SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1195 - November 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.
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand: The weather forecast for the Hauraki Gulf for Friday is southwest 10 knots rising to 20-25 knots about midday. There is currently 15 knots of southwesterly with mixed patches of overcast and showers.
On this, Day 4 of the 2002 Waiwera Infinity Water Etchell World's in Auckland New Zealand, Principal Race Officer John Parish is expecting to get two races today.
The 1200 metre line, even with an observer boat in the middle is testing for race officials and competitors alike. So far this morning there have been two general recalls and the black flag is now flying.
The series leader and reigning world Champion Stuart Childerley was caught in race 5 yesterday with the unexpected shift to the right. He fought his way back from 25th at the first mark to 9th after 5 legs. His record now stands at 2,2,1,1,9
The only sailor who could possibly catch him, it would seem is Australia's Mark Bradford. Bradford has now beaten Childerley in three of the five races. His series record 1,1,14,11,5 means that Childerley needs to blow up twice in the four remaining races, which seems less than likely. -- Rob Kothe in Sail-world.com
Top ten after five races (no discard)
1. Stuart Childerley GBR, 15.0
2. Mark Bradford AUS, 32.0
3. John Bertrand AUS, 54.0
4. Peter McNeill AUS, 58.0
5. Cameron Miles AUS, 73.0
6. Nick Rogers AUS, 74.0
7. Dennis Conner NZL, 88.0
8. Lindsay Kennedy NZL, 111.0
9. Julian Plante AUS, 116.0
10. Lucas Down AUS, 116.0
DRUG TESTING AT THE LOUIS VUITTON CUP
America's Cup sailors are to be drug tested for the first time under an agreement being finalised between yachting officials and the New Zealand Sports Drug Agency.
Both banned performance-enhancing drugs and recreational drugs such as cocaine or amphetamines would be included. Team New Zealand and the challengers have welcomed the planned testing, saying the high-profile event must be shown to be clean.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is expected to endorse the testing regime soon so it can be in place at least by next month's semifinals of the challenger series.
Louis Vuitton regatta director Dyer Jones said the possibility of testing had been written into the racing conditions so sailors and syndicates had been on notice to expect it.
He said if a sailor returned positive A and B tests, he would be banned from racing and referred to ISAF and national yachting organisations for disciplinary hearings.
However, a boat would not be thrown out of the cup if a sailor failed a test.
A syndicate would be affected only if it breached fair play rules, such as being shown to have supplied the sailor with a banned substance. -- Helen Tunnah, New Zealand Herald, nzherald.co.nz/americascup
THIRD BOW READY FOR PRADA?
ITA 80 sailed today for the first time after it underwent extensive modifications here in Auckland during the past weeks. It, too, has a knuckle bow, pioneered by Team New Zealand 2000, and now almost universally adopted. ITA 74 was previously modified after Round One.
A fresh shore breeze was blowing from the West on the Hauraki Gulf and the sea was quite flat, several boats from different syndicates were out practicing or testing. Francesco de Angelis and his men started the tuning and testing of the boat in its new configuration.
In the afternoon also ITA 74 went out and the two boats sailed together. The crew still has a few days to complete tuning, testing and comparisons before the start of the Quarter Finals, Tuesday November 12.
Indicative of how hard the Italians are pushing is that a third bow has been built by Paul Hakes in Wellington, at the bottom of the North Island and supposedly away from prying eyes.
The supposition is that Prada's designers have tank-tested more bow shapes and the spare is available for grafting on once ITA 74 has been evaluated against ITA 80. -- Hauraki News, www.hauraki-news.com/LatestNews/LatestNews.htm, citing Prada and the Telegraph.
* New photos of Prada's ITA 80:
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Disaster struck for Emma Richards on Pindar when her main halyard broke. She successfully completed a solo mast climb to make repairs:
"It was horrible, just horrible, the most terrifying experience of my life. I went up the mast with a fairly steady breeze of 10 knots, but by the time I'd reached the top, this has built to 25 knots, with the wind constantly shifting direction. The mast was swinging back and forth, as much as 20-feet either side. I was blown upside down in my climbing harness, back to front and thrown all over the place. I am bruised all over from being pounded against the mast all up my arms, all along my ribs and my legs are totally battered. My head smashed against the mast a few times, so thank god I was wearing a crash helmet.
I was so scared. It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, let alone my sailing career. It was a total horror-show, however, I have now re-hoisted the main, which took every ounce of energy I had left and more, but its done now."
And then the second bit of bad new hit. It wasn't unexpected since for the better part of 14 hours Pindar had been running without a mainsail, but nonetheless it must have hurt to see that Thierry Dubois on Solidaires had overtaken her.
Class 1 - Open 60s
1. Bobst Group, Bernard Stamm, 1378 miles to finish of leg 2 in Capetown
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 307 miles to leader
3. Pindar, Emma Richards, 335 nm
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 660 nm
5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2901 nm
Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 5421, still in Spain for repairs
Class 2 - 50s and 40s
1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, Brad Van Liew, 4023 miles to finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 435 miles to leader
3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 496 nm
4. Spirit of Yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 536 nm
5. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 559 nm
6. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 564 nm
CALM BEFORE THE STORM: THE ROUTE DU RHUM
Excerpt from one of Yachting Worlds pre-event articles:
In the comparative tranquility of the press centre in St Malo this morning, Ellen MacArthur, Mike Golding, Roland Jourdain and Nick Moloney answered questions about the Route du Rhum. Placidly, they all agreed that the first objective would be to get west and that, yes, it would be quite hard. But nothing put that into perspective quite like the scene through the window behind them, as breakers reverberated off the sea wall and broke in fusillades of spray, inundating the road that leads to the walled town.
The forecast is unrelenting, and if the monohull skippers get away on Saturday in 25-30 knots from the west they can count themselves lucky. The prediction is for stronger winds on Sunday for the multihull start, which could keep building from the west during the early part of next week. If that is the case, the fleet is in for a pounding. There is a palpable undertow of trepidation.
You don't need to be a soothsayer to foresee a serious shakeout of the fleet. A number of the 59 boats in the race are newly built and relatively little tested, or newly chartered or bought. Statistically, a third of the Route du Rhum fleet retires with damage, and for the 60ft trimarans in particular, this has been a bad year for staying the course.
Full story on Yachting World's website:
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 Charles Russell: I think the ongoing complaining about how boring match racing is (including the AC) is both right and wrong. It is right that the viewing of the racing, either from a spectator boat or through a TV screen, is boring to most people - except those who are true fans and/or experienced sailors/match racers. Much like watching chess on TV is really boring to all except those who can appreciate what they are seeing.
However, viewing match racing is, as most sailors know, completely unrelated to the sensations of participating. Match racing in fairly even boats is one of life's truly exciting sporting activities. It is physically and mentally demanding, as well. But, even with the onboard cameras and audio very little of this makes it through the TV tube - however, this experience would be greatly enhanced if the commentators would simply stop talking sometimes and let the viewer actually listen to the discourse (and yelling) between some of the best sailors/tacticians in the world.
The last fun TV of AC racing was 2000 with the exciting and very aggressive Paul Cayard duking it out with Prada in the LV finals - collisions, fouls and all. Before that was 1987 in Fremantle with 12 meter boats slogging through the big seas and winds - wonderful footage that even a novice fan could enjoy. TV can't translate any of the action - especially in the flat waters in Auckland. Hope OLN isn't reading this!
* From Chris Parkinson: I refer your readers to the "official" Americas Cup web site which contains a copy of the poster advertising the events of the regatta - http://www.americascup.yahoo.com/story226.html.
With difficulty I have deciphered the text below the announcement relating to the R.Y.S. £100 Cup.
"Open to Yachts belonging to the Clubs of all Nations, to close at Midnight, August 16th
No Time allowed for Tonnage. Three Vessels must enter and start for each Prize, or no Race."
I can understand the confusion which has arisen over time regarding the original name of the cup. Three cups in all were competed for [according to the poster] at the regatta.
1. Her Majesty's Cup - for large class cutters of the RYS 105 tons and above etc.
2. His Royal Highness Prince Albert's Cup - for large class RYS schooners 140 tons and above etc.
3. The RYS £100 Cup - [covered above - eventually to become the "Auld Mug"]
The inscription, engraved on the base after the cup was won: "100 Guinea Cup Won August 22nd 1851 at Cowes England by Yacht America at the Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta" This simple error by whoever instructed the engraver [or the engraver himself?] has been responsible for the continuing argument.
* From John Rousmaniere: My friend Christian Fevrier rightly finds disagreement between what I said the other day in Scuttlebutt about the America's Cup's 100 pounds and what I wrote in 1985 in The Low Black Schooner, my short book about the yacht America. Recently, Maldwin Drummond of the Royal Yacht Squadron has persuaded me that it was not a cash prize but the trophy's retail price, and that (incredible as it may seem today) such a thing was a legitimate subject of public interest a century and a half ago. In the November-December, 2001, issue of WoodenBoat magazine, I passed on some other newly found facts and newly formed judgments about this watershed event, which means that if a new edition of The Low Black Schooner is published (as seems possible), the author will have yet more opportunities to change his mind in public. While that can be a little embarrassing, it's preferable to not questioning the common wisdom, which in the case of America has often taken on the status of myth.
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SCUTTLEBUTT SAILING CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
Bitter End YC, Virgin Gorda, BVI - Last year, the finals of the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship Regatta were sailed in 20 - 25 knots of wind, but anyone who prepared for those conditions this year was in for a big surprise. This year, the waters off the North Sound in front of the Bitter End YC were dead flat with just 4 - 6 knots of breeze for most of the racing. There were also enough big shifts big enough to make Lake Sailor Andy Burdick feel right at home. Sailing in Rhodes 19s, Burdick never finished worse than second to win the five-race event going away. Final Results: 1. Andy Burdick / Dawn Riley, 7; 2. Keith Musto / Guy de Boer, 14; 3; Tom Leweck / Butch Ullmer, 15; 4. Nigel Musto / Ian MacKechnie, 16; 5. Mary Jordan / Julia McKiever, 25; 6. Kristen & Peter Lane, 26. -- www.beyc.com
UBS CHALLENGE RECOGNIZED BY US SAILING
At the US Sailing 2002 Annual General Meeting, the UBS Challenge, its sponsor, UBS Financial Services, and event organizer, Octagon, received the prestigious President's Award for staging what Sail Magazine called "the best sailing event in the US this year."
The President's Award is traditionally given to a person or a group of people who have performed above and beyond to support US Sailing and the sport of sailing.
The UBS Challenge was comprised of six regional match-racing events, the UBS Challenge US Championships and the UBS Challenge Finals July 31 - August 4, 2002, in Newport, RI. The UBS Challenge Finals were part of the international Swedish Match Tour, the world's premier professional sailing series.
VANGUARD SPONSORS HINMAN TROPHY CHAMPIONSHIP
Vanguard Sailboats is a sponsor of the 2002 US SAILING Team Racing Championship for the George R. Hinman Trophy.
Fourteen of the country's best team racing teams will be participating in the 2002 Hinman Regatta, to be held at Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, LA, November 8-10. The event will be raced in Vanguard 15's which are provided by Vanguard Sailboats. The event is one that can be easily followed by spectators on land or by boat due to the colorful sails used to differentiate the teams. The sail colors that will be used this year are grey, blue, red, orange, yellow, and black.
The Hinman is raced in three-boat/six-person teams. Each team is comprised of three skippers and three crewmember. Team Racing, like most team sports, involves strategy, advanced skill, and teamwork. However, unlike other sports, team racing pits a team of three boats against another team of three.
US SAILING PARTNERS WITH VIRTUAL SPECTATOR
US Sailing has teamed with Virtual Spectator International to bring the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup to US Sailing members over the internet in real-time.
Virtual Spectator's real-time 3D technology gives viewers the ability to choose how they watch the races, whether upwind, downwind, from the top of a mast, from a helicopter, or from the helm. It also provides streaming text to explain tactics and race details for each challenge. Virtual Spectator provides the only medium to watch all Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup races live and on demand via the Internet.
The US Sailing Edition of Virtual Spectator is available to US Sailing Members at a special price of $19.95, and includes all the interactive features of the standard version. -- www.ussailing.org/virtualspectator
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR CORONET RESTORATION
Newport, RI: The historic 133-foot schooner Coronet, flagship of the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, R.I., has received $350,000 in funding from the Save America's Treasures program Historic Preservation Fund within the National Park Service. The funding will be directed toward Phase II of Coronet's restoration and reconstruction, allowing the yacht to be hauled from its dockside berth at IYRS this February for continued work on its hull. Phase I, which began in 1999, included exhaustive research and documentation of Coronet's history.
"Coronet is the oldest and most original grand yacht in the world," said IYRS Chairman and Founder Elizabeth Meyer. "She is a priceless historical artifact and a magnificent example of American design and engineering. Her state of preservation is extraordinary and her hull and interior are substantially original. This is why Coronet has been recognized by our government as one of America's historical treasures."
Built in 1885 in New York City, Coronet is the only vessel of her size and age to survive the golden age of sail intact to the present day. Her history encompasses notable achievements in racing, voyaging and exploration, including winning the 1887 Transatlantic Race; being among the first American yachts to round Cape Horn; and completing 19th century visits to Hawaii, the West Indies, Palestine and Japan.
Coronet will be restored to her nineteenth century condition, without the addition of engines or systems, using original materials and techniques to repair the hull and interior. The restoration work will be done by master shipwrights working with advanced IYRS students and will take place in public view at the IYRS campus in downtown Newport.
Phase III of the project--rehabilitation and re-installation of Coronet's interior, fabrication and replacement of missing interior components, and the recreation and construction of Coronet's historic rig-will carry through to 2007, when on August 17 Coronet will be ready to sail again, 122 years from her original launch. -- www.iyrs.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
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