SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1109 - July 8, 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 ONLY MONEY
Oracle Racing's two new yachts, USA71 and USA76, are the result of technology rarely used before. Both yachts were built from female molds - the boat's hull is built from the outside in. It's a technique few America's Cup teams have used in the past.
New Zealand-born Tim Smyth, one of Oracle's three boat-building managers, said the end product was more precise and the hull was lighter. "It is a more accurate reflection of what the designer expects," he said. "When you build these [America's Cup] boats in the male form (from the inside out) the accuracy of them can be flawed. So the holy grail of America's Cup boat building is to use a female mould - where you make a plug and take a female mould off it.
"These are far and away the most complex America's Cup boats I've ever seen and it is possibly a reflection of how the competition has lifted." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
COMMENT: When Barry McKay (pitman and project co-ordinator for the building and maintenance of Team NZ's boats) was asked about building an AC boat in a female mold during Murray Deaker's NZ radio program, he responded, "Well, it's basically the way you build the hull of your boat. You can either build it into a female mould. When you release it and you end up with a perfectly smooth finish on the outside. Or you can build it over a male mould. You end up with a smooth finish inside and you have to fair the outside.
"Now there's a small cost associated with building it over a male mould. You have to use paint and filler on the outside to get a perfectly smooth finish. So that's it in a nutshell. We have looked at it. We've looked at it closely. You need to add probably about 25% to your boat-building budget if you want to do it. And it's not something that has been widely done in New Zealand. But definitely we looked at it very hard and in the end we didn't have enough budget and probably enough time to go over it thoroughly." - Cheryl has posted the entire interview on the 2003AC website: isuzu21.webcrossing.com
SWEDISH MATCH CUP
MARSTRAND, SWEDEN (07/7/2002) - Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker defeated former syndicate head Russell Coutts, his onetime mentor and now leader of the rival Swiss Alinghi Challenge, 3-0, in the finals of the Swedish Match Cup, Swedish Match Tour 2001/2's final event. "It was one of those days when you just needed to trust yourself," Barker stated. "When you get a little bit of a lead in these conditions its tough for your opponent to catch up. Luckily, things went our way and we were able to protect our leads."
This is Barker's second win in Marstrand in the last three years. His victory not only upset Coutts' chance at defending his title but also moved Barker into sixth place on the final Swedish Match Tour rankings and earned the Kiwi skipper and his crew of Hamish Pepper, Tony Rae, James Dagg and Chris Ward a US$15,000 share of the US$200,000 total purse.
The win here is Barker's first of Swedish Match Tour 2001/2. He had previously finished second to Sweden's Magnus Holmberg at last July's Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini Cup in Ravenna, Italy, finished ninth in March's Steinlager Line 7 Cup on his home waters and eighth in April's Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA, in the United States. - Shawn McBride
In the petit finals American Ed Baird and his Team Musto won a grueling five match final over Bertrand Pace of Team New Zealand. Baird won the first match only to see Pace come back to win the next two. The American, a former world match racing champion, delved deep into his bag of tricks to take the final two matches and the third place overall.
Swedish Match Cup Final Standings:
1. Dean Barker, Team New Zealand
2. Russell Coutts, Alinghi Team
3. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto
4. Bertrand Pace, Team New Zealand
5. Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing
6. Jesper Radich, Denmark
7. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team SeaLife
8. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane
9. Jesper Bank, Victory Challenge
10. Karol Jablonski, POL/Team MK Café
2001/2002 Swedish Match Tour Final Standings:
1. Peter Holmberg, Oracle Racing, 120 points, US$60,000
2. Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team Sealife, 86, $40,000
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Victory Lan ,79, $25,000
4. Gavin Brady, Prada Challenge, 62, $20,000
5. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto, 50, $18,000
6. Dean Barker, Team New Zealand, 49, $15,000
7. Jesper Radich, Denmark, 41, $12,000
8. Bertrand Pace, Team New Zealand, 32, $10,000
Previous ads for Ullman Sails have talked about the Olympic medals their sails have won; the World and Continental Championship triumphs; big regatta wins; and the impressive performance and durability Ullman Sails demonstrated in the Around Alone Race. But the real beneficiaries of the knowledge and know-how at the 24 Ullman lofts are the thousands of PHRF sailors who never get the headlines, but use their Ullman Sails to routinely collect regatta trophies - weekend after weekend. Find out how affordable improved performance can be: www.ullmansails.com
* Clipper Ventures plc announced that the Philip Green Memorial Trust for sick and disabled children will be the official charity for the Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race. The 250-crew members on that race will individually raise money with every leg of their maritime marathon that will go towards the construction of a children's hospice in Scotland and the development of the Philip Green Memorial School. www.clipper-ventures.com
* If the super wide Open 60s that singlehanders use to race around the world are so fast, how come crewed yachts don't look more like them? One reason is that the Open 60s aren't made to point. In fact, an Open 60 tacks in about 110 degrees - not any better than an average cruising catamaran. - 'Lectronic Latitude, www.latitude38.com
* According to the news agency Reuters, Japan's agriculture minister offered an unusual defense of his country's controversial scientific whaling program. The minister said on Thursday that the giant ocean mammals take food from the mouths of millions of starving people worldwide. "I wonder whether you know that whales consume more than three to five times the maritime resources (that humans do), or in terms of fish, 300 million to 450 million tons of fish," Agriculture Minister Tsutomu Takebe told a news conference. "I also have to point out that on the earth there are 800 million human beings who are undernourished." - SailNet website, full story: www.sailnet.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: There have been a number of MOB situations in the long history of the Americas Cup. It still happens. Most boats get their man back on the boat and continue racing. However, the most memorable was in the early 60's. A small sailboat strayed into the keep out area along the racecourse. When a helicopter flew over to direct this vessel out of the way its prop wash capsized the small boat. The skipper of the leading American boat saw the incident, immediately abandoned the race and sailed over to lend assistance.
* From Matthew Sheahan: Having been over the side and been towed behind the boat on several occasions the answer's crystal clear to me and has been since 1979. If it's life jacket weather it's harness weather - simple as that.
* From Colin Mann, Commodore Lunenburg YC: I've followed with interest the comments about prompt posting of results. We too, will be posting results directly from the scorers boat on the water, during the upcoming Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. This certainly allows those parents and friends in home countries to stay informed. In addition, to enable those back home to look in on the activities, we are running two live webcams from the venue. One is currently up on the website and will show the on-water activity, the other will be up for the start of the championship and will show the land part of the championship venue here in Nova Scotia. Check them out at www.worldyouthsailingcanada.com
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: I suspect that if I leave this thread open we will soon hear from every club that understands the importance of posting results in a timely manner. So let me take this opportunity to congratulate those clubs and to thank them - and to also declare this thread officially dead.
(Herb McCormick column in Sunday's New York Times examined Brad Van Liew's, Around Alone campaign, sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger clothing. Here's an excerpt.)
"It was megadifficult finding a sponsor," Van Liew, 34, said. "Tommy's support can't do anything but help the sport of single-handed sailing."
Four Americans are among the 15 or so sailors who are expected to compete in the event, which will start in New York Harbor on Sept. 15. The Californian Bruce Schwab, the Great Lakes skipper Tim Kent and the Rhode Islander Bob Adams would all be happy to switch spots with Van Liew; however, none of them have yet found a corporate backer.
Part of the reason is that Van Liew is a proven entity, a veteran of the last edition of the quadrennial race, while the others are first-time hopefuls. In fact, Van Liew is the only returning sailor from the 1998-99 race, in which he finished third in his class despite being dismasted on the event's final leg.
He said he had come back on a mission. "The last race was a very emotional thing for me," he said. "I'd wanted to do it for literally decades, to experience the adventure, the friendships, all the special aspects of the race. This time I've come back not to necessarily enjoy it, but to win it."
In a perfect world, Van Liew would be sailing a new Open 60 for the race. At one stage, the California sailor and technology entrepreneur Philippe Kahn agreed to bankroll Van Liew's 60-foot Class I campaign. But when Kahn changed his mind, Van Liew switched to Plan B.
Reducing his ambition, Van Liew bought the radical Groupe Finot 50-footer formerly called Magellan Alpha, which was sailed by his archrival, the British skipper Mike Garside, to second place in Class II in the last Around Alone race. Van Liew knew the vessel intimately, having had many a good look at its stern four years ago. "We had a few issues, this boat and I," he said. "I was so close to being able to keep up with it but I never could. - Herb McCormick, New York Times, full story: www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/sports/
UPGRADING 15-YEAR-OLD INSTRUMENTS?
Most Ockam components are fully service supported and in many cases upgradeable to 2001 spec - even if your system was installed in the early 1980's. Our latest software revision, Unisyn, is quite easily installed on Ockam's model 001 CPU, and, when combined with the new e/Series model 041 GPS interface, will turbocharge a vintage system. We'll even offer a little trade-in credit for your old Loran/Position/LatLon interfaces - call us at 203/877-7453 or email Tom Davis for more information (email@example.com). Visit www.ockam.com
NOT A PRETTY PICTURE
July 6 - Mats Johansson, who as Project Manager of Victory Challenge is top dog in the Sweden's America's Cup challenger was sentenced to eight months imprisonment yesterday for 'gross tax evasion' at the district court of Varberg in Sweden. The case relates to income tax from 1994 on capital gains from the sale of boats Johansson sold privately.
* Victory Challenge intends to continue to use Mats Johansson in the same capacity as before, at least while awaiting the result from the court of appeal. This process is not expected to be finished until after the America's Cup final 2003. - James Boyd, madforsailing website, full story: www.madforsailing.com
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA - Sailors from six continents figured in the top 11 after the first three races of the ADT Optimist Worlds Saturday. Winds, which had been 20-25 knots during the practice days, fell to 10-12 knots with a "difficult" wave pattern for the first day of racing.
