SCUTTLEBUTT 1645 - August 12, 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.
RANDALL PITTMAN'S OTHER BOAT
(Much has been written about Randall Pitman's hot new Dubois 90-foot,
canting ballast race boat. However, Pittman has another pretty amazing
sailboat - the 140-foot Whirlaway. Here's an excerpt from a story editor
Richard Hazelton did about Whirlaway for 48 Degrees North.)
Whirlaway was designed by Dubois Naval Arch. (www.duboisyachts.com) and
built in 2002 by Vitters Shipyard in the Netherlands (www.vitters.com). She
is the sistership to African Queen, now renamed Red Dragon. Randall,
however, wanted to increase the performance so the draft was increased to
4.7m, and an extending dagger board was designed to take the draft to 7m
when sailing upwind. This added righting moment and allowed for a taller
rig, (170 ft.) for added sail area. Another modification to make the boat
lighter was the use of Nomax panels. These panels are used in airplanes
because of their strength, thermal and sound deadening properties, but
especially for their light weight. "We saved 89,000 pounds, compared to the
sistership," says Randall.
But increasing performance in no way compromised the comfort and pure
luxury of the yacht. The Dubois theme features split level saloon areas
with owner and guest accommodations aft and crew quarters forward. The
interior was styled by Redman Whitely Dixon. To go below on Whirlaway is
more like entering a "Street of Dreams" house than a yacht. You really do
have to remind yourself you're on a boat. With 140' length and 29' of beam,
you don't need to scale down chairs, tables, or settees. Actually, you
don't really have settees, they're couches, and full dining room sets
instead of sliding into a horseshoe.
Even with its size, there are still many ingenious ways in which space is
used. For instance, in the center of the dining room table is a hidden flat
screen that rises up to turn the sitting area into a home theater.
Actually, flatscreens are seen throughout the boat. Among other functions,
you can call up a page and check on the status of any system on the boat,
and with a boat this size, there are a myriad of systems. Again, just for
scale, the freshwater maker can put out 2000 gallons per day.
Designers have used several types of mahogany to create a very comfortable
and home-like feeling throughout the boat. You are not aware that this wood
is mostly facing over the Nomax core to keep the weight down. Another
striking feature of the boat is the artwork. Rare and original artwork
adorns the walls of the rooms (cabins). To answer the obvious question,
yes, the air in the boat is specially treated so as not to affect the art.
One such piece an original portrait of the famous race horse after which
the boat is named, "Whirlaway", painted in the 1940's. "All my boats are
named after race horses," says Randall. Whirlaway, Genuine Risk, Ruffian
(J/35). I see a parallel between race horses and racing sailboats -- all
have grace, power and speed." - Richard Hazelton, Editor, 48 Degrees North,
full story: http://www.48north.com/aug_2004/style.htm
Make no mistake every competitor at the Olympic Games will feel the
pressure. Nobody wants to let themselves, their team mates or their country
down on the world stage. For sailors the Olympics is the one chance you get
every four years to be on the same world stage as all the other sports. At
the end of the day an Olympic medal is an Olympic medal - it doesn't matter
which sport you win it in. And if you fail it is a long wait to the next
Olympics and there is no guarantee you'll get another chance.
Past results have shown that Olympic medals are normally won by proven
performers in any class. Individuals and teams that have won medals at
other major international events are best equipped to deal with the
pressure that surrounds the Olympics. When you see sailors interviewed
prior to the Games about dealing with the pressure of the Olympics they
often trot out their intention to treat the Olympics 'just like any other
event'. This is absolutely the right approach - but is it feasible? My
advice to them is that this is far easier said then done. The Olympics is
not like any other event. Those that are best prepared for what lies ahead
and succeed in treating it much the same as any other regatta will give
themselves the best chance of success. - Excerpts from a story by two time
GBR Olympic Silver Medallist (1996- 470; 2000 - Star) Ian Walker posted on
The Daily Sail website, full story: http://tinyurl.com/3urqz
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
(The following quotes are taken from a story posted on the Sailing World
website asking members of the US Olympic team about their medal prospects.
* I'm going to be out there on the start line and just like me, everyone
that shows up has a chance. - Mistral sailor Lanee Beashel,
* "No other U.S. Laser sailor has been in the top three in a major
international regatta in the last four years. I was sixth in the Worlds
last year. I am improving but in order for me to get a medal I'm going to
have to find something more somewhere." - Laser sailor Mark Mendleblatt
"I think there will be at least 8 boats capable of winning a medal, and
Katie and I are right in the mix. We did a great job peaking for the
Trials, and we need to replicate that process and improve on it for the
Olympics." - 470 Women's crew Isabelle Kinsolving
FAST SAILS DEMAND FAST CLOTH!
