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SCUTTLEBUTT 1682 - October 5, 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.

According to a story posted on, Nick Craw, the present
executive director of US Sailing, has been selected as president of the
Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS), which
governs U.S. racing as part of the Federation Internationale de
l'Automobile (FIA). Craw is quoted as saying, "This is a wonderful
opportunity for me to return to my roots in racing and gives me the chance
to serve the growing motorsports industry in the United States and the
participating clubs." The ACCUS office will move from Chicago to Denver,
where Craw and his wife have a home.

It is our understanding that US Sailing's Executive Committee met by
conference call on Monday evening, but there is no truth to the rumor that
the Curmudgeon has sent his resume to president Janet Baxter. - Full story:

ISAF and Rolex had announced the male and female sailors short-listed for
the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2004. The criteria for
nomination for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2004 was
"outstanding achievement" in the period 1 September 2003 to 31 August. All
eleven Olympic gold medal winning crews have been short-listed, together
with outstanding sailors from the world of offshore sailing and match
racing. The female nominees are:
- Adrienne Cahalan (AUS)
- Sofia Bekatorou & Emilia Tsoulfa (GRE)
- Faustine Merret (FRA)
- Shirley Robertson, Sarah Webb & Sarah Ayton (GBR)
- Siren Sundby (NOR)

Male Nominees:
- Ben Ainslie (GBR)
- Ed Baird (USA)
- Paul Foerster & Kevin Burnham (USA)
- Steve Fossett (USA)
- Gal Fridman (ISR)
- Torben Grael & Marcelo Ferreira (BRA)
- Roman Hagara & Hans Peter Steinacher (AUT)
- Francis Joyon (FRA)
- Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandex (ESP)
- Robert Scheidt (BRA)

To determine the winners, the ISAF Member National Authorities - the
national governing bodies for sailing - around the world will cast their
vote for the one female nominee and one male nominee whom they feel deserve
the honor of receiving the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2004.
The winners will be announced at the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year
Awards Presentation on 9 November 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark. - Full
biographies and image galleries:

There will be a new upper size limit on the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
(ARC). Designed to return the ARC to its origins, the upper limit on a
yacht's length overall (LOA) has been lowered to 60 feet (18.29 meters)
enabling the organizers to focus the ARC firmly on the majority of cruising
yachts. This move excludes some of the larger yachts that have previously
entered the ARC. In recent years the race organizers - World Cruising Club
- have been criticized by some participants who perceive that the ARC has
become "an event for big corporate yachts".

Large yachts (60 feet+) make up only 15%, but their size and large crews
mean that these yachts have a much bigger visual impact in the marinas than
the majority of the ARC yachts which typically are between 44-55 feet
(13.40-16.75m) LOA. An obvious benefit of this change is that more smaller
cruising yachts will be able to participate, since limits on docking space
have restricted the numbers of yachts able to join the ARC over the last
five years.

However … to cater to the larger yachts displaced from the ARC, World
Cruising has repositioned its Rubicon Antigua Challenge (RAC) exclusively
for yachts ranging from 60 - 120 feet (18.3- 36.58 meters) LOA. The event
will be more cohesive since crossing times within the fleet will be
similar, and the yachts should arrive in Antigua much closer together. This
also has an obvious benefit at sea since the yachts will be sailing closer
together during the crossing, making for exciting competition on the water,
especially in the racing division. Raising the size limit for the RAC also
enables entries to be accepted from an increasing number of owners of
larger yachts who apply to join the ARC, but who, to date, have had to be
rejected. It's expected that 35+ yachts will race in the 2005 RAC. -

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Just a few weeks before in Marseille, the combination of match racing and
fleet racing, along with the more open style ashore for the viewing public,
made for an America's Cup series unlike any other. Now it's time for the
new home of the America's Cup to demonstrate whether it too can host an
event that will capture the public's attention. As the show in Valencia
prepares to open, there's clearly been a mountain of effort put into
staging the event. While there are still a few areas of 'work in progress'
around the basin that will stage the shoreside activities, the overall
feeling is that the Cup is about to move onto another level once again.
Racing starts tomorrow (Tuesday 5 Oct) and sees two more teams joining the
event to make a total of eight.

