SCUTTLEBUTT 1409 - September 8, 2003
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Palma de Mallorca been dropped from the short list of European candidate
cities to host the next America's Cup. Michel Bonnefous, CEO of AC
Management explained, "Spain is the only country with more than one city on
the list. Both Palma and Valencia are worthy candidates but we have had to
decide which of the two offered the best chances of progressing to the
final stages. We believe that Valencia offers this potential."
The new short list now includes Lisbon (POR), Marseille (FRA), Naples
(ITA), Valencia (ESP).A final decision on the European venue for the 2007
America's Cup is expected before Christmas.
MINI TRANSAT START POSTPONED
The start of the Mini Transat, scheduled for 1730 local time this afternoon
(Sunday) has been delayed until Tuesday because of the weather conditions.
Monday afternoon a depression centered over the UK is expected to lash the
course with 40-45 knots westerly winds and gusts of 60 knots at a time when
the boats will be crossing the continental shelf. Even in moderate
conditions the seas are sharper here because of the dramatic swallowing of
the water. In severe conditions sailing upwind into breaking waves could be
The Mini Transat's organisers politically cannot afford to have a repeat of
the 1999 race when numerous boats were broken and several skippers were
forced to be airlifted off their boats most courtesy of the Spanish rescue
authorities. In France the Mini Transat only happens thanks to a special
dispensation from the Minister of Transport, so the organisers of the Mini
Transat cannot afford to risk putting the future of their race in jeopardy.
- Daily Sail, full story: http://thedailysail.com
JONATHAN MCKEE - Part Two
Seventy Mini 6.50 Meter Class Yachts (21' in length), each sailed by only
one person, depart La Rochelle, France in a highly competitive 4,500 mile
(2,812.5 km) to the Canary Islands, and then on to the finish line in
Brazil. Some of Europe's best and brightest single-handed sailors will be
on the starting line along with a notable newcomer to this kind of sailing,
Jonathan McKee. Here's an excerpt from Part Two of the interview posted on
the Harken website.
McLube: How do you manage your sleep on the longer races?
JM: I try to sleep pretty regularly when the wind is steady. I generally
sleep for 30 minutes at a time, lying fore-aft just to windward of the keel
in the cabin. It is actually pretty comfortable. In 30 minutes, you can
feel rested, but you don't go into the deep part of your sleep cycle, so
you can wake up and be alert quickly. I go on deck, check trim and traffic,
and if all is good, I might go right back down for another 30 minutes. This
kind of racing is all about pacing yourself, so it is important to sleep
when you can, because your full attention will probably be required later
in the race.
McLube: How often do you typically steer by hand versus relying upon the
JM: It depends a lot on the conditions, but overall I hand steer less than
half the time on a long race. If the wind is steady, the pilot can steer
nearly as well as I can, especially at night or when I am tired. Often it's
more beneficial to trim, navigate, eat, think about strategy, etc. However,
there are certain times when hand steering can pay big dividends, like when
the wind is shift or in waves downwind.
McLube: Can you explain how your unique canting keel works?
JM: The keel swings side-to-side with a Harken 6:1 tackle led to the Harken
16 primary winches. It is a very simple and efficient system that allows
you to trim the heel to match the sail plan. Of course much of the time you
want max stability so the keel is all the way to windward (about 40
degrees). I have a canting daggerboard which provides lateral resistance.
One unique feature of my boat is that the keel can also move fore-aft on a
track and block-tackle system. This allows me to move the keel forward in
light air and upwind, but aft for big breeze downwind to promote planing
and help prevent nose-diving. It sound a little complicated, but actually
it works pretty nice. - Harken website, full story:
What if your tactician or navigator could hike hard and still have full
view and control of the instruments? Wouldn't it be great to tack or gybe
with no touch screen cords or umbilicals to deal with? How great would it
be to use low cost "off the shelf" computer hardware as specialized onboard
wireless instrument handheld displays? It's here, and it's called EYE. For
detailed Ockam OS4 eye information and software download, visit the Ockam
TEAM KAN-DO - A DIFFERENT APPROACH
While most aspiring syndicates to the next Volvo Ocean Race focus on their
behind-the-scenes efforts to shape their programmes, the first publicly
announced effort from the USA is taking a decidedly different approach.
Team Kan-do, based in Annapolis, has adopted their moniker to describe a
programme of performance based more on achievement and effort of their team
members rather than relying solely on hired talent. The syndicate has
structured itself as having a pool of pro-level advisors who have
experience in the Volvo, Whitbread, America's Cup, and other top-echelon
yachting competitions, who will train and coach a sailing team consisting
of sailors who may be talented, but whose full potential has yet to be shown.
"We feel there is a talent base out there that has yet to be tapped," said
syndicate partner John Alden. "The elite world of professional offshore
sailing has many stars who got their start somewhere from a combination of
talent, hard work, sacrifice, and opportunity. We hope to provide those
aspiring to this level just such an opportunity."
Alden's partner in this venture, Patrick Bischoff is a German who is also
living in Annapolis and will be in charge of gathering the necessary talent
needed for the programme. While having competed in numerous offshore
competitions, Bischoff draws on his skills as a successful international
business consultant and entrepreneur to formulate the team and its
philosophy. "From my experience in the Internet business, you don't worry
about the competitors you know, but the ones you don't know," he said.
"It's the hungry guys working overtime in their garages that will come up
with the next best thing, not the established players."
Yet Team Kan-do has been relying on many established players to assist them
through the myriad of options in designers, builders, sail makers, and the
like. - Dobbs Davis, ISAF website, full story:
(This excerpt from a story in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses some of
the preparations for the Moet Cup.)
Both billionaires (Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli), who each poured
about $100 million into their last America's Cup campaigns, hope to spark
the public imagination with the sights and sounds of pro sailboat racing.
They want spectators to witness the power and beauty of these
technologically advanced boats.
"Sailing is bigger in Europe than in the United States," Kostecki said. "We
have a lot of high level sporting events here and the public doesn't know
that much about our sport. . . . Hopefully, events like this will get some
TV coverage, and we'll be able to continue to educate the public and create
Moet Cup organizers plan to establish a village on the Marina Green.
Bleachers will be set up along the shore. Fans will also be able to follow
the races on a marquee via Virtual Spectator, an animated display that
tracks the progress of the competing yachts.
"It's an opportunity to showcase the America's Cup racing boats, to show
what's been going on in Auckland the past few years," Moet Cup official
Jane Eagleson said. "The racing is going to be unbelievably close to
spectators. You'll be able to hear the boats tacking and see the incredible
power of these boats."
Races will be held on a short, roughly hour-long course -- back and forth a
few times between Treasure Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. Each day of
the regatta will feature a doubleheader. An Owner/Driver series will pit
Ellison against Bertarelli, followed by a Pro/Driver series with Oracle
skipper Chris Dickson and helmsman Gavin Brady vs. Alinghi skipper Russell
Coutts and tactician Jochen Schuemann. - Jim Doyle, San Francisco
Chronicle, full story: http://tinyurl.com/m3an
Here are some photos of Oracle BMW Racing as they prepare for the Moet Cup
Francisco. - Yachtracing.com: http://tinyurl.com/mkn5
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A new sports amphibian vehicle, the Gibbs Aquada - a cross between a
sportscar and sportsboat - is claimed to be the first road-legal amphibian
to offer serious land performance with a planing capability on water. It is
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water. - IBI News, http://tinyurl.com/mkop
* Selected standings after four of six races of the Star European
Championship in Cascais, Portugal (63 boats): 1. Mark Neeleman/ Peter Van
Niekerk, NED; 2. Torben Grael/ Marcelo Ferreira, BRA; 3. Iain Percy/ Steve
Mitchell, GBR; 2. Michael Koch/ Markus Koy, GER; 3. Roberto Benamati/
Filippo Domenicali, ITA; 4. Colin Beashel/ David Giles, AUS; 5. Peter
Bromby/ Martin Siese, BER; 7. Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, SWE; 8. Ross
Macdonald/ Kai Bsorn, CAN; 12. Mark Reynolds/ Magnus Liljedahl, USA; 20.
Rick Merriman/ Bill Bennett, USA. Event website:
* The eight international Clipper yachts have moved from New York to
Halifax to avoid Hurricane Fabian. The aim of this pit stop is to refuel
and take on essential provisions before the fleet set off to start Race 15
of the Clipper 2002 Series to Jersey in the Channel Islands. The departure
from Halifax will be dependent on Hurricane Fabian taking its predicted
path, making it safe for the crews to set sail. Event website:
* Sailing World Magazine National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in
Larchmont, NY was marked by very light winds throughout the three-day
event, and on the final day only the J/105 class finished races. In all,
132 boats in 13 classes competed on the weekend, with winners hailing from
six different states. - Patrick Wampler, World Sports & Marketing. Complete
* Yachts were dumped ashore by 120mph winds as Hurricane Fabian struck
Bermuda yesterday (Saturday), the most powerful storm to strike the former
British colony since 1953. The island is renowned for its resilience in the
face of the world's most violent storms, and emerged from its sternest test
for half a century with its reputation just about intact. The hurricane
left its mark, however. Scores of trucks were swept off roads and hundreds
of properties damaged. - The Observer, full story: http://tinyurl.com/ml48
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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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 nor a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Andrew Vare (edited to our 250-word limit): In the last issue Mr.
Hagedorn's wrote: "...Our model of providing some financial support from
the USOC/US Sailing OSC coupled with personal fundraising by our athletes
was extremely successful for many decades. The difference is that since
1992, many of the other nations have changed the rules, and our amateurs
are competing against well-funded professionals. "
Can we look through the roster from Savannah or Sydney and see how many
"amateurs" the US fielded? How do we expect kids who do nothing but sail to
come up with a quarter of a million dollars annually to run a decent Star
or Yngling campaign? It's pretty clear that we cannot expect them to medal
at all if things go as currently structured. No medals means no sponsorship
dollars upstairs, folks, then the whole structure begins to unwind.
With due respect to Mr. Hagedorn's no doubt Herculean efforts, something
much larger has to occur here. It's clear we are in a building phase and
the sooner we shed dead weight and fund the next generation the better off
we'll be. How about outright pay for performance? Get a top five placing in
an Olympic Class at a NAs or Worlds and you are under 25 years old? Your
Olympic account gets $100K automatically, no questions asked. I'm sure that
the alternative is that Olympic sailing gets dropped by the USOC because
it's too expensive and the medal count necessary for proper media coverage
is too low.
* From John Rumsey: Does it really matter, except to the competitors, who
wins a medal or trophy? Does it make one country better than another? It is
only a game.
* From C. Schnoor (In response to the comments shared by Mr. Ericksen and
Mr. Wathen): As a frequent competitor in events along the West Coast, often
with the VHF in hand, I greatly prefer starting races where the RC is
sharing information with the entire fleet as well as his\her intentions for
starting the next race versus the stonewall approach. I firmly believe RC
communication reduces confusion (every new venue has an RC that does things
slightly different), helps to reduce the "us versus them" environment
between racers and the RC and it adds to an overall positive racing
experience and a successful event. The stonewall approach does just the
In my experience, our Race Committee friends at St. Francis YC and to an
even greater extent, CYC (Seattle) do a wonderful job of "monitoring" their
RC responsibilities and yet somehow can still find time to share with the
fleets information that benefits everyone. They set the example for all
clubs to aspire to for successful and fun competitions.
* From Tom Farquhar: The recent debate in Scuttlebutt about how RC's
communicate with competitors has included several ideas for making racing
more "user friendly." It also has included some that will create problems.
In Issue 1408, Russ Lenarz says "Although there is nothing in the rules
that prohibits PROs from making comments to competitors during the start
sequence..." This is incorrect. Rule 41 (Outside Help) specifically
prohibits competitors from receiving outside help while racing (a defined
term). That means that it's fine for the RC to announce the course or any
other information until the preparatory signal. Thereafter, a boat that
receives such information has broken rule 41, and, if protested, will
probably be disqualified.
Rule 41 can be changed via the sailing instructions, and should be if the
RC plans to communicate with competitors orally after the prep.
There is a proposal being discussed by ISAF to change rule 41 to make
additional exceptions to rule 41, including the communicating of OCS
numbers after the starting signal.
* From Peter Branning: I'm sure you have heard this a million times, but
there is no secret to the fact that the America's Cup is boring to the
average viewer. It's just not much fun to watch. With the array of exciting
boats such as skiff's, 49ers, Catamarans as well as others that could be
developed for a lot less than a cup boat, why doesn't the America's Cup
Committee choose a boat that will create the thrills and chills that will
elevate this event to the spectator sport that the viewing public demands?
Erratic television coverage of such an event is inevitable otherwise.
Sponsors will be frustrated. The public will continue to be bored. Rich
sailors will continue to play what is actually a rather personal game - as
it always was really.
* Stephan Kandler, K-Challenge: We are talking a lot about the next
America's Cup but we don't see anything new coming. I think a long time
passed since the last Cup and we still do not know where and when this
event will happen. We don't even know what the next rule will be. This only
entails speculations that interest people of our sailing world.
Earth keeps on turning and the general public will lose interest in the
America's Cup if nothing new happens. There are other sports in the world
involving sponsors that are offering equivalent or superior return on
Six months after the end of the America's Cup we still don't know what
media coverage has been achieved in the last edition. If we want more teams
competing we will have to propose a much more attractive package than a
"probably very efficient communication tool."
I understand that the defender wants to offer the best package but this
shall not turn into an everlasting auction.
How come we choose from just two people for President and fifty for Miss