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SCUTTLEBUTT 1620 - July 8, 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.

He is one man in a dinghy, a sailor who for years has dreamed of riding the
wind to Olympic glory. One man tacking into the teeth of one of life's
gales, which has threatened to turn his world upside down and, at times,
made his dream seem more like a nightmare. Today, however, Kevin Hall finds
himself back in calmer waters. A cancer survivor who must take regular
injections of testosterone, a substance banned by the International Olympic
Committee, he was cleared Tuesday to compete in next month's Summer Games
in Athens.

Rich Wanninger, spokesman for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said that
paperwork involving the U.S. and international agencies "has gone through"
and Hall "has been approved" and will receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption
waiver to compete as the United States' lone representative in sailing's
Finn class. Efforts to reach U.S. Sailing, the sport's national governing
body, were unsuccessful. Hall, reached Tuesday night in Athens, said he had
not heard from the agency but was not surprised. "Why am I always the last
to know?" he asked. - Pete Thomas, Los Angeles Times, full story:,1,3137580.story?coll=la-headl

From Amanda Hall (Kevin's wife): "Well, it looks like we finally got it. I
just received a copy of the independent referee's letter of confirmation
stating that Kevin has indeed been approved to compete in the Olympics. Now
that all of the IOC's conditions for approval are fulfilled, we should be
good come race day. It is certainly a relief and will take a huge load off
of Kevin's mind while he makes his final preparations for competition.
Thank you all for your support and continued interest in Kevin's success."

The ISAF has just published their last class rankings before the start of
the Olympic Sailing Competition. According to the accompanying press
release, "They show who, over the last two years of competition, has been
regularly competing at the highest level in the Olympic circuit." What the
rankings do not show is perhaps more important … but that's an issue that
has been thrashed around in Scuttlebutt extensively during the past few
months, and we are not going there again today. However, for those who have
an interest in seeing how North Americans faired in this latest exercise,
we've listed those sailors who made it into the top 20 in their respective

- Mistral - Men: None
- Mistral - Woman: None
- Finn: None
- 470 - Men: 6. Foerster/ Burnham (USA)
- 470 - Woman: 13. Provan/ Girke (CAN) 16. McDowell/ Kinsolving (USA)
- Laser: 12. Mark Mendelblatt (USA)
- 49er: 4. Wadlow/ Spaulding (USA)
- Europe: 6. Meg Gaillard (USA); 14. Tania Elias-Calles (MEX)
- Tornado: 6. Lovell/ Ogletree (USA) 15. Johansson/ Curtis (CAN)
- Star: 3. Bromby/ While (BER) 8. Cayard/ Trinter (USA) 9. MacDonald/
Wolfs (CAN) 10. Reynolds/ Peters (USA)
- Yngling: 4. Cronin/ Filter/ Haberland (USA) 5. Alison/ Leech/ Icyda
(USA) 9. Barkow/ Howe/ Capozzi (USA) 17. Ross/ Crampton/ Leger (CAN) 19.
Swett/ Purdy/ Touchette (USA)

According to the press release, "When the (next) ISAF World Sailing
Rankings are released at the beginning of September, all the medals at the
2004 Olympic Games will have been decided, and the Closing Ceremony will
have taken place." OK - but will anyone care?

Full rankings:
What's wrong with ISAF's ranking system:

Designed by Ed Dubois, the newly launched 90-foot, canting keel "Genuine
Risk" is making its racing debut this season in the Great Lakes, and is
entered in the Chicago to Mackinac race later this month. Among the
decisions made during this project was the level of on-the-water support
needed for the race team. Look for "GR" to be shadowed by their new support
boat, a Raider RIB by Aquapro. Their choice was the 1200 (40-foot) Center
Console RIB, powered by twin 300hpYamaha motors. Check out your choice of
RIBS, from 22-foot to 46-foot models, at Raider Boats:

Long Beach, CA - It's over - the 20th edition of North Sails Race Week
(June 25-27, 2004) marked the end of Southern California's best-run
multi-class regatta. Founded in 1985 by Bruce and Margo Golison, the
regatta held in the waters off Long Beach, California had grown into one of
the top regional one-design and handicap regattas in the country. "However,
the financial and logistical hurdles are higher than ever," Golison
explained. "We simply could not achieve the levels of corporate sponsorship
and industry support that are needed to run a top caliber,
professionally-managed regatta."

