SCUTTLEBUTT #220 -- November 18, 1998
MUMM 30 WORLDS
The 35-boat Mumm 30 fleet finished two races today: a 5-leg, 10-mile race,
and a 5-leg, 7-mile race. Winds in Race 1 were 5.5 to 8 knots. Winds in
Race 2 were in the same velocity neighborhood; but a 35-degree windshift on
the second weather leg reshuffled the fleet and opened doors for losses and
SISSABELLA, owned by Luca Bassani of Monte Carlo (MONACO), started the day
at the front of the fleet: After the first two-mile weather leg, this boat
rounded the top mark with a long, 55-second lead. SISSABELLA had room to
sail her own race and stretched her lead to over a minute at the leeward
mark--but the fight for second place was crowded: Roland Arthur's
EXCALIBER, with Chris Larsen as tactician, was second at the top mark and
eighth at the finish line; James Dill's MENACE, with Dave Ullman in the
afterguard, was third at the top mark and seventh at the finish. While
other boats scrambled in the crowd to gain an early low-point score in the
series, SISSBELLA kept her lead to win Race 1. A second in Race 2 race puts
this boat, with tactician Flavio Favini, into the lead after two races.
"We were in the right position, at the right time," said Francesco Iacono,
owner of E.T.I.C.A., the Italian entry who won Race 2. Oscillations from
220 degrees to 310 degrees were reported, but E.T.I.C.A. tacticians Daniele
Cassinari and Marco De Natale put their bets on a left-hand trend-and they
won. E.T.I.C.A. was first at the finish of Race 2, despite a match-race
with European classmate SISSABELLA in the last 300 meters of the race.
Tides of 7 to 11 feet are reported by local sailors in this region. The
E.T.I.C.A. crew went out this morning to clock current speed and
direction--estimated the top end of today's currents at approximately 2
knots. -- Cynthia Goss
1. SISSABELLA, Luca Bassani, Monte Carlo, MONACO 1-2 (3) 2. USA 65,
Michael Dressell/Al Hobart, Shelburne, VT, 3-4 (7) 3. E.T.I.C.A., Francesco
Iacono, Milan, ITALY, 9-1 (10) 3. DOWNHILL EXPRESS, Tom and Cindy Hirsch,
Durham, NH, 4-6 (10) 5. USA 48, Ed Collins/Barry Allardice, West Dover, VT,
11-5(16) 6. MENACE James Dill, Jr. New Suffolk, NY, USA, 10-7 (17) 7.
CAPRICORNO JR, Allesandro del Bono, Milan, ITALY 6-15 (21) 8. EXCALIBUR,
Roland Arthur, Roanoke, TX, 8-14 (22) 9. CRIME SCENE, Nick & Sandy Malakis,
Annapolis, MD, 20-3 (23) 10. THALIA, JB Braun/Bob Shear, Marblehead, MA,
MAXI ONE-DESIGN RACING
(The following is an excerpt from a feature by Barry Pickthall in the
December issue of Seahorse magazine.)
The world of sailing has had its fair share of big hitters, but none
perhaps with the ambitions of Ernesto Bertarelli, the 34-year-old head of
Swiss pharmaceutical group Ares-Serono SA, who has taken a controlling
interest in developing a Formula One-style world series for an eight-strong
fleet of 80ft one-design maxis.
There was Mike Vanderbilt, the American railroad heir whose wealth and
drive kept the America's Cup firmly bolted down with the magnificent - and
definitive - J Class defenders Enterprise, Rainbow and Ranger. Then there
were the British, aircraft manufacturer Thomas Sopwith, with two
Endeavours, and tea baron Thomas Lipton, who made no fewer than five
(failed) attempts on the Holy Grail with a succession of Shamrocks. But
none could ever boast having eight maxi yachts at their disposal.
Bertarelli, the major shareholder in the $5 billion publically quoted
Ares-Serono, has no such interest in the America's Cup, but he does have
plans to make an impressive splash by taking his fleet of yachts to
prestigious corners of the world and put on a headline grabbing spectacle.
'These boats are very exciting to sail, and because they are all equal they
can generate extremely close racing. They produce a spectacle, and, with
on-board cameras, helicopter coverage and top names at the wheel, it's a
perfect sport for TV,' says Bertarelli.
