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SCUTTLEBUTT 1690 - October 15, 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.

CHANGING TIMES
The New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and the Storm Trysail Club (STC) jointly
announced today that they will be racing under IRC beginning in 2005. The
handicap rule will be used at the NYYC's Rolex Transatlantic Challenge
starting May 21, 2005 and the NYYC's 151st Annual Regatta June 10-12, 2005.
STC will offer IRC classes in the Lauderdale-Key West Race in January, the
Pineapple Cup (Florida to Jamaica) in February and will use it at Block
Island Race Week June 19-25. The commitment to IRC is from 2005 to 2007, or
for a minimum of three years.

The rating rule for cruiser/racer sailboats is owned and administered by
the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Rating Office in Lymington, UK, and
Union National pour la Course au Large (UNCL) in Paris. Presently there are
about 6,000 yachts rated and racing under IRC in Europe, as well as in more
than 30 other countries, including Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.
Most recently IRC was used for the first time in this country at the St.
Francis Yacht Club's Big Boat Series in San Francisco, is used at the
Fastnet Race in England and will be used in the next Sydney-Hobart Race in
December in Australia.

Reasons for the change include:
- A desire to improve and reinvigorate handicap racing in our local
(NYYC, STC and U.S.) fleets;
- To encourage increased U.S. participation in international regattas and
international participation in U.S. regattas;
- IRC's popularity worldwide;
- It produces a single-number rating;
- Fairly rates a wide variety of types;
- Vast data base of hundreds of popular designs. This helps to keep
measurement costs down.

IRC will also be used in this country in 2005 at the Annapolis Yacht Club's
Annapolis-Newport Race, said Commodore Mark A. Myers; the Stamford Yacht
Club will use IRC for the NORT and the Vineyard Race, according to
Commodore James F. Love Jr.; St. Francis Yacht Club will use it for major
handicap events including the Big Boat Series again next year, according to
Commodore Terry G. Klaus, and it will be offered by Premiere Racing at Key
West Race Week and Miami Race Week, says Peter S. Craig. Also, Larchmont
Yacht Club will offer IRC classes in the Edlu Distance Race and Larchmont
Race Week, said Commodore Peter E. Kelly.

The USIRC Management Committee will be formed. On it will be members of
yacht clubs that elect to utilize the IRC rule in America and major-event
organizers. It will establish a Technical Committee and Promotional
Committee. USIRC will be affiliated with US Sailing, the sport's national
authority, that will process the certificates. The executive director of
USIRC is Barry Carroll (sailirc@cs.com)

To learn more about IRC: http://www.rorcrating.com/

IT'S GETTING UGLY
Tracy Edwards, the round-the-world yachtswoman, sacked her financial
director because he questioned her using company money to pay her personal
debts, he claimed at an employment tribunal yesterday. Gregory Browne, the
financial director of Miss Edwards's company, Quest International Sports
Events, set up to organize two multi-million-pound races, claimed that she
made payments worth hundreds of thousands of pounds that "could amount to
fraud." Matters came to a head in August when Mr. Browne ordered the
company's website to be taken down and replaced with a statement that
independent forensic auditors were being called in. The message was removed
and the website restored after four hours when Miss Edwards discovered it.
Mr Browne was dismissed the following month.

Miss Edwards, awarded an MBE for her achievements, including skippering the
first female round-the-world crew, had personal debts estimated recently at
about 2 million. She is believed to have sold her 110ft catamaran to
settle them. At the end of last month, Miss Edwards announced 3 million
sponsorship from HSBC and a deal with the Gulf state of Qatar for a
round-the-world race called Qatar Quest, starting next February. Another
race, also from Qatar, will be held in 2006.

