SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1184 - October 24, 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.
In a move predictable of syndicate head Larry Ellison, Wednesday saw major changes in the Oracle BMW team including reinstatement of Chris Dickson as skipper. In a crew meeting tonight Ellison announced that Chris Dickson will be responsible for running both the design and sailing teams.
Peter Holmberg, John Cutler and Bill Erkelens have essentially been moved aside. According to sources, some crewmembers have quit as a result of the news.
It remains to be seen how well Dickson will cope with his new responsibilities in a team who have already once voted him out. Poor management seems to have haunted this well-funded team since day 1. - Cupviews website, full story: cupviews.com/
LOUIS VUITTON CUP SERIES
The weather spoiled the sailors on the Hauraki Gulf for the first time in a long while with a solid 8-13 knot north-northeast breeze and bright early summer sunshine caressing the boats around the racecourse.
In the heavyweight matchup, the Swiss Alinghi Challenge sailed a very strong race to hand OneWorld its first loss in the Louis Vuitton Cup. On the same racecourse, Prada's Luna Rossa won its third match in two days, a convincing victory over Team Dennis Conner. With Chris Dickson at the helm, USA-76 won its second race in six starts over Mascalzone Latino, while the Swedish Victory challenge unveiled its new weapon, Orm, to great effect over the French Le Defi.
Victory Challenge beat Le Defi Areva, 1 minute 19 seconds
Oracle BMW Racing beat Mascalzone Latino, 2 minutes 40 seconds
Alinghi Challenge beat OneWorld Challenge, 27 seconds
Prada Challenge beat Team Dennis Conner, 41 seconds
9-1 Alinghi Challenge
9-1 One World Challenge*
6-4 Oracle BMW Racing
6-4 Prada Challenge
5-4 GBR Challenge
4-5 Victory Challenge
4-6 Team Dennis Conner
1-9 Mascalzone Latino
0-10 Le Defi Areva
* 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.
TOMORROW RACE SCHEDULE
Prada Challenge vs. Le Defi Areva
Alinghi vs. Mascalzone Latino
Team Dennis Conner vs. Victory Challenge
GBR Challenge vs. OneWorld Challenge
Bye: Oracle BMW
HOW DO YOU IMPROVE ON THE BEST?
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* IMS numbers continue to decline in the US. Yet, there are pockets of satisfied fleets that bemoan this decline. These include the IMS 40's on Long Island Sound, the Great Lakes 70's and the new (in 2001) IMS 50's on the Chesapeake. - Sailrater, www.sailrater.com
* The late Sir Peter Blake was honoured by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the presentation by His Majesty King Constantine of the IOC Olympic Order, which was accepted by Lady Pippa Blake. The IOC Executive Board announced the posthumous awarding of the IOC Olympic Order, which is one of the IOC's highest honours, at their Executive Board meeting on 12 December 2001. The Olympic Order was awarded to pay tribute to Sir Peter Blake's outstanding sailing career and to his genuine passion for sport and adventure. - www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=3298
* The 'Site of the Month' on US Sailing's website focuses on High School Sailing - Start your own High School Team, Regatta Calendar, Regatta Results, Newsletter, High School Procedural Rules (tacked onto the RRS), Coaching Links, High School Listserver, History, Merchandise, amongst others. www.ussailing.org - Glenn McCarthy
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 John Maltman: How would you like to be 14 years old, campaign with your dad (or Mom) in a two person one design, have a great summer traveling to weekend regattas, racing during the day, sitting around campfires, or YC lawns in the evening. Your class is having their open (no qualifying required) World Championship in your backyard this year (it only visits your continent once every 6 or 7 years). You think won't this be great...racing with 80 boats from Australia, Japan, the U.K., etc etc. But then you are told, "Sorry you are too young";. But you have been racing in the class for the past few years. Some bureacracy (ISAF) has determined that in their opinion there is to much pressure on young people to compete at top-level events. The above could happen if ISAF submission 063 passes at the upcoming annual meetings in early November.
