SCUTTLEBUTT 1683 - October 6, 2004
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WHO ARE THE REAL AC PLAYERS
(Following is an analysis posted on the Mariantic website.)
Michel Bonnefous of ACM speaking to the La Tribune de Genève says, "We will
certainly arrive to ten or twelve teams in the next year", he said. "An
ideal number". So who are these 10 or 12? First, does he include Alinghi?
does he mean 10 or 12 challengers or competitors. Lets have a count:
- Alinghi - of course
- BMWOracle - of course
- Shosholoza - support guaranteed from patriotic RSA sources
- Emitates Team New Zealand - funding pretty well in place
- Luna Rossa - fully funded
- +39 - crew recruitment shows confidence, but real funding not revealed
- K-Challenge - not fully funded and "at risk"
So that's five certain - seven very probable, now add in the very likely
- El Reto - a Spanish team must be there
- GBR - will join in as soon as their financial act is sorted (looking
for a surprisingly big budget - could scale down)
So there are nine - easy. What about 10 to 12? Choose from:-
- Mas Latino - has boats, experience, some money and contacts, very
- Sausalito Challenge - surely those auction bids must be turned into
- Le Defi - conspicuously un-sponsored, but surely not for long
(disappointing in Act 1 though - for a 2003 series boat)
- Fresh 17 - late and somewhat dubious origins, but what if the German
economy really did get behind them?
If Michel Bonnefous meant 12 challengers then we need three of those. But
11 to 13 competitors is not too hard to visualize. Who does that leave out?
We can expect some mergers, teams ripe to join with one of the above are:
- Toscana Challenge
- Sud Challenge
Then that leaves some interested teams who will "save themselves for Cup 33":
And some who will just disappear:
- Marco Polo (See wonderful spoof press release by achab at IACC-City in
Italian) and their "real" one
- Italian Challenger
And Team Dennis Conner and Victory Challenge will stay in the history books.
This could, of course be very wrong - if we'd written it a week ago it
would have been different and next week it will be different again. -
Mariantic website, http://www.mariantic.co.uk/
With the King of Spain and many of the other owners at the top end of the
Spanish IMS scene making the move into in TP52 class, so (yacht designers)
Botin & Carkeek have moved with them. To date they have an order for one
TP52 from Italian Pirera Alessandro, owner of the Farr 53 Orlanda, on which
Tommaso Chieffi is helmsman, with three other active enquiries on the boil
for Italian, French and even a UK client.
In the Mediterranean IMS scene the King of Spain still holds considerable
influence and Carkeek agrees that his move into TP52s represents the
signing of the death warrant for the IMS500s. "In terms of the IMS we are
going to see the size range decrease. We're not going to see any more 57s
and those boats will disappear. No one is going to go for that kind of boat
and that kind of budget, because they are expensive and they are slow."
Aside from IMS owners following the King like sheep Carkeek also believes
it will attract owners from one design classes such as the Farr 40 and Swan
45. "I think that it is going to be very very difficult for a Grand Prix
Rule to emerge and gain the momentum that the TP52 has gained. If the rule
had come out before this then we may not have seen what we are seeing now.
Clearly the King having made the move has been the spark which has ignited
this class." - Excerpts from an comprehensive interview with Shaun Carkeek
on The Daily Sail website, full story: http://tinyurl.com/4awlp
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
It is less than a week to the start the International Dragon Class 75th
Anniversary Regatta in St Tropez, France, and the lineup of sailing legends
is quite impressive. Olympic medallists are almost small change in this
fleet, it has to be gold to draw attention, and double gold to stand out
from the crowd, or a gold and three America's Cup wins probably trumps
everything. Denmark's Jesper Bank heads the medal list, with two golds and
a bronze, but doubtless the man who will attract most attention will be the
controversial Kiwi, Russell Coutts.
It will probably be a relief to the Royalty of Europe that they can wander
around St Tropez almost unrecognized, as they did in Cowes at the Jubilee,
where it was the sailors who were the centre of attention. Representatives
at least six European royal families will be attending in various
capacities, and some of them will be competing. With 268 boats from 32
countries entered for this unique gathering, the fleet has been divided
into five groups, except for one special race on Thursday, when all the
boats will come to the starting line en masse. - www.intdragon.org
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VALENCIA - ACT 2
The first America's Cup races in Valencia were sailed on Tuesday, the first
competition in the host city of the 32nd America's Cup. The Italian Luna
Rossa team made a good debut at this America's Cup, beating BMW Oracle
Racing before falling to the winner of the 31st America's Cup, Team
Alinghi. The Swiss Defender won both of its matches today and heads the
leaderboard. Racing began in the Valencia Louis Vuitton Act 2 after a
postponement to allow the sea breeze to fill-in. The first starts,
beginning at 15:10, took place in a light five to seven knot, Easterly
wind. The wind built to 10 knots for the second flight of races.
Luna Rossa, despite being one of the last teams to lodge an official
challenge, has been based in Valencia and sailing longer than any of the
other teams. Luna Rossa helmsman James Spithill lived up to his reputation
as a strong starter, dominating the pre-start and leading Gavin Brady on
USA-71 across the starting line by nine-seconds. The Italians extended the
rest of the way around the course, handily beating the winners of Act 1 by
58 seconds. In the second flight, Luna Rossa couldn't repeat its
performance. Team Alinghi led from the start of this match and on the
shorter courses that are the format of the Louis Vuitton Acts, Luna Rossa
wasn't able threaten the Defender.
The best match of the afternoon was the race between Team Shosholoza and Le
Defi. The South African team was strong at the start once again, with
skipper Geoff Meek leading across the start line, but electing to tack away
for the right hand side of the course before hitting full speed. Le Defi
was able to use its speed advantage to eke out a small lead on the left,
but could never break away completely from Shosholoza and the race was
relatively close through the final downwind leg.
Emirates Team New Zealand matched Alinghi's trick of two wins on the day,
although its opponents were likely a little bit weaker. BMW Oracle
recovered from its loss to Luna Rossa with a win over +39, who had a tough
welcome to the America's Cup world, losing to the two top teams in
Race results- Flight 1:
Match 1 ITA 74 beat USA 71 delta 0:58
Match 2 SUI 64 beat ITA 59 delta 1:48
Match 3 FRA 57 beat FRA 69 delta 1:45
Match 4 NZL 81 beat RSA 48 delta 2:57
Match 1 FRA 69 beat RSA 48 delta 0:39
Match 2 SUI 64 beat ITA 74 delta 0:25
Match 3 USA 71 beat ITA 59 delta 2:18
Match 4 NZL 81 beat FRA 57 delta 1:53
Team Alinghi, 2-0 (2 pts)
Emirates Team New Zealand, 2-0 (2 pts)
BMW Oracle Racing, 1-1 (1 pts)
Luna Rossa, 1-1 (1)
K-Challenge, 1-1 (1 pts)
Le Defi, 1-1 pts (1 pts)
+39, 0-2 (0 pts)
Team Shosholoza, 0-2 (0 pts)
* Although there is still nothing posted on the US Sailing website,
President Janet Baxter has told Scuttlebutt that the Executive Committee
has appointed immediate Past President Dave Rosekrans to head the search
for a new Association Executive Director. The current Executive Director,
Nick Craw, is leaving to assume the presidency of the Automobile
Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS). Reportedly, Craw will
stay with US Sailing through the transition period.
* The seasickness (of the Global Challenge Race crews) has prompted some
interesting comments and descriptions in the teams' Daily Logs. VAIO's
skipper, Amedeo, said to his crew this morning: "You guys are great, but
disgusting!" Greig Taylor reported from SAIC La Jolla that while "50% of
the crew were wiped out yesterday … at least the large seas and waves keep
washing the decks for us!" It may not sound pretty, but this is the reality
of the Challenge the teams are facing - life on board is not glamorous and
Crew Volunteers have many more tests ahead of them. -
* More than $41,000 was raised for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin last
weekend as 84 boats entered the Louie's Sixth Last Regatta - a race
sponsored by the Milwaukee Ale House with support from all three local
yacht clubs. This fundraiser, with the underhanded desire to get racers and
non-racers alike together for a great year-ending bash, was selected as one
of Sailing Magazine's 10 Best Events of the Year, and is now Milwaukee
Bay's largest round-the-buoys regatta. Tom Young and the crew of his
Beneteau 42 'Forever Young' raised more than $6,000. - http://tinyurl.com/3ut7n
* The numbers are in from Scuttlebutt's September website traffic report,
and it shows that the 'buttheads are filling their free time with some of
the games offered on the website. The top five are Smack the Penguin, Big
Wave, Orca Slap, Chopper Pilot and Gold Miner. One of our favorites is
Reverse, which provides increasingly difficult challenges as you perfect
your ability to think backwards. Enjoy them all at
* Because of a scheduling problem, there will not be a MEXORC Regatta in
2005. However, the popular regatta will return to Puerto Vallarta in 2006
following the San Diego YC's race to Mexico.
* Correction: Contrary to the information reported yesterday, John Jennings
won the St Francis YC's International Masters Regatta in 2001, 2002 and
again this year, but it was Malin Burnham who won it last year.
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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 Peter Epstein (re letter from P. A. Woodward in'Butt 1682): The
Albacore Class adopted a "jib stick" or reaching pole a couple of years
ago. Variations of the stick have led to the development of a variable/
launching reaching pole/ whisker pole. The system incorporates a cheek
block fastened high on the mast which allows a shock cord to pass around
its sheave to a fixed point (Ronstan 661) cheek block (non sheave end). A
small diameter line passes through an aluminum tube from the clew of the
sail over the sheave of the Ronstan 661 and down to a turning block
(Harken 141/129?) (positioned on the deck, usually) through a cleat.
As the crew/skipper pulls on the line it pulls the upper end of the pole
down and forces the pole to the tack of the sail, for downwind the pole
actually jams against the mast at the old whisker pole ring; thus meeting
the measurement requirements of having the pole attached to the mast. The
pole cannot be longer than the prescribed measurement in the class rules.
To gybe, the line is released from the cleat, the shock cord pulls the pole
away from the tack and up the mast, the crew/skipper again pulls the line
and the pole goes out to the tack again. The system works very well,
keeping the boat on plane while maximizing sail shape and minimizing movement.
* From Fred Bieberbach (Re: "Hand held VHF radios are cheap enough...and
the punishment would fit the crime better" #1682) In reply to Jim Dorsey's
comments to using VHF radios prior to the start or being "off during the
start". The "talent that was sent to the middle of the ranks with an OCS",
were maybe a little off their game? The starting sequence is part of racing
and certainly the responsibility for being OCS, falls squarely on the crew
of that particular boat (to include a bowman, but agreeable to not
practical on an Etchells). It makes even less sense to expect the Race
Committee to monitor your pre-starts or starts by using a VHF radio.
Once the "gun" goes off, the Race Committee is only obligated (for an
individual recall) to "promptly display the flag "X" and one sound".
Receiving a supplemental heads-up from the Race Committee (via VHF radio),
after the start, is actually a bonus but does not play a part in "Racing
Rules of Sailing - Rule 29"
Regardless ... Flag X, one sound, or VHF radio ... it is still the boat's
responsibility to be "aware" of their position prior to and after the
start. ("To be a touch over the line" at the finish ... works the other
way). Prevention of an over early (OCS) is part of what "talent" is all
about ... and the punishment does "fit the crime".
* From Carol Cronin: I know you just reprint press releases and are not to
blame for errors, but I still wanted to point out that I was only the
defending runner-up for this year's US Women's Match Racing Championship.
Liz Baylis and her team beat us 2-0 in last year's finals, but
unfortunately they could not attend this year to defend their title. Also,
event chair Susan Epstein deserves a large round of electronic applause for
reviving the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy and turning it into a first class
match racing event for US women. There are very few people so willing to
contribute as much time and effort to our sport as she has!
* From Peter Commette: Reigh North's comment "it's all politics" which
classes are chosen for the Olympics is right and wrong. It's politics, but
not in a pejorative sense. ISAF's criteria for selecting events &
equipment, rule 16.1.4 (a), specifies the boat chosen:
- Must allow athletes around the world, male, female and of different
size and weight, to participate
- Must achieve the current IOC objective of the minimum level of
participation for women;
- Must give the best sailors in each country the opportunity to
participate in readily accessible equipment;
- Must combine both traditional and modern events and classes, to
reflect, display and promote competitive sailing.
Makes sense to me. Leading any group, whether you are a single leader or a
committee of leaders, involves doing the best you can for the greater
number of your constituents. That's "politics" in a good sense. Additional
criteria that have evolved during the process out of absolute necessity are
the class must have a strong organization around the sailing world, and it
helps for dealing with the organization over the course of the quadrennial
if the class has at least one employed professional as an executive. Some
great, fun boats that have been suggested as potential classes over the
last few Butts don't have the organization, inclination or participation to
even muster an application, let alone fulfill the well reasoned selection
criteria. The ISAF's doing the best it can with the material it has, and
the boat's being considered well serve the criteria.
* From Sean Tracy: Adding the Hobie 16 to the Olympics would be an
outstanding choice because of the very large number of class participants
and the extremely high level of competition. According to the Portsmouth
yardstick the Hobie 16 is a higher performance boat than all other Olympic
boat classes, save the 49er and the Tornado. Like the Laser class that had
the most Olympic competitors, the Hobie 16 is a volume production boat with
low equipment costs that would encourage lots of Olympic competitors.
Hobie 16 competitors make up a large, truly international group. The 2004
Hobie Worlds drew 241 teams from 28 countries with the top 10 finishers
from 6 different countries. The athlete requirements of the Hobie 16 are
quite interesting because the ideal crew weight encourages mixed gender
teams. The top 3 finishers at the 2004 World Champions were mixed teams.
This would clearly create add a new dimension to the Olympics.
Because the Olympics are supposed to be about human competition and
performance, and not customized equipment, the Olympic selection committee
should strongly consider adding a higher performance class where the high
production volumes and low cost of the boats would allow the boats to be
supplied preventing any competitor from having advantages from customized
* From Peter Huston: I think the guy who might have been the most surprised
about the word of Nick Craw leaving US Sailing was Nick himself. Seems he
made his deal with the car racing club, but neglected to tell anyone at US
Sailing is was looking for a new gig. Imagine his surprise on Monday when
he was asked about his departure by a staff member who found out about it
because I forwarded on the Motorsports.com article last weekend to an old
friend who has closer links to the office than I do these days. The world
is a very small place these days thanks to Google and the web.
But let's not blame Nick here, let's instead look at the people who
established the criteria for that position. But whether Craw left in the
dark of night, or at the end of his contract, this is no big deal.
President Baxter is smart and will figure out a good solution. Besides, US
Sailing is at its best when volunteers are allowed to step up to the plate
and hit home runs.
I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now what?