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SCUTTLEBUTT #348 - June 24, 1999

Skipper Greg Morash and his crew aboard the J/80 Adrenalin from Tiverton, RI, enjoy a unique status at the Storm Trysail's Block Island Race Week XVIII. They are sailing the only remaining boat in the regatta with a perfect score of five firsts. Leaders in the other 20 classes competing in the Club's 18th biennial regatta at the little island off the Rhode Island coast have succumbed to the close competition that has come with three days of light winds and strong current. Boats are tied for the lead in two classes, while in another just one point separates the first pair. Leads changed hands on Wednesday in several other classes.

With two days of racing remaining, including an excellent possibility of a race around the island, there are few if any certainties in the scores for the 223 boats competing. - Keith Taylor

Selected standings: FARR 40: 1. Edgar Cato, Coconut Grove, FL, Hissar, Farr 40 (3-2-1-8), 14 pts; 2. John Thomson, Pt. Washington, NY, Solution, Farr 40 (2-5-12-1), 20; 3. James Richardson, Boston, MA, Barking Mad, Farr 40 (4-6-7-4), 21. 1D35: 1. John Fisher, Peabody, MA, Jazz, 1D35 (1-1-3-2-3), 10; 2. Roger & Garth Dennis, Ithaca, NY, Smiling Bulldog, 1D35 (5-5-1-1-2), 14; 3. Victor Cribb, West Palm Beach, FL, Victory, 1D35 (2-2-2-5-5), 16. PHRF J/105: 1. Damian Emery, Shoreham, NY, Eclipse, J/105 (1-1-2-6-2), 12; 2. Robert Taylor, New Milford, CT, Hi Jinx, J/105 (7-3-6-3-1), 20; 3. Thomas Coates, San Francisco, CA, Masquerade, J/105 (6-2-3-5-9), 25.

Complete results and photos on the event site:

Transpac weather guru Earl Seagars is not a ray of sunshine as the race to Paradise approaches. "It's a screwball year," he said, noting recent gale-force winds off the coast. "It could be miserable for the first four days." But Stan Honey, who won the Ben Mitchell trophy for navigating Pyewacket to an elapsed time record for monohulls of 7 days 15 hours 24 minutes 40 seconds in 1997, said, "It looks like a good race. Gale-force winds would be delightful." Both men emphasize that conditions change day to day. "It's June," Honey said.

Seagars' worst-case scenario for the eight Cruisers and two Doublehanders starting June 29 was, "It's going to be blustery and choppy and cold. [Crew] may not want to spend much time below." Then the trade winds should offer some relief and following winds of 15 to 20 knots, which Honey said is "more than normal."

Honey said his long-range charts for the monohulls starting July 2 and 3 indicate "a fair amount of reaching the first half of the race. The spinnakers are going to go up later than normal." Asked if it looked like another record year, Honey said, "It's too early to tell."

Two recent dropouts have rejoined the race, bringing the apparent final starting fleet back up to 34 boats. The first 10 boats-eight Cruisers and two Doublehanded entries-will start Tuesday, June 29, followed by monohulls July 2 and 3 and two multihulls July 6.

The fleet is the smallest since 32 in 1963. There were 38 in each of the last two races. - Rich Roberts

Crew lists are posted on the race web site:

KIEL-After further extensive examination of the masts of the Maxi One Designs competing in the Adecco World Championship, the problem which kept them moored alongside their pontoons today has been identified and the cure is imminent.

Andy Steiner, who was responsible for the construction of the masts at La Ciotat, pinpointed the fault. He says that the clevis pin which retain the forestay to the mast have been incorrectly supplied for the last three boats to be built. He had specified a Nitronix pin of greater tensile strength than the pins which have been used.

Working round the clock in the Military Harbour, the Adecco shore crew together with the crews of the three Maxi One Designs involved, have made changes to the forestay attachments. Maxi One Design Class President, Pierre Fehlmann, said, 'We had to make sure that it was safe for the boats to race.'

The Maxi One Design class continues with the second event in the Adecco World Championship today with two windward/leeward races in Kieler Forde. - Bob Fisher

Event website:

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.

