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SCUTTLEBUTT 1676 - September 27, 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.

Sailing at a blistering average speed of 25.44 knots, Frenchman Bruno
Peyron and his crew on the maxi-catamaran Orange II broke the record for
crossing the Mediterranean from Marseille, France to Carthage in Tunisia.
Orange II sailed the 480 nautical miles in just 17 hours, 56 minutes, 13
seconds - 50 minutes better than the previous record set by Steve Fossett's
PlayStation in May 2002.

(The Daily Sail interviewed Australian VOR skipper Grant Wharington about
his campaign. Here's a brief excerpt from their story.)

Wharington expects all the new Volvo Ocean 70s to be at max when it comes
to length, beam and sail area. "I don't think anyone will go narrow with
these boats. They are all going to be maximum beam, because they are so
overpowered with massive sail plans." To go with the canting keel he
clearly likes the possibility of having a retractable canard/ daggerboard
forward with a trim tab, but this is illegal - under the VO70 rules you can
have a canard which lifts or has a trim tab, but not both (something which
the race organizers would do well to review for the 2009 race). It seems
the only solution to accompany the canting keel is to have twin asymmetric
daggerboards as most Open 60s have.

On the basis that the boats will have the maximum allowable beam,
Wharington believes that all the VO70s will have twin rudders. "Two rudders
are smaller than one and about the same weight or even a bit lighter. Once
you add all the steering gear it is probably about the same weight, but it
is a bit smaller [the total rudder area and the drag] and it gives you the
benefit that if you hit something you still have one rudder left and if you
put them round enough when the boat is heeled you can get at least 2/3 of
one of the rudders out of the water." Again all very Open 60 thinking.
Wharington also leads the pro-headsail furler camp. - The Daily Sail, full

Australian James Spithill will be Luna Rossa's helmsman for the Italian
syndicate's challenge at the 2007 America's Cup sailing race in Valencia.
Francesco De Angelis, the technical director of team Luna Rossa who
skippered the Prada challenge in the two last America's Cup regattas,
announced Spithill's appointment at a press conference in the port city of
Genoa. The 24-year-old Australian, a former helmsman of challenger Seattle
OneWorld in the last edition of the trophy won by Switzerland's Alinghi, is
considered the world's No. 2 match-race sailor and heir to the crown of New
Zealander Russell Coutts.

Meanwhile Marco Tronchetti Provera, chairman of Telecom Italia and an avid
sailor, announced that Italy's largest telephone company would support the
Luna Rossa challenge by acquiring 49 per cent of the team from Prada, the
Italian luxury goods group. The terms of the Telecom Italia investment were
not disclosed, but it was known that the Italian telephone company would
also pay an undisclosed sum as commercial sponsor to display its logos on
Luna Rossa's sails. Prada's logo will be displayed on the boat hull.
Excerpts from an associated press story posted on the Fox Sports website,,8659,10873745-23210,00.html

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A successful end is near for protracted negotiations to secure substantial
financial backing for a second consecutive British crack at the America's
Cup in 2007. The stage is being set for confirmation of a
multi-million-pound sponsorship for GBR Challenge and the sale by owner
Peter Harrison of a stake in the team he backed with 22m in Auckland in
2002-03. Final details have still to be agreed, and a delay is necessary to
allow the announcement in Doha, Qatar, Monday of the latest steps by the
financially beleaguered Tracy Edwards to secure a round-the-world race in
giant multihulls, scheduled to start next February. The same sponsor,
believed to be HSBC, is to finance that as part of a plan to become
involved in the development of leisure facilities in the gas- and oil-rich
sheikhdom. - Excerpt from a story by Stuart Alexander in the Independent.
Full story:

The second Emirates Team New Zealand race boat, NZL-81, landed safely in
Valencia early in the afternoon on Friday after a long trip from Auckland,
New Zealand. The boat is a replacement for NZL-82, which was seriously
damaged in a storm in Marseille after Act 1.

The logistical hurdles for bringing NZL-81 to Spain in time for the
Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 2 and 3 were immense. There are very few
transport mechanisms for boats of this size, especially to take them
halfway around the planet, but the Short Belfast aircraft operated by Heavy
Lift Cargo Airline, was up to the task. The loading of NZL-81 in Auckland,
New Zealand, into the cargo hold of the plane took over four hours, with
the boat having just millimetres of clearance in height and along each
side. The aircraft has a limited range, and was forced to stop five times
for refuelling, in Darwin, Singapore, Colombo, Dubai, and Crete.-

Toronto, Canada - An Australian team coming from way Down Under to win in
North America took on a new meaning in the Bell Mumm 30 World Championship,
but it's becoming routine for Richard Perini and his crew. While most eyes
were watching whether hometown favorite Fred Sherratt's frontrunning
Steadfast, with Andy Roy as skipper, could fight off Tom Ritter's Tramp
from Michigan and the Kahns, father and son, from California and Hawaii on
the fourth and final day Friday, the issue became a Foreign Affair.

