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SCUTTLEBUTT #206 -- October 27, 1998


Special report from Betsy Altman, immediate past chair of the US Sailing's Inshore Committee:

At a combined meeting of the Inshore Committee and One-Design Class Council there was a terrific discussion about being called OCS. The overwhelming feeling is that competitors want to hear hails whether they are called first or last in a long list. The hails can be verbal, over a loud hailer or via VHF, but they should come as quickly as reasonable after the start. No one believed that redress should be granted to the boats called at the end as it is clearly a courtesy and not a mandate.

Confusion on what sailors want versus race management recommendations seems to have caused the recent spate of regattas in which competitors were not hailed. Although as competitors we believe hailing is a courtesy to be extended as often as possible, it appears that the Rule Book does not offer hailing as an option. Neither Rule 29.2 Individual Recall nor Appendix N Sailing Instructions makes mention of the option. It is only when one goes to the Race Management Handbook that one finds a comment on including it in the SI's, and there it states that "For aggressive one-design fleets, it may be better not to hail."

In talking with Race Management people, it seems they believe it is more fair not to hail, hence the change. They are keen to hear from sailors and classes on preferences, though. It may be beneficial to have people let Pat Seidenspinner, the Race Administration Chair for US SAILING, know how sailors feel.

As to radios on small boats, some classes like the idea, some already are moving that direction and all aprreciated the heads-up to revisit their policies in light of safety. It was not clear that small boat sailors are ready for OCS calls on radios, though. Other ideas for alerting sailors, though, included restaurant type pagers, a terrifically good concept.

US SAILING's Inshore Committee has a new leader, Larry White, President of Interscholastic High School Sailing. A high point of the meetings for me, in addition to the wonderful discussions on OCS/Radios, Youth Development and the Communication needs of sailors about US SAILING programs and opportunities, was receiving the President's Award for developing Phase I of a new learn-to-sail program for children ages 10-13 called Sailing Smart. I had talented help from Ginny Long, John Kantor, Joni Palmer and Lee Parks on this work. We are developing it in partnership with National Recreation and Park Association's Aquatic Section. -- Betsy Altman

Curmudgeon's comment: Thanks Betsyand congratulations. The US Sailing website does not have anything posted yet about what happened at their AGM (what a surprise) so we're hungry for reports of any other actions taken at this annual meeting.


Annapolis, MD -- Kip Meadows' 'roXanne' yesterday claimed title to the 1998 1D35 National Championship, the first ever held for the class, in an impressive performance in which she held the lead at the end of each day of close racing in the three-day event. On scores of 1-1-2-1-1-3-4, 'roXanne' dominated the twelve-boat fleet with consistently excellent boatspeed, crew work, and tactical positioning.

Hailing from Rocky Mount, NC, Meadows' credited his team's efforts for the victory. "Unless you're sailing a Laser, sailing is a team sport, and our team was awesome. I have never been in a regatta where the boat handling was so smooth." Besides Meadows at the helm, this crew included bowman Greg Gendell, Rich Lambird on halyards, jib and spinnaker trimmers Dobbs Davis and Rod Jabin, mainsail trimmer Ray Wulff, and tactician Terry Hutchinson, all of Annapolis, MD, while Ruth White of Rocky Mount, NC lent a hand at all mark roundings.

Wind conditions for the event were shifty and ranged from 5 to 16 knots, with race managers from the Annapolis YC successfully laying seven windward-leeward courses on the Chesapeake Bay. Tidal currents were also a factor in some races, with an especially strong ebb on Day 2 of the series. The intended schedule of eight races was reduced by one when light and shifty air yesterday prevented the start of an eighth race.

Even without this race, however, the outcome of the championship had already been determined, since 'roXanne' built up a 16-point lead over their nearest rival, Roland Arthur's Texas-based team on 'Excaliber'. Finishing third with 34 points was Robert Hughes' 'Heartbreaker' from Grand Rapids, MI. For their efforts, skipper Meadows and crew will keep the silver Tiffany-built perpetual trophy for one year until the 1999 champion is determined.

Despite restrictions on helmsman to be amateur sailors and strict limits on the number of pro-level crew, the 1D35's attracted the interest and participation of several world-class sailors. These included reigning J/24 world champion Terry Hutchinson on 'roXanne', current 1D48 class champion John Kolius on 'Excaliber', and Whitbread watch captain Dave Scott on 'Heartbreaker'. John Bertrand of One Design, LLC said "We set up these rules so that the skippers could have the opportunity to learn from a pro while still sailing their own boat." The concept seemed to work well, since the level of competition strengthened during each successive race of the event.

This was Meadows' first regatta in his new 1D35, but second national championship title in a competitive one-design class, having won the 1996 Mumm 30 US Championship. He provided a few thoughts on comparing the two classes: "The 1D35 has the acceleration characteristics of the Mumm 30, but is far more stable and easily driven. No backstay makes sail trim a bit unique, and actually adds to the challenge and enjoyment of the boat." --
Dobbs Davis

Top Five Final Results, 1D35 National Championship (12 boats):

1. roXanne Kip Meadows 13 points
2. Excaliber Roland Arthur 29
3. Heartbreaker Robert Hughes 34
4. Avalanche Sledd Shelhorse 36
5. Widow Maker Nick & Tina Worth 38

Complete results available:


Serious racers want a clean bottom, keels that are faired to perfection, straight leaches and fully tricked-out sail handling hardware. And the real serious racers want their crew attire to reflect the same commitment to excellence. EASY! Just contact Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery and let him show you how affordable that can be. Frank delivers! / 619-226-8033

(Edited for clairy and space) >> From Bob Johnstone -- Responding to John Drayton: My IMS comments are based on the assumption that the object of handicap racing among OFFSHORE boats is to provide any boat, no matter whether gaff rigged or cant keeled with a fair rating. INCLUSIVE NOT EXCLUSIVE within reasonable safe limits. PHRF and CHS have done the best job...participation being the proof. Secondly, we can do a better job sharing the joys of high performance racing sailboats by encouraging the creation of better designs and better venues.

If administrators want to broaden the appeal of high-performance sailing, the boats must become more owner friendly and more relevant locally. This means encouraging stiffer boats, not tippier boats and from a safety viewpoint this means restricting the amount of sail used upwind and downwind so as to not overwhelm whatever the inherent stability of the boat is when sailed by a couple of people (or raced with 5-6) no matter which way the keel is canting or the crew is leaning.

For administrators wanting to create good events and boat designs, I can say with some degree of certainty that there are two OWNER-ORIENTED strategies worth pursuing , measured in terms of either participation or retaining boat recreational and economic value: (1) Supporting an all-inclusive LOCAL handicapping system, and (2) helping build LOCAL one-design classes. If local boats fit just one of the above, owners will be content. If boats compete well in both, owners will be ecstatic. As the Curmudgeon might say, "If it isn't happening in your backyard, it isn't happening".

>> From Mike Eldred -- Regarding America True's claim that Gaven Brady served as tactician aboard the third place New Zealand TAGHeuer America's Cup 1995 challenge -- there is no third place in the America's Cup.

MANHASSET BAY YACHT CLUB Fall Series -- Final results:


Complete results:


Following are some interesting observations from Brian Trubovich, Scuttlebutt's special corespondent in Auckland, New Zealand. -- Right now we are going through a long period of strong winds here, averaging 25 knots most days, but then again it can drop to 5 for several days, or it can vary from zero to 50 on the same day. Interesting figures for an IACC designer.


A catastrophic engine failure, just after the Dutch 3-masted sail training ship Eendracht was heading out of Newhaven harbour into the teeth of a force 8 gale, led to remarkable rescue of all 51 people onboard by two helicopter crews on October 21.

The helicopters were scrambled from the Coastguard stations at Lee on Solent and Portland, Dorset after initial attempts by a tug to tow the 105ft ship off a sandbank had failed. The aircrews had to hover in turns above the wildly gyrating masts and pluck the Dutch crew off from the deck. Among those rescued were two men, one of whom was blind, and the other aged 74. The operation took two and half hours to airlift the 33 trainees to safety before the helicopters returned after refueling to rescue the 18 permanent crew as waves threatened to swamp the ship.

A spokesperson for the Coastguard said after the successful rescue: "The vessel was lying at such an angle that the decision was taken to remove all remaining essential crew because it was far too dangerous to leave them onboard. It is very rare to airlift this number of people." John Spencer, one of the winchmen admitted later: "There were times when the ship juddered on the ground. At one point the boat keeled right over and waves were coming over my head and I thought: 'If this thing goes, where am I going to?' One man in his early 20s was blind, and although he had a person with him, he had to be winched off alone. It must have been petrifying for him."