Other interesting submissions include, requiring ISAF registration of all participants in a Worlds, submission 026, and get this one, requiring all boats have a 4 part mainsheet, submission 139.
Read them all at www.sailing.org/meetings/2002november
* From Matt Whilt: I read your tip in Scuttlebutt (#1183) that "the website that seems to get AC results, stories and standings posted first is: americascup.nzoom.com/." If that it true, it must be by mere seconds. The 2003ac.com forums are, in my opinion, the place to be for current LVC/AC news. Results are posted and discussed in near real time. The added appeal is that this site is managed on a shoestring budget by some dedicated individuals and is partially user supported (by a diverse worldwide base of ardent fans). That they beat the official LVC site and most others to the punch by *hours* says a lot. Last evening, OLN televised data and graphs of RR1 statistics put together by a couple of 2003ac.com regulars. Kudos to this wonderful site: www.2003ac.com
* From Michelle Slade: As a Kiwi, I have to agree with Peter Huston regarding the Blackheart campaign. Hopefully Blackheart can turn their directive to the more constructive ways to show support for Team New Zealand and appreciation for the thousands of guests New Zealand will host and benefit from during the 2002-2003 America's Cup.
* From Bill Betts: About a month ago there was a campaign in your column to keep Herb McCormick -- or more specifically his column -- at the New York Times. Obviously, that wasn't successful. The Sunday Times' sailing column continued over the next few weeks with John Shaw (and maybe Warren St. John, as I recall) doing a good job, so I figured "no big deal".
This past week the Sunday Times -- the edition distributed in Florida, anyway -- had no sailing column at all. I contacted the Times but haven't heard back yet. Do we know if the regular sailing column is now being dropped altogether? Over the years, the column has been terrific for the sport, no matter who was writing it. Is there anything else that can done to make sure it continues?
* From Jeffrey Chen: With Oracle BMW's slip into the bottom slot of the big four in the LV series and Prada's re-energised performance in the second round, are we likely to see Paul Cayard come off the bench? I am sure that the syndicate management must be second thinking their decision to side-line one of the top AC campaigners of the IACC era. And it also begs the question, even if asked to return would Cayard, or as a matter of fact Chris Dickson, consider rejoining the Oracle BMW program?
CURMUDGEON COMMENT: Have you been talking with Larry Ellison?
* From Thomas Price: Through the discussions of the America's Cup coverage, virtual spectator difficulties, syndicate choppings and other gossip, one thing appears clearly every evening on the TV. This generation of AC class boats is extremely handsome (well, maybe less so Oracle, but beauty is as beauty does) If you squint your eyes and try to ignore the billboards on the hull, boom and lower mainsail, they look like the International rule lovelies of the '30's pictured in the Rosenfeld photos and Uffa Fox books.
Under water is a different thing, but those long drawn counters and knuckled bows look very much like Olin Stephens' or Bill Luder's 6 and 8 Meter boats. Totally different animals I'm sure, but it amazing how these AC boats superficially resemble them. Look carefully at the lines of Olin's early boats and you will even see an artificial flattening of the sections (and shortening of the waterlines) right at the measurement point on the stem, making a somewhat similar knuckle. The highly accellerated whisker of spray on the AC boats bows sure emphasizes their appearance of speed. Whatever aspect of the rules that encourages the latest breed of bow and stern treatments, has my thanks for the visual treat these boats deliver.
* From Frank McCarthy (edited to our 250-word limit): The success of the Optimist class has to be attributed in a large part to SPYC s junior program in the 1970 s and 1980 s. SPYC was one of the first YC s to develop an actual Program for the development of talent. This program created many world-class sailors including Allison Jolly, Ed Baird, Rick Merriman, Mike & Kevin Funsch, Mark & David Mendelblatt and many more. SPYC s arrangement with the City of St. Petersburg and it s Sailing Center was unique. It allowed the general public access to yacht racing not just the privileged sons and daughters of YC members.
