SCUTTLEBUTT 1467 - November 28, 2003
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WHY VALENCIA WON
(Here's a brief excerpt from a report that James Boyd of The Daily Sail
filed from the America's Cup venue announcement in Geneva.)
The decision, which Bonnefous claims was made only this morning, was based
primarily on the sailing conditions. In light of the choice of Valencia
this seems slightly unconvincing given the Portugese option was very much
the sailor's favourite - it is on the Atlantic coast and offered the
possibility of big wind and waves, a repeat of the tremendous conditions
experienced during the 1987/8 Cup in Fremantle.
It is believed that Valencia came out on top, because while racing off
Cascais might have offered more lively conditions, as a venue it was
possibly the more volatile with a threat of disputes with the local
fisherman, etc. In contrast Valencia has a moderate sea breeze you can set
your watch by, a race course which is just a 15 minute ride from the
campaign bases and sufficient depth to allow the laying of marks close to
the shore giving spectators a bird's eye view of the action.
In fact the blurb handed out by ACM states they have been looking for a
venue offering 'reliable' rather than exciting wind conditions. This was to
avoid a repeat of the Auckland scenario where a ridiculous number of days
were cancelled due to either too much or too little wind. This broke up the
continuity of the event, turning what might have proved good television
into a heavily punctuated nightmare for broadcasters who had paid good
money to hold the TV rights to the event. - The Daily Sail, full story:
(Following are several excerpts from a comprehensive story by Tim Jeffery
in the UK's Daily Telegraph.)
* The first America's Cup in Europe since 1851 will be without one of its
iconic figures of the past three decades: Dennis Conner is retiring from
the fray. "I raised $40 million last time. Raising $100 million in the
United States today for an event that goes on in Europe at three in the
morning is a dream," Conner said. "It can't be done. You have to have
someone wealthy, it can't be done with sponsorship. Realistically, there
are only two who are going to win this. Oracle and Alinghi are way ahead."
The only man to have lost, won back and lost the Cup again, Conner said:
"I've had a great run: nine cups, four wins. I have no complaints. I wish
* The bidding cities proposed impressive cup villages, hotels, superyacht
facilities and public grandstands costing over £350 million, as well as a
"management fee" inducement. Naples offered almost £35 million, but a
source said that had been ratcheted up by the competing bids.
* Peter Harrison, of GBR Challenge, has set September next year as his
target for finding up to double the £30 million he spent in his first
challenge. Harrison has kept on 15 people, only on the design and
fund-raising side. "I have made it clear that I require partners and
certainly won't carry on over this four-year period without sponsors,"
* Certainly the recruitment market for sailors and designers has heated up
in recent weeks. A notable absentee in Geneva was Paul Cayard, who has been
an America's Cup skipper three times. There are strong suggestions that he
has secured backing.
Full story: http://tinyurl.com/wqb8
SPANISH AMERICA'S CUP SYNDICATE
After Valencia was appointed host for the 2007 America's Cup, the project
of Desafio Español which Agustín Zulueta considered can be pushed under the
limelight. "We are now preparing a Spanish project and details will be
revealed over the next few days", said Gerardo Pombo García, President of
the Spanish Sailing Federation, who said in October that project is
"suspended" until the Swiss have chosen the America's Cup venue.
The Spanish Challenge had a few small sponsorship deals but nothing major.
But the name of the first of the major could be unveiled over the next few
days. Desafio's Zulueta says it is not far from signing sponsorship deal to
give it nearly 50 % of the estimated €50 million it needed. The end of
December is targeted for having a definite budget. - Cup in Europe website,
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MATCH RACING RANKING
The final ISAF World Match Race Rankings for 2003 are released Thursday,
with the results of the recently concluded ISAF Grade 1 Nippon Cup, held in
Hakayama, Japan last week, and the ISAF Grade 1 Marseille International
Match Race counting.
Peter Gilmour has firmly embedded himself back in the open circuit with his
second Grade 1 win in a row, striking perhaps a sense of apprehension in
his competitors. Those used to his absence may have become a little
complacent without "Gillie" on the circuit, and were brought back to
reality with a bump as he took the Nippon Cup home with him last week. That
result move Gilmour to 17th - his first appearance in the top twenty for
over 18 months.
In the women's rankings Marie Bjorling (SWE) still leads the 2003 World
Champion and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Nominee Malin Millbourn
(SWE) at the top of the rankings, positions which are almost unassailable
going into the invitation rankings next January.
