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SCUTTLEBUTT 1723 - December 2, 2004

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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 the father of a six and a half year old daughter, I am quite keen on
seeing her enjoy the sport we all know and love. I am not a little league
Dad looking to force racing sailing onto her. But I would like her to
eventually take part in weeknight and weekend family sailing activities.
Sure, my dream would be for her to come race with me at events like Block
Island, Key West, and so on. But I'm realistic. I am taking it slow, and
not forcing sailing on her. But the competition for her interests is
fierce. She is inundated daily with imagery of horseback riding, tennis,
ballet, swimming, soccer, even zoo-keeping, and the list goes on.
Television, toys, children's readers, computer games, and school
curriculum, all focus on the above activities. Where is our
sport/past-time? Granted, one can find the occasional toy sailboat, and the
random (usually graphically incorrect) sailing reader. But they are lost
amongst a sea of other options.

But what truly bothers me is a trend I've seen over the last few years
amongst the sailing magazines: almost complete inattention to children
afloat. Worse still, sailing with/for children is portrayed in unappealing
fashion. An Opti event might be covered in the context of cut-throat
competition, but did it look/sound fun to the child. Parents may get a
primer on how to "cope/put up with toddlers/juniors while cruising." Gee,
doesn't that sound enjoyable?

It pains me when the only images I can find of kids having fun on the water
in sailing magazines these days are in ads for charter companies like
Moorings and Sunsail. I commend them on this. For the most part, sailing is
a family affair, at least at the grass-roots level. My daughter could care
less about the latest Wally Yacht. But she loves seeing other kids jumping
off the back of a cruising catamaran. Or young sailors splashing around on
Hobies, Picos, and even in Optimists. Children need to see that other
children are having fun sailing. Our own sailing media should keep this in
mind. And come to think of it, so should US Sailing. I must say, at least
Sail America recognizes this issue, and seems to be taking steps.

p.s. After exhaustive research, I finally found a good sailing-oriented
children's reader (for ages 4-8) that tells a good story, is well
illustrated, and is "boat anatomically correct." It's called "Little Rat
Sets Sail" by Monika Bang-Campbell (published by Harcourt Books). With the
holidays coming, it's a good one to put on the list. - John Glynn

The Transpac 52 Class announced two more brand new TP52 programs for 2005,
one from Chile and one from the United States. The first South America
flagged TP 52 from Chile is named "Pisco Sourâ" (after a very dangerous
Chilean Cocktail) and will be skippered by Vasco Vascotto. Design is by
Botin and Carkeek, and is being built in Castellan (Spain) by Longitud0.
"Pisco Soura" will be competing on the TP52 Med Circuit in 2005.

On the East Coast of the United States, New York Yacht Club's Tom Stark
(owner-driver) from Greenwich Connecticut is building a Farr designed TP 52
at Cookson in New Zealand for delivery in Autumn 2005. This will be Mr.
Stark's 10th race boat named "Rush." He is anticipating competing in Key
West Race week against a mixture of US and European TP52's.

"We'll have 20 TP 52's from four continents and seven countries sailing
by the end of 2005. Hopefully we get a few more guys to get off the fence
to build in time to crown the TP52 Global Champion in a multi regatta
series in Florida, January 2006" says Tom Pollack, volunteer Executive
Director of the TP52 Class. "And 20 TP52's does not count King Harald of
Norway whose is scheduled to take delivery of a new boat in April 2006.
Plus we have been slow trolling a few more 'players that are just about to
take the final plunge into the TP52 class next year.

"So all in all, we have witnessed a spectacular build-up in just three
years for a 50' grand prix class that does not really advertise, has no
central builder or designer in charge, and is run by a vote of 80% of the
owners. After doing their due diligence, everybody seems to be coming to
the same conclusion about the merits of a tight box rule that does not
change from year to year," Pollack concluded.

Class website:

As Ellen MacArthur scoots around the world non-stop aiming to better
Francis Joyon's exceptionally quick pace, so there are a number of agitated
individuals in Cowes keeping fingers and toes crossed that none of their
painstaking preparation work on her 75ft trimaran goes awry on this
attempt. Remarkably, talking to Neal Graham who manages the technical side
of Offshore Challenges' projects, one gets the impression that there hasn't
been a great amount of modification work needed since the boat was first
launched in Australia in January.

The main issues have been sorting out the balance between the three rudders
(the outer two are fixed while the centre one kicks up) and sorting some of
the deck gear out. Other than that Graham says they have been really
impressed with their new half orange half blue trimaran. "One of the things
which is great about the boat is that you can push the thing hard. Nigel
[Irens - the designer] was right - there is no substitute for buoyancy in
the front of the boat for keeping you out of trouble."

