Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1508 - January 30, 2004

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.

A NEW RECORD
His trimaran has been holed and he is bogged down in an Atlantic high
pressure system, but Francois Joyon, the French sailor, is poised to
shatter the solo non-stop round-the-world record by an impressive 20 per
cent. Yesterday Joyon was less than 2,000 miles from home, south-west of
the Canaries and aiming to chop 20 days off the 93-day record set by fellow
Frenchman Michel Desjoyeaux in winning the 2000-01 Vendee Globe race.

No one is following Joyon's pace more keenly then Ellen MacArthur, the
English sailor, because the solo circumnavigation is one record she is
aiming for in B & Q Castorama, her recently launched 75ft trimaran. Joyon's
charge is the 90ft trimaran IDEC, formerly Olivier de Kersauson's Sport
Elec, which previously broke the fully crewed Jules Verne record with a
71-day passage. Desjoyeaux's record was set in an Open 60 monohull. Though
IDEC is faster machine, it is a brute of boat for one person to sail.

Joyon is now battling light winds, interspersed with squalls, a
particularly tough combination when sailing alone in a big multihull which
has few concessions to sailing alone. "This is where I need a good crew, as
you really have to trim, trim, trim the whole time," he mused. - Tim
Jeffery, The dAily Telegraph, full story: http://tinyurl.com/3drj6

JOHN BERTRAND
(The Yachts & Yachting website has posted an interview that Magnus Wheatley
just did with Australian sailing legend John Bertrand. Here's an excerpt.)

Wheatley: Can I ask you about wider issues in sailing and in particular
sponsorship as it's such a hot topic. How is Australia faring in terms of
say the America's Cup and the Volvo?

Bertrand: Well the America's Cup is still a long way off and clearly we
know that it's a AUS$100 million program and 75% of that has to come from
one entrepreneur who is basically saying 'I'll be dead in 10, 20, 30 years
time, what better way to spend my money!' then the final 25% can come from
corporate Australia…we don't have enough multi billionaires here in
Australia though to ratchet up for the AC at this stage I don't think.
However the Volvo is a very different opportunity and it's potentially just
as big from a media point of view as the Cup because it goes for 8 months
and I think there's a real opportunity to get a Volvo campaign off the
ground here. In fact Grant Wharrington and the guys off Skandia are leading
that charge with the success they've had in the Sydney-Hobart and I know
it's the case that there's a very high level of activity going on right now
and I'd be very surprised if we don't pull it off.

MW: There seems to be a trend now these days to building big line-honours
winning super-maxis, do you think that's healthy for the sport as it's
almost saying 'to hell with the rules'?

JB: I think it is and the reason I say that is because the sport needs
publicity, radio television print etc and big boats get that publicity. If
people are concerned about so-called professionalism then all they have to
do is go down one layer in sailing and you'll find amateur racing very
quickly. I think we need the superstars, the heroes and the boats that
capture the public's imagination. Take the Sydney-Hobart-Line honours is
where it's at and let's face it, forget about handicap racing if you want
profile and sponsorship but those things draw the media and I think that's
key as sailing is competing against other sports that are highly
competitive (soccer, cricket, basketball etc all around the world) and so
we need these super-maxis to be the point of difference and capture the
press imagination.

MW: Do you believe the claims of AC management that a Cup in Europe will
take the competition to a huge other level?

JB: No question. The Europeans love the prestige of the America's Cup. The
concept of the pedigree of the America's Cup aligns beautifully with the
old-world traditions of Europe and I think clearly the Swiss and the
Spanish will host a beautiful event in Valencia. If people are concerned
about the amount of money well hey that's what the America's Cup is all
about and there are enough multi-billionaires out there who are crazy
enough to give it a go and that's what the America's Cup epitomizes. -
Yachts & Yachting, full story: http://tinyurl.com/32o4n

SAFER WIRING
The chances of lightning striking your boat and frying your wiring and a
sailor getting caught under the boat while on the wire may be close but
there's one big difference. You can replace a boat. You can't replace a
sailor. That's why RWO has introduced their new QRH quick-release trapeze
harness spreader bar and hook. Without impairing performance, weight or
effectiveness, the push button release hook is safer, releasable under
load, has a rubber retainer to prevent loss, and works with your existing
harness. For your safer wiring they're available at Annapolis Performance
Sailing. More info: http://www.apsltd.com/depts/dept3639.asp

MIAMI OCR
Today's light breezes, shifty like yesterday, provided plenty of power for
several races on each of six courses, but scrambled the standings and, in
some cases, left very little room for mistakes tomorrow. After two races
today, USA's team of Mark Reynolds and Steve Erickson has a seven-point
lead in the 58-boat Star fleet. The margin is anything but comfortable,
however, since the team sailed its throw-out race--a 46th--today. Though
Erickson is a new crew for Reynolds, he - like Reynolds - is a fixture in
the Star class. He won two world championships, one with Bill Buchan ('85)
and one with Paul Cayard ('88) who is competing here. He also won the Star
Olympic Gold Medal crewing for Buchan in 1984.

