SCUTTLEBUTT 1612 - June 25, 2004
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UBS TROPHY RHODE ISLAND
24th June, 2004 - It was an excellent day for racing in the waters off
Newport, with bright sunshine, and a solid eight to 10 knot breeze,
powering Alinghi and BMW ORACLE through three races Thursday afternoon.
Veteran America's Cup sailor and local legend Ken Read was on board as a
special guest with Team Alinghi today, adding his local knowledge of the
area to the Alinghi afterguard.
(Pro-Driver Series - Race Nine of 12)
Team Alinghi's Peter Holmberg beat BMW Oracle off the starting line with
good speed, protected the right hand side of the race course, and was able
to carry a 13-second lead around the top mark. Alinghi stretched out a
little on the first run but on the second windward leg, BMW ORACLE picked
up some favourable shifts near the top mark, and closed up again to get in
a position to threaten Alinghi. On the final run, BMW ORACLE gained some
separation and then was able to gain a leeward position on Alinghi,
ultimately preventing Holmberg from safely gybing across the bow of the
starboard-gybe BMW ORACLE boat. Brady sailed Holmberg out to the layline,
both boats gybed simultaneously for the leeward mark, and Brady gained the
lead, which his team protected on the short beat to the finish. Finish
Delta- 00: 26
(Owner-Driver Series - Race One of 4)
Larry Ellison and BMW ORACLE sailed an excellent start in this race,
controlling Alinghi's Ernesto Bertarelli throughout the five-minute
pre-start before shutting him out from the start line, forcing Alinghi to
circle around and start with a 26-second deficit. Although Alinghi fought
gamely to try and get back into the race, the lead at the start was too
big, and BMW ORACLE sailed on to take the lead in the Owner-Driver series.
Finish Delta- 01: 24
(Owner-Driver Series - Race Two of 4)
Moments before the start, the back end of BMW ORACLE swung quickly towards
the Alinghi transom, making contact, and damaging the Swiss boat. The
Umpires assessed Ellison a penalty, but at the start Alinghi had already
crossed the line, giving the Swiss a 24-second deficit as they returned and
restarted. By the first leeward mark, BMW ORACLE had built their advantage
to 54-seconds, allowing them to complete their penalty turn and still
safely cover Alinghi the rest of the race for the win. Finish Delta- 00: 41
BMW Oracle racing leads the Pro-Driver series 9 points to 4, and the
Owner-Driver series 2 points to 0. On Friday, racing resumes with the final
two Owner-Driver races, as well as race ten of the Pro-Driver series. The
final two Pro-Driver races will be on Saturday. Event website:
See daily photos by Thierry Martinez:
FOR THE PEOPLE
Newport, RI - Racing ACC boats around the intimate confines of Narragansett
Bay is undoubtedly useful training for the Alinghi and the BMW Oracle crews
… and it is certainly beneficial to the syndicate's sponsors. But it seems
to me that the real beneficiaries are the thousands of spectators who have
come from all over the nation to watch the UBS Trophy races. And you
certainly don't need to be on the water to view this incredible action.
Each day - rain or shine - many hundreds of fans line the shore at
Newport's Fort Adams to watch the races. The starting line and the starting
line maneuvers are clearly visible from that vantage point, and when the
boats make their first tack after the starting sequence they are frequently
just yards off that rocky shore.
The folks gathered at Fort Adams and elsewhere in Newport are also treated
to the amplified and enthusiastic commentary of professional match racers
Dawn Riley and the UK's Andy Green. Green is in an inflatable on the water
- sometimes closer to the race boats than the umpires - while Riley
describes the action from Fort Adams. Additionally, this commentary is also
carried live throughout Rhode Island on WADK radio. These broadcasts also
benefit from the insight of syndicate members and other guests - guests
like Cup veteran Tom Ehman and the long-time ACC measurer Ken McAlpine.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of all of this drama occurs after the
racing each day when hundreds of fans flock to the Newport Shipyard to
watch the boats hoisted out of the water. There are no brawny security
people to keep the crowds away. Quite the contrary - the people are
welcome. And many enthusiastic fans also gather to observe the nightly
press conferences at the Shipyard - no media credentials required.
"This event is truly bringing sailing to the people," explained BMW Oracle
helmsman Gavin Brady. Indeed! - The Curmudgeon
Scuttlebutt's survey last week on the best racing venues in the US revealed
a lack of ocean course venues along the east coast for dinghy racing. It
turns out most dinghy racing occurs with some degree of protection from
open ocean conditions. Between Ft Lauderdale, FL to the south and Newport,
RI to the north, how many sailing venues on the east coast of the US offer
dinghy racing in the ocean? (Answer below)
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FOR THE RECORD
The Southerly course requiring Ellen MacArthur to skirt south of the low
pressure system has meant she has needed to sail a much greater distance in
her bid to set a new west-east solo transatlantic record. However, there
remains optimism in the camp, with an improving weather pattern to soon
help her turn left to aim her 75-foot trimaran B&Q towards the finish.