Putting money where the proverbial mouth lies, he paid to bring 100 or more
top sailors from the America's Cup, Admiral's Cup and Whitbread Race to
compete on five of the Bruce Farr Maxi One-designs (formerly Grand
Mistral/Ericsson 80s) at the recent Sardinia Cup series at Porto Cervo. And
to underline his own competitive streak, he beat them all in a tightly
fought six-race series. It was no walk-over, however, for though his Swiss
team won three of the heats, the final result went to the wire. 'The Swiss
sailed extremely well. The boats are very close in speed and Ernesto and
his crew were simply the most consistent. They deserved to win,' conceded
Silk Cut skipper Lawrie Smith, whose British entry won the first race but
Bertarelli was ecstatic, not only with winning, but with the support he
gained during the week for the series of major regattas and long-distance
races planned for next year. Having bought the five-strong former Grand
Mistral fleet from BIL, the original Grand Mistral bank, that had developed
cold feet over another revival scheme proposed by Pierre Fehlmann,
Bertarelli has funded the completion of the three boats left part-built
near Marseilles and has guaranteed a multi-million dollar world
championship series in 1999.
The World Series kicks off with the Caribbean Cup; Key West in January, the
500-mile Montego Bay Race in February, the Heineken St Maarten Regatta, and
the Heineken International Cup in Puerto Rico in March . This will be
followed by a fleet race to break the transatlantic monohull record from
New York to the Lizard in April, when the weather promises its worst.
The new class' world championship, now ratified by ISAF, is made up of the
North Sea Race and North Sea Regatta in May, Kiel Week and a 300-mile race
on to Stockholm in June - in time to compete in the Round Gotland Race on 4
July. Then, at the end of July, and with a nod to tradition, the fleet will
congregate at Cowes for the 220-mile Channel Race and four races within
Skandia Cowes Week, before setting off on the decider: the Fastnet classic.
The year rounds off with four separate seven-race series, in Lisbon at the
end of August, Porto Cervo and Cannes in September, finishing at Monaco in
early October. -- Barry Pickthall
For the full story:
Santa has been seen leaving the offices of Pacific Yacht Embroidery and
Imprintables. Could it be that a lot of racers are going to be surprised at
Christmas? For you appreciative boat owners and crew call Frank Whitton
(619-226-8033) for your holiday needs. He can produce that something
special for you. Time is flying though and don't wait until its too late to
deliver before the holidays!!!
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(Letters may be edited for space (250 words max) and clarity and anything
resembling a personal attack will quickly disappear!)
>> From Chris Ericksen -- My vote for Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year? Becky
Lenhart! According to Scuttlebutt #217, she sailed for two of the top
three teams in the Jean Schenk Memorial Regatta! Very impressive!
>> From professional sailor Hartwell Jordan -- I agree 100 % with Jeff
Trask's comments about TEAM EFL as the Rolex "YACHTSMAN OF THE YEAR".
Nominating one person, would be criminal in this case.
I never considered TEAM EFL as underdogs. I matched up their crew, man for
man with the race favorites before the regatta started. In all cases, they
were very strong to say the least.
Please do not underestimate my respect for all the other sailors nominated.
However, the Volvo Trophy regatta encompassed all the same variables of a
day race or World Championship regatta. Starts, wind shifts, tide,
tactics, navigation, weather, crewing, etc. The long list is the same.
Plus, it had the added difficulty of extreme conditions. The high level of
concentration and focus, not to mention the safety concerns are mind
numbing. J-24 World Championships can not compare here. I mean these guys
were trying to save their own lives at times! Watch the videos! Clearly to
even think about winning this event, a group must employ the very best,
most professional sailors and individuals in our sport. O.K., EFL did that
in many opinions. They proved it in the end by winning large!
To the EFL TEAM members I do not get to see on a regular basis,
Congratulations to all of you! You are my heroes and set the best example
for youth sailing I can imagine! I stress the term "TEAM" when I suggest
TEAM EFL for Rolex "YACHTSMAN OF THE YEAR".
>> From Jon Little -- To reply to Fred Jones: If designers are smarter than
rulemakers and rulemakers are designers then designers are smarter than
themselves. This is quite obviously the problem. If owners didn't build
new boats then the sport would always be the same but we would never
advance making the sport dull. See what I mean? Me neither
>> From Neil W. Humphrey -- I believe John Mooney's comments reaffirm my
call that the dividing line between pro and amateur be clear. The Olympics
for decades were a prime example of the confusion of what is pro and what
is not. One only has to remember the dominance of Eastern Bloc athletes
being pros under the guise of being in military service. The Olympics sadly
and finally got their head out of the sand bringing in real pros and
letting big business make Olympic events VERY PROFITABLE and POPULAR.
As for playing on the same field as professionals in sailing this too is
confusing in our present situation. There are very few 8 by 5 professionals
in our sport although many consider sailmakers, chandlers, designers and
the like as pros. This is humorous as it is like saying the person who
makes the St. Louis Slugger baseball bat or the Bauer hockey skates is a
pro when playing on the weekend. Finally, consider how in our sport the
lack of clarity and having a plan to address pros, a amateur farm system
and big business has caused our great sport to maybe wallow in growth and
popularity when compared to other sports.
>> From Skip Ely -- The SC52 Owners Association has been debating the
professional vs amatuear issue. We are not in complete agreement on the
wording of the requirements yet. However we do agree that there will be
pros on our yachts, and that we will require the drivers be owners or
novices most of the time.
Mr. Mohler's position is that Yacht racing is a lot like Motorcycle racing.
Come on! If as Mr. Mohler suggests novices not be allowed to race with the
"big Boys", on what would the "big boys" race. The beauty of yacht racing
is that the experts and the novices can participate together. Most if not
all of my racing skills have been fostered by time I have spent on my own,
or others, yachts in the company of and competing against expert sailors.
Pro sailors are not necessarily experts, and many expert sailors have
chosen to do other things professionally. Most of the pro's I know have
developed their skill on other people's yachts. If you separate the pros
from the novices there will be no pros!
The solution to this issue will involve compromises which must allow the
novices and yacht owners to enjoy their particiapation, and provide the
experts with challenges which further their expertise. Remember yacht
racing IS a "rich guys" sport, if it weren't for the rich guys we would all
be sailing Lasers. Hmmm doesn't a new Laser cost around $6000.00 these
days. Hey you can buy a decent motorcycle for $6000 also.
>> From Dobbs Davis -- I throw my opinion in with Jon Gardner and Mike
Donnelly on the PFD issue. There are inherent challenges associated with
racing sailboats, and some of them are dangerous. By choosing to
participate, we accept these risks, and accept, as adults, the
responsibility to make our own decisions to best handle those risks. Why
can't US Sailing allow us to behave as adults?
Is it any coincidence that the PFD rule comes from an organization based in
Newport, where the water temps rarely go above 70 degrees? Maybe they
should soften their blanket 'rule' into a 'guideline' so that local areas
can decide what's appropriate. Here in the Chesapeake, they waived it off
for the season, in deference to those unbearably hot, windless summer days
of sailing. And in NO way are PFD's like seatbelts!
>> Chris Welsh -- How many sailors have been lost due to PFD issue? A
hand-full, internationally. How many sailors have been hurt or lost to
drunk driving/boating on the way home from the yacht club? More than I can
count on one hand among people I know of.
Recreational boating accident statistics reflect this across the board.
Objectively, it appears we are worrying about the risks we perceive, not
what the statistics show the actual risks are. (P.S. I do not favor banning
alcohol at sailing events - talk about a sailing popularity killer...)
If you like to read big print you'll love the way Scuttlebutt looks on
Yacht Club Racing website. And it has background music too. Check it out:
AMERICA'S CUP HABERDASHERY
>> "After all, he is Mr America's Cup." This from the sales team at
Canterbury of New Zealand Ltd, who are delighted to be signing a
manufacturing/sponsorship deal for sports wear with Team Dennis Conner.
Dennis arrives in New Zealand tomorrow for the official announcement of
Canterbury's association with Stars & Stripes 2000 and its America's Cup
campaign. For us, we are giving up commenting on New Zealand companies
aligning themselves with the opposition. We're out-numbered! -- Excerpt
from DEFENCE 2000 which is available from John@roake.gen.nz for US $48 per
>> Line 7 will once again be providing crew uniforms for Team New Zealand
when it defends the America's Cup in 2000. The well-known New Zealand
sports clothing brand also supplied the crew gear for Team New Zealand when
they won the Cup in San Diego in 1995.
To complement its exclusive clothing supplier status, Line 7 has also been
awarded worldwide exclusive rights for all apparel associated with the
America's Cup 2000 logo and the prestigious mark of the America's Cup
itself. The apparel licensees for America's Cup 2000 and the Cup logo will
assist in developing new markets for the Line 7 brand. The first designs in
the America's Cup and America's Cup 2000 clothing range are now available
from selected retailers.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Money is the opposite of weather. Nobody talks about it but everyone does
something about it.