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SCUTTLEBUTT 1714 - November 18, 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.

Gorge Games founder and international windsurfing champion Peggy Lalor
announced plans to expand the annual summer event with the launch of the
first Live Large Tour in spring 2005. Staged in multiple locations
throughout the Northwest, including Portland, Ore., Seattle, and its
original home base in Hood River, Ore., the Live Large Tour will consist of
a series of annual sporting and educational programs for people of all ages
and abilities. The tour will promote healthy lifestyle choices under the
theme of "Lean, Mean and Green."

Given the national crisis surrounding inactivity and obesity, I was
inspired to transfer the energy and enthusiasm of the week-long Gorge Games
to a year-round, cause-based program promoting healthy lifestyle choices,"
said Peggy Lalor, Gorge Games founder. "Connecting the
cool-hip-physical-fun' aspects of outdoor sports with a message of eating a
balanced diet while enjoying the natural beauty of the Northwest is a
powerful way to motivate healthy lifestyles." To support expanded events of
the Live Large Tour, Portland-Based National Meeting Company will partner
with Lalor to bring their high profile event expertise to execute healthy
lifestyle campaigns. National Meeting Company's first objective is to
secure national and regional sponsors that align with Live Large Tours'
core values, which endorse a healthy, active, sustainable lifestyle. -

Lack of sponsorship has been cited as the reason for the 'postponement' of
the inaugural Antarctica Cup International Yacht Race, scheduled for a
start in 2005. Event organizer Bob Williams had planned to provide
competitors with identical high performance racing boats at minimal cost
for this circumnavigation of Antarctica. The boats were never built. What
now? Williams says he's working on a dual-handed non-stop circumnavigation
of Antarctica to start in late 2006 in a fleet of Open 60s. "This event is
planned to incorporate a series of ocean races, 'in between' the
around-Antarctica races." However, Williams admitted that identifying a
port in Australasia interested in hosting this dual-handed event is,
"work-in-progress." -

There were 23 spinnakers blown on leg one of the Global Challenge, which
may sound like a lot, but Challenge Business' Technical Director, Andrew
Roberts, reports from Buenos Aires that considering "the difficult
conditions towards the end of the leg it's not altogether surprising.
Charging into the shallow muddy water of the River Plate in up to 45 knots
of wind at the end of a 6100 mile leg is hard on the gear and very hard on
the skipper and crew," continued Andrew. "Four years ago the sail makers
spent approximately 650 hours repairing sails. This time it may be as high
as 750 due to the conditions." Andrew has also reported that Team Stelmar,
Team Save the Children and BG Spirit broke their spinnaker poles. -

Melges Performance Sailboats has just introduced a new boat into its
already complete scow lineup. The new Melges 17 is a two person,
sloop-rigged scow with a big roach main, a roller furling jib and an
asymmetrical spinnaker. What motivated this new entry? "We're presently
missing a lot of our young sailors once they graduate out of the X-Boat,
Laser and 420," explained Melges Vice President Andy Burdick. "The Melges
17 will bring new excitement to scow sailing, at an affordable price. And
with an optimum crew weight of 265 - 350 pounds, we know it will also
appeal to couples." The boat was designed by Reichel/ Pugh, who also
designed the Melges 24. The 17 is loaded with new technology and features,
including extruded aluminum, foil-shaped rudder and bilge boards … and a
clean deck layout with bilge boards that are totally below the decks
without any protrusions. However, like the other scows in the Melges
lineup, the new 17 will utilize the MPreg laminate system.

"This is the first time that a multihull has been designed specifically for
solo record-breaking. And it was designed around me. Everything from the
cockpit dimensions to the amount of sail was calculated to allow me to do
the best possible job of sailing her." - Ellen MacArthur talking about B&Q,
the trimaran she is preparing to sail around the world. From a story by
Andrew Baker in the Daily Telegraph,

Ullman Sails congratulates Chris Crockett and crew on board "Blind
Squirrel" for winning the 2004 J24 East Coast Championship. This major USA
J24 regatta drew over 50 boats to the Annapolis venue. Chris was joined by
Alec Cutler on the helm and Max Skelley called tactics. This championship
follows the 1st place finish by Deke Klatt at the 2004 J24 North American's
where again, a complete inventory of Ullman Sails was used for the win. For
the "Fastest Sails on the Planet" contact your nearest Ullman Sails loft
and visit

Hayama, Japan - The Pizza-La Red Lobster Nippon Cup - Stage 4 of the
2004-'05 Swedish Match Tour - got underway Wednesday with six crews sailing
five flights and the other six sailing two flights. Due to the disparity in
races sailed, there's a jumbled leaderboard after the first day of the 15th
anniversary match-race regatta. The race committee had hoped to complete
eight flights, but light winds in the middle of the day forced a
postponement that shortened the competitors time on the water. Still, they
completed seven flights, or 21 matches, in an abbreviated day.

A northeasterly wind blew offshore onto Sagami Bay for the first day of
racing, but it had huge oscillations in it. The hills lining Sagami Bay
make the wind very shifty. They weren't predictable oscillations," noted Ed
Baird, currently placed second on the Swedish Match Tour leaderboard. "The
breeze was building off of the racecourse. You had to decide if you wanted
to sail through the light spot to get to the new wind, or if you wanted to
work with what you had." - Sean McNeill,

Provisional Standings after 7 of 22 scheduled flights:
1. Peter Gilmour (AUS) 2-0
= Philippe Presti (FRA) 2-0
3. Ed Baird (USA) 4-1
4. Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) 4-1
5. Dean Barker (NZL) 3-2
6. Gavin Brady (NZL) 3-2
7. Yasutaka Funazawa (JPN) 1-1
= Michele Ivaldi (ITA) 1-1
9. Sven-Erik Horsch (GER) 1-4
10. Geoff Meek (RSA) 0-2
= Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 0-2
12. Kazuto Seki (JPN) 0-5

All of the racers are now converging in the middle of the Atlantic towards
the same passage, the six frontrunners, who have escaped the doldrums,
virtually in single file one behind the other. Just miles separate the
leaders' trajectory now in stark contrast to over 350 miles that separated
the most extreme routes as the fleet passed the Canaries. A compulsory
funnel, created by the crossing of the doldrums, provides and has provided
a natural complication in their game plan and may well open things out
again as the routes diverge once more. In contrast to this thinking,
today's leaders believe that it may be another three days before this
happens. The unusual weather situation in the southern Atlantic may develop
quickly and the deal may well change in the next 24 hours. As a result the
three coming days could prove more tactical than they seem for the leaders.

Standings at 0400 GMT November 18:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou 17.9 (miles to leader)
3. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 24.4 mtl
4. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 60.5 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 81.8 mtl
6. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 83.7 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 151.5 mtl
8. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 173.0 mtl
9. Pro-Form. Marc Thiercelin, 211.1 mtl
10. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, 215.7 mtl

"All the boats are in squalls at the moment though with anything from 5 to
25 knots. It's difficult to find the right wind combination with one sail
change after another. The squalls have been coming in very, very hard too."
- Mike Golding, Ecover

"The first squall I saw on the radar at 0600 this morning, and I did a
couple of sail changes as it came in, it was blowing around 40 knots.
Hellomoto was stoking along at 23 knots for 40 to 50 minutes, but now the
wind has completely died, and we're sat here pretty much becalmed. I'm
trying to point the boat into the next squall. It's pouring with rain,
there's spray everywhere, you have to try and pull sails down as soon as
possible when the squall comes, then 2 minutes later you're left completely
soaked and totally becalmed, not going anywhere, and then you have to pull
the sails back up." - Conrad Humphreys, Hellomoto

"After being on deck in shorts, 20 minutes later I was freezing cold and
soaked through to the skin ... I was shaking with the cold!" - Nick
Moloney, Skandia

* The new "Moveable and Variable Ballast" Appendix K to the Offshore
Special Regulations is now available on the ISAF website. 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. Appendix K becomes effective on February 1, 2005. -

* Marion-Bermuda Race organizers are hoping to attract a fleet of 100 for
next June's 645-mile ocean crossing, with new divisions and new prizes on
offer. The 15th edition of the cruising yacht race will leave from Buzzards
Bay, off Marion, Massachusetts, in eight months' time with multi-hull and
double-handed yachts competing for the first time. A line honours prize for
the first all-female crew will also be on offer. -

* More than 100 participants representing more than 40 one-design classes
participated in US Sailing's One-Design Symposium, held last weekend in
Newport, RI. This is the first time in the history of the organization that
such a Symposium of this magnitude was organized. The Symposium was filled
with workshops offered by experts in various areas including newsletters,
web pages, sponsorship, promotion, measurement and class management.
General sessions included panel discussions on how to invigorate a class or
fleet and class relationships with builders and sailmakers. Plans are in
the works for organizing a One-Design Symposium in 2005.

* The University of Hawaii bested 16 other college teams to win the
North-South Pacific Coast Championships sailed at Lake Isabella in
California in 3-12 knows of breeze. The top four teams were only separated
by nine points, with Stanford taking second place ahead of USC, UC Irvine
and Georgetown. -

A parka designed to meet polar conditions! Henri Lloyd's North Sea Parka
boasts a 34-inch back length for extra coverage when it's extra cold! And
though it's super warm, it's not super bulky thanks to a free-moving
quilted nylon lining and a fully adjustable draw cord at the waist. The
highly breathable, versatile North Sea Parka also features a
stow-away-hood, a toasty fleece lining and smooth, nylon taffeta, insulated
sleeves to ensure you're supremely warm and comfortable. Visit a North Sea
Dealer near you:

(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 Wells Pile: At what point do we freeze technologic advancement in
sailing? T.O.M. Sopwith had his aeronautical engineers working away on
improvements on his boats… I am sure Sir Thomas Lipton pushed the envelope
on several fronts…. It's too late to put the fiberglass cat back in the
bag; probably the same holds true of carbon fiber. Perhaps we should
declare that AC boats can be as big as they want, but have to have a single
wooden mast! And the non-evolutionary one designs? Do they actually exist?
My Beetle Cat has silicon bronze screws, a Dacron sail, marine plywood
centerboard and rudder…a far cry from the rusting steel fasteners, cotton
sails and solid wood rudders and centerboards of my youth. I would
challenge anyone to name a production one-design that is being made the
same today as when the first model rolled off the factory floor.

Technologic advancement is interwoven with the sport. Most sailors will
never have a bullet-proof sail, but will go sailing in a cruising boat to
have fun and, occasionally, race. The ultimate test of whether a boat is
desired by the mass of sailors is whether or not it is still in production
years later. If someone else wants to pour his (or her) money into a hole
in the water to have an enormously expensive (and often uncomfortable) boat
that will go a tenth of a knot faster, well, that's his business.

* From Tim Minogue: Instead of suggesting ways in which the AC should be
changed, why not stop and think about what it is about the AC that makes it
the richest and most successful sailing event in the world by a long way.
Why has it endured for so long, why have the mega-rich aspired to winning
it and risked public humiliation by failing for over 100 years?

Why? Because it is incredibly hard to win. What makes the AC interesting is
that to win you have to put in a serious, concerted effort over several
years, with a team of exceptional people. If you changed it to be sailed in
one designs, any good match racing helmsman and crew could win it on a
given day. Put it in big skiffs that sail on the brink of disaster and you
introduce too much of an element of chance.

The success of the AC does not have anything to do with it being visually
exciting. AC racing has always been like watching grass grow, yet it is
incredibly successful based on any objective measure ($ spent per cup,
number of newspaper column inches written, number of visitors to host
country etc. etc.). If you think you have a great idea for a sailing event,
go start one up yourself, get the sponsors and go for it. I'll bet it will
bore the public to tears, and that in three years time you will still be
sitting glued to the TV or Virtual Spectator.

* From Josh Sloan: When the discussion turns to improving US Olympic
sailing, my vote is to make this country smaller. Two of the best sailing
venues in the US are in Long Beach, CA, and Miami, FL, but when it takes 50
hours of non-stop driving to get from one to the other, you just can not
unite the best US sailors together to make them better.

I recall the US Tornado sailors were geographically divided leading into
the 1992 Olympic Trials. There was a training camp in Florida led by Randy
Smyth and included John Lovell, Zach Leonard, etc. On the west coast, there
was a group that included Pete Melvin and Pease Glaser. Neither were
organized by the Olympic Team ... just a bunch of sailors doing what they
could to get better, but separated because of the gigantic country. What
happened? The east coast group developed a speed edge, and beat out the
west coast group. At the Olympics, trials winner Randy Smyth earned the
Silver medal.

Luckily, each camp had enough good sailors to collectively improve, but
what about the classes with insufficient numbers? And what if all those
Tornado sailors had trained together, rather than apart? Sorry, but we just
have to figure out how to squeeze together the best sailing venues, as they
seem to attract the best prospects for the future US Olympic Teams.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Here are the results of a poll we did earlier this
year on what were considered to be the best racing venues in the US:

* From Ben Fuller: Peter Huston's recommendations look a whole lot like
what the Catboat Association does at their race /rendezvous. Rules are on a
single laminated card. Think about what a conventional start looks like to
the novice owner who wants to give racing a try. Is there any other
sporting event which can be won or lost before it starts? Some fleets agree
together not to have boat wars, like the Etchells fleet in Maine that buys
only used equipment and used sails. The wooden boat series/ classic yacht
series where looking at the other boat is worth the day, you certainly
don't want to think about contact, and the lobster bake at night is huge.

* From Bill Tyler (Regarding Len Hubbard's memorial message about "C" - Dan
Cianci): In the 25 or so years I knew C I saw him go from a relatively
inexperienced but tremendously enthusiastic racing sailor to the consummate
bowman and all-around sailor - but he never lost a bit of that enthusiasm.
C seemed to approach everything in life with joy and extracted every bit of
fun that could be found. I'm sure that in the early hours of Nov. 13, as C
went forward that last time on Snow Lion, in miserable conditions, he did
it with the same smile and "another day at the office" attitude that he
always displayed. All who met C even for a few minutes will remember him
and we will all miss him.

If you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.