With an occluded cold front closing in on her, she's working to stay ahead
of it long enough so that when it does overtake her, the winds behind it
will be favorable NorthWesterlies. This shift in winds would then finally
allow her to gybe to port and head towards the finish line at Lizard. The
problem, says Ellen, is it's "an occluded front, very trick, and there
could be light winds in there, hard to get through it, lots of sail changes."
The last twenty-four hours were not uneventful. "We had 40 knots of wind,
were down to 3rd reef," Ellen recalls. "Then we were hit very, very hard by
one wave that sent us to 35 to 45 degrees, maybe more...absolutely smacked
us. The whole boat was physically thrown, including me. It was pretty
violent and made a huge bang (as the wave hit the underside of the beams
and float). Thank god it's getting light now, not much fun in the dark when
you can't see the waves coming. If you were on deck when the big wave hit,
you'd be over the side."
Although on paper Ellen is now 24 hours behind Bourgnon's record run, once
Ellen is able to gybe and head for the finish she should immediately start
to gain on him. Given that Bourgnon's first two days largely established
his record pace, the next 36 hours are critical for Ellen. The long term
weather suggests a fast climb once the front is through, but the next big
question will be whether there is a blocking high pressure ridge in the
English Channel on Monday.
To set the record, Ellen will have to cross the finish line by 00:44:42 GMT
on Tuseday 29th June 2004. - Team Kingfisher, http://www.teamkingfisher.com
US YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
Charleston, SC - The final race of the 11-race series was sailed in a
shifty westerly breeze combined with a one-knot current and chop. The
challenging conditions were enough to upset the 420 standings but not the
Laser and Radials leaders. Cy Thompson (St. Thomas, VI) won in Radials,
Michael Scott (Kaneohe, HI) in the Laser fleet and Erick Storck
(Huntington, NY) and Killarney Loufek (Costa Mesa, CA) took the 420 title.
Winners were named to the 2004 US Youth Sailing Team and received team
uniforms supplied by Gill.
The David M. Perry Perpetual Sportsmanship Trophies were awarded to the
sailors voted by their peers as most sportsmanlike in each fleet. The
awards went to Sean Kelly (San Francisco, CA) in the Laser fleet, Allie
Blecher (Fullerton, CA) in the Radial fleet, Club 420 skipper Evan Aras
(Annapolis, MD) and Club 420 crew Jimmy Attridge (Hanover, NH).
Next year's event will be held at the Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport,
CT on June 24-30, 2005. Classes are Laser, Radial and Club 420. Final Results:
1. Erik Storck, Killarney Loufek, 60 pts
2. Adam Roberts, Nicholas Martin, 61
3. Zachary Brown, Graham Biehl, 66
1. Michael Scott, 48 pts
2. Todd Hawkins, 56
3. Thomas Barrows, 57
Laser Radial Division
1. Cy Thompson, 14 pts
2. Leah Hoepfner, 48
3. David Hernandez, 52
At the Rogers Wireless / Sailing World NOOD Regatta this weekend (June
25th-27th), title sponsor Rogers Wireless will be demonstrating technology
from Toronto-based Grey Island Systems. This technology includes tracking
software and transponders that are typically used in automotive fleet
applications. But in this case, for the first time, the software has been
adapted for sailboat racing.
Transponders will be placed on participating boats for various classes.
Sensors will also record mark locations, wind speed, and direction.
Displays will be set-up in the tent area to show boat positions in
real-time and the transponder transmissions will also be recorded in
three-second intervals. After the day's races, the races will be replayed
in a condensed format for skippers and crews of participating boats.
Skippers will be able to replay their track relative to any combination of
boats in the fleet.
While only a sampling of boats will have transponders during the Toronto
NOOD, Grey Island Systems says that their tracking solution could be
applied to 'start line' monitoring if desired. With every competing boat
having a transponder, and with the race area having satisfactory GPRS
coverage, they believe that the system could prove to be a feasible
solution for race committees to identify premature racers at the start. -
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CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
(LACK OF) INFORMATION
(Here are some excerpts from an article by Sail World's Di Pearson, who
attended an informational presentation Wednesday evening for the Australian
syndicate, OzBoyz America's Cup Challenge, provided by syndicate members
Sebastien Destremau and Phil Edmiston.)
Both the former America's Cup crewmember Destremau, and his spokesman
Edmiston, were coy in their answers, telling me very little of anything.
Regarding their designers:
"We can't tell you about the designers, it is too radical, it would scare
you. They wish to remain anonymous and they are out working at secret
remote locations now," Frenchman turned Aussie, Destremau said. "Don't
worry about the technology; we have all the technology in the world - that
is the least of our problems."
Regarding their management:
"Don't worry, we have many experienced and skilled people quietly working
away on that, but they are not officially on board yet, so we can't tell
you their names at this stage," Edmiston said.
