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SCUTTLEBUTT 1685 - October 8, 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.

Two full flights were sailed at the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act Two on
Thursday, on an afternoon when His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain sailed
aboard Team Alinghi. The weather conditions were good for racing, with a
10-knot gradient Northeasterly replaced by a light sea-breeze as the
afternoon progressed. The wind became very light towards the end of the
final races, making for some tough decisions by the tacticians.

Emirates Team New Zealand played the role of giant killers on this day, as
they defeated Team Alinghi, the America's Cup Defender, and BMW Oracle
Racing, the top team from the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act 1. Both races
were close, and in particular, the match against BMW Oracle where the
outcome was in doubt all the way around the race course.

The K-Challenge is winning a lot of moral victories at the Valencia Louis
Vuitton Act, but until the last match of the day has had little to show for
it on the leader board. The French team had been gaining the respect of its
peers with several strong performances in the Louis Vuitton Acts, but in
the end, the top teams are proving too powerful for the new team with its
2000-generation boat. On Thursday it was the Luna Rossa team that was
forced to battle through the first leg with the stubborn K-Challenge before
superior speed downwind allowed the Italians to put some distance between
themselves and the French. Luna Rossa helmsman James Spithill was never
seriously threatened the rest of the way and his team earned its third win
from four starts. K-Challenge skipper Thierry Pepponet didn't let the
disappointment of that first session affect him in his second match on the
day, as he dominated the start over Iain Percy on +39. K-Challenge
converted that wonderful start into a solid victory to earn its second win
from five starts. Iain Percy's +39 crew had a better showing in its first
match, with a strong race against Team Shosholoza and earned its first
victory of the 32nd America's Cup. -

Results Flight 5:
Luna Rossa beat K-Challenge - 1:04
Emirates TNZ beat Alinghi - 1:40
+39 beat Shosholoza - 0:38
BMWO beat Le Defi - 1:11

Flight 6:
Alinghi beat Le Defi - 2:27
Emirates TNZ beat BMWO - 0:31
Luna Rossa beat Shosholoza - 1:33
K-Challenge beat +39 - 1:39

Emirates Team New Zealand, 4-1, (4 points)
Team Alinghi, 4-1, (4 points)
Luna Rossa, 4-1, (4 points)
BMW Oracle Racing, 3-2, (3 points)
Le Defi, 2-3, (2 points)
K-Challenge, 2-3, (2 points)
+39, 1-4, (1 point)
Team Shosholoza, 0-5, (0 points)

Tough talk yesterday with plenty more column inches this morning on whether
Dean Barker can hold onto the wheel and his position at Emirates Team New
Zealand after their disappointing performance against Luna Rossa with young
James Spithill on the helm. Harsh treatment perhaps given that this loss
was just one race in light airs and not the America's Cup. But the
detractors point to other races where the Kiwi boat seems to have lacked
the muscle to really take the battle to its opponent. Whether it was tough
talk in the camp or a quiet reflection on how to make things better, today
Dean and his team came out fighting and turned the tables in convincing style.

"He's hard on himself and we were hard in the de-brief," said Grant Dalton.
"It's a learning game for us, we're a new team and this is the best in the
world that we're racing against, so you've got to perform under pressure."
And perform they did. Not only did they win two races today, but they
thrashed Alinghi, beating them by 1 minute 40 seconds. Oozing with
confidence the Kiwis set about doing the same to BMW Oracle with the same
result, a win, this time by 31 seconds. - Matthew Sheahan, Yachting World,
full story:

* Even if our boat is a little slower, as it is from a former generation,
we are more and more satisfied of our performances as a team. We are as
good as the top teams." Cameron Appleton, K-Challenge

* "What went wrong (in Race 1) is that we started on the wrong side! We had
8-9 knots but it was very hazy and so difficult to make a judgment about
what looked good or bad out there. So it was all decided by the starting
positions." - Jochen Schuemann, Alinghi

* "I'm a relay station really, picking the best bits out of what Adam's
(Beashel) saying. Certainly Terry (Hutchinson) and Adam understand each
other better because they have an American way of doing things. But the
dialogue is improving every day, as is the decision-making. I get a little
bit frustrated because I feel I'm not doing that much compared with what I
do normally, which is everything." - Ben Ainslie, Emirates Team New
Zealand, from a story by Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph,

Today is day 2 of the 35th annual U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. Chances
are if you're reading this you aren't there. Supporting some of our key
vendors like Ronstan, Henri Lloyd, Vanguard and Musto, the majority of APS'
staff is. We feel bad we don't get to see or talk to you this week so to
make it up to you we're offering 10% off orders placed online. Lucky enough
to be in town for the show? Stop by our store and get the same great
discount. Details and directions to our store…

Weather expert Roger Badham believes Valencia could be one of the most
testing America's Cup venues. With continual delays in Auckland during the
last Cup because of either too much wind or not enough, organisers were
after a location that could provide a stable breeze day in, day out.
However, while conditions off Valencia may not be as extreme as those on
Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, Badham believes they will be very tricky to
forecast. "It is a bigger bolder picture here in Valencia. The breezes here
are controlled by things that are much more delicate and much more
difficult to put your finger on."

The sea state also had a life of its own as it was affected not only by the
breeze in the area but by the wind swirling farther round the coast. "Here,
if the sea breeze is between 9 to 18 knots, sometimes, particularly in
later afternoon, you can have a sea wave which is much lumpier than that
which is reflecting a wind of 20 to 25 knots. "That breeze is not where we
are sailing but it is not very far away ... there is a stronger sea breeze
to the southeast of us which is feeding in a bigger sea wave."

In a bid to reduce costs, America's Cup organizers have proposed a
restriction in the number of weather boats each syndicate has. "Last time
it was getting a little out of hand. In the old days it was just me in the
weather boat somewhere up the course talking to the guys before the start,"
Badham said. "That has sort of blown out to two, then three, and then four.
"I think Alinghi had eight weather boats last time. Team New Zealand had
six. This time there is going to be a restriction to two or three weather
boats per syndicate and the rest of the information you have to get from
the standard supply." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

"The (TP 52) rule is tight - I'd prefer it to be a bit more open, but I
understand why the rule is so tight and the boats are really quick. They
are quicker than an Open 50 upwind and they are not much slower off the
wind. A boat optimized for the Med is going to work on the east coast of
the States because you can't put the boat so tightly into one corner of the
box that it is going to run away with it if the conditions are perfect. If
a TP52 rocks up to do Cork Week or a regatta in the UK, if the boat was
optimized for those conditions, then it is not going to look out of sorts
in the Med. There isn't enough room in the box. The only exception is if
you are going to the Transpac." - Quotes from Merfyn Owen in a story on The
Daily Sail website,

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

* Now past Finisterre, the crews in the Global Challenge are getting into
the swing of life onboard with smooth spinnaker rides, warm sunshine and
wildlife following the tail end of Hurricane Lisa. However, an intensive
low-pressure system is set to hit the fleet in the next 24 hours and the
crews will soon be put to the test again with wind speeds up to 40 knots
expected. After holding a commanding lead, Spirit of Sark may well be
relegated from the top spot overnight as BP Explorer heads towards the low
from a more westerly position. -

* Sailing World magazine announced that the Business Outfitters division of
Lands' End has signed on as title sponsor for the magazine's NOOD Regattas,
starting in 2005. The 2005 Lands' End NOOD Regattas will sail into nine
cities, including Boston; Chicago; Detroit; Houston; New York; San Diego;
St. Petersburg, Florida; Annapolis, Maryland; and Toronto. Lands' End will
supply all the official NOOD event apparel, as well as have its brand
appear on all staff uniforms, participating boats, NOOD promotional
materials, event programs, advertisements and official event stickers.
Lands' End is a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck and Co. -

* Italy's former Prada (America's Cup) team, now known as Luna Rossa for
their third challenge, have made wholesale crew changes. Australian James
Spithill, who made his name as an assertive starting helmsman with Young
Australia in 2000 and OneWorld in 2003, now steers as Francesco de Angelis
has stepped aside with the American McKee brothers and Kiwi Peter Evans,
joining Spithill's brainstrust. - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph,

* The second annual Wachovia Cup held on October 1-3, grossed over $250,000
for the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla, NY. It is the only
hospital in the country named for a child, a 13 year-old girl from
Greenwich, CT who died of rabies in 1995 after being bitten by a bat. The
event, run in conjunction with the second weekend of American YC's Fall
Series kicked off with a dinner at American YC on Friday night, and was
supported by the Long Island Sound sailing community. -

From my point of view, the single word, 'powerful.' seems like the most
appropriate way to describe David Mercy's new sailing-adventure book,
"Berserk - My voyage to the Antarctic in a twenty-seven foot sailboat." The
title tells you what the book is all about, but it can not possibly convey
the excitement or the gripping drama of this true story. It's a fascinating
tale told by a gifted tale-teller. This book is definitely not about
sailboat racing, but anyone who has ever sailed - and those who have not -
will become quickly immersed in this fast paced adventure story published
by The Lyons Press. It will be a much appreciated Christmas present for
anyone on your list. - The Curmudgeon

The place to be this week is the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis. It's loaded
with boats and accessories for every boater. While there, drop by the
Samson booth to see exciting new products like Lash IT!, White WarpSpeed,
XLS Extra-T and Apex, our new multi-purpose single braid that has everyone
talking. We'll have reps and factory people on hand to talk sailing and
running rigging. See you there.

(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 Manfred C. Schreiber: ISAF should take a step forward and appoint
Olympic Classes which are licensed around the world and which could be
built at any boatyard around the globe buying into this license. It is
politically not correct to appoint "pop out boats" from a single
manufacturer (without competition) who is charging a million for a
fridgedoor. Sailing has to be seen as a technical and physical as well as a
mental sport. Thus the boatbuilding and tuning is linked to the success.

