SCUTTLEBUTT 1701 - November 1, 2004
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(Key West) A judge dismissed charges Friday against the organizers of a
sailboat race from Key West to Cuba, who were accused of violating the
Trading With The Enemy Act. U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King
dismissed the indictment against Peter Goldsmith and Michele Geslin, but
the charges were dismissed without prejudice to the United States to seek a
superseding indictment, which means they could press other charges later.
Goldsmith and Geslin had been charged with two counts of providing
unlicensed travel services to Cuba. If convicted of both counts, they could
have faced a sentence of 15 years. Carlos B. Castillo, spokesman for the
U.S. Attorney's office, said his office is reviewing the decision and
exploring its options.
Crews competing in the Key West Sailing Club Conch Republic Cup departed
May 22, 2003 for Havana and several Cuban shore communities after receiving
pre-race warnings they would be violating U.S. Department of Commerce
licensing regulations. About 20 boats took part in the race, which was then
in its third year. King wrote in his decision that the indictment was
insufficient to charge Goldsmith and Geslin because regulations in effect
at the time didn't bar coordinated travel by independent participants in a
sailboat race. - Sun-Sentinel, http://tinyurl.com/4dpq6
(Here is an excerpt of a story from the Vendee Globe 2004 race website,
detailing some of the behind the scenes solutions for the 20 skippers that
will start their singlehanded, non-stop, around the world race on November 7th)
Noise is a source of tiredness and stress. Aboard 60-foot Open class boats,
it is constant. With the sound of the waves hitting the hull, vibrations in
the keel or daggerboards, the wind whistling through the rigging, the
rattling of the gear, the noise never stops and is the enemy of the sleep
that the skippers require. So to make the most of these vital rest periods,
several skippers are equipped with active anti-noise headphones.
"We found a new supplier of the Bose brand, which offers one of the most
efficient and effective products you can find." These words were spoken by
Bernard Trébuchet, one of Jean-Yves Chauve's colleagues looking after
everything to do with medical questions in this Vendée Globe. Bernard's
work certainly has its importance, as for several years now, he has been
working on the sailors' old enemy of noise. "We worked out in decibels just
how much noise there was inside a boat like this. We know there is more a
less a constant noise of 90 decibels and that that can very quickly reach
110 decibels. It can be pointed out that a baby crying produces 85
decibels, putting your head under the bonnet of a diesel engine reaches 90
decibels and the noise of a pneumatic drill goes right up to 120 decibels!"
However, noise is also a vital element to be at one with what is going on
in the boat and adapt to it. If he hears a weird sound, the skipper rushes
out on the deck immediately. For this reason, it was necessary to be
careful to avoid blocking out some noises that were useful to the sailor.
It is an active filter of low frequency bass sounds and reduces the
thudding as the hull bangs into the waves and other such background
vibrations. - Vendee Globe 2004, http://www.vendeeglobe.org/uk/infos/394.html
ROLEX MIDDLE SEA RACE 2004
Described as the most beautiful racecourse in the world, the Rolex Middle
Sea Race is often mentioned in the same breath as the Rolex Fastnet Race
and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Held last week, this 607-mile
offshore classic took the 53-boat fleet over a course anticlockwise around
the Italian islands of Sicily, Stromboli, Pantelleria and Lampedusa, before
finishing back in Malta. Hop onboard with photographer Carlo Borlenghi, as
he shares some of the race moments in the latest Scuttlebutt photo gallery:
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AMERICA'S CUP: ITS INFLUENCE
The Valencia Summit Conference ended last Friday, with a statement that
pointed out the importance of the America's Cup for the ordinary onlooker.
The First Draft of the findings point to an increase public involvement in
the event is certain to ensure its even greater success. Eugenio Perez
Mifsud, the Special Commissioner in the Valencian Government for the
America's Cup, added that there is no considerable effort being undertaken
to involve the general public in sailing, with an increase in sailing
schools 'to show that sailing is not an elitist sport'. He also called on
both the Valencian Government and the private companies involved in the Cup
to engage more volunteers, and also requested that the patronising
companies do 'something more than just create an impact on society by their
advertising'. It is believed that the America's Cup will create 100,000 new
jobs in Valencia and will add 1.7% to local market turnover.
Also, Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former President of the International
Olympic Committee, stated that it was very important that a Spanish
syndicate participate in the America's Cup Races. He added that Spanish
participation would be one of the keys to the success of the event. -
On 18 November 2004, Greg Homann, 41, from Australia but now resident in
the UK, will set sail in his attempt to cross the Atlantic in a tiny
catamaran, the type normally seen at beach club resorts.
In 2003 an Italian sailor succeeded in sailing solo on a 20ft catamaran
from the Canary Islands to Guadeloupe, taking 28 days. Greg will take the
same route and attempt to beat this record by a big margin - his estimated
time being 20 days. If successful, Greg will have established an official
new solo record for catamarans by being both the quickest transatlantic
crossing and the smallest such craft to do so.
The boat being used is a modified F18 catamaran called 'UKSA.org' in
recognition of Greg's major sponsor (United Kingdom Sailing Academy). A
fully enclosed pod has been built so Greg can get in it and be totally
protected from the cold, wind and water. A mast float was also introduced
to prevent the catamaran from inverting but if it did capsize, Greg is able
to re-right it by himself. Other modifications include "wings" and a seat
allowing long periods at the tiller.
The food Greg has chosen is self-heating, therefore no gas is required, and
a portable desalination unit will provide his water supplies. Also, Greg
has chosen to do the attempt when the annual transatlantic ARC Race starts
on 21 November from Gran Canaria, meaning that, at any one time, some of
the race's 150 plus sailing yachts should be reasonably close by. -
Sailpower, full story,
The latest details of an exhibition regatta on Lake Geneva include taking
two or three America's Cup Class boats overland to the port of Pully for
the regatta. Ernest Bertarelli states that he wanted to bring the AC
spectacle to the Swiss, but that it is a very complicated operation. He
also said that he could promise nothing but would work extremely hard to
make it happen in 2006.
A major problem is space. Pully is the only site with room for the AC boats
and has indeed seen BeHAPpy sailing there in 1998. A bigger problem,
though, is draft. Bertarelli says that they need nearly five meters of
depth which doesn't exist, he suggests that they will need an enormous
crane which can carry the boat far enough from the edge (approximately 20
meters), to where there is sufficiently depth. Even so it is expected that
the lake will need to be dredged in places. -
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It seems to that time of the year when Sailing Programs start recruiting
for their 2005 summer instructors, as that section of the Scuttlebutt
Classifieds is starting to regularly get new postings. If you have
positions to fill, go to the Scuttlebutt website for the details on free
job postings: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/classifieds
* Ockam Instruments Inc. of Milford, CT announced that Latimer Spinney is
their newly appointed Vice President of North American Sales & Marketing.
Lat will provide Sales support to Ockam's North American specialist dealer
network and customers from the Milford, CT office.
* A photo finish in the mid-teens in the seventh and final race resulted in
Arizona sailor Chris Crockett and his Flying Squirrel team earning the top
slot in the 52-boat fleet for the Hillman Capital Management 2004 J/24 East
Coast Championships, sailed out of Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis
over Friday-Sunday, October 29-31. Crockett's team, which included helmsman
Alec Cutler, sailmaker Max Skelley, and Ron Weed, won the tiebreaker to
take the championship title over the Connecticut-based Zaleski brothers and
the Twins crew. Brain Cramp and Mike Ingham of New York were third.
Complete results: http://www.j24fleet8.org/ECC2004
* The America's Cup challenger commission used the reserve day between the
two ACTs to meet in Valencia. Apart from various regulations regarding
on-board cameramen, the use of data compiled by the regatta recording "Go
Virtual" and many other topics, they discussed the next steps towards the
Louis Vuitton Cup in spring 2007. The syndicates present were unanimous in
that starting with the next ACT (number 4) at the end of June 2005 in
Valencia, all results are to count towards the yet to be defined settings
for 2007. Fresh Seventeen German A-Cup syndicate,
* Argo Boats Ltd. of Cape Town, South Africa is the new builder for the
Farr 395. The molds that had been used by the previous builder, Carroll
Marine, have been shipped from the USA to Argo's new facility where South
Africa's America's Cup boats will also be built. Construction will be to
the same specifications as previously built boats to preserve the one
design aspect, plus Argo will also produce an IRC version of the boat to
optimize the design for that rule.
CAST YOUR VOTE
Much has been said about the direction the America's Cup should go after
the 2007 event. Last week in Issue 1697, Alinghi's Grant Simmer anticipated
dramatic speed increasing changes to the boat, taking advantage of the
design developments that are occurring in the sport. Than in Issue 1700,
Bill Doyle's Guest Editorial outlined the reasons why this was the wrong
tack, that to let development escalate would soon exclude all but the
extremely well funded syndicates. Based on the high number of letters being
sent in on this subject, we posted a survey on the Scuttlebutt website.
Using the often-used example of motorsports, the choices are to side with
Grant ('More like Formula One'), line up with Bill ('More like NASCAR'), or
to make minor refinements as they did for 2007 ('Leave as is'). View some
of the letters on the subject below, then click on the link at the bottom
to cast your vote.
KEY WEST PRIMED FOR RACING
Absolutely no hurricane damage. One Design and handicap entries arriving
from all over the world at a record pace. Biggest fleet ever for Key West
2005? Don't miss out! Race dates are January 17-21, 2005. Details and entry
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 Ted Ritter: While channel surfing the other day, I happened to tune
in to an ESPN show covering an offshore fishing tournament in Dominican
Republic. Six teams fished for 3 days with cameramen aboard every boat. It
was interesting, exciting, suspenseful and informative stuff. The corporate
sponsors got lots of exposure and what I perceived as a somewhat boring
water sport was made riveting. I learned more about the finer nuances of
game fishing rules and tactics in that hour than I had in the past 18
years....I'm a sailor. Deck hands tagging a thrashing marlin, the raw
excitement of a high points hook up all made for terrific TV.
It occurred to me that TV styled like that would be ideal for AC or any
upper end competitive sailing. A tape delayed highlights-only format
complete with action oriented music bed and "as it happened" scoring
updates. No more weather delays to frustrate networks, commentators as well
as audiences with "live" programming. No more weird viewing hours for the
any time zone removed markets and a bigger bang for sponsors.
The 17th crew person would be a cameraman, the afterguard would be
(mandatorily) miced for sound and the expert commentary ratcheted up a
notch in an edit suite. The only down side is most sailing viewers would
know the results in advance but would nonetheless be drawn to an
action-oriented prime time format versus a "live" marathon. Much as I
learned more about game fishing, non-sailors would gain a sailing education.
* From Wiley Crockett: I agree with Fred Schroth. Let's get some sailors
running the show. My experience with US Sailings judges and PRO's has
convinced me that the method of recruiting these volunteers is faulty. It
appears that the good old boy network is more important than competence.
Many appear to be lesser sailors who have an agenda to seek recognition
they can't achieve actually sailing. This problem seems to exist even at
the highest levels of the judging program. There is a widespread feeling
that your chance of winning a protest, even when your an innocent victim,
is no better than 50%. I think this is an unfortunate result of the quality
of the judges combined with the dropping of the concept of "onus" from the
* From Lisa Griffith: Strangely enough, I was born in 1971 and was present
at the US Sailing AGM in Portland last weekend. (Fred Schroth mentioned
that there wasn't anyone there born after 1970). I'm an active Snipe sailor
on the BOD for USSF and the General Services committee and have very much
enjoyed the opportunity to give back to my sport. And it wasn't difficult
to get involved at all. In 2003 I wrote to the SAAC and asked them to
submit my name to any committees that might need my help and received an
immediate response from two committee chairs.
Everyone I met at the meeting was helpful and seemed happy to have me
there. I had a great time meeting all types of sailors from just about
everywhere. Showing up at the meeting was a little bit confusing at first
but there was even a round table discussion one morning, also attended by
Janet Baxter, designed to help newbies, like myself, get quickly oriented
to how the AGM meeting and US Sailing structure works.
I think it's important to recognize that there are many would-be
volunteers, of all ages, out there who may just be waiting to be asked to
help. If the sailing community thinks it should be a priority to get
younger folks involved in US Sailing then it shouldn't be hard to put a
focused plan together and make it happen. How about everyone at this year's
AGM inviting a 20-30 something guest to next year's AGM?
* From Angus Phillips: I'm 100% with Bill Doyle on the technology issue.
Having covered every America's Cup since 1980, I guarantee the best were
1983 and 1987, in old 12 meters. What's sport? Twenty guys and a soccer
ball; 18 with leather gloves, wooden bats and a ball; eight in sneakers and
shorts with 100 meters of track in front of them, or no sneakers at all and
50 meters of water. Mate, it's about people, not stuff.
* From Simon Cotter: With respect to Bill Doyle (Issue 1700), I ask him why
we should aim to hold our sport back? Is it not progress that the human
condition strives for, and is it not progression with such events as the
America's Cup, the Vendee Globe and Ocean Record sailing that delivers? We
in the yachting industry have also given to the world of technology. Look
at Future Fibres who make wheel retaining strops for Formula 1, as well as
the rigging for yachting and the yachts such as Mirabella, Maiden of Hong
Kong and the multihulls which are equivalent to Colossus's for the world of
marine engineering. Was it not Mr. Doyle's technology incumbent 12 Metres
that gave the world kevlar sails and plastic boats that in turn lead to 3DL
sails and carbon construction that almost no club sailor would be without?
Indeed I think that it is naïve of Mr. Doyle to cast such a Luddite view on
the sport of sailing, and I would like to think that the Curmudgeon is not
totally in agreement with his views.
* From Ralph Taylor: Thanks to Bill Doyle for pointing up the differences
between the Formula 1 (high-tech) and NASCAR (low-tech) models. I doubt
that his reasoned case for lower technology, increased participation, and
increased public/media interest will find an audience in the America's Cup,
but it may be heard in some other aspects of sailing.
Curmudgeon's Comment: To cast your vote on what direction would be best for
the America's Cup, go to the survey on the Scuttlebutt website:
What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?