SCUTTLEBUTT 1576 - May 5, 2004
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digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.
The fact that Valencia is to stage the Americas cup in 2007 has resulted in
a boom of unprecedented proportions according to the latest findings by the
Innovative Real Estate Advisors group. In their latest study, the group
found that there are 31 hotels to be built in Valencia between now and when
the City stages the Americas Cup in 2007, and this will increase the hotels
in Valencia by 40% - mainly in the four-star category. The City has
estimated that the Americas Cup will generate employment for 10,000 people
and add some 1,500 million Euros to the Valencian economy, but many
analysts have expressed fears that unless there is some sort of forward
planning, the city could suffer a slump of unprecedented proportions by
2008. - www.valencialife.net
Curmudgeon's Comment: The largest project is to rehab the harbour. A
massive 800m x 80m channel and accompanying breakwater/groin is to be built
out to the Med. Also, there will be a stylish America's Cup Village, a
fanciful super-yacht berthing mooring ring and a media/broadcast center on
the shore behind the mooring ring. A nifty setup if it all gets done and on
time. There is much dredging and filling to be done in the meantime, and
teams have been promised that the first bases will be ready by April 2005.
But as those who know have said, "compared to what they had to do in
Auckland to build the viaduct, Valencia has twice as much work to do in
half the time."
We've posted photos and drawing of the harbor project on the Scuttlebutt
website along with some before and after photos of Viaduct Basin in Auckland:
The Castorama-B&Q trimaran could go from Newport Shipyard to the record
books. Ellen MacArthur of Great Britain sailed this morning from Newport to
New York Harbor. From there, she'll wait for suitable weather and attempt
the trans-Atlantic solo sailing record. She said that she'll leave no
earlier than Monday. The current record is nearly 10 years old. In June of
1994, Laurent Bourgnon of France sailed Primagaz from Ambrose Light, at the
entrance of the Hudson River, to Lizard Point, at the southwest point of
England, in 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds. MacArthur will
attempt the record along the same route.
While she waits in New York, MacArthur said that one thing that she will do
is sleep. Sailing solo isn't conducive to a lot of sleep. "Four hours will
be a very good night," she said.
The Castorama-B&Q was built last year in Sydney, Australia. The blue and
orange trimaran is 75 feet long and 55 feet wide. Its mast is 100 feet
high. It was sailed to New Zealand, then to the Falkland Islands with
MacArthur and two crew members on board. MacArthur sailed solo from the
Falklands to Newport. The trip from New Zealand to Newport was 15,000 miles.
Sailing the Castorama-B&Q has presented the 5-foot-2 MacArthur with a new
set of challenges. "On the monohull, you can make some mistakes. The boat
can get laid flat and you have a good chance of coming out OK. That margin
doesn't exist on the trimaran," MacArthur said on her Web site.
"Physically, as expected, the maneuvers are tough. Re-hoisting the
mainsail, for example, is a 35-minute, full-on, exhausting grind. This is a
new level of physical challenge for me. - Mike Batista, Newport Daily News,
full story: www.newportdailynews.com/articles/2004/05/04/news/news2.txt
THAT'S A COMPASS?
The reaction to Ockam's latest recommended component, the amazing
Teeter-Todter 3D compass (Ockam part# 033TT) has been consistent: Initial
surprise that this domino-size device could even be a 3D compass, followed
by amazement at its fantastic performance. Fast, rock solid output of
heading (pitch and roll, too) which enables noticeably quicker and more
accurate True Wind functions. Be amazed. Units are in stock now to turbo
charge your Ockam system. http://www.ockam.com http://www.ockameurope.com
COACH GEORGE WOOD
George Wood is flat out one of the premier sailing coaches in the country.
Wood has been the architect behind the College of Charleston's outstanding
sailing program and one of the key reasons why the Cougars have enjoyed so
much success on the water. Since Wood took over the program fulltime in
1980, the College of Charleston has had a remarkable 89 All-Americans,
three College Sailors of the Year, won ten national sailing championships
and three Fowle Trophies.
Chris Larson captured the first College Sailor of the Year honor for the
Cougars in 1988. Andy Lovell in 1991 and then Tyler Moore in 1994 followed
him. Which is sort of like having three Heisman Trophy winners within seven
years. This guy is to college sailing what Alabama's Bear Bryant was to
college football. Which is probably the reason he was named to the
Intercollegiate Sailing Hall of Fame in 2000. This year has been no
exception for the sailors from College of Charleston, despite the fact that
Wood believes it is a rebuilding year for the Cougars. Currently the Coed
team in ranked ninth in the country and the women's team is rated fourth in
the nation. - John Gregg, West Marine website, full story:
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Porto Azzurro, Italy - In rotten sailing conditions suited more for luck
than match-racing, three flights were completed on the first day of the
third annual Toscana Elba Cup Trofeo Locman, an event of the Swedish
Match Tour. Intermittent rain coupled with huge wind shifts and gusts made
for a radical day of sailing. No lead was safe. "It was puffy, it was
shifty, it was crappy," said John Cutler (NZL/Mascalzone Latino) who went
1-1 on the day. "But it was what it was."
