SCUTTLEBUTT 1299 - April 2, 2003
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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.
Ellen MacArthur's appetite for extreme sailing seems to know no limits. Her
latest objective is to spend next year chasing three of the most
significant trans-ocean records. They are the 24-hour run, the West-East
transatlantic and the single-handed round the world.
The 26-year-old Briton will attempt them all by herself. A new B & Q
branded 75ft trimaran, developed by Britain's foremost multihull designer
Nigel Irens, will start construction later this month at the Boatspeed yard
in Sydney and will be ready for launching in December. The length was
deemed big enough to cope with most conditions but still manageable.
Both the 24-hour run and solo transatlantic from New York's Ambrose Light
to The Lizard are tough. In a pair of remarkable crossings in 1994,
France's Laurent Bourgnon set new times each way across the Atlantic and
his 24-hour run of 540 miles and West-East time of 7 days 2 hours 34
minutes remain unbeaten.
More tantalising is the round-the-world record, held by a 60ft monohull,
and therefore vulnerable to attack by more potent multihulls. The mark is
93d 3hr 57min, set by Michel Desjoyeaux when his PRB beat MacArthur's
Kingfisher by 25 hours in the 2000-1 Vendee Globe race, the event which
propelled MacArthur to celebrity status in Britain and France. - Tim
Jeffery, The Telegraph, full story:
THE MAN OBVIOUSLY LOVE CHALLENGES
Not satisfied with merely winning the America's Cup, Swiss billionaire
Ernesto Bertarelli has now announced his Petit Alinghi campaign to win the
contest formerly known as the Little America's Cup. Following the recent
debacle over the Trustees of the International Catamaran Trophy, generally
known as the Little America's Cup, altering the Deed of Gift in order to
allow their Trophy to be raced for in one design beach catamarans, Steve
Clark, whose Team Cogito was its last winner, has accepted the challenge
Bertarelli has issued through the Societe Nautique de Geneve. The new
contest which looks likely to be challenged by other syndicates from the UK
and Australia will be raced for the new Fast Cat Cup in September 2004.
The Fast Cat Cup, like the original Little America's Cup, will be raced in
experimental C-Class catamarans and Bertarelli has already set his
America's Cup design team the task of examining the options. The team
already have experience of high performance catamarans and it is likely
they will be using Bertarelli's 40ft catamaran lake racer - also called
Alinghi - as a test bed for developing their own solid sail rig." - The
Daily Sail website, full story: http://thedailysail.com/
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The ISAF Classification Code, developed and refined by ISAF over the last
four years as a free, universal and international method of defining
professional and amateur sailors comes into force today. From 1 April
onwards, any international event or class that wishes to define the status
of its sailors, or limit the numbers of professionals, can use the ISAF
classification code to define the limits. The Code classifies sailors into
three groups depending on their financial involvement in the sport of
sailboat racing. It is not based on an individuals' racing talent,
successes, or prowess.
However, to ensure a smooth transition, specifically in respect of sailors
competing in the Mumm 30 and Farr 40 classes, where the sailor currently
holds an unexpired classification with US Sailing that conflicts with one
issued from ISAF, then the US Sailing classification will be used by these
classes until the end of 2003. After the end of 2003, the Mumm 30 and Farr
40 Classes have agreed to adopt the ISAF Code in full. For sailors in these
classes without a US Sailing classification, for those certifications that
expire before the year end or when a sailor's employment circumstances
change, an ISAF classification will be required.
So far, over 5300 sailors are classified under the ISAF Classfication Code,
which is available via ISAF Sailor at www.sailing.org/isafsailor, a figure
which is likely to rise extensively over the coming months. In order to
make the classification process clearer to applicants, a document of
frequently asked questions has been produced and is available at Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ).
All queries regarding the ISAF classification code should be directed to
firstname.lastname@example.org . - ISAF website:
(Bernard Stamm's Bobst Group Armor lux suffered major damage to ITS canting
keel on the last leg of the Around Alone Race. At stop at the Falkand
Islands for temporary repairs cost him a 48 hour penalty and first place on
that leg. During the layover in Brazil, Stramm and his shore crew worked on
a more permanent fix, as described in the story below.)
Now that the temporary repair done in the Falkland Islands has been removed
and the layers of filler and carbon ground away, it obvious how close Bobst
Group Armor lux came to real disaster. The lever arm inside the boat that
is used to cant the keel from side to side was almost broken completely
through. In addition, the carbon eye beam that runs the length of the keel
to take the massive strain when the keel is cranked all the way to
windward, has also cracked badly and come loose from the main foil
structure. It's not good news, but without hesitating the shore team (and
Bernard) piled right in to fix the blade.