One of reasons of the success of the program was John Jennings. John's contributions to the junior program during the 70 s & 80 s were substantial and continue to this day. John developed our practice routines and created a team atmosphere. It was during this time that the Laser was beginning to make it s appearance as a strong one-design class. He noted that sailing any boats other than Optimists, even for fun would be detrimental to the Opti kids development in part because the newer high-performance boats were so much faster than the optimist. An Opti sailor could be doing everything wrong in a Laser and still be going 2-3 times faster that they were used to going in their Optimist.
* Rick Hatch: Maybe it's the exciting competition we saw in the first flight of Round 2 last night, but I think most viewers would have to agree that OLN's coverage of the 2002 Louis Vuitton Cup has improved remarkably from their initial broadcast on October 1st. Even Bill Patrick has "picked up the glove" and is demonstrating a flair for astute narration. Peter Montgomery's, Ed Baird's and Peter Lester's commentaries all add to the interest level of the viewing, with their enthusiasm and insight.
I would encourage fellow 'Buttheads to encourage their continued, improved coverage of the entire LVC, by sending OLN some positive feedback, at:
OLN in the USA - www.olntv.com/GIFB_feedback.cfm
OLN Canada - www.facetheelements.com/contact.asp
OLN is doing a much better job than the AC racing on TV in past years (OK, so the action isn't as extreme as it was in 1987; the event isn't in Freemantle this year!). Without OLN's commitment to this kind of programming, we wouldn't be able to enjoy any television coverage of the event, so let's show them our appreciation.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Virtual Spectator was on its very best behavior for the second day of RR2. And when VS is good - it's wonderful!
In spite of a couple of questionable moves by the ISAF, match racing on the worldwide scene is alive and well - perhaps even prospering. Obviously the decision to pull Soling match racing from the Olympic certainly did not help matters. And just when it looked like the women would get an Olympics match race event, that door also slammed shut.
"There's no question about it - those decisions hurt match racing," said Scott MacLeod, VP of Octagon Marketing and director of the Swedish Match Tour. "Yet in spite of those setbacks, the two and half year old Swedish Match Tour is really quite healthy."
MacLeod is pleased with the current makeup of ten events and there are no immediate plans to make any additions or changes. Three of those events are in North America - the Congressional Cup in Long Beach; the Newport-based UBS Challenge; and the just completed Bermuda Gold Cup. However, that does not mean there won't be some changes downstream.
"We'd like to establish a parallel match racing tour for the women," MacLeod stated. "And it's our long term goal to have our own fleet of boats that we could transport around the world to the events on the Tour."
What kind of boats would they be? MacLeod described them as mini-IACC boats, which would provide a visual tie-in with the world's premiere match racing event - the America's Cup. However, the Tour boats would probably be just short of 40 feet, so they would fit comfortably in a container for transport. They'd be set up so they could be sailed with a crew of four to five, which suggests that athleticism would become increasingly important for future tour participants.
While it's obvious that match racing is much still bigger in Europe than it is in North America, these enhancements to the Swedish Match Tour should certainly stimulate additional interest here.
MARCIA BRAMAN GROSVENOR
Marcia Braman Grosvenor, 72, a 29-year resident of Annapolis, died Monday at Anne Arundel Medical Center after a brief illness. Known and respected for her organizational skills and attention to detail, Mrs. Grosvenor was much in demand by regatta organizers from Severn Sailing Association, Eastport Yacht Club, and other regional organizations. For several years during the 1990s, Mrs. Grosvenor could be found on the water aboard a race committee boat for more than 60 days each sailing season, in addition to the countless hours she spent ashore on organizational, registration, and scoring duties. Her efforts were honored in 1982 when she received the Capt. Alexander G. B. Grosvenor Award, presented as a recognition of significant, ongoing volunteer contributions to the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron. A long-time member of Annapolis Yacht Club and a past member of EYC, in 1992 she was one of the first recipients of the Robert Brainerd Raven Eastport Yacht Club Race Committee Trophy, which is awarded as merited for extraordinary service.
