SCUTTLEBUTT 1489 - January 5, 2004
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AUSTRALIAN AC CHALLENGE
The Australian OzBoyz America's Cup Challenge is currently in the process
of securing an America's Cup boat and has confirmed with AC Management the
participation of a team in the Pre Regatta's commencing in September 2004.
The OzBoyz Challenge received hundreds of job applications following the
launch of the website last month. The team selection program is under
development and the final schedule will be released early 2004. The first
stage of the process will be a document/questionnaire sent to all
applicants in the first quarter of 2004. Rumour has it that the emphasis of
the selection process will be on fitness and psychological strength.
Following the debut of the Sailing Squad recruitment process in November
further positions have now been released. Over the next coming months all
83 positions will be advertised. Applications can be registered on
TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Ben Ainslie, Great Britain's double Olympic medallist, is in contention to
be the helmsman for Team New Zealand should the Kiwis secure a massive
sponsorship deal which would make them strong challengers for the 2007
America's Cup. Grant Dalton, the man brought in last May to regenerate Team
New Zealand after their 5-0 defeat by Alinghi, confirmed that they are very
close to a deal.
Dalton has a £50 million budget drawn up and will only go ahead if he "has
or can see" 70 per cent of that sum in the coming weeks. Confirmation by
the end of this month could see the bulk of the funding secured. "One phone
call could do that," Dalton said. "And one phone call could still scuttle
it." He would not reveal the precise sum or identify the sponsor, believed
to be a non-tobacco company currently involved in motorsport, because he
had "seen too many certainties fall over".
But a buoyant Dalton did confirm that the company was non-Kiwi, was not
software maker SAP (an existing TNZ backer) and that despite keeping the
silver fern on the hulls, the boats would be branded in the sponsor's name
and it would be added to TNZ's official name. "It's a big number, it's a
big sponsor. They're big and ugly, and they do big things," asserted
Dalton. "It's a name known to people, but they're very new. If we get them,
it will be fantastic. If we don't, we'll struggle."
A key task since May has been putting the team's existing gems back into
optimum roles, clearing out the dead wood and recruiting new personnel. "We
now have the people capable of beating Alinghi and Oracle," asserts Dalton,
"but unless we have the money to support that, we won't beat them." Until
TNZ is funded, Dalton is refusing to name more than a handful of the team.
Key appointments have been Briton Andy Claughton as co-ordinator of a
design team, which includes Spain's Marcelo Bottin, who was recruited last
June. But he pointed out that skipper Dean Barker's position was not
unassailable. - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full story:
Emma Richards, the 29 year old British yachtswoman, is to receive an.
Richards was included in the New Years Honours list in recognition of her
epic exploits in Around Alone earlier this year when she became the first
British woman and youngest ever person to complete the 29,000 mile solo
round the world race.
Richards' MBE is also in acknowledgement for the work she has done in her
role as an Ambassador for the HSBC Education Trust. The HSBC Education
Trust aims to raise standards in education by providing students with
inspirational experiences beyond the classroom, and Emma has committed a
large amount of time during and after Around Alone to supporting the
Trust's hard work.
Richards has been sponsored by Pindar, a leading international print and
electronic media company, since she broke into international sailing in 1999.
DID YOU HEAR THE LATEST BZZZ?
New England Ropes announces the launch of its new one-design product line.
A long time leader in the high-tech keelboat, club racer, and cruising
markets, the company rounds out its product offerings with 4 lines to
create a complete selection of high performance lines for small one-designs
and dinghies. Spyderline, Bzzz Line, Salsa Line, and Finish Line are
hitting the shelves in time for sailors heading to the Miami Olympic
Classes Regatta. The new lines will be available at most major retailers
and riggers. For more details about NER's new and existing product line,
call 1-800-333-6679 or visit http://www.neropes.com
Bruno Peyron and his crew set sails for the first time aboard the new
Orange maxi-catamaran last week. A first trial session which allowed to
carry on the preliminary tests, and to reach the harbour of La
Trinité-sur-Mer, which will be Orange's base for the days to come. "We were
about 20 persons on board, with the crew, the architects, the mechanic
specialists, the sailmakers, the electronics specialists," Peyron said.
"It's still way too early to notice the main differences with the previous
boat, since the objective of this first day at sea was not to search for
performance, but to achieve a rigorous observation work, especially
concerning the giant's sails inventory." Orange's trials program will last
another two weeks, then the crew will start to actually train in various
sea and wind conditions.
* Ludde Ingvall's 83-foot maxi Nicorette won line honours in the 23rd
Strathfield Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Offshore race, beating Mark
Richards' Wild Oats by 65 minutes. Last week, Nicorette retired from Rolex
Sydney to Hobart Race with hairline fractures in the front rudder (canard)
assembly. A redesigned canard was installed and it quickly became obvious
that Nicorette is now significantly faster than she had been over the
previous three months. While the IRC handicap cannot be determined until
the bulk of the fleet reaches Coffs Harbour, it does appear Wild Oats will
retain her unbeaten handicap record. www.rpayc.com.au
* One less Italian team. Domenico Cilenti's Magic Sailing Team is
apparently suspending their America's Cup effort for 2007, according to a
message sent to Italian media that cited budget and organizational
impartibility facing their all Italian effort. - Full story:
* Southern California's 2004 sailing season officially got under way on
Saturday with Del Rey YC's annual race from Marina del Rey to Malibu and
back. With Northwesterly winds gusting to 25 knots, Bob Lane's Andrews 56
Medicine Man may have set an elapsed time record by sailing the 23 mile
course in just two hours, seven minutes and 31 seconds. However, it was
Alan Field's Farr 40 Temptress that corrected out to first in the 80-boat
There has been plenty of debate over Russell Coutts' inclusion as a
finalist for (New Zealand's) Sportsman of the Year at the Halberg Awards.
The Alinghi skipper joins IRL champion Scott Dixon, world kart champion
Wade Cunningham and kayak world champion Ben Fouhy as finalists in the
Halberg Trust chairman Dame Susan Devoy says Coutts provoked a lot of
discussion amongst the judges. She says some of the emotion needed to be
taken out of it and there was plenty of support for Coutts' inclusion based
on his performance as a sailor in 2003. Russell Coutts say he is honoured,
and looking forward to returning to New Zealand for the awards next month
in Christchurch. - http://xtramsn.co.nz/sport/0,,3977-2968100,00.html
GET GEARED FOR RACING IN KEY WEST
Look for the Aramid Rigging 40' black trailer at Terra Nova Trading Key
West 2004 for all your rigging gear starting January 14 at the A&B Marina.
Stop by for free stuff! Order now at 401-683-6966 for Key West delivery;
call during regatta at 401-345-1907. Discounts available at
FOR THE RECORD
Steve Fossett has been in Plymouth this weekend training with his crew on
his 125ft maxi catamaran Cheyenne (the former PlayStation) in preparation
for their departure on their non-stop round the world record bid. Fossett
has to return to the States this week for the unveiling of his new Virgin
Atlantic Global Flyer project. In this he is aiming to make the first solo
non-stop round the world trip in an airplane (including airborne
refuelling), but this is unlikely to take place until April or October this
year. In the meantime the crew are on stand-by awaiting the call for the
right weather window to slingshot them south.
Meteorologist Ken Campbell and his team are currently studying this. "We
want to sail down the front of a high pressure that is approaching,"
explains Fossett. "If we get that pattern set up right there is a
possibility we should even get a good run through the Doldrums. However it
is harder to forecast a high pressure rather than the low. When there is
the prospect of the pattern developing, we will be ready." At present the
next prospect will be no earlier than 12 January. - Excerpt from a major
story on the Daily Sail website. http://www.thedailysail.com/
The 25 knot North East wind, which gusted to over 30k at times, took a
heavy toll on the fleet racing in the second race of the Omega Smeg
Giltinan International Championship. Although many boats capsized and six
were forced to retire with gear breakage, Rob Greenhalgh's British RMW
Marine won its second consecutive race to establish itself as the regatta
Defending champion Howard Hamlin, of the United States, had gear problems
during the middle stages of the race while holding third place. The crew
had to ditch the boat to make running repairs and dropped back to finish on
12th. Coupled with his 11th in the first race, Hamlin's chance of making it
a hat trick for the 18ft Skiff championship crown have been virtually
Standings after two races: 1. RMW Marine, Rob Greenhalgh, 2pts; 2. Asko
Appliances, Hugh Stodart, 5: 3. Yandoo, John Winning, 7; 4. Computer
Associates, Anthony Young, 9 points.
