SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1220 - December 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.
Team New Zealand, the America's Cup defenders, have produced one of the
most creative circumventions of the design rules ever seen in 151 years of
the America's Cup. The development - which takes the form of a partial area
of false hull, or outer skin - has immediately been replicated by two of
the leading challengers, Alinghi, of Switzerland, and Oracle BMW, of the
What the teams have achieved is to have a completely separate piece of the
hull counted as an 'appendage' under the America's Cup class rule. This
radical second skin effectively lengthens the hull, so the boat sails
faster. Even if the extra piece of false hull adds drag, this is more than
offset by the hull having more effective 'sailing length', which is one of
the most powerful generators of speed in yacht design.
The America's Cup class have unusually fair shapes, like long cigars,
because the ACC rules expressly prohibit any discontinuities of shape such
as hollows, bumps and creases which are the normal ways of tricking a
measurement rule in other classes of yacht. The key to the innovation lies
in the class rules which allow two moveable appendages to the hull -
normally, the rudder and the adjustable keel fins.
But in a breathtaking piece of lateral thinking, TNZ designers realised
there was no limit on appendages that did not move. They reasoned 'why not
suspend an entire false section of hull off the bottom of the proper hull?'
In theory, this could be done under the entire length of the hull, between
front and back measurement points, or at the bow and at the stern. It is
thought that the three Americas's Cup teams are concentrating only on the
stern area at present. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, UK, full story:
LOUIS VUITTON CUP SEMI FINALS
With winds in excess of 20 knots, the race committee was forced to postpone
all racing again on both Saturday and Sunday. So far 18 days out of a total
of 48 have been lost to the weather. The Semi Final round of the Louis
Vuitton Cup is scheduled to end with a reserve day on Tuesday, 17th December.
Race Officer Peter Reggio scheduled two races per day on Monday and
Tuesday. According to the Race Conditions, if racing is not completed by
the end of the reserve race day, the team leading the series will be the
winner of the series. If the series is tied, there will be a one-race
sail-off to determine the winner on the first day conditions allow.
On Monday, Alinghi sailed another solid race, leading from start to finish,
beating Oracle BMW Racing and advancing to the Louis Vuitton Cup finals,
beginning January 11th. With the loss, the Oracle BMW Racing squad gets
knocked into the Semi Final Repechage, where it will meet the winner of the
Prada / OneWorld match. The Repechage is scheduled to begin on Friday, 20th
In the other pairing, the defending Louis Vuitton Cup champion Prada
Challenge finds itself one race away from elimination after OneWorld swept
two races on Monday to take a 3-1 series lead. Both races were sailed on
the shorter, two-lap Course B. In their first match-up on Monday, Prada
trailed OneWorld from the start, and although the Italians threatened on
the first run, the OneWorld crew held its nerve and built a big lead on the
second beat to win the race.
In the second race, OneWorld again earned the right on the start, and with
a favourable early shift just after the start, the Americans were away,
holding a lead they would build on throughout the race, eventually winning
by a large margin. - Louis Vuitton Cup website, full story:
Alinghi defeated Oracle BMW Racing by 58 seconds
OneWorld Challenge defeated Prada by 48 seconds
OneWorld Challenge defeated Prada by two minutes and 32 seconds
Alinghi defeated Oracle BMW Racing 4-0 and advances to the LVC series finals
OneWorld leads Prada 3-1*
* Following the America's Cup Arbitration Panel decision of 9th December
2002, OneWorld Challenge has had one point deducted from its score.
