SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1070- May 14, 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.
STARS & STRIPES
Just out of the boat builder's yard, the new Stars & Stripes appeared this week-end on a flat-bed trailer at the commissioning of Harbour Court, the mansion that serves as a summer home for the New York Yacht Club in Newport, RI. The trailer on the mansion's lawn will carry the new boat to Long Beach, Calif., where she will be christened in two weeks. When the new yacht joins USA-66 in California, Ken Read and his crew will test them against each other.
"We have a very complex testing program using telemetry on both boats to accurately check good and bad changes," Read said in an e-mail interview from California on Friday. "One boat is used as the test boat. We make the other faster, then repeat the process for the first boat. It's leap-frog speed testing designed to improve both boats over the long haul. The crew will be looking for "what makes each boat tick," Read said. "What are their strengths and weaknesses? Which boat is better in certain conditions? What sails are best in each wind range? What mast is best? And so forth."
The team's test manager, TJ Perrotti of Newport, will take information from the yachts' telemetry instruments and feed the data to his computer. "Through the test data, he makes a determination, then it is up to the sailors to weed out the good and the bad and make the final conclusion," Read said. - Hauraki News, full story: www.hauraki-news.com
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Amer Sports Too skipper Lisa McDonald has decided on a plan she hopes will get the crew to France in time for the start of leg eight of the Volvo Ocean Race. A transport ship is towing the yacht to Liverpool, England, where it is expected to arrive on Tuesday, according to the race's official Web site. It is then expected to be towed to the Camper and Nicholson boatyard at Gosport along the English coast, where it is due to arrive on Thursday.
If all goes according to plan, the new mast -- which has been in storage at the Camper and Nicholson yard -- will be fitted on Friday. McDonald told the Web site she was confident the work could be done in time and the yacht prepared for the next leg of the race.
"The crew is on fire -- absolutely determined to get to the start in excellent shape. We expect it will take four days to sail to La Rochelle, giving us an (estimated time of arrival) of May 22. The full race crew will be on board for the delivery," she said. - CNN.com/Inside sailing website, full story: www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/sailing/05/13/amertoo.spt/index.html
The Swiss syndicate Alinghi will open their doors to the public next Sunday in the grand opening of their interactive plaza. The entry-free plaza includes several interactive and semi-interactive stations. Each station gives a taste of what it is like to compete in an America's Cup race.
One station, for example, simulates driving the boat at the start and another requires participants to scale the bow while the boat is in motion. "It's kind of like a mechanical bull," said Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts of the bow station.
The opening of the interactive plaza means the public will be able to walk onto the base and watch Alinghi launch and bring in their boats. "It will give people an idea of how much preparation we do just to go sailing," said Coutts, who was recently inducted into sailing's hall of fame. "It will give them a taste of what it is really like."
The Alinghi crew will be at the opening, which starts at 10am. It will then open daily from 10am to 6pm. The Alinghi crew are well into their winter programme in the countdown to the Louis Vuitton Cup, which starts in October.
"The weather hasn't been too good lately, it has been blowing a gale out there," Coutts said. "But it is better to be here practising on the water we are going to race on. We are reasonably happy and are pretty much on track."
Coutts said the team would compete overseas next month before returning for the launch of their second boat at the end of July. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
Lucky red socks may be set to make a comeback as part of the 2003 America's Cup defence. The socks, inspired by Sir Peter Blake, were sold in the thousands to support the 1995 and 2000 cup campaigns. But Team New Zealand has not yet made a decision on whether to revive the campaign in the wake of Sir Peter's killing in Brazil last December.
It is seen as a sensitive decision, with the team having to gauge whether reviving the campaign would be appropriate. Team spokesman Murray Taylor said the decision on whether to revive the socks campaign would be taken in the next six to eight weeks. He said: "The red socks campaign was spontaneous and was a part of Sir Peter Blake. But red socks are definitely still part of the team - you still see a lot of them out on the water."
* Team New Zealand has said in the past that it is 85 percent to 90 percent funded, and will continue to look for support right up until racing starts. Construction of the first of the Team New Zealand's new yachts is under way at Cookson Boats, on the North Shore. - The Press as posted on the StuffNZ Website, full story: www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,1199256a1501,FF.html
THEY JUST KEEP GOING AND GOING
Everyone has a favorite Sea Bag. But the best ones to carry to the weekend regattas are the Camet bags. The Camet bags are made out of the Carbon/Mylar laminated sailcloth, accented with a waterproof, 600 Denier Vinyl/Polyester laminate, they have the strength of steel and the weight of a feather. While you are at the Camet web site, take a look at the new colors for the Camet sailing shorts. - www.camet.com
After a disappointing performance in the Volvo Ocean Race, skipper of seventh placed djuice, Knut Frostad, has decided to make radical changes on board in an effort to boost the team's performance for the remaining two legs.
