SCUTTLEBUTT #289 - March 15, 1999
CONGRESSIONAL CUP - Report by Rich Roberts
LONG BEACH, Calif.-Defending champion Peter Holmberg of the U.S. Virgin
Islands overcame a pre-start foul by executing a perfect penalty turn at
the finish of the last race to beat Germany's Markus Wieser by three
seconds and win his second Congressional Cup Saturday.
Wieser, the world's No. 6-ranked match racer, had won 12 consecutive races
going into his climactic match with the fifth-ranked Holmberg in 12 knots
of breeze on the outer harbor. The two wound up even with 15 wins and 3
losses through the double round robin, but Holmberg's win over Wieser in
the first round was the tie-breaker. Holmberg won $7,500 and all of his
crew received Longines watches worth a total of $10,000. Wieser won $5,000
and third-place Francesco de Angelis of Italy (12-6) won $2,500.
It was perhaps the strongest field in the 35 years the Long Beach Yacht
Club has been staging the event. Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and Whitbread
Round the World Race winner Paul Cayard was fourth at 11?-6, followed by
1996-97 winner Gavin Brady at 11-7. Cayard's half-point penalty for a
collision Wednesday cost him third place and $2,500. All of the top four
except Wieser will sail in the America's Cup starting at Auckland, N.Z. in
Holmberg integrated his own Team Caribbean campaign with Team Dennis Conner
when funding fell short. "Back home we announced that [Conner] joined us,"
Holmberg said, joking. Conner already has a designated helmsman in Ken
Read, who called tactics for Holmberg this week. "I'm just there to help
the boat win," Holmberg said. He hopes to bring one or two of his Virgin
Islands crew to TDC-particularly bowman Ben Beer. Other members of his crew
were main sail trimmer John Gluek and headsail trimmers Jon Gunderson and
All played critical roles in the final maneuver. "It's just timing,"
Holmberg said. "We talked 'em through it all the way down [to the finish
line]." Holmberg was angered when the on-water umpires tagged him for a
penalty less than a minute before the gun. "[Wieser] hit me from behind and
they gave me the penalty," he said. "I don't know what the umpires were
The first time they converged upwind, Holmberg had starboard right-of-way
and momentarily bore away to force Wieser into a deeper duck-a maneuver
called "hunting." When he had to alter course to avoid hitting Wieser,
Holmberg claimed foul and thought he had canceled out the penalty turn he
owed. "But no call," Holmberg said. Then he was really angry. "But we kept
our cool and turned that anger into aggression. I told my crew we had to
sail fast and get far enough in front to do the turn."
A lead of 22 seconds at the last windward mark was just enough. "It's just
timing," Holmberg said. "We talked it through all the way [downwind]." Just
before crossing next to the committee boat, the crew hoisted the headsail,
dropped the spinnaker and Holmberg turned hard left. As the Catalina 37
spun on its keel, the bow rotated around to cross the line just before
Wieser blew through at the other end. Wieser, after reeling off a dozen
wins in a row, said, "We should be happy with second place. But it was so
Betsy Alison, the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, had a winless week (0-18)
to earn the event's traditional booby prize: the late Arthur Knapp's
classic book, "Sail Your Boat Right."
Results: ROUND 16-Dave Perry, Pequot YC, Southport, Conn., def. Betsy
Alison, International Yacht and Athletic Club, Newport, R.I., 0:35; Gavin
Brady, Royal Hong Kong YC, def. Scott Dickson, Long Beach YC, 0:16; Peter
Holmberg, St. Thomas YC, U.S. Virgin Islands, def. Neville Wittey, Royal
Sydney YC, Australia, 0:54; Francesco de Angelis, YC Punta Ala, Italy, def.
Luc Pillot, Club APCC Nantes, France, 0:39; Markus Wieser, Deutscher
Touring YC, Germany, def. Paul Cayard, St. Francis YC, San Francisco, 0:14.
ROUND 17-Brady d. Perry, 0:51; Wittey d. Dickson, 0:29; Pillot d. Alison,
0:10; Wieser d. de Angelis, 0:03; Holmberg d. Cayard, 10.5-6.
ROUND 18-Brady d. Wittey, 0:24; Dickson d. Alison, 0:24; de Angelis d.
Perry7, 0:23; Cayard d. Pillot, 0:33; Holmberg d. Wieser, 0:03.
FINAL STANDINGS-1. Holmberg, 15-3 (wins on tie-breaker); 2. Wieser, 15-3;
3. de Angelis, 12-6; 4. Cayard, 11.5-6*; 5. Brady, 11-7; 6. Pillot, 10-8;
7. Dickson, 6-12; 8. Wittey, 5.5-12*; 9. Perry, 3-15; Alison, 0-18.
*--Penalized one-half point.
Event website: www.lbyc.org
MORE CONGRESSIONAL CUP
Factoid: For the second year in a row, Peter Holmberg used a jib from
Ullman Sails to win the Congressional Cup. In fairness however, I should
probably mention that all of the Catalina 37s used for this match race
regatta had identical Ullman jibs. That's because Long Beach YC knows these
world class sailors expect the best equipment, and Ullman Sails delivered
just that -- within budget. Find out how affordable improved performance
MIAMI, FL. (March 13, 1999) -- The 73rd Annual Bacardi Cup Star Class
Regatta came to a close today with an exciting last race. Canadians Ross
Macdonald, 34, and Kai Bjorn, 30, crossed the finish line in seventh place
to secure a first place win overall.
The six-day historic sailing regatta, held at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in
Miami, began Sunday, March 7th, attracting the world's best sailors,
representing North America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean.
Despite a late start due to inactive winds, the conditions quickly improved
and today's race began with the sailors facing 10 to 12-knot breezes and
climbing, with a light chop in the waters.
Eric Doyle and Brian Terhaar, from San Diego, yesterday's first place
finishers, looked as if they would win it all up until the very end when
Macdonald and Bjorn continued to surge on the leaders. At the finish it was
the team of Peter Bromby and Lee White, from Bermuda, who beat the rest of
the 93 boats in the daily race, but placed fifth overall.
"Our strategy was to sail a clean race," said Macdonald, two-time Bacardi
Cup Champion, 1994 Star World Champion and 1992 Olympic Bronze medal
winner. Macdonald and Bjorn repeated their 1995 Bacardi Cup win. "We tried
to stay offensive and catch up to the people we needed to beat, but it was
a tough race which could easily have gone the other way," Macdonald added.
Results: 1. Ross Macdonald/Kai Bjorn (English Bay, Canada/Montreal,
Canada), 3-1-8-3-47-7, 22 points; 2. Eric Doyle/ Brian Terhaar (San Diego,
CA/ San Diego, CA), 7-10-1-11-1-8 27; 3. John MacCausland/Phil Trinter
(Medford, NJ/Lorain, OH), 1-14-26-5-3-4, 27; 4. Mark Reynolds/Magnus
Liljedahl (San Diego, CA/Coral Gables, FL), 2-9-18-4-11-2, 28; 5. Peter
Bromby/Lee White (Bermuda/ Bermuda) 29-15-4-1-12-1, 33; 6. Cuyler
Morris/Tom Olsen (Southwest Harbor, ME/East Dennis, MA), 9-8-13-7-35-3, 40;
7. Peter Vessella/Mike Dorgan (San Francisco, CA/San Diego, CA),
11-3-14-13-8-9, 44; 7. Vincent Hoesch/Florian Fendt (Germany/Germany),
5-12-20-9-55-5, 51; 9. Augie Diaz/Hal Haenel (Miami, FL/Los Angeles),
6-16-DSQ-18-5-15, 60; 10. Vince Brun/Rick Peter (San Diego Bay,CA/San Diego
Bay, CA), 19-4-21-10-45-10, 64.
Event website: http://sailing.org/regattas/99bacardicup/
With less than a month to go before the start of the 26th annual
International Rolex Cup Regatta, the St. Thomas Yacht Club's Rolex
Committees are finalizing plans for the event. Sponsored by Rolex of
Geneva, the racing and regatta festivities begin on Thursday, April 1, with
a Welcoming Party and Skippers' Meeting at the yacht club, followed by
three days of racing on April 2-4.
Rolex of Geneva provides Rolex timepieces to winners of each class. The
Swiss watchmaker has sponsored the regatta for all 26 years of its
existence. Included in this year's roundup of top stars competing will be
US SAILING's Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison of Newport, R.I.,
who is currently competing in the Congressional Cup with an all-woman crew.
The regatta's honorary chairman is Walter Fischer, a longtime St. Thomas
resident who last summer was named President and CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Bill Shoemaker and Colin Probyn of St. Thomas are sharing responsibilities
as regatta directors, while Arthur "Tuna" Wullschleger and John Bonds are
returning as Chief Judge and Senior Race Officer, respectively. Other jury
members are David Kilponen from the United States, Cary Byerly Ferron from
St. Martin, Jean Michael Criquet from Martinique and Richard Johnson, Henry
Menin and Pat Bailey from St. Thomas. Local committee chairs who serve on a
volunteer basis are Charlie Balch, Philip Brady, Cyndi Britton, Phyllis
Brown, Marie Canfield, Frauke Feddersen, Nancy Firestone, Kirk Grybowski,
Kathy McCarthy, Lyn Reid, Jackson Roberts, Majorie Roberts and Rob Schreiner.
Copies of the 1999 International Rolex Cup Regatta Program are available at
the St. Thomas Yacht Club (340-775-6320.) Entry forms are available at the
yacht club and on the regatta web page (http://www.rolexregatta.vi). All
entry forms must be filed by 6 p.m. at the St. Thomas Yacht Club on
Tuesday, March 30.
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 Chris Ericksen - I read Peter Huston's data in his guest editorial
in 'Butt #286 and came to an exactly opposite conclusion: if since US
SAILING only sells to one per cent of the target market, narrow the target
A few years ago, US SAILING decided to encompass recreational sailing.
What a stupid idea! I'm sure the national authority for track and field
isn't out trying to enroll joggers--so why is the national authority for
the sport of sailboat racing trying to? I agree that a competitive sport
needs infrastructure--those boring things like rules, judging, appeals,
insurance--but a weekend sailor gunkholing along the coast couldn't care
less, let alone want pay for, these things.
US SAILING, listen to one racing sailor: Stop selling to a market for whom
you have no product. Stop wasting our money trying to create a product to
sell to this market. Do a better job serving our needs--not what you think
we need, but what we really need. If you don't know, ask some of us
directly. And otherwise leave us all alone.
--From Annie Becker -- One way US Sailing could gain members is by sending
them a notice and a bill for reinstatement when their membership expires.
My 1995 membership expired and I was never contacted. Sometime later I
found a form in someone else's Sailing World and rejoined. It has now been
over two years since that would have expired and still nothing. Instead of
working on 200,000 new members they could work on how to get current
members to stay members and invite those whose memberships have expired to
rejoin. Could I be the only one slipping through these cracks?
-- From Chris Luppens -- I would like to know if Mr. Huston belongs to US
SAILING? He is not listed in the last Directory, but that could be an error
or, maybe he joined later. Member or not he is welcome to come to the
meeting in Dallas, and take part. Most folks who go to the meeting pay all
their expenses, and do their level best to do what is becoming a much more
difficult job. Good to know the efforts are appreciated. There are so many
unrelated, unsubstantiated, and illogical statements made that any
meaningful response to Mr. Huston's editorial is almost impossible.
I would like to offer the ongoing discussions regarding race quality and
the noted improvement in same over the years. Who can argue with that
overall? It must be one of those things that just happen though, since
judges, umpires etc. are "just what I want to liven up a party". Yawn, the
letter is sure to generate lots of comments and stir the pot, but I haven't
seen a specific "how to" in it. That's the hard part though. I guess his
editorial was published to stir things up, but constructive ideas on how to
make things better would have done a lot more for the sport, but that
wouldn't have been as much fun, would it.
Curmudgeon's comments: Yes, Peter Huston is indeed a USSA member. He has
attended some 15 Annual and Semi-Annual meetings and has served on the
General Service Committee, the inshore committee and the former IYRU Events
Committee. He was president of the now dormant US Professional Sailing - a
wholly owned subsidiary of US Sailing, and was the author of "Sponsorship
in Sailing - The Club Perspective." Huston also served as Special Assistant
to the President Hobbs for Sponsorship Affairs.
-- From Herb McCormick -- Some interesting letters on Around Alone. Thought
Nick Longhurst's comments about the race being an endurance contest were
spot on. But Richard Hazelton's remark--"Why are the boats getting more
fragile--prize money, what else?" was off the mark. There is no cash prize
for Around Alone.
DONQ REGATTA - Report by Alex Pline
Coconut Grove Sailing Club Miami, FL -- The regatta finished off with a
single race in a 15 knot southerly. AP/H was flown after the finish to get
the fleet back to the dock before the impending forecasted
thunderstorms-not a problem. The boats were all packed up and trophies
awarded in plenty of time as the breeze picked up throughout the afternoon.
Yesterday's top three finishers repeated today, except the order was a
slightly changed as Augie Diaz/Pam Kelly (Miami, FL) won the race, George
Szabo/Carol Newman Cronin (San Diego, CA/Jamestown, RI) finished the double
triangle course with a second and Andy Pimental/Sherry Welch (Portsmouth,
RI/St. Pete, FL) were third.
The order on the score sheet in the top five remained the same except that
Hal Gilreath/Alex Stout (Atlanta, GA/Annapolis, MD) moved into 5th overall
with a 5th in the last race. Augie Diaz, no doubt was hoping for a fifth
race as he had some blazing speed and narrowly missed taking second overall
from Pimental/Welch by 0.75 points.
Final Results: 1. George Szabo/Carol Newman Cronin (San Diego,
CA/Jamestown, RI) 4.25 points; 2. Andy Pimental/Sherry Welch (Portsmouth,
RI/St. Pete, FL) 9; 3. Augie Diaz/Pam Kelly (Miami, FL) 9.75; 4. Henry
Filter/Lorie Stout (Annapolis, MD) 25; 5. Hal Gilreath/Alex Stout (Atlanta,
GA/Annapolis, MD) 32.
The boats make their way to Nassau, Bahamas on Monday March 15, and racing
starts on Wednesday with the Bacardi Regatta.
SOLING RACE FORMAT -- 2000 OLYMPICS
At the Executive Meeting held in Paris on 29 - 31 January, the 2000 Olympic
Advisory Board recommended that the Round Robin format at the 2000 Olympic
Regatta and the principle of seeding, which was submitted by the
International Soling Association at the 1998 ISAF Annual November
Conference in Palma de Mallorca, should be supported. However, due to time
constraints in the overall schedule, 12 teams from the Fleet Racing should
qualify for the Match Racing competition. In order to have a fall-back
result for the awarding of medals, the 2000 Olympic Advisory Board
especially supports the International Soling Association's request that the
Quarter-Final round should be a Round Robin.
In the format agreed with SOCOG, the top three teams are seeded to the
Quarter-Final, the next three are seeded to Round Two, and the last six
will race against each other in Round One. The format is as follows:
* 15/16 boats sail 6 fleet races - the last 4 boats are eliminated. Top
12 go through.
* 6 boats in places 7 - 12 from the fleet racing sail a single Round
Robin. Top 3 boats go through to Round Robin 2.
* Places 4 - 6 from the fleet racing plus top 3 from Round Robin 1 sail in
Round Robin 2. Top 3 boats go through to Quarter Final.
* Places 1 - 3 from the fleet racing plus top 3 from Round Robin 2 sail
Quarter Finals to eliminate 2 boats
* 4 boats sail semi-finals and finals.
Further information: www.sailing.org/olympics
COREL 45 TROFEO MAJORICA
BARCELONA--Strong winds prevented any racing on the final day of the third
series of races for the Trofeo Majorica. With one race discarded from the
score, David Maclean's Babbalaas, steered by Eddie Warden Owen, was the
winner by three points from Ortwen Kandler's Faster K-Yote, steered by Luc
Gelleseau. Three point further back was Chris Little's Bounder, steered by
There is one, possibly two, more series of races to complete the Trofeo
Majorica in which Faster K-Yote is the leader by two points from Babbalaas.
- Bob Fisher
Results: Overall points after six races with one discard: 1. Babbalaas
David Maclean GBR 7 2. Faster K-Yote Ortwen Kandler FRA 10 3. Bounder
Chris Little GBR 13 4. Indulgence Graham Walker GBR 16 5. Aifos Jaime
Toubes ESP 22 6. La Casera Eugenio Jaudenes ESP 27 7. Exit Jose
Joanpeira ESP 33
Series points: 1. Faster K-Yote 44 2. Babbalaas 42 3. Aifos 33 4.
Bounder 32 5. Indulgence 32 6. La Casera 28 7. Investor Thomas Blixt
SWE 26 8. Exit 17 9. The Full Monty Peter Morton GBR 13
French solo sailor Marc Thiercelin - his boat battered after a disastrous
dismasting two weeks ago - guided the once-sleek, gold, 60-foot SOMEWHERE
across the Leg 3 finish line of Around Alone at 0319 local time (0619 GMT)
today after a long battle with light winds during the journey's last 50
miles. His time for the voyage from Auckland, New Zealand to Punta del
Este, Uruguay is 37 days 07 hours 19 minutes 57 seconds, which includes the
time Thiercelin was forced to stop for repairs. After three legs of the
race, Thiercelin stands in second place in Class I and third overall,
behind Giovanni Soldini (Class I, FILA) and J.P. Mouligne (Class II, Cray
After a dismasting that cost him the overall lead in the singlehanded race
around the world, Thiercelin constructed a jury-rig and sailed to the
Falkland Islands, where he met up with his shore crew and worked feverishly
to get back in the race. He set sail late Monday using a replacement
aluminum mast nearly seven meters shorter than the original carbon-fibre
one, which he cut away after the accident. Thiercelin plans to spend his
down-time in Punta working to repair the boat, including installing a new
mast specifically built for SOMEWHERE.
Event website: www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Never interrupt when you are being flattered.