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SCUTTLEBUTT 1637 - August 2, 2004

Powered by SAIC (, an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
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welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

There are just 11 days until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on
Friday August 13, and things have reached fever pitch in Athens as
preparations hit their final phase. Symbolic of the proximity to the start
of the Olympics, the Olympic Village, a complex that will house 16,000
athletes and delegates opened its doors last week. The sailing Venue, the
Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre, opened yesterday, and tomorrow is boat
allocation day for Laser Sailors to be followed by the first day of
measurement on Wednesday.

Today, the ISAF website goes into Olympic mode, with a new "Olympic" look.
Live mark by mark roundings, a comprehensive image library and of course a
full results and news service are getting cued up. The ISAF website also
has begun a series of articles previewing participants in each of the
eleven Olympic sailing events.

QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Ben Ainslie
One of the reasons why Britain is sending such a potent team to Athens is
because we are familiar with the venue. Understanding the nuances of wind
and sea is crucial, yet surprisingly few countries put in the time we do.
As times goes by, and not just in the Olympics but at other major events,
professionalism is increasing. Half my Finn class rivals have put in
several months at the venue.

I've probably sailed in Athens a total of 25 weeks over the past three
years. It's very different from track and field, where you might have a
favourite training camp and your only competition at Athens is at the Games
themselves. We often hear rival countries gripe that Britain spends so much
money on Olympic sailing, but we are far from the biggest spenders. What
the Royal Yachting Association are very shrewd at is understanding the
priorities and using the money smartly. - From a insightful story by GBR
Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie in the Daily Telegraph, full story:

Members of the International Jury will take on a new role as
"whistleblowers" at the ACE Etchells World Championship 2004 regatta which
gets under way off Mooloolaba on the Queensland Sunshine Coast this
afternoon with a fleet of 85 boats. If they see an apparent rule breach,
they will blow a whistle to attract the attention of the boat skipper that
they have been "sighted", who they hope will then immediately take a 720
degrees turn penalty to exonerate their rules breach.

"The objective is to encourage skippers who break the rules to take the a
penalty turn, but of course they can protest if they consider they were
forced into the situation by another boat," International Jury chairman
Ronnie McCracken from Hong Kong, told skippers at last night's briefing. He
explained there would be two Jury boats on the course throughout each race,
but specifically watching for rule infringements at the start and at
rounding marks. "The Jury members will not lodge protests against
competitors, but will be available to give evidence if one boat lodged a
protest against another, he added. - Peter Campbell,

Curmudgeon's comment: - America's Cup legend Dennis Conner showed he is
still a formidable force in international yacht racing when he out-sailed a
fleet of 84 Etchells in the pre-World Championship "invitation race." We'll
have the results from race one tomorrow.

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Cascais, Portugal - Ed Baird and his crew on Team Musto won the inaugural
Portugal Match Cup on the Swedish Match Tour. Baird and Russell Coutts put
on a thrilling final series, one featuring numerous lead changes, seven
penalties and enough match-race strategy to make a chess grand master
envious. The two were the best performing skippers all week. Coutts entered
the final undefeated in 11 races. Baird had lost only two in 13 starts. But
in the end Baird defeated Coutts, 3-0. Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and his
Team Musto crew ­ Andy Horton (Newport, R.I.), Dean Phipps (Valencia,
Spain), Guy Salter (Cowes, England) and Jon Ziskind (Newport, R.I.) ­ won
40,000 Euros ($48,000) of the 150,000 Euro ($180,000) prize purse.

With the victory, Baird scores 25 points towards the Swedish Match Tour
championship and takes pole position in the race for the BMW 545i Touring
that will be awarded to the champion next July in Sweden. In the Petit
Final Peter Holmberg's Team Alinghi defeated Jesper Radich's Team Denmark,
2-0. - Sean McNeill,

Final Standings:
1. Ed Baird (USA) Team Musto, 14-2, €40,000 ($48,117.98)
2. Russell Coutts (NZL), 11-3, €25,000 ($30,073.74)
3. Peter Holmberg (USVI) Team Alinghi, 8-7, €20,000 ($24,058.99)
4. Jesper Radich (DEN) Team Denmark, 7-7, €15,000 ($18,044.24)
5. Peter Gilmour (AUS) Pizza-La Sailing Team, 7-5, €10,000 ($12,029.50)
6. Philippe Presti (FRA) le Défi Français, 9-7, €9000 ($10,826.55)
7. Staffan Lindberg (FIN), 7-8, €8000 ($9,623.60)
8. Bertrand Pacé (FRA) BMW Oracle Racing, 4-6, €7000 ($8,420.65)
9. Chris Law (GBR) The Outlaws, 4-6, €6000 ($7,217.70)
10. Michael Dunstan (AUS) OzBoyz Challenge, 2-8, €5000 ($6,014.75)
11. Geoff Meek (RSA) Shosholoza Challenge, 2-8, €3000 ($3,608.85)
12. Francisco Neto (POR) Team Henri Lloyd, 1-9, €2,000 ($2,405.90)
(*USD amounts based on 7/31/04 exchange rate of 1Eur = 1.20295USD)

