Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT #311 - April 15, 1999

The curmudgeon spent yesterday at Pacific Sail Expo in Oakland, CA. This is much more than just a boat show - "this is a real gathering of the eagles." I spent most of yesterday just talking with people I haven't seen for a while. As I result, I plan to go back early today to check out the show. And because this is such a big show, that will surely take a full day.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the America's Cup 2000 organisers (COR/D) have confirmed an agreement to maintain the ongoing relationship between the sport's international body and one of sailing's premier events. The essence of the agreement is that America's Cup 2000 and its associated events are approved by ISAF, will be held in accordance with the Racing Rules of Sailing and comply with ISAF Eligibility Rules.

Additionally, the challengers, in the Louis Vuitton Cup, and the defending team, in the match, will race with ISAF approved Race Officials who will ensure fair play prevails throughout. The syndicates will display full advertising on the boats under an agreement whereby they will make an agreed contribution to ISAF funds, a percentage of which will be paid to the Member National Authorities of the participating syndicates. The balance will assist in funding ISAF development projects, such as race officials training and grass roots sailing.

ISAF has acknowledged that the existing Racing Rules of Sailing, Appendix C - Match Racing Rules, may require amendments and a fast-track system is in operation to make the necessary changes prior to America's Cup 2000. Six events scheduled between 1 December 1998 and 31 March 1999 were authorised by ISAF to permit variations of the rules of Appendix C in the interests of testing and subsequently proposing necessary rule changes, via the Racing Rules Working Party, to ISAF.

For the full story:


If you stop by the Ullman Sails booth at Sail Expo you can work a hell of a deal on a new sail. But in fairness, I have to admit that any of the Ullman lofts can help you improve the performance of your boat at price that I think will surprise you. You can get a quote on line right now. It's more affordable than you think:

The New York Yacht Club's 145th Annual Regatta will be held at Newport, RI, on Friday and Saturday, June 18-19, 1999. The event begins on Friday to accommodate the Annapolis to Newport participants as well as those checking in at Block Island Race Week on Sunday, June 20. The regatta is open to all eligible yachts. Yacht clubs are invited to form teams to compete for the Great Corinthian Trophy.

Racing will be offered for yachts with a LWL of 25' or greater in the following classes: IMS Racing, IMS Cruiser/Racer (including ORC Club), and IMS Non-spinnaker (including ORC Club), New York Yacht Club Cruising Rule (NYYC-members only), and 12 Metre yachts which conform to the NYYC 12 Metre Sailing Format.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are available on the club's web site:

Two sailors have won the Star Worlds as crew and then skipper. Who are they? (The answer to Matt's question is at the end of this issue of 'Butt.)

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.

-- Chris Williams -- With all do respect to TNZ, I built sails for them in '95, they are very organized and obviously talented sailors. However, it seems TNZ is starting to get very political over the NIWA controversy. I would just like to ask, was it, or was it not TNZ that spent so much time saying that the AC was too political in '95, and that if it was in NZ, it would much "cleaner"?

-- From Peter Huston -- I'm not sure which is more amusing - Brad Butterworth saying that an NZL Government agency shouldn't profit from the America's Cup by taking money from a Challenger, or John Roake's inability to see the humor in an April Fools joke. In the scheme of the universe, like any of this is important at all. The America's Cup is a sailboat race, a casual entertainment event for a few people with more time and money than they know what to do with - period. Judging from Brad's and Roake's response, you would think the sale of weather information and a joke is somehow more important than, oh say, the human horror we are seeing in the Balkan region right now.

If TNZ feels threatened because Cayard has to buy weather information in order to design a boat, they themselves probably have far greater internal problems than anyone knows. Ultimately, it is the Challengers who have won yet another round because TNZ has been distracted by a relative non-event. The involvement of Parliment is totally laughable.

One has to wonder if TNZ truly understands the big picture benefits for all of New Zealand as the host of the America's Cup. It is not so much in keeping the Cup at all costs as it is in behaving as a gracious host to the world. Let's hope for the sake of their fellow citizens that the rest of the world doesn't tar the general population with the same narrow thinking brush with which TNZ is painting themselves.

-- From Chip Evaul --As a regatta administrator for Long Beach Yacht Club, my immediate reaction to the USSA suspension of six Southern California sailors was' "Oh, God, how do we enforce this?" That was the question I posed to Tom Farquhar at LBYC's judges symposium last weekend.

He considered that as a race organizing authority, we could request any information from any boat entered in any LBYC event to help us determine the validity of that entry, before or during the regatta. This might include requiring crew lists from boats named in the investigation, or gathering observed information, from a number of sources on the water. It was also my impression (although we didn't address this point directly) that any formal investigation of a violation would go through the normal judging channels (ie. The Protest Route).

Tom also stressed that the Corinthian nature of our sport could be of assistance in this case. In essence, other competitors would probably provide ample "social approbation" in fair portion, if a violation by one of the banned competitors becomes possible or a reality.

Southern California sailboat racing is a tight-knit community. The names of the suspended parties, and the lengths of their suspensions are being promptly advertised to all by the NGB. The fallout from violation of the suspensions would be severe to the parties involved. Personally, I think there will be little problem administering the will of USSA in this matter.

Let's hope this unfortunate turn of events is an abrogation, and not a trend.

-- From Glenn T. McCarthy -Mike Nash described the potential breakdown in the quality of people attending regattas at locations offsite from traditional Yacht Club venues. I would suggest that the RRS apply the same way they do at a Yacht Club. Any unsportsmanlike conduct should be reported to the Protest Committee and leave it to them to judge; A. Whether a hearing is necessary and B. Once in a hearing, if the conduct was unsporting. The same rules apply to all sailors across the board regardless where they are sailing.

-- From Chris Ericksen -- Mike Nash's opinion that moving from yacht clubs to hotels leads to diminishing behavior among the competitors is just plain wrong. Thankfully, what we saw at the Coast Cadillac/North Sails Race Week last year was an aberration in our sport: we don't need to be concerned about yachting hooliganism in the same way soccer fans in Europe behave. But the impetus is the same: mix too great an interest in winning with beer, youthful exuberance and testosterone and you have the potential for ugly incidents anywhere.

-- From Stan Gibbs -- Note to Lew Berry: get some of those padded shorts! Having sailed that Etchells for ten years now here is my submission for it's new name. "OK for de pain"

-- From Vince Cooke (regarding John Roake's comments about CHILDISH WRITING FROM IRRESPONSIBLE ADULTS) -- But really, is it only Americans, or might it be said of all inhabitants of the former colonies? This American living in New Zealand noted a news story on New Zealand TV on April Fool's Day commenting that the International Date Line Committee convening in Greenwich had decided to accede to a request from Australia that the International Date Line be moved westward so that Australia instead of New Zealand would be the first country to welcome the new millenium. It was said to be rationalized on the basis that Australia had a larger population and therefore deserved to be the first. So thickly was it laid on that a reporter was shown interviewing a purported politician just returning from the Greenwich conference who of course had "no comment." Bottom line is that he who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.

Santa Cruz Yachts has their first order for the Santa Cruz 63. See the plans on board the Santa Cruz 52 'Ariel' at the Pacific Sail Expo this week in Oakland or check out the Santa Cruz Yachts website:

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

* The number of super yachts (or Gin palaces as some writers call them) that will visit New Zealand is providing as much interest as the Cup challengers. The major beneficiary will be the New Zealand government and our 12.5 per cent Goods and Services tax. Nevertheless, New Zealand providors and boat yards can expect a major increase in turnover as a result. Some commentators are estimating that the yachts will spend not less than NZ$300million during their stay. The latest count is 88 super yachts with 63 at the time of writing having paid their deposits. (It will be the largest number of these craft ever assembled in the southern hemisphere). Should however, the boats stay over in New Zealand until the Sydney Olympics, then the value of their stay multiplies by a factor of three. Organisers are bound to be promoting this avenue.

Work has started at the western edge of Hobson Wharf and this marina will cater for not only charter boats but additional large recreational boats. Sited alongside the Maritime Museum, the first stage is due to be completed in July and will be ready in time for the Cup challenger series.

* A rusty old barge, ex the French navy in Tahiti, is under tow to New Zealand where it is to be refurbished before becoming the American Express Yacht Club and moored beside the Viaduct Harbour island, Te Wero. Little money was involved in the purchase, the big expense being the tow to New Zealand, at a cost reported to be around NZ$400,000.

Once it arrives in New Zealand and receives its facelift, it will have a two-story building constructed on it and will be home to American Express cardholders who want to view the scene in the Harbour in comfort. Partners in the barge, New Zealand's Corporate Host are saying that they will have the capacity to entertain up 1000 persons at any one time.

Knut Frostad, Skipper of Norway's entry, Innovation Kvaerner, in the 1997 - 98 Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy, will make a special appearance at Fawcett Boat Supplies, 110 Compromise Street in Annapolis, at 8 pm, April 20, 1999, to sign copies of his book "WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE - RESPONSIBLE FOR THE IRRESPONSIBLE".

For further information:

The fast growing offshore one design class the One Design 35 class will have a busy 1999 Lake Michigan season. 12 boats are expected to contest the One Design 35 Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation (LMSRF) Boat of the Year Series. This series will include 4 events. The first event will be the NOOD regatta in Chicago June 11-13. Second will be the series offshore event the Chicago to Mackinac race starting July 10. Next up will be the classes Great Lakes Championship which will be held in conjunction with the Harbor Springs regatta July 23-25. The final race of this series will be the Verve Cup August 13-15 in Chicago.

The 1999 One Design 35 National Championship regatta will be sailed on Lake Michigan. Holland's Macatawa Bay Yacht Club will host the event. A fleet of 25 One Design 35's are expected. This will double the 12-boat fleet that sailed the inaugural National's in Annapolis MD. The defending champion is Kip Meadow's Roxanne. -- Courtesy of the Torresen Sailing Site

For the full story:

The 3rd Annual Leukemia Ton Cup will take place on Friday, April 30th at the San Diego Yacht Club. Entrants in the SDYC Yachting Cup are invited to teamed up to make a difference in the lives of families affected by Leukemia. Each boat will be participating and fundraising in honor of a local patient living with Leukemia or in memory of someone who has lost the battle against it.

This year's race will be held in memory of Carl Saunders, a local high school sailing captain, who lost his battle with Leukemia last September. This San Diego bay race runs in concert with the VIC San Diego Yachting Cup, but is scored separately. Also a separate entry is required. Shoreside, following Friday afternoon's race, there will be a major post-race Leukemia Ton Cup trophy presentation and party featuring food, drink and dancing to the band CoCo Loco!

The 1999 Silent Auction, later that evening, will include all kinds of big prizes including a Moorings Yacht Charter, a condo for a week in Maui; as well as, sailing gear, boat hardware and much more. - John Gladstone

Event website:

Late yesterday, Van Liew's camp announced that he'd secured the funding to purchase a new aluminum spar from the South American division of Hall Spars, the Bristol, Rhode Island-based mast maker. "I feel incredibly awesome," Van Liew was quoted as saying. "It feels like the world has picked me up by the scruff of the neck and said, 'You will not stop here!'" Indeed, Van Liew has had incredible support. Balance Bar Company has pledged to match every dollar he raises. The Conrad Resort and Casino in Punta del Este made a significant contribution. So too did the generous members of the Yacht Club Punta del Este. Marc Thiercelin has donated the mainsail he used on the replacement mast that brought him to Punta from the Falkland Islands. Fellow Class II skippers J.P. Mouligne and Mike Garside have loaned headsails. The list goes on and on and on...

Race Director Mark Schrader has been in on the amazing effort. "The guys at Hall said they can build the mast in 30 hours and they're already well into it." he said. "Brad's team has ordered a crane to come at noon tomorrow. That's a big deal here, there's only one! The feeling is the mast will be rigged and ready. Hall Spars plans to put the mast on a ferry that will bring it down the River Plata to Uruguay. Once it's stepped, Brad plans on doing a test run and if all goes well he could be underway again as early as Saturday."

With the Punta waterfront in a mild frenzy, the action continued to unfold on the race course. At 0940 GMT today, in Class I Giovanni Soldini held a 62 mile lead over Thiercelin. In Class II, Garside's advantage over Mouligne had slipped to eight miles. But the frontrunners should be concerned, because each of their antagonists are rolling up from astern on the wings of a new southerly that has not yet reached the leaders. At the early report Thiercelin was making an average speed of 8.4 knots, while Soldini was doing just 4.9 knots. Likewise, Mouligne was cruising at 6.9 knots while Garside was only managing 3.9 knots. -- Herb Mc Cormick

Standings (with distance to finish in parenthesis) Class I Soldini (4816) 2. Thiercelin (4878) Class II: 1. Garside (4860) 2. Mouligne (4868) 3.Yazykov (5016) .

Event website:

The two sailor who have won the Star Worlds as both a skipper and a crew are Malin Burnham (1944 crew & 1945 skipper) and Lowell North (1945 crew & 1957 skipper.)

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.