SCUTTLEBUTT #204 -- October 21, 1998
AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based challenger for America's Cup XXX,
announced that veteran composite boat builder Ted Brown has been selected
to manage the construction of the syndicates two new International
America's Cup Class (IACC) boats at Westerly Marine Inc.'s boat yard
located in Costa Mesa, California. Breaking with tradition, this is only
the second time in IACC history that an America's Cup boat will be built on
the West Coast.
At age 36, Brown's 18 years of practical boat building for competitive race
boats brings a vast array of expertise to his new position. Brown's
experience encompasses lofting, mold making, carpentry, project management,
manpower placement, quality control, research and development. He
apprenticed at Eric Goetz Custom Sailboats for two years at the inception
of his career and has sailed aboard Infinity with AmericaOne's Manager of
Technology and Design, Bruce Nelson, over the past five years. He recently
moved from Newport, Rhode Island to Newport, California.
The construction plans for AmericaOne's two-boat program will begin in
December 1998 when work on Boat #1 will commence. Construction on Boat #2
is slated to begin in March 1999 and will finish in mid-1999 allowing the
sailing team plenty of time to practice. Both new boats will be tested in
Long Beach, California using OneAustralia, the 1995 IACC boat leased for
the duration of AmericaOne's America's Cup XXX campaign, as a benchmark for
fine-tuning and optimization.
Founded in 1970, by business partners Lynn Bowser and Steve Lee, Westerly
Marine Inc., is a custom builder of high performance, composite, racing and
cruising sailing and power boats.
BERMUDA GOLD CUP
Bermudian Paula Lewin, the top ranked skipper on the Women's World Match
Race Rankings and the number 19 on the mixed Rankings, today advanced from
the Qualifying Rounds of the Bermuda Gold Cup into the Championship Rounds,
and by doing so became the first woman ever to do so. Lewin came back from
a shaky 1-2 start in the first day of competition to win three of her four
matches today against fellow Bermudian Peter Bromby, Australian James
Spithill, and Canadian Peter Hall. Finishing the round robin with a record
of 4-3, Lewin became third qualifier from Group 1 and is matched up against
Gavin Brady of New Zealand.
The three other qualifiers to come out of Group 1 are Italian Francesco de
Angelis, who was the only undefeated skipper in either Group 1 or Group 2,
Dean Barker of New Zealand, and Spithill, the 19 year-old phenom who might
be described as the surprise of the regatta so far.
Eliminated from further competition was Bermudian Peter Bromby, an early
favorite as he is known as this country's top sailor, along with Hall,
Briton Ian Williams, and Bill Buckles of the USA.
In the first round of the Championship that begins tomorrow. The 50th
running of the Bermuda Gold Cup offers a prize purse of $60,000, with
$17,000 going to the winner.
The eight seeded skippers raced four flights today as both a practice for
the Championship Rounds and a piece of the $5,000 purse in the Bermuda
Commercial Bank Challenge. New Zealander Gavin Brady won $3,000 for his
first position efforts by beating Australian Neville Wittey, Chris Law won
$1,000 by besting Kiwi John Cutler, Peter Holmberg of the U.S. Virgin
Islands took $600 after defeating New Zealander Russell Coutts, and Peter
Gilmour won $400 for his efforts against Germany's Markus Wieser. -- Gay
(The following is an excerpt from an editorial by Andrew Hurst in the
November issue of Seahorse magazine.)
Sorry to keep leaning on ISAF, but a world governing body must expect some
free 'advice'! When I wrote last month of the desirability of quick-release
trapeze harnesses in modern skiff-type dinghes it was somewhat tentatively
with respect to the potential broader reaction from those directly
involved. However, some further sounding has pointed to a broad acceptance
of the need for development in this area. In fact a number of very good
sailors are surprisingly concerned over the potential risks of the present
So while the ISAF is in Palma it would be very encouraging to hear that
this subject had been discussed, and some conclusions reached about some
simple, broad-brush rule changes, to bring ISAF regulations on personal
sailing equipment more in line with modern sailing practice. -- Andrew
Hurst, Editor, Seahorse magazine
To read the complete editorial:
The curmudgeon recently got a letter from Cliff Thompson in San Diego who
said, "I would like to put in a plug for Frank (Whitton), who did the
shirts for the Schock 35 National Championships, AND in the process, helped
our class make a few bucks." Frank's Pacific Embroidery can do the same for
your regatta. Give him a call to learn the details. Frank delivers!
Pacyacht@aol.com / 619-226-8033
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
>> From Mark Yeager -- Someone needs to storm the castle with pitchforks
here. USSail never supported PHRF. Why should we expect them to support
Americap? They are FAR more interested in using your money to travel to big
regattas and rubbing shoulders at the bar of big-name yacht clubs with
famous sailors than in working to build and help administer the most widely
used scoring system in the world today-PHRF.
Think I'm kidding. Quick-name the last time you saw one single word in
print from these guys about how a club could implement and use PHRF. Can't
do it, can you? I can shorten your memory search. It's never been done.
Never. They publish a ratings book once a year full of numbers, but not a
single line of instruction about how a new club can take this and implement
it. Nothing about the system falling apart when the numbers are more than
20-30 points apart. Nothing about taking LOCAL wind/wave conditions into
account. (Remember, PHRF is a locally driven system, not a national.)
