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SCUTTLEBUTT 1716 - November 22, 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.

The New York Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club led the way for many US
clubs in confirming that IRC will be their rule of choice for the 2005
offshore racing season. The St Francis Yacht Club of San Francisco has
already taken the same step with its successful 2004 Big Boat Series, and
both Premiere Racing (Key West and Miami Race Weeks) and Larchmont Yacht
Club have similarly already committed to offering IRC at their events in 2005.

This move to a genuinely international rule for Corinthian offshore racing
is especially welcome, also, as the first tangible step towards cohesion at
the grand prix level. Many well-intended parties have already expended
plenty of effort as well as substantial investment in attempting to
establish a new 'free-standing' international grand prix rule. With the
limited exception of the TP52 Class these efforts have all failed.

As Winston Churchill was famously determined to remind those who would
listen, the things we need to know in order to ensure a safe and happy
future are all there in the history books. Exactly the same is true in the
by comparison, relatively trivial, world of international offshore racing.
Whenever anyone of influence talks of, or writes about the need for a new
international grand prix rule, they rarely get far into their treatise
before a comparison is drawn with the 'heady days of IOR'. Well those heady
days were founded, very securely, upon the foundations of the enormous
popularity of the IOR for general cruiser-racer competition. As recently as
1990, good international grand prix competition could be found in IOR
fleets. And one only had to go back two or three more years to find
fantastic, big-fleet racing under the IOR at much more modest club-level
competitions, inclusive of everything from production cruiser-racers to the
latest grand prix one-offs.

Mr. and Mrs. Doe bought themselves a good production cruiser-racer. They
had fun, and they won a few pots. They got better at sailing. Then Mr. and
Mrs. Doe also got better jobs, and gradually they moved up towards the
pinnacle sailing events. Cream always rises, but it needs a continuous path
to flow up. IOR used to provide this path, from club racing to Maxi
competition. Then the floor collapsed. If under IRC the floor becomes
re-established, and on an international scale, and fleet sizes increase
once again, then a top-end division will evolve of its own accord, for
which extra rules can be specifically tailored when the need arises.
Chicken, egg… it's worked for a long time now. - Excerpts from an editorial
by Andrew Hurst in the December issue of Seahorse magazine, the official
magazine of the RORC, UK.

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

The legal battle between Russell Coutts and Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli
is expected to drag on for at least a year. The two parties are going
through legal arbitration and met in Switzerland this week in a preliminary
hearing. Coutts' lawyer, Thomas Steinmann, who is based in Geneva, believes
the procedure will take at least a year.

The NZ helmsman was fired from the Swiss syndicate in July for repeated
violations of his duties. But Coutts believes Bertarelli breached the
contract and claims his role in Alinghi was at "considerable variance" with
the one they had discussed. It is not known if it was part of Coutts'
contract that any dispute go to arbitration or whether the parties agreed
to it. Arbitration is similar to the court process except that both parties
agree on an arbitrator. Coutts and Bertarelli have nominated one arbitrator
each and those two have nominated a chairman. One of the main advantages of
arbitration is that cases tend to be heard quickly because it is just a
matter of when the arbitrators are available, which is essential for
Coutts, who still hopes to compete in the next Cup.

But Steinmann's estimation of a year seems a long time, says John Rooney, a
senior associate at Auckland law firm Simpson Grierson. "The longer the
syndicate can tie up this whole process, the longer it is that Coutts isn't
going anywhere. You can delay this sort of process considerably if that is
part of your plan. But it might be quite complicated because it is not just
about the relationship between Coutts and his syndicate, but also the rules
of the America's Cup, which can be discussed if relevant. If part of the
argument is about whether Coutts can sail for another team, not only would
you expect there to be some restrictions in his employment contract
stopping him from doing that, but they will also want to rely on the
America's Cup protocol to say he can't."

The protocol was changed just before Coutts was sacked and now includes a
"180-day rule" which precludes anyone who has sailed for more than that
time in training or racing from joining another team. This effectively
prevents Coutts from competing in the 2007 event. Although Bertarelli will
probably use the protocol to his advantage, there is little Coutts can do
about the rule change because the Cup jurors are the only ones who can
interpret the protocol. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:

The Vendée Globe is tough. It's a grueling 27,000-mile solo race - hence
Musto is the brand of choice for over 50% of the entries including Mike
Golding (Ecover), Nick Moloney (Skandia) and Alex Thompson (Hugo Boss).
Musto's HPX foul weather gear will protect the skippers from the elements
whist in the heart of the Southern Ocean, where towering seas, temperatures
below zero, and hurricane force winds are the norm, not forgetting icebergs
which are an ever-present danger. You don't need to race solo around
Antarctica to experience Musto. Give it a try next time:

Hayama, Japan - American Ed Baird, skipper of Team Musto, regained the
overall lead in the Swedish Match Tour championship when he won the
Pizza-La Red Lobster Nippon Cup. Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.) notched his
third career victory on the Swedish Match Tour when he and crew Andy Horton
(Newport, R.I.), Piet Van Nieuwenhuyzen (Valencia, Spain) and Jon Ziskind
(Newport, R.I.) won the final of the Nippon Cup, 3-0, over Jes Gram-Hansen
and the Gram-Hansen Racing Team. Gram-Hansen and his Danish crew Morten
Helkier, Christian Kamp and Rasmus Kostner held leads in all three races of
the final, but light and shifty winds thwarted their bid for victory. In
the Petit Final, Dean Barker of Team New Zealand overcame a red flag
penalty in the third and deciding race to beat Gilmour and the Pizza-La
crew, 2-1.

Baird leads the Tour championship with the high score of 65 points after
four events. He's 20 points ahead of Russell Coutts (NZL) and Gram-Hansen
(DEN), who each have 45 points. Australian Peter Gilmour, skipper of the
Pizza-La Sailing Team and the Tour's reigning champion, is fourth with 42
points as the Tour reaches the halfway point of its sixth season. The
champion will win a $60,000 bonus from the Tour and a BMW 545i Touring from
Tour partner and official car BMW. - Sean McNeill,

Nippon Cup - Final Standings:
1. Ed Baird (USA) Team Musto, 15-2, ($14,554)
2. Jes Gram-Hansen (DEN) Gram-Hansen Racing, 11-5, ($8,732)
3. Dean Barker (NZL) Team New Zealand, 8-6, ($6,792)
4. Peter Gilmour (AUS) Pizza-La Sailing Team, 13-3, ($5,821)
5. Philippe Presti (FRA) le Defi, 8-5, ($4,851)
6. Michele Ivaldi (ITA) Luna Rossa Challenge, 6-7, ($4,366)
7. Gavin Brady (NZL) BMW Oracle Racing, 6-5, ($3,396)
8. Geoff Meek (RSA) Team Shosholoza, 4-7, ($2,910)
9. Yasutaka Funazawa (JPN) 4-7, ($2,425)
10. Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 2-9, ($1,940)
11. Sven-Erik Horsch (GER) 1-10, ($1,455)
12. Kazuto Seki (JPN) 1-10, ($970)

Two weeks into the Vendée Globe, the start has lived up to all its
expectations. 4000 miles have been covered at a quite incredible speed. The
race is in full flow, and all the competitors are still present, which is a
first in the history of the Vendée Globe. For the frontrunners, the trade
wind has gradually backed from the south east towards the east and now the
north east, which offers them a more favorable angle to the wind and allows
them to achieve some fine averages requiring a lot of work out on deck.

Located in the middle of the roaring forties there is a gateway through. A
sort of guard-rail in fact, as the aim, which the racers support, is to
prevent an inflation of the risks, which is what would happen if they tried
to take the shortcut close to Antarctica, where ice is lying in wait for
them. This first gateway is still more than 2200 miles off, or in other
words, a week's sailing. For the first time since the start, however, the
leaders are aiming directly towards this gateway making very good speed.
Sunday evening, Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) was recorded doing 13.9 knots and
13.7 knots VMG (velocity made good) towards this gateway. -

Standings at 1900 GMT November 21:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou, 23.3 miles to leader
3. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 45.4 mtl
4. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 57.6 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 120.3 mtl
6. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 146.3 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 301.3 mtl
8. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 391.6 mtl
9 Skandia, Nick Moloney 450.2 mtl
10 Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, 450.8 mtl

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Paul Cayard doesn't figure to be idle for long. He already has a couple of
ventures in mind, including a "new global event in sailing" he plans to
create with New Zealander Russell Coutts, the most successful skipper in
America's Cup history. "It would be a pretty big scale of boats --
80-footers -- on a commercially-sponsored circuit of racing at six or eight
different venues around the world, and Russell and I would skipper a couple
of the teams," Cayard said. "We hope to get it going by 2006." - Dwight
Chapman, San Francisco Chronicle, full story:

The island of Jersey will have an entry in the Clipper 05-06 Round the
World Yacht Race. Additionally, a scheduled stop at the island is now
planned for the seventh and final leg of the ten-month race. Jersey will be
competing in an international line-up with teams already signed up from
Liverpool (UK), Durban (SA), Western Australia and Singapore. The race
starts in Liverpool, on September 18, 2005 in Clipper's fleet of ten new
Dubois 68s sailed by 17 paying crewmembers and a professional skipper. The
island's third participation has been made possible through sponsorship by
the Jersey branch of Swiss merchant bank UBS and property development and
construction company Dandara Jersey Ltd.

At the same time, Clipper Ventures plc announced the appointment of Simon
Rowell as Assistant Race Director for the Clipper 05-06 Round the World
Yacht Race, setting sail from Liverpool in September 2005. Rowell (38) from
Cowes, Isle of Wight, joins the company from Sailing Logic where he was
Chief Instructor. Rowell's brief at Clipper Ventures will be to assist with
the operational management of the Clipper 05-06 Race on a day to day basis,
and to work with the Race Director, Tim Hedges on Clipper's crew training
programs. -

* International Umpire Henry Menin (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) has been selected
the recipient of the Colorcraft Umpire Recognition Award for his
long-standing dedication to match-racing. Menin, an International Umpire
since 1995, won the award after a vote of sailors and event organizers on
the Swedish Match Tour. The award recognizes the top umpire on the Swedish
Match Tour based on the criteria of fairness, respect and congeniality.
This is the second year that the Colorcraft Umpire Recognition Award has
been presented. Wayne Boberg of Australia won the first award.

