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SCUTTLEBUTT 1731 - December 14, 2004

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releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.

BREAKING NEWS
Doyle Sailmakers and UK Sailmakers have terminated their merger discussions
due to lack of agreement on details. - Adam Loory, General Manager, UK
International

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX - Peter Huston
Some time ago I suggested that there be only four rules for races that are
intended to be conducted for the benefit of attracting new people to, or
lapsed racers back into, racing. I said the right of way should be given to
starboard, leeward, clear ahead, and, don't hit anyone, ever. After
thinking about these rules, I've come to the conclusion it is probably time
to seriously consider a 180 degree change for windward/ leeward rights. In
my view, the sport, especially at the entry level, will be far better
served if the weather boat has the right of way. The benefits of this
change are:

Helps to lessen the intimidation on the starting line
no more up up up - crash - protest;
no more barging;
all things being equal, should lessen OCS problems a lot;
should allow for easier management of downwind starts.

On the weather leg - no more jam ups with port tackers tacking inside
starboard tackers on layline

On Reach leg:
no more slowing down by keeping everyone above you up;
encourages "fast is fun."

Certainly, a wholesale change like this can't, and shouldn't, happen
overnight. But it is clear that as a sport, if we want more people out on
the race course, we need to do something dramatically different in order to
attract and retain new racers. Why not at least test this idea in several
different venues over the course of the next year and see if it can make a
difference, creating a faster, more fun sport. - Peter Huston

FOR THE RECORD
In Paris, at the head office of the Groupama insurance company, Franck
Cammas and his team revealed more details of Groupama 3. After Olivier de
Kersauson's Geronimo, this will be only the second G-Class maxi-trimaran
ever to have been built. In general at 105ft (32m) LOA the boat is shorter
than the new generation G-Class multihulls like Geronimo and Orange II that
are around 120-125ft LOA. While 60ft trimarans have length and mast height
constraints and thus tend to be as beamy as they are long, there are no
such limits for the maxi-multihulls and as a result Groupama 3 is
considerable less beam for her length at just 22.5m wide. Like Ellen's B&Q
Castorama the new boat carries substantially more buoyancy forward than an
ORMA 60.

Effectively designed to no rule, the main constraining parameters of a boat
like Groupama 3 are the size of sails the crew can handle and the budget.
As a result the challenge is the purest imaginable - simply to find the
fastest boat for a given budget. The VPPs were all based on a round the
world routing model that the designers had originally had created for them
by top French meteorologist and router Pierre Lasnier with added tweaks
from Austrian multihull designer Martin Fischer who had helped with the
design of Groupama 2. They concluded that the best round the world boat was
one that had to be seaworthy and hold its own in the Southern Ocean but was
primarily optimized for the moderate 10-20 knot winds of the Atlantic. -
Excerpts from a comprehensive story by James Boyd on The Daily Sail
subscription website, www.thedailysail.com/

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ELLEN
"Got another worry, batteries are going down quickly [ie using too much
power] and I don't know why. I got some sleep but I need more ... [voice
breaking] ... I am absolutely fried. Nearly had to pull out last night, at
wits end ... just praying it's going to be alright."

Earlier, Ellen MacArthur contacted her shore team to confirm that she had
managed to fix both failed water-makers "Took me hours to work it out, the
problem was with the water intake system, but I couldn't see why.
Eventually I got it working and I at least now have a few litres of fresh
water." MacArthur has also installed a ducting cooling system to keep the
temperature down in the engine area: "I've managed to improve the situation
with the generator, and have set up a ducting system that means I've got
cooler air coming in to it now." Instead of the generator drawing air from
its own space, she ducted the intake to the sail locker which has cold air
coming in to it and this has kept it much cooler than before. Temperatures
in the 'engine room' still reached 35 degrees C, (95 F) but cool enough
that Ellen didn't need to have the hatchway between engine and cabin open.
Then with a fan that she took apart yesterday from the heater, she has set
up a system that dissipates the fumes as well...

Having found the reasons why the water-makers were not functioning properly
takes a huge weight of Ellen's mind, and they are no longer a major concern
or threat to the record attempt. However, it is crucial for Ellen that the
generator situation both in terms of over-heating but, more importantly,
the omission of toxic fumes into the cabin area, is successfully managed.

At 0400 GMT Ellen's lead over Joyon's round the world record had shrunk to
just 3 hours, 20 minutes.- www.teamellen.com

VENDÉE GLOBE
With three large and one small depression sweeping across the Vendée Globe
fleet between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin, the sailing in the
Indian Ocean is likely to prove rather exciting with four of the top five
covering over 400 miles in the past 24 hours. Nick Moloney (Skandia) is
already being buffeted by strong winds of 45 knots gusting to over 60 knots
while Dominic Wavre (Temenos) and Jean Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec) await
the same sentence. The top nine skippers are all averaging over 14 knots
and making the top speed of the fleet once again is Roland Jourdain with a
blistering average of 18.3 knots, and an instantaneous speed of 23.1 knots.

