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SCUTTLEBUTT 1687 - October 12, 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
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welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Grant Dalton's Emirates Team New Zealand swept its three races on Monday
afternoon on the Gulf of Valencia, leaping to the top of the leaderboard at
the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 2. The Kiwis beat K-Challenge, Luna Rossa
and +39 to go into the final day with a one point lead over Luna Rossa. BMW
Oracle Racing and Team Alinghi, both highly touted teams coming into the
regatta will need to win at least two of their races on Tuesday to threaten
the top of the leaderboard.

It was a tricky day on the Gulf of Valencia with the Southerly sea-breeze
battling against a more Westerly gradient wind. In the middle Flight
especially, this resulted in big opportunities for gains and losses on the
race course. The final pairing in flight two was a dramatic encounter
between +39 and Le Defi. In the fluky conditions the leading boat was never
confident as time and again the trailing boat found wind that didn't reach
the leader. On the final run to the finish both boats eventually were
forced to drop their spinnakers and the wind died completely with the pair
just metres from the finishing line. Skipper Iain Percy on +39 was the
luckier man on the day, and found just enough breeze to slide across the
finishing line, leaving a frustrated Philippe Presti helpless and adrift.

For the final flight on the day, the sea-breeze died off, the gradient wind
returned at 10-12 knots, and normal service resumed, with each of the top
four teams prevailing in their races. Racing continues on Tuesday with
Flights 5, 6 and 7 to conclude the second Round Robin, and the Valencia
Louis Vuitton Act 2. -

Round Robin Two - Flight 2
Emirates Team New Zealand defeated K-Challenge - 1:09
BMW Oracle Racing defeated +39 - 1:45
Luna Rossa defeated Alinghi - 0:14
Le Defi defeated Team Shosholoza - 0:58

Round Robin Two - Flight 3
BMW Oracle Racing defeated Team Shosholoza - 1:24
Emirates Team New Zealand defeated Luna Rossa - 6:18
+39 defeated Le Defi 2:39
Team Alinghi defeated K-Challenge 3:23

Round Robin Two - Flight 4
Luna Rossa defeated Le Defi 2:39 - 1:08
Team Alinghi defeated Team Shosholoza - 1:17
BMW Oracle Racing defeated K-Challenge - 2:06
Emirates Team New Zealand defeated +39 - 3:17

Emirates Team New Zealand - 10 pts
Luna Rossa - 9 pts
BMW Oracle Racing - 8 pts
Team Alinghi - 8 pts
Le Defi - 4 pts
K-Challenge 3 pts
+39 - 2 pts
Team Shosholoza - 0 pts

There were some very close calls (Monday) between some of the most unlikely
pairings. Most exciting and potentially upsetting was the match between
Shosholoza and BMW Oracle when the South Africans rolled the Americans not
once, but twice on two downwind legs. They nearly beat the American's
across the finish line too but were unlucky as the wind died on them in the
closing stages of the last leg. After the event and at the mixed zone,
there were smiles on both sides. Geoff Meek, skipper of Shosholoza could do
nothing conceal his delight at getting so close, while BMW Oracle's
tactician John Kostecki was smiling with relief. Both had had time to think
about their reaction and decide what to say, but sometimes what you see,
really is what you get - at least it was today. - Matthew Sheahan, Yachting
World, full story:

Dunedin (NZ) -based Animation Research has scored the big one - a
multimillion-dollar, multi-year contract to supply the graphics for the
next America's Cup regatta. ARL will provide its real time 3D animation
graphics software for television, internet and new media applications
through to and including the main event in 2007. ARL's win is a blow to the
new Bermudan owners of Virtual Spectator, whose brand was entwined with the
America's Cup graphics. Virtual Spectator started out as a joint venture
between ARL and Auckland new media company Terabyte Interactive. Its
financial backers, New Zealand and United States venture firms, put it into
receivership after the 2001 America's Cup and sold its technology.

Despite its involvement in Virtual Spectator, ARL continued to supply
graphics of the regattas to television as a separate business and developed
its own engines for internet delivery. Managing director Ian Taylor said
the ARL-Seanet partnership provided graphics for lead-up races in San
Francisco, Newport and Marseilles. Staff are the Act 2 and 3 regattas being
staged in Valencia. "America's Cup Management is also rolling out a major
weather project, so we are talking about having access to the weather data,
so the graphics and the story we tell are better." Taylor said the project
would leave ARL in a position to roll out a complete service for sports
events, including high-speed internet delivery, wireless networking,
equipment for boats, graphic feeds for media, television and mobile
devices, as well as all the timing and scoring. - Adam Gifford, NZ Herald,
full story:

At all the regattas around the world, just look at what the crews are
wearing. It is no surprise that the Camet Padded Shorts, Bermuda Shorts,
Cargo Shorts and Pants are everywhere, from dinghy sailors to the Farr
40's, Maxi's and cruisers. The comfort of the pads, the reinforced Cordura
seat, the quick drying breathable Supplex fabrics and the 97.5% UV
protection provide the solution to hours on the water. Check out the
Shorts, Coolmax shirts, Neoprene Hiking pants, Bubble Tops, Rash Guards and
Mylar bags on the Camet web site:

Bob Merrick has been nominated by President Janet Baxter to chair US
Sailing's Olympic Committee … subject to approval by the association's
Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting in two weeks. Merrick represented
the USA at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where he won the silver medal
in the 470 Men's event with skipper Paul Foerster. Presently, as the
chairman of US Sailing's Sailor Athlete Council, Merrick serves on the
association's Executive Committee.

"I am firmly committed to making significant change in the way we manage
our Olympic Program," Merrick said. "My most macro goal is to put a
passionate, energetic and fresh face and voice on Olympic Sailing in the
US. Obviously there is plenty more to do beyond that, and you'll be hearing
more over the next few weeks and months."

Four decades ago, when Gonzalo Diaz Sr. was preparing to flee Cuba for the
U.S. with his family, he knew he wouldn't be allowed to carry anything but
the clothes on his back. But there was no way he was going to leave behind
his pride and joy -- a wooden, 15 1/2-foot Snipe sailboat. So Diaz
practiced a bit of trickery. He sold his Snipe to a "friend" in Canada.
Unlike the U.S., Canada had trade relations with Cuba. When Diaz arrived in
Florida, he re-purchased the Snipe. Or at least that's how it appeared to
Cuban authorities.

Augie Diaz was 8 years old at the time and fondly recalls his father's
gutsy sleight of hand. "The whole thing was a set-up -- that's how he got
his boat out," said Diaz, now 50. "If somebody had blown the whistle, he
would have ended up in jail." Now 74, Gonzalo passed on his passion for
sailing -- Snipe sailing in particular -- to his sons Augie and Gonzalo Jr.
This week, all three will be in Jacksonville for the Snipe North American
sailing championship on the St. Johns River out of the Florida Yacht Club.
- Joe Julavits, The Times-Union, full story:

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

* Following a series of evaluation events in Cadiz (ESP), Torbole (ITA) and
Hayling Island and Queen Mary Reservoir (GBR), the ISAF Olympic Windsurfing
Equipment Evaluation Team, headed by American Rich Jefferies, has chosen
their recommendation for the 2008 Games - the Niel Pryde RS-X board and
associated equipment. The most recent four day trials took place at two GBR
venues, and the 14 test sailors represented a good cross-section of racing
windsurfer sailors. Standards ranged from Olympic medallists to Youth Squad
sailors; weight from 60kg to 100kg; and sailor experience covered both
Formula and long-boards. Full report:

* Five of the top eight skippers on the current Swedish Match Tour
leaderboard are among the eight seeded skippers for the championship round
of the King Edward VII Gold Cup scheduled Oct. 19-25 in Bermuda. The
skippers include Ed Baird, Peter Gilmour, Russell Coutts, Dennis Conner,
James Spithill, Staffan Lindberg, Mathieu Richard and Björn Hansen. The
eight seeds will be paired against eight crews who advanced from the
qualifier regatta in the three days prior to the championship round. -

* Changing Times - all but one of the early bird entries for the Centennial
Transpac Race (July 2005) have filed their entry form online from a
computer. The Notice of Race is also posted online on the race website:

