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SCUTTLEBUTT 1626 - July 16, 2004

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), 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.

ONE MORE TIME
Merlin, the boat that once revolutionized the Transpacific Yacht Race to
Hawaii, will return in the Centennial Transpac in 2005. Patricia (Trisha)
Steele, representing one of four family generations that have raced
Transpac since 1939, purchased Merlin from the Orange Coast College School
of Sailing and Seamanship. Although Merlin won the Barn Door trophy for
fastest elapsed time in 1977, '81 and '87 and held the race record for 20
years, Steele realizes it can't compete with newer, larger, high-tech
maxZ86s speed machines. "I know we won't be first to finish, but we could
correct out well," Steele said. Merlin and Ragtime currently share the
record for most Transpacs sailed at 12.

To give all boats, great and small, an equal chance for first place overall
on corrected handicap time, Transpac directors have voted to stretch the
rating distance of the race to 2,300 nautical miles. The actual distance
will remain 2,225 from the Palos Verdes Peninsula south of Los Angeles to
the Diamond Head lighthouse at Waikiki. The longer rated course is intended
to give the smaller boats with their higher handicaps more track to eat
away at the faster boats' times. With the Barn Door out of reach for all
but a handful of entries, handicap honors are huge.

The smallest winner ever was Stuart Cowan's 35-foot sloop, Chutzpah, in
1973 and '75. The largest boats have dominated since, except for Seth
Radow's Sydney 40, Bull, in 2001. The smallest length overall now allowed
is 30 feet. Besides the longer course rating, the new formula also will
consider updated Velocity Prediction Programs (VPPs) for all boats that
include the "Pacific Swell" factor, taking into account the fact that, as
entry chairman Bill Lee said, in a predominantly downwind race "some boats
surf [the waves] better than others." The basic VPP used was developed
mostly in flat water. Designer Alan Andrews elaborated, "The Pacific Swell
factor has the potential to really help the bulk of the fleet---moderate to
non-surfing boats---considerably, as well as the shorter surfing boats that
still don't fit the wave length as well as longer boats." - Rich Roberts,
www.transpacificyc.org

HASSO IS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER
After bending over backwards to accommodate the maxZ86s at Cork Week, to
much criticism earlier in the week from the smaller boats in IRC Class 0,
so the organizers of Cork Week have received a slap in the face with the
news this evening that Dr Hasso Plattner, owner of Morning Glory, is
withdrawing his maxZ86 from the regatta. "We are withdrawing for reasons of
safety," was the only comment Morning Glory's boat captain Dee Smith would
give. Morning Glory has a track record of pulling out of regattas as a
'protest' and as we write Dr Plattner is believed to be in the air en route
back to Germany while Morning Glory is set to sail for the Med as soon as
conditions allow.

There being just two competitive maxZ86s who effectively are in a constant
match race with one another seems to have placed more stress on the teams
than they had anticipated. A source of the problem also lies within the
class. There is a disparity between the boats as Morning Glory is helmed by
her owner, while Pyewacket is being helmed by a pro in the form of project
manager Robbie Haines and the class rule neither one way nor the other in
this respect. In terms of safety at Cork Week the maxZ86s are racing on the
same course as a 33 footer (the K One Design) and even on short
windward-leeward courses they have been lapping a majority of the fleet. -
Excerpt from a comprehensive story on The Daily Sail website, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/57uj3

Curmudgeon's Comment: Pyewacket beat Morning Glory in both races on
Wednesday, but Pyewacket was disqualified from the first race on Thursday
as a result of a protest from Morning Glory. Morning Glory did not sail the
second race, which Pyewacket won. Disney's maxZ86 now leads its class at
Cork Race Week. - www.corkweek.com/

INSIDE SCOOP
The Swedish Match Race website has just posted two hot new video
interviews. There is a nine minute interview with Russell Coutts as he
discusses Alinghi, sailing with a new crew and his prospects for the
future, plus a three and a half minute interview with Gilmour, who speaks
about the 2003-'04 Tour and plans for the future. - http://tinyurl.com/3prav

