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SCUTTLEBUTT #257 - January 14, 1999

99 WORLDS - Reports by Peter Campbell
Another day of fresh weather sail as the southwester kicked in at 20 knots this afternoon causing some mayhem among the 49ers. Large crowds on Station Pier at Port Melbourne.

49ER-- New leaders, with two more days of sailing on the bay, are the Americans Morgan LARSEN and Kevin HALL who finished the long hard day with two fine wins. Two Australian crews, Adam Beashel and Teague Czislowski and Emmett Lazich and Euan McNicoll, are second and third. Defending world champion Chris Nicholson and his crew, Ed Smyth, have slipped from first to fourth in the point score after the first day of racing in gold fleet finals of the 49er world championships on Melbourne's Port Phillip.

Sailing in a southwester that freshened from 12 to 20 knots during the day, kicking up a short, steep sea off Port Melbourne, the 49er fleet again suffered some damage, including at least one broken mast and a broken rudder - and many capsizes.

1. Morgan Larson / Kevin Hall USA (25) 2. Adam Beashel / Teague Czislowski AUS (25) 3. Emmett Lazich / Euan McNicoll AUS (44) 14. Jonathan Mckee / Charlie McKee USA (55)

I-14 -- Australia has claimed its third world title of the 1999 World Sailing Championships with victory in the International 14 class. South Australians Grant Geddes and Craig Watkin had an emphatic victory, sealing their gold medal with a win in the seventh and final race off Sandringham Yacht Club.

The Australians were a point behind defending world champions Charles Stanley and Mo Gray from Great Britain going into the final race. Stanley and Gray finished second in the final race, causing a tie on the overall points score at 27 points apiece. But Geddes and Watkin, with four individual heat wins claimed the title.

The American crew of Zach BERKOWITZ and Karl BALDAUF finished fifth in race seven, doing enough to hold on to their overall third place and the bronze medal. Final Results: 1. Grant Geddes/Craig Watkin AUS 27 points, 2. Charles Stanley/Mo Gray GBR 27 points, 3. Zach Berkowitz/Karl Baldauf USA 45 points

SOLINGS-In a long, hard race in a 20 knot southwester, European crews dominated the top placings of today's sixth race of the Soling world fleet racing championships on Port Phillip. First place went to Norway's Herman Horn Johannessen, second to series leader Stig Westergaard and third to Sergey Pichugin from the Ukraine.

With two races to sail, Westergaard has a commanding lead with 16 points (one discard) followed by Germany's Soling world match racing champion Jochen Schuemann on 29 points after a fifth today, and Holland's Roy Heiner third with 42 points. Others: 7.Tony Rey (59) 10. Jeff Madrigali (66) 13. Rod Davis (72) 20. David Curtis (96)

470 Men's - Sweden's Johan Molund and Mattias Rahm notched up a first and a second today to throw out a late challenge to Frenchmen Benoit Petit and Francois Cuzon in the Olympic 470 men's dinghy world championship at the 99 Worlds on Melbourne Port Phillip. With three races to sail tomorrow and on Saturday, the French have a net 43 points, the Swedes 57 points. In third place overall are defending world champions Gildas Philippe and Tanguy Cariou, who today placed 6th and 18th (their drop race) leaving them with a net 61 pts. Others: 10. Morgan Reeser / Kevin Burnham USA (97) 21. Steven Hunt / Michael Miller USA (138)

470 Women's - Danish sisters Susanne and Michaela Ward are inching ahead on the overall points score after six races of the 470 women competition. Standings: 1 Susanne Ward / Michaela Ward DEN (22) 2. UK1 Ruslana Taran / Olena Pakholchik UKR (38) 3. Natalia Via Dufresne / Sandra Azon ESP (38) 10. Tracy Hayley / Louise Van Voorhis USA (76) 11. Whitney Connor / Elizabeth Kratzig USA (78) 14. JJ Isler / Pease Glaser USA (93) 21. Courtenay Dey / Alice Manard USA (129)

There is a lot more on the web site:

The Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING has announced the winners of the Pan Am Trials in the Laser and Mistral classes, and the non-Olympic Hobie 16, Laser Radial and Lightning classes. Yet to be determined are the competitors in the remaining Pan Am sailing events -- Europe, Finn, and the non-Olympic Snipe and Sunfish. Upon approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee these trials winners will represent the U.S. at the 1999 Pan American Games, scheduled for July 24 - August 8, 1999, in Winnipeg, Canada. The Pan Am Games is a multi-sport event held every four years. Competing are the 42 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organizations from North, Central and South America. The Pan Am Regatta will be hosted by the Gimli Yacht Club and is restricted to 140 competitors among the ten classes.

Mistral (Men and Women's divisions): Veteran US Sailing Team members Mike Gebhardt (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and Lanee Butler (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) have earned their third trip to the Pan Am Games. Both posted two first-place finishes in the respective divisions of their trials held in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Gebhardt, age 33, has dominated men's boardsailing in the U.S. since first making the US Sailing Team in 1986. A veteran of three Olympics which resulted in two medals -- '88 Bronze, '92 Silver -- Gebhardt has collected Pan Am gold in '87 and silver in '95.

A two-time Olympian, the 28-year old Butler has won boardsailing medals at both of her previous trips to the Pan Am Games, bringing home gold from Cuba in '91 and bronze from Argentina in '95.

Laser/Laser Radial: Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) posted four bullets in the seven-race Laser event to earn his trip to Winnipeg. Twenty-four elite Laser sailors competed at the trials in Ft. Lauderdale, which was preceded by a four-day clinic at the US Sailing Center in Miami. Mendelblatt, a three-time Collegiate All-American while at Tufts University, is a 25 year-old stock broker and was previously a member of the '96 US Sailing Team. He finished 3rd out of 48 boats at the '96 Laser Olympic Yachting Trials.

In the Laser Radial Trials, Jane Codman (Boston, Mass.) finished first in all three races of her series to qualify for the Pan Am Games.

Hobie 16 (skipper/crew): Wally Meyers (Marmora, N.J.) and Mark Santorelli (Colonia, N.J.) dropped their worst finish of fifth place counting three bullets to win their trials. Held in Dewey, Delaware, the four-race series was contested by 19 teams. On a roll, the duo claimed the '98 Hobie 16 Continental Championship in a 63-catatmaran fleet just days later. Just a month earlier Meyers and Santorelli had finished 11th out of 112 cats at the '98 Hobie 16 World Championships in Australia. Meyers, a Captain in the Ocean City Fire Department, has been sailing with Santorelli since 1989.

Lightning (skipper and two crew): Andrew Horton (Shelburne, Vt.) with crew Bill Fastiggi (Burlington, Vt.) and Heather Rowe (Peru, N.Y.) won their trials with two first-place finishes that left them six points ahead of the tied-on-points second and third place finishers. Eighteen boats sailed the six-race series hosted by the Carlyle Sailing Association in St. Louis, Mo.

Remaining Trials: Trials for the remaining classes are scheduled in 1999 as follows:

Snipe, Mar 24-27, Southern Yacht Club, New Orleans, La. Europe, April 24-26, San Francisco Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif. Finn, June 3-6, Ninnescah Sailing Association, Wichita, Kansas Sunfish, July 9-11, Rochester Canoe Club, Rochester, N.Y.

US Sailing Team -- The winners of the Pan American Games trials, Olympic and non-Olympic classes alike, will become members of the 1999 US Sailing Team. Rolex Watch USA and Sperry Top-Sider sponsor the US Sailing Team. Douglas Gill and Team McLube are suppliers. - Jan Harley

How many different kinds of foul weather jackets do you need to manufacturer to have a "full line?" While checking out the new Douglas Gill catalog, the curmudgeon counted 18 different foul weather and other waterproof jackets. And there are 16 different kinds of waterproof foul weather pants in there. Do you suppose this sort of versatility has something to do with the reason Gill is the official supplier to both the British Sailing Team and the US Sailing Team? Check it all out on the Douglas Gill website:

Letters may be edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks. -- From Thomas Moulds ( on getting boats racing) -- I would like to second thoughts on small boats fleets. The Southern Maryland Sailing Association (Solomon's, MD) started racing small boats on Thursday nights with a very good response. SMSA uses Portsmouth handicapping which has its faults, but is usable. SMSA also limits protests (none) to keep the fun factor high. SMSA has all kinds of boats and all ages racing. All are invited and SMSA hosts a small boat spring and fall weekend regatta. Check it out at

For big boat racing it seems that cost splitting racing syndicates (crew owned boats) are getting more popular, does anybody have insight on how these work?

PS Since my luck has run contrary to your contests, is there a avenue to purchase a official 'Butthead tee shirt? It sure would be nice to be able to pick out other 'Buttheads in the post race party crowd.

Curmudgeon's comment - About your tee shirt, Frank is off skiing right now, but as soon as he gets back we'll work him over to insure that any reader who wants an official 'Butthead tee shirt will be able to purchase one at his cost. In the mean time, why don't you drop him a line at his e-mail address: PACYACHT@AOL.COM

-- From Glenn McCarthy -- Of 79 crew in the water, 22 of those were at night. Of 150-175 races a year, 5-6 of those were at night. Those were the numbers from the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation's overboard study over a 38-year period. A crew is 8 times more likely to go overboard at night. Hurray Del Rey YC.

The Safety-at-Sea Committee of US SAILING has concerns about strobes on crew in the water at night. It has been found that strobes destroy the night vision of the recovering crew. The strobe is good to turn on when the boat is far away, but when the boat gets close, your better off turning off the strobe light and turning on a steady light (flashlight type) so you don't blind your crew. Combination lights are in the making. Just food for the thought.

-- From Al Gooden -- The difference in the PFD issue between offshore (Sydney-Hobart) and inshore around the buoys is the reason that this whole PFD thing blew up in US Sailing's face, and continues to do so. Sailors are capable of knowing when to use emergency equipment--when no one else is around to help you, you better be able to help yourself. This is why you won't see any strong objection from anybody to the mandates of wearing PFD's or harnesses at night offshore. If you go overboard in the dark, who's there to help you?

Inshore around the buoys during the day is a different story, a distinction that US Sailing has failed to realize. Help is always somewhere nearby on the course, whether it's a stake boat or a competitor, or even the crew on your own boat. It's daylight and you're easy to find. Not so in the middle of the ocean at night.

Where this whole thing crossed over from the rational to the emotional is when US Sailing took the shotgun approach with no documentary evidence to support it, and infringed on what many people regard as a personal freedom--the right to choose--something that our ancestors fought a revolution with England to achieve.

US Sailing would be much better served (since they were elected to serve us) if they would pay attention to the things that put more people on the water to join in the fun, and stop alienating the ones that are already here.

Curmubgeon's comment - Rich Roberts wrote to remind me that the Transpac YC announced last September they will require PFDs with strobe lights at night for their July race to Hawaii. Unlike DRYC, the Transpac rules will not include a whistle.

-- From Charles Barthold, Editor, Yachting magazine -- In reference to Eric Steinberg's excellent piece on EPIRBs in issue #250. The technology of EPIRBs is wonderful but is worthless if the user does not register the unit when it is purchased. The death of Mike Plant is a perfect example. Plant did not register his EPIRB and when the signal went off it was lost in the thousands of signals received in the course of a day. If authorities do not have a name to match against the signal they ignore it for very good reason. If they didn't they would be chasing thousands of false alarms a day.

I have no clue if this was an issue in the Sydney Hobart race but it's something we should all be aware of.

-- Scott Truesdell -- From I know you decreed the thread closed, but I felt the need to add just one more slant on the Sydney/Hobart tragedy. Any time a life is lost, it is tragic. Maybe even more so when lost in pursuit of sport. But we must remain philosophical about where, in the scheme of things, our sport lies.

I am currently rereading "Into Thin Air", Jon Krakauer's superlative account of the May, 1996, disaster on Mount Everest. The death-to-success ratio of climbing that mountain is appalling; about one out of every five who strive to climb to the summit of the world die in the attempt.

Not even in our sport's most extreme manifestations -- one could make a case for the Around Alone sailors waging battle in the southern ocean -- does sailing even come close to the sort of risks faced on every single Everest expedition.

We learn from our tragedies and strive to sway the odds in favor of survival. But ultimately each individual has the responsibility to make the choice whether or not to participate in a risky venture. Sometimes the conservative decisions come at a great price. But it is the aggressive decisions that can extract a price beyond measure. It is my prayer that we all use wisdom in choosing our own risks.

Curmudgeon's comment - This is the absolute end of the Hobart thread. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

-- From Peter Huston -- There is a competing technology to AT&T's offshore phone link - Iridium. Right now it's a bit more expensive than AT&T but less than SatCom C, but has vastly superior coverage - like global 24/7.

ID48 - An excerpt from a report by Doug DeVos
We have modified the '99 schedule to reflect the timing of the America's Cup and the Admiral's Cup and the fact that those two events compete for our teams' time and resources. As a result, the 48s will not be racing as a class in Key West or at the SORC this year. Because a new standard of competition was set in 1998, and most notably in San Francisco, we felt that showing up in Key West with anything less would not be acceptable. While a number of our teams expressed great interest in racing in the class in 1999, it required the schedule to be worked around their America's Cup and Admiral's Cup commitments. Accordingly, we decided to look at an alternative schedule.

The 1D48 Chesapeake Grand Prix will be the major event for the class this spring. Baltimore was one of the most - if not the most - successful of the Whitbread stopover ports last year. The City of Baltimore held a festival in conjunction with the stopover and will reproduce the festival in 1999. The City has asked the 48s to be the featured sailing part of the event this year in lieu of the Whitbread 60s.

As part of the Baltimore Waterfront Festival, the 48s will race for 3 days of around-the-buoys courses Wednesday through Friday, April 28-30. A spectator crowd of 125,000 is expected for the Festival. Saturday will be a lay-day, then a distance race will start on Sunday, May 2 to coincide with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk (same as the Whitbread re-start). The distance race of approximately 200 miles will go from the Bay Bridge to the mouth of the Bay at Chesapeake Light, then return to a finish in Annapolis. Already we have two new teams eager to race in the 1D48 Chesapeake Grand Prix: Peter Gordon of Gaucho fame, and George Collins, of the Whitbread challenger, Chessie Racing.

In the summer of 1999, the 48s will pursue an active schedule of racing in the Great Lakes. Tentative plans call for the class to participate in the Chicago-Mac Race (July 10), Harbor Springs (July 23-25), and the Verve Cup (August 13-15). Several boats are expected to race the Bayview-Mac as well. There are a number of Lakes racers who've inquired about coming into the class over the last year or two, and the Great Lakes Fresh Water Series will provide an opportunity for new, regional teams to enjoy 48 racing - in Great Lakes style.

Following the America's Cup finals in January - February, 2000, racing will pick up in again in Miami. Next on the schedule will be the second 1D48 Chesapeake Grand Prix, followed by the Newport/Manhattan Series, the Chicago-Mac Race, the Verve Cup, the Big Boat Series, and Palm Beach in December.

Class website:

Happiness can't buy you money'