SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1197 - November 12, 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.
LOUIS VUITTON CUP
Auckland, NZL: The fifth straight day of strong southwesterly winds postponed the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup Quarterfinal Round.
Today's four scheduled matches - GBR Challenge-Team Dennis Conner, Alinghi Team-Prada Challenge, Victory Challenge-le Défi Areva and Oracle BMW Racing-OneWorld Challenge - are rescheduled until tomorrow, 13 November, and will be sailed in that order.
A low-pressure system 800 miles southeast of Auckland that is clearing to the east has an associated cold front extending over New Zealand's North Island. Winds today are forecast to gust between 25 and 30 knots during squalls.
Armed with a forecast of fair weather for the next four or five days, Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio has amended the schedule of races. "Having received verbal agreement of all teams competing in the Quarterfinals, it is the intent of the Race Committee to conduct racing on the scheduled 'Off Day' of Friday, 15 November," said Reggio.
The anticipated schedule of races is as follows:
Race 1 - Wednesday, 13 November
Race 2 - Thursday, 14 November
Race 3 - Friday, 15 November
Race 4 - Saturday, 16 November
Race 5 (if necessary) - Sunday, 17 November
Race 6 (if necessary) - Monday, 18 November
Race 7 (if necessary) - Tuesday, 19 November
Reserve Day - Wednesday, 20 November
All four matches are best-of-seven series. The first warning gun in the Quarterfinal Round is scheduled for 1:05 pm daily.
CUP HERITAGE FOUNDATION
The Challengers for America's Cup XXXI have unanimously resolved to establish a Charitable Trust under the name of "The Cup Heritage Foundation".
One of the principal objects of the Trust is to establish and maintain an archive to acquire, preserve and disseminate print, film, video and all other media material of competitions for the America's Cup and related events and activities for the purposes of study, research and dissemination to the general public.
The decision to establish such a Trust was triggered by the desire to improve the state under which the America's Cup Heritage memorabilia and other proprietary rights are currently held. For example, historical footage of the America's Cup and the Challenger Selection Series, including the Louis Vuitton Cup, over the last 25 years are held by diverse rights holders, occasionally without any direct association with the event, thus making it impossible for any interested party to easily access such rights.
The above action has been taken solely to benefit the Event and not to specifically benefit any individual party; the Foundation Trust will invite all the interested parties to cooperate in the furtherance of the Trust objectives.
New York Yacht Club, as the original trustee of the ‘Deed of Gift" and the holder for 132 years of the Cup, has been accorded a pre-eminent position in the operation of the Trust.
The initial Directors of the Trustee Company are Luca Birindelli, who is also currently the Chairman of CORM, David Elwell, Challenge Representative for the New York Yacht Club, and W.H. Dyer Jones who has served in many different capacities associated with the America's Cup since 1967.
20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ULTIMATE SAILING CALENDAR
We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Ultimate Sailing Calendar with an exclusive limited edition t-shirt. http://www.ultimatesailing.com is your site for all Ultimate Sailing products: calendar, book, poster, caps, note-cards, screen savers and custom prints. Do your holiday shopping here.
The top four yachts in Class 1 have recorded between 350 - 375nm runs in the last 24hrs. New Zealander Graham Dalton on Hexagon is gaining on the front boats with each position report. Equally, British skipper Emma Richards on Pindar is pushing hard, surfing at points up to 22 knots, knowing that relaxing the pace now potentially means 4th place at the finish. Sacrificing any sleep so that she doesn't lose the advantage, Emma has once again narrowed the gap between herself and Frenchman Thierry Dubois on Solidaires to 23 miles.
Derek Hatfield on Open 40 Spirit of Canada, second behind leader Brad Van Liew on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, has crossed the Equator. Not so far behind is Tim Kent on Open 50 Everest Horizontal, who is crossing the Equator at the current position report.
Class 1 - Open 60s
1. Bobst Group, Bernard Stamm, 392 miles to finish of leg 2 in Capetown
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 212 miles to leader
3. Pindar, Emma Richards, 246 nm
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 498 nm
5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2930 nm
6. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 6131 nm (recently restarted from Spain after a dismasting and a borrowed mast from Bernard Stamm)
Class 2 - 50s and 40s
1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, Brad Van Liew, 3045 miles to finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 828 miles to leader
3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 936 nm
4. Spirit of Yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 1078 nm
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1131 nm
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 1144 nm
ROUTE DU RHUM
Saint Malo, France: More carnage on the course, but fortunately no injuries. Shortly before midnight on Sunday, less than 12 hours after the start of the 60' ORMA trimaran fleet (18 of them!), race favourite Franck Cammas' Groupama capsized, and was rammed minutes later in total darkness by Jean Le Cam's Bonduelle (another 60' trimaran). Neither skipper was injured. Groupama was towed to Roscoff France today, and an inspection of Bonduelle revealed damage and delamination to the port side float. Repairs are underway, Le Cam hopes to restart in 72 hours.
Another ORMA skipper, Bertrand Le Broc just missed hitting Groupama, only realizing after he'd passed a dark shape that it was the overturned boat. Le Broc is no stranger to ocean disasters, having suffered a dismasting in 1990 in the Route du Rhum and a capsize in the 1996 Vendee Globe. He was so stricken by his near miss with Groupama, and with memories of other accidents now fresh again in his mind, he decided to heed his instincts and retire from the race, saying that his solo career was finished, he'd continue to sail the big trimarans only as crew or double-handed.
Two other trimarans are also out: Gitana X, Baron Rothschild's wild new trimaran, suffered a broken masthead. Skipper Lionel Lemonchois is unhurt and is headed to Lorient. Giovanni Soldini on TIM is in Lorient for repairs after discovering cracks in between the cockpit and back beam.
The unluckiest of sailors this time around is Yannick Bestaven. Within minutes after the start on his Open 60, his brand new mainsail split. He restarted today after borrowing a main, but heard sounds that he felt were indicative of keel structural problems, and is also headed for Lorient.
British skipper Conrad Humphries (winner of the BT Global Challenge) was involved in a startline collision with a French sailor and had to sail to Roscoff for repairs. He has now restarted.
At press time, the leaders are:
60' Monohulls: Sill, Roland Jourdain
Class 1 Monohulls: Ville de Dinard, Bruno Reibel
Class 2 Monohulls: Ashfield Healthcare, Nick Moloney
Class 3 Monohulls: Storageteck, Regis Guillemot
60' Multihulls: Rexona Men, Yvan Bourgnon
Class 2 Multihulls: Crepes Whaou!, F. Y. Escofier
MEESPIERSON BAHAMIAN REGATTA
Atlantis Resort, Bahamas: Antonio Migliori, ITA, at the helm of the Farr 40 Nerone, won the two-day, five-race MeesPierson Bahamian Regatta, the precursor to this week's Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
Nerone edged out Saturday's leader Defiant, skippered by Terry McLaughlin of
Toronto, Canada, by three points in overall scoring and sent a clear message
that the Italians mean business here in the Bahamas.
"We spent 10 days in Miami speed testing in light winds," said Migliori, who
is the current Farr 40 European champion, "so the boat is set up for light
air and this is good." Asked if these were preferred conditions for his
team, Migliori laughed, pointing out that his European title was won in
winds of 30 knots.
As the winner of the MeesPierson Farr 40 Bahamian Championship, Migliori
will be awarded The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Cup trophy.
Racing for the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds starts on Wednesday.
Complete results are posted at www.farr40.org
CURMUDGEON'S CARIBBEAN REFLECTIONS
Virgin Gorda, BVI - The pages of Scuttlebutt have frequently contained thoughts and ideas about growing our sport. And now as I begin to pack my bags for the long trip back to California, I can't help but think that 'happenings' like the Dry Creek Vineyard's Pro-Am Regatta at the Bitter End YC have exactly the proper mix of ingredients to help get that job done.
