Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1693 - October 20, 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.

A not-so-funny thing happened to Gary Jobson on his way to Long Beach early
last year. He had a presentation scheduled for the evening of April 22 at
the Long Beach YC, but that morning he learned why he hadn't been feeling
well recently as he did TV commentary for the America's Cup at Auckland.

Now, 18 months later, he's due back at LBYC Thursday night, Oct. 21, just
one of 19 stops on an ambitious lecture schedule extending into spring,
and, at 54, he has even more to talk about. the Olympic Games. His new
book. His recovery. "I'm getting there," he said last week from Annapolis.
"I get scans every 90 days. My last scan was at the end of July, and it was
clean." But the disease and the treatments took a toll: his mop of hair,
his strength, his body mass. Chemotherapy and stem cell transplants will do
that. While he limited his travel from Annapolis, he didn't go into
seclusion, and friends were stunned by his appearance.

"If you're there that night you'll see I'm pretty skinny," he said last
week. Also pretty bald. He hosted the Olympic sailing TV from under a cap.
"I decided it was such a distraction that everybody would be looking at [my
head], as opposed to what I'm saying," he said. "Plus, it was 100 degrees out."

Last October he made a quick overnight trip to Long Beach for the awards
dinner of the "Fantasy Sail with Gary Jobson" regatta, an affair closer to
his heart than he ever imagined it would be. It was the climax of the
annual series of 45 regattas benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Jobson was the series' chairman long before the disease found him, too.
Through it all, he was determined to go to Athens for the Olympics. NBC had
promised more than four hours of sailing coverage---"More air time than the
previous five Olympics combined," Jobson noted---and he would be there to
do it. He was, and he did. - Rich Roberts, The Log, full story:

The organizers of the Annapolis to Newport Race announced they will be
using the IRC Rule for the race that begins on June 10, 2005. The Annapolis
Yacht Club is the host club assisted by the New York Yacht Club, the Naval
Academy Sailing Squadron and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. They also announced
the establishment of a Yacht Club Challenge and one-design scoring for the
28th running of the biennial 475 mile race.

"The additions to the 2005 Annapolis to Newport Race acknowledge the
changing dynamics of off-shore racing," commented Chip Thayer, Chair, AYC's
Race Committee. "IRC adoption has been growing internationally, and now
that growth is occurring for American events." The Race Committee will also
be using PHRF for boats that are not IRC rated. Yacht clubs with four or
more entries are eligible to compete for the newly established Yacht Club
Challenge. Classes with six or more entries will be eligible for one design
class scoring. -

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at

Congratulations to Jens Hookanson for his exciting victory at the J-24
World Championships in Noroton, CT. Racing against a select group, Jens
pulled out all stops on the last leg of the last race of a very exciting
event. Winning with Salsa, a well prepared 25 year old J was no problem,
especially when loaded with Samson running rigging. Thanks to Jens and his
crew: PJ Schaeffer (tactician), Ralf Kinder, Jock Hayes and Larry
Colantuano for counting on Samson.

The sailors gave all they have on the water, and there was a cadre of
journalists here analyzing shifts, pointing, and tactics as if they
mattered, but these weren't the boats and this wasn't the sailing season in
which the 32nd America's Cup defense will be sailed, so like the Moet and
UBS events, this ultimately was about crew training and most of all public
relations. Time on the water is always good for sailors, and in terms of
public relations, America's Cup Acts 2 and 3 were a runaway success. When
they gave out the Act 2, match-racing, prize to Emirates Team New Zealand,
the day coincided with a national Spanish holiday and there were thousands
more people trying to get a glimpse of the action than could be squeezed
into the "America's Cup Park" at the foot of the Avenida Puerto. When they
gave out the Act 3 prize to Alinghi, the docks were crowded deep again. In
Valencia, the Cup is finding believers.

There was also an ample supply of cold reality. When Alinghi led around
Mark 1 of Fleet Race 2 on Thursday and immediately blew out a spinnaker, a
replacement went up just as immediately. When Italy's + 39 broke a
spinnaker halyard moments later, the response time was much slower. This is
a blooding for rookies. There is also the likelihood that blood will be
spilled between teams vying to make a good showing for potential sponsors.
Can both French teams, Le Defi and K-Challenge come up with the money to be
players in 2007? The common wisdom says no, they can't

We saw some squirrelly races here in Valencia. But you needn't necessarily
take this as evidence that Valencia will stick the races with the fluky
conditions that beset the racing the last time around in Auckland. No one
can guarantee the breeze, but the real event, come 2007, will be sailed in
June, not October. The locals are touting Valencia as "the Fremantle of the
Mediterranean", not because the winds are as strong as in Western
Australia, where the Cup was sailed in 1987, but because they predict
suitable winds for racing "90 percent of the time". - Excerpts from a story
by Kimball Livingston, Sail magazine, to read the full story:

Klaatje Zuiderbaan of Holland eliminated Jenny Axhede of Sweden 3-0 to win
the Cicada International Women's Match Racing championship and a check for
$7500. Both Zuiderbaan and Axhede will advance to the qualifying round of
The King Edward VII Gold Cup and sail Dennis Conner and Russell Coutts

Tuesday started out with all eyes on Bermudian Paula Lewin who was the
clear favorite to win the event as she came into the semi-finals with a 7-0
performance in the round robin. Lewin chose to race against Zuiderbaan and
she may now live to regret it as she fell 0-3. Lewin finished out the
competition in third place with Guila Conti's Dutch team taking fourth. -

After five days of racing in the qualifying rounds, the eight unseeded
teams - Zuiderbaan and Axhede, plus Scott Dickson, Anthony Kartoun, Cameron
Appleton, Brian Angel, Chris Larson, and Cameron Dunn - will face off
against some of the best known sailors in the world today as The King
Edward VII Gold Cup finally gets underway. In addition to Conner and
Coutts, the seeded skippers include Peter Gilmour, James Spithill, Ed
Baird, Mathieu Richard, Staffan Lindberg and Bjorn Hansen. - Laurie

Mitch Booth (NED) and John Lovell (USA) each took a 3-1 lead in the
Challenger and Defender Series, respectively in the International Catamaran
Challenge Trophy Series. With southerly winds reaching 20 knots, the F18HT
catamarans were at top speed, completing the four-mile courses in less than
20 minutes with boats speeds approaching 20 knots.

In the defender series, Lovell and crew Charlie Ogletree flipped once prior
to a practice race when they snagged a crab trap, and once again in the
second match against rival defender candidate Bob Hodges (Mandeville, La.),
which cost him the lead and the match point. In the Challenger Series, the
Dutch team's score was also hard-earned, having earned the win in Match One
against rivals Enrique Figueroa and Jorge Sanchez when the Puerto Ricans
capsized only meters from the finish and lost a commanding lead.

Match racing tomorrow, and continues through October 22. - Jan Harley,

Never lose your hat or sunglasses to the wind or water again. Introducing
the X cap™ with Xtractable eyewear™ Technology, the neXt generation in
performance headwear. Ideal for days when you are playing the on/off game
with your sunglasses, its built-in retractors prevent you from losing your
hat and expensive sunglasses. With all the functions of an eyeglass holder
in a sleek high performance headwear design it's sure to be the neXt and
last hat you ever wear. Featured in our new holiday catalog and available
now at APS, see how they work…

As the Act 3 regattas ended, Valencia Mayoress Rita Barbera, as well as the
Valencian Conseller for Finance, Gerardo Camps, and Jordi Sevilla the
Minister for Public Administrations, appeared at a press conference during
which they outlines the agreement that had been reached between the three
parties involved in the future arrangements for the Cup races. In the first
place, there will be parity between the local and Madrid governments on the
various councils, with each having 50%, but the Government will have eight
more votes on the administrative council for the Cup, whilst the Valencian
Government and the Town Hall will have the remaining 50%. Despite this, Mrs
Barbera will remain as President.

The Valencia 2007 Consortium will concede all the rights to the various
plots of land, port infrastructures to be undertaken, and the amount of
space given over to the Americas Cup, whilst an agreement has been made
with the State Financing Agency ICO in favour of Valencia 2007. This will
represent 500 million Euros of which 300 will be returned to the Government
as part of the profits of exploitation from the Americas cup, and the
remaining 200 million will be part of the Official State Budget. However,
the agreement makes this point: "After the Americas Cup, a Grand Marina
will be developed". This will be the result of a study of various projects
that will be presented by the world's best architects and urban planners.
Also included in the agreement is a plan to improve the look of Valencia
City, and for this the Government will allow the Town Hall an
'extraordinary debt facility'.

Meanwhile, the French syndicate K-Challenge have entered into an agreement
to make Gandia their base, and members of the team as well as the
K-Challenge itself is expected in Gandia today. The presence of the French
syndicate will cost Gandia some 700,000 Euros, 400,000 of which will go
towards creating adequate installations on the Port's Northern Pier, and a
further 300,000 is expected to be spent on promoting the town whilst the
syndicate uses it as a base. Preparations demanded by the French syndicate
include a cement base for a huge crane, and added port security, as well as
the installation of two huge marquees.

* UK professional sailor Mike Golding will be sailing the Vendee Globe Race
on his Open 60 'Ecover' under the banner of 'RYA Team GBR Vendee Globe
2004.' This mutually beneficial partnership represents the best aspects of
British yachting as Mike Golding and the RYA will actively promote offshore
sailing and shared values about the discipline of offshore racing to young
sailors aspiring to enter the world of competition keelboat sailing. The
Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national governing body for all
forms of sailing, windsurfing, and powerboat racing. -

* TP 52 Executive Director Tom Pollack told us that Peter de Ridder is
building a new 'Mean Machine' - a Rolf Vrolijk-designed Transpac 52 that
will in the Mediterranean for the 2006 season. It's all part of a join
effort with Arien van Vemde (Sotto Voce) that will produce two TP 52

* SAIC La Jolla have crept in front of Barclays Adventurer and VAIO to
snatch a tie breaking front place lead with Samsung in the Global Challenge
Race The race is really on between these four yachts. Samsung, Barclays
Adventurer and VAIO look like they've been caught in a bit of a windless
pocket for the past couple of hours as they've slowed down considerably
with 4.2, 3.9 and 2.7 knots respectively. This has enabled SAIC La Jolla to
race into joint first with 6.2 knots.

* Following the retirement of Charles Hedrich (Objectif 3), the competitors
in the Vendée Globe will now amount to 20 skippers representing 6
nationalities. The Austrian Norbert Sedlacek has announced that he has
signed a deal with the Brother trademark which will be the new name of his
monohull. As regards boat testing, the race committee seems serene as it
will have finished the initial testing of all the boats by this evening
without observing any major problems. -

* As the home of the 2007 America's Cup, Valencia, Spain got a taste of
what is ahead of them during Act 2 and 3 last week. Photographer Thierry
Martinez helps to familiarize us with Valencia in a gallery of photos
posted on the Scuttlebutt website:

Two Premiere Racing events for your winter calendar this year. The 18th
edition of Key West Race Week (January 17-21) and the new Acura Miami Race
Week - the SORC Renaissance (March 10-13). Great competition, professional
race management, superb venues. Don't miss the sun and fun!

(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 Mark Michaelsen (In reply to Charlie McLaughlin who wrote "When
Dennis Connor can't afford to put an America's Cup campaign together,
something's terribly wrong."): The price of racing at the pinnacle of any
sport is high. The price of racing at the technological zenith of a sport
involving a vehicle is even higher. The A-Cup is not a race of sailor
against sailor (Although admittedly that is my preference for racing) but
rather a battle of designers, machinists, hydro-aerodynamicists and finally
the guys (and girls) that pull the strings and spin the wheels to make it
all work under human power alone. It's all about a nations total resources.

