Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1267 - February 21, 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.

COMPETITOR CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
US Sailing is adopting the competitor classification system developed by
the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The ISAF Sailor's
Classification Code was developed following the same rationale and using
the same terminology as the US code. US Sailing is adopting the
international classification system to ensure compliance with the Ted
Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

When a class rule, the notice of race or the sailing instructions apply
Appendix P of the Racing Rules of Sailing, a sailor who has an unexpired US
Sailing classification may continue to race with it until the end of this
year. During 2003, sailors may apply for an ISAF classification at any
time, but in most cases there is no reason to do so right away as most
classifications will be the same.

One thing that sailors are sure to like - ISAF does not charge for
classifications at this time. Also, if an event organizer has specified the
use of US Sailing classification in the notice of race or sailing
instructions, there is no need to make any change. The ISAF code includes
definitions of Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3 competitors and rules for
transition between these groups that are very similar to those in the US
Sailing code.

Classes and event organizers will want to assure that their notice of race
and sailing instructions properly implement the revised Appendix P for
their events. However, use of classification is entirely optional on the
part of classes and event organizers. Neither US Sailing nor ISAF require
that the use of its classification system. Sailors who have not been
involved with US Sailing classification need have no involvement with the
ISAF version. Classes and event organizers who want their regattas to be
open to all competitors are not affected at all by the adoption of the ISAF
code.- Marlieke de Lange Eaton, www.ussailing.org

The ISAF Sailor's Classification Code is ISAF Regulation 22. It may be
downloaded from the ISAF website: www.sailing.org

SEEN ON THE HAURAKI GULF
The New Zealanders stayed out on the Gulf training even after their fourth
race against America's Cup challengers Alinghi was called off because of
unstable - not light - winds. While the Swiss team came back to base, Team
New Zealand decided to work out some cobwebs in winds that reached 16-20
knots. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald,
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/sportsstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3197060&thesection=sport&thesubsection=americascup&thesecondsubsection=teamnz

PUERTO VALLARTA RACE
Winslow Lincoln's Andrews 45, Locomotion, skippered by Keith Kilpatrick was
the Class A and overall winner of the Del Rey Yacht Club's race from Marina
del Rey to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Jake Woods' Mull 82 Sorcery was second
in Class A and second in fleet, while Jack Taylor's Santa Cruz 50 Horizon
won class B and took third in fleet with a 42 minute corrected time victory
over sistership Bay Wolf under charter to Richard Parlette. Complete
results: http://www.dryc.org/

LAYLINE KEEPS YOU SAILING YEAR ROUND
Snow may be falling but it is not too early to think about spring sailing.
Don't wait until every rigging shop is two weeks behind; call us with your
halyard order today. Or maybe you've been working up the nerve to try
frostbiting? You haven't missed the season yet! Layline has wetsuits,
drysuits, long underwear, warm gloves and hats in stock to help you get out
there. Check out the new MPX GORE-TEX drysuit from Musto or the Gill
Breathable Drysuit. Both are waterproof and breathable for under $600.
(800) 542-5463 or http://www.layline.com

BERTRAND PACE
* Putting Bertrand on in that tactician's role is good for a couple of
reasons. He's not a Kiwi, and the afterguard of Alinghi - given that
they're all Kiwis apart from Jochen Schuemann - are used to the style of
the New Zealanders. It's thrown a small element of doubt - I repeat, small
- at Alinghi and that's good. Coupled with that, looking ahead, if New
Zealand start to get on a roll Bertrand could be used as a starting
helmsman. We have seen the rotating helmsman used with Prada and Oracle,
where the person at the helm is switched straight after the start. I don't
think it works very well because you lose continuity, and I'm certainly not
advocating it at this stage. But it does open up another helming option for
Team New Zealand. - Kiwi columnist Peter Lester, full story:
www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

* Explaining the switch, syndicate head Tom Schnackenberg likened it to a
bench substitution in the middle of a rugby test match when "one player
runs off the field and another runs on." "It is mainly the experience
factor," Schnackenberg said. "Bertrand is very experienced. He has been
sailing NZL-81 and he has worked as tactician inside our team. We have had
races with Cameron Appleton steering and Bertrand working as his tactician
and that was a very powerful combination." After in-house racing, PacÚ and
Barker also worked very closely together on debriefing and analysis. There
was some early speculation that PacÚ might start the boat and then hand
over to Barker, but Schnackenberg discounted that, saying "Dean will be on
the helm right through and Bertrand will be talking in his ear." - Ivor
Wilkins, America's Cup website, full story:
http://americascup.yahoo.com/story2029.html

* Bertrand Pace, the Frenchman sailing with Team New Zealand, could
strengthen the Black Boat's afterguard because he will want to beat Russell
Coutts and Brad Butterworth out of intense sailing rivalry - and not
patriotism. Xavier de Lesquen, general manager of Pace's old team Le Defi,
said Pace would be free of the bitterness many in Team New Zealand feel
towards their former crew, who quit three years ago to lead the big-budget
Alinghi into the America's Cup finals. "What he can give to Team New
Zealand is the fact that he has no feeling about his competitor, Coutts and
Butterworth. He only wants to beat them," said de Lesquen. Helen Tunnah, NZ
Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/

NO REST FOR THE CURMUDGEON
Race four and race five of the 31st America's Cup are scheduled for today
and tomorrow on the Hauraki Gulf. Although we do not normally publish
Scuttlebutt on the weekends, there will be a Saturday issue and a Sunday
issue this weekend to insure that our readers are kept up to date.

JULES VERNE TROPHY
* GERONIMO: set a new record time for the passage from Ushant to Cape Horn.
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric crew have improved by one and a half
days on the time set by Bruno Peyron and his crew last year, despite a very
difficult time in the Southern Ocean and the ever-present threat of
icebergs. The French trimaran has also suffered from low pressure areas
much further north than anticipated, which have prevented the crew from
heading further south, thus extending the distance they have had to travel.
The end result is that Geronimo has travelled 350 sea miles further than
Orange to reach the famous Chilean rock. In the last 24 hours Geronimo has
travel 495 miles. http://www.grandsrecords.com

* KINGFISHER2 had a slow 24 hours - only 300 miles - as the crew slowed the
boat to work on the starboard daggerboard.I t was discovered late yesterday
that the daggerboard was damaged in the collision. It undoubted saved the
rudder as a broken piece of the daggerboard deflected off the rudder and
not the submerged object that Kingfisher collided with on the previous
night. "It became clear we had lost half the daggerboard and we were all
pretty surprised to think we had not realised that it had gone," said
skipper Ellen MacArthur. "We have about 1 metre of repaired daggerboard
underneath - it won't affect our downwind performance at all but not
perfect for sailing upwind," said Ellen. "It is possible to change the
daggerboards over putting the full-length, undamaged daggerboard in the
relevant hull depending on whether they are on port or starboard tack."

Kingfisher2 Day 21 Summary (http://www.teamkingfisher.com):
- 3 hours 52 minutes behind Orange
- 60 hours 35 minutes behind Geronimo
- Day 21 (24 hour run): Kingfisher2-300 nm, Orange-366 nm, Geronimo-490 nm.
- Distance to go: Kingfisher2- 16809 nm, Orange-16747 nm, Geronimo-15840 nm.

NEWS BRIEFS
Investors Guaranty announced its title sponsorship of the 2003 King Edward
VII Gold Cup and an increase in prize money to US$100,000. Thirty-two teams
of top professional sailors and up-and-comers will compete from October
18-26 in identically matched and supplied International One Design yachts
as the second stop on the Swedish Match Tour 2003/04. The ISAF Grade 1
match race regatta is celebrating its 55th year in Hamilton, Bermuda. -
Media Pro

BLING, BLING.
If money ain't a thing...Here's something you've got to have. The Viper
winch handle by Titan. Used on Pyewacket, Sagamore, Pegasus, Farr 40s, IACC
boats and more, these carbon winch handles are made using aerospace grade
carbon pre-pregs, female moulds, high temperature and pressure. End result?
A stronger, stiffer, 40% lighter handle than its non-composite relatives,
and yes, they float too. If nothing but the best is your request, get your
hands on the Viper winch handle by Titan. Let Annapolis Performance Sailing
put a little IACC on your boat in time for SORC. Check out
http://www.apsltd.com/scuttlebutt.asp

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* March 21-23: Olympic Classes Regatta, Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach,
California. All Olympic classes plus Solings, Snipes, Lightnings and Laser
Radials are invited. The NOR and Entry Form can be found at www.abyc.org

JERRY WOOD
It saddens me to report that Jerry Wood died February 19 at home in
Annapolis. As founder with his wife Kathy of Annapolis Sailing School and
the Annapolis Sailboat and Annapolis Powerboat Shows, Jerry was a great
visionary who was never afforded the credit he deserved by the sailing
industry for which he did so much. His impact on and promotion of sailing
from the inception of the fiberglass era was towering and profound. His
fleet of Rainbow sloops, which he had Olin Stephens design fifty plus years
ago to accommodate his sailing school vision, were the vehicles in which
tens of thousands of sailors mastered the basics. The love of sailing he
developed as a kid at Larchmont YC and which he communicated so
enthusiastically to so many created a demand for boats that contributed
great impetus to the entire industry. The ripple effect he caused has
expanded to this day. His passing is a great loss to the sailing community
and to all who knew him. Arrangements will be announced Monday. - Frank Betz


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 Terry Harper, America's Cup Race Manager, 1988, '92: From the
beginning of the America's Cup competition, the host club's Race Committee
has conducted the races. There are always wind and other conditions that
the Race Committee must take into account in determining whether to start.
Until you have done it, and seen the pressure that each team, the media,
and others place on the Race Committee to start (or not), it is easy to
criticize.

In San Diego in 1988 and 1992, one syndicate wanted to start in lighter
air, or in shiftier conditions, than the other. While some may question
whether shifty conditions constitute an unfair test of skill for such
skilled sailors as we see in Auckland, they may not remember that in 1992,
ESPN's commentator criticized the race committee for setting a course where
the amount of time on each tack was not equal! Yet some now criticize the
RC for not starting in 60 degree shifts? Give the RNZYS Race Committee a
break! The boats look very equal. The best sailors will win this series,
whether it's in 8, 12, or 20 knots.

* From Peter Harken (Regards Harold Bennett's critics in calling race 4
off): "He who owns the Cup holds the handle to the gun!" The Kiwis won the
Cup under the same protocol as everyone else has through the many
yesteryears and against the same sort of calls. That race was Alinghi's
wind no ifs, ands, or buts, 9-10-12 knots big shifty, up and down wind,
perfect for the Alinghi deadly afterguard trio to make it 4 zip!

On the other hand the home team who is down 3 zip and wants 18-20 knots for
their horse to stretch it legs out to better their performance, who has the
weight of their country on their shoulders, who owns The Cup, is close to
losing it, when asked at the end of the day if they wanted to race from
their Yacht Club's and countryman, PRO, made, in effect, the simple
statement; "Harold, blow it off"! What would any sane man in that situation
otherwise do? Good call Harold or you would've had to, "I'm outta here,
Mabel" and been on plane to the North Pole! Fair is fair folks, the lads
are down and fighting for their lives. Saturday they front up again, no
"whinging", enjoy it!

* From Christian Fevrier: "Bitterly disappointed?" My friend Matthew
Sheahan forgets to describe the hilarious face of Brad Butterworth on TV -
and the crew around him - when he delivered his answer on the VHF to the
Race Director ! I guess the Swiss afterguard was equally convinced that the
constantly shifting wind was not offering the best conditions for a race.
Brad, always able to raise a laugh, was more than happy to jump on the
opportunity to tease the defender!

On the same subject, Lloyd Causey remembers us the Race 3 postponment
during the 2000 Match (Thursday 24 February). The decision raised a lot of
easy and quick criticisms. But none of them considered the evolution of the
weather pattern for the day. Which was conducting to a 180 degrees
windshift during the race. Bob Rice was quite clear with his statement :
"Typically, if you have an onshore wind, which we had today, that is of a
fairly fragile nature. When the Southwesterlies break through into the
Waitemata Harbour, which we knew had happened, the Northeasterlies have got
about an hour or so to live. I think that at best it would have gone into a
light and variable. At worst, it would have been a 180-degree course
change. So, the idea of a wind of seven or eight knots is fine but it has
to last for the length of a race and I don't think that one would have."

* From Patrick Mouligne': It is obvious to all that Race Committee member
Harold Bennett is trying to help his team any way he can, he is certainly
not the first one to do so. However this time he is hurting the whole
future of the America Cup program in its ability to keep on attracting
sponsors as well as spectators (they usually go hand in hand).

Times have changed due to outstanding world live (or slightly delayed)
Television coverage. Consequently much more consideration should be given
to the millions of spectators worldwide who have rearranged their schedules
and committed their times to watch the America Cup. Can you see the Super
Bowl being delayed 2 hr. or postponed for 2 days because of inadequate
weather conditions or too many fans making too much noise! Starting on
schedule, or close to it, surely can be done without compromising the
integrity of the races.

So, how about if we start all races as soon as the wind is above 6/7 knots
and up to...30/35 knots. Would not it be fun to see the teams taking a
couple of reefs going upwind and letting them out on the downwind legs? So
what if races get canceled because the lead boat finishes the 6th leg in 45
minutes and 15 seconds? That would be only more exciting to the spectators
as opposed to waiting 3 and a half hours in front of the TV for nothing!

* From Kirt Simmons (With regard to Mark Gaudio's comments about cats in
"The" Cup): There already is a "Cup" sailed on high performance, cutting
edge, catamarans. It's called the "Little America's Cup" and it currently
resides in the U.S. It also has a colorful history and is exciting in its
own way.

I thought the "change" to the IACC boats was supposed to result in more
speed and excitement but my favorite AM Cup was still the one in Australia
on 12 meters between great sailors still pretty much representing their
respective countries with a Defender and Challenger series, great race
management, good TV coverage, awesome wind and close racing. Don't knock
catamaran racing just because it's different- You don't see "dialups" in 18
skiff racing either but most consider that racing pretty "exciting".

* From Kelly Young: Sorry, Bruce Cattanach, I really wouldn't give anything
to hear Peter Montgomery call those last 20 minutes of the 2nd AC race! Not
that I don't sincerely appreciate OLN for their tireless efforts, nor the
competence of Ed Baird and Peter M., but ESPN and Gary Jobson's and team is
vastly superior. First reason is they are letting the viewers listen to the
audio feeds from the boats, generally after announcing which boat is turned
on, as opposed to imposing themselves, and talking incessantly over the
race participants. I wanna hear what's going on directly from the boats and
their requsite geniuses.

With Montgomery (bless his heart), he would have been shouting and
lathering nonstop (as if he were calling a Mexican soccer match) during the
last leg of race 2. And, we would have missed all of the afterguard boat
talk, especially things like Butterworth begging Coutts to "please turn
down" - to both keep from being rolled and to save the ripped spinnaker. I
want to hear the commentary from the boats (especially when it is close and
meaningful), garnished by the very fine and knowledgeable coverage by
Jobson and friend.

* From Ray Wulff: After watching the finals of the Americas Cup, a huge
thank you goes out to Peter Regio, the entire LV Challenger Series R/C
team, Ed Baird, PJ Montgomery and the whole OLN team. What a tremendous job
they did! We didn't realize how good we had it.

* From LuAnn Parins: I am weary of the notion that New Zealand has some
kind of "divine right" to retain the America's Cup just because it's a
small country with great people who love sailing. Team New Zealand lost
many of its best members through the short sightedness of some former
trustees, who did not see fit to offer contract extensions before the 2000
event was over. They let all contracts expire, and offered Mr. Coutts and
Mr. Butterworth a deal involving heavy personal and financial liabilities.
Were they required to "take one" just because of their skills? Nobody seems
to care that Mr. Chris Dickson has been sailing for other countries for
years, and nobody seems to care that Team NZ has no problem hiring foreign
talent if it can.

Team Alinghi will not "steal" anything from New Zealand. The Cup will be
won by the best team, made up of multi - national members as the protocol
allows. As to who best difines the "National Team" concept, that would have
to be Team DC, with an All - American effort that was, unfortunately, short
lived. The racing for the America's Cup is the best we've seen in ages.
Let's enjoy it and quit whining about who "deserves" what. May the best
team win.

* From David Redfern, Bristol, England: There have been other America's
Cup matches with skippers from the same nation. How about a couple of
people from the British Isles, no bigger than New Zealand remember, who
raced each other in three America's Cups. One, the assassin hired by the
Americans, the other the challenger. I refer to Charlie Barr in 1899 as
skipper of Columbia v Shamrock, in 1901 as skipper of Columbia v Shamrock
II and in 1903 on Reliance v Shamrock III?

* From Bill Artuzzi: The pen might be mightier than carbon fiber and
kevlar, but why dip it in vinegar? In a few hundred words, Rich Roberts
('Butt 1265) "dissed" an entire nation of sailors and their namesake bird
as well. I certainly don't regard the Kiwi members of OneWorld or Oracle
BMW as litter leftovers (after Coutts supposedly took "the pick of the
litter"). What you are seeing now, Mr. Roberts, is the same phenomena that
we witness in many Super Bowls, World Series, and Final Fours - if you've
been to the dance before, you know your way around the floor.

THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUMS
Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?