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SCUTTLEBUTT 1623 - July 13, 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.

If you want to be good, sail in college. For low dues you sail lots of
races. The maneuvers sink into your bones. It's no accident that both Rolex
Sailors of the Year, Augie Diaz and Hannah Swett, were All Americans. And
even at schools with professional coaches and powerhouse sailing programs,
there's enough of the driving all night to regattas in beater cars and
scrounging fix it parts and sleeping on floors and red-eyeing home for
exams on Monday (darned right there's a party on Saturday night) that no
one need be deprived of their rightful craziness-of-youth experience.

Beyond the big programs-which are sorely few-the craziness of youth becomes
a huge asset, because at lots of schools you gotta want it so bad you'd
crawl across cut glass to sail. At the University of South Alabama (USA),
it took years just to get the notion of a sailing club past the safety
committee. "I guess they thought we'd all drown," says Shaun Small.

At Kenyon College in Ohio, what Robert Northrup calls "our little, loud
sailing team" was resuscitated a few years ago on the inspiration to hunt
down a legendary Club 420 from the days of yore. "We found it, all right,"
Northrup says. "Uncovered. The four of us had quite a clean-up day." Kenyon
now has 4 boats (dues are $5/semester) and recruits aggressively. Northrup
says, "Picture us on campus with boats on trailers, blasting bluegrass to
attract attention." By contrast, powerhouse Tufts might send 40 sailors to
12 regattas on a single busy weekend.

Here's USA again: The club eventually got a charter, but $1,000 per
semester from the student government doesn't go far. It was scary to invest
in a fundraiser BBQ at nearby Buccaneer YC, recalls Sarah Martin: "What if
we got stuck with a pile of expensive food? But just about every member of
the club showed up to support us. We made $1,500 and bought 3 used 420s-you
can imagine the boats-and we bought used gear on eBay, and the local YC's
came through with loaners. We were in business. USA still does BBQ's, but
the best moneymaker is our T-shirt, Top ten reasons why sailing is better
than sex. Number 3, for example: "No one expects you to sail with just one
partner for the rest of your life."

Worried about the future of sailing? You worry too much. - Excerpts from a
story by Kimball Livingston, Sail Magazine. Full story:

Over the past five Olympic Games, the U.S. Sailing Team has performed well,
earning 27 medals out of 46 classes. This impressive performance will be
tested in Athens. Competition is getting tougher. In fact, parity is the
trend. For example, in Sydney in 2000, 16 countries shared 33 medals. And
in Savannah in 1996, a record 23 countries earned medals. Still, in Athens,
America's chances are encouraging. The U.S. sailors have been working hard
preparing for the Games. While all were definitive winners in their
respective classes in the U.S. Trials, they've realized that qualifying was
just the start of their preparation. I had a chance to interview each
sailor and found their attitude to be very determined. - Gary Jobson,
Sailing World website

To read Jobson's interviews with the US Olympic athletes:

The Yachts and Yachting website has now posted a revealing photo of 470
sailor Katherine Hopson from the calendar produced in conjunction with the
RYA and Sail for Gold to raise funds for British Olympic Sailing. Like the
photo of Star sailors Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell featured yesterday,
Katherine is wearing a smile … but no sailing gloves:

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(The Daily Sail website recently interviewed Pierre Tinnerholm, the
President of the Swedish Match Tour. Following are two brief excerpts from
the subsequent story posted on their website.)

At present for the nine events on the Swedish Match Tour, seven different
types of boat are used. Part of Tinnerholm's vision for the Tour is for it
to become more consistent, and his aim is to persuade all the events that
they need to invest in the Swedish Match 40. "Portugal will be the ultimate
test for the boats," he says. "All the sailors are eager to test it in
tough racing conditions. I think if it passes the test in Cascais, that
boat has huge potential and a really bright future. "We need to evaluate it
after Portual and we can get the feedback back from the sailors. I think it
is going to be a huge success down there [in Cascais] and we are
encouraging other events to buy boats. We will see how the set up works in
the future, but right now that's what we want."

