SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1108 - July 5, 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.
Peter Harrison's GBR America's Cup Challenge have made the bold but expensive decision to fly the team's second new boat to Auckland after construction of GBR 78 is completed later this month.
Given that the mast of the team's first yacht, GBR 70, does not get stepped until tomorrow and that White Lightning has yet sail, this shows the team are confident enough to handle working-up two new yachts in the 11 weeks before the challenger trials start on Oct 1.
Flying the second boat will save a month in shipping time and gives six weeks of two-boat testing before the trails, even if it will stretch the team's mast and sail resources to their limits. "In the context of a £22m budget, spending an extra $500,000 to airfreight the boat down protects the investment so far," Harrison said. "It is like having an insurance policy in case there is a problem with the first boat whilst helping to tune it up. That seems to me, a tremendous opportunity."
Asked if GBR 78 was identical to GBR 70, Harrison was non-committal. - Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK. Full story: sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/
LE DEFI AREVA
(James Boyd wrote an in-depth story about the French America's Cup syndicate for the madforsailing website. Here's a brief excerpt.)
One look at FRA-69 tells you it is the product of radical thought. It remains to see if this is fast radical thought relative to what the campaigns have come up with. "It is a very long boat, but these days apparently all these boats are long and the length is also determined by the enormous amount of tank testing we did, because the YAKA design Team continued to work on developing this boat after the Cup 2000," explains Kroger. "So the YAKA Design Team never stopped and the money we had left over from the last Challenge was basically used for all this design research they did - tank testing and all the rabbits you can pull out of the hat. The 2000 boat was analysed in comparison to the other boats and the result was this boat
Construction on FRA-69 started at Gilles Ollier's Chantier Multiplast at the beginning of November. Rather than build a second new boat Le Defi are having FRA-46 completely rebuilt to the extent that she has a new sail number - FRA-79 - and this should be ready imminently. - James Boyd, madforsailing. Full story and photos of this radical AC boat: www.madforsailing.com
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Auckland City Council is committing another $150,000 towards the America's Cup. It is giving the money to a charitable trust to help it attract international business interests to Auckland during the America's Cup campaign. This latest grant follows a $650,000 donation from the council to help Team New Zealand with costs for the event.
The $150,000 will go to Competitive Auckland, a business-led charitable trust, championing local businesses and promoting economic redevelopment for the entire Auckland region. Competitive Auckland requested funding to help it provide a forum for local businesses to form relationships with international investors visiting Auckland for the America's Cup later this year.
Executive director Alistair Helm says there will be a number of important international business people in Auckland at that time and it's an opportunity not to be wasted. "We want to make sure the event is not a vacation for them. We want to turn it into something we can do for local business and for the future economic development of the Auckland region," Mr Helm says. "The money will be used to foster relationships between local and international companies during the America's Cup, with the long-term prospect of business partnerships. Competitive Auckland will provide a facilitation service for the two parties to meet and discuss ideas." - East & Bays Courier, NZ, as posted on the Stuff NZ website.
Full story: www.stuff.co.nz/inl/index/0,1008,1257776a1501,FF.html
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 Wykeham-Martin, General Manager, Royal Ocean Racing Club: In Scuttlebutt 1106, Anna Brooke, a Rear Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, queried some of the administrative arrangements for the Louis Vuitton Cup. I would like to point out that she wrote this letter in a purely personal capacity, and was not asking a question on behalf of the Club. The RORC clearly would not wish to be seen to comment officially on the race management of another Club or Race Organiser.
* From Andrew Bray: I have been following the correspondence about man overboard and PFDs with interest and a little disbelief. If you need your PFD then it is a symptom of the failure of the primary man overboard defence. You've a man in the water - why? Because he was not wearing a safety harness.
Of course we should wear PFDs when the going gets hard - harnesses and crew are not totally failsafe. But practising man overboard manoeuvres and wearing PFDs is a bit like working out how to catch that horse once he's got out of the stable.
* From David Tabor: First, I have no doubt Peter Isler would abandon an America's Cup race to assist in a MOB situation; it's the right thing to do. Any skipper who did this would instantly become etched in every sailors memory and Americas Cup history (and had better receive redress from the committee)!
Second, kudos to Henry Maxwell of The Williams School. While withdrawing from a race that would affect the entire match is undoubtedly a difficult thing to do, he did the right thing. Had he not withdrawn and gone on to participate, he likely would have remained anonymous and most of us "Buttheads" would never have heard of him. Now there is a good chance his name will forever be associated with good sportsmanship by far many people than ever would have known him for winning a school race. Sometimes by "losing" we really do win more than we would have otherwise.
Third, If it's dark, rough or you're shorthanded; wear some kind of flotation/harness. After the incident in L.I.S. and being in Bermuda as part of the Annapolis-Bermuda race when the Newport boats came in, and hearing how rough it was I can't believe people weren't being more careful. (Roy Disney quoted in the Bermuda paper said it was "so rough the microwave door flew open and the glass turntable inside flew across the cabin)
* From Harry Keith (Ref. USCG Proposed Rule): While I am against arbitrary rules based on age alone and thus against this Proposed Rule, it is not quite as onerous as implied in your News Brief. PFD's must be worn while on deck while underway. At least your children are allowed to swim from your boat and sleep at night without wearing a PFD. The proposed lives saved is based on 66 drownings during 1995-1998. The complete reference is 33 CFR Part 175 and should have been included with the Brief.
Legendary single-handed yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has announced the names of the individuals selected to skipper the eight identical 60-foot yachts in the Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race. Knox-Johnston and the race core team, Colin de Mowbray and Tim Hedges, both former Clipper Round the World Skippers, sailed with twelve finalists in order to reach the decision. The successful candidates are:
Richard Butler (39) Crewkerne, Somerset (Bristol Clipper)
Roger Steven-Jennings (46) Plumstead, Cape Town (Cape Town Clipper)
Rupert Parkhouse (33) Chichester, West Sussex (Glasgow Clipper)
James Gair (31) Burnham On Crouch, Essex (Hong Kong Clipper)
Johnathan Brockhouse (33) Lincoln (Jersey Clipper)
Adam Kyffin (37) Wallasey, Wirral (Liverpool Clipper)
Christopher Hazeldene (42) Teignmouth, South Devon (London Clipper)
Samantha Fuller (25) Colchester, Essex (New York Clipper)
The eight racing yachts are now berthed in Royal Victoria Dock, ExCeL, and are available for public viewing from 10:00 - 17:00 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 10:00 - 12:00 on Sunday 7 July. The race begins in Liverpool, UK on October 27- www.clipper-ventures.com
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ISAF WORLD SAILING GAMES
Marseilles, France - With the Mistral in full force today, At 1400 hours, the President of the Race Committee announced that today's races would be postponed to Friday, with a decision for the boardsailing events due to be made at 1600. The Race Committee really hoped to get a few races underway, even though the Mistral (local north western wind) was blowing at more than 25 knots, reaching peaks of around 33-37 knots with 2 metre high waves. Tough day for sailors, but ideal conditions for "kite surfers", who have been out in force on Marseilles Bay. However, at 1600 hours the Race Committee also abandoned the races for the boardsailing events.
Six professional "kiters" are promoting their discipline of sailing with various shows taking place each day for the duration of the Games. On this particularly windy day, it is an incredible sight to see them jumping and doing turns, and have certainly impressed the sailors who were forced to remain on shore.
The real craze for this hybrid sport (between surfing and kite) is similar to the first years of windsurfing, back in the early seventies. In order to introduce this discipline to the sailors here from around the world, but also by the larger population, ISAF together with the Federation Francaise de Voile (FFV) have chosen to organise regular displays. Pascal Maka, three times world speed record champion on the funboard, is the man to watch. As representative of the Federation Francaise de Voile, Pascal Maka's aim is to develop this new "extreme" sport, and says, "Our aim is to equip as many sailing clubs as possible". The whole kite kit, including 4 different wings (kites) and a board costs approximately EUR1500.
