SCUTTLEBUTT 1281 - March 7, 2003
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RUMBLINGS OVER HANDOUT FOR CUP
A taxpayer handout to Team New Zealand has critics accusing the Government
of snubbing poor sports while backing an elite group of professional
yachtsmen. Political parties and other sporting groups yesterday questioned
why millions of dollars of public money had been awarded to the America's
Cup team when other sports were struggling for money.
Team NZ, with a campaign budget of about $85 million, have yet to decide if
they will challenge for the America's Cup, which they lost to Alinghi last
weekend. The Swiss team, peppered with former Team NZ crew who defected
after the first defence in 2000, leave for Geneva with the Auld Mug today.
Team NZ yesterday picked up their first commercial sponsor if a new
campaign is launched; their second-biggest funder, the Line 7 clothing
company, is promising to back the syndicate again. The team are guaranteed
at least $5.6 million of public money, and possibly more, after America's
Cup Minister Trevor Mallard said the Government believed the Team New
Zealand brand, like the All Blacks brand, was a powerful trade and tourism
tool overseas that should be preserved. - Helen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full
COMMENTARY - Rich Roberts
(Months before the racing started for the America's Cup) Team New Zealand
had an opportunity to disavow the vitriolic campaign directed at Coutts &
Co. by the BlackHeart radicals. Instead, they embraced it and pursued the
"Loyal" crusade based on hate.
Even when it was over and the gaudy silver ewer was changing hands, they
were not the most gracious losers. Bill Endean, commodore of the Royal New
Zealand Yacht Squadron, continued to twist the screws when he said,
"Special thanks and recognition to the boys in black who made sacrifices
and turned down what might have been more attractive offers to stay with
their team, stay with their club and stay with their country."
If Clay Oliver had stayed with his country, the USA, somebody else would
have had to design the TNZ boat, "hula" and all. If Roger (Clouds) Badham
had stayed with his country, Australia, someone else would have had to
direct TNZ's weather forecasting program. Finally, if Bertrand Pacé had
stayed with his country, France, somebody else would have had to drive the
TNZ trial boat and maybe replace a loyal Kiwi, Hamish Pepper, as tactician
for the final race.
TNZ boss Tom Schnackenberg's congratulatory words to Coutts and the Alinghi
team also were troublesome, on face value. "We trust you will get a warm
welcome in Switzerland," he said. "You have done Switzerland proud."
Sarcasm? Hypocrisy? Hatred? I hope I misread the remarks and the behavior,
because it wasn't at all typical of the New Zealanders I knew through other
AC campaigns dating to 1986.
Actually, the Swiss six did New Zealand proud. - Rich Roberts, The Log,
Full story: www.thelognewspaper.com/news/newsview.asp?c=32997
JULES VERNE TROPHY - DAY 55
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric crew crossed the 0° parallel 4 hours
and 48 minutes behind Orange, on almost equal footing with Bruno Peyron and
his crew, the current holders of the Jules Verne Trophy. But Geronimo is
still becalmed in the Doldrums, sailing close-hauled in very weak northerly
breezes of between 4 and 8 knots. "It's down to what happens between now
and tomorrow," said skipper Olivier de Kersauson. "If we can get out of
here by that time, we'll be in a position to really fight it out, whatever
the result may be. If we haven't begun to pick up the north-easterlies
within the next 48 hours, we'll have to throw in the towel. The air is very
unfavorable at the moment.
Distance traveled in the last 24 hours: 235 nm - www.grandsrecords.com
2003 LAYLINE CATALOG HITS THE STREETS
New products, technical advice, and stories! While the rest of you enjoyed
holiday breaks in sunny Florida or on the ski slopes, Walt chained us to
our desks with keyboards and calculators close by. The result: our new,
96-page catalog is available earlier than ever, and we're still at our
desks, looking forward to helping you get your boat ready for spring! If
you ordered from us during 2002, your catalog is already on its way.
Haven't received yours yet? Call us at (800) 542-5463, or visit our website
to request your copy. http://www.layline.com
Coral Reef YC - Standings after five races with one throwout (112 Star
boats): 1. Ian Percy / Steve Mitchell, UK, 9; 2. Augie Diaz / Mark Strude,
USA, 20; 3. Peter Bromby / Martin Seise, BER, 22; 4. Fredrik Loof / Andes
Ekstrom, SWE, 24; 5. Andy Lovell / Eric Oetgen, USA, 37; 6. George Szabo /
Chrisian Finnsgard, USA, 41; 7. Mark Reynolds / Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 41;
8. John Kostecki / Austin Sperry, USA, 42. -
LITTLE AMERICA'S CUP - Steve Clark
As many of you know Cogito won the International Catamaran Challenge Trophy
or Little America's Cup as it is often called in 1996 in McCray, Australia,
defeating the Yellow Pages Syndicate 4-0 in a dramatic series. It had been
our hope that with the return of the Trophy to the Northern Hemisphere, the
great European catamaran designers and sailors would assemble challenges to
try to knock Cogito off of the podium. But none came forward. During the
entire period, we have been willing to show our boat and wing to any
interested party, and have published significant information that would
help a potential challenger be competitive.
The International Catamaran Challenge Trophy is managed by a Board of
Trustees under the conditions of a Deed of Gift. Included in this Deed is
language to the following effect: "If the Trophy is not competed for in
more than four years, the Trophy reverts to Sea Cliff, who will determine
how best to proceed." In 2000 Cogito returned the Trophy.
Time passed and nothing was done about what happens next until December of
2002. A challenge was submitted by an Australian syndicate from Perth. The
Trustees told them to go away! We have learned that the Trustees propose to
replace the regatta which showcased the most efficient sailing machines on
the planet with a round robin regatta in production beach cats. Talk about
lowered standards! Talk about dumbing it down!
In spite of the decision of the Sea Cliff Trustees, we have met with the
Australians and believe they are a viable team. We anticipate proceeding
with an event in the fall of 2004 to again determine who has the fastest
course racing sailboat in the world. - Steve Clark
THE REST OF THE STORY
The International Catamaran Challenge Trophy trustees have chosen the
F-18HT Class as the boat for this year's competition. It is sailed
internationally and is readily accessible to crews. The great news is that
we will have brand new Bimare F-18HT's in Newport for the challengers and
defenders. In essence, once the challengers and defenders have satisfied
the requirements, all they will have to do is show up. Fully equipped boats
and sails will be waiting for them".
The Deadline for Entries is June 1, 2003. The ICCT is very much like the
America's Cup in that the winner will bring the Trophy to their country and
yacht club and host the following year's event. Bimare F-18HT's will also
be provided for the 2004 ICCT to ensure the event's continued success and
consistency from year to year.
The Trustees expect more entries than the available 10 Challenger (non-US)
and 10 Defender (US) spots; therefore a critical factor for the entrants
will be their sponsoring club's ability to host the next defense should
they win. There is an all inclusive entry fee of $6,000 per team that
provides for the boat & sails for the event as well as access to the boats
for the week preceding the event. - Sea Cliff YC Ltd.,
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Life after the America's Cup for a handful of the world's best sailors
starts with the 39th Congressional Cup April 8-12. With the recent
cancellation of the Steinlager Line 7 Cup at Auckland New Zealand, the
Congressional Cup is the first major match-racing event on Swedish Match
Tour 2002/2003 subsequent to the America's Cup. The Long Beach Yacht Club's
Congressional Cup also is the only remaining U.S. stop on the nine-event
circuit. A skipper's best seven finishes count toward the overall Swedish
Match Tour 2002/2003 prize purse of US$200,000. The Congressional Cup is
offering a $25,000 purse with $6,000 to the winner
This year's field includes two-time winner and 2002 runner-up Gavin Brady,
who sailed with Italy's Prada at Auckland; Ken Read of Team Dennis Conner;
Magnus Holmberg of Sweden's Victory Challenge, Luc Pillot of France's Le
Defí, Australian James Spithill of Seattle's OneWorld and Paolo Cian of
Italy's Mascalzone Latino.
Others who didn't sail in the America's Cup are Denmark's Jesper Radich and
Jes Gram-Hansen, currently ranked Nos. 2 and 3 by the International Sailing
Federation; 1994 winner Chris Law of the UK and Long Beach resident Scott
Dickson, who expects to have older brother Chris as tactician in his
seventh Congressional Cup as a skipper. Scott Dickson qualified by winning
last fall's Ficker Cup. - Rich Roberts, www.lbyc.org
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* Gavin O'Hare has been named the Naval Academy's intercollegiate sailing
dinghy coach. O'Hare is a 1992 graduate of the Naval Academy and was a
four-year member of the intercollegiate sailing team. He has been the team
racing coach at the University of Washington (2000) and the head sailing
coach at San Diego State (1992), as well as the head racing coach of the
Severn Sailing Association (1996). He is the author of "Contemporary Team
Racing," a 1995 US Sailing training publication.
* Ellen MacArthur's dismasted Kingfisher2, sailing under a jury-rig, is
now less than 400 from Fremantle, Australian. Shore based weather router,
Meeno Schrader is hoping conditions will allow the maxi-catamaran to reach
Fremantle in the early hours (GMT) of Saturday morning. -
* Stamford Yacht club is sponsoring the 42nd Northern Ocean Racing Trophy
(NORT) for the IMS yacht with the best overall score for racing in the
series of regattas on the Eastern Coast - Montego Bay Pineapple Race,
Hemingway Race, Block Island Race, Annapolis-Newport Race,
Marblehead-Halifax Race, Around Long Island Race and the Vineyard Race. -
* UK Sailmakers has just started a new rules quiz series on their website
specifically designed for kids. The first lesson is now posted:
* (TNZ) Syndicate head Tom Schnackdhenberg said an internal review of the
failings of Team New Zealand's America's Cup boat will not be made public.
He said the team was an ongoing concern, so the findings of any review
needed to be kept confidential from rivals. He said Team New Zealand felt
it would be up against a very formidable challenge so had pushed the design
process hard. There had been no problems with workmanship on the boat,
either within the team or with any of the contractors and bodybuilder used.
- Hellen Tunnah, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/americascup/
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Dean Barker
"This loss has only made us hungrier to succeed. The unconditional support
we've had since Race 5 has shown me just how much unfinished business we've
got with this Cup." - www.nytimes.com/2003/03/06/sports/othersports/06BOAT.html
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 Andrew Yeager: Seeing first hand how the weather hurt interest in
sailing-frenzied New Zealand (my fourth trip there), I think the new
protocol does address some fundamental elements of this past Cup and
attempt to make them better. I agree 100% that 4 1/2 years is entirely too
long to wait for the 32nd Cup finals. If Alinghi & Co. really want to
create more interest in the event and our sport, don't kill it with "dead
air time." The selection of venue is going to be incredibly important.
Steady air, truly affordable slip and accomodations plus a good on-shore
viewing area should be at the top of the list. Get this venue settled
quickly and work to get the past teams involved while we bask in the
limelight of AC changes - this is the age of the Internet people! -
Marketers move quickly.
* From Sam Wakeman: One simple point which seems to be overlooked in
Alinghi's victory. The intense competition of the LVC series created an
environment in which Alinghi could grow and improve on a continual basis.
This was lacking from the Team New Zealand program. No amount of sailing in
a non competitive environment can make up for the experience gained in
competition. This applies to tactics, design (does not flood), adequate
equipment (does not break), crew work (becomes flawless).
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: This argument loses a bit of its punch when you
realize that in the 2000 America's Cup TNZ did not benefit from the
'intense competition of the LVC,' but still beat Prada 5-0.
* From Bill Doyle: "Alinghi was proud to have no ads on its sails."
Sorry, but I clearly saw UBS and Infonet logos on Alinghi's sails? Anybody
thinking that Alinghi relied on less sponsorship money than other
syndicates needs to take one walk through their compound to see they hit up
corporations as much as anyone else did. They were just fortunate enough to
also get $$ from E.B. to put them at a higher level. Kudos for them for
doing fine job balancing it all out.
Why is it that the same people who have a problem with sponsors names all
over the boats are the same ones who insist that zillion dollar
carbon-kryptonite-plutonium boats make for a better America's Cup? You want
clean boats and more teams competing? Easy. 12 meters. Aluminum Rigs. One
boat per team. Done. You want big bucks racing, then somebody's got to pay
for it. Think it is going to get cheaper / cleaner next time around? No
way. Not when you've got these two big-money players (L.E. & E.B.) making
the plans. Expect more sponsors and more logos than ever in 2007.
* From George Jackson, Kingston, Ontario: Having various nationalities
onboard give folks from those countries a team and persons to root for and
follow. As a Canadian without a boat in the Cup, my allegiances tended
towards Alinghi given their Canadian content with Kai Bjorn and Curtis
Blewitt. I felt quite connected to the Cup all the way through. The
relaxing of the nationality restriction may very well broaden the interest
of the America's Cup around the world not lessen it.
* From Peter Brown: Who's going to cheer for Oracle or Prada? If they
represent a country, many people will. But as a stand alone entity, will
people care about the teams? Supporters of the no-nationality clause talk
about teams that have multi-nationality members, but make no mistake, if
the Detroit Red Wings were just the Red Wings and were just around for, say
one cup campaign, and the competition was held in a location no where near
Detroit I don't think we're going to see people painting their faces and
I don't mean to be disrespectful, but the professional sailors have a large
stake in loosening up the nationality requirements, somewhat akin to free
agency in baseball. I'm also sure that Mr. Bertarelli and Mr. Ellison and
their like, want to put together the best possible teams and realize that
the nationality requirements stand in their way.
The argument about corporations like Ferrari in F1 and the loyalty that
they generate. But Ferrari has been around for decades, is closely linked
to Italy, and you know that they will be around in the future. It takes
time to create fans. If the America's Cup loses the identification of a
"contest between nations" in might just generate the interest of something
like the "Maxi Worlds" and be a step backwards. Please Mr. Bertarelli, Mr.
Coutts and Mr. Ross, be careful.
* From Reynald Neron: In reply to the message from Big Mike Howard
describing how Hawaii could be the best place for an America Cup, I would
like to point out that at numerous occasions, Alinghi members said it would
be in Europe, as Switzerland is on the "old continent". And for the TV
rights, 1.15pm in Hawai is ... huh... lets see..... well... bloody late at
night in Europe, where they obviously want to market the cup.
* From Russell Burke: Further to Ian Farquharson's comments about the
attractiveness of televised "xtreme" sailing: It seems like ice boating
would be pretty exciting to watch on television as well - speed in excess
of 60 mph (more in some of the big Skeeter classes) approaching the weather
mark! It's sailing, meets light aviation, meets sports car racing. Live
coverage might be a problem because ice boating is more weather dependent
than wet sailing, but then again Speedvision often presents condensed taped
coverage of world rallye and other motorsport events. Surely the old "Wide
World of Sports" must've covered ice boating at some point. I watched the
Nite NA's at Lake Geneva a few weeks ago and the weather mark roundings
were pretty spectacular. Good link: www.iceboat.org/action_photos.htm
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.