SCUTTLEBUTT 1545 - March 23, 2004
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First the St. Francis Big Boat Series, now the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race
have adopted IRC for their premier trophies. This is not a long term
satisfactory state of affairs, and certainly IRC's core constituents must
be increasingly worried by the pressure on their system. But when events
have a desire to maintain a high profile (in other words, a large and
prestigious entry) and a title sponsor is in the wings to keep up the heat,
then organizers will inevitably go where the entries can be found. In
recent years all the most prestigious large yachts have taken their turn at
racing under IRC, and few skippers have been left unduly disturbed at the
In time a grand prix rule will relieve this pressure. But it is worth
reflecting on the fact that such a gradual evolution, from domestic
racer-cruiser to international 'hot shot' competition at the Admiral's Cup
and the like, is a mirror image of the process that eventually gave us the
finest days of the IOR. Let's not panic just yet. - Andrew Hurst, editor,
Seahorse magazine, www.seahorsemagazine.com
US OLYMPIC TRIALS - STAR CLASS
* Three attempts to get a race off at the 2004 US Olympic Team
Trials-Sailing were all foiled today by light and fluky air that started
out from 320 degrees, went around to 130-140, and finally ended up at 70
degrees by the time boats were crossing the finish of today's lone race.
The sailors endured a ninety minute postponement on the water with not a
breath of wind to break the haze, before the arrival of a light breeze that
never made it over 10 knots. "It was a good race, and well worth waiting
until 3:20 p.m. to start," said Jonathan Harley, US Sailing Olympic
Director. The Race Committee will attempt to run three races tomorrow, with
the first start holding at noon, in an effort to get back on track before
Wednesday's layday. - Jan Harley, www.ussailing.org
* George Szabo and Rick Merriman haven't asked for much in sailing
conditions at the U.S. Olympic Star class trials - in fact, the less the
better. They're from San Diego, a venue notorious for gentle breeze. "I
like flat water and light air," Szabo said after winning Race 5 by three
boat lengths over Merriman Monday. The results, factoring in the first of
two discards in the 16-race series, lifted Szabo and crew Mark Strube from
sixth to fourth place and left Merriman and Bennett in ninth but now
separated from the rest of the pack in the current upper echelon of the
Paul Cayard/ Phil Trinter shadowed Szabo and Merriman to the finish line in
third place to strengthen their grip on first place overall. After dropping
a sixth place, they have eight points to 15 for runners-up Eric Doyle and
Brian Sharp. Vince Brun is only one point farther back after finishing
fourth Monday and tossing his 23-point OCS from opening day. Mark Reynolds,
who has won these trials to represent the U.S. in the last four Olympiads
and collected two gold medals and a silver, slipped to seventh overall with
his worst finish in 13th place. But with 11 races remaining, nobody who
knows his record for coming from out of the pack to win - as he did at
Sydney four years ago -is about to count him out. - Rich Roberts,
* "Tomorrow the breeze is supposed to be back up in the 15-20 knot range
from 080 … similar to Saturday but not quite as windy. Three races are on
the schedule as we only got one in today. It will be a long hard day.
Sleeping 10 hours tonight. Stocking up! - Paul Cayard
Standings after five races with one discard (22 boats):
1. Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter, San Francisco, 2-(6)-1-2-3, 8 points.
2. Eric Doyle/Brian Sharp, San Diego, 1-1-(9)-8-5, 15.
3. Vince Brun/Mike Dorgan, San Diego, (23/OCS)-9-2-1-4, 16.
4. George Szabo/Mark Strube, San Diego, 4-5-(14)-9-1, 19.
5. Andrew MacDonald/Austin Sperry, Laguna Beach, Calif., (11)-7-5-4-6, 22.
6. John MacCausland/Brad Nichol, Cherry Hill, N.J, 6-8-3-6-(10), 23.
7. Mark Reynolds/Steve Erickson, San Diego, 5-2-10-7-(13), 24.
8. Howie Shiebler/Will Stout, San Francisco, 3-3-6-(23/OCS), 24.
9. Rick Merriman/Bill Bennett, San Diego, 7-4-(17)-13-2, 26.
10. Andy Lovell/Magnus Liljedahl, New Orleans, (23/OCS)-23/DNS-4-3-11, 41.
Complete results: www.ussailing.org/olympics/olympictrials/2004
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Annapolis, MD (March 22, 2004) - Team Kan-Do (tm), the Chesapeake Bay entry
in the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World 2005 - 2006, announced today the
start of their racing crew selection process with a review committee led by
world class Annapolis sailor Terry Hutchinson. Hutchinson, an America's Cup
and Volvo Race veteran plus holder of multiple world championship titles,
has agreed to lead a hand-picked review committee which will begin the
daunting challenge of wading through the mountain of sailing crew
applications that Kan-Do has received.
With the launch of the Kan-Do web site in October 2003, competitive sailors
worldwide were invited to apply to join this global team of individuals.
The resulting avalanche of several hundred applications surprised the Team
and confirmed the notion that there is a huge interest in such an
opportunity. The majority of individuals interested in racing for Kan-Do
include high profile professionals with America's Cup, Volvo Race, Olympic
and Open 60 racing experience. Hutchinson will assemble a group that will
begin a first review to determine which of the applicants will make the
second round and be invited for a more detailed screening and eventually
receive invitations for sailing trials. - www.Kan-Do.com
THE WORLD IS COMING TO ANNAPOLIS
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UPDATE: TEAM NEW ZEALAND
Team New Zealand has enough money to challenge for the next America's Cup,
but managing director Grant Dalton says the team will not go unless they
have sufficient funds to bring the cup back. The syndicate had set a
deadline of March 31 to decide whether a challenge was viable, but nine
days out from that deadline Dalton said they required more time to ensure
they had the best possible chance of winning the cup. "I am saying that we
are at a level where we can go but we will not go until we are at a level
that we can bring the cup back," he said. "New Zealand deserves more than
competing in the America's Cup. It is about being there toe-to-toe with the
objective of bringing the America's Cup back."
Dalton said they were closing in on their target budget of about $150
million. The Government will give the syndicate about $30 million provided
they come up with at least $60 million themselves. "We are close, but I can
assure you on March 31 we will not be pushing the button ... to be at that
funding level that would take us to a winning environment we will take more
time," Dalton said. "It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation where one
[sponsor] triggers another which triggers another. We are just in that
trigger mechanism." - Julie Ash, NZ Herald, full story:
ROUND THE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPTS
* It has been another excellent 1/2 day Monday for Steve Fossett's team
aboard Cheyenne, with 281 miles covered on a NE course over the past 12
hours (avg 23.4 kts) on their Round The World Sailing record bid. Their
lead over the 2002 RTW record track of Bruno Peyron's team on Orange I is
now estimated at 900 miles - and the present good Southerly breeze is
expected to continue for the next 6 - 12 hours. -
* Day 25 - Geronimo has been trying to escape from the low pressure area
that has propelled her very fast all the way from Africa and catch up with
the next depression, centred over New Zealand. The weather specialists of
the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric team see two possible solutions that
could prevent the trimaran from losing too much ground. The first is a
longer northerly option, whilst the second southerly option carries the
usual risk of floating ice and is therefore not very inviting. As she
waited, the trimaran covered 349 nautical miles point-to-point yesterday;
10% more than Orange managed on her Day 25, thus increasing Geronimo's lead
to over 1300 nautical miles. - http://www.trimaran-geronimo.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Ellen MacArthur
"So far so good and it has been just fantastic being back out in the
Southern Ocean again. We have had our problems on board but, thankfully,
nothing major. B&Q is going well in the conditions out here, we can average
18-19 knots no problem without really pushing - she has never come close to
sticking her bows in. We have not had anything really big - we have seen 48
knots of wind and some pretty steep waves but no 50+ knot blows. - Ellen
MacArthur from the 75-foot Castorama B&Q trimaran prior to Monday's
scheduled stop at the Falkland Islands. -
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GROWING THE FLEET
The beginning of March saw the first launch of the new Optimist fleet in
the Central American country of El Salvador. The new venture is a
partnership between the Salvador Sailing Association and the International
Optimist Association (IODA) whereby the Sailing Association commissions a
fleet of ten boats, built locally to the wood/epoxy pattern, and IODA
supplies sails, rigs and accessories. The strategy is to expand Optimist
sailing in the region, working outwards from the successful fleet formed by
Juan Maegli in Guatemala. Last year a similar wood/epoxy project was
sponsored by IODA in Nicaragua and it is hoped to follow with Costa Rica
and other neighboring countries.
