SCUTTLEBUTT 1442 - October 23, 2003
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SAMUEL "SHARK" KAHN
The recent success of fourteen-year-old Samuel "Shark" Kahn winning the
2003 Melges 24 Worlds has the sailing world wondering where this kid came
from. Sailing phenom or the benefactor of a well-financed sailing campaign?
Father Philippe Kahn is known for his success in the Farr 40 and ultralight
turbo sled arenas, but little was known of his son before he dethroned an
elite group of sailors October 13-17 in San Francisco to take the M-24
Scuttlebutt tracked down David Ullman, who has had his own share of sailing
success but more recently has been involved in the development side of
sailors. Ullman made the transition into coaching during the 1988 Olympics,
where he worked as the 470 Olympic team coach. His involvement in the
America's Cup has included working as coach for the America's True campaign
in 2000 and with the Oracle campaign in 2003.
But it is Ullman's participation in the preparation of Shark and Philippe
for Melges 24 racing in general and the Worlds in particular that provides
us a handy perspective on the road from which they came. Said Ullman, "I
got a fortune cookie the other night where the fortune inside really
summarized the secret behind their success: '90% of a job is preparation'."
When Philippe got into the class two and half years ago, he enlisted Ullman
to help him get up to speed. "I had started doing some coaching with him in
Hawaii and Santa Cruz prior to the 2001 M-24 Worlds in Key West, FL. My
style seemed to fit what the team wanted, which at this time was before
Shark was involved. I was sailing the second boat against Philippe. On an
average day we would go sail testing in the morning without Philippe, which
allowed him to tend to his regular responsibilities at work, and then in
the afternoon he would come down and we would do some short course racing
and drills. It wasn't long before Shark would also join me on my boat in
Ullman was intrigued by the split schedule concept, which allowed the boat
technicians to focus together on speed, and then bring in Philippe and
Shark later in the day to concentrate on race situations. An example of how
well the training program may lie in the reality that Shark's first major
regatta wasn't until the 2003 Key West Race Week in January. Says Ullman,
"The thing about Shark and Philippe is that neither have a ton of
experience, but they both have the best program possible. They are
surrounded by the best people, not just racing with them, but others
helping them learn about racing, speed and boat set-up. The whole program
is very, very well done. And it is not just the best money can buy. It is
the best thought process too. Just throwing money at a project usually does
not equate to success. Some very, very bright people were involved and have
done a bang up job for them."
So it wasn't long until their crew work was solid and their boat speed was
remarkable. The only thing left was to continue to help Philippe and Shark
evolve into top sailboat racers. Remarks Ullman, "The reality is that
Philippe and Shark were the final variables, but they are both "sponges."
They are quite good at learning and absorbing, where every day they would
make huge leaps. Their 2003 training goal was clearly how could they best
get up to pace for the worlds. And when they got to the Worlds they were
both competitive. It wasn't that just Shark won, but Philippe also had a
great regatta for the length of time he has been sailing the boat." -
Excerpt from an exclusive story now posted on the Scuttlebutt website. To
read the whole story and view some action photos:
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
America's Cup finalists Russell Coutts of Team Alinghi and Dean Barker of
Team New Zealand were pushed to elimination matches in today's Round 1 of
the Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, but
both survived the first wave of the knock-out series format and now
headline the eight skippers sailing into Friday's quarterfinal action.
Coutts eliminated Cameron Dunn of New Zealand while Barker defeated Ed Baird.
On a white-capped Hamilton Harbor, with winds approaching 25 knots, the
action was furious throughout the day. And, with the start line positioned
just off the end of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club pier and spectator area,
everyone in attendance had prime viewing for some of the most thrilling
match racing action in recent memory. Adding to the day's excitement, local
favorite Paula Lewin of Team Ace Group, competing in the event following
her victory in yesterday's Bermuda International Women's Match Racing
Championship, swept her way past America's Cup legend Dennis Conner 3-0, to
reach the quarterfinals of the regatta proper for the second straight year.
An upset featured unseeded skipper Bill Hardesty of the United States
defeating US Virgin Islander Peter Holmberg of Team Gramicci, a former
Swedish Match Tour champion and winner of this regatta in 2001, 3-1.
Hardesty actually spent several days last week training with Holmberg in
Newport, RI. Today's result was a case of the pupil schooling the teacher.
Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen of Team Colorcraft won his re-match with
Bermudian Peter Bromby of Team Ace Group, 3-1. Advancing with relative ease
today was the regatta's top seed and defending champion Jesper Radich of
Denmark, who dismissed Italy's Paolo Cian of the Riviera di Rimini Sailing
Also moving on to the quarterfinals is Oracle BMW Racing skipper Chris
Dickson who sailed past Sweden's Jenny Axhede of Team Panorama, who
qualified for the event as a result of her runner-up finish in the Bermuda
International Women's Match Racing Championship. Peter Gilmour of Team
Pizza La beat his opponent Staffan Lindberg of Finland, 3-1.
Thursday is a layday, with the event's pro-am scheduled to take place.
Quarterfinal action will commence on Friday morning. - Shawn McBride,
Quarterfinals Match Ups - First-to-three-points:
Jesper Radich, DEN/Team Radich v. Paula Lewin, BER/ Ace Group
Russell Coutts, NZ/ Alinghi v. Peter Gilmour, AUS/Team Pizza La
Bill Hardesty, USA v. Dean Barker, TNZ Omega
Chris Dickson, Oracle BMW v. Jes Gram-Hansen, DEN/ Colorcraft
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AMERICA'S CUP RUMORS
Leaders of the three top syndicates from this year's America's Cup were put
on the spot at tonight's press conference at the Swedish Match Tour's
Investors Guaranty Presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup. Russell
Coutts, skipper of the Alinghi Team, dramatic winners of the Cup last March
was asked about recent rumors that US Virgin Islander Peter Holmberg,
former helmsman for the Oracle BMW Racing Team and the 2002 Swedish Match
Tour Champion, was about to join Alinghi's 2007 defense.
Coutts dodged the inquiry. "It's an understatement that there's a lot of
rumors going on around the America's Cup," said Coutts. "I can say we will
be looking to hire some new people, probably twenty percent of our design
team and thirty percent of our sailing team. When we're ready to make an
announcement, we'll let you know." Holmberg, meanwhile, would "neither
confirm, nor deny" any discussions about him joining the Swiss team.
Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker was asked about the rumor that the
Kiwis might be joining forces with the fledgling Mascalzone Latino
challenge. "Earlier this year we were merging with Oracle, apparently there
are also 25 boats in the Volvo (Ocean) Race and I'm sure there are some
other good stories out there," said Barker.
Interestingly to those who follow such matters, Barker has among his crew
this week British sailor Ben Ainslie, Olympic gold medallist in the Laser
and reigning world Finn champion. Ainslie is working the bow for Barker
this week, a critical tactical position in the deep International One
Designs raced at the Bermuda Gold Cup.
And the rumor mill continues to roll… - Shawn McBride, Swedish Match Tour
MORE AC RUMORS
According to Italian sports' daily "Gazzetta dello Sport", the Italian
businessman Gualtieron Pantani has bought one of the 2002 Stars & Stripes
and wants to recruit Poland's match racing ace Karol Jablonski as skipper.
Rumors suggesting Jablonski may be re-thinking his participation in the
Polish challenge but have been refuted by later reports. Gualtieron
Pantani, however, denies the information published by the Italian sport's
daily and says he is just involved in a group of businessmen who are
planning to launch a new Italian bid for 2007. - Cup in Europe website,
full story: http://www.cupineurope.com/LatestNews/2007ItaliaEN.htm
At US Sailing's annual general meeting in St. Louis, MO, the organization
presented awards to recognize contributions to the sport of sailing.
* Judy McLennan and her daughter Stephanie were presented with the award in
honor of the U.S. Junior Women's Championships that Judy's father, Tom
Clagett, created. With the continuing support of the Clagett and McLennan
families, these events play a major role in the development of sailing for
young women in the U.S.
* Tom Leweck received the President's Award for the contributions he has
made to the sport of sailing with the racing news, commentary, opinions and
features printed each day in Scuttlebutt, his free e-mail newsletter and
President's Industry Award
The Sailing Company, which owns Sailing World and Cruising World magazines,
received the President's Industry award, which recognizes outstanding
performance in promoting the growth of the sport of sailing and enhancing
the relationship between the marine industry and US Sailing. The award was
presented to John Burnham, editor of Sailing World magazine, who has a long
history of contributing to US Sailing and the sport of sailing.
Timmy Larr Trophy
Doris and Steve Colgate received this award for their numerous outstanding
contributions to sailor education and training within US Sailing as well as
throughout the U.S. Steve is a long-time US Sailing volunteer, having
served on numerous committees in the last two decades. Doris founded the
National Women's Sailing Association in 1990.
Gay S. Lynn Trophy
Peter Goldman and the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program of Chicago were
presented with the Gay S. Lynn Trophy for outstanding contribution to
disabled sailors and the sport of disabled sailing. Peter Goldman and his
family designed a program to enable people with disabilities to experience
a sense of independence and achievement. The program reaches more than
1,000 participants a year through sailing classes for beginners as well as
clinics for advanced sailors. - Marlieke de Lange Eaton, www.ussailing.org.
