Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1089- June 10, 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.

IT'S OFFICIALLY OVER
An ocean race of epic proportions reached its final conclusion after 32,700 miles of racing. A script for an ending such as this could not have been written better. Djuice, the boat that struggled all the way around the planet claimed victory in the leg while illbruck took overall honors in a convincing manner.

The extremely well organized and developed sail program allowed illbruck to save four new sails for the ultimate leg. These sails served them well as they finished the final leg in second place to convincingly win the Volvo Ocean Race.

The start of the final leg was indeed impressive. Figures about the number of spectators vary from 50,000 to 100,000 and the boats on the Kieler Foerde were so tightly packed that one could have crossed the water on dry feet.

A credible third overall for the men of Amer Sports One. Fourth place on leg nine of the Volvo Ocean race for the women of Amer Sports Too. Skipper Lisa McDonald went to the start at Gothenburg on Saturday afternoon with a top three placing in her sights. Conditions would be kind to the women. A light breeze and running or reaching which would make the VO60 yacht far less physically demanding.

Passing the island of Anholt in the west proved to be the decisive mistake for three yachts. SEB lost sixth place to djuice, who overtook the green Swedish yacht in the overall standing with the eight points awarded for the first place on this leg. Tyco and News Corp lost Amer Sports One and the chance for third in the final result.

Standings - final leg:
1. djuice, 15:42 GMT
2. illbruck 16:17 GMT
3. Assa Aboy, 18:13 GMT
4. Amer Sports Too, 18:18 GMT
5. Amer Sports One, 18:19 GMT
6. SEB, 20:01 GMT
7. Tyco, 21:27 GMT
8. News Corp, 22:11 GMT.

FINAL RESULTS:
1. illbruck Challenge, 61 pts
2. Assa Abloy, 55
3. Amer Sports One, 44
4. Team Tyco, 42
5. Team News Corp, 41
6. djuice, 33
7. Team SEB, 32
8. Amer Sports Too, 16
www.volvooceanrace.org

QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
"For two hours we battled a knot and a quarter of foul tide without enough wind to make forward progress - anchor firmly in the mud. SEB and Tyco were nearby, and anchored too. But the group to the east never stopped, and that put us where we are now - hoping for another parking lot to even things out." - Peter Isler, Team News Corp

"I think we all have mixed feelings about the end. We‚re all ready for closure, and to stop moving from boat to hotel to boat etc. But we'll also miss the race, the singular focus, the awesome sailing, and the achievement." - Mark 'Rudi' Rudiger, Assa Abloy

"The wind has gone through nearly 360 degrees twice, gone completely calm three times, the waypoint list is over 50 long, and there have been big islands and small shoals lying on the rhumbline (with the fleet split as to which way to go around them)."- Ed Adams, illbruck

"Our boat is beautiful. It‚s the best boat in the fleet and we've worked hard at it." - Neal McDonald, Assa Abloy

"It's been torture. After 32, 000 miles of ocean racing, it comes down to a buoy-filled lottery to a certain extent." - Jez Fanstone, Team News Corp

SUPERIORITY DEMONSTRATED - JOHN KOSTECKI & KAENON POLARIZED
Winning is about being better. Better prepared, better equipment and better decisions. John Kostecki and his talented team aboard illbruck were much better. So was their eye protection. Kaenon Polarized. Kaenon is the first polarized eyewear designed with purpose-built lens tints and varying light transmission levels. All in a revolutionary optically superior lens material, SR-91. Superiority Demonstrated. Congtratulations JK, Rosco, Juan, Stu, Waffler, Crusty, Dickie, Hooray, Cheese, Noel, Jamie and Tony! Kaenon Polarized, Evolve Optically. Available at West Marine, Sailing Supply, Team One Newport and Alain Mikli in New York City. www.kaenon.com

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
leweck@earthlnk.net
(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 Fisher (edited to our 250-word limit): Nicholas Longhurst claims Volvo Ocean 60s are "over designed, very unequal, highly unsafe boats". That five boats finished the 1,150 mile leg from La Rochelle to Goteborg within 6 mins 50 seconds would instantly deny that they are very unequal. They may be highly designed, but since the rule has been in existence for 12 years, it is highly likely that naval architects have been able to assess the pros and cons of the speedmaking factors within it, but "over designed" they are not.

When the rule was being formulated, one of the four criteria was that they should be safer than any other boat of their size. The placement of watertight bulkheads insured that this was so and the rule has been under constant revue and improvement in that area ever since. So, "highly unsafe boats", no.

Since several competitors have spoken to me that they would be happy with an 85-90 footer, to an upscaled VO-60 rule (Grant Dalton has stated this publicly), I take great heart that the team that formulated that rule originally, came close to achieving what the competitors thought was good.

It might be well to note that there was provision in the original rule formulation to provide a Whitbread 80 (which would be around 86 feet overall), and that the 60 was conceived as a "starter" class, originally to provide experience for the IOR Maxi class, but subsequently for the Whitbread 80, a class that was stifled by a world economic recession.

* From Stuart R. Burnett: There must be a "Curmudgeon's Observation" somewhere in the announcement that the Sear's Cup "Triplehanded" championship will be sailed with crews of four in Colgate 26s!

* From Bruce Kirby In his new book "After the Storm" John Rousmaniere has put together 10 chapters of extraordinary research and descriptive excellence to tell the stories of those who have fought storms at sea, some who lost the fight, and those who survived. He has gone beyond the storms to examine why the vessel was caught in its lethal trap and how the tragedy affected those who survived and the families and friends of those who did not.

This is a masterful work of story telling and a painstaking examination of the human spirit. You discover that poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who drowned off the coast of Italy, would surely have been a subscriber to Scuttlebutt if he lived today. In The Wreck of the Pollux, an engrossing World War II tragedy that led to the destruction of two U.S. Navy ships, we learn that Scuttlebutt subscriber Henry Strauss, now 87, ocean racer, frostbiter, habitual cruiser, was a hero at the age of 26 when he risked his life in an attempt to save his shipmates.

After the Storm is much more than a book about storms at sea, and will surely gain a prominent place in the realm of maritime literature.

* From Ken Brooke I think Steve Travis (Scuttlebutt 1088) has lost sight of one of the AC's major objectives which is to test not only seamanship and yachting skills but to also involve design, construction and international competition in these fields. The use of one design yachts all designed and built in the same country would be quite out of keeping with the Deed of Gift conditions. His certainly laudable objective of keeping costs under control in the Auld Mug confrontations cannot be achieved in this way.

* From Martin Thompson, Sydney Yachts: Dick Ricketts questioned whether the Sydney 38 One Design is a suitable boat for the Sydney to Hobart race.Australian sailor Lou Abrahams knows the answer. Lou, one of Australia's most respected yachtsman and veteran of 39 (yes thirty nine) Sydney to Hobart's and twice winner decided at 74 to sell his well-travelled Sydney 41 on which he'd finished 4 Hobart's including the tough 1998 and 1999 races. Lou replaced his Sydney 41 with a new Sydney 38.

In 2000, after a 15 hour beat into 40-50 knot Bass Strait winds, Lou in Another Challenge‚ led on handicap, looking good for an overall win, in a race that finally favoured larger boats. Lou, who had another great race this year, commented dockside in Hobart "In all the years of my ocean racing, this boat, a Sydney 38 is the best seagoing boat I has ever owned or sailed on."

There have now been 42 Sydney 38's sold in Australia over the last two years, with another 13 boats into the USA. They are great offshore boats and great regatta boats and a lot of top name Sydney to Hobart skippers are buying them. The latest example: Graham Gibson, owner of Ninety Seven, Sydney to Hobart line honors winner in 1993 and 2nd placed boat in 2001 is stepping into a 38 next month.

* From Seth A. Radow: Though I have not yet sailed a Sydney 38 nor have I raced in the Hobart, I may have more experience with Sydney's line of yachts than any other American. I am a multiple Sydney Yachts owner including Transpac winner Sydney 40-T, Bull. Anyone who has sailed on any boat built by Sydney Yachts knows quite well the integrity of their engineering and construction.

The Sydney 38 is no light-duty "inshore" yacht. To believe so is to readily admit that one has little understanding of the boat. The 38 hull is identical to the 40 with 2.5‚ to 3‚ off the transom. Though I have no on-water experience with the 38, I have extensive experience with the 40. The 40 is a serious heavy weather offshore machine. Comparing the construction and engineering of the 38/40 to other production "offshore" racers may convince one to leave other contemporary "offshore" racers ashore. A review of the engineering studies of the 38's/40's would indicate that they are "optimized" for heavier conditions (wind and sea states) than their lighter duty American competitors (typically 18 knots of wind versus a typical 12). I remain impressed with the engineering and construction of some competitors (IMX 40's).

Sydney 38's are sailed extensively off the Australian Coast and Southern Ocean. Knowing the 40-T as I do, I wouldn't hesitate to race a 38 in the Hobart. I would most definitely think at least twice before doing Hobart on some of the competition.

* From Georges Bonello DuPuis: I couldn't agree more with Don Ricketts' comments about accepting the Farr36 OD (or any other boat for that matter) for the Sydney to Hobart Race without one even being built yet. From the little experience I have in stability indexes, I actually doubt if her stability in IMS and her SSS in IRC would be high enough for her to compete in this race.

* From Arthur J. Stevens: (In reference to the comment made by Kerry Poe suggesting US Sailing market our sport and find the money to fund the program): US Sailing is indeed marketing sailing through a program called Fast & Fun. The intention is to introduce sailing to as many children ages 8 to 14 as possible through the use of small catamarans and windsurfers. To date Fast & Fun has exposed over 2000 kids to the concept of sailing and the idea that they can "do it too".

On June 10th a very large tractor trailer truck will leave Southern California headed to Seattle Washington, Lake Coeur D Alene Idaho and Hood River Oregon to again offer children opportunities to " go forth and battle with the conditions that produce so many kids whose personal visions do not yet include the expectations of a future with personal success" to quote Captain Jim Gladson in his remarks on launching the Twin Brigantines April 27, 2002. On July 28th we will be in Alamitos Bay for a combined event with 70 high school children from the mid west and the inner-city of Los Angeles and we have inquiries from groups with literally thousands of children. Resources are the limiting factor so finding the money becomes the hard part. I am looking for funding and need any help I can get.

We have worked with schools, community sailing programs, yacht clubs, Special Olympic kids, health organizations, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouting, religious groups.

Fast & Fun is available to participate with any organization or group interested in children cost to the kids: www.ussailing.org/multihull/fast&fun.htm

LIVIUS SHERWOOD
Canadian Livius Sherwood died on Friday after a long illness. Since 1954 Sherwood has been involved in our sport, not only as a sailor but also as a president, founder, chairman and member of the Canadian Yachting Association, ISAF and Olympic Committees. Sherwood entered the ISAF Structure in 1974, commencing on the Racing Rules Committee, where he served as a member until 1998. He was instrumental in the development of the new rules, having served as a member of the Working Party. Sherwood was a member of the Council (then Permanent Committee), the final decision making body of ISAF, from 1990 through to 1994. He was also the first Chairman of the ISAF Review Board.

However, Sherwood has not limited his activities to serving on Committees. He has been an International Judge since 1980, serving on the International Jury for at least 26 World Championships and 3 Olympic Regattas, being Chief Race Officer at the 1976 Olympic Regatta, Montreal. He has also served as judge and/or Umpire in seven America's Cups. On the sailing front, Sherwood was a leading light in the International 14 Class.

In 2000, Sherwood was awarded the International Sailing Federations' most prestigious award, the Beppe Croce Trophy. He was inducted into the Ottawa Sport's Hall of Fame in 2001.

Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Friday June 14th, 10:00 a.m. Reception at Britannia Yacht Club following interment at Notre Dame Cemetery.

COLLEGE DINGHY CHAMPIONSHIP
HONOLULU, HAWAII - St. Mary‚s College of Maryland won the 2002 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) / Gill North American Coed Dinghy Championship with 203 points. Harvard entered the final B-division set with a two-point lead over St. Mary‚s, with Hawaii another two points back. After race 17B, St. Mary‚s took a three-point lead over Harvard. At the start of 18B, the final race, both St. Mary‚s and Harvard started prematurely and had to return to restart. St. Mary‚s B-division team, senior Brent Jansen (Weston, Mass.) and junior Galen Largay (Woodbury, Ct.) battled back to a seventh place finish to clinch the regatta. Jansen and Largay won the B-division. St‚ Mary‚s, junior Danny Pletsch (Sarasota, Fla.) and sophomore Jen Vandemoer (Centerville, Mass.) placed second in A-division. Junior Dave Perkowski (Toms River, N.J.) crewed for Pletsch in two races in day one.