Over those 20 years, North Sails Race Week evolved into a truly premier
racing event on the West Coast. The regatta has been recognized for its
continuous innovation and professional race and event management. "We're
proud of what we have accomplished over the past 20 years," Bruce Golison
said. "In addition to providing a great event and world-class race
management, we are proud to know that we have made our sport better with
some of the innovations that we have developed over the years.

"The innovation we are most proud of, and one that is currently used
worldwide in sailing, is the 'Protest Arbitration System,'" Golison
remarks. "We developed this system 17 years ago to streamline protest
procedures. It took the sailing bureaucracy some time to accept our system,
but protest arbitration works wonders, and the boat owners love it."

Gary Weisman, President of Title Sponsor North Sails said, "It deeply
saddens North Sails to see Race Week come to an end. We will miss their
fantastic support and the enthusiasm they brought to Southern California's
premier regatta." North Sails Race Week was the only truly major regatta in
California that was not affiliated with a yacht club. "This is a huge
loss," said Dave Ullman, a longtime competitor. "A yacht club will have
trouble doing it on the scale that Golison has done it all these years,"
Ullman concluded.

Members of the 2004 British Olympic and Paralympic Sailing squad, including
all three 2000 gold medallists, have posed "in the buff" for a calendar
produced in conjunction with the RYA and Sail for Gold to raise funds for
British Olympic Sailing. The calendar, shot by leading artistic marine
photographer KOS, features Olympic hopefuls including Nick Rogers and
crewmember Joe Glanfield, Katherine Hopson, Nick Dempsey, Laura Baldwin and
also features past gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Shirley Robertson with her
crew and Iain Percy alongside crewmember Steve Mitchell. - Yachts and
Yachting, full story (and photos):

After starting on Friday, July 2nd, the arrival of Mari Cha IV to the West
Marine Pacific Cup finish line at Kaneohe Bay on Wednesday at 6:13 pm has
shattered Pyewacket's 1998, 6 day, 14 hour, 22 minute record. Mari Cha IV
has joined Pyewacket, Windward Passage, Merlin, Blackfin, Kathmanu and
others in the recordbook of transocean legends.

Elsewhere in Pacific Cup action, the leaders on corrected time are also
closing in on Hawai'i, well past the halfway mark of the race. Martin
Brauns' SC 52, Winnetou, James Gregory's Schumacher 50, Morpheus and Steve
Williams' SC 52 Natazak still hold the overall lead as well as their
Division E. -

Special pricing on Henri Lloyd. The Shore Smock is a breathable and
waterproof pullover that's light in weight and very comfortable. The Shore
Jacket is a lightweight and highly breathable. Features an adjustable hood
for extra protection, laminated construction and is fully waterproof. In
Opal, Red and Navy Blue.

* Marstrand, Sweden - Karol Jablonski (POL) has won the Group A round robin
at the Swedish Match Cup with a 5-2 record and advanced to the
quarterfinals of the final event on the Swedish Match Tour 2003-'04. While
Jablonski advanced to Stage 3, Mattias Rahm (SWE), Chris Law (GBR), Gavin
Brady (NZL), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Jesper Bank (DEN) and Johnie Berntsson
(DEN) advanced to Stage 2, scheduled for Friday. Michael Dunstan, winless
in seven matches, was eliminated from competition. Group B is scheduled to
sail its first round robin 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,

* Marstrand, Sweden - It will be a showdown all Nordic in the final on
Saturday at Swedish Match Cup, women´s class, when number one on the world
ranking Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen meets the defender of the title Marie
Björling. By beating their respective opponents, American Betsy Alison and
French Claire Leroy on Wednesday afternoon - both by scores of 3-1 - they
made it to the finals.

