SCUTTLEBUTT 1665 - September 10, 2004
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MARSEILLE LOUIS VUITTON ACT 1: DAY FIVE
The Marseille Louis Vuitton Act resumed on Thursday with the match racing
phase of the event. After a couple of short postponements due to the
shifting wind, racing began in light to moderate 8 to 11 knot Southerly,
ideal conditions for America's Cup Class match racing. The Race Committee
scheduled a two-lap course, with two mile legs, ensuring short and sharp
matches, with plenty of action.
The match of the day was between BMW Oracle Racing and Emirates Team New
Zealand. For Emirates Team New Zealand, this was a much anticipated match.
The Kiwis have only ever faced Team Alinghi in a match race, and were eager
to see how they would match up to another prominent America's Cup team.
Emirates Team New Zealand rounded the mark ahead by 19-seconds, utilizing
equal speed and their right-side advantage.
Near the top of the second beat, Emirates Team New Zealand looked strong,
again coming in from the right hand side of the course. But USA-76 skipper
Chris Dickson was able to tack to leeward of NZL-82 and luff the New
Zealanders above the starboard tack layline, and past the mark. The boats
sat head to wind, nearly four boatlengths to windward of the mark, before
Dickson's team broke away, diving downwind for the mark, and leading Barker
around by 15 seconds. Emirates Team New Zealand couldn't make any headway
on the final run, and NZL-82 remained winless in six matches dating back to
the 31st America's Cup. Complete report and Friday's pairings are posted
FRA-57 beat RSA-48, delta 1:06
USA-76 beat NZL-82, delta 0:42
SUI-64 beat FRA-69, delta 3:28
NZL-82 beat RSA-48, delta 2:59
SUI-64 beat FRA-57, delt a 1:01
USA-76 beat FRA-69, delta 1:55
Standing after two matches (combined with fleet race scores):
1. BMW ORACLE Racing Team (22) (12) 34 points
2. Team Alinghi (20) (12) 32 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (18) (6) 24 points
4. K-Challenge (11) (6) 17 points
5. Team Shosholoza (8) (0) 8 points
6. LE DEFI (5) (0) 5 points
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
* Chris Dickson, skipper, BMW Oracle Racing on whether he will steer a
race: "I'm probably fourth in the pecking order (after Gavin Brady,
Bertrand Pacé and Larry Ellison), so hopefully not. If I'm driving we've
moved to fourth down the list for drivers for the day and that probably
means something's going wrong."
* Grant Dalton, Syndicate Head, Emirates Team New Zealand, speaking about
the BMW Oracle team that beat him on Thursday: "It's clear that BMW Oracle
is by far the best trained boat in the last 16 months so it's sort of a
funny situation where you're kicking yourself over a race that you know you
should have won. We should easily have won as we were well in front, but I
thought we were sharp today, the crew handling was great." -
FARR 40 WORLDS
A day of sun, big breeze and a short lumpy sea on San Francisco Bay proved
to be the favored conditions for Jim Richardson's Barking Mad at the Rolex
Farr 40 World Championship. The New England-based team set the tone by
winning the first of three races and is the only boat in the 31-strong
fleet to have a score line comprising single-digit results. Today's first
race began in lighter conditions with the sea breeze kicking in and
building during the afternoon to more than 25 knots.
After some extreme tactics at last year's Rolex Farr 40 Worlds in Sardinia,
which disqualified Barking Mad from the penultimate race, the team has been
playing it safe this time. "The thing about the early days of a regatta is
that you can put yourself behind the eight ball and that's difficult to
recover from," said Richardson, who is the 1998 world champion. "So we've
been trying not to lose the regatta in the first couple of days and
position ourselves for the end."
Barking Mad's tactician Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.), who won the J/24
World Championship on this course six years ago, explained the day's
strategy. "We did our best to get off the starting line in a position that
wasn't going to be at a disadvantage to the rest of the fleet," he said.
"We've been doing a pretty good job at getting the best starts without too
much risk, and then from there, pick our way through when we can. We aren't
trying to hit any home runs. We're relying on the things we do well to get
us past boats."