* In its eighth year, the Superyacht Cup provided a rare opportunity for
superyacht owners to relax and enjoy sailing their yachts in the company of
fellow owners, with a reassuringly safe form of racing, in an atmosphere of
informal competition and camaraderie. Seventeen yachts came to Palma de
Mallorca, joined this year by Paul Elvström, for three pursuit races in
perfect conditions. Photo gallery:

* With the Global Challenge fleet split into two distinct leading groups,
four boats to the west and five boats to the east. It's a case of the
westerly yachts getting richer with the top yachts taking advantage of the
light winds at better angles - their boat speeds up to 7.9 knots compared
to just 3.1 at the back of the fleet. SAIC La Jolla is still enjoying first
place prestige with Samsung just 6 miles behind. VAIO is in 3rd, whilst
Imagine It. -

* Bright sunshine and a light breeze greeted the 270-boat fleet this
morning for the opening day's racing of the Hanseatic Lloyd Dragon 75th
anniversary regatta in St Tropez. Unfortunately what little wind there was
earlier on in the day disappeared as the fleets left the port leaving the
race officer little choice other than to postpone the starts for nearly two
hours until a breeze filled in from the north-east. - Sue Pelling, Yachting
World, full story:

* According to a press release, more than 10 million Italians tuned in
their TVs last weekend to watch Aussie super maxi Alfa Romeo beat 1,960
other yachts in the 36th annual Barcolana Cup. "The combination of nearly
2000 competitors, hundreds of thousands of people watching the event from
the coast and spectator yachts and ten million people on TV give this event
an atmosphere that is quite unique," said Alfa Romeo skipper, Neville Crichton.

Olympics should err on the side of "Talent not Technology". The corollary
of that is that it is the athlete that is important not the Class or
Format. In fact the sailors will sail whatever class that is picked on the
courses decided, and the best sailors still win no matter what ISAF
prescribes. It is personalities that the Olympic Media wants, not the
high-tech aspects or speed of the equipment. The Olympics are for
individuals and are nationalistic.

Olympics are not meant to be representative of the total sport but are only
meant to show a piece of each sport's spectrum. There appears to be NO move
to replace any class except in Windsurfing. With 11 Events, ISAF can
accommodate some classes where technology is a factor but the focus in at
least 5 of the 11 should be on supplied, equal, simple equipment. The
classes should be chosen where accommodating all sizes of sailor is the
priority. Excerpts from observations by ISAF President Paul Henderson
posted on the ISAF website. Full text:

Serious dinghy and one-design racers can stop waiting. New England Ropes'
new Flight Line is a super lightweight, high strength, low stretch double
braid line with a beefy core of 100% Dyneema surrounded by a polyolefin
jacket. The cover is strippable to expose the color-coded core beneath,
making splicing and tapering effortless. Flight Line floats indefinitely
and comes in four colors to make rigging any small boat easy: Red, Green,
Yellow, and Blue. Flight Line is available in 3, 8, and 10mm, and can be
purchased through leading marine retailers and professional riggers. For
more information: 800-333-6679 or

(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 Richard Goldsmith: The OCS recall has evolved from use in long ocean
races into fleet racing of the day sailing type. Team Racing Sailing
instructions allow it and that's the problem many PRO's miss. If you want
to use the option then put it in the sailing instructions so everyone is in
no doubt how it will work. Delaying the announcement for a period of time,
creates a penalty by itself and encourages, crews to be not so frisky on
the line for small gains ie Sydney Hobart.

* From Bob Meagher III: Important safety tip: when turned away by the
screeners due to a charged CO2 canister in your luggage, do not walk back
into the crowded terminal, remove the web vest, wrap it around yourself,
and reach for the ripcord to discharge it. I will never forget the look on
that poor woman's face!

* From Richard Collins: Mr. Moore's tale of leaving his CO2 in Providence
reminded me of losing both of mine (the PFD one and the spare in my shaving
kit) to "officials" at the Hamilton, airport when returning from the
Bermuda race. It seemed they knew the sailors all had them and as a result
were targeting and seizing quite a collection. Same thing happened to me
leaving Key West after race week.

Anyone know which land fill they use to dispose of them? or, do you suppose
the TSA just recycles them by selling their bounty to the safety teams of
the airlines to use in their own PFD's? Well, at least the local West
Marines are happy to keep their stock fresh by selling more to us
unfortunate recipients of the zealous guardians of our borders and
airspace. I just wonder who will shoulder the guilt if some poor person who
was forced to tender his cartridge to the TSA pre-boarding "expert" ends up
drowning for failing to remember his PFD was without a cartridge.

* From George Chapman (re CO2 cartages): So you think you have problems
your side of the pond? Over here (UK) we can't even get one airline to be
consistent. Ryaniar's website (if you follow convoluted links to get to the
means of complaint) says that faxed complaints will be acknowledged within
seven days, and should only be transmitted once, but the attached letter
dated 15th August has yet to produce a peep.

* From David Grober: I've been in Valencia here since last Thursday, and
it's been quite good - sailing and the venue. It's obvious that ACM and
everyone connected has really pitched to make a great event. Team
Shosholosa has turned out to be the human interest story. Everyone has
loved watching this team get out there and put their best spinnaker
forward, even if it may be the oldest sail in the fleet, and they've been
all smiles and wonderful to be around. Then today they had the match of the
series with BMW/Oracle. The final delta does nothing to represent the race.
They lead BMW/Oracle a good part of the race, and up in the press room
virtually everyone was rooting for them. Their skipper, Geoff Meek even
commented that as they passed the Oracle media boat, everyone was clapping
and someone held out a South African flag. I think it says a lot about the
commraderie of the friendly competition (at this point) that has developed
among the teams. I think AC 2007 is getting off to a great start.

* From Russell Painton: Regarding the question put by John Sherwood as to
why Olympic classes are less popular among the general public than other
classes, let me put in my two cents worth. As an old (emphasis on "old")
Flying Dutchman sailor, I, and the rest of the permanent skippers in the
class, watched the periodic invasion of the "professional" sailors into the
class, who all aspired to sail in the Olympics. This invasion utterly
destroyed any chance the class had to attract and keep the newer sailors,
indeed, even the weekend warriors. It is no wonder that most established
classes do not want their class designated as an Olympic class. The current
Olympic classes have been such for so long a period of time that the
sailors in them now are, to a large extent all "professionals". The newer
Olympic classes never had the chance to attract the weekend warriors, being
designated as Olympic classes right out of the box, and thus never suffered
the fate of the other classes that were so designated after having
established themselves among the "regular" sailors.

Since sailboat racing is the only sport in the world (to my knowledge) that
permits the "professionals" to race in the same races as the "amateurs" on
equal terms, perhaps this also explains, in large part, the demise of
sailboat racing that I have observed over my 50 years of participation.

* From John Green (re Snipe as an Olympic class): Having grown up learning
how to race Snipes competitively in Singapore more years ago than I would
like to remember, I was very disappointed to find the class unheard of down
here in Australia and New Zealand. The Snipe is arguably the best pure
tactical racing boats around, and the thought of the Snipe finally getting
the recognition it deserves brings me out in goose bumps. If the Snipe is
successful, it will certainly bring me off the big boats and back to dinghy

* From Toby Cooper: Don't know if it was on purpose, but the October 11
Curmudgeon's Conundrum referencing an aphorism on Superman comes on the
heels of the death of Christopher Reeve last Saturday. What an amazingly
gifted man he was. I will never forget a short TV segment I caught during
the 1984 LA Olympics, in which Reeve took a TV reporter for a sail on his
Swan for the purpose of explaining the sailing events to a presumably
uninformed public audience. He explained how a boat sails, tacking to a
weather mark, jibing, even windshifts, all in a manner so lucid and crystal
clear that even the most sailing-challenged viewers couldn't help but come
away with a solid understanding of racing basics. The world lost a quiet
genius and a pillar of courage.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Unfortunately, we found out about Reeve's passing
shortly after yesterday's issue was sent to the mail server - too late to
change the conundrum.

Cannibal: Someone who is fed up with people.