Scuttlebutt Today
  
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT 1735 - December 20, 2004

Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
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.

JUST UNDER THE DEADLINE
Another two syndicates are set to join the list of challengers for the next
America's Cup, taking the total to eight. The first deadline passed on
Friday with just six official entries; however event organizers revealed
they had received the paper work from another two. At the teams' requests
the identity of the two concerned was not revealed.

One team is expected to be San Francisco's Sausalito Challenge, who
recently announced their intention to enter after receiving support from
the Sausalito Yacht Club. Headed by Americans John Sweeney and Tina
Kleinjan, Sausalito Challenge will reveal their sailing team next month and
plan to buy a boat to use in next year's pre-regattas.

Although little has been heard from Italy's Mascalzone Latino since they
bowed out of the last cup, some believe they could be the other to have
filed their entry. Following the loss of one of their main sponsors to
Prada, it was assumed the syndicate was all but sunk. However, it has now
been reported they might have secured enough money for the challenge.

One team event organizers would desperately like to see on the startline is
a Spanish challenge, considering they are hosting the 2007 event. Some
details were revealed last week about a syndicate called Desafio Iberdrola,
headed by Agust Zulueta, Pedro Campos and Calvo Sotelo. For months the
Spanish have been trying to finalize a challenge but have been plagued by
in-house fighting. - Julie Ash, NZ Herald,
www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=4&ObjectID=9003962

Curmudgeon's Comment: The other six syndicates to challenge America's Cup
holders Alinghi are Team New Zealand, San Francisco-based BMW Oracle
Racing, +39 Challenge and Luna Rossa Challenge from Italy, France's
K-Challenge and South Africa's Team Shosholoza. Late entries will be
accepted until April 29 next year - with a late entry fee. -
www.americascup.com

THE NEWEST MAXI
(The Daily Sail spoke with designer Greg Elliott and owner Charles Brown
about their new wing-masted canting keel 100 footer. Here are some excerpts.)

The 2005 Rolex Sydney-Hobart race will see eight, possibly as many as ten,
100ft supermaxis taking part. One of these is a new maxi that is currently
nearing completion in Auckland. The new 100 footer is being built for
co-owners Bill Buckley and Charles Brown. 100ft looks set to become a key
length over the next few years with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
maintaining this as the maximum length limit but removing the maximum TCF
speed limit for the 2005 Rolex Sydney-Hobart. Effectively in a year's time
'unlimited' 100 footers will be able to take part in the annual Boxing Day
run south and aside from the new Kiwi maxi we can expect Neville Crichton's
new CBTF Reichel-Pugh boat, currently under construction at McConaghys, to
be in this same vein while the existing maxis such as Skandia and Konica
Minolta are 'turboed'.

Brown and Buckley's new maxi is a design by Clay Oliver and Greg Elliott
who has been part of the design team that created Mari Cha IV. The design
brief was for an unlimited 100ft supermaxi that could be raced both
offshore and around the cans and thus be an all-round performance with good
upwind ability. She is the beamiest of the 100(ish)ft maxis with the
exception of Bols and comes with a metre more draft than Genuine Risk and a
very scary acreage of sail. Below the water there is a single rudder -
while the keel not only cants to 45 degrees but lifts. - Excerpts from a
comprehensive story on The Daily Sail subscription website,
www.thedailysail.com

GETTING READY
Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega visited Valencia
Port accompanied by Valencia Mayoress Rita Barbera, Port Director Rafael
Aznar and Economy Conseller Gerardo Camps. During the visit, she once again
reaffirmed the Government's decision to send Valencia a thousand million
Euros to dress up the City and prepare the port for the Americas Cup. She
also added that it was still to be determined which works were to be
undertaken by the Town Hall, and to accomplish that, the Economy Ministry
would allow Valencia to have debts over those allowed by the law. Miss
Fernandez de la Vega added that the Americas Cup would put Valencia City,
the Valencian Community and Spain as a whole on the front pages of the
world. For her part Mrs. Barbera expressed her gratitude to Miss Fernandez
de la Vega, "Which clearly showed that the Madrid Government is supporting
the City." - www.valencialife.net

NIP THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST IN THE BUD TODAY
For your crew, your skipper, your significant other: Padded Sailing Shorts
and Longpants, Knee Sleeves, Kontrol Racing Gloves, Sun Shirts, 4-way
stretch fleece with drop seats - base layer (Quadroflex fleece), battened
hiking pants, gear bags. For the stockings or the tree, one stop shopping
at Sailing Angles and nip the holiday list in the bud. You can find Sailing
Angles gear at APS, Layline, Team One Newport, PYacht or
http://www.sailingangles.com

