SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1104 - July 1, 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.
Neal McDonald has been offered the chance to rejoin GBR Challenge after
leaving the syndicate last year to compete in the round-the-world yacht
race. The Briton resigned from GBR and took up a job with Assa Abloy so he
could spend more time with his wife, Lisa, who competed in the
round-the-world race as skipper of Amer Sports Too.
McDonald replaced Dutchman Roy Heiner as skipper of Assa Abloy after the
team suffered a chaotic first leg. With McDonald in charge, Assa Abloy came
back to finish a clear second overall.
GBR general manager, New Zealander David Barnes, said the door was wide
open if McDonald, a trimmer, wanted to return to the syndicate. "We are
still talking to him and we'd definitely be keen to have him back. But at
the moment he just wants to have a break." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full
Brad Van Liew did not like the feeling of being upside down in his
custom-designed Open-50 racing yacht. This weekend proved a unique test of
Van Liew's ability to re-right Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America from a stable
capsize. Affixing a line to the keel's 4,000-pound bulb and lifting it with
a crane off the docks at Newport Shipyard purposely inverted the yacht. Van
Liew was inside, and faced with the challenge of returning the boat to its
As Van Liew stood on the ceiling of his living module inside Tommy Hilfiger
Freedom America, he contemplated the eerie nature of this exercise. "This
is not a position I'm comfortable with, not here or in the Southern Ocean,"
said Van Liew. "At least in the Southern Ocean you have the waves to help
push the boat upright. Here it is just my canting keel and I to make it
After 10 minutes of being inverted and checking for leaks, Van Liew used
the manual pump to crank the canting keel to the yacht's starboard side.
Van Liew was soon running up the curved insides of the hull as it rolled to
an upright position. Peter Franzen, Boat Manager for Tommy Hilfiger Freedom
America, was onboard with Van Liew as a witness. Official IMOCA measurers
from France, Canada and the U.S. were onsite. A crowd of onlookers grew
rapidly as they saw the uncommon situation evolve.
As a Class II entry in Around Alone, Van Liew is required to certify Tommy
Hilfiger Freedom America according to IMOCA (International Monohull Open
Class Association) rules, which require that each skipper "must physically
demonstrate that the boat, once capsized, is capable of self righting
without outside help." Van Liew has already qualified for the race. He is
the only skipper entered in the Around Alone race of 2002-3 that has
finished the event previously. It will be his second solo circumnavigation.
- Meaghan Van Liew, www.oceanracing.org
* As a participant in the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Coaching
Recognition Program, US Sailing is soliciting nominations for sailing's
2002 Coach of the Year and Developmental Coach of the Year. Working with
criteria approved by USOC, a panel designated by the OSC will evaluate each
nominee's accomplishments for the period January 1, 2001, through May 30,
2002 Nominations, due by July 19, 2002. Criteria and full details:
* After several weeks stuck in the port of Brest, Geronimo, the giant
trimaran has finally left its berth for the Iroise sea. Geronimo had been
awaiting this comeback since its forced return to land, following a problem
with the rudder blade, which cut short its attempt to break the Jules Verne
trophy record. This return to sea was delayed by a violent collision
suffered by the giant multi-hull while docked.
* Italian fashion house Prada Holding NV (I.PDA) Wednesday pulled plans to
float just days before its roadshow - the third time it has postponed its
proposed public offering in a year. "It would have been suicide to go ahead
with such terrible market conditions," a London-based analyst said.
Proceeds from Prada's IPO are aimed to help reduce a large debt pile of
some 800 million euros, as well as give the company cash to open new stores
and develop new lines.
* On July 1 the distribution of Frederiksen Boat Fittings will handled by
Ronstan's US office in Largo Florida. Frederiksen, which produces blocks,
travelers, and batten car systems, was acquired by Ronstan last year.