Visitation will be Thursday evening, 7-9 p.m., with a viewing Friday morning, 9:30-10:30 a.m., at Taylor Funeral Home in Annapolis. Services will be held at St. Anne's Church in Annapolis on Friday at 11:30 a.m., with interment to follow in the Naval Academy Cemetery.
ORACLE BMW RACING TEAM CLOTHING
You can now buy official Oracle BMW Racing Team Clothing at AmericasCupStore.com. The official online superstore of the America's Cup 2003 is also selling Team New Zealand, Victory Challenge, GBR Challenge, Alinghi and Le Defi official team clothing. America's Cup 2003 clothing, Replica Silverware, and accessories including Official Programs are also available. You can order from the comfort of your home or office with worldwide delivery at low freight rates.
FOR THE RECORD
Skipper Steve Fossett reported tonight that the anticipated wind reduction has been worse than expected - in fact for the past 30 minutes they have been nearly becalmed. Steve Fossett said, "The Low pressure system we were sailing on has left the area. We are stuck in a high pressure ridge of slack winds until the next low approaches. We are sailing slowly south in hopes of reaching the wind sooner. If the new Low arrives early enough Thursday, we'll be fine - if it doesn't, we're not going to get this record back this time."
Other minor problems have also struck. "About the time we started worrying about the loss of wind, a succession of minor problems arose. The genniker sheet broke, we snagged some commercial fishing gear - and even the Head broke! The crew easily fixed all these problems, although the fishing lines we were unable to cut away have now jammed our starboard daggarboard in the up positon - but this is not of concern." With time on his hands waiting for fresh winds, Fossett mused on the nature of this record: "After being so far ahead of the required pace, I must wonder if we will be jinxed with unfavorable winds and other problems." - www.fossettchallenge.com
The Class 2 yachts are racing again - leaving port in the order they arrived. After five days in port, American sailor Brad van Liew sailing Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America was the first to leave the harbor in Bayona, Spain and head out to sea. The rest were close behind. Conditions are still sloppy with 10 footers waves or so, but a nice 17 knots from the west at the moment. The lashing gales and big seas that have been pounding the coast of Spain for the last few days, have subsided finally allowing the yachts to continue on to Cape Town.
While all the Class 2 yachts are now back at sea, two Class 1 boats remain in port. Bruce Schwab, skipper of Ocean Planet has decided to leave on Thursday rather than today in order to carry out some final work on his boat. Determined to have the boat back at 100% before pressing on to Cape Town, Bruce has opted to enjoy the hospitality of the El Monte Real Club de Yates, the local yacht club in Bayona, for one more day. The other yacht not racing is Tisali. Simone Bianchetti remains in Spain while he and his team try and figure out how to get a replacement mast. - Brian Hancock
Standings Fleet Positions 2200 UTC October 23, 2002 - CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 5130 miles from finish; 2. Pindar, Emma Richards, 5413 mff; 3. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 5432 mff; 4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 5556 mff; (Ocean Planet & Tiscali are in port). All boats CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 6648 mff; 2 Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 6662 mff; 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 6669 mff; 4. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 6669 mff. - www.aroundalone.com
LIGHTNING FALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Frigid Digit Lightning Fall Championship, Annapolis, MD, October 19-20 (47 Boats): 1st Jody Swanson, 7 pts; 2. David Starck, 17 pts; 3. Allan Terhune, 24 pts; Full Results: www.lightningclass.org
RHODES 19 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, LA. (31 boats) - Benz Faget, using more bullets than an old-west gunslinger, won the Rhodes 19 National Championship with a 10 ¸ point margin over Shan McAdoo, who took the second place Cressy Trophy. Bob Shimek earned the Don Quixote award for third place, just a point and a quarter behind McAdoo. Complete results and pictures: www.rhodes19.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
What a difference 30 years makes - 1972: Long hair / 2002: Longing for hair.