SCUTTLEBUTT 1666 - September 13, 2004
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OLYMPICS AND NO THROWOUT
(The following was submitted by Paul Henderson, ISAF President)
Sailing excellence is not like some other sports where The Olympic Games
are at the top of the pyramid. Sailing is like the Himalayan Mountains with
many dominant peaks such as the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Snipe,
Farr 40 and Dragon Worlds etc. No one event dominates the other and that is
the challenge to ISAF to ensure they are all important.
The Olympic Games have become the "Greatest Show on Earth" and as such has
become a media event and very nationalistic. It was a great compliment to
Sailing that 20 different countries won medals in Athens. Significantly in
the Star any one of the 17 national entries could have medalled.
The issue over no drop was caused by the problem of the general media
arriving to cover the winning of the Gold Medal on the last day and finding
the winner sitting on the shore eating peanuts because they had already
won. My answer was to have two races a day with a drop but only one race on
the last day and that had to be counted. It would change nothing but make
Torben Grael compete in the last race so the media could see his victory
and the TV focus on that accomplishment. It would also stop a last race
Match Race where the only need is to drive the other sailor back to make
the last race their drop. The media pushed for No Drop which was put
forward and caused a healthy debate. The greatest publicity for Sailing
worldwide was when the Israeli Windsurfer won the first Gold Medal ever in
any sport for Israel. The impact on the non-sailing media was intense as he
won on the last leg of the last race. It would have been anti-climatical if
he had been sitting on the shore. The Medal Ceremony with the Greek winning
Silver was a media frenzy and a proud promotion for Sailing
The flags on the sails, especially dramatically on the spinnakers, instead
of bland white plus the large country codes and names of the sailors was
another innovation of ISAF to help promote the sport even though several of
the traditional classes did everything possible to stop it. Olympics are
only a small part of Sailing and should be kept in perspective even though
it maybe considered as the Everest or K2 of Sailing's Himalayan Mountains
that only a few choose to scale.
MARSEILLE LOUIS VUITTON ACT 1
For the second consecutive weekend hundreds of boats gathered on the Rade
Sud off Marseille, France to celebrate the conclusion of the America's Cup
at the Marseille Louis Vuitton Act. One final flight of races was scheduled
on Saturday, to complete the opening Act of the 32nd America's Cup.
The American BMW Oracle Racing team had wrapped up a series win on Friday
afternoon after an impressive week of results, but every other place on the
points table was up for grabs on Saturday. The big winner of the day was
the French Le Defi team, which defeated Team Shosholoza to vault into a tie
for fourth place with K-Challenge. Le Defi had previously beaten its French
rival when they lined up earlier in the week, and thus becomes the fourth
place finisher, ahead of K-Challenge and South Africa's Shosholoza.
None of the top three teams earned the full amount of points on offer in
the match racing segment of the event, with each losing one match to one of
the others. BMW Oracle won this event by dominating three of the four fleet
races, leaving Alinghi with just one fleet race victory, and Emirates Team
New Zealand with none. - Complete report,
Final Standings (combined match and fleet race scores):
1. BMW Oracle Racing Team, (22) (24), 46 points
2. Team Alinghi, (20) (24), 44 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand, (18) (24), 42 points
4. Le Defi, (5) (12), 17 points
5. K-Challenge, (11) (6), 17 points
6. Team Shosholoza, (8) (0), 8 points
Marseille, France, 12th September - Following the conclusion of the
Marseille Louis Vuitton Act 1, a violent storm and associated high winds
passed through the area later that night and claimed the top three
finishers: BMW Oracle Racing, Team Alinghi and Emirates Team New Zealand.
All three boats were blown off their cradles and are lying on their sides
on the J-4 pier. The incident took place at 02:40, early on Sunday morning.
Gusts of over 65 knots of wind were measured at the time of the incident.