El Salvador is the tenth country to create a new Optimist fleet with the
help of IODA funding in the last three years, and a further five received
help with major upgrades. With help also available for instructor training
several of these fleets have already reached the stage where they can send
sailors to regional and continental regattas.
Description of the Nicaraguan project: www.optiworld.org/optiworld53.pdf
Details of help available for developing new fleets:
* Current North American Champion Allan Terhune (Swedesboro NJ), sailing
with wife Katie and sister Kristin, beat out 60 competitors to win the St.
Petersburg Winter Championship - the third leg of the Lightning Southern
Circuit. The event was limited by light winds to just three races - all on
Saturday. Second was David Starck (Buffalo NY) with Larry MacDonald
(Carlisle ON) taking third. The Masters series of the St. Petersburg event
was won by Dick Hallagan (Newark NY). The overall winner of the Circuit was
current World Champion Tito Gonzalez, sailing with son Diego and Fernando
* The instructors for the One-Design Racing Clinic Association (ORCA)
Advanced Youth Racing Clinic include, Olympic medalists Charlie McKee and
Brian Ledbetter, along with Word Champion and Canadian National Team Coach
- Tine Moberg Parker, elite Optimist coach - Agustin Resano, US World Youth
Team Coach - Mark Laura, and US Youth Champion - Emery Wager. The ORCA
program will consist of morning lectures and evening programs scheduled
around on-the-water drills. Tactics, sail trim and the financial and
personal demands of Youth and Olympic campaigns are included in the
curriculum. The deadline for applications is this Wednesday, March 31.
* Scott MacLeod, a former Senior Vice President at Octagon, has launched
his own sports marketing agency - Force 10 Marketing. Based in Rowayton,
Connecticut, MacLeod's company will provide marketing, public relations,
consulting and management services for international events and sponsors
seeking event marketing expertise. Sailing events will be pivotal for the
fledgling company which joins Stockholm-based Swedish Match AB in managing
the Swedish Match Tour, sailing's professional global match-racing series.
The Force 10 management team, which includes James Pleasance, Melissa
Duhaime, Wendy Hinman and Sean McNeill, will also provide services for
international events such as concerts and culture-oriented festivals.
* We've just posted some 'must see' Thierry Martinez photos of Yves
Parlier's new 60ft catamaran hydroplane with twin rigs: Amazing:
* The Royal Ocean Racing Club will enter four GBR teams into the
forthcoming Rolex Commodores Cup. The teams, allocated by the Offshore
Racing Group of the RYA, will comprise of two English, one Scottish and one
Welsh team. The selection of the two English teams will be based upon
performance in the IRC Trials Series of races, starting on Saturday 5 June,
and if for any reason the Regional Selectors for the Scottish and Welsh
teams are unable to fulfill their slots, the English team selectors will
allocate boats from any of the Trials held. -
One of the great designs of Camet International has been on the drawing
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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 Craig McBurney: Alas, there are two types of people doers and
complainers further defined as entrepreneurs and people who work for
them. Poor David Jeramiah, a fine chap I'm sure, but could be on his way to
becoming the poster child for the complainer camp because of his rhetorical
missive, "What is wrong with US Sailing?" I would like to weigh in for the
doer camp and suggest that we put the proverbial stake in the ground that
from this point forward, let's not complain about US Sailing without also
at least attempting to suggest some proactive solution. This being America,
the land of opportunity and ROI, the complainers are free, for example, to:
1. Quit the day job.
2. Mortgage the house.
3. Start a company to film/produce sailing events.
4. Build a financial model.
5. Secure television distribution.
6. Sell the commercial and sponsorship inventory.
7. Pay for marriage counseling until company pays consistent salaries!
Again, with credits to dear Mr. Jeramiah for so eloquently speaking for the
complainer camp, "With the whole world watching with bated breath you'd
think that 'they' could do a better job with the website for the US Olympic
Star Trials." David "They" is us mate … it's our US Sailing not 'theirs.'
* From Simon Grain: I had the privilege of knowing and sailing with Chris
Timms for many years in Tornados from '73 to '77 and in later years flying
with him including the jet in which he died. We spent many wonderful years
together traveling and campaigning Tornados. If we had been allowed to go
to the Montreal Olympics he may well have had a third medal. He justly
deserves your commendation and remembrance, his untimely death is a shock
to our family as he was like a brother to me as well as my best friend and
he will be sadly missed.
* From John C. Wade: Reading the discussions on rating rules prompts me to
ask what is wrong with the PHRF system. It works well for a wide range of
boats, and for older and newer boats. For older boats there is a great
amount of data available to accurately establish a fair expectation of a
boat's performance in the various sailing areas around the country. For
newer boats, designers and handicappers are supposed to be able to evaluate
the boat's performance, based on known principles of boat design, and then
adjust this over a period of years to establish a pretty accurate rating.
What really seems to be missing here is the evaluation of the skipper/crew.
But, then that's what sailing does. Even in the one design fleet there's
going to be a first and a last.
When the PHRF is knocked, is it in relation to all boats, in all areas, or
just relative to the big, new, maxies? I have never heard sailors complain
about PHRF in my area (Puget Sound). So, what is it about PHRF that is
objectionable? I'll propose an answer: Maybe it's because the boats are
fairly rated, and if you sail to your rating you're going to be
competitive. The guy spending a half-million dollars on a new boat may find
that objectionable. He wants his dollars to equal winning.
* From Jason Holtom (edited to our 250-word limit): Apologies for opening
up an old thread, but sitting in the comfort of my armchair I am definitely
not with Mr. Wheatley on this one. Yes, as sailors I am sure we all prefer
the cut and thrust clichés of one design racing. But even without Orange II
to add to the drama, you have to admire the maxi multihull round the world
record blasts. Few have ever sailed at 20 knots, so imagine relentlessly
pushing at over 30 knots into a Southern Ocean night.
For the record, Geronimo passed south of the Cape of Good Hope after 17
days, 22 hours and 58 mins at sea, 19 hours and 42 minutes ahead of
Orange's 2000 record pace. Cheyenne passed the Cape after 17 days, 23 hours
and 29 mins. As Cheyenne closes on Cape Horn after 39 days at sea, she is
very close to the fastest time to the Horn set by Geronimo in 2003 of 40
days, 16 hours and 19 mins. In 2000 Orange took 42 days, 2 hours 52 mins to
the Horn. Geronimo went on to reach the Equator in 53 days, 9 hours and 37
mins, still 4 hours ahead of Orange in 2000. So, sit back and let the drama
unfold on your computer screen.
P.S In the early hours of Orange II's two failed attempts this year she
looked the most potent of the three contenders.
* From Ralph Taylor: Congratulations to the anonymous race committee in the
Star Olympic Trials for using the black flag on the starts. (This can be
deduced from the article by noting an OCS competitor was allowed to come
back & start properly.) It takes good (No, great) committee work to avoid
general recalls in such a competitive fleet.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Why do people say they "slept like a baby," when babies wake up crying
every few hours?