SCUTTLEBUTT #235 -- December 11, 1998
Defending champion Chris Law of Great Britain posted three wins to take the
early lead in the 1998 Marriott Frenchman's Reef International Match Race.
Law defeated Peter Holmberg, Luc Pillot and Paul Cayard.
Skippers with two wins each were 19 year-old James Spithill, who scored
victories against former World Champion Bertrand Pace and current World
Champion Peter Gilmour. Gilmour also registered two wins, as did local
favorite Peter Holmberg. Gavin Brady, Pace, and Cayard are on the board
with one point and Luc Pillot finished the day without a victory.
Conditions were perfect, if perhaps a touch too breezy, with winds out of
the east at 8-15, gusting to 20. There was plenty of action aboard the
J-120s as the 40-footers responded to the healthy winds.
The surprise of the day was the performance of young Spithill, representing
the Australian America's Cup Challenge. Certainly an underdog in this
field of world, olympic, and Whitbreat Round the World champions, the
undaunted Aussie opened some the the veterans' eyes with superb tactics and
almost flawless crew work.
Round robin racing continues tomorrow with the top four points winners
advancing to the semi-finals on Saturday. - Paul Larsen
Results: Chris Law 3-0, James Spithill 2-1, Peter Gilmour 2-1, Peter
Holmberg 2-1, Bertrand Pace 1-2, Gavin Brady 1-2, Paul Cayard 1-2, Luc
For more information, live updates and live audio check out the Web site:
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENTS FROM ST. THOMAS
The Marriott Frenchman's Reef International Match Race Series ended early
for Terry Hutchinson who was sailing for the first time with his new
'boss,' Paul Cayard. In the pre-start maneuvers in their match against
Chris Law, the mainsheet grabbed Hutchinson and tossed him into the leeward
winch with authority. As typically happens in these situations, the winch
came out of the altercation unscathed, but Hutchinson got beat up pretty
badly. Badly enough to quickly roll up the headsail and rush him off to the
hospital. He suffered a couple of broken ribs and some bloody gashes on his
face, and will probably watch the rest of the races from an umpire's boat.
Dobbs Davis, who is attending the event as a journalist, just happened to
have a pair of sailing gloves in his suitcase, and he will fill in for
Hutchinson for the rest of the regatta. Davis joins Curtis Blewett and the
newest (and previously unannounced) member of Cayard's AC team, Moose
McClintock. While most of the other teams at this regatta are sailing with
their regular 'traveling squad,' yesterday was the first time Cayard had
ever sailed with either McClintock or Hutchinson.
The fifth person on each crew is a member of the St Thomas YC. That's
right, there are just five people sailing the 40-foot J/120s, which become
a real handful when the builds into the 20-knot range. And in Charlotte
Amalie harbor, it builds into the 20-knot range with great regularity.
The racecourse could properly be called, "intimate." It's not cramped, but
there is not a lot of room to spread out. And you don't need a spectator
boat to watch the action - the course runs right along the waterfront.
Waterfront bleachers have been set up and the spectators also hear a
play-by-play broadcast by Paul Larsen.
While there are plenty of 20-knot puffs, there are also occasional voids in
the harbor where the breeze drops below 10 knots. Defending the side with
the most pressure is generally a winning strategy, although there are
enough shifts to keep the skippers from ever feeling too comfortable. These
shifts occasionally produced some lop-sided legs, with few passing lanes.
Still, everyone agrees this is great racing.
Both the umpires and the skippers seemed pleased with the outcome of
yesterday's rules experiments that changed RRS 17 & 18. Rule 18.3 (tacking
in within the two boat-length zone) was eliminated completely and based on
the comments heard last night, it's doubtful that rule will ever be used
again at a major match race.
MATCH RACING RULES
(The following message from the aforementioned Dobbs Davis deals more
deeply with the match racing rules experiments here in the Virgin Islands.)
One of the exciting aspects of the VI event is that both camps of umpires -
the philosophical word-smiths and the pragmatists - are represented here to
try and resolve the problems presented by RRS 17.1 and 18. (These
'problems' are that the right of way yacht is not clearly defined when used
in match race sailing with starboard roundings.) All you anti-hunting
enthusiasts would be pleased to learn that even here in the Big Leagues
there's an effort to limit the power of the starboard tacker, and those
proposed changes are in effect here as well.
Besides use in the America's Cup, let's hope that with Dick Rose here to
observe there will be a better 'trickle-down' to the club racers and local
event juries who must grapple with what's in the RRS. - Dobbs Davis
The normally reliable source in Auckland reported that one of the Young
America Team members had a few, was in a taxi that got lost and while the
driver was out of the cab asking for directions the YA Sailor drove off
with the cab. Another cab forced him off the road, there was a fight,
everyone ran off and the sailor was caught hiding in the yard of a private
home. The real story is that it has been the lead story on the radio and
TV and was front page news in the paper today.
The 1999 Congressional Cup, in Long Beach, CA, is shaping up to be a "Best
of the Best" type of regatta. Defending champion Peter Holmberg of the US
Virgin Islands will return, along with a pair of two-time winners: Gavin
Brady, representing Royal Hong Cong Yacht Club, and racing rules guru Dave
Perry, Southport, CT.
The field will also feature six skippers currently ranked in the top 20 by
the International Sailing Federation; Holmberg (3rd), Brady (4th), Markus
Wieser, Germany (6th), Luc Pillot, France (10th) and Betsy Alison, US (20th).
The Double round-robin match racing series, March 7-13 at Long Beach Yacht
Club, will again pay prize money to the top three finishers. New for this
year is a weight limit to determine the number of crewmembers. The
specified 1,200 lb. maximum was instituted in order to accomodate top
sailors of any size and weight. A version of the new rule was successfully
tested during last Fall's Ficker Cup.
With America's Cup activity beginning in earnest, some syndicates view
Congressional Cup as a valuable training opportunity. Most visible of
these sailors will be Paul Cayard, skipper of "America One", recent winner
of the Whitbread Around the World Race and a top contender for the 1998
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. He is expected to have teammate John Kostecki
aboard as tactician. Other America's Cup sailors include Holmberg, Brady
and Franceso de Angelis.
The series gets underway Sunday, March 7th with a practice and crew
weigh-ins. Racing starts March 9th in Long Beach's Outer Harbor, near the
Belmont Pier, where there will be a public viewing area with announcers.
The always-popular press conferences will be held following each day of
racing at LBYC.
Skippers: Betsy Alison, Gavin Brady, Paul Cayard, Francesco de Angelis,
Scott Dickson, Peter Holmberg, Dave Perry, Luc Pillot,Markus Weiser,
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters may be edited for space (250 words max) or clarity or to exclude
>> From Shef Phelps -- "Officer Krupke, she's down on her knees-no one
likes a kid with a social disease-she ain't a delinquent, she's miss
undsrstood-deep down inside her there is good!" (plagerized from Lonnie and
Stephen) You can imagine my surprise the other day seeing a picture of our
skipper in the "Letter to the Editor " section of a California periodical
(Latitude 38). Amazing since I know she has never (and after this
undoubtedly never will) written a "Letter to the Editor" to any
publication, nor sent a picture of herself to the editor of any
publication, nor played "chicken with a freighter." The risks are far too
great and the potential results far too horrifying.
Have you ever seen " Bambie meets Godzilla"? I am reminded that when Gloria
Vanderbilt- heiress to a mamoth fortune- eloped with the family chauffeur
on a Sunday, the Monday morning issue of the Herald- Tribune is said to
have created the headline "SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MONDAY." The original quote "
SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI" is far more appropriate for us.
>> From Geoff Cropley -- Brindabella Crewman.Just for your info
Brindabella has its own web page, www.brindabella.com. The site will be
updated live from the boat during the race with email and photos.
>> From Hugh Elliott -- Being "Hunted" is one thing if one expects it. The
ethos will, I am sure, appear in many classes that "We don't do that here"
and old IYRR 35 will be effectively, albeit totally informally, in force.
Assume, then, that a "rock star" from a more aggressive class comes to
visit at the "Laidback Class" North Americans. The danger is now apparent:
not expecting to be hunted, the members of the "Laidback" Class spend a
miserable event practicing crash tacks and 720's.
The veil over Steve Fossett's 105-foot catamaran, being built for The Race
in 2000-'01 (as well as other transoceanic records) has been lifted in
advance of its December 21 launch from Cookson Boats' Auckland facilities.
Simply put, this Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin-designed cat is enormous.
Hull construction is prepreg carbon fiber with an aluminum honeycomb core.
Its mast will tower 147.5 feet over the water, its beam will extend to 60
feet, and its daggerboards to almost 15 feet. North Sails is tasked with
building Sony Playstation's massive Spectra/Kevlar/carbon sailplan--all
18,905 square feet of it (7,274 upwind, 11,631 downwind). But what of its
displacement? That's classified. All things considered, Melvin puts the
potential speed for Fossett's craft at 35 knots, and then some. "It should
be the fastest ocean sailing craft ever built, said Melvin. - Dave Reed,
Grand Prix Sailor
The full story will be posted by 9:00 AM:
Following are the O'Neill World Sailing Rankings for the Olympic classes.
The list of graded events and the method of calculation for the Rankings
may be found on the ISAF website.
Men's Board (IMCO Mistral One-Design)
1 Joao RODRIGUES (POR) 2 Amith INBAR (ISR) 3 Carlos M. ESPINOLA (ARG) 4
Aaron MCINTOSH (NZL) 5 Nicolas HUGUET (FRA)
Women's Board (IMCO Mistral One-Design)
1 Lai Shan LEE (HKG) 2 Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) 3 Barbara KENDALL (NZL) 4
Natasha STURGES (AUS) 5 Justine GARDAHAUT (FRA)
Men's Single-handed Dinghy (Finn)
1 Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL) 2 Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) 3 Michael MAIER C
4 Fredrik LOOF (SWE) 5 Xavier ROHART (FRA)
Single-handed Dinghy women (Europe)
1 Carolijn BROUWER (NED) 2 Margriet MATTHIJSSE (NED) 3 Kristine ROUG (DEN)
4 Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR) 5 Min DEZILLIE (BEL)
Double-handed Dinghy men (470)
1 Eugeniy BRASLAVETS Ihor MATVIYENKO (UKR) 2 Gildas PHILIPPE Tanguy CARIOU
(FRA) 3 Vitor Hugo ROCHA Nuno BARRETO (POR) 4 Johan MOLUND Mattias RAHM
(SWE) 5 Andreas KOSMATOPOULOS Kostas TRIGONIS (GRE)
Double-handed Dinghy women (470)
1 Ruslana TARAN Elena PAKHOLCHIK (UKR) 2. Susanne WARD Michaela WARD (DEN)
3 Nicola BIRKNER Wibke BUELLE (GER) 4 Sofia BEKATOROU Emilia TSOULFA (GRE)
5 Frederica SALVA Emanuela SOSSI (ITA)
Dinghy Open (Laser)
1 Ben AINSLIE (GBR) 2 Michael BLACKBURN (AUS) 3 Roope SUOMALIANEN (FIN) 4
Karl SUNESON (SWE) 5 Robert SCHEIDT (BRA)
High Performance Dinghy Open (49er)
1 Marc AUDINEAU Julien FARNARIER (FRA) 2 Marcus BAUR Philip BARTH (GER) 3
Andy BUDGEN Ian BUDGEN (GBR) 4 Santiago LOPEZ VAZQUEZ Javier DE LA PLAZA
(ESP) 5 Chris NICHOLSON Edward SMYTH (AUS)
Multihull Open (Tornado)
1 Pierre PENNEC Yann GUICHARD (FRA) 2 Roland GAEBLER Rene SCHWALL (GER) 3
Darren BUNDOCK John FORBES (AUS) 4 Fernando LEON Jose-Luis BALLESTER (ESP)
5 Frederic LE PEUTREC Olivier DOVILLARD (FRA)
Two Person Keelboat (Star)
1 Peter VESSELLA Mike DORGAN (USA) 2 Marc PICKEL Thomas AURACHER (GER) 3
John MACCAUSLAND Phil TRINTER (USA) 4 Mark REYNOLDS Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA)
5 Glyn CHARLES Mark COVELL (GBR)
Fleet/Match Race / Keelboat (Soling)
1 Georgi SHAIDUKO Sergei VOLCHKOV\KOMAROV (RUS) 2 Sergei PICHUGIN Vladimir
KOROTKOV\S. TIMOHOV (UKR) 3 Philippe PRESTI Pascal RAMBEAU\Jean M DAURIS
(FRA) 4 Stig WESTERGAARD MOLLER\Bjorn WESTERGAARD (DEN) 5 Jali MAKILA Erkki
HEINONEN\Sami TAMMINEN (FIN)
For more information:
Australia's newest and most exciting maxi yacht, Wild Thing, owned and
skippered by Victorian Grant Wharington, will make its big race debut this
coming Saturday in the Telstra Cup invitation race off Sydney Heads. The
racey-looking 70-footer will join a fleet of more than 100 boats sailing
the 18 nautical mile race in the final lead-up to the Telstra Cup regatta,
a seven race series starting next Wednesday, December 16. Apart from being
Wild Thing's first offshore race, Saturday will see her first clash with
the maxi yacht that Wharington hopes to beat in the 630 nautical mile
Telstra Sydney to Hobart - last year's line honours winner, Brindabella.
Although smaller than Brindabella and line honours favourite Sayonara from
the USA, which is due in Sydney this weekend, Wild Thing and her highly
experienced skipper are regarded as a real threat to the bigger maxis in
the Hobart race. -- Peter Campbell
Telstra Sydney to Hobart website:
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Inflexibility is the sign of a tiny mind.