SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1113 - July 12, 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.
SORRY ABOUT THAT
Scuttlebutt's mail server was acting up again last night, which delayed delivery of issue 1112. There could also be a problem with this issue, but we should be out of the woods next week. We apologize for the inconvenience.
SAFETY AT SEA
Britain's leading offshore event organizer, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, have taken the discretion away from sailors as to when they wear lifejackets and safety harnesses by requiring their use in a number of specified conditions.
The move is a response to a number of recent incidents. Given the RORC's influential position in the sport, organisers around the world are sure to take note. Personal safety gear must be worn in RORC events at night, when alone on deck, when the yacht is reefed, in over 25 knots of wind or when visibility is under a mile.
During the last six weeks there have been three fatalities. Jamie Boekel was lost off the bow of Bob Towse's Blue Yankee during Block Island Week in the United States while Gary McPike died in Sydney harbour when he fell from his yacht Joyride. Both were Americans.
More recently, the Finn Mauri Luukkala became the first fatality since 1937 in Scandinavia's Round Gotland Race when he was washed off his yacht Argo. - Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK, full story: http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/
TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Cash-strapped Team New Zealand promises a public peek at its books for the first time after the next America ' s Cup campaign. The defender claims to have a NZ$9.5 million shortfall, much of it needed to run the cup campaign, and has put out a call for more money. A well-placed source close to Team New Zealand's financial problems suggests the shortfall may be a lot more than NZ$9.5 million.
But the yachting syndicate, which has already been given or pledged nearly $6 million in public funds, is not likely to tell the whole story of how the public funds are spent. Past Team New Zealand management and trustees always refused to discuss financial affairs, branding those who dared raise public accountability as disloyal and unpatriotic.
Asked when Team New Zealand intended to be more financially transparent and publicly accountable about public funding, syndicate chief executive Ross Blackman said there was no obligation to release financial details and hung up. He later phoned to make the following statement: "As a private company we won't be releasing our annual report. As Team New Zealand we will be releasing an independent appraisal and report on the finances of the team at the completion of the campaign."
A clearly prickly Mr Blackman said he could not say who would do the report but they "would be selected by the directors of the team, which includes myself." He said the independent report would "show whatever the independent reporter decides to show" and Team New Zealand was going to be "more publicly accountable." Jock Anderson, National Business Review, NZ
Both Victory Challenge and Alinghi are in the process of returning their teams to Auckland. Alinghi are expected to arrive with their second 2003 generation boat at the end of this month and will begin two boat trialling.
Several teams have been operating in Auckland for last few weeks. Oracle BMW Racing has one 2003 generation boat and is ready to launch their second. GBR has been training on their first 2003 boat since April, with their second soon to be flown to Auckland for finishing. OneWorld has had both of its new 2003 generation yachts in the water since March and is continuing the tuning and testing of them. - Cup Views website, full story and webcam views of Viaduct Harbour: http://cupviews.com
A SORE BUTT IS A SLOW BUTT
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* The Rolex Commodores' Cup has attracted nine three-boat European teams to the August 11-18 event in Cowes. There is still a possibility of a late entry that would make it one of the largest 3-boat team events in recent years. There are no North American entries. - http://rorc.org
* The Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race starts this weekend with 250+ boats racing approximately 253 miles - to a finish line on Mackinac Island, at the Northern tip of Michigan's lower peninsula. Regular updates will be posted on the web site throughout the race to keep visitors informed of the race progress, including continuous updates directly from the racecourse from various participants. Finish, elapsed and corrected times along with real time results updates will be available on the web site immediately after a participant crosses the finish line. http://www.byc.com/mack02
* Bethwaite Design has developed a keyball trapeze harness system that attempts to lessen risk by reducing the likelihood and the opportunity of becoming snared or entangled. The harness is available in North America from Performance Sailcraft 2000 Inc. and from Ovington Boats in the UK. - http://www.bethwaite.com/bethwaite/accessories/acc_index.htm
* New York YC's biennial Race Week at Newport takes places as a four-day handicap racing regatta (with racing dates of July 13-16) and then switches to accommodate three racing days (July 19-21) for 10 one-design classes. Splitting the two sessions is a distance race (July 17) open to all boats entered in either or both halves of the regatta. At the close of registration, 66 boats had entered the regatta's first half and 84 had entered the one-design segment. Fifty-three boats will compete in the distance race. - http://www.nyyc.org
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 Andrew Vare: While it seems easy to look at Paul Cayard involvement in the America's Cup and call him "out of it", I have to think that a breather, plus some time back in Stars, could be nothing but healthy. Year after year, big boat sailors come back into the Star class to re-engage their tuning instincts and to experience what is arguably the pinnacle of one design keelboat competition. Paul is engaged in sailing one of the most fickle, over canvassed and extremely physical boats we have known in our time. Getting "back to his roots" will give Paul a lot of perspective, which in turn is probably going to bump Paul's stock considerably next time around for the Cup. My money's on him next time.
