SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1058 - April 25, 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.
HALL OF FAME
Five of the most successful racing sailors in the history of the sport make up the 2002 class of inductees to Sailing World's Hall of Fame. Charlie Barr, Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Peter Barrett, and Mark Reynolds have won six Olympic medals, five America's Cups, one Whitbread, and countless world and national championships. As a group, their success spans the sport, from singlehanded one-design dinghies, to 60-foot ocean racers, to 130-foot America's Cup behemoths.
Russell Coutts (b. 1962, New Zealand) is probably the most recognizable name in the quintet. After distinguishing himself by winning a Finn world championship and an Olympic gold medal in the early '80s, he turned his attention to match racing. He dominated the professional match racing circuit for the better part of a decade and in 1995 won it's top prize, the America's Cup, skippering for Team New Zealand. A successful defense followed in 2000. In the wake of that triumph Coutts defected to Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss Alinghi syndicate, of which he is CEO and skipper for its 2003 Cup challenge.
It's been nearly a century since Charlie Barr died of a heart attack, (1864-1911, Scotland, naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1899) but people are still chasing the wily Scot. His unblemished three match wins and 9-0 race record in Cup competition is still the standard by which Cup skippers are measured (Coutts now stands at 9-0 with two match wins). Barr also set a transatlantic passage record aboard the schooner Atlantic in 1905 that wasn't bettered until 1980.
Like Barr, Paul Cayard (b. 1959, United States) has excelled in both the match racing and ocean racing arenas. He has participated in five America's Cups, taking the helm in the finals in two of those. In 1998, he became the first American skipper to win the Whitbread Round the World Race. Cayard is also a superb fleet racer, having won world championships in the Star, One-Ton, ILC 40, maxiboat, and 50-foot classes.
In direct contrast to Cayard's diverse resume is Mark Reynold's (b. 1955, United States) record of excellence in one class. The San Diego sailmaker has been one of the best Star sailors in the world for nearly two decades. Along the way he has accumulated three Olympic medals, two world championships, seven Bacardi Cups, and nine North American championships. Reynolds has also been a Snipe class champion, winning a Pan Am Games gold medal and recently has broadened his scope, sailing on Farr 40s, Melges 24s, and even a leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. But, as his convincing win at the 2002 Bacardi Cup shows, his touch in his longtime boat of choice hasn't suffered as a result.
Peter Barrett (1935-2000, United States) was, like Reynolds, a participant in multiple Olympic Games, sailing in three. He won a silver in the Finn in 1964 and a gold in the Star in 1968. Barrett was also instrumental in the growth of North Sails, the world's leading manufacturer of racing sails. However, bespectacled Midwesterner is probably best remembered for his unyielding commitment to fair play and his willingness to share his experience and knowledge with any and all of his competitors. He was a firm believer in the unlimited potential of the human spirit. "In any competitive endeavor," he wrote in Sailing World's predecessor One-Design Yachtsman in 1965, "success goes to those who most want to succeed. Our heritage is full of stories of men who rose to the top simply because they wanted to so badly." Barrett, along with his four fellow inductees in the Class of 2002, exemplified this ethic. - Stuart Streuli, www.sailingworld.com
Previously elected to Sailing World's Hall of Fame: Ben Lexcen, Bill Lee, Bob Bavier, Bruce Farr, Bruce Kirby, Buddy Melges, Bus Mosbacher, Charlie Barr, Dave Perry, Dave Ullman, Dennis Conner, Doug Peterson, Eric Tabarly, Sir Francis Chichester, Gary Jobson, George O'Day, German Frers, Halsey Herreshoff, Harold Vanderbilt, Hobie Alter, John Bertrand (U.S.), Lowell North, Manfred Curry, Mark Reynolds, Nathanael Herreshoff, Olaf Harken, Olin Stephens, Paul Cayard, Paul Elvström, Peter Barrett, Sir Peter Blake, Peter Harken, Rod Johnstone, Russell Coutts, Stuart Walker, Ted Hood, Ted Turner, Tom Blackaller, and Uffa Fox.
Southampton, Hampshire, UK: Clipper Ventures plc, announced that the city of New York, USA, has confirmed an entry in the amateur crewed, Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race. New York, who have become the 8th and final city to have an entry, joining Liverpool (England), Hong Kong (China), Bristol (England), Glasgow (Scotland), Jersey (Channel Islands), Cape Town (South Africa) and London (England).
Clipper 2002 will leave Liverpool, UK on 27 October 2002, and return on 27 September 2003. Clipper 2002 will be the fourth running of this biennial race when 8 identical 60 foot racing yachts. Each yacht will be crewed by 14 paying competitors with a professional skipper.
Clipper Ventures have released the few remaining crew berths for the Clipper 2002 race. Applications are welcome from budding sailors, men or women from all walks of life are encouraged. No previous sailing experience is necessary, as each crewmember will undertake a rigorous training schedule before the start of the event in October under the careful guidance of professional Skippers. - www.clipper-ventures.com
Clipper 2002 Race Route (The duration of each leg is approximately 6-8 weeks):
1st Leg: Liverpool(UK)/Portugal/Cuba (5,300 miles)
2nd Leg: Cuba/Panama/Galapagos/Hawaii (6,100 miles)
3rd Leg: Hawaii/Japan/Shanghai/Hong Kong (6,000 miles)
4th Leg: Hong Kong/Philippines/Singapore/Mauritius (5,400 miles)
5th Leg: Mauritius/Cape Town/Salvador, Brazil (5,800 miles)
6th Leg: Brazil/New York/Jersey/Liverpool (7,100 miles)
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(The Yacht Racing website has posted an insightful interview that Rich Roberts did with Prada's Rod Davis. Here are just of few of the things that Davis discussed.)
* About the last America's Cup: "Team New Zealand in 2000 was an intimidating team. Because of their history, they specialize in intimidating other teams, whereas our team was young, brand new to the event, eyes wide open, all swept up in the thing. We needed to have a faster boat if we were gonna win. We had to have a nice little edge. Otherwise, the Team New Zealand machine would rumble us. Now we're in a different situation. We have a campaign under our belt. We've been toughened up. We're ready to go."
* About the current Kiwi syndicate: "The changes in the sailing personnel helped both the guys that left and the guys that stayed. All those guys that are gone, if they'd stayed, wouldn't be better than Dean Barker and his guys for the next one. When you have the same band that's been playing together for 10 years, you have to go off and do something new. It's good for Coutts to go off and have a new challenge ahead of him, not just doing the same thing for the 12th year in a row. So Dean and his guys have the baton handed to them with their backs against the wall, and they're young, aggressive and motivated. Tell you what, if you're a coach, that's a pretty good team to have."
* About the current Prada syndicate: "Prada's very different from the last time . . . much more run by the Italians. It's run more from Milan than from the [sailing] base. We're based on having a faster boat, whereas last time we were based on trying to have a good boat and sail well. This time we're very much design-oriented."
* About who will be driving the Prada boat: "There are three potential helmsmen: Francesco, me and Gavin (Brady). That decision is made by Francesco. We've experimented with Gavin starting and Francesco steering after that, but at the end of the day Francesco will be steering the boat---my prediction."
To read Rich Roberts' full interview with Rod Davis: www.yachtracing.com/richroberts/roddavis402prada.html
BTW - The Yacht Racing website will post Roberts' photos of the Newport-Ensenada noon start on Friday, before the boats reach the Mexican border.
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.)
* Mark Turner: At Offshore Challenges we are always interested to read about new professional events that could be of interest to both the sailors and the sponsors. The Antarctica Cup is one of those, with some good new ideas that tackle a number of issues including the cost side of Return on Investment that with the current Volvo has become almost untenable from a sponsorship point of view. However, for any sports business executive, we already have one of the most confusing sports and calendars to present to commercial sponsors who are however looking at sailing in an ever-improving light.
