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SCUTTLEBUTT #232 -- December 8, 1998

>> Paul Cayard's AmericaOne syndicate is the latest to have a trial-horse arrive in Auckland to start their preparation for next year's Louis Vuitton and 2000 America's Cups. The syndicate has shipped the '95 Louis Vuitton Cup finalist, oneAustralia to Auckland, joining the Swiss FAST2000 syndicate which unloaded the former FRA-40 last week. All told this bring to eight the number of IACC yachts in Auckland - the full roll call being Team NZ (2), Prada (2) NYYC (1), America True (1) Fast2000 (1) and AmericaOne (1).

Last week saw the transition of ownership of NZL-39/USA-39 Tag Heuer/Spirit of Rhode Island from NYYC to America True. On Friday the yellow-hulled former FRA-40 was offered to it's keel, and should sailing sometime this week, all going well. The Swiss syndicate is operating without a shed at present, and the fit-out is taking place at the southern end of the former lighter basin. -- Richard Gladwell (From the ISAF Website)

>> The NYYC/Young America Challenge named Brown & Sharpe a Technology Partner and Official Sponsor. Brown & Sharpe, headquartered in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, is the world's leading manufacturer of dimensional metrology equipment used to measure the size and shape of objects.

As part of their sponsorship, Brown & Sharpe will donate and coordinate the precision manufacturing of the keels for NYYC/Young America's entries in the America's Cup to be held in New Zealand in 2000. The gift is valued at well in excess of $500,000.

This is not the first time that Brown & Sharpe and the America's Cup have crossed paths. In 1875, Brown & Sharpe began a close relationship with the technologically innovative America's Cup designer and builder Captain "Nat" Herreshoff of Bristol, RI. The unique technology developed by Brown & Sharpe helped Mr. Herreshoff produce every America's Cup winner from 1893, with his boat Vigilant, through 1920 when he built Resolute.

The Brown & Sharpe gift is the largest contribution to date to the Spirit of Rhode Island fund drive for NYYC/Young America. The campaign, co-chaired by Russell Boss of A.T. Cross Manufacturing and Alan Hassenfeld of Hasbro, Inc., has raised almost one million dollars over the last five months. The Rhode Island campaign is part of Young America's national campaign to raise $40 million from individuals and corporate sponsorships.

For the past two summers, NYYC/Young America has been testing two 1995 America's Cup boats on Rhode Island Sound. Construction of two next generation boats and spars begins this winter in Bristol at Goetz Custom Boats and Hall Spars, the Bristol-based high-performance manufacturer of mast, spars and rigging. -- Jane Eagleson

NYYC/Young America website:

46 Lasers sailors showed up to the 1998 Asian Pacific Laser Championship held in Pattaya Beach, Thailand. All boats were chartered and a round robin system of boat selection was used in which you would sail a different boat each day. Most boats were proven to be quite even in speed and there were very few complaints about the system. An Australian and the Laser class international measurer, Paul Milsom, was present as beach master and boat repair guru. He worked very hard for nearly two weeks before the event and as a result no boats leaked and very few broke down over the 6 days of racing.

The first four days were full of mixed conditions but mostly consisted of light air that shifted with the passing thunderstorms. There was no hesitation to start races in very light air with a strong current flowing either adverse or favorable. I personally sailed very well in this lighter air rounding nearly every weather mark in the lead. I was called for kinetics in the second race and lost one boat. After this, I was forced to sail very conservatively to avoid having to take the second offense penalty which is to drop out of the race and deal with a DNF. Things still went very well and I was either in the lead or tied for the lead after the first three days of qualifying. Brendan Casey from Brisbane, Australia started to turn on the jets on the fourth day and had 4 first in a row. I was still close behind being consistent in the top 3 and still having a 5 as a drop. New Zealander, Simon Small was also having a great regatta and the points were close due to the racing system and it was still anyone's game.

The first day of the finals started with a case of the Thailand food poisoning. We ate at an Italian restaurant and broke the rule of following the locals and eating local food. Of course the typical weather arrived and the breeze was up 15-18 knots. I had a hiking strap breakdown in the first race and got average points for that race. After returning to shore between races and changing into a different boat I was back racing for the second race of the day. Things just didn't go so well that afternoon and I basically was going down hill quickly. Brendan Casey turned on the jets and had a 1,4 which put him well into the lead while the remaining six top guys were all within a couple of points. - Bill Hardesty

Final results:
1. Brendan Case (AUS) 2. Mark Tonner (AUS) 3. Tim Shuwalow (AUS) 4. Jon Holroyd (AUS) 5. Anthony Merrington (AUS) 6. Bill Hardesty (USA)

Pacific Yacht Embroidery has a program to supply you with regatta apparel at a guaranteed profit. Help offset your regatta costs by selling apparel at your event. There is no risk to you and no event is too small to qualify for this program. Call Frank Whitton (619-226-8033) for details on how this can put dollars in your pocket and a quality product on the racers back.

