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SCUTTLEBUTT #306 - April 8, 1999

Lake Arrowhead locals describe the recent snowstorm as the second biggest one of the winter. Perhaps they've forgotten it's not winter anymore. Regardless, as we ventured out yesterday in Mike Campbell's four-wheel drive Jeep, it was obvious the timing was wrong to try to get down the hill in my 'Vette. But things are looking better today and we'll make another attempt around noon. All in all, this has been a very pleasant extended visit to what is surely one of the most beautiful spots on earth. And thank God Mike's washing machine is working - I ran out of clean underwear long ago.

The Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has announced the members of the 1999 US Sailing Team in the 49er and Laser classes. They join members of the Team named earlier this year from the Europe, Finn, 470 and Tornado classes. The Soling and Star classes will name their members to the Team later this month.

Created to recruit and develop athletes for upcoming Olympiads, the US Sailing Team annually distinguishes the top-five ranked sailors in each of the nine Olympic classes. Membership on the US Sailing Team identifies sailors who are strong contenders for an Olympic berth and provides them with coaching, training opportunities, and financial assistance in addition to national recognition. US Sailing Team rankings are based on attendance and performance at qualifying regattas, with each class having its own ranking system.

The following members of the 1999 US Sailing Team are listed in ranking order one through five. Named by the 49er class (skipper and crew): 1997 49er World Silver Medalists Jonathan McKee and brother Charlie McKee (both Seattle, Wash.); 1999 49er World Bronze Medalists Morgan Larson and Kevin Hall (Capitola/Ventura, Calif.); Andy Mack and Adam Lowry (Mercer Island, Wash./San Francisco, Calif.); 1998 49er National Champions Jay Renehan and Chris Lanzinger (Seattle/Medina, Wash.); and Kris Henderson and Alan Johnson (both Seattle, Wash.).

Named by the Laser class: 1999 Pan American Games Representative Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.); ICYRA All-American Brett Davis (Largo, Fla.); ICYRA All-American John Myrdal (Kailua, Hawaii); 1998 Laser National Champion John Torgerson (Annapolis, Md.); and 1998 College Sailor of the Year Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.).

The US Sailing Team is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Sperry Top-Sider. Douglas Gill and Team McLube are suppliers. The Olympic Regatta is scheduled for September 16-October 1, 2000, in Sydney, Australia. -- Jan Harley, Media Pro

US Sailing website:

Donna Shalala, the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, and a small contingent of other top American officials will set sail in Auckland, New Zealand with the crew of America True, The San Francisco Yacht Club challenge for America's Cup 2000, on Friday, April 9, 1999 (Thursday, April 8 in the U.S.). Shalala is in New Zealand this week on an official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Jenny Shipley. Joining her during her call on the America True crew will be U.S. Ambassador Josiah Beeman; second secretary John Whalen; Melissa Skolfield, U.S. secretary for internal affairs; David Hohman, Health & Human Resources' director of international affairs; John Wood, New Zealand foreign affairs; and visit coordinator Marg Bryant.

America True webpage:

When you win, you want everyone to know about it and nothing tells the story better than sharp looking crew apparel from Pacific Yacht Embroidery. For a winning program, the look of your crew gear is as important as the cut of your sails. Pacific Yacht Embroidery will take the time to make that special effort to set your crew out from the crowd. Get in touch with Frank Whitton to learn how affordable his high quality crew apparel can be. Even if you lose you will feel better because you look so good. / 619-226-8033

The Long Beach Sailing Foundation presents an opportunity to learn winning tactics from a professional match racer, acquire tips on crew work that will advance your skills in any kind of racing, and sail one of eleven identical thoroughbred racing yachts with top competition from sailors at your level of racing. With on the water judges you will get first hand knowledge of the Yacht Racing Rules. The Match Race Clinic will be held at the Long Beach Yacht Club on Saturday and Sunday, May 15-16. Chartering is $275/day.

For more information, contact Chip Evaul: (562) 493-5173 /

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.

--> Mark Yeager -- Just think of the snow as stiff water. Then the whole concept of skiing makes sense.

-- From Mort Weintraub -- After all the P-ing and moaning, it was very pleasant to read the piece on J-24 racing. It helps to be reminded what's really important about sailboat racing.

