Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1663 - September 8, 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.

Marseille is proving to be an excellent venue for the opening Act of the
32nd America's Cup. Strong winds, a spectacular backdrop, and close action
on the Rade Sud is showing that America's Cup racing in Europe is every bit
as exciting as one could have hoped for. Heavy conditions were the order of
the day again on Tuesday, with the first race starting in a building 12-14
knot Southeasterly. But the wind increased as the race went on, and for the
second contest, the crews were confronted once again with strong winds,
with gusts approaching 30-knots.

The cream of the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act fleet is rising to the top,
with the BMW Oracle Racing team stretching away to a solid lead over the
other two boats that make up the 'big three' here. Two wins on Tuesday,
making for three victories in a row, means the American team will have won
the fleet race portion of the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act.

BMW Oracle won the first fleet race by 13 seconds over Emirates Team New
Zealand who slipped past Alinghi when the Swiss boat was accessed a penalty
for tacking too close to BMW Oracle on the second beat. The winning delta
for the second race of the day was 24 seconds with Alinghi taking second
ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand and K-Challenge.

There is no racing scheduled for Wednesday, and when competition resumes on
Thursday, it will be for the Match Racing section of the event. Each team
is scheduled to race each other team once, in a complete Round Robin
format. The wins accumulated from this section, each one worth six points,
will be added to the fleet racing points to determine the winner of the
Marseille Louis Vuitton Act.

Standings after four fleet races:
1. BMW Oracle Racing Team (3, 1, 1, 1) 22 points
2. Team Alinghi (1, 2, 3, 2) 20 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (2, 3, 2, 3) 18 points
4. K-Challenge (4, 4, 5, 4) 11 points
5. Team Shosholoza (5, 5, 4, 6) 8 points
6. Le Defi (6, 6, 6, 5) 5 points

Event website:
Act 1 Gallery:

* "We didn't fall apart today. We had over 25 knots out there today and the
boat was fine. That pleases me because we had huge issues with that before
in the last Cup, and we've worked to try and address them. I thought our
speed was acceptable, our performance on the boat was OK, but you can't
take anymore away from it than that. It was just one race." - Grant Dalton,
Emirates Team New Zealand,

* "This is the first time in the recent history of the America's Cup that
teams have had the opportunity to check… where we are in relation to each
other." - Chris Dickson,

* "The fleet racing so far has proved to be fun and different and a bit of
a sprint. Laylines come up pretty quickly if there's the slightest wind
shift." - BMW Oracle's tactician John Kostecki, Yachting World,

* "We are just a click off the pace - that's better than I expected. In
fact we are doing better than I expected," - Grant Dalton, Emirates Team
New Zealand

* "So often you see America's Cup teams implode. The campaigns are long,
there are no off-seasons, you live and breathe the America's Cup. Quite
often you find the cup is lost rather than won." - Gavin Brady, NZ Herald,
full story:

* "He came to my office and told me, 'I am not motivated any more. I won
the cup three times. I have other projects. I would like to quit.' He gave
me his resignation, but I refused to accept it." - Alinghi head Ernesto
Bertarelli speaking about Russell Coutts, NZ Herald,

* "We are in an arbitration process at the moment. Basically I am looking
forward to dealing with the issues in the proper manner." - Russell Coutts,
NZ Herald,

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

On board or onshore, by the nature of our sport we're into the coastal
lifestyle. Nothing is better than finding yourself on an afternoon sail you
didn't expect to be on. The next time you're invited along at short notice
be prepared with an IN2 Coast Lite Jacket from Gill. Lightweight and
waterproof with fully taped seams and featuring a stowable hood, they're
ideal for coastal cruising, a spur of the moment afternoon sail or just
walking the dog. Now also in sky blue and cut specifically for women too.
Available at Annapolis Performance Sailing…

Roy Disney's Pyewacket, a maxZ86, won the racing division the Maxi Rolex
Cup for the second consecutive day in an ongoing battle with Wild Oats
owned by Australia's Robert Oatley. "We are pleased with second place,
especially as we have had little time to practice," noted Oatley. "Wild
Oats just arrived on Sunday, which is when we put dropped in the mast and
put on the keel." Genuine Risk and Alfa Romeo were disqualified from
today's race for not sailing the proper course.

With winds increasing from five to eleven knots and calmer seas than day
one, 31 boats in three divisions competed today in the Maxi Rolex Cup
hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. With a larger spectator fleet
present, the racing, Wally and cruising divisions raced on a 23 mile
course, with the racing division sailing three additional legs. Argentina's
Alexia, owned by Alberto Roemmers, took first place in the Wally division
with Tiketitan, yesterday's winner, coming in third. In the cruising
division, Mister A, owned by Italian Aldo Pagani, is leading pending final
results. The cruising division distinguishes itself from the other two
divisions in that it is a mixture of classic boats known for their elegant
lines and rich histories. These yachts not only include features that
accommodate the most luxurious tastes, but also, utilize the latest in race
technology such as rotating winged mast as seen on today's winner Mister A.

A good indication of the degree of intense competition expected this week
at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship was evident this past weekend at
the Pre-Worlds, the two day warm-up regatta held September 4-5, in San
Francisco, Calif. Held out of the San Francisco Yacht Club rather than the
Rolex Farr 40 Worlds host, the St. Francis Yacht Club (StFYC), John
Kilroy's (Malibu, Calif.) Samba Pa Ti won with Chuck Parish's
(Hillsborough, Calif.) Slingshot in second and the defending World
champions from Rome, Italy, Antonio Sodo Migliori and Massimo Mezzaroma on
Nerone in third. Samba Pa Ti finished the five race series with 32 points,
four points ahead of Slingshot and nine ahead of the Italians.

Whether this is any indication of the teams' performance at the Rolex Farr
40 Worlds remains to be seen. Conditions for the Pre-Worlds were lighter
and flukier than competitors expect from San Francisco. Stronger, more
typical sea breeze conditions with 20-25 knot winds from the west or
southwest are forecast for the rest of the week, and in this brisker
conditions other boats may emerge at the top of the fleet. The World
Championship takes place September 8-11 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in
San Francisco, Calif. For more information: or
- Media Pro In'l,

Complete Pre-World Regatta results:

With their new self-tacking furling jib, Bongos go even faster upwind.
Singlehanded sport boat sailing in an ergonomically designed cockpit makes
the Bongo enjoyable for kids from 8 to 80.

* Patrick Magyar has joined the Alinghi management team to work along side
of Alinghi Team General Manager Grant Simmer as 'Joint General Manager.' An
experienced administrator, Magyar will be responsible for team organization
in those areas not concerned with design or team competition preparation.
Additionally Brad Butterworth, tactician for the Alinghi sailing team, has
been added to the Alinghi management team. -

* Grant Dalton confirmed that he is likely to remain sailing on Emirates
Team New Zealand in his current position as both a member of the afterguard
and a sewer rat, packing sails down below. "I'm enjoying it [sailing on the
boat]", he said. "It's helping me to understand the way the guys think,
act, how decisions are made and mechanisms." Dalts pointed out that this is
particularly important "for when budget decisions are made and we want to
do this or that", saying that in this situation he'd be completely on the
pace. - The Daily Sail,

* During a press conference held last Sunday Lorenzo Rizzardi, President of
Lake Garda based Circolo Vela Gargnano, Cesare Pasotti, "+ 39" Team Manager
and Olympic medallist and skipper Luca Devoti introduced the international
crew that will represent the core of the sailors participating in the Louis
Vuitton Act 2 & 3 races next month in Valencia. The team will sail ITA59,
formerly Alinghi, the hull that inspired the boat that won the 2003
America's Cup. Familiar names include 2004 Olympic medallists, Iain Percy
(GBR), Xavier Rohart (FRA), Pascal Rambeau (FRA) and Rafael Trujillo (SPA).

* The challenge deadline is 17th December 2004 (Challengers will be
accepted after that date until 29 April, 2005 if accompanied by a late fee)
and there are only five official Challengers who are steeling themselves
for the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2007. In spite of this, the CEO of AC
Management Michel Bonnefous is feeling quietly confident. "We will
certainly arrive to ten or twelve teams in the next year", he said. "An
ideal number." - Cup in Europe website,

* Clipper Ventures plc, the marine events group chaired by Sir Robin
Knox-Johnston, launched a new website. The four key areas of the website
focus on Clipper Ventures Plc, the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht
Race, the 5-Oceans single handed race and Zapcat Racing Ltd. During the
ten-month Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, the website will
provide fleet position updates in real time, leg results and commentary
about the races from the skippers and crews. A newly created internet-based
education programme will also act as an online resource; making Clipper
05-06 information available to schoolchildren.

* ISAF is distributing the 'Official Film' of the eleven sailing events
contested in Athens. It covers the action from the race course, together
with fascinating facts and figures and interviews with the Gold medallists,
who recount their campaign for Olympic glory. The film looks at the
infrastructure behind the Olympic Sailing Competition, the different
organizations involved. It will be dispatched in the week commencing 11
October on DVD, in VHS or NTSC format for £25 plus postage and packing. -

The Ockam U text explains in clear, easy to follow language often
misunderstood concepts such as Polars/Targets, VMC course calculations for
long distance racing, and modifying target speeds in oscillating breeze
(aka "Wally"), plus much more. Whether you sail with a sophisticated fully
integrated instrument system, or rely solely on a compass and the
seat-of-your-pants, Ockam U provides useful information to help you get
around the course faster. It's a bargain at $25 plus flat postage fee of $4
to any address worldwide. To order, contact Tom Davis at

(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 Chris Ericksen: I was saddened--but not shocked--to read the
comments by ISAF Council member Arturo Delgado suggesting that "ISAF,
Continental Federations and MNAs must have more control on the development
and activities of the (Optimist) Class" ('Butt 1662). I may not be a former
IYRU Vice President or past President of a continental federation or MNA,
but it seems to me that the Optimist Class is doing just fine, thank you
very much, without being under the control of those bodies.

On the other hand, it seems that, at ISAF, the fruit does not fall far from
the tree: Señor Delgado's comments sound like many of those of
soon-to-be-past ISAF President Paul Henderson. Perhaps Señor Delgado does
not appreciate the irony of two sentences American sailors would understand
well: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and, "I'm from the government and
I'm here to help you."

* From J A Booker: How odd that Sr. Delgado's thought is that ISAF needs to
have more control over the Optimist Class. Just looking at the numbers I'd
say that the class has done quite well without more ISAF control. Looking
at the Olympic results I'd say the same thing. Looking at the experiences
that these kids have in the class, it is naive to think that it's just
about sailing.

This past week 21 Opti kids from Catalunya came to St. Petersburg, FL for a
weekend of racing and cultural exchange. In December some of our kids will
go there. Hurricane Frances put a damper on the scheduled events, so we
pulled together a regatta and got in four solid races Friday. Cataluyan and
local parents pitched in on race committee and logistics and the kids got
exactly what they came here for. As the kids signed hats and exchanged
shirts and email addresses I realized that my 11 and 8 year old kids are
able to do this because of the Opti class. ISAF, please leave them alone.

* From Peter Dreyfuss: I've got a twist on what contributes to Olympic
success. Sheer numbers. I believe that great sailors, or all great athletes
for that matter, are 'predestined' in a way. Yes, training, funding, etc.
is very important, but I would put even more emphasis on the early stages,
in order to get the largest population of sailors starting out such that
the "diamonds in the rough" will be found. I was very happy to read about
some US Opti regattas this summer with 300+ entrants! That is good for
sailing in the US, and that is good for future medals in the Olympics. In
short, the future of US Olympic sailing medals is tied to the Opti program
(and Sabot and other beginner programs).

* In a joint statement from Tracy Edwards and Andrew Pindar, it was
announced that the parties have 'reached an agreement' concerning the
monies owed to the Pindar Group, and that 'Ms Edwards has made an
undertaking to fully repay an outstanding debt by 6th November 2004.'

* From Gareth Evans: There have been many bad comments regarding Philippe
Kahn's motives in setting up Pegasus Racing. As a Brit I applaud it. The
USA appears to have lost their way with regard to Olympic Sailing. With the
wealth of talent available, you should be at the top of every class. Nobody
would argue that Britain had it easy in Athens, but we came out on top.
This is partly due to the funding received by our sailors, allowing them to
sail without financial worries. This leads to more productive hours on the
water. We also fund a number of sailors in each class, giving high quality
training partners which pushes the standard higher. Good luck Philippe.
Good luck USA. But please, don't improve so much that you take away our
gold medals!

* From Ray Tostado: When the likes of Paul Cayard comments. "One of the
biggest reasons is that the rest of the world is getting better" someone
had better be paying attention to this. And since other 'butt contributors
used US skiing as a model for success one must remember that 45 years ago
the US team members were precious and pampered, but not medalled. While
Buddy Werner had movie contracts and was romancing the cream of European
social debutants, the likes of Jean-Claude Killy, and Karlee Franz were
struggling to break into skiing fame and the fortune that came with it. Had
either failed in their task, one would have remained a conductor on the
French National R.R., the other would have returned to the sheep pastures
of Austria.

I expect that any sailor who did participate in this year's Olympic events
has some cushion. But I totally respect those US members who put up their
time and money to be there. It would always be their time, but the money
should have been available from development to victory. I have a question.
Did we really send over a national team; or just the best people we had.
There is a significant difference in that. Pride in one's roots is an
insurmountable incentive to win.

* From Jerry Kaye: It will be very nice to have the jolly old British back
in the cup comedies and capers ('butt 1662)...but to have "a United
States-based corporation." as a sponsor for the GBR Challenge is
disgusting, unpatriotic and unacceptable. If these turncoats (whoever they
may be) go for it, let's be damn sure to boycott the stuff they sell us
here in the US.

* From Ned Roseberry: All this talk about Olympic Medal counts is
unsettling. The commitment these athletes make, professionally, financially
and personally, to represent our country at the Olympic level is a supreme
sacrifice, in many cases. While perhaps the overall medal count was below
some critics expectations, our country was very well represented on the
international stage in many of these classes at large international
regattas preceding the games, and we were in contention for medals going
into the late stages of almost every Olympic class. Instead of criticizing
the medal haul, I would hope the scuttlebutt community would champion the
efforts of not only the folks who represented us well in the 2004 Games,
but also the sacrifices made throughout this past quadrennium by all the
incredibly talented US sailors who did not win their respective trials, and
left it all on the line for the opportunity to represent their country in

* From Patrick Broderick: There's volleyball and then there's beach
volleyball. Somehow batting a ball back and forth over a net can be two
distinct sports. I doubt if any volleyballers lose sleep over the fact the
scantily clad athletes risk skin cancer on sand . Why not "sailing" (as in
a boat) and "board sailing" (as in standing on a board)? Let them "pump,
flutter, gyrate" all they want; just make it a different sport.

You can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three
things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. -
Maya Angelou