SCUTTLEBUTT No. 986 - January 16, 2002
Scuttlebutt is a digest of yacht racing news of major significance; commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions, press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
Nautor Challenge announced today that yachtsman Paul Cayard will join the crew of Amer Sports One for leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Amer Sports One skipper Grant Dalton said Cayard would replace American tactician Dee Smith who has returned to the United States for an operation on his right shoulder. Cayard, as skipper of EF Language, won the 1997-98 Whitbread race, the forerunner of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Dalton said: "Dee has been doing a great job, but has had trouble with his shoulder for several months. It's painful and restricts his movement and, sooner or later, he would need surgery. The fact that Paul is available for leg 4 allows Dee to get it over with now.
"Dee left New Zealand on Sunday night and had the surgery on Tuesday. He will return to New Zealand, and the team, next weekend. The medical advice is that he will require five or six weeks of rehabilitation and is expected to be fit for leg five."
Leg four starts at Auckland on January 27. The yachts are expected in Rio de Janeiro about February 19. The Rio restart is on March 9.
"Paul will take over Dee's tactical role working with navigator Roger Nilson and he will also have a role on deck. Had Paul not been available, Dee would have sailed leg four. Dee offered to have the operation after the race, doing it now will allow Dee to get stronger through to the finish," Dalton added. "Paul has been involved in the Nautor Challenge syndicate from its inception. We have conferred a number of times about various aspects of the campaign. He is also a board member of Nautor Swan and honorary chairman of Nautor Challenge" - www.nautorchallenge.com
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
The eight Volvo Ocean 60s rest on their cradles out of sight from the main crowd across the water in Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes America's Cup Base on Syndicate Road. Shore crews are working tirelessly on the boats, going over each vessel with a fine-tooth comb in preparation for the second and final Southern Ocean leg to Rio de Janeiro. Though the area is swarming with spectators there are very few crew to be seen - they're off on holiday taking a break from boat work and making the most of an opportunity to get away from their daily routine. www.volvooceanrace.org
SAILOR OF THE MONTH
You can help Seahorse magazine pick the Sailor of the Month for February. The two candidates are Transat Jacques Vabre winner Franck Cammas, and the leader of the Volvo Ocean Race John Kostecki. To cast your vote go to: www.seahorse.co.uk
SAIL FASTER. SAIL SMARTER. WIN MORE RACES!
Whether you're a new racer or an experienced racer looking to move up in the fleet, don't miss the Performance Race Weeks presented by North U and Offshore Sailing School. Held at South Seas Resort on Captiva Island, Florida, the Race Weeks are based on North U's Performance Racing Tactics and Trim curriculum. Each week includes six full days of instructional racing action, morning seminars and evening video review sessions. If you want to win more races next summer, come to Captiva this spring. For information call 888-454-5216 or visit:
In a move that will provide more opportunities for marina development, President Bush signed the Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act of 2001. The legislation, which was passed by the US Senate in a last-minute deal in December 2001, promotes redevelopment of polluted industrial sites known as brownfields by making it easier for these sites to be cleaned up and made available for private development. The majority of the 450,000 brownfield sites located on navigable waters, which makes them good candidates for marina development, said Stacey Proctor, government affairs coordinator for the Marina Operators Association of America (MOAA).
The legislation encompasses two measures - one authorizes funds to be made available for brownfields cleanups and tightens cleanup regulations, and the other exempts small businesses from liability under the superfund law. - Boating Industry Online website.
Full story: www.boating-industry.com
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Chris Ericksen: I read with interest Jim Kilroy's suggestion in 'Butt 985 that a mid-course gate be used in the America's Cup. We used a similar course for the 1993 Tornado Worlds in Long Beach; it had a mid-course gate, a leeward gate AND a windward gate, and each boat went through each gate each time (that is, both upwind and downwind for the mid-course gate). In a large fleet the mid-course gate was pretty scary, especially in catamarans: we progressively widened it and eventually discarded it so as to reduce the pucker factor among the racers in the round-robin but used it for the finals with only 16 boats. It is of some note that this is the only time to my knowledge that the Tornado Class asked that this be used; it proved to be quite unpopular.
In a two-boat match race, however, I think the mid-course gate might be an interesting feature. It has the advantages that Mr. Kilroy spells out--better spectator appeal and a way to shuffle the deck tactically--that the Tornado Class recognized nearly a decade ago; with only two boats, and relatively slower ones, it may indeed find its place in match racing that it did not find in catamaran fleet racing.
Kudos! A great example of somebody thinking outside the box!
* From Bob Kiernan: I like Jim Kilroy's ideas. With the numbers increasing in dollars and in the participants, moving the offset marker buoys down the course or up the course would be another way to add to the excitement of the crew and tacticians. Not eliminating the values of the favored side and reduce the field for spectator observance of the parameters. It would add a few checks to the clear winner if they're were one.
* From David Redfern (Re mirrored glass getting into the head of the opposition): In 1983, the Victory '83 British America's Cup team under Peter de Savary got into Dennis Conner's head with dustbin (trash can) lids mounted on the rib. It went to court - it was thought by opposing teams we had satellite dishes monitoring everything.
* From Peter Harken (edited to our 250-word limit): Why do some media types have to start trouble and try to frenzy up the citizens of a country when there isn't any, by dragging out things like the old, old, old French atomic testing vs. Kiwi controversy? A very good French nuclear energy company, Areva, that produces electricity for millions and millions of peoples, and not atomic bombs, has graciously come to the rescue of the Kiwi-popular French AC syndicate, Le Defi, that has been working, designing and sail training for months without proper funding . . . with the ever positive attitude that they would make it to Auckland when most said they wouldn't.
Areva saw the perseverance and will of the Le Defi group and put their money behind them when it came to crunch time. Yea for Areva, and a big welcome back to Auckland to Le Defi is what we and all of the Kiwis say, except for a maybe very few who want to cause trouble for troubles' sake.
American nuclear warships were not allowed in NZ sometime ago and so do we see the Kiwis raising hell over our syndicates because of that old musty controversy? Lighten up - the world needs media to promote good will, not ill will. If you want to start a fight, go to Afghanistan. Auckland is the City of Sails and great sporting peoples who welcome other sporting peoples like Le Defi!
* From Zachie J de Beer: Unfortunately, the claims Tom Cain makes for HMF carbon are greatly exaggerated. HMF carbon is stiffer but NOT stronger than standard Carbon fibers. The millions times stronger claim is something to dream about.
The same is true for the resin systems. Aerospace grade phenolics, bismaleimide (BMI), epoxy, cyanate ester and matrix resins have vastly superior and different characteristics than the polyester grade resins used in the recreational marine applications. Also, the processes of oven curing (autoclaving / hydroclaving) parts made from these materials is way more complicated and expensive that the room temperature and 250 degree curing methods used in the marine industry. Until all this technology becomes commercially viable, carbon fiber sailboats will remain very much in the dark ages.
Careful, some of the wonderful Aerospace materials are no good for boats e.g. Phenolic resin is extremely brittle and hygroscopic. BMI is also not suited to marine applications. The 250 degree curing methods are more than adequate for marine applications and in the case of spars perfectly adequate. It would be nice if somebody would build a real huge marine autoclave.
Proper high-tech composite construction is commercially available on a small scale if you know where to look. We have boat size autoclaves just round the corner.
* From Scott Mason: Howard Hamlin, Mike Martin and Trevor Baylis turned Sydney Harbor upside down with their win at the Skiff Championships. Only one other team from the northern hemisphere has ever won this event--dating to 1938. They undoubtedly did it with class and quiet confidence--both trademarks of Howard and his dinghy teams.
For those of you who don't know or haven't met Howard, Mike and Trevor, they are quiet and go about their business without fanfare. They are helpful competitors and gracious winners, the kind of guys you feel good about winning. Howard and Mike jumped to the top of the 505 class with years of practice and preparation, and with "Team Tuesday"--their weekly training sessions. They do this while leading productive careers away from the water.
* From Brad Ruetenik: I think Trevor Bayliss should get some serious acknowledgement as an outstanding US sailor that not many know about. In the course of less than 2 mos. he won 2 different World Championships on different boats. In late Nov., International 14 Worlds w/ Zach Berkowitz (with bullets each race), then the Aussie 18s w/ Howie Hamlin and Mike Martin, in Sydney. I don't think most American realize how big it is to the Aussies to loose the JJ Gilitan, especially to Americans, who are thought of by most other sailing nations as big slow boat sailors. These wins are like taking the Formula 1 title from Ferrari. Both Zach and Howard are great sailors, but there certainly has to be something said about their crew!
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: There is no question about the skills that Trevor brings to any racing program, but be aware that he sails for Canada - not the US.
* From: Evans Gareth (RE Andrew Morgan's Letter dealing with Idols) This is something that the US and British press appear to have in common. They build people up - whether they are sports, music or film stars - to a great height, and then take great delight in knocking them down again when they make the slightest mistake. Unfortunately it sells newspapers, and I don't think we are going to see the end of this practice.
* From Alan Blunt: My father always said that sea sickness had two stages. In the first your afraid you're going to die; in the second you're afraid you won't.
* From Jo Mogle: Reading Chris Nicholson's comments on seasickness in the Volvo Ocean Race in SB 985 brought back, with painful memory, my early days of inter-island racing in Hawaii, when so many of us, and the students we taught, experienced the ghastly malady exactly as he described. I endured it for years, hating Dramamine et al because of the sleepiness and apathy they produced.
Then they came out with the Transderm Scope patch, which ended my mal de mere days forever. While it doesn't work for everybody (you need to be able to tolerate the Scopalamine it contains) they can literally save your life, and make handling heavy seas a piece of cake. Seasickness is also one of the few things that improves with age -- which means, happily, I finally outgrew it!
* From Kris Anderson: Is it any wonder that the participation in the Volvo Ocean Race is waning? Let's put some comfort back in this race and watch as the competition grows. Even the most intrepid of us sailors likes to have a place to get out of the weather in between watches. On another tack; if it is as bad as they say it is, why do it? This is an elite (ist) event which is extremely difficult to break into if not already experienced. I'm sure that there are a lot of sailors out there that would feel right at home in these conditions who would be an asset to the crew who are not given the chance because their racing credentials are not acme. There was a time when the ocean racers were separate from the 'grand prix' set and they went out to do these races because they enjoyed the challenge not because it might fatten their resume.
The Terra Nova Trading/Yachting Key West Race Week will start Monday, Jan. 21, with a current entry list of 324 boats--only two less than the record of 326 last year.
Inshore racers from 24 to 70 feet are coming from 33 states--a Key West record, along with the total of 54 foreign entries. Chicago, with 24 boats, has the largest representation from any single city. Annapolis, Md., 20, and Newport, R.I, 14, are next. Charleston, S.C. has 8 and San Diego and San Francisco 6 each. A complete list of homeports and hometowns is on the Web site, www.Premiere-Racing.com
About two-thirds of the entries will compete in eight one-design classes: Melges 24, J/29, J/80, J/105, Farr 40, 1D35, Mumm 30 and F-28R trimaran. There will be 10 handicap classes--one IMS and nine PHRF. Competition will be on four courses spanning about 10 miles just south of the island inside the reef.
Eleven teams of Farr 40s, Mumm 30s and Melges 24s will also link up in a global smorgasbord to compete for the International Team trophy. That was won last year by Team Italy, which was comprised of Vincenzo Onorato's Farr 40 Mascalzone Latino and Paolo Parente's Mumm 30, both from Naples-Italy, not Florida--and Tony Wattson's Melges 24 Typhoon from Newport Beach, Calif. - Rich Roberts, www.Premiere-Racing.com
Charlie Ogletree used a full inventory of Ullman Sails to win the Santana 20 Nationals. And the same people who 'broke the code' by squeezing more boatspeed from the Santana 20 are ready to work with you to improve the performance of your boat - no matter what you sail. The proven and affordable way to make it happen is to work with the pros at Ullman Sails to spruce up your sail inventory. For the location of the nearest loft that can provide you with a price quote: www.ullmansails.com
The sailors are Volvo Ocean Race are aware of the problem and take good care not to over expose their skins to sun's harmful rays. On the whole VOR medical co-ordinator, Timo Malinen, is pleased with the way the crews have approached the subject, "Family history is important. We do know that skin cancer, if picked up early, is one the best curable cancers there are. If you have a look at these sailors, you don't see many of them with a good suntan. They cover themselves, they wear hats, and they use sun blocks. These guys are professional sailors, they have been doing it for years, they know what it is all about."
The image of sailors is of nut-brown sea salts soaking up the sun, but Neal McDonald says that simply isn't the case any more. "We don't muck around with SPF five, we use SPF 30, and there is nothing less than that. Where we can, we wear hats. You will see lots of people, we certainly do, wearing a silky long sleeved shirt which we try and keep on all the time, you see very few pictures of people sun baking with their tops down, we try and keep out of the sun."
According to Malinen, the protective measures appear to be working in the Volvo Ocean Race. "I haven't heard of any serious sunburn while sailing as yet, but people in the fleet get regular checkups which is absolutely the right thing to do." - www.volovoceanrace.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* February 14-17: PS2000 Midwinters Festival, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, FL. For Bytes (Canadian World Qualifier) , Megabyte and 29ers (US and Canadian Worlds qualifier) www.byteclass.org
* February 21-24: Rolex Women's Match St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg YC, Fla. ISAF Grade 4 match racing event to introduce women sailors to match racing. www.spyc.org.
* March 15-17: Sunfish International Masters Regatta, US Sailing Center-Martin County
Jensen Beach, FL. www.sunfishclass.org
It seems the old saying "Love thy neighbour" doesn't apply in Syndicate Row. Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts has already been rapped over the knuckles by his old team and neighbours, Team New Zealand, for allegedly spying. The problem arose when Coutts' father-in-law and some American friends visited the Alinghi compound.
The group were out snapping shots for the family album when Team New Zealand were towing out one of their boats. It is against the rules for syndicates to photograph one another's boats, so what started out as an innocent photo-shoot turned into a fiasco. Within minutes, Coutts' right-hand man, Brad Butterworth, received the first of several phone calls from Team New Zealand demanding that the photographers be taken to Team New Zealand's premises so the photos could be confiscated. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/
The 48th London Boat Show closed on Sunday night. Provisional figures show 155,000 visitors enjoyed the show with final figures on a par with last year. - Yachting Monthly, as posted on the Regatta Dates website, www.regattadates.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"Paul Cayard brings every strength to us. He's a fast driver, he's a great tactician, he has huge energy, he is a good motivator, he will be good for me. It's been a long two years for me and even though I don't feel tired I am sure I'm probably off the boil a little bit. Just in the exchange of emails in the last few days, he is starting to get his head round the campaign. He's got me working harder than I was expecting with nine days to go which is a good thing. I think he strengthens us in every way." - Grant Dalton, skipper, Amer Sports One, www.volvooceanrace.org
Peter Harrison announced Laser as the official dinghy sailing partner of the British Challenge for the America's Cup. As part of the partnership, Laser is producing a GBR Challenge Laser - a top of the range race boat smartly dressed in GBR Challenge colours - which was unveiled at the London International Boat Show. To demonstrate their support for the Challenge, Laser will make a contribution from each of these Lasers sold to the British America's Cup team to aid in its bid to win the America's Cup in 2002/2003. - Yachts & Yachting website
Full story: www.yachtsandyachting.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.