SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1209 - November 29, 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.
THE PARTY'S OVER ... OR IS IT?
Racing started on time Friday, hastening the demise of 'Mr. America's Cup',
Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes squad, and the tenacious Victory Challenge,
from Sweden. Following defeats on the water, both teams were eliminated
from the Louis Vuitton Cup today, subject to protest. Team Dennis Conner
has protested OneWorld to the International Jury, alleging a breach of Rule
2 - Fair Sailing. In association with Prada, Team Dennis Conner has also
brought a case against OneWorld before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel.
Decisions on these are expected before the start of the Semi Finals on
The Seattle Yacht Club's OneWorld Challenge, and the Italian Prada
Challenge, representing the Yacht Club Punta Ala, now provisionally advance
to the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup where they will race each other
beginning December 9th.
Facing elimination, the Swedish boat changed helmsmen today, handing the
reins to Magnus Holmberg. But despite looking strong early, Victory
Challenge trailed at every mark - the Italians were just too strong. Team
Dennis Conner elected to stick with the same sailing squad, and the result
followed the pattern established earlier in this Repechage. OneWorld's
James Spithill got the better of Conner's Ken Read on the start line, and
went on to lead around the racecourse.
FRIDAY'S RACE RESULTS
OneWorld Challenge defeated Team Dennis Conner by 1 minute
Prada defeated Victory Challenge by 1 minute, 37 seconds
THURSDAY'S RACE RESULTS
OneWorld Challenge defeated Team Dennis Conner by 1 minute, 2 seconds
Prada defeated Victory Challenge by 51 seconds
Louis Vuitton Cup website, full story: www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/
OLYMPIC EVOLUTION - Paul Henderson
The International Olympic Committee has complete control over the Olympic
Games and they make the rules by which the sports can participate. ISAF
must adhere to these constraints as the World Governing Body for Sailing.
As must all the other 28 International Federations.
The IOC can delete sports, disciplines and events at their discretion and
there is a major reassessment going on now. The IOC are attacking 18 sports
which include the deletion from the Olympic Program of Baseball, Softball,
Modern Pentathlon, Lightweight Rowing, Synchronised Swimming, 3-Day
Equestrian, Race Walking.
The IOC wants the deletion of Keelboats and to reduce the total number of
sailors from 400 to 360.
IOC wants no more than 10,500 athletes, 28 sports and 300 events for the
future Olympic Games.
ISAF, along with the other federations, is fighting the reductions on
behalf of the sailors. IOC makes the rules, which they can change whenever
they want and then delegates all technical aspects of the Games to the
relevant International Sports Governing Body, such as ISAF, including
authorization of the National Olympic Committee's (NOC) entries. The
specific athletes sent are totally in the domain of the NOC not the MNA or
ISAF or the Class.
ISAF has always had the right to change the Class Rules as the class chosen
is only the equipment to be used. Usually the ISAF Olympic Rules are the
same as the classes but not always especially with regard to advertising,
format, entries and nationality.
* The contracts with the Olympic Classes must become more clear and
expanded as the pressures escalate. ISAF must have the right to adjust the
contracts so as to react to the demands of the IOC when required. ISAF has
no choice but to act, as we are responsible for providing a level playing
field for all sailors from all ISAF MNA's. ISAF does not force a class to
be Olympic. The Classes choose to apply and if they are chosen they must
respond to the Olympic obligations which in some cases erodes their autonomy.
ISAF is responsible for the Governance of World Sailing and the Member
National Authorities are delegated that governance in their respective
countries. - Paul Henderson, ISAF President, ISAF website, full story:
I am the 2d District Secretary for the Star Class and have been following
this whole mess with the "New, Fair Method of Qualification for the ISAF
World Championships in Olympic Class Boats".
First of all, it violates the rules of the Star Class, rules that have
governed the organization for more than 90 years. Second, they are not
fair. Each country will be granted up to 6 slots in the regatta for
"quaified" sailors. They must come from the first 100 people listed in the
ISAF rankings if I understand the new rule correctly. The United States has
28 people that are in that group. If we get 6 slots, that will constitute
21.4% of the people who are qualified to race. The country with the next
highest number of "qualified "sailors has 12 or 13 in the first 100. The
remainder of the countries with people in the first 100 have 1-5 people on
the list. All these countries will have 50% or more of their "qualified"
sailors at the regatta. This is not fair by any definition that I can think of.
