SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1072- May 16, 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.
The six-month saga of the design secrets allegedly illegally held by the Seattle-based America's Cup challengers OneWorld, moves nearer to resolution tomorrow. It is the final deadline set by the America's Cup arbitration panel for defenders Team New Zealand to lodge their final submissions.
In a mass of documentary evidence supplied to the panel, OneWorld are said to have illegally acquired information from the Team New Zealand, America True and Prada campaigns of 2000, but by far the most damaging allegations come from TNZ suggesting a systematic plundering of the secrets of their cup winner, NZL-60. Technology transfer is strictly prohibited by America's Cup protocol and OneWorld admitted last year that they had inadvertently obtained materials from the 2000 Cup campaigns that belonged to Team New Zealand and America True.
OneWorld laid the blame squarely at the door of former employee Sean Reeves, who used to work for TNZ and who owned up when they found out. The panel was asked to make a ruling on the transgression. TNZ now say the amount of secrets acquired by OneWorld far exceed - in scope and detail - what had been admitted in the submissions prepared by OneWorld's lawyers on behalf of designers and sailors. The New Zealand team want the panel to hold hearings so that witnesses can be cross-examined to see if further facts can be unearthed.
In a setback for OneWorld, TNZ have managed to get a statement from Reeves which is admissible by the panel. OneWorld are pursuing Reeves in a parallel civil action in the US courts.
A sad aspect of the case is that it has set the word of former TNZ team-mates against each other. Current TNZ bosses Ross Blackman and Tom Schnackenberg and design team members Mike Drummond and Britons Nick Holroyd and Andy Claughton have, along with others, filed affidavits against the likes of Laurie Davidson, Richard Karn, Neil Wilkinson, Jeremy Scantlebury, Ian Mitchell and Wayne Smith. In turn, they have counter-filed strong denials or differing statements of facts. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, UK
Full story: sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/
* Tommy Hilfiger USA, Inc. will sponsor American Brad Van Liew's completely retro-fitted 50-foot entry in the 2002-2003 "Around Alone" yacht race. Van Liew, 34, skipper of the Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America yacht, was the only American to finish the 1998-99 Around Alone, taking 3rd place in the 50-foot class. - www.oceanracing.org
* Oracle Racing's afterguard member Peter Holmberg, the number one ranked ISAF match racer, has joined TAG Heuer as one of the company's brand ambassadors for the 31st America's Cup. Holmberg joins TAG Heuer's ambassadors including McLaren-Mercedes F1 driver David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen, five-time gold medal athlete Marion Jones, famous fellow Oracle Racing team member sailor Chris Dickson, Nick Dougherty up-coming golfer star and arising stars Ines Sastre and Zhang Ziyi.
* Tracy Edwards' 110ft Maxi-Catamaran, Maiden II, last night broke the four-day barrier and clocked over 40 knots to establish the inaugural Antigua to Newport record. With a mixed crew of 16, skippered by Helena Darvelid and navigated by Adrienne Cahalan, Maiden crossed the finish line off Castle Hill at 15 30 15 local time, giving a record time of 94 hours, 31 minutes and 58 seconds, subject to World Sailing Speed Record Council ratification.
* Yesterday, New Zealand yachting legend and Laureus World Sports Academy founder member Sir Peter Blake, was posthumously given both the 'Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award' and the 'Laureus Sport for Good Award' . Peter's widow Lady Pippa and their two children accepted the two awards to a standing ovation from Hollywood legend Sir Sean Connery who gave a moving tribute to Peter at the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. - www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=2373
* Team Tyco will bring onboard Mike Quilter for the 6-day, 1,075 nautical mile sprint from La Rochelle, France to Gothenburg, Sweden. Quilter has been an integral part of Team Tyco's onshore weather team since the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. Although the syndicate felt that one navigator was best for the long legs, they plan to capitalize on having both a navigator and weather expert for this sprint leg.
* Jesse Martin the youngest person in history to sail solo around the world, non-stop and unassisted, without using fossil fuels, will be a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, on Tuesday 21 May, 2002. Martin, now 20, was 18 years old at the time of his circumnavigation.
* CSS Stellar announced the acquisition of Craigie Taylor International (CTI), the specialist sport and leisure marketing agency. Craigie Taylor manages the communications strategy for the British America's Cup team,GBR Challenge, Tracey Edwards Maiden II and is the international press office for Nautor Swan. The initial consideration is £3.45 million in cash and shares, which could rise on performance to a maximum of £10 million.
One world record. Twelve guys. They all use the Kore by Kaenon Polarized. The first polarized eye protection designed with purpose-built tints and varying light transmission levels. John Kostecki, Large Grey-28; Ross Halcrow, Small Yellow-35; Juan Vila, Medium Grey-12; Stu Bannatyne, Large Copper-12; Stu Bettany, Small Copper-12; Mark Christensen, Medium Grey-12; Richard Clarke, Medium Copper-12; Ray Davies, Small Yellow-35; Dirk de Ridder, Large Copper-12; Noel Drennan, Medium Copper-12; Jamie Gale, Medium Yellow-35; Tony Kolb, Small Yellow-35. Kaenon Polarized, Evolve Optically. Available at Sailing Supply in San Diego, Team One Newport and Alain Mikli in New York City. www.kaenon.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 Tim Jeffery (edited to our 250-word limit): Paul Henderson says the solution to illegal propulsion at Hyeres Olympic was obvious: he went and yelled at the competitors. While the competitors were bemused at the spectacle of the ISAF president shouting at them, the real issue surely is the rules themselves. In many instances one man's wave or legal pump is another man's cheating action. Subjective rules are not good rules. If you watch the propulsion police at big Olympic class regattas, really bad decisions made from umpires too far away or who can only have glimpsed what might have been a transgression are too common an occurrence.
Lost in this debate, is a positive benefit of propulsion. I like watching sailors work their boats hard. That's why sailors are more athletic and their boats are going faster. In the case of the boards, their starts are often the only stimulating part of the race. Fred Perry's poised, balanced sliced backhand might been appropriate in the Thirties but a hammered two-handed from a Williams or Roddick is right for today.
If there are excesses which make the sport look ridiculous and then measures that are appropriate for the class and controlled by objective limitations would be good: viz. Paul Henderson's notion of crew weight forward of the mast on a Star. A black line on the deck would do the trick. And the Star is a wonderfully slow, tactically-intense keelboat, not a high-performance dinghy. Remember, good rules are black and white. Poor rules are riddled with grey areas.
* From Mark Reynolds: I agree with Paul Henderson - quality policing is often necessary but don't forget education. Our youth need to be taught ethics along with our rules, not "how far to push kinetics" as a reader reported here recently. Our rules are pretty clear and we have good people fine tuning them.
Fortunately I haven't seen the rampant cheating that Paul has, at least in the sailing that I do. Maybe Paul shouldn't be quiet as he's lifting weighted lifejackets in the boat park. It's sometimes difficult to report infractions because of peer pressure.
Paul's story in Hyeres reminded me of a similar story (also in Hyeres by coincidence) but it had a happy ending. In 1992 Hal Haenel and I sailed in the Star Europeans. My shock at seeing many crews ooching on the run turned to anger when we dropped from 2nd to 10th on one run. I did some yelling and then confronted one sailor after the race and his comment was "just do it yourself and you will have no problem" and "who would you ever get to witness".
I remember discussing this issue with Rod Davis at the time. We didn't win that Europeans but a few months later at the Olympics we had an excellent on the water jury watching for rule 42 infractions and suddenly we were one of the fastest boats on the run! Hal and I got a Gold medal without having to sail the last race and Rod and Don Cowie took the Silver.
* From Paul Sustronk (edited to our 250-word limit): I was a little surprised by Henderson's inclusion of the Star Class with reference to "rampant" cheating. As an honest Star sailing Canadian, I would have to respectfully disagree with Paul.
In the boat park, I have not seen nor heard of any weighted gear amongst my Star competitors. Additionally, I am not convinced that aggressive kinetics are necessarily a substantial advantage in the class. The down wind demons I've witnessed on the race course (e.g. Johnny MacCausland, Paul Cayard) don't move their upper bodies at all in most situations and typically have their crews at deck level. There are times when kinetics can help get a Star boat over a wave or off on a plane but the rules (42.3) allow for that situation.
