SCUTTLEBUTT 1427- October 2, 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.
Given the changes in scale, could Newport, or even Rhode Island as a whole,
accommodate a return of the America's Cup to Narragansett Bay? That's a
question those involved in the sport often ponder. "I would say, yes, we
could do it," said Charles E. Dana, former commodore of the New York Yacht
Club and managing partner at Newport Shipyard. Dana is not alone in his
thinking. He and a group of state officials decided to look at the
possibility late last year while the U.S. syndicate Stars & Stripes
remained a contender in the Cup races. The consensus emerged that Newport
could in fact accommodate the sailing world's biggest event - with some
help from the rest of the Ocean State.
"Conventional wisdom is that it outgrew Newport and we actually agree with
that. But it was just the right size for Rhode Island," said Townsend
Goddard of Middletown, special projects manager for the state Economic
Development Corp. and a senior policy analyst for the state Senate at the
time of the study. The study, which was conducted by the state's America's
Cup Planning Committee, focused on the event's prospective impact on the
state economy. But it came to an end - when Stars & Stripes bowed out of
the race, dashing any chances for a U.S. victory bid - before any
consideration of potential infrastructure needs could be made, Goddard said.
"The greatest challenge is back in 1983, there were four or five shipyards
in Newport. Now we have one," said Keith W. Stokes, executive director of
the Newport County Chamber of Commerce and a participant in the study
group. To create adequate space for the various syndicates, the challengers
likely would fan across the lower part of Narragansett Bay - docking at
Newport Shipyard, Fort Adams State Park, the Melville marine facility in
Portsmouth and Quonset Point in North Kingstown. "As we look at so many
locations, there are so many what-ifs," Stokes said.
Working out such logistics also would be necessary for dealing with other
potential obstacles, such as hotel room shortages and traffic problems,
Dana said. "I tend to believe it could ... be a Mecca for the America's
Cup," Dana said. "It would take a lot more planning." But the benefits
would be overwhelming. - Terrence Synnott and Rick McGowan, Newport Daily
News, full story:
IT'S UNDOUBTEDLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
Robert Miller's revolutionary all-carbon fibre 140-foot super-maxi Mari Cha
IV was scheduled to leave New York at 8 am UCT today (October 2) for their
attempt at the prestigious west to east transatlantic monohull record. The
current record is 8 days, 20 hours, 55 minutes and 35 seconds, and was set
by Swiss sailor Bernard Stamm onboard Armour Lux on 1st February 2001. You
can follow the record attempt and find more details at Mari Cha's new
Annapolis, Md. - Annapolis skipper Lorie Stout won Wednesday's single
light-air race in the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship -
her second victory in six races so far - to move her team up to fifth
place. Alison and Barkow finished 4-9, respectively. Mary Brigden from San
Diego finished the race in second and improved her overall position from
sixth to third.
Stout did not believe local knowledge helped her, since she regularly sails
in the Severn River just off Annapolis and the fleet sailed in the middle
of Chesapeake Bay five miles south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. "Sailing
out there is a lot different than sailing next to the Severn Sailing
Association," said Stout, who nailed the start but fouled someone shortly
afterward. "It was a little tap, and we did our circles and got started
again. We got rocking then." - Media Pro Int'l, www.ussailing.org
Standing after six races with one discard - 66 J/22s:
1. Betsy Alison, USA, 27
2. Sally Barkow, USA, 32
3. Mary Brigden, USA, 38
4. Karleen Dixon, NZL, 43
5. Lorie Stout, USA, 49
Complete results: http://tinyurl.com/p8zu
COOL FALL SAILING? STAY WARM AND FLEXIBLE!
Quadroflex™, a 4-way stretch fleece, offers thin thermal, water friendly,
layering that is non-bulking, body conforming and stretches when you do.
Perfect for the active sailor who does not want to be over bulked yet seeks
warmth and breathability. Offered in farmer johns, pants and shirts. Ideal
for drysuits!! Breaker Sailing Long pants are breathable Supplex sailing
trousers with double knees and butts! Knees pads and butt pads are optional
and insertible. The perfect watch-pant and fall regatta gear. Find them all
at Sailing Angles: http://www.sailingangles.com
There seems to be a lot of people who are interested in doing some match
racing, but not much information has been available about the significant
differences between that game and fleet racing. Information like the
differences in rules, strategy and techniques.
Well, that problem has gone away. America's Cup sailor John Cutler teamed
up with International Umpire Henry Menin to produce a book that is more
than just a starter kit to match racing - it examines and explains
everything you'll need to claim a podium position in all but the
highest-level, grand prix events on the match racing circuit.
Cutler and Menin use lots of diagrams to explain the match racing rules,
and even more diagrams to make clear the techniques for controlling the
start, for holding a lead, plus the tricks for catching up when behind.
There's also a lot more. The 100-page book is available on CD from the
North U website and is definitely worth the $20 asking price.
* ISAF has just released the new 'official' rankings for the Olympic
Classes. The just concluded ISAF World Championship regatta had a heavier
weighting than even the ISAF Grade 1 events - consequently there were some
pretty big moves were made in both directions. Those you care about these
rankings will find them posted at: http://www.sailing.org/rankings/
* The first NY/NJ Sail Expo drew over 8,500 people, with some 7,500
consumers and 1,000 members of the marine trade. Showgoers were largely
from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, and some
showgoers traveled from as far as the Great Lakes and South America. A
total of 170 exhibitors from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia
participated in the Sail America-produce show that took place from
September 25 - September 28 at New Jersey's Liberty Landing Marina in
* There was just 5-6 knots of breeze for the Canada's Cup match race series
in Toronto, Canada on Wednesday. In the first race, Terry McLaughlin's Team
Defiant from Canada beat Bob Hughes' Team Heartbreaker by just two feet.
Ouch! Team Defiant then won the second race by 22 seconds, which gave them
a 6-4 edge in the series. Defiant can clinch the Canada's Cup on Thursday
with one just win in this 'first boat to seven' match race series.
http://www.rcyc.ca/Special/index.htm and http://www.canadascup.org
BIG BOAT SERIES FINAL
Winnetou, a very well sailed Santa Cruz 52 out of the St. Francis Yacht
Club, won its class with a seven-race total of 9 points. This expertly
prepared boat was rigged by Scott Easom with Samson running rigging. Among
other Samson line on board, according to the "speed man" Jason Rhodes, the
Progen II halyard was perfect - it didn't stretch. Congratulations to the
crew of Winnetou and thank you for using Samson. http://www.Samsonrope.com
HOBIE 16 NAs
Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association, Dewey Beach Delaware - Conditions for the
third day of racing at the Hobie 16 North Americans were light and shifty.
Race one got going after several general recalls. As the boats got to the
top of the first beat the wind was dying. The race committee shortened the
course at the leeward gate and sent the fleet back to shore under
postponement. At 3:30 the fleet was sent out for another race. There were
several more general recalls and the course again had to be shortened, this
time at the second weather mark. Sailors got back to the beach just before
dark. Tomorrow's forecast calls for better wind.
Top five (protest pending):
1) Paul Hess and Mary Ann Hess, 17pts
2) Dan Kulkoski and Kathy Kulkoski, 32pts.
3) Armando Noriega Jr. and Roderigo Achach, 35pts.
4) Wally Myers and Tyler Myers, 40pts.
5) Bob Merrick and Eliza Cleveland, 42pts.
Full results will be posted at: www.hobie16cc.com/
The last 24 hours has seen American Jonathan McKee change gears to take up
a commanding lead in the second leg of the Mini Transat. The front runners
are now three quarters of the way between Lanzarote and the Cape Verde
waypoint on their way south to Brazil. McKee overtook Armel Tripon
yesterday and this morning at the 0700GMT update his Team McLube was 21
miles ahead, taking a more easterly route south than the Frenchman. - The
Daily Sail website, full story: http://thedailysail.com/
* Peter Isler is following the race closely from San Diego California,
and this is his take on the situation of his friend, Jonathan McKee: "This
is probably his last day on starboard tack for a long long time (except
maybe for some funkyness in the doldrums)! But even with the wind clocking
until the doldrums (and beyond) Tripon is pretty far aft - he needs a 068
wind to be "even" - but by then they will be reaching hard. I guess the
only worry for Jonathan is that with that leverage (40 miles or so) Tripon
might find a better slot through the doldrums... but that's all pretty much
roulette anyways... and there's a good chance when the wind lifts. He'll
consolidate his leverage and jibe to port tonight."
Curmudgeon's Comment: Spot-on Peter. According to the 1500 report, he did jibe.
Standings at 1500 GMT Wednesday:
1. Jonathan McKee, Team McLube, 2050.5 miles to finish.
2. Armel Tripon Moulin Roty, 2070.5 mtf
3. François Cuinet, Reglisse, 2096.1 mtf
4. Samuel Manuard Tip Top Too, 2101.4 mtf
5. Pierre Rolland Extrado, 2116.4 mtf
Event website: http://www.transat650.org/
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
The bad news is that a prominent winch company has rented the Key West
condominium, which was listed on the Scuttlebutt Sailing Club's Bulletin
Board, for Key West Race Week. More bad news is the Farr 40 that was listed
is also sold. However, these two bits of news are only bad if you were
looking at these listings for yourself. The good news is folks are having
success with their classified ads. See the new listing from Sail Newport
who is selling their fleet of J/22's. Consider the Bulletin Board for your
buying and selling needs: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/classifieds
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 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 Manfred C. Schreiber: Many thanks for bringing these comment from
Libby McKee's into the sailing community - "Because of the mix of levels of
sailors, finances and the fact that the boat is single handed, the Mini
Class has a feeling of camaraderie and friendship among the competitors.
Everyone helps each other".
Having done a lot of crewed sailing over the years I had always only found
what Libby explains in my beloved DN Iceboat, where, as everyone knows, you
are sailing alone and you are spending many hours in the workshop. On soft
water I have sailed this season a singlehander dinghy which is a one-design
but built mostly by the competitors and this seems to be the point. Not
necessarily you have to built your own complete boat but you must be
engaged in a lot of upgrading, tweaking, bright work etc to really respect
your fellow competitor and to develop camaraderie and else. Buying a
fridgedoor and going sailing will never bring you the joy of respect and
friendship among competitors.
* From Tim Bohan: As Mr. Wheatley has correctly pointed out, the America's
Cup has become a race of the checkbook. It was a big mistake to modify or
eliminate the nationality rules, upon which the race was originally based.
The results are obvious, the one with the most money buys the most talent
and hardware and wins. It's not special anymore, just a very expensive big
One of the premise's for eliminating the nationality rules was to provide
high paying sailing jobs for the top talent. Well, if there are only two
syndicates racing vs. 7-10, have you created jobs or eliminated jobs? Will
there be more talent chasing the cup or less? I say bring the old rules
back. Nation vs. Nation in all aspects, designers, builders, materials and
sailors, all born and raised in country, which is the original reason they
raced for the Cup.
When the Ausies first won the Cup from Dennis Connor, it meant something.
Their nation had put together a team worthy of the Cup. Same goes for Team
New Zealand when they won. This latest Cup match meant nothing ... the same
TNZ guys won again ... sailing for the Swiss? How did it come to this?
* From Ken Guyer: I have to agree with Magnus Wheatley about the
possibility of the next Cup being more than a bit weak in competitors. It
will only be attended by those with a minimum of $80 to $100 million in
their coffers. That money has to be raised now for a race that is so far
into the future it is funny to think of. There may be a possibility of a
combination of corporate and sugar daddy dollars to fund such a campaign,
but unless a lot more "B's" are created in a very short time, it is an
outside chance at best.
Real changes will have to be made in the yachts to give a chance to any
syndicate outside of Ernesto and Larry. That will drive up the cost of a
campaign unless caps are built into the formula. And as Magnus pointed out,
the talent pool is quite thin thanks to the host's deep pockets. Ellison
has shown he is not above signing all the talent whether he uses them or not.
* From Dallas Johnson (Regarding AC budgets): Just think what $100,000,000
would do for the endowments of youth sailing schools and sailing centers
around the country. If you're a billionaire sailor seeking the long-term
admiration of the sailing community, respect of your peers, growth of the
sport, and perhaps sponsor return on investment, consider the Carnegie
model instead of the Vanderbilt model. It also makes a better tax write-off.
* From Chris Ericksen: Pardon me, but I fear folks have used John
McBrearty's request for details of any suit or settlement against any Race
Committee for failing to call off racing or require the wearing of PFD's as
an invitation to reopen the PFD thread. Please don't succumb, folks.
As a PRO myself who is involved in the management of my yacht club's racing
program, I want to know about such a suit or settlement - and with enough
details to make sense of it. The anecdotal report of Gene McCarthy of a
six-figure judgment in a case involving a regatta could have been for a
whaler accident such as the ones we've read about among Olympic coaches and
racers and not based on a PRO running races in big winds or seas. Please
don't reopen this thread--but please, somebody, answer the question asked.
* From Carter Gowrie: At Gowrie, Barden & Brett we have provided special
insurance coverage for sailing clubs for fourteen years, which has included
protection for regattas. In our experience, we have had virtually no claims
stemming from injuries sustained on participant boats. This is because the
primary liability falls with the boat owner, not the organizing
organization. We have paid numerous claims over the years for bodily injury
occurring on race committee boats and support boats, but these are operated
by the race organizer, making the negligence more easily defined.
It is a stretch for the injured party on a participant boat to prove
negligence on the part of the race committee. The assumption of risk
doctrine may or not come into play. This will vary by state jurisdiction or
by the admiralty court if applicable. Our statistics show that far and away
the frequency of claims has occurred on land, during race preparation and
après race gatherings. The perceived risk may be on the water, but the real
risk to regatta organizers is on land. We recommend that the insurance
protection be carefully structured to cover all aspects of regatta
management, not just "regatta liability".
* From Eric Johnson: I am reminded of a great quote by T-Ten sailor John
Little, who said, "The great thing about this sport is that you are at risk
from the time you step onto the launch to the time you are back on the
dock. Because if you screw up, you are not walking home!"
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession, and in many ways
it's similar to the first.