SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1053 - April 19, 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.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
The sweetest imaginable birthday present was handed this morning to News Corp's campaign director and former co-skipper Ross Field: Victory in leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race from Miami to Baltimore. After managing the early split from the second group, News Corp together with Amer Sports One, Assa Abloy and illbruck took over the lead from illbruck two days ago and stayed on top until the finish. In the Chesapeake Bay they had to defend themselves from several attacks, mainly from Amer Sports One who, after the disappointing results on the last two legs were keen to add victory to their second places from the earlier legs. Another second place on this leg will please skipper Grant Dalton.
Illbruck has to accept fourth place for the second time after leg three into Auckland. Still their performance is formidable with One-One-Four-One-Two-Four the benchmark for all the other boats. Assa Abloy has shown consistency over the last legs and has kept their overall second position in the fleet with the third place in this leg.
The final three boats in the fleet sailed their own private race over the last 36-hours, at times separated by just minutes on the position reports. But Kevin Shoebridge's Team Tyco out duelled the others to claim sixth place on the leg-standings.
Amer Sports Too, led by Lisa McDonald, at times looked as though they might earn their first finish with at least one boat behind them on the water, but in the end, Knut Frostad and his djuice Dragons proved too quick in the light shifty conditions that dominated the final 24-hours of racing.
As djuice replaced Tyco on the arrival pontoon, and Amer Sports Too crossed the finishing line, the heavens opened and a flood of rain ushered McDonald's crew into the inner harbor.
Leg Six Finish Order:
1. News Corp
2. Amer Sports One
3. Assa Abloy
8. Amer Sports Too
Leader board after six legs
1. illbruck, 41 points
2. Assa Abloy, 34
3. Amer Sports One, 32
4. News Corp, 31
5. Tyco, 27
6. SEB, 21
7. djuice, 21
8. Amer Sports Too, 9 -- www.volvooceanrace.org
TROPHEE JULES VERNE
The current situation is not the simplest for the maxi-catamaran Orange which must cope with the most complex of meteorological situations. While for the moment Bruno Peyron and his men are close reaching at almost 20 knots, they will be forced to ease up tomorrow when they enter a zone of high pressure that will be progressively barring virtually the entire Atlantic.
The maxi-catamaran Orange is still gaining to the NE. And if we trace a straight line between Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Tristan da Cunha, the Marseilles Giant is exactly 1600 nm to the east of the Argentinean capital and 600 miles west of the islands annexed by the British since 1816. The wind is currently blowing 20 knots from the NNE and the boat is close reaching on a fairly smooth sea. They're currently taking advantage of winds generated by a low beginning to move away to the south and that will pass behind the boat. "In any case, we don't have many choices" declared Bruno at the radio chat session. "To our left is the low with winds of more than 40 knots and to our right there is a high and it's impossible to go round it, it's so big. So, we're going to have to cut through it. We think we'll be in it sometime tomorrow. The wind will progressively slacken remaining on the nose, then we'll have to cross the slack wind of the high before picking up the leading winds of the eastern edge". It sounds simple when one reads it, but on the water it's another ball game...
The crew has been able to appreciate a radical change in temperature since today, because the sea has gone from 6°C just a few days ago to 16°C today. In addition, the northerly wind blowing across the zone is warmer, which has enabled the crew to peel off the second layer of fleece and to return to a slightly more "normal" rhythm of life: "I've even started reading a book again that I abandoned on entering the Southern Ocean" declared Benoit Briand. "Last night's watch was magnificent with a sky full of stars. It was our first beautiful night since we left the South. The sky was low and grey before. I was even able to steer using a star as a bearing. One could almost believe we were in the Bay of Biscay..." -- www.maxicatamaran-orange.com/site/en/index2.cfm
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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 Keith Taylor: Let's by all means work towards more press recognition of individual crew contributions but, as Tim Robinson so sagely points out, listing entire crews is not the answer. Lists of names are a turnoff for newspaper editors and while sailing magazine editors are more sympathetic, they simply don't have the space. Besides, years as a magazine editor and as a PR person have shown me that even when one goes down the dock, finds the boat and asks the skipper for the correct spelling of the first and last names of his crew, he only knows the nickname of the kid who for half the summer has been sailing on the bow, and isn't sure of the correct spelling of that individual's last name. Classes that require weigh-ins are better. They have crew lists, but guess what? They are hurriedly scrawled and surprisingly often, illegible. A step in the right direction would be a web-based entry form on a race-specific web site that would require entrants to correctly type the names of their crew, and onboard positions, as a condition to acceptance of their entry. That way this basic information would be available to organizers, fellow competitors and to the media for whatever use they can make of it.