French navigator, Jean-Yves Bernot, will step down and Erle Williams will return to the team. Frostad says that it was always intended that Erle Williams would rejoin the team, and he will perform as one of the watch captains along with New Zealander, Jeff Scott. He will, however, also be the decision-maker strategically and tactically onboard. Frostad will do the basic navigation and Bernot, the 53-year-old French navigator for the first seven legs of the event, will continue to work with the team throughout the La Rochelle and Gothenburg stopovers as a shore-based weather expert. - www.VolvoOceanRace.org
* There have been plenty of musical chairs during the Volvo Ocean Race, but one of the most baffling moves was Jeff Scott's departure from News Corp in Rio, to return aboard djuice for the start of leg 7 in Annapolis. Why would a sailor of Scott's caliber choose to quit a boat that is in with a serious chance of a podium position in favor of one that has consistently picked up the wooden spoon, Amer Sports Too excepted?
Despite a long history of sailing with Ross Field, including being part of the winning Yamaha team in the 93/94 Whitbread, Scott and Field are known for not seeing eye to eye, so the gossip running around Scott's departure that it was a proverbial two-fingered goodbye from the Kiwi watch captain to his old skipper. But speaking to madforsailing having just got ashore from djuice at the La Rochelle finish, Scott said it wasn't quite like that. "I thought I was going to come back on News Corp for this leg, but they had such a good result on the leg up to Baltimore that they didn't want to change the team. I can understand that, but this is how I make my living. I preferably wouldn't have changed teams, but I've got to feed the family, and that's how professional sailing is these days, I suppose." - Andy Rice, Madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.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 Christopher A. Palabrica: I read the story of the Moore 24 nationals with great interest. Knowing or hearing of someone who has perished during a day race is a very eye-opening experience. On our boat, we stress that the safety of the boat and crew are MOST important. After all, we are racing sailboats for fun. It is amazing to me how many excuses there can be not to help. But, what all of us need to think about is; If I was the one in the water, what would I want someone to do for me? I'm glad that there was someone nearby to prevent a potential tragedy in this case.
* From Jim Champ: (Re Family World Champions): Mark Bethwaite Soling, J24 1982, Laser Masters 2000; Nicola Bethwaite, Cherub 1976; Julian Bethwaite, Cherub 1976; 18-foot Skiff 1986/7/8, plus two more between 90 & 94.
* From Gareth Evans: As a committed racer, it infuriates me no end when I hear other racers screaming at cruising yachts to get out of the way. We should be grateful that most sailors are observant and courteous enough to keep clear of us when we are racing - often they do not realise that a race is taking place and shouting at them does not help matters.
* From Tom Ehman: Good to see a Midwestern boy like Gary Comer make good. You may recall that long ago the Chicago Yacht Club Starboat sailor started Lands End as a fitting and rigging shop next to Dick Stearn's Murphy & Nye loft on N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.
Gary was an ad exec and produced gorgeous catalogues. Growing up I remember how excited we were to receive each Spring the new Lands End catalogue with all the latest and greatest rigging rigging systems written up. We used the catalogues as guides to rig our own boats -- but of course bought the fittings from the local boat shop not Lands End. So they weren't making much money selling fittings to cheapskate sailors like myself, but apparently they were making good money on duffel bags, embroidered shirts and other "soft goods."
We were crushed when Lands End announced they were getting out of the sailing business. And I only have to look around my own home to see how right they were -- while I never bought a single fitting from the beloved Lands End catalogue, our family has a pile of Lands End duffel bags, suitcases and canvas briefcases of various, sizes, shapes and colours. - www.nytimes.com
Patrick de Radigues has bought the Open 60 'Aquitaine Innovations,' previously helmed by renowned French sailor Yves Parlier, and has filed a late entry for the Around Alone Race. De Radigues, a 45-year old Belgian skipper will announce his new sponsor in mid-June 2002, but was able to confirm now that his project is to last for 3 years, starting with Around Alone 2002/3 and ending with the Vendée Globe 2004. He has kept the shore team who supported Yves Parlier's campaign in order to prepare the boat for the September 15th Around Alone start in New York, USA.
