SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1077- May 23, 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.
PREREQUISITES FOR A PODIUM FINISH
The key to exceptional performance is the ability to combine 'driving' and 'enabling' leadership behavior. This is the principal finding of a new research study that identifies the skills and competencies that will enable managers to become exceptional leaders and take their teams to new heights of performance
A team of researchers tracked the skills and behaviors of the skippers taking part in the BT Global Challenge 2000/01 round-the-world yacht race to try and identify what it was that enabled the winning teams to achieve and sustain high performance. The research was led by Inspiring Performance working with Henley Management College and BT and was supported by a number of international organisations. The race was chosen as the setting for the study because it provided an ideal environment in which to examine leadership behavior. The skippers were running parallel projects using the same equipment, with amateur crew and facing unpredictable and hostile conditions.
The findings are published today in a new book 'Inspiring Leadership - Staying Afloat in Turbulent Times' The authors reveal that during the race, skippers at the front of the fleet demonstrated the ability to use 'driving' and 'enabling' leadership behavior appropriately and to adapt their style according to the circumstances.
The research identifies a set of performance drivers (dubbed the 'X' factor) which include traditional management skills such as self-motivation, discipline, resource management, control management, conflict management and performance focus. Some skippers were particularly strong in this area and led their crews using systems and procedures. However, they typically had less motivated and united teams.
The performance enablers (the 'Y' factor) are the skills and behaviors which helped the skippers create cohesive, united, happy, loyal and supportive teams. These abilities are identified in the research as integrity, self-belief, self-control, sensing, openness, vulnerability, purpose, recognition, belief and shared leadership. Skippers who majored on this approach to leadership were able to inspire confidence and belief in their crews, but typically had teams that were less focused on achievement.
The winning skippers were the ones who were able to successfully combine both 'X' and 'Y' factor skills and abilities. They showed a balanced approach to managing and leading - and led teams that were both performance focused and happy. The research has also highlighted the importance for leaders of developing their ability to apply Emotional Intelligence. The podium skippers were the ones who were able to use EI behavious - such as emotional resilience, intuitiveness and interpersonal sensitivity - to anchor themselves, create a positive culture and maintain the motivation of their crews. -www.inspiringperformance.com
VOLVO OCEAN RACE ANALYSIS
(Peter Rusch has done a very comprehensive job of analyzing the results of the individual legs of the Volvo Ocean Race. Here are but three brief excerpts to whet your appetite.)
In the short three-day sprint up to Baltimore from Miami, both Jez Fanstone's News Corp and Dalton's Amer Sports One were the only boats to sail under 900 miles, and that translated into the top two spots on the podium. That efficient routing allowed them to place ahead of Assa Abloy and overall race leader, illbruck Challenge who both posted better average speeds for the leg, but were dragged down the finishing order by sailing more miles. In fact, one again, Assa Abloy had a finishing position below its average speed ranking for the leg, giving more ammunition to critics who insist it's the fastest boat in the fleet.
* On the last major passagemaking leg of the race, the illbruck crew claimed the only major prize to elude it to this point, the 24-hour distance record with an eye-popping 481-miles. Several days of optimum weather backed up by superb sailing translated into a whopping average speed of over 14 knots for the leg. illbruck is the only team to average over 14-knots on any of the legs of the Volvo Ocean Race.
* One sore point for the Assa Abloy crew is the continuing trend of earning a finishing position below it's leg speed ranking. For the first five legs, this happened three times, with the team winning the other two legs. In Leg 6 Assa Abloy finished third despite the best average speed, while in Leg 7, the crew claimed second place to match their leg speed ranking. - Peter Rusch, Volvo Ocean Race website, full story: www.volvooceanrace.org/news/leg_7/n7_020522_stats.html
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* Christine Briand from France is joining Lisa McDonald's Amer Sports Too for the last two legs of the Volvo Ocean Race. Briand will call the tactics and share the helm for the 1100nm leg to Gothenburg which starts on Saturday and on the 250nm last leg to Kiel, Germany. - www.nautorchallenge.com/html
* 48 hours after her launch, the new Luna Rossa ITA 74 sailed today for the first time in the home waters off Punta Ala. During the 3 hours of sailing, Francesco de Angelis and his crew carried out a series of technical tests to gauge the response of hull, appendices and gear at various sailing angles. - www.pradalunarossa.com
* Ken McAlpine, ACC Technical Director, has allotted sail number 81 to Team New Zealand.
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 Bob Kiernan: Having been a supporter of the past efforts of Greenpeace and always being a sailor I am angered at the audacity of any part of the organization acting in this manner. After viewing the video and reading the letter it is clear they are in the practice of pirating the airways as well as the waterways when it come to the truth and safety. They are terrorists! They have endangered the well-being of the participants of our sport and tainted the news of the press.
