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SCUTTLEBUTT 1737 - December 22, 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.

(The following is an excerpt from an interview with Goran Petersson, the
new ISAF president, conducted by and posted on the ISAF

thedailysail: At present there is some debate about the 2008 Olympic
sailing venue. In Athens there was a lack of wind and there looks like
being a similar if not worse problem in Qingdao. What is your opinion about
that and can anything be done at this stage?

Goran Petersson: We have no influence in where the event will take place.
That is completely IOC business. We have of course expressed our opinion
about it. I know people are talking about the wind or lack of wind. We
don't know that. We know for sure there won't be a lot of wind. But you
remember in Athens we had strong wind in the first week. We even had to
abstain from racing one day because of too much wind.

tds: How was the decision to go to Qingdao made? Presumably that was part
of the Beijing bid and then ISAF made their recommendations to the IOC
about whether or not it was a good venue?

GP: It is exactly as you say. There is a package from each candidate city.
Then we are given the opportunity to have a look at the place and say
whether the plans and the conditions are reasonable for us, whether we can
accept it or not, and we of course have done that. But you realise that it
is very difficult - it has to be something really important for you to say no.

tds: And obviously at this stage it is too late to change…

GP: I don't think it can be done. If we had more wind than people think we
will have - it will be fine. And we have to prepare for what we have got.

tds: People are wondering why there? For example it would be a good
opportunity for China to showcase Hong Kong, which does have better wind

GP: That would be much different, but we haven't been asked that question

tds: The problem is that the perception of Qingdao is that there is going
to be no wind and so that is not much of an incentive for Olympic sailors
to go there.

GP: That might be, but I don't think it will be as bad as people are
saying. It is a long way and we will find out during the test events what
it will be like. Olympic sailing and Olympic competition is very important
for sailors, sponsors, for everybody. So I am not worried about that.

Full interview:

The El Reto syndicate, representing the Real Federación Española de Vela -
Spanish Sailing Federation, has become the eighth challenger for the 32nd
America's Cup. The Société Nautique de Genève, the Defender of the
America's Cup, accepted the Spanish Challenge on the 17th December. El
Reto, which is Spanish for 'The Challenge' will be Spain's fourth challenge
for the America's Cup. On three previous occasions Spanish yachts have
raced in the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Series for the America's Cup -
in 1992 and 1995 in San Diego and in 1999 in Auckland. The El Reto
syndicate is a new team headed by Agustín Zulueta, a well known racing
yacht project manager in Spain. The identity of the seventh challenger,
widely believed to be John Sweeney's Sausalito Challenge, will not be
revealed until January. -

Yachting Australia chief executive Phil Jones says his organization has no
interest in being part of America's Cup syndicate OzBoyz Challenge. The
Australian syndicate, headed by businessman Phillip Edmiston and former Le
Defi tactician Sebastien Destremau, last week announced they were keen to
align themselves with Yachting Australia rather than a yacht club. This
goes against cup rules which state teams must represent a yacht club.

OzBoyz missed the first challenger entry deadline, which passed on Friday,
but issued a statement just before the deadline saying they were keen to
join forces with Yachting Australia but Yachting Australia could not commit
until April, which is when the second and final deadline falls. However, in
a statement on the Yachting Australia website Jones said the America's Cup
had long been a contest between yacht clubs and Yachting Australia "would
not wish to be involved in challenging this". - Julie Ash, NZ Herald,

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

December 21 - The Orange II maxi-catamaran, sailed by skipper Bruno Peyron
and his crew, was re-launched this lunchtime in front of the submarine base
in Lorient. The memory of the loss of the Jules Verne Trophy last winter to
Olivier de Kersauson was erased by the new records established this summer:
The world 24h record (706.2 miles at an average of 29.29 knots) and the
Mediterranean record (17 h 56 mins and 13 secs, at an average of 25.53
knots). The three months spent on dry land in Lorient bring to an end the
preparation and technical adjustment phase to get her ready to tackle once
again the round the world crew sailing record.

Bruno Peyron has officially acknowledged today that he will be tackling the
Jules Verne Trophy very soon (held by Olivier de Kersauson and the crew of
the trimaran Geronimo in 63 days, 13mins 59secs) and the absolute world
record (held since last winter by the American Steve Fossett and the crew
of Cheyenne, with a time of 58 days, 09mins, 32secs). Orange France is once
again alongside Bruno Peyron and his crew for this new attempt at the Jules
Verne Trophy. The crew for this circumnavigation is currently being
finalized and will include 13 or 14 people. Priority has been given this
winter to the best helmsmen. - The Daily Sail subscription website,

It's come to our attention that a carbon-fiber spinnaker pole can suffer
from scratches, scrapes and other unsightly blemishes if left uncovered on
deck or if it's trucked to regattas. Using covert methods, Hall Spars &
Rigging discovered that a pole cover eliminates this problem. Now that
they've been exposed, Hall will give you a Kinder Industries cover when you
buy a custom carbon-fiber pole direct from Hall during January. View pole
pricing online (or buy a cover for your existing pole). Call to order your
pole, using the password "Givemeafreecover!"

