SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1173 - October 8, 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 PREZ SAYS
(Following is an excerpt from ISAF President Paul Henderson's important comments in the October 7 issue of Making Waves. This is something everyone should read.)
As we approach the ISAF November Conference, from 8-16 November, it is essential to focus on the "Core Business of ISAF". ISAF provides the rules and regulations whereby we can participate and compete in the sport of Sailing. This means that all aspects which impact "Fair Play" and integrity must be clearly and consistently adjudicated so that the sailors and their coaches know what they can and cannot do.
There are several aspects which must be addressed.
- ISAF has over the years endeavoured to have one set of rules for all of racing. This no longer possible except with regard to the fundamental Racing Rules.
- ISAF must address the pressures that are being applied by the Professional side of the sport, which encompasses the Olympics, America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Match Racing and others where there is a large investment in both time and money.
- It is also essential that the sailors who race purely for the love of the game with no financial rewards expected are allowed to compete free from onerous regulations and that they have the flexibility to adapt the regulations to their needs.
The major areas which must be addressed at the "Elite" level are as follows:
1. Measurement Modern technology has increased the ability for sailors and boatbuilders to circumvent intended measurement rules. This area needs ISAF focus.
The rules are there it will take due diligence by experienced measurers to bring this area of the sport under control and they must use modern technology to measure.
2. Race Management - Most sailors demand good race management as that is what makes for good racing. A specific area that must be addressed is starting procedures and OCS. There must prevail an attitude that the object is to get a fair and legal start. Disqualifying several sailors for OCS must not be considered a success.
ISAF must find a way to control the starting line and several concepts must be tried. There must be a limit on the number of boats on the starting line in major events. Split fleets are acceptable. Having one starting line with 120 dinghies and over 100 keelboats in Olympic Classes is not acceptable.
The Race Committee should start warning boats who are over the line 1 minute before the gun by radio or simply using loud hailers. General Recalls, except in response to a major windshift, should be considered as a failure by the Race Committee to control the fleet.
If a boat is OCS they should be told immediately and penalised appropriately. Finding out at the first mark or when a sailor reads the notice board that they were OCS does not make for good or fair sailing. At the top events, ISAF must approve the Senior Race Management Officials. ISAF must provide a standard Notice of Race format and there must be a single scoring system, so as all sailors know from event to event what the regulations are and consistency is achieved. - Paul Henderson President ISAF
To read all of President Henderson's comments:
LOUIS VUITTON CUP FLIGHT SIX
The Hauraki Gulf played more tricks on the competing yachts today, with massive switches in wind strength and direction playing havoc with the fortunes of the teams. Three matches had to be abandoned when a lack of wind slowed the boats and they exceeded the 45-minute time limit for completing a leg of the course.
The only race to finish saw Prada's Luna Rossa (ITA-74) racing the clock to inch across the line just minutes inside the time limit. For most of the race Prada trailed the Swedish Victory Challenge team, but took a big gamble out on the right side of the final beat. The Swedes failed to cover and paid the penalty, conceding the lead to the Italian team.
Prada beat Victory Challenge, 2m32s
Stars & Stripes vs. Le Defi Areva, abandoned
OneWorld Vs. Oacle BMW, abandoned
GBR Challenge Vs. Mascalzone Latino, abandoned
4-0 One World Challenge*
3-0 Oracle BMW Racing
3-1 Victory Challenge
2-3 Stars & Stripes
1-3 GBR Challenge
0-4 Le Defi Areva
0-4 Mascalzone Latino
* Note: As a result of a penalty imposed by ACAP, one point will be deducted from OneWorld's score at the end of Round Robin 2.
FLIGHT SEVEN SCHEDULE
OneWorld vs. Victory Challenge
GBR Challenge vs. Prada
Alinghi vs. Stars & Stripes
Le Defi Areva vs. Oracle BMW
Bye: Mascalzone Latino
Luna Rossa ITA 80 left the Team Prada base to be transferred to the yard where the team designers and technicians will carry out modifications to the hull. At the same time the development of Luna Rossa ITA 74 continues as this boat will be used also for Round Robin Two of the Louis Vuitton Cup 2002-2003. Luna Rossa ITA 80 will be back in the water the first week of November. - www.pradalunarossa.com
* The decision to modify one of the boats was widely speculated on Syndicate Row after the termination of Doug Peterson, who had been the team's design director since it was founded in February 1997. Syndicate chief Patrizio Bertelli, who made the decision to release Peterson, said differences of opinion existed over the development of the boats.
Neither Bertelli nor Peterson would elaborate on the differences, but the two new designs lack the double-knuckle bow pioneered in the America's Cup Class by Team New Zealand's Laurie Davidson in 2000. Prada's two boats are in the minority in this regard.
