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SCUTTLEBUTT 1688 - October 13, 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
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welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Last Saturday, halfway up the opening weather leg of Corinthian Yacht Club
of Seattle's One Design Fleet Championships, the J-24 Quicksilver was
caught aback and auto-tacked. The wind was 20+ with higher puffs and
unstable and shifty. Quicksilver capsized and quickly turned turtle. All
the crew were in the water, some holding onto the boat others floating
free. All but the skipper were wearing PFDs, and one of the crew wearing an
inflatable supported the skipper in the water.

Here's the good news. The entire J-24 class immediately stopped racing and
turned to the rescue. The RC spotted all the headsails coming down, saw the
boat in trouble through binoculars and sent two whalers and called the
Coast Guard. Three different J's picked up three crew and the largest
whaler picked up the skipper and the other crew. There was some confusion
making sure that everyone had been picked up as boats did not have radios
on board. People were calling back and forth "We've got one!" until it was
clear all were safe. The Coast Guard showed up very quickly, but all were
safe by then. All the J's did their rescues while sailing under main, and
all rescues were done on the weather side. "Instant life slings" were made
from life jackets and spare sheets. The whole fleet sailed back to the
marina, shared warm clothing with the rescued crew and got them to the
showers at the club. The entire class mutually agreed to abandon racing for
the day.

Here's the bad news. After self-righting, Quicksilver briefly stayed
upright with sails luffing and three to six inches of free-board. The boat
then slowly "burped" air and laid over on its side, floating first bow up,
then bow down. When the CG arrived, the bow was under water, and it was
clearly unsafe and too late to put a person aboard to start pumping. The
boat sank in about 10 minutes in several hundred feet of water.

Lessons learned (or relearned). This was the third J-24 I've seen sink. The
first two were on the SF Bay some years ago on a very windy day. They'd
gone out to practice after all races were abandoned due to high winds and
got in trouble while flying kites. All three sinkings have similarities
though. Water got down below through the companionways and the cockpit
hatches either flopped open or let air out. I have sailed J's for years and
the boat is a great one-design. But people should be aware that in a breeze
the cockpit hatches should be locked shut or, better, sealed. The
companionway board should be put in place and the hatch shut (the
companionway launch system hinders this). Having radios on board is useful
for more things than calling over-earlies. And wear PFDs (most of my crew
wasn't)! - Steve Johnson

Valencia Spain, 12th October - Emirates Team New Zealand is the winner of
Act 2 of the 32nd America's Cup after all racing was cancelled on Tuesday.
Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio managed to squeeze off the first Flight
on the schedule just after noon in a light Westerly breeze, but the wind
soon died, and the leg time limit of 40-minutes expired for all of the
matches, forcing them to be abandoned.

The Race Committee and the teams stayed out on the Gulf of Valencia most of
the afternoon in hope that the wind would build enough to allow racing, but
their patience was in vain, and racing was cancelled for the day just after
15:30. As there are no more race days left for Act 2, each team is awarded
one half point for matches not raced, as dictated under the Rules. With
every team receiving a further 1.5 points, the leaderboard is unchanged
from Monday.

The result leaves Emirates Team New Zealand alone at the top with 11.5
points, one point clear of Luna Rossa. The Kiwis are perhaps fortunate to
escape second Round Robin matches with Team Alinghi and BMW ORACLE Racing,
although they can rightly point out that they beat both of those teams in
the first Round Robin and defeated the Italian Luna Rossa in Round Robin
Two, thus earning their status at the top. Luna Rossa was the only top team
to beat the Kiwis. Luna Rossa is the other team to claim defeats over each
of the other 'big three' across the two Round Robins, but its loss to the
Kiwis on Monday in a light air match is the difference between first and
second place.

The Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 3, a four-day Fleet Racing regatta is due to
begin on Thursday, with seven races scheduled through Sunday. There is no
racing on Wednesday. -

Act 2 Final Results:
Emirates Team New Zealand - 11.5 pts
Luna Rossa - 10.5 pts
BMW Oracle Racing - 9.5 pts
Team Alinghi - 9.5 pts
Le Defi - 5.5 pts
K-Challenge - 4.5 pts
+39 -3.5 pts
Team Shosholoza - 1.5 pts

ACT TWO COMMENTARY - Matthew Sheahan
The real surprise was to see the top two teams occupying third and fourth
places. For BMW Oracle the issue was simple one according to their helmsman
Gavin Brady. "We dropped the ball a couple of times and then we didn't get
all the races in, so you really couldn't afford to lose those matches," he

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the fall from the previously dominant
position for Cup holders Alinghi. To see them finish fourth must be the
biggest surprise of all for many. Has the team fallen apart? Not according
to Jochen Schuemann. "When you are a winner in your sport you may have
great wins and great victories, but there will have been plenty of losses
where you have learned what not to do through experience," he said. "In
Auckland we went out and practiced more times than just about any other
team. This time we haven't practiced and in sport you better do some
practice if you want to win."

Which perhaps gives us a clue as to what the real goals of the team were at
the start and will further fuel the growing belief that Alinghi might just
be back-pedalling. In many ways they have good reason to do so, as showing
their hand at this stage offers little purpose in their long term game. But
that's not to say that the team are under control and on top of things.
There's certainly an atmosphere of mild disarray and disorientation around
the normally slick and sophisticated team. No money for new gear, no
training and the loss of their top helmsman seems to have taken its toll.
But just as you think they've lost their sense of humour, Schuemann comes
out with a corker when asked how many men it will take to replace Russell
Coutts. "Oh, I don't think he was that heavy, so hopefully not too many!" -
To read the rest of this story by Matthew Sheahan posted on the Yachting
World website:

What if your tactician or navigator could have full view and control of the
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the other things you can do with it, look at

Although the OzBoyz Challenge sailing team is not competing in the 2004 Pre
Regattas in Marseille and Valencia, the syndicate's Sebastien Destremau has
been active in discussions and meetings in Europe over the past four
months. The OzBoyz Challenge has been seeking and negotiating with numerous
potential sponsors. The marketing team has assured significant financial
commitment from 'Epoxy' and 'Kevlar' tier sponsors. However, the main focus
is on securing the necessary major sponsor (Titanium / Carbon) to ensure
the ultimate success of the project. 'With a deadline date of the 15th
December 'all hands are on deck' to confirm with interested corporates
their level of commitment so that the OzBoyz Challenge budget is secured.'
- Excerpts from a story posted on the Sail-World website, full story:

* In what was reported as an "industry first," KiteShip has offered a
money-back guarantee on it's free-flying sailing kites. "If, after 15 hours
flying time, your boat is not faster than an identical boat, with the same
size spinnaker, in the same conditions (minimum average wind speed 10
knots), we will cheerfully buy back your kite. We reserve only the right to
be aboard during the test," said President Dave Culp. These kites are flown
from the deck, not from the mast, and reportedly are less prone to
spinnaker broaches, bow burying and high speed control issues. -

* There is no shortage of Kiwi sailing influence in Valencia. Of the eight
teams competing in the second cup pre-regatta, five have New Zealand
sailors. Emirates Team New Zealand, defenders Alinghi and Chris Dickson's
BMW Oracle Racing are full of Kiwis, Peter Evans, Daniel Fong and Andrew
Taylor are with Team Luna Rossa and Cameron Appleton, Peter Merrington and
Paul Murray are sailing with France's K-Challenge. NZ Herald,

* Small sailboats from 8 to 14 feet are fueling a renewed interest in
sailing, drawing many to the sport along Florida's west coast and
rekindling interest in racing basic boats, according to a story in today's
Fort Myers News-Press. About 2.6 million Americans climbed aboard a
sailboat more than once in 2003, according to a participation survey by the
National Sporting Goods Association. The News-Press said a new group is
emerging on the waterways composed of adults and seniors who are fed up
with paying $10-per-foot dock fees and $5,000 a year on maintenance and
repairs for larger sailboats. -

* Kokomo, a 52m (170ft) sloop began construction in at Alloy Yachts
International, Auckland New Zealand. Kokomo will be built to Lloyds
Classification and The Large Yacht Code. The design from Dubois Naval
Architects has created a performance sloop with large living spaces and
extensive accommodation. She has a beam of 10.2m (33.5ft) She will draw
4.9m (16.1ft) and has a design displacement of 340 tons. Kokomo will be
fitted with a carbon fibre mast, and in boom furling. The yacht will be
launched in August 2006.-

