SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1102 - June 27, 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.
Team New Zealand remains confident that it will find enough money to run next year's America's Cup, despite a council report that it is $9.5 million short. The Auckland City Council this week detailed the shortfall as part of an agenda document that proposed a one-off $650,000 grant for the America's Cup defenders. The grant would be made to Team NZ Ltd, which last year paid $600,000 plus GST for commercial and management rights over the Viaduct Basin.
Team NZ chief executive Ross Blackman yesterday would not discuss financial details or confirm the size of the shortfall. But he did confirm that most of the money still needed was for the company America's Cup 2003. It runs the cup match itself, which begins in February and is a best-of-nine series between Team NZ and the winner of the challengers' regatta.
AC2003's costs include promoting the match, and the management and staffing of it. Blackman, who is also chief executive of AC2003, said the cup had to be run, so the costs would be met. The international sponsorship market was tough, and was tighter because of events such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, he said. "We've just found that it is more difficult so far to fund the event, but the good news is we still have eight months to secure the funding."
At the 2000 cup, the company had five sponsors, but just two, Air New Zealand and Fuji-Xerox, have re-signed. Talks are ongoing with other potential sponsors. The company does not have to pay for the challengers' regatta, starting on October 1, which is run by Louis Vuitton. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
(James Boyd interviewed Bruce Farr for the madforsailing website. In this brief excerpt, Farr discusses the impact of using larger boats for the Volvo Ocean Race.)
Farr estimates that increasing the size of the Volvo Ocean 60 from 64ft to 80ft would increase the cost of the boat by about 80% for a boat that was ready to go with one suit of sails. "Cost is an exponent of length - somewhere close to a cube of length, so every five foot you add in length adds something in the order of 20% to the cost of the boat", he explains. By limiting the sails, he says you could have the sail budget, although the sails would be 50% larger.
So in an ideal world, where the return on investment was there, what would Farr suggest Volvo did? "If cost wasn't an issue and you had sponsors lining up because they perceived the return was fantastic then you'd want to go to an altogether comparatively lighter, faster longer boat with quite a bit more in the way of creature comforts. You'd also need to do something about moving sails around the boat."
Farr feels, like many others, that the easiest way to address the stacking issue is simply to have less sails on board during each leg. "That reduces costs and makes the boats physically less demanding to sail. It might also allow less crew." - James Boyd, madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.com
PYEWACKET WINS 2002 CARIBBEAN CIRCUIT
Roy Disney's Pyewacket dominated the Caribbean Circuit series, winning all three regattas! Pyewacket chose Samson Rope's newest high performance lines on their way to victory! "We chose Samson's Progen II (PBO) for centerline halyards, Validator SK for wing halyards, Validator II (Vectran) for afterguys and Warpspeed (Dyneema) for Main, Jib and Spinnaker Sheets. These lines performed way beyond our expectations" said Scott Easom of Easom Racing and Rigging. "We set the halyards at their marks and that is where they stayed. We were very impressed." For more information on these hot new lines link to www.samsonrope.com/home/recmarine/index.cfm
* Zebrugge, Belgium - The Belgian branch of Garnier, world wide specialist of beauty products, announced their sponsorship of Belgian skipper Patrick de RadiguŽs and an Open 60 - the former 'Aquitaine Innovations' - for a 3 year campaign, starting with Around Alone 2002/3. The 46 year old Belgian skipper, currently living in Monaco, will be assisted by the boat's former owner, French skipper Yves Parlier, and his technical crew, to update the boat. In August, the Belgian skipper will sail her to Newport where he has to arrive by September 1st.
* Wanna buy a slightly used VO 60? We suspect there are (or soon will be) a number of VO 60s on the market, but we know for sure that you can pick up News Corp, which just finished the Volvo Ocean Race in fifth place, for $750,000. That includes two masts, an abundance of sails (about 70 at the last count), two containers and masses of spares.
* On Thursday 4th July 2002, race organisers Clipper Ventures plc will announce the eight individuals set to skipper the Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race, which will set sail on October 27th from Liverpool, UK. The successful candidates will command the identical 60-foot Clipper yachts, backed by the cities of Bristol, Cape Town, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Jersey, Liverpool, London and New York, in the world's longest circumnavigation. The identities of the skippers and their pairings with the international field of yacht sponsors will be announced during the Clipper fleet's visit to London's ExCeL. - www.clipper-ventures.com
* Navtec Inc., a global provider of rigging and hydraulic systems, has entered into an agreement with Bainbridge International to distribute its products to aftermarket marine retail outlets in the UK and Ireland. Bainbridge International, also known for its sailcloth manufacturing business, acts as the UK distributor of a number of other deck hardware manufacturers including Lewmar, Titan, Ronstan, and Tylaska.
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 Peter O. Allen: I am delighted to read the report by Graeme Owens on the judging at the recent Laser Nationals (Controlling Rule 42 - 'Butt #1101). It may take more volunteers, it may be harder to do, but the results of such enforcement of the RRS mean better racing for all concerned. Congratulations to the tough-minded officials, and to all the competitors who want to sail clean and still have a chance to win. The report should be required reading for all race officials.
* From Paul Murphy: Graeme Owens describes a fairly typical jury procedure for dealing with RRS 42 infringements, even here in Europe. And a fairly typical competitor reaction. The ones who are spotted by the jury are 'always at it' according to their fellow competitors. Yet there seems to be reluctance by these self-same competitors to lodge a protest against the endemic infringers, unlike other rules. It is as if RRS 42 is exclusively a jury matter rather than a regular sailing rule to be enforced by the competitors just like Part 2 rules.
In many years of protest work, I have only heard one propulsion protest lodged by a competitor. Perhaps if there were more protests from competitors, RRS 42 rule compliance would improve. After all, its the competitors who comply who ultimately suffer from the accomplished cheats' actions.
* From Jim Good: Graeme Owens' report and Paul Henderson's comment, concerning effective on-the-water judging, reminded me of an old navy adage: "Sailors only respect what you expect they will inspect".
* From Amy Johnson (Regarding Controlling Rule 42-Kinetics): Oh Great. Now in addition to our committee boat staff, mark boat staff, and volunteer protest committee, the ISAF is suggesting our club needs to find volunteers or hire staff to monitor rule 42 on the water during our weekly club races if we want fair racing. On the water judging might work great for special events or match racing, but it's not a viable solution in the "real world".
Incidentally fair and enforceable rules are just as important to beer can racers as they are to the elite Olympic athletes that the ISAF cares about. The need for on the water judging only shows that racers are already voting on rule 42 with their feet, hips, arms, shoulders and whatever else they can move.
* From Deborah Scott (Per Tom Pollack's letter): Yes, a sharp knife, on a lanyard, attached to your belt is a critical part of any sailor's equipment. I am a day sailor, PHRF/One Design weekend racer, and never race without my knife. My girlfriends I race with always laughed, until the first time I saved someone's finger by cutting a line. Over 10+ years, I have used it often. I never sail without it. Have loaned it to fellow sailors several times. And yes, I am one of those who always has on her PFD also. And yes, I am one of those who has more fun than most as well.
* From: Mark Steinbeck (re Tom Pollack's letter): Heck, I'm not even comfortable sailing my Lido 14 without a sharp knife on my person. If you want to get serious about a safety knife get one with a serrated blade. They work a lot better than the traditional rigging knife for cutting double braid and hi-tech line under pressure.
* From Doug Lord: Intrigue is the Americas Cup just as much as the sailing. In late September we can look forward to seeing the beginning of the racing but for now the daily doses of intrigue are great to read! There are bound to be twists, turns, ups and downs in an event of this magnitude: sort of like real life but with the history of the Americas Cup as a backdrop. This is history and a lot of people are "fighting" for their place in it. I for one find it interesting and appreciate the Scuttlebutt coverage.
* From Sue Reilly: I'm confused about the Arbitration panel not making any rulings till they can be assured they won't be dragged into court. Doesn't rule 3, Acceptance of the rules, cover that? By entering the event they are agreeing to abide by the RRS.
3. ACCEPTANCE OF THE RULES
By participating in a race conducted under these racing rules, each competitor and boat owner agrees:
(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under the rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided in them, as the final determination of any matter arising under the rules;
(c) with respect to such determination, not to resort to any court or other tribunal not provided by the rules.
* From Andy Rose (Re: Team New Zealand's request to the City Council of Auckland): Let's see, the request must have been a mistake because they say they have no money problems--probably just some over eager, unprompted City Council member wanting to give public money away. Or, was Team NZ's concern over the fact that a proposed gift of public money was actually put on a public agenda and presumably to be discussed in public---the horror!
While I agree with Rob Vandervoort's comment that the A Cup is becoming like a political race and team NZ's statements on the City Council "revelation" do sound like an American political "spin doctor's" efforts to make bad poll results seem a victory, I mostly agree with Andy Green---the America's Cup has always been brilliant soap opera and while eagerly awaiting the event, I am enjoying the mistakes, coverups and "spinning" of the various parties.
* From Ron Baerwitz: I totally agree Andy Green. Controversy is all part of any multimillion dollar event. Come October all those whiners will be watching. Think of the great rivalries being developed from these pre-regatta events. Anyone who sincerely believes the AC is still a friendly competition between high society yachties in Blue blazers is sadly disillusioned. It's big bucks, high technology and extreme competition. I can't wait. Bring it on OLN!!!
* From Peter Harken: Andy Green of GBR is right about the AC soap opera stuff. Listen up, this stuff has been going on for every AC since the first one. It's part of the allure of that great spectacle, it's fun to read and hear because it's actually real, it's not made up like a Hollywood movie so grin and bear it. Like Andy says, "Stop whingeing, enjoy the ride!" Come to New Zealand and watch some great racing, great technology and great crew-work when it gets underway.Most of all the BS stuff stops when the first gun goes off. It's "full on, mates!" Tour NZ also, it's a spectacular country with nice peoples! It's a hoot, just do it!
* From Robert Middlemas: Regarding the recent round of AC legal wrangling - and to all those who lament or "grow tired" of the "malarky" surrounding the Cup - I say this: read the history of the America's Cup. Since it's inception, the Cup has brought out the best and arguably, the worst, in it's competitors. The underhanded dealings, the foolishness, the spying and yes - the lawyers - are as much a part of the Cup as sailing skill and competitive human drama. Indeed, what would the Cup be if it were not for this foolish drama? Boring, that's what.
It's all horses of the same color, dear friends. Get your opponents focused on anything but what they should be and you may have already won. Just ask the Kiwi's about bowsprits. Ditto with the mirrored windows overlooking the Prada compound.
Don't get me wrong, I like a nice clean regatta as much as the next person. But this is not your average regatta. It is an event all it's own. Quite as it should be.
Read the history. I dare say the current dealings are rather sedate. I echo Andy Green's sentiment: it's nice to see the AC alive and well.
* From Craig Fletcher: Memo to the people who think the AC Cup is all about sailing. Read your history books - the cup has always been as much about what happened off the water as on.
* From Peter Johnson (edited to our 250-word limit): Paul Henderson, president of ISAF, is not quite accurate in describing ('Butt 1101) Kiel Week as 'the mother of all the race weeks that now make up the world sailing calendar'.
Kiel Week was established in imitation of Cowes Week, which had been first sailed in 1826. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, bought in 1891 the unsuccessful British challenger for the America's Cup of 1887, the 109ft cutter Thistle, designed by George L. Watson and built in Scotland by Henderson (the US defender Volunteer had beaten her in two straight races off New York). Thistle was renamed Meteor, the first of five of that famous name.
The Kaiser began to race the yacht each year at Cowes in England, while also visiting his grandmother, Queen Victoria. He decided that Germany should have an equivalent regatta: so in 1895, annual local rowing and sailing usually held at the end of June, were converted with royal patronage into Kieler Woche (Kiel Week). Meanwhile there was formed the Kaiserlicher Yachtclub (Imperial Yacht Club) intended to equate with England's Royal Yacht Squadron.
A footnote: in August 1945, just three months after cessation of hostilities, the British held a Kiel Week for themselves and their allies: Danes, Norwegians and American forces. Germans were not permitted on the water. It took a few years before there came a full on German regatta and then the week. Perhaps rather than a 'mother' - a daughter, but long since grown in status and size out of all recognition.
THE OTHER SIDE OF AN AC CAMPAIGN
They are Moose, Spider [Brad Webb] and the Battler [Robbie Naismith]. And they are the engine room of the (Peter Holmberg's) champion international match racing crew which hosted a giant party at the All Blacks-Ireland rugby test at Eden Park in Auckland last night.
Moose is Mike Sanderson, the mainsheet man, and he said the five-strong sailors felt it was unfair they were going away and having the chance to win prize money on the Swedish Match circuit when they were leaving extra work back in New Zealand for (Oracle) syndicate team mates.
"What we did was get the prize money, which was allocated to the five of us, and we created a sixth share which was for the team," he said. "We created this fund and we have been go-cart racing and played mini-golf." And last night, 140 members of the American syndicate headed to the test where many saw their first live game of rugby. A syndicate newsletter had attempted to remove many of the game's mysteries with A Beginners Guide to Rugby and some detailed instructions including when team members should stand up and yell, "he has been doing it all day ref"...
Webb and Sanderson obviously enjoyed sailing under Holmberg. Webb described the No 1 as a "cruisy helmsman". "He lets you get on with your job and he allows you to make mistakes," he said. "He has his good days and he has his bad days and he understands the rest of the crew do as well. With that kind of approach, you really do try to fight for him and those guys around you without the pressure of screwing up." - Andrew Sanders, Sunday Star Times (NZ), full story posted on the 2003AC website by Cheryl, isuzu21.webcrossing.com/WebXfirstname.lastname@example.orgQUa8GWbsE^1@.ef0bf7b
HENRI LLOYD TECHNOLOGY
The Henri Lloyd Offshore TP2 uses Ceramic Technology to create an advanced hydrophilic breathable process. TP Garments are light in weight and provide exceptional levels of comfort. The Unique combination of ceramic based breathable coating technology and the highly durable water repellency treatment embedded into the fabric structure, have produced the world's most durably waterproof and breathable coated fabric technology available for sailing. Now available in Women's sizes from pyacht.com. www.pyacht.net/online-store/scstore/h-henri_lloyd.htm
ONE DESIGN RACING
Forty nine boats raced in the Thistle Atlantic Coast Championships June 22 and 23 at Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Three long races Saturday and two long on Sunday were held in characteristically shifty winds anywhere from almost nothing to 10+kts. Final results: 1.Mike Ingham, John Baker & Joy Martin 21pts; 2.Brent Barbehenn, Jeff Jones & Gavin Glenn-Har 30pts; 3.Chris Murphy, Scott Lennox & Jessica Kitchin 35pts; 4. Lloyd Kitchin, III, Greg Kitchin & Doug Kitchin 37pts; 5.Jack Bauer, Fred Bauer & Cherie Bauer 38pts. - www.thistleclass.com
The Baltic conjured up one of its notoriously shifty breezes for the opening day of racing at the Kiel Olympic classes regatta. The 8-12 knot breeze this morning gradually built up to 15 knots, but the gusts and shifts played into the hands of only the sharpest tacticians.
Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl, the only US team in the 59-boat Star fleet, are tied for the lead with Denmark's Nicklas David Holm /Martin Leifelt. Each team has a 1-2 finish. - Kieler Woche Press, full results: www.kielerwoche.de
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Cynicism isn't what it used to be