SCUTTLEBUTT #215-- November 11, 1998
END OF AN ERA
Long-time Race Manager of the St. Francis Yacht Club, Matthew Jones has
announced his resignation to close the 1998 sailing season and a
distinguished chapter in his career.
Matt Jones is excited about the opportunities open to him after 15 years of
running sailing events for the St. Francis Yacht Club. One of his
objectives is to help usher the sport into the next century with the
limitless possibilities presented by the Internet and other media. By
integrating his knowledge of the sport with today's technology, he looks to
achieve a new synthesis for sailing's future thereby improving the quality
and accessibility of the sport and ensuring it a bold profile in the coming
Long a familiar figure on San Francisco Bay, Matt began his career running
races at the Milwaukee Yacht Club and travelling with the USYR Mobile Race
Management team. His stint at the St. Francis Yacht Club began in 1983 and
his presence has been instrumental in developing a world-class racing
Matt maintains that the key to running a successful event is the quality
and dedication of the volunteers. "I have always thought that our race
committee is the best because it is made up of active, racing sailors who
really know the sport, having them on the course is invaluable. Race
Committee been bery bery good to me," Matt continued. "St. Francis been
bery bery good to me. I luv everybody. See you all in Key West."
GUEST EDITORIAL -- Neil W. Humphrey
As an individual, I FULLY support professionalism in the sport provided
that there is a well thought out system of how amateurs become professional
and that like other sports professionals and amateurs don't play on the
same field unless it's for a worthy cause.
It surprises and concerns me that in a world preoccupied by sports as a
entertainment business that our national authorities have failed to look at
the important lessons learnt in other sports. All major sports worldwide
have some sort of a understanding of what is an amateur and what is a
professional (it's black & white), a plan of how amateurs make the
transition to professional or how businesses are involved in marketing
their products of the professionals down to the amateur ranks. Look at
Football (Soccer), Hockey, Baseball, Basketball, Rugby, Cricket, Badminton
and many other sports. Hey, when it comes down to it, they are one design
all the way. They know what they are doing from the top to the bottom and
bottom to the top whether it's pro or amateur as it's the same sport but
how far you go is based on your natural gifts or maybe the time and your
families money you have invested.
In sailing we have no farms systems (other than the remnants of our Olympic
team systems) of where amateurs who are gifted and those that invest the
time/money have a chance of getting a scholarship and maybe making it into
the farm system of a professional team. Further, what is a amateur or pro
in black and white terms, where is a plan from our sailing authorities
attracting big business that would pay for these scholarships, teams and
the R&D of the sport by marketing products from the professional to the
amateur? I don't know except maybe it's time we got our heads out of the
sand to look at other sports to help us define what is pro and amateur, how
do amateurs become pros, get big business involved with our marketing as a
entertainment sport and sell our potential as an R&D environment for new
technologies. More importantly let our young sailors have a chance to live
a dream like any other child who plays an amateur sport. That is to play a
sport that they love and get paid for it. -- Neil W. Humphrey
NIPPON CUP '98 / ISAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF MATCH RACING
Sailing at the Hayama Yacht Club in Japan, the 1998 Nippon Cup / ISAF World
Championship of Match Racing is now underway. The current results of round
robin racing are:
Peter GIlmour 3 wins, 0 losses
Jochen Schumann 4-1
Bertrand Pace 2-1
Chris Law 3-2
Sten Mohr 3 -2
Gavin Brady 2-2
Markus Wieser 2-2
Luc Pillot 2-3
Peter Holmberg 0 -3
Magnus Holmberg 0-3
SAYONARA TO BE AIR MAILED TO SYDNEY
Larry Ellison's triple world championship winning maxi Sayonara is about to
get an AirMail delivery sticker stuck on its bow. That's because Ellison
has decided to air mail the yacht to Sydney for this year's Telstra Sydney
to Hobart race. He will charter a giant Russian Antanov freighter for the job.