(Barry McKay (pitman and project coordinator for the building and maintenance of Team NZ's boats) was interviewed by Murray Deaker on radio recently. The audio file is on http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/index.asp (Saturday 3-4 pm). Here are some excerpts.)
Question: In the unlikely event of New Zealand losing the Cup... If it was to go elsewhere in the world how do the boys think fund raising for a challenge offshore would go and how easy would the money be to get?
McKay: It's a big question but it's very easy to answer. There wouldn't be a challenge from New Zealand. It if leaves here, it will leave. There would have to be a major shift in global economics, I would imagine, before New Zealand would ever be able to afford to go back there. Maybe we could get international sponsors to prop it up. But everyone wants their pound of flesh and they've got agendas about where they want to take the Cup. So it would be very very difficult and really we can't even go there. We can't contemplate it.
There's more posted by Cheryl on the 2003AC website: http://isuzu21.webcrossing.com
The good winds reported by the boats today have ensured welcoming parties in Lahaina will be busy over the next three days. At roll-call, "Jeito" was a mere 64 miles out, and predicted to arrive around 1600 HST. "Mojo Riding", "First Sight" and "Show Me" are expected to cross July 12, sometime between 0600 and 2041. And three more boats should arrive July 13 ("Charlemagne", "Greyhound" and "Surt"). To cap it all, "Oriole" is due in July 14. So all in all, there's going to be some pretty continuous partying in Lahaina shortly.
The dramatic competition between "Charlemagne" and "Greyhound" just won't let up. They are in eighth and ninth position overall, and at roll-call had only a one-mile difference in their distances to go (323 and 324 miles respectively). Also in Division C, "Surt" has only 389 miles left, so it's going to be some finish July 13!
CLASS LEADERS - Class A: Mystic (finished-1st overall) Class B: Mojo Riding (7th overall) Class C: Charlemagne ( 8th overall) Class D: Oliole (12th overall) - Peter Bennett, - http://www.vicmaui.org
RAIDER BOAT WORLD CLASS QUALITY APPROPRIATELY PRICED
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SAILING ON TV
* 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. http://www.olntv.com
* Sunday, July 14, 5:00PM - 5:30PM EDT, Volvo Ocean Race Wrap-up Program (Show #12) ESPN2. http://www.jobsonsailing.com/tvsched.html
* Wednesday, July 17, 8:30PM - 9:00PM: Road to the Louis Vuitton Cup. This episode features the 2000 Challenger - Prada - of Italy. Then meet Tom Schnackenberg - the Team New Zealand designer. OLN profiles one of Team New Zealand's deep pockets - a story about corporate sponsorship. And learn about the technology as it relates to the challengers. Take a look at the pomp, circumstance and tradition surrounding the America's Cup Jubillee held last August in Cowes, England. http://www.olntv.com
* Monday, July 22 at 8:00PM ET/PT: OLN's Grand Prix Sailing coverage of the ACI Ronhill Cup from the South Adriatic Coast, in Split Croatia, attracts visitors from all over the world. The cultural and economic center of Dalmatia is well known for its sailing conditions, sailing traditions and skilled Croatian sailors.