* After a weekend of challenging sailing in turbulent weather Yandell
Rogers of the Lakewood Yacht Club, closed out the final day of match-racing
(8-2) to take first place in the UBS Challenge Regional Qualifier held at
the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, Kemah. Skipper Rogers now advances to the
UBS Challenge U.S. Championships, held in Newport, Rhode Island, on July 27
...one question. Why are the best sailors in the world wearing Kaenon
The next generation in polarized lens technology. www.kaenon.com
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 Duncan Wood: Dennis Connor and Kenny Read must be laughing all the
way to the finish line. While most of the other teams are embroiled off the
water shenanigans, Team DC is quietly going about the business of preparing
for racing, away from the madding crowd. When the first starting gun fires
in Auckland, they will be there with the best trained, best organized, best
prepared program on the water. When the final finishing gun of the LV
series fires, they will also be there fully prepared to take on the Kiwi's.
Guess what? Stars and Stripes is the only American team with crew and
support personnel that truly represents the good old US of A. And to think
that they leave their ego's on the dock when they go sailing.
* From Mike Ingham (Re Americas cup intrigue): I hate to admit it, but
despite all the legal proceedings being disgusting, it really does make for
good news leading up to the America's Cup. Since racing has not started, all
the other news about the AC preparation is mostly bland compared to the
soap opera we hear. The problem that it causes the rest of us is that it
tarnishes our image. Most of us sail in small inexpensive boats and want
nothing to do involving the legal process in our sailing lives. All my non-
sailing friends think that the Americas Cup represents exactly what our
weekend sailors do. They realize it is not on that scale, but they still
picture a bunch of rich, bitter guys spending a lot of money on toys and
* From Steve Secor: I enjoy the reading about billionaires and their
lawyers making asses out of themselves. Especially since the arbitration
panel won't let them go to court, but the panel won't make a decision until
they are sure they won't be sued either. I only wonder if the lawyers and
rules people can see the knot they have tied. When the racing starts the
sailors will take over, but until then keep I hope to enjoy the steady
stream of crying and whining from the billionaires.
* From Mike Hobson: I agree with Andy Green re the Americas Cup and soap
operas, it's funny seeing the dirty tricks coming into play to catch the
other team out. Reading about all the antics is just like reading the
National enquirer or any other tabloid. The America's Cup Is not about real
life, it's about big money, big ego's and fighting over a piece of
silverware for a spot in History and fame. Just as Peter Harken said, there
is nothing new in this, go look back at the history.
Apart from the America's Cup stuff, I read all the time in Scuttlebutt that
readers question why sailing isn't more popular, why cant we attract more
sponsors and television to the sport, why can't we become a more mainstream
So I put the question: does anyone see a correlation between big money
syndicates in the Americas Cup and the lack of sponsorship available to the
sport? If you were the head of a Company looking for exposure through
sport, would you put money into one of these syndicates? Would you put your
company's money into sailing at all? So IS the America's Cup good or bad for
the rest of us?
* From David Scully: Bruce Farr makes an interesting point regarding the
cost of a new, bigger, Volvo boat. It seems that by going bigger, you
replace a slow boat with a more expensive slow boat. The cost of a campaign
is already quite high.
Why not invite maxi-multihulls to do the Volvo? The boats are on the
cutting edge of tech, go really fast, and could easily fit into the Vovo 60
budget. From my point of view, as a maxi-cat captain for whom French is a
second language, we need the race organization and global exposure the
Volvo Race could provide.
* From: "Rod Carr: 'Butt # 103 stated "an option that (Bruce) Farr
fancies is the idea of having a one design rig and keel and keeping the
rest open. "This would allow a freedom of building the boats, but controls
some of the key performance issues."
Radio controlled model yachtsmen have enjoyed just such a class for years.
Called the International One Meter, the class rule specifies a closely
controlled fin/bulb configuration, three one-design sail plans, and a
maximum LOA of 1.00 meters. Minimum displacement allows homebuilts to
complete with the carbon fiber high tech manufactured hulls, and tolerances
on measurement allow homebuilding accuracy to be easily accommodated. The
recently completed European Championship drew a fleet of 80 boats!!!
* From Tony Castro: Could I add some fuel to the "what boat to have next
Round the World Race" debate. There is no doubt that bigger boats would
make for a bigger spectacle. There is also no doubt that costs if kept
lower would attract a bigger fleet. One-designs are boring, except to the
sailors who are only interested in measuring themselves against each other
and for the Designer himself!! . So a compromise is required.
The idea is not new and I remember debating it when the present rule was
developed some years ago, but we could have elements of the new class "One
Design" like the rig, sail sizes and appendages for example and let the
hull be designed to a box rule. In my view this solution would allow costs
to be contained more easily and help justify the bigger boats and give more
designers a chance to compete as a result of smaller R&D budgets being
* From Richard Hazelton: What goes around comes around. Sailing is now
far removed from the "sportsmanlike conduct" that used to exemplify the
sport. People complain about all the nit-picking and bending the rules of
America's Cup, yet it's okay to kinetically propel yourself around the
course "because everybody does it". It's okay to go over the boundaries in
your class or ratings group if you can win. It doesn't begin at the top but
at the club level where kids and ratings sailors learn that it's okay to
cheat if you don't get caught. Unfortunately it's at a greater price than
that of the trophey, it's at the integrity of the sport. Actually that's
wrong - the sport is fine, it's the integrity of the sailors that's in
question. The vast majority of sailors play fair, but it's always the few
that screw it up for the rest. Enforce the rules or forget them. We can
either use the rules to clean things up, or keep bending them until there's
nothing left but window dressing. But it all begins at the club level.
Sportsmanship and integrity is something learned early on by example.
* From Joe Buck - In this day of rapid communications and internet web
sites, some yacht clubs post race results on the internet, but it takes
them two or three days to do so. In nice contrast, for the North Sails Race
Week, by the time I drove home from the race, the results were posted on
THE US YOUTH SAILING TEAM
US Sailing has announced the team that will represent the U.S.A. at the
2002 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World
Championships in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, from July 18-27:
Boys Singlehanded: 2002 U.S. Youth Champion Andrew Campbell (San Diego,
Girls Singlehanded: US SAILING'S 2001 Female Athlete of the Year Paige
Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Boys Doublehanded (skipper and crew): Alex Bernal and Tedd White (both
Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Girls Doublehanded (skipper and crew): Molly Carapiet (San Francisco,
Calif.) and Mallory McCollum (Concord, Calif.).
Boys Boardsailing: Philip Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)
Girls Boardsailing: Ericka Kofkin (Melbourne, Fla.)
Brian Doyle (Darien, Conn./Hanover, N.H.), the head sailing coach at
Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) since 1993, will act as Team Leader. Full
Charlie Ogletree used a full inventory of Ullman Sails to win the Santana
20 Nationals. And the same people who 'broke the code' by squeezing more
boatspeed from the Santana 20 are ready to work with you to improve the
performance of your boat - no matter what you sail. The proven and
affordable way to make it happen is to work with the pros at Ullman Sails
to spruce up your sail inventory. For the location of the nearest loft that
can provide you with a price quote: www.ullmansails.com
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia regrets to announce that the skipper
of one of the yachts racing in its BMW Sydney Winter Series died from an
apparent heart attack after accidentally falling overboard during today's
race on the Harbour. Gary McPike, aged 55, an American national living with
his wife in Sydney, was owner/skipper of the yacht Joyride, competing in
Division C of the series. He was pronounced dead after being brought
ashore, despite the efforts of other sailors, including two members of the
crew of another yacht, Obsession, who dived overboard and lifted McPike on
to their boat. They applied CPR before McPike was transferred to a Water
Police vessel and taken to Rose Bay where an ambulance was waiting.
McPike was a yacht racing rules authority and had been a National Judge and
Umpire in the United States. Since living in Australia he had joined the
CYCA and had been accepted here as an National Judge, also becoming a
member of the Racing Rules Committee of the Yachting Association of New
South Wales. He had been recently in the USA, umpiring at the Congressional
Cup, one of the major match racing events in that country, and had applied
for status as an International Judge and Umpire. - Peter Campbell
30/06/02 - The Kiel Finale - While 99% of Germany ground to a halt to watch
the historic World Cup final match against Brazil on Sunday, 11 of the 12
fleets racing in the Kiel Olympic Classes Regatta were doing battle on the
Baltic for top honours at one of the biggest events on the Olympic sailing
calender. Conditions for the final day were identical to the other four
with a strong breeze that touched 30 knots while fronts of heavy showers
passed through almost hourly.
American's Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedhal were in a league of their own
in the Star fleet, winning four of their five races. They were the only
American's in the 60-boat Star fleet and the only American's to score a
podium finish. However, Betsy Alison took a creditable 6th in the 30-boat
Yngling class. - www.kielerwoche.de
NORTH SAILS RACE WEEK
LONG BEACH, Calif.---Jim Demetriades' luck was due to change, but Tom
Carruthers liked the roll he was on. The fortunes of light, shifty winds
carried both men to come-from-behind victories on the last day of the 18th
North Sails Race Week Sunday, when the competition lived up to its billing
even if the weather conditions didn't.
Demetriades' sky blue Transpac 52, Yassou, outsailed the heavy hitters in
PHRF 1 class for the biggest boats, which earned him PHRF Boat of the Week
recognition. Carruthers, the two-time defending J/105 champion sailing
Incorrigible, said going in, "If you see me on the podium again it'll be
because I got lucky." But he earned the overall Boat of the Week trophy by
winning the most competitive class---which also was the largest with 29
boats---by two points.
Other notable winners included Brack Duker's Revolution in the celebrity
studded Farr 40 fleet, with Dave Ullman as tactician; Ventura's Dave Klatt,
who claimed a berth in the J/24 Worlds by winning these Western Regionals
with no finish worse than second, and Argyle Campbell, who swapped wins
with fellow Newport Harbor Yacht Club campaigner Bruce Ayres to win the
Melges 24s by one point.
A record total of 171 boats sailed in 13 classes on three courses.
Forecasts were for stronger winds the last two days, but especially on
Sunday a lingering marine layer may have discouraged the customary sea
breeze. While 18 knots were expected, the wind hovered between 6 and 9 all
afternoon. - Rich Roberts
Other class winners included: PHRF 2: Cita (Schock 40), Cita Litt, PHRF 3:
Pendragon II (Davidson 33), David Gray, PHRF 4: Defiance (B-32), Scott
Taylor, PHRF 5: Intense(Olson 30), Allan Rosenberg, 1D35: Tabasco, John
Wylie, J/120 North American championship, Indigo, Scott Birnberg, Schock 35
Pacific Coast championship, Whiplash, Ray Godwin, Santana 20, Altitude
Sickness, Infelise/Bell/Infelise. www.Premiere-Racing.com
As the fleet picked its way further South today, "Turicum" signalled she
has withdrawn from the race. A C&C 44 from the Vancouver Rowing Club, and
veteran of two previous Vic-Mauis, she has already altered course for San
Francisco, and expects to be there in about two days. Skipper Warren Hale
and his crew felt that with current weather conditions ahead, they could
not reasonably expect to complete the race within the time limit.
Earlier, three other boats withdrew from the race. They are "Fastrack", a
C&C 37/40R from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, "Time Bandit", a J120 from
Orcas Island Yacht Club, and "Swept Away" (formerly "Joia"), a J120 from
the Corinthian Yacht Club in Seattle.
The remaining 15 boats are experiencing varying wind conditions. The
leaders are sailing in about 20 knots of wind from the Northwest. Further
back, many boats are struggling in light conditions, four logging less than
100 miles yesterday. "The Rusty Unit" deserves a special moment of sympathy
for her daily run of 32 miles at an average speed just over one knot; at
roll call she simply reported "no wind". - Peter Bennett,
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be