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SCUTTLEBUTT 1628 - July 20, 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.

As Tracy Edwards offers reassurances over her financial affairs, questions
are being asked about any possible impact on the purported £38-million deal
from Qatar for two new round-the-world events in 2005 and 2006. Andrew
Pindar, the Yorkshire print businessman, will commence proceedings this
week against Edwards to recover a loan for more than £500,000 he made in
2002. It was used to buy the 110ft catamaran Cub Med/Maiden II. Pindar has
second call on Edwards' Berkshire house.

On Aug 4, the High Court in London is due to hear a winding-up request made
by the sponsorship specialists, Sports Impact, against two companies
associated with Edwards for £51,780.79. This is allegedly due for work done
over the past nine months since Edwards launched the Qatar-backed races in
London last October. Last week Edwards dismissed the claims and insisted
that the companies concerned, Maiden Ocean Racing and Maiden Ocean Racing
Qatar, were dormant companies "that had nothing to do with the events in
any way".

Edwards' PR adviser, Doo Gurney confirmed the financial difficulties:
"Tracy has some debts which she is trying to sort out." Edwards has
subsequently sent out an e-mail saying that Gurney has been replaced by Ian
Cunningham. In yesterday's internet statement Edwards said of the loans for
the boat purchase: "Everyone was fully aware at the time that it could be
tough raising funds to return the investment." She says that she has to
sell Maiden II in order to re-coup the money. She bristles at the Sports
Impact action, claiming the orders are being `vigorously defended' and that
no contract existed between the sponsorship companies and Maiden Ocean
Racing or MOR Qatar.

Sports Impact's chairman John Taylor denies this. "Vigorously defended?
We've heard nothing," he said. "We feel we've been used. We feel deeply
disappointed it's come to this but we've been left with no choice. It took
six weeks to get a meeting with her. And six weeks after that there's still
no offer." - Excerpts from a story by Tim Jeffery in the Daily Telegraph.
Read the entire story:

Tracy Edwards is struggling to keep the first (round-the-world) event, due
to begin in Doha in February, on track. While she says she has six entries,
three of them paid up, one of those is her own, and the boat would need
considerable investment to make it race ready. A second is by the Frenchman
Olivier de Kersauson, who may yet decide instead this winter to do his own
round-the-world speed record attempt, and the third is Tony Bullimore,
whose now ageing catamaran is one he bought from Edwards after she had used
it in her own unsuccessful attempt to set a round-the-world record. -
Excerpt from a story by Stuart Alexander in the Independent, full story:

Prominent New Zealand physiotherapist David Abercrombie has joined BMW
Oracle Racing for the next America's Cup. Abercrombie, who has worked with
the All Blacks, Auckland and North Harbour rugby teams, will travel between
Auckland and Valencia for the next three years before moving permanently in
2007. Abercrombie had been part of Team New Zealand's last three campaigns,
but decided to take up an offer from Chris Dickson's Oracle syndicate after
he was not wanted by Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton. "Team New
Zealand and I couldn't work anything out," Abercrombie said. "They didn't
want to run with me, so I felt I could move with someone else. Had Dalton
wanted me to work with them I would have stayed.

Abercrombie said his position with Oracle was basically that of a medical
director. "You deal with everything. You rock up to the base ... and
someone comes in with a boil or the flu or something, and if you are only a
few days out from a regatta you've got to react quickly and get these
things sorted out. "I have set up a support service team of orthopaedic
surgeons and doctors, and people like that, to cope with all our needs. I
will co-ordinate all of that, plus I will help out with their strength and
fitness training. It is a new challenge to take over some of those roles."

Abercrombie will join Oracle in Valencia in October for the second and
third pre-cup regattas. Before that he will be in Athens as physiotherapist
to the Olympic yachting team. - Excerpts from a story by Julie Ash, NZ
Herald, full story:

As reported last week in Scuttlebutt, Randall Pitman's canting keel maxi,
Genuine Risk lost a rig just three days prior to the start of the Bacardi
Bayview Mackinac Race. Apparently the problem was caused when a deck runner
block failed during a routine maneuver. With no support from the runner,
the rig went over the side. A spare rig, identical to the original, was on
hand and Southern Spars director Steve Wilson was at the scene to direct
the stepping and tuning of the mast. Everybody pitched in and the new rig
was set up well in time for the start," said Wilson. Pittman and his crew
on Genuine Risk completed the 259 nautical mile race in 30 hours 34 minutes
and 58 seconds to take line honors. And that's why these sailors make the
big bucks.

July and August are Mad Martha Months at Team One Newport. Martha started
Team One Newport almost 20 years ago and people said she was crazy. Well,
the only thing crazy right now is how low she is selling some discontinued
items on the web! Go to and hit the specials
page for items that are coming on line daily through the months of July and
August. Team One Newport has the best and latest gear from all the top
sailing clothing manufacturers! Call 800-VIP-GEAR for a free catalog!

