Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1686 - October 11, 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.

On Saturday, Valencia put on a fabulous day for racing with plenty of wind
and sunshine. It was a lively day on the race course with up to 24 knots by
day's end and plenty of carnage to go with it. The heavy-air conditions
meant that five of the 12 matches involved just one boat, with one team
either retiring after the start, or unable to finish the match due to
equipment problems. Emirates Team New Zealand had a 3-0 day, beating Le
Defi and +39 by big margins and picking up a win when Team Shosholoza could
not start.

Luna Rosa also went 3-0, beating two teams that could not finish (+39 and
Le Defi) and then squeaking out a nail-biter with BMW Oracle Racing. In
that race, BMWO's Gavin Brady started prematurely but restarted and
immediately began chewing into Luna Rossa's huge lead. The American
syndicate finally surged past the Italians when the spinnaker on Luna Rossa
burst in the strong wind. BMW Oracle crossed the line just two seconds
ahead of Luna Rossa, but dragged their spinnaker sheet over the finish line
mark, incurring a penalty which handed the race to the Italians.

In BMW Oracle's race with Alinghi, the two boats were head to head up the
first beat, but USA 71 got the benefit of a massive left shift that shot
them ahead of Alinghi by four boat lengths at the first windward mark.
Trailing the American team around the second windward mark, Team Alinghi
blew its spinnaker just after the hoist, giving the race to BMW Oracle Racing.

On Sunday, the West wind was simply too strong to allow racing to start,
and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio shut down competition for the day.
"It's not right for these boats to sail in these conditions. We've been in
touch with each of the teams and unfortunately, we have to make this
decision," Reggio said. "I have had an average of 24 knots of wind blowing
measured at 6-metres above the water on the Committee Boat, with long gusts
of over 30 knots. The masts on these boats are over 30-metres high and it's
a lot windier up there!"

Although there are no hard wind limits in the 32nd America's Cup that would
pre vent racing, the teams and the Race Committee are very conscious of the
fact that these boats have been built to a rule where racing in these
conditions would have been prohibited. Serious equipment damage is a very
real possibility when the wind is so strong. "We have a long way to go, and
we don't need to damage the fleet unnecessarily," Reggio concluded. -

Leader board after eight races:
Luna Rossa - 7 pts
Emirates Team New Zealand - 7 pts
Team Alinghi - 6 pts
BMW Oracle Racing -5 pts
Le Defi - 3 pts
K-Challenge - 3 pts
Team Shosholoza - 0 pts

Alinghi TV offers an analysis of the day's racing even before journalists
are able to do their post racing interviewing. To tune into Alinghi TV each
day during Acts 2 & 3, at 1730 (GMT+2), log onto SUI 64
will have just arrived at the dock in front of the Alinghi base. Jochen
Schuemann jumps off the boat, his face covered in salt from the day's
racing, and strolls over to meet Bernard Schopfer, director of
communications for the team. Racing finished less than half an hour ago,
barely enough time for the sailing team to be towed back into the Valencia

Bernard has in one hand the day's results, and in the other, a cordless
microphone that enables good sound quality amid the noise of the travel
lift and business involved in cleaning SUI 64 after a day on the water. Jon
Bilger, Alinghi's weather "guru" weather joins Jochen and Bernard. A ten
minute interview follows and at the same time, people all over the world
are connected online to Alinghi TV. For those which cannot watch online
live, Alinghi TV provides a replay. Filed on the Alinghi website, the
replays are being watched by as many as a thousand people each day during
Acts 2 & 3.

Yep, The Pirate's Lair does their gear also. For graphic design, ad design,
tees, polos, bow stickers, signage, boat graphics and more: Log on to

Spain, Britain and an additional U.S. challenge look like the next ones to
line up for a chance at winning the America's Cup, and their deadline to
announce a challenge is December. European ports in Italy and Germany will
also see Cup racing during the next three years in a series of pre-regattas
before returning to Valencia, America's Cup Management, the event
organizers, plans one more pre-regatta in the U.S. before 2007, and Miami
is favored. ''Miami is a great place for Cup sailing, particularly as the
city is so close to the Gulf Stream,'' said America's Cup Hall of Fame
sailor and tactician for the Swiss Team Alinghi, Brad Butterworth. ''The
Mediterranean is quite benign, and I am afraid many of our races will be
sailed in light air,'' Butterworth said. - Laurie Fullerton, Miami Herald,

GBR Challenge faces a race against time to find a sponsor Britain's ailing
America's Cup bid for 2007 may be set to receive fresh impetus from
sailing-mad tycoon Charles Dunstone, boss of Carphone Warehouse. The
withdrawal of the HSBC bank as a potential title sponsor has left GBR
Challenge in a race against time to raise funds for a new campaign. But
Dunstone is working on an idea to use GBR Challenge as a vehicle for a
leading humanitarian charity. "It has been well received and has changed
people's thinking," he said.

