SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1199 - November 14, 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.
LVC QUARTER FINALS
Victories by Alinghi, Oracle BMW Racing and Victory Challenge on the second day of the Louis Vuitton Cup Quarterfinals put them halfway to winning their respective matches. While those three teams stand at 2-0 in their respective matches, Team Dennis Conner evened its series with GBR Challenge at 1-1 after a start-to-finish triumph. Conner's Stars & Stripes, USA-77, was the only team to reverse the opening day's outcome.
The second day of the 'quarters' saw more fine weather, with a shifty 15-knot breeze from the south/southwest. Although there weren't as many lead changes or penalties as on the opening day, the matches were no less intense, especially on the final runs. Oracle BMW Racing's lead came under threat when their spinnaker pole broke during the set, allowing OneWorld to close up.
Alinghi saw most of its 36-second lead evaporate when they split with Prada for the other end of the finish line.
Sweden's Victory Challenge honoured the spirit of their founder by dominating France's le Defi AREVA for a second day. Syndicate founder Jan Stenbeck would've turned 60 today, but he passed away last August just hours after the team had launched Orm, SWE-73. Stenbeck's son, Hugo, was aboard as 17th man today, as he has been for nearly every race. - Louis Vuitton Cup media center, www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com
Alinghi beat Prada by 8 seconds
Team Dennis Conner beat GBR Challenge by 1 minute 17 seconds
Oracle BMW beat OneWorld by 17 seconds
Victory Challenge beat Le Defi by 1 minutes 10 seconds
At its annual conference in Cyprus, the International Sailing Federation today urged yachtsmen in all parts of the world to take notice of the dangers of Invasion of a geographical area by foreign marine species. Damage attributed to organisms carried by marine craft in ballast water or as bottom growth, includes devastation of fishing, fishing industries and their associated livelihoods, and also by the introduction of pathogens, direct threats to public health. The dangers are so serious; an international task force has been set up, the Global Ballast Water Management Program (GloBallast). Globallast has a remit to investigate and combat the New legislation, which is likely to come into force within 3 years, will control ballast water transported by ships.
Acting within the IMO (International Maritime Organization) framework, ISAF has agreed, as an alternative to big-ship legislation, which would otherwise have affected all vessels, to prepare special guidelines to ensure that yachts minimize the danger of spreading undesirable species in their ballast water. - ISAF website, full story: www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=3396
Here is your chance to recognize excellent service to our sport. Nominate your favorite club, fleet, regatta or one-design spark plug for a US Sailing One-Design Award. Did your club run an outstanding multi-class regatta this year? Is there an exceptional person at your club who was responsible for making your fleet grow? US Sailing wants to hear about it. The categories are: Service, Leadership, Club, Regatta, and Creativity.
- Service: To recognize distinguished service and leadership in the promotion of one-design sailing and class organization.
- Leadership: In recognition of individual initiative, enthusiasm, organizing ability and leadership in creating the outstanding fleet building program.
- Club: To recognize administrative excellence, fleet growth, creative programming, regatta support, member contribution - at regional, national and international levels - of the one-design yacht club of the year.
- Regatta: To recognize excellence in development, promotion, and management by organizers and sponsors of the year's outstanding multi-class regional regatta.
- Creativity: To recognize outstanding individual creativity and contribution to the year's most innovative one-design event of national or international significance.
If you know of a deserving club, class or regatta, please take the time to make a nomination. Nominations may be made online at www.ussailing.org
DID YOU RACE KEY WEST OR BLOCK ISLAND?
