SCUTTLEBUTT 1546 - March 24, 2004
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US OLYMPIC TRIALS - STAR CLASS
Not quite halfway through the U.S. Olympic Trials for the Star class it
appears that the only two guys who can stop Paul Cayard and crew Phil
Trinter from winning the sole prize trip to Athens are . . . Cayard and
Trinter. And they nearly did so Tuesday, before winning both races to
extend their lead to 14 points over Vince Brun/Mike Dorgan and 15 over
George Szabo/Mark Strube after 7 or 16 scheduled races.
"We basically broke our mast on the way out to the course," Cayard said.
Oh, is that all?
They had just exited the harbor into windy Biscayne Bay when the backstay
slipped out of its cleat and their Olympic campaign almost came tumbling
down. If it had happened later---say, late in the first race, with no time
to change before the second race - the event would be looking at new
leaders over the midway break for a lay day Wednesday. Instead, they got a
quick tow back in and replaced the mast in only 17 minutes. "What's good is
we kept our composure and were settled down at the starting line," Cayard said.
Composure was an asset on a day when the wind was blowing so hard---a
steady 20 knots-plus, touching 29 at one point - that the race committee
held the boats ashore for an hour and a half until 11:30 a.m. when it
seemed to be settling at 20. From there, after the mast hiccup, Cayard and
Trinter scored their second and third wins by nine seconds over Brun/Dorgan
and 20 seconds over Szabo/Strube. Their log of finishes in the 22-boat
fleet now reads 2-(6)-1-2-3-1-1.
The latter teams moved up a notch as Eric Doyle and crew Brian Sharp, who
won the first two races Saturday, dropped to fourth overall with their
worst two finishes, 10th and 12th. More significant was their involvement
with Mark Reynolds in an incident at the start of the second race that set
back the four-time Olympian and triple medallist just as he appeared to be
finding his stride.
Reynolds, with crew Steve Erickson, made his move from seventh place
overall by chasing Reynolds across the finish line for second place in the
first race. But in the pre-start maneuvering for the second race Reynolds
found himself squeezed off between Doyle and the committee boat. When they
touched, the foul was on the windward boat - Reynolds - requiring a
720-degree penalty turn (two complete circles) as the fleet sailed away.
Reynolds/ Erickson did well to come back to 15th place but actually moved
up a notch to seventh in the standings.
With a lay day Wednesday, the RC hopes to return with three races Thursday
to get the event back on schedule for the last four days into Sunday. -
Rich Roberts, YachtRacing.com website, full story and great photos:
Leaders (22 boats, 7 of 16 races, one discard):
1. Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter, 2-(6)-1-2-3-1-1, 10 points.
2. Vince Brun/Mike Dorgan, (23/OCS)-9-2-1-4-5-3, 24.
3. George Szabo/Mark Strube, 4-5-(14)-9-14-2, 25.
4. Eric Doyle/Brian Sharp, 1-1-9-8-5-10-(12), 34.
5. John MacCausland/Brad Nichol, N.J., 6-8-3-6-10-(15)-5, 38.
6. Mark Reynolds/Steve Erickson, 5-2-10-7-13-2-(15), 39.
7. Howie Shiebler/Will Stout, 3-3-6-(23/OCS)-12-9-6, 39.
8. Rick Merriman/Bill Bennett, 7-4-(17)-13-2-7-9, 42.
9. Andrew MacDonald/Austin Sperry., 11-7-5-4-6-(13)-10, 43.
10. Andy Lovell/Magnus Liljedahl, (23/OCS)-23/DNS-4-3-11-3-7, 51.
Complete standings: www.ussailing.org/olympics/olympictrials/2004
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
"The biggest victory of the day was being able to stay focused and composed
after a morning like that. Twenty years ago I could not do that." - Paul Cayard
UPDATE: KIWI OLYMPIC TEAM
The man with perhaps the most to gain in the Olympic yachting selection
saga has pulled himself out of the running for Athens. Nik Burfoot finished
third in the national Laser trials but had a second chance at selection
after the Sports Disputes Tribunal directed the top three place-getters
were to sail-off for the Olympic berth at May's world championships in
Turkey. However, Burfoot has decided not to compete at the worlds or any
European regatta that might fall within the selection criteria.
Burfoot says Hamish Pepper is the best representative as he won the
national trials fair and square in conditions similar to Athens. He says
the whole situation is a mess, and regardless of who ends up going, their
medal chances are going to be seriously diminished. He does not believe a
second chance for Olympic selection is an option as it defeats the purpose
of running the trials the way they did. - NZ Herald, full story:
FOUR HELMSMAN AND EIGHT GORILLAS
(Neal McDonald is currently planning his fifth around the world race, this
time in partnership with his wife Lisa. The Bang the Corner website asked
Neal about some of the issues surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race 2005. Here's
an excerpt from that interview.)
