SCUTTLEBUTT 1635 - July 29, 2004
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releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing, whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.
Asked about the rift at the recent UBS Trophy regatta in Newport, (Ernesto)
Bertarelli said: "It's not about money. I think, as people have found out,
he (Russell Coutts) is a difficult guy to motivate. I'm not the first one
facing this issue."
If not money, is the squabble about Coutts being confined to running the
sailing team and not being able to shape the 2007 Cup? His vision was to
reduce costs and open up the series to the public. The Swiss, in the shape
of Bertarelli's associate Michel Bonnefous, who runs the newly formed
America's Cup Management, have set rights control and revenue-raising as
priorities. "I think you've got to use people where they are best at," said
Bertarelli. "And I couldn't see Michel Bonnefous helming the boat and
Russell being in the office, drafting contracts. I thought the logical
approach was to use Russell leading the team and yet contributing to
overall construction and Michel drafting the contracts. Which basically is
what they did with Alinghi in 2003. So it was a natural split."
Coutts suggests Bertarelli puts his own narrow interests ahead of what is
good for the event. Rewriting the rules in Protocol clause 13.12 on July 14
expressly to block Coutts from joining another team, a move which adversely
affects other teams and sailors, "is pretty indicative of Ernesto's style
when he doesn't get his way", asserts Coutts. A source close to the BMW
Oracle team, with whom Protocol changes have to be agreed, said the
amendments came after a phone call between Bertarelli and Larry Ellison, of
Oracle. - Excerpt from a story by Tim Jeffery in the Daily Telegraph, full
Russell Coutts could have a variety of legal options to consider if he
wants to be sailing at the next America's Cup, but the first hurdle is
likely to be the hardest. Having been sacked by his Swiss employers, cup
holders Alinghi, this week, Coutts is exploring ways to overturn the
180-day clause slipped into a rearranged cup protocol put in place just
before the axing. The clause is understood to have been teed up in a phone
conversation between Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli and Oracle chief,
software billionaire Larry Ellison, whose syndicate is acting as Challenger
of Record for the next cup regatta. The move prevents a sailor who has
spent 180 days working for a syndicate since the end of the previous cup
regatta being hired by another for the 2007 event.
Among the possible alternatives for Coutts' legal advisers to consider
* Applying to New York state, whose law governs the cup, with a view to
restraint of trade issues.
* Looking at European law and whether it had any jurisdiction in the cup.
* Whether the 180-day clause, combined with the termination of his
contract, amounted to an unfair restraint of trade.
Alinghi last night put another stumbling block in place for Coutts.
Syndicate spokesman Christophe Lamps said that Coutts would also be bound
by a non-competition clause, which would prevent a sailor whose contract
had been terminated from joining another syndicate. - Excerpts from a story
by David Leggart, NZ Herald, full story: http://tinyurl.com/5abd9
Russell Coutts is going to struggle to sail for another team at the 2007
America's Cup. This is the opinion of Louis Vuitton Cup organizer Bruno
Trouble, who believes Coutts will be left high and dry in Valencia. Trouble
is sad to see Coutts fired as helmsman by Cup holders Alinghi, but he is
not surprised, given their long term problems. He says Coutts is going to
struggle to convince Alinghi's lawyers to allow him to sail for another
team in 2007, because Ernesto Bertarelli is a tough businessman. Trouble
says that knowing Bertarelli, there will be a wall of lawyers waiting,
which will make life very difficult for Coutts to sail for another team.
However, Trouble believes the decision to axe Coutts has done all the other
teams a big favor as the brains trust has been taken away and therefore
given all other teams a better chance of nabbing the Auld Mug. He says it
will seriously weaken the defense of the Cup, which bodes well for the
likes of Team New Zealand, as Alinghi will not be anywhere near as strong
without Coutts, and their hopes of being the dream team are now over. -
xtramsn.com, full story: http://xtramsn.co.nz/sport/0,,3971-3553858,00.html
ULLMAN SAILS PROVIDE SPEED TO WIN!
Scott Taylor's B-32 "Defiance" won both Class and Boat of the Week with
eight firsts and a second at this year's Whidbey Island Race Week. Ed Feo's
Schock 40 "Mad Dog" dominated the Crew of Two Around Catalina Island race.
