Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1668 - September 15, 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.

It's an elaborate idea. A giant Russian-made cargo plane flies in from the
Middle East to Auckland. Its mission - to pick up Emirates Team New
Zealand's replacement race boat NZL81 then lug it to Valencia to succeed
the seemingly cursed NZL82 for the second and third cup pre-regattas.

Unlike Alinghi and Oracle, whose yachts were also damaged in the storm,
Team New Zealand do not have a replacement yacht in Europe. Team New
Zealand's NZL81 and the recently acquired former illbruck yacht GER68 are
at the team's base in Auckland, 19,000km from Valencia. NZL81 has spent the
past few weeks undergoing similar strengthening work which NZL82 underwent
before it was shipped to Marseille. It is understood NZL81 is nearing
completion. The problem lies with how to get it to Valencia before the next

It is understood the syndicate have located a plane in the Middle East that
could deliver but the job will cost around $1 million. Team New Zealand
managing director Grant Dalton is believed to be on his way back to
Auckland and will decide in the next day or so whether his team will
participate at Valencia. - Julie Ash, NZ Hearald, full report:

(Paul Doughty, Development Sailing Coach at The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club,
provided this insight to Scuttlebutt)

The Optimist Class is the largest of all sailing classes as you may well
know, it is also a universe unto itself. I have been to four world
championships as a team leader, country rep. and coach, and I am still
startled and amazed at just what kids can do, and how they bond together.
The health of this class exists because of the hard work of volunteers, who
are nearly all parents.

The grounding that these young sailors get at any large regattas is the
best way for anyone to begin competitive sailing. The Olympic results prove
this out. Small countries can also do well in this environment as evidenced
by Bermuda's performances in North America, South America and the Worlds.

IODA has had approaches from ISAF in the past, mostly generated from MNAs
of certain European countries to put a bridle on the Optimist Class. Those
countries themselves have had inward looking policies for development that
run counter to the sway of the mainstream for kids 15 and under. The class
has a proven track record of being able to manage itself from the bottom to
the top and needs to be left alone to get on with its business. Any other
class that receives an opti grad knows that they get a well trained,
malleable and tactically savvy sailor ready for the next level.

At the beginning of October, I will be teaching 300 eleven year olds
sailing as part of their academic curriculum. It is sponsored by our
Ministry of Education, the courses will be conducted using the optimist
dinghy as the primary tool. What a great chance to broaden the sport of
sailing and give the kids an early shot at some important life skills.

Team One Newport has a new signature dry suit built by OS Systems and you
can choose your own colors. Great for a special Holiday gift or College and
High School teams! Email or call 800-VIP-GEAR
(800-847-4327) for the particulars! Be sure to check out the website for
the latest from Henri-Lloyd, Gill, Musto, Kaenon, Harken, Railriders,
Camet, Sailing Angles and more. Check out the specials page!

In two cases recently reported, rope lanyards used to take up the slack at
the ends of wire lifelines had been allowed to deteriorate over time and
parted suddenly under strain, throwing crew members into the water.
Fortunately there were no serious consequences of these incidents.

There are no plans at present to change the Offshore Special Regulations
but the incidents draw sharp attention to the importance of regular
inspection and maintenance of safety equipment. Attention is drawn to
Special Regulation 2.03.1: "all equipment required by Special Regulations
shall function properly, and be regularly checked, cleaned and serviced."
The responsibility of the Person in Charge described in Special Regulation
1.02.1 includes "He must be satisfied as to the soundness of hull, spars,
rigging, sails and all gear. He must ensure that all safety equipment is
properly maintained."

A cursory glance at rope lanyards may not be sufficient to verify their
condition. Although not a guarantee against failure, a wise and inexpensive
precaution is annual renewal. - ISAF website,

We occasionally come across items that are not related to the sport of
sailing, but are still pretty entertaining. If you remember the 'Smack the
Penguin' contest from February, we have now come across several new
versions of the Yeti character and his penchant for toying with penguins.
In addition, there are games to test your helicopter piloting, golf
putting, and big wave surfing. All free, and all on the Scuttlebutt website.

We received several notes from readers that enjoyed the Mumm 30 broach
video that was in yesterday's issue. We now have that link on the
Scuttlebutt website, along with some hilarious footage of a hotel pool
scene that we received today. It's called 'Lifeguard Break', and while it
doesn't have much to do with sailing, it is pretty funny. All of the above
can be found in the News & Extras section on the Scuttlebutt website:

Yesterday, Farr 40 Worlds winning tactician Terry Hutchinson gave
Scuttlebutt some insights into the Barking Mad victory. Here is the rest of
the interview:

Any changes to how the Farr 40 class weighs the crews? Was the sauna a busy
place prior to weigh-in?

Terry Hutchinson: The sauna was fairly busy, but the class did a great
thing by allowing the owners one weigh-in from the pre-worlds. It was a
great move as it allowed all the owners to have fun and enjoy the week and
Owner's Party held on Monday prior to the event at David Thompson's house.
As a group the Barking Mad was about 20 pounds under at the start of the
regatta and probably right on after we ate so nothing major. I would
suspect that a lot of the other teams were close to the same. It did not
seem to be too absurd, but of course all the steam in the St. Francis YC
steam room could have blurred my vision.