Tinnerholm would also like a more even spread of events around the world,
more evenly spread throughout the year. At present with the demise of Tour
events in New Zealand and Australia there are no events between the Nippon
Cup in November and the Congressional Cup in April, although there is a
possible event under discussion to take place in South Africa. They would
also like events in South America, the Middle East and Asia, although they
currently have the Nippon Cup. - The Daily Sail, full story:

After the UBS Trophy in Newport, SUI 64 and USA 76 were shipped together to
Spain and are planned to arrive on July 14 in Valencia. For some days, the
two shore teams are working hard to prepare the RCN de Valencia base and
all will be ready soon for intense training to commence once more. USA-71,
the first of two boats built for Oracle Racing's assault on the America's
Cup 2003, is in Valencia since few days, shipped from Auckland with the
first element of the Team NZ package. Alinghi 75 arrived in Spain (from
France) on Saturday and was unloaded from a container ship. As soon as the
boats will be ready to sail, the two teams will focus on tests and in-house
racing in Valencia. This period will be of great importance just over two
months are to go before the start of the Marseille Louis Vuitton - Act 1
(commencing on the 5th September, 2004). - Cup in Europe website,

Newport RI - Sailors registered from 15 States, Canada, Puerto Rico and
Australia - 276 boats and nearly 800 racers. The Volkswagen Newport
Regatta, produced by Sail Newport, attracted big fleets of one-design
dinghies and keelboats (from Lasers to Farr 40s) plus PHRF boats for the
first time - 15 separate classes on five sailing circles inside and outside
of Narragansett Bay. "Our race committee has a formula that works -
Accelerated Racing and No Traffic Jams," said Sail Newport Executive
Director, Brad Read. It took 150 volunteers and 27 support boats from Sail
Newport and from five Narragansett Bay sailing clubs to run the accelerated
racing format, plus the huge shore side operations headquartered at Sail
Newport's sprawling Sailing Center.

Complete results:
Photo gallery:

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. -

In the distant past, (UK Star sailors Iain Percy and his crew Steve
Mitchell), secured economics degrees. As Percy reflects: "If it wasn't for
sailing, I would have probably ended up doing a boring job in the City -
and be sacked for doing some kind of Nick Leeson act by now." Yet, in a
curious way, such academic backgrounds have proved invaluable in careers
which involve delicate balancing acts - and not just out there, hiking
(that precarious-looking manoeuvre of leaning out of the boat to keep it
stable, of which more later) amid the capricious waters of international

"Unlike many sports, we have complete control of our own destiny," says
Mitchell. "We'll be talking to sponsors, doing sail design, constantly
working on improvements to the boat, and on top of that we're going to the
gym and sailing, and traveling to events and training. You end up managing
it all, like a business." Mitchell adds: "It's a sailing challenge, a
business challenge and a technical challenge. We get Lottery funding, but
we've also got to fund a proportion of our costs ourselves - from corporate
sources. We have to go out and find them. Fortunately, sailing is on an up,
after being such a successful sport at the last Olympics. Companies like
Skandia who have come in are, I think, really happy with it. We're
fortunate enough to have most of our costs covered now. But we're still not
rich. You're not going to make any money doing Olympic sailing." - Nick
Townsend, The Independent, full story:

* Defending Snipe world champions, Augie Diaz and Jon Rogers (USA) took
sixth at the Snipe Western Hemisphere and Occident Championship at Iate
Clube do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was won by A. Paradeda & E. Paradeda
from Brazil. George Szabo and crew Brian Janney were the next best North
American team in the regatta, finishing 15th. -

* What does it take to win the West Marine Pacific Cup? Take a look at the
blog site of the WMPC overall winner, Martin Brauns' SC 52 Winnetou. The
page was for the friends, family and colleagues of the skipper and the
racing crew to track progress and goings on from the boat.

* Oregon Scientific is continuing as a sponsor of US Sailing and the US
Sailing Team. Plans for the upcoming partnership year include continuing
involvement with US Sailing's Safety At Sea Seminars and a specialized
program to equip member yacht clubs and sailing organizations with the
latest technological weather products.

* Fáilte Ireland, The National Tourism Development Authority, will invest
€120,000 this year as the premier sponsor of Cork Week 2004, a biennial
sailing regatta hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven, Ireland.
The July 10 ­ 16 event will attract over 500 yachts and 5,000 plus
participants from across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Fáilte Ireland has
supported Cork Week since 2000 and is targeting sailing and water sports as
a tourism niche with great potential for growth in Ireland.

* Russell Coutts America's Cup legend, multiple Olympic and World Champion,
and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year winner in 1995 and 2003, visited
the young athletes participating in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World
Championship 2004 Monday. Having spent part of the day mingling with the
sailors in the boat park, this evening Russell gave a talk to the young
sailors representing 52 nations. "Aim high and enjoy" was the main theme
for Coutts' message to the competitors.

* The Transat Québec-St Malo fleets are advancing more rapidly than planned
and are making towards the mouth of the Saint Laurent river in 20/22 knots
of wind. At the 1300 GMT ranking it was Géant that had gone into the lead,
just 0.50 miles ahead of Sergio Tacchini which has headed the fleet for the
majority of the day and third place is Gitana XI. Along with Groupama, the
top 4 in the fleet have remained in place throughout the day.