While there were no injuries, technical teams are currently evaluating the
boat damage and assessing the situation. It appears that BMW Oracle may
have gotten the least of it, however, both the Swiss and New Zealand teams
suffered puncture damage as the hulls came against their adjacent storage
containers. The three damaged boats were the most exposed to the prevailing
wind direction. The three others, K-Challenge, Le Defi and Team Shosholoza,
suffered no apparent damage.
How does this affect Act 2 and 3 in Valencia next month? Both BMW Oracle
and Alinghi have spare boats in Europe, so they are likely to continue.
However, Emirates Team New Zealand doesn't, so their plan is to pack up and
head home to handle repairs.
For an unbelievable photo of the boats:
Americans Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham came to Athens with a few silver
medals already in the drawer back home. They came seeking Gold…and they
left with Gold! The difference? This time, they wore the Kore, by Kaenon
Polarized. They saw opportunity…and seized it. Kaenon Polarized. Evolve
Optically. Available at Sailing Supply, Svendsen's, TeamOne, APS, Vanguard,
Island Sports, East of Maui, Boat Locker, FT Brown's, Boat House, Fisheries
Supply, Crook & Crook, Melges Boatworks, Lombardi's, Sport Chalet, Paragon,
Boater's World, Eye Gallery, Sunglass and Optical Warehouse and Alain Mikli
If you have been following the saga within the defending America's Cup team
Alinghi between boss Ernesto Bertarelli and Russell Coutts, you might be
interested in a press release that Scuttlebutt received from Russell's PR
firm(s) over the weekend.
Russell starts out by saying: "Until now I have been very reluctant to
enter into a public exchange, as we have begun an arbitration process in
Switzerland where both parties are bound by confidentiality obligations and
my strong preference is to have these matters dealt with properly in the
appropriate forum. But over recent days as the level of personal attack
appears to have increased I have decided I can no longer sit quietly and
allow Ernesto Bertarelli to attack me publicly."
The complete document is posted on the Scuttlebutt website:
Colin Spanhake, the leader in the movement to establish Blind Sailing as a
sport in its own right, passed away quietly at his home in Mairangi Bay
Auckland On Sunday morning 12th September 2004. Colin was the founding
Chairman of Blind Sailing New Zealand and a founder of the Blind Sport
Organisation. He was one of the group of five who were issued a challenge
to set up a Blind Sailing movement and despite the critics saying "It
couldn't be done," the success of the blind sailing movement is most
evident today. - http://tinyurl.com/64adj
FARR 40 WORLDS
San Francisco, Calif., USA (September 11, 2004) - Jim Richardson (Boston,
Mass./Newport, R.I.) and his Barking Mad team entered the history books
Saturday by becoming the first team in the history of the class to win the
coveted Rolex Farr 40 Worlds Championship title for a second time.
In Saturday's first race, Barking Mad got into trouble with Norwegian Steam
in a port-starboard incident at the end of the first beat, dropping it to
the middle of the fleet. It was exactly the type of incident Richardson's
team has strenuously managed to avoid all week. Tactician Terry Hutchinson
(Annapolis, Md.) said that this came about due to a miscommunication. "We
had a 35 point lead," he said. "I screwed up what I was thinking, but we
put the hammer down in the second race and sailed like we know how to
sail." Hutchinson will soon go to Valencia, Spain to serve in the
afterguard of the Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup challenge, but
will continue to sail with Barking Mad.
With 47 points total and an exceptional single digit scoreline -counting a
ninth place in the first race as its worst finish - Barking Mad finished 40
points ahead of the defending World Champions Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio
sodo Migliori (Rome, Italy) on Nerone. The next worlds will take place on
Sydney Harbour, March 1-4, 2005. - Dana Paxton, Media Pro Intl, full story:
1. James Richardson, Boston, MA, Barking Mad, 47
2. Massimo Mezzaroma, Rome, Italy, Nerone, 87
3. Steve & Fred Howe, San Diego, CA, Warpath, 103
4. Steve Phillips, Arnold, MD, Le Renard, 104
5. Marco Rodolfi, Comasco, Italy, TWT, 109
6. Chuck Parrish, Hillsborough, CA, Slingshot, 110
7. Vincenzo Onorato, Naples, Italy, Mascalzone Latino, 112
8. Marc Ewing, Glencoe, IL, Riot, 114
9. Peter De Ridder, Monaco, Mean Machine, 122
10. Erik Maris, Paris, France, Twins, 125
Full results: http://tinyurl.com/6cjye
Photographers Dan Nerney and Daniel Forster have provided outstanding
action photos from each day of the event:
Much like a Hollywood movie premiere, this regatta pulled in all the stars.
If you are curious who made the 'A' list, here is the crew roster from each
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
Geoff Stagg, president of Farr International, put Barking Mad's win into
perspective. "It is the biggest margin in a Farr 40 world championship by
miles, ever," he said. "I was thinking an average of an eighth-place might
win it, but they did it with an average of fourth, which is great.
"Basically we used a brand new mainsail and it wasn't what we thought it
was, so it took us a while to get things sorted out with the tune." Event
favorite Samba Pa Ti's tactician Paul Cayard on their disappointing finish.
Skin that doesn't burn, butts that don't bruise and smiling unskinned
knees. Sailing Angles protective activewear takes your enthusiasm for the
sport seriously, and their gear protects you from your untamed desire to
get out there and win without suffering the consequences. Pain is slow!
Padded double seated sailing shorts and longs, UV blocking shirts, knee
sleeves are just a few of the many great designs that can save your hide,
plus help you get out front and stay there. Just ask gold medalist Kevin
Burnham! Look for Sailing Angles products at APS, Layline, Team One, and
MAXI ROLEX CUP
Porto Cervo, Italy - After five days of racing in ideal conditions, the
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2004, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda,
concluded with the USA's Pyewacket, Argentina's Alexia and Italy's Mister A
winning the racing, Wally and cruising divisions, respectively. In the
event's final race, all three divisions had a coastal course with the
racing division sailing 30 miles, the Wally division sailing 26 miles and
the cruising division sailing 23 miles.
Thirty-one Maxi yachts from 13 nations competed during a week of light to
moderate winds under blue skies on courses that ranged from
windward-leeward to longer, scenic coastal courses. The world renowned
regatta featured elegant classic yachts along side of modern day boats with
the latest racing technology. This year celebrates the 20 year partnership
between the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Rolex.
Final Standings - 1. Pyewacket, 6 points; 2. Wild Oats, 10; 3. Genuine
Risk, 15; Wally Division - 1. Alexia, 4; 2. Tiketitan, 11; 3. Annica, 13;
Cruising Division - 1. Mister A, 4; 2. Velsheda, 11; 3. Inspiration, 12
Full report and results, http://www.yccs.it
Photo gallery: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/maxiworlds
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
After winning the 2003 Maxi Worlds, the team aboard Alfa Romeo placed a
distant sixth last week against the new breed of canting ballast boats at
the Worlds. Rather than get left behind, New Zealand owner Neville Crichton
announced that he has started building his next boat to keep up with the
current racing standard.
"Canting keel is regarded as the new frontier in sailing technology,"
explains Crichton. "It is an essential element for all sailors who wish to
compete at the highest levels, boosting performance, speed and excitement.
I plan to learn the lessons of this new technology from the yachts that are
competing this year and implement them all in the new yacht with the aim of
building a yacht that will be as successful as Alfa Romeo, as well as being
The new, as yet unnamed yacht is being designed by Reichel Pugh, built in
Sydney and will be launched in July 2005. The new yacht, which at 30 metres
will be two metres longer than Alfa Romeo, will adopt the new canting keel
technology with two rudders. Crichton plans to ensure his yacht is well
ahead of the current breed, such as Roy Disney's Pyewacket which dominated
the 2004 Maxi Worlds in the same way Alfa Romeo did the 2003 event.
