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SCUTTLEBUTT 1646 - August 13, 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.
The Olympics, there can be no greater event at which to excel. Just to get
to the Games requires an extraordinary level of commitment, focus and
ability. Once there the world's top sailors need to put in a lifetime's
best performance on one day and then repeat it, day after day. For some the
pressure of the event takes its toll and pushes competitors over the edge,
for others the global attention brings out the very best in their game.
Little surprise that winning a medal at the Olympic Games remains the most
prestigious and impressive of sporting achievements. For spectators the
Games represent some of the best sailing action available with nine diverse
classes racing over 15 days. - Matthew Sheahan, Yachting World,
THE US OLYMPIC SAILING DELEGATION
Tornado crew Charlie Ogletree (Houston, Texas) was elected Team Captain by
his teammates for the 18-member U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. The distinction
allowed him to vote, with the 27 other Team Captains from the 2004 Olympic
Team, to determine who, among the 531 athletes competing, will carry the
flag for the U.S.A. in the Parade of Athletes at Friday' Opening Ceremony.
This will be Ogletree' third consecutive Olympic Games sailing with skipper
Johnny Lovell (New Orleans, La.).
Kevin Hall finishes second in the Flag Bearer elections held among the Team
Captains on the US Olympic Team. The honor allows him to move to the head
of the U.S. delegation at the Parade of Athletes in Friday' Opening
Ceremonies. Bestowed with the high honor of carrying the U.S. flag for the
2004 Olympic Team will be WNBA veteran and two-time Olympic gold medallist
Dawn Staley (Philadelphia, Pa.). Hall will be close behind, followed behind
by Ogletree and other Team Captains, then the different groups of athletes
representing the 28 Olympic sports. Hall is a first-timer here at the Olympics.
Katie McDowell (Barrington, R.I.) and Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.)
won their 470 Women's race after disregarding the superstition of practice
race leaders - bailing out - for good luck before crossing the finish line.
Their lead over the fleet was substantial. After racing, McDowell reflected
on what will be her first Olympic experience.
470 Men' crew Kevin Burnham (Miami, Fla.) also had a fine day on the
racecourse. "The boat's totally ready, and we had good speed in the
practice race," said Burnham. Rounding second to last at the weather mark,
Burnham and skipper Paul Foerster (Rockwall, Texas) began picking off
boats, passing 20 or so to climb into fifth. "The class is just so deep in
talent. Literally, there are 10-15 teams that can win gold. I will stake my
life on it that the regatta will come down to the last race."
Burnham believes the winds on the Saronic Gulf -sometimes a northerly
offshore Meltemi flow and sometimes an onshore seabreeze -will play a huge
role in deciding medals. "There is no rhyme or reason when the wind shifts
- it' a unique place to sail. When it's the Meltemi, say your prayers,
because there' rarely a leader around the first mark that wins. The breeze
sometimes is so close to you, but you can't get to it. And you can keep
your eyes peeled, but the wind drops in on you. The seabreeze, even, is
capable of 30 degree shifts."
"Despite some distractions - heat, security issues, the meltemi - the U.S.
Sailing Team looks to increase its record medal count at the Olympic Games
this month in Athens. A surging U.S. Olympic Sailing Team could win more
medals than many would have predicted a year ago." That's the opinion of
Sail magazine's Josh Adams in a story just posted on the magazine's
website. Adams analyzes each class and feels the US has "strong" medal
prospects in the Star, Tornado, Yngling and Laser classes; and "moderate"
medal prospects in the 49er, Europe, 470 Men and 470 Women classes. To read
Adams' reviews: http://www.sailmagazine.com/medals/
RESOLVED … WITHOUT WASTING WORDS
The following is the entire content of a joint press release to be issued
by Quantum and Genesis. "Genesis International and Quantum Sail Design
Group have resolved their intellectual property related business
differences. The terms and conditions of this resolution remain undisclosed."
Mari Cha 4, Shockwave and GBR Victory Challenge have one thing in common:
the T-Ring. Developed during the 2003 Americas Cup, the T-Ring replaces the
traditional clip-shackles that frequently fail on genoa sheets. The T-Ring
is unbreakable, doesn't cause damage to masts and shrouds, provides quick
and easy sheet application and is less expensive than the clips it
replaces. Thoroughly tested, the T-Ring is available worldwide with
applications offered for both family cruisers and the most profile yachts.
