SCUTTLEBUTT 1339 - May 29, 2003
Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
A legendary sailing ship record that has remained untouched for a century
and a half toppled on Tuesday night when the trimaran Great American II
sailed into New York Harbor, 72 days out of Hong Kong. Wednesday morning,
American adventurers Rich Wilson (Rockport, Mass.) and Rich du Moulin
(Larchmont, N.Y.) were greeted by cheering family and supporters as their
53-foot sailboat passed the Statue of Liberty soon after 10:00 AM.
"Two and a half months at sea is a long, long time for a classroom session
. . . but it was worth every minute!" said Wilson, skipper of the Great
American II, as he and du Moulin stowed their ship's sails at Chelsea Piers
on Manhattan's West Side. For their entire journey, two men have been
communicating with 360,000 school children who were following a series of
lesson plans linked to the voyage, on Wilson's www.sitesalive.com web site
and in the Newspaper In Education program for schools.
Great American's time from Hong Kong on the 15,000 mile passage to the
Ambrose Light Tower off Sandy Hook at the entrance to New York Harbor was
72 days 21 hours 11 minutes and 38 seconds. Her time eclipsed the record of
74 days, 14 hours set by the extreme clipper ship Sea Witch in the China
tea trade in 1849. The record, which is one day and 17 hours faster than
the old mark, has been reported to the World Speed Sailing Record Council
for formal ratification.
Although 154 years of technological development separated these two
vessels, Wilson and du Moulin struggled to keep pace with the ghost of the
192-foot clipper ship, as they trailed her several times in the South China
Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
Wilson is already planning future projects for his non-profit sitesALIVE
Foundation, in Boston, Mass., with the aim of training teachers to make
effective use of communications technology in their classrooms. Keith
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
SPLIT, Croatia - Another lively day of racing on day two of the Swedish
Match Tour's ACI HTmobile Cup, saw injuries mount, another squall upset the
racing schedule and, finally, leaders begin to emerge from the chaos that
has marked the regatta's opening round. Just as the wind picked up from 10
to 20 knots prior to the first starts of the day, Jesper Radich's trimmer
Chresten Plinius received a blow to the skull by the boom of his Jeanneau
One Design 35. Plinius was rushed to hospital where he received four
stitches but was back on board in time to compete in the second flight.
The racing was as difficult for the competitors as it was for the race
committee, although it allowed all but one of the flights in the first
round robin to be sailed. The wind shifted constantly throughout the day.
The biggest incidents came as a squall, known locally as a 'Dirty Bora'
(because its wind direction varies) passed over the fleet during the first
flight. At one point Kustic says it was blowing 35 knots at sea level, and
probably 40 knots at the masthead. As the gust hit a number of boats were
laid flat and were pinned for around 30 seconds, their crew helpless. To
add to the frustration of the race committee the weather mark dragged
anchor in the gust.
Worst affected by the conditions was Gram Hansen whose boat broached while
he was locked in a downwind luffing match with Sweden's Magnus Holmberg.
This was the start of a bad day for the Swedish Match Tour leader, losing
four races and winning just one. To add to the complications caused by the
'Dirty Bora' was the northwesterly flowing current that in the light winds
that prevailed this afternoon caused several boats to collide with marks
and pick up penalties as a result. This fooled even old hands like
Holmberg, narrowly the regatta leader after today's racing. - Shawn
Magnus Holmberg, 7-2
Karol Jablonski, 6-2
James Spithill, 6-2
Jesper Radich, 5-2
Jes Gram-Hansen, 4-4
Chris Law, 4-4
Mattias Rahm, 3-4
Allan Coutts, 3-5
Paolo Cian, 0-2
Johnie Berntsson, 2-6
Frane Brate, 0-9
NO WEED SPEED
In stock now at Ockam - the CS4500 Ultrasonic Boatspeed sensor. Another
amazing product from Airmar, our supplier of the Depth/Temp NMEA
Smartducer. Flush mounted with a hard, smooth surface, no moving parts,
removable sensor in a nylon or bronze thru-hull. No more boatspeed problems
caused by seaweed or other junk catching in the paddlewheel. No more
damaged paddlewheels from lifting slings or lobster pots. On-the-water
testing proved excellent accuracy and responsiveness. Fully compatible with
both the Tryad T2 multiplex interface and older style Model 015 Boatspeed
Interface. For more information contact your Ockam dealer or Tom Davis
ROUND THE WORLD
World Cruising Club, a division of Challenge Business, has released
information about the Corinthian Challenge due to set sail in September
2006. The Corinthian Challenge has grown from the need for round the world
racing that is accessible to all, regardless of yacht design, sponsorship
or depth of pocket. Although the final stopover ports will not be announced
until the end of 2003, the proposed course will comprise seven legs
incorporating UK, Canary Islands, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand,
South America and the Caribbean before finishing in the UK.