* US Sailing is currently accepting bids from clubs around the country to
host U.S. National Sailing Championships for 2005-2008. Available
Championships include junior, women's, men's, team racing, and multihull
events. Find out which Championships are now looking for a host club by
visiting the US Sailing's Championships Planning Calendar and find out how
to apply by downloading the Host Club Bid Packet. -

* Long Beach CA - Alamitos Bay YC's annual Turkey Day Regatta attracted 237
boats in 22 classes. There were no trophies, only turkeys for the winners,
who raced for the birds on two outside courses on Long Beach's outer harbor
and one on the small inside bay fronting the club. Saturday saw cool Santa
Ana desert winds blowing 15 knots from the southeast. Sunday began with big
wind from the northeast which faded to ultra light as the afternoon
progressed. Still, the race committees persevered to click off five or six
races for each of the classes. Complete results:

* Sporting stars Dean Barker and Mandy Smith are expecting their first
baby. The America's Cup skipper, 31, and former hockey star Smith, 32, have
said they don't want to know the baby's sex. The news comes 10 months after
they wed in Queenstown. - Stuff NZ,,2106,3103723a10,00.html

* Bright sunshine greeted the start of the 19th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria today, with a light south-easterly breeze
giving the fleet a slower then expected send off. One hundred and ninety
yachts from 23 nations were in the start of this annual transatlantic
voyage; ahead of them lies the 2,700 nautical miles passage to Rodney Bay,
St.Lucia. Starting 20 minutes ahead of the main cruising fleet was the RORC
IRC Racing Division. The big boats in the ARC placed in the Open Division
had a separate start at 12:50. -

* Francis Joyon, sailing the trimaran IDEC, was unsuccessful in his solo
attempt to set a new Route of Discovery between Cadiz, Spain and the island
of San Salvador in the Bahamas.

Racing to Bermuda or Hawaii? Coastwise cruising? No matter what your
challenge, the ability to locate a man-overboard victim is greatly enhanced
by SeaMarshall marine rescue beacons and homing receivers. Automatic
water-activated SeaMarshall gear can mean the difference between successful
recovery and tragedy. For information: Chip Barber at;

(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 Graham Kelly (edited to our 250-word limit): I have been interested
to see the discussion of the America's Cup, in which many decry
technological advances, and state their longing for the "good old days" of
the twelves, based on their recollection that the evenly matched boats of
that day made racing "more interesting." It appears that many have
forgotten the dramatic moments of the 2002 Cup, when Alinghi won two
closely fought races, and especially the race in which Russell Coutts took
the Swiss boat to victory with a well-timed pass, after being over-hauled
by New Zealand earlier on the same downwind leg.

That was in marked contrast to the mastery that NZ displayed in the 1995
race, when it won all of its races by large margins, sailing a faster boat
with better sails and a superior crew. The '95 contest was much more in
keeping with the history of the event, including most of the matches of the
twelve meter years. In that era, from 1958 to 1987, the defenders routinely
dispatched the challengers in 4 straight races. Columbia dominated the cup
match in 1958, Intrepid dominated racing in 1967, and in 1980, Freedom
completely dominated the Cup, winning all of her preliminary and final
races. That pattern was repeated by Stars 'n Stripes 87 in 1987, and to
some extent, by Australia II in the 1983 Louis Vuitton trials. Each of
those dominating wins was made possible by technological advances which
then spread and advanced the sport.

* From Al Schreitmueller (Edited to our 250-word limit): I agree the best
race watching ever was the 12M era, especially with the Doctor's help at
Fremantle. People who never raced knew what a "12 meter" was. Did they know
what the measurement rule was - no. The 12M was a "brand", in much the same
way as "bandaid" and "xerox" have made it into the popular language.
Abandoning the 12M left a major piece of the brand image in tatters. Nike
isn't leaving it's "swoosh" very soon.

Designers and sailors "need" to be at technology's leading edge. There are
few syndicates who can afford it and few sponsors who can or will bankroll
it. Trickle-down technology to the sailing community is white-washing the
"value" to sailors - it isn't real. If (whoever) is serious about making
this something that sponsors and John Q Public will line up for, make this
event reasonable. It used to be that the "Cup" generated interest from
non-sailors, and a non-trivial number took lessons and bought boats, and
sails. The more entries, the more interest. And if a team is involved in
Cups on a regular basis, we might be seeing bumper stickers like "US55", as
opposed to "3". It's a team one can "follow", and get to know. One design
12M (new slightly updated design) fleet race prelims, with the top 50%
going to the match race quarter finals gets interesting. It's affordable,
and boats can be used for more than one Cup - remember when they did that?

* 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.

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the