SCUTTLEBUTT 1317 - April 28, 2003
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ANOTHER RECORD FOR PYEWACKET
Ensenada, Mexico - Dick and Mary Compton's new Andrews 77 Alchemy is a big,
fast boat that will win a lot of races, but the 56th Tommy Bahama Newport
to Ensenada Yacht Race was not to be one of them. Instead, Roy E. Disney's
Reichel/Pugh 77 Pyewacket finished first late Friday night and reclaimed
the race record on a classic tactical error: opening the door for the
Pyewacket, representing the Los Angeles Yacht Club, finished the 125
nautical miles from Newport Beach in 10 hours 44 minutes 54 seconds, an
average speed of 11.6 knots (13.3 mph). Disney had a conflict with a Walt
Disney Corp. directors meeting in Florida and was unable to sail the race.
His son Roy Pat Disney took over as skipper - and apparently made the right
call at Todos Santos Bay.
Alchemy was leading Pyewacket about three-fourths of a mile outside Todos
Santos Bay and discussing when to make its critical jibe move to the
finish, not realizing that Pyewacket had already turned. Alchemy's
designer, Alan Andrews of Long Beach, said, "We lost the race ourselves.
There was a discussion about when and where we should jibe. The first
thought was that 'if they jibe, we jibe.' Then we realized they had already
jibed. We gave up a couple of miles and had to take our spinnaker down to
get around Todos Santos Island. It was our race to lose, and we did."
Pyewacket was well under the time of 11:23:53 set by Doug Baker's Andrews
70, Magnitude, when it led a six-boat assault on Pyewacket's former record
last year while Pyewacket was campaigning in the Caribbean. Only Bill
Gibbs' 52-foot catamaran, Afterburner, from Ventura finished ahead of
Pyewacket, by 45 minutes.
Alchemy trailed Pyewacket across the line by about 7 ½ minutes. Alchemy,
fresh out of Dencho Marine in Long Beach, was first sailed only two days
earlier. Don Albrecht's Cal 25 Valkyrie of South Shore Yacht Club in
Newport Beach was the overall winner on corrected handicap time.
The 461-boat flotilla started in light winds but soon found brisk reaching
and then spinnaker breeze all the way down. One boat, the Choate 48 Amante
from Newport Beach, hit a whale at around midnight off Rosarito Beach. Crew
member Michael Lawler said, "We were going about 8 knots and hit something
hard. We didn't realize what it was until this morning." The steering
became alarmingly loose, and co-skipper Tim Richley, said, "At daylight we
looked over the side and saw half the rudder was gone." Lawler said, "There
was a chunk of something on it . . . probably a piece of the whale." -
Excerpts from a story by Rich Roberts on the YachtRacing.com website. Full
Event website: www.nosa.org
ON THE WEB
Many readers of Scuttlebutt have asked how they can send a get-well note to
Gary Jobson in his battle with lymphoma (Scuttlebutt 1316). After
discussions with Gary's office, we've set aside a section on our website
specifically for those messages: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com
THE FASTEST SAILING KIT IN THE WORLD?
Apart from being three of the fastest boats in the World, what have
Playstation (Steve Fossett), Geronimo (Olivier de Kersauson) and
Kingfisher2 (Ellen MacArthur) got in common? All have chosen Musto Clothing
to keep them warm and dry, and have all done so for many years. Why do they
stay with Musto? Because it works: whether trying to stay cool in the
Doldrums or hammering along at 35 knots in the Southern Ocean. It will work
for you too (you don't have to have a giant multihull to qualify!).
Team New Zealand's build-up to the next America's Cup could include a
round-the-world campaign. New Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton, a veteran
of six round-the-world races and a two-time winner, sees value in the men
in black contesting the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race before they move to Europe
for the 2007 America's Cup challenge. But he stresses the image of Dean
Barker at the helm deep in the Southern Ocean would only become reality if
the race could benefit the team and enhance its chances of winning back the
Auld Mug. Auckland would also have to be made a stopover, something Volvo
organisers are debating.
"Timing-wise it's possible and I believe it's something that needs to be
put on the table and looked at. Team New Zealand is not about doing lots of
different things, it is about trying to bring back the America's Cup. But
anything that can enhance that needs to be investigated. It's often been
said that all the top America's Cup guys have come from a background of
round-the-world sailing. They learn things about why booms break and how
masts stay up and those sorts of things. It's the toughest racing
environment where you learn things about yourself and your team.
"I saw some quite dramatic differences in the America's Cup (against
Alinghi). I thought Simon Daubney gave us a trimming lesson when the wind
got up. That's experience and it's the sort of thing you learn in a
round-the-world environment where you can't be changing sails every five
minutes so you have to get the absolute best out of what you have got." He
said any Volvo campaign would be guided by money as the search for the big
"If it was damaging the budgets, you wouldn't do it. But a team project
that encompassed both the Volvo and the America's Cup could be more
attractive to an overseas sponsor. "The Volvo hits a lot of different
markets around the world over a long period of time. The Team New Zealand
brand can be enhanced by being part of a bigger picture." Dalton has
already made calls to his contacts in Europe, sounding out interest.
"I will call in every bloody favour I can think of and in some ways the
calls are easier to make than they used to be. Selling Team New Zealand
seems a lot easier than just selling this guy called Grant Dalton. To me
it's like selling the All Blacks. We just lost the World Cup in a huge way
but the All Blacks will come back, just like Team New Zealand.
"If you put yourself in Mr. Sponsor's position and you have two proposals
on your desk, one from say Scandinavia and one from Team New Zealand, where
do you go? One has an obvious track record. "You also look at the dream
possibility of Team New Zealand v Alinghi again. It's a beauty, it's
powerful and we will use that." - Duncan Johnstone, Sunday Star Times, as
posted on the Stuff NZ website, full story:
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* June 22-27: Day Sailer North American Championships, Cross Lake,
Shreveport Yacht Club. http://www.shreve.net/~yacht/daysailernas.html
* June 26-July 6: Mercedes-Benz Waves Race Week, Royal Vancouver YC.
WHAT DOES YOUR GEAR DEALER DO FOR YOU?
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* Because of serious health issues, Sir Peter Johnson Bt, 73, has retired
as chairman of World Sailing Speed Record Council effective with the
biennial meeting of the council held late April at Eton, England. He
remains an ordinary member of the council. Sir Peter has tracked sailing
passage and inshore times speed records since 1974 when commissioned to
write 'The Guinness Book of Yachting Facts and Feats' by 'the record
twins', Norris and Ross McWhirter. The new chairman is Claude Breton, based
in Brest, France. www.sailspeedrecords.com
* Taking advantage of an excellent 'mountain wave' weather system, pilot
Steve Fossett and co-pilot Einar Enevoldson flew the Perlan Project
high-altitude research glider to its highest altitude yet - 42,100 ft
(12,830 m). In addition to scientific and meteorological research, Fossett
and Enevoldson are targeting the glider world altitude record set here in
1986 by Bob Harris (USA) at 49,009 feet. While there are not flights
scheduled for the next few days the pair will probably be going up again
during the latter part of coming week. - http://www.fossettchallenge.com/
* About 70 El Toros crossed from Sausalito to the San Francisco Marina in
the 50th Annual Bullship Race. The winner was maiden voyager and relative
youngster Rufous Sjoberg followed by the ageless sailmaker Jim Warfield and
with class president Gordy Nash in third. The conditions were generally a
light 6-10 knots with currents inconsequential. - http://www.eltoroyra.org/
*Monday is the final day for the Scuttlebutt survey on sponsorship, where
we are polling Scuttlebutt readers on how they feel about a sponsor's name
being included in the regatta title? Is it too much commercialism, or are
regattas merely providing event sponsors with acceptable exposure to
compensate them for their contributions. How does the Musto Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club Championship sound? Let us know how you feel and vote at
* The just completed Antigua Sailing Week had 197 yachts from 29
countries, with 23 yachts over 60 feet. (The 2002 event saw 215 yachts.) A
full report is posted at:
After eight months, the Around Alone race is in its final stage for
Switzerland's Bernard Stamm. Last night, his Armor Lux was 637 miles from
the concluding Leg 5 finish in Newport, Rhode Island, but facing a far from
straightforward homeward run. High pressure forced Stamm and Simone
Bianchetti, some 300+ miles in his wake, to skirt westward and then north
with a prospect of more headwinds to come. It will not upset Stamm or his
claim on victory but may yet decide second and third places for the leg
from Salvador in Brazil. - Tim Jeffery, The Telegraph, full story:
STANDINGS: 2200 UTC April 27 CLASS 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, 637 miles from finish; 2. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 307 miles from
leader; 3. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 330 mfl. 4. Solidaires, Thierry
Dubois, 475 mfl; 5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 614 mfl;
CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 1013 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 206 mfl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 526 mfl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 795 mfl. - Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, still sailing leg 4. - http://www.aroundalone.com/
AMERICA'S PREMIER RACING SCHOOL
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MORE THAN 1100 OLYMPIC HOPEFULS
The first day of racing in the Semaine Olympique Francaise ISAF Grade one
event for Olympic classes in Hyères started under a bright sun and strong
southerly wind. These gruelling conditions were partially appreciated by
the 49ers, with 3/4 of the first group failing to finish the second race of
the day when the wind peaked to 25 knots. The second group was kept ashore
to avoid further damage.
Semaine Olympique Francaise is the third ISAF Grade 1 Event of 2003,
following on from Sail Melbourne in January 2003 and Rolex Miami OCR in
February 2003. 1102 sailors representing 49 countries are taking part. More
than 25 US sailors are participating in this event. Top North American
boats included - Finn: 26. Mo Hart, USA; Europe: 9. Meg Gaillard, USA;
Laser: 42. Benjamin Richardson, USA; 470 Women: 18. Amanda Clark, USA; 470
Men: 77. Paul Foerster, USA; 49er: 13. Tim Wardlow, USA; Tornado: 30. Eric
Holden, CAN; Yngling: 15. Lisa Ross, CAN.
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 Leo Reise: It seems to me that people have forgotten that the
origin of a drop race came from what was called the Olympic Scoring (now
Bonus Scoring) with a thirteen point advantage between 1st and 7th. That
advantage disappears when the Low Point System is used, and thus the
argument for the elimination of a drop race.
However, explicitly stated in Appendix A, any fleet or regatta organizer
"may make a different arrangement". ISAF has already give the right to
change this to anyone that wishes to exercise it.
* From William E. Thogersen: (re the fairness of throw-out scoring): To
be truly fair (and make things more interesting) we should also throw-out a
boats best score - it also was probably obtained by a stroke of 'good
fortune' rather than pure skill (i.e. lucking out on a wind shift, etc.) I
have never understood the logic of assuming the worst finish in a series is
due to something beyond the skippers control but that all the best finishes
are due solely to the skippers skill. I say throw-out the high and low and
average the rest.
* From Bill Croughwell: How about two throw outs, perhaps three. Or to
really do it right throw out all but your best finish!
* From Jeff Penny: When I was young & first started sailing I had 2
hero's. Ted Turner & Gary Jobson, both of which I still admire today.
Reading Scuttlebutt today snapped me back to reality, showing me that our
hero's are just mere mortals like ourselves. We have gathered strength from
Gary over the years with his inspiration & advice. It's time for us to give
it back. The thoughts of me & my family go out to Gary & his. Keep your
spirits high Gary & we will see you on tour real soon.
*Jerry Kaye: I hope all of us can spare a moment to pray for Gary's
speedy and complete recovery.
* From Jeff Progelhof: It never ceases to amaze me how the schools of the
coach's panel always seem to be ranked pretty high. Can anyone explain the
* From Tom Donlan: (re: Tim Booth's comment on why running quality regattas
takes sponsor money) I would be very surprised if the competitors in this
year's championship have more fun than the competitors back in 1995. He
says paid PROs, paid mark boat operators, paid entertainment, free beer,
free dinner, etc. are all things the competitors "want and deserve." Sez who?
Do we really think paying a PRO will make him better able to predict or
react to wind shifts than a club's veteran race committee chairman? Mark
boat operation is well within the capability of amateur power-boaters. I
don't mind paying for my beer and my crew's first round, whether it's
Wednesday night sailing or the North American championships; I'd just as
soon pick my own restaurant or go home for dinner, and I fail to see the
attraction in a band that's so loud that it drives everybody away from the
* Stuart Quarrie -Director, Cowes Combined Clubs: As one of the largest
and most popular regattas in the World, Cowes Week has been pleased to have
the terrific ongoing support of title sponsor Skandia since 1995. Without
giving the title of the event to a major sponsor, the press coverage for
the sponsor will always be limited. "Skandia Cowes Week" gets printed or
spoken hundreds of times in all aspects of the media whereas a title like
"Cowes Week, supported by Skandia" would be unlikely to even get a mention.
Cowes Combined Clubs, the organisers of Skandia Cowes Week, certainly feel
that the small amount of control that one gives up by appointing a title
sponsor is amply repaid by the potential returns from a happy sponsor.
* From Charles L. Poor: Perhaps it is too unrealistic to think that those
of us who agree wholeheartedly may hope to see some reversion to the happy
days of owner operated "Corinthian" races before I die. The influence of
sponsorship has been to crowd out the amateur - with owner-passengers and
full professional crews and afterguard. I liked the old way better too.
* Bruce Parsons: Here in Newfoundland we have minke and humpback whales
as constant sailing companions, and they are usually feeding. That is to
say, they are distracted, and usually looking down, not up. I have several
times startled these huge animals, they clearly and quickly move to avoid
collision, which is remarkable as some of these animals must be old enough
to remember being hunted.
What I have taken to doing when passing through areas of high whale
activity is to tap irregularly on any available metal surface, usually a
stanchion, with my wedding ring, or perhaps a winch handle if I am really
nervous. This seems to work well enough and I have had no close calls
I cannot advise however on what it might take to wake a sleeping whale, but
I wonder if something like what is used here to warn moose might be
appropriate. These are high frequency whistles mounted on the car that
broadcast above that frequency which humans can detect, but which the
animals can. I understand however that it is the very low frequencies that
travel so far in the oceans that whales use for navigation, so perhaps some
sort of more sophisticated activator might be appropriate - not so much
trying to imitate orcas as alarm sounds from humpbacks, fin, or blue
whales. Fishermen have been using a pinger on nets here with some success.
But who knows what it takes to wake a sleeping whale, probably more than my
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Since Americans throw rice at weddings, do Asians throw hamburgers?