* New Suffolk, NY. - The running of the Peconic Bay Sailing Association's
11th Whitebread attracted 105 boats this past weekend. It's a unique 35
mile course requiring skillful navigation around the strong currents and
narrow channels of Shelter Island and Peconic Bay. First Overall monohull
was Pirate an Abbott 33 skippered by Bill Baxter followed by Talisman a
Botin & Carkeek 58 skippered by Marco Birch. The top catamaran was a Hobie
FX-1 skippered by Bellavia. - Complete results:

* More than 160 Optimist dinghies from Maine to Florida, Wisconsin to
Texas, Illinois to Nova Scotia, descended on the Fishing Bay Yacht Club of
Deltaville, VA this past weekend for Optimist Atlantic Coast Championship.
Saturday's lack of wind limited that day to only one race. On Sunday
however, there were brisk 15-20 knot northerly winds, and completing four
more races were completed. Because of the huge number of boats, the fleet
was divided into four divisions which sailed a round robin. William Haeger
- Lake Forest IL was the Fleet Overall winner. Complete results:

* At 2:00 am Tuesday morning it was Samsung, at 8:00 am Vaio, and by
afternoon the top of the leader board in the Global Challenge Race had
changed for the third time in 12 hours to put SAIC La Jolla one nm ahead of
second place Vaio, and three nm ahead of third place Samsung! -

"Johnny (Lovell) and I have a special relationship. We've been sailing
together for 11 years, which is pretty unheard of in our sport. Most teams
split up after one campaign, if not during a campaign. Johnny and I, not
only do we compete together, but we remain really good friends. We talk on
the phone all the time. We probably know each other better than we know our
wives." - Olympic silver medallist Charlie Ogletree, The Daily News, full

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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 Michael France, Vancouver, Canada: In regards to Mr. Paul
Henderson's Olympic comments in scuttlebutt 1687, it seems the laser was a
great boon to bringing additional developing nation males into Olympic
competition, and wonder what simpler technology classes"-out of the box"
exist for women sailors in developing nations?--470 and Europes both seem
to be rather 'techy' boats which require a lot of custom detailing in mast/
sail set-up. I hope that full consideration is given to the Byte, with it's
new CII rig, which very state-of -the -art yet is standard issue and
therefore much less technology and $ dependant! Since inclusivity and pure
one design aspects are supposedly goals in choosing the Olympic classes, I
hope this opportunity is not missed.

* From Eric Wilcox (re Chris Ericksen question about European hurricanes):
It is common for hurricanes to turn north and even head eastward toward
Europe. However, if they reach Europe they are not hurricanes when they get
there because the ocean temperatures are too cold to maintain a hurricane.
Once a hurricane moves over oceans colder than 80F, it will dissipate
quickly because there is insufficient evaporation to maintain it.
Therefore, none of the storms observed in Europe this summer were
hurricanes. In some cases, however, hurricanes may interact with eastward
moving storms in the mid-latitudes. Mid-latitude storms (also called
extra-tropical cyclones) march around the northern and southern hemispheres
primarily drawing their energy from instabilities in the jet stream.

Hurricanes may influence such storms, should they happen to approach one
another, by providing additional energy in the form of warm, moist air or
by interacting with the flow of the jet stream (see accounts of "The
Perfect Storm" for a famous example of this). The affected storm may
continue across the North Atlantic bringing wind and rain to Europe. It
could be said to carry the remnants of the hurricane, though by the time it
reached Europe the hurricane remnants are really only part of the story.
The National Hurricane Center provides maps of storm tracks from past years
( Most of the tracks do not extend
east of the mid-Atlantic, however there are some exceptions. The years 1998
and 2000 show several storm tracks reaching Europe, though they are all
labeled as 'extra-tropical' by the time they get there.

* From Watt Duffy (edited to our 250-word limit): Here are some of the
"weekend Warriors" that started out sailing Snipe and, or cross train in
Snipe and were in the 2004 Olympics: Star: Torben Grael, Brazil; Laser:
(2004): 1st Robert Scheidt, Brazil, 8th Mark Mendelblatt, USA, 26th Maxim
Semerkhanov, Russia, 24th Alejandro Foglia, Uruguay; Yngling (2004): 8th
Ekaterina Skudina/Tatiana Lartsevam Russia, 9th Karianne Eikelandm Norway,
10th Carol Cronin/ Liz Filter/Nancy Haberland, USA, 12th Marina Sanchez
Spain Tornado (2004) 3rd Santiago Lange, Argentina, 9th Andre Kirilyuk/
Valey Ushkov, Russia, 16th, Diogo Cayolla, Portugal, 17th, Mauricio Santa
Cruz, Brazil; 49er (2004): 6th, Andre Fonseca/ Rodrigo Duarte Brazil; Star
(2004): 1st Torben Grael, Brazil, 5th Paul Cayard/ Phil Trinter, USA; 470
men (2004): 1st, Robert Scheidt, Brazil, 8th Mark Mendelblatt ,USA, 26th
Maxim Semerkhano,v Russia, 24th, Alejandro Foglia, Uruguay 2nd Kenjiro
Todoroki, Japan, 8th Alexandre Paradeda ,Brazil, 10th Andrea Trani, Italy,
17th Dmitry Berezkin, Russia

Some more "Weekend Warriors" include Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Augie
Diaz, All-American college sailors Mikee Anderson-Mitterling, Bryan Lake &
Andrew Campell, Ed Adams, Bill Hardesty, Chris Snow, George Szabo, Argile
Campell, Henry Filter, Dough Hart, Gerard Coleman, Craig Leweck, Jim Brady,
Steve Rosenberg, etc. At the 2001 US Champion of Champions, Snipe sailors
took the top seven places: George Szabo, 1st; Kevin Funsch, 2nd; Chriss
Rabb, 3rd; Chuck Sinks, 4th; Jim Bowers, 5th; Chris Snow, 6th; Stacey Szabo
7th. That is a large list of "Weekend Warriors."

* From Joe Winston: Peter Reggio regularly is the circle chair for the
J24's at the Newport Regatta. We normally have 50 or more boats on the line
and are one of three classes in the circle. The SI's for the event list a
VHF channel for Race Committee communication with competitors, including
OCS. The SI's further stipulate that timeliness, failure to announce, or
failure to hear shall not be grounds for redress. Peter's practice is to
use the open channel for all communication. When he's moving the weather
mark, we know the new heading. When there's a commercial traffic situation
and he's going to postpone, we know it's lunch time. When there are
difficult wind situations, we know what he's thinking. Peter is clearly one
of the best. As a competitor, I feel a partnership with him in making the
regatta a success because he shares his thoughts with us.

I personally have significant race committee experience at major dinghy
regattas, including continental championships. In one regatta, we had a
timing issue on the race committee boat. I chose to sound three guns and
fly code flag N (Abandon). Not recognizing the subtleties between code flag
N alone and "N" with either "H" or "A", most competitors headed for shore.
My chase boats had to round them up. With VHF available, I could have
easily communicated the issue and have restarted the sequence after a
minute. By the way, most J24's use a hand held VHF. One charge lasts a weekend.

* From Douglass Sisk: Notwithstanding the pretty good suggestion for a pool
of CO2 cartridges (but what about the liability if a "borrowed" cartridge
fails to activate ... sorry). It's time to kill the thread.

Curmudgeon's Comments: One again Douglass, we agree so this thread is now
officially dead.

* From Cole Price: Years ago, I was surprised to learn that Christopher
Reeves enjoyed sailing while watching an issue of "Sailing Quarterly". I've
always enjoyed Reeves' movies, but only thought of him as "just another
actor" until the tragic mishap that left him paralyzed. Then, I was blown
away by his courage, and optimism. He never gave up. You learn a lot about
someone's character by watching how they deal with adversity - His work
AFTER his accident has done much to focus attention and research on
developments that will eventually lead to "cures" for spinal cord injuries.
Reeves left the world a lot better place then when he came into it. How
many of us can say that?

One of my friends just started exercising so he could hear heavy breathing