SCUTTLEBUTT #223 -- November 23, 1998
MUMM 30 WORLDS
When Luca Bassani's SISSABELLA sailed to the starting line Friday morning
to begin the final day of racing at the 1998 Mumm 30 World Championships,
they were the only boat in the fleet that never dropped below a fourth
place in this series. But a 15th in the first, light air race of the day
changed their status, but the boat still lead the series.
In the final race, Bassani and his crew needed to sail clean and preserve
their winning points. They needed, as Bassani said, "to keep one eye on USA
48 [their closest competition], and keep one eye on the regatta." But, "We
did not have to come in first in the last race," said Bassani. They still
finished the final race in first place.
Winds for the series ranged from light, 5- to 7-knot breezes to 20- to
23-knot blows. And, in a region where tides are normally 7 to 8 feet,
playing the current was very much part of the game. -- Cynthia Goss
Final Results -- 1. SISSABELLA, Luca Bassani, Monte Carlo (26) 2. USA 48,
Ed Collins/Barry Allardice, West Dover, VT (42) 3. OFF THE GAUGE, Jack
LeFort, Stuart, FL (47) 4. USA 65, Michael Dressell/Al Hobart, Shelburne,
VT (59) 5. MENACE, James Dill, Jr. New Suffolk, NY (61) 6. SECTOR,
Francesco Iacono, Milan, ITALY (64) 7. CAPRICORNO JR., Allesandro del Bono,
Milan, ITALY (64) 8. MALINDA, Sodo Migliori/Mezzaroma, Rome, ITALY (72) 9.
TROUBLE, Garland/Keyworth/Shulman, Barrington, RI, (72) 10. STEADFAST, Fred
Sherratt Toronto, CANADA (75).
FRENCHMAN'S REEF INTERNATIONAL MATCH RACE
The St. Thomas Yacht Club and Team Caribbean, organizers of the Dec. 9-13
Marriott Frenchman's Reef International Match Race, announced the eight
skippers who will compete for the $25,000 prize purse. Included are six of
the top-ten ranked match racing sailors in the world and the winner of the
recent Whitbread Round the World Race. All eight are affiliated with
America's Cup teams that plan to challenge for sailing's most prestigious
trophy beginning next year in Auckland, New Zealand.
Heading the list of competitors next month in St. Thomas is the world's
number one and current World Champion Peter Gilmour. The Australian, who
is the designated skipper for the Japanese America's Cup Challenge, is the
only skipper to have won the World Championship two years in a row, having
won last year in Sweden and earlier this month in Japan.
Holding down the number two position in the world rankings is Chris Law of
Great Britain. Law returns as the defending champion of the Marriott
Frenchman's Reef International Match Race. This year he posted wins at
Spanish, Slovenia and Hoyal Royal Lymington evnts and was a finalist at the
CIGNA Knickerbocker Cup where he lost to Gilmour. He represents England's
Royal Dorset Yacht Club's challenge for the America's Cup.
St. Thomas native Peter Holmberg, number three in the rankings, was a
finalist in last year's event. He is the co-founder and skipper of Team
Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands America's Cup Challenge. Holmberg
sailed to victories at this year's Congressional Cup, the St. Francis Match
Race and the Trofeo Challenge in Italy.
Gavin Brady, a New Zealander currently living in Annapolis, Maryland, is
the fourth ranked skipper in the world. Just 24 years-old, he has raised
his profile by winning the 1998 Ullman Cup in Norway, placing third at the
Hoya Royal Lymington Cup and helming Chessie Racing in the Whitbread Round
the World Race. He recently signed on with the America True America's Cup
syndicate in San Francisco.
At number five, Frenchman Bertrand Pace has climbed back into the top ten
after months of inactivity due to a broken arm. The designated skipper for
the Yaka Challenge, Pace has been involved with three French America's Cup
teams in the past, most recently as tactician in 1995.
Also from France, Luc Pillot is currently ranked tenth in the world. He
holds a gold medal from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 470 Class and has
won the French Match Racing Championship in 1994 and 1997, the Yava Trophy
in Russia in 1996 and 1997, and the Nations Cup Group B Qualifier in 1995.
Paul Cayard, the winner of the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race, will
be in St. Thomas representing the America One Challenge for the America's
Cup. One of the best known and highest regarded sailors in the world,
Cayard has competed in four America's Cup competitions, six world
championships and countless international events.
Rounding out the field in St. Thomas is James Spithill, a 19 year-old
newcomer to the international match racing scene. Spithill has worked his
way up to the 66th position on the world rankings after beginning his
sailing career on windsurfers and dinghies. He is a member of the
Australia Challenge for the America's Cup. -- Gay Larsen
The official Web site of the event:
In January 1999 the world's best sailors, coaches and officials will
descend on Melbourne to contest one of the largest international sailing
events ever staged, the 1999 World Sailing Championships on Port Phillip.
With the support of the Victorian State Government, the Melbourne Major
Events Corporation and Tourism Victoria, the Victorian Yachting Council has
secured the rights to host the first concurrent conduct of 15 World
Championships, of which seven are country qualification events for the
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
The classes involved include the 49er, Laser, Laser Masters, Soling, Finn,
International Cadet, International 14, 470 (men and women) Mistral (men and
women) Europe (men and women) A Class, Tornado, and the Hobie 17 & 18:
-- 15 world championships
-- 55 countries
-- 1800 competitors
-- 1200 competitors boats
-- 150 officials
-- 900 volunteers
-- 9 host clubs
The sailing instructions are now available:
If you don't know what MDT stands for now, you will. Soon. Technically it
stands for Multi Directional Threading, but what is means is lighter,
stronger and sooo affordable. Ullman Sails have built more than 300 of
these Compound Sails with Stitchless Technology from fiber/film components
that address the loading patterns in a modern tri-radial. Check out the
Ullman Sails website to lean why they work and while you're there, get a
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 Bruce Vandeventerre -- (Re: Skip Ely, pro/am, and motorcycle racing
vs. sailing) The main reason the AMA provides a tiered licensing system for
motorcycle road racing is probably because people get killed every year
doing it and the insurance/legal issues force this. The bike guys do have
some good things going for them, however. First, most road races have some
contingency money. If you win on company X's tires, or bike, etc, you could
pick up a few hundred bucks to maybe a grand. Yamaha also has contingency
money for their water vehicles program, by the way. Pro races have cash
prizes that, with contingency money, are enough to keep a handful of them
on the road each year.
Another thing is there is essentially no restriction on advertising. This
makes it much easier for people to cultivate local sponsorship to support
their program. The costs of putting together a racing program are similar
to sailing - you can go club racing for a few grand, while at the top end
you have riders pulling down seven figure salaries, million dollar bike
leases, and so forth. And the Aussies are big in bike racing. Hmm -- is
there a connection?
>> From Cliff Thompson -- Response to Neil W. Humphrey and Skip Ely re
Amateur vs Pro. One of the hardest things we had to do in the Schock 35
Class was how to decide the amateur vs pro question.
Curmudgeon's comments -- Although the Schock 35 class does not require
owners to steer their boats, they have very restrictive rules about MIRs
(Marine Industry Racers). They are much stricter than the 1D35s and Farr
40s rules which restrict Category 3 drivers while allowing a bunch of them
on the boats. And then there are the J/120 class rules which require the
owner to steer, but allows several (3 I think) MIRs. Pick your poison. Here
in SoCal the $250,000 J/120 seems to be growing the fastest.
>> From Ike Stephenson -- (In response to the PFD Debate.) I will not
dispute almost all cases you are safer on the water wearing a PFD. I think
the problem is- what right does US Sailing have to make these mandates ?