Yes, competitors have magically turned Japanese and rudders are installed
on boats despite the fact that there is no tooling anywhere to be found in
the sponsoring country but the concept of bringing the finest men and
women, tooling and design under one syndicate costs big bucks and isn't for
everyone. If you think America's Cup campaigns are pricey go have a look at
Formula 1 car racing. Not 6 but 36 "syndicates" show up and pay the big
bucks to race the world F-1 circuit. Somehow they find a way to fund it
year after year.

The price of entry to the America's Cup is way out of my reach but right
where it should be if the event is to remain the pinnacle of technological
achievement. Just my opinion of course.

* From John Roberson: Regarding Charlie McLaughlin's assertion, "When
Dennis Connor can't afford to put an America's Cup campaign together,
something's terribly wrong." Wasn't it Dennis who upped the ante in the
first place, and is he now being beaten by the monster he created? Yes in
the days of the Nefertiti campaign one boat was built per team, and the
best got to challenge for or defend the trophy. How many boats did Dennis
build for his unsuccessful defense in '83, and how many did he build for
his successful challenge in '87.

Yes campaigns are expensive now, but money doesn't just evaporate, if it is
being spent, then someone on the other side of the equation is earning it,
and paying his mortgage, and educating his children. Well lot of people are
Also if you look back over the past thirty years of the Cup, it is often
not the biggest budget that wins, just look at the Australia II campaign in
'83, the Kiwi campaigns in '95 and '00, Bertarelli will tell you that his
wasn't the most expensive in 2003.

* From Brian Hancock: I agree heartily with Chris Boome, and by extension
Ron Holland. What makes an exciting sailboat race is close competition. The
Global Challenge boats are having a terrific race with 15 miles separating
the first four boats after more than two weeks racing. I like speed and
high tech as much as anyone else but grit, adventure and a heck of a boat
race capture my imagination much more than an oversold event off Valencia.

* From Dan Dickison, Editor, Practical Sailor: In response to Eric
Steinberg's assertion in 'butt 1692 that "marine rags, both glossy and the
'newsprint' style regional, contain mostly homogenized good news about our
industry," I feel compelled to point out that there are alternative sources
of information available. Practical Sailor is one those. Not unlike our
glossy counterparts, the mission of this publication is to offer
subscribers fair, objective, and informed opinions regarding sailing gear,
accessories, and boats. However, publications like Practical Sailor, which
are wholly supported by subscriber fees, are not encumbered by the concern
of keeping advertisers happy. This is not meant as a criticism of the
glossy marine publications (nor the newsprint ones). I know first hand that
the editors there work hard to strike a balance between serving readers and
advertisers alike, but there's an important difference between those
publications and our own:

* From Matt Kreuzkamp: It shouldn't be hard to write about negative
attributes of an advertiser's product. Merely organize a meeting with the
advertiser to discuss whatever controversy prior to publishing. Put
yourself into the other person's shoes and everything becomes much clearer.
I don't want my advertising outlets to negatively portray my product
without my prior knowledge. Together the writer, editor, and advertiser can
write an effective article. Perhaps they can also pro-actively effect
beneficial product refinements, etc -this really should be the goal, right?

Someone wrote about "...the responsibility of the Race Committee for
safety..." We always want others responsible for our bad judgment. Race
Committees are typically volunteers. Making volunteers responsible for our
own judgment is a slippery slope. If something is too dangerous or beyond
the scope of your ability, don't do it. One of the greatest feats of
competitor responsibility was this year at the Thistle Nationals. Wednesday
was really windy. There was a harbor start, most of the fleet sailed out,
then the fleet sailed in because it was too windy to race. The fleet didn't
make the Race Committee decide for them. There were still those saying '...
I can't believe they sent us out in that wind...' but doing it any other
way creates bad precedents. Besides, the Race Committee didn't send us out,
we all sent ourselves out individually.

I cut myself shaving today... Damn Gillette Corp.

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to
realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.