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SCUTTLEBUTT 1673- September 22, 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.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
There are a lot of really big, really important regattas in the USA, but
there is nothing quit like the recently concluded Rolex Swan Cup in
Sardinia. It's truly a unique experience. How many other 100+ boat regattas
can you think of where the little boats are the 40-footers? And rock stars
like Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Ed Baird, Roy Hiener, Gary
Weisman Adrian Stead, and most of the European 'heavy-hitters' all seem to
be in attendance. With the venue located in the picturesque Mediterranean
off the magnificent rocky hills of Sardinia, you truly have something unique!

Even the courses for this biennial event were different. For the little
boats - classes C and D - all of the races were multi-legged navigation
contests around reefs, lighthouses and islands. While this frequently
created 'reaching parades,' there was certainly a payoff for boats that had
reaching kites, and crews who could effortlessly peel them off and on.
Class A did a couple of windward-leeward races, but most of their races
were also scenic tours of Costa Smeralda. Even the Swan 45 class was not
exempt from the coastal courses.

Did boats hit rocks while racing around these island and reefs? Oh yea -
navigators earn their keep in this series. And crossing paths with 70 and
80 footers in big winds can also be quite an experience. As we crashed into
and through the big wakes left by the Class A boats on the 53-foot Katrina,
our crew on the foredeck folding sails boat looked like they were 'river
rafting' - without a raft. Fortunately, the water is warm.

The weather for this year's event produced winds from five to 25 knots,
with a couple of 30-knot blasts to keep the crews alert. There is nothing
quite like watching million dollar sailboats broaching wildly out of
control. As could be expected, the big winds kept the sailmakers repairing
carnage 'til dawn's early light, and the fiberglass specialists were also
burning some midnight oil. And it certainly was not a 'holiday' for the
International Jury.

But no one complained. No one! Being a part of the Rolex Swan Cup at the
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is an experience you anticipate with delight --
and savor with pride. - The Curmudgeon. For regatta stories, pictures and
results: http://www.yccs.it/eng/

UPPING THE ANTE
New Zealand's latest contribution to the World Yachting scene recently
reached a milestone with the construction process 'turning over' of a giant
100ft Race Yacht on Auckland's North Shore. The promoters of this most
innovative and radical super maxi yacht are EBS Yachting, a joint venture
between Buckley Yachting and eSport Yachting Ventures. The two New Zealand
companies have combined their resources and employed the skills of famous
New Zealand Designers Engineers and Boat builders to create what they
expect to be ' The fastest mono hull race yacht in the World for overall
length '. The vision is to showcase New Zealand design innovation and
expertise and win line honours in all major sailing events in three
Continents in 2005 including USA, Europe and Australia.

This is an all Kiwi project from the design and construction through to the
final race crew. The team includes: designer Greg Elliot (Mari Cha IV) and
boat builder Mick Cookson (Team NZ yachts, Sony Playstation, Sayonara). The
design brief was to create the world's fastest mono hull race yacht for the
length. The design incorporates a canting keel which has a huge ballast
ratio. Another first is the ' wing rotating carbon mast '. This will be the
largest Mono hull race yacht in the world to have this type of rig.
Computer tests show the yacht will be too fast to carry spinnakers. Its
design therefore includes a 'prod' extension replacing the conventional
spinnaker pole, this will also increase the sail area for down wind racing
using gennakers. The mainsail will be the largest 3dl kevlar sail ever
constructed for a race yacht - almost three times the size of those carried
by the Volvo 60ft round the world racers.

Another objective is to take line honors in next year's prestigious Sydney
to Hobart race. The rules currently don't allow this super maxi to race to
its full potential this year. However, CYCA Race organizers are changing
the rules which will enable the yacht to compete in the 2005 event. They
expect up to six or more Super Maxis of 100 feet for that race. The yacht
at present known as 'www.supermaxi.co.nz' has a velocity prediction
analysis which indicates it will be a world speed record breaker. This
includes an attempt on the 24 hour world speed record run whilst delivering
the Super Maxi Yacht to the New York Yacht Club before the start of the
2005 Trans Atlantic Race. - www.supermaxi.co.nz

SUMMER ENDS WITH A BANG
San Francisco Bay: From the Farr 40 World Championships and the Big Boat
Series - racers chose Samson aboard boat after boat. Samson's APEX, our new
single braid blend of Dyneema and MFP saw lots of work as did Progen,
WarpSpeed and Validator SKB use our Color Match core for easy recognition.
Samson thanks the many supporters of our products - from riggers and
dealers that provide such important service to the sailing community, to
our loyal customers that continue to use our products to take them to the
finish line. It was a great summer. http://www.samsonrope.com

