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SCUTTLEBUTT 1691 - October 18, 2004

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On Friday, Act 3 racing was initially postponed with the wind very shifty,
despite being a full 12-14 knots. The breeze became soft and shifty in the
first race, and although it regained velocity later in the afternoon, the
shifts continued to make the race course a difficult challenge for the
tacticians. The Defender of the America's Cup, Team Alinghi, showed it is
still a force to be reckoned with on Friday with two strong races to take
the series lead in the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 3. The BMW Oracle Racing
team also had two good performances on the day, with a second and third
place finish, the former all the more remarkable for having to re-start for
being over the starting line early.

On Saturday, Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio did everything in his
power to start racing, but was unable to squeeze off a start before the
wind became too strong to assure safety for the America's Cup crews and
their boats. With the offshore breeze gusting above 26-knots, and forecast
to build to gale force strength later in the day, Reggio abandoned racing
shortly before 13:00.

On Sunday, Racing began in the first match in a light, offshore wind, which
proved to be very patchy and inconsistent before dying completely and
rebuilding in a different direction. The second race took place in a nice
Southeasterly seabreeze of 10 to 14 knots. With a pair of top-three
performances on the last day of racing, Team Alinghi won the Valencia Louis
Vuitton Act 3 regatta. However, the 2004 ACC Season Champion title went to
Emirates Team New Zealand - a nice recovery from their America's Cup loss
in 2003. -

Final Results - Act 3:
1. Team Alinghi, 4 1 3 1 3 2; 40 pts
2. Emirates Team New Zealand, 1 2 1 6 5 1; 38 pts
3. BMW Oracle Racing, 5 6 2 3 1 3; 34 pts
4. Luna Rossa, 3 4 7 2 4 4; 30 pts
5. K-Challenge, 8 3 4 4 2 5; 28 pts
6. Le Defi, 2 7 8 5 7 8; 17 pts
7. Team Shosholoza, 7 5 5 7 8 7; 15 pts
8. +39 Syndicate, 6 8 6 DNF 6 6; 13 pts

Final Results - ACC Champion 2004:
1. Emirates Team New Zealand, 6 pts
2. BMW Oracle Racing, 7 pts
3. Team Alinghi, 7 pts
4. Luna Rossa, 13 pts
5. Le Defi, 15 pts
6. K-Challenge, 16 pts
7. Team Shosholoza, 21 pts
8. +39 Syndicate, 22 pts

Oracle tactician John Kostecki admits the fickle conditions off the coast
of Valencia are getting the better of his team. The American syndicate,
owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, have beaten defenders Alinghi
in two regattas since the cup and won the opening pre-regatta in Marseille
last month. But in Valencia they have failed to fire.

We don't seem to be any slower than any of the top boats so we are pretty
happy with our boat speed," Kostecki said. "I think if we just sail a
little bit better we can get some good races." Admittedly the conditions in
Valencia have been extremely shifty and have produced a complete minefield
for tacticians and strategists. "It is the time of the year ... the land is
cooler and there are more fronts coming through so the sea breeze that we
normally get here in the summer is nowhere near as strong," he said. -
Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

Dennis Conner's (America's) Cup career may very well already be assigned to
the history books because of the staggering costs of mounting campaign.
Conner, 62, has won and lost the America's Cup more than anyone in its
153-year history. But the next cup, in Valencia, Spain, in 2007, might be
the first in nearly 30 years without Conner competing. "I would say I'm not
looking good," said Conner, who won the cup four times and lost it twice.
"I don't have an extra $200 million in my checking account. I would say
that unless someone steps up sometime soon, I will be retired. I simply
cannot raise $200 million." Conner estimates the top syndicates, backed by
high-tech billionaires, are spending $100 million a year.

Relying on corporate backing, Conner spent about $40 million on the last
cup, in 2002-03 in New Zealand, and didn't even make it to the challenger
finals. "I would love to go, given that I have a reasonable amount of money
so I have some chance of winning," said Conner, who still competes in the
30-foot Etchells class. "I don't want to go and just show up. That's not my
idea of fun, just to show up and get hammered every day. That's not what
sport's about." Looking back at the cup's history, "It's really come full
circle, where the B's are racing the B's," he said, referring to
billionaires. - Bernie Wilson, AP, full story:

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Farr Yacht Design announced today that is has three new designs under
development specifically suited for the IRC rating rule. The research and
design work commenced in August in response to a strong worldwide market
interest in IRC boosted by the recent formation of the US IRC group who are
making a powerful effort to establish IRC racing in the USA. The three
designs are between 30ft LOA and 42ft LOA, and will be manufactured on a
production basis. Farr Yacht Design expects additional production and
custom commissions above this size range in the near future.

