SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1075- May 21, 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.
MEASUREMENT HANDICAP RACING
The fourth edition of the Rolex IMS World Championship which begins today in Capri has the potential to be everything the Offshore Racing Council envisioned when it conceived this event several years ago. With Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Offshore Racing Council as organising partners and Rolex's 5 years sponsorship commitment, the event has grown each year, while moving from Porto Cervo to Newport, RI, Valencia, Spain and now Capri. The entry list of almost 90 yachts (representing the top 1% of the world whole fleet) is impressing in itself. But the quality of yachts and crews from the 16 participating nations is doubly impressive.
A number of new one-offs and production yachts join familiar circuit participants to form the 24 Big Boat Division. Noteworthy are HRM King Harald's Farr 50 Fram XV, the new Judel/Vrolijk Dutch SottoVoce, Sydney-Hobart winner Bumble Bee, Vincenzo Onorato's Copa del Rey winner Breeze. George Andreadis is back to IMS racing with a new Farr 43 Atalanti XIV and, of course, Pasquale Landolfi's Brava Q8, current IMS 50' World Champion, with Paul Cayard on board as a very special guest. Two new production Cruiser/Racer yachts will be observed with interest. The Jeppesen IMX 45 and the J/V Grand Soleil 44 follow the success of their IMS 600 designs.
The 62 yachts composing Division B are split in 35 IMS 600 in Group 1 and 27 yachts rating 620 sec/mi and higher in Group 2. Six different production yachts make up the 600 Class.
There appears to be a growing trend towards production yachts in the Grand Prix events. Hopefully their success could encourage existing builders to expand their lines and also attract additional ones to the field. The ORC views this as a positive game to attract more sailors to the sport, who can compete at reasonable costs. - Don Genitempo, ORC Offshore Classes and Events Committee
Former Team New Zealand lawyer Sean Reeves was paid $1.3 million in his brief but controversial career with rival America's Cup syndicate OneWorld. But his pay packet is paltry compared with what OneWorld fear they will lose if the Reeves saga sinks their campaign - their entire investment of $163 million.
Documents obtained by the Weekend Herald reveal how Reeves became involved with the Americans just weeks after the last cup race in March 2000 and began recruiting designers and sailors even before he was employed by Seattle-based OneWorld. Reeves said in an affidavit that he started his recruiting drive - which cost Team NZ key figures including sailor Craig Monk and designer Laurie Davidson - in "approximately April 2000". He signed his first contract with the new team in June 2000. www.ledefi.com
But under that deal, he was paid US$29,000 ($63,000) for consulting work he had done in March 2000, said an affidavit by OneWorld chief executive Gary Wright. He was then paid monthly fees of US$40,000 to US$60,000 until March last year, said Wright. Several months after Reeves left the syndicate, OneWorld accused him of trying to sell some of their secrets to another team, Oracle Racing.
Reeves, a former Olympic sailor, filed counterclaims accusing OneWorld of having Black Boat designs and other technical data that they had no right to. The claims have reached the cup's powerful arbitration panel, which is now considering whether OneWorld improperly obtained New Zealand secrets. The panel has the power to expel teams.
In papers filed this month, Wright has claimed his team are suffering financially and that their morale has been dealt a blow by the saga. "Ultimately, the harm could be [the] loss of OneWorld's investment, which will likely total approximately US$75 million [$163 million]," said Wright. The impact on the team's potential sponsors was also "real and substantial". While difficult to ascertain or quantify, such harm could easily run into millions of dollars." - Eugene Bingham, New Zealand Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
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* France's America's Cup team, le Defi Areva, have started legal proceedings against Greenpeace in the wake of Saturday's damage inflicted on the newly launched FRA-69 when the cup yacht was rammed by a protester's boat. Tim Jeffery The Daily Telegraph, sport.telegraph.co.uk/
* The first of two new ACC boats for the Prada America's Cup 2003 challenge, ITA 74, was launched yesterday in a private ceremony. Their second boat, ITA 80 is still under construction in the Grosseto boat yard. Skipper Francesco de Angelis said that a fourth place for the strategist has been added to Luna Rossa cockpit, to team with the skipper, the navigator and the tactician. The team will train off Punta Ala, Tuscany, for the next two months before moving to New Zealand.
* Extrasport Inc. of Miami, Florida will provide a selection of lifejackets to athletes on the US Sailing Team, the US Disabled Sailing Team, and the US Youth World Team.
* Ever wondered just how much an average America's Cup mainsail costs? Try around US$90,000. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
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 Michael Levitt: It was with sadness that I learned about the death of Warren Jones. I watched him at the 1983 America's Cup, which I covered as a journalist. He taught the America's Cup world "one" -- or perhaps I should say, "won if by land, two if by sea." There was Ben Lexcen's yacht Australia II, John Bertrand's unflappable leadership, Tom Schnackenberg's brilliant upwind and downwind sails and Warren Jones's advocacy. I remember it as a virtuoso performance. Now I work in his business. Public-relations people have their heroes, too, and Jones was one of the best and brightest.
* From Skip Lissiman: Warren Jones was one of the great leaders both in business and the sport of sailing. He was inspirational in how he could get a group of individuals and then get the maximum out of them as a team. His work more recently, in leading the Australia II team in Cowes for the AC Jubilee was a highlight for all of us involved. We were delighted to have Warren as part of the sailing crew on Australia II for a number of races in Cowes. Seeing his beaming exhausted face over the top of the grinder handles on Australia II after a fierce gybing dual coming into the finish of the Round the Island race will be a memory I will always cherish.
* From Ed du Moulin: Warren Jones was an outstanding individual and a tough competitor who I greatly admired. He was the driving force behind Alan Bond's successful challenge in 1983. As the manager of the Liberty campaign I can attest to his effectiveness. In Fremantle in l987 he was hospitable to our Stars & Stripes team. It was wonderful to talk to him in Cowes His talent to "steal the show" was never better demonstrated with the appearance of Australia II with all the veterans of l983. He will be remembered.
* From Philippe Herve: Greenpeace claims the collision was unintentional. Make up your own mind by watching the video. Click on the video icon: www.tf1.fr/news/france/0,,914322,00.html
* From Ray Wulff: There is nothing peaceful about Greenpeace's deliberate attack on the French AC Boat. Definition of Terrorism: The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Here's an idea, change the name to Greenterrorists and see how much support you get?
* From Aidan S. Bolger: When is the world going to wake up and demonstrate its intolerance to acts of aggression by all types of zealots. Did we not learn anything from the World Trade Centre tragedy? Maybe Le Defi should commence legal action against Greenpeace and sue them out of existence for every last dollar and asset they own. Thank God no lives were lost.
* From Robert Constable (edited to our 250-word limit): It's hard to argue with most of Paul Henderson's points regarding the malicious nature of cheating. However, I can't agree with his closing argument that "the answer is not education, but proper policing with tough but fair officials." That was Rudy Giuliani's approach to cleaning up street crime in New York City--hopefully the sailing world isn't at such risk. In sailing, enforcement may help break a current trend at the Olympic level, but it's not the way to inspire our kids.
He's right that the challenge is to prevent sailing from following Track & Field down the road of doping, or the kind of 'bad-boy' behavior common in professional team sports. Golf is the only professional sport I can think of that remains self-policing, and where adherence to the rules remains a treasured ideal even at the highest professional levels
Mr. Henderson himself pointed out the root of the problem - money. As the financial rewards grow at the Grand Prix and Olympic level, and as the required investment has become so enormous in the AC/Volvo/etc. arenas, the boundaries are bound to get tested. And there's certainly no return to the days of pure amateurism and budget campaigns.
If you want to fix the problem for future generations, let's get some of sailing's wonderful role models up on a soapbox to shame the current generation of agressive coaches and sailors, and restore the luster of sportsmanship, the way names like Elvstrom, Bavier and Van Duyne did for earlier generations.
* From Ted Beier: President Henderson's approach is on the right track, but is not harsh enough. Anyone caught cheating should be confronted with it and thrown out of the entire regatta with as much shame as possible. This behavior is not new. We who measured boats at the '84 Olympics in LA saw a lot of attempted cheating. There was an attitude that, "its not against the rules unless you get caught". When they did get caught we got a "sack cloth and ashes" routine about how desolated they where that this unfortunate situation that they were not aware of existed, which was so much rubbish as we had proof time after time the competitors and coaches new full well what was wrong with their boats.
The most frustrating thing was that the ISAF (IYRU back then) measurers would not disqualify the offenders and send them home as they should have done. Instead they would play alone with the sobbing with gushey sympathy and apologetically request that the situation be rectified by requiring the offending team to use another boat, which they always surprisingly had available, ready to go, and able to measure in perfectly.
Until cheating is confronted in the harshest way and caused to acrue all the shame that it should, it will not go away.
* From Scott Diamond: The problem with the rule 42 violations is that the top high school and college coaches are teaching their kids to use illegal kinetics and it is being accepted as OK. We should use umpires or on water judges more frequently, start throwing kids out of races and the coaches will stop teaching them to use illegal kinetics.
* From Tom Donlan: The Flying Junior sailor in issue 1074 said if he didn't pump, he would lose places, and so his coaches teach him how to pump without being protested. The Olympic windsurfer said if he weren't paid, he wouldn't have been able to compete internationally.
I am appalled, though not surprised. I wish to say to both that sport is not life. The purpose of sport is to learn important lessons for life. Sailing is a sport that sounds the depth of your character more than it tests the condition of your body.
I would advise the FJ sailor to give up this kind of competitive sailing for the time being, for it is clear that he is learning the wrong lessons. Maybe he could hook up as crew on a keelboat owned and raced by adults who love the sport as a sport.
The Olympic air-rower says he is still paying off debt he incurred years ago to compete internationally. Maybe that's enough of a lesson for life. But if it's true that without National Authority financial support most Olympic sailors could not compete, he has unwittingly offered a solution to the problem of professionalism in sailing. Amateur sailors should demand that their national authorities cease to use their dues and contributions to fund "high-level" programs.
* From Lloyd Klee: To reduce the number of man overboards, maybe the yacht that is responsible for the MOB is penalized rather than glorified as to how they managed to retrieve the MOB person. How many times do you need to tell someone to clip on. A penalty imposed would maybe get some skippers pushing safety for their crew.
* From Jack D. Tallman: In response to Jeff Leeuwenburg in #1094, check out the Lifesling. It is a soft horseshoe with floatation; it is tethered to the boat to bring the victim to the boat; and it is a sling to pull the victim from the water. And it works for a single-handed recovery.
* From Chris Bouzaid: Alinghi Interactive is really awesome.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Cheryl reviewed the Alinghi Interactive exhibit on the 2003AC website: isuzu21.webcrossing.com/WebXemail@example.comPAamsNaKH^1@.ef0bf7b
(Following Le Defi Areva's encounter with Greenpeace on Saturday, when a RIB rammed the side of the team's brand new FRA-69 at 15 knots the day after her christening, crewman Tim Kroger was still incensed when he spoke to madforsailing. Here's an excerpt.)
"For me it is really really shocking," expounded the German offshore sailor, who last year took French nationality to join Le Defi. "I am more than disappointed with the way Greenpeace and these activists are operating. I am more than shocked, because I always really rated the way Greenpeace operated to save the environment. The way they acted was unbelievable - on purpose, full speed, they were ramming our boat."
If this incident made Kroger and the rest of the team furious, then he says the disinformation campaign carried out by Greenpeace subsequent to the incident has pushed the team to the brink. "What really shocked me was the way they do their media work. They said that one of OUR boats has pushed their rubber dinghy into the America's Cup Class boat, but the images on television they tell a different story. They do their circling with the police boat, then they see the gap in the travel lift bay and you see the guy on the rubber dinghy pointing with a finger towards the gap and telling the girl who was driving 'GO GO GO' - you can see this - and they were going straight for it and hit us. - James Boyd, Madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.com
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SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Langenargen, Gremany - The Swedish Match Tour's Match Race Germany crowned a new champion today, a first time winner on the world's premier professional sailing series. Denmark's Jesper Radich a full-time student, has had an up-an-down year, first losing his sponsor but then rattling off victories in three straight regattas, Match Race Germany being his most recent and most special.
1. Jesper Radich, Denmark
2. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Marienlyst
4. Andrew Arbuzow, Russia
5. Karol Jablonski, POL/Team MK Cafe
6. Cameron Appleton, Team New Zealand
7. Markus Wieser, Germany
8. Ian Walker, GBR Challenge
9. Henrik Jensen, Denmark
10. Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden
11. Morten Henriksen, Germany
12. Stefan Meister, Germany
13. Chris Law, Great Britain
14. Alexander Hagen, Germany
Alexander's On The Bay sailed by Brian J. Lambert & Jamie B. Livingston finished first overall in the 2002 Worrell 1000 and they also broke a record and set the new best time of 71 hours, 32 minutes and 56 seconds. It bested the record in the 1997 set by Randy Smyth and Jason Snead on a Nacra 6.0NA of 75 hours and 17 minutes.
1 Alexander's on the Bay
2 Tybee Island, Stephen G. "Steve" Lohmayer / Kenneth A. "Kenny" Pierce 1 minute 42 seconds behind winner
3 Castrol, Joseph J. "Jay" Sonnenklar / John H. Casey, 53 minutes 56 seconds behind winner
4 Tommy Bahama, S. Alex Shafer / Nigel A. Pitt, 1 hour 8 minutes, 49 seconds behind winner
5 San Antonio, John A. Tomko / John S. Oliveira 01:39:56 behind winner.
The San Diego Yacht Club won the Lipton Cup for a record 33rd time yesterday in a seven-race, 18-boat series sailed out of defending champion Coronado Yacht Club. Chris Snow skippered the winning Pholly to a 7-5-1-4-1-6-4 series for 28 points in the 87th sailing of Southern California's longest-running major regatta where yacht clubs teams race against other yacht clubs. Sailing with Snow were SDYC members Kyle Clark, Craig Leweck, Chris Doolittle, Chuck Sinks and Bill Campbell.
Bold Forbes, the Balboa Yacht Club entry skippered by Jack Franco with 30 points. Third was the Mike Pinckney-skippered Mischief from Bahia Corinthian YC (32 points). The Willem Van Wey-skippered defender Quicksilver from Coronado YC was fourth with 38 points and Bob Little's J-Hawk from California YC finished fifth with 42 points. - Full results: www.sdyc.org/raceinfo/Lipton%20Results.htm
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
We learn from history that we don't learn from history.