SCUTTLEBUTT 1323 - May 6, 2003
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Just over a day after Class 2 Around Alone 2002-03 winner Brad Van Liew
arrived in Newport, his close friend and rival, the 'tenacious' Tim Kent,
breezed across the finish line in Everest Horizontal at 11:50:47 local time
(15:50:47 GMT). All in a second not only had Kent's life-long dream become
a reality, but also he had earned 34 points and so taken second place
overall in his class with his Jim Antrim designed Open 50.
This 50 year old man from the Midwest, who had one year before never even
crossed an ocean, took up the challenge of Around Alone initially as an
inspiration to his two daughters, to teach them that anything was possible
in life. Kent's grass roots Everest Horizontal entry complimented the
immaculately prepared Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America campaign, and
throughout the race, Van Liew and Kent had been in daily contact, despite
being rivals in the competition. In New Zealand Van Liew even donated all
the rope on the boat to Kent after securing a new rope sponsor.
Kent's race was a struggle to keep pace with Van Liew, but mostly because
he had a struggle to keep his boat together with virtually no budget as the
wear and tear of racing around the world took its toll. Aided in each port
by volunteers, and his one shore crew thanks to a personal donation from a
fellow mid-westerner, Kent was just amazed that he had got round: "I can't
believe it yet, but I have climbed Everest."
Derek Hatfield finally put the long, tedious and treacherous Leg 4 behind
him when he sailed into Salvador Sunday night at 23:01 local time. Derek
will stay in Salvador for a minimum of 48 hours before starting the 4015 nm
Leg 5. He has a full work list and got right to it at first light on Monday
morning . His partner and shore crew Patianne Verberg had lined up the
necessary people. - Mary Ambler & Brian Hancock, http://www.aroundalone.com
Overall Rankings - Class 1:
1. Bobst Group - Armor Lux: 49 points / 115 days 18hrs 27m 23s
2. Solidaires: 45 points / 118 days 13hrs 54m 1s
3. Tiscali: 35 points / 159 days 20hrs 53m 11s
4. Pindar: 33 points / 131 days 20hrs 45m 49s
5. Ocean Planet: 30 points / 159 days 6hrs 41m 42s
1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America: 50 points / 148 days 17 hrs 54m 42s
2. Everest Horizontal: 44 points
Curmudgeon's Comment: Thanks to photographer Onne van der Wal, the
Scuttlebutt website now has photos posted of American skipper Brad Van
Liew's Open 50 Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America as it approaches the fifth
and final finish line of the Around Alone race. -
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Around Alone
"I feel gutted. This race has sucked the life out of me and what is so
weird is that I feel more alive than ever before. I guess that is why this
sport is so addicting. How will I ever match the adrenaline of the last
eight months solo around the globe? The Around Alone takes everything your
body can give and everything your mind will endure." - Brad Van Liew
"I am happy to end my career after a night like last night, the sea state
was terrible, and also there was a musical symphony of blips on my radar
screen, so not much time to be nostalgic! But I managed to put up my
Amnesty International spinnaker, painted by children in every country we
have visited, for the first time ever during the race, and sailed for the
last 3 miles with it. It is the symbol of my project for human rights,
which has lasted for ten years." - Thierry Dubois
"I took on the race as a sailing challenge, not the solitude, to put it
into perspective I wanted to go out and have a race and that is what I got.
The solitude is something you have to deal with, I think there are some
solo sailors out there who like it but I am not one of them." - Emma Richards
THEY JUST KEEP GOING AND GOING.
At all the regattas around the world, just look at what the crews are
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(Following is an excerpt from the commentary of Chris Rattue in the New
Zealand Herald concerning the final report issued by Team New Zealand -
"We have captured the hearts and minds of all New Zealanders, and in recent
times we have had the nation's unqualified commitment and support," the
introduction to the eight-page report claimed.
Wrong. There are, TNZ, citizens disinterested in this mega-money contest
and yachting in general, just as there are those who don't give a toss
about the All Blacks. And TNZ have got even less chance in the hearts and
minds stakes when they make all the wrong splashes on race day. TNZ haven't
learnt, even at the very moment they are publicly trying to learn from the
In a nutshell, (TNZ director Peter) Menzies' report conceded the campaign
had too much test tube and not enough tub testing. Through circumstance or
design they were missing a healthy dose of expert instinct. That,
presumably, is why the sea-faring Grant Dalton is now in charge.
