Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1715 - November 19, 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.

Butch Ulmer and Robbie Doyle have announced that Doyle Sailmakers and UK
Sailmakers have agreed in principle to merge. The goal is to provide a more
comprehensive network of lofts to enhance customer service, improve
productivity, and bring new products to the market. The new name of the
company will be Doyle-UK.

Boston, MA - The billionaires were in town the other night. Members of
Alinghi made a presentation at Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, and
acknowledged what we all know so well: The America's Cup is a two-tier
sport. Tier 1 is the billionaires -- Alinghi, Oracle, and Prada, who faced
each other at the last Cup in New Zealand, where Alinghi, then the Swiss
entry of Ernesto Bertarelli, beat the other two and went on to thump
defending champ New Zealand.

"The way it was then," said Brad Butterworth, who spoke to about 120
sailing fans at Boston Yacht Club last Monday, "is whoever won the Louis
Vuitton Cup would also win the Cup." Meaning that a Tier 2 team such as New
Zealand -- though champion from 2000 -- didn't have a chance to beat the
billionaires. "That is a problem with the Cup this time around, you'd have
to admit," said Butterworth. "The well-funded teams have been organized for
quite a while. Prada, Oracle, and us [Alinghi] have been rolling along
since last time and are now sailing at a different level."

Because of the structure of the Deed of Gift, with the winner taking over
the administration of the next Cup season, said Butterworth, the difficulty
of both competing in and running the sport always has raised problems,
especially in the modern Cup era with mini-corporations competing at the
top level. "The problem with the Cup is that when you win it, you sort of
take it with you. The actual administration of it falls down, and it's a
huge job for the new team to pick it up and run with it. It's difficult and
becomes a bit of a poison chalice in many ways.

"It'd be nice if you could come up with a format that everybody's happy
with, and the winner would take that format on and maybe make it better or
change it slightly. But not a clean sheet of paper . . . Everyone who wins
the Cup is always going to do it right and clean it up I think the Cup is
maybe a little bit better now," he said. "I think people are starting to
realize that for all the controversy always surrounding it -- I mean, the
stakes are very high -- in the end, the best sailors and designers always
win the Cup. That's the way it should be." - Excerpts from a story by Tony
Chamberlain, Boston Globe, full story:

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

The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) inducted three individuals
into their Hall of Fame this past weekend:

- The Lifetime Service Award was presented to Cmdr. Philip Harman of
Bucksport, Maine. His unflagging efforts were responsible for the
development of the Maine Maritime Academy sailing team during the 40 years
(1962-2002) he spent on the academy's waterfront, most of those years as
Director. In the 1970s, starting with eight Larks and a collection of
random boats, he built the facilities to include twenty 420s and sixteen
Lasers, along with Solings and Shields. He was the backbone of MMA's
participation in ICSA and NEISA and provided unwavering financial and other
support in tough times. He became a master at managing a boat donation
program that provided a funding source for the dinghy program and racing
platforms for the summer big boat program.

- Stuart Nelson (Laconia, N.H.) was recognized for Outstanding Service as
a Professional. He is credited with passing on a lifetime of skills -
gleaned sailing a Tech on the Charles River - to more than 25,000 students
during his 25 years (1965-90) at MIT as a coach and physical education
sailing instructor. He was the first women's sailing coach when sailing
debuted as MIT's first varsity sport for women only. In 1971, Nelson was
instrumental in forming the New England Women's Intercollegiate Sailing
Association (NEWISA) and promoting a Learner's Regatta at MIT -- a popular
event where participants from NEWISA schools could learn the rules as well
as tactics.

- Western Washington University graduating senior Annie Johnson
(Vancouver, Wash.) was recognized with the ICSA Student Leadership Award
for 2004. She was recognized for helping the team at WWU grow, becoming
Team Captain in '02-'03'; as well as her work for the Northwest
Intercollegiate Sailing Association. She has been both secretary and
president of NWICSA, and will become Graduate Director. She was also
instrumental in planning the 2004 ICSA North American Spring Championships
in The Gorge.

