SCUTTLEBUTT 1234 - January 7, 2003
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Team New Zealand took the word radical to new extremes on Tuesday with the
unveiling of their two racing yachts, NZL81 and NZL82. Both are sporting a
hull appendage attached to the stern, affectionately named 'hula' by the
Team New Zealand boys. But unlike earlier graphics of the appendage, when
it was brought under media scrutiny in mid-December, it is so close to the
hull even a credit card would have trouble slipping through. "We've tested
this idea and found it to be a bit faster. Faster enough for us to unveil
twice," said principal designer Mike Drummond.
The second-skin is not the only new innovation found on the New Zealand
yachts, the list includes double rigging, longer bulbs than the two
challengers, trim tabs running down the strut of the keel and different
winglet positioning. "We've investigated them everywhere and this is our
last known position," joked Drummond.
The two yachts have different bulbs, one had an extremely long and skinny
cigar-like bulb and the other a slighter shorter bullet-like shape, with
no-one ready to announce which was NZL81 and which was NZL82.
Both have winglets coming out from the bottom middle of the bulb, parallel
to the ground. "Our bulb is very long and smaller in height which means a
lower centre of gravity and therefore more stability. The trade-off is
extra wetted surface and extra drag in light airs," explained Drummond. -
Fiona McIlroy, NZoom website, full story:
PHOTOS: You can find photos of the "TNZ Hula" on Scuttlebutt, or check out
the Cup News website for three big and revealing photos of the
underbody of the two TNZ defenders: http://cupviews.com/
The Swiss challenger for the America's Cup will not be sailing with a false
hull, a so-called "Kiwi clip-on". There has been speculation that Cup
defenders Team New Zealand have developed a radical hull appendage for the
stern of their boats to effectively increase waterline length and,
therefore, potential speed. Rumours have been rife around the Viaduct
Harbour that the innovation was being adopted by challengers Alinghi and
Oracle BMW. But this morning's unveiling of Swiss challenger SUI-64
revealed no such secret weapon.
* Alinghi design co-ordinator Grant Simmer revealed that subtle changes
to the appendages in May last year, after some testing, had made SUI-64
faster than it had been when it was launched in November 2001. He said the
boat could undergo more changes after the challenger finals. Simmer
believed SUI-64 was up to 90 seconds faster around the race course after
the improvements in May. "The improvement you can get just tuning the boat
over time can be dramatic," he said.
* Oracle BMW's yacht for the Louis Vuitton Cup finals uses a conventional
design without the "false hull" that the team was rumoured to have been
testing. The San Francisco-based challengers dropped the covers from the
keel of USA-76 at 11am today, two hours after rivals Team Alinghi had
unveiled their boat, SUI-64. The most obvious difference between the boats
was that USA-76 had keel winglets toward the rear of the keel bulb, while
SUI-64 had them in the middle. Neither of the challengers will be using the
radical third appendage that Team New Zealand is rumoured to have developed
to increase their boats' effective waterline length and potential speed.
Oracle's head of design, New Zealander Bruce Farr, said the team had ended
up with a "heavily refined, fairly conventional boat". USA-76 was narrower
than most of the other boats, including Alinghi, that had entered the
competition. "Oracle has a more detailed keel and hull arrangement than
Alinghi," Farr said. He doubted the position of the winglets would be a
significant factor in a boat's performance. - New Zealand Herald, full
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* It's not too late to nominate someone for the Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman of the Year Awards, or for US Sailing's Sportsmanship Award:
* Ellen MacArthur and the 13 crew on Kingfisher2 have been putting the
110 foot catamaran through her paces over the past three days in
preparation for their attempt at the Jules Verne Trophy Round the World
record. "With storms filing across the Atlantic, finding the right balance
between not breaking the boat, but testing her properly before we set off
around the world, is quite hard," Mac Arthur said. The boat right now is
quite light - once 65 days of food, fuel and spares are added, she could be
1.5 tons heavier at the start of the trip. www.kingfisherchallenges.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 Jane and Tony Griffin: The crew of Luna Barba are very sad to hear
the news. We knew Linda when she was organizing a women's entry for the
Transpac. Her dream and passion was briefly interrupted by a relapse and
she was unable to sail the race. Undaunted and with her remarkable vigour
she cheered her team (and ours) from the shore and then flew to Hawaii with
Roy Disney, himself shore bound, to welcome her crew. Linda had a great
strength and a truly engaging optimism. We are all the better for having
known her. Our thoughts are with her, her family and her many friends the
* From George Bailey: I wonder whom the NZ police are counting as
Blackheart members? I cannot imagine that they have 3000 actual members,
though perhaps they do. Sounds more like they have 3000 people who are
subscribed to their newsletter. Me, for example. Being subscribed to their
newsletter does not constitute being a member of their organization nor
having any sympathies with it.
