SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1215 - December 9, 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.
OneWorld Challenge will have points docked throughout the rest of the challenger series and the America's Cup itself after an arbitration panel ruled they had broken the regatta's rules for a second time. In an interim decision released this afternoon, the five-member America's Cup Arbitration Panel also ordered the syndicate to pay costs of US$65,000. However the panel rejected calls for OneWorld to be disqualified from the regatta for possessing and using other teams confidential design material. The panel said it would give reasons for its decision in "due course".
OneWorld admitted at a weekend hearing they did possess Team New Zealand design secrets in a second breach of the rules governing the Cup, written in the Protocol. Designer Ian Mitchell told the panel he had a computer disk which contained six to eight Team New Zealand files detailing design and structural material from their 2000 campaign. He also had files on an old computer from his days with Team New Zealand's 1995 campaign. Neither he nor OneWorld had declared the information in previous affidavits submitted to the panel at an earlier hearing on the case.
Mitchell, who left Team New Zealand to join OneWorld after the last Cup, said in evidence at the weekend he had now destroyed the disk, but he never used the information stored on it. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
Specifically, the Panel imposes that OneWorld will "loose one point in:
a) the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup and, if it advances,
b) the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup and, if it advances,
c) the Match for the America's Cup"
If OneWorld pays the costs as ordered, and assumes the one point penalty when applicable, OneWorld will be eligible to sign the declaration and sail in the America's Cup as the Challenger should OneWorld win all their matches.
The penalty is a point deducted from OneWorld, and not a point given to its opponent. For example, in its Semi-Final match against Prada, the Italian team still must win four races to advance to the Repechage. OneWorld would need to win five races to advance. - Peter Rusch, Louis Vuitton Cup website, full story: www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1326.html
Running parallel with the Arbitration Panel OneWorld hearings and potentially as controversial is the Rule Two (Fair Sailing) case initiated by Team Dennis Conner (New York Yacht Club) with the America's Cup International Jury. The International Jury's deliberations are separate from the Arbitration Panel. The Jury accepted the case, but has delayed its hearing pending the outcome of the Arbitration Panel. In hearing the case, the Jury has given notice that it will:
Adopt any findings of fact made by the Arbitration Panel and will take no evidence concerning those facts;
Accept submissions as to whether any of those actions broke Racing Rule Two;
Take evidence on actions alleged in the protest that were not heard by the Panel, but only in the light of whether those actions breached Rule Two;
Take into account the penalty, if any, imposed by the Arbitration Panel.
This information was excerpted from a story posted on the Louis Vuitton website. For an update: www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com
STATEMENT FROM ONEWORLD CHALLENGE
We respectfully submit that the America's Cup Arbitration Panel has respectfully leveled an extremely harsh judgment against OneWorld in response to the team's own voluntary disclosure. This is a stunning indictment of honesty to be penalized for telling the truth. The Panel found in our favor and completely dismissed the accusations of Team Dennis Connor and Prada in their application.
From the outset, OneWorld Challenge has had as a clear goal of running a clean campaign. Substantially all of the evidence that was brought before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel was admissions by OneWorld, not the petitioners. We were gentlemen, above board and forthright.
The worst that should be said of us, beyond the fact that we hired a man who turned out to be crooked and gave bad advice, is that we have a designer who told us of an old back-up disk and a seven year old computer in his garage that he never used and OneWorld never knew he had. These are issues that never would have come up had we not raised them. Reeves didn't bring them up, and neither did Team Dennis Connor nor Prada. All of their claims were rejected.
We have decided to proceed through the racing and hold our heads high, knowing in our hearts that we assembled, with the exception of Reeves, a fantastic team of good, talented people who came together to win with a higher purpose. They strive for excellence in everything they do. We stand beside them proudly while others, most of whom are not without guilt themselves, cast the stones. We thank our family and friends who have continued to support us. Now we will continue to go about doing what we came here to do, win races and surmount the obstacles put before us. - www.oneworldchallenge.com
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Disappointment reigned out on the water as Day 1 of the Semi-Finals was abandoned due to high winds. At 1pm, the breeze was holding steadily at 20-22 knots, more than the 19 knot limit that racing can start in. By 2:30pm the wind was consistently over 22-25 knots and the race committee cancelled racing accordingly. 15 of 42 race days cancelled due to weather since the beginning of the regatta. - Cup News website, full story: cupviews.com
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 David Redfern (Re John Longley and the Southampton Meeting to develop the IACC Rule: I totally endorse John's statement, but I do recall that not all of the designers were of accord. There was a priority with the majority of the group, working in Peter de Savary's Blue Arrow Challenge office in Ocean Village, that they should build into the design parameters safety factors that would make a boat that would not be fragile - and in breaking, jeopardise the lives of the sailors. I recall one of the design group resigned on this principle. I remember the seven-foot long fax explaining why this designer felt that the new design should be able to push to the limits of structure. This was not agreed by the majority. I suppose I should name that designer, but I don't know how it would be legally. By the way, if a lot of people want a different type of America's Cup, let them go off and create it … but leave this one alone. See which one comes out top!
