SCUTTLEBUTT 1470 - December 3, 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.
VIEW FROM THE TOP
(ISAF President Paul Henderson was interviewed by Tim Jeffery in the
December issue of Seahorse magazine about a number of important subjects.
Here's an excerpt from that story.)
Seahorse: The ISAF Worlds have come on strongly since the early days in La
Rochelle. Is this a good beast the ISAF has created?
Paul Henderson: Oh yes. The sailor love it, except for that Star class!
Most of them say we want it every other year. We don't want any other world
championship in our class except this. Many of them can't get sponsorship
to go to their worlds. The Finn class is going to Brazil next year and
there will only be 35 boats! Sponsors are bound to say ho-hum. Show them an
even like Cadiz with the competitors, the press, the TV and sponsors will
say, 'this is what we want.' Best of all, the sailing was good and sailors
like the interaction between the classes. They had a hell of a time.
SH: The budget for Cadiz?
PH: Seven millions euros. You say to sponsors, what else do you want to put
it into? Triathlon? Mountain biking? In Hamilton, Canada, we're having the
World Road Cycling Championships. Let me tell you, Canada is not into the
Tour de France … Yet the federal government is putting CAN $17 million into
it. They had an IAAF track meeting in Edmonton and put $65 million into it.
The money is there - if we give partners and sponsors the product!
SH: Eleven concurrent championships is not too big for all but a few venues?
PH: We've go nine expressions of interest already, and we haven't even sent
out the criteria yet!
Seahorse website: www.seahorsemagazine.com
In a report to Team New Zealand's managing director Grant Dalton, Team New
Zealand weather expert Roger Badham observed plenty of variation in the
weather conditions. He noted the wind generally blew in an east-southeast
direction and ranged in speed from eight to 10 knots, building to top
speeds of 12 to 20 knots but typically resting between 15 to 17 knots.
He said the best sea breeze was found along the coast north of Valencia and
to the south of Barcelona where it gradually turned more right in
direction, with wind speeds of 15 to 20 knots increasing to the lower 20s
in the afternoon. In the last challenger series the wind limits were set
between seven to 19 knots. "It is quite breezy," Dalton said. "There is a
kind of feeling that the Mediterranean is for sunbathing and that there is
just light air but further you go down the coast to Gibraltar that is not
Badham said the weaker sea breezes he observed were often blown out by hot,
dusty and insect-laden offshore breezes. Such breezes were erratic and did
not usually last for entire days and certainly not successive days. He also
said afternoon thunderstorms were common and surrounding hills and
mountains obviously had an effect. "It is a good place for sailing but it
is not just a case of turning up in your shorts," Dalton said. - NZPA as
posted on the StuffNZ website, full story:
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
* "The design of the (America's Cup) boats will definitely lean towards the
conditions. In Auckland you had to have an all-round boat. In Valencia you
may be able to target a more specific wind range. I haven't done the
weather studies yet, but from what I understand it is a narrow band, so it
will be more like San Diego where you target a band for your design space.
With Auckland you couldn't target any band, you had to be all round.
"It could end up being a two boat regatta. Alinghi and Oracle have such an
advantage over every one else, it is hard to imagine everyone else catching
up. It's not going to attract more people into it." - Bill Trenkle,
Director of Operations, Team Dennis Conner
* "There is no doubt that the pre-regattas will add considerable cost.
There is no doubt about that. We have done initial costings, but our
understanding is that the cost of attending the regattas may be offset some
ways by the host city of that regatta, so it is very difficult for us to
budget the whole proposal. If it is too expensive we just won't be there.