KEN READ SPEAKS
(Last month, Tom Meade did an interview in the Providence Journal with
Stars & Stripes helmsman Ken Read about the Team Dennis Conner campaign.
Here are some of Read's comments.)
"My opinion is that we had three things that didn't go our way. First, our
first brand new mast fell down the second day we used it and it set our
program back a month in Long Beach. After that happened, "Protect the
assets" was the phrase that was used. And it really defines a large
difference between ourselves and the big-budget teams.
"We didn't have a quiver of masts, boats, parts and pieces all in the boat
shed to be used in case of a breakage. We had what we sailed with and that
was about it. Second, we had some keel issues that we didn't catch until
the actual racing started. We had to change the shape and profile quite a
lot and that eliminated more valuable training time that we could have used.
"Finally, we split our program into two parts: speed testing and race
training. Our plan was to speed test in California and then to race every
day once we got to Auckland for the month of September. Then 77 sank on our
last day of speed testing in California, and our September racing program
went out the window. We really have been playing catch-up since, trying to
get race-tough during the actual trials rather than in planned practice.
There is no doubt that I could have been better on the starting line, or
that we could have been more efficient as a sailing team. We ran out of the
practice time that we needed to get better.
"The boat was getting faster all the time. We had just put a new keel on 77
and it tested a bit better, so if OneWorld had been thrown out we would
have been improved, sailing against Prada. We weren't far off the pace. We
weren't very maneuverable, which showed up on the start line at times. We
were quick downwind in a lot of wind. All in all, I would say that we were
the fifth fastest boat by the time we were eliminated, but gaining in speed
every day." - From a story by Tome Meade in the Providence Journal,
ALWAYS THE BEST.
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(In a story written by Sean McNeill for the LVC website, John Kostecki
freely shared his thoughts about some of the issues associated with the
present Cup Series. Here's a brief excerpt.)
Kostecki also has been disappointed by all the legal issues dominating the
headlines. From cheating accusations against OneWorld Challenge to public
squabbling between challenger and defender, the America's Cup, as an event,
has taken another broadside swipe by pundits who say it's just a rich man's
game. "This time around, with the different protests and allegations, it's
not making our sport look good," Kostecki says. "For a person that's very
involved with the sport, I'm embarrassed. I feel the America's Cup has so
much potential to be such a great event and (the contentiousness) kind of
spoils it a bit."
The most controversial issue regards OneWorld Challenge, which came under
intense scrutiny one month ago when two challengers, Team Dennis Conner and
Prada, reopened "Reeves-gate", the story of design secrets for sale. The
two teams' actions forced the America's Cup Arbitration Panel to make a
hasty trip to Auckland for two days of hearings. The panel had previously
penalised OneWorld one point for six violations of the America's Cup
Protocol in a decision handed down last August.
The panel found OneWorld in contravention of the protocol again, but that
decision, like the earlier one, came from OneWorld's admission that it
possessed information that it shouldn't have.
Despite the penalties, Kostecki feels OneWorld is the most honest team on
syndicate row. "Every syndicate has done whatever they have done. I think
it's pretty common," Kostecki says. "They just kind of got caught in a bad
position. They ended up admitting something maybe they shouldn't have.
That's where they got penalised. "I see them as being one of the cleanest
campaigns on the block. Unfortunately they're getting penalised for it,"
Kostecki says. - Full story:
HOW ORACLE CAN DEFEAT ALINGHI
(Gary Jobson explains what it will take to derail the Russell Coutts
express in the LVC finals in a story published on the Sailing World
website. Here's a brief excerpt.)
