SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1192 - November 5, 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.
ETCHELLS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand: Brisbane's North Sail sailmaker Mark Bradford was in superb form for Day One of the Gulf Harbour Yacht Club 2002 Waiwera Infinity Water Etchells World Championship yesterday, taking two first places. Britain's Stuart Childerley started his series with two second places.
Blustery conditions yesterday produced more than a fair share of gear breakages and a fully booked protest room.
This morning, Day Two saw brisk westerlies, and Childerly took first place in the first scheduled race of the day, giving him an impressive 2,2,1 record that puts him firmly in the lead. Mark Bradford took a relatively disappointing 13th place, but fared far better than Dennis Conner, who took a 40th, with yesterday's fifth place holder Brian Coxon taking a 49st place. Race 4 was about to start at press time. -- Report by Rob Kothe on Sail-World.com:
Top ten after three races (preliminary results):
Place, Skipper, Race1, Race2, Race3, Points
1. Stuart Childerley, GBR, 2, 2, 1, 5.0
2. Mark Bradford, AUS, 1, 1, 13, 15.0
3. Cameron Thorpe, NZL, 4, 13, 6, 23.0
4. Nick Rogers, AUS, 21, 4, 7, 32.0
5. John Bertrand, AUS, 17, 7, 11, 35.0
6. Cameron Miles, AUS, 26, 8, 3, 37.0
7. Peter McNeill, AUS, 8, 17, 15, 40.0
8. Iain Murray, AUS, 40, 3, 10, 53.0
9. Dennis Conner, USA, 10, 9, 40, 59.0
10. Barry Fairley, AUS, 20, 15, 26, 61.0
Event site: www.etchells.org.nz/2002_worlds.htm
Even the staunchest Prada fans were a little concerned after their round robin one efforts left the defending champions wallowing in fourth equal.
But the Italians have been the biggest success story of round robin two, bounding up the leaderboard and firmly into the top four over the last week.
While many were shocked by the abrupt firing of head designer Doug Peterson, just days into the Louis Vuitton Cup racing, it seems to have been the best decision Prada head Patrizio Bertelli could have made.
The modifications to ITA74, made between the two round robins, have been the turning point in Prada's campaign, and one can only wonder what speed the even more heavily modified ITA80 will produce, if it makes an appearance in the quarterfinals.
The same cannot be said for the American crew on board OneWorld, who started their Louis Vuitton Cup campaign with a hiss and a roar only to fizzle out in round robin two.
GBR Challenge skipper Ian Walker thinks OneWorld have definitely slowed down.
"I don't know if they've changed anything or if the rest of the fleet's sped up compared to them but it appears to be that they've struggled in a lot of races that in the first round robin they took very easily." -- Fiona McIlroy, full article at americascup.nzoom.com
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SYDNEY TO HOBART
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has now received more than 50 Applications to Enter the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with its sights set on a fleet of 60 setting sail in the 630 nautical mile ocean challenge on Boxing Day, 26 December.
The Club's decision to extend the deadline for nominations until 15 November has seen a late upsurge, including enquiries from overseas yachtsmen looking to charter local boats.
While the CYCA has received Applications to Enter from six overseas nations, Great Britain, the USA, New Zealand, Sweden and, late last week, from the Netherlands and France, of great significance is the strong support from boat owners throughout Australia.
Of the 51 boats now on the list, 44 are Australian, from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, with late entries expected from South Australia.
The latest international entries for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart are that of Quiddity, a Grand Soleil 43 which a young Dutch couple have cruised 17,000 nautical miles from the Netherlands to Australia, and a French crew who have chartered the Beneteau 47,7, Savoir Faire, and will sail it as Peugeot Racing - Savoir Faire. -- Peter Campbell
Bitter End YC, Virgin Gorda, BVI - There was bright sun on the day of the elimination series for Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship, but the lighter than normal winds on Virgin Gorda's North Sound prompted several competitors to switch classes at the last minute, as they looked for a racing edge that might propel them into regatta's finals. The rules are very specific - only the top two skippers from each class advanced. All others became spectators for the Club Championship Finals, which will be held in Rhodes 19s on Thursday.
Final Results: Hobie Waves: 1; Tom Leweck, 2. Keith Musto, 3. Rod Johnstone; Laser: 1. Andy Burdick, 2. Keith Musto, 3. Bob Burgess; Rhodes 19: 1. Kristen Lane, 2. Mary Jordon. - www.beyc.com
1D35 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Miami, FL, Nov 1-3: Windquest captured her second consecutive National Championship on Sunday by a single point, and the manner in which she did that shows why it was a deserved win. Clawing back from two over early starts to solid finishes showed good boat speed and typical John Bertrand tactical soothsaying. Windquest was clearly the fastest boat downwind all regatta, and was consistently strong upwind as well, especially in the lighter air. A well deserved win. Dick DeVos has another year to polish the beautiful Tiffany perpetual trophy, and perhaps figure out how it got out of round during shipping.
