SCUTTLEBUTT 1251 - January 30, 2003
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As Team New Zealand moves into its final preparations for the America's
Cup, the focus is moving on to in-house racing and veteran campaigner Rod
Davis has been used to bring some variety into the action. Davis, who has
just wound up his involvement with the Italian Prada team, is working to
help prepare Dean Barker and his crew for their clash with Alinghi starting
February 15. "It is good to have Rod involved. He brings a bit more
unpredictability into the mix," said skipper Dean Barker.
Davis is working in the afterguard with Bertrand Pacé in the intensive
racing against Barker. Barker said Davis was principally working as
tactician to Pacé, but would probably also helm the trial-horse boat in
some of the in-house racing between NZL-81 and NZL-82.
Davis, a veteran of nine America's Cup campaigns, has been released from
the Italian Prada syndicate, which has now wrapped up its development
programme in Auckland. Davis was the starting helmsman on board Luna Rossa
in the Louis Vuitton Cup. "At this stage of the campaign it is great to be
able to introduce a new sailing style in the final build-up to the Cup,"
Barker said. - Ivor Wilkins, Louis Vuitton Cup website, full story:
(Rich Roberts interviewed Paul Cayard about his short-lived involvement the
Oracle BMW Racing campaign. Here are two excerpts from the story posted on
the Yacht Racing website.)
Cayard: "As I told Larry Ellison way back, when he bought the boats from me
back in 2000---which was the only time I ever talked to him---he said,
'Well, I just assumed that if you couldn't be the CEO or the skipper you
wouldn't want to be part of our program.' I said, 'Hey, if there's gonna be
a topnotch challenge out of San Francisco with a real chance to bring the
Cup to the Bay, which is something I really believe in, I'd be happy to be
part of the team.' And he said, 'Oh, in that case we'd love to have you.'
That's the only time we ever talked."
Roberts: How was it sitting this one out?
Cayard: "Financially, I have to be honest. It worked out OK. I got paid the
whole way and I didn't have to go down there and be away from my family."
Roberts: Did you go to Auckland at all?
Cayard: "I went in December for a week when there were only four teams
left. A few people from other teams wanted to talk to me about next time.
At 43 years old, I've been sailing for 35 years and I've done enough of
these Cups to where I'm technically able to relate to the design team, and
I have enough experience being at the top of these things to do a good job
with the people and management side. Next time I'll be 46. It's not that
huge a deal, but these are probably my most impactful years."
Q: Were you rooting for Oracle?
Cayard: "The obvious knee-jerk thing was that the last thing I want to see
is Larry succeed. He was wrong. But the truth is, there would have been
nothing better than to have the Cup in my backyard. I could live at home
and go to work. I know I wouldn't have worked for Oracle, but I could have
worked for someone else."
Q: Your assessment of the Oracle campaign?
Cayard: "Instability in the management and therefore a lack of leadership.
There wasn't one person that everybody respected who on a daily basis was
making the decisions, setting the tone, setting the pace, creating the
right environment to foster everybody's best effort. People need to be
motivated beyond a paycheck. When you melted it all down, people were there
for the paycheck. There was no person who grabbed at their hearts and took
'em beyond, and that's what you have to do to win. You have to go way
beyond the paycheck."
Q: Were you surprised when Ellison brought Dickson back?
Cayard: "Yeah. Letting Dickson go the first time wasn't a surprise because
it occurred over a long period of time and it was the crew that didn't want
him there. Everybody was aware of the pressures to get rid of him the first
Q: Did you have problems with Dickson?
Cayard: "I didn't really, but I never sailed with him. They always kept me
and him opposite."
There is a lot more to this interview:
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JULES VERNE TROPHY
* KINGFISHER 2: For Ellen MacArthur's dedicated team, who have worked
non-stop now for 24 hours in freezing conditions in Plymouth Sound, the end
of the pitsop is nearly in sight. The final fastenings are being secured on
the mast track, and it is planned that Kingfisher 2 will slip her mooring
and head out to a very rough English Channel during the night. The giant
catamaran has been sitting at anchor in her orange B&Q livery just off of
Plymouth Hoe since late last night. Conditions have not assisted the team,
but the incredible effort of the team, coupled with fantastic local
support, has delivered an extraordinary fast turnaround. The final repair
has involved a small amount of work on the headboard car, and the
replacement of two parts of the mast track at the 2nd and 3rd reef positions.
The pressure to leave has been principally to catch a weather window, ie
favourable following winds. But this is not just northerly winds at the
start, in fact more importantly it is the forecast for 3 days down the
track to the west of Spain and Portugal that is most critical. This 'link'
between the Bay of Biscay and the Trade Winds is one of the most important
in the Jules Verne course in terms of the record time.