With two windward leeward courses planned for this ultimate day in the 2004
edition of the Tour de France à la Voile, Bouygues Telecom began the day
with a 15 point lead ahead of Defi Partage Marseille, who themselves were
11 points ahead of American Deneen Demourkas' multinational team who have
lead the majority of the Tour, Groovederci. After a successful first race
in an established, if shifty easterly with Bouygues Telecom narrowly taking
victory after a tense duel with Groovederci, the second and final race of
the day was cancelled shortly after the start due to a lack of wind off St
Maxime. Bouygues Telecom won the outright victory in the Tour, with Defi
Partage Marseille taking second and the former leader Groovederci
completing the podium in third place. - Translation by Kate Jennings

Final Results:
1. Bouygues Telecom, Pierre Loïc Berthet, 1161
2. Defi Partage Marseille, Thierry Bouchard/ Dimitri Deruelle, 1139
3. Groovederci, Deneen B. Demourkas/ Laurent Pages, 1132

Event website:

Brad Butterworth admits he was surprised to learn of Ernesto Bertarelli's
multi-million dollar loan to Team New Zealand. The Alinghi tactician, who
sailed in both of Team New Zealand's winning campaigns, says it is not
really anything to with the sailing team. He told Newstalk ZB's Peter
Montgomery that Bertarelli's explanation - that he wants good challengers
to take part in the cup - rings true. Brad Butterworth says Bertarelli is
bound to cop some flak over the deal, but feels his boss would be damned if
he does, and damned if he doesn't. He says it will be interesting to see
how the other syndicates react to the loan. - -

"I'm astonished. It's almost unbelievable and it's unfair. I can see the
attraction of having Team New Zealand because they are glamorous and they
were holders. But we all have equal rights don't we, because we are all
potential holders." - GBR Challenge chairman Peter Harrison from a story by
Tim Jeffery in the Daily Telegraph about the $10 million loan that Swiss
biotech billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli gave to Team New Zealand a to ensure
the former America's Cup holders will contest the 2007 event in Valencia.
Full story:

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* Strong tides and fickle winds were the dominant feature of the Royal
Ocean Racing Club's Channel Race, the high scoring grand finale of the
Rolex Commodores' Cup. Following strong performances by all three of their
boats in the Channel Race, GBR Red (Bear of Britain, Farr 52 Kit Hobday/
Tim Louis; Exavyte, IMX 40, Jerry Otter; Jeronimo, J/109, Jonathan & Lisa
Goring) been proclaimed the overall winners. The Irish team, who led this
regatta throughout the week, dropped to third overall behind France Blue. -

* Apparently a kite-board has just broken the 40 knot barrier. The World
Sailing Speed Records Council has received a claim from Manu Taub (FRA) in
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, sailing a "Radical" Windsurfer with 10 sq
mts of kite. The claimed speed was 40.58 kts over 500 metres in 30/ 35
knots wind on July 30.

* Sacked America's Cup skipper Russell Coutts says he will take legal
action, following his dismissal by Swiss syndicate Team Alinghi last month.
"I am going to defend myself through the legal system," he said. "I have
not given up hope of taking part in the next Cup in 2007 in Valencia," he
told a Swiss newspaper. - BBC website,

* Canadian Bill Abbott, his wife Joanne and Paul Davis are the Soling
Worlds Masters Champions, at Lake Michigan. In a close battle that turned
into match racing USA 842 Stu Walker, Doug Loup, Andrew Dizer from
Annapolis beat Joe Hoeksema his wife Rose and Matias Collins who finished

* Although the Newport to Bermuda Race officials did not recognize the new
elapsed time course record set by Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory in the
"Demonstration Division" of their 44th Bermuda Race, it has now been
officially recognized by the World Sailing Speed Council as the monohull
world record - 2 days 39 minutes 22 seconds, 13.09 kts. -

* There has been a lot of discussion of the recent changes to Article 13.12
of the America's Cup Protocol which will probably keep Russell Coutts from
getting another gig for the 2007 event. We've posted that amendment on the
Scuttlebutt website - now you can judge for yourself:

* The US sent seven teams to the 420 European Championship in Zadar,
Croatia. The 55-boat Ladies division was won by Pippa Wilson/ Harriette
Trumble (GBR) with the USA's Leigh Kempton/ Kaity Storck finishing 6th
overall. Croatians Matija Longin/ Pavle Kostov won the 83-boat Men's fleet
with Adam Roberts/ Nick Martin (USA) finishing 15th in the Gold fleet. This
is the 5th year CISA has sent a US team to major I-420 regattas.

* Krysha Pohl and Morgan Commette of the USA battled to the last leg of the
Snipe Women's World Championship, finishing second by two points behind the
new champions, sisters Andrea & Mariana Foglia of Uruguay. Held in Oslo,
Norway July 22-27, 35 boats from eight countries competed in varying
conditions. Laura Jeffers and Sherri Welch of Florida finished 11th
overall. -

* Sandhamn, Sweeden - Sweden's Peder Arvefors, sailing with his sister
Tintan, his 13-year old son plus Martin and Magnus Grävare, is the new J/80
World champion. The USA's Kerry Klingler/ Robert Miller finished second,
six points back, with Ingemar Sundstedt from Sweden taking third place in
the 56-boat fleet.

