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SCUTTLEBUTT #325 - May 18, 1999

ISAF (International Sailing Federation) has just announced the latest official Match Race Ranking List. Two Danish sailors: Sten Mohr and Jesper Bank have been ranked as no 7 and no 9 respectively and are thus almost certain candidates for participation in the World Match Race Championship which will take place during the Cottonfield Cup in Skovshoved Harbour from 15 to 22 August 1999. Only the world's 10 strongest Match Racing teams will have access to the prestigious World Championship. Morten Henriksen is ranked as no 11 and is therefore eager to jump in as Denmark's third representative when the world's sailing elite is competing for the World Championship on Oresund.

Sten Mohr's convincing victory in the ACI CUP in Croatia together with Christian Mohr, Lars Castensciold, Mads Vilsbaek and Ole Lindberg resulted in a significant lift on the international ISAF Ranking List and this makes him an almost certain contestant in this year's World Match Race Championship. In the finals in Croatia, Sten Mohr won 3-2 over no 3 on the World Ranking List, the French top sailor Bertrand Pace.

Favourable position for Denmark - Sten Mohr's victory once again underlines the high international standard of the Danish sailors. If Morten Henriksen has a fair wind in the qualifying competitions up until 30 June - where the official ISAF Ranking List will be made public - there is a fair chance that as many as three Danish boats will be among the contestants in the Cottonfield Cup and therefore also in the World Match Race Championship 1999. If this happens it will be a favourable starting position for the largest and most ambitious sailing event ever to take place in Denmark.

The programme for this year's World Match Race Championship starts on 15 August in Skovshoved Harbour with training and a number of events and activities for the sailors, sponsors, officials etc. The official competitions begin on Wednesday, 18 August and ends with the grand finale on Sunday, 22 August.

Current world match racing rankings:

Sayernara, the Australian designed, built and crewed 13m sloop tonight took line honours in the 1999 Osaka Cup double-handed race from Melbourne in Australia to Osaka in Japan. The 13m sloop crossed the line in the Port of Osaka at 18.09.22 hours tonight (Japanese standard time) after a painfully slow sail over the final 200 nautical miles of the 5,500 mile south - north course. However, Sayernara still broke the course record for the Racing Division B with an elapsed time of 30 days 1 hour 39 minutes 22 seconds. The previous fastest time was 35 days 9 hours 43 minutes 8 seconds set by Just Lucky Lady in 1991.

Sayernara is skippered by owner Rob Drury (53) a Sydney engineer and member of the Australian Short Handed Sailing Association, with the yacht's designer, Jon Sayer, from Queensland as crew. The boat was designed and built specifically for the Osaka Cup and launched in February this year. The boat's name is a mixture of "Sayer" and Japanese word "Sayonara" which means "Till we meet again."

Meanwhile, the Melbourne yacht Yoko holds the second place, some 450 nautical miles astern, but has finally found good wind. Third in the fleet is the leading Japanese boat Luna Prominence, sailed by Mitsunobu and Kimihiro Uto.

The 1999 Melbourne - Osaka Race started from Port Melbourne on April 17, with the fleet of 20 yachts heading into Bass Strait for the start of the 5,500 nautical mile sea voyage the following day. Since then seven yachts have retired, including the New Zealand competitor Green Hornet which sank less than a week out of Melbourne after being battered by a severe storm off the South Coast of New South Wales. An Australian Navy patrol vessel rescued the two-man crew of Green Hornet. -- Peter Campbell and Matsumi Yamaoka

Osaka Cup web site:

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have the best looking custom crew attire at the regatta. Honest! Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery can give you the quality stuff designed by California artists at really affordable prices. Call Frank for quotes and a free apparel catalog. (619) 226-8033 (

49ER GRAND PRIX - Report by winning crew Charlie McKee
Almost 12 months to the day after the successfully running the 1998 49er Worlds in Bandol, Alexandre Gad launched the European Grand Prix. With the stunningly beautiful sandstone cliffs of Sardinia as the backdrop, the first event of this 4 regatta series concluded yesterday. With extensive television coverage on Eurosport, Sky, and CNN Int'l secured, and an unprecedented $60,000 prize money, the series marks a major step forward for the 49er class and for high-performance sailing exposure. 24 boats from 13 nations made the trek to Sardinia, including most of the world's top 49er teams.