Finishing ten minutes in front of the first catamaran and 5 1/2 hours in
front of the next monohull to capture first boat to finish, first in class
and first overall. Are you ready for the "Fastest Sails on the Planet"?
Visit your nearest Ullman Sails loft or on line at http://www.ullmansails.com
MATCH RACING RANKINGS
ISAF has just released their new match racing rankings … and it is really
fun reading. For instance, now that Ed Baird (USA) has won the ISAF Match
Racing World Championship for the second consecutive year, he has finally
displaced Karol Jablonski (POL), in the rankings. But even though Jablonski
finished second to Baird at the World Championship, he dropped into third
place behind James Spithill, who did not even compete in this year's World
What's even more ridiculous was the second paragraph of the ISAF story,
which reads in part, "Peter Gilmour (USA) who has recently been seen on the
ISAF Grade 1 circuit wearing the colours of his new Syndicate, Alinghi, has
been conquering almost everything."
For the record - Gilmour grew up in Australia and lives and works in
Australia. And with his Australian accent, it's very hard to think of Gilly
as an American. If he has in fact joined the Alinghi syndicate, someone
should probably tell Ernesto Bertarelli … and also Pizza-La, who has
sponsored Gilmour's match racing team for some time now.
The new rankings are now online: http://tinyurl.com/3tgyv
WATCH FOR THE MAIL
The production of The Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008, including US
Sailing Prescriptions, is on schedule, and will be available before the end
of the year. The Racing Rules are effective on January 1, 2005. Members of
US Sailing will receive a free copy of the new rules before the end of the
year and additional copies will be available for purchase through US
Sailing's online store. Dave Perry's Understanding the Racing Rules Through
2008, a companion to The Racing Rules of Sailing, is currently being
produced and will also be available by the end of the year. The Racing
Rules of Sailing are revised and published every four years by the
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the U.S. rulebook includes
rules adopted by US Sailing for events held in the U.S. www.ussailing.org/rules
SWEDISH MATCH TOUR
Cascais, Portugal - With northerly winds blowing up to 20 knots, the
quarterfinalists are nearly set at Stage 1 of the Swedish Match Tour
2004-'05. Group B completed its five flight round robin this morning, with
crews led by skippers Russell Coutts (NZL), Bertrand Pacé (FRA) and Peter
Holmberg (USVI) advancing to the quarters by placing 1-2-3. Coutts won the
group with a 5-0 mark, followed by Pacé at 4-1 and Holmberg at 3-2.
They joined Ed Baird (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Jesper Radich (DEN) in
the quarterfinals of the inaugural Portugal Match Cup. The Group A skippers
advanced after yesterday's racing. All that's left to decide is the two
remaining quarterfinalists, which will be determined from the five flight
repechage round that was suspended this evening after two and two-thirds
flights. The repechage round is scheduled to be completed tomorrow.
Chris Law praised the new Swedish Match 40s that are in use at this first
stage of the sixth Swedish Match Tour season. "They're fantastic boats. The
teething problems they're having are mostly gear related. They're a great
concept." The narrow 40-footers designed by Pelle Petterson of Sweden were
on fire in today's stronger winds. Upwind, they leaned over on their ear,
dug in and powered up. Downwind, the steamed along at a good clip. "I like
the boats a lot. They're a good match-racing boat," said Coutts, who has a
strong knowledge of yacht design. "They've got a nice open layout and
handle like a bigger boat. I think they're pretty nice. They're physical
boats. They're quite hard to tack well. Anything that adds skill to it is
good." - Sean McNeill, www.SwedishMatchTour.com
This Scuttlebutt contest is calling for the submission of race-related
stories from the two classic Great Lakes events: Bacardi Bayview Mackinac
Race and Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. When Genuine Risk lost their
rig a few days before the Bayview race, we looked forward to many tales of
high drama. But now with predominately light air prevailing for both races,
contest entries might now include the details of food rationing and glassy
Regardless, Scuttlebutt wants the scuttlebutt. Stories of overcoming
obstacles. Stories about stuff that isn't very funny when it happens, but
we can all laugh about afterwards (maybe after all the bills are paid).
