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SCUTTLEBUTT #264 - January 25, 1999

KWRW - Report by Sean McNeill
Irvine Laidlaw's (Isle of Man, England) new Hi Fling won the Yachting Magazine Trophy as the overall Boat of the Week at the GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week '99 that concluded today. Laidlaw, who also won IMS 1 and IMS overall honors, previously won the Yachting Magazine Trophy in 1993 aboard his old Swan 53 Highland Fling. "This boat is fantastic," said Laidlaw of his new Hi Fling, a CM 60 designed by Farr & Associates. "It's a lot of fun to sail."

"Irvine did a great job all week," said tactician Eddie Warden Owen. "This class was extremely competitive, it was stacked with quality sailors. He's a good sailor and he's picking up the subtleties that go along with being an experienced helmsman."

Strong, 20-plus-knot winds from the southeast and 4-foot seas helped wrap up the 12th anniversary international keelboat regatta held on the Straits of Florida off Key West. Many competitors ranked it as a fiercely competitive regatta, one that featured lead changes throughout the week. "The fleet was extremely deep," said Young America skipper Ed Baird, who guided Jay Ecklund's Starlight to an 11-point victory in PHRF 1. "The caliber of sailors was very high. It was great having the wind come on at the end rather than the beginning because it gave every crew a chance to get settled into a groove."

Race Week has always been competitive, but never as tight as this year. Some highlights: * A tiebreaker determined the Viper 830 Class champion. * One point separated the top three in IMS 2 and PHRF 6. * Three points separated the top two in the Farr 40 Class. * Four points separated the top two in the J/105 Class. * Five points separated the top three in IMS 1, and a tiebreaker determined third and fourth.

"We hit the wind cycle about right," said Event Director Peter Craig. "We had light to moderate in the beginning and heavy at the end. You had to have a great all-around boat and crew to perform in the varied conditions. I'm still amazed at the closeness of the racing."

Laidlaw won Race Week's biggest prize, but he wasn't the only winner. Race Week crowned 18 class champions this evening, many of them decided today.

Andrzei Rojek and Waldek Zaleski's WOW won the Key West Trophy, presented by event organizer Premiere Racing to the PHRF Boat of the Week, and Team Italy won the Yukon Cup, presented by title sponsor GMC Yukon to the international three-boat team champion.

Friday's winners also included Sal Giordano's Heatwave, which won the final Boat of the Day award in fine style. Heatwave topped IMS 2 today, considered the most competitive class based on its 2-minute, 26-second time difference between first and fifth. Heatwave won the trophy in the final 250 yards of the race. Closing on the finish line, Tom Neill's Nitemare approached Heatwave on starboard tack and tried a slam-dunk tack. But Heatwave helsman Ken Read got the boat's bow poked out to leeward and then fake tacked Nitemare, with Peter Isler and Gary Jobson in the afterguard. Nitemare's crash tack was compounded when it couldn't quickly trim the jib. That gave Read the starboard tack advantage, and when they approached again he hunted down Isler before slam dunking. Read forced Isler out to the starboard layline before tacking for the line and crossing 12 seconds ahead. After finishing Read shook his fist rejoicing and you could almost hear him thinking, "I can't believe they fell for the fake tack."

Other tight class battles decided today included the Farr 40, which saw John Thomson's (Port Washington, N.Y.) Solution win for the second consecutive year, the Mumm 30, where Carla Silva's (Portofino, Italy) Sector triumphed by 5 points, and the Melges 24 Midwinter Championship, which saw Brian Porter's (Lake Geneva, Ill.) Full Throttle come from behind and defeat Scott Elliott's (Charlotte, N.C.) White Loaf.