Paul Larsen, the man behind the Team Invictus Bristol-based challenge for
the Little America's Cup this September reports that they are nearing
completion of their first Airbus-backed C-Class catamaran. The boat being
built however, is living up to the C-class' reputation for being incredibly
intricate and complex pieces of machinery. Paul Larsen, the skipper of the
new cat, tells the story: "Getting a C-Class right the first time
especially when up against such a well-developed version as Steve Clarke's
Cogito is a daunting task. The design and build team is made up largely of
Airbus engineers which is quite appropriate when designing and building
solid wing-sails.

From the outside it looks simple enough with only a single solid sail on a
straightforward catamaran platform, but venture a little closer and the
detail becomes apparent. On the Invictus wing, the pull of one singular
string can activate hundreds of metres of very taut, vectran kite string
running over 72 internal pulleys activating twist mechanisms and trailing
edge flaps. The wing is held up using Dyneema rigging which is much lighter
than stainless wire. In some cases it's best just to stand back. The art is
of course to make it all work reliably, efficiently and to keep it
super-light. You could spend millions on one of these if you were crazy enough.

"There is one thing the sailing world will know for sure, come the first
starting gun off Bristol, Rhode Island this September, the answer to the
question of where the 'Little Americas Cup' belongs? - Excerpts from a
story posted on the Yachting World website, full story:

* The T2Productions UBS Trophy show of the recent Alinghi - BMW Oracle
Racing match race series in Newport RI is now available online. The show is
free of charge and is available online in both dial up and broadband
speeds. The on-demand video can be watched as many times as you like,
whenever you like. See show listing on the Scuttlebutt website "TV Guide":

* Mount Gay Rum has become an Official Sponsor of US Sailing. The agreement
centers around adult sailing programs and events and designates Mount Gay
Rum as the "Official Rum of US Sailing." In addition to aligning with some
existing programs, the sponsorship calls for development of a new series of
grass roots events targeting yacht club and sailing organizations. The new
program will include a special Mount Gay Rum Speaker Series held at select
sailing organizations throughout the country. -

"Winning silver and gold at the last two Games has put the spotlight on me,
but I can do nothing about the `medal favourite' tag so I don't worry about
it. Besides, it doesn't compare with my own desire to win." - Ben Ainslie,
British Olympic Finn Sailor

Ullman Sails International congratulates Pablo Soldano and his team of
world class Sailmakers in Iseo, Italy. Every year the Italian Navy
recognizes the best sailmaker, top men and women sailors, and yacht
designers at the Trofeo Accademia Navale in Livorno, Italy. Ullman Sails
Iseo was awarded the Oscar della Vela for being the best Italian sailmaker.
This is a well-deserved award for a team of sailmakers who consistently
provide fast sails and outstanding coaching to Olympic and world-class
champions in the Tornado and other classes. Visit our website at

(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 Ray Tostado (re: Peter R. Szasz's claiming race comments): This
claim race condition is still in use in major and minor horse races. It was
practiced in the '50s and '60s in class C professional motorcycle races to
keep factory sponsored machines and riders from taking all the prize
monies. Unfortunately, but predictable under the Darwinian uncertainty
principal, (You can never write a rule with any certainty that it will
follow it's intent.) clever owners worked around this intention by simply
having a claiming check in hand, at the registration moment at every race.
Of course, the check was from a third party; this effectively nullifying
the intent of the rule. Maybe having an E-bay auction with the minimum
would close this loop. The concept makes my neck tingle.

