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SCUTTLEBUTT 1621 - July 9, 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.

(Bill Center of the San Diego Tribune recently interviewed ISAF President
Paul Henderson. Here's an excerpt from his story.)

Paul Henderson believes the sport has changed considerably in the decade
he's had a leadership position with the ISAF. But he doesn't think all the
changes have been for the good. "I don't think sailing is currently as
prominent as it has been," he said. "That's particularly true in North
America. Part of that has to do with the fact that there are so many other
things to do. In some areas, sailing is still doing very well. In Europe,
the sport is still very healthy. In North America, it is not doing as well.
Local racing is still doing well. Social racing is still thriving. Fun
racing is strong. But where the sport is exclusive, we have problems."

Henderson was speaking of the America's Cup, Grad Prix level regattas and
the Olympics. He would like to see major changes at each level.

Henderson started at the top - with the America's Cup. It sounds like
Henderson would scrap the present system and start anew. "The cost of the
America's Cup is driving away all but the richest of men," he said. "The
America's Cup has terrible problems. The entry fee is $100 million. We're
back to the days of the Liptons and the Vanderbilts, which I don't think
were very interesting to most of the world. I don't know if it can be fixed
as long as we head in the present direction. And I'm not so sure the
sailors like it, either. They like the money. But the costs in time and
money are so way out of line. And the most money wins. Money buys
technology, and the technology is out of hand. The America's Cup is like
golf. Technology has taken over. I'd like to see one-design hulls and rigs.
Bring the costs down. Bring the time down. If you can't do that, scrap the
event. Retire the Cup and move onto something else."

Turning to the Olympics … "Olympic sailing should be about talent and not
technology," said Henderson as he continued down the same path he followed
with the America's Cup. "The costs again are way out of line. Star guys use
a new set of sails every regatta. If I had my way, I'd set down a challenge
to find sails that would last a year. And in the Olympics, I'd like to see
more classes available to the mainstream. Classes that you could re-supply
out of common boxes … at least four simple equipment classes, men's and
women's lasers classes and a mixed doubles catamaran like the Hobie 16 that
you could sail off the beach. "There'd also be the Finn and a two-person
dinghy." Would there be the Star? "There would a keel boat class," said
Henderson. "But not the Star if the attitude of the class didn't change."

As for Grand Prix racing … "I'd find a way to clean up the entire offshore
world," he said. "There would be a new rating rule. And I'd try to find a
way to bring North American regattas up to European levels. I don't think
the North American clubs are doing their jobs. There used to be a number of
world-class offshore regattas in North America that great boats and crews
would have to attend. Now everyone stays closer to home." - Bill Center,
San Diego Tribune,

(In a story posted on the Yachting World website, Peter Ernstved chatted
with Russell Coutts about the plans for the new event Coutts is planning
with Paul Cayard. Here are a couple of Coutts' quotes from that interview.)

"It is true that Paul and I have been talking about doing something new. I
am not entirely sure about what that format should be right now, but we're
working through it. Once we get to a stage where we have a clearly defined
thing, we will probably make that public. We are definitely not thinking of
doing any event that would try to compete with - or that you could compare
with - the America's Cup. If we do something, it would be entirely
different. I think the America's Cup is a great event. It is moving on and
has been there for 150 years. It will always be there. I'm looking forward
to a fresh approach. There are a lot of exiting things happening in the
sport, like the canting-keel boats and some of the Open 60s. I would love
to have a look at that - I haven't even seen an Open 60 yet." - Yachting
World. There's a lot more to this story:

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(Sailing World magazine interviewed Vince Brun following his induction into
the Sailing World Hall of Fame. In that story, Brun discussed a number of
the boats in which he'd won world championships. We particularly enjoyed
his thoughts about the Star.)

The Star is special for me because it's a boat that you can really learn
how to sail. The Laser teaches you how to move your body, the effect that
your body has in the boat-that's where I really learned how kinetics
affects the boat's performance. But 75 percent of the performance is
related to how you move your body in the boat. To me the Stars are much
more interesting. How you set up the sails, rig, mast is so important
because the sail is so much bigger than the boat and you're so overpowered
all the time. When comparing the sail area versus the weight of the boat,
the Star is probably the biggest boat in the world in terms of ratios. That
ratio makes the boat really unstable and you have to have a lot of finesse.
If you want to bend the mast fore and aft more, you can bring the spreaders
back, you can put on more upper shroud tension, you can bend the mast side
to side-you have so much control. You learn from sailing a Star what to do
to the rig to power up the sail or depower the sail and then when you go
and sail a Farr 40 later in life, you know exactly what to do. The Star is
very fascinating-I can see why Bill Buchan sailed it all his life. -
Sailing World magazine, full story:

On Wednesday Robert Miller's 140-foot Mari Cha IV took 32 hours off of West
Marine Pacific Cup course record and on Thursday, Doug Baker's Magnitude 80
finished shortly after 6pm to also eclipse the former record held by Roy
Disney's Pyewacket. However, the downwind specialists in Division E are
being credited with the corrected time fleet lead as well as their
division. Martin Brauns' SC 52, Winnetou, James Gregory's Schumacher 50,
Morpheus and Steve Williams' SC 52 Natazak have held their lead for several
days and are expected to finish on Saturday. -

* Note: The curmudgeon just got an email from Big Mike Howard who said,
"You would have loved our crossing on the Mari Cha IV. 1000 mile lay line
to Kanehoe Bay. Left the same day as the Matson liner - beat them boat for
boat by quite a few hours.

