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Larry Ellison, Paul Allen, Greenpeace and Nose Jobs

By rhino1302 in News
Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:12:54 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

No, this isn't about software and the battle for world domination. This is about sailing, and the battle for the America's Cup.

The challenger series for the fabled America's Cup has entered the quarter-finals. Read on for a brief history of the Cup, this year's story so far, and what this all has to do with Larry Ellison, Paul Allen, Greenpeace and Nose Jobs.

Ancient History

In 1851, a group of canny New York businessmen formed a racing syndicate and commissioned a sailing yacht under the condition that it was to be the fastest sailing vessel in the world. It wasn't. Soon after it was launched and christened the America, it was beaten in a race by the private yacht of one of the syndicate members. Undismayed, the syndicate negotiated a partial refund from the builder, and sent America off to England, where they hoped to win personal and national glory by besting the boats of the Royal Yacht Squadron. They also hoped to win lots of money by betting on the outcome.

After much goading, the Royal Yacht Squadron reluctantly agreed to a race pitting the best boats in its fleet against the America, and put up its "100 Guinea Cup" as a trophy. Fortunately for the New York syndicate, the Royal Yacht Squadron didn't do a good job of laying out the rules of the race. Due to a generous interpretation of the rules, and a couple of accidents, the America crossed the finish line first. It won the "100 Guinea Cup" for its owners who, after toying with the thought of melting it down, donated it to the New York Yacht Club under the condition that it be used "as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries". It was known forever after as the "America's Cup", named for the yacht that won it.

The America herself was immediately sold off to an Englishman, passed through a few more hands, and wound up in Georgia where in 1861 she was purchased by the Confederate Navy and put into service as a blockade runner. After the fall of Jacksonville, the Confederates scuttled her to keep her out of Union hands. However, the Union Navy managed to raise her and press her into service as a blockade enforcer. After the war she was sold back into private hands, and took part in the 1870 America's Cup Race.

In the 132 years subsequent to America's victory in 1851, the New York Yacht Club hosted 24 challenges to its ownership of the Cup and won them all. Many of the challengers complained bitterly that the New York Yacht Club manipulated the rules to its favor.

Modern History

The New York Yacht Club's amazing run of victories came to a dramatic end in 1983 when Alan Bond's Australia II of the Royal Perth Yacht Club overcame a 3-1 deficit to beat Dennis Connor's Liberty 3-4 in the best-of-seven series. Key to Australia II's victory was a controversial "winged keel" design that allowed the center of mass to be lowered without exceeding the severe draft restriction of the 12 meter class then in use. The "wings" on the keel actually functioned similarly to winglets on an aircraft, mitigating votexes caused by the keel's unusual upside-down trapezoidal shape.

Three years later Dennis Connor won the cup back but this time for the San Diego Yacht Club (due to his falling out with the New York Yacht Club), after defeating Alan Bond's defending Kookaburra III soundly in Fremantle.

Only one year after bringing home the cup, Dennis Connor received a surprise challenge from Michael Fray of New Zealand. As by tradition the host determines the rules of the challenge, Conner was not obliged to accept the challenge, however he saw a glaring loophole in Fray's terms: There was no mention of how many hulls the defender was to have! Fray's attempt to return America's cup racing to the rarefied world of mega-yachts backfired as Connor met Fray's 120' monohull Goliath with a blindingly-fast 60' catamaran. Connor also had to defend the cup in the courts as Fray challenged his interpretation of the rules in a case that went all the way to the supreme court. As a reaction, a new class boat design for future America's Cup racers was developed: the International America's Cup Class (IACC).

In 1995 Connor again lost the cup, this time to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. In 1999, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron became the first non-american club to defend the America's Cup by defeating the Italian Prada challenge 5-0 in a best-of-nine series.

Which brings us to the 2003 series...


The America's Cup consists of two phases: The Challenger Series, and the America's Cup Match. In recent years, the Challenger Series has also been known as the Louis Vuitton Cup. In the Louis Vuitton Cup, the field of challengers is narrowed down to a single challenger. In the America's Cup Match, the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup races against the defender (i.e. the previous winner of the America's Cup) in a best of nine series

The Louis Vuitton Cup opened with two rounds of round-robins in which each challenger faced each other challenger in a one-on-one match race. The winner of each race was awarded one point. At the end of the round-robins, the eight highest scoring challengers entered the quarter-finals. The four highest scoring challengers are in a double-elimination group, with the loosers from that group getting a second chance against the winners of the single-chance group. In the semi-finals the single-chance and double-chance structure is maintained similarly. The quarter finals and semi finals are best-of-seven series, and the Louis Vitton finals and America's Cup are best-of-nine series.

2003-Quarter Final Matchups

  • Alinghi Challenge (Switzerland) vs. Prada Challenge (Italy)

    In a way, this match is a repeat of the 1999 America's Cup. Alinghi Challenge is lead by Russel Coutts, who also lead Team New Zealand's successfully defense in 1999 against Prada Challenge. Joining Coutts are several other former Team New Zealanders including tactician Brad Butterworth.

    Alinghi Challenge is the early favorite for the Louis Vuitton cup, and the top seed in the quarter finals. However, Prada came on strong in round 2 of the round-robins, and performed a modification to their bow (known as a "nose job") just prior to the start of the Quarter finals. In the racing on Tuesday, Prada looked quite strong downwind, but was loosing out to Alinghi upwind. Prada also drew a penalty for striking Alinghi as a result of poor communication between the bowman and the helmsman.

    Alinghi leads 1-0

  • Oracle-BMW Racing (USA) vs. OneWorld Challenge (USA)

    Ok, I promised you a Larry Ellison vs. Paul Allen matchup. Here it is: Ellison is the guiding force and primary funder of Oracle-BMW Racing, and Paul Allen has provide OneWorld Challenge with funds in the 8-figure range. Ellison plans on being on the boat whenever possible (although he seems to be at OracleWorld San Francisco right now) and steering whenever things aren't best left to veteran helmsman Peter Holmberg. Allen doesn't seem to have much involvement with OneWorld except providing the dough. He stepped in after Craig McCaw's Nextel stock, which was to be the principal source of funding, took a dive.

    These two teams seem to be very evenly matched, and this series promises to be very exciting. Both teams also draw heavily on refugees from Team New Zealand's 1999 defense. In Tuesday's racing Oracle beat OneWorld by 12-seconds on account of a penalty on OneWorld for a right-of-way violation.

    Oracle leads 1-0

  • Victory Challenge (Sweden) vs. Le Defi Areva (France)

    Victory Challenge, with crew from every Scandinavian nation, is an overall underdog but scores points for reliance on native talent instead of hired guns. Le Defi is also regarded as a long-shot, but with a yellow hull and a long graceful transom overhang, scores points for aesthetics on the water. Their sail number is also FRA-69, which might get some people rooting for them. Le Defi was rammed and damaged by Greenpeace protesters as retaliation for the sinking of Rainbow Warrior by French agents back in 1985, and related demonstrations outside the team compound in Auckland could be bad for crew morale.

    Victory Challenge is the favorite in this series after beating Le Defi handily on tuesday.

    Victory Challenge leads 1-0

  • GBR Challenge (UK) vs. Stars and Stripes (USA)

    This is being billed as the match for traditionalists who remember when the America's Cup was primarily a trans-atlantic affair. GBR represents the first British entry in the America's Cup since 1987. After putting together the campaign from scratch, they did better than expected in the round-robins. Stars and Stripes is Dennis Connor's entry, who has been ubiquitous in the America's Cup in recent years, having been either the defender or successful challenger in every cup between 1983 and 1995. Dennis Connor seems to have graduated from day-to-day control of the syndicate and has become more of a fund-raiser in chief and figure-head.

    GBR Challenge and Stars and Stripes were very evenly matched in the round-robins and this is expected to be a tight race. Stars and Stripes does have an ace up it's sleeve though - the boat they used in the round-robins was their back-up boat, their primary boat having sunk during training in California. That boat has since been raised, repaired and returned to service, and is expected to be faster than the boat used previously. In the racing on tuesday, Stars and Stripes drew a penalty before the start but went on to open a healthy lead. GBR came back late in the race, and after Stars and Stripe's penalty turn, went on to win the race.

    GBR leads 1-0

The Defender: Team New Zealand

After successfully defending the cup in 1999, Team New Zealand (TNZ) suffered a bit of a melt-down. With uncertain funding and a poor hand-off of leadership, many of the brightest stars jumped ship to challenger syndicates. This was a double-whammy, as TNZ's loss was their competitor's gain. In addition, what funding they could find was only about half of what their better-funded competitors have mustered (about $40 million as opposed to $80 million). To put things in perspective, New Zealand's total exports in 1995 amounted to about $18 billion, while Larry Ellison's personal fortune is about $15 billion.

Fortunately for TNZ, their talent pool was deep, and despite the personnel losses they still have a solid team with good leadership. In addition they have the home-field advantage of sailing in their home waters and being based out of their own hometown. Still, no one expects their defense to be as easy as in 1999 when the trounced Prada Challenge 5-0

How to Watch

If you're in the US, and you're lucky enough to get OLN (Outdoor Life Network), tune in tonight at 9pm or 12am to watch race 2 of the Oracle/OneWorld match. In the UK BBC2 has promised to cover it. If you're in New Zealand, you may be sick and tired of America's Cup coverage, but I can't help you there. Elsewhere, check your local listings.

Yahoo is offering live streaming content, but it costs money and requires IE.

A Word on Penalties

If you're not familiar with sailing, some of the penalties may be baffling. I don't have space here to go into the rules of sail racing, but most of the penalties you will probably see have to do with failure to give way. There are a set of rules which determine which boat in any given situation has the right of way. Failure to give way to the boat with rights incurs a penalty. In America's Cup racing this penalty can be cleared by performing a 270-degree turn, which can be performed at any point within the race, but which is generally performed just prior to the finish.


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Larry Ellison, Paul Allen, Greenpeace and Nose Jobs | 37 comments (34 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
typos, few people yacht, doesn't say where... (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:01:51 PM EST

+1 FP.

This was a very informative write up. It would have been improved by saying where the competitions are occurring, though.

I live in San Diego and whenever they are in town it's actually quite a treat to watch them compete from the cliffs in Point Loma. Take some binoculars, a radio and a picnic basket and it's a great day out, especially if you take the day off work.

I drank what?

Re: doesn't say where (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by lakeland on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 01:35:40 AM EST

Auckland, New Zealand. At a fancy new venue. Incidentially, the NZ team having half the money of the others is the norm, they only had half when they won the other times too.

[ Parent ]
Thursday, 14th Nov Results (5.00 / 2) (#5)
by supine on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:34:07 PM EST

Alinghi beat Prada [Luna Rossa] (final delta 8 secs). Alinghi leads 2-0.

Oracle BMW beat OneWorld (final delta 17 secs). Oracle BMW leads 2-0.

Victory [ORM] beat Le Defi Areva (final delta 70 secs). Victory leads 2-0.

Stars & Stripes beat GBR [Wight Lightning] (final delta 77 secs). Tie drawn 1-1.

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant

Friday, 15th Nov Results (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by supine on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:25:19 PM EST

Alinghi beat Prada [Luna Rossa] (final delta 8 secs). Alinghi leads 3-0.

Oracle BMW beat OneWorld (final delta 19 secs). Oracle BMW leads 3-0.

Victory [ORM] beat Le Defi Areva (final delta 72 secs). Victory leads 3-0.

Stars & Stripes beat GBR [Wight Lightning] (final delta 130 secs). Stars & Stripes leads 2-1.

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

Saturday 16th Nov Results (none / 0) (#32)
by supine on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 10:09:14 PM EST

Prada [Luna Rossa] concedes. Alinghi wins 4-0.

Oracle BMW beat OneWorld (final delta 33 secs). Oracle BMW wins 4-0.

Le Defi Areva beat Victory [ORM] (final delta 34 secs). Victory leads 3-1.

Stars & Stripes beat GBR [Wight Lightning] (final delta 34 secs). Stars & Stripes leads 3-1.

Alinghi meets Oracle BMW in the semi-finals. Prada and OneWorld drop to the quarter-final repercharge with the winners from the single chance group (still to be determined).

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

Monday 18th Nov Results (none / 0) (#34)
by supine on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 11:52:50 PM EST

Victory [ORM] beat Le Defi Areva (final delta 154 secs). Victory wins 4-1.

Stars & Stripes beat GBR [Wight Lightning] (final delta 102 secs). Stars & Stripes wins 4-1.

Le Defi Areva and GBR are out of the Louis Vuitton series. Victory and Stars & Stripes join Prada and OneWorld in the quarter-final repecharge.

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

Defenders (4.75 / 4) (#6)
by supine on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:41:13 PM EST

One of the reasons that NYYC held the cup for so long was a rule that the boats had to be sailed to venue for the racing. This meant English boats had to sail across the Atlantic (meaning that they were robust and seaworthy) but had to compete against light racing yachts. Eventually that rule was repealed and yachts could then be shipped to the venue.

Also, many times a single challenger would race against multiple defenders, increasing the difficulty of winning the racing and lifting the trophy from the NYYC.

It also used to be that there was an elimination process undertaken (similar to the Louis Vuitton challenger series) to select the defender. New Zealand were the first holder of the cup to pool all their resources and run a single defending syndicate.

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant

Local Content (none / 0) (#28)
by jhe on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 03:28:21 PM EST

I also believe there were rules stating that all equipment had to be produced in the yacht's home country and at least in the '70s and '80's the US had an advantage in sail design and production.

[ Parent ]
Boxing Matilda and Australia II (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by cam on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:22:35 PM EST

Most Australians also recall seeing the Australian BattleFlag or "Boxing Matilda" for the first time from the mast of Australia II. Back in the 1880's the town fares which travelled around the country towns would often have a tent with a Western Red or Eastern Grey in it with Boxing Gloves. The local lads would pay to fight the Kangaroo (Madness).

In WWII, 21 Squadron of the Australian Air Force marked all their aircraft with Boxing Kangaroos like the current image to denote their Australian-ness. A similar image was also used on Australian aircraft in North Africa and Italy. Australia II though is the first time I recall seeing it on a flag.

Because it got wrapped up in the achievement of beating America in the America's Cup, it became synonymous with Australia's belief in cultural supremacy through international sport. When Alan Bond went broke, the Australian Olympic Committee bought the rights for it at a bargain price. All copies of the matilda flag have AOC stamped on them. But it was the America's Cup win which popularized the "Boxing Matilda" flag.

Ben Lexcen was the designer who came up with the winged keel for Australia II. He ended up getting a Toyota passenger car named after him in Australia which was a rebadged Commodore.

Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic

Dennis Conner vs Paul Holmes (4.25 / 4) (#8)
by Holloway on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:14:44 AM EST

Eventually, the MC asked New Zealanders to clear the stage so the victorious Conner crew could be brought forward.

But, instead of heading for the stairs that led off the stage, the very-agitated Bruce Farr strode toward Conner.

"You're a goddam liar," yelled the smallish Farr to the portly American.

"Clear the stage," retorted Dennis. "Get off my stage. You're a goddam loser, You're finished, you little shit, you're a loser!"

For Dennis, it had been a case of a cat versus a dog. The cat won. And Farr, the designer, was one of those nuisance Kiwis.

At that moment the America's Cup had more to do with cultural struggle than sailing. New Zealand resentment of carnal U.S. military behaviour during World War II, the Vietnam debacle, Dennis's fondness for battle flags and guns, attempt to blackmail the KZ-7 campaign, the U.S. browbeating of New Zealand over it's anti-nuclear stance, the flood of U.S. culture lapping New Zealand shores, along with champagne and a few beers, fuelled New Zealand rage. For Farr, it would be satisfying to take a poke at Dennis and there were plenty of Kiwis to lend a hand if necessary. Many came from small New Zealand towns with a history of pub-fighting.

What a contrast to banalities of earlier regattas involving the New York Yacht Club and stiff upper lips from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Was this the time to get down and dirty with Dennis? Somebody pulled Farr away and an historic punch-up was averted. On a U.S. news channel, Connie Chung saw the video of Farr vs Conner, shook her head and said "And they call that sport."


On Friday March 31, 1989, wounds left from the big boat challenge were still raw when a new New Zealand T.V. current affairs show was set to air the following Monday. But neither line producer Hunter Wells, executive producer Paul Cutler or rookie presenter Paul Holmes had anything engaging with which to launch the program. Then they received word Big-Bad-Dennis was at the Sheraton Hotel in Auckland. Could they get him for a 7.30 p.m. pre-recorded interview that would be aired on Monday? Yes, said Dennis, provided the interview included a question about a board game he was selling.

At 7.30 p.m., Dennis Conner rolled into the studio with a N.Z. public relations man. Television New Zealand had cued up video showing Conner lunging at Bruce Farr and telling him he's full of shit. Holmes would have the option of playing this during the interview. He'd try and get Dennis to apologise to Farr and New Zealand. If Dennis walked out - which was likely - there'd be cameras waiting. It was payback time for core samples, cheating, catamarans, blackmail and calling Farr a shit. Dennis was the ugly American - overweight, too fond of guns and over-sized American flags. But could he sail!

Holmes from Haumoana had an established reputation on radio but was a television neophyte. He feared Dennis and even worried about what the studio crew would think. With Dennis, there'd be one chance and he'd better not blow it.

First, pleasant small talk, Dennis appeared relaxed. Holmes then went for the jugular.

"Doesn't is strike you as unspeakably sad that you were the first American to lose the America's Cup, and then you won the admiration of the world with your grit, your obsession perhaps, Mr. Conner, your determination, you won it back and now you lost it again ... through bad sportsmanship ... you lost it because you cheated."

Holmes nailed Conner for failing to match KZ-1 (the "big boat"). He played the tape showing Conner lunging at Farr and calling him a shit.

Holmes: "I want to give you the opportunity to say whether you regret that occasion. I know things can happen in the heat of the moment."

Conner: "Paul, as I just said, it's not a perfect world and we've all made mistakes we're not proud of and I'm not different."

Holmes: "But you said Bruce Farr was a loser. You said you were sailing against a dog. You said the New Zealand team was full of shit. Do you think those were things that need some apology to the New Zealand people in a country, Mr. Conner, where you're going to have to spend a bit of time?"

Dennis glared at the ruthlessly ambitious Holmes. He'd been set-up. As expected, Conner walked out of the studio only to be caught in the glare of camera lights. The world's most notorious - and respected - America's Cup campaigner fired the Kiwi public relations man on the street outside, tumbled into a car and was gone. Holmes had his program and, within minutes of the Monday night broadcast, everything he'd hoped for. In his words "The phones were melting. Abuse and outrage, contempt and consternation screamed through them. Fury spewed from the guts of the nation"

-- Source

== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

That is (none / 0) (#29)
by ThreadSafe on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 12:54:32 AM EST

the biggest load of shit I have read. Please don't rate this comment unless you actually come from new zealand.

Make a clone of me. And fucking listen to it! - Faik
[ Parent ]

Care to explain (none / 0) (#30)
by Holloway on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 07:37:24 PM EST


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
Listen mate... (none / 0) (#35)
by ThreadSafe on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 03:43:33 AM EST

most of your facts a re fairly accurate but where did you get this next bit from??:

New Zealand resentment of carnal U.S. military behaviour during World War II, the Vietnam debacle, Dennis's fondness for battle flags and guns, attempt to blackmail the KZ-7 campaign, the U.S. browbeating of New Zealand over it's anti-nuclear stance, the flood of U.S. culture lapping New Zealand shores, along with champagne and a few beers, fuelled New Zealand rage.

Make a clone of me. And fucking listen to it! - Faik
[ Parent ]

nome (none / 0) (#36)
by Holloway on Mon Nov 18, 2002 at 04:02:07 AM EST

Oh I didn't write it, the crediting link is in the original post. I just wanted to know if anything was wrong.

It's how I remember it.

== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Nose Job! (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by ChicagoFan on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:17:20 AM EST

Before reading the article, I was certain the "nose job" comment was going to be in reference to actress Jennifer Grey. She had a co-starring role in the movie "Wind", which is a fictional story loosely based on Conner's loss and reclaiming of the America's Cup. Lots of racing footage, for those who are interested in seeing yachts racing.

Anyway, this was before Grey's nose job, so she's still recogizable in this film.


the king. (none / 0) (#13)
by srichman on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 04:12:51 AM EST

Really? I thought it was going to feature a link to the photos that have been making the rounds on Yahoo! News Most Popular.

[ Parent ]
Sailing Personalities (4.00 / 2) (#10)
by supine on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:18:08 AM EST

One of the more interesting threads through the history of the America's Cup (and sailing in general) is the names that pop up time after time .

Off the top of my head:

Earl of Dunraven
Sir Thomas Lipton (tea)
Sir Thomas Sopwith (planes)
Harold Vanderbilt
JP Morgan
Baron Marcel Bich (Bic pens)
Ted Turner (CNN)
Dennis Connor
Alan Bond (property)
Bill Koch
Sir Peter Blake
Larry Ellison (Oracle)
Patrizio Bertelli (Prada)

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant

dont care much about it but thanks for the read (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by Nesian on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 01:22:13 AM EST

I happen to live in auckland central area and actually I will be quite happy if we lose this damn thing.Then I wont be paying an extra $50 or whatever it is in rent.
~After all, if you stockpile a massive nuclear arsenal, it's only natural that people are going to want to go in and have a look around, maybe see what all those buttons marked 'detonate' and 'code red' mean.~
Penalty: (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by Herring on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 05:35:09 AM EST

Isn't it a 720 degree turn? It is in all the yacht racing I've done.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
Commonly 720 or 360 (none / 0) (#16)
by rhino1302 on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 09:59:04 AM EST

I think 720s (including 2 tacks and 2 jibes) is the older standard, and 360s (including 1 tack and 1 jibe) more common in recent sailing instructions.

The 270s done in America's Cup racing only require 1 tack or 1 jibe, and are less of a penalty.

[ Parent ]
Ah. (none / 0) (#20)
by Herring on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:23:59 AM EST

At first I figured it might be a typo (7/2 transposed). Also, being able to choose when you do the penalty is a distinct bonus. If you've just crossed the start line (early) with the kite up and they call a 720 penalty on you, then that is a real fucker.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Starts, Penalties etc.etc. (none / 0) (#26)
by supine on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:35:58 PM EST

Given that the courses are windward/leeward and you always start on the breeze there is no chance of going over the line with a spinnaker up. (In fleet racing where this might occur, I agree it is a bitch to be OCS). If you have never seen a start of a match race you really should try to catch some of the coverage.

The boats enter the starting area from opposite sides (one boat is gifted the oppurtunity to start the sequence on starboard tack, but this advantage is swapped each race) and quite often "dial-up" where they circle each other trying to get an advantage before the start. I have seen two boats circle each other for the entire start sequence and after the gun because neither wanted to be the first to break for the line and give up the oppurtunity to be in a controlling position tactically. (Frankly I was dizzy just watching it.)

There are also two different kind of penalities, one which has to be taken immediately and the other which can be taken at any time before the finish (usually just before the last windward mark).

There are also two different kinds of protests. One uses a red and yellow striped flag and is a request to the on water judges for a ruling. The other is the traditional red flag indicating an intention to instigate a protest hearing back on shore.


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

Spectacle (none / 0) (#27)
by Herring on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 04:13:33 AM EST

I've only done little amatuer races mostly. The exception is, I've done the round-the-island (around the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England) a couple of times. You get 1,200+ boats in staggered starts going round. The start and finish areas are completely mad. Crossing the finish line in a force 6 with the kite up was damn scary - quick work on the ropes needed to avoid a major crash.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Round the Isle (of Wight) Race (none / 0) (#33)
by supine on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 10:13:57 PM EST

There was 1600+ starters in the 2002 race. Some of the photos are a sight to behold.

News site with gallery (requires java).

