SCUTTLEBUTT 1250 - January 29, 2003
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ROYAL NEW ZEALAND YACHT SQUADRON
The impact of being the host club to the America's Cup defender has been
huge for the Squadron according to Craig Peploe, Squadron General Manager.
While not a sailor, Peploe has an international background in the
hospitality industry so is well tuned to the environment within which
Squadron now operates in the enviable position of host club. "We're very
proud to have the America's Cup located in the Squadron,it's been
fantastic," Peploe enthused.
Since the Cup arrived in Auckland in 1995, foot traffic through the
Squadron has been phenomenal. Consider it, for 132 years the Cup was
closeted away in New York and only the priveleged got to see it. Certainly,
since the Cup has been in New Zealand more people have got to see and
appreciate the Cup than perhaps ever before in it's 151 years. Volunteer
members of the Squadron have trained to become America's Cup hosts to show
off the Cup and extend the trophy's colourful history to Cup neophytes.
While the Squadron doesn't run a junior program per se, they take juniors
into the club's youth training program designed for 17 year olds onwards.
The program prepares promising young sailors who want an international
career in professional yachting.
"When you look at the challengers this year, a good percentage have all
gone through the Squadron's youth training program," said Peploe. On
graduation, a ticket from the RNZYS is worth its weight in gold and as we
well know, kiwi sailors are a hot item on the international pro sailing
market. - Michelle Slade, Cup New website, full story: http://cupviews.com/
JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO may have reached the Cape of Good Hope faster than any other,
but Olivier de Kersauson knows that the hardest part is yet to come: "There
are some absolutely filthy weather systems on their way towards us, so it's
going to have pretty difficult for us to make much headway south. The way
south is obstructed by very northerly depressions. It's impossible for us
to get the run we need to dive south to the latitude of the Kerguelens and
really get going. The course ahead looks pretty tortuous for at least 1500
miles. It's not going to plan and I don't like weather problems in these
places, because they're usually very bad news". Geronimo is now in the
Southern Ocean. - http://www.grandsrecords.com
* KINGFISHER2 did not pass the line as intended this morning after
discovering a technical problem on the mast track at first light this
morning. The maxi catamaran was just miles from the start line off of
Ushant primed to go, when the crew noticed a problem with the mainsail
track a metal runner that goes the full length of the mast, on which the
mainsail runs up and down. A critical element that must be at 100% to race
the boat to her full potential.
Fingfisher 2 is currently sailing under headsail towards the shelter of
Plymouth, south west England where the shore team will meet the giant
catamaran and work on getting the team back to sea as soon as possible. The
choice of Plymouth will assist an easier possible departure later in the
week with the strong northerly winds forecast to continue (northerly winds
being in the direction of the start line from Plymouth). -
"4 PEAT" AT KEY WEST RACE WEEK!
For the fourth straight year, J/105's flying Ullman Sails won Key West Race
Week. Ullman customers won seven of the eight races, finishing 1st, 2nd,
and 3rd while placing six boats in the top ten. Congratulations to the
owners and crews of Zuni Bear, Wet Leopard and Flame for their outstanding
performances. If you and your crew are ready for the "Fastest Sails on the
Planet," contact your nearest Ullman Sails loft or visit us at
CAPE TO RIO
The German maxi Morning Glory, skippered by Dr Hasso Plattner, took line
honours in the mono-hull class of the race late Monday evening when she
crossed the line at 21.31 GMT to become the first mono-hull to finish the
race. Plattner completed the 3400-mile journey in an elapsed time of 16
days, 8 hours, 31 minutes. The race officer in Rio has also commented on
the fairly strange weather patterns. "It has now rained for four days on
the trot, which is nice as it is cooler and the humidity drops to more
acceptable levels for a while, but it does nothing for the wind. Obviously
the guys who are sailing will hate that," wrote Eric Wells this morning.
The challenge for handicap honours continues to rage. Although
Gauteng-based entries Baleka and Investec seem entrenched in their first
and second positions, Gawie Fagan on Suidoos 2 is adamant on showing the
bigger boats his heels and clings to third place. It is expected that Fagan
will be the next boat in Rio as he had only 281 miles to go at this
morning's report in. He should arrive in Rio by Thursday evening. -
The curmudgeon has just treated himself to several delightful hours
immersed in Olin Stephens' new book, 'Lines.' I suppose I could report that
I've finished reading it last night, but that would be untrue. I don't
think I will ever 'finish' reading this book. It's the kind of a book you
return to often for moments of pure enjoyment.
In the book's 'Forward,' J. Carter Brown explains that Olin Stephens was
not an engineer or even a naval architect- he was an artist - whose boats
were too beautiful not to be fast. And for the 200 pages that follow,
'Lines' employs words and drawings to summarize a half-century of the yacht
designs of Sparkman & Stephens.
The words were written by Olin Stephens, but you quickly realized that you
do not read his words - you savor them. Olin Stephens is a master of
understatement, who speaks of these boats as a father might speak of his
children - talking candidly about their flaws as well as their obvious
strengths. When referring to Thailia, one his early six-meter designs, he
modestly wrote, "…in truth not a very good boat, Thalia showed speed in
light weather, and a somewhat mistaken appreciation of her ability led to
the commission of four new sixs and one eight (meter)…" Amazingly, there is
never even a hint of boastfulness in his comments about any of the
treasures he created.
While explaining each design coved by this book, Stephens candidly
discusses the owner's preferences that influenced the shape, and strengths
of the many builders who turned his drawings into reality. Stephens'
insightful commentary on the various rating rules, and their influence on
his designs, is woven into these discussions. You find your eyes frequently
going back and forth between the words and drawings.
'Lines' is a big "coffee table" book published by Godine, and the $125
price will undoubtedly limit its distribution somewhat. But those who have
admired, or perhaps dreamed of owning one of Stephens' treasures, will
undoubtedly consider it a bargain. - www.godine.com
THE DESIGN TEAM'S FUNCTION
To deliver the fastest boat possible within the ACC Rules, the design cost
is estimated to be 25% of the budget. Alinghi the winner of the Louis
Vuitton 2003 Cup and right to Challenge Team New Zealand for the America's
Cup are estimated to have spent US$30 million on the design of SUI-64 and
For the challengers it is during the LVC series, skipper and crew learn to
sail the boat. Bruce Farr who designed the Oracle/BMW AC boats, is quoted
as saying, that during the series skipper and crew should have the
potential to improve a yacht's performance by about 10 seconds a mile.
"Some teams will get 11 or 12 seconds, others only seven," says Farr.
"Tweaking the hydrodynamics - underwater appendages, might yield 2-3
seconds a mile. Aerodynamics - sails and rigs, should offer a bit more, say
3-4 seconds a mile"
While the ACC boats themselves [only!] cost US$1-$2 million each,
forecasting the wind pressure that is the engine that powers them on the
Hauraki Gulf, takes an estimated 20% of Budget [estimated to be US$24
million for Alinghi]. Two questions a boat's Weather Team have to answer in
- What will the wind speed be during the race? Nobody wants
excessive, heavy sails weighing their boat down for no reason but neither
do they want to be caught short. This question requirea an answer before
the boat leaves the dock and again just before the race, so that unwanted
sails can be off loaded to a tender. The six leg America's Cup course is
simple - Six legs, three upwind, three downwind. ACC boats have been
designed for the wind angles encountered - beating to windward, jibing
- From where will the wind blow during the race, how will it shift?
Should the boat favour the left side of the course for the first beat, or
the right, and what side for the legs that follow?
Reprinted with permission from the Southwest by South Sailing News. Full
(Everyone wonders where Alinghi would defend the America's Cup if they were
to defeat TNZ. Ernesto Bertarelli, the head of Swiss America's Cup
challenger syndicate, failed to end that speculation, but did off the
"It's a bit premature to speculate on the place and reasons for the choice.
It is a relatively complicated process. We have started to think about it.
The first criteria is the weather, then the logistics. If we bring the
event to Europe it has to be done on the large-scale that a great sporting
festival deserves." - Rueters, full story:
* At the same time, the City of Marseilles (France) has officially
launched a bid for the America's Cup 2006, if Alinghi win the cup. "If the
Swiss win the Cup, we are candidate" said yesterday Jean-Claude Gaudin,
mayor of Marseilles. "We want to make all effort to accommodate them". The
existing large-scale port activities, the perfect weather (Sun and wind),
the size and importance of the agglomeration of Marseilles. All key
advantages for the success of this ambitious project.
More, Marseilles is recently entering into a grandiose urban renewal plan
called Euromediterranée. The first stage of the 20-year project, which has
already converted the old docks warehouses into offices, also calls for the
renovation of the La Joliette industrial port. - Hauraki News,
NEED A NEW HALYARD?
Corey Butlin of Hall Spars & Rigging recommends that you check your
halyards before the summer season. "Look closely for any areas with
excessive wear or broken strands. If the cover is wearing out but the core
is intact, we can often run a new cover. Also, check shackles for cracks or
bends, indicating they should be replaced." If you need a new halyard, save
10% on your first halyard order through Hall Spars & Rigging's online store
(until Feb. 28, U.S. online orders only). Enter 'Scuttlebutt' under "Redeem
Coupon," or email firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.hallspars.com
* At 05:49:09 local time Tuesday Alan Paris sailed BTC Velocity across
the finish line to complete Leg 3 of the Around Alone Race. His arrival
completes Leg 3. www.aroundalone.com
* The weather (on the Hauraki Gulf) over the past several days has been
very blustery, with strong winds on the Hauraki Gulf that have kept the
boats on shore. But on Tuesday, with 20 - 25 knots on the Gulf, Alinghi was
out sailing. - http://www.louisvuittoncup.yahoo.com/story1794.html
* The new U.S. Sailing Center in Miami was dedicated at a ceremony
Monday-evening. The Schoonmaker Center and Herman Whiton Pavilion - named
for Ding Schoonmaker and Herman Whiton, whose contributions made the center
possible - will serve as a training facility for many Olympic hopefuls. It
will also be the site for many regattas, boat storage and sailing on
Biscayne Bay. - http://www.ussailing.org/
* Ernesto Bertarelli, whose Swiss team won the Louis Vuitton Cup and will
face Team New Zealand in the finals, said Tuesday he was glad to be home
for a few days because of the "positive vibrations." "We're a long way away
in New Zealand, and it feels good to hear other things than what we get
from the New Zealand press," he said. "I want to take a bit of that Swiss
fresh air back to my teammates." He said he was tired of "the campaign of
aggression" in New Zealand leading to the start of the cup challenge Feb.
15. Jonathan Fowler, AP, full story:
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 John Rousmaniere: In The Lawson History of the America's Cup,
Vincent Delany's yacht club owns one of the very best books about yachting
history. Privately published in a beautifully illustrated numbered edition
of 3,000 copies, "Lawson's" (as its admirers call it) served two purposes.
Most of it is excellent history written by an able yachting journalist of
the early 20th century, Winfield M. Thompson, who in meticulous detail and
flowing prose described the adventure of the yacht America and the
subsequent races for and controversies concerning her trophy through 1901.
The remainder of the book is a heated protest written by its publisher, a
shady securities promoter named Thomas W. Lawson who bashed the New York
Yacht Club for barring his leaky and occasionally fast boat Independence
from the America's Cup defender trials because he was not a member of the club.
As the acidic paper in the first edition rots away, look for a replica
edition of 1,500 copies published in 1986 by Ashford Press, in England. I'm
lucky enough to have copies of both editions. Lawson's is often offered by
used book services, like Howland & Co., in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Until
another publisher produces an updated, handsome, and equally authoritative
history of the cup, this is the one volume to have on the subject.
* From Bill Watson, New York Yacht Club Librarian: The New York Yacht
Club has in its collection copy # 2060 of the 3000 editions of The Lawson
History of the America's Cup, published privately in Boston by Thomas W.