DIVISION I STANDINGS (through 8 races) CLASS A -- IMS1 1. Hi Fling/Irvine Laidlaw (Isle of Man, England) 2-5-2-7-1-4-2-2--25, 2. Beau Geste/Karl Kwok (Hong Kong, China) 5-3-1-4-5-3-4-3--28, 3. Idler/George David (Hartford, CT) 6-1-8-2-4-5-3-1--30. CLASS B -- IMS2 1. Brava Q8/Pasquale Landolfi (Porto Cervo, Italy) 1-2-1-1-3-4-5-3--20, 2. Heatwave/Sal Giordano (Edgartown, MA) 3-3-4-6-2-1-1-1--21, 3. VIM III/J. Craig Speck (Grand Rapids, MI) 4-1-2-2-4-2-2-4--21. CLASS C -- Farr 40 1. Solution/John Thomson (Port Washington, NY) 1-2-8-9-5-1-2-3--31, 2. Hissar/Edgar Cato, Coconut Grove, FL) 19-1-6-1-1-3-1-2--34, 3. Samba Pa Ti/John Kilroy (San Francisco, CA) 11-5-1-4-6-2-5-4--38. CLASS D -- PHRF1 1. Starlight/Jay Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) 1-1-1-3-1-2-1-1--11, 2. Fatal Attraction/F. Gray Kiger (Norfolk, VA) 3-5-2-2-2-4-2-2--22, 3. Wahoo/Fintan Cairns (Dublin, Ireland) 4-3-3-1-4-1-5-5--26. CLASS E -- 1D35 1. War Bride/Pete DuPont (Rockland, ME) 9-7-2-2-2-1-5-9--37, 2. Windquest/Doug DeVos (Holland, MI) 3-4-9-4-4-9-3-6--42 3. Spot/Frank Schinco (Holland, MI) 4-6-16-1-6-3-7-2--45. CLASS F -- PHRF2 1. Letter of Marque/W. Colahan & D. Halsted (Marblehead, MA) 2-2-1-3-1-1-1-1--12, 2. Wai Rere/Chris Bouzaid (Jamestown, RI) 1-1-2-1-3-8-3-(DNC)--30, 3. Full Circle/Sanford Richardson (Hampton, VA) 3-7-3-8-6-3-2-2--34. CLASS G -- PHRF3 1. Fitikoko/Andrew Wilson (Annapolis, MD) 1-1-1-1-2-5-5-3--19, 2. Spirit/David Fleishman (New Smyrna Beach, FL) 4-4-8-3-1-2-1-2--25, 3..Lunatic Fringe/Eric Wynsma (Grand Rapids, MI) 3-3-2-4-4-6-7-5--34.

DIVISION 2 STANDINGS (through 8 races) CLASS A -- PHRF 4 1. Snake Eyes/Tom Ballard (Annapolis, MD) 1-2-2-3-2-2-1-6--19, 2. Ragamuffin/Richard Harris (New Orleans, LA) 3-3-7-2-4-9-2-1--31, 3. Surprise/Joan Tryzelaar (Portland, ME) 4-1-1-1-1-1-OCS-9--34. CLASS B1 -- Viper 830 1. RE/Guy de Boer (Detroit, MI) 4-2-2-1-1-2-5-4--21, 2. Extreme Measures/Doug Harkrider (Flowery Banch, GA) 5-1-1-2-2-3-4-3--21, 3. Impulsive Response/Ted Balfour (Randolph, NJ) 1-3-4-3-4-4-1-5--25. CLASS B2 -- J/105 1. Phenix/Bob Swirbalus (Boston, MA) 3-2-7-2-1-1-4-3--23, 2. Hi-Jinx/Tom Thayer (Jamestown, RI) 1-5-6-3-2-3-1-5--26, 3. Elizabeth/Bill Helming (Acton, MA) 5-3-3-1-5-6-5-1--29. CLASS C -- J/29 1. WOW/A. Rojek & W. Zaleski (City Island, NY) 6-5-3-1-1-3-3-4--26, 2. Tomahawk/Bruce Lockwood (Ludlow, VT) 1-1-5-2-11-5-1-6--32, 3. Quick Draw/Robert Rishel (Toledo, OH) 5-7-1-6-6-4-2-2--33. CLASS D -- J/80 1. Hustle/Tim McAdams (E. Greenwich, RI) 2-5-1-2-3-2-4-1--20, 2. Thrown Together/Vicky Jo Neiner (Perth Amboy, NJ) 3-4-4-1-6-3-2-4--27, 3. Kicks/David Balfour (Austin, TX) 1-7-2-6-6-6-1-2--31. CLASS E -- PHRF 5 1. Claddagh/L. Fallon & J. Flanagan (Marblehead, MA) 1-2-1-1-2-2-1-3--13, 2. Think Blue/Gary Disbrow (Vermillion, OH) 3-3-3-6-5-1-2-2--25, 3. Liquor Box/Chuck Simon (Bay Village, OH) 6-4-2-2-1-7-3-1--26. CLASS F -- PHRF 6 1. Sazerac/Gordon Ettie (Minneapolis, MN) 4-4-2-1-3-1-1-1--17, 2. Synchronicity/Michael Phelan (Coconut Grove, FL) 1-2-1-4-1-2-3-4--18, 3. Creola/Jack Cavalier (Tampa, FL) 3-1-3-2-4-3-4-6--26. CLASS G -- PHRF 7 1. Fourtune Cookie/Peter De Beukelaer (Jackson, MS) 1-2-1-1-1-1-2-1--10, 2. Hot Sheet/Mitch Hnatt (Brick, NJ) 3-3-4-3-6-4-1-6--30, 3..Fluffy Flanks/Barry Parkoff (San Antonio, TX) 2-1-2-9-2-3-DSQ-2--35.