Photos and additional information at http://www.t-ring.co.nz/
THE HIGH COST OF CAMPAIGNING
Skipper Carol Cronin of Jamestown, R.I., and her crew, Liz Filter of
Stevensville, Md., and Nancy Haberland of Annapolis, Md., will make their
Olympic debuts Saturday in the Yngling, a keelboat that's also making its
first Summer Games appearance. Cronin and crew might not be here if Filter
hadn't struck a tasty sponsorship deal with Atkins, one of the companies
behind the low-carb diet craze. Launching an Olympic campaign takes some
serious cash, as Cronin and Filter quickly discovered after deciding 31/2
years ago to try and qualify for Athens with the U.S. women's sailing team.
There's a boat to buy, and a van to pull it. A coach to pay. Sails to
replace. There are a lot of regattas in Europe, and since the Yngling
(pronounced ING-ling) is a three-person boat, travel costs are high. All
this while the sailors have to put their real jobs on hold. Annual budget:
Filter, who has 13 years of experience in medical sales, went looking for
sponsorships and negotiated a $244,000 deal with Atkins. "We're not getting
paid. That's two years of expenses for us. That's all it is," Cronin said.
"Obviously it's still very helpful because otherwise I'd be figuring out
how to get my house back from the bank."
"We were doing the little dog-and-pony shows with cocktail parties with
friends and family, and submitting for grants at the local sailing
foundations, but we just needed the really big hit to take away that
worry," Filter said. So she sent proposals to about 200 companies, all of
which make various household products. "I didn't want to have a sponsor
that I didn't believe in," said Filter, who dropped several pounds on the
Atkins diet after having two children, now ages 6 and 4. She heard back
from about 50 companies. Some offered free socks, shirts or watches, but
those don't pay the freight. She pared her list to a handful of serious
prospects and closed the deal with Atkins.
Cronin and her crew got an additional $75,000 from U.S. Sailing and the
USOC after winning the trials. While their sponsorship deal is unmatched
among American sailors, it probably does no more than equal the funding
that some European sailors receive from their national governing bodies. -
Excerpts from a story by Bernie Wilson, AP as posted on the SF Gate
website, full story: http://tinyurl.com/6xa8g
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
The America's Cup, the world's oldest international sporting event, is
about to sail into European waters for the first time since it was lost to
the New World in 1851. But the 32nd gathering of the world's rich and
powerful, who for 150 years have been obsessed sometimes to the point of
penury with winning it, could be about to take place without Britain. The
British team, GBR Challenge Americas Cup, has just three weeks to finalize
a deal to be ready in time to compete in Valencia in 2007.
At present the computer tycoon Peter Harrison has bankrolled the challenge
to the tune of £25m. But he says he will reluctantly pull out unless
corporate sponsors can come up with a further £20m to see his dream
through. Gordon Moultrie, the team's principle, is in the process of
preparing the boat and its crew. But as for the prospect of Britain not
entering? "I just can't go there," he said yesterday.
The problem has been convincing big companies to sign up for what has
become, in a rapidly commercializing sport, an all-year-round rather than
once-every-four-year commitment. A deal is said to be close but it has been
stalled at boardroom level for 12 months. According to some at Skandia
Cowes Week this week, one of the problems has been in finding a big name
skipper for GBR. While sailing is one of the few real gold medal prospects
at Athens, the UK's leading yachtsmen have already signed for foreign
teams. Ben Ainslie will skipper Team New Zealand, while Iain Percy has
joined the Italians. Ellen MacArthur, perhaps the biggest name in the
sport, is a long-distance specialist rather than team racer. - Excerpts
from a story by Jonathan Brown on the NZ Herald website, full story:
MADDENINGLY SLOW START
Skovshoved, Denmark - Stage 2 of the 2004-2005 Swedish Match Tour, the
Danish Open, got of to a maddeningly slow start Thursday. One flight of
racing was completed in the morning before the wind shut off for the day.
