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SCUTTLEBUTT #256 - January 13, 1999

99 WORLDS - Reports by Peter Campbell
We have two world champions at the 99 Worlds - Ben Ainslie in the Olympic Laser class and Brad Sumner and Amy Johnstone retaining their title in the Hobie 18s. Great racing in every other class - two wins by an Aussie in the Solings, tremendous competition in the 49ers and 470s, not to mention the Finns and Europes.

LASER GOLD FLEET, Overall Results -- 1 Ben Ainslie GBR (34) 2. Robert Scheidt BRA (38) 3. Karl Suneson SWE (48) 8. Mark Mendelblatt USA (107) 29. Bill Hardesty USA (220)

MEN' 470 -- Southwesterly winds blowing up to 20 knots sternly tested the 470 men's fleet off Black Rock today. The winds whipped up a steep and lumpy chop, making life difficult for the fleet in race four. The race was won by French pairing Benoit Petit and Jean Francois Cuzon, who started the day in fifth position overall. Atlanta gold medallists Eugene Braslavels and Igor Matvienko came in second and are looking to boost their ranking from ninth overall after three races. The third placed crew was the Israeli pair of Ran and Nir Shental. World champions Gildas Philippe and Tanguy Cariou recorded a fifth to keep them close to the top of the points score.

The 470 men are still in the mid-stages of their finals. 470 Men and Mixed - Gold Fleet - Overall Results: 1. Benoit Petit /J Francois Cuzon, FRA (9) 2. Eugene Braslavels / Igor Matvienko UKR (24) 3. Copi Tomaz / Margan Mitja SLO (25) 10. Morgan Reeser / Kevin Burnham USA (52)

49ER -- The final day of qualifying races for the Olympic 49er class 1999 world championship ended in chaos early this afternoon as strong south-westerly winds kicked up short, steep seas in the northern end of Port Phillip bay. At one stage only four boats were still sailing in one flight, with many of the lightweight skiffs limping back to the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria with torn sails, bent and broken masts. Support boats had to tow several boats back to the club and at 3pm today officials cancelled racing for the day, basing the split up of gold, silver, bronze and emerald fleets on the 11 races completed: 1. Chris Nicholson/Ed Smyth (AUS) 14 points, 2. Adam Beashel / Czislowski (AUS) 19 points, 3. Jonathan & Charlie McKee (USA) 20 points, 4. Francesco & Gabriele Bruni (ITA) 20 points, 5. John & Gary Boyd (AUS) 20 points, 7. Morgan Larson/Kevin Hall (USA) 30 points.

SOLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Overall Standing after 6 of 9 races: 1. Stig Westergaard / Jens Bolsen Moller / Bjorn Westergaard DEN (14) 2. Jochen Schuemann / Gunnar Bahr Ingo Borkowski GER (24) 3. Roy Heiner / Peter Van Niekerk / Dirk De Ridder NED (29) 8. Tony Rey / Tom Burnham / Dean Brenner USA (43) 10. Jeff Madrigali / Craig Healy / Hartwell Jordan USA (56)

EUROPE WOMEN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Overall Standings: 1. Sari Multala (8) 2. Margriet Matthijsse NED (9) 3. Abby Mason (12) 17. Meg Gaillaid USA (40) 31. Linda Wennerstrom (50) 42. Hannah Swett USA (62) 44. Danielle Brennan Myrdal USA (66)

A DIVISION CATAMARAN WORLDS - Overall standing after 5 of 7 races: 1 Nils Bunkenburg GER (4) 2. Cameron Owen AUS (11) 3. Scott Anderson AUS (13) 15. Pete Melvin (61)

Event website:

Del Rey YC has added a new twist to PFD issue for next month's 1200-mile race from Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta. In place of the Regulation 5.01 that requires personal flotation while starting and finishing, they have substituted: "All personal on deck SHALL wear personal flotation, with STROBE LIGHT and a WHISTLE attached, during the hours between dusk and dawn." (It was the curmudgeon -- not DRYC -- that added the emphasis with capitalized words) While this is a first for West Coast offshore racing, it's pretty a safe bet that the Transpac YC will go down the same path.

Del Rey YC took a more moderate approach when it comes to safety harnesses. The verbiage in their SIs reads: "It is recommended that all personnel shall employ a safety harness whenever outside the cockpit." Interesting phrasing! Students of the Racing Rules of Sailing will recognize that the word "shall" normally means mandatory and removes any 'wiggle room.' However, coupling it with the word, "recommended" changes that completely.

Both Del Rey YC and Transpac YC were working on these new regulations long before the Sydney-Hobart tragedy, but the loss of life associated with that race will undoubtedly minimize opposition to these rules.

Lord, I hate to open up the PFD thing againbut I'm interested in your thoughts?

Every once in a while the curmudgeon has been known to give away an official 'Butthead tee shirt. And when I gave one to my friend Paul Larsen, he sent this nice note: "My Tee shirt has arrived and it is now one of my proudest possessions. I can't thank you enough. As you well know, attending sailing events is an easy way to build a wardrobe and over the years I've acquired enough tee shirts to open my own store. The Scuttlebutt shirt outranks all the others in quality and design!"

Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery made the curmudgeon look good again, and he can do it for you. Give him a call to find out how affordable quality crew apparel can be: (619) 226-8033.

J/24 MIDWINTERS - Key West, Florida (40 boats)
John Fracisco reported that after two days of racing, four races have been run in "perfect weather" - 15-knots from the ENE with sun! Standings after four races: 1 G. Moore, 2 T. Healy, 3 C. Zaledki, 4 B. Read, 5 C. Larson

Letters may be edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks. -- From Barby MacGowan, Media Pro Int'l -- The announcement re Hal Haenel having been elected a US SAILING vice-president was composed for the Olympic news media that Media Pro Int'l (not to be confused with US SAILING's Communications Department) serves on behalf of the Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC). The information was "repackaged" from news that came out of US SAILING's Annual General Meeting (i.e., several new officers were voted in, not just Hal). The subject matter was somewhat timeless with respect to the audience it was serving. Scuttlebutt is on the OSC's press distribution list, as is US SAILING's web page facilitator, to receive all Olympic and US Sailing Team news. I hope your readers find some joy in that... Keep up the great work!

-- From Bruce Van Deventer -- Here's a few ideas to increase participation in your racing program:

1) Pay-on-the-water registration: give the race committee registration forms and envelopes for payment. Let people pay right on the water (process the forms later, but take their money when they get the service you are providing). Have your whaler/utility boat person hand them the packet if necessary. Have some zip-lock baggies handy if it's wet.

2) Handicap racing for dinghies: In the Seattle area we have lots of dinghies that can't get to the 'critical mass' needed to get their own start in our weekday evening race series (typically 4 boats or so). But if there were a few of these boats out on the water every week, more people would be interested. So let 'em come out and race. Have a single-handed and double-handed "generic" class in addition to your regular classes. Use time-on-time handicapping where the handicap is like a golf handicap in that it adjusts based on all your previous results. Time-on-time means your race committee doesn't have to measure the course length, so it's simpler. Maximize the fun factor.

3) Publicize your results: Put everyone's results on the web ASAP after the finish. Phone in the top 3 places in each class to the sports desk of your local paper (or fax, e-mail, etc). Keep your sports desk happy. Send photos, too. Know their deadline. Let your local TV news people know your race schedule so they can send someone out to shoot a filler if it's a nice day.

-- From Jack Christiansen, Seattle Yacht Club Fleet Captain - HELP! We are looking for a new computer scoring program for handicap and one design racing, for both regattas and series' that can enable results to be easily downloaded to our Seattle Yacht Club Web page. Any suggestions of programs to consider please email me:

-- From Bill Myers - The 'Buttheads should know that AT&T plans to close their three coastal stations as of February 28th. That leaves anyone doing offshore stuff few choices. I have a hard time believing that this is the correct thing to do in abandoning a user base network that human lives can be dependent on, particularly on such short notice.

In their letter AT&T has given us an alternative. We can simply opt to shell out $5,000 for an Inmarsat Mini-M terminal registered to AT&T. Somehow I get the feeling that AT&T was not selling a lot of the Mini-M's but figured if they shut down the old service it would help the new sales. So how many of us have a ready $5,000 when we have SSB's that work just great.

We all recognize that technology moves forward. In this case why the rush? Normal balance takes place when there are competing technologies, which at the current time there is none. Why not delay this move a few years until we have several options and hopefully at a more competitive price?

I would urge all concerned "Buttheads" write the FCC immediately and ask this change be delayed. The address is Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554. They should specifically reference Section 63.71 Application of AT&T.

-- Luca Bassani Antivari, President of Wally Yachts -- I would like to pass you my personal ideas about the tragedy of the Sidney Hobart. Today a race like this costs a fortune in terms of general organisation, PR and other activities. These demand money. Only Sponsors could provide that financial need. To cut short a long story WHO, between skippers crews and officers, would accept to go against the Gentle Sponsor?

It works the same between the crews, professional and non. The professionals, being the most experienced, should be the firsts to propose a postponement in these cases, but who between them would be so courageous to do it in front of his personal sponsor?

There are too many Conflicts of Interest, and in these situations the key world is MONEY.

After having said that, we know that we will never have the possibility to forecast the real weather, even having a juridical responsible.

