Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1238 - January 13, 2003

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, 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 CUP FINALS
Series Standings: Alinghi leads Oracle BWM Racing: 2-0

RACE ONE: The Swiss Alinghi team justified its tag as pre-final favourite
by posting a convincing win over Oracle BMW Racing in the opening race of
the Louis Vuitton Cup final on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. Racing took place
in 7-16 knot breezes shifting between north-east to north-north-east with a
left-over swell from the storm that lashed Auckland over the past two days.
A large spectator fleet gathered around the racecourse area to watch the
battle of the giants commence after a break of nearly three weeks over the
Christmas break.

Assisted by a significant right-hand shift during the first beat, Alinghi
had worked into a six boatlength lead within 15 minutes of the start, and
led around the first mark by 47 seconds. On the first downwind leg, Alinghi
took full advantage of a big shift to the left and stretched to a lead of
one minute 23 seconds round the leeward mark. The final margin of victory
was one minute 24 seconds. - Louis Vuitton Media Center, full story:
www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1653.html

RACE TWO: The Swiss Alinghi team put on a clinical display of match racing
skill to sweep to 2-0 over the US Oracle BMW Race team in the Louis Vuitton
Cup final on Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

In contrast, a botched spinnaker drop at the end of the first downwind leg
cost Oracle BMW Racing dearly. Having closed up to within two boatlengths
on the run, the San Francisco-based team blew their chances when the
spinnaker was allowed to trawl in the water, hauling the boat to a
standstill and breaking the spinnaker pole in the process. Despite the
costly mistake, Oracle BMW Racing managed to keep the action fairly close,
although Alinghi's lead was never threatened for the remainder of the race.

Racing took place in 14-16 knot easterlies, with a slight chop still left
on the course following nearly a week of easterly-quadrant winds over
Auckland. After a relatively quiet start, with the yachts keeping well
clear of each other for most of the final three minutes, Alinghi, skippered
by Russell Coutts, hit the line on starboard tack, to leeward of Oracle BMW
Racing, skippered by Chris Dickson. USA-76 tacked away immediately and on
each successive tack of the first beat Alinghi made gains. Alinghi won the
race by 40 seconds. - Louis Vuitton Media Center, full story:
www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1665.html

JJ GILTINAN 18 FOOT SKIFF TROPHY
US Sailors Howard Hamlin, Mike Martin and Rod Howell sailing General
Electric successfully defended their 18-foot skiff Championship on Sydney
Harbor, with a thrilling come from behind victory over the British team of
Rob Greenhalgh, Dan Johnson and Peter Greenhalgh. It was a great
disappointment for the British team, who had worn the orange jerseys of
series leaders from the third to the seventh heat.

"I am still in shock that we won," wrote a euphoric Hamlin in an email to
the curmudgeon. "Going into the last race it seemed very unlikely. To win
we would need to finish first or second and the highly polished RMW Marine
team would have to sail their worst race of the series.

"At the last leeward mark RMW is in fourth and has it won, but they get on
the wrong side of a shift and lose two boats on the final beat to the
finish. We win the 'World's' by .35 points but are confused by the scoring
and did not find out that we had won until we hit the beach. It is so
emotionally rewarding, but I can't help feeling sorry for Rob, Dan and
Peter on RMW."

Final results: 1. General Electric, Howard Hamlin USA, 28.7 points 2. RMW
Marine, Rob Greenhalgh GBR, 29.05 points 3. Total Recall, Tony Hannan AUS,
32.4 points 4. Express Post, Hugh Stodart AUS, 42.7 points 5. Omega Smeg,
Trevor Barnabas AUS, 50.05 points6. Casio Seapathfinder, Michael Coxon AUS,
61.7 points. - www.uk18footer.org

REGATTA, TEAM AND CORPORATE GEAR
Key West Race Week, Big Boat Series, Worrell 1000, and North Sails Race
Week. These and other great events count on The Pirate's Lair for quality
apparel printing. Our services include: Graphic Design, Screen-printing,
and Embroidery of T-Shirts, Caps, Fleece, Foulies, Trophies, and Posters.
Get new-customer discounts, our 400-page catalog or information by calling
(888) SAIL-BUM or visiting http://www.pirateslair.com/sailing

SECURITY
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - Celebrity bodyguards have been assigned to
protect members of Switzerland's Alinghi America's Cup team after letters
were received threatening crewmen and their families. Dogs trained to sniff
out explosives swept a press conference room Sunday before Alinghi sailors
arrived to discuss their team's win over Oracle in the first race of the
Cup challenger final.