However, the professionals present here in Marseille insist on safety as an underlying necessity, and any potential "kiters" should learn at a professional sailing school with adequate equipment. Another "kiter" suggested that a permission or even a licence should be introduce for kiters, to ensure people know how to use it the equipment before venturing out on the water. Possible drowning, as well as serious difficulties to return to the beach are some of the risks which may be encountered by most beginners if they are not properly trained before going out by themselves. - www.sailing-games.com
SWEDISH MATCH CUP
MARSTRAND, SWEDEN (07/4/2002) -Mid-day showers gave way to sunshine, but the wind vanished with the rain, bringing an early end to quarterfinals racing at the Swedish Match Tour's Swedish Match Cup. - Shawn McBride, www.swedishmatchtour.com.
Quarter Finals Leaderboard:
1. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto 3-1
2. Dean Barker, Team New Zealand 3-1
3. Jesper Radich, Denmark 3-1
4. Bertrand Pace, Team New Zealand 2-2
5. Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing 2-2
6. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Victory Lane 1-3
7. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team SeaLife 1-3
8. Russell Coutts, Alinghi Team 1-3
At roll-call, many boats were sailing in winds under 10 knots, though "Atalanta","Icon" and "Renegade" found their own breeze from the Northeast. In Division A, "Mystic" has moved into first place, and leads the fleet on corrected time. She is followed "Atalanta", "Icon" and "Renegade". These boats have been sailing at average speeds around 8-10 knots, with "Icon" posting the best day's mileage (242 miles). In the same Division, "Jeito " and "Show Me" averaged only 2-3 knots, showing just how tricky it is out there to stay in good pressure.
"Mojo Riding" (Division B) is doing well at sixth overall, while "Oriole" (Division D) has moved up on corrected time to split the narrow gap separating "Greyhound" and "Charlemagne" in Division C. "Charlemagne" is hanging in there with enforced reefs in her mainsail necessitated by a broken main halyard. "Niye Keema" may have had the toughest day, getting in only 33 miles at an average speed of 1.4 knots. - Peter Bennett, www.vicmaui.org
SAILING ON TV
* Saturday, July 6, 2:00PM - 2:30PM: Grand Prix Sailing. The 2002 Match Race Germany professional global sailing tour continues with OLN's coverage of the ACI Cup/Match Racing Worlds from Lake Constance, Germany. www.olntv.com
* Sunday, July 7, 2:00PM - 2:30PM EDT Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9 Highlights (Show #11) ESPN2. The all women's team finished in an impressive fourth place for Leg 9 defeating stablemate Grant Dalton on Amer Sports One by just three boatlengths. This 30-minute program features comments by each skipper following the race. Gary Jobson takes us for a tour below deck. www.jobsonsailing.com/tvsched.html
* Saturday, July 13, 2:00PM - 2:30PM: Road to the Louis Vuitton Cup. Join OLN on the Road to Louis Vuitton Cup and meet some of the courageous and inspiring sailors that make this race the tour de force in sailing. The first episode features Russell Coutts - the skipper who successfully defended the Cup for Team New Zealand in 2000 - now driving the boat for the Swiss. Then meet Mr. Cup - Dennis Conner - probably the sentimental favorite going into this next campaign. Take an overall look at the challengers for this campaign. And travel to Cowes, England for the America's Cup Jubillee held last August for a reunion of the crew with their legendary 1983 Cup winner Australia II. www.olntv.com
* Sunday, July 14, 5:00PM - 5:30PM EDT, Volvo Ocean Race Wrap-up Program (Show #12) ESPN2. www.jobsonsailing.com/tvsched.html
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBWSERVATION
You know you're in the Deep South when you can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.