SCUTTLEBUTT 1394 - August 15 2003
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(Yesterday Scuttlebutt ran a few excerpts from Part One of our exclusive
interview with Yngling World Champion, and five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of
the Year, Betsy Alison. Part Two is now posted on the Scuttlebutt website -
here are a few excerpts to whet your appetite.)
Scuttlebutt: With all the events you are doing in Europe, how challenging
are the overseas logistics?
Betsy Alison: People say, "What's the worst part of campaigning?" And it is
really the logistics and the problems that aren't related to us in the
boat. Home for us right now is on the road. We just got back from eight
weeks in Europe. We've got three weeks back in the states, and then we're
back to Europe again. We feel very comfortable traveling abroad and I know
there are a lot of other teams and individuals that don't particularly care
to be living in foreign countries and foreign environments, eating food and
dealing with all those hassles. But it is just another problem to solve.
Because we have to drag a keelboat around with a trailer and trailer boxes
and the whole nine yards it made most sense for us to buy a second car and
ship it over to Europe. That way we knew that we would have our own vehicle
to tow our own boat and not have to be reliant on anyone else. It is just
nice to know that you have that one element that you don't have to think about.
When it comes to driving the boat around, none of us have a whole lot of
time, but the more we get down this road, the more full-time the whole
effort becomes and you have to make the effort to get every job done.
Everything else seems to suffer a little bit (jobs, relationships,
homesteads), but you realize it is only for a certain period of time, and
it's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity. Why wouldn't you give it
everything you've got? I don't think you can do this half way to be
successful at it.
Scuttlebutt: Financially, what has it taken to get you where you are right now?
Betsy Alison: So many people think that money is no object in these Olympic
campaigns but frankly we are living from hand to mouth all the time.
Because of the amount of time it takes to train, compete and travel, it is
unfortunate that we have to do it on a shoestring budget. If we didn't have
to worry about things financially, my god, our job would be so much easier.
When you talk about credit cards, I have three maxed out right now and it
scares the life out of me. But when push comes to shove, you look at it all
and you wonder if it is worth it. Is the journey itself worth it? Of course
it is. And when I look at our team, our goals are the same. And I know for
a fact that there are campaigns right now that are struggling with that,
and people that have had friendships for years are struggling with that
right now because of the pressures of the campaign. For us, I think we are
lucky because we all have similar goals and drives.
So, financially it is a struggle, trying to work at the same time so that
the bank doesn't take my house and the loan companies don't take the cars
back, etc. We've been financing what we're doing with private
tax-deductible contributions from family, friends, and others that are
interested in what we're doing. Those are the people that are a huge part
of our program, that have stepped forward to help us on the financial side.
We now have almost five hundred people on our email server list, which
provide us the ability to share our experiences with people that may never
have the opportunity to do what we're doing. To make them feel that they
are with us on each step of the journey.
To read the rest of Part Two of this exclusive Scuttlebutt interview:
The Rolex Fastnet Race has seen a flurry of new finishers arriving in
Plymouth all Thursday. A total of 40 boats have now finished the course and
the last boat round the Fastnet Rock. The victors of Class Super Zero and
Zero have been determined and the overall Rolex Fastnet winner under IRC is
almost certainly going to be Charles Dunstone's Maxi Nokia who finished
nearly two days ago. The fleet still at sea is now enjoying the steadiest
winds of the race so far with 10-18 knots Easterlies blowing right across
the Celtic Sea and the Western Approaches. http://www.rorc.org
"ZERO" DRAG SPEEDO
That's right, no paddle wheel or flush mounting required! If you were
blind, you might not even know it was in your hull. We get calls on this
type of transducer all the time, so we have been tracking developments. The
latest is an Ultrasonic Speed Sensor that uses ultrasonic pulses to collect
echoes from small particles in the water as they pass under the transducer.
This device has an instantaneous reaction time and is very sensitive at
slow speeds. Check it out on our website http://www.layline.com or call
ATHENS REGATTA 2003
Sailing is one of the few spots holding two Test Events, the first being in
2002, with the aim being to test the event infrastructure and organization
to ensure an excellent event come the 2004 Olympic Regatta, next August.
Reflecting the procedures that will be implement at Games Time, this final
rehearsal event is almost like the real thing. Today, sailors and team
managers were confronted with the special features of Olympic Competition;
boats are not only checked if they comply with the class rules, but also
searched for explosives. Such are the security measures for the Olympic
Games and therefore for this Test Event.
Registration and measurement started today and is well underway. The ISAF
Officials are working with teams of very well trained volunteers, and for
them as well this regatta is the final practice. Sailors that attended last
year's event are impressed by the progress in the construction of the
Olympic Sailing Centre. About 95% of the facility is ready and in use.
Whilst there are rumours of delays in the preparations for other sports,
there seems to be no such problems for the sport of sailing.