THE OTHER ROSE BOWL
Stanford didn't need a BCS computer to get the best of USC and 18 other
college sailing teams in the 15th annual Rose Bowl Regatta, hosted by USC
at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Saturday and Sunday. Sophomore Brian Haines,
with freshman Caroline Young as crew, sailed Stanford's "A" boat to three
wins in eight races to lead a combined A and B victory by six points over
the Trojans, who suffered in the two light-air races Sunday. Schools from
Hawaii to the East Coast were represented in the largest combined college
and high school regatta in the nation. The Trojans were missing their best
skipper, Mikee Anderson, who is competing in the International 420 Worlds
in Australia. Top-ranked Harvard did not compete but second-ranked
Dartmouth was third, three points behind USC and one ahead of Washington
College of New Jersey.
Among 47 high school teams from throughout California, Marin Catholic High
of Kentfield scored a major upset in winning the Gold fleet, while Loyola
of Los Angeles won the Silver fleet. Marin Catholic won both the A and B
groups to finish a whopping 54 points ahead of Newport Harbor, which
retained its lead in the 2003-04 Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing
Association standings after three of five events by one point over the
Northern California team. Coronado was three points behind Newport Harbor.
The races were run on the protected inner bay, where the harbormaster's
headquarters flew a red Small Craft Advisory flag all the first day as a
chilling northeasterly wind of 15 knots gusting to 20 whistled through the
rigging of the little boats. Capsizes were common, and the sailors soon
learned that the 57-degree water was as cold as the breeze. Sunday remained
cool but with no wind. While competitors digested breakfast burritos from
the ABYC snack bar, the boats remained beached for more than two hours
before a bright sun got enough air moving to run just a few races. - Rich
Complete results and photos: www.abyc.org
TEAM ONE CHICKS PACK UP FOR KEY WEST!!
Robin, Trish and Martha are packing all the cool new gear for all of you to
see and buy at Terra Nova Trading Key West Race Week! They will be at the A
& B Marina parking lot alongside Aramid Rigging! The girls will be there in
the morning and after racing for your new Gill sailing gloves, Gill shorts
and Kaenon Polarized sunglasses. If you need some last minute crew
uniforms, give Peggy or Maura a call at 800-VIP-GEAR ext 104 or 106. You
would be surprised at what they can do for you! Visit
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 Lou Morgan II: Our country is certainly in a sad state when the USCG
and the PFDMA get together to pass self-serving legislation. Without
knowledge of the exact law, I bet the just of it reads, "You as a boater
are to stupid and ignorant to best decide when and where to use a PFD so
we'll do it for you." I do wear a PFD while sailing 80 percent of the time.
I don't wear one when the temperature is over 90 and the wind is less than
5 knots. I don't wear one while in my dingy, traveling the 200 feet, boat
to shore, in 6 feet of water on a nice day. We've debated this issue at the
local club level, nation assoc level and with our state. In my opinion, its
about living in America, having the freedom to choose. When does the
legislation of common sense end?
* From J. Dirk Schwenk: Mr. Shekhdar, the rower attempting to cross from
New Zealand to South Africa, may need to do a little more research into the
nature of salvage before trying to get his boat back from the authorities.
To be salvage, a boat need not be unseaworthy or abandoned, it only needs
to be in maritime peril -- a state which the boat was certainly in. Also,
if he can convince anyone that an oarless rowboat is in seaworthy
condition, I would gladly hire him to argue some of my cases.
