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SCUTTLEBUTT 2032 – February 16, 2006

Scuttlebutt is a digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.

0009 and 26 seconds GMT -- Movistar wins … just nine seconds and a
fraction of a boat length ahead of ABN Amro One as they crossed the line
in Wellington, New Zealand after racing 1,450 miles from Melbourne. The
offshore domination of the Dutch team has been broken at last. In an
incredibly tense finish, Bouwe Bekking's Spanish boat takes Leg 3.

Overnight saw huge losses and massive gains in the closing stages of leg
three of the Volvo Ocean Race. At 0400 GMT Wednesday, movistar was 32
miles behind the ABN Amro One, by 1000 GMT they were neck and neck and
at 1300 they had a slim lead of one nautical mile. For more than 11
hours they raced neck and neck.

At 1030 GMT Wednesday, the positions were Pirates out in front and
looking safe in third for a podium finish - fingers crossed - they have
under 20 miles to go and at the moment are sailing at 14 knots. Brasil
is next, 21 miles in arrears and look to be safe in a well deserved
fourth. Ericsson has made an amazing comeback, closing to within 1.7
miles of ABN Amro Two at the last poll, and looking like taking the
kids. In fact, Sebastien Josse's boys must have had a visual sighting of
Neal McDonald's boat for some time and have sailed almost due south for
quite a while to try to cover their opponent. ~

“When you look up the definition of painful in the dictionary I don't
know what it says but I am very clear what it should say; "painful -
being behind in a small fleet of Volvo 70's with the wind dying from
behind"! This race tests many facets of your personality and much of it
is talked about and analysed. Being thrown around continuously, getting
cold and wet with not enough sleep or food; all easily understood and
very hard on the body but the mental stress is something that is harder
to describe and often much harder to deal with than the physical

“I knew two days ago when the Pirates and the kids sailed away from us
that we were going to suffer continual losses until we all reached the
top of South Island but the magnitude of those losses has been huge and
the effort required to stay positive and keep your mind on the job
without making silly moves is enormous. As each sched arrives you
franticly open the message and quickly digest the numbers. For a few
seconds you hold back from thumping your fists clean through the nav
station and settle in on extracting as much info from the sched as
possible.’ ~ Steve Hayles, Ericsson Racing Team navigator

In what is possibly, finally, hopefully, the last act of America’s Cup
31, there is a Judgment from the Court, New Zealand Court of Appeals, in
Reeves v One World Challenge LLC [2005] NZCA 314 .. For those interested
in an ‘executive summary:’ Reeves lost his appeal of a judgment against
him totaling US$1,053,497.60 plus interest and costs. For those wanting
to know all of the gory details, the court’s 21-page decision is now
posted on the website of the AC 32 Challenger’s Commission:

Portsmouth is currently playing host to one of the US Navy's latest
warships. The enormous 300ft HSV2 Swift catamaran arrived on Monday to
prepare to a military exercise in the Arctic Circle. During the training
exercise, Swift will be home to 60 Royal Navy personnel, comprising
staff from the Mine Countermeasures Squadron, divers from Fleet Diving
Unit 02 and engineers from Fleet Support Unit 01. Commander Peter
Williams, in charge of the mine countermeasures force, said: "Her high
speed of up to 50 knots and ability to provide engineering and stores
support at sea without needing to go alongside offers tremendous
flexibility to the way we will operate." ~ Take a peak at this sucker in
a story and photo posted on the Motor Boats Monthly website:

Team One Newport just got the new Musto Inshore Race Jacket in men's and
women's sizes and colors in stock. So the 2005 Inshore Jackets are now
on sale! And there are lots more items on sale too. Be sure to check out
the new Kaenons, Ronstan windblock jackets, Slam long underwear,
Henri-Lloyd, gore-tex drysuits, Gill Softshell jacket and Dubarry's
Annapolis boot. Call 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327) or visit

Ah, the biathlon. It evokes a bygone era when a guy had to ski into the
woods and shoot his dinner. The biathlon is a good proxy for how far
we've come — and how far things still have to progress — in successfully
marrying the Olympic Games to the Internet. That marriage, industry
executives say, is the future of the Games. In the USA, biathlon's
popularity ranks somewhere behind badminton, team saber dueling, and
those world's-strongest-woman competitions on ESPN2, which are usually
won by somebody named Helga. In other words, we're not talking about a
mass audience but a strong niche following.

