SCUTTLEBUTT #240 -- December 20, 1998
Pierre Fehlmann this week launched the eighth of his Maxi One Designs to
complete the fleet which will race an ambitious world championship next
year. It will be an unusual sailing event, and one which will certainly
maximize the media potential to the full for the class that was granted
Recognized status by the ISAF at Palma in November. Primarily it will
differ from other sailing events in having all the boats the property of a
single owner, leased to their sponsored teams.
Ernesto Bertarelli, the Swiss Bio-Tech magnate who is 70th on the Forbes
list of the world's wealthiest, bought the part-completed Grand Mistral
fleet, and with Wednesday's launch has all eight boats ready to race.
Already, four of the eight are chartered by Swiss, Italian, French and
Swedish teams for the world championship series, which begins with the
North Sea Race in May and ends with the Fastnet Race in August. The series,
which has a $750,000 prize fund, has secured an as yet unnamed corporate
sponsor prepared to assist with a $3.75 million communication package,
which includes worldwide television coverage of the championship. - Bob
Fisher, Grand Prix Sailor
The full story will be posted after 9:00 AM: http://www.sailingworld.com
SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL REGATTA
World Champions, Olympic medallists and 2000 Olympic hopefuls alike are
preparing to compete in the Sydney International Regatta on Sydney Harbour
this weekend. The event has attracted over 360 athletes from 32 nations, a
record attendance for the regatta. Sailing will kick off at midday on
Friday and will continue throughout until Monday. A total of 13 classes
will be contested at the event, with all eleven Olympic events appearing at
Current World Champions in nine of the eleven Olympic classes have traveled
to Sydney to compete in the event, many of whom will use the event as a
warm-up to the '99 World Sailing Championships in Melbourne during January.
Leading the high profile line-up are the three current World Champions from
Australia, Darren Bundock/John Forbes (Tornado Class), Col Beashel/David
Giles (Star Class) and Chris Nicholson (49er Class) and his new crew Ed
Smyth. Current Europe Class World Champion and International Female Sailor
of the Year, Carolijn Brouwer of the Netherlands will also compete at the
regatta. Brouwer finished the Olympic Test Regatta in September only one
point ahead of Australia's Sarah Blanck of Melbourne, and Blanck will be
looking for a strong comeback over the Australian Summer.
In the Men's and Women's' Mistral Class, the current reigning New Zealand
duo, Aaron McIntosh and Barbara Kendall will be using the SIRs Regatta in
preparation for their title defences in Melbourne. New Zealand was jubilant
after the pair came home from the World Championships in France during
October, each with a World Title.
Poland's Mateusz Kusznierewicz, current Finn World Champion and 1996
Olympic Gold Medallist, will also be competing in the event. He will come
up against some tough competition from France's Rohart Xavier and Sebastian
Godefroid of Belgium.
In the Men's 470s, current World Champion, Phillipe Gildas of France will
prove a strong force to beat, whilst the Women's 470s have also drawn a
strong fleet of 31 competitors to date.
The Lasers will be a closely fought competition with names such as Robert
Scheidt of Brazil, Ben Ainslie of the UK and Australia's Michael Blackburn
lining up, whilst past Match Racing World Champion, Australia's Neville
Wittey will provide some tough competition in the Soling Class.
Event website: http://www.aussailing.org
Neither Prada (Italy) and Young America have wasted a single moment of
possible sailing time on the Gulf. They have been out on the water every
day, often not returning to base before 8.30 p.m. Young America (New York
Yacht Club) have now been and gone. Two month's training on the Hauraki
Gulf came to an end this week-end, and they have returned to Rhode Island
after handing one of their boats over to the the AmericaTrue challenge.
Accommodation in Auckland is now a top priority, with a number of
challengers not yet housed. AmericaTrue are accommodating their team at 90
- 92 Nelson Street, in the brand new Regatta Court apartments, overlooking
the America's Cup Village and Basin. AmericaTrue will be in Auckland this
summer, with the full team taking up residency in July 1999.
Interviewed on New Zealand Radio, Russell Coutts would not be drawn on how
long he predicts New Zealand will hold the America's Cup. His interviewer
inferred that New Zealand expects to hold it for ten years, a statement
that Coutts did not correct. Meanwhile, in the same interview, the evasive
Coutts said that should New Zealand retain the Cup this time round, the
time lapse between challenges will be considerably less than the current
five years. Maybe as short as two years was the impression we got after
listening to the interview. -- Excerpts from DEFENCE 2000, which is
available from John@roake.gen.nz for US $48 per year.
Is there a common thread between winning the Sabot Nationals (Junior and
senior), the Lido 14 Nationals, the Santana 20 Western Regionals, the
Tornado Nationals, the ULDB 70 class in the Big Boat Series, and Schock 35
High Point Series and the 505 Worlds? You bet there is -- Ullman Sails.
Check into their web site for information or a price quote. It's more
affordable than you think:
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters may be edited for space (250 words max) or clarity or to exclude
>> From Bob Johnstone -- John Drayton is pushing one of two critical
launch buttons for the sport. FIRST have the local Parks & Recreation Dept
offer a comprehensive sailing program for all ages in their periodic
bulletins mailed to every household in the community. SECOND, as a bridge
from YC junior programs and to deal with peer pressures, get the local high
school to offer sailing as a "Letter" sport.
When Wilmette IL Parks & Recreation pooled its waterfront resource with 2
yacht clubs to offer a unified, comprehensive sailing program for all ages
through its brochure mailed to all households, the number of people taking
lessons jumped from 135 to over 1000 and charters climbed to 5,000 per
summer. Income from the program hit $200,000, not costing the taxpayers a
nickel. It's a marketing numbers game. The people who try a product are a
function of the number who become aware the product is available and where
to get it.
When Rogers High School in Newport RI first announced a sailing program ,
90 kids signed up vs. only 45 for football.
If 'Butt readers tackled the politics involved to achieve the above two
goals at home, amazing things could happen! The case studies are there.
>> From Don Becker (Re: John Drayton's comments on kinetics.) -- I have
judged many high school, college and USSA events where kinetics have been a
concern. On the water judges (as opposed to umpires) are often reluctant
to give the "death penalty" to sailors who are rocking and pumping. Often
they give warnings after the race, but this only gets everyone on the "I
haven't gotten my warning yet" jag.
John Lee from North Carolina had a suggestion at the recent
Sears-Bemis-Smythe USSA championships in Bellingham, WA. He proposed
adding a sailing instruction that allows the judges to give a graduated
penalties for kinetics. Using a whistle and flag the judges could call
kinetics infractions on the sailors like this; first offence - give a 720
penalty, for a second offence - DSQ from the race, and for a third - DSQ
from the regatta. This allows the judges to act without effecting the
outcome of the regatta, and the sailors really take notice.
I have initiated 3rd party protests as a judge at several regattas. At one
High School National Championship the folks from back east were bumping and
crashing and not exonerating or protesting. I think we had about 12 3rd
party protests the first day (and a long night), but it was amazing how the
fleet improved the next day. This improvement also occurred at a High
School PCC when I DSQ's several for pumping. I think the sailors will
follow the rules if the know that they will be enforced.
>> From Bob Billingham, AmericaOne AC Syndicate -- Having just returned
from overseeing preparations for AmericaOne's Jan-Feb sailing session in
Auckland, it was good to see the NYYC's press release apologizing for the
behavior of their delinquent crew member. The Kiwi public and AC community
in Auckland were incensed, not only at the behavior, but more that he was
let off without a conviction, his name withheld and the syndicate name
The Kiwi judge was apparently won over by Pact's lawyer arguing that a
conviction and name release would hurt the individual's career and the
Syndicate's ability to raise funds - a punishment overly severe for the
crime. This is what really upset the Kiwi public - what they considered a
double standard and the guy getting off without punishment.
The incident reflected badly on all the Cup teams in residence in Auckland,
although the grapevine spread the news quickly regarding the identity of
the Syndicate. This, of course, created concern amongst the other
perfectly-behaved teams that the negative vibes would reflect badly on us.
It was good to see the Young Americans step up to the plate, bite the
bullet and an issue an apology. It would have better if it had happened
>> From Dawn Riley -- Can you please pass on my congrats to Whitney Conner
and Elizabeth Kratzig (for their 470 win in NZ). I first met Whitney at an
Adam's Cup in Everett WA when she barely made the age limit to compete and
was crewing for her Mother, Carol. I knew she was tackling the 470 again
and it is great to see her continue to be so good.
TIP O' THE WEEK
Dialogue - Who is Saying What to Whom? These are suggested lines of
communication that each crew should flush out in great detail so that
onboard communications are well defined and functional.
* Calls for body weight changes, in and out.
*Asks for information on puffs and lulls.
*Listens to feedback on relative speed with other boats: Nice to receive
the information in combination, such as: "we are higher and slower, or same
height and faster." Keep that kind of talk consistent (saying, "we are
losing," does not give enough specifics for the sail trimmers and helmsman
to make adjustments).
*Talks with trimmers when bow is coming up (eg. Out of tacks) or bearing
off (tactical, or for speed).
*Asks for sail control adjustments, specifying who is to make the
adjustment and how much.
*Feeds information to helmsman regarding jib trim in or how much out
(especially out of tacks it is nice to hear how much further in the jib can
*Trimming spinnaker: talk about "tension" and when a puff is on or when it
"feels" light, then the helmsman can react accordingly.
*Give helmsman and trimmer information about whether the boat should be in
point mode or in foot mode, or when sailing downwind if the boat needs to
sail high or low for tactical reasons. The boatspeed people can then trim
in coordination with the tactical decision.
*Listen to wind and wave data from weather rail or trimmers.
*Feed information to bow people regarding upcoming maneuvers Keep entire
boat informed as to what is most likely coming up next so that each person
can be planning their next move to support the tactical decisions. --
Submitted by the Coach at http://www.Sailweb.net
SAILING ON TV
A half-hour program on Leg 1 of the Around Alone Race will air on Sunday,
20 December, at 900 PST on ESPN2. The show will include highlights from
the start in Charleston, South Carolina, and from the journey to Cape Town,
South Africa. But as always, check your local listings
The Heineken International Cup in Puerto Rico will be held from March 15th
- 21st, 1999. It is one of the major yachting events in the Caribbean and
is the first regatta of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle which further
covers the BVI Spring Regatta in Tortola and the Rolex Cup in St Thomas.
Apart from the bareboat class, the regatta is also open to a big fleet of
over thirty J24 racers and a spectacular 'big boats' racing division. Other
classes are cruising-racing, cruising, large multihulls and beachcats. The
organizers expect to welcome over 120 entries.
NOT SO HOT
Every day a number of issues of 'Butt are returned to the curmudgeon as
"undeliverable," but no ISP fails as often as the free Hotmail. Perhaps it
is true that you get what you pay for
Already struggling with a faulty canting keel and a broken satellite
antenna, PRB skipper Isabelle Autissier contacted her shore crew in France
last night via single-sideband radio (SSB) and reported she has a new problem.
"In a communication that was very weak and broken up," her shore crew
reported, "Isabelle alerted her team to the fact that her main sail track
had broken at the masthead. Forced to sail with a double-reefed mainsail,
Isabelle said she was 'heading north.'" Race Operations Center sources say
Autissier has her mainsail up, but with one reef in it. She can neither
raise nor lower the sail, however. She is expected to continue as far north
as 42 S in order to get into calm enough weather and seas to work on her
stuck mainsail. -- Stephen Pizzo, Quokka Sports Staff
Standings (distance to leader in parenthesis) CLASS I: 1. Soldini (0.0) 2.
Thiercelin (29.1) 3. Golding (90.8) 4. Autissier (198.5) CLASS II: 1.
Mouligne (0.0) 2. Garside (22.1) 3.Van Liew (402.0) 4. Yazykov (444.0)
Around Alone website: http://www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVAIONS
The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.