The plan is for the new yacht to compete in the usual run-up events to the
2005 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race before heading to Europe for the 2006 season.
(Roy Disney provided the following comments during the Maxi Rolex Cup,
where he won the racing class with his boat, Pyewacket.)
On investing in the America's Cup, sailing oldest competition, and taking
part to it: ``I would never consider investing in it, no. It's too much of
a financial effort and I enjoy the sailing more as I'm doing it now and
have been doing for 45 years. The America's Cup brings great technology
enhancements for boats; we are benefiting from those in the sailing contest
at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda I am taking part in, and half of our crew
actually took part in the America's Cup, but in my opinion it's too big an
investment of both energy and money to consider. The reason that makes me
compete here is more my passion for the sport than the challenge itself.
And the fact that here in Sardinia, for example, I have seen places I had
never had a chance to visit before. They invited us to the race, and we
said yes because we were near here, and knew it was a good contest.
America's Cup, on the contrary, is definitely a challenge, and a big one.''
- Alessandra Bacchetta, Bloomberg
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 Todd Jones: (regarding the Curmudgeon's Observation from Thursday)
"Shin: A device for finding the J/24 traveler bar when not looking."
* From Gram Schweikert (edited to our 250 word limit): I thought the point
of the Americas Cup Acts was to create excitement and provide coverage for
the sponsors throughout the time between main events, yet the online
coverage of ACT 1 was horrible. Their "2D" race viewer is rather worthless
and it isn't even 2D as it only shows the leaders distance ahead. How hard
is it really to create a flash program to track two boat shaped cartoons on
an X-Y plot of a course. In the 2003 America's Cup, we had the fabulous
Virtual Spectator to show us how the racing was going, yet a year later we
are reduced to distance in the lead and French only commentary! In Newport,
a new race viewer called Go Virtual was showcased, but it was unclear if
this was just a renamed Virtual Spectator, the next version, or a whole new
If ACM really wants to give the sponsors their money's worth and create
excitement around the world for the Americas Cup, they need to provide a
way for people around the world to view these races. As many of us found in
2003, virtual viewing is extremely good, and sometimes better than TV
coverage. ACM needs to either provide support for the previous version of
Virtual Spectator or release Go Vitual to the public in time for the 2nd
Act. Otherwise, it really is a big waste of the sponsor's money, and a
major lost opportunity for the advancement of the sport.
* From Joe Watson: Prior to 1990, the US Snipe class used their Nationals
to determine who would attend the World Championship held later in the
year. However, because the Nationals were usually only a couple months
prior to the Worlds, there was not much time to handle logistics and
arrange funding. So they decided to have these 'trials' done in the prior
year, which has worked great. If the US has a shortage of funds, why can't
they determine their Olympic team earlier, thereby allowing them to focus
their limited resources for a longer period on those that are actually
going to the Olympics?
* From Jeff E. Rubin: There have been many comments about what the US
should do to get more Olympic medals for the US Sailing Team. The United
States Sailing Center in Miami was established for the very purpose of
giving sailors a place to train and compete. The Center's doors are wide
open to everyone. All US sailors should take advantage of this official
Olympic Training Facility.
* From Ray Tostado: Maybe, just maybe if runners did nine marathons in six
days; golfers nine rounds in four days, and tennis championships went on
for 15 sets per two contestants in two days, then just maybe, we could use
these sports as a parity example of the rules governing regatta one-design
events. I have never been of the quality to participate in such fleets, but
I greatly admire their stamina and dedication. Doing three back-to-back
three race a day days is pure guts and endurance. (None Olympic events.)
The throw out rule is class tradition, (to some classes only) remember that
word? Without intending to be rude, if anyone has a problem with tradition
then find a fleet and sail where the rule is not in place. Now, see how
easy that is? Ain't nothing broken from where I see it.
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
Work is good but it's not that important.