SCUTTLEBUTT 1476 - December 11, 2003
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(After attending the America's Cup venue announcement in Geneva and
subsequent meetings with ACM in Valencia, DC filed a very complete report
which is now posted on the Stars & Stripes website. Here are a few excerpts.)
ACM was very proud of the deal they struck with Valencia, it has been said
it was a $600,000,000 commitment and includes the development of the run
down area of the Valencia port into an America's Cup harbor similar to the
one in Auckland New Zealand. It will also include a mega-yacht marina on an
island in the middle of the harbor. Valencia will be developing the
syndicate base properties in such a way that they can be utilized for
alternate uses in the future, after the America's Cup. There will be a big
America's Cup Village that will cater to the 10 million visitors they
project will attend he Cup.
Valencia has committed to funding the Television production so that ACM can
provide racing feeds at little or no cost to broadcasters throughout the
world to help ensure more TV coverage. US viewers will get to see the
racing at approximately 9:00 AM eastern time due to the six hour time
difference. The race course will be of a variable length so that each race,
including the start can be fit into a two hour TV broadcast window. This
means in light winds the legs will be shorter than in heavy winds.
Typically winds in Valencia are in the 15 to 20 knot range. Starts and
finishes will be close to the beach and the America's Cup Village. Valencia
has deep water right up to the beaches where 250,000 people go each day in
the summer. It will be interesting to see how the increased spectator and
TV friendly attributes work out for the 2007 AC. The organizers have put
together a plan of pre-regattas which will be held in three or four
different venues in 2004-2005 and 2 pre-regattas in Valencia in 2006. These
pre- events will actually have some affect on the seeding of the Louis
Vuitton Cup but those rules have yet to be finalized.
The America's Cup class rule has been modified and the changes that were
announced at the meeting seem to be a mixed bag for us. The boats have been
lightened by 2000 pounds and the sail area increased a little to try and
make the boat more exciting down wind. To keep the upwind speed they have
lowered the bulb and fixed the daft at about 4 inches deeper than the 2003
boats. Most of the changes in the event will raise the costs of competing
and in reality limiting the number of entries. If the corporate world
decides that these changes make the event more valuable to them, then maybe
some sponsorships will develop. The truth is that at this stage Alinghi and
Oracle have a big jump and the rest of the teams really have their work cut
out for them to raise the money, assemble their teams and start the
We still hope to be there somehow, so please do not take us out of your
favorites' list on your browser just yet. - Dennis Conner, to read DC's
At 0200 GMT Wednesday, Jean-Pierre Dick's Virbac was dismasted 400 miles in
the NE of Cape Verde Islands. The boat was under full main and genoa on
starboard tack, when Jean-Pierre said that the deck fitting for the Port D1
shroud broke off (shroud to leeward going diagonally from the port side
hull to the first spreader of the mast). It's this fitting which is in
principal the cause of the dismasting which happened a few minutes later-
after Dick had taken down all sails. "I don't understand what happened.
It's the first time I've seen a boat dismast with no sails up!" The mast
fell, breaking "into three or four pieces."
The 9 meter boom will serve as a jury rigged mast so that Jean-Pierre can
stay in the race to La Rochelle. Virbac is still in the race and is on
track to finish the Défi Atlantique, which is a qualification race for the
Vendée Globe 2004. "The most important thing is to keep racing!"
Right now the boat is still dismasted with no sails up but I am going to
rig up the boom, which is on the deck, as a mast and then rig my small jib
to finish the race." There are still 2092 miles - half the race - yet to
go. According to the Sailing Instructions, Jean-Pierre must arrive less
than 10 days after the first Open 60 finishes in La Rochelle to be ranked
and therefore qualified for the Vendée Globe. - Laurent Simon / Windward
* Mike Golding reported that he had hit a large unidentified floating
object earlier this morning. Golding was down below when the semi-submerged
object struck Ecover, which resulted in small damage to the bow. The object
also struck a dagger board and then the keel. Golding has since had the
dagger board up and confirmed that it was not damaged. "Fortunately there
is no big damage, as the bow is designed to take an impact of this sort, so
this shouldn't slow me down too much. Can't find any water in the boat,
there's nothing obvious and all the foils seem to be there. I can't tell if
the keel is twisted, but if there was anything major, I'd know about by now.
Standings at 1700 UT on December 10:
1. Vincent Riou, PRB, 1787 miles to finish
2. Mike Golding, Ecover, 47 miles to leader
3. Alex Thomson, AT Racing, 110 mtl
4. Sebastien Josse, VMI, 111 mtl
5. Nick Moloney, Team Cowes, 137 mtl
Event website: http://www.defi-atlantique.org/fr/
OCKAMSOFT WITHOUT THE OCKAM?