What was the scuttlebutt on John Kilroy's team recutting their sails after
measurement, which was not allowed, and how did the class handle their penalty?

TH: Honestly, it was hard to say other then what was read on the notice
board. I can see the Samba team acted in what they thought was a legal
manner, and in how they made an honest mistake. At first the jury took a
hard stand, which was no medium jib at all. Ultimately, on the evening
prior to the first day, the jury allowed an older sail to be used. I am not
sure how that decision was reached, but I believe that it was fair as
competing in this event without a medium would have been impossible.
Perhaps the jury realized their initial punishment was too severe for the

Terry closes out with his take on the tiller versus wheel debate in the
class, along with the final, secret piece to his team's winning formula:

Yep, The Pirate's Lair does their gear also. For graphic design, ad design,
tees, polos, bow stickers, signage, boat graphics and more: Log on to

A major national debate on whether recreational boaters should be required
to wear a life jacket while underway in a boat ended with little support
for the proposal. During a public forum conducted by the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in late August, nearly every sector of
the recreational boating community - from the boating consumer to the boat
builder to the boat dealer to life jacket manufacturers - expressed strong
opposition to a governmental mandate or failed to embrace the idea.

Of the approximately 700 boating fatalities each year, about 400 of these
are drownings in which the victim was not wearing a life jacket. It is
estimated that as many as 75 million Americans go boating at least once
each year and that the cost to the boating public of having to purchase a
life jacket that they would actually wear could exceed $1 billion.

"Forcing all boaters to wear an uncomfortable life jacket on a hot day when
there is no perceived risk has little support among the boating public,"
said BoatU.S. President Jim Ellis, in releasing the results of a survey
conducted last month by the Recreational Marine Research Center of Michigan
State University at the request of BoatU.S. According to the survey of
nearly 10,000 boaters, 86% of those responding opposed a mandatory life
jacket requirement. - BoatUS,

* With Hurricane Ivan to strike the Gulf Coast Wednesday, Boat Owners
Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) has received several reports
that some marinas may be requiring boat owners to remove their vessels from
their slip in hopes of preventing damage to docks, piers and other
facilities. While it is illegal in Florida for marinas to order evictions
after a hurricane watch or warning is posted, the law does require boat
owners to exercise reasonable care in making storm preparations. The
existence of similar laws in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is
unconfirmed. BoatU.S. website, full report:

* The website for the Global Challenge is now officially live, in
preparation for the start of the race on the 3rd October from Gunwharf
Quays, Portsmouth, UK. The site will deliver up-to-the-minute news,
features, live interviews, photographs from the fleet, daily logs, RSS
(Real Simple Syndication) for immediate pop up notices and a new and
improved race viewer so spectators will be able to see the yachts'
positions anywhere in the world. -

* Pindar AlphaGraphics has just announced his sponsorship deal with one of
the Global Challenge yachts. Andrew Pindar said: "I'm looking forward to
using this opportunity to introduce them to this amazing sport and us it as
a team-building exercise. We have a space on the boat for a couple of the
legs so I'm hoping to send at least one of my employees along." - Sue
Pelling/Yachting World,

* Fifty-six E-Scows were in attendance at the E-Scow National Championship,
held September 9-11, 2004 on beautiful Crystal Lake near Traverse City,
Michigan. Brian Porter of Winnetka, Illinois won, with Gordy Bowers of
Wayzata, Minnesota in second was and third was Andy Burdick of Lake Geneva,
Wisconsin. This was Brian Porter's sixth win at the E-Scow Nationals. Full
report, results and photos:

* A dramatic shift in the weather provided opportunities for some and
disappointment for others in the first day of racing at the 13th edition of
the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
The 102-boat fleet is divided into three groups: Class A for the fastest
yachts, Class B for the Swan 45s, while those with a TCF under 1.185 are
grouped in Class C/D. Standings: Class A- 1. Bugia Bianca, ITA, Massimo
Dentice; Class B- 1. Vertigo, GBR, Marco Salvi; Class C/D- 1. Solenia 2,
ITA, Roberto Ferrero. Complete report and results:

* Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, The Moorings is giving away a
seven-day/six-night racing charter on a Moorings 403 or 413 Club line yacht
for next year's BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival (March 28 - April
3, 2005). Entries are available at The Moorings' booth at either the
Newport or Annapolis boat shows (held 9/16-19 and 10/7-11, respectively),
where the drawing will be held at the end of the two shows.

* Patrizio Bertelli has stepped down as General Manager of the Luna Rossa
Challenge and has appointed Anthony Romano to assume that role. "Luna Rossa
will be one of the most serious challenger for the 32nd America's Cup,"
Romano said. "With our historical sponsor, we are finalizing agreements
with other important groups and we are very confident that, very soon, we
will be securing our budget." - Yahoo Italia,

It accelerates so quickly in the lightest of puffs you wouldn't know there
was a full cruising interior with 6'4" headroom. The newest racer-cruiser
from J Boats is being built in France and the USA and will be on display
this fall at the Newport, Southampton and Annapolis shows.

