SCUTTLEBUTT 1244 - January 21, 2003
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Terra Nova Trading Key West 2003 promised serious sailing this week, but it
wasn't supposed to be a swim meet. That's what happened Monday when 290
boats from 20 countries squared off in a 15-knot breeze to start the
competition with a bang---three, actually. There were that many serious
collisions in the spirited racing on four inshore courses. Ken Read,
recently returned from the America's Cup wars with Team Dennis Conner in
New Zealand, found similar intensity in this more bucolic venue.
Read, driving George David's Idler from New York in the IMS class, was
knocked into the water a minute and a half before the start of the first
race when the Nelson/Marek 50 was tagged in the starboard stern quarter by
Larry Bulman's Farr 49, Javelin, from Annapolis. "I went flipping over the
rail," Read said. "I was fully in the water. I had to swim back to the
boat." Fortunately, the water was 71 degrees and Read's freestyle form was
"We won the race," he said. "That's something to be proud of." The bad
news: "Now I've got to make that fun phone call," Read said. " 'Hey, you've
got a little hole in your boat.' " David, the owner, was delayed on
business and won't arrive until Wednesday.
John and Tony Esposito's J/29 Hustler, City Island, N.Y., took a
temporarily disabling hit from Paul Anderson's Titillation, Deltaville,
Va., while Geoffrey Perini's J/30 Bada Bing, Perth Amboy, N.J., was
crunched by Paul Baehr's Fast Company, Montreal. All of the striking boats
Elsewhere on the four courses set along Hawk Channel, the Scott
Harris/Alexandra Geremia Crocodile Rock from Santa Barbara, Calif. slipped
quietly into first place among the Farr 40s with a pair of second-place
finishes. Robert Hughes' Heartbreaker, Holland, Mich., and Dr. Wolfgang
Schaefer's Struntje light, Kiel, Germany, each won a race, but couldn't
match Crocodile Rock's consistency.
Among the 57 Melges 24s, Kate Mullin driving John Sherlock's boat Frequent
Flyer from Toronto, scored a 1-2 day. Italy's Flavio Favini, who won the
delayed 2001 class world championship here a year ago, is stalking Mullin
at 2-4. Bruce Ayres from Newport Beach, California is in third place with
11 points, and the current world champion Harry Melges and sidekick Jeff
Ecklund are crewing for Norway's Kristian Nergaard, who stands eighth with
a 4-22. - Rich Roberts, Complete results at www.Premiere-Racing.com
THE BIG SHOW
(Now that Alinghi has won the Louis Vuitton Cup, the big test lies before
them. Washington Post columnist Angus Phillips takes a look at what it will
take for them to win the America's Cup. Here's an excerpt from that story.)
Next comes a sterner test. Team New Zealand's unique, horizontal underwater
appendage, the so-called "Kiwi clip-on" or "hula hull," extends working
waterline length of the boat so theoretically, top speed is enhanced. Even
the clever Coutts, working with his longtime tactician Brad Butterworth and
the brilliant strategist Schuemann, can't be expected to outrun a quicker
boat, can he?
Asked what he thought of the Kiwis' chances in the Cup match Feb. 15, Bill
Endean, commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, official keeper
of the Cup, said, "We have a longer boat, and what sailboat racer wouldn't
But there may be downsides to the hula, which produces more drag in the
water and adds a bit of extra weight. In light air, knowledgeable observers
think it could be a hindrance.
Alinghi toyed with the notion of attaching a hula appendage of its own two
weeks ago but the plan now seems abandoned for lack of time to make it
work. The Swiss likely will work instead on small, incremental improvements
to their race package, as they have all season. They have the most
aerodynamic sails and rigging in the fleet, by most accounts.
Alinghi otherwise looks conventional compared to Team New Zealand's radical
hula hull and it may well be a 5-0 Kiwi blowout when the two teams line up
in a breeze.
But if there are downsides to the hula hull, no one in sailing is better
suited to ferret out and exploit them than the cagey Coutts, the former
Kiwi skipper who has lost just five races in Cup competition in the last 10
years. - Angus Phillips, Washington Post, full story:
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When Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli met at the dock after the race,
Ellison told him, "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." The
implication was a rematch. And watching a beaming Bertarelli being doused
with Champagne by his teammates could only have tweaked Ellison's
competitive instincts. The real winners in a Bertarelli-Ellison rematch
will be professional sailors, whose salaries will be bid to the sky by men
with large amounts of cash.
But Bertarelli brings something besides money to the America's Cup - an
almost childlike enthusiasm that contrasts with the jaded attitudes of
mercenary sailors. He explained his motivation for spending that money this
way: "Sailing brings me back down to earth. It just allows me to have a
perspective on life. I just love it and that's why I do it." Watching him
celebrate with his crew members at 3 a.m. - just before one of them was
heaved into a giant tub of ice water - that enthusiasm showed. - Warren St
John, New York Times,
CAPE TO RIO RACE
Light Air - Although the front section of the SAP Cape to Rio 2003 seems to
be catching some wind, race organizers are predicting that a section of the
fleet will miss out on the final cut-off date of 5 February. Twenty-two
entries still had over 2000 nautical miles to go before reaching the
gorgeous Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro by Monday's report in. The British
entry Maiden appears to have had the best day at 252 miles and it looks
like she may start catching up with the fleet after a slow start. Hasso
Plattner on board Morning Glory also gained good distance of 226 miles to
creep back up into the top five on handicap rating.
Gauteng-based Baleka holds onto the top spot on the handicap rankings with
Gawie Fagan on Suidoos 2 tenaciously hanging onto second place. The other
Fast 42 Investec is in third place. Skipper Bernhard Diebold, who is an
Antarctic voyager, has inspired his crew of pupils from Reddam House to a
fourth position on handicap. - http://www.pmg.co.za/capetorio/
* Next month's four-day New Zealand Millennium Cup Superyacht Regatta,
has attracted some huge racing boats to Auckland. The front runners should
include the 147-foot Mari Cha III; the 90-foot Alfa Romeo, line honors
winner in Australia's recent Rolex Sydney Hobart Race; the 97-foot
Reichel/Pugh designed Canon Leopard; plus the 80-foot Travelex, formerly
the maxi racer Nicorette. To be sailed February 10-13 on the Hauraki Gulf,
the superyacht regatta will be the curtain raiser to racing for the
America's Cup, which starts two days later on the 15th. To date, 41 vessels
have entered, while additional entries are still coming in. - Keith Taylor,
* According to a story in the NZ Herald, Larry Ellison's other boat in
New Zealand, his motor yacht Katana, is worth NZ$120 million and costs NZ
$5 million a year to run, and it takes something in the order of NZ$180,000
to fill up at the fuel dock.
JULES VERNE TROPHY
* Olivier de Kersauson is now warning that only a narrow weather corridor
is open for their southward journey. "It's no motorway. We'll have to go a
long way west to outflank the enormous anticyclone now sitting right across
the Atlantic. We'll probably have to cover an 1000, or even 1200 nautical
miles more than the direct route if we're going to avoid these calms".
Which is why the giant trimaran Geronimo is now shadowing the Brazilian
coast as she speeds on towards the Cape of Good Hope. -
* Kingfisher2 skipper Ellen MacArthur announced that the potential
weather window forecasted for later this week has disappeared. "It's just
not going to happen - the High we were looking at in the East will not
stabilise enough to guarantee good northerlies," said MacArthur. "We are
now looking at a weather model that shows another potential weather window
developing for the middle of next week." http://www.teamkingfisher.com
Alinghi will make changes to their boat SUI64 to try to get a competitive
edge over Team New Zealand. With a little over three weeks until the
America's Cup match, Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts said yesterday that his
team's attention had now turned to the black boats. "We can now focus on
racing Team NZ and looking at the characteristics of their boat," he said.
"It is no secret that everyone believes their boat is formidable, and now
we have to look at how we can place Alinghi against Team NZ to try to give
us the best chance of being competitive on the water."
Asked if his team were still investigating underwater appendages similar to
those on NZL81 and NZL82, Coutts replied: "We are still considering
things." Coutts said Alinghi were satisfied Team NZ's appendage was within
the rules. "The measurers have measured the boat and have come up with a
policy of testing it. I have faith in the measurers. It is just another
part of the boat which must comply with the rules." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald,
Rolex Watch U.S.A. has been awarded Sail Magazine's Industry Award for
Leadership. Created 10 years ago, the leadership award recognizes those who
have shaped the course of the sailing industry for success and growth. In a
break from tradition, however, Sail chose this year to honor a company
rather than an individual "because of Rolex's unique commitment to sailing."
Sail's Deputy Editor Josh Adams noted specifically Rolex's sponsorship
since 1980 of US Sailing's Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtsman of the Year
awards, considered the sport's highest individual honors in sailing in the
United States. He commended Rolex's sponsorship of both the US Sailing Team
and the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship. In addition,
Rolex Watch U.S.A. sponsors the US Disabled Sailing Team, the Rolex Miami
OCR and US Sailing's annual adult championships. The company has an
exclusive sponsorship relationship with the New York Yacht Club, which has
resulted in the creation of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge and the New
York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex.
Past recipients of SAIL Magazine's Industry Award include Everett Pearson
of TPI, Frank Butler of Catalina Yachts, the Johnstone Family of J Boats,
Randy Repass of West Marine, brothers Peter and Olaf Harken of Harken Yacht
Equipment, Warren Luhrs of Hunter Marine/Luhrs Marine Group,
designer/inventor Garry Hoyt, Steve and Doris Colgate of Offshore Sailing
School and Dave Stanton of American Sail. - Media Pro International.