DIVISION 3 STANDINGS (through 8 races) CLASS A -- Henderson 30 1. Speedracer/Steve Liebel (Sarasota, FL) 1-1-1-1-1-2-1-(DNC)--20, 2. New Wave/Michael Carroll (Clearwater, FL) 2-3-3-2-7-1-2-2--22, 3. Girlfriend/J. Holt & P. Dimartino (Wickford, RI) 7-6-2-5-2-4-4-3--33. CLASS B -- Mumm 30 1. Sector/Carla Silva (Portofino, Italy) 4-3-2-1-1-8-2-9--30, 2. Malinda/Invicta/Massimo Mezzaroma (Rome, Italy) 2-4-4-3-7-4-9-2--35, 3. USA 48/B. Allardice & E. Collins (TriBeCa) 1-8-1-11-10-3-1-10--45. CLASS C -- Melges 24 1. Full Throttle/Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, IL) 7-2-1-5-5-5-2-2--29, 2. White Loaf/Scott Elliott (Charlotte, NC) 6-7-2-2-1-4-5-6--33, 3. Team Henri Lloyd/Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif.) 15-5-8-6-4-1-3-4--46.

OTHER WEST COAST OVERACHIEVERS - Jack Woodhull (CYC) and Peter Tong (LBYC) finished fourth and sixth respectively in the competitive Farr 40 class; strong performances in the Melges 24 class were turned in by Argyle Campbell (4th) Charlie Ogletree (6th) Tim Hanke (9th) and Jessica Lord (10th); and Brian Mock's Beneteau 40.7 UB rallied to fourth place in PHRF 3 by winning two of the last three races (after changing drivers) - good job Robin!

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

COMMENTARY - By the Curmudgeon
GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race Week is over now, and for the curmudgeon there were some interesting contrasts between this East Coast event and many of the West Coast regattas. Perhaps the biggest difference was the attitude of the race organizers about communicating with the racers.

The professional staff from Premiere Racing seemed to do everything humanly possible to insure all of the participants had as much information as possible to have a good regatta AND a good time. When you arrive in the starting area in the morning, there was a friendly voice on your assigned VHF radio channel telling what course each class would sail as well -as the distance and bearing to the weather mark. Sure the same information was posted on the race committee boat, but there was no reason to make a trip over there-they spoon-fed it to each participant by VHF.

After the first race the same friendly voice is once again on the VHF radio. This time, they announce the time that the Race Committee plans to fire the shotgun for the second race, as well as the course and other specifics of that race. Very civilized, very friendly and very much appreciated.