Four years ago, a biathlon fan might have caught a passing, five-second
video clip of medal outcomes on NBC's broadcast of the Salt Lake City
Games. On the Web, there was no Salt Lake Olympic video, by dictate of
the International Olympic Committee. Biathlon fans had no way to watch
their sport. This year, the IOC has blessed Web video. NBC, which owns
the U.S. video rights to the Olympics, put together a superslick,
video-laden website at There, you will find video
highlights of events, even biathlon, plus TV-style profiles of stars
such as Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

Obviously, that's an improvement. But it's far from what should be
available. We should be able to see every minute of every biathlon
event. We should, in fact, be able to see every minute of every sport.
The Internet can do that. It can deliver a nearly infinite variety of
sports to satisfy even the smallest fan bases, offering subscriptions
and packages to people who are rabid enough about their sport to pay
fees to watch. "The Olympics are perfect for this," says Jonathan
Miller, CEO of AOL. He envisions the Olympics online as something like
AOL's production of the Live 8 concert, which let people click into
multiple venues live or download pieces later. "Anything potentially
that good is probably inevitable," he adds.

The Olympics and the Internet are a match made for the so-called long
tail that will drive entertainment in coming decades. The long tail
theory says that as the Internet makes it cheap and easy to offer a vast
variety of content, consumers tend to turn away from mass-market hits
and instead embrace niche products — the stuff down the tail behind the
mass market. ~ Kevin Maney, USA Today, full story:

Curmudgeon’s Comment: What does sailing look like on the Internet? Take
a look at a short video of Paul Cayard’s VO70 Black Pearl sailing at
high speed just after leaving Melbourne, Australia. ~

Long Beach, California -- Ten of the top match-racing sailors in the
world are lined up for the Long Beach YC’s 42nd Congressional Cup,
presented by Acura, April 11-15, but America's premier one-on-one
nautical contest also will see some fleet racing for the first time.
Instead of parking their boats on the fifth and final day, the six
competitors who fail to reach the semifinals after two round robins will
run a fleet race for a $1,000 winner-take-all prize, before the four
semifinalists sail off for the championship and the largest chunks of
the $41,000 total purse.

Event chairman Randy Smith said the new wrinkle was inspired by the
America's Cup's introduction last year of the "Acts" series of fleet
races in Europe and the U.S. among teams entered in the 2007 competition
at Valencia, Spain. The six-man crews will sail Catalina 37s owned by
the Long Beach Sailing Foundation, rotating boats daily. ~ Rich Roberts,

The complete lineup, in order of current international rankings by ISAF:
Ian Williams, Team Musto, Great Britain, No. 5.
Mathieu Richard, APCC Voile Sportive, France, No. 6.
Staffan Lindberg, Alandia Sailing Team, Finland, No. 11.
Johnie Berntsson, Semcon, Sweden, No. 17.
Chris Dickson, BMW Oracle Racing, New Zealand, No. 30.
Cameron Appleton, K-Challenge, New Zealand, No. 37.
Gavin Brady, Beau Geste racing, New Zealand, No. 40.
Brian Angel, King Harbor Yacht Club, Redondo Beach, Calif., No. 60.
Scott Dickson, Dickson Racing, Long Beach Yacht Club, No. 63.
Chris Law, Outlaws, Great Britain, No. 113.

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

Adam Malcom, a graduate student in the University of Virginia's
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program, was awarded the $5,000
grand prize in the first Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition
sponsored by the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and the Personal
Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA). Competition criteria
included wearability; reliability; cost; and innovation. What was
notably absent from this list was the need to adhere to any of the
established life jacket design regulations.

"We received 182 submissions from armchair inventors, average boaters
and students from as far away places as China and Australia," said PFDMA
Executive Director Bernice McArdle. Some designs focused on improving
existing life jacket models with new technology or style enhancements.
Other designs were completely outside the box with little or no regard
to current design guidelines, while others blended the two. Two design
elements emerged as judges' favorites: the use of high-tech fabrics that
could improve upon current designs, and devices that were the least
obtrusive," she said.