Or Black Tie, Etchells NAs, J/22 Worlds, San Diego NOOD, Texas NOOD? YachtShots.com photographed every boat (and Race Committee) at more than 20 major regattas across the US this year. The web site has a new look and larger thumbnail displays make viewing your photos even better. Every regatta is sorted by boat - it couldn't be easier to find your racing images. Racing photos make the most memorable gifts for both skippers and crew; deadline for placing holiday orders is December 4. - www.YachtShots.com
* William Hill Bookmakers issued updated odds as the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger trials got under way this week. They still favor Team New Zealand to retain the America's Cup at 8-11, rate Switzerland's Kiwi-powered Alinghi atop the challengers at 11-4 and offer little support to boats in the lower bracket, as follows. Alinghi, 11-4; OneWorld, 9-2; Oracle BMW, 8-1; Prada, 10-1; Sweden's Victory, 40-1; GBR, 80-1, Team Dennis Conner, 150-1, Le Def’ Areva, 750-1. - Yacht Racing website, www.yachtracing.com
* A record number of Swans will this year enter the world's largest transocean sailing event, the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, starting on Sunday 24th November. From the 225 yachts heading for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 21 of these entrants are Swans, the largest number of any sole manufacturer. This unique race starts from the bustling port capital of the Canary Islands and heads for the Caribbean destination of Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. - www.worldcruising.net
* Sailing World and Cruising World Publisher Sally Helme announced the appointment of Jim Marshall as Regional Sales Manager for the New England/ Northern Europe territory. Marshall brings over 20 years of marine- industry experience to the magazines owned by World Publications, including pivotal responsibilities with Young America, the New York Yacht Club Challenge for the America's Cup in 2000. Marshall joins Sailing World and Cruising World from MindBranch, where he was Director of Outside Sales, after working five years as Young America's Director of Partner Yacht Clubs, Education and Development.
* For the second consecutive race of the LVC quarterfinals, John Cutler has joined Larry Ellison on the sidelines of the Oracle BMW Racing Team. The four people listed in the Oracle afterguard for race two of the quarter finals were Tommaso Chieffi, Ian Burns, Peter Holmberg and skipper Chris Dickson.
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 Jennie Fitzhardinge: Rob Mundle has very different recollections of the America's Cup in Fremantle. I was working on one of the crowd control boats and it was dull to the point of embarrassment. Conner won every race by a mile and the sea breeze never kicked in to deliver the exciting racing the posters promised. Great sunbathing weather - as you would expect in February. I believe the challenger series was breezy and exciting - as you would expect in December. Two different times of year - two different kinds of sailing. Perhaps the organisers of the next America's Cup could take a better look at the timing of the Cup as well as the location. Schedule the Cup for a breezy time of year and sailors and spectators would get the thrills we all expect from top-level sport.
* From Colin Watson: Rob Mundle might reminisce about how good the America's Cup was in the old days. He also needs to remember that the event has moved on since then and Australia has not. Even though there are some talented Australian sailors leading challengers in this event, there is no interest in the AC in Australia and the history of their last three challengers is dismal. Remember Australia One. Even the gung ho Sydney Hobart has changed dramatically. The publicity Rob talks about during the Freemantle defense was because the AC was held in Australia and we were fresh off the magnificent win by Australia II.
* From Sean Jeffery: (re Rob Mundle comments in Butt 1198): I bet all Australians share in your memories and dreams of the Americas Cup in Freo. But I believe that you first must put forward a challenge and win the cup to fulfill that dream.
* From Greg Siewert: To those detractors of the present Luis Vuitton Cup and match racing, I hope you watched and enjoyed the first races of the quarter finals. Unless you usually play with a Game Boy, I don't see how you couldn't find the action riveting. My palms were sweating, I was cussing the other boat's skipper, and timing my bathroom run to the commercial breaks. This is yachting at it's best. I guess if you didn't like it, you never will.
* Dean Hubbard: So when Francois Joyon capsized he was up at the mast while hard on the wind in rough seas and trusting the autopilot. It's hard to believe that a multihull skipper of any size boat would have left the tiller under such conditions unless he had no choice but to be tending to an emergency up at the mast. On the surface of this story it seems as if Francois was too complacent and asking for the inevitable. Say it wasn't so. There must be more to the story.
