SCUTTLEBUTT 1278 - March 4, 2003
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OneWorld. OneTry? Alas, it might be true - even with the cards seemingly
stacking up in favor of a second Seattle-based campaign for yachting's
With the Swiss boat Alinghi putting the final coat of shellac on an
unexpectedly hapless New Zealand Cup defense effort yesterday, the
America's Cup is on its way to Europe - the very place OneWorld syndicate
head Craig McCaw said he would prefer to re-wet his feet in pursuit of
sailing's greatest prize.
The next Cup competition, in summer 2007, likely will be modernized and
revamped in many of the ways McCaw said he would require before deciding on
a second run. And there's this: The newfound knowledge that OneWorld's
USA-67, one of only two boats to beat the juggernaut Alinghi squad in the
regatta, may well have given the claptrap Kiwi boats a run for the money,
if not beaten them outright. But unless another Uncle Paul Allen benefactor
comes along, don't expect to see the blue boats flying the Seattle Yacht
Club burgee in '07.
"I'd give it a very slim chance that we'll be a sponsor again, as OneWorld
- under the same ownership," OneWorld spokesman Bob Ratliffe says. "I don't
think it was a bad experience for Craig or Paul. Of course, winning would
have made it a lot better."
It's not like the Cup's new power brokers don't want the Seattle group
back. Larry Ellison's Bay-Area Oracle camp has made great show of the fact
that it's been selected by Alinghi as the "challenger of record" for the
next Cup - the syndicate representing all challengers in negotiations over
rules and formats for the next contest. But it apparently wasn't Alinghi's
The role also was offered up to OneWorld's McCaw, who was in Auckland last
week for the Cup finals. He said no thanks, Ratliffe reports - because he
has yet to commit to a second attempt.
* The large number of challengers expected for the next Cup will put
training boats such as OneWorld's USA-65 and USA-67 at a high premium.
Their value is only likely to increase as time goes on. On the other hand,
OneWorld's crew, including skipper Peter Gilmour and highly touted helmsman
James Spithill, both of Australia, is under contract only until the end of
March. So there's some pressure for McCaw to make a decision one way or the
other by then. - Ron Judd, Seattle Times, full story:
The 32nd America's Cup may be in Europe in three or four years, but there
are doubts whether Peter Harrison's GBR Challenge or Team New Zealand will
be part of it. After brave talk of continuity, the sailors have left GBR
and thoughts of getting skipper Ian Walker out on the match race circuit or
letting the core team campaign a Farr 40 are shelved. Harrison has named
only two personnel who will be kept on. Sponsorship and marketing manager
Leslie Ryan is retained even though the lion's share of GBR's £22 million
budget was covered by Harrison's own resources.
Having produced possibly the slowest boat in the challenger trials, GBR 70,
and the radical but pointless distraction GBR 78, Harrison has retained
design co-ordinator Derek Clark. The design office will be the only active
part of GBR for the foreseeable future. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, full
BEHIND THE SCENES
Scuttlebutt could not help but notice over sixty Raider RIB's used in
support of the challenger trials and the America's Cup. Teams such as
Prada, Stars and Stripes and Oracle relied on Raider RIB's. Of particular
note was that Harken, who nearly every team relied on for gear, was also
relying on a Raider RIB to service their America's Cup clients. Scuttlebutt
also spotted a fleet of Raider RIB's at the 2003 Acura SORC. Everyone
agrees that Raider RIB's by Aquapro deliver the most comfortable ride at
the most affordable prices. Information available at (619) 709-0697 or
TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Prime Minister Helen Clark is promising government money for a New Zealand
challenge to win back the America's Cup from Swiss syndicate Alinghi. She
is also pledging money to stop Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker and
other crew heading to fresher waters the way expat Russell Coutts did when
he decamped for Alinghi after his 2000 victory over Prada.
After the Cabinet meeting yesterday, she said she and other ministers,
especially Sports Minister Trevor Mallard, were talking to Team NZ after
its five-nil America's Cup loss. "What we learned from last time round is
that if there's not some reasonably quick decisions about securing the
team, predation can occur which is pretty devastating to your effort," she
said in a clear reference to the defection of Coutts and other New Zealand
crew after the 2000 win. - The Dominion Post, full story:
LETTER FROM ESPN'S PAUL PAGE
I have been following sailing on Scuttlebutt for some time. I would like to
thank the many supporters of our ESPN2 coverage. If you think the delays
were difficult at home, you should have seen Gary and me. Hours spent
preparing only to wait. Our ESPN2 crew worked long days. We hoped for live
shows. A year ago when I was assigned to the Cup, Gary and I knew there was
a remote possibility the racing would go beyond Feb. 28th when I would be
required to return to Indy racing work at ABC. It was a sad moment when
Gary and I and the rest of our crew parted last Thursday afternoon. We
actually had a "change of command" as I handed Adrian Karsten my notes. I
love America's Cup. It was a thrill to sit next to Gary Jobson and watch
his massive expertise pour out. To spend time talking with Russell Coutts
and Brad Butterworth and many others was the best.
