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SCUTTLEBUTT #195 -- October 6, 1998


Is ocean racing coming back on the West Coast? Looking at the entry list for the Del Rey YC's February race to Puerto Vallarta sure offers some hope. There are 36 boats on the preliminary list and that will grow as the owners of Sorcery, Evolution, Taxi Dancer, Christine, Stealth Chicken and a bunch of others fill out their paper work.

A number of things are contributing to this good turnout. First, DRYC has launched a bonafide marketing program to sell their excellent product. They've sent representatives to Northern California to generate enthusiasm and have scheduled a series of pre-race seminars -- the first of which is scheduled Thursday, October 13, 1998, at 7:30 p.m. at DRYC.

Also, the fact that it has been 12 full months since the last Mexican race has certainly helped. In previous years, when yacht clubs were scheduling Mexican races every November, every February and in March on the Transpac years, there simply were not enough boats to go around. As a result, all of the events suffered from anemic entry lists and the racing really suffered.

There are still three West Coast yacht clubs staging biennial Mexican races. Next year there will be two Mexican races -- just three months apart. Both Long Beach and San Diego yacht clubs will be trying to attract entries from the same small pool of boats. It's probably safe to say that at least one of those races will be a failure or perhaps both will attract tiny, emaciated fleets that are too small for meaningful racing.

Isn't it time for the leaders of DRYC, SDYC and LBYC to sit down together and discuss replacing their present individual biennial schedules for Mexican races with a coordinated three-year cycle featuring just one Mexican race each year -- probably in February when the winds are most reliable? Such a schedule would certainly be supported by the West Coast ocean racing communityand we'd be on our way to having big, meaningful Mexican races again.

Nah! That's way too logical.

In the mean time, here's the preliminary entry list for Del Rey YC's February race to PV. The curmudgeon will be there -- his 52nd Mexican race.

Racing Fleet

1. Renegade Andrews 70 Dan Sinclair
2. Zephyrus IV R/P 75 Robert G. McNeil
3. Grand Illusion Santa Cruz 70 Ed McDowell
4. Mongoose Santa Cruz 70 Robert Saielli
5. Impact Player J-120 Dick Sikorski
6. J-Bird J-120 David A. Janes
7. Acey Deucy J-44 Richard K. Leute
8. Bushwacker J-160 Harry R. Smith
9. Charisma Andrews 56 Dave Sallows
10. Ingrid Santa Cruz 52 Bill Turpin
11. Not Specified Not Specified Colin J. Case
12. Oaxaca Santa Cruz 50 Dick Cronor
13. Red Hornet Schock 40 Isler/Burns
14. Vitesse Santa Cruz 52 Bill Siegel
15. Zamazaan Farr 52 Charles Weghorn
16. Bolt Choate 41 Craig Reynolds
17. Elan Express 37 Chuck Cunningham
18. Hooligan Carter 37 Tom Saul
19. Osprey Santa Cruz 40 Antony & Nick Barran
20. Renata Peterson 46 Tom Hirsh
21. Savior Faire Benettau 40 Dale Williams
22. Rosebud SC 52 Roger Sturgeon
23. Bullseye N/M 49 Bob Garvie

Cruising Fleet

1. Allegra Baltic 55 John L. Cahill MD
2. Amazing Grace Farr 55 Allen Puckett
3. Ariel Tradewinds 40 Hugh McIntyre
4. Cyrano Cyrano 44 Ted Lord
5. Drums of Bora Caulkins 50 John Kingsley
6. O'Liberty Liberty 458 Lindley Metzinger
7. Pakele Islander 36 Gary Gould
8. Pleasant Way Hunter 36 Wayne Harris
9. Sea Dancer Ericson 35 Al Wheatman
10. Stargazer Nautical 60 Eva Rutman
11. Vivace New York 36 Robert A. Shinn


1. Orient Express Cheoy Lee 41 Ronald Wolfe
2. Surprise Schumacher 46 Steve Chamberlin

Event website:


Jim Andrews' Abracadabra, skippered by John Kolius, was crowned the new class champion based on her points in the five-event 1998 season. Kolius' Aloha Racing Team, representing the Waikiki Yacht Club challengers for the America's Cup, won at GMS Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week in January. She was also the class winner at the Cutty Sark SORC in Miami in March. She had been runner-up in the last two season championships. With a second place in the Newport-Manhattan Series and a third place at Kenwood Cup, she was unbeatable going into the Big Boat series

Winner of the series' Owner-Driver Award went to Gene Mondry's seventh-placed Leading Edge. Mondry's team showed promise in several races by directly challenging the class leaders, but was plagued by foul troubles in two races and a lack of local knowledge in others.

For 1999, the class has revamped its racing schedule into a three-part program. Racing will open with the Class championship series, based on Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week in January, Cutty Sark SORC in March and the Newport-Manhattan series in March. Following that there will be Great Lakes Series with two distance races and two buoy races:: Chicago Yacht Club's 101st annual Chicago-Mackinac Race, held over July 9-11, 1999; Bayview Yacht Club's Port Huron-Mackinac Race, held a week later over July 17-18, 1999; the Harbor Springs Regatta, consisting of buoy racing in Harbor Springs, MI over July 23-25, 1999; and finally back to Chicago over August 13-15, 1999 for the Chicago Yacht Club's Verve Cup. The last phase of the 1999 season The last phase of the 1999 season will be the 1D48 West Coast Series, consisting of the St. Francis Yacht Club's Big Boat Series in San Francisco during September 16-19, 1999, and another major inshore event currently under consideration. -- Anne Myers

Class website:


If you don't know what MTD stands for now, you will. Soon. Technically it stands for Multi Directional Threading, but what is means is lighter, stronger and sooo affordable. Ullman Sails have built more than 300 of these Compound Sails with Stitchless Technology from fiber/film components that address the loading patterns in a modern tri-radial. Check out the Ullman Sails website to lean why they work and while you're there, get a quote online:

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (Edited to our limit of approx. 250 words)

>> Chip Evaul Waterfront Director Long Beach Yacht Club -- The problem these kind of assertions on the Internet is that once published, they become the truth. To wit:

** It is true that LBYC does not currently hail OCS in our own regattas. This issue has been visited the past three RM meetings at the club and has elicited lively discussion. In 1998, LB Race Week will incorporate VHF hailing of OCS; final form TBA. Next year, PROs who wish to hail will have the authority to review the OCS issue for their own events. Currently, the issue is NOT decided "at the full discretion" of the PRO.

