SCUTTLEBUTT 1253 - February 3, 2003
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NATIONALITY PROVISIONS OF THE PROTOCOL
By Vince Cooke, Regatta Operations Director, Louis Vitton Cup 2000
From the Louis Vuitton website it appears that the Nationality clauses may
see a drastic revision should Alinghi win the America's Cup. Wonderful!
This is long overdue. There are so many workarounds which have been
employed by crew and designers to comply with the current and past
protocols that to continue the practice simply continues the deception that
the crews and designers are from the same nation in which the challenge was
The current rules serve only to severely inconvenience the families of
foreign crew and designers while doing nothing to prohibit these same
people from selling their talent to any challenge from any nation provided
they do so within the time frame specified in the protocol. Who cares if
Alinghi is crewed by 15 or so from different nations? You cannot take away
from it the fact that it is a challenge emanating from Switzerland. Or,
that OneWorld had numerous different nationals on board but clearly to the
world, and most pointedly to the people of Seattle and the USA, it was an
Eliminating the Nationality restrictions does not mean that the Deed of
Gift is being ignored, any more so than permitting the challengers to fly
their boats instead of sail their boats to the venue does, or conducting
the Match over a six leg windward leeward course, or permitting multiple
challenges. If the foregoing can be tolerated, though in opposition to the
Deed of Gift, then so can the elimination of Nationality restrictions. It's
the reality of the 21st century; live with it.
America's Cup defectors Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth have left no
hard feelings in the hearts of most New Zealanders. An overwhelming
majority in a poll taken this week do not blame them for quitting Team New
Zealand after the last defence and do not feel "betrayed". While giving
strong support for their freedom to switch to the Swiss Alinghi challenge,
however, most people still believe Team New Zealand will retain the Auld Mug.
The Weekend Herald-Digipoll survey has found that more than three out of
four people believe the pair had every right to take billionaire Ernesto
Bertarelli's offer. Nearly 60 per cent did not believe Coutts and
Butterworth had betrayed their country. Despite those sentiments, the
country remains firmly behind Team New Zealand, with 80 per cent of those
polled confident of a successful cup defence, including 30 per cent who are
* The poll of 800 people, conducted from January 23-28, is the first
major survey of New Zealanders' opinions on the defections.
* About 80 per cent agreed that as professionals they had a right to sell
their services to the highest bidder, and 60 per cent thought that they had
made their contribution to the country and deserved to leave and earn more
money. However, most people scotched Bertarelli's call for the cup to
become less parochial and for the nationality rules to be relaxed. About
half of those surveyed disagreed with his belief that future events should
be less a competition between nations and more a match-up between elite
teams. - Eugene Bingham, NZ Herald, full story:
TNZ TRUSTEES UPSET
* Richard Green, one of the TNZ's former directors, called Coutts's
statements ('Butt 1252) "factually incorrect, self-serving and grossly
misleading." "It does a terrible disservice to the vision and principles on
which Sir Peter Blake built Team New Zealand," Green said, adding that he
and the team's former directors planned to issue a more detailed rebuttal
next week. - Warren St. John, NY Times,
* Team New Zealand's past trustees have vowed to put "the record straight"
over claims they deliberately obstructed attempts by Russell Coutts and
Brad Butterworth to take over the America's Cup team. Former Team New
Zealand trust chairman Richard Green is expected to make a detailed
statement tomorrow, rejecting Coutts' allegations. - Helen Tunnah, NZ
MACRAE AND EVANS WIN SNIPE COMODORO RASCO
John MacRae from Boston and Barb Evans from Annapolis, won a very
competitive two-day Snipe regatta in Coconut Grove this weekend. For a
complete report and photos, go to: http://snipeus.org. Snipes have great
racing and great parties planned throughout the winter in Florida and
Southern California, without the risk of frostbite: Alamitos Bay Feb 15-16
and Mar 8-9; San Diego Women's Mar 1-2; and the Florida-Bahamas Winter
Circuit including the PanAm Trials Mar 21-Apr 5. So, shovel the snow out of
your driveway, and come down and join us.
ROLEX MIAMI OCR
Warm sunshine and fresh breezes on Biscayne Bay made for a quick and
delightful last day of the Rolex Miami OCR, where 526 athletes representing
34 countries have been competing in 11 Olympic and Paralympic classes since
Wednesday. Over half of the 328 boats sailing were foreign entries. The
regatta is the only ISAF Grade One ranking event in the U.S.
Perhaps today's biggest international upset was had by Mark Mendelblatt
(St. Petersburg, Fla.) who snatched the Laser title from yesterday's leader
and defending champion Paul Goodison (GBR). Going into today, Mendelblatt
was only two points behind Goodison. Mendelblatt finished 6-1 to Goodison's
14-2 in today's racing -- his sixth posted after a remarkable comeback from
a crippling wind shift that put him 30th at the first mark.
Another amazing performance was seen in the 470 Men's class by Paul
Foerster (Rockwall, Texas) and Kevin Burnham (Miami Beach, Fla.). Foerster
and Burnham, both Olympic medallists, won both races today to knock off
Steve Hunt (Hampton, Va.) and Michael Miller (Charleston, S.C.), who had
been leading since day one. Their final margin was one point to win, with
Hunt/Miller settling for second.
Bermuda Star sailor Peter Bromby and Lee White from turned in finish
positions of 2-11 to pull ahead of Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Eric
Oetgen (Savannah, Ga.). This makes the second time Bromby's team has stood
atop the podium at this event. (Bromby won in 1995 and was second in '02).
In the Yngling class, Sally Barkow/Carrie Howe/Debbie Capozzi (Nashotah,
Wisc.) finished 9-3 to take a surprise overall victory in their first
appearance at this event. The team was not considered contenders,
especially after a premature start early in the series added 25 points to
their score. - Media Pro Int'l
Star (68 boats): 1. Peter Bromby/Lee White, Sandys, BER, 80; 2. Andy
Lovell/Eric Oetgen, New Orleans, La. 100; 3. Bill Hardesty/Will Stout, San
Diego, Calif., 108; Europe (25 boats): 1. Lenka Smidova, CZE, 13; 2. Meg
Gaillard, Jamestown, R.I, 16 ; 3. Georgia Chimona, GRE, 36; Finn (32
boats): 1. Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN, 28; 2. Chris Cook, Whitby, CAN,
31; 3. Richard Clarke, CAN, 44; 470 Men Mixed (12 boats): 1. Paul
Foerster/Kevin Burnham, Rockwall, Texas, 24; 2. Steve Hunt/Michael Miller,
Hampton, Va., 25; 3. Mark Ivey/Howard Cromwell, Huntington Beach, Calif.
33; 470 Women (9 boats): 1. Katie McDowell/Isabelle Kinsolving, Barrington,
R.I., 41; 2. Erin Maxwell/Jen Morgan, Stonington, Conn., 55; 3. Amanda
Clark/Sarah Mergenthaler, Shelter Island, N.Y, 86; 49er (17 boats): 1. Tim
Wadlow/Peter Spaulding, Branford, Conn. 19; 2. Andy Mack/Adam Lowry, White
Salmon, Wash., 23; 3. Dave Fagen/Bora Gulari, St. Petersburg,Fla., 29;
Laser (49 boats): 1. Mark Mendelblatt, St. Petersburg, Fla., 48; 2. Paul
Goodison, GBR, 55; 3. Andrew Campbell, San Diego, Calif., 59; Mistral Men
(22 boards): 1. Nikos Kaklimanakis, GRE, 13; 2. Kevin Stittle, CAN, 24; 3.
David Mier y Teran, MEX, 26; Mistral Women (11 boards): 1. Anja Kaeser,
SUI, 54.5; 2. Dominique Vallee, Trois-Rivieres, CAN, 71.4; 3. Swaine
Gregoire, Montreal, CAN, 101; Tornado (28 boats): 1. Roman Hagara/
Hans-Peter Steinacher, AUT, 35; 2. Santiago Lange/ Carlos Espinola, ARG,
37; 3. Xavier Revil/ Laurent Guillemette, FRA, 48; Yngling (24 boats): 1.
Sally Barkow/ Carrie Howe/ Debbie Capozzi, Nashotah, Wisc., 50; 2. K.
Giakoumidou/ H. Dimitrakopoulou/E. Mantzaaki, Glyfada, GRE, 57; 3. Carol
Cronin/ Liz Filter/ Bridget Hallawell, Jamestown, R.I., 60; 2.4 Metre (20
boats): 1. Heiko Kroeger, GER, 14; 2. Hans Meyer, Pewaukee, Wis., 9; 3.
Stellan Berlin, SWE,; 29; Sonar (7 boats): 1. John Ross-Duggan/ JP
Creignou/ Mikey Ross, Newport Beach, Calif. 14; 2. Rick Doerr/ Richard
Hughes/ Tim Angle, Clifton, N.J 22; 3. Ken Kelly/ Peter Steel/ Kirk
Westergaard, Victoria, CAN, 27. - www.ussailing.org/Olympics/RolexMiamiOCR/
Alinghi and Team New Zealand have agreed to a system of sharing space to
enable both crews to practice without interference out on the Hauraki Gulf.
The agreement was worked out with the Auckland Maritime Police unit
following a series of confrontations on the water between the two syndicates.
Last week, tensions rose when Alinghi received an instant fine of $10,000
after one of its chase boats entered the Team New Zealand practice area in
violation of the agreement. Since then, however, there have been no further
incidents, according to Senior Sergeant Martin Paget, head of the police
unit. "Everybody has been really good. Both sides now have a very clear
understanding of everybody's needs. We have had no problems at all and we
do appreciate the level of co-operation we are receiving."
According to the agreement, Team New Zealand and Alinghi have first choice
of their practice area on a rotating basis. Team New Zealand has first
choice on even dates and Alinghi on odd dates. Course area details selected
have to be passed by e-mail to the AucklandHarbour, the New Zealand Police
and the syndicates by 9am every day. - Ivor Wilkins, LVC website, full
JULES VERNE TROPHY
* KINGFISHER2 has clocked up their best 24 hour run so far - 535 nautical
miles - averaging boat speed 22.3 knots. Ellen and her crew made some good
gains over the last 24 hours to make up some time and position them only 4
hours 55 minutes behind the record (although 10 hours 15 minutes behind the
track of Geronimo).
Difficult 48 hours ahead for Kingfisher2 as Andrew Preece explains:
"Tactics wise we are at a tricky stage. We carried the wind jetting south
at high speed until early morning but we have run into an area of squalls
which suck the air off the water and spit it out unpredictably - either you
get nothing or 35 knots. - http://www.teamkingfisher.com
* GERONIMO: In the last 24 hours, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric
trimaran has covered 463 nautical miles at an average speed of very nearly
20 knots. Geronimo entered the Howling Fifties this morning. "The seas in
this part of the Southern Ocean are fearsome and any hope of rescue is just
a fantasy. This is a place of total isolation: an immense desert of savage
waves of biblical proportions", says Olivier de Kersauson.
FOR THE RECORD
American skipper Steve Fossett's 125' (38m) maxi-catamaran PlayStation is
getting ready for an attempt on the 'Christopher Columbus Route' - the East
- West TransAtlantic Record, also known as the 'Route of Discovery' and the
'Trade Winds Route.' Their target for the Cadiz - Canaries - Bahamas course
- is not the legendary Admiral's 10 week voyage of 1492, but a rather more
recent record - the current mark of 10d 14h 53m 44s set in June 2000 by the
110' maxi-cat Club Med, co-skippered by Grant Dalton (NZ) and Bruno Peyron
(FRA). As always on a record attempt, Steve and his international crew of
12-14 will be looking for a powerful weather system to launch them towards
the Canaries and onwards across the Atlantic. - www.fossettchallenge.com
TEAM RACING WORLDS
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The teams who finished one-two in the last world
championship in 2001 once again topped the leaderboard on day one of round
robin racing. At the end of a perfect day's sailing in 5-10 knot winds, the
United States 2 team was undefeated after nine races, while defending
champions New Zealand 1, from the Kerikeri Yacht Club, suffered just one
hiccup in an otherwise faultless day. US Team Captain Tim Fallon said his
New England team, who joined forces as college students six years ago, had
stuck together with the aim of knocking the New Zealanders off their perch.
Day One Leaders (16 teams) : United States 2: 9 wins, 0 losses; New Zealand
1: 6 wins, 1 loss; Ireland 1: 7 wins, 2 losses; Czech Republic: 7 wins, 2
losses; United States 1: 7 wins, 2 losses; Netherlands: 6 wins, 3 losses;
Great Britain 1: 5 wins, 3 losses. - www.nzteamracing.com
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WANNA BET ON THE AMERICA'S CUP?