The ICSA Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to acknowledge the
competitive achievements of undergraduates, as well as the service
contributions of individuals whose efforts helped in the establishment,
growth, and development of college sailing. In recognition of their
significant service to the organization, these three names will be added to
the permanent ICSA Hall of Fame display located in the Robert Crown Sailing
Center at the U.S. Naval Academy. - Media Pro Int'l, -

The Ockam Tryad comes standard with an RS232 port, and you get a free
Driver application to control your system. Calibration, averaging, system
options, load polars, log data, change jumbo displays, and adjust lighting
with a sliding bar. Our software OckamSoft4 delivers full system control,
buy it in modules: multiple on-screen displays, multiple strip charts, and
a powerful racecourse application with charting. Ockam is just as powerful
without PC software with the graphic Matryx display. Take complete control
of your system - Contact or go to the Ockam website for more
information. -

Hayama, Japan - Seven-time champion Peter Gilmour has taken control of the
15th anniversary Pizza-La Red Lobster Nippon Cup, Stage 4 of the 2004-'05
Swedish Match Tour. Gilmour and his Pizza-La crew (Mike Mottl, Kazuhiko
Sofuku and Yasuhiro Yaji) have won eight races without a defeat, and head
the leaderboard. With three races still to sail, they seem assured of
advancing to the semifinals, but their road isn't easy. The Pizza-La crew
still has to race Ed Baird, Gavin Brady and Jes Gram-Hansen, whom they're
scheduled to race tomorrow.

Due to the structure of the schedule, Baird (4-1), Brady (3-2) and
Gram-Hansen (4-1) didn't race today. Dean Barker, skipper of Team New
Zealand, and his crew finished their round robin with an 8-3 mark, but
they're not assured of advancing to the semifinals. Day 2 of the Nippon Cup
produced blustery north winds around 15 knots, with slightly higher gusts
and a heavy rain. With the wind from a northerly direction, the windward
mark was placed under Osaki headland on Sagami Bay, which made for more
shifty conditions. "The toughest thing was the conditions," said Barker.
"You had to keep your wits about you. No lead was safe. But the good thing
is that no race was over."

While the competitors were on and off the water, the umpires were out all
day long. And they were put to work. They issued a total of 64 flags today
(compared with seven yesterday). - Sean McNeill,

Provisional Standings - After 16 of 22 scheduled flights:
1. Peter Gilmour (AUS) 8-0
2. Dean Barker (NZL) 8-3
3. Philippe Presti (FRA) 5-3
4. Michele Ivaldi (ITA) 5-3
5. Ed Baird (USA) 4-1
6. Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) 4-1
7. Gavin Brady (NZL) 3-2
8. Yasutaka Funazawa (JPN) 4-4
9. Geoff Meek (RSA) 4-4
10. Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 1-7
11. Sven-Erik Horsch (GER) 1-10
12. Kazuto Seki (JPN) 1-10

At the 1900 GMT ranking Tuessday, Vincent Riou (PRB) has closed down to
within just 4.6 miles of Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) according to the distance
to the goal, the first of the gateways to the southern ocean, a waypoint
off South Africa. On the water this translates as a 76 mile lateral
difference with PRB to the north east of Bonduelle.

The big question is whether the expected wind shift will indeed kick in
from the south-east as forecast favoring the latter's course or whether
Riou will be able to win this particular game in a virtual sense at least,
by favoring heading over speed, down just over a knot on the leader.
Whatever the case Sébastien Josse (VMI), Roland Jourdain (Sill et Véolia)
and Mike Golding (Ecover) also have the emphasis on heading. Alex Thomson
(Hugo Boss) is strangely holding onto his northerly option despite losing
ground on the frontrunners which may mean that he is suffering further
technical problems preventing him from joining the others, or he is waiting
to begin a secret attack in the 8 hour "twilight zone" between tonight's
last ranking and the next one. -

Standings at 1900 GMT November 18:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou 4.6 (miles to leader)
3. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 19.2 mtl
4. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 57.3 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 78.5 mtl
6. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 98.1 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 154.4 mtl
8. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 191.8 mtl
9. Pro-Form. Marc Thiercelin, 212.1 mtl
10. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, 225.6 mtl

"When you sail a bad day in normal yacht racing you go home and have
another go the next the Vendee a bad day can last 90 days." - Nick
Moloney. Skandia

"When you're behind, you always think the guys in front are pushing
harder, trying more. Sometimes that's not the case, of course. The problem
with this race is you don't really know what's going on with the other
boats. And no one's ever going to tell you, at least not until you've got a
beer in your hand." - Mike Golding, Ecover

"As far as Doldrums crossings go, it was pretty tough on average, it's my
7th or 8th crossing, the squalls were a bit more vicious, but I only had
one park up for any significant length of time. These boats are designed to
cope in these conditions, and even if you get overpowered quickly you can
dump sheets and run off. That just powers the boat through quickly, which
is better than being sat becalmed." - Conrad Humphreys, Hellomoto

* The University of California - Berkeley defeated Stanford University 2-1
in the Big Sail this Tuesday on San Francisco Bay. The event, a tradition
for the week prior to the Cal-Stanford football game, was hosted by St.
Francis Yacht Club at their Cityfront racing area and was sailed in
identical J/105 sailboats loaned by alumni of the universities. In the
Alumni Fleet, Seadon Wijsen, North Sails San Francisco loft manager, led
his Golden Bears to victory - assisted by a crew 'loaded' with two
All-Americans and the members of three of the top four J/105 crews in the

* The Yachting Universe website celebrated their fourth birthday yesterday
by publishing their 2500 article on sailing.

