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SCUTTLEBUTT #295 - March 23, 1999

The US SAILING Offshore Teams, Offshore One-Design & Level Classes Committee announced the principal members of the 1999 US Admiral's Cup Team. The IMS boat will be George David's Nelson/Marek 49 IDLER with Ken Read helming and Jim Brady calling tactics. The Sydney 40 BLUE YANKEE will be chartered by Bob Towse and helmed by Steve Benjamin. The Mumm 36 JAMESON will be chartered by Matt Whittaker from Houston, Texas and helmed by Chris Larson. -- Ken Morrison, Committee Chair

STEINLAGER LINE 7 CUP - Report by Ivor Wilkins
Two of the three America's Cup crews competing in the preliminary series of the Steinlager Line 7 Cup advanced to the main event in Auckland today, while the third available slot was taken by local skipper Dean Salthouse and his crew.

Salthouse appeared just barely in the reckoning at the start of the third and final Round Robin, but in his first match he took the scalp of America True helmsman John Cutler. On that platform, he built a steady climb up the order to clinch the third and final place in the main draw with two flights of matches left to sail. By then, Francesco de Angelis of the Prada Challenge and Cutler had already staked their claims to a place in the main event as well. But, even though the regatta had done its work in selecting the three qualifiers, racing continued to the end.

In the final flight, de Angelis and Cutler faced off against each other. De Angelis had won both previous encounters, but this time Cutler took charge and crossed the line well ahead to level their scores at 12 wins apiece.

On countback, de Angelis emerged as the top scorer, with Cutler 2nd and Salthouse 3rd. James Spithill, who is likely to helm the Syd Fischer America's Cup challenge from Australia, took a consolation win off Cutler today, but did not make it through to the main event which starts on Wednesday and will see eight out of 10 skippers either with current or former America's Cup credentials.

For Cutler and de Angelis, wins in the main event become part of scoring points off their America's Cup opposition. "It is a question of establishing the pecking order," said Cutler. "Even though it does not have any real bearing on the America's Cup, scoring victories in the Steinlager Line 7 Cup is important from a morale point of view." For Salthouse and his crew, though, no such pressure exists. "If we go up against a couple of America's Cup crews and beat them, that's great. We will really enjoy it. We do not get to campaign overseas, or come up against these guys in normal competition, so this will just be excellent experience for us."

Already in the main event are Gavin Brady, currently ranked No.2 in the world and until recently a helmsman for America True, British veteran Chris Law, who has helmed in two America's Cup campaigns, former world champion Ed Baird, currently skipper of Young America, Magnus Holmberg of Sweden, Dean Barker of Team New Zealand, Paul Cayard, skipper of AmericaOne , and New Zealand ace, Chris Dickson.

Preliminary series results
Francesco de Angelis (ITA) 12 pts
John Cutler (USA) 12 pts
Dean Salthouse (NZL) 10 pts
Ian Williams (GBR) 8.5 pts
Phil Douglas (NZL) 7 pts
James Spithill (AUS) 7 pts
Cameron Miles (AUS) 6 pts

Event website:

(Glenn McCarthy prepared the following summary of last week's USSA Safety At Sea Committee meeting in Dallas.)

Ken Morrison, who was Chief Judge for the 1998 Sydney-Hobart, gave his insight at considerable length. The major disclaimer is, that the official Inquiry is to be completed in April of this year and is to be published at that time and no one should jump to any conclusions until all data and opinions can be assembled. Each day every boat was required to give a radio call in, that's why there was the radio ship that followed the fleet. Prior to each day's call in, there was a detailed weather report given to the fleet. Every year the race experiences at least one storm of 40-50 knots or above. An entry requirement is that every boat have at least 50% of the crew have sailed one or more Sydney-Hobarts previously. The radio ship gave the report that the low was dropping in pressure quickly and the wind speeds were going to increase excessively. On top of that, there was a 4 knot current going in the opposite direction of the wind. As the waves moved forward, the bottoms of the waves were pushed back under the top of the waves, creating flat walls of water to crash in to. Many boats dropped out of the race and headed for Eden as a way to thwart taking the impact of the storm. Apparently, those boats suffered most. Why? They changed their course 90 degrees to the wind and waves which removed a lot of their roll resistance by putting their beam to the waves. The waves rolled some of these boats over. I did not pick up this concept in any of my readings in the press. In Australia, they have a single organization that keeps track of ALL Search and Rescue assets (hospital, coast guard, military, etc. helo's). This organization was capable of sending 22 helicopters with water-rated helo's out to search for the 50+ sailors pulled from the sea. Do we have a coordinating organization like that in the U.S.?

