SCUTTLEBUTT 1483 - December 22, 2003
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(Following are two brief excerpts from an interview Julie Ash did with Team
Alinghi's Brad Butterworth for the New Zealand Herald.)
Since winning the cup Butterworth's efforts have been directed at finding
sponsors for Alinghi's defence. "Russell has been leading the charge and I
have really just been trying to support him in any way I can. It has been a
different job description but it has been good. I have enjoyed it."
He had also been involved in recruiting team members, which he said had
"gone pretty well". "We will be lucky to have two full crews. The squad
will be made up of designers who are very good yachtsmen. We are lucky that
some of the designers we have got are really good sailors which helps
bridge that gap."
* Earlier this week event organizers announced the America's Cup Class Rule
which sets stringent design criteria. Like Coutts, Butterworth would have
liked greater changes. "It would have been nice to have tandem keel boats
and opened it up a little bit more. But it was really a tough decision to
make because it would have outdated the existing fleet completely so it
would have been tough to encourage teams to go. There is argument for and
against but by the time four years roll around the boats I think will be a
little bit outdated."
Gearing up for his sixth cup campaign, Butterworth is not sure how many
challengers there will be and dismisses suggestions that the strength of
Alinghi and Oracle has deterred some potential challengers. "Yeah well,
that is an argument I have heard before and there is two good teams there
for sure. But I think if you get a good bunch of people together I think
you could have a pretty good team with the amount of people that are in the
world and with the designers that are out there. Nobody is really showing
their hand at the moment." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
THE DROP RACE
(An analysis by Tim Jeffery published in the UK's Daily Telegraph)
Sailing's world governing body have backtracked on last month's decision to
score every race in next August's Olympic regatta in Athens. Last month's
decision had revoked the established practice of allowing competitors to
drop one or two bad results from their total points.
British double Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie was "shocked" by the
unexpected change made by the International Sailing Federation but was
relieved yesterday by their change of mind. "This discard is very important
as it gives sailors protection from incidents which may be out of their
control," he said. All sailing events have two or three races a day for
most of the Olympic schedule. Any gear problem in the first race of the day
could have meant the end of a competitor's Olympic campaign.
It was ISAF president Paul Henderson who rail-roaded through the decision
to drop the discards, believing competitors had turned the provision into
an "offensive weapon" whereby they could press the limits of the rules and
risk jumping the start because they could to drop any disqualification from
their score sheet. Henderson also wanted to alter the situation in which a
competitor could perform well enough to have an unbeatable score without
sailing every race, thereby denying a last race finale.
However, sailors claimed that the ISAF blundered in taking such a major
decision just nine months before their showcase regatta, the Olympics,
without consulting athletes. Ainslie said the ISAF had made "great strides"
in taking sailing forward but added: "I think the sailors would appreciate
more involvement with the discussion of what is the best direction
forward." - Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, http://tinyurl.com/2dtqq
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THE SEARCH HAS BEGUN
Clipper Ventures plc, has instigated a major international recruitment
campaign to appoint ten skippers for its Clipper 05-06 Round the World
Yacht Race. The Clipper 05-06 event starts from Liverpool (UK) in September
2005. In a bid to secure the most qualified and proficient skippers for the
race, applications are invited from men and women from around the world and
across the sailing spectrum.
Race Director Tim Hedges said: "The right person must be an exceptional
role model, able to inspire a diverse crew through this marathon race. The
skippers also play a pivotal role in the relationship between Clipper
Ventures and our city sponsors, so we are looking for sailors of the
highest calibre. They must be proven and outstanding leaders, communicators
and problem solvers." In addition to their RYA Yachtmaster Ocean with
Commercial endorsement, applicants will require excellent interpersonal
skills and a strong background in instructing. The skippers' qualifications
should also include some 30,000 logged sea miles, offshore racing
experience with proven time in command, as well as practical maintenance
skills and the ability to work to a set budget.
Ten new 68-foot racing yachts, from the drawing board of celebrated
designer Ed Dubois and currently under construction at Shanghai Double
Happiness Yachts, will contest the Clipper 05-06 Race; each adopted by an
international city representing its nation. On board each yacht will be one
professional skipper and 17 crew, many of whom will have never sailed prior
to their Clipper training and who will be cutting their offshore teeth for
the first time on the 05-06 race. Each team will comprise men and women
from all walks of life and of all ages and nationalities, although
recruitment will be primarily focussed on individuals from each competing
Skipper applications should be addressed to Tim Hedges at Clipper Ventures;
contact +44 (0) 23 8023 7088 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BIGGER AND MORE POWERFUL
Orange France has officially announced its partnership with Bruno Peyron.
The new giant catamaran, which will tackle the Jules Verne Trophy this
winter, will set sails under the name Orange. This hi-tech giant, 37.80m
(124-feet) cat, built at the Multiplast yard will be revealed to the public
during its launch on Monday 22 December in Vannes.
Already holders of the Jules Verne Trophy since May 2002, Bruno Peyron and
Orange never tried to hide their desire to be back together on this
mythical course, to try an set a new benchmark time. Designing and building
the fastest, most powerful and technologically evolved catamaran in the
world was a challenge in itself. - Yachting World, full story:
Ok. You gave your Christmas bonus to the sailmaker for the new rags…the
rigger freshened the gear…the bottom is faired and polished. You bought
speed. But what about your tactician and breeze reader on the rail…are
their eyes tuned? Don't be the misguided missile this winter. Sharpen and
enhance their vision - Kaenon Polarized. Evolve Optically. Team One, APS,
Island Sports, Boat Locker, Sailing Supply, Seattle Sunglass Company,
Robert Normann, Alain Mikli NYC, Edward Beiner, Sunglass and Optical
Warehouse, Lombardi's, Sport Chalet, and West Marine. Find more information
and an authorized dealer nearest you at http://www.kaenon.com
* T2Productions is launching the video website t2p.tv during Terra Nova
Trading Key West Race Week. They will produce an individual show on each
day's racing. Each night at 8PM the day's racing show will air on the
website. The shows are expected to attract a worldwide audience as well as
international media. T2Productions is run by professional racing sailors
Tucker Thompson and Bruce Nairn of Annapolis, MD who produce tailored same
day video shows at major sailing regattas in the US and Caribbean to help
regatta sponsors get more exposure on an immediate basis." - Tucker
* The Owen-Clarke lifting and swinging keel cruiser, Spirit of Adventure
has been launched from Marten Yachts, New Zealand. Sailing trials are now
underway in the Hauraki Gulf. Follow the progress on the website:
* Since the beginning of November, Team Challenge US (Betsy Alison, Lee
Icyda and Suzy Leech) has had two intensive Yngling training sessions on
Biscayne Bay, Florida. The first was a three week tuning and speed session
with the ISAF number 2 ranked Ulrike Schuemann crew from Germany. After a
Thanksgiving break that ended Sunday, the team had a three week session
that concentrated on boat handling, speed, practice racing, and starts.
Part of that time was spent sailing with other US teams in a camp run by
Gary Bodie, head coach of the US Olympic Team. - http://www.challengeus.org/
* The 2005 running of the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race will see
the addition of two new classes - multihulls and shorthanded (2 crew).
Boats between 32 and 80 feet LOA will be considered. - www.marionbermuda.com
*Australian sailor placed on the short list for Australian Sport Awards
include Darren Dundock and John Forbes (Team of the Year- International
Competition), 2003 Australian Youth Team (Young Australian Team of the
Year), Mike Fletcher (Coach of the Year), David Tukkett (Official of the
Year), Lyndall Patterson (Master Sport Award, Individual Achievement) and
MySailing (Sport Information Technology Award). www.yachting.org.au
*Sydney International Regatta (SIRs) finished up today on Sydney harbour
with all 15 classes out on the water. The 226-boat SIRs fleet has
experienced a variety of conditions during the four days of racing with the
breeze direction being shifty and strength ranging from 6 to 25 knots. 352
competitors from 22 countries have used SIRs for various training exercises
with all enjoying the annual Yachting Association of NSW event. Results for
all classes racing at SIRs can be seen on the YA of NSW website at
* Ellen MacArthur's new Nigel Irens-designed 75ft B&Q trimaran was wheeled
out of the assembly shed at the Sydney Port Authority and P&O base at Glebe
and gently lifted by a giant crane before being lowered into the water
Thursday. Once afloat the 100ft mast was then fitted to the main hull.
According to MacArthur the entire operation took 12 hours. - Yachting
SAILING INSTRUCTORS WANTED
Never a better time than the middle of winter to start thinking about
summer jobs in 2004. Club junior sailing programs have begun their
recruitment efforts, so don't get stuck flipping burgers in July when you
could be on the water teaching sailing. For job openings or for information
on free ad placement: 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
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* From Peter Huston: While ISAF is in the mood for making changes to things
they just changed, perhaps they ought to consider another way around the
drop race. Instead of dropping a race, why not drop all but the first seven
competitors going in to the last race. Then, it's one race for medals. That
would make for the best TV coverage because it's something the non sailing
world can understand.