Mr. Browne, who still owns a third of the company with Miss Edwards and
another director, Mike Noel-Smith, is claiming that he was unfairly
dismissed for making "public interest disclosures" about the company's
finances. Akhlaq Choudhury, for Mr Browne, told the South London Employment
Tribunal in Croydon yesterday: "He said that the activities could amount to
fraud. He regarded these activities as potentially criminal." - Excerpts
from a story by Catriona Davies in the UK's Daily Telegraph; full story:
http://tinyurl.com/5evsk

HELP IS ON THE WAY
GBR Challenge has confirmed that Charles Dunstone is taking an active role
in the team. Dunstone is now assisting the team to secure the necessary
additional funding and is one of the prime movers behind the team's
proposal to use GBR Challenge as a vehicle to promote a leading
humanitarian charity. Dunstone proposes to join forces with Peter Harrison,
founder of GBR Challenge, to make this concept a success and attract the
right commercial partners to the team. The GBR Challenge team in Cowes is
progressing forward with boat modifications to race boats GBR 70 and 78 to
convert them to version 5 designs so that they are 100% ready to compete in
the 2005 compulsory Acts. The focused process of selecting Trustees,
identifying potential partner charitable organizations and attracting
commercial partners is now the prime objective of the team. - Yachting
World, www.ybw.com/auto/newsdesk/20040914151055ywnews.html

KEN READ & LOWELL NORTH
What do these two great sailors have in common? If you guessed that they
are both from North Sails, Lowell being the founder and Ken being the
current Vice-President, or if you thought it was their racing records as
World Champion sailors, you'd still be wrong! What these great sailors have
in common is that they both chose a Pearson True North 38 for their family
powerboat needs. The True North's simple efficiency, thoughtful design and
atheistic good looks make it easy for any sailor to switch to power. For
details, call 619-224-TRUE or view at http://www.PearsonYachts.com

AN INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT DAY
It was an incredibly difficult day on the Gulf of Valencia for the first
Fleet Races in the host city of the 32nd America's Cup. Conditions looked
great early, with a nice Westerly 12-14 knot breeze streaking white caps
across the water. But once racing started, on time at 12:40, the first race
was a minefield for the tacticians and strategists with many pitfalls
across the race course in the form of wind shifts in both speed and
direction. Emirates Team New Zealand, fresh off a win in the Louis Vuitton
Act 2, and the French Le Defi team were the best at making sense of the
conditions and finished in first and second, while the highly touted Team
Alinghi and BMW Oracle had a harder time, coming home in fourth and fifth
place.

In the second race, the conditions were even tougher. The wind died
completely on the second lap of the course, as a weak sea breeze killed off
the gradient wind. The very light new wind came from nearly the opposite
direction, so the final run to the finish became a beat upwind, complete
with tacking for most of the teams. This time it was Alinghi who managed to
just squeeze ahead of the Kiwis at the finishing line. The French
K-Challenge was close behind in third place. For a time it seemed as though
the race might be abandoned with none of the teams finishing in the
40-minute leg time limit. But in the event, Alinghi finished with a full
10-minutes to spare, just two-seconds in front of NZL 81.

Two Fleet Races are scheduled for Friday. - www.americascup.com

Act 3 finishing positions and points after two races (high point scoring):
Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-2; 15 pts
Team Alinghi, 4-1; 13 pts
Luna Rossa, 3-4; 11 pts
Le Defi, 2-7; 9 pts
K-Challenge, 8-3; 7 pts
BMW Oracle Racing, 5-6; 7 pts
Team Shosholoza, 7-5; 6 pts
+39 Syndicate, 6-8; 4 pts

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
* "Today is just a continuation of the past two weeks. We're learning each
other lot every day we go sailing. Dean's doing a great job sailing the
boat, which in turn allows me to do a great job tactically, which in turn
allows all the guys to give the input that is going to help us make the
right decisions. When it goes bad, so be it, but when it goes bad it
doesn't mean we're going to get dark or angry, we're going to learn how to
make the team better." Terry Hutchinson, Emirates Team New Zealand
tactician, from a story on the Yachting World website by Matthew Sheahan,
www.ybw.com/auto/newsdesk/20040914190144ywamericascup07.html

* "They had a hard day today, but the calls I received were all good. Adam
and Ben discuss the wind and the big-picture plan and pass their thoughts
to Terry, who makes the final call. There's quite a lot of information to
correlate." - Dean Barker, Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, from a story
by Bob Fisher on the Guardian website, http://tinyurl.com/58t7h

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar

A TASTE OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
Junior Optimist skippers from nine guest nations and Bermuda will sail next
week in the Renaissance Reinsurance Junior Gold Cup Optimist Regatta as
part of the weeklong festivities surrounding the Investors Guaranty
presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup. Renaissance Reinsurance's
sponsorship allows 8-10 top optimist sailors from around the world to
travel to Bermuda to compete, along with the top Bermudian optimist sailors
in the four-day regatta.