Menzies, whose CV includes running the huge Mainzeal company for two
decades and trusteeship on The Warehouse-associated Tindall Foundation,
might see a strange irony. This $90 million construction project ended up
relying on a blue bucket you could get for loose change at a bargain store.
When asked if he feared New Zealand might one day be priced out of
escalating water warfare, Menzies replied that the new campaign would not
cost the $150 million some predict, and sponsors would be attracted to the
cup profile in Europe. But, he hinted, TNZ might have to be bailed out by
even greater overseas money. Conclusion? Dalton - who knows a thing or two
about going around the world - will take an extra large collection bucket
on his travels this time. - Chris Rattue, NZ Herald, full story:
Team New Zealand's report released on Monday outlining the failures from
the 2003 campaign does not shed much new light for those who have watched
the syndicate's evolution over the last three years. It names only the four
directors and three executives, and does not mention specific dates or
details of incidents.
The biggest deduction to be drawn from the report is that Team New Zealand
were in big trouble a long time before the public witnessed their
destruction in race one. And that the majority of their problems stemmed
from a crucial decision back in May 2000 to run the campaign with three
relatively separate entities, led by Dean Barker (sailing), Tom
Schnackenberg (design) and Ross Blackman (administration and sponsorship).
Menzies told reporters on Monday, that they believed the structure was
working and by the time they realized it wasn't it was too late. He,
however, could not pinpoint a specific date when that realization dawned.
"It was more a growing awareness as problems evolved," he said. "It really
didn't hit home until the first race. It wasn't a lack of science or skill.
It was because we didn't get our management responsibilities properly
* In hindsight the desire to produce vastly faster boats was to the
detriment of everything else which highlighted the lack of leadership in
the campaign. - Fiona McIlroy, nzoom.com website, full story:
Curmudgeon's Comment: The text of the entire TNZ report is posted at:
Americas Cup yachting veteran Tom Schnackenberg is likely to play a
different role in Team New Zealand's next challenge, the team's new boss
said today. "Tom Schnackenberg in the role that he was, where he had direct
responsibility for the boat, he will not be in that role any more," Team NZ
managing director Grant Dalton said today.
Instead, Schnackenberg, who was previously syndicate head, was likely to be
appointed as an adviser to Dalton, reporting to him on a daily basis.
"...he's invaluable, but to put him an area of full responsibility would be
wrong," Dalton told National Radio.
* Schnackenberg was not immediately available for comment. - NZ Herald,
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Annapolis, MD - Dennis Conner and Ted Turner have been on bigger stages
before venturing into the waters off Annapolis, Maryland for the third
event in the Sailing World National Offshore One Design Regatta. Yet
something in the spirit of competition brings two America's Cup winners to
the event. Both captains showed the sailing prowess that has earned them
international fame and admiration in winning their divisions on Sunday. But
theirs was not the only story out on the water. Many sailors who make their
home around the waters of Annapolis also walked away with titles in races
on the Chesapeake Bay off the Annapolis Yacht Club.
The races were the final competitions in the NOOD Regatta, the nation's
premier sailing tour, in which 273 teams competed in 18 different classes.
In all, four captains from Annapolis took home regatta titles on Sunday.
Four more captains from throughout Maryland also took home titles to give
the home state eight of 18 Regatta winners. Alec Cutler of Annapolis won
the J/105 Class. Garth Hitchens of Annapolis won the J 105. Peter McChesney
of Annapolis won the J 22 class and John Ebell of Annapolis won the
Catalina 27 class. The four other Maryland winners included Peter Scheidt
of Highland who won the J 35 class, David Pyles of Easton who won the Mumm
30 class, Read Beigel of Severna Park who won the Alber 30 class and Henry
Starr of Silver Springs who won the Pearson 30 class.
In the head-to-head battles of former America's Cup winners, Turner
captained Courageous to victory over 1980 America's Cup winner Freedom in
the 12 Meter class. While former Freedom captain, the legendary Dennis
Conner competed in and won the Etchells class. - Dean Turcol, Complete
SEMAINE OLYMPIQUE FRANÇAISE
Hyères, France: 1102 sailors representing 49 countries are taking part in
this ISAF Grade one event for Olympic classes. The British Team won four
medals - 2 silver and 2 bronze medals, Spain and China won three medals
(China won Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Mistral Women's class) and four
teams won two medals - France, Finland, Australia and Israel. The top North
American finishers included:
- 49er: 10. Tim Wadlow / Peter Spaulding
- Tornado: 11. Lars Guck / Jonathan Farrar.
- Yngling: 7. Betsy Alison, Lee Icyda, and Suzy Leech.
- 470 Men: 21. Paul Foerster / Kevin Burnham
22. Steven Hunt / Michael Miller
- 470 Women: 17. Katie McDowell / Isabelle Kinsolving
- Finn: 27. Geoff Ewenson
- Laser: 34. Mark Mendelblatt
- Europe:19. Meg Gaillard
Event website for complete results: http://hyeres.ffvoile.net/
We regret to report that the Scuttlebutt survey feature on the website
experienced a security breach during our current poll for Scuttlebutt
sailor of the month for April. The poll has been removed from the site, and
we are now reviewing our options to more soundly protect the integrity of
future surveys. We hope to have it back in action soon.
PROTECTOR BOATS SKI/SAIL NATIONALS
Melges 24's, Vanguard 15's and Laser fought the snow, shifty winds and
challenging ski hills to determine the Ski/Sail National Champion. It took
a tie breaker in the Melges fleet to finally get a winner in the most
competitive fleet ever. Stan Eriksson, from Tahoe City, And his crew of
Blair Wallace, Sasha Speigle and Ross and Shane Collins,ended up on top by
winning the skiing portion at Squaw Valley and finishing fourth in sailing.
Second was Alex Silverman with Carl Smit, Shane Wells, Chris Hutcheson and
Eric Delauries. The Vanguard 15 fleet was won by Matthew Session and Avery
Patton with 2nd places in both the skiing and sailing with Nick
Adamson/Aaron Ross second and Scott Sellers/Matt Gregory third. Lasers were
won by Martin Hartmanis skiing to second and winning the sailing. He was
followed by Dan Hauseman and Jim Granger.
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AMERICA'S CUP REFLECTIONS
As with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the collaboration between Coutts,
the deft driver, and Butterworth, the enlightened strategist, is one for
the ages. Like the songwriters, their greatest moments have come as a pair,
when each tapped into the other's unique talents to maximize the potential
of both individuals and create something unsurpassed.
For those Kiwis with a sense of history, it might all bring to mind one
particular wistful Beatles tune. For with Coutts, Butterworth, and, now,
the America's Cup gone from their shores, it'd be hard not to believe in,
and long for, yesterday.
Curmudgeon's Comment: The above excerpt is from Herb McCormick's America's
Cup summary story now posted on Cruising World magazine's website. Those
who missed the insight that McCormick provided during AC 2000 with his
daily newspaper stories will surely enjoy the perspective this story
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 Zachie J de Beer: It was interesting to read about TNZ's analysis of
their failure in the last Cup defence. At the same time the structural
failures in the TNZ boat and others has been a constant source of
entertainment to me. In simple terms I have not been able to understand how
the boats could be designed so close to the limit because of the fact that
the very marginal gains made in mass saving (even more marginal for speed)
can only be utilized if the boat does not fail.
If the ACC class rules were different (promoted fast yachts rather than
lead mines) the quest for lower mass would make more sense because mass
savings would translate into bigger speed gains. Also the loads from the
keel and rig would reduce and reduce the pressure to save mass in the
structure reversing a vicious cycle.
An archaic rule that punishes engineering decisions very hard for very
small performance gains, it just drives up the costs of the sport and this
should be looked at. The parallel with F1 motor racing is becoming clearer
and the ACC rule should take notice, F1 is re-writing the rule book to
reduce costs because smaller teams are falling away and sponsorship money
is harder to come by. If this is valid for F1 it must be more valid for the
* From Craig Fletcher: Why is New Zealand trying so hard to lay blame for
their loss instead of looking to a future win? Makes one wonder if they
have any chance in the future. Maybe all of the optimists are sailing for
* From Geoffrey Phillips, Sydney, Australia (re letter from Andrei
Glassberg): While the "loyal" campaign was somewhat misguided and not
ultimately helpful to their cause, I think it is fair to say that Team NZ
conducted themselves throughout the interminable Cup process with a good
degree of dignity, reserve and sportsmanship. As did the vast majority of
their countrymen. The illustrious record of Team NZ since 1987 still stands
proud, and has not been sullied beyond repair by the recent defeat.
Anyone who knows yacht racing will surely agree that a rejuvenated, well
funded and well managed Team NZ is capable of presenting a serious and
competitive challenge at the next Americas Cup. Dennis Conner showed that
it can be done - Rhode Island to Fremantle. Furthermore, there will be
global corporations with similar belief in Team NZ - and who will back the
Kiwis with substantial funding.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Daylight savings time - why are they saving it and where do they keep it?