SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1157 - September 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.
New York Harbor was transformed from a commercial port into a spectacular venue for the start of Around Alone 2002-03. From early in the morning, all the Open class yachts were towed off the pontoons of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, where they had been docked for two days after the Prologue race from Newport, RI.
With the tall buildings of lower Manhattan as a backdrop and a moderate 10 to 15 knot southerly wind blowing, the 13 yachts set off for their 28,000 mile voyage around the world.
As the first boats approached the Verazanno Narrows bridge fog rolled in and a line of squalls passed overhead. The good weather held just long enough for the fleet to clear the tricky sailing in the channel. Tonight they will be well past Ambrose light sailing along the Long Island coast heading towards England.
Times are being taken at the Ambrose light - veteran French circumnavigator Thierry Dubois was confident earlier in the day that this first leg of Around Alone could be record-breaking conditions. -- Mary Ambler
Positions at 1900 UTC
Class 1 - Open 60ft
1. Bobst Group Armor-Lux, 2953.75 nm to finish of leg one
2. Ocean Planet, 2953.78
3. Solidaires, 2953.89
4. Hexagon, 2953.93
5. Tiscali, 2954.17
6. Pindar, 2954.62
7. Garnier, 2954.667
Class 2 - Open 40ft and 50ft
1. Tommy Hilfiger, 2954.73
2. Everest Horizontal, 2955.21
3. Spirit of Canada, 2955.33
4. Bayer Ascencia, 2957.03
5. BTC Velocity, 2963.74
* From Herb McCormick's Editorial in today's NY Times:
At a press conference last week in Newport, R.I., to introduce the competitors in the Around Alone single-handed race the California sailor Bruce Schwab glanced in appreciation toward the dozen other committed individualists with whom he would be attempting to circle the globe, and then he made a confession.
"Before this, I always thought I was an oddball," said Schwab, explaining how others related to his passion for seagoing solitude. "I feel much better now."
Several of Schwab's competitors returned sympathetic, knowing nods.
Since its first running in 1982, the quadrennial Around Alone race - it was called the BOC Challenge through its first three incarnations - has attracted a remarkable collection of international skippers, ranging from driven, sponsored professionals with multiple circumnavigations to their credit to hopeful, bankrupt amateurs whose main objective was to bring their boats, and themselves, home in one piece.
More than a few were outright characters, too. Among the latter were the diminutive Japanese artist and saxophonist Yukoh Tada, who won Class II in the 1982-83 race and called it "a fluke," and the eccentric Russian adventurer and mountaineer Fyodor Konioukhov who, in the 1998-99 event, was disqualified for numerous rules infractions but soldiered on anyway.
In so doing, Konioukhov displayed a fierce obstinacy almost as astounding as his frightful sailing skills.
On the other hand, of course, there were splendid nautical talents including the two-time French winners Philippe Jeantot and Christophe Auguin; the pioneering female single-hander Isabelle Autissier, also from France; the rugged American Mike Plant, who sailed in two Around Alone races before dying in a tragic incident alone at sea; and the Italian Giovanni Soldini, under whose impish frame beats the heart of a champion.
It has been said of Around Alone that the toughest part of the race is getting to the starting line, and that everyone who finishes is a winner. This afternoon, 13 hard-core sailors will have accomplished the first objective. The second is seven long months away.
Full article at www.nytimes.com/2002/09/
SAIL FOR AMERICA
New York, NY: The waters off Ground Zero came alive with more than 1,000 sailboats Saturday at a New York Harbor gathering that paid tribute to those killed one year ago at the World Trade Center. The Armada was overseen by former fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen, who lost 343 firefighters in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
He called the "Sail for America" event another step forward for "a country, a city and a people who have begun to heal."
In what was billed as New York's symbolic rebirth, flotillas of boats converged in the harbor after sailing from the East River, the George Washington Bridge and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
Aboard the boats, more than 3,000 memorial flags were flown - each bearing the name of a victim from the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The flags will eventually be presented to the victims' families.
