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SCUTTLEBUTT 1718 - November 24, 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.

(This year's Big Boat Series at St. Francis YC included classes for
one-design boats, the Transpac 52 box rule, Americap and IRC. Respected
international navigator Stan Honey took an in-depth look at the results and
drew some interesting conclusions in a story he wrote for Sailing World
magazine. Here's a brief excerpt.)

It's impossible for any measurement rule to fairly rate all boats, so for
local racing where it's essential to rate all boats, the consensus is that
a subjective, inexpensive-to-run, performance-based handicap rule is
needed. In any discussion of rating rules in the United States, PHRF needs
to be recognized as the most widely used handicap system in history. Being
subjective, it can rate absolutely any boat. It has the disadvantage that,
being subjective, it is inappropriate for use in serious racing. To return
to the Big Boat Series, it's worth noting that after the demise of the IMS
on the West Coast, the Big Boat Series used PHRF-derived ratings for a few
years, but the subjective nature of the ratings caused too much heartburn
for the rating committee, so the Big Boat series changed to Americap, and
for 2004 to IRC.

While there's no widespread agreement on the topic (and likely never will
be), there appears to be an emerging model that racing can be sensibly
thought of in three areas, that have different needs. Grand-prix racing,
the most intense and competitive racing in sailing, can clearly have its
needs met by racing one-designs or by racing in box-rule boats, although we
need additional box rules in some different size ranges. Many expect that
additional box rules will experience the success of the Transpac 52, so
long as the boats that they define are fast, fun, simple, and safe, as is
the TP 52.

Serious - but not grand prix - racing needs a measurement rule that can
rate a diversity of existing boats and provide simple scoring. The good
news is that there are multiple options here, including IRC and Americap
and its descendents; but clubs and other race organizers will have to push
hard to provide enough events at this level to ensure ample competition.
Finally local handicap racing will continue to need a system that can rate
absolutely any boat. PHRF is meeting this need in the United States. - Stan
Honey, Sailing World magazine.

Do yourself a favor and read the entire story:

There is less than a week to go before the start of leg 2 of the Global
Challenge ­ the first notorious Southern Ocean leg, which starts from
Buenos Aires on Sunday. Crews are frantically preparing their yachts but
behind the scenes the shore team is also busy getting everything ready for
the off, including the compilation of all the daily logs, audio calls and
feedback that will help the Media Team judge the result of the Media Prize,
sponsored by Unisys/ EMC. This is the first time the Media Prize has been
sponsored and reflects the growing need for communications from the yachts
and the evolution of the website. Within minutes, even seconds, race
organizers are able to upload images, daily logs and receive data from the
yachts and then post them on the event website.

The Unisys/ EMC Media Prizes will be awarded to the Crew Volunteer in each
port of call who demonstrates prowess in the following:
- Portsmouth ­ Buenos Aires ­ Best daily log
- Buenos Aires ­ Wellington - Best onboard footage
- Wellington ­ Sydney ­ Most humorous log
- Sydney ­ Cape Town ­ Best action footage
- Cape Town ­ Boston ­ Best audio interview
- Boston ­ La Rochelle ­ Most descriptive Daily Log

There will also be an overall Media Prize for the Crew Volunteer who
demonstrates the most aptitude for media communications during the Global
Challenge. The winner's crew will also get a crate of beer, providing an
incentive for the whole team to get involved! -

Reflecting the changes that were determined at the recent ISAF Annual
Conference, the Rolex Miami OCR on Biscayne Bay from January 23 to 28 will
replace the Europe dinghy with the Laser Radial in the Women's Singlehanded
discipline. Boardsailing disciplines for both men's and women's classes
will be included if the newly designated equipment - the Neil Pryde RS-X -
is made available for charter from the manufacturer. Other featured classes
are the Finn, 470, 49er, Laser, Star, Tornado and Yngling as the equipment
selected for the 2008 Olympic Games, along with the 2.4 Metre and Sonar for
the 2008 Paralympic Games. The Notice of Race, Online Registration, and
regatta information can be found online at

Can you identify the USA lake with the longest name? (Answer below)

Especially if you are wearing the new Ultimate Sailing Cap. $19.95 in navy
with yellow and white logo. For our complete line of Ultimate Sailing
products, visit

The anxiety shown by Mike Golding and Alex Thomson, the Britons who are
lying fifth and sixth in the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race, that
an unassailable advantage was about to be snatched away by leader Jean le
Cam and his pursuer Vincent Riou, seems well-founded. The leading pair have
broken away in a good sailing breeze that those behind have been denied. Le
Cam's Bonduelle lost ground to Riou's PRB, but the real story is in their
wake. After 16 days of a 90-day race, this break could define the remaining
20,000 miles of the circumnavigation. - Tim Jeffery,

Tomorrow morning's rankings look set to make rather stressful reading for
18 of the 20 competitors in the Vendée Globe, while the two frontrunners,
Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) and Vincent Riou (PRB) revel in the rewards reaped
from earlier gains, the former with a 100 mile lead over third place. Their
pursuers have clearly missed the express train to the Southern Ocean. -

Leaders at 1900 GMT November 23:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou, 20.7 miles to leader
3. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 101.4 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 135.1 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 207.0 mtl
6. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 357.4 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 419.1 mtl
8. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 454.2 mtl
9. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, 503.1 mtl
10. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, 520.9 mtl
11. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, 525.6 mtl
12. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 527.5 mtl
13. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 529.8 mtl

"The infamous Doldrums are a couple of days behind us now, but the
experience is still fresh in my mind. The large, angry thunderstorms,
torrential downpours, and the humidity are easy to remember. But what also
lingers is the somewhat ominous atmosphere that I felt not only from the
local storms, but from the knowledge that this area is also the primary
breeding ground for the north Atlantic hurricanes. It is indeed a boiling
cauldron of rising, evaporating water that is waiting for the right
conditions for a larger storm to begin taking shape." - Bruce Schwab, Ocean

* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified a new 'Singlehanded'
Cadiz to San Salvador Discovery Route world record for the 90-foot Trimaran
IDEC sailed by Francis Joyon from November 10-22. Elapsed Time: 11 days 3
hours 17 minutes 20 seconds. The 'outright' record for this route was set
by Steve Fossett, and his crew on PlayStation, who took 9d 13h 30m 18s in
February 2003. -

* Consider taking some time out from turkey, football and shopping this
Friday to watch the television coverage of Russell Coutts' record breaking
seventh victory at Bermuda's King Edward VII Gold Cup. This is Grade 1
match racing event, the third leg of the 2004-05 Swedish Match Tour, also
features James Spithill, Ed Baird, Peter Gilmour, Dennis Connor and more
than two dozen other top skippers and crews. The half-hour program airs
across the USA November 26th at 12 Noon EST on the Outdoor Life Network
(OLN) and re-airs on Friday December 3rd again at 12 noon EST.

* The largest fleet in a decade, together with logistical requirements for
the live television broadcast, will see a two-line start and a later
starting gun for the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia today confirmed the two-line start for the
fleet that currently stands at 125 boats and announced that the starting
time will be ten minutes later than the traditional start time of 1300
hours (1pm) because the telecast will not start until 1pm. The live
television coverage will continue through for an hour.

* With the deadline creeping up, an announcement will be made on December
15 regarding the future of OzBoyz in the America's Cup. Sad as it may seem,
looks like there will be again no Aussie entry at the America's Cup.
Unfortunately, many big money backers in Australia are loath to put their
money into any type of sailing, more's the pity. However, the logistics of
the West Australian program and their lack of expertise in managing an
America's Cup campaign add to their problems. - Sail-World website,

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, Mass. - It is spelled
just the way it sounds. Unless you spell it differently, like in the sign
put up by the chamber of commerce at the southern end of town, which has an
O for one of the U's and an H for one of the N's. Or the postcards at
Waterfront Mary's, the lake's best-known restaurant, which have smuggled an
extra "gaug" into the name. Even for the locals, this sprawling central
Massachusetts lake with the even more sprawling name, the longest place
name in the country - is not for the tied of tongue. - Pam Belluck, NY

Offshore legend Willi Illbruck has passed away last Sunday at an age of 77
in his hometwon Pattscheid, Germany. Together with Hans-Otto Schümann,
Willi has dominated and formed German Offshore Sailing in the Eighties and
Nineties. Illbruck´s Pinta teams have won the Admiral´s Cup twice (1983,
1993). Two One Ton Cup victories and a Sardinia Cup win in 1984 only mark a
few of his sailing career´s highlights. Willi was a very successful
entrepreneur and a passionate, dedicated and stormy type of yachtsman who
will always stand for fair sportsmanship and a true fighting spirit. -
Tatjana Pokorny

Like many Americans, the curmudgeon will be enjoying the Thanksgiving
holiday with his family, and there will not be a Thursday issue of
Scuttlebutt. Your next issue should arrive at the normal time on Friday.

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(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 Jack Butefish (Edited to our 250-word limit): The most exciting
yacht racing for the media, sponsors and the general public was the AC in
Perth. I was there and I can tell you the AC 12's concept (with appropriate
minor adjustments for on site weather) could have been the start of a new
flow of sponsor support based on the TV ratings alone. AC could have been
the IROC of sailing! It was the "level" match racing competition and not
the boats that generated sailing fan and public interest. Anyone could
understand what was happening on the race course.

Unfortunately, with the "state of the art professionals" driving the bus
and the legal battles and lack of boat equality we took the sport "off the
plate" when we tried to dig up sponsorship and TV coverage. With all the
competition for air time among the many well watched sports you have to
"keep it simple" and have a "show" that doesn't require you to be a marine
architect to understand what you're watching! If we don't start building a
less expensive, fan identifiable sport, AC and sailing in general will
never grow in the eyes of the public and sponsors. Until then we'll just
have to beg for sponsor support (donations?) and delay the day when we can
tell the average family about a sport that has brought us all many hours of
fun, great friends and at times almost more excitement than we could handle!

* From Ron Wall: 1996 Lahaina YC Commodore: Not included in your
comprehensive list are Steve Tupper's contributions to the Vic-Maui
International Yacht Race, sponsored every other even year by the Lahaina
and Royal Vancouver Yacht Clubs. For as long as anyone can remember Steve
has been the official Starter and at one time or other has officiated over
Rules, Handicapping, Judging, and Safety. Heck, the guy even has a sense of

* From Ted Livingston: The piece today on Steve Tupper was wonderful. So
much better while he's still around than as an "obit" after he's gone.
Let's hear it about other "good guys" every now and then--or even as a
fairly regular feature--and preserved in a special folder in the archives
as "must" reading for Opti sailors, "rock stars", and AC aspirants.

* From John Sweeney: Please clarify that the John Sweeney writing and
commenting on the AC is not the John Sweeney of Sausalito Challenge 2007.

* From: David Howie: Thanks to Scuttlebutt for keeping me informed of
what's happening in NZ sailing. It's interesting that though I am a New
Zealander, now residing in NZ, that I learn about sailing news here from a
US newsletter.

Curmudgeon's Comment: Hmmm. Sounds like it may be time to start a Kiwi

* From Phil Bedlington: I am writing this letter as a boat owner who has
sailed under IMS, AMS PHD and IRC (for the last 4 or so years) and have won
the occasional race under each system. It appears to me that if you have
your boat in the best condition you can afford, your crew are well drilled
and you sail to your polar diagram you can win. If you screw up you don't.
I think if more people worried about the above instead of trying to work
the rule and win because they can buy a result, they and sailing in general
would be better off. So instead of bemoaning the rule get your boat and
crew out training, get your skill levels up and try and win. If you sail
your best but someone sails better they deserve to beat you.

* From Scott Ridgeway: IRC seems to be the prettiest girl on the block
right now. We know however, that she will age, become hated and another
prettiest girl on the block will show up. Such is our sport.

"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about
your age." - Lucille Ball