The format consisted of a 6-race preliminary series over two days, with the results from this carried as a single score into the two-day finals. With a deep fleet, shifty winds, and lots of DSQ's for over- earlies, consistency was very hard to come by. The preliminary seies was won by '99 Worlds runner-ups Adam Beashal/Teague Czislowski sailing Renault, whose solid sailing in the 15-20 knot day 2 conditions clinched it. Team McLube sailed by Jonathan & Charlie McKee sailed a very consistent prelims to finish 2nd. They scores from 3 - 8 in each of the races, and this consistency was a harbinger of what was to come in the finals, and bad news for their competitors. Current World Champ Chris Nicholson, teamed again with Daniel Philips aboard Bandol, led for much of the qualifications until a rare capsize in the final race dropped them to 7th. Other teams faring well in the prelim series included perennial top European teams Baur/Barth from Germany in 3rd, Audineau/Farnarier from France in 4th, and Britain's Budgen Brothers in 5th.

Day 1 of the finals started out with a light and shifty easterly. The French team of Duruelle/Gasparini took command and coasted to victory. Both Bandol and McLube rallied through the fleet after mediocre first beats to finish 2, 5 respectively, while Renault finished 12th after a 360 penalty at the start. The wind swung to the west and built to 15-18 knots for the next 2 races. Race 2 saw Nicholson/Philips return to their old form with a victory, while the up-and-coming US team of Andy Mack/Adam Lowry sailed a great race in the windiest heat of the series to snag 2nd away from Team McLube on the last run to the finish. Team McLube's strategy of starting in the middle away from the favored end payed dividends in race 3, with 7 boats scored DSQ fo being over at the start. This led to a 2nd for Bandol and a 3rd for McLube, with the race won by the German team. Beashal, Audineau, and the top Italian team Bruni all suffered this fate, which vaulted Bandol and Team McLube into commanding positions in the series. While anything could still happen in this no discard series, these two teams were showing a consistency unmatched by the rest. Thus it was starting to look like a showdown between these two friendly rivals.

Despite a rapidly fading breeze and the clear desire by the sailors to return to shore, one final race was sailed in a fluky, 5 knot NW breeze. The young British Team of Richardson/Greenlaugh sailing Helly Hansen crushed the fleet for the victory, on the way to their finest 49er regatta so far. The fact that they were the only team to win two races speaks both to their talent and to the quality of the fleet at the regatta. McLube sailed another solid race to finish 3rd, while Nicholson/Philips got caught on the right side on the first beat and could only rally back to 12th. This gave the McKee brothers a 7-point lead going into the final day.

Conditions for the final day were 8-13 knots from the west with moderate puffs and shifts. McLube led Bandol for much of the first race, but a jibe set and strong final downwind gained Nicholson 7 boats on the final run, scoring a 4 to McLube's 7. This cut the lead to 4 points. Race 6 was a see-saw affair, with McLube starting to windward of Bandol and again in control as most of the puffs came from the left. As Nicholson/Philips tacked left McLube tacked on their wind, forcing Bandol back to the left corner behind the pack. 3/4 of the way up the beat a big left shift left Bandol looking good, but a small shift back right at the end left McLube in about 10th with Bandol a few boats behind. They rounded the leeward mark with Bandol right on McLube's stern, with Nicholson working the right side early and McLube up the middle. After coming through the middle gate Bandol bolted hard right and McLube loosely covered, but both lost a few boats to round about 12th and 16th. Time enough for one more blazing Nicholson/Philips comeback on the run to the finish however. McLube tried to place themselves between Bandol and the finish, but they got jibed on by one boat, rolled by another, and Bandol streaked by to finish 11 with McLube 13, their only placing out of the top 10 all week. This narrowed the points spread to 2, with neither boat knowing whether the RC would run 1 or 2 more races. Tension was mounting...

Race 7 started with both boats up near the favored weather end, withTeam McLube 2 boats to leeward of Bandol. Bandol quickly rolled the boat between, but after about a minute McLube got to Bandol, who tacked out to the right. It was unclear which side was going to be favored, and two top teams split pretty far, concentrating on trying to win their side. When they came back together near the windward mark Nicholson/Philips rounded 3rd with McLube in 4th. Each boat picked off 1 boat on the run to round the leeward mark 2, 3, with the Budgen Brothers in the lead. If this was to be the last race Bandol needed to put a boat in between to win, and they tacked off right early, to the side that had been favored on the previous beat. Budgen tacked right to cover, and McLube stayed on what seemed to be a lift to the left. When all 3 boats converged McLube was 2 boatlengths ahead of Bandol and 1 behind Budgens. A difficult and rapid decision was required whether to tack on Bandol and force them right, or cut between the two boats and carry on to the right themselves. Tactician Charlie McKee decided to ignore Nicholson and continue right, and fortunately for Team McLube race fans this turned out to be correct. McLube rounded the final weather mark just front of the Budgens with Nicholson/Phillips 20 lengths back. McLube jibed while Budgen did a bearaway set, but when they came back together 3/4 of the way down the run Budgens led by 2 lengths. They jibed on McLube, McLube made 2 more jibes, Budgens came back bow to bow. Thery tried to jibe on McLube as they came to the finish, but Team McLube snaked through their lee into clear air to take the gun and the series.

