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SCUTTLEBUTT 1614 - June 29, 2004

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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.

No question about it - there was a really good feeling about the UBS Trophy
series in Newport, RI this past week. It probably shouldn't be a surprise
that a community with a gaggle of 12-meter yachts continually sailing
around on its bay, and a street named 'America's Cup Avenue,' would embrace
the concept of having the world's two leading AC syndicates openly showcase
their teams and boats in an exciting match race series. But even though
this community has the richest America's Cup tradition of any city in the
world, I don't think many anticipated the genuine excitement and
appreciation that this series generated. And having the America's Cup
Trophy on public display for more than a week just amplified the enthusiasm
of the thousands of people who witnessed and participated in this week-long
festival. Capping off this experience with a spectacular fireworks display
(generously provided by the city of Valencia, Spain) was indeed a fitting
finale for an extraordinary event.

Both BMW Oracle Racing and Alinghi will now be shipped to Europe where they
will fleet and match race against other syndicates at September's
"Marseille Louis Vuitton / Act 1." And then they will move on to Valencia,
Spain in October for "Louis Vuitton Acts 2 and 3." Will the ACC boats
return to Newport for a similar event next year? "I sure hope so," said
veteran AC journalist Peter Rusch. "This was spectacular." There is no
question that the people of New England hope so too. But it's hard to
ignore the thousands of miles that separate the United States from Europe
where the syndicates will be training in 2005. Not only would it be
expensive to bring the ACC boats back to the USA, doing so would cut huge
holes into every syndicate's training schedule.

AC Management will undoubtedly announce the 2005 schedule later in the
year, but one thing is pretty clear. If Newport, RI is not on that
schedule, a lot of New Englanders will be traveling to Europe next year to
see these incredible sailboats race again. - The curmudgeon

What's going on, say insiders, is an ugly separation that could be
permanent. Coutts himself, who spent last week here doing commentary on a
spectator boat carrying Alinghi supporters after declining to sail on the
race boat, was not optimistic. "Any chance you can patch this thing up?" he
was asked on the dock. "Probably not," said the dark-haired New Zealander,
with a trace of sadness.

Coutts apparently is miffed by his modest role in Alinghi defense planning.
Insiders say he had strong interest in shaping the new Cup structure and
hoped to influence decisions on the venue for the next event, changes in
the design of Cup boats and racing rules. Instead, Bertarelli put his
longtime business assistant, Michel Bonnefous, in charge, leaving Coutts
and Butterworth with the sailing team. Relations soured. "It's been going
downhill for a year," said one Alinghi crewman.

"We met with Brad (Butterworth) about it," said Alain Golaz, a high-ranking
official with the Societe Nautique de Geneve, the Cup's official keeper.
"He said, 'We'd like to be loved, to be part of the club. We're going to
lose our sense of humor if it's all lawyers and accountants making the
decisions.' " Golaz said the loss of Coutts shouldn't damage Alinghi's
chance for a successful defense too severely. "All the effort has been to
show this as a team -- Jochen, Ernesto, the designers, the sailors, the
trainers and the staff working together. If one among these for legitimate
reasons decides to do something else, it would not, I think, be so damaging.

Now Alinghi looks slightly vulnerable and Ellison, with all his
insecurities, may peak early. Team New Zealand has mounted a serious
challenge with two strong sponsors and $100 million Kiwi dollars in hand,
while South Africa, France, Italy and England all have prospects. And now
Coutts, who hasn't lost a Cup race in a decade, is on the loose. Or is he?
- Angus Phillips, Washington Post, Full story:

"We clearly have to hire more people and Ken (Read) could be one person." -
Ernesto Bertarelli, President of Team Alinghi, Cup in Europe website:

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Ellen MacArthur on B&Q failed to break the solo transatlantic West-East
record by just 75 minutes. The outright record of Laurent Bourgnon, has
stood for 10 years now, and remains at 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes, 42
seconds. B&Q achieved a best 24 hour mileage of 526 miles - just 14 miles
short of the solo 24 hour record.

"It's sad. I've put so much in to this record attempt. I've given it
everything I've got," MacArthur said. "If I think of all the times I could
have gained a few minutes, of times I've made small errors, it's very
frustrating. But I've learnt huge amounts about myself and the boat. I
never imagined being able to push her so hard. And I also haven't pushed
myself that hard before, maybe not even in the Vendée Globe. I don't think
I've slept for more than 12 hours in total since New York. I certainly
couldn't have pushed any harder, that's for sure." -

The 19-boat Victoria to Maui fleet has settled in to some fast sailing in
winds reported to be around 15 knots at Monday's roll call. The lead boats
were roughly opposite San Francisco and moving around the edge of the
high-pressure zone which now extends well to the East, and a long way North
to South. The leading yachts are each judging the curve which maintains the
best wind over the shortest distance. Division 1 leader, Dwight Jefferson's
Transpac 52 Flash, is on the inside of all of this, and the other boats in
her class are sailing roughly parallel courses. In Division 2, Brian
Duchin's J/130 Voodoo Child leads the class and is second in fleet, while
Jack Shannon's Swan 46 Tranquillite is the Division 3 and overall leader. -

All eyes will be on Portland in the coming weeks as one of the most
exciting quests in world sailing nears its destiny. Revolutionary yacht
Sail Rocket is being put together at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy
for a series of assaults on the world speed sailing record.

During the next four months the £100,000 ($182,449.75 USD) single-seat
vessel will make extensive use of a 500-metre strip of water in the lee of
Chesil Beach, one of the few spots in the world perfect for high-speed
yachting. Sail Rocket's sole purpose is to break the existing world record
of 46.52 knots set by the Australian yacht Yellow Pages in 1996.

Her British designer is convinced she will do so by shattering the mythical
50-knot barrier, just short of the 60mph car speed limit on Portland Beach
Road. The arrival of the project in Dorset marks the culmination of what
has been an incredible eight-year odyssey for the boat's builder and pilot
Paul Larsen. - Matt Dickinson, Dorset Echo, full story:

Curmudgeon's Comment: The above link provides a fascinating tale of how
Australian Paul Larsen, who in 1998 was working for the yacht charter firm
Sunsail as an engineer and `barbecue scrubber', has become one of the most
experienced campaigners in the world.

Looking for a sporty yet stylish athletic deck shoe, with both
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US Olympic Finn sailor Kevin Hall wrote to Scuttlebutt to let us know there
were a few errors in the report we carried yesterday from the Baltimore Sun
which stated he who has been cleared to compete in Athens by the
International Olympic Committee:

#1. I only have part of my waiver. There are conditions on my TUE
stipulated by the IOC. One of these is that an "independent referee",
different from the ISAF Medical Commission, different from WADA, and
different from the IOC Medical Commission, review my case. This process has
begun as of June 25.

#2. The IOC and the WADA did not step aside and let ISAF decide. ISAF has
been supportive for years, and if that had been the case we would not have
been talking about any of this for the past 6 months. The IOC brought in a
fourth entity, the abovementioned "independent referee" (fifth if we count
USADA, which has also become supportive).

#3. I'm not sure to whom this has seemed easy, but we are just over one
month from the Olympics, and I still do not have a final, all-bases-covered
answer. I first broached this issue to the USOC and the IOC in 1995. -
Kevin Hall

* Tevo Time - This afternoon, OLN begins its coverage of the 2004 UBS
Trophy - the match-racing regatta between Switzerland's Alinghi Team and
Oracle Racing in Newport, RI. The three-part program begins Tuesday, June
29th at 3:00 PM (PT) and continues on Wednesday and Thursday at the same
time. The series re-airs again from August 2 through August 4 at 8 AM (PT).

* Sixteen teams will be competing next week for a share of the SEK 849,000
prize purse (approximately $112,000) at the eighth and final event of the
2003-'04 season, the Swedish Match Cup on the picturesque island of
Marstrand, Sweden. The skippers include Peter Gilmour, Russell Coutts,
Peter Holmberg, Ed Baird, Chris Law, Gavin Brady, Karol Jablonski, Jesper
Bank and Luc Pillot. Switzerland's America's Cup champion Team Alinghi will
be in Marstrand, led by helmsman Peter Holmberg and interestingly, Russell
Coutts has also said he'll attend. -

* Athens, Greece - Boat charter companies in Athens, Greece are finding
that they have become a realistic alternative to traditional housing for
those planning trips to this summer's Olympic Games. Due to a shortage of
local housing options, hopeful spectators are needing to be more creative,
and Athens-based The Moorings and NauticBlue have been able provide
solutions for the weary vacation planner. For details go to or

* Erik Brockmann (MEX) leads 119 sailors from 12 countries after the first
two days of the Optimist NAs, followed by Austen Anderson from Centerport
NY and four members of the strong Bermudan team including reigning champion
Sean Bouchard. Among the girls USA Worlds team member Stephanie Roble from
Lake Beulah Y.C. WI in 6th place has established a clear lead. Fleet racing
is now suspended for two days while attention turns to the Team-Racing
championship where top seeds Bermuda must be strong favorites. -

* Richie Shulman and his Temptress crew nailed down the IMS North American
Championship and took home the Henry B.du Pont Trophy as top individual
boat in the Onion Patch Series. Lawrence Dickie in his N/M 52 Ptarmagin led
the fleet after four races, but the IMX 45 Temptress picked up a place in
the 1.2 weighted Newport Bermuda Race and five points in the final two
races for the victory over 28 other IMS Racing and Cruiser/Racers that had
sailed the seven-race series. Crescendo, a Swan 44 sailed by Jamie Wilmot
took third. -

* Corum USA has become the title sponsor of the Del Rey YC's 18th biennial
race from Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The owner or skipper
of the overall winner in each class will receive a Corum Admiral's Cup
Trophy 41 watch with a retail value of $2,195. The Notice of Race and
current entry list for the February, 2005 race are online:

* It is one of the closest race finishes yet for the Corinthian class of
the 630 mile Newport Bermuda Race - three minutes, 11 seconds. That was all
to divide Richard du Moulin and Chris Reylings New York based Express 37
Lora Ann at the end from their second placed rivals Hewitt Gaynor and Jay
Raymond on Mireille in the Double-Hander class, once handicap times had
been taken into account.