The lead four headed by Le Cam/ Riou are slamming their way under New
Zealand tonight, zigzagging towards their morning rendezvous with the
International Date Line, slowed up by a depression to their north. Mike
Golding (Ecover) has snatched back third position for the second time
today, though he and fourth placed Sébastien Josse have been criss-crossing
each others paths all day in a bid to mark their opponent tack for tack.
The atmosphere is one of caution as they near the ice zone east of Campbell
Island. The depression far up to the north of them will remain stationary,
forcing the leaders to zig-zag forward, thus covering more miles. The gear
will be under pressure as the boats slam through the waves, while the sail
changes will try to respect both power and safety. The leaders will have to
wait until Friday for a southerly airflow to kick in and enable them to
make a direct course as a result of a depression dropping south and the
disappearance of an anticyclone between the Antarctic and the fleet.

Patrice Carpentier (VM Matériaux), currently in ninth place, has reported
breaking his boom. "My boom has broken in a crash gybe while under 3 reefs
in 27 knots of wind," Carpentier said. "I'm heading east under jib alone
and I'm going to think about the situation while I wait for daybreak. In
principal I don't have what I need aboard to make repairs so I'm going to
have to think of other ways to continue my course in the knowledge that any
hopes of getting ranked are over."

With the conditions for the top four unlikely to change for the next two
days, those in the chasing pack who are able will be making the most of the
favorable seas and westerly winds to make up some of their deficit on the
head of the fleet.

Leaders at 1900 GMT December 21:
1. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 10,998 miles to finish
2. PRB, Vincent Riou, 22 miles to leader
3. Ecover, Mike Golding, 287 mtl
4. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 289 mtl
5. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1089 mtl

Complete standings:

The headwinds look set to prevail (for the Vendée Globe leaders) until
Friday affecting some 600 miles of sailing which is something Mike Golding
will welcome. His Owen/Clarke-designed Ecover is probably the most potent
upwind performer in the fleet. The leaders, now in the Pacific half of the
Southern Ocean, still have 3,000 miles to go to Cape Horn. Golding has
always maintained that if he was not in the lead at the Horn, then being in
touch was good enough, so confident is he of his boat's cutting edge in the
long climb north up the Atlantic. - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full

Ellen Mac Arthur is presently enjoying 25 knots of wind and 18 knots of
boatspeed after 'surviving' a 24-hour ordeal of constant Force 8 winds
[34-40 knots] gusting up to 55 knots and huge seas. After managing to gybe
back on to port, towards the north east, late yesterday afternoon in 40
knots of breeze - in itself is no easy feat which involves dropping the
mainsail entirely but leaving the headsail up to help maneuver the boat
through the gybe. "I was pushed to the south, 50-55 knots of breeze was the
most we saw and a sustained 40 knots for a long period of time," MacArthur
explained. "It was pretty hairy but I have to say that the boat was
absolutely incredible. To be surfing at 25-28 knots in that amount of
breeze in those waves, to be handling as well as she did - I was just
absolutely over the moon with her performance - it was fantastic."

In the aftermath, Ellen spent the morning checking the 75-foot trimaran: "I
discovered a problem with the steering system yesterday night which is not
major but the bottom bearing of the laystock for the main rudder was moving
a little bit and some of the screws had undone themselves. So I've made
some small carbon wedges up this morning and I've wedged them all the way
round and taped them up there, but it looks like it should be okay."
Despite the storm-force conditions, Ellen's 75-foot trimaran, B&Q, is
staying ahead of the pace and continues to build on her advantage over
Joyon to over 23 hours. Ellen has been ahead of Joyon's record for over 2
weeks now, since day 7 of her solo attempt when she got back ahead of Joyon
just before crossing the Equator. -

* Sydney based Matt Allen, the owner/skipper of the Farr 52 Ichi Ban, has
been selected as the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Ocean Racer of the
Year. At the same time, John Walker was named CYCA's Ocean Racing Veteran
of the Year (for the third time), Peter Johnston was selected as the Ocean
Racing Rookie of the Year, and Justin Dock became this year's Ocean Racing
Crew Person of the Year.

* Three of the fastest yachts entered for this year's Sydney to Hobart
yacht race have a little more than a day to overcome weight troubles. The
supermaxis, Skandia, Konica Minolta and AAPT have had their rating
certificates cancelled for not being within the weight tolerance for their
handicap and have until tomorrow night to fix the problem. Sydney to Hobart
media director Peter Campbell said further checks were being made.
"Officially from a Cruising Yacht Club point of view the only comment we
have is that boats are free up till 5:00 pm tomorrow to lodge a new rating

What do Mike Golding, Nick Moloney and Ellen MacArthur have in common? They
are wearing Musto. Mike and Nick are competing in the Vendée Globe whilst
Ellen is attempting to be the fastest solo sailor around the planet.
Musto's HPX foul weather gear will protect the skippers from the elements
whilst in the heart of the Southern Ocean, where towering seas,
temperatures below zero, and hurricane force winds are the norm, not
forgetting icebergs that are an ever-present danger. You don't need to race
solo in the Southern Ocean to experience Musto. Give it a try next time:

(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 Craig Coulsen: In respect to the letter by Alain Fortuney the
following observations are made in respect to IRC and other rules:

1. When you don't have a product in the market place you don't have much
power in it
2. If you only want to market to your home market don't complain if some
one else markets to the rest of the world and is successful
3. You can have the better techincal product but if no one is buying than
it is a failure as a product

Finally the real clincher is that IRC seems to me to be a very owner
friendly rule both in efficiency and most importantly cost. (Yes my boats
are both IMS and IRC rated)

* From John MacRae: Two interesting but very different points of view have
been put forth on these pages regarding participation in our sport. In my
view, Peter Huston's idea of changing the racing rules to empower the
windward yacht (however well-intentioned) does little if anything to
advance participation, and may even serve to discourage some current
"weekend warriors" who just don't want the hassle of completely relearning
an important element of the sport. Would the sport of football gain more
participants at all levels if you made major changes to its governing
rules, such as doing away with "defensive pass interference" penalties?
Different game, certainly; more interesting to watch, maybe. Increase
participation? I don't think so.

On the other hand, Tom Ehman really has a great point from a strategic
point of view for the sport. Nothing wrong with single-handed sailing for
kids but I certainly remember having more fun in my youth, and today,
sailing with someone else on the boat (although I can't claim that my crews
always had fun sailing with me). It seems that increased emphasis on
teamwork, families, and camaraderie teach some pretty great lessons to our
kids and make the whole sport more fun for all. Classes that seem to get it
right, such as my beloved Snipe class, no doubt will continue to thrive by
maintaining this focus. Changing the rules of the sport, however, really
misses the point.

* From Dan Tucker: It's a shame there was only 1 hour of coverage of the
Paralympics in the US. With NBC's preference for excessively melodramatic
coverage of Olympic athletes, you'd think they would jump all over the
Paralympians, every single one with a "human interest story" that will
trump most everything NBC dredges up on the Olympians. Look no further than
the four US Paralympic Sailing medalists: three lost limbs, a skipper with
paralyzed arms & legs, a blind jib trimmer/ tactician. Of course for the
athletes, able bodied or disabled, it's about the sport! How many people
know that a Paralympic power lifter broke the able bodied world record?
Alas, it's much like sailing coverage on TV: sometime complex scoring of
disability levels, and a perceived limited audience. Perhaps these
international audience number may have some positive influence on future
coverage in the US.

* From Ron Baerwitz (re: Getting your kids into sailing): None of this
debate means a hill of beans if you don't teach your kid(s) to swim at a
very early age. That was my mistake. My six year old is afraid of the
water. He has had limited exposure to being in the water so he is afraid to
be on the water. I'm not an expert here but I firmly see in my own son that
if he had been thrown in the water at a very early age, from six months on,
he would not be afraid of being on the water now.

* From John Green: The issue of competing with 'instant gratification'
pastimes misses the point of sailing. I first learnt to sail in the Air
Scouts, an unusual place one would think. The reality is that the reason we
were taught to sail was because sailing taught self reliance, team work and
other social skills. Some of my peers were bitten by the bug, others were
not. For those of us that were bitten, we went on to progress through the
usual ( then) pathway of International Cadets, GP14's, Fireballs, Ospreys,
FD's , and then keel boats etc. Along the way we learnt how to get on with
people, how to get ourselves out of the trouble we inevitably managed to
get ourselves into.

I have also had the privilege to teach kids from underprivileged
backgrounds to sail, the changes in attitudes and approach to life that
these kids developed as a consequence to an exposure to sailing remains
with me as one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Apart from
the sheer joy of sailing, we were learning important life skills that
stayed with us, and this is something that instant gratification pastimes
don't provide. Perhaps we need to re-examine what sailing is about, the
rewards are not always about who has the biggest, fastest , most expensive
or who comes first ( although there is absolutely nothing wrong with
winning!) sometimes its about the behaviours, attitudes, life skills and
sheer pleasure of doing a thing.

* From George B. Brewster: Andrew Hurst's editorial in Seahorse magazine
about the TP 52 Class suggested the development of, "a couple of comparable
rules at fixed lengths of, say 28ft and 38ft, and see what happens." Well …
let's not forget that Bill Lee, the genius who gave us the TP 52 box rule,
also created a TP 40 box rule - but so far it's been totally ignored. It's
already there, guys, so let's go build some boats and go racing.

* From Kurt Bianculli: With all the comments about the need for some
smaller box rules (mini TP52s) I was wondering if anybody remembers the
Whitbread 30 class which became the Mount Gay 30 class? The Mount Gay 30
class seems as though it would fit the bill perfectly and there are already
some boats built. The few boats I have seen sailing are fast and they seem
to be capable of both offshore and around the cans racing. Does anybody
have any opinions why it failed to take hold? Maybe it was just before its
time but given the success of the TP52 class and the current demand for
more box rules maybe now is the time to reactivate the class. There is
still a web page for the class association at

Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?