Third, and perhaps most important, is the unspoken comment by ISAF that the
MNA's are unable to effectively govern entries to World or Olympic
Regatta's. This is a slap in the face for the MNA's and all the members of
these organizations. If ISAF is going to tell us what we have to do to run
a major event, (approve venues, judges, committee's), why do we need MNA's?
We should all be very scared by the blatant attempt of ISAF to control all
aspects of sailing. - Larry Parrotta, 2d District Secretary, ISCYRA
November 28, 2002 - The critical witness in Team Dennis Conner's bid to
have OneWorld Challenge thrown out of the America's Cup has not decided
whether to give evidence. If Sean Reeves, OneWorld's former operations
manager, does not back up his claims that OneWorld used the design secrets
of Team New Zealand and two other syndicates, Conner's protest to the
international jury may collapse. Reeves told the Herald he was still
talking to his lawyers about whether he could appear before the jury.
A United States court ruling that found Reeves broke a confidentiality
agreement, which could cost him $1.7 million in costs and damages, may
prevent him speaking. Legal constraints have already stopped Reeves
directly outlining to Team Dennis Conner his allegations, which are denied
But Conner's legal team is expected to put to the jury an affidavit sworn
by Reeves months ago and obtained last week from Team New Zealand. The
Conner group will reveal tonight what evidence they have. Reeves said
yesterday that he had not ruled out giving evidence. - Helen Tunnah, NZ
Herald, full story:
(Following is just a brief excerpt from a story by Warren St. John in the
New York Times about the matter that Team Dennis Conner and the Prada
syndicate have placed before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel concerning
the OneWorld syndicate.)
Lawyers for the syndicates exchanged letters accusing each other of playing
Lawyers for the OneWorld syndicate of the cellular phone entrepreneur Craig
McCaw sent a letter to Team Dennis Conner and its sponsor, the New York
Yacht Club, saying that by talking to Reeves, they might be subjecting
themselves to civil contempt charges for violating the order of silence in
their Seattle lawsuit.
That prompted a response from Richard F. Scruggs, the Mississippi tobacco
lawyer who is a supporter of Team Conner, in which he accused OneWorld's
lawyers of trying to use United States courts to keep evidence from the
arbitration panel. He urged OneWorld to withdraw from the series so as "not
to taint the dignity of this event." - Warren St. John, NY Times, full
START TO FINISH
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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 Doug Holthaus: Knowing Doug Peterson as I do (but not presuming to
speak on his behalf), I cannot imagine his threat of discontinuing Italian
"nationality" as a means of improperly pressuring Prada. Like other
business dealings, relations between a client and designer sometimes sour,
and given the unique composition of the AC sailing world, word of break-ups
spreads far and fast. If for no other reason, this close scrutiny given to
such disputes, and the participants' behavior in reaching resolution,
counsels avoidance of 'hardball' tactics such as that described in
Scuttlebutt 1208. After all, a designer's future clients are amongst those
Lest this be misinterpreted as applicable to Prada and Peterson only, be
reminded that in about 100 days there will be a whole bunch of AC team
owners unhappy with their designers.
* From Jim Barber: In 'butt 1208 Peter Dreyfus "wonder[s] how those
salaries can be justified[?]". The folks managing these programs do exactly
that - they manage. Their job is to work within their constraints to create
the program with the best chance of winning. There are many investment
options to create performance improvement, one of which is personnel. They
pay the sailors, and the rest of the team, what they pay them because
that's the price of elite talent; there's essentially a fixed supply of it,
and the folks funding the syndicates determine the price sensitivity on the
demand side. So the answer to the question is: The justification lies in
the value of winning the cup to those that are willing to fund a syndicate
to attempt to do so. Any other "justification" is irrelevant.
Secondly, although there is common lore about which boat is faster, I'd
like to know how this can be ascertained independently of the crew that
sails them, and the shore team that supports them? At the end of Round
Robin 1, lore had it that Oracle/BMW was "a bit sticky downwind." Take a
look at round robin 2. Now the slow boat is a fast boat. You can't buy a
fast boat, you can only buy talent and hope for fast performance.
* From Dan Lauer (Regarding the article in the New York Times that
states, "...A run-of-the-mill grinder makes around $14,000 a month for the
campaign"): Considering the context, this is neither a slur nor a large sum
of money. Remember that here in New York we have a baseball team where a
run-of-the-mill short stop makes around $1,800,000 a month.
* From Rick Best (Regarding Chicago-Mac lawsuit): As a lawyer in recovery,
it is my opinion that if John Podmajersky wants his name on the trophy then
he should ask for an injunction, declaratory judgment, or mandamus action.
A million dollars in damages is harassment, not a quest for equity. If he
won the race he should know it, and everyone on the boat should know it.
Leave the law suits for people who actually need them. And don't you know,
fame is fleeting? Even winning the Chicago-Mac race fame. It appears to
time to for Mr. Podmajersky internalize his value and rewards system.
27 November - Six weeks and two days after leaving Torbay, England,
American skipper Brad van Liew sailed his red, white and blue Open 50,
Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, across the finish line in Cape Town to win
Leg 2 of Around Alone 2002-03. This was Brad's second straight leg win and
it solidifies his hold on the overall lead for Class 2. By any measure Van
Liew sailed a masterful leg and leaves the second place yacht, Everest
Horizontal, skippered by fellow American Tim Kent, a distant 800 miles
astern. His official finish time was 13:48:13 GMT (15:48:13 local time) for
a total elapsed time of 44 days, 2 hours, 48 minutes, 13 seconds. Bruce
Schwab's Class 1 Open 60 Ocean Planet finished early in the morning of the
following day. - www.aroundalone.com
Nick Moloney aboard the red Group Finot 50' Ashfield Healthcare surfed
across the Route du Rhum finish line in Pointe ˆ Pitre at 0508:04 GMT,
Thursday, 28 November. His race time from Saint-Malo to Pointe-ˆ-Pitre is
18 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes and 4 seconds. Moloney finishes ahead of six
bigger 60-foot monohulls and beats the previous 50-foot monohull record set
by Ellen MacArthur in 1998, by almost two days - 20 days, 11 hours, 44
minutes and 49 seconds. His average speed on the direct route (3551 miles)
was 7.90 knots. The closest competitor in the class was 220 miles behind in
the latest position report. Moloney is the Australian to complete the Route
du Rhum, and this was his first completed solo race. www.routedurhum.org
Raider Rigid Inflatable Boats are the "Official RIBs of Terra Nova Key
West." Three models from 22'- 30'will be available for your inspection
during the event. The new Raider RIB Coach Boat will be making it's North
American Debut at Key West. This 22' Center Console is the perfect coaching
platform with 130 hp 4stroke, Full Electronics, Bimini Top, For and Aft
Sampson Posts and even a enclosed Marine head with Trailer for $49,000!
Check it out today at www.raiderboat.com and pick it up at Key West.
The founding owners of the maxZ86 Class have voted to embrace the use of
canting keels for their new 86-foot turbo-sled maxiboats. Bob McNeil of San
Francisco, who six months ago launched the water-ballasted Zephyrus V as
the first of the new maxi class, is joining sled owners Roy Disney, Los
Angeles, and Hasso Plattner, San Francisco, in building canting-keel
maxi-raters designed to the modified maxZ86 level class rule. Other
potential owners are expected to follow suit.
Disney & Plattner's boats are already under construction. Disney's new
Pyewacket is building at Cooksons Boatyard in Auckland, New Zealand and
will be launched in September next year. Work has also started on
Plattner's new Morning Glory at McConaghy Boats in Sydney for delivery in
the Australian spring. McNeil will use his present boat as a test-bed and
will start construction on a new canting keel boat in the latter half of 2004.
The maxZ86 owners will race as the new line honors class for the 43rd
Biennial Transpac Race in 2005. The Transpacific Yacht Club approved
canting keels in 1997, and has approved the new class, subject to three
boats starting in the 2005 race.
McNeil's maxZ86 Zephyrus V has showed plenty of speed in both the West
Marine Pacific Cup Race from San Francisco to Kaneohe, HI, and in the
inaugural Isla Navidad Race spanning 1,178 miles from Long Beach,
California, to Manzanillo, Mexico. However the debut performance of Bob
Oatley's canting keel Riechel Pugh 60 Wild Oats at Australia's Hahn Premium
Hamilton Island Race Week 2002 this August foreshadowed the future. The
decision to adopting canting keels was a logical path for our class to
follow while still in its formative stages."
