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SCUTTLEBUTT #300 - March 31, 1999

Paul Cayard (USA) has returned to the match racing circuit in style, winning the Steinlager Line 7 Cup this weekend and leaping up into the top 50 on the Rankings. Cayard is only counting 5 (out of a possible 8) results towards his score, so he is likely to make further jumps up the Rankings as he competes in more match race events.

In California, Peter Holmberg (ISV) won the 1999 Congressional Cup by just 3 seconds over Germany's Markus Wieser. Holmberg moves up one place on the Rankings to 4th, where he now lies just 70 points behind Chris Law (GBR). Italian Francesco de Angelis is also making his mark on the match racing scene. Earlier this month he took third place at the Congressional Cup (Paul Cayard finished 4th), and he then travelled to New Zealand where he won the Steinlager Line 7 Cup Preliminary Qualification Series over veteran John Cutler (NZL). De Angelis went on to finish 5th overall in the Grade 1 event Steinlager Line 7 Cup, and the three results have taken him up to 48th place on the Rankings.

No major international women's match race events have taken place so far this year, so the positions on the Women's Rankings remain unaltered. Paula Lewin (BER) heads the list, with Betsy Alison (USA) and Dorte O. Jensen (DEN) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

The new ISAF Rankings software is almost ready and will be in use in time for the 4 May release of the Rankings. The new, powerful software will enable faster administration of the Rankings and calculation of sailors' points and greater flexibility for sailors to check their results reports via the ISAF website. Moreover the new software will allow ISAF to implement the new, separate ISAF Women's Match Race Ranking System. Results of events where women skippers sailed with mixed crews will remain in the Open Rankings, but all the results with 100% female crew will form the new database for the new Women's Rankings.

The top 8 skippers on the Women's Rankings as issued on 24 August 1999 will receive automatic invitations to the first ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship in Genoa, Italy from 23-30 October 1999. The top 10 skippers on the Open Rankings (as issued on 30 June 1999) will be invited to compete in the 1999 ISAF Open World Match Racing Championship.

2 Gavin BRADY (NZL)
3 Chris LAW (GBR)
5 Bertrand PACE (FRA)
6 Markus WIESER (GER)
7 Tomislav BASIC (CRO)
10 Jesper BANK (DEN)
11 Sten MOHR (DEN)
13 Dean BARKER (NZL)
15 Paula LEWIN (BER)

Complete rankings:

49er Pacific Coast Championships, hosted by the United States Sailing Center, Long Beach, CA. Five Races held on Tuesday, March 30th. 8 Knots of breeze in the morning building to 14 knots in the afternoon. The final four races are scheduled for today, March 31, 1999-- Michael Segerblom, Principal Race Officer

Standings after five races: 1. Jonathan McKee / McKee (6) 2. Morgan Larson / Bruno Oberhofen (15) 3. Andy Mack / Adam Lowry (19) 4. Kenji Nakamura / Tomoyuki Sasaki (22) 5. Tina Baylis / Trevor Baylis (29) 6. Kris Henderson / Allan Johnson (32) 7. Sean "Doogie" Couvre / Brendon Couvreux (33) 8. David Fagen / Jason Seifert (35) 9. Chad Hough / Dave Fox (36) 10. Bram Dally / Tyler Bech (50)

Final results (50 boats): 1. Two Saints & a Magpie, Noel Drennan, AUS (24.7) 2. 1060 Qanta, Dennis Conner, USA (32) 3. Banana in Pajamas, Ian Johnson, AUS (52.4) 4. Pacesetter, Jon Scholton, AUS (63.4) 5. The Boat, Cameron Thorpe, NZL (64.4)

Serious racers want a clean bottom, keels that are faired to perfection, straight leaches and fully tricked-out sail handling hardware. And the really serious racers want their crew attire to reflect the same commitment to excellence. EASY! Just contact Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery and let him show you how affordable that can be. / 619-226-8033

It was a bittersweet moment when FILA pulled away from the spot where PRB bobbed upside down in the steely, undulating seas. Isabelle Autissier was safely aboard FILA. She was rescued on 16 February by her friend and competitor, Giovanni Soldini, after her boat capsized in the Southern Ocean. With a parting glance, Autissier's beloved PRB disappeared to stern: unflatteringly prone, belly up, as it was never meant to be. Her keel jutted awkwardly toward heaven, the remains of her proud mast, sails and rigging strung like jellyfish tentacles down into the deep.

Even as PRB failed Autissier -- turning turtle in the Southern Ocean and obstinately refusing to right herself -- it protected the sailor to the end. In her final hours, PRB enveloped Autissier snug in a womb of carbon fiber, safe from the icy fingers of death. Hypothermia in two degree Celsius water, was a genuine threat. While she waited for her rescued, Autissier tidied up. "I cleaned the boat because, first of all, I thought I had to stay busy," she explained. It was, she said, the "best thing to do. It was a feeling with my boat. "I knew she was lost and I knew I had to leave the boat. I want to leave her as a normal boat as far as possible."

With Soldini's arrival, Autissier squeezed through the transom hatch to salvation with only her passport in hand. She then did the only sensible thing: she left the hatch open. PRB, Autissier's cohort and custodian, was left vulnerable to the millions of gallons of water that would slowly envelop her and pull her to the ocean floor.

When Autissier abandoned ship in the middle of the Southern Ocean, she left behind more than an inanimate hull and rigging. Her hopes and ambitions were on board; for years she had prepared for the Around Alone event. This was the second time Autissier had seen her dreams scuttled. During the 1994-95 race (then called the BOC Challenge), again in the Southern Ocean, Autissier's boat, Ecureuil Poitou-Charentes 2, was rolled by a rogue wave. When the world stopped spinning, the yacht had a 17-square-meter hole in the deck where the mast had ripped out. No longer seaworthy, the boat was a total loss. Autissier was airlifted to a frigate after enduring three days in the exposed vessel.

Autissier had an insurance policy to cover such disaster, but at current prices it will cost 7 to 8 million French francs ($1.16 million US) to replace the yacht and its gear. Autissier won't commit to future plans. She has sworn off singlehanded racing in the Southern Ocean, leaving open the next chapter of her adventurous life. Saying she is not in a hurry, Autissier added, "It can be anything. The page is white."

Despite Autissier's efforts to scuttle her boat, however, emergency beacons continued to transmit for days after the incident. The yacht was still afloat -- and a hazard to mariners. PRB's wreckage, tucked invisibly between towering waves, would be impossible to see by the few vessels transiting that remote stretch of sea.

It was a poignant and inglorious end for Autissier's yacht. PRB had sailed her final voyage. Yet Autissier looked at the situation with courage and pragmatism. "Of course I'm very sad about my boat," she said. "But to be alive is better." -- Betsy Crowfoot, Quokka Sports Staff

For Crowfoot's full story:

Question: Which sailor has won the Star World Championships the most times?
a) Bill Buchan
b) Paul Elvstrom
c) Lowell North
d) Tom Blackaller
e) Buddy Melges
f) Dennis Conner

The answer can be found near the end of this issue of 'Butt.

PRIMM, NV -- Bob Dill and Bob Schumacher from Burlington, VT again extended the landsailing world speed record to 116.7 mph on Ivanpah Dry Lake, just across the Calif/NV border south of Las Vegas, NV. Many runs in steady 30 mph winds saw several attempts in the 110-112 mph range. Surprising after that day the digital GPS receiver was checked on board the "Iron Duck" and it read 119 mph. Wind angles were approximately 120 degrees from the true wind. Iron Duck is slight asymmetrical, 1600 lbs, and was using a 88 sq ft solid wing that day without a 12 sq ft flap. -- Mark Harris, NALSA scorekeeper

Web site

I read most of the e-mail (except jokes), but simply can't publish them all. Those that are published are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Kimball Livingston -- Just for our mutual sense of the record, re. the information forwarded to you about the Doublehanded Farallones Race. The sponsor is the Bay Area Multihull Association (BAMA), which borrows the facilities of the Golden Gate Yacht Club for the event. I don't know whether it's unique bad luck or something malignant, but this very popular and satisfying event has the worst history of death-by-sailing of any contest in Northern California (and, I suspect, on the entire West Coast).

