SCUTTLEBUTT 1277 - March 3, 2003
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LOOKING AHEAD - Tim Jeffery
(Tim Jeffery's column in today's Telegraph provides an insightful preview
into the 'rules' for the next America's Cup. Here's an excerpt.)
Alinghi's victory will presage a major reformation of the America's Cup.
Accepting the first challenge from Larry Ellison's Golden Gate YC of San
Francisco has allowed Bertarelli to work on changing the shape of the Cup.
For the first time, the holder is not worried about extracting every last
dollar out of it but can take a broader view to modernise a 300-year-old
event whose rules have been added to and amended repeatedly to their
current incoherence. All broadcast and marketing rights will be under the
control of a single body. It will charge only 10 per cent commission on
sponsorship monies raised, proceeds will be split 50:50 between challengers
The organization and administration will be invested in one single,
independent body, combining the current functions of race committee,
measurement committee, international jury and Arbitration Panel. A "neutral
management clause" will require it to act with no favour to any particular
A new dispute resolution body will have investigative powers, will insist
protests are lodged within seven days and will be able to penalize by
either points or deducting sails from a team's allowance or even expel team
members from the competition. This should avoid a repeat of the drawn-out
OneWorld "secrets for sale" saga from this Cup and end mischievous,
politically inspired protests and meaningless monetary fines.
Several measures will boost the chances of small, low budget teams or
newcomers. Teams will still be limited to two new boats but can use two
modified old boats too thanks to a major relaxation of the nationality
rules. Design technology from this current Cup can be sold on the open
market for a period of one, helping the big teams recoup some of their
expenditure and the others catch up and close the differential.
Another benefit to small teams will be common provision of high-grade
meteorological data, one of the costs that has exploded in the past two
Cups. Bertarelli's plans for nationality are likely to prove controversial.
He envisages no stipulations on either designers or sailors other than
committing to one country 18 months before the next Cup and making no
Nationality is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the America's Cup.
Though the Cup's original Deed of Gift spoke of a "friendly competition
between nations" the Cup is competition between yacht clubs, not countries.
It was only after the 1980 Cup that the then holder, the New York YC, added
stipulations on sailors and designers.
To foster the America's Cup between matches, there will annual Cup racing.
This and a fleet race before the next Cup will be used to seed competitors
into pools allowing an anticipated bigger entry to compete in a much
compressed time frame, of some 2.5 months.
An announcement on the venue, either in the Mediterranean or Europe's
Atlantic coast, will be made by this December. Because of the 2006 football
World Cup, the 32nd America's Cup is likely to be in early summer 2007. -
Tim Jeffery in Auckland, The Telegraph, full story:
McLEAN & SINKS WIN SNIPE WOMEN'S CHALLENGE
Aine McLane and Lynn Sinks from Mission Bay Yacht Club took the tie-breaker
for first place from Joni Palmer and Joyce Palmer from Annapolis. The
series was sailed this weekend on San Diego Bay with 12-18 knot breezes,
strong tidal currents, and a lot of competition. The Snipe Class has great
events like this all year round. Dig out of your winter doldrums, and plan
to attend the Winter Circuit in Florida and the Bahamas later this month.
Check 'The' website for details: http://www.snipeus.org
While the celebrations have just begun for the Swiss, at Team New Zealand
it is time for the post mortem. The list of what went wrong must start with
the Black Boat and how it failed to finished in two of the five races.
"We were very pleased with our boat," said Barker. "In every race that we
were able to sail near Alinghi we were happy with our speed. There was
never a huge difference in boat speed, although they were in different
modes, but I think our design team did a good job. To me it doesn't feel
like we have made any mistakes. I have a huge amount of respect for the
other team but I think our team have done a fantastic job. But the odds
were stacked against us as the challengers were all of a high level. I am
very proud to part of Team New Zealand and the team we put together. All
credit to Alinghi. They set a new level for others to achieve."
When asked what the future holds, Barker said the team will have the next
couple of days off before regrouping to discuss the future. Team New
Zealand syndicate head Tom Schnackenberg was adamant this did not spell the
end for Team New Zealand. "Everyone in this team has enjoyed this campaign
immensely," he said. "We worked very hard to put together the best boat and
the best crew but it was not good enough and I take my hat off to Alinghi.
We think this is a building block and we think we can create a formidable
campaign in the next event." Schnackenberg is convinced "more than ever"
that New Zealand can regain the cup. "I think we have what it takes." -
Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
THE FUTURE FOR TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Alinghi has yet to announce venues and dates for that defense, but
speculation is that it will be in 2007. Details of the Alinghi defense and
protocol will be announced in two days. That long delay is a double edge
sword for Team New Zealand. Obviously, it allows time to rebuild and go
into challenger mode. But, it also means the team will have to protect
itself against the kind of chequebook raids from rival syndicates that
devastated the successful 2000 syndicate. Providing protection will involve
putting early contracts in place and a long term funding stream to keep the
team going for four years.
Estimates are that a challenge in Europe would cost in excess of $US60
million, compared with the $US40 million Team New Zealand was able to raise
for the 2003 defense. However, syndicate head Tom Schnackenberg said, "This
has been the most fantastic experience. We want to preserve that. With that
as a building block, we feel we can build a formidable challenge for the
Skipper Dean Barker acknowledged the supremacy of the Alinghi campaign,
which, he said set new levels for others to achieve. "It felt like we were
close, but the better team did win. We have a strong base for moving
forward." - Ivor Wilkins, America's Cup website, full story:
IS IT DOABLE?
Team New Zealand could get corporate sponsorship to mount a campaign to
regain the America's Cup but would need a multinational like Toyota or SAP,
or one of New Zealand's richest men. "It's not beyond the realms of
possibility," sports research consultancy Market Intelligence principal
Simon Arkwright said of mounting a challenge.
Any sponsor would have to have a European rather than New Zealand market,
such as Toyota in Britain, not its New Zealand arm which backed the latest
campaign along with computer firm SAP. Other Team New Zealand sponsors like
Telecom and Lotto were not likely to back another challenge he said. - The
Dominion Post, full story: www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2301811a1823,00.html
* With local sponsors dithering and no Sir Peter Blake to entice wealthy
international backers, doubts are growing that New Zealand has either the
cash or the stomach to pull off a new America's Cup bid. "I would have
thought it is a bit of a long shot," sports commentator Chris Laidlaw said
after Team New Zealand's devastating defeat yesterday afternoon. "I don't
know whether New Zealand will have the stomach for it."
The big corporates that supported Team NZ's defence were non-committal
yesterday about backing any future challenge. "Like every other person in
New Zealand there is a sense that things have changed and may not be the
same," Lion Nathan New Zealand managing director Julian Davidson said. His
Steinlager brand has been attached to the cup since 1987. It was too early
to rule further sponsorship in or out at this stage, he said. - Leah
Haines, The Dominion Post, full story:
* As New Zealand yachting fans reeled from the loss of the America's Cup
Monday, the government said it could help fund a bid to regain the trophy.
But Prime Minister Helen Clark said any government funding would have to be
backed up by "very, very substantial" private sector money, "if there is a
next challenge. - Ray Lilley, AP, full story:
There has been disturbing rumours emanating from Auckland that the AC
sailors were using performance enhancing drugs. ISAF can confirm that, at
this time that these rumors are totally unfounded.
At the start of this AC cycle, about two years ago, the syndicates decided
that their would be testing during this Cup. The Hillary Commission, which
is the New Zealand Agency, wanted to be the laboratory which tested all AC
sailors. ISAF intervened and said that since this was an International
event that the agency to do it was the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
which ISAF helps fund through the IOC. It is only through ISAF that WADA
can be utilized.
WADA has been conducting their examinations throughout the LVC and the AC.
The process is that the sample is taken and split into"A" and "B". The "A"
sample is analyzed and if negative ISAF hears nothing and if positive ISAF
is informed and then the athlete and their lawyers are allowed to be
present at the analysing of the "B" sample. If that is also positive
penalties are invoked.
It is reassuring to know that all Alinghi and Team New Zealand tests have
been negative. - Paul Henderson, President, International Sailing Federation.
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Geronimo continues her laborious progress north through the South Atlantic,
hugging its western edge. The last 24 hours have been extremely trying,
with very little wind and stifling heat. Even the storms have brought
nothing more than occasional breezes of around 8 to 12 knots. All day
yesterday was spent close-hauled against the current in a sea that was
hardly breaking at all.
