SCUTTLEBUTT 1419 - September 22, 2003
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By now, most readers probably know that after six days of very exciting
racing on the San Francisco Bay, Oracle BMW Racing's USA 76 narrowly
defeated Alinghi (SUI 64) in both the owner-driver series (3-2) and the
pro-driver series (4-3). In the process, Oracle BMW picked up Moët Cup
Silver Methuselah Trophy, and the Moët & Chandon Owner-Series Jeroboam
Trophy. Plus, Larry Ellison won the Harold S. Vanderbilt Trophy for
"excellence in yacht racing as a team principal and skipper."
On the surface, it would appear the Oracle BMW Racing Team was the big
winner - but I really don't see it that way. After experiencing the event
first hand, I came away feeling strongly that the big winners were the
America's Cup, the people of San Francisco, the sport of sailing and the
entire sailing community.
This was a truly breathtaking event. It was much more than just a regatta -
it was a spectacular showcase for our sport. Frequently, more than 300
spectator boats swarmed on the San Francisco Bay to see it first hand, and
what a view they got. While the course marshals worked hard to make sure
the ACC boats had room to 'do their thing,' they did it in such a way to
insure that the spectator fleet was still able to get an 'up close and
personal' look at these amazing racing machines.
Particularly the photo boats. Photo-journalists were allowed to get tightly
into the action and came away with shots never possible in other venues.
And the conditions on the bay made for some incredible images - bright sun,
flat water and 15-20 knots of breeze against a backdrop of the Golden Gate
Bridge, the San Francisco skyline and Alcatraz Island. Tasty stuff indeed.
But you did not have to be on the water to see the exciting action.
Thousands enthusiastically watched from bleachers erected next to the
hosting Golden Gate Yacht Club, or from piers, docks or rocks as the
80-foot racing machines short-tacked the city front in the flood tide
conditions. And tens of thousands more watched the spectacular daily
television coverage produced by the Outdoor Life Network.
And just to add frosting to this already delicious package, Larry Ellison
hosted a $250,000, 24-minute fireworks show on Thursday night that far
surpassed anything previously attempted on the West Coast of America. This
dazzling display featured sophisticated, high-tech pyrotechnics fired from
three separate barges anchored in the bay. This awesome display of color
and technology totally overshadowed anything previously done in this part
of the world, and delighted the thousands who witnessed the spectacle
The America's Cup show has now left the San Francisco Bay, but Alinghi's
Ernest Berterelli promised repeat performances next year in Europe, in
Newport, Rhode Island, and possibly a return to San Francisco. Personally,
I can't think of a better way to promote our sport. - The Curmudgeon
Event website: http://ggyc.org/moet/index.htm
Some of the websites with Moët Cup images:
Upcoming weather patterns will always be a part of sailing. Whether racer
or cruiser, day sailing or planning a trip across an ocean, you will learn
how to interpret the weather and form a game plan based on that
understanding. The knowledge will help you to avoid problems while sailing
more efficiently and competitively. Our advice is to take the weather
seminar classes now being offered. Understand and apply weather information
to your own project. Seminars held in Newport, RI on Sept. 27th and Long
Beach, CA, on Oct. 4th. Details and online signup available at:
ISAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Cadiz, Spain - After an 11-race series, the Yngling team of Hannah Swett
(Jamestown, R.I./ New York, N.Y.), Joan Touchette (Newport, R.I.) and
Melissa Purdy (Tiburon, Calif.) has won the 2003 Yngling World Championship
being sailed in Cadiz, Spain. It is the second of the nine Olympic-class
world championships to crown its winners during the ISAF World Sailing
Championships that are being contested consecutively from 11-24 September.
The win in Spain comes less than a month after the trio claimed their
second silver medal in as many years at the Olympic test event in Athens.
Earlier in the year Swett, Touchette and Purdy won the Yngling Olympic
Pre-Trials - the practice event for the Trials. - Media Pro Int'l
Final results: Yngling (11 races-1 drop; 41 entrants): 1. USA, Swett/
Touchette/ Purdy, 54 pts; 2. GER, Schuemann/ Buelle/ Lippert, 61; 3.DEN,
Jensen/ Jespersen/ Kiel; 67; 5. USA, Alison/ Icyda/, Leech, 80; 10. BER,
Lewin/ Lewin/ Lopez, 129; 28. CAN, Ross/ Crampton/ Leger, 240.
The world champions for three other classes were also decided:
Star (10 races-1 drop; 83 entrants): 1. FRA, Rohart/ Rambeau, 21; 2. SWE,
Lööf / Ekström, 28; 3. GBR, Percy/ Mitchell, 42; 6. BER, Bromby/ Siese, 73;
8. USA, Cayard / Trinter, 77; 18. Reynolds/ Liljedahl, 132; 21. CAN,
Macdonald/ Bjorn, 138; 55. BAH, Lowe/ Higgs, 185.
NOTE: A third overall in defense of their title at the Olympic Sailing
World Championships in Cadiz was good enough for Iain Percy and Steve
Mitchell to have their selection for Athens confirmed. - Tim Jeffery, The
Mistral-Women (11 races- 1 drop, 65 entrants): 1. ISR, Lee Korsitz, 55 pts;
2. NZL, Barbara Kendall 56; 3. FRA, Faustine Merret, 63; 25. USA, Lanee
Butler Beashel, 262; 47. CAN, Dominique Vallee, 380.
Mistral-Men (11 races-1 drop, 118 Entrants): 1. POL, Przemek Miarczynski,
22; 2 GRE, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis, 53; 3. ISR Gal Fridman, 57; 39. CAN,
Alain Bolduc, 266; 45. USA, Peter Wells, 291; 78. MEX, David Mie y Teran, 241.
Racing continues today for the Lasers, 470s Tornados, Finns and 49ers.
Full story: ISAF website, http://www.sailing.org
Event website, http://www.cadizworlds2003.com
MORE MOET CUP COMMENTARY - Matthew Sheahan
Opinion among some of the more seasoned spectators was divided as to
whether the current Cup holders Alinghi were really playing as hard as they
were at the beginning of the year during the finals of the Louis Vuitton
Cup when they dismissed Oracle 5-1. Was the Moet Cup really a showdown
between the world's top two teams, or a showcase event for the next
Russell Coutts, who had handed the skippers role over to his former
sparring partner Jochen Schuemann was clear as to the reasons for being in
San Francisco and pushing hard to win. "If we'd lost every race in this
series, questions would be asked about our previous performance during the
Cup," he said. "This event is also important for us in evaluating new team
members. We're in the process of signing nine new sailing team members.
When you're locked into four year contracts it's very important to get the
Some might say, a less than entirely convincing reason for shipping both
the boat and a 50 strong team half way around the world. Taking an
America's Cup team on tour costs money, lots of it.
For Alinghi's owner Ernesto Bertarelli, the event allowed him to get his
hands on the wheel of SUI-64 for the first time in a racing situation.
"Owner driver racing certainly makes it easier to swallow the pill when
you're signing the cheques," he said. - Matthew Sheahan, Yachting World
website, full story:
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
* "There's no substitute for preparation and training. It's obviously
very therapeutic for us at Alinghi to realize that you can't just think
you're the best and not continue to work hard." - Alinghi's Ernesto
* "Back when Tom Blackaller made his 1987 run at the America's Cup, I
talked to the Coast Guard officer charged with running a feasibility study
re. (the America's) Cup races on San Francisco Bay, who said: "I did the
research and filed a report that said, 'Yes, it's possible. And I request a
transfer.' " Which doesn't mean that you couldn't hold the Cup on San
Francisco Bay - and the Alinghi-Oracle festival shows how much the cameras
love this place." - Kimball Livingston, Sail magazine website, full story:
MOËT CUP: BEHIND THE SCENES
The Moët Cup in San Francisco saw Raider RIB's from the 30' Cabin 900 with
twin 225hp, 6' 4" head room, a fresh water shower and enclosed head, to the
26' Center Console and Cabin models 790 with 225hp, removable rear seat and
enclosed head, plus the new 22' Raider 665 with 115hp. This new center
console boat, complete with motor trailer, even has an enclosed head with
special introductory pricing. Quality made affordable. Test drive in San
Diego, San Francisco or eastern US. Call for details at (877) 772-4337 or
view online at http://www.raiderboat.com
* Finishing positions for the first leg of the Mini Transat Race: 1.
Samuel Manuard, Tip Top Too; 2. Jonathan McKee, Team McLube; 3. Armel
Tripon, Moulin Roty; 4. Frédéric Duthil, All Mer; 5. Cian Mc Carthy, The
Tom Crean. - http://www.transat650.org/
* Sheets of rain swept across the lawn of the Houston YC Sunday morning, at
times blown horizontal by 25-knot gusts. Up went the postponement flag at 9
a.m., and almost immediately several of the 136 entries at the Sailing
World Texas NOOD Regatta started hauling their boats. They rightly knew
that dark squalls marching across Galveston Bay meant only one thing - this
regatta was done. With the racing called off at 10 a.m., Saturday's
standings remained unchanged and Jay Lutz and his teammates were crowned
national champions after six races in the 33-boat J/80 class. - Sailing
World website, full story:
* Sorry, but at 1:00 AM (ET) Monday morning there were no results posted
for the first race of the Etchells Worlds scheduled for Sunday. You might
check later in the day at: http://www.etchellsworlds2003.org/
San Francisco Yacht Club Staff Commodore Roger W. Eldridge passed away on
September 2. He was 84.
Eldridge was introduced to sailing in the 1930's and was a driving force in
the SFYC. He served two terms as commodore (1972 and 1973) and was
recognized for his lifetime contributions when awarded an honorary life
membership and selected as Yachtsman of the Year in 1988.
Eldridge served on the SFYC Harbor Management Committee for over 21 years.
Among his major race management contributions include the formation of what
is today known as The San Francisco Yacht Club Race Council. He was
influential in the development of judging as it is today. He received
recognition as a US Sailing Association Certified Judge (second appointment
made by US Sailing in the San Francisco Bay area), an International Judge
(1987), a US Sailing Association Umpire in 1997, and was Chairman of the SF
Bay Area Appeals Committee for 25 years.
A celebration will be held at SFYC on Wednesday, October 1, 2003, to honor
Eldridge's life within The San Francisco Yacht Club community. - Tom Roberts
MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN TURN TO HENRI LLOYD
Call us ahead of the curve, but Henri Lloyd saw the need for foulweather
wear with features and an ergonomic fit designed especially for women.
Along with our light, breathable, 100% waterproof fabrics, we offer five
sizes. See our Women's Collection at http://www.henrilloydonline.com
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 Chris Bouzaid: I want to comment on the TV coverage of the Moet
Cup. What a great job OLN, Dawn, Gary and Peter are doing. This coverage is
perfect for the American Audience, it will make yachting TV entertainment
instead of boring yacht racing (read "Watching grass grow"). 30 minutes of
action is perfect for our attention span.
* From Mike Levesque: (re: not running races on Long Island Sound in
winds over 20 knots) I am not from Long Island and have never sailed at the
club in question. I have, however, served on many Continental-level RCs and
have served as PRO at club-level events.
The #1 reason for canceling due to high wind is lack of equipment/staff. At
the high-level events, this is usually not a problem. It is at the
club-level events where this becomes an issue. Often, you struggle to get
enough mark/safety boats to safely play the game, and/or enough volunteers
who are willing to deal with heavy weather.
This is not an easy problem to solve, but volunteering to help and slowly
raising the bar is always a good first step. Another reason for this
decision could be due to the fact that good RCs will work within what they
perceive the sailors want. If the bulk of the racers want to race in heavy
air, communicating that to the RC is critical. If the bulk of the fleet
prefers to sail in light air, you have to start the battle there (not with
* From John Sweeney: In rebutt to Mr.Thomas S. Griffin, Jr:'s comments on
whether a RC should cancel a race due to heavy air, anyone not inclined to
run with the big dogs can opt out and hang on the club porch at their
choosing. Those sailors interested should have the ability to race without
the RC interceding needlessly. It takes only two boats to make a race, if
they've paid their entry the RC should be obligated to stay on the line
anything short of life threatening conditions.
* From Craig Coulsen: The tendency for yacht racing to go "indoors" so to
speak by races becoming short daylight affairs cancelled when the wind gets
up is a development for which the yachting community will eventually pay a
Firstly save for those competing in ocean classics like Fastnet or Hobart
there has been a deskilling of people in that people are now rarely exposed
to even low levels of risk or difficulty which can be overcome by even a
reasonable skill level. As the underwear advertisement used to say "One day
you gonna get caught with your pants down"
Secondly we tend to choose our boats based on our experiences so if you
sail in flat water and light air every day a "lightly built over-canvassed
hybrid with no heavy weather sails" may be your choice even thought it has
poor structural integrity, low foil area and lateral resistance combined
with low stability.
Of course the day comes when such a boat ventures from it's local pond in
Therefore even if the Race Committee calls it a day go sailing anyway for
as a old style boss on a building site once said to me "the only way to get
better at digging those holes there is to dig more holes.
* From Jon Alvord (re L.I. not running races in winds over 20 knots) I
would say that is not completely true. Off Soundings Club has always raced,
no matter what the weather. We were out in the blow last weekend, along
with 80+ other boats.
* From Sam Vineyard: Media coverage will certainly help sponsors justify
the cost, but we are missing the boat to believe that media exposure will
build participation in the sailing. Whether it is through local clubs or
city programs, we have to make sailing and the water more accessible to the
general public, irregardless of income, race, or gender.
Rather than giving money to an AC campaign, look across the country, find a
community sailing facilities, and see what they are all about. Whether it
is Boston, New Bedford, or Providence, there are programs and volunteers
helping kids for the benefit of the community, and providing them with role
models and opportunities that will help reduce the violence. Imagine the
number of kids that would be helped if one AC campaign, $100,000,000, was
spent on community sailing programs across the country.
Look at the popularity of camping and hiking. It is all about access to the
environment that makes people flock to the sport, not the media supporting
the events. There are bigger issues in the world than sailing, but we have
the opportunity to tackle some of them with our sport. If you have never
seen the expression on a kids face learning to sail for the first time, it
is priceless. Then imagine that being a kid who has seen more violence and
crime than you and I could even imagine. If you wish to make the sport more
popular, get involved with community sailing. -
* From Marc Hollerbach: Thank you, John Wade, for articulating my own
feelings so succinctly. We have all have been so caught up in the world's
"go-go growth" mania that we may have missed the significance of what it
really means to our sport.
It seems to me that the only winners in the promotion sweepstakes are the
organizing authorities, professionals and suppliers who need ever more
dollars injected into the market. That, in turn, attracts more individuals
to chase those dollars. Result: an accelerating spiral toward increased
professionalization. I don't see where I need to support a huge expansion
in sailing simply to support them. My ego and my income are fine, thank
you, without wider media coverage.
Among many other costs for this is an increasingly intrusive regulatory
environment that threatens to drive many of us right out of that kind of
racing. How nice to race in the islands where I don't need my US Sailing
number every time I turn around!
I have nothing against professionals. I have thoroughly enjoyed sailing
with and against many professionals over a lifetime of sailing. They have
every right to pursue their chosen profession as aggressively as the rest
of us pursue our own. However, we are the buyers in that relationship.
Rather than simply roll over in the face of the industry's hard sell on
expansion, let's look at it as if we were buying a dot-com stock. Is there
significant upside for the buyer or is it just a self-inflating bubble?
Every path has some puddles.