Premiere Racing also has a user-friendly policy to help premature starters (OCS boats). Unlike so many West Coast YC's that take great pride in their total silence before, during and after the starting sequences, Premiere Racing not only hails the sail numbers of the boats that are over early by VHF radio -- they also use the VHF to hail each OCS boat AGAIN to let them know when they have cleared themselves. A very friendly and welcome procedureand unique from anything I've ever experienced on the West Coast.

Premiere Racing also publishes a 28-page daily newspaper with stories, quotes and color photos from the action of the previous day. This paper also has very complete score sheets and standings summaries for all of the fleets in the regatta. Much of the same information also appears on a very comprehensive regatta website hosted by sponsor, Yachting magazine.

Obviously, none of these things are required by the Racing Rules of Sailingbut all of them were greatly appreciated by the racers. You'll never convince me that this enlightened attitude about communications does not have a lot to do with the continuing growth of this event, and why they enjoyed a record number of 274 entries this year.


If you don't know what MDT stands for now, you will. Soon. Technically it stands for Multi Directional Threading, but what is means is lighter, stronger and sooo affordable. Ullman Sails have built hundreds of these Compound Sails with Stitchless Technology from fiber/film components that address the loading patterns in a modern tri-radial. Check out the Ullman Sails website to lean why they work and while you're there, get a quote online:

What was this, a Transpac greeting in January? A 60-foot sailboat had tied up to Hawaii Yacht Club's "Aloha Dock" last week, Hawaiian music was playing, alohas for the crew were being shouted and traditional leis and mai tais were ready for all. Actually, it was the first boat - the sloop Ariel - of a fleet of seven to be making a stop-over in Hawaii from an around-the-world race called Clipper '98. You may remember a similar situation two years ago when the Clipper '96 fleet of eight boats visited us on their circumnavigation. It was the first time a 'round-the-world race had ever made a stop in Hawaii. Most such races round the world west to east, ignore the Panama Canal and cross the Pacific Ocean in the icy southern hemisphere between Australia/New Zealand and South America's Cape Horn. Clipper '98's racecourse, on the other hand, except for the rounding of South Africa's Cape of Good Hope, is basically considered a warm water route.

A creation of the famed British solo circumnavigator Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the race matches identical 60-foot sloops, named after famous English tea clipper ships that raced the world's ocean trade routes more than a century ago. Although one boat shy of the '96 race, Clipper '98 is still following the same general format of that earlier contest. The race began off Plymouth, England last October, with some 200 sailors divided among the seven boats. Each boat has a professional skipper, but the crew are just sailing enthusiasts - male and female - who have paid for the experience of sailing one or more legs of the circumnavigation. For those who make the complete voyage, they will cover over 34,000 miles in 10 months, and visit 16 ports in such exotic locales as Madeira, San Salvador, the Bahamas, Cuba, Panama, the Galapagos, Japan, China, the Seychelles, South Africa, Brazil, the Azores, and of course, Hawaii. -- Ray Pendleton, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

We read all of your letters, but simply can't publish them all. And those we do print are frequently edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Terry Harper, Executive Director, US Sailing -- Over the past 9 days, US SAILING conducted its first-ever National Sail Training Symposium in San Diego, CA. It began with courses to train and certify instructors who will teach kids how to sail and how to race. It then included courses to train Instructor Trainers, who will in turn train and certify more sailing instructors. The first-ever National Coaching Symposium brought together college coaches, high school coaches, and learn-to-race instructors, to teach them how to coach better. Finally, the Symposium brought together some 260 community sailing and yacht club program directors from as far away as Alaska, Massachusetts, Florida and Hawaii to collaborate and learn about techniques for improving their programs.

"Communication" means more than being an opinion forum. Scuttlebutt does a great job as such a forum, but that is not the principal role of a National Governing Body. We listen to the members (in part by monitoring your newsletter). We also receive and disseminate sailors' views through representatives. You can get an annual Directory from us, which tells you to whom you can express your views. The representative format is not perfect or, sometimes, fast, and that is why we are upgrading our website.

However, anyone who has taken the time to read the Amateur Sports Act would recognize that the NGB's role is greater than some of your readers believe. A lot of what US SAILING does may not be "communication" in the sense that Peter Huston thinks (he is a good friend, although we disagree once in a while), but are our members' dues better spent by improving the racing rules, developing training programs for judges and race officers, or paying someone to do what Scuttlebutt does?

If you REALLY want to know why the Board passed the PFD prescription to the ORC Regs, and what it means, look at the "white paper" on our website, (news section), which was posted last April. If the board acted in haste in passing the prescription in October '97, it certainly didn't when it reconsidered last Spring.

-- From Chris Luppens -- In 'Butt# 262 Scott Truesdell writes "We can not all attend every meeting, therefore, US SAILING should publish the proceedings in American Sailor or on the web and solicit comments. Rewrite the propositions to reflect the comments, then submit for wide membership vote."

Without going into how prohibitively expensive and time consuming such a proposition could get to be, I suggest that all US SAILING members read President Jim Muldoon's "President's Letter" in the February "AMERICAN SAILOR" published in "SAILING WORLD". As the letter points out a major effort is underway to vastly improve US SAILING's website, and that tool will help, but it is only one "tool" available. Do you know who your Regional Sailing Association Representative is? How about your Area Director? US SAILING is a volunteer-based organization with finite funding. The utilization of all resources available, as well as a more functional website, provides a reasonably effective means of being heard and having influence in the decision making process.

-- From Fred Jones -- Tom Ehman, Frank Whitton, William Henderson, and have all identified the problems at US SAIL. They can't even get a web site up and functioning and people are leaving this sport in disgust because of them by the hundreds. Is there anyone in America who has seen INCREASED participation at the local level in the last two years?

The so-called 'local' meetings that they have are a charade. When you don't provide for member input into a decision (which is what happens when you propose and vote on items in the same meeting), you have rule by decree. The PFD thing is the tip of the iceberg. It extends well into their complete and total non-support of PHRF racing, inspite of the fact that there are more PHRF sailors within US SAIL than all others combined.

It goes on into a blatant disregard for the member input with the adoption of the new rules. How many of you out there know that the J-24 class voted overwhelmingly to advise US SAIL NOT to adopt those rules because of the problems that all the ambiguities in them were going to cause (like hunting)?

What's going to eventually happen is that some of the big one-design classes are going to get fed up, realize that they don't need this grief, buy their own insurance, and hold their own events. From there, it's only a matter of time until the handicap guys join them and help defray the expenses.

The clock is ticking. Rome is burning. And US SAIL is fiddling.

-- From Tom Gadbois -- All this talk about what god to pray to for wind!! We Catholics-who discovered "Church Rock" on the backside of Catalina, and named it because the around-the island race always left us there about the time mass would begin- pray to the same god for everything. "...give us this day our daily breeze, and forgive us our barging as we forgive those who luff up against us. And lead us not into the protest room, but deliver us from I-flags."

After sailing more than 15,000 miles half-way around the world, Brad Van Liew's Balance Bar holds third place in the Around Alone yacht race. After 76 days at sea, he is a mere 89 minutes from second place holder Mike Garside of England. He is the only American citizen competing in the race and the youngest in the international fleet of 13. Van Liew has however, encountered a large hurdle that must be cleared before the restart on February 6, 1999. One of three fabrics used in the production of Van Liew's mainsail, has failed. The sail is not repairable. Therefore, North Sails of Auckland, New Zealand is building a new main for the remaining half of the race.

We appreciate any financial assistance that can be offered at this time. Time is critical, as the race restarts on February 6. We have arranged for the receipt of non-profit donations, to encourage participation. There are also many sponsorship opportunities available for corporate or private interest. Sponsorship benefits such as logo representation, private charters, and corporate hospitality can be arranged into custom packages. - Meaghan Van Liew


If "I am " is the shortest sentence in the English language, is it possible that "I do" could be the longest sentence?