SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1055 - April 23, 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 - Christine Brooks, Executive Director, USWA
I am deeply sorry that the Olympic component of windsurfing is not valued very highly by the windsurfing fraternity. I am told that I should not get involved in political issues - that I should remain neutral and keep my opinions to myself. But, when I hear and read leaders within windsurfing state that we should not concern ourselves with the Olympics because the sport is not given television exposure, or because it is so small a component of windsurfing that dealers cannot make money from the sale of boards, or that we should not concern ourselves with youth because they don't buy equipment, I cannot remain silent. These statements burn at the core of my beliefs. Such statements illustrate a naive notion of what sport is all about and our responsibilities to our youth, especially when it comes to providing them the opportunities to seek goals and to learn important values.
Whatever the future holds for windsurfing in the Olympics, the young people who strive to participate will carry valuable memories and experiences with them forever. The entire windsurfing fraternity should help ensure more experiences like these for youth. It is our collective obligation to put politics and economic self-interests aside and to encourage more young people to seek the Olympic Dream. It is our obligation to celebrate those among us who dare to pursue an exceedingly difficult task - to become an Olympian.
The best of luck to all of you - I am pleased that windsurfing is doing its part - however small - to improve the health of our young people and to help strengthen their values. www.uswindsurfing.org
FOR THE RECORD
April 22 2002 - In a frustrating finale to Maiden II's westbound transatlantic crossing, the Bahamian winds denied the crew the opportunity to break the two-year-old record. With 200 miles remaining to break the record last night, the local winds died, leaving a few knots of upwind breeze for the maxi-catamaran. Continuing would have required sailing upwards of 300 miles in a faltering breeze. The crew called Sailing Director Tracy Edwards and decided to call off the record attempt and change course for Antigua.
"There is no prize for second place when you are breaking records," Edwards said. "With only four days training to get used to the boat and get her up to speed, to come so close is an achievement in itself. Grant Dalton had been training for months before they tried the record and they also broke the 24-hour record. It's amazing to think that Maiden II only went back in the water 26 days ago!" - Mark Bullingham, www.maiden2.com
MORE COOL GEAR
Camet has just added a new line of CoolMax T- Shirts. These shirts are breathable to help you stay cool on the long hot downwind legs, and fast drying on the upwind legs. Combine these with the Camet shorts and you will have a comfortable day out on the water. Check them out: www.camet.com
Based on consultations with sailing experts, TV3 ranked the America's Cup challengers. Those rankings are now posted on the Victory Challenge website:
1. Alinghi, Switzerland
2. Prada, Italy
3. Stars & Stripes, USA
4. Oracle Racing, USA
5. OneWorld, USA
6. Victory Challenge, Sweden
7. GBR Challenge, Great Britain
8. Le Defi Areva, France
9. Mascalzone Latino, Italy
Full story: www.victorychallenge.com/start.phtml?lang_id=1
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 Brian Trubovich: I don't know why Malcolm McKeag brought the French way of genderising boats into the discussion, as the French choose to name an object masculine or feminine without any logical basis at all, as any French student will confirm. A boat is "Le Bateau", hence will always be masculine. We English speakers, on the other hand, without any Gallic flair, but with heaps of logic, will name an object feminine if it has those qualities that we associate with a woman, in this case, curvy lines and hollowness, i.e. a negative as opposed to a positive form. For the same reason we should always refer to a mast as "he," not "she."
* From John Roberson: Like a number of other media outlets, the Agence France-Presse seem to be getting mixed up between US $ and Aus $. The entry fee for the race is US$4,625,000, which buys the boat - another point that many people seem to have got confused about. Once entered for the race you own the boat, and can take it home afterwards.
The prize money for first across the finishing line is US$2,500,000 and the maximum amount that any one entry can win is US$4,650,000.
When you buy the boat, you get sails as well. The only added costs are crew, their transportation to Fremantle, and their accommodation before the race, provisioning, and crew clothing.
I would encourage people to study our website, www.antarcticacup.com - it is full of useful information.
* From Jeff Witter: I sail in a unique situation where the owner of the boat assumes equal representation with his crew at all times. Finding good crew is usually paramount to being successful. Our Team found ourselves with 3 boats and inadequate crew to have 3 competitive boats. We joined forces to fix this problem.
