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SCUTTLEBUTT #269 - February 1, 1999

Luck had nothing to do with winning the tenth annual Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, which concluded today. Through four consecutive days of sunshine with steady 12-15 knot breezes, strength, will and determination became the determining factors for 279 sailors sailing 189 boats and representing 23 countries.

"Weather-wise, this has been one of the most memorable Miami OCRs in recent history," said US SAILING's Olympic Director Jonathan Harley. "With everyone getting in at least ten races, this was a terrific contest for our Olympic hopefuls, and it brought them together with some tough international sailors."

Americans won six of the eight events conducted for Finn, 470, Laser, Mistral Men's, Mistral Women's, Soling, Star and Tornado classes. Going into today's Laser races, Mark Mendelblatt of St. Petersburg, Fla., had to keep a close eye on Peer Moberg, Norways' 1996 Olympic bronze medalist with whom he held a neck- and-neck score yesterday. Mendelblatt excelled with three victories in three races to take the gold over Moberg, who finished second in all three races. Only three points separated the rivals in final scores for the 42-boat fleet. Settling for bronze was Brett Davis of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tornado sailors Lars Guck and PJ Schaffer of Bristol, R.I., topped their 21-boat fleet after turning in a 12-race scorecard that included nine victories. "It was all clicking," said Guck, who noted that the fleet was packed mostly with North American talent, including 1996 Olympians John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree of New Orleans, La. and Newport Beach, Calif., respectively. "Sometimes you just get some bad breaks, but this time we sailed our own race." In today's two races, Guck and Schaffer finished third and second, with Lovell and Ogletree winning both races to take the silver medal. Winning the bronze was Canada's David Sweeney and Kevin Smith.

Again today, the Soling trio of Harry Melges, Hans Melges and Brian Porter (Fontana, Wis.) could not be touched as they posted perfect scores in two races. Their gold medal resulted from first-place finishes in all 11 races of the series. "We got faster and faster as the regatta went on," said Harry Melges. "It was really comfortable."

In the 36-boat Mistral fleet, Mike Gebhardt of Ft. Pierce, Fla., and Lanee Butler of Aliso Viejo, Calif., maintained their positions at the top of their respective divisions to win gold medals. "I've been training hard for two months," said Gebhardt, a '92 Olympic silver medalist, "and it really pays off in conditions like these where you have to pump the sail so much. If someone passes me going upwind, I can really make up speed going downwind."

The Mistral women sailed together with the men and were awarded medals based on their relative performances to each other. The USA's '96 Olympian Lanee Butler of Aliso Viejo, Calif., won the gold, with Canada's Caroll-Ann Alie and Great Britain's Helen Cartwright taking silver and bronze, respectively.

In the 18-boat Finn class, yesterday's leader Rodrigo Meireles of Brazil finished second in the first of today's two races. He sat out the final race, knowing that mathematically he could not be caught. Eric Oetgen of Savannah, Ga., won both races to secure the silver medal.

Great Britain's team of Graham Vials and Magnus Leask prevailed in the seven-boat 470 fleet for gold, with yesterday's leader, Miami's Tracy Hayley with crew Louise Van Voorhis slipping to second for silver. Californians JJ Isler, the USA's 1992 Olympic Bronze Medalist, and Pease Glaser took the bronze.

The Miami Olympic Classes Regatta is co-hosted by the U.S. Sailing Center; Coral Reef, Biscayne Bay, Key Biscayne and Miami Yacht Clubs; and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Barby MacGowan

FINN (18 Boats) 1. Rodrigo Meireles, BRA, 1-3-2-2-1-1-1-2-1-1-2-(DNC); 17. 2. Eric Oetgen, Savannah, Ga., (7)-2-4-1-2-3-2-1-2-4-1-1; 23. 3. Fabio Bodra, BRA, 2-1-1-3-4-4-3-3-3-5-3-(6); 32. 4. Geoff Ewenson, Annapolis, Md., 4-4-3-5-5-2-(6)-5-5-3-5-3; 44. 5. Brian Huntsman, Drexel Hill, Penn., 5-5-5-4-3-6-4-4-4-2-(7)- 5; 47. 6. Akif Maslubas,TUR, 3-6-6-6-(7)-5-7-7-7-7-4-2; 60. 7. Ben Beer, USVI, 6-8-7-7-8-7-5-6-(9)-6-6-7; 73. 8. Daniel Kurbiel, CAN, 10-7-11-10-10-(12)-8-9-6-8-9-10; 97. 9. Emil De Balthazar, Pensacola Beach, Fla., 8-10-9-9-(11)-11-9- 8-8-9-8-9; 97. 10. John Stark, Chicago, Ill., (13)-11-9-12-9-8-11-11-10-11-11- 8; 111.

470 MEN & WOMEN (7 BOATS) 1. Graham Vials/Leask, GBR, 2-2-1-1-1-4-3-4-2-2-1-(DNF); 23. 2. Tracy Hayley/Van Voorhis, Miami, Fla.,3-(4)-2-2-3-2-1-2-1-1- 4-4; 25. 3. JJ Isler/Glaser, La Jolla, Calif., 1-1-(3)-3-2-3-2-3-3-3-3-2; 26. 4. Larry Suter/Donahue, Key Biscayne, Fla, 4-3-4-4-(OCS)-1-4-5- 4-4-5-3; 41. 5. Peter Stanton/Stanton, ISV, 5-5-5-5-4-5-5-6-6-6-(DNC)-DNC; 60 6. Peter Katcha/Elvart, Tampa, Fla., (DNC)-DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC- DNC-1-5-5-2-1; 62. 7. Kevin Teborek/Ingram, Winnetka, Ill., (DNC)-DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC- DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC-DNC; 88

LASER (42 Boats) 1. Mark Mendelblatt, St. Petersburg, Fla., 2-1-2-1-4-(5)-2-1-1- 1-1-1; 17. 2. Peer Moberg, NOR, 1-3-1-2-3-1-1-(DNF)-2-2-2-2; 20. 3. Brett Davis, St. Petersburg, Fla., 5-2-3-(OCS)-2-9-4-2-3-3-3- 8; 44. 4 John Torgerson, Annapolis, Md., 4-5-5-4-5-2-3-(OCS)-5-5-5-3; 46. 5. Ben Richardson, Gloucester, Mass., 6-7-6-7-(17)-6-5-5-8-8-10- 7; 75. 6. Bill Hardesty, San Diego, Calif., 3-4-4-(OCS)-1-3-OCS-3-4-7- 6-5; 83. 7. Greg Skidmore, Riverside, Conn., 10-9-8-3-9-11-9-9-6-18-8- (22); 100. 8. Jack Dreyfuss, Miami, Fla., 18-6-7-(OCS)-15-8-8-6-14-11-9-4; 106. 9. Tommy Wharton, CAN, 14-13-(20)-6-8-7-7-14-12-6-11-9; 107. 10.Kurt Taulbee, Buffalo, N.Y., 9-11-11-(OCS)-14-10-OCS-7-9-10- 4-6; 134.

MISTRAL Men (36 Boats) 1. Mike Gebhardt, Ft. Pierce, Fla, 1-4-1-1-2-3-4-3-(7)-4; 23. 2. Alain Bolduc, CAN, 2-6-(7)-4-4-2-3-1-4-3; 29. 4. Olivier Carteret, FRA, 3-3-10-10-7-7-1-(11)-1-2; 44. 5. Randy Somnitz, Cocoa Beach, Fla, (9)-2-5-2-6-6-7-6-9-1; 44. 6. Guido Willems, NED, 6-(DNC)-4-5-8-5-6-4-3-5; 46. 7. Kevin Stittle, CAN, (10)-7-6-8-1-8-2-5-6-6; 49. 3. Jerome Corba, NED, 8-1-3-3-5-1-DND-2-2-(9); 62. 8. Peter Wells, La Canada, Calif., 7-9-9-7-9-(11)-5-10-11-10; 77. 9. Jean Raas, Seminole, Fla., 4-10-8-12-14-(15)-11-7-12-11; 89. 10. David Mier Y Teran, MEX, 11-8-(18)-11-10-13-9-8-8-13; 91

MISTRAL WOMEN (14 Boats) 1. Lanee Butler, Aliso Viejo, Calif., 1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-(3)-2; 11. 2. Caroll-Ann Alie, CAN, 2-(OCS)-2-2-2-1-2-3-1-1; 16. 3. Helen Cartwright, GBR, 3-2-3-3-3-(5)-3-2-2-3; 24. 4. Amy McCaig, CAN, 4-3-(5)-5-4-3-4-4-4-5; 36. 5. Cara Reid, Cocoa Beach, Fla., 6-4-4-4-6-6-5-(7)-5-6; 46. 6. Kimberly Birkenfeld, Myrtle Creek, Ore., 5-5-7-6-5-(8)-6-5-7- 4; 50 7. Beth Powell, Cocoa Beach, Fla., 7-(OCS)-6-7-7-9-8-6-8-8; 66. 8. Dominique Vallee, CAN, 9-7-9-10-(11)-4-9-9-9-7; 73. 9. Mariel Devesa, Torrence, Calif., 8-6-8-(13)-10-13-7-8-6-10; 76. 10. Gabriela DaSilva, VEN, 10-9-10-8-8-7-10-10-11-(12); 83.

SOLING (11 Boats) 1. Harry Melges/Porter/Melges, Fontana, Wis., (1)-1-1-1-1-1-1-1- 1-1-1; 10. 3. Andrew Horton/Herlihy/Buttner, Shelbourne, Vt., 2-(4)-3-2-3- 4-3-4-3-2-(9); 30. 2. John Gochberg/Enos/Boston, Miami, Fla., 3-2-2-(5)-2-3-4-3-4- 4-(10); 32. 4. Adam Barboza / Jones/Davis, BER, 5-6-(8)-8-5-2-2-2-7-3-5; 45. 5. Tom Brown/Wilson/Hale, NE Harbor, Me., 6-5-4-7-(8)-5-6-8-5-5- 3; 54. 6. Kent Heitzinger/Manion/Culver,Wilmette, Ill., (OCS)-7-6-3-6- 6-5-7-2-7-8; 57. 7. Richard Grunsten/Flynn/Olson, Chicago, Ill., (DSQ)-3-5-4-4- 10-9-5-8-8-2; 58. 8. Alex Abell/Kinney/Niemann, Somerville, Mass.,4-(9)-9-9-7-8-7- 9-6-6-6; 71. 9. Warner Montario/Findlater/Toth, CAN, 7-10-7-6-10-7-(11)-10-9- 11-7; 84. 10. Andrew Moon/Whittaker/Farrington, CAY, (OCS)-8-10-11-9-9-8- 6-DSQ-9-4; 86.

STAR (40 Boats) 1. Mark Reynolds/Liljedahl, San Diego, Calif.,1-7-1-1-3-1-3-2-2- 1-(OCS); 22. 2. Ross MacDonald/Bjorn, CAN, 11-5-7-7-(19)-6-2-5-1-2-1; 47. 3. Colin Beashel/Giles, AUS, 6-4-3-13-7-(OCS)-1-4-7-3-2; 50. 4. Howie Sheibler/Peters, San Francisco, Calif., 2-2-(21)-11-2- 7-5-3-3-8-7; 50. 5. John MacCausland/Iverson, Medford, N.J., 5-1-8-6-6-9-11-1-5- (12)-4; 56. 6. Marc Pickel/Auracher, GER, 3-3-5-9-10-5-(19)-8-9-6-3; 61. 7. Eric Doyle/Terhar, San Diego, Calif., 12-14-2-12-1-2-4-7-8- 10-6; 64. 8. Mats Johansson/Moller, SWE, 9-10-6-8-14-3-12-6-6-(16)-8; 82. 9. Alex Hagen/Helmert, GER, 8-6-9-2-9-(OCS)-6-11-20-4-11; 86. 10. Peter Brombey/White, BER, 15-(DNS)-11-14-4-8-7-9-11-9-5; 93.

TORNADO (21 Boats) 1. Lars Guck/Schaffer, Bristol, R.I., 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-(3)-1-1-3-2; 14. 2. John Lovell/Ogletree, New Orleans, La., 3-3-4-(5)-4-2-3-1-3- 2-1-1; 27. 3. David Sweeney/Smith, CAN, 4-4-2-(6)-3-3-6-6-4-3-2-3; 40. 4. Robbie Daniel/Bernier, Clearwater, Fla., (OCS)-2-3-2-2-4-2-2- 2-DNF-4-5; 50. 5. Mike Ingham/Goethert, Rochester, N.Y., 2-5-6-4-5-9-7-5-6-4-5- (10); 58. 6. Richard Feeney/Smith, Bristol, R.I., (9)-9-7-3-8-6-4-4-7-6-7- 6; 67. 7. Bob Hodges/Liebl, Metairie, La., 5-6-5-8-(10)-7-8-9-8-5-6-4; 71. 8. Doug Camp/Jones, Boerne, Texas, 7-8-8-7-6-5-9-(10)-5-7-8-7; 77. 9. Hans Barth/Livingston, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 6-7-(11)-9-9-8- 5-7-9-8-10-8; 86. 10. Brian Lambert/Curtis, Birmingham, Ala., 10-11-9-10-(12)-10- 10-8-11-9-9-9; 106.

Complete scores on the ISAF web page:

The Morris 34, a 34-foot cruiser built in Maine, and the 29er, a Canadian-built performance dinghy, were crowned overall winners the prestigious 1999 Boat of the Year (BOTY) . Eleven other designs were named winners in performance and cruising categories. BOTY winners were selected from a diverse field of 57 boats ranging from 7.5 to 80-plus feet, and all contenders underwent a rigorous round of dockside inspection and on-the-water testing by independent panels of expert sailors. Created to recognize excellence in sailboat design and construction, the BOTY Awards are presented annually by Sailing World and Cruising World.

Sailing World editor John Burnham presented the 29er as the 1999 Sailing World Overall Performance Boat of the Year. This 14-foot, doublehanded dinghy weighs just 198 pounds and was touted by judges as a boat that, "introduces more than the latest in high-tech thinking: It introduces thrilling high-speed sailing in an amazingly simple package." The 29er was designed by Julian Bethwaite and built by Canada's Byte Boats (Dorval, Quebec).

Bernadette Bernon, editorial director of The Sailing Company, and editor of Cruising World, presented the Morris 34 as the 1999 Cruising World Overall Cruising Boat of the Year. This 34-foot cruiser, which also won the Best Midsize Cruiser category, was designed by Chuck Paine and built by Morris Yachts of Southwest Harbor, Maine.

The 1999 Boat of the Year Awards are open to new designs (or substantially redesigned sailboats) launched from October 1997 to October 1998. Eleven other boats were recognized as standout designs of the year.-- Cynthia Goss

Best Full-Size Cruiser (41-47 Feet) -- Sabre 452
Designer: Jim Taylor/Sabre Design Group; Builder: Sabre Corp.(South Casco, Maine)

Best Full-Size Cruiser (Over 48 Feet) -- Hylas 54
Designer: German Frers; Builder: Quenn Long Marine (Taiwan)

Best Cruiser/Racer -- Beneteau First 40.7
Designer: Bruce Farr; Builder: Beneteau (France)

Best Luxury Cruiser -- Swan 56
Designer: German Frers; Builder: Nautor (Finland)

