SCUTTLEBUTT #259 - January 18, 1999
The curmudgeon is in Key West where North America's most prestigious
keelboat regatta is about to begin. 276 boats have registered -- a new
record for this event. More importantly perhaps, this is a real gathering
of the eagles - the Who's Who of sailboat racing is definitely here. It is
also a collection of more plumb-bowed boats than the West Coast-based
curmudgeon has seen before. If this regatta is any indication, there are
still plenty of people willing to spend money on shiny new boats and sails.
The racing starts every morning at 10:00 AM, so I suspect that for the rest
of week I will be distributing 'Butt in late afternoon. But you never know.
FINN -- Frederik Loof (SWE) has reclaimed the Finn Gold Cup from defending
champion Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL). Kusznierewicz, the '96 Finn Olympic
Gold medalist, failed to finish the final heat of the 11-race series which
cost him the title. Extreme heat was blamed for the inability of several
sailors in the 71-boat fleet to complete the final day's racing. Loof
takes home the Finn Gold Cup, the trophy presented the world championship
winner, for the third time having previously won in '97 and '94. Sebastien
Godefroid (BEL), the silver medalist in Savannah, was sixth overall.
In 26th place, 1998 Finn National Champion Darrrell Peck (Gresham, Ore.)
was the top U.S. competitor. Remaining U.S. finishes are as follows: Mike
Deyett (Windham, N.H.) in 40th; John Callahan (San Francisco, Calif.) in
50th; Scott Griffiths (Mission, Kansas) in 52nd; David Byers (Nassau Bay,
Texas) in 57th; Chic Parsons (Portland, Ore.) in 60th; Mo Hart (S.
Portland, Maine) in 63rd; and Gus Miller (Portsmouth, R.I.) in 67th
Working toward a quota of 28 countries/boats in the Finn class, this
championship added eight more countries to the eight that previously
qualified for the 2000 Olympic Regatta. The U.S. finished as 10th country
at this event and will have one remaining chance to qualify for Sydney's
Games. The next Finn Gold Cup is scheduled for June 6-18, 2000, in
Weymouth, England, taking place after the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. -- Jan
470 MEN -- France has claimed back to back 470 Men World Championships -
but this time, featuring a new team. Skipper Benoit Petit and his crew Jean
Francois Cuzon today won the final race off Black Rock to win their first
world title. They had to win to defeat Swedish pair Johan Molund and
Mattias Rahm. Sailed in up to 25 knots and a big sea, the French pair said
this was their ideal conditions. 470 men World Championship Overall
standings 1. Benoit Petit / J Francois Cuzon FRA (55) 2. SWE315 Johan
Molund / Mattias Rahm SWE (67) 3. Stanczyk Tomasz /Jakubiak Tomasz POL (79)
11. Morgan Reeser /Kevin Burnham USA (113)
470 WOMEN -- The Ukraine pair of Ruslana Taran and Elena Pakoholchik has
made it four World Championships in a row in the 470 Women class. Taran and
Pakholchik's love of Melbourne blossomed this afternoon, finishing third
and first in the final two races of the championship, to defeat Danish
sisters Susanne and Michaela Ward by one point. The Ukrainians, who have
spent a considerable period of time training in Melbourne, finished with a
net point score of 44. 470 Women World Championship Overall results 1.
Ruslana Taran/Elena Pakholchik UKR 2. Susanne and Michaela Ward DEN 3.
Federica Salva/Emanuela Sossi ITA 11.Whitney Connor /Elizabeth Kratzig USA
13. Tracy Hayley / Louise Van Voorhis 14. Courtenay Dey /Alice Manard USA
15. JJ Isler /Pease Glaser USA
49er --Australia's Chris Nicholson is in a class of his own when it comes
to skiff sailing. After his brilliant heavy weather victory in the Olympic
49er world championship on a windswept Port Phillip in Melbourne today, he
must rank as a Australia's number one prospect for gold at the Sydney 2000
Olympic Games. Nicholson, from Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, took command
of the championship to win his third world championship in the 49er class,
adding to his two previous world titles in the International 505 dinghy and
a world title in 18-foot skiffs. Australia now holds world titles in three
Olympic classes-- the 49ers, Stars (Colin Beashel and David Giles) and
Tornado (Darren Bundock and John Forbes).
49er World's Final Results: 1. Chris Nicholson / Ed Smyth AUS (32) 2. Adam
Beashel / Teague Czislowski (38) 3. Morgan Larson / Kevin Hall USA (53) 4.
Boyd/Boyd AUS (93) 11. USA205 Jonathan Mckee / Charlie McKee USA 3 (119)
(INSIGHT -- Charlie McKee prepared the following summary about the 49er
Clearly the dominant country in 49er racing continues to be Australia, with
4 of the top 6 spots. The team has been working very hard, both
individually and collectively, for the past several months, and the
dedication and professionalism these guys are bringing to the game is
evident in their mastery. The top two have set a new standard that is far
ahead of most of us, with the only team close being Morgan and Kevin. They
have also been working hard, and are sailing better than ever, especially
in breeze. After starting the series slowly, they were top 4 in all but 2
races. The Europeans continue to improve also, but have a ways to go to
catch the top group, especially in breeze.
This was mostly a heavy air, big wave regatta. The qualification series
had some light races, which had much more mixed results. But the finals
had only two races that weren't overpowering conditions, and seven of the
races had very challenging chop conditions. This is where the top 3 boats
really dominated, with the rest us obviously much less comfortable. Much of
the advantage is in boathandling. They jibe when they want to, while we
jibe when we can. The top group also has a distinct upwind speed
advantage. Clearly their rig settings, mast preparation and technique are
a notch ahead of us. As usual, this edge is the result of a combination of
small things, rather than one obvious difference. Much of it comes down
to physical conditioning and training time on the water. You can bet there
will be a lot of big breeze practicing in the year ahead.
SOLING -- Denmark's Stig Westergaard finished eighth in the ninth race of
the weeklong series sailed from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, taking out the
world title without winning a race. Consistency was the keynote of success
in a series that saw eight different skippers win races in a wide variety
of conditions, Westergaardis placings being 2-3-3-9-2-4-2-15-8 for a net
total of 33 points. 1.DEN120 Stig Westergaard (33) 2. GER311 Jochen
Schuemann GER (56) 3 Roy Heiner (59) 12. Jeff Madrigali /Craig Healy /
Hartwell Jordan (100) 13. Tony Rey /Tom Burnham / Dean Brenner USA (102)
14. Rod Davis NZL (106)
The 99 World Sailing Championships on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay has
moved into the final of competition, with the opening round robin of the
match racing world championship for the Olympic Soling keelboat, Sailing in
a south-westerly seabreeze which built up from 12 to 20 knots during the
day, Jeff Madrigali and his crew from the USA came through unbeaten with
seven straight wins. Madrigali goes through the second round robin against
the next highest four nations, based on the Soling fleet racing world
championship national rankings, tomorrow.
The three other successful nations were Italy (skipper Paolo Cian) and
Britain (skipper Andy Beadsworth) who each finished the round robin with
five wins, and New Zealand (skipper Rod Davis) who four wins out of seven
races. Eliminated were Austria (skipper Hans Spitzauer), Russia ( skipper
Georgy Shaiduku, the silver medallist at the Atlanta Olympics), Canada
(skipper Hans Fogh) and Finland (Jali Makila).
LASER MASTERS --Argentinian sailor Hector Romero, at 76 years of age the
oldest competitor in the Laser Masters world championship, broke his leg
when he boat was capsized in a 25 knot squall on Melbourne's Port Phillip
late this afternoon. Romero was one of five older sailors who got into
difficulties as the squall capsized more than 50 boats during the last race
of the day, already being sailed in a 15 knot breeze and choppy sea. Royal
Melbourne Yacht Squadron's rescue plan immediately swung into operation,
with course laying and course mark boats joining the specified rescue
boats, with some 20 craft in total checking the safety of the 250 boat fleet.
In today's first race, British sailor Mark Littlejohn scored his third
successive win in the Apprentice Masters Division (35-44 years age group),
while Australian Jack Schlachter sailed to the lead in the Masters Division
(45-54) and Canada's Johan-Marie Van Rossen scored his second win of the
regattga to lead the Grand Masters.
IOC PRESIDENT'S CUP
Australia has won the prestigious IOC President's Cup as the top scoring
nation in the seven Olympic classes which have held their world
championships at the huge 99 Worlds regatta on Melbourne's Port Phillip
over the past two weeks. The President's Cup scoring is based on the
topscoring competitor for each nation among the top 10 final placegetters
in each Olympic class - with Australia finishing in the top 10 in six of
the seven Olympic classes at the 99 Worlds.
Australia finished with 37 points, winning from Sweden on 33 points and
early leader, Great Britain on 31 points, followed by Germany on 27,
Holland 21, Denmark 19, Ukraine 18, Poland 17, France 16 and Italy 15
points. The USA finished in 11th place with 11 points.
In an outstanding performance, with only 18 months to go to the Sydney 2000
Olympic Games, Australian sailors won a gold and a silver medal in the 49er
high performance skiff class, and a silver medal in the Europe dinghy class
The seven gold medals were each won by different nations - France, Ukraine,
The Netherlands, Great Britain, Australia, Denmark and Sweden each winning
a world championship. In addition to Australia's gold and two silver
medals, Sweden won a gold, a silver and a bronze, with Denmark, Great
Britain and The Netherlands each winning a gold and a bronze medal.
Event website: http://99worlds.org
Key West, Florida (40 boats) Final results: 1. T. Healy, Mookie, 38 2. B.
Read, Blind Squirrel, 51 3. C. Larson, Writing Instrument, 53 4. G. Moore,
Pipe Dream, 66 5. W. Crump, Satisfaction, 96 6. W. Zaleski, Twins, 97
Pacific Yacht Embroidery has a program to supply you with regatta apparel
at a guaranteed profit. Help offset your regatta costs by selling apparel
at your event. There is no risk to you and no event is too small to qualify
for this program. Call Frank Whitton(619-226-8033) for details on how this
can put dollars in your pocket and a quality product on the racers back.
Helly Hansen, the worldwide leader in performance outdoor apparel, has
signed a sponsorship agreement with Young America, the New York Yacht Club
(NYYC) America's Cup Challenge. As a part of this sponsorship Helly Hansen
has developed technical Seagear for the team as well as Young America
branded merchandise. All available to the consumer in the brand new summer
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
The illbruck Round the World Challenge (IRWC) offshore racing yacht for the
Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2002 will be constructed in-house at corporate
headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. The yacht will be named "illbruck"
just like the team's two Volvo Ocean 60 training boats. "With this project
we'll establish the name 'illbruck' as a brand," said the 38-year-old chief
executive Michael Illbruck. "By doing this we will also benefit from the
knowledge and expertise of our worldwide engineering team."
The yachting press speculated about the campaign's choice of a shipyard
last summer after the boat's design contract went to the well-known design
team of Bruce Farr & Associates based in Annapolis, MD.
The new Volvo Ocean 60 class yacht will be built in the illbruck factory
only a few hundred yards away from corporate headquarters. This is the
Technical Center of the company, focusing the engineering expertise of the
company's four divisions -- automotive, construction technology, office and
industrial products. The company develops and sells sophisticated customer
solutions. The illbruck group employs around 3000 people at 26 locations in
The illbruck round the world challenge will open a base camp in Sanxenxo,
near Vigo, on the north-west Spanish coast, in the beginning of March. The
team is preparing for the Volvo Ocean Racing Round the World 2001-2. The
team's two Volvo Ocean 60 training boats will sail to Sanxenxo from Wedel,
near Hamburg, Germany following a winter refit. For the second half of the
year the boats will return to Keil, Germany for demonstration sailing in
the Baltic Sea with employees and business partners of the international
illbruck Group which is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany.
The ten-week training period will continue through the middle of May. The
program will include crew trials to help select the Volvo Race crew and
boat-on-boat-testing to assist with the design of the campaign's new boat
and the development of sails. "By the end of the year we will be able to
tell you eight names of the 12 sailors who will be in our team," Skipper
John Kostecki said.
Crew already selected includes Kostecki, Sailing Manager Tim Kroeger from
Hamburg, and sailmaker Ross Halcrow from New Zealand. Kroeger was the only
German participant in two Round the World Races. Halcrow a crew member of
New Zealand's successful America's Cup winning crew, will focus during the
training period on sail development work.
The training boats are the two former Whitbread 60's "EF Language", winner
of the last Whitbread Race, and her sister-ship "EF Education". IRWC
purchased the two boats in early October 1998, with all their support gear.
Until the middle of February both boats are undergoing a refit in a
shipyard in Wedel/Germany. After a full mechanical overhaul, both boats
will be painted in the typical white/green illbruck design. -- Keith Taylor
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters may be edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude
-- Charles "Butch" Ulmer RC Chairman, BIRW XVIII -- I read your piece about
PFDs and the Del Rey Yacht Club. The Storm Trysail Club will using a
different approach for its upcoming Block Island Race Week XVIII. We are
requiring that all participants have "wearable" PFD's and encouraging their
use on an individual basis any time. Additionally,if the RC think that the
conditions warrant, they will fly code flag "Y" which will require that the
PFDs be worn while racing. RRS 40
-- From Chris Welsh -- 1. The new PFD "SHALL" regulation in the Mexico Race
is the natural progression of unnecessary dogoodism. Unhappily, it will
continue to spread. Note that it has even caused you to reopen a dead thread!
Will the RC be making any other decisions for the boats now (designated
"safe" routes, properly conservative sail choices, no smoking and/or
drinking at sea, etc)? I say eliminate any jib larger than a #3, require a
reefed main, and under no circumstances allow spinnakers to be used.
I wager the chance of injury is still higher at the post race pool party
after uncounted rum and cokes than during the race. Perhaps this is a new
environment in which to require PFD's and/or helmets.
2. Re: unsinkable catamarans ('Butt #256 - Speed Records) Unsinkable is a
word like never. See "Titanic".
-- From Tom Ehman -- On the PFD issue, the mistake US SAILING made was to
enact the regulation without first notifying the constituents it was under
consideration and seeking input. Problem was, and is, communication. US
SAILING is simply the process. When the process is flawed, so are the
decisions. Even if the decision is in the end correct, if the constituents
do not have a chance to comment before the decision is made, they are angry
-- as in this case. Haste makes waste.
For years I have suggested that US SAILING should either (a) adopt a
"submission/agenda" procedure like ISAF's so that all issues to come before
a meeting are known and published well in advance of the meeting, giving
constituents and representatives time to discuss and react; and/or (b)
adopt a "first/second reading" procedure similar to many city and county
governments so that all major issues arising at a meeting get a "first
reading" but cannot be acted upon until the "second reading" at a
subsequent meeting. US SAILING meets twice a year, so this would assure at
least six months of discussion and consideration for any major, new
When US SAILING was USYRU, this was not such a problem because the people
involved were interested in and focused only on racing. And the leadership
was wise enough not to rush into things. Today US SAILING, predictably,
looks more like the Triple-A of sailing rather than the tight, clean racing
organization it once was. For racing sailors, the PFD issue is only the tip
of the proverbial iceberg....
-- From Mike Benedict -- It is probably stating the obvious re the concerns
over KMI's termination of services, but this only effects those services
offered by KMI - like SSB phone calls. Not having KMI has no effect on
using SSBs for communications with other yachts, listening in/participating
in various nets, using SSBs for offshore race position reporting,
communicating with the USCG, etc. SSB-Email services (like PinOak) are at
least a partial, cost effective alternative to more sophisticated servives
-- From Eric Steinberg (re: West Coast Ship to Shore stations) -- Oops...
just for accuracy, ATT has 3 stations nation wide. One in SF, FL and NJ.
The American billionaire, whose maxi catamaran Playstation was launched in
Auckland (New Zealand) on the 21 December 1998, has just officially entered
The Race / La Course du Millenaire. Fifty-four year old Steve Fossett is a
regular participant in world record attempts. Just recently, in December,
he attempted the non-stop round-the-world record in a hot-air balloon with
Richard Brandson, head of Virgin.
Steve Fossett, whose interest in The Race has long been known, is the 16th
official entrant, joining his fellow countryman Cam Lewis. "We are going to
have one of the most exciting sailing projects in the world," he said
before stepping aboard for his first sail on his 32m catamaran. Fossett has
been in Auckland for the past week, impatiently waiting for a break in the
weather to get his first opportunity to sail the Morrelli-Melvin designed cat.
With just two years to go before the start, 16 competitors - of which two
remain secret - have officially entered The Race. Eleven different
countries are represented: New Zealand, Great Britain, The Netherlands,
Russia, USA, Sweden, France, Poland, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.
The 14 known entrants are : 1 - Ross Field (New Zealand) 2 Pete Goss (Great
Britain) 3 - Henk de Velde (The Netherlands) 4 - Fedor Konioukhov (Russia)
5 - Loick Peyron (France) 6 - Grant Dalton (New Zealand) 7 - Lawrie Smith
(Great Britain) 8 Cam Lewis (USA) 9 - Tracy Edwards (Great Britain) 10 -
Lionel Pean/Peder Silfverhjelm (France/Sweden) 11 - Tony Bullimore (Great
Britain) 12 - Florence Arthaud (France) 13 - Roman Paszke (Poland) 14 Steve
Event site: http://www.therace.org
26th Annual International Rolex Cup Regatta, April 2-4, 1999 (Easter
Weekend). Sponsored by Rolex of Geneva, the event will be the second
regatta of the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (CORT) Series.
Next Tuesday Jan.19th "Yachtsmen's Lunch" at St. Francis YC will feature
Oracle CEO and "Sayonara" owner Larry Ellison speaking on the recent
Sydney-Hobart disaster. No charge for this talk, but contributions will be
encouraged. The contributions will go to the American Red Cross for the
families of the lost sailors. Call the club for details at (415) 563-6363
and to make reservations.
THE CUEMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
Don't bother me. I'm living happily ever after.