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SCUTTLEBUTT 1619 - July 7, 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.

Amanda Hall, the wife of cancer survivor and U.S. Olympic Finn class
sailing representative Kevin Hall, has spoken out bitterly about the
"bureaucratic obstacles" blocking him from a final drug clearance to
compete at Athens next month. "Kevin has endured logistically challenging
mandated blood tests, tedious and repetitive paperwork demands,
inconsistent and contradictory stipulations on his time, his energy and his
patience," she said, "all the while keeping a smile on for the press,
keeping his optimism alive, and with little moral support and advocacy from
the very organizations established for those purposes."

Hall, 34, is a former resident of Ventura, Calif., now living in Bowie, Md.
He requires a renewal of his Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) that allows
him weekly injections of testosterone---a steroid normally banned by the
International Olympic Committee---to compensate for the loss of his
testicles to cancer in the early 90s. US Sailing officials have maintained
for months that there would not be a problem.

Olympic Director Jonathan Harley wrote in an e-mail May 6: "There's not a
doubt in my mind that he will get an exemption that will carry him for the
next four or five years. I'll go to the bank on that. We should have a
definite answer within a week." Two months later, with the Olympics five
weeks away, Hall is still waiting while he trains in Athens---and, in light
of the current anti-drug atmosphere weighing heavily on the Olympics,
growing more restless by the moment. Harley, responding to a request for an
update on the situation, said on June 18: "Kevin has received approval to
compete in the 2004 Athens Olympic Regatta." But, although Hall's situation
was of ongoing interest in the sailing community, there was no formal
announcement. Harley explained, "As the information is in essence
'confidential,' we did not do a press release. Matters like this are
supposed to be confidential. If word gets out it can come from Kevin, not
from [US Sailing]."

US Sailing President Janet Baxter followed up on June 19: "We have operated
all along as if he would receive the required approvals, so the final
paperwork is not news and the details will not be published by us. We want
him concentrating on Athens, not worrying about the testing process which
has become a real burden to him and to his family and fans. He has been
doing that, and the other issues can be put aside."

Perhaps it was better to keep family and friends in the dark. The news was
premature, at best, as Hall responded in an e-mail to the sailing
newsletter Scuttlebutt. "I only have part of my waiver," he said. "There
are conditions on my TUE stipulated by the IOC. One of these is that an
'independent referee,' different from the ISAF [International Sailing
Federation] Medical Commission, different from WADA [World Anti-Drug
Authority] and different from the IOC Medical Commission, review my case.
"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." At
one point Hall was told he would know by July 2. That became July 9
following an apparent procedural blunder. - Rich Roberts, Yacht Racing
website, full story:

(Following is an excerpt from an interview German yacht designer Rolf
Vrolijk on The Daily Sail website.)

While Mediterranean IMS boats are unpopular with UK sailors, in their home
environment they are the ideal tool for the job. What is significant about
the Mediterranean IMS scene is that it is one of the few areas within our
community where full-on race boat campaigns complete with professional crew
and hefty development budgets are not only surviving, but bubbling along
nicely with new boats launched every year. As with owners in the US, so
those in the Med are becoming tired of waiting for an international rule to
materialise and are taking the law into their own hands, says Vrolijk, with
a number teetering on the verge of purchasing new Transpac 52s (or TP52s as
we are supposed to call them now - they are not necessarily sleds).

Judel / Vrolijk of course have a TP52 design, yet Vrolijk views the rule
with some skepticism when it comes to achieving what the lobby of Med
owners, with the King of Spain at its centre, want it to do. "I'm not keen
because they are expecting too much out of a box rule and their
expectations are cheap, long life, resale value - there are a lot of other
issues that are critical of course," he warns, adding that campaign costs
ultimately will not end up any cheaper than those of present IMS boats of
this size. Aside from this the owners, Vrolijk says, want to have better
competition and to get rid of IMS and its complexities. - The Daily Sail,

And while you're watching Lance Armstrong try for number six, don't forget
you have a regatta to plan. The Pirate's Lair can put you in all the best
colors, er, maybe not the polka-dots. Email us at for
your catalog or questions about tees, polos, hats and graphics.

More flesh has been put on the bones of the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race with
two new projects confirmed - Grant Wharington's Premier Challenge from
Australia and Alan Adler's Brasil 1 team. Brazilian Star Class World
Champion Alan Adler will lead Brasil 1 with Torben Grael as helmsman. The
team has secured the majority of its funding and plans to announce its
designers and builders once discussions with sponsors are concluded in due
course. Designers under consideration are Farr Yacht Design and Mani Frers.
Both teams have more than half of their funding in place. The resourceful
Wharington has turned to Don Jones to design his Volvo 70, the same man who
created his Sydney-Hobart first-to-finish entry Skandia.

Though the quadrennial Volvo race, and its predecessor the Whitbread, has
been stopping in Australia since the first event in 1973-74, Australia has
only ever fielded one entry, Newscorp, in the 2001-02 race. Wharington's
Premier Challenge will be based out of Melbourne, the new stopover which
has replaced Fremantle and Sydney. Rio de Janeiro was a host port from the
outset of the race, but Adler's boat will be Brazil's first entry. Triple
Olympic medallist and America's Cup tactician Torben Grael has been named
as helmsman. Design candidates are Bruce Farr and Mani Frers. They join
Spain's Telefonica entry and the two-boat ABN Amro team from Holland.

"To have five boats going into production 17 months ahead of the start is
great news," said race chief executive Glenn Bourke, whose bold decision to
replace the old Volvo 60s with much higher performance 70-footers was part
of his revamp of the race. "Within a month or so I can guarantee there'll
be more entries announced. There's a lot going on at the moment," he said.
- Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph,

Event website:

The contract for the Olympic broadcast rights for Europe for the XXI
Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the Games of the XXX Olympiad
in 2012 was officially ratified by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
during its General Assembly. The agreement, announced recently by the IOC
(which covers 51 countries, excluding Italy, and a wide range of media
categories, including for the first time multi-media and mobile telephony),
is valued at €614 million (US$746 million) an increase of around 40% from
the previous contract. With respect to Italy, the IOC will commence direct
negotiations with different broadcasters and media groups in due course.

Building on the successful conclusion of the US Olympic Broadcast
negotiations in June of last year, which were awarded to General Electric
and NBC for a total package of US$2,201 billion and with many important
territories still to be negotiated, the European contract puts the IOC on
track to reach financing of over US$3 billion, monies that it will then
redistribute to the world of sport, via the Organizing Committees for the
Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committees and the International
Federations. - ISAF website,

Dwight Jefferson's Andrews-designed TP 52 Flash crossed the line Monday
afternoon at 14:47:21, and Gary Schoenrock's Davidson 52 Cassiopeia
finished very early Tuesday morning at 02:39:00. Unofficially, this makes
Flash first in her division, and presently she is sitting second in the
corrected fleet standings. Brian Duchin's J/130 Voodoo Child had a 230 mile
24-hour run and now tops Division 2 and is also first overall. The fleet
has been sailing in 15-20 knots of wind, notwithstanding lighter patches
around 10 knots or so.

Sperry Top-Sider, the conquistadors of the open seas have one more notch in
their belt of accolades. The Shamu trainers at Sea World, a.k.a., "The
Dream Team," have designated the Figawi Zip as their footwear
extraordinaire. The Figawi Zip is the latest in performance wear that
combines high-tech material with good old fashion ingenuity. Some of the
custom features of the Figawi Zip are molded rubber mudguard with drainage
ports, Aegis Microbial Shield kills bacteria that cause odor and
Non-Marking Super-Tack Rubber Outsole™ and Quadro-Grip Wave-Siping™ provide
superior wet or dry traction. -