Launched in 1996, the boat 'Aquitaine Innovations' was the winner of five major ocean races between 1997 and 1999: the Fastnet, Transat Jacques Vabre, Gold Race, Route Du Rhum, and the Round Europe race. - www.aroundalone.com
AROUND THE WORLD
(Tony Bessinger talked with Paul Cayard about his entry into the newly announced Antarctica Cup. Here's an excerpt from the story published on the Sailing World website.)
Tony Bessinger: What led you to throw your hat in the ring for the newly announced Antarctica Cup?
Paul Cayard: They're only allowing three teams per country, I just thought that since there wasn't that much a requirement to enter I'd go ahead and grab a slot. The idea is intriguing. First of all, you're sailing around Antarctica, in the Southern Ocean the whole way and that's the best big boat sailing in the world as far as I'm concerned. They've set it up to be a skins game format; there'll be eleven legs. Along the way you've got to pass between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, by Kerguelen Island, and through a bunch of other gates. Each time you pass through a gate they're going to call it a stage of the race and award prize money for that. So you can really rack up a lot of money, up to 5.6 million dollars. All these different legs give everybody a chance to be a winner at one point or another and yet the race doesn't stop and lay over for three weeks here and there. The whole thing will be over in about 45 days.
TB: Do you think this format will be appealing to the public?
PC: I think so. These things are always hard to know but my sense of it is yeah, very appealing. It's a race that takes place in a very remote area and there's no on-site audience, so they're going to have to do a good job producing TV and getting it uploaded off the boat. The internet's proving to be a good thing for sailing like this. - Sailing World website, full story: www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=932
BURSTING FOR EXTRA STRENGTH
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FOR THE RECORD
The World Speed Sailing Record Council has ratified the Round the World Outright record set by Bruno Peyron and crew onboard "Orange" at 64 days 8 hours 37 minutes and 24 seconds. - www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=2346
IT'S A LEANER
On Thursday 9th May, Graham Dalton's Open 60, Hexagon, was pulled over to ninety degrees by a crane as part of a mandatory stability test undertaken in the Viaduct Basin in the middle of the Americas Cup Village, Auckland New Zealand. For pictures and more information visit www.owenclarkedesign.com
Monday was a Transition Day. However, threat of big storm with forecasted 60 mph winds had the teams scrambling to secure their boats to prevent damage. Some use spiral stakes to die down their boats while others use more inventive ways. We interview John McLaughlin and he told us of a very simple and easy way.
He found some 2x4 boards and dug down into the sand about three feet on each side of the boat, then buried the board with lines around them. After filling back in the holes the tied the boat down to them. - Catamaran Sailor, full story: www.catsailor.com/worrell02/worrell02.html
Doyle Sailmakers Marblehead, MA and Vela 2000 of Mallorca, Spain have formed the Doyle SuperYacht Group - uniting two superyacht specialists. The Doyle SuperYacht Group will be supported by the worldwide Doyle Sailmaking team. - www.doylesuperyacht.com
HIGH SCHOOL NATIONALS
The 2002 Mallory Doublehanded High School National Championship regatta, hosted by The San Francisco Yacht Club, was held this weekend at Treasure Island Sailing Center in San Francisco Bay. Twenty teams from around the nation qualified to participate in the regatta. Wind ranged from 8-22 knots, and 16 races were held in both A and B divisions. Using 3-legged windward/leeward courses, each race lasted approximately 15 minutes.
The regatta was sailed in two-person CFJ sailboats. Coronado High School skipper Mikee Anderson (12th grade) and his crew members Lauren Usrey (10th grade) and Tinja Anderson (10th grade) won the A division, while Point Loma High School skipper Adam Roberts (9th grade) and his crew members Graham Biehl (10th grade) and Danielle Richards (11th grade) won the B division - www.highschoolsailingusa.org
1. Coronado HS, 148
2. Point Loma HS, 159
3. Newport Harbor HS, 197
4. Santa Barbara HS, 228
5. Milton Academy, 233
6. Tabor Academy, 235
7. Bishop's School, 303
8. Brunswick School, 336
9. Southern HS, 337
10. Community School, 342.
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
*May 25-26: Sausalito Cup, Sausalito, CA. Five vintage America's Cup Class yachts are expected to participate in a weekend regatta on San Francisco Bay. - www.iaccsf.com/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.