OUR PLAYERS IN ATHENS
Finn: Kevin Hall, USA; Ben Ainslie, UK. Europe: Meg Gaillard, USA; Siren
Sundby, NOR. Laser: Mark Mendelblatt, USA; Michael Blackburn, AUS; Maciej
Grabowski, POL. 470M: Foerster/ Burnham, USA; Wilmot/ Page AUS. 470W:
McDowell/ Kinsolving, USA; Kornecki/ Buskila, ISR; Provan/ Girke, CAN.
49er: Wadlow/ Spaulding USA; Martinez/ Fernandez, ESP; Nicholson/ Boyd,
AUS; Sundby/ Sibello, NOR. Tornado: Lovell/ Ogletree, USA; Lange/ Espinola,
ARG. Star: Percy/ Mitchell, UK; Loof/ Ekstrom, SWE; Rohart/ Rambeau, FRA;
Beashel/ Giles, AUS. Yngling: Paula Lewin, BER. Mistral: Peter Wells, USA…
and more relying on Kaenon Polarized to medal. Position yourself on the
podium. Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. http://www.kaenon.com

IT'S IMPORTANT TO CARRY SPARES
We've just heard that Randall Pittman's new Genuine Risk - a 90-foot,
state-of-the-art, canting ballast sloop from San Diego - broke its rig on
Wednesday as it was preparing for the Bayview Mackinac Race. Fortunately,
their spare rig was already in Michigan, and should be stepped and ready
for the start of the race on Saturday. Unfortunately, they do not have a
spare racing mainsail. The Genuine Risk team sent a barge and a crane out
onto Lake Huron Thursday to retrieve the mast and the sails that were still
attached to it. Apparently, all of the pieces were recovered, but it's
still unclear if the mainsail will be ready to go when the race starts on
Saturday morning.

QUANTUM REPLIES
Recently we learned through the press, that Genesis International was
filing a lawsuit alleging patent infringement by our new Fusion M
technology. We are disappointed that this attack on our product is being
pursued in this manner, rather than being served upon the corporate counsel
or Quantum's resident agent, as required by law.

Over the past 18 months Quantum has been developing the Fusion M product.
We employed a highly qualified patent attorney and have obtained a formal
opinion that the Fusion M product is unique, patentable, and does not
infringe any of our competitor's technologies.

Although we believe it is inappropriate to comment on pending litigation,
due to the manner in which the plaintiff has made this case public, we felt
we owed it to our loyal customers to provide this brief response. We are
confident that the allegations of patent infringement are without merit,
and we will defend the lawsuit vigorously. - Larry Leonard, President,
Quantum Sail Design Group

WEST MARINE PACIFIC CUP
Forty-nine West Marine Pacific Cup race boats have finished, and the
celebrations continue at the Kaneohe Yacht Club. The unofficial first place
winners are:

- Division A - Lou & Kim Ickler, Ghost, Morgan 38-2
- Division B - Betty & Don Lessley, California Girl, Cal 40
- Double handed - Sylvia Seaberg, Eyrie, Hawkfarm 28
- Division C - Timothy Ballard, Inspired Environments, Beneteau First 40.7
- Division D - Gary Fanger, Sensation, ID35
- Division E - Martin Brauns, Winnetou, Santa Cruz 52 and Overall Winner
- Division F - Charles Burnett, Braveheart, Transpac 52

Event website: www.pacificcup.org

TRANSAT QUÉBEC-SAINT MALO
The Orma 60 fleet are mid-course Thursday with Sergio Tacchini leading
throughout the day. After numerous changes it was Sodebo (second) and Tim
Progetto Italia (third) that completed the podium, with Crêpes Whaou! and
Ciment St-Laurent respectively leading the 50 foot multis and monos. The 60
footers are well clear of land due east of Newfoundland, while the leading
50 foot multis have passed St Pierre and the monos round the south-western
tip of Newfoundland. The frontrunners have gradually extricated themselves
from the thick fog during the day, with Karine Fauconnier achingly close to
racking up a 500 mile day. The current ETA for her is the early hours of
Monday morning. www.quebecsaintmalo.com

HOT SUN GOT YOUR BOAT DOWN?
Protect your hull and deck from the elements with a Storm Hull or Deck
Cover. Storm covers, built exclusively for Vanguard by North, feature an
exceptional fit, superior hardware, extreme durability and 2004 improved
fabric making them more waterproof and tear resistant. Find them at your
local Vanguard dealer, http://www.teamvanguard.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* Organizers of the world's largest, oldest and most prestigious sailing
regatta are predicting 2004 as another bumper year for entries. Entries to
this year's Skandia Cowes Week number 865 and Stuart Quarrie, Director of
Cowes Combined Clubs, reckons that there will be the usual last-minute
spurt after Cork Week has finished. Stuart predicts that with 23 days still
to go, the final figure could reach 1,000. - Yachting World,
http://tinyurl.com/3vou8

