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SCUTTLEBUTT 1702 - November 2, 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.

(Here are some excerpts from a story by Dean Brenner, newly elected
Chairman of the US Olympic Sailing Committee)

We have significant challenges in front of us, but we also have significant
opportunities. Allow me to be absolutely clear - our ultimate goal is to
make dramatic improvements in the funding and support of our athletes. We
have an extremely deep pool of talented sailors in our country. And we also
have the ability to generate dramatic and significant levels of support for
our athletes. We have the pieces of the puzzle available to us. Now we must

We have four strategic goals for the current quadrennium. More details will
follow over the coming weeks and months:

1. Regenerate the positive and passionate atmosphere throughout our Olympic
Program, including our athletes, our coaches, our supporters, our staff and
our committee. We must create an atmosphere where all who care about
Olympic Sailing are pointing in the same direction, and focusing our
collective energy towards the international competition.

2. Dramatically improve and increase our fundraising program to reduce the
burden on our Olympic Sailors. We are structuring the OSC so that
fundraising will be a primary focus.

3. Design a Youth Development Program that contains high value ways of
encouraging our best young sailors to begin sailing Olympic class boats.
One of the biggest lessons learned in Athens is that Olympic class
experience, and specifically Olympic Games experience, is a vital
characteristic of a successful Olympic program. We need to be thinking
about 2008… and 2012, 2016, 2020 and beyond.

4. Streamline and enhance the way we support our US Sailing Team. There is
not yet enough funding and support in our system. We need to raise more
funds. But raising more funds is not the only solution. We also need to
examine how we operate.

Complete story at

Gary Jobson is sailing's Don Quixote. He's also the Pied Piper, chief
campaign manager and number one salesman for our sport. In a US sport media
culture that barely acknowledges the existence of the world's most popular
sport, soccer, Gary's efforts to get sailing on TV have been Herculean.

We had a nice conversation the other day in which he discussed the state of
sailing events on TV. Gary's comments are in quotes. "ESPN does not have a
single sailing show on the docket for the first time in 19 years that I
know of," says Gary. "No doubt a major reason was the interminable racing
delays in the America's Cup which were a disaster for TV coverage. "The
numerous postponements really hurt. There should have been only two races
postponed. There was wind. We would have been racing in Annapolis and I'm
sure in Seattle."

Probably the biggest reason that there is not much sailing coverage is that
it is very difficult and expensive to set all the remote cameras and
equipment it takes to capture the excitement of sailing. "People don't
realize how hard it is to cover sailing. Football, basketball, tennis,
everything is just plugged into a wall. In sailing you have to deal with
salt spray, etc." - Richard Hazelton, Editor, 48° North Sailing Magazine,
complete editorial at

Crews are preparing for another interesting weather system as they head
down the coast of Brazil. The current situation shows a high-pressure
system developing over the land 200 miles south-east of Uruguay, giving
crews plenty to think about on their final stretch to Leg 1 finish. The
last few days have been squally which is the result of the high-pressure
systems colliding. The winds have been shifty sometimes 180 degrees as the
yachts have sailed through the systems. Barclays Adventurer still retains a
21-mile lead but by heading too far offshore Samsung has lost her second to
Vaio who's currently tracking Barclays.

With the wind fairly predicable over the next couple of days there should
be little in the way of place changes but once the fleet rounds the
waypoint, positioned south of Punta del Este 150 miles from the finish,
Tomlinson believes the fleet will settle into more of a regatta-type race.
The estimated time of arrival for the first yachts due into Buenos Aires is
Thursday night/Friday morning. - Sue Pelling/Yachting World, full story,

At all the regattas around the world, just look at what the crews are
wearing. It is no surprise, the Camet 3000 Shorts, Bermuda Shorts, Cargo
Shorts, Aruba Shorts and Pants are everywhere, from Opti sailors to the
Farr 40's, Maxi's and cruisers. The comfort of the pads, the reinforced
Cordura seat, the quick drying breathable Supplex fabrics, and the 97.5% UV
protection is the solution to hours on the water. Check out the Shorts,
Coolmax shirts, Neoprene Hiking pants, Bubble Tops, Rash Guards and Mylar
bags on the Camet web site:

The dispute between Swiss biotech billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and New
Zealand America's Cup captain Russell Coutts is now going through the legal
process in Switzerland. Coutts, the most successful skipper in America's
Cup history with 14 consecutive race wins in the last three events, was
sacked last July by Bertarelli, who had lured him away from Team New
Zealand in 2003 to lead the Swiss Alinghi team.

Bertarelli contends that Coutts breached his contract, Coutts that
Bertarelli terminated it illegally. "We've started the arbitration
procedure about my employment contract," Coutts said. "Both sides have
nominated one arbitrator and those two nominate a chairman and that's all
been done. We're sorting out the date for the first hearing."

Coutts is fighting on two fronts. Twice the Swiss Cup holders have changed
the protocol, one of the key documents governing the next America's Cup in
2007. The last alteration, on Jan 21, effectively prevented Coutts from
moving to any other team, in any capacity. Made without consultation, the
change affected many other sailors and tops the agenda at all challenger
meetings. "I disagree with the rule entirely," Coutts said. "I want to get
my freedom back. I want to sail in the next Cup if I choose to."

"Whether I sail is contingent on a lot of things; on a team wanting me or
some other alternative that I might decide to pursue," he said. "But at
this stage I can't make any plans until they rule on the rules." Bertarelli
has said it will be impossible for Coutts to sail for a rival team because
of a non-compete clause in his contract. Coutts disagrees. "The non-compete
clause does not apply if the contract was terminated illegally or if they
have breached certain terms of the contract," he said. "I would suggest
you've got to ask why the protocol rule was put in place at all if they
thought they were protected under the contract." - By Tim Jeffery,
Telegraph, full story,

(Here is an excerpt of a story from the Vendee Globe 2004 race website,
detailing some of the behind the scenes solutions for the 20 skippers that
will start their singlehanded, non-stop, around the world race on November 7th)

The supplies of food and diesel have their importance and many of the
racers are paying close attention to these details. Gérard Nigault is one
of the pillars of the Bonduelle Team, and has been working on Jean Le Cam's
boat for years. "We had to take into account two aspects concerning the
supplies," explained Gérard. "The contents and the containers.

"The content involves the organisation, of course, of meals, paying close
attention to the required calories, as well as Jean's tastes and
preferences. As for the containers, we had to manage the limited space
while ensuring they were watertight. We thus vacuum-packed the food, wedged
the cans in the cardboard boxes, and heat-wrapped the lot. Everything was
then tested by us. One of the boxes was left for a whole weekend in a
barrel of water. Not a single drop made it through to the cardboard box!

"In this way, we prepared twenty eight boxes, based on two boxes a week,
and then the fourteen weeks that in theory the race will last. We also
added a special Christmas package and a box of freeze-dried food, just in
case! The contents of each box are split in two, one part for the main
dishes, based on fish and white meat, and the other for condiments, sugar,
coffee, jam, and one of the rare pleasures that Jean accepts, chocolate
with nuts." - Event website, full story:

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* The dates for the 3rd Caribbean Laser Midwinter in Cabarete, Dominican
Republic have been changed to January 14th-16th, 2005. This change will
permit the Laser racers to continue with the tradition of participating in
the Miami OCR following the Midwinters. For more information:

* US Sailing is now accepting nominations for the 2004 Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman of the Year Awards, considered the highest individual sailing
honors in the United States. The awards are presented annually to the
individual yachtsman and yachtswoman who demonstrate excellence through
outstanding on-the-water achievement during the current year. Members of US
Sailing can nominate their favorite male and female sailors to receive this
distinguished award through November 30, 2004, on US Sailing's website at

* Claire Leroy and Christine Briand, both of France, tied for victory in
the Rolex Osprey Cup, an ISAF Grade 1 match race event sailed October 28-31
in St. Petersburg, Fla. After completing five flights of matches and
working against daily conditions of light wind on Tampa Bay, the St.
Petersburg Yacht Club race committee determined that the overall standings
after five flights would determine the winner. Both Leroy and Briand tied
with four wins and one loss, giving them the first-ever shared Rolex Osprey
Cup title. -

* US Sailing has nominated 2004 Olympic Finn representative Kevin Hall as
the sailing representative for the John Wooden Trophy. The national award
is presented to two athletes - one intercollegiate and one Olympic or
professional - distinguished for their character, sportsmanship, and
contribution to society. After reviewing nearly 200 nominations, Kevin is
among eleven other elite athletes that have reached the semifinal round. A
list of the semifinalists is available at

* The eighteen college teams competing last weekend in the Edwin Schell
Trophy collegiate regatta at MIT had an hour long postponement as the World
Champion Boston Red Sox parade cruised by within twenty feet from the MIT
dock in Boston's famous Duckboats. With over 3.2 million people watching
the parade and an estimated 400,000 around the lower basin of the Charles
River, Saturday's races must have broken some sort of record for "most ever
spectators at a sailing event". The event was dominated by Brown
University. Full results:

* Virtual Spectator and iVistra have dropped High Court actions against
each other over technology ownership. The row was kicked off last year when
Virtual Spectator alleged that staff had found a confidential iVistra
document showing iVistra was presenting intellectual property that belonged
to Virtual Spectator. iVistra counter-sued, seeking to stop Virtual
Spectator acting on the information and to return the document. Both were
seeking to supply television and internet graphics for the 2007 America's
Cup, but in the end neither party won the America's Cup work. - NZ Herald,
full story,

The first Bongo Midwinters will be March 17-19 in Sarasota, FL, a great
winter getaway. Hull #35 is in production, Bongo owners are psyched to be
sailing their singlehanded sport boats, and fleets are forming around the
country! Bongo Sailors Have Fun Every Day.