Top five final results:
1. Windquest, Dick Devos, 20 points
2. Smiling Bulldog, Garth Dennis, 22
3. Jacaibon, John Musa, 28
4. Victory,Buddy Cribb Jr.,31
5. roXanne, Frank Meadows III, 32
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 Kevin Dibley - Dibley Marine Architects I had the pleasure of watching the first and second race of the Etchell World Championships today off Gulf Harbour in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand.
A 100+ boats on the startline, 20+ knots of gusty winds, and a real spread at the finishes. The most impressive time was when they all reached into the Gulf Harbour entrance, which is a 70' wide channel about a 1000' long. A parade of Etchell's four boats deep that lasted 20 minutes. The parade included Conner; Bertram, Sir James Hardey. Wow. P.S: Go Team Bentzen [Erik, Fritz and Brian]
* From Ken Guyer: Ron Katz stated a bit incorrectly that the schooner America sailed against a fleet of British boats to win the first America's Cup.
Not so entirely. The race "America" won was the 100 Guinea Cup. The trophy is what became the America's Cup named after the schooner. An event created in New York with a Deed of Trust which laid out the format for the America's Cup.That format was match racing the defender against a challenger.
* From Mark Gaudio: Hats of to Larry Pierce for having the guts to call'em like he sees'em in Butt # 1191. Its easy for the media to criticize, and hard for them to give Praise, when they have rammed their size 15 shoes in their mouth, AGAIN!...I suppose Mr. Bertellii deserves some credit after all. Maybe shoes and yachting have more in common that we previously thought. One thing's for sure...its easy to overpay for both...you don't always get what you pay for.
* From George Bailey: Scuttlebutt readers continue to ponder how to market sailboat racing. An article on professional golfers in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated noted "Beem's triumph . . . instantly resonated with Joe Six Pack, for whom Woods is too corporate, Mekelson too slick, Duval too tortured and Love too preppy . . . Beem scored a rare pop-culture crossover" (Shipnuck, SI, 9/9/02. p. 54).
This typical bit of professional sports writing illustrates a significant gap between sport marketing strategies common in other professional sports and those used to market sailboat racing. Until individual sailors are marketed to specific groups, so that success "instantly resonates with . . . (pick your favorite market niche)" professional sailboat racing has little chance of being taken seriously either by the public or by major news outlets.
The question that should be explored right now is which AC sailors are best marketed to Joe Six Pack, which as "corporate," which as "slick," which as "preppy," and especially which as "tortured." The current "playoffs" present a perfect opportunity to get started. Once target markets are assigned to key personalities on the AC boats, the fun begins (getting the public to buy in).
* From Kim Couranz: Quick correction regarding this past weekend's J/24 East Coast Championship, in case it's something you'd like to note--the regatta is actually hosted by a ton of great volunteers from J/24 Fleet 8, as well as three sailing clubs. Severn Sailing Association provides the bulk of the fantastic RC staff and boats and facilities, with great support from Eastport Yacht Club and Annapolis Yacht Club; out-of-town boats launch and dock at all three clubs. But primarily, it's the Fleet 8 volunteers--members of SSA, EYC, and AYC (and I imagine other sailing organizations as well!) who make this event a high-quality regatta, both on and off the water, year after year. (And whoever was the volunteer in charge of ordering up the good breeze, PLEASE volunteer again next year!)
* From Laurence Mead: I have been changing countries and building a new house, hence off the mailing list for a while but I come back after one year and the first crop of letters I read are - like the last ones when I left Scuttlebutt - raging against ISAF and it's dictatorial ways...says something about the those that lead our sport.
As regards making match racing at the America's Cup more interesting, we devised a system in Hong Kong where a challenge was of a fixed time period (in our case 75minutes in 23 foot boats) and made up of multiple short races. The boat losing any particular individual "race" can retire at any point and request another "race". The boat with the most wins on the board when the time limit expires is the winner....this stops processional races instantly! The boat leading at the last rounded mark of the race underway at the expiry of the time limit is the winner of the last race, which is also the tie break if needed.
Finally, in response to Will Wagner, in my opinion 18 foot skiff sailors are the most "in touch with the boat" sailors in the world.
* From Ian Duff: The AC is sure boring, as is most match racing, from a spectator's view. However, fleet racing doesn't deliver what I understand to be the intent of the Cup at all, namely one country holding the cup, and then defending it against the single best team the rest of the world has to offer. Early history has some fleet racing examples, but the recent history of the Cup is always one Defender against one Challenger.
Match racing is what makes this boring, not the mano-a-mano. How about going to a team race format? It still can have the LV Cup to select one challenging team, then a match between the challenging team and the defending team. It'd sure be more exciting from a spectator's point of view, and retain the "one challenger vs one defender in the final" philosophy.
Can you imagine two teams of three IACC yachts each dueling about in the Hauraki Gulf? WOW! There'd be lots for Gary Jobson to comment on, lots for the TV cameras to follow...it'd be like a good Tom Clancy novel, lots of (on the water) plot lines to follow.
QUALITY MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
What do Oracle and Prada have in common? Both rely on the dependable Raider RIB by Aquapro to ride the waves of the Hauraki Gulf. Built in New Zealand to handle the challenge of the gulf, these RIBs are the go anywhere boat for everywhere. Selected as the support RIB boat for the 2003 Terra Nova Trading Race Week in Key West, they make the ideal regatta support boat. Visit us online at www.raiderboat.com or call Jeff Brown at (619) 709-0697 - don't miss the revolution!
THE SEVENTEENTH MANWOMAN
Being the 17th man is a coveted honour in the Cup world. The spot is reserved for guests of honour, syndicate owners, celebrities, big sponsors and the like. In the last Cup, Steffi Graf and Prince Michael of Kent took their places with AmericaOne and Le Defi. During training, the 17th spots have gone to names ranging from Chelsea Clinton to Helen Clark.
On board Wight Lightning, the 17th spot has been regularly filled by syndicate head, Peter Harrison. And why not? If you shelled out £22 million of your own money to enter a team you'd want your turn at the back of the boat, wouldn't you? With a lifelong dream of sailing in the America's Cup not being entirely satiated by the fact that Harrison is not a fully fledged professional sailor, getting on to the race boat is only possible as the 17th silent crew member.
But, on Saturday Peter gave his daughter Julia the job. "It was amazing" says Julia. "It was so exciting on the start - whizzing around like gladiators sizing each other up. It was legions away from watching it on TV."
The 17th man cannot be listed as crew or be a professional sailor. This excludes people such as Larry Ellison or Dennis Conner from filling the position.
Looking at the list of famous people coming into town raises suspicion over whether they will be invited on board at all. Look out for Paul Allen, the Prince and Princess of Belgium, Anna Kournikova...-- Emma Sutcliffe, www.louisvuittoncup.com
* Vanguard Sailboats, whose portfolio includes the Sunfish and Laser brands, is expanding its Portsmouth, US production facilities.
Vanguard has leased the former Escape Sailboats factory and plans to expand their production operation into the new space by the end of the year. Vanguard currently occupies 50,000 sq ft. The additional space will add approximately 20,000 sq ft to the facility. Most of the new space will be refurbished into manufacturing space. -- IBI News, www.ibinews.com
* Next year's Atlantic Sail Expo comes to Atlantic City ahead of schedule. The four-day rendezvous for sailors, traditionally held in late January, has been moved to early January dates.
Atlantic Sail Expo 2003 opens at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Thursday, January 9 and runs until Sunday, January 12. According to show organiser Scot West, Executive director of Sail America, the end-of- January dates of the Atlantic City show came amidst a rush of late January events that many sailors and members of the sailing industry attended. The new dates alleviate the previous time clash with Terra Nova Trading Key West Race Week 2003 and the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show. - IBI News, www.ibinews.com
ICSA NORTH AMERICAN SLOOP CHAMPIONSHIP
Newport, RI - The College of Charleston beat nine other schools to win the 2002-2003 ICSA North American Sloop Championship for the Cornelius Shields Sr. Trophy. The three-day event, hosted by the New York Yacht Club(NYYC) and Brown University, was held November 1-3 at the NYYC's Harbour Court.
Charleston sailed consistently enough to win with a second in the last race to Hobart's eighth. That was sufficient to break a tie with Hobart. Third was the University of Minnesota; fourth, US Naval Academy; fifth, Southern California; sixth, Brown University; seventh, Wisconsin; eighth, University of Rhode Island; ninth, University of Texas and tenth, Western Washington.
Sailing for Charleston were David Blouin, John Bawden, Boggie Dabney, and Thomas Loxtrel.
Friday and Saturday were windy and cold -- ripped spinnakers on the Sonars being the major casualty. Sunday was very cold; however, the breeze from the north died during the day, and playing the current proved a key.
For more information see nyyc.org
CARIBBEAN 1500 CUP
Forty seven boats set sail from Hampton Virginia headed for Tortola, British Virgin Islands on Sunday November 3. This is the 13th running of this classic rally, organized by Steve Black with sponsorship from West Marine.
Bluewater Sailing magazine Senior Editor Greg Jones is aboard a brand new Island Packet 485 for a 1500 mile sea test during the rally, and is reporting daily at www.carib1500.com
2002 BLUENOSE LIGHTNING REGATTA
Nashville, Tennessee, Nov 2-3, 40 Boats:
1. David Starck, Tom Starck, Brian Starck 11 pts
2. Sean Fidler, Eric Wulf, Suzie Wulf 12 pts
3. Richard Hallagan, Hendrick Ten Eyck, John Steiner 12 pts.
Full Results: www.lightningclass.org
In yesterday's 'Butt 1191 we ran a results scoreboard for the Louis Vuitton Cup from CNN Inside Europe at the end of our report, the editorial portion of which was from the Louis Vuitton Cup website. CNN had it wrong, long story short, your editor should have caught it, and anyone who thought that the error was from the louisvuittoncup.com website was, well.. wrong.
THE (GUEST) CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
You have no right to whine about government if you don't vote. Today is election day in the USA. GO VOTE.