Brian Duchin's Voodoo Child finished at 10:16:53 HST Wednesday and although
there are still 14 boats out on the race course, it appears that in
addition to taking first in Division 2 the J/130 from Tacoma Yacht Club
will be First Overall in the IBM Vic-Maui. It was a remarkable sail for
Voodoo Child, so much so that it caused Dwight Jefferson, skipper of the TP
52 Flash to muse that she may have redefined the way modern boats should
sail the race. These vessels sail very fast at high angles, generating a
lot of apparent wind. In hindsight, Jefferson was speculating whether Flash
too could have sailed through the centre of the High rather than around it.

Two more boats should arrive in Lahaina late Thursday evening - Time
Bandit, a J/120 skippered by Bob Brunius and Jam, a J/160 skippered by John
McPhail. Five more boats are likely to arrive by tomorrow night. -

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Team New Zealand has taken the first steps in its European campaign for the
2007 Americas Cup with race yacht NZL 82 loaded on a container ship bound
for Italy. Also on board is NZL 57, the trial yacht from the successful
2000 defense which has been sold to the French K Challenge syndicate. The
team's tender, a 40-ft container loaded with sails, gear and spares and
another container holding a complete workshop are also on board along with
a chase boat. The yachts will be offloaded in Italy and then towed to
Marseille, with NZL 82 to compete in America's Cup pre-regattas in
September and October both in Marseille and Valencia. - Cup in Europe website,

* The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship has drawn 254 sailors
under 19 years old, together with their team leaders and coaches to Gdynia,
Poland for a week of competition in seven disciplines: Boys Single-handed
Dinghy - Laser; Girls Single-handed Dinghy - Laser Radial; Boys and Girls
Double-handed Dinghy - 420; Boys and Girls Windsurfing - Mistral; Multihull
Open - Hobie 16. -

* The final start of the Second Biannual Route Halifax-Saint Pierre race
started Thursday morning under cool grey skies and 10-20 knots of Easterly
breeze. This start of 15 Spinnaker equipped racing boats is headed with no
stops to the French Island of Saint Pierre off Newfoundland. Last Tuesday,
11 non-spinnaker yachts started from Halifax with a stop over in Louisburg
Cape Breton and then onto Saint Pierre. -

* Marstrand, Sweden - With racing in Group B of the Swedish Match Cup
suspended late Thursday afternoon due to lack of wind, Baird, the reigning
match-racing world champion, rolled to a 6-0 record in a tough group
looking completely at ease in the light winds. Russell Coutts (NZL) is
second with 3.5 points on a 4-1 record and Björn Hansen (SWE) is third at
3-2. Three skippers are tied at 2-3, including Peter Gilmour (AUS), Peter
Holmberg (USVI) and Luc Pillot (FRA). Lars Nordbjerg (DEN) is seventh at
1-4, while Staffan Lindberg (FIN) is eighth at 1-5.

The highlight match of the day pitted Coutts against Holmberg. Coutts wound
up putting Holmberg in the drink when he hit the past Swedish Match Tour
champion during an incident at the windward mark of their Flight 2 match.
"We hit him pretty hard," said Coutts' crewmember Jes Gram-Hansen. "I'd
give Peter a 9 for that nosedive in the drink." As he fell in the water
Holmberg grabbed the spinnaker sheet so he didn't get separated from the
boat. He was in the water for only a few seconds, and climbed back aboard
with the help of the onboard observer. Coutts, sailing with Gram-Hansen's
Danish match-race crew, was penalized twice by the on-water umpires (after
the race he received a .5-point penalty). Coutts had to perform one of the
turns immediately and one later, but played enough shifts well enough to
defeat Holmberg by three seconds. - Sean McNeill,

As we assembled the list of North American Sailors who made the top 20 on
the new ISAF rankings list, we inadvertently overlooked the 16th ranked
Bermuda Yngling Team of Paula Lewin, Christine Patton and Melissa Purdy
(who obviously has been very busy because she is also listed on Hannah
Swett's 19th ranked Yngling team?) and the 10th ranked Tornado team from
Puerto Rico - Enrique Figueroa Suarez and Jorge Hernandez.

Bill Biewenga, Commanders' Weather and OPC meteorologists ramp up to help
you study the trends and options to Mackinaw Island. The WxLIVE! online
interactive weather seminar is convenient to your schedule. Workshop
archives are available for Port Huron-Mac sessions and July 15 & 16
seminars are open for Chi-Mac.