It is, to me, primarily a question of individual rights. You either think
US Sailing has the right or you don't. This is one of many reasons I am no
longer a member. I don't feel they have the right. Further, most of my
sailing is single handed and quite often I wear a life jacket. However, I
have no need to have my rights infringed upon by US Sailing.
>> From Bob Merrick -- In 'Butt #219 Jay Sinclair asked, "How do we get the
masses to get excited about a sport they can not watch on TV?" I couldn't
agree more, but how do you make sailing exciting to viewers who don't
understand the tactics of the sport (not to mention the rest of us)?
The answer is simple. Show small fast exciting boats, sailed by athletes,
zooming around short racecourses. This is exciting for even a non-sailor to
watch. Sure the Americas Cup boats are fast but what looks more exciting?
Picture a 49er or Tornado flying down wind, trying to stay upright, spray
flying and total carnage every once in a while. Then picture an Americas
cup sailor shooting his radar gun or making the big decision to duck or tack.
Maybe the announcers will have to talk about something other than how much
money the boats cost, but on the up side maybe sailing will lose its
elitist image. I'm not saying we should fabricate some hokey event to look
good on TV, that's been tried with little success. I would love to see the
Tornado or 49er Worlds on television. These kind of events are visually
exciting and they don't sell out on traditional sailing skills to do it.
US Sailing is a political body. Some of the similarities between them and
our august governmental leaders are: they make politically inspired half
measure compromises for rules. Such as put the PFD on near the RC boat,
take it off during the actual race and then put in on again for the finish?
Does that not sound illogical ?
US Sailing/ the government obviously think they are there to make rules
regardless of what is said. Did you ever think that sometimes, you have to
respect the rights of individuals, rather than make self righteous rulings
? That is my take on this issue.
>> From Brian Trubovich -- I read with interest your quoting of Marcus
Hutchinson re the Auckland housing shortage for the Americas Cup next year,
yes, there will be a shortage, but I'd be interested to learn what his
solution is. In this country private developers build the housing, and no
developer will outlay millions of dollars in order to hopefully let the
housing for 5 months during the cup, and then go broke afterwards. N.Z.
relied heavily on Asian tourists and students and investors to rent or buy
housing that dried up some time ago. The government doesn't build much, and
certainly not for yachting events, and I don't think that is Team N.Z. core
business. I feel sorry for those that will miss out, but for the intrepid I
would suggest that there will always be a way, e.g. renting through real
estate agents, house swapping, etc. Anyone who needs help in this respect,
contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org, give me your detailed
requirements and I will be happy to advise you, if not actually find you
accommodation -- not 57 miles away!
Curmudgeon's comment -- Brian Trubovich sounds like a helpful chap, but I
do not know him nor has he been recommended by anyone I do know. Soooo,
you're on your own on this one.
This weekend at the Alamitos Bay YC's Turkey Day Regatta there was a lot of
talk about the 1999 Melges 24 Worlds are being held at ABYC next year on
November 4 to 14. ABYC always does a great job, and Long Beach is a
wonderful place to race but not in November. The most wind we saw this
past weekend was maybe 7 knots. If Sharon Green bothers to show up '99
Melges 24 Worlds, the most exciting photo opportunities may be at the parties.
RHOUTE DU RHUM
The Franco Swiss navigator, Laurent Bourgnon, aboard his trimaran Primagaz
won the 6th edition of the Route du Rhum, trans-atlantic single-handed
sailing race. He has become, at 32 years of age, the first skipper to win
this race two times, following his victory in 1994.
Laurent covered nearly 7000 kilometers separating Saint Malo, France and
Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe in 12 days, 8 hours, 41 minutes and 6 seconds,
beating his own record set in 1994 by 1 day, 21 hours, 47 minutes and 23
Behind Laurent is Alain Gautier aboard Broceliande. Gautier, who was only
10 miles away from the winner, had lost any chance of racing alongside
Bourgnon when he hit a whale. Gautier arrived 3 hours, and 13 minutes after
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.