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SCUTTLEBUTT 1648 - August 17, 2004

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The Olympic sailing regatta will have to wait a day for its big adrenaline
kick. A strong Meltemi wind that led to the cancellation of rowing claimed
the opening three races of the thrill-a-minute 49er class Monday after
sailors weren't able to get their boats in the water. Only two classes
sailed, and the wind didn't help American skippers Kevin Hall and Carol
Cronin, who each slipped further out of medal contention. Hall, of Bowie,
Md., finished 16th and 14th in the two Finn races to drop into a tie for
14th overall. Cronin, of Jamestown, R.I., was ninth and 15th in the Yngling
races to drop into a tie for 11th.

Meanwhile, a member of Denmark's sailing team was charged with manslaughter
and speeding after he struck and killed a British pedestrian while speeding
in his car on the way to see his country's handball team play on Sunday.
The Danish Olympic Committee said 23-year-old Niklas Holm would be allowed
to compete in the Star class starting Saturday, but a team spokesman didn't
know if Holm would.

Organizers will try on Tuesday to get in the first 49er races. The
high-performance 49ers are on the edge of a wipeout in normal conditions,
so Monday's gusts of up to 30 knots could have savaged the light, fragile
skiffs that are named for their length -- 4.99 meters. "I think maybe a few
people would have made it around the course, but the majority would have
flipped over and broken any number of things," said U.S. skipper Tim Wadlow
of Boston. Wadlow said he and crew Peter Spaulding of Miami have practiced
in conditions similar to Monday's. "It's full-on survival," he said.
"You're focused on your own boat and keeping it upright at all times."
Flipping the craft, which he said he's done hundreds of times, "is not that
big of a deal, but sometimes when you're going fast a wipeout can be
dramatic," Wadlow said. "But getting it back up is not a problem." Under
the class rules, races won't start if gusts exceed 25 knots for 30 seconds,
or if gusts exceed 30 knots for any duration. The Australian-designed
skiffs can flip in 12 knots.

Great Britain's Ben Ainslie continued his remarkable rebound from a protest
loss, finishing fourth and first to jump up eight spots to first overall in
the Finn. He's a former gold and silver medalist in the Laser. - Excerpts
from a story by Bernie Wilson, AP, as posted on San Francisco Chronicle
website, full story:

The unpredictable Meltemi northerly winds are scheduled to continue early
Tuesday, before decreasing in the afternoon to 15-16 knots as the wind
shifts to north -north-westerly. Standings:

Finn-25 boats (6 of 11 races with 1 discard)
1. GBR, Ainslie, Ben, 16
2. ESP, Rafael Trujillo, 17
3. POL, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, 25
14. USA, Kevin Hall, 60
19. CAN, Richard Clarke, 77

Yngling-16 boats (6 of 11 races with 1 discard)
1. GBR, Shirley Roberston/ Sarah Ayton/ Sarah Webb, 13
2, DEN Dorte Jensen/ Christina Borregaard-Otzen/ Helle Jespersen, 22
3. UKR, Ruslana Taran/ Svitlana Matevusheva/ Ganna Kalinina, 24
11. USA, Carol Cronin/ Liz Filter/ Nancy Haberland, 46
13. BER, Paula Lewin/ Peta Lewin/ Christine Patton, 52
16. CAN, Lisa Ross/ Deirdre Crampton/ Chantal Leger, 61

Complete scores:
Updated Olympic Meltemi photo gallery:

(The job of meteorologist Chris Bedford job is to keep U.S. sailors in tune
with the weather and, hopefully, one step ahead of their competitors. In a
major story on the Sailing World magazine website, Stuart Streuli asked
Bedford to explain this punchy and unpredictable offshore breeze.)

Sailing World: When you forecasted for America's Cup teams you had a very
specific job, give them a weather picture and, most importantly, nail the
first shift for a certain time and place. With as many as eight different
classes sailing at once on four circles, what do you strive to provide for
the U.S. Olympic sailors?

Bedford: I think the most important thing is not to give them an absolute
forecast. I make a table up that says at 1 p.m. the wind will be here, at 2
p.m. the wind will be there, but I emphasize the fact that when they go out
to the race course they should not expect to match what's on the forecast
table. It's more to give them an idea of what the trends will be. I try to
arm them with information they can use to make decisions on their own on
the race course, give them signs to look for, trends that they can expect
out of the breeze. For instance, if the breeze gets to 160 degrees and
stabilizes, then how do you determine whether the next likely thing is for
it to go left or right.

Sailing World: You mentioned that with the Meltemi often it's better to
play the velocity than the shifts. This breeze can shift a lot, why do you
favor that approach?

Bedford: I think it depends on the boat. Because the wind is so strong, the
shifts tend to be really short and it's hard to do much with them. Really
getting into the pressure lines is where the value is in this type of
breeze. In the sea breeze where the wind is light and the breeze slowly
shifts and oscillates more, the shifts have a bigger impact on the fleet.
In the Meltemi the shifts are kind of chaotic so chances are on four beats,
three beats, whatever it is, if you've average out the fleet on the shifts
they got, whether they were in their favor or not, it would be even
throughout the fleet. It's just luck. - Excerpts from a story by Stuart
Streuli on the Sailing World magazine website, full story:

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Young competitive sailors, who are forced to make quick decisions regarding
lay lines, wind shifts, bearings, currents and other boats' paths, are
likely to have a step up on their landlubber peers when it comes to
handling parallel lines, dimensions, altitudes, angles, arcs and curves
that are ubiquitous in scientific fields such as mathematics and engineering.

A new study at Connecticut College has shown that young adults, both male
and female, who are active in sail racing have greater proficiency at
spatial tasks and understanding spatial relationships than students who are
not sailing team members. Using the sailing team at Connecticut College and
another nationally ranked university sailing team as primary subjects, Ann
S. Devlin, May Buckley Sadowski '19 Professor of Psychology, found that
sailing team members reported less spatial anxiety and were more likely to
adopt an orientation strategy in navigation and problem solving than were
members of the general student body. In essence, they may find be at ease
with such tasks as designing a skyscraper, navigating the streets of
Manhattan, creating three-dimensional animation or even fitting luggage
into a car trunk.

Devlin also found that the sailors showed higher levels of spatial ability
than members of the crew team, thus ruling out time on the water and
general athleticism as a factor in spatial proficiency. "Sailboat racing is
an activity wherein being able to respond to rapidly changing conditions,
such as wind shifts, gives a competitor distinct advantage," Devlin said.
"The same could be said for information-processing and analytical skill." -
Eric Cárdenas, Connecticut College website, full story:

After a six months period of prequalification and tendering, the Committee
Valencia 2007awarded in July the first project to the Spanish building firm
Cyes (with a Euro 5,1 budget) and work begun immediatly at the future
America's Cup Village. These works, which consist of the re-structuring of
230 metres of dock length, include all the necessary facilities for the
hosting of the America's Cup pre-regattas. The work also includes the
building of a pile-based platform and the infrastructure for the
installation of two 50-tonne travel lifts.

If the committee has cancelled the tender procedure for the canal
connecting the port directly to the sea, seven others tenders/ contracts
were now awarded and work will start very soon. The big question is now
whether all the projects will be completed in time for Acts 2 and 3, which
are scheduled to be held in October. The cup in Europe website,

Having seriously considered the possibility of setting sail this last
weekend from New York, Bruno Peyron has decided not to seize this first
weather window for his attempts on the west to east transatlantic record
and the 24 hour records. Thus the maxi-catamaran Orange II returns from
being 'Code Orange' to 'Code Red', meaning she will not be leaving within
the next three days. The maxi-catamaran has now set sail as the tail end of
Cyclone Charley, is soon to reach New York following its devastation of
Miami. Orange II is therefore heading for Newport, Rhode Island, where the
preparation of the boat and crew training will continue.

"The forecast predicted a possible crossing time of around five days, which
would have been a very good time for this route, but that would not have
allowed us to smash the record," explained Peyron. "Moreover, the erratic
movement of the cyclone coming up from Florida at this time of year
generally has an effect on the stability of the weather patterns in the
North Atlantic. - Excerpt from a story on The Daily Sail website, full

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(Sailing correspondent Stuart Alexander interviewed the 33 year old
Argentinean yacht designer Juan Kouyoumdjian about the two new Volvo 70s he
is designing for the ABN-AMRO syndicate. Here are some of Kouyoumdjian's

"The Volvo 70 rule has opened the door to a substantially large number of
configurations, in terms of hull shape and appendages. The computer is the
only way to look at those options given the amount of time available.
Although the race is over 18 months away, that, in a scientific world, is
almost nothing. So time is already restricting how much you can look at
these combinations. Even with the time to apply the technology, it will
only get you to a certain point. There comes a moment when the problems
start to become very dynamic. We are going through a time when computers
and computer software are just about powerful enough to do the job. But
they are still a bit in the future. Perhaps we may see these tools
introduced for the next America's Cup.

"I think the speeds of the Volvo 70s are going to be as high as the crews
allow them to be. I really doubt that the crews would manage to be flat out
100 percent of the time when offshore. So, a bit like the Open 60s, it will
be a matter of both psychological and physical capacity of the part of the
crews, rather than know-how. That is a bit different from the V.O.60s,
which were pushed to the limit. So we are in a bit in the unknown and it
will remain that way until boats start hitting the water. The time you can
spend on the water with these new machines is very important. There are a
huge amount of things, which cannot be predicted or simulated
scientifically, but which can only be learned on the water.

"The boats, which will be at different extremes of the rule interpretation,
will be so different that you could start to think of conservatism or even
risk management. Right now, I don't know what other designers will be
coming up with but what I can guarantee is that if they had the biggest
budget possible there is not enough time to spend it. So, the designers may
also have to come up with a bit of flair." - Juan Kouyoumdjian, from an
interview by Stuart Alexander posted on the Volvo Ocean Race website,

* Day two of the 102-boat LightSurf International 505 World Championships
at the Santa Cruz YC was abandoned because of ultra-light Easterly winds
that were simply unsuitable for racing. Monday's race will not be made up
on Tuesday, which is a lay day, but possibly on Friday which only has one
race scheduled. The results remain unchanged with Morgan Larson/ Trevor
Baylis leading the event, and the Americans holding the top seven
positions. -

* Sail 4 Cancer's fund raising target for Skandia Cowes Week 2004 was
£20,000, a sum that would have equalled the largest amount ever raised by
an Official Charity in the history of the event. However, we are delighted
to report that Sail 4 Cancer has well and truly smashed this target,
raising approximately £42,000 during the eight-day regatta. The funds will
be directed to cancer treatment centres around the UK, bowel cancer
research via Cancer Research UK and to get families affected by cancer out
on the water. -

* Many top U.S. teams preparing for the Hinman Trophy attended the annual
Larchmont YC Team Race. There were a total of 13 teams with an incredible
pool of recent college All-Americans racing at the event. Even though
Hurricane Charlie was moving up the coast, there was not enough breeze on
Saturday to races. Sunday produced a 5-8 knot Easterly, which allowed for
one full round of 66 races to be completed. The Team Silver Panda won the
event (Colin Merrick & Amanda Cullahan Peter Levesque & Liz Hall Joel
Hanneman & Carlos Lenz). Full results:

* The South Atlantic Race, regularly organised by the Royal Cape Yacht
Club, will have as its new destination Salvador de Bahia in Brazil for the
2006 event. Emerging as the premier Brazilian venue, Salvador already hosts
the Mini-Transat, the Clipper Race and the Route du Rhum, and will provide
more consistent sailing conditions over the final miles to the finish than
previously experienced into Rio de Janeiro. The race will start on January
4th, 2006, three days after the Volvo Ocean Race has departed Cape Town. -

* Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd. has become a boat sponsor in the Global
Challenge Race. Carte Blanche owns the world-wide brand "Me to You",
featuring the character "Tatty Teddy" - the grey bear with a blue nose
found on cards, gifts and stationery in major chains. As a result of the
sponsorship, there will be a 'Me to You' boat in the race and that boat
will have 'Tatty Teddy' as its 19th crew member.

* The much discussed movie, 'Wind,' is in the current HBO rotation, with
another 13 showings scheduled through the end of September. You can check
out the schedule online:

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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 Ron Baerwitz: Was it just me or did anyone else notice how many
countries had Sailors as their chosen flag bearers during the opening
ceremonies. It shows how very popular sailors are among fellow athletes,
particularly in Europe. Also, I completely enjoyed watching the TV coverage
(at 12:45 am) last night of the 470 course in the strong winds. Great TV
coverage. My only thought about Gary [Jobson's] commentary is that he is
gearing it towards the non-sailor. I would imagine the overwhelming
percentage of folks staying up 'til the weeeeee hours of the night to watch
sailing are sailors. I would much prefer to hear more technical information
and see battles on the course. But, overall, it's great to see real racing
on the water!

* From Ed Leslie: Not only did a sailor have the honor of lighting the
Olympic Flame, but 6 other sailors had the honor of carrying their country
flags in the opening ceremonies. Worth a trivia question for week stay at
the Bitter End?

Curmudgeon's Comment: It's probably not worth a week's stay at the Bitter
End YC, but if you make it down to BEYC for the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club's
Championship regatta (held in conjunction with the BEYC's Pro-Am), we'll
probably be able to get you a crew spot on Russell Coutts' boat. Hope to
see you there in October.

* From Gareth Evans, Great Britain: Sean P. Downey wrote: "In one, the USA
team is mentioned, but they are one of the farthest boats in the
photograph! There were 11 out of 15 of GBR, however." Maybe that is because
the British boats are currently (Mon pm) winning 3 of the classes. When the
other nations start winning they can expect better coverage. This is the
Olympics - nobody is interested in 4th place down.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "What a
great ride!"