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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:

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 the regatta.

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:

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

>> 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 withheld.

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 sooner.

>> 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.

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 come).

*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

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.

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:

The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.