SCUTTLEBUTT 1218 - December 12, 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.
(Olin Stephens, the man many refer to as the dean of America's Cup yacht
design, has written a marvelously crisp story for the Louis Vuitton website
that should be required reading for anyone following the happenings in
Auckland. As always, Olin makes a lot of sense. Here's a small excerpt to
whet your appetite.)
On the subject of intellectual property - that is, the availability of
prior knowledge and plans - to me as a yacht designer, long retired, these
rights seem to have been misunderstood and misinterpreted. When I was
active it was made clear to the client that the design was the property of
the designer and the owner had the right to use it. As the designer's
property, the plans and calculations were part of his stock in trade, and
he carried them along and developed them from project to project. The
client had the right to expect the designer to reflect all his experience
in his latest work.
Certainly, in no profession can experience or the details which it has been
built be wiped from memory. I, with most professionals, kept notes in a
book. Today, for most of us, the computer is an extension of the mind as
well as a high-capacity notebook.
To me the penalty against OneWorld seems unjustified and unfair. Perhaps,
to respect the eminent judges, we can suggest that they were bound by poor
wording of the Protocol. - http://www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1375.html
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
(Glen Brouke, the new Chief Executive for the Volvo Ocean Race candidly
outlines the future of the VOR specifically for the readers of Scuttlebutt.)
The success of an ocean-racing event is dependent on two things: financial
backing and correct planning. The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly The Whitbread
and now in it's 30th year), is backed solidly by one of the world's truly
international companies, Volvo, and has a history of delivering high media
results which gives all sponsors a significant return on investment,
something newly established events have yet to achieve. Having full funding
in place enables us to plan in detail and guarantees that the race will be
held again in 2005.
To design a new boat and introduce a new race-track takes considerable time
and input from many people, including the sailors who compete in the event
and the sponsors who provide funding and need to quantify their return on
investment. It is easy to publish a 'wish-list' with no substantial
planning behind it and no funding to turn wishes into reality, but to
produce a correctly planned event with secure funding, which delivers
return to investors, is appealing to the sailors and engages the public,
takes time and that is what we at the Volvo Ocean Race have been doing. We
have now considered many concepts and options; and final decisions on the
new race-boat and which markets will be visited, will be announced in
February next year.
Personally, I believe it is best to wait until we here at the Volvo Ocean
Race announce our new package before casting your vote, you might all be
pleasantly surprised and at least you don't risk uncertainty!
LOUIS VUITTON CUP SEMI FINALS
A Northerly 14 - 17 knot breeze brought heavier sea conditions to the Gulf,
and provided plenty of challenges for the sailors, who revelled in the
harsh conditions and provided one of the most exciting race days of the
Louis Vuitton Cup with close-action starts, lead changes, and penalty calls
featuring front and centre in the racing. For the second consecutive day,
the Hauraki Gulf was a dark, grey and gloomy place to sail as strong
Northerly winds deposited warm, moist air over Auckland on Race Day Three.
Oracle BMW Racing skipper Chris Dickson put himself at the wheel of USA-76,
leaving Peter Holmberg ashore and installing John Cutler as tactician in a
shake-up to his afterguard. The move seemed to pay dividends early, but in
the end, Alinghi earned its third consecutive victory and is now one win
away from a berth in the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals.
In the other pairing, OneWorld again looked vulnerable to Prada's downwind
speed, but a penalty call approaching the leeward mark went against the
Italians, and gave the OneWorld crew the breathing room it needed to earn
its second win on the water. - Louis Vuitton Cup website where there are
detailed stories posted of these two very exciting races:
OneWorld Challenge defeated Prada by 33 seconds
Alinghi defeated Oracle BMW Racing by 46 seconds
OneWorld leads Prada 2-1 on the water, but the scoreboard reads 1-1*
Alinghi leads Oracle BMW Racing 3-0
* OneWorld carries a one point penalty assessed by the AC Arbitration Panel
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Perfect for gifts, promotions, or staff rewards.
* Oracle BMW Racing made enough changes to their boat overnight to
require a new measurement certificate before the start of Race 3 with
Alinghi. They also changed the afterguard - Chris Dickson drove the boat,
John Cutler became the tactician and Peter Holmberg was not on the boat.
* With the arrival of Italian circumnavigator Simone Bianchetti on his
Open 60 Tiscali, all of the Around Alone competitors have finished Leg 2.
For the next three days the whole fleet will be together in Cape Town,
South Africa before setting off on Leg 3 to Tauranga, New Zealand on 14th
December. - http://www.aroundalone.com
* Fremantle, Australia - Racing in the Grolsch 505 World Championship was
postponed due to lack of wind. Apparently the Fremantle Doctor took the day
off. - - www.505.com.au
* Ronstan is expanding its activities in the UK, building on the
foundation of its existing Frederiksen company in Gosport to create a
single source for the combined Ronstan and Frederiksen product range.
Frederiksen Boat Fittings (UK) Ltd will change its name to Ronstan (UK) Ltd
in December, and from the 1st of January will distribute the full Ronstan
and Frederiksen product range from new premises on Harbour Road in Gosport.
* The Club 420 Class Association has just licensed Performance Sailcraft
2000 Inc as its third approved builder in North America of the extremely
popular Club 420. The existing builders are Vanguard Sailboats in
Portsmouth RI and Performance Catamarans in Santa Ana, CA. The latest
addition is a Montreal based Canadian builder that also produces the 29er,
Byte, Megabyte and Xtreme Optimist. More info www.ps2000.ca
* Auckland, NZ - Even the most cynical television viewer would have found
it hard to suppress a surge of patriotism when the Team New Zealand
advertising campaign appeared on-screen. The launch buildup was dented
somewhat by the contentious Black Heart campaign, but when Saatchi &
Saatchi finally unveiled the TV commercials, the result was spectacular.
The Team New Zealand Loyal campaign is the Business Herald Marketing page's
pick for Campaign of the Year. - Irene Chapple, NZ Herald, full story:
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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 Paul Henderson, ISAF President (re Olympic Qualification): The
"Special Deal" that the USA has which I clearly stated is that the USOC has
no limit on the number of total athletes they can send in all sports as
agreed between the USOC and the IOC.
USOC must send all athletes that qualify according to USA law. The host
nation has the same right as the Aussies had in 2000 and the Greeks had in
All other countries have a limit on the total number of athletes they can
send therefore athletes from these countries are not automatically sent
just because they are ISAF Qualified as they must also fit into their NOC's
limits. It has nothing to do with the ISAF qualifications or 400 sailors.
There is the additional NOC criteria that all other countries must meet.
The information supplied is not in any way meant as a negative of the USOC
it is only put forward to show why ISAF must operate as they do with regard
to Olympic entries. In fact if I had my way every country would be allowed
to enter all sailors who are ISAF Qualifed and do away with the
restrictions put on ISAF by the IOC which all sports had up to 1992 but
that is sure dreaming in today's World.
* From James Walker: I am a recently retired ABC News correspondent who
has covered four AC's since 1977 and who finds the OLN coverage wanting.
Not only does it miss critical developments, it also fails to take
advantage of improved broadcasting technology. The microphones on board the
boats are an important tool that would enable us, the fans, to hear what's
being said by the after guard in the heat of competition. Use them! All the
commentators have to do is pause, stop talking, to let us eavesdrop. That
would help produce much more exciting coverage. We know it works. Gary
Jobson and his ESPN crew did it repeatedly.
* From: Ben Cesare: Echoing sentiments regarding OLN, I got the dish in
November as a birthday present from my wife. Should've asked for a necktie.
Very frustrating to watch a great pre-start, be on the edge of my seat to
see who had better speed, who picked the first shift and who would make
that critical first cross... "Let's join Dawn as she caught up with Rod
Davis earlier today." Sailing TV 101 mistakes. Big step backwards in
Wasn't there something in 2000 regarding a rudder for S&S built in
Australia? Most of the top players of our sport have a reasonable
understanding and respect for sportsmanship and simultaneously, none of
them are above gamesmanship at best and pushing beyond the rules in order
to win at worst.
Don't lament the lack of "Corinthianism". That is a tainted concept,
steeped in hypocrisy. The rules need to eliminate the gray and reduce
temptation or chance for oversight. They also should be built with a
minimum of active competitor input. The least productive use of resources
in an AC budget from the sailing publics point of view is the efforts
required around rules compliance. Not a lot of trickle down effect from
understanding NY State trust laws or renegotiating the rules every
iteration. Take those $millions of expert man-hours and give them to OLN in
the form of expert advise on sailing TV production! All points back to the
dire need for the AC/LVC to finally evolve in terms of centralized,
* From Gary Harris: The coverage of this cup never allows anyone to hear
the microphones on the boats. It would be far more interesting to hear the
prestart conversations and selected tactical calls.
* From Drew Hulton-Smith: The sheer audacity and ingratitude of some
readers, to suggest that TV coverage of the AC is incomprehensive,
incomplete, or compromised by commercial obligations! Try living in
Australia... remember us? We were that country which once won, defended and
lost the cup, during which time the entire Nation seemed to become yachties
and the airwaves were swamped with coverage. Now it seems that the absence
of a national challenge makes the whole event "un-newsworthy" (despite the
obvious input of several Australian nationals to various expatriate
campaigns) and the total local TV coverage amounts to pretty much zero.
I still manage to get my daily fix of information through the net, but what
I wouldn't give for some moving visuals of the whole spectacle that I would
love so dearly to witness for myself.
My message: Be thankful you have any coverage at all - I envy you. Until
the finals (where I might chance to see maybe 30 seconds of the last race
on the late night sports program) the only racing I expect to see is that
other famous race that starts on Boxing Day, where apparently five or six
Maxi Yachts leave Sydney Harbour and one or two arrive in Hobart a couple
of days later... or so the media would have me believe.
* From Rich Nesbett: I love the daily news, but isn't it time that we all
admit that the America's Cup competition is no longer a Corinthian sport --
like the one I compete in -- but just another pro event like NASCAR, CART
or the IRL. I can't drive 200 mph, but I still enjoy it.
* From Barry Auger: Is it me or is anyone else skeptical that Ian Mitchell
kept data and an old laptop sitting around waiting like a time bomb to all
but sink OneWorld? If he did he needs a better housekeeper. If I were a
red-hot designer and moving from one winning team to another I'd look at my
pencil jar to make sure nothing and I mean nothing of the old team turns up
in my possession. This is an eighty million-dollar game these people are
playing. OneWorld is such a hot team - how could they let this happen to
* From Alex Fox: It's a great disappointment to me that the arbitration
panel has made a decision that will hang over the rest of the event like a
bad smell. Everytime Oneworld races we'll be forced to listen to comments
about the fairness of the penalty, the repercussions of the penalty, what
might have been had the penalty not been imposed. I just can't imagine any
other sport where this sort of thing might occur. Can you see the Stanley
Cup Final or the World Series being played under conditions like this? Is
there anyone who believes this decision is good for the sport?
* From Richard Hazelton: It's interesting to read the comments about
cheating in sailing. Where were all those high-minded people a few months
ago when the big topic was "pumping" or using kinetics in dinghy racing. In
that case there were many making the argument, "Sure it's illegal, but
everybody does it, so why enforce the rule?" And then there's Conner saying
there are too many rules now, that there weren't so many when he started
sailing America's Cup. He's definitely right. The proliferation of lawyers
splitting hairs to bend the rules has flourished during his tenure.
* From Bill Croughwell (email@example.com): With all the folderol going on
in our "sport" can someone tell me how I might get in touch with the USASA
(United States Amateur Sailing Association) if there is such an
organization. If there isn't, perhaps there should be.
The America's Cup Arbitration Panel denied CORM's request to award
OneWorld's penalty point to its opponent in each of the remaining rounds.
OneWorld has to win five races to advance out of the semis and would sail
an eighth race vs. Prada if needed.
Here's the terse text of the clarification issued by the Arbitration Panel:
"The penalty remains as stated in the decision, ie that OWC loses 1 point
in each of the series. Thus in each case it starts the series on minus one.
If that has the consequence that it is necessary for there to be an extra
race, that extra race will be held."
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them in the sink or sheet bag and not worry too much about it.
"I've noticed that after each day's racing, while the competitors are towed
back into the harbor, Alinghi stays out to continue training. This is a
well-disciplined team that understands how hard it's going to be to defeat
TNZ. The challengers have lost 15 days due to unsuitable wind. In contrast,
Team New Zealand has practiced on every one of those days. And they look
good. About 150 boats are on the water each day to watch the races." - Gary
Jobson, from a story posted on the Sailing World website, full story:
It took a bit of waiting for the breeze to fill in and stabilize, but two
races completed today in light conditions in all fleets. Men's standings
after four races with one discard (109 boats): 1. Gal Fridman, ISR, 4; 2.
Nikolas Kaklamanakis, GRE, 10; 3. Julien Savina, FRA, 12; 30. Alex Chabner,
USA, 35; 40. Kevin Stittle, CAN, 51; 45. David Mier y Teran, MEX, 57.
Women's standings( 64 boats): 1. Barbara Kendall, NZL, 5; 2. Faustine
Merret, FRA, 9; 3. Anja Kaser, SUI, 17; 53. Dominique Vallee, CAN, 143.
Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida - Hans Fogh bested 50 Etchells in the five
race Pina Cup - the first of four Etchells winter series regattas in Miami.
Final results: 1. Hans Fogh, 16; 2. Yandell Rogers, 23; 3. Allan Leibel,
23; 4. Phil Garland, 23; 5. Robbie Doyle, 25. -
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.