Open to monohulls suitable for racing in the most demanding conditions,
yachts will be raced under the ORC Special Regulations for Category O. The
Organisers have put in place rating restrictions in order to limit the
spread of the fleet between stopovers and enable the race to be completed
in a concise 9 months. Yachts eligible to enter must have a 2003 IRC TCC
Rating of between 1.140 and 1.450 and a minimum overall length of 58 feet
or 17.7 metres.
To help control costs for competitors, limitations have been put in place
in order to deter high budget campaigns in line with the ethos of the whole
event. These include limitations on the maximum number of sails that may be
used during the race as well as other measures, to be detailed in the
Notice of Race.
All crew must adhere to the ISAF Rules on Professionals; with no more than
2 crew from ISAF Group 3 and 2 crew from ISAF Group 2 sailing on board at
any one time. This limits the number of professionals permitted to take
part in the Race and maintains the Corinthian spirit. At least half of the
crew on board for each leg must have participated in at least a 500 mile
passage aboard the boat they are competing on. The only age restriction is
that all competitors must be 18 years old when they reach the start line
and each competing yacht must have at least 6 crew on board at any one time.
The Entry Fee per yacht is £30,000 with a £1000 deposit payable on
application. There will be a berthing supplement of £3000 for all yachts
over 80 feet or 24.4 metres. A Notice of Race and Application Form can be
obtained from the organisers, World Cruising Club.
More detailed information on the Corinthian Challenge can be obtained by
visiting the World Cruising Club website:
A LETTER FROM GARY
Over the past two months I have received an astounding 1,500 e-mails and
300 cards from friends around the world. For all these messages I am grateful.
So far my medical numbers are better and things are looking encouraging.
Since my diagnosis, I've had two surgeries, two chemo treatments and two
setbacks as a result of the chemo. I've lost a total of 38 pounds and have
a new hairdo (none). But my cough has gone away, I'm walking everyday and
after a series of upcoming tests, I'm optimistic to finish this regimen in
I really appreciate all the support from so many friends. My plan is to be
back on the job in early September. - Gary Jobson
Rich Roberts has more on this story at http://www.yachtracing.com
* The Boat U.S. Santa Maria Cup got underway Wednesday, where an
international field of ten teams has gathered for this ISAF Grade 1 women's
match race event in Annapolis, MD. Standings after Round One: Liz Baylis
6-0, Betsy Alison 4-2, Giulia Conti 4-2, Klaartje Zuiderbaan 4-2, Marie
Faure 3-3, Carol Cronin 3-3, Paula Lewin 3-3, Malin Källström 2-4, Debbie
Willits 1-5, Arabella Denvir 0-6. - http://www.santamariacup.org
* Wednesday morning Olympic Gold-Medalist Jonathan McKee sailed his 21 foot
Prototype Team McLube into Douarnenez, winning Leg Two of the Mini Pavois
and becoming overall winner after finishing first in Leg One. Leg Two,
Portsmouth to Douarnenez saw only 26 boats managing to start after strong
winds depleted 11 boats from the fleet in Leg One from La Rochelle to
Portsmouth. The 800-mile singlehanded Mini Pavois was indeed a test for
boats and skippers and no doubt will set the tone before the gruelling
4,500 mile Mini Transat which starts from La Rochelle in September 2003. -
* In November 2002 and February 2003, ISAF approved that only Mistral
One-Design boards manufactured after 1 January 2003 to the new
specification shall be permitted at the 2004 Olympic Regatta and remaining
Olympic qualification regattas. However, in a change to the previous
decisions and reflecting the wishes of the sailors, it has now been decided
that any class legal equipment may be used for the forthcoming
Qualification Regattas, although the previous decision remains for the 2004
Olympic Regatta. - http://www.sailing.org
* The Whittley Cruiser 660, took out the Australian Marine Industry
Federation's (AMIF) Australian 2003 Boat of the Year Award. The Northshore
369 was awarded Sailing Non-trailerable Boat of the Year. Other winners at
STRONG SUMMER SUN - UV PROTECTION
Protect your skin and sail forever! A breathable, form fitting, sailing
shirt, by Sailing Angles offers excellent UV Protection! 8 oz. Lycra
Spandex construction creates a form fitting, unencumbered, sun-protective
shirt that stretches when you do whether doing a back flip on the
centerboard or leaping for a surprise jibe on your Farr 40. You will find
the high collar and low cut waist very functional, offering maximum
coverage. Buy one today, protect yourself and sail forever! Sizes jrs,
adults, xs-xxxl, white, royal and savannah silver. Available at APS,
Layline, and http://www.sailingangles.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
* May 30-June 1: Watts Trophy Regatta for Farr 40s, Los Angeles YC. -
* July 12: Round The Island Race, Edgartown YC. 52 mile race for and both
cruising and racing boats around Martha's Vineyard Island. -
* August 27-September 1: Knickerbocker Cup, Knickerbocker YC, Manhasset
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 Ginny Lovell: Regarding the U.S. performance in the Olympic
classes, it seems obvious that the key is the financial support, or the
lack thereof of our talented sailors. The teams that are doing well from
other countries are financially supported, and they do not have day jobs.
They sail all the time and have the best equipment and coaches. They do not
have to worry so much about paying the bills.
There doesn't seem to be an arm of U. S. Sailing dedicated to fundraising,
and our sailors have to do their own thing in addition to keeping a day
job. If you polled the sailors, I would bet the number one complaint would
be the lack of support and financial respect. Sailors in Great Britain
command a lot of respect and, as was mentioned before, receive money from
the national lottery.
Being good at fundraising is essential in the Americas Cup arena, but if
our nation wants Olympic medals, our athletes should be given support.
There is plenty of talent there, just very little money. It's money, stupid!
* From Chris Ericksen: I applaud Peter Huston's letter in 'Butt 1338
about US Sailing becoming "US Training." While I embrace the training
aspects of US Sailing, I do fear that the organization is experiencing
"mission creep" in an effort to widen its appeal. Books sell and make
money; powerboaters, bass fishermen and jet skiers all could be members;
and all for little additional cost to US Sailing. It is an interesting
business model--but not the one it should be.
US Sailing's own website declares that the organization's mission is "to
encourage participation and promote excellence in sailing and racing in the
United States." I encourage US Sailing to mind its knitting and leave the
powerboating instruction to the organization that has been doing it for
generations: the US Power Squadron.
* From Wells Wentworth: Bravo Peter Huston. Amazon.com lists 44 books on
powerboat operation, and something tells me the world is not in dire need
of a new book on the subject. So while our Olympic sailors are getting
pounded by better supported foreign teams, our national governing body is
focusing on powerboat training. What's wrong with this picture?
* From Wes Oliver: Peter Huston rails about US Sailing being in the
"powerboat" business or in the publishing business or in the training
business. Obviously he has never been involved with junior sailing or the
hiring of instructors for junior sailing. He might be surprised to learn
how many competent young sailors aspiring to be instructors or coaches
don't have a clue about how to operate a powerboat!
The US Sailing Powerboat training course will soon be a prerequisite for
our hiring of instructor staff. It does serve an important purpose in
furtherance of broadening the capabilities of our younger sailors. Thanks
US Sailing for providing important training for our young instructors.
* From Janet C. Baxter, President Elect- US Sailing (In response to Peter
Huston's comments on US Sailing's involvement with Powerboating): Peter, I
encourage you to look at the new Powerboat book. It was written to help
Race Managers and Sailing Instructors on the water. Accidents can happen
when sailors mix with powerboats, even at the highest levels. This is one
more attempt to minimize the risks and maximize the fun.
Ever been to a race where the mark drifted away or the RC couldn't get the
line set in heavy seas? The stories are great at the bar but not so good
for great sailing. We hope that more training leads to more participants,
both racing and helping to run the races.
* From Bruce A. Eissner, Chairman, Offshore Committee, US Sailing (Re.
Peter Huston's comments about US Sailing's "changing focus"): That's
nonsense. On the offshore side alone, there is significant activity with
regard to a new effort in grand prix sailing, Americap is growing, and we
are providing more direct services to races and racers. The Olympic and
Regional Games efforts ensure support of sailing at its highest level.
There are many other examples.
Of course, education is a focus. It ranges from Safety Seminars for
offshore sailors to the new power boat program. The origins of the latter
came from racers, race organizers and coaches. Surely Peter has noticed
that organizers, judges, coaches, and others use power boats. And a recent
unfortunate incident involving a power boat and an aspiring Olympic sailor
might remind him that better power boat handling can contribute to better
* From Sheila McKee: Guess who drove Bates, Jonathan and Charlie McKee to
their Soling and raced with them on occasion? Their dear Mom. They were too
young to drive a car, but not too young to race. If they needed a crew, I
was it, mid position. - got some strong muscles. Otherwise I skippered Tina
Conways's Soling with Axel Olsen who never used a stop watch - we just
counted down aloud before the start. Their dad didn't race with them though
he was a fine racer, but, at that point he served ably on many race
committees and was as proud of them as I was.
If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?