VENDÉE GLOBE
After the chaotic, rough seas of the Indian Ocean, Vincent Riou (PRB) and
Jean Le Cam (Bonduelle) were expecting a quiet entry into the Pacific. They
imagined themselves stepping up the pace a notch, as they surfed along
downwind, putting more than 400 miles a day on the clock. The opposite has
happened. They are "hammering away" upwind in 35-40 knot winds, as a
clearly demoralized Vincent Riou explained during his radio report today.
It's all due to a low-pressure area in the wrong place, to the north of the
route the competitors are taking, instead of its usual place to the south
near the Antarctic. - www.vendeeglobe.fr/uk/

On Friday, Roland Jourdain admitted defeat in the Vendée Globe
round-the-world race after reporting "catastrophic" damage to his keel.
Jourdain, who was lying third and catching the leaders, was forced to
accept he would have to retire about 900 miles south of Melbourne,
Australia. First on the Frenchman's list, after consulting the Lombard
design office in France, was to contact his fellow-competitor Jean le Cam,
lying second just over 130 miles ahead, to warn him to check the keel of
the sister ship to ensure that it was not showing signs of the same
problems. Jourdain had suffered problems in the last Vendée with the mast
track for his mainsail. That was the boat bought by Alex Thomson, who has
also had to retire from the race. Jourdain finished third in 2001, but had
already experienced keel problems with his new boat this summer. - Stuart
Alexander, The Independent,
http://sport.independent.co.uk/general/story.jsp?story=594246

Leaders at 1900 GMT December 19:
1. PRB, Vincent Riou, 11,360 miles to finish
2. Bonduelle, Jean Le Cam, 6.3 miles to leader
3. VMI, Sébastien Josse, 285 mtl
4. Ecover, Mike Golding, 362 mtl
5. Sill Véolia, Roland Jourdain, 865 mtl
6. Temenos, Dominique Wavre, 1202 mtl

Complete standings: www.vendeeglobe.fr/uk/

NEW RECORD
Ellen MacArthur's 75- trimaran B&Q crossed the longitude of the Cape of
Good Hope at 17:56 GMT on Friday, 17th December 2004, setting a new solo
fastest time of 19 days, 9 hours and 46 minutes, taking 10 hours and 45
minutes off Francis Joyon's time. However, Ellen lost some of her advantage
- her lead has dropped from almost 24 hours to just 17 hours. At 1900 GMT
Sunday the wind had built back up to 33 knots and Ellen was once again
storming along again at 19 knots. - www.teamellen.com/ellen.asp?artid=100

PLACE YOUR BET
Australians apparently will bet on any contest, including the battle for
line honours in the 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race that
starts from Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, 26 December 2004. Centrebet, the
online betting agency, has issued its betting market for the ocean classic,
setting the New Zealand super maxi Konica Minolta as favourite ahead of
Skandia after she outsailed the Australian boat in last Friday's Canon Big
Boat Challenge. The Stewart Thwaites-owned Konica Minolta is trading at
$2.34 for a $1 outlay with Grant Wharington's Skandia on $2.50. The as-yet
un-raced Nicorette is third favorite, offered at $4. The latest odds can be
viewed on www.centrebet.com

MAN OVERBOARD!
Transpac? Bermuda? Cabo? Transatlantic? Whatever your challenge, your crew
deserves SeaMarshall fully automatic man-overboard rescue beacons and
receivers. Proven in the harsh North Sea Oil Fields, and aboard many of the
world's fastest sailboats, SeaMarshall - the best selling marine beacon on
the market. Contact: Chip Barber at mailto:admin@chbarber.com,
http://www.seamarshall-us.com

NEWS BRIEFS
* Bayview Yacht Club will be racing under IRC rule beginning in 2005. The
handicap rule will be used exclusively for monohulls racing on the
Southampton Course (253NM) of their Bayview Port Huron Mackinac Race. With
over 6,000 yachts rated and racing in over 30 countries, IRC is proving to
be a popular yacht racing handicap rule for today. "We wanted to look at
alternatives to improve and reinvigorate the handicap racing in our event"
said Luiz E. Kahl, 2005 Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman. - www.byc.com/mack05