Leaders at 0400 GMT December 14:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou, 13,149 miles to finish
2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 61 miles to leader
3. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 225 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 369 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 427 mtl
6. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1222 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1411 mtl
8. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 1597 mtl
9. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 2069 mtl
10. Arcelor Dunkerque, Joé Seeten, 2272 mtl

Complete standings: www.vendeeglobe.fr/uk/

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"Some of these surfs are a bit out of control. Had a big wave hit me
broadside earlier, spun us around, like we had no rudders. I've never felt
further from the finish of a race in my life. Going to have to back off and
go to 3 reefs and the staysail, we're totally out of control in these
waves" - Nick Moloney, Skandia

"The Australian waypoint was always controversial. We're being forced up to
it where in reality we could be sailing a lot freer, faster and safer. If
damage occurs in this 24 hours then the Australians have only got
themselves to blame." - Mike Golding, Ecover

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FITTING TRIBUTE
Paul Henderson has rotated out of the ISAF presidency. No doubt many will
be cheering, but Paul (less a former plumber than a plumbing entrepreneur)
did a huge amount for sailing during his tenureship. In particular, he
always fought the corner of the less well-off, trying to make events more
accessible and use funds extracted, sometimes noisily, from the wealthier
events to do so. It was a strategy that ensured he was only ever
selectively popular. Paul also, of course, worked hard to give us better
communications in sailing (the first ISAF website was developed by David
McCreary on the back of Henderson's own chequebook). Many perceived
'sailing minorities', such as women and youth sailors, have enjoyed great
strides as a result of his ability to shrug off, and some would say
frequently roll over, his critics. And he also always answered the phone -
which was nice. - Andrew Hurst, Seahorse magazine, www.seahorsemagazine.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* At this stage, Sean Langman's water-ballasted, modified open 60 AAPT, the
third fastest boat to Hobart last year, does not meet the new stability
requirements to start in the 2004 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. "We are
preparing documentation for a submission to the International Technical
Committee to point out that their new formula is not accurate," Langman
said. "But we've done all the preparation, the boat's ready, we know its
stable, so we will go no matter what. We will start five minutes behind the
feet and sail the course."
www.sail-world.com/rolexsydneyhobart

* Premiere Racing announced that for the fifth consecutive year, Acura will
be Title Sponsor of Miami Race Week 2005. The event was previously known as
SORC. Race dates are March 10-13. There will be two racing venues: Biscayne
Bay for Melges 24, Etchells and two additional classes, and ocean racing
off Miami Beach for larger one design and handicap classes. The Miami Beach
Marina is the Official Site, hosting the two ocean courses, while the new
Shake-A-Leg sailing facility in Coconut Grove will be the host site for
racing on the bay. - www.Premiere-Racing.com

* A crew injury on the Global Challenge round the world race has caused
Team Stelmar to stop racing and seek medical assistance. While working on
the foredeck, Crew Volunteer Tim Johnston broke his upper arm when a large
wave washed him onto the forestay. Because there are so few shipping
movements in the Southern Ocean and because of the difficulties of
transferring an injured person even if a ship were available, the decision
was made to head back to South America - a five to seven day trip. Weather
conditions will determine which port is chosen. - www.globalchallenge2004.com

* Morrelli & Melvin multihull designs have picked up awards this year in
both performance and cruising categories. Their NACRA A2, A Class catamaran
won Sailing World Magazine's 'Performance Boat of the Year 2005' Award, and
their Moorings 4000, 40' cruising catamaran was awarded the 'Overall Best
Import Boat of the Year 2005' in addition to winner of the 'Multihulls 40'
and Under' category. - www.morrellimelvin.com

* Michelle Warner has been appointed to the role of Commercial and
Marketing manager for Skandia Cowes Week. Following the completion of her
BSc joint honours degree in Sports Science and Business Studies, Michelle
has spent the last 7 years in the IT industry working for IBM. During this
time she has held a variety of sales and marketing roles, the most recent
being Market Manager for Retail Banking within the UK. Michelle's role will
focus on managing the existing Event sponsorship portfolio, generating new
ideas for the development of sponsorship packages as well as pursuing new
revenue sources. - www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk

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LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(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 Shona Moss Lovshin (edited to our 250-word limit): I applaud the
people who actively participate in the sport with their children. Parents
lead by example; sailboat racing is a fun, complex game where parents can
demonstrate skills in patience, problem solving, endurance, concentration,
and most importantly good sportsmanship. I stress a bit about how to
hopefully ensure that my children experience the sense of accomplishment
and pride that I've been able to gain from this "not-so-easy" sport.