The race committee postponed racing this morning at 9:00 a.m. due to strong
winds blowing 25 knots and gusting to 28 knots. Weary of damaging the boats
and hindering the racing schedule, the committee decided to postpone until
1:00 p.m. The first flight finally got underway around 2:30 p.m., and it
quickly became apparent that the skippers and crews were going to have a
Magnus Holmberg may have been the luckiest person on the day, but it wasn't
due to a windshift. Leading Presti in his Flight 1 match, Holmberg broached
on the first run in a 20-knot puff and 30-degree shift, and wound up well
to the right side of the leeward mark. Presti sailed through and took a
10-boatlength lead. He also had a penalty against Holmberg for a pre-start
incident. With a comfortable advantage and a penalty against his opponent,
Presti should've been home free. But he inexplicably rounded the leeward
mark to begin a third lap in the two-lap race. Holmberg sailed toward the
finish, performed his penalty turn and won the match while Presti sailed
upwind. - Sean McNeill, www.swedishmatchtour.com
Toscana Elba Cup Trofeo Locman Standings
1. Karol Jablonski (POL/Toscana Challenge) 2-0
2. Gavin Brady (NZL/Oracle BMW Racing) 1-0
= Jesper Radich (DEN/Team Denmark) 1-0
= Bertrand Pacé (FRA/Team France) 1-0
5. Paolo Cian (ITA/Riviera di Rimini Sailing Team) 1-1
= Magnus Holmberg (SWE/SeaLife Rangers) 1-1
= Michael Dunstan (AUS/OzBoyz Challenge) 1-1
= John Cutler (NZL/Mascalzone Latino) 1-1
9. Peter Gilmour (AUS/Pizza-La Sailing Team) 0-1
= Ed Baird (USA/Team Musto) 0-1
= Russell Coutts (NZL/Alinghi Team) 0-1
12. Philippe Presti (FRA/le Défi) 0-2
THEY ARE EVERYWHERE....
From crews on Max Z86s to Farr 40s to J-120s and 29ers, its popularity is
spreading like no other apparel in the industry. The patented Dryshirt's™
are being ordered by Yacht Clubs, Junior Programs, race teams and event
organizers at an amazing pace. Dryshirt™ material is completely different
from Nike Dryfit or Coolmax™. The Dryshirt™ repels water, is breathable,
maintains an SPF 50 whether fully immersed or on deck in the baking sun. No
other gear offers this level of comfort and protection from the sun and
spray. For a list of dealers: 1(800) 354-7245.
WOMEN'S MATCH RACING
Jenny Axhede and her crew from Sweden have won the VI International Women
Match Racing Criterium. Axhede defeated Lotte Meldgaard from Denmark 2-0 in
the final of the ISAF Grade 1 event yesterday on Calpe Bay. After winning
eight of their eleven matches in the round robins, Axhede went on to defeat
Claire Leroy in the semi-final and then Meldgaard in the final. -
1. Jenny Axhede, Sweden
2. Lotte Meldgaard, Denmark
3. Claire Leroy, France
4. Christelle Philippe, France
5. Liz Baylis, U.S.A.
6. Marie Faure, France
7. Nina Braestrup, Denmark
8. Christine Briand, France
9. Sandy Hayes, U.S.A
10. Sabrina Gurioli, Italy
11. Aimee Fami;arpo, New Zealand
12. Vicenta Muros, Spain
Event website: http://www.cncalpe.com/
* The World Sailing Speed Record Council confirmed the time of 63 days 13
hours 59 minutes and 46 seconds achieved by Olivier de Kersauson in
Geronimo for the Jules Verne Trophy.
* The 2005 OKI European Challenge is now offering the potential crew of
their matched Beneteau First 47.7 yachts the additional choice of taking
part in either the northern or the southern legs of the event, as well as
completing the entire 16-week race from Poland to Monaco. The costs for
crew to participate in either sector are £6,150.00, with the costs for crew
sailing the entire race £9,950.00 (Euro 14,000.00). Potential crew members
will need no previous sailing experience and will be fully trained to
compete in the event. - www.okieurochallenge.com
* Ron Holland Design is trying to track down 'Regardless' - a 40 footer
built in Florida by Kiwi Yachts. They are doing some research in relation
to the Fastnet '79 memorial and museum launch for this coming August and
would like to know who owns the yacht now - Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
* The next release of the ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be Thursday 6
May 2004. This release will include all results since the last ISAF World
Sailing Rankings release of 14 April, up to and including most recently the
Star World Championship and Semaine Olympique Française.
