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SCUTTLEBUTT #272 - February 4, 1999

Sweden's Magnus Holmberg has charged up the ladder, and grabbed the lead at the end of the second day of the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup. However it was Sydney skipper Neville Wittey, who collected the first cash bonus, taking home $3,000 for winning five consecutive races.

The Swede was enjoying the Perth climate after the snow and freezing temperatures he left behind at home, and scored six wins in six races, in an impressive day at the office. Neville Wittey had held the overnight lead in the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup, having been undefeated on the first day, with four straight wins, and came out today only needing one more gun to take the money.

Facing up to Frenchman Luc Pillot, who represents his country's America's Cup challenge, the Aussie made the most of the light and shifty winds to take the gun and the money by nine seconds. However in the next race Neville's chances of collecting a further $10,000 for winning ten straight races, were blown away by Perth skipper Sebastien Destremau, who beat him by eight seconds. Now it is Holmberg who is eyeing the $10,000, with today's six victories added to his last race win from the first day, he has to take his next three races to collect the money.

On Friday morning he faces Denmark's Morten Henriksen, local skipper Sebastien Destremau and Italian Nicola Celon, who stand between him and the money. Today's racing has been sailed in a shifty and fluctuating southerly breeze, with skippers making big gains a losses by reading the wind right or wrong.

After a long hot day on the water, Magnus Holmberg now sits at the top of the ladder, with a total score of 7 wins and 2 losses, ahead of four skippers sharing second place. -- John Roberson

1. Magnus Holmberg Sweden 7 wins - 2 losses
2. Neville Wittey Australia 6 - 3
2. Gavin Brady New Zealand 6 - 3
2. Peter Gilmour Japan 6 - 3
2. Tomislav Basic Croatia 6 - 3
6. Sebastien Destremau Australia 5 - 4
7. Chris Law Britain 3 - 6
7. Nicola Celon Italy 3 - 6
9. Luc Pillot France 2 - 7
10. Morten Henriksen Denmark 1 - 8

Regatta website:

The winners of the 1998 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year will be announced on Friday, February 5 at a luncheon held at the New York Yacht Club (New York, N.Y.). Established in 1961 by US SAILING and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980, the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize outstanding on-the-water achievement in the calendar year just concluded.

A slate of nominees, determined by the membership of US SAILING, is presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists, who together discuss the merits of each nominee and then vote by secret ballot to determine the ultimate winners.

The short list for Yachtsman of the Year includes: Vince Brun (San Diego, Calif.), Paul Cayard (San Francisco, Calif.), Paul Foerster (Garland, Texas), Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.), Jonathan and Charlie McKee (Seattle, Wash.), John Ross-Duggan (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Nick Trotman (Manchester, Mass.).

The short list for Yachtswoman of the Year includes: Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Margaret Gill (Weston, Mass.), Karen Thorndike (Snohomish, Wash.) and Stephanie Wondollack (San Rafael, Calif.).

US SAILING will hold a public presentation of the 1998 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year on Saturday, February 6, 1999 at Sail Expo. The Yachtswoman of the Year will participate in a question and answer session beginning at 10:00 a.m. The Yachtsman of the Year is unable to attend due to a prior commitment. - Susan Cook

Check the US Sailing website, on Friday afternoon, February 5 to see who will get the new watches:

Let Pacific Yacht Embroidery take your favorite picture or logo and convert it to stitches. They specialize in custom work created by artists at an affordable price. Call for quotes and a catalog of apparel to choose from. Contact Frank Whitton at 619-226-8033 (

While Dave Perry is Long Beach, California racing in the Congressional Cup Regatta, he will also be doing one of his celebrated seminars on the Racing Rules of Sailing. Perry will focus on places on the race course where boats tend to crowd up (the start, first leg, marks, etc.) and examine the rules and their tactical implications in those situations.

The program will be at Alamitos Bay YC on Thursday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $15 for adults and $5 for students, with all proceeds benefiting the Pacific Coast Sailing Foundation. To make your reservation call the US Sailing Center at (562) 433-7939. But do it early. Dave always generates a huge crowd.

Celebrated marine photographer Daniel Forster has assembled an impressive pictorial portfolio of America's Cup images as well of things to see & do in New Zealand:

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 FrankWhitton-- Close results don't necessarily give the participants the perception of fairness. Right or wrong is in the minds of the participants. I have had conversations with a number of people racing IMS at Key West and virtually all of them had glowing positive things to say (about the IMS racing) and not all of these people were the winners.

There were 19 boats racing under IMS and 274 boats in the regatta. A large percentage of the 19 were foreign entries. Where were the US boats? The US premier winter event in sailing attracted a minuscule number of "local" entries. The people that participated seemed to think they got a fair shake so what are we doing wrong to attract people to IMS? Boats designed to the rule seem to produce so called fair results (i.e. boats not designed to the rule will not be treated "fair"). This is why we have failed in the US to attract people in IMS.

Communication by the National Authority has painted a rosy picture of a rule that is supposed to be FAIR to all which obviously is not true. Let the people who are paid to know tell us the truth starting about the rules shortcomings so that users are informed and not surprised after attempting to use a system that has flaws. In the mean time PHRF continues to grow and continues to attract those that could benefit under a fairer measurement rule rather than a Performance rule.

-- From Jon Gundersen (In response to Peter Johnson's comments regarding the separation in the (Key West) IMS fleets.) --I dare him to suggest to any of the crews on the 50 footers in division one, or the 39 - 43 footers in division 2 that their racing was not as close or tactically difficult as the one designs. Peter was obviously not present to witness the 7 or 8 50s rounding the top mark one after the other every race.

Key West must have had one of the largest and most competitive IMS fleets ever seen in the US. Old boats such as Corel 45s and ILC 40s were racing closely with newer designs in Division 2, and in Division 1 boats from several different designers were battling hard. Many different countries were represented and the majority of the boats were being sailed close to their potential by top level crews. The rule was working extremely well and the owners and crews were enjoying close racing on the water, and on the corrected time board at the end of the day.

IMS has proven that it can keep up with the designers, boats can be re-configured rather than replaced and remain competitive. The question now is, will those people who have been knocking the rule so hard over the last year or so admit that it is doing a good job and let it continue to develop. Or will they rob us of the best rule that has ever existed by replacing it on the false pretense that it is dead already??

-- From James Nichols -- And if ESPN takes all their toys and goes home, wherrre, oh wherrre will we everrr find anotherrr TV networrrk willing to invest some dollarrrs in sailinnnnnnng!?!?! Think about this for a minute. Worldwide audience. Fox TV? There are at least a few hundred million people on the planet who have no idea what that is.

-- From Chip Evaul (In response to David McCreary) -- Luddites? The last time I checked, the sport of sailboat racing was available to those who could sail, not those who could sail AND access websites. To *require* sailors to get their communication: rules, results, meeting notes, etc. from the internet will only serve to further reduce our base of participants. Unlike us Buttheads, there is a significant portion of the population which is still not computer savvy, and may not be for some time. These people have every right to the same base of information and communication as those who can log-on.

Please, let us not be so enamored of our computer aptitude that we alienate those sailors who wish to be apprised of developments in our sport, but wish not to have computers.

-- From Keri Shining -- I personally agree with EVERY WORD that Mr. McCreary has said. Content is still king, and long live the king!

-- From Mike Schoettle, Vice President, US Sailing -- I appreciate David McCreary's passion and thoughtful suggestions concerning US SAILING'S website. He makes some very good points, and we will certainly take them into consideration as we select a new website developer and redo the US SAILING website.

Also, Peter Houston makes a good point that there is marketing value in an active website and therefor a future sponsorship opportunity.

-- From Julie Haines -- I have also been reading about this coveted 'Butt t-shirt that only the elite are wearing. I'm wondering what one must do to earn one of these famous (or should I say infamous) t-shirts. I guess for most people nothing would seem to extreme (jumping through hoops, getting tarred and feathered, taping up their hairy arms and then ripping off the tape or whatever you can image) but I thought a simple request might be enough. Please let me know if I must do something else (within reason -- like paying for it) and I'll be happy to oblige.

Curmudgeon's comment: We give away official 'Butthead tee shirts to our contest winners, but the easy way to get one is to call Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery, 619/226-8033. For $12.95 plus three dollars shipping and handling you can be the most envied chick at the yacht club.

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

-- The 1999 Road to the America's Cup regatta will be held March 1 through March 7. Prada Challenge, Yaka France, America True and Swiss Fast2000 will battle it out to see who challenges Team New Zealand.

-- The building of Abracadabra 2000, Hawaii's first America's Cup yacht, is ahead of schedule. Construction started in November and they expect to have it ready for launching in May. Abracadabra's job site is a warehouse at Barbers Point Harbour. The state Department of Transportation, Harbours Division, helped by providing a favourable leasing arrangement on the building. There are 16 workers on site, but that number will climb to 25 at the end of the month. The boat is expected take about 16,000 man-hours to complete. Meanwhile, construction on their second racing yacht will start in February. When completed, the two boats will be kept at the marina at Ko Olina, and ocean-tested off Oahu until they are shipped to New Zealand in August.

-- According to the latest estimates, the five month AC regatta starting on October 18 will be worth NZ$1.3 billion to the New Zealand economy. The value of the exposure through telecasts to an estimated 800 million householders has been set at NZ$20billion. The America's Cup Challengers Association is spending NZ$22million in New Zealand, whilst Team New Zealand's defence costs are expected to hit NZ$35milllion. - John Roake

Wanted: a 40 - 50 foot race boat to charter for the Newport to Ensenada Race by an experienced crew from outside of California. Contact Dick Horn, email:

TIP O' THE WEEK -- Putting on Your Game Face
Ever play ball? Baseball, basketball, football, anything. The first thing you did on game day was to put on your uniform, right? The process of putting on a uniform is also the opportunity to transcend yourself from civilian to competitor. It's precisely at this time that athletes put on their game face and begin to focus. Sailors could definitely take a page from this book. Sailing for the most part moves from the social scene on shore to a micro version on the way to the race course with the cry for "let's go sailing" resulting in everyone scrambling from their early morning soda to actual sailing. Taking five minutes for a meeting or private meditation can move everyone's attention from elsewhere to the present sailing conditions. Seems simple, but the better you get the simpler things become. -- The Coach at

[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.]

After the passage of a weak cold front the wind increased again last night to wind force 6 (22-27 knots), occasionally force 7 (28-33 knots). The wind direction was northeast, while the waves came from northerly directions with wave heights reaching 3.5-4 meters on average. Today, during daylight, the wind decreases a bit, but tonight it will regain its strength again to the same force as last night, Beaufort 6-7. With less than 300 miles to go, the estimated time of arrival still remains Friday evening, local time (Guadeloupe), around sunset.

Website coverage:

AROUND ALONE - Re-start live coverage
Quokka Sports will be doing live coverage of the re-start of the Around Alone Race as the boats head back into the Southern Ocean and race around Cape Horn aiming for a sunny arrival in Punta del Este in a scant three to six weeks.

Live coverage will include: Friday, February 5 (PST)/Saturday, February 6 (Local Auckland Time) (All times are approximate.)
-- 2:30pm/11:30am - Around Alone Audio show goes live featuring Quokka reporter Steve Pizzo.
-- 2:30pm/11:40am - Race start and Leg 3 weather overview and analysis by Commanders Weather, followed by an interview with Mark Rudiger, victorious Whitbread navigator aboard EF Language, speaking about leg strategy.
-- 2:55pm/11:55am - Live commentary from Emily Robertson, from the starting line on the water in Auckland.
-- 3:15pm/12:15pm - Coverage Ends.

Event website:

Look before you leap, but remember -- he who hesitates is lost.