* Marstrand, Sweden - The Open Regatta at the Swedish Match Cup commenced
Tuesday, and four of the eight skippers in Group A opened the event by
posting 3-1 records on a sparkling day of racing. With westerly winds
blowing 18 to 24 knots, Karol Jablonski, Mattias Rahm, Gavin Brady and
Magnus Holmberg won three of four races and stand tied atop the
leaderboard. Chris Law and Jesper Bank are one win behind at 2-2. Michael
Dunstan and Johnie Berntsson are 0-4. The Open Regatta schedule has Group A
finishing its first round robin by noon Wednesday. Group B is scheduled to
begin racing Thursday. Group B skippers feature Ed Baird (USA), Russell
Coutts (NZL), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Bjorn Hansen (SWE), Peter Holmberg
(ISV), Staffan Lindberg (FIN), Lars Nordbjerg (SWE) and Luc Pillot (FRA). -
Sean McNeill,

* Marie Björling (SWE), Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (DEN), Claire Leroy (FRA)
and Betsy Alison, (USA) made the finals in the women's class of the Swedish
Match Cup. Defending champion Marie Björling won the round-robin series,
sailed in the DS 37 One Design Match Racer, even though she's been on
maternity leave for a year. American Betsy Alison ended up in a
three-way-tie with Claire Leroy and Danish Nina Braestrup Petersen, all
finishing with 4 wins and 3 losses. After a count-back, Braestrup Petersen
was the one who didn't make it to the semi-finals. - Joakim Hermansson,

* Fresh from winning the sixth Trofeo SM La Reina in Valencia, the Spanish
skipper Pedro Campos announced a possibility of Italo-Spanish merger
beetween Mascalzone Latino and the Club Náutico de Valencia. "Vascoto and
Onorato proposed me to create a syndicate for the America's Cup", Campos
said. "But I required as prerequisite that the team will be based in
Valencia". Sponsored by the leading Italian mobile operator TIM in the 31st
Cup, the Italian Team - which belongs three ACC - is looking for a new
backer and the Telefonica's support for Campos could be a good idea. - Cup
in Europe,

* The French K-Challenge design team is moving forward with Bernard Nivelt
joining the team as Principal Designer. Bernard has the experience of
victory in the America's Cup, as he won it with the American team, Stars &
Stripes with Dennis Conner. This design team is presented by Dimitri
Nicolopoulos, K-Challenge Design Team Coordinator: Jacques Fauroux, young
talents with Sandrine Lescaudron (VPP) and Guillaume Verdier (designer),
experienced again through North Sails and Bruno Dubois, responsible for
that part of the programme, industrial rigor with MCube and highly talented
and open eyes from Gilles Ollier Design Team at Multiplast who have not
only built five ACC boats but designed a string of highly successful large
multihulls." - Excerpts from The Daily Sail,

The 140 foot, Mari Cha IV is on a record pace that includes 21 knot runs
toward Kaneohe in an effort to break the 1998, Pyewacket San
Francisco-Kaneohe record of 6 days 14 hours, 22 minutes and 20 seconds. On
day #9 of the West Marine Pacific Cup, Bob Miller's purpose-built
juggernaut has traveled over 400 miles and is expected to finish just
before cocktail hour on Wednesday. The overall race lead on corrected time
is still in the hands of the West Coast downwinders in Division E. Martin
Brauns' SC 52, Winnetou, James Gregory's Schumacher 50, Morpheus and Steve
Williams' SC 52 Natazak remain 1-2-3 in class and in fleet. Nearly all of
the Division E competitors are expected to finish within hours of one
another on Saturday. -

Performance daysailing at it's best. The inaugural 2004 Nomad East Coast
Championships, July 16-18, Annisquam Yacht Club, Gloucester, MA. For more
information, the NOR and to see what you are missing, go to

(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 David Tillett, Chairman of the Athens Jury: I have noted comments on
proposed Olympic SI 12.5 and believe it important to clarify what may be a
misunderstanding. The hailed boat would only be subject to the penalty for
failing to retire from the race having been directed to do so by the Race
Committee. The disqualification is for a breach of the SI in not leaving
the course when directed, it is not for being OCS. A boat who leaves the
course in compliance with SI 12 .5 is not precluded from seeing redress for
being recorded as OCS as per rule 62 [1] a