* From Jim Walsh: Sailing should be enjoyed, whether you are a 6-year-old learning, a young 25 year old in the Americas Cup or a 80 year old cruising on a Wednesday afternoon having a few beers with your mates. It is the goals you set that defines your level of enjoyment and that is the beauty of the sport. You get to choose what you want to achieve. Some classes are better than the others in achieving this and that is up to the class administrators to manage or encourage.
How many classes could emulate the Australian/New Zealand 12ft skiffs when in a recent International regatta there were 35 boats and 10 races with 1 protest. Also the top three boats all stayed in the same house and took turns at cooking each other dinner ! If we can pass that attitude to those new to the sport the antics of the AC boats will be shown to be relevant only to those that choose to compete at that level and completely irrelevant to 99% of those who are out on the water.
Enjoy sailing at whatever level you want and ignore the rest.
* From Ed Sherman: Found a neat sailing trick to enhance my enjoyment of the sport. I found that by completely giving up reading anything about the sport these days and just watching it on TV during these cold nights, like I do ice skating, it's a pretty cool sport.
* From Tony Cabot (re new AC desing rule): Why only one hull? I can think of no more exciting racing than open 60 trimarans, particularly if the wind is blowing. Where current monohull development teams spend megabucks for a tenth of a knot the state of the art in multihulls has been advancing at a much faster and cheaper rate. We soon may see large multihulls totally foil borne. There might even be able to be competition in winds of more than 19 knots; certainly the boats would be able to race in winds below 7 knots. While the recent Route du Rhum debacle showed that these boats have their limits I doubt if ACC class boats would have fared any better, even with reefing, and with all that lead the boats don't make very good life rafts.
* From Stephen Glassman: Okay, maybe it's time we cleared up something here. The reason the King wanted to kill all the lawyers is because they were educated, could read, thought logically and were feared by the King as the group that would likely lead to his overthrow. It was not because of litigation, although, in truth, that may be the death of us all.
No I don't know how to keep the lawyers out of the AC, except to say that if you were smart enough to come up with someone else's intelligence because they were stupid or careless enough to let it out, congratulations. If you lost on the water because your boat just wasn't fast enough or your crew not sharp enough, too bad. If you have to file a protest, file it, but when the decision is made, live by it. And if you're not man -- or woman -- enough to live by the "Corinthian Spirit" (whatever that means nowadays) then pack up your tent and your reputation and go home.
* From Bruce Vanderlaan: You f#@*%ing b*%tard!!!! How dare you wish me dead! What good does it do to attack all lawyers when not one has done anything wrong with regard to th AC. The actions taken were taken by the syndicates. There should be a law that prohibits anyone who has ever expressed this sentimate from ever having the privilege of hiring a lawyer. I donate thousands of dollars of my time and expertise to help individuals and organizations, and yet get tarred with this same brush.
If you truly knew what you were talking about you would know that those words were uttered by "Dick the Butcher" who wanted to overthrow the government and the only way to do so was to kill all the lawyers (we who protect the laws) first! Stick to sailing news. Lest you forget, the majority of the founding fathers of this country were lawyers, as were many of our great presidents such as Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. You may think you were "just kidding," but your sentiment was simply mean spirited.
Sunday, December 8 - A routine day of practice on the eve of the Vuitton Cup semifinals turned into a major headache for the Swiss team Alinghi, when the mast of its boat SUI-64 snapped in a squall. Alinghi, which is scheduled to begin a four-of-seven-race series with Oracle-BMW on Monday, was conducting two-boat testing on the Hauraki Gulf today when the break occurred. The team has an identical rig on shore, but the break meant Alinghi would spend its final day of preparation for Oracle in a boat shed rather than on the water.
It was not the only mishap during practice in the past week. The Italian team Prada was practicing prestart maneuvers on Friday when the helmsman Rod Davis steered ITA-74 into ITA-80's beam, causing damage to both boats. Prada announced today that it would stick with ITA-74 in its semifinal match-up with OneWorld. The skipper Francesco de Angelis said the boat would be ready for the race. - Warren St. John, NY Times, full story: www.nytimes.com
HEY OCKAM WHAT ABOUT ME?
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BIG CATS RULE
* The death knell may have sounded today for the Volvo Ocean Race as the premier fully crewed round the world race. At a press conference at the Paris Boat Show this morning which was more like a 'who's who' of ocean racing, The Race organiser Bruno Peyron announced not just the next edition of his non-stop event - The Race 2004 - but, more ambitious by far, The Race Tour - a round the world race with stops, to be run every four years from 2006. The timing will conflict with the next Volvo Ocean Race, the future of which has been in the doldrums. Peyron's new event is aimed at capitalising on this by siphoning off interest from top sailors and syndicates. - Elaine Bunting, Yachting World website, full story: www.yachting-world.com
* The second edition of The Race, the "No Limit" round-the-world crewed sailing race, will start on Sunday February 29th, 2004.The course, starting and finishing in Marseilles, is a west to east circumnavigation via the 3 capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn), including a New Zealand Passage. Marseilles becomes The Race's homeport, which reinforces the city's effort to open to major international sailing events - The Race is expected to attract more than a million of spectators.
The Race will from now on take place every 4 years (2000, 2004, 2008), in order to be integrated in the international race calendar on a regular basis. Furthermore, in order to set up a program capable of meeting the challengers and their partners' expectancies in terms of sports and marketing, The Race event, along with the contenders, is currently working on an International Circuit dedicated to giant multihulls for the future. This circuit, which includes The Race 2004 and The Race Tour, will also offer major offshore courses (Jules Verne Trophy, Atlantic record, Pacific record, "Tea Route", New York to San Francisco) and a new race around the world with stopovers: The Race Tour.
Scheduled for 2005-2006, "The Race Tour" will give the giants the opportunity to race fully-crewed around the world, but this time with stopovers in the main world key-markets: Europe, Asia - Pacific, and Northern America. On the occasion of the start of The Race Tour, and to promote the multihulls culture in these markets, The Race Event launches the first International Offshore One-Design. This new 80-ft maxi-catamaran will allow amateurs to race around the planet in equity, and to find a boat that will meet their ambitions sports-wise. The conception of this racer will be carried out by an appointed Design Team, currently formed by five of the best multihulls specialists.
MOVING THE BAR HIGHER
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and web site developers Massive Interactive have developed www.rolexsydneyhobart.com, a highly innovative dedicated official web site for the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which went on line this week. Major feature of the website will be Yacht Tracker, a satellite tracking system which will provide real time positions of each yacht throughout the race, updating every 10 minutes.
The CYCA will equip each boat in the fleet with an Inmarsat D+ transmitter which will automatically update the yacht's latitude and longitude and transmit it via satellite to an earth station. From there, the data will be transmitted to the website, showing in text and graphics each yacht's position in the fleet, its place relative to other boats, and the speed currently being achieved, as well as the direction the boat is sailing. Website viewers will be able to look at the overall state of the fleet or zoom into a group of boats, as well as accessing the current status of an individual boat.
In addition to the constant real time position reports via Yacht Tracker, positions received from the fleet will be immediately converted by a highly sophisticated spreadsheet into a report on the website that shows each yacht's position in the fleet, distance to the finish line, as well as its progressive corrected time position under the IMS, IRC and PHS handicap categories. Thus, once every 10 minutes viewers will be able to determine the handicap and line honours position of every boat in the fleet. - Peter Campbell
Howie Hamlin and crew Mike Martin won the 87-boat Grolsch International 505 pre-world regatta sailed at the Fremantle Sailing Club in Australia. Final results: 1. USA, Black Boat - Howie Hamlin/ Mike Martin: 2. AUS, The Fish - Peter Chappell/ Ian Davidson: 3. AUS, 8795 - Sandy Higgins/ Paul Marsh; 4. USA, Gummi de Milo - Andrew Beeckman /Ben Benjamin; 5. AUS, Scalpel - Leslie Nathanson/ Richard Machin.
Ninty eight boats raced in a steady 20-22 knots in the first race of Grolsch International 505 World championship regatta. Results of the first race: 1. GBR - Dave Smithwhite/ Neil Fulcher; 2. USA 762 Dan Thompson/ Andrew Zinn; 3. GBR -Terry Scutcher/ Christian Diebitsch; 4. SWE - Krister Bergstrom/ Thomas Moss; 5. USA - Howard Hamlin/Mike Martin. Full results: www.505.com.au
New York Clipper wins Race two of the Clipper 2002 Round the World Yacht Race. At 0815 GMT (0315 Cuban Local Time) on Saturday Samantha Fuller and her crew brought New York Clipper over the finishing line off the entrance to Havana Harbour to win Race 2 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Bristol Clipper finishes in second place at 1656 GMT 7 December on Saturday. The race is between eight identical yachts each representing an international city; namely Bristol, Cape Town, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Jersey, Liverpool, London and New York. Over the last 27 days they have race well over 4000 miles. - www.clipper-ventures.com
The last two Class 2 skippers finished in Cape Town Sunday in a dramatic two horse boat race to the line - 7,000 nm and 55 days since leaving Torbay, England on Leg 2 of Around Alone 2002-03. Alan Paris sailed BTC Velocity past John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia just before the finish line and crossed at 12:59:24 local time (10:59:24 GMT) under full sail and spinnaker flying in a soft breeze. Just 100 metres behind, John had lost the wind and even took down his collapsing spinnaker to end up ghosting across the line 23 minutes later. - www.aroundalone.com
ROLEX US WOMEN'S MATCH RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
Southern Yacht Club New Orleans, LA. - Betsy Alison defeated Sally Barkow 3-1 in the finals of the US Sailing's Grade 3 inaugural Rolex US Women's Match Race Championship held in J/22s. In the Petit Finals Sandy Hayes defeated Charlie Arms 3-1 - www.southernyachtclub.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
In the game of life, nothing is less important than the score at half time.