SCUTTLEBUTT 1602 - June 11, 2004
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IS IT POSSIBLE THE FAT LADY HASN'T SUNG?
Pascual Maragall, the President of Catalunia has been in secret
negotiations with Michel Bonnefous, the President of the Americas Cup
management Committee in order to try and persuade him to stage the
competition in Barcelona and not Valencia. He has allegedly used as an
excuse the failure by the Socialist government in Madrid to support the
event, which would tie in with the fact that the Socialist government has
been dragging its heels over making decisions that directly affect Valencia
and the Americas Cup. This has been in order to give Pascual Maragall and
his team time to try and persuade Mr Bonnefous. It has also been revealed
that Mr Bonnefous apparently is not against the idea, and is also
pressuring the Valencians to advance the necessary works as fast as
possible. However, despite the obvious insult to Valencia, sources at the
Valencia 2007 Consortium have stated that they have been contacted by the
Americas Cup Management team who told then that the alleged negotiations
had not taken place.
In the meantime, and as if to confirm the secret negotiations, a 90-minute
meeting between Valencia Mayoress Rita Barbera, Valencian Economy Conseller
Gerardo Camps and Socialist Finance Minister has failed to make any sort of
progress over the financing of the Americas Cup. As the meeting ended, a
statement from the Ministry alluded to the meeting and stated that in a few
weeks, decisions would be made with regards to the Cup and its necessary
infrastructure in Valencia. Many political analysts have stated that the
Socialists are attempting to try and bring down the Partido Popular
Government in the Valencian Community, and the heel dragging over the Cup
by the central Government would appear to be a part of a continued effort
by Madrid to sink one of the lynchpins of the Aznar Government. Commenting
on the alleged contacts between Mr Maragall and the Americas Cup Committee,
Mr. Camps stated that he found it 'surprising', particularly as Barcelona
had been passed over in the competition to stage the Cup. He added: "When
Barcelona won the competition to stage the Olympic Games, the Valencian
Community congratulated Catalunia and respected the decision. This is the
least that we should expect from Mr. Maragall and his team." -
WOMEN'S MATCH RACING WORLDS
Annapolis, Maryland, USA - Poor wind on the Chesapeake Bay today meant
little racing in the BoatU.S. 2004 ISAF Women's Match Racing World
Championship. The Race Committee from host Eastport Yacht Club had hoped to
finish up the second full round robin among the 16 top-ranked international
women match racers on hand for the event, but with only 24 more matches
sailed today, they remain 20 contests short of the full rotation. Because
the regatta will end on Saturday, at this time organizers are planning to
complete the round robin, hopefully tomorrow, then switch to a
best-two-of-three "knock out" quarter final series in place of the
previously scheduled double round robin among the top eight sailors in the
double round of 16.
Standings after Round Robin 1 and 100 matches of Round Robin 2 (Ties not
- Sally Barkow (ISAF ranked #27), USA, (11-4), (10-3), 21 pts.
- Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen (#4), Denmark, (12-3), (9-3), 21 pts.
- Betsy Alison (#8), USA, (10-5), (8-4), 18 pts.
- Paula Lewin (#9), Bermuda, (9-6), (8-6), 17 pts.
- Elizabeth Kratzig (#23), USA, (6-9), (10-3), 16 pts.
- Claire Leroy (#7), France, (8-7), (8-4), 16 pts.
- Katie Spithill (#16), Australia, (8-7), (8-4), 16 pts.
- Liz Baylis (#5), USA, (8-7), (7-5), 15 pts.
- Jenny Axhede (#12), Sweden, (8-7), (6-7), 14 pts.
- Deb Willits (#20), USA, (8-7), (6-7), 14 pts.
- Christelle Philippe (#15), France, (7-8), (6-6), 13 pts.
- Carol Cronin (#18), USA, (10-5), (3-9), 13 pts.
- Sabrina Gurioli (#10), Italy, (7-8), (2-10), 9 pts.
- Linda Rahm (#19), Sweden, (5-10), (3-8), 8 pts.
- Nina Braestrup (#3), Denmark, (3-12), (4-9), 7 pts.
- Marie Faure (#6), France, (0-15), (2-11), 2 pts.