So Team McLube starts out the European Grand Prix with a victory. It was our first major international win in 1 1/2 years, and it certainly is gratifying, coming after a long winter of training, and a disappointing finish at the last Worlds. While it was not brilliant sailing that won it, solid starts and tactics, and a few less mistakes than the other teams provided the consistency to win a no-discard series (plus a little luck, as there always is in sailing).

Nicholson/Philips finished 5 points behind and 25 points clear of the rest of the field, while up-and-comers Richardson/Greenlaugh sailing Helly Hansen and Duruelle/Gasparini from France both sailed very strong series to finish 3,4 respectively. Beashal/Czislowski sailed well but had a few too many bad races, but will likely be strong contenders for the overall series. The other North American teams of Tina and Trevor Baylis and Andy Mack/Adam Lowry each had an up and down series to finish 18th and 20th. The Baylis's had a strong prelim series to score a 12th, and finished well with a 9, 8, but a race 3 over early DSQ was costly. Mack and Lowry showed strong heavy air speed and boathandling, but a lack of light-air practice left them struggling a bit in those conditions.

After an 11-hour ferry trip it is on to Bandol, France for Leg #2 of the 49er European Grand Prix.

I read all of my 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 J D Abouchar -- Regarding the wing mast mentioned in the Telegraph article: IACC rule 28.5 states "Permanently bent, deck stepped, rotating or hinged masts are prohibited." Also, 28.6 "No devices shall be fitted or employed to move the athwartships position of the mast at its heel or at the deck. The clearance on each side of the mast at the partners shall not exceed 30mm..." These and several other limitations on mast design would seem to preclude rotating, adjustable or radically designed masts.

-- From Michael C. Ford -- While I have been known to hound race committees for poor performance, I felt I should also recognize excellence as well. I had the great opportunity to sail in the SOCKS regatta this past weekend. The RC work was, without a doubt, exceptional. The races were packed in and well managed. Combine that with the generous assistance offered by the RC boats towing competitors in when the wind finally died on Sunday against a stiff 3+ knot current. It made for a great event which I would recommend to anyone.

-- From Tatjana Pokorny, Hamberg, Germany - The Tornado results you have published in 'Butt 324 not the right results for this year's Europeans... Something must have gone wrong. It looks like these are the World's results.

Curmudgeon's comment: The website for the event shows two sets of results. Not counting the scores from the two teams from OZ in the results of the Europeans does juggle standings slightly.

Mats Nyberg Trophy (open to competitors of all nations): 1. Darren Bundock / J. Forbes, AUS, 18 points 2. Roland Gaebler / R. Schwall, GER, 42 3. Mitch Booth / A. Landenberger, AUS, 46 4. Andreas Hagara / W. Moser, AUT, 57 5. Frederic Le Peutrec / O. Douilla, FRA, 62 6. Fernando Leon / J. Ballester, ESP, 63 7. Helge Sach / C. Sach, GER, 65 8. Johannes Polgar / C. Happel, GER, 67 9. Roman Hagara H. Steinacher, AUT, 70 10. Pierre Pennec / Y. Guichard, FRA, 75

European Championship (open only to European sailors): 1. Roland Gaebler / R. Schwall, GER, 34 Points 2. Andreas Hagara / W. Moser, AUT, 46 3. Fernando Leon / J. Ballester, ESP, 49 4. Johannes Polgar / C. Happel, GER, 50 5. Frederic Le Peutrec / O. Douilla, FRA, 50 6. Helge Sach / C. Sach, GER, 51 7. Roman Hagara H. Steinacher, AUT, 54 8. Pierre Pennec / Y. Guichard, FRA, 59 9. Rob Wilson / W. Howden, GBR, 64 10. Ron Van Teyllingen / H. Derckse, NED, 67

Event site:

-- From Brad Ruetenik -- I agree with Gary Mitchell in SB #324 re: the excitement of skiff sailing. I often wonder why there is so little interest in this aspect of sailing in the states. I hear people asking why sailing interest doesn't increase here, and what can be done about it. Changing course configurations, making sailing more affordable to the masses, making a sailing event interesting for T.V. etc.

I think too many of America's sailors are complacent to sits on their butts on the weather rail watching. Why don't some of the young sailors start looking to skiffs for their fun and fill of wild rides. Southern California has some beautiful skiff sailing venues. What's more fun than planning to weather in only 10kts. of breeze, hanging out over the water and doing the occasional launch off a wave or stuffing the bow in and doing some crash and burn. That's when you'll get some athleticism into sailing and create an entertaining event for both participants and spectators.