That's the name of Perini's boat from Sydney that won the class at Key West
in 2002 and 2003 and arose from fifth place here to bite all the contenders
with a runaway flourish in the last race. Pending the outcome of some
protests, that left Foreign Affair three points ahead of Steadfast, four
ahead of 15-year-old Shark Kahn's Pegasus 20 and five ahead of Tramp.
Nelson Stephenson, the Mumm 30 World Council president from Connecticut,
was fifth with TeamBOLD.

On the final day, Steadfast struggled to 11th and 13th places, leaving the
door wide open to Perini for the 49-year-old businessman's first class
world title in five tries. Overall, he scored two firsts and three seconds
in the nine races and seemed a popular winner as one rival after another
came by his boat to congratulate him. "There were six boats that could have
won it today," Perini said, "which is a tribute to the depth of this class.
We went into today 13 points behind the leader, so we just said we weren't
going to give up, that's not an insurmountable lead." - Rich Roberts

More information and photos: and

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In a tense and tricky final race on Lake St Claire, Detroit, California's
Argyle Campbell and his crew of Don Jesberg, Robert Kinney and Aaron
Serenis aboard "Rock & Roll" became the Melges 24 North American Champions.
Overall Argyle Campbell scored 21 in the 29-boat fleetto win by 3 points
from Britain's John Pollard on 24, with Brian Porter third on 29. Tom
Freytag was fourth with 34 and led the Corinthian Division (all amateur
crews) by 9 points from Chuck Holzman on 43 with Travis Weisleder on 41 and
Joe Woods on 65.

Two attempts had to be made to complete the final race of the series with
the first eventually running out of time after the wind died off
completely. By 1230 a moderately stable 4 knots had filled in from 180 and
the fleet was underway again on a much shortened 0.6 mile course. - Fiona

In the Finals of the International C Class Catamaran championship, Cogito
beat Patient Lady in the first race by six minutes. The second race told a
similar story. In pre-start maneuvers with the wind building to about 6,
Patient Lady got caught in irons and Cogito crossed the starting line with
over a minute lead, and won the race and the championship by almost three
minutes. Clearly Cogito is a significantly faster boat driven by a skipper
with hundreds of hours sailing Class C catamarans.

During rigging for the Petit Final, Team Invictus suffered major damage to
the hulls of their catamaran and have been forced to withdraw - conceding
to Australia.

Final results:
1. Cogito. Helm Duncan McLane / Crew Steve CLark
2. Patient Lady 6, Helm Lars Gluck /Crew Stan Schreyerer
3. Australia. Helm Gavin Colby / Crew Darren Smith
4. Team Invictus. Helm John Downey / Crew Paul Larson

Event website:

* This Wednesday the U.S. Championship of Champions regatta brings together
20 of this year's one-design National or North American champions who will
compete in JY15s for US Sailing's Jack Brown Trophy at the Raritan YC in
Perth Amboy, NJ. This year it appears that the event will be a family
affair: seven teams are made up of family combinations such as father-son,
father-daughter, and a pair of brothers. One of the most unique
combinations is the Fast family - 13-year-old Nathan (Blue Jay class) will
be the skipper, with his father, Carl, as crew. -

* Kevin Farrar from the host Fishers Island YC clinched the International
One Design World Championships with a day to spare and sat out the final
race on Friday. Penny Simmons of Bermuda won that race to take second place
in the championship, five points ahead of Bill Widnall of Marblehead, Mass
in what was essentially a light air regatta. -

* Adam Barboza sailed a nearly perfect series of matches to sweep his team
of Gary Baron, Somers Kempe and Jesse DeCouto to a decisive first place
victory in the Bacardi Cup match race series and earn the right to
represent Bermuda in the Investor's Guaranty presentation of the King
Edward VII Gold Cup October 16th-24th in Bermuda. In the Petite Finals,
defending Bermuda Women's Match Race champion Paula Lewin swept two races
from Pete Ramesdale. -

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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 Dieter Loibner (In response to Michael Craddock's note in 'Butt
1675): Let's hope that "rock star" was deliberately (and cleverly) chosen
to describe "yacht racing athletes" of a certain kind for the precise
reasons Mr. Craddock mentioned: astronomic bar tabs, trashed hotel rooms
and colorful criminal records. Anything wrong with that?

* From Kim Apel: I think the "rock star" metaphor as applied to a few
sailors is apt, because celebrity sailors, like musical "rock stars" tend
to: 1) be rare, i.e. near the top of a mercilessly competitive pyramid; 2)
have a high opinion of themselves; 3) attract fawning admiration and bitter
envy; 4) live a glamorous lifestyle (travel to beautiful destinations,
first class accommodations) in the name of work, doing what others must
limit to scarce leisure time; 5) have vastly higher incomes than the
wannbes trying to eke out a living in a tough business; 6) be financially
supported by mega-rich sponsors; 7) be considered only as good as their
last big victory/hit recording; 8) be subject to media scrutiny and public

* From Mark Eustis: Michael Craddock has asked we find a name other than
"rock star" for high-level yacht racing athletes...fair enough, let's hear
some suggestions. As for the "legacy of astronomic bar tabs, trashed hotel
rooms and colorful criminal records" I miss the SORC too.

* From Tom Goddard (edited to our 250-word limit): Watching sailing on
television isn't boring - it is the lame commentary that goes along with it
that puts people to sleep. If golf can be made interesting, then the
America's Cup should be easy. Talk about the weather, the boats, the sails,
the carbon, the titanium, the computers, the keels, the bulbs, measuring in
the equipment, who is suing who, how everything has changed in the class in
the last 10 years - talk to umpires, designers, builders, shore team,
sailmakers, engineers, laminators, welders, turners and fitters,
weathermen, coaches, strategists, trimmers, bowmen, navigators, and on and on.

American television still seems to be caught with their pants down when the
race is postponed. We haven't seen this before in the last 16 years of
covering the race, so we haven't planned for it and what are we going to do
now? New Zealand TV had the cup on live from 10 in the morning to 4 or 5 in
the afternoon every day, and seemed to be able to maintain interest most of
the time

The Tour de France bike race isn't exactly a thrill a minute, and yet that
was good TV because you had three guys commentating who were interested,
knowledgeable, and realized that in the end it was just a bunch of guys
riding their bikes and it was supposed to be fun! They spent half their
time laughing rather than talking, and it was fun.

* From John W. Bergan (In response to the string about Sailing on TV and in
support of Gary Jobson's letter in 1671): Simply put, in the history of
American television, the coverage of sailing in the Olympics by Gary Jobson
and NBC was unprecedented. Cheers to Gary and his team for their hard work
and cheers to sailing fans who are capable of programming their VCRs/
Tivos. I agree with an assessment made in the coverage of Olympic Sailing,
our love/passion is exemplary for its sportsmanship.

* From Wayne Kennedy, Wellington NZ: I am still wondering why it is that we
are trying so hard to get more exposure for our sport? As sailors, all we
have to do is each of us commit to taking someone new (as in never sailed
before) out on the water each month over any summer and we will increase
the interest in our sport far greater than TV can. I suspect that the real
driver for more TV excitement is linked to getting more sponsorship dollars
which in turn will only flow to a select few and probably do little for
local sailing clubs around the world. And none of us should lose sight of
the biggest pleasure in sailing ... it's the participation at whatever
level we can afford.

A few years ago I was organizing a local regatta the same weekend that Team
NZ was bringing two of the AC boats to our city with a guest crew to
challenge Russell. Going up against such an attraction seemed folly to me
but more than one yacht owner said to me I'd rather be out there racing
against my fellow yachties than watching others doing it ... I'm sorry but
trying to make yachting an exciting spectacle is missing the boat ...
finding ways to get new people out on the water should be the real driver.
That will lead to more people in our club houses and more interest in
sailing generally. Surely such a movement would be the real catalyst for

* From August "Gus" Miller, WEF Director (re Paul Doughty's 'Optimist
Commentary' in Scuttlebutt 1668; edited to our 250 word limit): The 300
eleven year olds that will be sailing as part of their academic curriculum
are from the Bermuda Waterwise program. This Waterwise educational tool is
for all Bermuda's Middle School children who would never otherwise have a
chance to learn.

Everything they study in their classes is related to the Waterwise theme.
They calculate, experiment, write, draw, sing, study and play the culture
of seamanship. Swimming, paddling, rescues, CPR and the fundamentals of
being under sail are practiced at school before they ever go on the water.
When they do hit the water, they are supervised closely but go solo,
completely on their own. For everything they either do or don't do, there
is an immediate response that they have to deal with. Experience shows that
after completing Waterwise, their academics and deportment show substantial
improvement. It is an educational experience they will never forget.

Bermuda Waterwise started in 1999 as collaboration between the Bermuda
Sailing Association, the Bermuda Ministry of Education, the Bermuda
Ministry of Youth Development, Sport and Recreation and the US/NZL based
Waterwise Educational Foundation (WEF). In the spring of 2000 came the
pilot group of 20 children. It has been growing ever since. With Waterwise,
Bermuda's children will regain their great maritime heritage. A portion of
each student group develops a gift for sailing, and from them will come
Bermuda's future Peter Brombys, Malcolm Smiths and Shorty Triminghams. WEF
is currently working on similar but culturally different Waterwise programs
on all five continents.

* From: Adam Bovill: Just wanted to throw my support out there for Team
Racing in the Olympics. Team racing is wonderful fun, both as a participant
and as a spectator. It brings some great aspects to racing, not only does
it test how well an individual boat can be sailed, but it tests how well 3
sets of boats can work together. Additionally, it would give people another
image of sailing, with all the excitement of last minute conversions from
losing combinations to winning ones... and some collisions... people love
collisions and drama... why do you think Nascar is so popular? The
suggestion that I've seen and like the best is having the three crews be:
male, female and co-ed. Maybe do it in 470's.

"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be
broken." -Warren Buffet