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SCUTTLEBUTT 1689 - October 14, 2004

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welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

With just under a year to go until the start of the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race,
the Bang the Corner website decided to take a look at the design behind the
Volvo 70. Here are a few excerpts from that story now posted online:

Since its inception in 1993 the boats that have been produced under the
Volvo 60 rule have been developed and refined to the limits. With each
event the boats have evolved rapidly and proved to be quicker than their
predecessors. The sailors and designers agree that after several design
cycles and after three events spanning nine years, technology has
progressed such that faster boats would be possible if the rules were
relaxed. Starting again from afresh rather than trying to make an existing
rule fit a new breed of boats was believed to be the logical step. Expert
predictions suggest that the new boats would be 21 days quicker around the
world than the Volvo 60s. Most of the Volvo Open 70 boats in the fleet
should achieve 500-mile days. To do this they will need to maintain an
average speed of just under 21 knots. This will mean peak boat speeds of
around 35 knots.

At 21.5m the new boats will be 2m longer but as much as 1000kg lighter. The
Volvo Open 70 will carry up to 60 percent more sail area downwind in the
spinnaker alone. The mast will be 4m taller, the boom a metre longer and
the mainsail 28 per cent bigger than on the 60s. Sail furling systems will
be allowed aboard the new boats. Being able to roll away a sail temporarily
is far less physically demanding on the crew than the conventional system
of lowering and bagging a sail each time. Non-metallic rigging is now
allowed for the standing rigging, which could save as much as 100kg in
weight aloft.

Canting keels are now allowed and provide a more efficient means of
reducing the heeling. Sailing the boat more upright develops more power.
The Volvo Open 70s will be allowed any number of foils or rudders in any
position, so long as they only have one axis of movement. Configurations
such as twin rudders, forward rudders, canards and dagger boards will be
allowed. - Excerpts from a story on the Bang the Corner website. To read
the full story:

The Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 3, a Fleet Racing event, begins today. For
the teams, the switch from Match Racing to a Fleet Race format requires a
change in approach, as the tactic of focusing on just one opponent is
unlikely to lead to the desired result when racing seven opponents. For the
winner of the Louis Vuitton Act 2, Emirates Team New Zealand, it will be
interesting to see how their highly acclaimed new afterguard attack the
Fleet Races. The Kiwis were the only one of the 'Big Three' teams in
Marseille to fail to win a Fleet Race, as Team Alinghi and BMW Oracle split
the victories.

With three wins in four races in Marseille, BMW Oracle helmsman Gavin Brady
says he's looking forward to Thursday. "It's quite enjoyable doing the
Fleet Racing," Brady said at the conclusion of the Louis Vuitton Act 2.
"You can't cover seven other boats. I think you'll see a lot of different
winners. It's important to try and hang in there. If you're in third place
for example, you might try and hold on to your third instead of taking a
risk for the win, because third might be alright at the end of the day."

The "ACC Champion 2004" will go to the team that has the best cumulative
classification from the three Louis Vuitton Acts this year, using a low
point scoring system. -

ACC Champion Standings after Act 1 & Act 2:
Emirates Team New Zealand - 4 pts
BMW Oracle Racing - 4 pts
Team Alinghi - 6 pts
Luna Rossa - 9 pts
Le Defi - 9 pts
K-Challenge - 11 pts
+39 Syndicate - 14 pts
Team Shosholoza - 14 pts

Soon after designing and building the Laser sailboat in 1970, Rowayton
resident Bruce Kirby realized he had a "tiger by the tail." In the years
since, 182,000 Lasers have been sold, making it the most popular sailing
dingy in the world. After watching the prototype of his newest boat, the
Pixel, put through its paces over the weekend, Kirby said he started to
feel like he may have bagged another tiger.

The Pixel, designed for beginner and intermediate junior sailors, made its
maiden voyage Saturday from the Norwalk Yacht Club on Wilson Cove. A day
later, the former Olympic sailor and America's Cup yacht designer took the
sloop to the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, where for about two hours he
trailed behind it in a Boston Whaler watching its every pitch and yaw. "I
really have a good feeling about the Pixel," said Kirby, who has designed
about 60 boats in his lifetime. "It is doing what I want it to do and what
I hoped it would do and what the calculations said it would do."