The owner-led class has directed class executive Bill Lee to incorporate
canting keels into the level class rule. Lee, who intends to publish the
first draft of the revised rule in the near future, is seeking input from
interested designers and potential owners.
"We intend to open this class to as many designers and owners as possible,"
Lee said. "To that end, the rule will recognize boats using a variety of
canting keel approaches, including single and twin daggerboards common to
the Open 50s and 60s and the patented DynaYacht Canting Ballast, Twin Foilª
(CBTF) technology used on the Schock 40s and Wild Oats."
Elaborating on the rule philosophy, Lee added: "The mechanism by which the
maxZ86 rule intends to create close racing is to allow generous, but not
unlimited, amounts of each speed-producing factor. The rule will be subject
to a freeze for a period of time, followed by systematic reviews as newer
and faster technologies become practical, such that the fleet can be
updated at reasonable intervals."
There will be an Owner-Driver Rule for inshore racing and for starting and
finishing offshore racing. For more information about the class, including
a draft copy of the maxZ86 Rule, contact Bill Lee at email@example.com.
- Keith Taylor, www.maxz86.com/
MATCH RACING RANKINGS
In the penultimate ranking release for 2002, the ISAF World Match Race
Rankings sees no change at the top of the Women's Rankings but much
shifting of positions elsewhere with Karol Jablonski (POL) leading the
world in the Open Rankings.
A meteoric rise in the world of match racing has culminated in claiming
pole position at the top of the ISAF Open Match Racing World Rankings for
Karol Jablonski (POL). From unlucky 13th on the world rankings twelve
months ago, to the World's Number 1 is a fantastic achievement. Since the
last rankings, Jablonski's best result was a 5th at the ISAF Grade 2 Berlin
Cup from 1-3 November, but as we all know it is consistency that can play
dividends not always taking the gun.
Not so hot for Peter Holmberg (ISV), who until today's unseating had been
enjoying a nine-month uncontested reign as the world's top match racer.
This issue of the rankings sees three new entries into both the top 10 and
the top 20. At the top, out go Francois Brenac (FRA), Gavin Brady (USA) and
Philippe Presti (FRA), making way for newcomers Mathieu Richard (FRA),
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and Mattias Rahm (SWE).
In the Women's Rankings, the only event to be included was the ISAF Grade 1
Rolex Osprey Cup in St Petersburg, USA from 31 October to 3 November.
However, this has no effect on the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Ranking
Leader Marie Bjorling (DEN) who remains number one in the world. While she
can't climb any higher on the women's rankings, there is still room to
improve on the open rankings, and with a 5th place at the ISAF Grade 4
Winter Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden on 9-10 November Bjorling has moved from
143rd to 108th on the Open circuit.
Betsy Alison's win at the Osprey Cup took her from 18 up to 11, almost into
the top 10, a position which she can normally expect to find herself.
Meanwhile, fellow American, Liz Bayliss, who is the current ISAF Women's
Match Racing World Champion, did not compete at the Rolex Osprey Cup, and
as a result has dropped from 3 to 8. Bayliss has maintained a steady rise
up the World Rankings over the past two years, enjoying her highest placing
of second in the world in June this year.
Open Rankings: 1. Karol Jablonski, POL; 2. Jesper Radich, DEN; 3. Jes
Gram-Hansen, DEN; 4. Peter Holmberg, ISV; 5. Mikael Lindqvist, SWE.
Complete rankings: www.sailing.org/matchrace/mrranking.asp
SAILING ON TV
Before lapsing into a turkey-induced food coma, don't forget to set your
VCR to tape OLN's broadcast of the 54th Bermuda Gold Cup on Saturday,
November 30 at 4:30 p.m. (EST). Denmark's Jesper Radich won the Gold Cup,
the fourth of nine stops on the Swedish Match Tour, by defeating countryman
Jes Gram-Hansen to claim $20,000 and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's King
Edward VII Cup. Check local listings for the schedule in your area.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Brain cells come and go, but fat cells live forever.