SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1111 - July 10, 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.
Within a month of the end of the XX Worrell 1000 on May 18th there are 12 teams registered for the 21st running of this extreme sailing race scheduled for May 4 - 17, 2003. "We've never had this many teams registered so early. Included are Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston, the 2002 and '01 race winners and Randy Smyth, the winner of the 2000, '99, '98, '97, '89 and '85 races and Rod Waterhouse, winner of the 1988, '83 and '81 races," says Mike Worrell, the race director and founder. "I also find it particularly interesting that a good 20% - 25% of inquiries are coming from non-catamaran sailors."
While a lot of the interest can be attributed to the growing awareness of the Worrell 1000 around the world, a new turnkey entry fee structure is also proving to be very popular. For 2003 the entry fee has been increased to $5,000. However, this fee includes a boat charter, two hotel rooms for 18 nights, and a one-way vehicle rental for the shore crew. With this new entry fee structure a team can virtually fly into Miami for the start of the race and fly home from the finish without the hassle of buying a boat, renting shore crew transportation or dealing with 14 different hotel reservations.
Another major change for next year is the selection of the Bimare Javelin 2 as the official boat for the 2003 Worrell 1000. The Javelin 2 is a new 18-foot catamaran, manufactured in Italy, that falls within the Formula 18HT Rule, a new class for lightweight, high tech catamarans. Three years ago the Worrell 1000 implemented a "one-design" format. All boats had to be exactly alike. The Inter 20, a 20-foot catamaran manufactured by Performance Catamarans was selected and has been the official boat for the last three races.
"The Inter 20 is a great boat and Performance Catamarans is a great company, but, in my opinion, the boat is overpowered for some of the conditions that can exist in the Worrell 1000, says Worrell, who started the race in 1976. "After the 2001 race when the majority of the fleet suffered major boat damage launching and beaching through big surf, I began looking for a lighter, stronger, and smaller boat that would be more manageable in big surf which is a major component of this event."
Look for more female participation in 2003 as a result of this boat change. The 18-foot Bimare Javelin 2 is two feet shorter, has less sail area, is over a hundred pounds lighter and is considered by many to be almost as fast as the Inter 20 in many conditions. - www.worrell1000.com
LE DEFI AREVA
Since early June, the Le Defi Areva team has been working extremely hard to tune FRA-69, its new ACC boat. We had a fair number of technical difficulties during the first initial sailing trials with FRA-69. These difficulties were due to the fact that each element of the boat is a prototype and that finding the right balance is quite a complicated affair. We weren't expecting to run into quite so many pitfalls. With the help of suppliers, team members used their imagination to come up with the best solutions. Over the last fortnight, FRA-69 has been showing us what a fine boat she is.
FRA-79 is not a 100% new ACC boat. There are three new generation elements - the hull and deck, built in FRA-69's moulds, and the appendages. By contrast, spars (mast, boom and poles), many of the sails, deck gear hardware, hydraulics and all of her mechanical systems date back to FRA-46 (ex-6e Sens), the French semi-finalist in the America's Cup 2000. Tomorrow, FRA-79's hull will be leaving the Multiplast yard in Vannes for Le Defi Areva's base in Lorient. Once her classic appendages have been fitted and she has been fully assembled, FRA-79 will sail against FRA-69 before leaving for Auckland.
On July 24th, the cargo vessel 'Speybank' will be leaving Lorient with three ACC boats on board: one New Zealand boat, NZL 32 (Black Magic) completing her one-year mission as training partner for Le Defi Areva, and two French boats, FRA-69 and FRA-79. Masts, sails, support vessels and everything the team needs in the day-to-day running of the project will also be on board for the 32-day long Auckland-bound voyage. - www.ledefi.com
The hull for what could be Team New Zealand's next America's Cup defender is almost complete, but design work for the keel, sails and other features will continue for another six months, thanks to computer-based design systems. Team designer Nick Holroyd said the hull will emerge from Cookson Boats on the North Shore this month and be taken to the team base in the Viaduct Harbour for deck hardware and appendages to be fitted. "We had the last tank session in March and the hull design was fixed in early April," Holroyd said.