* Pete Mohler: Just a note on the subject of crew acknowledgement, many of the skiff classes recognize the crew as at least the equal of the driver. The forward hand does most of the speed adjustments as well as all of the tactics and navigation. In the I14 class the driver and crew's names get engraved on the perpetual trophy and in many cases there is a separate crew's perpetual trophy. All keeper trophies are identical for driver and crew and all results are reported with both names listed.
While this would be impractical in larger boats, some recognition of the effort put out by the crew is warranted. A day of trimming the jib on a windy day or just hiking out against the middle life line is a lot more painful than anything the driver does and all efforts contribute to the result. Shoot, even the guys that sit down below on a light air day deserve some recognition. It might help keep people coming back for more of that kind of torture. I'm a long time crew, could you tell?
* Phil Drips: In the first Hobie-16 World's off Waikiki Beach in 1967 an Aussie boat turtled and one crew was caught in the rigging. The other crew (sans PFD) repeatedly dove and blew air into the trapped sailor's mouth until passing boats noticed a missing crew. Several crews then abandoned their boats and helped to right the overturned Hobie. The stricken crewman was taken to shore, ambulance, hospital where some water was found in his lungs but he recovered and was pretty much back to normal after a few days .
I used to sail Hobies and Lasers with my PFD unzipped and unbelted so that I was free to swim around or to dive under the Laser if I was too slow to climb over the hull to grab the dagger board. I realized that it wouldn't be too helpful if I were unconscious.
* Deborah Scott: As a local club, sometimes small circuit one design/PHRF sailor/skipper/crew, I understand the importance of giving all aboard credit (sometimes even the stay ashore folks who made lunch). I have crewed for skippers who do this by taking turns letting regular crew go up to pick up and keep the trophy, But not every boat gets a trophy. When I skipper there are fewer trophies (I'm still in training). We have picked a crew name, and we register under that name. We are often all girls, and use names like "Team Girls" For liability, sometimes they want a name, so we use the team name for skipper and list the owner as owner. Or on our J-22 we use the last names of all three of us, as in Scott Gordon Brown. I know in professional races with a sponsor, there is more importance in having an individual who has a presence in the press. Most of us are not in that category. Using a name that includes everyone is smart sailing. Crew Pride is a good thing to have aboard, and including their names increases participation and pride. We have even been known to name the boat for that regatta after a guest crew especially our guest junior.
* From Mike Koster: I applied for an ISAF Group 1 Classification in May of 2001. As of this date, I have not received a Classification. I was advised 10 months ago that my application was forwarded to a Review Committee because of my employment status.
I work in the marine industry as a Materials Manager and my "...work does not utilize or require knowledge or skill capable of improving the performance of a boat, and is limited to being an investor, business adviser, manager, administrator or production worker..." [excerpt from ISAF Sailor Classification Code]. I have sent numerous e-mails for status updates and my application still sits in limbo.
It is my understanding that as of November this year, "...the Code will be the only system to be used for international events." How is the ISAF going to do this by November when it takes over 11 months to complete a review?
I am sure I am not the only person in the marine industry facing this situation, hence I thought this my be of some type of interest to the Scuttlebutt readership.
* From Eric Faust : Thanks to Scuttlebutt for posting results of the J/24 US Nationals held in Charleston, SC last week. 52 boats on the line was a great sight to see, especially in an area where the J/24 fleet was all but dead only a few years ago.
What you may not know is that there has also been a significant revival of J/24 activity across the US and around the world. Here's a run-down of the last month in the US:
It kicked off with the 55-boat Easter Regatta just two weeks prior to the Nationals in Columbia, South Carolina. Then, the following weekend we held an internationally attended 23-boat World Qualifying event 2500 miles away in Ventura, CA. Then 52 boats at the Nationals last week, and now this weekend we're gearing up for 40+ boats at the Southwest Championships in Texas. Not too shabby for a 25 year old keelboat design.
Next year, the J/24 Class will host the 25th Anniversary Rendezvous and Regatta in Newport, RI on August 16-22, 2003. This week-long celebration of the J/24 will feature something for everyone; from a cruising fleet to a championship event where all the former World Champions will go head-to-head. The Rendezvous will wrap-up with a mega-race; 300 J/24s all on one starting line!
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SEMAINE OLYMPIQUE FRANÇAISE
The Semaine Olympique Française is the European meeting of the best sailors of the world. Welcoming around 1000 competitors from 40 countries, competing one week long in Hyères waters. This event is the opportunity for the national teams to compete with the same regatta format as the Olympic Games, but they can register up to 8 representatives in each class for each country.
Organized by the Fédération Française de Voile with the participation of Hyères city, the Semaine Olympique Française has the participation of the best sailors from over 40 national teams.
The first races begin on Sunday April 21, with 600 boats, 5 race areas, 250 volunteers, 15 International judges and 80 organization boats. -- www.ffvoile.net/ffv/public/evenement/2002/sof/sof_angl/home.htm
The Annapolis NOOD--which runs from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5--is expected to draw some 220 boats from Australia, Canada, and throughout the United States.
