SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1188 - October 30, 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.
WE HAVE A PROBLEM ...
Early in Round Robin 2, races were lost because of too much breeze. There was a different problem on Tuesday - not enough wind. At the end of the day, only two of the scheduled eight races were completed. Unless they install running lights on the challenger's boats, the race committee is really going to have a problem trying to complete this round of races within the schedule.
Squalls streaking across the Hauraki Gulf meant a two-hour postponement on both race courses before action resumed on the shorter, 12.5 mile Course B. Once racing got underway, frustration soon set in as the wind died and massive wind shifts gave fits to tacticians, sailors and Race Officers alike. Leg time limits saved OneWorld and Victory Challenge who were losing their matches when the leading boats (Team Dennis Conner & Oracle BMW Racing) ran out of time to cross the finish line. All Flight Six matches were postponed without starting. - www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com
Mascalzone Latino will be kicking themselves after a gybing blunder in their final run saw them hand the victory on a platter to their Italian rivals Prada. The Latin rascals were poised for the biggest upset in this year's Louis Vuitton Cup on Tuesday after leading Prada around all three marks in the shortened course, and with a nine boat length advantage down the final run, until disaster struck and a messy gybe saw their spinnaker tangle just metres from the line. The Italian underdogs sat helpless as Prada powered past them. - Fiona McIlroy and Daryl Fenemor, nzoom website, full story: americascup.nzoom.com
Alinghi maintained a comfortable lead throughout this match to only just finish inside of the 45 minute time limit for completion of each leg. The match is subject to a protest by GBR against the race committee regarding the set of the second mark on Course Juliet. - Cup Views website, cupviews.com
Prada defeated Mascalzone Latino by 1 minute, 42 seconds
Alinghi defeated GBR Challenge by 7 minutes, 45 seconds
OneWorld vs. Team Dennis Conner - abandoned
Victory Challenge vs. Oracle BMW Racing - abandoned
11-1 Alinghi Challenge
10-1 OneWorld Challenge*
8-4 Prada Challenge
6-4 Oracle BMW Racing
6-5 Victory Challenge
5-6 GBR Challenge
4-7 Team Dennis Conner
1-12 Mascalzone Latino
0-11 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.
Leader Bernard Stamm reported in from Bobst Group-Armor Lux that he has 'touch wood' found a way out of the Doldrums, and is currently sailing upwind at 10 knots again. "Statistically, the Doldrums are the most narrow at around 26 degrees West. The more to the West you position yourself, the better chance you have to pass through without any real problems, however you are then not so well placed to catch the Southern Trades. So it's all about finding a happy compromise."
Class 2 leader Brad van Liew on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America is sailing through the Canary Islands. The wind is very light and although it was not Brad's intentions to sail through the island group, the light winds have given him no option.
Positions 2200 UTC October 29, 2002 - CLASS 1:
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 4092 miles from finish
2. Pindar, Emma Richards, 181 miles behind leader
3. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 207 mbl
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 268 mbl
5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 1828 mbl
6. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 2708 mbl
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 5785 miles from finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 177 mbl
3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 177 mbl
4. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 190 mbl
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 198 mbl
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 255 mbl
Event website: www.aroundalone.com
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* The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has extended the deadline for lodgement of Applications to Enter the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race by two weeks to Friday, 15 November. The deadline originally for the 630 nautical mile ocean classic was to have been by 5 PM this Friday, 1 November. Sydney based Sydney 38s Obsession (Peter Mooney) and Next, skippered by Natasha Henley-Smith, have announced they will compete and the Club is expecting further entries from Sydney 38 owners keen compete in a real blue water challenge in a one design format.
* Greenpeace activists inflated a 15 metre high balloon bomb outside the French base in the Viaduct Basin Tuesday morning. The inflatable bomb was tethered to large yellow barrels marked Areva -the French nuclear company sponsoring the French entry in the Louis Vuitton yacht race - and radiation symbols.
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 J. Joseph Bainton (edited to our 250-word limit): The views expressed by President Henderson would be more persuasive if ISAF did not claim sole ownership of the word "World" when used in conjunction with a sailing event. Again, the issue is really about money. Those having any doubt need only read Appendix K3.1, which suspends for two years eligibility to compete in any ISAF sanctioned event if a sailor competes in a "prohibited event." A "prohibited event" is any event at which money can be made without giving ISAF its "taste," or an event having the temerity to use the phrase "World Championship" without express permission of ISAF - again for a price.