The winds were so light on Oresund, north of Copenhagen between Denmark and
Sweden, that the body of water resembled a reflecting pool, the only waves
made by water skiers. No starts were attempted after Flight 2 was cancelled
in progress at 11:04 a.m. Racing was officially postponed for the day at
6:00 p.m. "This isn't the worst day we've ever had, but it couldn't be much
worse," said Jan Schlüter, Project Manager of the Danish Open.
The format of the Danish Open 2004 calls for the 12 crews to sail a single
round robin, with the top four advancing to the semifinals before the
final. Schlüter said he would opt to drop the semifinals in favor of
completing the round robin, as opposed to shortening the round robin to
hold the semis before the final. "That way you know that you have the two
right people in the final," Schlüter said.
The winners were Mathieu Richard (FRA) over Lotte Meldgaard (DEN), Ulf
Jonson (SWE) over Peter Wibroe (DEN) and Lars Nordbjerg (DEN) over Jes
Gram-Hansen (DEN). Crews led by Michael Dunstan (AUS), Peter Gilmour (AUS),
Kelvin Harrap (NZL), Chris Law (GBR), Staffan Lindberg (FIN) and Philippe
Presti (FRA) have yet to compete. - Sean McNeill, www.SwedishMatchTour.com
* The 46-boat Lido 14 Class Championships, held on Fernridge Lake near
Eugene, OR concluded Wednesday with Stuart Robertson and his daughter Erin
Frederick comfortably holding off three-time champion Mark Gaudio and his
crew, John Papadopoulos. Joe D'Amico and Ruth Pence from Sequim, WA took
third place in what was the largest championship fleet in nearly 20 years.
Robertson previously won the championships in 1975. Complete results:
* Races eight and nine of ten were sailed at the Melges 24 Worlds in
Marstrand and with a slight increase in breeze the 81 competitors had their
best days sailing yet. Philippe Kahn and Geir Dahl Andersen were the
individual race winners, but in the overall standings Italy's Maruizio Abba
has now overtaken Frenchman Sebastien Col, helming P&P for Phillip Ligot,
to lead by 4.6 points with Stuart Rix of the UK, helming Quentin Strauss's
Team Gill, in third place. Norway's Eivind Melleby twice fell foul of the
black flag dropping him down to fifth and out of contention. www.melges24.com
* Tyler Sinks of San Diego dominated the 2004 Naples Sabot Nationals held
this week on Mission Bay at San Diego, CA. Returning to the form that
helped him win the 2002 Nationals, fifteen year old Sinks adds this victory
to his win at the CFJ Nationals the previous week. Charlie Buckingham
finished second in the Gold flight with Wade Buxton taking third place.
Beth Barnard from Newport Beach handily won the Silver Fleet competition in
the 178-boat championship. Final results -
* The Optimist New England Championship Regatta at Sail Newport attracted
sailors and their families came from 12 US States, the USVI, Canada,
Barbados, Bermuda, Spain and New Zealand. 245 Championship Fleet Sailors
competed in the Gold Fleet and 64 new racers took part in the Green Fleet
for beginner racers, with 12-22 knots of breeze throughout the regatta.
Final Gold Fleet standings: 1. Ian Donahue, Brigantine, NJ, 31; 2. Sean
Bouchard, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, 38; 3. Atlantic Brugman, Spain / GOST,
42; 4. Matthew Wefer, Sea Cliff YC/ LISOT, 42; 5. Max Lopez, Raritan YC/
SSYC, 45. - www.sailnewport.org
* Bruno Peyron's 110ft maxi catamaran Orange II is in the starting blocks
for an attempt on the west-east transatlantic record. Peyron and 11 crew
are in New York waiting for a weather window, which they believe might open
up sometime in the next 72 hours. Weather experts Roger Badham and Pierre
Lasnier will give the final thumbs up to an attempt between Ambrose Light
and the Lizard. The record currently belongs to Steve Fossett, who set it
in PlayStation in PlayStation in October 2001. - Elaine Bunting/ Yachting
World, full story:
* Among the sailing areas on Scuttlebutt's list of 'Best Racing Venues in
the US' is the Gorge in Washington, which last week held their Columbia
Gorge One Design regatta. The latest Scuttlebutt photo gallery make it
clear why this really is a great place to sail:
For the complete list of top US racing venues:
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QUOTE / UNQUOTE
You think of the past three years' effort put into world and European
championships, and into the selection trials, and suddenly all that seems
insignificant. This is the one event everyone talks about. Eleven races
means something like 20 hours' performance to prove that you are the best.
It's not like a sprinter where you go from heats to podium with a total
time on track of under a minute. There will ups and downs for everyone. -
GBR Olympic Finn sailor Ben Ainslie from a story he wrote for The Daily
Telegraph, full story: http://tinyurl.com/4mpj2
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 Bob Billingham (re the movie "Wind"): While all of us real sailors
understood the inaccuracies and exaggerations, most of us were delighted to
our sport represented so glamorously on the big screen. We regularly allow
Hollywood to take liberties with the factual details to put some glitz on a
true event (after all - its entertainment). "Wind"'s tank test scene in the
desert creek was certainly more interesting than gray, dim interior of the
Naval Surface Warfare Tank in Carderock, MD and the parasailing/ jeep sail
testing scene evokes a much sexier image than inside of the black wind
tunnel at UWAL. While the whomper was a joke, it did communicate the
concept of how important sail design is to winning Cup races. Hats off to
Roger Vaughan and the producers of "Wind" for giving the non-sailing public
an accurate yet pleasantly embellished slice the sailing and Am Cup world.
They made it a fun movie and not a documentary. One further note: all my
non-sailing buddies say the best scenes were the I-14 racing shots.
* From Ross Bateson (re Roger Vaughan letter): The movie 'Wind' is often
mentioned in South coast UK sailing circles, as everyone's favourite film.
To this day, our lightweight runner has 'Whomper' written on it, although
sadly your film forewarned the ratings agencies and we were not allowed to
make it twice the size of that of our competition.
If you will forgive me for not appreciating your art, it is precisely the
Hollywooded cliché that makes the film great. Mad German yacht designer vs
well greased American corporate machine is a triumph of the small man to
match greats such as Rocky's win over Drago in Stallone's 4th ringside
epic. I urge those of you who enjoyed Wind to read Warwick "tandem keel"
Collins' Cold War AC trilogy 'Challenge'. Bizarrely hard to get hold of
nowadays, it's right up there with Moby Dick in many ways. Perhaps Roger
should make a film of it?
* From Dennis W. Nixon (Regarding 'Wind'): I had the privilege of working
as a "sailing extra" for two weeks in Newport during the filming of Wind,
turning the handles of a coffee grinder on board Intrepid and American
Eagle. It was an incredible amount of fun, and a real eye-opener on the
mechanics of how a "major motion picture" is produced. Since scenes were
being re-written every day on the set, it seemed pretty clear even at that
stage that there would not be any Oscars in the movie's future. However,
the director was intent in capturing the excitement of sailing,
particularly in heavy weather, and in that one category I still believe the
movie does it better than any other Hollywood effort. As proof, I would
offer the scene in my own living room this past Tuesday night: after the
local Jamestown Yacht Club Tuesday night race, both of my daughters (ages
20 and 16) brought their crews home for a barbecue followed by their
favorite after-dinner entertainment, yet another viewing of Wind. Although
only two of the dozen kids there hadn't seen it before, they all stayed to
the end. It's still a lot of fun.
* From Nelson Stephenson: I am greatly amused by the two current threads
extolling the problems with ratings rules and design of extreme boats that
push the envelope and are hard to rate. The answer to any question
involving ratings rules is always One Design. Period. Hands down more fun.
Equal boats out of the box, preparation, conditioning and sailing ability
is more important than design, first to finish wins and the boats generally
hold their value. What's not to like about that?
It is also amusing that the movie "Wind" is berated for being overly
simplistic and not really representing our sport very well. If it attracts
people to sailing and gets them interested then it is up to the rest of us
to be sure that the newly attracted candidates get a great first experience
and learn what sailing is all about. If we always let them have Fun first,
they will be around long enough to figure out the rules. Maybe every boat
should be required to carry an impressive and mythical "Whomper" just to
attract new people to the sport of sailing. My bet is the only shots that
would appear on TV and in the newspapers would be those of boats with the
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit
there." - Arthur Godfrey