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SCUTTLEBUTT #263 - January 22, 1999

KWRW - Report by Sean McNeill
Reveling in wind conditions more typical to the Straits of Florida off Key West class battles intensified at the 12th anniversary GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week today. All 18 classes have completed seven races, but tomorrow's one race will be pivotal for overall class honors because many classes are up for grabs.

Today's easterly winds between 12 and 18 knots dismantled many leads achieved through hard work and thorough concentration in the light, 8- to 12-knot winds that dominated the first three days of racing. Some highlights:

A tie exists for the Melges 24 Midwinter Championship. o One point separates the top two in the Viper 830 Class and the J/105 Class. o Two points separate the top three in IMS 1. o Three points separate the top three in IMS 2. o Four points separate the top three in the Farr 40 Class.

As expected, Race Week's record-size fleet of 274 boats has been astoundingly competitive. "I've been running this regatta for six years and it's outrageous how close the racing is this year," said Race Chairman Peter Craig. "We thought we had close racing last year, but this is head and shoulders above that."

While many classes tightened up in the windy conditions, no one enjoyed the day more than Tom Thayer's (Jamestown, R.I.) crew on the J/105 Hi-Jinx, the winner of Thursday's Boat of the Day award. First through fifth in the J/105 class was separated by 63 seconds, and the class's time-to-distance ratio of 7.31 is the best among the four Boat of the Day winners this week. The award is determined using a time and distance formula. A smaller ratio indicates a more competitive class. For his efforts, owner Thayer received a Casio MR G Tactician watch from event sponsor Casio Watches. Additionally, his team moved within 1 point of Bob Swirbalus' (Boston, Mass.) class leader Phenix.

Today's results in the IMS classes reflect the different optimization programs of the competitors. Yesterday's leader, Bache Renshaw's (Portsmouth, R.I.) Virago, is oriented toward light air, and suffered when the wind topped 12 knots. Virago's 6-6 today allowed Irvine Laidlaw's (Isle of Man, England) early series leader Hi Fling to recapture the top spot, albeit by 1 point. Karl Kwok's (Hong Kong, China) Beau Geste finished 3-4 today, and trails Hi Fling by 2 points.

Anyone who says sailing isn't a spectator sport should watch the start of this class tomorrow. Not only do 2 points separate the top three, but Paolo Gaia's (Milan, Italy) fourth-placed Breeze and George David's (Hartford, Conn.) fifth-placed Idler trail Hi Fling by 4 and 6 points, respectively. This class will be decided at the start.

J. Craig Speck's (Grand Rapids, Mich.) crew on VIM III finally broke into the lead in IMS 2. After threatening Pasquale Landolfi's (Porto Cervo, Italy) early series leader Brava Q8 for two days, VIM III finished 2-2 to Brava's 4-5 to create the tie. Lurking 3 points behind is Sal Giordano's Heatwave, which won both races today. In fact, Heatwave beat VIM III by 34 and 13 seconds on corrected time in the two races.

"It was fantastic sailing," said a jubilant Ken Read, helmsman on Heatwave. "These races showed that the IMS Rule works. You had two well-sailed boats battling for the lead. We finished a few minutes ahead boat for boat, but were separated by only a few seconds."

John Thomson's (Port Washington, N.Y.) Solution regained the series lead in the Farr 40 class. Thomson, the defending class champion, finished 1-2 in today's racing. Edgar Cato's (Coconut Grove, Fla.) Hissar, yesterday's Boat of the Day, finished 3-1 today and continued its climb out of the hole it created with a 19th on Day 1. Yesterday's leader, Jack Woodhull's (Newport Beach, Calif.) Persephone, fell to third with a 7-3. Solution now leads Hissar and Persephone by 4 points.

"This was the best day conditions-wise; the breeze had some punch," said Solution's mainsail trimmer Chuck Brown, who also serves as the crew's resident one-liner expert. "Sailing in this class is like racing in NASCAR. You get ahead on a leg, they throw the yellow flag at each mark rounding, we bunch up and start all over again."