This annual Caribbean event has truly turned into a 'summer camp for adults' - a place where sailors can renew acquaintances with old friends - but more importantly - meet and enjoy many new friends with similar interests. Where else can you race on warm water as a crew for sailing celebrities like Paul Cayard, Andy Burdick, Mark Reynolds, Lowell North or Butch Ulmer? And when the BEYC guests weren't sailing with the rock stars, they were having breakfast, lunch and dinner with them, attending numerous hosted parties with them and competing against them in small boats in the Musto-sponsored Scuttlebutt Sailing Club Championship Regatta that has become a part of this weeklong adventure.
J/24 sailor Mary Jordan from Neenah, Wisconsin attended the Pro-Am for the first time this year. The trip was a family vacation / reunion with her parents and her brother's family. Mary jumped into the activities with both feet. She crewed for Paul Cayard in the Junior Division and sailed with Keith Musto in the 'Seniors.' She also raced in the SSC championships and came away with the best prize of all - a free week at the BEYC for finishing as the top placing 'amateur.' Mary will be at the Pro- Am again next year.
Last year, Cliff Lennox from Guilford, Connecticut crewed for Rod Johnstone in the Pro-Am. He had such a great time that he and his wife Leslie came back again this year. Cliff sailed every day with both Dawn Riley and with the Curmudgeon. Cliff has never raced his or her own boat - a Catalina 25- but after getting caught up in the enthusiasm of the Pro Am, he is now talking about attending North U this spring, and has even inquired about how to become a Scuttlebutt subscriber. He's a very happy camper.
I have to believe that fun events like the Pro-Am and the annual Women's Sailing Week that's taking place at the BEYC right now are doing great things for growing our sport in a very healthy direction. - The Curmudgeon
HIGH PERFORMANCE GEAR
If you haven't visited the Camet website lately, you should do it today. New products and new colors have been added. The latest are the Ocean shorts for women, a new design with the same fabrics, and matching colors to the Camet Sailing shorts.
You will find different models of shorts and pants, Neoprene Hiking pants, CoolMax Shirts, Gear bags, and the hottest product of the year the Bubble Tops. www.camet.com
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 Sweeney: For those interested in seeing what actually happens when IACC Yachts fleet race, take a look at www.iaccsf.com/html/video.html . This five minute video showcases the growing fleet of IACC yachts racing regularly on San Francisco Bay. In 2003 four regattas are planned with the IACC World's scheduled for October 2003.
* From David Redfern: Whilst the America's Cup is an old sailing trophy, it is by no means the world's oldest sporting trophy. One contender is the Scorton Arrow, a silver arrow competed for in England since at least 1673, and probably longer. The Silver Arrow was gilded sometime between 1750 and 1760, it then becomes the Golden Arrow. After a few years, when the gilding wore off, it reverted back once again to being the Silver Arrow. It was stolen once and then recovered, pawned and redeemed by members of the Society just in time for the next competition. It was mislaid by a Captain "who lost his reason" (mental breakdown), then accidentally left on a park bench by a Captain who had celebrated his win rather too well and was returned by the park keeper next morning. The America's Cup has been drilled (for the bolt), bashed by a Maori and thankfully is still with us. Ben Lexcen said he wanted to make hub caps out of it!
MY NEW FAVORITE YACHT CLUB
A small San Francisco boating club known for its stiff drinks and salty characters is making an impressive and unlikely bid for the oldest prize in professional sports, the America's Cup.
If it succeeds in this elite, high-stakes race being waged in the waters off New Zealand, the Golden Gate Yacht Club -- whose commodore is a radiator repairman -- could change the staid and sterling image of yachting.