The combination of Farr and Oracle skipper Chris Dickson has worked
together in the past (1987, 1995). Dickson has a good technical mind and
will be open to ideas from the design team. By defeating OneWorld quickly
(4-0), Dickson and crew now have nearly three weeks to prepare. They will
have to practice every day. Starting technique and clever sailing strategy
have made the difference in the racing so far. The whole team must be tuned
to a fine edge, because Alinghi has sailed flawlessly.
The teams should encourage CORM, the regatta's manager, to raise the wind
limit to 25 knots. Oracle seems to do well in a stronger breeze, plus both
teams need to be ready for Team New Zealand. The Royal New Zealand Yacht
Squadron will run races up to this wind level.
Oracle needs to settle down its rotation in the cockpit. Peter Holmberg has
been outstanding as the starting helmsman. Dickson likes to steer, but also
tends to look around. The team needs to make a decision, practice in that
mode, and stick to it through the racing. -
FOR THE RECORD
Macquarie Innovation, the new craft put forward by Lindsay Cunningham,
Simon McKeon, & Tim Daddo to better their world speed sail record set in
their Yellow Pages Endeavour back in 1993 is on track to smash its 50 knot
Extract from Macquire Innovation Website - January 2003: "Our final World
Sailing Speed Record Attempt for 2002 is now complete. It finished with a
best run of 43.26 knots in an average of 15 - 17 knots of wind.
Unfortunately, the light wind regime that had plagued us during our
February 2002 campaign, continued to create problems during our November
2002 trials. In fact, only six 500m runs were completed for the entire 28
day period, evidence of the unusually poor conditions for that time of
year. However, we departed Sandy Point feeling very confident that
Macquarie Innovation is now ready to become the first boat in history to
sail beyond 50 knots. http://www.macquarie.com.au/speedsailing/updates.htm
It's a case of the rich getting richer as the first two yachts make their
way up the Tasman. Aboard the leading Class 1 boat Bobst Group Armor lux,
Bernard Stamm seems to have an almost uncanny sense of the weather. It may
be luck, I would rather think it's good instincts, but Stamm seems to
always place himself in the right place at the right time. In Class 2 Brad
van Liew on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America is silently eating up the miles.
With the excitement in Class 1 dominating the news, Brad's progress has
gone relatively unnoticed, but he has set a scorching pace matching that of
Stamm mile for mile. - Brian Hancock
STANDINGS 2200 UTC January 5 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, 366 miles from finish; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 487 miles
behind leader; 3. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 720 mbl, 4. Tiscali, Simone
Bianchetti, 806 mbl; 5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 1082 mbl; 6. Ocean Planet,
Bruce Schwab, 1178 mbl.
CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 1643 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 673 mbl. 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield,
906 mbl; 4. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 1063 mbl, BTC Velocity, Alan
Paris, 1656 mbl. - www.aroundalone.com
ROSE BOWL REGATTA
Sixty eight Teams (19 College and 49 High School) arrived in Long Beach, CA
for the annual Rose Bowl Regatta at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and hosted by
the USC Varsity Sailing Team. Beautiful sunny skies and temperatures
approaching 80 degrees made the beach front venues enjoyable for all. Light
air filling in mid-day and dying in the mid to late afternoons limited the
regatta to 5 races in each division. Races were sailed in light 2-6 knot
breeze that was comparatively steady. Over 300 people attended the dinner
and college sailing forum on Saturday evening.
Stanford University won the event with a team of Dave Phillips 04, Sonja
Bebber 04, Brian Haines 06, Lucy Horton 05. Final Results: 1. Stanford, 31;
2. USC, 41; 3. Dartmouth, 46; 4. St. Mary's, 55; 5. UC Santa Barbara, 60.
Complete results: www.highgschoolsailingusa.org
BYTE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Jeremy Koo Win Ken (MAS) is the new Byte World Champion. With no result
outside the top 10, Jeremy remained consistent in the 11 race series,
including taking two bullets. 57 competitors from 7 countries competed in
the Byte World Championships at the National Sailing Centre in Singapore.
Final results: 1. Jeremy Koo Wui Ken, MAS, 27; 2. Tiffany Koo Yee Chin,
MAS, 41; 3. Thanakorn Khajitsri, THA, 47; 11. Robert Dale, CAN, 95; 21.
Jeffrey D N Sloan, USA, 178. 29. Blake Warner, USA, 214.
THE CURMUDGEON'S DEFINITIONS
Handkerchief: Cold Storage