SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1099 - June 24, 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 GETTING UGLY
Oracle Racing has filed a protest against the Prada Challenge's America's Cup syndicate that could make Prada ineligible to compete for the America's Cup.
Oracle and Prada are next-door neighbors on the Viaduct Basin. Prada occupies Base 1 and Oracle has Base 2. For some time now, Prada has complained to Oracle about their failure to take appropriate physical and other precautions to ensure Prada's privacy is respected; and Oracle's failure to install blinds or equivalent barriers to prevent personnel on the Oracle barge (parked in front of the Oracle compound) from being able to see into the Prada base. Oracle Racing has repeatedly denied that it has violated or will violate Article 13 in any manner whatsoever.
So - on June 18 Prada took Oracle to court (the High Court of New Zealand, C/P no.226/ SW02). That may not have been a good thing to do - the America's Cup Protocol specifically prohibits that sort of action.
Article 10 of the Protocol states in part, "As a condition of entry as a Challenger in the Thirty First America's Cup and in addition to all other requirements under the Deed of Gift, all Challengers are required under Article 1 to agree that they accept and will be bound by all of the provisions of this Protocol. In particular such acceptance includes an acknowledgement that all decisions rendered by the Arbitration Panel will be binding on all Challengers and RNZYS and shall not be subject to appeal or be referred to any court or other tribunal for review in any manner."
Article 10 goes on to say, "Any Challenger who resorts to any court or tribunal, other than the Arbitration Panel or any other dispute resolution body agreed by RNZYS and the Challenger of Record will, except as permitted by Article 10.4, be in breach of this Protocol and will accordingly be ineligible to make the declaration provided in Article 6 and to be the Challenger for the Match."
Could Oracle's protest make Prada ineligible for the XXXI America's Cup? That certainly is a possibility.
For those who want to read more about this situation, check out:
THERE'S MORE . . .
A damning document has emerged in the America's Cup "secrets for sale" scandal, suggesting that Team New Zealand designs have been copied by the OneWorld challenge.
For months the OneWorld challenge of Seattle billionaire Crag McCaw has been denying allegations it has Team New Zealand's (TNZ) design secrets. But ONE News has obtained an email sent to the Seattle challenge from a mast company executive which says: "The work we have done to date on our own fittings (locks and such) has been essentially copying TNZ designs based on input from ex-TNZ team members."
The email was copied to, amongst others: Laurie Davidson, the former TNZ designer (now with OneWorld); Gary Wright, OneWorld's chief executive; Peter Gilmour, the OneWorld skipper; Phil Kaiko, the former America True designer; and Sean Reeves, the former OneWorld and TNZ rules advisor now being sued by OneWorld for alleged breach of contract and offering design secrets to other syndicates.
The email's author goes on to ask: "The question is what happens when these turn out looking exactly like TNZ or Prada gear. As far as the ancillary bits go it may be pretty obvious where some of the designs really originated."
OneWorld's senior staff are currently in the US from where Gary Wright said the email, sent in October 2000, had been taken out of context. He said it should be read with several other emails with which it would be seen in a totally different light. All the emails are currently before the court in Seattle where the case against Reeves is to be heard.
Team NZ would not comment, saying the matter is before the America's Cup arbitration panel. - From onenews.nzoom and posted on the 2003 AC website by Cheryl, isuzu21.webcrossing.com
AND FINALLY . . .
"The One World syndicate has found itself offside again with the rival campaigns after applying to the Arbitration Panel to recruit illbruck's Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper, John Kostecki. A number of syndicates lodged protests with the Panel citing concern over Kostecki's knowledge of illbruck's America's Cup yacht which the German syndicate had built before withdrawing from the Cup due to financial pressures." - Martin Tasker, From this week's sailnz.tv on onesport.nzoom.com, as posted on the 2003AC website forum by Cheryl, isuzu21.webcrossing.com
POLAR DATA SOURCES AND OCKAM COMPATIBILITY
Is your boat's performance data available from US Sailing's "in stock" Polar Performance database? While the best source for a thorough and complete Ockam format file remains a custom run VPP, services are available to refine and expand "off the shelf" polar information for use with OckamSoft or burned to chip for our 037 Interface. For more information, contact Tom Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org). See www.ockam.com
SAFETY AT SEA
(Herb McCormick's Bermuda Race piece in Sunday's New York Times looked beyond the trophy winners for the story. Here's an excerpt.)
Two crewmen from the yacht Morning Glory were flung overboard, as were sailors aboard Boomerang and Bright Star. The good news was that the episodes occurred in daylight hours and, thanks in part to pre-race safety drills mandated by the race committee, all four sailors were recovered within several minutes.