BACK TO (OCKAM) SCHOOL
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speed and polar speed? How to Wally on a short course or adjust Heading
based on VMC while distance racing? The OckamU manual covers all this and
more in easy to understand terms. Whatever brand of instrument system you
use, the OckamU manual is an invaluable resource. The price is $25. To
order, please email Tom Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, street
address and method of payment. See www.ockam.com
THE NEXT BATTLEGROUND
It may be two months until Team New Zealand defend the America's Cup on the
water, but the on-shore manoeuvring has started already. Regatta organisers
CORM received a letter from Team New Zealand rules adviser Russell Green on
Monday stating that, in the opinion of the Cup defender, the challengers
are not allowed under the rules to change boats between the semifinals and
Team New Zealand believe substitution is not permitted because the
protocol, which says, "the finals of the challenge selection series will be
between the two top yachts in the semifinals," takes precedence over
condition 10.1 which permits yacht substitution between the semifinal
repechage and the public unveiling on January 7. This would mean Alinghi
would have to sail in SUI64 and whoever goes through out of the remaining
three, OneWorld, Oracle or Prada, would have to stick with USA67, USA76 and
Team New Zealand have not made any further comment on the latest legal
hiccup to disrupt the regatta, but Louis Vuitton Cup finalist Alinghi's
head, Ernesto Bertarelli, said he does not think that is what they agreed.
- Fiona McIlroy, nzoom website, full story:
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com)
(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 Robert M Grant: The AC is not an Olympic sport and it's rules and
Protocol will always be quite different. I would suggest that if the AC was
still held in the USA that any suggestion of shifting future regattas to
other countries, irrespective of the winner would have been greeted with
horror. Imagine the reaction of the NYYC and people like Dennis Conner. If
it is to be shifted again let another country win the right to be the next
hosts on the water.
* From Bruce Parsons: Thanks to Bruce Kirby for his comments on Laurie
Davidson. I could never understand why others were getting so much credit
on all the teams he has been on. Several other designers were heard to
comment on how lucky he was to be associated with Doug Peterson, or Schnack
or whoever. But it is clear that he has been the innovator in all these
campaigns and other got more credit than he. Surely the evidence is piling
up that he deserves so much more credit as a designer than he has received
over the years.
* From Roger Harden: Hat's off to Olin Stephens' point of view regarding
intellectual property. Today, OneWorld is being penalized for buying what
they believe to be the best design and sailing talent available. It so
happens that some of them happen to come from a former Cup program. While
at the same time the Alinghi team has also made what they believe to be the
best investment in talent, also from New Zealand.
I would argue that the people on the Alinghi team understand a very large
percentage of what made them go fast during their last cup victory and are
able to reproduce it for the current bid. They understand it not because
they "designed" it but because they spent years applying bondo and looking
at the knot meter. However, because it is not written down, they do not get
penalized for it. This is an incredible injustice!
* From Alice Leahey: Once again, Olin Stephens has proved that he is not
only the "dean" of sailing, but also the class act. I'm afraid that it may
be too much to hope that all those involved in the controversy over
intellectual property in the America's Cup will have attained half of
Olin's wisdom and clarity by the time they are in their 90's!
* From Ned Hall: Who's going to be our last best word to balance our
otherwise never-ending arguments in the America's Cup (and rating systems)
when Olin Stephens leaves us?
* From John Rousmaniere: After reading Jacques Rogge's assault on the
America's Cup, I wonder if I'm the only person reminded of the doomsayers
who claim baseball is a failure solely because it's the only sport with a
playing field that's triangular, not rectangular.
* From Bill Jenkins: First the ISAF reverses decisions made by the Yngling
class, then Paul Henderson says that Olympic classes must abide by the
dictates of the international body. Now Jacques Rogge speechifies on making
the Americas Cup more viewer friendly.
The Americas Cup competition has evolved over the years and centuries into
what it is now, and it will continue to evolve. But first and foremost it
is a match racing competition among nations. It is not necessarily a
spectator sport. To the extent that television companies can cajole the
general public into watching the races, so much the better. But if, as Mr.
Rogge suggests, the Americas Cup declines into the oblivion of public
disinterest, it will still exist and will most likely still attract the
interest of wealthy sailors who want to bring it home. Who knows, if it
declines steeply enough I may make a challenge myself. How bad could that be?