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US OLYMPIC SAILING TEAM
When news of the ISAF decision to drop the throw out race at the Olympics
was released, the US Olympic trials had already been completed in the
Laser, Mistral and the 470. As part of a series of post-trails interviews
US Sailing's 'Sailing Medallist' asked the winners what they thought about
this change to the Olympic Regatta. Here are a few excerpts from the
interviews that are now posted on the US Sailing website:
* Kevin Burnham (470 m): Wow, I do not like it one bit. I cannot remember
a regatta where something did not go amiss. This is a lot of added pressure
* Paul Foerster (470 m): We will all be playing by the same rules. 0, 1,
2, 3, or 5 throw outs, upwind finishes, downwind finishes, long courses,
short courses, long races short races. You just have to adjust your game
plan, preparation, and training accordingly. I look forward to learning the
new tactics it will bring into the game. I really don't care as long as we
are playing by the same rules.
* Peter Wells (Mistral): Bring it on. Everyone will be sailing under the
same rules. I will be an underdog to win a medal and that is the way I like
it. I think it will hurt the favorites the most because they will have the
most to lose when they make a big mistake. I did a lot of college sailing
with no throw outs and I think it's fine. I'll be ready to race a complete
* Lanee Butler Beashel (Mistral): Well, I raced at the Pre-Olympics in
August and for the first half of the series, we had windy, offshore, shifty
conditions and for the second half, we had onshore, light and really wavy
conditions, which combined will test anyone, but not being able to drop a
race will change the game dramatically on top of that. I don't think it is
a good idea. If you start out with a gear failure, or OCS or bad luck in
the first race, your Olympic Games is over before the second race has begun.
* Mark Mendelblatt (Laser): I like it, but I know it's a very
controversial issue. I think it's probably good in some classes where
breakdowns aren't as big of a threat or where the fleets are smaller, but
in the bigger fleets or in the classes where there's likely to be a
breakdown, it could be tough on some people.
* Isabelle Kinsolving (470 w): The ISAF decision to drop the drop race at
the Olympics will put an emphasis on conservative sailing because avoiding
OCS's and DSQ's will be critical. Given the number of boats that were
called OCS at the Pre-Olympics and the race committee's reluctance to hail
a general recall it will change the racing a lot.
* Katie McDowell(470 w): I think it's a fine decision, but I don't agree
with their reasons for it. Let the winners take their victory lap on the
last day, they've earned it! I think ultimately what it will do is it will
make people sail more conservatively and take less risk. Maybe that makes
for better sailing, but in my mind, I think people should push it at the
Olympics, push the starting line, challenge mark roundings, etc.
The complete interviews can be found at:
FOR SALE: ADVENTURE
Challenge Business is now taking registrations for 'legger' berths for its
Global Challenge, due to set sail from Portsmouth, UK in 2004. Interested
crew, who may not be able to take the time off to sail the whole way around
the world, will now still have the opportunity to get fully involved with
the race and sail one of the legs. "We're also going to start signing up
more reserve core crew, as experience has shown that, due to a number of
different situations, crew find themselves unable to start the race,"
explains Simon Walker, managing director, Challenge Business."Reserve crew
have as much involvement with the race as the core crew and are trained to
the same exceptionally high standard. Leggers also receive extensive
training, so they're also prepared to take on the elements the race
invariably throws at them," continued Walker.
Legger berths are available between the following ports of call:
Portsmouth, Buenos Aires, Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town, Boston, a Northern
European city (yet to be announced) and back to Portsmouth. The cost for
legger berths range between £3,200 to £8,500 depending on the leg and
includes full training, race clothing (including waterproofs) and the race
berth itself. - www.challengebusiness.com
GEAR UP FOR KEY WEST RACE WEEK
Visit West Marine Key West for the hottest, newest products from your
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Ronstan, Suunto all scheduled to be on-site the week before KWRW. In store
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free gifts. Call store for details 305-295-0999.
Known in Southern California as the 'Voice of NOSA', his voice rang clear
over all participant's VHF in the countdown sequence of the Newport to
Ensenada Yacht Race. Lorin Weiss, 77 of Newport Beach passed away
peacefully in his home Tuesday, December ninth.
The legacy Lorin leaves behind is one of sportsmanship and valor. He gave
endlessly to the sport of sailing, on and off the water, while chairing
various committees. Lorin was Commodore of Bahia Corinthian YC in 1997,
President of the Newport Offshore Sailing Association in '90, and Commodore
of Southern California Yachting Association in 1994. He made searching for
the finish line in the Ensenada Race less tedious as his 'magenta strobe'
theory proved itself invaluable. Lorin was also involved in the
handicapping of the Cruising Classes, which he felt would foster better
Lorin remained a local yachting icon, always advocating safety at sea. He
and his family owned many boats in his yachting career, including
'Stormer'- Cal 28, Argonaut'- Cal 40, and the infamous 'Gorilla Dust'- the
Lorin is survived by his loving and devoted wife Charlene of 48 years, his
daughter Christy, and sons Jeff and Linton. In total these families boast
five grandchildren. He was blessed with a warm and caring nature that
touched the hearts of many, but we are certain now that his sails are set
for a better place. The Memorial Services will be held at BCYC, 1601
Bayside Drive, in Corona Del Mar January 10th at 1 pm. - Mark Gaudio
UPDATE: NZ RULE 69 HEARING
Olympic and Team New Zealand America's Cup sailor Dan Slater will find out
two days before Christmas whether he will be penalized after being found
guilty of unsportsmanlike behavior. Yachting New Zealand has appointed a
committee which will hear the case on December 23 and decide what, if any,
penalty Slater will receive. He could face suspension or a complete ban
from the sport.
