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SCUTTLEBUTT 1692 - October 19, 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
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

That Emirates Team New Zealand could do so well in both match and fleet
formats, first with the much derided TNZ 82 and then with a boat prepared
in five days from the rebuilt hull of equally dodgy NZL 81 was totally
unexpected. What were the factors? First, the now structurally sound boats
showed that their shape was never suspect and that the hula at least didn't
hurt. Second, ETNZ now have the best afterguard. Certainly the hungriest.
The crew also is close to faultless, not through recent practice, just
through a lifetime of doing it properly. Finally the rebuild of TNZ 82
meant that the gear and the wardrobe were new and in good condition. There
were a lot of gear and sail failures in the fleet, even Alinghi were using
tired gear and paid for it.

Where do ETNZ go from here? Well The two boats will take the long trip
home, where they'll be greeted by NZL 68, the first version 5 boat to sail
in November. NZL 81 will, of course, need quite a bit of work, not only to
make her version 5 but to redefine the shape now the hula is finally
discarded. NZL 82 will not race again, After a patch-up repair she'll be
transported to Dubai and spend the next few years working as a promotional
boat for Emirates.

BMW Oracle Racing was second in the championship (on countback). Not as
dominant as we expected! Difficult to pin down why they were disappointing,
in fact we don't really think they were. Without ETNZ's surprising
performance we would have had a close and, retrospectively predictable,
BMWO/Alinghi one two. Slighty closer than the Moet and UBS would have lead
us to expect, but more of the same really. The damage to USA 76 was
probably a bit of a factor as well, but all in all, not a bad effort. What
next? Well the mandatory v5 conversions of course. But we're not sure where
this will happen or if there is more hull surgery planned. We rather
suspect that these boats are unlikely to go near the 60% limit to the hull
change rule and would expect them training again before too long.

Alinghi did better than expected, to their obvious relief. The Moet and UBS
experiences were not good and post Coutts, morale was low. They did no
training before Act 1 (still can't see why) and in Marseille they looked
beatable. The gear and sails looked a little tired on occasion. All in all
it was not a dominant team seen in 2003. What next? SUI 64 had been offered
for sale, but we would expect her to be v5'ed along with SUI 75. There is
certainly no new boat in the 2005 plans. - Excerpts from an analysis on the
Mariantic website:

Less than two months before the first deadline, only six teams have signed
up for the 2007 America's Cup series - BMW Oracle Racing, Emirates Team New
Zealand, Italy's +39 and Team Luna Rossa, France's K-Challenge and South
Africa's Team Shosholoza. "We will certainly arrive to ten or twelve teams
in the next year," Michel Bonnefous, head of America's Cup Management, told
La Tribune de Geneve.

The first deadline for entry is December 17, by when teams have to pay a €1
million ($1.8 million) bond, €50,000 ($90,700) for the challengers'
commission and US$25,000 ($36,350) for America's Cup Properties
Incorporated. The second entry deadline is April 29, but a late fee of
€200,000 is charged. Probably five or six teams outside those confirmed as
starters have a realistic chance of mounting a challenge, but it appears
all are struggling to find sponsorship. Julie Ash, NZ Herald,

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QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Grant Dalton
"The danger for us, having been almost too successful too quickly, is we do
a good All Black trick - lose the World Cup then have a couple of good
years and then fall off the cliff again. So I think it is really important
not to just follow the yellow brick road and get intoxicated with doing
well. We might get hammered next year and that might be because we are
trying things. I suggest there will be alterations within the team. I think
any good business executive would tell you after this you have to go back
and make some changes and just keep the whole thing rolling, and I think
I'll do that." - Emirates Team New Zealand syndicate head Grant Dalton
after winning the ACC Championship 2004. From a story by Julie Ash in the
NZ Herald, full story:

(Following are excerpts from an interview between Alinghi's Brad
Butterworth and NZ Herald journalist Julie Ash.)

Q: How is the syndicate without Russell Coutts?
A: "It is different. It is pretty disappointing because we would be better
off with him. I support him 100 percent, the strength of this team is due
to the work that he has put in. It is a pity that it hasn't worked out but
hopefully we'll get to sail together again when this campaign is over.

