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SCUTTLEBUTT 1641 - August 6, 2004

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ED BAIRD
After completing one of his most successful months ever, Ed Baird currently
holds a unique double in the world of match-racing. He's ranked No. 1 on
the Swedish Match Tour leaderboard and No. 1 in the world. Baird has now
won three match-racing worlds, joining an elite crowd that includes Russell
Coutts, Chris Dickson and Peter Gilmour, all three-time winners. Baird won
his first title in 1995 in New Zealand, the second last year on Lake Garda,
Italy, before this year in Russia.

Baird has been a long-time competitor on the Swedish Match Tour. He is one
of only two skippers who have placed in the top eight on the final rankings
in each of the Tour's first five seasons. Although he's never finished
higher than fifth, that could change this year. Baird's Team Musto is
planning to compete in as many events possible to chase the new Tour prize,
a BMW 545i Touring that will be awarded to the Tour champion along with
$60,000 in prize money. But, as always, there's a financial burden to consider.

"The Tour represents the elite events of the world and we love to go to the
best events. The one thing we're missing is a sponsor that can help us pay
for the time to prepare and to get to the events that are farther away and
more expensive for us. And also to keep a team together," Baird said.
"We've been representing Musto for the last two years which has been
fabulous. They're wonderful to work with and they're helping us with team
gear. But cash is hard to come by. If we can find a more significant
situation that we can afford to train harder and longer we'd be at every event.

"When I think back on the match-racing circuit there was a great wave of
excitement 12 or 15 yrs ago. When it got started, it was terrific. Then
there was a period of slow down. It got harder, it wasn't as exciting and
there were question marks about future," Baird said. "But it's great that
Swedish Match and their partners have been committed for so long. Now, they
must be seeing that this is truly the top end of sport and it's a great
place for them to be." - Excerpts from a story by Sean McNeill, full story:
www.swedishmatchtour.com/default.asp?m=da&id=12745

SOUTH AFRICAN AMERICA'S CUP CHALLENGE
Wrapped and strapped and ready for shipping to Europe, Yacht Shosholoza RSA
48 was moved from the Mediterranean Shipping Company's (MSC) container base
in Woodstock to the Cape Town Harbour container terminal for loading onto
an MSC container ship. The yacht was moved aboard an extra long flatbed
trailor, courtesy of Stellval Crane.

Meanwhile it was uncertain whether the vast 32 meter mast and 22 ton keel
would be transported across Table Bay harbour from the V&A Waterfront to
the container terminal aboard a floating crane as planned because of strong
winds and rough seas. If the typical Cape Town winter conditions prevail,
the mast and keel might have to be transported through the harbour by road.
The four Team Shosholoza containers loaded with sails and other yacht
racing and support gear necessary for the first pre-America's Cup regattas
in Marseille (September) and Valencia (October) were also cleared by
Customs yesterday and loaded onto the container ship. -
www.sachallenge.com/site/news.asp?dealer=5672

A LOOK AT THE FUTURE
One of the boats to look out for at Skandia Cowes Week next week will be
Stephen Fein's new 36ft Full Pelt X, conceived and created from back of fag
packet via CAD work (by Christian Stimson) to finished product in the water
sailing by Fein's long term skipper/designer Jo Richards. Now she is
launched the first impression of the new Full Pelt X is of a pumped-up
49er, due to her very narrow hull and wings. In fact proportionally her
wings aren't nearly as extreme as those of a 49er.

"The boat is actually narrower than the last boat was which was water
ballasted," says Richards. "The waterline is narrower, so we are able to
keep the crew weight out to a reasonable point. And obviously the wings are
removable so that we fit into the European trailing limits - it's easier
than tipping the boat on its side." As is becoming the trend with the
modern high performance race boats that aren't designed to fit into a
rating rule, Full Pelt X has a canting keel. The angle of movement of this
is a whopping +/- 55deg, five degrees more than the maxZ86s she was racing
against at Cork Week recently.

For those who were expecting the new Full Pelt to be planing upwind
straight out of the box, a little more patience is required, says Richards.
"It's slightly chaotic at the moment, but it is only to be expected. We're
learning how to sail it. - Excerpts from a major story posted on The Daily
Sail website, full story: http://tinyurl.com/3j9x9

BIGGEST EVER?
The US Optimist National Championships were held at Patchogue, Long Island
last week, where 428 sailors gathered in a five-day competition in breezes
ranging from 3 to 20 kts. Austen Anderson from Centerport YC, NY bested the
367 boat championship fleet to win on a tiebreaker over Sean Moynahan from
Coral Reef YC, FL. Austen was also the winner of the US National Team
Trials in early May and was the top US finisher (20th) at the World
Championships in Ecuador last month. Rumor has it that this year's Optimist
Nationals sets the record for the largest number of boats at a one-design
regatta in the United States. - John Hammel

