SCUTTLEBUTT 1264 - February 18, 2003
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31st AMERICA'S CUP
Alinghi is in charge of the 31st America's Cup Match after winning the
third race in the best of nine series on Tuesday. The Swiss Challenger now
holds a 3 - 0 lead over the Defender, Team New Zealand. Race Three started
in a 10-12 knot Northwesterly. The wind shifted back and forth across
45-degrees throughout the race, and at times hit 17-knots late in the piece.
Alinghi skipper Russell Coutts changed his mind midway through the
pre-start, opting to take the right hand side of the course on the start
line and nearly immediately realised a huge gain as the wind shifted
dramatically in his favour. The lead Coutts built in the first five minutes
of the race would carry him the rest of the way around the course.
Team New Zealand worked hard to minimise the damage on that first leg and
slowly chipped away at the Alinghi lead over the next four legs. But Kiwi
skipper Dean Barker ran out of time as Alinghi protected its lead
ferociously, especially on the final run to the finish, when Barker was
given few options to attack.
Russell Coutts equalled Harold 'Mike' Vanderbilt with his 12th win in the
America's Cup. Only Cup legend Dennis Conner, with 13, has more.
Team New Zealand must now win five races before Alinghi wins just two more
if it is to successfully defend the America's Cup. Race Four is scheduled
to start at 13:15 on Thursday in Auckland - Wednesday in the US.
Alinghi (SUI-64) beat Team New Zealand (NZL-82) - Delta: 0:23; Alinghi
leads Team New Zealand in the best-of-nine series, 3 - 0. - America's Cup
* The two-hour long race was won during the first 15 minutes of leg one.
Once again the spookily precise intuition of Alinghi tactician Brad
Butterworth to pick the first wind shift shone through. Initially both
teams were calling for the left, but a late call from Butterworth, that he
was happy with the right, saw the Swiss-based crew cash in on the first
wind shift off the line. Alinghi to extend as the breeze shifted right up
the first beat, rounding mark one 28 seconds ahead. - Fiona McIlroy,
nzoom.com, full story:
* After all the high-tech innovations on America's Cup yachts, it is easy
to forget that sailing is a game about mastering the wind. A shift of just
5 or 6 degrees will do more to affect a boat race than the most far-out
design gadgets. - Warren St. John, NY Times,
* They have won in heavy winds, won in light winds and won again today in
moderate winds. Is the America's Cup headed to landlocked Switzerland? It
looks that way. - Angus Phillips, The Washington Post,
* "I don't think anybody expected this. To be honest, before the racing
started I didn't know what to expect, it was so hard to predict." - Prada
tactician Torben Grael, Cup Views website: http://cupviews.com/
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CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* March 29: Suddenly Alone Seminar (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM), Bonnell Cove
Foundation, Riverside YC, Riverside, CT. Intended to allay the fears that
many spouses experience at the prospect of having to assume full control of
a boat in the event that the captain becomes incapacitated. - Kaighn Smith,
MD, @ KaighnS@aol.com
Ernesto Bertarelli, owner of the Swiss Alinghi sailing team, is considering
defending it from the small Portuguese Atlantic port of Cascais, near
Lisbon. The biotechnology multi-billionaire has stated that if he wins the
best-of-nine regatta, he will nominate a defense in Europe.
* Since Switzerland is landlocked, Bertarelli has named Italy, Spain,
Palma de Majorca, Portugal and the French Riviera as possible sites.
Neutrality runs high on the Swiss political agenda and of those places,
only Portugal could guarantee not to mount a challenge for an America's Cup
held by the Swiss. The Italians and the French are perennial challengers.
Patrick Monteiro de Barros is commodore of the Cascais Yacht Club, the
Clube Naval de Cascais, near Lisbon. Yesterday he told The Australian that
he and Bertarelli had discussed Cascais for a Swiss America's Cup defence
more than two years ago. Cascais, with reliable northwesterly trade winds
from April to September, has hosted scores of world and European sailing
championships over the past 60 years.
With the soccer World Cup to be held in Germany in 2006, a cup defence is
likely in the European summer of 2007. ``I am ready,'' de Barros said. ``I
have the power of attorney from my club. ``I have the backing of the
Portuguese Government. It will do whatever is necessary.'' - Excerpts from
a story by Bruce Montgomery, The Australian, www.theaustralian.news.com.au/
AROUND ALONE 2003
STANDINGS: 2200 UTC February 16 CLASS 1: 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux,
Bernard Stamm, 4946 miles from finish 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois 75
miles behind leader; 3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 167 mbl; 4. Hexagon,
Graham Dalton, 171 mbl; 5. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 294 mbl 6. Pindar,
Emma Richards, 315 mbl.
CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 5407 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 347 mbl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 448 mbl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 614 mbl; 5. Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, 1066 mbl. - www.aroundalone.com
If you'd like to learn more about long keels, the hula, knuckle bows and
predicting weather on the Hauraki Gulf, you simply must read John
Browning's interesting piece posted on the Sail Texas website. His analysis
is well-illustrated with photographs, drawings and illustrations to help
you understand the tradeoffs made of each of the design teams. It's an
in-depth study, but I think you'll find it's an easy and interesting read:
JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO: Olivier de Kersauson and his 10-man crew on the Cap Gemini and
Schneider Electric trimaran are currently being driven by a 35-knot wind.
"We're very close on the wind with Geronimo running under her staysail and
a single reef in the main. We're on constant look-out. Within the next
twenty hours or so, the wind is forecast to be at right angles to us. It's
impossible at the moment to predict what kind of sea that will create, or
how we will deal with it. Beam winds and very high seas are not necessarily
a very comfortable or safe combination. On the other hand, at this
latitude, if we do have to go south through the storm, there's less risk of
meeting any ice. The Pacific has been really hard and deceptive. Sadly, I
don't think we've seen the last of it yet. There are some hard hours ahead.
We'll be happy to reach the Horn soon." - http://www.grandsrecords.com
* KINGFISHER2: Having been forced north Kingfisher2 put in some good miles
again by keeping just ahead of a cold frontal system today, but will need
to gybe south to avoid a convergence zone ahead caused by a high pressure
system forming in the mid Indian Ocean on Wednesday.
Kingfisher2 Day 18 Summary (http://www.teamkingfisher.com):
- 9 hours 39 minutes behind Orange
- 64 hours 51 minutes behind Geronimo
- Day 18 (24 hour run): Kingfisher2- 547 nm, Orange- 530 mn, Geronimo- 366 nm
- Distance to go: Kingfisher2- 18089 nm, Orange- 17934 nm, Geronimo- 17051 nm
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* The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2001-2004, Appendices Section II have
been amended to reflect the changes made to the ISAF Regulations in
November 2002. The changes affect the ISAF Advertising Code, ISAF
Eligibility Code and ISAF Anti-Doping Code. All changes have been
previously published in the 2003 ISAF Regulations which are available on
the ISAF website at www.sailing.org/regulations
* Nautor's Swan has teamed with Bvlgari, to add a purely cruising event
to their already packed calendar for Swan owners. The Bvlgari Swan
Caribbean Rendezvous will take place in the British Virgin Islands between
9 - 13 April 2003. The Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, will be at
the heart of the Caribbean Rendezvous. Over four days with the emphasis on
relaxed day cruises to the islands and fun social events at a variety of
BVI locations including Bitter End, Norman Island and Cooper Island.
* The 2003 Supplement for the Call Book for Match Racing 2001-2004 has
been has been published and is available online at:
* New England Boatworks, builder of high-end composite race boats such as
the maxi "Sagamore," Dennis Conners' three "Stars & Stripes" Cup boats has
launched something else - a newly redesigned website in which they reveal
(almost) all their secrets. To get the skinny on what goes into their
high-tech sailing machines, check out the profiled boats from the drop-down
list on the NEB Sail Portfolio page: http://www.neboatworks.com/sail.htm
* About 150 guests attended a ceremony and dinner in the Auckland War
Memorial Museum to celebrate photographer Stanley Rosenfeld, sailor Malin
Burnham and Sir Michael Fay becoming members of the Herreshoff Marine
Museum Hall of Fame. www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
* ISAF now has an area for cruising on their website. Areas covered
include developments on the reduction of piracy attacks, improving the
widespread use and performance standards of radar reflectors, the
environmental impact of anti-fouling and many other less conspicuous
aspects such as the movement and control of ballast water to limit
migration of foreign bodies into localized water, and PSSA (Particularly
Sensitive Sea Areas). - www.sailing.org/cruising
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 Lloyd Klee:To say that Kiwi's are gutted is an understatement.
Down 3 nil was just unthinkable a week ago.To think that it was actually
Coutts that approached Bertarelli selling intellectual property along with
the "black magic" crew for a package of some US$12 million or so to take
away a cup that is worth US$300 Million to the NZ economy is also hard to
stomach. I along with the vast magority of New Zealanders wish TNZ a
miracle now to win the next five races on the trot and I will be on the
water on Thursday to help make it happen. I now know what a fish feels like.
* From John McBrearty: With all due respect to Wes Oliver, and without
any intention of casting aspersions on the NZ Race Committee or Mr. Oliver,
there have been many problems with officiating in several high profile
sporting events. Remember the last Olympic's figure skating debacle? During
the Cold War era there were also many decisions made by sporting judges
which could only be ascribed to nationalism or political partisanship, or,
perhaps, that was how those Judges really believed they saw.
Consequently, the only way to assure that Race Committee work is
unquestioned as to bias, regardless of the personal integrity of the
officials, is to avoid any "appearance of impropriety". Which means that
any event should be officiated only by officials who have no perceived
interest, whatsoever, in the outcome. The fact that America's Cup brings
with it a tremendous sense of national pride to the winner, not to mention
the obvious financial benefits of being a host nation, demands that race
management be done by officials who are neutral.
* From John Rousmaniere: The to-do about race committees possibly
jimmying the results of America's Cup matches includes an historical
precedent that is not apt. It's been hinted that the NYYC race committee
rigged the 1920 match by abandoning the start of the fifth race in fresh
air. Why? Because a good breeze favored the challenger, Shamrock IV, and
harmed the chances of the NYYC defender, Resolute, which was very tender.
Shamrock and the defender, Resolute, were tied 2-2 in one of the two rubber
match series in cup history (the other was 1983). Come another day, there
was light air and Resolute won, keeping the cup in the US.
But it's clear from contemporary sources that the race committee did NOT
abandon the race on their own authority. As the mark boat was struggling to
get upwind in a big sea and a breeze gusting into the 30s, the committee
(by flag signal) asked the two afterguards if racing should be abandoned
for the day. The first reply came from Shamrock: "yes." Resolute agreed,
and the race was called off because the participants wanted it to be called
off. The Shamrock people later explained that though they believed their
boat could take it, they feared for the safety of their crew. Public
criticism was harsh, but not of the race committee. "Overrigged and
underbuilt except for the lightest weather, both Resolute and Shamrock IV
were afraid to tackle it this day," said Yachting magazine. So who was
responsible if not the sailors?
* From Malcolm McKeag (re: retirements from America's Cup races): The
first time a defender could not complete the course and thus withdrew from
an America's Cup race was the first race of the 1885 challenge, when
Puritan (the US defender) on port tack fouled Sir Richard Sutton's Genesta,
on starboard tack. Genesta's bowsprit went 'clean through' Puritan's
mainsail, and Puritan retired. This too was on the first. The race
committee told Sutton that he had only to sail the course to be awarded the
race. Sutton is said to have replied 'no thank you - I came for a race, not
a sail-over...', and Genesta also retired, to give Puritan time to effect
repairs. The race was re-scehduled and re-sailed. I don't suppose anyone is
surprised that no one today would be likely to behave in such a sporting
manner over a yacht race - but it's an amusing thought.
* Alan Montrose: During the build up of the America's Cup, the designers
like to talk about the speed improvements that the current crop of boats
enjoy over their predecessors. We have now seen two races, and I am
wondering to what extent the boat speed information we see on television
can back-up the rhetoric. How much faster are Team New Zealand and Alinghi
getting around the course then the boats in 2000?
* From Kris Olszewski: I feel I must relate a story regarding New Zealand
and its people. Last Cup I worked for a syndicate and enjoyed every minute
of it. I especially loved the people, hospitality and the easily accessible
adventure activities. If it wasn't so far away from the midwest and my
family, I would move there in a heartbeat. This time I was in NZL for the
semi's and visiting friends working for syndicates. I took my boyfriend for
his first visit. Wearing his usual attire of sailing polo, we entered a
restaurant where the Host immediately pounced on him asking sailing
questions. It seemed that the "Best of the West" sailing show had just been
featured that day on New Zealand TV and the host was enthralled that a J105
sailor from San Francisco was in his restaurant. Needless to say my
boyfriend was amazed that anyone would care about an ordinary sailor with
all the world champions walking around the viaduct basin. I was not. New
Zealand is that kind of special place.
* From Bruce Schwab: I need to make a correction to Rich McKenna
statement that includes me as having received "Hundreds of thousands of
dollars from corporate sponsors". The Made in America Foundation has raised
about $100k in total marine products and cash combined, mostly product from
very supportive companies. All the rest of the roughly $1.5 million to
build and get Ocean Planet this far has come from personal donations! This
includes over $200,000 in loans from very brave supporters, secured by our
uninsured boat. Just go and try to build and race a new Open 60 within this
budget and you'll see how lucky I am to be here. At the moment we are
completely broke, maxed on credit, with no way to make the loan payments or
continue the race from Brazil. Just wanted to set the record straight.
* From Phil Olbert: The Yahoo Americas cup web page is nice, but sooooo
slooowwww. Must have been done by either an amateur or someone with a high
speed access that did not check it's operation on a dial up after completion.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
SUCCESS: At age 4 success is not peeing in your pants. At age 12 success is
having friends. At age 16 success is having a drivers license. At age 20
success is having sex. At age 35 success is having money. At age 50 success
is having money. At age 60 success is having sex. At age 70 success is
having a drivers license. At age 75 success is having friends. At age 80
success is not peeing in your pants.