SCUTTLEBUTT 1247 - January 24, 2003
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KIWI SHOWDOWN - Chris Laidlaw
Kiwis wanted a showdown between Russell Coutts and the outfit he abandoned
and they want to see Alinghi taken apart by Team New Zealand perhaps even
more than had their opponent been an Australian.
Is this country over its initially petulant reaction to the departure of
Coutts and Brad Butterworth for the rich, green pastures of Switzerland? I
doubt it. Although there has been a sense of widespread embarrassment at
the clumsy antics of the Blackheart brigade and a sense of relief that this
infantile initiative has been finally forced off centre stage, there
remains a strong feeling of resentment at being betrayed by those who sold
their services to an opponent. And to some extent that is well grounded.
It is all very well to draw comparisons with other professional sportsmen
who follow the dosh trail abroad but there is a palpable difference between
those rugby players, golfers and the like and what Coutts and Butterworth
have signed up for. They have been specifically hired to take the America's
Cup away from us and whatever liberal gloss is applied to the issue that
stark fact is inescapable.
There is a good deal more at stake in this race than the mere retention of
a trophy. There are both psychological and material dimensions to this
contest that affect just about every New Zealander one way or another. We
all know in our hearts that if Alinghi wins then the curtain will almost
certainly fall on this country's participation in the America's Cup for
good. - Waikato Times, as posted on the StuffNZ website, full editorial:
Big winds, collisions and a contentious crocodile have brought Terra Nova
Trading Key West 2003 to its Friday climax. A new weather front sweeping
the southernmost corner of the country was forecast to hit town Thursday
night with winds up to 25 knots and accelerate the action into frenzy.
With Thursday's winds in the 12-17 knot range, Crocodile Rock took two
fourth place finishes to put them in first place with a near-insurmountable
20-point lead over John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti. George Andreadis' Atalanti
XII, looking for its fourth consecutive title here, was a distant third and
all but out of the hunt. Jim Richardson's Barking Mad suffered a
disqualification from an incident with Crocodile Rock, which dropped them
from second place to fourth.
Buddy Cribbs' 1D35, Victory, took what Cribbs called a "full-on T-bone" in
the middle of its port side from Hugh O'Brien's Ripple, Stonington, Conn. A
gaping hole was patched over with a heavy application of duct tape. David
Kirk's Détente, Chicago, clinched the 1D35 class victory with its fifth
consecutive win, and Richard Perini's Foreign Affair from Sydney,
Australia, has a vise grip on defending the Mumm 30 title he won last year.
After seven races in the Melges 24 fleet, Switzerland's Franco Rossini
holds an eleven point lead over Brian Porter.
In the International Team Competition for the Key West Trophy, there are
ten teams but only two contenders. Going into the last day, Italy's Breeze
(Farr 40), Printel-Wind (Mumm 30) and Joe Fly (Melges 24) has gone from one
point behind Germany's Struntje light, Rainbow and Blu Moon, respectively,
to one point ahead, 84-85. - Rich Roberts, Complete results at
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(Yesterday we published an excerpt from Magnus Wheatley's revealing
interview with Alighi's Brad Butterworth that is posted on the Yachts and
Yachting website. Here's another short excerpt from that story that deals
with the TNZ hull appendage - the 'Hula.')
Magnus Wheatley: Is there an issue with the Hula around hull flex? Whenever
I've been on these boats there are a whole load of cranks and creaks. Is
there a ripple effect when you hit a wave and you get flex further down the
hull so that the hull actually touches the Hula and not the other way
around? And has TNZ beefed up their internal stern structure to compensate?
Brad Butterworth: Yes I think there's a trade off there. The Hula's not
allowed to be structural so they've had to build the boat around it and I
would say that might be one of the disadvantages. The advantage is that the
boat might seem longer to the water and therefore might perform better upwind.
MW: Okay so the measurers say it's legal and let's say for instance you
don't have one. Would you be quite happy with that or can you protest that
measurer's decision? Where does the line come where I say it touches and
the onus is on the other team to prove it doesn't?
BB: We will never know whether it touches or not. The only way we will ever
know is if the measurers see that it has touched in a post race measurement
and it's up to them to do something about it, not us.
MW: So will they do something to check it in the first race?
BB: No I think it'll be every race.
MW: So do you think that they (the Measurers) are planning to do something
to ensure its validity?
MW: So what will they do?
BB: There are many ways-sensors, magnets, leeching paint etc but that's
really up to Ken Mcalpine. - Posted on the Yachts and Yachting website,
full interview: www.yachtsandyachting.com/default2.asp?section=11&article=8767
CAPE TO RIO
Swedish trimaran Nicator skippered by Klabbe Nylöf looks set to be the
first boat to finish the 2003 SAP Cape to Rio ocean race. The new
generation Open 60 trimaran is expected in the Carnival City by Friday, 24
January and will certainly slash the current multi-hull record of 18 days,
which was set by Chris King's catamaran Sea Rose in the 1993 race.
Navigator Magnus Woxen reported at 10h40 (SA time) that they still had
roughly 433 miles to go before reaching Guatenara Bay in Rio de Janeiro.
"It will be very hard for us to get to Rio before the 12 day 16 hours
deadline, but we'll give it a good try," stated Woxen.
Although the trimaran is participating in a different class than the
mono-hulls such as Morning Glory, they have set their sights on the current
crossing record set by the American mono-hull Zephyrus IV in the previous
Cape to Rio race. The mono-hull record stands at 12 days 16 hours and will
expire at 05h00GMT (07h00 SA time) Friday morning. -
* "Speaking as a New Zealander and as a keen enthusiast and follower of
the cup I would keep it very strongly national first and there's room for
anyone who wants to support their country big or small as an individual or
corporate or anybody else to get behind it. That's been the key to New
Zealand's success I believe since the first challenges and since Peter
Blake and Russell Coutts won it in '95 and then defended it again
successfully in 2000. "It's a formula that's worked for New Zealand, I
think it can work for other small countries. I don't think it's the
prerogative only of big countries or of people with a big chequebook." -
Sir Michael Fay
* "I think the national pride, keeping it a national competition is
important. Bring in Ernesto Bertarelli and bring in Larry Ellison, these
people add a lot of flavour, they pay a lot of big bills for some teams
that come to the competition. I don't think they're not going to come
because they can't put their own name on the yacht and ... take it home and
put it on their mantelpiece. History would tell you it's attracted those
sort of people since 1851." - Alan Bond
* "I think it would be nice to see a team that had a crew that
represented their country as opposed to 15 different guys out of 16
people." - Dennis Conner
From a story in the Daily News,
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* February 26-March 2: Acura SORC, Miami Beach, FL. IMS, and PHRF, as
well as one-design classes such as the Farr 40, 1D35, J/105, J/80, Mumm 30,
J-24 and Melges 24. www.acurasorc.com
* August 23-24: the Atlantic Coast Star Class Master's Regatta, Milford
Yacht Club and Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet. There will be prizes for the
various Master's categories: Master's (50-59), Grand Master's (60-69),
Exalted Grand Master's (70-79) and Venerable Exalted Grand Master's
(80-infinity). - www.mycstar.org
Alinghi boats could be banned from the Hauraki Gulf if their crews keep
flouting laws forbidding them from entering Team New Zealand's training
zones. Police say tensions between the America's Cup rivals have led to
chase boats deliberately ramming each other, and officers fear someone may
Team Alinghi were yesterday fined $10,000 after two crew drove a support
boat through the middle of Team New Zealand's exclusive training zone,
minutes after being stopped by police and warned for a similar stunt.
Senior Sergeant Martin Paget told the Herald the act was "a deliberate
provocation". He did not know if the Swiss were provoking Team New Zealand
or the police. But he said if Alinghi continued to break the law police
would speak to appropriate organisations about whether they should be
allowed to use the gulf at all. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story:
STATEMENT FROM ALINGHI: Team Alinghi confirmed today that two contract
staff using a borrowed chase boat had inadvertently strayed into a
restricted sailing area and incurred a fine of 10.000 NZD. The Team noted
that the contractors were inexperienced and entered the zone by mistake
while attempting to locate another Alinghi chase boat in the Hauraki Gulf.
Alinghi expresses its regrets and apologizes to the New Zealand Police and
Team New Zealand. - Bernard Schopfer
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* Around Alone competitor Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of yukoh finished
fourth in Class 2 at 19:33:26 local time on January 23. (06:33:26 GMT).
Only Alan Paris on BTC Velocity remains at sea, some 900+ miles from the NZ
Finish line. The 7,850 nm Leg 4 from Tauranga (NZ) to Salvador (Brazil)
begins on February 9. - www.aroundalone.com
* Preview of coming attractions - The details of the new boat and race
track for the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 will be revealed in Auckland, New
Zealand, on February 10th.
* Changing times - The popular on-line auction website, eBay
http://www.ebay.com), has now become an option for performance sailboat
transactions. Recently listed on the site is a Farr 40, arguably the most
competitive class this week in Key West. eBay listings include a detailed
equipment inventory, boat condition description, bid history information,
and terms of payment.
JULES VERNE TROPHY
* Skipper Ellen MacArthur has made the call for the crew of Kingfisher2
to return to Lorient as standby mode goes to 'Amber' in anticipation of a
good weather window developing for next Monday or Tuesday. "Right now, both
weather models are showing a really good weather opportunity early next
week," said MacArthur. "There is a 60-70% chance of departure so we have
asked all the crew to return to Lorient by Sunday."
Ellen has been in Hamburg studying the weather options with Kingfisher2
weather router Dr Meeno Schrader - the decision to change standby mode was
taken to give the 14 crew spread across Europe (from Sweden to Spain)
sufficient time to return to the base in France. But there is the
possibility that the standby mode may go back to 'Red' if the High Pressure
area needed to develop northerly winds disappears. There is a sense of
urgency for Kingfisher2 to depart on the non-stop round the world Jules
Verne record attempt but in this game patience is a true virtue. -
* Geronimo is continues to make good progress through the south Atlantic.
After having to route a long way west, the trimaran covered 495 nautical
miles at over 20 knots yesterday and started on a long curving course to
the south-east in an attempt to pick up the stable trade winds on the edge
of the anticyclone over St. Helena without falling into the calms that lie
around the centre of that weather system. Today, on her 12th day at sea,
the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran was caught by another
anticyclone, which slowed her down. Her average speed for the last 12 hours
has been just 14.63 knots. http://www.grandsrecords.com
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 Gregory Scott: Comments made by Gavin Brady in Rich Robert's Key
West report are very important. Without casting doubt on the skills of any
race officer (because without them none of us have any fun) I offer this;
Mr. Brady's words ring true with me. I have had the pleasure of racing in
Kingston for years. A race officer here who has a Rolex Yachtsman Award for
his skills, has done exactly what Mr.Legler is doing, communicating.
This is an invitation for every race committee to take this lead. Talk to
us, tell us what you are thinking, "maybe we can move down the course a bit
and get a start". The talent on boats will work with you. Every time boats
come to a regatta, they come to sail. Get us started and then work the
situation. The radio, the flags use every tool you have to get us racing.
The course changes in Auckland are proof, it's not a bad thing to set a new
mark. Sailors want to sail!
* From Larry Law (Re: Rich Roberts' Key West Side Bar - Butt #1246): For
most who have sailed races run by Ken Legler (head coach of the Tufts
University Sailing Team), having run many hundreds of collegiate and youth
regattas in addition to events like KWRW, we know he wrote the book. His is
a great PRO, a task master that has a no nonsense and very efficient method
of running regattas.
My first live exposure to his abilities was the 420 North American
Championships held at Bristol Yacht Club in Rhode Island 2 years ago. It
was my son's second 420 regatta (finishing 15th overall), and I was amazed
how Ken took a 184 boat fleet of high school and college aged sailors and
managed it. It was amazing to say the least. He is the master of no general
recalls and at keeping a course square and boats sailing. He orchestrated
his mark-set boats and race support like a ballet company. Ken was a great
PRO. If there is ever a hall of fame for sailing PRO's I hope Ken would be
listed among the best.
* From Moose McClintock: It's great to see Gavin Brady recognize Ken as
one of the very best RC chairmen around. Ken was my room mate in college at
URI (he was an All-American '77, how many RC chairmen have that on their
resume?) where I first witnessed his obsession with race committee work. We
worked at the short-lived Association Island National Sailing Center in the
summer of '74 and Ken stayed on there for the following summers until it
was shut down. He's been a fixture running a litany of regattas nationwide
(usually the best of the best) while still coaching Tufts to multiple
national championships. And he hasn't lost it on the helm: he skippered on
the winning 2001 Hinman Master Team Race team with two blind crew. Makes
you wonder how he'd do driving in the races he's running.
* From John Williams: I am always amazed and dismayed to encounter in a
fellow sailor with Mr. Olbert's feelings about multihulls. To characterize
my passion as "unseaman-like antics" is offensive in the extreme. I find
this exclusionary attitude unfathomable? Where in sailing's proud past did
this schism occur? For anyone who feels that multihull racing is any less
demanding, any less challenging, any less "seaman-like" than monohull
sailing is invited to take a sail - it would be my pleasure to host. You
won't find a mutual disdain within the ranks of competing multihull sailors.
Please, Mr. Olbert - spend a few moments in study and I think you'll find
that a multi sailor is no less an athlete and certainly no less a sailor
than a mono sailor. Your divisive attitude is perpetuating an atmosphere in
which Multihull Youth are excluded from championship events, multihull
championships are derided as second rate, and people new to sailing are
discouraged from trying something different.
Not your cup of tea? Fine - but don't help undermine the hard work of
dedicated volunteers and multihull sailors around the world. Your expressed
attitude is why the US Sailing Multihull Council can't get one dollar of
budget from the national organization, can't send our National Champion
Youth team to compete in the Worlds, keeps our Olympic Class Champions from
getting the sort of recognition they deserve, and specifically what I
continue to volunteer to US Sailing to overcome.
* From Bill Lee: I have read with interest the multihull comments in
recent Scuttlebutts. As the entry chairman for Transpac 2003 and have 120
monohull inquiries but only three multihull inquires to date. Hawaii is
home of the double outrigger and the course is ideal for both cruising and
racing multinulls. It would great so see some of the scuttlebutt multihull
enthusiasm develop into boats on the course. - www.transpacificyc.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUMS
It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.