The design team then shifted its attention to tweaking keels and sails. "We can change keel configurations up to the last declaration date, which is a week before the cup starts," he said.
America's Cup-class yachts weigh 25 tonnes, 80 per cent of which is in the keel. While hull design relies heavily on testing designs in tow tanks - about 20 quarter- scale models were built here during the past couple of years and airfreighted to England for testing - most of the keel design can be done on computers.
Holroyd said that was because the tank tests could only measure the bulk forces acting on the model. They could not tell the designers the specific influence a rudder, keel or other feature had on those forces. "Where computational methods come into their own is not so much in producing the final measurement of drag, but in your ability to go into the data set you create from the tank test and look at what is happening inside the fluid," he said.
Team New Zealand now has three people in its computation fluid dynamics department. - Adam Giford, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CLUB CLOTHING
View & buy the stylish Scuttlebutt Sailing Club clothing range from Line 7. Including Jackets, Vests, Sailing Jerseys, Polo Shirts, Short and Long Pants, and Hats. Being part of the online America's Cup Store we can offer fully insured worldwide Courier or Air Post delivery at super-low freight rates. Perfect for gifts, promotions, or staff rewards. 17.5% of sales paid to the US Sailing Junior Olympic Program. See also the extensive range of official America's Cup product including Team New Zealand and America's Cup silverware. store.line7.com
* All is ready in Athens for the forthcoming Test Event for Sailing, the first test event for any sport included in the Olympic programme. There will be 593 athletes, with 381 boats representing 42 countries competing Athens from 12-25 August 2002. Competitors bring their own equipment for all events, except the boards men and women where the equipment will be supplied. The purpose of such test events are to prepare for the 2004 Olympic Regatta, and as such is a "practice regatta" for the Olympic Regatta for the organisers and officials. - www.athens.olympic.org
* Nick Moloney has become the first official entry in the 2004/2005 VendŽe Globe race, the solo around the world race that made Ellen MacArthur and Kingfisher a household name in 2001. Moloney is one of the world's top grand prix sailors having competed in the America's Cup, Whitbread (now Volvo Ocean Race) with Dennis Conner and the Open 60 circuit as a winning co-skipper of Kingfisher. Moloney was the only non-French crewman on board 'Orange' recently setting a new Jules Verne record, for the fastest all out lap of the planet. - Dominic Byers,Yachting World website, www.ybw.com/yw/home.htm
* Following the attack on the World Trade Center last year, Offshore Sailing School pledged $50 of every tuition received between September 11 and November 16 to the Twin Towers Fund in honor of those who lost their lives on that fateful Tuesday. The total amount collected during that period was $10,000. On Tuesday, July 16, Offshore will host a special day of sailing for Twin Towers Fund families at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, New Jersey. Sailing rides and games for the families of fire fighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and Port Authority police will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at www.offshore-sailing.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 Malcolm McKeag: Wouldn't ya be just be soooo embarrassed if you fell off and drowned while your life jacket was hanging on a hook down below? And wouldn't the people you left behind think you might have made a little more effort on their behalf to stay alive and come home? And I really hope I never have to eat these words, so if you see me in my life jacket in my RIB or on my little cruising boat, please don't snigger. And if I'm not wearing it, please remind me that I wrote this e-mail and would look very wet, drowned.
* From Mike Silverman: We on "Spank Me BT" found yet another reason to keep your PFD's on during this year's Newport-Bermuda. No, no one fell in... a Barbarossa deck guy block blew up under the load of an outboard jib sheet. The block flew right at our jib trimmer. Luckily he was wearing his Foam PFD. Acting like a kevlar vest, the block just bounced off him, no bruises or anything.
* From Ben Nieting: I'd like to hear about sailors from the South seeming so comfortable with a PFD on during a 100 degree drifter. Sometimes it really makes sailing miserable. Please give me the right to choose.
* From Ed du Moulin: Tony Chamberlain's article about Dennis Conner mentions the "mild" criticism relative to Team Dennis Conner practicing in Long Beach, California rather than in New Zealand. In preparing for the Australian campaign in l987, Stars & Stripes was roundly criticized for practicing in Hawaii when all the other challenges were preparing in Fremantle. This decision was a leading factor in Dennis recapturing the Cup. For more details read "The America's Cup and Me"
* Tyler Bjorn has been named the North American Sales and Marketing manager of Performance Sailcraft 2000 Inc. Tyler joined PS2000 in 1996 and has played a leading role in the development of the Byte and 29er Classes. Responsibilities will now also include the Company's latest boats, the Megabyte, Optimist, Club 420 and Bethwaite 59er.
* From T.J. Perrotti: Rodger Martin states, "I know of no American yacht, let alone an Am Cup boat built that way" (female molds)! While working at Pedrick Yacht Designs, I co-designed the Admiral 75, a modern monohull sailboat that was built in 1998 from female molds numerically-cut by Janicki Industries. Molds were created not only for the hull, but for all of the superstructure, including deck, cockpit, pilothouse, and transom. The mirror-like surface finish of the as-built yacht was superb.
* From John Cladianos (re US boats of female molds): How about the Schock 40? Construction methods shown on the photos link: www.schock40.org
* From Jesse Gaylord: It seems as if all people talk about today is how wonderful One-Designs are, how we need to move to pure, strict classes, and how these classes are going to bring yacht racing into the next era. Many bash the IOR days citing the excessive cost, lack of efficiency and poor handling. Yet as the development classes go out of style, I raise the question; How will our sport develop in terms of boat design when the vast majority of the sailing populous are sailing the same boats? Whichever way you look at it, the weekend warrior fuels the sailing machine, not the America's Cup men, they are merely a spark plug. With the recent discussion of turning the Volvo boats into One-Designs, I feel this question must be asked.
IT'S ONLY MONEY
With oceans of money to spend, the teams are taking unprecedented steps in pursuit of speed. Prada is working with Boeing Co. and other aerospace firms to optimize the design of its yachts, and Francesco de Angelis, Prada's skipper, says that during the training period he will go through close to 100 sails, many of which cost more than $30,000 apiece. "The competition is going to be tougher than it's ever been," he says, "so we're working harder on everything."
Oracle Racing , as Mr. Ellison's team is known, has 135 people on its payroll. The 30-member design team used Oracle Corp.'s database software to test more than 400 hull designs before settling on the shapes of its two new boats. Each of them is equipped with 60 sensors to evaluate sailing techniques and various pieces of equipment. "The problem in the past was that we collected lots of data but weren't very good a processing it," says Bill Erkelens, the campaign's chief operating officer. "Now we're gathering even more information, but we know what to do with it. It's a real competitive advantage." - Bruce Knecht, Wall Street Journal, online.wsj.com
NOT ALL SAILING LINE IS THE SAME
You've seen the ads and many of you stopped by our booth at recent boat shows to hear about the new ColorMatch 24 high performance rigging lines. But how do you tell if a line is really from Samson? Simple; look for the red and green tracer threads! These are unique to all Samson sailing lines. So when you want to be sure you have Samson, always check for the red and green tracers. Samson, The Sailor's Line. www.samsonrope.com
(Tim Jeffery has done a long and very comprehensive piece in the UK's Daily Telegraph about Britain's Olympic Medallist, Ben Ainslie. Here are two small excerpts.)
The America's Cup family are launching million-dollar yachts left, right and centre ready for trials in October. In the meantime, Britain's most successful Olympic sailor of recent times is happy to have turned his back on the company apartment and the handsome salary.
Instead of Auckland this winter, Ben Ainslie's eyes are focused on the Olympics in Athens in 2004 - the next opportunity, he hopes, to add to the silver and gold secured in Savannah and Sydney. That is why Ainslie has foregone the smart OneWorld America's Cup team gear and is back in his anti-rash vest, wet suit and hiking shorts, and is trundling round Europe in the old blue Volvo estate, with a boat on the roof, that has served him so well.