It's part of what looks like being a bit of an open checkbook campaign by
Ellison for the 630 mile race starting December 26. Ellison has also
advised the Hobart race organisers, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia,
that kiwi America's Cup yachtsman, Chris Dickson, will be principal
helmsman. Also in the team of Sayonara all-stars will be navigator Mark
Rudiger (Paul Cayard's Whitbread navigator) and kiwi America's Cup sailor,
Ellison's aim this year will be to erase the name of Morning Glory as the
race record holder. That time, two days, 14 hours, seven minutes and 10
seconds, was set in 1996. The previous year Sayonara went within six hours
of the record despite generally adverse conditions - upwind along the
Tasmanian coast and some light patches near Tasman Island.
While Sayonara will start outright favourite for line honours this year the
crews of the three Australian maxis entered will be going all-out to apply
the pressure. Grant Wharington's new Murray, Burns and Dovell maxi, Wild
Thing, will start as a dark horse. The owner and his Victorian crew believe
they just might have the goods to deliver an upset in the race to be first
to Hobart - especially if it is a downwind race. For Wharington the new
70ft Wild Thing is the smallest yacht he could put under a oneAustralia
America's Cup rig that he acquired. That deal also included a number of
America's Cup class sails.
As well as Wild Thing, George Snow's Brindabella (line honours winner last
year) and the Beilby syndicate's Marchioness will be front runners. The
latter will be looking for hard running conditions if it is to outgun the
By last night the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia had received 120
entries. Late entries are expected to swell that to 125. -- Rob Mundle
Slow sails are never cheapno matter how little they cost. However, now is
the time to get some real bargains on performance sails. If you act
quickly, you can take advantage of the Fall discounts many of the Ullman
Sails lofts are offering on their hot racing sails. Improved performance
will never be more affordable. Get a price quote online right now:
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (250-word limit)
>> From Terry Harper, Executive Director, US Sailing -- I noticed that the
minute I signed on (to Scuttlebutt) I was referred to and this prompted a
response from Paul Henderson. This is to assure both you and Paul that:
Someone approached me at our Seattle meeting and said: "Can we do the same
thing with Category C that we did for 1997?" I said, "I won't know until
after the ISAF meetings, because I see that there is a proposal to change
the Advertising rule."
Now Paul wrongly thinks I am an ungrateful soul. Not so. Paul has worked
hard on the advertising rule issues, as have a number of people at ISAF.
All I meant was that I didn't know the answer yet. As soon as I see the
minutes of the ISAF meeting, I will know the answer (I missed that part of
the meeting where they ultimately decided what to do about the appendix).
>> From Dick Hampikian -- PHRF has serious limitations, mostly due to the
self-serving type of people who administer it for their own personal
benefit. This is inherent in any system the management structure is
basically a club for the good old boys. This is the fatal flaw in the
whole concept. Eventually it will self-destruct. Unfortunately it appears
that is may due serious damage to our sport in the process.
The sailing policy committee at California YC have been discussing this
problem and have embarked on effort to provide a viable alternative to
PHRF. Cal YC will be offering Americap scoring starting with next years
Americap is an offshoot of IMS with the idea of easier administration both
for committee personnel and competitors. There are over 700 stock designs
that already have ratings. The Americap rating formula provides a rating
for a given boat for five different course configurations. Three are
offshore and two for closed course (windward-leeward and general purpose).
For each course there are two coefficients, a time on time and time on
distance, that are plugged into the formula.
>> From John Welty -- The Rolex goes to Cayard. Terry is going to win all
those other races again next year. I agree with Mark Yeager, the whole USSA
site is like looking at the little catalogs that came with my membership
>> From Fred Jones -- To the curmudgeon: You missed one vital point when
you spotted the communication thing at US Sailing. It's not a problem. To
have a problem with communication you first have to have communication.
Since there is no effective communication between US Sailing and their
members, there can be no problem with it.
If there had been any communication in the past, we wouldn't be stuck with
the "new rules." Stop me anytime you see an error here, but we were all
sold on this idea based on the premise of all the new sailors that it would
attract to the sport. (The new rules are supposed to be simpler and easier
to understand.) What it gave us is 'hunting' in an open PHRF fleet. That
ought to bring 'em out of the woodwork, shouldn't it?
