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SCUTTLEBUTT #243 - December 23, 1998

You have just nine days to learn the revised Racing Rules of Sailing -- they all become effective on January 1. But fear not. Although the curmudgeon has only had a chance to scan them quickly, they look pretty much like an attempt to clarify the intent of the rule without making substantive changes. The only change to Part 2 is the rewritten rule 18:

18.1 When This Rule Applies
Rule 18 applies when boats are about to pass a mark they are required to leave on the same side, or an obstruction on the same side, until they have passed it. However, it does not apply

(a) at a starting mark or its anchor line surrounded by navigable water from the time the boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them, or

(b) between boats on opposite tacks when they are on a beat to windward or when the proper course for one of them to pass the mark or obstruction is to tack.

Perhaps 'Butt readers Art Engel or Dick Rose or Tom Farquhar will send the curmudgeon an e-mail with some insight about the changes. (Notice that I did not refer to these rule gurus as 'Buttheads.)

It will be interesting to see how US Sailing informs the racers and judges of these changes. The clock is ticking, but all 'Buttheads can get a head start - check out the new language at:

US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has named the 1999 US Disabled Sailing Team. Created to recruit and develop athletes for upcoming Paralympiads, the US Disabled Sailing Team annually distinguishes the top-three ranked sailors in each of the two Paralympic classes -- the three-person Sonar and the singlehanded 2.4 Metre.

The following members of the 1999 US Disabled Sailing Team are listed in ranking order: Named in the Paralympic Sonar class (skipper and two crew): 1998 World Disabled Sailing Gold Medalists John Ross-Duggan (Newport Beach, Calif.), Corky Aucreman (Newport Beach) and Waldo Esparza (Seffner, Fla.); 1998 World Disabled Sailing Silver Medalists Paul Callahan (Palm Beach, Fla. and Newport, R.I.), Keith Burhans (Irondequoit, N.Y.) and Richard Hughes (Philadelphia, Pa.); and '98 Independence Cup Champion John Kostanecki (Naperville, Ill.), Hugh Elliot (Alexandria, Va.) and Bill Murphy (East Brunswick, N.J.).

Named in the Paralympic 2.4 Metre class (only two skippers qualified in the rankings): 1997 North American Paralympic 2.4 Metre Champion David Schroeder (Miami Beach, Fla.); and Rick Doerr (Tampa, Fla.).

The 1999 US Disabled Sailing Team is sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. and We Magazine. Douglas Gill is a supplier. -- Jan Harley

The curmudgeon just got an early Christmas presentand it is absolutely extraordinary. If Santa somehow fails to put Sharon Green's remarkable Ultimate Sailing coffee table book under your tree, just buy it for yourself. It's magnificent art - a 'must-have' collectable. Take a look at Sharon's web site to see what I'm talking about:

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

>> Helen Johnstone Falk -- I respect Rod Davis' predictions about the America's Cup in the December issue of Seahorse magazine. However, despite how much experience, funding, technology, etc. a team has, there is no way anyone can accurately rank and or predict who the winning America's Cup team is going to be.

Like any sport, there is always the equation of the unpredictable, the unknown and the risks, DESPITE how well any one team has performed consistently. For all we know, Team Syd Fisher may "pull the cat out of the bag". Part of the"excitement" of the sport (and any sport for that matter) is to make predicitions on the outcome of the respective competition; this, of course, maintains the adrenalin and keeps the sport alive. And, whether these predictions are subjective or objective is irrelevant - it is still a "crap shoot".

The bottom line is that it all comes down to each individual's preference of who they want to see win the America's Cup. We can all analyze and analyze from various viewpoints, but it all boils down to each minute (or second for that matter) in each race. Good luck to all the America's Cup teams. Do I have an individual preference of who I want to see win the America's Cup? Yes! I hope that Dawn Riley with her combination of men and women on her team wins the America's Cup.

>> From Ken Guyer -- Rod Davis has some interesting rankings! I would agree with the first one putting Team NZ at the top. It is very surprising that he would rate Dennis Conner at the bottom. It is probably more wishful thinking than anything else. As long as Davis has been around this event he still underestimates DC.

While NYYC has done a great job with the press and fund raising and the rest, I would put them behind Prada in the #3 spot. A tie would go to Paul and Dennis for #4. Aloha Racing comes next followed by Dawn Riley. I would put Japan higher if I knew a bit more about their funding and design. MOST of this is based on the X-Factor!

Never underestimate Dennis OR Paul. I think either one of them could make a race of it is schooner rigged bath tubs! Christmas Cheers,

>> From Randy Smith (regarding Rod Davis' AC rankings in Seahorse) - How come DC is so low on the list? I know he'll have the best deli in Auckland. Who needs to raise money when you can sell millions of sandwiches? (and maybe a few DC memorabilia items as well).

Hey racers and boat owners! Got a good action picture of you boat? Send it to Frank and let him transform it into stitches for your yachting apparel. Once the design is complete you own it and it can be sewed on just about any fabric that you can wear. The cost is cheap and the work is done by a professional specialty artist. Call Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery (619-226-8033).

Wanna rent a boat for the next Admiral's Cup? How about a brand new Sydney 40 for just one pound sterling? Honest! But there are a few extras:

The four-week charter fee for a Sydney 40 which takes part in the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup is L1 sterling as the charter fee, plus the cost of insurance and sails. For the four-week period, insurance is expected to be around 3000 USD with an excess of 5000 USD.

A sail package has to be purchased new by the charterer from an agreed list of sail makers. The average cost of a package is expected to be around US$30,000. After the event, provided that the sails are in good condition, Bashford International may purchase them on the return of the boat. The purchase figure is expected to be 40% of the new cost. Thus the net cost to the owner for the sail package is likely to be 60% of an average US$30,000 that is US$18,000.

The boats are available to be picked up from the Hamble on Monday 28th June 1999 and should be returned to the Hamble on Monday 26th July. The event itself runs from 12th - 24th July. Prior to the event there is an excellent tuning regatta known as Berthon Source held at Lymington on 9th, 10th and 11th July. Also, during the charter period is the RORC 150 mile offshore race from Cowes to St Malo, starting on Friday 2nd July. Alternatively, the Sydney 40 World Championship will be held from the 1st - 4th July in the Solent, based on Cowes.

To participate in the World Championship, there will be a surcharge of between US$5-10,000 (to be confirmed). There is no surcharge to participate in Berthon Source or the St Malo race. The boats may be available for charter outside the Champagne Mumm Admiral1s Cup period at a rate of US$20,000 per 4-week period.

To purchase a Sydney 40 boat outright, the cost would be in the region of US$240,000 but various "deals" may be negotiated depending upon whether the new owner will take part in the CMAC series and so on. For more infomation:

Also, if you need to rent other boats for your CMAC teamhave we got a deal for you:

Mumm 36 -- Purchase price from around US$90,000 plus VAT. Some excellent used boats are on the market in both the Mumm 36 and the "big boat" classes. A Mumm 36 charter for four weeks including the Champagne Mumm Admiral1s Cup would be in the region of US$25-30,000 (VAT not payable on charter).

IMS "Big Boat" -- The range of boat size is roughly from 40-50 feet LOA (it depends exactly upon the IMS GPH handicap figure). Typically, a Corel 45 might be for purchase around US$450,000 plus VAT, or to charter in the region of US$40,000 (no VAT) for a four week period for the Champagne Mumm Admiral1s Cup.

Check out the ISAF web page for all of the details:

There are still 16 challengers on the list. This despite that fact that Esprit France has given up their base in the Cup Village in the Viaduct Basin. Esprit France was to have shared a base with Swiss Fast 2000. The Swiss are now swapping places with Aloha Challenge, moving from a double site to a single site. Sixteen? Yes, but there are more and more question marks starting to appear. We believe the final total will be closer to 12 than 16. There are now five challengers yet to secure base locations - Esprit France, Russia, Australian Challenge, British Challenge, Spirit of Hong Kong.

The bright yellow Swiss boat has arrived. Originally built by the French for their 1995 San Diego challenge, it was never launched. Good or bad, it cannot be a contender in the present series, as the Swiss must build their own boat for the New Zealand challenger series. -- Excerpt from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from for US $48 per year.

The funeral service for Monte Livingston has been scheduled for 1:00 PM on Sunday, December 27 at the Leo Beack Temple at 1300 N. Sepulveda in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the ULCA Foundation - Humanities Division, PO Box 24209, Los Angeles 90099-4214.

Prominent Southern California yachtsman John "Jack" Baillie died on December 14 of Parkinson's disease. He was 87.

Club 420 Midwinters and Youth World Qualifying regatta -- 12-15 Feb, Miami, FL. A notice of race will be available from the US SAILING info fax line shortly. The top eligible crew (all male, can not turn 19 in 1999 and both US citizens) from the C420 division and Laser division will represent the US at the 1999 ISAF World Youth Championships, 24 June - 3 July, 1999 to be held in Finland. -- James Appel

Accomplished yacht racer Steve Fossett, British tycoon Richard Branson and Swedish co-pilot Per Lindstrand received good news Tuesday when the Chinese agreed to let their balloon continue flying over China -- provided they leave the country as soon as possible. The trio hopes to become the first to fly a balloon nonstop around the world. They hope to catch a strong wind stream so they can be "somewhere in America" by Christmas Day. But the negotiations with China have cost them precious fuel and time. - CNN

For the full story:

As a complex but severe Southern Ocean weather pattern continues to plague the majority of skippers in the Around Alone fleet, Giovanni Soldini and J.P. Mouligne this morning were not only holding, but extending, their respective leads on the wild Leg 2 trip from Cape Town to Auckland. At the 0940 GMT report, in Class I Soldini was over 100 miles ahead of Mike Golding. In Class II, Mouligne was nearly 200 miles in front of Mike Garside. The good news today is that retired skipper George Stricker has managed to turn around and hoist a headsail, and is now making slow progress towards Cape Town. Otherwise, the stormy scenario remains the same. At least the series of tight, spiraling lows sweeping the southern depths can be classified as equal-opportunity gales: After all, everyone is taking their turn getting thrashed.

Josh Hall, the skipper of Gartmore Investment Management, has had a difficult voyage thus far, one that has been hampered by autopilot problems. Yesterday, he filed this report: "The Southern Ocean has arrived in a serious way. During the afternoon and evening the wind gradually built along with the seas and by midnight the anemometer was showing a solid 38 knots with ever lengthening gusts up to 50 knots. Our yacht became more of a submarine as we powered along, surfing on the growing swell, hitting 25-27 knots boat speed."

Overpowered, Hall decided to go forward and drop his deeply reefed mainsail altogether. "The halyard released, hands numb with cold, I squirmed around to crawl back and froze as I felt the boat awkwardly rise to a huge wave... I knew I was about to get nailed-hard. I swung to give the mast a bear hug just in time to meet half the Southern Ocean marching down the foredeck. My whitewater ride ended up hard against the running backstays at the back of the boat... A few minutes later the main rattled down. Little loss of boatspeed, but a huge loss of stress..." - Herb McCormick

Event website:

If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?