(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 Peter Huston: When Bob Hobbs was President of US Sailing he
appointed me as the "Special Assistant to the President for Sponsorship
Affairs". Basically, I was asked to clean up the mess that US Sailing found
itself in from too many half baked sponsorship deals with which it was

One of the primary tasks I had was to interview all of the existing
sponsors and find out what was bothering them. One of the key points for
the majority of sponsors who in some way worked in the youth end of the
sport were the ever present Mt. Gay hats. All too often as they were
preparing print ads to support their sponsorship program, they would have
to go through gyrations to remove the Mt. Gay logos from some kid who was
sailing an Opti or some other such boat. Some event organizers made a point
to have kids put duct tape over the Mt. Gay logo, but if you are the art
director responsible for an ad layout, do you want a big hunk of gray tape
in your ad?

Further, when alcoholic beverage companies are involved in any event, the
opportunity to gain other sponsors becomes self limiting. I'm hardly a
teetotaler, and in fact rather enjoy Meyer's rum, but with the sort of
money that runs around sailing I've never understood why the sport needs to
sell its soul for the sake of a couple of free drinks. It is somehow
rational to spend money on disposable carbon sails but yet we need, and
seem almost desperate for, a free $4 drink?

* From Chris Pratt, AUS Finn 1984 & 1988: Kevin Halls efforts to make the
US Olympic Team is great news. His efforts are an illustration of why the
Olympics are so special and the conclusion is a victory for common sense -
common sense being so hard to achieve in our politically correct world. I
really hope Kevin now goes on to enjoy the experience and find a peak in
his achievements.

* From Paul Dietrich: Perhaps the anti-doping crusade has gone to far too
fast. To make our finest athletes jump through so many hoops so late is
just not right. There has to be a better more timely method. This crusade
had unfairly tarnished the reputation of the athletes and the spirit of the
games. The ends are justified, but the means are sorely lacking.

* From Pat Healy (re: Kevin Hall's Olympic TSU) US Sailing is not be
getting the credit it is due in helping Kevin Hall obtaining his TSU
(Therapeutic Use Exemption) for the Olympics. Navigating Kevin's request
through the uncharted channel of the IOC, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency),
USADA and USOC must have been a difficult and frustrating experience for
everyone. Ideally, it would have been settled years ago but that goal is
not realistic. None of the agencies had procedures in place to obtain
approval. All along US SAILING cajoled and helped ISAF create a system that
would work. Nor did it help when Kevin's injections were administrated by
his MD wife and parents. All eminently qualified, but guaranteed to raise
eyebrows. Then Kevin's name was not completely edit out in the submission
to the first independent referee. Instead of wasting time pointing a
finger, US Sailing got a commitment from USADA for a quick review. The
result is, a month before the Olympics, Kevin and his family have received
the approval he needs.

* From John Rumsey: The ISAF rankings are not needed. What have you done
lately? Rank the sailors from there finish in the last big regatta.

* From Karen Yingling -An open letter to Bruce Golison: Bruce, thank you
for your years of dedication to the Southern California racing circuit and
for managing one of the best regattas in the country. Thank you for caring
about the fleet participation, the racers and the volunteers. As the
Southern California JConcierge, I have had the opportunity to work
intimately with most of the major regattas in Southern California, and no
events (including the one that I run) are handled with such
professionalism, care for the participants and love for the sport as yours.
Bruce. Thank you - the event will be missed.

* From Kyle Burleson: You mention that Genuine Risk will make its debut in
the Chicago Mac. You might want to mention that the boat's real debut is in
the Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac. It gets quite frustrating as a Bayview
member and lifelong Michigan sailor that this race never gets any
attention, when it is in fact a much more difficult race than the Chicago
Mac. It is not the typical sled ride that all those Lake Michigan folk
claim is so incredible, but rather a tactical beast usually involving a
great amount of upwind sailing and decisions to go North or South of rhumb,
to Michigan or to Canada, and not just the simple task of going up the
shore. Not to complain, but it is time that the difficult race gets some

* From Steve Rodriguez: The new racing rule 40.2 (to apply from 1/1/06):
"40.2 A trapeze or hiking harness shall have a device capable of quickly
releasing the competitor from the boat at all times while in use." seems to
leave lots of room for challenge and confusion. For example:
- a conventional hook while "in use" - ie hooked to the trapeze ring - is
surely capable of "quickly releasing the competitor" simply by unhooking?
- if "at all times" means a harness has to be capable of releasing the
competitor "from the boat" no matter what happens, it might not be the hook
which is caught and a quick release hook would not in itself meet the
- skiff-style harnesses have a strap over the shoulders held by a single
quick release buckle. Does that qualify as a "device capable of quickly
releasing the competitor"?
- the requirement to have a "device to release the competitor" would seem
to rule out "ball and socket" type harnesses which are passive.

If the intent of this rule was to be that any hook on a trapeze harness
should have a "quick release" allowing the hook to be separated from the
harness, wouldn't it have been clearer just to say so? If that isn't the
intent, what is it? Racing rules should be clear and self-explanatory.
Anything safety-related even more so. This one I'm afraid isn't.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up,
he'll never be able to edge his car onto a freeway.