At Monday morning's press conference Brad Butterworth appeared to make a
slip of the tongue as he talked about how he saw the next two weeks of
racing. Talking about the boat he said, "Hopefully it will stay in one…
[pause]" Have the Swiss been modifying their boat? Is the
legendary tough SUI-64 a more fragile beast for the lighter winds, or was
he simply referring to the destructive storm that swept through Marseille
at the end of Act 1 laying the Cup winner flat in the process? If she is a
more fragile machine, the forecast for the next few days doesn't look like
pushing the fleet in the same way that it did in Marseille. Light winds
developing from the sea breeze that this area is well known for look set to
dominate the early stages of the competition.

A less dramatic start to the event would no doubt suit some of the other
teams, not least Emirates Team New Zealand who have burned the candle at
both ends to be here after NZL-82 was too badly damaged in Marseille to be
repaired in time for Act 2. A gentle wind up to the series would be more
welcome than the big blast that greeted them in Marseille. - Excerpts from
a story by Matthew Sheahan posted on the Yachting World website, full story:

On Monday morning, the skippers of the eight teams competing in the
Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 2 and 3 met the press, ahead of the first
scheduled racing on Tuesday.

* "We have tried to develop our philosophy of getting more people involved.
So we have two girls on board - Dawn Riley and Meg Gaillard - and three New
Zealand guys, with Cameron Appleton as the tactician and strategist." -
Thierry Peponnet, K-Challenge (FRA 57),

* "Most of the people on the boat are very inexperienced (at the America's
Cup), which I found out yesterday when I hooked the Committee Boat on our
keel. We're standing at the start of a journey, and we're looking forward
to the next three years." - Iain Percy, +39

* "We know this is a difficult game, so we're taking the opportunity to
start against the good people right away. We've been busy so far putting
together the new team. That's taken a lot of energy and effort … now we can
begin to focus our energies on the water." - Francesco de Angelis, Luna Rossa

* "For a while it was pretty unlikely that we would be able to compete
here. But after a lot of hard work by Grant Dalton and the shore crew in
New Zealand to get NZL 81 ready, and then the assistance we got from ACM
which allowed us to be here, it's been all hands on deck to get the boat
ready … and it's great to actually get out on the water and be out
sailing." - Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand

Tuesday's race schedule is posted online:

The 32nd America's Cup will be shown in its entirety on Spanish television
under a landmark agreement between the event organisers and TVE, the
national broadcaster in Spain. This arrangement will begin with the
programming for the Valencia Louis Vuitton Acts 2 and 3, which start on the
5th of October. The agreement ensures each of the programs produced by the
event will be shown on TVE 1 or TVE 2. This amounts to well over 300 hours
of programming over the next three years. TVE will also contribute services
and equipment to the programming. The new format of the America's Cup,
which sees a series of opening Acts sailed in the years leading up to the
main event in 2007, means the Cup follows a more predictable, consistent
schedule, with racing every few months and thus is more accessible
spectators in Spain, Europe, and worldwide. -

Ockam has a clean solution for problems associated with the distribution of
NMEA-0183 data. This combination of hardware and software eliminates
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monitor your NMEA stream without re-plugging any wiring. The system also
services an unlimited number of receiving devices, and all devices and
programs receive both GPS and instrument data. OckamSoft 4's vPort
application is part of the system and allows a stand-alone program to
interface with both GPS and instrument data without need for a second
serial port. For more information, take a look at

