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SCUTTLEBUTT #258 - January 15, 1999

99 WORLDS -- Reports by Peter Campbell
49ER -- Chris Nicholson, Australia's duel world champion in the new Olympic class, the 49er high performance skiff, today has made a brilliant fight back to regain the lead in the 1999 world championship on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay. Sailing in conditions the 49ers (and their crews) really like, flat seas and a fresh northerly breeze, Nicholson, from Lake Macquarie near Newcastle, and his crew, Ed Smyth, burst back into calculations with a 1-2-5-2 streak as Melbourne's temperature soared into the mid-30s and the hot northerly faded away in the mid-afternoon. However, the Australian pretenders to Nicholson's two successive crowns, Adam Beashel and Teague Czislowski from Pittwater, are throwing out a strong challenge. With two wins, a sixth and a seventh today, Beashel, the younger brother of Olympic Star world champion and Atlanta bronze medallist, Colin Beashel, is only three points behind Nicholson.

Americans Morgan LARSEN and Kevin HALL, who headed the pointscore after yesterday's racing. maintained their consistent sailing with placings of 4-3-4 earlier today before slumping to finish 24th in today's last heat. With just two races to sail tomorrow in the 49er gold fleet, the outcome of this most spectacular of the Olympic classes at the 99 Worlds is shaping up as a down to the line duel between the two Australian crews. Nicholson and Smyth lead with 28 points from Beashel and Czislowksi with 31 points, with Larson and Hall on 37, and Italian brothers Francesco and Gabriele Bruni on 51 points, followed by Australia's Emmett Lazich and Euan McNicoll on 61 points. Jonathan and Charlie MCKEE are in 10th place with 76 points.

CLASS A CATAMARAN -- Germany's Nils Bunkenberg today became the 1999 world championship for A-division catamarans in one of the best series run as part of the 99 Worlds on Melbourne Port Phillip. Sailed from McCrae Yacht Club, the host for many Little America's Cup Challenge Matches in C-class catamarans, the A-division worlds attracted almost 90 competitors from eight nations, with Australia having the largest contingent. Bunkenberg is the current European champion and while he won four of the first six races, he needed a good place in the final race to ensure victory over the Australians Scott Anderson and Cameron Owen.

In turn, Anderson and Owen had to beat the German by seven eight places respectively, but the German made certain this did not happen. He finished fourth in the final race, sailed in a hot but light northerly wind in the south-east corner of Port Phillip, to finish with a net 11 points. This gave him the 1999 world championship from Anderson, the Los Angeles Olympic representative in the Tornado catamaran class from Sydney, on 17 points, and local McCrae sailor Owen on 20 points. Defending world champion, American Pete MELVIN, won the final race but finished the regatta in 7th place with 65 points

SOLING -- Olympic Soling world fleet racing champion and Atlanta silver medallist, Russian Georgy Shaiduko, won't win the 1999 world championship on Melbourne's Port Phillip, but he gave a glimpse of his skill with a hard-fought win today. On a day of extreme heat in Melbourne, with a fresh northerly wind blowing, the Russian took the lead on the fourth leg to win by just 19 seconds from Norway's Herman Horn Johannessen and Ukrainian Sergey Pichugin.

Soling World Championship - Overall Results - 1. Stig Westergaard DEN (25) 2. Jochen Schuemann GER (37) 3. Herman Horn Johannessen NOR (44) 4. Roy Heiner (55) 5 Hans Wallen SWE (61) 6 Cameron Miles AUS (67) 7. Tony Rey USA (70) 18. USA Jeff Madrigali (96) 20. David Curtis USA (119)

470 MEN - 1. Johan Molund / Mattias Rahm SWE (53) 2. Benoit Petit / J Francois Cuzon FRA (54) 3. Stanczyk Tomasz / Jakubiak Tomasz POL (69) 9. USA1075 Morgan Reeser / Kevin Burnham USA (91) 18. Steven Hunt / Michael Miller USA (133)

470-WOMEN -- 1 Susanne Ward / Michaela Ward DEN (31) 2. Shany Kedmy / Anat Fabrikant ISR (36) 3. Ruslana Taran/ Olena Pakholchik (40) 4 Natalia Via Dufresne / Sandra Azon ESP (48) 10. Tracy Hayley / Louise Van Voorhis USA (78) 12. Whitney Connor / Elizabeth Kratzig USA (87) 14 JJ Isler / Pease Glaser USA (90)

There is much more:

(Following is a report from Auckland by AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard.)

January 14, 1999 -- The day started out on the windy side, AGAIN. We have been battered by a couple of low pressure systems for the last three days. Our friends at America True did not want to go out so our racing with them was cancelled for the day. We went out around noon and proceeded to get some good practice in. We had made a repair to our mast yesterday and wanted to check that out.

It rained pretty much the whole time we were out and blew 15-20 knots. The sea was a bit rough since it has been blowing from the north east for three days now. A lot of water comes aboard, both on deck and below when the hatches are open. Again it is great to be down here seeing all this and figuring out how to deal with it for next year. Tomorrow we should be back on schedule to race (America) True. Forecast is 10-12 knots. - Paul Cayard

Cayard's daily reports will not always be reprinted here but you can find them on the syndicate website:

The NYYC/Young America AC Challenge will announce its first Premier Partner -- a top-level, cash sponsor -- on Monday, January 18 at 7:30 a.m. at GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week. Stay tuned.

(Concerns were raised in 'Butt #256 about AT&T's plans to close their three West Coast Ship to Shore stations. Eric Steinberg from Farallon Electronics in Sausalito, CA prepared this special report to shed some light on the subject.)

ATT had been trying to sell the SSB stations for about a year with no takers. I think the 60-day notice to customers before shutting down is a little abrupt! There are plenty of unhappy customers but there is help out there to be had.

SSB voice services are available through WLO in Mobile Alabama. WLO is known in the business as "the largest radio station in the world." These guys don't fool around, they carry a huge segment of the commercial SSB market, supporting voice and data. WLO can be contacted at 800-633-1312.

Here's the twist, and maybe people at the end of this thread can help. WLO can cover the Atlantic and Caribbean from the Alabama site very well. They also do well in Mexico and central to South America. They don't cover Alaska and other far pacific spots as well as they would like. HOWEVER, WLO has a station set up in Seattle that is bound to come on line with full services.

I suggest that everyone direct their letter writing and phone calls to ATT and urge them to help WLO in any way they can get Seattle 100% before they shut off KMI. I'll get back to you on the ATT addresses and phone # to light up.

As a sailor, I feel that SSB is here to stay, even when sat phone are $1000 and $1 a minute. Let's face it, transmitting on SSB is free and in a distress situation unless you have the phone # of the SAR group looking for you, the SSB is a pretty handy thing to have! In addition, the advent of good email services over SSB make it more not less attractive. I don't see race committees letting a 'sat' phone take the place of a SSB as a race requirement any time soon.

Also, Peter Huston missed the mark a bit ('Butt #257). Iridium is a global service that runs about $6 / minute and is full duplex unlike SSB that is semi-duplex (can't talk and listen at the same time). Satcom C is TEXT only (no voice) and is nearly global (works to 70 degrees N and S). I think Peter meant Satcom Mini M which uses spot beams and does have holes in the service. Again, any of the satellite services have the drawback that the "call" is terminated at a phone # and you can only be heard buy the party at the other end. I wonder how racers would feel about not getting position info at roll call? - Eric Steinberg

For Lin Robson and Bill Beaver, the midwinter Flying Dutchman and International Canoe class championships in St. Petersburg have become a ritual of winning. With their performances over the weekend, St. Petersburg's Robson has won the one-design event three of the past four years in the Flying Dutchman class, and Annapolis sailor Beaver has won the International Canoe class twice in three years. For Virginia-based Barney Harris and Jesse Falsone, though, the St. Petersburg midwinter championship brought a first. They won the highly competitive 505 class, in which they have raced together for more than three years.

Hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, the January racing venue on Tampa Bay has always attracted top Northern sailors in each class of lightweight dinghy. Even with temperatures in the 50s, warmer water and 10- to 18-knot winds provided fast, wet and challenging conditions, though Friday's opening day of races was canceled for lack of wind. -- Doran Cushing, St. Petersburg Times

505 -- 1. B Harris/J Falsone 9; 2. Macy Nelson/P Alarie 11; 3. E Bixby/S Ikle 13; 4. A Meller/D Burroughs 31; 5. R de La Rie/A Freedmen 32; 6. L Montague/A Cheney 32; 7. M Wedge/S Lake 39; 8. D Chathsam/S Mariani 49; 9. D Breton 53; 10. C James/L Crane 55; 11. W Mason/E Wright 63; 12. D Weatherby/C Gorton 65; 13. J Breeder/A Breeder 69; 14. A Cole/A Brown 88; 15. FLiesegang/D Anderson 92

Flying Dutchman -- 1. L Robson/S Jorgensen 6; 2. P Hemker/G Schwantz 15; 3. J Wrenn/C Wrenn 16; 4. T Sayles/P Rucicka 24; 5. T Jacob/D Anderson 31; 6. D Fagen/G Griffin 35.

International Canoe -- 1. B Beaver 10; 2. T Van Dusen 12; 3. J Kells 12; 4. T Llewellyn 25; 5. D Gilliland 26; 6. D Ellis 33; 7. G Saunders 53; 8. T Richardson 57; 9. P DeCausemaker.


In one-design racing you need boat speed -- not a soft rating -- to come away with some hardware at a major regatta. Do you suppose it's just a coincidence that Ullman Sails were used on the boats that won the Sabot Nationals (Junior and senior), the Lido 14 Nationals, the Santana 20 Western Regionals, the Tornado Nationals, the ULDB 70 class in the Big Boat Series, the Schock 35 High Point Series and the 505 Worlds? Find out how affordable it is to improve your boat's performance at the Ullman Sails web site:

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

-- From Tom Priest -- In reply to Peter Huston's communication alternative I have two comments:
1.: Iridium is on orbit, in place, quite pricey, and has MANY bugs to work out yet. Yes, it's availablebut reliability is not its strong suit, YET. In time there will be MANY alternatives, but we're not quite there yet. With alternatives comes competition, with competition comes better pricing and better service. In the meantime, the FCC should not allow AT&T to shutter KMI and its East coast brother just yet...(akin to the loran issue) Technology is a wonderful thing...but you shouldn't rush away from something that works until its replacement works BETTER! (Stepping UP into a life raft is another example.)

2.: On the kind of fun side of technology I would like to point out a great web site for you amateur astronomers and off-shore navigators who miss celestial sightings and the like. This is also sort-of related to the Iridium info. CHECK THIS OUT! It tells you where and when to look for IRIDIUM satellite "flashes" as the sun reflects light off the satellites passing overhead. You plug in your lat/long position and it will tell you where and when in the night or predawn sky to look to see an Iridium "flash."

-- From Kenneth Signorello- I saw the blurb about the US Pan Am Lightning team in SB#257. Here are some links to pages with some info on the team and skipper Andy Horton.

-- From Roy P. Disney -- The current PFD movement is inspired by a crop of aging Baby-Boomers and growing children and a lot more to lose than when they were 19. Sailing is an inherently dangerous sport. It is not just recreation as Mr.. Ellison asserts. Sometimes high winds and scary conditions happen. This is an implicit part of the contract you make when you go out to sea. When conditions warrant, anyone who is prudent takes the necessary precaution and dons a PFD and/or a harness.

With regard to DRYCs new provision, with respect, Puerto Vallarta is not, and most likely never will be Sidney-Hobart. Mexican Races, as you well know Tom, are light air affairs. A PFD or unclipping from a harness at 3am to gather a sail in 3 knots of wind will only make my job more difficult. If it suddenly started blowing 30 (like through the fan) I'd have a harness on, and so would everyone else.

I believe in the end that over-reaction can cause more problems than the incident that brought on the over-reaction. Let us let reason prevail and let reasonable people do reasonable things. All this PFD stuff sounds so parental and at 41+ I'm beyond that!

-- From Camille Daniels -- Regarding the Del Rey YC requirements that personal flotation devices be worn between dusk and dawn. (I bet we will see some pretty creative devices used!)

With out undermining the sincerity of this effort:
1. How will it be enforced?
2. What is the penalty for not complying?

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the crew. Always.

-- From Kevin Ellis -- DYRC has implemented a sound PFD requirement. Requiring PFDs at starts and finishes is silly. Requiring PFDs w/ strobe and whistle from dusk to dawn makes sense. We all know that finding somebody in the dark is difficult. Bravo! Now what can we do to get this Regulation 5.01 modified to actually do something of useful?

-- From Rich Roberts -- I don't who Al Gooden is, but when he says, "Inshore around the buoys during the day . . . help is always somewhere nearby . . . [and] you're easy to find." I would offer two words to think about: Larry Klein.

J/24 MIDWINTERS - Key West
(By Geoff Moore on Friday, January 15, 1999 - 07:35 am) Seaweed, As far as the eye could see, great dense floating rafts of the stuff. If it weren't for the fact that we were racing it would have been a spectacular sight. Long meandering ribbons of forest green flashing against the turquoise water. Huge choppy waves and a stiff SE breeze (very top end of the Genoa) made it difficult to navigate through the rafts. It is hard enough keeping flow attached to the keel and rudder in those conditions, pinching up to avoid a huge clump, or dragging ten pounds of organic matter around on your rudder made it impossible. Every time we sent John aft to clear the rudder, someone would mutter "well at least everyone out here has to deal with the same problem". That may be true, but when you are spending every ounce of concentration on keeping the boat moving forward it sure feels like your boat is the only one with weeds.

Just for the record, this is a great regatta. The score as it stands now with two races left is Chris Larson 35 points, Mookie (Healy) 36, and Brad Read 37. We are well established in forth. I believe it is then Crump followed by Zaleski.

Early indications are that the Cruising class will swagger with a significant presence in the 40th Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii this summer, perhaps accounting for half of the total entries. Entry chairman Dan Nowlan said he had filled requests for 70 entry packets, "half from cruisers, as well as a few from traditional-type Transpac entrants," he said.

Introduced in the previous race in 1997, cruisers are generically described as deep displacement boats with real furniture on board--throwbacks to the Transpac's classic days before fiberglass and ultralights when crews sat down for dinner and slept in real bunks every night. When it became evident that weight was a detriment to speed in what is essentially a downwind race, such refinements went out the porthole. Now, while others go for records, there is room for those who want some comfort with their competition.

Upon request, the Transpac board of directors also has approved a double-handed sub-class of cruisers, providing the applicants pass scrutiny of their boats and sailing skills and have completed an offshore qualifying race.

The Cruising Class will start June 29, four days ahead of the main monohull fleet on July 3.

New limitations on boats with water ballast or canting keels are being refined by the Transpac board of directors to prevent boats so equipped from gaining an unfair advantage over boats with conventional ballast-i.e., fixed keels--that are already designed to the Transpac "speed limit," or maximum potential.

Faced with the uncertainties of rating the speed potential of boats with the new technology, the board last year amended the Sailing Instructions for 1999 to disallow moveable-keel boat designs or those with water ballast systems that had not raced before July 31, 1997. At the same time, previous competitors were allowed to retrofit for '99, subject to having their ratings changed to include a temporary cushion to keep them under the Transpac speed limit, should their performance dramatically exceed their rating.

Transpac has moved to determine a reasonable cushion to protect the speed limit in '99. The cushion will be in terms of seconds-per-mile, based on a boat's IMS handicap certificate and computations by its designer and US Sailing. A boat rated within that cushion would be required, in effect, to "slow down" by reducing sail area, the length of its spinnaker poles or by altering other rating factors.

Transpac is, for now, more comfortable with water ballast than with canting keels, although Merlin sailed with such a reconfigured arrangement in '97. According to the '99 rules, canting-keel boats such as Merlin are "grandfathered" to be eligible. The same applies to a Schock 40 because its prototype, the Red Hornet, competed before the '97 deadline, although not in the Transpac.

It was Transpac's understanding that no other new canting-keel designs would be able to meet the start date for '99, anyway. Meanwhile, officials expect to develop accurate handicapping procedures pertaining to water ballast and canting keels before the race in 2001.

Presentations for potential Transpac participants who want to know all about the race are scheduled Thursday, Jan. 28, at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey and Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Long Beach YC. Speakers Jan. 28 will include DAVE ULLMAN, BRAD AVERY, JOHN JOURDANE, ROY E. DISNEY and ROY PAT DISNEY. Dinner is available earlier for $20. Speakers at Long Beach will include ULLMAN, JOURDANE, Cruising class chairman DR. FRED FRYE and Transpac veteran and board member LOU COMYNS. Dinner is $16. - Rich Roberts

The Transpac Sailing Instructions, with entry information, are available on the race website:

As this issue of 'Butt flies off into cyberspace, the curmudgeon is officially gone - on his way to LAX catch a plane to Key West Race Week. I'll be sailing on Brian Mock's just-delivered, Bruce Farr-designed Beneteau 40.7 -- U.B. -- named for our nation's Commander in Chief. (UB is an abbreviation of Unacceptable Behavior.)

I'm taking my computer to Florida with hopes of cranking out 'Butt directly from race headquarters, but you never know. Logistics or the demands of our racing program could change all of that.

Why isn't there any mouse-flavored cat food?