SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1118 - July 19, 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.
AC BOW SHAPE
(The America's Cup website has posted a story by Tom Schnackenberg that looks at the America's Cup Class rules. Here's an interesting excerpt.)
One feature which is still "under development" is the bow shape. Under the rule, you can have remarkably different bow shapes with the same rating, and quite similar performance. Because there are still plenty of variations possible, it would be a brave person who said the problem was already solved. Most designs in the current fleet seem to be at the upper end of the weight range. This comes about because when you increase the weight, the rule knows that the boat is becoming slower, and allows you to compensate with more length and sail area. However, with additional weight you are also gaining stability, because almost all the extra weight goes into the keel bulb, nearly 4m below the surface.
After a lot of testing, people have found that the heavier boats turn out to be faster under the rule. The rule seems to have overdone the compensation for increased weight! In a situation where there are few, if any, easy gains, everybody will grab any advantage that is available, hence the tendency for the boats to be similar in their key dimensions.
From a designer's perspective, it would be interesting to explore the possibility of changing the basic formula for future contests to bring more variety back into the competition. Whether this would be an improvement to the America's Cup is a moot point there is plenty of expensive uncertainty already. Perhaps, after all, there is a good argument that having the boats settled into a corner of the Rule is just fine for the future strength of the event. - Tom Schnackenberg, full story: www.americascup.com/design.aspx
ADDENDUM - On the 2003AC website Cheryl has posted the URLs for photos that show the bow shapes of GBR 70 and OneWorld's USA 65. Both boats have very similar bow profiles, and you can't help but notice the long overhangs.
2003AC Website: isuzu21.webcrossing.com
Mascalzone Latino is getting ready to leave their base at Portoferraio on Elba Island for Auckland where they will begin the final leg of their training campaign. Mascalzone Latino has spent the last two years at their Elba Island base training for the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger series.
It is planned that tomorrow the team's new 2003 generation boat, ITA 72, will be flown to Auckland. Members of the crew and the other team members will close the training base in Portoferraio and then leave for Auckland, where the training base is already operative.
Once in Auckland the team will have a two month period to complete the training session of Mascalzone Latino XII (sailing number ITA 72) and USA 55 a boat bought some months ago from OneWorld (used in the past by Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes in the past edition of the America's cup). - Excerpts from a story on the Cupviews website, full story: cupviews.com
Team New Zealand has launched a nation-wide Support Crew programme in response to widespread offers of assistance from the public. The all-new programme will provide a number of different opportunities for the public to contribute to New Zealand's America's Cup 2003 campaign at the 78 stores operated by The Warehouse. Ross Blackman, the Chief Executive of Team New Zealand, said, "We have been flooded with offers so I am delighted to respond with this announcement."
David Wilson, the General Manager of The Warehouse said the Support Crew programme is intended to be affordable, with contributions starting at just one dollar and the most expensive Membership level costing $20. The initial opportunity, launched within all stores today, is for customers to purchase $1, $2 and $5 donation cards. They will be displayed near the checkouts and the full amount paid will go to Team New Zealand.
In mid-September, just prior to the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series, a Support Crew Membership card carrying a magnetic strip will be offered in three categories - Bronze ($9.99), Silver ($14.99) and Gold ($19.99). Benefits will vary between the three categories and will include exclusive visits to the Team New Zealand base and chances for a Support Crew member to win a 17th Man ride on a Team New Zealand yacht.
Within The Warehouse, the Support Crew memberships cards will entitle members to a discount on their next purchase. As well as invitations to special shopping nights at The Warehouse, there will be chances for Support Crew members presenting their card to get all their purchases free of charge.
A SORE BUTT IS A SLOW BUTT
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* Tim Kent's Milwaukee-based Open 50 Everest Horizontal successfully passed its rollover test at Charleston Boatworks in Charleston, SC last week. As a fixed-keel water ballasted boat, it took Kent over an hour of pumping water into the ballast tanks to get it roll back upright. Kent will leave solo for the Azores this week to complete his qualifying voyage for the Around Alone race. - www.everesthorizontal.com
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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 Andy Nicholson, Madforsailing.com (re the story by Chris Barton, regarding Virtual Spectator, as highlighted in Scuttlebutt 1116 - edited to our 250-word limit): All areas of internet delivered sports coverage are facing up to the burning question 'How are we going to make this pay?' We at madforsailing.com have taken the first step of any sailing related content site and moved to charging a subscription in March this year.
Fundamentally the landscape of media delivery of 'sailing news' to 'sailing fans' has changed dramatically. As one of the biggest sports in New Zealand, sailing gets a huge amount of coverage on TV and in the Papers. For most other markets this is close to zero, and importantly very sporadic.
Traditionally 'sailing news' has been delivered to 'sailing fans' in their domestic markets through specialist monthly magazines and the occasional newspaper report or snippet on a TV programme. Now the internet has provided a vehicle to deliver this in a new and complimentary way.
If you're charging for your particular niche then you will have to work hard at showing the potential audience what they are going to get for their money, if they're still not interested then you have to work harder at delivering more value. This is what we are doing at Madforsailing and will continue to do. As a result, we don't have vague IP addresses or page impressions stats, we have individual customers, with real names, who have done the unthinkable and paid to access sporting content on the web. We wouldn't consider conducting our business in any other way, because otherwise you are wasting your time.
* From Terry Godfrey: I was interested to read in Butt 1117, and the link to Madforsailing, about Scott MacLeod and Octagon's efforts in the marketing and sponsorship of sailing. However I am not sure what ISAF's premier match racing event is doing with a major tobacco company as a sponsor, or maybe they think that Swedish Match just make matches.
Most major sporting associations around the world do not allow tobacco sponsors. Most of the national sailing associations (eg USA, UK, France) do not take tobacco sponsors. New Zealand does not allow tobacco sponsors in the America's Cup. Volvo managed to finally exercise the tobacco sponsors from the Around the World Race this time around. Also I guess that the Olympics (IOC) do not allow tobacco sponsors.
The match racing tour has been a great series for professional sailors, allowing them to develop their skills and creating a vehicle for increasing their earning potential. But should we force our best sportsmen into promoting a product that clealry conflicts with the outdoor, healthy, clean, pollution-free lifestyle that sailing would like to portray. Even Formula One motorpsort is trying to find a way out from tobacco money.
I think that Mr Henderson should be speaking to his ISAF members about this to get their views and Scott Macleod should be out looking for another sponsor from the $100 to $200 milion that he says is available.
* From Bob Kiernan: I've been working on presentation to broadcast yachting events for years. It's time consuming; an expensive technical system and organizational capabilities of a producer that can pull this off is expensive just the same. Not to mention the commenter(s) and photographers.
Covering one event at this camp while some impromptu event at another will need a mobile team to cover that too. The parties are far and wide and something attendees are not willing to allow an "extra, extra" press team to attend. Is that news of the Cup, I think not! Maybe!
The fact that the technology exists and there is talent able to do the work still takes a ton of funding to carry it through to the end.
The skill to deliver a presentation to a prospective sponsor is specialized.
1. The ROI the sponsor will expect is huge.
2. The advertising factor may very well over run the news itself due to the demands of the sponsor.
The interviews have to be edited and directed before anything can go out.
1. This all based on the racing of the day.
2. Timing of the delivery is vital because the news coverage is instant in some cases.
The amount the viewer is willing to dole out.
1. To view racing events so there is coverage of the yachts racing.
2. Which is the reason we are there.
* From Terry Welsh: When Sceptre arrived at Newport, RI in 1958 for the renewal of the challenge for the AC, she was hauled out along side defender Columbia ( no skirts in those days). Sceptre had a major "bulb" on the bow just below the waterline that I found hard to believe. Clearly one design was superior. Columbia won 4 - 0. Did the Brits pull out the old plans to come up with a nuckle bow for GBR -70?
WEST MARINE PACIFIC CUP
Honolulu - Hawaii entry, Two Guys On The Edge is expected to be among the first to finish the West Marine Pacific Cup tomorrow, within a few hours of the fastest and biggest yachts Zephyrus 86, Mari-Cha III and Pegasus 77. With only two sailors aboard, the 30 foot Sonoma sloop, Two Guys has been ahead of the entire fleet since the race began.
Because of the significant size difference, Two Guys started four days earlier than the group of larger yachts (Mari-Cha III is 147 feet). Their performance in the 2070 mile race is considered a significant feat, following their winning role in the 2001 Transpac.
While radio problems prevented a Thursday morning position report from Zephyrus, it is felt that the high tech 86-foot racer is still on course to arrive in Kaneohe Bay on Friday morning.
* July 18 report from Division G leader, JBird III - With only 608 nautical miles to go, Team JBird III is at there point to start calculating times when they might finish.. Even though things had slowed down a little in the middle of the race and the chance to break the overall elapsed time record has diminished, the ability to set the first TransPac 52' class Elapsed time record is in the mix. Currently the ETA for JBird to finish calculated out to around Saturday morning early AM. With all three TP 52's racing along at top speeds there individual daily times have been very impressive to say the least. JBird was able to sail a 292 NM run in a 24 Hr period but unfortunately only 287 of those miles where sailed towards the finish. 'Alta Vita' managed a 277 NM run which 268 was scored. And being now the northerly boat, the R/P 52 seemed well of the pace with only a 250NM run and a 248 NM score. (possibly lighter breezes or sail selection error ). But the most impressive statistic in the last 24 hrs. is Team JBirds accomplishment of sailing 3 miles farther than the Turbo sled 77 "Pegasus".
JULY 18 HANDICAP LEADERS:
Double handers: 1) Wildflower, Wylie 27; 2) Two Guys, Sonoma 30
Division A: 1) Spirit, S&C 34; 2) Coquelicot, Ranger 33
Division B: 1) Total Eclipse, Kalik 40; 2) Cayenne, Passport 40
Division C: 1) NaughtyHotty, Wylie 38C; 2) SAM, Garcia 49
Division D: 1) E.T. Antrim 27; 2) Scorpio, Wylie 42
Division E: 1) Octavia, Santa Cruz 50; 2) Gone With The Wind, Santa Cruz 50
Division F: 1) Azul, Santa Cruz 52; 2) Cantata, Andrews 53
Division G: 1) J-Bird III, Transpac 52; 2) Alta Vita, Transpac 52
Race website: www.pacificcup.org
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BACARDI BAYVIEW MACKINAC RACE
This year's Bacardi Bayview Mackinac race was another perfect event both on the water and on land. The race started slow and in light breeze and looked like it was going to be a long 253 mile race up the lake to Mackinac Island. After a long afternoon and evening sailing, the boats finally rounded the NGS American mark in Southampton and picked up some speed. First around was the GL70 Evolution, owned by Terry Kohler and Peter Reichelsdorfer.
The breeze freshened up and by the end of the day the front of the fleet boats were only 50-75 miles from the finish. As the night moved in, the fleet slowed down a bit but continued to move nicely towards the finish. Evolution led the fleet once again, crossing the finish line at 1:33:44am for line honors and a first place in the GL70 class. They were followed by Colt45 and Equation. In the Shore course, the fleet seemed to have had a little more wind and were able to move up the lake a what appeared to be a faster pace than the larger boats in the longer Southampton course.
On shore, the race could easily be followed on the internet on the race web site with the Race Committee posting "near real time" continuous updates on the race, a live finish line web-cam and finish, elapsed and corrected times that were posted immediately on the web by the finish line committee. With all that information available, competitors were able to finish the race and immediately review their current standings within their class and follow their position changes after each each competitor crossed the finish line. So successful was the race web site that we received over 700,000 page views in just the three days of the event! - Luiz E. Kahl
Complete race information and results can be found at www.byc.com/mack02
LASER RADIAL YOUTH WORLDS
Day 4 - For the first day of the final series Lake Erie produced some of the best sailing conditions of the week. A southwesterly wind of 8 knots built throughout the day, peaking at 18 knots before dropping back to 15 knots. As expected the division of the fleet into Gold, Silver and Bronze gave much closer racing and increased pressure on the starts, giving rise to recalls in all fleets in both the races sailed.
The overall leader board remains the same, with Croatian Kuzmanic still in front of Scott GBR. However both these two had to battle hard for their placings. For the remaining 4 races they will be closely watching Great Britain's Nick Thompson, who has suddenly found top gear and jumped from 17th to 7th overall, after winning both of the gold fleet races. With thunderstorms forecast for Day 5 and a further discard to come into the scores after 10 races, the Championship is still open.
Overall Results (after 8 races with one discard): 1. CRO Tonko Kuzmanic, 16; 2. GBR Giles Scott, 24; 3. CAN Conner Higgins, 24; 4. IRL Ross McDonald, 35; 5FRA Max Bulley, 39; 6. GBR James Tilley, 41; 7. GBR Nick Thompson, 44; 8.CAN Anthony Boueilh, 46; 9.GBR Dominic Hutton, 48; 10. USA Emery Wager, 53; First female: 17. NZL Miranda Powrie, 74. www.laserchampionships.org/laser_radial/index.htm
Tavira, Portugal: No wind, no races on either Wednesday or Thursday this week. Friday is the last day of competition. The open championship has been split into Gold and Silver fleets, the champion to come from the Gold Fleet.
RESULTS: Open Championship, Gold Fleet: 1. F. Tarapore / V. Kapila, IND, 19 points; 2. G. Vassilas / E. Mitakis, GRE, 37; 3. M. Lagraviere / N. Delpech, FRA, 40; 9. f. tabor / J. Boyd, USA 52; 10. M. Anderson-Mitterling / G. Biehl, 55.
Women's Championship: 1. I. Barxaghi Ficker / L. Zani, 23 points; 2. C. Jonet / M. Pallanca, FRA, 24; 3. J. Papanek / W. Besseee, USA, 27;
Complete results at www.cnt.pt/ukresults420.htm
Former US Sailing Keelboat Coordinator Ally Zapp was murdered early Thursday morning. An Associated Press report stated the 30 year old Rhode Island woman was fatally stabbed in a highway-service area restroom. She left US Sailing on Monday to go to New Zealand with hopes of finding a job with an America's Cup campaign. Paul J. Leahy, 39, a convicted rapist who was working at a Burger King at the rest stop, was arraigned on a charge of murder in Zapp's death. - Full report: www.projo.com/digitalbulletin/content/projo-20020718-murder.6702a1.html
SAILING ON TV
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. Episode three features Larry Ellison - Billionaire head of Oracle and one of the American efforts. Then take a tour of the Viaduct Basin - home to the Challengers. And take a look at one way America's Cup yachts are transported to New Zealand. Finally examine the fine line between cutting edge technology and design chaos.
Mr. and Mrs. Curmudgeon are outta here, heading for Lake Powell and a long awaited houseboat vacation with the whole family - our two kids and four grandchildren. David McCreary will once again assume the helm of 'Butt for the next six issues. Letters to David should be sent to email@example.com.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.