"It is heartening to see an effort on behalf of those administering our
sport to adopt a Rule that is used on a world wide basis," said Russ
Bowler, President of Farr Yacht Design. IRC is now the rule of choice in a
number of important regattas throughout the world, including the Admiral's
Cup, Sydney-Hobart Race, Fastnet Race, and to date there are nearly 6000
yachts racing with this Rule. IRC was used for the first time in the US at
last month's Rolex St. Francis Big Boat Series, and will be used for
several New York YC and Storm Trysail Club events in 2005, including Block
Island Race Week. - Excerpts from The Daily Sail, full story

Swedish sailor Tom Lofstedt from the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, sailing
Maria, with Martin Alsen and Martin Larsson, has won the Dragon 75th
Anniversary Regatta in St Tropez. Lofstedt and his crew had finished fourth
in the qualifying races, with 9th and 1st places on the scoreboard, then
added a ninth in Thursday's anniversary race, when all 267 boats started
together. In Friday's Champion of Champions race he was robbed of first
place on the finishing line by no lesser person than Russell Coutts.

Second place went to Denmark's Jorgen Schoenherr sailing African Queen,
putting on his best performance of the week, this result goes well with his
win at the Gold Cup in Falmouth, England, earlier this year. John
Ross-Murphy of Ireland, who won the Anniversary race on Thursday, came home
third sailing Rigmarole, to cap a good week for the Irish. Olympic gold
medallist, and one of Denmark's sailing legends, Valdemar Bandolowski, took
fourth place, ahead of another Dane Soren Pehrsson, with Germany's
Hans-Werner Zachariassen sixth.

After poor weather conditions had spoiled some of the races earlier in the
week, a gutsey final day left the competitors with a smile on their faces,
after a good hard race in 25 knots of breeze and sunshine. Russell Coutts
who hadn't had a result out of the top ten all week, found himself
disqualified for a premature start, and joins an impressive list of those
who have suffered the same fate this week, including most of the royalty
who are in the regatta. - John Roberson,

According to a long interview given by John Sweeney to the Spanish
newspaper Las Provincias, the Sausalito Challenge will soon become the
second American syndicate to submit a challenge for the 32nd America's Cup.
The Team is negotiating with Mascalzone Latino about buying the former
ESP-47 (Bravo España, Spanish boat for America's Cup 2000). Designed by
Rolf Vrolijk and Manuel Ruiz, the SUI-64's fathers, she was the best
2000-generation boat according to Bertrand Pacé. Meanwhile, John Sweeney
said that their Cup budget is now sufficient (€48 million) and that most of
the key people are now secured. - Cup in Europe website,

If it's ice and snow, it's H20, and no one knows frozen or flowing water
better than the inventor of the boat shoe, Sperry Top-Sider. This winter,
keep your feet warm, dry and planted firmly on the ground with Sperry
Top-Sider's new Figawi Foul Weather Boot. Featuring wave-siped rubber
outsoles for wet or dry traction, seam-sealed construction, nubuck uppers,
and toasty sherling linings, the Figawi boot is engineered to perform in
the teeth of a squall or in the face of a mud-soaked city street. Available
in brown/sherling or charcoal/gold. Visit

* U.S. solo sailor Bruce Schwab was one of 21 skippers honored at the
official opening ceremony of the 2004 Vendee Globe. Two of the 23 original
skippers had to withdraw due to lack of funding. Thanks to last minute
loans and donations from supporters, Schwab has been able to maintain his
standing as the only American in the competition. His final race
preparations include installation of new sails, a new boom and a haul-out
to repair minor keel damage. Schwab's goal is to becoming the first
American to finish the Vendee. The race starts on November 7. -

* Kanehoe Yacht Club - With strong and consistent finishes throughout the
week, Rush Creek Yacht Club's Kathy Irwin and her crew were awarded the
Mrs. Charles Francis Adams Trophy as the 2004 winners of the U.S. Women's
Sailing Championship. Joni Palmer won a tiebreaker to take second place,
the 2003 winner Adams Whitney Besse was third with former Adams' champion
Vicki Sodaro fourth.

* The Italian pre-match race for the America's Cup will take place off
Trapani's coast in autumn 2005. The only Italian race of the circuit will
include all the teams taking part in Valencia's final. Trapani's harbour is
already undergoing renewal to host the event. The dock works will be funded
by the government. In order to boost tourism, Italia Navigando allegedly
presented a project for a 1,200 boat capacity marina. - AGI online,

* Marine clothing company Henri-Lloyd has been appointed an official
technology partner to the BMW Oracle Racing team at the 32nd edition of the
America's Cup, which begins in Valencia in 2007. The three-year partnership
will see the group provide its custom-made clothing and footwear to the
entire BMW Oracle team, while a range of luggage and apparel will be given
to the shore crew and administrative staff. In addition, a special line of
clothing will also be available in retail shops throughout Europe from
March 2005 onwards. -

* The Sonar crew, based in St. Petersburg, and other Paralympic and Olympic
athletes will meet the president and his wife on Monday. Fresh from winning
international glory in Greece, athletes anchored in St. Petersburg sail
into the White House Monday to meet President Bush. The president and Laura
Bush will appear at a reception honoring U.S. Olympic and Paralympic
athletes, including the four-member Paralympic team that won a bronze medal
for sailing. - St. Petersburg Times,

* Stefano Polti's Mintaka (ITA) has won the 20-boat Swan 45 Gold Cup in
Capri, Italy - the class' first World Champion. Polti's fifth place finish
in the last raced moved him ahead of Marco Salvi and Alberto Signorini's
Vertigo (GBR), which finished 20th - moving them off the top of the
leaderboard into second overall, three points behind Mintaka. Tom Stark's
Rush (USA) finished second place in the final race to nail down third place
in the regatta. The next class world championship will be in Key West in
January, 2006.

* It took a three hour helicopter-shoot to capture the amazing Jon Nash
images of Alex Thompson's Open 60 'Hugo Boss' that we've just posted on our
website. The boat often peaked at 25 knots during the spectacle as Alex
sent his boat into huge waves in winds of 35 -40 knots. Take a peak:

* Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in British Columbia was host to 31 boats for
the Martin 242 Penfolds North American Championships. Sixteen-foot tides
created interesting currents which, when combined with the offshore
easterly winds and over a dozen anchored freighters, gave the sailors more
than enough to think about as they picked their way around English Bay.
Panique, helmed by Athens Star silver medallist Ross MacDonald and crew
Dave Higgs, Bob Neil and Pierre Parkinson narrowly won the event over Mike
George and his team aboard 9 Lives. Third place went to 2003 M242 NA winner
Todd Pearce.

* Pictures have now been posted on the Scuttlebutt website of Dennis
Conner's magnificently restored, 49-foot wooden "Q" boat, Cotton Blossom
II. Designed in 1924 by Johan Anker, the leading "Q" Boat designer of the
time, and built at the Jensen Shipyard near Oslo, Norway, Conner was able
to obtain the original plans from the maritime museum in Oslo for the

* The city of Gandia has become a new sponsor for the French K-Challenge
America's Cup syndicate. "In our opinion, the fact that the K-Challenge has
decided to install its base in our city represents a magnificent
opportunity for our tourist industry in general and nautical tourism in
particular," said José Manuel Orengo, Mayor of Gandia. K-Challenge will
offer marketing and communication rights to the city as a Licensed Partner
until 2007, to develop its notoriety and promote its image, develop its
partners network, animate the life of the city, attract companies and

If it's ice and snow, it's H20, and no one knows frozen or flowing water
better than the inventor of the boat shoe, Sperry Top-Sider. This winter,
keep your feet warm, dry and planted firmly on the ground with Sperry
Top-Sider's new Figawi Foul Weather Boot. Featuring wave-siped rubber
outsoles for wet or dry traction, seam-sealed construction, nubuck uppers,
and toasty sherling linings, the Figawi boot is engineered to perform in
the teeth of a squall or in the face of a mud-soaked city street. Available
in brown/sherling or charcoal/gold. Visit

(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 Ron Holland: I was impressed to read (Scuttlebutt 1689) of the speed
potential of the new Volvo Ocean 70 designs. Too bad not many yachts will
be competing. The reason there are going to be so few starters is directly
related to cost. I understood after the last race reducing costs was
considered a priority. Clearly this new generation of yachts is going to be
very expensive.