The second day of racing started at 1pm. Due to very low winds and hot conditions, racing was postponed. The competitors were towed back to the shore for swimming, icy watermelon and water fights with the hoses. The sea breeze filled in and the Optis sailed back out at 3 pm. 2 full races were sailed. The first race was sailed in 7-8 knots and the second race in 11-15 knots.
After two days and five races, only three North American boats are in the top 100 boats: 18. MEX, Erick Brockmann, 78pts; 36. USA, Kyle Rogachenko, 106pts; 82. CAN, Mark Pataky, 156pts.
STANDINGS after five races (208 boats):
1. CRO, Filip Matika, 13
2. NED, Steven leFevre 22
3. ARG, Sebastian Peri, 26
4 ESP, Eduardo Zalvide, Boy 27
5. GBR, Hannah Mills (Girl) 36
Barring a last-minute hiccup, "Icon", Dick Robbin's Perry 65, skippered by Jim Rosen and navigated by Kevin McMeel, will be taking line honours in the Vic-Maui 2002. At the morning roll call Sunday, she was only 108 miles from Lahaina, with an ETA around 1820 HST. Sailing out of Seattle Yacht Club, she has led Division A (and the fleet) most of the way, both in position and on corrected time.
"Mystic", also sailing out of Seattle and representing Lahaina Yacht Club, today moved back to second place in Division A, and in the overall standings. She still has 497 miles to go however, and should arrive after "Renegade", who is only 306 miles away.
The good news is that the fleet is digging itself out. A glance at the weather chart shows the root of the problem. The High remains like a triangle with a high-pressure zone at each apex. Many boats have been caught in the lower right corner (around 30N 140W) where there are inconsistent winds. Today, more yachts seem to be reaching the winds so far enjoyed only by boats in Division A, though conditions were still moderate at roll call.
CLASS LEADERS: A: Icon (1st overall), B: Mojo Riding (5th overall), C: Greyhound (8th overall), D: Oriole (15th overall) - Peter Bennett, www.vicmaui.org
Pass Christian, Mississippi - Augie Diaz and Pam Kelly from Miami won a hard fought, difficult Heinzerling Series to claim the Snipe US National Championship, with a 10.25 lead over second place Andrew Pimental and Josie Williams. The spread from third place to seventh place was only 3.75 points. Diaz won this same series last year in Columbia River Gorge, which was entirely different sailing.
Final Results, HEINZERLING SERIES:
1. Augie Diaz & Pam Kelly, 19.75
2. Andrew Pimental & Josie Williams, 30
3. Hal Gilreath & Aimee Graham, 40
4. Rob Hallawell & Bridget Hallawell, 41
5. Peter Commette & Morgan Commette, 42.75
6. George Szabo & Brian Janney, 42.75
7. Bryan Lake & Cameron Biehl, 43.75
8. Rick Arneson & Gus Wirth, 53
9. Gonzo Diaz & Nancy Gilreath, 8
10. Dave Tillson & Barb Tillson, 60.
1. Eric Wulff & Tabitha Hersman, 11.75
2. John Hill & Chris Hurst, 18.75
3. Sean Adams & Pete Gregory, 20.75
NHYC SUMMER GOLD CUP
Eighty- four sabots showed up for Newport Harbor YCs Summer Gold Cup Regatta. Winds were light to moderate 7-14 from SW-West under sunny skies. San Diego Yacht club's team went 1-2 in the Sabot A fleet. Adam Roberts showed great speed with a total of just 8 points after six races with just an 11 for a throw out. His teammate Tyler Sinks placed a strong second with 13 points while Charlie Buckingham from NHYC placed third with 18 points.
Full results: www.nhyc.org
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* US Sailing Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals, www.ussailing.org/youth/racing/jo/calendar.asp
July 20-27: Texas Youth Race Week, Houston, Lakewood, and Texas Corinthian YCs, Laser, Optimist, Sunfish, Club 420, Radial.
July 23-24: Chesapeake Bay, Hampton YC, Laser, Optimist, Byte,Club 420,Radial.
July 22-24: Mid- Atlantic, Island Heights YC, Optimist, Byte, Club 420, Radial.
August 13-14: King of Spain Star Regatta, California YC, Marina del Rey, CA. More than 75 Star boats expected. www.calyachtclub.com
Wanna see the ultimate AC knuckle bow? Take a look on the French Le Defi Areva website: www.ledefi.com/IMG_phototheque/arton877.jpg
We've learned that the foremost European yachting journalists have gathered in Hamburg, Germany for a major announcement on Monday. It's our understanding that BMW will announce its sponsorship of Oracle Racing's America's Cup syndicate - rumored to be one of the most significant sponsorship agreements in the history of the America's Cup.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
You know these are changing times when you have 15 phone numbers to reach a family of three.