SCUTTLEBUTT #254 - January 11, 1999
CRASH, BOOM BANG
The curmudgeon's computer went "south" last night, which
is the reason for this late issue of 'Butt today.
Although it is still not fully restored, we have the web
stuff and e-mail going well enough to send out this issue
of 'Butt. If it hadn't been for my Zip Drive backup, this
would have been really ugly. Nonetheless, I lost some of
the e-mail I got on Sunday, so if you sent me something
important, you just might want to re-send it again.
Despite his upsets yesterday, Australia's Chris Nicholson
leads the overall points score after two days of
qualifying races in the 49er class. Nicholson won his
final race in the wild conditions just off Station Pier,
to have an overall scoreboard of 1-4-2-1, just one point
less than the fancied American pair of Morgan Larson and
The British brothers Andrew and Ian Budgen are in third
from the Italians Francesco and Gabriele Bruni. It's
brotherly love all over. Fifth are Sydney twins John and
Gary Boyd with Jonathan and Charlie McKee in sixth.
LASERS -- World number one ranked Laser sailor, Ben
Ainslie of Great Britain today had a perfect score in
trying conditions on Port Phillip Bay, winning races
three and four of the 1999 World Laser Championship.
Sailed from Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron at St Kilda,
Ainslie excelled in the heavy conditions, where winds
gusted to 30 knots, kicking up short, steep waves.
| || Flight 1|| Flight 2
| 1. || Ben Ainslie (GBR) || Roope Suomalianen (FIN)
| 2. || Maciej Grabowski (POL) ||Andonis Bougiouris (GRE)
| 3. || Robert Scheidt (BRA) || Brendan Casey (AUS)
| 4. ||Michael Blackburn (AUS) ||Karl Suneson (SWE)
| 5. ||Daniel Birgmark (SWE) ||Brett Beyer (AUS)
| || Flight 1 ||Flight 2
| 1. ||Ben Ainslie (GBR) ||Brendan Casey (AUS)
| 2. || Serge Kats (NED) ||Robert Scheidt (BRA)
| 3. ||Michael Blackburn (AUS) ||Fredrik Westman (FIN)
| 4. ||Nik Burfoot (NZL) || Jim Taylor (GBR)
| 5. ||Anthony Merrington (AUS) || Peder Ronholt (DEN)
For the first time ever at an Olympic class World
Championship, ISAF officials yesterday carried out a
random drug test. Six Laser sailors were chosen after
sailing yesterday and we are hopeful that no results will
be known! Usually, the only time we are alerted to the
outcomes of this procedure is when a test comes back
SOLING -- In a heavy weather race that saw the lead
change hands three times, American Jeff Madrigali today
won an aggressively sailed second race of the world
championship for the 99 Worlds on Melbourne's Port
Phillip. Sailing in a 20-25 knot south-westerly with
lumpy seas, Madrigali and his crew, Craig Healy and
Hartwell Jordon, came from third at the end of the first
leg to take the lead on the second mark. With the margin
of the first boat never greater than 35 seconds, the
Americans led around the second last mark by 8 seconds,
to take over the lead from Dutchman Roy Heiner and his
crew of Peter van Niekerk and Dirk de Ridder who had led
from the second mark.
The American, who was silver medallist in the Soling
class at the Atlanta Olympics, got the gun by just 22
seconds from Heiner, third going to Denmark's Stig
Westergaard and his crew of Jens Bolsen Moller and Bjorn
Westergaard. In the second race, Heiner, who won a silver
medal in the Finn class at Atlanta, scored his first win
of the series, beating world match racing champion Jochen
The full story.
AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based challenger for
America's Cup XXX, began a two-month intensive training
program on the Hauraki Gulf today. It is the team's first
sail together since their training boat OneAustralia
arrived in New Zealand last month. Skipper Paul Cayard
and tactician John Kostecki took the sailing team through
their paces on the waters of the actual America's Cup
2000 race course, where AmericaOne will continue to
benchmark the computational and meteorological data they
have gathered from the Gulf over the past three years.
AmericaOne's team currently in New Zealand, including
shore crew and support staff, includes: Sailing Team: Bil
Bates, Josh Belsky, Curtis Blewett, Paul Cayard, Sean
Clarkson, Justin Clougher, Kevin Hall, Robert Hook, Terry
Hutchinson, Mark Keenan, John Kostecki, Paul Larkin,
Morgan Larson, Pablo Marquez, Moose McClintoch, Bruce
Nelson, Carter Perrin, Rolfie Steitz and Morgan
Shore Team: Don Anderson, Mark Cosby, Brad Fitzgerald and
Brett Healy. Support Staff: Gina von Esmarch, Bob
Billingham, Carol Ann Henderson, Sarah O'Kane, and Kevin
-- Gina von Esmarch
The full story.