Nothing in the book to tell you if a given number listed is at the bottom
of a small fleet with a 100 second spread or the scratch boat in a huge
15-second spread fleet.
All we do is feed these guys more money each year to come up with more
design-based ratings systems like Americap and IMS that don't work.
Question-why do we do this?
>> From John Drayton -- I'd be curious how Bob Johnstone feels about
canting keels and other non-traditional innovations. Does he advocate
reducing the penalty for "sprit" boats (as he advocates), but continuing
penalties for these other non-traditional designs innovations?
Maybe it's time for those who like the design/development game (i.e.
building new IMS racers, etc...) to take the gloves off. My advice would
be that before you go out and spend $200k-$500k+ on a new boat, put speed
and fun ahead of measuring to an arbitrary rule restriction.
While the J125 and the Schock/Dynaflyer 40 represent quantum leaps in
production boat technology, even these boats still make some big
concessions when compared to skiffs and other truly high performance boats.
My recommendation would be to get rid of current rating rules for the top
level international sailing events (e.g. Admirals Cup, SORC, Kenwood Cup),
and replace the current rating system with "Unlimited monohull class - 40
foot LOW limitation." By throwing out the rating rules, we could let the
pro sailor's go out there and show us how good they really - the boats
would be a real challenge to sail, and they'd be 2-3 times faster than
would be allowed under our current rule paradigm. Who knows, you just
might create events that were interesting enough to generate some media
coverage within the US.
>> From John Fracisco -- This re-bumping of a one-design to optimize it for
IMS sucks. Sounds like the IOR battles (that I have only heard about) all
over again. I bet the Farr 40 guys are laughing right now (although didn't
someone IMS optimize their Farr 40 for the regatta in Spain?).
The 45 meter ketch, Mari-Cha III, heading for the Trans Atlantic Speed
Record, is doing well. The strong NW winds enable the yacht to surf in 30
knots speed (GPS). At this speed, half the yacht is out of the water and
the sonic speedometer does not cope with those high speeds. The surf record
of today is held by Franck Profit, reaching a speed of 30.32 knots.
Due to the high impact on the hull, the hatch to the bow-thruster was
opened by force. The crew can't close it from the inside (it's probably
twisted and stuck in open position). This damage creates a tremendous drag
and will slow down the average speed about 1 knot.
Wind speed 28-32 knots at 296 deg. Distance to finish: 1367 nm.
(The following is an excerpt from New Zealand's DEFENCE 2000)
Russell Coutts and his Team Magic have started up a round-the world-
campaign for the 2001-2002 race. Despite previously declaring on many
occasions he would never attempt any such races, it seems Coutts has
changed his mind. According to Team Magic trimmer, Simon Daubney, "Our
sailors will need a new challenge after the Cup defense and this seems like
a natural progression for us. We get bored with the match racing circuit.
We've been doing it for 15 years. But there's no way we will ever let it
interfere with the America's Cup." It seems to us at Defence 2000 we have
heard something like this before - was it from Dennis Conner? Team Magic
has already got a long list of potential sailors that will follow their
leader! -- John Roake
MORE PROFESSIONAL SAILING
Mark Rudiger, the navigator aboard the winning Whitbread 60, "EF Language"
will be the guest speaker at the Ullman Sails loft in Newport Beach on
Tuesday, November 3. Mark will show slides and a videotape from the
Whitbread Race. It's $15 including refreshments and all starts at 7:00
PMbut you should make reservations -- 949/675-6970
Wictor Forss, the past President of the International 50 foot Class
Association, has donated the trophy for the Farr 40 class at its inaugural
World Championship, which will take place in Miami, Florida, November 9th -
14th. Forss, a past winner of the 50 foot World Cup, has deeded the trophy
for the competitive life of the Farr 40 class. Forss will present the
World Cup together with miniature 'keepers' for the first three places
overall, at the Farr 40 World Championship.
WHAT DOES A CURMUDGEON LOOK LIKE?
If you must know, the Sailing Source website has a nice photo:
And if you want to find out how he became a curmudgeon, check out his bio
on the Yachting magazine website:
Twelve teams will compete at the 1D35 class' inaugural National
Championship regatta, to be held over Friday, October 23, 1998, through
Sunday, October 25, 1998. Race management and shore-side hospitality will
be provided by the Annapolis Yacht Club, with eight races scheduled to be
sailed on courses set on the Chesapeake Bay.
After making their competitive debut as a class last May, this will be the
first regatta where all 1D35 class rules will be in effect. This includes a
prescribed limit of three non-amateur sailors on board each entry, while
helmsman are restricted to be amateur sailors. With a crew weight limit of
1400 lbs., most teams will likely have eight crew members on board during
To date 27 1D35's have been sold with boats racing on the East Coast, West
Coast, Gulf Coast, and the Great Lakes. -- Dobbs Davis
Finally -- after eight weeks of frustrating waiting, the curmudgeon's
powerboat has a port engine again, so we're off to Catalina. We've missed a
lot of trips to Catalina because of the broken engine, but we'll try to
catch up while the weather is still nice. Adios!
Because I've leaving really early for Catalina, I could not include the
daily Around Alone update. However, the curmudgeon senses the Around Alone
Race is not generating the same enthusiastic following that the Whitbread
Race attracted. Am I wrong? If notwhy is that?
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
It's really hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything.