Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT #261 - January 20, 1999

KWRW - Report by Sean McNeill
Some participant at GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week '99 forgot to offer their weekly sacrifice to Huey, sailing's legendary wind God, before coming to the 12th anniversary regatta. That can be the only explanation for the light and shifty winds that have dominated the first two days of action at the international keelboat regatta sailed on the Straits of Florida off Key West.

"It was another tricky day in paradise," said two-time America's Cup winning navigator Peter Isler (San Diego), who's helming Tom Neill's (Chicago, Ill.) Nitemare, in Class B IMS 2. Isler echoed a sentiment shared by many other helmsmen, tacticians and crewmembers. "There are so many boats on the racecourse that you have to get out to one side."

Sailboat racing is an individualistic sport, however, and not everyone concurred with Isler. "We found the middle the place to be," said Eddie Collins, co-owner with Barry Allardice of today's victorious Mumm 30, USA-48. "You gave up too much living at the edges. Live by the sword, die by the sword."

Now that Day 2 is concluded, every class has completed at least three races and divisional battles are forming. In IMS 1, a three-way tie for first exists between Irvine Laidlaw's (Isle of Man, England) Hi Fling, Bache Renshaw's (Portsmouth, R.I.) Virago and Karl Kwok's (Hong Kong, China) Beau Geste. Considered a contender for the Yachting Magazine Trophy, awarded to the regatta's Boat of the Week, IMS 1 also features a tie for fourth between European rivals Hans-Otto Schumann's (Hamburg, Germany) Rubin XV and Paolo Gaia's (Milan, Italy) Breeze. Breeze and Rubin, which were placed first and third in the class, respectively, after Day 1, fell afoul of the shifty and puffy winds today. Rubin finished 4-5, slightly better than Breeze's 7-4.

The close racing earned Beau Geste the Boat of the Day honors, and a Casio MR G Tactician watch. The award is determined using a time and distance formula. A smaller ratio indicates a more competitive class. The combined delta for first through fifth in both of today's IMS 1 races was 2 minutes, 13 seconds. The runner-up contender for the award was IMS 2, but its delta was a gaping 3 minutes, 30 seconds. That's due in part to Pasquale Landolfi's (Porto Cervo, Italy) Brava Q8's dominant performance in the division. Brava Q8 has placed 1-2-1 in its three races to lead Craig Speck's (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Vim III by 3 points.

The Farr 40 One-Design class also features tight racing. John Thomson's (Port Washington, N.Y.) defending class champion Solution had an up and down, 2-8 day, but still leads Bill Jayson and Bob Burgess (Newport, R.I.) class-newcomer Passage by 1 point. Tied for third are John Kilroy's (San Francisco, Calif.) Samba Pa Ti and Jack Woodhull's (Newport Beach, Calif.) Persephone. Each has 17 points.

Another fierce battle is brewing in PHRF 2, where Wayne Colahan and Doug Halstead's (Marblehead, Mass.) Letter of Marque is tied for the 30-foot sportboat class lead with Chris Bouzaid's (Jamestown, R.I.) Wai Rere. Each boat has 6 points, but Letter of Marque earned that low score on straight second-place finishes while Wai Rere has a 1-1-4. "Wai Rere is fast, it's got breakaway speed," said Letter of Marque crewmember Josh Adams. "They've got a big asymmetric spinnaker with broad shoulders. They're very fast downwind. But they've also had boathandling mistakes and we've been able to take advantage of them."

While divisional battles took shape today, the battle for the Yukon Cup started to become a runaway for Team Italy. Awarded by title sponsor GMC Yukon, the Yukon Cup is presented to the top international three-boat team comprised of entries from the IMS, Mumm 30 and Melges 24 classes. Team Italy's Breeze, Malinda/Invicta and Planet Loaf have posted the low score of 24 points and lead Team Far East -- Beau Geste, Esmeralda and White Loaf -- by 13 points.

In order to generate broad interest, team composition may be one country or regional when there aren't a sufficient number of boats from a single country. Two of the three boats on each team must hail from the country or region represented, with at least 30 percent of the crew on those two boats citizens or legal residents of the particular country.

DIVISION I STANDINGS (provisional after 3 races) CLASS A -- IMS1 1. (tie between) Hi Fling/Irvine Laidlaw (Isle of Man, England) 2-5-2--9 and Virago/Bache Renshaw (Portsmouth, RI) 4-2-3--9 and Beau Geste/Karl Kwok (Hong Kong, China) 5-3-1--9 CLASS B -- IMS2 1. Brava Q8/Pasquale Landolfi (Porto Cervo, Italy) 1-2-1--4, 2. VIM III/J. Craig Speck (Grand Rapids, MI) 4-1-2--7, 3. Heatwave/Sal Giordano (Edgartown, MA) 3-3-4-10 CLASS C -- Farr 40 1. Solution/John Thomson (Port Washington, NY) 1-2-8--11, 2. Passage/B.Jayson & B.Burgess (Newport, RI) 3-4-5--12, 3. (tie between) Samba Pa Ti/John Kilroy (San Francisco, CA) 11-5-1-17 and Persephone/Jack Woodhull (Newport Beach, CA) 2-8-7-17 CLASS D -- PHRF1 1. Starlight/Jay Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 1-1-1--3, 2. (tie between) Fatal Attraction/F. Gray Kiger (Norfolk, VA) 3-5-2--10 and Wahoo/Fintan Cairns (Dublin, Ireland) 4-3-3-10 CLASS E -- 1D35 1. Northern Bear/Stephan Pfeifer (Milwaukee, WI) 2-2-5--9, 2. (tie between) Windquest/Doug DeVos (Holland, MI) 3-4-9--16 and Roxanne/Kip Meadows (Indian Island, NC) 7-5-4--16 CLASS F -- PHRF2 1. (tie between) Wai Rere/Chris Bouzaid (Jamestown, RI) 1-1-4--6 and Letter of Marque/W. Colahan & D. Halsted (Marblehead, MA) 2-2-2--6, 3. Abbey Normal/Jeffrey Gale (Abaco, Bahamas) 7-4-1-12 CLASS G -- PHRF3 1. Fitikoko/Andrew Wilson (Annapolis, MD) 1-1-1--3, 2. Lunatic Fringe/Eric Wynsma (Grand Rapids, MI) 3-3-2--8, 3. (tie between) Encore/E. Boos & P. Jones (New Orleans, LA) 5-5-4--14 and U.B./Brian Mock (Newport Beach, CA) 9-2-3--14.

DIVISION 2 STANDINGS (provisional after 3 races, unless noted) CLASS A -- PHRF 4 1. Surprise/Joan Tryzelaar (Portland, ME) 1-1-1--3, 2. Snake Eyes/Tom Ballard (Annapolis, MD) 2-2-3--7, 3. Ragamuffin/Richard Harris (New Orleans, LA) 3-7-2--12 CLASS B1 -- Viper 830 1. Extreme Measures/Doug Harkrider (Flowery Banch, GA) 1-1-2--4, 2. RE/Guy de Boer (Detroit, MI) 2-2-1--5, 3. Impulsive Response/Ted Balfour (Randolph, NJ) 3-4-3--10 CLASS B2 -- J/105 (provisional after 4 races) 1. Elizabeth/Bill Helming (Acton, MA) 5-3-3-1--12, 2. (tie between) Phenix/Bob Swirbalus (Boston, MA) 3-2-7-2--14 and Wet Paint/Donald Priestly (Newport, RI) 4-4-2-4--14 CLASS C -- J/29 1. Tomahawk/Bruce Lockwood (Ludlow, VT) 1-5-2--8, 2. (tie between) WOW/W. Rojek & A. Zaleski (City Island, NY) 5-3-1--9 and Hustler/John Esposito (City Island, NY) 2-4-3--9 CLASS D -- J/80 (provisional after 4 races) 1. Hustle/Tim McAdams (E. Greenwich, RI) 2-5-1-2--10, 2. Thrown Together/Vicky Jo Neiner (Perth Amboy, NJ) 3-4-4-1--12, 3. Kicks/David Balfour (Austin, TX) 1-7-2-6--16 CLASS E -- PHRF 5 1. Claddagh/L. Fallon & J. Flanagan (Marblehead, MA) 1-2-1-1--5, 2. Storm Front/James Wells (Evansville, IN) 2-1-4-3--10, 3. Liquor Box/Chuck Simon (Bay Village, OH) 6-4-2-2--14 CLASS F -- PHRF 6 1. Synchronicity/Michael Phelan (Coconut Grove, FL) 1-2-1-4--8, 2. Creola/Jack Cavalier (Tampa, FL) 3-1-3-2--9, 3. Sazerac/Gordon Ettie (Minneapolis, MN) 4-4-2-1--11 CLASS G -- PHRF 7 1. Fourtune Cookie/Peter De Beukelaer (Jackson, MS) 1-2-1-1--5, 2. Hot Sheet/Mitch Hnatt (Brick, NJ) 3-3-4-3--13, 3. Fluffy Flanks/Barry Parkoff (San Antonio, TX) 2-1-2-9--14.

DIVISION 3 STANDINGS (provisional after 3 races) CLASS A -- Henderson 30 1. Speedracer/Steve Liebel (Sarasota, FL) 1-1-1--3, 2. New Wave/Michael Carroll (Clearwater, FL) 2-3-3--8, 3. Purple Haze/J. Walsh & D. Cook (Brielle, NJ) 3-2-6--11. CLASS B -- Mumm 30 1. Sector/Carla Silva (Portofino, Italy) 4-3-2--9, 2. (tie between) Malinda/Invicta/Massimo Mezzaroma (Rome, Italy) 2-4-4--10 and USA 48/B. Allardice & E. Collins (TriBeCa) 1-8-1--10 CLASS C -- Melges 24 1. Planet Loaf/Charlie Ogletree (Newport Beach, CA) 2-1-6--9, 2. Full Throttle/Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, IL) 7-2-1--10, 3. White Loaf/Scott Elliott (Charlotte, NC) 6-7-2--15.

The record-size fleet of 274 boats will sail a total of eight races through Friday, January 22, at the 12th annual GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week. A complete set of provisional results and scratch sheet can be found on Race Week's web page:

Curmudgeon's comments: It's wonderfully warm and sunny here in Key West, but so far we've only seen in 6-10 knots of wind. That makes for tough sailing on a 16,000 pound 40-footer. After a very mediocre first day 'Team UB' rallied on Tuesday with a 2-3. We're in third place in PHRF 3, but there's a Tripp 38 in our class with straight bullets. (PHRF really sucks!)


One-design is really happening here with well over half of the boats sailing one-design without handicaps. Impressively, the Farr 40s have 20 boats, the 1D35s have 21 boats, there are 27 Mumm 30s and a huge 50-boat fleet of Melges 24s. And once again this year, the boat at the top of the Melges standings is using a complete inventory of Ullman Sails. Whether you sail in a one-design class or in a handicap fleet, Ullman Sails can provide the edge you need to move to the top. Find out how affordable it is to improve your boat's performance:

Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay, 35 times larger than Sydney Harbour, provided challenging conditions during the '99 World Championships with sailors facing extreme heat, equipment busting wind gusts up to 30 knots, and non-existent breeze that delayed racing until 5:00 in the afternoon.

The U.S. delegation came to Melbourne with a goal of qualifying for Sydney's 2000 Olympic Games in three classes -- the Europe (women's single-handed dinghy), 470 Women's (double-handed dinghy) and Finn (men's single-handed dinghy). A positive outcome in both women's events rated these combined world championships a success from the standpoint of the US Sailing Team. Team Leader Jonathan Harley (Middletown, R.I.), US SAILING's Olympic Director, feels the U.S. team's strengths are apparent judging by this event. "We've had a strong turnout of serious contenders in Australia training since November leading into this event. Based on our overall performance in Melbourne, we are optimistic about our potential for Sydney."

EUROPE -- Margriet Matthijsse (NED) the '96 Europe Olympic Silver Medalist, was crowned world champion, followed by Melanie Denison (AUS) with the silver medal, and two-time Olympian Shirley Robertson (GBR) taking the bronze. Linda Wennerstrom (Miami, Fla.) was the top U.S. competitor at 17th place overall in the 37-boat gold fleet. Finishing as seventh country, Wennerstrom assured the U.S. its place in the Europe fleet at the 2000 Olympic Regatta. US SAILING's 1998 Female Athlete of the Year Meg Gaillard (Pelham, N.Y.) finished in 28th place.

Additional U.S. finishers in the 37-boat silver fleet: Hannah Swett (Jamestown, R.I.) in 8th; 1994 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Danielle Brennan Myrdal (New York, N.Y.) in 9th; Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) 16th; Krysia Pohl (San Francisco, Calif.) 22nd; and Samantha Barnes (Greenwich, Conn.) in 35th. In the 37-boat bronze fleet, Lynn Olinger (San Francisco, Calif.) was 29th; Leslie Osmera (San Francisco, Calif.) 34th; and Danielle Soriano (Brielle, N.J.) 36th. With a 26-boat entry quota for the Olympic Regatta in the Europe class, seven countries were added to the eight previously qualified for Sydney. The complete list of countries qualified to date is as follows: The Netherlands, Great Britain, Denmark, New Zealand, Poland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and the U.S. Australia as Olympic host receives an automatic entry in each event.

470 MEN (skipper/crew) Benoit Petit and Francois Cuzon (FRA) were crowned the new world champions at the conclusion of their 12-race series. Johan Molund and Mattias Rahm (SWE) took the silver medal, with brothers Stanckzyk and Jakubiak Thomasz garnering the bronze. Defending world champions Gildas Philippe and Tanguy Cariou (FRA) placed fifth overall. Top U.S. finishers in the 33-boat gold fleet were '92 Olympic Silver Medalists Morgan Reeser and Kevin Burnham (Wilton Manors/Coral Gables, Fla.) in 11th place. Steven Hunt and Michael Miller (Poquoson, Va./Fairport, N.Y.) placed 18th; while Peter Katcha and Jim Elvart (Dallas, Texas/Chicago, Ill.) were 27th.

1992 Flying Dutchman Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Foerster with Bob Merrick (Garland, Texas/Portsmouth, R.I.), the recent winners of the 1998 Sydney International Regatta, suffered equipment problems on the final day of the qualifying series. To divide the 94 entrants into gold, silver and bronze fleets, a qualifying series was conducted over two days with three races a day. With equipment problems, and only one drop race, Foerster and Merrick wound up in the 31-boat silver fleet, which they easily dominated with six firsts, two seconds, a third and a fourth. The duo dropped a fifth and did not compete in the final heat to finish with 17 points. The second place finisher compiled 45 points.

In the 30-boat bronze fleet, Graeme Woodworth and Andrew Gaynor (both Watch Hill, R.I.) placed third. The 470 Men's class will have an entry limit of 30 boats for the Olympic Regatta. Nine countries qualified in Melbourne and are added to the nine previously qualified. The complete list is as follows: France, Slovenia, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Ukraine, Greece, Russia, U.S., Poland, Israel, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Germany.

470 WOMEN (skipper/crew) -- Ruslana Taran and Olena Pakholchik (UKR) continued their winning streak by claiming their fourth world championship in a row. Also on the podium were sisters Susanne and Michaela Ward (DEN), followed by Frederica Salva and Emanuela Sossi (ITA), receiving silver and bronze medals, respectively. 1998 Australian 470 Women's National Championship winners Whitney Connor (Noank, Conn.) and Elizabeth Kratzig (Corpus Christi, Texas) finished in 11th in the 30-boat gold fleet, and as top Americans secured the U.S. its berth to Sydney. The Olympic Regatta will have a 19-boat limit in the 470 Women's class. Five countries were added to the six previously qualified with the complete list as follows: The Ukraine, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Greece, Argentina, Italy, Israel, New Zealand, U.S. and The Netherlands.

Additional U.S. finishers are as follows: Tracy Hayley and '96 Olympian Louise Van Voorhis (Coral Gables, Fla /Webster, N.Y) in 13th; '96 Europe Olympic Bronze Medalist Courtenay Dey and Alice Manard (The Dalles, Ore./New Orleans, La.) in 14th ; and '92 470 Women's Olympic Bronze Medalist JJ Isler and Pease Glaser (La Jolla/Long Beach, Calif.) in 15th. - Jan Harley

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

-- From Ross Werner -- Having been overboard in San Francisco Bay while racing, I have some practical experience with the PFD issue. I believe that the decision to wear or not to wear should be left to the individual, but if conditions are at all breezy you should be wearing your PFD and stop whining.

Any doubters should try what the crew I race with did a few years ago - we all gathered around my pool on a warm summer afternoon and jumped in wearing full foulies and boots but no PFDs, then tried treading water for a while. In an 86 degree pool with no waves you'd think this would be easy, but after a few minutes it got pretty tiring. We then put on PFDs and jumped back in. The difference was dramatic, since then we wear our PFDs all the time. (I can't take credit for this idea, I first read about it in Latitude38.)

Additionally, as foredeck on an Express27 I find the padding provided by my old reliable Omega lifejacket is a good thing.

-- From Pete Mohler -- On the PFD Issue your readers should know that it is Victoria State and Australian Commonwealth law that all small boat sailors shall wear PFDs all the time. 1600 sailors wore PFDs at the '99 worlds without complaint - 60 deg F to 100 deg F. In addition, of all the photos I saw of big boat racing, both outside in the Bass straight, and inside in Port Philip Bay, all the sailors were wearing PFDs. BTW, Bicycle helmets are required for all bicycle riders as well. All the Australians I talked to thought both requirements were good ideas.

