SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1076- May 22, 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.
After this cup, "Syndicate Row" will be no more - regardless of whether Team New Zealand mount a successful defence. Already a new apartment building is being constructed between Team New Zealand and GBR Challenge. The apartment building is the first stage in the redevelopment of that part of the Viaduct Harbour.
The area where GBR, Victory Challenge, the old illbruck base and Stars and Stripes are located is a residential zone and is likely to be turned into apartments immediately after the cup. And that means if Team New Zealand retain the cup many syndicates will have to find new homes. Julie Ash, NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
(Sailing World's editor John Burnham talked with Russell Coutts, two-time America's Cup winner for New Zealand, after he was named to the magazine's Hall of Fame. Here are two excerpts from that interview posted on the magazine's website.)
Sailing World: You're only 40, but after so many campaigns, what keeps it fresh for you?
Russell Coutts: Well this one I'm in now is a lot different than the ones I was involved in previously, especially the last two campaigns with New Zealand. They were with people I'd known or knew of for a long time. If you look at the sailing team alone, that group had sailed together over many campaigns in a lot of different boats over a long, long time. So this is all brand new. There's five or six guys I've sailed with before but all the rest are guys I've sailed against in other campaigns. That's been different from the start, and actually it's been quite refreshing.
SW: What was it out of the '92 Cup that stung the most and that you took away that really made a difference later?
RC: The '92 Cup was where I learned the most. I took a lot of lessons about how to structure a team a little differently and what to put emphasis on. In '92 we had some excellent people involved and when you looked at the team I believe it was a team probably capable of winning, but for whatever reason it didn't really perform and didn't make the right decisions at the critical moments. That was probably the biggest lesson-it was all very well to have a good group of people but somehow you need to form them into a group that makes good decisions and works together.
Full interview: www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=927
RIGGING TO WIN
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* Larry Ellison will helm Oracle Racing's USA 49 (the former AmericaOne) against fleet of vintage International America's Cup Class (IACC) yachts in the inaugural Sausalito Cup on San Francisco Bay. Other IACC yachts participating include Italy 1 (Peter Stoneberg), USA 11 (John Sweeney), NZL 14 (Ben Beer), and NZL 20 (David Thomson). The format is one buoy race on Friday evening May 24, one long Bay race on Saturday May 25, finishing with two buoy races on Sunday May 26. - www.iaccsf.com
* The attempt by Sean Langman's Grundig - an extended Open 60 with 66 feet of waterline - to eclipse the current world 24-hour run speed record has failed. Grundig left Sydney Australia on Tuesday, May 21 in 25-30 knots of wind. However, Langman was forced to abandon his record attempt when the breeze failed to live up to expectations. The current record was set by the Volvo 60 illbruck Challenge during leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race when they achieved a 24-hour run of 484 nautical miles.
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 Dallas Johnson: Removing sailing from the Olympics is an obvious solution to Mr. Henderson's concerns. The Olympics are about athletics, and kinetic movement is an athletic activity which is clearly unacceptable for sailors who prefer to sit still as if bird watching or playing a video game. We also need to consider leaving the Olympics if we want to keep all these mental gymnastics rules of ours that are squishy and difficult to judge (kinetics is just one of these) and create an atmosphere that all rules are negotiable. If sailing wishes to keep one of the most complex rules systems in sports as a self-enforced system, the Olympics have got to go! Mr. Henderson, although I think kinetic's rules are silly, I do thank you for your willingness to engage members of the sport in active debate.
* From Fred Schroth: The cheating discussion is made more difficult to comprehend by those who include local kids and international professionals in the same subsets. Perhaps many of the .05% of sailors who actually have something financial at stake need to have referees. Those of us who play for fun probably need to be reminded that it is not much fun to finish ahead of a friend by cheating. Certainly it is sick to have coaches /mentors who are so bereft of morals that they teach children to win rather than to sail. Perhaps we should hire coaches who teach, "It is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game." The game of sailing does not build character, it exposes it.
* From Pat Healy: I take strong offense to the claim that "top high school and college coaches are teaching their kids to use illegal kinetics..." It is wrong, dead wrong. To say that Old Dominion, Harvard, Georgetown, Tufts, St. Mary's, Hawaii, Navy, Kings Point or coaches or sailors from any school are taught when or how they can cheat is doing a huge disservice to them and their efforts. Perhaps he thinks business and law school professors also teach their students when and how cheating will not be caught. Does he also claim officers of teacher or police unions advise their members how to get around the rules. Such claims are reckless.
