SCUTTLEBUTT 1890 - July 28, 2005
Scuttlebutt is a digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions,
features and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
A Project of the Russian Sailing Federation, 470 Internationale, St
Petersburg City and Web Arena will enable the viewing of Real Time Dinghy
Championships on-Line for what has to be the first time in the Sports
history. At the 470 Junior (Under 22) World Championships in St Petersburg,
30 boats are fitted with transponders and will be feeding live visuals onto
a huge screen on the beach and to the Internet. The Championship features
almost 80 competitors from 19 Nations.
ISAF President, Goran Petersson recently said in an interview with Sailing
World magazine, "…This is the way to make it interesting for the spectator.
...We want to see as many nations as you like on the screen so you can tell
your viewers what position they are in and if they improve two places...
Let's provide more information quickly and accurately."
Competition in the Junior Worlds starts on the 27th of July, with the
Finals between the 30th of July and the 2nd of August. The Internet feeds
of Racing will be going to http://www.geofix.c-map.ru/ or
http://iracing.ru/ or Links from the 470 Home of www.470.org. (A working
knowledge of Russian may be handy.) -- Darren Dunkley-Smith,
PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS?
Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy are regarded as Britain's America's Cup dream
team and are likely to be at the heart of any future British-based
syndicate, with Ainslie perhaps driving the race boat and Percy skippering
the team. Both men are currently employed by foreign America's Cup
syndicates - Ainslie with Emirates Team New Zealand and Percy with the
small Italian outfit +39 - but their long-term ambitions remain with
Britain and the singular goal of leading the first British team to win
sailing's greatest prize.
Percy, who skippers +39 and will be racing on a variety of boats next week
in his role as a Skandia-sponsored Olympic sailor, believes there is no
time to lose. "To be honest, now is the time to be thinking about something
for 2009-10," said the Finn gold medallist who, together with Ainslie, has
been learning his America's Cup trade on the professional match-racing
circuit this year. "The point is you've got British guys like myself and
Ben learning the game of match-racing, learning the game of America's Cup,
and the time will be right in the future to put together a British team.
There are clearly the financial resources in a country like England and
there is a large group of talented sailors - we've got massive potential,
not only to enter the Cup but to do well."
Ainslie believes that with Harrison now dropping back, there is an
opportunity for a new beginning. "There is no point in carrying on with a
team just to be there as also-rans," said the double Olympic gold medallist
who currently skippers Team New Zealand's "B" boat. "A fresh team will
probably make life a bit easier because there won't be baggage from earlier
campaigns." Ainslie is committed to his current employer and is thus
restricted in what he can say or do. "It wouldn't be right for us to be
going round starting new teams, but equally something needs to happen to
try and get the ball rolling again and hopefully get a main investor
involved, either now or in the next year or so," he said. -- Edward Gorman,
The Sunday Times, full story:
GROWING THE AUDIENCE
Lance Armstrong's record seventh straight Tour de France victory was
watched by an average of 1.7 million viewers Sunday, the largest audience
in the history of the Outdoor Life Network. The live coverage of
Armstrong's career-ending victory late Sunday morning drew an audience
significantly larger than the network's average prime-time audience of
330,000 people. OLN has used the Tour de France -- and Armstrong's
remarkable winning streak -- to make a name for itself. The network first
began televising cycling's signature event in 2001. In 2003, the audience
for the race had doubled. Last year, it nearly doubled again -- despite the
network failing to provide live coverage of Armstrong crossing the finish
line. This year, an average audience of 607,250 watched OLN's 23 days of
live coverage of the Tour.