Peterson was asked last week after his release if he thought Prada would opt to modify one of their boats. "I think they probably will," he said. "The design process never stops. So they're still going ahead improving the design." - Sean McNeill, LVC website, full story: www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com
FAST BOATS ON THE HAURAKI GULF
Why are some of the boats on the Hauraki Gulf sailing faster than others? Because, under their foul weather gear they are wearing the Camet shorts, and the Bubble tops. Check out the Shorts, Bubble Tops, Pants, Coolmax shirts, Neoprene Hiking pants, Bags, etc. on the Camet web site at: www.camet.com
* Greenpeace today hung a banner from the cliffs of Torbay, Auckland with the message 'Keep the Cup Nuclear Free' to show opposition to the French nuclear industry's involvement in the Cup. Greenpeace activists absailed down the face of the cliff to hang the eight by eight meter banner that features a radioactive shadow in the shape of a death's head behind an A' similar to Areva's logo. "Greenpeace painted the radioactive shadow and death's head behind the 'A' similar to Areva's, so people can clearly see that behind the façade of being a sailing sponsor is a deadly nuclear business," said Bunny McDiarmid, Greenpeace spokesperson.
* The Sail For America website has a huge supply of new photos: www.sailforamerica.com
* Team New Zealand will this week decommission NZL-60, its champion yacht, which in March 2000 made history on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf as the first non-US yacht to successfully defend the America's Cup. NZL-60 was never beaten in an America's Cup match and was beaten only once in an official race when it lost to OneWorld in light air during the International Regatta in Auckland last summer. "You can even see elements of its pedigree in the current fleet," said Tom Schnackenberg. "The bow shape for example has, in some cases, been quite faithfully reproduced." NZL-60 also carried the first millennium rig, which has also become a fairly standard item in the class. - Ivor Wilkens, LVC website, full story: www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.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 Brad Wheeler: Am I the only one to feel that the AC may actually be bad for sailing? All that wasted money and talent (except for those lucky enough to get the money and still get to do some real sailing, like Cayard) for what has arguably been the dullest sailing I have seen in a long time! Three spins in five minutes and then off to drag races; 3 tacks per leg and no lead changes - there's excitement!
But the most telling is what our next generation thinks of it, and from having teenage sailors in the house I can honestly tell you that they watch it for 3-4 minutes and walk away dismayed. Thank god for something exciting to keep the kids interested like 29ers or the closeness of high school/college formats. The kids think the AC is the peak of the dinosaurs. Even Ben Ainsley walked away from money to get back to real sailing.
Oh, and thank god there is other exciting stuff on TV - like baseball!
* From Frank MacDonald: Isn't it interesting that the law suits, the arguing, the spying and pre-race scandals turned out to be the only thing exciting about America's Cup XXXI. The racing is sure boring.
* From Alex Arnold: Let's not forget the thrill of waking up, on race day, to find it blowing over 20; that's what most sailors love. It is also, probably, one of the reasons the America's Cup has become sooo boring. Not many will ever forget spending the wee small hours, on the couch, watching the boys battle the "Freemantle Doctor" in 1987.
* From Ian Williams: I notice that Iain Percy has been nominated for the World Sailor of the Year Award but his Star crew, Steve Mitchell, does not feature. Are Star crews less important than 49er or 470 crews or is Steve just too tall for awards ceremonies?
* From Ralph Mailloux: As already stated in 'Butt, OLN's coverage of the LVC has improved dramatically with each race and each issue of 'Butt. OLN's executives have wisely taken feedback from the customer and have improved their product in a very short time. Imagine if they decided to run an AC syndicate in the future and imploy this feedbak and implementation tacticts. They would be a contender. Great work OLN, thanks for the coverage.
* From Peter Harken: Tom Leweck is more than right regards Virtual Spectator on the Americas Cup in NZ. It is amazing and on a big screen even more so! Get it, you won't regret it!
THE NEXT VOLVO RACE
(Andy Rice's interviewed the Volvo Ocean Race's new CEO Glenn Bourke for The Daily Sail (formerly madforsailing) website. Here's a brief excerpt.)
His predecessor Helge Alten held the opinion that team budgets should be limited to $10 million, instead of the $15-20+ million of a majority of the more well-heeled campaigns. Bourke agrees with this, but again stresses the problem is how to limit this budget.
"Possibly one boat," he suggests. "Possibly limited not to be built before a certain time. But you can't stop them. They could go and buy or use like-boats, which were similar to the rule and you really couldn't stop that. But in terms of the construction of the race boat, the periodicity, the number of crew, the number of sails and cost of construction. There are certain things within our control that have a bearing on all of those things."