Letters received by Alinghi in mid-December targetted New Zealand sailors
who joined the Swiss team after New Zealand's successful Cup defense two
years ago. An organization calling itself Teach The Traitors a Lesson said
it had tracked the families of the New Zealanders and threatened harm to
them and their homes.

Security has been stepped up around Alinghi's Auckland base and personal
bodyguards have been assigned to New Zealand sailors, notably skipper
Russell Coutts and tactician Brad Butterworth. Swiss syndicate head Ernesto
Bertarelli, 37, the billionaire head of the Serono pharmaceutical company,
also has full-time protection. - Steve McMorran, AP, as posted on the Fox
Sports website, full story:
http://foxsports.lycos.com/content/view?contentId=851028


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.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 Malcolm McKeag: Why is there a problem with the hula touching the
hull? We've had all this before. NYYC protested Australia II's certificate
on the grounds that the wings increased the boat's draft when heeled, and
thus the boat ceased being a 12 Meter. The measurers (and everyone else)
pointed out that overhangs at bow or stern increase the boat's waterline
length when heeled - that's why they are there - and no one objects to
that. Officially, the waterline length remains that which is on the
certificate. The jury confirmed that provided Australia II was a 12 Meter
in her static measurement condition, she stayed a 12 Meter when she went
sailing, so long as nothing that had been measured was changed.

In an earlier Cup, Lionheart's bendy mast allowed a dynamic increase in
effective mainsail area. NYYC complained about that too - and again the
answer was if it measures in the static condition, it measures, period. So
surely all that is required is that the hula infringes no rule (including
not touching the hull) when the boat is in measurement mode and is being
measured, and that no changes are made to it after measurement has been
completed? Provided there exists no mechanical device to alter it, it must
remain legal - indeed its being altered by water pressure is surely
implicity if not specifically permitted by rule 42 ('a boat shall compete
by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed').

* From Trevor Lewis: Roy P. Disney suggests that if the 'hula' creates a
venturi to speed the water between itself and the hull, this breaks the
propulsion rule. I don't agree. Rule 42 permits the use of water as well as
wind to increase a boat's speed. If a venturi is illegal, then so is
shaping the keel and bulb to the familiar tear-drop shape to promote flow
and reduce drag - the effect is the same. Indeed, a sail is in effect half
a venturi, its aerofoil shape creating different pressure and flow on each
side. Are sails to be ruled illegal?

* From Alan Blunt: Determining whether the "hula" touches the hull should
be a simple matter of attaching ultrasound recorders to the interior of the
hull in the critical areas. With all this nit picking interest in
appendages, how is it that the dinghy bailers on every one of the AC yachts
are allowed? They are moveable (open and close), protrude below the hull
(an appendage) and create a venturi.

* From Rick Viggiano: It should be fairly easy to monitor whether the
Team NZ "Hula" contacts the hull during actual racing. Just attach an
insulated conductive strip to the underside of the edge, paint a matching
conductive patch on the hull and connect the two to a recording device to
monitor resistance. This recording device could be as simple as a Fluke
recording multi-meter or as sophisticated as a small computer. If it goes
to zero at any time then there is contact, If not, then no contact -
period! The reading could also be easily piggybacked on the instrument data
coming off the boat already.

* From Bill Hellmers: Finally! Rich Roberts comments about moving the
America's Cup forward are like a refreshing sea breeze! I couldn't agree more!

* From Rob Drury: I am heartened by Rich Roberts support of a 'box rule'
for yacht racing, be though it the AC. As he says, One Design excludes
technical innovation so to advance the industry and the sport, at the front
end surely 'box' is the way to go, but use the KISS rule too - keep it
simple. Consider the last Volvo Race - box rule boats - and some of the
closest racing we have had on the planet! If Volvo go One Design, that'll
be a mistake for the wider boating industry.