ISAF seems to have forgotten what the Olympics are now all about, which is
simply making more money for TV networks and their respective advertising
and sponsorship sales agents under the banner of momentary patriotic
sporting glory. Reinstating the drop race does not help in the quest to
gain more TV coverage, which is the only currency for sports that wish to
remain part of the Olympic games.
* From Ted Wilson: What in the world is going on? With no apparent warning,
the ISAF decided to eliminate the drop race in the Olympics - well after
some of the US Olympic Trials have already been completed. And now, just
one month later, they've reversed that decision, reinstating drop races.
But wait. They left the door open so they change their mind again in June -
just weeks before the Olympics. Unbelievable - and very sad.
* From Andrew Vare: Thomas Hubbell said, The veteran (respected) sailor has
a profound opportunity to help the sport when he calmly confronts a wayward
competitor ashore and clearly states what was and was not acceptable
conduct in today's race situation.....(For example, if you're a person of
few words, "Bill, that's not how we race these boats." ).
During a particularly close weather mark rounding during the '99 Calvin
Paige Star regatta here in San Francisco, we came perilously close to
veteran (respected) Doug Smith and might have fouled him. Going downwind
and abeam to us, he asked, somewhat calmly, "Is that how you're going to
race Star boats?" ( I find the similarity in words poignant). Of course we
did circles right away. Coming from Doug, even a stern look would have
It didn't matter how deep it put us, Doug appealed to our sense of "doing
the right thing."
It makes me proud to think back on it now.
* From Geoff Newbury: Ed von Wolffersdorff claims the new rules are 'easier
to understand': Not! They are far worse than the old rules in specifically
setting out the onus and the boundaries of permissible actions. As a
result, everything which a jury does becomes a 'fact' not a conclusion.
It's easy to get rid of appeals if the appeal is 'as to the facts found'.
And no-one bothers to appeal if they know they cannot win. And the number
of protests goes down too if the 'more fun to engage in' part is the fun to
crash and bang with a 50:50 or better chance that you will escape punishment.
There were some problems in the old rules. There are greater faults in the
new rules, because 'fuzzy' is not a step forward. We did not need 'simpler'
rules. Yacht racing is a complex sport involving large objects moving in
close proximity and capable of doing great damage. What is needed is
clarity, both in terms of which yacht is burdened and what is a permissible
action, since the entire idea is provide certainty to both parties as to
what will happen.
The new rules are a step backward in clarity. The differences are subtle
but noticeable. Worse yet in their desire to "change things" the new rule
authors threw away a century's worth of consideration and precedent. We no
longer even have definitive case law for many situations, only hypothetical
* From Paul Lowell: The IMS "Rule" is not dead. The esssence of the IMS
"Rule" is the VPP; which is alive and well. This VPP, I believe, is at the
core of the Americap rating system. There is no rule, (other than
one-design) that cannot be optimized for certain conditions, e.g., inshore/
light wind (Long Island Sound and parts of the Med) at the boundary of the VPP.
We have been racing in an IMS 40 Class on Long Island Sound for a number of
years. All the boats rate within about 6 sec/mile of each other. On any
given day, one boat or another seems to have an edge. It appears to me,
that by the end of a series/season, the well-sailed and well-prepared boats
seem to carry off the silver on a regular basis. In a series with varying
wind conditions and sea states, a boat that is not a balanced design will
not prevail. The IMS "Rule" has given us some great performing boats, and
it does permit designers and owners to explore different concepts.
Unless we all want to race one design, I suggest that the IMS and the VPP
continue to be supported and improved. P.S. - I doubt that any of the
current Med IMS boats are being shipped to the Big Boat Series in SF, or
will be sailing in the Newport-Bermuda Race.
* From Skip Doyle: Sitting on your biggest competition in order to drive
them back in the fleet is one of the major components of this game we play.
It would not make sense to allow this early in the regatta but not in the
last race. Also, how would you police such a rule? Would it be OK to push
them back a few places so long as you didn't take them to the back of the pack?
* From Phil Smithies: Hey has anyone noticed how cool it is to be Swiss in
2003? Americas Cup winner, Around Alone winner, Wimbledon men's champion,
and I believe the men's down hill ski champion - pretty good for a very
small unassuming landlocked country.
A wise schoolteacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of
school: "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens
at school, I'll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.