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SCUTTLEBUTT 1695 - October 22, 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.

(Following are some excerpts from an interview with J/24 World Champion
Jens Hookanson and his tactician PJ Schaffer posted on the Harken website.)

Question: If you had to name one key to your program's success in the
worlds, what would it be?

PJ: Without a doubt it's the teamwork. We actually have a group of about 8
people who sail regularly on the boat since it's difficult for everyone to
make each weekly race night. We rotate positions frequently and it makes
the group stronger by showing each other how dependant you are on the
others to be successful. We also work on the boat together, plan for
events, and prepare the boat accordingly.

Jens: No doubt as PJ says it is teamwork and really enjoying the guys with
whom you sail. Also being organized before the regatta. Getting through
measurement early so we had a couple days to practice and make sure the
boat was in perfect shape and ready to go.

Question: If another competitor came up to you looking to put together a
championship-caliber team, what advice would you give them?

PJ: Chemistry of the team is really important. We stayed pretty cool
because we knew each other really well. Helps that we're all good friends.

Jens: Find a crew of people that you enjoy sailing with and enjoy as
friends. The crew must be max weight as a team. Have a game plan set out
well in advance leading up to the major regattas and make sure everyone in
on board. Obviously you need a good boat, good sails and equipment. For me,
having a team that was committed and fun was key.

Question: Your boat (Salsa) and Ragtime, which was sailed by Jeff Johnstone
and finished second in the regatta, were two of the boats that sailed the
event with bottom paint. Did you do anything special to the bottom to get
it ready for the event?

Jens: We McLube the bottom at the beginning of the season and before
regattas. There were several other boats with bottom paint at the event.
One possibility is that if the boat is in the water for a week long period
(i.e. championship event), bottom paint may actually help reduce build up
on the bottom surface. Just a theory, no scientific data here.

Full interview:

Olympians of past, present and possibly the future flocked to Weymouth over
the weekend of 16-17 October for the third RYA Holt Ranking Series 2004.
With over 100 competitors, the next Olympic cycle is now in full swing
following the success of our sailors in Athens.

Barrie Edgington, RYA National Racing Coach and Event Director said, "This
weekend has seen one of the largest turnouts since the series began and it
has been fantastic to see so many Olympians coupled with so many newcomers
at this level of national racing. The Olympic cycle, building towards
Beijing 2008, kicked off with a bang and watching the racing it is evident
there is so much talent to look out for in the future as well as Olympians
sailing in different boats from Athens with different crews." - ISAF,

Curmudgeon's Comment: Looks like the British are not standing still. With
the '04 Olympics closing just only two months ago, the Game's biggest medal
winner in sailing is again cranking up the machine for another four-year run.

Regarding the inaugural Swan 45 Gold Cup in Capri, Italy last week, Paul
Cayard, tactician on board Leonardo Ferragamo's Cuordileone, said, "In two
and a half years Nautor has sold 45 boats and to have 20 of them here at
the world championships is incredible." - Andrea Watson, Port Washington

Consider this the start of storage season, not the end of race season. To
win big this time of year, you need a tough canvas cover engineered to
protect your boat from ravaging winter weather. Harken one-design covers
are reinforced at fittings and critical pressure points. Eyelets in
heavy-duty nylon tabs for tie downs are sewn into the seams, guaranteeing
no metal touches your boat. For details to cover your one-design (Lasers,
Opti's and many more):

(Scuttlebutt followed with interest the drama that surrounded the megayacht
Mirabella V going aground this past September in the South of France: Issue
1670, Here
designer Ron Holland offers closure to the incident)

(October 21, 2004) Mirabella V has arrived back to her builder, VT
Shipbuilding in Portsmouth, from the Mediterranean for repairs to her lift
keel mechanism. The 75 metre (245 foot) composite sloop went aground near
Cap Ferrat following her 600 kg anchor dragging in a freshening breeze.
Divers were sent down to examine the hull and keel during and immediately
after the grounding. Once the keel was raised 70cm on her own ram, the
yacht floated free. Mirabella V then motored to La Ciotat shipyard where
she was further examined by yard personnel, representatives of VT
Shipbuilding, and surveyors from the classification society, V Ships and MCA.

Contrary to the various comments that appeared in the media, the hull and
rig are undamaged. The sacrificial tip on one rudder needs to be replaced
and the lift keel mechanism needs to be repaired. "Mirabella V was already
scheduled by VT Shipbuilding to undergo a warranty and maintenance
programme before departing for the Caribbean," commented owner Joseph V.
Vittoria. "Therefore the decision was made to have the yacht return to
Portsmouth and have the keel removed for comprehensive inspection and
repaired whilst the warranty and maintenance programme is under way." - Ron

Mirabella V Photo Galleries:

Hamilton, Bermuda (Oct. 21, 2004) - Thursday is the traditional Pro-Am day
at the King Edward VII Gold Cup, but it was cut short on the water as high
winds tested the fleet of seeded skippers sailing with guest crews of
celebrities and sponsors. After one major t-bone crash between boats
skippered by America's Cup skippers Russell Coutts (NZ) and James Spithill
(AUS), and fellow Australian Peter Gilmour's boat was dismasted, race
officer Charles Tatem called it a day after just one race. The competitors
and their celebrity crews then concluded two more races by rolling dice and
pacing off the totals around the 50-foot course.

Repair crews will have a busy night getting boats back in order for
competition to begin again on Friday with three more rounds leading to the
winner's circle, the $30,000 first place purse and a name on the King
Edward VII Gold Cup. Total prize money is $100,000. With winds on Friday
forecast to be southwest 15 to 25 knots, parings in the top half of the
ladder for the quarter-finals pair #1 seed Ed Baird (USA) with Klaartje
Zuiderbaan (NED) and James Spithill (AUS) against Staffan Lindberg (FIN).
The bottom half of the pairing ladder pits reigning champion Peter Gilmour
(AUS) against Scott Dickson (NZL) and #2 seed Mathieu Richard (FRA) with
Russell Coutts (NZL). - /

New Orleans, LA (October 21, 2004) Principal Race Officer Wallace Paletou
(New Orleans) and Chief Umpire Dobbs Davis (Annapolis, MD) determined
Thursday that conditions were not suitable for racing at the 2004
International Catamaran Challenge Trophy (ICCT). Racing in the Defender
Series concluded Wednesday with Johnny Lovell (New Orleans) and Charlie
Ogletree (Houston, Texas) winning the right to defend for the 24th Little
Americas Cup. Racing in the Challenger Series will resume Friday, October
22, to determine whether Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen of The
Netherlands or Enrique Figueroa and Jorge Sanchez of Puerto Rico will
challenge for the ICCT. Both teams are currently tied at three points each.
The winners of the respective Defender and Challenger eliminations will
compete head-to-head in a first-to-four points series for the Trophy on
Friday, October 22, and, if necessary, Saturday, October 23. - Media Pro

Total entries so far for January's Key West 2005 are running ahead of the
2001 pace that saw a record number of 326 boats compete. The climate,
conditions, competition, renowned race management and shoreside attractions
are among the reasons why this event managed by Premiere Racing dominates
the world's midwinter sailing calendar.

Even regulars from throughout Florida are keen to return despite the heavy
hardships and losses suffered by themselves or their neighbors when their
state was hammered by a rare succession of four major hurricanes recently.
Premiere Racing management has reduced entry fees for Florida residents by
$100 for both Key West 2005 and Acura Miami Race Week 2005.

The new Acura Miami Race Week 2005 ("the SORC renaissance") dates are March
10-13, 2005, with ocean and Biscayne Bay racing, and boat storage following
Key West available. And if that isn't enough, the Miami to Nassau Race Week
follows from March 19-23, 2005. Hosted by the Miami Yacht Club and the
Nassau Yacht Club, this event begins with the ocean race to Nassau,
followed by a series of buoy racing in the Bahamas. - /

The Ockam U text explains in clear, easy to follow language often
misunderstood concepts such as Polars/Targets, VMC course calculations for
long distance racing, and modifying target speeds in oscillating breeze
(aka "Wally"), plus much more. Whether you sail with a sophisticated fully
integrated instrument system, or rely solely on a compass and the
seat-of-your-pants, Ockam U provides helpful information helping you get
around the course faster. It's a bargain at $25 plus flat postage fee of $4
to any address worldwide. A good book for your crew. Makes a great gift
too. To order, contact Lat Spinney (

Another 6 hours and Samsung has clocked up another 7nm of water between
themselves and the competition, leaving them firmly in the lead with
Barclays Adventurer and VAIO both exactly 33nm behind fighting it out for
2nd place. The race viewer shows the two right next to one another with BP
Explorer just behind in 4th.

Eking out the maximum possible mileage from passing squalls and picking up
half a knot over nearest rivals can have significant effects over a
surprisingly short amount of time. A half-knot advantage over 24-hours is
equivalent to a 12nm gain, which, in turn equates to disappearing over the
curvature of the earth and behind the horizon - a psychological weapon in
close-quarter racing such as this!

SAIC La Jolla are obviously disappointed with recent events, but have
retained their good humour, of course: "Frustration is a mild word to
describe our feelings as the lead has been stolen away from us by several
boats... now sixth after a night of no wind and frequent heavy rain
(although warm). The race viewer must look as though we are trying to sign
our name!"

The light and unpredictable doldrums have slowed the fleet's progress
towards the equator so we now expect leaders, Samsung, lying 170nm off the
line Thursday afternoon, to cross over into the southern hemisphere Friday

Event website:

* Forty-four High School sailing teams from all parts of California raced
on Monterey Bay October 16-17 in the first event of the season series of
five PCISA regattas held in Northern and Southern California to determine
the Pacific Coast champion. The teams are split into Gold and Silver
Divisions and sail CFJ's. The Gold fleet was won by Newport Harbor H.S.,
with the winning team of Matt Hogan/ Brooke Thomson and Cole Hatton/ Lauren
Gautschi. In the Silver fleet, the winning team was Mater Dei H.S. JV, with
Emilia Fonda/ Josh Kew and Perry Emsieck/ George Konugrea. Complete

* Solo British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, 28, will set out next month on
her toughest challenge yet. She hopes to beat the round the-world,
multi-hull record of just under 73 days in a trimaran.

* In one of most active hurricane seasons on record and with over a month
still remaining, Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne have left an
indelible mark on recreational boaters from Louisiana to Florida's Atlantic
Coast - and even as far north as some Great Lakes states. According to the
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.), the damage to all
recreational vessels for these four storms totals $680 million. - BoatU.S.,
full report,

(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 George Backhus (Further to responsibility of the Race Committee for
safety): The Race Committee's disclaimer is that it's ultimately the
skipper's decision to race or not. But in this sometimes
testosterone-fueled sport, it's been my experience that some skipper's
visions of glory, on occasion, impair their judgment as it relates to good
seamanship. If there's a race starting, they're going to race, and let the
wimps sit in the clubhouse.

A few years back, I flagged a 120-mile ocean race I'd entered because the
weather forecast called for 45 knots on the nose. From a safety standpoint,
I didn't feel it would be good seamanship for us to start, not to mention
that it didn't sound like much fun. Approximately three quarters who
entered did start, but only about a quarter finished. There were endless
tales of near collisions in poor visibility, broken gear and sails, and
crew incapacitated by seasickness. In this case, a postponement of one day
would have provided nearly ideal racing conditions. Miraculously, no crew
or boats were lost, and nobody was seriously injured. Not miraculously,
sign-ups for the race the next year were off significantly.

I wish to make two simple points. First, in our litigious society, I think
it's only a matter of time before someone attempts to hold a Race Committee
responsible for running a race in dangerous conditions resulting in injury
or loss of life. Second, if we are trying to get and keep people into the
sport, particularly at the club level, we need to maintain some focus on
the "fun factor."

* From Kim Noyes: I agree with Mark Michaelsen that the AC is more about
the technology race (and I'm not sure that I think it should be otherwise)
but I disagree with the thought that F1's way of spending is working. As a
matter of fact, ALL the F1 teams think the spending is out of control and
are at the moment trying to agree on new rules that will reduce the expense
(i.e. dropping testing, changing to 2 day grand prix, etc.). Sponsors and
manufacturers alike are having difficulty seeing the value to their bottom
line. The sport is at a crossroads. Yeah, AC spending is "right where it
should be" if the desire is to keep it exclusive. But if the idea is to
grow it globally, some sort of compromise might be in order.

* From Rick Ermshar, Honolulu, Hawai`I: I totally agree with Matt Kreuzkamp
(Issue 1693) that "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. Perhaps they can also
pro-actively effect beneficial product refinements, etc - this really
should be the goal, right?" I used to edit and write for several regional
and national boating mags but primarily for one that covered the West
Coast. I have an ongoing hate affair for mags that merely recycle press
releases and for boat reviewers who merely spend an hour on a given boat
and comment about the pretty curtains. For my own monthly boat reviews I
insisted on having full use of the boat for at least three days. I'd live
aboard it, sail it, and dig into every nook and cranny just like any good
marine surveyor would do. Before I wrote my review I would call the
manufacturer, mention any problems, and get their response for publication.
Sometimes they would argue, sometimes they would promise to fix the problem
in future production; whichever it was, it would get published. Presto --
end of problem between editorial and advertising. We (the mag) and the
manufacturers both thought it was fair and we never lost an advertising
client by handling it that way.

* From Brad Avery, Director, Orange Coast College School of Sailing &
Seamanship: Chris Boome is correct about upcoming changes in tax law
regarding boat donations. The new legislation, passed by the Senate, is
buried in the huge "American Job Creation Act." It is primarily aimed at
curbing car donation abuses. However, boats and airplanes are included too.
At the moment, the IRS is struggling to interpret the new rules. But the
basics are pretty straightforward: After January 1, many boat donors will
find that their deduction is limited to the gross proceeds from the sale of
the boat by the non-profit. This is a big change, especially when you
understand that most non-profits are anxious sellers upon becoming owner of
a boat. But if you give your boat to a non-profit that uses it
"significantly" to further its charitable purpose, your deduction amount
will remain the appraised value of your boat, rather than the "gross
proceeds" number from its eventual sale. This is great news for bona fide
sailing programs, marine research institutions, and maritime academies.
These programs need and are able to use donated boats for their charitable
purpose. Children's homes, wildlife funds, etc., may have a difficult time
operating a fleet of boats. Ideally, the new law will reduce the number of
quasi-marine programs that make huge sums, give little to charity, and
reward their principals handsomely. So after January 1, don't worry about
donating your boat. Just make sure the fortunate institution has the
knowledge, budget, staff, facility, and track record to use it significantly.

* From Jamie Leopold: I have never met JJ Isler, but I enjoyed reading her
comments on Sportsmanship in 'Butt #1694, October 21, 2004. She offers an
excellent perspective on Corinthian Spirit, from which most of us can
benefit, not only on the water, but also in our everyday lives. Thanks JJ!

* From David Gill: Good sportsmanship - the last refuge of nobility.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.