We'll post the best of them, and pass out a few Scuttlebutt caps to the
most worthy. Deadline is August 4th. Ready to share your story? Go to the
following link for details:
HAVE FUN EVERY DAY
Summer means fun and sailing. For a new take on both, try singlehanded
sport boat sailing in the Bongo. Lots of sail options and an ergonomically
designed cockpit makes the Bongo enjoyable for kids from 8 to 80.
Ernesto Bertarelli knows the sweet taste of victory. Last year, the
38-year-old billionaire won the America's Cup for landlocked Switzerland,
taking the trophy from New Zealand. In contrast, shareholders in
Bertarelli's company have tasted the sourness of defeat. Late last week,
shares in his Geneva-based Serono, Europe's largest biotechnology company
and the third-largest in the world, dropped as low as 746 Swiss francs
($923), down two-thirds from a peak of 2146 francs on August 15, 2000 -
before Bertarelli began training for yachting's biggest prize. In that
time, the value of Bertarelli's 55 per cent stake has tumbled by more than
half to US$5.2 billion (NZ$8.15 billion) from about US$11 billion. - Kim
Frick and Vernon Silver, NZ Herald, full story: http://tinyurl.com/3rb25
* Following Wednesday's afternoon windward - leeward race and the evening's
short offshore race, Ireland has regained the lead in the Rolex Commodores'
Cup. After three races the team is now on 21.5 points just half a point
ahead of GBR Black. France Blue is in third place with 26 points and GBR
Red has 26.5 points. On Wednesday, two windward-leeward races are again
scheduled, but the Race Committee are expected to try and run at least one
more to make up for the three races lost on Monday and Tuesday.
* ISAF President Paul Henderson will sit on the evaluation commission that
will analyze the candidature files that Paris (FRA), New York (USA), Moscow
(RUS), London (GBR), and Madrid (ESP), will have submitted to the IOC to
host the Olympic Games in 2012. Henderson is well known to the Olympic
Family, having dedicated five years as a volunteer in his leadership of the
Toronto Olympic Bid, for the right to host the 1996 Games. Paul is also a
member of the Sports and Environment Commission, and the Women and Sport
Commission of the International Olympic Committee. -
* Over one hundred boats competed in Whidbey Island Race Week, known
locally as the adult summer camp of the Northwest US - British Columbia
region. Plenty of non-sailing activites, though our latest Scuttlebutt
photo gallery is limited to only the on-the-water action:
* The organizers of Travemuende Week are more than happy with the first
half of the event. Up to Tuesday evening around 400,000 visitors have
visited the world's second biggest sailing event and the festival mile with
more than 150 stalls and twelve stages. In seven of the 37 boat classes,
the winners have already been named, plus 40,000 litres of beer and 20,000
grilled sausages have been consumed. - www.travemuende-woche.net
* The Laser Masters Pacific Coast Championship Regatta was held this year
at Huntington Lake, CA. Mature Laser sailors were treated to six races with
a variety of conditions from zero to a few 20 knot stingers that lasted for
30 seconds or so, but mostly 6-12 knots of beautiful sailing. Chris Rabb
won the Masters Championship and the new Don Trask Perpetual Trophy, while
Brodie Cobb (4th overall) took the Apprentice title, Bill Symes (2nd
overall) won the Grand Masters Division and Jim Christopher (6th overall)
convincingly was the top Great Grand Master. Complete results:
Today will be your last chance to vote in the Scuttlebutt survey - a poll
designed to help Ernesto Bertarelli decide who Alinghi should hire to drive
the syndicate's "B" boat. The nominated candidates (in alphabetical order)
are: Ed Baird, Paul Cayard, Peter Gilmour, Chris Larsen, Chris Law and Ken
Read. To vote, go to: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com. We'll let you know
tomorrow who the 'Buttheads have selected.
BAD NEWS, GOOD NEWS
There you are, racing upwind in 20 knots of breeze when -- oops! -- a winch
handle flips over the side, caught by one of the lines during a sail
adjustment. That's the bad news. The good news? You can replace the handle
as fast as you lost it. Simply go online to Hall's web store and click
"Accessories." Hall also sells replacement halyards, messenger line to run
those halyards, and lifeline cushions for your tired crew. The best news?