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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 Stephen Sumner: This is becoming a farce, of a mockery, of a sham!
What a mess, if things carry on the way they seem to be going then we feel
the AC is not any where as viable as it was; especially if you take out Mr
Couttes. Mr Bertarelli should look around and maybe look to see how many
people are in fact interested in this sport and how much damage might be
caused! Seahorse International that has just come out makes for good
reading as always, the bit for me and my crew was the possible concept of
Mr Couttes and Cayard running a one design regatta in 80ft trapeze boats!
We say bring it on!

* From Tracy Edwards: I think Russell Coutts should forget the America's
Cup and come and do The Oryx Cup!

* From Chris Welsh: Loans from rival syndicates to "prop up" the
competition? (A good event wouldn't need propping up) Retroactively barring
the leading helmsman from sailing? (true nationality requirements would
have precluded this development) $160 Million is necessary in order to
conduct a campaign? (patently absurd) The spirit of Corinthian competition
in the America's Cup is dead. Sell the Cup to the highest bidder - oops,
did we already do that?

It seems the America's Cup is going the way of IOR racing, and several
other formulas before that: ascending popularity, then good racing,
followed by large egos, ascending costs, declining participation, death of
the rule/event, and finally, good racing again when the boats which have no
other purpose are sold for pennies and raced at the amateur level on a

Just so this is not criticism without a solution as well, I suggest the
cities of Newport, Rhode Island, and Perth, Australia should start a new
match racing event with cost cutting measures, real nationality
requirements, and potential for a boat to be competitive in more than one
cup challenge. The America's Cup in Perth has to have been the most
exciting racing sailing has ever presented in a mass appeal event.

* Al Schreitmueller (Re: the America's Cup situation): what a remarkable
marketing gaff- and from people who you would think have passed business
101! To watch the best in sailing I have stayed up to all hours of the
night and hit the web site numerous times during the day. In America, the
National Football League had a strike and the owners used replacement
players. No one cared. What if Lance Armstrong was banned from the Tour de
France? Jeff Gordon from NASCAR? The fans will walk. With all due respect
to the high-rollers, you are not why I care. And if they are responsible
for excluding the players I root for, I'm running, not walking. So Mr's
Cayard & Coutts, there couldn't be a better time to announce what you are
working on... if the sponsors really understood what just happened and how
the (spending and very close) sailing community feels about it (and their
own), they might pause...

* From Cliff Bradford (Regarding the Swedish Match 40s): Why is it that a
boat that was not designed to anything but a geometric box (trailer?) rule
have a feature (the double knuckle) that was dictated by another rule
(IACC) that has no bearing on it's design? It is a feature that was
incorporated into IACC boats to gain the length that the rules wouldn't let
them have with a "normal" boat shape. Why not then simply design in the
extra length? Also why not a tiller instead of wheel? Considering that the
boats are likely to shipped around, a tiller would probably be more robust
and I'm sure the helmspersons would prefer the feel.

- Reply from Scott MacLeod, Swedish Match Tour Director, Yes, as a
one-design class there was no need to have the double knuckle in the design
for performance. The double-knuckle was included because one of our design
parameters was for the boat to look like an IACC yacht when sailing for TV
and the public. We also wanted it to perform like an IACC yacht in the
dial-up and pre-start which we have achieved given the positive response
from the skippers. We also couldn't just put in extra length or beam
because of the constraints of shipping by container.

As a sailor I would have preferred a tiller but our TV people wanted a
wheel. With a wheel you can see who is actually driving the boat as the
skipper is standing up and you can see the boat maneuver when the skippers
turns the yacht during the pre-start. You'll be amazed at the way these
skippers throw these boats around in the pre-start from the onboard
cameras. The wheel picks up all the action which is better for the public
and TV. You can check the boats out at

- Curmudgeon's Comment: Take a look at photos of the SM 40s posted on the
Scuttlebutt website:

* From Dick Rath: It was with a strange mixture of great pride and deep
humility that I joined yesterday in Connecticut with fellow members of the
Storm Trysail Club, sailing industry leaders, world class sailors, and most
importantly, the family and close friends of Russell Hoyt to say a final
farewell to this unique individual, gifted sailor, talented seaman,
extraordinary friend to the sport of sailing and, for me personally, a good
friend and mate. Adding to the warm recollections and accurate portrayal of
the man in Kim Roberts note written earlier today, Russell was generous to
a fault with his time, expertise, and resources. He was also unassuming,
loyal, and honest; when Russell said he was going to do something you could
always count that he would. Few who knew him realized that their good
friend and sailing buddy was also the founder and former CEO of Walden
Books. Russell would simply rather talk about sailing. He was a great
teller of sea stories, war stories, and seriously good jokes. Fortunate
indeed am I to recount a day on the waters off Newport with Russell and his
friends Shuff Willman and Fang swapping stories and sailing a notch or two
above the competition.

You have to stay in shape. Like the grandmother who started walking five
miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today … and no one has any idea where
she is.