Racing continues through Sunday. Three races are planned for Friday, the
third day of racing. - Dana Paxton, Media Pro Intl, full story:
Standings after five races:
1. James Richardson, Boston, MA, Barking Mad, 9-2-1-4-2, 18
2. Massimo Mezzaroma, Rome, Italy, Nerone, 10-3-3-8-6, 30
3. Peter De Ridder, Monaco, Mean Machine, 7-1-10-12-4, 34
4. Steve & Fred Howe, San Diego, CA, Warpath, 15-12-5-2-11, 45
5. Marc Ewing, Glencoe, IL, Riot, 8-19-8-6-10, 51
6. Chuck Parrish, Hillsborough, CA, Slingshot, 16-9-15-5-7, 52
7. Peter Stoneberg, Orinda, CA, Shadow, 11-6-24-1-12, 54
8. Richard Perini, Atamaron, Australia, Evolution, 12-11-11-20-1, 55
9. Erik Maris, Paris, France, Twins, 2-5-13-6-10-25, 59
10. Eivind Astrup, Oslo, Norway, Norwegian Steam, 1-5-21-18-19, 64
Full results: http://tinyurl.com/6cjye
Updated photo gallery: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/f40worlds
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At present the only news coming out of Grenada is via Internet chat rooms
and some mobile phone messages, though as power is down neither can last
long. For yachtsmen with their boats in Grenada, whether laid up or
liveaboard, the news is not good. At Spice Island Marine, the main layup
facility in Prickly Bay, not a boat is left standing. There are also
reports of boats at anchor or moored in Prickly and Mount Hartman Bays
being driven ashore and the Moorings charter fleet, presumably laid up here
as their base is in Cannouan, was also badly damaged. No deaths or injuries
of yachtsmen are reported. A report from the University campus in St
Georges describes the marina there as being 'toast'.
Hurricane Ivan has now been upgraded to the highest category 5 (winds over
155 mph) and wind speed of over 200 mph has been recorded. Ivan is
currently tracking towards Jamaica, Cuba and it looks as though battered
Florida may be battered again. - Andrew Bray/Yachting World,
The MathWorks analysis tool, MATLAB, is being used by the design team of
GBR Challenge, the company behind the British entry to the 2007 America's
Cup, to help maximize the performance of the yacht. MATLAB is being used
for live analysis of boat strain and weather data to make crucial real-time
decisions about changing the mast and rig set-up to maximize boat speed.
During training, salient data is taken from various optical-fibre-based
devices that measure strain on the boat, as well as various sensors that
measure boat speed, wind speed and direction. Fibre optics change their
refractive index when put under strain so the strain can be measured by
measuring the change in wavelength of the light transmitted.
The data is read via a wireless LAN connection into data files, which can
then be quickly and easily manipulated in MATLAB on a support boat. The
results can be visually displayed in a variety of different ways to help
the team make quick decisions about changing the yacht's set-up. The team
also uses MATLAB to identify key statistical averages in historic local
weather data so that they can adjust the boat's set-up to perform to the
highest possible standard in average conditions for the location. - Colin
Holland, EE Times UK, full story: http://tinyurl.com/67eeb
* Thursday was a lay day for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo,
Sardinia, Italy. Two more races are scheduled with the event concluding
Saturday. Standings after three races: Racing Division - 1. Pyewacket, 4
points; 2. Wild Oats, 7; 3. Nokia, 11; Wally Division - 1. Alexia, 5; 2.
Tiketitan, 8; 3. Magic Carpet, 11; Cruising Division - 1. Inspiration, 9;
2. Mister A, 10; 3. Viriella, 11 - http://www.yccs.it/
* The WSSR Council announced the ratification of a new World Record for the
outright longest distance run in 24 hours. The record, set by Bruno Peyron
and crew on Orange 2 on 22nd and 23rd August 2004, now stands at 706.2 nm
with an average speed of 29.42 kts.
* The Paralympic Torch was lit Thursday for the ninth time in history for
the final countdown toward the Paralympic Games in Athens. Its route will
take it throughout Attica, passing through 54 municipalities and covering a
distance of 410 km. 680 torchbearers will share its light and the values of
strength, pursuit and noble competition. On September 17, the Paralympic
Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony to the
first Paralympic Games in Greece. -
* Sixteen teams are lined up to compete this weekend in the U.S. Team
Racing Championship, sailed at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Michigan,
from September 10-12. 96 sailors are vying for the National Championship
title and a spot to represent the U.S. at the 2005 World Championship. The
teams will be using brand-new Vanguard 15's supplied by Vanguard Sailboats.
* Second ranked women's match racer Claire Leroy of France sets the
standard for this October's Cicada International Women's Match Racing
Championship in Bermuda. Other skippers who have committed are #7 ranked
Betsy Alison (USA), #8 ranked Jenny Axhede (SWE), Paula Lewin (BER), ranked
#10, and Katie Spithill (AUS) ranked #11. Racing takes place in the
International One Design (IOD), scheduled for October 16-19 just off the
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton Harbour. - http://www.cicadaracing.com
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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 Marc Jacobi (edited to our 250 word limit - regarding Zuchlewski's
letter in #1664) One hardly gets "to do exactly what you want to," nor is
one guaranteed funding while pursuing Olympic sailing gold for the United
I did two full-time Laser Olympic efforts, in 1996 and 2000. While lucky to
fundraise 10% of what was required, the remainder came from my pocket. I
got nada from US Sailing; in fact, they took a cut of donations I raised as
an "administration fee." By May 2000 I had few job prospects (employers
don't like multi-year holes between jobs), a huge second mortgage and $80k
in credit card debt, thanks to the "privilege" of pursuing my Olympic
dream. I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything, but they came at a
significant personal and professional price, as they do for almost anyone
who seriously attempts to represent the United States at the Olympics in
the sport of Sailing.
While Mark Mendelblatt has the constant, visible support of his family (and
no doubt, the backing of a powerful yacht club back home), I am no less in
awe at his accomplishments. He kicked our butts at the November Trials, had
an extremely successful summer (culminating in a second at the Worlds), and
followed it up with several strong finishes at the Games.
While there are serious matters facing the world these days, in this, a
sailing forum, it is much more appropriate to salute the extraordinary
efforts of our Olympic athletes than it is to poo-poo them. Let's leave the
jingoistic innuendo to other platforms, okay?
* From Wes Durant, Secretary-Treasurer of the Club 420 Association: (Reply
to Bruce McPherson, #1664) The Club 420 was founded to fulfill a need in
junior sailing in Southern Massachusetts for a strict one design class.
Since 1978, this has been done following the initial purchase of the boats
by sailing clubs for their junior sailing programs. By keeping the Club 420
as it came out of the box, it did away with the Opti impression of who had
the most $$$ won. One does not need a tapered mast to learn how to sail as
none of the Club 420s used by collegiate sailors have tapered masts. The
class allows participation of individuals up until they have reached their
22nd birthdaym, and at the North Americans and Mid Winters, the events do
attract many collegiate sailors.
* From Chris Ericksen: J. Joseph Bainton is right when he says that the
Olympics "are not remotely the entirety of our sport" ('Butt 1664). The sad
part, however, is that Olympic sailing is the five-hundred-pound gorilla of
our sport. In a notable example of this, ISAF President Paul Henderson has
repeatedly declared that the Olympics and Olympic classes are not the most
important part of our sport, which I believe he believes; yet his messages
to us all too often focus on Olympic sailing. Even the ISAF President can't
get away from the gorilla.
US Sailing seems poised to gather in recreational sailing and somewhat
deemphasize its devotion to competitive sailing. Whether or not one agrees
on that goal, the sheer volume of invective, recrimination and weeping and
gnashing of teeth coming in the wake of the 2004 Athens Games suggests that
Olympic sailing will somehow remain well in view. As it goes forward with
these plans, US Sailing will doubtless have to watch out for the gorilla in
* From Brent Foxall: Andy Roy is spot on about Ross MacDonald's successes
in the Star classes with various crews. It seems Ross was ready to pull the
pin last year, but Mike got into the frame and things quickly got better.
Although they were never regarded as medal hopefuls by most of the punters,
there record since the past Bacardi Cup has been very solid in all events
they've attended. A great team and they certainly came through when the
heat was on at the end, in a class that was arguably the deepest in talent
of all Olympic classes. The two favorites didn't really feature at all in a
series that looked to be held in very difficult conditions. It is hardly
fair to write that Paul Cayard "didn't do well". He was in the hunt most of
the regatta until the wheels fell off in the last race. America will never
win all the medals and in his case the clock was probably against him. He
did a short term program very well and certainly gave the favorites from
Sweden and Great Britain a good caning. Hardly a failure.
* From Graham Kelly: I was interested to see Denis Farley's letter in
S'butt 1664, in which he stated the many reasons why a throwout leads to a
more fair result in a long regatta such as the Olympics. He did not mention
sabotage, but that could also become an issue in a no-throwout regatta.
My understanding is that the whole controversy is based on the fact that
certain officers of ISAF see this as making the sport "more accessable" and
"more interesting" for spectators. By the same reasoning, it would seem
that track and field events such as the long jump and high jump should be
scored on the average of all attempts, rather than only on the basis of
each competitors best attempt.
Of course, that would be ludicrous, and would lead to competitors striving
for caution, rather than the present "Faster, Higher, Stonger." Past
sailing heroics aside, Mr. Farley's points are correct, and just as in
certain track and field events, sailing competitors should be permitted to
disregard their worst efforts.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.