* From Count Enrico Ferrari: Peter R. Szasz was right on in his claiming
race concept. I love it for various venues. It would take the all the
pointless bickering out immeadiately! With all the lip flapping on ratings
gone there would be more time for sailing. Can you imagine the line as a
bunch of $10,000 claimers all go for a clean start! Columbia 36's against a
49'er, against a Catalina 30, against old 1/2 ton IOR machines and maybe
some old 42' gaff rigged fishboat conversion... Sounds like a PHRF
nightmare but with the caveat that your boat could be gone after finishing
the race! I imagine that would include all the gear on board too. Register
your title with the race committee and sail like crazy. Good sailors might
be able to make some extra change by flogging a POS around the course to
first place and then watching it get claimed by those with too much money
and no skill.

* From Jim Champ: If Mr Szasz thinks that I would risk losing all the time,
effort, skill and thought that goes into preparing my boat to some guy with
no talent other than a full wallet by entering a claiming race then I fear
he is mistaken.

* From Alex Watters (Re: the Kevin Hall debacle): What is this world coming
to? It seems we can't even take a breath without being certain our
insurance will cover it. Our lives our being controlled by these tight
fisted companies. As if this isn't bad enough, now the paranoia of illegal
drug use has spilled into the lives of those who, through no fault of their
own, require medication to live a normal life. Like the insurance
companies, the various 'authorities' that police this seem to have lost
touch with reality, and are caught up in the never ending cycle of creating
more regulations to catch the bad guys, completely ignoring the good guys
like Kevin Hall, who pay for it with unbelievable bureaucratic SNAFUs. As a
Canadian I wish Kevin the best in Athens, all I ask is he and Richard
Clarke (our Finn guy) take the top 2 place's, then when your receiving your
medal you can secretly give the various governing bodies the 'royal
finger'!! Bon chance.

* From Kevin Crandall (Re Kevin Hall's Olympic Bid): When I miss a
deadline, I might lose my job. I hope my appeal to the various governing
bodies to do right now is heard. It's a shame that this hasn't been taken
care of, and I feel for an olympian who might need my righteous, shrill
voice to shuffle the paperwork. Come on! Get it done!

* From Lucas Davenport: I could not help but laugh when I read this in the
ISAF story about their Olympic class rankings: "The absence of some world
class athletes from the top echelons of the rankings is due to the
logistically difficult issue of travel to some of the ISAF Grade 1 events
throughout the world, meaning their ranking position itself may not truly
reflect their standing on the world scene. What one must look at in all
rankings releases is not necessarily the actual position of an athlete,
whose points are calculated using regattas from the last two years, but how
their position is changing."

It sounds like they are saying, 'our rankings are meaningless.'

* From Bruce Thompson: The arrival this spring of a 49er, 505 and Int'l 14
has opened the possibility of melding them with our existing 505, 470, 110
and two Thistles to create a high performance Portsmouth number fleet. Take
the orphans and make a family! And it raises the question of how US Sailing
can best serve its members.

Most of its focus has been on big "events," but 150 volunteers for 42
competitors is not a viable possibility for club racing. So why not promote
Portsmouth number racing? Draw those orphans in smaller venues into the US
Sailing family. Put rabbit starts back into the race management curriculum.
Distribute the simplified rule summaries. Remind people of simple permanent
mark courses instead of W-L with inflatables to reduce demands on RC's (I
once did a boat-of-the-year regatta for 70+ boats with a RC of 5 people
totaling only 99 years of age).

Let a just few people take control of their own racing and have some fun.
Grow a participation sport, not a spectacle. How about a series of regional
Portsmouth regattas under US Sailing auspices leading to a national regatta
just like the successful one-design classes run? They administer the
ratings already. Every regatta becomes a boat show. Note that Australia and
New Zealand had huge participation first and then came the spectacle. If
you have participation, you can get sponsors. Our annual crew development
school has demographics that would entice even Victoria's Secret as a sponsor!

Expecting life to treat you well because you're a good person is like
expecting a bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.