In order to benefit from the alleged prestige of the certification mark "ISAF sanctioned event," ISAF's standards must be met whatever they are at the time, but is that the prestige is always worth the price? Although I am not sure I understand President Henderson's apparent praise for classes like the Taser, etc., if he is acknowledging the right of some classes to go their separate way from the intrusions of ISAF, then let him urge the repeal of Appendix K. Doing so would permit all sailors to vote with their feet as between ISAF's new and seemingly ever changing vision of our sport and those classes and event sponsors holding more traditional or otherwise different views without forfeiting the right to sail ISAF events as the price of preferring on occasion to participate in events that do not seek ISAF sanction.
* From Ray Wulff: If chaos is the choice over the heavy hand of Mr. Henderson's personal crusade, I'll take chaos in a heartbeat. I would recommend to the J/22 to pull out of ISAF if this is how they are going to police the waters. Mr. Henderson states," The naive sailors who say the classes know what is best and should be autonomous have not lived in the world of top International Racing." I think Mr. Henderson is the naive one on this point. I guess in Mr. Henderson's world, a traffic cop should manage F-1 or NASCAR.
* From Marc Skipwith: Scuttlebutt is fun to read these days, more so than ever with the issues and controversy of proposed changes by ISAF. There was one change that I would support right away, and I think most of our friend Scuttlebutt readers would too, the "age" rule. How about a maximum "age" rule? Once you reach the age of fifty five, you automatically have to retire from ISAF!
* From Michael Bistany: I would have to agree with Stuart Hebb. This is in regards to his comment having all the AC competitors on the line. How many seats would be filled for the Indy 500 or the Daytona 500 if there were 2 cars on the line? Only two sponsors - not good for NASCAR. Jeff Gordon vs Rusty Wallace. ZZZZZZZZZZZ. Nitey-nite.
* From Tom Linskey (re Stuart Hebb's preference for fleet racing vs. match racing in the America's Cup) Stuart Hebb is absolutely right, and I suspect that a lot of sailors agree with you. Match racing is a deadly dull thing to watch. The fleet racing regatta in Fremantle prior to the A. Cup had more oohs and aahs than an entire season of match racing.
As well, a fleet-racing America's Cup would be much, much harder to win that the present match racing format. Imagine, in a 10-race, 12-boat fleet-racing series, as one boat got close to winning there'd be 11 boats all over him....it's a lot easier to beat one boat, isn't it? We've had 137 years of watching the leading boat pound the trailing boat to the tune of deltas from 2 to 4 minutes, and the conclusion is inescapable: match racing just about guarantees a boring sporting event. As we all know, in 99% of the matches it's all over a few minutes after the start. Then, on the spectator boats and behind the TV sets, it's snooze time.
* From: Ed von Wolffersdorff :Concerning Stuart Hebb's comments concerning America's Cup Racing; I would like to say "Right On Stuart!" I have witnessed more good, exciting, interesting and close stem to stem sailing in just about every one design race that I have followed than you will ever, ever find in a two boat race. Take a fleet of one designs on the starting line and follow it up the windward legs, reaches, down wind runs, mark rounding and that dash to the finish. You will see more great boat handling and strategy in one such one design race than what you will see in a life time of match racing.
* From Bob Smahay: It was with great pleasure that I read Stuart Hebb's comments on the lack of excitement generated by the actual racing of the America's cup. I love to race and love to watch any form of sailing, but I find myself losing interest almost immediately in the match racing associated with the America's Cup.
I watched a race recently that the boats were never more than 24 seconds apart, and even then the race was boring, you can imagine how long and drawn out it becomes when a boat gets a full minute lead. It seems to me fleet racing would be a much better way to showcase these accelerating boats. Eliminating the wind speed limits would diversify the fleet and add additional excitement.
* From Hank Evans: Watching Victory Challenge and Stars and Stripes sailing backwards after the dial up last evening, it occurs that there must be a better way to start. I have given up trying to explain this to my wife, who is an accomplished racing sailor and helmswoman of 30 years. I'm not sure I can explain it to myself. Seeing two fast racing yachts struggling to drive backwards at 1 or 2 knots is ridiculous and boring. Surely the sailing gurus could up with something more exciting. At least something with the boats going the direction they were designed to go - forward.