It gave us their insipid life jacket rule at the start-finish line. Never
mind the air temperature or water temperature. Never mind that help is
always close at hand at those two points. Wear your life jacket and sweat
to death in 90-100 degrees of heat in light air. That should really get the
new people out on the race course, shouldn't it?
It gave us yet another measurement-based rating rule (Americap) to fail
like all the measurement-based rating rules before it and all the
measurement-based rating rules yet to come. Never mind that there is a
rating rule already in place that is adaptable to local conditions (wind
and waves) that they don't support.
It gave us their maniacal dedication to one-design sailing. Forget the
undisputed fact that there is more PHRF racing going on in this country
than all the one-design fleets combined.
Communication problem? What communication problem?
>> From Geoff Jarvis -- This letter is in response to Mark Yeager's
comments regarding the use of PFD's at regattas. I have difficulty
understanding the reasons why being asked to wear a PFD is upsetting to
sailors. Mark argues that capable swimmers do not need to wear PFD's. I
would point out that the most capable swimmers can't even flail with grace
when they are unconscious. As for heatstroke, I recommend that the
clothing for the day be planned around wearing a 'lifie' all day.
Mark further points out that participation at regattas is down due to PFD
legislation. It is my opinion that increased participation at the expense
of safety is tactically the wrong way to go.
I believe comments similar to Mark's were likely made regarding the use of
safety belts in cars until enough people were killed in car accidents to
cause concern. Mark, how many people do you feel is an acceptable number
of deaths before PFD's become mandatory?
The Schock 35 class has two new web sites. There is the new "official" site:
And then there is an "unofficial" (and more informative) site maintained by
newly elected class president Dave Voss:
ROUTE DU RHUM
For the large multihulls, Paul Vatine and Marc Guillemot's strategy is
paying off. The two skippers have chosen the option off the coasts of
Ireland on Monday to go down to the direct route afterwards, getting around
the depression. The situation is far from being stable between those in the
North (Paul Vatine, Mark Guillemot) and those taking the direct route
(Laurent Bourgnon, Francis Joyon) and those in the South (Loick Peyron).
The drop-out rate continues to increase - one of the top Open 60 sailors in
the Vendee Globe, Eric Dumont, was yesterday forced to retire after badly
injuring himself. He was at the masthead in 40 knots of breeze trying to
repair a damaged main halyard, when he cut himself badly with his knife. He
managed to get down and call for help to an English ship nearby, who took
him onboard for medical treatment, and then he rejoined his yacht by which
they had been standing by.
American George Stricker today was continuing to wrap up the opening leg of
his first Around Alone campaign in style. At 0944 GMT, Stricker and his
Class II 50-footer Rapscallion III were 833 miles from the finish line and
making an average speed of over eight-and-a-half knots. If he can maintain
that pace, Stricker may join the eight skippers who have already docked
here at the V&A Waterfront as early as this Friday. Stricker was in fourth
place in his class at the latest update.
Despite the fact that he is carrying on without a rudder, Robin Davie
continued to hold the fifth position in the small-boat division early
today. At 0944 GMT Davie was 1,210 miles from Cape Town, but he was
maintaining an average speed of just under four knots. Davie may be hard
pressed to hold off the charge of Russian competitor Viktor Yazykov, who
was only 31 miles astern and making better than eight knots at this
morning's report. Yazykov is holding a track line well to the north of
Davie on his 40-foot Wind of Change. Bringing up the Class II rankings,
seventh-place Neal Petersen was 1,283 miles from his homeport of Cape Town,
while Minoru Saito and Neil Hunter, in eighth and ninth, still had 1,496
miles and 2,208 miles to sail, respectively. The lone Class I sailor still
underway, Fedor Konioukhov, was a distant 2,365 miles from the finish line
at 0516 GMT. -- Herb McCormick
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
If you still think there's some good in everybody, you simply haven't met