Results at http://www.bellportyc.org/Opti_Nats_2004/results.htm

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar

BUSINESS AS USUAL
For three weeks in June, Newport Shipyard looked like the Viaduct Basin
with scores of Alinghi and BMW Oracle crewmembers preparing for the UBS
Trophy Regatta. The shipyard had the ambiance of an America's Cup village
while it was business as usual for the rest of the yard crew as they
launched the newly painted 139' ketch, Rebecca and hauled 153' Cherosa.
Newport Shipyard has become a destination for world cruisers and
professional racers who need refits or repairs, or simply want to be docked
in the middle of the best yachting scene around. Contact us at
http://www.newportshipyard.com

CONTEST WINNERS
A late surge of race stories from folks that competed in the Bacardi
Bayview Mackinac Race and Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac made for
tough work in the jury room to determine which tales were most worthy. The
stories showed the many sides of yacht racing. Some triumph, some
heartache, some humor...but all providing memories for life. Only a few
could win, but we think they are all winners:
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/contest/04mac

U.S. JUNIOR WOMEN'S SINGLEHANDED CHAMPIONSHIP
In her young sailing career, 17-year-old Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
already has an impressive list of championship titles to her name,
including Youth World Champion in the singlehanded class and two-time
National Champion. And now she has done it again. For a third time, Railey
has won US SAILING's U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship, sailed
in Laser Radials, and the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy. Railey beat
66 competitors from throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The Championship
was hosted by Bay Head and Mantoloking Yacht Clubs in New Jersey and
sponsored by Vanguard Sailboats.

Fresh back from several months of racing in Europe, Railey took a
commanding lead on the first day of racing. She did not relinquish that
lead throughout the Championship and finished with just nine points after
ten races and two discards. With this win, Railey has earned her third
consecutive trip to the Youth World Championship, to be held in South Korea
in 2005. Asked how she was celebrating her win, Railey replied, "I'm doing
homework for school right now because classes started a few days ago."

While Railey dominated the event, there was a real battle for the remaining
spots on the podium. Only eight points separated the competitors who were
in second through fifth place, with three races left to go. In the end, it
was Case Hathaway-Zepeda (Pasadena, Calif.) who was able to manage the
northerly 13 to 14 knot winds and finish second, while Leah Hoepfner
(Corpus Christi, TX) held onto a third place. Allie Blecher (Fullerton,
Calif) took fourth with Kendall Reiley (Marblehead, Mass.) in fifth place.
- Marlieke de Lange Eaton, www.ussailing.org.

MATCH RACING
Lysekil, Sweden - During Thursday the very light wind conditions continued
to cause trouble for the organizers of the worlds' largest match racing
event for ladies, the ISAF Grade 1 Lysekil Women's Match, with a total
prize purse of EUR 43,000 ($52,000). The wind conditions on the racing
waters outside Lysekil's harbour were unstable during the Thursday, so the
racing couldn't begin until lunchtime. Linda Rahm from the Royal Gothenburg
Yacht Club is still in the lead after having defeated her fellow club
member Marie Björling, even though she then lost the second match of the
day to her other fellow club member, Malin Källström:

Standings:
1. Linda Rahm, SWE/Team Koncentra, 6 wins - 1 loss
2. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen, DEN/Team Gerimax, 4 - 1
3. Malin Källström, SWE/Team Tuve Bygg, 5 - 2
4. Marie Björling, SWE/Team Panorama, 5 - 2
5. Claire Leroy, FRA, 5 - 2
6. Nina Braestrup, DEN, 3 - 2
= Christine Briand, FRA, 3 - 2
8. Marie Fauré, FRA, 2 - 3
9. Sally Barkow, USA, 2 - 5
10. Katie Spithill, AUS, 1 - 4
11. Elizabeth Kratzig, USA, 0 - 5
12. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, NED, 0 - 7

Event website: http://www.lysekilwomensmatch.se

NEWS BRIEFS
* A total of 83 Melges 24 crews from 14 nations and three continents are in
to Marstrand, Sweden to compete in the 2004 Melges 24 World Championship
from 9-13 August. Crews from as far a field as Australia and California
will join the top European teams. Reigning world champion Shark Kahn, who
turned 15 this week, will be back with his victorious 2003 crew of Richard
Clarke, Mark Christensen, Brian Hutchinson and Brian Lee to defend his
title. - Yachting World, full story:
http://www.yachting-world.com/auto/newsdesk/20040704090521ywnews.html

* During Skandia Cowes Week, computer users will be able to tune into Cowes
Radio 106.2 FM to listen in to the sailing action and social scene. It will
also be possible also send a message via text or email, to a racing crew
over Cowes Radio. www.btyahoo.com/sailing

* Lewmar has introduced a new carbon fibre 68 winch for large grand prix
racing. The first batch of CF68s are fitted on brand new Swan 601Ds. The CF
68 has a Dynamic Working Load of 3000 kg with an impressive power to weight
ratio. It is available in a number of options including the patented four
speed integral gear train, as well as sheave base and self tailing
versions. The Two Speed Self Tailing model weighs in at only 8.6kg (19 pounds).

* Principle Race Officer Arthur Hodge abandoned race seven of the Ace
Etchells World Championship off Mooloolaba Thursday after a 45 degree wind
shift about a quarter of the way through the 12 nautical mile race. The
fleet leaders were about half way down the first spinnaker leg with
Pittwater yachtsman Rob Brown about half a boat length ahead of America's
Cup legend Dennis Conner. - www.mooloolabaetchells.com.au

* Correction - The re-air of Gary Jobson's 25 Years of Sailing on ESPN2
Saturday is an early morning affair - 5:00 AM ET.


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(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 Marty Browne: As we approach the rewrite deadline for the 2005
rules, I have several issues with Black Flag, or "I" flag starts. If a boat
does not know that it has been BF'd or I-flagged, it will continue to race
and must be accorded full Right-of-Way on the course. Its finish will not
be recorded but its presence on the race course has affected the race. Do
the new rules have any provision for notifying a boat who has been BF'd or
I-flagged in order to get that boat to drop out of the race?

Is there any provision in the new rules for dealing with the sportsmanship
issue of some who sails the race course, knowing that the boat is BF'd or
I-flagged. Such a boat may deliberately foul a competitor because the race
is already a discard. Has anyone tried address the issue of a boat that is
BF'd or fails to restart properly after an "I" flag, in the hopes of having
a negative effect on a competitor?

Curmudgeon's Comment: I hate to be the one to tell you, but you missed the
'rewrite deadline' by quite a lot. The new rules have long been finalized
and are now being printed for distribution. They are also posted online, if
you'd like a preview: http://tinyurl.com/4cdxj

* From Geoffrey Emanuel: Well, here we go again bashing PHRF. It's simple-
handicaps of all styles, colors and flavors never work for the losers and
usually work for the winners. I'd challenge anyone to give me an example of
a specific boat/crew combination that consistently wins under any one
handicap system that doesn't win under another handicap system. Let's face
it, it's not the handicap's job to equalize talent. Handicaps rate boats,
not people. This isn't golf!

* From Ron Baerwitz (Re: Comments by George M. Hansen regarding the
America's Cup): George is so on the money. Victory without Coutts and
Cayard would be meaningless to them and the yachting world. Our billionare
friends do not own the cup or yachting. We own it, meaning the sailors from
the Opti Kid to the PHRF'er to the winner of Three Americas Cups. I, for
one, will not care or watch the AC without all the best competing. I urge
all of my fellow yachtspersons to convey the same sentiment to billionares
that think they're above the sailors that brought them yachting
fame.Without us there is no audiance and, therefore, no sponsors. Also, no
platform to set their huge agos on. So, fellow sailors, let's strike, until
our words and demands are met-- "Coutts & Cayard or Cancel!"

Curmudgeon's Comment: To my knowledge, there are no restrictions that
prevent Paul Cayard from joining an America's Cup syndicate for the 2007
event. Right now however, Cayard's total focus is on the Olympics.

* From Angus Macaulay: What a shame... Bertarelli and Ellison think they
are the stars. After all the promises of how Alinghi and Oracle would make
the Cup a world class sporting event, we are left with two egotistical
billionaires who think the event is about them and their army of lawyers
and bankers. Let's dream for a minute that the protocol had been revised to
reign in spending to enable a bigger, more competitive event. And then
imagine a spirited challenger series where Oracle wins 4-3 to advance to
the cup behind the superb driving of Paul Cayard... a world class sailor
who has experienced incredible success in all facets of sailing except the
Cup Finals. They face the intimidating Alinghi team in the finals, lead by
Russell Coutts who has yet to loose a race in the last three Cup's. The
series ends with Cayard defeating the best in the game 4-3 to bring the Cup
back to the United States... America's Cup 2011 in San Francisco led by the
hometown hero...

Oh well... back to the legal battles and the various tactics Russell will
have to undertake to counter the most recent changes in the protocol. By
the way, if Bertarelli needs to change the protocol after the fact to keep
Russell out of the game, what will stop him from making other adjustments
if he feels a challenger truly poses a threat to his team?

* From Mike Dailey: Seems sad, that two guys with so much money and power
(Bertarelli and Ellison), that could do so much for the Americas cup and
sailing in general, have to conspire between them, to keep one lone Kiwi
boat driver out of their sand box. The irony is that they can only keep him
out of the 2007 Cup. And surely by the time the next Americas cup rolls
around again, there will be any number of syndicates that would be all to
happy to be able to use him against either Oracle or Alinghi. Does the
expression "shooting yourself in the foot" apply here?

* From Rand Milton: I have been following with dismay the status of Russell
Coutts. For Mr. Bertarelli and Mr. Ellison to conspire and come up with a
way to preclude arguably the finest America's Cup sailor in history the
opportunity to compete in the next America's Cup is outright shameful and
adds another bad chapter to the history of the America's Cup. Not only does
it hurt Russell Coutts, but it seriously harms our sport's image and denies
the many fans of the America's Cup the opportunity to see one the best
skippers ever to sail in the America's Cup. I suggest that Mr. Bertarelli
and Mr. Ellison put their differences aside and do the right thing by
lifting the restrictions on Russell Coutts.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Enough about Coutts and Cayard and Bertarelli and
Ellison. Until there is something new to report, this thread is officially
dead!

THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
You have to wonder about someone who has Jack Daniels on his list of "most
admired" people.