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SCUTTLEBUTT 1679 - September 30, 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.

With two medals in two events at the 2004 Paralympic Games, U.S. sailors
took home their biggest haul of medals yet in the brief history of the
sport at the Paralympics. But as these Games continue to gain prominence,
and as the sailing competition continues to improve, the U.S. delegation
fully recognizes the significance of their achievements. "Previously there
were four or five boats in contention," said Team Leader Serge Jorgensen
(Sarasota, Fla.). "Now we're seeing countries like Poland and Greece
winning races. The level of competition has gone up exponentially since
Sydney. These are truly elite athletes."

Tom Brown (Northeast Harbor, Maine) became the only repeat medalist from
Sydney's 2000 Paralympic Games when he earned the silver medal in the 2.4
Metre event in Athens. The surprising U.S. Sonar entry of John Ross-Duggan
(Newport Beach, Calif.), Brad Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis./Hollywood, Fla.) and
J.P. Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.), and alternate Roger Cleworth
(Brandon, Fla.), shocked the field to earn the bronze medal. "This is a
whole different animal," said Ross-Duggan in comparing his bronze medal to
the one he won in 1996 when sailing debuted in the Paralympic Games as an
exhibition event. "The level of competition in this sport just continues to
escalate. It's truly amazing how well these sailors performed."

"This was the finest Paralympic Games we've seen," said Jorgensen, coach of
the US Disabled Sailing Team for the past four years and US SAILING's 2002
National Coach of the Year. "Having the same organizing committee handle
both the Olympic and Paralympic Games was helpful. The venue and conditions
were excellent and the professionalism, organization and expertise of the
staff and volunteers was phenomenal." But while other countries continue to
emerge in the sport, the two medals won on the Saronic Gulf helped solidify
the USA's place among sailing's elite. -

Team Alinghi, Defender of the America's Cup, will launch a new internet
webcast program (broadcast video over the internet) during its current
campaign called "Alinghi TV". The concept will involve an Alinghi specific
"TV Schedule", where Alinghi followers and sailing fans worldwide can tune
in to watch shows on different aspects of Team Alinghi - from out on the
water to life on shore.

"For Acts 2 and 3 in Valencia, which begin October 5, Team Alinghi plan to
pilot the concept with a race summary, analysis or interview each day
following the racing at 5:30pm GMT+2, explained Bernard Schopfer, Team
Alinghi Director of Communications. "Those who miss the live version will
be able to view the broadcasts as a replay." Stay tuned for more
information on "Alinghi TV" scheduling at

Blink and you will miss the Volvo Ocean Race in Wellington - but not for
the reason you might suspect. That was the unusual sales pitch yesterday
from Glenn Bourke, the Englishman at the helm of the world's premier ocean
race which is to visit Wellington for the first time in February 2006.
Bourke has promised sailing buffs and land-lubbers alike a "spectacular
show" when the fleet race into Wellington from Melbourne and out again two
days later en route to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. But forget a leisurely
look at the eight to 12-strong fleet and not just because the yachts will
be moored at Queens Wharf for no more than 48 hours. As the whistlestop
Wellington stopover is officially termed a "pitstop", crews are unable to
take anything on or off their boats. They will incur a two-hour penalty if
they do need to make repairs. - The Dominion Post,,2106,3049239a1823,00.html

* New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, will host a pit stop for the
Volvo Ocean Race from February 17-19 2006. Although the event has a long
association with New Zealand, this will be the first time that the race has
visited Wellington. The Volvo fleet will race from Melbourne, Australia in
the third leg of the event, arriving in Wellington for a pit stop of
between 24 and 48 hours. The fourth leg of the race to Rio de Janeiro, will
be a fleet restart on either February 18 or 19, depending on the time of
arrival in Wellington.

The pit stop concept was first introduced to the Volvo Ocean Race in Hobart
during the 2001-02 event when the fleet took part in the grueling Sydney to
Hobart yacht race. The only other scheduled pit stop during the 2005-06
race will be New York in May 2006.

The Volvo Ocean Race will start with an in-port race in Sanxenxo, Galicia,
on November 5, 2005. The start of leg one, the first offshore leg, will be
on November 12 from neighboring Vigo, Galicia, via a scoring gate at
Fernando da Noronha, on the Brazilian coast, to Cape Town, South Africa.
Leg two takes the fleet to Melbourne and provides the first test of the
Southern Ocean. However for this iteration of the race, the race organizers
have introduced a scoring gate on this leg at the Kerguelen Islands and
another at Eclipse Island, off Albany on the west coast of Australia. -

On Friday, October 10, New England Ropes will host its annual Splice Off!
competition at the Annapolis Boat Show. Everyone from novice to expert
rigger is invited to participate in the competition. The person with the
fastest time splicing a double braid line will be awarded a Suunto
"Regatta" watch (MSRP $300) at the annual Riggers' Party later that same
evening. Stop by the New England Ropes booth (Landspace 58-B) to turn in
your best time. For more information contact New England Ropes at
508-678-8200 or on the web at

With only four more days to go until the start of the Global Challenge
round the world race, the pace of preparations is increasing - as are the
bouts of nerves. Yet safety checks are complete, crews are loading food,
final jobs are being done. The 12 skippers and crews are rolling down the
runway to their start on Sunday. Meanwhile, the last of the sponsors' names
are being applied to yachts.