In these days of difficult economics it is a shame that ISAF does not allow
through its politics, small boatyards and businesses to participate and to
develop Olympic Classes as the current discussions revolve around
single-manufacturer equipment or very specialized manufacturers. E.G.
Exciting Skiff classes could be built around the world in stitch and glue
or other easier to make processes than autoclave (Tornado) or expensive
machinery (Surfboards and Laser). National Sailing Authorities must monitor
processing and measurements of course.

* From Jim Barton: Don't kid yourself that that the IASF's criteria for
selecting classes for the Olympics is for the good of the sport. These
national representatives campaign for classes that they think their teams
will have the best chances for a medals. At the administrative level, it's
all about medal count.

* From Jim Mahaffy: When I first got into Sail boat racing it seemed that
the race committees deemed it unmanly to let the racers know who was over
early. I raced in Lido 14's, Stars and Solings. Classes that radios
supposedly weren't legal, however I always carried one in my Soling. As i
started doing more and more RC work I started to feel that what is wrong
with letting someone know that they were OCS, it used to be PMS remember?
Then I started working on the Newport to Ensenada RC where they have called
'overs' for years. The SI's are clear that failure to "hear" the call is no
excuse and someone doesn't get DSQ'd it's an hour penalty. Almost all the
races that I have done for the last several year have called 'overs' either
by radio or loudhailer. Like the Cumudgeon said it's the pits to sail all
day only to find out that you weren't there at all.

* From Mark Pryke, International Race Officer: You are absolutely right. We
should always inform OCS boats ASAP. Some of us have been using the system
for years. There is an interesting variation for small boats when
Organizers don't supply VHF to sailors. Print OCS numbers on a large White
board at first Mark. When Individual Recall has been signaled at start, all
boats look for their number at first Mark. If it is displayed they proceed
upwind to a special Penalty Mark, round it and rejoin the race. There is
much written on the subject and many of us have tested variations on the
system. Those who think they can't make it work are absolutely right. They
can't! Those of us who think we can make it work, can, and do so regularly.

* From Nils Erickson: Does anyone else find it ironic that after the long,
exhaustive search for the perfect European America's Cup venue, the first 2
days of racing in Valencia were delayed and sailed in painfully light
breeze? Is it too late to switch to Cascais?

* From Graham Kelly (On the issue of inflator cartridges and edited to our
250-word limit): Check the USSA Website for a list of carriers that allow
inflator cartridges to be carried on their aircraft
( and follow the link to the
list of carriers.
Transportation Safety Administration rules allow two cartridges to be
carried, but only with a PFD, and only in checked baggage. However, some
carriers do not permit the inflators on their aircraft.

When I flew to the east coast this summer, I was able to determine from the
USSA posting that Southwest Airline tariffs actually do permit the inflator
cartridges, but US Airways, which flew me from Bermuda back to the States,
does not. FWIW, I put a tag on the bag which informed TSA that the PFD &
inflator was in the bag, and put a tag on the PDF, which was packed on the
top of the items in the bag. I also told the agent at check-in that there
was an inflator in the bag. When I arrived in Providence, my bag contained
an "opened for inspection" notice. FWIW, I printed a copy of the SW Airline
tariff that showed that they will carry the inflator, along with a copy of
the USSA notice which showed that they permit the cartridges on their flights.

In Bermuda, I left my inflator cartridge on the boat, for return by mail
after the boat returned to the states. At the airport, the inspector showed
me a basket full of inflator cartriges that had been turned over by earlier

* From Brad Russell (edited to our 250-word limit): When will we learn to
stop being so stubborn about CO2 cylinders? Yes the FAA has said they are
ok, yes some airlines have said they are ok, yes some TSA agents know they
are ok but I wouldn't want to depend on three different organizations
trying to determine whether you can or cannot bring it on 'cause that
individual hasn't seen that regulation before. By the way, even if the FAA
says its ok and you get past TSA security, it's the airline that has final
say what goes on their plane. So, taking your CO2 cartridge out and leaving
it at home along with $3.99 to buy a new one at your destination will save
you allot of grief.

For those that are "What if" minded, we all realize sometimes we travel for
regattas or charters. Yacht clubs and Charters are starting to get the hint
and shouldn't be apposed to offering a new checkbox next to the pre-order
of crew sandwiches and t-shirts; a CO2 cartridge if asked. Sorry, many
friends in that industry are getting such a bad rap for trying to do an
overwhelming job yet dealing with people who scream or degrade them for
something the passenger could have helped prevent by just using their head.
So leave the CO2 cartridge at home and take your shoes off before you go
through the metal detector.

* From Kris Olszewski: Just flew in and out of Providence for the women's
Rolex and didn't even get questioned on my CO2 inflatable pack. I checked
my bag and flew United.

* From Magnus Wheatley: I just wanted to say how fantastic the Official
America's Cup website is, now that streaming audio is playing a part. Matt
Sheahan's daily commentaries/ interviews are required listening, presented
in a concise and accessible format for those of us unlucky enough not to be
at the venue. It's what's been needed in the Cup for some time and who
knows, we may even see live streaming action before the Cup itself and that
really would be something! Well done to AC Management for having the
technical foresight aligned with the investment to really make the website
work. -

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on
both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." - Maya Angelou