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SCUTTLEBUTT #194 -- October 5, 1998

By Tom Leweck, the "Curmudgeon"

Scuttlebutt is an irregularly distributed, irreverent collection of news, commentary, gossip, typos, opinions and dock talk. Brief contributions, corrections and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome but save your personal attacks for elsewhere.

The big wind in the early days of the regatta pale in comparison to the final race. The statistics speak for themselves:
-- 6 broken masts
-- 2 sheered off booms
-- 3 completely swamped boats
-- 2 men overboard
-- 1 exploded mainsail
-- 10 or more busted vangs, shrouds, etc. and lots and lots of breaches, broaches, knockdowns, spills & thrills but NO INJURIES!

Thirty seven boats started in a gusty west wind at about 18-20 knots. It continued to build until a front came over the western hill blasting in excess of 30 knots just as they rounded the weather mark the second time. As boats peeled off to leeward, the shifting winds hit the fleet full force with boats "auto-jibing", breaching, broaching, and bedlam ensued. As fast as we could get a patrol boat to one dismasted boat, another stick would explode.

Most of the "survivors" temporarily abandoned the race for about 20 minutes, trying just to keep their boats in tact. Some even sailed into the islands to wait it out. When the dust settled 20 boats finished the race, led by John MacCausland and his crew Phil Trinter (Cooper River, NJ). Rob Maine and Ross Adams, both of Willamette Harbor, IL hung on for 2nd and 3rd place. -- Donna Jean Wotton

1 Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahn, San Diego 7 Points
2 John MacCausland and Phil Trinter, Cooper River, NJ 11
3 Peter Bromby and Lee White, Bermuda 16
4 Rob Maine and Andrew Higgs, Willamette Harbor, IL 23
5 Ross Adams and Chuck Nevel, Willamette Harbor, IL 24
6. Peter Vessella and Tom Dendy 24
7. Ben Mitchell and Bill Stump 39
8. John Finch and Ruari Duffield 42
9. Terry Neilson and Doug Brophy 47
10. Rick Dhein and Keith Gardner 47

Masters Champions
#1 Rick Burgess and Gary Schneld, Greenwood Lake, NJ (18th overall)
#2 Dave Cook and Paul Skarin, Sunapee, NH (20th overall)
#3 Hank Rowan and Glen Suplee, NLGYC (21st overall)

The ISAF has just posted the world rankings for the Olympic Class. These lists go on and on forever, but the curmudgeon stopped reading them we he saw the three best 49er teams in the world were ranked 5th, 17th and 18. I'm having trouble understanding why anyone bothers to keep track of such meaningless databut I probably don't see the big picture.

Check them out if you're curious -- they won't be published here.

Women's One-design Invitational
Held at Long Beach YC in the Catalina 37s used for the Congressional Cup.
1. Valerie Navarro, Little Ships Fleet 17.25
2. Stacie Straw, California YC 30.75
3. Gisela Camet, San Diego YC 33.00
4. Karina Vogen, CSC 34.50
5. Susanne Worthington, Seal Beach YC 36.00

Event website:

A lot of racers put a lot of thought into the colors of their spinnaker, and after a while that chute becomes their trademark. There is no reason that trademark should not be faithfully reproduced in the embroidery on the crew shirts. It can be, and it will be if you let Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery take care of the details for you. Give him a call to learn just how affordable quality crew attire can be. Frank delivers: / 619-226-8033

>> From Alex Pline -- ( Regarding the curmudgeon's comments about the Star NAs website) Ouch!!! As both an active snipe sailor and an active webmeister (, I can see both sides of this coin. I HATE not being able to see how friends are faring (I'm as impatient as the next), but then again, this year after my best Midwinter Circuit ever, the last thing I wanted to do was chase down the race committee scorer followed by an hour sitting in my van and composing a writeup and posting the scores. So, screw 'em, I took the night off. Bottom line is while we are all getting used to the "instantaneous" results that we get via the net, let's have a little compassion for the VOLUNTEERS who just want to relax and pound a few beers after an event.

Curmudgeon's Comments -- Let me see if I understand what you're saying. We expect the VOLUNTEERS on the race committee and the scoring committee, and the VOLUNTEER judges to fulfill their commitments to a major championship event in a TIMELY FASHION, but it's OK for the webmeisters to "pound down a few beers" and get a good night's sleep before meeting their obligations. Interesting considering more and more of the quality yacht clubs have figured out how to get the results from their Wednesday night "Beer Can Races" on the web at just about the same time as they are being posted on the yacht club bulletin board. Should we expect less at the North American Championship of an Olympic class?

>> From Susan Beckett -- I understand any PRO from LBYC can choose to put in the SIs to hail over earlys or not to hail. It is at the full discretion of the PRO. At the Women's One Design Regatta, the PRO chose the path of "not to hail," and you can imagine the consequences. I think it's most unfortunate that this is still occurring in supposedly well-organized yachting events.

* One boat finished first in the second gun and a score of 11 for that race.
* In seven races, five finishes were scored the dreaded 11 points for being over early (Gisela Camet, Karina Vogen, Charlie Arms and Stephanie Keefe [twice]).

Additionally, the leeward gates had a distance of just less than three boat lengths between the gate marks, leaving an unfortunate situation of overlapping circles. LBYC's website ( has photos of one of the crowded roundings - it was amazing that there were NO collisions during the event.