"We have opened up the keel to 1.5 meters under the water and redone the
lamination," Bernard wrote in an update for his website. "The temporary
plates bolted on in the Falklands have been replaced by proper pieces
fabricated by the Bobst Group team in Brazil." For the last two days the
team here has been working on the lamination which involves vacuum bagging
new layers of carbon over the keel. Their precise work almost came to a
disastrous end when someone cut the electrical cord thereby releasing the
vacuum. The team were at lunch and returned to work to find what had
happened. It seems as if someone wanted to get paid for the electricity,
but had not thought to produce a bill, in fact the person had no idea even
what to charge. The emergency generator was quickly pressed into service
and the bill for the electricity later paid - all $10 of it.
The shore team will start adding micro-balloons this afternoon in order to
fair the blade below the waterline. New plates will be bolted to the part
inside the boat and a lot of prayers will be said. The keel just has to
last until Newport. A new one is on order. If Bernard is chastened by how
close he came to losing his keel, it does not show." - Brian Hancock, full
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Clay Oliver
"We expected Team New Zealand to shine with innovative technology, as it
did in 1995 and 2000, but humiliating withdrawals in two races due to gear
breakage revealed serious flaws in the bid to save weight." - TNZ principal
designer Clay Oliver, from an exclusive interview by Editor Rebecca Hayter
in the new issue of Boating New Zealand magazine
* Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, awarded the Chevalier
de la Légion d'Honneur to Ernesto Bertarelli, the head of the Alinghi Team,
for the results obtained by the Swiss team in the 31st America's Cup.
Created by decree by Napoleon Bonaparte on the 19 May 1802, the highest
national honour today rewards both French persons and foreigners for
* The 2003 PHRF Handicap book is now available - the member price is
$35.00. Or you can buy a left over copy of last year's model for only $15.
* Henry Racamier, who married a descendant of Louis Vuitton and built a
family-owned leather goods company into one of the world's largest luxury
goods groups, died on Saturday while traveling in Sardinia. He was 90.
While running Vuitton, he started the yachting races that bear the
company's name. - New York Times,
* It's not too early to order the 2004 Ultimate Sailing Calendar with your
custom imprint. Your customers and associates will sail through 2004 with
24 of Sharon Green's dynamic and colorful images of America's Cup, Louis
Vuitton Cup, Key West Race Week, Etchells Worlds and 49ers Worlds. Details
* Correction: Augie Diaz and crew Jon Rogers have won a lot of Snipe
regattas together, but contrary to what was implied in 'Butt 1297, Pam
Kelly was in the front seat when Diaz won the 2002 Snipe US Nationals and
Lisa Griffith was his winning crew at the Atlantic Coast Championships.
Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker is one of the few still with a
contract, but unlike syndicate head Tom Schnackenberg he has yet to commit
himself to a future challenge. Team New Zealand chairman Ralph Norris
issued a media release on Tuesday, stating that, although they were in the
process of re-signing core members of the team, they would not be
announcing their future plans until the completion of a feasibility study
in October this year.
As happened after the last America's Cup, the trustees have taken over the
management of Team New Zealand and plan to alter the structure of the
syndicate immediately by hiring a Managing Director and Director of Sailing.
Barker told One News that he does not know what his role in a future
syndicate might be and suggested that any changes should be carefully
thought through. "Until I'm happy with the structure and the role that I'd
be offered in the team I'm not going to make any decisions," Barker said.
"Obviously there are certain structures that I wouldn't be happy to work
under. There's certainly been a lot of work and effort gone into designing
a new team structure and I think it's all been fairly rushed. We have to
look at all the lessons that have been learned in the past and make sure
any changes we make are made for the right reasons."
Barker is also concerned that key members of Team New Zealand are not lost
to other syndicates. -Fiona McIlroy, nzoom.com website, full story:
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* April 5-6: IC Nationals: Larchmont YC www.larchmontyc.org or
* April 12-15: California International Sailing Association's (CISA)
advanced racing clinic, Alamitos Bay YC. World-class competitors tutoring
America's top young prospects(age 13 and older) in the Laser, Laser Radial,
Europe, 420, Club FJ and 29er. - www.cisasailing.org
* April 21-26: Corsair Trimaran Nationals, hosted and organized by the
Smyth Team at the Fort Walton Beach YC, Fort Walton Beach, FL. -
* May 24: Swiftsure International Yacht Race, Royal Victoria YC. More
than 200 boats are expected to compete in this 60th anniversary event,
including Merlin, Kialoa, Pyewacket, and the catamaran Stars & Stripes. -
John Edwards, www.swiftsure.org
* June 23- 28: J-22 Volvo North American Championship, Youngstown YC, New
York. Nearly 60 J-22 sailboats are expected to compete. - www.YYC/j22.org
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OPENING THE DOOR A BIT
While the PFD thread is still officially dead in our 'Letters' section,
we've made it possible for readers to tell us how they feel about the PFD
issue. Should wearing a PFD be by choice, or should the sport take an
active role in protecting race participants? The Scuttlebutt website now
has a survey tool where you can cast your vote:
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 Tom Cain (edited to our 250-word limit): I can just imagine the
sailing community's roar of laugher in when it's announced that
development, implementation and monitoring of uniform Sailing Safety
Process will actually make your boat go faster. But what really happens is
that as you go searching for the safety causes other "related causes" (both
psychological and equipment) pop up - some of which theretofore had slowed
the boat down.
The basics are simple principle: All accidents can be prevented. When an
accident occurs, it is studied and cause is eliminated. A new process is
put in place to eliminate the cause. Accident related data is constantly
analyzed the same way manufacturing process variations are improved.
Equipment is improved based on the data … and people at work are forced to
operate differently. The program that teaches managers, supervisors, and
team leaders how to become more skilled observers of unsafe acts.
Responsibility for safety is placed solidly within the line organization.
If you find all of this hard to swallow, then take a look at millions of
dollars the automobile racing industry spends to prevent accidents. Their
results are impressive - drive a car into a wall at 200 mph and walk away.
The bottom line is that Accident Prevention Processes are a Mindset. Ignore
them and no amount of PFD's will help. US Sailing needs to talk to Dupont
to first understand the philosophy. Their scientific techniques are
transferable to the sailing community. "Uniform Processes" need to be
developed, subscribed and mandated by insurance companies and yacht clubs.
* From Pat Healy: There is a silver lining to seasickness. When the old
Soviet Sport's system was in full swing and identifying young kids that
they would allow into their development programs, a prerequisite for the
sailing pipeline was sea sickness. Valintin Mankin, four time Olympic
medallist for the USSR and now Italian national sailing coach, once told
me, "Those that got sick are more in tune to the boat's motion and quicker
to recognize when something changes. If you have a strong stomach you won't
feel the boat start to labor or when it's balanced and going fast." I would
rather have delegated that responsibility.
* From Gust Stringos: Despite loving sailing, I too suffer from
seasickness. All of the previously mentioned environmental remedies have
been helpful to me- and as a physician, I have been able to try all the
different medications. As additional treatment for prevention is medical
hypnosis. One session a year has been extremely helpful to me, giving me
techniques to apply "mind over matter" at the first warning signs, often
aborting spells of sickness.
* From John McVeety: For sea sickness, try Antivert. A drug used for
post-stroke patients. My wife would get seasick even at the dock with the
slightest motion. We found out about this drug from a Mackinac racer who
cured his seasickness with it.
* From Frank Betz: Having regularly suffered seasickness during the first
day or two of long passages I tried lots of remedies and found Scopolamine
effective , except that one side effect was that it made me so tired I
preferred to risk seasickness and stopped using it. Years ago on a passage
aboard Procyon with Harken associate Syd Millman, I noticed he was wearing
one of the Scop circles behind his ear that had been cut in half (the
patch, not his ear). Turns out he had experienced the same side effects as
I, and his simple solution has worked like a charm for me ever since: no
more seasickness, and no more side effects.
* From David Fagen (edited to our 250-word limit): Kimberly is right, but
where are the sponsors? I have been trying to get a sponsor for our 49er
campaign for the past two years with little success. Sponsorship would be
great, but it seems that the sponsors don't want to take part. Why?
Because, sailing is not sponsor friendly. Sponsors want exposure,
excitement and customers for each dollar they spend. Even if you are at the
top of your class, the recognition and exposure is minimal and that does
not help to sell sponsorship.
The US has some of the best sailors in the world, but as a country we lack
in the support area. The European community has been grasping the concept
of sponsorship more quickly and it is becoming evident in the results.
Overall, sponsorship can be beneficial to the sailing community. Sponsors
help to spread the word, create more events and generate interest from kids
to learn how to sail and adults to get out and cruise. Not everyone is an
Americas Cup or Olympic aspirant, but that doesn't mean they won't see
benefits of sponsorship. In the meantime, Olympic aspirants, like myself,
will run our credit cards up and beg for anything we can get. Most of us
would willingly sell our image to the lowest bidder just to get by. Even in
an exciting class like the 49er it is almost impossible to get a sponsor.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?