Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1713 - November 17, 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.

Sailing World magazine unveiled its annual salute to boat design with the
2005 Boat of the Year Awards, featured in the Sailing World December
2004/January 2005 issue. Of the 16 boats nominated, four received awards.
Top honors as overall Boat of the Year went to the J/100, a fast, simple
33-foot day-racer and daysailer with modest accommodations below decks.
This marks the second year in a row that the designers at J Boats (Newport,
R.I.) and the builders at TPI (Warren, R.I.) have taken the award. In 2004
the J/133 racer/cruiser earned Sailing World's overall Boat of the Year honors.

The boats were inspected and sailed by independent judges Meade Gougeon, of
Gougeon Brothers, Alan Andrews, of Alan Andrews Yacht Design, and Chuck
Allen, head of North Sails One Design for New England. Judges toured the
boats at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., and sailed them over
four days on Chesapeake Bay. The J/100 came out on top because, as Allen
said, "It accelerated well and got in, and stayed in, a groove." The
magazine's Boat of the Year Director, Tony Bessinger, said, "It came down
to how the boat sailed, how it was put together, and the fact that any one
of the judges would have been delighted to take on any weekday evening PHRF
fleet in the country with the J/100."

In addition to an overall award, the judges named Boat of the Year winners
in three categories: Best Raceboat was the British-built Seaquest 36, Best
Cruiser/Racer went to the French-built Beneteau First 44.7, and Best
Performance Boat was the Nacra A2 singlehanded catamaran. Models introduced
to the North American market between the 2003 and 2004 U.S. Sailboat Shows
were eligible for Sailing World's contest, which encourages entries of
boats designed and built with racing in mind. Sister publication Cruising
World ran a parallel Boat of the Year contest to be featured in the
magazine's January issue and announced in early December. Additional info
on the winners is posted at:

After nine days of meetings, involving debate and decisions on almost 400
submissions and numerous other recommendations from Committees, the ISAF
Annual Conference came to a close on Saturday, November 13. The decision
regarding the two new classes to be sailed in the 2008 Olympics (Women's
Laser Radial dinghy and Neil Pride RS:X boards) was published in 'Butt
1711. However, with the success of the 2003 ISAF Sailing World
Championship, ISAF took the decision to focus Olympic qualification for the
2008 Olympic Games on two major Championships. The 2007 ISAF Sailing World
Championship will host 75% of the Olympic qualification, and the remaining
25% will take place at the respective 2008 World Championship for each of
the classes, which shall be held before June 1, 2008.

Many proposals were considered regarding the Olympic format and scoring
systems, and it was agreed that experimentation should take place during
2005. Preparations for the 2006 ISAF World Sailing Games are well underway,
with more than 60 nations anticipated to compete in this event at which all
the equipment will be supplied.

One of the many important recommendations that came from the Offshore
Committee was the introduction of a new appendix to the Offshore Special
Regulations. Researched and developed by a working party jointly funded by
the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC),
the Appendix deals with the safety aspects of the developing trend in
offshore sailing for the application of variable ballast in the form of
canting keels, water ballast and the like.

The total number of International Umpires is now 101, the total number of
International Judges is 384 (including 22 year old female, Zofia
Truchanowicz from Poland) and the total number of International Race
Officers around the world is now 174 -

As well as stating the required safety standards for such boats, including
Knockdown and Inversion Recovery Factors, the appendix also defines fixed,
moveable and variable ballast. It also states that in order to comply with
the appendix, systems must be permanently installed with manual control and
actuation systems. In addition, it must be possible to lock canting keels
on the centerline. The Committee approved some amendments to the original
wording of the Appendix, allowing boats built prior to November 2004 to
apply for dispensation from certain sections of the appendix.

Council approved a change to the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008, to
clearly set out the route of appeal and utilized the Court of Arbitration
for Sport. RRS Fundamental Rule 3 has been changed and this change will
apply immediately when the new edition of the Racing Rules of Sailing (2005
- 2008) becomes effective on January 1, 2005. - Excerpts from a long report
on the ISAF website:

Q: Which Vendee Globe 2004 skipper carries on his CV the distinction of
being the winning skipper of the 1996/1997 BT Global Challenge (now known
as Global Challenge), an event where paid skippers lead amateurs crews in a
race around the world? (See answer below.)

Hall Spars & Rigging is counting down the days to our big move - and to the
end of our online moving sale! We definitely don't want to move heavy boxes
of winches, so we've marked Harken B42.2A winches down to $680.00 (List
price = $1347.00). Only two left! Or, if you've always wanted a lightweight
carbon instrument bracket for your mast, this is your chance. We have two
available at $770 each. And finally, cut lengths of high-tech line are
wicked cheap. View the parts online, then call or email to order.

