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SCUTTLEBUTT 1634 - July 28, 2004

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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.

The now closed situation with Russell Coutts and Alinghi is disappointing
in the extreme. Forget the whys and wherefores the result is that Coutts
will be sidelined for 2007 and that's bad for the sport. It's bad for the
competitors, bad for sponsors, terrible for TV, bad for the Cup, bad for
the thousands of adoring youngsters (and some of us older ones) and it's
the worst possible PR for Alinghi after all the good they'd promised. You
don't go to the Open and find Tiger Woods hasn't showed because he's had a
spat with his management. You don't go to F1 and see Schumacher ambling
around the trailer-park and you don't pay top dollar to see soccer, hockey,
basketball or football teams without their stars.

Depriving the Cup of its greatest ever sailor is just plain wrong and I
hate the phrase 'the uniqueness of the event'. I never bought Alinghi from
a management side, they were over-promoted 'rabbits in the headlight' who
couldn't believe the success of their sailing team. Now the 2007 version is
in serious danger of becoming a one-horse race where all we'll be talking
about is BMW's technology advantage (yawn) and how good Bruce Farr is when
really we should be seeing sport at the highest level with dead-eyed Coutts
and his loyal cohorts destroying the competition, where it matters, on the

Wouldn't it be the best story to see Coutts back at Team New Zealand after
all that's happened? That would certainly vindicate his anti-trustee
position and restore him as a national icon! Bertarelli says he'll continue
to do all he can to protect Alinghi but for the good of the sport and for
the army of eight year old Optimist sailors out there… get Coutts back into
the Cup somewhere and quick! - Magnus Wheatley

Russell Coutts will fight all the way to sail in the 2007 America's Cup,
despite being sensationally sacked by the Alinghi syndicate yesterday.
Coutts claims the rule change Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli called for
last week is aimed at keeping him, as the Cup-winning helmsman, out of the
next regatta. The '180-day rule' precludes any Cup crewman who has sailed
for more than that time in either training or racing from switching
syndicates. Speaking to the Herald from Portugal last night, Coutts said,
'I'm a pretty determined guy,' adding: 'I certainly want to do the
America's Cup again.' Asked whether that meant the Cup after next, Coutts
said: 'I haven't forgotten about this one [2007].

'Right now I'm getting legal advice. A lot of things I believe have not
been honoured in my contract. In a lot of ways I'm glad it is over and I
can talk about a lot of things which I have been restrained over in the
past. It is a little bit sad that it has happened in this way but things
like the rule change were obviously aimed at me. 'Backdating the rule in
the way they have shows how things have been done since we won the
America's Cup.

Questioned about outstanding money - including a promised bonus for winning
last year - Coutts said several issues would need to be decided legally. A
lot of things, I believe, were not honored in my contract. A lot of people
think it's a bit sad but life goes on.'

Despite Coutts' axing, a senior Alinghi spokesman says New Zealanders will
still be onboard the America's Cup defender. Alinghi spokesman Bernard
Schopfer told the Herald last night that the syndicate was confident
sailors including Brad Butterworth, Simon Daubney, Murray Jones, Warwick
Fleury and Dean Phipps would not be packing their bags in support of
Coutts. - Excerpts from a story by Terry Maddaford and David Leggat, NZ
Herald, full story:

There seems to be a vacancy for a sailboat driver with the Alinghi
syndicate. As you know, BMW Oracle Racing has three very capable helmsmen
in Gavin Brady, Chris Dickson and Bertrand Pace. Over at Team New Zealand
there is Dean Barker, Ben Ainslie and Terry Hutchinson. But Alinghi now
only has Peter Holmberg and Jochen Schümann. Who is going to drive the "B"

Obviously there is still plenty of talent in the international pool, but
we're very curious who will get the phone call from Mr. Bertarelli? The
potential candidates probably include Ken Read (who sailed with Alinghi
during the UBS Cup); Peter Gilmour, who just won the Swedish Match Tour;
the reigning two time ISAF Match Racing World Champion Ed Baird; Paul
Cayard, Chris Larsen and Chris Law.

