Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT #231 -- December 7, 1998

(Lauderdale YC, 40 boats) Saturday - Big ocean swell and increasing wind made today one of those kind of days that make us all thankful for owning, and sailing a Melges. Once again the weather was great, with morning showers and partly cloudy skies. The first race we saw 10-12 knots of breeze and the fleet got off the line with only Harry Melges over early. We had great speed and rounded the first mark at the front of the pack. Three laps later, Harry had sailed so fast that he was only few boats back from us. Mike Toppa with Vince Brun sailed cleanly and they led most of the way around the course. Argyle Campbell, who led after the first day of racing, finished third, we finished fifth, and Ullman finished eighth.

During the break between races the wind came on. It increased to 15-20 with the waves and swells getting bigger. The start of the second race had quite a few boats over early, including us. We rounded the weather mark in second to last and had our work cut out for us. The downwind rides were fantastic. We pumped and surfed and picked off a bunch of boats. Harry had an incredible lead on the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, he was one of those that were called over early, but we found out later that he didn't go back and restart.

Sunday -- The race committee surprised us by just having one race today, and some of use could have used another race! Once again the weather was terrific with not as much breeze as yesterday and a little cooler. The weather has been perfect for racing and the venue is wonderful. All in all this was a great regatta. LYC did a fine job across the board, and the haul out this afternoon was well organized, and speedy.

The tie for first place was smashed by Brian Porter. He sailed fast and lead around the course, but was beaten by Morgan Reeser steering Neil Sullivan's boat. The #20 boat from Annapolis took two bullets in the regatta, and the only other boat to do that was Harry Melges. Harry finished third in the final race and was fifth overall. - Jessica Lord

Final results:
1.PORTER, BRIAN (26) 2. ELLIOT, SCOTT ( 30) 3. SULLIVAN, NEIL (34) 4. ULLMAN, DAVID (34) 5. MELGES, HARRY(37) 6. CAMPBELL, ARGYLE (37) 7. AYERS, BRUCE (46) 8. BUCHALTER, DARIN (48) 9. SUDDATH, STEVE (52) 10.BATZER, KEN (53) 11.TOPPA, MIKE (54) 12.PORTER, JOHN (59) 13. LORD, JESSICA (59) 14.HUGHES, ROBERT (65) 15. CLARK, (78)

Compete results:

Australia's current 49er World Champion, Chris Nicholson has been beaten in the second regatta of the Schneider 49er Series, by fellow countryman Adam Beashel and his crew, Teague Czislowski.
Sailed from Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron this afternoon in light winds of 8-10 knots, the two Australians went into the final race of the regatta on equal points, with the regatta to be decided in the final race.

Beashel went into the final race of the day having finished the previous race in first position, over a minute ahead of his nearest competitor. Primed for a big finish, both Beashel and Nicholson had disappointing starts, with the Budgens getting off to a good start and leading most of the way. With Beashel and Nicholson both back in the field, the Budgens went on to win the race. Beashel, realizing the importance of the race, lead Nicholson from the first mark, going over the line in seventh position, two places ahead of Nicholson.

In the 470 Class, Australia's youngsters, Nathan Wilmott and Daniel Smith came away with a great win, finishing ten points ahead of their nearest rivals, Jamie Roberts and Adrian Manning. Tom King and Mark Turnball finished in third position.

The Series now moves to Sydney for the Sydney International Regatta, which kicks of on December 18. The Schneider 49er Series will also continue at the Sydney International Regatta, with another strong fleet expected to attend the event.

49 Finals -- 1. Adam Beashel / Teague Czislowski (18) 2. Chris Nicholson / Ed Smyth (19) 3. Marc Audineau / Julien Farnarier (28) 4. John Boyd / Gary Boyd (30) 5. Morgan Larson / Kevin Hall (33)

Event website:

America True's Gavin Brady was won the NZ National Match Racing Championships held on the Waitemata Harbour. The win comes on the back of a third placing in the ISAF World match racing Championships, in Japan, last month. Brady reversed the Round Robin finshing positions to beat Chris Dickson 2-0 in the best of three finals sailed today.

In the petite Final, local skipper, Dean Salthouse beat Prada's Francesco de Angelis 2-1 , to take thrird place in the regatta.

Dickson started the regatta in strong style winning every match in the double round robin to finish with 18 wins - not bad after a three year break from match racing, and just a few days after his return from the Tornado Worlds in Brazil. Brady had a good Round Robin one finishing with just one loss to Dickson, but stumbled in the second round robin losing to America True's John Cutler, Dickson, Dean Salthouse, and another local skipper Brian Trubovich.

In the semi-finals, Dickson elected to sail against Salthouse winning 2-0. Brady didn't have it all his own way in the other semi- going to one all against de Angelis, before taking the decider. John Cutler took fifth place in the regatta, with Prada's Torben Grael finishing sixth both with nine wins from the two round robins. Local skippers took the remaining places in the series.

The regatta sailed at the time of year traditionally reserved for the Steinlager Line 7 Cup was not plagued with the normal gale force winds (which came through last weekend) and the regatta was sailed in a good mix of conditions with the final being held in 12-18knot NE breeze - ideal for match racing in the shelter of the Auckland Harbour. No members ofTeam NZ competed in the series. -- Richard Gladwell


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 winter 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 may be edited for space (250 words max) or clarity or to exclude personal attacks.

>> From Peter Huston -- To Steve Glassman - Beyond just the issue of hailing OCS boats, RC's and regatta managers need to create an open forum for discussion of all factors which pertain to racing enjoyment, well before a regatta or series begins, not the morning of the first race. What course configuration is preferred, both in shape and leg length? What time should racing start and end each day? Where should the race course be located? A web site provides this tool. Clubs and classes who hope to grow will use this technology to better learn the desires, and serve the interests, of their customers, the racing sailors.

>> From Hugh Elliot -- (re taking inflatable PFDs on commercial airlines)The obvious solution is to refrain from admitting that one is in possession of an inflatable life jacket. The real solution is to state that FAA Exemption #14 (I think - John Bonds knows the exact number) applies and that these devices are legal as carry on and checked baggage. What about the PFDs that the airlines demonstrate at the beginning of any over-water flight? Are they not substantially similar to our PFDs?

>> From Mike Guccione, DRYC Sail Committee Chair -- As the sail committee chairman for Del Rey Yacht club I am responsible for all sailing activities and policies. I would like to point out that Del Rey Yacht Club adopted a policy in April of 1998 of calling OCS's either by hailer and or VHF radio and we have followed this procedure ever since. Steve Glassman's comments were his personal comments and do not signal a change in Del Rey Yacht Club's policy.

>> Geoff Ewenson, Sailing for Sydney in 2000 (Concerning growing the sport)-- One area that has been touched upon but not really bitten into is the TV appeal or lack thereof within sailing. I watched recently with interest the televising of the 1998 Knockerbocker Cup held in New York City. The event held in J-105's had all the drama of a rerun of Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood. If I am left bored to tears by watching some poor rockstar from the Japanese Americas cup team freehand four feet up the headstay to untangle an unwieldy spinnaker, imagine what the guy is thinking who normally watches Nascar in the afternoon.

We all agree that in order for the sport to grow we need to broaden the base. Put everyone who wants to try it in an Escape and let them have a nice safe calm experience. If we show more big boats bobbing around in the murk of the Hudson I cannot imagine they will be beating down the doors of the local Escape dealer.

What about showing something that truly excites the senses. Kids are flipping on the tube and checking out Extreme in line skating, Snowboarding, Skiing, etc. I know that when I see Glen Plake going big off cliff it makes me feel ten foot tall and bulletproof. It is no wonder ESPN is dropping sailing next year. Its a snoozer. Its true that we need to broaden the base, but in order to accomplish this, we need to invent ways to attract potential sailors to the sport without having to drag them.

Boston Cosmos, the defending World Team Racing champions, showed blistering speed and great teamwork to win the 1998 U.S. Team Racing Championship with a 3-1 victory over the Cape Cod Whishbone in the finals. After going through the quarterfinals and semi-finals undefeated, the Cosmos found themselves tied 1-1 in the finals before turning it on in the final two races.

After another cold front brought rain and high winds (including several funnel clouds) overnight to southern California, the sun broke through in the morning and the winds diminished enough to complete the final day's competition. Breezy, gusty, jib-easing conditions persisted most of the day, not to mention a few auto-tacks mixed in for good measure. All of the teams demonstrated great boathandling in the challenging conditions, but the Cosmos seemed to consistently have an edge both upwind and on the reaches.

Team spokesman Josh Adams credited much of their performance to the exemplary sailing of their three crew Brett Davis, Victoria Wadsworth and Suzannah Kerr. Cape Cod Whishbone battled to a 3-2 win over Kaiser Sosa in the semi-finals and won the silver medals. Team NYYC then defeated Kaiser Sosa 2-0 in the petit-finals to capture the bronze medals.

Race Committee chairman Chris Ericksen and his Alamitos Bay Yacht Club team managed to complete 83 races over the three days of the regatta. -- Brad Dellenbaugh

1.BOSTON COSMOS (Josh Adams / Brett Davis, Nick Trotman / Victoria Wadsworth, Mark Mendelblatt / Suzannah Kerr) 2. CAPE COD WHISHBONE (Tim Wadlow / Abigail Pope, Graeme Woodworth / Megan Bohlen,Tim Fallon / Meghan Boardman) 3. NYYC - CON LECHE (Mike Zani / Chris Museler, Chris McDowell / Brandon Prior, Karl Ziegler / Mike Huang)

Event website:

The arrival of France Telecom, third principle partner of The Race/La Course du Millenaire, comes as a decisive step in the construction of the event. This agreement constitutes indeed a very important turning point which enables the challenge of live transmissions direct from the boats to be raised. This new approach from television and the Internet reassures challengers in the pursuit of their projects, eight months before the last deadline for starting construction of boats.

Moreover, two years before the start, the list of challengers is becoming clearer because to date 23 projects from 10 different nations have been declared to the general office of the event, 16 of which are officially registered.

Right from the start The Race set objectives in line with its other challenges: to distribute live TV images in broadcast quality direct from the boats, a veritable innovation in the transmission of images. So one of the three principle partners of the event could then be none other than a major telecommunications operator. It is in fact France Telecom, 4th largest operator in the world. But beyond television transmission, the arrival of France Telecom will bring along the demonstration of its know-how in the Internet field. This is already a giant step taken by the event which in this way finds its financial base, and also the technological guarantee for world coverage of the event.

At two years before the start, 16 challengers have been officially declared to date, of which 3 remain confidential. They represent 11 different nations. The 13 declared challengers are: Ross Field (New Zealand), Pete Goss (Great Britain), Henk de Velde (Holland), Fedor Konioukhov (Russia), Loick Peyron (France), Grant Dalton (New Zealand), Lawrie Smith (Great Britain), Cam Lewis (USA), Tracy Edwards (Great Britain), Lionel Pean/Peder Silverhjelm (France/Sweden), Tony Bullimore (Great Britain), Florence Arthaud (France), Roman Paszke (Poland),

In addition, seven challengers present or represented at the 98 skippers' meeting are in contact with the organisation: Steve Fossett (USA), Laurent Bourgnon (Switzerland), Paolo Martinoni (Italy), Guillermo Altadill (Spain), Ludde Ingvall (Sweden), Bob Miller (USA).

Event website:

In (Dennis) Conner's estimation, Prada and Young America will be the toughest challengers to overcome, by virtue of healthy funding and strong design resources. "It is all driven by money," he said. "Without that, you can't work on design. Without design, you can't have a fast boat. Without a fast boat, you can't win." But, he said,Stars & Stripes was about as far as the other challengers in its program. "We have a design as good as any and hopefully a little better. We have kept a low profile as far along as our funding is concerned, but we are quietly moving ahead." -- Ivor Wilkens, Grand Prix Sailor.

For the full story:

The carnage began earlier in Leg 2 than anyone had expected. Battling 25- to 35-knot winds, two Class II boats were heading back to port the second day out. The worst damaged boat was George Stricker's 40-footer, Rapscallion III, which lost a boom. "Boom is in two parts, cannot be repaired," Stricker wrote to race operations. At the time he was just over 76 miles from Cape Town. He turned around and, sailing hard into 30-knot winds with his headsails only, he was doing less than 5 knots when last heard from.

The second Class II boat to report trouble was Shuten-dohji II, skippered by Japanese senior citizen Minoru Saito. Saito reported that after just a half hour's use his electronic autopilot had malfunctioned. "Autopilot no work. Coming back to Cape Town," Saito reported to the race office in his characteristically clipped English. Fortunately for him, Saito was not as far out to sea as Stricker and was able to make it back to Cape Town quickly. He arrived at dockside at 7:15 a.m. Sunday morning local time and 10 hours later he had repaired the autopilot and was back out to sea.

Stricker was not so lucky. While Saito was only about 30 miles off Cape Town when he turned back, Stricker had shot 75 miles down the coastline, finally turning just east of False Bay. He must now battle his way back without a mainsail. Assuming nothing else breaks, Stricker should make it to port sometime Monday night. With his own boom in "two pieces" a repair is unlikely. If he is to return to sea a new boom will have to found. With no major sponsors or a container full of spare parts, Stricker's fate is the most uncertain of all right now as he joins the two non-starters, Fedor Konioukhov and Robin Davie back in port. -- Emily Robertson and and Stephen Pizzo

Standings as of 1000 hours GMT December 7 (Parenthesis indicates distance from finish): CLASS I: 1. Soldini (6620) 2. Autissier (6620) 3. Golding (6634) 4. Thiercelin (6635) CLASS II 1. Garside (6629) 2. Yazykov (6662) 3. Mouligne (6678) 4. Van Liew (6682)

Event website

Employment applications always ask who is to be notified in case of an emergency. I'd be inclined to write -- "A very good doctor."