SCUTTLEBUTT #373 - August 5, 1999
SKANDIA LIFE COWES WEEK
In the Croesus class at Cowes, the races where the tycoons tend to play,
Larry Ellison, the Oracle Software chairman, and his co-skipper, CNN boss
Ted Turner, scored back to back wins in the ILC-70 maxi division. These
successes came in a pair of tight and combative windward/leeward races held
south-east of the Isle of Wight in Sandown Bay and proved enough to edge
them one point ahead of James Dolan's Sagamore in the Skandia Cowes Week
With Alberto Roemmers' Alexia sidelined, repairing a cracked mast in time
for Saturday's Fastnet race start, the ILC-70s were down to three, yet the
margins were close. Aboard Sagamore, there was a bad case of the Boomerang
blues, for George Coumantaros' boat had a major influence on Dolan's results.
Soon after the first start, Boomerang called for water surprisingly early
and, in tacking over to give her room, Sagamore switched from a nice, clear
air position to one disturbed by Sayonara. It was a similar story in the
second race, when Boomerang needed room to tack her round an anchored ship.
On both occasions Sayonara came through to control the race. "I've raced
these guys for four or five years and for the past three seasons it's been
Sayonara, Sayonara, Sayonara," said Dolan.
As the man who launched the Bravo and American Classic Movie channels in
the USA - as well as owning the New York Knicks basketball and New York
Rangers ice hockey teams, Radio City and Madison Square Garden - Jim Dolan
has the wherewithal to do something about it. Hence his second ILC-70
Sagamore, this one launched at the end of last year and meeting her main
rivals for the first time in Cowes. She is uncompromisingly a race boat, a
carbon fibre shell in which, or on which, there is not one superfluous
item. "The first Sagamore was really a cruiser-racer," explained Dolan.
"Now we are competitive."
What sets this class apart is not its wealthy owners but the blemish-free
yachts they have created with the best designers and builders in the
business. Even the decks of these craft are chamoised-off as the crew climb
aboard in the morning.
The boat handling is equally immaculate. The owners steer much of the race
themselves, including the start. "I think I am an OK helmsman," says Dolan,
though conceding he could not hold a candle to Ed Baird, the New York YC's
America's Cup skipper, standing at his shoulder. "I am never going to be as
good as a guy who goes sailing every day of the week. If I did that, I'd
have no business left," says Dolan.
Improvements to facilities ashore and prizes for winners afloat were
announced yesterday by the organisers in an effort to make next year's
event 'a stunning success' with up to 1,000 competing yachts. Sponsors
Skandia Life announced that they will give L2,000 prizes to the top boats
in each of the two groups of competing yachts next year and will also give
free entry to 10 yachts that enter early.
Ashore, some long overdue improvements to the Cowes waterfront are planned
including a complete facelift of the run-down Town Quay area and extensions
and improvements to both the marinas in town. -- Tim Jeffery, Electronic
Maxi (Race 1): 1, Sayonara (E Turner & L Ellison); 2, Sagamore (J Dolan);
3, Boomerang (G Coumantaros); (Race 2): 1, Sayonara; 2, Boomerang; 3,
For the full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you suppose the OFFICIAL
videotape of the Sydney-Hobart Race is worth? Of the 115 starters in this
race, only 40 made it to Hobart. After a pleasant start, the race quickly
became a battle for survival -- a battle six men would ultimately lose.
80-foot seas and 80-knot winds -- something you never want to see in
person. The footage from cameras on board the boats documents the bravery,
the terror and the extraordinary rescue efforts. This impressive videotape
is now available online and it's only $29.95 plus postage and handling:
After a 12-year absence from America's Cup competition, Britain, the nation
that helped start it all, looked set to return for America's Cup 2000, but
the Royal Dorset Yacht Club challenge has ultimately failed to find enough
traction to make the journey. Britain has never competed in the modern
International America's Cup Class, its last outing being in 12-Metres in
Fremantle, Australia in 1987. As such, the British are falling further and
further out of America's Cup contention and would virtually have to be
regarded as a rookie competitor when, and if, they do return.
The British syndicate got off to a very promising start with backing from
British Aerospace and Silicon Graphics, but after spending a reported $14
million on the campaign, failed to get enough backing to make a viable
attempt. Not all of the start-up money will be wasted. Much of it
represents research and development work that would have been done anyway,
and the results will likely benefit British sailing projects as diverse as
the Olympic Games and the next Volvo Round the World Race. -- America's Cup
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Neil W. Humphrey -- When I asked the International Sailing
Federation why they use ISAF rather than ISF, they said the International
Softball Federation has ISF. Funny enough, when searching the web one can
also find International Snowboard Federation, International Schoolsports
Federation & etc all using ISF.
I submit with the big push by ISAF to secure & control sponsorship dollars
worldwide now as a organization/business they seriously need to look at
their branding or identity as company. I don't think there is an
advertising, marketing or PR firm out there that would recommend having any
confusion between a company's Logo and their company name. I can only see
the current problem with the International Sailing Federations identity
continuing to add to the difficulty of sailors and sailing events to
maintain and secure sponsorship. I believe it's time for the International
Sailing Federation to lead the way in demonstrating to the sailing
community a professional marketing plan for the future of the sport.
-- From Chris Ericksen -- I see in 'Butt #372 that they intend to re-enact
the original race in which the schooner-yacht America won "The 100 Guinea
Cup" that became the America's Cup. I wonder if they will correct the
sailing instructions? There was a beef (perhaps not a protest in the
modern sense) after that 1851 race in which an English competitor claimed
the NYYC's America did not sail the proper course, having left a bouy that
the Englishman felt to be a mark of the cours on the wrong side. The
committe found that the sailing instructions were not specific in this
matter--the side on which the bouy had been left in previous races was
apparently traditional and not required-- and (to use modern usage)
disallowed the protest (again, modern usage). In those presumably less
litigious times this might have been OK, but probably not these days.
-- From Jordan J. Dobrikin -- It is clear that Sailing/RACING needs and can
support both a Measurement Rule, IMS, and an Empirical Rule, PHRF. Both
Rules need to be able to effectively, (easily), modified over time. IMS
seems to have this capability, so it will be interesting to see how it will
fair against the competition of IRM/IRC. PHRF is a somewhat different
story. The "simplicity" of plain vanilla PHRF is being sorely taxed.
What is needed is rational discussion and suggestions on how to IMPROVE,
PHRF, and some reasonably quick movement towards the implementation of some
/ all "Improvements". Else PHRF will succumb to it's competitors, Americap,
IRM/IRC, even the Portsmouth Rating System (which currently is a strong,
viable system for Dinghies, but weak, under developed system for bigger
boats). It would be nice to know about PHRF Plus, PHRF+, and/or other
improvements that are in use or on the drawing board(s).
-- From Rick Hatch -- It was very rewarding for me to read some positive
comments from your readers on the article about RRS 18.2(c). For those who
want a brief read for a better understanding of the RRS and who don't make
the time to sit on protest committees for several years, I can recommend
"Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes", available from US Sailing.
The cost (approx. $17 plus shipping) is nominal for the insight that the
ADECCO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Ludde Ingvall's Skandia (EUR) won the third race of the Cowes Week event in
the Adecco World Championship for the Maxi-One-Design class, but it was a
hard fought victory with pressure on the leader until she crossed the Royal
Yacht Squadron finishing line. Throughout the race, Skandia had been under
attack, first from Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel, steered by Jimmy
Pahun (FRA), and then by Geoff Meek's Rainbow Magic (RSA).
The 30 mile race was held mostly in the Eastern Solent under grey skies in
16 knots of south-easterly breeze which veered to the south. Only seven
boats answered the starter's gun - the missing boat was Ross Field's RF
Yachting (NZL) which was damaged in a collision with Gunnar Krantz' Team
Henri-Lloyd on Monday. It was in a boatyard in Hamble for repair as the
condition of the damage had deteriorated during yesterday's race. Field is
to apply for average points for the race he has missed. -- Bob Fisher
Finishing order: Race three: 1. EUR Skandia Ludde Ingvall 2. RSA Rainbow
Magic Geoff Meek 3. FRA Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel 4. ITA
Seac Banche Guido Maisto 5. BEL Synphony Hans Bouscholte 6. SUI
Alinghimax Ernesto Bertarelli 7. SWE Team Henri-Lloyd Gunnar Krantz
Points after three races: 1. EUR 28 2. RSA 19 3. NZL 17.25 4. BEL 17 5.
FRA 15 6. SUI 11 7. ITA 9 8. SWE 7
Event website: http://www.adecco-championship.com/uk/
Summertime sailing is all about T-shirts and short pants. I love it! But
what do you do when it gets nasty on the course with big wind and
horizontal spray? Or worse yet, rain? Well, thank God for Gill's breathable
foul weather gear. Traditional wet weather gear may have kept you dry from
the elements, but your body generated so much sweat that the benefits were
marginal at best. Forget that. The last time I checked Gill had seven
different breathable foul weather outfits. Something tells me there is one
just perfect for your needs: http://www.douglasgill.com
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
Warren Jones was Alan Bond's chief executive and went to Newport with
Bond's first challenge in 1974. He does not speak particularly highly of
the New York Yacht Club. As to New Zealand's chances, he is now on record
as saying that he does not see Team New Zealand as having any home-town
advantage. "Defenders get distracted by the home-comforts and the
relatives who all interfere and all have something to say" says Jones. He
believes Team New Zealand have already made a tactical error in handing the
organising of the challengers to its old foe. He compares it to putting the
fox back in charge of the chickens. Jones is convinced that, because of
this, the non-American teams are on the back foot in the challenger series,
so it will be an American team that meet Team New Zealand in the finals in
Warren Jones believes "New Zealanders are the best sailors, pound for pound
in the world. There isn't another nation that can compare with the Kiwis.
They are incredibly sound yachtsmen. They are certainly capable of holding
onto that precious trophy."
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Few women admit their age; Fewer men act it.