SCUTTLEBUTT 1566 - April 21, 2004
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APPARENTLY NELSON AND SPITHILL WILL BE LEARNING ITALIAN
In a long interview by Gian Luca Pasini in the Italian newspaper "La
Gazzetta dello Sport," Francesco de Angelis speaks about his new America's
Cup campaign. Apparently, de Angelis will be the helmsman again, but he
announced that James Spithill has signed on for Luna Rossa Challenge. And
Torben Grael may also be on the team again, but Grael will decide that
after Olympics Games. According to the story, the new design team will be
Biscottini (ex Oracle), Claudio Maletto and American Bruce Nelson.
Translated by Google: http://tinyurl.com/3g6lb
CONGRESSIONAL CUP - SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Long Beach, Calif. -- Peter Gilmour seems bent on making the world of the
Swedish Match Tour his own private pond. Already the winner of two of the
first three events on the 2003-04 tour in Japan and Bermuda, the Australian
veteran blew out of the gate with five wins in as many races on the first
day of the 40th Congressional Cup Tuesday. "It was fun to be back on the
water," he said. "It was a beautiful day out there."
Easy for him to say. The first day's results ranged from his 5-0 perfecto,
shadowed closely by New Zealand's Gavin Brady and Denmark's Jes Gram-Hansen
at 4-1, to a windup round that saw two guys named Dickson and Coutts
fighting each other to avoid the prospect of starting 0-5---Long Beach's
Scott Dickson, younger brother of Chris, and New Zealand's Allen Coutts,
nephew of Russell. Dickson won, salvaging a measure of local pride.
Through the day there were 45 protests; 16 resulted in penalties by the
umpires tracking the races, including a red flag against New Zealand's
Kelvin Harrap (2-3) for a flagrant foul, meaning he had to do his penalty
The standard Long Beach sea breeze was chilly for late April, but as it
built from 7 to 15 knots through the afternoon Bobby Frazier's race
committee snapped off five fast rounds with hardly a hiccup, leaving 13
rounds to sail leading into Saturday's best-of-three semifinals and finals.
The course was a half-mile windward-leeward, twice around, with the Queen
Mary a distant backdrop in the harbor.
Standings (after 5 of 18 rounds): 1. Gilmour, 5-0; 2. tie between
Gram-Hansen and Brady, 4-1; 4. tie between Hutchinson and Baird, 3-2; 6.
tie between Harrap and Appleton, 2-3; 8. tie between Rahm and Dickson, 1-4;
10. Coutts, 0-5. - Rich Roberts, www.lbyc.com
FOR THE RECORD
Geronimo finally crossed the Equator at 02:10 GMT Tuesday morning, bogged
down in a very widespread and mobile Doldrums. It had therefore taken the
grey trimaran 54 days, 2 hours and 52 minutes to re-cross this imaginary
line between the two hemispheres. They are now just under one day behind
Orange's Jules Verne record and virtually four days behind Cheyenne's new
round the world record.
In his radio interview of this morning, the Cap Gemini and Schneider
Electric trimaran skipper Olivier de Kersauson said "The crew is doing
everything to get home as quickly as possible, of course, but I simply
can't tell you when!" To win back the Jules Verne Trophy, the 11-man crew
must cross the finish line before 07:54 GMT (09:54 French time) on 30
April, but they'd need to get there this Saturday morning to beat Steve
Fossett's new round the world record - a fact that curiously is not
mentioned on trimaran's website.
Day 54 Update: Geronimo advanced 260 nautical miles in 24 hours, for an
average speed of 10.8 knots. http://www.trimaran-geronimo.com/
NO WEED SPEED
In stock now at Ockam - the CS4500 Ultrasonic Boatspeed sensor. Another
amazing product from Airmar, our supplier of the Depth/Temp NMEA
Smartducer. Flush mounted with a hard, smooth surface, no moving parts,
removable sensor in a nylon or bronze thru-hull. No more boatspeed problems
caused by seaweed or other junk catching in the paddlewheel. No more
damaged paddlewheels from lifting slings or lobster pots. On-the-water
testing proved excellent accuracy and responsiveness. Fully compatible with
both the Tryad T2 multiplex interface and older style Model 015 Boatspeed
Interface. For more information contact Tom Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your
Ockam dealers: http://www.ockam.com
A HISTORY LESSON - Tom Ehman
In yesterday's 'Butt the assertion is made, yet again, that "Stars &
Stripes" lost the Cup in 1983 "by not covering" AUS II on the "fateful
final leg of that race." That's not how I remember it.
During that race I was watching from the bow of the Jury Boat (NYYC's
America's Cup Committee boat), the closest and best viewing position.
First, it was on the penultimate leg (the run), not the final leg (a beat),
that Australia II passed Liberty (not S&S). One did not need a PJ
Montgomery commentary to realize, in the first minutes of that run, that
AUS II was sailing significantly lower and faster than Liberty.
Nonetheless, Liberty did cover AUS II. Indeed, the argument could be made
that Liberty should have split big-time from AUS II early in the leg in an
attempt to find better pressure or angles. But Dennis & Co. did the
conservative and proper thing -- they covered.
Even if Liberty had jibed away from AUS II early in the leg for any length
of time, JB & Co. may well have "covered from behind" by jibing with them
to stay close so they could continue to grind them down and not give
Liberty any "leverage." Moreover, in 1983 it was not the relatively short,
quick 3.0 mile legs the much faster ACC yachts race these days, but a 4.5
mile run in heavy, slow boats now often referred to, with some affection,
as "12 pounders."
Regardless, it probably would not have mattered. The breeze was reasonably
consistent across the course, and a much faster AUS II was steadily
grinding Liberty down. The only question was whether there was enough
"runway" for AUS II to get past Liberty before the bottom mark. Remember,
too, that AUS II was the first boat to go to minimum 12-Metre length and
displacement, and that she had significantly less wetted-surface than any
other Twelve -- relatively speaking, a downwind flyer especially in the
light, flat conditions of that late afternoon.
Dyer Jones, NYYC's meticulous and fair-minded 1983 AC Race Committee
chairman (now the 2007 AC Regatta Director), said, "I wholeheartedly agree
with that assessment. You will recall that I and my Committee were aboard
Black Knight. When the yachts started their 4th leg (upwind), BK preceded
them up the leg and had to go to windward of the not inconsiderable
spectator fleet gathered in the vicinity of Mark 4 in order to get a decent
wind direction and velocity reading. After rounding, both yachts were
rolling the wind out of their spinnakers, barely able to keep them full,
but AUS II clearly had better VMG to the bottom (5th) mark."
Liberty tactician Tom Whidden, at a dinner last evening on the West Coast
in honour of his upcoming induction into the AC Hall of Fame, told the
story of the most interesting race of his career which, of course, was Race
7 of the '83 Cup. "We lost half our lead in the first 10 minutes of a
45-minute leg, we jibed in front of them, and they just sailed through us
That Team DC got the series to 3-3 was some achievement if not a minor
miracle. AUS II was the faster boat, well sailed and it held together --
the winning formula in every Cup match except, arguably, 1934. An excellent
race, and series, between two of the finest crews ever to grace an AC race
Historical footnote... No surprise, passing in the AC happens far more
often downwind because it is difficult to defend against the trailing boat.
Today, for the sake of closer and more tactically-interesting races,
windward-leeward courses are used not only for the AC and other match
racing, but, increasingly, for fleet racing by well-managed classes such as
the Farr 40 and Star.
CARIBBEAN RACING HEATS UP - NEEDS TO COOL OFF
The crew aboard Pyewacket, Titan and many other high performance boats know
all about how heat destroys covers. Samson ICE helps keep their high load
lines protected and cool running. We'll be there to support them at Antigua
and wish them well on the circuit. http://www.samsonrope.com
* If you could not pony up the big bucks necessary for eBay auctions to
sponsor an AC campaign, or a Volvo Ocean Race syndicate or Cam Lewis'
maxi-cat program, you may want to check out Bruce Schwab's eBay auction for
his Vendee Globe campaign. It cost a lot less to 'Buy it Now' than on the
other sailing auctions, but what you're buying is significantly different:
* The French K-Challenge America's Cup syndicate has announced that they
will be unveiling their "new boat and sports programme" this coming Friday
at Le Yacht Club de France. And in addition to having Thierry Peponnet,
K-Challenge Skipper and Double Olympic Medallist on hand, they also
promised to introduce "the skipper of the syndicate which formerly owned
the boat." (They sent the curmudgeon an invitation to the Press Conference,
but unfortunately, I could not find the airline ticket in the e-mail.)
* This year's Tommy Bahama Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race will have more
than 450 entries. On the modified and Tripp 40, B'Quest, the Challenged
America Team of nine will consist of sailors with amputation, arthritis,
cancer, hearing impairment and other disabilities. These experienced
sailors come from Orange County and San Diego, California, North Dakota,
and Mexico. For most of these sailors, this will be their first Newport to
Ensenada race, but it's the third consecutive year that Team Challenged
America has entered the race. www.ChallengedAmerica.org
* The 75th Anniversary of the yacht design firm of Sparkman & Stephens,
Inc. is being celebrated July 10 at Mystic Seaport. Extensive displays of
many classic as well as new S&S designs will be present along with a series
of activities of interest. Olin Stephens II will be present as well as
prominent builders and yacht designers from all over the world. In
addition, a series of events after the celebration are also planned. Owners
of yachts designed by S&S are encouraged to attend.
* Historically, the high profile regattas are for the buoy racers. However
in addition to the buoy racing at this year's North Sails Race Week in Long
Beach, California, there will be two days of Random Leg racing for boat
owners who prefer longer legs. These boats will have one Random Leg race
each day on both June 26 and July 27. "We think this will create some
excitement for PHRF owners who do not have the opportunity to compete in
major regattas like Key West Race Week or the Big Boat Series" said
co-event director Bruce Golison. - www.Premiere-Racing.com
(The Daily Sail website did a comprehensive interview with Alinghi's
Sporting Director, Jochen Schuemann. Here's a mini excerpt dealing with the
role of Peter Holmberg in the Ainghi program.)
The Daily Sail: How will Peter Holmberg fit into the team?
Jochen Schuemann: We have been short always with afterguard in Team
Alinghi. Two boat sailing I was kind of alone challenging Russell in our
sparing sailing and in our in-house racing and even in the races I was on
the race boat joining Russell so we never had the complete second
afterguard. And that is why it was an early conclusion that we needed a
TDS: Peter will primarily drive the B boat?
JS: We always had the philosophy that there is no A and B team. We work on
an even level with all our crews rotating a lot. Basically we want to give
everyone the chance to prove how good he is and to have his chance to be on
the race boat and to race. This is more important than ever for Alinghi,
because we have to have a very motivated team in our in-house testing and
racing because we only have a maximum of nine races in the coming Cup. So
we can't live with a situation where people are cruising and not fully
motivated. That is why it is important to have an open situation and
everyone takes his chance and is pushing hard. www.thedailysail.com/
SPAR LIGHT, SPAR TIGHT?
There's no need to wish for proper spar tune. Visit our website and read
Hall's "Essential Rig Tuning Manual." It has step-by-step instructions for
achieving proper fore-and-aft tune (rake and bend) as well as lateral tune
(getting the mast straight). Tighten that rig and then hold it in place
with Spartite. Buy Spartite online in our "Accessories" store, along with a
new Loos tension gauge, an Awlgrip touch-up kit, rigging tape, a new
Windex, a longer winch handle...everything on your wish list.
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 Skip Lissiman: Megan Bried brings up a good point when talking about
the last race of the 1983 America's Cup. Everyone knows that wings on a
keel are only effective upwind and are parasitic drag downwind - if you had
a choice - you would take them off downwind - which you obviously can't do.
So why did Australia II catch and pass Liberty downwind in the last race of
the 1983 America's Cup? Was it because Ben Lexcen designed a faster
downwind boat than Liberty? Was it because Liberty didn't cover? Was it
because the Australia II crew were better at sailing their boat downwind?
Was there better breeze on the side of the course where Australia II was?
The answer is a combination of the last three. Yes - there was slightly
better breeze on the left side of the course. Yes - the Australia II crew
had vastly more experience sailing downwind that the Liberty crew.
Australia II had sailed close to 50 races, either full AC courses or
shortened versions prior to the start of the AC. Liberty had sailed in
(from memory) only one full AC course prior to the '83 Cup. Yes Liberty
didn't cover - why?
So why the NYYC lost the cup because Ben Lexcen designed a better boat? No
- but it helped - but not on the second last leg of the last race. So give
Ben Lexcen due credit alongside Alan Bond and John Bertrand in the AC Hall
* From Red Webb (re Megan Breid's letter): If only history was so kind to
us all in our changings...but alas. Stars & Stripes (US55 & US1, et al) did
not sail in 1983 against Australia2 (KA6). Liberty (US 40) was the
Defender. And, for many on all sides...a new Life began. Now, all we need
to do is to determine the position of the apostrophe in Americas Cup.
That'll show some thoughts on ownership.
* From Manfred C. Schreiber, Germany: It is always good to dig into history
for a better understanding and therefore I must mention here the one race
in 1983, when Australia II was leading by 7 min or more though they had
been blanketed nearly all the time by the big Coast Guard vessel. Time ran
out for them though they were close to victory. The Aussies also lost
points due to technical breakdowns, e.g. sailing with a broken headboard or
halyard and didnīt their steering gear failed lying in front in one race?
Oh dear, I was out there but memory is fading with time. Cīmon, the Aussies
have beaten Liberty and thus the Cup came alive. Give them respect.
* From Douglas Logan: The letter from Peter Sherwood about the ill-advised
notion of foaming 420 masts was one of the best I've seen in Scuttlebutt
for a long time. It was expert, factual, clear, friendly, and helpful to
all concerned. I like the buzz about the high-rolling side of the sport
once in a while, but prefer letters like Sherwood's for a steady diet.
* From Bruce Thompson: Peter Sherwood's feelings don't trump physics.
Accepting his 3 liters of water (6.5 pounds) and a 15 foot lever arm, the
heeling moment is almost 100 foot-pounds. Given a typical scoop recovery
where one 100 pound kid stands on the centerboard about 3 feet down, his
righting moment is 300 foot-pounds. This is not trivial. He's lost
one-third of his righting moment. Half a pound or less of foam at 15 feet
is 8 foot-pounds max. This may not be obvious to an adult who does quick
knockdown capsize drills. It will be apparent to a kid whose boat has
turtled and whose mast has flooded with a closed end to prevent outflow as
the mast rises toward horizontal. Mr Sherwood confirms that the masts leak.
We also recommended industrial closed cell pipe insulation which does not
absorb water as wet thermal insulation is useless and would not be
acceptable (think what happens when your clothes get wet).
* From George Albaugh: All this talk about flipping boats and the potential
of the metal (or carbon) spars filling with water and turtling the boat:
yes hanging an old beach bottle to the top of the mast IS ugly and as noted
in previous posts, filling the mast with expandable urethane foam has its
own problems. Margaret Dye in her book Dinghy Cruising offers a simple yet
elegant solution: have your sailmaker remove the headboard and replace it
with a headboard shaped pocket with velcro closures at one side. Insert a
piece of floatation foam in the pocket and close the velcro. A typical
dinghy mast doesn't require all that much floatation to keep the tip from
sinking. One could further have the sailmaker install similar pockets at
the tack and clew to support the boom as well. If and when the foam got
wet, one could remove it to dry, or replace it as necessary. Beyond that,
one could do what I do on my Moth Boat: use wooden spars--Ma Nature's
"carbon fiber". Varnished, vertical grain sitka looks good and the nice
thing about wood as a marine engineering material is--the stuff floats...
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
You know you're getting 'mature' when Happy Hour is a nap.