* Mastering a mix of conditions and challenging tides, Mike Funsch and crew
Jay Lurie (34 points) - 2004 InterClub Class and Vanguard 15 Champions -
won the U.S. Champion of Champions for the Jack Brown Trophy hosted by
Raritan Yacht Club, Perth Amboy, NJ. Multiple National Champion, Glenn
Darden and crew Wulf Focke (53 points) captured second with only one finish
(discarded) out of the top ten. Brent Barbehenn and crew Ben Stock (61
points) from the Jet 14 Class captured third place in the 21-boat fleet
that sailed 11 races with one discard. -

* This coming Wednesday morning in Valencia the K-Challenge team, French
Official Challenger for the 32nd America's Cup, is holding a press
conference to introduce its first sponsor. All the brass is rolling our for
this one - Stephan Kandler, CEO, Dawn Riley, General Manager, Thierry
Peponnet, Skipper, and the sponsor's representative. -

*After a postponement due to blustery conditions, Cory Sertl with crew
Pease Glaser, Jody Swanson and Debbie Probst captured the U.S. Women's
Match Racing Championship in Newport, RI. Sertl had to go the full five
races to beat the previously undefeated Melissa Purdy and capture the
Allegra Knapp Mertz trophy. The win also earned Sertl an invitation to the
Cicada International Women's Match Racing Championship later this month in
Bermuda. In Petit Finals, Olympian and the defending champion, Carol Cronin
defeated Deborah Willits in two straight matches to secure a third overall
in the event. -

* The crews in the Global Challenge have had a baptism of fire for their
first day of racing, hitting gale force winds head on which has disabled
many crews with the dreaded seasickness curse. Out in front is Spirit of
Sark skippered by Duggie Gillespie being chased by Matt Riddell's team
aboard Samsung just two miles behind. In third is David Melville's BP
Explorer. -

* Florida's John Jennings successfully defended his title at the
International Master's Regatta at St. Francis YC sailed in J/105s. Racing
with Rob Moore, Phil Smithies, Kevin Riley and Mark Ploch, Jennings scored
a two point win over regatta organizer Don Trask in what was essentially a
moderate breeze, flood tide regatta. Bill Buchan took third place, in the
9-boat fleet. This was Jennings third Masters title in the last four years.
Complete results:

* Wade Edwards and team won the International Etchells Atlantic Coast
Champions at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA with an impressive
and consistent string of results (4,1,2,3,2) over five races in a variety
of conditions. Hank Lammens was second, two points behind Edwards, Rob
Hitchcock and Greg Hefler third, one point behind Lammens, Steve Girling
was fourth, one point behind Hitchcock and Bear Hovey was a distant fifth
in the 30-boat fleet. The Etchells fleet plans to move south for the winter
- there are already 50 entries for the Jaguar series at the Biscayne Bay

* Over $25,000 was raised by sailors on 73 boats Saturday in the Sail for
Hope Regatta. The event gathered over 400 sailors from five states who
competed on Narragansett Bay in what is traditionally the "last blast" for
the Newport sailing community. Three charities were designated to receive
the proceeds from the event - the American Red Cross of Rhode Island Armed
Forces Family Assistance Services, the Jamie Boeckel Memorial Fund for
Safety at Sea and the Newport Harbormaster's Emergency Equipment Fund. -

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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 David Brookes, Executive Director, International Hobie Class
Association (edited to our 250-word limit): Ron Nichol's (butt#1680) claims
"the Hobie 16 is a great boat to learn on and a fun recreational craft" may
down play the skill involved in Hobie racing. At the 2002 Hobie 16 Worlds
two times Olympic Medallist and multiple world champion Mitch Booth
competed. The 2004 Hobie 16 Worlds, Bob Merrick, Olympic Silver Medallist
competed. Neither gentleman managed to win the Hobie 16 Worlds. If the
Hobie 16 can attract Olympic medallists to "learn on" then it must have
something to offer as well as also showing the skill in racing the boat at
world championship level.

