SCUTTLEBUTT 1611 - June 24, 2004
Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
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.
UBS TROPHY RHODE ISLAND
Not Just Another Mark Rounding-
The second match on Monday afternoon featured an extraordinary chain of
events at the first windward mark that left both boats penalised, a crew
member in the water, and two shredded spinnakers. Remarkably, by the time
it was over, the boats were in nearly the same position they were in when
it started, with BMW Oracle leading by nearly one boat length, although
stretching away quickly.
BMW Oracle skipper Chris Dickson describes what happened: "As the two boats
approached the top mark with Alinghi overlapped just astern, Gavin (BMW
Oracle helmsman) slowed the game down," Dickson said. BMW Oracle actually
luffed approaching the windward mark, holding Alinghi out from rounding the
buoy, and both boats remained nearly head to wind for several moments,
before Brady bore off, and rounded the mark ahead by a narrow margin.
"We had maybe a half length lead as we set our spinnaker," Dickson
continued. "Our spinnaker blew out as it set…sometimes that happens…you
hope it doesn't happen but occasionally it does. With Alinghi's spinnaker
set behind us, Gavin, our helmsman effectively put his elbows out making it
tougher for them to go around."
As Alinghi tried to make the pass, Brady began to luff aggressively
('putting his elbows out', as Dickson described), protecting his position.
With no spinnaker to worry about, the BMW ORACLE boat could sail a higher
heading very comfortably, but that wasn't the case on Alinghi.
"Alinghi's spinnaker hit our boat, so that was the penalty to Alinghi, but
with Gavin throwing the boat around, our foredeck crew had already switched
into getting a new spinnaker hooked up and hoisted…when Gavin swung the bow
(to luff) one of those times, Brad Webb (bowman) was on the boat one second
and in the water the next. Not his fault but…man overboard…the rules say,
'penalty to us'," Dickson explained. "Somewhere through that Alinghi's
spinnaker blew out. So now you've got two boats with spinnakers blown out,
two boats with a penalty which cancel each other out and a different type
of boat race. It was a scramble to see which boat could get a spinnaker up
and drawing first." - UBS Trophy website, full story,
Short Course Strategy-
One of the biggest challenges that the crews on Alinghi and BMW Oracle
Racing have to face at the UBS Trophy, is the shorter race courses. A
typical America's Cup race course in Auckland would have been 18 miles.
Here, the courses have been as short as 2.5 miles, and on average are about
8 to 10 miles. This calls for some different strategy.
Two of the men who decide on that strategy are Alinghi's Jochen Schuemann,
and BMW Oracle Racing's John Kostecki. Both fill the tactician role for
their teams and both have plenty of racing experience on all kinds of race
courses. Both agree that the shorter courses put a much bigger premium on
winning the start, and that's led to some exciting action in the pre-starts
on the first couple of days.
"The starts are critical," Kostecki says. "If you're able to get an edge on
the start, you're going to have a good chance of winning the race."
Schuemann agrees: "Whenever there are less options to pass, no passing
lanes, or a very narrow course, then the start is nearly everything."
For Kostecki, the conditions have allowed the teams to push at the start,
resulting in some very close manoeuvring. "We've seen that the boats have
been very close at the starts, and we're able to push it because it's flat
water and fairly moderate winds."
And Schuemann notes that it is critical to be close at the start,
especially if you're starting to leeward. "If you start to leeward, you
have to be so tight to leeward that the windward boat has to peel off
immediately. When there's a little separation and you can go for two
minutes, you hit the shoreline, and then (you have to tack) and the other
guy has you." - UBS Trophy website, full story,
BMW Oracle racing leads the Pro-Driver series 7 points to 4. Wednesday was
a lay day at the UBS Trophy with no races scheduled. On Thursday, racing
resumes with the first two Owner-Driver races, as well as race nine of the
Pro-Driver series. Event website: http://www.ubstrophy.com
See daily photos by Thierry Martinez:
GO THE DISTANCE
48.5 hours to Bermuda! Morning Glory, the maxz86 with its canting keel and
towering Hall carbon spar, set this amazing (unofficial) record last week.
Engineered to handle the loads of this extremely stiff racer, Hall's
performance package of high-mod carbon and PBO standing rigging perfectly
complement the hull, sails, and crew that single-mindedly drove Morning
Glory to the winner's circle. Why not take your performance to the next
level, too? Even a simple upgrade to a Hall carbon spinnaker pole will get
you to the finish line faster. See our spin pole price list online
FOR THE RECORD
In her bid to set a new west-east solo transatlantic record, Ellen
MacArthur, skipper of the new 75-foot trimaran B&Q, is grinding down the
miles, but trails Laurent Bourgnon record by 14 hours at 1400GMT, mostly
due to a more southerly initial course.
