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SCUTTLEBUTT 1712 - November 16, 2004

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(Rich Roberts interviewed Dean Brenner, the chairman of US Sailing's new
Olympic Sailing Committee for the next quadrennium. Here's an excerpt from
Roberts' story in The Log.)

For Americans, a typical Olympic campaign these days runs well into six
figures, financed a bit by the U.S. Olympic Committee but mostly by the
sailors' own hustling and begging. Brenner's mission is to ease that load.
He may be the right man for the job.

The lifelong New Englander from Wallingford, Conn., is president of his own
little company called The Latimer Group which, according to its Web site,
"is solely focused on helping executives and professionals develop powerful
and persuasive communications skills." In other words, Brenner tells people
how to make money. His clients include Fortune 500 companies and emerging
businesses, as well as non-profit organizations. I think US Sailing would
fall into the latter category. It worked once, but the bar is higher and
more expensive now.

In the last two Olympics, Great Britain, funded by its national lottery,
has needed armored cars to haul away its sailing medals. "Great Britain is
clearly the world leader right now," Brenner said. "They're doing a lot of
things right. "But we're not Great Britain, and we don't have a national
lottery to support us. We're never gonna be there. We have to be creative."

"We need to make sure our athletes have the ability to travel wherever they
think they need to go to be prepared, and for now, that means Europe. In
addition to corporate support, which I'm working very closely with the
marketing department at US Sailing to create, we're going to have a big
corporate sponsor effort. We're going to have a very significant private
fund-raising effort. We're going to go out to the leading yacht clubs in
the United States and have a very high profile presence there. You're going
to be hearing a lot of noise about our fund-raising efforts."

Title sponsorships are the modern rage. Sports facilities and events sell
out for the big bucks. Are you ready for, say, the Viagra United States
Olympic Sailing Team? "There are certain properties that the U.S. Olympic
Committee owns that we can't sell," Brenner said. "But we do own the United
States Sailing Team, and we have proposals out to a few people to become
the title sponsor." - Rich Roberts, The Log, full story:

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

Britain look almost certain to miss the 2007 America's Cup in Valencia
after Peter Harrison, the founder and chairman of the GBR Challenge,
decided yesterday to "suspend current operations" because of a funding
crisis. With the deadline for entries just one month away, the 25-strong
core of designers, managers and boat-builders were given notice periods of
one to three months yesterday, cutting the campaign back to barest of bones
just in case 11th-hour funding is secured. Time is fast running out for GBR
to find a commercial backer to match the £20 million pledged by Harrison,
who was adamant last night that he would not fund the challenge by himself.

"I want to get Britain back on the map of international America's Cup
racing - that would be very satisfying," said a buoyant Harrison in 2001
when he launched GBR. Finding others to join him has since proved very
frustrating. Yesterday it was a very different and palpably sad Harrison
who said: "It is with great disappointment that we have to make this
announcement. It is tragic that no corporate partner has yet come forward."

Having invested so much emotion, never mind money, many observers believed
Harrison incapable of walking away from the America's Cup. His new 115-foot
cruising yacht Sojana is festooned with photographs of GBR, yet it became
evident this year that without sponsorship he would not carry on
regardless. Two overseas sailors were put on the casting couch as skipper -
former Young America skipper Ed Baird, who is tipped to join the Swiss
America's Cup defenders Alinghi, and New Zealander Cameron Appleton. -
Excerpts from a story by Tim Jeffery in the Daily Telegraph, full story:

Even though winter is coming, you are probably planning a sailing getaway
to a warm place. A great holiday gift can be some new Camet gear. The Camet
shorts come in a variety of models with different designs, colors and
length, all with the option of a foam pad. Just add a belt, a Coolmax shirt
or a Rashguard and Mylar bag. Go to the Camet website to see them all.

