SCUTTLEBUTT 1224 - December 20, 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.
LOUIS VUITTON SEMI FINAL REPECHAGE
After a short delay caused by a big wind shift, racing in the Semi Final
Repechage of the Louis Vuitton Cup began in light winds on the Hauraki
Gulf. It was a beautiful afternoon for racing, with light, shifty
conditions challenging the afterguards on both boats.
OneWorld helmsman James Spithill did a nice job on the pre-start, and early
in the race, the OneWorld Challenge blue boat twice crossed ahead of the
sleek, black Oracle BMW Racing. But Cameron Dunn, high up the Oracle BMW
mast looking for wind, called for his team to cross to the left side of the
race course, if given the opportunity.
On the second cross, OneWorld let USA-76 switch sides, and the Oracle BMW
crew made a nice gain on the left, taking the lead, and sailing in front
from there to the finish. Although OneWorld closed the gap ahead of the
final run, Oracle BMW Racing skipper Chris Dickson held his nerve and
streaked away for the win.
OneWorld is in a difficult spot now, already one point down starting the
series due to an earlier Arbitration Panel penalty. Oracle BMW Racing has
to win three more races to win the series, while OneWorld needs five victories.
The winner of the Semi Final Repechage advances to face Alinghi in the
Louis Vuitton Cup Final, with race one scheduled for the 10th of January.
The loser of the Repechage is eliminated from further competition.
Oracle BMW Racing defeated OneWorld Challenge by 4 minutes, 8 seconds.
Oracle BMW Racing leads OneWorld in the best of seven: 1 to (-1)*
* Following the America's Cup Arbitration Panel decision of 9th
December 2002, OneWorld Challenge has had one point deducted from its score.
Full story: Louis Vuitton Cup website:
The first year of Qualification events for the 2004 Olympics in Athens is
now complete. The nations qualified so far are as follows:
- 49er - Spain, Great Britain, Ukraine, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands
- Finn - Great Britain, Poland, Croatia, Spain, Belgium, Germany, France,
- Yngling - Spain, Germany, USA, Bermuda, Denmark
- Star - Great Britain, Brazil, France, USA, Bermuda
- Europe - Australia, Norway, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic,
Netherlands, Ireland, Poland, China
- 470 Men - New Zealand, Spain, Israel, Australia, USA, Portugal, Great
Britain, Italy, Japan, Argentina
- 470 Women - Netherlands, France, Russia, Germany, Spain, Israel
- Laser - Brazil, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, Australia, Republic of
South Africa, Belgium, Finland, Canada, Croatia, Spain, Austria, Slovenia,
- Tornado - Australia, France, Austria, Argentina, Sweden
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* On February 10th the details of the design of new race boat, together
with the revised racetrack and new format for the next Volvo Ocean Race
will be revealed at a press conference to be held in Auckland, New Zealand.
The final plans resulted from discussions with ocean racing competitors,
designers, potential entries and commercial partners, and are "…set to
support sailing in a more encompassing way than previously envisioned." -
* US Sailing is asking sailors across the nation to be their eyes and
ears, to keep watch for the individuals in the sport who best exemplify the
virtues of sportsmanship. Sailors are invited to nominate their peers for
sportsmanship honors, as nominees for the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. National
Sportsmanship Award. The deadline for nominations is January 14, 2003. To
nominate an individual, go to: http://ussailing.org/sportsmanship
* Sailing World magazine and Avalon & South Seas Hotels have returned again
as sponsors, of the 2003 Acura Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC)
regatta. They are joined by new sponsors, Idiom Eyewear and North Sails.
Entries for the February 26 - March 2 event are open to boats racing under
IMS, PHRF, as well as one-design classes. The entry deadline is February
10th. - www.acurasorc.com
* Randy Boyles and the crew of his J/30 Rocket J - including Paul
Baumbach, Neil Craven, Mike Hession, Tom Hughes, and Keith Sparks - were
awarded a US Sailing Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal for a string of three
different rescue incidents, which took place during spring and fall racing
on North Carolina's Pamlico River. - www.ussailing.org
* OneWorld Challenge for the America's Cup announced that they have
joined forces with three environmental organizations located in Puget
Sound, Washington, in an effort to raise awareness of the health of this
fragile marine environment. The organizations are The Orca Conservancy,
People for Puget Sound, and Friends of the Cedar River Watershed. -
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 Brendan Dobroth: To build the AC hull appendages would be pretty
easy to do. Take a mold off the hull. The appendage would need to be
hollow, or you would add the weight of the water to the displacement of
your boat. Add the shape you want, and cover with a layer of carbon,
overlay the hull mold, and feather it in.
You would attach it in the middle with an alignment spacer and a small
layer of rubber. Out of the water there would be a gap. As the hull is
launched, the appendage would float up (like a rudder does) and deflect to
close the gap. The rubber (or an abrasive material) would "lock" it in
place. You then can have a light, medium, and heavy air shapes to bolt on
the morning of the race.
* From Bill Lee: The common sense is quite clear to me. "Hull" determines
sailing length and hence potential speed thru the water. "Appendages"
create lift, steer the boat, and support the ballast. To the extent a
difficult to define item contributes to sailing length, it should be
measured as "hull" rather than "appendage." The rule makers put a huge
amount of effort into a good way to measure effective sailing length. It
was not their intent that an "appendage" be used as an unmeasured extension
* From Dierk Polzin: The new AC clip on second skin technology is another
great example of the yacht design innovations that will filter down and
improve everyday yacht designs. NOT. This America's Cup has again shown
that this is not the premier element of our sport. But only the most absurd
element of the rich playing rich man's games.
* From Larry Christy I have been following the happenings in New Zealand
as are most racing sailors. However I am starting to get pretty disgusted
with what is going on now. Twenty years ago numerous people complained
about the behavior of the New York Yacht Club. It appears to me that what
is going on now is the same or worse. The use of a second skin by TNZ and
others to provide a longer water line length and calling it an appendage to
circumvent the rules is breaking the rule in my opinion. Maybe it is legal
under a strict interpretation of the rules but it is certainly breaking the
"spirit" of the rule.
When writing a rule it is difficult if not impossible to anticipate
everything a designer would try to circumvent the rule. I am sure the
committee who developed the current America Cup Rule did not intend for a
second skin or appendage to be used in this way. It is up to the measures
to enforce the rule and not allow this appendage. As a measure for a
national one design class I would not allow this under the current rules.
* From Ned Jones: Dave Ingham thinks their is still a requirement for
adhesion to "spirit of the rules" in the AC? Call me naive, but I have to
* From Doug Holthaus (re David Ingham's, "…even if a tricky lawyer can
argue the point successfully."): It was TNZ designers - not lawyers - who
cooked-up what Mr. Ingram labels a "suspect appendage." It was Alinghi
designers - not lawyers - who made the decision to develop a knock-off a
"suspect appendage" of their own. Indeed, it was a designer -
non-lawyer/AC-31 Technical Director Ken McAlpine - who measured and issued
rating certificates to yachts equipped with the "suspect appendage." There
seems more than enough reason to call America's Cup lawyers "suspect
appendages" without including sins not of their own making.
* From Carl Hulit: Why doesn't the America's Cup take a design approach
similar to that of "The Race" where an unlimited rule actually resulted in
cheaper boats than those for the Volvo Ocean Race? If the only rules were
that the boat has one hull and a maximum of 20 sailors I think the cup
would be much more interesting and produce more real innovation instead of
rules trickery. The sailor limit would prevent overly huge boats, but still
allow for creative designs.
* From Janet C. Baxter: Harman Hawkins was the kind of person who shared
his love of sailing by getting involved in the administration of the game.
He used his unique mix of wisdom, legal training, sportsmanship and humor
to guide the sport through some tough situations. No matter who was right
or wrong, someone had to resolve the issues around winged keels, incorrect
ratings, and whether a cat can race a big boat. Harman never walked away
from those issues and made a big fuss about raising the level of judging in
Young sailors might not know who Harman was, or what he did as one of many
characters with a passion for doing the right thing for sailing. Even when
we didn't agree, he always listened and I know that I always got a fair
* From Chris Ericksen: Let me add my congratulations to those of Skip
Doyle's ('Butt 1222) for Steve Tupper in being named Rolex Sailor of the
Year by the Canadian Yachting Association. Steve Tupper is a rare
individual in our sport: a racing sailor who also cruises, works race
committee, is a top-notch International Judge and serves our sport at the
national and international level. Our sport would be better if we had more
people in positions of international leadership like Steve Tupper. I can
think of no one who better deserves the highest recognition our sport can give.
Among the nine syndicates who began the (Louis Vuitton Cup) challenger
series in September, 34 New Zealanders were plying their trade. Five
syndicates - Le Defi Areva, Victory Challenge, Mascalzone Latino, GBR
Challenge and Team Dennis Conner - had just one between them. Do the maths
and you discover the vast bulk were spread among the most successful
campaigns. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
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(Mathiew Truffer looked at previous America's Cup campaigns and asked a
logical question, "Where have all the females gone?" Here's an excerpt from
the answer he suggested in his story in the NZ Herald.)
Female crews are mainly a sponsor-driven concept. And sponsors have lost
lots of influence in the America's Cup in the past three years. Much has
been said about the profile the event has gained since the billionaires
have returned. But their comeback has had its shortcomings.
Billionaires are in the race for only one reason: they want to win. Nothing
is too expensive to make sure their egos are not hurt: campaign costs have
gone through the roof, which has resulted in some fine racing between very
smoothly run yachts. But the wider public feels a little left behind. -
It is not just the (television) job that brings (Dawn) Riley to Auckland.
She is also here to gain valuable knowledge for K-Challenge, a French-based
syndicate hoping to compete in the next America's Cup. K-Challenge 2006 was
set up by French-German Ortwin Kandler, one of the pioneers of the Airbus
industry. Riley is the team manager.
"I am bummed that I wasn't involved in this America's Cup but it turned out
to be a blessing in disguise as I was available to sail for Ortwin in the
One Ton Cup two years ago. He invited me to put together a team and go over
and meet him. He always wanted to do the America's Cup and he liked the way
our team was put together, which at that stage was all women. He liked the
attitude and it kind of inspired him to say, 'Let's do it now'. So we have
been working with a co-ed multinational team."
Riley said the syndicate was only in its infancy and only a few team
members had been signed, including French Olympic champion Thierry Peponnet
and prominent French sailor Nicolas Charbonnier. "We campaigned a 50-footer
and two IC 45s last year around Europe doing some matchracing. We are in
the sponsorship search right now but hopefully we'll be purchasing a boat
when I leave here."
Riley said she was not sure if she would sail with K-Challenge. "I was kind
of thinking it would be a fulltime job to organise all the different
nationalities but in this last year I was steering one of the boats and we
did really, really well, so who knows?" - From a story by Julie Ash in the
NZ Herald. Full story:
Shortly after 13:30 local time Thursday John Dennis slipped his lines and
headed back out to sea on Bayer Ascensia. Dennis had made a stop in Mossel
Bay to repair communications equipment. "I am 500 miles behind my class,
but I really feel that I can make up the distance. I will sail
conservatively until I get a feel for the Southern Ocean, and then we will
see what the old boat can do," Dennis said.
Standings 2200 UTC December 19, 2002 CLASS 1:
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 5760 miles from finish
2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 87 miles behind leader
3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 248 mbl
4. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 251 mbl
5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 265 mbl
6. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 304 mbl
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 6139 miles from finish
2. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 190 miles behind leader
3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 277 mbl
4. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 302 mbl
5. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 311 mbl
6. Bayer Ascensia, John Dennis, 888 mbl
For many readers, the thought of sailing brings to mind spectacular
photographic images by the Rosenfelds. The last of the photographing
Rosenfelds, Stanley, was covering the America's cup even before Rod and
Olin Stephens began sailing in them.
Sadly, macular degeneration has taken most of Stanley's eyesight and now,
in his ninetieth year, he has recently become quite frail. Each day, his
wife Heather reads him the reports in Scuttlebutt. Although quite alert, it
appears he is resigned to the probability that this Cup will be his last.
We've been told that it would cheer Stanley to hear comments from some of
those who have enjoyed his work. Readers who would like to send such a note
may do so at: SBIMMM@aol.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
If a bus station is where a bus stops, and a train station is where a train
stops, why do they call my desk a workstation?