SCUTTLEBUTT 1631 - July 23, 2004
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releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.
Thirteen kilos of pure gold, about a ton of silver, and about a ton of
bronze. These are the ingredients for the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games
medals. Production is already under way. For the first time since Amsterdam
1928, and with IOC approval of an Athens 2004 proposal made in June 2003,
Olympic medals once more have a Greek look.
On the obverse of the Athens medals will be the statue of Nike by Paeonius,
placed in the Panathinaiko (Panathenian) Stadium where the Games where
revived in 1896, with the Acropolis in the background. The reverse will
show the flame from the Olympic Torch Relay; a quotation from Pindar's
Eighth Olympian; the Athens 2004 emblem; and the name of the sport for
which the medal has been awarded. Nearly 3000 medals will be cut: 986 gold,
986 silver, and 1150 bronze.
The Paralympic Games medals carry the Paralympic emblem and the legend
Athens 2004 in Braille on the obverse. The reverse shows the eternal symbol
of Athens, the Parthenon (as it looked in 1896), and has the legend 'XIIth
Paralympic Games, Athens 2004'. Approximately 1100 medals will be struck
for the Paralympic Games in each category. - ISAF website, full story:
Russell Coutts, the most successful America's Cup skipper in history, now
at loggerheads with the current Swiss holders, might be the only cup sailor
in 153 years to have the rules altered expressly with him in mind. When the
Swiss won the cup under Coutts' leadership in Auckland 15 months ago, they
issued a protocol which diluted the nationality rules and liberalized the
movements of sailors. In January, this was made more restrictive, tying a
sailor from 2006 onwards to any team he had sailed with since the last cup.
This is why Coutts has not steered Alinghi's SUI 64 since Auckland.
But last week, protocol clause 13.12 was screwed down even further,
forbidding a sailor to swap teams if he had been "contracted, engaged, paid
or otherwise engaged" by a team for 180 days since the last cup. This means
that if Coutts does not sail for Alinghi in 2007, he cannot switch to a
rival team. "I don't support the change," Coutts said. "It's bad for the
event and bad for sailing. To issue a rule that's backdated is just wrong."
- Excerpts from a story by Tim Jeffery, The Daily Telegraph, full story:
Paris - European satellites have given confirmation to terrified mariners
who describe seeing freak waves as tall as 10-storey buildings, the
European Space Agency (ESA) said. "Rogue waves" have been the anecdotal
cause behind scores of sinkings of vessels as large as container ships and
supertankers over the past two decades. But evidence to support this has
been sketchy, and many marine scientists have clung to statistical models
that say monstrous deviations from the normal sea state only occur once
every thousand years.
Testing this promise, ESA tasked two of its Earth-scanning satellites,
ERS-1 and ERS-2, to monitor the oceans with their radar. The radars send
back "imagettes" -- a picture of the sea surface in a rectangle measuring
10 by five kilometers (six by 2.5 miles) that is taken every 200 kms (120
miles). Around 30,000 separate "imagettes" were taken by the two satellites
in a three-week project, MaxWave, that was carried out in 2001.
Even though the research period was brief, the satellites identified more
than 10 individual giant waves around the globe that measured more than 25
metres (81.25 feet) in height, ESA said in a press release. The waves exist
"in higher numbers than anyone expected," said Wolfgang Rosenthal, senior
scientist with the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany, who pored
over the data. "The next step is to analyze if they can be forecasted," he
Ironically, the research coincided with two "rogue wave" incidents in which
two tourist cruisers, the Bremen and the Caledonian Star, had their bridge
windows smashed by 30-metre (100-feet) monsters in the South Atlantic. The
Bremen was left drifting without navigation or propulsion for two hours
after the hit. In 1995, the British cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II
encountered a 29-metre (94.25-feet) wall of water during a hurricane in the
North Atlantic. Its captain, Ronald Warwick, likened it to "the White
Cliffs of Dover." - AFP, full story:
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Peter Bromby (Bermuda) is getting a lot of Press in the international
sailing community - and it's no surprise. A veteran of three Olympics, the
Bermudian is among those favored for honors in the Star Class and, with
some of his rivals already feeling the pressure, he is happy to "have been
there and done that" before. Recently back from the Greek national sailing
championships, Bromby has decided to lie low until he heads back to Athens
in search of a medal.