** The gated leeward marks were changed in length/angle before all but two races of the regatta, to accommodate shifting winds. The measured length of the gates on Sunday was .05 miles = 7.1 Catalina 37 lengths. This was done in response to complaints about the races on Saturday... eg. we were accommodating racers' concerns! To say the gates "had distances of just less than three boatlengths" is absurd...they were all different.

I am tiring of Buttheads taking potshots at the LBYC RC without getting their facts straight, or asking - in advance - for an explanation for the perceived slight. These blanket accusations cause RC volunteers to feel very low. Is it any wonder why capable race administrators move on to other pursuits?... and why those who are still around are leery of RM innovations/improvements? The very public they serve pound on them mercilessly unless they get it perfect every time.


Annapolis MD- One Word: CRAZY! The fleet left the dock at 10 am today, again under cloudy, drizzly skys and cool temperatures. On the sail out to the course it appeared that the breeze would build to above 10 knots. The first race started on time at 11:10 with a clean start for the windward/leeward course in 5-8 knots from the northeast. A slight ebb tide kept the fleet down from the line. The breeze was oscillating on the beat, but nothing radical.

As was the case in race 1 yesterday, Carol Newman-Cronin and Jerelyn Biehl arrived at the weather mark first. On the run they were caught just at the leeward mark by Kimie Isobe and Matsuura Yoshimi who rounded first.

Then things started to get CRAZY! A BIG hole developed in the left side, coupled with some new right breeze on the right essentially inverted the fleet as the leaders, Isobe, Newman-Cronin, Stout, Pline were stuck in the hole on the left.

At the second windward mark Barbara Giacometti and Chiara Calligaris lead followed by Jennifer Rousmaniere/Liz Brook and Carolyn Brown/Michelle Morphew.

More Crazyiness... The second run again jumbled the leaders a bit. At the leeward mark Ekaterina Skoudina/Tatiana Lartseva rounded first and managed to hold on to win the race. Lorie Stout of Annapolis went right and styled on the last beat to claim second, followed by Pam Kelly/Michele Bustamante in third. It was really difficult for anyone to hold onto the lead.

After a long postponement, the second race was started after the skies clouded and the wind filled again from the northeast about 5-8 knots. It was again mental torture. The easterly directions result in very tough sailing conditions on the Chesapeake Bay. -- Alex Pline

1 RUS 29480 Skoudina/Lartseva 6.50
2 USA 28142 Newman-Cronin/Biehl 16.75
3 USA 28702 Stout/Filter 19.00
4 USA 28955 Brown/Morphew 23.00
5 USA 27872 Kelly/Bustamante 25.00

Event website:






Complete results:


The curmudgeon is going to be at the Ullman Sails Newport Beach sail loft tonight, telling the assembled throng everything they will ever need to know to become a winner on the race course. If you can't figure out why you're getting your butt kicked rather than the other way around, you really should stop by at 410 29th Street at 7:00 PM. And bring your friends -- it's free. If you listen carefully and take good notes, you'll be the person power-gloating at the next trophy ceremony. We guarantee itor your money back. For information -- 949/675-6970.


Screeching along at over 12 knots on a stiff northeasterly in advance of Tropical Storm Lisa, French skipper Marc Thiercelin this morning had overtaken Isabelle Autissier and Josh Hall to grab the top spot in Class I and overall in the Around Alone race. And while the sailors battened down hatches in preparation for the northward-tracking storm, fleet forecasters were optimistic today that the racers may be spared the brunt of Lisa's wrath.

Autissier, who reported rigging problems yesterday, elaborated on PRB's status in a shoreside note: "I've been slowed down because of a big problem [yesterday]. I broke the tang on the genoa stay-which is also the principal forestay on the boat-it broke off close to the deck. I have been able to jury rig it but it is not as good as I'd like it to be with the bad weather we are expecting. I do not know what more I can do to improve on it, but I will definitely not be able to use the big genoa."

Thiercelin was quick to take advantage of Autissier's loss of horsepower. His Open 60 SOMEWHERE-named after a line of clothing sold by his primary sponsor, French mail-order giant La Redoute-was the third boat to come forth from the same mold that produced Golding's Team Group 4 and Hall's Gartmore Investment Management. Thiercelin opted for a wing mast and a fixed keel on his gold Groupe Finot 60, saying, "Yves Parlier has this configuration, I think it's best for the 60s'. I chose this because in the Gold Race [from New York to San Francisco] he exploded [past the field] and won with no problem. I think [canting keels] are heavier and more expensive." -- Herb McCormick

CLASS I (Behind leader)
1. Thiercelin 0.0
2. Autissier 7.3
3. Golding 19.2
4. Hall 38.9
5. Soldini 192.5

CLASS II (Behind leader)
1. Mouligne 0.0
2. Garside 18.4
3. Van Liew 127.4
4. Stricker 262.8
5. Davie 334.5

Event website:

All generalizations are false.