Following on from the ISAF Mid-Year meetings, Part III of the Olympic
Windsurfing Equipment Evaluation will be held in England from 16-19
September 2004. Two different locations have been selected to fully test
the boards in a variety of sailing conditions over the four-day period,
which runs concurrent with the Southampton International Boat Show. Between
16-17 September, Hayling Island Sailing Club, on the South Coast of Great
Britain, will play host to the trials. Located at the entrance of
Chichester Harbour, Hayling Island has some of the best sailing waters in
Great Britain.

The Evaluation team can choose to test either in the calm, tidal waters of
the harbour or in the more challenging open water conditions of the English
Channel. The more open waters will be a good opportunity to test some of
the handling and sailing characteristics of the boards which if selected,
are anticipated at many of the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic Classes events around
the World.

The evaluation will then move inland to Queen Mary Sailing Club for the
remaining two days between 18-19 July. Queen Mary is a large open reservoir
located close to London. Providing flat-water conditions and a stable
meteorological environment, Queen Mary will be ideal to test the pure speed
and handling of the boards in flat water. - ISAF website, full story:

In a first for South African yachting, SA America's Cup Challenge Team
Shosholoza skipper Geoff Meek has been invited to race in the prestigious
Swedish Match Tour, an annual professional match racing world championship
series in which America's Cup skippers compete by invitation only. Meek
will be competing with an all South African crew selected from Team
Shosholoza in the next leg of the circuit which starts in Cascais,
Portugal, on Sunday and ends on July 31. "Competing on the Tour is critical
not only in terms of getting our skills up to speed but in terms of
interpretation of match racing rules," said Meeks.

The other invited skippers are: The skippers are, Russell Coutts, Peter
Gilmour, Jesper Radich, Geoffrey Meek, Bertrand Pacé, Peter Holmberg, Ed
Baird, Michael Dunstan, Philippe Presti, Staffan Linderg, Christopher Law
and Francisco Neto. - Full story:
Event website:

Sergio Tacchini crossed the finish line of the 6th Transat Québec Saint
Malo under warm cloudy blue skies greeted by some sixty or so spectator
boats. In so doing Karine Fauconnier and her men - Jean Baptiste
Levaillant, Damian Foxall, Brian Thompson, Antoine Mermod and Ronan Le Goff
- engrave their names in the record books of the Transat Québec Saint Malo,
just 36 minutes outside the record time for the event held by Loïck Peyron
of 07 days 20 hours and 24 minutes. Their race time for covering the 2950
miles is 7 days 21 hours 0 minutes and 54 seconds at an average theoretical
speed over the course of 15.36 knots (km/h). Twenty six minutes later,
Franck Cammas' Groupama (2nd), Michel Desjoyeaux's Géant (3rd) and Thomas
Coville's Sodebo (4th) began streaming across the finish line - separated
by less than 10 minutes! Tim Progetto Italia took fifth place an hour later.

In the 50-foot Multihull class, Crêpes Whaou has 13 mile lead with more
than 800 miles to go, and Marina Fort Louis Ile de Saint has a 40 mile lead
in the 50-foot monohull class with more that 1600 miles of racing left. -

The Bitter End Yacht Club has just posted the names of the skippers for
their 18th Pro-Am Regatta. This year the lineup includes Ed Baird, Robbie
Haines, Russell Coutts, Andy Burdick, Betsy Alison, Peter Holmberg, Lowell
North, Rod Johnstone, Butch Ulmer, Keith Musto and the curmudgeon. So this
November, BEYC guests will have to decide if they want to crew for Peter
Holmberg, Russell Coutts or the curmudgeon - Lord, what a tough call.
However, everyone gets to enter the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club
Championship Regatta held during the same week in Lasers, Hobie Waves, and
the new Hunter 216s. Important news: There is a discount for Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club members - that's you. Full details:

Hull #1 launched last week in Newport, RI and is already turning heads.
This new 33' from J Boats is long and sleek with huge sit-in cockpit and
Hall carbon rig...just a few reasons why the J/100 may be 100% perfect for
your next day's sail. See pix at

* A fleet of more than 300 sailboats will compete in the 2004 Chicago Yacht
Club Race to Mackinac presented by Lands' End Business Outfitters Saturday,
July 24, 2004. The 333-mile race is the world's longest annual freshwater
race. The 2004 Race marks the 106th anniversary of the Race's founding in
1898 and the 96th running of the event.

* Forty two Lasers and 47 Laser Radials sailed at the 4-day, 11-race
Nationals at the Santa Cruz YC in a variety of conditions, including a
bunch of races in 25-30 knots. The Laser class was won by Andrew Lewis of
Hawaii with 16 points, followed by Brendan Casey of Florida with 19 and
Mike Casey of the Royal Vancouver YC with 22. Radials honors went to TJ
Tullo of Toms River YC in New York with 28 points over Royce Weber of
Island Heights YC in New Jersey(30). Australia's Josh Chant took third with
44. Full results:

* Larchmont Race Week began this past weekend and runs through the 25th of
July. 547 boats are competing in the event, including, 114 Laser Radials,
51 Laser Standards, 110 Club 420's, 63 Blue Jays, and 209 Optimists.