The flags were the idea of Cathy DeRubbio, whose brother-in-law David died on Sept. 11. -- www.msnbc.com/news/808038.asp
BIG BOAT SERIES
San Francisco, CA: Today's final race report not available at press time, here are the final results by class:
Class, Skipper, Total Points
1D35 Class (7 boats): Zsa Zsa, Bill Wright, 17
Beneteau 40.7 (5 boats): Mojo Rising, Brendan Busch, 9
Express 37 (8 boats): Golden Moon, Bridge/ Richards, 14
J120 (7 boats): Chance, Barry Lewis, 18
Farr 40 (20 boats): Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, 24
J105 (33 boats): Good Timin, Phil Perkins/Dave Wilson, 19
Transpac52 (5 boats): Yassou, Jim Demetriades, 9
Santa Cruz 52 (4 boats): Winnetou, Martin Brauns, 11
Americap II Class A (10 boats): Pendragon IV, John MacLaurin, 15
Americap II Class B (10 boats): Chance, Paul Kent, 17
Complete results at www.stfyc.org
Direct link to results is www.stfyc.org/Default.asp?p=DynamicListPage&ID=13205&type=BigBoatSeries2002&name=Big Boat Series 2002
Photos at www.sfbayimages.com
OPPORTUNITY FOR TALENTED SAILMAKER
Doyle Sailmakers in Huntingon, Long Island, New York is looking for a talented, hard-working sailmaker who enjoys sailmaking and would like to be financially rewarded for their hard work and talents. This is a fun place to work and the management is flexible. Huntington is a great place to live with lots to do and a thriving sailing scene.
No egos please. Just team players that enjoy building and repairing sails, and being productive need apply. There is opportunity here. Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
Porto Cervo, Sardinia: The new Swan 70, Fast.net owned by Thierry de Passemar (FRA), today won the Swan Cup 2002, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Passemar only took delivery of Fast.net on the 14th August this year, and the Swan 70 was only ready for racing two days before the start of the regatta, when the crew met for the first time. Fast.net recorded an eighth place in the only race today whilst overnight leader Leslie Green's Swan 60 Sotto Voce (AUS) could only manage 35th position.
Frank Savage's Swan 56 Lolita (USA) followed his victory in the Swan American Regatta 2001 with second place overall. Another of Nautor's exciting new models, Tom Stark's Swan 45 Rush (USA) took third place overall and the Class Trophy, having won the last four races in Class B.
Fast.net's overall victory comes at the end of a week of unpredictable results and inconsistent weather. The leaderboard has had a variety of Swans taking their moment of glory, from Roberto Ferrero's Swan 48 Solenia 2 (ITA) to Roel Piper's Swan 80 Favonius. As usual the Swan Cup has not been shy in providing over 2,000 sailors with a host of challenges from navigating the intricate shoreline of the Costa Smeralda, happily delivering 90-degree windshifts, to surviving in over 40 knots in the notorious Bisce Straits. Whether a coastal race between 50 - 100 miles or a three mile windward / leeward race, the fleet of over 112 Swans has provided a week of extraordinary racing and left all involved looking forward to the 13th Edition of this 'Swan World Cup', in 2004.
Final Results - 6 races with no discard
1. Fast.net, T.Passemar, Swan 70, FRA 46 points
2. Lolita, F.Savage, Swan 56, USA, 58
3. Rush, T.Stark, Swan 45, USA, 68
Class A: Fast.net, T.Passemar , Swan 70, FRA, 20 points
Class B: Rush, T.Stark, Swan 45, USA, 17
Class C: Eurosia, L.Vaccari, Swan 46, ITA, 24
Class D: Crescendo, M.Jacobson, Swan 44, USA, 9
www.swancup.com or www.nautorgroup.com
AMERICA'S CUP SYNDICATE GEAR
The America's Cup is coming and Team One Newport has the gear from a number of syndicates and more syndicates join our supplier list everyday! Shop for the AC team gear only at Team One Newport. They already have really cool Oracle jackets and vests and the Around Alone gear on their website. Check out their website at team1newport.com or call 800-VIP-GEAR (800-847-4327) for a catalog. See why the top sailors in the world buy from Team One Newport!