The plan is to offer naming rights to the charity and then to offer other
sponsorship opportunities to commercial companies. Dunstone told The Sunday
Times: "The idea we are trying to get across is to use the team and the
America's Cup to do something positive. From a company's point of view it
ticks a lot of their boxes - corporate social responsibility, humanitarian
work and brand awareness in one package." But GBR Challenge are aware time
is running out - the later a team leaves it, the later they are able to
look at signing top crews and develop their boats, sails and equipment. -
BBC Sport,

Tracy Edwards' travails will intensify today in the High Court in London,
when the first of two actions brought by her former financial director will
be heard. The second is due before an Employment Tribunal in Croydon on
Wednesday. A fortnight ago, Edwards was confident that she had put her
personal financial difficulties behind her, announcing in Doha that she had
sold her 110 foot catamaran, the purchase loans for which had created her
debt, and that her Oryx Quest round-the-world multihull race would start on
Feb 5 with Tony Bullimore, Loick Peyron and Olivier de Kersauson as firm

The new actions brought by Gregory Browne are believed to relate to the
time he was financial director of Quest International Sports Events Ltd,
the company organizing the race. Browne is a one third owner of QISE, with
Edwards and Mike Noel-Smith also holding a third share each. Edwards is
already involved in three other actions: two in the UK with Andrew Pindar
and one in France where she and Bruno Peyron, organiser of The Race, are
suing each other. - Excerpts from a story by Tim Jeffery in The Daily
Telegraph, full story:

There's nothing quite like steering a sleek, fast boat with a light touch
on the tiller, being close to the water and sliding through waves with
barely a wake or whisper. If the joy of sailing is your priority, then the
new J/100 may be just about perfect!

* Controversy swept the Global Challenge fleet Friday afternoon as seven of
the 12 yacht crews were informed of the race committee's intention to
protest them for a rules infringement. The committee believes that
Barclays, BG Spirit, BP Explorer, Save the Children, Pindar, SAIC and Team
Stelmar all disobeyed the general sailing instructions by cutting across
the Ushant Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) on day two of the race. The
international jury will hear the protest in Buenos Aires. If it is upheld,
they may choose to dock a point from teams, one point being equivalent to
one place. - Elaine Bunting, Yachting World, full story:

* The Storm Trysail Club ran one of the biggest-ever collegiate regattas
when 28 teams totaling 200 sailors raced big boats at Larchmont Yacht Club.
STC's race committee ran six windward-leeward races in two days. The first
five races were sailed in 8-10 knots of breeze and the last race saw winds
between 14-18. The three class winners were Navy sailing the J/109 Patriot
in Class 1, Georgetown defended their title from last year in Class 2
sailing the Express 37 Lora Ann and the US Merchant Marine Academy won
Class 3 sailing the J/105 Andiamo. -

* Bruce Schwab dove under his Open 60 and found that the damage from his
collisions during the delivery to the start of the Vendee Globe Race was
not severe. However, the boat still needs to be hauled out to do minor
repairs for some abrasions and re-glass the keel winglets. Longtime Schwab
supporter Serge Martial has made an emergency loan of $50,000 to help get
Schwab to the starting line, so Schwab is now looking for contributions to
repay the loan. -

* While the AC syndicates in Valencia took a day off from racing on Friday,
Oracle Racing's syndicate head and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison flew to the US
and testified before a Delaware Chancery Court judge in a trial in which
Oracle is seeking to block a PeopleSoft anti-takeover defense. After he
left the courthouse on Friday, Ellison flew back to Spain and sailed in all
three races on Saturday. - NY Times, full story:

(Olympic sailor Ian Percy, helmsman for the Italian +39 syndicate is very
much in the news these days. Following are some of his quotes from the many
interviews he's given this past week.)

* "One thing I keep on needing to remind myself is that it's safety first.
When you're in the heat of the battle in these races, it's about not
damaging the boat and more importantly not damaging people. I'm learning
this lesson very quickly, particularly coming from small boats where the
loads are never so big that they're dangerous. On a day like today the
noise involved - it doesn't half bring it home to you the loads in these
boats. You don't want something breaking and it killing someone. The real
noise when you let out the mainsheet is deafening. I remember I was out in
New Zealand having a coffee and I heard Team New Zealand bearing away and
they must have been three miles away. I can't make myself heard sometimes."
- From a story by Matthew Sheahan on the Yachting World website,

* "In the light wind it feels like an underpowered juggernaut, but as soon
as there's some breeze up, you feel like you are on a juggernaut going
along at 100 mph - it's powerful, powerful. The match-racing game is so
different. It's about one-on-one and watching the other guy, and at the
moment, it's still a little bit more about avoiding being kippered for me
than looking at opportunities to attack the other guy." From a story by
Edward Gorman on the Times Online website,,,2094-1302243,00.html

* "This is a huge management exercise. Even with so many egos involved, it
can be easy to lead the team. It just depends on the people in it but, yes,
you could say the lunatics are definitely in charge of the asylum. We are
also seeing an Olympic generation coming to the fore, one that has only
ever sailed. I have never done any formal work." - - From a story by Stuart
Alexander on the Independent website,

* "I really do struggle with the big bus and a tiny rudder, but there are
certainly some techniques I need to learn about re-attaching the flow. But
it's just one of the problems that we've had to cope with so far. We're not
only new to the boat, but we're new to match racing so there's a massive
area to work on. But it's not so much knowing the moves, it's more about
when how these boats work. How they accelerate, when to dump the main and
when it needs to come on in order to let me do what I want to do with the
boat. We need to get that kind of communication and understanding up to
speed. Here we've got a language issue as well, for some of the crew
English isn't their first language. - From a story by Matthew Sheahan on
the Yachting World website,

Skin that doesn't burn, butts that don't bruise and smiling unskinned
knees. Sailing Angles protective activewear takes your enthusiasm for the
sport seriously, and their gear protects you from your untamed desire to
get out there and win without suffering the consequences. Pain is slow!
Padded double seated sailing shorts and longs, UV blocking shirts, knee
sleeves are just a few of the many great designs that can save your hide,
plus help you get out front and stay there. Just ask gold medalist Kevin
Burnham! Look for Sailing Angles products at APS, Layline, Team One, and

(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 Ted Beier, E Scow Class Rules Chairman: The E Scow class has been
experimenting with / using VHF radios for RC - competitor communications
for over ten years at the national championship regatta. The competitors
like it, and we have better, more efficient race operations. We designate a
conpetitor channel, and then ALL RC communication is broadcast on that
channel from leaving harbor through the announcement of OCS boats after the
start. Thus the competitors not only get notified of OCS boats, but hear
the chatter about wind behavior, setting the weather mark, time calls down
to the sequence, the prep flag(s) to be used, and the chatter while setting
the line. Even on fast, relatively wet boats as an E Scow, the sailors are
able to keep the radios dry enough to remain functioning.

With between 60 and 80 28 foot boats on a starting line approaching 1/2
mile in length, the competitors like the information because they cannot
get everywhere to sample the big weather picture before the race, and have
agreed the radio use makes for a much better regatta. Since we have been
using this practice, the number of recalls, protests, and redress requests
has diminished significantly. In the trend to "kindlier RC - competitor
relations", I would recommend this to any RC that is sufficiently confident
of the quality of its operations to let the world listen.

* From Dave Bandstra: The only thing worse than sailing all day and then
finding out you never started is getting buried/covered/fouled by a boat
that was unaware he never started. A race committee's efforts to hail OCS
boats is in everyone's best interests.

* From John Christman: (Inflatable Life Jackets on airplanes) Unfortunately
this problem is inconsistently applied at airports. I had a similar
experience returning from the 2002 Pacific Cup. I knew there was a specific
exemption in the hazardous cargo regulations allowing you to carry a
self-inflating life jacket. After all, these are what they put under your
seat! I was firm with the security folks (but polite as you should be when
confronted by people carrying automatic weapons) that it was exempt. After
a similar wait, a supervisor somewhere finally figured it out. When I
returned home I found the exemption in both the CFRs AND in the FAA
Security Training manual. I took a permanent marker and wrote the citation
on my lifejacket for the next time.

The only caveat is that the 'aircraft operator' must approve and it's worth
a call to the airline when you make your reservations. However, airport
security and the airplane operator are two different groups so you should
always be able to get through security.

The regulation reads: "With the approval of the aircraft operator, one
small carbon dioxide cylinder fitted into a self-inflating lifejacket, plus
one spare cartridge, may be carried by a passenger or crewmember in checked
or carry-on baggage." FAA National Operations and Training Manual for the
Acceptance and Transport of Dangerous Goods in Air Transportation, Appendix
E, item 25 (
CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Title 49 Part 175.10(a)(25)

* From Ken Wallingford: Perhaps Yacht Clubs hosting regattas to which
people are flying to can start a "Loaner Program" for CO2 cartridges. Turn
you cartridge in at your local Yacht club for a "receipt" which would be
honored by the hosting Yacht Club for a replacement. At the end of the
regatta, simply turn the loaner back in for another receipt. These
"receipts" could be in the form of a laminated card, plastic credit card or
poker chip. A competitor could carry several receipts around in their gear
bag for use as needed instead of an actual CO2 cartridge or running to the
local chandlery between races.

In light of Graham Kelly's experience ('butt 1685) an enterprising Yacht
Club might be able to start their pool by contacting officials at their
local airport and asking for the cartridges passengers have elected to
leave behind. This would save the TSA the cost of disposal.

* From George Bailey: The inflator issue shows how politics and ignorance
rather than reason and science govern some airline policies. What do you
think is under every single seat in every commercial aircraft?

* 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 Chris Ericksen: One of the News Briefs in 'Butt 1685 said that the
boats in the Global Challenge were past Finisterre--a cape at the extreme
northwest corner of the Iberian (Spanish) Peninsula (for anyone who might
be geographically challenged) and which name means "end of the land"--and
that the boats are roaring along "following the tail end of Hurricane
Lisa." An attendee at the Snipe Europeans in Brittany this summer reported
that racing was blown out by the remains of Hurricane Charley, the same one
that hit the East Coast of North America. Is it common for hurricanes to
cross the Atlantic into Europe after having been in the Western Hemisphere?
Perhaps a meteorologically gifted Butthead can comment on this, as I (for
one) was unaware that hurricanes did this.

How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when
someone threw a gun at him?