-- From Dan Phelps, Viper 640 Class Association (regarding Geoff Moore's article) --Great read! The J-24 class spirit and camaraderie is definitely THE one-design that sets the standard for the rest of us, and to which we all aspire.

-- From Jeff Borland -- Boy does Geoff Moore hit the nail on the head about what makes the J/24 class so much fun. It's Wednesday, and I sit here in front of my computer with many aches left over from last weekend's J/24 Easter Regatta (held by the Columbia Sailing Club in Columbia, SC). Those aches are easily tempered with the thought that we did our best, and that the sailing season is here once again. That first event of the season really reminds you that winter was longer than you thought, but the sights and sounds of 50 J/24s racing really gets the blood flowing. And then there is the nightly camaraderie, comparing bruises, telling tall tales, and sailing karate (those motions we all make trying to describe how we got fouled at the leeward mark).

The J/24 is ridiculed by lots of people, but we consistently get more boats on the line than any other class around. And sailing with and against folks like Terry Hutchinson, Chris Larson, Geoff Moore, Ken Read, and so on, really keeps you learning and striving for that extra little bit of speed or cunning. Those of you who haven't experienced the thrill of big fleets and close racing ought get out and try racing a J/24; it really hones your skills and reminds you why we do this to ourselves!

-- From Max Rosenberg -- Great J24 piece by Mr. Moore. The article ends with a bias towards the J24 and I think a lot of us can relate-that the racing is not the only reason we sail!

-- From Chuck Simmons -- I agree with Peter Huston in regards to number of board seats, However I object to his belief of all the money the Olympic team receives. Recently a couple of 49er sailors stayed at our house for the OCR and PCC regatta's out of Alamitos Bay. Since they are on the US sailing team I assumed they received money from USSA probably not much, but a little would keep them in Top Ramen for months. In reality they are not even sure if they have health insurance, the top team's do not know if their boats will have shipping to Europe, let alone airfares and living expenses. Thank God they at least have coaches who have helped all the sailors.

I guess my point is- what is really happening? Are the sailors really receiving money? Travel expenses, shipping, health insurance ...Is it easier to get welfare than a grant from US Sailing? US Sailing should at least take responsible affirmative actions for the Olympic sailors before they tackle the PHRF. I'd like to hear a glowing report from Morgan (Larson) or the McKee's or other's of how much US Sailing is helping them. What these sailors are lacking? What is good? Because they are the pinnacle of our sport in our country and all the US Sailing members (even PHRFer's) would want them all to be wearing Gold in Sydney.

-- From US Sailing VP Janet Baxter -- ALL of the USOC money goes to the Olympic program. The rest of US SAILING gets some benefit from special discounts, etc, but no direct money. The Olympic and Amateur Sports Act was created to clarify who really owned each Olympic Sport. The concept of a National Governing Body was born. Last year the Act was changed and renamed, to appease a group of athletes (not sailors) who felt under-represented in their NGBs. It also added some stuff about the para-Olympics.

US SAILING used to be able to fit into a category for multi-purpose organization, but that has gone away. We used to meet the USOC requirement by simply having 20% of the Olympic Sailing Committee be "athletes" - basically Olympic and Pan Am sailors. The bottom line is that to maintain our status as NGB, we must comply with the rules.

I don't know that we will increase the board, or by how much. We will count the people we have in place and see how many we need where. Hal Haenel is working on this and we will have some definite procedures for selecting the "athletes, " the same as there are procedures for the other reps

Peter Huston suggests that we have representation based on percentage of racing sailors. How 'bout non-racers? How about members rather than racers?. I've done a lot of work changing organizations, and I've never seen it done easily. Just agreeing on what it should be would be a big step.

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

* A press release from the New York Yacht Club confirms that they now have all their funding in place for the construction of their two new Bruce Farr designed boats and that they remain on track for summer delivery.

* There's no doubt the America's Cup generates personalities and New Zealand proudly considers having a few of our own. But it seems they haven't heard about them in the USA. I recently heard how America's Cup celebrities are measured in New York. When Dennis Conner rides the subway of New York and walks about Grand Central Station, everybody turns. Quite some time ago, a well-known New Zealand sailor was invited to speak in New York. He responded favourably, commanding a reasonable fee to speak. The organisers granted the fee on one condition; he had to pass the Grand Central test. The test required him to walk about Grand Central Station for 20 minutes. If he were recognised, his fee would be paid. I don't imagine he even made the trip to the subway. Perhaps this America's Cup will promote some Kiwis to Grand Central status? - John Roake

We did not go sailing today because we were preparing for a four-day offshore testing session starting on Thursday. We have the two illbruck Volvo 60s packed with sails, spare equipment, food and clothing. We have the boats in racing trim to simulate racing conditions and to establish the proper loads and forces on the V60's.

The past week has been incredably productive. We have been sailing every day with the two boats, side-by-side testing various sails, trims, loads, and equipment. It is great having identical boats for the testing!

The conditions here in Sanxenxo, Spain have been awesome. We have had primarily strong winds and big waves for our testing. Sanxenxo is located on the Atlantic coast of Spain and we have only a five-mile sail to get to the open ocean. The open ocean is the ideal place to test the boats and equipment, because it is similar to conditions that we will experience in 90% of the next Volvo Ocean race.

Our team is excited about going offshore again... We look forward to learning more about our boats, fine tuning our systems and of course eating freezed dried food again! -- John Kostecki illbruck Round the World Challenge

The 72' IMS racing boat Nicorette/RX Sight is for sale. Built in 1989 for the Whitbread, by MAG France. Designed by G R Dumas. Original name: Charles Jourdan. Since June 1998 the boat is in USA for a year-long racing campaign. And before the US program the boat got a face lift with a new sail plan and a rig configuration.

For information:

This Saturday will see the 4th and final leg of Around Alone start. The 9-boat fleet will start in Punta Del Este Uruguay and return to where Around Alone started in September of 1998, Charleston SC a distance of 5751 miles.

Two Class I boats remain. Leading both this class and the race is Giovanni Soldini on Fila. Fila begins the leg with a 12 day lead over the other Class I boat, Somewhere. Barring a failure that results in a DNF for Fila, the winner is decided. However, Somewhere has been refitted with a new carbon fibre spar and should be ready to sail on top form. Indeed Somewhere holds the record for greatest 24 hour run and has the potential to win Leg 4.

The Class I record for this Leg was set in 1995 by Christophe Augin. His record time was: 24 days 20 hours 17 minutes and 29 seconds for an average speed of 9.65 knots. This record should fall. Giovanni Soldini also has a shot to break the Around Alone overall record. This record is 120 days 22 hours. If Fila matches the Leg 4 record her overall time would be 113 days. So, essentially Fila has a week lead on breaking the record.

Class II is led by Cray Valley sailed by J.P. Moulgine. His lead over 2nd place Magellan Alpha is 7 days. However, very closely bunched with Magellan is Balance Bar. Only 9 hours separates these two boats. If Balance Bar can finally edge Magellan it could mean a step up on the overall race podium. Cray Valley also is on pace to set a record for Class II.

As Leg 4 starts Cray Valley is about 1 days ahead of David Adams record pace from 1995. Also in play is Adams Leg 4 record for Class II of 29 days 55 minutes 30 seconds. Cray Valley will need to sail very close to this record pace to set the Class II race record. Whether or not Cray Valley chooses to chase this record or simply protect her considerable Class II lead will be interesting.

In 4th place in Class II is Viktor Yazykov's Wind of Change the fleets first 40 footer. This is Wind of Change's last chance at a podium finish. Neal Petersen will be sailing his 40 foot His lead over Shuten Dojhi II is 6 days. Shuten Dojhi II sailed by Minoru Saito will attempt to finish Around Alone for the third time. Although not in the mix for a podium spot, the Saito/ Shuten combination is one the most reliable in Around Alone's history. Paladin 2 will be looking to finish Leg 4, and as on Leg 1 and 2 beat at least one boat. Leg 4 will not truly conclude until the awards ceremony planned for 29 May in Charleston.

All 9 boats and skippers will leave Punta hoping to make this celebration. Paladin's Neil Hunter put Leg 4 in the following perspective: "The next one's the hardest cause it's the only one left. We'll look forward to finishing in Charleston and really celebrating." -- Courtesy of the Torresen Sailing Site,

Around Alone website:

Political science