I say we, the team and the followers of the sport of sailing support the gendarmes in prosecuting the offenders for acts of piracy. Leaving a message to the organization the world does not share their views and tactics on this matter.
* From Bruce Parsons: It is a bit nostaligic to see the flakes fall from the eyes of those who have finally come into direct contact with the actions of Greenpeace. Here in Newfoundland we have been exposed to them for over twenty years. The next time some alleged environmentalist solicits you for money, remember this is how they operate, and tell your friends. And yet be an environmentalist yourself, in your own life, instead of assuaging your conscience with a contribution.
* From Cole J Price: In the past, I have supported Greenpeace's endeavors to protect whales, and fight the use of drift nets. However, as stated by other Scuttlebutt readers, Greenpeace's actions, compounded by their well organized attempts to manipulate the facts (and the press) have severely hurt their cause. After 911 my tolerance for terrorist activities is nil. Greenpeace no longer has my support because I can no longer trust them.
* From Jim Stevralia: Lenore Goldman's definition of Terrorism is precise and calls into question the Greenpeace organizational charter. If they are involved in terrorism as exhibited by their actions in France, there should be a serious inquiry into their qualification as an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3), Tax exempt organization. Perhaps we should ask the IRS to look into this matter, as they have been doing with various other organizations with links to terrorism. An effective blow to illegal terrorist actions is to hinder their ability to secure funding.
* From Lucinda J Herrick: Do you have a Greenpeace e-mail address so that 'Butt readers can share their thoughts with them?
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: You'll find everything you need on their website: www.greenpeace.org
* From Mary Ambler: In response to the NZ Herald piece that you flagged up in Scuttlebutt, I would like to point out that the Around Alone 2002/3 yacht race has deliberately chosen to stage its Southern Ocean stop-over to coincide with the break between the end of the Louis Vuitton Challenger series and the start of the America's Cup defence next year. The leading Open class boats will arrive from the 28th December 2002 in the Port of Tauranga, dubbed 'the stop-over in paradise', which is under 2 hours from Auckland in the stunning surroundings of the Bay of Plenty and Mount Manganui. If it is where New Zealanders go on their holidays then for the rest of us it will be heaven on earth.
The entire community there is coming together in order to provide much needed social relief to those who may have caught a strong dose of Cup fever and to keep the sailing action in your bloodstream should you need it before the start of the International Classic Yacht Regatta back in Auckland. The re-start of Around Alone from Tauranga on January 26th is set to be equally action-packed and hugely dramatic as these solo sailors head back into the longest and toughest Southern Ocean leg round to Salvador in Brazil, where - not by accident I might add - they will arrive during Carnival time.
* From Mike Blecher: The use of kinetics in order to win "because everyone else does" is akin to the idea that doping in Olympic competition is OK in order to win "because everyone else does." It is definitely not OK, not in the Olympics or in any other venue. Doping is cheating, and so is the application of illegal kinetics in sailing. It's cheating, that's it. Let on the water judges throw out one or two high profile sailors from an important qualifier or two, and watch how fast everything will change--and watch how fast the coaches that advocate this nonsense end up without teaching gigs.
* From Mason Chrisman: The Olympics are all about youth and athleticism. I think it is about time all of us old guys acknowledge that and quit being so myopic about kinetics in sailing. We need to change the rules of the olympic classes to allow our athletes to be athletic. We do not make sailing appealing to our young sailors with continued griping about them using movement to enhance the performance of their boats.
* From Mark Rudiger: Reading the responses to Henderson's thread from some time ago reminded me that although these are important issues, I thought we agreed to keep negative stuff out of the "Butt". Let's hear it for more "Good News"!
PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS
Leg eight of the Volvo Ocean Race, nominally a 1075-mile short course sprint up the North Sea, has plenty of challenges of the sort that cause skipper's and navigator's nightmares. Indeed, the list of potential pitfalls makes the leg look like one of the Indiana Jones' movies. No sooner is one obstacle navigated than a new one appears. From the immense spring tides, and the currents they cause, along both the French and English coasts, to the hundreds of oil rigs dotting the North Sea; from a race course that takes the fleet through one of the busiest commercial shipping areas in the world, to the thousands of tiny rocks, islands and outcrops that mark the Scandinavian coast, this will be a worrying leg for all of the teams.
The restart is scheduled for Saturday, 25th May, when the starting gun will be fired at 17:00, local time (15:00 UTC). The early stage of the race will see a real dogfight for position, as the first third of the leg won't provide much in the way of passing lanes, so each crew will be anxious to earn a strong position immediately. Some of the largest tides, and their associated currents, to be found anywhere in the world are along the Brest Peninsula, making it a particularly hard place to sail. In addition, the land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean produces large, local variations in wind that are notoriously difficult to predict.
Volvo Ocean Race officials have set waypoints that will then take the fleet along the English coast, north of the Dover Straits traffic separation scheme in the English Channel. This is an area where there are likely to be few passing opportunities, although strong currents could be a factor, and allow some of the teams to distinguish themselves.
Turning the corner, the entrance to the North Sea could provide conditions amongst the most challenging yet seen in the race. The Goodwin Sands, north of Dover is a stretch of water characterised by big tides, shallow water, and numerous drying sand banks. With spring tides scheduled for Monday the Volvo sailors can expect massive currents, and, if the winds are opposing the current, some short, steep seas.
The North Sea itself will likely provide the most options for the fleet, as it's the biggest stretch of open water the teams will see during the leg. A waypoint in the middle of the North Sea that the boats must leave to starboard, and another waypoint off the southeast coast of Norway will ensure the fleet doesn't make a straight line for the northern tip of Denmark, and keep the tactical options open longer.
The fleet must round Torungen Island, immediately south of Arendal, Norway, to starboard. This coastline is dotted with literally thousands of little islands and rocks and there are an infinite number of approaches to the island, giving already tired navigators another burden late in the leg.
Finally, it's a 100-mile dash across the Skaggerack, leaving Skagen on the northern tip of Denmark to starboard, to give any real passing lane options before entering the Swedish west coast archipelago and the Southern shipping channel into Gothenburg. The finishing line is just three miles from the race village where the weary sailors will be greeted by a throng of family and well-wishers in Volvo's hometown. - www.volvooceanrace.org
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The ISAF has just issued new match race rankings. Open rankings: 1. Peter Holmberg, Virgin Islands; 2. Magnus Holmberg, Sweden; 3. Jesper Radish Johansen, Denmark; 4. Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark; 5. James Spithill, USA (?); 6. Gavin Brady, New Zealand; 7. Ed Baird, USA.
Women's Rankings: 1. Marie Bjorling, Sweden; 2. Dorte O. Jensen, Denmark; 3. Lotte Meldgaared Pedersen, Denmark; 4. Malin Kallstrom, Sweden; 5. Malin Millbourn, Sweden; 6. Liz Baylis, USA; 7. Betsy Alison, USA.
Medemblik, 22 May 2002 - Besides the rainy conditions today's first day of SPA Regatta 2002 started well. There was enough wind (between 10 - 11 knots). Around 11 a.m. the first boats started, amongst them the Europe, Star, 470 and Yngling.
Over nine-hundred teams, 1,200 competitors, representing 60 countries competed in the eleven Olympic classes. It was especially very interesting to follow the tracing and tracking in the Yngling class. For the first time ever the race could be followed live from the shore on large t.v.-screens. For the first time ever tactical analysis could be made by using the data provided. Tomorrow's weather forecast look better.
Full results: www.sparegatta.org
FOR THE RECORD
Windrose, the new 152ft Gerry Dijkstra-designed schooner and the 209ft three masted Adix completed a thrilling transatlantic duel last night when both yachts bettered the time of Charlie Barr's schooner Atlantic, which in 1905 sailed the course from Sandy Hook lighthouse, New York to the Lizard in Cornwall in 12d 4hr 1min.
Although Windrose reached the Lizard some 6hr before Adix and 17 1/2 hours ahead of the 1905 passage time (Windrose took 11d 10hr 26min 10sec), neither will go down in the record book. They were unable to beat the time set by Phocea, Bernard Tappy's 244ft four masted monohull which, with the aid of power winches (like Adix and Windrose), set a time in July 1988 of 8d 3hr 29min. The achievement really lay more in bettering the time in a yacht of similar dimension and style to Atlantic, something Adix's skipper Paul Goss in particular has been trying to do for years. - David Glenn, Yachting World website, full story, www.ybw.com/yw/home.htm
DAVID AND GOLIATH
If the correct constellation comes to pass tomorrow, Giovanni Soldini's 60ft trimaran Tim may line up against Steve Fossett's maxi-catamaran PlayStation in a David and Goliath-style match race from Marseilles to Carthage, Tunisia as they both attempt to break the elusive Transmed record. Currently this record is held by French yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, who set a time for the 458 mile passage of 22 hours 9 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 20.66 knots in August 1991.
"The weather iiiiisss not fantastic," Soldini told madforsailing in his endearing Italian accent. He had just come out of meeting with his router Pierre Lasnier. "But it's still good to leave tomorrow." Of the possible match with PlayStation, the Around Alone winner was in fighting form. "We will beat them!"- James Boyd, Madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* July 5- 7: I 14 National Championships, Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach CA. - www.abyc.org
* September 13-20: International A-Class World Championship, Martha's Vineyard, MA. - www.mv02.com.
* September 21-28: International Tornado Class World Championship, Martha's Vineyard, MA. - www.mv02.com.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reasons.