SCUTTLEBUTT #435 - November 8, 1999
LOUIS VUITTON CUP
* It was a big day on the racecourse today with two upsets and more gear
failure. The Swiss FAST 2000 team earned its first win of the Louis Vuitton
Cup and America True won the battle of the San Francisco rivals. This was a
blow for AmericaOne as Paul Cayard was over the start line early and
America True held the lead from start to finish.
Japan's Asura got off to a flying start doing an early hook on Prada and
winning the start. Asura was still in the lead when the clew of its
mainsail broke. Gilmour had to retire, surely frustrated at coming so close
to being the first to beat Italy's Luna Rossa.
Racing started under overcast skies with light drizzle and 12 to 15 knots
of wind. But soon the sky cleared and the wind built. By the end of the
racing the wind had increased to 22 knots from the North. The Race
Committee will work hard to get racing in on Tuesday as forecasters predict
some nasty weather due later this week.
LUNA ROSSA WON, ASURA DID NOT FINISH
With a flurry of activity in the pre-start, the initiative switched from
Luna Rossa (ITA-45) to Asura (JPN-44) with just a minute to go. Gilmour won
a great start and headed out to the left of the course. Luna Rossa crossed
the start line 15 seconds later and tacked away to the right to gain
separation and try to sail past. But the left hand side of the course was
obviously the place to be. Gilmour built his lead by staying on the left of
the pair. He rounded the first mark with a 20 second lead. Luna Rossa lost
more time with a poor spinnaker hoist. Gilmour stayed in control on the run
to lead by 23 seconds at the leeward mark. But then disaster struck. Half
way up the second windward leg the titanium clew ring on Nippon's mainsail
broke and the Japanese syndicate was forced to retire. This allowed Luna
Rossa to continue around the course and collect four more points.
BE HAPPY WON, ABRACADABRA DID NOT FINISH
be hAPpy (SUI-59) engaged in a pre start battle with Abracadabra (USA-54).
The Swiss forced Kolius to tack away at the start line and continued with
speed over the line, winning the start with three seconds. On the first
beat be hAPpy could nearly cross ahead but tacked to leeward. A left-hand
shift gave the Swiss just what they needed. When the boats met again Pajot
and Schumann could cross in front of Abracadabra to take the right side
approaching the first mark. The Swiss rounded the top mark 19 seconds
ahead. After a very slow tack set on be hAPpy, Kolius caught up. But
downwind the Swiss could sail deeper and kept the lead. It was a close
race. At the bottom mark the delta was 16 seconds, at the second weather
mark the lead was only 14 seconds. Downwind Kolius forced Schumann to gybe
often but lost three seconds in the process. The Swiss started the third
beat with a two boatlength lead. The wind increased to 18 knots when
disaster struck for Abracadabra. The mainsail ripped from leech to luff
just underneath the top batten. Kolius continued with a headsail only. But
on the last run Abracadabra retired.
AMERICA TRUE BEAT AMERICAONE - DELTA 01:29
John Cutler and Paul Cayard battled hard for the dominant position at the
start. Cutler, in control towards the end of the pre-start, lured
AmericaOne into starting early. By the time AmericaOne had re-crossed
correctly, it was 38 seconds behind. The first beat saw 11 tacks as Cayard
and Kostecki tried to re-position themselves relative to the windshifts and
America True. But their efforts were in vain. John Cutler and his team
stayed calm and in control of the race and rounded the first mark with a
lead of almost one minute. The first run saw America True pull 20 seconds
out from the St Francis Yacht Club's challenger. The race continued in much
the same vein with America True gaining all the time in the building breeze
to finish the course with a significant lead.
YOUNG AMERICA BEAT BRAVO ESPANA - DELTA 01:23
After an even start Young America (USA-53) skippered by Ed Baird defeated
Bravo Espana (ESP- 47) sailed by Pedro Campos. The pre-start was lively
with Baird quickly going on the attack, chasing Campos away from the line
in a series of circles before they both headed back. Campos went for the
left side of the course, successfully protecting the pin end. Both boats
hit the line at the gun but Baird was pointing higher and accelerating
faster. Boat speeds were similar with a slight height advantage to Baird
who edged away on every leg except the first run.
LE DEFI BEATS YOUNG AUSTRALIA 2000 - DELTA 01:43
Le Defi (FRA-46) avenged a loss in the Rugby World Cup with a win over
Young Australia (AUS-31). French skipper Bertrand Pace showed good form in
the pre start forcing his Australian counterpart James Spithill to tack
away from a trailing, leeward position to the committee boat end of the
line. Le Defi crossed the line first, tacked and consolidated its lead with
a quick covering tack after the start. Pace pushed Spithill towards the
left layline and led by 32 seconds at the windward mark. France was never
threatened the rest of the way. -- Louis Vuitton Cup,
* Two minutes before the midday deadline Friday, the Young Australians
entered their "new-old" America's Cup boat into the fray. The Australians
got the go-ahead from the Cup powers-that-be just before time ran out for
the challengers to nominate which boat they will sail in the second
round-robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup, starting today.
So while the rest of the fleet return to the racecourse Saturday, the
Australians, who have a fortuitous bye, will take possession of AUS31, the
1995 OneAustralia, towing it across the Viaduct Basin from AmericaOne to
their floating crane.
"I was happy to give it to the kids," Cayard said. "A lot of my guys worked
hard on it to get it ready for them. "It doesn't help us win the America's
Cup. But I think it helps the cup - it will make the competition better."
For Young Australia skipper James Spithill it was a six-month dream come
true. "Since day one of this campaign I've been hassling everyone to try to
get OneAustralia," he said. "Finally it's come off. The guys would have
been so disappointed if it hadn't."
So AUS29, the boat which finished last in the 1995 challenger series,
finally gets to retire from Cup racing. The boys reckon OneAustralia could
bring them a few wins in round two, after they scored just one in the
opening stanza. "Around the racetrack, we'll pick up speed in a whole lot
of little areas, which should add up to a big margin at the finishline,"
"The boys won't be able to sleep just waiting to race this boat." But the
other boats haven't been sitting idle in the last nine days. All but one,
the radical Swiss Be Happy, have been altered and had to be remeasured
before today's start. Where the French openly showed off how they have
changed their boat, the big guns like Prada, Young America and AmericaOne
would not reveal a stitch about their modifications. -- Suzanne McFadden,
* Japanese sailor Toshiki Shibata is still struggling to stay on his feet
after being knocked out cold on the bow of an America's Cup boat three
weeks ago. It could be a while yet before Shibata is back sailing on board
Asura in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, after he was whacked in
the face by the spinnaker pole during the opening round of racing.
The Nippon crew had hoped the three-cup veteran would be fit to rejoin them
in the second round, which started at the weekend. But skipper Peter
Gilmour said Shibata was not yet strong enough to return to the boat
following his ordeal - where he was knocked unconscious, broke his jaw, his
nose and lost two front teeth. "Shibata-san is still quite weak. He has
tried to do a little exercise - a bit of light walking. But he gets quite
light-headed after 10 minutes and has to sit down," Gilmour said.
"He has been through a reasonably traumatic accident. So he just has to
take it easy before he can sail again. At least he has two new front teeth
Thirty-four-year-old Shibata, one of the original members of the Nippon
Challenge from 1992, will not be sent home early to Japan. He still manages
to do some work at the cup village base while the boats are out on the
water, as part of Nippon's mast building team. Nippon spokeswoman Emili
Miura said Shibata had been overwhelmed by the support he had received from
the other cup syndicates. -- Suzanne McFadden, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
|1. ||Prada || 12 -0 || 18
|2. ||Young America || 10-2 || 16
|3. ||AmericaOne || 9-3 || 12
|4. ||America True || 7-5 || 10
|5. ||Nippon || 7-5 || 9.5*
|6. ||Stars & Stripes || 6-5 || 8.5*
|7. ||Le Defi BTT ||3-9 || 6
|8. ||Spain || 5-7 || 5
|9. ||FAST 2000 || 1-11 || 4
|10. || Abracadabra ||4-8 || 4
|11. || Young Australia || 1-10 || 1
* 1/2 point penalty imposed for contact
Winners win because they pay close attention to details. All details. And
there is no question that crew shirts and other regatta apparel fill the
void overlooked by so many of the 'also-ran' programs. Although Pacific
Yacht Embroidery already provides regatta gear for an impressive list of
winners, they will also be happy to work with you. Call Frank Whitton at
619-226-8033. Frank provides the good stuff at affordable prices.
Reversing the previous decision to greenlight a midweek departure from New
York, a disappointed PlayStation Skipper Steve Fossett communicated with
crew and associates: "The weather pattern we had planned on for a departure
has changed radically. The Low Pressure center is tracking to the west of
NYC instead of the east, depriving us of the strong northwesterly winds we
needed. Instead we would be sailing downwind to Cape Race, Newfoundland
then continuing to struggle with downwind angles the rest of the way across
the Atlantic. Too slow. There is not another candidate weather pattern
within the forecastable range of the next week.
MATT JONES' TRIVIA QUESTION
How many times did Sir Thomas Lipton challenge for the Americas Cup?
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks. But only one letter per subject,
so give it your best shot and don't whine if people disagree.
-- From Watt Duffy -- Simple...Should the Cup be held with an expense cap
like all American sports are? Then the money for marketing could go to more
campaigns, more boats, spread over more countries, over more sailors. A
number like 10 million US dollars per year, with a bonus for sailors
acceptable? It might be that the Syndicates are making money but what about
the "hired help" the sailors?
-- From William F. Cook -- Regarding the debate over Tom Ehman's proposal,
I have a couple of points to make. The science of accounting is not
*nearly* sophisticated enough to impose a hard limit on spending in the
America's Cup. If you want example of how well this would work, look at
campaign finance reform in American Politics. If you want to make the
America's Cup a better event, with greater parity among the competitors, it
needs to be managed in a better way.
Tom Ehman has made one very constructive proposal, some of which I agree
with and some of which I don't, and I'm sure there will be more debate on
the subject. As someone who is in Auckland working on the America's Cup, I
would very much like to see some of the "big money" everyone here keeps
talking about, but so far I've only witnessed average people making a
pretty average living working 70+ hours a week. Most of us have sacrificed
better financial opportunities to do what we love.
-- From Walter Siegenthaler, Mannedorf, Switzerland-- While this event is
filling hundreds and hundreds of web pages the sailing itself, from a
spectators view, is just about the poorest I have experienced during 60
years of racing in "normal" competitions. Already half a century ago Dr.
Manfred Curry has told us how to defend a leading position. The only
reliable weapons to do this are the disturbances of wind and water I am
creating with my own boat. To use these weapons properly I have to stick to
my opponent, keep him under my sails and do it consequently. So all this
racing, supported by millions of $$$ boils down to a forseeable tacking
and covering, with the leader usually drawing away and winning without
further problems. What we are looking at now is a formula one grand prix
where the driver ahead is allowed to stop the opponent by blocking his way,
and where only two starters are on the course.
Look at the first series in round two: On the first leg Young America
passes AmTrue, TDC passes LeDefi and AmOne passes Spain. That's it. No
other changes of places.
There was an interesting publication how to improve the "America Cup".
Unfortunately it just boils down to changing administrative procedures
while I couldn't make out an improvement for the spectator's benefit. If
you ask me what I really have in mind? Just introduce a third boat (triple
racing) and you will change the world.
-- From Don McDougall -- With so many US campaigns, have we diluted our
talent and resources? We all keep reading of campaigns soliciting the same
sailors, and not sharing design information. Or has the national flavor of
the Cup changed, and is it now corporate dollars and regional economic
factors that drive the event rather then sportsmanship?
ROUND ROBIN TWO
Racing in Round Robin Two of the Louis Vuitton Cup is underway. A typical
Louis Vuitton Cup race day in Auckland begins long before the boats leave
the Viaduct Basin and head for the courses out on the Hauraki Gulf. This is
how a typical race day evolves, from the 0530 weather alert through the
start sequence and round procedure.
0530: Louis Vuitton Cup Regatta Operations director Vince Cooke and his
team begin checking weather forecasts and weather reporting buoys, and
consult with several meteorologists, to determine where and whether racing
can be run on that day.
0700: Cooke places a message on a telephone voice mail system advising Race
Committee volunteers whether to report, or not.
0800: Cooke confers with the Defender regarding choices of racing areas.
0815: By e-mail Cooke informs the challenger syndicates of the order of the
day. If the weather is inclement, he can postpone the racing and keep the
teams ashore. It takes roughly three hours for a race boat to leave the
dock, get to the race area and prepare for the start.
In his e-mail, Cooke has identified the start areas for the two courses,
Atlantic and Pacific, from the three race circles available (red, green,
and blue), and the eight circumference points on each circle. (For example,
Cooke's call will be "Atlantic course will start at blue three").
The courses are located some 15 miles Northeast of Auckland, between
Rangitoto Island and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Cooke can choose the two
courses he wants, leaving the defender, Team New Zealand, with one course
to practice on. Every other day the home team has the right to select its
own course for training, Cooke then has to use the other two.
0900: The challenger syndicates leave their bases and start to tow out to
the Hauraki Gulf Race courses.
0930: The Race Committee is underway from Bucklands Beach Yacht Club for an
1100 hours rendezvous on the race courses.
The criteria for starting is that the wind is not stronger than 18 knots
(measured at 10 metres above the sea level) before the start for five
uninterrupted minutes. The criteria for continuing a race is that the wind
is not stronger than 23 knots (measured at 10 metres above sea level) for
five uninterrupted minutes on the first weather leg. There also exist
several time limits on the course. The first boat must round the first mark
no more than 50 minutes after the start and must cross the finish line
within three hours of the start. If these criteria are not attained, then
the race is abandoned and re-sailed.
Each line of the day's pairings lists the side of the start line a boat
enters from. The first entry comes from the left (blue flag) and the second
entry is from the right (yellow flag). The first three pairs for each race
will sail on the Atlantic course and the last two pairs will sail on the
As there are 11 syndicates, one team does not race each day. These teams
are said to have a bye. If the weather cooperates, it will take 11 days to
complete Round Robin Two. If races are postponed, there are ten reserve
days before the start of Round Robin Three, which begins on 2 December. --
Louis Vuitton Cup website, http://www.louisvuittoncup.com/
THEY'VE GOT IT ALL
If you love getting the inside scoop on what's happening in Auckland, but
hate cruising all over the web for America's Cup news, stop what your doing
and bookmark the Quokka America's Cup website. They've got the best writers
-- lots of them -- and are highly motivated to be the only site you ever
need for ALL of the America's Cup news. There is also an incredible
collection of great images, the complete schedule, rules and so much more.
Even the SIs are published there: Check it out now:
Sebastien Magnen made Mini-Transat history when he limped across the line
dismasted on Saturday at 1746hrs (French time) in Basse Terre, Guadeloupe
to achieve his double victory of this race in its 12th Edition. The top 5
rankings have been released and the news today is that two international's
have finished in the top 5 of this heavily French-dominated event. After
Magnen, Pierre-Yves Moreau lies 2nd in 'Sablieres Palvadeau', followed by
New Zealand's Chris Sayer in 'NavMan'in 3rd, Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux) in
4th and Brit Alex Bennett in 'English Braids' (Mark Turner's old Mini)
coming in 5th.
Strangely, all top three overall skippers, Seb Magnen, Pierre-Yves Moreau &
Chris Sayer, as well as Lionel Lemonchois, who arrived in 6th today,
suffered a dismasting in this second leg - they had all been caught in
typically violent rain storms, from which there is little escape but a lot
of potential damage for a Mini. Pierre-Yves Moreau explained: "You are
already pushing the boat as hard as it can go, and then you spill when it
gets to the limit, and it lasts just a few seconds." Sebastien Magnen adds:
"I go for cover, free everything off, I cannot hold the helm, I am on a
huge surf and in less than a minute everything on the boat is broken!" Only
Peter Heppel (Reality), Jean-Michel Roux (Reglisse of Sebago) & Alex
Bennett (English Braids) have arrived intact so far. -- Mark Turner and
Overall Ranking (before jury) in Accumulated Time 1- Sebastien Magnen
(Voile Magazine Jeanneau) 24j 15h 11' 16" 2- Pierre-Yves Moreau (Sablieres
Palvadeau) 25j 1h 22' 1" 3- Chris Sayer (Navman) 25j 15h 6' 13" 4- Erwan
Tabarly (Armor-Lux) 25j 21h 39' 42" 5- Alex Bennett (English Braids) 26j13h
Arrival Leg 2 - French Time 1- Erwan Tabarly (Armor-Lux) 6/11 02h08' 02" 15
j 6 h 52' 02" 7.52 knots 2- Peter Heppel (Reality) 6/11 17h25'04" 15 j 22 h
9' et 4" 7,22 knots 3- Sebastien Magnen (Voile Magazine Jeanneau) 6/11 17h
46' 46" 15 j 22 h 30' 46" 7,22 knots (dismasted) 4- Pierre-Yves Moreau
(Sablieres Palvadeau) 6/11 17h 57' 29" 15 j 22 h 41' 29" 7,21 knots
(dismasted) 5- Jean-Michel Roux (Reglisse of Sebago) 6/11 21h 07' 22" 16 j
01 h 52' 22" 7.15 knots
Full Latest Positions: http://www.offshorechallenges.com
TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWER
Sir Thomas Lipton made five efforts to win The Americas Cup.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
What should you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered