SCUTTLEBUTT 1669 - September 16, 2004
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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 Agios Kosmas Sailing Centre in Athens, Greece is busy again as teams
complete final preparations for the 2004 Paralympic sailing competition. 73
athletes from 19 nations will be competing in either the single-person
keelboat or the three person keelboat events using the 2.4mR and Sonar
respectively. Opening ceremony for the Games is this Friday, September
17th, with racing scheduled for the 18th through the 23rd.
There are five International Classifiers who have the unenviable task of
classifying all disabled sailors who wish to take part in international
disabled sailing events. The IFDS Functional Classification System is a
complicated beast but its basic purpose is simple. The principle aim of the
system is to enable fair and equitable competition at all levels for
mildly, moderately and severely disabled sailors and to encourage crews of
mixed disability to sail together. The System only measures functional
limitations caused by physical disability and is not affected by the
sailing skills, training or talent of the participant.
The functions are defined as stability, hand function, mobility and vision
which are further defined to test tiller, sheeting, cleating, transferring
and hiking. The sailors are all assessed on these areas by the
Classification Committee and undergo a functional dock test, a functional
anatomical test and a functional sailing test which judge the sailors
ability in each of the functional areas as well as strength, range of
movement and co-ordination.
The classification then awarded to the sailors ranges on a scale of 1 to 7
with one applying to the most severe disabilities such as quadriplegia and
seven to those with disabilities such as a single above or below knee
amputation. This system is particularly important to the Sonar teams as
each crew is only allowed a maximum of fourteen rating points. The only
requirement for a disabled sailor to sail a 2.4mR would be that the
sailor's disability is at least that of the minimum disability standards,
i.e. a classification of 7 points or less. - ISAF website, full report,
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
Brasil 1 will be sponsored by Vivo - Brazil's biggest mobile 'phone
operator, Motorola, Qualcomm and the Brazilian government. Brazil's Torben
Grael, fresh from more gold medal success at the recent Athens Olympic
Games will be the skipper, who has also been part of two America's Cup
campaigns and sailed part of The Whitbread in 1997-98. Former star class
world champion, Alan Adler, will lead Brasil 1 together with Enio Ribeiro,
a marketing executive with an industry and sports background.
The chosen designer is American-based Farr Yacht Design and construction
will begin shortly at ML Boatworks in Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil. This
project is seen by the Brazilian public and business sectors as an
excellent opportunity for Brazil to promote it's primary companies and
products all over the world.
"This is a very exciting time for us," commented Glenn Bourke, CEO of the
Volvo Ocean Race. "Today's announcement is the first of several more that
we will be making over the coming weeks, with the next announcement coming
from a European team whilst emerging out of the USA, is one of the most
exciting campaigns the race has ever seen. We are in an extremely strong
position now with the fleet set to exceed the last race's total of eight
boats." - Full report, http://www.volvooceanrace.com/pages/news/news81.htm
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This past summer I had the privilege of seeing my 10-year-old son
participate in his first sailing national championship. Up to this point,
his interest in sailing had not nearly been as high as it was for baseball,
and after several years of cheering from baseball bleachers, it was nice to
see sailing making some inroads.
In Southern California, the younger kids mostly race the Naples Sabot,
which is well suited to the small bays and light to moderate winds that
prevail in these parts. Unlike the Optimist, which can better handle
ocean-type conditions, Sabot competition is generally held well within view
of the host club. At this year's nationals, a cheap pair of binoculars had
me practically sitting in the boat with him.
During the week of racing, I soon realized why I enjoyed watching him play
baseball so much. Simply put, I know very little about baseball and know
far too much about racing. I can watch him hit or pitch, and not pick up
the subtle problems that an experienced eye detects. But with sailing, I
see it all - the good and the bad. I soon became envious of those Optimist
parents that would set their kids off for racing in the Great Lakes or
Biscayne Bay in Miami, finding out how their child's day went only after
they returned. Or those Sabot parents that knew as much about sailing as I
did about baseball. Ignorance is bliss.
In the end, I was there every day, providing support and advice when
appropriate, and keeping quiet when I should. I found the longer I kept the
binoculars in their case, the better. By the end of the regatta, I think I
may have learned as much as he did. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
Ainslie will join up with Emirates Team New Zealand for the second event in
Valencia next month, an occasion boosted by two Italian teams, one of which
includes Ainslie's gold-medal buddy Iain Percy. With Team New Zealand still
relishing a match-race victory last week over the Alinghi team who gave
them a humiliating 5-0 beating to win the Cup last year, Ainslie starts
anew, having put his toes in the water with the Seattle-based OneWorld
syndicate in Auckland. Then he decided he was better suited to Olympic
sailing, where he proved supreme again last month, rather than enduring
roles he did not enjoy.