Though the equator looks likely to be crossed in record time by the
frontrunners, the southern Atlantic still has its fair share of surprises.
The Saint Helena high, generally centred between Brazil and Africa has
headed towards the Falklands and Cape Horn. There is a long ridge of high
pressure which is blocking the Southern Atlantic that may play border
keeper at the end of the week. -

Standings at 0400 GMT November 17:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou 24.5 (miles to leader)
3. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 35.0 mtl
4. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 62.6 mtl
5. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 64.2 mtl
6. Ecover, Mike Golding, 103.3 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 183.3 mtl
8. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 197.1 mtl
9. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 254.1 mtl
10. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, 255.7 mtl

"As the day was ending, I went up on deck and I was suddenly surprised by a
large 8 millimetre bolt from the block which holds the spinnaker halyard to
the top of the mast landing at my feet. It had fallen from the mast just
then, and I knew it could only be from the halyards as the rest of the rig
is lashed. Hellomoto was trucking along at 17 knots under full main and
spinnaker in a 22 knot NE wind and the light was starting to fade. I
couldn't afford to wait until daylight to climb the 90ft mast as I needed
to see what had happened and get that block off the mast before worse could
happen, but it was getting dark, so I dropped the spinnaker onto the deck
and without even time to properly prepare my climbing gear, I started to
climb the mast as night fell. The boat was sailing along still at 10 knots
under full main in a strong 22 knot breeze and I had to entrust my
autopilots to hold course for the whole 2 hours I was up there.
I got to the top of the mast after about 20 minutes, unable to see a thing,
but found that the block had nearly sheared right off the mast, two pins
had come out and the halyard was being kept up by just one screw, which was
split open, so I had to cut it right off. It was remarkable that the
fitting had held together all this time. By this time it was pitch black
and I was concerned about getting back on deck safely as I hadn't got my
descending gear so had to carry the broken block and free climb down the
rig one-handed loop by loop on the main sail strops. By the time I reached
the deck I was absolutely exhausted - I couldn't even pull the skin off a
rice pudding! This morning at daylight I spent another 3 hours up the mast
fitting the spinnaker sheet block, which I took from the back of the boat.
The swell was bad so it was a lot tougher and I got thrown off the rig
twice. I also forgot my gloves so my hands are all cut up now." - Conrad
Humphreys, Hellomoto,

"On a big runway like this, it's about technique, sailing the boat well,
choosing the right route, but more importantly keeping the boatspeed on." -
Mike Golding, Ecover

"A gybe takes about 35 minutes in these conditions, and goes something
like this ... snuff the spinnaker, haul it around to weather (will become
the new leeward side after the gybe), come back to cockpit for dealing with
the mainsail ...wind it in, take on the new runner, let the old one off,
let out the mainsail. Wind not strong enough at present to have to take a
reef (to prevent batten damage), so easier at present. Then a frustrating
few minutes getting spi up again." - Nick Moloney, Skandia

Peter Isler joins host Bill Biewenga, Commanders' Weather & OPC
meteorologists to help you study the trends and options for Key West 2005.
The WxLIVE! interactive weather seminar is convenient to your schedule.
Early registration discount now available for the January 8th On-Line

The Nippon Cup is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive regattas on the
Swedish Match Tour. With Japan's unique culture and rituals, the Nippon Cup
adds life and color to the Tour that makes it a one-of-a-kind event. Its
location adds to that uniqueness. Flights are hardly a skip across the
pond. Most teams spent an average of 10 to 12 hours traveling to Hayama. In
a poll conducted among competitors, Geoff Meek's Team Shosholoza crew from
South Africa won the award for longest travel. Team Shosholoza needed 18
hours and two stopovers to reach Japan.

The 12 crews are led by skippers Ed Baird (USA), Dean Barker (NZL), Gavin
Brady (NZL), Yasutaka Funazawa (JPN), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Jes Gram-Hansen
(DEN), Sven-Erik Horsch (GER), Michele Ivaldi (ITA), Meek (RSA), Takami
Nakamura (JPN), Philippe Presti (FRA) and Kazuto Seki (JPN).

A north/northeasterly breeze (between 030 and 050 degrees) blew around 12
knots for the morning session but dropped away to 6 to 8 knots for the
afternoon session, and competitors found the wind very shifty. That coupled
with an unfamiliar boat, the Yamaha 30S, for many of the crews made
practice interesting. "The last boat I sailed was a J/22, which turns in
its own radius," said Ivaldi, of Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge for the 32nd
America's Cup. "This is a different boat, with a big turning radius. It'll
be tricky to sail fast. They feel heavy and don't have a big jib, so you'll
have to make big adjustments in the puffy conditions like today." - Sean

A: Skipper Mike Golding on Ecover was the winning skipper of the 1996/1997
BT Global Challenge.

The sailing community lost a dear friend on Saturday when Dan Cianci (known
to everyone as "C"), was apparently swept overboard while delivering a
sailboat off Cape May, New Jersey. His body was recovered by a Coast Guard
helicopter team and taken to Atlantic City. C was the ultimate sailor, with
a special penchant for doing the bow. No matter how messy it was, he could
always figure it out. He was inevitably cheerful and optimistic, and often
was the group's cheerleader. He learned about getting along with his
shipmates in a 9 year career on submarines, and passed that knowledge (and
some great stories) onto all of us.