OLN, in more than 63 million homes, broadcasts outdoor adventure and action
sports television such as the Gravity Games, professional bullriding, the
Boston Marathon and skiing. Earlier this week, the network announced it had
acquired the rights to broadcast the 2007 America's Cup in the United
States. -- Associated Press, http://tinyurl.com/dnyfe
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The oldest crew in 43 Transpacific Yacht Races over 100 years sailed past
Diamond Head early Wednesday morning with smiles beaming through their grey
beards to rival the Hawaiian sunrise. "This dream, this impossible dream,"
Bubala skipper Lloyd Sellinger reveled. "I'm so thrilled. I don't
[bleeping] believe it!" They were the last of 13 Cal 40s to finish (a 14th
dropped out early) and their elapsed time of about 15 days 21 hours was
almost 10 days over the new Transpac record set by Morning Glory last
weekend. Hasso Plattner and Russell Coutts had long ago left town, but none
of that mattered. At their Waikiki Yacht Club welcome party Bubala fans
passed out T-shirts proclaiming "Old Men Rule." "You know what," Sellinger,
72, declared. "We won."
Tabasco, a charted 1D35 raced by five Southern Californians calling
themselves the Alamitos Bay Syndicate, finished a strong run at 1:31 a.m.
Wednesday about 150 miles ahead of the next boat in Division IV, averaging
8 knots for the 2,225 nautical miles and dominating their seven-boat class
like no other winner---first to finish and on handicap time.
Thirteen Division III boats also started July 15 but fought a different
kind of battle ending Tuesday. Reinrag2, a J/125 from Portland, Ore. sailed
by skipper Tom Garnier, four members of his family and Rob Waterman,
patiently worked its way to the front and then held onto its handicap time
lead by more than three hours after The Cone of Silence from Australia flew
past with a string of 200-mile-plus days near the end.
The Cone of Silence is a 31-foot Super 30 class boat, designed by
Reichel/Pugh, as were Morning Glory and this year's overall winner, the
Transpac 52 Rosebud. But it's built more on the lines of a skiff than the
usual Transpac boat. Skipper Jamie O'Neill said the boat has logged
300-mile days in the Mooloolaba race back home, although its top day in
this race was 263---not bad for a 31-footer. "We never really had our
conditions except for the last few days," O'Neill said. "When you have a
little boat you need to be planing and you need 14 knots [of wind]. We
really struggle in light conditions. "We had a pretty good last 100 miles,
and we got a good squall 200 miles out that carried us for 40 miles." --
Rich Roberts, complete standings: http://www.transpacificyc.org/
BOX RULE BOATS
(In a story posted on the Daily Sail subscription website, Luke
Shingledecker, one of the naval architects at Farr Yacht Design, discusses
the ORC's new 26, 33 and 42-ft box rule 'level classes.' Here's an excerpt)
"They are a little like smaller TP52s. They are light for their length and
they have a moderate amount of sail area for their length, but plenty of
sail area for their displacement. Their stability is not high stability -
it isn't on the TP52s either - it is probably enough to get good
performance in a range of conditions. They definitely have more stability
than a typical IMS boat but they are also so much lighter for their size
which really changes the kind of boat they are."
In comparison to internationally known quantities such as the Mumm 30 and
Farr 40 the new ORC boats are generally for their length narrower, lighter
and have a little less stability. Comparing the ORC 42 with the Farr 40
directly from a stability perspective, the 42 has less beam, a slightly
larger mainsail area, a bigger distance between the mast and the tack of
the jib (J) and the possibility of much much bigger kites (at present these
seem to have no luff or leech length controls, only girths - maybe this is
an omission), and is substantially lighter. Redressing all these stability
sapping features is that the 42 has much more draft. Shingledecker reckons
the new ORC boats will positively fly downwind but won't be as good upwind
in breeze. He adds: "I don't expect them to be incredibly tender boats.
They will be what you expect out of a lightweight race boat upwind in big
breeze - they will be a challenge but they won't be excessive tippy." - The
Daily Sail, www.thedailysail.com
CALENDAR OF MAJOR EVENTS (Sponsored by West Marine)
Events listed at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar
NOT A BAD WEEK.
There are a lot of smiles at Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design this week. Their
TP52 Lexus/ Quantum Racing won the Breitling Cup (Majorca, Spain), the
highly competitive Transpac 52 Class Regatta taking first place in three of
the seven races. Dr. Hasso Plattner's Reichel Pugh maxZ86 Morning Glory won
Transpac's Barn Door, finishing first and obliterating the course record.