Programs like US Sailing's Coach certification programs insure that integrity and character issues are taught as well as enforced are already helping. However, how may schools and youth programs have the needed motor boats to put the necessary number of judges on the water during regattas? How many judges have the small boat experience and training to understand what they are seeing? How many sailors who understand the techniques are willing to give up their sailing to police Rule 42?
I am proud of the efforts of dedicated coaches, US Sailing and ISAF to insure that young sailors understand the rule, the issues and are given the opportunity to test themselves under pressure. We should support this work rather than point fingers.
* From Lenore Goldman: Terrorism (def.) "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons." I am angered by the Greenpeace incident. They claim they are a "peaceful" organization....yet their actions are nothing short of terrorist. Greenpeace a fanatical, aggressive and dangerous organization. Their representatives are not afraid of arrest. I hope the 11 people arrested are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
* From Bruce Lines: The actions of Greenpeace are deplorable, they have done more to damage their cause by this type of action than to help it. Many will agree that some of their causes are worthy ones but the means they use to support them are similar to those used by terrorist organizations. Force is not the way to get your point across. I hope that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and they will realize they have done more to destroy their credibility by engaging in this type of activity. What they did is no different than what happened to their ship in New Zealand, the potential for loss of life existed. I am thankfully nobody was killed or injured.
* From Robin Wallace: For the 1977, 1980 and 1983 America's Cup Series in Newport, I was fortunate to be Vice-Chairman of the Challenger's Race Committee and had the opportunity to get to know Warren Jones quite well. His determination to win was obvious and his sometimes pugnacious exterior trying to outwit the NYYC belied a wonderfully warm and friendly inner Warren.
Last August in Cowes, it was a very proud Warren Jones who stood on the platform with the crew of Australia II to receive the New York Yacht Club trophy from Commodore Dana commemorating their spirit in bringing Australia II to the Sesquicentennial Regatta. We reminisced about the time he and a red faced Jim Alabaster were overheard 'plotting' their next move against the NYYC, his losing battle with mal de mer aboard the "Tub Derriere" - a committee boat for the Newport trials and the building of their version of the British 'bendy mast' in the workshop right next to the Race Committee house!
Sail on Warren - with that boxing kangaroo flag flying before you !
A number of our readers wrote to Greenpeace to protest their attack on LeDefi Areva's new IACC boat, FRA 69. The reply letters from Greenpeace were pretty amazing. Here are a couple of excerpts:
"Last Saturday in Lorient, France, an incident occurred with a Greenpeace inflatable and the official French entry into the America's Cup race, "Defi Areva". Greenpeace kayaks and three inflatables were in the water to peacefully protest the sponsorship by Areva of the Defi Areva. Greenpeace has nothing against the boat nor the team, but is opposed to the Areva sponsorship. Greenpeace is committed to exposing corporations that utilize 'greenwashing' practices to divert attention from their environmentally destructive practices."
"During the protest a Greenpeace inflatable and an Areva inflatable came into contact. The Areva inflatable pushed the Greenpeace inflatable against the hull of the boat. There is no hole in the Areva boat and no serious damage done. The hull is made of a carbon fiber sandwich. The contact resulted in a simple mark on the hull (0.10 square meter). The internal coat does not show any problems, and the external coat will need to be analyzed with an x-ray to verify if it did suffer structural damages. The ship will be repaired within the next two days."
"Greenpeace is committed to peaceful non-violent direct action in our efforts to protect the environment and has a 30 year history of peaceful protest. As a sea- faring organization, we are strongly committed to safety on the water. All action on our part is conducted in such a manner as to ensure the safety of everyone involved from our activists to law enforcement. We are opposed to the destruction of private property and have always fully cooperated with arresting officers."
LE DEFI AREVA
Work is underway to repair the damage to FRA 69. The following is a summary from the French syndicate.
THE SURVEY - The damaged area is located 50 cm below the starboard chainplate of the shroud supporting the mast, and 90 cm below deck level. This is a sensitive part of the hull's structure as it bears a load of 25 tons. Yesterday's survey carried out by two technicians from the Multiplast yard in Vannes, France (which built FRA 69) enabled the damage to be ascertained and a suggested repair process to be submitted to KenMcAlpine. The technical Director's authorisation was given to Defi Arena, this morning at 11h45 (see enclosed).
THE WORK - The principle behind the repair work involves making the hull structure whole again. The impact pushed in the outer skin of the hull, causing the various layers of carbon fibre to delaminate, thereby crushing the Nomex core. Repair work will consist of cutting out 28 x 12 cm of the inner skin, removing the damaged Nomex, reinforcing the outer skin with a new skin bonded to the inside, fitting a new Nomex panel, and then filling the deformation to return it to its original form.
THE CONSEQUENCES - Repairs began today and will take 48 hours to complete, thus finishing around midday on Thursday. Last Saturday actions undertaken by the Greenpeace France activists, have immobilized Le Defi Areva's IACC yacht for a total of 5 of the 60 sailing days scheduled before racing begins in Auckland on October 1st of this year.
AMERICA'S CUP STORE
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Auckland, NZ - The break between the end of the Louis Vuitton Challenger series and the start of New Zealand's America's Cup defence next year will provide on-the-water action at a level never previously seen in this part of the world. For the first time an International Classic Yacht Regatta will be raced, from February 6 to 9. This will be followed by the Millennium Cup 2003, an expanded version of the inaugural 2000 event for superyachts, running from February 10 to 13.
In that 2000 Millennium Cup event, millions of dollars-worth of the biggest pleasure boats afloat raced from Auckland to Kawau Island. It gave New Zealand huge international exposure as TV networks here for the cup defence brought their audiences unparalleled coverage of big boys with seriously big toys having expensive fun in our playground.
In 2000 the accent was mainly on modern superyachts, both powered and sailing versions, with the beautiful 1933 J-class America's Cup campaigner Velsheda helping to show the flag for yachting as it was in the distant past. For next year, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand is planning to put a great deal more emphasis on sailing in the yachts that association members here cherish. The race organisers hope their program will entice like-minded sailors from around the world to take part in what they believe will be the greatest classic yachting event staged in the Southern Hemisphere.
To make sure they cater for the widest range of boats, there are special divisions covering gaff-rigged yachts of all sizes and Bermudan classics right up to J-Class yachts. There will also be events for classic launches. The organisers even plan divisions for modern yachts built after 1950 but of traditional materials and lines. - Robin Bailey, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/marine/
A big crowd of friends, families, fellow competitors and public were dockside at the La Rochelle yacht basin at midnight to greet the crew of Amer Sports Too as they arrived to rejoin the Volvo Ocean Race. Dismasted in the North Atlantic on May 1 as they were racing in leg 7, they arrived in La Rochelle after a 2 1/2 day delivery voyage from Gosport. The yacht was shipped across the Atlantic and a replacement mast stepped at the southern English boatyard of Camper and Nicholson.
Lisa McDonald and her crew received a welcome as big any received by the other yachts. Dockside lights were turned off and the crowd was silent everybody was silent on the quay as the yacht motored into the basin. A few yards from the berth the lights where switched on, fireworks lite the air and the crowd cheered. It was a surprise for the girls, they had been told to expect a very low-key welcome because they were arriving in the middle of a cold, rainy night.
The arrival atmosphere was the best seen during this race. Keryn Henderson, trimmer on Amer Sports Too said, 'We suspected something might happen, even though we had been told otherwise, but then coming in under pouring rain and in the middle of the night we were not expecting big stuff. We were so surprised by this great welcome!'
Ahead lay four intense days for the crew of Amer Sports Too and the Nautor Challenge shore crew as they will get the boat ready for leg 8 that starts on Staturday May 25th. - Katarina Bonde, Nautor Challenge website, www.nautorchallenge.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* May 31-June 2: Sailing World Detroit NOOD Regatta, Bayview YC. Some 200 skippers from the United States and Canada racing in 16 one-design and three level racing classes. www.sailingworld.com
* June 15-22: U-Store-It Lighthouse Series, Cleveland YC, Rocky River OH. PHRF, Cruising Class & One Design. Notice of race with registration posted at: www.cycrr.org
* July 20: Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Over 300 yachts are expected to compete in this longest freshwater sailing race in the world. - www.chicagoyachtclub.org
* November 3-10: Annual Meeting of the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club, held concurrently with the Pro-Am regatta at the Bitter End YC on Virgin Gorda in the BVI. SSC members will race for the SSC Club Championship, plus have the opportunity to crew for Ed Baird, Mark Reynolds, Marie Bjorling, Dawn Riley, Keith Musto, Butch Ulmer, Rod Johnstone, Lowell North and/ or the curmudgeon in the Pro-Am Regatta. SSC members are eligible for discount rates- www.beyc.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.