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
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
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: http://99worlds.org/
PAN AM GAMES
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,
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
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: http://www.douglasgill.com
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters may be edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude
-- 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
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
-- 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
-- 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
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
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
Class website: http://www.1d48.com/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Happiness can't buy you money'