PARALYMPIC GAMES
Athens, Greece - After a postponement due to very light winds this morning,
the seabreeze established itself out on the Saronic Gulf and the 2.4mRs
completed two more races. 10 knots of breeze from the south made for
excellent conditions and some exciting racing. Finishes of 5-6 in today's
races on the Saronic Gulf have dropped USA 2.4 Metre sailor Tom Brown to
second place overall behind Damien Seguin (FRA) in the Paralympic Regatta
underway at the Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre. With six races scored, the
series standings now reflect a worst finish discard by each sailor in
calculating the total points. Damien Seguin of France has 12 points, with
Brown just one point back, followed by Thierry Schmitter of The
Netherlands, who is third with 15 points. The Sonars had a lay day today
with most teams hauling out the boats for one last polish before their
final three races. www.sailing.org/paralympics2004/

WARM-UP ACT
Britain's GBR Challenge will not be at next month's America's Cup warm-up
act regattas in Valencia, as negotiations with a prospective principal
sponsor continue through further rounds of meetings. Chairman Peter
Harrison had set the end of August as the deadline for continuing with the
follow-up to the GBR's debut in the 2003 cup, and a deal with one of the
leading sponsors from Jaguar's shut-down Formula One team appeared to be on
the point of signature two weeks ago.

"The deadline was only going to be imposed if we weren't making progress -
but we are," said commercial director Leslie Ryan. "I am hoping for a
decision any day now." Ryan concedes that the negotiations have taken
longer than expected, and that in turn has caused concern with the
potential sailing team members, many of whom raced last week in Sardinia at
the Rolex Swan Cup. - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/3p2xe

NEW AFTERGUARD
Emirates Team New Zealand's new hot shot afterguard will have their first
workout at the second and third America's Cup pre-regattas in Valencia next
month. "Having observed the opposition in Marseille from close quarters, I
am convinced that an effective afterguard will be a major factor in success
at this America's Cup," said Team New Zealand managing director Grant
Dalton. "We are very keen to get (Ben) Ainslie and (Terry) Hutchinson on
the water with Dean Barker and the others in an uncompromisingly
competitive environment and Valencia is the only opportunity we have this year.

Team New Zealand's participation in the regattas was in doubt after their
race yacht NZL82 was damaged in a storm after the first regatta in
Marseille. But the syndicate has flown NZL82's sister yacht, NZL81, to
Valencia. NZL81 was loaded into a British-built Shorts Belfast turbo-prop
cargo plane yesterday. It was a tight fit, with just 20mm to spare on top
and 100mm lengthwise. NZL81, which nearly sank two months out from the last
cup and then broke down during the cup where its job was to warm up NZL82,
has been strengthened, although it is not yet race ready. Dalton said they
hoped to have NZL81 on the water on October 1, four days before the regatta
started. - Excerpts From a story by Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
http://tinyurl.com/55rhm

BELL MUMM 30 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Toronto, Canada - Last year Samuel Kahn, then age 14, stunned the sport
when he sailed a Melges 24 to the class world championship on his first
try. Tuesday, four inches taller at 6-2 but still too young to own a
driver's license, he finished third and first before stumbling to 17th in
the third race on the first day of the Bell Mumm 30 World
Championship---his first day racing one of the 31-foot sloops after sailing
it only three days in practice. Shark's dad, Philippe Kahn, the California
and Hawaii-based software developer whose steady 5-3-5 string earned him a
one-point lead over one of the local hopes, Fred Sherratt, sailing
Steadfast for the host Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and two points over Tom
Ritter's Tramp, which won the opening race. Eight more races are scheduled
over the next three days at the western end of Lake Ontario. - Rich
Roberts, www.mumm30rcyc.com/

STANDARD IS NOT AN OPTION
At Hall Spars & Rigging, our production masts have the same excellent
performance properties combined with cool features (like spreader lights, a
QuikVang 2000, or custom masthead electronics) that you find on our
high-performance custom masts. Every Hall production spar has an options
list - including the J/100, J/133, J/65, Morris 36, Hinckley SW 42, Sabre
386, Swan 45 and Swan 601 masts. If you're buying a new boat or replacing a
production mast, talk with Hall's experts first. We'll make you a
production mast that's anything but standard. http://www.hallspars.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* Pete Melvin is the 2004 A-Class North American Champion. Twenty eight
competitors participated in the Traverse City, MI regatta, where the first
seven races were held in 12-22 knot westerly winds. The last day of racing
featured four races in a 6-12 knot northeasterly. Melvin won the event, and
seven of the 11 races, racing a new A2 platform that he personally
designed. The other top five overall finishers (in order) were Phil Kinder,
Ben Hall, Eric Marshack, and Peter Johnstone. - www.usaca.info/.

