SCUTTLEBUTT 1412 - September 11, 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.
Naval architects T.J. Perrotti and Geoff Van Gorkom have collaborated to
design a first-generation Volvo Open 70. This follows their work with Volvo
Ocean Race over the past several months to help sculpt the new Volvo Open
70 Rule, which was released to the public on September 8th. Perrotti and
Van Gorkom offer an in-depth look at the Rule and have released facets of
their design inclusive of 2D and 3D renderings at their respective
websites. Here are a couple of excerpts:
* Yachts will have an open choice of multiple rudder / daggerboard
options, the restriction being that each appendage can only have one degree
of freedom (rotation, retraction, etc.). Dual rudders aft with port /
starboard retractable daggerboards may be typical. But keep your eyes open,
too, for bow-rudder designs following the form of CBTF's "canting ballast,
twin foil" concept. A team's selected configuration will intrinsically
tradeoff: high aspect ratio fins for maximum lift efficiency when on the
wind or reaching; reduced wetted surface when sailing downwind;
maneuverability and round-the-cans acceleration; and durability and
robustness dictated by an extreme ocean environment.
* After much discussion amongst race organizers and sailors, water
ballast in wing tanks will not be allowed. However, nearly 320 gallons of
water ballast is permitted in an on-centerline, aft tank for optimizing
trim and waterline length. As a result, sailing displacements will be
lighter with hulls inherently designed with narrower maximum beams, as the
drive for a maximized righting arm using water ballast has been eliminated.
Stability, though, is not lacking …
* Stiffer … The most intriguing feature of the Volvo 70 is its canting
keel and 8800 pound bulb. Dual (and redundant, should one fail) hydraulic
rams can rotate the CG of the ballast package 40 degrees to weather to
create a very significant 25% increase in stability and power. A canting
keel offers lower wetted surface, less form drag, and less required weight
than a conventional keel. Coupled, these benefits enhance performance
dramatically, with prior success demonstrated in the proving grounds of
single-handed round-the-word circuits.
The full report is posted on both of the following websites:
Newport, RI - Americas Cup winners including owners, skippers, trimmers,
grinders and foredeck hands from the IACC class and Twelve Metre days will
compete this week in the International Twelve Metre Association North
Almost twenty years to the day when Australia II left town with the
Americas Cup, Rhode Island sound will see Twelve Metres in Classic, Modern
and Grand Prix divisions compete in this first time event. As in 1983,
Black Knight will be the race committee vessel with New York Yacht club
providing the race committee under the leadership of Principal Race
Officer, Dr. Robin Wallace.
Entries include American Eagle, Columbia, Courageous, Easterner, Fiddler
(US 46), Hissar (KZ 5) Kiwi Magic (KZ 7) Intrepid, Lionheart, Nefertiti,
Onawa and Weatherly. Headquarters for the seven race series Thursday
through Sunday is the Museum of Yachting. - Paul Buttrose,
What year was it when a deadly storm struck Australia's Sydney-to-Hobart
race? (Answer below)
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Recognizing the increasing interest in kite sailing on boards, the World
Sailing Speed Record Council has recently awarded Performance Certificates
for the following achievements:
- Malik Bouchenafa, 38.28kts, 6th May 2003 at Leucate, France.
This speed stood until July, when:
- Robby Naish, USA, 38.47kts, 28th July 2003 at Aringa, Gran Canaria.
Both speeds were achieved under the WSSR Rules and observed and
authenticated by WSSR Commissioners. - John Reed, Secretary to the WSSR
San Francisco - Doctors and nurses at St. Francis Medical Center are being
asked to work extra shifts, for free. Their pay will only be in having some
fun yachting on San Francisco Bay and possibly a brush with Larry Ellison,
Oracle's CEO and a sailing aficionado. The Catholic Healthcare West
hospital is providing medical services and first aid for Ellison's racing
yacht Oracle BMW Racing which is sailing in the Moët Cup Race. The race
running from Sept. 16 through Sept. 20 pits Ellison's yacht against the
Alinghi, the Swiss yacht and winner of the 2002 America's Cup race.
* As for St. Francis's role, a doctor who practices there, Dr. William
Schmidt, is an avid sailor and helped arrange the set-up. A provider from
St. Francis will be aboard a tender boat following Oracle BMW Racing, ready
to provide first-aid to injured sailors or advise them on treating sore
muscles and other ailments. Already 18 providers -- mainly doctors, but
also some nurses -- have signed up for the duty, and the shifts on the bay
have begun, ready to help the crew as it practices.
Doctors and some nurses from the emergency department, or with backgrounds
in primary care or sports medicine, will be on the tender for about six
hours a day. A therapist from the hospital's sports medicine center is
going to give the crew members massages once they are in port. - Meg
Walker, San Francisco Business Times, full story
* Organizers of the Investors Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII
Gold Cup confirmed today that Hurricane Fabian will not deter the regatta.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, sustained only minor damage during the recent
hurricane as did the fleet of International One Design class boats, which
are used in the match race regatta. Despite the setback, organizers are
confident that the venue will be ready for the 32 international teams that
will compete, along with the many spectators of the October 18-26 event.
* Although racing in the 2003 MasterCard International Etchells World
Championships does not start until September 21, teams are already showing
up. Currently, there are 290 competitors on 95 boats representing nine
countries registered for the event held in the waters off Greenwich,
Connecticut and hosted by Indian Harbor and Riverside Yacht Clubs. In
addition to the sailing hotbeds like USA, New Zealand, Australia, Great
Britain and Canada, Denmark, Israel and Hong Kong are represented. Included
in the list of sailors are Dennis Conner and Ken Read.
* Correction: The proper URL to get information about the B.I.G. Team
Regatta to support the Kids Set Sail program for urban teens is
At 1500GMT Wednesday Sam Manuard had pulled into first place in the Mini
Transat, (four miles) ahead of second placed Jonathan McKee, as the front
runners were approaching the half way mark between La Rochelle and Cape
Finisterre. In today's westerly winds, the fleet have not been able to lay
the mark on starboard tack and a majority of the fleet is now on the left
side of the course (ie closer to the Spanish coast) where the forecast over
the next few hours shows extremely variable conditions as the high pressure
systems to the west of Spain and over mainland Spain expand and contract. -
Daily Sail website, full story: http://thedailysail.com
Event website: http://www.transat650.org/
With the addition America's Cup winner Ross Halcrow, team Oracle BMW
Racing's sailing crew now has even more experienced winners in its ranks.
He is considered one of the world's best sail trimmers and was part of the
Team New Zealand crew which made history in winning the America's Cup in
San Diego in 1995. The 36-year old Halcrow, born in New Zealand and
residing in Canada, furthered his sailing reputation when he was part of
the illbruck Challenge crew which won the 2002-03 Volvo Ocean Race. -
Oracle BMW Racing CEO Chris Dickson says the addition of Halcrow to the
sailing crew strengthens the team on and off the water. "Ross Halcrow is
one of the world's best trimmers and brings a lot of expertise to that area
of the race boat. He will also play an important role in our sail program,"
Like his friend Kostecki, Ross Halcrow says joining Oracle BMW Racing is a
great opportunity to work with a team with the potential to win the 2007
America's Cup. "That's the bottom line. I didn't want to join a team for
the sake of joining a team - I want to win the America's Cup again," he
said. "I believe Oracle BMW Racing has the assets and a good structure and
I'm looking forward to being involved with the strategic planning for the
Halcrow has been involved in the America's Cup for 16 years, beginning as a
sailmaker for the original New Zealand Challenge with Chris Dickson in
1987. He then sailed for New Zealand in 1992, Team New Zealand in 1995, and
Young America in 2000. He has sailed in three round-the-world races and has
five world titles to his name, including the world match racing
championship. He has also been part of a victorious Admiral's Cup team. -
Cup in Europe website, full story:
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"The level of professionalism that has crept into the sport over the years
has been remarkable. This has become a full-time job for people. It used to
be more akin to a well-funded maxi-boat program, and now it's a full-blown
professional mob. These teams are $100-million sports franchises that have
to succeed within a few years, and from that standpoint, it's more business
than fun. But you want to create an atmosphere where people enjoy going to
work. You have to." - America's Cup designer Phil Kaiko, from an interview
in The Log, http://thelog.com/news/newsview.asp?c=73494
ANSWERING AN AGE-OLD QUESTION
At Hall Spars & Rigging, the answer is yes, you can get something for
nothing. During September, if you buy a Harken winch we'll give you a
Harken aluminum winch handle - free. Or, buy a Harken furling unit and
we'll give you a Harken lead block kit - free. Call, write, fax, email or
stop by and we'll help you choose the correct product to claim your free
stuff. It's Hall's incredible buying power that results in great pricing
like this for our loyal customers. Visit our website each month for other
It was on Boxing Day, December 26, 1998, when 115 sailing yachts set out
from Australia's Sydney Harbor for the 54th Annual Sydney-to-Hobart ocean
classic. None knew they were being stalked by a deadly storm. In the next
48 hours, the monster storm would strike, destroying yachts, washings
scores of sailors overboard into 80-foot seas, killing six and spurring the
largest sea rescue ever mounted by Australians.
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 Magnus Wheatley: I wonder whether Peter Branning ('Butt 1411) has
stopped to think about what a huge impact the America's Cup has had on
sailing in general. From safety to performance, the 'rich sailors' as he
describes them, have enhanced our sport and taken it to another level. The
current generation of Cup boats is one of the awesome wonders of the world
up close combining raw power, performance and a mammoth challenge to the
crews. The age old cry of 'stick them in skiffs or catamarans' is just
plain daft as the America's Cup is a spectacle of unique proportions (I
didn't say sport). In a sanitized sporting world, the AC offers an
intriguing alternative where the playing field isn't level, the competitors
flex their egos at will and judging on Alinghi's performance last time, the
best team inevitably wins.
I, for one, cannot wait to see the enhancements and improvements that
Bertarelli, Ellison, Dickson and Coutts make to both the class rules and
the venue to ensure that AC2007 sucks up the maximum media coverage and
re-installs the event to 1987 proportions. Then the TV won't be erratic,
the public won't be bored and the sponsors will be anything but frustrated.
No it's not time for a new class. It's time to let the best sailors and the
best management in the world do their stuff and in doing so define the next
three generations of this sleeping colossus of a competition.
* From John McBrearty (edited to our 250-word limit): OLN, for a few
years, aired the Aussie 18 skiffs! That type of boat racing had everything
an American sports fan loves. Despite protestations to the contrary, hockey
fans love fights, baseball fans love it when the the batter charges the
mound and there is a bench-clearing brawl and auto racing fans love to see
a death-defying crash. Modern day gladiators!
The exciting spectacle of boats racing on the edge of control with the
possibility of wiping out at any minute is probably the only type of
sailboat racing that could qualify as a spectator sport with mass appeal.
As for the "sailboat is a rich guy's sport" argument, auto racing is also a
rich guy sport, but auto racing has been embraced by the public because
it's perceived as being exciting but, it is not perceived as being
something that the ordinary individual can easily be involved in.
In actuality, it's much easier to be involved in yacht racing than it is in
almost any other sport. All you have to do is find a the guy that owns the
boat, pays the bills and buys the beer and show up regularly with a good
attitude. Someone will "show you the ropes"!
Bottom line is that Yacht Clubs have been reveling in their exclusivity, to
the detriment of our sport, and the sport has ignored the reality that
competition with major sports and the WWF means that America's Cup is
boring, except to purists.
* From John McVeety; NFL football is a rich man's sport. NBA basketball
is a rich man's sport. Get over it!
* From Rand Milton: From someone who lives in the New York City metro
area and where my most of my racing is on Long Island Sound - a hotbed of
racing activity in US - I've noticed a trend towards limiting the amount of
sailing related news coverage. With over 50 yacht clubs in the tri-state
(NY, NJ & CT) area, it is distressing to find that the NY Times no longer
covers sailing on a regular basis in the Sunday sports section. I guess
that the editors feel that sailing is no longer news worthy. And this comes
from a paper where their motto is "All the news that's fit to print".
I wonder if they will even cover the upcoming Etchells Worlds (Greenwich,
CT) which starts Sept. 21. With nearly 300 world class sailors coming from
all around the globe to participate in what promises to be a very high
profile sailing event, this should be news worthy as it will feature many
America's Cup sailors like Dennis Conner, Ken Read, and the most recent
America's Cup winner, Russell Coutts.
So if there are any members of the New York Times who read Scuttlebutt,
please take notice that there are many of us who miss your regular sailing
coverage. Maybe you should bring back Herb McCormick who did an outstanding
job when he was with your paper.
* From Britton Chance Speak of Olympic Success on non existent funding,
don't forget 1952 Helsinki! Sailing won 8 golds out of 45 total for all
sports, or 17.8%!
* From Bob Knowles: Dave Gendell, Tim Kent, and Peter Grimm are dead on
target! I quit competitive racing in '96, sick to death of owners spending
wildly to skirt the rules, use pros against amateurs, cheat outright just
to win a silly pickle dish! About that time I discovered the world of
charity regattas. Now I do about three or four a year, along with serving
on the organizing committees for each.
Take the Annapolis/Baltimore Leukemia Cup regatta. We've gone from raising
a few thousand in '93 to $151,00 this year. We have around-the-cans for
serious racers, a persuit race from Baltimore to Annapolis for cruisers and
daysailors (spinn & non-spinn), ever around-the-cans in Sonars for those
who don't want to leave Baltimore's Inner Harbor. We even have (gasp!) a
separate power boat poker run to get stink potters involved. Everyone is
invited to the huge post-regatta party at the Eastport YC for food, drink &
Just think of it: fun racing, great party and raising big bucks for
charities in our area. What a novel concept: sailors giving back to the
community. More of us ought to get involved; race, raise some bucks and
give back. Isn't this what we got into sailing for in the first place?
An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.