SCUTTLEBUTT 1227 - December 26, 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.
The America's Cup Class Rule is a fairly complex document of about 40 pages
defining what constitutes an America's Cup Class yacht. Five measurers -
James Dadd and John Warren of the UK, Ken McAlpine and Shaun Ritson of
Australia, and myself - are responsible for interpreting and enforcing the
Rule. In the four America's Cups this Rule has been in use, we have issued
some 200 interpretations, all of which are now in the public domain.
At the end of each America's Cup, we produce a revised version of the Rule
for use in the next Cup. Those revisions incorporate some, but not
necessarily all, of the previous interpretations. The revised version of
the Rule must be acceptable to both the new Defender and the new Challenger
of Record, and this inevitably involves politically-motivated negotiation
as well as changes based on technical considerations.
Each syndicate employs experts of various types - lawyers, designers, rule
experts-to seek out weaknesses and loopholes in the Rule. Because the core
requirements of the Rule are fairly firm, the experts look for the "soft"
edges for advantages to be gained, particularly where wording might be
ambiguous. Syndicates may ask for confidential or public interpretations of
the Rule. Some six months before the America's Cup, even the confidential
interpretations go into the public domain, and are available for all to
The source of each request for interpretation is never revealed. Only the
syndicate asking the question is certain about the provenance of any
Requests for interpretation can be legitimate and straightforward
questions, questions anticipating what other syndicates may be
contemplating, or pure red herrings. They are rarely simply phrased or
straightforward to answer.
In all cases, we must consider the "words on the page" when making
interpretations. The concept of the "intent of the Rule" is a can of worms.
Many people were involved in the creation of the Rule, each with his own
idea of what the intent might be. Inevitably, we do pay attention to what
we may believe to be the "intent", but pure innovation frequently falls
outside of anything that might have been contemplated when a rule was written.
I would suggest that before condemning the process, people read what the
Rule and its interpretations actually say. They might then have a greater
appreciation for the subtlety and subterfuge that makes the America's Cup
as much an intellectual challenge as it is a sailboat race. - Nick
Nicholson, America's Cup Measurement Committee
SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
The race has started in pouring rain across the line in Sydney. With many
crew members drawn from the America's Cup races across the Tasman ... Alfa
Romeo got off to a tremendous start with wind moving into the east, no
spinnakers will be seen on the harbour today. Canon charged ahead within a
mile of the start line in a repeat of the Big Boat race earlier this week.
But not for long, a tussle with Alfa Romeo ensued. Nicorette well
positioned as they headed for the harbour entrance marker and the turn to
open seas. 12 yachts at more than 12 metres almost working in line toward
the heads. Unfortunately for those hoping to view the race start from
observation points around Sydney harbour the rain just bucketed down and
misty conditions went off almost at exactly the same time as the starting
gun. Brindabella tucked in behind and seemed to revel in the breaching
conditions., She is likely to keep the others honest. Alfa Romeo has
cleared the first part of Sydney Heads and is heading proudly to the buoy
which marks the turn south to Hobart.
After just over two hours of racing the fleet is now strung along the north
east coast of New South Wales between Sydney Heads and Port Hacking. Three
yachts are well ahead of the main fleet: Alfa Romeo, Canon Leopard and
Australian Scandia have taken a tactical placing at the front of the group
of yachts powering down the coast as an early indication of the battle
ahead. Neville Crichton in his 4th Sydney Hobart has struck up a battle of
New Zealand (Alfa Romeo) versus Australia (Australian Scandi), versus the
United Kingdom (Canon) ... well that's the way the supporters in each
country see the fleet positions so far. -
AC'S BEST CHOOSE HARKEN - FIND OUT WHY
Get the inside stories as seen through the eyes of Harken's AC team. Read
insightful interviews, download free Bob Greiser racing pictures, and find
other behind-the-scenes "scuttlebutt" on the Harken America's Cup page.