Said Ellen, ""Sailing exactly on the course we need at the moment (100
degrees), need to keep foot down and stay in front of the low...well, its
going to speed up and go over the top of us that is for sure, so we can't
stay on 100 for sure. Direct course to the Lizard is 057 degrees. The
faster we can get in to the new North West wind, and the more east we are,
The weather briefing from Commander's Weather instructs Ellen to stay just
south of a band of nearby squalls, which should keep her in 25 to 35 knots
of WSW breeze. By Thursday, a cold front around 1200 should strengthen from
the north, providing a good NW wind on port tack through to Saturday. For
now, the team will not head towards the Lizard until the arrival of the NW
Says Ellen, "It's exactly the weather system we were waiting for...going 28
knots over the ground...23 or 24 knots of boatspeed with a really strong
Gulf Stream pushing us along....really having to put foot down to stay with
this depression that is going over the top of us. Got to push hard...this
is the fastest I have ever sailed on my own, its stressful, being thrown
around, but boat handling well, got one reef in, need to get a second one
As for life onboard B & Q, Ellen comments that she is "getting thrown
around a bit right now, its quite violent...haven't slept for more than 20
minutes in one go…we're going so fast, can't afford to miss anything…you
just spend your whole time hoping something doesn't break...conditions
change very quickly...you can't afford to break anything but equally you
can't afford not to be pushing hard."
The current record stands at just 7 days, 2 hours, 34 minutes, 42 seconds
set by Frenchman Bourgnon in June 1994 on board his 60-foot trimaran,
B & Q Photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/0418em
US YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
The slightly cooler temperatures kept the seabreeze away in Charleston but
not the wind which averaged 5 to 15 knots from the SW. Tactical conditions
with current that varied in strength and direction at different places on
the course made racing very challenging today. The current was upwind for
the first race, changing during the second and downwind for the third race,
up to 2 knots. Radials and 420s sailed four races and Lasers sailed three
bringing the total for all fleets to ten races.
Laser sailor Todd Hawkins (Ocean Gate, NJ) had the best day with 2-5-2,
bringing his total to 50 points in ten races. It was not enough to overcome
Michael Scott. Scores of 3-5-3 brings Michael's total to 41 points. Bryan
Buffaloe is just one point back in third. Todd's secret today was good
starts, conservative sailing up the middle and avoiding pitfalls. Michael
was the most successful at picking up the first shift on the first beat.
With one race remaining, all three positions are up for grabs. Bryan is
favored if it is heavy air. It's anyone's guess in the lighter conditions.
Cy Thompson increased his lead in the Radial fleet to 22 points over Leah
Hoepfner who maintained her second place standing with 45 total points.
Tied for third with 51 points are David Hernandez and Fred Stammer, and
Edward Conrads is just two point back. First place is virtually locked up
but the others races are far from over.
In the 420 fleet, Zack Brown and Graham Biehl (San Diego, CA) made the
biggest gain today from 7th to 3rd place with scores of 2-6-5-1 for 60
total points. Adam Roberts and Nick Martin maintained their lead. They have
a 15 point margin over Erik Storck and Killarney Loufek with 55 points.
1. Adam Roberts, Nicholas Martin, 40 pts
2. Erik Storck, Killarney Loufek, 55
3. Zachary Brown, Graham Biehl, 60
1. Michael Scott, 41
2. Todd Hawkins, 50
3. Bryan Buffaloe, 51pts
Laser Radial Division
1. Cy Thompson, 13 pts
2. Leah Hoepfner, 43
3. David Hernandez, 49
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
"DEKE" KLATT WINS J24 NORTH AMERICANS
Congratulations to David "Deke" Klatt and his crew on board "Jaded" for
winning the J24 North American Championships this past week. Thirty-four
top competitive teams competed at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in British
Columbia. Representing the Ventura Yacht Club, Jaded finished 4 races in
the top 3, including 2 bullets. Deke's crew included David Paudler, Lane
Desborough, Bruce Labins, and Avery Stewart. They sailed the regatta with a
complete inventory of Ullman Sails. For "The Fastest Sails on the Planet"
contact the nearest Ullman Sails loft and visit http://www.ullmansails.com
Playing host to the J/24 North Americans, Vancouver, Canada provided
breath-taking views of the snow-capped mountains surrounding the race area.
Thanks to Borrowed Light Images, the Scuttlebutt website has posted a great
photo gallery from the event:
(Here's an update on the restoration of the 133' 1885 schooner yacht
Coronet, a rare survivor of the Gilded Age that has remained in continuous
commission since her launching in the late 19th century)
Coronet has just complete Phase I of its restoration, which included an
exhaustive search through maritime libraries, century-old collections of
journals and letters, and newspaper and photo archives to track the yacht's
history and determine the design features that are original to her launch
date. The painstaking process of dismantling and archiving her luxe
interior--including mahogany-paneled staterooms, stained glass, and gilded
molding--was also completed during the first phase of the restoration.
Coronet was hauled in April 2004 in preparation for Phase II, the
restoration of her hull and deck.
The restoration work on the Coronet will be done by master shipwrights and
advanced students at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) on
their 2.5-acre waterfront campus in Newport, RI. Coronet is situated
outside IYRS's Restoration Hall--a 1905 electric generating plant that now
houses the school's workshops, drafting room, library, and exhibition
space. The third phase of the project will be directed toward restoring the
yacht's interior and rigging.