(The following is a special report for yacht designer Alan Andrews who raced on Doug Baker's Andrews TurboSled Magnitude the Southwestern YC's Little Ensenada Race.)

Nice westerly breeze the whole way. Mostly a reach, rarely under 10 knots. Sunny mid afternoon to sunset - a great day for sailing. We had a close race with (Roy Diosney's SC 70 TurboSled) Pyewacket for much of the race, probably 30 seconds to a minute apart for a long time. A couple of lead changes and one or the other boat would have a little edge depending on which sail was up and if it was the top or bottom end of that sail.

Big difference came just before entering the bay at Ensenada. There was a thump on the keel, and that instant deceleration from around 11 kts. Nothing drifted out astern and there was a horrendous swirling wake coming off the keel. After some radical swerves up and down failed to quite the roar and free the keel, we dropped the chute and backed the boat down. Off floated a very large and by that time extra lethargic sunfish! We got the boat out of irons, back on course and the big kite up again but our competition was off in the distance now. We continued in the race and finished just after 5:30 PM, about 5 minutes behind Pyewacket. I've been told that this is probably a new record time.

Hope the sunfish is only slightly bruised and didn't become shark meat.

Event website:

Rankings as of September 27 (previous rank shown in parenthesis)

1 Tufts (4) 2 St. Mary's (1) 3 Old Dominion (3) 4 Dartmouth (2) 5 USC (6) 6 Hobart/Wm. Smith (12) 7 Navy (11) 8 Harvard (8) 9 U. Hawaii (7) 10 Charleston (5) 11 Georgetown (10) 12 Boston U. (13) 13 Conn. College(15) 14 Kings Point (17) 15 Boston College (14) 16 Stanford (9) 17 U. Rhode Island (19) 18 MIT (16) 19 N.Y. Maritime (-) 20 Coast Guard (-) Also receiving votes: UC Santa Barbara

1 Dartmouth (1) 2 Boston U. (8) 3 Tufts (4) 4 Conn. College (2) 5 Stanford (6) 6 Charleston (10) 7 Georgetown (5) 8 Radcliffe (15) 9 MIT (-) 10 USC (3) 11 St. Mary's (11) 12 Old Dominion (-) 13 Boston College (-) 14 UC Irvine (13) 15 U. Hawaii (9)

America True CEO and Captain Dawn Riley will address members and guests of the Commonwealth Club of California on Tuesday evening, October 13 at the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, California. The club topic is "Against All Odds," and Dawn will discuss her position as the first woman to lead an America's Cup challenge syndicate. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for guests. For reservations, call the Commonwealth Club at (415) 597-6705.

America True web site:

The puffy, shifty North Easter came in with a vengeance after the boats arrived on the course. After a short postponement and one general recall, the fleet was off on a double triangle course in about 15-18 knots. 1. Carol Newman/Cronin Jerelyn Biehl 0.75
2. Bonnie Shope/Lisa Griffith Persson 2.00
3. Lorie Stout/ Liz Filter 3.00
4. Lisa Pline/Sherry Eldridge 4.00
5. Ekaterina Skoudina/Tatiana Lartseva 5.00

Event website:

Top ten final places:
1. Marino Fassi / Flavio Favini, ITA, 13
2. Fausto Rubbini / Gabriele Benussi, ITA, 23
3. Andrea Castrucci / Lorenzo Bressani, 27
4. Paolo Boido / Pietro D'Ali, ITA, 33
5. John Den Engelsman / not liste, NED, 48
6. Francesco Peghin / Giovanni Cassinari, ITA, 55
7. Flavia Bottaro / Paola Porta, ITA, 55
8. Giuseppe Comerio / Enrico Negri, ITA, 66
9. Tiziano Auguadro / Andrea Racchelli, ITA, 74
10. Joost Steltenpool / not listed, NED, 80

Event site:

Talk about your reversal of fortunes. Yesterday, Isabelle Autissier was in fifth place in Class I of the Around Alone race, over 100 miles astern race leader Giovanni Soldini. At this morning's 0940 GMT position report, after clicking off a 24-hour run of over 215 miles, she was tied for second with fellow French sailor Marc Thiercelin. That's what you call a good day. Soldini, who until yesterday had remained stubbornly true to the northerly flyer he set off on just hours after the September 26 start, covered less than 60 miles in the same period and dropped to fifth place in class. This morning, he was barely making three knots and even trailed Class II leader J.P. Mouligne in the overall position standings. A message to race headquarters said it all: "My weather prediction from the Internet was no good. Now I am in a big trouble. That is the life." That's what you call misery.
But all is not sunshine and roses in the Autissier camp today. At 1100 GMT she sent the following message to race headquarters: "Broken main forestay. All the rest is okay." One can assume that Autissier's big mileage yesterday was fueled by the large genoa that is roller-furled and set off the forestay in question. To maintain her impressive pace, she will need to find an answer. Soon.
CLASS I (Distance behind)
1. Hall 0.0
2. Autissier 5.6
3. Thiercelin 10.3
4. Soldini 14.2
5. Golding 17.4

1. Mouligne 0.0
2. Garside 15.4
3. Van Liew 85.1
4. Davie 192.0
5. Stricker 196.5
Event website: Http://

I have a good memory -- it's just short.