When we enter a regatta we use the boat's name as the owner name- "Team Jade". When called up for awards, we all go. We refer to our program as Team Jade and insist that it be used when perpetual trophy's are awarded.
Who is Team Jade? Depends on who went. Does everyone know who we are? Of course. Do I get recognition as a member of Team Jade? Yup. Most importantly, The boat is the only common denominator. We have 4 committed sailors who get the boat away from the dock for every race. We also trade spots to build a stronger team. Our least experienced crew sails us in & out of the basin. We trade driving, tactical & forward crew positions often.
I have been involved in 2 of these teams over the last 10 years. Both have worked wonderfully to give "ownership" to all those on board. We have all benefited from this experience & equally share the credit.
* From John Maltman: Anyone who believes "individual Liberty should sit on the board of directors of a yacht club that is involved in a fatality situation and see if their opinion changes. I've done that, and every time the fleets went out that I worried that at the end of the day I would be involved in a tragic accident, and in litigation. Through good fortune, competitors who wore life vests, and wonderful race committees, we were lucky to avoid major problems. It may be your "liberty" to choose not to wear a life vest and die. But it becomes the clubs problem when your heirs don't have the same opinion.
* From Cole Price: I witnessed first hand, the value of a life vest last Sunday (4/21/02). While doing a regatta off of Long Beach, CA, when someone working foredeck fell off the bow of another boat. Despite their attempts, the other boat was unable to pick her up for over 10 minutes. After sailing over to her, my crew Doug grabbed her hand, pulled her up to the boat at which time I handed the helm to my son Michael to held the boat into the wind. It took all of the strength that Doug and I had to pull her aboard our Cal 20.
If she hadn't been wearing a PFD, she might not have survived the 10 minutes or so that she was in the 60 degree water as it was blowing 15 to 25 knots and there were 2 to 3 foot swells. As it was, she was in pretty good condition and sailed the next race with us.
Doug and I each weigh over 200 pounds, work-out at the gym regularly, and have above average strength. But, as I previously stated, it took all of our strength to pull a 150 pound person onto a little Cal 20 which has a lot less freeboard than most other boats. I strongly suggest that Skippers and Crew practice man-overboard drills at least once a year so that they are prepared for just such a life threatening circumstance. Such an exercise will also demonstrate the value of a PFD.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: On this note, we now declare the PFD thread officially dead - again!
He designed the last four winners of the prestigious 37,630-mile race. The last three second-place finishers, too. Oh, he also designed the last three third-place finishers.
When the teams were forming for this year's race, one competitor, Richard Brisius of the Assa Abloy team, said "it would be irresponsible" not to consult with Farr. The designer develops whiz-bang innovations long before each race. Then he offers prospective clients a basic, off-the-shelf design or pricier, customized versions.
Six of eight teams in this year's race found Farr's high-velocity promises irresistible. Among them are Assa Abloy, which bought a basic design, and the race-leading illbruck team, which went for a custom blueprint.
The teams come to Farr with buckets of cash -- up to $500,000 for a Volvo blueprint -- because he almost always wins. He wins long races and short ones. He wins with big boats and little ones. In Europe, in the Americas, in New Zealand.
He wins everything, that is, except the biggest of them all -- the America's Cup -- where his failures are as mythic as his triumphs everywhere else. Yet Farr's woeful Cup performance hasn't scared off Oracle software titan Larry Ellison, who is throwing somewhere between $10 million and $20 million at the Annapolis firm to design a dream boat for next year's race. - Angus Phillips, Washington Post; full story: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18205-2002Apr19.html
TROPHEE JULES VERNE
Another good day for the maxi-catamaran Orange. "We're reaping the dividends of our long investment to the east," said skipper Bruno Peyron. "Since our left turn yesterday, we're really shifting, almost 30 knots last night, under full main and solent on starboard tack at an excellent wind angle" described Orange's skipper. "We're in the right place with the right wind and the right sea."
With new found speed and daily runs of more than 500 miles, Orange will enter the calms of the famous intertropical convergence zone by midday on Wednesday 24th. "It more and more up to the helmsmen now" emphasized Peyron. "The solent helps us to generate apparent wind. So it means helming with finesse to preserve speed." The crossing of the Doldrums looks like being without any major problems, in light easterly airs. Orange won't start to slow down until late evening Tuesday. - www.maxicatamaran-orange.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Tom Schnackenberg, TNZ Design coordinator
"I was at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington recently and spent a bit of time studying the various little rockets and missiles that were on display there. You could see them changing over the years and in a similar way. The first ones actually probably looked more sophisticated in many ways than the last ones. Their volume distribution is similar to what we have with our bulbs. But as time went on they seemed to be just become cylinders with a front and a back. They're a very powerful engine.
"We're in a situation where we take this initial shape which is a bulb or a bomb, if you like, going through the water and then say - well, let's factor in some stability effects. If we squash it a bit - which is to lower its vertical dimension and to increase the horizontal one - then the drag will go up a little but the VCG of the whole thing goes down. Initiallly, that's a gain. Eventually, you run out and you start picking up more drag then you gain stability and so on. So you have to think about that." - Partial transcript TVNZ's Sailnztv programme, posted on the 2003AC website by Cheryl, isuzu21.webcrossing.com/WebX?50@199.NZyZa4Amace^1@.ef2c7f4
BURSTING FOR EXTRA STRENGTH
Bainbridge International's AIRX 500 - more tear strength, more burst strength with a new ripstop construction. Both Bainbridge's AIRX 500N and 500N-VMG are now available with a new stronger ripstop construction. Tear strength has been increased by 15% while burst strength has been improved by over 20%. AIRX 500N is the ideal firm finish 0.5oz spinnaker fabric, while 500N-VMG has a medium finish for those lighter choppier conditions. For more information contact your sailmaker or go to www.sailcloth.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - John Kostecki
"In a sense these last two legs have given us a kick in the butt. It was good because it was a way of saying 'hey, wake up, this race is far from over and if we want to win we've got to improve. We need to improve our speed, boat handling, tactics, everything. If we were a little sharper or faster we could have won these last two legs. We are working on a few downwind sails. In particular we are working on our vmg (velocity made good) sails - in other words our downwind and upwind sails. It's going to be critical to point straight at the mark rather than use general boat speed for the remaining legs." - Quotes taken from John Greenland's story on the Volvo Ocean Race website, www.volvooceanrace.org/news/leg_6/n6_020422_kickbutt.html
At least 19 new cup boats will be on the water in the 2002-2003 cup season. Fifteen boats have already received sail numbers. Four other yachts, including two from Team New Zealand, have yet to be assigned sail numbers.
LIFE AFTER THE CUP
The International America's Cup Class San Francisco (IACCSF) today announced its official schedule for 2003. The season will consist of four events open to all vintages of IACC yachts. The season will culminate in the IACC World's held in mid-October. A minimum of ten international teams is expected:
May 9-11 - Sausalito Cup
June 6-8 - America's Cup Media Trophy
September 6-14 - Big Boat Series
October 13-19 - IACC World's
Four San Francisco-based IACC teams and four International teams have committed to the 2003 season. The foreign teams bringing their yachts to San Francisco include current Italian America's Cup Team Mascalzone Latino with ITA 55 (former USA 55 Stars & Stripes), Polska 1 the Polish challenge for 2006 with POL 5 (former Espana 5), and the IAC Challenge Nassua with NZL 10 and 12. - www.iaccsf.com
WOMEN'S MATCH RACING
Hamilton, Bermuda (April 22, 2002) - For the first time in its 54-year history, the ADT Gold Cup will include an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) graded women's match racing competition. The ADT Women's Match Race Championship will be contested October 12-15 at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). The winner and runner-up will advance to the ADT Gold Cup, the fourth event on Swedish Match Tour 2002/3 which begins its championship round on Wednesday, October 17.
The racing will be raced in 33-foot International One Design sloops on short windward-leeward courses inside Hamilton Harbour. The ADT Women's Match Race Championship will offer a prize purse of $15,000. - www.adtgoldcup.com
St Francis YC regatta organizer Don Trask reports the following skippers have accepted invitations to race in the Masters Invitational Regatta, October 4-6: Ed Bennett, Christ Bouzaid (NZL), Tom Dryfus, David Irish, John Jennings, Bruce Kirby, Ulli Libor (GER), Peter Lund (NOR), Kim McDell (NZL), Keith Musto (GBR), Lowell North, Johhn Scarborough and Don Trask. - www.stfyc.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.