SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1035 - March 26, 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.
COMMENTARY - Tim Jeffery
(Following is an excerpt from a story by yachting journalist Tim Jeffery in
the UK's Daily Telegraph.)
The immediate future of the Volvo Ocean Race is green as John Kostecki's
lime-hued overall race leader, Illbruck, is pushing strongly for a fourth
win from five stages in Miami tonight or tomorrow. But what of the race's
future? Will Volvo, having spent close on £28.5 million on their first,
back a second? Most likely is the view of the race's chief executive, Helge
Alten, who will hand over the reins after the finish in Kiel, Germany, in
June, though Volvo remain uncommitted. The impact of the race, especially
on the Volvo car brand, is still being measured.
Though upbeat, Alten recognises the race has drawn its smallest entry and
appeared sterile compared with previous Whitbreads. He already has
suggestions for his successor to cut costs and to re-engage the public.
More are likely to come from outside consultants and internally from Ford's
Volvo Cars division.
"In terms of media coverage it is very good," Alten said. "We have done
pretty well. I think Volvo and the sponsors of the boats are happy. When it
comes to the stopovers themselves, we haven't really made the race for the
public. It's been too much for the corporate sponsors of the boats."
To cut costs, the race could be reduced from nine months to six. This could
spell the end of short stages such as Miami-Baltimore, La Rochelle-Goteborg
and Goteborg-Kiel. "This keeps the race to what it used to be, four or five
stops and that's it," Alten said. "That doesn't mean you can't do things
that are interesting to the public in the ports, such as mini regattas. I
think we could make them count. They could score points: not a hell of a
lot, but enough to keep the sailors interested."
Costs which bring little or no return to sponsors or the public are
prominent in Alten's thinking. Hence his liking for replacing the Volvo
60s, used for three races now, with a bigger class of identical
one-designs. - Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, full story:
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
The leading yachts in this 5th leg of the Volvo Ocean Race are currently
sailing off Eleuthera in the Bahamas, and are 15 miles south east of Bridge
Point at the extreme north of the island. Here they will turn into the
North East Providence Channel to begin their final run-in to Miami. The
crew of Illbruck must be looking anxiously astern, as Assa Abloy steadily
reduces the distance between them, now a mere 3 miles. With only 200 miles
to go to the finish, the tension on board the yachts must be tangible.
Grant Dalton's Amer Sports One was struck by lightning during a storm early
at 0430 GMT Monday. A short communication from the boat to the Volvo Ocean
Race HQ indicates that everyone on board is all right, and the boat appears
to have suffered no structural damage although most of the electrical
equipment on board has blown as a result of the strike.
"The weather was a beautiful spring shower, it was kind of like standing
under Niagara Falls," the short communication from the boat reads. "We were
in the middle of a cloud about 24 miles wide, sailing downwind in winds of
15 to 30 knots shifting 50 degrees for about six hours and we seemed to be
moving at about the same speed as the cloud. The strikes started to come
more often and closer each time until the major one... a flash at the same
time as a big bang. The rest of the crew now have as much grey hair as I do."
"The guys are now working to load their Sony media computer with
communication software and weather routing programmes. Once that's set up
they should be able to communicate more easily because the Satellite C
system appears to be undamaged. That should allow them to get the weather
data GRIB files that the Race Office supplies to all the boats. But I think
they'll have lost their internet connection and access to any other weather
data. So while they're not 100 per-cent, they're not completely out of
touch either" commented Andy Hindley, Yacht Equipment and Racing Manager
for the Volvo Ocean Race.
POSITONS on March 26 @ 0400 GMT:
1. illbruck, 203 miles from finish
2. Assa Abloy, 3 miles behind leader
3. Tyco, 13 mbl
4. Team SEB, 61 mbl
5. News Corp, 76 mbl
6. Amer Sports One, 91 mbl
7. djuice, 218 mbl
8. Amer Sports Too, 221 mbl
For as long as I can remember, I've used my tired, beat up old shorts for
sailing. But no more. I've gotten spoiled by my fast drying Supplex Camet
shorts, and their foam pads pamper my aging butt. And the Camet shorts do
have a good look. So now I have a problem- what do I do with my old shorts?
ON THE HAURAKI GULF
Yesterday afternoon ITA-45 re-emerged from the Prada boatshed at the
Viaduct Basin and today, went sailing on the Hauraki Gulf despite the Prada
team having officially left Auckland to return to Italy. The match racing
teams of Rod Davis and Gavin Brady, however, remained in Auckland to
compete in the Steinlager/Line 7 Regatta.
The hull of ITA-45 is now fully skirted from deck to ground level. Formerly
only the keel was concealed. The rig is a conventional 2000 generation rig
(not a millenium rig).
The latest information on the Prada website dated 9 March 2002 states: "We
are on holiday. Team Prada completes training session in the Hauraki Gulf.
The activity in New Zealand waters for team Prada is over and by the end of
next week the boats and equipment will be ready to be shipped back to Italy
via cargo ... Team Prada will be sailing again in Italy from around mid May."
It is now apparent that ITA-45 was not shipped back and testing is
continuing on the Gulf. It seems the results from testing whatever
modifications have been made cannot wait the six weeks it takes for the
boats to be transported from Auckland to Italy. - Cheryl, 2003AC website,
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 Lloyd Causey (re Dean Ellis' comments of Assa Abloy encounter with
the lobster pot): Commercial fishermen keep setting fishing gear in
navigation channels all over the world with no concern of whose boat they
will damage. Every sailor that I know has had the expense of tangled crab
pot lines damaging boat gear. The idea that Assa Abloy should have stopped
and tried to find a fisherman and notify him that his fishing gear was
damaged is silly, no it is inane. I will go to Miami to make sure that Mark
has his share of lobsters to dine on. That is if I have any money left
after paying for the latest damage that illegally set fishing gear has
caused to my boat. Would Mr. Ellis wish to donate to my repairs?
* From Michael Levitt, communications director, NYYC: I don't know if
Christian Fevrier was writing as a "private citizen" regarding the
Transatlantic racing record holder - Scuttlebutt 1034 -- or as a member of
the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) on which he apparently sits.
However, according to John Reed, the WSSRC secretary, in a letter dated
July 10, 2001, "In the case of the Transatlantic Race from New York to the
Lizard, the history of the New York Yacht Club organisation goes back to
1866. The WSSR accepts that there is only one organiser for this race and
that therefore the Race Record is that which is confirmed by the NYYC.
"There is evidence that another race was organised in 1981, which was won
by Kriter VIII in a record time. Had this information been authenticated
and forthcoming, it is possible that WSSR might have considered this as the
benchmark for the monohull Transatlantic record. However we would not have
recognised this as the Transatlantic Race Record.
"On behalf of the WSSRC, I can confirm that we will re-insert the
Transatlantic Race in our list, currently quoting the Atlantic record time
of 12 days 4 hours and 1 minute..."
If Mr. Fevrier is not privy to this correspondence, he or anyone else can
write email@example.com for the complete text.
The NYYC will be hosting a Transatlantic Race, the Transatlantic Challenge,
in 2005 with Rolex as the sponsor. This will be the 100th anniversary of
Atlantic's racing record.
* From Maxwell Rosenberg: Coastal California to Mexico races are fun.
Sleds, sun and surfing. Between Boils, Bergs and small bunks, why race
Volvo 60's around the world?. Why not wide bunked, mandatory fresh water
makers and maxi sleds? Isn't it one design? Who is responsible for this
* Britain's GBR Challenge are heading home for a well-deserved break
confident their America's Cup preparations are on track. Their general
manager, New Zealander David Barnes, said most of the team had gone back to
Britain to help with the new boat GBR 70, which will be launched in Cowes
on April 12. The boat will then be shipped to Auckland and the team will
resume sailing in early June. GBR will also add new sails and new rigs to
their training boats GBR44 and GBR52 (the old Nippon boats). "Once we get
the new boat up and racing at the end of June we'll phase out GBR44,"
Chairman Peter Harrison said the team would build a second hull. Barnes
said it was unlikely the boat would be used in this forthcoming regatta,
but they were not ruling it out. "Our intention is to build a second hull
so that we have two 2003 generation boats," he said. "We are plugging away
at it, but we'll see how it goes and how the finances go." - Julie Ash, NZ
Herald, full story,
* The hoopla around the staging of the America's Cup this summer has just
taken a turn for the worse. Auckland City is cutting funds from parades and
free events to concentrate instead on promoting its "brand name". The
council's combined committees meeting on Wednesday cut the America's Cup
parades fund by NZ$25,000. The chairman of the recreation and events
committee, councillor Scott Milne, says money could be better spent lifting
the city's profile "by getting our brand out there".
America's Cup 2003 director Tony Thomas says this will mean the parade
might not be as good as it has been previously. "We'll still have a parade
but it will have to be cut accordingly," Mr Thomas says. The combined
committees decided the NZ$25,000 cut should be retrieved from the private
sector. But Mr Thomas says it will be too complicated to get sponsorship as
there are already sponsors in other parts of the event.
American Express public affairs manager Craig Dowling says sponsorship will
be hard to find. "It's a very difficult time to get money. There aren't
many organisations out there which are just able to write a cheque without
seeing the benefits," Mr Dowling says. - Annabel Scaife, Auckland City
Harbour News, posted on the Stuff NZ website, full story:
* Skip Lissiman has been appointed as coach for the Swedish Victory
Challenge in the America's Cup. Lissiman, 44, has taken part in three
America's Cups representing Australia, in 1980, 1983 and 1987. He was port
trimmer on Australia II when it took the world's oldest sailing trophy away
from the USA. Besides running his own marine service business, Skip
Lissiman has been heading operations for a fleet of match racing boats in
Perth in recent years.
* Auckland will need 105 to police the cup, Police Minister George
Hawkins said in response to a parliamentary question about how many
"additional police" would be required. - N.Z.P.A.
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.
Philip Dowson has been appointed Managing Director Brookes and Gatehouse
Ltd. Dowson brings to the company a breadth of business experience outside
of the yachting world. Dawson has an engineering degree from Cambridge
University. Later he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked for
Motorola and BUPA before joining the board of Brookes and Gatehouse as
Finance Director in February this year.
QUOTES FROM THE VOR BOATS
* For those of you who haven't been on these boats, the interior living
space is pretty cramped. We have a useable floor area of about 6 foot by 6
foot in which you can move around and the surface is flat. Now imagine
trying to unravel the remains of a spinnaker that is about 85 feet by 40
feet and is over 3000 square feet in area. Once you have worked out which
way is up, you need to find all of the tears (there are often many), which
quite often run the full height of the sail. You then need to use
sticky-back cloth to stick them together, before you sew the whole thing
back up with a portable sewing machine, only to put it back up in the same
wind conditions that just destroyed it." - Steve Hayles, Team Tyco.
TROPHEE JULES VERNE
Two days beating into 40 knots of wind! The face offered by the Indian
Ocean to the men of the maxi-catamaran Orange is astonishing both sailors
and meteorologists. Exceptional weather situations have been accumulating
for the maxi-catamaran, and they are getting more difficult and more
complex. A boat-breaking seaway and mind-breaking weather forecasts, indeed
not a year "for breaking records!". Anticyclones and walls of low pressure
are playing with the men and their strange multihull. Peyron is taking it
on the chin and mobilising all his men around what's essential: preserving
intact the potential of the boat. The Indian is dictating its law and
redistributing the order of priorities; spare Orange, find the exit, then
restart the record hunt, temporarily put on the back boiler. "It's been a
little better for the last two or three hours," said Bruno Peyron.
"We're progressing on an east-south-east heading at about fifteen knots,
peaking at 20! Not bad under staysail and 3 reefs! We need to get down into
the Fifties, and get under a tropical low that is forming ahead of us at
43¡ South. The sea is still untidy. It's hell for the helmsman who is
permanently taking icy green water in his face." -
The Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US Sailing, national governing body
for the sport, has announced the qualifying events it will use to select a
team to represent the U.S.A. at the 2003 Youth Sailing ISAF (International
Sailing Federation) World Championships. Although the dates are yet to be
confirmed, the championship will be sailed in Portugal and will offer
competition in the following classes (events): Laser (boys singlehanded)
and Laser Radial (girls singlehanded); International 420 (boys and girls
doublehanded); and Mistral (boys and girls boardsailing). The Hobie 16 has
been designated as the equipment for a multihull event if one is included
by regatta organizers. The members of the 2003 US Youth World Team will be
the winners of the events listed below, who have not have reached their
19th birthday in 2003.
Qualifying Events: Girls Singlehanded Entrant: The 2002 U.S. Junior Women's
Singlehanded Championship (Leiter Clagett Trophy) scheduled for July
31-August 4, 2002, sailed in Laser Radials at Southern Yacht Club, New
Orleans, La. Boys Singlehanded Entrant: The 2003 Laser Midwinters East,
dates and location t.b.a. Girls Doublehanded Entrants: The 2002 U.S. Junior
Women's Doublehanded Championship (Ida Lewis Trophy) scheduled for July
5-9, 2002, sailed in Club 420s at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Balboa, Calif.
Boys Doublehanded Entrants: The 2003 420 Midwinters, dates and location
t.b.a. Boys and Girls Multihull Entrants: The 2002 U.S. Youth Multihull
Championship (Hoyt-Jolley Trophy) scheduled for July 12-14, 2002, sailed in
Mystere 4.3s at Port Clinton Yacht Club, Port Clinton, Ohio. Boys and Girls
Boardsailing Entrants: qualifying event to be determined. - Jan Harley,
(Dobbs Davis took an look at the just completed Steinlager/ Line 7 Match
Race Series for the SailNet website. Here's an excerpt from his story.)
Ken Read, skipper of Dennis Connor's Stars & Stripes challenge team,
underscored the difficulty of the competition by saying "This is like being
in sailing school. This is totally different than sailing in IACC boats,
and I've not sailed on any boat with a tiller in a year and a half, much
less in two knots of current!" Read's tactician and mainsheet trimmer Terry
Hutchinson, an accomplished match race sailor in his own right, echoed the
difficulty by saying the pre-start action "is so intense, I really haven't
had any time to look around and help much on tactics. But we're getting
better at it, and our teamwork is still solid." Completing their team's
quintet, Read and Hutchinson had Andrew Scott and Morgan Trubovich trimming
the sails and Greg Gendell on the bow.
Just as many of the Auckland-based teams have been chartering MRXs for
their intramural competitions, the Stars & Stripes team (based in Long
Beach, CA) has also been honing its match-race skills by sparring in the
wheel-driven Catalina 37s made available to them by the Long Beach Yacht
Club. - Dobbs Davis
WOMEN'S MATCH RACING
Eight teams sailed in the Sundance Cup grade 4 women's match race held at
the Fort Worth Boat in all sorts of weather conditions. Final results: 1.
Sandy Grosvenor (Annapolis, MD); 2. Charlie Arms (Vallejo, CA); 3. Stacie
Straw (Marina del Rey, CA); 4. Debbie Willits (Houston, TX). -
Stricken by the writer's morning-after curse, I took one look today
(Monday) at Sunday's wrapup Olympic Classes Regatta release and realized
that in the very first words I had identified the 49er winners as "Adam
Mack and Adam Lowry." It's Andy Mack and Adam Lowry, as I well knew and as
their names appeared in earlier releases. My apologies to you for the
misinformation and inconvenience and especially to ANDY Mack. - Rich Roberts
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
To make a long story short, don't tell it.