SCUTTLEBUTT No. 987 - January 17, 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.
(Paul Cayard is flying to Auckland today - not to rejoin Oracle's America's Cup Campaign, but to hop aboard Grant Dalton's Amer Sports One for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race scheduled to start January 27. Rich Roberts interviewed Cayard for the Yacht Racing website Here are a couple of excerpts.)
Q: Will you sail any other legs?
Cayard: "Nobody can see the future perfectly, but I've only signed up for this leg and I'd have to get permission-I did get permission-from Oracle to go do this, because I still am under contract.'
Q: Is this like a leave of absence?
Cayard: "Yeah. I'm still an employee of Oracle. They signed a paper saying I had permission to do this."
Q: Then after this leg you'll go back to doing what you've been doing the last couple of months?
Cayard: "Yeah, I'll be back doing . . . I'll be back."
Q: What will you do on the boat different from the last time?
Cayard: "Not much. Grant's got me doing to same role I did with Rudi. Ultimately, Grant is the skipper and can disagree with me and make a different call. But my guess is it will work very compatibly because there is respect there. I hope and think it's not going to be much different than what I did last time-and I imagine they want it to be similar to the job I did last time."
Q: Grant Dalton can be a tough and crusty guy to sail with.
Cayard: "I've never sailed with him. In the dealings I've had with him he's been very straightforward . . . doesn't beat around the bush. That's good. You don't have a lot of hidden agendas. It can be a little harsh, but it's straightforward."
Q: Amer One is the only Frers design. How is it stacking up?
Cayard: "There are a lot of good boats there. Dalton was saying earlier that he thought maybe we had a little stickiness at high speed. I went back to the Volvo Web site and looked at the Leg 2 24-hour runs. You see that on Nov. 18 when the blow came through Amer had the shortest day by about 25 miles. All the Farr boats had between 445 and 460 on that day and Dalton did 425. It could be sails, it could be the boat."
Q: A few weeks ago you were quoted as saying that Amer One's "speed is not earth-shatteringly better than the others, so it doesn't look like a breakthrough boat."
Cayard: "I think that's correct. They say there are a few conditions when the boat is fast, but not when it's real windy--surprisingly, because it's a very beamy boat. Anyway, I'll go down and find out." - Yacht Racing website.
There's lots more: www.yachtracing.com/richroberts/volvocayardleg4.html
(Sail magazine also talked to Cayard. Here are a few excerpts from the story posted on their website.)
* I have a slight hesitation because of the risk," Cayard said from his home in Marin County, California, north of San Francisco. "I could have gone on previous legs, but I really wanted to spend Christmas with my family. I could sit here now and maybe play lacrosse with my son in the afternoons, but the Cape Horn leg is the most awesome sailing on the planet. This really is the best leg, and there's a bunch of really good people who have put this program together on Amer Sports One. They've done the planning. They've got the boat this far, and now they're inviting me to walk on board and go sailing."
* "I haven't seen an albatross in four years," Cayard said. "Not many people have ever seen an albatross at all, and if I don't go this time, there's not another chance for another four years. It's just an incredible 23-day sail. You're out there and day after day you're on this heading that keeps you down south. You feel like you're going to run smack dab into Antarctica, but eventually, you get around the Horn and somebody says, 'The course is 89 degrees.' And you think, 'Oh yeah!' "
Cayard became available for ocean racing when he was released from active duty at Larry Ellison's Oracle Racing challenge for the America's Cup. A non-competition clause keeps him from going over to a rival Cup team. "I started getting calls on the Volvo once my semi-retirement status started circulating," Cayard said. I heard from Assa Abloy, and that would have been a good ride, emotionally, because it has people who were with me on EF Language. That would have fit like a shoe. But Amer Sports One makes sense, too. It's part of Nautor, and I'm on the board at Nautor, and it's going to give me a chance to sail with some really good people I haven't sailed with before. Grant Dalton for one, he's a king of round-the-world racing. And they've got Finn Gold Cup winner and current Star world champion Frederik Loof joining the crew for this leg. I've competed against him. They've also got Chris Nicholson, who's a three-time 49er world champion, so we're going to have this team of dinghy sailors racing through the Southern Ocean."
* 'The Volvo 60s are really just big dinghies," Cayard said. "In the Southern Ocean, they'll sit on 26 knots all day. You're not allowed to have an outside routing service for this race, but you have access to tremendous amounts of information from which to make your own projections and your own decisions. That's critical, because the boats are so responsive. Back when Peter Blake won the Whitbread, they were sailing maxis, and they'd sort of just go down the rhumb line. But with the 60s, reach up two degrees and the speed changes dramatically. You cover a lot of ground, so you're always looking 48 hours ahead and trying to decide where you want to be."
There's a bunch more: www.sailmag.com/html/briefing.html#havana
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The Olympic Sailing Committee of US Sailing has recognized four athletes as the sport's U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Athletes of the Year. Recipients of the honor in the Team category are 49er World Champions Jonathan McKee and Charlie McKee (both Seattle, Wash.). 2.4 Metre sailor Tom Brown (Northeast Harbor, Maine) and Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) are Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively. Bestowed annually, the USOC Athlete of the Year awards are based on outstanding performances in competition.
As US Sailing's USOC Athletes of the Year, these sailors will be considered for the overall USOC Team of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year Awards. Slated for announcement on January 23, 2002, the USOC award winners will be selected from the Athletes of the Year recognized by each Olympic sport's national governing body.
Team of the Year Ð 2000 49er Olympic Bronze Medallists Jonathan and Charlie McKee (both Seattle, Wash.) won the 2001 49er World Championship held on Lake Garda, Italy. Although the McKees spent most of 2001 preparing for the next America's Cup, and sailed only one other major 49er event (the 2001 Gorge Games in Oregon) their win of the 2001 49er World Championship speaks reams about these talented siblings. Jonathan, a 1984 Flying Dutchman Olympic Gold Medallist, and Charlie an '88 470 Olympic Bronze Medallist, were well-established dinghy sailors before teaming up to race the 49er. They were previously named Athletes of the Year in 1997, also for their success in the 49er class. Past winners of the US Sailing's Team of the Year honors include Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl (2000); Eric Doyle and Tom Olsen (1999); and Morgan Larson and Kevin Hall (1998).
Male Athlete of the Year Ð At the 2001 IFDS (International Foundation of Disabled Sailing) World Disabled Sailing Championships, Tom Brown's consistency throughout the regatta earned him the silver medal. A member of the 2001 US Disabled Sailing Team, Brown also has been ranked on the able-bodied team (1999 US Sailing Team). Past winners of the US Sailing 's Male Athlete of the Year honors include Russ Silvestri (2000); Mark Mendelblatt (1999); and John Myrdal (1998).
Female Athlete of the Year - High school freshman Paige Railey (Clearwater, FL) was recognized for her win at US Sailing's U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship for the Leiter Trophy held in California last August. She won the championship with a low-point score of 13 Ð 19 points ahead of the second-place finisher. Past winners of the US Sailing's Female Athlete of the Year honors include: Lanee Butler ('91, '93, '94, '99, 2000); and Meg Gaillard (1998).
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 Ike Stephenson: I'd almost be inclined to agree with Mr. Harken's "let's ignore the French AC teams backing by a nuclear company." Then I found that the company was formed by the French government which was involved in the 1985 ship sinking and I thought, no this story can't be ignored. Also although the company isn't a weapons maker there are still issues I am sure with nuclear waste etc. So I went ahead and published the following piece to at least establish the facts.
"Recently the French corporation Areva announced a sponsorship with the French America's Cup team Le Defi. Value of the package is 21.5 million US. The company was formed by the French government. France, New Zealand and nuclear issues have an interesting history. In 1985 the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior was blown up in Auckland harbor. This as the ship prepared to leave to protest French nuclear weapon tests. French intelligence officers from the Direction Generale De Securite planted bombs on the bottom of the ship. One Greenpeace crew perished in the incident. Two French officers were later sentenced to 10 years in prison for "deliberate terrorist actions." Combine this incident with New Zealand's generally anti nuclear policies and anti French and anti Nuclear protests could occur during America's Cup 2003."
* From Rob Mundle: Re the America's Cup gate idea: We've used a mid-leg gate for a lot of years on the courses that we have created for our televised 18ft skiff events. (there's a new one just gone in the can). It works a treat. It makes for closer racing and delivers a better product for spectators. I've no doubt it would work in the America's Cup, especially if they had it for both upwind and downwind legs. And it will allow the spectators to get closer to the action.
* From Garry Hoyt: I like Jim Kilroy's addition of gates to my concept of more numerous single leg races to increase the visual interest of the America's Cup. Rather than just a gate, they could space the two gate buoys about 100 yards apart and then require that the boats do a complete figure 8 around them. On the downwind race, that would necessitate some very quick jibes, take downs, and sets, and if they allowed or required the boats to take opposite buoys, there could be some very interesting confrontations that would give the trailing boat a chance to strike back and the best boat handling skills would be brought into play.
* From John Fox (heavily edited to our 250-word limit): I really cannot let this claim by Tom Cain ("High Modulus Fibers (HMF) by comparison, are literally thousands - millions of times stronger than standard modulus.") pass without comment
Without doubt, aircraft manufacturers with autoclaves can get better materials properties than boat manufacturers with vacuum bags. But let's look at a straight comparison of graphite fibers with epoxy in a unidirectional laminate put to the same test, straight tensile test looking at progressive failures. Fiber weights are identical as is resin content.
In practical terms the laminate fails when the resin fails. Because they are stiffer, higher modulus fabrics do relieve some of the strain on the resin, which is why one sees a slight increase in performance.
Engineering marine composites is usually an exercise in obtaining proper stiffness and fatigue resistance rather than for strength. Carbon fiber buys you stiffness at relatively lightweight and cost compared to other materials. Stiffness may also come with the price of brittleness and this is often the case with higher modulus carbon. Standard and intermediate modulus graphite is used in the marine industry because it is usually the most appropriate choice and no other reason.
Carbon Fiber is a great material when used properly. America's Cup / Volvo type programs push the edge of development and help define the boundaries so that materials can be used safely consumer orientated vessels.
* From Jerry Montgomery: In an era where regatta sponsorship is getting more and more difficult to secure, the Volvo protest committee may have hit on the perfect solution for funding regattas - Monetary Penalties. No one gets tossed, no one gets 20% penalties, no one does 720s. All violators just pay up. Port/starboard situations - $500; kinetic violations - $4 per ooch or rock; violations of one design rules - $700; over early (OCS) - no problemo, $25 bucks and you just keep on racing. Too bad Volvo dropped the Southern California Volvo Inshore Championships series last year, they might actually have made money on the event.
* From Marty Ward: I discovered on my second return trip that it was fear that was making me sick not motion. I sat up and was fine for the rest of the trip and the rest of my 36 yrs sailing. Having run a sailing school for 10 yrs, I have found that the feeling of being out of control for instance, the crew's needs not being listened to nor concerns addressed, creates a sense of fear or uncertainty that results in a conflict between the head saying "I'm supposed to be fine" and the gut saying "but I'm terrified" and the stomach saying "I'm out of here".
Once people's fears /concerns are addressed, seasickness for many subsides - head, gut and stomach all agree, "its rough weather but we really are fine." So whenever I start to feel seasick, I figure out what I can do to make myself feel safer/ heard and the feeling goes away. Obviously, there are other reasons for seasickness besides fear, but fear is one most people haven't looked at or acknowledged.
* From Peter Harken: I have a sure cure for seasickness: Old Age! When I was a young lad I easily got both air and seasick, but the older I got the less this occurred. Now as an older bugger on the big fun downhill slide of life I find I rarely feel the malady. Why? My medical prognosis would probably make real Doctors gag is: All those fine balance mechanisms within your ears and other movement senses that send signals to your brain that tells you whether you're upright, tipping over, sideways, what not, are quick, active, and immediately responsive in your young years, while in your advanced years, like an old boat engine, those sensitive small Swiss watch like sense mechanisms get old, worn, rusty and basically lock-up! Your movement mechanisms have stopped responding there for signals to the brain have ceased and it doesn't have anything to send to your stomach that tells it you're in and ugly sea and the motion is sickening! No senses, no seasickness! Old age ain't all bad. Speed it up if you're seasick sensitive. It works!
* From Frank Sticovich: A friend of mine used to say that the best cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.
THE KEELS WERE DIFFERENT BUT THE CLOTH WAS THE SAME
In 1983 Australia II won the Americas Cup with a revolutionary keel that was very different to Liberties, but both boats used the same sailcloth technology from Bainbridge. 18 years later and we are still at the forefront of Sailcloth technology with products such as AIRX spinnaker fabric and DIAX-Carbon laminates, and for the Americas Cup jubilee regatta Australia II again chose Bainbridge. More Information at www.sailcloth.com
John Sweeney has purchased Stars and Stripes, USA 11, from the now defunct Virgin Island America's Cup Challenge. USA 11 has had a rough life and will be completely restored to its original state and join the growing fleet of IACC yachts in San Francisco Bay. She will make her racing debut mid summer.
USA 11 was Dennis Conner's Dave Pedrick designed IACC yacht in 1992. She sported a tandem keel at one point and later lost a rig during a race against America 3. She will be fitted with a 2000 generation rig and sails and should be competitive in the 92' class. This brings Sweeney's IACC yacht total to four. All four boats are available for charter for the 2003 IACC World's in San Francisco. - www.iaccsf.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* February 16-18: St. Croix International Regatta. Classes include Spinnaker Ð Racing, J24, Melges 24; Cruiser/Racers; Non-Spinnaker; Jib & Main; Beach Cat; Beach Cat Spinnaker; and Large Multi-Hull. The Regatta is the first in the three part CORT (Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle) series. www.stcroixyc.org
* April 1-6: International Melges 24 North American Championships, Eastport YC, Annapolis, MD. www.regattaweb.net/Melges24NAs2002/
* April 11-14: J/24 Nationals, Charleston YC, Charleston, SC. Entry is limited to 70 boats. www.charlestonyachtclub.com/j24.html
* Skip Dieball, of Toledo, Ohio has joined North Sails and will manage North Sails One Design Midwest (in Toledo). For the past year Skip has been running his own loft, Greiner Sails. That loft will now service the western end of Lake Erie as North Sails Toledo and specialize in smaller offshore and club racing boats. Skip's brother, Ernie Dieball, will manage North Sails Toledo. www.northsailsod.com
* The American Sailing Association has announced the recipients of its 17th Annual Sailing School of the Year Awards. The awards are given to one school in each of four regions. This year's winners are:
- Northeast: New Jersey Sailing School, Point Pleasant, New Jersey
- Southeast: Blue Water Sailing School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Central: Bay Area Sailing School, Kemah, Texas
- Western: Harbor Sailboats, San Diego, California
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
If you can smile when things go wrong, you must have someone in mind to blame.