Why are Ullman Sails the fastest sails on the planet? Simple… fast designs
demand fast cloth! At Ullman Sails we choose only the best sail cloth from
Contender, Dimension/Polyant and Bainbridge International. What good is a
fast sail design if the cloth can't hold the shape? Our fast designs
combined with superior sailcloth continue collecting trophies for our
customers. If you and your crew are ready, let Ullman Sails bring our speed
technology to your sails. Call your nearest Ullman Sails loft or visit us
AUSSIE OLYMPIC PROSPECTS
The sailing team in Athens is undoubtedly the strongest and best prepared
Australia has sent to the Olympics. In nine of the 11 classes, the
Australians have raced at the Olympics before; one of them, Colin Beashel,
five times in the Star class. They have forged a close cameraderie between
the old hands and the newcomers, drawing strength from each other through
many hours of regattas and practice, that has carried on from Sydney 2000.
Winning at sailing in the Olympics at a first attempt is a rarity. It's a
special event, within a super-charged atmosphere generated by the world's
best in a host of sports, under intense media and spectator scrutiny.
With the fleets distilled to the very best sailors from the Olympics'
national nomination process, everyone is going to be fast, everyone is
going to be super fit. Knowing how to race well in all conditions and being
accustomed to winning major events will sort the medallists from the lesser
currency. Athens is going to be a tricky place to sail, with high land and
the city's buildings affecting the Meltemi breeze off the land which,
according to the Australians who have raced there, is much like Sydney's
winter westerly. The sea breeze is also unstable, with direction shifts of
up to 30 degrees even in moderate to fresh conditions. That will make the
pre-event predictions just as tricky.
Yachting Australia's head coach Victor Kovalenko believes the team has the
potential to win medals in nine of the 11 classes. - Bob Ross, Sail-World
website, full story: http://www.sail-world.com/
(Graham Biehl did not make the US Olympic Team. Crewing for Mikee
Anderson-Mitterling, the 17-year old student from San Diego finished second
in the 470 trials behind Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham. Still, the New
York Times published an interview with this talented young man that we
thought you'd enjoy. Here are several excerpts.)
New York Times: How much time do you spend in the average week training for
the Olympics, and what do you do to train on an average day?
Graham Biehl: Leading up to the Olympic trials, we sailed everyday as soon
as I got out of school. We were on the water from 2 p.m. until dark. If
there wasn't any wind, there was boat maintenance/improvement, fundraising,
and a little bit of fun as well. You must do some other activities to clear
your mind. It was usually surfing for us. Sometimes on weekends, we woud
pack up the boat and head up to Long Beach for some breeze training.
NYT: What is your favorite aspect of training? What is your least favorite?
Biehl: I love all training. There is an even greater motivation for us
because we are so young. I never get tired of any of it, as I am always
trying to stay in peak physical condition and on top of my sailing.
NYT: Do you think that being a successful athlete has more to do with
physical strength or will, and why?
Biehl: Will and physical strength are the most important. Both have gotten
me to where I am today. I can't even imagine where I might be in the next 4
years. My determination will determine that. Your physical strength helps
you compete against the best athletes in the world, and sailing is one of
the most demanding sports around, combining both physical and mental. Over
half of sailing is mental. Decisions on the water determine the outcome of
your entire regatta, more than just the race itself.
NYT: What advice would you give to other kids about making their dreams
Biehl: Practice hard and keep at it. Make smart decisions with you life and
your sport. Always keep a positive attitude.
Full story: www.nytimes.com/learning/students/pop/articles/biehl.html
MELGES 24 WORLDS
Day three at the Melges 24 Worlds in Marstrand saw three different race
winners. Italians Luca Stefanini and Maurizio Abba won races five and six
respectively with Bjorn Morland Pedersen from Norway taking the seventh.
Conditions were extremely testing as the wind velocity and direction varied
constantly throughout the day. In the overall standings Sebastien Col,
helming the French P&P Team for Phillip Ligot, is now leading the regatta
with 42 points from Norway's Eivind Melleby and Italy's Maurizio Abba who
are both on 45 points. In fourth place is Flavio Favini on 58, sailing Blu
Moon for Switzerland's Franco Rossini with Britain's Stuart Rix and Quentin
Strauss's Team Gill in fifth on 74 and Keith Musto in sixth on 82. - Fiona
* Day five of Skandia Cowes Week saw some of the trickiest sailing
conditions encountered so far as a fickle South, South Easterly breeze
dominated the race track with the promise of heavier conditions as the
afternoon progressed. Patchy sunshine filtered through cotton wool clouds
for all 882 boats. As a few rain clouds passed overhead, and with the rain
came some increased wind pressure and this is expected to settle in
overnight producing South-Westerly force 3-4 winds, but heavy showers and
some clatters of thunder are expected as the afternoon progresses. Magnus
Wheatley, Yachts and Yachting, full story: http://tinyurl.com/4oof5
Event website: http://www.cowesweek.co.uk
* This past weekend saw six top keelboat teams meet at the New York Yacht
Club's Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, RI compete for the Morgan Cup,
widely considered to be the unofficial national championship of keelboat
team racing. The Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club team bested the defending
New York Yacht Club team in a very competitive series of three, 15 race
round-robins over two days. This event is noteworthy as it also serves as a
showcase for sportsmanship and as a venue for competitors, race committee
and rules experts to collaborate on the development of the sport. -
* One hundred seventy-eight entrants are competing this week at the Naples
Sabot Nationals on Mission Bay at San Diego, CA. Eliminations on Monday
drew the fleet size down to the event maximum of 120 boats, and qualifiers
on Tuesday determined the top thirty boats that would vie for the
championship. After four championship races on Wednesday, the early leader
is Tyler Sinks of San Diego, followed by Newport Beach sailors Charlie
Buckingham in second and Wade Buxton in third. Racing concludes on
Thursday. Full results - http://www.sdyc.org/juniors/04results/sabotnats.htm
* Skandia, the international long-term savings company, announced it will
continue to sponsor Skandia Cowes Week through to 2008. Skandia's group
marketing director, André Oszmann said, "One of the reasons Skandia Cowes
Week works so well for us is that there are very few sports' sponsorships
that allow the sponsors to physically get involved in the actual event and
taking part in the racing is an important part of what we can offer some of
the 1,500 corporate guests we invite to come along each year."
* Alex Thomson finally (GBR) has a sponsor for his Open 60 (Vendée Globe)
campaign. The deal has allowed him to start a major refit on his boat,
formerly Roland Jourdian's Sill, just in the nick of time. The race starts
in November and the fleet has to assemble in the start port of Les Sables
d'Olonne in the second week of October. The deal is with "a very sexy
global brand" and will be officially announced in September. - Yachting
SAMSON CLASSICS MADE CONTEMPORARY
This season Samson is revisiting the classics with two new lines: WarpSpeed
White and XLS Extra-T. Traditional boats will now have the same great
performance of the original lines with a look for the ages - white covers.
Designed with Dyneema in the cores and 24 strand covers, these lines carry
on Samson's tradition of outstanding performance; a great choice for the
discriminating sailor who values both performance and appearance. Ask your
rigger for more information on these gorgeous lines. http://www.samsonrope.com
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(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 William F. Cook: I have a different recollection of the events
surrounding (the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed) Krazy Kyote 2 than does Matt
Manlove (Scuttlebutt #1644). The rating rule was not changed at the last
minute to keep Krazy Kyote 2 from competing. Quite to the contrary, she was
allowed to compete despite a clearly illegal mast (it was made in part from
illegal aramid fibers). My recollection is that the team withdrew after it
was decided by the measurers that the boat should not get windage credits
for shrouds and spreaders that it did not actually have (how unfair!).
While the press did its level best to present a sympathetic view of KK2's
plight, I recall thinking that chief measurer Sironi was quite unfairly
treated in the pages of certain sailing publications.
For the 2000 rule (well after the Admiral's Cup), the residuary resistance
formula in the IMS was changed so that boats with extremely high prismatic
coefficients were no longer so favorably treated. This was done primarily
by removing several high-Cp Delft models from the regression - models which
were developed mathematically but which were not the sort of thing a Naval
Architect would actually draw, and which caused the VPP to predict higher
drag for these boats than was realistic. The change halted the trend
towards 'bumped' boats, of which Krazy Kyote 2 was one example.
* From Scott Truesdell: The movie "Wind" is as silly to sailors as "Driven"
is to fans of CART. If I were to take "Driven" seriously, I would know that
I could win any car race simply by pressing the gas pedal down harder.
"Wind" is equally inane. When non-sailors ask about the whomper in "Wind"
(why don't all the other boats have that?) the answer is simple: it's
against the rules. All racing has rules. One of the rules of sailing is the
size and shape of sails. What most sailors find offensive about "Wind" is
the way it falsely presents our sport to wide audiences who don't know that
it isn't accurate.
* From Roger Vaughan: I've been amused by how the movie 'Wind' keeps
surfacing every so often. I was co-author of the story, but what was
written and how the movie went down have very little in common. Typical
Hollywood ending, I guess. Yes 'Wind' is maligned, and with many good
reasons. When it opened in Annapolis in 1992, friends surprised me with a
limo ride to the theater into a seat surrounded by local sailing pals. They
had a ball laughing hysterically at the "whomper" and the rest of the
ridiculous moments in the movie. But it was all in good fun, and I was
perhaps laughing hardest (through the tears).
More amazing is how many sailors continue to approach me to say how much
they liked 'Wind.' Some have insisted it's their favorite movie. I haven't
watched it in years, but script, story, and cast aside, in my mind the
cinematography alone is worth the ticket. John Toll, who later won an Oscar
for his craft, was Director of Photography, and he produced memorable
pictures of the boats sailing. The dinghy race filmed on Australia's Swan
River is dynamite stuff. Maybe that, and the fact 'Wind' is the only
America's Cup feature we have, is why this old flick has staying power.
Keep those royalty checks coming, I say. My last one was $8.39. Drinks for
* From Tom Donlan (Re the 8/11 rules quiz (on taking advantage of room
given at a mark): The answer is technically correct, but anyone who tries
it runs a serious risk of losing a protest. The outside, clear ahead boat
will say that he could have closed the gap, but did not do so in order to
avoid a collision. The inside boat had better bring plenty of witnesses.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OXYMORON