* From Richard Brown: I assume you have been inundated by letters of
rebuttal regarding James Johnson's letter criticizing the Sailing
Instructions for the Olympics and also criticizing the Race Management. As
so often happens if only people would read the document as it is written
rather than put their interpretation on it they would save themselves the
embarrassment. Johnson refers to clause 12.5 which says that if a sailor
fails to comply with RRS 29.1, 30.1 or breaks rule 30.3 a member of the
race committee will point flag X at them and make a sound signal. The
purpose is to inform them they will be disqualified and for them to leave
the course area. Only if they do not leave the course area will they be
disqualified and be prevented from discarding that score. Not as Johnson
suggests have to carry the disqualification even if they do leave the area.
The intervention of the Race Committee only comes after 4 minutes after the
start, by which time the sailor has lost his opportunity to return anyway.
Not such bad race management after all.

* From Peter Brazier, Melbourne, Australia. (RE: Performance related
handicaps): Anyone interested in this issue may like to read an overview of
the performance handicapping system as used for decades here in Victoria,
Australia. With each boat's time-on-time handicap (TCF) going up or down
after each race as a moving average of its recent performance, the result
of any given race is as much a reflection of who has done the best relative
to how they had gone recently as to who has done the best in an absolute
sense.The system has undergone some fine-tuning over the years to vary the
number of races averaged, discarding or limiting 'outlier' results and the
existence or not of 'base' handicaps below which a boat's TCF may not fall.

I can assure you that the same philosophical clubhouse debate exists here
as to whether such a system rewards mediocrity or conversely can justify
its existence because being free of charge and requiring no measurement
results in more numbers on the water. But, at the end of the day, the
system has stood the test of time and no club would contemplate promoting
an event without a performance division for fear of lack of entries. -

* From Peter R. Szasz: It is sometimes interesting to follow the ever
present, unending discussions regarding the "unfairness" of various
handicapping systems, and concerns about larger budgets "buying" wins and
trophies. There is a simple, very effective, infinitely fair system in use
in horseracing. While I am not an expert in that field, I believe it is
called "claiming races". Let us establish Classes of $5,000, 10,000,
25,000, 50,000, 100,000, etc. Any one can enter any boat in any of these
classes, however the top three boats may be purchased for the claiming
price by any of the competitors in that class. So if you want to spend
$5,000 on fairing, $10,000 on a super bottom, and use Cuben Fiber sails for
say a Santana 35 and race it in the $5,000 class, good on you mate. You
will make someone very happy as you may only win one race. On the other
hand, an extremely well sailed "jalopy" could increase its market value by
its performance.

* From Howard Elliot, IJ, AUS: When approaching a gate mark on the same
tack, W is required (RRS11) to keep clear of L. RRS16 is turned off by
RRS18.2(d) and therefore L is not required to give W room to keep clear as
she changes course, however, RRS18.2 requires L to give W room to round the
mark. Although L is required to give room to W, L remains the RIGHT OF WAY
boat (RRS11). When they enter the two length zone (and assuming they are
overlapped), L is required (RRS18.2) to give W room. Note that although W
would like to round the leeward mark, she is required to keep clear of L
under RRS11. RRS11 continues to apply in this situation since, at no time,
does RRS18.2 override it (refer preamble to Section C). Note that RRS18.2
also applies to L and W rounding or passing the leeward gate mark.

As long as W gives L room to pass the leeward gate mark then she does not
infringe - a moot point but added for completeness. RRS11 prevents W from
altering course to leeward to round the leeward gate mark - she would then
not be keeping clear of L. Where the boats are on opposite tacks, RRS10
requires P to keep clear of S. RRS18.2 does not override RRS10. Both boats
round the starboard gate mark with P as (Keep clear) inside boat and S as
outside (right of way) boat.

* From Bill Menninger: Seth Radow's comments on the Use Tax in California
were spot-on. I suspect boats will continue to be considered in the same
light as real estate because we have allowed boat owners to deduct interest
on a boat as if it was a second residence. Use Tax will probably continue
but sales tax should disappear. Do you pay sales tax on real estate? No.,
but you do pay property tax. Any way you look at it, we are overtaxed but I
see no change in sight.

The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.