Led by US SAILING's Olympic Director Jonathan Harley
(Middletown, R.I.), a strong U.S. delegation '99
Melbourne World Sailing Championships includes coaches
Gary Bodie (Hampton, Va.), Luther Carpenter (New Orleans,
La.) and Skip Whyte (Bristol, R.I.), along with the
following sailors, listed by class:
EUROPE (skipper) Hannah Swett (Jamestown, R.I.) 1994
Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Danielle Brennan Myrdal
(New York, N.Y.); US SAILING's 1998 Female Athlete of the
Year Meg Gaillard (Pelham, N.Y.); Amanda Clark (Shelter
Island, N.Y.); Danielle Soriano (Brielle, N.J.); Erica
Mattson Ruhne (Santa Cruz, Calif.); Leslie Osmera (San
Francisco, Calif.); Lynn Olinger (San Francisco, Calif.);
Krysia Pohl (San Francisco, Calif.); Linda Wennerstrom
(Miami, Fla.); and Samantha Barnes (Greenwich, Conn.)
FINN (skipper) 1998 Finn National Champion Darrrell Peck
(Gresham, Ore.); Andy Kern (Chicago, Ill.); Mike Deyett
(Windham, N.H.); John Callahan (San Francisco, Calif.);
Scott Griffiths (Mission, Kansas); David Byers (Nassau
Bay, Texas); Mo Hart (S. Portland, Maine); Chic Parsons
(Portland, Ore.); and Gus Miller (Portsmouth, R.I.)
470 MEN (skipper/crew) 1992 Flying Dutchman Olympic
Silver Medalist Paul Foerster and Bob Merrick (Garland,
Texas/Portsmouth, R.I.) fresh from their win at the 1998
Sydney International Regatta; 1992 Olympic Silver
Medalists Morgan Reeser and Kevin Burnham (Wilton
Manors/Coral Gables, Fla.); Steven Hunt and Michael
Miller (Poquoson, Va./Fairport, N.Y.); Peter Katcha and
Jim Elvart (Dallas, Texas/Chicago, Ill.); and Graeme
Woodworth and Andrew Gaynor (both Watch Hill, R.I.).
470 WOMEN (skipper/crew) Tracy Hayley and 1996 Olympian
Louise Van Voorhis (Coral Gables, Fla./Webster, N.Y.);
1998 Australian 470 Women's National Championship winners
Whitney Connor and Elizabeth Kratzig (Noank, Conn./Corpus
Christi, Texas); 1996 Europe Olympic Bronze Medalist
Courtenay Dey and Alice Manard (The Dalles, Ore./New
Orleans, La.); and 1992 470 Women's Olympic Bronze
Medalist JJ Isler and Pease Glaser (La Jolla/Long Beach,
49er (skipper/crew) 1997 49er World Silver Medalists and
brothers, Jonathan McKee and Charlie McKee (both Seattle,
Wash.); Two-time 49er World Bronze Medalists ('98 and
'97) Morgan Larson and Kevin Hall (Capitola/Ventura,
Calif.) who recently won the 1998 49er Pacific Champions
held in Sydney; 1998 49er National Champions Jay Renehan
and Chris Lanzinger (Seattle/Medina, Wash.); Andy Mack
and Adam Lowery (both Mercer Island, Wash.); Bates McKee
and Adam Koch (both Seattle, Wash.); and Chad Hough and
David Fox (Ferrysburg/Spring Lake, Mich.)
LASER 1998 Laser National Champion John Torgerson
(Annapolis, Md.); Jack Dreyfuss (Miami, Fla.); 1998
College Sailor of the Year Bill Hardesty (San Diego,
Calif.); Brett Davis (Largo, Fla.); Mark Mendelblatt (St.
Petersburg, Fla.); Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.); Kurt
Taulbee (Williamsville, N.Y.); Mattea d'Errico (San
Antonio, Texas); and Charles Mead (New Orleans, La.)
SOLING (skipper/two crew) 1998 National Champions Dave
Curtis and Karl Anderson with Jeff Thorpe (Marblehead,
Mass./Barnstable, Mass./Alameda, Calif.); Tony Rey, Dean
Brenner and Tom Burnham (Newport, R.I./Watch Hill,
R.I./Newport, R.I.); 1996 Soling Olympic Bronze Medalist
Jeff Madrigali, Craig Healy and Hartwell Jordan (San
Anselmo/Tiburon/Discovery Bay, Calif.); and John
Gochberg, Greg Enos and Chad Atkins (Miami,
-- Jan Harley, Media Pro,
Hal Haenel of Los Angeles, Calif., has been elected a
vice-president of US SAILING, the member-based
organization that regulates all levels of competition in
the sport. Haenel's election to the post was announced at
US SAILING's Annual General Meeting in October as part of
a strategic initiative to involve more athletes in
decisions made at the national level.
Haenel, an Olympic medalist in the Star class (gold 1992,
silver '88) is also the designated Team Leader for the
2000 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and holds a position on US
SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee.
The U.S. has won 50 Olympic yachting medals -- more than
any other nation. Twenty three were won over the last
four Olympiads, with Haenel claiming his two while
crewing for Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif).
- Jan Harley, Media Pro Int'l
Curmudgeon's comment -- This is clearly one of the most
visible, positive steps US Sailing has taken
recently╔which makes it hard to understand why it took
them three months to release the information. I also
found it "interesting" that this item is not posted in
News Release section of US Sailing's web site.
The quality of sailing apparel is measured over years of
service, not how an item looks hanging in the store.
That's why Douglas Gill works so hard to exceed "industry
standards" in everything they do. And they do a lot - a
huge and diversified selection of foul weather gear,
jackets, boots, gloves, hats, PFDs and everything you'll
need for "layering." Check it all out on their impressive
web site: http://www.douglasgill.com
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters may be edited for clarity, space (250 words max)
or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Will Howard --
I'm a local sailor in Hobart, and have several
impressions: The Australian media has really been pushing
the "someone must be blamed" angle on the Sydney-Hobart
losses. The sailors and race organisers have been
insisting that decisions to race or not to race, and
responsibility for consequences, lie solely with the
skippers and crews.
My perspective is a little different. The responsibility
does not lie solely with the sailors, as long as the
larger society accepts an obligation to send rescuers out
to aid stricken vessels. Crews of SAR ships and aircraft
risk their own lives and taxpayers foot the bill. So I
think the organisers and sailors have some obligation to
insure the safety, seaworthiness, and preparedness of the
vessels and crews.
Sailors who are going to be at sea for several days have
to expect that a storm could form and intensify during
the course of the race. The weather forecasters
substantially got this one right within the limits of the
computer model outputs from which they make the
It is unbelievable to me that someone would go to the
trouble and expense of buying an EPIRB and then not
register its signal. Rescue crews need to know exactly
who's putting out distress signals, and if they just
plucked someone out of the ocean, that they still have
others in the vicinity. Otherwise they may keep looking,
at further risk to themselves or others who are still
waiting to be picked up.
-- From George M. Isdale Jr., Commodore of the New York
Yacht Club. -- The New York Yacht Club wishes to extend
its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the
six Sydney-Hobart sailors who lost their lives or are
missing at sea.
Nothing we can say can make up for the profound loss of
family members, friends and shipmates - indeed, the
entire sailing community. However, the hope is that they
were doing what was special to them; what made them
special to you. And to us.
We may master many things in this world, but the ocean is
not one of them. That is its blessing and bane. While
safety-first is a first principle, it cannot be the only
principle for people who look to the sea for adventure,
challenge or solace. If it were, we would never climb
tall mountains, ride rockets into space or cross oceans.
Or even cross the street.
Nevertheless, a loss such as this saddens us all.
-- From Ken Brooke -- Re the Sydney Hobart tragedy. I
endorse all that Rob Mundle and others have said. That
the responsibility for starting and continuing to race
must lie with the yachts.(boats?) A race committee cannot
be expected to predict what might happen in a lengthy
ocean race and the indications given by meteorologists
are just that. However I do believe that conditions
prevailing at the start should be taken into account and
when appropriate the start postponed.
-- From Michael Ford -- In response to Mr. Loomis'
comments regarding the responsibility of the skipper
and/or the crew. Certainly, the skipper bears the burden
of a large decision. And yes the two cases presented seem
fairly realistic. However what skipper, especially a
father, would risk the lives of his family and crew for
the chance to say I didn't "wimp out".
Any skipper worthy of holding that position should have
the courage and strength to assess the conditions and
make a decision based on not only their view but their
crew. The old chain adage applies here. The weak link
could easily be a frightened crewmember. Admittedly there
are times when pushing the crew helps them gain
confidence in handling more difficult conditions but this
must be weighed very carefully.
While the ultimate Yes or No comes from the skipper it
should involve the entire crew. As for the decision based
on "Well, if everyone else is going, I guess we're going
too," I hope I am never involved in a team that portrays
that attitude. That represents reckless and downright
poor decision making regardless of the situation.
AROUND ALONE - Sooooo close
Magellan Alpha and Balance Bar have, for the last hundred
miles, fought a tack-and-tack battle for second. For the
final 12 hours of Leg 2, it was a full-on skipper duel,
in a healthy 15-knot northerly breeze. Mike Garside, thin
after 7,000 nautical miles, edged out Brad Van Liew --
and it all came down to just two minutes and 21 seconds.
That was a bit of a bummer, but I wouldn't trade it for
anything," said a disappointed Van Liew.
A last gasp by Garside put him over the line first, at
3:49 p.m. local time, after 35 days, 16 hours, 49 minutes
and 56 seconds at sea. He now holds a tentative lead over
Van Liew of one hour, 29 minutes and 27 seconds at the
halfway point of the race. "
-- Emily Robertson, Quokka Sports Staff
The full story.
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.