A flurry of last-minute deals have marked out this Challenge race from
others in the past. With no title sponsor for the event and five boats
sponsored in the last weeks before the start, Sir Chay Blyth admits that
business has been more difficult than at any previous time. "We're not
alone," he notes. "The industry as a whole has not been in good shape at
all for the last three years. So it's been very tough for us and the worst
thing about it was not having a title holder." The effect of that is
two-fold, he explains. "A title holder also tends to help us because
companies may have a relationship with that particular company and that
helps towards attracting yacht sponsors. On the back of sponsorship there
can be business deals."

Sir Chay admits that the eleventh-hour deals have not been so lucrative for
his company, but is still upbeat. - Excerpt from a major story by Elaine
Bunting posted on the Yachting World website:

After six races with one discard, the leaders of the 74-boat Citibank J/24
World Championship at the Noroton Yacht Club are:
1. Jens Hookanson, USA, 38
2. Jeffery Johnstone, USA, 39
3. Brad Read, USA, 41
4. Andy Horton, USA, 54
5. Satoshi Kume, JPN, 61

The regatta ends on Friday. -
For video clips of the regatta:

* Every team in the Cicada International Women's Match Racing Championship
in Hamilton, Bermuda from October 16-19 will take home some of the $25,000
prize money, with the winners share being $8000. The event skippers include
Claire Leroy, France (ISAF ranking #2), Betsy Alison, USA, (#7), Jenny
Axhede, Sweden (#8), Paula Lewin, Bermuda (#10), Klaartje Zuiderbaan,
Netherlands (#23) Giulia Conti, Italy (#26) Kuko Sakudo-Horikawa, Japan
(unranked), plus the winner of the US Women's Match Racing Championship
that starts today in Newport, RI. The regatta winner will then race in
Bermuda's Investor's Guaranty King Edward VII Gold Cup.

* Anyone who loves sailing will be sickened by the sight of the marine
carnage caused by Hurricane Ivan in Grenada. And we suspect the insurance
companies are not happy either:

* New Owen-Clark Open 60 to get underway in Canada. Construction has begun
on Canada's entry in the 5-Oceans Challenge (formerly Around Alone Race),
one of the sailing world's most grueling and prestigious racing events.
Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges today announced the laying of the keel of
Derek Hatfield's new Open 60 Spirit of Canada. The boat will be built in
Canada as part of this country's entry into the 5-Oceans Challenge solo
boating race in 2006-07. - The Daily Sail,

* Two-time Collegiate All-American sailor Chuck Allen (Wickford, RI) has
been appointed to lead North Sails' One Design efforts in the northeast
corner of the United States. Allen is an experienced and accomplished one
design sailor who has worked in the marine industry since graduating from
the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 1991. After working for West Marine
for six years in Newport, RI and Sausalito, CA, North Sails president Gary
Weisman (San Diego, CA) recruited Allen in 1999 to manage Cruising Direct,
a subsidiary of North Sails.

* Alain Gautier, skipper of the 60ft trimaran Foncia and winner of the
second Vendee Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race has
announced his retirement at the age of 42, from offshore racing. He is
handing over the helm to one of France's most talented up and coming
sailors Armel Le Cléac'h, winner of last year's Solitaire du Figaro and a
leg of this year's. Gautier will continue for the rest of this season as
skipper of Foncia, but will pass over the reigns to Armel Le Cléac'h for
next season - The Daily Sail,

The proposed slate for Officers and Board Members of US Sailing for
2004-2005 are listed now listed on the Association's website. The listed
candidates include, President: Janet Baxter; Vice Presidents: Jim Capron,
Fred Hagedorn, Tom Hubbell, Bill Munster, Joni Palmer and Bill Sandberg;
Secretary: Dick Hanneman; Treasurer: Leslie Keller; At Large Members of the
Board: John Amos, Means Davis, Joey Harris, Betty Sue Sherman and Adam
Werblow; Athlete Representative: Dean Brenner; Women's Representative:
Charlie Arms; Youth Representative: Jerelyn Biehl. These candidates will be
voted on at the Annual General Meeting in Portland, OR on Saturday October
23, 2004. For the complete list of nominees:

Ullman Sails congratulates our customers for their strong showing at the
J105 North American's at the Marion Yacht Club, Massachusetts event. The
J/105 "Hoss"* sailed by Darder/ Hillard/ Williamson captured top honors
with Cummins/Franco finishing 2nd on "Bold Forbes". Placing 3rd in the
52-boat fleet was Joerg Esdom's "Kincsem" and Philip Lotz on
"Indefatigable" closed out the top four places (*partial inventory). For
the "Fastest Sails on the Planet" contact your nearest Ullman Sails loft
and visit

(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 Watt Duffy (edited to our 250-word limit): The Snipe would be great
at the Olympics. Years ago the Snipe Class turned down an offer to become
an Olympic class boat. Today the class is ready to take that step. The
Snipe class has allowed me to compete on an International level that is
above all other international classes today. You can find the Snipe Class
active in more than 26 countries including Russia, Japan, Brazil and Spain.
The Snipe is built rock solid. The crew weight is very forgiving due to the
hull/crew weight ratio (380 lbs/ around 300 lbs. crew).

