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SCUTTLEBUTT 1727 - December 8, 2004

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talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
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welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

Sydney to Hobart yacht race skippers have greeted Team AAPT's revolutionary
kite sail with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism but are generally
unfazed about it posing a threat. The revolutionary giant blue kite cost
Team AAPT $25,600 and skipper Sean Langman hopes it will give his 66-foot
skiff, third across the line last year, an increased downwind speed of up
to 20 per cent.

The 420sqm kite flies 150m from the boat, designed to reach winds up to a
third stronger than at normal mast heights and help lift the bow making the
boat lighter and faster. Langman, a 14-year Sydney to Hobart veteran, hoped
the kite would give his smaller yacht a chance to compete for line honours
against the 100-foot maxis like Skandia, which won last year, Konica
Minolta and Nicorette.

The kite has been outlawed by the UK-based international racing regulator,
the Royal Ocean Racing Club, but the ban does not begin in Australia until
July 1 next year. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia said there was no
question mark over the sail in this year's race despite the impending ban
with a spokesman saying it complied with current rules.

Safety concerns for other yachts have been cited as being behind the
looming ban. Andrew Short, skipper of Andrew Short Marine - fifth over the
line in 2003 - said he'd keep well clear when the kite was in flight.
"Safety is an issue because the [kite] sail is a lot harder to control then
a conventional spinnaker," Short said. "... and when you are out in the
Bass Strait with wild conditions there are a lot more things that can go
wrong." - Full story,

Franck Cammas, current holder of the ORMA World Championship title and his
partner Groupama have just commissioned the Multiplast yard to build 105 ft
maxi trimaran to plans from the Van Peteghem / Lauriot-Prévost team.
Construction is already underway, with the seventeen month long project
planning to launch in May 2006.

Whilst the boat's programme is to attempt ocean-sailing records, Groupama's
skipper makes it clear that sailing round the world remains a major target.
Stated Cammas, "The challenge represented by the Jules Verne Trophy is
increasingly tough from a sailing point of view. It is extremely exciting
to design a great machine to sail faster than the other contenders over the
same course."

Groupama III will be 105 ft, have a beam of 74 ft, fitted with foils and
have a mast 131 ft high. Explains Cammas, "Our approach has led us to
designing a boat with extreme performance potential on the sail down and
back up the Atlantic. In the Southern Ocean, (Indian and Pacific Oceans),
there is absolutely no point trying to sail faster than the weather
systems." Groupama III should make it to the starting line of the Jules
Verne Trophy by the end of 2006.

During the award ceremony at the stand of Les Sables d´Olonnes at the Paris
Boat show Saturday, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Jean-Luc van den Heede and
Francis Joyon became the first recipients of the Amundsen Trophy, the
valuable wristwatch 'The Polar Timepiece' from the watchmaker Amundsen
Oslo, now the official trophies for the solo non-stop Round the World
Records, ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).

Sir Robin received an honorary award for his first solo non stop
circumnavigation in 1969, van den Heede and Joyon for their recent record
passages towards west and east respectively. The trophies were presented by
the President of WSSRC Claude Breton to Jean-Luc van den Heede and to Sir
Robin who in turn presented a trophy to Francs Joyon whose IDEC followed
the course set by him and his SUAHILI some 35 years ago.

If Ellen MacArthur and the Russian adventurer Fedor Konyokhov succeed in
their current record attempts towards east and west respectively, they will
also be eligible for the Amundsen Trophy.

The J/100 made its San Diego debut last weekend at the Hot Rum Series. The
J/100 is the latest development in long, narrow hull shapes for sparkling
performance on all points of sail. The J/100 was recently awarded Sailing
World's "Sailboat of the Year" and it will be on display and available for
private showings in San Diego on Saturday, December 11, 2004. Please call
Sail California San Diego to make an appointment at 619-224-6200. If you
can't make it to San Diego, contact your local J/Boat dealer to set up your
tour or visit or

Quest International Sports Events (QISE) announced that world-class sailor
Brian Thompson has been chosen to take command of the newly sold,
record-breaking yacht Qatar 2006 (formerly Club Med and Maiden II). Qatar
2006 will compete against three other prominent multihull sailing giants,
including Tony Bullimore's Daedalus and Olivier de Kersauson's Geronimo in
the grueling 21,000 mile round the world Oryx Quest 2005. Thompson was
watch captain aboard Steve Fossett's Cheyenne during their circumnavigation
record earlier this year, and was co-skipper on Maiden II in June 2002when
the yacht set the 24-hour speed record of 694.78 nautical miles. Qatar 2006
is currently in Doha, Qatar undergoing preparations to be refitted for the

(December 7, 2004) Soon after Ellen MacArthur (UK) set a new time to the
Equator of 8 days, 18 hours and 20 minutes during her quest for a solo
circumnavigation record, Ellen had another extraordinary experience
yesterday afternoon. The Royal Navy's frigate HMS Iron Duke and the Royal
Fleet Auxiliary tanker RFA Gold Rover, rendezvoused with Ellen just north
of the Equator at approx 1700 GMT and a Lynx helicopter from HMS Iron Duke
'buzzed' past Ellen to take a few aerial shots. The two ships, enroute from
the Falkland Islands via Brazil had been closely monitoring Ellen's
progress, came within a mile of the trimaran B&Q and the ships company came
on deck to cheer and wave. -

Photos available here:

After battling for the lead this afternoon, so close they could almost talk
to each other, there is no respite for the leading pair of BG Spirit and
Spirit of Sark this evening. The latest position reports indicate they are
separated by a matter of metres. The race viewer shows their tracks
converging and culminates in a stark graphical representation of how close
they are - two yachts appear to become one. Having rounded Cape Horn their
entrance to the Southern Ocean is a true spectacle - they are match racing
side-by-side out into the oceanic wilderness at the head of the fleet.

A romantic British sailor competing in a round-the-world yacht race
proposed to his girlfriend today as she rounded sailing's greatest landmark
and the globe's most treacherous stretch of water, Cape Horn. Graham
Thompson, 31, from Crawley, is currently competing against his future wife,
Laura Alexander, and are en route from Buenos Aires to Wellington, New
Zealand in the second leg of the 30,000 mile race. They were united briefly
as Graham surprised Laura with an offer of marriage over the VHF radio of
his yacht, Pindar. Laura, 30, from Basingstoke, who is competing on BP
Explorer, a rival 72-foot yacht, was sailing just 10 miles away from Graham
at the time when she agreed to be his wife. -

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In the top two throughout this first month of racing, Vincent Riou (PRB)
has taken the lead again in this the fifth Vendée Globe as a result of a
better VMG (speed towards the goal) than Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle). The lead
duo are now around 160 miles from the French archipelago of Kerguelen. The
arrival of the next depression has forced Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) to sail
more miles, heading up from the south, to pass north of the island group.
The two leaders are trying to avoid getting too close to the centre of one
of a series of three depressions.

Further back in the fleet the main issue for those who have arrived or are
making for South Africa is whether or not they can continue racing.
Following Hervé Laurent (UUDS), English sailor Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) has
today become the second skipper to be forced to retire from the race,
advised by the boat's architects that the breakage to the boat's
deck-mounted gooseneck and the resulting piercing of the roof would be
impossible to repair with the materials available onboard the boat.
Compatriot Conrad Humphreys (Hellomoto) picked up a mooring in Simonstown
early this morning and has already succeeded in removing his broken
starboard rudder. Backrunner Norbert Sedlacek (Brother) is also making for
the southern tip of Africa, hoping the light conditions will enable him to
make Cape Town (still approx. 800 miles away) without losing his canting
keel, seriously handicapped after its aft pivot broke yesterday. -

Leaders at 0400 GMT December 8:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou, miles to finish 15,033
2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 56 miles to leader
3. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 434 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 602 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 639 mtl
6. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1293 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1321 mtl
8. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 1500 mtl
9. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 1593 mtl
10. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, 1679 mtl
11. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 1924 mtl
12. VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentier, 1982 mtl
13. Roxy, Anne Liardet, 2257 mtl
14. Max Havelaar/Best Western, Benoît Parnaudeau, 2347 mtl
15. Hellomoto, Conrad Humphreys, 2377 mtl
16. Hugo Boss, Alex Thomson, 2517 mtl
17. Benefic, Karen Leibovici, 2538 mtl
18. Akena Vérandas, Raphaël Dinelli, 2608 mtl
19. Brother, Norbert Sedlacek, 2846 mtl
Abandoned - UUDS, Hervé Laurent

"Speed is your friend sometimes, and part of the problem is I'm going a
little slow. If I was going a little faster I might have a bit more
control. It's a real enigma though, because when you're going fast you feel
really out of control, but when you're going slow you really are out of
control, if you know what I mean." - Mike Golding, Ecover

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

* The third and last pre-race seminar for the 18th Del Rey Yacht Club Corum
USA International Yacht Race is scheduled Thursday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., in
Marina del Rey. The seminar, open to prospective entrants, will address
paper work necessary for sailing to Mexico, returning from Puerto Vallarta,
the 2005-8 Racing Rules of Sailing and the Salsa Division scoring system,
including the motoring penalty and handicapping. The race from Marina del
Rey to Puerto Vallarta starts Feb. 11-18, 2005. More:

* In the final college national rankings for the fall sailing season there
was little change from two weeks previous as the top nine in both the coed
and women's rankings were unchanged. Brown remains at the top of the coed
rankings while Charleston has the top-rated women's team. Complete rankings
at Sailing World,

Log on to for cool holiday specials. You
will not get better pricing than right now on your next t-shirt, foulies,
or regatta order. If you are outfitting a regatta or team, send your email
to Ken for the latest specials:

(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 Tim Prophit: Chicago YC may be on track for an improved measurement
rule, but their administration of it (specifically their application of
it), is a complete joke. They announce the course conditions before the
race. So, if the actual race doesn't match the course and windspeed
selected (it did not, this year), how on earth are the results going to be
any good?