I contend the sponsors don't care about the speeds these yachts can
achieve. They are going to be involved on a cost to compete : promotion
ratio. The designers and sailors may be excited about canard foils and
canting keels, but I believe sponsors don't care about these technical
details. Without the sponsors seeing real value, this race is never going
to fulfill its potential in having larger fleets and greater public awareness.

* From Enrico Ferrari I have had an opportunity to view the website and I am amazed at the concept. How soon before
this new sail goes through the fleet and leaves the rest of us behind? It
looks as if the control lines are about 150' or longer! The leeward mark
roundings might be even more fun than they are now if we had a fleet flying
these things.

* From Jeff Johnstone, J Boats: In 1980, the J/24 Class and J Boats
received three reports of known sinkings. The next J/24 Magazine (March
1981) covered the details of each incident, the recommended safety
precautions, stability studies, permitted boat modifications, spec changes
etc. In these cases, and most cases sited since (including Quicksilver in
Seattle) the primary cause was flooding of an aft cockpit locker (when an
unsecured lid opened) or the main companionway after a broach in heavy air.
The #1 safety precaution published then, repeated since, and highlighted in
Steve Johnson's account is: When sailing in rough weather, be sure that all
deck openings are secured. This is an essential safety precaution for
keelboats with enclosed interiors.

Having its origins in the Off Soundings and MORC Rule of the 1970s (which
followed ORC guidelines), the J/24 was built to meet those safety
requirements including lifelines, pulpits, self-bailing cockpit, securable
deck openings. Class equipment followed suit, mandating items such as life
ring/drogue, pump/bucket, first aid, fire extinguisher, hacksaw, engine,
securing of heavy items below, etc. But as we've unfortunately learned,
mandating equipment is only a start. We can never let up in the pursuit of
educating all sailors about the importance of taking a pro-active role in
their own safety, and that of everyone aboard; not to mention helping a
fellow competitor, as was so commendably done in Seattle.

The recommendations published in the 1981 J/24 Magazine are as valid then
as they are today. To see a reprint, we've posted the following link:

* From Dan Tucker: I raced J/24's pretty competitively on a regional basis
for some time. I've only seen one sinking, and I happened to be on board.
We were racing USA 2246 in pretty tough conditions (cold, rain, 30ish
knots, with higher shifty gusts on a mountain lake). We death rolled the
boat twice at the same spot in the course due to a geographic shift and
gust well over 35 knots. We were leading the race when we turtled the boat
during the 2nd broach. We were so determined to go to the J/24 Worlds that
we never stopped racing, just righted the boat. We'd heard the stories
about sinking J/24s, so the hatches were secured, but the companionway
washboard was not in place... Crew were all fine, but all the skipper could
say while were in the water was, "I can't believe we sank the f*#%ing
boat!" The boat was recovered and still races.

Turtle any keelboat with a cabin and it's highly likely to sink. Properly
buttoned up, a J/24 is no more susceptible to sinking than any other
keelboat. I've seen people button them up and intentionally capsize the
boat to retrieve a lost halyard. There are just more of them, so you hear
about it more. A planing spinnaker run in a J/24 is just a rush. I still
love it!

BTW, we still finished the regatta 7th, with a DNF -Did Not Float

* From Charles J. Doane: I don't go back as far as Bob Johnstone and Guy
Gurney, but I was reading sailing mags back in the '70s and have worked on
staff at three different mags since the mid-80s and have freelanced for
several others. Like Guy, I could tell more than a few stories about times
I have been stifled as a writer by publishers and editors worried about
reactions from advertisers, most particularly boatbuilders. I know for a
fact that some builders have raised an enormous hue and cry behind the
scenes when boats they build receive anything less than absolutely positive

Many other builders, I am sure, believe the mags should play it straight.
The fact is, both because they fear reactions from those advertisers who do
complain, and because the sailing industry is quite small and there is a
natural tendency not to want to ruffle feathers within "the family," so to
speak, publishers and editors do a very effective job of censoring
themselves. Advertisers who are truly concerned with seeing that the
sailing public gets straight dope in the magazines they buy should make
clear to publishers how they feel and should insist they not receive
special treatment. As for the readers, if they really want the straight
dope, they need to be willing to pay more for the magazines. Heavily
discounted subscription prices give advertisers all the economic clout.

When people say "It's not the money, it's the principle," you must realize
that the principle is that they never let anyone screw them over for the money.