I was with all of you watching OLN's wonderful tape delayed coverage of the
LV Cup. As a professional broadcaster I felt for them with delay after
delay. In Auckland last December everyone reassured me the weather was
better in Feburary and the Cup would run quickly. Suddenly we were caught
up by the same whimsy of nature. ESPN2 worked harder than any network I've
ever seen to try and keep coverage live. OLN may have been much smarter to
delay. As several of you pointed out, TV is still a business.
I hope you all think Adrian Karsten and Gary did a wonderful job on the
last two races. I did. - Paul Page, ESPN.
SIX DECISIVE REASONS
NZ Herald journalist Julie Ash identified six reasons why Team New Zealand
was unable to successfully defend the America's Cup. Here's an outline of
the points she raised:
1. The Black Boat - NZL82 simply did not live up to expectations.
2. The afterguard - A lack of experience really cost Team New Zealand.
3. Lack of a true leader - No one could fill the shoes of the inspirational
Sir Peter Blake.
4. Questions over preparation - The Black Boat had the potential to be a
rocketship but the team possibly didn't spend enough time on it in a range
5. Not enough money - Although the family of five have been great
supporters of Team New Zealand, a bigger budget was needed to keep the cup
6. The old trustees.
To read Ash's full analysis:
THEY HAVE SAILED AROUND THE WORLD.
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GERONIMO COMES BACK TO LIFE
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is back up to speed.
Although relatively light, at between 12 and 14 knots, the trade winds are
allowing the crew to create a more consistent apparent wind. Geronimo has
been averaging over 16 knots since this morning. The various weather
forecasting models all indicate prudence, since none show a
well-established system, but the route to the Equator now seems finally to
be opening up.
However, Days 52 and 53 were particularly strong ones for Orange, which
managed to clock up over 500 nautical miles: a target it will be very
difficult for Geronimo to match given the weather conditions now forecast.
Geronimo's lead over Orange's Jules Verne record passage is now just 251
nm. - http://www.grandsrecords.com/
Coral Reef YC - Results after two races (112 Star boats): 1. Ian Percy &
Steve Mitchell, UK, 5; 2. Peter Bromby & Martin Siese, BER, 15; 3. Mark
Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 17, 4. John Kostecki & Austin Sperry,
USA, 20; 5. George Szabo & Christian Finnsgard, USA 21. -
There are approximately four to five days racing left for the leaders in
Class 1 of Around Alone on Leg 4 from Tauranga, NZ to Salvador, Brazil and
the gaps have closed up to as little as 30 miles between leader Thierry
Dubois on Solidaires and Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group-Armor
Lux. The complex high pressure system ahead is the common enemy now, which
threatens to shake up the race order on the home stretch after 7,000 miles
of hard-fought ocean-racing.
Stamm will not find out what position and points he earns for Leg 4 - and
therefore if he goes into the last leg on an equal footing with Dubois or
not - until 48 hours after he finishes. (Stamm will be penalized 48 hours
for receiving outside assistance at the Falkland Island when he repaired
broken canting keel.) - www.aroundalone.com
* Kiwi solo sailor Graham Dalton says he is down but not out after his
mast came crashing down during the Around Alone race. His shore team would
consider getting a new mast to him to complete the leg to San Salvador,
Brazil and make the restart for the final leg to Newport, Rhode Island,
U.S. on April 13. - CNN.com/ Inside Sailing website,
STANDINGS: 2200 UTC March 3 CLASS 1: 1. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 1164
miles from finish; 2. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, 100 miles
behind leader; 3. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 390 mbl; 4. Pindar, Emma
Richards, 686 mbl 5. Hexagon, Graham Dalton, 1138 mbl; 6. Ocean Planet,
Bruce Schwab, 1360 mbl.
CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 1906 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 771 mbl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 963 mbl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1591 mbl; 5. Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, 1734 mbl.
Quantum Sail Design (Annapolis, MD) is looking for a full time Night Shift
Foreman to manage all aspects in the assembly of working sails and the
reorganizing of the 2nd shift. Hours/salary/wages negotiable based on
ability or experience. Excellent benefits package. Contact Paul at (410)
573-1051 or email@example.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Russell Coutts
* The really satisfying thing about the Alinghi campaign has been
creating a team. Just onboard, getting Murray Jones back on halfway through
the trials when he'd recovered from his broken foot was huge. Our
strategist, the 'Captain' is almost irreplaceable. Moving Pete van
Nieuwenhuyzen back from the bow and Dean Phipps up there was a gain. Tuning
the personnel is as important as tuning the boat and these were final
things that clicked. - The Telegraph, full story:
* I'm definitely going to be with Alinghi next time, I'm really enjoying
myself with this team. I think the Cup was a fantastic event here and the
challenge for Alinghi is now to try and do at least as well as what has
been done in New Zealand. - Cupviews website, http://cupviews.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 Mark Green: After all of the protests and the secrets stolen,
The hirings, the firings, the heads so swollen,
Greenpeace, parades, and blackened hearts,
The Hula and splintered carbon fiber parts,
The allegations, the spectacle, the weather delays,
It was hard to see anything good through the haze,
Just when disillusionment began to loom,
The real racing starts, with a broken boom,
Ah, but then the last minute come-from-behind.
The billionaire and the Olympian sharing a grind,
The starting mastery, the flawless execution,
Clearly Alinghi had the solution.
Because when it was over and the fat lady done,
It was apparent that the best team had won
The Americas Cup will never be boring,
Though my faith may need a bit of restoring.
But at the end of the day,
I am quite glad to say,
Determination, teamwork and training
Were the keys to fast sailing.
* From Ross Bateson: Hands up, how many people can honestly say they
enjoyed last season's Formula One championship? Be honest! Quite so.
Watching the same team getting followed around the race track
season-after-season gets a little repetitive after the first couple of
laps. Why then the calls for the Americas Cup to follow the 'F1 Model' on
these pages? Agreed, there needs to be modernisation, but if F1 proves
anything it's that upping the stakes in sporting competition to extreme
degrees decimates any kind of level playing field, causing a similar effect
to the sport. F1 has fallen into all sorts of trouble recently, mainly
because it is predictable. And thus dull. For my money, the 1975 Grand Prix
victory of James Hunt for the privately-owned Hesketh Racing beats anything
we've seen in F1 in the last 20 years of increasingly major-league sponsorship.
Happily, these F1 comparisons have not spread much further than the press,
and from what I have heard, the protocol changes proposed for the next
event seem sensible, and aim to help smaller syndicates. I enjoyed
Alinghi's cup win, but would get bored watching Coutts & Co run a
super-funded superteam that won the next six. Modernise the cup, sure, but
please don't bring Formula One into this.
* From: John Wade: The keel design of TNZ was interesting in that it had
not been done before, that I know of, and I wondered why. In hind sight it
appears obvious. The boat can't ride the waves; it is held hostage to the
submarine attached to its keel. TNZ's problem with taking on water during
several races, seemed highly unusual to me. Then I recalled the unique keel
design, and am convinced this is the reason for that strange occurrence.
The keel bulb appears to be about 25% ~ 30% of the total boat length. The
keel mass, coupled with this extraordinary length, probably prevented the
boat from rising to on coming waves, and instead, caused the boat to drive
through the waves, resulting in much water coming over the deck and into
* From Paul Kelly: I have seen the replay of the New Zealand yacht during
the dismasting incident a few times and was wondering if any of you might
be thinking as I am that the very long keel might have had something to do
with generating the large loads that lead to the rig failure. At times
during the earlier portion of that race I noticed that TNZ seemed to be
pitching in the waves more than the Swiss boat. The very long keel bulb
that TNZ was using must have caused the whole boat to have a considerable
higher pitch moment of inertia (about an axis through the total boat's
center of gravity) than Alinghi.
The fact that TNZ's keel bulb was reported to have a lower center of
gravity than Alinghi also contributes to a high pitch moment of inertia. In
layman's terms, once the boat is disturbed in pitching, such as it was when
it hit those three waves, it will continue pitching more violently with
increased amplitude even after the disturbance is removed (i.e. the waves
passed behind the boat). Just before the rig failed, the TNZ boat pitched
violently bow down into a large wave. The wave was trying to lift the bow,
but the boat was trying to bury the bow due its pitching moment of inertia
generated by its response from coming off the previous wave; hence a very
large shock load was sent through the whole boat, especially throughout the
* From Wallace E. Tobin: U S Sailing is considering a proposal requested
by CCA and Transpac race organizers to require that flotation and a harness
be worn dusk-to-dawn for race categories 0, 1, and possibly 2. This is a
bad idea, as it infringes on a skipper's responsibility and initiative, but
more importantly it misses the main point. The well-intentioned suggestion
does not require that sailors on deck attach their harness to the yacht. If
attached, no flotation is necessary. None of the 2002 race MOBs would have
occurred if the crew had been attached to their yachts. I encourage readers
to go toUS Sailing's website and register their opinion in the poll now
underway until March 10th. www.ussailing.org
* From James Marta: As a veteran of numerous Trans-Pacs and Vic- Maui
races, both as a skipper and as crew, I think it is not only stupid but
also quite negligent not to wear life jackets after dark when on deck.
Additionally, it's also equally foolish not to require one's crew to wear
harnesses whenever one is on deck. The worst time to go overboard at sea is
likely during daylight hours, when the personal strobe light doesn't allow
crew to spot the man overboard. Three waves in a daytime squall and one may
be lost...forever. At night one can see the strobe for a good time,
allowing time to set the MOB button on the GPS. The life jacket may also
keep an injured crew afloat as well. At equal risk are those who elect to
shower on deck without a harness. Soap is very slippery on a heaving deck.
I doubt that any sailing organization should mandate wearing either the
harness or the jacket, but the owner/watch captain/skipper should mandate
this safety feature or suffer the legal ramifications of negligence. I feel
that a sponsoring organizations should point out the responsibility of
those in command re safety, just as they do when informing participants of
other safety requirements when participating in ocean racing. Blind luck
may sometimes win races, but bad luck loses lives. It's best not to trust
luck. Use your head to win, and to take care of friends as well.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
You know you're in a real family restaurant when there are arguments going
on at every table.