Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1720 - November 29, 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.

As early as last spring, hurricane specialists predicted a heavy storm
season, but even they were caught off guard by the volume. "Underestimated"
is a word that keeps popping up in meteorological discussions. The Tropical
Meteorology Project at Colorado State University revised its forecast of
intense hurricane days from 8 to 23 and noted, "The hurricane season has
been one of the most active seasons on record since 1950, with [through
September only] 220 percent of the full-season average."

The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on November 30, but it's
worth remembering that in 2003, Odette showed up in December and drenched
the Domenican Republic and Haiti. Along with the much-weaker Peter that
followed, Odette raised the number of named storms in 2003 to 16. John
Jones, deputy director of the NOAA National Weather Service, said, "We
expected an above normal season based in part on the wind, air pressure and
ocean temperature patterns that recur annually for decades at a time and
favor active hurricane seasons. These patterns make up the active phase of
the Atlantic's multi-decadal signal." Gerry Bell, head of NOAA's long-range
hurricane forecast team, added, "These conditions were in place by early
August, setting the stage for a very busy season."

Statistical models, perhaps, will be revised. According to the Tropical
Meteorology Project prior to the 2004 storm season, short-range prediction
is as difficult as ever, but year-to-year forecasting is increasingly
possible as researchers sort out improved packages of predictors. Nothing's
expected to be easy, of course, as the research team notes: due to "the
nature of the seasonal or climate forecast problem where one is dealing
with a complicated atmospheric-oceanic system that is highly non-linear." -
Sail magazine website, full story:

At present RORC believe they are set for a bumper turn out for next year's
Admiral's Cup. The event is to be raced in three boat teams comprising on
this occasion a Mumm 30, a Swan 45 and a big IRC boat with a minimum rating
of 1.3, roughly equating to a Farr 52 or bigger. At present the only
confirmed entry is from Australian Bob Oatley who is returning to defend
his title on his new Wild Oats CBTF boat. Aside from this the following
line-up is from teams which RORC General Manager Peter Wykeham-Martin
describes as having "made expressions of strong interest":

- Australia: possibly one in addition to Bob Oatley's team
- France: probably two, one led by RORC stalwart Gery Trentesaux
- Germany: one, possibly two
- Holland: one, possibly two (possibly Piet Vroon's new 56 footer)
- Irish: one, possibly two.
- Italy: possibly one
- US: one, possibly two
- UK: definitely one or more

Of particular interest to sailors will be the modification of Class Rules
for the Swan 45 and Mumm 30. Only the Swan 45 will be able to change helms
from the owner to "previously approved Relief Helmsman" from one hour after
the start of the short and long offshore races. The Mumm 30 sees no
modification to the Class Rules concerning who can steer the boat, or crew,
so it will remain an amateur driver affair. - Excerpt from a major story on
The Daily Sail website,

Curmudgeon's Comment: Who'd have ever thought that the prestigious
Admiral's Cup would become a partially 'amateur driver' event?

Ellen MacArthur, skipper of B&Q, crossed the start line off Ushant at
08:10:44 GMT Sunday, passing within a few miles offshore of the WSSRC
observer on the island of Ushant off the north coast of France in winds of
28-30 knots. In the first few hours of the record attempt Ellen was ahead
of Francis Joyon's round the world record. B&Q has averaged well over the
15.38 knots of speed required to break the record but there is no doubt
that these conditions will not last as Ellen heads south to the lighter
winds forecast south west of the Canary Islands. Ellen will be hoping to
find well-established Trade Wind conditions but light winds will,
undoubtedly, reverse this record-breaking pace.

It proved to be an emotional and tiring pre-start night for Ellen as
expected. Her shore team stayed on board B&Q until 2200 GMT running through
the final system checks allowing Ellen to get one and a half hours of
sleep. Emotions ran high as the shore team jumped aboard the support boat -
Ellen's last human contact for the next two and a half months.

For your crew, your skipper, your significant other: Padded Sailing Shorts
and Longpants, Knee Sleeves, Kontrol Racing Gloves, Sun Shirts, 4-way
stretch fleece with drop seats - base layer (Quadroflex fleece), battened
hiking pants, gear bags. For the stockings or the tree, one stop shopping
at Sailing Angles and nip the holiday list in the bud. You can find Sailing
Angles gear at APS, Layline, Team One Newport, PYacht or

Bouwe Bekking hails from Holland but now lives in Denmark with his wife and
daughter. With 25 years of tactical and helming experience in boat-to-boat
racing in some of the most testing regattas in the world. Bouwe's has been
immensely busy as he is the right hand man to Pedro Campos in the
Telefonica Movistar Team for the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race, as well as other
events leading up to the race that the Telefonica Movistar team will be
competing in. Bangthecorner asked Bouwe a few questions about how the
preparations were going for the launch of the new Volvo open 70.