Q: Did you consider leaving?
A: "It crossed our minds. We have sailed together for most of our adult
careers. But his position is a little bit different to mine. He felt
strongly about it and had plenty of issues ... the good thing about him he
doesn't take any backward steps.

Q: You said your relationship with Alinghi syndicate head Ernesto
Bertarelli was strained after Coutts' sacking. How is it now?
A: "You get over it. The situation with him and Russell has happened and it
is finished. I made a decision to stay and Ernesto is the owner of the team
... my relationship with him is not the same as it was but it is good."

Q: How is new helmsman Peter Holmberg going?
A: "We are just getting to know each other really. We make a bunch of
mistakes because we don't communicate that well. I am used to communicating
one way and he is used to doing it another way. Luckily we have a few years
to sort it out. I was a big fan of having Peter in the team because I
watched him closely in the last event and he was the toughest guy to beat.

Full interview:

Hamilton, Bermuda - As the top female match-racing sailors made their final
bid for a berth in the semi-final match of the Cicada International Women's
Match Racing Championship, Paula Lewin of Bermuda demonstrated her
masterful sailing skills as she went undefeated (7-0) after three days of
racing. As the top finisher, Lewin will choose amongst the other final
finishers including Jenny Axhede of Sweden (4-3), Klaartje Zuiderbaan of
Holland (4-3), and Guila Conti of Italy (4-3) who, like Lewin, have a shot
at entering the qualifying round of the Investors Guaranty presentation of
The King Edward VII Gold Cup where they will compete for prize money
totaling $100,000. - Talbot Wilson,

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* Christopher Enger & Paige Railey were the winners of the Laser and Laser
Radial divisions of the 2004 ISSA High School National Singlehanded
Championships for the Cressy Trophy, hosted by the Wayzata YC and Lake
Minnetonka Sailing School Oct. 16-17, 2004. Enger of Sarasota (FL) HS held
off a close challenge from Point Loma's (CA) Parker Shinn to win the Laser
Class by two points. In the Laser Radial division, Railey (Clearwater HS)
simply dominated with a 29 point margin, winning 5 of the 9 races, and
never placing out of the top five. -

* The website has some interesting and insightful
information about the last ISAF Windsurfing Evaluation in the UK:

* The Laser Class Association of North America- with some 3000 members
sailing Lasers, Radials and Laser 4.7s throughout Canada and the United
States - is searching for a new Executive Director. There's a complete
description of the position on their website:

* As Australian skipper Matt Riddell and his crew on Samsung doggedly
preserve a meager lead of five miles in the Global Challenge, Save the
Children has fallen nearly 300 miles behind. That represents a performance
deficit of 10 per cent on the distance sailed so far, yet the fleet is less
than halfway to Buenos Aires. Save the Children have trailed the fleet
since the first week, and have steadily been slipping back until they are a
day-and-a-half behind the leaders. They have had two broken spinnakers, but
their track also shows that they've sailed the greatest distance so far. -
Elaine Bunting, Yachting World,

* Severn Sailing Association, Annapolis, MD - The Lightning Frigid Digit
Fall Championship was sailed in a westerly 15-30 kts this past weekend on
the Chesapeake Bay. David Starck, Buffalo, N.Y. with crew Mike and Billy
Healy, won the 45 boat regatta with a four point margin over Neal Folwer.
Bill Fastiggi finished third, just two point further back with Allan
Terhune and Mitch Hnatt rounding out the top five. -

* In the final day of the qualifying round robin competition, six unseeded
competitors out of sixteen qualified to advance to the first stage of the
Investors Guaranty presentation of Bermuda's King Edward VII Gold Cup
starting Wednesday. They are Scott Dickson (6-1) Anthony Kartoun (5-2),
Cameron Appleton (5-2) Brian Angel (5-2), Chris Larson (4-3) and Cameron
Dunn (3-4). Amongst others, they will face Russell Coutts, Dennis Conner,
Peter Gilmour and James Spithill. -