So had his negotiations with Dalton, sent in to keep TNZ alive, included
anything approaching assurances on filling the helmsman's role he seeks?
"There's no doubt that in future he wants to drive an America's Cup boat,
but to do that he's going to need to spend time doing it," Dalton says. So
Dalton will send Ainslie on the world match-racing circuit, sometimes with
TNZ's skipper, Dean Barker, sometimes on his own account.
"If he continues the way he is now, he could be the best ever in the
America's Cup," is Dalton's assessment. "He's certainly the best dinghy
sailor since Paul Elvstrom (winner of four Olympic golds). So it's in our
interests to help him develop that and it is part of the deal. If in three
years' time it is blatantly obvious he's the better man for the job then
he'll get it. For the moment it's Dean's job to keep and Ben's job to get."
- Excerpts from a story by Stuart Alexander for the Independent, full
IAN SOUTHWORTH WINS J24 IRISH NATIONALS
Ullman Sails congratulates Ian Southworth on another major J/24
championship, keeping "Hedgehog's" streak alive. Earlier this summer, Ian
captured the United Kingdom Southern and Northern J/24 titles, and now has
added the Irish Nationals to the list. The event, hosted by the Royal St
George YC, was keenly contested. Ian's "Hedgehog" flew a complete set of
Ullman Sails, as did Deke Klatt who won the 2004 J/24 North Americans. For
the "Fastest Sails on the Planet" contact an Ullman Sails loft and visit
ASK THE CURMUDGEON
* "I just received my new Seahorse magazine in the mailbox yesterday and
was really stoked to see Kevin Burnham and Paul Foerster on the cover- US
Olympic Gold Medalists in the 470 class from Athens. These guys are the
greatest! They deserve Yachtsmen of the Year and more. Question is, does
anyone know if Kevin was the most senior member of the US squad to win a
gold and was he the oldest athlete in Athens in all sports to win a Gold?"
- Cam Lewis
* For Cam's question, Jan Harley of Media Pro International provided the
answer: "On the USA's 2004 Olympic Team (all sports included), the oldest
competitor was archer Butch Johnson who turned 49 the day after closing
ceremonies. He did not medal. Equestrian Robert Dover is 48, and he won a
bronze medal in Team Dressage. That makes Kevin Burnham, at age 47 (he
turns 48 on December 21), the oldest gold medalist on the USA's 2004
"FYI, on the women's side the USA's oldest members of the 2004 Olympic
Team: Libby Callaghan, competes in shooting, and is 52 (no medal); archer
Janet Dykman is 50 (no medal); equestrian Debbie McDonald turned 50 on
August 27 (bronze medal in Team Dressage); and tennis star Martina
Navratilova, is 47 (no medal).
"More FYI...In 2000, the Star team of Mark Reynolds, and Magnus Liljedahl,
who was the Team Captain, were 44 and 46, respectively, when they won their
Gold Medal. However, when Bill Buchan won his Olympic Gold Medal in the
Star class, he was 49 years old AND the oldest member of the USA's entire
1984 Olympic Team!"
* Sail.tv is a new website providing the world's first Internet television
channel for sailing and the latest in "TV on the Internet". As an offshoot
of High.tv that provides boardsailing amongst its action sports
programming, Sail.tv current line-up is all sailing. Their 24 x 7
continuous programming feature is expected in early 2005, with great
on-demand footage available now of Antigua Sailing Week, CORK Week
(Ireland), Swedish Match Tour Croatia, and windsurfing footage from Western
Australia. An occasional commercial keeps the viewing free. Look for the
link on the Scuttlebutt TV Guide for future reference, or enjoy it now:
* Mark your calendar on September 19 as this coming Sunday is the official
'International Talk Like a Pirate Day'. Information for this holiday,
including how to talk like a pirate, pirate advice, pirate games, pirate
pick-up lines, is available at http://www.talklikeapirate.com
* An informational seminar for the West Marine Columbus Day Regatta is
scheduled on Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm at Coconut Grove Sailing Club.
Novice or first time attendees are encouraged to attend, and should contact
Larry Whipple at (305) 860-9156 to confirm. Billed as 'Florida's largest
sporting event afloat,' the regatta is scheduled for October 9-10, 2004. -
* Following the completion of the fifth and final North American Circuit
Event at Holland Michigan, TeamBOLD and Nelson Stephenson of Southport, CT
have won the Mumm 30 North American Championship with their consistent
performance at each Mumm 30 Regatta in 2004. This year, TeamBOLD was second
at Key West Race Week, first at the New York Yacht Club 150th Annual
Regatta and placed third at the Holland Regatta. Those three finishes
secured their victory in the 2004 Series with a total of 6 points using a
best 3 of 5 Regattas scoring format. Full report and results,
* Porto Cervo, Sardinia- Patience paid off on day two of racing in the
Rolex Swan Cup 2004. For Classes A and C\D, the wind died on the first
beat, compressing the fleet, then filled in at 18-20 knots by the top mark.