CORRECTION - The Class winners from the recently completed IBM Vic - Maui
Race were: Division 1: Flash, Transpac 52, Dwight Jefferson; Division 2:
Voodoo Child, J/130, Brian Duchin; Division 3: Tranquillite, Swan 46, Jack
Shannon. -

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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 Paul Henderson, ISAF President, to the Hobie 16 Gurus: I still
believe there should be an off-the-beach Cat like the Hobie 16, possibly
mixed doubles (as Andy Kostanecki proposed years ago) to send the message
that it is healthy not to separate the sailors. Cats are true Sailing as
"Air Rowing" around the course does not work. They also have the most fun
on and off the race course. Although I maybe old from your side, from my
side I am 18 and holding. See you on the race course after the November

* From Chris Pratt, AUS Finn 1984/1988 (edited to our 250-word limit): Paul
Henderson is absolutely correct that the cost of competing at a high level
is out of control. No other elite sport, save equestrian, has the same
costs to the individual as yachting. We seem to want to keep adding to the
cost instead of being smarter and using technology to reduce cost. Look at
some of our costs: - For those of us outside Europe shipping is expensive,
but are classes selected using a criteria of fitting hull and spars into a
20 foot container - no. Classes choose light weight or unservicable clothe
for their sails instead of clothe that will last. - Classes allow as many
sails as you can buy instead of allowing quotas against each competitor -
Classes choose carbon fibre masts to get better performance at a much
higher cost and then allow competitors to have as many as they want in a
year. - Then there is how many hulls you can have and how long will they last!

Since being involved at club junior level over the last few years I've
observed that there is no lack of people wanting to go sailing, nor wanting
to compete. Our sport is hugely attractive. Administrators and competitors
in our sport have the capacity and authority to make changes to make
competition more fun and more affordable. If Paul Henderson believes he can
make a difference, then it is in this area alone that he would leave his
largest legacy.

* From Ken Inglis: Good for Paul Henderson, he hit it right on the head
again. He is absolutely right, the America's cup is the idiot fringe of
sailing. It definitely hurts the "average-sailor" more than it helps. Try
getting someone to help out with a donation for your Junior club or give
you a break when trying to run a regatta. As far as they are concerned all
sailors are rich.

* From Mike Levesque: I'm having a hard time following Paul Henderson's
train of thought. He points out that sailing is not doing as well in North
America, then goes on to criticize the America's Cup and Olympics. Seems
that when the America's Cup was being held in North America, sailing was in
its heyday here. It can't be a coincidence that when the Cup left, sailing
dwindled. Further, to say that there is too much technology (like in golf),
which will kill the Cup is ridiculous. Golf has never been so popular, even
with technology, cost and all working "against" it. He says that the root
cause of the "problem" with the Olympics classes is attitude (spending
money on sails, etc.), yet his solution is to change the boats. If you
don't change the attitude, don't change the boats, the same problems will
just shift to new classes.

* From Mark Zaranski: Most racers feel the Port Huron to Mackinac Island
race was much more the "tactical beast" Kyle Burleson claims when the
turning mark was the Cove Island Bell Bouy--a tactical open-water distance
race. The Southhampton turning mark 'dumbs down' the race significantly.

* From Al Russell (Re Peter Huston's comments about alcoholic beverage
sponsorship): I own a Mumm 30, maybe we should reject Mumm as a sponsor for
the design of the 30 and the 36. Save your duck tape any editor will have a
computer graphic program which well alter images electronically. Do remind
me to remove the Mumm 30 graphics from my grandkids T shirts. Let's except
sponsorship from folks that are willing to support sailing events.

* From Toby Cooper (re Peter Szasz on Claiming Races): In horse racing,
claiming races are a mechanism for making money. For example, a trainer may
claim a horse out of an $8000 race, train it for some weeks and later
perhaps step it up to a $15,000 or $20,000 race hoping it will get claimed
away at a profit. Further, the claiming party files the claim before the
race, but the original owner does not know the horse was claimed until
after the race, so the race is run in good faith. Also, the original owner
keeps any winnings from the race.

So say there is a one design class where $18,000 will get you a new boat,
all up, on the starting line. Set the claiming price at like $21,500. So,
if someone improves a boat through fairing, equipment upgrades, tuning,
etc., they enter races fully knowing the boat might get claimed, but they
are going to get paid for their value-add. They walk away with the funds to
purchase and even upgrade a new boat. The claiming party gets a proven fast
boat, and thus a leg up into a competitive fleet. The fleet grows because
anyone can buy in at a potentially competitive level for a premium, or get
a stock boat and go from there. Finally, the letter from Jim Champ points
out that some people carry the genetic flaw of falling in love with their
boats, so claiming classes would not be for everyone.

Do you think it would be a good idea for women to put pictures of missing
husbands on beer cans?