The top trio in this fifth edition of the Vendée Globe have remained the
same throughout the day with Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) in pole position.
Backrunner Norbert Sedlacek (Brother) has stretched out his deficit now to
866.8 miles after losing a gennaker as well as the masthead to which the
spinnaker is attached. On the program for Monday night's leaders are the
renowned crazy wind shifts, lightning, and squalls that make up the
doldrums, around 150 miles ahead of Jean Le Cam. Everyone, including Bruce
Schwab (Ocean Planet) have now passed the Cape Verde islands, other than
the five backrunners. -

Standings at 0400 GMT November 16:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou 42.4 (miles to leader)
3. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 49.4 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 67.2 mtl
5. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 86.0 mtl
6. Ecover, Mike Golding, 141.1 mtl
15. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 338.3 mtl

"In this race you're either a follower or a player. The first few days
gives you a chance to see who the players are. Jean Le Cam has certainly
shown himself to be a player, and so has Vincent Riou. He has sailed a
blinder. These guys are making decisions for the fleet. Alex Thomson is
also driving the boat very hard. His performance has been quite special.
He's had his problems but so far he's come through them. He's never someone
you could ignore. But the question is can he hold it together for the
race?" - Mike Golding, Ecover

"Nearly hit fishing boat ... I mean by meters. I was trying to call him on
the radio but no response 'till I decided to hand steer by the lee down his
port side. Once locked on to the helm he anxiously tries to call me on the
VHF, but by this time I am yelling at him from on deck." - Nick Moloney,

"Part of the reason that I went through the Canaries is that I was
seriously thinking of dropping anchor for a day or two so that I could
really focus on getting things done. But the conditions were good enough
that I could work without giving up much more time (than I already have)."
- Bruce Schwab, Ocean Planet

Ellen MacArthur's 75-foot multihull B&Q arrived in Falmouth to officially
go on standby for her attempt on the solo, non-stop round the world record.
"We have all the food on board, all the fuel on board, the boat just needs
to literally throw the lines off the dock and go," Mac Arthur said. Only
five attempts to sail solo, non-stop around the world on board a multihull
have been made and only one of those sailors made it without stopping.
Frenchman, Francis Joyon, set a new world record on board his multihull,
IDEC, of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds.

Ellen will be in constant contact with her shore-based weather routers,
Commanders' Weather based in the US. It is critical for B&Q to hook into a
fast, stable and favorable weather pattern at the start of the course to
slingshot across the Bay of Biscay and towards the Equator with strong
Trade Winds that are not always established. "We created a code with three
colours so we can let everybody know what the state of play is," Mac Arthur
explained. We have red which means there is no chance of going as the
weather is giving us no chance to go; we then have amber mode which means
there is a chance of departure in 72 hours; and we have green which is go,
and a possible departure within 36 hours.".-

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Having set off on Thursday night last week on his bid to break the Route of
Discovery record from Cadiz to San Salvador single-handed, Francis Joyon is
now approaching the halfway stage of this 3,884 mile course. At this
morning's position report the French solo non-stop around the world record
holder had been at sea for just over 3.5 days with 2,050 miles still to
sail to make it to the Bahamian island. PlayStation's time to beat is 9
days 13 hours and 30 minutes leaving Joyon six days to go and needing to
average around 341 miles a day to break the record. However Joyon still has
several hurdles to cross. Traditionally the wind stalls towards the finish
of this passage and he is of course single-handed on board his trimaran
whereas PlayStation was fully crewed.

In fact the weather situation towards the end of the course on this
occasion is looking very different. A tropical depression currently to the
east of the Caribbean looks set to cut directly across IDEC's track
tomorrow afternoon. If Joyon continues on his present course he is likely
to end up sailing through its center and being becalmed. Alternatively he
may find himself sailing into head-winds on the depression's south side.
The good news is that to the west of the depression there looks to be
strong northerly or northeasterly winds that should propel him quickly to
the finish. - Excerpt from a story on The Daily Sail website, full story:

* At a meeting this past weekend to develop a 2005 race schedule for large
racing yachts on the East Coast, the owners and owner's representatives
unanimously agreed that their boats would race under the IRC rule. The
group selected four distance races and two buoy regattas to 'definitely
support,' and named eight additional buoy regattas that 'should be
supported.' For additional information:

* The Liverpool City Council is offering three lucky residents over 18
years of age the chance to compete in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World
Yacht Race. The council is asking people to fill in a form explaining why
they want to be a Liverpool crew member. The three who are eventually
chosen will step aboard the new 68 foot Clipper yacht and will be fully
trained to race in one of the 7 legs - for free. -

* A new website for the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) has
been designed to streamline the application process for the school's full-
and part-time students. IYRS's two-year program in classic-yacht
restoration draws an international student body. Founded in 1993,
Newport-based IYRS runs a two-year accredited program for full-time
students in classic yacht restoration and a Continuing Education program
with part-time courses in woodworking, systems installation, and boat
building and restoration. -

* With a January 21 entry deadline for in the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge
2005, 21 yachts have entered or intend to enter the race. The yachts
include the 141-foot (43m) canting keel ketch Mari-Cha IV, designed for
Robert Miller by Clay Oliver, Greg Elliot, Phillipe Briand et al., holder
of the transatlantic passage record, and the brand-new 115-foot (35m)
carbon-fiber Maiden Hong Kong, owned by Frank Pong and designed by Juan
Kouyoumdjian. The races is for monohulls 70 feet (21.3m) on deck and
longer, and is hosted by the New York Yacht Club with the cooperation of
the Royal Yacht Squadron.

* Clarification: Although of Irish origin, Finian Maynard, now the world's
fastest man under sail, hails from the British Virgin Islands where his
family moved when he was six years old.

But first, a few questions… Did you know the British navy used to
administer a daily health ration of rum to its sailors? Are you interested
in getting away to Barbados? But most important: Do you love sharing good
times with Mount Gay Rum? Then sign up for Mount Gay Rum Good Times
Newsletter and find out all this and more from Mount Gay Rum! Send an email
to and tell us you'd like to join up, and we'll send
you our next issue.

(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 Fietje Judel, Germany (edited to our 250-word limit): In "Butt 1709
Barry Carroll explained the reasons for founding US-IRC and said there is
an unprecedented level of cooperation between the member organizations.
Wouldn't such a support also have helped a lot to keep the US-origin
systems alive and push them to new horizons? Instead all the experience and
technology of decades (paid by the US-sailors and US-donators) will be
thrown away by choosing a "simple and easy to use" handicap system. To
recover all this after IRC is dead will be quite hard.

Are the sailors without asymmetric kites aware that they will need them
because their performance advantage is free? Are they aware that probably
only 1 or 2% of their yachts have an IRC optimized keel? In the real world
owners want to win races and they will spend a lot of money to get an
advantage. IRC will open some new sources to spend money.

Promises for better boats? The two last Commodore's Cups in the IRC
division were easily won by "slow" IMS-Yachts, the Rodman 42 (2002) and
Grand Soleil 44R (2004). Doesn't say this something about type-forming
effects? The latest "slow and ugly" IMS Yachts have not yet shown up under
IRC, but it can be assumed that they will win even easier. The decisions
taken in the US will have some effect on the European fleets where IMS is
the opposite to what some media say … and is still the most used handicap
system for the medium to upper level.

* From Bob Brenac: I was once told that "trying to get Americans to adopt
'Time on Time' handicapping instead of their 'Time on Distance' systems was
like telling them that they drive on the wrong side of the road - they'll
never change". But now it finally looks like happening!
It seems that IRC, with its single number TMF, is about to be embraced by
most of the major US regattas and long offshore races. ('Butt 1709, 1710).
IMS has been found to be "over-complicated in the measuring and result
calculation processes". What seems to be misunderstood in all this is the
fact that the method of race result calculation has nothing at all to do
with the IMS. It has been the absurd computer programs endorsed by the
Offshore Racing Council/ Committee/Congress that has been the downfall of
IMS - not the IMS itself.

