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SCUTTLEBUTT #340 - June 9, 1999

Tuesday, 10.30 GMT - The maxi-catamaran Explorer, co-skippered by Bruno Peyron and the American Skip Novak notched up 36 hours racing this midday and was right on schedule in their attempt to break the speed record for an Atlantic Crossing between New York and the Lizard (south westerly point of England). She clicked off some 518 miles during her first day at sea. During the last 3 hours, the boat recorded an average of 24.5 knots. So over the water Explorer is going faster than Jet Services V during her record in 1990, but she is on a more southerly route which is taking her further from the great circle or shortest route. For the next 24 hours, the router Pierre Lasnier confirms the rotation of the WSW wind to SSW, which should permit Explorer to latch onto the direct route and gallop.

On board the crew have got into the routine, the boat is going very fast and the noise doesn't allow them to get much sleep. A first incident is to be deplored: the boat hooked a fishing net that stopped her in her stride, causing a slight leak in the starboard hull. We don't know yet how much damage there is, but the situation doesn't seem to be alarming. In addition, 2 mainsail battens have broken. - Pierre Giboire

Follow the progress:

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA - After three days of light and shifty winds and many postponements, Boston University emerged as winner of the Inter-Collegiate Yacht Racing Association (ICYRA) National Dinghy Championship sponsored by New England Ropes. The event, hosted by Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and sailed on Boca Ciega Bay, began on June 2nd with 16 colleges fielding A and B division teams.

Sailing for Boston University's A team was skipper Stan Schreyer (Woodbury, N.J.) with crew Rich Bell (Hingham, Mass.) and alternate Justin Morel (Oyster Bay, N.Y.). B division fielded skipper Brian Stanford (San Diego, Calif.) with crew Christine Retlev (Miami, Fla.) and alternate Brendan Dwyer-McNally (Brockport, N.Y -- Barby MacGowan, Media Pro Int'l

Final results: 1. Boston University, Boston, Mass., 61, 43, 104; 2. St. Mary's College, St. Mary's City, Md., 60, 63, 123; 3. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 76, 52, 128; 4. Tuft's University, Medford, Mass., 51, 83, 134; 5. Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va., 57, 91, 148.

The full story and results can be found at:

PARIS, FRANCE - Registered entries for the 505 World Championship and pre-worlds has reached 141, organizers of the event announced today. The entries hale from 12 countries, on four continents; the total number of two person teams is expected to be higher by June 30th, when the pre-worlds event starts. To date, registrations have been received from Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Sweden, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Belgium, Finland and the United States.

The 505 World Championship and pre-worlds, will be held June 30th through July 10th, at l'Ecole Nationale de Voile at St. Pierre-Quiberon - the French National Sailing School in St. Pierre-Quiberon. -- Ali Meller

Event Website:
Complete list of 505 class websites:

Weight does make a difference - at least to the organizers of the Volvo Inshore Series. And the difference has shown up in the series results for their PHRF 2 Division, which has a mixed bag of ULDBs racing against heavy boats like Swans and Baltics. To compensate for the apparent disparity, the series organizers have decided award some extra trophies to heavy displacement boats in PHRF 2 at the final event of the Series - North Sails Race Week-plus some special overall series trophies to top heavy displacement boats in that class.

There is simply no better way to enhance your enjoyment of our sport. Period! It has style, unparalleled comfort, but best of all -- it keeps you absolutely dry. And because it breathes, you don't broil your body in the process of staying dry. When you factor in Gill's Lifetime Guarantee, it's hard to understand why you'd consider any other brand of foul weather gear. Check it out - no matter what kind of sailing you do, Gill has a product geared to your needs:

The Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay's "Great Pacific Longitude Race" (LongPac) is scheduled for an August 18 start from the Golden Gate Yacht Club. This is a qualifier for next year's SSS 12th Bienneial Singlehanded Transpac -- SF Bay to Hanalei Bay, Kauai'i The course is 200 miles west to any point on longitude 126 degrees 40 minutes west, and then return to the finish at the GGYC. The calculated distance is 400 miles. Contact SSS Commodore Patrick Broderick (707/528-2109) or


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

-- From Robert Eger -- The current debate over professional status in yacht racing is very interesting. I have remained apathetic about the entire issue until I read the suggestion in Scuttlebutt #339 that a sailor be defined as a pro if he or she races in major events more than 30 days a year.

I define myself as an amateur sailor. I have never been paid to race on a sailboat and I do not earn my living from anything related to marine industry. My sailing experience ranges from Cal 25's put together for NOOD regattas, to battle weary 50 footers in Mackinac races, to Andrews 70's racing to Jamaica. I currently race on a J-120 in Southern California (Hot Tamale).

Almost always the "pay" only includes fresh regatta shirts on shore with sandwiches and iced beer after a race. There are other rewards on the water. Sailing is a great escape from work, the competition is great, and most of my friends sail. This is all most amateurs need. To us 30 days of racing in a year is simply a great year, not the makings of a pro career.

-- From Alexander "Ali" Meller, VP International 505 Class Yacht Racing Association -- If restrictions have to exist at all, they should be consistent and not defined differently by national sailing authorities; so I agree with what Mr. Henderson proposes.

The International 505 Class is, has been, and I expect will remain, open to all. I am personally not interested in racing in a class that restricts who can race, or who can drive, as I want to race against the best sailors without restriction. We welcome all; rockstars, sailmakers, boatbuilders, fully funded Olympic campaigners, all the way to enthusiastic newcomers to dinghy racing. In fact if any of the above want to race a 505 regatta or two, contact me, I may be able to lend you a 505. You are more than welcome. While the majority of our members have non-sailing-industry jobs and families and would not be considered "professional sailors" under any reasonable definition, amongst our class's strongest supporters and most valued members, are individuals who US Sailing would categorize as "Group III", due to their employment as sailmakers and boatbuilders. We also have valued members who race more than 30 days a year in major events; we continue to look forward to racing with and against them all.

-- From John Sweeney -- I just wanted to add my two cents worth regarding the Farr 40 Owner Driver issue. The class is set up so that owners who enjoy driving their own boats can race and actually learn how to sail. The whole point is to get the pros off the helm and let the guy who actually spends the money to have the fun and drive their $400k investment. If you don't like driving your own boat then buy an IMS or PHRF boat, not a Farr 40.

Craig Fletcher is a good helmsman, but he shouldn't be able to drive a Farr 40 unless he buys one. As soon as they let one owner bring in a good Category 1 then the fleet will rapidly go to hell. After sailing on Samba for several regattas I realized that the fleet is very competitive and the boats are easy to sail. You do need a great crew and a strong tactician to do well. If the owner wants to do better spend some time practicing and money on John Kostecki or someone like that to coach him. After a few regattas he should be able to be a lot more competitive.

-- From Seadon Wijsen -- I too have to agree with Craig Fletcher's comments on the Farr 40 helmsman issue. I think the Farr 40 helmsman eligibility process is a step in the right direction because it is performance based unlike USSA's monetary based rule of defining an experienced sailor and a non experienced sailor. However, I think the current Farr 40 rule is a detriment to the class because there are no definitions or reasons in black and white on why one helmsman is approved and another is not. The fact that eligibility is decided on by eight Farr 40 owners could also be considered unfair by those owners not on the committee. This rule may allow for "sour grapes" among competitors but it also takes away from the respect an owner may deserve from a successful regatta result because he/she had an alternate helmsman steer parts or all of those races.

-- From Bruce Kirby -- How could Ben Stauber, whoever he may be, cast aspersions on the magnificent San Juan 24, the most popular Quarter Tonner ever, and the most measured IOR boat of all time? There are many hundreds of sailors out there who have survived races of more than 100 miles in these wee vessels, and someone even sailed one to Hawaii in the 70s!

Curmudgeon's comment: No one -- absolutely no one -- was trying to cast aspersions on the San Juan 24. If the story in 'Butt #339 came off that way, it was an unintended result of the editing done on the press release that was much too long for this publication. BTW, Ben Stauber was NOT the author of the story -- he was the skipper of the third place finisher in the SJ 24 North American Championship Regatta.

For the 11th year in a row, High School sailing has shown a remarkable and increasing rate of growth in popularity with young sailors and others who wanted to become involved. From 67 member schools in 1989, the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) now numbers 275 at near-end of the school year, with a few yet to check in, a 20% increase over last year. Over the recent past, the growth rate has climbed from a few percentage points to 14, then 16 and now 20% a year.

This is a heartening sign to the many volunteers who make school sailing go. It's worth doing. With funding and travel a challenge, school sailing is blessed with the support of many yacht clubs and sailing associations, community programs and colleges who lend their equipment and their people's time.

A basic premise is that student participants need only equip themselves, boats and support are provided at no cost. Schools join, not individuals. Local leagues are the key to increasing participation, and that message is now clear. This is not just a few regattas a year, this is a school-year-long opportunity to enjoy the fun of sailing with your friends. - Larry White

For more information:

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

* This from Louis Vuitton's supremo, Bruno Trouble. With modern communications and in particular, access to the Internet, there will be fewer journalists in Auckland than was the case for the last regatta in San Diego. There were 1300 accredited media people in San Diego in 1992, and only 1000 in 1995. Trouble estimates that Auckland will see in the vicinity of only 600. A far cry from what has been considered likely by New Zealand predictions.

* Construction is at a peak with 40 builders working full time constructing the Aloha Challenge's two IACC yachts simultaneously. Hull #1 is getting close to completion for its scheduled launch date, June 12, and the plug for hull #2 is more than 50 per cent finished. The syndicate has increased efforts to secure State support. Both the State's House and Senate are voicing their approval of Aloha's campaign and there is every likelihood that the State of Hawaii will become a major sponsor of the Aloha Racing campaign.

Cabrillo Beach YC (14 boats): 1 - Vientiseis, Chuck Clay 2 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 1 (11) 2. Rigormortis, Doug McLean 9 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 - (14) 3. Lickity Split, Wood / Wilson - 1 - 3 - 4 - 8 - 4 - (20) 4. Shnookie, Mark Gaudio 4 - 4 - 7 - 2 - 9 (26) 5. 5 Wildebeest, Brian Dair 11 -3 - 5 - 6 - 5 (27).

Sailing is all about feel, and the most sensitive part of any sailor is the seat of their pants. As you make your way upwind and down, use your sense of feel to distinguish what to do to maximize your VMG.

UPWIND Angle of heel Too much, depower: Adjust body weight to weather, steer upwind a touch, traveller down, flatten sails. Too little, power up: Move body weight inboard, steer down to foot, ease mainsheet, adjust sails to be fuller.

Note: When sailing from a puff into a lull, you may experience what is known as a velocity shift. Actually, no shift has occured to the true wind, however, sailing from a puff to a lull will look like a header because your apparent wind has moved forward. Make your adjustments to maintain the fast heel of the boat according to feel, however, fight the tendency to sail away from the wind too much. Executing the transition well can save valuable boatlengths upwind.

DOWNWIND Too much, opportunity to sail low: Adjust body weight to weather, steer downwind a touch, traveller down, ease sails. Too little, heat it up: Move body weight inboard, steer up to increase apparent wind, trim mainsheet in, ease the chute.

Caveats: 1) In light air always be easing the spinnaker out; too often a collapsing kite gets overtrimmed to compensate when what it really needs is a little ease and the helmsman to head up just a touch to freshen the apparent wind and fill the chute.

2) In heavier air always be easing the spinnaker out (heard this before?); the goal is to get downwind and the trimmer can assist the helmsman by keeping the chute eased. - The Coach at

Two sailors with a disability just completed the Melbourne to Osaka Double-handed Race. After 44 days at sea, Australian disabled sailors reached Osaka to complete the Melbourne to Osaka Double-handed Race. - Robert Bethune

Read their stories:

A protest committee in Sydney last night adjourned the hearing on a report that the yacht Margaret Rintoul II had failed to give all possible help to Sword of Orion, from which British Olympic sailor Glyn Charles was lost during the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race. On the application of barrister Norman Hunt, for the owner/skipper of Margaret Rintoul II, Richard Purcell, the hearing was adjourned until after the findings of the New South Wales coroner into the deaths of six sailors in the race, including Charles. They are not expected before November. - Electronic Telegraph, UK

For the complete story:

Half the people you know are below average.