This option has certainly enabled the crew to retain a healthy lead over
the current record time: they were still over 400 nautical miles this
morning. However, days 51 and 52 saw Orange making very fast progress last
year, covering over 500 sea miles a day in 25 knots of wind. The trade
winds forecast for Geronimo are showing a maximum speed of between 10 and
15 knots for tomorrow and the day after. It is therefore clear that the
lead she has held ever since the start and has guarded jealously all the
way is now threatened by this absence of sustained trade winds.
Day 50 24 hour run: 190 nm - http://www.grandsrecords.com/
The historic British home of the America's Cup is considering a bid to hold
the 2007 competition after landlocked Switzerland won the supreme yachting
trophy. Cowes on the Isle of Wight now sees its best chance of getting the
competition back home for the first time since 1851. Leader of the Isle of
Wight Council Shirley Smart said contact has been made with the winners to
try to get a deal to bring the "Auld Mug" back home. Excerpts from the
Hauraki New website, full story: www.hauraki-news.com/LatestNews/XXXII-LN9.htm
SCUTTLEBUTT HOSTS THE AMERICA'S CUP
No, Alinghi's Ernesto Bertarelli has not asked Scuttlebutt Sailing Club to
host the next America's Cup, but the Scuttlebutt website does have race by
race recap and photos from the latest event. Take a look at the Scuttlebutt
Photo Gallery page at: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/
Following an exciting race in near perfect conditions, Sunday's results
provided big wins for the Italian entries in the Farr 40 and Mumm 30
classes on the final day of the 2003 Acura SORC sailed off Miami Beach, FL.
In the 16-boat Farr 40 class, Massimo Mezzaroma's Nerone of Savon, Italy
posted a fourth place finish to leapfrog past Hasso Plattner's Morning
Glory, who finished eighth in today's race, to claim the Farr 40 class
title by two points. In the Mumm 30 class, Luigi Parente's Moby Maga Joanna
registered a third place finish which was enough to claim the class title
ahead of Bent Dietrich's Rainbow of Hamburg, Germany, who finished second
in today's race.
Three class titles, the J/105s, Melges 24s and Multihulls, were decided by
just one point. Thomas Coates' Masquerade of San Franscisco, CA won the
J/105s, Peder Nergaard's Baghdad Rejects, of Oslo, Norway took the 14-boat
Melges 24 title while Don Mcgetrid's, Team Raider US, of Miami was the
multihull winner. - Shawn McBride, www.acurasorc.com
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 Dan Doyle: The powers that be at Transpac are attempting to get US
Sailing to require lifejackets after dark in any CAT 0 or CAT 1 race. I
would ask if you have a passion about this issue, as I do, that you go to
this URL and let US Sailing know your opinions.
One of my biggest concerns is the attempts at increasing regulations to
"protect us from ourselves". I for one think these decisions are best left
in the hands of those in a position to best judge safety. I feel strongly
that it is not the position of US Sailing to "protect us from ourselves"
while sailing offshore. The skipper and crew are the ones that make the
decision to go offshore in the first place, and are best equipped to make
decisions relative to the safety of themselves and their vessel. Examples
include whether or not to reduce sail in rough conditions, to decide if a
harness is necessary given the conditions, and whether or not the
conditions warrant the wearing of a PFD. The sailors that are participating
in the event are in the best position to take responsibility for ourselves
and to make decisions about our safety. What is next, banning spinnakers at
* From Rand Milton: The proposal to mandate the nighttime wearing of
harnesses and flotation is a very commendable decision for races such as
the Bermuda Race and Transpac. And I wouldn't mind seeing this proposal
incorporated in all racing that occurs at night. As a watch captain for the
last Bermuda Race on a Swan 56, my safety rules to the crew included the
following: "Don't even consider setting foot on deck without safety gear
(ie.SOSpenders and tethers) when it's dark! Clipping in is optional in
light air, but mandatory in moderate to heavy air, and when taking a leak
off the stern. If it's rough during the day, wearing safety gear is also
* From Barry Auger: Ernesto Bertarelli's concept of professionalizing the
next AC may be distasteful to some sailing purists but is really the only
logical route to go. In the 1950's there were individual owners fielding
Formula One entries in the Grand Prix automobile events throughout Europe.
Gradually the manufacturers and their sponsors recognized the tremendous
appeal of ultimate automobile racing and seized the opportunity to make F1
one of the most attended and watched sporting events in the world.
Exit the private owners, enter the big buck sponsors. Has this mitigated
the weekend racer who scrapes together the bucks to go out with his racing
car and butt heads at the local racetrack? Not at all: in fact just the
opposite. And by taking a professional approach to AC, such unseemly and
detracting events such as the "Loyal" defamation program would stop. Our
sport will only benefit from presenting itself to the world as a well
organized and professional athletic event instead of whining about those
who have the vision to step forward into the future.
* From Adam Bovill: With all the dismastings, it makes one think about
what all of these designers were thinking. It's one thing for the AC with
chase boats, but quite another for around the world races and challenges.
Maybe rules for those races should be changed so that some level of
redundancy could be added without punishing the teams that do that.
* From Peter O. Allen, Sr: In contrast to all the whining about the lack
of live coverage of the final race from New Zealand, I am grateful that
ESPN gave us as much time as they did. It's easy to feel slighted, but we
need to recognize what a very small (if important) part sailing is in the
sports world. Had they been in a position to make the business decision, I
doubt that many of those complaining would have cast aside scheduled
programming and its accompanying sponsor dollars to show an unscheduled
event of minor interest, from half way around the world. The racing in this
series was mostly uninteresting to any but diehard racing fans. There was
very little aggression shown. In addition to discussions about format,
maybe what the AC really needs is more characters who could animate our
sport for the more casual viewer.
* From Alan R. McReynolds: I don't usually read a lot of the mail by some
of the really whiny sailors, but I have to write to say that I am really
grateful that ESPN has been able to provide any coverage of the America's
Cup. Most of the sports world could give a rip about sailing (our sports
page had five sentences about Alinghi's victory today). I along with many
others do not have access to OLN and saw none of the LVC. The 'Butt was my
best link to what was happening. For the Cup, through the delays, I stayed
up late and setup my VCR. For me it was great to see any of the
on-the-water action. I avoided any news sources that might give the results
(not hard to do, unfortunately), and watched as though it were live. It was
just like staying up late and watching the coverage in Australia. Thank you
* From Warwick Jenness (edited to our 250-word limit): In Russell Coutts'
book, 'Course of Victory,' he explained that it took the Kiwis four
attempts before they finally won the America's Cup. In the book Coutts
explained, "We did it because of what came before us, because of what
collectively we'd learned on the oceans and in the design rooms and tank
testing facilities and sail lofts of the world. We did it because we put
the team first and we learned to trust each other totally. We did it
because we all had a say in what we thought would make the boat go fast We
did it because we had been to Admiral's Cups and One Ton Cups and dinghy
world championships and the Olympics and the match racing circuit and the
Whitbread Round the World Races and races in Auckland Harbour."
Consider these comments from Russell Coutts and the immensity of Team New
Zealand's achievement on the fourth attempt becomes clear. Also apparent is
the impossible task that faces the first time challenger to achieve
semifinal or final status in the Louis Vuitton Cup. The question that has
to be asked is how the Swiss challenger Alinghi, from a land locked country
and with out extensive experience in America's Cup boat design and
construction has, in their first challenge been able to produce a faster
boat than the experienced American's, French, or Italians and one that is
comparable to the best that Team New Zealand can produce.
* From Anne Lyon, New Zealand (edited to our 250-word limit): It has been
with mixed emotions I watched the races for the Americas Cup. Now its fate
has been decided, its off to Europe and the Auld Mug will take another leap
forward in its evolution. I would like to thank all the members of Team New
Zealand, their sponsors and supporters since Fremantle who had the vision
and determination which ultimately made Auckland and the RNZYS the
custodian of the Americas Cup for 6 years. Thank you all for the proud
moments you gave us.
To the 2003 Team NZ a special thanks you have also shown us sportsmanship,
dedication and commitment, you too are the heroes and role models for the
future. We, as New Zealanders should be proud of all our home grown NZ
sailors, designers and shore crew who have made the America's Cup dream
come alive for other nations, and will thus ensure a future for the sport
of yachting in a younger generation.
Let's have no more talk about blame, what went wrong, Yacht Club
membership, defectors, and the argument about intellectual property, after
all you can't ask someone to leave their talent at the door when they
leave. Remember the moments all these people have given us, and the pride
that we as NZer's have had sharing their moments of triumph and sadness at
their moments of despair It is another day tomorrow. It's a new beginning.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you
still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.