Assuming she does leave as planned, Kingfisher 2 would cross the start line
off of Ushant, 120 miles south south west of Plymouth in the early hours of
the morning. Conditions are expected to be quite wild in the English
Channel with a large seaway and up to 50 knots of wind while sailing to
Plymouth yesterday, the crew already saw 60 knots gusts. -
HELP: One of Ellen McArthur's rivals has stepped in to help her get back on
track in her Jules Verne round-the-world record attempt after a technical
problem delayed her start. Fellow British skipper Tracy Edwards, who had to
postpone her Jules Verne attempt until 2004 in Maiden II due to a lack of
funds, has offered to lend a piece of mast off her laid up yacht to get
McArthur, sailing in Kingfisher 2, back on schedule. - CNN.Com, full story:
* GERONIMO: Jammed between two weather systems, Geronimo has made slower
progress over the last 24 hours as a result of slack winds of variable
direction. Having covered 366 nautical miles point-to-point on her 18th day
of racing, the trimaran is now experiencing the calm before the storm.
According to Pierre Lasnier, Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew may
well be facing a personal Trafalgar by early evening tomorrow. "Over 40
knots of wind between midnight and 09:00 GMT", says the meteorologist.
"It'll then move round to the south-west. Geronimo will then try to pick up
speed again following the direct route of the depression and exploiting the
calm wake it leaves behind at around 43° South".
Another really big blow is scheduled for the start of next week. To avoid
the worst of it, Geronimo will return to 41° South before the weather
system deepens. As soon as the front has passed through, the south-westerly
airstream should allow the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and Schneider Electric
crew to set a course due East in the wake of the depression.
JULES VERNE CLOSEUP
(James Boyd caught up with skipper and phenomenon Ellen MacArthur in
Plymouth Sound for an interview about her Jules Verne Trophy challenge.
Here's a paragraph from his story posted on the Daily Sail website.)
The biggest challenge facing MacArthur looks likely to be from Olivier de
Kersauson's Geronimo. Now two and a half weeks into their attempt, the big
tri is already more than two days ahead of Peyron's record. Ellen thinks
her campaign has advantages over de Kersauson's. "We haven't tried to do
anything really different," she says. "We've just tried to make everything
that was there more reliable and a bit lighter. We know that that works, we
know that the concept works - it's already been twice around the world -
and we're relying on that as much as anything else. If you look at
Geronimo, she went off and she didn't make it [last year], she came back
and she had quite a few problems, but yet she's a new boat and they're
still learning. We're a little more tested in that respect and a lot of the
guys who're sailing on board have sailed her in her old configuration and
that helps..." - Full story:
ROLEX MIAMI OCR
Despite cooler-than-normal temperatures in Southern Florida, 526 athletes
sailing 328 boats generated their own kind of competitive heat today as
they began racing in the 2003 Rolex Miami OCR. The global importance of
this event, which hosts competition in 11 Olympic and Paralympic classes,
is evident in the number of foreign sailors -- representing 34 countries --
lured here by the knowledge that they would find excellent competition
against the best American sailors. More than half of the 328 boats sailing
are foreign entries. Canada has the largest contingent with 55 entries,
followed by Germany with 13, and Great Britain with 12. In its 14th year,
the Rolex Miami OCR features six racing circles on Biscayne Bay, providing
a spectacular show for spectators as well as high-rise dwellers.
Sixty-eight Stars make for the largest class at this year's event and
perhaps the most intriguing line-up of internationally recognized sailing
names. Olympians from Greece, Ireland and Switzerland are among the foreign
entries, who comprise over half the fleet, but it was Peter Bromby of
Sandys, BER, who leads after three races today.
U.S. sailors are at the top of the scoreboard in seven classes. Skipper Meg
Gaillard of Jamestown, R.I. leads the Europe fleet, while Steve Hunt of San
Diego, Calif. leads 470 Men's; Katie McDowell of Barrington, R.I. tops 470
Women's; and Andy Mack, White Salmon, Wash., leads the 49ers.
In the Laser class, Mark Mendleblatt ( St. Petersburg, Fla.), came straight
from his One World America's Cup campaign to take a one-point lead over
Great Britain's Daniel Holman after today's three races. The class is the
second largest here, with 49 entries.
The much anticipated Yngling debut at the 2004 Olympics was previewed by
skipper Betsy Alison's overall win today in that class. Alison, of Newport,
R.I., is a five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. - Media Pro Int'l, for
full results, visit www.ussailing.org/rolexmiamiocr/
The Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hampshire, Great Britain has submitted an
entry for the 2003 Admirals Cup. The two-boat team entered, are to be Nick
Hewson's Team Tonic, one of three Farr 52's based around the Solent, and an
as yet unnamed Sinergia 40 owned by Nigel Biggs', Checkmate Sailing Team.
The RORC has three other confirmed entries - the UNCL in France have
entered a team lead by last years Commodore's Cup winning captain Gery
Trentesaux, along with a further British team from GBR Challenge Head Peter
Harrison. There is also a confirmed entry from the Royal Prince Alfred
Yacht Club in Sydney, and firm interest from the Spanish. - ISAF website,
full story: www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=3807
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Nicola Reading, a 31-year-old Telecoms Marketing Manager from Beccles in
Suffolk, UK, fell overboard whilst racing aboard the 60-foot Cape Town
Clipper yacht in the Pacific Ocean at 08:55 GMT on Tuesday, 28 January. The
incident occurred during the Ko Olina Cup Race from Galapagos to Hawaii,
part of the Clipper 2002 Round the World Yacht Race. The crew member was
successfully recovered, without injury, after 12 minutes in the water.
Nicola, who is competing in the whole eleven-month challenge, fell
overboard during a spinnaker drop. In squally conditions at 23:55 local
time on Monday, 27 January, Nicola was on the foredeck gathering a lowered
spinnaker when a gust caught the sail and pushed her over the side. The
crew swiftly put into operation the man overboard recovery drill they spend
so long practicing and Nicola was brought back on board, shaken but
unharmed. This is the only time an incident of this nature has occurred in
the Clipper Race, which has so far successfully taken over 700 amateur crew
around the world.
STANDINGS: 1. Jersey, 343nm distance from finish; 2. Bristol, 346 dff; 3.
Liverpool, 370 dff; 4. London, 372 dff; 5. Glasgow, 455 dff; 6. Hong Kong;
458 dff; 7. Cape Town, 516 dff; 8. New York, 611 dff.
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 Handley Richard (re Ross Bateson's statements): Before extolling
the virtues of the "all British" GBR Challenge, look down some of the CV's
from the GBR website. Last time I talked to Chris Main, Mal Page or Ben
Morrison-Jack I didn't hear any pommy accent! Now look at the boat builders
and other support staff, Yes, many Brits but also a number of other
countries also represented.
Get over this nationalistic attitude and accept the America's Cup for what
it is... the pinnacle event for the world's best sailors. Do you really
mind who plays for Manchester United isn't always British? Or do you really
mind a German driving an Italian F1 car? Just enjoy the racing and support
your team, maybe with a few more foreigner's they might make the semi
finals of the LVC.
* From Graeme Lee: When Ernesto Berterelli made his recent comments about
the NZ attitude to his challenge, and how it may affect the future of the
event, he should reflect on the marvelous reception handed out to Prada
last time - and ponder on what has changed this time.
* From Bud Thompson: It seems New Zealanders are shooting themselves in
the foot. With all the "stuff" going on with them and two great sailors who
had a bit to do with getting the Cup to their land I would think they would
be proud of them and maybe some day find out what caused the jump. Making a
good living is certainly a must for anyone but there would appear be some
deeper concerns involved judging by the stories now emerging.
* From Mark Green (Re: George Backhus comments in 'butt 1250): What a
shame that the editor's scissors weren't a little quicker so that the
political opinions of ex-pat George Backhus did not appear in a forum about
sailing. My children also own boats, not guns, as I am sure many of the
readers of this publication could also say.
My suggestion, Mr. Backhus, is that you sail your yacht back to your home
country, bringing your ideas and vision for a more peaceful planet, and get
to work creating one. Otherwise, please don't impose your simplistic
opinions and judgements on those of us who are actively involved in
bettering our communities and our country.
If you choose to be a world sailor, then do the world a favor and bring to
those you meet the good wishes of the vast majority of the American people,
the principles of freedom and democracy that made this country great and
the ideals to which we, as a country, aspire.
And if you do meet an "ugly American" perhaps you could remind them
directly (and not the rest of us generally) that they could be better
ambassadors for their country.
* From Tom Spelman: Perhaps Mr. George Backhus (Butt 1250) should ponder
the notion that if Americans had not 'Played with guns' in 1945 all New
Zealanders would be living under the flag of the Empire of Japan., instead
of preparing to win a third Cup! Let's keep politics out of Scuttlebutt.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: I agree, so this thread is being killed right now -
with the curmudgeon's apologies for letting it get started.
* From Fred Frye, M.D. 1987 San Diego YC Commodore: I would like to
remind the NZRYS that when the Americas Cup was in the possession of San
Diego Yacht Club it was not hidden away in our clubhouse. The Cup traveled
nationally and internationally during the years 1987 -95. Not only did many
Americans have an opportunity to see the Cup but others did as well
throughout the world..
Tom Wilson was the custodian of the Cup and was responsible for the
scheduling. He and his wife Jane accompanied the Cup many times. This was
even picked up in a fictional novelized account of the Cup and the races .
Tom Wilson died last year and he understood the traditions and the
importance of the Cup. His widow Jane continues as a stalwart contribution
member of SDYC (race committee duties) Their service to the San Diego Yacht
Club and the Cup should not be dismissed by the RNZYS is such a cavalier
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed Up?