The Eendracht was towed off on the next high tide and returned to Newhaven to undergo repairs. Mercifully, no one was injured, though some of the crew did suffer from the cold, shock and sea sickness. -- Barry Pickthall


What do you do with your maxi boat between World Championship regattas? Mike Howard sent the curmudgeon this update on Larry Ellison's Sayonara program: -- I flew up to San Francisco on Sunday to sail Sayonara in the Great Pumpkin regatta. If you are not familiar with this race, it starts in Alameda around Alcatraz between Angel Island and then finish off of Alameda. It is an inverted start race. There were over 100 boats and we started one hour and twenty minutes after the first gun at 12:00. It was a beautiful day on the bay and we managed to sail through the beautiful fleet of spinnakers between Angel Island and be first to finish. It was a fun day on the bay and now Sayonara has a Great Pumpkin to add to its trophy case along with the World Championship Trophies. -- Mike Howard


While all eyes this week were focused on the dramatic events unfolding at the front of the Around Alone fleet, the nine skippers who comprise the Class II field were diligently sailing south through the meteorological minefield already negotiated-with varying degrees of success-by their Class I predecessors. But the stories coming forth from the racers in the 40- to 50-foot division are no less intriguing than those issued by the big-boat skippers.

At 0944 GMT today, J.P. Mouligne held a 16-mile Distance to Finish advantage over Brad Van Liew. The class leaders this morning were both steering due south at about 7.5 knots in an attempt to work beneath the high-pressure system that will dominate their tactics until they toss the docklines ashore in Cape Town. Mouligne, whose troubles with the batten pockets on Cray Valley's main have twice forced him to drop the sail altogether for repairs, has worked hard to regain the top spot. Yesterday he reported on a scary incident that occurred while he was preparing to tack in a dying breeze: "As I was releasing the leeward runner a blast of wind hit us sideways and almost knocked the boat [over]. I ended up waist high in water, clinging to the boom... I had my harness on and managed to crawl back in the cockpit. The wind at that point was about 40 knots and I had to struggle to roll the genoa and then put two reefs in the main. It was a half hour of intense fighting."

Van Liew also sailed through the same trying conditions. In a COMSAT-C message to race headquarters this morning he supplied this update: "The winds have dropped to twenty knots which seems rather nice. I am now expecting the high to suck most of the remaining wind away so the more the better for now." Van Liew today held a 156-mile lead over third-place Mike Garside, who earlier this week decided to take an easterly track rather than play a game of "follow the leaders." Yesterday he wrote, "This seriously looks like the parting of the ways. For the last couple of days I have gradually [been] forced to level off my southbound course and head east." Later, he offered this update: "Hope I haven't driven myself into a dead end going east like this. I see [Mouligne] was willing to go southwest which is what I would have had to do. I wonder who will be proved right."

In fourth, Robin Davie continued to plow onward with yet another in a string of 200-mile-plus days. This morning he said, "Good speeds yesterday afternoon. Nice 16- to 19-knot easterly wind [went east-northeast], sheets were freed, and speed picked up with South Carolina humming along nicely." Davie today was 146 miles in front of fifth-place George Stricker, with Neal Petersen and Minoru Saito holding the sixth- and seventh-spots. Viktor Yazykov's eighth-place aboard his Winds of Change belied the fact that he was sailing a remarkable leg with his radical 40 footer. Though he started over five days behind the fleet due to a late qualifying voyage, Yazykov has already passed Neil Hunter and fellow Russian skipper Fedor Konioukhov and was only 76 miles behind Saito at 0944 GMT. Yazykov has reported that he's suffered food poisoning, injuries to both elbows and his knee, and balky self-steering gear that has required him to spend countless hours at the helm. But, he says, "After 3,000 miles of upwind beating, I can say my boat has good upwind potential."

In Class I today, Isabelle Autissier maintained a 41-mile lead over Marc Thiercelin with 1,225 miles to go to Cape Town. In third, Mike Golding was just 27 miles behind Thiercelin. But while the frontrunners sallied forth, one of their former comrades had already furled his sails. Race coordinator Pete Dunning received a phone call late last week from retired skipper Sebastian Reidl, who had safely docked in Puerto Rico to close the book on his difficult Around Alone campaign. -- Herb McCormick

CLASS I (Distance to finish)
1. Autissier 1225
2. Thiercelin 1266
3. Golding 1293
4. Hall 1400
5. Soldini 1501

1. Mouligne 2246
2. Van Liew 2262
3. Garside 2418
4. Davie 2781
5. Stricker 2927

Event website:

Confidential email