"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]

Different rules for different types of races (5.00 / 2) (#18)
by Stalke on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:05:53 AM EST

The rules are different in match racing than in fleets. The specific rule for match racing is C7.2. It doesn't actually specify that a 270 degree turn should be taken, instead it specifies how the penalty should be correct in two situations, when on a downwind leg and when on a windward leg. Basically if your going upwind you have to gybe onto the other tack (basically going 270 degrees), and on a downwind leg you have to complete a tack (inwhich case you might actually do about 360 degrees).

[ Parent ]
Greenpeace retaliation? Check your sources. (2.50 / 2) (#15)
by gillo on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 05:54:09 AM EST

Greenpeace is protesting against Areva for being one of the key players in the nuclear business. Nothing to do with the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.


Misleading information is creating pure fiction, thanks for entertaining us.

My source for this is Sailing World, (4.00 / 1) (#17)
by rhino1302 on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:05:02 AM EST

November 2002 edition and somehow I missed fact that Areva is a nuclear power company.

Thanks for the correction.

[ Parent ]
Why? (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by dusty m on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 02:15:00 PM EST

What good does this do? What is the point of meddling with the America's Cup team?

[ Parent ]
Medling with the sponsor (3.00 / 1) (#22)
by Stalke on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 02:22:23 PM EST

They are meddling with the sponsor. New Zealand is a very friendly to Greenpeace and combined with the fact that the french sunk the Rainbow Warrior there, it is particularly simbolic. At the Le Defi launch in france, one of the greenpeace boats tried to ram (one of) Le Defi's yachts. I forget if they were successful though.

[ Parent ]
OK. And this curbs nuclear proliferation, how? (none / 0) (#23)
by dusty m on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 06:38:45 PM EST

Greenpeace could be using its resources a tad more constructively, I would think. But if this is the best they can do... well that is their perogative.

[ Parent ]
Actually multiple nose jobs. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by Stalke on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 10:12:21 AM EST

Prada has actually had two nose jobs since the Louis Vuitton Cup started. Before round robin one they had a similar nose to the one that every challenger had in 2000 (a destroyer bow I think its called) while all the other boats had a knuckle bow similar to what New Zealand had in 2000. Their first nose job between round robins 1 and 2 added the knuckly bow and the second nose job between round robin 2 and the quarter finals has refined it. Basically the knuckly bow plays with a discrepancy in the rules where the measured waterline in the rulebook is actually higher than the actual waterline on the boat. In a knuckle bow, the hull is extended forward to create a long actual waterline. A (very) loose rule of thumb is that the longer the waterline upwind, the faster the boat will go.

Minor typo (none / 0) (#24)
by izogi on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 08:24:45 PM EST

Only one year after bringing home the cup, Dennis Connor received a surprise challenge from Michael Fray of New Zealand.

I'd have posted this as an editorial comment except the story's already posted. This appears to be a repeated typo, so in case anyone's trying to dig up more information on the name, it was Michael Fay who was involved in the Americas Cup challenge, not Michael Fray.

- izogi

Damn (none / 0) (#31)
by epepke on Sun Nov 17, 2002 at 08:17:11 PM EST

It's too bad Steve Jobs isn't into this, otherwise we could call him "Nose" Jobs.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

ahhh (none / 0) (#37)
by shrubbery on Thu Nov 21, 2002 at 11:09:09 AM EST

I thought it would be interesting to note that my old Alma Mater, Stevens Tech, is heavily involved in this race.

John Cox Stevens, first son of Col. Stevens, and Edwin were founders of the NY Yacht Club and joined the syndicate that built and successfully raced the schooner "America" in the race that became known as the America's Cup. This tradition is carried by the Davidson Laboratory, a research center of the School of Engineering.

Established in 1935, the largest and oldest lab of its kind, the Davidson Laboratory was the first facility in the nation to test sailing yacht designs in a towing tank. It earned an international reputation for its work in physical and computer modeling of marine craft designs, ranging from high-speed planing boats to America's Cup yachts. This reputation continues to this day with additional areas of excellence in coastal monitoring and beach erosion studies as well as acoustics.

I saw the "big tank" only once during a tour when I was still checking out colleges. I was a computer science major, so that was the only time I've seen it.

Larry Ellison, Paul Allen, Greenpeace and Nose Jobs | 37 comments (34 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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