"I noticed people are starting to tighten up a month from the Games. Their
mental state is getting tight. So I think from a mental point of view it's
better to stay away rather than put more and more pressure on yourself,"
said the Island's top skipper who also observed some competitors'
preoccupation with wind patterns.
Describing the area where Olympic sailing is to be held as "very much in
turmoil" and "still one big construction site", Bromby disclosed they had
to make a crucial decision about accommodation once they assessed the mess.
"The rail system was to run right into the sailing venue from the Athletes
Village but that's not going to be happening now. "That makes an apartment
a necessity whereas we had hoped to stay in the Village." he explained.
"We had been asking lots of questions and nobody could tell us anything
about logistics and when we got over there we could see why. There's so
much unfinished stuff and so many unanswered questions at this point which
leads me to believe me that the Games are not going to be as they
originally planned. "There will probably be compromised positions on just
about everything."- Excerpts from a story by Gayle Alleyne , the Royal
Gazette, full story: http://tinyurl.com/4sdb8
As part of the Skandia Set Sail program, five Cowes Week entries are
selected for the "Skandia Squad," a group of hand-picked boats, each with
something unique to offer. The selection is based on stories of
Contribution, Passion, Courage, Commitment, and Creativity submitted by the
applicants. For its Contribution to the sport of sailing, the Schock 40,
designed by CBTF Co. in San Diego, California, and built by the W. D.
Schock Corp. of Corona, California, has been selected as a member of this
year's impressive team. The reason behind its selection is no doubt the
boat's innovative canting ballast twin foil system. Although there are now
a number of large custom racing boats with this system, the Schock 40 led
the way and is still the only production boat being built.
Owner Iain Hall has organized an impressive crew that includes US sailors
Tom Schock, the builder of the Schock 40, Dave Ullman, the sail maker, Matt
Brown, one of the members of the original design team, and Tom Paulling, an
experienced Schock 40 bow man. They are joined by UK sailors Angus Brook,
part of a Clipper Round the World race, and John Asplet, a long-term local
crew member. And on the last day of sailing, John Bertrand, of Americas Cup
fame, will join the team. Based on the Schock 40's notable race record, it
is sure to attract a lot of attention at Cowes.
The other members of the Skandia Squad are about as diverse as you could
imagine. A young Laser SB3 team who "sail anything, anywhere, as much as
possible and as fast as possible" were chosen for their Passion. Ten ladies
aged 20 to 26, who will be sailing a Mumm 30, were chosen for their
Courage. The Commitment category was awarded to the crew of a 75 year old
X.O.D. 31 that was about 140 lbs overweight and had 18 layers of paint
before the crew went to work on her. A Swedish couple, who designed and
built their 3-man sports boat, were chosen for Creativity. The benefits to
the Team include free regatta entry, free mooring, a free spinnaker, crew
clothing, and lots of champagne. - www.cowesweek2.co.uk
MATCH RACING WORLDS
Trying to figure out what's happening at the ISAF match racing worlds is
really 'fun.' The ISAF website is obviously working on what we used to call
'banker hours' because the are 24-hours behind the action. And the event
website is in Russian - one of the few languages we can't read ;-)
As near as we can tell, the leaders after the end of the first round robin
and almost six rounds of RR2 are:
It's important to remember that math is not the curmudgeon's strong suit,
so you might want to add up the numbers from the several (rather confusing)
results sheets again (You'd think the International governing body for the
sport of sailing could do a better job of promoting and publicizing its own
world championship event): www.matchrace.narod.ru/yava-result.html
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* Unfortunately, there is no wrap-up story on the Bacardi Bayview Mackinac
Race, and no final results press release has been issued? However, the race
results have been posted online, and from appears to have been a slow race,
Bill McKinley's 1988 updated Nelson/Marek 68 won Turbo Class honors as well
as overall honors by more than 30 minutes over the second place boat. -
* Team Alinghi has selected Harken Yacht Equipment as supplier of winch
packages for their 2007 America's Cup defense. Harken will be responsible
for the design, manufacturing, installation and service of Alinghi's two
new boats and previously built training boats. Harken will operate a
service center based in Valencia, Spain throughout the build-up and
duration of the 2007 America's Cup event. The contract between Alinghi and
Harken continues the relationship that Alinghi and Harken began for the
2003 series held in Auckland, New Zealand where Alinghi successfully
challenged and won the America's Cup.