The Melges 24 Class, one of the most difficult classes at Race Week the last four years, proved its competitiveness again. Brian Porter's (Lake Geneva, Ill.) Full Throttle finished 5-2 and gained 2 points on Scott Elliott's (Charlotte, N.C.) leader White Loaf, which finished 4-5, to create the tie for the class's Midwinter Championship. Vince Brun's (San Diego, Calif.) third-placed Team Henri Lloyd trails the duo by 15 points, but could overtake both if they get locked into a match-race battle and lose sight of the big picture.

Although the regatta's spotlight shines brightly on the close racing, two classes were essentially wrapped-up today. Peter De Beukelaer's (Jackson, Miss.) Fortune Cookie, a B/25, finished second in Race 7 and leads PHRF 7 (13 boats) by 15 points. Overall, Fortune Cookie has been one of the most consistent entrants with finishes of 1-2-1-1-1-1-2.

Steve Liebel's (Sarasota, Fla.) Speedracer also secured its victory today when it won Race 7 in the Henderson 30 Class. Similar to Fortune Cookie, Speedracer has a string of firsts in its scoreline, 1-1-1-1-1-2-1, and leads the 11-boat class by 12 points.

Team Italy has all but secured the competition for the Yukon Cup, presented by title sponsor GMC Yukon to the winning three-boat team. The international teams are comprised of entries from the IMS, Mumm 30 and Melges 24 classes.

DIVISION I STANDINGS (provisional through 7 races) CLASS A -- IMS1 1. Hi Fling/Irvine Laidlaw (Isle of Man, England) 2-5-2-7-1-4-2--23, 2. Virago/Bache Renshaw (Portsmouth, RI) 4-2-3-1-2-6-6--24, 3. Beau Geste/Karl Kwok (Hong Kong, China) 5-3-1-4-5-3-4--25. CLASS B -- IMS2 1. VIM III/J. Craig Speck (Grand Rapids, MI) 4-1-2-2-4-2-2--17, 2. Brava Q8/Pasquale Landolfi (Porto Cervo, Italy) 1-2-1-1-3-4-5--17, 3. Heatwave/Sal Giordano (Edgartown, MA) 3-3-4-6-2-1-1--20. CLASS C -- Farr 40 1. Solution/John Thomson (Port Washington, NY) 1-2-8-9-5-1-2--28, 2. Hissar/Edgar Cato, Coconut Grove, FL) 19-1-6-1-1-3-1--32, 3. Persephone/Jack Woodhull (Newport Beach, CA) 2-8-7-3-2-7-3--32. CLASS D -- PHRF1 1. Starlight/Jay Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 1-1-1-3-1-2-1--10, 2. Fatal Attraction/F. Gray Kiger (Norfolk, VA) 3-5-2-2-2-4-2--20, 3. Wahoo/Fintan Cairns (Dublin, Ireland) 4-3-3-1-4-1-5--21. CLASS E -- 1D35 1. War Bride/Pete DuPont (Rockland, ME) 9-7-2-2-2-1-5--28, 2. Windquest/Doug DeVos (Holland, MI) 3-4-9-4-4-9-3--36, 3. Avalanche/W.S. Shelhorse (Lake Wesley, VA) 17-1-8-3-1-4-8--42. CLASS F -- PHRF2 1. Letter of Marque/W. Colahan & D. Halsted (Marblehead, MA) 2-2-1-3-1-1-1--11, 2. Wai Rere/Chris Bouzaid (Jamestown, RI) 1-1-2-1-3-8-3--19 3. Full Circle/Sanford Richardson (Hampton, VA) 3-7-3-8-6-3-2--32. CLASS G -- PHRF3 1. Fitikoko/Andrew Wilson (Annapolis, MD) 1-1-1-1-2-5-5--16, 2. Spirit/David Fleishman (New Smyrna Beach, FL) 4-4-8-3-1-2-1--23, 3.Lunatic Fringe/Eric Wynsma (Grand Rapids, MI) 3-3-2-4-4-6-7--29.

