SCUTTLEBUTT 1321 - May 2, 2003
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At 11:20:10 GMT (07:20:10 local time) the blue Open 60 Bobst Group - Armor
Lux slipped across the last of 5 finish lines off Newport RI, the slight
figure of her skipper, Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm up on the foredeck
punching his fist into the air with the widest grin, and then setting off
two red flares in his hands in triumph of his newly acclaimed title of
winner of Around Alone 2002-03.
With 49 points under his belt after 5 legs, 4 of which he won, Stamm's name
is added to the winners' hall of fame, comprising of formidable
single-handers Philippe Jeantot, Christophe Auguin and Giovanni Soldini.
His overall elapsed time for Around Alone 2002-03 is 115 days, 18 hours, 27
minutes and 23 seconds, which is one day less than Soldini's time in 1998,
although Stamm has raced a 13% longer course. His average boat speed is
"Physically, you think your body has limits but I found that I could push
myself further than I thought - even the boat reached her limits before I
did. Mentally, though, the hardest thing to deal with was going through the
Doldrums. You are searching for ghostly wind that doesn't exist, and I felt
that really my boat was like a small cork being pushed around in the middle
"If there's one thing I have learned, it's that you have to know how to
manage the boat and the material to get to the finish. My boat is probably
not the fastest in pure boat speed compared to other boats in my class, so
I don't think I had the upper hand at the start. I spent a lot of time
studying the weather with Pierre Lasnier before the race, and maybe this is
where the difference lies."
"My next project is to race in the 2004 Vendée Globe, as I never finished
the last race three years ago, and so I will take part in the Open 60
circuit starting in July this year. I'll be making some changes to the boat
so it will be in top condition for the next circumnavigation." - Mary
* Take a peek at Bernard Stramm's Pierre Roland designed Bobst
Group-Armor Lux as it reaches the end of the Around Alone journey. -
STANDINGS: 2200 UTC May 1
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux, Bernard Stamm, Finished
2. Tiscali, Simone Bianchetti, 311 miles from finish
3. Ocean Planet, Bruce Schwab, 471 mff
4. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 501 mff
5. Pindar, Emma Richards, 564 mff
1. Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 484 mff
2. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 578 mff
3. Spirit of yukoh, Kojiro Shiraishi, 926 mff
4. BTC Velocity, Alan Paris, 1305 mff
- Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, still sailing leg 4.
(Rich Roberts interviewed Around Alone skipper Brad Van Liew by satellite
phone, and his wife Meaghan by more conventional means - asking the both of
them about their future plans now that the campaign is coming to an end.
Here are two excerpts from his story in The Log.)
As Van Liew crossed the Caribbean on the final leg, Meaghan, who has been
home handling PR and administrative tasks and, by the way, minding little
Tate the last eight months, sighed and said, "There's always this big,
uneasy question mark at the end of Around Alone: what's next?
"We don't have a firm answer right now but we're exploring every
possibility. We do know one thing: we can't do what we've done for the last
eight years, which is to put ourselves at huge financial risk by funding
projects until we find sponsors. We have a baby now, and it's too taxing
financially and emotionally. We're not up for that again."
On the other hand . . .
"If some new sponsor was to come along and say, 'Hey, here's 5 million
dollars; build a new Open 60 and run it for four years,' he'd have trouble
saying no. Brad is a really competitive guy. The challenge of having the
chance to be out there on an Open 60 and show the world what he's made of
in a higher profile and more competitive class might be hard to resist. The
problem is that sponsors don't fall in your lap."
* (And here is how Brad answered the question, 'what's next?'): "I don't
know. I don't know that I have another one in me. I don't think I'm going
to be able to get my head around doing the Southern Ocean solo again. The
first time it was a real adventure and I was wide-eyed and enthralled by
the special nature of seeing something that so few people get to see and to
do it solo, which does put it at a different level. The second time I was
really boat racing. Cape Horn was a mark I needed to get around and I was
playing the weather game. The place is just too big and too powerful and
too dangerous to do this without having a real need or a passion for it."
In Van Liew's case, the passion now involves not only high adventure but a
measure of immortality, so there's the heart of the decision this young
family man must one day make: does the passion outweigh the danger? - Rich
Roberts, The Log, full story:
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The light is fading in Hyères for the 5th day of sailing but most of the
sailors are still on the water, completing their last race. The wind
increased again the level of difficulty in the Semaine Olympique Française.
Starting from the West, it gradually turned to the East to end up on the
South! Light and tricky, under 10 knots, it created a real test for the
sailors and the racing committee operating many course changes along the
day. Three races were accomplished in the 470 and Yngling classes in order
to catch up with yesterday's delay. No races have been sailed in the Laser
or the 49er's Gold Fleet. In the Mistral class, the Chinese women are still
sharing the top 5 places. - Emmauel Marty, Sail-World website, full story:
More than 25 U.S. sailors are racing in this event. Top North American
boats include: Finn: 28. Mo Hart, 29. Geoff Ewenson; 18. Meg Gaillard;
Laser: 34. Mark Mendelblatt; 470 Women, 12. Erin Maxwell; 470 Men: 21.
Steven Hunt, 24. Paul Foerster; 49er: 7. Tim Wadlow; Tornado: 17. Lars
Gluck. - http://hyeres.ffvoile.net/gbr/index.cfm
TEAM NEW ZEALAND
The report outlining what went wrong in the 2003 Team New Zealand campaign
is due to be released to the public in a matter of weeks. Newly appointed
managing director Grant Dalton has seen the draft and told TV One's Good
Morning on Wednesday that it doesn't hold any surprises.
"I don't think you're going to see a lot in the report that you couldn't
have seen just from watching television," Dalton said. "You observed we had
a boat that wasn't strong enough, you observed a dysfunctional crew sailing
it in parts, and a design team that was really pushing outside the envelope
a little too much."
Within the onboard crew Dalton says deficiencies existed in the afterguard
and trimming, and they will be targeted areas for new blood, but that the
grinding and bow areas on the boat worked just fine. "We will not
necessarily ditch them [the afterguard and trimmers] out of the team but we
may ditch them into other areas."
And although Tom Schnackenberg has been retained, Dalton says he will not
be the head of design again. "Tom Schnackenberg will stay in the team and
rightly so. He is now Mr America's Cup but there will be changes. "He's
better in a roving capacity, putting input into all areas of the campaign
not just design."
Dalton believes the syndicate needs a "name designer" someone to fill the
role such as Bruce Farr has within the challenger of record - Oracle.
"There has been a lot of talk about hiring a new design co-ordinator who
actually brings it all together and can filter through the numbers and get
to the nut of the problem, which Russell Coutts is so good at doing, and
that's what we're certainly doing at the moment."
Dalton is also working with other re-signed members of Team New Zealand,
including skipper Dean Barker, to put together a campaign budget of between
$100 and $150 million. They will be looking offshore for a core sponsor and
the bulk of the money. - Fiona McIlroy, nzoom.com website, full story:
What happens when you put a Lightning champion, a multhull champion, a
Snipe champion and a match champion on a ballot and ask Scuttlebutt viewers
which sailor had the greatest accomplishment in April? So far, voters feel
that Tito Gonzalez's victory at the Lightning Worlds is most worthy. Tito
has earned 47% of the 900+ ballots submitted so far, with a third of the
remaining votes going to Alter Cup winner Matt Struble. That doesn't leave
much love for Snipe Circuit king Augie Diaz and Ken Read of Congressional
Cup fame. Have you voted yet? Let us know who you feel had the best month at:
FOR THE RECORD
After seven weeks at sea Great American II, sailed by American adventurers
Rich Wilson (Rockport, Mass.) and Rich du Moulin (Larchmont, N.Y.), is
edging ahead of the Hong Kong-New York record pace set by the clipper ship
Sea Witch. "This is week seven on the ocean for Great American II: it is
also becoming the 'Week of the Spinnaker'," said du Moulin, of the
1,500-square-foot sail cut from red, white, and blue sailcloth. "We used
this sail a few times in the South China Sea, but now it is becoming our
primary speed weapon."
Now approximately 1,800 miles northwest of Cape Town, GAII is sailing
northwest through the South Atlantic, running with a spinnaker. In the past
few days, winds have ranged 8 to 14 knots and GAII has cruised along,
averaging speeds of 10 knots and opening a one-day lead on Sea Witch. But
the sail that has been a useful weapon in their 15,000-mile non-stop run to
New York also has a double edge: Wilson and du Moulin have been forced to
hand-steer while flying the spinnaker. While one crew is anchored at the
helm to keep the sail full, the other is spending his off-watch hours doing
boat maintenance. As a result, both men are fatigued.
Weather routers at Commanders Weather have directed Great American II to
the western side of the South Atlantic. On this side of the ocean, the band
of fickle winds called the doldrums is now at its narrowest, and Commanders
has directed GAII to pass through the doldrums west of 30 West longitude.
Today, as GAII makes headway towards a western gateway across the equator,
she is some 5,975 miles from New York.
Some 360,000 schoolchildren are following the adventure of Great American
II on a daily basis through the sitesALIVE! educational program. Some of
these students hope to be in New York when the vessel reaches its final
destination. If GAII can beat Sea Witch's pace, the boat will arrive in New
York sometime the week of May 26. - Cynthia Goss,
* In the early hours of Thursday morning LogicaCMG crossed the finish
line to become the victors of the 1,800 mile Round Britain Challenge,
pipping Spirit of Southampton to the post to take overall honours in the
inaugural race. LogicaCMG passed the finish line at 00.24BST with Spirit of
Southampton just behind them at 01:51BST. The Daily Telegraph crossed the
line in third place at 03.53 BST. By the morning of Day 12, the race's
official website had more than 3 million page views a staggering number
for what was originally deemed a relatively small event.
* Over 200 well-wishers have posted get-well notes to Gary Jobson on
Scuttlebutt's virtual greeting card. Gary currently finds himself in a
battle with lymphoma (Scuttlebutt 1316), but the outpouring of support we
have seen so far will surely provide him with favorable winds to sail
through this event. If you would like to share with Gary a story, provide
uplifting comments, or just let him know you care, you can join in at
* US Sailing has launched online boating courses on its website, which
are designed to present basic and advanced information about sailboats,
powerboats and boat handling in US waters. The educational resources cover:
Sailing Primer - Advise before you begin; Dinghy Sailing Course; Keelboat
Course; Powerboat Course; Cruising; What to look for in a Sailing School.
Searching for the best sailing simulators available? Put away those flares,
here comes APS to the rescue. You've asked for them, so here they are.
Virtual Skipper, 21st Century Sailing Simulator, and Sail Simulator 4.2.
From racing J22's to designing and racing IACCs, use to sharpen your
skills, compete with others online, or satisfy your sailing cravings
anywhere. So realistic, your friends will wonder why you're wearing your
lifejacket at your computer. Sailing simulators to offshore harnesses,
Annapolis Performance Sailing answers all your performance maydays. For
more info on these hard to find simulators, navigate to
FINALLY - SOME RECOGNITION FOR THE LITTLE GUYS
Small boats contesting the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in future will
receive special recognition for their efforts with the presentation of a
valuable and striking new perpetual trophy to the Cruising Yacht Club of
Australia. Called the Battery Point Trophy after the historic Hobart
landmark that overlooks the finish line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht
Race, the trophy is a sterling silver, one-third replica of yachting's
oldest trophy, the America's Cup.
The Deed of Gift of the Battery Point Trophy does not specify a constant
maximum overall length for a Small Boat. Rather, a special panel will
determine what constitutes a Small Boat after assessing entries for each
race. The definition of a 'small boat' will thus vary from race to race,
season to season, allowing flexibility for race organizers to keep up with
changing trends in yacht design.
Donated by CYCA Director Rod Skellet, the Battery Point Trophy sits on a
plinth large enough for the name of the fastest small boat and its
owner/skipper for the next 25 races. Skellet has also donated five 16cm
replicas of the America's Cup as the take-home trophy for the winner.
The CYCA has also commissioned special Small Boat trophies for its two
other annual long ocean races, the Sydney - Gold Coast Race, which will be
named the Main Beach Trophy, and the Sydney - Mooloolaba Race, the trophy
to be called the Point Cartwright Trophy. - Peter Campbell
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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 Don Watson: I have recently become aware that the 2004
Singlehanded Transatlantic Race to be run by the Royal Western YC includes
a minimum size of fifty feet. There are to be only two classes: one for
sixty footers and one for 50-60 footers. In 2000, there were five classes
with boats as small as thirty feet. Where do the new rules leave those
amateur adventurers that have always been a part of the history of this race?
Rob James put multihulls on the map with his third place finish in Third
Turtle in 1976, and the tradition of Blondie Hasler and the Jester class
seems to have been erased. I do not know why this change has happened, but
if it is because of the professionals taking over the race, this does not
seem like progress.
* From Aaron Ross: Why the need to print the letter pointing out that the
S&S catamaran did the Newport Ensenada race faster than Afterburner? S&S
did not race this year. Afterburner did race this year. He states he does
not want to diminish Afterburner's glory. But that is exactly what he did.
Scuttlebutt does not need sour grapes.
Curmudgeon's Comment: Hmmm. Isn't a forum supposed to the place where all
points of view can be expressed? We truly try to draw the line at bashing
and personal attacks, but it certainly did not appear to us that the
reference letter was heading in that direction.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you