SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1028 - March 15, 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 PREZ SAYS
(The ISAF website has published a major piece by President Paul Henderson
about sailing equipment at the Olympics. Here's a brief excerpt.)
The Olympic games are the most important International Regatta in the
Sailing World. ISAF is charged by the IOC to be totally responsible for all
technical aspects of the Olympic Regatta. It is a responsibility which
requires the utmost focus, dedication and foresight.
Over the years it has been obvious that more and more the Events Committee
and Council come to the meeting table with a fixed position based on what
is best for their respective Member National Authorities (MNA's) to win
medals and which may or may not be in the best interest of Global
The Olympics should be for "Talent not Technology". The wealthy nations
will always lobby for more complicated equipment, use of space-age
communications systems, expensive weather tracking equipment and an army of
coaches and support staff, which they perceive will give their sailors an
I am committed to levelling the playing field so as the developing nations
are not disadvantaged which means, as much as ISAF can, "Talent" will prevail.
Observations: The only class that has met this criteria is the Laser. The
Laser sailors use supplied equipment all out of equal boxes. The most
telling result is that no matter whether they brought their own boats or
sailed in supplied equipment, Robert Scheidt and Ben Ainslie won almost
every Laser Regatta for two Olympiads. Their medals, in my opinion, are the
most valid with regard to the Olympic ideals. Sailing has 11 Events and I
propose that of these 11 we endeavour to have 6 events where the boats are
truly one-design and that the equipmpent be supplied at the Olympic
Regatta, and 5 Events where technology does influence the outcome..
This ensures that the smaller MNA's have an equal chance against the more
wealthy nations to compete for medals. The Olympic organizers are
contracted to supply two classes, and if we pick popular classes then the
manufacturers will supply them at minimal cost. ISAF should be prepared to
subsidize a portion of the costs out of their Olympic TV revenue. - Paul
Henderson, ISAF website, full commentary:
APPARENTLY, THE FAT LADY STILL HASN'T SUNG . . .
illbruck Challenge's chief executive Glenn Bourke put out one last call for
Germany's first ever America's Cup campaign to be rescued from extinction.
Just arrived in Bremen, north Germany, he told madforsailing: "We're just
hoping that somebody might throw us a lifeline, for a project that is 80
per cent completed." The project is indeed a frustratingly long way down
the track, with the new ACC boat just three weeks away from completion.
"The hull and the deck have been put together - it looks like an America's
Cup boat," said the Australian CEO. And yet it also looks as though that
hull will never carry the green and white livery of the illbruck Challenge.
Challenge head Michael Illbruck had originally announced a cut-off date of
1 April for sponsorship to arrive, but Bourke said their financial
predicament made it prudent to fold the Challenge sooner than later. That
said, Bourke still holds a 10 per cent chance of the Challenge going
forward in some form. - Andy Rice, madforsailing website, full story:
Global nuclear power giant Areva knew it would attract some New Zealand
protest when it agreed to sponsor the latest French America ' s Cup
challenge. The company's senior vice-president for communications
Jacques-Emmanuel Saulnier said he understood local unease generated by Le
Defi Areva's appearance on the Hauraki Gulf course following the Mururoa
testing and Rainbow Warrior bombing 17 years ago. "That is not a subject of
pride in France," Mr Saulnier said. "We are aware of the reaction but as a
new company Areva needed to build its profile to become better known and
establish an image in the industry - the sponsorship was taken to do that.
Mr Saulnier said Areva had clients in all countries which had boats in the
America's Cup , except New Zealand - "They all use nuclear power to
produce electricity," he said. "In the European Union, 30% of all
electricity comes from nuclear generation, with France the leader with 75%."
Le Defi general manager Xavier de Lusquen said the challenger had about
$US4 million from two sponsors, Monster.com and Bouygues Telecom, and was
looking for a major cash sponsor when Areva stepped up with $US15 million.
"That gave us a $US20 million campaign, which puts us in the same league as
GBR and the Swiss," Mr de Lusquen said. "It will be enough for us because,
after the last time, we don't have to repeat building capital assets. We
also have a major partnership with the city of Lorient in Brittany, which
has built a base for us."
Le Defi is training off Lorient with its 2000 boat and Team New Zealand's
1995 San Diego winner NZL32, which it is leasing until its new boat is
launched in May and shipped to Auckland in September. NZL32 will then be
returned to become a permanent exhibit at Te Papa. - Graeme Kennedy,
National Business Review
If you're thinking about a new instrument package, consider Brunton Nexus,
and have a look at their Multi XL "Jumbo" displays with mast mounting
brackets. These systems are packed with features, simple to install, easily
calibrated and reasonably priced. One of the best things is that you can
start out with a basic system, and build it out over time.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
The leading Yachts in the Volvo Ocean Race are still playing nip and tuck
as they approach the north east corner of Brazil en route to Miami. Assa
Abloy who was lead boat until midday yesterday, has dropped to third place,
one mile behind illbruck in second place, with Team Tyco in the lead,
another 5 miles ahead. SEB, much to her relief has relinquished the wooden
spoon to Amer Sports Too, who is 58 miles behind the leader.
The Fleet is now staying close inshore, no doubt hoping to pick up that
branch of the South Equatorial Current which, at this time of the year sets
north near to the coast at a rate of half a knot. Once round the corner
they can take advantage of the Guiana Current which sets north west along
the coast at a rate of 1 - 1.5 knots.
STANDINGS on March 15 @ 0406 GMT: 1. Team Tyco, 3335 miles from finish; 2.
illbruck, 5 miles behind leader, 3. Assa Abloy, 6 mbl; 4. News Corp, 33
mbl; djuice, 53 mbl; Team SEB, 53 mbl; Amer Sports One, 54 mbl; Amer Sports
Too, 58 mbl. - www.volvooceanrace.com
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 Arthur Strock: As you encourage sailors to join the Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club in order to be eligible to race in regattas hosted by US yacht
clubs, you might wish to acknowledge the fact that such regattas are almost
without exception run at a substantial financial loss to the hosting club.
Traditionally, it has been assumed that all yacht clubs would bear the
financial burden of our sport, but the rise of "virtual" yacht clubs is
putting this equation at risk. While most sailors, including those who
belong to traditional clubs, would acknowledge that virtual yc's provide a
valuable point of entry into the sport, at some point the cost burdens -
facilities, race committees and equipment, staff, trophies, etc. - must be
shared. So when will SSC be hosting its first regatta?
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Perhaps you've forgotten that the SSC staged its Club
Championship regatta LAST November at the facilities of the Bitter End YC
in Virgin Gorda. There was no entry fee, and all of the boats were provided
without a charter fee. Ed Baird won the event, picking up a swell new Musto
yacht timer as his first place trophy. Kristen Lane did even better. As the
top-placing amateur, she won a free week at the BEYC. If that sounds good,
the second annual Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship Regatta will be
even better. It will be a two-day and a half day affair at the BEYC
starting on November 3. Once again, there will not be any entry or charter
fees, and we are planning a spectacular hosted cocktail party / prize
giving reception. And the prizes will be awesome! It's not too early to
make your reservations. And members of the SSC will be given discounted
rates during the week of the club championship regatta. SSC members will
also have the opportunity to crew for one of the 'rock stars' who will be
sailing in the BEYC's Pro - Am Regatta . . . which takes place during the
same week. www.beyc.com
* From Kent Baker: Having crewed on a boat that was at-fault in a
collision, I can tell you that shame and demoralization are two factors
that go beyond penalties no matter how easy or severe they may be. Most of
us no longer wanted to sail that week. We certainly didn't feel like
joining the other sailors at happy hour. In our case it was our failure to
control that resulted in giving the boat ahead of us a "push". Upon seeing
that the stricken vessel was OK (mostly cosmetic damage) we proceeded with
our 720 and finished the race - in last place.
What happens when a far more severe penalty is imposed on a burdened boat
in an avoidable collision? How often in port-starboard crossings does this
have the potential to happen? The starboard boat could elect to knock
someone completely out of race by making contact rather than observing the
basic rule of avoiding collision. I have seen some unfriendly rivalries
where this reckless activity could occur. Sure would make a fun video game!
Penalties need to be set up so both vessels are encouraged to keep sailing
from becoming a contact sport.
ROLEX TO SPONSOR THE SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will announce on March 19, that Rolex,
the Swiss watch maker, will be the naming-rights sponsor for the Sydney to
Hobart yacht race for the next three years. The deal is believed to be
worth over A$2 million, with Rolex understood to be putting in A$750,000
per year for the next three years.
* This new involvement with blue water yacht racing, will complement
Rolex's sponsorship of England's Fastnet Race, which they signed up last
year, becoming the first ever naming rights sponsor of the Royal Ocean
Racing Club's famous race. Rolex has so far committed to three Fastnet
Races, which are run biennially, from Cowes on the Isle of Wight around the
Fastnet Rock off the south west coast of Ireland, and finishing in
Plymouth, southwest England.
Rolex has a long tradition of involvement in sailing, including
sponsorships in the United States and Europe, most notably having been
associated with Finland's Nautor Swan yachts for some years. Australia's
biggest telecommunications company, Telstra, ended a six year sponsorship
after the 2000 race, and are believed to have put in about A$1 million per
year in cash and services. - Yachting Monthly website, full story:
QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
* "The previous 48 hours were horrible, a seemingly endless stream of
clouds marched across the horizon with their sights set firmly on us. The
really bad ones act just like a vacuum cleaner, sweeping across the ocean
in front of you sucking every last bit of breeze with them. For two days we
had one of these experiences every six hours. Finally the tables turned
late today and we spent four hours racing across the front of a couple of
beauties in 17 knots of breeze while the group in front of us languished in
the remnants of a giant Hoover . . ." - Jon Gunderson. SEB
* "I'm always sleeping on the top bunks due to the watch system we use.
It's worked out very well this way. The boys on the bottom bunks don't only
have to put up with their own sweat, but also the sweat of the man above
dripping down upon him. At the moment we have a French sweat avoidance
crewmember sleeping on deck trying to avoid the drips from above. Male
bonding at its finest." - Anthony Nossiter, djuice
* "Jules, one of our trimmers was washing the dishes below in a bucket
since our sink drain impeller is broken. One thing leads to another and
Jules went up on deck to help out with a maneuver. Unfortunately he had
left five of our six spoons in the bottom of the bucket, which was filled
with water. Yes, you guessed it. Richard came downstairs to tidy up a
little and emptied the bucket and now we have one precious spoon left." -
Chris Larson, Assa Abloy
* "So what has happened in the fleet, and why are we split in two groups?
Early on in the leg, we sailed very well strategically, but couldn't match
the reaching speed of Assa Abloy, Tyco and illbruck, and on day three we
had to let them go. It is horribly frustrating for the crew and myself to
realise that we are slow in certain angles, and whatever we do, it doesn't
help. We were completely depending on the others making strategic
mistakesÉ" - Knut Frostad and crew on djuice
TROPHEE JULES VERNE
"It's a difficult year for a record!" declared Peyron, and the
maxi-catamaran Orange's heading confirms it. It's no straight and narrow
for the orange giant. The daily lot of Peyron and his men is a permanent
combat against these winds that veer, disappear, and which have to be
fetched far off the direct route. Orange is accumulating extra miles.
Orange is progressing. Orange is still ahead. In the heat of the end of the
southern summer, Peyron's men are ready; that far off murmur, that distant
din, it's the Southern Ocean.
Orange should be accelerating today, keeping up the excellent average
recorded since the start. "Our performance is as good as the leaders of The
Race last year" said Peyron. "Despite our constant manoeuvring and an
extended route and a very westerly position (175 miles further west than
Club Med), our speeds are similar. On the other hand, we're 550 miles
further west than Sport Elec in 97. But we also have a 3-day lead over
Kersauson's position. The passage of the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope
will be a good indication of our capacity to manage this lead". -
SHORTCUT TO UPGRADING
Take five minutes right now to learn more about a shortcut to upgrading
your boat's performance. Click onto http://www.ullmansails.com and find out
what so many winners already know -- Ullman Sails are a solid investment.
And a cost-effective investment as well. Big boats, small boat, heavy
boats, light boats -- it really doesn't make any difference. The pros at
Ullman Sails can help move your program up to the next level.
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* April 3-6: International Melges24 North American Championships, Eastport
YC, Annapolis, MD. Melges24 fleet #22 and Greg Fisher will provide a
day-long tuning clinic. www.regattaweb.net/Melges24NAs2002/
* May 18-19: SOCKS Regatta, Seattle YC. Separate Keelboat and Centerboard
courses in the waters near Shilshole Bay. www.seattleyachtclub.org
* June 20: Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race, Beverly Yacht Club of
Marion, MA, Blue Water Sailing Club and the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy
Club. Open to cruising yachts from 32 feet to 62 feet LOD.
* June 28-30 - North Sails Race Week held in Long Beach, CA. PHRF classes
(with sub classes based on age and displacement) and one design classes
including Farr 40 (PCC's), J120 (NA's), J/105, J/24 (W. Regionals), 1D35,
Melges 24, Schock 35 (PCC's) and Santana 20. Also Corsair Trimarans. -
IT TAKES MORE THAN TALENT
OTTAWA, Canada - A team of female sailors has launched an unusual public
search for someone to help them market their way to an Olympic gold medal.
Career ads in the Financial Post have advertised for a volunteer management
and marketing expert willing to help three athletes who want to compete in
the Athens Summer Olympics in 2004.
The ad was placed by Deirdre Crampton, part of a team of competitive
sailors. "We are a team of three dynamic national team athletes ... looking
for someone to manage and market our team on the road to Athens in 2004,"
the ad reads. The team needs help with fundraising and organizing
sponsorships, as well as the logistics of getting the team members and the
boat to international competitions, Ms. Crampton said.
While no one in the sailing fraternity recalls a team advertising for
marketing help before, athletes like Ms. Crampton are encouraged to come up
with innovative schemes to raise money, said David Wolff, marketing manager
of the Canadian Yachting Association and Canada's sailing team. The
federation helps with elite coaching, clinics, qualifying championship
matches and travel expenses, but it doesn't have enough to cover equipment
purchases and living expenses.
* Ms. Crampton and her partners compete in the Yngling class of sailboat,
which will make its Olympic debut in Athens. Ms. Crampton's team is ranked
second in Canada, and so is not guaranteed a spot at the 2004 Olympics.
Canada has to first qualify as a participating country in the Yngling class
and then one crew will be selected to represent Canada.
* The ISAF recently relaxed rules for advertising and corporate logos on
boats, sails and crew participating in competitions. Mr. Wolff said that
creates the opportunity for more innovative sponsorships, which will help
countries like Canada, where sailing is underfunded. - Jill Vardy,
Financial Post, National Post Online website, full story:
STEINLAGER LINE 7 CUP
The Swedish Match Tour's Steinlager Line 7 Cup, March 19-24, Auckland, NZ
is preceded by a feeder series featuring 10 skippers battling to be among
the top four to advance to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron-managed
Grade 1 event. Among the competitors in the feeder series, running March
14-17, are five skippers representing four America's Cup teams.
Great Britain's GBR Challenge has two teams entered in the feeder series.
Andy Green, ranked 33rd in the ISAF world match race rankings will helm one
of the entries and Ian Walker will lead the second. Walker's crew will
include Andy Beadsworth, himself a regular competitor on the Swedish Match
Tour. Paolo Cian of Vincente Onorato's Mascalzone Latino Challenge also
will compete. Rounding out the America's Cup team involvement in the feeder
series is Team New Zealand's Cameron Appleton.
Among the remaining entries in the feeder series, two America's Cup
veterans, American Ed Baird and Great Britain's Chris Law will be lining up
for the chance to advance. Also competing are Johnie Berntsson of Sweden,
ranked 22nd in the world, Australian Pat Langley, ranked 52nd in the world,
and native New Zealander John Kensington. - Shawn McBride,
A HAPPY SPONSOR
Judging from the press release sent out by the Assa Abloy group, they
definitely feel they're getting their money's worth by sponsoring a boat in
the Volvo Ocean Race. That release reads in part, "The Assa Abloy Group has
achieved its main objectives with its participation in the Volvo Ocean
Race. The race has supported and improved the integration process of more
than 100 companies world-wide and strengthened the Assa Abloy corporate
identity in an excellent way. The objectives are already realised before
the other half of the globe will be conquered by the Assa Abloy Racing Team."
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
If 21 is pronounced twenty one, and 31 is thirty one, why isn't 11
pronounced onety one?