* From Lorenzo Barricalla: Does anyone else find it interesting that in
his LVC press conference, IOC president Jacques Rogge stated, "I think
people still want to have some national association to the event. But of
course that does not mean that all the crew members on board must have that
nationality." (www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1399.html) How
about we have Russell Coutts and Francesco de Angelis team up in a 470 at
Athens 2004 for say... Canada.
* From Brad Melmon: I am an active cyclist and sailor and have been an avid
AC spectator since the 70's. I've watched TV coverage since '92, visited
San Diego and Auckland (recently). I've had copies of every Virtual
Spectator since they started following sailboat racing.
The only two things that OLN can provide that I can't get from other
sources are great video and audio coverage. The explanations from Dawn, Ed,
and Peter are nice, but I join J. Walker in saying please let us hear what
the teams are thinking. If you want to explain what they're saying later
fine but please let us hear them! Also please consider that all the teams
left out there are speaking English: What an opportunity - you won't need
I believe strongly that even less experienced viewers will benefit from
listening in and will begin to understand that the races are much closer
and exciting than they currently believe. Please don't underestimate the
audience. We we'll watch every commercial if you'll just let us watch and
hear all of the racing.
* From: Dan Shine: In preparation for the LVC coverage, I watched the OLN
coverage of the Tour de France, as sort of a "test" of the network and
coverage to come. I have never ridden a road racing bike, never mind
competing on one. I knew nothing of the sport, but found myself enthralled
with the competition and coverage. I picked up the lingo, terms, riders,
jersey colors, teams, controversies, etc. without the commentators
explaining very much to a neophyte like myself. There were segments
included in the coverage that were informative and helpful, but for the
most part, they realized that most of their audience were knowledgeable
viewers and treated them as such. Needless to say, I was excited to watch
the coverage of a sport in which I have competed and have some knowledge.
Due to OLN's poor coverage, my excitement has faded dramatically. On top of
the multitude of poorly placed commercials in obviously tape-delayed
coverage, I feel like I am being patronized by Kindergarten teachers
throughout the coverage! Why is it that EVERY time sailing terminology or
lingo is used, EVERY commentator feels the need to explain what that term
means in Sailspeak 101? Does OLN not realize the vast majority of viewers
are sailboat racers, never mind knowledgeable sailors?
I will still watch the coverage, but that is only because there is no
alternative. I hope ESPN does a better job with the America's Cup!
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: We offered OLN the opportunity to respond to the
email we've been receiving about their coverage of the Louis Vuitton Cup
Series, and they quickly responded with the following:
We at OLN greatly appreciate the feedback we have received, and carefully
review each comment. The biggest complaint has been the amount of
commercials, but unfortunately there is little we can do as it is our only
source of revenue to cover the cost of broadcast. We do not receive a
portion of your monthly cable bill like many other networks (ESPN), and do
not have the resources available to many larger networks with higher
penetration and viewership (ESPN).
What is frustrating is that we receive a steady stream of critical feedback
which all tell us what we are doing wrong and what we need to do to keep
viewers. After the first day of our broadcast we received several hundred
of these, with many people demanding we do better or threatening to boycott
our advertisers and making sure everyone they know never watches OLN.
Sailing is not a huge spectator sport in this country, and we knew going
into this that there was no way to gauge the audience we would attract.
Advertisers don't necessarily want to buy time on a broadcast if there is
no audience, and so we had to devote more time to commercials in order to
benefit from their sponsorship. Still, we wanted to offer something that
the American audience would otherwise not get a chance to see.
Basically what I want to convey is that we are well aware of our
shortcomings before having them pointed out, and especially appreciate
feedback that offers constructive criticism and helpful suggestions instead
of harsh insults and unrealistic demands. We have received a tremendous
amount of positive support...particularly from Scuttlebutt readers. So
please keep the comments coming...at least if you are complaining we know
you are watching! - George Smirnoff, Consumer Marketing Coordinator,
Outdoor Life Network
'TIS THE SEASON TO BE THINKING OF NEXT SEASON
Ullman Sails has won and / or dominated both one design and handicap fleets
across the country. This winter we have refined and improved our sail
designs to be even faster, stronger and lighter for the 2003 racing season.