What about starting an 18 league here in So. Cal? Start by getting some Aussie 18s 2-3 yrs. old that are affordable and sail in San Diego Bay, Alamitos, Marina del Rey, Santa Barbara. Or start out purchasing an older I-14 which can get you into the game cheaper and find out how exciting skiff sailing can be. It's a national pastime in Australia and New Zealand, look back to see how many Amer. Cup sailors from those countries have skiff backgrounds, you'll be shocked!

Co-authors Russell Coutts and Paul Larsen will publish the official America's Cup gift book, America's Cup Challenge 2000, available in September 1999, it was announced today. Two editions of the book will be published, one by Auckland publisher Hodder Moa Beckett and the other in the United States by Time Life Books. Both editions will be large-format, coffee-table books including hundreds of photographs. Famed international marine photographer Daniel Forster is the books' photo editor.

"The text and illustrations cover the history of the America's Cup, the challengers and defender for the 1999/2000 event, technology, Auckland as a venue, and a look at some of the more colorful personalities and controversies that have shaped the regatta," said Larsen. "Because it will be the only official souvenir book available to Cup visitors, we've tried to present a complete, accurate picture of what we see as the most unique international sporting competition in the world."

Forster, who has covered the America's Cup with his camera for more than 20 years, has located many rare, unpublished images in the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island and from photographers whose work dates back to races in the 1800s. Included is what is believed to be the first color photograph of America's Cup action, black and white images of the magnificent J-boats, a photograph lost for more than 25 years of Resolute minutes after a dismasting, and portraits of Cup principals from John Cox Stevens to Ted Turner to Sir Peter Blake.

The writing team of Coutts and Larsen reunites the co-authors of the best-selling 'Course to Victory,' the story of Team New Zealand's exceptional performance and victory in the 1995 America's Cup, told in the words of the skipper. Coutts returns in that position as Team New Zealand prepares to defend their win off their home waters of Auckland. Larsen has written and published books with Cup skippers John Bertrand, Dennis Conner, Bill Koch, and Coutts. The races to determine the challenger that will take on the Kiwis begin on October 18, 1999 and the America's Cup match begins February 19.

For more information:

The Lipton Cup is perhaps Southern California's most prestigious, most highly sought-after trophy. This trophy is not about individual skippers racing each other. This trophy is awarded to the West Coast's top yacht club. Naturally, on the good yacht club programs, no detail is overlooked; no stone is left unturned in the club's quest to bring home this prize. It should be no surprise that the team that emerged victorious this year, the team that dominated results, was also the team that wore Camet sailing shorts. To find out why San Diego YC chose Camet sailing shorts:

CORRECTIONS In the Lipton Cup regatta, the Coronado Cays YC boat was steered by Andy Folz (not Andy Fulz) and Peter Allen represented Canada's Ashbridge's Bay YC - not Alamitos Bay YC.

All ten boats got away successfully at Myrtle Beach. Pomodoro's patch, applied by Chicks Beach pusher, Tyler Smith, looked successful (see yesterday's story). The wind was from the northeast this morning at about 12 knots under a high, light overcast. Unless the wind shifts, it looks like another slog to windward. "People say the Worrell 1000 is a downwind race.," said Mike Worrell this morning. "That is not always the case, especially when we get north of Florida." Today looks like a replay of yesterday, and the strain of the past few days is starting show.

Peanut Johnson woke up with a swollen and painful right hand. The worry is that he broke something on the long upwind leg yesterday. "You keep that main sheet wrapped around your hand all day and make all those tacks and you can do some damage. We hope he's OK," said Mike Worrell this morning. Keith Notary estimated that they made 150 tacks during the day. Peanut will be replaced by his back-up crew, Charles Thurman. Peanut said this morning that if the hand's not broken he would like to rejoin the race. Mike Worrell says that under the rules Peanut may rejoin at the next checkpoint, Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Event website:

Class II sailor Viktor Yazykov, an ex-commando whose adventurous resume includes stints aboard offshore North Pacific fishing boats and in the clean-up crew of the Chernobyl nuclear-plant disaster, added another chapter to his life's wild tale early today when he became the first Russian singlehander to complete a round-the-world yacht race. Beating into a northerly breeze, Yazykov crossed the line at 0111 GMT Monday morning (9:11 p.m. on the 17th local time) to complete Leg 4 of the Around Alone race in 37d, 10h, 11m, 59s. Yazykov's official overall elapsed-time of 168d, 10h, 09m, 44s includes an 11 day, 7 hour penalty for arriving late to the start last September. None of that mattered to Yazykov, who felt that just completing the race was a reward for all the hard times that came before. Moments after finishing, he said, "The race proved to me I made very good choices to do the things I've done in my life. I think this is something I can do very well." - Herb McCormick

Still at sea: Van Liew (693), Petersen (717), Saito (946), and Hunter (1074).


It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.