One thing the slide rules and calculators didn't prepare him for was how
fast the 13-foot, 9-inch, open-ended boat could sail into the wind. In 20
knots of breeze off Long Neck Point in Darien Monday, the Pixel surprised
even Kirby when it gathered so much speed that its hull rose far enough in
the water to begin planing upwind with its occupants hiking out over the
rail. "I was flabbergasted," Kirby said.

The Pixel weighs about 185 pounds, 90 pounds lighter than the Blue Jay, and
has an updated main sail that with a jib gives the Pixel 100 square feet of
sail area, 10 square feet more than the Jay. The Pixel, at 5 feet, 3
inches, is 2 inches longer and about 3 inches wider than the Blue Jay
.Unlike the Blue Jay, the Pixel accelerates quickly in a puff, seems
nimble, planes upwind or down and can be capsized and righted with little
trouble, thanks to its cutout transom. If all goes according to plan, the
Pixel, which will sell for about $6,000, should be on the market in the
spring. - John Nickerson, Stamford Advocate, full story:

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Big seas in the Gulf of St Tropez forced the postponement of racing in the
Dragon 75th Anniversary Regatta, while the international jury is trying to
sort out a series of protests regarding boats disqualified for premature
starts in Tuesday's second race. Tony O'Gorman, the principal race officer
for the regatta explained the decision not to sail today, "we felt with the
wind speed at the time of 27 knots gusting 30, and because we have 267
competitors, we felt that was too windy, and there was a big sea also, so
we felt it was too dangerous to race. "It was more the sea state, because
Dragons can race in 27 knots without any difficulty, but because of the
special form of this regatta, with so many boats on the starting line, and
mark roundings, we felt it would be unfair and probably dangerous."

On Thursday the whole fleet are due to start together in one huge
anniversary race, while on Friday there are a series of special race,
including races for past champions, for crews, over 65 year old skippers,
lady helms and juniors. On Saturday the fleet will be divided into gold,
silver and bronze fleets, depending on results from the heats earlier in
the week, for one race to decide the overall results. - John Roberson,

Former Oracle sailor Mike Sanderson believes Emirates Team New Zealand will
take confidence more than anything from their victory in the second
America's Cup pre-regatta in Valencia. "Team New Zealand have taken a few
hits over the last 18 months so it is fantastic for them to have won the
event," said Sanderson. "They certainly won't be beating their chests and
saying now we are the men to beat, but it means that Grant [Dalton] is
doing a nice job in getting the thing back on track and Dean [Barker] is
sailing well with the new afterguard. It is a really positive thing for all
their new combinations ... it just means the changes they have made are
shaping up."

Another confidence-booster will be the performance of the race boat, NZL81,
which has been similar in speed to Alinghi and Oracle. "I think a lot of us
always knew that NZL81 and NZL82 were going to be fast boats once they had
done the racing," said Sanderson who will skipper Danish entry ABN Amro in
the next round-the-world race.

Alinghi sailing manager Jochen Schueman said the defenders were extremely
disappointed with their showing. "We lost the most important races against
our direct opposition, against Oracle, against Prada against Team New
Zealand. So finally they are in front of us and that happens." He said
reasons for their losses ranged from bad tactical decisions to equipment
failure. But he did not believe the result proved Alinghi were vulnerable
without Coutts. "Losing Russell was a big loss, but he helped to put a
great team together and the whole team is still there ... so I think that
we will prove that this team was a big part of Russell's performance." -
Julie Ash, NZ Herald, complete story:

* Must See - Anyone who thinks classic one-designs like Shields are not
exciting to sail should stop everything right now and check out a photo
from the 2004 Shields Nationals in Edgartown by Michael Berwind: It's posted on the Shields Class website
(, as is the entire sequence of images leading up to
the dramatic broach: (These photographs are the
exclusive property of Carol & Michael Berwind and may not be reproduced
without their permission.)

* Time Magazine has paid "tribute to 29 dazzling people who shine their
light on the world..." in their October 11 special issue. Ellen MacArthur
was selected for her inspiration in 'Setting Sail for Greatness' and her
work with the Ellen MacArthur Trust that takes young children suffering
from cancer sailing. The European Heroes were chosen as 'they inspire,
create, devote themselves to others, and even risk their lives...' In
mid-November, Ellen will be on standby in Plymouth for her solo, round the
world record attempt with the 75-foot B&Q trimaran, which has undergoing an
intensive refit. -

* There is a neat new website that provides sailing information based on a
mouse click on a worldwide map. Marinas, races, charters, services, sailing
news, classifieds and other information is provided for any local area in
the world. -

* The new release of Virtual Skipper 3 is now available. The updated racing
simulator provides updated ISAF rules and increased right-of-way indicators
to provide warnings on potential rule violations. State of the art graphics
portray yachting like never before with realistic sailing conditions, water
movements according to day and night transitions, realistic weather
conditions, and sea behavior. Four different classes (America s Cup,
45-foot offshore, ORMA 60 trimaran, and Melges 24) can be sailed at six
different locations. Look for Virtual Skipper 3 in performance sailing
chandleries and nautical bookstores on both coasts.

* In the second of two days competition, world-class skipper Chris Larson
has won the 2nd annual Annapolis Volvo Senator's Cup. Larson and tactician
Geoff Ewenson, both from Annapolis, scored four wins in the sixth match of
the best-of-seven series, sailed on Swan 45 One Design class yachts.
Runner-up skipper John Bertrand and tactician Scott Nixon, both also
locally-based, won the first two as well as the final seventh match. The
Senator's Cup raises a substantial amount of money for the Annapolis
Community Foundation, Box of Rain Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay
Foundation, and Special Olympics of Maryland. -

* In yesterday's issue we carried an account of the sinking of the J/24
Quicksilver off Seattle. To see photos of the

QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Ben Ainslie
"I have a better feel for what is expected of me and what I am going to be
doing. I've fitted in really well with the team, all the Kiwis are a great
bunch, we have a good laugh and they have a similar sense of humor. So far
the sailing has been really good fun and the racing has gone well. It is
quite hard, sailing on your own and suddenly there are 17 other people
around and just not being in control of your own destiny I suppose, how
everything is going to work and all the decision making. I'm getting more
comfortable with it now but certainly still I look at some things we do and
I think 'oh, I don't know if I'd do it like that' but it is not my place to
say and you can't really do that half way through a tack. You have to work
the best you can with everyone." - GBR Olympic Finn Gold medallist Ben
Ainslie, Emirates Team New Zealand, from a story on The Daily Sail website,

Tornado, Sabots, Yngling, 470's, J/105, Schock 35, Etchells, Acat's, Farr
40, 505, Cal 20, Coronado 15, Fireball, J/24, CFJ, 420, Europe Dinghy,
Harbor 20, International 14, J/22, Holder 20, Flying Scot, Lido 14, Lehman
12, Lightning, Melges 24, Optimist, Snipe, Thistle, Cal 25, Soling, Sonar,
Santana 20, Santana 30/30, Capri 14.2, El Toro, Ultimate 20, Flying Junior,
J/80, Hobie 21, San Juan 24, Nacra, Prindle , J/120, Antrim 27, Olson 30,
Mumm 30, J/109. Ullman Sails has been one designing 30+ years, give your
local loft a call or visit us at

(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 Chuck Riley: Will it take a fatality on the race course for the
Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle RC to learn that PFD's should be
mandatory, especially with winds in the "20+ range"? That lesson was
learned the hard way a few years ago here on San Francisco Bay.

* From Guy Gurney: The report of the sinking J/24 took me back to some 20
years ago when I was the racing editor at Yachting magazine (yes, it
covered sailing in those days). At that time there had been several
well-publicized reports of J/24s capsizing and sinking in similar
circumstances, in some cases involving loss of life. A sailmaker friend who
raced a J/24 told me that at least 25 such sinkings had already occurred in
various places around the world, so I decided to investigate further and
prepare a report for the magazine. Unfortunately the chief editor at the
time instructed me not to do so, for fear of upsetting a valued advertiser.
(Another major Yachting client had cancelled all advertising as a result of
a SORC race report I'd written, which they considered detrimental to their

Since then I have often wondered if my informant was exaggerating, and just
how many of the thousands built of these great little boats have actually
sunk. A J/24 doesn't strike one as a particularly dangerous design, but in
view of their history, and the fact that they are often raced harder than
many other boats of their size and type, it would seem sensible to mandate
some kind of fitted buoyancy.