If you and your crew are ready for the "Fastest sails on the planet", come
visit us at www.ullmansails.com
The Around Alone fleet had a calm first night with light. In Class 2,
Canadian skipper John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia, currently positioned in the
lead of Class 2 due to his more easterly position in relation to the
others, has made a short stop already at the small port of Struisbaai this
afternoon to fix his satellite communications. Dennis is not prepared to
sail across one of the most hostile regions in the world and chance being
out of contact. Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield is performing exceptionally
well in his Open 40 Spirit of Canada. Not only did he win the start
yesterday but he is still up amongst the giant Open 60's, ahead even of
Bruce Schwab in Ocean Planet. Brad van Liew, skipper of Tommy Hilfiger
Freedom America, has been gaining miles on the 4 boats ahead of him in
Class 2 after starting an hour and 45 minutes late yesterday due to
Nearly a day after the rest of the Around Alone fleet set sail for New
Zealand, Tim Kent left the docks in Cape Town and headed out to the start
area. Kent had remained behind to finish some rigging work on the boat, and
to do a final calibration on his autopilots. - Mary Ambler,
Standings 2200 UTC December 15, 2002 - CLASS 1:
1. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 2228 miles from finish
2. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm,
3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 67 miles behind leader
4. Pindar, Emma Richards, 88 mbl
5. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 117 mbl
6. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 125 mbl
1. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 2326 miles from finish
2. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 9 mbl
3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 65 mbl
4. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 67 mtf
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 71 mbl
6. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 106 miles behind leader
Fremantle, Western Australia - The top four teams fought a dramatic battle
in the final race (race 9), for the International 505 World Championship.
With the Fremantle Doctor still missing in action, the race was sailed in a
12-14 knot breeze with a large chop. After much scrambling, finishes keep
the top three in the same positions they were in going into race 9,
confirming Chris and Darren Nicholson (AUS) as the 2002 International 505
World Champions. Chris and Darren also won the International 505 World
Championship in 1992 and 1993. - Alexander Meller
Final results (98 boats): 1. Chris Nicholson/ Darren Nicholson, AUS, 22; 2.
Howard Hamlin/ Mike Martin, USA, 22; 3. Krister Bergstrom/ Thomas Moss,
SWE, 26; 4. Dan Thompson/ Andrew Zinn, USA, 28; 5. Ian Barker/ Daniel
Cripps, GBR, 31.
Complete results: www.505.com.au/results.htm
Thailand - The boardsailing world is in shock with another world title for
the remarkable Barbara Kendall. In her first regatta since the Sydney
Olympics, 35-year-old Kendall comprehensively beat the world's best in
Thailand to add another world title to her remarkable list of achievments.
Kendall won the Women's World Championships in 1998 and 1999 and is also a
three times Olympic medallist with a gold in Barcelona in 1992, a silver in
Atlanta in 1996 and a bronze in Sydney 2000. The New Zealander, whose
daughter Samantha was born 15 months ago, needed to sail only one of the
final two races having won the second to last race to establish an
unbeatable lead over French rival Faustine Merret. - Nzoom website, full
Final results - men (109 boats): 1. Gal Fridman, ISR, 51; 2. Ricardo
Santos, BRA, 56; 3. Julien Bontemps, FRA, 63; 34. Kevin Stittle, CAN 215;
43. David Mier y Teran, MEX, 273. Women (64 boats): 1. Barbara Kendal, NZL,
26; 2. Alessandra Sensini, ITA, 34; 3. Faustine Merret, FRA, 46.1.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Isn't it strange that the same people who laugh at fortunetellers take