SCUTTLEBUTT 1318 - April 29, 2003
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"Grant (Dalton) is very similar to Peter (Blake)," said Yachting New
Zealand's high-performance manager Peter Lester. "They both have proven
track records, they are good with people and sailing teams. They also have
the ability to put people around them who complement each other and neither
are afraid to make the tough calls."
The two men's career paths first crossed in the late 1970s when Dalton
applied for a job on Ceramco, the first Whitbread campaign Blake put
together himself. "I missed out," Dalton said. "So then I applied for a job
on Flyer II but missed out on that as well. But they came back to me and I
ended up sailing in my first round-the-world race on Flyer II as a bowman."
In the 1985 Whitbread, Dalton managed to secure the position of watch
captain on Blake's Lion New Zealand, the one and only time the pair sailed
together. "I really wanted to do my own race," said Dalton. "You cut your
teeth on the round-the-world race. You learn about people, campaigns and
about sponsors - it is every facet of yachting all in one."
In the next Whitbread in 1989-90 Dalton, skippering Fisher & Paykel, and
Blake on Steinlager II, created one of the most dramatic leg finishes in
the history of the event. They were neck and neck approaching Auckland
before Blake pipped Dalton at the post by just six minutes.
"The biggest thing I took from Pete was from Steinlager II and the way he
ran that campaign," Dalton said. "He had really good guys around him. I
learnt that and took that to New Zealand Endeavour. I ran things the same
way as he did and I still do. Pete wrote the book about how to do it well
and since then we have just been following the chapters.
* The America's Cup meant a lot to many people - we just have to get it
back" - - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* June 20-27: Tasar World Championships, Vancouver Island Tasar Fleet,
Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. http://www.tasarworlds2003.org/
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SEMAINE OLYMPIQUE FRANÇAISE
The second day of racing in Hyères was granted with perfect sailing
conditions. A medium sea breeze averaging 10 knots allowed all the
scheduled races to be completed in the 11 series in competition in the
Semaine Olympique Française. The difference in weather conditions changed
the overall results favouring the medium wind specialists.
In the Yngling, today's races were won by the Spanish team skippered by
Monica Azon, and Ulrike Schuemann from Germany. They are placed 2nd and
third overall while Dorte Jensen's crew, sailing consistently took the lead
of the Women keelboat's fleet. Yesterday leaders, Robertson / Ayton / Leask
from the UK and Australians Dennison / Herbert / Aders had an average day,
relegating them in 5th and 4th positions. Shirley Robertson explains her
results (15th and 12th): "We were trying new things today and it didn't
prove very convincing. I am still learning." The British Gold medallist in
the Europe class compares the difference between the Yngling and the
Europe. "The Yngling requires lots of precision as the Europe is more a
question of feeling and we are working on it."
The US Yngling team of Betsy Alison, Lee Icyda and Suzy Leech are in 15th
place with finishes of 7-DNF-5-21.
More than 25 U.S. sailors are racing in this event. Top North American
boats include: Finn: 21. Mo Hart; Europe: 10. Meg Gaillard; Laser: 41. Mark
Mendelblatt (4,- 2, 2); 470 Women, 12. Erin Maxwell; 470 Men: 11. Steven
Hunt; 49er: 8. Tim Wadlow; Tornado: 21. Lars Gluck. -
Around Alone Class 1 overall leader, Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm is so near
to certain victory, but is also not close enough until the finish line is
crossed. With a 300 mile lead over second place Simone Bianchetti on
Tiscali, Stamm is still pushing all the way: "I don't know how to slow the
pace, even the boat doesn't understand what's happening to her… she doesn't
like this at all." Bobst Group - Armor Lux is going upwind at 10 knots
boatspeed with less than 500 miles to cover until the finish not only of
Leg 5 but also of Stamm's 28,000 mile marathon sprint around the world that
is his Around Alone.
The rest of Class 1, including the two Open 50's in Class 2, are now
converging just south of Bermuda, and soon we will see the result of the
different options taken by each skipper. Right now it looks as though
Bianchetti and Bruce Schwab on Ocean Planet will be going head to head over
second place in the same stretch of water. Schwab's Westerly route has paid
him huge dividends as his slim Tom Wylie design lies just 50 miles behind
the Lombard Open 60
Bang in the middle of these two is Class 2 leader Brad Van Liew on Tommy
Hilfiger Freedom America, his Open 50 commanding a 200 mile lead over
fellow American Tim Kent on Open 50 Everest Horizontal. Kent, the
self-confessed 'underdog' in Class 2 is for the first time relishing the
fact that he is closer to Van Liew than he has ever been during Around
Alone, and actually ahead of an Open 60, that of Emma Richards, who is
paying dearly for her extreme easterly route on Pindar. - Mary Ambler
STANDINGS: 2200 UTC April 28 CLASS 1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard
Stamm, 420 miles from finish; 2. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 284 miles from
leader; 3. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 325 mfl. 4. Solidaires, Thierry
Dubois, 419 mfl; 5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 610 mfl;
CLASS 2: 1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 794 miles from finish; 2.
Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 193 mfl; 3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro
Shiraishi, 553 mfl; 4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 812 mfl. - Spirit of
Canada, Derek Hatfield, still sailing leg 4. - http://www.aroundalone.com/
IN SIGHT, IN MIND
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* Team Alinghi's Brad Butterworth and Josh Belsky will meet representatives
of the American press on Tuesday, 13 May in the New York Yacht Club to
present the Team's new America's Cup plans and objectives.
* Antoine Bonnaveau, a sail designer from Seattle, Washington was the
lucky winner of a free vacation at the Bitter End YC during the Dry Creek
Pro-Am Regatta. The 'Junior' skippers for that event will be Russell
Coutts, Andy Burdick, Dawn Riley, Ed Baird, Robbie Haines, and Ken Read,
while the 'Masters' are Butch Ulmer, Lowell North, Keith Musto, Rod
Johnstone, Roy Disney and the Curmudgeon. Also, there will be a fleet of
new Hunter 216s at BEYC for the finals of the Musto Scuttlebutt Sailing
Club Championship Regatta, held concurrently with the Pro-Am. -
BAD NEWS FOR THE BRITS
A new £6.4m national sailing centre at Weymouth and Portland (UK) is in
danger of being sunk after three years of planning by cost-cutting measures
stemming from the fall-off in Lottery funding. Turning the former Royal
Navy base into a centre of excellence which would form the sailing venue in
any British bid for the 2012 Olympic Games has been a 25-year dream of the
sport's governing body, the Royal Yachting Association. The sport delivered
three gold and two silver medals at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, but the
Weymouth development faces, at best, being delayed for up to a year and, at
worst, being delayed indefinitely.
Sport England, the funding distribution arm of UK Sport, is suffering from
a major shortfall in cash from the dwindling Lottery. From a high of £250m
in 1998, Sport England expects to receive only £170m this year and that has
led to a crisis meeting of its council on 8 May at which over 200 projects
will be reviewed under the cost-cutting eye of the chairman, Patrick
Carter. He has already presided over a head office economy drive which has
seen the number of jobs cut from 530 to 250 in an attempt to make full year
savings of £12m. Separate Government funding to Sport England has remained
static at £35m for the last five years.
Sport England has already approved £500,000 worth of work at the Weymouth
site and the RYA are asking for a further £3m. If that grant is approved,
the South-West Regional Development Agency, would contribute an additional
£3m. Without the Sport England money, the Development Agency, which owns
the site, will pull out of the scheme. - Stuart Alexander, The Independent,
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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 Jesse Falsone: With regard to female participation in sailing, I
would like to encourage more women to buy boats and participate as an
owner/ driver rather than crew. The most affordable boats are dinghies, and
as luck would have it, dinghies are also the best vehicles for learning the
subtleties of the sport. While female participation in dinghy sailing is
growing proportionally to that of men, very few women own their own boats,
so very few actually drive.
I very much like sailing with and competing against women, but more for the
diverse social aspect off the water. On the water, they are just teammates
or competitors to me. So, it's great to see more women on the water and
eager to compete at a high level, but I think that women should take it a
step further by decidedly buying their own rides because ownership is one
factor that drives the desire to participate and win.
* From Vin McAteer: I found it slightly surprising that all of the
coverage of the Newport to Ensenada race has had to do with the big fast,
two years and they are obsolete sleds. All this hype when the race was won
on corrected time by a Cal 25! There is still something to be said for the
* From Mark Michaelsen: I'd like to point out that Bill Gibb's
Afterburner was in fact one hour and five minutes ahead of Pyewacket on
course time for the Newport-Ensenada race and not the 45 minutes several
media services reported, including NOSAs. Pyewacket started in the ULDB-A
fleet, which started 20 minutes ahead of Afterburner's 30-boat ORCA fleet.
* From Hugh Elliot: While I have no problems with sponsorship in general,
Tom Donlan raises some really good points. I, too, hate the overly loud
bands that inflict their grotesque lack of talent on all too many regatta
I have long had a hard time seeing exactly where I, the boat owner and
skipper, receive value for my efforts as a floating and walking billboard.
The going rate for a small keelboat, in a 3 or 4 day event, seems to in the
vicinity of $250 - $300 whether sponsored or un-sponsored. That is
reasonable, and organizers should be able to provide basic drinks and some
hamburgers out of that. But where does the sponsorship money go?
Payment for my work on Race Committees (usually 8 - 10 days a year) or on
Juries (about 7 or 8 events a year) would be delightful but lack of payment
is not going to stop me contributing. That is just part of giving a little
back to a sport that has given me so much. Perhaps we can do without the
so-called experts who demand payment in cash rather than accepting the
satisfaction of a job well done.
* From Ralph Taylor: There are two questions regarding throw-outs, drop
races, discarded scores -- whatever we call them: (1) What should be the
default position in the rules? and (2) What the sailing instructions should
modify from the default?
Appendix A2 of the RRS makes one throw-out the default, but also makes it
clear that the sailing instructions may make a different arrangement and
gives examples. In some cases, weather can cause only one race of a regatta
to be completed, so the SIs often say no throw-outs unless so many races
are completed and may allow more than one throw-out if so many more races
are in the books.
Throw-outs do complicate the scoring, especially in tie-breakers, and
sometimes result in turning fleet-racing into match-racing. They may have
an effect on attracting sponsors and media: What would be the effect on
golf if Tiger Woods could skip the final day of a tournament?
* From Stacey Wilson: With regards to Peter Huston's comment about
dropping a race in a world or championship series. He mentioned other
professional sports teams, all which are played within a confined
environment and for the most part competitors are exposed to the same
conditions. Sailboat racing on the other had is totally at the mercy of
mother nature who, even with all the technology today, can baffle even the
best of sailors. Having help run a National Championship here in the
Pacific Northwest where winds and currents can be unpredictable at times,
we insisted on a throw out race.
* From Tim Zimmermann: Here's another one: Consistency is also devalued
in race scoring. I've always wondered why the tie-break process should
consider a 2,4 finish, for example, to be superior to a 3,3. Maybe the
tie-break should be flipped on its head, so that the sailor with the lowest
finish, rather than the highest finish, should lose the tie-break.
* From Mike Schaumburg: The point is that if the S.I.'s include
throw-outs, then I think that throw-out is gone and cannot be used in the
scoring, i.e. "We had a better throw-out, therefore we did better." I don't
know what's so hard to understand about this very important point.
* From Ken Legler (Re Jeff Progelhoff's letter about college rankings): The
short explanation for the criteria is that the Sailing World Magazine
panelists rank the teams independently and subjectively based on major
regatta results. It should not be a surprise when teams that the panelists
coach are ranked pretty high, nor is it a coincidence. Sailing World
selected their panelists from those coaches who attend many of the biggest
events. A team has to be ranked high in their district in order to compete
in a large number of intersectionals and nationals. For results go to
Rankings are subjective because there are so many variables. Pre season
rankings, for example, would be impossible to do objectively. We have to
know the players and look at results from earlier seasons. I'm not sure how
my co-panelists do their rankings exactly but I use point spreads to help
in close calls. I also discount events where weather allowed many less
races, or when many key players have conflicts with other events.
Keelboat events, such as the Kennedy Cup and Sloop Nationals, each won this
year by Charleston, count when they occur but they don't occur very often.
Most minor regattas, such as the NEISA Southern and J-22 Series dominated
by Connecticut College this spring, don't count at all. The Pacific Coast
Southern Series does count because some of those teams cannot travel to
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Scientists say one out of every four people is crazy. Check three friends
and if they are OK, then you're it.