With respect to the crewmembers standing on the deck (a technique started by honest Canadians Ross MacDonald and Kai Bjorn), this is not against the class nor ISAF rules. The primary advantage is a much better sight line for the crew to call pressure. The ancillary benefit of a higher center of gravity to enhance a natural rocking motion through the waves is a trade off against a poorer sight line for the helmsman.
What is very clear to me is that the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association has been working very hard to meet its obligation as an Olympic class. This fact is apparent through the very strict on-water judging at key events and through the new weight rule initiatives. Frankly, as a group, I find the Star Class sailors to be good, decent law abiding citizens.
* From James C. Malm: Propulsion Solution - dump the rule or change the boats! Using propulsion when driving on the trapeze wire and trimming the mainsail can be a difficult concept to grasp. Pumping the mainsheet while sitting on the side of a hull is not a difficult concept to grasp or refine.
After watching the 2000 Olympic laser sailors race downwind, it became apparent that propulsion has changed. The fast guys trim the boats constantly with body weight and sail trim, and seem to be working the boat legally. A few times during a race a sailor may over work the boat, but who can police the field with consistent results?
I am a current US Sailing judge who sailed a laser in 1988; does that make me qualified to judge today's fleet? I think it would take years of watching the laser fleet in all conditions to even develop an opinion of how the propulsion rule applies. A current Olympic sailing coach would have the best opinion of what looks suspect as propulsion; should they judge?
Educating the police force for the different classes would be a monumental task. Plus, a few eyes never check the whole fleet. Drop the rule and move on.
* From Alan Ouellette: There is no room in our sport for people who cheat. Perhaps making the penalties more severe might help the situation. Why not ban someone caught cheating from competition for a year? That would shift the onus to the competitors to ensure that they are competing fairly. Worried about weighted jackets? Check the winner's equipment. Not legal? Toss'em. We need to make it the competitor's responsibility to compete according to the rules rather than an issue of "What can I get away with?"
* From Peter Godfrey: Paul Henderson is certainly right about one thing: money creates professionals and professionals need the money, so they do what they have to get it. On the other hand, there are some pro sports in which there is little if any cheating (golf, for example), largely because the competitors won't tolerate it. The problem in sailing cannot be cured by increasing policing from the outside. Competitors need to police themselves by protesting rule breakers, and juries need to enforce the rules when given the opportunity. Until that happens, there will be more and more calls like Paul's: just increase the police force and eliminate the problem. Where do those folk come from? Who pays them? What do they do for a living when they are not policing races?
Meanwhile, professional sailing is ruining sailing for most of the rest of us, for the reasons Paul states so clearly. That is why sailing needs two separate organizations: one for pros and one for amateurs. If the pro side can't subsist without the amateur side, it will die. RIP.
* From Robert T. King (re Red Socks): Originally, Rolls Royce motorcars featured a red RR logo adorning the radiator, front and center, beneath the inimitable Flying Lady. I believe that, up until the death of Royce (circa 1929) the logo was in red. Thereafter, motorcars built by Rolls Royce feature a black RR logo.
My simple suggestion is that, in his honour, Sir Peter Blake's torch be carried forward by way of red socks sporting a black band near the top. Red to maintain the tradition, and a black band in sober solidarity that his cause shall be carried forth.
* From Gibbons Burke (edited to our 250-word limit): Your recent thread mentioning successful racing families ties in neatly with your letter from Olaf Harken today. He mentioned the contribution of G. S. "Buddy" Friedrichs' 1968 Olympic win in the Dragon class, along with Lowell North's in the Star Class with helping to boost the nascent company's equipment.
Buddy's father, Commodore G. Shelby Friedrichs Sr. was also a great sailor in his own right. A champion golfer, Shelby took up sailing late in life so he could involve his family in his sport of choice. A few years later, with sons Buddy and Gore crewing, he won in 1956 the Luder 16 International Championship. Buddy would go on to claim that title for himself in 1960 and 1961, his first international victories. He would go on to win the Mallory Cup and the Star Nationals in 1964, and both the Canadian and North American Championships in the Dragon class in 1965. In 1966 he was knighted by fellow Dragon skipper King Constantine of Greece after winning the Dragon Class European Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark, and he defended his title as North American champion in the Dragon class. 1967 brought victory in the Dragon Worlds, and won Olympic gold in his Dragon Williwaw with crew Barton Jahncke and Click Schreck.
Shelby and Buddy are both members of the Collegiate Sailing Hall of Fame, and both served on the Executive Committee of the North American Yacht Racing Union. They passed away within three months of each other in early 1991.
(On the Madforsailing website, Ed Gorman looked at the plight of the seven boats which have not made the grade in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here's an excerpt.)
The first Volvo Ocean Race isn't over but the finishing order is starting to take on a fairly static look with illbruck firmly on course for overall honours and Assa Abloy reasonably secure in second with a handy five-point margin over Amer Sports One in third place.
The main issue between now and the finish at Kiel is which team is going to end up in third place, with Grant Dalton on Amer One facing the twin challenges of Jez Fanstone's News Corp just two points behind in fourth and Kevin Shoebridge's Tyco one point further back in fifth. With Dee Smith on tactics - arguably the best in the fleet - my money is on Dalts to hang in there over two short tactically demanding final stages. - Ed Gorman, Madforsailing, full story: www.madforsailing.com
Blokarts fold up in a little suitcase, and they rig up real quick. Blokarts only takes five minutes to set up and don't require any tools to assemble. One of the great things about Blokarting is that you can do it all day long and you won't get exhausted. Blokarts are great on the beach or in the car park. This one link you must check out: www.pyacht.net/online-store/scstore/h-blokart.htm
La Rochelle, France The World Sailing Speed Record Council today ratified the world record for the greatest distance sailed in 24 hours by a monohull set by illbruck Challenge during Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race. The illbruck race crew will receive the EDS 24-Hour Monohull World Speed Record Trophy for their 24-hour run of 484 nautical miles achieved April 29-30.
The trophy and prize money will be presented to the crew at a reception hosted by EDS at the Yacht Club de France in Paris next month. The 12-member race crew will receive certificates from the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) acknowledging their achievement. That crew was: Stu Bannatyne, Watch Captain; Stu "Waffler" Bettany, bow; Mark "Crusty" Christensen, Watch Captain; Richard Clarke, trimmer/helmsman; Ray "Hooray" Davies, trimmer/helmsman; Dirk "Cheese" de Ridder, trimmer; Noel "Nitro" Drennan, trimmer/helmsman; Jamie Gale, mast; Ross "Rosco" Halcrow, trimmer and Sail Program Manager; Tony Kolb, bow; John Kostecki, skipper; and Juan Vila, navigator.
illbruck skipper John Kostecki said the team feels proud of this accomplishment. "We did not try to break the record -- it just happened. Our goal was to earn a podium finish on leg 7, so we were fully focused on the goal at hand and not breaking records. We broke the record by pushing the boat hard in favorable conditions.
The 24-hour monohull world record was previously held by Bernard Stamm on the Open 60 Armor Lux with 467.70 nautical miles. The illbruck monohull world record also sets a new VO 60 class record, previously held by Team SEB. - Jane Eagleson, www.illbruck-Challenge.com
Leg 10 - 67.1 statute miles, Wrightsville Beach, NC - Atlantic Beach, NC - Caliente and Lexis Nexis had a photo finish with Caliented getting the nod. This is their first time at the pole position for the next day's start. Guess the word means "hot" in espanol and they were hot today. The wind was blowing well at the start and great at the finish, but during the day the wind had compoletely went dead. We wondered if perhaps Caliente had a good run because they are the lightest weighted team in the fleet.
The last part of the leg had boats all tacking straight downwind toward the finish after the wind had shifted more to the south. Many played the rhumb line, but closely kept their eye on the shoreline for the sea breeze that finally did fill in for the after dash for cash at the finish line. - Catamaran Sailor, full story: www.catsailor.com/worrell02/worrell02.html
2. Tybee Island 8 minutes, 55 seconds behin leader
3. Alexander's on the Bay, 29:35 bl
4. Tommy Bahama, 35:11 bl
5. San Antonio, 38:29 bl
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Better to have dumb luck than none at all.