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SCUTTLEBUTT #323 - May 14, 1999

Sir Peter Blake's Team New Zealand, who are to defend the America's Cup, are the first to try a wing-section mast on an America's Cup-class boat. The towering carbon fibre spar has a five-spreader configuration with an unusual topmast arrangement and is part of package of significant new developments TNZ are said to have made with deck gear and sail handling. It is understood that a second mast is already in progress which makes another technological jump. This mast will rotate so that the crew can trim its angle of attack.

Italy's Prada challenge, who share the same Southern Spars mastmaker in Auckland, are known to have wind tunnel-tested a wing mast. - Electronic Telegraph

For the full story:

Team New York Yacht Club went undefeated through the entire championship round of this Golden Jubilee celebration to capture what is arguably the most sought after trophy in team racing. The victory represented only the second time in the storied history of the Wilson Trophy that a US team has been able to wrestle the title away from the British.

New York YC was represented by club members Karl Ziegler (Helm), Kara Forman (Crew) and Mike Zani (Helm). The six-person team was rounded out with formidable team racing talent in Morgan Larson (Helm), Becky Bendick (Crew) and Mike Huang (Crew).

The traditional host, West Kirby Sailing Club, waived the 32-team limit and in the spirit of the golden anniversary, invited 50 teams representing 6 different countries. In order to handle the additional teams, 12 extra fireflies were brought in to compliment West Kirby SC's fleet of 24, which allowed 6 races to be sailed simultaniously on two circles. Over the course of the three day event, race control completed an impressive 415 races. New York finished with a combined record of 20 wins versus 2 loses. The only teams to take a race off of the eventual champions were Pablo Picasso, the reigning ISAF World Champions, and an unheard of local team called South Staffs which proved to be just the wake-up call Team New York YC needed. Coming from the fourth seed, New York dominated the championship round going 2-nil in the Qurterfinals against fifth seeded Rickmansworth, and 2-nil in a fantastic Semifinals versus the 1995 ISAF World Champions and top seeded team, Spinnaker Sailing Club. In a building 25 knot breeze, New York capped the regatta with a dismantling of the third seeded Wessex Exiles 2-nil to take the Championship and earn a spot on the coveted trophy.

According to team captain Mike Zani, "our success could easily be attributed to extremely solid starting, which in the past had always been our achilles heal." With consultation from Morgan Larson, a team member of the America One match racing syndicate, Team New York YC employed a much more aggressive match racing style before the starts. This pre-race tactic "seemed to consistently take the Brits out of their rhythm" quoted Karl Ziegler, "giving New York the upper hand from the gun."

For results and more information on the Wilson Trophy:
New York Yacht Club Team Racing log:

You may not want to race around the planet, but there is no reason not to benefit from the lessons learned on these adventures. Douglas Gill tested its new breathable foul weather gear in the Southern Ocean aboard Chessie Racing, and now you can get the benefits of that R & D. As a result, the protection has improved, the dry seals have improved, and the gear is more comfortable. Check it out:

Grosse Pointe, MI, May 7- May 9, 1999 - Final Results: 1. Univ of San Diego HS (CA) 71+ 81= 152, 2. Coronado HS (CA) 88+ 78=166, 3. Newport Harbor HS (CA) 107+ 63 =170, 4. San Marcos HS (CA) 137+92 = 229, 5. Tabor Academy (MA) 142 + 102 = 244, 6. Moses Brown (RI) 152 + 98= 250, 7. Lakewood HS (FL) 167 + 94 = 261, 8. Williams School (CT) 128 + 157 = 285, 9. St Petersburg HS (FL) 146 + 153 = 299, 10. Brunswick School (CT) 116 + 183 = 299

The Australian yacht Sayernara is expected to take line honhours in the OSAKA CUP Melbourne/Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race 1999 at the weekend or early next week.Sailed by designer Jon Sayers (42)from Queensland and owner Rob Drury (53) from Sydney, Sayernara early today was 705 nautical miles from Osaka.

The race fleet of 20 yachts started in Melbourne on April 17 heading for Osaka over 5,500 nautical miles away. So far, seven boats have retired and 13 boats are making their way to the finishing line in the Port of Osaka.

At last report, Sayernara was more than 300 miles ahead of the Melbourne cruising yacht Yoko, followed by two Japanese entries, Luna Prominence and Lucky Lady V. Last boat in the fleet is David Hannah from Adelaide, which has more than 3000 nm still to sail after sheltering in Eden on the NSW South Coast soon after the start. -- Peter Campbell and Masumi Yamaoka

Event website:

The curmudgeon reads all of your 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 Jay Sinclair -- I agree with Bob Fisher, it is time for an independent entity to run AC. There are just too many problems associated with the winner running the next race. Yes these rules have been around for eons, but the overall image of both the race and the sport have to be considered and I do not think that the host country can be unbiased.

As far as Jim Puckett's comments I agree with the fact that the AC should be raced with a Box rule design rather than a one-design rule. I have always shuddered at the amount of money thrown at these campaigns, but when push comes to shove this is where we get most of our technology. Most (if not all) people cannot afford the R&D that these campaigns are doing, but the advantage is that three or four years later we get to play with the toys that were designed for AC.

By limiting the ability of a country to flex it's technological muscles we will kill most of the R&D needed to advance the sport. By setting either a Campaign cap or a one-design rule, we are the ones that will ultimately loose.

An Exclusive race that not everyone can afford to race in? Yes. A Race where money usually wins it? Yes -- but it is also the breeding ground for Invention and technology.

-- From Dean Brenner -- Why do so many people suggest changes that would make the America's Cup into what it is not. It is NOT meant to be a one-design championship -- we have plenty of those already. I believe it serves many purposes for our sport, specifically regarding improvements in boat building and sail making. It is NOT meant to be solely a battle between sailors. Certainly there is some interest in the competition on that level, but the bulk of the interest lies in the technological advancements made during each Cup. Last time I checked, the entire sport was benefiting from materials like carbon fiber, spectra, mylar, etc. Where were these materials first employed on a regular basis? It wasn't in the Puddlejumper 29 Western Hemisphere Championship.

Th only change I would suggest is an outside group to manage, host and run the regatta. The current set up is somewhat akin to having the Yankees organize, host and set the rules for the coming World Series.

As for the comment that there are too many American teams, chasing too few dollars, and that none of these regional efforts will be enough to get the Cup back.... I suggest that we let the process take care of itself. If we eventually discover that diluted, "regional" efforts are in fact not enough to get the Cup back, eventually there will be some consolidation and a more "national" effort will occur. Otherwise, nations a fraction of our size will continue to hold onto the trophy.

-- From Bruce Van Deventer -- Rather than try to change the America's Cup design rules to control cost, why not just cap the cost directly? We do this in elections here in the US; I don't see why the same principle of open financial disclosure couldn't be applied to a competitive sporting event like the America's cup. It may make sponsorship more attractive because the total cost of the effort would be well known at the outset and approximately equal across competitors.

-- From Chris Ericksen -- In 'Butt #321, Bob Fisher says, "The general public doesn't understand the anachronism within the Deed of Gift (of the America's Cup), 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."

And that would be bad?

Rudee's Restaraunt (Brett Dryland) finished first at Tybee Island, 2 minutes and 12 seconds ahead of Chicks Beach (Randy Smyth). The duel between the two champions Smyth and Dryland continues, with Dryland regaining the overall lead. Brett Dryland said that he was in about sixth or seventh place at one point, but regained the lead by heading in shore. Until the seabreeze set in the fleet of boats was caught in variable winds. First one boat would forge ahead... then another.

According to Brett Tybee Island was threatening for the lead until she was caught just a little bit too far off shore. At that point Brett and Randy took the lead near the shore while those further out were left behind. The two boats pulled further ahead, being swept forward in advance of a thunderstorm. The same storm cell caught the rest of the fleet, slowing them down.

Team Pomodoro came in third after capsizing twice, once in a thunder storm and once in a dead calm (it happens). Tybee Island came in fourth, having pitch-poled in a gust about five miles out. The crowd cheered as they swept up the beach without their spinnaker. Steven Lohmayer and Rick Pierce couldn't get the grins off their faces after an exhilarating ride. There were congratulations all around. The sponsors gathered by the big green truck trading team tee shirts.

Big Bros./Big Sisters finished in fifth place. Team Taipan finished in sixth. -- Thatcher Drew

Overall Standings 1. Chick's Beach (Brett Dryland); 2. Rudee's Rest. (Randy Smyth) 00:05:26; 3. Pomodoro 02:03:42; 4. Tybee Island 02:44:32; 5. Taipan 42:11:47 03:35:33

Event website:

Thirty-one teams representing 21 middle and high schools from nine states will compete in the Second Annual Young America Cup National Championship at St. Michael's School in Newport, RI, Saturday, May 22. The teams qualified at six regional events around the country this spring to earn a berth in the nationals of this educational competition. The Young America Cup is one facet of the National Education Program of Young America, the New York Yacht Club's Challenge for America's Cup 2000.

NYYC/Young America skipper Ed Baird will attend the event to meet the students and watch the competition. The New Zealand Ambassador to the United States, The Right Honorable James Bolger, will join Baird in opening the competition. Baird and the NYYC/Young America team are trying to win the Cup back from New Zealand. First, the team faces 14 other Challengers from around the world in the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Selection Races beginning October 18 in Auckland, New Zealand. The winner of that series will face Team New Zealand in the America's Cup Match beginning February 19, 2000.

The final field of students represents the best of the teams that competed at the regional level for this national test of science, math and technology skills in this multi-disciplinary contest. The students design, build and race their own model sailboats and present in-depth written and oral reports on their research. The top teams from the regional championships will represent two divisions: Grades 5-8 and Grades 9-12.

The Young America Cup is a comprehensive educational competition designed to enhance the scientific literacy of students by involving them in a hands-on, inter-disciplinary challenge that parallels the rigors of mounting a successful quest for the legendary America's Cup. Along with the scientific elements of the boat design and construction competition, each team selects a nation to represent and conducts comprehensive research about that challenging nation.

"This competition is an important facet of our national education program that was founded at the outset of our campaign for the 1995 America's Cup," said John Marshall, president of the NYYC/Young America Challenge. "We are proud to see the continued growth of this program and are dedicated to its ongoing success. There is nothing more gratifying than to see the excitement for learning that this program instills in young people."

Following are the schools that will compete in the Young America Cup National Championship: California: Thurgood Marshall Middle School, San Diego; Granite Hills High School, El Cajon; Point Loma High School, San Diego. Connecticut: East Hampton Middle School, East Hampton. Maine: Piscataquis Community Middle School, Guilford; Old Orchard Beach HS, Old Orchard Beach; Old Town High School, Old Town. (In addition to these schools, a team of home school students from Vinalhaven, ME will compete.) Maryland: Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Springs.Massachusetts: Pentucket Regional High School, West Newbury. Michigan: Pinckney Middle School, Pinckney; Pinckney High School, Pinckney; Garber High School, Essexville; H.H. Dow High School, Midland. New York: Manhasset Middle School, Manhasset; Half Hollow Hills High School, Dix Hills; Smithtown High School, Smithtown. Rhode Island: Burrillville High School, Johnston. Virginia: Frederick County Middle School, Winchester; Taylor Middle School, Warrenton; Marshall Middle School, Marshall; James Wood High School, Winchester.

The students arrive in Rhode Island Thursday, May 20 for a full weekend of activities. The Championship takes place Saturday, May 22 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Students will race their 16-inch boats in a 12-foot-long tank. The portfolios of their written research will be on display. The final scores are based on boat performance, aesthetic displays, and scores from oral and written reports on their research. The top placing teams will win Young America team gear from Official Clothier Helly Hansen and trophies. Awards and trophies donated by Creative Awards of Scarborough, ME. The Young America National Education Program also offers a comprehensive Teacher's Guide of hands-on activities that is currently in use in classrooms around the country. The education program is based on the premise that the challenge and excitement of developing an America's Cup yacht can be used to inspire students to value science and math subjects. The program, developed with teachers and leading education publishers, underscores our belief that a "hands-on," "minds-on" approach, linked to a high-profile technological competition, is an ideal way to improve the scientific literacy of students and teach them about decision making and the importance of taking intellectual risk. -- Jane Eagleson, Young America

NYYC/Young America web site:

New Zealand's major casino, Sky City, is planning a Millennium night bash to cater for the rich boys in town on their super yachts. Billed as Auckland's most exclusive millennium party (at NZ$1500 a head), they plan a night of revelry and gambling, cumulating with dawn celebrations atop the Skytower in their observation deck. Large corporate sponsors in New Zealand, the casino is playing it cool, obviously not wanting to upset any of the Cup challengers. They have decided not to sponsor any nation, and are trying to build relationships with as many syndicates as they can. Sensible! -- Exerpt from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from -- US $48 per year.

Bill Jenkins of Thoroughbred Yacht Sales just sold Roy Disney's record-setting, turbo Santa Cruz 70 PYEWACKET to George Collins of Annapolis Md. The boat's new name will be CHESSIE RACING, and its first race will be Annapolis to Newport, Rhode Island on June 12th. The white TurboSled left San Diego Wednesday and will be arriving on the East Coast early next week.

Disney is undoubtedly happy that the old boat will be the Atlantic so his new R/P 73 TurboSled (also called PYEWACKET) will never have to line up against it DDW.

The Sailing Foundation in Seattle, who developed the Lifesling that many sailors now depend on, took to task to take commercially available Harnesses and Tethers and apply the drop test as defined in the ORC Special Regulations, Appendix 1B, by making a 220 pound dummy to fall 6.6 feet while using the various tehters and harnesses.

8% of the devices tested resulted in failures.

The study is now available, with color photo's, that will shock you when you see them. Parts that you would guess wouldn't break in a million years, broke. It lists the manufacturer/model of the devices that passed and those that failed.

Copies are available from The Sailing Foundation, PO Box 4213, Tumwater, WA 98501. The cost will be $20 which just handles the cost of reproduction and mailing. The new copies will include responses from those manufacturers who responded to the test. Copies will be available within the next 2-3 weeks. -- Frank Shriver of the Sailing Foundation, Tacoma, WA

A synopsis of the report by John Rousmaniere can be found at:

If you think A-Cat's are fast, you obviously haven't seen or sailed the ultra-high performance Lehman 12. This Saturday, May 15, from 1:30pm on, the NHYC Lehman Fleet will be hosting an informal Lehman 12 open house. Come see the "Legend."

Despite being the original fiberglass one-design, Lehman's continue to be the most active and competitive one design fiberglass boat in So Cal. Competitive used boats available are for as little as $500 (where else can you find more competition for your money?), and 40 year old boats can still win major regattas. At the same time, Schock boats is now selling a brand new, all-glass Lehman 12 as well.

We get 25+ boats on the line every Thursday night, all summer long, and we have over 65 active members in our fleet! Please join us for sailing off the dock. Saturday, May 15. 1:30pm. Newport Harbor Yacht Club. -- John Drayton

The CHS / IRC rule reached a milestone today when the RORC Rating Office in Lymington issued an IRC certificate to Mustang 30 "Warhorse", owned by George and Fiona Brown in Edinburgh. "Warhorse" has certificate number 10000, making her the 10,000th boat to be rated by the RORC under the CHS/IRC rating rules since January 1985. The lowest certificate number still in use is 6 belonging to the Folkboat Celia Mary who has held a certificate every year since 1985. She is still winning races under IRC!

The RORC Rating Office rates around 3000 boats annually under the IRC, with a further 2500 being rated by the UNCL in Paris. IRC is now used in some 30 countries worldwide. IRM, the racing division of IR2000, continues to make good progress for release later this year and implementation on 1st January 2000. Significant interest has already been shown in IRM from around the world. A number of designers and production boat builders are already at the advanced planning stages for boats ranging in size from 30' to 50'.

Someday we'll look back on all of this, laugh nervously and change the subject.