IRC, a re-named Channel Handicap System (CHS), is gaining popularity simply
because it is simple. It does not, however, provide anywhere near the data
available from IMS measurement, data that can, and should, be applied to
calculate fair results for offshore yacht races. Neither IMS nor IRC were
ever intended for grand prix competition. If the ORC does nothing else at
its current annual meetings in Copenhagen, they should adopt the TP52 as a
GP Rule for at least the next 3 or 4 years to at least make a start at
re-invigorating international offshore racing.

* From Enrico Alfredo Ferrari: Peter Huston has it absolutely dead on
correct, make it fun. The BEYC outing we read about is a great example of
creativity and fun. Weird courses are fun, Le Mans starts are fun, motor
starts with sails down are fun, change driver rule every hour is fun, hula
skirts on the bowman races, and many other options. I dropped out of
serious racing when there were 16 bodies all with dedicated positions and
very few smiles (and no beer until the finish). Let the hot rods go after
it but the bulk of the PHRF fleets would love to have a fun race as a part
of a series or an entire series of weird stuff.

Family racing with our old Columbia 36, Winsome, with fried chicken and
friends on a sunny downwind leg in Seattle is a past event but a memory I
hold dear. Race Committees need input from the members and just brainstorm
and come up with some fun. Fewer rules and more sailing and tests of
sailing skills. (How fast can you go with an inverted spinnaker?)

* From Chris Ericksen: Alexander Meller says in 'Butt 1711 that "sailing
does not...need expensive yacht clubs with dining rooms and bars" and that
what sailing needs is "more community sailing associations" and
"inexpensive facilities" with "easy access to the water." I agree--if all
you want to do is sail. What sailboat racing needs, however, are yacht
clubs that can capitalize the facilities (clubhouses, showers, meeting
rooms, hoists, ramps, water hoses, power outlets and even food services)
and equipment (RC boats, marks, flags, horns and other gear) to make
regattas happen. More importantly, yacht club members--many of whom used to
race but now might prefer the dining rooms and bars--are the volunteers who
give freely of their time so that we racing sailors can go sailing.

Even US Sailing goes to yacht clubs--some of which have dining rooms and
bars--to run their championship regattas. I know Ali to be a 5-0-5 sailor,
member of a class that uses rabbit starts and requires minimal levels of
support--but the Southern California 5-0-5 group that includes Howie
Hamlin, Mike Martin and plenty of other top-tier US 5-0-5 sailors hold
their weekly summertime training sessions at a yacht club that has showers
and hoists and hoses and the marks they use. And it even has a bar (but no
dining room).

* From Matthew Lindblad: It seems to me that we are missing the point with
AC TV ratings. Like most sporting events, the amount of people who watch a
sport on TV is usually related to the amount that go and watch the sport in
person. NASCAR=Millions of people load up the camper and go to the track
for the weekend. On the weekends they can't, they settle for TV. NASCAR
goes all over the country, drivers are very accessible to the fans and
people can identify with them. Combine that with speed and an element of
danger and you've got yourself a sport.

I had never cared about the AC, too young to understand in the 80's and too
smart to watch boats creep around in less than 8 knots in San Diego, or
watch NZ boat-speed away from everyone. However, when Oracle and Alinghi
came to Newport this summer and I spent the better part of June on the Bay,
watching them race on the same course that I've raced on for the last four
years, it was awesome. Close contact, kites blowing up, great coverage, and
excellent spectator management. We were racing along the sides of the
course just to keep up with the boats. During pre-start, we were between
the two boats as they sailed through the spectator fleet, one coming up to
luff the other with us in between. If you share that experience with more
people (especially kids,) I guarantee you will solve your ratings problems.
Oh yeah, please kill this thread!

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde