Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1261 - February 13, 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.

AS SEEN BY THE ALINGHI SYNDICATE
(Alinghi's Russell Coutts and Grant Simmer took questions from the media
during an Internet news conference today. Following are a few excerpts from
the coverage of that press conference posted on the website of the NZ Herald.)

Former Team New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts says yachting's America's
Cup would be better off in Europe. Asked what it would mean for the cup if
it moved to Europe, he replied, "well it's a nice thought. I'm sure if it
did go to Europe most sailing people around the world would agree that the
event will be bigger, and I think that in many ways that will be better for
the event," he said. "If we could have 20 syndicates lining up for this
event, as opposed to 10 then I think that would be great for the event."

Alinghi design team co-ordinator Grant Simmer said Alinghi's boat SUI-64
remained in much the same configuration as it had been for the final of the
challenger series. Team NZ's boat NZL-82 was "quite radical", he said.
"We're quite comfortable with where we're at, however we're anxious to see
what happens on Saturday."

He had mixed feelings about the bulb on NZL-82 which he said appeared to be
more than seven metres long. "It's longer than anything we've tested. We
don't think it was the right solution. We saw the same bulb when they
unveiled both their boats (the first time in early January), and we decided
that there was no way we would see that bulb for the cup," Simmer said.

He described Team NZ's hull appendage innovation, known as the hula, which
fits snugly into much of the back half of the underside of the boat, as "an
unfortunate development", which the defenders were using to try to improve
their effective length. It was a product of a cup rule preventing boats
having hollows in their hulls. "The studies we've done don't show it to be
as big an advantage as ... they've promoted it as," Simmer said.

Coutts indicated a protest from Alinghi against the hula was unlikely. "I
think the measurers are going to do a good job ensuring the hula complies,
just like many things we have on our boats," he said. "I can't imagine we
would have enough information to lodge a protest." The measurers were the
only ones who could determine whether the hula was breaking the rules by
touching the hull outside the area along the centre of the boat where it
was attached, Coutts said.

Full story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

MAY I HAVE THE ENVELOPE PLEASE…
US Sailing has announced the short list of nominees for the 2002 Rolex
Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Established in 1961 by US SAILING
and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman of the Year Awards recognize outstanding on-the-water
achievement in the calendar year just concluded. This year, five women and
nine men are in the running for the prestigious awards, which will be
presented at the New York YC clubhouse in Manhattan on March 21.

The nominees for Yachtswomen of the Year are: Liz Baylis: J/22, big boats,
Farr 40. Sally Barkow: Laser Radial, Sonar. Carol Cronin: Yngling, Snipe.
Carolyn Brown Krebs: Snipe. Paige Railey: Byte, Laser Radial.

The nominees for Yachtsman of the Year are: Augie Diaz: Snipe. Roy Disney:
Big boats, Transpac. Bill Draheim: Flying Scot, Thistle, J/22. Andrew
Campbell: Laser. Howie Hamlin and Mike Martin: 18-foot Skiff, 505. John
Kostecki: Farr 40, Volvo 60. Chris Larson, Volvo 60, Farr 40, Tartan 10,
big boats. Harry Melges: A Scow, C Scow, E Scow, Melges 24. Steve Phillips:
Farr 40, J/105. - http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=1638

MILLENNIUM CUP SUPERYACHT REGATTA
2003-High performance cruisers took the top prizes in both divisions of the
New Zealand Millennium Cup Superyacht Regatta 2003 which wrapped up four
days of racing today with a 30-mile race from Kawau Island to Auckland.

Reflecting the interest of America's Cup crews in the international
rendezvous, afterguard members from Italy's Prada Syndicate, were at the
helms of both winners. Prada Tactician Torben Grael steered the 112-foot
Brazilian sloop Ipanema to victory in Division I. Prada alternate helmsman
Gavin Brady had the wheel on the Dutch 80-foot sloop Innovision which
topped Division II. - Keith Taylor, event web site at
http://www.millenniumcup.com

BRAD BUTTERWORTH … BREEZE READER … KAENON POLARIZED
Brad Butterworth is a professional breeze reader. His tool for the job is
the Kore, by Kaenon Polarized. The revolutionary and patent-pending SR-91
polarized lens uniquely combines laser sharp optics with lightweight,
shatterproof, and impact resistant features. Our proprietary polarizing
element in purpose-built tints and varying light transmission levels (LTL)
allow Butterworth to read breeze others can't. Advanced technology for the
human element. Oh, and Team New Zealand…you'll see Kaenon Polarized on
board, too! Evolve Optically. Available at TeamOne Newport, Sailing Supply,
West Marine and Alain Mikli NYC, Paris, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Tokyo.
http://www.kaenon.com

FOR THE RECORD
Windjet is a British project to break three separate World Speed Records on
Land, Ice and Water using Wind Power Alone. The project is the culmination
of five years of design and development and during 2003 will challenge the
land, ice and water speed records for wind powered vehicles. The Windjet
ice vehicle is now stationed in Thunder Bay (Ontario), it is simply a case
of waiting for the right wind and ice conditions to begin the assault on
the 143 mph (229 km/h) ice sailing World Record.

In order to cover large amounts of territory very quickly, a light aircraft
was chartered to survey Thunder Bay and the surrounding area, looking for
the best ice. The area chosen for the initial test runs is a continuous ice
sheet around 18 miles (29 km) long by 10 miles (16 km) wide - to give you
some idea of the size of this ice sheet, in land configuration the Windjet
vehicle is capable of breaking a World Speed Record on a strip 2 miles (3.2
km) long by 55 yards (50 m or 0.05 km) wide. - http://www.windjet.co.uk/

TNZ BOAT BUILDER
Auckland boat builder Mick Cookson was "pretty excited" when he saw the
design plans for Team New Zealand's black boats. And he had reason to be.
The innovative hull appendages of Team New Zealand's NZL81 and NZL82 became
the talk of the sailing world when they were unveiled before the challenger
series final.

But while the rest of the yachting fraternity came to grips with the
appendage concept, Cookson had long known what was underneath the black
skirts. "They were very progressive. It made the boats a lot more
complicated and harder to build, but we had to raise the bar," he said. "We
have been working on these sort of things for years, believing in what we
have been doing."

* "We started talking a long time before we got the drawings about what
materials we were going to build with, and we started a materials testing
programme," the boatbuilder of 28 years said. "We got all the materials
from the suppliers that we believed the other syndicates would use and then
tested them. This time we spent a lot of time on the testing process, and I
believe we made a good choice." A key element, Cookson said, was finding
light yet strong materials. "To get to where the game is, it is about
bringing the weight out of them - adding more fibre in and getting them
lighter. With more fibre you get more stiffness and more strength."

Asked his thoughts on Alinghi's race boat SUI64, Cookson said: "It is a
conventional, normal-looking boat. It doesn't look anything special, but to
date it has gone pretty special against the opposition." However, he does
not expect it to have a hull appendage when it is unveiled on Tuesday. "If
they hadn't figured out early on what we had done, and decided early on it
was an advantage, then they quite possibly had not tested it to the degree
they could have or should have. You can't just add it [a hull appendage] to
a boat. You would basically have to cut the boat in half and build a new
back." Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/acstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3100074&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup&thesecondsubsection=teamnz

JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO: At 06:13:56 Wednesday morning, the Cap Gemini and Schneider
Electric trimaran set a new record for the fastest passage to the
Antimeridian (the point where 180° East is the same as 180° West), which
effectively returns them to the previous day. The new record time of 32
days, 3 hours, 13 minutes and 47 seconds puts them 2 days, 6 hours and 7
minutes ahead of the time Bruno Peyron set on Orange last year. Geronimo
has been heading south for the last 72 hours and continues to swallow up
the sea miles, covering 474 on her 32nd day at sea; an average of 19.74
knots.- http://www.grandsrecords.com

* KINGFISHER2: In a conversation with Ellen MacArthur this afternoon, the
tone of voice had lightened considerably: "We have some wind and going
better - not really fast - but I think we'll be out of the high pressure
tonight," said MacArthur. Shore-based weather router Meeno Schrader has
stressed the importance of just keeping Kingfisher2 moving south:
"Everything which makes you reach 30 degrees south as soon as possible is
good," said Schrader from his base in Kiel. There is a real sense on board
that the waiting is over and the 14 crew are preparing themselves for the
onslaught of the Southern Ocean that will be with them in full blown-force
by the weekend.

Kingfisher2 Day 13 Summary (http://www.teamkingfisher.com):
- 18 hours 52 minutes behind Orange
- 64 hours 43 minutes behind Geronimo
- Day 13 (24 hour run): Kingfisher2- 229 nm, Orange- 305 mn, Geronimo- 277 nm
- Distance to go: Kingfisher2- 20293 nm, Orange- 19991 nm, Geronimo- 19258nm

FULLY BOOKED
It will take a deep pocket, a slice of luck or your own boat to watch Team
New Zealand square off with Alinghi live on Saturday for the first
America's Cup race. And it will take a lot of phoning around to get a bed
in Auckland. Needless to say, you can flag away any hope of a restaurant
booking at the Viaduct Harbour.

Auckland is all but booked out to watch Dean Barker take on Russell Coutts,
catch a glimpse of supermodel Cindy Crawford or simply soak up the
anticipation. But late arrivals should persevere. Not every charter seat is
taken and accommodation is still available - mostly outside the central city.

About 100 charter boats will join the spectator fleet on the Hauraki Gulf
on Saturday. Most have been hired by companies but the public have about 30
to choose from, with packages ranging from $175 to $1685 a person. Liz
Smith, whose Luxury Charters of New Zealand has 10 boats for the cup, said
they were booked out for the first five races at daily prices from $5000 to
$12,000 a boat. The Base Club is still offering all-day deluxe packages for
the first four days at $1685 a person. - Bernard Orsman, NZ Herald, full
story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=&storyID=3100884&reportID=4

AROUND ALONE 2003
* Derek Hatfield has left Napier - after only 14 hours in port Canadian
sailor Derek Hatfield has sorted his boat and rejoined Leg 4. Hatfield was
forced to return to land after the new batteries he installed in Tauranga
apparently caused a major electrical failure on his boat, Spirit of Canada.
- www.aroundalone.com

* Emma Richards is one lucky girl. Last week her sponsor Andrew Pindar,
boss of the Scarborough-based print and multimedia company of his name,
rocked into Tauranga and after a meeting agreed to extend Richards'
sponsorship for another three years. "We've never had a written agreement,"
says Richards. "Our sponsorship has always been on a handshake. It's great
to have that kind of trust." The deal is very informal and is not a case of
the present deal coming to an end and being renewed. "It's more looking at
the three years going on from here," she says. - The Daily Sail website,
http://thedailysail.com/

STANDINGS 2200 UTC February 12 ­ CLASS 1: 1. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois
6676 miles from finish; 2. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 14 miles behind
leader; 3. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 15 mbl; 4. Hexagon, Graham
Dalton, 37 mbl.5. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 54 mbl 6. Pindar, Emma
Richards, 61 mbl

CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 6738 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 123 mbl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 151 mbl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 195 mbl; 5. Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, 624 mbl.

WEAPONS FOR THE MIDWINTER SAILING WARS!
Padded Sailing Shorts or Padded optional Long Pants with optional knee
pads, Kontrol- aggressive gripped palms with palm wraps, Waterproof Gloves
and Socks, High Collar Sunblocker Sailing Shirts, Floatable waterproof
Gearbags, and Knee Sleeves are some of the gear Sailing Angles has to help
you win these wind battles. Check out their new Shoreline Shorts
(Quik-dry), great and inexpensive team gear at $39.95 for 3+. Team
discounts available: minimum of 3 units. Embroidery available. Some gear
available at APS, Layline, and Sailnet, or call them direct at (800)
666-3616 or go on-line: http://www.sailingangles.com.

NEWS BRIEFS
* The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, organizers of the Steinlager Line
7 Cup, have cancelled the 2003 edition of the regatta, which was to have
been the fifth event on Swedish Match Tour 2002/2003, due to lack of
sponsorship support. As a result, the Congressional Cup in Long Beach,
California, USA, April 6 - 12, will be the next event on Swedish Match Tour
2002/2003. With the recent addition of the Toscana Elba Cup, Swedish Match
Tour 2002/2003 will remain at nine total events with a skipper's best seven
finishes counting towards the overall Swedish Match Tour prize purse of
US$200,000.

* On Monday, February 17, at 8 PM Eastern Time (7 PM Central) the Weather
Channel will re-air the program "Storm Stories" which has an episode from
2002 Chicago-Mackinac race. It features trimaran Caliente and the perils of
her crew during capsize in heavy winds and high seas


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 Lyn Holland, Auckland, NZ: Several years ago, if I recall right, a
certain well-known American interpreted the AC rules in such a way that he
was able to compete in a multi-hull. Maybe the Kiwi's have tried it on this
time, but remembe, it's all been done before.

* From Mark Jamieson, New Zealand: I am at a loss to understand William F
Cook's comment about the "truly unfriendly atmosphere with which
competitors in America's Cup 2003 were greeted in Auckland" As far as I can
tell the parties were fantastic, even though we couldn't wangle an
invitation. We love having the world's best sailors here. They have become
an integral part of the city. Our children go to school with their
children. Their Dads have to front up on school watersports days. Lots of
us work with the teams. We love having the superyachts and their owners
sailing around the gulf, even if we can't always wangle a crew position.

Talk to anyone here and you will find a very informed opinion on the merits
of the racing, the performance of the teams and the relative merits of bulb
size. Us ordinary sailors can indeed only aspire to race in the pinnacle of
the sport. The whole country will be glued to their TV sets on Saturday to
watch a yacht race, for goodness sake. William, William, I don't know where
in the planet you are, but I don't think you are actually here. If you are
here, we'll have a quick stroll round the Viaduct to soak up the atmosphere
then bring you home for a nice home cooked dinner to try and cheer you up.
And Craig McCaw and Paul Allen are most welcome too if it will help them
feel better. We would love to have them back.

* From: Pete Lorimer: Grant Simmer from Alinghi said he expects they've
gained over a metre per second through all the adjustments. A meter per
second?!? That's practically 2 knots! What magic have they performed that
makes such giant strides in a sport where a tenth of a knot is big news?
Sounds more like the testing team needs to replace the batteries in their
calculators.

* From Ray Tostado: Having spent sufficient time in practical real time
study of the controversial device called "fyre wire technology" as applied
to a sailing vessel's underbody, I will propose that the only purpose of
this appendage is to apply an otherwise illegal "bump" to the TNZ vessel.
This thin symmetrical form cannot be measured, as would a deliberate
shaping of the underbody; it is created by water itself by the motion of
the vessel's velocity, thus is invisible to measurement until a predicted
velocity is attained.. This slim opening at the leading edge of the "hula"
becomes stagnant, due to the insufficient opening and passage area. As this
occurs a water formed shape attaches and creates turbulence, which results
in a "phantom form phenomena." (a water line extension occurs)

This event is predictable at a certain velocity but is not an advantage
throughout the entire speed range. I predict that the optimum design
velocity the gain will be specific at a 4% advantage. The same results
could be achieved if a .375/.750 inch half round cordage were cemented onto
the hull at the exact shape of the hula opening. The position and diameter
of the "turbulator" will determine at what speed the benefit is gained.

The theory of this "fyre wire technology" has been proven through alpine
ski racing; Olympic speed skating; Lear corporation R&D, and NASA reentry
R&D. It is fact, not speculation.

* From Jonathan Ferrier (edited to our 250-word limit): It's all a little
too quiet for my liking. From the start of the first race we will be
holding our breath not only on who has the boat speed advantage but also
when will Alinghi fly the protest flag that indicates an off the water
protest. This will not fly unless Alinghi feel they are clearly being
compromised by TNZ and its innovation. Let the media frenzy begin.

When viewing http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/2003-02-12/, what
will be very interesting is whether TNZ are able to change the 'hula'
appendage from here on in. As I understand it the hula does not affect the
Measurement Certificate which has to remain the same throughout the racing.
If you look closely on the second photo you can see the trailing edge of
the hula within the centerline attachment zone has been freshly bogged
over. Oliver flippantly responded that they ran out of time when asked why
they had not changed the shape of the Hula to something larger increasing
the effective waterline length.

So maybe look for a change in the Hula shape to something quite
spectacular. The hula is likely to change shape depending on the predicted
wind strength for the day. Light airs - small or no hula, reducing drag.
Medium airs - larger bustle hula - dealing with turbulence, less drag etc
and in heavy airs a hula which makes the hull very long and sea kindly for
heavier wave conditions where weight and drag are not such an issue.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Doing a job right the first time gets the job done. Doing the job wrong
fourteen times gives you job security.