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SCUTTLEBUTT #271 - February 3, 1999

GUEST EDITORIAL - The Master Speaks
(The following is a special report to the 'Buttheads from sailing's most respected and prolific webmeister, David McCreary. McCreary is the webmaster for International Sailing Federation ( Royal Ocean Racing Club ( Sailing Source ( and about 100 others...)

I've learned over the years that it's best for me to not respond publicly (irish temper, and the pope [ISAF President Paul Henderson] takes my head off when I let loose) but after Art Engel's extremely nice (and a bit embarassing) comments about the ISAF website and USSA's web efforts I feel obliged. A few thoughts:

1. The percentage of decisions as to what goes into the site isn't anywhere near 99.9% by me. ISAF staff in Southampton have a great deal of input, as do many ISAF committee members, many of whom now upload direct to the ISAF site into various folders. And the pope plays a very big role, on a nearly daily basis.

2. I got the RFP from USSA a few days before I left for Melbourne to do the website. They required a reply within 2 weeks. I didn't reply. Standard operating procedure is 30 days (it took them months to prepare it, did they really expect to get complete RFP's back in that time space -- at New Year's time?!?!?) -- and I didn't want to compete with Ken Signorello whose Harborwatch Publishing Company, in my humble opinion, should get the job for many reasons.

3.USSA's RFP and specifications were, and are, IMHO, a bit misguided. Far too much emphasis on the mechanics and not nearly enough on content. The lack of usable content is the problem with their website. NOR's don't have links to event websites, news is late, virtually no - regatta results coverage, etc etc. The design is passable, the server is reasonably fast but there just ain't much there!

I know that Terry Harper and others from USSA read this, so here's some free advice, I guess I could be considered an expert on this:

-- When you interview for a webmaster, first question is "What do you know about sailing?" If you don't get a satisfactory reply and a decent sailing resume, that's the end of the interview.

-- If you want a high traffic website and want to allow your volunteers to use Front Page (it's a LOUSY program but that's another story), get someone who can run Front Page extensions on a Unix box. God help them, it's not easy. NT is simply not a very good operating system for serving webpages. It's far too cumbersome and incapable of handling zillions of simultaneous connections (recent case in point: 1998 Telstra Sydney to Hobart website) And there are some security issues that Unix handles better. Popular NT sites are attacked on a regular basis. You WILL have a hacker attack, count on it. You're too focused on integrating Microsoft Office programs with a website. With a good webmaster that isn't as big an issue as you think it is.

-- Put up a list of USSA sanctioned regattas and link to the event websites. It's time consuming rooting out all the event website addresses, but with most classes and clubs having their own sites, odds are SOMEONE is doing a website for the event. All you have to do is find it, you don't have to do what I did 3 years ago and create a website for nearly every event!

-- REQUIRE organisers of major USSA events and US championships, particularly in the Olympic Classes, to have decent internet coverage. Then you just have to link to it. That should be a requirement of running the event! Your webmaster should be in charge of making sure that complete results from the event site get posted somewhere. If there isn't going to be a website done by the club or class, then USSA should handle it. The USSA site should have handled the complete results for the recent Miami Olympic Classes Regatta. It didn't. I did.

-- Post the US prescriptions for the Racing Rules of Sailing on your website. It's not going to adversely impact rulebook sales. It serves your members and your constituency.

-- Post complete meeting agendas in advance and complete minutes afterwards, as the ISAF does. ISAF is very smart about this -- they save a great deal of money not faxing / mailing this stuff all over the planet. They've simply informed committees that barring exceptional circumstances, nearly all this stuff is JUST going to be online. Force Luddites to either get online or get out. Use the medium to decrease your office expenses and offset the website fees. For the life of me, I can't understand why you have an 800 number faxback system when you have a website. You can setup documents to be downloaded and printed in Word format or Acrobat PDF if printing from HTML is a problem for anyone. -- David McCreary

It has been a day of strong winds and upsets on the Swan River's Matilda Bay, as the world's top skippers battled each other and the wind on the opening day of the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup. When racing was called off due to a mounting toll of broken gear, two middle order skippers headed the chart, while the top three skippers in the world have had shakey to bad starts to the regatta.

Sydneysider Neville Wittey and Croatia's Tomislav Basic have both won four races, with Wittey (ranked 12th) undefeated, including beating world number one Peter Gilmour representing Japan. In even more strife is world number two, Chris Law of England, and his Nautica Elite Racing team, they have lost both their races, going down to Wittey and Basic. Law commented at the end of the day, "it's been a bad day in paradise, but we're making a few changes, and get into it tomorrow."

Kiwi Gavin Brady, third on the world ranking ladder has a two win, one loss scoreline, also losing to Wittey, but beating Denmark's Morten Henriksen, Italian Nicola Celon.

Though the wind started out at a respectable 12 to 15 knots this morning, by early this afternoon, the seabreeze had kicked in gusting to over 30 knots, and the toll of breakages was mounting, causing the abandonment of racing for the rest of the day. Peter Gilmour had clashed masts with Tomislav Basic, breaking the rigging that holds up the mast, while other breakages ranged from winches to sails. -- John Roberson

1. Neville Wittey Australia 4 wins - 0 losses
2. Tomislav Basic Croatia 4 - 1
3. Peter Gilmour Japan 3 - 1
4. Gavin Brady New Zealand 2 - 1
5. Luc Pillot France 1 - 2
5. Magnus Holmberg Sweden 1 - 2
5. Sebastien Destremau Australia 1 - 2
8. Morten Henriksen Denmark 1 - 3
9. Nicola Celon Italy 1 - 4
10. Chris Law Britain 0 - 2

Regatta website:

Douglas Gill has given new meaning to the word comfortable. Their sailing apparel is comfortable because it breaths; comfortable because it fits; comfortable because it keeps you dry; comfortable because it keeps you warm. But perhaps you'll get the greatest comfort from knowing it's worth the price. Check out Gill's entire line of sailing apparel:

The Race Committee for the Acura Southern Ocean Racing Conference has announced that three ocean One Design classes will sail five race, three-day series at the upcoming event off Miami's South Beach.

The Farr 40, 1D35 and Mumm 30 Classes will compete Friday, Saturday and Sunday for their Acura SORC silver. In addition, a number of boats from all three classes are expected for the full five-day SORC and the Race Committee will provide starts for these boat.

There are two developments on the Biscayne Bay courses of the Acura SORC. The Midget Ocean Racing Club (MORC) will be racing for the first time in several years while the Hobie 33 Midwinter Championships have attracted a record fleet of 15 boats. The Hobies will have a practice race on Wednesday, with their championships starting on Thursday.

The 1999 regatta, March 2-7, is being sponsored for the first time by the Acura Division of American Honda Motor Company, Inc.

Last year's fleet of 172 boats from around the country and abroad was a record for the event in its current form. This year as many as 200 entries are expected to sail on up to four courses, two on the ocean and two on Biscayne Bay.

The Farr 40, 1D35 and Mumm 30 classes will race on the ocean courses, along with IMS and PHRF handicap classes. Small PHRF boats will race on the Bay, together with Melges 24s, Hobie 33s, Etchells 22 and Multihull Classes. Daily and series prizes will be awarded in all classes. Special trophies include the SORC Trophy for the best performance by a series yacht, the Mark H. Baxter Perpetual Trophy, for the best IMS yacht, the Florida Governor's Perpetual Trophy for the best PHRF yacht, the Hobie 33 World Cup, the Schoonmaker Cup for the best Etchells and the Melges 24 Midwinter Series Trophy.

Race headquarters and the home base for the ocean courses will be located at the Miami Beach Marina, while Biscayne Bay racing will be coordinated out of the Coral Reef Yacht Club. The volunteer Race Committee for the event will be drawn from all five yacht clubs that make up the conference. - Keith Taylor

The Notice can also be found on the regatta web site at

Ocean course race entrants can make their berth reservations at the Miami Beach Marina via the Internet at

Yesterday the curmudgeon added the 1000th person to Scuttlebutt's direct distribution list. Add in the countless sailors who get 'Butt second or third hand, plus all of those who read it on one of the 12 or 13 websites that now post 'Butt on a daily basis, and you wind up with a lot of 'Buttheads. Who would have guessed?

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 Chris Luppens -- WOW, Have to ask Peter Huston, as I sit wading through the numerous proposals that we received as the result of a carefully prepared RFP for WEB site administrators and site providers, PLEASE tell us where to get somebody to pay US SAILING for taking care of a WEB site for US SAILING. Please remember that one goal is to have very fast and flexible input for the numerous committees etc. as well as many other things unique to us sailors. Need quality, reliability and all those other things that go with a solid presence on the WEB.

-- Response from Peter Huston -- Obviously, if you have to ask for where the money is to support the development and maintenance of US SAILING's web site, then the RFP must not have contemplated the marketing equation. The factors associated with web site production are now a commodity. "Quality" and reliability are a given. "Good/cool" web sites are very subjective terms. I can't conceive of how it is possible to try and build a web site without fully considering all of the marketing variables associated with this site. And banner ads are the least important factor in this equation.

I am unaccustomed to simply blurting out the name of financial resources to support what will ultimately be a profit center for US SAILING. I will say this though, the Curmudgeon is generally correct - not only are there volunteer resources within US SAILING to support the web site, there are certainly the corporate resources as well. It's all in how you conceive and then present the opportunity. THINK BIG!!!!

-- From John Reiter -- On the topics of One Designs, the building of our sport, and sailing Websites -- there is no finer example than the recently reinvigorated Santa Cruz 27 fleet. The 1998 Nationals had the greatest attendance, possibly ever - 19 boats (Santa Cruzian's tend NOT to keep meticulous records), is largely due to the Web. Our website, as well as the fleet e-mailing list, has kept owners interested, motivated, and apprised of the latest goings on in the fleet. There is no question that this is due to the diligent volunteerism of our current fleet captain and webmaster, Dave Emberson.

One person can and has made a difference in the resurrection of a struggling fleet (140+ boats built), and the web has specifically helped bring owners and crew together in So Cal, Seattle, and the Bay Area. For a living example of the latest Butt' topics (volunteerism to websites, One Design sailing revivals, and bringing new and or old sailors into the sport), check out the website at

--From Dick Hovey -- The sailing and very competitive racing of model remote control boats is on the rise in Connecticut. We went from 20 members to about 38 with many owning more than one boat. We race 2 or 3 days per week 10 mos of the year averaging 8-10 races./day. The classes are Marbleheads (51" loa), One meters, and Solings which are about 38" loa. No handicapping. No rule beating, just a lot of fun. But I must say the club championships get a little heated up at times. Protests are solved by doing a 360 turn. If anyone is interested in seeing these boats perform or better yet try sailing or racing one let us know and we will accommodate you. Try a boat really produces results. (

(The following is an excerpt from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from -- US $48 per year.)

The world yachting press is trying to ascertain whether the British challenge still is on. There are wide- spread doubts being expressed, with gossip fuelling the fire at the recent International Boat Show in Earls Court. It is over a year now since there was any official statement from the Royal Dorset Yacht Club and the Spirit of Britain syndicate, except for the rumours that have been freely circulating suggesting they may have the money in hand for a two boat campaign.

Well rumour it is, and the challengers have still made no announcement. Reports reaching us quote that although their Christmas deadline has now passed, the syndicate have a firm promise of L15million, but there are conditions attached to it, and the two parties are working their way through those conditions. The funding has been arranged by a political public relations advisor with the strongest of credentials. Stand by for an early announcement. But meanwhile, the question is being asked, where is Laurie Smith, who has been the funder to date and was responsible for underwriting the performance bond? He is conspicuous by his absence! - John Roake

[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.]

During today the wind speed increases some more and reaches a good force 6 (22-27 knots) tonight, with occasionally force 7 (28-33 knots). Fortunately the wave heights do not increase much more and remain today between 3.5 and 4 meters from the north. Nearly perfect conditions to welcome Hans and Gerard!


Following are the O'Neill World Sailing Rankings, The Official Rankings for Olympic Classes:

Men's Board (IMCO Mistral One-Design) 1 Joao RODRIGUES (POR) 2. Amith INBAR (ISR) 3. Aaron MCINTOSH (NZL) (No American in the top 50)

Women's Board (IMCO Mistral One-Design) 1. Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) 2. Lai Shan LEE (HKG) 3. Barbara KENDALL (NZL) 6. Lanee BUTLER (USA)

Men's Single-handed Dinghy (Finn) 1. Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) 2. Sebastien GODEFROID (BEL) 3. Fredrik LOOF (SWE) 34. Darrell PECK (USA)

Single-handed Dinghy women (Europe) 1. Carolijn BROUWER (NED) 2. Margriet MATTHIJSSE (NED) 3. Shirley ROBERTSON (GBR) 31. Hannah SWETT (USA)

Double-handed Dinghy men (470) 1. Eugeniy BRASLAVETS /Ihor MATVIYENKO (UKR) 2. Tomaz COPI / Mitja MARGON (SLO) 3. Johan MOLUND / Mattias RAHM (SWE) 10. Paul FOERSTER / Bob MERRICK (USA)

Double-handed Dinghy women (470) 1. Ruslana TARAN / Elena PAKHOLCHIK (UKR) 2. Susanne WARD / Michaela WARD (DEN) 3. Frederica SALVA / Emanuela SOSSI (ITA) 11. Whitney CONNOR / Elizabeth KRATZIG (USA) 26. Tracy HAYLEY / Louise VAN VOORHIS (USA) 40. J J ISLER / Pease GLASER (USA)

Dinghy Open (Laser) 1. Ben AINSLIE (GBR) 2. Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) 3. Michael BLACKBURN (AUS) 38. John TORGERSON (USA) 46. John MYRDAL (USA)

High Performance Dinghy Open (49er) 1.Marc AUDINEAU / Julien FARNARIER (FRA) 2. Andy BUDGEN / Ian BUDGEN (GBR) 3. Chris NICHOLSON / Edward SMYTH (AUS) 16. Morgan LARSON / Kevin HALL (USA) 19. Jonathan McKEE / Charlie McKEE (USA)

Multihull Open (Tornado) 1. Pierre PENNEC / Yann GUICHARD (FRA) 2. Darren BUNDOCK / John FORBES (AUS) 3. Roland GAEBLER / Rene SCHWALL (GER) 15. John LOVELL / Charlie OGLETREE (USA) 20. Robbie DANIEL / Jacques BERNIER (USA) 30. Richard FEANY / Ezra SMITH (USA) 31. Lars GUCK / P.J.SCHAFFER (USA)

Two Person Keelboat (Star) 1. Marc PICKEL / Thomas AURACHER (GER) 2. Mark REYNOLDS / Magnus LILJEDAHL (USA) 3. John MACCAUSLAND / George IVERSON (USA) 4. Peter VESSELLA / Mike DORGAN (USA) 8. Eric DOYLE / Brian TERHAAR (USA) 14. James FREEMAN / Eric VAN OLST (USA) 15. Howard SHIEBLER / Rick PETERS (USA) 17. Cuyler MORRIS / Doug BROPHY (USA)

Fleet/Match Race Keelboat (Soling) 1. Sergei PICHUGIN (UKR) 2. Stig WESTERGAARD (DEN) 3. Georgi SHAIDUKO (RUS) 10. Tony REY / Dean BRENNER / Tom BURNHAM (USA) 14. Jeff MADRIGALI / Craig HEALY / Hartwell JORDAN (USA) 17. David A CURTIS / Karl ANDERSON / Jeff THORPE (USA)

The full O'Neill World Sailing Rankings, lists of graded events throughout 1999 and the method of calculation for the Rankings may be found on the ISAF website:

Fedor Konioukhov did not become one of the contemporary world's foremost explorers and adventurers by lying down when the going got treacherous. When last weekend he relayed the news that he was withdrawing from Around Alone, he also hinted that while his racing days were coming to a close, he was not exactly abandoning the idea of completing his round-the-world voyage. Yesterday, citing the support he would continue to receive from race communications sponsor COMSAT Mobile Communications, Konioukhov announced his plan to push forth with his solo #ircumnavigation, half of which he has put behind him during the first two legs of Around Alone. - Herb McCormick

For the full story:

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS It's hard to be nostalgic when you can't remember anything.