So what ?? In an Italian dialect from Genoa there are two words, " MA " and " MA ", the first one means " Sea " the second one means " Bad ". The sailormen from Genoa, the most skilled at that time (centuries ago) knew perfectly that the sea could be very bad, partcularly when you want to challenge it.

Only the good sense could minimize those situations, not the money.

Curmudgeon's comments - Yes, I know I declared this 'thread' OFFICIALLY DEAD yesterday. However, I thought this letter had a different twist and it's not very often that I get e-mail from the President of Wally Yachts.

-- From Elizabeth Meyer -- Thanks so much for Scuttlebutt. It's a favorite on board the J Class Endeavour.

So I Communicate Better So What!

1. Good communication is the key to great teamwork. Think ahead and let the crew know as soon as key tactical decisions are made in order to keep everyone on the same page.

2. Always try to have a plan for the next portion of the race. Plan your strategy for the run at the end of the beat.

3. Only talk if it contributes to better decisions or better speed; i.e. Aim to know your boat well enough so that speed is second nature. Now you can keep your head out of the boat and think ahead in order to maximize your position.

4. Set up channels of communication: e.g. helmsman receives information from trimmers, tactician and possibly someone up forward calling breeze and waves. Trimmer receives information from Helmsman, Tactician and Bowman. Bowman receives information from Tactician as to what move comes next. Information should always travel through channels so that when something is missed you have accountability for next time to get it right.

5. Before tacking, jibing or rounding a mark do a quick responsibility check so that all tasks are covered.

6. Keep your crew happy... a post race beer or T-shirt goes a long way. -- Contributed by the Coach at

It was announced at the London Boat Show that The Times Clipper 2000, the challenging round-the-world yacht race starting from the UK in October 2000 is, for the first time, offering individual boat sponsorship to major UK cities and towns. Representatives from around forty selected cities which have shown interest in acting as a focal point for regional and local participation will meet with the organisers and sponsors at a presentation at the London Boat Show next week.

The route for The Times Clipper 2000 will follow the proven successful format of the current and earlier Clipper round-the-world races, comprising six legs and visiting over 12 ports including major commercial centres in Hawaii, Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Brazil and the U.S.A. In addition to being the only race to travel up the Yangtze river to Shanghai, the race is the longest of all the round-the-world events and highly demanding for skippers and crews alike, taking some 10 months to circumnavigate the globe, a distance of over 34,000 miles from start to finish.

Up to twelve yachts will be involved in the race and the sponsored boats will be given the use of a free berth for each of the six legs of the race. A number of factors has determined the initial selection of cities and towns invited to participate including their geographical spread across the UK and Ireland, size and special reason of interest such as historical links with the sea or trade. - John Roberson

The curmudgeon recently loaded some really neat 'wallpaper' on his computer's desktop. It's a Daniel Forster photo of the classic yacht Shamrock reaching at high speed. You can do the same thing. Simply go to: Next, left click on the photo to blow it up, and then RIGHT CLICK to "set as wallpaper." There are other great photos of classic yachts on the web site that also will make great wallpaper, or you might even want to buy one and hang it in a special spot in your home or office. I'm sure Forster would like that:

After one year of extensive preparation, Dutchman Hans Bouscholte will be crossing the Atlantic Ocean in an open 19 foot Nacra Inter catamaran, accompanied by Frenchman Gerard Navarin. Starting in mid January from Dakar, Senegal, they hope to reach the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, without assistance, in less than 18 days and 22 hours, and so beating the current world record.

The idea to cross the Atlantic with an open catamaran was born in 1986, when two attempts took place. The first attempt, still unbeaten after 12 years, was by Frenchman Daniel Pradel and Australian Tony Laurent who crossed the Atlantic from Senegal to Guadeloupe with a Hobie 18. They arrived in Guadeloupe after 18 days and 22 hours, exhausted, sick, dehydrated and unable to walk. The same year another attempt was made by Frenchmen Laurent Bourgnon (nowadays skipper of the 60-ft trimaran 'Primagaz', winner of the last Route du Rhum) and Frederic Geraldi. They needed two more days for the crossing, ending up in hospital where they were treated for severe sunburn and dehydration.

Bouscholte's boat is a custom made, 19-ft Nacra Inter, fitted with two carbon wings, a carbon mast and is unsinkable through the construction of separate chambers in the hulls. The latest news, updates and their position will be posted daily on the website:

At the back of the fleet, Robin Davie still had 3,114 miles to go at the latest position report. He is in a race to arrive in Auckland before the January 30th cutoff to be eligible for Leg 3, and his cause is not being furthered by problems with his rudder and his self-steering equipment. In a message to race ops today he wrote, "The last 24 hours have probably been amongst the most difficult of any 24-hour period during any of the three Around Alone races I've been part of. Gale force winds, with storm-force squalls, and no proper autopilot or steering mechanism functioning properly... - Herb McCormick

Full story:

Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.