It's well worth your time. http://www.harken.com/acup/acdefault.php
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 Robert Johnston: All the hullabaloo over the ingenious new Kiwi
design improvisation reminds me of the fuss stirred up 20 years ago when
the Aussies turned up with their variation on that old-fashioned appendage,
bulbs and wings for keels. NY Yacht Club did everything they could to stop
it, old salts declared it was the end of sailing as a gentleman's sport
(and indeed Bond turned out to be no gentleman), and the media loved the
drama and scandal-mongering. But the Aussies managed to prevail and now
bulbs and wings are standard equipment in all kinds of racing.
* From Kelly Henson: Tis' the Christmas Season. We should be thankful to
those Billionaire for All they have been giving these past 2 years. If it
weren't for them where would the America's Cup be? Now day and age we are
fortunate to have such giving people. Even in a bad economy! These men have
taken their passion, sailing and made it a dream come true for many sailors
like me and you. How could some of these crew compete with out these owners
with pockets so deep?
They not only employee their crew and many staff members at each base but
many throughout the City of Auckland. And all over that country in fact.
Hey you think they sell more beer and bottles of wine during the racing as
it brings many visitors to town. That employees people out of the area
growing the grapes, making the brews even the coffee bean growers too. Each
team drinks their share of coffee each day. What about the builders of all
the different parts put into each boat, and the clothes on each crew.
So lets give Thanks where thanks is due to the great gift of money these
owners have shared to make many America's Cup dreams come true. Lighten up
enjoy the rest of the Cup.
* From Tom Keogh: Do we now have to ask if Alinghi violated the Protocol
by drawing in the NY Attorney General? I understood that all challengers
agreed to resolve disputes without resorting to external remedies. Who
cares? Whatever the answer is, this nonsense is killing the event. Maybe
the best course would be to tell TNZ they can keep The Cup and retire it.
Send all the lawyers, rules avisers and radar technicians home after they
apologize for their reprehensible conduct.
One has to wonder where all of this will end but when it gets to Eliot
Spitzer, NY Attorney General. For those who haven't had the pleasure,
there's a recent article about him in in Forbes, titled "Witch Hunt". It
summarizes his pursuit of matters outside his authority and the abuses
within his own office. What a shame that it should matter to AC fans. -
* From Edward Trevelyan (dramatically edited our 250-word limit):
OneWorld's afterguard has been criticized for taking unnecessary risks and
"not covering" when ahead. With the benefit of hindsight and helicopter TV
perspectives, critics are only partially correct in this regard. I heard
Peter Isler characterize James Spithill's start in the second to last race
as "a bit greedy." This was the start in which OW was called over early by
a foot or two after incurring a penalty during prestart luffing. Had OW
been one or two feet back (so small a margin that chance and race committee
visual judgement played large rolls), Spithill's start would have been
deemed brilliant by the commentators. Knowing that he had a penalty against
him, Spithill pulled himself together and crossed Oracle on port tack with
some room to spare. It was a gutsy move that may well have set the stage
for a lead large enough to permit a penalty turn.
Oracle probably won on the strength of good starting, conservative sailing,
and a dose of good luck. Oracle's forced "opportunity" to sail a header out
to the left into a further left shift and wind line was attributed to the
brilliant call of a crew up in the rig. This was mostly luck, as certainly
was the flyer taken by Oracle on the final run of the final race, a classic
case of the losing boat benefiting from its distance from the leader and
fluky conditions. In hindsight, OW might have jibed much earlier, away from
the finish line and away from the favored (headed) jibe.
* From Helen Johnstone: Dean Hubbard "hit the nail on the head" in butt'
1226 - enough is enough. This AC has been an endless embarrassment to the
sailing world and I believe that there are a large number of us who are
tired of reading about the "cat fights" that are going on between what are
supposedly "grown-up" individuals with dignity and respect for one another.
I have been an athlete in many, many sports and I have never witnessed
anything as crass as the events that are taking place in the AC (the AC
makes the figure skating dramas look pristine). I second Roger Cook's vote
in butt' 1226 to bring this thread about the darkside of the AC to come to
an end and focus on the positive events that are taking place in the AC, if
there are any.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: I hear what you're saying, but question if it's
really appropriate to stop comment about the news of the day? Particularly
when that story changes each day.
As reported in Scuttlebutt on Tuesday, Stanley Rosenfeld, a photographer
whose powerful images of yachts, particularly in America's Cup races,
transfigured the sport he documented for nearly 70 years, died Monday in
Miami. He was 89 and lived in North Miami Beach.
He contributed to more than 20 books and hundreds of magazine articles on
yachting, and produced many cover photos. His most ambitious work, "A
Century Under Sail" (Addison Wesley, 1984), included many of the best
photographs taken since the turn of the century by Mr. Rosenfeld and his
father, Morris Rosenfeld.
In 1984, Stanley Rosenfeld sold his collection - nearly a million images
from the 1920's to 1981, including those by his father - for $1.8 million
to the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Conn. He continued with his career
after that, appearing with his large camera bag draped over a shoulder at
America's Cup regattas in 1987, 1988 and 1992.
"He was the dean of American yachting," said Daniel Forster, a Swiss
sailing photographer who now lives in Rhode Island. "He was the person who
photographers today aspired to be."
Mr. Rosenfeld is to be inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame on Feb.
17 at a dinner in Auckland, New Zealand, becoming the 51st member. His
father was inducted in 1995.
Stanley Rosenfeld was born on July 27, 1913, and grew up in the Bronx. He
attended New York University in the early 1930's.
At the age of 13, he began helping out his father in the family
photographic business, Morris Rosenfeld & Sons, on Nassau Street in lower
Manhattan. His two brothers, David and William, were also in the business
for many years, but it was Stanley who made it a lifelong career. The
studio subsisted on commercial and industrial photography during the
Depression, but photographing yachts in and around the New York waterfront
was a passion for both father and son. - Barbara Lloyd, NY Times, full
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QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"Oracle was an absolute roadblock, and we simply weren't good enough to
beat these guys." - Peter Gilmour, OneWorld skipper
"Clearly it is an incredible event. To see this much money and energy
thrown at one trophy, it does strike you how completely out of whack the
event has gotten." - Bob Ratliffe, OneWorld syndicate's executive director.
-Both quotes from a story by Laurie Fullerton in the NY Times, full story:
AROUND ALONE CHRISTMAS
'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the craft
Not a creature was stirring,
'Cept the skipper, quite daft
He was poking his laptop
Looking for breeze
Stirring his freeze-dried
Taking his ease
When what to his wondering eyes should appear
But a jolly old elf and eight tiny reindeer
"I must get some sleep" skip mumbled aloud
"No way that old Santa'd be this far from the crowd"
As he lay down his head, Santa landed on deck
Shrugged into his harness and clipped with a click
He set up his halyard, scrambled aloft in a nick
Popped in through a sheave-hole and slipped inside the stick
He landed in sails and pulled in his sack
Then crept past the skipper, asleep in his rack
He put up a small tree, scattered tinsel around
Looked into his bag to see what he found
He brought photos of loved ones, candy and treats
Warm socks, crossword puzzles, a couple more sweets
A box full of cookies and books by the score,
Until the nav station could handle no more.
Then back up the rig he went, popped out the top
Back into his jumars, to the deck with a hop
Jumped into his seat, tossed the bag in his sleigh
Called out to the reindeer and bolted away
The noise woke the skipper who watched with wide eyes
As Santa circled the boat high in the night skies
"Did you think we'd forget you?" he shouted with cheer,
"Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"
Around Alone Standings 2200 UTC December 25, 2002 CLASS 1:: 1. Bobst
Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 3780 miles from finish; 2. Solidaires,
Thierry Dubois, 176 miles behind leader; 3. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 524
mbl. CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 4802 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 314 ml: 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield,
Event website: www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Half the people you know are below average.