The boat is one of the most modern boats available with all the trims of a
Star except the check stays. A true one design class. Parts and hulls are
readily available. Competitive boats can be purchased from $4,000.00 up to
a new boat price of $8,500.00 US. They last for more than six years at that
same competitive level. That's not the case in most other boats that last
as few as 6 months to two years. A Snipe could be sailed in two Olympics
and win them both, while training hard and regatta sailing in between the
two events. As for the woman, ask any of the Snipe world class woman
sailors ... You can't have a better boat to race for woman sailors of all

* From Tom Fischbeck (re Olympic sailing): Ditch the Tornado! Why would
anyone in their right Olympic mind not want a Hobie 16? There is a Hobie 16
in just about every single country in the world. Are these Tornado yachties
worried about more competition in Olympic Sailing? Hello? I don't get it?

* From Eric Conner: I for one was glad to see Philippe Kahn protest his
son. It may seem hard for us to believe that someone would do that to their
own son, but just think how hard it would be to keep yourself from allowing
the foul to go un-protested … and how fair would that be for the rest of
the fleet?

* From Scott Brown: In response to Gordon Livingston's inquiry about why
Philippe Kahn protested his son, there is no "family and friends" provision
in sailing. Good for Philippe.

* From Troy Scharlow: In response to Mr. Livingston's question as to how/
why Phillipe Kahn would protest his son out of first place at the Mumm 30
Worlds... As I was "hiking" on the rail of one of the other competitors, I
saw the situation that caused Philippe's team to protest Shark's team.
Shark's team approached the top mark on port tack layline, and attempted to
tack at the mark, in front of Philippe's team, which protested for tacking
too close within the two boat-length circle.

While it may have seemed that Philippe's team might have been a bit
hesitant to "pull" the red flag out initially, there were many nearby
competitors encouraging them to do so, especially with Shark's team leading
the event. While Shark's team was forced to perform a 720, it still left
them in 6th place at the time. A very light and shifty, final downwind leg
is ultimately how Shark's team lost the additional boats. As a father of that same situation, if that would have been one of my son's, I
would have made him circle also.

* From Steve Greene (edited to our 250-word limit): Sailing/ Windsports is
something anyone, able-bodied or physically challenged, can participate in.
Every active and armchair sailor has specific reasons why he or she follows
particular events. Some find it to be refuge from the daily grind, while
others are captivated by the sheer will and determination necessary to
achieve successful careers at both amateur and professional levels.
Millions of individuals, thousands of institutions and hundreds of
countries have followed the plight of their local, national and
international representatives in these endeavors where only mother nature
has the final word. Which group is most important? Who has the best
argument? It really doesn't matter because windsports are not about any one
particular group, event or governing body. They are about the one thing
that binds all the groups together; passion.

So I'll go sailing when I can. But in the dead of winter when the lakes are
frozen and 12 inches of snow is piled up at the door, Id like to watch some
exciting and picturesque coverage of the thing I am most passionate about.
Does this mean I can't/ won't pick up a book, magazine or read my daily
Scuttlebutt? Heck no. But it means that I'd rather have the opportunity to
watch crash-and-burn skiff action or a documentary on the TransPac rather
than the next mindless episode of some staged "reality" show. And hey, if
someone else just happens to be watching sailing too and decides to give it
a try - that's probably not all bad.

* From Troy Sears: I have read some of the comments concerning TV coverage
with sailing and I had a few comments. TV is important to our sport and has
an opportunity to expose our sport to a greater audience. Sailors may not
like to hear this, but more people watched our America's Cup sailing yachts
during MTV's Real World then the Olympics or the America's Cup. And more
important, most of the viewing audience was non-sailors. The effect has
been dramatic; we received reservations from over 41 different states and
13 countries. Many of these clients have never sailed before and after
their experience with us many wanted to learn more about how to get
involved with sailing. With interest in our sport shrinking in the US we
need to start thinking more out of the box.

* From David Bishop: The first use of the term 'rock star' in the SoCal
yachting community that I remember dates back to the 70's, when it was used
to describe the 'pro' who showed up as an Ocean Racing boat was pulling
away from the dock, after the regular crew had done all the preparation. It
was that behavior, rather than any glamor in there life style, that earned
them the title. Back then an Olympic medal entitled them to a job at a sail
loft, and if they were paid to race on someone's boat it wasn't enough to
warrant discussion.

* Curmudgeon's comment: As we considered the concept of 'warranting
discussion' we realize it's time to end the 'rock star' thread - which is
now officially dead.

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, then who is the fool who
said "Quit while you're ahead?"