DIVISION 2 STANDINGS (provisional through 7 races) CLASS A -- PHRF 4 1. Snake Eyes/Tom Ballard (Annapolis, MD) 1-2-2-3-2-2-1--13, 2. Surprise/Joan Tryzelaar (Portland, ME) 4-1-1-1-1-1-OCS--25, 3. Ragamuffin/Richard Harris (New Orleans, LA) 3-3-7-2-4-9-2--30. CLASS B1 -- Viper 830 1. RE/Guy de Boer (Detroit, MI) 4-2-2-1-1-2-5--17, 2. Extreme Measures/Doug Harkrider (Flowery Banch, GA) 5-1-1-2-2-3-4--18, 3. Impulsive Response/Ted Balfour (Randolph, NJ) 1-3-4-3-4-4-1--20. CLASS B2 -- J/105 1. Phenix/Bob Swirbalus (Boston, MA) 3-2-7-2-1-1-4--20, 2. Hi-Jinx/Tom Thayer (Jamestown, RI) 1-5-6-3-2-3-1--21, 3. Wet Paint/Donald Priestly (Newport, RI) 4-4-2-4-6-4-2--26. CLASS C -- J/29 1. WOW/W. Rojek & A. Zaleski (City Island, NY) 4-5-3-1-1-3-3--20, 2. Tomahawk/Bruce Lockwood (Ludlow, VT) 1-1-5-2-11-5-1--26, 3. Titillation/Paul Anderson (Deltaville, VA) 1-6-2-8-2-1-4--30 CLASS D -- J/80 1. Hustle/Tim McAdams (E. Greenwich, RI) 2-5-1-2-3-2-4--19, 2. Thrown Together/Vicky Jo Neiner (Perth Amboy, NJ) 3-4-4-1-6-3-2--23, 3. Kicks/David Balfour (Austin, TX) 1-7-2-6-6-6-1--29. CLASS E -- PHRF 5 1. Claddagh/L. Fallon & J. Flanagan (Marblehead, MA) 1-2-1-1-2-2-1--10, 2. Think Blue/Gary Disbrow (Vermillion, OH) 3-3-3-6-5-1-2--23, 3..Liquor Box/Chuck Simon (Bay Village, OH) 6-4-2-2-1-7-3--25. CLASS F -- PHRF 6 1. Synchronicity/Michael Phelan (Coconut Grove, FL) 1-2-1-4-1-2-3--14, 2. Sazerac/Gordon Ettie (Minneapolis, MN) 4-4-2-1-3-1-1--16, 3. Creola/Jack Cavalier (Tampa, FL) 3-1-3-2-4-3-4--20. CLASS G -- PHRF 7 1. Fourtune Cookie/Peter De Beukelaer (Jackson, MS) 1-2-1-1-1-1-2--9, 2. Hot Sheet/Mitch Hnatt (Brick, NJ) 3-3-4-3-6-4-1--24, 3.Fluffy Flanks/Barry Parkoff (San Antonio, TX) 2-1-2-9-2-3-DSQ--33.

DIVISION 3 STANDINGS (provisional through 7 races) CLASS A -- Henderson 30 1. Speedracer/Steve Liebel (Sarasota, FL) 1-1-1-1-1-2-1--8, 2. New Wave/Michael Carroll (Clearwater, FL) 2-3-3-2-7-1-2--20, 3. Girlfriend/J. Holt & P. Dimartino (Wickford, RI) 7-6-2-5-2-4-4--30. CLASS B -- Mumm 30 1. Sector/Carla Silva (Portofino, Italy) 4-3-2-1-1-8-2--21, 2. Malinda/Invicta/Massimo Mezzaroma (Rome, Italy) 2-4-4-3-7-4-9--33, 3. USA 48/B. Allardice & E. Collins (TriBeCa) 1-8-1-11-10-3-1--35. CLASS C -- Melges 24 1. Whit Loaf/Scott Elliott (Charlotte, NC) 6-7-2-2-1-4-5--27, 2. Full Throttle/Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, IL) 7-2-1-5-5-5-2--27, 3. Team Henri Lloyd/Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif.) 15-5-8-6-4-1-3--42.

A complete set of provisional results and scratch sheet can be found on Race Week's web page at

There are 9 billion pores per square inch in Douglas Gill's Ocean Technology laminate. While that's 20,000 times SMALLER than a droplet of water, it's also 700 time LARGER than moisture vapor, so it easily 'wicks away' perspiration. That all translates into unparalleled comfort in even the most miserable conditions. You really can't afford to let another day go before you check out Gill's complete line of foul weather gear:

99 WORLDS - Report by Peter Campbell
The 99 World Sailing Championships, the largest regatta of its kind ever staged in the world and the first combined world championships for seven Olympic classes, ended this afternoon on Melbourne's Port Phillip - with ideal sailing conditions on the bay. The last of the 16 world titles to be decided was the Laser Masters, in fact, comprising a number of championships for sailors 35 years of age and beyond. The oldest competitor was 76. The Laser Masters attracted 250 competitors from some 25 nations, the largest of fleet of all the championships which in total drew 1800 sailors from 58 nations to Melbourne and Port Phillip.

It is estimated the sailors and their supporters poured an extra $AUS 30 million and more into the economy Melbourne and State of Victoria. So successful has the 99 Worlds been that the International Sailing Federation plans wants a similar regatta staged in 2003 in Europe as a lead-up to the Athens Games in 2004. Nations will again compete for the IOC President's Cup, presented for the first time at the 99 Worlds in Melbourne. Victoria's Premier Jeff Kennett has also promised $AUS 100,000 for prize money for an international sailing regatta in January 2000.

Today's final two races for the Laser Masters were sailed in a light northerly breeze and flat water, well appreciated by the older sailors in this vast fleet. However, the race committee then elected - we don't know exactly why - to discard the 11th race. So final results are calculated on 10 races with one discard, with a protest against this decision being dismissed half an hour before the trophy presentation. So the end result saw:

-- Australian Graham Read, at 66 years of age become the oldest world champion of the 99 Worlds, winning the Laser Great Grand Masters, sailed in the smaller rig Laser Radials in deference to the age of competitors (65 years of age and upwards). Graham comes from Roseville in Sydney and sails from the Vaucluse Yacht Club. He won by just two points from Japan's Haruyoshi Kimura, with 70-year-old South African Geoffrey Myburgh five points further back.

-- Britain's Mark Littlejohn, a youngster at 36 from the Lancing Sailing Club, take out the Apprentice Masters (35-44 years of age) with a remarkable seven wins in 11 races, winning the 10th race just to make sure. Runner-up was Andreas John from Germany with Britain's Alan Davis third.

-- Another British sailor, Keith Wilkins, 54, from Kidderminster in Worcester and a member of the Chelmarsh Sailing Club, win the highly competitive Laser Master world title after a hard fought battle with Sweden's Peter Sundelin who won the 10th race, and Doug Peckover from the USA who came in second in that race.

-- Colourful Australian sailor Graham Oborn, 59, a former offshore yachtsman, win the Grand Masters title, following his success at the 1998 Nike World Masters. Runner-sup was New Zealander Jack Hansen, third going to another Kiwi, Keith Vann, who won what was to be the last race. Graham lives at Morpeth near Newcastle, NSW, sails with the Port Stephens Sailing & Aquatic Club .

-- Former Laser world women's champion Lyndall Patterson (nee Coxon) win the final two races to score a runaway victory in the Masters Radial world title for women. In all, Lyndall who now lives on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, won seven of the ten races, to win comfortably from fellow Australian Helen Cooksley and Sally Sharp from the USA.

And so ends, with a spectacular thunderstorm tonight rivaling the fireworks on the Yarra River at the end of regatta party and presentation. And we will be sailing on Port Phillip again in January 2000 - the big year for Oz!

Event website:

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

-- From Chris Freeman -- In one of the previous issues of Butt someone asked who would enforce the PFD/strobe light rule. Has Corinthian sailing really decayed along with the rest of the planet to the point that rules like this need to be enforced with babysitters? Who enforces whether or not you use the engine during a race? At the risk of sounding slightly religious, if you follow overboard in you are not wearing a PFD, then God just enforced the rule. Not to mention, when they finally recovered the body (if ever) you would look pretty stupid if you weren't wearing it. Maybe it wasn't comfortable while you were treading water!

-- Frank Whitton--- William Henderson...I share not only your thoughts but your politics as well. US Sailing has long since abandoned its stated goal to "Serving Sailors" and replaced it with "Serving Themselves". This sounds a bit harsh but unfortunately I feel it true. With regards to a change, my vote would be to start with the Offshore Office. They have done more to destroy the sport of handicap sailing than any other single factor and nowhere have I seen them being held responsible for it. Communication is the single biggest factor they have failed miserably at. I could give you example after example of this but I long since stopped trying to change things because they fell on deaf ears at US Sailing. Maybe through Scuttlebutt and other sources people can find a forum for good communication. I find it interesting that in past discussions in Scuttlebutt US Sailing's Offshore office has never responded pro or con even when I bait them regarding issues of IMS ratings and promotion of IMS.

-- From Peter Huston -- Whether US SAILING wants to listen or not, the most important grass roots communication tool for the sport of sailboat racing in the US, if not the world, is now "scuttlebutt". While I applaude their new web site development initiative, US SAILING is so far behind in communication technique and responsiveness they may never recover. Long live the "curmudgeon".

Curmudgeon's Comment: I've shamelessly come to realization that this Huston chap is a very insightful 'Butthead.

--From Glenn McCarthy -- All I was saying was when the US SAILING meeting comes to your town, come on out and express yourself (Dallas this spring, Baltimore this fall). Many committees of US SAILING work via E-mail and attendance is not always required. Simply show up when the meetings attend your area, you'll find it a rewarding experience.

Second, the entire Board of US SAILING has recognized that their Web site is behind the eight ball. Upgrading the website is a top priority project. They have allocated serious cash to move the page into the future.

The illbruck Round the World challenge (IRWC) has announced the first partners for its campaign to win the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World 2001-2. The announcement was made this week at the "boot'99" boat show in Duesseldorf, Germany. The British clothing company Douglas Gill will supply its "Gill" brand crew clothing and foulweather gear to the campaign. As the official supplier for clothing, Douglas Gill will provide the crew with sailing wear that includes light and heavy foul weather gear, fleece jackets, life-jackets and other apparel items. During the last Whitbread Round the World Race the company was the official supplier to "Chessie Racing".

During the Volvo Ocean Race - one of the world's toughest - crew will be exposed to extreme weather conditions including saltwater spray and waves in storms, cloudbursts in thunderstorms, icy conditions in Antarctic waters and the heat and humidity of the Equator. In addition to keeping them dry, the crew's gear should also offer maximum insulation coupled with breathability to handle perspiration. -- Kieth Taylor

illbruck Round the World Challenge web site:

Cross 'Em When You Can -- This is a classic rule of thumb offered many years ago by Stuart Walker in his book Advanced Racing Tactics. When sailing upwind in an oscillating breeze and the opportunity presents itself such that the boats on your stern quarter are pointing down enough that you can tack and get across their bows... do it. Seizing this opportunity sets you up for the next shift. To defend, the other boats' only option is to tack in front and to leeward of your bow and wait for the next shift that will cause you to point down at them. However, if the group you are crossing sticks it out and allows you to cross, the gain you realize will be even greater when that next shift arrives and you are lifted and inside. Note, the same principle applies when jibing downwind in an oscillating breeze. -- the Coach at

It's another new year, with another circuit of International Grand Prix Match Racing regattas, and as usual the Royal Perth Yacht Club's Sun Microsystems is the first event of the year. This year the Royal Perth Yacht Club and Sun Microsystems have attracted a star-studded line up, the best for a number of years, including the top three skippers in the world, and eight of the top twenty. Nine nations are in the line up, and four America's Cup challenger teams will be represented. The competitors are:
2. CHRIS LAW Britain
3. GAVIN BRADY New Zealand
10. LUC PILLOT France
12. NEVILLE WITTEY Australia

The crews arrive in Perth over the weekend of 30th/31st January, with practice sessions on Monday and Tuesday 1st/2nd February. The round robin racing starts Wednesday 3rd, with the finals Sunday 7th. - John Roberson

Don't judge people by their relatives.