* The final day at the US Windsurfing National Championship began (and
ended) in typical San Francisco summertime fashion: overcast, cold and lots
of wind. John Craig, Race Director for the St. Francis Yacht Club, was
still able to get off the long distance race and another round of course
for Silver and Gold before calling it a day because the racers couldn't see
the windward mark from the startline. Gold Fleet Final results 1 Micah
Buzianis, 13; 2 Phil McGain, 16; 3 Devon Boulon, 23; 4 Sam Ireland, 27; 5
Jimmy Diaz, 29. - &

* Siren Sundby (NOR) won the recently held Women's fleet at the Europe
World Championship with a race to spare, and with it her place as one of
the most successful sailors in the class ever. Showing a dominance and
skill that couldn't be matched in the class, she has steadily upped her
game leading to the Olympic Games in Athens next month. US Olympian Meg
Gaillard finished in seventh place, 65 points behind Sundby. -

* A new entry on the Scuttlebutt Show Listings is, which is
providing continuous programming of action sports on the internet. Shows
with sailing content are limited to windsurfing and kiteboarding, but the
other events on their schedule are pretty entertaining (and fairly
extreme). The channel is available 24/7, free of charge, and accessed
globally by anyone with a broadband internet connection.

* A fleet of 85 boats, from New Zealand, Italy, Great Britain, Hong Kong,
the USA and all Australian fleets has entered for the ACE Etchells World
Championship which opens on July 28, with racing between 1-8 August off
Mooloolaba, Australia. -

* CORRECTION: Mark Golison's winning margin at the Cal 20 Class
Championship was 22 points - not 12 points as reported here yesterday.
(Math was never the curmudgeon's strong suit.)

* Frank Reynolds MacLear, the noted naval architect died at his home in
Watch Hill, on Sunday, July 11, 2004. He was 84. In a career which spanned
nearly seven decades, MacLear stood out for his imaginative boat designs
and his ability to translate personal sailing experience into practical
concepts. He was an outstanding yachtsman, expert navigator and
accomplished ocean racer. The yachting world has lost an outstanding
member. MacLear worked for the world famous yacht design firm, Sparkman &
Stevens, Inc. before opening his own firm, MacLear & Harris, Inc., in 1959.
He participated in more than 700 design projects including commercial and
military, but focused on large private sailing yachts drawing on his many
years' experience sailing more than 300,000 miles all over the world. He
was the inventor and innovator of the boomless mainsail and
remote-controlled luff roller furling. An expert navigator, MacLear
navigated numerous ocean races. He was the navigator for the 1958 America's
Cup challenger Weatherly. He made seven Bermuda races, eight trans-Atlantic
crossings and three trans-Pacific crossings.

The kind of man the world sees all too infrequently, Frank MacLear will be
missed by yachtsmen, friends and his family. MacLear is survived by his
wife, Suzanne; their four children, Lydia MacLear, Malcolm MacLear, Diana
Renehan and Bruce MacLear; and six grandchildren. >A memorial service is
planned for Saturday, July 17 at 12:30 p.m. in The Watch Hill Chapel. In
lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the
Mystic Seaport Museum, P.O. Box 6000, Mystic CT 06355-0990, (860)572-0711.

* Mikey Murison passed away around Saturday night in Point Richmond. He had
been battling a rare form of stomach cancer for over a year and it finally
beat him. He had just turned 25. Mikey owned V-15 #420 and raced it at
Treasure Island in the North Americans a few years back and also sailed
with Bart Hackworth, Dana Moore, and others on their boats. He started
sailing at a very young age and had raced to Hawaii on the Pacific Cup when
he was still in high school. For a while he owned a Santana 22 'Mizzen' and
was the National Champ three times. While a student at the college of Marin
he resurrected their team. He was on the US Olympic team sailing 470s in
2002 and had planned to sail with Doug Turnbull [Ken's brother] in Athens
this summer. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always
upbeat. A true joy to be around. - David Demarest

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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 Steve Gregory: Robbie Haines expressed concern about the future
growth of the MaxZ86, stating it was very difficult to get the people who
can afford these boats to agree on anything. Perhaps Haines has a short
memory, because the current maxi boat owners don't seem very different from
the owners who couldn't sit still during the era of 70-foot sled racing on
the West Coast. In fact, Haines' boss (Roy Disney) was the very first sled
owner to turbo his boat, taking it out of its level-racing configuration to
beat the other sleds to Hawaii. Apparently, it's pay-back time.

We've been told that Einstein described insanity as, 'making the same
mistake over and over and expecting a different result.'