SCUTTLEBUTT 1535 - March 9, 2004
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SAY GOODBYE TO A "NIGHTMARE"
The organizers of the Volvo Ocean Race have decided not to allow 'Code
Zero' sails in the next race. These huge sails were introduced in 1997-98
to improve upwind performance. Unfortunately, they were not very popular
among the people who had to use them. "Code Zeros were a nightmare," says
Ross Field, who skippered Yahama to a win in the 1993-94 event.
For the next Volvo Ocean Race, a new, faster race boat - the Volvo Open 70
- will be used. It is based on a new set of rules, and as always that opens
up the possibilities for interpretation. "We want to safeguard the spirit
that we had when we created the rules and therefore we have decided to
spell out that 'Code Zero' sails are not allowed," says Volvo Ocean Race
CEO, Glenn Bourke. Code Zero sails are huge - 330m2, approximately four
times the size of a roomy two-bedroom apartment. "With a new race boat,
it's important to create a definitive theme around which the evolution of
the class is formed. There is always a risk of loopholes, but the decision
to close out 'Code Zero' sails maintains our original ideas," Bourke continued.
In considering the situation, event organizers took into account the
ability of the crews to efficiently and effectively sail the boat. The
fatigue due to slightly reduced crew numbers as well as the development
cost for sails, masts and hydraulic handling systems and safety were the
primary concerns. The decision was also based on comments from sailors who
competed in the 2001-02 event; "In the last race when we had the Code Zeros
up in 10-12 knots of wind, bashing into a head sea, we were just waiting
for something to break or the rig to be pulled out of the boat," explains
Ross Field. "It was an all hands on deck to get the things down even though
it was light breeze."
At any rate, the new Volvo Open 70 yacht is predicted to break the 500
nautical miles a day barrier, being up to 21 days quicker around the world.
This will bring the number of racing days down to 103 from 123 in the last
event, even when the controversial code zero sail was permitted. - Lizzie
A SAILING STORY
This is a story of the old craftsman and the PC, a tale of wooden boats and
rich pages from San Diego's nautical history that refuse to fade. The
craftsman is Carl Eichenlaub, at 73 still one of the nation's most
respected boat builders. And the PC doesn't stand for politically correct,
but for Pacific Class. Were there a flagship for San Diego's recreational
boating fleet, it would be the venerable, 32-foot PC sloop.
"The PC is unmatched in grace, beauty and performance," says Rish Pavelec,
the boat's historian. "It was a boat that was born and built here. And
almost everyone of prominence in San Diego sailing has owned or sailed on a
PC." Many still do. Although it has been nearly five decades since the last
PC was launched, the boat - which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year
- continues to race as a class with San Diego hosting the annual national
"When you think of sailboats and San Diego, probably the first class that
comes to mind is the Star because of all the world and Olympic champions
from the area who have sailed the boat," Eichenlaub said recently. "But in
terms of connection with San Diego, the PC is probably No. 1."
Which is why Eichenlaub started thinking about the PC early last year when
trying to find the appropriate salute to his daughter. In less than two
years, Betty Sue Sherman will become the first woman commodore in the
century-plus history of San Diego Yacht Club. "I wanted to build her a
special boat as her flagship," said Eichenlaub. "But what? An ocean racer
would be obsolete by the time of her induction. It had to be a boat that
fit the occasion. "What better than building a PC?"
The only problem was that no one had built a PC since 1956. And many of the
tools used to create and shape the boat are no longer in use. Eichenlaub is
working off blueprints drawn in 1948. Yet, on most every morning,
Eichenlaub can be found toiling beneath a tarp in his Shelter Island
boatyard - recreating history one mahogany plank at a time, building from
scratch parts that have been out of limited production for longer than he
can remember. - Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, full story:
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FOR THE RECORD
* Steve Fossett and his crew aboard the 125ft catamaran Cheyenne yesterday
recorded their best day yet. They sailed an amazing 623 miles which puts
them 2,042 miles ahead of the previous record set by Orange I at this stage
of the challenge. The staggering speeds over the last few days are a result
of the consistent 25-30kt wind coming from around 300 degrees. - Sue
Pelling, Yachting World, http://www.yachting-world.com/yw/home.htm
* It was a good Day 11 for the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran.
Despite winds that remained unstable, she covered 521 nautical miles on her
11th day at sea at an average speed of 21.72 knots point-to-point. Here's
what the skipper had to say this morning: "We're making about 25 knots over
the surface in 20 knots of winds with intermittent squalls under full main
and solent. Fortunately, Geronimo is fast in light-to-medium weather
conditions. We're not losing any time now, but we certainly need to make
some up!" - www.trimaran-geronimo.com
* By the time you read this, Jean Luc van den Heede's 84-foot aluminum
cutter Adrien will probably be in Les Sables d'Olonne - having broken
Philippe Monnet's 'westabout' singlehanded global record. VDH he will
undoubtedly peel more than 29 days off of the record. - http://www.vdh.fr/gb/
Here are today's 'notes' on the "magnificent" Bacardi Cup website (no story
was posted at our distribution time):
"March 8 (which the website curiously referred to as Tuesday?) was a tough
day on Biscayne Bay as the predicted 15-18 knot northerly was fought by a
see (sea?) breeze effect causing light, puffy conditions that shifted
wildly and were very unstable."
OK - so the copy is a bit confusing, but they do have the standings posted
after two races of this six day, ?-race, 93-boat Star regatta:
1. Fredrik Loof & Anders Ekstrom, SWE, 4, 3 - 7
2. Marc Pickel & Ingo Borkowski, GER, 2, 11 - 13
3. Flavio Marazzi & Enrico De Maria, SUI, 9, 4 - 13
4. Afonso Domingos & Bernardo Santos, POR, 7, 7 - 14
5. Ross Macdonald & Mike Wolfs, CAN, 3, 13 - 16
6. Peter Bromby & Lee White, BER, 18, 1 - 19
7. Vince Brun & Mike Dorgan, USA, 17, 2 - 19
8. Mark Reynolds & Steve Erickson, USA, 12, 9 - 21
9. Colin Beashel & David Giles, AUS, 15, 10 - 25
10. Michael Koch & Markus Koy, GER, 11, 19 - 30
43. Paul Cayard & Phil Trinter, USA, 1, 94\OCS - 95
46. Iain Percy & Steve Mitchell, GBR, 94\BFD, 8 - 102
Event website: http://www.bacardicup.com/intro.asp
What would happen if all the polar ice melted?
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There's no good time for a tiller extension to separate from the tiller.
How about having it happen on a packed start line in 20+ knots just moments
after the start of a keelboat race? Enjoy these pictures by photographer
Tim Wilkes, who caught an SR 33 living a nightmare during the recently held
Acura SORC: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/0307wipe
THE END OF AN ERA
Christmas 2003, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart fleet raced south with the IMS
division winner crowned overall winner. Less than a month later, the
organizing Club, the CYCA had dumped the IMS class, replacing it with IRC
and another 30 days on, there was only a single entrant in the IMS division
at Australia's premier offshore sailing championships. Goodbye IMS, the end
of an era. - Rob Kothe, www.sail-world.com
THE DISASTROUS DELIVERY
We get a lot of mail at Scuttlebutt World Headquarters. Sometimes too much
to print, other times just not appropriate. We've just posted a letter on
our website that is probably somewhere in the middle. We have withheld the
names to protect the innocent (and ourselves), but it came from one of our
favorite readers, himself an acclaimed sailor having an Olympic medal, an
America's Cup victory and a couple world championships to his credit.
Hopefully a lesson or two can be learned here:
In the unlikely event that all the polar ice melted, the sea level all over
the world would rise 500 to 600 feet. As a result, 85 to 90% of the Earth's
surface would be covered with water as compared to the current 71%. The
U.S. would be split by the Mississippi River, which would connect the Great
Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico.
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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 Greg Winkler, 1994 Mistral World Masters Champ: Having done Olympic
campaigns for 92, 96, and 2000, I have seen our fleets fall in size every 4
years. Why? Lack of financial support from US Sailing, and difficulty in
obtaining outside sponsors in the USA. The other countries find a way to
get money to their sailors so that they can train all year, and compete
worldwide, and this is for more than a few guys and girls. My wife placed
2nd in this year's Trials in November in the Mistral Class (windsurfing),
and has gotten nothing but a drug test for all that effort.
* From By Baldridge: Forget the first black America's Cup sailor claims
for South Africa. Marty Stephan, Art Price, and Woody Carr among others
have all been there selected on their ability in past Cup Campaigns.
Maori's, Native Americans, all genders and religions are welcome. It is not
* From Bob Kiernan: Before this gets to out of hand I want to say, enough
with this "black crew" crap! People sail boats! In my opinion the comment
should have read that they have been training young South African sailors
for years. Not a racist statement like they made. We are a borderless sport
on more ways than most so let's support the equal values sailors have when
training and competing.
* From Steven Black: About the fancy Bacardi Cup website which doesn't (as
yet) provide timely results: I always marvel how many regatta websites make
fetching results so difficult. To help remedy this, I have advice for
organizers about results on their websites.
- Place links to results on the home page, and make the link say
"Results" (or Resultados, Résultats, Resultate, Risultati as appropriate)
since most western languages share this etymology. I wonder how many
English readers will correctly guess that "Press Room" may (or may not)
lead to 2004 Bacardi Cup results when they finally appear.
- Show results in HTML tables, which are easily pasted into spreadsheets
to be sorted by person, race, country, and other interesting ways, and also
used by other news organizations. For sailing to be media friendly, results
must be easy to publicize. The worst case scenario is results presented in
locked-down PDF form.
- Where possible, include crew names in results, the more the merrier, or
make crew lists easy links off the results. Can you believe that list of
past winners on the 2004 Bacardi Cup website omits crew names?? In the Star
class, the crew is half the legend (in some cases more than half.)
- Offer to share the code of this year's website with next year's
organizers. This leads to continuity, incremental improvement, and the
preservation of past historical results. More to the point, this avoids the
repetition of rookie site design mistakes, year after year.
* From Curt Davis: Chuck Coyer, and maybe many others, don't understand the
Star weight rule. If the Star rule were used in the Etchells class, Dennis
Connor would be able to carry 50 more pounds of crew weight than I would.
What the rule basically says is that a boat with a heavier skipper can
carry an extra amount of crew weight that is one half of the weight
difference between the two skippers. Dennis is about 275 and I'm 175, the
difference is 100 lbs and half of that is 50 lbs. How fair would that be in
an Etchells? The people who do not side with Iverson mention weight limits
in classes like the J24, Etchells, and Farr 40. These classes do indeed
have the right to impose a weight limit if they want. At least it's a limit
and not a formula.
The big issue that you are all missing is that the Star is an Olympic
class. And the only one out of eleven that is suited to large people. The
Olympics are about crowning the best team in the world, nothing less. Name
any other Olympic event, winter or summer where athletes can vote out other
athletes who might have an advantage because of size. Most Olympic events
have a certain size athlete that has an advantage. Gymnastics, basketball,
and swimming come to mind. If you still think the weight limit is right,
then I guess you'd have to agree that 470's should have a minimum weight
* From John Browning: Some of your readers may bitterly disagree with the
following extract from Part Two 'Handicap Rating Systems':
- For the planned three classes for a Grand Prix Circuit, a 'box rule'
would be expected to set a maximum length of 50ft, 40ft and 30ft, with
minimum beam waterline/maximum beam, draught, righting moment,
displacement, sail area, in order that the design team that produced the
best shape, most efficient sail plan, deck layout, best executed by a
builder of the owners choice and best sailed would win.
- However the RWP (Rules Working Party) of the ORC is reported to be
adding a VPP (Velocity Predicted Program) to its 'box' rule, which could
surely only insert boats that didn't meet the 'box rule' as written, into
the 'box' to the detriment of owners who had invested their money with
designers/builders to build within the 'box'.
Others, hopefully will agree, discussion either way, will be for the good
of our sport, as if we all keep quiet, another dumb IMS/ VPP rule will be a
disaster for Grand Prix racing. The complete article can be seen at:
* From Peter Harken (Regards using Olympic Class boats in college sailing
programs): I was Commodore of the UW Hoofer Sailing Club in Madison,Wis.
twice and damn near flunked out spending all my time repairing daily the
toughest boats ever built, the MIT and BadgerTech Dinghy which we had as
our main fleet and is there to this day plus some of the original ones from
the '50s! If collegiate sailing had been a sport in Roman times it would've
superceded the Gladiator events in the Coliseum! Between teaching new
college sailors, training and racing and being greatly underfunded as a
college sport, an Olympic caliber fleet would be demolished in a few days
if not hours. A college program with true Olympic class boats would have to
be very, very, well funded with a full time 24/7 maintenance crew to
survive. College sailing is not about speed, but about starting, tactics,
fast boat handling and yes, the best speed .001 extra knot you can get out
of a slug! There is no better training for the money and availability and
besides it's a hoot!
* From Mark Gray: The Geronimo syndicate must be kidding with the comment
on the website that the Cheyenne attempt does not comply with the
requirements of the Jules Verne Trophy. The only part they do not comply
with is not paying over the bucks. They will not fail with their sailing
abilities, nor by boat speed, but rather they will fail because a group of
bureaucrats have put a price on a trophy, and what do they get for paying??
Do they get extra weather support? Do they get rescue facilities that are
not available to the other boats? The answer is quite clearly no, all they
get for 30K euro is their name on a trophy. I mean to say that is bloody
expensive engraving. I say if they win, we all chip in and give them the
"We Beat You" trophy.
Aging is not for wimps.