LASER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Hyannis, MA: The last day of the qualifier series at the Laser World Championship belonged to Brazilian Robert Scheidt. The five times world champion won both his heats easily in 18 to 23 knot winds that eased by five knots for the second race.
Scheidt now moves 9 points ahead of his nearest rival Brendan Casey from Australia.
The fleet now carry their results forward to the final series of six races in gold and silver fleets for the next 3 days.
Top five after 7 races
1. Robert Scheidt, BRA, 11 points
2. Brendan Casey, AUS, 20
3. Karl Suneson, SWE, 22
4. Gareth Blanckenberg, RSA, 24
5. Paul Goodison, GBR, 24
Top Canadian sailor: Bernard Luttmer, 22nd, 70 points
Top US sailor: Andrew Lewis, 28th, 94 points
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com -- until the Curmudgeon returns later this month)
* From Neil W. Humphrey: Unlimited kinetics have no place in sailing. If they did, I would be the first person to equip any boat I raced on with a full crew of "Arnold" type oarspersons to propel my boat around the course!
The simple point that the Pope makes is that the sport is called 'Sailing" with the key word being "sail". How can we confuse this with rowing, rocking, rolling, ooching, sculling and etc. Sorry the word is sailing.
If there was a quick solution to this, my suggestion would be to let the classes decide what to do. It's been proven again and again that if popular classes become pro or elitist that the amateur membership goes elsewhere. Hence the classes die in the end by not following the wishes of the majority.
IMO the true bottom line of all this comes back to pros versus amateurs. Here again, it is the one who can train & is sponsored the most wins. Further the problem has to do with ISAF not promoting or guiding the sport into specific venues where there is a focused marketing / promotion plan to put professionals up front who represent the amateur ranks of the sport in the news media, TV & etc
Even if the Olympic boats opted for rowing in the next Olympics it's not going to help sailing stay in the Olympics. Sailing has to reinvent itself, have a long term marketing / promotion plan, have a plan to farm promising amateurs up through a system to the pro ranks and in short be like other professional sports that get air time. Air time because the International Governing body promotes the athletes as entertaining, committed, passionate & people the average person can relate to.......... i.e. FIFA Women's Under 19 World Cup (football/soccer) For sailing to change it's time for ISAF to look no further than paragraph (b) of the Objects of the International Sailing Federation and it's time the membership challenged them to action!
* From Marc Gentilin: Happy Birthday Mount Gay. I've been living in Barbados for a little while now, and visit the Mount Gay Rum factory on a regular basis. The Sun, Sea and Sand make for beautiful living. Sailing couldn't be better as we're right in the Trade Winds. Since I know of one other reader who's here there are 14097 of you who should come and visit us anyway. See you here for the 2003 Mount Gay/Boat Yard Regatta starting May 30. There's sure to be plenty of Rum!
* Prada's session out on the Hauraki Gulf was cut short yesterday when one of their new boats suffered damage to its mast. The Italian syndicate said part of the rig was damaged but it was nothing significant and expected to have it repaired by last night.
* Team New Zealand is offering a wind tunnel testing model for the Great Team NZ Auction, being organised by Bayleys. The boat is a 15 scale model, made of solid wood, fully rigged with mast and a black hull. The testing model is being "tidied up" and its commercially sensitive information being removed.
* The Cup's 2003 logo is being stuck onto the side of [Auckland's] Sky Tower. Understandably it is a rather complicated and painful process attaching a 2.5km long adhesive vinyl logo onto the tower some 53 stories high.
* GBR Challenge have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on Britain's newest cup boat. It is expected that GBR78 Wight Magic will venture into the Hauraki Gulf in the next few days.
* New Zealand Nikon photographic distributors T. A. Macalister has loaned $500,000 worth of equipment to support the photographers to the Louis Vuitton and America's Cup. The equipment will be free to visiting photographers. -- Julie Ash, in the New Zealand Herald.
Complete article at www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
LEAVING IT TO WEAVER
Excerpts from Bill Wagner's interview with Tom Weaver, sailing team manager for the Mascalzone Latino Syndicate, in Annapolis' Capital online:
Q: What exactly is your role with the syndicate?
TW: I am Sailing Team Manger and my primary responsibility is the 28 man sailing team. I get them out on the water, arrange the schedule, organize the testing, coach, sail, encourage, discipline, hold their hand and give them a shoulder to cry on. When we return from sailing, I work closely with the design team, mast designers, sail designers and shore team manager. I represent the team at CORM meetings (Challenge of Record Management Group) and I am also by default the rules advisor to the team mostly because I speak English, but I have the help of a few lawyers. The America's Cup is all about meetings and my job in the syndicate is to keep them a short as possible because Italians love to talk.
Q: What can you tell us about the syndicate in terms of budget and structure?
TW: Well it is entirely Italian, I am the only non native and have been given the honorary name of Tonino da Pozzouli. The Owner is the skipper and a very accomplished sailor, many East Coast sailors would remember him for his Mumm 30 and IMS world Championship wins. Also in the team we have Paolo Cian, who is ranked seventh on the world match racing circuit and Flavio Favini, who has won a whole bunch of world championships. There are a group of very talented trimmers, bow men etc. Our big guys are a little small but superbly fit.
Q: How do you handicap the Louis Vuitton Series?
TW: My guess at the finals would be Alinghi (Switzerland) for the strength of the management/sailing team and Oracle (San Francisco) for the strength of the design team.
Q: What will be next for Tom Weaver once this campaign is complete?
TW: I plan to take couple days off visiting relatives who are scattered around New Zealand, then Rick Deppe and myself are planning a "Raid" from Senegal, Africa to Guadeloupe, West Indies on a 20-foot beach catamaran in early January. If we can find a little sponsorship, we will attempt to break the record of 13 days. The long term goal for Mascalzone Latino is another shot at the Cup. Maybe my Italian will have to get a bit better.
Full article at www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/live/09_12-35/SAL
MARINA DEL REY TO PUERTO VALLARTA RACE SEMINARS
Marina Del Rey, CA: The Marina Del Rey Yacht Club has scheduled a series of three free Preparation Seminars leading to the 17th biennial Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht Race starting Feb. 7-14, 2003.
The seminars, which will address every facet of the race ashore and afloat, are scheduled on the Thursday evenings of Oct. 10, Nov. 7 and Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at Del Rey Yacht Club.
Reservations are not required, and the seminars are open to all skippers and crew, as well as any sailors interested in cruising Mexican waters.
Del Rey YC is located at 13900 Palawan Way in Marina del Rey. Phone: (310) 823-4664.
At 1,125-nautical miles, the MDR-Puerto Vallarta run is the longest of the races from Southern California to Mexico, this requiring maximum advance knowledge and preparation. -- Rich Roberts
More information, including the Notice of Race, is available at www.dryc.org
2002 ISAF NOVEMBER CONFERENCE
The 2002 ISAF November Conference will be taking place in Limassol, Cyprus from 8-16 November 2002.
The Agendas, supporting papers and submissions which will be considered at the Conference are now available online at www.sailing.org/meetings/2002november/papers.asp
A searchable database allows you to search and download specific committee agendas, committee supporting papers and submissions, or download all papers and submissions. Main conference link: www.sailing.org/meetings/2002november/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?