Q: How is the construction going for the Volvo 70, when will she be ready
to sail?
BB: The team are working hard with Boatspeed doing the construction and SP
Systems and Farr Yacht Design delivering engineering and materials, we are
expected to be ready to sail for the first week in February.

Q: How is crew selection being handled?
BB: The crew, all of them key players were already in place back in March
2004. All but two of them have done the race before, I have sailed with the
two of them before. We will throw them in at the deep end and see how they
do in the Southern Ocean! (The new VOR 70 will be tested in Australian
waters before moving to Europe.)

Q: How do you propose to train the crew?
BB: We will base ourselves in San Xenxo and will run the training programme
around our sail programme. We will be doing a lot of racing, not just with
the 70 but also on other yachts in the Telefonica team.

Full interview:

Marblehead resident and octogenarian Lee VanGemert was a key part of Ted
Hood's America's Cup efforts. He's amazed at how the sport of sailing has
changed since the amateur days when "a whole inventory of sails cost
$60,000." "It is a big-money sport and it is a year-round, four-year
campaign now," VanGemert said. Today, one mainsail will cost $70,000 and
teams have up to 150 sails in their inventory. "In the amateur days, we
began training for the America's Cup in the spring and the races would take
place that September," VanGemert said. "After the Cup, everyone would go
back to work the following Monday." Today's professional sailors now build
careers over many years and are paid reasonably well. Top sailors like
three-time America's Cup helmsman Russell Coutts can earn millions of
dollars throughout his career.

"I suppose I was born too soon," commented former Olympian and two-time
Rolex Yachtsmen of the year Dave Curtis. A Marblehead sailmaker, Curtis is
in his 50s and is arguably one of the best sailors of his generation. "It
is amazing how sailing has changed and I think it began when Dennis Conner
made sailing his full-time job. It is amazing now to think how many people
are working professionally as sailors or with the America's Cup," Curtis
said. - Excerpt from a story by Laurie Fullerton in the Marblehead
Reporter, full story:

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker need not worry about a lack of
in-house competition in the buildup to the next America's Cup after a
thrilling encounter with Ben Ainslie in the final of the New Zealand match
racing sailing championship. Trailing his strategist 0-2 in the
best-of-five series, Barker fought back to win the regatta 3-2 on the
Waitemata Harbour. Barker and Ainslie edged out Oracle sailors Bertrand
Pace and Chris Dickson in the semifinals which would have brought a smile
to the face of Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton - given that Oracle will
be one of his syndicate's fiercest rivals come the America's Cup challenger
series in 2007.

Much has been made of Ainslie challenging Barker for the job of helmsman,
Team New Zealand afterguard coach Rod Davis believes the three-time Olympic
medallist has a little way to go yet. "Ben has had a pretty good week. He
topped the round robin and cruised by Chris Dickson (in the semifinals)
after some good starts. "We are getting there but we are definitely a
couple of clicks off Dean and his team. The learning curve for Ben is going
to be steep for him and it is going to be that way for a while. I wouldn't
expect Ben to be at Dean's level until close to the end of this campaign
until 2007. You just don't pick it up that quick." - NZPA. full story:,2106,3111304a6649,00.html

Final Results:
1. Dean Barker
2. Ben Ainslie
3. Bertrand Pace
4. Chris Dickson
5. Scott Dickson
6. Simon Minoprio
7. Cameron Dunn
8. Michael Dunstan
9. Adam Minoprio
10. Laurie Jury

Event website:

You read that correctly! Team One Newport is celebrating our 20 year
anniversary in 2005 and we're starting early with free stuff for you. Buy
$250 at regular price (no specials) and get a free Red Musto Caribbean Vest
or buy $399 at regular price and get a free Red Musto Caribbean Jacket in
men's or women's! There are so many ideas on the Team One Newport website
for your holiday shopping or call one of our elves at 800-VIP-GEAR
(800-847-4327) and they can give you some suggestions! Hurry, this special
ends Dec 10th.

Some are still under a blazing sun, others have already put on their
waterproofs and boots. The former are still struggling with erratic winds
and flat calm seas, while the latter group has the wind howling around the
rigging and has the roar of the waves in their ears. Two races in one. This
is now how the fifth edition of the Vendée Globe looks, but this is not the
first time we have seen such a pattern. The St. Helena high is letting them
through one at a time. Having finally liberated the two British yachtsmen,
Mike Golding (Ecover) and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), it seems like it's
giving a token of its esteem to the Australian Nick Moloney (Skandia).
Yesterday, Skandia's skipper was on a course similar to the one taken by
Dominique Wavre (Temenos) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec), sailing
behind them in twelfth place, some sixty miles behind Jean-Pierre Dick.
Today, Nick has made it back to 7th place. The high also showed some
consideration to the American, Bruce Schwab (Ocean Planet), who managed to
get back with the group ahead of him.

Standings at 1900 GMT November 28:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou
2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 19 miles to leader
3. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 377 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 390 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 570 mtl
6. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 861 mtl
7. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 1006 mtl
8. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1014 mtl
9. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 1072 mtl
10. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1082 mtl
11. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, 1099 mtl
12. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, 1129 mtl
13. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, 1152 mtl
14. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 1159 mtl
15. VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentier, 1181 mtl
16. Akena Vérandas, Raphaël Dinelli, 1278 mtl
17. Roxy, Anne Liardet, 1425 mtl
18. Max Havelaar/Best Western, Benoît Parnaudeau 1429 mtl
19. Benefic, Karen Leibovici, 1464 mtl .
20. Brother, Norbert Sedlacek,1856 mtl

Event website:

"I'm waiting for something to change. One would hope the luck would even
out," - Mike Golding, Ecover

* Leg Two of the Global Challenge started Sunday in 15 knots of breeze, but
the fleet was soon in lighter airs off the Argentine coast. Sunny and calm
days are forecast for the next 300 ­ 400 miles. The fleet is racing out of
the River Plate towards the Strait de la Mare and their first major
tactical decision. If unfavorable tides are experienced through the
Straits, it may be advantageous to go around Ilhas de los Estados - adding
70 miles to the voyage. -

* Boston College has won the 58th annual Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta at
the Chicago Yacht Club - finishing just four points ahead of Michigan
University. Wisconsin, Fordham and Minnesota rounded out the top five in
this three-day, 14 college event sailed in supplied Collegiate 420s.
Complete results:

* Lexus will be the title sponsor of the Newport Ocean Sailing
Association's 2005 Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race. The annual event will
begin on Friday, April 22, off Newport Beach, California and conclude with
an awards ceremony on Sunday, April 24 in Ensenada, Mexico. New for 2005
will be the realignment of classes to accommodate the increased number of
anticipated Maxi yachts and sport boats. More than 480 boats have
participated in each of the last two races.

* The selection by ISAF of the RS-X as the equipment for use at the Olympic
Games in 2008 has caused a great deal of excitement but at the same time, a
lot of questions have been raised about the future structure of the sport.
We will all be 'in a transition period' until about the end of 2006 at the
earliest. In the meantime, the Formula Windsurfing and IFCA regatta
programs and tours will continue in parallel and virtually unaffected by
the change in Olympic equipment. - International Windsurfing Association,
full report,

Onne van der Wal's new website of his renowned nautical photography is
ready for the holidays! Offering hundreds of prints, plenty of posters,
notecards, calendars, new mini prints and his book Wind And Water. Shop
here for your nautical friends and family.

It has been revealed that the Valencian Community will have some 25 new
golf courses in the next few years, which in fact will double those
currently in existence. The Consell estimated recently that each hectare of
a golf course generates an income of some 50,000 Euros annually, whilst
nationally, the sport generated an income for Spain in 2003 of 1,400
million Euros, that figure is expected to rise to 2,500 million next year.
Equally, the income for the hotels situated close to golf courses rose by
14% in 2003, whilst analysts advise that several other factors point to
golf as being a good investment: a better spread for the tourist industry;
the high buying power of the players, which also leads to increased hotel
capacity and the possibility of attracting investment. The average water
consumption of a typical golf course of 18 holes over 50 hectares is
remarkably similar to a citrus plantation of similar dimensions, yet less
that fields of rice or corn. -

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed 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 Doran Cushing: Key West sailors Michele Geslin and Peter Goldsmith
had their "Thanksgiving" celebration spoiled by news from their attorneys
that the Feds are going to convene another grand jury and try to re-indict
the two for their Conch Republic Cup regatta to Cuba. No details yet other
than the obvious...the US government has everything worldwide under control
except the possibility of sailors going to Cuba and coming home without
fear of legal action. The original felony charges against Geslin and
Goldsmith were thrown out by a federal judge in late October, stating that
no violations of law had occurred.

"Isn't it interesting that the words God, Man and Boy can stand alone as
expressions of strong emotion, but the words girl and woman are never used
that way?" - Dean Kennedy