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SCUTTLEBUTT #287 - March 11, 1999

CONGRESSIONAL CUP - Report by Rich Roberts
LONG BEACH, Calif.-On a day when "it's hardly ever like this here," Peter Holmberg found a private breeze to overtake France's Luc Pillot Wednesday in their early showdown for undisputed first place after two days of the 35th Congressional Cup match racing regatta.

Long Beach's famous sea breeze was a no-show. Instead, a chill wind never exceeded 7 knots all day and was usually less, shifting maddeningly from southeast to southwest so often and unpredictably as to make every race a crapshoot. It was remarkable that Pete Ives' race committee was able to get in four rounds while repeatedly shifting the windward mark left and right. "It was a good day to be patient and not play the corners," said Rich Matzinger, a trimmer on Gavin Brady's boat.

Patience paid for Holmberg, the defending champion from the U.S. Virgin Islands. He and Pillot entered the climactic match of the day with 5-1 records, and after Pillot won the start and rounded the first mark 59 seconds ahead he appeared to be home free. But then he went left on the run while Holmberg went right. "He was far enough in front that he couldn't cover as much as you'd like to," Holmberg said. "We were patient and played the puffs." Holmberg managed to shove his bow inside at the leeward mark-Pillot protested but lost the call-and Holmberg stretched out on the second lap for a 1-minute 29-second win.

Pillot fell into a four-way tie at 5-2 with Italy's Francesco de Angelis, Whitbread winner Paul Cayard and Germany's Markus Wieser. Brady, the '96-97 winner, was at 4-3 after a 3-1 day. There will be 11 more rounds through Saturday. Cayard was 2-2 on the day after losing to Wieser and Australia's Neville Wittey-the latter's only win-by 10 seconds. "We obviously picked the wrong side of the course," Cayard said. Pillot said, "In that wind we never know what will happen." Worse, rain was forecast for today.

-- With the new minimum crew (6) and maximum weight (1,200 pounds) rule, four teams are sailing with seven hands: Betsy Alison, Gavin Brady, Francesco de Angelis and Scott Dickson. The others have six. Brady added Long Beach's Collette McKeever in the pit to get nearer the limit. Cayard is closest with only six people at a total of 1,198.1 pounds.

-- It was determined in Tuesday night's long hearing that the cost of repairs for the bent stanchion on Cayard's boat would come out of Brady's damage deposit. Although on starboard in the pre-start incident, Brady was penalized for not giving Cayard opportunity to keep clear.

-- Betsy Alison, who is 0-7 with her all-woman crew, said she had "a sense of foreboding when we got out there today. We checked the bucket and it had a hole in it-not good for a ladies' crew."

-- In the frequent switching of the windward mark from an orange inflatable buoy to a yellow one, Germany's Markus Wieser sailed around the wrong one in a race he was losing to Italy's Francesco de Angelis, who sailed around the correct mark. Wieser, ranked sixth in the world, appealed to the jury ashore but was turned down. "Next time I'll [rewrite] the Racing Instructions in German," he said.

Results: ROUND FOUR-Peter Holmberg, St. Thomas YC, U.S. Virgin Islands, def. Neville Wittey, Royal Sydney YC, Australia, 0:25; Markus Wieser, Deutscher Touring YC, Germany, def. Paul Cayard, St. Francis YC, San Francisco, 1:20; Gavin Brady, Royal Hong Kong YC, def. Scott Dickson, Long Beach YC, 0:17; Luc Pillot, Club APCC Nantes, France, def. Francesco de Angelis, YC Punta Ala, Italy, 0:30; Dave Perry, Pequot YC, Southport, Conn., def. Betsy Alison, International Yacht and Athletic Club, Newport, R.I., 0:28.

ROUND FIVE-Brady d. Perry, 0:49; Pillot d. Alison, 1:02; Cayard d. Holmberg, 0:54; Dickson d. Wittey, 0:38; de Angelis d. Wieser, 0:59.

ROUND SIX-Wieser d. Dickson, 1:29; de Angelis d. Brady, 0:34; Pillot d. Perry, 1:18; Holmberg d. Alison, 0:52; Wittey d. Cayard, 0:10.

ROUND SEVEN-Holmberg d. Pillot, 1:26; Cayard d. Dickson, 0:57; de Angelis d. Wittey, 0:02; Wieser d. Perry, 0:02; Brady d. Alison, 0:25.

STANDINGS (7 of 18 rounds)-1. Holmberg, 6-1; 2. Tie among Pillot, Cayard, de Angelis and Wieser, 5-2; 6. Brady, 4-3; 7. Dickson, 3-4; 8. Tie between Wittey and Perry, 1-6; 10. Alison, 0-7.

Event website:

SPECIAL REPORT - By Rich Roberts
Peter Holmberg, the current leader and defending Congressional Cup champion from the U.S. Virgin Islands, took polite and proper issue with the connotation expressed here earlier that he "scuttled" his Team Caribbean America's Cup campaign to join Team Dennis Conner (TDC). "It's a real merger," Holmberg said. "We didn't shut [Team Caribbean] down. I'm still doing a lot of work on it, maybe more than before. All of our programs are still in place." That includes the annual world-class, pre-Christmas match-racing regatta at St. Thomas that Holmberg started in 1997.

Holmberg emphasized that he is bringing more than his sailing talent to Conner's table. He is hoping to re-align his major sponsors-American Airlines and Ritz Carlton-with TDC. American Airlines has been a Conner sponsor in the past.

Also, Holmberg has turned his design data over to TDC, although his designer, David Pedrick, will not come with it. Conner has hired Reichel/Pugh of San Diego to create his boat. Holmberg said, "We were right there with [Conner] in our building schedule. In fact, we were both about to sign with the same builder when I decided to do this, instead." Construction hasn't started on Conner's boat. It takes five months to build an International America's Cup Class boat, and the start of challenger trials at Auckland is only seven months away on Oct. 18.

Ken Read, Conner's designated helmsman, said Conner's approach to the Cup has changed, and he is in no hurry to build. "The idea is to build the boat at the last possible minute to give the designers as much time as possible," Read said. Meanwhile, TDC will test and train this summer with USA 34, Conner's 1995 boat. "He's gone from being the master of the multi-boat program to the master of the single-boat, low-budget program," Read said.

Read is working as Holmberg's tactician this week. They may be switching roles for the America's Cup, although Holmberg said his position remains uncertain until it's determined whether Tom Whidden, Conner's longtime tactician, will return. "I'm just here to help the boat win," Holmberg said. "Whatever I do, we'll gain lots of experience for next time and so much support for being aligned with 'Mr. America's Cup.' "

The crews on every one of the class winners at the recent MEXORC Regatta had sailing apparel by Pacific Yacht Embroidery. HONEST! Of course the losers did too. That's because PYE supplied the official regatta shirts to all of the boats. The MEXORC regatta organizers handed out Rolex watches for trophies so it's not surprising that they would expect the same quality in their regatta apparel. Call Frank Whitton at PYE and find out how affordable it is: 619-226-8033 (

Sorry, but the Bacardi Cup website has not been updated since Monday's results were posted.

Event website:

The America True sailing team started formal workouts in December after arriving in Auckland for training. Currently, the team trains six days a week - a brutal schedule after long days on the water. But, we rotate the program in an effort to let certain muscle groups get a bit of a rest. A typical week starts out with an aerobic combo workout on Mondays. During this workout, team members rotate between different cardiovascular exercise machines every 10-15 minutes, with an upper body exercise in between. For example, the Stair Climber Machine, then pushups, Treadmill running, then chin-ups - you get the picture.

Generally, Tuesdays and Thursdays are spent lifting weights with two different routines that challenge opposing muscle groups, allowing for muscle recovery in between workouts. On Wednesdays we do our own special America True circuit - it looks like a three ring circus!

Fridays we have the option of pump class or aqua jogging. Pump class is a free weight workout to music using lots of toys. Aqua jog training is conducted at Parnell Baths Saltwater Pool. This consists of deep water running and suspended animation full body exercises - my favorite. We start our training at 6:30 a.m., hopefully finishing by 7:45 to allow enough time for showers and breakfast. The team must be on the boat at 10 a.m. sharp. Saturdays the Gym doesn't open until 7 a.m., so we meet for a 45-minute stretch workout with back exercises. -- Diane Wall, America True

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

-- From John Burnham -- Aren't people's attention spans short! Robo didn't read Rich Roberts' America True article very closely. It said "...since 1983 when the Cup left Newport..."

-- From Bill Gladstone - Prediction: The Around Alone will finish with all the sailors aboard one boat.

-- From Frank Whitton (regarding PV Race and MEXORC) -- I like your ideas, especially coming over to MEXORC. For those that were there we had a letter-perfect regatta with ideal conditions, crack race committee work, and more trophies than people could carry away. The press will judge us and I am proud to say I am a part of this organization. I am also on the committee organizing next years PV Race from San Diego and all we lack of your suggestions is a gate at the cape. I don't think it feasible in that the boats that choose to stop at the Cape may not receive a cooperative reception only in that they are and always seem to be full. That's why there are no more races ending at the cape. Next years PV2000 Race from San Diego followed by MEXORC2000 are already well along in the planning stages and both organizations are coordinated to give participants a fantastic start for the new millennium.

-- From Craig Fletcher -- Finishing Mexican races at Cabo Falso is a terrible idea. Going around the cape is not a matter of luck. This part of the race is where experience and offshore ability come into play. MEXORC is a great regatta and should be enjoyed by all. A lay-day and advance ratings will make for a much better regatta.

-- From Chris Welsh (Re: the joys of dofighting in light air to finish in Cabo) -- Invite this gentlemen to race off Newport Beach more - endless amounts of fickle wind/light air dogfighting are available.

How about an even more progressive plan - "Guaranteed 8 knots to Cabo" - any boat may power to 8 knots, GPS scored, at any time, guaranteeing Cabo is +/- 100 hours away at worst. Reservations kept, enjoyment for all. After two successive 6+ day races to Cabo, I have no desire for another if I can avoid it ... Ultralight 70's were designed for 20 knot surfing, not fickle wind dog fighting.

--From James Nichols -- From now on, before anybody else whines about how impossible it is to start on time, without being over early, unless they have an Iridium link with the committee boat coupled to their laptop and GPS and slaved to an override servo on the helm so they couldn't possible be anything less than perfect even if they wanted to be . . . let's require them to pass one simple test: Describe the last time that you went out, set up a starting line, and PRACTICED STARTING. It's downright eerie how good at it everyone suddenly is after a few general recalls.

-- From Dick Squire -- Reply to Ike Stephenson: It is true that people should be able to do what they want to do when they want to do it. The problem is; when Around Aloners get into trouble, somebody else has to bail them out, often at great expense and/or danger to themselves. If the Around Alone people said; I get into trouble! I figure a way to get out of it!, that would be fine. But it's not going to happen. As for the boat designs, aside from their being too close to the edge so far as scantlings, I was under the impression that the only sailboats that are as stable upside down as right side up, were onshore centerboarders and multihulls. These Around Alone boats have proven me wrong.

-- From Alfredo Narvaez -- Regarding your guest editorial on Scuttlebutt #286, while I agree to most of Mr. Huston's comments, I missed to catch who has the 99% market share when US Sailing only has 1%. The important point is that US Sailing has a 100% share because the 99% is not being serviced, thus there is no other share!!!! By the end of the editorial he does get to the point of increasing membership participation. That is not achieved through marketing/sales but by market-research of what is the product that customers want? Then, what is our mission?...

When I think about it...perhaps you do have a product, and you have a 100% share of the customers for that product.... hummm.