-- From Colin Case -- Happy 300th !! And just a day before April Fool's. You can be pleased (along with Frank Whitton) that a 'Butthead Tee Shirt made it's debut at the Reunion Arena in Dallas. Most likely not the first one to see a NHL game, but probably the first one to do so in Texas. (The home team lost.) My crew and I are trying to convince the rest of them to get Camet shorts along with us leaders in the van. My very best wishes, kind regards, and many, many more 'Butts,

In 1999, the 49er European Grand Prix Series will consist of four high profile events, held in the following countries -Italy - France Germany - Sweden.
. MAY 13-16 Sardinia; 20-23 Bandol
. AUGUST 19-22 Eckernforde; 25-28 Goteborg
. A fifth event may be added on the 12-15th of August.

The events will be televised, with opportunities to feature in the coverage for all competitors - plus there will be substantial prize money for the winning boats.PRIZE MONEY $10,000 prize money for each event -- $20,000 prize money for the top teams in the overall series

Each Grand Prix will be run Thursday to Sunday. 2 days of qualifications, 2 days of finals in 20 boats fleets according to standard 49er Class format. The number of participants is limited to 60 teams, according to the order of registration. Entry deadline in May 1st for the events in Sardinia and Bandol. Entry fees Category A & B US $ 100 Category C US $ 250

The regattas are run by the local organising clubs, in partnership with the Circuit organisers; International Events Management (Alex GAD) and the International 49er Class Association. Each Grand Prix is a stand-alone regatta with a US$10.000 purse. A bonus of US$20.000 will be awarded to the top teams overall for the 1999 Grand Prix Series after the final event in Goteborg.

International Events Organisation is producing, a top quality, 20 minutes TV programm from each Grand Prix to be broadcasted twice on Eurosport. Daily news, bringing together all the best moments of the finals, will be broadcasted on Eurosport and on the main channels of the national TV, as well as CNNSI. A press officer will be in charge of national Press Relationships on each Grand Prix. Participants are asked to supply information on their own personal contacts to whom they wish to send a race reports to. - John Reed

NOR and SI will be posted on ( by April 20th 1999

Don't make an expensive mistake, when there are experienced people who will help you with all of your rigging questions. They not only have the experience, they also have the right attitude and the proper equipment to do your job right -- Harken, Samson, Yale, Douglas Gill, Forespar, Lewmar, Ronstan, KVH, Spinlock, Marlow. Call them now, or stop by the Boat Shop -- their San Diego retail outlet. (800) 532-3831.

The Egregious Error -- Maybe this is a life lesson, or maybe it's a sailing lesson. Either way it's definitely one to note. There I was on the first beat, battling for the lead. After a good start and a well executed first leg I was approaching the weather mark and starboard layline, about 7 boat lengths shy of the port tack layline. A nice lead on the pack and only one boat to worry about - the starboard tacker one boat length above the starboard tack layline. What do I do? I get greedy.

Instead of ducking and fighting for the lead on any of the remaining three legs of the race, I leebow the starboard tacker. A mediocre tack, a little current at the bouy, an extra long anchor line, a nice deep centerboard (V15), and there it is: "The Egregious Error." I hit the mark, get stuck, turn my circle and am in 5th place in the pack and the leader is launched, OUCH!

Knowing your risk entering any given tactical decision is imperative to making the right move. Sure, going for the lead is great, however, with three legs remaining of a race, nice separation from the pack and a touch of current, waiting for another window of opportunity looks pretty good in retrospect. In fact, in retrospect it's a no-brainer. In the moment it would have been a no-brainer too, if I had made a quick check of the risk versus the gain. -- The Coach at

c) Lowell North has won the Star Worlds five times: 1973, 1960, 1959, 1957 and as crew for Malin Burnham in 1945.

A conclusion is a place where someone got tired of thinking.