In the most sensational story to break of the Louis Vuitton Cup, Larry Ellison's Oracle BMW syndicate has carried out their threat and protested Stars & Stripes for apparently stalling their scheduled race today out on the Hauraki Gulf. The exact transcript reads thus:
The incident occurred at approx 1545 today. USA-76 believes USA-66 broke RRS 2 in that:
- USA-66 radioed the Race Committee and stated that that they were damaged in the first race.
- USA-66 in fact was not damaged during the first race today.
- USA-66 used this ploy in an attempt to get today's afternoon race with USA-76 "killed" rather than using their one-time per round 45 minute postponement.
- USA-66 failed to comply with recognised principles of fair play and sportsmanship
Ouch! At the press conference afterwards, Team Dennis Conner sent the big man's long time lieutenant and operations manager Bill Trenkle, who managed to keep his head down before I asked: "The inference in the Oracle protest is that you've employed a little bit of gamesmanship and that you "killed" the race. You came off a pretty bad loss this morning against the Swedish and the boat doesn't look to be going great in heavy winds, so is there any truth to that gamesmanship after all you've been with Dennis Conner for quite a number of years?"
Trenkle: "The umpires came to the boat and the jury came to the boat so they could see that we had a problem. Of course they were anxious to go racing and were anxious to go racing too and they feel cheated at not having a go- but if you can't go at 100 per cent then the rules state you don't have to race. We could limp around the racecourse but that wouldn't accomplish much either. They can say what they want but we know what happened and it happened to other boats as well, so they shouldn't be so quick to make comments like that." - Magnus Wheatley, Yacht and Yachting website, full story: www.yachtsandyachting.com/default2.asp?section=11&article=8280
ORACLE BMW RACING TEAM CLOTHING
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A two-day meeting of international athletes, gathered at the initiative of the IOC Athletes' Commission, has concluded in Lausanne with support for the fight against doping and a recognition of the role that athletes can play in educating young people.
Led by Olympic gold medallist, six-times pole vault world champion and recently elected IOC Athletes' Commission Chairman Sergey Bubka, this first International Athletes' Forum gathered together Athletes' Commissions of International Federations (IFs) and Continental NOC Associations, thus strengthening links between the sports bodies and establishing a communication network between athletes. IFs which do not have an Athletes' Commission were also given the opportunity to send an athletes' representative, and there was a total of 56 participants from 30 out of the 35 Olympic International Federations and all five Continental NOC Associations.
On conclusion of the discussions on doping, the participants agreed on the need for athletes to assume total responsibility for the intake of any substance that could result in a positive doping test; encouraged sports authorities to provide proper documentation for asthmatic conditions and testing prior to competition; and endorsed the position of not allowing the use of oxygen tents. On discussion about the way athletes manage their career once they retire from competition, it was acknowledged that athletes had an important role to play in educating young people and that this would give them the chance to contribute to the promotion of the sport that launched their careers. This idea was implemented on Sunday afternoon when young promising athletes from local sports clubs were given the opportunity to meet the athletes attending the Forum during a Q&A session. - full story: www.olympic.org/uk/news/publications/press_uk.asp?release=313
After consultation with meteorology experts and Southern Ocean fishermen, the Antarctica Cup Race has been rescheduled to start on 5 March 2005 when weather conditions should be more favourable than a December-January schedule for the event. Ron Holland will design the one-design boats with input from sailors experienced in Southern Ocean conditions. A larger boat than the planned 82-foot maxi is under consideration. The final decision will be made in consultation with the sailors who will need to master the big boats for around 40 days in Southern Ocean conditions. Presently, slots have been made by groups from the USA, Netherlands, Australia and Britain. - www.antarcticacup.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* October 28: Team Racing Umpire Clinic, in connection with the Hinman Team Racing championship, Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, LA. -
* November 13-16: Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. - www.farr40.org
* January 15, 2003: Ft. Lauderdale - Key West Race, Storm Trysail Club. - www.stormtrysail.org
* January 20-24, 2003: Nova Trading Key West Regatta. PHRF (175 and lower) , one-design and IMS classes of 24 to 85 feet LOA. The entry limit is 350, and the first entry deadline is Dec. 11 at 1700 EST. - www.Premiere-Racing.com
* February 7, 2003: Montego Bay Race, Ft. Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Storm Trysail Club. - www.stormtrysail.org
* September 27-October 3, 2003: Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship, Annapolis YC Annapolis, Md. A five-day, 11-race format in J/22s. www.ussailing.org/riwkc/ & www.annapolisyc.com/rolexkeelboats
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.