SCUTTLEBUTT 1521 - February 18, 2004
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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.
FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR LIVING ROOM . . .
The excitement of the Volvo Ocean Race is set to touch the lives of its
biggest ever world-wide audience. A completely restructured television
package has been developed for the 2005-2006 event, which starts in
November next year. International production company Sunset + Vine, and its
parent company, The Television Corporation PLC, will produce and distribute
several hundred hours of programming that promises to bring the drama and
intense competition of this global event to an audience of up to two
billion people worldwide.
With seven cameras on each of the competing yachts, linked by satellite to
a purpose-built studio and editing facility in Southampton, England, the
producers will be able to show the key moments of the battle between the
world's top professional sailors operating in the worst that the oceans can
throw at them. Each yacht will be equipped with its own edit suite and a
'panic' button on deck which, when touched by a crew member, will
automatically record the drama on board as the yachts touch speeds of 40
knots, tearing though the iceberg-strewn wastes of the Southern Ocean. -
Lizzie Green, www.volvooceanrace.org
FOR THE RECORD
* Bruno Peyron set off this afternoon at 15:25 aboard his Orange II
maxi-catamaran, and is heading towards the western tip of Brittany, in
order to reach the Jules Verne starting line (off Ushant Island) early
tomorrow morning. "We will take advantage of 20-knot easterly winds for the
start. The weather conditions are good, and the wind is expected to
increase as early as the second day. We will then aim for a low pressure
cell positioned south of Portugal, which we should tackle in the right
direction," Peyron said. http://www.orange.fr
* With the wind still from the East, but diminishing to only 9 - 11 kts
throughout the day Tuesday, Steve Fossett and crew aboard Cheyenne have
maintained 12 - 13 kts over the past 12 hours. Ken Campbell, Director of
Marine Services for Commanders Weather commented: "We're expecting improved
winds later tonight for a better run overnight, but Wednesday and Thursday
will be 'tactical' - continuing to make progress South, but keeping away
from the High itself." - http://www.fossettchallenge.com/
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
(Following is an excerpt from Tuesday's daily report filed by watch captain
Brian Thompson from aboard Steve Fossett's Cheyenne.)
Interesting to hear what Magnus Wheatley had to say in Scuttlebutt about
how he is bored with Jules Verne attempts and why it would be more fun for
the public for us to race around together. I cannot deny the latter, and
next year he and the rest of us will have our wishes granted with the Oryx
Cup. I for one am looking forward to that event. However the Round the
World Record exists and is the ultimate challenge against the clock. I for
one have always admired the exploits of Peyron, Blake, Knox-Johnston and de
Kersauson, and it's a fascinating challenge to race those skippers and
boats around the world, even in phantom form. I want to join the band that
have held the record and for me the challenge has not disappeared with the
repeating of it. The ocean is still the same and we have to push that bit
harder every time we go around.
There will be maxi multihulls going around the world every year now. Plus
fully crewed and single-handed races, the Vendee, the Volvo, 5 Oceans, Oryx
Cup, Qatar Global Challenge. Personally I follow them all - even when we
were at sea on The Race we were tuned in twice a day to every move in the
Vendee. You either love it or you don't, and there is plenty of football to
watch if it's not for you. - Full report: http://tinyurl.com/2zq7n
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US OLYMPIC TRIALS
As of today, nine athletes are within striking distance of their goal of
representing the U.S.A. at the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens,
Greece. Competitors sailing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Sailing in the
Europe, Finn, 49er, Tornado and Yngling classes will have a mandatory
layday tomorrow, giving everyone the opportunity to take a break -- not
only physical, but mental -- from the eight-day marathon competition.
Following a format that mimics the Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Team
Trials-Sailing are a winner takes all contest and when racing resumes on
Thursday, February 19, competitors will have the four remaining days to
make-or-break dreams that some have been envisioning for years.
Day Four was forecast to be light and variable - and it started out that
way - a great day for sitting on the beach. Sunny, light breezes. Races
were postponed and races were started and subsequently abandoned.
Eventually a northwesterly filled in - 8-12 knots of breeze - and some
races were completed.
In the 14-boat Europe class, Meg Gaillard won her seventh consecutive race
to distance herself from the pack. However, Yngling leader, Sally Barkow,
took a 4-3 which compressed the top of that class into a tight cluster.
Only three points separating the top three Ynglings.
Finn leader Kevin Hall also had his worst day of the trials, finishing
fifth (his throwout), but Hall still maintains a nine point edge in the 23
boat class. However, the next three Finn sailors are separated by just a
single point. Two-time Olympians John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree won both
races Tuesday to gain a six point lead in the eight-boat Tornado class.
EUROPE DINGHY (14 boats - standings after 7 races w/1 discard at the
Lauderdale YC): 1. Meg Gaillard, 6; 2. Krysia Pohl, 12; 3. Christin
FINN (23 boats - Standings after 7 races w/1 discard at the Lauderdale YC):
1. Kevin Hall, 12; 2. Mo Hart, 21; 3. Bryan Boyd, 22. 4. Geoff Ewenson, 22.
49ER (11 boats) Standings after 11 races w/1 discard at the Key Biscayne
YC: 1. Tim Wadlow/ Pete Spaulding, 19; 2. Dalton Bergan/ Zack Maxam, 31; 3.
Andy Mack/ Adam Lowry, 31.
TORNADO (8 boats) Standings after 8 races w/1 discard at the Miami YC: 1.
John Lovell/ Charlie Ogletree, 8; 2. Lars Guck/ Jonathan Farrar, 14; 3.
Robbie Daniel/ Enrique Rodriguez, 20.
YNGLING (6 boats) Standings after 8 races w/1 discard at the Key Biscayne
YC: 1. Sally Barkow, Carrie Howe and Debbie Capozzi 15; 2. Hannah Swett,
Joan Touchette and Melissa Purdy, 16; 3. Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy
You may not be aware that there is an International Fair Play Committee
that makes annual awards in to famous and less well known athletes all over
the world in three categories:
1. to an athlete, or a team, for a gesture of fair play that cost, or could
have cost his/her victory, or could have downgraded his sport performance;
2. to a person for his/her remarkable general attitude showed all along
his/her sport career, for an outstanding and constant spirit of fair play,
for observing the unwritten rule of sport not to take advantage of an
opponent's bad luck;
3. to a person or organization for an activity aiming at promoting fair
play by organizing national or local campaigns, giving lectures, writing
articles in the press, or making comments on the radio or television.
To learn more about the Fair Play Committee or to download a nomination
form, go to the ISAF website:
WINTER IS ALMOST OVER - TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR OCKAMS
For those of us in the "Northern" climate, great sailing weather is
(finally) just around the corner. At Ockam, we've been developing great new
products and updates for existing components, firmware and software. Since
Ockam's design approach has always provided backward/forward compatibility,
your system can easily be brought up to 2004 spec. Consider our trade-in
credit for older style gear. Interface that new GPS and trade-in your old
Loran interface or swap out your clip-in card 005 displays for the
multi-line Matryx, or step up to the amazing Tryad processor. Contact Tom
Davis (email@example.com), Campbell Field (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
* Sail America is launching an all-new, all-sail show in Philadelphia next
January as part of what it's calling "a dramatic new strategy for marketing
its national sailing shows in each major region of the country." As part of
this strategy, Sail America will no longer host the Atlantic Sail Expo and
NY/NJ Sail Expo shows. Instead, it will "consolidate and target the
resources of the sailing industry behind a single, strong mid-winter show
in Philadelphia." http://www.boatbiz.com/output.cfm?id=779761
* Jean Luc Van den Heede has been unable to hide his pleasure. Some nice,
20 knot trade winds from the southeast are pushing his 84-foot aluminum
Adrien towards the Equator. Distance covered in the last 24 hours: 218
miles. To the finish 4,296 miles. Lead over Monnet 26 days and 13 hours. -
* America's Cup winning skipper and Olympic medallist John Bertrand notched
up another prestigious victory when he won the 47-boat Etchells New South
Wales State Championship on Sydney Harbour. Michael Coxon and Neville
Wittey finished second and third respectively. The 2004 Etchells World
Championship will be sailed out of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club on
Queensland's Sunshine Coast from July 28 to August 8.
Richard Holmberg passed away from complications after surgery in Virgina on
December 30, 2003. The father of Peter & John Holmberg from the Virgin
Islands was an avid racer and passed on his competitive spirit. He was the
Soling representative in the 1972 Olympics for the VI and sailed all manner
of boats including Sunfish in the first World Champs held in St. Thomas in
1970. A beautiful day greeted over a hundred well wishers on January 25th
as we said our goodbye's and told immense tales about his exploits. Members
of the family traveled by boat to a quiet cove, and his grandson Kai did
the honors as we scattered his ashes in the blue water below his cottage.
"Live your life well and you can enjoy it twice- once during- and then
again later- thinking of it". - John Holmberg
NEW J/100 SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 2004 LAUNCH
J Boats recently announced the introduction of a modern 33' daysailor, the
J/100. A long waterline, sleek profile and comfortable cockpit are just a
few reasons why this new J may be 100% perfect for your next day sail. See
drawings and specifications at http://www.jboats.com
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 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: Records are there to be broken. It's a
natural part of being human, to strive to improve. Whether it be setting a
faster time for running the 100 metres, the marathon, or sailing around the
world, people will always strive, and I, for one, find every such challenge
fascinating. Yes we have moved on since 1969, we have instant
communications; weather prognoses; navigation is no longer by sextant and
chronometer, and the challenge of sailing around the world has changed as a
result. Now there is a need to use these modern developments and show as
much skill in picking the right weather pattern that will suit the boat
days ahead as there is in trimming a sail properly. If some find the chess
game to pick the right route through the weather patterns boring, well that
is up to them. If they are not fired by accounts of very fast sailing in
difficult conditions, then they had best read something else. To me it is
the ultimate test of seamanship at the edge.
I expect I am not alone in finding each attempt on the around the world
record a source of fascination, so please Scuttlebutt, keep the reports
* From John Brooks, Sydney: Hey, if a bunch of yachties - whether they be
self-funded billionaires, corporate sponsored professionals, or
bottom-of-the-barrel-scraping amateurs - want to do a spot of boating and
have a shot at a world record in the process, where's the problem? In case
you haven't noticed there are one-off world speed records for just about
everything from wheelchairs to battery-operated toy rabbits - see the
Guinness Book of Records - so many folks must find them entertaining.
Yachtsmen, specifically, have been chasing records since the 19th century
China tea clippers; no, come to think of it, since around 39 B.C. when Mark
Antony pushed his galley crew extra hard getting from Rome back to
Alexandria ASAP. Cleopatra, no doubt, would have been a hell of lot more
fun than the Jules Verne trophy. The great thing about sailing, Magnus, is
that it's a sport open to everyone of all ages, tastes and motivations, and
if someone wants to sail into the Southern Ocean pursuing a record that is
likely to be beaten next season, if not the week after they get home, then
good luck to them.
Personally, after many Sydney-Hobart races, I wouldn't venture into the
Southern Ocean on the QE2, let alone a multi-hull, but I do enjoy reading
about it. However, I don't bother with the corporate press releases and,
clearly, neither should you.
* From Brian Hancock: It seems to me that US sailors have become ambivalent
about all aspects of sailing - offshore ocean racing, record setting - the
lot. When Emma Richard's finished her solo circumnavigation on a sunny
Sunday afternoon in Newport, no one showed up. The high speed
round-the-world match race of the last Volvo went by barely noticed.
Francis Joyon is a national hero in France for his amazing voyage, but his
accomplishment barely merits a passing comment in the US press. The problem
lies with US sailors - Everest may be congested with climbers, but American
climbers are still enthralled by their efforts. It's time we sat up, took a
step back and allowed some wonder back into our lives.
* From David McClatchy, Sr.: Boy do I agree with Magnus Wheatly. I have
found the reporting on the record attempts so boring that anymore I skip
* From Mik Beatie: Right on, Magnus Wheatley!
* From Dan Nerney (Re Wheatley' bleat in Butt 1519): Amen.
* From Lizzie Green: As 'Buttheads already know, there is already an event
that does all that Mr Wheatley suggests and more. It's been going since
1973, it will run for the ninth time in 2005-06, the teams all start level
and the prize they want most is not money, just a simple yet rather elegant
trophy. The event? It's called the Volvo Ocean Race.
* From Chris Bouzaid: I would just like to add my total agreement to Laurie
Fullerton's words about Russell Coutts and the Alinghi boys. Their ability
to remain on higher ground and not get into the slinging matches during the
LV and AC really demonstrate the moral fiber these great yachtsmen have. It
really is a pity the NZ newspapers particularly the Herald can't present
the same qualities. I believe the irresponsible behavior of these
newspapers inciting animosity by printing incorrect information for the
unsuspecting public to read was and is very irresponsible.
* From Greg Langdon: If Ms. Fullerton thinks that Russell Coutts has been
vilified by the New Zealand press (and New Zealanders themselves!), then
perhaps she should take her box of tissues and comfort him in Switzerland.
Coutts should no more be eligible for the Halberg Award than Saddam Hussein
should be for the U.N. Humanitarian Award!
He is a grown man and should be accountable for his actions. He made a
decision to forgo the spirit by which Sir Peter Blake embraced the
America's Cup campaigns, and chose, instead, to turn his back on the proud
sporting heritage of a small country. He was aware of the economic impact
that retention of The Cup would have on New Zealand, not to mention the
impact on national morale. Instead, he decided to make a run for the money
- and as a professional athlete, I can't fault him for that. He did,
however, underestimate the passion New Zealanders (and the New Zealand
press) have for mutineers.
If Russell didn't take his mum's advice to not jump ship, then he's getting
his medicine. If she supported him in his decision, then she, too, needs to
grab her box of tissues and find out how the quality of life compares
outside of New Zealand.
* From Jack Moore: I'm sure I won't be the only one to point out to Ms.
Blue that, although billionaire Richard Pratt may not have donated the use
of his plane free of charge for the rescue of the Japanese sailor, it can
hardly be said that Richard Pratt did not support the cause. She claims
that the Australian taxpayers, not Mr. Pratt, foot the bill for this and
other search and rescue efforts in the Indian Ocean. As an Australian
taxpayer himself, Mr. Pratt undoubtedly funds a bigger portion of this
rescue burden than Ms. Blue or any other Australian taxpayer. Then consider
the taxes paid by his company, Visy Industries, and the numerous donations
and other good deeds performed by that company and the Pratt Foundation in
Australia and throughout the world. No, Richard Pratt definitely supports
this valuable cause and many others.
* From: Bryan Canterbury: After playing the 'Smack the Penguin" game for a
little too long (was I supposed to be studying tonight?), I am convinced
that Curmudgeons Yeti is on performance-enhancing steroids. Or that the
Curmudgeon has far too much free time. My score was 578.1, fax from
Australia to verify this will follow.
Curmudgeon's comment: Apparently there is wide distribution of those
performance-enhancing steroids used by the Curmudgeons Yeti. It only took
about six hours for 10 people from all corners of the world to tie the
595.5 score logged by the curmudgeon. The fact that no one surpassed that
mark suggests we've found the game's outer limit. Also, we've learned once
again to be careful what you ask for - the staff at Scuttlebutt World
headquarters was up all night adding paper to the fax machine as the
contest entries poured in.
To view the list of the first 'Buttheads to get to 595.5 (SSC hats are on
their way to the top five): http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/games/penguin/
Every dog has his day. Of course, his day consists of smelling other dogs'