* BMW Oracle Racing has selected Windchill ProjectLink™ software from PTC
hosted by NetIDEAS to help their America's Cup team meet the product
development challenges common to engineering for competitive racing teams.
By automating project management activities, Windchill ProjectLink helps
customers better manage their programs, project schedules, information and
processes. -

Wednesday morning at 11:42 Francis Joyon had 1,328 miles to go on his
attempt on the Route of Discovery record between Cadiz, Spain and the
island of San Salvador in the Bahamas. To break the record held by Steve
Fossett and the crew of PlayStation, Joyon must finish no later than
11:05:58 this Sunday (21 November), meaning he must average 442.6 miles per
day down the rhumb line or an average speed of 18.44 knots over the next
three days. This pace is entirely feasible in a 90ft trimaran but will be
made harder by Joyon having run out of wind Wednesday imorning. The data
polled from IDEC this morning show her to be making just 6.45 knots
(effectively standstill on a 90ft tri) on a course of 220deg in 4-5 knots
of wind as he passes through a frontal zone. - The Daily Sail, full story:

How about a custom print from the Ultimate Sailing Favorites Gallery, which
spotlights the fabulous sailing images of Sharon Green. Choose your
favorite image from the Ultimate Sailing website and you will have it in
time for holiday gift giving. Visit

(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 Magnus Wheatley: Well said Tim Minogue in Scuttlebutt 1714 regarding
the America's Cup. He's hit the nail on the head and that letter should be
permanently posted on the Scuttlebutt website whenever the contentious
subject of the AC comes up.

Curmudgeon's comment: Minogue's observations are 'permanently posted' on
the Scuttlebutt website … along with all previous issues in the archives

* From Bob Klein (re Wells Piles' question - "At what point do we freeze
technologic advancement in sailing?"): I don't think that the Flying Scot
(a long existing and successful one-design) has changed in its life.

* From Enrico Ferrari: Wells Piles has certainly hit a thread that could be
explored. The Ultimate Test of a Boat. His definition was the test of time
and popularity. That would be a good poll for your readers. He questioned
the technology and what is 'needed'. I totally support the technology that
makes my life more fun and less hectic. The rusted steel screws are not
fun. I have even come to the perspective that wood on the exterior is less
fun than no wood unless I am on someone else's boat. Wheels vs. tillers is
a small question mark on technology that is usually answered with use.
Tillers for racing and wheels for cruising unless someone can develop a
tiller lock that is as easy to use as a wheel lock.

The list of technology development is as endless as your pocket book. The
new sail will deliver an improvement in fleet finishes but how often can
one's resources support that. The fleet of Etchells that uses only used
sails sounds like a good fleet for resource sniffers. The used sail market
is great resource if the internet is used to find them. My dinghies are all
turbo'd with used mylar fully battened, major roached, totally class
illegal sails but they are fun!

* From Gregory Scott Kingston (re IMS): For a number of years I raced on a
well turned out boat on Lake Ontario. We regularly encountered six to eight
other boats in our fleet that were as well sailed, as well equipped and
came to the same events ready to win. We had mast heads, fracs, and a
variety of hull shapes. Each had it's moments. When the race committee laid
down a true course and measured the wind speed, the difference between the
boats was very small. A win was well earned and respected by all crews and
owners alike. However, frequently, we would have a beat that was skewed. If
the race committee were not taking wind readings, the implied wind would
shoot up and the fracs would suffer. We couldn't out sail a false wind
speed factored into the day of racing. I think IMS was great, unfortunately
at times it outperformed the race committee.

* From Thomas M. Smith: I have been a lifelong fan of the America's Cup and
must admit that the most exciting era for me was that of the Twelve Meters.
I was intrigued by the design developments that occurred between each
challenge, but most of all, enjoyed the close-quarters racing between two
crews. Boat speed was important, but tactical execution on the course could
overcome almost any other performance handicap.

The constant and significant design changes over the years since the
retirement of the Twelves has made it difficult to remain an involved fan.
Imagine if the Superbowl were played on a different sized field every year
- sometimes 100 yards, sometimes 150 yards. One year a TD is worth 6
points, another year 8 points.

Keeping fans engaged over the years requires a more predictable and
familiar design rule. If not the Twelves, the AC should strive for a
similar design rule to keep the fans and sailing community involved. At the
end of the day, isn't it about the fans and the support they provide to the
sport and its sponsors?

You know you're getting 'mature' when you hear snap, crackle, pop at the
breakfast table - even when you're not eating cereal.