The Alice Springs New Zealand-based Centrebet has TNZ paying $1.55 to win
for a $1 bet, while Alinghi is at $2.30. A TNZ clean sweep will pay $3.85
while Alinghi is at $7.50 to win the series 5-0. The agency is also
accepting bets on each race with the Kiwis at $1.65 to win the series
opener and Alinghi paying $2.30. Punters can also gamble on who wins the
starts, which boat is the fastest on each leg as well as the winning margin.
William Hill also has TNZ as solid favourite though the British bookmaker
rates Alinghi closer to TNZ than the Centrebet odds. From a story by Andrew
Sandres in the Sunday Star Times, full story:
* From the end of June through to the beginning of July, the V.O. 60s,
will compete in the Volvo Baltic Race - a new event is organised by Viamare
and KSSS (Royal Swedish Yacht Club) in co-operation with Volvo and SEB.
This regatta coupled with the Accenture Gotland Runt as well as other
European inshore races will give the public a chance to see the boats up
close as it provides the V.O. 60s with opportunities to compete even during
the years between the Volvo Ocean Races.
* There's a new "Marine On-Line Auction" site called SailBay that provides
a variety of equipment categories: http://www.sailbay.ca
* GOOD READING: Warren St. John's New York Times story: "Pursuit of the
America's Cup Can Be Fulfilling, and a Curse," points out that if history
is any guide, sometime during or not long after the AC regatta, some
terrible misfortune will befall at least some of the major players, in the
form of lost fortunes, prison terms, even untimely deaths. -
* The Australian 18 Footer League has released the current world rankings
for the 18 Foot skiff class. The current number 1 position is held by Rob
Greenhalgh (GBR) after a second place in the recent JJ Giltinan
International Trophy, with Tony Hannan (AUS) in second and John Winning
(AUS) in third. Howie Hamlin (USA) is in fourth position after winning the
JJ Giltinan International Trophy in January. The complete list is posted
* Where are they now? What has happened to all of those boats that competed
as either the challenger or the defender in a previous America's Cup?
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 David Weatherston: After reading all the reports about the
gazillions of dollars spent on trimming weight and windage aloft in the AC
boats, it's a hoot to read that one of the great tactical weapons was
sending a man aloft to read the wind on the water. Titanium blocks and
expense-be-damned composites suddenly are joined by a 200-lb. blob of
humanity! However, I'm sure it all makes some sort of sense, as it seems to
have been a key to winning several important races.
There is, though, a darker side for which future crew might care be
watchful. Lay the drive to lighten and trim alongside the undisputed
advantages of a man aloft and how long will it be before the technicians
turn their attentions to the weight and windage of the man? A titanium
cranium and a carbon fibre hip replacement, anyone?
* From Todd Fisher: I applaud and greatly respect Brad Butterworth and
Russell Coutts for there incredible display of self control and great
respect for others in keeping their word to not talk about the reasons
behind their leaving TNZ - and to the naysayers who were so very critical
of them, I say 'Learn from these two honorable men.' Life is full of
decision points, confrontations, and opportunities. These two fellows have
shown us all how to handle these difficult times with honor and pride. A
tip of my sailor's cap to them both!
* From Christian Fevrier (edited to our 25-word limit): Thomas W.
Lawson's book is certainly a jewel. However, the book is responsible for a
huge error copied during one century by other leading historians. The nice
map of the race track around the Isle of Wight indicates a wrong position
of the Nab Lights Vessel. From this map, historians have often deducted
that the America, in not rounding the mark had made a gain varying from 1.5
to 3 miles according the authors. Lawson used the position of the Lights
Vessel in 1887, when she was moved by to miles in the NE from her 1851
position! In placing the vessel at 3.56 miles from Foreland Point, Lawson
encouraged the erroneously conclusions.
America was obliged to sail not too close of the Bembridge shoals on her
right and indicated by a black and white buoy, moored at 0,8 miles from the
Foreland Point. So, an eagle view could see that the narrow channel between
the Nab Lights vessel and the Bembridge buoy did not exceeded a 0.6 miles
beam! We are quite far from the often alleged 3 miles advantage for America.
Sir Peter Johnson was the first to check the 1851 Admiralty charts and
revealed the truth in 1989 in the magazine Yachts & Yachting. Six other
yachts followed the America, including the little cutter Wildfire, a
no-official entry as she was sandbagging, but started with the others. And
Wildfire was the first yacht to cross the finishing line, ahead of America.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.