For Class B, light winds convinced the Race Committee to move the course to
the entrance of the port of Porto Cervo, which provided a steadier 10-12
knot breeze. Provisional results: Class A- 1. Bugia Bianca, Swan 70,
Massimo Dentice; Class B- 1. Vertigo, Swan 45, Marco Salvi/Alberto
Signorini; Class C/D- 1. Eurosia, Swan 46, Loris Vaccari.-
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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 Barbara Gold: I think and know what Paul Doughty wrote about the
Optimist Class is true. I have been fortunate enough to have a child
involved in the class who loves to race these little tubs. The class is
amazing the way it teaches these kids many more lessons than just how to
race. Paul really hit it on the head in two particular areas. 1) The
friendships that are made at each event these kids participate in are
priceless and will probably be there throughout their lives; 2) The amount
of kids coming out of the class, going into to other classes is great and
they go with skills that are not easy to find. I am positive we will see
more and more kids from this class entering into the Olympics earlier than
ever seen before. Good job, Paul, for taking note and the time to mention
it to the sailing community.
* From Kevin Crandall: As a designer of lifejackets and as an avid sailor,
I have read the thread on mandatory wear of PFD with professional as well
as personal interest. My opinion (and majority of the industry) was opposed
to the mandatory wear laws. In the interest of disseminating all of the
information presented at the NTSB and dispel any myths, I offer the website
of the previously mentioned NTSB meeting (in Issue 1668) -
Ultimately, new ideas and design will reduce the negatives of wearing a
PFD- and you cannot legislate innovation.
* From Bart Beek: It is encouraging to read your report on the forum
conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board. Let's hope the
matter is ended, but don't get overconfident: regulatory proposals die
hard. These things do not happen by accident. We all owe a debt of
gratitude to Boat U.S. and its President Jim Ellis for their hard work.
Next time a solicitation comes around, don't forget!
* From Ron Baerwitz (Re: Paul Henderson's comments on local conditions):
Paul wrote, "...Pusan in 1988 was predicted to have so little wind..... It
blew so hard it was like sailing in a washing machine."
I was there and he is right. However, the reason why the US Team had the
wrong weather information is because whoever US Sailing hired to set a
weather buoy for our "secret" wind readings set it way inside the harbor
behind a shed because it was too windy and rough to set it outside! This
is as explained to the US Team in attendance by Andy Kostinecki.
* From Brian Torresen: 3 boats worth millions each blow over?? I thought it
was April 1st. How does that possibly happen at that level?? All of the
technology available to those designers and nobody ever plugged in the
numbers needed to tell what it would take to lay one of those things on its
side.... cradle and all. You would think that the pictures of all of those
Farr 40's piled up in San Fran a few years ago would of got people to start
realizing that these new extra tall high cord length carbon rigs generate a
ton of windage. The fact is that these cradles just didn't have a wide
enough footprint. Having removable struts that can be attached to the
cradle while the boat is in storage can easily take a 10-foot wide cradle
and make it 16 feet or 20 feet or whatever width the guy with the naval
architecture degree says it needs to be.
Nasty squalls roll through the great lakes quite often during the summer.
It is quite common to see masthead halyards secured to all sorts of heavy
objects when the forecast shows a big one rolling in off the lake. Boats
are seen with extra stands propped under them and as a few people have
pointed out there is always the option of installing tie-down eyebolts if
that's what it takes.
Accidents like that are completely preventable if someone chooses to take
the time to prevent them. If not, it's all left up to Mother Nature.
* From Cliff Bradford: From my point of view I thought that the US'
performance in the Olympics was pretty good. I think there was a lot of
hype about winning X number of medals before the games but I'm sure that
was true in many other countries. My recollections, from reading "Eurobutt"
and Seahorse is that the Brits thought they were in the running for more
and/or better medals than they eventually got. The point is that Olympic
sailing today is extremely competitive with great breadth of talent so
expectations of reprising past dominant performances are improbable.
It is probably true that we could do some different things in how sailors
are developed in the US and the same things will not work for everyone. I
think Mr. Kahn's development team will probably bear fruit, since his
sailing team has been quite successful in a variety of classes, but at the
same time other sailors will get on the 2008 team through other dissimilar
means. In the end our sailors need more and better experience in order to
do well in 2008; the details and timing of the selection process is not so
* From Ted Livingston: A way, way, way out idea that might, might, gain
support could be to introduce the Optimist pram to the Olympic menu (with
its normal age requirements). If the intent is to get more people ready for
"the Olympics" this might be a TV-genic and (parental- genic) great leap
forward into our competitive and litigious society!!
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
How many weeks are there in a light year?