SCUTTLEBUTT #471 - December 30, 1999
COMMENTARY -- Andrew Bray, Editor, Yachting World
Crystal ball gazing can be a dangerous occupation, but that does not seem
to deter thousands of soothsayers as we move into a new century. I say
dangerous because in the past so many people have got it horribly wrong. I
can recall sailing articles published back in the Seventies and Eighties
predicting how we would be sailing by the year 2000. There were drawings of
brightly coloured, futuristic-looking concept boats with unlikely-looking
self-tending rigs, complete with happy 2.4-children families warmly dressed
in seawater-repellent, soft clothing, living in a carefully
climate-controlled environment with a push-button retractable cockpit dome.
Well, they were wrong. All you can be sure of in 20 or 30 years' time is
that the sea will still be wet and salty.
This time I am going to stick my neck out, but to be realistic, I'll
measure the future using the yardstick of the past. In 2025 the boats we
sail will still be much the same as the boats we sail today. Styling will
play a more important role in design, but basically we will still have
moulded hulls, aluminium rigs and mainly stainless steel rigging. Carbon
fibre will still be expensive and the domain of specialist and racing
boats. Variations on Dacron will still supply the power and, below decks,
diesel electric propulsion will be commonplace. Clothing will be more
comfortable and lighter, and builders will pay more attention to cockpit
Otherwise, yachtsmen will still be moaning about berthing costs, old
gaffers will still be making derisory remarks about Tupperware and the
Editor of Yachting World will be laughing his or her socks off when they
read this. -- Andrew Bray
Full editorial: http://www.yachtingworld.co.uk/
TELSTRA SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
Top 10 IMS Overall Placings
| 1 || Yendys || HKG
| 2 || Brindabella || NSW
| 3 || Ausmaid || SA
| 4 || Ragamuffin || NSW
| 5 || Atara || NSW
| 6 || Bumblebee V || NSW
| 7 || Sword of Orion || NSW
| 8 || Young Australia || VIC
| 9 || Terranova || VIC
| 10 || Red Jacket || WA
More than 36 hours of strong to galeforce southerly headwinds has taken its
toll on the smaller yachts and their crews in the Telstra Sydney to Hobart
Yacht Race, with the retirement list rising to 19 boats overnight. In
addition, at least 12 crew members have suffered injuries requiring
hospital attention, injuries ranging from broken ribs to dislocated
shoulders, while others have received medical treatment for minor cuts and
bruises in what has become a very rough race over the final 200 nautical
Among the latest to pull out of the race and seek shelter on the Tasmanian
East Coast is AFR Midnight Rambler, the 35-footer which was the overall IMS
winner of the storm-battered 1998 race. AFR Midnight Rambler pulled into
Bicheno early this morning after apparently suffering mast problems, while
other overnight withdrawals included Long Shot and Magic.
The Bureau of Meteorology this morning renewed its gale warning for
Tasmania's eastern coastal waters from the northern tip of Flinders Island
south to Wineglass Bay, forecasting south-east to south-west winds of 25 to
30 knots, reaching 40 knots at times with isolated gusts to 55 knots. A
strong wind warning has been renewed for coastal waters between Wineglass
Bay and Tasman Island.
More than seven million hits have been registered on the official Telstra
Sydney to Hobart website this year, creating a record for the popular event
site. Last year over four million hits were recorded on the site which
features up to date race information, weather forecasts and news. This year
the website has been further developed to include a dynamic mapping system
using sophisticated satellite tracking technology to display up to date
positions of yachts as they progress in the race to Hobart. -- Peter Campbell
Event website: http://syd-hob96.telstra.com.au/
LOUIS VUITTON CUP -- QUOTE / UNQUOTE
* America True designer Phil Kaiko on boatspeed -- "I think the top four
boats are equal in speed. On any given day anybody is gonna win, and I
think now that applies to the fifth and sixth boats as well, because
there's not enough difference in any of them."
"If we had a clean sheet of paper to start all over, we know we would do a
different boat, and we know it would be a better boat. We all have
refinements that we'll try, but the days of looking for 10 percent gains
are gone. Now we're looking for half a percent. None of the changes are
major enough to warrant shutting the programme down long enough to do the
job." -- Rich Roberts, Quokka Sports.
Full story: http://www.americascup.org/
* A1 skipper Paul Cayard on boatspeed -- "The reality is that 61 is simply
a better boat than 49. Like everybody, we have the tools that predict the
speed of the boats. Based on that, 61 is faster than 49 all the time. "It's
a lot faster at a certain end of the wind range, but I'm not going to tell
you what that is. But even when it's at its worst, it's still slightly
better than 49." -- Suzanne McFadden, NZ Herald.
Full story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz
* Peter Gilmour on sailing against team NZ -- " "I'm sure we helped them,
but I think we helped ourselves more. And I believe we helped the
challenger group as a whole ... gave them a benchmark."
"This is sport -- pure sport. New Zealand is a very competitive and great
sporting team and should be respected as such. They don't need to be
treated as pariahs so they're somehow not part of the competition. -- Rich
Roberts, Quokka Sports
Full story: http://www.americascup.org/
* Dennis Conner on Peter Gilmour's Nippon Challenge sparring with Team New
Zealand -- " It was quite surprising, because this was a big edge for New
Zealand to find out how fast the challengers are going, especially in view
of the fact that they probably didn't have their best boat out there."
"[It was] all win, win, win for New Zealand, so you have to ask yourself,
what's in this for Peter. Maybe he thinks he's not going to the America's
Cup and he wants to get a picture of the Japanese boat sailing against New
Zealand. And if you're steering the New Zealand boat in the defence of
2003, maybe we'll understand."
"Whoops, I shouldn't have said that." -- Larry Edwards, Quokka Sports.
Full story: http://www.americascup.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 Jerry Kaye -- Rich Robert's quote: "...the seas are littered with
the wreckage of rivals who have sold Conner short too soon." was Top Dead
Center (pun intended). If Stars & Stripes' boatspeed is at all close,
Paul, John and Luigi will be dumb and dumber to take Dennis's TDC team
lightly. Kudos to Dennis to give up the helm to someone that has the
energy (and talent) for the long haul! Go Dennis! If you can't beat up on
the American teams, push them just as hard as you blanking can so the Cup
gets yanked back to where it belongs! America.
-- From Terence Gallagher -- Gilmour is a SELLOUT. It may not be against
the rules to sail against Team New Zealand, but it is against common sense,
and it shows no respect for the other challengers. Although Nippon
Challenge may not have to face any real repercussions, they should be made
to pay for their traitorous acts...where it really hurts, in their pocket
books. I call on all supporters of any of the challengers: boycott all
sponsors of Nippon Challenge; call or E-mail ESPN and request that no video
of the Nippon boats be shown; and purchase no "Team Nippon Products". It
may not be much, but it will make a statement that Team Nippon has crossed
a competitive line, and this kind of reckless, un-sportsman like, self
serving behavior should not, and will not be tolerated.
-- From Alan Blunt -- It's a no brainer! Paul Elstrom is in a league of his
own. Not only is he a multi-world and Olympic champion in many classes, he
is the original thinker. He was way ahead of his time. One example of his
innovative brilliance was at the 505 worlds in Australia in the early 60's.
He was sailing with a light weight crew, and because of the heavy winds, he
decided to trap instead of his crew, while also trimming the main and
driving the boat. At the time, nobody had thought this was possible. Not
surprisingly, he won every race. He is my vote for the sailor of the century.
-- From Bob Billingham -- It's supposed to be Sailor of the Millennium
right? Seems like all the nominations involve sailors of this century. What
about Magellan, Columbus, and Drake ? How about the South Sea Islanders
with their Kon-Tiki passages. Lets not forget the Vikings - how'd you like
to row through the North Atlantic, dodging icebergs to land at the tropical
paradise of Newfoundland? These guys didn't show up at the starting line
having had a hot shower and good breakfast at the old yacht club. And look
at the boats they sailed? Seriously scary designs with poor sea-keeping
traits, over canvassed, made of primitive materials. No electronics, no GPS
- just plain old fear of falling off the edge of the World.
Is it "racing sailors" we are talking about or all "sailors?"
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Like so many other things we do here, it's whatever
you want it to be.
-- From J. Joseph Bainton -- Where will all the pros go after the America's
Cup? Many of the Americans will proceed directly to the major regattas
preceding the remaining United States Olympic Trials. For example, the new
Mader star boat which Paul Cayard will sail with George Iverson is on the
ocean as we celebrate the New Year. America One grinder Phil Trinter will
resume his regular position in the front of John MacCausland's star. It is
a great privilege for we "amateurs" to compete against(and every now and
again beat) the likes of Cayard, Kostecki, Conner, Coutts, and so on.
If you have any doubt about the notion that this is indeed a privilege, go
ask you club tennis champion if he would like to play a match against
Sampras notwithstanding the fact that outcome would never be in doubt. If
you are racing principally to acquire silverware, I would be far easier to
simply buy it. If you do not want to follow that advice, then you can
avoid competing with (and learning from) these great sailors by simply
avoiding the grand prix one design and IMS classes.
-- From Tim Prophit -- Mr. Fletcher does not speak for me, nor, for many
other amateur sailors I know. I appeciate and enjoy the opportunity to sail
with, and against, the "pros". Sure, they will beat me far more than I beat
them, but, in the process I am learning far more than if I were to race
only against other amateurs. Sailing does not need separate pro and amateur
-- From Mike Moore -- One of the things I love about racing sailboats is
that if I want to, I can find a way to go out and race against or with the
very best in the world. Without question my most memorable moments in the
sport have come racing Stars, Melges 24's, or Finns when I, or the crew I'm
sailing with, manage to round a mark or even finish a race in a top
position. It means that even if for only that short moment, I got it all
right. And I can't begin to figure out how much I may have learned racing
with and against the "pros".
Will they run you ragged around the course? Sure. But afterwards, they
will usually tell you how and why if you haven't already figured it out.
So let them come back, lets go race with them, and everybody wins in the
end. If you really don't want to sail with them, trust me, you can find a
class they don't want to sail in.
The W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy is presented annually by US SAILING to
the American sailor who best exemplifies the ideals and traditions of good
sportsmanship. The program was established by US SAILING, and the trophy
donated by Mr. Clark's family, the 1977 recipient of the US SAILING's
Herreshoff Trophy, in 1986. Over the years, the winners of this coveted
award have come from different areas of our sport. From Buddy Melges, our
very first winner, the Newport Harbor High School Sailing Team (1993), to
our current recipient, the mix has been as varied as the definition of
Sportsmanship itself. As most sailors will acknowledge, sportsmanship is
difficult to define, but it is something we all recognize when we see it.
US SAILING's Sportsmanship Program recognizes good sportsmanship on the
local as well as the national level, making US SAILING trophies available
to member clubs. Harris won the national award over a field of outstanding
sailors who were nominated by their yacht clubs, classes or sailing
associations for making significant contributions to the quality of the sport.
To continue to make our National Sportsmanship Program truly meaningful, we
depend on the active participation and support of sailing organizations
such as yours. Upon receipt of your completed nomination form, you will
receive a certificate to present to your nominee. In addition, US SAILING
makes available, at a reasonable cost, a keeper and or perpetual plaque
with 10 brass plates suitable for engraving.
Please complete submit the nomination form for the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr.
National Sportsmanship Award, no later than Wednesday, January 12, 2000.
Your nominee will then join the Honor List of those nominated for this
prestigious award, with each person nominated being mentioned in a national
news release and on the US SAILING web site. The 1999 winner will be
presented with the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy at US SAILING's Spring
Meeting in March, in Chicago, Illinois.
|1986 || Buddy Melges (Zenda, WI)
|1987 ||Hub Isaacks (Ft. Worth, TX)
|1988 ||Runyon Colie (Mantoloking, NJ)
|1989 ||John Odenbach, Sr. (Penfield, NY)
|1990 ||Scott Steele (Annapolis, MD)
|1991 ||Dick Ronan (Larchmont, NY)
|1992 ||George M. Antarr, III (Marina del Rey, CA)
|1993 ||Newport Harbor High School Sailing Team (Newport Beach, CA)
|1994 ||Jessica Uniack (Huntington Beach, CA)
|1995 ||Harry Carpenter (Oakland, MD)
|1996 ||Richard Besse (Skaneateles, NY)
|1997 || Gonzalo Diaz, Sr. (Miami, FL)
|1998 || Joseph Harris (Chicago, IL)
For more information: http://www.ussailing.org/sportsmanship/
EVERY 25 YEARS
A duplication of the 1975 Port-Huron to Chicago race is in place for July
15, 2000. This is a celebration of Chicago Yacht Club's 125th year. The
race will run concurrent with the Bacardi Bayview Yacht Club Race to
Mackinac, with the Millennium 600 Race racers passing through the Mackinac
Island finish line, continuing to Chicago for completion of the 600 mile
race. A survey of both Mackinac Race participants of last year indicates
that 80 entrants will enter in this every 25-year fresh water classic.
With the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac start on July 22, 2000, boats
can easily sail the Bacardi Bayview Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, the
Millennium 600 Race and the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac in about 9
days time. -- Gene T. McCarthy, Chair Millennium 600 Race
Notice of Race: http://www.chicagoyachtclub.com or http://www.byc.com
PAUL CAYARD LIVE
Sully Sullivan is interviewing Paul Cayard today at 4:30 PM PST on KSDO -
1130 on San Diego's AM radio dial. For those people not in San Diego, the
interview can also be heard via internet simulcast at http://www.ksdo.com.
Simply click on "Listen Live" and tune in!
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
While death and taxes seem inevitable, death doesn't get worse every year.