SCUTTLEBUTT 1565 - April 20, 2004
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A total of 1.8 million tickets for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in August
have been sold so far, organizers ATHOC said Tuesday. Orders for tickets
from the national Olympic committees were up 20 percent compared with the
Sydney Games the organizers added. Revenues from ticket sales to date
amounted to slightly more than 136 million euros, corresponding to 74
percent of ATHOC's target of 183 million euros.
The general public has bought just over 20 percent of the total 5.3 million
tickets on offer for the Olympic Games with four months to go before the
opening ceremony, organizers ATHOC told AFP. At least 20 percent of all
visitors will come from outside Greece, according to the figures. Tickets
sold directly to the public in Europe went to Greek and non-Greek visitors
in a ratio of 4:1, ATHOC said.
Organizers said Wednesday the rate of ticket sales was "impressive,"
compared with previous Olympics. But the city's hoteliers, who have
invested millions in sprucing up their establishments ahead of the Games,
complain of a lack of interest by foreign tourists. Three million tickets
were made available last May, mostly over the internet, to residents of the
European Union and other European countries. - ISAF website,
Athens 2004 website: www.athens2004.com
SOUTH AFRICAN CHALLENGE
The South African America's Cup Challenge training yacht, purchased for R5
million earlier this year, was officially re-named Shosholoza at a ceremony
in Cape Town's Table Bay harbour. Luna Rossa, an Italian entry in last
year's race in Auckland, was completely rebuilt and now features bold new
graphics that incorporate influences from Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele bead work
in a dramatic wave pattern in the colours of the South African flag.
It will be succeeded by two yachts designed from scratch for the
competition. The first will be launched in April next year and the final
version early in 2006. The graphics were designed by Salvatore Sarno, the
managing director of the South African America's Cup Challenge. Sandra, his
wife, cracked the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow of the
yacht. "We are going to Valencia to show our proudness at being South
African," Sarno said. - SABC News website, full story:
Ellen MacArthur sailed her 75-foot trimaran into Newport, Rhode Island on
Monday, completing her 6,500-mile solo voyage from the Falkland Islands.
The decision for B&Q to go to Newport, rather than New York, was taken at
the end of last week by MacArthur and her shore team, to facilitate work on
boat. B&Q will now undergo a series of checks to fully analyze the impact
of the journey from New Zealand. The team will also work through the job
list compiled by Ellen during her journey before going on standby for a
possible transatlantic record attempt. - www.kingfisherchallenges.com
Photos of the boat: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/0418em
What is the longest river in the world? (Answer below)
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MORE BAD NEWS FOR GERONIMO
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran was "well and truly in the
Doldrums", according to her router Pierre Lasnier, who went on to explain
that shortly before this position fix, the trimaran had been struck by a
major storm, combined with calms and a heavy rainstorm. The conditions
surrounding Geronimo at this time were quite typical of the extraordinarily
variable weather contained in the intertropical convergence zone. Despite
previous optimistic forecasts, the Doldrums (or Intertropical Convergence
Zone) have been well and truly in place across the route of Geronimo since
this morning. This infamous area of calms has certainly shrunk, but less
than was predicted and is spreading generously across the full width of the
Atlantic. It is not exceptionally wide north to south, but the trade winds
are very slack on both sides of the Equator. From 4°S to 4°N, the wind is
12 knots at best, all of which adds up to a new obstacle every bit as
formidable as a large Doldrums.
Day 53 Update: Geronimo traveled 445 nautical miles in the last 24 hours
for an average speed of 18.50 knots. They are now behind the position of
Orange I on Day 53 and some 3 ½ days behind the recent track of Steve
Fossett's Cheyenne. - www.trimaran-geronimo.com/
The boats have been drawn. The rotation is set. The 40th Congressional Cup,
is set to begin competition today. It's the only American stop on the
2003-04 Swedish Match Tour currently led by Australia's Peter Gilmour, one
of the favorites. The America's Cup veteran's strongest rivals appear to be
two-time winner Gavin Brady, 2003 world match racing champion Ed Baird of
St. Petersburg, Fla. and '92 winner Terry Hutchinson, who called tactics
for last year's winner, Ken Read, who is not competing. "I sort of see
Gilly, Ed and Gavin through to the semifinals," said Hutchinson. "That
leaves the rest of us fighting it out for the last spot."
Brady, a New Zealander living in Annapolis, Md., is already designated as
helmsman for Oracle BMW's next America's Cup challenge. He is counting this
not only as "a tune-up for the new sailing season" with his new team but a
training step toward Valencia in 2007 because of the weapons of choice: the
sturdy Catalina 37s introduced in 1990. "With these boats, for an America's
Cup team this is the best event to do," Brady said. "The boats are 37 feet
but perform more like 45-footers. If you make a mistake you pay for it for
the next few minutes, like you do in the America's Cup."
Others in the lineup are Scott Dickson, who qualified for the eighth time
by winning the Ficker Cup; Allan Coutts, Kelvin Harrap and Cameron Appleton
of New Zealand; Jes Gram-Hansen, Denmark, and Mattias Rahm, Sweden. They'll
sail a double round-robin of 18 races each to sort out a final four for the
weekend's best-of-three semifinals leading to the best-of-three finals. A
short windward-leeward course will be set in smooth water close to Belmont
Pier, well inside the breakwater.
The seabreeze (from south/southwest) is expected to blow Tuesday and
Wednesday, but the conditions could get dicey on Thursday when offshore
Santa Ana winds are predicted. There is $25,000 in prize money, with $6,000
to the winning team. Live radio commentary of the racing may be heard
worldwide on www.KLBC.org.Video highlights of each day's racing may be
replayed each evening on the club's website, www.LBYC.org. - Rich Roberts
and Sean McNeill
Spain's Iker Martinez and Xavier Fernandez won the 49er World Championship
in Athens with a race to spare. Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks (GBR)
finished second and the German team of Marcus Baur/ Max Groy took third
place in the 14 race series with two discards.
The USA's Tim Wadlow and Pete Spaulding took fifth place in the huge
82-boat fleet - just seven points from a podium position. Gordon Cook and
Ben Remocker from Canada won the Bronze fleet. Event website:
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At the Offshore Challenges base at Cowes Waterfront - Venture Quays in East
Cowes, skipper Nick Moloney and his shore team gathered to watch as the
Open 60 'Skandia' left the boat shed in her new livery to be craned gently
into the water. It has been a long four months of hard work for the team
following a major refit that has included some big modifications to a boat
that was custom-built for Nick's Offshore Challenges team-mate, Ellen
The modifications have included:
* Increasing overall sail area both upwind and downwind in order to make
the boat more powerful.
* Moving furniture below deck in order to make the whole internal living
area more comfortable and practical for my leg length and height,
especially in the nav centre.
* Altered various features like the orientation of the grinding pedestal to
create better ergonomics and larger winches for faster manoeuvres. Changing
the navigational seat which is based on a Formula 1 racing car seat that
can rotate, recline and move across a semi-circle track spanning the nav table.
* New simplified electronics, navigation, media and comms system.
"I believe that we have taken a healthy step forward in our fight against
weight aloft and overall drag for better efficiency. We have gone to great
lengths to assist my mental well being whilst enduring the demands of solo
racing with visions of sustaining high tempo for around 95 days during the
Vendée Globe. The placement of many items have been relocated to save
unnecessary effort thus burning less energy. More comfort for better
results from 15 minute cat naps and resting periods and a reclining racing
car seat that allows me to sleep feet forward which is better for body and
mind when sailing through regions of known debris in the water like logs
off Brazil and ice in the Southern Ocean. " concluded Moloney.
The Open 60 will be officially launched on 17th May in London before
heading to Plymouth for the start of The Transat. Prior to this the boat's
mast will be stepped this week before Nick starts an extensive boat testing
period before his compulsory 750 mile qualification for the solo
transatlantic race. - www.nickmoloney.com
* Veteran Ocean Racer Derek Hatfield and Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges
announce Merfyn Owen and Owen Clarke LLP as the designers of the new Open
60 Spirit of Canada for the 2006 single-handed round the world 5-Oceans
(formerly Around Alone) Race. The new Spirit of Canada will be based on
Ecover, the tank testing work carried out for that program resulted in a
significantly different hull form and sailing characteristics from either
of Clarke's two earlier Open 60's - Kingfisher and Hexagon. -
* Portsmouth, RI. - Hinckley Yacht Services (formerly Little Harbor Marine)
has been sub-contracted by Goetz Custom Boats to assist with commissioning
of four new race boats this spring at Hinckley's Portsmouth facility.