What seems almost certain is that there will be between 5-7 stops next time instead of the ball-breaking (and costly) nine of the recent race.
"At the moment we have about two conceptual courses, both utilising the systems and trade winds around the globe for primarily downwind performance," continues Bourke. "Basically what we'll do is outline routes and then we need to go and speak to potential port authorities, to find out a) if they're interested and b) if they have the infrastructure to provide us with great stopovers. And once we have selected a number of ports in certain areas around the globe, then we can further fine tune the route." - Andy Rice, The Daily Sail, full interview: thedailysail.com
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Auckland, NZ - The Totalisator Agency Board (TAB) has been told it cannot take bets on the America's Cup or challenger series after a row over gambling at the last event. Neither the nine challengers, the cup defender the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, nor the International Sailing Federation backed betting on the yacht racing here, although betting agencies in Australia and Britain are taking bets.
A row broke out in 1999 at the Louis Vuitton Cup after the AmericaOne syndicate unexpectedly lost a vital race to the French boat 6 Sens. The result shut the New York Yacht Club's entry, Young America, out of the semi-finals, prompting accusations that AmericaOne crew had bet on their boat to lose. Skipper Paul Cayard denied the claims, and his crew was cleared by a subsequent inquiry.
Rules for the current Louis Vuitton Cup regatta and the defense require the agreement of all the challengers and the defender before Yachting New Zealand can talk to the TAB about offering odds. The rules also ban crew members from betting on races anywhere. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz
FRONT ROW SEATS
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The US Sailing US National Match Racing Championship for the Prince of Wales Bowl was sailed from the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, New York, and was won by David Dellenbaugh (with Doug Clark and Ralf Steitz) representing Pequot Yacht Club 3-0 over Karl Ziegler (with Dean Brenner and Randy Shore) representing Watch Hill Yacht Club in very close racing. Third place in the regatta was won by an inch by Bill Lynn representing Eastern Yacht Club 2-1 over Andy Horton representing Lake Champlain Yacht Club. - www.ussailing.org
The wind finally arrived for Alan Paris and he rocketed across the finish line on BTC Velocity with a strong southwesterly wind blowing him home nearly 13 days behind Bernard Stamm's Bobst Group - Armor Lux. With his arrival the entire Around Alone fleet is now in port.
Leg two from Torbay (England) to Cape Town (South Africa), a distance of 6,880 nm, starts in less than a week - on 13th October 2002 at midday. www.aroundalone.com
STEALING THE SHOW
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Sunday, Oct. 6 -- It is the end of a long day of racing in the Hauraki Gulf, and America's Cup racing boats are returning to Viaduct Harbor to be hauled ashore, hosed down and cloaked in skirts, to hide the secrets of speed that lurk below their waterlines. With their blunt bows, blade-like sails and carbon-fiber riggings tuned as precisely as a harp, the boats are among the most technologically advanced in the world.
The boat in the harbor that attracts the most attention, however -- and the one that best captures the spirit of the ongoing America's Cup challenge, the Louis Vuitton Cup -- does not have sails or a team of grinders whirling away at the winches. It is a gleaming white four-story sea monster with black wraparound glass balconies, a basketball court on the afterdeck and an oversize American flag drooping from the stern. It is Larry Ellison's yacht, the 250-foot Katana. The parking spot alone costs $200,000 a month.- Warren St. John, NY Times, full story: www.nytimes.com/2002/10/06/sports/othersports/06SAIL.html
The St. Francis Yacht Club's International Masters Regatta was sailed in a three to four know ebb tide with steady westerly winds in the 10-18 knot range:
1. John Jennings, 18
2. Bruce Munro, 23
3. Keith Musto, 26
4. Dave Irish, 27
5. John Scarborough, 30
Twenty Sunfish sailors from Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Guatemalia, Italy, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela are competing against forty-five US sailors at the 2002 Sunfish Worlds at Houston Yacht Club. Day One of racing opened with a first race with light wind of 5 knots to gusts of 7 knots and sunshine. Second race for day one was delayed until 15:10 hrs by a violent thunderstorm which brought the fleet back into harbor for shelter. Standings:
1. John W. Kolius, USA, 4
2. Eduardo Gonzalez, Venezuela, 10
3. Juan Pablo Del Solar, Chile, 11
4. Roy Shaw, USA, 13
5. Bishop Stieffel, USA, 16
San Francisco YC - Standings after six races (J/24):
1. Sally Barkow, Area K, 10
2. Vicki Sodaro, Area G, 11
3. Molly O'Bryan, Area H, 21
4. Natalie Colman-fuller, Area A, 27
5. Susan Taylor, Area J, 35.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything.