Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1262 - February 14, 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.

TOMORROW
Team New Zealand yachting boss Tom Schnackenberg is hopeful, but not
certain, his team will have a small boat speed edge over Alinghi in their
America's Cup match starting tomorrow on the Hauraki Gulf. At a pre-contest
press conference today he said it was too early to say whether the
defender's boat NZL-82 would be faster in the best-of-nine series for one
of the most sought-after sporting trophies in the world. "We think we
understand the design game. If we understand it as well as we think we do,
we should have a little edge," he said.

Team NZ's NZL-82 is remarkable for its innovative features, the most talked
about of which has been its hull appendage, or hula. But recently interest
also escalated in the boat's bulb, which is much longer and narrower than
the standard design. The bulb shape had evolved out of the team's testing
programme, Schnackenberg said. "It has appealing features, a lower centre
of gravity and increased stability of the yacht. We had to satisfy
ourselves the drag wasn't significantly greater than with the short bulb,"
he said.

* Race committee chairman Harold Bennett was hopeful that after weeks of
calm weather a breeze might blow through Auckland around the time of
tomorrow's race, scheduled to start at 1.15pm. A breeze from the south of
around 15 to 18 knots, possibly even more, was being forecast, he said.
"Hopefully that will arrive for us."

Bennett, who is also a member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, is
in the hot seat in terms of deciding whether racing should go ahead. He is
under particular scrutiny because many commentators are suggesting lighter
conditions will benefit Alinghi. Bennett today said a good meeting had been
held with both teams earlier this week to discuss the conditions in which
racing will be held.

Unlike the challenger series, the America's Cup has no set upper or lower
wind speed limits. It had been agreed with the teams that racing would not
start in the low wind range if the breeze was inconsistent in speed and
direction, Bennett said. At the other end of the speed range, the decision
on whether to race would be based on safety and fair sailing
considerations. Asked whether it might be a good idea to be more specific
about the conditions needed for racing, he said that after the discussions
with the teams, he was clear in his own mind what conditions would be raced
in. - NZPA, New Zealand Herald website, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

PERSPECTIVE
History says that this match should be a blowout. Since the thrilling 1983
Match, which Challenger Australia II won 4-3 over Defender Liberty,
becoming the first challenger to win the America's Cup in 132 years, the
Match has been very one-sided. The five Matches since then have produced a
combined score of 20-1. - Sean McNeill, America's Cup website, full story:
http://americascup.yahoo.com/story1936.html

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: As you see from the above, the America's Cup website
is now up and running. While the Louis Vuitton Cup website is still
operational, the official AC site will undoubtedly have a bit more
information: http://americascup.yahoo.com/

LOVE THY BOAT?
Do you love it enough to put in the garage over the winter, leaving your
car and other toys outside, cold and envious? Harken Hoisters are the
solution. Engineered by the leading marine hardware manufacturers,
space-saving Harken Hoisters are designed to lift and store everything from
bikes to small boats. All necessary hardware is packaged neatly with
detailed instructions to quickly go from cluttered to clean. This
Valentine's day, show your love for all your toys. Let Harken Hoisters help
bring them in from the cold. Check out the Harken Hoisters at Annapolis
Performance Sailing. http://www.apsltd.com/scuttlebutt.asp

DOWNWIND KITES
Remember those images of huge kites streaming high above the masthead on
Oracle BMW's USA76 on practice days during the Louis Vuitton Cup Series?
Could they become the 'hot ticket' on the race course?

According to KiteShip USA, the kite's designer and builder, "In any racing
class, a sail that exploits steadier airflow at altitude without
disturbances from the vessel's own motion produces smoother power transfer
with a minimum of control input." KiteShip says that they designed and
engineered the OutLeader Brand kite sail to be ISAF and IACC regulation
legal, and their kites performed beyond everyone's expectations. "Under
highly secretive development for a year and a half, this engineering
endeavor has truly paid off," said KiteShip spokesman Dean Jordan.

So why didn't Oracle BMW Racing use it in the LVC series? KiteShip USA
claims, "We perfected this kite application a few weeks too late in the
client's design cycle. There simply wasn't enough time for them to
implement the kite sail for the regatta at the scale they felt necessary to
win."

Look for yourself: www.kiteship.com

JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO: In the 24 hours, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran
covered 521 nautical miles at an average speed of 21.72 knots. Geronimo is
currently at about 55 South, a latitude at which ice charts are not really
required. "The water temperature is still about 9C, so we're not in any
danger at the moment. The risk of icebergs begins when the water gets down
to between 0C and 4C. "At this latitude, we shouldn't meet any floating
ice, skipper Olivier de Kersauson said. "The sea is a bit less harsh at the
moment. You can see glimpses of sky through the clouds and a few stars to
remind us that there is another world out there somewhere." -
http://www.grandsrecords.com

* KINGFISHER2: The prospect of 500+ mile 24 hour runs are back on the
agenda. Averaging over 20+ knots since this morning - top speed in the last
hour 28.7 knots - the crew are racing the giant catamaran south but gaining
east all the time. Weather router, Meeno Schrader said, "Tonight the breeze
will stay pretty strong 25+ knots and there is more wind tomorrow between
37-40 knots gusting 46 knots in the middle of the day. Kingfisher2 will
keep going south where they may hook up with the first low."

Kingfisher2 Day 14 Summary (http://www.teamkingfisher.com):
- 31 hours 26 minutes behind Orange
- 77 hours 34 minutes behind Geronimo
- Day 14 (24 hour run): Kingfisher2- 295 nm, Orange- 378 mn, Geronimo- 404 nm
- Distance to go: Kingfisher2- 20096 nm, Orange- 19593 nm, Geronimo- 18855 nm

BIG
If you thought the bulb on NZL82 was big, wait till you see the monster
Team New Zealand almost chose to sail with in the America's Cup. Team New
Zealand has now revealed the keel bulb on its warm-up yacht NZL81 - and
it's even longer than the one that drew gasps of disbelief as it was
unveiled on raceboat NZL82 at keel reveal day. Although Team New Zealand
won't say exactly how long NZL81's keel is, appendage designer Nick Holroyd
gives a good comparison. "You could say it is 50 percent longer than the
keel bulb on Alinghi," Holroyd says. The elongated bulb has been used on
NZL81 "on and off" for over a year. It even had a stint on NZL82.

* "There's no use being timid about these things. But in the same breath,
you don't just make irrational decisions, because there just isn't enough
money in the budget," Holroyd said. "So we felt we had enough CFD
[computational fluid dynamics] and other data to suggest this was a good
way to go." Of course the acid test is always how the appendage performs in
the water, and Team New Zealand was more than happy with it. In fact, it
was almost chosen for the raceboat. - TNZ website, full story:
http://xtramsn.co.nz/teamnewzealand/0,,7136-2141971,00.html

SWEETHEART OF A DEAL
Sailors teamed with Layline to get ready for this week's St. Pete NOOD
regatta, where the fastest boats have Tacktick instruments aboard. Powered
by solar-charged batteries, Tackticks are waterproof, reliable, easy to
install and easier to use. Buy a Tacktick Master package in February,
including RaceMaster compass (T040) and SpeedMaster speed and depth system
(T049), and Layline's Valentine gift to you is a FREE Dual Mount Mast
Bracket (T043). Get in race mode. Go fast. Get NOOD! Call your [clothed]
buddies (800) 542-5463, or see the full line of Tacktick instruments at
http://www.layline.com

THE MAN IN CHARGE
Race director Harold Bennett has rejected any talk that he might not be
impartial when the America's Cup gets under way tomorrow. Mr Bennett is a
member of the cup holder, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which has
handed Team New Zealand the job of keeping yachting's prized trophy.

Overseas critics have already questioned whether Mr Bennett, as principal
race officer, will start the contest against Alinghi in light airs. It has
been suggested that those winds might not suit Team NZ's innovative new
hull appendage because of drag.

While the cup holders have the traditional right to select the principal
race officer, it is just as traditional for the challengers to accuse the
appointed individual of bias. Mr Bennett was also race director for the
squadron three years ago when Team New Zealand beat Prada 5-0 in the cup,
and was the target of complaints when he refused to start the third
scheduled race in very light, shifty winds.

Both Prada and the challenger series American race director, Vince Cooke,
questioned Mr Bennett's call; Cooke labelled it "atrocious". Mr Bennett
rejected the slur on his integrity then, and said yesterday that it was
vital he remained impartial. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/sportsstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3101161&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup&thesecondsubsection=general

QUOTE / UQUOTE -
* "A lot of people on the outside tell us 'you're going to win, you're
going to win'. I say: We have to win. We don't have a choice. We can't
afford for this thing to leave the country. It's not a question of like
to." - TNZ mainsail trimmer Tony Rae, The Telegraph, full story:
http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;$sessionid$SOAROKYBNS0QXQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/sport/2003/02/14/soyats14.xml&sSheet=/sport/2003/02/14/ixothspt.html

* "I am constantly surprised by how much performance you can gain by
fine-tuning and refining these Cup-class boats. They are very sensitive and
exceptionally complex. In every area there are fractions of a per cent of
extra speed to be developed. "Some of our developments, such as the
flat-topped mainsail profile or the big pushers to support the extra sail
area on the trailing edge of our headsails, have been plain for every one
to see for a while now. There is an argument that says you should try to
keep some of your developments out of sight for as long as possible. But
there's another view that says when you have a great idea, you must be able
to spend time to develop it so that you realise its full potential." -
Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts, The Telegraph, full story:
http://sport.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml;$sessionid$SOAROKYBNS0QXQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/sport/2003/02/14/soyots14.xml&sSheet=/sport/2003/02/14/ixothspt.html

NEWS BRIEFS
* Advising that the wind forecast for a Friday night departure remains
stable, PlayStation plans departure from the dock at Puerto Sherry Marina
late Friday afternoon - with an anticipated crossing of the start line
around midnight. The 125' (38m) maxi-catamaran PlayStation and crew have
been standing by for almost 2 weeks near the Cadiz start- line for an
attempt on the for an attempt on the 'Christopher Columbus Route' - the
East - West TransAtlantic Record. Grant Dalton (NZ) and Bruno Peyron (FRA)
on Club Med currently hold this record - set at 10d 14h 53m 44s in June
2000. www.fossettchallenge.com

* A 10-day training sail for the Global Challenge was put to the real test
when the crew of one of the Challenge Business yachts took part in a rescue
near the Needles, Isle of Wight. Alerted, via Pan Pan and then May Day, to
an incident in the channel, the crew immediately set about retrieving the
man, Martin Taylor, in his mid 40s, who was pulled off a life raft. Taylor
had been part of a two-man crew aboard the yacht 'Lycaena', which is
believed to have hit a submerged object and sunk. The owner of the yacht
Mark McCloed was pulled from the life raft and safely airlifted by the
helicopter.- www.challengebusiness.com

* Even though Monday February 17 is an official US holiday, there WILL be
an issue of Scuttlebutt on Monday.

DECKMAN FOR WINDOWS USA SEMINAR
Saturday March 22nd in San Francisco, CA. Deckman for Windows is one of the
best, if not the best, tactical and routing software program used by the
world's top racing yachts. Come and see how Deckman for Windows can improve
the performance of your boat and navigation. This is an excellent
opportunity to learn the optimum use of the program from the developer
himself, Graeme Winn of Sailmath Ltd, UK. Graeme is coming from the UK just
to teach this one seminar only in the US, so don't miss it!
http://www.protechmarine.com


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 Peter Harken: Gentlemen, you can speculate about the Hula until
the cows come home, but all that milking stops at the 10 minute gun
tomorrow. Bill Cook, the media loves to stir up a frenzy of negativism as
we all know, but if you are here with all us "blokes", it's no less
friendly than rival fans at the Rose Bowl and Super Bowl football
championships. Kiwis and rivals are hoisting and slopping beers with each
other, laughter abounds, the place is electric, it's a hoot, and tomorrow,
"mate, it's full on!"

* From Crystal Trenkle: I have to disagree whole-heartedly with the
individuals who have been complaining about their treatment whilst in New
Zealand. I have traveled half way around the world with my two young
children to support my husband and his team as they participated in the
L.V. cup. We have been away from our home, family and friends for almost 7
months now. Even under the best circumstances it is hard. But the people of
New Zealand have made the entire experience well worth it!

We have been greeted with such warmth and graciousness, and have been
offered limitless help at every juncture. The spirit of the people of New
Zealand and their enthusiasm for this event has been inspiring! Their
passion for our sport is unequivocal. I hate to think that anybody would
want to tarnish the image of these people or of this venue. It has been a
truly wonderful, adventurous experience. If the cup stays here, and we are
asked to do it again, our answer? "Yes Please!"

* From: "Gareth Evans: I agree with Mark Jamieson. I traveled half way
around the world from Britain to see the Quarter Finals of the LV Cup.
Forget the politics - seeing those beautiful boats close up on the water is
a truly awe inspiring experience. There was a real buzz around the Viaduct
Village, and indeed the whole of Auckland. The food and drink was excellent
and cheap, and the restaurants full of locals and foreigners, competitors
and spectators, all having a great time. The only way of improving it, in
my eyes, will be for it to come to Europe - not for the atmosphere, but to
save money on my air fares! Well done NZ and thank you.

* From James R. Teeters: I find it interesting that no one has mentioned
the effect that TNZ's long bulb will have on wave drag. Those high volume
ACC bulbs create their own wave system that interacts with the wave system
generated by the hull. At some speeds the hull and bulb combination can
result in less total wave drag than if there were no bulb at all. At most
speeds there is a large increase.

The effect is very dependent on the fore and aft distribution of bulb
volume. Short bulb or long bulb? Pick the speed at which you want drag
reduction or the speeds at which you want to minimize the increase. (By the
way, an algorithm that represents this has been in the IMS rule for several
years now.)

* From James H Stevralia: The analysis and comments about the design
features of TNZ's NZL 82 are interesting both in the rule interpretation
regarding the hula and the upwind and downwind speed analysis of the long
bulb. What I have not seen are any opinions on how these innovations effect
boat handling and maneuverability. The close pre-start sailing quarters can
give a major advantage to an easily handled vessel that could dictate the
finish, whether through a penalty or a poor start. The boat with the best
ability to slow, accelerate, turn and circle will have an advantage that
could easily offset upwind or downwind, straight-line speed.

* From Bill Lynn: Peter Craig and Ernesto Bertarelli have been nominated
as Seahorse Magazine's Sailor of the Month. While the job Mr. Bertarelli
has done and the program he's put together are very impressive, Peter Craig
deserves the prize. For those of you who've had the good fortune to sail in
Key West Race Week, I'm sure you'll agree that this event has largely
redefined inshore big-boat racing through a laser-like focus on the sailors
and the quality of the racing, and in the process has become one of the
preeminent events on the global racing circuit.

While Peter would be quick to pass on the credit for this to the many
volunteers that help make this event as successful as it is, those folks
are likely to tell you (as Ken Legler did a couple of weeks ago) that it's
Peter that sets the tone and makes it all happen. You can cast your vote
for Peter (or Ernesto) at
http://www.seahorsemagazine.com/sailor_month/sailormonth.php?vo=1

* From Barry Ault: While Andrew Campbell has provided thrills and
inspired pride in San Diego, another name on the list is my choice. I am
sure no one needs a Rolex less or deserves it more than Roy Disney. His
contributions to the sport go far beyond his sailing record. Sponsoring the
US Sailing Youth Champs which Andrew won is only one of countless ways Roy
has helped others enjoy the sport he loves.

* From Gary Bruner: With all of the hype over the AC even without an
American entry, I hope the American sailing community will not overlook
Bruce Schwab, sailing Around Alone on Ocean Planet. Bruce is a relatively
inexperienced skipper, sailing with a limited budget, on a wooden boat
(actually a wood/epoxy composite built by Schooner Creek Boatyard in
Portland, OR). I don't know the man personally, but his current success in
the Around Alone (he's in second place in leg 3) has totally captured my
imagination. Bruce finished last in leg one after a boom failure, then
moved up a bit in the second leg, after being the only Open 60 to take
shelter during storm conditions, but now seems to have things sorted out!
This guy was a real underdog going in, but he's proving to be a giant
slayer. Go, go, Ocean Planet, the only boat in the race flying the Stars
and Stripes.

CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: It appears Gary has overlooked the runaway leader in
Class 2 - Brad Van Liew from California, sailing Tommy Hilfiger Freedom
America, with its red, white and blue paint job, plus its bold stars &
stripes graphics.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.