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SCUTTLEBUTT 1670- September 17, 2004

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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.

PARALYMPIC GAMES - TEAM USA
* (Sonar - helmsman) Growing up, John Ross-Duggan was the typical
California golden boy. Although he surfed competitively when young, he
professes to never having been very good at it. He began his sailing career
at age seven when he participated in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's junior
program. With the savings from his first job as a paperboy, which was
matched by his grandfather, he bought one of the earliest Hobie 14s and
went racing. By 1970 he had placed seventh in the Hobie Cat Nationals. In
1977, while in his third year of medical school, he won the Hobie 16
National Championship.

Eight months after winning that title he broke his neck in an auto
accident. He was 23 and paralyzed from the chest down. Support from family
and friends pushed him through six months of rehab and he returned to
finish medical school and complete his residency. Eighteen months
post-accident he was back in graduate school and trying to get back into
racing only to find out "how weight-sensitive small catamarans are." After
a few frustrating years trying to find the right boat, Ross-Duggan started
racing Freedom Independence 20s through Shake-a-Leg Miami. Success in that
boat led him to a campaign for the Paralympics. - US Sailing, full story,
http://tinyurl.com/4wjr2

* (2.4 Metre) Tom Brown was introduced to sailing at age eight, in the
famously cold waters of Maine, by his parents. Two years later, the Brown
family would face the loss of Tom's lower right leg to cancer. But that
didn't seem to affect his love of the sport - he has been sailing and
racing with an artificial leg ever since. In 1997 he dedicated himself to
an Olympic campaign and two years later he was a nationally ranked member
of the 1999 US Sailing Team in the Soling class with hopes of qualifying to
attend the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

In preparation for the Olympic Team Trials, Tom attended a match racing
clinic where an accidental meeting with the US Disabled Sailing Team Coach,
Serge Jorgensen, led him to consider competing in the Paralympic Trials for
sailing. When his Soling team failed to win the Olympic Team Trials, he
had a month until the first race of the Paralympic Trials. Although he
only sailed the 2.4 Metre for the first time a week before the competition,
Tom turned in six first-place finishes for a decisive win in the seven-boat
fleet. He would get to represent the USA in Sydney after all. - US Sailing,
full story, http://tinyurl.com/7xzah

ON THE ROCKS
* Mirabella V, Joe Vittoria's 246ft Ron Holland-designed yacht launched
earlier this year is in trouble on the French Riviera. The much-heralded
super sloop put out an emergency call at 1200 local today (Thursday)
requesting assistance from other vessels in the St Jean Cap Ferrat area.
She had apparently run onto rocks near the entrance to Beaulieu sur Mer
harbour, having dragged her anchor. Winds are reportedly Force 6-7 and
Mirabella is on a lee shore.

The 206ft explorer yacht Big Roi and Roman Abramovich's 282ft motor yacht
Ecstasea stood by Mirabella from 1300 and have been trying to get lines on
her. Big Roi has succeeded twice but on each case the tow has parted,
despite Mirabella also running her machinery to assist. On one of the
attempts a 40-tonne bollard was pulled out of Big Roi's aft deck. At the
time of this report Ecstasea was preparing an attempt at a tow and
Mirabella was in the process of passing Spectra lines across.

There are reports of oil and debris indicating hull damage and it also
seems likely that control of the hydraulically operated keel has been lost
and that the keel itself might have dropped, hampering the recovery
process. The nearest deep sea tug is reported to be several hours away. -
John Walker/IBI News, full report, http://tinyurl.com/4szp9

* At 1715 this afternoon Mirabella V was still firmly aground on a leeshore
in the South of France. Reports ex-Yachting World reporter Tim Thomas:
"There are lots of loud cracks coming from either the rig or the keel. The
mast also looks as though it is twisting quite a bit." He reported that the
wind had eased to about 15 knots but Mirabella was still bouncing up and
down on the bottom.