Regarding their chances on the racecourse:
"We have a good chance of making the semi-finals. We are just as prepared
as most of the others - not counting Alinghi and BMW Oracle, but we are on
a level playing field with the other syndicates." Destremau added
They were clear about a couple of things though - that if they could not
raise some fairly serious money by the America's Cup security deposit
deadline of December 17, then they would not continue. They also stated
theirs would be a two-boat campaign open to both youth sailors and the
older experienced yachts people. - Di Pearson, Sail World, full story:
* Porto Cervo, Italy (June 24, 2004) - With heavy westerly winds between 25
to 34 knots, the fleet of seven teams completed the 26 mile distance race
in the Offshore ISAF Team World Championship at the Sardinia Rolex Cup.
Presently, the United States team is in first overall with 31 points, Spain
dropped to second with 34 points and Switzerland is third with 44 points.
All three U.S. team boats finished well today with Bambakou, Mascalzone
Latino and Talisman taking first in the Farr 40, Swan 45 and IMS rated
classes respectively. Racing continues through Sunday. -
* Whilst there is still activity behind the scenes, at the close of
business on Monday 21st June (the entry deadline), ten teams had submitted
formal challenges to contest in the Rolex Commodores' Cup. Besides four
teams from Great Britain, additional committed teams are from Ireland,
France (three teams), the Netherlands and Belgium. The Rolex Commodores'
Cup will be held off Cowes, Isle of Wight, from 25th July to 1st August. -
Gary Bodie, US Olympic Sailing Coach, offers up this week's Trivia Question
regarding the number of dinghy sailing venues on the east coast of the US:
"Lauderdale YC, and then nowhere else that I am aware of going North until
you get to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, NC. And from there, the next
venue in the ocean is Newport, RI. Amazing."
In case you missed the list of the best sailing venues in the US, go to:
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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 Glenn von Rosenberg, Charleston, SC: I know we are coming off the
story of the best places to sail, but I wanted to introduce a place that
was overlooked, Charleston, SC. The summer is upon us as we have warm water
temperatures, pleasant sea breezes, and a safe harbor. Just look who has
been sailing in the harbor over the past week: Dennis Conner, the Tall
Ships, and the Youth Championships. Charleston Race Week had nearly 100
boats and Charleston Ocean Racing Assoc has an unparalleled year round
racing schedule just to name a few. All of this is sailed with the backdrop
of the largest suspension bridge being built in North America. Charleston
is more than water though. While you are out sailing, your significant
other can enjoy the southern hospitality and charm of the historic city.
You can bring the whole family. I am sure if you have ever visited
Charleston, you would agree it is truly the All-American city. Hopefully we
will see y'all out on the water soon. Fair winds and tight lines.
* From Anton Huggler: (Re Michael Panosh's letter in 'Butt 1610, enjoying
the recent downturn of events in the Alinghi camp) Besides stating
malicious joy and sarcastic comments, what is mister Panosh's contribution
to the Americas Cup? I hope I am not the only one offended by his remarks.
* From Barbara James (Ottawa, Canada): A few winters ago, while in
Vancouver for work, I competed in a Sunday (February!) race around the cans
in Vancouver harbor. They have a great practice that I tell junior program
organizers about every chance I get: If a junior crews on your boat, you
get 1 second off your handicap. Two juniors = 2 seconds. These kids must be
part of the racing crew, (not below playing Gameboy). The time allowance is
effectively insignificant, but the message is incentive for skippers to
include juniors in support of the junior sailing program, and the kids are
getting to race on keelboats.
* From Dean Hubbard: Here's a suggestion for spreading some interest in
sailing to non-sailors. One of my co-workers, Chris Kearby on J/109
"Orion", was in the recent Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean Race
(bermudaoceanrace.com). I staked a space on the bulletin board in the
coffee room and tracked his progress on a map, printed the chart positions
and race start photos from the website, and added a runnning commentary on
each day's progress based on what I imagined was happening on the boat.
Beating, reaching, clouds and calms, motor sailing, weather guessing, and a
few other things were explained in my daily commentary. More content was
available on bermudaoceanrace.com. It's a lot easier to gain outside
interest when the game is explained (in not too much detail).
The same could be done for any race. If you have a bulletin board available
try posting a little from a site with the ORMA 60 trimarans. Those photos
are dramatic. Supply your own copy with the photos. If we want to generate
sailing interest we have to advertise and we don't know who may be
interested until we do.
* From Randy Stewart: This is for all you guys complaining about not having
enough sailing on TV. (The other) night on FOX News with Shepard Smith in
his segment "Around the World in 80 Seconds" he covered the Swedish Match
Tour. It was great!!! On a downwind leg he showed one boat foul another,
the attempt at penalty turns, and the subsequent crash...(I love to see
professionals really botch it up). This was real action and made racing
sailboats look exciting. I do agree with most of the complainers, we would
really like more coverage, however, credit is due to FOX News.
* From Malcolm McKeag: If one has dropped the ball, as Ralph Taylor says US
Sailing has done so many times, does it matter in which direction one runs?
In Scuttlebutt 1611, we stated that James McDowell and his team on Grand
Illusion set the race record for the 19th Biannual Victoria to Maui Yacht
Race in 2002. Actually, it was 2000.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
There are 3 kinds of people: Those who can count and those who can't.