Think about it, and when you decide who is best suited for the gig, go to
the Scuttlebutt polling booth to cast your vote. We'll let everyone know -
including Mr. Bertarelli - who the 'Buttheads selected on Friday. To vote:

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The controversy over Tracy Edwards's debts has grown. While the British
sailor is in discussions with Andrew Pindar about an overdue £500,000 loan
for the 2002 purchase of the 110ft catamaran Club Med/Maiden II, the crew
and shore team employed to sail the boat claim they are owed an estimated
£300,000. The Pindar loan is a personal debt secured against Edwards's
Berkshire home. Asked if he had commenced proceedings against Edwards for
his loan, Pindar, the Yorkshire print businessman, said: "The process of
recovering this sum has commenced and we are talking to her in the
meantime. If it means it can be settled outside of legal framework then so
much the better for everyone. If Tracy can pay her debts, I'd be delighted
for her."

Meanwhile, an action by sponsor consultants Sports Impact against two
companies associated with Edwards will be heard at the High Court in London
on Aug 4 for £51,780 allegedly outstanding. It is understood that another
PR company, who have asked not to be named, also claim to be owed money.
Edwards has declined to comment, telling yachting journalists in an e-mail
last week: "My solicitor has advised me not to speak to the press until
after these matters are resolved in court." - Tim Jeffery, The Daily
Telegraph, full story:

Cascais, Portugal - The 2004-'05 Swedish Match Tour officially began today
when racing began at the Portugal Match Cup in very shifty wind conditions.
The inaugural Tour event saw Ed Baird (USA), skipper of Team Musto, race to
a 5-0 record aboard the new Swedish Match 40s. Baird won his third ISAF
match-racing world championship last week.

Baird and Gilmour (AUS), the reigning Tour champion and skipper of the
Pizza-La Sailing Team, and Jesper Radich (DEN), Team Denmark, all advanced
to the quarterfinal round of the 150,000 Euro (approximately $186,000)
Portugal Match Cup by placing 1-2-3 in the Group A round robin. While Baird
was undefeated, Gilmour and Radich advanced with 3-2 records. Philippe
Presti (FRA), le Défi Français, also had a 3-2 record, but wound up in the
repechage round when he lost the tiebreaker with Gilmour and Radich.

While Group A has completed its initial round robin Group B takes to the
water tomorrow for their five flight series. Group B features crews led by
skippers Russell Coutts (NZL), Peter Holmberg (USV), Chris Law (GBR),
Staffan Lindberg (FIN), Francisco Neto (POR) and Bertrand Pacé (FRA). The
top three will join Baird, Gilmour and Radich in the quarters, while the
bottom three move on to the repechage round and another chance to advance
to the quarterfinals.- Sean McNeill,

Marseille, France - The 29 Mumm 30s had light wind on Tuesday which only
allowed for a single windward - leeward race. Regatta leaders Bouygues
Telecom finished second with American Deneen Demourkas' Groovederci three
places back in for a fifth and Defi Partage Marseille in eight place.
Wednesday's race is a 100-miler from Marseille to Ste Maxime, and there are
just three races scheduled after that - four if the second race from
Tuesday's program is rescheduled. - Translation by Kate Jennings

1. Groovederci, Deneen B. Demourkas/ Laurent Pages, 1055
2. Bouygues Telecom, Pierre Loïc Berthet, 1051
3. Defi Partage Marseille, Thierry Bouchard/ Dimitri Deruelle, 1042

Event website:

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Some kids love sailing right away, while others are scared to death. This
complete range of emotions occurs in earnest each summer for those children
participating in sailing classes at one of the many junior programs that
ramp up this time of year. As a tribute to these programs, we thought it
was time for another Scuttlebutt photo contest, with this one profiling
junior sailing in North America. Would you like your junior sailing program
to be promoted in Scuttlebutt? Top ten entries will get their photos posted
on the Scuttlebutt website, with the best three earning prizes from
Vanguard Sailboats. Entries due by August 6th. For more information:

* Farr Yacht Design based in Annapolis, Maryland, USA, has been chosen to
design the Volvo Open 70 of the Telefónica MoviStar Spanish Challenge
headed by Pedro Campos. Telefónica has used sponsorship extensively to
support the brand and its portfolio of events has included sailing, Formula
1, World Rallying, MotoGP, European Basket Ball, Soccer and the Tennis
Masters series. The Volvo Ocean Race will start with an in port race in
Sanxenxo, Galicia, on November 5, 2005. The start of the first offshore leg
of this round the world race will be from Vigo, Galicia, on November 12,
2005. -

* Annie Haeger from the Midwest Optimist Sailing Team has won the first
ever USODA National Girls Regatta The regatta was held at the site of the
largest-ever Optimist Nationals in Patchogue, Long Island. 84 girls sailed
in a stiff fair-weather southeasterly that built to 20 kts. Emily Lambert
from Portland, Maine finished second - one point behind Haeger - with nine
points and Emily Dellenbaugh took third with 12 points.

* Dave McConaughy's "White Boat" won the 25th Anniversary eight race, one
throwout J/30 North Americans hosted by the Barrington Yacht Club in Rhode
Island. Overcast skies and 10-18 kt breeze greeted the sailors on all three
days, with a bunch of rain thrown in for fun. Scott Tonguis' Team Zephyr
from New Orleans was gunning for an unprecedented fourth in a row, but
DSQ's in races two and six left the team in 5th overall. 1. Dave
McConaughy, 18pts; 2. Bill Saltonstall, 19pts; 3. Steve Buzbee, 28pts; 4.
John McArthur, 30pts; 5.Scott Tonguis, 32pts. Complete results: www.j/

* Another day of light winds allowed the Race Committee of the Rolex
Commodores' Cup to hold one windward-leeward race on Tuesday. The Irish
team has taken first place overall holding a half point lead over the
Netherlands team. In third place is the top British team, GBR Black. The
French defenders, France Blue are currently sixth. Recognizing the
continuing difficulties with conditions, the Race Committee has held a
meeting with the teams to gauge opinion on the options for tomorrow. -

* Seven time Sunfish World Champion Eduardo Cordero of Venezuela has won
his 3rd Sunfish North American Championship at the Canandaigua (NY) Yacht
Club. Cordero's score of 9 points defeated Michigan's Dr. Derrick Fries by
15 points and David Mendelblatt of Florida by 19 points. The championship
was plagued by light air, with the seven race, one throwout series taking
place over two of the scheduled three days. The preceding two-day
qualifying series was cancelled due to light wind and thunderstorms. Daniel
Hesse of Long Island, NY won the Junior North American Championship.

* The schedule has been revised for the showing of the ICSA Championship
Series on College Sports TV. The College Spring Championships (Women's,
Open and Team Racing), which were held at Cascade Locks, OR on May 26 -
June 4, were originally set to begin showing July 28th but are being
rescheduled for sometime later in August. The exact dates to be confirmed
soon. -

* The name of specialist Etchells sailor Dirk Kneulman is well known in his
homeland of Canada following his outstanding win in the 1998 World
Championship. The master Canadian One-design skipper tactician is not
officially entered as a skipper in the 2004 ACE Etchells World Championship
however he will be sailing as 'the man in the middle' with the Dennis
Conner skippered Menace. Kneulman ranked 6th in the World will add some
important tactical clout when the battle lines are drawn on the warm waters
of the Coral Sea. - Sail World, full story:

* Skip Dieball (Toledo, Oh) with crew Paul Abdullah (Jax, FL) and Tom Irwin
(Maumee, Oh) dominated the 41-boat fleet at the Interlake Nationals with
1,1,1,1,1,1, (DNS). The 3-day event at the North Cape YC, LaSalle, Michigan
had breeze from 12-25 knots with 1-5' waves off Western Lake Erie.
Multiple-Class champ, George Fisher (Hilliard, OH) with crew Greg Fisher
and Martha Fisher (Arnold, MD) were 2nd. Scott & Rick Savage (Columbus, OH)
were 3rd. For scores and reports:

* When you go to the 'Press Release' section of the Chicago Mac Race web
pages you get this message, "Thank you for your interest in the Race to
Mackinac and for visiting our web site. Race Reports information will be
available once the race commences." Huh? The race started more than 80
hours ago.

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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 Cristián Palau: From where I'm standing it all seem pretty clear
about this issue. Is evident to anyone who follows closely the professional
sailing world and everything that happens on it that what happened here was
a "War of Egos." It is more than clear that as Russell Coutts won the
America's Cup three times on a row, he felt he has a lot more to do at the
Alinghi Team than just drive the boat. He strongly believed that Lisbon was
a better place to defend the America's Cup than Valencia, but Mr.
Bertarelli and his friends decided otherwise. He also felt he should had
been a member of the AC Management to help decide all the big decisions
about the next America's Cup.

On the other hand is Mr. Bertarelli, who feel he is something as the "King
of the World" after winning the America's Cup on his first try, and
becoming the first European sailor to take the Auld Mug to Europe, after
the failures of others European sailor who tried the same but with no luck.
And foremost, he have absolute control of the next America's Cup Event
through his friends working at AC Management. Way too much power! To put
simple, just three words: "War of egos".

* From Paul Dinkel (re Coutts firing): Much ado about nothing - from my
perch as a spectator. The whole cup "thing" has gone beyond the pale, to
the point where any thoughtful person can no longer devote much of any
thought to it.

* From Adrian Morgan: Try, try and try again. First rouge waves and now
Russell Coutts. Before the America's Cup circus spring is more than three
turns wound, we're into the nonsense. No wonder Paul Henderson says "scrap
it". Lawyers already rubbing their hands in glee and sports pages devoted
to splits and rifts. Rules being jimmied to ban certain parties from
competing. Strewth, you'd think grown millionaires would have better and
bigger things on their minds. Bring back Newport Rhode Island, 12 Metres,
and wing keels. More to the point, some true colour, such as Ted Turner
slip sliding away and honest accusations of cheating. Ah, nostalgia.

* From G. Bruce Knecht: How can it be that we can send men to the moon and
create things like the Internet and GPS but that scientists, even sailors,
still can't fully explain waves?

* From Paul Miller, US Naval Academy: Although some oceanographic texts
don't address rogue waves, naval architects have employed the
statistically-based "extreme value theory" for wave height and maximum ship
load prediction for many years. As the "rogue" waves are so rare, and so
large, it becomes unfeasible (economically and competitively) to design
vessels to withstand all possible waves. Ships are designed to withstand
the statistically very unlikely (but not impossible) wave.

* From Guy Doran: On a smaller scale, rogue waves are commonly evident at
some beaches, much to the delight of surfers. The intersection of two
approaching swells just outside the surf line produces a momentary focal
point of energy, or peak, that breaks ideally for surfing and makes
salivating surfers rush to get their boards. A surf break called The Wedge
next to the jetty in Newport Beach, California, is a remarkable example of
the rogue wave phenomenon. When a large South swell is running, waves
bounce off the jetty at an oblique angle, producing the perfect momentary
crossing energy for the following wave in a set. This intersection results
in the sudden rise and spectacular fall of a quintessential rogue wave.
Watching from the beach at The Wedge affords one a unique opportunity to
witness the development of rogue waves--as well as the damage they can
cause. Broken bones, dislocations and serious spinal injuries are commonly
suffered by surfers who take on the crushing force of a wave at The Wedge.
Check out the monster waves:

Why is it that night falls but day breaks?