Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1259 - February 11, 2003

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions,
press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are
always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

UNVEILING
The America's Cup defender and the America's Cup challenger sprang no
surprises as they revealed the undersides of their boats to the public this
morning.

Alinghi design team member Manolo Ruiz de Elvira said only minor changes
had been made to the boat since the victory over Oracle. "We really had to
race the best boat we had to beat Oracle," he said. "There's been some
small improvements since then. We're a little bit faster than we were then,
but the basic concept is the one that was already there in the (challenger
series) finals. Since then "tiny changes" had been made to the hull shape
and sail area, he said.

That means Alinghi will be going into the America's Cup contest without a
radical hull appendage, which is a key part of Team NZ's design for their
race boat NZL-82. Ruiz de Elvira said Alinghi had done some work on the
"hula" concept within time and budget constraints. "Our conclusion from
what we saw in the last two months was that we would stay with the
configuration we have."

Part of his responsibility on the Alinghi team is performance predictions,
and he said that based on the information available to him it was "really
hard to tell which (of the boats) is going to be marginally faster".

Team New Zealand's unveiling followed at 9am and was a much lower key
affair. Hundreds of fans streamed into the defender's compound to see
NZL-82 already revealed, with its hull looking much like it did when first
shown to the public in early January. Team NZ principle designer Mike
Drummond was reluctant to give much away, but agreed with a suggestion
everything was "pretty much" the same as it had been when the boat was
first revealed. "I don't think you'd notice too many differences," he said.
"We have developed the boat a little bit, but just in small ways that I'm
not really going to detail." - NZ Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

THE SYNDICATES SPEAK
"There's not very much difference (from the boat TNZ unveiled before the
LVC finals)," Team New Zealand head Tom Schnackenberg admitted. "We were
pretty happy with NZL-82 as we presented her in January so there's not very
much that's changed. We've done a lot of work verifying, sailing with both
boats and racing intensely, making changes to the appendages and sails as
we go along."

For Alinghi, the bulb, the keel and the rudder are the same, according to
design coordinator Grant Simmer. The obvious changes were a slightly
different bow shape, and dual shroud rigging which should reduce windage
when sailing upwind. "The big gains we've made have been through the dual
rigging and we've been working a lot on the sails," Simmer said. "We know
that the rigging change should give us about half a metre per minute
upwind. On the bow there's a steeper angle which makes the boat a little
shorter and allows us to have a little more sail area."

Simmer says the boat can now carry about two square-metres of sail more
than it did in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final and he expects that will help
his Swiss team in lighter conditions. All in all, Simmer says he expects
they've gained over a metre per second through all the adjustments.

But is that enough to overpower Team New Zealand and the 'hula'? Our
modelling of what they've got doesn't show it to be that good," Simmer
said. "We've heard that their design team thinks it will be nine seconds a
mile faster upwind. That's a huge amount that we don't think they've got.
In some conditions it might be slightly better upwind. It will definitely
be worse in light conditions."

"We think that we're going to be faster upwind, and they're going to be a
little bit faster downwind, and that's where we want to be," Simmer said.
"Then we can take the early lead and control the race. If you ask our
sailors what they want, they want to be fast upwind." - Peter Rusch,
America's Cup website, full story: http://americascup.yahoo.com/story1846.html

JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINES
You still have time to get that special person their favorite shorts. The
Camet Padded Sailing shorts are the ideal gift. New colors and models, all
made of the breathable fast drying Supplex and the Cordura seat patch. The
Shorts and a Breathable Coolmax Shirt, all hidden in the Mylar bag, is the
best surprise. Check them out at http://www.camet.com

THE OLYMPICS
With the opening meeting hosted by the Mayor of Cadiz, who has been
instrumental in the hosting of the ISAF World Sailing Championships, the
first quarter ISAF Executive Committee Meeting, 7-9 February 2003,
addressed a variety of issues on the sport.

Amongst one of the first agenda items discussed was the still undecided
proposal to reduce sports and events for future Olympiads, as put forward
by the IOC appointed Olympic Programme Commission in August 2002.

With the sailing programme threatened with a reduction in events, ISAF has
been lobbying the IOC to secure at the least, if there is a reduction in
the number of medals that ISAF retains its autonomy to select the Olympic
sailing event which will be eliminated, and at the other end to retain the
status quo. A final decision is expected from the IOC Executive Board
during 2003. However, with additional pressure from the other sports who
were targeted by the Olympic Programme Commission's proposals, it is hoped
that whatever the IOC's decision, there will be no change for sailing until
after Beijing 2008. - www.sailing.org

US SAILING OLYMPIC PRE-TRIALS
TORNADO - Miami YC, Final results (22 boats): 1. Robbie Daniel/ Eric
Jacobsen (USA) 14; 2. Xavier Revil/ L Guillemette (FRA) 18; 3. Roman
Hagara/ H-P Steinacher (AUT) 18; 4. Olivier Backes/ Laurent Voiron (FRA)
26; 5. Andrew Landenberger/ Johannes Polgar (GER) 34. Complete results:
http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/2004Trials/TorPTresults.htm

EUROPE - Lauderdale YC, Final results (17 boats): Meg Gaillard (USA) 10; 2.
Lenka Smidova (CZE) 11; 3. Krysia Pohl (USA) 27; 4, Marcia MacDonald (CAN)
34; 5. Christin Feldman (USA) 36. Complete results:
http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/2004Trials/EuroPTresults.htm

JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO: ON Sunday, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran left
behind the troubled and difficult Indian Ocean, for which Olivier de
Kersauson has little time or liking. Suffice it to say that the crew is now
very happy to be making headway in the Pacific. "It's a real relief. We've
had some really disgusting weather conditions and I can see that the awful
systems that stopped us going south are still there now. I'm very happy to
be out of that ocean and into the Pacific."

Early this morning, just before beginning her 30th day at sea, Geronimo
reached longitude 155 East, which is the halfway point of her course.
Their most recent 24 hour run was 458 nm for an average speed of more than
19 knots. Geronimo is currently 1083 miles ahead of the Jules Verne Trophy
record pace of Orange.- http://www.grandsrecords.com

* KINGFISHER2 is stuck with practically no breeze, and sweltering heat -
the water temperature is now at 30 degrees. There is nothing Ellen
MacArthur or the crew can do except take advantage of any breeze or squall
that comes their way. Kingfisher2 may have had to deal with a periods of
very light winds but the fact remains that this area of the ocean is
notorious for its windless zones. "We probably have another 2 days of this
but, hopefully, some pressure will build tomorrow night," said MacArthur.
"We are not pretending its the perfect trip - it's not. But the weather is
completely out of our control and we just have to deal with it."

Kingfisher2 Day 10 Summary (http://www.teamkingfisher.com):
- 10 hours 30 minutes behind Orange
- 41 hours 02 minutes behind Geronimo
- Day 11 (24 hour run): Kingfisher2-355 nm, Orange-435 nm, Geronimo-495 nm
- Distance to go: Kingfisher2-20664 nm, Orange-20496 nm, Geronimo-20007 nm

JULES VERNE COMMENTARY
Ellen MacArthur will be acutely aware that in a decade of Jules Verne
attempts, De Kersauson has turned back from the South Atlantic several
times because he has not made the desired progress. He has also been
stopped in his tracks three times by damage and gear failure.

Kingfisher2 is some 1,100 miles from its waypoint to turn south-east into
the Southern Ocean and the critical decision time whether to press on is
fast approaching. Factored in MacArthur's calculations will be the
diminishing opportunity to return to the Ushant start line to launch a
second attempt. Early March is considered about as late as is comfortable
to leave northern Europe in order to pass through the Southern Ocean before
late summer gives way to early autumn. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, full
story:
http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;$sessionid$DZARLS5BAC2QDQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/sport/2003/02/11/soyats11.xml&sSheet=/sport/2003/02/11/ixothspt.html

MILLENNIUM CUP
Auckland, New Zealand, -Pure racers stole the limelight but performance
cruisers took the trophies on a spectacular opening day of racing in the
New Zealand Millennium Cup Superyacht Regatta 2003 today.In Division 1 for
the biggest boats, Italy's Francesco de Angelis, winner of the Louis
Vuitton Cup aboard Prada three years ago, steered the 105-foot Italian fast
cruising sloop Ulisse to a corrected time victory, ahead of American
developer Harry Maclowe, racing his 112-foot sloop Unfurled. Third was
Louis Vuitton Cup winner Paul Cayard, steering Briton Mike Slade's sleek
97-foot sloop Canon Leopard.

Some of the biggest and fastest competition yachts in the world broke clear
of the pack as the international fleet of 50 superyachts showed their paces
on the Hauraki Gulf. They were closely followed by a clutch of super-sized
performance cruisers in a tightly-packed spinnaker reach that segued into a
Technicolor traffic jam.

On Tuesday, the second race of the series was cancelled after a fruitless
two-hour wait for sufficient wind to signal a start. - Keith Taylor,
http://www.millenniumcup.com

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* February 14-16: Sailing World National Offshore One Design (NOOD)
Regatta, St. Petersburg YC. More than 150 racing boats are expected to
compete in 16 classes on Tampa Bay in Florida. - http://www.sailingworld.com

* June 20-27: Tasar World Championships, Victoria, BC Canada. -
www.tasarworlds2003.org

AROUND ALONE 2003
Almost two days into Leg 4 of the Around Alone and the skippers are
enjoying ideal sailing conditions. The wind is light, and from behind, but
after a long break on land it's always nice to ease back into things. The
big winds will arrive soon enough and before long the boats will careening
on the edge of control as they make their way towards Cape Horn.

STANDINGS 2200 UTC February 9 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, 7126 miles from finish; 2. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 3 miles
behind leader; 3. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 4 mbl; 4. Solidaires, Thierry
Dubois, 6 mbl; 5. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 18 mbl; 6. Pindar, Emma Richards,
32 mbl.

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 7139 miles from finish; 2. BTC
Velocity, Alan Paris, 65 mbl; 3. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 65 mbl; 4.
Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 67 mbl 5. Spirit of Canada, Derek
Hatfield, 77 mbl;,. www.aroundalone.com

GOT UPWASH?
What is upwash? Picture a rock in a river. The water begins bending around
the rock well before it reaches the rock itself, which is what wind does as
it meets your sailplan - upstream, ahead of the sails, the true wind shifts
direction. That's upwash. How much upwash effect is there? More when
beating, less on a reach, minimal on a run, more with fuller sail shapes,
less when flatter, more in light air, less in fresh breeze. Contact Tom
Davis (tom@ockam.com) for a calibration crib sheet or to schedule an
onboard calibration and system checkup.

QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"The boats are very different, and we know one team will have got it right
and one team is going to get it wrong." - Curtis Blewett, Alinghi foredeck.

AS SEEN BY DENNIS CONNER
There is no doubt in the mind of America's Cup legend Dennis Conner just
who will be holding up the Auld Mug at the end of the month. "I'm picking
Team New Zealand. I just like the whole package, with Clay Oliver's design
and Tom Schnackenberg's management. He's smart and he's been around a long
time. "Their boats are fast and since 1967 the fastest boats have won," he
said with his grand grin on full display. - Glenn McLean, The Daily News,
full story:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dailynews/0,2106,2243467a6002,00.html

NEWS BRIEFS
* The Annapolis Yacht Club Foundation (AYCF) has funds available and is
actively seeking requests for grants for coaching, training, or to support
the campaign expenses for national and international competition.
Applicants must be active sailors, coaches, or instructors in the
mid-Chesapeake Bay region. Applications may be downloaded from:
www.annapolisyc.org

* At St. Francis Yacht Club's 2002 Stag Cruise, Gary Bill Ficker, Halsey
Herreshoff, Jory Hinman, Gary Jobson and Olin J. Stephens II presented a
forum on the "History and Future of America's Cup." The transcript of the
first half of the forum is now available:
www.sailingworld.com/sw_article_AC.php?articleID=1622

* Eight weeks prior to the April 1 closing date for entries in the
DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge 2003, 52 yachts have confirmed
their participation in the 3,500 nautical mile offshore race leaving from
Newport, Rhode Island, USA to Cuxhaven and on to Hamburg, Germany in June.
The newest entry to the fleet set to depart Newport on June 14/21 is the
classic 143-foot ketch Sylvia, owned by Jens Ehrhardt of Pullach, Germany.
More than 100 yachts are expected to compete in this race which will
commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt
(HVS), a long-standing sailing club based in Hamburg, Germany. -
http://www.dcnac.de/

* March 7 is the deadline for discounted entry fees for the 42nd
Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii, but a dozen boats are in well under the
wire, listing home ports from San Diego to Seattle and from Long Beach to
Coral Gables, Fla. A Transpac rule requires that 30 per cent of the crew
have attended a Safety at Sea Seminar within the last five years. A seminar
is scheduled March 15 at the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and
Seamanship in Newport Beach. - www.transpacificyc.org


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.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 Kevin Hall: After sailing with the OneWorld syndicate for the past
two and a half years, the opportunity to coach the US Team at the ISAF
World Team Racing Championship was thrilling. We were treated to the
highest level of dinghy boat-handling, umpiring, sailing rule application,
and intense but honorable competition between nations. It was exciting to
hear our national anthem played for the US Team.

After the medals were awarded, Hon. Trevor Mallard, New Zealand Minister of
Sport, introduced Peter Lester, who would share the differences between the
two America's Cup yachts, and hence the likely results of the cup as well:
certainly a unique opportunity for the sailors in attendance.

What followed was not appropriate at this or any other awards ceremony. Mr.
Lester began by juxtaposing the affluence and arrogance of the challengers
with the modesty and modest means of the Kiwis. He then described, as if
there first hand, the "promise" which Russell and Brad had made to remain
"Loyal". He continued by stating that Mr. Schnackenberg is the smartest
sailor in the world, and concluded by suggesting that if these young
sailors at this championship were really dedicated and played their cards
right, that they might, just might, have a chance to sail for the America's
Cup one day.

It took the sailors of ten nations, who gathered to celebrate excellence in
sport and to make new friends, some time to reclaim the vibe which was
stolen from them that evening. It may take me a lifetime to only remember
the good things about having spent the last two years of my life in New
Zealand.

* From Scott S. Barnard: Did I miss any other Farr 40 owners on the
results list from the Finn Olympic Pre-Trials? You have to admire a guy
like Philippe Kahn coming from larger boats to race not only a Melges 24,
but sailing to a 22nd in the Finn Olympic Pre-Trials - finishing every race
and beating a third of the fleet. It is rare that someone works their way
down to smaller boats. It is undoubtedly hard on the ego, but most
assuredly hard to hike through it all in a Finn. Philippe has to compete
against the likes of Mark Mendelblatt, who won in the Laser last week at
the Miami OCR, taking 7th this week in a Finn. Philippe goes from Farr
40's, Mumm 30's and a Transpac sled, to a Melges and also a Finn.

* From Tim Dick: Today's America's Cup has become a wrangling match between
anachronistic boats. How can we bring the Cup closer to its roots and make
it exciting to sailors, spectators and TV alike? A diversity of courses. 3
windward / leeward. Two triangles. One double-counting "day ocean race."
Marks are not moved if wind shifts. Races start if wind is between 7 knots
and 30 knots. A "box rule" of 85 feet LOA x 17 feet beam x 15 feet draft
allows designers to build more exciting, planing boats while eliminating
rule squabbles. ORC Class 1 safety standards and an Open 60 type stability
test: positive buoyancy with mast head hoisted down to the water with all
moveable ballast on the "wrong" side. No limits on appendages, rigs, or
moveable ballast. No stored energy. Allow lifelines & hiking.

Measurement. A team may sail either of a maximum of two measured-legal
boats in any race. Measurements occur only between race series. 20 sails
per race series so teams in repechage series' are not penalized.

Materials: All materials that are freely available on the commercial market
(including sails) are legal. No team may "corner the market" by acquiring
enough of a material so that other competitors may not obtain enough to be
competitive.

Teams may use any environmental or externally observable competitor
performance information at any time, including on the water, so long as the
sources of all non-boat originated information (e.g. weather buoy) are made
freely available to all competitors in real time.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Life not only begins at forty, it also begins to show.