SCUTTLEBUTT #444 - November 18, 1999
LOUIS VUITTON CUP
* Another strange day. Today's racing started under heavy conditions, the
wind blowing from the North at near 20 knots, the seas heavy with a two
metre swell. What followed was a day of postponements, withdrawals,
penalties and an outstanding display of aggressive match racing between
Asura and America True. In other words, it was just another exciting day at
the Louis Vuitton Cup.
AMERICAONE BEAT YOUNG AUSTRALIA - DELTA 05:39
AmericaOne (USA-49) forced James Spithill on Young Australia (AUS-31) to
the right of the starboard tack lay line, above the committee boat to win
the pre-start and cross the line 13 seconds ahead. The wind shifted right
by quite a margin on the first beat. Paul Cayard on AmericaOne defended the
right but the Australians did a good job hanging on. The delta was 33
seconds at the top mark. With the wind far right, the run became a reach to
the bottom mark. Young Australia sailed past that mark with its spinnaker
up and took some time to solve the problem. The delta grew to more than
three minutes before Spithill was sailing upwind again. The next two runs
AmericaOne sailed away to finish first.
LUNA ROSSA BEAT LE DEFI - DELTA 03:49
Bertrand Pace sailing Le Defi (FRA-46) lost out before the gun in the
battle for the left, but succeeded in accelerating away from the line
faster than Francesco de Angelis at the helm of Luna Rossa (ITA-45). Both
boats pounded into big seas as they fought for control. But the Frenchman's
glory was short-lived. Less than two minutes after the start, de Angelis
had poked his nose into clear air and forced Le Defi away. Five minutes
into the match they came back on opposite tacks and the Italian on port was
able to cross and tack clear ahead. On the next meeting, de Angelis crossed
three boat lengths ahead, took control of the right-hand side of the course
and sailed steadily away, gaining on every leg, especially the beats. Luna
Rossa finished over a kilometre ahead of the French.
AMERICA TRUE BEAT ASURA - DELTA 00:12
Rough water and strong winds saw aggression and violence in the pre-start
box. Peter Gilmour sailing Asura (JPN-44), chased America True (USA-51)
sailed by John Cutler through the full array of rules situations. Asura
forced a penalty on America True, which led off the line with such a clear
advantage the Umpires gave the Americans another penalty which had to be
taken straight away. The two headed off the line separated by the distance
of a penalty turn. Straight away Nippon showed to be the slower boat and
America True pointed higher to benefit from the better position relative to
a right hand shift. Nippon led around the first weather mark by 37 seconds.
America True gained just five seconds on the first downwind leg and the
distance at the top of the second beat was fairly similar. The second run
saw both boats gybe early and America True set an asymmetric spinnaker and
roar up to take another 14 seconds off the leader. The last weather leg
sailed in lighter and lighter winds saw America True take off. Nippon
failed to cover and America True, obviously faster, was allowed to sail
away and pass its opponent three-quarters of the way up the leg and round
with a 28 second lead. In just 10-12 knots of breeze the pair set
symmetrical spinnakers. America True still had a penalty to do and with
Gilmour sailing faster the chance for Cutler to sting one back on his
opponent was soon presented. Half-way down the run a flurry of gybes
brought the boats to within metres of each other, and normally this would
have been enough. Both boats had manoeuvered themselves beyond the layline
to the finish and so headsails were prepared. With poles forward and
Gilmour to weather, America True dropped its kite and started a series of
luffs. Gilmour, still with his spinnaker set, had to stay high and couldn't
avoid the luff that finally caused a collision. The Umpires gave Asura a
penalty and Cutler had equalised - the penalties cancelled each other out.
America True, now ahead, re-set their spinnaker and sailed unobstructed to
STARS & STRIPES WON, YOUNG AMERICA RETIRES
Ed Baird, skipper of Young America (USA-58) requested a delay to fix a
problem that prevented the crew from using its mainsail. The request was
granted, and then the delay was extended due to strong winds. When the Race
Committee initiated a second start sequence, Ken Read, at the helm on Stars
& Stripes (USA-55) asked for a short delay. Again, the wind was judged to
be too strong and a delay was granted. When racing resumed a third time,
Young America started its race against Stars & Stripes without a mainsail,
the Young Americans crossing the start line flying a red protest flag off
the stern. Ed Baird's crew tailed Stars & Stripes for one circuit of the
course in hope of a major breakdown on Team Dennis Conner, before
withdrawing from the race. Stars & Stripes sailed alone to collect four
BRAVO ESPANA WON, BE HAPPY DID NOT START
The other race on the Pacific course featured Spain's Bravo Espana (ESP-47)
sailing alone, after the Swiss be hAPpy (SUI-59) announced it would not
sail again in Round Robin Two. Pedro Campos and his Spanish team started
without a mainsail, and sailed the course alone to collect four points.
Louis Vuitton Cup website: http://www.louisvuittoncup.com
* After having found a crack in the aft keel of 'be hAPpy' yesterday,
repairs are now under way. A long and detailed examination of the keel by
our technicians and local composite experts confirmed that the damage was
reparable in time for the start of Round Robin 3. Marc Pajot said: "Before
coming to this conclusion, we had to consult the architects and engineers
involved in the boat. The cost of the repair will be limited to the
purchase of the necessary materials (carbon, resin, etc), the work will be
undertaken by our own technicians. We will also begin a number of
modifications already planned for the boat. 'be hAPpy' will be back on the
water in a week." Fast 2000
* The New Yorkers, whose first boat snapped in half a week ago, pulled out
of their race against Young Australia Wednesday when something cracked on
their substitute yacht USA 58. Just what had broken remained a mystery last
night - Young America were keeping tight-lipped about it.
But a four-hour protest hearing revealed that the damage was serious enough
that they would not have been able to fix it if they had been granted a
In an unprecedented decision late last night, Young America were told they
would be given points for the race - even though they packed up and went
home before entering the start-box.
The Americans hoisted their red protest flag as they lowered their mainsail
yesterday. They had asked race officer Vince Cooke for a delay when they
suffered damage, but he turned them down saying there was only five minutes
to the startgun - a new rule agreed to by all of the challengers before
this round. Young America argued they had made their plea before the time
limit - and last night they were proved right.
The jury ruled that there would not be a resail of the race, because the
Americans would not have been able to fix the break during the delay. So
the Australians keep their points, and this morning Young America will be
handed an unknown number as well. -- Suzanne McFadden, NZ Herald,
|1. || Prada || 18-1 || 42 points
|2. ||America True ||13-6 || 34
|3. ||Stars & Stripes || 12-7 ||32.5*
|4. || AmericaOne || 13-5 || 28
|5. ||Young America || 12-7 || 25**
|6. ||Nippon || 10-8 || 21.5*
|7. ||Spain || 8-10 ||17
|8. ||Le Defi BTT || 5-14 || 14
|9. ||Abracadabra || 6-12 || 12
|10. ||Young Australia || 3-15 || 9
|11. ||FAST 2000 || 2-17 || 8
* 1/2 point penalty imposed for contact
** Awarded 1 point for redress
Victories are worth one point each in Round One and four points in Round Two.
There is never a reason for a race organizers to lose money on regatta
apparel. Period! In fact, Pacific Yacht Embroidery has a program to supply
race organizers with quality regatta apparel at a guaranteed profit. Call
Frank Whitton (619-226-8033) for details on how to offset regatta costs
while supplying high quality, affordable apparel to the racers. No event is
too small to qualify for this program. firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com)
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 Bruce Harris -- An elaboration of Chris Welsh's Formula 1
comparison: The early season twisting and breaking wings were met with an
early season rule change. They added a new stiffness test, preventing wings
from twisting at high speed. The analogous response in AC boats is adding a
hull bending test between the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the LV Cup! Formula 1's
attempts to improve safety by regulating aerodynamics and reducing tire
grip have created discontent and poor public exposure far beyond the
structural failures in OneAustralia and Young America. I think the current
rule should stand and be observed for a while (2 Cups?). If we can avoid
scantlings, we can avoid "bigger government", and remain with the "market
control" approach in the current IAC Class rules.
-- From Alan Johnson (In response to Chris Welsh in 'Butt #442) -- Swing
keels on AC boats would be interesting especially in a tacking duel. There
would be an extra set of grinders for the keel hydraulics and the arms race
of "my pump is faster than your pump". A crash tack at a port- starboard
with the keel on the wrong side- blub, blub, blub. Are the cockpits on AC
-- From Alan Capellin -- The America's Cup has always been about politics
and money. On a trip to Boston YC for an Olympic class regatta, I spent
time reading through several books on the history of the Cup. I also read
the Sailing World Extra. Do you drink Lipton tea? Sir Thomas Lipton made a
buck or two off of the America's Cup as well as many other families in the
North East and New England.
Most companies that can afford to spend the dollars would rather invest the
money is something that is going to generate more dollars than the shell
out, i.e. Gatorade, Nike, Reebok, etc. How much air time do you think AC
commercials will get in three or six months from now. Lets get Corporate
America involved in the sport at the grass roots level. That is where the
majority of the sailors are and want to stay. GMC/ Yukon and other
Corporate giants have helped attract new blood to our sport. This is where
Corporate America involvement will do the best for our sport. Look at KWRW
or SORC or NOOD now compared to a few years ago.
The America's Cup is not the only "real" sailing going on and should not be
the reflection of "our" sport. It is only one small part that make the
whole, and it is a very small part. Something has got to change before we
loose more sailors to other sports.
-- From JC Moore -- All of the discussion about the costs and construction
associated with the America's Cup took me to page 180 of The Centennial
History of the United States Sailing Association -- "By the
turn-of-the-century the Seawanhaka Rule had led to extreme yachts built
with long overhangs, skimming dish hulls and lofty rigs that made them both
unmanageable and unseaworthy as exemplified in the Herreshoff America's Cup
defenders, Defender (1895) and Reliance (1903) which at 143 feet overall,
90 feet on the waterline and carrying 16,159 feet of measured sail area,
were super scows and according to W.P.Stephens: ... open to all the
objections of extreme costs, fragile construction, and limited utility ...
" A century later, the discussion continues.
ADVERTISING CODE -- Paul Henderson, ISAF President
Ad Code: What hung it up was the allocation of who plasters what on the
equipment. Endeavoring to rise above the crowd and look only through the
eyes of ISAF the following is pertinent:
Overview: ISAF must only give the guidelines and not micro-manage the
problem leaving most of the situation up to the relevant jurisdictions to
solve their own concerns.
Proposal: (Most of this has already been approved.)
- Class decides "A" (No Advertising) or "C".
- Class decides the level of Cat "C". (Hulls only if they want.)
- Olympic Classes full Cat "C". (Allowed to proceed Jan. 1, 2000)
- Sails 100% in the domain of the INDIVIDUAL Sailor to assign at their
discretion (Sailor assigns it to who pays the bills.
-MNA or personal sponsor- or to no one if they pay own.)
- First 25% of the boat reserved as a minimum for the Event sponsor. (If
an event wants to put a pennant on the backstay then just put in the Notice
- In any Event where the equipment is supplied the Event Organizer is
assigned the sails as they have paid for them
- Windsurfing has a special designation already passed by ISAF Council.
Conclusion: ISAF only stipulates the above as anything outside of this is
not the concern of ISAF. It is a negotiation between the Class, Sailor and
Event to decide if they want to/how to use the mast, boom or rest of the
hull. (If a Sailor wants to allocate more to their MNA their choice.) It is
up to these jurisdictions to solve their own problems not expect ISAF to
make specific Regulations beyond the basics listed above.
If you're not seeing enough action photos of the IACC boats racing in the
Hauraki Gulf it's obvious you have not been visiting the Quokka website
often enough. Their photographers have totally captured the action -- and
the carnage -- with a plethora of super photos. Great stuff. And when you
add in the thoughtful commentary, the daily audio recordings and
unparalleled news coverage, this is one website you MUST visit every day.
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
Ed Baird, on the noises that caused Young America to pull out yesterday:
"We were trying to enter the starting line and we heard a noise out of our
gooseneck that didn't sound like you wanted to keep putting load on it. So,
we unloaded it and tried to check it out, put load on it again and it made
the same noise again. We said no, we can't do this or we might be breaking
the mast or something, we don't know. So we stopped."
Ed Baird of Young America, on racing under jib only: "Today we had a
problem with our mast track that holds the sail on the mast and we asked
for a delay which was granted . . . it's basically the same problem that
Paul Cayard's team had when they raced us in the last round. We just really
couldn't put the main up and have it stay in the track."
Ken Read on winning in heavy air: "Out on the Hauraki Gulf, having a fast
boat is not good enough -- you also need a strong, well prepared boat. If
there's a better prepared, more durable boat sailing in the Louis Vuitton
Cup series than Stars & Stripes, I sure don't know which one it is."
Bryan Willis, on possible tension with the Race Committee: "We have a good
relationship with the Race Committee and we often exchange ideas to help
the regatta run smoothly. But I would say this, that we wouldn't let
embarrassing the Race Committee affect our decision. Our decisions are
based on being equitable to the boats concerned and so we . . . if that
means embarrassing the race committee a little bit, well I'm afraid that
that does happen."
Bryan Willis, Chairman International Jury, on awarding redress points: "We
have the difficult task of making a decision which we think is fair and we
thought there was a percentage chance of her (Young America) competing and
winning but it was less than 50/50. So, we gave her one point and left the
other points as they were. . . . The extra point is really nothing to do
with the race. It's to do with trying to put right an error that occurred
before the race."
Peter Gilmour on the Jury decision to award redress: "It seems to be a
very, very strange process that you don't have to actually even start or
enter in the race and you're given a point equal to, say, the same number
of points as some competitors won in the First Round Robin
John Cutler on damage to his boat in multiple crashes: "I actually haven't
looked. I saw it when I got off the boat and our nice yellow paint job is
not quite as nice as it used to be. I actually didn't go up there (the bow)
and examine it. They had me bailing the boat out on the way in instead.
That's what I was up to."
Peter Gilmour of Asura on damage to his boat in multiple crashes: "We have
yet to check our mast but the masts clashed in the pre start and so there
may possibly be some damage from that. We don't know. Certainly, from one
of the luffs from John, we certainly suffered damage to our bow from that."
John Cutler of Asura, on getting penalised twice at the start: "I guess the
umpires were pretty comfortable that we'd infringed on the first one. We
don't necessarily agree. On the second incident I've got no complaints with
that. We clearly tacked too close and actually lost our mast unit at that
Here's a great idea for some go-getter, eager to make a pile of dough.
There's something that everyone who visits New Zealand needs, but is not
available -- yet. It's a pair of cargo pants, but instead of having those
cute little pockets on the side of the pant leg, substitute a 'holster'
designed to fit a little folding umbrella.
Down here, even if the sun is shining brightly and there's not a cloud in
the sky, you know it will probably be raining within the hour. And if you
put an America's Cup logo on the pants, you could charge a ton and still
sell all you could manufacture. Change the logo, and you could probably
sell a bunch of them in Seattle too.
Just an idea.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift - which is
why we call it 'The Present.'