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SCUTTLEBUTT 1705 - November 5, 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.

"It just doesn't get any better than this," declared Carol Cronin as she
stepped ashore after the finals of the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing Club
Championship … and there was no one to disagree. Warm water, brisk
Caribbean tradewinds, the unbeatable venue provided by the Bitter End Yacht
Club and world class race management headed by the former head of US
Sailing's Race Management Committee, Tom Farquhar.

Olympian Cronin did not win the regatta. Instead of sailing in the finals
of the professional class, she volunteered to do tactics for Mary Jordan
from Wisconsin, racing in Hunter 216s in the amateur division. They lost
the title by a single point to Tom Story from the Chicago area, who had
Andy Burdick trimming the main and calling tactics. It was a very important
point because Story and his wife earned a free return trip to the BEYC for
next year's Pro-Am Regatta, and his entire crew collected Musto yacht
timers for their victory. Co-skippers John Gardner and Jennifer Marks
finished in third place after losing a tie-breaker to the Jordan team. Yes
- just a single point separated the top three boats.

In the professional division sailed in Hobie Waves, defending champion Ed
Baird once again was simply too smooth for the competition and ran away to
a seven point victory over former UK silver medallist and event sponsor
Keith Musto. Canadian Olympic Yngling sailor Lisa Ross finished just a
point further back in third place.

Baird's son, 12-year old Max, was the only double-handed entry in this
weight-sensitive class, with Russell Coutts calling tactics for him for
most of the regatta. However Russell realized his weight was hurting too
much so he jumped overboard and swan ashore after four races. In the fifth
and final race, Max led his dad around the course for much of the race only
to be ground down on the final weather leg. Wait until next year. -

(As was first reported a month ago in Issues 1682 and 1683, here is the
official announcement from US Sailing on the opening of US Sailing's
Executive Director position)

US Sailing's Executive Director Nick Craw has announced he will be leaving
the organization as of January 1, 2005. Craw has served in the position
since December 2001. After ensuring a smooth transition with his successor,
Craw will return to Colorado where he will take over the presidency of the
Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS). A
Succession Task Force has been named to find the Association's next
Executive Director. Dave Rosekrans, Immediate Past President of US Sailing,
will lead the Task Force. For the full report, plus a job description and
information to apply for the Executive Director position:

(Hillsborough, NC) Dr. Cecil Borel speaks in the calm, measured tones you
would expect from a doctor -- except when he's talking about sailing off
into the sunset on the boat he's building in a shed behind his home. Then
he's as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning.

The Janetess, a 32-foot wooden sailing sloop, is not ready for that day
just yet. Three years into construction, she is an elegant, curved hull
with no deck, cabin or rigging. She is one-third complete, with thousands
of hours of work left to go. The project is an enormous undertaking. Borel,
an anesthesiologist at Duke University Medical Center, estimates that the
Janetess will take six more years to complete. He expects to spend $100,000
to $150,000 on the boat -- about half what one might pay for a similar boat
on the market.

Borel spends about 1,500 hours a year -- virtually all his free time -- in
the shop, patiently cutting, assembling and sanding pieces of wood and
listening to jazz on his old stereo. He comes home from his shift at the
hospital, changes into his work-worn Carhart overalls and heads to his
shop. - Erik Holmes, The Herald Sun, full story,

The PS2000 Club 420 is the new boat you've been hearing about and one
you'll see at the Midwinter's and Orange Bowl sailed by some of the
country's top young sailors. If you have given any thought to your son or
daughter being there in the latest equipment, try this holiday offer. We
will deliver a boat free of charge right to your lawn, anywhere along the
Eastern seaboard from Maine to Virginia. One fixed price of $5,895.00, all
inclusive. Order before December 1 for delivery prior to Christmas. For
more information, call 1-877-363-5050 or go to

(Buenos Aires, Argentina) After a mammoth overnight fight, Barclays
Adventurer, skippered by Stuart Jackson, took first leg line honours of the
Global Challenge 2004/05 on the 33rd day of racing. After 6,000 miles they
were a mere 15 minutes in front of VAIO, skippered by Amedeo Sorrentino.

At 09h 23m 00 GMT Barclays Adventurer crossed the finish line and the
exhausted crew collapsed into one another's arms in sheer delight. VAIO
crossed the finish line at 09h 38m18, disappointed not to have pipped their
rivals to the post, but equally thrilled to have taken 2nd place after such
a momentous fight in the first leg. The yachts were racing for over 760
hours but it was just two miles and 15 minutes that separated the front two
yachts, making it the closest and most competitive leg in the event's history.

Positions (as of November 5, 02:36:00 GMT)
1. Barclays Adventurer - finished
2. VAIO - finished
3. Samsung - finished
4. BP Explorer - finished
5. BG SPIRIT - finished
6. Spirit of Sark - finished
7. SAIC La Jolla - finished
8. Team Stelmar - 93 miles distance to finish
9. Imagine It. Done - 111 dtf
10. Me To You - 147 dtf
11. Pindar - 297 dtf
12. Team Save the Children - 644 dtf
Event website -

The American sailor is a rarity in Cuba these days, as the once-hopping
Marina Hemingway languishes in a back eddy of international politics
Visiting Cuba today, in a time when few American sailors can, is a bit like
going to a professional baseball game when the team you're rooting for is
dwelling in the league's cellar. Fans at the ballpark are few, so the
experience is made less joyful by a lack of people with the same shared
enthusiasm. The hot dogs are good. The beer is just as cold. You just wish
you could enjoy it with a few more kindred spirits.

It's no mystery why American sailors are steering clear of Havana these
days. In February of last year, President George W. Bush's decree added
teeth to the existing trade embargo by authorizing the U.S. Coast Guard to
seize any vessel on the suspicion that it might be used to go to Cuba.
Sure, American sailors can still obtain permits from our (American)
government to sail to Cuba, if we have a legitimate reason and abide by
certain restrictions (for the average visitor, that includes not spending
any money in Cuba, a rule that's virtually impossible to obey).
Realistically, any U.S. citizen who sails to Cuba today is likely to need a
good lawyer, or at least the advice of one, when he or she returns. -
Morgan Stinemetz, Cruising World, full story,

Pizza-La Red Lobster Nippon Cup 2004 International Match Race Sailing, the
fourth event of the Swedish Match Tour, begins from November 16, 2004 off
the shore of Hayama Marina, Kanagawa Pref., Japan. Twelve teams are to
compete, with four of the teams representing America's Cup 2007
contestants, plus ISAF Ranking #1 skipper Ed Baird (Team Musto) and
2003/2004 Swedish Match Tour Champion Peter Gilmour (Pizza-La Sailing
Team). They will be joined by 2007 America's Cup skippers Gavin Brady of
BMW Oracle Racing, Dean Barker of Emirates Team New Zealand, Geoff Meek of
South Africa's Team Shosholoza and Philippe Presti and Team Le Defi from
France. Nippon Cup starts with Round Robin and the top four team proceeds
to Semi-Finals and Finals to decide the ranking. - Nippon Cup website,

Mike Golding who, in the last Vendee Globe, lost his mast just eight hours
into the race and restarted eight days later, is possible the most prepared
competitor at this year's event. Talking about his feelings after the last
event he said: "Even though I was the fourth fastest finisher and completed
the race overall in 7th place there was something deeply unfulfilling about
the racing when I had started eight days later than the rest of the fleet.
It was the worst day of my life and in order to close the chapter I need to
compete in the Vendee on equal terms with the fleet - to start when they
start and to complete the course. Only then will I be able to move on."

As the race favourite it wouldn't be wrong to assume Golding has an
increased amount of pressure but he says he doesn't really have a strong
feeling about the being put in that position. He reckons he'll sail the
race to his limits and hopefully if not leading will be in touch at Cape
Horn. "By that" he concluded, "I mean by 200 miles, if that were to happen
I'd feel I'd have a very strong chance." - Sue Pelling/Yachting World, full

Alex Thomson is a raw diamond. At 30, his numerous Transats and his round
the world have not yet refined him. His power and instinct are an
overriding factor and his spirit is impressive. His talent is unquestioned
and his professional course is faultless.

Why the Vendée Globe? "It's the most important race, the hardest in the
world. Even compared to other sports. I can't imagine anything more
difficult. And that's why I'm doing it. I have a superb boat, a fantastic
team and a good budget. It's all down to me now." Any apprehensions? "My
only fear is hitting an iceberg. I've already experienced 65 knots of wind.
The boat goes well in the breeze and I feel very at ease there. Solely the
idea of hitting an iceberg frightens me." What do you think of the public
welcome? "I was here four years ago and I saw the public's enthusiasm. No
transat can compare with the Vendée Globe. The public is omnipresent, in
the rain and the cold. The atmosphere is astonishing. No nautical event can
compare to the Vendée Globe, not even the America's Cup or the Volvo Race."
- Event website, full story,

…the Christmas season. Make it easy on yourself - wrap up some
state-of-the-art sunglasses, a tough sailcloth wallet, or superior-grip
sailing gloves for your favorite seafarer: Harken offers lots of natty
nautical necessities, from bags to boat handling CDs, to light up your
holidays. Order online or from a dealer near you!

* KeyBank released a national boating survey today that found "affluent"
Americans - those with a salary over US$150,000 or a net worth of
US$500,000 - are three times more likely to own a boat than the national
average. The survey also found that the top demographic had "worsening
fears about the state of the US economy" and planned to reduce personal
real estate and stock market investments to focus on wealth preservation.
But 83 per cent said they have no intention of decreasing their luxury
spending through the end of the year. - IBI News, full story,

* Correction: In Issue 1703, it was reported that Alfa Romeo had won line
honors for the Sydney to Hobart race in 2002 and 2003. Actually, it was
Grant Wharington's Skandia Wild Thing that took honors in 2003, and will be
back to defend it this year.

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(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
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* From Steve Pyatt, Auckland: In answer to the question posed from Ralph
Taylor, "In what other country in the world would tourists at the Opera
House be able to flake an America's Cup Class jib?" The answer (apart from
needing an Opera House) is clearly NZ, where I am amazed how many of the
general population know the difference between a tack and gybe and what a
layline is!

* From Richard Hazelton, Editor 48° North Sailing Magazine: (re F1 Sail Pro
Tour) This sounds exciting. Fast boats with athletes jumping around,
sailing on the edge, capsizing. Teams, nationality. Has a lot of the
elements people have been asking for to make sailing an exciting spectator
sport. Tough platform for cameras but the images will be fantastic.
Economically, small crews and 18ft boats will make it easier to pay for. I
know versions of this concept have been tried but hopefully this will catch
on, at least in Europe and down under.

* From Clifford Bradford: (Re Brad van Liew's comments in 1704) It was good
to hear from somebody who has been intimately familiar with Open racing. It
is incredible to me that there are 20 boats lining up for the Vendee Globe,
all of which would probably blow the pants off any AC yacht (with one
person aboard versus 16 or 17), the entire budgets of which might easily be
covered by the $$ Oracle and Alinghi spent in the last AC. I often wonder
where the money goes in these $100 million AC campaigns. I'm sure much of
it goes to pay rock star sailors and designers while Open boats are often
designed by up and comers and sailed by people who live in mobile homes to
save money. Clearly a lot of the engineering investment goes toward shaving
0.1 sec/mile around a course but it seems to me that both the fans and
sponsors get better value for the money out of Open 60s than the America's Cup.

Unfortunately most Americans think that the AC is the pinnacle of sailing.
I will not deny that the AC with it's hugely tactical inshore racing does
not require sailing skill at the highest level. However, I don't think that
it compares with the strategic thinking and sheer physical mettle required
to short/single hand an Open 60 on the open oceans of the world. As far as
boat design goes, the AC boats don't come close either in features or

* From H.L. DeVore: I whole heartedly agree with Bill Doyle's excellent
Guest Editorial asking that people pause and reconsider the concept that
"advanced technology will grow the sport". Advanced design and technologies
are certainly exciting and have contributed mightily to increased
performance in the past few decades. But I also believe they have ruined
much of the sport by fracturing people off into so many different camps and
designs and rating systems. It is clear that there is only one place where
sailors compete to see definitively who is best...and that is sailing

I find it exciting to follow the Swedish Match Tour, and sadly I find it
incredibly dull to follow the America's Cup. I note that the Swedish Match
Tour sails in everything from Cal's to IOD's and the racing is exciting and
interesting to follow, especially over their excellent website with videos
viewable over the internet.

* From John McLeod, Toronto: Something your correspondents seem to have
overlooked is that exclusivity and exorbitant cost have been part of AC
competition since the get-go and are essential to the America's Cup
mystique. There are already countless NASCAR-style events and series on the
calendar. What sailing needs is for the America's Cup to continue to be its
jewel in the crown - a no-holds-barred, cost-no-object contest of huge
budgets and egos to match.

* From Winn Story (re: bill doyle's comment in Scuttlebut 1700): We had the
Star and the 49'er in the Olympics. Was the racing any better in the 49'er
class? Although I did not see any of the racing, I would imagine the
finishes were tighter in the Star class and just as exciting. Personally I
would like to see the America's Cup sailed in one-design 50 footers. Bet
there would be many more contenders and closer racing. The $$$ saved would
be enormous.

* From Jeff A. Jelten: The issue is the decline of participation in the
sport of sailing. Not just racing but the whole sailing world. There are
lots of boats around that don't get used in driveways, club yards, and
marinas. We need to draw in more sailors and get more boats out on the
water. Manufactures are trying hard to sell new models to a dwindling
sailor population. The math: decreasing # of sailors/ increasing # of
boats. This equation doesn't sound sustainable. Increased involvement in
sailing will:
- Increase demand for boats and equipment, new and used
- Reduce the cost of sailing
- Increase the number of sailors who gravitate to racing
- Fill out existing one design programs
- Fill the coffers of sailing organizations
- Make the US more competitive in the sailing world
- Create demand for technology/new classes.

US Sailing is heading in the right direction, however, this is not simply
an administrative or structural problem. Part of the problem is that
everyone believes it's someone else's job to bring in new blood. Another
part of the problem is the misperception that the sailing venues of this
country are crowded and we should "close the gate". Other than a few big
weekends the sailing venues of this country are wide open and there is even
room for growth in new areas. If you love sailing and believe that it can
do a lot for today's youth, or all who get involved for that matter,
introduce someone to sailing!

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section of the Scuttlebutt website has all the back Issues available for
easy reference:

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. -Eleanor Roosevelt