The Golden Gate snagged its front-row seats to the Super Bowl of sailing through an unexpected deal forged between the modest mechanic and Silicon Valley mogul Larry Ellison. The Golden Gate is the official sponsor of Oracle BMW Racing, a syndicate bankrolled by the software billionaire.
The incongruous pairing happened after talks unexpectedly broke off between Ellison and the city's prestigious St. Francis Yacht Club. The club had balked at Ellison's requirement that three members of Oracle racing sit on the St. Francis' board.
Louise Johnson and her husband, Dick Johnson, recently joined the Golden Gate. Their son Peter Holmberg, one of the world's top-ranked sailors, is helmsman for Oracle racing. The Johnsons live in Chicago but visit the Bay Area often.
"We've gotten to know Norbert [Bajurin, the club Commodore], and we're thrilled with the arrangement between the Golden Gate and Oracle," she said. "If they win this, the St. Francis is going to be green with envy." -- Julian Guthrie, San Francisco Chronicle.
Full text (a must-read) is at
AND MY SOON-TO-BE FAVORITE BOOK
"J Class - The Book" is now in print (or will be really soon); I've already reserved one as a nice Christmas present to myself from my children (better this than something I don't really want charged to my credit card...). The book chronicles the history of these jaw-dropping yachts, and includes a number of prints that my wife can have framed and give to me for Christmas. So I'm all set. The history of the J Class continues with ever more twists and turns... one of them, Endeavour, is owned by disgraced ex-Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski.
If you missed the Jubilee two summers ago, this is a nice way to console yourself. See yachting-heritage.com
CANTING BALLAST IN THE TRANSPAC?
Marine industry sources report that Roy Disney is planning to race the 2005 TransPac with an 87-footer using Canting Ballast-Twin Foil technology. Disney is reported to have been inspired by the success of the 60-footer Wild Oats in Australia. Disney has also reportedly informed the TransPac race committee of his intentions and has indicated that there are others interested in the concept.
DynaYacht, the owners of the CBTF design, recently announced a partnership with Reichel/Pugh to further develop the technology.- Peter d'Anjou, in Sailing World's Grand Prix Sailor: sailingworld.com
BIG BOAT SERIES ON ESPN
The 2002 Big Boat Series coverage of the Transpac 52 Class Racing on ESPN is
November 18th 10:30 p.m. Pacific Time (evening), November 19th 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (morning) (check local listings for other locales)
ESPN will have exciting footage of the Nelson/Marek Transpac 52 Yassou, with
designer Bruce Nelson onboard, blasting around the Bay at speeds exceeding
20 knots on her way to a convincing victory in the Transpac 52 Class's first
See www.transpac52.org for more info on the class.
(GUEST) EDITOR'S RANT
Here's an update on my query to the Discovery Channel. I wanted to find out if the short features they are doing on the Route du Rhum (broadcast throughout Europe and the Middle East) would be available here in North America. The broadcast schedule online didn't show them, but they are only 5 minutes long, so I hoped they might be sandwiched in somewhere. So I called the Discovery Channel last week.
I was told to submit my question to Viewer Relations through their website. I did so, even though I was required to submit far more personal information than I wanted to. I specifically stated that I had indeed checked the online schedules.
After a week's wait, tonight I got an automated response that said "Please check the website for schedules and if you have a further question please use our online Viewer Relations Form". A WEEK FOR THAT?!? Given five minutes and a cup of coffee I can code an auto-response form that would spit out that useless answer in seconds. Why a week's wait? To make me think that there are actually some real, live humans there in Viewer Relations who have been agonizing over my question for days on end?
And it gets even better (or worse, I suppose). I replied to the Viewer Relations automated message with candid remarks about what lousy Relations I was having with them, and the email was returned as undeliverable with the notation that "User viewer_relations (firstname.lastname@example.org) not listed in public Name & Address Book"
Words (those that I could print here) fail me at this point. -- David McCreary
THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATION
We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company. -- Lily Tomlin