SCUTTLEBUTT 1275 - March 1, 2003
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RACE FIVE POSTPONED
One loyal Kiwi sailing fan hung a banner from his boat today expressing
solidarity with Team New Zealand on what could have been its last day in
this America's Cup. "You'll Never Sail Alone," it said. It might as well
have read, "You'll Never Sail."
For the seventh time in 11 days racing was canceled because of the weather,
delaying for at least a day match point of this best-of-nine series between
the Kiwis and the Swiss challenger Alinghi, which leads 4-0.
Team New Zealand rushed a replacement mast onto its black race boat
overnight after a catastrophic dismasting in strong winds Friday. But
expected sea breezes never materialized and the Kiwis were unable to try
out the new rig in battle.
After a two-hour wait, racing was postponed until Sunday (Saturday in the
US), when a stronger breeze is expected. - Angus Phillips, The Washington
Post, full story:
DELAYED TELECAST - Today's ESPN2 telecast of Race 5 for the America's Cup
will be delayed four and a half hours. It's scheduled for Saturday evening
at 11:30 PM ET (8:30 PM PT). - www.jobsonsailing.com
BEHIND THE SCENES - Peter Rusch
Immediately after the finish of the last race of the XXXIst America's Cup,
regardless of who is the winner, the XXXIInd America's Cup will begin with
the acceptance of a Challenger of Record by the Defender. As the victorious
boat crosses the finish line and is engulfed by cheering spectator craft,
someone, somewhere will be handing across a letter to a representative of
the winning Yacht Club that will serve as a Notice of Challenge for the
Unlike most major sporting events, the America's Cup has no schedule, no
venue, and in a sense, no regular teams. It is a Challenge based event
between Yacht Clubs, who designate teams to sail on their behalf. The
winning sailing team fulfils its role when it crosses the finishing line,
and the Yacht Club for whom it won or successfully defended the Cup is then
in control of the agenda for the next event. When you hold the America's
Cup, you make the rules.
As this America's Cup draws to a close, both competing Yacht Clubs will
have sought out other Clubs to act as the Challenger of Record should they
prevail to win or defend the America's Cup. This ensures the winner will
find a Club with whom it can develop a working relationship. Under the
terms of the Deed of Gift, a Club must accept the first valid challenge it
receives, so the winner usually seeks out a 'hip-pocket' Challenge. This is
a challenge that to an outsider appears spontaneous, but in reality, is
The two Clubs - in this case, the new Defender, and the 'hip-pocket'
Challenger will have already spent countless hours fine tuning the
Defender's vision of the next event, slowly forging a Protocol that is
acceptable to both parties. Usually, this all takes place before the
current America's Cup series has actually finished. As the Challenger of
Record must agree to and sign the Protocol for the next America's Cup
Match, it makes sense for both parties to come to a full agreement before
the end of the current Cup.
* One can be sure that neither Team New Zealand, as a successful
Defender, nor Alinghi as a successful Challenger, will allow themselves to
be overtaken by events in such a way. Expect to hear an announcement about
the next America's Cup within days of the final race. - America's Cup
website, full story: http://americascup.yahoo.com/story2118.html
THE NEXT CUP
It was said Bertarelli had a strategy to "professionalise" the cup, making
it better organised and more appealing to commercial sponsors, television
and the public. From NZ point of view, America's Cup executive director
Tony Thomas gave an assurance that if Team New Zealand retained the
America's Cup, the next series would be similar to the present event.
The main change he would look for next time would be to bring the
commercial aspects of the challengers' Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's
Cup closer together. That could involve bringing such things as sponsorship
and television rights into one organisation.
The impression he had from Alinghi was that if they won the cup they would
like to bring the sport under one organisation, which they would want to
control. "I don't know what the challengers would think of having a
challenger series that might be run by the defender... but I think there
would be a lot of commercial sense in it," he said. But from a sporting
point of view, if you're a traditionalist, the challengers run their series
and the defenders run their series ... that's been running for 150 years".
- Hauraki News, full story:
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Over the past two months the GBR Challenge Management Team has been
reviewing the 2000 - 2003 campaign and developing ongoing plans and budgets
for a second campaign based on the two possible outcomes of this 31st
America's Cup Match between Team New Zealand and Alinghi of Switzerland.
Peter Harrison, Founder and Chairman, and other members of the GBR
Challenge Management Team announced today a plan for a conditional second
challenge which focuses on two areas:
I. A design and development programme
II. A plan to attract commercial partners to participate in the next campaign
The design and commercial partnership programmes will start in the UK in
April 2003 and will be led by Leslie Ryan, Head of Sponsorship and
Marketing, and Derek Clark, GBR Challenge Design Co-ordinator. Design team
members include Rob Humphreys, Phil Morrison and Akihiro Kanai. There will
be no sailing programme in the plan for 2003 and schedules will only be
decided when the next America's Cup Defender, venue and timing are known.
GBR Challenge is very keen to retain and build on the talent and experience
they have developed within the sailing team and during this year the
sailors will be able to pursue their own programmes before the longer term
schedule is finalised and a team pulled back together.
The advantage to GBR Challenge of continuing into a second challenge will
undoubtedly be the fact that they are starting off with the two current AC
boats and a considerable database of experience and performance together
with the basis of a talented design team. - Leslie Ryan
The Safety at Sea Committee of US Sailing has received requests from two
major offshore races (Transpac and Newport Bermuda Race) to add the
following to the ISAF Special Regulations: "US Sailing prescribes that
flotation and harness shall be worn by all crewmembers on deck from sundown
to sunrise." This is being considered for Category 0 and 1 races run by
U.S. organizations only.
These types of races take racing boats out beyond easy reach of
professional Search and Rescue operations or medical assistance. This
proposed change could have an effect on less than 8 races held annually in
the U.S. and will not affect the vast majority of racing in the U.S. For
more information and to share your opinion with the Safety at Sea
Committee, go to www.ussailing.org/News/2003/LongDistanceSafety.htm
Having covered nearly 750 miles since their dismasting, Kingfisher2 has
under 1500 miles to sail under jury rig to SW Australia. Weather conditions
have been good and the catamaran has been averaging around 8 knots - if
these averages are maintained then Ellen and the crew may be stepping
ashore in Fremantle in 10 days time.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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 Paul Henderson, ISAF President: ISAF must respond to the issue
that Keelboats will be eliminated from the Olympic Games and that Sailing
be reduced from 11 Events and 400 sailors down to 10 events and 360 sailors
in 2008. This was an issue brought forward from the IOC Program Commission
without any prior discussion with ISAF.
Thirteen of the 28 other sports were also asked to reduce events and three
were targeted to be eliminated Baseball and Softball. ISAF lobbied very
strongly against this recommendation to the IOC President Jacques Rogge who
as you all know is an Olympic Sailor who personally was opposed to the
elimination of Keelboats.
The Executive Board of the IOC, who makes the final decision, met last week
and has responded to the ISAF request and said that for 2008 the events and
sailors will remain as is at 11 events and 400 sailors. For 2012 ISAF must
reduce the number of events to 10, which was the number before Sydney, and
down to 380 sailors.
The other key issue is that ISAF will decide which event to delete not the
IOC which means Keelboats will not be eliminated. One of the major
arguments was that the facilities needed for the Paralympics are the same
as for the Olympic Keelboats. There is no need to lobby any IOC Official as
ISAF has already accomplished what was required.
* From Vince Cooke: With reference to TNZ former trustees' rejoinder,
please be advised that, along with thousands of other America's Cup
followers I read your statement of 5 Feb 2003 prior to my commentary herein.
* From Katie Pettibone: The idea of Alinghi retiring in race one and now
race 4 are not realistic. In the top of any sport preparation is part of
winning. Would we want the Volvo Ocean boats to retire from a leg when a
competitor breaks a mast as we did in the last two Around the World races?
No. Would we want the Around Alone boats to retire from a leg when a
competitor retires from a breakage or even "wait" for them to catch up for
a restart? No. Or how about in Formula One Racing when a car crashes
-should we have all the cars stop racing and start over the next day so
that the breakdown car can start again? Now add to it the multi millions
that are riding on the outcome. It isn't feasible nor would it be interesting.
Racing at the top level requires intense preparation and this requirement
is one of the reasons why the winner is the winner. Provided no one is in
danger, why should the better team wait until the competitor gets their
shit together? Try suggesting that to the professional boxers!
* Geoff Becker: Reading all the opinions saying that Alinghi should have
retired when New Zealand broke down in Race 1 makes me wonder; how do those
people feel now? Should Alinghi have retired in Race 4 as well? The bigger
picture is this, if Alinghi were to retire after every catastrophic New
Zealand breakdown, we would be two weeks into a sailing regatta and only
two races to show for it. I think a better question to ask is this; why
didn't New Zealand come to the race course prepared to sail in the
conditions of the day? Preparation isn't just part of this, or any large
regatta, it is everything. All the money is spent and all the time and
energy put in for this moment, if you aren't ready, you shouldn't expect a
* From Michelle Orr: While I agree with Russell Coutts' comments about
having an independent Race Committee deciding when the races should go on,
I question his sincerity when he comments that, "America's Cup racing has
got to be geared towards television". If he truly felt this way, wouldn't
Team Alinghi have bowed out of Race 4 after TNZ's 2nd disastrous breakdown?
A 4-0 score doesn't make for great competition or television. I don't have
much respect for a team who has won 2 of the 4 races due to the technical
problems of their competitor.
I know, I know, the competition isn't just about the sailing, but also
about the boats and their design and construction, and if someone's designs
are failing blah blah blah. But after reading other 'Butt-head's comments
about the history of other boats bowing out after a competitor's breakdown,
I wish Coutts and Team Alinghi had done the same. It would be more exciting
for television, Russell, wouldn't it? Lastly, since Russell is breaking so
many records here, I wish the records were 100% achieved in sailing races
where both boats crossed the finish line.
* From Peter Dreyfuss: Does anyone think that because of the 'Hula'
appendage, TNZ may be carrying extra water (weight) in the void between the
HULA and the hull? If there is an appreciable void, and the 1/4 inch
separation between the Hula and the hull is not enough to allow water to
flow through, then TNZ is dragging that water along with them, and that
adds a lot of force to the pitching moment equation.
* Dick Katz: Let me see...Choppy stormy seas, 20 knots of wind, your
competition slams into a wave and breaks her mast...three men overboard -
you are three boat lengths away and you sail on to finish the race. Huh?
Why didn't Alinghi immediately turn around, offer assistance, make sure
everyone's OK...and then continue? Sure, there are assist boats all around,
and certainly I would be happy to see my competition break down, but me
thinks that scene on the Hauraki Gulf was far more dangerous than was
* From John J. Ford: If my memory serves me correctly, some years ago,
Ted Turner stated that boats racing in the upcoming Fastnet Race were
pushing the envelope too much as far as giving up safety to crew and boat
in order to race a faster boat. His warning/prediction went unheeded. The
trade off proved disastrous with lives and boats lost. Seems Team New
Zealand, all these years later, has pushed that same envelope with too much
gusto. Good thing the America's Cup 2003 is racing within the confines of
the Hauraki Gulf with support boats lurking within close proximity.
* From Pam Birmingham: I planned my day around being ready to do nothing
but watch race 4, finally. Sat down, turned on the TV, nothing about
racing. After a long search on ESPNs horribly slow website, I found to my
dismay it was scheduled for midnight! Those of us that work and have to get
up at 5am can't stay up that late. If OLN still had to rights to air the
racing, you bet they would have made it their priority. I hope the sponsors
know they sure didn't get their advertising dollars worth. ESPN does not
deserve to cover the Cup again, let OLN have the entire package, the fans
would appreciate it.
* From Rob Fooks: Thanks, ESPN2. Instead of a live broadcast of the
critical and 9-day-delayed fourth race of the America's Cup, where the wind
and action was dramatic, and the results were pivitol for the entire
half-billion dollar, two-year-long global sporting event, we are treated to
a taped episode of complete and utter worthless cr*p: "Streetball." Yeah,
it was real important that we see a posse full of gangstas with their
drawers around their ankles rap and curse their way up and down a blacktop
all the while displaying marginal high school basketball skilzzs... "The
Best Ballers Not in the NBA." Not!
I don't know how we would have lived without our dose of that. Culturally
epic and eminently important, for sure. Or perhaps it was Eminem-ently
important. Thanks - thanks a bunch.
* From Frank Betz: Dear ESPN: Your decision not to televise the America's
Cup 2/27 was a disgrace. There may be no limit of absurd sports that have
been invented to fill TV time, but to run something as preposterous as your
pre-recorded street ball program in lieu of the Cup coverage you could have
provided insults every sailor in your constituency. Although we are used to
being passed up by the media, to ignore a premier event in the sport as
though it were no more than a game of stoop baseball in the Bronx is an
outrageous sleight. I hope whoever made this call gets gumboils.
* From Mick Domagala: How terribly sad that John Street of the Royal New
Zealand Yacht Squadron is so misguided about his point of view regarding
Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth. How terrible that his focus is on the
location of some piece of hardware, rather than recognition of the fact
that he is in the chosen company of not one, but two teams of the world's
best sailors. So many clubs (maybe every other club?) would be happy to
have just one of these men as members - the RNZYS has all of them and are
unhappy about it
* From Dennis Cherone: I ask Mr.Street to think back to when Dennis
Conner lost the cup when San Diego Yacht Club held it. SDYC didn't expel
DC. SDYC didn't take his picture off the Commodores wall. And no one tried
to have him expelled. Dennis Conner lost the cup the first time while
racing for New York Yacht Club. In this years go round he was representing
I think Mr. Street needs to rethink his motives and actions. If he is
successful in ousting Coutts and Butterworth he will regret it for years to
come. You see Mr. Street, a time may come when the RNZYS needs them.
* From George P. Parthemos: After reading with interest in # 1274, Mr.
John Street's proposal to terminate the membership of Russell Coutts and
Brad Butterworth from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, may I
respectfully submit for membership to the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club the
names of Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth for lifetime membership to the
Scuttlebutt Yacht Club, with all rights and privileges thereto. May I have
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: Done deal!
* From Bill Kardash: On my last trip to New Zealand I enjoyed some of the
fine wines of the South Island. It sounds like Auckland is now the place to
go for sour grapes. I hope cooler heads from RNZYS will reign in those who
would attempt to expel Coutts and Butterworth "for injuring the reputation"
of the RNZYS. Being magnanimous as a winner is less important than being
gracious in defeat. Be proud of your sons; they have earned it.
* From Jim Nash: As a two time Regatta Chair for Kaneohe Yacht Club, I
must take exception to a remark atributed to Russell Coutts regarding the
the duties of the Race Committee (RC). While I agree with the rest of the
excerpt I read in Butt1274, the duty of the RC MUST always be to the
sailors first. Factor in TV for the sake of the wider exposure many feel is
* From Paolo Sheaffer: First no Swiss flag above the clip-on bridge, and
now their yacht club memberships are subject to review? That seems to be
the new "Kiwi can-do attitude." I will cling to my memories of wonderful
people in a wonderful country, because this stuff is ridiculously petty.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Willpower: The ability to eat only one salted peanut.