SCUTTLEBUTT #327 - May 20, 1999
GUEST EDITORIAL - Rick Merriman
After reading Scuttlebutt #325 I felt compelled to write you. The story
that grabbed me was on Ian Walker and Mark Covell, star sailors from
England. The article was an announcement on the sponsorship of their team
by United Airlines. What troubles me is that United Airlines an American
company, which is sponsoring a non-U.S. team for Olympic competition.
If they were sailing a non-Olympic boat that would be one thing but the
Olympics is a competition between countries were medal counts are taken
very seriously. As a matter of fact I believe the number of medals can
mean a big difference in funding for specific sports.
I do not know if someone from PR at US Olympic sailing or if there is a
marketing person from US Olympic sailing but someone should be calling
United as to why they are not supporting US Sailing. I know that United is
a Global company and they are probably trying to use this to reach the
European market but most of the top US sailors will probably go to the same
Funding for regatta's is very hard to come by and I am sure that a number
of US teams could have used the sponsorship. In the article it mentions
their respectable finish of 17th of 90 at the Bacardi Cup. However I am
looking at the results in Sailing World and three of the top five teams are
US. A silver medal in 96 is also a strong point but one US sailor out of
the top five at Bacardi has a gold and a silver medal from past Olympics.
Is there a marketing arm of US Olympic sailing that helps with funding or
at least helps to attract US companies to support US sailors? If not there
should be. A percentage of the funding raised could go to pay the salaries
and costs to run the program.
I hope this raises some questions as to how to best support our own
athletes for Olympic competition.
ADECCO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Report by Bob Fisher
SCHEVENINGEN, HOLLAND- Bertrand Pace, steering Le Defi Bouygues
Telecom-Transiciel, gave the French a good start to the Adecco World
Championship for the Maxi One Design class by leading at the first two
buoys of the 222 mile offshore race, which marked the opening of the
championship. He had used the unstable easterly wind of 5-7 knots to his
advantage and avoided the lighter patches in the North Sea off the Dutch
All eight of the Bruce Farr designed 80 footers answered the starter's gun
shortly after 1300 today for a two and a half mile windward leg to begin
this race and Pace's tactician, Thierry Peponnet had indicated that a start
from the pin end of the line was favoured. Pace judged it to a nicety,
driving off to the north in search of the better wind.
Harold Cudmore (GBR), calling the shots for Geoff Meek, decided the other
way was right for the South African Rainbow Magic and when the two came
together after two miles, there was not much between them. Christian Wahl,
at the wheel of Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghimax, had crossed the French,
but it was at this point that Pace sought more wind on the left hand side
of the course. He found the extra pressure and led by one minute and eight
seconds at the weather mark.
Ludde Ingvall's Skandia, with Robbie Doyle (USA) watching over the tactics,
was next, 50 seconds ahead of Rainbow Magic, which in turn was 12 seconds
clear of Gunnar Krantz with Sea Lex, the Swedish entry. There was a
surfeit of Kiwi brain power in the afterguard of the Swedish boat with
Murray Ross (NZL) as navigator, Erle Williams (NZL) as tactician and Jared
Henderson (NZL) as strategist for the former Swedish America's Cup skipper.
Ross Field in the New Zealand entry, with Halvard Mabire (FRA) and Matt
Humphries (GBR) was next and immediately instigated an aggressive gybe to
begin the return run to the buoy at the pin end of the starting line to
complete the first two legs. It was a move that showed well while the
easterly breeze held, and Hans Bousholte in Belgian Synphony followed
quickly to stretch his lead over Alinghimax and the Italian Seac Banche,
skippered by Guido Maisto.
The French were still ahead as the fleet approached the second turning
mark, followed by Skandia, Sea Lex and Rainbow Magic. But right then, the
wind became very unstable, and New Zealand was badly dumped, her spinnaker
hanging limply, as the crew struggled to change it for an ultra-light one.
That was, however, the wrong move, as the instability of the wind was
caused by a north-westerly stream replacing the easterly.
The leading boats went for headsails, Le Defi Bouygues Telecom-Transiciel
hoisting a reaching sail, as did the Belgians; the rest went immediately
for genoas to sail to windward, where the next mark lay, 25 miles to the
north. Skandia climbed high to windward as the boats left the Scheveningen
area and there was considerable activity on the foredeck of the French
boat, indicating that they were preparing to change the headsail as they
The course will take them from that mark, due west across the North Sea to
the Smith's Knoll off Great Yarmouth, then South to the Outer Gabbard off
Harwich before returning to Scheveningen via a number of navigation marks
to keep the boats away from shipping. They are expected to finish Friday
late morning. -- Bob Fisher
Official web site: http://www.adecco-championship.com/uk/index.html
BLOCK ISLAND RACE WEEK
Rolex Watch U.S.A., long-time supporter of some of the most prestigious
sailing events in the world, has become an official sponsor of the Storm
Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week XVIII, to be held at Block Island,
Rhode Island from June 20-25, 1999. Block Island Race Week attracts many
of the sport's most talented and well-known sailors to test their mettle in
four days of fleet racing on Rhode Island Sound, and one day of distance
racing around the 15 square miles of Block Island.
"The Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week is one of sailing's most
recognized and respected events," said Walter Fischer, President and CEO of
Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. "It is a pleasure to include it among the
regattas that Rolex supports."
Adding an exciting new twist, a Rolex Submariner timepiece will be awarded
to the boats on each of the three racing circles with the most outstanding
performances for the week, as judged by the Race Committee.
Block Island Race Week attracts over 200 racing keelboats to the excellent
sailing waters off of the coast of Rhode Island. Competitors hail from
across the United States, Europe and Asia. - Amy Gross
Event website: http://www.stormtrysail.org/99birw
SIZE IS NOT IMPORTANT
Last September, Nick Trotman and Mike Mills were winning the 505 Worlds on
the East Coast, while the ULDB 70 Taxi Dancer owned by Don Hughes and RP
Richards was winning the Sled Class at the Big Boat Series in San
Francisco. There is a lot of difference between a Reichel-Pugh 70 and a
505but there was one common thread. Both boats had a full inventory of
Ullman Sails. This is a great time for you to improve the performance of
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
* Vladimir Kulbida is the commodore of the St Petersburg Yacht Club
(Russia) and he arrived in Auckland to declare that their challenge is very
much alive, their yacht ready to launch in two months, and hey "Where I can
I park our syndicate's first container load of gear?"
Long written off as someone's pipe dream, it seems (on the face of it) that
it is now likely they will front, but not before they face the realities of
America's Cup rules. The International America's Cup Class technical
director, Ken McAlpine, is on record as saying that the Russians have not
been in touch with him about their boat, no sail number has been issued
during the early construction days, and no line plans of the shape of the
boat have been provided. Obviously the organisers and McAlpine have an
obstacle or two ahead of them.
Looking for a base in the Viaduct Harbour, but of course without success,
this challenger has some problems to overcome, and although the village has
the "full-up" sign posted, there is more than one syndicate having
difficulties meeting costs. So as the saying goes, don't watch this space,
I only want yours! And for the record, Russia, although previously entered,
has never raced in an America's Cup.
* There are now 70 people working full time for Team New Zealand with the
boat building operation going on seven days a week.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed here are routinely edited for clarity, space
(250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Greg Tice -- I love Steve Glassman's idea about "Newbie to Weather.
Simple, inexpensive, easy to implement, incentive for crew and skippers.
Maybe the name needs more thought though.
-- From Jerry Montgomery -- In Scuttlebutt 324 Nick Longhurst commented
that boats in the 50 - 60 foot range ". . . in light of past results there
is always a strong possibility a boat in this size range can collect
corrected time honors." It is true that boats in this size range are great
to sail on, but in fact have not recently had much corrected time success.
Except for the '97 race where boats in this size range took 1 - 4 overall
(Ralphie, Medicine Man, Stealth Chicken and Persuasion) and except for
Morning Glory's 1995 win as one of the two big boats in the 8 boat IMS
division, the last time a boat between 50 and 60 feet to win Transpac on
corrected time was Legend in 1955.
Curmudgeon's Comment - Jerry modest neglected to mention he was the skipper
of Ralphie in the last Transpac when they finished first overall.
-- From Colin Case (re. NZL 57) -- You'd think the New Zealand America's
Cup people would have consulted Mr. Heinz before trying to copyright his
COFFS HARBOUR TO FIJI RACE
A developing low which might generate winds of up to 50 knots at the
weekend was seeing a number of starters in the inaugural Coffs Harbour to
Fiji race scurry towards Noumea for shelter tonight. But at the same time
all were advising that they were planning to continue to race to the finish
in Suva once the weather improved. All crews reported they were safe and
well. At the same time they were looking forward to some respite from the
headwinds that at times had gusted to 40 knots over the past 48 hours. Race
meteorologist Roger Badham has been updating all yachts twice a day on the
path of the low which now looks as though it will evaporate sooner than
expected on Sunday.
With line honours favourite Fudge now retired and in Noumea it was Alstar
(Alby Burgin) and Bright Morning Star (Hugh Treharne) that were settling
down to fight for both the line and handicap prizes. Tonight the two yachts
were ESE of the southern tip of New Caledonia with Alstar 555 miles from
the finish and Bright Morning Star 60nm astern. The leaders should see the
easterly wind decrease in strength over the next 48 hours. -- Rob Mundle
Web Page: http://www.sailing-online.com.au/fiji/
TIP O' THE WEEK -- Rules
1. Tacking too close -- Committees and judges look very harshly on this
one. The onus is on the boat tacking to prove it was not too close.
2. Not giving enough room at a leeward mark -- Communication is the word of
the day here. Be in dialogue with the inside boat and constantly assure
them that you are staying clear and that they can make their maneuver
3. Barging -- The starting line is usually the most intense and nerve
racked moment of the entire race. Another great reason to measure your
risks rather than push the limits before you have even started.
4. Proper course -- This is usually interpreted differently or wrongly by
competitors on the water and in the protest room more than any other bit of
language. Study it. Learn it. Talk about it. When you are sailing it is
clear and if you go to the room it will be clear.
5. All the rest of the rules -- Paul Elvstrom sailed nearly 100% of his
career after a distasteful protest in the Flying Dutchman Class without
protesting or going to the protest room. He found other opportunities on
the race course to gain advantage rather than pushing the rules to the
limit. If we all took on that responsibility imagine how pleasurable
sailing could be. -- The Coach at Sailweb.net.
San Francisco-based AmericaOne and Autodesk today announced that AmericaOne
will use Autodesk software, including the new AutoCADR 2000, as its base
development platform. Two International America's Cup Class 75-foot boats
are being designed for AmericaOne by over 30 naval architects, fluid
dynamists, research scientists, and structural analysts. The precision of
AutoCAD 2000, its 3D modeling and new productivity enhancements, the
ability to build customized routines, and Autodesk's Internet and
collaboration products give AmericaOne the tools to share designs among a
large group and facilitate the production of working drawings of its boats.
"The design work we're doing now is just as important as how the crew
conducts itself during the America's Cup races on the water, because even a
highly skilled crew can't make up for a boat that is slower than the
competition," said AmericaOne Chief Operating Officer Bob Billingham. "A
key consideration for us is maximizing development time, because unlike a
lot of design projects our ultimate deadlines don't slip-we have to be
there for the first race of the Cup on October 18, 1999. Because it's
Internet-enabled, AutoCAD 2000 lets us share precise drawings in real time
and consider thousands of boat designs, allowing us to draw on every
innovation and improvement in boat building in the last 100 years."
Autodesk is the world's leading supplier of PC design software and digital
content creation tools. The company's 2D and 3D products are used in many
industries for architectural design, mechanical design, mapping, film and
video production, video game development and Web content development. Its
Discreet(TM) division develops systems and software for visual effects,
editing, and broadcast graphics used in the creation of digital moving
pictures. They also develop high-tech tools for design professionals.
Recent Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects are Discreet
customers. One of the largest PC software companies in the world, Autodesk
has more than four million customers in over 150 countries.
For The full story: http://www.americaone.org
With just under two weeks to go before the 19th Annual "Around Catalina"
Cabrillo Beach to Dana Point Race the fleet is expected to top 50 boats.
This year's race will feature a Big Boat Class. With seven entries already
(including Pyewacket and Merlin) this new class is expected to attract
10-12 boats. There will also be a Cruising Class for those who want to race
to Dana Point, but do not want to sail around Catalina Island. The entry
deadline is May 26. For information or an entry form:
http://www.dpyc.org/race/cat99.htm, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Smyth and Keith Notary in Chick's Beach regained the lead today,
coming in first ahead of Rudee's Restaurant (Brett A. Dryland / Rod J.
Waterhouse).. They did it by getting to the wind, which today was in shore.
The wind was pretty stable to Point Lookout, when it fell and shifted
several times. Chutes went up and then down again. Chick's Beach and
Rudee's dueled in the shifts. First Rudee's was ahead. Then Chick's Beach,
near the shore, caught the shift and left her opponent standing. It was the
reverse of yesterday when Rudee's got the luck. So once again the lead has
shifted. After all these miles, only a few minutes separate the leaders. It
is becoming a tense horse race between two skippers - two teams that are
incredibly evenly matched.
Standings: 1. Chick's Beach 2. Rudee's Rest. (time behind leader 00 hours
24 minutes 10 seconds) 3. Pomodoro (03:15:45) 4. Tybee Island (04:40:39)
5. Worrell Bros. Rest. (10:00:38)
Event website: http://www.worrell1000.com
Still at sea: Van Liew (429 miles to go); Petersen (489) Saito (724);
Event website: http://www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
War never decides who is right; only who is left.