MEXORC CLASS A WINNER JAKE WOODS!
With his Samson loaded Mull 80, Sorcery, Jake was the winner. Providing all
Samson lines and sailing on board was Alan Blunt from SeaTek. The big red
boat has a new set of Samson ICE runner tails that will eliminate cover
abrasion in high load applications. Visit Samson at http://www.samsonrope.com
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 Susanne Lammot (Kevin Hall's mother): As you know, Kevin has finally
achieved his dream - the dream he had when he started competitive sailing,
long ago - he will sail in the Olympics, and represent his country! It has
been a long hard battle, on and off the water - (and the "legal battle" is
not over yet).
Thank you for recommending that we all read the entire article about Kevin
in The Daily Sail - April 21st. It certainly tells his story well … but for
Kevin there is a much bigger picture - to quote him, before the 1996
"I feel that winning a medal in the Olympics would not be for me, but for
everyone who may not get the chance to try. I hope my success will give
others the strength to make their own dreams real. It is these dreams which
allow us to win life's most difficult challenges when they arise. If I
could give everyone a gift, it would be that they find something in life
that they are so passionate about, it would help them win a fight for their
life, if they needed to. I would wrap this gift in the condition that they
never have to fight, and that they always are joyful about their passion,
and passionate about their joy."
* From Scott Gregory: The critique by Magnus Wheatley of the Star Class
Olympians seeking gold in Athens in 2004 was excellent. I thoroughly
enjoyed reading about the perceived strength and weaknesses of the best one
design sailors in the world. It clearly demonstrates the benefits of
competitive one design racing. Competitors more clearly understand boat
speed and the strength and weaknesses of not only the competition but
themselves. A competitive one design class provides a constantly evolving
benchmark to test an individuals or teams skills and increases the ability
to recognize and make small adjustments in technique that produce
remarkable results on the race course.
* From John Church: If Mr. Wheatley is to have any credibility in assessing
and making commentary on the Star Class, he should take a page from the
friendly Curmudgeon and "save the personal attacks." I have no idea what he
has against Paul Cayard, but calling him an 'Old Man' is out of bounds.
Particularly when he praises others for 'experience'. I hope for Paul's
(and Phil's and, most of all, America's) sake "the outside chance" you
refer to winds up a 'Gold'-en egg on your face.
* From Mark Lammens (re Magnus Wheatley's assessments of who is going to be
in the hunt this summer in Athens, especially regarding mental and
personality shortfalls - edited to our 250-word limit): One should not try
to assess the heads of this level of sailor, keep it to the tasks required.
All of these guys are champions, have won big events, know what the
required pre-regatta work is and how to sail in the 'Show". Also the World
Championships, 100+ boats, Olympics 18+/- boats, different event in many
ways, and the medal possibilities greater then the list provided. Someone
you did not mention could win the Olympics, like DEN, NZL, AUS or CAN.
(Also think of the quality of boats that did not qualify) The thing that is
funny about the Olympics and all of attention it receives is everyone in
the fleet is tied for first for the next few months, and most of them know it.
The keys to Olympic success are staying on task, address weaknesses before,
simplify during the regatta, relax when you are not racing, enjoy the Games
experience and try to stay excited and positive about the opportunity, and
not nervous about screwing up. The best numerical indicator for Olympic
success is top 8's at the last 2 World's or top 3's at other large events
like the Bacardi Cup or Europeans. The guys in this fleet certainly know this.
* From John Avis (In response to Magnus Wheatley's article on Star
Olympians): I would caution him not to count out Ross MacDonald/ Mike
Wolfs. As a past Star World Champion and Bronze medalist, Ross (with Mike)
may be in good form in Athens.
* From Victoria Hamilton: I am a marketing executive and understand why
brands of a for profit company wish to extend themselves. But I am at a
loss to understand why a non profit entity like US Sailing enters into the
business of selling merchandise on any scale other than to those who serve
or are otherwise interested in the organization. Basically, it appears they
gone in to competition with, at least, other clothing retailers. How this
will activity help more people better enjoy sailboat racing? Is US Sailing
a service organization there to support the fundamental elements of the
game, or is it now more focused on revenue generation for the sake of
paying bonuses to employees? It is not inconceivable that US Sailing will
start selling sails.
* From Randy Needham (re Rating rules ... another alternative): There's
another rating/ handicapping rule in widespread use that nobody seems to
have mentioned ... the rule employed by the Caribbean Sailing Association.
This rating rule is measurement based and manages to rate a huge variety of
boats in a workable fashion. Having raced under the system a month ago ...
I was impressed. Maxi's raced against bareboats and nobody complained (too
loudly). Perhaps whatever method that body employs deserves more attention
and / or respect.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to
become a teen-ager who wants to stay out all night?