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SCUTTLEBUTT #239 -- December 17, 1998

(The following is statement made yesterday by Jane Eagleson, Communications Director, NYYC/Young America Challenge)
"Young America, the New York Yacht Club Challenge for America's Cup 2000, expresses sincere apologies for the actions of one of our team members on the evening of Wednesday, December 9 in Auckland, New Zealand. While Mr. Keeley was on his own time, we feel a responsibility for all our team members and we deeply regret that this incident occurred. We express our sincerest apologies to the cab driver Mr. Kim, his cab company, our fellow event participants, and to all New Zealanders. We have put our entire team on notice that this type of behavior is unacceptable. We have zero tolerance for such behavior. The team member concerned was returned to the United States immediately after he appeared in court and had his employment terminated with our organization."

"We have made many friends during our two-month stay in New Zealand and hope that this incident does not taint our relationship with the wonderful people we have met. With gracious hosts and such a delightful venue for this spectacular international event, this America's Cup is poised to be the best ever. We will do all in our power to contribute in a positive way to the success of this event." -- Jane Eagleson

Whitney Conner and Elizabeth Kratzig of the USA took out the Australian Women's title with very consistent sailing over the entire regatta that offered every wind condition possible. Whitney said " after our 2nd place this morning we thought we might have a chance at winning this thing". And right she was.

Young Australian pair Wilmot and Smith today defended their National Title that they won in Adelaide last year. This year however they had to fend off a late charge by World 470 Champion Gildas Phillippe and Tanguy Cariou of France.

Sydney Harbour was at it's "Washing Machine Best" for the last 3 heats of the Australian 470 Championships and when racing starts in the SIRS regatta on Friday.

Women's Fleet: 1 W Connor/Kratzig, USA, (26 points) 2 J Armstrong/Stowell, AUS, (28) 3 Federica Salva/Sossi, ITA, (29) 4 J. Lidgett / Bucek, AUS, (36) 5 M Henshaw/Egnot, NZL, (42)

Mens & Mixed Fleet: 1 N Wilmot/Smith, AUS, (21 points) 2 G. Philippe/Cariou, FRA, (26) 3 B Petit / Fransais, FRA (39), 4. T King / Turnbull, AUS, (41) 5 C Hooper/Page, AUS, (49)

There is more --

A star-studded roster of sailors and high-quality fleet will help celebrate the 12th anniversary GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week, scheduled January 18 to 22, 1999. With the prospect of a record fleet likely five weeks before the start of racing, Race Week '99 looks to set new standards for competitiveness.

Lured by the expectation of close-quarter competition in fresh winds and warm temperatures, Race Week '99 has drawn 254 entries for racing in IMS, one-design and PHRF classes. The majority of the fleet hails from the U.S., but the roster also includes 35 foreign entries. England leads the invasion on the southernmost city in the U.S. with eight boats, followed by Italy, seven, Canada, five, and Antigua and Switzerland, two each.

Among the sailors on crew lists are six of the last eight Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, one ISAF Sperry Top-Sider World Sailor of the Year, countless world champions and many 1998 class winners returning to defend or improve their positions. The fleet includes a half dozen new IMS designs, top one-design classes like the Farr 40, 1D35 and Melges 24, and an impressive cross-section of PHRF boats.

The two IMS classes highlight the regatta. They feature a host of proven winners ready to trade tacks with newer designs. New boats (launched since September) in IMS 1 include Irvine Laidlaw's CM 60 Hi Fling (Farr design), George David's Idler (Nelson/Marek), and Nick Lamm's Holland-based Exposure (Castro), both 50-footers. Three returning 50-footers include John Risley's Numbers (Taylor), Helmut Jahn's Flash Gordon 3 (Farr), and Paolo Gaia's Breeze (Farr) from Italy. Two others expected to compete are Hans-Otto Schumann's Rubin XV (Judel/Vrolijk) from Germany, and Karl Kwok's Beau Geste (Farr) from Hong Kong.

As with most IMS racing, some of the world's top sailors will be driving and calling tactics. The rosters include New Zealanders Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth aboard Numbers, the multiple world champions preparing to defend the America's Cup beginning in February 2000. Idler's owner George David plans to drive his new grand-prix machine, and will be assisted by three-time America's Cup champion (1980, '87, '88) Tom Whidden and 1992 Olympic silver medalist Jim Brady. Former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year winners Ken Read ('94 and '85) and Ed Adams ('91 and '87) lead Flash Gordon 3, while Tommasso Chieffi takes his familiar spot at the helm on Breeze.

In IMS 2, Flavio Favini will helm Brava Q8. Favini, one of Italy's top grand-prix sailors, won the Mumm 30 World Championship as tactician aboard Sissabella last month. Peter Holmberg (the world's No. 3 match-racer from the U.S. Virgin Islands) will helm Vim III. Legendary Dave Ullman, the 1996 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, will call tactics aboard Seven Things.