Atalanta II, an IMS Farr 70, was launched in March and will compete in
Antigua Race Week before traveling to Europe for the summer. Three TransPac
52's will also be commissioned and launched in May to race in the local
Newport events starting in June. Esmeralda, Bright Star, and Sjambok
represent the latest Farr designs for the fast growing TP52 class.
* It's obvious that IMS still thrives in the Med. There should be more than
70 boats from 10 countries racing at the Rolex IMS World Championship
co-hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Yacht Club Capri from
* On Wednesday April 14, the ISAF Evaluation Panel concluded two days of
meetings, receiving presentations from the venues bidding for selection to
host the 2007 ISAF World Sailing Championships. The four person Evaluation
Panel, Bjorn Unger (SWE) (centre right) Events Committee Chairman, Ken
Ryan (IRL) ISAF Vice-President, John Doerr Race Officials Committee
Representative and Corinne Rolland-McKenzie Olympic Classes Commission
Representative, supported by ISAF Secretary General Arve Sundheim and
Director of Sailing Jerome Pels will deliver a recommendation to the 2004
Mid-Year Meeting of the ISAF Council, June 5-6 in San Diego, USA. -
* The good life. We've just posted images by photographer Carlo Borlenghi
from the just concluded five-day Nautor Swan Rendezvous in the British
Virgin Islands, where Bitter End YC (Virgin Gorda) was the heart and home
base for the event. Nice - real nice! -
The Nile River in the African continent is nearly 4,200 miles long and
flows northward into the Mediterranean Sea.
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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 Megan Breid: It occurs to me that not one person has made mention of
the last race of the series that saw the America's Cup go to Australia.
Each boat had won three races and Stars & Stripes was in the lead at the
beginning of the last leg of the last race. Either boat could have won
regardless of the configuration of their keel. For whatever reason, Stars &
Stripes made a classical tactical error by not covering Australia II on
that fateful final leg of the race. Had Stars & Stripes won that final
race, would anyone be discussing whether or not Ben Lexcen should be in the
Hall of Fame because of the design of one boat? I think his lifetime of
accomplishment should be the issue.
* From George Bailey: So, Mirabella V is ugly? How can you tell? For
someone who grew up in the 1950's, almost everything built since the 80's
is real ugly. Reverse transoms, reverse or flat sheers, extreme curves on
the cabintops, wide-flat after bodies plus long, narrow flat-sided bow
sections, huge headsails, short booms, booms that droop at the aft end. And
then there are sportboats, which are just giant dinghys with keels.
Clearly, traditional aesthetics plays no role in the design of any of these
boats. The folks who love all these changes, and they are many, are being
inconsistent in dumping on Mirabella V. Or if they are not, then I just do
not see the big difference between Mirabella and the rest. Even uglier?
Perhaps, but the rest are nothing to look at either.
* From Peter Sherwood: I used to work for a sailing school with a fleet of
420's. Capsize drills were an integral part of the beginner's course. I
probably averaged 10 capsizes a week for 3 years, so with some 1500
splashes to my name, I feel I must be close to a world authority on the topic.
420's float quite high in the water so most of the water has already
drained out of the top of the mast by the time it gets to horizontal. The
rest drains out of the bottom well before the mast becomes vertical. The
amount of water we are talking about is very small, (< 3litres) so its
effect on decreasing the righting moment is debatable at best. When
compared to the power of wind on the hull and sails it is indeed
negligible. To say it could case a righting boat to roll straight into
another capsize is just plain fantasy.
Foam inside the mast will prevent water from entering, no argument here.
However, trapped moisture (expandable foam is its porous) would accelerate
corrosion in the mast dramatically. Weight aloft would increase in time as
the foam absorbs more and more water. Running new internal halyards would
be a nightmare. A more practical solution (although somewhat unsightly) is
a plastic bottle attached to the head of the mainsail. It must be at least
4 liters to be effective and has the benefit of being detachable when more
advanced sailors are aboard.
* From Josh Goldberg: Hay curmudgeon - what's happening with the Kan-Do
syndicate's sponsorship for the Volvo Ocean Race? No bids on their recently
concluded eBay auction and no word on their website. Is the party over?
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The shortest distance between two jokes is a straight line.