The top ten Tornado sailors in the world are here," said Figueroa, noting
that Hagara is the Olympic Bronze Medalist from 2000. USA's Lars Guck
slipped from third to fifth today, while fellow countryman John Lovell got
back into the game after breaking equipment yesterday that forced him off
the racecourse. Lovell won the last of today's three races but sits in 15th
on the scoreboard.

USA's Tim Wadlow increased his team's 49er lead over Switzerland's Chris
Rast to 15 points after winning three of four races today, while New
Zealand's Sharon Ferris decreased her lead on the Yngling fleet. Only five
points behind Ferris is USA's Hannah Swett, who toppled Sally Barkow from
the runner-up position. Barkow is now in eighth. - Media Pro Int'l

TOP NORTH AMERICAN PERFORMANCES: EUROPE (20 boats): 2. Meg Gaillard, 4.
Krysia Pohl; LASER (63 boats) 2. Mark Mendelblatt, 6. Bernard Luttmer
(CAN); 470 MEN (6 boats): 1. Anderson-Mitterling/ Biehl, 2. McNay/
Kinsolving; 470 WOMEN (5 boats): 2. Capapiet/ Besse, 3. Maxwell/ Freye;
49ER (20 boats): 1. Wadlow/ Spaulding, 3. Bergan/ Maxam; FINN ( 35 boats):
3. Ewenson, 4. Hall; 2.4 METRE: 1. Madrigali, 3. Berlin; MISTRAL MEN (23
boats) 6. Barger, 10. Bolduc (CAN); MISTRAL WOMEN (14 boats): 5. Rosa
Campos (MEX) 7. Campos (MEX); STAR (58 boats) 1. Reynolds/ Erickson, 5.
Cayard/ Trinter; TORNADO (29 boats); 5. Gluck/ Farrar, 7. Johansson/ Curtis
(CAN); SONAR (14 boats): 2. Doerr/ Wilson/ Ross, 3. MacKie/ McDonald/
Tingley (CAN); YNGLING WOMEN (16 boats): 2. Swett/ Purdy/ Touchette; 4.
Cronin/ Haberland/ Filter. Complete results:
http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/RolexMiamiOCR/

* Paul Cayard told us that today's races were sailed in 6-8 knots of breeze
and, "the forecast for tomorrow is very light wind. So it will be shifty,
fluky and difficult."

NEWS BRIEFS
* On January 18 ISAF President Paul Henderson was presented with a Lifetime
Achievement Award by the Ontario Sailing Association. 'Buttheads know that
Henderson is the ISAF President, but do you also know he represented Canada
at three Olympic Games - the first two as an athlete when he competed in
Tokyo, sailing the Flying Dutchman and in Mexico City where he sailed the
Finn? He was also the Canadian Olympic Coach in Munich in 1972.
Additionally, Henderson has won 12 Canadian Championships, five US National
Championships, three NA titles and one World Championship. To learn more
about Henderson:
http://www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=6311

* On January 19 Scuttlebutt provided information about Kos Picture Source s
new searchable website. Apparently the 'Buttheads were paying attention. In
the first 36 hours, 3151 subscribers visited the site from 29 countries,
with 61% from the USA. During those visits, the readership conducted a
total of 7392 keyword searches on-line. - http://www.kospictures.com

* Southern Spars has acquired the United States' rigging company Aramid,
based in Newport, RI. The acquisition will expand Southern's service
business into the US sailing and complement their service facility in the
Mediterranean at La Ciotat in Southern France, and the South Pacific base
at Auckland, New Zealand. Alex Wadson will stay with Southern-Aramid to
develop new business and manage R & D projects, including composite
rigging. Alex and Scott Vogel will also be responsible for developing
composite rigging opportunities across Southern Spars' operations. Chuck
Brown has been appointed to manage the Newport site. - www.southernspars.com

LEARN MORE
North U. Tactics, Cruising, and Weather Seminars will improve your
on-the-water skills and confidence with top instructors and dynamic
multi-media presentations. 64 Classes are scheduled throughout North
America from February - April. North U - The world leader in sailing
seminars...call 800-347-2457 or visit NorthU.com to Learn More. -
http://www.northu.com

ROUND THE WORLD RACES
Tracy Edwards and her Maiden Ocean Racing Qatar team have announced the
proposed start dates of two Oceanic races for large multihulls and
monohulls - The Oryx Cup and The Quest 2006. The Oryx Cup will start from
the Solent on Sunday 23 January 2005 at 1100 hrs. This non-stop global race
is open to multihulls of 100ft loa and above and monohulls of 90ft LOA and
above. The prize for first place will be the biggest cash prize in sailing
history - US$1 million. The Quest 2006 start is scheduled for 20 December
2006 from Doha, State of Qatar. Unlike the Oryx Cup, the Quest 2006 will
race round the world in several stages and finish in Qatar. - Yachting World,
http://www.yachting-world.com/

BUILT TO TAKE A POUNDING
(The Daily Sail website has a two part story about innovations in the
construction and engineering of Ellen MacArthur's 75-foot trimaran,
Castorama B&Q. Here's an excerpt from part one.)

Some of the loads are quite impressive - the main sheet is 9 tonnes, and
the ball on which the rotating mast sits is expected to see 56.5 tonnes -
roughly eight London doubledecker buses parked on top of it. Of particular
concern have been the appendages and their potential vulnerability. For
example the daggerboard is designed to take a 'thwhap' of 16 tonnes on its
side while around it is perhaps one of the most substantial crash boxes we
have seen.

The daggerboard is naturally racked aft by 30 degrees so most objects will
simply slide beneath the board. In the event of a collision with something
more substantial the daggerboard case is packed with foam forward at the
top and on its rear at the bottom. Engineer John Levell thinks this should
allow the board to hinge back by a further 5 degrees during a severe
impact. In the event that the board does somehow break, it is double ended
and can be inverted.

While the main hull rudder has a kick-up system in the event of a
collision, the spade rudders don't have this. However Levell has engineered
them to break in a certain way. "We have notched them beneath the bottom
bearing to create a weak spot so that if they hit something at 30 odd knots
that we don't end up with a stock broken half way through between the
bearings - that would be a nightmare," he says. The rudders are fitted with
bearings that will allow Ellen to drop out the old rudder and pop in a new
one while at sea. - The Daily Sail website, www.thedailysail.com

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar

ANOTHER GREAT KEY WEST RACE WEEK
Thanks to everyone who came by the Samson booth during Race Week to talk
sailing and rope. It was wonderful to meet you! Not only did you share
interesting stories, you were able to give us many suggestions for new
products and ways to improve the standbys. Good things come from these
conversations. Samson ICE evolved last year and became one of Samon's best
selling new products, ever! Stay tuned to future Scuttlebutt newsletters
for updates on our discussions. And as always, a sincere thank you to the
many racers who make Samson - The Line of Choice.
http://www.samsonrope.com


LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (editor@sailingscuttlebutt.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 Peter Epstein: I used to sell AEDs over 10 years ago. Mr. Hoey's
actions are to be applauded; both for the action taken while on the water
and for the commitment to installing one on board though The AED is not a
"silver bullet" for cardiac arrest.

Mr. Hoey indicated he may have increased the odds of successfully
resuscitating the victim if there was access to an AED. The critical factor
for saving a cardiac arrest victim is time; without access to paramedic
services a heart that goes into ventricular fibrillation has approximately
a 7-9 minute window during which it may be successfully restarted by an
AED. The window improves when CPR is performed because the mechanics of CPR
keep the heart's V-fib rhythm coarser thus better to successfully respond
to a shock from an AED.

While the AED is a tremendous life saving device, nothing replaces the fact
that we should all be educated in basic life saving techniques (CPR) and
proper training for the use of devices such as AED's. Additionally, all
aboard should be competent in operating a VHF radio for just such an emergency.

* From Darren Thurman <darren@darrenthurman.com> (edited to our 250 word
limit): With all due respect for the substantial efforts of Michael Hoey
and those involved in the attempt to save the mans life out on the water in
Key West, should it be the responsibility of other racers in the regatta to
provide emergency medical response at such a large event?

