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SCUTTLEBUTT #303 - April 5, 1999

Pass Christian Yacht Club, Pass Christian, Mississippi, USA -- Wind Direction & Velocity: 10 (26 boats) Results of Race One: 1. Pickel / Auracher Germany, 2. Beashel / Giles Australia, 3. Doyle / Terhaar USA, 4. MacCausland / Trinter USA 5. Vessella / Dorgan USA, 6. Whipple / VanLeeuwen USA, 7. Allen / Upton USA, 8. B. Beek / Hafer USA, 9. Bromby / White, Bermuda, 10. Mitchell / George USA, 11. Shiebler / Peters USA, 12. Dane / Bennett USA, 13. Hudson / Gowers UK, 14. Reynolds / Liljedahl USA, 15. Shipwith-Meier / Jonsson, Switzerland.

Complete results:

Organized by the Federacion Balear de Vela in collaboration with the Real Federacion Espanola de Vela, and the Real Club Nautico de Palma, Esceula Nacional de Vela Calanova, Club Nautico S'Arenal and the Club Maritimo San Antonio de la Playa.

Results: 470 Women (12 races)
1. Susanne Ward / Michaela Ward, DEN, 27 points
2. Vladelina Kratchoun / Natalia Gadanovitch, RUS, 29
3. Stephanie Truebel / Carolin Grosser, GER, 33
4. Tracy Hayley / Louise Van Voorhis, USA, 34
5. Helena Lucas / Sue Parkin, GBR, 48

Dragon (7 races)
1. Martin Payne (skipper), POR, 36 points
2. Harm Spreer Muller, GER, 37
3. Glen Foster, USA, 38
4. Poul Hoj Jensen, GBR, 41
5. Adkim Kadelbach, GER, 42

Star (9 races)
1. Alexander Hagen / Thorsten Helmert, GER, 13 points
2. Reinhard Schmidt / Jochen Wolfram, GER, 15
3. Tassos Boudouris / DImitrios Bookis, GRE, 19
4. Frank Butzmann / Jens Kick Peters, GER, 23
5. Jose Van Der Ploeg / Javier Hermida, ESP, 31

Complete results:

"Look for teams from Young America, Aloha Racing, and Team New Zealand at the 1D48 Chesapeake Grand Prix/Baltimore Waterfront Festival in late April." -- Terry Hutchinson, SpinSheet. For the full story:

Responding to requests from teams in preparation for the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, the Management Committee has moved the challenge date from 5th April to 5th May 1999. There is much activity in hand as charters and special arrangements are completed for this year's world class event from 12th to 24th July. The event is the first of the re-modeled series, taking only two weeks and including a unique new offshore, the Wolf Rock Race. All races start and finish in Cowes.

Australia and the USA are well advanced, as are several of the European teams. The US 50-foot team boat Idler has shown excellent performance at the SORC in Florida and the UK 5-footer designed by Bruce Farr as part of the Chernikeeff British Team is expected to be a fleet leader. A new and potent 50-foot Brava Q8 will spearhead the European team directed by Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup veteran and previous winner, Pasquale Landolfi. A complete fleet of Sydney 40 one-designs will be at the Hamble by the end of May ready for the Cup races and also their own World Championship starting on 30th June.

The RORC is co-ordinating available boats for charter and it is possible for a complete team to fly in without anything more than their personal sailing bags.

For more information:

Got a good action picture of your boat? Send it to Frank Whitton and let him transform it into stitches for your yachting apparel. Once the design is complete, you own it and it can be sewed on just about any fabric. A professional specialty artist creates the 'magic' and it's more affordable than you think. Call Frank at Pacific Yacht Embroidery (619-226-8033).

Friday morning San Diego's Carl Eichenlaub was in a very serious Auto accident. Carl was driving his golf cart down Rosecrans when an Explorer ran a red light and hit Carl broadside. Carl has been taken to U.C.S.D. Medical Center. The latest word on Carl is a couple broken ribs, severely broken left shoulder and arm. The ball in his shoulder was broken off, so they are either going to pin it, or do a shoulder replacement. All things considered, Carl is doing well, and may go home from the hospital Sunday. Hard to keep Carl down. - Steve Ross

We read all e-mail (except jokes) but simply can't publish every letter. Those printed here are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From John Siegel -- When we read headlines about events like the rescue of the two crew from the capsized multihull, we tend to assume a routine sailing maneuver. Bruce Schwab's chilling account of the recovery of Gary Helms tells us otherwise. Given Gary's physical state, it is clear that the race toll could have been much higher.

On the Moore 24 Moorigami, crew Toby Cooper and I had some excitement when, while "cracking off" near the island's surf line, we broached on a giant roller and then were shaken loose by a jarring second wave. Toby ended up in the mainsail and I did a "face plant" over the port aft quarter. I surfaced to find the stern rail just above me and I was able to pull my upper body to the deck. Toby pulled my legs on and we were off with a sigh of relief and a mere bent tiller extension. Fortunately, we didn't fully test our harnesses, as the tethers never became taut. After a five-minute barfing bout (clearly nerves) I retreated below to shed my drenched clothing and wrap myself in a wool blanket. This meant Toby single-handed home. While our fire drill was relatively minor, it could have been much worse. After this experience, I have serious reservations about future single-handed races and I will NEVER remove my stern pulpit as I'd recently planned to do.

