SCUTTLEBUTT 1496 - January 14, 2004
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VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Last summer, the Annapolis sailors announced their intention to compete in
the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race as Team Kan-Do, giving the Chesapeake Bay region
the entry it lacked on the last go-round. Now, all they need is a crew. And
a fast boat. And $16 million to $18 million, first installment due in June.
The sailing community's response has been gale force. More than 300 people
answered the call for a mixed crew of amateurs and professionals, "from
Iceland to New Zealand, Chile to China. Olympians, America's Cup crew and
Volvo veterans," said Bischoff. Ditto political and civic leaders, drawn to
the glamour of an international event, and Volvo organizers, who crave the
lucrative U.S. market. The business community's reaction, however, has been
more like a zephyr.
If Alden and Bischoff can't scrape together a down payment for a 70-foot
yacht sleek enough to rocket across 500 miles of ocean a day and tough
enough to withstand the ice and wind of the Roaring Forties in the Southern
Ocean, Kan-Do may sink without a trace. "We need to have $2 1/2 million
soon," said Bischoff. "If it happens six months from now, it's too late. We
need angel money now."
More is at stake than one boat. The future of the Volvo Ocean Race in the
United States also could ride on what Alden and Bischoff can, or can't, do.
The last Volvo, in 2001-2002, attracted only eight competitors - the fewest
in the 30-year history of the race-none a U.S. entry. So far, none of the
corporations that sponsored a boat has re-enlisted for the next campaign.
* Volvo organizers have received 30 other preliminary entries, including
four from U.S. syndicates. All have filed a $2,800 deposit (the entry fee
is about $600,000), but most have requested confidentiality while they
negotiate with potential sponsors. But announcements of financial
partnerships have been almost nonexistent. "It's not just Kan-Do
struggling," said America's Cup veteran and ESPN and NBC sailing
commentator Gary Jobson. The only entry that seems to be financially set is
the one blessed by Spain's King Juan Carlos I, an avid yachtsman who
announced his intentions to sail after his country was named the starting
port for the race.
Complicating matters for syndicates is the organizers' decision to
super-size the boats this campaign, abandoning the 60-foot yachts of the
last three races in favor of an untested 70-foot model. Organizers had
tried to cut costs by preventing syndicates from building multiple boats to
end up with one fast one, yet the new technology is so complex it is
breathtakingly expensive."Syndicates are chasing a moving target. Early
money counts for everything," said Jobson. "They need to order materials,
electronics, carbon fiber. It's not all sitting on a shelf." Volvo racing
veterans say investors are reluctant to spend now, when the payoff is
almost two years away. - Excerpts from a story by Candus Thomson,
Sunspot.net, full story: http://tinyurl.com/39nv6
WIND STRIPCHARTS WITHOUT A COMPUTER
Prior to the introduction of Ockam's 007 Matryx display, "trend"
information was restricted to systems running outboard computer programs.
Stripchart data is a powerful tool on the racecourse - the Matryx display
provides wind and current speed/direction graphs at the push of a button.
Ockam's new wireless PDA software package "EYE" provides stripcharting of
multiple functions across a wide range of time periods. Predict the future
(more) accurately with EYE and Matryx - visit http://www.ockam.com
THE BIGGER, MORE POWERFUL REPLACEMENT
Bruno Peyron's hold on the Jules Verne Trophy-for his 64-day
circumnavigation-can't hold up forever. However, there were hazards in
creating a bigger, more powerful replacement for Peyron's record-holding
"Manoeuverability is of great importance," designer Gilles Ollier said to a
translator who will be recognized as British, first of all in his spelling
of 'manoeuverability'. Here's what Ollier said, not lost in translation:
"Whilst it might be easy to control effort during the study period, when
you are out at sea, man's strength remains the same, whatever the size of
the boat. The Gilles Ollier Design Team had to avoid designing a monster
which would be impossible for a crew of 10-15 to handle. With Club Med,
which had well-scaled fittings, we were pleasantly surprised that she
turned out to be easier to handle than we had imagined. Given our
experience and technological developments, B1 (the new boat's code name)
should be every bit as easy to handle."
The new boat, also named Orange, for the returning sponsor, was launched on
December 22. "In considering the new boat, take the sails, for example,"
Ollier said. "For all they are much bigger on B1, their weight is very
close to those of the Club Med generation, thanks to new, more reliable
materials, which are light and water-repellent. Moreover, we have used the
biggest hand winches on the market which, in the space of four years,
produce 25% more effort with the same technology."
Regarding potential top speeds, Ollier said: "Although speed is an
important element for a racing boat, we devoted much more time
concentrating on average rather than maximum speed. With the old
generation, top speed was around 43 knots, whereas the potential of this
new catamaran is in excess of 45 knots. But we are not encouraging
ourselves to push the boat above 40 knots, as beyond that, speed becomes
dangerous. Nevertheless, the 700-mile (1296 km) per day threshold should be
exceeded with this catamaran.
Worthy of note: The absolute world speed record under sail is 46.52 knots.
- Sail magazine website, full story: http://www.sailmagazine.com/news/NEWS/
* Nautor's Swan has signed a partnership agreement with Rolex SA which
makes Rolex the title sponsor of Nautor's three flagship events: the Rolex
Swan Cup, the Rolex Swan American Regatta and the Rolex Swan European
Regatta. This year will see the Rolex Swan Cup, organised by Yacht Club
Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, from the 12th to 19th September. In the
summer of 2005, the Rolex Swan European Regatta will be hosted by the Royal
Yacht Squadron in Cowes, followed by the Rolex Swan American Regatta held
at the New York Yacht Club in Newport, RI. www.nautorgroup.com
* Excerpt from the ISAF's 'Making Waves': The all important ISAF World
Sailing Rankings release dates have been published on the ISAF website for
a year, which, for the world's Olympic Class sailors, is the culmination of
a period of intense hard work and dedication on the Olympic Circuit. -
Curmudgeon's Comment: Why do I have the feeling that the list of medal
winners at the Athens Olympics Games might be more "important" this year
than the ISAF Rankings?
* Terra Nova Trading and North Sails have partnered with expert
meteorologist Chris Bedford of Sailing Weather Services to once again
provide free daily weather forecasts for Terra Nova Trading Key West Race
Week 2004. By signing up online for these forecasts, your name will be
entered in a drawing to win one of many fabulous prizes! There will also be
weather debriefs: Monday - Thursday at 5pm at the Terra Nova Trading tent.
To sign up for this complimentary service:
* Larry Ellison and his fiancee, novelist Melanie Craft, sealed an
eight-year courtship by eloping during the winter holidays. The wedding was
the first for Craft, 34, and the fourth for Ellison, 59, who as CEO of
Oracle -- the world's No. 2 software maker -- is one of the world's
wealthiest men. The couple married Dec. 18 at Ellison's 45-acre
Japanese-style compound in Woodside. - SFGate.com, full story:
Starboard Sportswear is the essential gear for maximum comfort. Custom crew
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check out the Starboard Sportswear gear on Solution and Bellicosa.
IT'S THE WATER THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
Following an article published in September, ISAF is seeking the views of
all yachtsmen on the current legislation and guidelines regarding Ballast
Water and its use in yachts. Feedback is required before an IMO diplomatic
Conference on 9 February.
Since the early 1980's the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has
been investigating the spread of Harmful Aquatic Organisms through out the
world. Many species have appeared in alien areas where they flourish
without control from native species. Examples are the spread of the Zebra
Mussel in the Eastern part of the US and Japanese Weed in European Waters.
Research has shown that Ballast water taken up in one ocean and discharged
in another has been a major cause. 23 alien species have been found in the
Black Sea which originate in Japan and other Pacific waters which have been
carried in the ballast water taken up by Tankers and Bulk carriers.
Research has also shown that even very small quantities of water can
contain organisms which proliferate quickly when uncontrolled by other
species found in the waters of origin.
The control of this problem is not easy and has occupied IMO for 16 years.
It has resulted in the preliminary agreement to a Draft International
Convention on the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and
Sediments that will be presented for consideration by a diplomatic
conference in February 2004. - ISAF website, full story:
JUST DO IT
Take a moment right now to check out the skiff sailing video on the link
shown below. It's awesome. Perhaps more importantly, it was broadcast on
prime time TV in New Zealand. Scuttlebutt found about the URL from Jim
Walsh with the comment, "Oh to have every country show this much interest
SHE'S GOT IT ALL: TECHNOLOGY, FASHION, FEATURES
The three things every sailing woman wants? They're in Henri Lloyd's new
Women's Horizon Jacket: 1) A fit that really fits (it's cut for women, not
men) and lets her move freely, whether she's handling the foredeck, the
keyboards, or the helm; 2) Breathable, lightweight, waterproof, windproof
fabric (Henri Lloyd's TP1 technology) in great styles and colors
(Wedgewood, Opal, Ice Blue); 3) Features to keep her cozy, including a hood
with fleece-lined collar, a handwarmer/ cargo pocket, external/ internal
cuff adjustments, and a storm flap with Solas reflective tape. Henri
Lloyd's Women's Horizon Jacket is available in sizes XS-XL:
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 John A. Drayton: I can see the discussions about Life Jackets are
reaching critical mass, but I do have one question before (hopefully) this
thread is closed. While it's nice to debate the pro's and con's of life
jacket use in Scuttlebutt, if in fact USCG is proposing or sponsoring
legislative action to make life jacket use mandatory, shouldn't we be
writing our congressional leaders and other elected officials with our
opinions? I doubt whether many (any?) legislators read Scuttlebutt.
Unfortunately, despite extensive efforts (OK, maybe 10 minutes worth of
internet surfing), I've not been able to identify where any such proposed
PFD legislation exists. I couldn't find any PFD-related bills on either the
industry or USCG sites. Maybe some of the wiser "Buttheads" can help
provide additional background that would help us communicate our
respective/relevant opinions to the elected officials who will ultimately
decide on this matter.
* From Todd Lochner (edited to our 250-word limit): I am a lawyer (not
admiralty law). Despite the niceties of marine law, the question is - what
do insurance companies think about the issue? After my starboard tack boat
collided with a port tack boat before the warning signal, at the Youngstown
Regatta, I tried without success to deal with the other boat's insurer. I
paid my deductible, claimed for the damages from my marine insurer and
suggested it pursue the other insurer. My insurance adjusters knew little
about the RRS or the Colregs. I was then told there was an Arbitration
agreement between Canadian Insurance companies, and if they didn't settle
it, the matter would go to an arbitrator. I told them the accident happened
in U.S. waters, although both boats were Canadian, and was therefore
excluded from the arbitration agreement, under its wording. The matter was
eventually settled after I sued in Small Claims court for non-insured
losses. I pity sailors without easy access to law books or the courts, who
want to know their rights.
In an amusing decision of the Quebec Admiralty court [Ray v. Landry -
1894], the judge applied the racing rules and found the port tack boat at
fault. He also found the starboard tack boat had "professionals" on board
in breach of club rules, should not have been there at all, and was
therefore equally at fault. own difficulties under their own rules."
* From Henry Filter: Scuttlebutt readers should be aware, that not only is
Augie Diaz a fierce competitor on the water, but he is the type of guy that
would give you the shirt off his back to help you get out on the water and
be more competitive. I have been fortunate to sail against Augie for the
last several years and I can tell you he has raised all of our respective
games. I was unable to attend the Snipe Worlds in 2003, but readers should
know that Augie had a personal coach at the event and to know ones surprise
he shared his coach with the entire U.S team! For the first time in
decades, the US team finished 1,2 in the event with 4 finishers in the top
10 and 8 finishers in the top 20. Congratulations Augie and thanks for
continually raising the bar!
* From Jay Lutz: My congratulations to Augie and Hannah for their 2003
Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. They are much
deserving. Being on the ballot with class people like this was a thrill.
* From Stefan Lloyd: Philip Gage believes that amongst keelboats, Category
C entries represent "big megabuck-sponsored professional entries", and
complains that banning event organizers from charging a premium for
Category C entries will increase fees for Category A entries.
If you participate in sportsboat events in France, you will find the vast
majority of modestly-sized keelboats carry sponsor's advertising. Most of
them are far from "big megabuck-sponsored professional entries" - typically
they are sponsored to the tune of a few hundred euros a year by the owner's
own small business, or perhaps by his or her employer. As a result of this
inflow of cash into the sport, racing of small keelboats thrives in France.
In the UK, where both Philip and myself sail, a substantial proportion of
keelboat owners run their own businesses, large and small, and many would
welcome the chance to advertise their business on their boats. This could
also offer some minor tax savings for owners. However the much higher entry
fees charged by event organizers for Category C boats, along with the
backwards attitude of some class associations in banning Category C
participants, make this unattractive. I am sure similar comments could be
made about keelboat sailing in many other parts of the world.
* From Charlie Poor: Olin Stephens' recent letter in Scuttlebutt reflects
the view of many of us, and I would like to thank you for it. Ocean racing
in our time had at least a place for people who loved to cruise and live on
their boats, as, in fact, did racing in places like the Chesapeake Bay and
Long Island sound, and the waters of northern Europe. The boats were heavy
and slow, by present standards, partly because of Lloyd's scantlings and
limitations of materials, and partly because of wise rule administration by
the CCA and the RORC. But they were safe and comfortable in all but the
very worst weather, and, because of the type forming controls, gave very
I miss those times terribly - but there can be no denying the thrill of
sailing and suffering on the speed machines we now can build. The over
regulation is perhaps inevitable, given the intensity of the competition,
but the olden days look more like the golden days. Would that there were a
graceful way of preserving the pleasures of the past.
* From John Sherwood: I take my hat off to ISAF President Paul Henderson
for his hard work on behalf of sailing, but I find myself at odds with some
of his viewpoints. To wit: 'Butt 1490 carried his statement that "The
latest debates have shown how important the Olympic Regatta is to the World
of Sailing." I don't think the "debates" show that at all, primarily
because the "debate" is among members of the ISAF elite and not between
ISAF and the broad community of sailors as to how to best use scarce
resources in the best interests of sailing as a whole.
While I enjoy having sailing as an Olympic sport, have sailed an Olympic
class boat and participated in that class's Olympic trials, the fact is the
vast majority of sailors in the "World of Sailing" have nothing to do with
the Olympics. They sail boats with no Olympic connection as indicated by
the fact that with a couple of exceptions the Olympic classes are having
trouble generating reasonable participation. The Olympics are important to
ISAF, but most sailors could care less. This is one reason why the average
sailor with his/her typical boat has difficulty relating to ISAF.
KEY WEST CREW PROBLEMS
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2004? The Scuttlebutt Event Calendar has over 180 folks who have signed up
on the crew board. Log on to find that perfect someone: