SCUTTLEBUTT 1223 - December 19, 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.
(Michelle Slade did an interview with Prada's Steve Erickson after the
Italian syndicate was eliminated from the Louis Vuitton Cup series. Here's
a brief excerpt from that story posted on the Cup Views website.)
Erickson, an Olympic gold medalist, member of the winning EF Language
Whitbread team and veteran of five America's Cups discussed what he views
as Prada's biggest weakness. "If I was to be critical of our team, the four
teams standing between us and the Cup are all derivatives of Team NZ," he
said. "If we failed at anything, we failed at not getting ONE person from
And it's true, you go to Oracle, OneWorld, Alinghi, Team New Zealand and
each of them have kiwi sailors who knew what it took for Team New Zealand
to win the America's Cup twice. "Each of them know in some capacity what
went on at Team NZ last time," considered Erikson.
Erickson noted that Prada did approach a few Team New Zealand sailors but
by the time they had got wind of the defections, it was slim pickings.
"There were contingencies who left together, like the group who sail with
Larry Ellison on Sayonara. Likewise, Coutts kept together with his guys
Butterworth, Daubney, Jones and Fleury. Then another little group went with
Laurie Davidson to OneWorld including Mattie Davidson, Craig Monk and others."
There's obviously substance in the Team NZ advantage given the success of
Alinghi, OneWorld and Oracle to date and confirmed by this week's
revelation that both Alinghi and Oracle share Team New Zealand boat
designs. Something seemed to be missing in the Prada campaign from the
get-go and with the early firing of lead designer Doug Peterson from the
Italian team, along with the numerous changes made to ITA-74 over the past
few months, it appears that the issue may have been primarily with their
boat - it wasn't fast enough.
Full story: http://cupviews.com/
LOUIS VUITTON CUP SEMIS
Seattle's OneWorld team are to stick with USA-67 for the next round of the
America's Cup challenger series, starting on the Hauraki Gulf tomorrow. But
Oracle, their opponents in the first-to-four-points Louis Vuitton Cup
semifinal repechage, are to wait until later today to announce whether they
will continue using their boat USA-76, or switch to the alternative USA-71.
(Oracle BMW later announced they would race USA 76 in the round.)
Senior Oracle crewmember Ian Burns today said the team had made a few
subtle changes to their boats, but had not finalized their decision. He
would not say whether the large kite Oracle has been seen flying in
practice was a serious attempt at coming up with new technology to use
"Our design team has certainly encompassed a lot of innovations throughout
this whole project and that is one of the things we have been looking at,
and so far it's been a pretty interesting project," Burns said. Asked
whether it was just for fun, he said it was an ongoing research project. -
NZPZ, NZ Herald website, full story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
* Light winds are forecast for the first race of the Semi Final Repechage
on Friday. OneWorld and Oracle BMW Racing begin the best of seven series
fighting for a place in the Louis Vuitton Cup finals against Alinghi. -
AMERICA'S CUP CLOTHING
You can now buy official Challenger, Defender, and Event clothing at the
online superstore of the America's Cup 2003. Now selling Team New Zealand,
ORACLE BMW Racing, Stars & Stripes, Victory Challenge, GBR Challenge,
Alinghi and Le Defi official team clothing. America's Cup 2003 clothing,
Replica Silverware, and accessories including Official Programs are also
available. You can order from the comfort of your home or office with
worldwide delivery at low freight rates.
* The new 152-foot (46.30-meter) schooner Windrose will compete in the
DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge, scheduled to start June 14, 2003
in Newport, R.I., USA. To date, 36 yachts have officially entered the 3,500
nautical mile ocean race from Newport to Cuxhaven, Germany and on to
Hamburg. - www.dcnac.de.
* David Moffet has joined Hall Spars & Rigging in the newly created
position of Project Manager. Located in the Bristol office, he will
function as liaison between Hall and its customers, and the boat designers/
builders/ project managers on all custom projects.
* After working for several weeks to prepare the 110 foot maxi catamaran
Kingfisher2, Ellen MacArthur and her crew finally set off on Tuesday
morning from Cherbourg to sail to their training base in Lorient, west
France. Team Kingfisher will be based at the French America's Cup compound
until they are ready to leave for the Jules Verne, hopefully mid to late
January. - http://www.kingfisherchallenges.com/
* The final ISAF Match Race Rankings of 2002 have been released and are
available on-line. The next rankings will be released in March following
the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in Wellington, New Zealand. As you will quickly
see, the results of match racing going on now in Auckland are not factored
into these tabulations: http://www.sailing.org/matchrace/mrranking.asp
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 Ingham: The measurement rules were written with the strict
intent of creating smooth hull shapes and therefore generating competitive
equivalence amongst the teams. The suspect 'appendage' being deployed by
TNZ quite clearly goes beyond the spirit of the rules and therefore it
should be banned even if a tricky lawyer can argue the point successfully.