1 Karol Jablonski, Poland, 10937
2 Ed Baird, USA, 10348
3 Jesper Radich, Denmark, 10340
4 Mathieu Richard, France, 9512
5 James Spithill, USA, 9315
44. Mason Woodworth, USA, 5503
85. Ken Read, USA, 3961
1 Marie Bjorling, Sweeden, 9905
2 Malin Millbourn, Sweden, 9624
3 Nina Braestrup, Denmark, 8640
4 Lotte Meldgaared Pedersen, Denmark, 8414
5 Marie Faure, France, 7948
6 Liz Baylis, USA, 7443
7 Betsy Alison, USA, 6947
* The world's largest cruising sloop, the 247-foot Mirabella V, was
launched Wednesday. After several delays and years of design and
construction, the carbon-fibre super yacht owned by Joseph Vittoria was
launched at VT Ship Builders at Woolston in Southampton. The boat will be
available for charter at US$250,000/ week. There are photos on the Yachting
Universe website: http://tinyurl.com/wnu1
* Organizers plan to build team compounds and an America's Cup village in
the basin of the port of Valencia, a few miles from downtown. Because
Valencia's bay deepens close to the shore, races can be held within viewing
distance of the city's beaches and waterfront promenade. Spain's finance
minister expects the America's Cup to create more than 10,000 jobs. - USA
Today, full story: http://tinyurl.com/wqd0
* Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton is keeping quiet on
whether the syndicate will be on the start line in the Spanish city of
Valencia in 2007. But on the day the venue for the first European America's
Cup regatta was unveiled, Dalton revealed the syndicate was close to
signing sponsorship deals to give it nearly $100 million of the estimated
$150 million needed to mount a challenge. However, he said, that was not
enough to confirm a 2007 start. A decision would be made on March 31,
although there was an 80 per cent chance the syndicate would compete. -
Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story: http://tinyurl.com/wtvx
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The constant wind in the Mediterranean port is believed to have played a
significant role in the choice of Valencia, but (Team New Zealand's Grant)
Dalton said today Marseille in France had similar wind strengths and
patterns. "I'd like to think it (the wind) was a huge factor but I am not
so sure money wasn't a major factor as well because Marseille down the road
probably has wind that isn't exactly the same but has potentially the right
qualities." The choice of Valencia has angered several cities along the
Mediterranean coast with Marseille mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin saying it
seemed Valencia had made a better financial offer.
Dalton said he was surprised at how rough the Mediterranean could get, even
with the depth close to shore. "It is quite steep chop because it is
virtually a giant bay and you don't get a fetch to the same level as you
might get in a northerly in the Hauraki Gulf which fetches down past the
barrier and which comes from miles away." He said the venue would mean
changes to the rules and boat design but he expected a pre-cup regatta next
September would be sailed under the old rules.
Team New Zealand had had its first meeting of its new design team on
conceptual designs. "I sense in the new designers we have got, coupled with
the old designers, already we have changed the boats quite a bit." - NZPA,
StuffNZ website, full story: http://tinyurl.com/wq9e
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PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS
"I think people are getting the wrong idea that this is San Diego: 6 to 8
to 10 knots, flat water or gentle swells and light air," said Tom Ehman, a
representative of Oracle BMW racing, the San Francisco-based challenger of
record. "This is in the teens. That's plenty of breeze, especially for
What would really guarantee a monotony-free event would be closer races.
With that in mind, the design rules for America's Cup class yachts have
been modified to narrow the design range and increase the downwind sail
area. "We wanted the boats to be sportier: to have more lead changes and to
keep the racing more interesting," Ehman said. - Christopher Clarey,
International Tribune, full story: http://www.iht.com/articles/119455.html
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 Tom Donlan: In addition to Craig Coulsen's suggestions to those
developing a new offshore rule regarding soundness for offshore work, I
would like to add a brief for beauty. The rule-developers should dig out
some Morris Rosenfeld photos from the 40s and 50s to remind themselves that
aesthetics is one of the pleasures of sailing. A new rule also should
encourage longer overhangs and slender hulls. My personal proposal is that
the Concordia 40 is a perfect design: all deviations from that concept
would be penalized. I leave it to the naval architects to figure out the
Sure, the Concordia is not fast, and another rule for speed freaks might be
necessary. In that case, I suggest that those who create the new
fast-and-ugly rule eliminate scantlings entirely so the boats can go as
fast as possible and fall apart as quickly as possible.
* From William Elmer: Am I missing something? Isn't the ARC the "Atlantic
Rally for Cruisers?" What does a VOR60 have to do with cruising, and if
this is a rally and not a race, why should anyone care "Who's in first" to
paraphrase the famous baseball comedy routine?
* From Andy Johnson: When will Sea Cliff yacht club come to their senses
and do the right thing by the by the sailing public and the real
participants in the Little America's Cup Steve Clarks's Cogito, Ian Jenkins
Australian's and the Invictus team.
Their race is an over-hyped joke built on press releases without any of the
drama and excitement of the real Little America's Cup. They continue to use
the name Little America's Cup when clearly they have no moral
justification. By continuing to use "Little America's Cup" sea cliff are
sabotaging the efforts of all those keeping the Little America's Cup a
bastion of creativity and talent.
Simple fact is no marketing manager will commit to sponsorship for any
event, without some guarantees about things like name and publicity. This
must be hurting the challenging teams. After ignoring the Little America's
Cup for 40 years, Sea Cliff are now doing their best to scuttle it.
Ian Jenkins's team is becoming mainstream news in Perth, which can only be
a good thing for sailing. None of these guys look like they have big money
to spend, (I've been watching the team designer Damien Smith push starting
his old car for the last six months) So when they win the LAC next
September it will be because of guts, determination not dollars
* From J. Joseph Bainton (re Change to Olympic Format): I was not surprised
to learn that the preemptory change to the format of the Olympic Regatta is
the result of an "emergency submission" by ISAF President Henderson.
Whether no drop race or forcing all competitors to sail the last race are
good or bad ideas is not the issue. The simple fact is that there was no
"emergency." Whatever failings, if any, the existing system possessed were
open, notorious and therefore subject to deliberative change made effective
much sooner than the eve of the Games.
The thoughtful words of Tim Patton, President of the International Etchells
Class, in his most recent message to Class members should be shared more
widely. Tim wrote that at the Barcelona ISAF meeting in addition to taking
care of Class specific matters that "I hope that I will have been
successful in trying to get the policy making in the sport of sailing left
in the hands of the sailors. My sense is that many of us feel that ISAF is
an us and them thing when ISAF should be we. The gap between us and them
does not seem to be getting any narrower."
Tim obviously did not achieve his stated goal, but we sailors owe him and
others like him with influence at ISAF our gratitude and support. May they
(with our support) keep up the good fight and ultimately return the sport
to those whose primary interest is sailboat racing, not "governing" those
with such primary interests.
* From Fred Ploetz: Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego has a non-profit
Junior Foundation which raises money through fundraisers and donations, and
we currently help funding Tim Wadlow's 49er Olympic Campaign. Any funding
being channeled through us will go 100% to the athletes.
* From Pete Corpstein, PCorpstein@westroc.net: It may come as a surprise to
some Scuttlebutt readers that Arizona even has an active yacht club, let
alone a charitable sailing foundation... But we do! The Arizona Yacht Club
created the Arizona Sailing Foundation to promote our sport and provide the
type of charitable channels that can help support Olympic hopefuls and
sailing school scholarships for those that do not exactly fit in the "rich
man" category. We would gladly pass through 100% of a tax deductible
donation to Olympic hopefuls.
* From Grif Amies (In response to Fred Hagedorn's explanation which details
how the Olympic Sailing Committees $1.4 million annual budget is broken
down - edited to our 250-word limit): For the last five years I have had
the pleasure of helping Peter Wells fundraise for his Windsurfing Olympic
Campaign. Peter has worked hard on the water and off, raising over $45,000
from individuals and local sailing organizations (www.surfwells.com). Two
days after winning the trials he was informed by U.S. Sailing that he would
receive a cash grant of just $2,000 for the entire time between now and the
Olympics (August, 2004).
As the U.S. representative in one of the eleven sailing events, Peter will
receive just over one tenth of one percent of the annual budget of $1.4
million to help cover his racing and training expenses for the next nine
months. Peter was ranked first on the U.S. Sailing Team for the last three
years and was given $2,500-$3,000 each year.
Am I the only one who thinks that someone who has worked extremely hard to
make the Olympic Team should receive more than $2,000 when the budget is
$1.4 million? Hagedorn states that the sailors receive 30% of the budget in
direct cash grants. While the numbers don't seem to come close to adding up
in Peter's case, shouldn't the people holding the tillers at the Olympic
regatta receive more than 30% of the budget anyway? I will continue to help
Peter fundraise and reach his goal of winning an Olympic medal, but I was
nearly as devastated as he was when I learned the amount he would receive.
* From Eric Hall: It's clear that the next America's Cup is off to a very
promising start. The management team appears to be bringing the event to
its highest level yet. It they follow the Valencia announcement with an
early and clearly defined TV deal, then surely all this recent hand
wringing over event participation will stop. They have the momentum. If
they keep it, the next America's Cup will be unprecedented in the
excitement it creates.
* From Cory E. Friedman: I wasn't the one who said motor racing allows
drops (#1466 Malcolm McKeag letter), it was Jim Champ (#1464) - disagreeing