Event website: www.santamariacup.org
BATTLING THE GULF STREAM SQUALLS…
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Major and disappointing news came from Kiwi Open 60 skipper, Mike
Sanderson, this morning who admitted live on Transat Radio that he had a
broken daggerboard on board Pindar AlphaGraphics. The starboard daggerboard
was "shattered" during the 45 knots that hit the fleet last Friday night.
As soon as the breakage occurred, Sanderson tacked onto starboard which
enabled him to keep the pace with the leader Mike Golding. But in the last
couple of days, Pindar AlphaGraphics was forced to tack back on to port and
since then Sanderson has fallen back into third place, 47 miles off the pace.
Standings @ 0300 GMT on June 11:
ORMA 60 Multis: 1. Geant, Michel Desjoyeaux, finished; 2. Sodebo, Thomas
Coville, finished. 3. Groupama, Franck Cammas, finished
IMOCA Open 60 Monohulls: 1. Ecover, Mike Golding, 408 miles to finish. 2.
Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 46nm distance to leader 3. Pindar Alphagraphics,
Mike Sanderson, 47nm dtl;
Open 50 Multihulls: 1. Trilogic, Eric Bruneel, 705 mtf; 2. Gifi, Dominique
Demachy, 206 nm dtl
Open 50 Monohulls: 1. Artforms, Kip Stone 879 mtf; 2. Wells Fargo -
American Pioneer, Joe Harris, 50nm dtl
Event website: http://www.thetransat.com/
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR - MATCH RACE GERMANY
Langenargen, Germany - Another day with only very light air, but three
skippers still remain alive in the chase for the Mercedes Benz SLK 200 that
will be awarded to the first skipper to win 10 straight races at Match Race
Germany: Jes Gram-Hansen, (5-0), Peter Gilmour (3-0) and Gavin Brady (3-0).
"I imagine the conditions are as testing for the organizers as they are for
the sailors," said Brady, referring to the sweltering, 80-degree-plus
temperatures and nearly non-existent wind.
Chief umpire Jan Stage (DEN) related how the International Jury deducted
three-quarters of a point from Brady's total due to unsportsmanlike
conduct. Stage said an unidentified crewmember from Brady's crew took two
umpire flags off the umpire boat during the boat swap from Group B to Group
A. The incident occurred during a boat swap late in the day, just prior to
the race committee canceling the remaining races. "We thought it was a
serious infringement," said Stage, a member of the jury. "A race might've
been started and we wouldn't have had the flags." Brady downplayed the
incident. "They were taken as a joke," he said. - Sean McNeill,
Round Robin Standings - Group A (After 3 of 5 flights):
1. Peter Gilmour/AUS, Pizza-La Sailing Team, 3-0
2. Gavin Brady/NZL, BMW Oracle Racing, 3-0 (2.25 points, due to Jury
3. Bertrand Pacé/FRA, Team France, 1-2
= Lars Nordbjaerg/DEN, 1-2
= Tino Ellegast/GER, 1-2
6. Karol Jablonski/POL, Toscana Challenge, 0-3
Group B (After 5 of 5 flights):
1. Jes Gram-Hansen/DEN, Team Denmark, 5-0
2. Eric Monin/SUI, 3-2
3. Luc Pillot/FRA, 3-2
4. Mathieu Richard (FRA), 3-2
5. Michael Dunstan/AUS, OzBoyz Challenge, 2-3
6. Ray Davies/NZL, Team New Zealand, 0-5
How fast do you surf downwind…14, 16kts? At 16kts, you travel 260 yards in
just the first 30 seconds after a man-overboard! SeaMarshall automatic
beacons and onboard receivers can mean the difference between successful
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PICKING UP THE PIECES
After a dramatic rescue of Bernard Stamm from the up-turned hull of his
Open 60 (Cheminees Poujoulat-Armor Lux), Stamm's team have lost no time
organising a salvage operation. Last night the Swiss skipper arrived at the
port of St. Johns on Newfoundland's southern extremity, The Avalon
Peninsular. He has now boarded the offshore tug, Alex Gordon, and is
planning to set out and locate Cheminees Poujoulat-Armor Lux. Finding the
60ft monohull will demand extremes of skill and judgement as the yacht's
distress beacon has ceased transmitting a satellite fix - a knowledge of
drift patterns and an accurate assessment of wave and wind conditions will
now become crucial. Should the Alex Gordon discover Stamm's yacht, it is
likely that a diver will be sent to cut away the mast, sails and rigging.