* The first race of the Tour de France à la Voile fleet on Thursday had a
very light breeze, the second a medium one and the third an established 25
knots which caused a fair amount of damage including a dismasting and the
loss of a keel. American Deneen Demourkas' Groovederci scored a 12-3-3 and
now leads the second place Bouygues Telecom by a whopping 53.5 points. -
Reynald Neron, www.tourvoile.fr/
* Salinas, Ecuador - Individual racing started again Thursday after the
rest day. Three races were sailed in rather lighter winds and, with eleven
races sailed the second discard was taken. Wei Ni of China (discarding a
10th) maintaining a eight-point lead over Paul Snow-Hansen of New Zealand.
Erik Brockmann (MEX) slipped back to ninth to move the reigning champion
Filip Matika (CRO) into third place, 17 points behind Ni. Among the girls a
battle is developing between Tina Lutz (GER) and Nathalie Zimmermann (PER),
separated by just four points. - www.salinasyachtclub.org/optiworlds/
* All athletes and officials participating at the Olympic Games have been
invited to donate clothes which will be distributed by the United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees to different refugee camps in the world.
Several National Olympic Committees, as well IOC partners, such as
DaimlerChrysler and the World Bank have already committed to donating A
major collection effort will take place at the Olympic Village where all
10,500 athletes and 5,000 officials will be invited to support it. Special
bags will be distributed and collector bins made available at different
locations in the village. - www.sailing.org/Article_content.asp?ArticleID=7666
* Bertrand Pace will be representing BMW Oracle Racing at the Portugal
Match Cup in Cascais, the first event of this season's Swedish Match Tour.
The 42-year-old Frenchman, who finished the Match Race season 2003/04 in
fifth place in the overall standings, will act as the team's helmsman (at
the event), competing against some of the world's best sailing
professionals. - KCTV, full story:
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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 Tracy Edwards: The fees being sought by Sports Impact were never
agreed by us. They also keep changing! John Taylor was working on spec to
obtain a full time contract from us for PR work for the events. The fees
are ridiculous. We told John we would pay him what the work was worth if
could justify the amounts charged. He could not and did not. The invoices
made our minds up for us on whether we should employ Sports Impact or not.
All sensible events invoices have been paid or are in the process of being
paid. Maiden II, the boat does have some debt which will be rectified from
the sale of the boat and the sale of my house. Maiden II debts are not
linked to the events however, which are healthy, funded and well on the way
* From Fred Roswold, Hong Kong: I personally like the look of Randy
Repass's new boat Convergence: the hull is sleek and the sails look huge;
it should be a flyer. I do take issue with the idea that a "bendy rig"
which "spills the air" means that you never have to reef. Even if the rig
bends so that the whole mainsail turns into nothing more than a flag; that
is a huge flag to have up when the wind gets strong. The photo shows reef
points and Repass and his crew would be well advised to learn how to use
them. Even on a boat like this, or should I say especially on a boat like
this, at 66 feet, it is more than good seamanship to reduce sail area when
the wind hits 40 knots and is gusting 50; it is essential. And if the wind
stays that way for a few hours, to say nothing of a few days, not only will
that big flag of a main probably need repairs or replacing, the crew is
likely to be quite happy to get off this boat and never come back, and I
think the owner will be on the phone to the designer with a few choice
words to say.
* From Troy Scharlow: A big thanks to Randall Pittman and his crew aboard
the Genuine Risk. On their way to the start of the Chicago to Mackinac
race, from the finish of the Pt. Huron to Mackinac, they made a scheduled
stop at Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, Holland, MI. During a busy time for the
crew (and it's a very busy week for these guys) they made the boat
available for tour to any of the local sailors that ventured down the dock
for a view. Three local junior sailors were treated to a short,
action-packed, day sail on Wednesday afternoon. The Genuine Risk crew
quickly integrated the kids into the mix and made them feel very welcome.
Hats off to these guys for giving them a memorable experience.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Just remember ... if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.