* We've put together some of Thierry Martinez's best images from the just
concluded Louis Vuitton Acts 2 & 3 and posted them on-line:

* With five bullets in six races, Claudia Wainer's team from the host Long
Beach YC easily won the Linda Elias Memorial Women's One Design Challenge
sailed in the Congressional Cup Catalina 37s. Teams came from as far as
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Portland, Oregon to compete. All races were
abandoned on Saturday (no breeze), but six races were held Sunday in a
steady southwesterly breeze that hovered around 13 knots. Alice Leahey took
second place, while the team of Armitage/Campbell captured the final spot
on the podium. -

* Sail Newport Match Race Championship for the IYAC Cup took place in J/22s
with winds gusting to the upper 20's. In the semi-finals, Tony Rey and Andy
Horton each went 2-0 to reach the finals, while Tom Kirk and Brian Comfort
qualified for the petit finals. By the time the semi-finals had begun the
wind was gusting into the upper 20's, and the race committee called for
no-spinnakers. Andy Horton (Newport) emerging from the finals as the victor
with two wins and one loss. Horton raced with crew Scott Nixon (Annapolis,
MD) and Canadian sailor Mike Wolfs. -

* Correction: Joni Palmer was winner of the 2003 U.S. Women's Sailing
Championship (Adams Trophy) - not Whitney Besse as was incorrectly stated
in 'Butt 1691.

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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 Andrew Bray, Editor, Yachting World: I hate to have to admit it but
I have worked on sailing magazines even longer than Charles Doane
(Scuttlebutt 1691) and am only too aware of the dilemma facing journalists
and editors when criticizing products from companies whose advertising pays
their salaries. And having received more lawyer's letters from the same
aggrieved advertisers than I can recall, having had a number of advertising
campaigns cancelled and having once, memorably, spent six weeks in the High
Court in London defending a libel action I like to think that Yachting
World, as do most other British sailing magazines, errs on the side of the
reader but without being commercially irresponsible.

Not that I'm particularly proud of any of this, but it is indicative that
there is a portion of the marine press that does put its readers first, and
this is usually appreciated by the trade in that it produces a magazine
whose views are trusted. I don't wish to single out any particular magazine
nor nationality, but I was once interviewed by a publisher who made it
clear that its advertisers' interests came first and that their (the
publisher's) business was first and foremost to aid those advertisers to
build their business. That's not the business Yachting World is in.

* From Eric Steinberg: Guy Gurney's comments about editorial censorship in
the marine press lead me once again to compliment Tom Leweck (et al) for
the accidental vision to create Scuttlebutt. With the objective oversight
of the Curmudgeon, it has truly become the forum for our industry to let it
all hang out. Charles Doane's comments in 'butt 1691 highlight the fact
that marine rags, both glossy and the "newsprint" style regional, contain
mostly homogenized good news about our industry. Charles sites that if the
public were to carry more of the finical load, this would help solve the
problem (it would), but I offer that feedback from the buying public to the
editor of their favorite rag would have a significant impact as well. Let
it be known that news and objective reporting on the marine industry is

* From Chris Boome: I heartily agree with Ron Holland's comments. As
evidence, I have a Laser Master friend from San Francisco who is sailing on
"Spirit of Sark" in the Global Challenge, certainly not a high tech glitzy
event. But I found myself tracking his progress and have really gotten
caught up in following this very tight race. What makes it fun is that I
have an interest in following a particular boat and the information they
provide allows me to make my own "tactical decisions" I check in twice
a day for updates. If they spent a little money to give me a bit more info,
I would follow it that much more fervently...and of course, every time I
click on, they have a chance for promotion. The racing is very interesting
and extremely close. It doesn't matter to me if the boats are going 9 knots
or 20.