Roger and Isobel Sturgeon sailed their RP TP 52 Rosebud to best overall
corrected time in the Transpac fleet and James O'Neill's Cone of Silence,
the smallest boat in the Transpac fleet at 32' LOA finished first on
elapsed time in her class against her much bigger rivals and corrected to
second place in class. And Eamon Conneely's Irish sistership to Lexus
Quantum won the IRC Super Zero class of the RORC 151 Mile Channel Race.
As if that was not enough, they also launched Stephen Ainsworth's latest
Loki a 60' IRC cruiser racer built by Azzura Yachts and Alfa Romeo -
Neville Crichton's 30m super maxi built by McConaghy's. Not a bad week.
* Ventura, Calif. -- Tuesday was another late day on the water Hobie 16
North Americans with racing once again ending at around 7:30. The wind
started off light and built to about twelve knots in the afternoon. Five
races were sailed in all. Enrique and Carla Figueroa from, Puerto Rico,
have taken the lead. Defining champions Aramondo Noriega and Rodrigo Achach
from Mexico are now in second. The top ten have representatives from four
countries, two from Puerto Rico and from the US one from Guatemala and
three from Mexico. Complete results, pictures and updates: www.HCA-NA.org
* The Sail America Board of Directors announces the appointment of Scott H.
Evans as executive director of the sailing industry trade association,
effective August 1, 2005. Evans assumes the post vacated by Scot West and
brings an impressive management background to Sail America, including a
decorated 26-year career in the U.S. Coast Guard.
* A memorial for Derek Baylis will be held at the San Francisco Yacht Club
in Belvedere is coming Sunday, July 31, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
* North Sails has partnered with Chris Bedford and his team of expert
meteorologists at Sailing Weather Services to provide FREE weather
forecasts for the Lands' End Marblehead NOOD Regatta from July 28-31, 2005.
Detailed forecasts will be emailed to subscribers each morning by 0730
local time. To sign up, visit North's online weather center at:
* McDonnell Haynes Integrated Communication Partners has developed a new
fundraising advertising campaign to support Canadian Derek Hatfield's bid
to sail around the world on board Spirit of. The agency recently launched a
series of ads designed to heighten awareness of Canada's only competitor in
the upcoming 5-Oceans Challenge solo sailing race in 2006 - Skipper Derek
Hatfield aboard Spirit of Canada. The ads feature the names of Canadians
who have contributed to support Derek's bid. -- www.spiritofcanada.net
* The Grupo Leche Pascual has just signed a sponsorship agreement with the
Spanish VO70 Movistar syndicate, which will not only provide financial
support, but also Pascual products to the crew, such as pasteurized
yoghourts. Pedro Campos, Moviestar General Manager, says Leche Pascual, "85
is not only a sponsor, but a provider of the technological support that we
will need for our nutrition."
* An ICSA Team has won British-America Trophy -- a co-helm, three on three
team race sailed in Firefly's at West Kirby, England. Conditions for the
match were 18-22 knots breeze so the race committee decided to use the
small, cut-down mains. The USA 'East' side (Ben Gent, Jeff Bonanni, Charlie
Enright) dominated their rival helms 3-1, while the USA 'West' side (Andrew
Campbell, Harrison Turner, Justin Law) recovered from some starting
problems their first three matches to win their last two, including the
deciding ninth race. -- www.collegesailing.org/
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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 neither 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. And please save your bashing,
whining and personal attacks for elsewhere.)
* From Cam Lewis: Congratulations to all the great sailors and boats and
their results in this year's Transpac. It should be known that the record
for fastest official racing and sailing time in the race was set in 1997 by
co skippers + Bruno Peyron and me with a great crew that included Skip
Novak and Florence Arthaud in a time of something like 5 days 7 hours and
change in an multihull that was over 12 years old.
* From Paul Kelly: In Scuttlebutt 1889 Mr. Rutherford seems to be upset
that one Transpac 52 owes another one almost 4 hours over the length of the
Transpacific Yacht Race course. If my calculations are correct, that
translates to about 6 seconds per mile handicap. When I was racing Thistle
class one-design dinghies, I wished that my boatspeed was that close to the
* From Wells Pile: In 'Butt 1889, Dave Bandstra said, "The thrill of
sailboat racing is the pursuit of excellence measured only by your
competition." I have spent my life on various boats, but find my greatest
pleasure in my little Beetle Cat. Once a week my competition consists of
the other Beetles in our fleet, but many other days and evenings are spent
on a "pleasure sail" and I enjoy "racing" other, larger boats on the water.
When a friend on an S boat sailed into a bad wind shift that I avoided,
when I passed a haphazardly sailed 50 something boat with all the bells and
whistles, Kevlar sails, and an auto-pilot it was gratifying.
It has been fun passing this onto my children who once couldn't understand
why that little boat is my favorite. They learned that sometimes people
don't even know (or care) that they are in a race until they have been
passed, that being alert to changing conditions and altering to suit them
is important, that slow but sure is sometimes more successful, and that
physical and financial advantages don't always assure success. They also
learned that it's important to enjoy what you are doing, even when you are
hopelessly out-gunned. These lessons have influenced their lives far from
the race course.
* From John Jamison: When I read the story about the kid's event (Sand
Traps and Potholes), it got me thinking how youth events really should be
planned as thoroughly as adult events. I am sure that those running the
races in the story were very well intentioned people, but things just
weren't working out, and the kids were getting shorted. I know I am looking
forward to my next turn at helping with race committee at my club, and in
how I can hopefully contribute to providing a positive experience to the
* From Henry Brauer (edited to our 250-word limit): Craig Leweck's comments
regarding Sand Traps and Potholes makes some interesting points regarding
setting square starting lines and race courses, however, there are some
benefits to challenging sailors of all ages to be creative and think about
their environment. Our sport, particularly one design sailing, has become
very sterile. How many windward leeward courses can one sail in a given
season? What happened to the Olympic, gold cup and triangular courses? It
seems that 25 years ago these were the only courses we sailed, today its
I applaud the time and effort that our volunteer race managers give to our
sport - let them be creative too. How often do competitors reach back and
forth while the committee spends too much time trying to set the perfect
starting line and windward leg. Race managers should be encouraged to think
out of the box and challenge sailors in new ways: set courses closer to
land, use an island as a mark, have a downwind start, race off the dock
inside the harbor. There is nothing wrong with allowing sailors to use
their creativity and imagination while racing. Forcing sailors to use their
minds will make them better racers and maintain interest in our sport. The
young sailors that may not have come out on top in the regatta Craig
mentioned still learned a great deal and will be better prepared for their
* From Dick Enersen: I hate to keep writing about dead shipmates, but....
Bill Lawhorn was indeed a fine sailor and a great shipmate who will be
missed by all who knew him. What may not be generally known about Bill is
that he was perhaps the loudest snorer who ever lived. We were watchmates
in Baldwin Baldwin's 72' yawl Audacious in the '66 Bermuda Race and bunked
opposite each other in the commodious main saloon. Bill's snoring shook the
boat from end to end. Each aspiration could be compared to kick starting a
two stroke dirt bike, so loud that once I had to wake him, lest he give
himself a concussion in his slumber. Wherever he's sleeping now, I hope
it's more peaceful.
* From Ray Tostado: Needed repair is in order for PHRF. It is broken and is
breaking racer's hearts because it was fair and equitable in its
intentions. There is no blame to be assigned; it's just that things change,
and PHRF has not. The focus in the title is performance. But performance is
not being revisited in any designed manner nor with truly objective
results. PHRF has avoided singling out individual boats, but rather treats
them as a class if they are a production boat.
Golf handicapping might work. I can strongly state that proper software can
be written to reassess every boat in 6, 12, or 18 month cycles. Stop rating
boats as XY- 34s; but rate THAT XY 34 for performance based on finishes.
Stop chasing wind conditions and settle back to who finished where and not
why they did. No golf handicap asks were the fairways hard or soft? Did the
putting greens slant away from the cup? We can no longer afford to have
subjective attitudes in rating boards decide what is reality out on the
race course. Go straight to the finishes, boat for boat, in class, and
things will even out in time.
"Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older it avoids you."
-- Winston Churchill