BTC: The perfect crew for a Volvo 60 was once described as '4 helmsman and
8 gorillas'. What is your preferred blend for a Volvo 70? Will the inshore
racing make a big change to the crew selection?
McDonald: The next race will require a very similar sailing team as last
time -dedicated, professional sailors who as a group can work together
towards a common goal. Yes there will be over 20% of the points in the
inshore racing but the last three races has already shown that you need
guys who are capable of racing inshore, as well as around the world
sailors. The average age will be about the same - as ever you will need a
handful of sailors who have been around the world but on the whole I will
be looking for a very similar make up as I would have in the last race.
BTC: Do you think that the organizers have got the crew number right? In
the Volvo ocean race 2005 code zeros are banned and there is talk about
furlers and snuffers to aid crew maneuvers. What is your opinion about this?
McDonald: Firstly for the new boat the crew number has been reduced - and
whatever the number you still need a dedicated navigator. The new boats are
bigger, they do have bigger sails but they have less of them. Each sail
change will be more physical than they were in the previous class but I
think that there will be far less changes to do - there has to be - with
less sails the range of the sails has to be bigger. Also this time the rule
makers have gone out of there way to try and outlaw code zero type masthead
"jibs" which will be one less head ache. I'm not a big fan of snuffers or
furlers - at this stage I doubt they will be common place in the next race
but there is little doubt they will be considered and probably tried out by
most teams. My personal belief is if they end up being widely used in the
fleet then the rule has gone too far in the reduction of crew. - Bang the
Corner website, full story:
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TWO BOAT TESTING
The Pyewacket & Morning Glory racing programs have built two identical
canting keeled, (86-foot) racing maxis of the drawing board of Reichel Pugh
yacht design. After months of sea trialing and development, this new bread
of racing maxi finally hit the racing scene last week during the Heineken
regatta, in St Martin. After months of sea trialing and development, this
new bread of racing maxi finally hit the racing scene last week during the
Heineken regatta, in St Martin. Both boats enjoyed some incredibly close
racing in 25 - 30 knot winds. Morning Glory was the eventual victor, wining
three races to Pyewacket's one. The boats proved to be incredible
performers, VMG upwind speeds of around 11 knots, and downwind speeds that
were seldom lower than the wind speed. The general consensus on the dock
was that the boats are incredibly physical to sail. 40 ft spinnaker poles
and 660 square meter spinnakers keep the crews very busy and bruised.
During the development of the boats, there has been a free flow of
information between the two teams, allowing for the rapid development of
the boats and the crews. Following the four days of racing the boats lined
up for a week of two boat testing. This proved to be an extremely
informative week, as there are a lot more variables to be nailed down when
you are trying to balance two moving foils evenly. The future looks as
though it is going to see some incredibly close racing, and a lot of race
records falling to the new bread of ocean racing greyhounds. - Excerpts
from a report by professional sailor Richard Mason on the brand new
SailCity website. Full report:
ROUND THE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPTS
* As the wind started to 'clock' from the S towards the SW Cheyenne started
her Eastward journey across the Low pressure trough earlier today. Steve
Fossett confirmed at in a quick call: "We're going to invest a day in
crossing this Low, getting a better position before turning North again".
The 173 nm achieved so far today leaves Fossett and crew approx 1000 miles
ahead of the 2002 RTW record position of Orange. But in 2004 (for now, at
least) the real opponent is the weather. Having said that, a 20 knot
average from this point forward should break the record -
* Olivier de Kersauson and team aboard the 110ft trimaran Geronimo crossed
the longitude of Cape Leeuwin (Australia) at 1050 GMT today but were unable
to break the Ushant to Cape Leeuwin speed record. Their time of 26 days, 11
hours, 33 minutes for the passage from Ushant to Cape Leeuwin is slightly
slower than de Kersauson's own record time of 26 days, 4 hours, 53 minutes,
13 seconds, set on his Jules Verne Trophy attempt last year. (Cheyenne
sailed by US record-hunter Steve Fossett, covered the distance from Ushant
to Cape Leeuwin in 25 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes on her current attempt to
beat the round-the-world crewed record outside the Jules Verne Trophy
regulations.) - Yachting World website, full story:
Geronimo website: http://www.trimaran-geronimo.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
* Ten Time National Champion Andy Burdick bested 78 boats in the 10th
annual MC Midwinters hosted by the Lake Eustis Sailing Club, Eustis, FL.
With two races Thursday followed by no wind on Friday, and a final two on
Saturday, Burdick won over second place finisher Kelly Reese. Dick Tillman
took 4th just behind Ed Durant from Augusta, Ga. As one of the fastest
growing One Design classes in the country, and being sailed by sailors from
age 14 to 80, the class will host over 100 boats this August in Culver,
Indiana for the MC Nationals! www.mcscow.org
* The Bermuda Sloop Foundation signed the $3.3m contract with Rockport
Marine, Rockport, Maine, to build an 88' (112' sparred length)
Bermuda-Sloop rigged sail training vessel. Langan Design Associates
(Newport, RI) designed the schooner - the concept design by Bermudian Bill
Nash et al stems from fast civilian "Bermudian" schooners built 1820-1850.
It is not an exact replica or reproduction, but its design does capture the
essence of the low-slung hull shape with three heavily raked masts of the
era. The hull will be cold-molded while the masts will be carbon-fibre.
* Jane Correia, 41 has been elected the first ever Commodore of the
160-year old Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC). When she joined RBYC 20 years
ago, women still weren't allowed in the main bar of the club. Correia is
married with a son and a stepdaughter.
* Corprotex has been named the official apparel suppliers for Sir Chay
Blyth's Global Challenge 2004/ 05. This is the second time Corprotex has
supplied clothes for the race. More than 40,000 garments were sold during
the 2000/2001 event along the race route and orders were also dispatched as
far a field as Indonesia, Dubai and Belize - thousands of miles from the
fleet's route. www.challengebusiness.com/global
* On 31st May 2004, yachtswoman Karine Fauconnier, skipper of the trimaran
Sergio Tacchini, will be lining up on the start of the single-handed,
Transat Race. Karine is competing 20 years after her father Yvon Fauconnier
won the race on his trimaran Umupro Jardin V in 1984. A rather special win
it was too as Yvon changed course for several hours to rescue Philippe
Jeantot whose boat had capsized. Karine - the only female skipper of a 60
foot trimaran - is currently lying third in the world rankings of the
* Photos on the Mirabella V website show what it takes to install the boom
on a 245-foot sloop: http://tinyurl.com/37lal
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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 Kurt Hoehne: With all due respect to Mr. Wade, perhaps the reason
he's not hearing complaints about PHRF on Puget Sound is that many of us
aren't racing anymore. (You can also track down a copy of April '01 NW
Yachting and read subsequent letters to the editor) It wasn't that long ago
that Center Sound series was pushing 200 entries, and now it's lucky to get
100, half of which sail one design or level. Nobody's saying that's all
PHRF's fault, but I know of many people who've quit racing specifically
because of their dealings with PHRF-NW. And those who quit are not the
megabucks guys at all. The old squeal is: "They only complain because
they're not winning." I happen to feel that most sailors are more
interested in good racing than in winning.
Regionalized power is both the strength and weakness of PHRF. Without an
ombudsman-type national oversight, there's just too much opportunity for
preconceptions, prejudice, politics or ignorance to enter the picture no
matter how good the handicapper. Regardless, PHRF is perceived as
susceptible to those influences, and that is fatal.
But as Mr. McBurney points out, complaining without offering an alternative
isn't helpful. So, many of us have been pushing to give IRC a chance. Now
that US Sailing is getting its pound and acknowledging IRC's existence,
perhaps IRC will get a following. Maybe it doesn't take, maybe it naturally
supplants PHRF, maybe they co-exist. Let's not be afraid and give it a chance.
* From Dave Few: Mr. Wades comments about PHRF were indeed welcome music to
those of us on PHRF committees around the country who toil as volunteers
for many hours each month to do the best we can. He is certainly correct
when he targets the biggest complainers as the new model hot rod owners who
spend the big bucks expecting to be automatic winners. Their ratings are
perhaps initially a bit conservative at times to assure no unfairness to
the rest of the fleet but if in error they get adjusted as data
accumulates. PHRF has been in use on San Francisco bay for over 25 years
now --outlasting all the other rules that come to mind--except possibly the
CCA which I don't recall how long it lasted.
* From Jefferson Hall (In response to Ralph Taylor's comments): I'm sure
that the race committee is doing a fine job at the Star Olympic trials,
however, let's not create imaginary black flag scenarios. While he is
correct in stating that the black flag reduces general recalls in an
aggressive fleet, it does not allow an OCS boat to return and restart. As
described in rule 30.3, OCS starters under the black flag must sit out the
race. As someone who's seen the wrong side of a black flag start and felt
the shame of watching their regatta dreams sail off, I wanted to clarify
this so nobody mistakenly took Ralph's comments as correct. As a side note,
Curmudgeon, do you validate reader's claims pre-publication, or do you put
them out there for us to rebut?
Curmudgeon's Comment: You should never assume that publication denotes
agreement. Never! I'm sure regular readers recognize the unspoken joy we
derive from providing readers with the vehicle to shot themselves in the foot.
* From Cameron McIntyre <firstname.lastname@example.org> (In response to
Craig McBurney's letter on 3.23): I have long been waiting for the
opportunity to start or work for a company to film/ produce sailing events,
and would gladly quit the day job, have no house to mortgage, but will lend
the use of my truck, assist in building a financial model using my previous
film producing experience, put every potential television distributor on
speed dial, sell the commercial and sponsorship inventory door to door
around the world, and as long as my dog gets fed no counseling will be
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't go wrong at once.