"A lot of money is being wasted developing (rating) rules for a few
thousand boats; what's needed is a rule for 100,000 boats" - Olin Stephens
in the July issue of Yachting World magazine,

Extreme Deck Boots and Ocean Racer boots from Henri Lloyd are now available
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performance sails, plus great how-to articles, message boards and owners

(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 Leeds Mitchell, Barrington, RI: This past week, I had the
opportunity to watch the UBS races in Newport, RI in two venues. On Tuesday
and Thursday, we watched from Fort Adams, Saturday, we had the pleasure of
being aboard Ticonderoga, an experience in itself.

Having been a spectator and sightseeing boat operator at Cup races in
Newport before "the loss," I could experience the difference, and what a
difference it was. Where else in international yacht racing would you have
the R/C on the VHF keeping the spectators up to date on the action? Where
else could you watch the races from land, close enough to see the faces of
the crew? Where else would you have a fleet of patrol boats professionally
run and with a positive attitude not yelling at you, but asking you to
observe the limits of travel near the competitors? Where else would you
have professional commentators on AM radio, in a boat near the competitors,
and on site at Fort Adams, providing commentary, humor, advice, and
entertainment? We had it all here in Newport, even with unfettered access
to the boats and crew at Newport Shipyard. Gone are the beefy guards,
(except when the Cup was on display), gone was the elitist attitude towards
all except the inner circle.

Anyone connected with the organization and execution of this event deserve
more accolades than available for quite possibly changing sailboat racing
from merely a competition between boats to a true, existing, engrossing
spectator sport. These folks have shown that our sport of sailboat racing
can be, and should be, something for all to enjoy. I can't wait for the
next event run by them. I'll be

* From Michelle Gallego: Seeing several new comments on television,
advertising and sailing in recent Scuttlebutts, it must be noted that UBS
appears to be breaking the mold. I saw UBS's 15-second spot highlighting
their involvement with Alinghi and noting this week's UBS Trophy in RI on
the Golf Channel, on ESPN's golf coverage and on the History Channel over
the past weekend. Imagine that, advertising the sport during shows not
related to sailing, but certainly addressing that same demographic! What if
Rolex took that terrific ad they used during Gary Jobson's 25 Years of
Sailing program and showed it during, say, golf or open wheel auto racing.
Could sailing perhaps start earning some notice outside of the traditional
media? Is it time we stop preaching to the choir?

* From Chris Boome: I thought you would like to know that 20% of the early
entries for the Laser Masters PCC's at Huntington Lake on July 24 & 25 have
listed Scuttlebutt Sailing Club as their Yacht Club.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Free SSC membership cards are available at:

* From Scott Corder: In Butt #1610, Mr. Messner complains "it is
frustrating to watch guys with new sails and perfect bottoms sail by
because they don't have kids in college or a mortgage and can afford to
properly prepare their boats." "In PHRF your score should be determined by
how well you utilize what you have - not how much you spend." Mr. Messner's
problem is not with PHRF. His problem would also exist in offshore
one-design and dinghies. I race all three, and well-prepared boats often
win. Rather, Mr. Messner's problem is that of unrealistic expectations. I
now have a wife, kids and mortgage that prevent me from spending much time
or money on racing. My boats have perfect bottoms and great sails
(purchased during my no-cost-is-too-great-to-win youth), but these days I
often find myself following others around the course.

Yet I continue to enjoy racing. Why? Because my expectations of sailing
today are far different than they were when time and money were no object.
Rather than be distraught over changes in my performance, I choose to be
happy when I do find time to sail, as racing provides me a rare escape from
life's responsibilities. And on those occasions where I manage to place
well, I have reason to feel very good. Bottom line - racing would attract
more newcomers if Mr. Messner and others stopped blaming PHRF and chose to
measure their pleasure by the number of hours spent sailing - not the
number of trophies on their book shelf.

* From Douglas Messer (Re Hal Smith's take on racing): So thirty years ago
under IOR you could buy your victories and be the barroom hero. That is one
of the reasons the IOR rule died. PHRF is supposed to address the design
race issue by basing handicaps on actual performance. Unfortunately they
want to handicap sisterships identically when even one-designs are not
identical. As far as refugees from a scrap heap, this is an insult to the
broad base of racing sailors out there. Sailors that take our well found,
older vessels out to race need to control costs and if we do it by sailing
with sails that are not the newest or a boat that is not the latest design
we are doing it in a safe and seamanlike manner. If you want to compete
against Plattner, Disney and DeVos, go ahead but don't tell the world that
someone is a great sailor because he can afford to buy a championship.

* From Sefton Powrie: Surely Athena is a sailing ship, not a yacht. This
one must have crossed the threshold.

Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?