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Number 198 - October 9 1998


The two yachts from the New York Yacht Club/Young America Challenge were recently unloaded in Auckland. They are the first two-boat challenger to arrive in Auckland. Last season the Italian Prada Challenge sailed the ex-Kanza however they no trial-horse or other challengers with which to hook-up.

First into the water was Spirit of Rhode Island (USA-39), previously NZL-39 the ex Tag Heuer. This was in the fact the first time the former New Zealand challengers had touched New Zealand waters. She did not sail here in 1994, and on her return, went straight from the ship to the storage yard.

Young America, the '95 Defender was second into the water, and both were towed away by the NYYC's tenders. Spirit of Rhode Island will participate in a two boat program with Young America until December when she will change to the ownership of America True and will sail the rest of the Kiwi summer for the San Francisco based challenge.

It is reported that the Prada Challenge will be based in the Heritage Apartments currently being refurbished from a former large department store in Downtown Auckland. The apartments are about 800 metres from the Cup Village - a downhill walk in the morning and an uphill trek in the evening after a day's sailing. Other syndicates are said to be active in Auckland securing accommodations, with apartments in the Ponsonby area (about 1 mile form the Cup Village) being popular. The first of the Cup Village apartments, Latitude 37 is nearing completion, and is said to be three quarters sold.

Babcocks, the company who operate the Devonport Naval Base are reported to have completed a feasibility study looking at the costs of providing berths for America's Cup syndicates on Auckland's North Shore (across the harbour from the Cup Village). A spokesman from the company said upwards of 12 berths would be available, and would be located at an inner basin used in the Stanley Bay side of the Dockyard. Syndicates using this facility would place themselves in a very handy position to use the substantial accomodation available in the area - which could be rented off the Navy, or the many large, turn of the century, homes, and hotels in the seaside suburb - which at last count had over 25 restuarants in the main street, and was the closest thing Auckland has to Freo.

The America's Cup Challengers Association (ACCA) and Auckland Regional Council (ARC) are briefing local yacht clubs on the likely impacts of America's Cup spectator traffic on sailing in the area during the 1999/2000 season. Spectator boat numbers are difficult to estimate at this stage, however 2000 boats were counted from aerial photographs at the Whitbread start. And it is estimated that this could grow to 5,000 or even 10,000 for the Cup, if boaties from outside Auckland turn up with the family powerboat. A speed restriction of 10 knots will be enforced in the harbour, and once clear of the harbour boats will be permitted to travel at a greater speed, but will have to remain within the shipping channel. Slower boats will not be restricted to the channel and these boats, if they turn out in numbers on a regular basis, could disrupt club racing - particularly in the January, February period - much of which is also the school holiday, and traditional summer holiday period. A major constraint on numbers will be the launching facilities - with one of the major ramps - at Takapuna Beach, close to the Cup sailing area - having just 62 parking spaces, nd is full on a weekday during the summer.

The first round in the Challenger Selection Series will begin on 18th October, 1999. There will be three Round Robins. Followed by semi-finals, which could consist of four or six challengers, and then the finals. The 30th Match will start on 19th February 2000.

Conditions and Rules for both series will be resolved at a two-day meeting to be held in Bermuda after the Gold Cup. The Catagory "C" situation is expected to be resolved one way or the other at a meeting between NYYC, RNZYS, their respective parties, and ISAF at the ISAF headquarters in Southampton. The meeting will be held on 12-13 October, and the ISAF team will be led by President Paul Henderson. -- Richard Gladwell

For the full story:


The fastest sailors in the world, Simon McKeon and Tim Daddo, went for what they consider to be a casual sail yesterday -- at 40 knots! It was only their second test run aboard Macquarie Innovation, the radical triple-hulled sailboat that they believe will carry them to a new world sailing speed record -- probably above 50 knots. The pair already holds the current world speed record of 46.52 knots, so a blast at 40 knots while still testing this sailing tripod's systems was pretty impressive.

Interested observers now hold no doubt that the world sailing speed record could soon be some considerable distance beyond 50 knots. The reasoning behind this is that when they sailed on Wednesday they were using only their smallest of three solid-wing rigs -- the B class rig -- and the wind was blowing at a mere 15 knots! At the same time designer Lindsay Cunningham put a speed limit on them. He insisted they didn't lift the crew pod, i.e. the wind- ward float, clear of the water. -- Rob Mundle in an excerpt from Grand Prix Sailor

To read the whole story, go to the Sailing World website after 9:00 PM PDT


Next week the St. Francis YC is hosting the Masters Invitational Regatta. Twenty of the world's most recognizable, most traveled, most accomplished senior skippers will sail J/105s in this US Sailing Championship event. All of these skippers have "been there, done that and have the polo shirt." That's why StFYC asked Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery to do the regatta shirts for this event. These seasoned skippers know the value of quality crew attireand StFYC knows that Frank delivers. Give Frank a call. He can help out your racing program too. / 619-226-8033

* The curmudgeon and our sponsor Pacific Embroidery will award a free 'Butt-head tee shirt to the first person to correctly identify what OFR stands for.


>> From Paul Henderson, President, International Sailing Federation -- I totally agree with SEAHORSE on the need for ISAF the World Governing Body to give leadership in the area of Handicap Systems. For years the ORC fought the involvement of ISAF in this area but there is fresh breeze blowing with the new regime in place in both the ORC and ISAF. Hopefully in Palma in November the alliance will become more united as ISAF provides the administrative support and the ORC and their delegates the technical requirements. The first step was to house the staff under one roof in Southampton utilizing all the modern technology with the now installed databases. In talking with designers and owners the dissatisfaction does appear to be with the IMS rule but the different ideas about scoring as the Brits like time on time and the Yanks time on distance and as usual the French and Aussies are somewhere in between. It confuses me why each group does not use the same IMS measurement rule and use whatever scoring system suits them as long as you know what it is before you start. In my day whether it was low point or high point or Olympic or logarithmic Buddy Melges still won. But then again life is never as simple as I want to believe it is.

>> From international yachting journalist Bob Fisher -- I too read Andrew Hurst's Seahorse Editorial with considerable interest as I am one of those who believe that there should be an internationally acceptable handicapping system for 'boats with beds' as our beloved leader refers to them.

The IMS just isn't cutting the cake. It was never meant to be a grand prix rule - and it shows. We do need a rule that encourages new building, and which doesn't seek to measure everything that has already been built, at least not to make them competitive with the latest boats. I believe, having had a sneak preview, that IRM, the measured version of IR2000, can do just that.

As for the Italians dog-in-a-manger attitude, we had a preview of this when the classes for 1999 were announced. Pasquale Landolfi, the owner of Brava Q8 declared that he had sailed his last Admiral's Cup. I have an outstanding bet, made within minutes, of a pound sterling, with Alan Green, the RORC Racing Director, that Landolfi would be back, and as team captain.

>> From Susan Woodrum (Self-proclaimed World's oldest Moore 24 foredeck person) -- I applaud Roy Disney inviting the kids aboard for the Little Ensenada race, but wonder if the invitation went out to just "sons" or were there no daughters to invite? As a woman sailor who got her first serious racing invite aboard a C-scow crewing for Buddy Melges many years ago as a young teenager, I know first-hand how a little encouragement can change the course of a lifetime. Just my 2 cents.

>> From Jennifer Golison -- I thoroughly enjoyed your blurb about the Pyewacket dads taking their sons, but did anyone think about taking their daughters as well? I am not a feminist by any means, but as a lifelong sailor/racer, the only daughter in a family of racing men, the sister-in-law of two world class female sailors, the recent mother of two baby girls, and the aunt of four soon-to-be-sailing nieces, I would have loved to hear that someone took their daughter.

>> From Carol Boe (regarding the GPS year 2000 problem) -- My brother is in charge of the FAA's Y2K program. The FAA will be ready - it's the rest of the world he's worried about...


(The following is an excerpt from an editorial by Andrew Hurst in the November issue of Seahorse magazine.) The first Sydney 40 in Europe, Osama, racing for the Maltese team in the 1998 Sardinia Cup. The Sydney 40 is noticeably skinnier than comparable IMS/ILC40s and, with relatively big spinnakers (in its one-design configuration at least), it struggles to match European designs that are more optimised to IMS 98. But the boat is nevertheless well fitted inside and there should be something of a fundamental argument going on over whether it's right or wrong to go for a more 'seaworthy' boat, rather than something that is truly competitive under the prevalent (IMS) rule's latest guise. After all, in Admiral's Cup the boat will race one-design, with big masthead spinnakers to add to its appeal. But outside of that one event there must be considerable anticipation over the ORC's much-talked about forthcoming revisions to the IMS VPP, and about how the boat will be treated. -- Andrew Hurst, Editor, Seahorse magazine