Final results:
1. St. Mary's ,112, 91, 203
2. Harvard, 113, 97, 210
3. Hawaii, 80, 139, 219
4. Old Dominion, 127, 103, 230
5. Boston College, 130, 107, 237
Full results: www.collegesailing.org/2002

ON THE PODIUM
There were 23 J/105s at the Newport Harbor yacht Club's Ahmanson Series last weekend. Tough competition very tough. But to no one's surprise, Ullman Sails swept the top three positions. Why? They were just faster! And it's probably not a coincidence that the top three boats in the 12-boat Schock 35 fleet also used Ullman Sails. Why don't you let Ullman Sails make your weekends more rewarding? www.ullmansails.com

OMEGA SEAMASTER CUP
Dean Barker has scored a vital psychological victory for Team New Zealand over his toughest adversary Russell Coutts, winning the final of the Omega Seamaster Cup in Trieste, Italy, Monday morning. Barker and nine of his Team New Zealand crew beat their former skipper and his Alinghi America's Cup team by the bizarre scoreline, 3 1/2 - 1 1/2, in the match race final. It was the first time Barker and Coutts had met in a matchrace since 1999 -and their first match racing encounter since Coutts left Team New Zealand after the 2000 America's Cup.

"Russell has been a huge influence on my sailing career, and I was lucky to have learned from him in the last America's Cup campaign," Barker said. "But there was no love lost out on the water today. So obviously we loved beating him."

"Obviously it's huge for us to win this. The last couple of months have been pretty frustrating. After a couple of poor performances in the last two regattas, it was nice to come back and start sailing well again," Barker said. "After sailing poorly in the Congressional Cup, I came home and had a good chat with Ross Blackman (Team New Zealand's chief executive) about how we could do much better on the water. "We realised that I had to focus much more on the sailing and less on the on-shore duties that go with being skipper. The management side is running really well, so now we can concentrate on the sailing side.

The racing was held in powerful 52ft boats with 12-man crews. "This was the closest, in terms of crew, that we will get to America's Cup racing before the America's Cup," Barker said.

In the semifinals, Barker beat Andy Beadsworth and his GBR Challenge team 2-0. Coutts had a similar scoreline win over former America's Cup helmsman Chris Law. Team New Zealand website, full story: xtramsn.co.nz/teamnewzealand/0,,7128-1485968,00.html

EUROPEAN 18 FOOT SKIFF INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
'RMW Marine' sailed by Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers won this International event in great style by finishing first in the three final heats sailed today (Saturday) at Carnac in the Bay of Quiberon. This rounded off an outstanding performance by the team during the week, when they won seven of the ten heats sailed.

US contenders Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Chris Cleary on 'General Electric-US Challenge' were disqualified from the first heat of the day after being adjudged "on course side" at the start along with three other boats. 'General Electric-US Challenge' had what was for them an off day, following their disqualification with a fourth and tenth position, to finish third overall.

Overall results after 10 Heats (2 discards): 1. 'RMW Marine' Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Jonny Meers, GBR, 3 points; 2. 'Yandoo-d'Albora Marinas' John Winning, Jack Young and Euan McNicol, AUS, 36.4 points; 3. 'General Electric-US Challenge' Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin and Chris Cleary, USA, 52 points; 4. 'Total Recall' Tony Hannan, Cameron MacdDonald and Greg Windust, AUS, 54.5 points; 5. 'Base 1' Rob Dulson, Paul Constable and Alec McKinlay, GBR, 76.8 points. www.uk18footer.org

NEW YORK YC ANNUAL REGATTA
Newport, RI, June 9, 2002 -- Patience has its rewards. On Saturday, the first day of the NYYC's 148th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, the race committee postponed the expected 11 a.m. start in the absence of any meaningful breeze. In Newport this time of year, the northerly isn't that trustworthy. Thus, more than 80 yachts idled much of the day. The 3-p.m.deadline was but 10 minutes away when the southerly sea breeze filled in sufficiently to allow one race on both courses on Rhode Island Sound.

Sunday was more like it: Winds from the southwest at 13 to 15 knots for the White Fleet -- all IMS yachts -- that enjoyed two races in the East Passage of Narragansett Bay. The Green Fleet, racing in West Passage, saw lighter and shiftier winds. There the Farr 40s and 12 Meters had two races on Sunday, the rest, one. - Michael Levitt, Complete results: nyyc.org/A_results/Ar02-sum.htm

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Those who run in front of cars will probably get tired.