At press time, 13 classes had qualified with enough entries to have their own one-design start, and a total of 17 classes have been invited to compete (the deadline for classes to form is Monday, April 22). Annapolis YC will be assisted by Eastport Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club of the Chesapeake.
Alec Cutler (Annapolis) will return to defend his win in the J/105 class, expected to be one of the largest classes in the event. The Etchells class, a high-performance racer with a 22-foot waterline, will join the Annapolis NOOD for the first time. Ranking among the largest classes will be the J/22s. According to class organizer Todd Hiller (Annapolis), the class has a potential to reach 40 boats.
In addition to the above-mentioned classes, the following fleets are working their way to the starting line of the Annapolis NOOD: Alberg 30 (competing for the Maple Leaf Trophy), Cal 25, Catalina 27, Henderson 30, J/24, J/29, J/30, J/35, J/80, Melges 24, Mumm 30 (the NOOD is part of their North American circuit), Pearson 30, and S2 7.9.
Entry lists, results, and daily race reports will be posted at www.sailingworld.com.
MISTRAL YOUTH AND JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2002 Mistral Youth & Junior World Championships with the Mistral Masters Gold Cup are both due to take place in Puerto Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain from July 6th to 13th. Bed and breakfast are free to the first 150 competitors to register. A limited number of coaches will be able to benefit from this special offer as well. To make your budget go even further free transfers from Jerez International Airport have been arranged for competitors and their equipment on specified days before and after the championship. For all the details, take a look at the NoR at www.imco.org/regatta/2002JYMNoR.htm and download the entry forms from www.imco.org/regatta/02JYMforms.htm
ISAF MATCH RACE RANKINGS
The International Sailing Federation has released new Match Race Rankings as of April 17. Plenty of changes this time, those improving their positions in the Open Rankings include Gavin Brady, Francois Brenac, Andrew Arbuzov, Karol Jablonski, Morten Henriksen, Mikael Lindqvist, Ed Baird, Henrik Jensen and Mathieu Richard.
Top Ten, Open Rankings:
1. Peter Holmberg, USVI
2. Magnus Holmberg, Sweden
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark
4. Jesper Radich Johansen, Denmark
5. James Spithill, USA
6. Gavin Brady, New Zealand
7. Bjorn Hansen, Sweden
8. Luc Pillot, France
9. Paolo Cian, Italy
10. Francois Brenac
In the women's rankings, those whose places improved include: Guilia Conti, Marie Faure, Ines Montefusco, Gwen Joulie, Paula Lewin, Nadine Stegenwalner, Christine Briand, Anne Le Helley, Katie Spithill
Top Ten, Women's Rankings:
1. Marie Bjorling, Sweden
2. Lotte Meldgaared Pedersen, Denmark
3. Dorte Jensen, Denmark
4. Malin Kallstrom, Sweden
5. Malin Millbourn, Sweden
6. Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Netherlands
7. Betsy Alison, USA
8. Liz Baylis, USA
9. Sabrina Gurioli, Italy
10. Giulia Conti, Italy
Full rankings at www.sailing.org/matchrace/mrranking.asp
60th FOLKBOAT ANNIVERSARY
The venerable Nordic Folkboat turns 60 on April 22. This is an accomplishment
for an anachronism that was pronounced dead more often than Liz Taylor was
married. About 4,000 of those 25-footers with long keel, basic accommodations
and a deep cockpit are still sailing, especially in Scandinavia, Germany and
the UK. The largest fleet outside Europe exists on San Francisco Bay.
* Instigated by Sven Salen, the 6-Meter Olympic Bronze medallist in 1936, a Scandinavian design contest in 1941 netted 58 entries, which were distilled into one set of lines by Tord Sunden.
* The Folkboat has influenced generations of small, seaworthy cruising boats from Contessas to Albergs and Cheoy Lee designs.
* In 1960 Colonel H.G. Hasler, sailing a junk-rigged Folkboat, challenged Francis Chichester for the very first OSTAR.
* In the mid-sixties, the SF fleet consistently had 40+ boats on the line.
* Danish Folkboat sailors established Wednesday night races.
* Women skippered Folkboats long before Whitbread, Volvo and AC monsters.
* Alameda boat yard owner Svend Svendsen built the first clinkered Folkboat in fiberglass, thus helping save the class from extinction 25 years ago.
* Today, fiberglass and wooden Folkboats race handicap-free, still without spinnaker, still with wooden spars and still braving the elements when others watch from the club bar.
* Even Paul Elvstrom loves them.
More info under www.sfbayfolkboats.com and in Dieter Loibner's new book The
Folkboat Story, from Sheridan House, www.sheridanhouse.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATIONS
Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it. - Irving Berlin