To read the complete editorial:


The final sixteen at the BT RYA National Match Racing Championship finals in Falmouth will start the quarter finals Friday with Andy Green and Richard Sydenham leading the charge in Group E, whilst Chris Law, Andy Beadsworth and current BT RYA National Match Racing Champion Ian Williams making up the seeded players that will contest group F. -- Nigel Cherrie

Final sixteen (after day three):
GROUP A 1, Richard Sydenham (Devon) 2, Leo Dixon (Wirral) 3, Mike Preston (Lancashire) 4, Nigel King (Hampshire) GROUP B 1, Ian Williams (Devon) 2, Jessie Cuthbert (Essex) 3, Neil McLellan (Oxon) 4, Sam Barron Fox (Surrey)

GROUP C 1, Andy Green (London) 2, Andy Beadsworth (Hampshire)3, Ian Budgen (Hampshire)4, Hamish Mackay (Scotland) GROUP D 1, Chris Law (Hampshire) 2, Shirley Robertson (Hampshire) 2, Simon Shaw (Hampshire) 2, Neil McGregor (Scotland)


As many of you know, Scuttlebutt has been posted on the Seattle website of Boatnet for some time now:

It now appears that was just a beginning -- The Sailing Source is also posting and archiving Scuttlebutt each day, and providing hot links for feedback to the curmudgeon and to 'Butt's sponsors:

And Yachting magazine is also gearing up to add 'Butt to the amazing amount of stuff on their newly redesigned website:

Is this how Bill Gates got started?


A total of 57 boats have been nominated for the Boat of the Year (BOTY) awards are presented annually by Sailing World and Cruising World magazines of Newport (RI). The contest judges will comb through each boat and its systems at the Annapolis show this weekend. However, the winners will be kept secret until the 1999 BOTY Awards reception, slated for January 29 in Chicago.


The Santa Barbara YC is hosting a one-day, women's J/24 regatta on Saturday, November 14. Five races -- no throw-outs. 14 teams have already signed up, but Ken Kieding told the curmudgeon he can still help line up a local J/boat to borrow:


In an oscillating breeze, as you approach the windward mark note what phase the shifts are in. If you are rounding to port and the last shift to the weather mark is a right shift lifting you on starboard upwind, then the headed jibe downwind is port. Therefore, jibe setting or rounding and gybing ASAP will get you on port. If the last shift is a header as you approach on starboard then continuing on starboard puts you on the headed jibe downwind. This is the perfect data you need in an oscillating breeze to get in rhythm with the shifts downwind. -- The Coach, at


The top seven boats in the Around Alone race this morning came from the Groupe Finot design office. Perhaps not surprisingly, the skipper of the newest Finot Open 60, Marc Thiercelin on SOMEWHERE, was at the front of the pack. At this morning's 0940 GMT position report, Thiercelin was almost 50 miles ahead of English skipper Mike Golding; with each passing day, it becomes more apparent that Thiercelin is for real. Josh Hall, Isabelle Autissier, and Giovanni Soldini round out the top five places in Class I. Soldini took solid steps on the comeback trail overnight, skipping ahead of Class II front-runners J.P. Mouligne and Mike Garside (both sailing Finot Open 50s), and Brad Van Liew in the overall fleet standings. Of the first eight boats, only Van Liew's BALANCE BAR-an original David Lyons design now sporting a Rodger Martin refit-does not hold a Finot pedigree.

There are subtle differences in the Finot boats: Thiercelin's SOMEWHERE has one of Finot's distinctive new rotating wing masts, which are stepped on deck and supported by long outriggers in lieu of conventional stays; and a "traditional" fixed keel with a ballast bulb. Autissier's PRB, now three-years-old and the oldest Finot boat in the race, has a canted keel which the skipper controls hydraulically, and a standard four-spreader rig. Golding's Team Group 4 and Soldini's FILA have the whole enchilada: the wild rig and the swinging keel. But Hall's Gartmore Investment Management has neither-the veteran skipper opted instead to keep his boat as light and simple as possible. -- Herb McCormick

CLASS I (Distance behind)
1. Thiercelin 0.0
2. Golding 60.6
3. Hall 66.6
4. Autissier 105.3
5. Soldini 278.3

1. Mouligne 0.0
2. Garside 10.9
3. Van Liew 14.8
4. Stricker 186.7
5. Saito 223.1

Event website:


If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?