What does employment at Doyle Sailmakers, Optimist sailboats, and Lewmar
winches have in common? They are all things that were advertised for free
on the Scuttlebutt website, and they are all ads that successfully found
their match this past week. Check out the classified ads section of the
Scuttlebutt website: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/classifieds
* The US Men's & Women's National Sailing Championships are underway at the
Lake Norman YC. The women's team of Molly O'Bryan, Annelise Moore & Genie
Simeona from Hawaii is in the Adams Trophy lead after the first day of
racing in steady winds of 15mph with gusts to 25 mph. The Connecticut men's
team of Brandon Flack, Ben Bardwell and Reid McLaughlin have the lead after
the first day of racing for the Clifford D. Mallory Cup. Full results and
* The Overall Winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2002, Bob
Steel's Nelson/ Marek 46, Quest, has been nominated for this year's
bluewater classic. Not only is Steel looking for another win with his
champion yacht, but he is honoring his commitment made in Hobart to provide
a boat for sailing master Michael Green to sail aboard in his 25th Hobart
Race. Michael's 25th race will make ocean racing history - the first father
and son to have each sailed in 25 or more Sydney Hobarts. - Peter Campbell
Jonathan McKee believes he may have sold his Mini to a Frenchman. He then
returns to the US where he is to become part of the crew of Randall
Pitman's new radical 93ft Ed Dubois-designed maxi alongside his brother
Charlie and a number of other former OneWorlders. "It'll be fun to be part
of a team again and it will be nice to paid instead of having to pay…"
McKee says that he hopes the Mini Transat will not be the last solo
offshore racing he does, although it does take its toll. "I really enjoyed
it. I had a great time - not just this race, but the whole year. I did show
some aptitude for this kind of thing for whatever reasons and I enjoyed my
time on the water - I wasn't sure if I would but I really did. So it is
hard to walk away and say 'no, never again'. But it is difficult on the
family too - for my wife, and I have one child now and another one coming.
This whole adventure wasn't so easy on them. It is quite an ego-centric
sort of thing to do and you have to be a bit careful about that. But if
someone came along and handed me the keys to an Open 60 I'd certainly have
to think about it!" - The Daily Sail website.
Read the full story of McKee's dismasting and subsequent 'adventures.' -
MARI-CHA IV HARKEN ENGINEERING BRIEFING
Look behind the scenes of Mari-Cha IV's record-breaking transatlantic
crossing with Harken: 21 winches. 12 pedestals. 25 bevel boxes. Blocks,
batten cars, and travelers. All developed by Harken Custom for this
fire-breathing yacht. "Mari-Cha's winch system is the largest Harken has
developed," said Harken engineers Steve Orlebeke and Mark Wiss. Join them
on deck as they share their behind-the-scenes story:
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 James Miller: I am completely mystified by the sense of entitlement
that seems to be displayed by sailors looking for donations. The idea that
"I might achieve glory if you just give me the money" is insulting to the
hard working sailors that have chosen to have a career to support their
families. As one college friend of mine said about the solicitation of
funds for the America's Cup, "why should I send money to pay Ken Read's
salary and scrimp on my one design campaign and my children's weekend
When I see a worthy cause, backed by a proper sense that the donor is
seeking a gift, rather than an entitlement, I give freely. As an example,
last year Tufts University was not willing to fund the sailing team's trip
to Hawaii for the College Nationals. The team captains sent an e-mail with
their budget for the trip to alumnae with a request for help. This was a
request I responded to with pleasure and enthusiasm.
Too many of the requests for funds are made by people who seem to think
that their sailing ability makes them deserving of other peoples' money.
* From Pam A. Leigh: Wow! I don't know about you, but I'm calling a dozen
of my friends and then my travel agent this morning and booking a ticket to
Bermuda. Watch Russell Coutts, Dean Barker, Peter Gilmour, Peter Holmberg,
Ed Baird, Chris Dickson and a lot of other great sailors while sipping a
Dark-n-Stormy at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club? Sign me up! This regatta
sounds like the most amazing match race ever! Kudos to the organizers for
creating the biggest, baddest, most talked about event of the year.
* From J. Mark Sims: As a previous fan of The Race I have read Bruno
Peyron's temper tantrum with considerable humor. I can easily visualize his
Gaelic display complete with a certain amount of rolling about the ground
kicking and screaming at the indignity of it all. Equally, I nearly fell
from my chair when I read Tracy Edward's words: "I am aware of the
vitriolic accusations that one individual has made against me," Edwards
said yesterday. "But you cannot lay international claim to the concept of a
race round the world or claim ownership of a whole class." Apparently Ms.
Edwards has been so removed from the scene as to not hear of Paul Henderson
and the ISAF. As a word of caution I would strongly suggest that in
whatever method this new venue is to be run, that the words "World or
Championship" (especially when used in conjunction) be avoided in deference
to the ISAF, and in fact Ms. Edwards might want to steer clear of using
"Race" in regard to Mr. Peyron.
* From T.J. Perrotti: Though I'm thrilled to read of the rebirth of the
J-Class yacht Ranger, I can't help but wonder why her bow looks so ... uhh
* From Richard Clark: Some Children are born into families of enormous
wealth, some are born into abject poverty, who are we to point our fingers
at any child and devalue achievement, I know from experience that wealth,
entitlement and expectation can screw a child as much as abject poverty. Do
we decry the child of the streets who achieves fame and success and say
"Yes, he did do well but he had to, didn't he". No, we applaud. Our
children are precious, the "Shark" is blessed with a Father who is both
present and cares. The great lesson of life is that we are measured by what
we pass on and not by what we hoard, be it money or experience.
Curmudgeon's Comment: While I opened the door on this thread long enough to
print Mr. Clark's letter, but be assured it is now closed again - and locked.
"I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb
... and I'm also not blonde." - Dolly Parton