SCUTTLEBUTT 1236 - January 9, 2003
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THE BOATS - Stuart Alexander
Alinghi showed the boat with which they have won so many races so far,
SUI64, and which looked the more powerful upwind of the two. Oracle,
slimmer and flatter, seem to be pinning their hopes on settling the affair
on the downwind legs.
But, while there was much talk about the fat sausage keel bulb on Oracle,
the longer sausage on Alinghi, and the torpedo-like stretched version on
NZL82 - the defenders also have NZL81 and can choose ahead of the match
whether they think they want a light or fresh airs boat - that all looked
academic. One of the TNZ designers, Clay Oliver, explained they had just
drawn the boat the way they would have wanted, even if it were outside Cup
class rules, and then found a way around those rules.
(Team New Zealand syndicate head Tom) Schnackenberg said he hoped that,
after the Cup, everyone could think about changing the rule so that they
could build in the idea from the start. He should know that the chief
measurer, Ken McAlpine, is already drawing up recommendations that would
close the loophole. - Stuart Alexander, The Independent.
Full story: http://sport.independent.co.uk/general/story.jsp?story=367266
THE BOATS - Matthew Sheahan
SUI-64's deep, slender and high aspect ratio rudder was certainly worth
looking at, if only as a reminder as to just how tricky these boats are to
keep under control in the pre-starts. Flying an aircraft on such slender
foils would concentrate the mind and a 25 tonne boat's no different. The
underwater profile of the canoe body looked aggressively styled, especially
forward of the keel where she appeared to have little rocker in her
forefoot. Her double knuckle bow is an angular affair too, which might
suggest that building sufficient volume into her forward sections meant
that the limits had to be pressed hard. Of the three boats, SUI-64 looks to
be the fullest in her forward sections.
The position of her rig in relation to her keel looked conventional,
something that couldn't be said about Oracle when her underbody was
revealed. Aboard USA-76, the keel fin and the mast are very closely aligned
in the fore and aft plane, an unusual configuration that may have had
something to do with some of the changes that the team made in the early
rounds of the Louis Vuitton Cup. In the first Round Robin in particular,
USA-76 appeared to lack pace downwind and was believed to have undergone
alterations to her sail plan and underwater configuration to rectify the
situation. Could the relative position of the mast and keel be something to
do with this?
The American team have taken a different approach to the bulb and it's
wings and have opted to fit downward sloping wings towards the trailing tip
of the bulb. But it was the actual shape of the bulb that seemed to draw
most attention. Short and squat the bulb appears to have been designed to
keep the wetted surface area down, a benefit in light weather conditions.
The downside is that the centre of gravity is slightly higher, which in
turn reduces stability. A hint perhaps that USA-76 has been optimised
towards lighter conditions. - Matthew Sheahan, Louis Vuitton Cup website
Full story: http://www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1617.html
THE BOATS - Russell Coutts
Oracle seem to have aimed their boat at the lower end of the spectrum. They
have gone up in sail area quite a lot and are probably much more light-air
orientated. We're treating it almost as if we are lining up against a
different boat, not the one we raced in the last round a month ago. USA 76
is that different.
Our preparations have gone very well and we're as ready to go racing with
our SUI 64 as I think we'll ever be. Certainly if things don't go well, we
won't be able to turn round and say we didn't try hard enough.
We're staying with SUI 64 because she's a pretty good boat. So is our
second boat, SUI 75, but she's different. Where some teams built two
identical boats and developed other parts of the hardware package, we
elected to have boats from two distinct families of hulls. You could
describe 75 as more from the Prada family, say, with rounded hull sections.
However, 64 is more from the U-shape family. Part of the reason for
choosing 64 is judging which type fits best against the opposition.
The first time we got to see our rivals boats' hulls out of the water and
without their skirts was during Tuesday's unveiling ceremony, not just USA
76 but also Team New Zealand's boats NZL 81 and 82, one of which will be
waiting for the winner of our clash with Oracle BMW.
The three boats are quite different, really. Just when people were saying
the design rule was maturing, the designers from the three top teams have
developed slightly different concepts and they all have merit. Such
variance is interesting at this stage in the regatta, and is much more
pronounced than last time. - Russell Coutts, The Daily Telegraph, UK, Full
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"Alinghi and Oracle are different but Team New Zealand is completely
different, but one has got it right and one hasn't."- Ed Baird
"If I was Kiwi I would be pretty happy right now, hell I am happy, too. I
love to see the development of the class and these boats are pretty
spectacular." - Dawn Riley
Both quotes from the Stuff NZ website, full story:
Anyone sailing at the Terra Nova Trading Key West who does not get enough
racing during the day can go to the Terra Nova Trading tent after the races
to participate in a virtual match racing tournament. You can register for
the tournament when you download the free Virtual Skipper 2 regatta
simulator on the Terra Nova website. Also, you will want to stop by the
tent each morning to pick up a fresh weather report and a printed copy of
the current issue of Scuttlebutt. Post-race expert panel discussions will
provide the daily race recap and computer kiosks will be available to check
your email or provide free high-speed Internet access. -
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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 Bruce Kirby: Now that it has been revealed that Clay Oliver, of
the State of Rhode Island, in the United States of America, is the brains
behind the clever hull design, including appendage (read hula) of the New
Zealand boats, perhaps the Kiwis who have been calling the New Zealand
members of Switzerland's Alinghi team traitors will be able to see the
whole forest and not just the trees.
You don't hear Americans criticizing Oliver or threatening his family
because he has taken the opportunity to work in another country and
practice the trade he is obviously very good at. And when the hula helps
the home team successfully defend the Cup, will the Kiwis who are sporting
chips on both shoulders think of Clay Oliver as an American traitor or a
New Zealand hero?
* From John Pettitt: The Curmudgeon wrote "It hurts to be on the cutting
edge" - which narrowly misses the real question: Where does the cutting
edge stop and the bleeding edge start? If the TNZ "hula" device is indeed
an integral part of the boat and a protest against it (presumably during
the 1st race) succeeds then the cup may be won in just one race! There's
going to be some very unhappy sponsors and TV companies if that happens.
* From Robert L. Hill To wit the curmudgeon's observation, "It hurts to
be on the cutting edge." In my opinion, in no way, shape, or form can The
Hula be considered "cutting edge." A cutting edge design is something that
could someday benefit the sport and yacht design: the knuckled bows, the
extreme bulbs and fins, winged spreaders, - all of these could filter down
to yachting, even to cruisers in modified forms, as the Aussie's winged
keel has done. But The Hula would never be used as anything but a rules
dodge - after all, why go through the engineering and cost when it is
simpler and cheaper to carry through the hull itself? There is no blade
behind this "edge," no real application outside of slicing up the rules
book. This is on a par with IMS's rating-producing hull bumps, bulges, and
blisters, and calling it anything other than a dodge lends it a false dignity.
* From Skip Doyle (Re: Curmudgeon's observation,"It hurts to be on the
cutting edge"): I suspect this will not be true in the case of Team New
* From Neil W. Humphrey: Well done to Schnack's and TNZ Team on the
"Hula" but there could be something more to it. Basically, all the Hula
spin is pointing towards the increased water length and rule bending going
on rather than what might be the true nature of this appendage which is to
act as a water scoop/fin much like the air scoops/fins found on F1 racing
cars. Here the F1 racing car scoops/fins are tuned to help the car track
better when steered and more importantly to hold the road even though the
car is giving up some drag to do this. This same principle could apply when
TNZ is heeled over slightly as the water should flow freely from front to
back and provide the sailing platform better tracking through the water and
* Dean Hubbard: TNZ's Clay Oliver's term for his hula "appendage" is a
bald face euphemism for a desired hull shape that the rules do not permit.
Any comment to the contrary is simply trying to hide behind the impossible
task of composing a set of design rules that can leave no room for "intent"
unless, like the tax code, the rules go to three thousand pages. "It's not
a clip-on". No, it's a bolt-on. "It's not a false bottom." It's not the
true bottom. "It's not a second skin." It's not the first skin.
The Cup rule was written primarily for sailors and not for sailors with
semantics laden attorneys. When a sailor so blatantly wishes to turn intent
on its head it's called cheating. That's not what your Mum intended and you
* From Jeff Papanek: Like most 'Buttheads, I've been anxiously awaiting a
first look at the Hula and enjoyed reading about it in 'Butt 1235,
particularly those comments by TNZ principal designer Clay Oliver. Unlike
most of the farcical accusations and finger-pointing that accompany every
AC contest, there it was in black and white: admission of breaking a 'Cup
According to Oliver, "It's not a separate part. We drew the boat as we
envisioned it... and then decided where to cut an appendage." While he
addresses the rule forbidding them, it's clear the philosophy behind the
appendage was that it acts as an integral part of a hull that incorporates
bumps and hollows. There's no doubt a means to mechanically test whether
the Kiwi Clip-On makes contact with the hull while under sail. Regardless,
it would seem that a gap the width of a credit card, as has been reported,
would effectively "self-seal" in the turbulent water around that part of
the hull. It'll be interesting to hear a designer's take. Refreshing to
hear Alinghi and Oracle both decided to stick to fair hulls and forego the
* From Cole Price: Hold on a second here! You mean to tell me that New
Zealand, some little country in the Southern Hemisphere with more sheep
than people cleverly interpreted a rule, devised a breakthrough design (for
the 3rd time in a row) and are the odds-on favorite to win the America's
Cup (again)? Sounds like good ol' fashion Yankee ingenuity. Good for them!
Only thing that frustrates me, is that we (Americans) didn't think of it
first. Maybe that's because we're too preoccupied with passing new laws and
complying with policies and procedures. Have we lost our edge?
* From Ed Price If The America's Cup is a development class why the fuss.
I hope that sailing can still be considered a sport and with that goes
sportsmanship. Appalled by what professionalism and money has done to the
sport of sailing in my lifetime.
Portsmouth, RI - Thomas Gannon, a professional boating industry writer for
over three decades, unexpectedly died January 7, 2003. He passed away
quietly early morning in his Portsmouth, Rhode Island home of a heart
attack at age 58. Tom's career included writing for the Providence
Journal/Bulletin, Practical Sailor, Soundings, Powerboat Report, with
feature articles appearing in a wide range of boating and environmental
newsletters and magazines nationwide. With a passion for both boating and
the environment, he was known for straightforward writing style that was
easy to read and understand.
A memorial service for Tom Gannon will be held 11:00 am, Saturday, January
11th at the Seaman's Institute, 18 Market Square (off Thames St.), Newport,
RI. Donations in his name may be made to the Habitat For Cats, PO Box
79571, North Dartmouth, MA 02747. Friends are invited to e-mail comments
about Tom to be read during his memorial service to
firstname.lastname@example.org>. Cards may be sent to Tom's closest friend,
Debbie O'Hara, 1278 Anthony Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871. - Neil Ross
Last month skiff star Chris Nicholson won the 505 Worlds in Perth - wearing
Kaenon Polarized. In fact, three of the top six placing teams were wearing
the Kore by Kaenon. Kiwi Olympic champion Barbara Kendall took the Olympic
Mistral Worlds wearing the Kore with Copper 12 in tropical Thailand. And
how about the breeze readers on tv winning races in Auckland wearing Kaenon
Polarized! The best in the business believe in themselves and their
equipment. They choose Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. Available at
Alain Mikli NYC, Paris, Dusseldorf, Tokyo, Hong Kong; TeamOne Newport and
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IS IT LEGAL?
Under class rules, the second skin is considered an appendage and can touch
the hull only along a 20-inch-wide swath of the hull's centerline. From
there, the slip-on follows hull contours out to a width of about eight
feet, mirroring the hull shape so closely there's barely room between the
two surfaces to slip in a half-dollar at the outside edges.
Tom Ehman, rules adviser to Oracle/BMW, said he has a half-dozen questions
about the legality of the clip-on, including whether in racing the second
skin might flex enough to touch the hull, which would be illegal. He said
Oracle and Alinghi will pursue the questions with measurers and an
international jury before the Cup match begins next month. "It will be
interesting to see if they are fast and-or legal," said Ehman of the
appendages. "The measurers think they are. It will be interesting to see if
that holds up under scrutiny."
* The question here is: Can the eventual challenger catch up? Will it
need to? "That's why we have races," said Oracle skipper Chris Dickson.
"We'll just have to wait and see."- Angus Phillips, The Washington Post.
Full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19652-2003Jan6.html
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"The measurers laid down stipulations that the appendage not touch the hull
while the boats are racing and we have made sure that they don't touch when
the boats are sailing at any time. The requirements were quite stringent
and we have had the gaps big enough and designed the boats full enough so
they don't touch. "It was our obligation to prove to the measurers that it
doesn't touch the hull and we have proved that." - Tom Schnackenberg,
TNZ, From a story by Julie Ash in the NZ Herald. Full story:
"It's no secret that we have been testing this "bolt-on bustle" idea on SUI
75 but decided not to race with it in this round. Actually we were quite
worried about going into this series and having a huge row about it, and
that's a distraction we did not want to have. The New Zealand challenge of
1992 lost its way because it was forced to fight a protest over a design
innovation - a bowsprit - and that was a lesson well learnt." - Russell
Coutts, The Daily Telegraph, UK, Full story:
The weather might have been revolting, but the welcome was anything but as
Bernard Stamm sailed his spaceship Bobst Group Armor lux across the finish
line off Tauranga this morning to win Class 1 of Leg 3 of the Around Alone.
The last 36 hours had been, as he put it, "Hell." His finish was not a
moment too soon; seconds after crossing the line the tiller on the boat
came off in his hands.
STANDINGS 2200 UTC January 8 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, Finished; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 334 distance to finish; 3.
Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 788 dtf, 4. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 809 dtf; 5.
Pindar, Emma Richards, 990 dtf; 6. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 1171 dtf.
CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 1113 dtf; 2. Everest Horizontal,
Tim Kent, 1852 dtf. 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 2094 dtf; 4.
Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 2294 dtf, BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 2900
dtf. - www.aroundalone.com
FOR THE RECORD
Grant Wharington's Maxi yacht "Australian Skandia Wild Thing" has powered
across the Bass Strait, taking a third off the existing Devonport to
Melbourne record of 19 hrs, 32 mins, 58 secs set in 1998, with a time of 13
hours, 7 minutes and 21 seconds. Calculations put their average speed as
15.00 knots, breaking yet another record as the fastest average speed
maintained in a yacht race in Australian waters. - Bindy Lockhart,
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Do many hands make light work, or do too many cooks spoil the broth?