SCUTTLEBUTT #274 - February 8, 1999
SUN MICROSYSTEMS AUSTRALIA CUP - Report by John Roberson
Kiwi skipper Gavin Brady has collected the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup,
beating Sweden's Magnus Holmberg 3 - 0 in the final. The young Kiwi, who
lives in Annapolis, U.S.A., and is representing the America True America's
Cup Challenge, sailed a masterly final series, making the most of the
difficult conditions. He led around all three marks in all three races,
with Holmberg close behind in the first and last heat, but never in
contention in the middle one.
Brady was generally master of the starts, coming off the line in the
controlling position, and never letting go of that advantage, while
Holmberg was always desperately looking for a passing lane that wasn't
there. In the second race Brady was able to push Holmberg over the line
early, so getting away with a clear advantage while the Swede re-started.
A delighted Brady commented, "Our goal was to get into the semis, then if
we could string a few good races together, the sky's the limit, I think we
sailed tactically well, and we seemed to have good boat speed."
The day started with a fitful, shifty easterly breeze bearing the heat of
the outback across the Swan River, making life difficult for the
competitors and the race management. However the young Kiwi always seemed
able to see where the favourable gusts and shifts were, sailing with a
maturity way beyond his 24 years.
Brady had never sailed with his crew before this event, bringing with him
Kiwis James Baxter, Jeremy Lomas and Jared Henderson, plus American Mark
Strube. Strube suffered a hand injury during the elimination rounds, and
was replaced for the semi-finals and finals by Julian Salter from
Englishman Chris Law's crew.
In the petit final, for third and fourth place, Peter Gilmour of the Nippon
America's Cup Challenge, won two tight races against Tomislav Basic to take
third place. -- John Roberson
RESULTS: FINALS -- Gavin Brady (New Zealand) beat Magnus Holmberg (Sweden) 3 - 0
PETIT FINALS -- Peter Gilmour (Japan) beat Tomislav Basic (Croatia) 2
|1. || Gavin Brady || (New Zealand)
|2. || Magnus Holmberg || (Sweden)
|3. || Peter Gilmour || (Japan)
|4. ||Tomislav Basic || (Croatia)
|5. ||Sebastien Destremau || (Australia)
|6. ||Neville Wittey || (Australia)
|7. || Chris Law || (Britain)
|8. ||Luc Pillot || (France)
|9. ||Nicola Celon || (Italy)
|10. ||Morten Henriksen || (Denmark)
Regatta website: http://sunaustcup.dowdigital.com.au
Sailor, balloonist and adventurer Steve Fossett sailed his 60-foot trimaran
Lakota to a new elapsed time record in the 1999 Pineapple Cup Race from
Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay. Fossett crossed the finish line in Montego
Bay at 10:08 am, shattering the old multihull record he set two years with
the same boat. Lakota covered the 811-mile course outside the Bahamas and
through the Windward Passage at the eastern end of Cuba in an unofficial
time of two days 20 hours, 8 minutes and five seconds. His new mark sliced
seven hours and 47 minutes off his old time of three days, three hours, 55
minutes and 20 seconds.
The monohull record was also under assault as Lakota took the finishing
gun. Roy Disney's new 75-foot IMS-sled Pyewacket was surfing towards
Montego Bay with only 70 miles remaining. She had about six hours left to
break the monohull record, and needed to average over 12 knots for the
remainder of her run. The weather forecast called for fresh easterlies,
providing a spinnaker run to the finish.
Pyewacket was only launched last month from builder Eric Goetz's shed in
Rhode Island. She was commissioned by Disney from the Reichel/Pugh design
team with the aim of setting new Transpac records. If successful today
she'll eclipse the Moray record set by the Alan Gurney designed 70-foot
Windward Passage in 1971. Unbroken for 29 years, that record stands at
three days, three hours, 40 minutes and seven seconds.
The Dumas 72 RX/Sight was closely following Pyewacket, about 45 miles back.
There was a ten mile gap to Trader, a 25-mile gap to Donnybrook and a
further gap of ten miles to Rima. Javelin still brings up the rear of the
maxi fleet. -- Keith Taylor
Regatta website: http://www.regattas.com.
GOING TO EXTREMES
There aren't a lot suppliers who test their products in the Southern Ocean,
but that's exactly what Douglas Gill did. Working with the crew of Chessie
Racing in the last Whitbread Race, they pushed their products to the
limits, and then listened to the sailors about possible modifications. As a
result of this interaction, Gill has increased the comfort and protection
for everyone who sails. For the full story: http://www.douglasgill.com
World-class sailors Ed Adams and Jerry Kirby, both of Newport, RI, and
Chris Cantrick of Fort Lauderdale, FL, have signed with the NYYC/Young
America Challenge Sailing Team, NYYC/Young America President John K.
Marshall and skipper Ed Baird announced today.
Adams, a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and holder of 22 national and
world championship titles, joins the NYYC/Young America sailing team as
navigator. During two summers of two-boat testing in Rhode Island, Adams
was Young America's test program manager, coordinating the collection of
data. The Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 1987 and 1991, he is a former
world champion in the Star class, the U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Year -
Sailing in 1987 and 1991 and a two-time U.S. Sailing Champion of Champions
and College All- American.
Kirby, a veteran of four America's Cup campaigns including the winning
America3 Defense in 1992, Kirby recently competed in his first Whitbread
Round The World Race as crew boss on the U.S. entry Chessie Racing. A
native of Newport, RI, Kirby competed in his first America's Cup with the
Intrepid campaign in 1970. He sailed with the Eagle campaign in 1987 in
Fremantle, Australia, and was a coach for the America3 Women's Team in
1995. Recently he was tactician on Rima, winning the 1998 North American
Cantrick sailed with Baird on the World Match Racing Circuit winning the
Nations Cup in 1991. A two-time Admiral's Cup competitor who recently has
succeeded on the European Mumm 36 circuit, Cantrick sailed with the 50-Foot
Class World Champion Champosa in 1992 (with Baird as tactician). A Bayview
Yacht Club member who grew up sailing in Detroit, MI, Cantrick most
recently has been captain of Edgar Cato's Farr 40 Hissar.
NYYC/Young America website: http://www.youngamerica.org
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
We read all of our e-mail, but simply can't publish every submission. Those
that are published are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max)
or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From M.L. Willis -- I heartily agree with Chip Evaul's take on making
sure that sailors who are not into dub, dub,dub are not treated like second
mates and excluded from info about their beloved sport. With all the
classes of sailing going on we certainly don't want to add another
class...CYBERSAILORS and NON-CYBERSAILORS.
-- Dan Phelps, Viper 640 Class Secretary (In response to Chip Evaul) -- Not
to belabor the point, but computers are here to stay. While it is true
that some individuals may abstain from computer usage, they will likely
become the minority percentage of the population. It is hard for one to
argue the current cost-effectiveness of web-based communications, and
equally hard to impose printing & mailing costs on our many sailing
webmaster volunteers. Technological progress implies a give and take
attitude towards acceptance. In the end the end users will decide what is
best for them, just as you have decided each day to log on and read
-- From Chip Evaul -- McCreay's further explanation ('Butt #272) clarifies
it for me, and is eminently reasonable.
--From Skip Ely (In Reply to Frank Whitton and Jon Gundersen regarding IMS
racing) -- Close boat for boat racing is definitely more fun than sailing
for an hour and half though fleets you are not competing with and then
having to hangout at the finish line for 5 minutes to find out that your
next competitor beat you by 20 seconds. We would have enjoyed closer boat
for boat racing if we had entered our SC52, ELYXIR, in the IMS 50 fleet at
Key West, however our IMS rating would have guaranteed a bottom of the
fleet corrected performance.
Jon points out that boats can be "reconfigured" to improve their IMS
rating, however this reconfiguration frequently compromises the safety, and
enjoyment that an owner derives from his yacht. Case in Point: Rumor has
it that Vim, the second place boat in IMS 2 actually removed their strut
and bulb, replacing the strut with a mahagony appendage, and placing all
the weight from the bulb inside the boat on the keel bolts. This
"reconfiguration gave them a tremendous rating increase.
If IMS is going succeed as anything other than a rating system for
professionals and grand prix programs it needs to be modified to fairly
rate boats not designed to the rule, and to discourage "reconfigurations"
which compromise the safety and enjoyability of the yachts.
The PHRF racing at Key West was close in corrected time, and the entire
experience for the ELYXIR crew was without compare!
-- From Tim Prophit - Frank Whitton said, " boats designed to the rule
seem to produce so called fair results." That's the problem with IMS in a
nutshell. The rule has changed dramatically from its inception, and you
gotta have a new boat to be competitive. Why do you think the one design
classes are so popular, compared to IMS? I wouldn't even consider an IMS
boat; but, there is a nice selection of modern, popular, one designs out
there, for all boat sizes and budgets. (not to mention the many popular
"not so modern" one designs that still attract a large following).
-- From James Nichols - Nobody else wrote in about this tempest in a tea
pot apparently (the Fox / ESPN yada-yada) so maybe nobody else cares (which
would be a sign of progress in the Properly Identifying and Categorizing
Molehills and Mountains Dept.), but, what I meant was, that this is an
example of the free enterprise system at work.
Nobody watching the Cup coverage is going to change the channel when the
(whatever, see above) boat goes by. What if Cadillac sponsors an entry in
a Volvo-sponsored regatta? Is it ethical to scream "Movie!" in a crowded
And, it just occurred to me - because I, like most 'Buttheads, am a
SAIL-or, but in all the hoopla about Ford buying Volvo, did anybody think
that the reason Volvo is involved in the first place might be for their
When I run Netscape's spelling checker, it asks me if I want to "IGNORE"
the word "'Buttheads", or REPLACE it. Think this is some kind of conspiracy?
In an effort to create a more competitive sailing event, Newport Harbor
Yacht club has invited PHRF with a rating between 30 and 100 to participate
in the 1999 Ahmanson Cup and Skylark Trophy Regatta. To be held April 17-18
off the coast of Newport Beach, the regatta annually features some of the
sailing talent and some of the top one-design classes of Southern California.
Adding PHRF will further enhance the already large following of Schock 35s,
Melges 24s and J boats that compete in the regatta each year. With the
number of competitors expected to double, regatta organizers and race
officials are taking special measures to ensure that every class has a
fair, fun and competitive regatta. "We are looking at the needs of each
class so that we can provide them with the best courses, and hopefully,
with the best conditions," said Regatta Chairman Mike Nash. One step will
be the use of two separate courses to shorten the wait-time in between
starts. In addition, Newport Harbor YC has reduced entry fees for all
classes. "We want all of the skippers to go away from the regatta feeling
like their time and money was well spent for the weekend, whether they
trophied or not," said Nash. "Spending less on the entry seemed like a
logical step towards that goal"
And as always, Newport Harbor YC will be providing dock space for boats
that plan to sail in the Newport-to-Ensenada Race, which is the weekend
after the Ahmanson. For more information contact Newport Harbor Yacht Club
Race Administrator Mette Segerblom at (949) 673-7730. -- Stephanie Keefe
NEW SPEED RECORD
At 1500 hours and 58 seconds GMT February 6th 1999, Hans Bouscholte and
Gerard Navarin crossed the finish line in Guadeloupe making the record
(from Dakar to Guadeloupe in a 19-foot open Inter catamaran ) -- 15 days 2
hours 26 minutes. Tired, but in good spirits the sailors went after a few
interviews and photos straight to Hospital to repair the deep wounds to the
hands which they have suffered due to being constantly wet. Apart from
antibiotics and applying new dressing there is nothing that few days sleep
Within 2 hours the sailors were sipping cocktails with family, friends and
media. The pair seem to have survived a lot better than the previous record
holders, Daniel Pradel and Tony Laurent, who made the same crossing in 18
days and 22 Minutes in during 1986. 'It hasn't been easy but we made it!
Everything went well between Gerard and myself. We worked great as a team,'
Bouscholte said shortly after their arrival.
'The worst part of the trip was the storm which felt like it was never
going to end. At one point we just held onto each other for hours, huddled
up underneath the spinnaker. We had no control over the boat and we were at
the mercy of the sea. We were so lucky. It would have only take one wave
hitting us at the wrong angle and the boat would have flipped. We would
have never got it upright again in those conditions' Navarin said, with the
images of the nightmare still reflecting in his eyes. It was determination
which kept us going'. They never thought about pushing the EPIRB.
In the last 4 days they spoke of only having one hours sleep. It was the
excitement of being ashore and meeting everybody that has kept the heroes
standing. Bouscholte didn't want to go to sleep early. It's a waste to be
laying in bed right now, when we are standing amongst great people in these
beautiful surroundings. We are so happy to be here. We are alive and what's
more: we have broken the world record!'
Taking full advantage of his boat's superior upwind ability, American Brad
Van Liew today surged to the front of the Class II pack in the Around Alone
race around the world. While almost no one relishes the prospect of
continued upwind work while trying to regain sea legs after an extended
period ashore, that's not necessarily the case for Van Liew. His slim
50-footer BALANCE BAR--currently holding an edge. Van Liew would happily
ride the easterly all the way to Cape Horn.
He'll have his way for the immediate future. Fleet meteorologists
Commanders' Weather reports that a high-pressure system east of New Zealand
has stalled and will continue to provide headwinds for the next few days. -
Standings (with distance to the leader in parenthesis):
CLASS I: 1. Soldini (0.0) 2. Hall (112.2) 3. Autissier (116.6) 4.
Thiercelin (135.6) CLASS I: 1. Van Liew (0.0) 2. Garside (11.2) 3. Mouligne
(31.2) 4.Yazykov (53.2)
Around Alone website: http://www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OXYMORONS