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,
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: www.lbyc.org
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 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.' "
IT'S A FACT
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sorry, but the Bacardi Cup website has not been updated since Monday's
results were posted.
Event website: http://sailing.org/regattas/99bacardicup/
AMERICA'S CUP NEWS
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
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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.
ROLEX INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S KEELBOAT CHAMPIONSHIP
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
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
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: JWRLD@aol.com. or visit US SAILING's web site
(www.ussailing.org) -- 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: http://www.justsail.com/cordage_topics.htm
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
1D35 Class web site: www.1d35.com
(The following are excerpts from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from
John@roake.gen.nz -- 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
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!
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.