As the largest racing multihull class in the world the Hobie 16 does
deserve a little more respect than Ron's comments suggest. The Tornado is a
fantastic boat as is the Hobie 16. It takes a lot of skill to win a Hobie
16 Worlds as many Olympic sailors have attempted and we expect more in the
future to take the challenge of racing a Hobie 16. So let ISAF decide the
boat for the Olympics but please do not attack the Hobie 16 or the Tornado
as both boats have many excellent attributes in the sailing world and have
contributed so much to multihull sailing. I honestly believe there is place
for both boats at the Olympics though that would take a major policy change.

* From Reigh North: I think most of us miss the point when it comes to
selecting old or new boats into the Olympics. It's more about politics than
it is about which boat performs better or is better for the athletes.

* From Julie McErlain: Replying to Chris Pratt - Scuttlebutt 1675 - who
wrote a lengthy letter on the subject of Australian yachting and
"mandatory" PFD's. While I understand where Chris feels strongly about crew
being responsible for their own safety while racing, his letter was
somewhat inaccurate and I don't see what skin cancer has to do with the
subject. Unfortunately the number of deaths occurring at sea (and on inland
waters) in the field of leisure craft activities, has drastically increased
in the past two years. However Chris has "jumped the gun" with his
comments, as in fact no regulations have yet been passed on the mandatory
wearing of PFD's in racing. This simply has not yet occurred.

It is also not true to say that "the regulators forgot to ask the sailors
what they thought." There has been an ongoing review of Marine safety,
including PFD's, and the regulators have in fact received close to 3000
submissions from individuals and sailing organizations. The results and
recommendations will be made public for further public response - certainly
not before 2005 - don't get alarmed yet Chris.- let's hope that
'dispensations' for racing in light air will be allowed!

* From P. A. Woodward (edited to our 250-word limit): During a recent race
I noticed an innovative whisker pole system. The (singlehanded) skipper
wants to set the whisker pole without leaving the cockpit. Here's the
system, as best as I can describe it: a line is rigged from well up on the
(unstayed) mast down to a block at the partners, then aft to the cockpit.
The line is (somehow) grasped above the bock, without leaving the cockpit.
One end of the whisker pole is attached to the line, the other end to the
jib sheet. The line is then pulled tight from below the block thereby
pulling the butt end of the pole to the mast. How this would work on the
other tack, I don't know.

Rule 50.2 reads (in part) "When in use, [the whisker pole] shall be
attached to the foremost mast." The system as described has the pole
attached to a line on the mast, not to the mast. But then my whisker pole
is attached to a ring that travels on a track on the mast, and not to the
mast. I take it that the point of the rule is to keep the pole attached
somewhere near the centerline of the boat, the system as described is
consistent with that spirit of the rule. I asked the US Sailing judge who
was running the race what he thought of the system as described, and didn't
get a clear answer, except the suggestion that I protest the system. Is
this system legal?

* From Jim Dorsey: In watching the results of the Etchells North Americans,
I noticed some of talent that was sent to the middle of the ranks with a
OCS, which added a hefty 54 points to your score. One would assume that the
offenders were not aware of their situation at the time, or they would have
gone back. It just seems that with pointy boats and no bow person, it's
pretty easy to be a touch over the line, in a large, very competitive
fleet. Hand held VHF radios are cheap enough for any serious Etchells
program, are allowed on the boats, but must be off during the start. I
think a hail on the VHF is going to be hard enough to recover from in that
fleet, but better that a 54 that you didn't know about until it's to late.
Wouldn't allowing VHF's make the class more fun, fair, and the punishment
would fit the crime better.

* From Shawn Bennett: Of all the Scuttlebutt content that has captured my
attention, challenged my thoughts and caused my eyes to roll none to this
point have compelled me to write a comment or response. But today I read a
comment that stopped me in my tracks, made me choke on my coffee and click
on the link below to submit a reply. The thought of Tom Leweck in a Bubble

To keep a healthy level of insanity, when the money comes out the ATM,
scream, "I won, I won - third time this week!"