The Antarctica Cup is proposed to run at the same time as one of the other major round the world races, the Vendée Globe. Having sorted out the previous clash with The Race in 2000 (The Race 2004 no longer clashes with the Vendée 2004/5), it is a shame that we can't even maintain the round the world program.
Surely ISAF should be policing this, and if not FICO should have the mandate to do so from ISAF. But someone has to keep it under control, or we risk alienating the new sponsors coming in to the sport, at a time when sailing in Europe at least has some major positive momentum in the sports business world.
* From Bruce Parsons (edited to our 250-word limit): Keeping the boats in the VOR out of iceberg territory is a good idea - but why wasn't it done in the Southern Ocean where they were so much further away from assistance should anyone have a collision? At least here off Newfoundland there are rescue capabilities, constant surveillance from the sealers, fishermen, oil business and the Int'l Ice Patrol, and lots of experience with these conditions.
You can see several bergs from the deck of the RNYC, and though we joke about using them as marks on the racecourse, we all take them very seriously indeed. They extend a long ways out underwater from where we you can see them (remember 10/11ths is underwater - look down and it is white under you), they are as hard as concrete, shed chunks to leeward, and about 3:00 pm on a sunny afternoon will blast off a layer about a meter thick from the thermal stress, and then maybe roll over, sending out a good sized wave.
They are invisible to standard radar wavelengths so with a large one you see only the hole in the water they displace, and the smaller, house sized chunks are invisible. All this is true of the Antarctic ice as well as the Arctic, so why the sudden stroke of good sense, when it would seem it was much more important to keep the fleet away from them in an un-surveyed and un-serviced Southern Ocean thousands of miles from assistance?
* From Chris Welsh: Re: MOB Recovery. There are several ways to get back aboard if the MOB is not hurt. As a MOB, I have gotten myself back onboard by grabbing the deck rail, then the lower lifeline, then the upper, swinging a leg to the deck level, and rolling/sliding under the lowest lifeline. (This was on a 67' boat, it was near stopped, and yes, I was very motivated...) Second, where I have gone swimming intentionally, one loop in a tied off jib sheet has worked as a one rung ladder to assist with getting to the deck level easier. In both cases, I was able to make it without assistance from another crewmember. Of course, these methods may not be possible with a PFD on due to the bulk, but that's another thread...
TEAM NEW ZEALAND
(Graeme Kennedy did an interview with Ross Blackman, Team New Zealand's chief executive, for the National Business Review. Here's an excerpt.)
Mr Blackman said winning the America ' s Cup involved three major components - deciding how much money was necessary and finding it, having a program in place to design and build the fastest yacht, then sailing the boat around the course to win five races.
He said Team New Zealand was not yet fully funded but had about 90% of it's estimated $70-75 million budget in place, provided largely by the "family of five" - SAP, Telecom, Toyota, Steinlager and Lotto. "We are on track, allowing us to follow the programme we laid out from day one," Mr Blackman said.
"We won the 1995 Cup with a budget a fraction the size of the others, so we have never been scared by the amounts of money the competition has - that's the least of our worries. We can do things less expensively in New Zealand than teams from other nations can.
"The design team that was responsible for producing NZL 60, the 2000 boat, and NZL 32, which won at San Diego, is still largely intact and assuming we are fully funded and the design team does its job we are confident Dean Barker and his crew can sail the boat around the course as fast as anyone in the world." - Graeme Kennedy, National Business Review
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TROPHEE JULES VERNE
The maxi-catamaran Orange's heading is gently taking her towards the NW... The Marseilles Giant is in a situation where she is forced to curve her route towards the American continent. While the main reason is eventually to skirt round the Azores high to the west, right now she is being forced to cope with a 12-knot northerly headwind, which means she has got to... beat. Just the point of sailing she hates and now fears in view of the damage suffered these last few days. So instead of lifting a hull, the giant must lift a foot... off the gas. Everybody's senses are on the alert, concentration at the helm is at a maximum and sail trim is a priority. The goal is to avoid slamming the boat in this wretched head sea...
But while Bruno Peyron remains calm, one can feel and one knows that it's just the sort of sailing conditions they don't need. This headwind with the seaway that goes with it is not at all to the liking of the maxi-catamaran Orange, which should be feeding on leading winds and following seas to spare the half cracked titanium ball on the which the mast is supported. So the crew are forced to reduce sail by taking a reef in the main and sending up the staysail, just when they should have everything aloft. "If we have to loose one or two days, we'll loose them. What's important is finishing and bringing home the Jules Verne Trophy," Peyron said. - www.maxicatamaran-orange.com
PREVIEW: LEG 7
(Bill Biewenga takes a look at Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts on Sunday. Here's a preview of his story posted on the official race website.)
The first trial for the skippers, navigators, tacticians and crews to face will be just getting out of town. Hopefully, the re-start will have less drama than earlier legs. Premature starts with a crowded spectator fleet in hot pursuit of the racing boats can be a bit daunting as the offenders are forced back to the start line against the current of pleasure craft. Assuming that there is a clean start without incident doesn't necessarily mean that it will be an easy trip out of the Chesapeake Bay, however.
While some form of westerly breezes are common on the Bay, early computer-generated weather forecasts are indicating a SSE wind direction on the morning of the start. Faced with headwinds, getting out of the Bay may not be as easy or straightforward as it otherwise might be. Which side of the Bay to favor will be a popular topic of conversation aboard the Volvo Ocean 60s as they work their way to weather and toward Norfolk, VA at the mouth of the Chesapeake. Of course it's still a long way to start day on Sunday, and there is still plenty of time for the computer models to do their share of back peddling on the forecast.
In talking with Steve Hayles, navigator aboard Tyco, it is his opinion that the race could be won or lost in the Bay. If the boats go for the Gulf Stream to the east of the Chesapeake, the last few boats to get to the Stream could be left in the dust as the leaders gain 3 to 4 knots of current and speed over the ground. - Bill Biewenga, Volvo Ocean Race website, full story: www.volvooceanrace.org
Many many 'Buttheads wrote to let me know I published the wrong URL for Team New Zealand new website. The proper one is: www.teamnewzealand.com
And here's an excerpt from a story published on that website:
They're under way. The first of Team New Zealand's two new boats to defend the America's Cup is off the drawing board and about to become reality. Team New Zealand's design team has drawn the lines and sent to Auckland boatbuilders Cookson Boats for construction to start on the new hull.
Tom Schnackenberg, the syndicate's head and design co-ordinator, says the first 2003 generation yacht should be finished in mid-August. It will get its first taste of Auckland water in late August or early September - launched just as the challengers are making final preparations for the Louis Vuitton Cup, starting October 1.
Cooksons, based on Auckland's North Shore, have been given the first set of lines and specifications for the yacht. The mould of the hull will be completed in two to three weeks. Once completed, the hull will be trucked to Team New Zealand's base in the American Express Viaduct Harbour where the team's shore crew will finish her off - fitting the boat with winches, rudder and keel.
The boat remains nameless - Team New Zealand will apply to the official measurer for the America's Cup, Australian Ken McAlpine, for a sail number next month. Fifteen new challenger yachts have already been issued with sail numbers.
In the meantime, the design is being completed for Team New Zealand's second yacht for this defence. Schnackenberg said boat No. 2 will probably follow her sister in the boatyard four to six weeks later. Team New Zealand principal designer Mike Drummond says the design team made more than a dozen tank test models, which were tested at the Wolfson Unit in England. Schnackenberg has just returned from the latest round of testing there.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Only in America are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.