* A study of 17 countries shows a cumulated TV audience of over 1.8 billion
for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Japan enjoying the largest cumulated
audience (587 million), followed by France (335 million), Germany (310
million) and China (309 million). In relation to cumulated audiences, the
largest market shares, however, were reached in New Zealand (26,4%),
Switzerland (21,6%) and Austria (21,1%). Of the 19 countries, Brazil
broadcast the most hours (168 hrs) with Spain in second place (125 hrs).
Program covering Athletics and Swimming drew the largest audiences. -
http://www.sailing.org/default.asp?ID=j6lFhtpAB

* Sydney, Australia - Nathan Wilmot and his 470 crew, Malcolm Page, won the
Yachting NSW Sailor of the Year award, their brilliant performances include
ownership of both the 420 and 470 World titles in 2004. Nathan Outteridge
(18) and his 420 crew, Ayden Menzies (19), received the Yachting NSW Youth
Sailor of the Year award for their outstanding successes in the 420 class,
including winning the 420 ISAF Youth Worlds, winning 420's at 2004 Kiel
Week in Germany and then a fourth overall at the 470 Junior Worlds in their
inaugural 470 campaign.
www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?SEID=0&Nid=15702

* The season of giving arrived early at the International Yacht Restoration
School (IYRS) when the 1772 Foundation and the van Beuren Charitable
Foundation each awarded $250,000 toward the restoration of the Mill
Building. The van Beuren Charitable Foundation is focused primarily on
promoting the well-being of Rhode Island's Newport County community, while
the 1772 Foundation has focused on supporting historic preservation
projects on a nationwide scale. "Restoration of the Mill Building is
essential if we are to accommodate the growing demand for IYRS's
educational programs in yacht restoration," said James Russell, IYRS's Vice
President, Development. - www.iyrs.org

* There are some neat new photos posted on the Chris Cameron website of
Emirates Team New Zealand testing GER68 against NZL81 on the Hauraki Gulf.
- www.chriscameron.co.nz

* Ockam Europe has been appointed the European distributor for Expedition
Navigational and Tactical software developed Nick White and Peter Isler.

* The overall ARC 2004 winners on corrected time were: Division I -
Cruising, Jakima, Mario Codeca, Italy; Division II - Racing, Antares,
Franciscus Winterswijk, Netherlands; Division IV - Multihulls, Girolata,
Christian Martin, France. Full results are on the event website at in the
News folder. - http://arc.worldcruising.com

* Correction: Within the "Rebuttal" article by Robert Wilkes of the
International Optimist Dinghy Association in Issue 1734, it was incorrectly
stated that the winning crew of the 2004 Snipe Junior Worlds came from the
Optimist ranks. The Worlds are actually only sailed in odd years, wherein
the winning team of the 2003 Worlds (Michael Mittlerling and Graham Biehl)
both came from the Naples Sabot class, which continues to be the primary
junior training boat for Southern California.

CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar

OCKAM WIRELESS SOLUTION
Ockam Instruments offers a cost effective wireless instrument display
solution. The OS4 EYE Software for your pocket PC PDA. View multiple pages
of instrument data, control the system & track trends on stripcharts - all
in the palm of your hand. The EYE seamlessly connects to your Ockam system
through the boats PC using WiFi to give you full control anytime, anywhere
on the boat. It's time to make your PDA more useful then ever. Limited Time
Special: Purchase a copy of the OS4 EYE software and receive a free EYElid
(weather proof PDA cover). Visit http://www.ockam.com or contact
mailto:lat@ockam.com


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 Harken (edited to our 250-word limit): It ain't perfect, so
what's new? It ain't a parents and kids boat - too small. It is the world's
entry level kid's boat! No ifs ands & buts! What does a single handed boat
do for a child that a parent loaded boat doesn't do? Independence,
self-responsibility, self figure out what course of action do I take, self
confidence, self experiencing of life … because that's what your going to
have to handle for most of the greater part of your life! What parent
doesn't want their kids to grow with self assurance and all the other
'selfs' needed in later life? I have seen the change in kids that we have
brought through our community sailing center from the inner city and YCs
that were not self assured or confident about much at all and watched what
happened when mastering the Opti or single handed me-myself-alone boats and
it's all positive big time!

The Opti is a great little level entry boat for many reasons and that's why
it has become the Worlds boat. The parents and kids can always sail
together in a bigger boat to experience your important bonding and family
fun, but keep your kid out of the Opti and he/she will be left behind when
he/she wants to compete outside of their home box and or keep them from
single handed sailing and they will not experience one of the best way's
and fun way's to learn about 'self!'

* From Wiley Crockett: I agree with Tom Ehman, I think the sport would be
better served if Juniors had the option of sailing with their peers in
boats like the Blue Jay which was the standard junior trainer on western
Long Island sound for many years. Sailing in a two or thee kid environment
teaches much more than just sailing. Teamwork, social confidence, getting
along with shipmates and sportsmanship are amongst the important life
lesions that can be better learned. Multiple young sailors in one boat also
tends to reduce the negative influence of any one overly aggressive sailing
parent. I would also point out that a junior program with three kids to a
boat can expose three times as many kids to our sport. Some of those kids
would never get a chance to sail if they had to own a single handed boat.

* From Bill Sandberg (edited to our 250-word limit): I have read with great
interest the many reactions to John Glynn's article about getting kids into
sailing. It is a problem, and all the responses should have given those
involved with the teaching of kids much food for thought. It is true that
each kid is different and must be treated as so. The outcry at Tom Ehman's
letter is to be expected, but some readers miss the point. It's not that
the Optimist is a bad boat, in fact for many it has been the launching pad
to a great career in sailing. It is the fact that in many junior sailing
programs, it is the only option for little kids. They are not offered an
option such as a Blue Jay, or any other multiple person boat.

Some kids simply don't want to sail alone. They want to be with their
friends. Either offer the kids a multiple person boat, or put more than one
on a single Optimist. I don't care if there are so many kids in the boat
that it had an inch of freeboard. If they are having fun, that is what
counts. Go to the website of the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island
Sound (jsalis.org) and look up the Mission Statement of the organization.
Part of it says that the JSA of LIS "encourages the teaching of life long
lessons which seek to build character, foster teamwork and strengthen
respect for self and others." Could a parent ask for more?

* From Lee Baylor: Predictably Optimist Class proponents would see the
"Penguin Principle" as an attack on their beloved class, not as the
insightful and motivating call to arms for family sailing, and multi-handed
junior sailing, that it most certainly is. Blinkered supporters of
single-handed junior racing, in Optimists or otherwise, who cannot see the
bigger picture are obviously a part of the problem on which Mr Ehman has
shined a bright and long-overdue spotlight.

* From Ralph Taylor: Peter Huston's suggestions on simplifying the rules
for beginning racers and -- especially -- reversing "windward keeps clear"
of the present rule got me thinking. If we change to "leeward keeps clear"
for beginners, do we also change the RRS so everyone races under this
principle? Or, do we make the beginners unlearn old habits & learn new ones
when they advance? "Leeward keeps clear" changes the game. On the starting
line: (1) It becomes "Down, Down, crash, protest" when leeward can't go
down enough. (Leeward boats may never get to the line. Is this fair?) and
(2) Barging isn't eliminated, but becomes the preferred starting method.
General recalls will increase. On weather legs, no one would tack
underneath. At weather marks, the leeward boat can be forced away because
the four rules don't include "room at the mark". On downwind legs, a
leeward boat could be forced into an obstruction.

Let's get new racers into the game by advising them to concentrate on
boatspeed, sail their own race, and stay out of tactical games until
they're ready for close-quarters boat-handling. * From John P. Pitcairn
(Re. Peter Huston Rule changes): When Harold Vanderbilt proposed new racing
rules in his book my father Harold F. Pitcairn suggested that the Lake
George Club of Lake Gorge N.Y. try these rules for the next summer.
Commodore Vanderbilt agreed. At the Lake George Club we were encouraged to
protest. After each protest my father and Vanderbilt went over the
protests. Several rules were altered because of this. If Mr. Huston's rules
are to be implemented I would suggest that the same procedure be used. We
had a lot of fun that summer as we contributed to the good of yacht racing.
I'm not sure about these rules. If a club could be found that would try
them it would point out any flaws in them.

* From Alain Fortuney: It is certainly funny, to say the least, that the
United States, a long time leading country in offshore racing as well as in
rating technology, is flirting with the IRC that is a rating rule based on
a secret formula they would non be able to control and manage (Farr Yacht
Design have been quick out of the trap with three production-ready IRC
designs!). They would not even issue their own certificates or collect the
levies. A Club on the other side of the Atlantic will. It is funny or else,
isn't it?

CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a
nail.