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SCUTTLEBUTT #284 - March 8, 1999

ACURA SORC - Report by Keith Taylor
Perennial winner John Thomson of Sands Point, New York, took the first place silver today for the Farr 40 Class at the Acura Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC) off Miami's South Beach. Thomson tied for first place with Miami's George Andreadis, who skippered Atalanti XI. Andreadis won the only race sailed today, but the series tie was broken in Thomson's favor by a second place that the New York skipper recorded on the first race of the series.

Thomson and Andreadis crowded out their Boston rival James Richardson, skipper of the Farr 40 Barking Mad. Richardson, who is the current world champion in the class, led in the points standings on each of the first two days of competition but an 11th place in the last race on Saturday and a sixth today left him in third place.

It was Thomson's second consecutive close victory in the Farr 40 Class at the SORC. Last year he was leading comfortably but suffered an equipment breakdown in the last race. He was able to recover and won by one quarter of a point.

A light and shifty northerly breeze greeted the racers on the final day of Acura SORC competition. The wind direction ranged between northwest and northeast and varied in strength from four to nine knots. As the day wore on, it got so light that two One Design Classes failed to complete their races.

The difficult light air conditions failed to alter first place in the International Measurement System (IMS) Class. David George's Hartford, CT, Idler finished fourth but still had a whopping 19-point margin over her nearest competition. She was first in class and won the Mark H. Baxter Perpetual Trophy for the best IMS yacht, as well as the SORC Trophy for the best performance by a series yacht.

In the Performance Handicap Racing (PHRF) Class, Jay Ecklund's One Design 48 Starlight held off determined competition from the Kiger/Saylor partnership's Fatal Attraction from, Norfolk, VA, and from Chris Bouzaid's Wairere from Jamestown, RI. Starlight, which was sailed by America's Cup skipper Ed Baird and members of his Young America crew from Portland, Maine, took first place in class and was also awarded the Governor's Trophy for the best performance by a PHRF boat. -- Keith Taylor

Results after nine races (six and seven races for one designs):

1. George David, Hartford, CT, Idler (3-1-1-1-2-1-4-1-4) 16.75 points;
2. Hans-Otto Schumann, Hamburg, Germany, Rubin XV (5-2-4-6-8-3-3-4-1) 35.75;
3. Paolo Gaia, Milan, Italy, Breeze (1-7-5-2-5-10-2-2-3), 36.75.

1. Jay Ecklund, Wayzata, MN, Starlight (1-1-3-3-1-1-4-1-1), 14.5;
2. Kiger/Saylor, Norfolk, VA, Fatal Attraction (1-2-2-2-3-2-1-2-2) 17.75;
3. Chris Bouzaid, Jamestown, RI, Wairere (6-Dsq-1-1-2-3-2-3-3) 28.5.

1. Dick Steffen, Dorval, Quebec, Canada, Zoo II (1-2-2-1-1-1-1-4-5), 16.75;
2. John Tihansky, Annapolis, MD, Fitikoko (4-4-1-3-3-2-3-2-1), 22.5;
3. Chris Steer, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Maggie Kelly (3-3-3-2-2-6-4-1-3), 26.75.

FARR 40s:
1. John Thomson, Sands Point, NY, Solution (2-1-4-10-10-5-3) 34.75;
2. George Andreadis, Miami, FL, Atalanti XI (7-5-3-5-3-11-1), 34.75;
1. Jim Richardson, Boston, MA, Barking Mad (1-4-2-8-5-11-6) 36.75;

1. John Pfeifer, Cedarburg, WI, Northern Bear, (2-8-6-4-1-2) 22.75.
2. Larry & Dede Madeira, Providence, RI, Picante (1-1-1-7-5-9), 23.25;
3. Robert Hughes, Ada, MA, Heartbreaker (11-7-2-2-2-4) 28.