On the other hand, considering that (Jamie) Boeckel had lost his life in a man-overboard incident less than a month earlier, it was highly disturbing that four top sailors from three of the race's supposedly best-prepared yachts were not tethered aboard with a safety harness. Among those out of harness were Team New Zealand America's Cup veterans racing aboard Morning Glory, the bowmen Joey Allen and Richard Meacham.
"They're all pretty sheepish," said the British yachting writer Barry Pickthall, who was retained by the race committee to issue press releases on the event. "None of them want to talk about it. They're all professional sailors and you don't fall overboard if you're a professional sailor."
That may be true in theory, suggested the race chairman, John Winder, but recent events are proving otherwise. "We are definitely concerned," he said in a phone interview. "The largest boats in the race are experiencing the same kinds of problems. It seems like a pattern." Winder said he was hopeful that sailors would be more mindful about donning harnesses in the future. "There could be a wake-up call; this race was rougher than many people have seen in a long time," he said.
"You can't regulate it," said Benjamin, when asked whether race committees should mandate the use of safety harnesses. "I think common sense and a respect for the sea has to prevail. Every boat has to do what's right." Aboard Blue Yankee, Benjamin said, "We were wearing life jackets the entire race, and were clipped in with safety harnesses." On his old boat, apparently, winning a trophy was not the only way in which Jamie Boeckel was remembered. - Herb McCormick, New York Times, full story: www.nytimes.com
* Ben Cesare (New York YC), won the UBS Challenge Regional qualifier at the Noroton YC, Darien, Conn with a 9-1 record, which qualified his team to advance to the UBS Challenge U.S. Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 27 - 29. The match-racing event was sailed in Sonars in less than six knots of wind. - www.ubs.com/ubschallenge
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 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston Those of us who knew Peter Blake also know that the wild sensational claims published in a couple of newspapers were absolute nonsense. Tragically, those who did not know him might have been lead to belive the slander. It is a very sad reflection on the state of some of our media that they will publish such inventions. They are, after all, only created by talentless people who have done nothing momentous and can only draw attention to themselves by attacking real heroes who have done something with their lives. Our sympathy must go to Pippa and the family, and the crew of the boat who have all been unnecessarily hurt by this totally unnecessary and untrue story.
* From Madeleine McJones (Regarding Submerged Containers): It seems to me that with today's technology someone in the insurance or shipping industry would place a modified MOB/EPIRB or a RFID Tag http://www.aimusa.org/technologies/rfid/ like device on all containers that would send out a modified signal that could be located by salvage companies, or be picked by radar or radio by passing vessels. Some New cell phones are even giving out Lat and Long for 911 calls now. Such a device could improve tracking inventory of non lost containers as well. Heck if we can tag every mountain lion that threatens bighorn sheep, seems like a container should be easy and with the economy of numbers these tagging units would be cheap.
* From Russell Painton: I have been wondering about just what legal liability attaches to ships/ companies that can be shown to have dropped a container into the water, causing loss of life and property. I am a land based lawyer, and haven't a clue.
* From Dave White (re Sears etc Ladder events): - As one who has been involved for many years with running junior and senior ladder events (on a local/regional/and area level) I understand completely the issues. The problem is on both the national level and the area level. It seems to me that it is incumbent on the National Committees to pick a boat that is represented in a many regions as possible. I am fully aware that this is not an easy task. However this would make the jobs of the area directors much easier.
In Marina del Rey, California there's an active Martin 242 one-design fleet. About two years ago, one of the skippers in that fleet switched to Ullman Sails, and suddenly winning got a whole lot easier. Obviously, this did not go unnoticed by the others. Now let's fast-forward to June 2002. When you look at the MdR Martin 242s today, it's hard to ignore that it's just about wall-to-wall Ullman Sails. Coincidence? Not likely. Find out for yourself how affordable improved performance can be: www.ullmansails.com
QUOTE /UNQUOTE - John Cutler
"To come up with USA71 and USA76 it has taken more than 300 sailboat races recorded on our Oracle database. The design team have tried and tested over 400 different hull combinations to derive the final product. Utilizing computer simulation, they have tallied several million races. This is an incredible feat and the feeling around here is electric." - John Cutler, Oracle, Racing, from a story in the NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez of Spain held onto their two-day lead to capture the 2002 49er World Championship regatta, which concluded in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. They finished the 10-race Final Series with a total score of 32, after two discards, and earned a berth for their country in the 2004 Olympics. The final day was sailed in fantastic conditions with 16/18 knots and 3 very close races. This pairing are popular winners, having dominated most of the seasons events in Europe, and they currently lie 3rd in the ISAF World Rankings.
Also earning a berth was Great Britain, which took second and third places with the teams of Chris Draper/ Simon Hiscocks and Paul Brotherton/Mark Asquith finishing with scores of 40 and 45 points, respectively. Also qualifying their countries for the 2004 Olympics were ISAF top world ranked Rodion Luka and George Leonchuk (Ukraine); Pietro and Gianfranco Sibello (Italy); Michael Hestbaek and Rasmus Van Hansen (Denmark); and Pieter Lantermans and Pim Nieuwenhuis (Netherlands).
Morgan Larson and Ed Smyth were the first U.S. team to finish, completing the series in 10th place and missing Olympic qualification by one place. The 2001 49er World Champions, Jonathan and Charlie McKee (USA), finished in 14th place.
There are still two more qualifier events prior to the 2004 Games: the 2003 and 2004 World Championship. - ISAF website, www.sailing.org
Final Results: www.49er.org
NEWPORT BERMUDA RACE WRAP-UP
Newport Bermuda 2002 was the fastest race ever with Roy Disney's 'Pyewacket' shattering the record by 3hrs 52min 28sec and it was the biggest fleet ever with 182 starters in Newport, four more than in 1972 and 1982. Four sailors went overboard coming through the Gulf Stream. All were recovered in five minutes or less and the race maintained its exemplary safety record. Only two incidents required contact with shore based medical experts, one facial injury and an infection problem.
The race featured distinct divisions between IMS Racing with pro sailors on race type boats and IMS Cruiser/Racers with owner-drivers, limited pro crews and C/R boats. There were 11 starters in Racing and 127 in Cruiser/Racing. Twenty-eight entries sailed in two Americap Cruising Division classes, and 10 sailed in the Americap spinnaker, double-handed class.
Skip Sheldon's 'Zaraffa' won the St. David's Lighthouse for 1st on corrected time in the IMS Cruiser/Racer Division. Bob and Farley Towse's 'Blue Yankee' won the Gibb's Hill Lighthouse for 1st on corrected time in the IMS Racing Division. Joe Hoopes' 'Palawan' won the Royal Mail Trophy for 1st in the Americap Cruising Division. Richard Du Moulin and Peter Rugg took 1st in the Americap double-handed class in 'Lora Ann' for the Weld Trophy. - Talbot Wilson
CLASS WINNERS: Class 1: Peter Robovitch 'Sinn Fein'; Class 2: James Thompson 'Ariel'; Class 3: Reeves Potts 'Carina'; Class 4: John Santa 'Galadriel'; Class 5: Eduardo Salvati 'Mabuhay II'; Class 6: Frank Eberhart 'Hound'; Class 7: Robert Watson 'Neva'; Class 8: Skip Sheldon 'Zarqaffa'; Class 9: Bob Towse ' Blue Yankee'; Class 10: Joe Hoopes 'Palawan'; Class 11: George Denny 'Restive'; 12: Richard Du Moulin 'Lora Ann'. - www.bermudarace.com
ONION PATCH TROPHY
The Storm Trysail Club's 'White Team' made up of Bob Towse' 'Blue Yankee', Jim Bishop's J44 'Gold Digger' and 'Orion' a Taylor 41 owned by Don Patterson from Virginia Beach VA, collect the today after winning the 5 race series spread between Bermuda and Newport, Rhode Island. The New York YC's Red team of 'Aura' (Bill Kardash) 'Temptress' (Richard Shulman and Kirk Cooper) and 'Idler.' Idler, skippered by Tony Bessigner in the absence of owner George David, clinched 2nd place from the Club's 'Blue Team' thanks in part to 'Idler's' overall performance in the Bermuda Anniversary Regatta here yesterday which lifted her above Thomas Stark's Swan 45 'Rush' to take top boat status in the individual points scoring. - Talbot Wilson, compete story and results: bermudarace.com/~talbot/press/race12.html
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* June 25: Victoria-Maui International Yacht Race, Royal Vancouver YC & Lahaina YC. 21 boats dash across the Pacific Ocean from Canada to Maui. www.vicmaui.org
* June 28-30: North Sails Race Week, produced by Golison & Golison and Premiere Racing. PHRF and Farr 40, J/120, J/105, J/24, Melges 24, 1D35, Schock 35 and Santana 20 one-design classes. - www.premiere-racing.com
* August 24: Battle of the Chesapeake, Eastport YC. Inverted start PHRF race between yacht club teams with the proceeds are given in the name of the winning club to CBYRA's Fund for Chesapeake Sailors, which supports local competitors at national and international levels. - www.eastportyc.org
We've been reminded that the dollar figures quoted in Graeme Kennedy's National Business Review story about Auckland's exclusive new Base Club were Kiwi dollars - and that you can currently you can buy a NZ dollar for less than a half a buck US. That means the 45sq m corporate boxes and ten tables each for ten guests in a dining and viewing area priced at less than US$3000 a day including all food, drinks and a spectator boat ride to the course.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
If only closed minds came with closed mouths.