The Seattle Foundation, provided a study of commercially available harnesses. They performed the "drop test" as specified in the ORC Regs, dropping a 220# dummy 6.6 feet. 8% of the harnesses failed completely, these failures occurred to the webbing, the sewing or the metal hooks. Many above the 8% complete failure were distorted or had serious damage done to them. Physical examples of these failures were shown to the audience. They performed this study out of a grant, the data is proprietary of the grantor while the Seattle Foundation is going to see if they can post the study with color photo's on their web page at some point in the near future (web address unknown).

The SASC voted to remove the option of 121.5 and 243MHZ EPIRB's from the ORC Regs, leaving the 406MHZ EPIRB as the only option. The 121.5 and 243MHZ devices are not monitored as well as 406MHZ devices, have high false alarm rates and do not identify the boat as the 406MHZ device does. 406MHZ devices identify the boat and positioning can be made within a one-mile radius which makes search and rescue (helicopters carry only so much fuel you know) much more effective. This has been under consideration for a long time and Ken Morrison's report from the 1998 Sydney Hobart confirmed that 406MHZ devices are by far the best to save crews. The plan is to take this modification to ORC in October for inclusion worldwide, if for some reason it is not accepted in London, then the plan would be to make it a Prescription to the U.S. ORC Regs for the 2000-2001 book. In a study of the Newport-Bermuda race, 90% of the fleet already carries 406MHZ devices and rental of the devices can be found for $30 a week with 24 hour a day monitoring.

I made report that since April 1, 1998 when the PFD Prescription became effective, there have been NO REPORTS OF FATALITIES in the U.S. in the sport of sailboat racing. I compared that to the 12 months preceding that date in which 5 fatalities occurred on U.S. sail boat race courses. Not all credit can go to the PFD Prescription, since one of the prior fatalities occurred on a one-design boat that ORC Regs would not apply to and that while many organizing authorities applied the PFD Prescription, a few did not. -- Glenn McCarthy

The storm toll of the 1998 Sydney to Hobart ocean race has not deterred Australian ocean racing yachtsmen from heading back to sea, judging by the strong entry received for the 469 nautical mile Sydney to Mooloolaba race, starting next Saturday, March 27. Middle Harbour Yacht Club today declared entries closed with 64 yachts from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria lining up for this 36th annual race to Queensland waters.

The Mooloolaba race, the first long ocean race on the Australian east coast since the tragic 54th Sydney to Hobart, will start from Watsons Bay on Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Saturday, taking the fleet up the New South Wales North Coast to Queensland's Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.

The fleet of 65, one more than last year, is the biggest fleet heading for Mooloolaba since 1989, includes some 27 yachts and their crews that competed in the 54th Sydney to Hobart, either finishing or retiring during the storm.

Among the entries is a new Sword of Orion, a Sydney AC 40 which Rob Kothe has bought to replace his original Sword of Orion which was abandoned at the height of the Hobart race storm, Kothe and his crew being lifted off by helicopter. Kothe is not racing north as he is still recovering from injuries received in the incident but many of his crew are back aboard the new Sword of Orion.

Heading the fleet, described by club officials as the best quality line-up since the introduction of the IMS handicap rating system, are the maxi yachts Brindabella from Sydney and Wild Thing from Melbourne. George Snow's Brindabella crossed the line second to the US maxi Sayonara in the Telstra Sydney to Hobart, Grant Wharington's Wild Thing pulled out with mast problems but has since taken line honours in the 49th Adelaide to Port Lincoln race in record time.

The IMS handicap line-up includes five of the top seven overall placegetters in the Hobart race, including the Overall IMS handicap winner AFR Midnight Rambler, with owners Ed Psaltis from Sydney and Bob Thomas from Mackay, lining up for back-to-back wins in the Mooloolaba race.

For veteran Sydney yachtsman Syd Fischer the Mooloolaba race will wind up another successful season in his Farr 50, Ragamuffin. Just finishing the race will assure him of Ragamuffin's third successive win the prestigious Blue Water Points Score of ocean racing for the summer season.This will be Fischer's last ocean race for months as he is about to go into full-on America's Cup mode as Australia's sole challenger for the Cup, with the challenger elimination series starting in October. -- Peter Campbell

There are 9 billion pores per square inch in Douglas Gill's Ocean Technology laminate. While that's 20,000 times SMALLER than a droplet of water, it's also 700 time LARGER than moisture vapor, so it easily 'wicks away' perspiration. That all translates into unparalleled comfort in even the most miserable conditions. You really can't afford to let another day go before you check out Gill's complete line of foul weather gear:

Farr International has just launched has a new website ( The site includes general information on their one-design boats (Mumm 30, Mumm 36, Farr 40, Corel 45), the CM60, and custom designs from Bruce Farr & Associates, Inc. Links are provided to class organizations and to licensed builders. There is also a brokerage section.

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

* If you are boat owner, or have just purchased a boat to view the America's Cup races in February next year, you just might be in for some disappointment. It has now been revealed that you are unlikely to get within two miles of the race course. The water rights have already been tied up through changes to the harbour controls, and only syndicate yachts and official vessels will be allowed within the three by three and a half nautical mile race course.

* Auckland ratepayers are to part with NZ$9.4million to ensure that the Apec conference, the America's Cup, and the millennium night events are a success. The America's Cup budget is a for NZ$4.2million, major items being traffic management, NZ$814,600; cleaning and event management, NZ$1.6million, and civic receptions, gifts, media hosting and communications NZ$920,000. The Auckland City Council's Millennium Activity Coordination Group has warned councillors that the events could make or break Auckland's reputation. The city will bear most of the long term consequences of poor planning and response, whether such responses are the council's responsibility or not.

* Swiss Fast 2000 team have left Auckland after only a fortnight's training in their yellow boat. Marc Pajot, the syndicate's skipper, did not come to Auckland on this trip. His current endeavours at this stage are directed towards finding more much need money in Europe. The team originally planned to compete in the Road to the America's Cup regatta, but withdrew, electing to spend the time on crew training.

Rich Roberts' reports from the San Diego NOOD used words like, "ideal sailing conditions," but he failed to mention how cold it was. However, temperatures in the low 60s didn't stop a horde of competitors from wearing their Camet sailing shorts. When you get used to the style and comfort, of Camet shorts, it's hard to give it upeven if your legs do get a bit chilly. Check them out for yourself:

Sailors racing in The Yachting Cup on May 1-2 at the San Diego Yacht Club automatically qualify for entry into the inaugural 1999 Volvo Inshore Championships, which will reward yachts with the best compiled scores recorded at three major Southern California regattas. The overall winner receives the perpetual Volvo Trophy. Class trophies will be awarded to the top boats in each class.

The Yachting Cup will have five races -- three on Saturday, and the final two on Sunday, with each day's races beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Yachting Cup also features the charity Leukemia Ton Cup, benefiting the Leukemia Society to be held on Friday, April 30 at 3:50 p.m. in the San Diego Bay. To enter the regatta and receive automatic entry into the Volvo Inshore Championships, contact Jeff Johnson at (619) 758-6309 at the earliest convenience.