* From Chris Bouzaid: Being in Auckland and seeing the stupidity of some
of the goings on with this America's Cup, it is time that all the trouble
makers started thinking a little about the sport we all love and stop
thinking about scheming to win. I am sure that Sports Illustrated will have
another scathing field day with this one. This is bad for sailing.
This new twist is completely being caused but a "stupid ruling." The
purpose of the restriction on having only two moving appendages is to
restrict the number of rudders and trim tabs a yacht can have. It is not to
change the shape of the boat so it defies the measurement rule. This
decision should be reversed now to show the world we are not all idiots.
* From Seymour A. Friedel: The fact that the New Zealanders and others have
found yet "another clever way of getting around the rules" proves my point
that the rules are too complex. The rules have forced the designers to use
technology to fight rules as opposed to making a faster boat. I contend
that the "one hull under 20 meters" rule would unleash the designers to
make the boats faster. Let them fight nature, not lawyers.
* From Vin McAteer: Rich Roberts' article about how many US citizens are
actually sailing with the American campaigns is simply classless and
disgusting. The concept of "free-agency" in the America's Cup is just
another reason why nobody pays attention to the event anymore. It is sad
that the only true American effort, Team Dennis Conner, bowed out so early.
* From Ralph Scott: After reading Rich Roberts' story, it's pretty
obvious that all of the syndicates that tried to campaign with essentially
home grown talent - the Swedes, Brits, French, Mascalone, and TDC - are now
watching the Louis Vuitton racing on TV. Coincidence? I don't think so.
* From Stephen A Van Dyck: While reading and thinking about all the
various goings on regarding the AC rules over the last few months I have
been a little amused at how similar it all is to the 1970 Cup. But now I
really have to smile because in 1970 Intrepid, as redesigned from her
original form by Brit Chance, sported a "rule benefited" stern.
In addition to being tactician onboard I represented our syndicate for the
official measurement of the Gretel II and Intrepid. To say that Gretel
designer Alan Payne was astonished to see that we had almost a foot of boat
aft of the aft waterline measurement point is quite an understatement. The
idea was simple enough, create a notch in the aft waterline measurement
location, extend the hull out past the notch about a foot and then cover
the notch with "fairing flaps." Presto, a longer boat and little or no
I have to say that it was amazing to me then and still is that the measurer
permitted it. (He was American after all.) Our interpretation of the deck
opening requirements also elicited a few gasps from the Australians. Gretel
II was a very fast boat (faster than Intrepid in the predominant light to
moderate conditions) and beat us across the finish line twice. Who knows,
without Britts creative stern, 1970 could have been the year the Cup went
* From Mark Weinheimer: It seems that the people who lament the loss of
the "Corinthian Spirit" in the Cup are stuck in a very small snapshot of
the long and storied timeline of America's Cup. Yachting in general prior
to the Depression was the province of the rich and titled, and the
America's Cup was always sailed by professional (paid) sailors. The amateur
(unpaid) era began after World War II when there wasn't enough money to
race mega yachts anymore and the 12-meter class was chosen as more economical.
A yacht club could get enough money from within to build a boat, get a few
of the best club sailors together with a good sailmaker, a few college
football players and sail around from June to September. A lot of the best
racing was during the defender trials.
This time has passed. Giving something like 25 years out of a 150+ year
history icon status is a little myopic. The A Cup fell completely out of
public perception for three years at a time and the only people who cared
about it at all were hard-core sailors. Is this really what we are shooting
for? I'm not sure you can have it both ways.
* From Philip Swett: As a huge fan of the Americas Cup and all
competitive sailing I have come to the realization that the AC and LVCS is
much better suited for Court TV than OLN. The amount of time spent on
arbitration and protest hearings must be greater than that of the actual
time spent on the water. It seems that I can get a much better mental
picture of what happened in the hearings than I can of the actual sailing.
I am hoping for better discussion regarding tactics on the water rather
than off in coming issues of "Butt.
* From Adrian Williams: In answer to recent letters that question how
everyone found out about TNZ's false hull: The procedure is that prior to
the LV Cup starting syndicates pose design questions regarding the class
rule to the measurers. The measurers then issue answers to these questions
in what are called confidential interpretations. Just before the start of
the competition, in early October, the measurers made all of these
confidential interpretations, both question and answer, public (they can be
viewed on the media portion of the LV Cup website). If you read them you
can see that a number pertain to the issue in question.
* From John Glynn: Let me see if I understand this. They cancel racing
when it's blowing in the 20s. Then they run a meaningless race in a
drifter. Then they cut short the series because there weren't enough good
racing days before a pre-set deadline that's already eons prior to the
finals (if they were only half as draconian with the lawsuits...). The
result is that the defending LVC champ goes home early. Yet Team New
Zealand is out practicing on all these days--hmmmm.
Now picture if the NFL decided to cancel games when it's snowing or raining
under the pretense that the Super Bowl is usually played in a dome, or a
warm weather destination. Green Bay, Buffalo, and Chicago might never get a
home game off, and never make it to a playoff game, much less the Super
Bowl. But, wait. What if they waited until the morning of the game to
cancel (there'd be a lot of unhappy tailgaters, and television viewers, and
No wonder the general public has such a hard time understanding the
America's Cup, much less embracing it. The sports editor at my hometown
newspaper has all but given up on the America's Cup--and I'm the freelance
weekly boating columnist.
p.s. Is it just me, or does the racing seem dull this time around (no fault
of OLN)? With the exception of one or two situations, everyone seems so
tentative, trying harder not to lose, rather than to push the envelope and win.
* From Craig Fletcher: The America's reminds me of the OJ trial. We all
watch, but does any one really care?
Cash is the main barrier to Team New Zealand preventing its key designers
and crew from leaving to work for other teams after the America's Cup.
Syndicate head Tom Schnackenberg said cash prevented the New Zealanders
extending restraint of trade clauses in contracts. The clauses could help
to cement the New Zealanders' design edge and stop innovations being
quickly adopted by rivals.
Team New Zealand crew have both confidentiality and restraint of trade
clauses in their agreements. The former prevents the retention, disclosure,
dissemination or use of Team New Zealand confidential information. However
the restraint of trade clauses, which limit a person's ability to switch
immediately to a new employer and are common in the commercial world, apply
only for the duration of a campaign. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story:
Raider Rigid Inflatable Boats are the "Official RIBs of Terra Nova Key
West." Three models from 22'- 30'will be available for your inspection
during the event. The new Raider RIB Coach Boat will be making it's North
American Debut at Key West. This 22' Center Console is the perfect coaching
platform with 130 hp 4stroke, Full Electronics, Bimini Top, For and Aft
Sampson Posts and even a enclosed Marine head with Trailer for $49,000!
Check it out today at www.raiderboat.com and pick it up at Key West.
Harman Hawkins passed away on Tuesday, December 17. Hawkins was known as
the consummate yachtsman - a fact reflected in his life-long involvement in
the yachting community and the numerous honors his colleagues have bestowed
upon him. His contributions to the yachting community cover a wide scope.
Most notable is his all-inclusive participation in the associations that
foster the yachting community. He has presided over the Yacht Racing Union
of Long Island and the United States Yacht Racing Union and served as
commodore of the Manhasset Bay and Storm Trysail Clubs. His involvement
with the USYRU also includes serving as Chairman of the Appeals, Judges,
Racing Rules and Legal Committees. During his years with the International
Yacht Racing Union Hawkins held the offices of Vice Chairman of the Board
of Review, and member of the Permanent, Racing Rules, and Constitution
Committees. He also participated in the drafting of Appendix 14, Racing
Rules and the Eligibility code.
In addition to his work with the governing bodies, Hawkins has also judged
yacht races. An official judge for the International Yacht Racing Union,
and the United States Yacht Racing Union Hawkins has also served on a
number of international juries including Olympic (Korea), Admiral's Cup
(England), Clipper Cup (Hawaii), China Seas Race (SW Pacific), Bermuda Race
(Middle Atlantic), Keil Week (Germany). He was also the first chairman of
the USYRU's judges committee; a pioneer and model for all yachting judging
programs throughout the world, including the International Yacht Racing
Memorial Service at St. Mary's, Shelter Island, NY on Saturday, December 21
at 1:00 PM.
Thierry Dubois on Solidaires and Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group/Armor lux are
going deeper. Deeper into the Southern Ocean. They are currently sailing
well below the rest of the fleet at between 43 and 44 degrees south. Only
Graham Dalton on Hexagon seems to be following them while the rest of the
yachts seem content to ride along the 40th parallel. Each degrees on
latitude is 60 miles, so they are almost 250 miles south of the other
Around Alone boats and continuing to separate. Stamm and Dubois are heading
south for good reason. The first reason is that the weather models show
more wind to the south, and the second is that it's shorter. Because the
world is round the shortest distance between two points is not in a
Brad Van Liew, the current Class 2 leader on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom
America, has a different strategy. "I am not that interested in shaving
miles off my course by going south," Brad said in a satellite interview.
"There is a range of wind conditions that my boats really likes, and I can
average quite a few knots faster if I can find those conditions. - Brian
Standings 2200 UTC December 18, 2002 CLASS 1:
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 6055 miles from finish
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 46 miles behind leader
3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 206 mbl
4. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 235 mbl
5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 238 mbl
6. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 239 mbl
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 6390 miles from finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 107 miles behind leader
3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 186 mbl
4. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 200 mbl
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 200 mbl
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 680 mbl
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
What a difference 30 years makes:
1972: Going to a new, hip joint
2002: Receiving a new hip joint