Measurement and practice sailing will continue until 18 August, with the
official practice race for all classes taking place on 19 August with the
first official race scheduled to start at 1200 hours on 20 August. Racing
will continue until 28 August. - ISAF website
* A total of 42 old guys found their way to the Alamitos Bay YC in Long
Beach CA for the US Laser Masters, with 36 sailing Lasers and six opting to
sail Radials. Russ Silvestri dominated to win both the Apprentice Fleet and
overall, with Martin Hartmanis second Apprentice and second overall. Chuck
Tripp easily won the Master division (and was third overall), as did Bill
Symes in the Grand Master division, and Peter Seidenberg dominated the
Great Grand Master division, finishing, 11th. -
* The New York Yacht Club has won the inaugural NYYC Invitational Team
Race Championship, held August 9-10 at Harbour Court. Sailing Sonars off
Goat Island, the NYYC team, led by Joe Berdenheier, captain, Senet Bischoff
former collegiate Sailor of the Year, and Karl Zeigler, many-time winner of
the Hinman and the Wilson trophies, won 12 of their 15 races. Sewanhaka
Corinthian Yacht Club, featuring current ISAF Team Racing world champion
Tim Fallon and former world champion Josh Adams took second place, narrowly
edging out Yale Corinthian Yacht Club led by Dave Perry, Dave Dellenbaugh
and Ken Legler. - www.NYYC.org
* The USA's Kevin Teborek holds a three point lead over Ireland's N. Butler
after seven races in the Laser 2 World Championships at the Yachtclub WSV
Hoorn, in Hoorn, the Netherlands. The 70-boat regatta ends today.
If you've been around sailing for any time, then you're familiar with
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Sixty one international teams have entered the International Women's
Keelboat Championship scheduled for September 27 October 3, 2003 at the
Annapolis Yacht Club, in Md. Sailors from Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands,
Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa and 16 U.S. states will take to the
Chesapeake Bay on International J/22 class sailboats.
With women's keelboat sailing making its debut in the Yngling at the 2004
Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, many of the world's elite sailors are
currently training for a berth and see the Rolex IWKC as a "cross training"
experience toward their goal. That number would include five-time Rolex
IWKC champion Betsy Alison, Hannah Swett of New York, N.Y.; Paula Lewin of
Bermuda; and 1999 Rolex IWKC champion Carol Cronin of Jamestown, R.I.
"There are several teams besides us who are basically sailing full time in
the Yngling, which will make for a fresh challenge," said Cronin who
finished second at the 2001 Rolex IWKC.
Rolex IWKC is part of US Sailing's national championship series. The
official entry deadline is September 10. The Notice of Race and Entry Form
are posted online. - Media Pro Int'l, www.race.annapolisyc.org/rolexkeelboats
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Sweden's Magnus Holmberg of Team Stora Enso stormed through the early heats
of the Danish Open today, as 12 international teams battled it out in
30-knot gusting winds off Skovshoved Harbour. With the Danish Open marking
the beginning of Swedish Match Tour 2003/04, the America's Cup caliber
racing teams were all fired up and keen to kick off the 'new year' with a
bang. The highlight of the day took place in the ninth and final round of a
busy day's racing. Both Holmberg and Australia's Peter Gilmour of Team
Pizza La had kept a clean sheet until their final heat, so one of them was
going to be disappointed.
Gilmour is known for excelling in strong breezes, but he admitted that
Holmberg did a good job of sewing up their match today. "The pattern seems
to be in these events that the Danes and the Swedes start out these
regattas running very hot, and that we tend to come on stronger as we do
more racing," he said. With that in mind, he professed himself pretty happy
with a 3-1 scoreline. - Shawn McBride, www.swedishmatchtour.com.
Danish Open Round Robin Standings:
Magnus Holmberg, SWE/Team Stora Enso, 4-0
Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich, 4-1
Luc Pillot, FRA/Team Pillot, 4-1
Peter Gilmour, AUS/Team Pizza, La 3-1
Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/Team Victory Lane, 2-3
Andy Beadsworth, GBR/Team Henri Lloyd, 2-3
Lars Nordbjaerg, Denmark, 2-3
Kelvin Harrap, New Zealand, 2-2
Karol Jablonski, POL/Jablonski Sailing Team, 2-2
Jesper Bank, Denmark, 1-3
Roy Heiner, Netherlands, 1-4
Paolo Cian, ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team, 0-4
Pegasus 77, winner of Transpac 2003 (and 2001), is for sale. Launched in
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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 Malcolm McKeag: Cam Lewis' idea of having jet-drive rather than
props on boats that work near people in the water is right on the mark.
Other advantages besides not chopping folks' feet off include the ability
to work close inshore (useful for pulling stranded dinghies and shoal draft
keelboats off shoals and mudbanks) and, in the hands of a good driver,
remarkable manouevrability. One word of warning. Most jet drives go into
neutral by dropping the bucket over the jet-stream and squirting it
straight down - but the jet pump keeps running, thus sucking in water
underneath the boat and pumping it through the turbine and out the back.
Along with the water comes anything floating round the casualty/ capsized
boat - such as the spinnaker. Seen it. Not a pretty sight.
Did neither spinnaker nor jet drive any good at all. It's not a reason not
to use a jet-drive rescue/ safety/ coach boat - just a reason to turn the
motor off, rather than just go into neutral, when you get in close. This,
of course, is in any case recommended practice with prop-driven rescue
boats, lest the still-running motor be accidentally knocked back into gear,
thus engaging the underwater circular saw. Unhappily, at least in Britain,
jet-drive units add greatly to both cost and space. A compromise solution
is to insist that any coach/ rescue boat with a prop uses a prop-guard or
fully shrouded propeller.
* From Brent Boyd: Here is a link to several interesting companies that
make various prop guards and one company that manufactures jet drive lower
unit conversion kits for outboard engines. Some of these ideas may be worth
investigating if you or your club are concerned about safety.
* From Andrew Bray, editor, Yachting World: I have to disagree with
Magnus Wheatley about the coverage of events like the Fastnet. The
journalist should go to the story, not vice versa and any failure to get
stories off the boats is a reflection on the scribe, not the sponsor.
If the skipper does not want baggage on board for a top level race then
it's up to the journalist or Editor to find someone on board that boat who
can string a few words together and commission them to send in reports.
It's something that is bread and butter for us on Yachting World. Yes, we
did have a staff journalist on board one of the big boats in the Fastnet,
we had our Racing Editor on board Kingfisher 2 and we had correspondents on
board more than one boat in the last Volvo Ocean Race.
If parts of the sport are getting less media coverage than they have in the
past it is because the sport - and the media - have moved on. There could
hardly be a more graphic illustration of this than a comparison between the
last VoR and the Vendee.
* From Jon Amtrup: Magnus Weatley's wake up call in Scuttlebutt 1393
should not go silently out in the sailing night. One of sailings biggest
challenges for the future is to attract attention from the public and
Our sport has a lot to offer the business world. Sailing is an
environmental friendly, high-tech, intelligent sport that brings people
together for some thrilling moments.
Media attention is one of the best ways too generate public attention, but
you got to do it on the reporters terms and know how they work. Most
sailors, clubs and organizations today do little else than whine and bitch
about the lack of attention from the media. But that's all they do.
The PR side of the sport should actually have just as much focus as for
instance spinnaker trim and tactics. Each club, or even boat, should have
their dedicate PR person that puts his heart in getting the message across.
Press releases, press briefings, dedicated photographers and film
photographers. In these web based days there is no excuse for not sending
stories, pictures and video clips to the press as soon as the happen. The
press service has to be fast and the stories focused on people.
There are a many lessons to be learned on all levels in this sport and
Offshore Challenges and the way they have build the brand Ellen MacArthur
is a master example on how things can be done.
* From Peta Stuart-Hunt: Bravo Magnus! Your guest commentary on Scuttlebutt
is spot on as far as I'm concerned. Having just finished working as the
Event Press Officer for Skandia Cowes Week I feel justified in writing this
I appreciate that Skandia Cowes Week is a wholly different beast to the
Rolex Fastnet but to my mind the underlying principal of broadly
communicating what's going on is the same, particularly when there are
major sponsors involved. Our sport must continue to build on its successes
in order to maintain a positive profile and encourage more sponsors to back
the sport and more people to take it up generally.
Sailing and its personalities (and there are many who are less well-known
but equally interesting) need media coverage and, in order to achieve it we
must collectively grab the opportunities, wring out the strong story leads,
and provide accurate and timely information to the media...it might even
help their struggle to gain a few more column inches.
* From Adrian Morgan, Scotland: No one covers the Fastnet, Magnus, because
no one really cares aside from those taking part and their families left at
home (plus a few hacks who always crave 'more space'.) Races come and go,
are big then decline. It's just the way of things in a free market. The
media cannot be blamed; newspapers, in particular, cover the stories that
the majority want to read.
There is no comparison between Ellen's Kingfisher blasting round the world
and a motley fleet of offshore racers heading for an Irish rock (in a flat
calm). Would I personally want a blow by blow account of life on board one
of the 'top' Fastnet boats? I'd rather watch paint dry (or Olympic sailing).
* From Mike Levesque, Editor, NAHCA News: In response to your Sit N' Sail
story, I would advise you that the"Bench Seats" are not "revolutionary,"
and are certainly not the first such product on the market. While any
attempt to market products to get more sailors out on their Hobies is
definitely a great thing, I just want to see credit given where due.
Mike Strahle designed the Hobie 16 Trapseats, available for many years
directly through Hobie Cat. Mike suffered a paralyzing injury while skiing
several years ago, and designed the Trapseats so he could continue to sail
and race his Hobie 16. These Trapseats are bolt-on units that mount
directly to the trampoline frame.
I met Mike in Newport, RI a few years ago. He contacted me through the
network of Hobie Fleets, and I agreed to let him use my boat (BRU Cat) to
demonstrate the Trapseats at the Shake-A-Leg regatta. Mike was in the
process of attracting ESPN and others to grow interest in allowing the
Hobie 16 Trapseat to be a class in a major championship event for disabled
He succeeded. In 2002, there was the inaugural Hobie 16 Trapseat World
Championships for disabled sailors. This event was held at COSA in Kelowna,
BC, Canada. This was covered in detail in the Oct 02-Jan 03 issue of NAHCA
News, the newsletter of the North American Hobie Class Association
When all else fails, lower your standards