Alinghi have formally questioned whether America's Cup yachting rules
requiring designers and crew to live in and have a home in the country of
the team they are representing comply with the traditions of the event.
Team New Zealand, the New York Yacht Club and Punta Ala Yacht Club, Italy,
oppose Alinghi's views.
There are crew from 15 different countries on the Alinghi team, including
New Zealanders Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth who have had to maintain
homes in Switzerland to meet the rules. However, the America's Cup
Arbitration Panel told Alinghi the nationality rules stemmed from the
race's founding document, the Deed of Gift, which requires "friendly
competition among nations". N.Z.P.A, as posted on the StuffNZ website:
FAST BOATS IN KEY WEST
If you are down in Key West this week, just look around and you will see
that the sailors on the fast boats are wearing the Camet Padded Sailing
Shorts. They know that the Camet Gear has an outstanding reputation of
always being the best in design, quality, and service. The Camet shorts
come in different models and colors, they are lightweight, breathable and
fast drying. Check out their web site for the Shorts, Coolmax shirts, Mylar
Gear bags, and more at http://www.camet.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Russell Coutts
"Ernesto Bertarelli set out integration as our single most important goal
and he took the whole team up toVerbier in the Swiss Alps. He said don't
talk about design and forget about yacht racing, just talk to each other.
Looking back you can see how right he was; he really urged us not to think
about the details until we'd worked out a system of how to work together."
- Daily Telegraph,
"I guess I can say it now. [Oracle] had a touch of speed on us," especially
in light winds and flat seas of the last few days, when Alinghi came from
behind three times to narrowly win." - Washington Post,
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 Guy Nowell, Hong Kong: In 1982, before my membership application
for the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club had been ratified, I was racing in a
Flying Fifteen when we were badly obstructed at a mark rounding by a
venerable lady sailing a rather slow Dragon. A great deal of "nautical
language" was heard. The lady's name was Pat Loseby. She would have been
about 60 years old at the time, and had been a pillar of the Club for more
than 40 years. Pat WAS the Club. Everyone knew Pat - except me, the new boy.
Five days later I had to appear before the Membership Committee for my
application to be approved, and to my horror the first person I saw when I
walked into the room was the same old lady from that rather slow Dragon...
Bang goes my membership, I thought. She peered across the table at me, and
said, "We haven't met, but I believe we have exchanged words...?" I
replied, "Yes, Miss Loseby, I know what you are referring to, and I hope
that under the present circumstances you will accept my apology." "Not at
all, young man. It was on the water. It doesn't count."
Sailors are human, too, and in the heat of the moment excitement (and
vocabulary) can boil over. Keep a sense of proportion and a sense of
humour, and don't try to take all the salt out of the sailors. Political
correctness? Get stuffed.
* From Jerry Spencer: Two points about the foul language issue:
1. to those who feel it should be banned ... don't try to impose
your morals on others.
2. to those who feel they must defend the use of foul
language...remember, its use only reflects the lack of a decent vocabulary!
* From Chris Upton: I learned to race by sailing with highly skilled and
decent sailors on Long Island Sound. Some of these gentleman also taught me
some surprising language. When I reached high school I was asked to
assemble crew for a mixed series of day and overnight racing. I discovered
that when we had women sailors on the boat we were much more civilized and
more focused on racing (to my surprise).
If you choose to sail with a mixed crew you will find the language
improves. If you sail with the guys you will find that guys will be guys.
* From Patrice Carpentier: It lookes like the next edition of the Volvo
Race should be sailed once again on board monohulls despite a strong
interest of the professional ocean sailors for the multihulls. I also
understood that the edition after, it means in 2009/2010 will be very
probably sailed on multihulls, at last. This situation, if confirmed, let
me think the following suggestion : Instead of spending once again a huge
amount of money for building a new short-lived and bigger monohull, why
don't we keep the existing Volvo 60' for the 2005/2006 edition. There are
plenty of these boats on the market at an affordable price and if you
reduce the crew to let say six and reduce the number of stopovers, you will
considerably reduce the coast of entering the race and so doing open the
game to a larger number of entrants. Just think about 15 boats or more at
the start, as it was at the past!
* From J. Joseph Bainton: Commentators on the loss of the Louis Vuitton
Cup by the Oracle BMW team appear to have overlooked one interesting
variable, namely Paul Cayard. Mr. Ellison left Paul Cayard in "golden
handcuffs" for this A/C, which was not all bad in that it gave Paul time
with his young family. If Mr. Ellison had left Paul in charge of a team he
largely created, one may fairly wonder if the result might have been
different. Hopefully next time around Paul will be given an opportunity to
return to an event at which most would concede he is a peer of DC and
* From Tim Broughton: Russell Coutts highlighted the importance of hiring
good people at the outset. Larry Ellison admitted to making some mistakes.
Perhaps he should be questioning the wisdom of leaving Paul Cayard on the
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?