SCUTTLEBUTT #321 - May 12, 1999
Following further consideration by the IR2000 Steering Group and
submissions from owners, the RORC and UNCL have announced the first two IRM
level rating classes. The RORC and UNCL are still actively considering
other level rating classes, particularly at around 12m (40').
Detailed class rules for the first two classes have not yet been
formulated, but it is anticipated that these will be very concise. Read the
substance of the class rules for the IRM level rating on the official
For more details: http://rorc.org/rating
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
It was one of the most well-known sailors of this century who climbed
onboard the Danish V.O. 60, poured champagne over the stem and named the
boat 'Nokia'. The great Dane Paul Elvstrom won an Olympic gold medal on
four occasions and has also been a World Champion 13 times.
"I look forward to seeing your boathandling, " Elvstrom said to the crew,
adding some timely advice, "it is not enough to copy the other boats, you
have to do better".
The day before the naming ceremony, Paul Elvstrom himself took the wheel of
Nokia on a training sail, where he experienced the feel of big boat racing,
while the crew trimmed under his command.
"In Denmark we have the will, the ability and the talent to go and race
round the world," he said. "We just have to look for team sailors. And
remember: dinghy-racing is always the best training for new talents."
The 'Nokia' project is the largest in Danish yacht-race history. With a
substantial investment from NOKIA, the team has been able to buy the former
"Swedish Match", which finished third in the last (Whitbread) Round the
World Race. For the next three years, the boat will be the training
vessel for the Danish team in preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001.
Behind the project are four experienced Danish yachtsmen: Lars Coling,
Morten Veje, Morten Lorenzen and Christian Jensen. They are all familiar
with big boat racing and for the last three years, they have been running a
65' Danish racing boat (also called 'Nokia'), in which they have won races
such as the Round Gotland, and the Around Anholt.
"The V.O.60 is a completely different sailing machine than the old 'Nokia'
says joint skipper, Lars Coling. "First of all, we have to find the right
balance between our current skills and the V.O.60 abilities. During the
racing season we will test a number of new sailors in order to optimize our
team. The very sophisticated water ballast system and the rig take
intensive practice to master, but we have plenty of good opportunities to
test our strength against other V.O.60s from Germany, Sweden, Norway,
Holland and Belgium in races such as the Round Gotland" he added.
To optimise training, the four joint skippers have purchased the former
"Heineken" V.O. 60. Her rig is almost identical to that of 'Nokia', which
makes two-boat sail-testing possible, however this second V.O. 60 is still
looking for a sponsor.
Nokia Sailing Team homepage: http://www2.nokia.dk/sailingteam
Ed Baird, skipper of the New York Yacht Club/Young America Challenge for
America's Cup 2000, will speak to Seattle sailing enthusiasts and business
leaders at a series of talks May 12-14 in Seattle. The speaking tour also
includes a visit to a Seattle classroom that is using the Young America
National Education Program. The America's Cup team's visit is hosted by
Redmond, WA-based Helly Hansen, the designers and manufacturers of
performance outdoor apparel and official clothier and sponsor of the
NYYC/Young America Challenge.
NYYC/Young America Challenge President John Marshall joins Baird in
addressing several hundred local supporters. The three-day tour includes
briefings with local supporters at the Seattle Yacht Club and the Seattle
Art Museum. Baird will also visit students at the Juanita Elementary
School. Fifth graders at the school are among the 4,700 schools in the U.S.
that have participated in the Young America National Education Program. --
Jane Eagleson, Young America
NYYC/Young America Challenge website: http://www.youngamerica.org
KING OF THE HILL
When Don Hughes' R/P 70 Taxi Dancer won the recent Yachting Cup Regatta at
San Diego YC, that was its second consecutive Sled championship buoy
regatta victory. Do we see a trend developing here? If so, what's
contributing to this dominance? It could be that Taxi Dancer is the only
West Coast Sled sporting a full inventory of Ullman Sails. Don't rule it
out -- boats with Ullman Sails also won the competitive Schock 35 and J/120
classes at the same regatta. Bill Lee was right -- fast is fun. But winning
is even more fun:
The combined Finn and 470 Nationals were hosted by the Seabrook sailing
club, in Seabrook Texas, last weekend. Winds ranged from five to fifteen
knots over the weekend. The 470 class used this event as a Pre-Olympic
qualifier. The Pre-Olympic regatta will be held in Sydney this September.
