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SCUTTLEBUTT #225 -- November 25, 1998

America True, Dawn Riley's San Francisco Yacht Club's challenger for America's Cup 2000, has begun construction of their first America's Cup Class boat with James Betts Enterprises of Truckee, CA. "We wrapped up our initial tank-testing program and delivered the lines to our first new boat last week and started actual construction Monday," said Phil Kaiko, America True's lead designer.

The America True sailing team will leave for Auckland on December 1 for an intensive 4-month training and testing session on recently purchased USA-39. The lessons on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf will be integrated into the design components. America True is right on time toward the Louis Vuitton Cup, starting October 18th, 1999, less than one year away. -- Grace Kim

The America True web site:

It was a 2-boat show as Australians Mitch Booth and Darren Bundock, who are not really what could be called friendly towards each other, picked up exactly where they left off in the South Americans, doing their 1-2 bit on the fleet, swapping places in the two races of the day. There was no current and wind was 10 kts, gradually increasing during the race to 15, with a current steadily building.

In race #1 Bundock had a great start, unusual for him, and lead all the way, finishing 45 seconds ahead of, who had to work for it after rounding the 1st mark barely in the top 10. He had blazing downwind speed and worked his way steadly up past some of the wolrd's best. Second, third, and fourth most of the race were Polgar (GER), Le Peutrec (FRA), and Andy Hagara (AUT), who were overrun by Booth on the last downwind. This race had a rythm, the best sides were left/left/right on the three upwinds, but the next race was more difficult.

Race 2 went off clean on the first start, as the current had built considerably and was pushing boats away from the line, something most sailors didn't see happening. Booth went deep into the right corner, and he then lead the race all the way. Bundock had to work a little to keep '96 Gold Medalist Leon (ESP) off of him, but finally broke free and coasted to 2nd, about a minute back of Booth. Leon was 3rd the whole time, with defending champion Gaebler (GER) 4th and 'Ronaldo' von Teylingen (NED) 5th.

This race offered a tougher time for all, with weird current effects. While the leaders stayed constant, there was lots of shifting back in the fleet. Winds for race 2 were 15 kts at the start, going up to 17-18 kts in the middle, and then slowly fading down to 14 kts at the finish, with little shifting at all. -- Jim Young

For the full story:

Official website (in Portuguese -- good luck):

(The following is a special report from Charlie Ogletree and John Lovell.) Day one of the Worlds is complete. Today's racing was windy and physically challenging. The wind ranged from 15 to 20 knots and the waves were very choppy with a ground swell. This made for a lot of kinetics upwind and downwind. We finished with a 9th in race one and a 13th in race two. Both races we battled all the way around the race track with the leaders. We finished as the top North American boat in both races. Mitch Booth and Darren Bundock, both of Australia, traded off firsts and seconds. We need to find the 6th gear they have to sail as fast as they do in the high winds.

The starts have been very aggressive in both regattas. In race one, after two general recalls we started under a Black Flag with several boats being over and disqualified. Race 2 got underway okay under the "I" Flag. We had two excellent starts which allowed us to round the first mark well in both races. This is very important in an 85 boat fleet since clear air rules.

We are recovering tonight and getting ready for day 2. We have raked our mast back halfway between the "standard" and the Australian system. This is new for us so we are learning new mast and jib settings. The speed is improving and we are keeping an open mind and trying to match the Aussies.

>> Webmeister supreme David McCreary wrote to let us know that the Sailing Instructions for the 1999 World Sailing championships s are now available on line:

>> And you might want to check out the growing list of entries for GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week (Lord, what a mouthful). Also, if you're looking for a crew, there are a ton of experienced people with postings on the official regatta website -- most of whom are more than happy to pay for their own transportation and lodging:


Instead of sewing the seams, Ullman Sails is using the Ultra Bond System to "glue" them. This reduces the need for extra seam reinforcement, seam overlap, and heavy bond patches making the sail lighter which also makes them smoother and more efficient. They've been tested in 30 different types of sails, from 470's to sleds, and distributing them around the world to test them in a variety of conditions. The results of these tests were:
--Reduced seam distortion
-- Sails maintain their shape 30% longer
-- Zero failure rate - more durable than sewn seams
-- Reduced weight minimizing heeling and pitching moments
-- Spinnakers had less wind escape - no stitching holes

Letters may be edited for space (250 words max) and clarity and anything resembling a personal attack will quickly disappear!

>> From Jeff Trask -- Here, here to Peter Johnstone! Let's get the program together with a meeting this January. We need to get yacht club directors, junior program directors, industry mavens, US Sailing directors, ESPN/Outdoor Channel/Speedvision and the magazine editors sitting in the same room putting this plan together. From what I can tell, most of the people on the 'Butt chain are probably the same ones that should be in that room. We can really do something good here. If not now, when? I'll be there!

>> From Colin Case -- I haven't even gotten to the end of Peter Johnstone's comments, but you ought to run them again; and again. He is absolutely correct about promoting the sport. Does anyone remember the Ultimate 30s ? The video of the 1990 race in San Francisco was some of what TV and sailing need. And probably the best point of all, any boat is a good and fun platform. Remember the late Bob Smith's "A Boat is a Boat ?"

>> From Darrel Lager -- I attended a talk the other night and the speaker, when talking about crew assignments, used the Spanish words for "rail meat", carne boronga, or carne and the Spanish word for rail, whatever that is. Does anyone know the right word, and for that matter what is "rail meat" in other languages like french and dutch?

(The joy of leadmine crewing - to be called derogatory terms in languages you don't understand...)

>> From Dieter Loibner, Small boat enthusiast and sailing scribe -- As a kid I learned the basics of sailing on a lake in the Austrian Alps that has so few sailable days, it seems frozen in perma-glass. In the summer the water temperature tops 75 degrees, yet we wore life jackets, because otherwise we weren't allowed to leave the dock. Like tying shoelaces, wearing a life jacket became a habit. And it saved my life many times over. In fact, the PFD worked so well, I never worried about the race committee (or U.S. Sailing) having to tell me what to do.

Having raced single-handed dinghies and small catamarans in extreme conditions for more than 25 years, I found myself in the drink countless times. A cursory selection of incidents includes Malmo, Sweden, Medemblik, Holland, Lake Balaton, Hungary, off Berkeley pier in San Francisco Bay, Hyeres, France, Lake Garda, Italy; and a spot half way between Dana Point and Catalina on a tranquil summer day in barely 10 knots of breeze, watching the unmanned boat sail away after a backward summersault with a broken trapeze wire.

Maybe it is my perspective as a small boat sailor that makes wearing a PFD appealing. Maybe Europeans are more obedient, dutifully throwing on life jackets when the RC flies code flag Y. I don't go by science or statistics, but my old man's advice: shit can and will happen, no matter what size boat, no matter what level of skill. Even champions like Larry Klein, Makoto Namba and Eric Tabarly couldn't defy that.

>> From Frank Gleberman -- The Ocean and Mother Nature are wonderful. We all take risks sailing 'round the buoys, flying to French Polynesia, crossing the street, sailing the open ocean, driving to the market or ambling down the stairs.

Seems to me that the controversy on Scuttlebutt regarding required use of PFD's is healthy and created by the spirit of respect for human life. Let's face it . . . to win in competition, we all cross the line to where we're not in complete control of our vessel.

Since that situation occurs from time to time, you and I and everyone else who loves sailing are each brought to the point of making a choice. As long as my choice will not place a fellow crew member in harm's way, I hope that I can retain the right to make that choice instead of Big Brother legislating if for me.

There are no absolute guarantees in life, are there?

>> From Fred Jones -- I believe the question a couple of issues ago was, "How many sailors drowned in 1997 in the U.S. in organized sailboat competition?" I have seen nothing since from the pro-PFD crowd or US Sailing to document a single fatality so I am left to ponder why we are stuck with this ridiculous rule.

The question was very straight forward and simple. All US Sailing had to do was document their findings and research. I take it there was none--other than the usual anecdotal evidence and gossip. When they have been cornered on this issue they hide behind the notion that all they were trying to do was to provoke some "thoughtful discussion" about the issue. That sounds to me like someone who sets the house on fire to see if the fire department is awake.

If US Sailing would like to truely engage in some "thoughtful discussion", how about discussing ways to put more people on the race course, not alienate the ones that are already there. Club racing in this country is declining and that is the base of support for US Sailing. Without the club racers (and their money-translation-dues), there will be no US Sailing. Without the guys at the local level to support them monetarily, US Sailing will cease to exist. Maybe that would be a good thing.

>> From Marc Hollerbach -- In response to Glenn T. McCarthy (in Butt #221) and the Orwellian officials at USSailing: I've been around sailing all my life and come close to being lost twice. I've lost good friends and not-so-good friends. I now wear an inflatable PFD whenever conditions warrant (high winds, big seas, nightime, those sorts of things). But I do it because I choose to do so, not because you, or anyone else who has a some power over a narrow aspect of my life, forces me. (oh, except at the start and finish lines)

I personally absolve you and US Sailing from feeling any guilt if, through my own stupidity I am ever lost at sea. Now please, get out of my life and get back to running sailboat races.

A 'new look' MEXORC Regatta is scheduled for February 28 through March 3, 1999. The schedule calls for six races on four consecutive days, without the traditional mid-regatta lay day. There will be four windward / leeward races, a 26-mile race out to the islands and back, plus a Gold Cup course.

The regatta is being held immediately following the Del Rey YC's race to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Banderas Bay. The regatta organizers expect 40 entries with the 70 footers leading the way. Already there are commitments from eight Class A boats including Sorcery, Taxi Dancer, Mongoose and Turbosleds Vicki, Magnitude, Renegade, Zephyrus and Front Runner. Additionally, there will be an IOR Class, Capri 37's and PHRF handicap classes. Once again, Rolex is sponsoring the event and all class winners will get a swell watch.

Participants are asked to contact Frank Whitton for entry information. But do it early so that dock space can be set aside. or 619/226-8033

Three Ways to Maintain Boatspeed Downwind in Light Air: 1. Minimize steering, the rudder is only an inefficient way to steer the boat... it turns the boat by braking right, or braking left. A bit of leeward heel to head the boat up and a slight heel to winward or flat to bear off!

2. Keep your weight centered, together and low. Crew weight out of the ends of the boat so you are not dragging the stern; keep your crew sitting together to reduce hobby-horsing; and if they can stand it get your crew as low as possible, i.e. under the water line is best to allow the boat to punch through any chop.

3. Remember to sail up in the lulls (for more speed), and down in the puffs (to stay near rhumbline and sail in the puff longer). -- The Coach @

The trade winds have still failed to materialise, and the whole of the monohull fleet and the remaining multis in the Route du Rhum are struggling to make their way to a long awaited finish in Guadaloupe. These are very testing conditions, the heat is tiring and the sail changes endless as each skipper fights to get the most from their boat in light and variable conditions.

Event website:

Like most civilized Americans, the curmudgeon is going celebrated Thanksgiving as a four-day holiday. However, I plan to set my VCR to record Gary Jobson's Cigna Knickerbocker Cup match racing show that airs on either ESPN on Saturday at 3:00 PM PST.

Everything in moderation ... but don't over do it.