French PRB Open 60 skipper, Vincent Riou, has erected a jury rig using his
retracted daggerboard as a 1.5 metre mast and is making 4 knots in the
direction of Europe. Riou hopes to rendezvous with the motorised trimaran,
Ocean Alchimiste, late tomorrow and will spend an estimated six days under
tow on the return trip to Brittany where a spare mast is awaiting PRB.
Meanwhile, Jean Pierre Dick's only option (after his Open 60 Virbac
dismasted and the entire rig was lost) is to continue his drift eastwards
and wait for his shore crew to arrive on the converted fishing vessel,
* Mike Kalin (Boston, Mass.) has joined US Sailing's coaching program as
the new Laser Youth Development He will be responsible for creating and
coordinating a development program for advanced U.S. youth sailors in the
Laser and Laser Radial. He will organize and conduct Advanced Training
Camps at select junior championships, including the U.S. Junior
Singlehanded Championship (Smythe Trophy) and U.S. Junior Women's
Singlehanded Championship (Leiter Trophy), as well as the qualifying events
to determine competitors for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. He
will also attend the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship as the Coach/
* New Zealand America's Cup skipper Dean Barker will make his Olympic debut
in Athens after being confirmed in the Finn Class. Barker confirmed his
spot in the team after finishing fourth at the European Finn championships
in a world class fleet and 11th at the Princess Sofia regatta. Barker
missed selection for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in the Finn Class. -
* Several new Amendments to the Newport Bermuda Race Notice of Race have
been posted on the website. Two of these pertain to minor adjustments to
the Upper Speed Limit for some IMS Divisions. A third Amendment deals with
changing between IMS Divisions. The remainder of the Amendments posted
today deal largely with the IMS Big Boat Demonstration Division. They are
all available on the web site under the "Official Documents" menu or by
going directly to: www.bermudarace.com/2004/amendments.php
* There's just over one week left for you and your crew to sign up for
Summer Sailstice 2004 and to have a chance at winning one of the over 100
great prizes awarded by random drawing. No matter how, where or why you're
out there sailing on June 19/20 you can sign up, sail, celebrate and win. -
IT'S ONLY MONEY
At Hall Spars & Rigging, we always try to give you more for that
hard-earned cash. That's why every June is Harken month, when you save an
additional 5% on Harken hardware. Hall is one of the largest Harken dealers
in the U.S., so our prices are already as competitive as you are. Buy one
block or twenty -- every one saves an additional 5%. Call, email, fax or
order online. But do it before midnight on June 30, only at Hall Spars &
Yesterday's issue of Scuttlebutt said that the 2004 Olsen 30 Nationals were
won by Trevor Hayward and his crew on "M.O.F." Actually, Hayward was deemed
co-champion with Michael Goldfarb aboard "War Canoe." -
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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 Mark Reynolds: I've seen some discussion in 'Butt suggesting that
the definition of a sailor athlete is not broad enough. We've worked hand
in hand with the US Olympic Committee to design a definition of a sailor
athlete that is as broad as possible, while still viable under the Ted
Stevens Amateur Sports Act and USOC guidelines. While no definition will be
perfect in our sport, we feel the current definition is broad enough to
include nearly all sailors who compete on a national or international
level. I helped write the definition and it seems to be working. Our first
council was primary Olympic sailing athletes but now both the council and
registered athletes are becoming more representative of all of sailings
* From Jon Turvey: I found it interesting but not surprising to read Ian
Walker's discussion on the cost of campaigning and its consequent effects
on participation. Any amateur who has sailed in the more competitive
classes is quite familiar with this phenomenon. Janet Baxter, newly elected
President of US Sailing started her term of office focusing on
participation. I believe that sailing is at a cross roads; there are a very
few who are earning their living as professionals, a great majority who
sail recreationally, and a group in between that are trying to figure out
how to climb from one group to the other. The time is fast approaching when
sailing will go the way of golf - professional events, a PSA (ala PGA, ya
gotta get your "card" to sail in the events), and only a few Pro-AM events
where the two universes collide. We'll have lost something, but maybe it'll
be more fun (and less expensive).
* From Jim Bungener: I have just read your issue 1601's article on the
Olympic windsurfing's future. Whatever do they mean by "the Formula boards
are not suitable for racing in the range of wind strengths required for an
Olympic sailing event"? This is exactly what they are designed for. What is
so special about an Olympic event that makes a board type already used in
every possible wind condition not suitable?
* From Magnus Wheatley: The Transat Race has been totally electric to
follow both by the excellent website and the Richard Simmonds inspired
radio broadcasts. This race is how all offshore races should be run with
first class, sorry upper first class, media relations, tracking systems,
skipper interviews and, wait for it, sponsor return on investment. Who
cares if the boats are named Skandia, Hellomoto, Ecover, Mum's washing up
liquid or whatever? It's the very least the sponsors can expect for the
massive sums of money they inject. Furthermore, this kind of high speed
ocean racing has a long way to go in the media, both print and multi-media
and beats hands-down the 'one boat against the elements' rubbish and petty
politics of the Jules Verne trophy. Boats dismasting, calamities all round,
sleep deprivation, big seas, bigger winds, skippers on the limits of
endurance and nail-biting finishes. Wow, that's sailing! Offshore
Challenges has grabbed the Transat by the scruff of the neck, shaken it to
its core and their brilliant shore team should be roundly congratulated for
giving us the best race on the planet to date. On the basis of the Transat,
just how good is the Vendee going to be!
* From Clifford Bradford (In response to Jim Kelly in 1601): I find it
strange that the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" has more coverage of poker,
cheerleading and "fitness" competitions than it does of several other more
recognized sports (sailing included). Jim referred to coverage of America's
Cups and a few other sailing events but that amount is relatively small.
There is so much more high level racing around the world that America's Cup
and a few other events represent only a tiny fraction of what's out there.
Also many sailing fans aren't necessarily big fans of match racing (I'm a
bigger fan of distance racing and ESPN's not had much coverage of that
recently). I find it hard to believe that it is difficult to get sailing on
TV considering that almost anywhere you go in this country with an
appreciable body of water you'll find sailors on it. Not to mention that
sailors represent a relatively wealthy demographic.
* From Graham Kelly: In S'butt 1601 Ken Quant said: "Who is sailing's
Warren Miller?" Actually, it is, or was, Warren Miller. Back in the late
'60's, he made movie about the Finn class Zellerbach Series, which was
sailed in big breeze on the San Francisco cityfront. The film, which
featured Bob Andre, Henry Sprague, Ed Miller, and many other expert Finn
sailors of that day, had the usual Warren Miller mix of guys sleeping in
the parking lot, technical knowledge, wry humor, and hairy wipe-outs. It
was a great and entertaining effort, and led me to buy a Finn so I could
test my skills against the guys in the movie.
* From George Albaugh: In response to Steve Johnson's comments about the
term "yachting", I would like to point out that opinions as to the
appropriateness of this term as a descriptor for our sport are divided. My
eleven foot Moth Boat is a yacht. I am a member of a yacht club. I enjoy
yacht racing. I see no reason to dumb things down in an effort to
"popularize" our sport. Near as I can tell, there's too #$&*!@$ guys out on
the water as it is. Besides, it's taken me the better part of 50 years just
to learn how to spell yacht. You can bet I'm not going to give it up now!
* From Bob Harden: The high cost of winning - hmm. Extreme care must be
exercised by "rule makers" to constrain human commitment. This is a tricky
area differentiating costs from the desire to achieve. On the other hand,
if boat designers, sailmakers, regatta chairs, and us the sailors work to
control costs voluntarily, we can, and we can still have the opportunity to
commit ourselves and our teams with greater numbers of others. It is
unfortunate the high level of commitment noted - the Olympics, America's
Cup, Farr 40, that these sailing commitments do not always translate well
or are not obvious to the Nintendo crowd, or the typical professional
sports fan. This causes the lack of true professional dollars to support
some of the commitments being exercised at even greater levels and with
If the high cost of commitment reduces the playing field, give it a little
time, the interested sailors, those that want to sail will resurface in
another form. This is very much like the natural predator-prey cycle of so
many endeavors. But do not equate the lack of sustainment or rising
professional costs with only the negative. I say congratulations to the
participants, let's recognize and honor what has occurred, for raising the
bar of achievement. This is what makes the world go around for so many, and
for the masses, less economically blessed, there are plenty of boats for us
to get organized, to get together and race.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?