SCUTTLEBUTT 1333 - May 20, 2003
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BLUE WATER BLACK MAGIC
The life of New Zealand sailing hero Sir Peter Blake is to be commemorated
on the Auckland waterfront, Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard
said today. The memorial would be a permanent museum exhibition to include
NZL32 Black Magic, the yacht with which Sir Peter and Team New Zealand won
the America's Cup in San Diego in 1995.
Mr. Mallard said the Government had committed $2.5 million towards the $10
million project, which would also commemorate the environmental work Sir
Peter began before he was shot dead by pirates in Brazil in December 2001.
"It's important that Sir Peter's legacy is remembered for future
generations of New Zealanders," he said.
"The proposed exhibition -- Blue Water Black Magic -- will ensure a lasting
tribute to a New Zealand hero and icon who was recognized the world over."
He said the memorial was the result of discussions between Sir Peter's
widow Lady Pippa Blake, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa in Wellington,
the National Maritime Museum in Auckland, and the Auckland City Council.
The city council had agreed to contribute to the project, which marked a
first-time partnership between the two museums, which would lead a
fund-raising drive and aim to complete the project in 2005.
The Team New Zealand Trust donated NZL32 to Te Papa in 2001 but it has been
on display recently in the carpark at Auckland airport. "We welcome Te Papa
to Auckland," said Auckland mayor John Banks. "This $10 million landmark
exhibition will be a fitting and living tribute to Sir Peter Blake. It will
be a significant infrastructural asset for Auckland. It will substantially
add to the Maritime Museum and will provide a boost to local tourism."
The mayor said it was a unique opportunity for Auckland to have significant
new investment in the Maritime Museum and the Viaduct area, funded 80 per
cent by a third party.
Designed by Auckland architect Pete Bossley, the structure to house NZL32
will consist of large concrete pillars secured in the seabed surrounded by
colored and textured glass to reflect the sea and sky environment. Access
to the new wing will be via an interactive exhibition space. It will
consist of a number of sections, each telling the story of a particular
period in Sir Peter's life.
Lady Pippa said the announcement meant NZL32 would be exhibited to the
public and to people from all over the world. "It also means that proposals
for an exhibition hall commemorating all aspects and facets of Peter's
life, including his yachting and environmental endeavors, will be
realized," she said. - HZ Herald, full story:
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NATION AGAINST NATION
A brand new world-class sailing event has been given the go-ahead following
the announcement that outdoor gear manufacturer Timberland are to sponsor
the inaugural series of Europe's premier yacht race in 2004: Timberland
Timberland Euro-prix is the first truly European Grand Prix Racing Series -
and will begin in Italy on 8 May 2004. For the first time in the history of
off-shore racing, teams put forward by the National Sailing Federations
will compete nation against nation over a seven-week period. Each team will
compete in a standard one design Euro-prix45 yacht, making this a fair and
open competition. The race also provides opportunities for at least two
members of each team to be recruited from youth sailing organizations,
giving valuable experience to the next generation of sailing stars.
Organized by Fast Track, the event will culminate in Scandinavia on June
21. It will be comprised of seven offshore races from port to port, as well
as in-shore races during each 3-day port visit. In each port, Timberland
will organize community support events.
* Bertrand Pace has indicated he hoped to lure Team New Zealand principal
designer Clay Oliver to (Team) France. But Oliver, who helped design the
successful defense boat in 2000 and the controversial and brittle hula
boat, contacted (Grant) Dalton to deny this. They are to meet soon as
Dalton continues to seek top sailing talent and design people for a New
Zealand challenge to be confirmed by the end of the year. NZ Sunday Star
Times, full story:
* KiteShip Corporation and Adventurer Cruise Ship Acquisition Corporation
announced their intent to enter into a co-venture to install kite sail
power onto the first of Adventurer Cruise Ship's vessels. Subject to
shareholder approval, KiteShip will design, fabricate and install an
approximately 8,000 square foot kite sail onto Adventurer Cruise Ship's
187' 924 ton combo vessel "Adventurer 2," beginning as soon as this Summer.
Anticipating significant fuel savings, the companies are already talking
about adding even larger kites to the remainder of Adventurer Cruise Ship's
fleet. - www.kiteship.com
* Norfolk, VA - Under the supervision of her permanent crew, Steve
Fossett's 125' (38.1m) maxi-cat PlayStation is standing by awaiting weather
opportunities for an attempt on the 24 Hour Record of sailing, currently
held by the 110' (33.5m) catamaran Maiden 2, co-skippered by Brian
Thompson, Helena Darvelid and Adrienne Cahalan and a crew of 7(set 12-13
June 2002 at 694.78 nautical miles). In fact, Steve Fossett and PlayStation
have already twice captured this coveted WSSRC record - first in Feb 1999
with a distance of 580.23 nm and again in Oct 2001 at 687.17 nm.
* Even as a young boy, Troy Sears was entranced with the America's Cup and
America's Cup boats. When he finalized the purchase of two Stars & Stripes
(USA34 and USA54) from Team Dennis Conner last month, it was the
fulfillment of a dream - and Sears' desire to keep two of the Cup's "local"
yachts in San Diego. To that end, Sears has established two businesses:
Next Level Racing for teaching sailing and racing tactics, and Sonic Boom
Sailing, for corporate teambuilding exercises, local charters, and race
charters for area regattas. Both businesses launch this month. - Jean
Quist, The Log: http://thelog.com/news/newsview.asp?c=58290
* Sixty three very different yachts from ten nations have entered
DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge - the 3600 nautical mile race that
starts from Newport, R.I., the course travels across the northern Atlantic
Ocean, north around Great Britain to Cuxhaven, Germany and then on to
Hamburg.. Ranging in length from 40 to 152 feet, they include classic
beauties built as early as 1936 as well as brand new yachts. The majority
of the fleet will start the race on Saturday, June 14, while the fastest of
the ocean racers, will head out a week later on June 21. www.dcnac.de.
* Representing Australia at the Admiral's Cup this year will be Royal
Prince Alfred Yacht Club locals Bob Oatley (taking his Reichel/Pugh 60'
Wild Oats and 16 crew) and Colin O'Neil (chartering a Rodman 42 and taking
10 crew). - Sail-World website,
* Canadian Around Alone race skipper John Dennis met up with his biggest
little fans, "the Guzzo Gang," this past weekend aboard his 50-foot yacht
Bayer Ascensia. Since the inception of the Around Alone, the second grade
class--led by teacher Kathy Guzzo of Kendall Park, N.J.--has been following
the event's solo sailors to learn about the world, its issues, and cultural
differences. Dennis, who suffers from type 2 diabetes, became one of the
favorites of the class, who also educated themselves about the illness and
came to fully appreciate Dennis' challenge of managing both his boat and
his condition while at sea. - Media Pro Int'l
* The notice of race for ISAF World Sailing Championships in Cadiz in
September is now available on the event website. There is also a webcam on
the website for each of the three venues. Updated every couple of seconds,
it is now possible for potential athletes and spectators alike to get a
live, second by second update directly from the venue of choice.
* Derek Hatfield's Spirit of Canada, the only boat still on the Around
Alone Racecourse, is now 2270 miles from the Newport RI finish.
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Yesterday Bayer CropScience was in third place in the Challenge Mondial
Assistance race for 60-foot multihulls from Cherbourg, France to Rimini,
Italy. That was before its rig fell down.
In the noon radio session Jean Maurel, skipper of Bayer CropScience phoned
Race HQ to give some details about their dismasting. At the time of the
incident they were sailing "upwind in 20 knots of wind under one reefed
mainsail and trinquette in short seas, Mistral style flying two hulls". The
mast fell very suddenly without warning and they have no idea as to the
cause at this stage. Jean Maurel guessed that it may have been "a
compression break, or a snapped shroud or strop".
There are now eight of the 12 starters still on the race course. The
standings at 0400 GMT on May 20: 1. Groupama, 280 from the finish; 2.
Banque Populaire, 6 miles behind leader; 3. Bonduelle, 36 mbl.
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* May 23-25: 505 Pacific Coast Championships, Mission Bay YC.
* May 30-June 1: Sailing World National Offshore One Design (NOOD)
Regatta, Bayview YC, Detroit, Michigan. 200 boats are expected for this
* May 31-June 1: Cal Race Week, California YC, Marina del Rey, CA. - PHRF
and One-design classes compete on two separate courses. www.calyachtclub.com
* August 22-24: U.S. Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy, St.
Francis YC, San Francisco, CA. The deadline to submit a resume is June 3.
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 Reynald Neron: I am referring to the various messages wondering
why would any spectator watch a sailing competition, which is (I quote)
"difficult to understand because of complicated rules", "does not show any
crashes", "has no waves or bad weather". Well, my answer to that.
Spectators are watching because it is a beautiful event.
Take for instance the Sydney Olympics. Spectators were so close to the
event that sailors could hear the cheers from the crowd. Even on sheltered
waters (so no waves), the show was just amazing to anyone, and not only to
other sailors. Yes we should make our sport more accessible. See how in
Europe, offshore sailors are stars, thanks to the fact that in the 80s,
90s, they started placing cameras on board. With today's technology, there
is no excuse not to share our sport.
* From Magnus Wheatley: (re J.W.Tyrrel's questions in Butt 1332): If he
had been at West Kirby for the Wilson Trophy or indeed the World
Championships in Auckland he would realise that there are a great many
people/ casual observers who get very keen on team-racing and as a result
get keen on sailing as a sport. The rules are no more subjective or
interpretive than say, American Football or Rugby Union and I would
challenge Mr. Tyrrel to explain to me in plain English the 'miss' rule in
snooker. The public are an awful lot cleverer than most people grant them
and sailing, when brought to their attention, is remarkably well understood.
Furthermore some of the downwind death-roll capsizes I witnessed from the
grandstand in West Kirby were spectacular to say the least and certainly
grabbed the shoreside spectator's attention. Commentators like Ken Legler
do an amazing service to sailing by explaining and enthusing on the subject
and opening the sport out to the widest possible audience. If this
experience can be enhanced by providing amphitheatres for the sport (like
West Kirby where the racing is literally metres away) then maybe we can
start knocking down the participation barriers that have dogged racing for
so many years.
Far from being 'sterile and engineered' the Team-Racing scene is
fascinating, fast, accessible and highly enjoyable with first-class race
management and umpiring that many sports and disciplines could learn from.
I suggest taking a hard look before criticizing and stripping the sport
down to its bare bones on an armchair admiral's whim.
* From Ed Sherman: Jim Champ (UK) has a champion idea for attracting
spectators to regattas by competing with distinctively different coloured
hulls and sails where each boat can be distinguished at a distance by
onlookers on shore. "I like the green one with black sails." Otherwise,
from a spectator's perspective from the beach, all sailboats look the same
with no boat distinctive enough to root for.
* From Andy Morrell: When I was an active member of the Professional
Windsurfing Association ISAF levied some fee based on the percentage of
prize money. Pro windsurfing used to be worth around 1.5-2 million in total
prize money p/year. I think ISAF managed to get their hands on the purse
strings when the pro tour was already in decline. I, along with many other
racers, was stumped as to why a percentage of the purse was to be allocated
to sailings world authority
* From Pat Healy: (re a 10% tax on prize money): I agree with ISAF. The
top of the pyramid, professional sailors, those making a living from
sailing, have a responsibility to support the sailing community that
supports them. Directly, the money may go to develop umpires and race
managers that run their races. Indirectly, it may go to support the work on
the rules or development programs in countries that do not have a sailing
Scott MacLeod has worked tirelessly to development international match
racing and I understand his frustration at ISAF's request. On this item, he
may get more nautical mileage out of touting Swedish Match's contribution
rather then complaining about it. How much total money was spent by the
syndicates on the America's Cup or the Volvo Ocean Race? How much went to
support the international or national governing bodies who are fundamental
in providing the structure they are using.
* From Glenn McCarthy (re East Coast bias): I just checked the list of US
Sailing board of directors and calculated the following groups of board
members, who are the final decision makers: East Coast - RI, MD, CT, VA,
NC, MA, NY = 19. West Coast - CA, WA, HI = 13. Midwest - IL, WI, OH = 10.
South - OK, AL, GA, FL, TX = 9. Rich Roberts needs to organize his West
Coast gang that has the second largest voting block. - www.ussailing.org/bod
Curmudgeon's Comment: I wonder if the delegates from Hawaii think of
themselves as representing the West Coast?
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
A good game of pool is the sign of a misspent youth.