SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1021 - March 6, 2002
Scuttlebutt is a digest of yacht racing news of major significance; commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions, press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
The British team is to build a second new hull within this America's Cup campaign, so that the team has two latest generation ACC yachts ready for training in Cowes during the summer of 2003. Peter Harrison, who has always made clear that the GBR Challenge is being set up with future campaigns in mind, explained his rationale. "I have taken the decision to build a second hull this year, in order to secure a second sail number to the GBR 70 we already have, as each team is only allowed two hulls in each cup cycle. The building of a second hull will also ensure that the GBR Team has continuity and a flying start in possessing two of the latest generation America's Cup 2002 yachts ready to commence training for the next America's Cup competition anticipated in 2006."
However, the GBR Challenge Chairman stated that this decision does not mean that he has committed to backing the British entry in the future. "At this stage, I'm not prepared to commit myself to financially backing the GBR Challenge campaign for the next America's Cup. What I will have done is to put in place the requisite building blocks for continuity so that, whether it's myself leading the team or not, GBR Challenge will have the best possible foundations for success in the future."
David Barnes outlined why Harrison and the team management have such faith in the new team. "The team are ahead of all of the goals that have been set for them so far, and have shown a high level of maturity and professionalism in all areas of the operation. We're delighted that Peter has given us this backing, to give us another of the latest generation ACC yachts. This move certainly sets us up well for the future." Mark Bullingham, www.gbrchallenge.com/gbr/default.asp
AMERICA'S CUP WEATHER
The big money syndicates are pouring millions of dollars into their weather mapping programmes. They are also putting some of the best sailors in the world onto inflatable weather boats for hours, days, and months at a time. All this in an attempt to pick the first wind shift in an America's Cup or Louis Vuitton Cup match race. In America's Cup Class match racing the first wind shift often determines the outcome of the race. With such huge sail plans, once a boat gets in front they can usually go on to control the race. So what is it about Auckland that requires such huge investments in money and talent in order to pick the first wind shift? In a nutshell, every day on the water in Auckland is different and difficult to predict. One day it can be a light 6-knot sea breeze, the next day it can be a 30-knot offshore breeze with strong squalls and rain. Arguably, it is this weather variation which has enabled the New Zealand America's Cup sailors to be so successful over the last seven years. Most of Team New Zealand grew up sailing in and around Auckland and so are more in tune with the intricacies of the local weather patterns; they know what to expect.
The weather in Auckland is changeable due to its proximity to the westerly trade winds that circle the earth at this latitude. There is a constant flow from left to right across New Zealand of cold fronts and low & high-pressure systems. There is the added complexity that the land is only 30 kilometers wide at the point where Auckland sits on the map. On one side is the Pacific Ocean and on the other side, the Tasman Sea. The weather systems of these two oceans meet over Auckland, which results in very moist air. The land has a minimal influence on the weather unlike weather systems experienced in many parts of North America and Australia. On a hot summers day you can get a downpour of rain over Auckland city when the sea breeze from the Pacific Ocean and the sea breeze from the Tasman Sea meet head on.
From October to March the weather follows a pattern. October to December is Spring and brings strong westerly winds, which for the America's Cup boats means shifty and gusty offshore winds. The broken masts experienced by Team New Zealand, OneWorld, and Oracle Racing prior to Christmas, and Oracle Racing's Keel problems are indicative of the strong spring winds in Auckland. January brings a mixture of windy conditions and light sea breezes, and February, the time of the America's Cup, is a time of light to moderate winds. But still anything can happen on any particular day. - Excerpt from Line 7 Sterling Silver Club newsletter.
Full story: store.line7.com/sterling.asp?m=4#
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Auckland, NZ - The New Zealand Millennium Cup - a superyacht event - has been expanded to a four-day regatta, which will now include two afternoon races in the Hauraki Gulf and the two-day race from Auckland to Kawau Island. As with the New Zealand Millennium Cup in 2000, the event will be held from February 10-13 between the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup match. Fifty-five vessels competed in the last Millennium Cup regatta - described as the largest superyacht regatta ever held. Julie Ash, NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
DID YOU KNOW - In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand.