One idea that B&Q Castorama team has been experimenting with is an
automatic sheet release system. This one device has the potential to
transform the performance and safety of multihulls in singlehanded offshore
events like Ellen's present round the world attempt, but also on the 60ft
trimarans in races such as The Transat or Route du Rhum where the
overpowered boats are pushed harder and are more susceptible to capsize. -
Excerpts from a story on The Daily Sail website,

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By leaving his fellow escapee Le Cam this morning, Vincent Riou has
literally opened up the field of play provoking a good deal of interest and
questions. This evening the two sailors are once again on parallel courses
at the entrance to the Indian Ocean, with a lateral difference of around
200 miles. But Vincent Riou has regained the top speed of the whole fleet
and is doubtless sailing in less built-up seas…

16.9 knot averages in 4 hours (at the Wednesday evening position report at
1900 GMT) for Vincent Riou (PRB) compared with just 13.6 for Jean Le Cam
(Bonduelle). Such a difference between the two sailors is essentially
translated in the various sea states. In the south, Jean is in a rodeo in
chaotic seas, with cross waves due to a shift in wind with the passage of
the front. In the north, Vincent is skipping along at full speed (21 knots
of instantaneous speed), on a less irregular but slightly shorter course.
The enigma facing the leaders in particular tonight is whether it is better
to take your foot off the accelerator in difficult seas but on a direct
course, or is it more beneficial to remain on a more practicable and thus
faster course. More simply, they could look at which option preserves the
material better. To win you first have to finish. -

Leaders at 1900 GMT November 30:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam
2. PRB, Vincent Riou, 68 miles to leader
3. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 328 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 277 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 433 mtl
6. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 891 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1214 mtl
8. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1320 mtl
9. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, 1363 mtl
10. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 1381 mtl
11. UUDS, Hervé Laurent, 1406 mtl
12. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, 1410 mtl
13. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 1415 mtl
14. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 1435 mtl
15. VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentier, 1440 mtl
16. Akena Vérandas, Raphaël Dinelli, 1573 mtl
17. Roxy, Anne Liardet, 1636 mtl
18. Benefic, Karen Leibovici, 1715 mtl
19. Max Havelaar/Best Western, Benoît Parnaudeau, 1716 mtl
20. Brother, Norbert Sedlacek, 2109 mtl

"Pretty hard on the head this gig! Mentally it is so extremely different to
the other races [I've done]. Whitbread you stop, and you can really push
the boats. Big cat you learn to preserve the boat and stay right side up.
Being on your own you are trying to find your own limits." - Nick Moloney,

"I've got this great tactic of putting up all the sail I can manage and
going to bed. It seems to have worked out fine." - Mike Golding, Ecover

"I don't think I pay too much attention to the actual numbers between the
fleet, it's much more about where you are positioned on the race course.
Five or 50 miles between boats makes very little difference on a race like
this, but where you are positioned is absolutely paramount." Conrad
Humphreys, Hellomoto

Pindar lost their heavyweight spinnaker Wednesday morning in the Global
Challenge 'wrong way' round the world ocean race. Skipper Loz Marriot
called in earlier, "We were putting up our 2.2 oz spinnaker and were hit
with about 35 knots of wind from behind. Unfortunately a sheet was
released, we lost control of the spinnaker and it shredded into 100 pieces.
It then got caught under the rudder, we crash gybed and had to cut it
away." With the race so tight at this stage, this incident means that
Pindar has now dropped to the back of the fleet, but still only 36 miles
behind the leaders with more that 5300 miles of racing still to go on this
leg to Wellington, NZ. -

STANDINGS @ 0144 Wednesday
1. Samsung, 5,324 miles to finish
= BG Spirit, 5,324 mtf
= Spirit of Sark, 5,324 mtf
4. BP Explorer, 5,326 mtf
5. Barclays Adventurer, 5,327 mtf
= VAIO, 5,327 mtf
7. SAIC La Jolla, 5,330 mtf
8. Team Stelmar, 5,334 mtf
9. Imagine It. Done, 5,336 mtf
10. Me To You, 5,342 mtf
11. Team Save the Children, 5,353 mtf
12. Pindar, 5,360 mtf

The father of two teens electrocuted while sailing in the Trent River July
4, 2003, has answered New Bern's third-party lawsuit against him. Manuel
Lourenco, in court documents, says that if he was negligent for having the
boat strike power lines over the river, the city also was negligent for
allowing exposed power lines to remain in place after a floating crane
struck the lines in 1971, knocking out power to the city. Lourenco was
operating the 14-foot sailboat when the aluminum mast of the boat hit a
low-hanging power line. His sons, Zachary, 17, and Alexander, 14, were