IYRS website: http://www.iyrs.org
Coronet Photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/coronet
* 57 sailors from eleven islands and the US mainland participated recently
in the Scotiabank Caribbean International Optimist Regatta in St Thomas, US
Virgin Islands. This was the first outing for ten sailors from the newly
formed Optimist fleet in the Dominican Republic. David Alfonso of Puerto
Rico was first, followed by Haley Powell (Bermuda) and Jose Nigaglioni
(Puerto Rico). Complete results:
* The 19th Biannual Victoria to Maui Yacht Race started Wednesday at
Brotchie Ledge located along Victoria's waterfront in the Straight of Juan
de Fuca. Twenty boats will be competing in the 2,308 nautical mile
trans-Pacific race to Lahaina. There are eight boats from Canada competing
along with 11 from Washington. A boat from Minnesota and one from Hong Kong
round out the field. James McDowell of the Lahaina Yacht Club has the
record, completing the race in nine days, two hours and eight minutes in
2002.The Lahaina Yacht Club and The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club are
co-hosting the race.
SAIL A BONGO
The singlehanded Bongo is comfortable, fast and fun. Look for the Bongo
coming your way on its nationwide tour. Sign up your club or group for a
fun-filled Bongo demo day, and join the growing fleet. Bongo sailors have
fun every day. http://www.sailabongo.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 Rasa Bertrand: (Re UBS trophy crowd control) Anyone who had the
privilege on being on the race course during the 150 year celebrations of
A.C. in Cowes in 2001 would have seen how well the English equivalent of
race control worked. They were hardly visible, a couple of small water
police boats. The onus was on each individual boat to act in a civilized
and polite manner. Sure there were a few bingles but nothing major
considering the thousands of boats present. Compared to the gradually
increasing officiousness of control boats I have witnessed at the A.C. over
far too many years what a relief to see that this civilized behavior has
returned to the A.C. Well done to those involved.
* From Ellie Doyle: (edited to our 250 word limit) As a participant in the
spectator fleet at the UBS Trophy in Newport, RI on Saturday, I would like
to second the Curmudgeon's comments in today's 'Butt. I too was amazed at
how close we were able to get to the action. In one case, during the first
upwind leg of the first match, less than 20 yards away. It was just awesome
to watch the Cup boats live and in person especially as the breeze built to
over 20 knots in the afternoon.
Like the Curmudgeon, I was also impressed with the courteous and
informative manner the Control boats kept the spectator fleet near the
action but not in it. The lead control boat gave us clear instructions on
what was happening with the match, whom he was addressing his instructions
to and where each group of spectators should be. He also praised groups of
spectator boats for good behavior. Within five minutes of arriving in the
spectator area off Fort Adams we had an information sheet in hand from one
of the Control boats.
From the boat I was on, it also seemed that the onshore activities at Fort
Adams were well thought out with Dawn Riley providing commentary on the
racing and what looked to be several hospitality tents scattered about. All
in all, it was great to have Cup action back in Newport and have it so
* From Jay Handfield: Last Friday night, while the two billionaire/sailors
held the opening UBS press conference, I was fortunate enough to be at an
event with Russell Coutts. The event was the Leukemia societies Americas
Cup salute to Gary Jobson which was held at the Americas Cup Museum in
Bristol Rhode island. When we asked Russell to MC the event we all thought
that Russell would give a good speech about Gary and all that he has done
for the sport. I couldn't of been more wrong, Russell's speech was nothing
short of remarkable, it was well written and researched but most of all it
was sincere. I can honestly say that prior to his speech Russell was one of
my sports heroes and now he is just one of my heroes. As I watched the UBS
racing the last few days here in Newport I could see the America's Cup
passion returning to this great harbor and I know in my heart that so much
of this is due to Russell and the entire Alinghi crew. I hope that Russell
and Alinghi can come to a settlement because the sport needs Russell.
* From John J. Ford: What a pleasant surprise to read your announcement of
the replay of Gary Jobson's sailing special on ESPN2 slated for an 0500 gun
August 7th, 04. The outcry published on Scuttlebutt was most likely
noticed. I applaud your diligent effort in allowing so many of us to be
heard. The power of the pen (keyboard)!
* From Clifford Bradford: Ridiculous! ESPN and the other sports network
show many sports that I'm sure most watchers have never participated in:
competitive jump roping, strong man competitions, stylistic karate,
kickboxing, show jumping, bull riding, and just about any form of
motorsport. And sailing is quite simple, most of what goes on a racecourse
can be explained by three rules: starboard has right of way, the two-boat
length rule, and avoid collisions. I like watching baseball (and I've never
played the game; I'm from a country where cricket's the preferred sport)
but in my racing and race watching experience the action on a race course
is much less complicated than that on a diamond. Ask anyone to explain the
scoring rules in NASCAR to understand the term "arcane".
I am very surprised that there are so many sailors who seem to believe that
it makes sense that there's little sailing on TV. We should be trying to
promote our sport.
THE CURMUDGEON'S QUOTATION
"A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt." -
Dilbert's Rules of Order