(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 Ed Stiess (re the Curmudgeon's Conundrum in Issue 1701: What hair
color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?): My license
reads- Hair: N/A

* From Karen Prioleau: This doesn't solve your conundrum, but it's worth a
look (now posted on the Scuttlebutt website):

* From Ron "Bart" Bartkoski: With regards to Greg Holman's taking a shot at
the Atlantic crossing record for beach cats, I wonder if Greg has contacted
the 150 boats of ARC and ask if they would mind setting their plans aside
to come and rescue him? Although no sailor would ever decline to come to
the rescue of a fellow sailor, to have someone plan their high risk venture
along side of your well-planned vacation seems to me a bit of an
imposition. If I were sailing the ARC this year, I think I'd have a
contract handy!

* From Dean Hubbard: One would think that a U.S. Attorney General would
have better use of the taxpayers funds than to prosecute sailors
participating in a non-commercial sailboat race to a seldom visited shore.
When "terrorists" are so easily defined by a government as it's own
citizens out for a sail on small boats, it's time to inject some reality
into an overzealous government official's argument as Judge Lawrence King
has soberly decided. The constant flag waving, showboating patriotism,
bogus terrorist captures, and now a stretch of a charge of "trading with
the enemy" on a regatta fleet makes the U.S. look very stupid and
shortsighted. The broad paw of an unnecessarily oppresive regime is not
easily recognized until the simplest things in life take on a sinister
meaning to those in charge. This U.S. Attorney General needs to lift his
sights to a broader horizon to give the taxpayers their money's worth.

* Scott MacLeod, Tour Director, Swedish Match Tour: 3 cheers for Bill Doyle
(re A-Cup technology, Issue 1700)! The very successful NASCAR model proves
that it's not about the technology - it's about the teams, teamwork and
mostly the competition. Beware; technology can price you right out of the
market in a heartbeat.

* From H. P. "Sandy" Purdon: Bill Doyle's guest commentary hit a nerve. It
seems to me that the old and heavy 12 meters were actually more interesting
for "match" racing than what we have today with the IACC boats. We don't
see the IACC boats do much but straight-line speed, which is impressive.
Speed is all relative in match racing and the speed doesn't really come
across on television. The America's Cup is after all a match racing event
where the object is just to get across the finish line ahead of your single
competitor. It's not about speed around the course.

But the interesting strategy of match racing with boats where you have to
consider the limitations of the 12's is the deliberate moves of the
helmsman and crew to place the boat in a controlling position. It seems
that we had more close covering, ducking, slam dunks and general match
racing strategic events with the slower and heavier 12's. There are plenty
of other great events that highlight pure speed through the water. The
America's Cup is special in that it is all about the strategy of placing
your boat in relation to your competitor.

* From Zach de Beer (edited to our 250 word limit): I agree with Bill Doyle
regarding his observations about F1 racing versus "NASCAR" but with
respect, I suggest that Bill is wrongly accusing technology of creating
cost pressure in F1 and potentially the AC.

It is better to compare F1 to IRL than NASCAR. The overriding reason for
IRL being much cheaper than F1 is that IRL selects 3 chassis providers and
3 engine providers every three years. The prices of the chassis and engines
are fixed. The 20 or so IRL teams are then free to choose what they want.
The cost of the technology is spread over a larger customer base and is
restricted by the price controls.

Those of us that follow F1 will know that all the teams have ganged up
against Ferrari at the end of the 2004 season. They are proposing a rule
change that would greatly restrict Ferrari from testing at the 2 racetracks
that they own. Ferrari has more that anything else "out tested" the rest of
the field over the last few years with devastating results. The big budget
AC teams, "out test" the lesser teams.

Whatever the rule, it is of lesser importance than the setting of limits on
the teams. Restrict sail inventories, spars, replacement appendages, the
number of technical people in the design team or take the IRL route and
select 2 design teams, 2 builders and 2 sail makers and set the prices.
Lastly, dive for cover for the 'restrictees' won't be happy.

* From Peter Huston (re the current Scuttlebutt website survey on A-Cup
design) It would be interesting to know how people interpret the question
of changes to the America's Cup. Exactly what does more like NASCAR or F1

The current group of people and companies who participate in and support
the America's Cup seemed well served by the existing format - witness the
explosion of interest now that the event is in Europe. A faster monohull is
still a slow boat by comparison to anything that rides on a foil. Will the
general public better understand the event and be attracted to it if it is
sailed in boats with greater acceleration potential that end up being
separated by half a mile too quickly and too often? If "good TV" is the
desired result, is this the solution?

Perhaps a better question should be "what is the America's Cup relative to
other sports?" How about "the world's toughest game played by very smart
and fascinating people." The America's Cup is what it is. Anyone who really
wants a different format ought to start their own series.

After a day of polling, early voters have weighed in on which direction the
America's Cup should go after the 2007 event. Should there be extensive
cost controls to allow for greater participation, or should the latest in
modern technology be permitted to insure that the boat design remains at
the forefront of the sport? Initial opinion is on the side of cost
controls, or as stated in the survey, 'More like NASCAR.' Scuttlebutt joins
the US electoral process, and encourages you to place your vote here:

Women like quiet men because they think they are listening.