Jacqui Beadon the yacht's charter manager said: "There is a tug on its way
and we hope to get her off later this (Thursday) evening. I have only been
able to have a short conversation with the captain Johnno Johnston, but
there is no water in the yacht." Her 150-ton lift keel has already had
problems in trials but it is unclear at the moment whether the hydraulics
which lift it are working properly. Draught with the keel down is 32ft 10in
and 12ft 8in with it up. - Yachting World/David Glenn, full report,
http://tinyurl.com/6vsjw

* Mirabella V is this (Thursday) evening reported safe with a rescue plan
in place. Latest information is that the wind and sea state has dropped and
Mirabella V is sitting upright again. Hydraulic failure due to a problem
with the pipework had caused the keel to drop although it has been raised
again. It is not thought to be a contributing factor in the grounding.
Mirabella is now sat on her keelbox and a small boat is in attendance with
a line on. A tug is due within two hours. Some damage has been sustained
but the rig is said to be secure. The La Ciotat dry dock is standing by to
receive Mirabella as soon as she can be recovered. - John Walker/IBI News,
full report, http://tinyurl.com/4a76p

OCKAMSOFT 4 READY TO RACE
OckamSoft 4 demo downloads are now available at the Ockam website. OS4
offers a unique combination: powerful but user friendly. All modules may be
downloaded at our website - with several components requiring no
registration, including the powerful OS4 Driver (logging, control, polar
server, special BIF calculations. etc.). Updates include Maptech BSB type
chart compatibility, a NMEA translator for interfacing the program directly
with a GPS or non-Ockam instrumented boat, "Eye" wireless PDA module and
much more. It's all waiting at http://www.ockam.com

BIGGER AND BETTER
Long Beach, CA- The future of big boat sailing in one of the world's best
venues is assured with Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs combining
resources to expand LBYC's long-running Long Beach Race Week event,
scheduled to continue June 24-26 of 2005. With the demise of North Sails
Race Week this year, now there will be one instead of two major regattas in
June---but bigger and better than either is the plan under the umbrella of
two clubs renowned worldwide for their strong racing programs.

"We're upgrading our regatta to fill the void," said Randy Smith,
co-chairman and LBYC's point man on the executive committee that includes
three members from each club. "Utilizing the facilities, regatta management
and infrastructure of both clubs, the goal is to become the largest, most
prestigious yacht club-run event in Southern California."

Organizers anticipate participation by approximately 150 boats, including
Transpac 52, Farr 40, J/Boat one-design classes, 1D35, Schock 35, Catalina
37, Express 37, Cal 25, Santana 20 and other invited or approved classes.
Buoy and random leg classes will be offered in PHRF competition. All
inquiries, including sponsorship opportunities, may be directed by e-mail
to raceoffice@LBYC.org. The event schedule, logistical Information and
Notice of Race are scheduled for posting in November at www.LBYC.org and
www.ABYC.org

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
Paul Cayard, who went directly to last week's Farr 40 Worlds in San
Francisco from the Olympic Games, and is now sailing in this week's Rolex
Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, "Do I look like I'm shredded? I'm still
jet-lagged. I've sailed everyday since the Olympics." - Tim Jeffery,
Telegraph, http://tinyurl.com/5pv4j

BIG BOAT SERIES
San Francisco, CA - Over 1,000 sailors today participated in a distinct
moment for American sailing when the Big Boat Series Presented by Rolex
kicked off, with two classes IRC Handicapping. Racing in the seven-race
series was held on San Francisco Bay where two IRC fleets and an additional
seven one-design classes competed under sunny skies with steady, 12- to
18-knot wind.

In a successful debut on San Francisco Bay, Nicholas Lykiardopulo's
(Athens, Greece) Kerr 55 AERA leads the IRC A class. Lykiardopulo and his
team, which includes skipper former Volvo Ocean Race skipper Jez Fanstone,
are on a quest to sail the world's great regattas, with specific interest
in laying claim to the first American IRC event. IRC B class is led by Just
in Time, a Farr/Beneteau 42.6 owned by Norman Olson (Wayne, PA).

In one-design racing, the closely watched TP52 class saw Karl Kwok's Beau
Geste (Hong Kong) trading first and second-place finishes with Makoto
Uematsu's Esmeralda (Tokyo, Japan) to tie with three points. In the 31-boat
J/105 class, a close collision in the first race involving a handful of
competitors occurred at a mark rounding, causing some damage and all of the
boats to retire from racing. Defending class champion Good Timin, owned by
the ubiquitous San Francisco Perkins brothers Chris, John and Phil, are in
second-place behind Tim Russell's (Novato, CA) Aquavit.

Two races are planned for tomorrow and Saturday, with one final race
planned for Sunday. - Dana Paxton, Media Pro Int'l, http://www.stfyc.org

NEWS BRIEFS
* The US America's Cup team, The Sausalito Challenge, may soon have the
funding needed to become an official challenger for the 2007 event. A look
at their website reveals a photo of one of their training boats (ITA 1)
with the slogan of software developer PeopleSoft: "The world's most
flexible adaptable software." Look for team boss John Sweeney to make the
trip to Valencia next month, with an official announcement thereafter. -
http://www.challenge-series.com

* Bristol, RI- On Thursday, the International C Class Catamaran
Championship saw the four teams line up for the first of five days
dedicated to fleet racing. The points accumulated during the fleet racing
will later determine the rankings for the final match racing series. The
light winds on Thursday saw the American team Cogito, sailed by Duncan
MacLane and Steve Clark, win all three races with Patient Lady VI (USA)
earning all seconds, Team Australia 'Ronstan' (AUS) earning all thirds and
Team Invictus (GBR) earning one DNS and two DNF's. - http://www.cclasscats.com

* Syracuse, NY- After three days of eliminations, the championship Gold
Fleet was decided, but was faced with a light air day on Lake Oneida. With
more wind on the left hand shore it was a one-way racetrack. The name of
the game was go left until your rudders kick up then tack to get the breeze
on the port tack layline. The conditions put a premium on good starts.
Racing concludes Friday. Provisional results: 1. Armando Noriega/ Roderigo
Achach, 51 points; 2. Mike Montague/ Cathy Ward, 63; 3. Bob Merrick/ Eliza
Cleveland, 67. - http://www.hobienac.com

* A total of 23 skippers have signed up and fulfilled the qualifying
criteria to take part in the 23,000-mile Vendée Globe which starts from Les
Sables d'Olonneon November 7th. Seven nationalities are represented
(England, Australia, Austria, Belgium, US, France and Switzerland), two
women will be setting off and 14 skippers will be lining up for the first
time for the single-handed, non-stop, unaided round the world race. -
Yachting World, http://tinyurl.com/627mf

* Porto Cervo, Sardinia - Day three of the Rolex Swan Cup 2004 was the 57.1
mile long-distance Islands Race for the 102-boat fleet. Winds of 18-20
knots provided the three classes a great test on a course that rounded many
of the local islands. Friday is a layday, with racing continuing to Sunday
thereafter. Provisional results: Class A- 1. Bugia Bianca, Swan 70, Massimo
Dentice; Class B- 1. Vertigo, Swan 45, Marco Salvi/Alberto Signorini; Class
C/D- 1. Solenia, Swan 48, Roberto Ferrero/Lorenzo Bressani.-
http://www.yccs.it/eng/index.asp

WIN A GOLD MEDAL AT THE 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES!
As part of Pegasus Racing's Olympic Gold program, you will be sailing at
least 250 days/year, coached by the best and work with fitness trainers and
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sailor. If you (and your crew) believe that you have what it takes, we want
to hear from you now at Olympic.gold@pegasus-digital.com. Please note that
Pegasus Racing is receiving hundreds of applications from around the world,
and we are now going through a methodical selection process. Additional
details at: http://www.pegasus.com/thelog_interview.htm

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


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 Maurice Cusick: My friend Kevin Burnham has fooled you all. He is
not old. He is really thirteen. What 47 year old could possibly beat all
those kids at their own game? He will see you all in 2008!

* From Mark Yeager: Re: Kevin Burnham's age--"Old age and treachery will
beat youth and skill
any day." - George Follmer

* From Robert Young: OK, so where are Motorola and Qualcomm when all the
American Volvo entries need support?

* From Dave Yoffie: I had incredible empathy as I read Craig's note about
watching his son sail, and I am sure I am among a legion of parents with
the same response. His note also prompts me to give an unabashed pitch for
the Positive Coaching Alliance. PCA is more active in youth soccer and
baseball, but its lessons are just as applicable in sailing. The framework
they give for "helping" our kids with sports is invaluable. There is also a
wonderful roadmap for recognizing if our kids are getting the kind of
coaching that will really help their development both in the competitive
arena and with the "life lessons" we hope they get from sports. Almost all
of us parents (and our kids) would be better off if we attended a short PCA
seminar for a tune-up every year or so.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Information about the PCA can be found on their
website - http://www.positivecoach.org

* From Paul Doughty (re the recent controversy of China and where to sail
for the Olympics): I went to China with the Bermuda Optimist Sailing Team
to the Optimist World Championships in July 2001. We saw no wind in Qingdoa
(not a bad city at all) except for a thunderstorm in the practice race that
lasted 20 minutes. The Optimist World Championships are generally accepted
to be 15 races over 7-8 days. I think we wound up with 5 race, and 2 were
held in 1 day. The rest of the time the kids hung out on a beach, under
umbrellas in 90-degree heat waiting for a race. The State hotel provided a
great highway for $ 2.00 remote control cars to be driven on. The elevator
doors would open and out would come a kid driving down hallway #14 or
through the main lobby. I have since paid close attention to this area, and
I am sure that unless a typhoon moves through, there will be only thermal
breezes of 8 to 12 knots in the large bay adjacent to the city where China
intends the venue to be.

* From Kimball Livingston, Senior Editor, SAIL: Whoa! Outgoing ISAF
president Paul Henderson (yep, there's an election looming) says that,
historically, Olympic sailing has been the opposite of whatever people
train for. He cites Pusan. As I understand it, Pusan was isolated from the
weather station that generated the observations upon which expectations
were based. A mountain in between or something like that.

Now I find Henderson telling the Curmudgeon re. China 2008, "Qingdoa is
predicted to be light, although not many people have been there." So, if I
send a few bucks to US Sailing, and I ask that it go to the 'Somebody Go
Find Out About Qingdoa Before 2008 Fund' (yet to be formed), can I count on
some kindred pocketbooks?

Meanwhile, on the theory that it makes a difference so why not pay
attention, here's a rough take on the candidates to replace Paul Henderson
as President of ISAF:

- Fernando Bolin, 74, Spain: Dinghy and offshore sailor; 3-time manager
of the Spanish Olympic team; international judge; president of the Royal
Spanish Sailing Federation.

- Göran Petersson, 62, Sweden: dinghy and one-design keelboat sailor (505
European champion in 1965); Swedish America's Cup challenge in 1977 and
1980; international judge and chair of many international regattas.

- Sadi Claeyes, 58, Belgium: Past president of Royal Belgian Yachting
Federation, head of the evaluation committee for catamaran selection for
2008; member of the events committee in multiple years; past president of
the 420 class; 1994-98 vice president of IYRU.

Voting takes place at the ISAF meeting in Copenhagen November 5-14.

* From Larry Law (edited to our 250 word limit): The conversation about
needing to make sailing more interesting has reached a level of absurdity.
No matter which point of view is analyzed, it's as if we're either
proposing a complete overhaul of the sport or justifying its excitement
quotient based upon sailing's ability to captivate an audience with extreme
speed and pending disaster. What for? They televise badminton, archery,
shot put, etc. Do you see badminton looking to put rocket motors and sharp
noses on the birdies to increase action and the possibility of blood in the
game? Do the archers want live, moving creatures in between themselves and
the targets to increase the draw of the TV cameras? Do they put explosive
charges in the shot put to see if the measurers can avoid the impending
shrapnel field?

Not everyone wants to watch sailing, and not everyone cares about our
awesome sport. So what! It's probably more important that the IOC
understand the fact that sailing is an extremely popular sport world-wide
and that having the sport represented at the Games is clearly an important
platform for great competition that has world interest. The whole point to
competition is the last three teams/individuals standing at the end of it
all, and the journey they fought through to get there. I'm afraid we
underestimate our sport and are becoming lost in an attempt to turn the
silk purse into the pig's ear. Change classes? Okay, but don't let the TV
pollsters/ratings determine the acceptability of this extremely competitive
sport.

THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATION
"Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your
children will not have you declared legally insane in order to gain control
of your estate." - Woody Allen