Hall gets you back in the race -- fast. http://www.hallspars.com
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 Chris Ericksen: What great news that Kevin Hall has been invited by
the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) to be a spokesperson for the Cancer
Survivorship Advocacy program ('Butt 1633). It has been my great pleasure
to know Kevin over the last ten years and to have seen him in action as an
instructor and speaker at the annual California International Sailing
Association (CISA) Advanced Racing Seminar every spring. He has inspired
hundreds of kids on the possibilities of excellence in sailing; now he can
reach thousands of Americans on the possibilities of success over cancer.
Like the better-known Lance Armstrong, Kevin Hall is a profile in courage
and determination. I am thrilled that his courage and determination will
not only be recognized outside of the sailing community but that he can
expand his reach to inspire others outside the sailing community.
* From Aaron Housten: In the past, I have found that I rarely agree with
Mr. Wheatley's opinions but on this one I have to agree whole heartedly. To
have what some might argue is the greatest AC helmsman ever (and if not,
certainly top 5) not participate in the '07 AC will be one of the greatest
injustices in the events history. And considering the bar for injustice in
the AC is set so high...
* From Dieter Loibner: Coutts vs. Bertarelli, another sequel of a classic
soap. Sure, the hired hand will finish second in this dispute, but if his
(former) boss should finish second at the end, snickering will be heard
from the gallery. With Cayard "parked" by Larry Ellison in 2003 and Coutts
sidelined in 2007, arguably two of the world's top sailors were/are
relegated to spectators at sailing's "marquee" event. Sounds kinda funny,
* From David Cook (Re: Russell's future in the A/C) How about this...
Ernesto helm Alinghi and Russell join one of the underdog teams like the
Auzzie Boys or the South African team? It's a win/win/win situation.
Ernesto can prove to the World he is a talented sailor, Russell can still
be part of the game that he deserves to play in, he can prove once and for
all that his management style is the best, he can be the ultimate
role-model, and at the same time, help out the newcomers. Imagine the PR
benefits to the A/C and the overall sport of sailing!
* From John Senger: Am I the only one wondering how well Mr. Bertarelli's
contract with Russell Coutts really was if he had to resort to changing the
Protocol in order to keep Russell from sailing with someone else?
* From John Rousmaniere: As Robin Knox-Johnston says, the possibility of
colliding with a rogue wave is perpetual. Rogues don't have to be immense
80-footers, just unusually high and nasty in comparison with the
surrounding sea state. And there are plenty of them: in his text book
Oceanography and Seamanship, William G. Van Dorn estimated that one
deep-water wave out of 20 is a rogue. One cause is a collision of
nonparallel waves, some running at one angle due to the local wind, others
running at another angle from a storm many miles beyond the horizon. Rogues
may also be caused by rapidly shifting, gusting, or otherwise irregular
winds. The British meteorologist Alan Watts ascribed the violence of the
1979 Fastnet storm in large part to 'corridors of extremely strong winds.'
That such events are more likely than our concept of 'steady breeze' admits
was made clear by NOAA meteorologist Joseph M. Sienkiewicz when he said, at
a safety-at-sea seminar, 'Wind is not a blanket. It is, rather, like a
Curmudgeon's Comment: The book that John refers to is in the Scuttlebutt
Sailing Club Library: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/books
* From Paul Hansen (re rogue waves): For anyone worried that rogue waves
are not being taken seriously take a look at the following article on a
possible cause of shallow water extreme waves.
http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/npg/10/2003/6/npg-10-503.pdf. Don't try to
follow the math as it might hurt your head but rather look at the extensive
list of references at the end and realize that the scientific community is
trying to understand them. Only when you understand something can you work
with it constructively with a view to forecasting high risk conditions.
Note that superposition of waves is not completely accepted as the cause.
Something keeps them together for much longer than superposition would
allow. A soliton doesn't seem to fit either. What would be really scary is
to see the superposition of two of these waves, one overtaking the other.
Trough and crest cancel initially to reduce the first wave (that's good)
and then immediately add on top of each other. (150' wave anyone?). I wish
some of the people listed in the references would read this newsletter and
chime in with some real insight. Al Osborne of Texas perhaps:
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. -