If the boat needed to be delivered, C was there. He organized everything
from the food to the Mount Gay, whether we were doing races local or far
away. An excellent seaman inshore and offshore, he had sailed more miles
than virtually anyone I know, and always enjoyed every minute. He lived in
Fall River, Mass., and was a fixture on many of the waterfronts in the
Northeast and beyond. If you have many sailing miles under your keel, you
will have seen him somewhere. C was family to his crew and to their own
families in the best sense of the word. He loved skiing, his garden, his
Harley Sportster, and cooking for his friends almost as much as his
sailing. We will miss his laugh, his generosity, and his friendship dearly.
- Len Hubbard

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

(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 Skip Holiday: The pending obituary notice in Issue 1712 about the
British America's Cup 2007 campaign made me wonder: What does the
well-funded British Olympic Team have that Peter Harrison's GBR A-Cup team
lacks (other than money)? We have heard plenty this year about the British
Olympic Team, who had the resources to develop a superior team for Athens.
But when the Olympics were over, British sailors scattered to any A-Cup
team but the GBR effort. Was the writing on the wall back then? Why is the
donation plate empty for Harrison?

* From Dan Howe: On the topic of "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." ('Butts 1710, 1711 & 1712), I thoroughly disagree.
The point that is being missed here is that all of these features are
revenue streams for the yacht clubs, which ultimately subsidize the sailing
activity. The club launches, fuel bills etc. have to be paid by someone so
why not let the more social sailors help foot the bill for you. These
people have a good time, have a few drinks or a bite to eat and this puts
money back in to the club so the less everyone has to pay for the sailing.
Do not alienate the people, they are not all bad. These people are going to
eat supper or have drinks regardless so why not let your Yacht Club benefit
from the profits rather than some bar or restaurant in town.

* From Michael Foster, SDYC Hot Rum Series PRO. We certainly appreciate
Peter Huston's comments about our Hot Rum Series. The name of the game is
fun! This year we have 138 entries ranging from a non-spinnaker Catalina 27
to the IACC boat Abacadabra. We take whatever rating we can come up with
for each entry, put them in a blender, and come up with arbitrary
handicaps. These handicaps produce starting times that range over 63
minutes starting with the smallest boat first. That's 138 boats sailing the
same 11 mile course. If the handicaps were perfect, everyone would finish
at the same time and there are many very close finishes. For those
interested in this format, the NOR and SI's are on the web:

* From Bob Kiernan: Enrico Alfredo Ferrari and Peter Huston have it
absolutely correct ... almost. We are racers still, speed is relative and
we love to use our boats. I too would love to again be at the start line
only this time with my cruising boat. I will still barge the line, overtake
the slower competitors and trim like I expect the 1% more the boat will
produce makes a difference. If the kids want to use the head they will have
to wait until the reaching or down wind legs and only on starboard tack.
But, I do not want to be in the way of the big shots. Another course, a
somewhat earlier start, a great view of the whole affair and a place at the
podium at the end of the day. That will get my boat back on the start line
with just maybe another generation of racers aboard.

* From Bob Hofmann (re Eli Slater's letter - 'Butt 1711): Perhaps Mr.
Slater should re-read the (original) AC Deed of Gift at which contains the
following: This Cup is donated upon the conditions that it shall be
preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between
foreign countries. Any organized Yacht Club of a foreign country,
incorporated, patented, or licensed by the legislature, admiralty, or other
executive department, having for its annual regatta on ocean water course
on the sea, or on an arm of the sea, or one which combines both, shall
always be entitled to the right of sailing a match for this Cup, with a
yacht or vessel propelled by sails only and constructed in the country to
which the Challenging Club belongs, against any one yacht or vessel
constructed in the country of the Club holding the Cup. I personally would
like to see these conditions re-instituted. It sure would solve the Alinghi
debacle, along with a lot of other issues that have come up over the years.

* From John McNeill: Seems to me that yacht development and design has over
the years benefited from AC activity, in that the competition of both men
and machine has led to some interesting design and procedure developments
that have had an impact on the overall sport. That should not be discarded
in the interest of entertainment value. What has, in my opinion, reduced
the contribution is a narrowing of the conditions window to such a point
that delays of races and cancellations have become the norm rather than the
unusual. If the AC design criteria were to be left alone, and the sailing
window opened to much broader conditions, I suggest we would see much
different yachts and better competition. As a thought piece, consider the
fate of the current fragile boats if the venue were once again to be Perth.
Or, for the sake of humor, what if Queen Victoria had deemed the weather
unsuitable for the original regatta?

* From John Slivka: The St Francis YC website has the Big Boat series
results for the IRC classes, including finish and corrected times. I hope
'Butt readers will take the time to view these results and form their own
opinions of IRC vs. other handicapping rules.

A yawn is simply an honest opinion - openly expressed.