* Monday, July 22 at 8:30PM ET/PT: OLN's Road to the Louis Vuitton Cup
Standings after 11 races with two throw-outs:
1. CRO, Filip Matika, 20
2. NED Steven leFevre 25
3. ESP Eduardo Zalvide, 35
4. BER Jesse Kirkland, 45
5. CRO Stjepan Cesic, 58
10. CHN Xu Lijia (Girl) 75
11. GBR Hannah Mills (Girl) 75
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
RAVENNA, ITALY (07/10/2002) - Denmark's Jesper Radich, and James Spithill of the OneWorld Challenge, lead the list of qualifiers for the quarterfinals for the Swedish Match Tour's Trofeo Challenge Roberto Trombini Match Race. After posting a perfect record on the day of 4-0, and by virtue of his win over Spithill in the round robin's final match, Radich earns honors as the top qualifier.
Also registering a perfect day, recording four wins, was Gavin Brady of the Prada Challenge. Brady opened the regatta with three wins yesterday and finishes the round robin 7-4, overall. Handling Brady's boat this week and helping him get into the thick of it are Prada Challenge mates Lars Borgstrom, Torben Grael and Max Sirena.
Light conditions early in the day lead to a postponement of 90 minutes with the racecourse subsequently moved to the far end of Ravenna Harbor. As the afternoon breezes grew to eight knots the start line was moved just off the edge of the public pier allowing the spectators to enjoy all the pre-start tactics. - Shawn McBride, http://www.swedishmatchtour.com
1. Jesper Radich, Denmark, 9-2
2. James Spithill, OneWorld Challenge, 9-2
3. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, 8-3
4. Ed Baird, USA/Team Musto, 7-4
5. Gavin Brady, Prada Challenge, 7-4
6. Karol Jablonski, POL/Team MK Cafe, 6-5
7. Lars Nordjberg, Denmark, 4-7
8. Matteo Simoncelli, 4-7
9. Bjorn Hansen, SWE/Team GOL Sailing, 4-7
10. Mikael Lindqvist, Sweden, 3-8
11. Martin Angsell, Sweden, 3-8
12. Chris Law, UK/Team Outlaw, 2-9
WEST MARINE PACIFIC CUP
With 1624 miles ahead to Kaneohe, Wildflower holds on to the lead in day # 4 of the 2002 West Marine Pacific Cup. Taking an early jump on Monday off the California coast, Skip Allen's 27 foot Wylie sloop is credited with both the double handed division and overall fleet lead. Second in double handed is Elan and Two Guys On The Edge, from Waikiki Yacht Club is third in the division.
Dan Doyle on the Sonoma 30 'Two Guys on the Edge' reported to 'Butt late Thursday, "The first night and day were miserable. Cold, wet and confused seas that made driving fast impossible. The boat was as wet as it has ever been but it pulled through fine. We put the big spinnaker up six hours ago and the boat is drying out and we are headed straight at Kaneohe."
Sprit, an S&S 34 leads Division A and is second in the overall fleet. 42 foot Alcyone from Santa Cruz Yacht Club is the leader in Division B, Division C leader is a Garcia 49, Sam and Rainbow -- a Mumm 30 from Hamburg Germany -- is currently first in Division D. Two more divisions, the swift downhill 50 and 52 foot racers are underway Thursday while Friday's last group out of the Golden Gate will feature the very fastest to be in the Pacific, including Philippe Kahn's, Pegasus 77, quickest to Hawaii in the last TransPac and Pacific Cup races.
Another equipment casualty forced the San Diego based Mimos to return to California. The Erickson 41 reported a rudder problem, rigged a backup rudder and set a watch schedule with the Coast Guard as they make the return voyage of nearly 200 miles, joining the 30 foot Little "O" who retired from competition yesterday with navigation equipment failures.
Most of the fleet reported to have found the trade winds that will bring them to Kaneohe with some rain squall activity to make the trip a bit more challenging.
Class leaders - Division 1: Wildfire (24 hour run- 238 nm); Div A: Spirit (235 nm), Division B: Alcyone (238 nm), Division C: Sam (236 nm) Division D: Rainbow (244 nm). - http://www.pacificcup.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Although men can never experience the joys of childbirth, they can open their own jars.