MUMM 30s:
1. Garland/Shulman, Barrington, RI, Trouble (1-1-1-1-2-1), 5.75;
2. Michael Dressell, Shelburne, VT, USA 65, (4-4-3-7-1-2) 20.75;
3. David Koski, Highland Heights, OH, Go Figure (6-3-2-4-4-6) 25;

1. Mike Law (9.5)
2. Altman/Mahon (15.75)
3. Robert Doyle, (17.5)
4. Vince Brun (18)

1. Scott Elliott (13.75)
2. Brian Porter (19.5)
3. Weatherell/Clarke (33)
4. West/Musto (37)

Event website:

Team New Zealand wins by 1 metre the final race against team Prada in the 1999 Road to America's Cup Regatta held in Auckland, New Zealand. In the last day of racing, which suffered from long delays due to the light and unstable winds, Team New Zealand won two races out of three against team Prada.

In the first race, the New Zealanders established a controlling position over the Italians, and rounded the first mark 16 seconds ahead. They gradually stretched their lead to 32 seconds at the finish line.

In the second race of the day, the teams started on the opposite ends of the line, with team Prada claiming the right hand side of the course. The Italians rounded the first mark 28 seconds ahead, and gradually increased their lead to 1 minute at the last windward mark and over 2 minutes at the finish.

The third race of the day, which proved to be the final one, was action-packed. After a very aggressive start, Francesco de Angelis again claimed the starboard side of the course, whilst team New Zealand, skippered by Russell Coutts, went to the port side. At the first cross, the Italian boat was behind by one boat length, but suddenly the genoa halyard broke on Team New Zealand. The crew managed to recover brilliantly, hoisting the sail again. Team Prada narrowed the gap, but after a few seconds they suffered the same failure on the halyard, and Team New Zealand rounded the mark 20 seconds ahead.

At the last mark rounding, Team New Zealand had some problems in hoisting the spinnaker, which literally exploded 300 metres before the finish line due to a little tear in the sail made whilst hoisting it. Francesco de Angelis took advantage of the situation and managed to close the gap on his rival, who in the meantime had already hoisted a new spinnaker. The two boats were on the finish line locked together, but Team New Zealand's spinnaker crossed the finish 1 metre ahead of the Italian boat. -- Alessandra Ghezz, Prada AC Syndicate

FINAL SCORE: Team New Zealand 2; Prada 1.

Polish yachtsman Roman Paszke made official his project for the construction of a giant catamaran for The race/La Course du Millenaire. This maxi multihull of 33 metres long by 18 metres beam, will be built in the Stocznia Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Roman Paszkes hometown. Paszke wishes to open the yard to the public in order notably to offer activities aimed at young people.

Roman Paszke has therefore become the first skipper to make concrete one of the three projects in discussion with French architect Gilles Ollier. While this multihull is an entirely new creation, it obviously draws from all the experience accumulated by the French design office. It should be remembered that Gilles Ollier is the father of the catamaran Explorer belonging to Bruno Peyron and still holder of the Atlantic record. The skipper Roman Paszke has not hidden the fact that his campaign is today supported by Polish companies, but they remained open to any foreign partners which would offer him an even more international dimension.

For the full story:

The biggest crowds at the MEXORC Regatta last week seemed to be around the table selling the official MEXORC shirts supplied by Pacific Yacht Embroidery. Although cases of shirts were imported to Puerto Vallarta for the event, they ran out of everything. However, Frank Whitton took orders so no one will be disappointed. Pacific Yacht Embroidery has a program to supply race organizers with regatta apparel at a guaranteed profit. There is no risk to the race organizer. Call Frank for details: 619-226-8033 (

The Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has announced the members of the 1999 US Sailing Team in the Europe (women), Finn (men), 470 (men and women) and Tornado (open) classes. The remaining classes -- Laser (open), Mistral (men and women), 49er, Soling and Star (all open) -- will name their members to the Team in late spring.

