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SCUTTLEBUTT 1733 - December 16, 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.

To the delight and relief of some, and the consternation of others, IRC
will be finally taking root in the USA for 2005. The recent official
confirmation of its adoption by the New York YC and the Storm Trysail Club
To the delight and relief of some, and the consternation of others, IRC
will be finally taking root in the USA for 2005. The recent official
confirmation of its adoption by the New York YC and the Storm Trysail Club
brings validation from two of the most active and venerable institutions in
the game, while on the west coast the St Francis YC's Rolex Big Boat Series
offered the rule an opportunity for a high-profile inshore debut last fall.

Among the designer community in the US there is guarded optimism that IRC
will now help bring some new life to big-boat racing. Farr Yacht Design
have been quick out of the trap with three production-ready IRC designs,
and have also been contacted by owners of existing designs looking for some
help in 'positioning' their boats for the new rule (no one's using the word
'optimization' just yet). Californian Alan Andrews welcomes the change. 'A
unified group of administrators, no more smoke-filled rooms, and a measured
rather than reported system is a big step forward,' he says. 'Plus US
owners will get used to time on time scoring - and to having to pay for a
worthwhile certificate!'

Reichel-Pugh has already seen many of their large designs do well under
IRC, and are reported to have had a flood of recent interest. Bill Tripp is
an enthusiastic supporter of the change, no doubt encouraged by the fact
that many of his now-ageing cruiser-racers in the IMS 40 Class will be
likely to rate quite favorably under IRC. When this group were asked if the
IRC could be seen as an overdue replacement of PHRF, reactions varied from
envisioning the change as indeed like adopting a national-based PHRF (as in
the UK), to seeing no real change at all among the local fleets. There is
still a strong recognition of the value of having local controls to reflect
local conditions, and there is an enormous constituency of casual PHRF
sailors, handicappers and race organizers who remain more or less satisfied
with the status quo. - Excerpts from a story by Dobbs Davis in the January
issue of Seahorse magazine, (story is not
available on-line.)

For sailors planning to race in Storm Trysail Club (STC) handicap events
next season, "the time to start the IRC measurement process is now," says
incoming Commodore Rich du Moulin. Earlier this year, STC jointly announced
with the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) that they would lead the effort among
major American yacht clubs and event organizers to offer the IRC handicap
rule for events in 2005. "Beginning with the Block Island Distance Race in
May, and including Block Island Race Week in June," said du Moulin, "IRC
will be our primary rule, and IMS and Americap divisions will no longer be

For all STC regattas, two types of IRC certificates may be used. An IRC
endorsed certificate is required for boats with a PHRF rating of 50 or
faster or an IRC rating of 1.08 or faster. An unendorsed or endorsed IRC
certificate may be used for boats with a PHRF rating of 51 or slower or an
IRC rating of slower than 1.08. Du Moulin noted, however, that there are
two exceptions for all STC events. Boats that have a PHRF rating of 90 or
slower may sail under PHRF. If the boat has an IRC certificate, then it is
welcome to race under IRC, or sail PHRF and also be scored for overall
trophies using IRC. Additionally, non-spinnaker and navigator classes will
race under PHRF, although double-handed entries will race under IRC. -
Media Pro Int'l,

Using criteria approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee, US Sailing has
selected three 2004 Coaches of the Year:

- National Coach of the Year - Skip Whyte (Wickford, RI) has been
selected for his contribution to the success of the U.S. Men's and Women's
470 teams.

- Developmental Coach of the Year - Tom Coleman (Hixson, TN) was selected
for his work with Optimist sailors in the U.S. and worldwide, especially
with beginning sailors in the Optimist Green Fleet.

- Volunteer Coach of the Year - Susan Kaseler (Bainbridge Island, WA) was
recognized for her work as coach of the Bainbridge High School Sailing Team.

These three have been submitted to the USOC Coaching Recognition Program,
along with coaches from 45 Olympic and Pan American sports. Five coaches in
each category will then be selected as finalists for the USOC Coach of the
Year. -

For over 35 years, Ullman Sails has progressively grown into one of today's
premier sailmakers. Dave Ullman and a worldwide team of dedicated and
talented professionals have put Ullman Sails at the forefront of
sailmaking. Utilizing the latest cloth and construction technologies,
Ullman Sails has developed the fastest and most durable sails possible. For
the 2005 racing season, whether at local club events or in International
Grand Prix competition, give yourself the Team Ullman Speed Advantage. For
great service, competitive pricing, and to learn about the new "FiberPath"
sail technology, visit

(Vendée Globe skipper Nick Maloney describes the madness of racing his
Skandia in 65 knots of wind. Here's an excerpt from a transcript of an
audio interview posted online.)

I was sailing along ok with just the staysail in 65 knots of wind, but the
waves were breaking like the surf [on the beach]. I don't exaggerate, but I
would say crumbling white water was about 20 feet high, and I knew the
situation was quite serious. I actually made the phone calls to say goodbye
to my family. I was adamant I was going to pay the price. For a four hour
period I wondered how it would end. I totally thought that my number was up
completely. After the second phone call to Mark, I didn't have anything
else I could do. Situation was breaking waves everywhere, it was all pure
luck [where the waves would break]. If a wave took you out, it took you
out. I was down below, and then bang the boat got hit by a huge wave.

We went over, it happened so quickly. I definitely saw the bottom of the
pool. Equipment bouncing off the ceiling, keyboards, lids of the computers,
the cooker, everything flying across, everything smashing around like in an
Agitator. Boat came back up and everything else flung around the place and
on top of me. I was so shell-shocked. I had my drysuit on but only around
my legs, I ran out on deck, the boat was on the other gybe heeling over at
60 degrees. I was on deck and I said to myself I've got to get off the deck
otherwise I'm going to drown. I just held myself down below. I really
thought one of these waves had got my name on it and there was nothing I
could do. Crazy. - Hear it all:

Meanwhile, it looks like a new start for the top five is on the horizon
just a couple of days from the halfway mark in the course, which must be
particularly good news for British sailor Mike Golding. The latter came
achingly close to losing hold of the leaders on his descent of the Southern
Atlantic but has managed to get back into the same system over the past few

Leaders at 1900 GMT December 15:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou, 12,676 miles to finish
2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 52 miles to leader
3. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 190 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 291 mtl
5. Ecover, Mike Golding, 315 mtl
6. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1183 mtl
7. Virbac-Paprec, Jean-Pierre Dick, 1510 mtl
8. Skandia, Nick Moloney, 1783 mtl
9. Pro-Form, Marc Thiercelin, 2023 mtl
10. VM Matériaux, Patrice Carpentier, 2355 mtl

Complete standings:

Ellen MacArthur's 75-foot trimaran, B&Q, is on the verge of crossing into
the eastern hemisphere having covered 6806 miles - over a quarter of the
26,000 mile course around the world. Ellen consistently maintained 19-20
knots of boat speed during Tuesday night and most of the early part of the
Wednesday. Her best 24-hour run [measured point to point] since the start
came at 0910 GMT - clocking up 481.6 miles at an average of 20.06 knots
[current solo 24hr record stands at 540 miles set by Laurent Bourgnon on
Primagaz in 1994]. The north-westerly breeze continued to build as the low
pressure weather system caught up B&Q, producing 35 knot gusts. Ellen had
no choice but to reduce sail to slow the boat down as sea conditions
deteriorated: "We're getting our arses blown off," she commented. Still,
Ellen is more than 15 hours ahead of Joyon's solo round the world record. -

* Over 220 elite sailors from 12 countries will to take to the harbour this
weekend in the 2004 Sydney International Regatta. 166 entries have been
received so far from Finn, 49er, 420, 470, Mistral, 29er, Laser, Tornado,
505, OK Dinghy, Laser Radial and 4.7 classes, promising another successful
regatta on Sydney Harbour. The Laser fleet will be the largest, as an ISAF
Grade 1 event it has drawn 52 competitors from Australia, India, New
Zealand, UK, Chile, Canada, United States, Finland, Singapore, Malaysia and
Czechoslovakia. -

* Southern Californians will get a close up look at the new generation of
maxi offshore racers on May 19-22 when Pyewacket, Morning Glory and quite
possibly Genuine Risk take part in First Team Real Estate Invitational
Regatta in Newport Beach - a charity event benefiting the Hoag Heart and
Vascular Institute. Facilitated by the Newport Harbor and Balboa Yacht
Clubs, twenty big boats are expected for this inaugural event, including
Magnitude 80, Vicki, Grand Illusion and four Transpac 52s. Sponsors have
already committed $250,000 for the charity.

* The meetings of the ISAF Executive Committee meetings held during the
2004 ISAF November Conference are now available online via the ISAF Minutes

* The city of Glasgow will be the Scottish entry in the Clipper 05-06 Round
the World Yacht Race. Clipper Ventures PLC, the AIM listed company chaired
by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston also announced that Glasgow is to host one of
the prologue races ahead of the competitive ten-month event, which sets
sail from Liverpool in September 2005. Glasgow's new racing yacht is one of
a ten-strong fleet to be raced by international teams of 17 crew and a
skipper. Other entries are from Liverpool (UK), Durban (SA), Western
Australia, Singapore and the Channel Island of Jersey.

* Following an intensive two-year marketing campaign, OzBoyz Challenge had
hoped to make payment today of the A$1.6 million deposit required to become
an official challenger for the 2007 America's Cup. "We are in negotiations
with a number of high-profile potential sponsor companies however nothing
will be finalized until the Challenge is official," confirmed Phil Edmiston
OzBoyz Challenge spokesperson. The rules of the America's Cup state that
syndicates must represent a yacht club, but OzBoyz hopes to get permission
from AC Management to represent Australia's national yachting authority,
Yachting Australia. -

"Get it In Gear" before it's too late! Key West 2005 crew gear, that is.
Official event logo gear & sailcloth bags that can be customized with your
boat name are available to order on the Key West 2005 website. Order
deadline is December 24th:

(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 Chip Johns, President Vanguard Sailboats. (Re: Penguin Principle and
kids sailing): Tom Ehman has it right, so does John Glynn, Peter Johnstone
and many others that have written in to 'Butt. The key is for kids to have
fun while sailing, this means racing for some, capsizing, playing sponge
tag, sailing with dad (mom, bother sister, etc), or sailing alone on big,
small, stable or unstable boats. Whatever works with your particular child.
Kids are all different (took me three to figure that out!) and they will
all like different things and approaches.

Sailing is such a unique sport/activity that offers so many different
avenues for satisfying participation that we should be able to attract
every kid if we just watch listen, and tailor our approach to that
particular kid. Some kids are highly individual competitors at age 10
(Optis), some like to curl up in their bunks to read while we sail
(cruising boats), others like the speed (trapeze dinghies). There are
solutions for many different types. Oh, and we as parents/leaders need to
jump right in, smile and have fun while we are doing it with the kids as
well. There is no silver bullet, there is no one perfect answer, but there
are many different perfect answers just waiting to be utilized to get kids
(and parents) on the water. Oh, and Tom you need to recall that the leader
for growth in our sport, the most popular boat in the '50s, '60s and '70s
(and in the '80s, 90s, and currently) was/is the Sunfish, a single-handed boat.

* From Tom Darling: I second Tom Ehman's observation on the shift from
family to solo sailing for juniors. I was brought up as the third crew on a
Thistle in the 60s, the skipper with my two smaller sisters on a Blue Jay,
part of a 6 person family Ensign crew(the three smaller ones played cards
in the cubby),the family unit was then the basis for a reasonably
successful offshore sailing group into the 1980s-basically 20 years of
family sailing schooling. My 12 year old daughter was offered only
Optimists and declined. She and my 8 year old son prefer sailing with their
friends on a 19 foot catboat to anything else, telling me that it is the
social aspects of sailing that make it so unique, you can recreate, you can
compete and you do it with others on a level playing field.

Ideally, sailing beats most youth sports that require parents to stand on
the sidelines freezing(soccer), getting up at all hours to go to
competitions(hockey). Maybe we should be giving prizes to top family crews
in every event we can think of. I know that in terms of the latest
incarnation of my extended family's team, in a J105, the crew is referred
to as "one of the top family crews" in the class. Not so bad.