Joining 24 local Bermuda Junior Optimist sailors this year are Nicholas
McPharlin, Perth Australia; Teemu Rantanen, Helsinki Finland; Vincent
Berthez, Marseillan France; David deBoltz, Danbury Essex Great Britain; Jas
Farneti. Trieste Italy; Jochem-Bart Haakman, Enkhuizen Netherlands; Frankie
Lardies, Auckland New Zealand; Niclas Wallin, Kullavik Sweden; Mike Russom,
Springfield PA USA. This select handful of the junior sailing world's elite
competitors will be in Bermuda October 19th - 24th to participate in the
event created to expose juniors to international sailing in a mentoring
atmosphere and provide advanced opportunities for juniors to learn about
match racing, through practical drills in Optimists and chalk talks with
the world's top sailors who will be racing in the King Edward VII Gold Cup
match racing regatta.

NEWS BRIEFS
* John Ross-Murphy from Ireland has won the unique, and record breaking
Dragon 75th Anniversary race, in which 267 boats lined up on a starting
line that was 2.51 kilometres (.82 miles) long. Second place went to HRH
Prince Henrik of Denmark. Race officer Tony O'Gorman was forced to abort
four starts, before getting the fleet away under a black flag, with 69
boats being disqualified for starting offences. The breeze was in the 12 to
15 knot range, with a very short and irregular wave pattern that made it
difficult to keep the boats moving at full speed. -
www.intdragon.org/anniversary/frameset2.html

* British marine electronics manufacturer, Tacktick Limited, announced the
appointment of Ocean Equipment as the official US distributor for their
range of wireless marine electronics. Located in Irvine, CA, Ocean
Equipment will be responsible for building brand awareness and increasing
sales of Tacktick's marine electronics to US retailers, dealers and OEMs.
Tacktick offers a full range of wireless networking marine electronics for
sail and power boats of all sizes. The company's Micronet navigation system
uses new technology to send data wirelessly from the hull transducers and
wind transmitter to wireless displays. - www.tacktick.com

TARDY
Scuttlebutt is going to the mail server a bit late tonight - the curmudgeon
has been down in San Diego at the re-launching of Dennis Conner's Cotton
Blossom II. The 49+ foot wooden Q-boat's original launching took place in
1925, but I'm sure it did not look anywhere near as lovely then as it does
right now. DC has reportedly poured more than a million dollars into the
loving restoration and it shows. (It's far too lovely to put into salt
water.) Although we were not able to interview DC, we understand that the
boat will head for the Caribbean this winter and then on to the
Mediterranean for racing next summer. AP reporter Bernie Wilson did
interview Conner and has more information in his story posted on the San
Jose Mercury News website:
www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/9920585.htm

PIOUS FRIENDS AND DRUNKEN COMPANIONS
The latest book in the Curmudgeon's library? Actually, just one of 11
nautically inspired titles on International Crew's new Library Book Photo
Albums. Additional titles include Racing Legends, Our Newest Crew, A Sailor
Ties The Knot; each a great place to store your regatta photos, chronicle
junior sailing adventures, or keep treasured pictures of a seaside wedding.
They're just a sampling of the unique Nautical Luxuries you'll find online
and in the Nautical Luxuries catalog. Call (888) 835-8880 for your
complimentary copy, or request a catalog and view the full Nautical
Luxuries collection online at http://www.nauticalluxuries.com


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(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 David Greening: I would not be surprised by the number of J/24
sinkings quoted by Guy Gurney. I remember two going down in a windy
offshore race at the J24 Nationals at Poole in 1984. My conclusion was that
there were two types of J24 crew, the guys down sizing from big boats who
sail with the companionway open, the dinghy sailors upsizing keep the
companionway closed, except for hoists and drops. The other lesson, learnt
from one of the rescued crew who nearly drowned, was that integrated
lifejackets with sailing jackets are dangerous if you don't have a crutch
strap to stop it riding up. The two most important guys on a J24 are
probably the one who dumps the kicker (vang) and the one who closes the hatch.

* From Barry Dunning, RYA Yacht Racing Coach: Further to my old friend Guy
Gurneys comments on J24 sinkings - as a past J24 sailor I always raced in a
breeze with the weather boards in. Once I and my crew were caught in a
squall without the boards and we broached. The only way to stop the boat
from sinking was by quick action of my middle crew who promptly sat in the
hatchway and pulled the lid shut. He did weigh in at 120k nd so filled the
hole, until we came upright, admirably.