Curmudgeon's comment - Peter Huston's editorial generated a lot of mail. Expect to see more reaction in future issues of 'Butt.

US SAILING's eighth biennial Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship has caught the attention of women sailors from around the world. Scheduled for September 19-25, 1999, in Newport, R.I., and hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the event promises to lure sailboat racing's brightest stars as well as those on the rise for a unique blend of competition, revelry and camaraderie.

"The Rolex Women's has become one of the best gauges of talent in women's sailing. The competition roster typically reads like a who's who of women's sailing and includes Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year, Olympic medalists and America's Cup veterans. Even more enjoyable, however, are the women of all ages with varying levels of experience who compete," said event chair Denise MacGillivray.

The attraction of the event has always been its unique format-that of an event only open to women with no pre-qualification necessary. The regatta, headquartered at Sail Newport, is raced on the ocean as well as Naragansett Bay.

The series consists of ten races over five days, with a day for registration and measurement and a day for organized tune-ups and starting practices. Pre-race briefings by guest sailing experts help with weather forecasts and knowledge of local course conditions. Ida Lewis Yacht Club members provide housing for competitors. For more information, contact Denise MacGillivray, P.O. Box 1172, Newport, RI 02840; (401) 849-5492, fax (401) 849-8168, email: or visit US SAILING's web site ( -- Barby MacGowan, Media Pro Int'l

There are more types of cordage on the market than anyone ever imagined 15 years ago when KEVLAR was the Ultimate and thought to be never equaled. The characteristics of today's ultra modern lines are seldom understood and most information is word of mouth rather than hard facts. If you'd like some hard facts:

1999 1D35 Season Championship will consist of a best three-of-six series of major inshore events held throughout the US. Results will be tallied in a low-point scoring system from the following regattas: last month's GMC Yukon/Yachting Key West Race Week; the NOOD Regatta in Annapolis over May 7-9; the Nantucket Gold Regatta in Newport during June 4-6; the Verve Cup in Chicago over 13-15 August; the 1D35 National Championship in Holland, MI during August 27-29; and the St. Francis Big Boat Series held in San Francisco over September 16-19. The 1D35 Nationals will be given a premium in the scoring, counting 1.5 times the value of each of the other events.

In addition to these six championship events, 1D35's will have one design class starts in at least nine other major regattas around the US, as well as in countless local and regional regattas in the US and the UK under PHRF and CHS handicap rules. And while most owners prefer the excitement and challenge of one design racing, since its introduction less than a year ago the 1D35 has proven itself in handicap racing, both around the buoys and offshore. In last year's 259-mile Bayview-Mackinac Race, for example, Bob Hughes' 1D35 'Heartbreaker' defeated 13 other competitors to win the PHRF B Class.

1D35 Class web site:

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

AMERICA'S CUP REPLICAS NOW AVAILABLE -- If you fancy one for your mantelpiece, almost regardless of size, contact Michael White, craftsman jeweller. His company AC Y2K Ltd, has an "official license to manufacture" the replica trophies, which are hand sculpted in sterling silver and nine carat gold. He reports that each item in the range carries a Seal of Authenticity issued by the America's Cup organisers. Phone 0800 229-2000 for a brochure featuring the full range of available replicas.

-- The contract for the nine 8.5 metre Rayglass Protectors boats and 16 Rayglass Legends, required for the America's Cup referees and administrators, has been awarded to the New Zealand boat building firm Rayglass Ltd. A contract worth NZ$1.8million. The contract was keenly contested by both New Zealand and international companies. All the patrol boats will be powered by Yamaha 150 outboards, with twin outboards on the Protectors.

However, whilst there is some elation in the Rayglass camp, charter boat operators have some hostile words to say about the Auckland Regional Council. Declaring they will be priced off the water by the vicious 31 per cent hike in mooring fees, one can imagine the acrimony that is going prevail when a further imminent mooring charge price hike is announced. Standby for more on this!

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.