Malcom's winning entry was essentially the latter - a slender belt worn
around the waist. The unit would stay out of the way and not retain body
heat. When activated either manually with a ripcord or automatically via
a CO2 gas cylinder, slender, symmetrically-arranged air bladders stored
inside the belt inflate rising up to surround the wearer on all sides.
No secondary action, such as sliding flotation over the head, is
necessary. You simply float much like you would in an inner tube.

The five Honorable Mentions went to:
-Sean Denham, a student at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, majoring in
Industrial Design proposed a T-shirt life jacket that blended a thin
layer of kapok sandwiched between layers of neoprene built into a
nylon/spandex shirt that also provided UVA sun protection.

-Lisa Ma, Wayne Chang and Peter Tong of I3 Design in Pittsburgh, PA
proposed a series of stylish "shirts" made with an inflatable fabric and
a transferable C02 inflation kit that kept costs down.

-Another student, Nicholas Weigel who attends Kendall College of Art
and Design in Grand Rapids, MI, proposed using a two-part foam that
expanded to fill clear a buoyancy tube that went around the wearer's

- The "High Tide PFD" designed by Andrew Valentine, another Virginia
Tech student and classmate of Honorable Mention winner, Sean Denham, had
a sleek, stylish buoyant vest design. High-tech fabrics would keep the
body cool and earth-friendly recycled styrene beads were used for
flotation and body-conforming comfort.

- Aqua-Aid," designed by inventor Mario DiForte, Jr. of Baltimore, MD.
A press of a button inflates a 12" x 13" brightly colored vinyl float
that's packed into a small, wrist-worn case.

See for yourself:

* The only approved Safety At Sea seminar currently scheduled for the
Newport, RI area will take place on March 11 and 12 at the Hyatt Regency
Newport on Goat Island. All sailors are strongly urged to register now
for this event to assure compliance with paragraph 3.2.4 of the Notice
of Race which reads as follows: "A minimum of thirty percent (30%) of
all crew members including at least two (2) of the following (captain,
navigator, port and starboard watch captains) shall have attended a
sanctioned Safety-at-Sea Seminar within three years prior to the start
of the race." ~

* There was a posting in the Scuttlebutt Forums of the OUT95, which is a
very different looking 32 footer from England. Very narrow, but with
huge wings. Kind of like KZ1, which was the surprise Kiwi challenger for
the America’s Cup in 1988 that versed Dennis Conner’s catamaran. Take a
look at the images now on the Scuttlebutt website:

Ullman Sails customers swept the top three places in J105’s, and
captured first and second in J109’s at the SCYA Midwinter Regatta.
Congratulations to the J105 winner, Jon Dekker and crew on “Airboss.”
Similar kudos to Tony Wetherbee’s J109 “Commotion” and crew finishing
first, just ahead of Gary Mozer’s “Current Obsession.” These two J109’s
won or placed second in each of the races. Again, the power performance
of Ullman inventories rule. Isn’t it time for you to power up with
Ullman Sails? For the “Fastest Sails on the Planet,” contact an Ullman
Sails loft and visit

(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may
be edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. You only get one letter
per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others
disagree. And please save your bashing, and personal attacks for
elsewhere. For those that prefer a Forum, you can post your thoughts at
the Scuttlebutt website:

* From Peter Huston: While watching the Winter Olympics and reading
about the new scoring system for sailing in the Games, I wondered "what
would the ancient Greek's have thought about the modern Olympics?" The
Greeks probably would have rather enjoyed the commerce and luxury that
surrounds the current Games, but what of the style of competition?

Is the movement to "Spart" - part sport, part art - that which gets most
of the attention on TV - see figure skating, half-pipe snowboarding,
events that are scored on style, not purely speed or strength alone -
what the Greek's envisioned for their ultimate sporting contest?

Whether or not "Spart' is what we as competitive sailors enjoy, it
matters not in the face of what couch potatoes want, which is the
audience to who the IOC must pander. So, in order to gain TV share, if
that is the goal - which I am not in favor of at all - then sailing
would be best served by forgetting about minor issues like double point
scoring in the last race, and instead figure out a way to inject style
points into the overall scoring mix. That way we will have a certainty
of eventual controversy in some degree of magnitude, which is the only
fuel that really matters to TV ratings.

* From Bruce Gresham: The right item is to have role models sign is a YC
burgee. It's a nice flat surface for both signing and hanging on the
wall, The club makes money in extra burgee sales, and years from now it
might be a nice auction item.

* From Tatjana Pokorny, Hamburg, Germany: Craig Leweck and all of you
looking for something to collect autographs on: The sport has something
great: Sails! Dennis Conner had a piece of an old sail cut into a few
hundred pieces when he competed in one of the first match races in
Germany in the early nineties. That´s perfect stuff because sail pieces
a light to carry, easy to have ready in a bag and good to sign on with a
permanent marker. If your hero does not have a piece of sail ready then
bring your own. And then pin it to the wall of your room - will look
great! Or collect all desired autographs on one piece of sail. The
alternative are caps. Just collect the autographs on the viser.

* From Kenneth Voss: (re Nothing to Sign): At some of the larger
international events they have little optimist sails (1' along the luff
or so) that they collect signatures on. But probably more practical is
getting event posters (such as star worlds) and getting a signature on
that. My son Nick has one in his room signed by George Szabo that is
really nice, also had one signed by Mark Reynolds.

* From Scott Boye, Friday Harbor (re Craig Leweck's question of what
object to use for autographs): Have your favorite sailing idol sign your
lifejacket. I coach a high school sailing team and the kids on my team
will decorate their lifejackets with slogans and the signatures of other
teammates and competitors. Your lifejacket is the piece of equipment
that you (should) most often use and becomes very personal for most

* From Rick Hatch (re the Curmudgeon's Comment in 'Butt 2031: "So why
aren't we seeing some of that television in the USA?): Maybe it's
because you do live in the USA. We're watching half hour recap
broadcasts of the VOR every weekend in Canada. The "Volvo Ocean Race
Weekly" is being broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet this Sunday February 19
at 12:30 PM in Ontario (EST), and 12:00 Noon in British Columbia (PST).
Link: The time of this broadcast changes from
week to week, some weeks on Saturdays and other weeks on Sundays, so
check the schedule. If you live near the Canadian border or your cable
TV service provider carries CBC, you can also watch a whole lot more
coverage of the Torino Winter Olympics than you will get on NBC -
particularly Team Canada (both the men's and women's teams; take your
pick) kicking butt in hockey.

* From Edward Trevelyan: Referring to the Curmudgeon's comment about
poor TV coverage of the VOR, I stumbled upon one good program this past
Saturday evening. It was on Maryland Public Television (MPT), and hosted
by Gary Jobson. Lots of good on-board shots as well as behind the scenes
interviews. According to an article on the MPT website, the next in this
"series" will be April 29, after the Baltimore in-shore race. Hopefully
MPT can squeeze in another show that covers the two off-shore legs
before Baltimore.

* From Alan Ouellette: All this talk on the validity of protests and the
flag requirement has me wondering why we shouldn't just unroll the
protest flag when we leave the dock.

* From Tom Priest (Re: Ray Tostado's scuttling of containers - trying to
force them to sink after falling overboard): The contents within the
container may not want to sink even if the box does. Imagine for
example: boxes upon boxes of stereos & TVs wrapped in styrofoam... Such
as it is, that thing ain't going under on its own! On the other hand, if
the Navy or Coast Guard had standing orders to use wayward containers as
target practice.

* From Rees Martin: I agree with Ray Tostado: shipping lines can and
should be held accountable for semi-submerged containers. From memory,
each container has a unique ICLU number placed on the right hand door.
While somewhat academic when you are sinking after hitting one, there is
no reason why it could be made mandatory that this number (enlarged) is
placed on the container roof. Containers normally float (?) upright as
the container weight/strength is in the base. Yes, large numbers of
containers are leased, but there could easily be a subrogation clause in
lease agreements. It would be unrealistic (and hilarious!) to expect
shipping companies to scout the oceans looking for their missing
containers, but there is no reason why they can't be forced to inform
authorities, say the IMO, that they had "lost" a container.

Curmudgeon’s Comment: Thanks to Michael Hogan, we now have photographic
proof that there really is a functioning container rescue fleet:

Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a
man who can't get his pants off.

Special thanks to Team One Newport and Ullman Sails.