* From Charles Smith: Everybody seems to have a solution for how to fix
the America's Cup, but after 150 years it's safe to say that it's not
broken. Anybody can start up their own competition. What would it cost, 100
guineas? After 150 years or maybe only 100 to be charitable we could assess
the success of the new venture. The guys who are attracted to the AC want
to use it as a microcosm of their world and subterfuge, recruitment,
espionage, lawyers and money are all part of that. Some sailing and
competition happens too. Now in my Cup we could run The Race cats around
the buoys ... press release real soon.

* From Colin Case: Rich Roberts' comments about the Cup were very
welcome, well thought out, and considered with one exception. Discarding
The Deed of Gift would be like the United States tearing up the
Constitution. Read The Deed carefully, and one will see that those who
wrote it gave the wording careful thought. Amendments or the other
agreed-upon rules can deal with the timeliness of the competition. In other
words, try and keep it simple.

* From Kent L. Geffe: In Scuttlbutt No. 1237, Seymour A. Friedel suggests
that a one-page rule would simplify and remove rules arguments. As an
attorney, I know that a one-page rule would just add ambiguities and create
more gaps and loopholes, creating more controversy. The rules are
complicated as they attempt to eliminate ambiguities and close loopholes.

* From Jimmy Hobbs: I truly love everything about the America's Cup. Sure
- the races are really boring - but the rest of the stuff is great fun.

PER PETTERSON
Per Petterson, son of Swedish sailing legend Pelle Petterson and
brother-in-law of Paul Cayard, died suddenly Jan. 6. Petterson, 38, died
while playing an informal game of hockey in his hometown of Gothenburg. Not
only was Petterson a two-time European match-racing champion who also won
numerous Swedish and Nordic championships but, Cayard said, he was a great
sailing talent who chose to put his family first.

"Per was the world's greatest father and husband," Cayard said.
"Fortunately, my wife (one of his sisters), my children and I just spent
the holidays with him and his family. I was very impressed with him. I
aspire to be as good a husband and father as he was. Life is very precious.
I owe it to Per to make the most of mine."

Petterson leaves his wife Annica and their two children, Melker, 9, and
Jonna, 7.

CARRYING THE OCKAM ADVANTAGE FORWARD
Ockam systems have always been easy to update, and Ockam has far greater
flexibility with specialized sensors and technologies - Gyro compasses,
second/aft depth sensors, sonic wind and speed devices are a few examples.
Taking advantage of new product developments is possible in older systems,
and adding extra capabilities to a basic system is encouraged without
product or price "tier" limits. For more information, or to discuss
updating your current system, contact Tom Davis (tom@ockam.com) or visit
http://www.ockam.com

ATTENTION WEBMASTERS
Scuttlebutt is pleased to announce our new Affiliate Program. All websites
that currently link or post the newsletter on their site must go to the
Scuttlebutt website to update their programming code. Current programming
codes will soon expire. If your website does not presently provide
Scuttlebutt as a feature, refer your webmaster to the Scuttlebutt website.
http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/affiliate

HANDICAP RACING
US Sailing has named two delegates and a technical advisor to the newly
formed ISAF Working Party charged with developing a new international Grand
Prix rating rule. The delegates are Peter Reichelsdorfer, chairman of the
US IMS committee, IMS boat owner, and Great Lakes 70 fleet racer; and Stan
Honey, team member for many record-setting boats and with extensive racing
experience at Grand Prix level events. Jim Teeters, naval architect and
research director of the IMS International Technical Committee, has been
named to the committee as a technical advisor.

Currently, IMS is the only international rating rule. However, due to a
decrease in its popularity, IMS is more and more frequently being replaced
by club rules in high-level regattas. After poll results indicated that
several countries have seen reduced numbers of Grand Prix competitors and
have quietly begun seeking answers and solutions, the Working Party was
created to coordinate their efforts with the goal of developing a worldwide
Grand Prix system.

US Sailing believes that American sailors have a long-term interest in this
effort. A strong Grand Prix rule, oriented towards innovation and
development, can provide the proving grounds for progress at all levels of
competition. Grand Prix competitions provide venues for high levels of
design innovation, funding, and professionalism. - Marlieke de Lange Eaton,
www.ussailing.org

FOR THE RECORD
Olivier de Kersauson and his 34 metre trimaran Geronimo crossed the start
line of the Jules Verne Challenge at 0300 and 39 seconds GMT Saturday
morning. This means that to be beat the existing record of Bruno Peyron (64
days, 8 hours, 37 minutes, 24 seconds), they must return before 1136:33 on
the 16th of March, unless of course Kingfisher2 lowers the record. That is
a question that Olivier of course cannot answer, and the big challenge as
always on a Jules Verne attempt is just how hard do you push - too hard and
you don't finish, not hard enough, and the record might not be yours.

Kingfisher2 is in her final preparation mode, with the last sail before
departure planned for today. "Its been a tough couple of months for the
team - everyone has worked very very hard, but its paying off, and we hope
to be going in to standby mode on Thursday, as planned nearly 6 months ago.
Great for Olivier to get off - and we're happier being the hunter, than the
hunted. However, it's hard to say at present when the next weather window
will open up for us." commented Ellen as she prepared for Saturday's
sailing sortie from Lorient. www.kingfisherchallenges.com

AROUND ALONE
After Thierry Dubois' solid second place finish on Solidaires in Tauranga
at 22:03:54 local time (09:03:54 GMT) on Friday 10th January, it is still
all to play for in the duel for the coveted last spot on the podium for Leg
3. After racing for 7,000 miles, an intense match race has been raging
between Italian skipper Simone Bianchetti on Tiscali and Kiwi Graham Dalton
on Hexagon in the Tasman Sea on the final approach to Tauranga, New Zealand.

The race organization in Tauranga is expecting five boats to arrive within
24 hours of each other. This includes Class 2 leader American Brad Van Liew
on 'Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America,' who is 1,037 miles ahead of his
nearest Class 2 rival and is now racing in the middle of the bigger Class 1
yachts. - Mary Ambler

STANDINGS 2200 UTC January 12 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, finished; 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, finished; 3. Hexagon,
Graham Dalton, 216 dtf, 4. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 227 dtf; 5. Pindar,
Emma Richards, 351 dtf; 6. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 373 dtf.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 360 dtf; 2. Everest Horizontal,
Tim Kent, 1366 dtf. 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 1570 dtf; 4.
Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 1657 dtf, BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 2240
dtf. - www.aroundalone.com

THE NEXT GO-AROUND
A long flight from the northern hemisphere to New Zealand may be the
strongest indicator of a third Prada challenge for the America's Cup. The
head of the Italian syndicate, Patrizio Bertelli, returned to Auckland to
see what defender Team New Zealand and Louis Vuitton Cup finalists Alinghi
and Oracle were hiding under their skirts. Team New Zealand stole the
limelight when it revealed the hula, its innovative false hull appendage -
and evidently Bertelli was impressed.

His two-day trip must be regarded as significant. The wealthy businessman
adopted a hands-on role in design decisions and he is understood to have
insisted on the bow makeover for Luna Rossa between the first and second
rounds of the challenger series when Prada was off the pace. That he was
interested enough to return and inspect other syndicates' underwater
secrets, when he could have been sent pictures, suggests he feels the
syndicate has unfinished business.

* Prada spokesperson Alessandra Ghezzi said the syndicate's decision on
its future would be influenced by the cup winner and where the next cup
will be held. "So far, he (Bertelli) hasn't committed to another cup," she
said.

Meanwhile, the chances of Sweden mounting a second challenge look good. The
syndicate is packed up with only its project manager Mats Johansson and two
other team members remaining in Auckland.

If Alinghi won the cup and it staged the event off Europe, Johansson said
there was a very good chance Victory would be there. Johansson said it
would definitely be more attractive for the syndicate's big sponsors -
Tele2, Metro and MTG - if the cup was held on the Mediterranean Sea. "But
we are also happy to come back because you have all the facilities here and
it is quite cheap to live." Johansson said the sponsors were happy with the
value delivered by the cup and he suggested there was a good chance they
would continue to support the team. - Andrew Sanders, The Sunday Star
Times, as posted on the StuffNZ website, full story:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/sundaystartimes/0,2106,2184161a6444,00.html

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
You know it's 2003 when you try to enter your password on the microwave.