The Volvo Inshore Championships is the first inshore sailing championship giving skippers a compact series of three major regattas on the West Coast to measure up against regional competition. Class winners from each regatta receive a yellow Volvo battleflag to signify the leaders. Class winners will also receive prizes and trophies. Overall winners receive a perpetual trophy, dinner for 10 and take-home trophies, as well as other complimentary gifts from the sponsors.

Two other races make up the Volvo Inshore Championships, including the Cal Race Week at the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey on May 28-30. Contact Alice Leahey at (626) 441-4542 to enter. The final race of the Volvo Inshore Championships is the North Sails Race Week at the Seaport Marina Hotel on June 25-27. Contact Bruce Golison at (714) 379-4884 for information. -- more

There is no entry fee for the Volvo Inshore Championships. Boats automatically enter the Volvo Inshore Championships when they register for each of the three individual regattas. Invited classes are PHRF and invited One-Design Classes. PHRF yachts with Base Ratings -54 to 174 (as defined by PHRF of Southern California) are invited to race with the following approximate class splits being predetermined: F) "-54 to -3" G) "0 to 48" (Using the "Golison rating review process") H) "51 to 129" (excluding boats that are in the 30 footer +/- class) I) "30 foot +/- class" (boat approximately 27' to 33' in length & rating 90 to 129) J) "132" to 174"

The above PHRF classes will be established with a minimum of eight boats entered. Additionally, the ULDB 70, Schock 35, J/120, J/35, Farr 40, 1D 35 and Melges 24 classes with open and amateur/boat owner divisions (Category B) are invited to race based on having a minimum number of entries to establish a particular class. -- David Jahr

Seth Radow uncovered a scholarly paper comparing of PHRF, IMS, and Americap handicapping Systems. If you love numbers and formulas, this sucker will make your day:

I'm sailing dead downwind. I'm winning. I'm in a lull. What now? Perfect, you have the fleet nipping at your heals DDW. They seem to be in a puff and you are definitely in a lull. What to do next? Key tip: Lulls, just like puffs travel straight downwind. So, if you are sailing DDW and you are in a lull and continue the same course, most likely that lull is going to travel right along with you. For the same reason you want to continue to gybe across puffs to stay in them, you want to gybe out of lulls to head in a contrary direction to the course they are headed. Simply put, sail sideways to lulls to get out of them and into better breeze. Once you have "re-positioned" yourself, then you can resume the course DDW in breeze. -- The Coach at

49ER NAs
SAN CARLOS BAY AT GUYMAS, MEXICO -- Kevin Hall and Morgan Larson from California sailed a solid 15 race series to win the 1999 North American Championships. 18 teams coming from Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico and the United States competed in the magical setting off the white beaches of Club Med.

Race director Matt Jones from San Francisco, California orchestrated a world class regatta at a site that sailing races have never been held before. Through the week winds ranged from 10-25 knots with water conditions perfect for 49er racing. Mexico, with the help of Club Med will hold the 2000 World Championships of the 49er Class. Over 80 teams from 30 Countries will come together to compete in what will be the most exciting sail racing of our time.

During the 15 race regatta six different teams rallied to win races but in the end it was Larson and Hall with a total score of 25 points who managed to fend off the constant pressure of Jonathan and Charlie Mckee from Seattle. The level of this new Olympic Class has risen quickly over the past four years. Australia is still producing the top teams yet the United States has now a handful of teams that have the skills to win on the International circuits. -- Promotora Mexicana Del Deporte, Gatorade, Video Omega

Results: 1. Kevin Hall / Morgan Larson, USA (25) 2. Charlie Mckee / Jonathan Mckee, USA (33) 3. Adam Lowry/ Andy Mack, USA (53) 4. Chris Lanzinger / Jay Renehan, USA (53) 5. Trevor Baylis / Tina Baylis, CAN (65)

Event site:

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