* From Luis Chiapparro: It's very poor the thought of blaming a well
organized class for being successful. Mr. Ehman should be addressing his
complains to all these other classes that he mentioned. Obviously, they're
not doing enough to introduce young people into sailing. Mr. Ehman is
right, there are children that prefer to sail not alone and sailing is not
getting these children to sail, and this, is these other classes
responsibility. It will be smart for them to contact IODA and learn from it
how to be so successful. Mr. Ehman should contact these other classes and
work with them towards this goal, which might benefit our sport, a lot,
instead of criticize all those who seem to be the only ones bringing a lot
of sailors to our sport.

I really doubt that the sport of sailing is not growing (?) because of the
Optimist Class. In these days children have a lot more options than before
and parents tend to make them do everything at the same time, swimming,
baseball, tennis, piano, dancing, guitar, etc. and hopefully, sailing. Now
a days, children are use to comfort, and sailing? On the water? wet? Cold?,
is not that comfortable, so many choose the easier things (Nintendo, web
games, TV). Mr. Ehman, before attacking a successful Class that is doing a
lot for our sport, try to do something positive. I'm sure you may start
working right away with these other classes. More than 200.000 children,
can't be wrong!

* From Dave Culp, KiteShip: It is interesting that Ron White notes Rule
86.1 issues with ORCA's new kite sailing rules (Scuttlebutt 1730), without
noting the companion rule, 86.2, which offers the exception to Rule 86.1
which ORCA--and others--may use to work within the RRS whilst accommodating
innovation in sailing. Kudos to ORCA, and also to the CYCA, Yachting
Australia, Australia PHRF, Australia IRC, NZMYC and the HSBC Coastal
Classic, NorCal PHRF and many others (including, I believe, LMPHRF) for
looking at these innovative sailing alternatives with a "How can we make
this work?" attitude rather than a "How can we avoid this?" one. Even RORC
has indicated that their IRC ban is more "Wait for better data" than "No,
never." My hat is off to all these folks and more. I believe it was George
Bernard Shaw who said, "Some people see things as they are and say 'why?' I
see things that never were and say 'why not?'" Why not indeed?

* From Bruce Thompson: I disagree with Peter Huston's suggestion to give
windward boats right of way. This is exactly counter to the IRCPAS.
Therefore, each boat needs to be sure whether the other is racing or not.
If there is confusion, there is collision! There is another way. This year
in preparation for the Rhodes 19 Nationals, Fleet 12 undertook a huge
effort to bring new people into racing. They spruced up their 40 year old
boats, measured everything to help build a databse for revised class rules
and asked for outside help with the RRS. So we held a total of 6 hours of
rules instruction to cover 5 pages in the rule book. By far the most
popular segment was hailing! Each participant was given a cheat sheet of
suggested hails for each rule. And out on the course nostalgia reigns
"starboard", "room", "leeeward boat", "hold your course". The skill level
of competitors soared. Now there are newbies who can't wait for next year's
Nationals in Alabama.

* From Bruce McPherson: Peter Huston is recommending what I believe the DN
iceboat class now uses and has for years. The Rules of Sailing are posted
on page 10 and clearly rectify any of the problems outlined in today's
Scuttlebutt. Note, however, iceboats do use a standing start!

* From Garry Hoyt: It is worth noting that the Alerion Express 28 is the
boat that started this new trend towards more elegant and easy day sailers
and remains the class of the field. In addition the AE 28 was also the
first to develop some unique racing class rules:

1. All crew must remain in the cockpit, except for emergencies. This avoids
the "rail meat race", which rewards ever heavier crew perched dangerously
and uncomfortably on the rail. With this rule the boat is best raced with
only 1 or 2 persons since added weight in the cockpit is no advantage.

2. Just 2 sails are allowed--the self-tacking jib and standard main--no
genoas or spinnakers. This means the boats can be effectively raced
single-handed, which removes the hassle of lining up crew that keeps many
sailors from racing.

3. All sails for racing must be dacron--no kevlar, carbon or exotics that
tend to make sailboat racing an armament race where the big bucks win.

4. No protests. While recognizing the need for protests in high powered
competition, a lifetime of racing has convinced me that post race protest
meetings add nothing to the pleasure of competition, and merely subtract
time and good feeling from valuable post race camaraderie.

Amateur tennis and golf do very well on the basis of personal honesty and
sailing would be well advised to cultivate that virtue rather than the sea
lawyering that protests invite.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up,
he'll never be able to edge his car onto a freeway.