-- From Glenn McCarthy (To all critics of US SAILING) -- US SAILING is a wide open organization. Intentionally, the twice-a-year meetings are moved from town to town across the U.S. to bring new blood into the thought process. Most recently (Oct. '98) the meeting was held in Seattle. Did you come to the meeting? Did you express yourself? Did you join any of the countless committees to make improvements to the sport?

If you want US SAILING to become the "responsive, member oriented body" again, then make the first step and attend the next meeting of US SAILING in Dallas, TX at the Dallas Park West on March 17-21, 1999. All US SAILING members are welcome to come. New ideas and input are always considered.

-- Andrew Besheer -- I see that Fox Sports has signed on as a "premier" sponsor of the NYYC Young America challenge. Does this mean that John Madden will replace Gary Jobson at the Telestrator in Auckland, that crews will be expected to have more dirt, grim and blood on their uniforms, that contact between boats on the racecourse will be encouraged (maybe even highlighted with "glowing boat" technology borrowed from the NHL), that shore crews will now include scantily dressed cheerleading dancers and that the broadcast will be peppered with endless commercials trumpeting Mulder and Scully's next adventure...hmm, could be the most interesting thing to happen to the sport since marconi rigs.

SOLING WORLD MATCH RACING CHAMPIONSHIP - Report by Peter Campbell Royal Brighton Yacht Club -- Atlanta gold medallist and defending world champion Jochen Schuemann from Germany today failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the Olympic Soling keelboat World match-racing championship after a "shoot out" on Melbourne's windy, waveswept Port Phillip. This also means that Germany still needs to qualify to compete in the Soling class at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, in which the fleet will be limited to either 12 or 16 boats.

Schuemann, a three times Olympic medallist, won only three races in today's third round-robin after twice being black-flagged for match racing rule breaches, including the cliff-hanger flight seven against Denmark's Stig Westergaard. As a result, Denmark has qualified as a nation for Sydney 2000 while Germany will have to wait until further international regattas later this year or next year, as will Great Britain with high profile skipper Andy Beadsworth failing to reach the cut.

Denmark today joined the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden in qualifying for the Olympics, with Roy Heiner (NED), Rod Davis (NZL) and Hans Wallen (SWE) winning their way through to tomorrow's semi-final matches of the Soling match racing worlds. With the final size of the Soling fleet at Sydney 2000 yet to be determined (it will be either 12 or 16 nations) Italy, USA, Spain, Russia, the Ukraine and Australia (as the host nation) having already qualified from previous regattas.

Despite beating Schuemann in the final flight of the third round-robin, Denmark's Stig Westergaard, who last week won the Soling world fleet racing championship at the 99 Worlds, failed to reach the semi-finals, that berth going to American Jeff Madrigali.

The draw for the semi-finals is Heiner (NED) versus Wallen (SWE) and Davis (NZL) versus Madrigali (USA), with the best of five race semis due to start at 9am, possibly followed by the grand final to decide the gold and silver medallists in the afternoon. Today's conditions, with 22 knot south-easterly winds and one metre seas, are in total contrast to what can be expected on 2000, with the match racing medal finals scheduled to be sailed in Farm Cove, in front of the Sydney Opera House.

The third round robin today saw the top four skippers and crews from last week's Soling fleet racing world championship at the 99 Worlds pitted against four other crews who had won their way through the first two round-robins.With rough seas making match-racing tactics difficult, race officials from the Royal Brighton Yacht Club moved the course closer inshore, in the lee of the breakwater, but the combatants encountered flukey winds, with sharp "bullets". In addition to Westergaard and Schuemann, skippered eliminated today included Britain's Andy Beardsworth and Norway's Hermann Horn Johannessan.

Round robin 3: Roy Heiner (NED) 6 wins 1 loss, Rod Davis (NZL) 4-3, Jeff Madrigali (USA) 4-3, Hans Wallen (SWE) 4-3, Stig Westergaard (DEN) 3-4, Jochen Schuemann (GER) 3-4, Hermann Horn Johannessan (NOR) 2-6, Andrew Beadsworth (GBR) 2-6.

Draw for best of five flight semi-finals - Netherlands v Sweden, New Zealand vs. USA.

Event website:

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?