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SCUTTLEBUTT #299 - March 30, 1999

(John Slivka forwarded the following information found on the SF SailLinks web page. Portions of this piece were excerpted from a story by Seth Rosenfeld of the Examiner staff.)

Last Saturday, In the Doublehanded Farallones race, The J/29, White Lighting was by rogue wave 4 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. Skipper, Harvey Shlasky (a 1999 Singlehanded Sailing Society officer), and crew thrown from boat. Reportedly, neither crew member's automatic PFD/harnesses inflated, despite several minutes in the water. The crew member managed to get back aboard, however, Harvey was unable to do so despite help from the crew member.

After only 15 minutes in the water, a 44 foot Coast Guard cutter arrived and recovered the skipper, but, sadly, they were unable to revive him. The Olson 34, Razzberries was said to have radioed the Mayday to the Coast Guard and stood by to be of assistance.

The incident happened toward the end of a race from the San Francisco Bay to the Farallon Islands and back, a round trip of about 40 miles, sponsored by the Golden Gate Yacht Club. About 30 boats were returning to the Golden Gate, their sails filled with strong winds blowing to the east, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jeff Alger. Winds of up to 30 knots and waves as high as 12 feet are typical for the early spring, making it one of the roughest times to sail the Bay. The wind broke masts on at least three boats in the race, Alger said.

For the full story:

AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard swept to a 3-1 victory to take the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in Auckland Sunday. Racing against Team New Zealand's rising star, Dean Barker, Cayard took his second title in this event on his second outing. He last won the series in 1996 against Chris Law of Great Britain.

For Barker and his Team New Zealand crewmates, the runners-up slot had a certain grim familiarity as well. This is their second attempt at the title and once again they found themselves falling just short at the final hurdle. In the 1997 Steinlager Line 7 series they finished 2nd to Team New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts. "Maybe we can do it next year," Barker said.

Cayard, sailing with an AmericaOne crew of John Kostecki, Sean Clarkson, Morgan Trubovich and Curtis Blewett, posted his intentions by winning the first match of the final convincingly from start to finish. In their second encounter, early control went to Cayard, but halfway up the first beat Barker and his Team New Zealand crew of Hamish Pepper, Tony Rae, James Dagg and Chris Ward had grabbed the advantage. At the top mark, both boats put in a flurry of tacks and Barker won the duel by extracting a port-starboard penalty from the AmericaOne team. The Barker team led around the track for the rest of the match.

Their third encounter saw a more subdued start with both boats immediately engaging in a long drag race side by side out to the right side of the course with Cayard to windward and Barker tucked close under him to leeward. When they finally disengaged close to the starboard layline, Cayard held the advantage and increased his lead around the course to take the gun.

With the score at 2-1 to Cayard in the best-of-five format, Barker had to win the fourth match to keep his hopes of the title alive. But, after an excellent pre-start battle, it all turned bad when the Team New Zealand crew was judged over the line before the start. By the time they had restarted, it was really all over. By sailing valiantly, they eroded Cayard's lead on every leg, but could not peg back enough ground to threaten the AmericaOne team's lead.

"We basically lost communication and next thing we were over," said a disappointed Barker. "We felt the flag (signalling their premature start) went up quite late, which cost us any chance of dipping back behind the line and putting in a quick tack. That way, we would have kept right in touch. But, it was an unforced error and something we will have to improve on." Barker initiated a red flag protest against the race committee for the late flag, but it was dismissed.

Cayard was thrilled to gain his second title, particularly as he felt he had lost some of his match racing touch after time out to do the Whitbread Round the World Race. "I feel it is starting to come back," he said.

Today's racing also settled 3rd and 4th places, with Ed Baird of Young America taking the petite final from Chris Dickson of New Zealand by 2-1. Places 5-10 were also decided in a separate round robin. The battle for the minor places worked to the advantage of at least one of the America's Cup crews, as the Prada Challenge from Italy went from last place after two round robins to a much more respectable 5th. It did not do much to improve the fortunes of the America True team, however, which finished 9th.

Steinlager Line 7 Cup final results: 1, Paul Cayard (USA); 2, Dean Barker (NZL); 3, Ed Baird (USA); 4, Chris Dickson (NZL); 5, Francesco de Angelis (ITA); 6, Chris Law (GBR); 7, Gavin Brady (NZL); 8, Magnus Holmberg (SWE); 9, John Cutler (USA); 10, Dean Salthouse (NZL)

Event website:

There are many pieces to the America's Cup puzzle; design, management, funding and sailing. Winning any regatta is always nice but what we are really focusing on is bringing our Cup home. In the big picture, this regatta caps off a six month refresher course on match racing for me after winning the Whitbread Round the World Race. After focusing on icebergs, low pressure systems and malnutrition, I needed to catch up with the ever evolving game of match racing.

Last fall when I first re-entered the professional match racing circuit, I had some shocker results, the worst of my career. I had to eat a lot of humble pie to get back into the game as there is a group of sailors who do nothing but match race year round. I could have stayed away and excused myself from the effort. But it was the right thing to do and I am very happy with what we have done with our time.

Match racing is a very specific discipline and a minimum threshold of competence is necessary to win the America's Cup. I am now comfortable in knowing that we are well above that threshold and that this piece of the puzzle is under control. John and I are working very well now as a tactical team and our core crew of Curtis, Morgan, Sean and Josh are well oiled in the boat handling mechanics associated with those tactics. This core group can now "infect" the rest of the 16-man crew on the Cup boat with the experience of the last six months. -- Paul Cayard

There is much more:

Henry Filter and Lorie Stout solidified their lead on the tough fleet of Snipe sailors with a 2, 3 on the final day of the six race, no drop series. They will represent the US in the Pan American Games in Canada this summer. The sailing events will be held at the Gimli Yacht Club in Manitoba, Canada.

The breeze was slightly stronger than the forecast 10 knots from the NE. The sailing was lumpy as in the last couple of days, but the shifts were a bit more regular and not as difficult to predict.

In the first race locals and regatta organizers Watt and Precilla Duffy had a great race with a fourth, preceeded by Andy Pimental/Steven Davidson winning the race, Filter/Stout in second and Jerry Thompson/Jeff Baker in third.

In the second race, Carr Moody/Rick Jarchow got just enough right on the end of the third beat to take advantage of a right shift to oust Alex Pline /S herry Eldrige at the finish, who had lead all the way around the double triangle course, followed by Filter/Stout in third.

The Southern Yacht Club did a great job hosting and running the regatta. Hats off the the Duffy's and Jerry Blouin for organizing a great event and housing most of the competitors in local housing, not to mention showing those who haven't been to New Orleans (and those who have) the wildness of the French Quarter. - Alex Pline

Final Results: 1. Henry Filter/ Lories Stout - Annapolis, MD, 11.50 2. Andrew Pimental/ Steven Davidson - Rhode Island/New Orleans, 20.75 3. George Szabo/ Carol Newman Cronin - San Diego/Rhode Island, 25.50 4. Jerry Thompson/ Jeff Baker, Newport Beach/San Diego, 46.00 5. Charlie Bustamante/ Michele Bustamante, 53.00


Now is time to get ready for the '99 racing season. Your first priority should focus on getting commitments from your crew. However, right after that, start eliminating the weak spots in your sail inventory. Let the pros at Ullman Sails help move your program up to the next level. You can get a price quote online -- it's more affordable than you think:

Alamitos Bay YC Olympic Classes Regatta -- Final Results, 49er (17 skiffs): JONATHAN & CHARLIE MCKEE (29) 2. MORGAN LARSON / KEVIN HALL (37) 3. ANDY MACK / ADAM LOWRY (45); Europe (14 boats): 1. TORY CROWDER (14) 2. KRYSIA POHL (15) 3. LYNN OLINGER (18); Finn (19 boats): 1. RICHARD CLARKE (13) 2. RUSS SILVESTRI (17) 3. ERIC OETGEN (23); Laser (35 boats): 1. BILL HARDESTY (18) 2. NATHANIEL STOFFELSMA (27) 3. KEVIN TAUGHER (28); Mistral (16 boards): 1. PETER WELLS (12) 2. CAROLL-ANN ROSENBERG (14.5) 3. AMY MC CAIG (38); Soling (9 boats):1. JOHN GOCHBERG (15) 2. JOHN WALTON (22) 3. JIM MEDLEY (23); Star (11 boats): 1. JEREMY DAVIDSON / JEFF DAVIDSON (12) 2. MICHAEL GEORGE / DENISE (28) 3. JOHN VIRTUE / DARRELL HAIFT BALBO (29); Snipe (9 boats): 1. RICK & CAROL MERRIMAN (7) 2. TOM O'NEILL / LAUREL O'NEILL (13) 3. GAVIN O'HARE / HOLLY O'HARE (16)

Complete results:

America's Cup veteran and sailing Olympic medalist Jim Brady is joining the New York Yacht Club/Young America Challenge, Young America president John K. Marshall and skipper Ed Baird announced today. Brady, the navigator for Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes in the 1995 America's Cup and a 1992 Olympic silver medalist in the Soling Class, joins the NYYC/Young America afterguard which includes Baird, Ed Adams, Tony Rey, and Kimo Worthington.

The 1990 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Brady is a world champion in the J/22, J/24, Half Ton, One Ton, and Soling (match racing) classes. A member of the U.S. Admiral's Cup team in 1991, 1995, and the victorious 1997 team, Brady will compete for the U.S. again on this year's Admiral's Cup team. A New York Yacht Club member since 1989, Brady has a long history with Baird. Brady trained and raced with Baird through the late '70s and '80s in Lasers, Solings and J/24s. Baird was Brady's coach in his medal-winning Olympic campaign. - Jane Eagleson

Full story:

SYDNEY TO MOOLOOLABA RACE - Report by Peter Campbell
Designer Iain Murray has won the 1999 Sydney - Mooloolaba ocean race, skippering the Sydney AC40, Loco, to an outstanding IMS overall victory in the heavy weather race to Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Middle Harbour Yacht Club race officials this afternoon confirmed the IMS placings for the 469 nautical mile race, with 38 of the depleted fleet finished and two still at sea.

There were 64 starters and 24 retirements, many with steering breakages as they surfed north before 30 to 40 knot southerly winds and steep seas that caused dozens of out-of-control gybes, smashing booms, shredding spinnakers and battering and bruising crew. Several skippers claimed the heavy weather downwind race had been a more demanding race than the 1998 Telstra Sydney to Hobart.

Loco, owned by David Coe and David Lowe, but sailed by a "works" team headed by designer Murray and sailmaker Michael Coxon, won on corrected time from her sistership Sledgehammer, skippered by Ron Jones and a club crew from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

This is Murray's second successive designer/skipper double in the Mooloolaba race, last year helming his Sydney 46 design, ABN AMRO Challenge to victory. "It was a wild ride at times, we had five 'chinese gybes' as we surfed up the coast, I was on the helm for two of themand ended up to my neck in water," the former America's Cup skipper said at Mooloolaba Yacht Club today.

Third overall is the Queensland yacht The Last Picasso, a Jutson 36, skippered by Mooloolaba Yacht Club member Bob "Sir Robbo" Robertson, competing in his 16th Sydney - Mooloolaba race.

Final results -- IMS Overall: 1. Loco, Sydney AC 40 (David Coe/Iain Murray, CYCA) 2. Sledgehammer, Sydney AC 40 (Ron Jones, RPAYC) 3.The Last Picasso, Jutson 36 (Bob Robertson, MYC/RQYS) IMS Division A: 1. Loco, 2.Sledgehammer, 2. Assassin, Farr IMS 40 (Hugo van Kretschmar, CYCA) IMS Division B: 1. The Last Picasso, 2. Loose Change, Jutson 36 (Clive Gilmour/Robert Stanley, CYCA) 3. Kingtide, Sydney 36 (Colin Boyle, MHYC) IMS Division C: 1. Sagacious V , Farr 40 (Peter Davis, CYCA) 2. Inner Circle, Farr 40 (Dennis Pomfret, LMYCO 3.Superfine, Cavalier 350SL (George Waldhausen, CYCA) CHS Division (provisional): 1. J44 Phoenix, J44 (Rob Reynolds, MHYC) 2. Loki, Swan 44 (Stephen Ainsworth, CYCA) 3. Impeccable, Peterson 35 (John Walker, MHYC) PHS Overall (provisional): 1. Flying Turtle, Farr 1220 (Philip Wait, MHYC 2. Loose Change, Jutson 36 (Clive Gilmour/Robert Stanley, CYCA) 3. Loco, Sydney AC 40 (David Coe/Iain Murray, CYCA) PHS Division A (provisional): 1. Helter Skelter, Sydney 41 (Steve Gunns, MHYC) 2. Bright Morning Star, Frers 50 (Hugh Treharne, MHYC) 3. Foxtel Titan Ford, Farr 52 (Julie Hodder/Peter Sorensen/Stan Zemanek, MHYC) PHS Division B (provisional): 1. Flying Turtle, Farr 1220 (Phillip Wait, MHYC) 2. Hog's Breath Witchdoctor, Peterson 42 (Rum Consortium, CYCA) 3. Too Impetuous, Holland 42 (Neville Watson, RPAYC)

For as long as I can remember, I've used my tired, beat up old shorts for sailing. But no more. I've gotten spoiled by my fast drying Supplex Camet shorts, and with their foam pads that pamper my aging butt. And the Camet shorts do have a good look. So now I have a problem - what do I do with my old shorts?

580 miles ! The record for the greatest distance covered under sail in 24 hours was beaten on Saturday March 27th by PlayStation, Steve Fossett's new 120' catamaran designed by duo Gino Morelli/Pete Melvin and launched in December 98 in view of The Race.

Having left Auckland for a second attempt on Friday 26th around midday (local time), PlayStation passed the Rangitoto volcano in the Gulf of Hauraki at 1400. Because of the 25 knot North-easterly blowing, progression was slow as far as the Northern end of Great Barrier Island, the starting zone to clear the Northerly tip of New Zealand in this attempt.

With the automatic transmission of their position every 15 minutes by Standard C, weather router Bob Rice estimated that the attempt had started at around 0600 GMT on Friday March 26th. The steady North-easterly breeze of 25 knots allowed PlayStation to achieve her best average as early as the first 6 hours, or 152.5 miles at 25.4 knots average. Fifteen hours later, the average was 23.8 knots for a distance covered of 357.3 miles.

A slight easing of wind speed slowed the rhythm down for a few hours. The ten crew took advantage to shake out the two reefs which they had been carrying since the start and unroll the solent. Under the thrust of 676 square metres of sail, the average speed remained at 20 knots.

In less than 20 hours, PlayStation had covered 465 miles, at an average speed of 23.6 knots. By the 23rd hour, PlayStation had covered 546 miles, at an average of 23.74 knots. Stan Honey continued to charge at 29 knots until 0630 GMT before putting about for Auckland and home.

This figure is not yet official. The data will be rapidly forwarded to the WSSRC and to the eight members of the Offshore Passages Committee who will no doubt ratify this record.

This new record, for a yacht almost twice as big as Laurent Bourgnon's trimaran, will almost certainly be bettered this coming summer. It was the first day with the "foot flat on the boards" for the catamaran, which had remained in port for more than four weeks last February for some minor modifications. The absence of Ben Wright, her skipper and one of Steve Fossett's best helmsmen was also significant. The objective of PlayStation is now the 600 miles in 24 hours barrier.

Ben Wright who has directed the boat's preparation since mid December in Auckland, had an accident sustaining injury to his right hand on Thursday 25th March during the first attempt and had to be admitted to hospital.

In charge of navigation for this attempt was Stan Honey, the usual navigator for Roy Disney on Pyewacket. Also on board, Brian Thomson, Peter Hogg, Barry McKay, Greg Yeo, Bruce Sutphen, Kermit Conoway of Southern Spars, Gino Morelli, (the catamaran's co-designer with Pete Melvin), Mick Cookson, the builder. And naturally owner Steve Fossett.

The record had remained unbeaten since 29th June 1994, with the two amazing consecutive days of 1029 miles by Laurent Bourgnon and his trimaran Primagaz, at the start of his solo Atlantic record.

There's more:

Today's race was sailed in ten to fifteen knots, a light day in Santa Cruz. Lars matched race us before the start, but we were able to get a better start. We rounded the first mark second and Lars sixth. We were able to pass the first boat and win the race and Lars finished sixth. We finished with a score card of 1, 2, OCS, 1,1,1, 1, 1. Our practice is beginning to pay off as we sailed well and were very fast.

Our next regatta is in Gulfport, MS. We have a small training regatta where we are going to practice and experiment with some new rig settings. Our next big trip is to Spain for the European Championships. Stay Tuned for more updates. -- Charlie Ogletree and Johnny Lovell

Final Results: 1. John Lovell / Charlie Ogletree (8) 2. Lars Guck / PJ Schaffer (13) 3 Robbie Daniel / Jacques Bernier (22) 4. Mike Ingham / (26) 5. Richard Feeny / Bob Hodges (38)

Complete results:

Absolutely fantasticand it's green! 'Butt reader Daniel Forster probably said it best, "Sun screen is better than computer screen!"

If quitters never win and winners never quit, then who is the fool who said, "Quit while you're ahead"?