* From Don Ferguson, Toronto: Further to Chuck Riley's comments about
sinking J24s, I think it's fair to say any keelboat will sink given the
right (wrong) circumstances. As a former J24 Class measurer, I always
cautioned new owners to put spring clips on the lazarette hatches. Later
J24s had the bulkhead separating the rear lockers from the cabin sealed to
the underside of the deck and now J24s are made without lazarettes, so
JBoats have responded to the issue. The key point is that sailors should be
responsible for their own safety and wear a PFD. I would say "when
condition warrant" but that's a whole new issue.

* From Bob Johnstone: Too bad Guy Gurney didn't send it to us for
publication instead of Yachting. I remember making a similar report,
probably earlier than Guy Gurneys because at the time there had been only a
half dozen or so cases. I don't like the inference here that J Boats put
pressure on Yachting magazine not to publish this news, when in fact we
probably already had got the news out and went overboard in J/24 Magazine
(and possibly other publications) to do so. And, as I recall, even reported
some forms of positive flotation that could be used. Furthermore the boat
was modified to make the aft lockers watertight (assuming they were locked
down).

I believe this was just after one of the 3300 series boats sank in Noroton
and possibly just after the 1979 Worlds as well. That may help you find the
article which I remember writing. I have all this info in a file in Boston,
but in the meantime it might be worthwhile pulling out that issue of J/24
Magazine and a few quotes in a response to Scuttlebutt. Another idea would
be to post a link to this J/24 Magazine Article on Scuttlebutt as a public
service type move. Not too soon for a reminder and might demonstrate how we
operate. Further to Guy's comments, I don't remember placing that many ads
in Yachting.

* From Chris Upton: In response to Chuck Riley's demand for PFD
requirements: This past summer I was doing halyard pit while wearing an
inflatable PFD. In the course of sailing this boat I have my own private
cockpit and spend little or no time on deck. All of the crew is in a
cockpit except the bowman, mast and a grinder during takedowns. Even though
we were all in the cockpits we had to wear the PFDs. The inflatable is
truly the only option in hot humid weather. It should be noted that we do
not have lifelines, but a tender does follow us.

In the heat of battle, the spin halyard fouled my PFD belt. Does anyone
know the amount of force a 12M spinnaker has when shrimping at 8 1/2 knots?
We do not need the race committee making these decisions for us. It is the
skipper's responsibility. Check your fundamental rules of sailing. Does
Rule 1.2 supersede race instructions or other requirements to wear a PFD?

Rule 1.2 Life-Saving Equipment and Personal Buoyancy - A boat shall carry
adequate life-saving equipment for all persons on board, including one item
ready for immediate use, unless her class rules make some other provision.
Each competitor is individually responsible for wearing personal buoyancy
adequate for the conditions.

Curmudgeon's Comment: We are not going to open the PFD thread again. Enough!

* From Ray Wulff: I find it amazing all the accolades Ben Ainslie and Dean
Barker have been getting in the press for their win in Act 2 in Valencia.
After Ben and Dean, the rest are just known as the after guard. Oh, and
then there is Terry Hutchinson! There has been so much talk about whether
Ben or Dean is going to drive, however without Terry I think the results
would be a lot less rosy. Now only if we could get sound recordings for the
next round?

Curmudgeon's Comment: If you check the source of those stories you'll see
they generally come from the UK and New Zealand, where the media devotes a
lot more space to sailing, and their sailing heroes, than is the case in
the US. A Google or Yahoo search on 'Emirates Team New Zealand' (the boat
on which Hutchinson is sailing) will quickly make the point.

* From Veronica Rivers: Judging from the miserable sailing conditions
experienced so far in Valencia for Acts 2 & 3, weather was obviously not a
high priority item when AC Management selected this site for the 2007
America's Cup. Russell Coutts was right - this is not Fremantle! We may
never learn who has the fastest boat or the best team. It's hard to
understand why intelligent people invest millions of dollars in R & D when
the races turn out to be little more than a crap shoot.

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
You know it's the 21st century when you call your son's beeper to let him
know it's time to eat, and he emails you back from his bedroom.