Lawson in 1902. The New York Yacht Club edition was donated to the club by
George A. Cormack, New York Yacht Club Secretary, 1901-1938. Mr. Cormack
lived at the New York Yacht Club for 36 years, until his death in 1938.
Thomas W. Lawson, a New England yachtsman, gave the book out to his friends
and to various libraries. Fifteen hundred copies were reprinted in 1986 by
Ashford Press of Southampton, England. Copies of the original three
thousand can be found in libraries and in the hands of private collectors
and antiquarian booksellers like Llewellyn Howland, who for his bookstore
Howland & Company, has bought and sold many editions.
* From Ross Bateson (edited to our 250-word limit): While the Kiwi malaise
is understandable - TNZ has suffered most from this. US teams have, for
over a decade now, treated the Americas Cup as a contest between
syndicates, and this cosmopolitan approach has been echoed by the Japanese,
the Italians and, now, the Swiss. However, the TNZ effort remains both
national and nationalistic, as do other syndicates. GBR Challenge, from my
own country, was wholly crewed by British. The core of the design team was
also British, although with some Nippon Challenge help. The whole project
was funded by a Brit, managed by a Brit on the water, and all under the
overseeing eye of a ..... er..... Kiwi. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that
GBR Challenge, as with TNZ, is a national effort with some
behind-the-scenes foreign help.
For me, this produces a greater affinity with the team I support. The UK,
like New Zealand, is a country well used to supporting local teams, be it
in rugby, football or anything else. The nature of US sport is often less
regional, with the 'franchise' nature of American Football teams, for
example, meaning that sides often move around depending on where the best
business is. The Kiwi achievements in winning the cup as a nation and not a
corporation are phenomenal, the British challenge admirable. But while I
believe the Cup to be best served as a contest between nations, for now the
pull of patriotism must contend with the pluck of the Plc.
* From Don Bedford: I was thrilled to hear that Mark Reynolds was
inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions. Mark is not only a fantastic
sailor but a great role model for sailors of every age. Mark is the picture
of preparation and practice while only showing the most sportsman-like
behavior on, and off the water. A buddy who crewed for mark said that
Mark's harshest words during a botched mark rounding were, "Jeeze guys!"
Mark, you're a class act!
* From George Backhus: Three cheers for Peter Harken's putting into
eloquent words what many of us American ex-pats living in New Zealand think
and feel when we encounter "ugly Americans" who loudly berate other places
who they feel don't measure up to the "good 'ol USA."
The Kiwis have shown that in many ways, smaller is better. This tiny island
nation of fewer than four million people enjoys a stunning environment, an
excellent standard of living and an egalitarian lifestyle where poverty and
homelessness like those found in the US are nearly non-existent.
It seems that as kids, many Kiwis are given sailboats instead of toy guns.
Perhaps that's why New Zealand is preparing to win its third America's Cup
while America is preparing to go to war.
* From John Mandeno: The restrictions put in place over various zones of
the Hauraki Gulf during the LVC and AC are necessary given the large
spectator fleets that go out to see the racing. I haven't heard one
criticism emanating from a boat owner (or for that matter, a civil
libertarian!!) over the restrictions either this Cup or the previous
defence. There is a degree of flexibility to the application of parts of
the restrictions. The Harbourmaster will generally only apply a 10 knot
speed restriction on the waters leading out of the harbour to the course
zones when the weather looks good and larger numbers of spectator boats are
anticipated. Common sense prevails.
And I can reassure Peter Harken that, in my experience as a native
Aucklander, that the vast majority of the visiting American sailors that I
have come across have been friendly, polite, and not critical of this
country in front of me. There is a good number of American cruising sailors
living aboard at our marina and they are generally the first guys to be on
my dock to help with berthing. My wife and I thoroughly enjoy having these
"cruisers" home for Kiwi roast lamb cooked on the (made in USA!) Weber. So
all you visiting Yanks, you are welcome to line up at berth E22, Bayswater
Marina, to receive your invitation!
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The first half of your life is spent hiding things from your parents and
the second half is spent hiding things from your kids.