If it is reasonable then we will be there. Certainly in our game you use
every chance you can get to sail against the competition and this time
we'll be sailing against the defender as well. For us the cost of coming to
Europe as opposed to remain at home is considerable. We estimate our budget
will double from the event in Auckland." - Ross Blackman, Chief Executive
Officer, Team New Zealand
Source: The Daily Sail, http://www.thedailysail.com/
Which two countries have successfully become the challenger for the
America's Cup but have never won the Auld Mug? (Answer below)
FAST SAILS DEMAND FAST CLOTH
Why are Ullman Sails the fastest sails on the planet? Simple, fast designs
demand fast cloth! At Ullman Sails we choose only the best sail cloth from
Contender, Dimension / Polyant and Bainbridge International. What good is a
fast sail design if the cloth can't hold the shape? Our fast designs
combined with superior sailcloth continue collecting trophies for our
customers. If you and your crew are ready, let Ullman Sails bring our speed
technology to your sails. Call your nearest Ullman Sails loft or visit us
THE CUTTING EDGE
Victorian yachtsman Grant Wharington has emphasized exactly why his new
ocean racer, the 98-footer Skandia, is already a hot favorite for line
honors in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Sailing in her first ocean
racing series, Australia's newest and biggest super maxi, spread-eagled the
fleet in all four races of Middle Harbour Yacht Club's 27th annual Short
Ocean Racing Championship, sponsored again by JPMorgan.
Built at the cutting edge of yacht design, engineering and construction,
equipment and sail power, Skandia left her rivals in her wake, taking line
honors in the first race by five minutes from George Snow's 79-footer
Brindabella and Sean Langman's extended Open 60, Grundig. In race two she
not only won line honors by more than six minutes from Grundig, but also
almost won the race on handicap, placing just seven seconds behind the Swan
48 cruiser/racer Loki (Stephen Ainsworth) on corrected time.
It is a double spreader rig as against the five spreader rig on more
recently built super maxis and has a larger fore triangle. Designed by
innovative Victorian Don Jones and built at Mornington by Mal Hart, Skandia
is all carbon fiber construction, her hull, her mast and her Doyle Fraser
D4 "black" sails, with many state of the art features, including electric
winches and a huge canting (swinging) keel that was clearly visible in the
sea today. The canting keel was clearly visible as she heeled to windward,
most of her crew of 18 packing the weather rail. - Excerpts from a story by
Peter Campbell, full story:
ATLANTIC RALLY FOR CRUISERS
As the daily logs from the yachts show, the area of squally rain has
brought a lot of fresh water onto a lot of decks, and a few sleepless
nights through the fleet. Having taking the advice in the weather warning,
most yachts were prepared for possible squally gusts during Sunday and
Sunday night. Some yachts got caught - a gust of 40 knots was the highest
reported, whilst other sailed through the night without encountering one
squall. Such is the nature of these rainy monsters. No yachts reported any
damage, although one or two had a more "exciting" night than they might
have wished for.
As predicted and clearly shown in yesterday's satellite image, there was
quite a lot of rain and most yachts got a good washing down. The low cloud
has also brought hot and humid air, and in some cases head winds! The fleet
will have at least another 24 hours of these conditions before sailing out
from behind the trough.
At the front, Spirit one of the two VOR60's in the RORC Racing Division, is
pushing ahead with a distance to the finish in Rodney Bay St.Lucia of 754
nautical miles. This gives a current ETA (estimated time of arrival) as
1600hrs UTC on 4th December. This is just over 11 days, and would be inside
the current course record of 11days 23hrs, 41 minutes and 43 secs, set by
the yacht Spirit of Diana in ARC 2001. - www.worldcruising.com
* Steve Fossett's 125' maxi-catamaran 'Cheyenne' (ex PlayStation) and crew
of 10 arrived at Plymouth Yacht Haven on Britain's Devonshire coast Monday
morning after a 'useful' 11 day trans-Atlantic delivery voyage / test run
from Norfolk, Virginia, USA. Treating the delivery as a general shakedown
after a general pre-Jules Verne refit in Virgina, Cheyenne's route was
fairly southerly, dodging the big Atlantic low pressure system, with a
possible stopover in the Azores considered for a time. -
* Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta, Chicago YC - Final results: 1. Boston
College, 95; 2. Wisconsin, 129; 3. Minnesota, 131; 4. Michigan, 212; 5.