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

>> From Mike Guccione -- Re Peter Huston comments. The member clubs of the Association of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs recently established Feb 3rd 1999 as a forum for sailors and R/C to get together and talk about the areas that Peter outlined. We also have a open forum online to debate any yacht racing issues. So the yacht clubs have responded in a positive and productive way. The question now is how will the sailors respond? Will they show up? Will they use this forum for productive, creative and innovative changes or will it become just another opportunity to vent?

>> From Mary Savage -- Having just returned from judging the Melges 24 NAs at the Lauderdale YC, I second Jessica Lord's assessment of the regatta. Perfect sailing conditions, superb organization ashore, fine race committee work, terrific shoreside hospitality, outstanding racing, and a happy mix of competitors and committee folks. All in all, an excellent regatta: I'm happy that I could be a small part of it. But I can't understand her surprise that the RC offered only one race Sunday. The NOR and SIs said that a maximum of seven races were scheduled. Three were held Friday, three were held Saturday, so that left one for Sunday!

(The following is an excerpt of an interview with yacht designer Alan Andrews that appears in the December issue of Latitude 38.)

Does Andrews have a favorite design - a favorite project? "Not really," he said, but maybe he's too diplomatic to single out a specific boat. However, his eyes do light up when he discusses some of his current projects.

"Westerly Marine recently started construction on a 45-foot ultralight sprit-poler for a client who is paralyzed from the waist down," he explained. "He's been sailing a specially equipped Santana 30/30, but is ready to move up to a bigger boat. Obviously, it's important to set up the boat so he will be able to steer it well."

"We developed a cockpit configuration with two steering wheels and equipment to assist him in moving from side to side," Andrews continued. "There's a driver's chair that slides athwartships on traveler tracks. The seat can also be tilted to compensate for the heel angle and can be slid aft so someone else can steer for awhile." This fractionally rigged pole-boat will weigh less than 12,000 pounds and fly big masthead asymmetrical kites downwind.

Also on the drawing board in Andrews' office are plans for a menacing-looking ultralight 50-footer. This is a pure racer that makes no concessions to cruising comfort. There's not even a refrigerator down below. This 15,000-pound fractionally rigged boat will fly masthead chutes downwind, but the sexy bulb keel leaves little doubt that the boat will also be a potent threat upwind.

Bob Lane's 56-foot Medicine Man is also back on Andrews 'to do' list. This time it's being turbo-charged with a big fractional rig. Two years ago Andrews designed a new keel and a water ballast system for this boat. The keel was installed, but the water ballast project was deferred. "Now that Bob is going ahead with the water ballast system in addition to the new rig - which is actually Pyewacket's old one - we're looking at the whole structure again," Andrews explained. "We're examining the loads on chain plates and rigging sizes to insure the boat is strong enough to handle the additional stress."

"In its new configuration, Medicine Man will use masthead asymmetrical kites," Andrews continued. "A-sails are not treated very kindly by the IMS rule, but Bob doesn't care what his rating is. For the next TransPac, he just wants to get there as fast as he can."

There is also a new Andrews 35 under construction in Maui. "This boat is designed for IMS and PHRF racing in Hawaii," Andrews explained. "It's lighter than most IMS designs and the PHRF spinnakers are all oversized. The boat also has a heavy keel with a very low center of gravity, so it will be less dependent on crew ballast." Andrews smiled when he conceded the boat would not have any problem surfing. For IMS racing at the Ken-wood Cup Regatta, the crew will switch to kites sized to the foretriangle.

Several years ago Andrews was asked to serve on the United States IMS Committee - an activity that requires attending a number of meetings each year in Rhode Island. "I don't think anyone on the committee believes IMS does a perfect job of handicapping boats, and most members can point to at least one area where efforts are being made to improve it," he noted. "It's interesting to see how easy it is to find a weakness in a formula compared to devising a general method, applicable both to the existing fleet and to boats not yet designed, for rating specific aspects of a yacht's speed. This committee has also given me insight to the international aspects of this type of rule, and how cumbersome decision making is at the international level."

When asked about the reasons for the lack of IMS racing on the West Coast, Andrews had several thoughts. "There was some decent IMS racing here in the early '90s. Unfortunately, the IMS arrival on the West Coast coincided with the plunge in the Southern California economy, and people stopped buying boats," he said.

Americap racing - basically an owner-measured VPP rule with simplified scoring - is also spotty in California, but Andrews believes measurement handicap racing will find its place on the West Coast. "My guess is that the U.S. will implement the ORC Club Rule in place of Americap in the near future," he stated. "ORC Club is an international rule - essentially a duplicate of Americap. However, it has a mechanism to accommodate boats for which you don't have a full set of hull lines as required by Americap. ORC Club was very big in Germany this past year. In fact, in many European countries it's become much more popular than their version of PHRF." - Tom Leweck

To read the whole story:

Knowing the importance of the Marriott Frenchman's Reef International Match Race series to the 'Butt-heads, the curmudgeon is catching a "red-eye" tonight for St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. My plan is to send you first-hand reports directly from Charlotte Amalieassuming we can overcome some networking obstacles connecting to our ISP, Earthlink. Obviously, there will not be a 'Butt tomorrow morning. However, if we can figure out a way to get online, I will send you Scuttlebutt #233 from St. Thomas on Thursday. If not, the curmudgeon will have the week off and so will you. But I'll be in the Caribbean.

This contest should be easy. All you have to do is correctly identify the winners at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef International Match Race series that starts on Thursday. The first entry that lists the proper order for the top four finishers will win a beautifully embroidered 'official' Scuttlebutt tee shirt from Pacific Yacht Embroidery.

Most of the big names will be at this series -- Peter Gilmour, Chris Law, Peter Holmberg, Gavin Brady (who just won the New Zealand Match Racing Championships), Bertrand Pace', Luc Pillot, Paul Cayard and James Spithill. Biographical information and current rankings can be found on the event website:

But hurry -- the deadline for entries is tomorrow, Wednesday December 9.

>> American skipper George Stricker made better time back to Cape Town than predicted. Just before dawn Monday morning, he limped into Table Bay, his broken carbon fiber boom limp on the deck. In what he said was an uncontrolled gybe, the strong boom gave way about four feet from the mast.

Stricker already has located a local rigging company in Cape Town, which has agreed to build him a new aluminum boom replacement quickly. "George told me he intends to install the new boom tomorrow and leave immediately, probably in the afternoon sometime," said Race Director Mark Schrader.

Stricker will not beat the Indy 500-style pit stop made yesterday by Japanese skipper Minoru Saito. The 64-year-old Saito returned to Cape Town after his autopilot failed. He docked, repaired the unit and left -- all in 4 hours and 15 minutes. Meanwhile, two other competitors are keeping Stricker company in Cape Town: Class I skipper Fedor Konioukhov and Class II skipper Robin Davie.

The poetic Russian Konioukhov, who looks into whales' eyes and names waves "mother and baby," has said everyone knows that he's not a racer. That may help explain the fact that while he's finished his boat repairs, he's waiting until Monday goes away before he leaves. Russians believe it is bad luck to start a journey on Mondays. He expects to leave tomorrow, Tuesday, instead.

Davie, still on land, is remodeling his galley and installing a new heater. A check of his boat Monday morning showed that most of his new self-steering gear was not installed. And work still needed to be done on his headsail furler, which requires a trip up the mast. -- Stephen Pizzo and Kevin Twidle, Quokka Sports Staff

>> Just after midnight local time this morning, race operations in Charleston received this cryptic COMSAT email message from Autissier: "Problems with the keel on the port side. Everything is moving unnormally (sic) in the carbon." Autissier's canting keel, which is controlled hydraulically and which swings 35-degrees to port or starboard depending on the tack she is sailing, apparently had developed problems. Six hours later, she provided this update: "Back on the road. Maybe I will be a bit slower in bad weather. I have contacted [Finot associate] Pascal Cong who is confident. I will not lose the keel!" Autissier explained that the source of the trouble is in the hydraulic system's port-side piston, or ram. "I'm expecting instructions to work with the starboard tube only," she said, adding, "I am fed up with these crises...I would like to make a normal leg for once!" - Herb McCormick

Standings (with distance to leader in parenthesis): CLASS I - 1. Soldini (0.0) 2. Golding (7.5) 3. Autissier (8.3) 4. Thiercelin (14.6) CLASS II - 1. Garside (0.0) 2. Mouligne (66.0) 3. Yazykov (93.7) 4. Van Liew (102.0)

Event website:

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.