In what year was a hand held GPS commercially available? What was the average price?

A. 1985
B. 1988
C. 1990
D. 1991

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

-- From Cole Price-- The PHRF rating system may not be perfect, but it's strength lies in its dynamics; it is designed to adjust to the conditions that surround it. PHRF ratings are permitted to evolve so that they reflect the demonstrated performance of different types of boats raced in a given area/conditions. Some suggestions to refine and improve PHRF are submitted below for consideration and debate:

1. A method of scrutinizing the ratings of boats owned by PHRF Measurers (such as the -6 sec/mi, or review by a National Board, etc.). 2. Multiple ratings for boats depending upon whether the race is windward/leeward, or random leg (this system has been successfully utilized by PHRF of Southern California). 3. Identify boats with "cupcake" and particularly harsh ratings and align ratings with other boats. 4. Rate boats, not their crews. Boats that are sailed by particularly skilled, or unskilled crews should not have their ratings changed. 5. Ratings that vary depending upon the average speed per mile of the race. This would introduce time-on-time ratings that would minimize the benefit that boats of differing designs derive in certain conditions. 6. Use of a National Rating Board that maintains a National database. This will result in greater rating accuracy because a national board will have exponentially more data upon which to derive/base ratings then multiple local boards. Local boards would have the authority to make regional adjustments, plus provide data, input and suggestions to the National Board. A National Board would also minimize "ratings politics".

-- From Mike Guccione -- PHRF is dead again I hear. Funny, it seems that most of the races I have seen have been PHRF races. I have been trying to support a fledgling Americap fleet at our Marina and most people who have tried it like the simplicity of PHRF. I think Americap may be dead. I bet that more than 90 percent of the boats not racing one design are racing PHRF in California. So how do you call that dead? Any product or service with that kind of market share is a monopoly. The racer cruiser will never leave the simplicity of PHRF. Your great grandchildren will be racing PHRF, and still bitching about it.

-- Scott MacDonald -- From I thought it was important to respond with three points to the Glen McCarthy and Ken Signorello statements regarding the golf/sailing comparison. First, in my opinion sailing is now where golf was ten years ago, a sport with limited viewer interaction and a need for funds to expand. The second point is that I am not familiar with the concept of "excess sponsorship money." Very few events are self sufficient. Finally, events that make money have some standardization, but pale in comparison to other sports events sponsorship packages in terms of exposure on a cost per impression basis. Sailing has a phenomenal demographic and no delivery system.

-- From N J Christie -- I too have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous insurance adjusters. I bought a 5 month old J/120 from New York and arranged to have it shipped to my home in California. Well, the unthinkable happened and the mast was damaged in transit (despite using the supposedly professional services of World Marine Transport, not some mom and pop outfit). I set out to gather all of the professional opinions I could muster on what to do about the two huge gouges in the upper section of my aluminum mast, apparently caused by inappropriate tie downs. Despite opinions by local professionals, WMT insurance have set firm on offering only a very surface repair, based on the fact that the mast was "used". To sue would cost more than the cost of a new tube and my boat has already been unusable for 3 months while I have fought this, and so I will not pursue it further, I have just placed an order for a new mast at my own expense. I am disgusted that this can happen in a supposedly regulated consumer friendly society. If anyone has any ideas - please email me:

-- From Steve Hastings -- I have represented several friends who lost their masts and their insurance carriers claimed the wear and tear exclusion. The usual place the insurers look for and find wear and tear is in the shrouds and turnbuckles. An engineer with a microscope can make about anything look worn out. They then get a surveyor to offer the opinion that all standing rigging should be replaced every three to five years, depending on the geographic location of the boat and the salinity of the area. I realize that no one replaces rigging that often but that is still what you may hear from the insurers. They then will tell you it is all your fault for not taking care of your boat. The burden is usually on the insurance company to prove that an exclusion, like wear and tear, avoids coverage. If their experts don't have anything to look at it makes it harder for them to prove the exclusion. The law varies from state to state on whether wear and tear is a total out for the insurer or just a percentage reduction of the total loss based on what percent of the loss was caused by wear and tear and what percent was caused by a covered cause like the wind was blowing really hard or my bowman blew the jibe.