Norma S. Lourenco, the wife of Manuel Lorenco and mother of the two boys,
sued the city in July of this year, accusing the city of negligence and
failing to take measures to protect the public from the danger posed by the
power lines that used to parallel the Trent River train trestle. Her suit
contends the city did not provide a warning regarding the low power lines,
did not act promptly to remove the overhead lines and failed to comply with
regulations in maintaining the lines. Her suit demands a jury trial and
costs and damages in excess of $10,000 to be determined by a jury. In
September, the city answered the suit, refuting it was negligent in the
deaths of the two boys and sued the father, saying he was negligent in the
holiday sailing mishap. Francine Sawyer, Sun Journal, full story:

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* Cloud action causing continuing rapid variability in wind strength is
making life less than comfortable for Ellen MacArthur in her attempt to
break the solo round the world record onboard her 75-foot trimaran B&Q. The
boat speed data shows surges from 8 to 25 knots. Ellen lost some ground on
the record overnight, but still is 1 hour 30 minutes ahead at 0310 GTM
Wednesday, with over 1500 miles now sailed since the Sunday start. -

* USCG Auxiliary asks the boating public to be careful when buying Nautical
Charts. There have been several reports that retail chart sellers have been
selling out-of-date nautical charts to the boating public. "Proper
up-to-date nautical charts are the first step in taking any cruise, whether
it's around the local bay or from San Diego to Catalina Island," the Coast
Guard said in its press release. Each week, the United States Coast Guard's
Navigation Center issues nine regional Local Notice to Mariners. These
Notices detail specific changes in the waters within the region.

* The South African America's Cup Yacht Shosholoza RSA 48 will be flying a
vast Aids ribbon painted on their 33 metre spinnaker on Wednesday 1
December in support of World Aids Day. Weather and wind direction depending
Shosholoza will sail as close inshore as possible off Sea Point, Green
Point and the V&A Waterfront so that the spinnaker will be easily visible
to those on shore. The special flying of the spinnaker is part of Wola
Nani's Red Ribbon Campaign around the theme of "Everyone can make a
difference" to build awareness around the fight against HIV/Aids. -

* Alcatel, the communications solutions provider, will partner with the
32nd America's Cup to provide global distribution to original video and
other new media content over mobile and internet platforms. This new
content will be available to mobile network operators and ISPs beginning
with the Louis Vuitton Act 4 regatta in Valencia, Spain next June. -

(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 Rick Hatch: With winter fast approaching in North America and warmer
winds still several months away, it is both refreshing and engaging to be
following stories about truly exciting sailing events like the Global
Challenge, the Vendee Globe, Ellen's attempt at the solo circumnavigation
record, preparations for the next Volvo Round the World Race, the growth of
the TP52 class, even the resurrection of Emirates Team New Zealand from the
ashes of the 2003 Cup, instead of seeing more (and, by comparison, boring)
drivel about the shortcomings of this or that handicap system, what some
people think is or isn't wrong with the America's Cup, television coverage
of sailing (if we lived in France or New Zealand, this would not even be a
topic of conversation!), etc., etc., etc. Enjoy following the unfolding
adventures that are currently underway, keep the competitive aspect of all
amateur sport in perspective, and relish the many positive dimensions, both
afloat and ashore, of sailboat racing that make it so enjoyable.

* From Peter Wickwire (Re: Hunting whales): Having grown up on the Atlantic
Ocean in Nova Scotia, it is difficult to share Mr. George's sentiment
regarding birthright and way of life knowing well the consequences are too
dire. Maritime Canadians have witnessed first hand the disastrous results
of taking the ocean's ecosystem for granted while pursuing one's "way of life."

It is really sad knowing we'll never be able to offer a reasonable
explanation to future generations for what has been done to the world's
oceans. "Son, we were very, very, very stupid and we'd do it differently if
we could do it over again," just doesn't cut it knowing the latter is
likely a boldfaced lie. Much like Mr. Scrooge receiving a visit on
Christmas Eve, perhaps Sir Peter Blake's spirit can join Mr. Cousteau's and
drop by Mr. George's pad and let him see what's what. If not, and if you'd
like to see what a positive legacy looks like, try
& for starters.

* From Guy Nowell Hong Kong (re hunting whales): Tom George really is out
of order. So maybe it should be the "birthright" of everyone living on the
Great Plains to go and slaughter a few buffalo? Leave the poor damn whales
alone ... there are so few left, and there is no need for Tom George and
his mates to touch any of them.

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of
his tongue.