Slater competed at the Sydney Olympics in the 49er class and is trying to
qualify in the Laser class for the Athens Olympics. It is understood he had
e-mailed sailors competing at the yachting world championships in Cadiz in
Spain to gang up on another New Zealand sailor, believed to be Andrew
Murdoch, to reduce his Olympic qualifying prospects. NZ Herald,
A SMILING BUTT…!
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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 Cory E. Friedman: In response to inquiries, ISAF claims it cannot
disclose why the four Argentines were suspended and even claims it cannot
disclose why it cannot disclose why they were suspended. Citing RRS 69.2
and 69.3, ISAF claims it had nothing to do with the suspension from ISAF
eligibility. Of course, ISAF promulgates the RRS, so it bears
responsibility for what it delegates to the MNA's.
One of the primary purposes of any sanction is deterrence. Keeping the
whole thing secret defeats that important purpose. Even more troubling is
that an MNA can bar ISAF eligibility without scrutiny of the MNA's action,
except by an appeal, which must accept findings of fact, no matter how
improbable or suspect. Thus, ISAF does not deny that 69.3 automatically
applies even if the MNA's action reflects discrimination based upon race,
religion or politics.
Recall the 1936 German Olympic team, as well as pre-boycott South African
teams and former Soviet Block teams. If an MNA or ISAF is going to suspend
eligibility, it should be required to disclose the basis for the
suspension. Other MNA's and organizers should not be required to enforce
suspensions based upon such secret proceedings. RRS 69.3 should be revised
to require ISAF review of the suspension and disclosure of the basis.
* From Rich Roberts: So the Kiwis are agonizing over what to do about
expatriate Russell Coutts and the New Zealand sportsman of the year award.
Do we hear BlackHeart raising its ugly head again? I thought they got all
of that out of their system when they trashed Dean Barker and the home team
because they couldn't win with a boat that kept falling apart. Is it a
problem that Coutts now sails for Switzerland?
There is precedent in that in 1998 Paul Cayard won the American equivalent
of his nation's highest sailing honor - the Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
award - after skippering the victorious Swedish boat in the Whitbread/Volvo
race. Americans were proud. The honor is not for the country but the man.
If the Kiwis are ever to regain their international standing as great
sportsmen as well as sailors, this may be their last chance to do the right
* From Scott Mason: Geoff Stagg reminds all sailors of the good that Paul
Henderson is achieving as President of ISAF. While I do not agree with much
of Mr. Henderson's Olympic agenda, I do believe that he is doing what he
truly feels best (or realistically attainable) for the sport. Geoff's
comments December 10 remind us of the other positives Henderson's
leadership have provided. While we need not appreciate all the outcomes, we
can not fail but to appreciate the effort!
On another subject, Dennis Conner doesn't always get repetitive numbers. He
defended the Cup with Freedom US12 #30, Liberty US12 #40, and played with
US12 #26, US12 #25, US12 #38 and his stable of playmates for US12 #55.
Hopefully he will get another shot with #88 or #99 to return the Cup to
* From John Illingworth: Something I noticed missing in the mention of Mari
Cha IV and the schooner design. All schooners are fore-aft rigged, and are
also gaff rigged on the lower sails. As far as I have seen for photos, Mari
Cha IV has no real gaffs on it's lower sails and thus cannot be a schooner.
Also, Mari Cha IV has what might be termed an inner (amidship?)jib sail
between the fore and main sails, which is never found on a schooner.
* From Richard Romer-Lee: As a "limey" who has sailed against Will Glenn in
many regattas over a number of years I can say that he will be sorely
missed by all of us whose lives he touched and graced with his bonhomie,
skill, help, patience with and desire to instill the love of sailing in the
younger generations and friendship. He was a great adversary on the water
and a kind, generous host off the water and an example to us all.
* From E. Eric Johnson: The loss of Will Glenn is to lose a great
competitor and the source of some of my favorite arguments. I was umpiring
this past year's CIC Team Race and Will was on the team from Royal Northern
and Clyde. Always something of an imp, his crew for that event were three
women and their crew shirts said "Will's Chicks", his just said "Will". He
made a very aggressive, move being on starboard and bearing off at a port
tacker, and I penalized him. He was livid, did his turns and came up to me
at the debrief to explain my call. I did and showed him the case in the
call book. He stopped frowned, got it smiled, laughed, thanked me and
bought his crew a round for having messed up. His smile was one that would
light up a room and his laugh could cause deafness. I'm not sure which one
I will miss more, but we will all miss them both.
* From James Stevralia: Thank you for publishing the moving Memoriam to
Will Glenn today and I urge all sailors to read the moving tributes to Will
by his children in the link provided. It is without doubt that for 59
years, Will Glenn was the "Corinthian" in Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.
We will miss his guidance, his insight (sailing and otherwise) and his