Whilst racing along at breakneck speeds on the Round Europe Race, Nicolas Florin, the bowman from one of the 60 foot trimarans "Biscuits de la Trinitaine", was swept off the boat. His harness broke under the force of the water as the boat dived in to a wave in testing conditions. Several boats were immediately detailed to search as well as two helicopters, but at daylight there was still no sign of him. The search continues but hopes are fading of finding him alive.

Nicolas is a very experienced sailor, and previously part of the Corum Sailing Team, having raced Admirals Cup, Mumm 36 Worlds and even the Paris Dakar rally in a buggy. These Open 60 trimarans in particular are the equivalent of Formula 1 racing cars. They are raced to the limit, and crewed by some of the most experienced sailors in the world.

Event website:

1. Good communication is the key to great teamwork. Think ahead and let the crew know as soon as key tactical decisions are made in order to keep everyone on the same page.

2. Always try to have a plan for the next portion of the race. Plan your strategy for the run at the end of the beat.

3. Only talk if it contributes to better decisions or better speed; i.e. Aim to know your boat well enough so that speed is second nature. Now you can keep your head out of the boat and think ahead in order to maximize your position.

4. Set up channels of communication: e.g. helmsman receives information from trimmers, tactician and possibly someone up forward calling breeze and waves. Trimmer receives information from Helmsman, Tactician and Bowman. Bowman receives information from Tactician as to what move comes next. Information should always travel through channels so that when something is missed you have accountability for next time to get it right.

5. Before tacking, jibing or rounding a mark do a quick responsibility check so that all tasks are covered.

6. Keep your crew happy... a post race beer or T-shirt goes a long way. -- The coach at

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

* There have been virtually no takers for club membership in the complex American Express is building for the America's Cup on Viaduct Harbour. Offers of membership to New Zealand cardholders at prices ranging from NZ$1650 to NZ$3500 has produced dismal results, and Amex will soon announced a re-scaling of charges, but with fewer privileges for NZ$1000. They still may be just dreaming!

* The projected income from the base site leases must now be very wide of original expectations. America's Cup Village Limited is already renegotiating lease arrangements with five Cup syndicates. The FAST2000 Swiss syndicate who have defaulted on a number of payments must be adding to the frustrations of Village management. Meanwhile, it is patently obvious that neither Russia nor Australia will be among those fronting with lease money.

San Francisco, California -- San Francisco is the place to be on the 4th of July weekend if you are a tallship enthusiast. The San Francisco Gold Rush Sail schedule begins on July 2nd at 1400 hours as the U.S. Coast Guard Eagle leads the parade of ships on San Francisco Bay between the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. The best viewing locations are Vista Point, Crissy Field, Marina Green, Fort Mason, Fisherman s Wharf and the Embarcadero. Tallships from the United States, Canada, Ecuador, Columbia, Indonesia and Japan will be docked at Pier 27, 35 and 45 and will be open to visitors on July 3rd and 4th where viewing will take place from 0900 to 1700 hours.

On the fifth of July the flotilla will race 400 miles to Long Beach, California -- the next stop on the tour. The tall ships will arrive on July 9th with ship tours scheduled for July 10th and 11th, at Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach Harbor, and the Seal Beach Naval Station. From Long Beach, the tallships will begin their sail to the last location, San Diego. Arriving on the 14th of July, these beauties will be on display for the public until July 18th. - Amy Elliott

A dominating performance by 'Thomas I Punkt' proved sufficient for the German crew to take the Mumm 36 World Championships with a day to spare, always providing that two pending protests do not significantly change the results of today's racing. - Susan Warden-Owen

Standings: 1. Thomas I Punkt, K Jablinski (24 points) 2. Barlo Plastics, A Stead (33 pts) 3. Moby Lines, E Cheffi (35 pts) 4. Breeze 1, Terry Hutchinson (37 pts) 5. New Yorker, C Larson (42 pts)

Event site:

Hand held GPS units became available in 1988 at an average price of $2000.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.