* From Charlie McLaughlin: When Dennis Connor can't afford to put an
America's Cup campaign together, something's terribly wrong. I don't know
about anybody else, but I find the expenditures associated with the current
campaigns to be nothing short of shocking. Given the number of active
campaigns, expenditures of $200M per syndicate, with ongoing costs of $100M
per year, are indefensible, obscene, and not worthy of the sport of
sailing. I followed Ted Hood's 1962 Nefertiti campaign in Marblehead. She
launched that spring. The summer was spent training and August trials
followed. Most campaigns for years thereafter were of similar duration and
by the end of September, the shouting was over. While no doubt somewhat
expensive for the times, the reported costs of these campaigns paled by
comparison to current efforts. How Corinthian when compared to today's
never ending pursuit of bragging rights for those who care to listen.

I have always thought that AC racing should be about the sailors. It is
not, of course, but it should be. How much better to put each country's
best citizen sailors aboard a fleet of Farr 40's and let them bang it out,
head to head. Sponsors, advertisers, and corporate stockholders should be
personally embarrassed by these expenditures. Instead, take the savings,
creativity, and energy and invest them in any number of charitable causes
that desperately need support. Everyone, and our sport itself, would be
better off.

* From Michael W. Fortenbaugh, Manhattan Sailing Club: Some people feel
passionate about J/24s. This might be driving the discussion over sinkings.
But any negative boat attribute must be weighed against the positives. Our
club and school own 29 J/24s and we are buying more. These are great
teaching, racing and day-sailing boats. Rather than continue debating
potentialities, please just encourage the class association to make the
boats unsinkable per the 1981 J/24 Magazine which stated:

"2. Foam Flotation - Class Rules permit the installation of commercially
available foam blocks. 30 cubic feet (at 55 lbs. of flotation per cubic
foot) provides about 1600 lbs. of lift. Check the specifications of closed
cell foam used. The balsa core sandwich construction of the J/24 means that
the hull will float without the keel. So, the 950 lb. keel, plus 147 lbs.
of rig should be offset with a margin of safety for crew weight. Blocks of
the foam can be cut up to fit under the "V" berth, in the port locker,
under main berths and aft in the base of the cockpit lockers. This will
make a J/24 virtually unsinkable, but it will cut down on storage space."

* From Denis Farley: There was an incident with the sinking of J24's about
10 years ago in the Wednesday evening series on Sandy Hook Bay in New
Jersey. Three J24's out of 12 that were racing went down simultaneously
when a line squall hit with winds packing gusts to 70 mph. The wind
literally knocked over every J24 that had sails up. Actually, there were
two issues involved. The first issue was the lack of something to prevent
the hatches on the boats from opening. This seems to be a long term problem
with J24's. I understand that new J24's do not have hatches in the cockpit.

The second issue has to deal with the responsibility of the Race Committee
for safety. I listened the marine forecast from NOAA that evening and they
were actually breaking into the broadcast to announce that a line squall
with severe conditions was rapidly approaching. The Race Committee either
did not bother to check the weather, or decided to proceed with the races
in the face of unsettled weather. My crew and I were racing a J24 that
evening and we survived because we dropped out of the race when we saw the
squall was coming, dropped sails, and threw out the anchor. We were
drinking beer in the cabin while the rest of the fleet was getting flattened.

* From Harrison Hine: As one of probably thousands of sailors who had the
opportunity to sail on Cotton Blossom II, I was really glad to see the
loving care by which it was restored by Dennis Conner. It reminded me of
the job done on the 8 meter sloop Angelita in preparation for the 1984
Olympics and the fact that 84 year old, Owen Churchill had the opportunity
to once again sail his beloved Gold Medal winner prior to his death.

I remember the Cotton Blossom II as close winded and a real handful
downwind in a blow. In one pre-Ensanada race from Marina del Rey to Newport
in 1968, we beat the Cal 40's to the West End of Catalina and except for
Pirate II (a Cal 40) we were able to hold them off on the run down the
backside of the island in 35 knots. It was pretty hairy with about 6"
freeboard and sticking that slender bow on every wave. I don't remember how
we finished by we had a blast. The owner at the time was an oil man called
Grover Collins and other crew members were: Dave Croshere, Stan Teel, and
Rick Doremos. All the best to the Cotton Blossom II, may she see her 100th
birthday in 2022.

"A woman drove me to drink - and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her."
- W.C. Fields