* The largest fleet of Solings at a North American Championship in over 10
years - 22 boats from the Midwest, the East Coast, and Canada - sailed
seven races in strong southerlies and northwesterlies on Lake Champlain.
Recent World Champion Canadian Bill Abbott won the event with a seven point
win over Peter Galloway, with Stu Walker taking third after losing a
tie-breaker to Galloway. - Full story and results: www.soling.com/indexnews.asp

* Edgartown, Massachusetts - Jonathan Pope with crew Jared Schmideck,
Charlie VanVoorhis, Brooke Hamilton, and Melissa Gordon, sailed a very
consistent 6 race series to win the Shields National Championships. With
finishes of no greater than a three, Pope dominated the 29-boat by scoring
on ly 8 points. Races were sailed on Cowes Bay with winds ranging from 12-
25 knots. Chuck Allen finished second with 15 points Pope while Bill Berry
took third place with 18 points. For complete results: www.edgartownyc.org
or www.shieldsclass.com

* Bruno Peyron and his Orange II maxi-catamaran have been in stand-by mode
in Marseilles since Friday for an attempt on the Trans-Mediterranean record
between Marseilles and Carthage, Tunisia. Tuesday Peyron has announced that
a suitable weather window has opened up which means that the boat could
cross the starting line sometime between Thursday and Saturday this week.
The earliest departure would be on Thursday between 15:00 and 20:00. - The
Daily Sail, full story: http://tinyurl.com/3tkf9

* Navigational equipment specialist Silva, has been appointed Official
Supplier of compasses and navigational accessories to the Volvo Ocean Race
2005-06. To support the race, Silva will be making available both to
competitors and the general public a range of Volvo Ocean Race branded
goods including binoculars, headlamps and handheld atmospheric data
instruments. - www.volvooceanrace.org

* After four races in the 53-boat Etchells North Americans at Northern
California's Richmond YC, Great Britain's Nils Razmiloviz has a three point
lead over Judd Smith (USA), with Vince Brun (USA) just one point further
back in third place. The seven-race championship ends on Thursday.
www.sfetchells.org/naduring/index.cfm

* Tracy Edwards's financial quagmire may be stabilizing. It is believed
that she has sold the 110ft catamaran Maiden 2 for an extremely
advantageous price, which could allow the settlement of alleged debts
estimated by her former sponsorship manager to top 2 million. On Monday in
Qatar, Edwards will announce that a leading UK bank will sponsor her two
round-the-world races for giant multihulls and monohulls, as well as the
four, possibly five, entrants in the first event, starting next spring. -
Tim Jeffery, full story: http://tinyurl.com/4jdnh

IN MEMORIAM
John "Jack" H. Elfman Jr., 64, of Surf City, died Saturday, Sept. 18, at
Southern Ocean County Hospital, Stafford. He was a cofounder and past
commodore of the LBI Yacht Racing Association; past commodore of North
Jersey Yacht Racing Association; past vice president of International
Lightning Class Association; past race committee and waterfront chairman of
the Surf City Yacht Club; International Laser Class Association; U.S.
Sailing Area C Mallory Cup chairman; U.S. Sailing Senior Race management
officer; and National and International Class sailor. Memorial services
will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Surf City Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers,
donations may be made to International Lightning Class Association, PO Box
10747, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Growney Funeral Home, Forked River, is in
charge of arrangements. - www.injersey.com/news/story/0,20914,1057143,00.html

SNIPES HOST MAJOR EVENTS THIS FALL
The Snipe Pacific Coast Championship is this weekend in San Francisco, CA.
The Snipe North American Championship will be held Oct. 15-17 in
Jacksonville, FL. That's the Serious Sailing. For Serious Fun, enjoy either
of the Halloween Regattas held annually in Atlanta, GA and San Diego, CA.
Details at http://www.snipeus.org


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 Earl Hinz: Chartroom Chatter in the Ocean Navigator, October 2004
issue, discusses US Sailing's restructuring of its internal activities to
recognize that sailing also includes non-racing activities. To this I can
say Hallelujah. It's about time that the cruising boat handled by the
family and navigated by dead reckoning once again be taken as a serious
contender for fun on the water.

* From Charlie Shumway (re Jobson's comments in 'Butt 1671): The perfect
solution would seem to be Team Racing, it has all the characteristics that
Gary thinks are important to help the sport attain TV viewership, and
sponsorship. Then the money will follow.

* From Scott Brown: This discussion about sailing television is nuts. The
enthusiasm is great, but the idea falls short of reality. The primary
problem is that sailing doesn't translate well on TV. Period. It doesn't
take anything away from our sport -- it just isn't appealing to a large
audience. Let go. Turn off the tube.

* From Lisa Neuburger, Sailing Coach, 2004 Swiss Olympic Team (In response
to Magnus Wheatley's comments in Scuttlebutt 1672): In regards to present
candidates running for El Presidente of ISAF, those young and capable Gold
Medal sailors he mentions are too busy pursuing their competitive sailing
careers to put energies into politics. Why don't competent individuals run
world politics? Same reason. Those who pursue excellence do not have the
time and wherewithal to put needed energies into campaigning and selling
themselves---we're talking about at least two entirely different types of
mindsets and personalities! Great Athlete vs. Great Politician....hmmmm.
However, Mr. Goran Peterson, Sweden's candidate for ISAF president,
apparently is more busy staying in touch with our sport of sailing than the
two other candidates.

Mr. Peterson was in Athens at the Olympic Games, talking with sailors and
coaches, listening to what is needed, participating in the Games racing
management, and giving balanced and perceptive input, whilst the other
candidates were on the campaign trails, so to speak, "round the
world". >From my observations, and listening, Mr. Peterson seems like the
one who would be closest in touch with all the vital areas of ISAF, will
pursue change where changes are needed, and will respect those aspects
which do not need change. Rather than hitting the campaign trail he's out
staying in touch with the sport.

* From Steve Schupak: With all due respect to Mr. Lochner, his assumptions
about one designs boats couldn't be farther from the truth. Sailboats are
incredibly labor and material intensive things to build. Even production
builders of one design classes operate on razor thin margins so the comment
of monopoly pricing simply isn't true. Prices for raw materials such as
resin are constantly rising (just like gasoline) as well as the hardware
manufactures that are demanded by the market. Sailboat manufacturers are
lucky to price their product to cover their expenses, and make a modest
return on their capital investments for tooling and facilities. It's simply
unfair to keep a builder hostage to nostalgic pricing in an ever more
costly building environment.

The fact that one design boats hold their value from year to year is a
testament to the fun that the first, second, and third owners view those
boats have. For non one design used boats, what someone is willing to pay
is what its worth, which is much less than what the seller was asking. If
you think sailboats are expensive try power boats. They're a whole order of
magnitude higher, and with twin screw, twice the fu.

* From Mark Powell: The write up on the ISAF page about the recent Phase 3
Windsurfing Olympic equipment evaluation was very interesting. First of
all, the relatively light air event held last May in Torbole was "won" (if
you believe some of the reports by sailors) by the current Olympic board
(mistral one design). Since the wind can be any strength in the olympics,
its important to have a board that can perform in light air as well as
heavy. Having the IMCO in Torbole as a baseline against the Formula and
Hybrid boards showed how far we have to go to get an all-round performing
board better than the IMCO. By not inviting the IMCO to the Phase 3 trials,
we really do not know the relative performance of hybrid boards in moderate
to heavy air.

According to the article the phase 3 trials never had winds less than 8 kts
so nothing was learned about the conditions that are most important for
evaluation. The IMCO performs very well over a 0-25 kt range. The formula
performs well in a 10-20+ kt range. The only reason to choose a hybrid
board over the IMCO was popularity and a perceived performance advantage in
moderate to heavy air; the only reason to choose a hybrid board over a
Formula board was supposed to be for light air performance. It is
interesting to note that the evaluators had difficulty with the Exocet
downwind. I wonder what they would have said if the Division II Lechner
(used in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics) was available as a baseline?

* From Guy Nowell: Correct... an "ATM machine" is a tautology, and so is a
PIN number (Personal Identification Number number)

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Inflation: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.