Best Pocket Cruiser -- Dehler 29
Designer: Judel/Vrolijk; Builder: Dehler (Germany) U.S. Contact: Dehler America, Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts)

Best Value in a Cruising Boat -- Island Packet 380
Designer: Robert K. Johnson; Builder: Island Packet Yachts (Largo, Florida)

Best Cruising Multihull -- Catana 471
Designer: Christophe Barreau; Builder: Catana (France)

Multihull of the Year -- Inter 20
Designer/Builder: Performance Catamarans (Santa Ana, California)

Cruiser/Racer of the Year -- Sydney 41
Designer: Murray, Burns, & Dovell; Builder: Bashford International (Australia)

PHRF/Sportboat of the Year -- J/125
Designer: Rodney S. Johnstone; Builder: TPI, Inc. (Warren, Rhode Island)

Daysailer of the Year -- Escape Rumba
Designer: Garry Hoyt; Builder: Escape Sailboat Company (Portsmouth, Rhode Island)

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.

On Friday the curmudgeon got a bunch of copies of 'Butt returned from AOL with "permanent fatal errors" and labeled as follows: "Your e-mail is being returned to you because there was a problem with its delivery."

Soooo, if you are an AOL customer and did NOT get your 'Butt on Friday - blame them. The curmudgeon has decided not to issue any refunds.

Britain's team for the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup is formidable, and it has the financial sponsorship of Chernikeeff Networks. The funding has been sufficient enough to underwrite the building of a new Farr 50. Peter Morton and Keith McCullagh are the owners of the new Farr 50, which will be skippered by Morton and steered by Neal McDonald. Chris Law will be the mastermind behind Graham Bailey's Sydney 40--the "work boat" to tune against; and Adrian Stead, the Farr 40 world champion tactician, will take over the same role in the Mumm 30 with his Whitbread shipmate Tim Powell steering. -Bob Fisher, Grand Prix Sailor

For Fisher's full story:

We read all of our e-mail, but simply can't publish every submission. Those that we do publish are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Paul Larsen - Will the acquisition of Volvo by Ford have an impact on Volvo's involvement in the sport? The short answer is it is too early to tell. From my perspective, it seems that Volvo is very committed to the Ocean Race and to youth sailing. Recent announcements about the Eurosport broadcasts and the communications program I believe endorse that thought. And, of course, they've already put a good deal of money into this and it's hard to believe they'd back out at this point.

With that said, you'd have to think there are many questions being asked at both Volvo and Ford about just what the sport can do for either company. It would seem that the reason a consumer product company (be it beer or cars) sponsors a global race is to receive exposure for that product in its major markets. Although Volvo retains trucks and motors, is that really enough to justify a global sponsorship? Will Ford kick in bucks? Will Ford, given its interest in America's Cup, become more involved in sponsoring sailing? Obviously the future will tell, but no doubt the buy-out will be the subject of endless speculation along the waterfronts of the world for months to come.

While I believe the Ocean Race will go forward, I wonder just how much support Volvo will now put behind it. Will follow up marketing, hospitality, advertising, promotion, etc. programs be as strong as once contemplated? It'd be a shame if this turns into a banner waving only event and the back end dries up. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

-- From Dick Tillman -- Fred Jones asked, "Is there anyone in America who has seen INCREASED participation at the local level in the last two years?" Yes. In the last couple of years at the Wawasee Yacht Club, Syracuse, IN, we have seen our Laser and Sunfish Fleets double in terms of participation. Every Saturday morning we have 12-14 boats of each class racing with a summer long social program to go with it. E-Scows and Lightnings are equally active on Sundays. Both fleets growing. Yes, we have increased participation!

-- From Dan Phelps -- As a commentary on the recent communication discussions in Scuttlebutt, I would like to add my agreement with Alex Pline. Local level participation is not only possible, it often is the spark that generates regional and even national participation. It does take a great deal of work, often by one or two highly motivated people. But the rewards of seeing it come together, either in larger local or regional events is almost as good as winning the event.

As the national class secretary for the Viper 640 Class Association, we have found that web based communication is invaluable to increasing participation and to passing the word on both local and national events. By keeping the site up to date, we provide our members information on upcoming regattas, places to stay, and even who is looking for charters. For us it has been the cornerstone of our communication efforts nationwide.

You failed to mention in your accolades Sailing Source's Dave McCreary. For us, Dave has been a great resource for idea and help in promoting our class on the web. And, he has done it at no cost and with no hassle.

Finally, I would like to note, emphasizing one level of "local" participation, that all of myself, Alex Pline and Jesse Falsone are members of Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD. Maybe we "feed" off each other, but as a volunteer-based club, we learned first hand, that if you want something to grow, you can't sit around and wait for it to happen.

-- From Art Engel - Recently, the 'Butt advocated using volunteers for the US Sailing Web site. I concur. I served on the USSA Internet Task Force appointed to make recommendations as to what to do with the current USSA Web site. The main issue is "What will the site look like and who decides?" ISAF has done an excellent job with their site (and it is one USSA should try to emulate) because 99.9% of the decisions ultimately rest with the ISAF Webmaster and his actively interested boss, ISAF President Paul Henderson. For about a year and a half I was the volunteer in charge of the racing rules pages on the ISAF site and I can attest that volunteers can work just fine if limited in number and given strict guidelines. If the USSA Web site is ever to "work" there will need to be a single Web czar (either inside or outside USSA but with sailing experience) who works with any outside developer, co-ordinates with volunteers and staff and reports ONLY to Jim Muldoon (USSA President) [with Mr. Muldoon, not the Web czar, reporting to the Board].

When ISAF set up their Web site they had to choose between a high 5 figure bid from an international telecommunications company and an individual sailor who offered to do it almost for free (and a percent of advertising revenues). They chose the sailor and the less expensive option and in retrospect obviously made the right decision - US Sailing needs to get off its butt and do the same or the "Information Age" will quickly pass it by. Cyber-time is flying!

-- From John Collins -- I think I mentioned this to you before, US SAILING issued an RFP last month for a new web site operation. I have a feeling that there may have been a favorite to get the job. I have not heard about responses to the RFP.

I maintain the PHRF of New England web site. I offered to put PHRF stuff up on the US SAILING site but was turned down. After several nasty-grams, etc. I was finally able to get a list of PHRF fleet contacts and web sites put up on the US SAILING site. I felt that US SAILING should hire a high school kid who was interested in sailing to maintain it instead of a company that maintains fancy corporate web sites.

-- From Chris Welsh (Re: sinking catamaran crossing the Atlantic) -- Unsinkable? Look under Titanic in the dictionary.

"Today served as a valuable reminder to us that this edition of the America's Cup is going to have plenty of breakdowns and other unforeseeable events. The team that has prepared for a lot of the scenarios and knows how to keep the boat sailing in the race after a setback is going to win races that otherwise may have been taken from them. Today forced us to think even harder about what we can do to prepare for (these) situations." - Morgan Larson, AmericaOne Syndicate

[Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin are attempting to set a speed record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean (without assistance) in an open 19' Inter catamaran.]

It has been a long and weary night for Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin. "We had a lot of wind, so again we weren't able to get some sleep,' said an extremely tired Bouscholte on the phone. His physical situation didn't change over night. He still can't use his hands. "And besides, the whole thing starts to wear us out mentally as well,' he added. 'All day and all night we find ourselves soaked in the water. Just when I start falling asleep: BAM! Another wave in your face. It's a nightmare. Very hard to keep up like this!' It looks like this adventure is starting to be not just physically demanding but mentally as well. The lack of sleep starts paying its price.

Hans and Gerard are already at 44 30 West which means they have less than 100 miles to go.-- Hanneke Beers


Goals are dreams with deadlines.