*Standings in Le Defi Altantique singlehanded Race for Open 60s from
Salvador de Bahia to La Rochelle at 1800 GMT on December 2: 1. Jean Pierre
Dick, 3751.9 mile from finish; 2. Nick Moloney, 3768.6 mff; 3. Vincent
Riou, 3768.7 mff; 4 Sébastien Josse, 3770.9 mff; 5. Mike Golding, 3782.9
Many involved with Olympic Classes sailing around the world agree with the
letters from Hagedorn et al. that the amount of funds budgeted for our
Olympic Sailing athletes is pathetically small for a nation of our size and
wealth. We now have a situation where, because of budget constraints, the
Finn Trials are scheduled at the same time as the Finn Gold Cup in Brazil.
Yes, at a competition where the best sailors bring their best gear and
train hard to be at the top of their game, there will be not one USA
athlete there to raise his level. This is shocking. The FGC is much tougher
than the Olympics. It helps ensure any country's trials winner is ready for
the trip ahead.
What makes Europe special is the European Olympic Class circuit that any
Olympic aspirant in the world must attend. That top Europeans receive far
greater support it is not the reason why US sailors are forced to go and
live in Europe for a year or two. They go to get the hard competition they
need to raise their level.
In my opinion the US has lost the dinghy tradition it once had that gave us
our pool of Olympic sailors. Kids today aspire to race on big hulls
supporting a lead mine. They don't learn the basic mindset of seamanship
that dinghies teach. The Brits are at the top of the heap because they have
a broad range of good dinghy classes and a large pool enjoying sailing
them. I've seen kids handling small dinghies in Wellington, New Zealand in
30 knot conditions where US kids would not be allowed near the water.
Intercollegiate sailing doesn't make up for our lost dinghy tradition. It
is a great institution and it was at the University of Michigan Sailing
Club that I first learned to race tactically. However Intercollegiate
sailing is limited to smaller people and it burns many out. The transition
from Intercollegiate to an Olympic level is huge. For instance,
Intercollegiate interpretations of the Racing Rules is at serious variance
from the International Olympic standards - US Intercollegiate wrestlers
didn't get to be world standard until they changed the rules to more
conform to International standards.
To fill the gaps in the USA Finn program, the USA Finn Association has set
up the US Finn Foundation (a 501 (c) (3)) to raise and distribute money for
Olympic Finn campaigns, training and to accomplish the necessary tasks that
the US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee doesn't have the funds to do.
Among other things, the Foundation will not siphon off money given for one
purpose to support other initiatives. - Gus Miller, USA Finn 975
OCKAMSOFT 4 RELEASED
OckamSoft 4 demo downloads are now available (at www.ockam.com/os4 ). OS4
offers a unique combination: powerful but user-friendly. All modules may be
downloaded at our website - with several components requiring no
registration, including the powerful OS4 Driver (logging, control, polar
server, special BIF calculations. etc.). Updates include Maptech BSB type
chart compatibility, a NMEA translator for interfacing the program directly
with a GPS or non-Ockam instrumented boat, "Eye" wireless PDA module and
much more. It's all waiting at http://www.ockam.com
The two countries that have made it to the America's Cup but have yet to
win are England (19 losses) and Italy (2 losses).
1D 48 MAINSAIL WANTED
If you have a decent main for 1D 48, Oscar is looking for you. Ken has a
pair of nearly new hiking pants in his garage that he wants to send you.
Want to do the Sydney-Hobart race? A turnkey Volvo 60 is waiting for you.
