SCUTTLEBUTT 1493 - January 9, 2004
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AND THE WINNERS ARE: DIAZ AND SWETT
Augie Diaz of Miami, Fla., and Hannah Swett of New York, N.Y., today were
named the 2003 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, respectively. A
panel of sailing journalists selected the two accomplished sailors for the
distinction from a shortlist of seven nominees for the Rolex Yachtsman and
five nominees for the Rolex Yachtswoman. Established in 1961 by US Sailing
and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980, the Rolex Yachtsman and
Yachtswoman of the Year Awards recognize outstanding on-the-water
achievement in the calendar year just concluded. The winners will be
honored and presented with specially engraved Rolex timepieces at a
February 6, 2004, luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year - Augie Diaz, age 49, was recognized for his
achievements as a skipper in three different one-design classes - Laser,
Snipe and Star. Many of the panelists noted that Diaz has been nominated
many times before; however this was his best year ever, competing in what
are perhaps three of the most competitive fleets in the world. A string of
regional regatta successes culminated in his win of the Snipe World
Championship title and one panelist noted "his versatility in one-designs,
not just one class, continues to be impressive." Diaz is the first U.S.
sailor to win the Snipe World Championship since 1981. His list of
achievements also includes victories at the Snipe Midwinters and the Don Q
Regatta, as well as top-five finishes at the Bacardi Cup, Snipe Nationals
and Rolex Laser Masters North American Championships, where he won his
"I am very honored," said a humble Diaz upon learning the news. "The
magnitude of the award hasn't really hit me. I have so many people to
thank, from my folks to my crew. I've been fortunate to sail with Jon
Rogers, Christian Finsgärd, Mark Strube and Hal Haenel. I get so much
pleasure from sailing; this is just so special."
In 1997 he returned to sailing with one goal in mind. "I decided that I was
going to work and sail," Diaz said. "I figured that the feeling would pass
in two to three years, but now it's literally to the point where all I do
is work and sail. Luckily my kids and my girlfriend put up with it. And at
this stage the feeling isn't going away!"
Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year - Hannah Swett, age 34, was cited by the
panel for full-time dedication to her Olympic campaign in the very
competitive Yngling class, which will make its debut at the 2004 Olympic
Regatta in Athens, Greece. Swett's list of achievements in the Yngling is
topped with victory at the Yngling World Championship, where her team
competed among a fleet of 40.
"I am truly honored to accept this prestigious award," said Swett. "I
accept it on behalf of my teammates Melissa Purdy and Joan Touchette.
Together we accomplished a great deal in the past year."
In 2000 when ISAF did not select match racing as the format for the new
women's only keelboat event at the 2004 Olympic Games, Swett decided to
return to her family's real estate business full-time. That decision was
soon interrupted by a phone call from Purdy who persuaded her old friend to
take up the helm of an Yngling once again. "I couldn't turn down an offer
like that," said Swett. "It's been great to be so completely involved with
something. I've never had an experience like this before, not in sailing,
not in business, and it is thrilling."
The banner year includes an impressive string of first-place finishes at
the Yngling Olympic Pre-Trials, Scandinavian Race Week and Danish
Nationals, as well as a second out of 85 boats at the Yngling Open World
Swett is also recognized as one of the best match racers in the world and
in 2003 she participated in two events, finishing second at the ISAF Grade
1 Rolex Osprey Cup and third at US Sailing' U.S. Women's Match Race
Championship. This prompted one panelist to note that "even though she
spends almost all of her time in the Yngling, she found the time to have
fun and do very, very well in match racing." - Full story:
At a build cost of £1 million, B & Q Castorama is one of the world's most
expensive "all-terrain vehicles". This is Ellen MacArthur's description of
her new trimaran, officially named in Sydney yesterday, in which she will
attempt to break a string of solo sailing records. The Nigel Irens-designed
trimaran, reminiscent of a muscular prop forward, is actually intended to
behave quite differently to her appearance: moderate in power, manageable
by one person and reasonably forgiving in her nature. "She's powerful, yet
graceful," says MacArthur. "She's one of the few boats specifically created
to go into the Southern Ocean."
* The chord of the wing mast is three times as wide as she is - if
MacArthur is intimidated by the sheer scale and power of the boat, she does
not show it. She is used to even more extreme multihulls - length limits in
the big short-handed races such as the Transat and Route du Rhum have fixed
modern racing trimarans at 60ft. To gain power, the boats have got wider,
their structures lighter, and sail area has been crammed on.
These ORMA 60s are the most exciting race boats in the world today and
MacArthur has raced them across the Atlantic two-handed. "That's
effectively single-handed, because the other person is asleep when you're
awake," she says. This experience told her how big a sail plan she could
manage, so B & Q Castorama has effectively got a 60ft boat's rig on a 75ft
hull, though with a 30-metre mast.
