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SCUTTLEBUTT 1608 - June 21, 2004

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It has been 21-years since modern America's Cup boats had raced in the
waters off Newport, but the UBS Trophy has brought together current cup
defender, Alinghi, and 2007 Challenger of Record BMW Oracle Racing for a
series of Pro-Driver and Owner-Driver matches.

(Pro-Driver Series - Saturday, Race One of 12) With skipper Peter Holmberg
and Alinghi on the windward hip of BMW Oracle during the first windward
leg, the two boats headed for shore on starboard. But when Alinghi failed
to keep clear after the Gavin Brady-driven BMW Oracle called for room to
tack at the shore, the umpires assessed the penalty on the Swiss team.
However, BMW Oracle squad soon gained a penalty of their own when they
rounded the first mark too closely, hooking the ground tackle around its
keel and rudder, losing several boat lengths as they dragged the mark, and
negating the earlier Alinghi foul (Photo: Still
trailing on the final offwind leg, BMW Oracle nearly closed the gap due to
a large shift. However, Alinghi was able to cling to a narrow two-second
lead around the bottom mark, and held on for a seven-second win. Finish
Delta- 00:04

(Pro-Driver Series - Saturday, Race Two of 12) The pre-start was remarkable
for the extended dial-up sequence as Gavin Brady on BMW Oracle and Peter
Holmberg on Alinghi held their boats head to wind for nearly four minutes.
After drifting backwards for a short time, the boats came too close, and
the Umpires assessed Brady, the windward boat, a penalty. Later, with BMW
Oracle leading on the second beat, both boats sailed to the starboard tack
layline early. Nearing the top mark, Brady slowed, needing to engage
Alinghi to attempt to offload the penalty. But he misjudged his speed, and
slowed down too much, allowing Holmberg to roll passed BMW Oracle to
windward and on to its second consecutive win. Finish Delta- BMW Oracle DNF

(Pro-Driver Series - Sunday, Race Three of 12) The weather conditions for
this match saw massive wind shifts in the building sea breeze fighting to
establish itself against a weak gradient wind, with the wind changing in
both pressure and direction. With leftside advantage, Alinghi led BMW
Oracle back to the line, but with both boats luffing head to wind just
prior to the start, BMW Oracle was able to break off to the right, quickly
build speed and cross the start line 15 seconds ahead. Later in the first
leg BMW Oracle got to the left of Alinghi and continued out to the port
tack layline, allowing Alinghi to split to the middle of the race course by
nearly 700 meters. For several moments, it appeared as if BMW Oracle
tactician John Kostecki had made a fatal mistake, as Alinghi suddenly found
pressure in the middle and stormed towards the mark. But a couple of
minutes later, the sea breeze came in, allowing BMW Oracle to carry an
18-second lead around the top mark and extend it during the race. Finish
Delta- 01:46

(Pro-Driver Series - Sunday, Race Four of 12) The boats engaged in the
traditional dial-up, but Gavin Brady of BMW Oracle bailed out first, gybing
around and following Peter Holmberg's Alinghi out to the right side of the
start box. When the boats turned back for the start line, it was Alinghi
who was behind and pushing, but BMW Oracle maintained enough room, and hit
the starting line with speed as the gun fired, slightly to leeward, but
tight to Alinghi, forcing Holmberg to tack for clear air. Brady protected
the left hand side of the first beat to windward, and slowly opened up a
comfortable lead, rounding ahead at the windward mark by 29-seconds. Finish
Delta- 0:31

Two Pro-Driver races are scheduled for Monday. Event website:

Enjoy these Sunday photos by Thierry Martinez:

New Zealand America's Cup champion Russell Coutts may sail with another
syndicate if he is unable to resolve his differences with Alinghi. Coutts
and Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss syndicate are at odds and it appears the
three times cup winner is on the brink of quitting. While it has been
assumed Coutts would not be able to join another syndicate because of his
background in design, Coutts said yesterday that was "not necessarily" the

The cup protocol says design team members cannot change teams once they
have signed with a syndicate. This is to prevent designers taking secrets
to other competitors. But Coutts said yesterday: "I haven't been part of
the design team. Basically in terms of Alinghi I have been working with the
marketing department, helping to sell the sponsorship and as a sailor."

Coutts is in mediation with Alinghi and although he is hopeful of working
things out, he has chosen not to sail with the syndicate in the UBS regatta
against Oracle. Coutts said he informed the syndicate last month that he
would not sail in the regatta because of a rule in the cup protocol which
restricts sailors from moving to another team.

While Coutts would not elaborate on the issues surrounding the relationship
breakdown, it is understood he wanted more say in the running of the cup
event. However, Michel Bonnefous, Bertarelli's long-time friend and former
Alinghi executive director, was appointed to head the organisation set up
to run the 2007 cup - a move which effectively shut Coutts out. "I guess we
had differences in our opinion about the management direction." - Julie
Ash, New Zealand Herald, full story:

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157 yachts set sail on Friday from Newport, Rhode Island on the 44th
Newport Bermuda Race. The fleet set out from Rhode Island Sound under
spinnaker in light northerly winds that provided a stern test for
navigators and tacticians for the first 18 hours of the 630-mile classic.
The core of the fleet was made up of 102 IMS rated cruiser racers, and
there were also 27 yachts competing in a separate non-spinnaker class and
12 two-man yachts sailing in the double-handed class.

Capturing line honors in the new Big Boat Demonstration Division was Hasso
Plattner's MaxZ86 Morning Glory, which crossed the finish line off St.
David's Lighthouse Sunday at 14:58:31 EDT for an unofficial elapse time was
48hr 28 min 31sec. Roy Disney, sailing his MaxZ86 Pyewacket, finished five
hours and 15 minutes later to take second place. Windquest, a MaxZ86 sailed
by Dick and Doug DeVos, of Ada, MI, was third.

No other boats had finished as of Scuttlebutt press time. Event website:

(Washington Post columnist Angus Phillips describes his onboard experience
during the Chesapeake Bermuda Race) Imbedded with the crew of the sailing
vessel Air Mail, I write this from the cluttered navigation station below
deck while ghosting along on a sea so windless and still, we recently were
passed by a small gob of Sargasso weed riding a half-knot current. This
long lull in the breeze offers no comfort to the seven weary sailors with
me who have diligently stood watch on and off for six days, through wild
winds and dispiriting calms.

The mariners had been briefed beforehand on the difficulties of navigating
the Gulf Stream, but nothing they heard prepared their stomachs for the
combination of strong northeast winds bashing up against the north-flowing
Gulf Stream, which produced a confused, whitecapped sea. Steep waves drove
onto each other from every quarter in the blackest part of night, tossing
Air Mail around like styrofoam.

What a night! At the worst, Sherwood, Murphy and I were seasick, racing to
the gunwales every 10 or 15 minutes to feed the fishes, and Newman was so
far gone he disappeared below without a word. We found him two hours later
when the watch ended, sprawled in full foul-weather gear, passed out on the
sail bags beneath a steadily leaking hatch. "I wasn't feeling so good,"
said the burly Baltimore businessman by way of explanation. "I figured I
couldn't do anything else, I might as well get some sleep." Full story,

* "We hoped that Russell Coutts would be helming and leading us to victory
at the UBS Trophy today (June 19). He clearly decided not to helm. We
therefore have decided to rely on Peter Holmberg and Jochen Schuemann to
helm for us during the rest of the week." - Team Alinghi Press Release

* When syndicate Team France announced last week they had dissolved their
bid for the 2007 America's Cup following the departure of Bertrand Pacé, it
was said that Pace had left to join another syndicate. It has now been
announced that France's leading match race sailor has joined the BMW Oracle
Racing team as training helmsman and part of the afterguard for the team's
2007 America's Cup campaign. Pace is steering towards his sixth America's
Cup participation - after 1987 (with French Kiss Syndicate), 1992, 1995 and
2000 (each time with Le Défi) and 2003 (with Team New Zealand). -

* "It's a disappointment but not a major blow. Ben would have been very
useful and a good profile to us but Iain has no America's Cup experience at
all." - Leslie Ryan, team official for GBR Challenge America's Cup
syndicate, on the decision of top sailors Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy to
join overseas syndicates. -

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Westport, CT (June 20, 2004) During each of the first three days of the
event, the fleet had yet to log in a single race due to a lack of breeze.
But on this final day, after suffering through yet another foggy and calm
morning, a 5-8 knot SSW breeze finally filled in as the sky started
clearing. After two general recalls, the full rig fleet finally got a
start, only to see a huge shift to the NW just after the second mark that
prompted abandonment. The course was reset as the NW breeze quickly built
to more-than-interesting levels. Two breezy races were run in fantastic
conditions to complete the event.

Winners in the Full Rig (94 boats) and Radial Rig (55 boats) fleets were
Australian Brendan Casey and Matt Allen from Kings Point, respectively. In
the smaller 4.7 Rig (6 boats) fleet there was a tie for first between Emily
Billing of Clearwater and Aaron Gerratt. For complete results:

As a parent, I've helped my children sail and find a course through their
lives. At first my hand provided the strength to hold the tiller and keep
the boat on course. But sometimes, even my hands couldn't keep the boat
upright in the storms and it overturned. In a furious storm -- and there
have been a few -- getting back in the boat wasn't easy. But, somehow,
together, we turned the boat upright and got it back on course.

Through the years I've discovered the grip of my children on the tiller has
become stronger, and they are steering the course. My hand is only there
when it's needed, which is less and less. They can and want to sail in
their own boat. And it's a joy to watch them do so. - Pat Rocchio, NWI
Times, full story:

* The 2004 Mercedes-Benz J/24 North American Championship was held June
17-20th in English Bay, hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
Breath-taking views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains provided the
thirty-four boat fleet with a rare setting for this seven-race event won by
American David Klatt of Oxnard, CA, followed in second by Steve
Fleckenstein of West Vancouver and '03 North American champion Mike Ingham
of Rochester, NY in third. Complete results:

* The Giraglia Rolex Cup, considered by many to be the 'Fastnet of the
Mediterranean', begins in the Gulf of St Tropez with inshore races, but on
the fourth day goes offshore, over a course that takes the fleet to Genoa
in Italy, via a rocky outcrop just to the North of Corsica that goes by the
name of La Giraglia. Enjoy the photos provided by Carlo Borlenghi:

* The Sardinia Rolex Cup, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, begins
June 21st off the coast of Porto Cervo, Italy. For the first time the event
will be classified as the "Offshore ISAF Team World Championship," where
seven teams representing six countries will compete. National teams will
participate with three different types of yachts: an IMS rated boat, a Swan
45 and a Farr 40. The U.S. team is represented by Bambakou, skippered by
John Coumantaros, Mascalzone Latino, sailed by Vincenzo Onorato and
Talisman, with skipper Terry Hutchinson. Other countries include Argentina,
Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. -

* The U.S. Multihull Championship at Roton Point Sailing Association, CT
concluded with Mike Montague and Kathy Ward from Santa Rosa, CA victorious.
The event was raced in 10 brand-new Hobie 16s provided by the Hobie Cat
Company. Full report:

* Racing begins Monday for nearly 150 of the country's top youth sailors in
Charleston, SC, that will compete in the nation's premiere U.S. Youth
Sailing Championship, organized by US Sailing. Racing is divided into three
divisions: Laser, Radial, and Club 420. The 149 competitors, all under the
age of 20, were selected based on sailing resumes from a list of nearly 300
applicants. -

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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 Rob Roberts: (re: Scuttlebutt's list of best racing venues in the
US) Once again the Midwest has been left out. The sailing on the Great
Lakes is every bit as good as those that made the list. I think your panel
finds the lack of salt to be a bad thing.

* From Vickie Gilmour: Just to set the record straight, Bob Keefe, a
wonderful gentleman from St. Francis YC, says (in Scuttlebutt 1607) that
John Kostecki was in their junior program. He is very wrong. Johnny, with
his long surfer blond hair, his skateboard, an El Toro named Schroeder,
grew up in Richmond YC Junior Program. When he won the Sears Cup in 1981,
he was sailing for Richmond YC with Richmond YC juniors. He later became a
St. Francis member because they could fund venues that Richmond YC could
not. Many of RYC's best juniors move to STFYC because they can provide the
financial means to promising sailors.

* From Ryan Hamm: To all of you guys who are complaining about no TV
coverage, you might as well forget it. Believe me if ESPN could get
advertising for sailing more than they can for a lumberjack competition
they would do so. They can't so they won't. Sailors are a minority but are
very loyal to this great sport. Non sailors do not want to watch sailing.
The internet is enjoyed by almost all sailors and it is where we get our
sailing fix.

* From Fred Roswold, Hong Kong: I guess I bristled a little bit at Cole
Price's comment about "people [who] have decided not to incur the expense
associated with properly preparing their boat".

Boat preparation is more about elbow grease and planning, rather than
simply spending a lot of money. It's like Price is saying you can't be
properly prepared unless you are rich. Sorry, I think he is wrong, there is
still room in our sport for the middle class family sailors, and their
boats can be well prepared, and they can still win. Sure, the guy with a
new boat, a complete set of new sails and professionally faired bottom,
(and a couple of rock stars aboard) will probably beat the family boat.
That's life, not poor preparation.

* From Jason Stratton: If you are trying to attract more people to racing
sailboats then here are a couple of suggestions that would make it more
interesting to me. First, sailing is typically an entire weekend commitment
of long days away from home. It would be easier to commit on a regular
basis if regattas were sailed on only one weekend day (of course you can
have several weekends a year for bigger regattas over the entire weekend).
Next, find a way to shorten the legs to a mile or so. For most people,
racing is most exciting at the starts and at the mark roundings. With
shorter legs, more races could be run with more excitement in each race.

Almost every sailor uses e-mail. These e-mail addresses should be collected
on sign-up sheets and placed in a database so results and a brief blurb
about the race can be cheaply sent to each crew member on a boat. Even if
he/ she misses a regatta. Maybe every once in a while a regatta could be
run that requires crew members to have a different position on the boat in
each race. This way you don't always have to be on the mast or just rail meat.

What came first, the fruit or the color orange?