* From Gary Mintz: While everyone admires and is inspired by the envelope
pushing adventures of long distance record setting sailing and rowing
attempts, I for one, as a California tax payer in a season of drastic cost
cutting and tax raising just to provide basic services for education and
infrastructure, find myself agreeing with any attempt to recoup taxpayer
expenditures related to the rescue of any sportsman or sportswoman involved
in any inherently dangerous activities.
When Mr. Shekhdar states, "...you can't squeeze blood from a stone", it's a
poor excuse for absolving himself of the fiscal responsibility for his own
rescue. While National Coast Guards, Park Services, and Police forces
recognize that rescues are part and parcel of their duties, it seems to me
that persons attempting unusually risky passages, climbs, or treks ought to
be required to post bonds, buy insurance, or otherwise insure that any
rescue attempt expenses will not be picked from the pocket of the public
coffers. At the very least, individuals ought to shoulder the
responsibility for repaying the cost of their rescues before a second or
even third attempt at such risky adventures.
It's a matter of personal responsibility. If one wants to engage in risky
and dangerous adventure, then one ought to be willing to accept the
financial consequences of failure. After all I am fairly certain, that in
the event of success these people would not shy away from the financial
rewards of that success, such as book revenues or product endorsements.
* From James Gair: I have been following this years Sydney Hobart via their
web site from the comfort of a sofa, in front of a log fire, in wet n windy
Cowes, UK!!! It has been amazing to actually almost watch the race live.
The finish for 'Zania' and 'Scandia' was amazing, watching their position,
their speed, course distance to leader, distance to finish etc information
being updated every few minutes. I was glued to the screen for the last
hour as they made their way up the Derwent. And then also checking in
afterwards to see if the gallant few on 'Katinka' would make New Years Eve!
Only alas to see the wind die and find that they are still battling to the
finish, a few days after the big boats. My new year message ( and my wish )
to all off-shore organisors - please please do the same. It's awesome.
* From Ken Legler (Re: Blake Middleton's comments on rule 26 Starting
Races): Blake Middleton did what all good race officers do when faced with
his dilemma, he changed the rule in the sailing instructions per rule 86.
New rule 26 is another example of simplifying the rulebook for those new to
the sport. Now there is only one universal system unless conditions (such
as multiple starts with short intervals) warrant a custom system.
I agree with Bill Simpson ('Butt 1487) that the modern rules are not only
shorter and simple but ingenious in causing less protests than in the past.
Rules 10-22, our rules governing "When Boats Meet" take up only five pages
as Bill Simpson points out. . They are very easy to teach in junior sailing
or to adults new to racing. The rest of the book has gotten longer with
stuff like the nine pages of ISAF Anti-doping code but, thankfully most of
us can skip that part.
Here's a rule change we're happy about. Old rule 21 A - Crew (from the 1969
rulebook) ....Counting Women as crew - Except as otherwise provided in
class rules, on yachts of more than 25 feet waterline length, women not
taking an active part in handling the yacht do not count as crew...
* From Chris Luppens: Since Mr. Middleton is a "Race Manager and PRO for
two Minnesota yacht clubs" he might be well served to attend a US Sailing
Race Management Seminar and look into becoming certified as a race officer
at some level. Among many other things, in the seminar he would learn about
how Rule 26 can be applied and I can assure him it would not take sound
signals for every minute for 24 minutes etc. If done properly the
application of the Rule results in a much easier to implement and follow
system for all involved
* From Russell Steiner: High risk! I can sympathize with other yacht
owners. Insurance has become increasingly difficult to obtain. Shortly I am
taking delivery of a new performance cruiser and I have been having
troubles obtaining insurance for the yacht. Especially when you mention you
want to race or the waters you want to navigate in. Since 9/11 insurance
for everything has become very difficult and expensive. I recently found
that my health insurance will not cover me when I am competing in sailboat
races. With the present position of insurance companies is going to get
harder and harder for anybody to compete and have coverage. We all are
taking huge risks! Especially when you have to consider the US legal
system. Insurance companies could be the demise of our sport as we know it.