* From Doug Petter: (Regarding the recent collisions in the Route du Rhum- edited to our 250-word limit): When you are sailing a 50' or 60' racing monohull and you don't see a ship, you are a menace on the water. What if the racing boat had just punched through the side of a crewed boat on a delivery ride? What about the damage they might cause to a working vessel trying to make a living on the sea.
Two separate race boats hit freighters and bounced off, great testament to the strength of the vessels but totally stupid when you consider these freighters were probably moving at 16-18 knots and the monohull could have been running at 18-22 knots. If the freighter had been unlucky and crushed the hapless bloke there would be tremendous outcry at the negligent ship's captain! The ship may or may not have seen the sailboat on radar, but the sailboat certainly should have seen the ship on radar, they are a pretty massive target.
The solo skipper is probably neglecting his look-out duties because he is downloading e-mail & grib files to look for the next pressure, and doesn't have radar or lights on so he doesn't need to run his genset so much. This goes against the grain of seamanship on so many levels it's really absurd. Single-handed distance racing is reckless in today's world of crowded shipping lanes and high speeds on both the sailboat and ship. Times change, maybe the single-handed racer is going to have to find another venue for their craft and skills.
Since the start of the Route du Rhum the much heavier weather conditions than forecast have caused four capsizes, three dismastings and nine more retirements. At midnight Philippe Monnet reported wind shifts from 20 to 70 knots. Monnet's Sopra Group had only the storm jib up and was sailing in survival mode. The extremely strong wind hit the trimaran too hard, the staysail got caught up in the furler forming a huge pocket. This catapulted the trimaran right over sideways some time after midnight. Monnet has been safely airlifted. He had to abandon the boat in the dangerous conditions. "I was not far from the shipping lane. In the rough sea with 10 metre waves I did not want to risk being rammed into and cut in two," said Monnet.
The next victim of capsize occurred at 06.10 GMT this morning, when Yvan Bourgnon on Rexona Men was hit by brutal wind forces, which lifted the boat and knocked it over. Close by, Loïck Peyron on Fujifilm was severely beaten by the same sort of conditions. With no sails up, on starboard tack, in massive waves and 45 knots of wind, Loïck Peyron realised at 09.00 GMT that his starboard float was broken in two, neatly cut between the two beams. Two hours later, at 11.00 GMT, the French skipper called in again - Fujifilm had dismasted. The front of the starboard float exploded, and the mast immediately gave out. The mast fall damaged the port float, which is now filled with water. Peyron began sailing a "proa", heading downwind towards Portugal, but eventually had to call for assistance.
Bayer CropSciences' Frederic Le Peutrec repaired his autopilot problems and left port in Belle Ile at 08.40 GMT this morning, but has gone back into La Trinité sur Mer to shelter from the depressions. Jean Le Cam on Bonduelle left port in Camaret around the same time as Le Peutrec, but has now followed suit. Jean Luc Nélias, Belgacom, was also ready to go, but decided to wait in port until Thursday or Friday, for better conditions. Marc Guillemot on Biscuits La Trinitaine Team Ethypharm will make a pit stop when he reaches the Azores for sail repairs.
In the monohull fleet Ellen MacArthur has taken the lead. - www.routedurhum.org
HARKEN'S INSIDE VIEW OF THE AMERICA'S CUP
Want the inside scoop on what's happening in Auckland? Want to read about the America's Cup from the eyes of Team New Zealand CEO Ross Blackman? How about first-hand reports from Harken's AC service team? Harken is sharing some great stories and photos taken during the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series. Check out this special AC page at: www.harken.com/acup/acdefault.php
Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm brought his Open 60 'Bobst Group-Armor Lux' over the finish line in Table Bay, Cape Town South Africa at 11:59:45 hrs local time (GMT +2) Wednesday 13th October under a misty drizzle and in a dying inshore breeze to win Leg 2 of Around Alone 2002-03. Stamm completed the 6,880nm leg from Torbay, England to Cape Town, SA just under the 30 day barrier - a total of 29 days, 21 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds. The Swiss skipper has added another win to the scoreboard after his record-breaking transatlantic crossing and victory in Leg 1 of Around Alone from New York USA to Torbay, England. Thierry Dubois finished second in Solidaires, with Emma Richards' Pindar in third place.
Standings 2200 UTC November 13, 2002 Š CLASS 1:
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, finished
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, finished
3. Pindar, Emma Richards, finished
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 202 miles to finish line
5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 2772 mtfl
6. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 6048 mtfl
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 2651 miles from finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 842 miles behind leader
3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 868 mbl
4. Spirit of Yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 1103 mbl
5. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 1196 mbl
6. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1202 mbl
FARR 40 WORLDS
Paradise Island, Bahamas - In a straightforward race that rewarded speed off the starting line, Canada's Terry McLaughlin sailed Defiant to victory in today's opening race at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships headquartered at the Atlantis Resort. McLaughlin led the 25-boat fleet by 20 seconds at the first windward mark and was still holding the same lead after two laps around an eight-mile course. A second race seemed to be going Defiant's way again, with McLaughlin leading at the first two marks, until a rainstorm packing 20-knot breezes rolled in like a freight train to disrupt his performance.
"We weren't really set up for it," said McLaughlin, Canada's current Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, "and we lost two boats in it and another on the last leg, but I'll take the fourth we ended up with." In driving rain, the fleet sailed on its ear to a windward mark that could barely, if at all, be seen. The last downwind leg of the course was exhilarating for many, disastrous for others, as huge waves created surfable, sometimes broachable, conditions. Two boats shredded spinnakers. - Barby MacGowan
1. Defiant, Terry McLaughlin Toronto, CAN, 1-4, 5
2. Nerone, Massimo Mezzaroma/Antonio Migliori, ITA, 6-1, 7
3. Bottadiculo, Giovanni Arrivabene/Andrea Bocchini, ITA, 2-10, 12
4. Barking Mad, Jim Richardson, USA, 13-3, 16
5. Breeze, Vincenzo Onorato Naples, ITA, 5-11, 16
Full results can be found at www.farr40.org
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"As everyone knows, he's (Chris Dickson) asked Larry (Ellison) to step off the boat so we have a full complement of sailors on the boat for every race." - Matt Smith of Oracle BMW Racing
SYDNEY GAY GAMES REGATTA
Gay Games VI included a sailing regatta among its competition sports for the first time ever. Fifty-one three-person teams snatched up the available spaces within two months of registration opening. The US fielded 19 teams, Australia 12, the Netherlands 8, the UK 5, France 4, and, Germany and New Caledonia 1 each. At least twice the number of the 51 successful registrants had to be turned away for lack of capacity; soundly disproving skeptics who said that sailing would never work in the Gay Games.
The regatta was organized by ASCC with reception, club and marina facilities provided by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the City of Sydney. CCYA also provided the boats for open and non-spinnaker divisions, 10 each Elliot 5.9s and brand new Elliot 6.0s.
Several afternoons of 18-25 knots with higher gusts proved the mettle of virtually all the competitors on these tough, light keel/bulb boats. No small number of crew took unexpected dives into the shark-infested waters, but no harm was done and there were minimal breakdowns and damage, though plenty of protests to keep the international jury working night and day.
Australia's Black, Green and Gold, led by Australian champion Gavin Dagley, dominated the open division, as expected, with a first in every race. USA's SF12 Carpe Cerevisiam took the silver and Great Britain's Gust Superheros the bronze. In the non-spinnaker division, Australia again dominated, taking thegold and bronze, with Chicago taking the silver.
Gay Games VII will be held in Montreal in 2006. At press time sailing was not included on the list of planned sports but plenty of international pressure is already building to force reconsideration. - Robert Johnston
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Shouldn't the glove compartment in your car more properly be called the Owner's Manual Compartment?