Qualifying for the event were Paul Foerster and Bob Merrick for the men and
Tracy Hayley and Louise Van Vorhis for the women.
Finn (25 boats): 1) RUSS SILVESTRI 21, 2) ERIC OETGEN 31, 3) MICHAEL
DEYETT 39, 4) MARK HERRMANN40, 5) DARRELL PECK 41, 6) MIKE MILER44, 7)
JOHN CALLAHAN52, 8) GEOFF EWENSON67, 9) MARK LAMMERS 73, 10) BRIAN HUNTSMAN
470 (32 boats), 1) PAUL FOERESTER BOB MERRICK 13, 2) EIICHIRO HAMAZAKI YUJI
MIYAI 33, 3) GRAEME WOODWORTH ANDREW GAYNOR 34, 4) MORGAN REESER KEVIN
BURNHAM 35, 5) STEVEN HUNT | MICHAEL MILLER 44, 6) ANDY GOODING SEAN NUNES
50, 7) PETER KATCHA JIM ELVERT 50, 8) TRACEY HAYLEY LOUIS VANVOORHIS 53,
9) WHITNEY CONNER ELIZABETH KRATZIG 57, 10) COURTENAY DEY ALICE MANARD 58.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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 Grace Kim, America True -- We appreciate your printing our New
America's Cup Boat press release, however, we feel that you withheld an
important fact from your Scuttlebutt readers. America True's boat
dedication ceremony is not just any other event. It is going to celebrate
the completion of the first America's Cup boat of all the American
challengers. We are the first American challenger to complete the boat
building process, and we're going to be the first of all Challengers to
sail a new boat in New Zealand. As a result, we will have more time to
optimize our boat in the waters of New Zealand than any of the other 14
challengers. It's important to bring up this point because it proves that
America True is a team that is ahead of the rest of the challengers and is
leveraging all our advantages to bring the Cup back to America.
-- From international yachting journalist Bob Fisher -- The time has come
to cry 'Halt' to the way in which the America's Cup is run. Unless there
is change, it will wither and die because those who have to deliver the
cash to allow it to continue will cease to find it sufficiently stimulating.
Rules drawn up over a century ago do not reflect sports management today.
When George Schuyler returned the Cup to the New York YC on October 24th
1887 with the third Deed of Gift, he left considerable ability for the
defender to ensure that it had a better than average chance of success. One
only has to look at the way the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron set out
its stall, with the NYYC as the hip pocket challenger, to see that the
defender would have the same better than average chance of success in 2000.
The general public doesn't understand the anachronism within the Deed of
Gift, and if it doesn't understand it, it will turn off its television and
turn the page of its newspapers. Ratings will plummet and the air time and
column lengths will become less and less. The sponsors will run away.
Level the playing field and have the event run independently from the
players. That way the America's Cup will become healthy, the general
public will even strive to comprehend it, and the ratings will climb. There
will be a regular door knocking by sponsors (I may dream a little here),
and the event will justifiably become the pinnacle of our sport.
-- From Jim Puckett -- An America's Cup race sailed in one-design boats
makes about as much sense as making NASCAR drivers all race the exact same
car. The entire concept of the race that started the America's Cup was a
competition to see which nation could build the fastest sailing yacht. This
is still a key aspect to the race and a large part of what makes it
exciting- to see what new ideas the designers will come up with.
There are several changes, some minor, some major, that could be made to
the current rules that would probably reduce the cost: 1. Ban or limit
carbon and other exotics, particularly for masts. 2. Ban changes to yachts
after competition has begun. 3. Ban Asymmetrical Spinnakers. 4. Add some
kind of limit to stability. Right now once a designer chooses a
displacement based on waterline length and sail area, he is required to
make everything else on the boat ultra-lightweight so the the weight saved
can go to the keel bulb and increase stability. 5. Scale the rule to make
the boats smaller. Scale the rule to make the average yacht 50 or 60 feet
instead of 75, and you will still have fast boats but for maybe 80% of the
cost of the current design. 6. Who says that the America's Cup has to be a
match race?. Fleet racing makes for more exciting racing all around, as
strategy, tactics, and maneuvers at starts and marks roundings all become
-- From James Nichols -- If the America's Cup was sailed in one designs,
what would make it different from the World's Championship in whatever
class was selected?
(The following are excerpts from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from
John@roake.gen.nz -- US $48 per year.)
* "In San Diego whoever crossed in front for the first time won about
ninety percent of their races, and whoever led round the first mark won
about ninety-five percent. In Auckland the winds are quite shifty, and the
starts are very important. You need to get the side you want to, just have
an even chance." -- John Cutler, ex New Zealander, helmsman and sailing
director of America True.
* What is the world coming to? There is a likelihood that Dennis Conner
may seek New Zealand residency if his plan to organise an Auckland-based
campaign for the next round-the-world yacht race come to fruition. With
Earle Williams as skipper and Murray Ross as navigator, the Conner
syndicate will sail under the New Zealand flag. According to Dennis' New
Zealand director, Douglas Reid, "Dennis considers New Zealand is his home
away from home, and is keen to have a New Zealand boat." Defence 2000
understands that financial backing for the project is not yet in place. The
final comment on this story comes from Williams. "The more you get to know
Dennis Conner, the more you realise he is a good fair man. Dennis is fun to
* After several months of review and discussion, Patagonia has decided to
end the production of its technical sailing gear as of the Spring, 2000
season. The cost of development and production of this line of technical
gear prohibits us from offering the gear at a competitive price point to
our customers. The resources required to promote the gear to the sailing
community well outweigh the resultant return. Therefore, we've decided to
transition away from our role as a source for foul weather gear, and focus
our attention on the sailing community's need for technical insulation and
sportswear. With this decision, Patagonia will be able to support the
marine market with head to toe layering systems and a brand the sailing
community understands and respects. -- Craig Wilson, Patagonia
* Autoprop USA Inc. has just received confirmation that Brunton's
Propellers Ltd., has won the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement
for its AUTOPROP automatic variable pitch (AVP) propeller. The Queen's
award is given annually to the manufacturer of a product, in Great Britain
that demonstrates "Technological innovation", "Engineering superiority" and
"Performance superiority" to other comparable products. The propeller's
uniquely shaped, patented blades swivel unhindered through 360 degrees, and
automatically adopt optimum pitch settings for all conditions without
external controls or the need for manual adjustments.
ONLINE BOAT SHOW
You don't have to run all over town to check out the hot performance boats
-- Small Craft Advisories has it all on their website, so you can do your
comparison shopping online. This is also the place for those 'hard to find'
parts, cordage or accessories. Small Craft Advisories specialize in sport
boats, the MX-Ray, Lasers, Naples Sabots, Hobies, NACRAs and Prindles, and
the entire WD Schock line. You can order on line (http://www.justsail.com/)
or give them a call at their toll-free number: (800) 354-7245.
IMS 40 ASSOCIATION WEST
Encouraged by the success of the East Coast IMS 40 Association, Seth Radow
is organizing a mirror organization in Southern California. The foundation
for this new fleet will be the Cookson-built Farr 40, High Five, a pair of
CM 1200's (Eclipse and Tobascco) and his own Sydney 41 Glama. Radow is
presently contacting appropriate SoCal owners who are interested in racing
major regattas under the rule to which their boats were designed. Radow can
be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eight long months ago, Rhode Island-based Frenchman J.P. Mouligne set out
from this historic southern seaport with a singleminded goal: To win Class
II of the Around Alone solo race around the world. Mouligne, fresh from a
victory in the Atlantic Alone feeder race from England to Charleston, knew
he had a difficult journey ahead. Indeed, despite his lack of racing
experience, Mike Garside proved to be a most worthy opponent. Garside held
the lead for varying periods in each leg of the race, and got stronger with
each passage he put behind him. He punctuated his efforts yesterday with a
Leg 4 win in Class II. And Brad Van Liew, an unknown entity heading into
the event, also presented major challenges to Mouligne's hopes. But
Mouligne has stayed the course, and today he was just hours from realizing
his wonderful dream.
At 0944 GMT (5:44 a.m. local time) this morning, Mouligne was 133 miles
from the finish line outside the jetties to Charleston Harbor, and making a
shade better than eight knots. Race officials believe Mouligne may finish
sometime this evening between 9 p.m. and midnight local time. Of course,
should the wind fail to cooperate, Mouligne's arrival may be delayed until
Thursday morning. Either way, Mouligne has one more day at sea to reflect
on his achievements, and to ponder the future. Ironically, for many of the
Around Alone skippers, finishing the race is much more difficult than
starting it. - Herb McCormick
Event website: http://www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
It's a small world, so you gotta use your elbows a lot.