Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1297 - March 31, 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.

TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Auckland, NZ, March 30 - Kiwi yachting legend Grant Dalton is prepared to
help Team New Zealand's quest to win back the America's Cup. Team New
Zealand is expected to announce tomorrow that it is pushing ahead with a
challenge for the 2007 regatta in Europe, despite few commitments from
sponsors.

The internal inquiry into Team New Zealand losing the cup to Swiss
syndicate Alinghi is said to have been "honest and brutal". One of the
criticisms has been the lack of a strong central figure like the late Sir
Peter Blake. Round-the-world winner Dalton is seen to be from a similar
mould and he has been approached by Team New Zealand trustees Peter Menzies
and Ralph Norris. "A job like that is a huge challenge and as a passionate
Kiwi it's hard to say no to a challenge," said Dalton. "I am interested but
it all depends on terms and conditions. I understand Team New Zealand is
keen to challenge."

Dalton said there was a need to get things rolling quickly. "Things that
happen now will decide how 2007 pans out. I don't believe it's as desperate
as 2000 when huge cheque books were waved around to get our best sailors.
But we can't afford to lose key people again. It's a catch 22 situation at
the moment - people won't commit money without a team and direction but
it's hard to commit a team without funding. I see it similar to 1992 when
out of the ashes of defeat rose a phoenix that went on to win and defend
the Cup. We have the skill to do that again."

Dalton's strengths go beyond his sailing ability. He has a good
understanding of design, knows how to organize a campaign and, importantly,
has strong contacts overseas at a time when Team New Zealand funding is
likely to be built around offshore sponsorship. "Getting the America's Cup
back is one of the biggest issues facing New Zealand sport and industry,"
he said.

A challenge in Europe will be expensive. The Sunday Star-Times understands
major sponsor SAP, one of the world's biggest e-solutions providers, has
indicated a willingness to stay involved. Team New Zealand met with its
family of five sponsors last week. Executive director Tony Thomas is
heading to Europe seeking sponsorship opportunities there. There will also
be an increased government investment, perhaps backing the campaign on a $1
for every $2 raised by Team New Zealand. - Duncan Johnstone, NZ Sunday
Star-Times, full story:
www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/sundaystartimes/0,2106,2366504a6444,00.html

BAD NEWS
The Worrell 1000 Race has been cancelled. According to a press release from
the regatta organizers, a key investor defaulted on his financial
commitment to fund the acquisition of charter boats and subsequent efforts
for alternate financing simply ran out of time. Neither Bimare Catamarans,
the North American Bimare Distributor, W.F. Oliver, nor the F-18HT class
share any responsibility in this matter.

On February 24, the Worrell 1000 website claimed 36 registered entries for
their 2003 event.

The Worrell 1000 management plans to focus on the 2004 event scheduled to
start on Sunday, May 9 and finish on Saturday, May 22. It will be sailed in
the Nacra F-18, a Formula 18 class boat manufactured by Performance
Catamarans of Santa Ana, CA. A February press release from the race
organizers announced that the 2004 event, " will feature a One Million
Dollars Cash Purse."

Event website: www.worrell1000.com

AUGIE DIAZ AND JON ROGERS DOMINATE SNIPE CLASS
Augie Diaz and frequent crew Jon Rogers have won both the Clearwater
Midwinters and the Don-Q Regatta this week in Florida. They have also won:
the 2002 World Masters, 2002 US Masters, 2002 Western Hemispheres, 2002 US
Nationals, and the 2002 Atlantic Coast Championship. The Snipe Winter
Circuit continues this week in Nassau. Check the website for full regatta
reports and awesome photos. Better yet, get a Snipe and come sailing with
us. - http://snipeus.org

AROUND ALONE
Salvador, Brazil - 29th March 03. After nearly seven weeks at sea,
Bermudian skipper Alan Paris on Open 40 BTC Velocity crossed the finish
line in Salvador, Brazil at 12:40:23 GMT (09:40:23 local time) in 4th place
for leg 4 of Around Alone just as the skies cleared after a huge front had
drenched the city with rain. His relief was obvious after sailing for 1,650
miles from the Falklands under jury rig.

On March 7th Alan became the first Bermudian to round the infamous Cape
single-handed after 26 days from Tauranga, NZ. Two knockdowns in 50 plus
knots of wind right at the Horn made the skipper realize how vulnerable he
was. "I was on deck taking down the mainsail when three waves came together
and over we went. Suddenly I was looking at the surface of the water a few
inches in front of my face."

Lightning struck twice when just north of the Falkland Islands the
starboard D1, the lowest wire supporting the mast on the starboard side,
snapped again. It was the same piece that had failed on Leg 3, which had
forced him to stop in Tasmania. This time there was no place or time to
stop so Alan made a jury rig and nursed the boat all the way to the finish.
"I could not afford to lose my mast. I kept a reef in the main and never
put pressure on the mast at all. I had to make it to Brazil." When BTC
Velocity crossed the line this morning the first thing Alan did was give
the mast a massive hug.

Alan has a little preparation to do in the remaining two weeks: "The new
rigging should be in Brazil by now; I just hope I get it cleared through
customs. I have to put my radar back up again after I took it down when I
saw it hanging by a single screw. Other than that BTC Velocity is in good
shape and ready for the last leg to Newport." - Mary Ambler,
www.aroundalone.com

CLIPPER 2002
Richard Butler skippered the Bristol yacht to a second consecutive race
victory, crossing the Hong Kong finish line of the Sinotrans Race, the
eighth stage of the Clipper 2002 Round the World Series. The Bristolians
maintained a 4-mile lead over their old enemy, Jersey Clipper, to take line
honours across the Waglan Island finish line - after an exciting,
exhausting and eventful race from Shanghai.

Race 8 finish: 1. Bristol, 2. Jersey, 3. Liverpool, 4. Hong Kong, 5.
Glasgow, 6. New York, 7. London, 8. Cape Town.

Standings after Race 8: 1. Jersey, 53; 2. Bristol, 46; 3. Liverpool, 39.5;
4. London, 39; 5. Hong Kong, 36; 6. Glasgow, 35, 7. New York, 26; 8. Cape
Town, 12.

* Ross Daniel, a 24-year-old professional skipper from Oreston in
Plymouth, will take over the reigns of New York's entry in the Clipper 2002
Round the World Yacht Race during the current crew stopover in Hong Kong.
Colchester's Samantha Fuller is standing down as skipper of New York
Clipper following the first half of the eleven-month race, which started in
Liverpool last October. Event website: www.clipper-ventures.com

FOR THE RECORD
March 30, 2003 947'S 10234'E / Indian Ocean -- The 53-foot trimaran Great
American II passed through the Sunda Strait and entered the Indian Ocean at
sunrise on March 29. For Rich Wilson (Rockport, Mass.) and Rich du Moulin
(Larchmont, N.Y.), passing through the Strait was a milestone: it marked
the end of a slow frustrating passage through the South China Sea and,
hopefully, the dawn of new fortunes in their 15,000-mile non-stop run from
Hong Kong to New York. This duo on GAII is lagging behind their nemesis Sea
Witch, the clipper ship that set the Hong Kong-New York record in 1849. But
according to Wilson, the stage is set to make some gains.

"The last 24 hours were the best since leaving Hong Kong," reported Wilson
in his log, after a full day of sailing on the Indian Ocean. "The boat's
making good time, but we can see some really fast days if we can get more
wind in the trades." The position of the trade wind belt fluctuates with
the seasons. When Sea Witch sailed out of Sunda Strait in January 1849, she
had to sail further south to catch this band of breeze. But for GAII, the
tradewinds are within closer reach.

"Sea Witch headed due south for the first several days out into the Indian
Ocean, then she got deep into the trade winds before turning west,"
reported Wilson. "Her time of year, January, would have had the trade winds
further south: so her very good time of year for the South China Sea was
not as good for the trade winds in the Indian Ocean. Our very poor time of
year for the South China Sea was late enough to give us trade winds further
north. . . So we have a good chance now to catch up."

For the past two weeks, floating on glassy seas, being becalmed, and
ghosting slowly in light zephyrs built a mounting frustration for these two
sailors as they logged slow progress and watched the path of Sea Witch slip
further away. - Cynthia Goss, www.sitesalive.com

BACK TO (OCKAM) SCHOOL
Do you know how to interpret Polar data? The difference between target
speed and polar speed? How to Wally on a short course or adjust Heading
based on VMC while distance racing? The OckamU manual covers all this and
more in easy to understand terms. Whatever brand of instrument system you
use, the OckamU manual is an invaluable resource. The price is $25. To
order, please email Tom Davis (tom@ockam.com) with your name, street
address and method of payment.

INTERNATIONAL ROLEX REGATTA
St. Thomas, USVI (March 29, 2003) -- The last day was a glorious one at St.
Thomas Yacht Club's 2003 International Rolex Regatta. With winds
registering 15-20 knots, 97 boats in 11 classes took to the blue Caribbean
waters to finalize their positions at the three-day regatta and claim class.

Flirt, a custom 49-foot Oyster yacht skippered by Richard Matthews of
Ipswich, UK, turned in four victories over seven races to win Spinnaker
Racing Class 1. Serving as tactician was Andy Green (Essex, UK), tactician
for the recent GBR Challenge for the America's Cup. "We made very few
mistakes," said Green.

Equation, an Andrews 68 skippered by Bill Alcott of Detroit, Mich., broke
its tie with Donnybrook, a custom 72 skippered by Jim Muldoon of
Washington, DC, after a single race today in the Over 50 Foot Class. Alcott
credited his success to his crew, in particular tactician Stu Argo, who
served as trimmer for Oracle's America's Cup campaign. - Media Pro Int'l,
complete results: www.rolexcupregatta.com


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.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 Kimberly Birkenfeld (Ranked #1 Mistral Women on US Sailing Team
2001 and 2002): I am writing in response to Ted Germann's note on Tuesday,
which struck a nerve in me. He wrote that people shouldn't disgrace
sponsors in sailing, as, "Many people sacrifice careers, family and goals
to pursue the (Olympic) dream."

Please let him know that I am in line with his thinking, because as an
Olympic aspirant, I did just as he outlined above for the past 7 years of
campaigning. As you may have heard, my campaign ended in Athens on August
8, when I was run over by a motorboat. I am now disabled-handicapped.
Severe traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Like other athletes,
I willingly scarified career and family in pursuit of the Olympic dream.
Little did I know I would sacrifice more. I read a passage in a book on
brain injury- "Sometimes when your life ends, you don't die."

I just pray that the athletes now training for Athens 2004 get what they
want from all their hard work. Hopefully it will be made easier for them
with a little help from generous sponsors.

* From Graham Kelly: I was interested in Wells Pile's comment on Sir
Thomas Lipton's motives for repeated challenges for the AC. Of course Sir
Thomas knew that "his Shamrocks were giant floating billboards boosting
sales of Lipton Tea in the US [and] the publicity generated by them and Sir
Thomas ensured Lipton Tea's predominance in the US mass market."

In the Shamrock Era, yachting was considered a "fitting pastime" for really
rich guys, which Sir Thomas certainly was, and it was also a part of
breaking into the social hierarchy in Great Britain, where Sir Thomas was a
friend of the King, whose personal intervention was required to get a
"tradesman" like Sir Thomas into the stuffy Royal Yacht Squadron. I'm sure
his prominence- and humble origins- also contributed to tea sales in the UK.

Sir Thomas might well be the most famous yachtsman of all time. Keep in
mind that Sir Thomas is pictured on tea boxes in a yachting cap. And we
should also remember that the US is peppered with "Lipton Cups" provided by
the famous man for annual sailing competition, just in case the AC wasn't
enough to keep his name (and product) in the public eye.

And we thought he was old fashioned. Rough translation: "The more change,
the more of the same thing."

* From George Backhus: You've published lots of good ideas in the last few
issues of Scuttlebutt on how to prevent seasickness, and to them I would
add that a trick on the helm has worked for some of my crew. If all else
fails, one can resort to drugs. I keep a small plastic box on board with
all sorts of goodies. We've had good results with ginger capsules,
Dramamine, Scopalomine patches and sea bands (acupressure). By far the most
effective prevention we've found is a prescription drug called Stugeron. To
my knowledge it is not available in the States but I have purchased it in
Mexico, the UK, and Tonga. It seems to be more effective than anything else
we've tried seems to have none of the side effects of other products.

The four stages of seasickness: 1. You are afraid you are going to be
seasick. 2. You get seasick. 3. You are afraid you are going to die. 4. You
are afraid you are not going to die.

* From Richard Shulman, M.D.: As a member of the medical team that
delivers the Safety-at-Sea seminar every two years in March before the
Newport to Bermuda Race and as an off shore sailor susceptible to mal de
mer, I have the following recommendations:
1. Stay well hydrated before going to sea - and during the first day or two
at sea. Part of the deleterious effect of alcohol is its dehydrating effect
(hence the well appreciated need to drink copious amounts of water before
passing out after a debauch)

2. Early signs of seasickness are yawning and a headache - usually before
true nausea.

3. No Alcohol for 48 hours before going to sea.

4. Antacids - chewable over the counter - are good to head off the initial
feelings of seasickness.

5. TransdermScop is the most effective anti seasickness medication - it is
a prescription drug in the USA. Although it can have significant side
effects, it is generally well tolerated by most sailors - try one on land
before the real thing. One patch lasts for about 2 1/2 days.

6. The most effective oral medication for motion sickness is Stugeron - a
drug that is over the counter in much of the world - e.g. Bermuda - but not
available in this country - not because it is bad - but because it has not
been marketed here. In my experience it is more effective with less side
effects than other oral medications.

* From Mark Zaranski ( sea sickness): My mother's father, Salvatore
Bulone of Licatta, Sicily, was the captain's cook on an Italian Navy boat
during WWI. He passed along the old Mediterranean fisherman's preventative:
tie a line around your middle, tightly but not uncomfortable. I have had
success with this method several times with different subjects each time,
always using a sail tie. I believe the binding works in two ways: 1)
applies pressure to balance points on the back, and 2) keeps the "sloshing
guts" feeling to a minimum. The proper location is just above the naval. My
suggestion would be to use middle binding with the previously posted tips
regarding sleep, food, drink, fresh air and horizon watching.

* From Rob Fooks: How cool is it that we get to enjoy the occasional
letter and comment here from Olin Stephens? As a degreed but non-practicing
naval architect, being privy to any opinion from Mr. Stephens is just about
as good as it gets, sailing-wise. It's cool that someone who designed great
racing yachts in the 1930's (!) is still with us, and it's cool that he is
online and 'net-enabled and just as up-to-speed on technology as the rest
of us. Something that brings a smile to the face...

And by the way, if you have not yet read All This and Sailing Too, you are
missing probably the singularly best "messing- about-in-boats" book ever
written. Run, don't walk, to Amazon.com or your favorite bookstore and buy
a copy immediately.

* From Tim Dick (re harnesses): Today almost all San Francisco Bay Area
races are run under the PFD rule. Still, a sailor was tragically lost in a
recent Double-handed Farallones offshore race. He was tethered and wearing
a PFD. However with the boat under spinnaker (similar to last-year's ARC
death), he was unable to breathe and drowned before his experienced
crewmate could stop the boat.

If there is any message in a tether overboard, it is, 'Stop the boat ASAP'.
In a downwind situation, blow spinnaker sheets, guys and even halyard as a
first step, not a last ditch effort. The boat can be rounded up in under a
minute and the MOB brought aboard.

Then realize that the same 'stop the boat ASAP' rule applies without
tether. A boat traveling at 6 knots will leave an MOB over 3,000 feet
behind in the five minutes needed for a single-handed spinnaker takedown.
With two foot waves, the MOB will be all but invisible even in daylight.

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Zealot: A person who, having lost sight of their original goal, redoubles
his efforts to achieve it.