The length was determined for speed and seakindliness. To mitigate against
a multihull's least welcome feature - tripping over her bows and
cartwheeling - Irens has given all three hulls buoyancy and height forward
and then kept the rig and weight back. In short, the boat is designed to be
tolerant. "Still," says MacArthur, "I don't expect to be getting much
sleep. Sailing a multihull in a record situation is going to be very
stressful, harder than I can imagine. - Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph,
full story: http://tinyurl.com/25dsw
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MOUNT GAY HAT POLICY
In Scuttlebutt 1487 there was a letter about Mount Gay Rum hats being sold
in San Francisco shops. Our policy never has been to wholesale hats to
shops to sell our Mount Gay Rum hats and this will not change. The hats are
produced in limited quantities and are especially made for each Mount Gay
Rum sponsored regatta.
We continually hear from sailors of their collections of Mount Gay Rum hats
and their enamored attachment to these exclusive and unique hats that
emblazon many sailing memories for them. They are a distinctive acquisition
for a sailor and we understand the sentimental value these hats have - we
want this to remain. You have Mount Gay Rum's word that the hats have never
and will not be retailed by the brand. - Nicolas Guillant, Mount Gay Rum
* Ten new 68-foot racing yachts, from the drawing board of Ed Dubois
currently under construction at Shanghai Double Happiness Yachts will start
the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race on Sunday, 18 September 2005.
The event will be divided into 12 individual races, taking its crews on the
longest route of all round the world races - some 35,000 nautical miles.
The city of Liverpool will be joined by the state of Western Australia and
the South African port city of Durban in the international line-up for the
* The municipality of Valencia and AC Management have scheduled a meeting
in Geneva in February "to define a strategy of development", to write a
"image and mark instruction manual" and to get along on a "common message
of communication". During this meeting, the contracts will be finalized and
the "parallel events" (cultural, social...) will be examined. - Cup in
Europe website, full story:
* The Museum of Yachting located at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI.
has selected David Brown as their new Executive Director and SallyAnne
Santos has been promoted to the position of Creative Director.
* W L Gore & Associates (UK) Limited, makers of Gore-Tex(r) fabrics, has
become the technical fabric supplier of the Timberland Euro Prix 2004
* In Mojave, California, Virgin Atlantic today unveiled the Virgin Atlantic
GlobalFlyer - an extraordinary 114-foot wingspan, single engine jet in
which Steve Fossett aims to become the first solo pilot to fly non-stop
around the world. The main structure is constructed entirely from advanced
composite materials. It will fly at altitudes up to 52,000 feet and travel
at speeds in excess of 250 knots. Careful flight planning, weather routing
and navigation should allow it to benefit from the high-altitude jet
stream, adding speed, conserving fuel and enabling the mission to meet its
target time of 80 hours.
* Correction: James Appel, Executive Secretary International Laser Class
Association has pointed out that contrary to the announcement we carried in
issue 1492 about the Miami OCR, "there are several other Laser Regattas in
North America that are also Grade 1, the North Americans, CORK and the
Midwinters East. Also the Tornados North Americans are a grade one as well
as several Star regattas."
* A slight clarification to the note about the Cruising World Boat of the
Year contest in Butt 1492. The Beneteau 373, Catalina 387, Etap 37s and
Hunter 41 were all finalists for the award in our Production Cruiser class,
which was indeed won by the "unsinkable" Etap 37s. But the Overall Award
for Best Cruising Boat of the Year went to the Hallberg-Rassy 40. It was
the second straight year Hallberg-Rassy won our top prize. Herb McCormick,
Editor, Cruising World.
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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 Norrir Bourdow: - God bless you, Olin Stephens. You still have the
insight and opinion that matters so much in our sport. You are "so"
right! We seem to have legislated the "fun" out our sport in so many ways.
* From David Tabor: Yet again Olin Stephens provides us with a clear and
concise opinion on what is wrong with the world today. And in light of the
PFD controversy I wonder how long until the USCG mandates that only boats
with an overall length in feet greater than the wind speed in knots be
permitted to venture out! So much for sailing my Laser in 25 kt. gusts. And
my favorite Christmas present was "All this and Sailing too" by Mr.
Stephens. He truly is the master of understatement!
* From Jim Roser: Why don't they use the Z86 rule for the AC boats? The Z86
boats are way faster, and we all know fastest is fun! America's Cup
management says they are taking 2000 lbs. out of the boats to make them
faster but they will still be lead mines.
If they use the Z86 rule:
1. The boats will be much more useful in regattas around the world.
2. It will not give a design advantage to the teams on top, ie. a more
level playing field for entry-level teams.
3. Lots more fun to watch, the downwind speeds would be twice as fast.
It just seems like a no-brainer to me and a win-win for the sponsors and
* From Adrian Morgan: Another classic Scuttlebutt. Prosecutions for bumping
into boats; regulations to make lifejackets compulsory; paranoia about
personal safety; Big Brother Coast Guards (in bright orange PFDs) watching
your every move; lawyers and legalities (don't even mention the America's
Cup). God Bless the land of the Free. Trouble is, what goes on over there,
sooner or later we get over here. And with the European Union doing its
best to screw down on every remaining freedom and liberty, we're being
squeezed from both sides. I reckon we Brits don't stand a chance.
* From Jan Visser (edited to our 250-word limit): I cannot pass us the
opportunity to comment on Petty Officer Anne Jaeschke's comment regarding
PFD's. What absolutely astounds me is grown men who make such profound
statements like "I want to have the right to choose". Well for openers what
about the right of ones family to have you as a loving parent or
grandparent for many more years, not the grief of premature loss. Oh yes,
they recovered you but you were just hanging on by a thread, they did get
you to a hospital, you survived but at what cost.
Drowning victims who make it back have staggering costs in medical bills
that can remain for the rest of their lives or what is left of it.
Insurance companies don't always come through for the long haul, things run
out. What about the cost of a rescue, ask your local marine patrols, it is
staggering. I have just received the Coast Guard Boating Statistics for
2002 which can be accessed at www.uscgboating.org it is lengthy but it
provides mountains of information.
For those who want to have the right to choose, grow up and be a role model
for your kids and grandkids, most importantly be there for many years to
come because of smart decisions. Many thanks to the Coast Guard, they have
a tremendous job, they do it well.
* From Ray Tostado (edited to our 250-word limit): For P/O Jaeschke the
concept of wearing a PFD is analogous to wearing a seat belt? Sorry- I
can't buy that! Boats do not impact at 80 feet per second, and above. Water
triggered PFDs are not always the answer if you are on a wet foredeck
watch. (They go off.) Manual devices are meaningless if the victim in
unconscious. Standard issue PFDs are not comfortable at many basic
positions while on deck watch. Wearing them can cause fatigue. And believe
me, I have never met a race crew member who was not looking forward to
exhausting all of his or her unemployment benefits.
It remains for the skipper to run a safe ship and exercise responsible
judgment as to when the use of PFDs should be made mandatory to the crew,
whether racing or cruising. (Race rules included.) I would propose that 95%
of all CG rescues are of the cruiser variety. They are notoriously
unprepared when they go to sea, having been educated no further into the
safe methods of seamanship that it takes to make their monthly bank payments.
I welcome a more energized CG effort to educate the public as to when to
demand a PFD be made available to them. They, the boating public, are also
responsible for their own safety and should not depend on enlightened
skippers or government mandates.
* From David Brookes: I would like to confirm the statement David Sprague
made regarding women in sailing. At the recently completed Australian Hobie
16 Championships, nine out of the top ten finishers had female crews. The
reigning Hobie 16 World Champion's are a male/female combination. The
reasons are varied on why they sail with female crews, but all the teams
agree that women sailors are every bit as competent as men. We should be
encouraging everyone to sail to sail not putting obstacles in their way.
Remember it is the family that sails together that stays together.
* From Ray Wulff: In Response to 10% Women in Sailing: I would to invite Mr
Rob Henderson to join the J-22 class. In an era where several classes are
struggling to have boats on the starting line, the J-22 class has thrived.
Why? Through the influx of women sailors. I cannot vouch for the other
women's championships, but the ROLEX Woman's International Keelboat Regatta
has done more to increase the involvement of woman in our sport and
particularly the J-22 class than any other event. The growth in our fleet
and class is the direct result of this regatta. (46% of our owners are
woman) It has made the racing better (50+ Boats in our fleet, 25 every
Thursday night), the parties better (Nuff said) , and made the regattas
overall that much better. One unexpected side effect is that when planning
a regatta, everyone needs to find a babysitter!
* From Leo Reise, IJ CAN, (re RRS vs ColRegs): I am not a lawyer nor do I
pretend to understand inner workings of the US court system, and least of
all, an insurance company's interpretation of the RRS or ColRegs. I would
suggest however that anyone interested in which right-of-way rules (RRS or
ColRegs) apply between racing boats look to the US Court (First Circuit
Court of Appeals) ruling of 1995, Juno srl and Charles Jourdan v. Endeavour
and Endeavour Inc. It was published in the 'Journal of Maritime Law and
Commerce, Vol 26, No 4, October 1995. The US court in its ruling, which
referenced a number of other cases, made it very clear, even to a novice
reader, which rules govern.
On a personal note, I was a member of an International Jury when a Michigan
DNR Officer insisted on being present. The officer did not understand sail
boats or sail boat racing and before the hearing was going to charge at
least one of the owners involved with the collision under the ColRegs! or
Michigan's laws. Before and after the hearing the officer asked several
questions of the panel, our scope, jurisdiction, and power to enforce
decisions. After the hearing he voiced to me he was impressed with the
manner in which the panel and sport operated. Based the facts collected by
the jury the officer decided that no charges were necessary.
* From Bob Cashman: I have always had a chuckle over the term ColRegs =
Collision Regulations. Almost worthy of a Curmudgeon's Oxymoron - ColRegs:
Regulation governing how to have a collision?
HOLIDAY WILL CALL
If you did not receive everything that was on your holiday gift list, it
may be because your present is still waiting to be picked up. View the
assortment of boats and equipment available in the Classified Ads section
of the Scuttlebutt website: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/classifieds
Christmas is weird. What other time of the year do you sit in front of a
dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?