SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1105 - July 2, 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.
ISAF WORLD SAILING GAMES
On Saturday afternoon at 1600 hours local time the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games was officially opened. The formal Opening Ceremony at the venue was followed by a parade of athletes through the Vieux Port, with the host country France bringing up the rear to much applause from the multitude of spectators. Sailors of the world then welcomed the arrival of the record-breaking multihull "Orange" who delicately manouveured her way through the old port to much applause.
The celebrations then proceeded to a festival and street carnival, "Massalia 2002 Odyssee de la Canebiere", before culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. With equipment allocated on Friday and Saturday, Sunday saw a practise day for competitors, with the official practise race today. Formal racing commences on 2 July 2002. Racing will be full on with 18 races scheduled for each of the sailboard male and female, single-handed female, double-handed male and female, multihull open and multihull female events. Whilst the single-handed male, and keelboat male and female will each race 12 qualifying races and 6 final races.
Full news and reports will be available on the event website: www.sailing-games.com
AMERICA'S CUP PERSPECTIVE
Team New Zealand strategist Erle Williams has been around the America's Cup scene for more than 15 years. He was a bowman for Chris Dickson's KZ 7 campaign in 1987, the navigator on the Nippon Challenge in '92 and later worked with Il Moro when Nippon got eliminated. In 2000 he was a coach / observer for Team Dennis Conner's Star & Stripes campaign. Recently Martin Tasker interviewed Williams on sailnz.tv and asked how the current TNZ campaign compares with the others. Here is Williams' response:
"This is a real team. I haven't really been in another team like this. There's groups and there's teams. All the others are groups. This has a special make up here of the Kiwi attitude. It's very level. You don't have too many stand out people. Everyone's prepared to get in and do the dirty work. And that is something you don't experience so much in some of the other teams." - Erle Williams (posted by Cheryl on the 2003AC website forum - www.2003ac.com)
ALWAYS THE BEST
Camet International has the outstanding reputation of always being the best, in design, quality and service. The Camet sailing shorts are the leaders in technology, and comfort, they are made out of a Breathable, fast drying Supplex, and reinforced with a Cordura seat patch, to insert an optional foam pad. Camet has a variety of models of shorts, pants and colors. Ask your dealers for the Camet products, or visit the web site at www.camet.com
* In this Interim Rule, effective December 23, 2002, the Coast Guard would require children under age 13 to wear PFDs while aboard recreational vessels, in an effort to reduce drowning deaths. The Coast Guard seeks your comments by August 23, 2002. - Federal Register, June 24, 2002
* Mikee Anderson-Mitterling and Graham Biehl from Mission BayYC bested Adam Roberts and Melanie Roberts by single point to win the Snipe Junior National sailed at the Pass Christian YC, in Louisiana. www.snipe.org
* HSBC today launches a new educational website that will enable school children to track the Kiwi yachtsman Graham Dalton as he competes in the Around Alone yacht race. The Around Alone race will start in New York in September and schools will be able to chart Dalton's progress by taking part in the HSBC Global Education Challenge. The challenge is a programme of 32 online weekly modules aimed at children aged between 9 and 12, and can be accessed through www.education.hsbc.com
* IACCSF has unveiled its master plan to the City of Sausalito that includes a working America's Cup Museum downtown Sausalito for the ten committed IACC yachts that will compete in the 2003 season on San Francisco Bay. The plan, if approved, will create a permanent boat yard for the IACCSF fleet with facilities to hold up to twenty dry sailed IACC yachts on the Sausalito waterfront. IACCSF has one more regatta this season July 26-28 with the "Il Moro Trophy" at the Sausalito Yacht Club.
* Steve Fossett is still flying high in Bud Light Spirit of Freedom, in his attempt to make the first solo round the world balloon flight. Now that he's three-quarters of the way around the world, he has begun to think about the final part of his journey---landing. Project Manager Tim Cole has already left for Australia and begin scouting landing locations, although timing and exact headings are subject to last minute changes. www.spiritoffreedom.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 Bill Goggins: Regarding the AC and it's colorful history of controversy, I agree with Peter Harken! This stuff has been happening since the first time the Auld Mug was lifted! Let's live with it and enjoy one of the best showcases of preparation, design, and technology. No more "whinging!"
A fun bit of history that relates to the AC is the far less famous trophy known as the Queen's Cup that is actually older than the America's Cup, and was the original prize for the same race around the Isle of Wright that started it all. Today, this cup is the prize for the overall winner of the annual nighttime race across Lake Michigan, starting at South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee. All of the disputes during the Queen s Cup are settled in the bar on the other side or over one of those famous wet burritos! You've gotta love us Midwest Sailors! You won't see any Queen's Cup sailors running to court! If they can't settle it on the water, they'll settle it over a bunch of beer on the other side!
* From Charles Russell: I agree with Duncan Wood regarding the Dennis Connor Am Cup entry. Close observation of the last Louis Vuitton Cup showed Stars & Stripes to be the superior boat, even though they didn't win. They achieved this with an under - budgeted program, with one boat, a crucial judge's decision that took one point away, and seemingly not the fastest boat - Prada was the fastest for sure. Stripes was simply the best crewed of any of the challengers, complimented by great boat preparation and the absolute superior afterguard, especially Tom Whidden and Peter Isler.
Connor brought to that effort what he has been bringing to all sailing events in the last 40 years: very hard work and preparation, as well as superior sailing brilliance and experience. And, congrats for using nationals, as opposed to the unseemly practice of hiring pros from anywhere and everywhere - a little boost of dignity back to this event.
* From Larry Keating: I'm with David Scully on the Multi-hulls for the Volvo Round the World Race. Often we sailors are far too close to the game. From a viewers point of view the race in its present class is a yawn. Sure we get great images off the boats flying along 30 plus, and sure we get live feeds from the crews in their wet and spartan conditions. But, it's lost intrigue and adventure, an element of danger and excitement, the unknown factor.
Multi-hulls racing in a Volvo Race even sounds more liquid and adventurous. Can these 'big jokers' stay together, stay upright? We know they have to date, but you never know in a full on race. And what a spectacle they would make coming and going from Port to Port!
It's the 'what if' factor. Viewers want the intrigue back. What if this was to happen, or what if that? It's all too sterile. It's also too long. Make the legs longer and fewer and add the speed and threatening nature of huge cats back into the mix. Not just one or two trying for the Jules Verne Trophy, but 6 or 7 or more thrashing through the wild surf of the Southern Oceans right on the edge. I want to leap out of bed in the morn' and crash into Virtual Spectator to see what's happened over night, who's still in and who's out. That'll bring back the international interest, and the real 'adventurer' to sail them.
* From Joseph W. Glenn: The contestants need to sort out if they want to race often in a simple self policing mode or we will only race in a few expensive policed regattas. I for one am disinterested in being an on the water volunteer 'keeping them honest', though I do appreciate good umpiring in team racing - this keeps us out of 'the room' as people do protest on issues they umpire on.
I went to a seminar on large fleet management by Ken Legler, who was as usual inspiring. He commented that sailors do not protest others who are patently over at the start, because they are not being 'directly' fouled. Would they protest if someone got the ores out or started their motor? The attitude of not protesting because 'I sometimes try to get away with it' leads to too many 'practice starts' [general recalls] and excessive kinetics.
With this I'll have to screw up my courage and if singly loudly 'The Ocean Waves May Roll' and scolding does not work - Protest, calling for nearby witnesses. Maybe can induce the occasional '360' [winter sailing short course rules].
(Elaine Bunting has an interesting story on the Yachting World website about Graham Dalton's new Open 60 Hexagon, that was officially launched in London yesterday. Here is an excerpt that examines some of the design features.)
Hexagon was built at Southern Ocean Marine in New Zealand and looks beautifully finished. She differs from others of the type in that Dalton has opted for a much larger cockpit, with a trench running from the companionway all the way to the transom. Most 60s have a small cockpit enclosed by a raised afterdeck - often considered to be a safety factor for single-handed sailors. The extra area gives Dalton much more area to work in and makes the boat more versatile for crewed events.
This arrangement also makes it possible to have twin wheels, and Dalton has chosen this instead of two tillers. He prefers to stand while helming and believes that with more inshore racing during the five legs of Around Alone, he will be doing a good deal of handsteering. Part of the price he has paid for the cockpit is a smaller interior. The coachroof is both narrower and lower than others of the type and inside the boat feels smaller.
Hexagon has the usual canting keel and water ballast. Less usual is her single large symmetrical pivoting daggerboard; most of the other 60s (with the exception of Michel Desjoyeaux's PRB) have two smaller assymetrical daggerboards. Cleverly, this pivots like a self-tacking centreboard on a dinghy, with the difference between water pressure on each side of the foil turning the daggerboard to produce windward lift. A single daggerboard saves some weight and also gives Dalton less work to do when tacking at the start or finish of legs.
Another clever trick is the tacking bowsprit. This can also be pivoted to windward so that Dalton will be able to run more square downwind. The whole bowsprit pivots round the forestay and pulpit base, moved by a steering quadrant type arrangement at the inboard end. Elaine Bunting, Yachting World website.
Full story: www.ybw.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Ross Blackman, CEO, TNZ
"This is the first time for several years, for many years actually, so many wealthy individuals have come in with their own teams. And the interesting aspect of the game is that these guys are not used to losing anything. They've been enormously successful in their own right. On a good day only one of them can make it through to become the Louis Vuitton challenger. I think that you will see some of the guys drop by the wayside and say, well, that wasn't so much fun as I thought it was going to be
"Break time at the moment as far as the water is concerned. We have put one of our old boats to bed. NZL-57 has been retired now and NZL-60 is getting a little bit of a tart up for summer, you might say. We're working hard on the two new boats that we're building over at Cookson's yard. We'll be back on the water probably late July. Meanwhile we have our match racing teams on the world circuit getting as much experience as they can. Those who aren't overseas are actually mostly in the gym." - Ross Blackman, Chief Executive, Team New Zealand, from a radio interview with Mike Hoskings (posted by Cheryl on the 2003AC website forum - www.2003ac.com)
JUNIOR MATCH RACING
The Balboa YC's 36th annual Governor's Cup Junior match-racing regatta has attracted a strong national and international interest. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron won this event in both 2000 and 2001, but to complete their "threepeat," they must defeat strong teams from Annapolis YC, St. Petersburg YC, Rochester YC, Mission Bay YC, King Harbor YC, Golden Gate YC, Fort Worth Boat Club, Balboa YC, plus the U.K's Royal Yachting Association and "down under" challenges from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. These 3 crew teams will "match race" identical race tuned Santana 20s. - www.balboayachtclub.com
OCEAN PLANET PREPS FOR AROUND ALONE RACE
Ocean Planet, in preparation for the Around Alone race, left Monday for its qualifying run to the Azores. Aramid Rigging recently designed a luff rope system and a new set of runners made up with Samson's Lightning Rope. "We chose Lightning Rope for its low stretch and high strength per weight, said Around Alone racer, Bruce Schwab. The dingy and skiff guys have known about this Vectran and Dyneema blended Lightning Rope for a while, but it has great big boat applications as well" Check out Samson's Lightning Rope at www.samsonrope.com/home/recmarine/index.cfm
Those Volvo Ocean Race guys just can't get enough of that offshore stuff. Nine 60s, including three from the current generation, hit the line Sunday at this year's Round Gotland Race, a 335-mile jaunt around Visby and Sandšn Islands off Sweden. Thanks to a windy, lumpy first day, Assa Abloy 1, Magnus Olsson's ride, as well as thirty other entrants, have retired from the race. Assa Abloy 1 was the backup boat for the Assa Abloy Racing Team and didn't compete in the Volvo, but had sailed more than 20,000 miles during two-boat testing. Olsson was forced to withdraw when a running backstay parted under load just south of Faro shortly after 0130 Monday morning. "It was a step too far," said Olsson. - Tony Bessinger, Sailing World website, www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=1060
* The 60 foot trimaran Nokia stormed home across the finishing line after two o'clock in the afternoon to knock more than three hours off the Round Gotland course record. At 22.56 hours Monday Skipper Neal McDonald sailed Assa Abloy 2 across the finish line of the ahead of eight other VO60's. At the finish the Assa Abloy crew only had the two 60-foot trimarans and the 100-footer Next finishing ahead of them. - www.accenturegotlandrunt.org
The Gallery section of the OneWorld website has some great Sharon Green images of the syndicate's new boats. www.oneworldchallenge.com/gallery/boat.html
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
The first day of the Swedish Match Tour 2001/2's final event, the Swedish Match Cup, dawned with every sailors' least favorite conditions: cold rain and no wind. As the day progressed however, the rains lightened, the breeze filled in and the men and women were able to complete all their scheduled flights.
ROUND ROBIN RESULTS:
1. Bjorn Hansen, SWE, 3-1
2. Karol Jablonski, POL, 3-1
3. Mattias Rahm, SWE, 3-1
4. Jesper Bank, 3-1
5. Andrew Arbuzow, Russia, 2-2
6. Jochen Schumann, 1-3
7. Staffan Lindberg, Finland, 1-3
8. Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden, 0-4
"Icon", skippered by Jim Roder, continues to lead Division A and the fleet. She logged 263 miles yesterday. "Renegade", an Andrews 70 Turbosled from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, found her pace with an impressive 291 miles. She is now in sixth position overall on corrected time. Division A boats occupy the six leading positions, and they are moving at 10-12 knots.
"Mojo Riding", a Beneteau 40.7F from Richmond Yacht Club California, and "First Sight", a Beneteau 45F5R from Maple Bay Yacht Club (both in Division B) are now sailing at about 7-8 knots, and are tenth and eleventh overall. In Division C, the J36 "Charlemagne" and "Greyhound" twins continue locked in seventh and eighth positions respectively, while "Surt" has moved to ninth.
"Niye Keema", an Irwin 52-3l ketch from Anacortes Yacht Club, leads "Oriole" and "The Rusty Unit" on corrected time in Division D. - Peter Bennett, www.vicmaui.org
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* July 11-14: US Sailing's USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival, Santa Barbara YC. Laser and Radial, Club 420, Club Flying Junior (CFJ), and 29er classes. (No charters or borrowed boats are available.) Sailors must still be under 20 year old on 12/31/02. home1.gte.net/res07wtt/reg1.htm
* November 2-3: DirtyDog IMS Mid Atlantic Championships, Annapolis YC, Annapolis, MD. www.annapolisyc.com
* November 2-9: Annual Meeting of the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club, held concurrently with the Pro-Am regatta at the Bitter End YC on Virgin Gorda in the BVI. SSC members will race for the SSC Club Championship, plus have the opportunity to crew for Ed Baird, Mark Reynolds, Marie Bjorling, Dawn Riley, Keith Musto, Butch Ulmer, Rod Johnstone, Lowell North and/ or the curmudgeon in the Pro-Am Regatta. SSC members are eligible for discount rates- www.beyc.com
Prada's withdrawal of their lawsuit against Oracle last week apparently has not ended their problems under the Protocol. Oracle's filing with the America's Cup Arbitration Panel has not been withdrawn, and the Panel issued an unusually short deadline -- next Monday, July 8 -- by when other teams, including Prada, must submit any views on the issue to the Panel.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
These days, leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20-50 years of your life, is cause for panic and turning around to go get it.