With hundreds of boats and thousands of competitors some in great shape,
but let's face it, some that, to be kind, are not, It seems that it would
be a no brainer to have some paramedics on a chase boat with one of the
defibrillator machines that Michael Hoey referred to ready to help. Look at
all the other sports out there with only a few competitors, there are
ambulances waiting. While some may say that sailing is "not a physical
sport" or a "contact" sport I would encourage you to get on the bow or at
the grinder of one of the boats in a 5' Key West chop in 25 knots of wind
and tell me how physical it is. Let's wake up and realize that people do
get hurt and shift happens and let's get some professional emergency
medical people at some of these big regattas and we won't have to be
talking about people dying while sailing so often.

PS these machines aren't cheap at $1,200 minimum. For more information:
http://www.unitedcardiac.com/

* From Adam Cowley: I can't help thinking that the more "noise" Andrew
Hurst and Tony Castro make about the new RWP before the rule is published,
the more skepticism the yacht owning fraternity will have for the new rule.
Gentlemen, your public comments send more potential owners to the "sit on
the fence" camp, waiting to see if the new rule reaches critical mass. More
potential owners in that camp, mean fewer potential owners in the "I'm
building a boat" camp, leaving the new rule floundering the way IRM, IMS /
ILC did. Thank you both. You have gone a long way to ensuring that the new
rule is dead even before it is published. We all agree we need a new rule.
Let's see what they publish before you blow it out of the water.

* From Stewart Hall: In Butt #1505 Ray Tostado laments about the current
state of the America's Cup and asks the question "Who needs it?" Fellow
sailor Ray misses the point. Any $1000 sailboard can go faster than an ACC
boat and the AC has little relation to what 99% of weekend sailors do and
love about the sport. But again, that's not the point. The America's Cup is
about spectacle and grandeur. It's about rich guys and the world's most
accomplished racers battling each other in magnificent, high-tech boats for
a winner take all trophy and bragging rights in the pub. Would you rather
follow auto racing, football, basketball or another spectator sport? Not
me! The AC allows me to be an armchair fan of my own sport.

Ray also states the AC "is no longer the format envisioned by the founding
fathers of the first event." Well of course not. How could the founding
fathers have envisioned the state of sailing in 2004? The AC has to change
with the times just like everything else. It's going to be fantastic seeing
AC regattas three times a year from now until 2007.

* From Lee Henry: I also feel Paul Henderson's mission is insulting to men
and women. As one of his so called "good old buoys", I still ask "why 25%?
why not 20% or 60%?" What Paul fails to realize is most people are not
objecting to women, they want to see equal representation. What I have
heard Paul Henderson say over the last year is that Olympians and women
matter and we won't listen to any one else.

As Commodore of my local yacht club in 2002, I tried to get more women
involved. And I was told by several people that what I was doing was
insulting to women. But I listened to what they were saying instead of
insisting that our sport was dead without women. What they were saying was
"let the women serve because they would do a good job not because they are
women". It's a very small difference in the way it is stated. That's all.
What us dinosaurs all wanted to hear was "because we found that women made
up 25% of the major regattas" or some such research. All we got was insults
for being anti-women and a history lesson.

By the way, my yacht club allows either spouse to serve as an officer
regardless of who is listed as the principle member.

* From Mike Ingham (Re Paul Henderson's comments on women in sailing):
Whether you agree or disagree with Paul's position on women in sailing or
any other topic, we are fortunate to have him. It is refreshing to have a
representative of our sport be open, willing to state his opinion, and
respond to our feedback real time. All our representatives have opinions,
but in most cases we will never know what they are, and never get the
opportunity to rebut them.

* From Bob Fisher: The Encyclopedia of Yachting by the late Sir Peter
Johnson states: 'The first Olympic Games of the modern era, inspired by
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, were held in Greece in 1896, but did not include
yachting. The second Games were held in Paris in 1900, but the yachting
events were only announced four months before the first race. It was
originally intended to have the sailing events on Lake Daumesnil in the
Bois de Vincennes - a lake in a park - but sense prevailed and eventually
the races took place on the River Seine at Meulan, 32km (20 statute miles)
below Paris.' 'There were six classes with a total of 42 boats
participating...' Strangely, Lorne Currie (UK) won both the Half Ton and
Open classes with the Linton Hope designed Scotia; the only time a boat has
won two gold medals at an Olympic regatta.

There was no yachting events in the 1904 (St. Louis - USA) Games, but they
were restored in London (at Ryde on the Isle of Wight) in 1908 and have
been held at every succeeding Olympic Games.

CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATIONS
"When we were younger, our generation thought about killer weed and acid;
how we think about weed killer and acid reflux." - Garrison Keillor