Monday Digest

A look at the week behind and the week ahead
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Crash, Bang, Boom
Bruce Schwab, sailing his Wylie-designed Open 60 Ocean Planet in the first leg of the Around Alone, broke his boom in strong wind conditions last Friday evening. “I was worried about the load on the boom in that much wind,” said Schwab in an e-mail to his supporters Saturday morning. “The second reef would have been much better, so I let the vang tension out a fair bit to allow the main to twist and reduce the vang load until the wind started to go down. Except the wind didn’t go down, it went up. At just over 40kts, I was below as the boat went on a tear to 28kts with a deafening howl. I was scared and thinking about how I would go about putting in a second reef in those conditions. I guess I waited too long and my hand-wringing was put to an end by a load (and I mean LOUD) explosion that I felt straight in the heart, I knew exactly what it was.”

Another Open 60, Hexagon, took a knockdown Sunday night while skipper Graham Dalton was hand steering at 27 knots. After pumping out the seawater that had entered through the open companionway hatch and cleaning up the mess, Dalton passed along a message to Schwab offering to help in any way that he and his shore team can. “I want to beat him on the water, not off,” said Dalton.

“Dubois is spicing things up, and that’s something I could have done without,” said the overall race leader, Bernard Stamm in an e-mail journal entry Monday morning. “”He must not get by me. No way. Crossing the Atlantic as leader only to be overtaken so close to home is out of the question.” Strong words from a tough competitor.


Leading the smaller boats in Class 2, Brad van Liew is pushing his Open 50 Tommy Hilfiger hard and having a great time doing it. “Would somebody find out where the brakes are and let me know,” said van Liew in his latest e-mail. “I haven’t seen the speedo below 20 knots since I started typing so now I really must go. For no reason, of course, than to hoot and holler like a kid on a roller coaster and to just keep asking the boat if there is anything I can do to help.”

The position reports graphic is now up and running on the Around Alone site and between that and the e-mail diaries being sent from the boats, it’s a fun site to check out. Be sure to read Emma Richard’s essay about what she thinks we were all doing Sunday while she was racing.

Global Domination
Three Aussies, Glenn Ashby, Scott Anderson, and Steve Brewin, nailed the top three slots, respectively, at the 2003 A-Class catamaran World Championship, held off Martha’s Vineyard last week. Ashby’s stunning scoreline–7 first-place-finishes in 9 races, gave him a 21-point margin over Anderson. The top U.S. finisher was Charlie Ogletree, who will be sailing in the Tornado World Championship, which will also be sailed in the waters off Martha’s Vineyard this week. See for results from both events.


Sardinia Cup
For the first time in 22 years, a team from the U.S. has won the Sardinia Cup, a five-day series of races held off Porto Cervo in the Mediterranean. The Farr 40 Bambakou, owned and driven by John Coumentarous, with team mate Roberto Maffini, owner of QQ7-Profit, topped the series, which was a combination of buoy and short distance races. For a full report and images, see the Costa Smerelda website, Look to the bottom left hand side of the page for the english translation.

Say it Ain’t so
In the sports section of Sunday’s edition of the New York Times was a great prelude piece about the America’s Cup by sailing journalist Herb McCormick. Sadly, it’s the last piece that McCormick is scheduled to write for the Times, thanks to a change in direction at the sports department that has eradicated all contract writers.

While McCormick may be going quietly, exhibiting the class that he is well known for, his fans will not. Thanks to a submission in Monday’s Scuttlebutt from Jane Eagleson, Barby MacGowan, Keith Taylor, and Bruno Trouble, fans of McCormick’s sailing stories are being asked to voice their protest of the Times’ decision. The following is a portion of the Scuttlebutt piece.


“Today, just eight days away from the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup series to decide the next challenger for the America’s Cup – a series that features three American syndicates, including the New York Yacht Club’s challenge headed by Dennis Conner–the Times’ plans for covering the Cup in New Zealand are cloudy at best. A call to the Sports Department elicited the following response: ‘We’re going a different route but we’ll be there.’

“In other words, boating columnist Herb McCormick who covered the last America’s Cup for the Times, won’t be there. McCormick’s Cup roundup piece that appeared yesterday in the Sunday New York Times was his swansong – his final offering after three years on the job. McCormick was scheduled to cover the initial Louis Vuitton racing from the States before heading to New Zealand for on- the-spot coverage. Those plans have been cancelled.”

See for the full text, or simply contact the NY Times directly and tell them how you feel about their decision. Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman and Publisher; Howell Raines, Executive Editor; and Neil Amdur, Sports Editor. The New York Times, 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.


Masters of the Universe
The Laser Master Worlds began yesterday off Hyannis, Mass. with a strong start for Ed Adams, of Middletown, R.I., who won both heats in the Masters (45 to 54 years old) fleet. In the Apprentice (35 to 44 years old) fleet, top sailor was Andrew Pimental, of Newport, R.I. with a 4,2 for the day. Bill Symes, of Portland, Ore., leads the Senior Masters class.
The series runs through Sept. 8, follow the action at