* From Steve Dashew: Every year a number of hurricanes transition from a
tropical structure to one which is extra-tropical in nature (i.e. normal
mid-to-high latitude structure). The storms which make this transition can
be significantly more dangerous than the original hurricane itself, because
of the increased size of the storm, and the very high rate of speed at
which these often travel. There's an interesting article on the subject at

* From Jeff Carlile (Re Chris Ericksen question about how often hurricanes
crossed the Atlantic into Europe): Hurricane Lisa formed 19 Sept. south of
the Cape Verdes around 13 N , 32 W and was tracked until 02 Oct. at 43 N,
35 W where its extratropical winds of 50kts were absorbed into an existing
low pressure system that continued on to Europe. Looking back several
years, Lisa's path seems to be a broad pattern: storms form off Africa
between 10 - 15 N (distance above equator allows storms to rotate), follow
the trades and currents through the southern latitudes of the northern
hemisphere to North America before turning north with the air of the jet
stream and the current of the Gulf stream; if they manage to stay formed
into the N. Atlantic they typically go extratropical (winds created by
colder/warmer air rather than moisture lift) and are absorbed into a low
out of the arctic.

In 2003 two storms made it to about to the area of Iceland before being
abosrbed; in 2001 several storms made it to into the zone around 50-60N,
30-40W before being absorbed. The last big year was 1998 when six named
storms made it to, or into, Europe: So yes, it does seem fairly common for
named storms to arc through the Atlantic currents and turn back toward
Europe. Evidently, as these storms become extratropical, weaken, and are
absorbed by other low pressure systems, European storm agencies associate
the storms name with the existing low pressure system and report the new
combined depression as the remnant of the named storm.

* From Brad Avery: Eric Wilcox mentions 1998 as a year that several storm
(ex-hurricane) tracks reached Europe. That was the "summer" that Orange
Coast College had its sail training sloop Alaska Eagle exploring Norway to
Holland. We had visions of mid-August and early September as a great time
for this route. But it was cold foulie weather most of the time, with even
the fish boats hiding. After weeks of this, we found Holland flooded, the
trains not running, and umbrellas flying from quaint cafes. Our short hop
from Amsterdam to the Thames was one of the roughest in 22 years of running
the boat. We're back to focusing on summers the South Pacific. And if we
want rough weather that isn't too extreme, we'll go back to Chile and

* From Jim Dunn: I was traveling from San Francisco to Chicago, and I had
asked at the ticket counter if I could travel with my PFD "armed" with the
CO2 cartridge in my checked baggage, the agent told me I could not, so I
duly handed over the cartridge to them and proceeded on my way to security,
where after removing my shoes and being wanded, I went back to the x-ray
machine to pick up my hand baggage and discovered that I had placed a spare
cartridge in my hand baggage, I asked the TSA agent if I could carry it on
and explained that I was a sailor, and that the cartridge was for my life
jacket which was in my checked baggage, he rather firmly said no, as it was
a risk to the aircraft and my fellow travelers, dejected at having lost 2
cartridges, I sat down to put my shoes back on and saw some soldiers in
uniform passing through the metal detector, the last man through, set it
off and was asked to empty his pockets, when he was wanded, they found one
of those really small swiss army knives (the kind that have a 1 inch blade)
and he was told that he could not travel with it as it was a risk to the
aircraft and his fellow passengers, at which point the TSA agent proceeded
to hand his M-16 back to him and send him on his way.

Curmudgeon's Comment: While we found this story interesting enough to
include in this issue, that does not mean the CO2 thread has been reopened.

"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well
please. And with it comes the only basic human duty - the duty to take the
consequences." - P. J. O'Rourke