SCUTTLEBUTT 1293 - March 25, 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.
US Sailing's Safety at Sea Committee has added or modified US Prescriptions
to three of the Special Regulations Governing Offshore and Oceanic Racing.
Here's a change that will be of interest to all offshore racers:
PFD's and Harnesses - 5.02.5 "US SAILING prescribes that harnesses and
PFD's shall be worn by all crew members in Category 0 and 1 races from
sunset to sunrise while on deck." While nearly all of the responses to the
advertised "request for comments" on this proposal were supportive, they
were evenly divided on the question of whether to require such equipment or
to leave it up to each sailor or skipper. The majority of organizers of
Category 1 and 0 races who responded favored adopting the prescription as a
requirement. - www.sailrater.com/newsarchive/03192003.htm
Many yachtsmen in Melbourne, Australia have 'seen the light' and are now
racing their yachts in shorthanded mode. The long standing Melbourne to
Hobart 'West Coaster' has had a shorthanded division for many years and the
ORCV (Offshore Racing Club of Victoria) had 60 odd entries in their
shorthanded race held on 19th May last year.
The interesting thing here is the type of yacht participating in these
events - they are the usual club racers, largely comprising a variety of
production yachts, with a few potent dedicated shorthanders in the fleets
too. The race is being held again this year starting on the 19th May.
With the growth of interest in this dimension of yachting, Brighton Yacht
Club are also offering a five race Shorthanded Winter Series with Race 1
scheduled on 6th April. - Excerpts from a story by Rob Drury on the Sail
World website in Australia, full story: www.sail-world.com/
Concluded Sunday in Southampton, ISAF hosted the first International Judges
conference with the primary focus at leveling the playing field with
regards to the application and policing of RRS 42 (Propulsion). Following
the conference, ISAF Vice President Ken Ryan commented, "We are delighted
not only by the reaction to developing more consistency in the application
of RRS 42, and the commitment from delegates to educate, but also the level
of constructive discussion on the future of the rule, that came out on Sunday."
John Doerr went on to say "This conference has proved to be the first step
to a universal understanding and application of a vitally important area of
our sport, and will lead to a responsible evolution of RRS 42, based on
that understanding." - Excerpts from a story on the ISAF website, full
Available seats for Commander's Weather and Ockam U Seminars, co-sponsored
by Blue Water Sailing Magazine, are filling up fast. Chicago's March 29 and
30 dates are near capacity - so don't miss the opportunity (registration by
email is easy, see below). Sessions are scheduled in Annapolis, Marblehead
and Newport as well, with early registration strongly advised. For Weather
Seminar details visit http://www.WxAdvantage.com or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. For Ockam U information, email email@example.com.
FOR THE RECORD
With spring upon us, the Windjet team has suspended operations in Canada
and are returning to the UK without officially challenging the Ice record
of 143 mph. The team has been in Canada for three months, testing the
all-new ice craft at a number of locations from Alberta through to Ontario,
in search of the perfect conditions. However, despite traveling over 3000
miles and visiting numerous lakes, the right combination of smooth ice and
strong wind did not coincide for the team this winter. The fastest speed
reached was just shy of 90 mph at Ghost Lake, near Calgary Alberta, but
large snow drifts and lumpy ice prevented going any faster.
Huge lessons were learnt from the expedition and large amounts of data were
collected on wind and ice conditions, and also from the new Windjet ice
craft, which handled superbly, from the first day out of its box! A full
summary of the Canada story and the lessons learnt will be revealed
shortly, once the team has settled back in the UK.
The Windjet ice vehicle will now be shipped back to the UK, and transformed
into land record mode. It will then be stationed back at our Land record
location, RAF Waddington, in readiness for appropriate conditions to
challenge the land record. However, as RAF Waddington is an active and busy
RAF station, this schedule may be affected by the military action currently
During the summer, the team will be back to work on the top-secret water
craft, which is progressing well. All details will remain confidential at
this time. - Windjet website, www.windjet.co.uk/
STAR OLYMPIC PRE-TRIALS
US Sailing Center & Coral Reef Yacht Club - Final results, seven races with
one discard (31 boats): 1. Fredrik Loof & Anders Ekstrom, SWE, 27; 2. Paul
Cayard & Phil Trinter, USA, 32; 3. Peter Bromby & Andrew Palfrey, BER, 34;
4. Colin Beashel & David Giles, AUS, 34; 5. Terry Hutchinson & Andrew
Scott, USA, 35; 6. George Szabo & Darin Jensen, USA, 38; 7. Rick Merriman &
Bill Bennett, USA; 49; 8. Howie Shiebler & Rick Peters, USA, 51; 9. Mark
Reynolds & Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 52; 10. Andy Lovell & Eric Oetgen, USA,
57. - Complete results:
So, now that Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America race boat is safely in harbor,
what does Brad Van Liew do after 34 days alone at sea? He has been trying
to sleep, but his nights have been interrupted with fits of unwelcome and
unwarranted demands. Radar alarms, chores on deck, and sail changes haunt
him as he makes the transition to a warm, homey, and comfortable bed.
"The sleep deprivation takes its toll on me physically and mentally,"
explained Van Liew. "My catnaps onboard of 25 minutes limit my REM sleep
which is something the body can only take for so long. Being able to crash
for hours once on land is a jolt to the body after so many weeks at sea
living on the edge."
Van Liew's routine onshore quickly moved to inspecting the Tommy Hilfiger
Freedom America race boat with his crew, attending press conferences and
sharing his arrival with local and international media through one-on-one
* Only Alan Paris on BTC Velocity remains sailing. Light headwinds and
fickle sailing conditions are conspiring to keep BTC Velocity's progress
slow, and the boat is still more than 600 miles from the finish.
* Derek Hatfield still in Ushuaia. This upcoming week will be a big one
for Spirit of Canada as the new mast arrives along with an army of riggers,
sailmakers and electronics experts.
* Graham Dalton's dismasted Open 60 Hexagon has been hauled out in
Argentina. Reportedly Dalton is in New Zealand with his mother who is very
ill. - www.aroundalone.com
CAMET PADDED SAILING SHORTS
The Camet 3000 Shorts come in seven different colors. The two newest
designs are the Cargo Shorts that come with those extra big pockets to
store more of those things you always wish you could have while sitting on
the rail, and the longer Bermuda style and women's Ocean Shorts. Take a
look at the Camet web site where you'll find the shorts and all their
performance gear. http://www.camet.com
SAILOR OF THE MONTH
Very soon now, Seahorse magazine in the UK will declare that either Alinghi
skipper Russell Coutts or Alinghi's lead designer Rolf Vrolijk will be
their Sailor of the Month. You can help with that decision by casting a
ballot at: http://seahorsemagazine.com/sailor_month/sailormonth.php
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 Jim Champ: Oh no, not the one-design is fairest sailing myth
*again*. One design racing tests only the sailors skills. If that's all you
want to test then I'm happy for you, but a handicap rule or even better to
my way of thinking a box rule test so much more.
To win in a one design all you have to do is sail well and get lucky in the
windshifts. In a box rule event the team has to succeed at the whole range
of he sport from design, build, project management etc etc. Get any one of
them wrong and you fail.
I've got no problem with those who want to sail one design, but don't kid
yourselves that its the whole of the sport - its just a subset.
* From Colin Case: Enough of the discussion of handicap vs. one design!
Better take up chicken and egg... or was it egg and chicken... or....
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: We've been down this path too many times to shed any
new light. This thread is officially dead - again!
* From Steve Greene: How dare Mr. McKeag's suggest that the sport of
sailing be reserved only for "us". The last time I checked, very few of us
were born with a silver mainsheet in our hands, and certainly none of us
with the divine right to exclude anyone from sailing. Those comments are
without merit, and certainly without thought. Would you rather the sport
die than have fresh participants?
I run a small sailing business that sees novice sailors comprise over half
our customer base. Within this, I teach sailing and try to foster
participation in organized events, as well as encourage simply messing
about in boats for family and individual recreation. We are also organizing
a local Sea Scout Ship in hopes of bringing up a new generation of young
sailors in our area. Part of that is finding funding. We will approach many
local businesses for grants, donations, and support so that the kids can
have a fighting chance. Adding a logo to a sail in return is not only fair
play, but a necessity for those of us without the silver mainsheet.
And if you have truly "spent a life on the foreshore", your only obligation
before you depart this world is to give something back by passing along the
knowledge, skills, hopes, and dreams you've accumulated through the years
to the next generation of sailors.
* From Don Goyette: As principally a spectator, usually from a mark set
boat, of a lot of racing, I have to disagree with Tom Donlan's ('Butt
#1290) "...nuts to professional sailboat racing." Without those
professional sailors raising the bar and keeping it there, the sport would
be a lot less interesting and exciting. Those sailors would have to be
spending their time behind a desk, or in some other way providing for their
families and selves, and wouldn't be putting in the hours honing their
amazing skills. I'm quite happy to put up with "the trashy addition of ads
on so many racing boats" in order to enjoy the high level of racing the ads
* From George Bailey: To the extent that the vast majority of people
actually racing sailboats are not and do not intend to become
professionals, they can agree with Olin Stephens and Tom Donlan when these
two fellows lament where our national and international organizations are
trying to push amateur racing. In addition to problems with advertising and
racing-for-pay, where did they get this idea that racing sailors should be
providing excitement to anyone other than themselves? Who says?
Consider the wind-rowing debate. The reason provided for allowing
wind-rowing in college racing is that it makes the racing more exciting to
watch. As a racer, my response to that is, who cares? Does college racing
really want to be just another spectator sport like football and
basketball, with all that this implies? And are some people overlooking
that sailboat racing is exciting for the participants mainly because of the
interactions between the boats on the course, regardless of how "exciting"
any given boat is to sail on its own?
Sailboat racing's unique virtue is that it is a test of mental agility
that, unlike football and basketball, for the most part does not require
extraordinary physical ability. Sailboat racing used to be a great thing.
It still is to those of us for whom having exceptional physical ability and
a bunch of spectators is irrelevant.
* From Chris Lewis: Some of the comments being made with regards to the
re-evaluation of Rule 42 I think are a bit too harsh. The Volvo Race CEO
said the inconsistency of Rule 42 was "denigrating" the sport. While I
agree that consitency needs to be applied to an extent, I don't think that
every boat from Lasers and 420's up to Farr's and the Volvo needs to have
the same enforcement. Part of dinghy racing is that it's a far more
athletic endeavor than the big boats. It requires the use of the entire
body and while rocking incessantly should not be allowed I would argue that
Rule 42 should be far more liberal in dinghies than in bigger boats.
* From Peter Godfrey: Second Peter Commette's comments in 'Butt 1289 re
rule 42. abandon rule 42 and install minimum wind speed requirements for
racing as appropriate by class. More fun. Less rancor. Bury the issue.
* From Mike Schaumburg: I am surprised to see that 'counting' throwouts
has re-entered the rules again: Years ago in the case of Hana Pau vs
Loafer, it was ruled that a throwout could not be counted - because it was
'gone' from the scoring. In today's Scuttlebutt the 'throwout' was used to
determine a winner. Last weekend, the same thing happened in our local
regatta. In my opinion a throwout is a throwout and should NOT be scored -
no matter what the throwout was.
* From Paul Notary: Reynald Neron, Butt 1292, "appears" to have spun a
good yarn, but let's look at history, when the Kilroys & Turners invaded
the ozzie "Cruising" Yacht Club race to Hobart? In the early 70`s some
noise was heard, however the little half tonners like Plum Crazy & ZeusII
had good results, larger guns like the one ton & two ton classes also had a
sniff at winning, all went south for their own agendas. 2002 was memorable
by a little yacht (ZeusII) having a chance, Toecutter 30`Hick Design almost
took the handicap .Being able to watch the progress on the web site made
interesting viewing for the Yotties. For the Sponsors the fast blast of
Maxi`s make a viable media event, shame the Marie Cha 3 time is not
recorded! Imagine in the 70`s, through red tape, no Windward Passage or
Greybeard, American Eagle ,Condor etc. What would today's event really rate
as apart from the obvious blue water challenge south ?
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Why doesn't superglue stick to its container?