* In the event's tenth day, American Deneen Demourkas' Groovederci holds
the overall lead of the 30-boat Tour de France à La Voile with 16.5 point
margin over Sylvain Chtounder's Theoule Mandelieu. - http://www.tourvoile.fr

* Due to poor winds in the third day of the Nations Cup regatta at the
Adricatic Yacht Club in Trieste managed to hold only five Round Robin
matches. Team Russell Coutts is in the lead, still unbeaten with five
victories. Luna Rossa (James Spithill) follows with five victories out of
seven races, Italian Challegner (Paolo Cian) has four victories out of
eight matches, Team New Zealand (Kelvin Harrap) is 3-2, Mascalzone Latino
(Vasco Vascotto) is 2-3 and Toscan Challenge (Roberto Ferrarese) has only
one victory out of six races. - www.lasfida.it

* At 246-feet in length, most everything on Mirabella V has to be done
differently. Workers wear hard hats. Cranes are standard operating
procedure. Projects are done in teams. There is never enough help when
attaching a forestay furler: To see what we're talking about:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/mirabellarigging/

* More than 1000 owners, enthusiasts, and friends of S&S were at Mystic
Seaport on Saturday, July 10, to participate in the company's anniversary
and see the yachts on display. The docks were full with people touring the
yachts. The winners of the Concours were: Best in Fleet, Bolero; Best
Classic/ Professionally maintained, Brilliant; Best Modern/ Professionally
maintained, Sleighride; Best Classic/ Owner maintained, Westwind II; Best
Modern/Owner maintained, Kestral; Best Swan, Vixen; Best Power, Grey Fox;
Longest Distance Traveled, War Baby; and a special trophy awarded to
Gaucho, a New York 32, as oldest private yacht.

* With one day of racing remaining, the winners of five classes were
decided Thursday during the fifth day of racing at the Volvo Youth Sailing
ISAF World Championship in Gydnia, Poland: Sarah Steyaert (FRA) Laser
Girls; Elise Rechichi/ Tessa Parkinson (AUS) 420 Girls; Nathan Outteridge/
Iain Jensen (AUS) 420 Boys; Kamil Lewandowski (POL) Mistral Boys; Zophia
Kelpacka (POL) Mistal Girls. www.worldyouthsailingpoland.com

* Hundreds of marine and classic boat professionals including boat
builders, craftspeople, suppliers, designers, educators, enthusiasts and
sailors will converge on the weekend of July 23-25 at the 30th Annual
WoodenBoat Show at the Museum of Yachting with their boats, exhibits,
demonstrations, wares and expertise plus special events and children's'
activities. - www.woodenboat.com

PERFORMANCE SAILING'S TOP
Getting wet is a given when high performance sailing. On the wire or in the
straps, it's a constant fight to stay dry and most conventional tops don't
cut the mustard, err spray. Introducing the Gul Breathable Semi-Dry Smock.
Lightweight, waterproof and made from breathable GCX2 fabric, it features
soft neoprene neck and wrist seals making it the high performance sailor's
top weapon of choice for the war on water intrusion. Check out the Gul
Semi-Dry Smock available at Annapolis Performance Sailing. From smocks to
blocks, APS is performance sailing's top choice for all your gear needs…
http://www.apsltd.com/scuttlebutt


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com)
(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 Bob Anderson: Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach California has
been running small boat racing in the "accelerated" manner for over 15
years. It is usual to run eight classes and seven races per class per
weekend regatta. The three keys to running quick races are:
1. Start line on one side of the signal boat and finish on the other.
2. Four minute rolling starts.
3. Generally reliable winds.
As to who started the "accelerated" system , The Golisons of North Sails
Race Week grew up at ABYC and might have provided some input to Peter Craig
and how he runs his events.

* From Philip Toth: Why is every one whinging about the America's Cup. Yes
it costs bookoo bucks to play in that game and yes you must be a rockstar
to sail one. But that is the very thing that I like about it. Even though I
drive a Ford P.O.S., I still like to watch Michael Schumacher scream around
exotic locations in a Formula 1 car backed by a $300+ million a year
Ferrari team. From what has been suggested for the Americas Cup it would be
as if they swapped the F1 cars for VW Karmin Ghias. Sailing the Americas
Cup in low budget one design boats just wouldn't have the same effect. An
F1 car is very exotic and expensive and most people will never see one let
alone drive one, the same is true for the Americas Cup. F1 has a huge
international following yet I have never seen a F1 car sitting in traffic
next to me on the 405. But I have had a an Americas cup yacht pass me at a
weekend regatta. The fact that I probably never will be able to play at the
elite level of F1 and the Americas Cup is the very thing that makes it
appeal to me.