I guess the best thing is to find the fleet in your area (or cruising
friends with similar aged kids) that has the most active, friendly
atmosphere. I loved growing up in such a fleet, the 505 fleet in Ottawa,
Canada. I also think that my parent's love of the game of sailboat racing
was key. I partook in racing with them as well as individually in youth
events. I have so many amazing memories of heavy wind races with my Dad in
the 505. Because I was small and not much use on the trapeze, early on I
was put at the helm. I always appreciated so much the fact that we were
equals on that boat, something that kids don't always feel with their
parents. For my parents, winning was the goal but it was never important.
Playing the game was meant to be the fun part.

Another good book: "Martine fait de la voile" by Gilbert Delahaye and
Marcel Marlier. The kids in this book are on the trapeze in 420s and
sailing Optis.

* From Leslie Ehman: Just like anything else you want your child exposed to
so then they can make their own decisions - "Ya, just make it fun" -
whether it is baking Holiday cookies, going out in a Scot to have a picnic
and visit people around the lake, social, fun being together, participating
not watching - soccer, ballet, art ... you name it - show them how you have
fun, let them develop what is fun for them and listen to them!

We would race a Flying Scot when daughter Meg was a toddler; the agreement
was we could stop at any point in the race and go in when her level of
concentration and interest for her given age was saturated. Doesn't matter
if you are winning the race - she is done and she deserves the respect and
follow through. If you can't do that you need to look at whose needs you
are satisfying and the definition of parenting! What you should be hoping
for is a child that loves life and approaches new projects with enthusiasm
and creativity - push them into your goals and they will avoid the 'stick'.

* From Charlie Ross, Rear Commodore, RYC: Ryan Helling is exactly right
about Yacht Clubs investing in their future by supporting junior programs.
The Rochester Yacht Club, like many clubs, has seen a drop off members
under 35 years old and many believe that is partially due to not investing
in the junior programs. We have turned that around and the results so far
are truly outstanding.

We have always had a good program producing some great sailors that have
been All American and represented the country in the Olympics and many US
Sailing Championships. However in the last three years we have hired a full
time year around "Sailing Pro" (Jason Evans) to run all on the water
instruction. We have energized the parents and kids by promoting a high
school racing program that has grown from 12 kids to over 50. We are in
process of increasing our fleet of 420's from 10 to 20 boats to keep up
with the demand. The kids sail four afternoons a week in the spring and
fall and several teams travel all over the east coast on weekends. Several
local high schools have made sailing a varsity sport as a direct result of
this program, which has increased interest even further. An amazing
statistic is that of the first 25 kids through the program 15 went on to
sail in college. What other high school sport could claim that kind of
success. What a great thing for sport, the families, our club and the
community.

* From Rod Johnstone (Designer of J/30 and J/100 - edited to our 250-word
limit): Tom Donlan's praise of the J/30 as made my day a happy one! I tell
everyone who asks that the J/30 is still the best all-purpose cruiser-racer
available for under $30,000. The original list price in 1979 was $28,500,
so the resale value has held up well. You have pointed to the major
challenge that J Boats, Inc. always faces: which is to create and sell
designs that are newer, better, and different than what came before. When
our "new" designs becomes old and numerous enough to be available for less
than half of new boat price, continued production becomes uneconomical. A
new J/30 today would cost more than a new J/100.

What does the J/100 offer that the J/30 does not? Standard items on the
J/100 not offered on the J/30 are as follows: Scrimp-molded hull and deck;
carbon fiber rig; larger, more comfortable cockpit; jib roller-furling;
mechanical vang/ boom topping lift, companionway dodger; low-friction
slides on mainsail hoist; and remote hydraulic backstay adjuster. The J/100
mainsail is only 6" taller and wider, but the rig height above the water is
almost the same. The forward triangle has the same base and is 4.5' taller
than the J/30. Only one non-overlapping jib is used, so no headsail
changes. The J/100 is quicker and easier to get on and off the mooring
under full sail. Flying the asymmetric spinnaker is a one-man job. And yes,
the J/100 sails approximately 40 to 50 seconds per mile faster.

* From David B. Johnston: In response to Tom Donlan's letter comparing a
J30 to the J100, I would say that while a minivan can, indeed, get you from
place to place that doesn't eliminate more expensive sportscars from the
market. The J30 was 'less than lovely' back in 1979 and it hasn't gotten
any better looking in the last 25 years.

* From George Mitchell: So they modified the J/100 class rules so there are
now five or six people sitting legs out, hanging onto the cabin-top
handrails, without lifelines. So much for the concept of a 'gentleman's
Etchells.'

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food
groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat." -Alex Levine