Created to recruit and develop athletes for upcoming Olympiads, the US Sailing Team annually distinguishes the top-five ranked sailors in each of the nine Olympic classes (11 divisions). Membership on the US Sailing Team identifies sailors who are strong contenders for an Olympic berth and provides them with coaching, training opportunities, and financial assistance in addition to national recognition. US Sailing Team rankings are based on attendance and performance at qualifying regattas, with each class having its own ranking system.

The following members of the 1999 US Sailing Team are listed in ranking order one through five. EUROPE: Hannah Swett (Jamestown, R.I.); 1994 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Danielle Brennan Myrdal (New York, N.Y.); Meg Gaillard (Pelham, N.Y.); Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.); and Danielle Soriano (Brielle, N.J.).

FINN: '98 Finn National Champion Darrell Peck (Gresham, Ore.); Russ Silvestri (San Francisco, Calif.); Mike Deyett (Windham, N.H.); Eric Oetgen (Savannah, Ga.); and John Callahan (San Francisco, Calif.).

470 MEN'S CLASS (skipper and crew): '92 Flying Dutchman Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Foerster and ICYRA All-American Bob Merrick (Garland, Texas/Portsmouth, R.I.); '92 Olympic Silver Medalists Morgan Reeser and Kevin Burnham (Wilton Manors/Coral Gables, Fla.); ICYRA All-American Steven Hunt and Michael Miller (Poquoson, Va./Fairport, N.Y.); ICYRA All-American Peter Katcha and Jim Elvart (Dallas, Texas/Chicago, Ill.); and Kevin Teborek and Talbott Ingram (Winnetka, Ill./Fair Haven, N.J.).

470 WOMEN'S CLASS (skipper/crew): ICYRA All-American Tracy Hayley and '96 Olympian Louise Van Voorhis (Coral Gables, Fla./Webster, N.Y.); ICYRA All-American Whitney Connor and Elizabeth Kratzig (Noank, Conn./Corpus Christi, Texas); '96 Europe Olympic Bronze Medalist Courtenay Dey and ICYRA All-American Alice Manard (The Dalles, Ore./New Orleans, La.); and Susan Hofacker and Sharlene Simpson (Friendswood/Houston, Texas). Note: Only four teams qualified through the 470 women's ranking system for the '99 US Sailing Team.

MISTRAL MEN'S: '92 Olympic Silver Medalist Mike Gebhardt (Ft. Pierce, Fla.); Randy Somnitz (Panama City, Fla.); Peter Wells (La Canada, Calif.); Jean Raas (Seminole, Fla.); and Will James (Easton, Md.).

MISTRAL WOMEN'S: '96 Olympian Lanee Butler (Aliso Viejo, Calif.); Cara Reid (Edison, N.J.); Kimberly Birkenfeld (Myrtle Creek, Ore.); Beth Powell (Cocoa Beach, Fla.); and Mariel Devesa (Torrance, Calif.).

TORNADO (skipper/crew): Robbie Daniel and Jacques Bernier (Clearwater/Daytona, Fla.); '96 Olympians John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree (New Orleans, La./Newport Beach, Calif.); '99 Miami Olympic Classes Regatta champions Lars Guck and PJ Schaffer (both Bristol, R.I.); Mike Ingham and Erik Goethert (Northport/Irondequoit, N.Y.); and Richard Feeny and Brian Doyle (Ithaca, N.Y./Darien, Conn.)


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 Dobbs Davis -- It's unfortunate that Mr. Huston in his comments in 'Butt #282 feels that Group 1 amateurs are "innocent". Does that imply that those of us who are not amateurs are "guilty"? What might we be "guilty" of? Choosing a life (often of near-poverty) in pursuit of our passion for the sport?

Maybe we should have US Sailing take our fingerprints and mug shots so that we can adorn the walls of yacht clubs as public enemies...

-- From Gary Mitchell -- It appears that your contributors Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Larsen have fallen prey to the point where vain promotion supersedes practical seamanship. Like Mr. Stephenson I was privileged to go to sea with Msr. Eric Tabarley. His was a time of stout, if not overbuilt, and seaworthy vessels that allowed the focus to rest on the participants while still pushing all "envelopes". Unfortunately Msrs. Stephenson and Larsen's exuberance will probably not be quelled until a rescue effort at extreme latitudes causes the death of one or several in waters meant only for vessels and seapersons of yore. I shudder to think what the world might then think of our beloved sport.