Two Ynglings are ready for your last minute Olympic campaign. Plan on
teaching sailing next summer? Clubs are already posting ads for you. All
this and much more is going on in the classified ads section of the
Scuttlebutt website: 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 David Munge (Re John Drayton's questions): A must read - Riddle of
the Sands. Classic story of an English barge yacht cruising around the East
Frisian Islands off Holland, set in 1902 and getting involved in 1st World
W1ar preparations. Written by Erskine Childers, published by Adlard Coles
Ltd of London. An added bit of interest was that the writer was
subsequently hanged ( I think) by the British for insurrection during the
* From Peter Maxfield: L. Francis Herreshoff: "The Compleat
Cruiser"-Sheridan House; "The Common Sense of Yacht Design"- 2 volumes; The
Rudder., Peter Maxfield
* From Tom Price. Nautical book collecting is a reasonable vice, with the
thrill of the hunt and ecstacy of that unexpected "find". If I had to
choose one, all time BEST book, I would, with no hesitation, say that
"White Sails, Black Clouds" by Don Macnamara is the one!
Don was that rare combination of a good author as well as a good sailor.
Campaigns in 5.5 meter boats, offshore races on "Ondine", helming and
dismissal from the "Nefertiti" Twelve meter campaign, losing an Olympic
gold on the last crossing, the painful construction of a custom offshore
yacht, and a wonderful "whither bound" epilog that now, viewed from 30 some
years on, is a great insight on where our sport has gone.
Very East Coast, monied and keelboat oriented, Don Macnamara nonetheless
has a wonderful turn of phrase and doesn't hesitate to portray his losses
as well as his winning races. Obviously a man who loved his sailing. Great
photographs by George Silk, Rosenfeld and others.
* From Jeff Martin,chair, ISAF Classes Committee: In Butt 1469 Chris
Ericksen applauded ISAF President Henderson for proposing non Olympic
classes to have more autonomy but was concerned about ISAF involvement in
approving race officials for some events. I can assure Chris that the race
officials proposals will be a benefit to ISAF classes (Olympic and non
Olympic) and were fully supported by the ISAF Classes Committee ICC. Note:
Each ISAF class is entitled to its own representative on the ICC (there
were 45 classes represented at the recent ISAF conference. There are no
other voting appointments. The ICC elects its own chair and vice chair.
* From Barry Ault: Grif Amies' comments about US Olympic support to Peter
Wells should set off alarms on all sailor's computers. 30% of $1.4 mil is
over $400K. Split 11 ways is a lot more than $2000. Hell, split 100 ways it
is double what Peter is getting and there aren't 100 sailors on our team.
Show me another country that has hosted Olympic sailing and ended up with a
rusted out barge as a legacy venue. I think it is time for us to follow the
money. Somebody is getting it and it isn't the people it was intended for.
* From Peter Godfrey firstname.lastname@example.org: Well, I keep hearing
and reading the complaints, but have to note that the support that I had
hoped to garner for an alternative governing body [for amateur sailing] is
simply not evident. USASA [the US Amateur Sailing Association] has not been
able to generate enough enthusiasm and financial support to mount even a
web site. If there is genuine dissatisfaction with ISAF - and I think it is
justified, at least from amateur sailors' perspectives - then let the
sailors unite to create a more responsive and relevant governing body.
But my experience over the last several years suggests that apathy is
difficult if not impossible to overcome. Are there enough sailors out there
to contribute $5 each to such an effort? I doubt it, but I would be
delighted to be proven wrong. [$5x5000 sailors = $25,000, enough to make a
real start at an alternative organization]
Is there $25k out there?
* From Doug Pope: Those of us that are truly interested in introducing new
people to our world need simply to lend our support to the community based,
non-profit, learn to sail programs. In my area there are a number of these
organizations that offer lessons for kids and adults. Some of these outfits
offer scholarships (sailorships?) to those that might need the help. Most
of these outfits are chronically under funded and rely on volunteerism to
teach and maintain the fleet. If you really want to help, put your time, or
your money, where your mouth is. Make your contribution directly. It can be
hard work but the rewards are worth the effort.
* From Chip Pitcairn: Am I the only one who wants to know the circumstances
of the Argentineans "gross misconduct?" The reasons for suspensions should
be made public so others may avoid such actions or report them.
Sailing is better than sex because - if your regular sailing partner isn't
available, he/ she won't object if you sail with someone else.