(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 Kelly Mathews: Awesome! From my warm, dry desk I can't believe how
exhilarating it was to see the footage of the Mumm crew dining on Chinese!
Even my non-sailor work mates wanted to see the action - perhaps put some
windy square runs into the Olympics!!!

* From Arthur I. "Art" Karpf : Wow! Great video of the wipeout of the Mumm
30, but why does everything have to be overlaid with "music" when the
sounds of the actual water, wind and crew are the best way to pass on the
excitement of the moment. Then again, maybe I'm just auditioning for the
next curmudgeon position to open up.

Curmudgeon's Comment: If you missed the action, we now have it stored in
the News & Extras section of the Scuttlebutt website (under 'Media'):

* From Paul Henderson, ISAF President: Looks like I started other threads
that will keep Scuttlebutt active for a few days. My statement was that the
"Olympics" was the "Greatest Show on Earth" which was meant to be an
all-inclusive observation of the total attention given the Games get and
not just the part that Sailing adds to that spectacle.

With regard to wind at Olympics, the sailing will be in Qingdoa on the
Pacific Ocean, not in Beijing as there is only a desert available and sand
sailing is not yet an Olympic sport. As I look back in history of Olympic
venues and wind, the following should be noted. It has been proven many
times that the winds at the Olympics are always opposite to what everyone
trains for. In 1972, Keil, everyone thought it was going to blow the
shingles off the roof and the USA had their trials in San Francisco Bay. It
was the only Olympic Regatta where there was not enough wind to get all the
races off. For 1984, Long Beach local knowledge said that the Catalina Eddy
was rare in September yet it came through 5 times during the Olympics.
Pusan in 1988 was predicted to have so little wind that there was scheduled
no lay days. It blew so hard it was like sailing in a washing machine.

Qingdoa is predicted to be light although not many people have been there.
I am actively in training to compete after I retire in November and I
challenge Bruce Kirby to again be roommate as he was in 1964 and 1968.

* From Adrian Morgan (re Magnus Wheatley's letter in #1667): How can
Olympic sailing be made more telegenic? It's a debate that has simmered for
decades. Magnus's suggestions for class changes echo many similar ones over
the years for similar reasons. Bless him for his youth and innocence. Short
of having the women race in national flag-print bikinis, (and the men of
course, let's not be sexist here) Olympic racing will never be especially
telegenic. Nor should it be. The sailors don't want the interference that
TV brings, just the chance to race level with the best.

* From Melissa Bailey: I feel compelled to point out a glaring
inconsistency in Mr. Wheatley's slightly amusing yet unrealistic
suggestions about replacing the current Olympic class boats. He indicates
that compelling television is what will "save" Olympic sailing, but goes on
to suggest that the Europe class be replaced with the Laser radial, a boat
that is less technical, weighs 30% more, and has 20% less sail area. I
fail to understand how that would make for more compelling racing, on or
off TV.

* From AL Russell: I agree with Magnus Wheatley that Olympic Sailing needs
an overhaul. I have raced for 30 years with 30 to 35 foot boats.We race in
PHRF & class. I would enjoy watching the Olympics if some of the classes
were boats we could relate to. How about replacing the Finn with a J/24,
replace the Europe with a Mumm 30.

* From Jeff Carlile: The Alinghi site says the yacht (SUI 64) was "blown
out of its cradle", and the news story on says the wind knocked
"the 25-tonne yacht [NZL 82] off its cradle". However, in the photo linked
in Scuttlebutt #1666 (and shown in the Cup site gallery), NZL 82 (to the
left) and SUI 64 (to the right) appear to be on their cradles (more or
less) which apparently blew over; USA 76 is clearly off its cradle, which
is upright.

'Butt #1667 included letters from Morrow and Harper commenting on the
judicious use of tie-downs and suggesting owners should take greater
precaution. There are plenty of boats out there dry sailed and kept on
trailers or cradles, and they can be strapped to their trailer or cradle,
but how many club storage areas have tie down provisions for the trailers
and cradles? Should they have them? Or is it up to the owner? How many
clubs don't give the owners the option? How often do boats get tossed by
this type of freak, unforcasted storm?

* From Peter MacDonald: I have read the various letters regarding the
(perceived) sailing demise of the USA in the Olympic. Just look at the
(major) clubs that have "the" voice - we have some in our country. Most
members are full of overblown importance, lack any real credibility and
steadfastly refuse to understand the needs of young sailors. This is of
course unless it is your son or daughter, who has no real interest, but who
performs to please the parents who hang out bragging in the yacht club bar.
Only a real commitment by these clubs to truly introduce a sailing program
that is fun, informative and provides the leadership required and
rejuvenating interest in "competition" will you see a rekindled number of
medals in the Olympics in 2020.

Men who treat women as helpless and charming playthings deserve women who
treat men as delightful and generous bank accounts.