Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT #304 - April 6, 1999

This issue of Scuttlebutt is coming to you from Mike Campbell's beautiful waterfront vacation home on Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountainswhich has been 'Butt Central since noon yesterday.

ST. THOMAS, US VIRGIN ISLANDS - 86 boats, Final results:

Rolex Cup Winner
MARRIOTT FRENCHMAN'S REEF, Melges 24, Chris Rosenberg, St. Thomas, USVI

Class A Spinnaker Racing (7 boats)
1. TWISTER, BASHFORD 41, Les Crouch, San Diego, Calif., 1-1-3; 5
2. CRASH TEST DUMMIES, HENDERSON 35, M. Chapman/T. Kimpston, Trinidad, 4-2-1; 7
3. MERMAID II, J/N 41, William Berardell/Mark Ploch, BVI, Clearwater, Fla., 2-3-2; 7

Class B Spinnaker Racing (9 boats)
1. BERTO Y ATORRANTE, HOLLAND 11 METER, David Fernandiz, Puerto Rico, 1-2-7; 10
2. RUSHIN' ROWLETTE, OLSON 30, Bert Rowlette, BVI, 4-4-2; 10
3. FASTIDIOTS, OLSON, E. Brockbank, BVI, 3-3-5; 11

Class C Spinnaker Racing (7 boats)
1. MARRIOTT FRENCHMAN'S REEF, Melges 24, Chris Rosenberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 1-1-1; 3
2. AIRGASM, MELGES 24, Barney Crook, BVI, 2-3-2; 7
3. SASSY LADY, MELGES 24 , Eugene Balzac/Peter Holmberg, Puerto Rico/St. Thomas, 5-2-3; 10

Class D Spinnaker Racing/Cruising (7 boats)
1. SPLASH TANGO, SWAN 51, Frank Morris, Olympia, Wash., 1-1-1; 3
2. MIRAGE, CC CSTM, Thomas Steier/Alan Brugger, Richmond, Ky./St. John, USVI, 4-2-2; 8
3. OUTLAW, PETERSON 55, Paul Scarano, St. John, USVI, 2-4-3; 9

Class E Spinnaker Racing (10 boats)
1. BROKEN DRUM, J-29, Jack Bishop, St. Croix, USVI, 1-6-4; 11
2. MAGNIFICENT 7, ISV 7, John Foster, St. Thomas, USVI, 6-3-3; 12
3. SORCERESS, TARTAN 10, Paul Lordi, St. Croix, USVI, 5-1-7; 13

Class F Beach Cats (9 boats)
1. ISABELLA'S CRIB, HOBIE 16, Enrique Figueroa, Puerto Rico, 1-1-4; 6
2. DUFFY'S LOVE SHACK, PRINDLE 19, John Holmberg, St. Thomas, USVI, 2-3-5; 10
3. M.S.I., TORNADO, Terry Jackson, St. Thomas, USVI, 4-4-2; 10

Class G Spinnaker Racing/Cruising (7 boats)
1. POLYPHAGUS, SIGMA 38, S. Porter/A. Lenz, Hamble, UK, 1-1-1; 3
2. J. DOE, J-30, Cynthia Ross, Marina Del Rey, Calif., 3-2-3; 8
3. ZING, J-30, Stu Lister, St. John, USVI, 4-3-2; 9

Class H Jib & Main Racing (9 boats)
1. CINNABAR, S&S ,Chris Behan, Montauk, N.Y., 1-1; 2
2. BOLERO, J-42, Domingo Pagan, Puerto Rico, 2-3; 5
3. NEMESIS, HUNTER 43, Edum CuyRomero, Puerto Rico, 4-2; 6

Class I Non-Spinnaker Racing (9 boats)
1. WILDFLOWER, SABRE 402, Ron Noonan, Marion, Mass., 1-1; 2
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE, J-42 , Geraldo Ficks, Marion, Mass., 2-4; 6
3. ATLANTIC TELENETWORK, J-27, Marus Compton, St. Thomas, USVI ; 6-2; 8

Class J Spinnaker Racing (11 boats)
1. HEINEKEN, J-24, Luis Lomba/Mauricio Costanzo, Puerto Rico/Venezuela, 1-.9-.9; 2.8
2. BRAVISSIMO 3, J-24 , Pedro Quines, Puerto Rico, 4-1-1; 6
3. DON Q CRYSTAL, J24, Michael Serral, Puerto Rico, 7-2-3; 12

Sixteen boat builders are working on the construction of America True's new, cutting edge racing yacht, and they are now nearing completion at James Betts Enterprises in Northern. "We have a few more details to complete," added builder Peter Sowman, "but she'll be out in front of Pier 17 by the end of May." America True plans to bring its new prize to campaign headquarters in San Francisco for an official boat dedication on May 26. Stay tuned to the America True web site for details of the celebration at Pier 17.

The entire boat building process is so secret because America True hopes that other challengers won't attempt to copy its design or methods of construction. That is why, as Sowman jokingly says, even America True team members are "treated as mushrooms." Everyone's curiosity will be partially satisfied, however, at the end of May when the boat makes its official debut. Until then, the boat builders will maintain their hermetic.

America True continues to extend its allied club support base this year by admitting two more clubs onto the syndicate's support roster for its America's Cup 2000 campaign. Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, California came aboard the challenge in January, and Fort Walton Yacht Club in Fort Walton Beach, Florida pledged its allegiance in February. -- Grace S. Kim


Basic Guideline for setting up a boat for differing wind conditions: LIGHT AIR (0-7 knots of wind): Backstay - none Outhaul eased 1" Vang - loose Cunningham - none, should have wrinkles in luff Mainsheet - Top batten parallel to boom if boatspeed is good, if boat feels slow ease 5" to 10". Also, in chop keep mainsheet eased to enhance twist. Traveller - In combination with top batten keep boom at centerline, or just below centerline, never above. Jib leads - forward of neutral setting Jib halyard - loose, wrinkles just forming along luff

MEDIUM AIR (8-12 knots): Backstay - loose to taught, pulling depth out of main and tensioning headstay Outhaul - to the limiting band Vang - loose Cunningham - on slightly so wrinkles in luff just disappear Mainsheet - Top batten parallel to boom, keep telltale flowing to just stalling Traveller - initiate boom below centerline, always working to get boom down 6" to 12" Jib leads - neutral setting Jib halyard - wrinkles in luff just gone, if too tight will be indicated by narrow groove, and exaggerated depth right near the luff

HEAVY AIR (15 knots and above): Backstay - on fairly hard to tension headstay mostly and flatten the main Outhaul - maximum on Vang - on hard, will be vang sheeting Cunningham - on hard, pulls draft forward to compensate for draft back due to mast bend Mainsheet - on hard, as wind increases and need to depower increases continue to add twist by lessening the amount of mainsheet Traveler - all the way down; vang sheeting; i.e. vang on hard, cleat mainsheet, use traveler to trim main on and off, use to assist steering boat around waves and to maintain a steady heel. Vang sheeting is most effective and fastest way to adjust to rapidly changing boat balance needs. Remember balance is the key here, a constant angle of heel will be fastest. Jib leads - well aft to open leach of the jib, and maximize the openness of the slot between main and jib. Jib halyard - on hard, careful not to over tension still.

Note: All boats are different -- these are general guidelines based on the Melges 24. -- The Coach at


If you didn't find a new mainsail on the Easter egg hunt yesterday, it may be time to take things into you own hands. Get in touch with the pros at Ullman Sails and let them help move your program up to the next level. In addition to mainsails, they'll be happy to discuss headsails, staysails or kites - both symmetrical and asymmetrical. You can get a price quote online right now. It's more affordable than you think:

For the third consecutive year, the Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort will be the title sponsor for the U.S. Virgin Islands International Match Race to be held in Charlotte Amalie Harbor from December 14 to 19, it was announced today. The landmark resort situated at the entrance to the harbor, has lent its name to the regatta since the inception of the event in 1997. The sailing competition is the first and only Grade One international match race to be held in the Caribbean region.

"In just two years the Marriott Frenchman's Reef International Match Race has established itself as one of the premier events in St. Thomas, in the Caribbean, and on the international match racing circuit," said Nick Pourzal, Managing Director of Marriott Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resorts. "We are pleased to be a part of this success since the beginning and will continue to work closely with the organizers to meet the challenge and show the world all that the Virgin Islands offers. Pourzal also announced that the resort will be the accommodations headquarters for the regatta, providing housing for the competitors, umpires, race officials, and international journalists.

Although there are several hundred match races held each year throughout the world, less than 20 are designated as Grade One events by the International Sailing Federation in England, the governing body of the sport. Grade One is the highest accreditation a match race can receive and is based on such criteria as the caliber of the competitors and the amount of prize money.

A highlight of the event during it's first two years was the Youth Regatta in which each of the professional match race skippers sailed with a youth team from neighboring Caribbean islands such as St. John, Puerto Rico and Tortola. In 1997 the trophy went to the team from Puerto Rico and last year an all-girls' team from the St. Thomas Yacht Club was the victor. Plans are underway to feature the Youth Regatta this year as well.

Event website:

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 ISAF President Paul Henderson -- Please pass on my best to Carl Eichenlab. Sailing needs more characters like Carl. Trust the busted shoulder will not effect his bassoon playing.

-- From Art Engel (Regarding the "athlete representation" issue involving the US Sailing Board.) - Congress passed a law (years ago) saying only groups designated as National Governing Bodies may be involved with the USOC and receive Olympic monies; USSA was designated the NGB for the sport of Yachting in the Olympics and receives significant funds. In certain other sports (track?), there have been problems with the NGB being a good ole boys club. Generally, such NGBs only involve elite competitors (and no non-competitors). To fix those problems, Congress a few years back enacted legislation requiring 20% (I think) representation of elite competitors on certain Boards and committees for a group to remain as the NGB (and thus qualified to receive Olympic monies). The USOC may be the instigator of the action, but the implementor was Congress.

US Sailing clearly does not meet its NGB requirements. But, it seems that if the Bylaws impose the 20% requirements then maybe Congress (and the USOC) won't be as concerned (even if the 20% isn't met) and US Sailing can keep receiving Olympic monies.

US Sailing isn't a group of competitors at all (since individuals have no vote on Board membership); it is really a group of various kinds of organizations (since it these organizations that select their representatives on the Board.). Moreover, in recent years US Sailing has been emphasizing the non-competition part of the sport more and more. Rumors have it that USSA will add 12 or so additional Board members (increasing the size of the Board from an unwieldy 40-something to a monstrous 50-something).

Following the successful introduction of this event at the 1998 Dubai ISAF World Sailing Championship, the event will this year be hosted by the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. The dates are the 23 - 30 October 1999. There is an ambitious plan to invite 24 teams to the event, and the yacht club is providing twelve identical J22 keelboats, to be sailed by a crew of four women. Under the new ISAF Grading and Ranking system, the crews will have a total weight of 272 kg giving an average of 68 kg per person. This contrasts with the weight limit of 437.5 kg for the men's Worlds, with an average of 87.5 kg per crew member.

Given the large number of permitted entries, and the desire to give all the sailors as much racing as possible within the format, the plan is to run two courses at once, so each course will have three matches in each flight. The top eight skippers on the ISAF Women's Rankings, on the nominated cut-off date of 24 August 1999, will get automatic places at the event, with the other sixteen places going to skippers nominated by their MNA's, chosen from national qualifying events, or from their position on the rankings.

For further information:

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

* "We know it is going to be harder to defend the cup than win it, and that's our biggest motivation." -- Russell Coutts, Team New Zealand skipper. .

* The 1999 Road to the America's Cup is now history but there are some very important pointers to emerge from this regatta for designers. Undoubtedly there are wide spread views that the 2000 defender series will be sailed in gentle summer breezes. This series puts a dampener on this possibility and designers will have to come up with yachts able to sail competitively in a very wide range of wind conditions. The realities are that if the series had been sailed this past summer, a third of the days would have been abandoned through either not enough breeze or simply just too much. We are only stating facts on this and certainly all designers will be aware of this situation, but our guess is that it is head scratching times for all teams.

* Let's be realistic! The number of challengers will be eleven and that's an odds on bet. Sixteen have paid an entry fee and three can now positively be regarded as definite non-starters. (1) The Russians have disappeared and you can't establish any communication with them whatsoever. (2) The Caribbean challenge organisation has disbanded (merged with Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes syndicate) and (3) The Aberdeen Yacht Club in Hong Kong hide their faces in shame every time the Cup is mentioned. That reduces the total to 13. From this number consider this - The British Challenge is going nowhere and is currently marking time, still waiting (read - hoping) for an elusive sponsor. The syndicate from the Yacht Club de Cannes is non existent although don't discount them meeting their obligations by turning up and sailing one race in their yellow peril (currently on lease to the Swiss.) This would allow them to recoup their performance bond of US$250,000.

So what other gossip? Since our last issue, Australian newspapers have been saying that the Syd Fischer challenge is "dead in the water."and still without a big major backer. We would tend to discount that theory. The British are assured of 50% of their funds from the National Lotteries Board, on a one for one subsidy, but the first and the last dollar from a sponsor still eludes them.

Meanwhile the Swiss are making no secret of the fact that they are strapped for cash. They could not afford to sail in the 1999 Road to the America's Cup regatta. So summing up, rumours abound about the Australians, the British and the Swiss, which all leads us to predict a starting line up of eleven. Even so, the line up is certainly bigger than San Diego. We'll keep you posted!

Wood Thornton, president of Front Runner Boat Works, Ltd., announced the sale of the company to Chesapeake Composites, Inc., owned by Mark Heinrich and Tom Moulds, both of Hollywood, Maryland. Front Runner has been in business since 1995 and produces the Front Runner 19, a high performance, two-person sailing dinghy. Heinrich and Moulds plan to move the company to Maryland in May where they will set up a manufacturing facility. The boat will continue to be marketed under the Front Runner label.

Lots of owners have been ordering the quick drying Camet sailing shorts for their crews to take advantage of the discounts that apply when you buy them for the whole team. What the curmudgeon is now looking for is a boat that is buying them in red, which is the only color I don't have. A pair of red Camet shorts is the only incentive I'd need to make a season-long commitment:

As the windy season begins, you have one last chance to hone your virtual open water skills - Register now for the Around Alone Virtual Race. Registration closes on Thursday April 8.

The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.