* From Paolo Sheaffer: At a recent Christmas party, I was visiting with a
young friend who had gone to Key West Race Week last January for his first
time, sailing in one of the PHRF classes. We were talking about the old
days, when I used to do it (IOR 50s) and how things have changed. He
remarked on how the rum tent had "nothing but a bunch of drunk guys from
Michigan." Now, drunk guys from Michigan have been KWRW stalwarts, and I
count a number of them as good friends, but I couldn't help but think back
to how many drunk girls from Michigan I remembered from the old days, or
maybe girls in general. KWRW is a great event, obviously one of the best,
but the lack of an international rule has hurt in more ways than one. His
GF (girlfriend) hit the nail on the head when she observed the current lack
of "glamour" in sailing So c'mon techno-Americappers, you had your shot.
Let's see what CHS/IRC/IRM will bring. Maybe we can have teams in the
Admiral's Cup, Sardinia Cup, or Southern Cross Cup again. Remember the hot
new boats at St. Pete each January? Bring them back! And my young friend?
He will be sailing a Melges this year, and his GF is going to do her part
to bring back the glamour. Drunk guys from Michigan, you have been warned!

Disclaimer: OD at KWRW provides the best racing ever. More females are
racing and this is great!

* From Chuck Riley: From my experience, the answer is "get them on the
water early", by age 2 or 3. So many times I've heard people say "we're
going to sell the boat and get another one when the kids are old enough".
Entirely the wrong approach. My three children were nearly born afloat and
the result is Todd, the youngest, is now successfully racing a boat he and
a partner designed and built themselves, Dana is supervising marine
activities for the City of Oakland and racing all over the country, the
eldest, Dawn Riley, is currently GM of the K Challenge for the America's
Cup (this will be her 4th Cup). She was sailing at 1 month old.

We, through our America True Foundation, are also working to provide at
risk youth the opportunity to experience sailing with some amazing positive
results. Most yacht clubs have junior sailing programs and offer some slots
to non--member kids. There are lots of opportunities for kids to get into
sailing. In my opinion, better PR would clearly be helpful but the best
solution is for parents to become involved with them, on the water, at a
very early age.

* From Helen Johnstone: In trying to be as impartial as possible, Peter
Johnstone has "hit the nail on the head" in reinforcing the point that the
most important part of introducing children to various activities whether
it be sailing, skiing, reading, ballet, etc. is that both the parents and
the children have fun. I am blessed to be able to say that I grew up with
parents, yours truly Bob and Mary "J", that introduced me and my brothers
from everything to symphonies, mowing lawns, broadways, skating, piano,
art, sailing, dumping the trash, operas and the list goes on and on....what
is my point? The parents never ever forced us into anything and simply
allowed us to make our own decisions. In short, the greatest gift a parent
can give a child is to "let go" within reason and allow the child to have
fun in exploring the many options life has to offer. Of course, in trying
to be as impartial as I can again, we all hope that the children of the
world decide that sailing is the most fun for them. So, let's make sailing
a fun and enjoyable experience for all children.

* From Chris Upton: I couldn't agree more with Peter Johnstone's advice to
spend time sailing with your children. Of my father's many gifts to me, the
one that I think about everyday is my passion for sailing. He started me at
six weeks old. Four padeyes in my stroller and off we went. The boat went
in late that year but he wisely kept his mouth shut. Another child was no
reason for giving up sailing. I haven't looked back at cruising since high
school but I race at every opportunity that I can. To this day a hammock or
a seaway will give me the best sleep. Bless your children with sailing. It
will make them happy everyday, even when not on the water. Memories are

* From Karen Johnson: I have a two year old son. We visit the library
regularly & came across "Little Rat Sets Sail" by Monika Bang- Campbell. My
son has been out on a J24 both cruising & racing since he was 8 months old.
"Little Rat Sets Sail " is a captivating story for any young child that has
been exposed to sailing. One chapter at a time kept my son's attention.
Another recommendation is "Nicole's Boat" by Allen Morgan. It is
beautifully illustrated. We will wear this book out !!

* From Marc Hambley: John Glynn and his daughter might enjoy "Moonlight on
the River" by Kovacs & Shattuck Viking Press -1993

* From Steve Tuppper: You might advise John Glynn that there is an
excellent book on Optimist sailing which is available from the Canadian
Yachting Association for $9.50. This book is aimed at 6-9 year olds. It has
excellent graphics and is written in a work book style which the kids
really like.

Ever notice that people who spend money on beer, cigarettes, and lottery
tickets are always complaining about being broke and not feeling well?