SCUTTLEBUTT 1305 - April 10, 2003
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SWEDISH MATCH TOUR - Congressional Cup
Registering five wins today, New Zealand's Gavin Brady remained undefeated
after the second day of the Swedish Match Tour's Congressional Cup and,
with 27 seconds being Brady's narrowest margin of victory, he has easily
established himself as the favorite to add a third "Crimson Blazer" to his
Todays win total pushed Brady's overall record to 10-0, as the native Kiwi
sailed through the entire fleet of teams gathered at the 39th edition of
the United States premier match racing event.
"It's a nice position to be in," said Brady. "The difference between a
great day, good day and bad day is a three or four degree windshift 30
seconds off the line."
In Brady's first match of the day against Denmark's Jesper Radich he copped
a port-starboard penalty in the pre-start. Moments later Brady drew Radich
into a windward-leeward situation with Radich being assessed a penalty,
wiping off Brady's in the process and allowing Brady to cross the start
line five seconds before his Danish opponent.
The most serious threat to Brady's streak came in the last match when
Pillot protested the race committee, seeking redress, after a close call
with a press boat two minutes before the start. As the boats returned to
the harbor, Brady and Pillot were summoned to the committee boat for a
hearing with the umpires.
Chief umpire John Doerr of Great Britain said Pillot's request for redress
was denied, explaining, "there were no grounds for redress. The incident
did not have an effect on the outcome of the race."
In spite of disappointing two win days, Australian James Spithill, former
helmsman for the OneWorld Challenge, and Italian Paolo Cian, former
helmsman for the Mascalzone Latino Challenge, now sailing with the Riviera
di Rimini Sailing Team, are tied for second with overall records of 6-4.
"It was actually a pretty tough day for us," said Spithill. "We struggled
to get off the line early and our boathandling was rather average. We
consider ourselves lucky to be in second place."
Also, registering three wins were American Ken Read of Saucony Racing and
Great Britain's Chris Law and his team, "The Outlaws" to rebound from
disappointing 1-4 records yesterday.
"It's a fine line between a great day and an average day," confessed Read.
"I'm still trying to get back in the groove after taking a couple of months
off, luckily the crew did another great job today." - Shawn McBride and
STANDINGS (after 10 of 18 flights): 1. Brady, 10-0; 2. Spithill, 6-4;
3. Cian, 6-4; 4. Holmberg, 5-5; 5. Gram-Hansen, 5-5; 6. Radich, 4-6; 7.
8. Read, 4-6; 9. Law, 4-6; 10. Pillot, 2-8 - www.lbyc.org/ /
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
'The toughest thing, outside Olympic sailing, is trying to find sponsorship
money." - Ben Ainslie, GBR Olympic Gold medallist, from an interview by
Gareth A Davies, in the Daily Telegraph,
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Call (888) SAIL-BUM for details, a free catalog and a cool widget or log on
(Following are two excerpts from a comprehensive article by John
Rousmaniere posted on the SailNet website.)
When asked to recommend a guide for preparing a boat for cruising, I
answer, "The Special Regs." If that usually draws a quizzical response,
it's because Special Regulations Governing Offshore and Oceanic Racing, to
give the 50-page booklet's full title, is not widely known outside the
small community of owners of boats that go racing. (Only one sailboat out
of ten is raced.) But it is a rich source of tips for making any boat,
cruiser or racer, multihull or monohull, better in five types of sailing,
from daylight events in protected waters (Category 4) to races to Bermuda
or Hawaii (Category 1) to trans-ocean races in cold waters (Category 0).
This helpful booklet is available for $15 from the national sailing
organization, US Sailing (www.ussailing.org, to the Store link, then
The Special Regs provides two types of prescriptions: "shall" commands
mandate safety practices; and "should" advisories are recommendations that
aid seamanship. Many are event-specific, like the requirement for
watertight bulkheads for Category 0. Yet numerous prescriptions apply to
all boats, for example this very good one: "Sea cocks or valves shall be
permanently installed on all through-hill openings below [the waterline]. .
. ." Some prescriptions combine commands and advisories, such as: "A
foul-weather suit with hood shall be provided for each crew member. It is
recommended that a foul-weather suit should be fitted with marine-grade
retro-reflective material, and should have high-visibility colors on its
upper parts and sleeve cuffs."
* Using the Special Regs as a reference, cruising sailors can judge for
themselves whether a "shall" makes more sense if it is read as a "should."
But for the racing sailor, there is no option because the Special Regs is
part of the racing rules. That's true even when a rule is foolish. An
over-enthusiastic rulemaker can react to a perceived problem with excess
alarm and write a regulation that should have been left as a simple
advisory. - John Rousmaniere, full story:
NEW HYDROKNIT! A TOASTY, WATERPROOF FLEECE HYBRID FOR SPRING
Sailing Angles' waterproof fleece, Hydroknit, is your ticket for staying
warmer, dryer and more focused during this cool spring season! Hydroknit
laminates fleece, polyurethane & lycra into a skin-friendly,
water-impermeable, toasty, 2mm (+/-) sandwich, cut in Farmer John styling.
This garment can be used as an outer wear or inner wear depending on
conditions, and comes with or without a neoprene back-of-the-leg and
buttocks protector. Sizes XS-XXXL. Find it today at APS or at
Leg Five of the Around Alone Race starts on April 13. The leg from Salvador
in Brazil back to Newport is another sprint. Luck and tactics still play
their part. The doldrums have to be crossed again, then the yachts will run
into the Northeast trades that will push them fast towards their
destination, but there is another agonizing choice. Go straight which means
close to Bermuda and risk a high-pressure system removing the wind, or take
the longer westward route, closer to the US Coast, where at least the Gulf
Stream will give you miles even if the wind disappears.
The tactics in ocean racing are all about the weather. The shortest
distance may appear to be a straight line between two ports, but this may
not give the shortest time.
The sailor who plots their way carefully between the high and low pressure
systems, aiming to keep the wind blowing at their boat from the most
advantageous direction and with sufficient force to maintain a high average
speed, is the one who will win in the end. Luck with weather systems always
plays a part, but it is usually the case that the best students of the
application of meteorology seem to be the luckiest. -
*The first day of racing at the Lightning International Masters in Miami,
FL saw a building breeze on Wednesday, where Jim Crane of Connecticut sits
one point ahead of Bill Mauk of Miami in second, with Fay Regan of Miami in
third. Chilean Manuel Gonzalez, with son Tito and Jay Lutz of the US
crewing, all of whom are past World Champions, are in fourth. Racing
continues Thursday. - www.mastheadsailinggear.com/lightningworlds
* The largest ever BVI Spring Regatta presented by Nanny Cay Marina
concluded with 138 boats competing substantially beating the record set
last year of 114; the increase was spread through a number of classes.
Throughout the week of sailing in the British Virgin Islands, the full
gamut of weather conditions were encountered from typical Caribbean
breezes, to heavy showers, thunder and lightning, 50-knot squalls, whiteout
conditions and finally no wind. Regatta results available at
* Matt Struble and WF Oliver continue their early dominance in the Alter
Cup by taking 3 more bullets, 6 for 6 over the first 2 days! Another day of
steady 13 to 18 knot breezes kept competitors on the water until almost 8
pm as PRO Fairlie Brinkley cranked off 6 more races after an almost 2-hour
weather delay. The event is sailed in Bimare Javelin 2s and sponsored by
Rolex Watch USA. - www.ussailing.org/alter/alter03/reports.htm
* US Sailing has determined that the U.S. team that places highest at the
2003 U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship will be selected to fill the
"host country slot" at the 2004 World Women's Match Racing Championship.
The qualifying event will be held November 13 through 16 at the Southern
Yacht Club in New Orleans, Louisiana. - www.ussailing.org/championships/womens
* After nearly two years of sailing coverage, CNN has decided to close
their Inside Sailing Web site.
REGATTA GEAR - TEAM DICKSON - CONGRESSIONAL CUP
Did you see Dickson Racing Team sporting Regatta Gear's hottest new yacht
racing gear of shorts, polo's, UV shirts, caps, custom T-shirts and jackets
at the Congressional Cup this week? Order your crew's matching racing gear
now and look like a team. http://www.regattagear.com
GREAT AMERICAN II REMAINS ON RECORD PACE
The trimaran Great American II, which is attempting to set a new sailing
record from Hong Kong to New York today, fell off the pace set by the
current record holder 154 years ago.
Reporting today from the Indian Ocean, 1,000 miles south of the US military
base in Diego Garcia, sailors Rich Wilson (Rockport, Mass.) and Rich du
Moulin (Larchmont, N.Y.) said the ghost of the square-rigged clipper ship
Sea Witch had passed them overnight on their 15,000-mile voyage to New York
A week ago the 53-foot trimaran from Marblehead, MA, was clear of Sunda
Strait at the south end of the China Sea and had broken into steady
tradewinds after trailing Sea Witch by up to three days. Driven by the
trades, the duo spurted a day and a half's sailing ahead of the record set
by skipper Captain "Bully" Waterman, who raced his cargo of tea to New
York's waiting markets in record time a century and a half ago. But Sea
Witch's performance in the trades has proved stronger.
"As of noon yesterday Sea Witch's comparable position was just 10 miles
behind us," Rich du Moulin reported by satellite email. "We estimate she
passed us in the night and our chart now shows her out in the lead by 70
miles! We could imagine her silhouette moving past us on the horizon."
Complete update at www.sitesalive.com/oceanchallengelive
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.)
* Ray Tostado: If in fact there is a major change is made to the ACC rules
regarding appendages, their design and applications, the U.S. patent office
will be scoured for prior art claims by otherwise amateur designers.
Following up with a previous contributor's selection of patent #6,349,659,
I located patent #6,032,603, submitted by B. Olcott. His patent provides a
simple cavity forward of the conventional fin keel into which alternate
dagger boards are lowered into place. At which time, it is claimed, the
vessel will achieve a higher angle of attitude towards weather. Each board
is shaped with a flat side and an alternate cambered side, according to the
It will be curious to witness whether a new concept will prevail in the
next ACC event, or some design from a dusty closet of long forgotten ideas.
* From Ray Wulff: On the 'wow' factor, Congressional Cup organizers,
sponsors, and LBYC should be commended for having streaming video of the
first day of racing posted on their website. Some clubs have a hard time
posting results in a timely manner. These guys have color commentary by the
Staff Commodore of the day's racing! Amazing work guys.
* From Alan Johnson (Replying to Robert King's and Mark Van Selst's
advice on harnesses and tethers): The strength of the stitching is roughly
the thread strength times the number of stitches joining the layers. The
standard MILSPEC for stitching is 4-8 stitches per inch; more than that and
the fabric is perforated. The standard Box-X stitching usually does not put
enough stitches into the joining area. Using a series of narrow V pattern,
straight stitching will provide more stitches per area. Stitching should be
done with Size V-138 polyester as a minimum and often sizes up to V-295 are
used. Polyester is preferred over nylon for UV resistance thought nylon
will have a higher tensile strength and abrasion resistance. Webbing is
usually nylon for higher strength and stretch which will absorb shock
loading better. If you are having jacklines custom made for boat, have them
made several inches short. Soak the nylon webbing as it will stretch when
wet and shackle in place. Use an electrical cable tie to secure the shackle
pin. They will dry to a nice taught webbing that will not be flopping about
MILSPEC 1" nylon tubular webbing has a breaking strength of about 5500 lbs;
the commercial grade less. Some grades of 1" webbing are even stronger as
they get thicker. Folding 2" and stitching is a poor substitute for the
proper specification in the first place.
* From Bob Black: The best thing about the America's Cup--certainly in
the old days--from the public's view, was that it's "a development class."
The changes that came out of the Twelves, from keels to Kevlar, dribbled
down to smaller boats and improved the sport overall.
I started working on the Cup in 1967 and worked as a journalist and
publicist forever after. With the venue changing to Europe this time
around, there will be huge interest there and probably more interest here
in the U.S. than resulted from Kiwi-land. New stuff fascinates people. It
raises the interest in sailing amongst the cognizenti and in the general
public as well. One hopes the Defender and Challenger of Record see it that
France's Baron Marcel Bich, the first non-Anglo/Australian to come to the
Cup, used to plead for his designers and crew for "just one tenth of a knot
more." It's new designs, thinking, materials and planning that will do it
and the public will be dragged into the world of sailing along with it.
* From Pat McCormick: This summer over 60 sailboat owners have promised
crews a sunny sailboat ride to Honolulu, Hawaii in July. This summer will
also be the 26th anniversary of Transpac anonymous, an organization that
the curmudgeon co-founded to protect naive crewmembers from unscrupulous
boat owners promising sunny sailboat rides to Hawaii in July.
I was on the 1977 Transpac race on a Cal 40. We were dismasted along with 4
other boats on the same evening about half way through a particularly rough
and windy race. I faithfully joined Transpac anonymous, along with many
other disillusioned crewmembers that year. In subsequent years your
efforts were arguably responsible for a decline in Transpac entries. As
entries are approaching the largest number in years, you owe it to
crewmembers everywhere to resurrect the thread of Transpac anonymous.
You face an uphill battle with digitally enhanced pictures of recent
Transpacs that have turned frowns of crewmembers into smiles and cold,
cloudy days into sunny ones. I have been asked to go on several Transpacs
since 1977 and have declined for a variety of reasons. I am ashamed to say
that I actively pursued a position on a couple of boats in recent years,
but fortunately they didn't work out. This year I have been tempted to
accept a few offers but have held strong. I know there are others out there
like me who need help. You have got to stop the madness. 26 years Transpac
free, taking it two years at a time.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: You're a stronger person than I am Pat. I've yielded
to the temptation six times since that catastrophic race in 1977. However
in 1993, I knew it was indeed my last Transpac. I put my sextant on a shelf
so high that I knew I would never be able to reach it again. And it worked.
Although I've had invitations to sail on each of the Transpac Races since
'93, I found the strength to say no - quickly! But if you or others get
tempted, remember, the Curmudgeon still provides 24-hour emergency service.
Just call the hot line: 310-306-5678.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The first liar doesn't stand a chance.