-- From John Rousmaniere -- It would distract from the main issue to reply in kind to critics (in 'Butt #282) of my comments about the Around Alone Race (in #281) with more speculation about personalities and their motives. That issue, it seems to me,is this: Today's solo racers are remarkable, brave people who could find satisfying adventure anywhere. So why does their quest for "the triumph of the human spirit" (to quote Herb McCormick) have to be played out in fragile boats that turn turtle in a 30-knot breeze and regularly require outside assistance?

--From Dave Few Chairman, NCPHRF -- I have followed rather casually the various around the world races and also the Fastnet and the Sydney Hobart race. I concur with the opinion Rich Hazelton, editor of 48 North expressed a year or so ago, that these races are fine to have so long as the sponsoring organizations post a bond to cover the cost expended by any government entity that is required to put forth a rescue effort of the participants. The taxpayers of the country should not be required to shoulder the rescue cost burden when such events intentionally sail into harms way to the degree these events often do.

-- From Mike Campbell -- Madro has a great idea. Finish in Cabo and sail to PV for MEXORC. A program like that might even interest someone like me. It goes without saying that the race has to start in San Diego.

America True, The San Francisco Yacht Club challenge for America's Cup 2000, is getting geared up by Douglas Gill, the syndicate's newest sponsor. As part of the sponsorship arrangement, Douglas Gill is now the exclusive supplier of foul weather gear to America True crewmembers for their training and racing needs in Auckland, New Zealand.

Douglas Gill clothing systems are designed for competitive sailing. Working with the world's top sailors, Gill designs and tests its products in the most challenging conditions. Innovative materials and new ideas can be assessed only through testing, and Gill puts its gear through the most demanding, rigorous sea trials imaginable. Douglas Gill gear is available at hundreds of distributors internationally, and its product ranges from the simple jackets to full GORE-TEX R sailing suits.

America True website:

Following are excerpts from a web chat session with Rolex YOTY winners Paul Cayard and Betsy Alison.

"I think we have as good a chance as any of the (America's Cup) challengers...maybe a slight edge to Prada because they are the only challenger with all their money sorted and have been at it for two full years now. Good design team and management team." - Paul Cayard

"I think in the international arena, sometimes you find better competition at world championships and international events because the field of competitors is more open and the depth of the field greater." - Betsy Alsion

"The (Whitbread) race was the best sailboat race I ever participated in so without other considerations I would definitely do it." - Paul Cayard

"I think the current Olympic scandal will serve to "clean house" a bit and maybe make the IOC a little more orderly and sensible in their dealings. I do not think there will be any fallout with regard to sailing unless major corporate sponsors pull out." - Betsy Alison

"I plan on sailing in the Star Olympic Trials in San Francisco in April. Hopefully I will remember how to sail a boat with a tiller." - Paul Cayard

"I will most likely do an Olympic Campaign for the 2004 Olympics in Athens in the Women's Keelboat event which could either be Match or Fleet Racing. We will be there." - Betsy Alsion

For the complete transcript:

The Last Shift to the Weather Mark -- In an oscillating breeze, as you approach the windward mark note what phase the shifts are in. If you are rounding to port and the last shift to the weather mark is a right shift lifting you on starboard upwind, then the headed jibe downwind is port. Therefore, jibe setting or rounding and gybing ASAP will get you on port. If the last shift is a header as you approach on starboard then continuing on starboard puts you on the headed jibe downwind. This is the perfect data you need in an oscillating breeze to get in rhythm with the shifts downwind. -- Submitted by the Coach at

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

-- There are now 48 NZ$35,000 paid deposits on superyacht berths for the America's Cup regatta. This number is expected to treble in the immediate future. Early March will see the start of construction on the second marina facility, the Hobson West marina in the Viaduct Basin. This NZ$3million large boat marina will be developed and managed by the America's Cup Village Ltd, for superyacht berthage during the Cup. Construction of berthing areas are on target with about 30 per cent completed, with more dredging needed and pontoons and service facilities yet to be built.