While the loss of Harvey Shlaskly is an incomparable tragedy, it occurs to me that there were a lot of "close calls" that we'll probably never hear about.

-- From Peter Huston -- Was the USOC's definition of an athlete created using the same criteria as the IOC's definition of a delegate? Janet, my old friend, excuse me but the current definition of an athlete by the USOC is not something with which US SAILING needs to march in lock step. That definition more applies to sports where there is very limited grass roots participation. Sailing has an extremely broad base of participation relative to something like luge, or "rhythmic gymnastics". Another example would be a large sport such as basketball, which could well fall under the spell of self-interested money hungry paper shufflers. We need to stop being the dog wagged by the Olympic tail.

If we are going to talk about truly equitable representation on the US SAILING Board based on number of participants in a segment of racing, then I submit that PHRF should have a significantly greater number of seats than they would have under the model given to us by the USOC.

And yes, the composition of the US SAILING Board does need a serious overhaul. It would be very easy to accomplish that if everyone at the table would simply agree to step back and not worry if they lose their seat on the Board. That's the only thing holding back change. US SAILING can not properly, effectively, and transparently govern the sport if the system of governance is stuck in 1800's ideology based on 1800's technology.

-- From Matt Jones -- Greg Weeger makes a great point about recognizing the efforts of the crew no matter how big the boat. Crewing for Lowell North when he won the Star Worlds:
1957. Jim Hill
1959. Morton J. Carlile
1960. Tom Skahill
1973. Peter Barrett

CHIVERTON, England--The asphalt runway of the Royal Marines Airfield at Chivenor in North Devon bears no resemblance to the broad wastes of the Southern Ocean, but it is ideal for rig testing of the 100-foot long catamaran, which Pete Goss has entered for The Race. On Wednesday, Goss and his design team revealed the one-tenth scale test rig, mounted 20 feet to the side of a Land Rover in which were the computers recording the stresses and strains of the cantilevered rig. The fully rotating, unstayed test rig (of which there will be one on each hull) is 13 feet high and produces one-hundredth of the loads of its proposed full-sized counterpart. The Goss design team says the loads on each of the two masts on the catamaran will exceed that of the wing of the four-engine Airbus. - Bob Fisher, Grand Prix Sailor

For the full story:

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

'Boating' is probably New Zealand's largest boating/yachting publication and the editorial in their March issue made us sit up and take a bit of notice. It seems in the editor's eyes, Team New Zealand's public relations machine is zilch and the editor, Rebecca Hunter suggests that someone should take time out to organise some public relations with the New Zealand yachting press. "Lack of return of calls, and a denial to provide a requested team member photo, is in stark contrast with the other syndicates" she says. "Team New Zealand's aloofness (they call it focusing) could turn around and bite them. Whilst we know they are still looking for the Cup, their wonderful handshake with the masses no longer has the warmth of '95". Very sad!

It is such a pleasure dealing with people who know what they're doing and are eager to help. Probably that has a lot to do with why their sales are up 25% this year at Sailing Supply. Or maybe it's because they carry all of the good lines of sailing stuff and ship your order the same day. Call them or stop by the Boat Shop, their San Diego retail outlet. (800) 532-3831.

VOLVO OCEAN RACE - Report from Terry Hutchinson
For the past week, I have been participating in a Illbruck training session off of the Northwest coast of Spain. I am one of only two people participating in this training session that had not participated in the last around the world race. As one of the guys said on the way in on our first day of sailing as we surfed along at 17.5 knots, "look at the smile on the Rookies face". I was grinning from ear to ear. Needless to say when we sailed in today at 25.3 knots my grin was as big as ever. I know my parents/wife/and new born son, Elias, don't want to hear this but, I AM ADDICTED!

The speed of the boat is really amazing. We blast reach with a high clew jib and mainsail at 18-21 knots and for the most part in complete control. Speeds like we had today with the masthead kite are easy to reach. Unlike an America's Cup boat, in 25-30 knots of breeze you do not worry about the rig crashing down, blocks blowing up in your face, or the frailty of the boat. That is not to say that I don't have an incredible amount of respect for Mother Nature or things happening to you on the boat.

When maneuvering on the boat you have to walk/crawl very deliberately and think everything out to the tee. Because the boat is moving around so quickly it would be easy to fall and hurt yourself or even worse end up in the drink -- which makes the safety harness and life jacket not optional equipment, but required! -- Terry Hutchinson

LIFE IN LASER LAND! - Report by Bill Hardesty
Sailing, Sailing and more Sailing! Since the Miami OCR the Laser group has had two US Sailing Team Clinics, two Midwinter Regatta, The 1999 US Sailing team announcement, the Alamitos Bay Olympic Classes Regatta, and plenty of cross training.

The US Sailing team has really pulled together to help each other improve skills and get up to speed for the upcoming international regattas this summer in Europe. The 1999 US Sailing Team consists of Mark Mendelblatt, Brett Davis, John Myrdal, John Torgerson, and Myself. There are many others that have joined in the training sessions with an average of 12-15 boats working under US Sailing's Head Coach Gary Bodie. This extensive training has really been paying off and we should see significant improvements this coming summer when we all travel to Europe to match up with the best international Laser sailors.

March 13-14 -- The west coast circuit began with the St. Francis Spring Dinghy Invite which was the final US Sailing Team Qualifier. The moon was full and for those of you that have sailed at the San Francisco city front know why I stress this full moon. It's not the werewolves, it's the strong currents that go with the extreme tides. The breeze was fairly light which only made things worse when trying to battle the current and tricky conditions. 5 good races were sailed over the two days and here are the top five final results.

Results: 1. Brett Davis, 2. Mark Mendelblatt, 3. John Myrdal, 4. John Torgerson, 5. Bill Hardesty

With one week before the next regatta, coach Gary Bodie organized a clinic in Richardson's Bay, San Francisco, where the Laser Olympic Trials will be held. Over the three day clinic every US team member, except Myrdal, trained together to help each other improve as a whole. These clinics are relatively open and we had amazingly high numbers of boats for a weekday clinic. It was great to see such full time commitment from so many people.

March 19-21 -- The group then traveled to Richmond on the other side of the bay to compete in the Midwinter West Championship. 82 Lasers competed in typical early spring San Francisco conditions which were all types of breezes, sunshine, and rain throughout the three day event.

Day one started out looking as very perfect with a 12-15 knot south west breeze and fairly warm temperatures. Mark Mendelblatt was off to a great start sailing fast up the first beat and never looking back. Long Beach, CA local Keith Dodson was second most of the way and I was close in third. Keith fell back a bit while I took over second followed by last regatta winner Brett Davis. Another race was started later that afternoon but as the breeze died on our second lap the race committee was forced to abandon the race.

According to weather reports this second day was not looking good with rain and light winds. We had one good race in a light northerly breeze and a second race in a light south westerly breeze. Both races were very tricky with one side of the course being very favored. These conditions brought some inconsistency to the fleet as I had a 3, 10, Davis a 1,11, and Mendelblatt a 5, 23. With one day left this regatta was still anybody's to win.

The final day brought clearing conditions and more of the San Francisco's usual 15-18 knot Westerly winds. It was a matter of being consistent as the points were very close once everyone dropped there worst race. John Torgerson had an outstanding day finishing 1,2,2. Davis seemed to have a bit more difficulty in the breeze finishing 5, 10, 7, and Mendelblatt nearly dominating except for his first race with finishes of 11,1,1 for the day. I managed to have just what it took with a consistent 3, 5, 3 on this last day to take the win.

Final Results: 1 Bill Hardesty, USA (16) 2 Mark Mendelblatt, USA (19) 3 John Torgerson, USA (22) 4 Nathaniel Stoffelsma, CAN (25) 5 Brett Davis, USA (26) 6 Peter Hurley, USA (27) 7 Marty Essig, CAN (35) 8 Chris Cook, CAN (43) 9 John Myrdal, USA (46) 10 Charles Meade, USA (47)

March 26-28 -- 35 boats traveled to The 1999 Alamitos Bay Olympic Classes Regatta held in Long Beach California. This regatta was the Final Pan American Games trial regatta for the Canadians so there was a lot of the old Canadian "A" being heard. The breeze was light and the courses were short. Four races were sailed on the first day which went very well for myself. I ended the day with three firsts and a fourth. This didn't totally set me apart from the competitors especially local Kevin Taugher who couldn't do anything wrong except for one mistake the first race.

The second day story went very similar to the first except my lead was shrinking as I took less risk and tried for solid consistent finishes. Things were close going into the final day.

On the final day things began to get exciting. With two races remaining in the series there was only a two point separation between myself and second place Taugher and only 10 points from third. My plan was to stay near Taugher and not let him beat me. I thought it was typical Long Beach and the right would pay. Well I was ahead of Taugher headed right when the left came in strong. Canadian Nathaniel Stoffelsma was on the left and making big gains on the two of us battling on the unfavorable right.

With one race left I still had the lead but only by one point on Taugher and two points on Stoffelsma. It all came down to this last race for the regatta win. I managed to get a good start down near the pin and as the left came in I was able to cross and get out in the front group. Stoffelsma was a few boats back but Taugher was nowhere to be seen.

Final Results: 1 Bill Hardesty, USA (18) 2 Nathaniel Stoffelsma, CAN (27) 3 Kevin Taugher, USA (28) 4 Oskar Johansson, CAN (40) 5 Martin Essig, CAN (40) 6 Chris Cook, CAN (48) 7 Peter Hurley, USA (50) 8 Dalton Bergan, USA (52) 9 Nathan Cowan, CAN (60) 10 Chris Rabb, USA (75)

If you take an antenna to a wedding, will the reception be better?