SCUTTLEBUTT 1431- October 8, 2003
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FOR THE RECORD
Update by Mike Sanderson, Mari Cha IV helmsman (Tuesday 7th October 2003
What an amazing few days we have had out here! We have been dreaming about
this for a few years now since plans for this mighty yacht first took
place, but to be honest, so far it has been even better then I had
expected. The trip has just been an absolute pleasure. It has, without
doubt, been the most enjoyable sailing I have ever done - day after day of
awesome fast sailing with a fantastic boat and crew.
The 525 mile day was a huge plus Monday and today (Tuesday) we have just
done 517 nautical miles. Our main aim out here has always been to break the
transatlantic record but we always had in the back of our minds the hope
that we could become the first boat to break the 500-mile benchmark.
What's next? Well, depending on how you look at it, 600 nautical miles
could be possible if we were to use the gulf stream like the existing
record holders, Illbruck. I know there are a lot of people out there that
think that shouldn't be the case, but that is how the rule says you can
play at the moment and it is the same for everyone - so it is all fair game.
We have now got under 700 nautical miles to go, which is always a nice
benchmark when you are racing offshore because suddenly you can compare
your time out here to the length of a Fastnet race or a Sydney Hobart, so
the boys always get excited about that.
Even though everyone is having great time out here, you can tell that there
is a little nervousness in the air. Really the only reason that we won't
beat the transatlantic record now would be if we were to break something,
and, whilst running in 25 to 35 knots there is a reasonable chance of that,
I am sitting here writing this as the boat is hurtling along in relatively
flat water at 25/ 27 knots - just awesome sailing.
No real drama or anything to report. It's a little disappointing to have
broken our lovely code 3 Gennaker last night when the lock strop broke, but
it looks like we will get away without needing it from here to the finish.
Keep your fingers crossed for us and hopefully we can have a speedy finish
and arrive some time on Thursday (UTC).
For continuous updates and onboard photos: http://www.mari-cha4.com
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
A new education program was announced Tuesday for the Chesapeake stopover
of the Volvo Ocean Race, to be held in April 2006.
The program will provide a portal through which students and their families
can increase their understanding of the dynamics of the oceans and the
Chesapeake Bay, while tracking the progress of the boats. Teachers and club
leaders will be provided with a set of curricular materials and competition
guidelines to learn about the race; its historical importance, the physics
of its execution, and the calculations required to achieve success.
Schools and clubs will be invited to compete state-wide in predicting the
exact time the first boat will cross the Chesapeake finish line of the leg
between Rio and Baltimore. To make this prediction, students will need to
examine weather, tides and currents, aerodynamics, and geography. Schools
and clubs with the closest to accurate predictions will be treated to a
visit from the racers themselves and a trip to see the racing yachts. -
Lizzie Green, Volvo Ocean Race, full story:
Curmudgeon's Comment: Sounds like an innovative way to insure crowds at the
dock when the boats arrive.
When ISAF rewrote and simplified the Racing Rules of Sailing in 1997, they
shortened, reorganized, and clarified the rules. But I think the rules
committee missed a couple of obvious changes. Rulemakers are committed to
accuracy and brevity, so I'm surprised they missed the chance to change the
name of the sailing instructions to race instructions. After all, the SIs
don't teach us how to sail. But even more obvious than that, they could've
deep-sixed a boring little preposition and made the notice of race, simply,
the race notice. Wouldn't it make sense for the rules governing our events
to be called the Racing Rules of Sailing, the Race Notice, and the Race
Instructions? Let's try it out for the rest of this column. - John Burnham,
Sailing World editor, full story:
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* After over 41 days at sea, French woman Raphaela Le Gouvello has just
recently passed the halfway stage of her single-handed transpacific
crossing on a windsurfer. Raphaela departed from Lima, Peru on 5 August
2003, where her route takes her 4,300 nautical miles (8000 km) across the
Pacific Ocean to Tahiti. Raphaela's windsurfer is a specially designed 7.8
m sailboard that is fully autonomous, allowing her to make the crossing
without any outside assistance. One of its many features is an airbag
system that automatically inflates & rights the sailboard in the event of
capsize. - International Windsurfing Assn, full story:
* Medicine Man, Bob Lane's Andrews 61 took the triple crown of First to
Finish, First in Class and First Overall in Southwestern YC's "Little
Ensenada" Race, a 62-mile dash from San Diego, CA to Ensenada, Mexico that
attracted over 80 entrants. Complete results:
* The Marseille's mayor, Jean-Claude Gaudin said today (Tuesday) that his
city is ready to sacrifice for the America's Cup 2007, adding that
Marseille is ensured to recover "largely" its investment. During the
today's meeting with the town council, Mr. Gaudin estimates to some €200
million - 120 in investments - the necessary financial commitments for the
Cup. The senator-mayor pointed out that the French Government has committed
to give €40 million if Marseilles win and he added, "If we are retained, we
will succeed in obtaining more from the Government." - Cup in Europe:
"Thank you folks for the help in selling my Icom SSB. I was surprised and
impressed with the results of your (classified ad) listing. Please remove
the listing for the SSB--I'm (still) getting a couple of inquires every few
days. Again, thank you very much" - C. Keith Stump, Scuttlebutt Sailing
Club Bulletin Board advertiser. Information about classified ad listings
As the Mini Transat fleet heads south towards Brazil on the second leg of
the race in very little wind as they pass through the Doldrums, positions,
particularly at the top of the fleet are changing constantly.
Pierre Rolland sailed out to the west overnight and has overtaken Jonathan
McKee. Rolland now leads by 25 miles while the Spanish sailor Alex Pella
trails by 51 miles and Armel Tripon, who was vying for the overall lead
with McKee yesterday, could notch up no more than 45 miles in the last 24
hours and has slipped to sixth place, 53 miles behind Rolland.
Sam Manuard, who won the first leg of the race from La Rochelle to
Lanzarote has dropped two places in the last 24 hours to sixth place just
ahead of the young Irish sailor Cian McCarthy who is once again showing
amazing speed. - Sue Pelling, Yachting World, full story:
Curmudgeon's Comment: The above story is not as current as the standings
below, where first leg winner Manuard has now rallied back from sixth to
third place. Looking at the position reports, there remains a bit of
leverage between Rolland and McKee with Manuard in the middle. Stay tuned.
Standings at 15:00 TU Tuesday:
1. Pierre Rolland, Extrado, 1321 miles to finish
2. Jonathan McKee, Team McLube, 1345 mtf
3. Samuel Manuard, Tip Top Too, 1359 mtf
4. Alex Pella, Aquatec - Santiveri - Texknit, 1364 mtf
5. Bruno Garcia, Saladino, 1376 mtf
Event website: http://www.transat650.org/
In the last decade, the number of superyachts - boats over 80 feet - has
doubled, to around 8,000, according to Greg Mullen, the publisher of
Dockwalk, many of them built by younger Americans who made quick fortunes
in technology. The boats have wider cabins with no balconies, and the crews
- who are increasingly educated to handle the high-tech systems on board -
are in closer contact with the owners, many of whom share their
backgrounds. With boundaries blurred, crews of American-owned yachts often
don't know where they stand.
"The Europeans don't know your name," said Betsy Millson, a former yachtie.
"You're just there to serve them. Americans want to be your friend, they
want to know where you went to college and they want to buy you drinks.
Then they want you to work 18 hours a day and tend to their six kids."
Another result of blurred social boundaries: more romance between crews and
owners. The phenomenon has even inspired a phrase - "Move my things to the
master" - to describe stewardesses who move up from the crew quarters to
the owner's master suite and order former colleagues to fetch their belongings.
For crew members of superyachts there are some basic rules - no hooking up
with the guests, for example, and no drinking the boss's liquor without
permission. But as any old salt will tell you, a couple of precepts trump
all others: no matter how much you're enjoying yourself and no matter how
exhilarating the exotic ports of call, never let it show. And never, ever
let the owners think you're having as much fun as they are.
Yacht crews work grueling schedules. They wake early to prepare breakfast
and ready the yacht for either a day at sea or one of resort-style leisure.
Colin Kearney, now the captain of a 64-foot sailboat in Newport, said his
duties as watersports coordinator on a 325-foot yacht in the Mediterranean
included tending to 15 motorcycles, 10 jet watercraft, 2 cars and a fleet
of Windsurfers, kayaks and small sailboats. He got up at 6 and worked until
Sleeping can be made harder by the partying of guests, especially those who
insist on being tended into the wee hours. While guests sleep off their
hangovers, the crew is up at dawn. "Sometimes you're lucky if you get to
bed," Mr. Kearney said. - Excerpts from a long story by Warren St. John,
New York Times, full story (but unfortunately you have to pay to access
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CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
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 Terry McLaughlin, winning skipper of 2003 Canada's Cup: I may be a
day late in responding to Ed Furry's letter about the Canada's Cup. There
is no doubt that sailing on a boat like a Farr 40 is a team sport. Though
the work load of organizing a project like the Canada's Cup may be borne by
only a few of the crew members, once the matchracing 10 minute attention
signal goes it is nine or ten sailors on our boat against the nine or ten
team members on their boat. Everyone has their role to perform at each
point in the race. Mistakes are going to be made on the race course. It is
how the crew as a unified team responds, both physically and mentally, at
those moments that often determines the outcome of the race.
Both Heartbreaker and Defiant had excellent teams in the 2003 Canada's Cup
series. It is not a coincidence that both teams were very similar to their
2001 Canada's Cup crew.
* From Bob Ratliffe, former Executive Director, OneWorld Challenge: You
quoted Mark Twain the other day which I enjoyed. I was reminded of another
great Twain quote... "Always do right, it will gratify some, and astonish
the rest." At "OneWorld" we did all three!
* From Matt Carter: (re Steve Morrell's comments on sailing stoned) Anyone
who thinks beating a team of stoned sailors is easy has obviously never
raced in Santa Cruz, or participated in the Double-handed Farrallones.
* From Alistair Cowen: But it's okay if you don't inhale, right?
* From Donna S. Womble: Ever noticed that politically correct and personal
computer have the same acronym? Must be Election Day on the left coast
because everyone is wondering, will it be Arnold or Gray. And alas, even in
sailing the "Tilting at Windmill" debates go on... The name of the Auld
Cup, where will sailors get funding, why doesn't the media like us, is Mary
Jane legal according to the RRS? I think it is in Santa Cruz. Can we at
least agree on something? Sailing is a hooter... oops, I mean a hoot.... is
it an owl? No, I guess it is just fun.
* From J. Dirk Schwenk: I hope that Scuttlebutt readers have heard the
resounding silence on the topic of successful lawsuits race committees for
decisions made about racing. As a maritime lawyer, I have been approached
about hundreds of possible lawsuits, but I have never been asked to
consider such a suit. I am not aware of any reported decision holding a
race committee liable for race-day decisions. Race organizers should
purchase insurance, yes, but the chance of a successful suit is minimal.
The justice system of the United States is among the best in the history of
the world. It can and does distinguish between meritorious and frivolous
* From Judge Geoff Newbury: (Re comments from Malcolm McKeag on race
organizers' liabilities). The House of Lords has unanimously signaled a
return to common sense with a strong denunciation of the 'nanny state':
Tomlinson v. Congleton Borough Council  UKHL 47 (31 July 2003):
Although framed as occupiers' liability, the thrust is free will and,
assumption of risk. "...A duty to protect against obvious risks or
self-inflicted harm exists only in cases in which there is no genuine and
informed choice, or in the case of employees, or some lack of capacity,
such as the inability of children to recognise danger...." Note, "informed
"... In truth, the arguments for the claimant have involved an attack
upon the liberties of the citizen which should not be countenanced. They
attack the liberty of the individual to engage in dangerous, but otherwise
harmless, pastimes at his own risk and the liberty of citizens as a whole
fully to enjoy the variety and quality of the landscape of this country.
The pursuit of an unrestrained culture of blame and compensation has many
evil consequences and one is certainly the interference with the liberty of
the citizen. The discussion of social utility in the Illinois Supreme Court
is to the same effect: Bucheleres v. Chicago Park District 171 Ill 2d 435,
"... Of course there is some risk of accidents arising out of the joie de
vivre of the young. But that is no reason for imposing a grey and dull
safety regime on everyone. This appeal must be allowed."
* From James H. Stevralia: There were very fun and interesting
announcements in Scuttlebutt yesterday. First involves the Australian
solution to the America's Cup nationality issue. Replace it with a
generational competition. The OzBoyz WI FI's vs the Depends Deep Ends.
And how about Steve Morrell's suggestion about stoned sailing. How could
the media pass that one up? It would be a real hit, or two.
Lastly, look out Harken, Timberland etc. Straight from Europe, Ferragamo
High Fashion boat shoes.