month could pull more revenue
than a show on lumberjacking (ESPN2) or an infomercial for a vacuum bagger
(OLN).

* From Cole Price (In response to Bruce Bingman's article on PHRF ratings -
edited to our 250-word limit): It's important to remember that ratings for
boats are based upon their observed performance (race history by boat
type). Consequently, boats that are wet sailed (as most displacement boats
over 25 feet are) don't pay a rating penalty for not being dry sailed. As
for rating boats with older sails, fixed props, etc., this would require
PHRF Boards around the country to individually rate each boat rather than
provide ratings by boat type. Such a system would be unrealistically labor
intensive. Additionally, if a boat were rated with a set of old sails and a
new sail were purchased without declaring it and obtaining a rating
adjustment, the boat would have an unfair advantage. Protests would ensue.
It would be a mess.

Yacht Clubs can offer time allowances (from the base PHRF ratings) for old
sails and/ or limits on the number of new sails per year, fixed props, etc.
and often do in "Cruising Class". Mr. Bingman's ideas could be successfully
implemented in this manner. In fact, some clubs already offer a racing
series that attracts some serious racers along with people getting started
in racing, but have decided not to incur the expense associated with
properly preparing their boat to be race ready at a competitive level. Boat
preparation is an important part of racing. PHRF boards should continue
rating boats based upon the assumption that they are well prepared.

* From Bill Buchan: When I was in Juneau, Alaska a couple of weeks ago, in
their race announcement in the local newspaper, I picked up on a great
idea; a rating credit if you have a dog on board and another if you live on
your boat. Worth considering, don't you think, in all this discussion on
rating systems?

* From Bruce Eissner: Your useful summary of recommendations about its
organization may lead readers to think that US Sailing commissioned
McKinsey & Company to study the association. I believe that the study that
was reported on at the US annual meeting was actually performed some time
ago for the Royal Yachting Association.

Curmudgeon's comment: Bruce is undoubtedly correct - we simply used the
verbiage posted on the US Sailing website.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
When your rearrange the letters of 'slot machines' it spells out 'cash lost
in me.'