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 or a bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Chuck Simmons (edited to our 250-word limit): I was disturbed by Steve Washburn's comments in Scuttlebutt 1018 on the performance cruising class motoring allowance or penalty. This was my first time on such a boat in such a class and the preparation and practice was doubled or even tripled compared to boats without the motoring option. We had a weather guru to make sure we had enough fuel to power. We knew our optimum fast cruising speed which determined our lowest VMG to turn on motor and go. We learned our gybing angles and tacking angles to make sure we were sailing to our highest VMG. We were as giddy as schoolboys when we caught our first fish. We all celebrated when half the crew saw their first Green Flash at Sunset.
We all experienced great sailing for the first half of the gulf crossing at night in 15-20 knots at 90 apparent with a full Moon and whales breaching alongside and frigates landing on the masthead. We also had our share of Snafus and drama that helps to bring the crew together and survive such challenges. And the Euphoria of Triumph when at roll Call our last morning the other boats had motored and we had zero motoring hours for twenty-four hours.
I hope more long distance races keep or consider a performance cruising class. Participation is key and if brings more people off the fence and into the field then so be it don't knock it until you've been there.
* From Mark Brueggemann (re John Burnham's comments on professional sailing): Time spent actually racing is only a small part of what it takes to be a professional athlete. Talent only wins if it is developed through lots of practice and development. The means to get there is constantly negotiated and fleeting. Even family understanding has its price. And if you want just a little idea of what its like to be a pro on race day, next race tell yourself that if you don't win, you won't get a paycheck next week? If you aren't willing to make those sacrifices, don't judge the guys that do.
ON THE HAURAKI GULF
On the final day of the 'practice' series of the America's Cup challengers in Auckland, Russell Coutts took charge of the Swiss Challenge's Alinghi, and showed why he is the master. Using the boat that was the dunce of the last Louis Vuitton Cup, the former BeHappy, he chalked up two swift victories, to demonstrate that he is still the king of America's Cup sailing.
Backing up Coutts were Brad Butterworth, and the man with the cheque book, Ernesto Bertarelli, the young Swiss billionaire who is funding this campaign. They chalked up victories over GBR Challenge and Oracle, to end the series with the best performance of those taking part - not that anyone is counting in this regatta. - John Roberson, madforsailing website.
Full story: www.madforsailing.com
NOTICE OF RACE
Dates and basic criteria for the first ever power megayacht race, The Megayacht Challenge, to be held in waters off Newport, Rhode Island, were announced jointly by Martin Redmayne, chairman of The Yacht Report, John Young, president of Yachting magazine and Charles Dana, chief executive officer of Newport Shipyard on Tuesday, 12 February.
In January, 1,000 invitations were sent to megayact owners, yacht management companies and yacht builders worldwide. Upon requesting a registration package, owners of yachts 30.5 metres (100 feet) or more will be able to enter on a first-come first-served basis.
Entry acceptances will be cut off at 30 megayachts in the first year. The entry fee is US$25,000 per yacht for the entire event, which will be held 22 to 25 August.
"Newport Shipyard is thrilled to be the host sponsor of The Megayacht Challenge. We will be able to comfortable service 20, 100 foot plus vessels at our facility and provide them with a venue befitting their yachts and expectations; we also plan on having a little fun too," said Dana. - Boating Industry International website,
Full story: www.boating-industry.com/news.asp?mode=4&N_ID=29578
* The Italian navy is sending its prestige masted ship the Amerigo Vespucci to New Zealand to support the country's two boats bidding for America ' s Cup glory. The Amerigo Vespucci will leave the Ligurian port of La Spezia on May 4 and make its way to New Zealand - reaching New Zealand in time for the America ' s Cup qualifying at Auckland harbour in October. It will remain there as long as Italy's boats Prada and Mascalzone Latino are in contention before returning to Italy via the Suez Canal.
* Last weekend Dawn Riley was honored as the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center's Sailor of the Year. Peter and Olaf Harken will co-chairmen a capital campaign for the Sailing Center's modern new lakefront facility and they pledged $ 100,000 to kick off the program.
* djuice dragons subbed seven sails into leg five's wardrobe, including a new mainsail, a new code zero and new code 6. Crew changes include the return of Espen Guttormsen who missed the last leg due to poisoning in his knee. Franck Proffit (FRA) and Herve Cunningham (FRA) will also join the dragons. Peter 'Spike' Doriean leaves the team and will be replaced by Dave Jarvis who has been part of the sail-making team for the last year.
THE BIG FOUR
Boatspeed, Target Boatspeed, Wind Direction, and TrueWindspeed are very often considered the most important functions of an integrated instrument system. The "big four" rely on high quality sensor input from the paddlewheel, the wind sensor at the masthead (ideally on a wand 4' or more), and the compass. Accurate sensor calibration is vital, and systems which integrate heel measurement into the wind solution are capable of truly amazing wnd dection accuracy. The math behind accurate wind direction is complex, but when executed properly provides a powerful weapon on the racecourse. To download an Ockam system manual: www.ockam.com
TROPHEE JULES VERNE
The maxi-catamaran Orange continues to "reel in" the miles and this morning left the Canary islands to port still flirting with an average of 20 knots over 24 hours. The 1500 mile mark since leaving the Creac'h lighthouse (Ushant) astern was passed Tuesday March 5th at 1100 GMT. - www.orange.fr
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* March 15-17: Sailing World NOOD Regatta, San Diego YC. Some 130 one-design boats from throughout the U.S. and Canada. Etchells, J/120, J/105, 1D35, 505, Capri 22, Corsair Trimarans, Holder 20, International 14, J/24, Melges 24, International 14 and Ultimate 20 classes are expected. www.sailingworld.com/sw_nood.php
* March 16-17: Cameron Foundation Vector Midwinter Championship, Houston YC, Texas. www.teamvanguard.com
* April 6: West Marine Sailing Seminar & Expo on behalf of the 2002 Tommy Bahama Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. The seminars will take two tracks: "Cruising - The First Steps" or "Offshore Racing." www.nosa.org
* April 6: Safety at Sea seminar, by Captain John Bonds at the Stanford YC. CruisingWorld/ US Sailing certified. www.StamfordYC.com
STAR BACARDI CUP
Coral Reef YC - A challenging cold front coming across Biscayne Bay gave Bacardi Cup veterans skipper Mark Reynolds and his crew Magnus Liljedahl a chance to show off their sailing abilities on the second day of racing. The pair blew past the finish line with a substantial lead over Great Britain's Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell in a day that saw only 60 of the 96 boats complete the race. Reynolds and Liljedhal, who won the 2000 Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in the Star Class, took Monday's race in winds of 20 knots and gusts of 22. The two placed 23rd in the opening day race and are in seventh place overall.
Standings after two races:
1 John A. MacCausland & Sean Delaney USA 11
2 Jose Van Der Ploeg & Diego Fructuoso ESP 12
3 Alfonso Domingos & Bernardo Santos POR 12
4 Ian Barker & Edmund Peel GBR 15
5 Jock Kohlhas & Richard Peters USA 16
6 Rod Hagebols & Paul Erickson USA 18
7 Mark Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl USA 24
8 Riccardo Simoneschi & Ferninando Colaninno ITA 24
9 Andy Lovell & Prieur Leary USA 25
10 Augie Diaz & Christian Finnsgard USA 30
There's a very good new animated rules quiz posted on the UK Sailmakers website. This is one you should definitely check out: www.uksailmakers.com/rulesquiz/quiz_8.html
Rumours are in the wind that the French Challenge is building a second new hull at the Multiplast boatworks in Vannes (France). No time for additional design and, in all probability, if Le Defi Areva decides to build a second boat, would be a sistership. - Hauraki News,
* Adam Werblow has joined Vanguard Sailboats as the Institutional Program Specialist. Adam joins Vanguard from St. Mary's City, Maryland where he is the Head Varsity Coach at St. Mary's College, which is a post he has held for 14 years. He will continue to coach the St. Mary's College sailing team while contributing to Vanguard. While at St. Mary's Adam has led the team to eight National titles, the team was selected as the best all around college team in North America for 1999-2000, and has coached over 60 college All-American sailors.
* Cruising World editor and New York Times columnist Herb McCormick recently was awarded the BoatU.S. Moulton H. "Monk" Farnham Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary plus the National Marine Manufacturers Association Directors Award.
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.