* From Jim Marta: The list of competitors in handicap racing may have waned
for the serious races in the USA, but, the quality of racing, and the
quality of boats, crews, and skippers has risen far above that which
existed in the 60's and 70's. The need for understanding just what it takes
to compete today is many times more demanding now. Our current modern boats
and equipment are extremely sophisticated. We are now seeing paid crew and
skippers; people who do understand the complexities of racing. Thirty years
ago, we only saw paid hands on the very large boats, not on 35-50 footers.
Not everyone is willing to join and stay in the racing game long enough to
understand the new complexities of today's racing. It takes a big learning
curve, and often deep pockets to be successful. A commitment to racing
can't be fleeting as it once was many years ago.

* From Reid Collins: To restate some comments by Hal Smith in Scuttlebutt
#1609, success is a combination of many things - hitting the shifts
correctly, having the best sails, having your boat in the best condition,
having the latest design, etc. Is PHRF perfect? No. But it does provide an
easy to apply method to handicap boats at different levels that allows many
to participate and understand it. It takes measurements and looks at the
average performance of boats against each other to determine what rating is
appropriate. You state PHRF rates sisterships identically when even one
designs are not identical. If you are suggesting we begin rating
boats/sailors by individual performance for mixed fleets, wouldn't we also
have to do this for one-design as well because they are not all identical?

We then, across the board, reward those who put less effort, time, and
expense into their boat and those who are driven to win will, in all
likelihood, get discouraged and exit the sport because their efforts are
wasted. How would that impact the sport? Sailing is a sport that is unlike
any other in that you can spend whatever amount of money you would like and
still be competitive. If you can't afford to put new sails on your boat and
having your boat in the best condition (among other things), think of
buying a smaller, less expensive boat. Don't penalize the driven ones who
have found the right boat for their budget and done everything they can do
to be competitive.

* From Michael A. Rosenauer: I visited the Mumm vinyard/ winery last year
in Napa and commented that I owned a 30. The staff was completely unaware
of the namesake and the boat's notoriety. The response from the winery
staff was: "how cute". In fact, no person outside sailing circles with whom
I have spoken immediately made the connection between the wine (taboo to
call it Champagne here in the US because it was not produced in the
Champagne region of France) and such a great ride. In this regard, the Mumm
marketing department has obviously failed. I thank god the men/ women at
Kleenex did not call the people at Farr.

* From Steve Bodner: For those of you who think were in dying sport check
out the web cam overlooking Crissy Field on the San Francisco Bay. The US
Windsurfing National Championships are being held with 90+ competitors from
around the world. Considering a few thousand dollars and some talent will
get you going in this fleet, its no wonder we have a local fleet of 40 +
strong and many pros coming in for the event! .
http://cams.exploratorium.edu/CAM2/index.html

* From Graham Kelly: On the Scuttlebutt website, the description of the
sails made by Doyle for Mirabella included the following: "Building
Mirabella V's sail in segments made construction, transport, and service
significantly easier, as the largest of the sections did not exceed 315
square meters (3,389 square feet). So the largest section was only a bit
larger than the main on an America's Cup Class boat. How convenient! And
use of lightweight materials means it takes only a small crane to move the
completed sail. On a serious note, congratulations to Doyle Sails for their
innovative approach to the technical challenges posed by this monster boat.
The Doyle Sails website has an interesting section on the challenges they
faced in making these sails.

* From Steven Black: The trivia answer to the question posed in Scuttlebutt
1625 is dimensionally challenged. Icebergs expose only one eighth of their
volume above water. Volume is a cube linear dimension. Therefore if the
ratio of volumes above and below the water are 1:7, this implies that the
ratio of linear dimensions are the cube root of 1:7, or 1:1.9
(approximately). Therefore, notwithstanding that icebergs are irregularly
shaped, we can expect an iceberg that's exposed 10 feet above the water to
be, on balance, about 20 feet deep, and not 80 feet deep as the trivia
answer suggests.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Betsy Crowfoot suggests the perfect way to start your day is to see:
- Your son's picture on the box of Wheaties.
- Your daughter on the cover of Fortune.
- Your boyfriend on the cover of Playgirl.
- Your husband on the back of the milk carton.