"This is a high-profile CMAC project," says Ullman, whose commitment to Seven Things prohibits him from defending his three-time Melges 24 title, a Race Week record. "I'm looking forward to this, it'll be good fun. The crew is great. They've sailed together a lot in the past. We practiced in Australia for about 10 days last month, and they're very capable."

One-design classes have spurred Race Week's growth more than any other class the last few years. One-design classes accounted for more than half the fleet at Race Week '98 and they appear set to do so again in 1999.

In its inaugural season last year the owner-driven Farr 40 class provided superb competition, and it'll be stacked again in '99. The 19-boat class features Jim Richardson's world champion Barking Mad, which defeated 18 boats for the title last month. The class also includes John Thomson's 1998 season and defending class champion Solution, with multi-talented tactician Gary Knapp aboard, George Andreadis's Atalanti XI, with 1984 Olympic gold medalist Robbie Haines guiding the way, and John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti, featuring experienced tactician Gary Weismann.

The Mumm 30 (Farr) class returns to Race Week for the third year with 22 boats entered to date, featuring five of the top 10 from last month's Worlds. They include Barry Allardice and Ed Collins's runner-up USA-48, James Dill's Menace, Phil Garland and Rich Schulman's Trouble, and Italian entries Carla Silva's Sector and Massimo Mezzaroma's Malinda, who finished second in the class at Race Week '98.

While IMS and the one-design classes attract high profile talent, many outstanding PHRF programs also travel to Race Week from around the country to gauge their talent level against crews from other regions and around the world. Ten foreign entries are slated for competition in the PHRF classes. Next year, they'll have added incentive as the new Key West Trophy will be awarded to the PHRF Boat of the Week based on similar criteria used to award the Yachting Magazine Trophy.

Not only do they provide big numbers each year, they'll also field some new designs. Three such boats that'll be hard to miss are the J/125s, a 41-foot sport boat from designer Bob Johnstone. Adhering to the sport boat genre, J/125 features include a bowsprit, asymmetric spinnaker and loads of sail area. Other new boats on the scratch sheet are Barrett Holby's Troll-Fjord (Quest 33), and Joan Tryzelaar's Surprise (Van Gorkom) and Daniel Rossi's (D.A. Rossi) Stitch n Glue, two 30-footers designed to the Mount Gay 30 Rule.

Overall, PHRF entries range in size from Paul Ely's 52-footer Elyxir (Santa Cruz) down to six 24-footers, including Karl de Ham's Fresh Kill (Wavelength 24) and a trio of J/24s, the design that made Johnstone famous. Jay Eckland's Starlight (1D48) will join Elyxir in the PHRF 1 class. Brian Mock's U.B. (Beneteau First 40.7) is another PHRF boat to watch. Last summer, European-based sisterships to U.B. either won overall or class honors at the Rolex Commodore's Cup (England), Kiel Week (Germany), Copa del Rey and the Breitling Regatta Cup (both Spain). Three classes with strong showings, though shy of the 12-boat minimum for a one-design start, are the J/29, J/105 and Viper 830. All three groups hope to have one design starts in the year 2000.

Joining the one-design parade next year is the Nelson/Marek-designed 1D35. Launched only last May, the class debuts at Race Week with an incredible 21 boats. Another owner-driver class, the trailerable 35-footer features swept-back spreaders on a mast that lacks permanent and running backstays. Rig tension is controlled with a hydraulic ram mounted in the forepeak that's attached to the headstay by a Spectra strop. The class line-up features the top three finishers from the 1D35 National Championship last October, including Kip Meadows's Roxanne, Roland Arthur's Excalibur and Robert Hughes's Heartbreaker. Another entry comes from Race Week veteran Doug DeVos aboard his newest Windquest. DeVos won the Yachting Trophy in '97 with his 1D48 Windquest.

The Melges 24 (Reichel/Pugh) started the sport boat craze at Race Week '93 and since then has regularly fielded 50-plus boats for its Midwinter Championship at Race Week. Although three-time defending class champ Dave Ullman won't be competing in the class, the field is stacked with incredible talent. Favorites include Vince Brun's world champion Rush, Brian Porter's North American champion Full Throttle, Bruce Ayres's '98 class runner-up Monsoon, and Harry Melges aboard Moen Pure Touch. Melges, routinely a crewman for Porter, takes the helm at Race Week for the first time since '94. -- Sean McNeill

A list of entries and PHRF ratings can be found at the GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week web page at

Complete story:

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

>> From Chip Evaul, Long Beach YC Waterfront Director (In response to Greg Weeger) --Okay...Congressional Cup previously was restricted to six people. Six big guys can easily weigh 1,200 lbs.; while it is unlikely that six big women (/Japenese/juniors/etc.) would weigh over 1,000. That's at least a 200 lb. advantage for the big guys in normal Long Beach conditions, on Catalina 37s. By instituting a weight limit, (women/ Japenese/ juniors/etc.) can now add more bodies to reach the limit. Thus, everybody is even-up by weight. As far as I can tell, skippers may still choose their teammates as they please. Besides, most match racing squads are five people; Con Cup's new rule should not have an effect on core groups of attending teams.

Your attitude is certainly are one of the big guys. A lot of class associations and events feel weight limits provided for better competition. This year's Con Cup committee agrees.

>> From Geoff Ewenson, Sailing for Sydney in 2000 (In response to BIG MIKE HOWARD) -- While nobody commends the actions of the individual US sailor in NZ. please lets remember to hold our tongues until all the facts are out. I know in fact that the sailor is being dealt with accordingly and that he is deeply embarrased by his indiscresions. I cannot imagine that anyone in our sailing community has never acted inappropriately while drunk and I hope that this stupid act will not ruin this sailor's future in our sport. Lets just say that this is highly uncharacteristic of him and I cannot imagine that anyone who is close to him would believe it possible. Don't condemn this individual without considering that this could be just what it was. A stupid mistake by a great guy who happened to be drunk.

>> From Scott Andrews (In response to John Drayton's editorial regarding the future of sailing) -- I also feel it is great that high school sailing has become so competitive and that the level of sailing constantly is being pushed higher and higher. However, high school sailing is only limited to dinghies. High school sailors only have one choice of boat for interscholastic competition. And if they continue to sail in college, they will participate only in dinghies, or at least on the West Coast, in the very few sloop regattas, held normally in Shields. I feel that one way to get sailing to an even greater level is to give junior sailors the option of sailing on bigger boats. All too often, kids who are not good dinghy sailors or who are too big for the FJ or 420 are left by the wayside and forgotten. As someone who outgrew sabots about as fast as dinghies, I was fortunate enough to get into Star sailing and later into bigger keel boats. I think that owners and sailors on bigger boats, PH and the like, can help increase our sailing ranks even more by getting these kids back into sailing before we lose them to other sports.

Big boat sailors, especailly in Southern California, are always complaing that there are fewer and fewer boats at the starting line. I would like to see owners make an effort to get young kids on their boat, in productive roles, and maybe find the next generation America's Cup or Whitbred crews or skippers, and not yield most of these spots to Austrailians and Kiwis anymore.

Big-hearted Dennis (kind to kids - generous to charities) Conner continues to lay on his "I love New Zealand" theme. To his credit, as a fund raising exercise, he has just allowed Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell to display his NZ$3million collection of models of all past America's Cup challengers and defenders. And we are not the only sceptics about his intentions. Conner makes no secret that he wants Kiwis to love him and wants us to get behind his Stars & Stripes campaign in the challenger series. According to Dennis, "Kiwis should continue to back the Conner camp until he meets Team New Zealand in the defender series." Bold, positive stuff!

Conner has told reporters that any serious challenger must work with two different boat configurations in New Zealand if they are at all serious about challenging Team New Zealand. A heavy design for Auckland's windy spring and a much lighter, more versatile design for the Gulf's summer and more moderate winds. And he still says Team New Zealand are the strong favourites. Being nice again?

The word is out that Dennis is actively looking for a site at the Basin for a bar/brasserie that is to be called Stars and Stripes. Dennis will feature Conner memorabilia and his collection of models. Likely site is underneath the Watermark apartments next to Simunovich Fisheries. And did you know Conner's model collection took six years to build, and the replicas rival the original collection housed in the New York Yacht Club's model room in Manhattan? -- Excerpt from DEFENCE 2000 which is available from for US $48 per year.

"My Trimble antenna" -- the brand of the Standard-C antenna provided by COMSAT -- "was torn off during a jibe," Autissier radioed. "So I can't receive messages, weather reports from the [race] organization, or other competitors' positions. I have a spare Standard-C, but there is a problem with it, too. This is the reason I have headed north in latitude, because I didn't want to be far to the south without any means of communicating or getting weather information," she added. "Otherwise, everything is going well. PRB is making 15 knots in a 25-knot wind from the west."

"We are hoping that if she gets the second unit working, she can use it to manually send us her position 15 minutes before the rest of the fleet reports in automatically with their COMSAT-C units," said Pete Dunning at the Race Operations Center. "That way we will have time to mesh it with the reports from the rest of the fleet."

While all this goes on, the focused and disciplined Autissier has maintained her lead over Thiercelin and Soldini, who have both altered course to match Autissier's more northerly route. Autissier, doing 14 knots, also held a two-knot speed advantage over her pursuers. -- Stephen Pizzo, Quokka Sports Staff

Standings with the distance to leader in parenthesis (Because of damage to Autissier's position-reporting equipment, her location may be broadcast at a different time from the rest of the fleet which will affect her apparent standing.) CLASS I: Soldini (0.0) 2. Thiercelin (20.7) 2. Autissier (72.7) 4. Golding (75.5) CLASS II 1. Mouligne (0.0) 2. Garside (9.8) 3. Bar Van Liew (330.3)

Around Alone website:

At 6:30 AM yesterday morning, Jackie and multi-class champion Mark Gaudio had their first child -- a 6 ? pound boy named Rory James. The child and the parents are doing just fine, but the jury is still out as to whether the world is quite ready for another Gaudio.

If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?