SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1138 - August 16, 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.
The OneWorld Challenge Campaign for the XXXI'st America's Cup was notified today of a decision handed down by the America's Cup Arbitration Panel (ACAP) on the voluntary application that OneWorld put before them some eight months ago. The ACAP has found that OneWorld did in-fact breach the Protocol as OneWorld had confessed to in its filing. The Panel handed down a penalty to OneWorld of a one-point deduction from the total of points accrued in Round Robin One and Round Robin Two of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Further, costs were also assessed in the amount of USD $13,500. OneWorld was found by the panel to be clearly eligible, under the 151 year-old deed of gift, to sign the protocol and be a challenger for the 31st America's Cup.
The America's Cup Arbitration Panel found that, "the evidence would fall short of establishing" any intentional illegal act by OneWorld Challenge, which had always been OneWorld's position on the issues put to the Panel. The Panel went on to state in their decision that it "accepts the unchallenged evidence given by the OWC witnesses, to the effect that the material wrongfully in their possession was not utilized by OWC for design purposes."
Gary Wright, CEO of OneWorld said, "We always believed we were doing the right thing coming forward and bringing these issues before the panel to get them resolved once and for all. They are issues that many teams will face in the years ahead as the Cup's dimension becomes increasingly multi-national. We are obviously pleased that we have these issues behind us and we respect and thank the Panel for their hard work and diligent investigation of the facts."
The Nautica Star Worlds starts this weekend at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. The defending champion is Fredrik Loof of Sweden, who would prefer stronger winds than are normally find on Santa Monica Bay. When he won at Medemblik, The Netherlands last year, his best races were on alternate days in double-digit breeze. "I'm more of a heavy wind [sailor], but it feels like we're sailing the boat better and better," said Loof, who has been training at the venue for a about a month with his new crew, Anders Ekstrom. They finished 24th in last weekend's moderate-to-light 74-boat King of Spain Regatta tune-up. "The result doesn't look pretty, but I think we can get it together and be ready on Sunday," Loof said.
Two young Irishmen, 12th-ranked Maxwell Treacy and crew Anthony Shanks, finished 32nd in their first Worlds a year ago but became darkhorse favorites by winning the King of Spain. Later, Treacy revealed their secret. "We were coached by two [double] world champions, [Germany's] Alex Hagen and Mark Reynolds," Treacy said. "Alex came to Dublin for 10 days, and Mark coached us in San Diego for three days. We hope to do reasonably well in the Worlds."
Also not to be overlooked is three-time world ('61, '70 and '85) and 1984 Olympic champion Bill Buchan of Seattle. Although 67 and not a regular class competitor anymore, Buchan and crew Mark Brink won a race and placed ninth in the King of Spain behind only one other former champion, Canada's Ross Macdonald ('94).
Other top contenders figure to be former champions Reynolds, '95 and 2000; Hagen, '81 and '97; Torben Grael, '90, and Alan Adler, '89, both from Brazil; Colin Beashel, Australia, '98; Paul Cayard, San Francisco, 88; Eric Doyle, San Diego, '99, and Joe Londrigan, Springfield, Ill., '93. - Rich Roberts, www.starworlds2002.com
EDITORS NOTE: No matter what happens at the Star Worlds, Paul Cayard and Mark Reynolds will have a rematch at the Bitter End Yacht Club's Pro Am Regatta in November, where they will race against another former Rolex Yachtsperson of the year, Dawn Riley, plus the World's number one ranked female match racer Marie Bjorling, and three-time Pro-Am Champion, Ed Baird. Scuttlebutt readers are still eligible for a discount on their rooms at the BEYC during this event and will receive priority in getting crew assignments with any of these skippers. During this week, November 2-9, the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship Regatta will also be held at the BEYC. www.beyc.com/yvReg.asp#ProAm16
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* The Ecuadorian tall ship, Guayas (a Class A, Naval cadet ship) is docked in front of the San Diego County Administration Building along the Downtown Embarcadero through Saturday. Every morning at 8 a.m. her many cadets line up at attention, in their dress whites, and sing first the National Anthem of Ecuador, then the National Anthem of the United States of America.
* America's Cup sail number 82 was allotted to Team New Zealand.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com)
(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 Michael Beau Gayner: Jonathan Pope says "I'm surprised that the TransPac committee is still requiring position reports via radio" and recommends using the global star system instead. A radio check in is as traditional as Celestial, a piece of safety gear that every Category 1 boat already has on board, and it works! The same people that would argue for eliminating a SSB check in would also probably be in favor of eliminating the Celestial requirement. The reality is, Satellite systems can go off line for various reasons.
* From Kelly Mathews: I am writing in response to Mr Pope's surprise that the Transpac Race still requires position reports by Single sideband radio. I have just finished re-reading Bruce Kneght's book on the 1998 Sydney to Hobart "The Proving Ground". It's a sobering reminder of what can happen when the poo really hits the fan.
My opinion is that using radios in long distance ocean racing is extremely important. When boats get into trouble, the wind is bad, the sea state is bad, crew go into shock and systems either are not in place or do not work. If I was in a sinking boat and a panicking crew member dropped our satellite phone into the rapidly filling bilge, I'd be hoping like hell that yachts in that race were monitoring their radios! Listening in is what has saved lives in the past. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of phone reporting too, but I think there has to be a happy medium where both systems can work together.
* From Mike Wilson: I am writing about all the verbage regarding Man Overboard Drills and most recently reading that it is required for the next Transpac race. Here's the deal. I am not opposed to requiring all the skippers and crews to hold the drills, however, chasing a cushion around the bay is hardly going to depict a real-life MOB. I experienced losing a man overboard, (yes, we recovered him, off shore, in a storm, short-handed!), and have also tried holding drills with different levels of success. My suggestion is to require all skippers to put a person in the water in a somewhat 'controlled' environment, and practice getting the crew member back on board. This should prove to be much more valuable than the cushion method.
* From Glenn McCarthy: Dick Hale requested data on MOB, many answers to his questions can be found in these studies of rescues and articles:
* From Tony Nunes: I agree 100% with George Norris' letter today when he opined that he doubts the ridiculous goings on in the Americas Cup preparations probably wouldn't pass the Rule 2 (Fair Sailing) test and that these so called "kings of our sport" (my words not his) who are involved are sending an amoral message to the lower ranks.
Enough already. Perhaps we should go back to the New York Yacht Club's dictatorial approach of running this thing with an iron fist with a committee that is willing to make immediate rulings and tell the competitors what will be tolerated and what won't.
* From Robert Bents: While I am not a professional sailor, I do love sailing and the thrills that this pure sport clear my head of all the crap we load onto ourselves. I really like your newsletter but wonder if it may be time to kill this negative thread. If fellow sailors want to hear about the skullduggery related to the Americas cup or any other sailing related event, let them find it on their own. I don't care, Just send us the info on sailing.
* From Jerry Spencer: I love reading Scuttlebutt every morning, but I, too, no longer read anything about America's Cup. Like Marsh, I simply scroll right on past. We all know they spend hundreds of millions of dollars, are zealously protective of their designs and seem to have a childlike contempt/ jealousy of the other's toy (yacht). Marsh is right...more soap opera or Entertainment Tonight than race news.
* From Jacqueline Sudek-Exton: Seems to me that some people are taking things a bit too seriously! Asking someone to refrain from printing gossip in a newsletter called "Scuttlebutt" is hysterical! Scuttlebutt means Gossip or Rumour! I for one have given up All My Children and look forward to" As The Viaduct Basin Turns"on a daily basis.
If people wish to read only about the outcome of races may I suggest Sailing World, there are columns and columns of them at the back of each issue for your enjoyment! And a suggestion for the indignant lawyer claiming all this litigation is the lawyers duty bla bla bla, maybe we should resort back to duels, fought out by the lawyers! Maybe they wouldn't bee so eager to jump into the fracas!
* From Nicole Weaver: John Marsh asked you to, ' Do us a favor and don't print anymore America's Cup news until things happen on the race course.' No! Please keep doing exactly what you do. I like your editorial openness and your willingness to report without prejudice all sides of the sport - even the silliness of the Cup and silly criticisms like this one. If Mr. Marsh doesn't like to read about certain subjects I suggest he just keep scrolling, it's a free country.
* From: John Danskin: I just wanted to say that I enjoy -all- of the America's cup coverage. Lawsuits, airfreighted boats, sneaked peeks, etc. Race-only coverage would be watered gin in comparison.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Scuttlebutt has always been a bit like a buffet table - we expect our readers to pick and choose - not consume every morsel of information we provide. There's a lot of stuff going on right now in Auckland that is not pleasant - stuff that is not in the best interest of the sport. However, we believe that to ignore legitimate America's Cup news would be doing our readers a disservice. The key word here is 'legitimate.' We're doing our best to disregard the unsubstantiated mud slinging, while providing our readers with a complete picture of what's happening at what is still is the most significant event in our sport.
APS - RACEWEAR / WARE SPECIALIST
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PRADA CHALLENGE FOR CLASSIC YACHTS
After the success encountered last year at Cowes during the America's Cup Jubilee in the waters of the Solent, the Prada Challenge for Classic Yachts for its fourth year will centre once again in the Mediterranean from September 11 through October 5.
Inaugurated in 1999 under the authority of the International Mediterranean Committee (CIM) and co-ordinated by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the Prada Challenge for Classic Yachts is a unique meeting which distinguishes itself by its quality and the speciality of each of the stages: Vele d'Epoca di Imperia-Trofeo Prada, Bateaux de Tradition-Coupe Prada in Monaco, Régates Royales-Trophée Prada in Cannes before the final Voiles de Saint-Tropez, these meetings are in some of the most prestigious sites of the Mediterranean. They are also frequented by a diverse range of participants, some which are honourable and respectable centenarian yachts, testimony to our maritime heritage.
The regattas and the liaison races are run according to the Rating Rules of the CIM 2001-2004. Internationally recognised by all the specialists. It is thanks to this rating that the yachts, built one by one, all different, can defend their chances with certain fairness.
Alongside the Vintage Yachts (launched before 1950), the Classics (built before 1976) and the Spirit of Tradition, yachts restored with modern materials but in the spirit of Classic Yachting, one class is reserved for the 12-Metres, who made their entry into the circuit last year, and will be returning to join the fleet of 2002. - www.yacht-club-monaco.mc / www.cim-classicyachts.org
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Denmark's Lars Nordjberg, a product of event host, KDY/SKS Match Race Center, finished the first day with a perfect record of 3-0, after completing the afternoon's portion of racing, while Sweden's Mattias Rahm and his Team Stora Enso set the pace among the morning group registering a 4-1, record. - Shawn McBride
STANDINGS: 1. Lars Nordjberg, Denmark, 3-0; 2. Mattias Rahm, SWE/Team StoraEnso, 4-1; 3. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, 2-1; 4. Chris Law, GBR/The Outlaws, 2-1; 5. Henrik Jensen, Denmark, 3-2; 6. Michael Lindquist, Sweden, 3-2; 7. Staffan Lindberg, Finland 3-2; 8. Jesper Radich, Denmark, 2-3; 9. Bjorn Hansen, SWE/Team GOL Sailing, 1-2; 10. Richard Mathieu, France, 1-2; 11. Gustav Nilsson, Sweden 0- 3; 12.Scott Walton, Australia, 0-5. - www.swedishmatchtour.com/index800.asp
ROLEX COMMODORES' CUP
The lack of wind and a particularly strong Spring tide produced long and arduous conditions for the competitors on the 125 mile long offshore race of the Rolex Commodores' Cup and even involved anchoring when the boats were unable to stem the tide as the wind dropped away to virtually nothing at times. The bigger boats, with their taller sail plans, were at a distinct advantage in the fickle breeze, more able to make ground against the tidal current than their smaller rivals. - Kate Maudslay
Standings after five races: 1. France Red, 92; 2. Netherlands, 133; 3. England Red, 158; 4. Commonwealth/ Ireland Orange/ Wales, 180; 5. England Blue, 230. www.rorc.org
Lake Winnebago - Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Harry Melges convincingly won the 28 foot E-Scow Class at this year's Inland Lakes Yachting Association's Championships. With very choppy wave conditions and shifty winds of 6-18 knots, Harry showed his speed and smarts by topping the 48 boat fleet with four bullets, a third and sixth. Melges' crew included brother Hans Melges and Jeff Ecklund who was also a member of Harry's M24 World Championship crew.
Final results: 1. Harry Melges, Hans Melges, Jeff Ecklund, 13; 2. August Barkow, 29; 3. Tom Burton, 32; 4. Chris Jewett, 48; 5. David Chute, 48; 6. Brian Porter, 56; 7. Bill Allen, 72; 8. Rob Evans, 76. - www.geocities.com/oshkoshyc/
The homepage of the Sailnet website is asking, "What's the best reason for sailors to be embarrassed by the America's Cup?
Surfeit of legal bickering
Boats that break and sink
Never heard of it
We understand that after two days, Excess Legal Bickering has gotten nearly 50 percent of the votes, but Extravagant Expenditures is coming on strong. www.sailnet.com
US JUNIOR TRIPLE-HANDED CHAMPIONSHIP
The Santa Barbara Yacht Club team of Tedd White (skipper), David Harris, Alex Bernal & Duncan Shea from Area J edged out Area E- Jolly Roger Sailing Club by a single point to claim the US Junior Triple-handed Championship for the Sears Cup. Area D- Gulfport Yacht Club took third overall. - www.nadn.navy.mil/SailingTeam/sears/sears02results.htm
FOR THE RECORD
The maxi catamaran Orange is now 12 hours ahead of the record for the fastest sailing around Britain and Ireland. The boat is traveling at just over 21 knots as it rounds the northern tip of the Shetland Islands. Orange is well on target to beat Steve Fossett's October 1994 record of 5 days, 21 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds. Orange is experiencing south-easterly winds of about 30 knots, but once the boat hits the North Sea light head winds could slow it down.
Follow Orange's progress: www.orange-today.co.uk/promo/?id=Orange_challenge_sequence
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* September 23-29: World Blind Sailing Championships, Lake Garda, Italy. www.blindsailing.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.