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 4 August 2000 Issue # 237

By Ike Stephenson


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Kenwood Cup:  1st Offshore Race Counts Double

Yesterday the Kenwood Cup sailed a 55 mile offshore race in fine conditions.  The trade winds were steady at 20 knots.   The fleet went around Diamond Head to a turning mark in Kanehoe Bay and then sailed fast under spinnakers to the finish.

When IMS corrected times were figured, the racing at the top of the fleet was tight.  First was Australia's Smile with the USA Red teams Esmeralda only 5 seconds back.  3rd was New Zealand's Sea Hawk another 5 seconds back of Esmeralda.  4th was another Australian boat Fruit Machine only 15 seconds out of 3rd.  From 1st to 4th was only a time of 25 seconds.

Have you ever sailed in such a close race?  Let us know in the Sailing Daily Forum.

Australia's finishes of 1,4, and 8 gained them 88 points.  Points for this offshore race were multiplied by 2.  New Zealand's line of 3,5 and 6 netted 2 less points than Australia.  The USA red team got scores of 2,7,10 for 76 points.

The race for the Kenwood Cup now looks like it will be decided by Australia with 218 points or New Zealand which is 10 points back.  Today is a day off for the fleet, before returning to buoy racing tomorrow.

The Race:  Changes for Team Phillips and Playstation

For The Race Class catamaran's Team Phillips, changes, plans and changes in plans have been announced.  

For Playstation the change is that the catamaran will grow to 125 feet. In the words of skipper Steve Fossett, "We're making no changes to the rig - we'll still have 11,631 sq ft (1,081 sq m) downwind sail area - but we need to address the tendency towards pitch-poling - we're basically overpowered and need to improve handling." Fossett also said: "We're overpowered at our current hull length."  Serge Medec the current holder of the Transatlantic record recently commented on Playstation's design: "She produces too much power that cannot be exploited, so things break."  The added 20 feet of hulls should help distribute the sail horsepower.  It would also seem to indicate that Playstation has been overpowered from the start.

The work will be done in October after another crack at the Trans Atlantic record and more testing in England.

Pete Goss has now announced Team Philips prepatory program.  Team Philips will relaunch 23 September with rebuilt bows.  Team Philips will also have engines fitted.  Her first sail is scheduled for the end of September.  In October Team Philips will sail to New York and back for some open ocean work.  In November the una rigged cat will sail to Monaco.

This reduced sailing time is a change in plans.  The several month rebuilding of Team Philips means a planned round the world record attempt has been scrapped.

Club Med which recently had problems with a false bow/crash box will be returned to France via container ship.  Club Med skipper Grant Dalton said: "I'm not 100 percent happy with what I think happened. The explanation of hitting something is a bit easy. We may have a bigger issue that what it appears to be on the outside."

What are your views on The Race?  Folly or bravery.  Express them in the Sailing Daily Forum.

Quebec-St. Malo- North or South?

Yesterday it was noted that amongst the leading trimarans, Groupama had headed out on a northerly routing option.  With the tris on a longitude similar to western Greenland, the northern route looks initially a loser.

Biscuits La Trinitaine has taken a 28 mile lead over Groupama.  Biscuits is 2 degrees of latitude more to the south.  Sailing a course of 086  Biscuits is making 15.9 knots.  To the north Groupama, is continuing her northern route, steering 039.  Her speed is slower at 9.3 knots.

Checking current ship observations to the south of Biscuits position seems to have better wind.  Winds from the west and south west at 12-20 knots have been observed.  Near Groupama's position winds of under 10 knots out of the west have been reported.

Be an ocean weather router.  What would you do?  Diverge and go north for weather reasons?  Or stay south with your competitors?  Give your strategy in the Sailing Daily Forum 

Both appear to be attempting to climb around a 1034 millibar high.  Obviously Groupama wants to give it the biggest distance of the 2. If Groupama gets wind to the north, it'll result in fewer miles sailed and put her in a position between the fleet and the finish ideal to cover from.

The leading monohulls show little divergence.  In fact they look much like a mid Atlantic match race.  Fila leads by three miles. Both Fila and Geb-Fauba show identical courses of 101 and are at a similar latitude.  Flia's 9.6 knot speed is .4 better than her close competitor.  We'll see if the competitor keep it a boat speed contest.


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Kenwood Cup

Weekly Water Level Update

Reference Point Inches
Chart Datum +4
July 4 2000 0
August 4 1999 -10
Long Term Avg. -19
Record High -49
Record Low +15
Forecast for September 4 -2

Data Courtesy Detroit District Corps of Engineers










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