SCUTTLEBUTT 1520 - February 17, 2004
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IS THERE ROOM FOR A FEW MORE?
Tuesday will see a Polish crew set out to become the first to establish a
non-stop monohull round the world record. Whether 'racing a ghost' is
preferable or not to racing another yacht, there is no denying that
currently the offshore sailing world is going records crazy - particularly
non-stop around the world. We have Jean Luc van-den-Heede who is on the
home straight of his arduous singlehanded west-about voyage. Steve Fossett
and his team on the world's largest racing catamaran, Cheyenne, are eating
up the miles in the South Atlantic on their east-about bid. Olivier de
Kersauson will be setting out again on board his maxi-trimaran Geronimo
once repairs to his gennikers are complete and Bruno Peyron and his team on
Orange II will be off on Wednesday this week.
But that is not all. Currently in their final throws of preparation in the
Figaro class' stronghold of Port la Foret in Brittany is a Volvo Ocean 60
(the former Assa Abloy) that is to set out imminently in a bid to become
the first monohull (to our knowledge at least) to attempt a eastabout
non-stop lap of our planet non-stop fully crewed. The project - a slight
case of getting in their before the mighty Mari Cha IV makes their Jules
Verne Trophy attempt next winter - is the brainchild of Roman Paszke, one
of Poland's leading sailors. - Excerpt from a story in The Daily Sail, full
* Bruno Peyron, skipper of the Orange II maxi-catamaran, announced that he
will be leaving for a new Jules Verne Trophy attempt on Wednesday the 18th.
"The evolution of the weather system we've been observing for the last few
days is confirmed, and we decided to leave the dock from our Lorient base
Tuesday early in the afternoon, to head towards the Jules Verne Trophy
starting line - a line we'll cross between 04:00 and 12:00 GMT," Peyron
said. "We should have a good speed for the first days at sea, thanks to
these easterlies, but those might reach 35 knots as soon as the second
racing day." www.orange.fr/0/visiteur/PV
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"We have time to come back - it's not far. It'll take us 6 or 7 days to get
back to Brest. We have the time to go back to the sail loft and solve these
problems once and for all. In all likelihood, we'll find a solution to this
completely unpredictable mechanical problem, which will leave us time to
restart relatively quickly". - Olivier de Kersauson, skipper of the maxi
SIMPLY THE BEST
At all the regattas around the world, just look at what the crews are
wearing. It is no surprise the Camet Padded Shorts, Bermuda Shorts, Cargo
Shorts and Pants are everywhere, from dinghy sailors to the Farr 40's,
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the solution to hours on the water. Check out the Shorts, Coolmax shirts,
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web site: http://www.camet.com
US OLYMPIC TRIALS
With a dying northerly breeze on Biscayne Bay, sailors competing in the
49er and Yngling classes saw three teams win their first races thus far in
the series. In the 49er class, Ty Reed and Bora Gulari won the day's
opening race before the fleet was postponed on the water, only to be sent
ashore shortly thereafter. After 90 minutes under the postponement flag at
Key Biscayne Yacht Club, all 49er racing was cancelled for the day and with
seven races now completed, the fleet can count a drop race in the scoring.
In the Yngling class, Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland won the
first race of the day while the second race went to Jody Swanson, Cory
Sertl and Elizabeth Kratzig. In the overall standings, Sally Barkow, Carrie
Howe and Debbie Capozzi remain in front with a six point edge over the
three way tie for second place between Betsy Alison, Carol Cronin and
Europe sailor Meg Gaillard added her sixth consecutive first-place finish
to her scoreline, maintaining her perfect score in that 14-boat fleet. In
the 23-boat Finn class, series leader Kevin Hall hung onto his lead despite
a pair of fourth place finishes. Both classes, sailing from Lauderdale
Yacht Club, are now counting a drop race in the overall scoring.
In the Tornado Class to top two boats - John Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree and
Lars Guck/ Jonathan Farrar - each won a race, and only three points now
separate the two boats in the standings. Racing continues through Sunday,
February 22, with a mandatory layday on Wednesday, February 18. -
EUROPE DINGHY (14 boats - standings after 6 races w/1 discard at the
Lauderdale YC): 1. Meg Gaillard, 5; 2. Krysia Pohl, 10; 3. Christin
FINN (23 boats - Standings after 6 races w/1 discard at the Lauderdale YC):
1. Kevin Hall, 8; 2. Geoff Ewenson, 16; 3. Mo Hart, 19.
49ER (11 boats) Standings after 7 races w/1 discard at the Key Biscayne YC:
1. Tim Wadlow/ Pete Spaulding, 12; 2. Dalton Bergan/ Zack Maxam, 15; 3.
Andy Mack/ Adam Lowry, 20; 4. David Fagen/ Ned Goss 20.
TORNADO (8 boats) Standings after 6 races w/1 discard at the Miami YC: 1.
John Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, 6; 2. Lars Guck/ Jonathan Farrar, 9; 3.
Robbie Daniel/ Enrique Rodriguez, 14.
YNGLING (6 boats) Standings after 6 races w/1 discard at the Key Biscayne
YC: 1. Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi 8; 2. Betsy Alison, Lee
Icyda and Suzy Leech, 14; 3 Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland
14; 4. Hannah Swett, Joan Touchette and Melissa Purdy, 14.
KIWI OLYMPIC SELECTIONS
Laser sailor Andrew Murdoch and men's 470 crew Simon Cooke and Alastair
Gair have appealed to the Sports Disputes Tribunal after their Olympic
Games non-selection. Murdoch, who finished second in Yachting New Zealand's
Olympic trials, has appealed the selection of winner Hamish Pepper while
Cooke and Gair, who finished third, have appealed the selection of 470
winners Andrew Brown and Jamie Hunt. 'It is all part of the process and I
guess it is a way and a means for them to make sure that every question has
been answered and every stone has been turned over before they accept the
decision,' said Yachting New Zealand's chief executive, Simon Wickham.
The disgruntled sailors and Yachting New Zealand will now put their cases
to the tribunal, an eight-member independent body appointed by Sport and
Recreation New Zealand, before a hearing takes place. That date has yet to
be set. If the athletes are unhappy with the tribunal's decision they can
then take the matter on to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. - Julie Ash,
NZ Herald, http://tinyurl.com/38q43
* It's Official - The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified
Francis Joyon's Round the World, non stop, singlehanded record of 72 days,
22 hours, 54 minutes, 22 seconds in the trimaran IDEC. The previous record
of Michel Desjoyeux, 93d 3h 57m 22s in 2001, now becomes the Round the
World, non stop, singlehanded, monohull record. - John Reed,
*Sailing in consistent Trades, Steve Fossett's Cheyenne crossed the equator
into the Southern Hemisphere and has covered a total of 459 nm over the
past 24 hrs - an average of 19.1 kts. George Caras, Director of Operations
at Commanders Weather, commented: "We're expecting a good breeze for the
next 2 days - getting lighter midweek" Cheyenne is still just a bit behind
the record pace set by Orange in 2002. - www.fossettchallenge.com/
* Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's 84-foot aluminum cutter Adrien is enjoying good
trade wind sailing. VDH is now just 4514 miles from the finish, having
covered 221 miles in the last 24 hours. He is presently 26 days and 10
hours ahead of Monnet's record - http://www.vdh.fr/gb/
BIG BOATS, LITTLE BOATS, GO SAILORS GO
And remember to be dressed properly when you do go out on the water. Team
One Newport is the only people you need to call for this - known worldwide
for their expertise in foul weather gear and the proper way to stay warm,
dry and comfortable on the water. They even work with the manufacturers to
keep advancing the design and functionality of the gear. Their 2004 catalog
will be out in 3 weeks, so call or email now to get your name on the
mailing list. Call 800-VIP-GEAR ext 0 or go to "Ask Martha" at
KIWI "STUFF" AWARDS
Indy Racing League champion Scott Dixon won the title Stuff Sportsman of
the Year ahead of controversial nominee Russell Coutts and the Silver Ferns
won three of the four awards they were nominated for in the inaugural Stuff
Sport Awards. Stuff readers posted over 10,000 votes across eight award
categories, which ranged from Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year to
Villain of the Year.
Dixon, who won the IRL Championship in his first attempt last year, was the
clear winner of the Sportsman of the Year award, with 51 per cent of Stuff
readers voting for him. Coutts came in second with 23 per cent. The
contentious nominee won the America's Cup for the Swiss team Alinghi in
March 2003, taking the trophy from Team New Zealand in the process. Stuff
readers awarded Coutts and his Alinghi team mate Brad Butterworth, with the
Villain of the Year award, just edging out the All Blacks coaching staff of
John Mitchell and Robbie Deans. Maybe it was this villainy that caused
Stuff readers to choose losing the America's Cup as the Worst Moment of the
Year over the All Blacks being knocked out of the World Cup. - Cameron
Curmudgeon's Comment: Readers should not confuse the 'Stuff Awards' with
the prestigious Halberg Award, which will be awarded later this week.
LeSueur "Bud" Smith passed away peacefully February 11 at age 84. For 80 of
those great years, his priority was to go sailing. He joined Larchmont YC
in 1936 because he loved to sail. After serving as Lieutenant in the US
Navy during WWII as a PBY Pilot, he returned to LYC to race his Star boat.
Later he raced a 110, and finally a Rhodes 19 "Driftwood", dubbed the
"family racing boat." Bud's only crew for 10 years were his children (a
total of seven), and included several attempts at Nationals in the 1960's.
He shared his passion for sailing with young and old, having served as
Chairman of LYC Jr Sailing and later as a volunteer sailing instructor in
Ideal 18's. Bud learned from the best, including his friends Corny Shields,
Stan Ogilvy, and Drake Sparkman, and was instrumental in teaching some of
today's best including Tony Rey and Ken Legler. It was nothing less than an
honor for Bud to have been member #1 at Larchmont Yacht Club for so many
years. Bud was loved by all who knew him. - Joanne Clark
BEAT THE CURMUDGEON
For a long time now, racers seem to have gotten an inordinate amount of
pleasure out of beating the curmudgeon. Because of the happiness this
situation generates, we've decided to make it possible for everyone to have
a swing at it. Because of geography, it's simply not possible for everyone
to beat the curmudgeon on the water, so we've posted a game on our website
where every 'Butthead can compete. The curmudgeon's high score is posted
along with the score of some of our readers who've been nice enough to help
us develop this competition. There are prizes for the top performances.
Here's the URL - log on to see if you can beat the curmudgeon:
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. -
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 Stuart Radnofsky, Steve Fossett Challenges (re Magnus Wheatley
comments in 1519): The media coverage the big multihulls get seems to
indicate that not everyone finds record-setting pointless or boring. But
we're glad you're paying attention, anyway.
With Cheyenne, sometimes we race - and sometimes (OK, most of the time) we
go record setting. Certainly racing is fulfilling, and is easy to
understand - the winner is the best on that day. And records sometimes do
fall. But deliberate record setting is a different buzz - and is actually
even easier to understand. It simply means trying to be the best against an
un-compromising, absolute standard. If successful, you get to raise the bar
for the next guy.
That certainly means bringing to bear all of a team's available resources,
including their option to start when they choose. When Cheyenne crossed the
Ouessant RTW startline 10 days ago, we thought we'd picked the best moment
for the weather ahead. Geronimo chose to start 39 hours later and got a
much faster initial run South (before their sail troubles). They are now
re-grouping to have another go in a week. Bruno plans to start Wednesday.
That's all part of the game, too. Is it a better game? No, just different.
And if you don't get the point, that's OK, too.
* From Alan McReynolds: I hope that I am not alone among the 'Butt crowd,
but I am sitting here in the frigid northeast anticipating the next bit of
news from the record chasers. I love reading stories about mountain
climbing, adventures to the South Pole, some guy attempting to run alone
across the Outback, and extreme sailing trips. I do like the comprehensive
listing of regattas that get attention no-where-else, but the 'Butt. I can
find the results for sailors that I know and root for (go Cory). But I
still find myself scrolling past the monotony of round the can race
results, eagerly anticipating some notes from the crew on one of these
outrageous machines. The descriptions of firehose blasts of water and
mountainous piles of liquid thunder is exciting for me. I only wish I had
the guts and abandon to jump into one of these trips into the fantastic for
I have no idea who he is, but to me, Mr. Wheatley sounds a bit bitter over
the issue of sponsorship. The last thing I personally want to see is a
bunch of money grubbers trashing each other and the oceans to win a million
bucks. Let's do it "'cause we can", not because you "show me the money"!
