Scuttlebutt Today
  Archived Newsletters »
  Features »
  Photos »

SCUTTLEBUTT #339 - June 8, 1999

GUEST EDITORIAL - Paul Henderson, ISAF President
The focus on the Pros is becoming a very important topic. I feel that if ISAF could find a circuit that was attractive for those who wish to make their living sailing it would help and ISAF will endeavor to address it. Because the true Professional Racers do not have their own circuit they must sail with the average racer which some classes would like to control.

The Pros must be looked upon positively not as some sort of outlaws. The designation of who is a Pro and who is not has caused several jurisdictions to come out with regulations. I find most of them too complicated and do not really address the issue. The real difference is, do you work at sailing which pays for your sailing or do you work at another job to pay for your sailing?

Patrick de Barros has come out with a very simple designation: If you race in major events more than 30 days a year you are a Pro. (Major is a key word) Sure there are exceptions such as some students but the exceptions can apply for dispensation. Patrick's rule looks after about 98% of the problem and is easily understood and controlled with modern technology inputting regatta entries to a central source.

Once the designation has been made it is then easy for a class to make rules. Hopefully the top classes will be open and that a league will emerge to ensure the top racers are accommodated. It then goes without saying that the true Corinthian will therefore be also accommodated by being able to compete in classes where the playing field is level.

Personally I have always been a strong supporter of Event Sponsorship such as the Bacardi Cup where everyone benefits by reduced entry fees rather than individual sponsors. I totally agree with the Peewaukee Mafia that Sailing must ensure that the sponsors get value for money. Sailing does not fit into the box of a Charitable Foundation.

Sir Chay Blyth is the source of the $1 million top prize for a new race between Europe and the United States Open 60 class yachts. Blyth's new race is even called L'Atlantique Challenge and he is keen to attract the cream of the Open 60 class to a race scheduled to start from St Malo in July 2001.

Team Group 4 skipper Mike Golding and Ellen MacArthur, whose new Kingfisher is under construction, are enthusiastic for the new event which aims to give the Open 60s high-level competition in the gaps between the Around Alone and Vendee Globe solo round-the-world races, and the St Malo-Guadeloupe Route du Rhum transatlantic race.

Blyth's objective is to show off the speed potential of these boats which is not always evident in the solo races by allowing full crews. He also wants to give the boats' sponsors a return by taking the race to France, Germany, the United States and the UK. From St Malo the fleet heads for Wilhelmshaven in Germany, back to Portsmouth, across the Atlantic to Florida and Fort Lauderdale, north to Baltimore and then back to St Malo.

The $1 million can only be claimed by the winner of all five legs but victory in four, including the finale, can still bring a $250,000 prize. Blyth, famously shrewd in his business deals, says his Challenge Business is underwriting the fund but is well advanced in talks with a sponsor. -- Tim Jeffery, Electronic Telegraph, UK

For the full story:

NEWPORT GOLD REGATTA - Reports by Bob Fisher
* A sixth place in the final race was more than adequate for Edgar Cato's Hissar to win the Farr 40 class at the Newport Gold Regatta. It was the first major overall win for Hissar, steered by Augie Diaz and one which had seemed likely if she could stay close to World Champion Jim Richardson's Barking Mad in the 22 mile Round Conanicut Island Race. Like Mary's little lamb, everywhere that Barking Mad went, Hissar went too; and at the end of the day, she was one place behind her closest rival, but she had started four points clear and no one else came close. Farr 40 results (11 boats): 1. Hissar, Edgar Cato 3-3-2-1-5-3-6 23 points; 2. Barking Mad, Jim Richardson 2-1-5-9-3-1-5 26; 3. Alliance, Skip Purcell 4-11-4-3-1-4-1 28; 4. Sword Flounder, John Ryan 1-9-1-4-7-5-4 31; 5. Conspiracy, Jury Hinman 6-4-8-2-8-8-3 39.

* A brilliantly sailed final race, around Conanicut Island, brought to fruition Ed Collins' campaign to win the Mumm 30 class at the Newport Gold Regatta with USA 48. It was his first win in seven races and brought with it the questioning of how he had failed to lead home this sixteen boat fleet before. It was a consummate victory and its margin was largely gained on the long downwind leg along the western side of the island. Mumm 30 results (16 boats): 1. USA 48, Ed Collins 4-8-5-5-3-6-1 32; 2. USA 65, Michael Dressell 10-1-4-6-1-11-4 37; 3. Downhill Express, Tom & Cindy Hirsch 7-4-2-4-12-2-8 39; 4. Turbo Duck, Bodo Van Der Wense 9-5-1-9-2-8-9 43; 5. Go Figure, David Koski 3-11-12-3-9-3-3 44.

Compete story and results:

Australia's internationally acclaimed yachting meteorologist, Roger Badham, pulled no punches in commenting on the Bureau of Meteorology's defense of its forecast for December 27. "Clearly they got it wrong," Badham said. "The BOM did not provide what might be considered a proper race forecast warning of the severity of what was essentially a cyclonic depression. If it had, the sailors would have been more aware of the conditions they were sailing into. If the forecaster working on the special report for the race had any real maritime knowledge he would have been able to work out what was happening and what was going to happen with this storm. Now they are merely playing with numbers in a bid to protect themselves. The fact is that their forecast was wrong." -- Rob Mundle, Grand Prix Sailor

For all of Mundle's insightful comments:

There is never a reason for a race organizers to lose money on regatta apparel. Period! In fact, Pacific Yacht Embroidery has a program to supply race organizers with quality regatta apparel at a guaranteed profit. Call Frank Whitton (619-226-8033) for details on how to offset regatta costs while supplying high quality, affordable apparel to the racers. No event is too small to qualify for this program.

505 NAs
The 505 North Americans were sailed in Corpus Christi Texas from June 1-4. The conditions were Ideal, Hot and Windy, with Temps in the 90s and the wind 15 to 25 Knots of breeze all week. Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin won the seven-race (one throwout) event with seven points although Bruce Edwards and David Shelton were always right on their heels and finished the regatta with 11 points to take second. TEAM SPOT finished an impressive 3rd with 19 points.

Final results: 1. Hamlin/Martin (7 points) 2. Edwards/Shelton (11) 3. Harris/Falsone (19) 4. Brown/Benjamin - (23) 5. Amthor/Montague (26); 6. Nelson/Gleason (32) 7. Harris/Mehran (42) 8. Montague/Zakaib (44) points 9. Mackay/Treadwell, 10. James/Romey (57)

Event website:

New York Yacht Club/Young America skipper Ed Baird won the Pre-Olympic Trials in the Soling class yesterday in San Francisco. Sailing with NYYC/Young America teammate Tom Burnham and Dean Brenner, Baird filled in for the injured Tony Rey who is vying for a berth on the U.S. team for the 2000 Olympics. Rey, a crew member in Baird's America's Cup afterguard, is recovering from a knee injury but coached the team to victory in the match racing only event on San Francisco Bay.

Baird and crew won the finals of the match racing event 2-0 defeating 1996 Soling Olympic bronze medalist and the U.S. Sailing Team's No. 1 ranked Soling candidate Jeff Madrigali. NYYC/Young America crew member Hartwell Jordan is on Madrigali's Soling team. - Jane Eagleson, Young America

Letters selected to be printed here are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Seth Radow (Severely edited to 250 words) -- Chris Bouzaid is right on the money. If the average American can't relate to sailing or sailors then there will be no big sponsorship dollars. If sailing want the big sponsorship dollars sailing needs national heroes.

Certain companies like Rolex specifically target high net worth individuals. Rolex (to the best of my knowledge) sponsors Big Boat Regattas (Swan), not Dinghy Regattas. Rolex is "Target Marketing" to high net worth sailors. Corum does the same thing with it's "Admiral's Cup" watches.

Volvo is taking a shot at the sailing community on the US West Coast with the Volvo Inshore Series. If Volvo does not obtain a reasonable return on its investment they will leave. It is a matter of economics. If sailors support the sponsors, the sponsors will stay and more will come. Volvo wants sailors in their vehicles. If sailors buy Volvos, it pretty much goes without saying that Volvo will stick with and might expand the program.

If sailors want sponsorships from organizations outside sailing, sailing will have to support those organizations. The US has quite a few sailors... US Sailing and those who need the sponsorship dollars need to figure out who and what the sailors do and will they support! Those are the companies that should be the prospects for sailing sponsorships.

The next question is how do we do it? Those who read Scuttlebutt appear to be some of the most prominent people in sailing. Let's put some heads together and make this happen.

-- From Skip Ely (responding to Craig Fletcher's complaint about the Farr 40 Fleet) -- Craig might be considered a "known rock star" and by achieving that distinction would be precluded from driving in a few other fleets as well. Specifically both the ULDB 70 and Santa Cruz 52 fleets (and a several others). Both these fleets have no other significant rules as to who can be on the boat, or how much they are paid. On the other hand it occurs to me that there is a way Craig would be allowed to steer a Farr 40, or SC52, or SC70 in any race he chooses - he could buy one.

-- From Craig Fletcher-- Doug Van Der Aa completely missed the point of my comments. I do not want to be a pro and do not hold any animosity towards the Farr Class, I just believe the selection process is unfair. The selection committee informed Walt that I was not part of his regular crew and was a hired gun. Since I have sailed with Walt for a year I have to believe ability to be their main criteria not time on the boat. Banning a person for something as subjective as ability seams very unfair. What's next hair color?

-- From Robert Hughes, President 1D35 Class -- The other boats Farr 40's, J 120's and Schocks are using Scuttlebutt as a infomercial for their classes regarding the Lipton Cup. Why not get the 1D35 in the debate? The owners of the class would make additional boats for charter besides the 4 that are already in California. The class could do the Yachting cup and owners could charter the boats until there are more owners out there for the Lipton Cup. No $$ spent to trick out boats except some new sails because the boats are so equal, bottoms faired and ready to roll! It is fast like a sprit boat with its oversize spinnaker and pole but still has the tactics and crew work of a traditional boat and a riot to sail and super easy to transport to Key West or San Fransisco! PS And I bet it would be a lot of fun for your California coastal distance races!

-- From Walter Johnson -- People seem to forget the days when the Lipton cup was run under IOR and we all raced one toners. No two where alike. One design has been the best thing for the Lipton Cup, whether its in Schock 35's or J-120's the racing will be better then what it was in the days of yore! In fact is takes more teamwork to get a J-120 around the corners then a Schock 35. And with any breeze, J-120 can sail the same angles as any symmetrical boat on the market. If the southern California J-120 owners association is interested in being part of the Lipton Cup the move should be made. Count my vote.

Curmudgeon's comment: I think the only votes that count are those from San Diego YC.

-- From Glenn Magyar -- Do you think Keith Taylor may have meant the former location of the Ambrose Light Ship? (Explorer speed record story) Last December the Light Tower was standing tall just off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, near the twin lighthouse at Atlantic Highlands which is the reason I am emailing you.

During my visit to the lighthouse museum there was a display that described one of the first sporting events ever to be broadcast by radio. It was an America's Cup race around the turn of the century just outside of NY harbor. Yet another example of how the A-Cup has been leading with technological advances since it's inception.

If I remember correctly there was a guy on a boat with a radio transmitter who sent the broadcast to a receiver at the lighthouse on the highlands which was then relayed to anyone who had a wireless available. Can't imagine there were too many listeners then, but they made history.

I would recommend verifying the story before broadcasting to the universe but I think I remember it correctly, since it reminded me of Doug Vann's successful efforts of sending live video via the internet from a camera on board the Navatec at last year's Kenwood Cup.

It was to everyone's surprise that the maxi-catamaran Explorer, co-skippered by Bruno Peyron and the American Skip Novak left New York, on Sunday June 6th at 21.34 GMT (23.34 French time), when the start was not expected until some time later this week. A decision taken by the French yachtsman because of a weather window which opened at the last minute allowing Explorer, on stand by in New York since her arrival from Miami last Wednesday, to start this new attempt on the Atlantic Crossing Record, between New York and the Lizard (south westerly point of England). Five other people are on board Explorer for this attempt. They include Frenchman Frederic Le Peutrec, Italian Elena Caputo (already aboard Explorer for the Pacific record last August), Frenchman Frederic Carrere and the brothers Nicolas and Laurent Pichelin.

Explorer sailed for the first few hours of the race with a sustained Southerly wind of 25 knots at an average of 20 knots, heading East. For the next 24 hours, the wind should strengthen from the West/South West at 30 knots, in the southern end of a low centered on Newfoundland.

The first reference time for the Atlantic record under sail was set by the schooner Atlantic, a three master of 56 m under the command of the famous American Captain Charlie Barr, who in 1905 took a little over 12 days to make the crossing. This record remained unbeaten for 75 years. Eric Tabarly was the first to bring it down in 1980 aboard his foiler Paul Ricard, reducing the crossing time to 10 days, Marc Pajot (Elf Aquitaine I), Patrick Morvan (Jet Services II), Loic Caradec & Philippe Facque (Royale II), Philippe Poupon (Fleury Michon VIII), then Serge Madec (Jet Services V) in turn brought the record down, with a last stunning time of 6d 13h 3mn and 32s, in June 1990 at an average speed of 18.42 knots. This time has remained unbeaten until now, despite eleven attempts since.

The Race website:

On June 4-6 in Seattle, 18 egg-shaped San Juan 24's boats gathered at Shilshole Bay to compete in the North American Championships. The weather was cool with 12-22 knots of wind through out the weekend with lots of tight races including one 18 mile long distance race. (In a San Juan 24 this is a long distance). Final results: 1) T-Bone (Chuck Skewes, Brian Keefe, Chuck Queen, Craig Guthrie) 2) Snappy Tom (Gill Lund) 3) Play Buoy (Ben Stauber).

Camet International is offering discounts on their great, quick drying, sailing shorts and foam pads when you order them for the whole crew. Trust me - these shorts are the most meaningful improvement in sailing gear since the roller-bearing block. And they also look great after the racing at the prize-giving celebration. Check them out on the website and then contact Camet for the details (619/224-6737):

More than 400 sailors in Olympic classes from 40 nations participated in the Tuborg Spring Cup in Rungsted, Denmark. Bill Hardesty, who finished a creditable 8th in the 90-boat Laser fleet wrote the curmudgeon to say: "The weather was cold and rainy with a series of fronts passing through during the four days of racing. The Laser course was approximately 4 miles offshore in Swedish waters. The racing started at 10:00 AM and we often wouldn't return until 4-5 PM. This was not a regatta for those out for a weekend sail."

Among the top placing American entries were: SOLING: 14. John Gochberg; LASER: 3. Mark Mendelblatt; 8. Bill Hardesty; 13. Peter Hurley; 16. Brett Davis; 470 MEN: 6. Graeme Woodworth 8. Paul Foerster 10. Steven Hunt; 470 WOMEN: 5. Isler/Glaser; 6. Connor/Kratzig; EUROPE: 11. Meg Gaillard; 28. Krysia V. Pohl; MISTRAL MEN 3. Steven Bodner; 4 Patrick Downey; TORNADO: 4. Robbie Daniel; 6. Mike Ingham; 10. James McCarthy.

For complete results:

Sharp-eyed Dieter Loibner caught us running an incomplete story yesterday about IACC sail numbers that omitted NZL 57 and USA 58 (Young America -boat 2).

(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48 per year from

* Contracts that cover the international television feed of the America's Cup Match and the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races have been signed with Television New Zealand. They cover the international television feed of the America's Cup Match and the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races. As host broadcaster, TVNZ will manage and produce the international television signals for both series starting October 18, and will be providing up to three simultaneous live feeds from the Hauraki Gulf. Their broadcast team will use up to 12 on-board cameras, three helicopter gyro-stabilised cameras, and three on-the-water cameras. The video feed will be linked with complex audio systems collecting ambient sound aboard competing yachts and will be enhanced by real-time animation highlighting tactical manoeuvres. The host broadcast production created by TVNZ and the purchasing rights for coverage of America's Cup 2000, will be available to all international broadcasters (both for competing and non-competing countries).

* Virtual Stadium is a New Zealand company with ambitious plans for cup coverage. By buying a CD-rom labeled a "Season Ticket," 100,000 buyers (at NZ$140 each) will have on their computer, a history of the America's Cup, the race rules and detailed profiles of all the competitors. It also unlocks an engine which will allow the "Season Ticket" holder to view the race live on the Internet. This technology is a first according to a press release and will allow Internet users access to animated versions of all 192 races.

Sunsets over water are nature's way of asking just what is important anyway.