Ainslie's ambitions lie in big boats and the America's Cup, but he found his time at the Seattle-based OneWorld team was stultifyingly boring once the novelty wore off. "It's the monotony of the America's Cup that people find hard," he said. "It's mostly about testing, doing the same thing every day. I definitely did not see myself carrying on where I was. I was very frustrated too. I felt that I was going backwards in a way because I could see I was not going to do any steering. Olympic sailing is more about your own goals and aspirations, how much you're willing to put into it." Tim Jeffery, full story: sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/
Thunder, rain and lightning postponed the I.O.D.A. Challenge Cup for Team Racing for several hours this morning. Looking at a possible weather disturbance, or Tropical Wave, the Race Committee paid close attention to the radar and at 12 o'clock gave the "go ahead" signal for the 16 teams to hit the water. As this might be the most exciting part of sailing, the RC decided to place the race course just in front of the jetties, where anyone could watch the competition and have a front row seat for some incredible spectating!
China and Great Britain came through the first round undefeated to square off against Croatia and defending world champion, Argentina. The action, in a word, was awesome! All teams gave the on-lookers plenty of thrills as the Optis spun, carved and sailed circles around each other on flat water in 22 knots of breeze, hoping to eliminate the competition. Argentina won the Team Racing with only one loss to China (in the first round) and celebrated by jumping off their boats at the finish line. They proceeded to sail to the crowd on shore, turtle their boats, then dance on the upturned hulls. Wonder how long it took them to wash the mud off their sails? -www.optimistworlds2002.com
"Renegade", the Andrews 70 skippered by Dan Sinclair and navigated by Ron Ogilvy, finished the Victoria to Maui Transpacific Race Monday at 20:43:12. Sailing out of Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, Renegade looks like fourth overall on corrected time if things continue as they are for "Mystic" (80 miles out at roll-call today, due in at 16:52, and in second position in Division A and the fleet) and for "Atalanta" (178 miles away, due in at 04:30 Wednesday morning, and third on corrected time).
"Oriole" has been advised that the deadline for the finish has been revised to July 16, 2355 HST. This news will be welcomed at tomorrow's roll call, because it gives the crews the opportunity to finish this long (and unusually slow) ocean race properly.
The Eastern High is still not behaving itself. It has backed up over the tail-end of the fleet during the day. Another of the long string of Lows that have been invading that area of the ocean is very dominant there now. The upper airflow as a whole seems much further South than normal, and it's allowing these systems to travel on a more southerly path than usual. The formation of the regular High into one integral unit has thus been impossible, as most of the boats out there know only too well.
CLASS LEADERS - A: Icon (1st overall); B: Mojo Riding (6th overall); C: Greyhound (10th overall); D: Oriole (11th overall). - Peter Bennett, www.vicmaui.org
JUNIOR WOMEN'S DOUBLE HANDED CHAMPIONSHIP
Newport Harbor YC, California - Slightly stronger winds shook up the standings considerably today sending many of yesterday's top teams down in the standings, leaving the door wide open for new contenders. Derby Anderson and Lucy Kupersmith (Annapolis, MD) dominated day two of the U.S. Jr. Women's Double Handed Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy. Anderson and Kupersmith started the day with a sixth in race one before rattling off a string of three consecutive bullets. Many day one standouts didn't fair as well in the stronger 8-15 knot winds. Former leaders Emily East and Hartley Meric (Fairhope YC) suffered an OCS in race 5 and Adrienne Patterson and Tinja Anderson (Balboa, CA) capsized in race 6 on the top reach. Kitty Lovelace and Hillary Webb (Greenwich, CT) made the biggest jump of the day to post finishes of 7,8,2,2 and sit 6th. - Peter Wells
Standings After 7 Races:
1. Derby Anderson/ Lucy Kupersmith (Severn Sailing Association) 20pts
2. Caroline Young/ Shannon Heausler (Davis Island YC) 28pts
3. Emily East/ Hartley Meric (Fairhope YC) 29pts
4. Blaire Herron/ Lauren Usrey (Coronado YC) 30pts
5. Adrienne Patterson/ Tinja Anderson (Balboa YC) 42pts
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* July 14-19: Whidbey Island Race Week. PHRF and one-design classes. www.whidbey.net/raceweek/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors ... but they all exist very nicely in the same box.