* From Dan Hirsch: No Magnus, you are not alone thinking that individually
started 'round the world efforts are boring. Here are some joining you in
your boredom: Those jealous of the funding the RTW sailors have or have
raised. Those not seeing the intellectual challenge in the threading the of
needle of geographic and seasonal weather systems ranging from insane
Southern Ocean squalls to equally insane mid-Atlantic doldrums. Those not
comprehending how slender the solution is to building an incredibly light
boat to resist those incredible forces. Those who don't see the isolation
of being the only thing floating within thousands of miles surrounded by
thirty, forty, or fifty foot walls of ice water. And those who don't know
what an implacable foe the clock is - you can't beat it off the line, you
can't keep between it and the next mark, you can't blanket it. The clock
hits every shift perfectly, it's always in exactly in the perfect place,
and it's always in front. It can't be intimidated, befriended, or protested.
Magnus, I've read for years what a great sailor you are. Recently somebody
said you might be the best crew in the world - but even middle of the fleet
crew like me know there are times to be quiet. This was one of them. Keep
hitting those shifts, dude!
* From Roger Watkiss: Magnus Wheatley, you are not alone. Enough already of
this self-centred exhibitionism. I can't believe that these teams continue
to find sponsors. No corporate hosting opportunities, no spectators, no
economic development benefits at race locations, and seriously waning "fan
interest" (if there ever was any). Let us toast the true adventurers, like
Tony Gooch, applaud the billionaire sportsmen, like Larry Ellison (wealth
transfer!), and give a standing ovation to our Olympic sailors. For those
professional sailors trying to extract more dollars out of corporate
sponsors for yet another record attempt, I say Bah, Humbug.
Richard Hazelton (Re: Magnus Wheatley's comments on the around the world
races): No, you are not alone. I'm glad to see a lot of sailors making a
living at sailing, but it's like what's happened to Mt. Everest. It used to
be the ultimate; now climbing it is just another enterprise.
* From Roger Vaughan: You're not alone, Magnus. Very well put.
* From Dierk Polzin: I find it interesting that the Finn, Star (and Laser)
will have the largest participation in this series of Olympic Trials. I
thought US Sailing lobbied to have the Finn and Star thrown out of the
Athens Olympics. It will be interesting to see where US Sailing is next
November in the selection debate. You can't grow Olympic Champions without
grassroots Olympic sailors.
* From Gina Blue, Sydney, Australia: Your report on the rescue of a
Japanese sailor in the Indian Ocean was commendable. However, your desire
to promote the good deeds of billionaire businessman, Richard Pratt, should
be tempered by the fact that the Australian people foot the bill, and
happily, for arguably the best search and rescue operation in the World.
Just how many round-the-world solo sailors owe their lives to the
exceptional work of the Australian Safety Authority.
While the Australian people fully support and fund through taxes the work
of the Australian Safety Authority, one Australian Richard Pratt is not
supporting this valuable cause. The jet so important in the rescue of
Masayuki Kikuchi was charged on a per hour basis at normal commercial rates
plus an insurance coverage payment. And this was paid for by the Australian
* From Laurie Fullerton: It is high time that Russell Coutts defended
himself in the New Zealand press, in this case after being nominated for
the prestigious Halberg award. After covering the America's Cup in New
Zealand for the American press, it was an eye opener for me to see the how
the Fourth Estate in New Zealand held onto the Coutts as the enemy story
when most of the people of New Zealand had moved on and seen the bigger
No other sailor in history has been as vilified as Coutts has in his
homeland newspapers, particularly the New Zealand Herald, who despite the
best efforts of the journalists on site at the Cup, was lambasted again and
again in ill informed, inciteful editorials.
It is also important that Coutts mentions he is bringing his mother to the
ceremony, who by all accounts, took the victimization of her son by fellow
New Zealanders very hard. It is a small country with a proud heritage. It
would be a better country if the publishers of the various newspapers were
held more accountable their persistently nasty, mean-spirited treatment of
Petrophobic (pet ro fob' ik) adj. One who is embarrassed to undress in
front of a household pet.