-- Remember KZ7? Dubbed the Plastic Fantastic, this yacht which raced for New Zealand in Fremantle in 1986/87 was taken out of retirement in 1997 and shipped to Italy where it was refurbished by sailing enthusiast Patrizio Bertelliu, the sponsor of Team Prada. Still owned by merchant bankers Fay Richwhite, it was due back in New Zealand late last year. Bertelli likes the yacht so much, he has asked the owners if he can continue racing it in Europe this year, so it is any body's guess when it will be back on the Wellington waterfront (if ever).

-- Tourism Auckland's chief executive, Lance Bickford, predicts that up to 10,000 members of overseas media organisations will visit New Zealand over the next 18 months. Most journalists will use the facilities being set up at the Auckland 2000 Centre, beside the Viaduct Basin.

The New Zealand Tourism Board has only fielded 250 inquiries from the international media to-date, a long way from the suggested number Bickford is predicting. A number of media moguls are saying there will be lots of journalists here, maybe 2,500. Other say "Hang on - this is the electronic age, and maybe not so many will be on site." However, the media centre is costing NZ$1.5million with local authorities paying NZ$250,000 towards running the information office and the media unit.

SANTANA 20 (36 boats): 1. RICK HARRIS (19 points) 2. KERRY POE (19) 3. CHRIS WINNARD (20) 4. TOM SCHOCK (21) 5. CHARLIE OGLETREE (28) SCHOCK 30-30 (6 boats): 1. LARS KOLSHUS(7) 2.STEVE MURPHY (13) SCHOCK 35 (16 boats): 1. C. HARDY/M. PICKNEY (21) 2.JIM LONG/TODD DOWNEY (26) 3. OSCAR KRINSKY (27) 4. D. SCHMIDT/G. GORDON (29) 5. DAVID VOSS (29) HARBOR 20 (14 boats): 1. ARTHUR STROCK (11) 2. TERRY GLOEGE (11) 3. PHIL RAMSER (14) LIDO 14A (11 boats): 1. MARK GAUDIO (8) 2. BOB YATES (16) 3. JEFF LENHART (20) LIDO 14B (15 boats): 1. STEPHEN MUELLER (21) 2. JOE D'AMICO (25) 3. DEBBIE SHLENS (30) LEHMAN 12 (12 boats): 1. JON PINCKNEY (9) 2. JOHN DRAYTON (14) 3. STEVE SCHUPAK (23)

At 1416 GMT Sunday J.P. Mouligne tacked across the finish line here in Punta to take top honors in Class II for the third consecutive leg of Around Alone with a time of 29d 15h 16m 34s. Mouligne's last 50 miles were miserable; he lost his remote autopilot control yesterday and was forced to hand steer for the final stretch, a close-hauled beat in a fresh northerly that required countless tacks. "It was just a nightmare," he said. "I'm a zombie. I worked so hard. I was really afraid that Mike [Garside] was going to catch up to me. He was so close to me at one point. It was a very tough leg." When Mouligne finished, Garside was a little over 100 miles from the finish line, and 44 miles ahead of third-place skipper Brad Van Liew.

On a leg straight out of Believe It Or Not, one in which Josh Hall and Marc Thiercelin were dismasted, and Isabelle Autissier was shipwrecked, Mouligne accomplished the incredible feat of finishing second overall for the 7,000-mile journey, something a Class II skipper has never done before. - Herb McCormick

Standings (distance to finish in parenthesis): CLASS I: 1. Soldini (finished) 2. Thiercelin (980) CLASS II: 1. Mouligne (finished) 2. Garside (finished) 3. Van Liew (19).

Around Alone website:

You know you're getting old when you stop buying green bananas.