SCUTTLEBUTT #352 - June 30, 1999
GUEST EDITORIAL -- Brian Atwater
PHRF was a great idea some twenty years ago. It was a way for the guy with
the stock cruiser/racer to compete against similar boats sailed at about
the same intensity level, i.e. kids, wife, and a friend or two. Remember,
that was the hey day of IOR, the beginning of brown sails and the first
time most of us had heard about matched instruments and target boat speeds.
When IOR met its timely demise all those concepts had no place to go. IMS
had not gotten enough of a constituency to make it viable. All the
wannabees packed up the Ockams, brown sails, and take no prisoners attitude
and moved right over to PHRF.
Once the wannabees looked around at PHRF they found a lot of loopholes to
exploit. Sail limitations? PHRF has none. Hydraulic headstay and forestay?
PHRF says nothing. Pros driving and trimming? No problem. In no time our
friend with the stock boat realized he was outgunned. Having no natural
enthusiasm for DFLs, he cut way back on his racing, if he races at all.
Take a look at the harbors that would be teeming with activity on race
days. I know of one old line club that used to send out a minimum of
fifteen good boats to every important event in the area. Not any more. It's
a rare event that sees more than two boats from that club.
It's time to give PHRF back to the family racer. For the rest of us, let's
coalesce around a system that offers something more sophisticated. I like
the concept of varying handicaps based on wind strength and course
configuration. I know the arguments about complexity. Frankly, I don't buy
that. Almost all of the boats that I'm talking about sail with a laptop on
board. It's not complicated to have the geek on the boat punch some
numbers to tell you where you stand in real time.
Americap, ORC Club, the new, enhanced PHRF, let's find something that works
for the almost Gran Prix competitors.
The Ronstan 49er of Kevin Hall and Morgan Larson return home after sailing
the Lotus Cup in Norway and Kiel Week in Germany, the largest Olympic Class
Regatta in the World. Zack Leonard from Rhode Island joins us as our coach
along with the Swiss Team of Chris Rast and Bruno Zeltner as our training
partners. We settled into our own boat for two days of training before
commencing the 11 race event with 67 boats. After 6 qualifying races
Larson/Hall finished up in 2nd behind Adam Beashel and Teague Cizslowski
from Sydney, Australia. 5 more light to moderate races dropped us back to
4th while Beashel/Cizslowski take the title and lead the Australian Olympic
Improving our light air racing was at the top of our list for the trip. We
still felt a little shaky on some points but managed to improve on many of
our techniques. The trip was a success and the Ronstan 49er was looking
sharp. Unfortunatley 3 different times we encountered the European thief.
Wetsuits, tools and other sailing gear walked off. Other than that note we
had a fantastic trip and look forward to sailing our other Ronstan 49er
this week in San Francisco. - Morgan Larson
Douglas Gill guarantees ALL of their products against defects in material
and workmanship for the lifetime of the product. PERIOD. And their sailing
apparel is the most comfortable you can buy. With something as important as
this, why would you settle for anything less?
Curmudgeon's observation: Undoubtedly because of the impact their ads in
Scuttlebutt, Gill North America is growing and expanding. There are now
sales job opportunities in both the Marine and Bike Divisions. The jobs are
based in Buford, Georgia about 40 miles north of Atlanta. Check out the job
postings on their website: http://www.douglasgill.com
Ellen MacArthur and Kingfisher plc announced the construction location of
their new Open 60 yacht, Kingfisher, for the Vendee Globe single-handed,
round the world race, starting on 5 November 2000. Marten Marine of
Auckland, New Zealand will build the hi-tech, carbon fibre, 60-foot
raceboat, due for launch in February of next year.
The Kingfisher Design Team has been working hard for the past two months.
Merfyn Owen will soon leave Rob Humphrey's Lymington office, and head to
New Zealand to manage the construction phase - this continuity is an
important facet of the project. Giovanni Belgrano of SP Technologies will
also be in New Zealand and Alain Gautier will certainly be there for key
stages of the build and preparation.
The R&D phase of the design work is concluding after some intensive work in
the Wolfson Unit wind tunnel and tank testing facilities. Merfyn Owen
commented: "No final decision has been made on the rig or sail
configuration but we have gained some valuable knowledge. Combined with the
work we are doing in the tank on hull shape and the results from WS Atkins
of the CFD work (computational fluid dynamics) on the appendages, we have a
high level of confidence in the performance and the design we have
developed. Our aim has been to work from existing boats and produce a
design that is faster, safer and easier to sail. We are more confident
than ever of achieving this." -- Mark Turner, Kingfisher Challenges Limited
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Tom Ehman (ex-Californian) -- Mr. Golison is without doubt a fine
regatta manager, but "six-minute" protests ("a rose by any other name...")
have been a feature in USA collegiate sailing and elsewhere since at least
the early 1970s, and in UK team racing even earlier. Credit nonetheless is
due the innovative Californians who, it should also be noted, were the
first to try umpiring at a major event -- the '88 Congressional Cup.
-- From Jesse Falsone -- On the issue of regatta sponsorship, I would like
to comment that there is an economy of scale in "yacht" racing. Many of us
sail one-design dinghies, and regatta sponsorship in the form of donated
products has been a great help in promoting our events and reducing costs
to competitors. The typical dinghy sailor has a pretty tight budget, and
many sailors are enticed to travel to a regatta that provides the most
"bang for the buck". Product suppliers have enabled regatta organizers to
reduce the entry fee and/or provide better social activities by raffling
off the various donated goods. In many cases, the raffle is free and a
number of competitors walk off with a nice bag, hardware, clothing, sails,
etc. I have found that while suppliers are not necessary to run a great
event on the water, they add value to the event on shore - and having a
good time ashore is a key component to the success of any regatta.
-- From Glenn McCarthy -- Congratulations to Jeff Borland for producing a
TV show on the Santa Maria Cup and getting airtime. Way to go to promote
the sport! He says the production used three times the event costs to make
this show. Way beyond the sponsorship money used to provide fun for the
sailors in the event. Would Jeff like to comment where the money came from
to produce this show that airs July 3rd? To Peter Huston who agrees with
me that sponsorship does nothing to grow the sport, Scott McDonald had made
the suggestion that the approach on sponsorship needs to change to grow the
sport. I have just been trying to sort out how a change could be made,
what that change might be, but more importantly, how sponsorship has
anything to do with growing the sport. IMHO sponsorship really seems to
serve those that are already here.
-- From Jack Mallinckrodt -- Recent letters from Dan Nowlan and Jim Teeters
have opened the window to some fresh air on the subject of handicapping and
scoring. Jim's letter says of IMS " ...to make proper use of its technical
power, the scoring system is more complex than most sailors will tolerate".
PLS (Performance Line Scoring), the scoring element of AMERICAP was
developed was developed to address this very issue and it does so very
well. PLS was used successfully for scoring most IMS racing in Southern
California from 1992 to 1996. For all practical purposes its results are
identical to IMS-PCS. A comparison of PLS versus PCS scoring gave
agreement within 2 sec/mi for 90% of all IMS measured yachts, over all
courses, at all wind velocities.
When PLS was first adopted for AMERICAP I argued for its adoption in IMS.
The idea was rejected at that time due to arcane international rule
politics. With the fresh air, I suggest that possibility be revisited. A
simply scored, maximum accuracy, objective handicap system is possible.
-- From Jerry Kaye -- PHRF needs to be defended from unsubstantiated
attacks & groundless condemnation. Consider what's being said:
"...the system is not working well" GET SPECIFIC! Give PHRF a chance to
correct a problem (if one exists).
"a rating change is not as simple as walking in the door and asking for
one because of the self-serving interests of the administration." There's
many ways to change ratings and there's good reasons not to. Cases are
presented without results or times, just whining. Finishes are reported by
owners including trips to the wrong mark! Others tack under larger boats,
get rolled, then condemn PHRF! Unsubstantiated accusations obscure the
progress PHRF has made.
I hear bitching and griping but we need facts if something needs fixing!
PHRF is flexible enough to rate a Melges 24 and an old 50' IOR boat to
fairly (not perfectly) compete in the same start WITHOUT a $1,000
measurement invoice. Since ratings are based on observed performance, we
may need a couple of passes to get it right. If not, tell us!
PHRF thrives on members' participation & feedback. If PHRF racers won't
participate, they deserve what they get. If you don't participate in the
TIP O' THE WEEK
Cross 'Em When You Can -- This is a classic rule of thumb offered many
years ago by Stuart Walker in his book Advanced Racing Tactics. When
sailing upwind in an oscillating breeze and the opportunity presents itself
such that the boats on your stern quarter are pointing down enough that you
can tack and get across their bows... do it. Seizing this opportunity sets
you up for the next shift. To defend, the other boats' only option is to
tack in front and to leeward of your bow and wait for the next shift that
will cause you to point down at them. However, if the group you are
crossing sticks it out and allows you to cross, the gain you realize will
be even greater when that next shift arrives and you are lifted and inside.
Note, the same principle applies when jibing downwind in an oscillating
breeze. -- the Coach at Sailweb.net.
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
"Unless you have the idea of winning planted firmly in your mind, there is
not much point in taking up the challenge." Patrizio Bertelli, Prada.
* The USA computer corporation, Compaq, has become the fifth major sponsor
for Team New Zealand , making up their so-called "family of five."
* Dennis Conner's retail shop at his Cup base in the Cup Village has been
broken into. Missing; seventy pairs of designer sunglasses and a cash box
with an undisclosed amount of cash. The shop opened for business on June 4.
A clear sky, temperature in the 70s and a westerly breeze of 14 knots sent
the first fleet of boats on their way in the 40th biennial Transpacific
Yacht Race Tuesday. Eight Cruising class entries and two tiny Doublehanded
division boats hit the starting line off the Palos Verdes Peninsula at 1
o'clock, with the full-on racing classes to follow Friday, Saturday and
Conditions were so good with the wind coming from 255 degrees that the
boats were expected to lay the west end of Santa Catalina Island at 211
degrees without tacking.
For two boats, getting to the starting line on time was touch and go. The
crew on Carl Vanderbeek's Goodnight Moon, a Swan 431 from Dana Point Yacht
Club, discovered water in the fuel tank Tuesday morning. Goodnight Moon
sailed out to the starting line from the Cabrillo Marina but believed it
had fixed the problem.
Two Guys On the Edge, a Sonoma 30 from Waikiki YC manned by Les
Vasconcellos and Bruce Burgess, reached the starting area just in time to
pick up its Transpac burgee and fall into the 10-minute pre-start sequence.
The same boat dropped out with a broken rudder two years ago.
Eight 40-footers are scheduled to start Friday, followed by the biggest and
fastest monohulls Saturday. A single catamaran will start Tuesday. The
first boats would normally sail the 2,225 nautical miles to Honolulu in 8
or 9 days. -- Rich Roberts
Race website: http://www.transpacificyc.org/
VOLVO INSHORE CHAMPIONSHIP
Final results: 50 +/-: Cantata (Andrews 53), Ron Kuntz, Oceanside YC,
1-2-4. PHRF-1: High 5 (Farr 40), Ross Ritto, Cortez Racing Assn., 1-1-1.
PHRF-2: Defiance (B-32), Scott Taylor, Cabrillo Beach YC, 3-3-1.
PHRF-3: Invincible (Nelson/Marek 30), Thomas Carruthers, San Diego YC,
4-1-1. PHRF-4: Whisper (S2 9.1), Al Berg, Santa Monica Windjammers YC,
3-3-10. J/120: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, Larry Harvey, Alamitos Bay YC, 1-1-1.
Melges 24: Twist & Shout, Jessica Lord/Nick Adamson, St. Francis YC, 3-2
(class did not compete in Cal Race Week). Farr 40: Samba Pa Ti, John
Kilroy, California YC, 1-1-1. Schock 35: Troublemaker, Jim Long/Todd
Downey, California YC, 1-4-6. OVERALL: 1. Troublemaker; 2. Samba Pa Ti;
Southern California PHRF is debuting their monthly news column to inform
members (and participants) of changes, improvements and developments in
PHRF Racing. The syndicated column titled PHRF PERSPECTIVES debuts July
4th weekend. It will be published in Santana, The San Diego Log and the
The column is planned to cover a wide range of topics......how PHRF works
and how members can make it work for them.......how boat's ratings are
derived, and how members can impact their boat's rating and the ratings of
competitors. PHRF will explain changes to update, improve, and streamline
the PHRF handicapping system. The column will also, from time to time
present performance-oriented articles on how to make a boat go faster
without changing the boat's rating.
The Southern California PHRF Board has also:
1. Created a Third rating (called OW for Off Wind) to more equitably rate
sport boats and extreme ULDBs for primarily downwind courses. Initially,
sport boats and extreme ULDB boats will be affected by the new rating.
2. Simplified the PHRF rating system and removed some of the autonomy from
the local boards.
3. Eliminated Provisional ratings.
4. Established that boats having the likely capability to actively race in
Areas other than their home waters be rated on a "regional" basis with the
blessing of the Chief Handicapper. -- Jerry Kaye
49ER CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMPS
The first of three West Coast 49er events just ended in San Diego, with 13
teams from 4 nations in attendance. The California State Champs was
expertly hosted by the Coronado Yacht Club, the first ever 49er event in
San Diego. In the end it was the most dominant performance of the year for
Jonathan and Charlie McKee's Team McLube. -- CM
Final results: 1. Team McLube, 9 pts. 2. Team Revo (Andy Mack and Adam
Lowery) 20 3. Carl & Carol Buchan, 31 4. Toyota, 40 5. Crowder/Dunn, 46.
Move over Land's End -- for the hot selection of sailing apparel, you
simply have to check out North Sails catalog website. Shirts, pants,
shorts, hats, bags, Hawaiian stuff, outer wear and accessories -- they've
got it all: http://www.northsailscatalog.com/
ADECCO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP -- Bob Fisher
Ludde Ingvall appears to be omnipotent in the Maxi One Design class; he
scored his third successive victory with his European entry, Skandia, in
the Adecco World Championship by winning the 386 mile race from Kiel to
Stockholm by 11 minutes from Ross Field's RF Yachting. Ingvall leads the
championship by 7.5 points ahead of Field.
The reason why Skandia was able to make the early break, according to Ross
Field, who finished second into Stockholm, was that, 'Boat speed made the
difference. Their sails are differently cut and that is why they go
faster.' Ingvall would not entirely agree. 'We have set up out boat quite
differently, and we will see how long it takes for them to find out.' Field
believes he has the better crew and that it will not be long before he is
regularly beating Ingvall's crew. 'My crew is better,' he declared, 'and we
will win the next race. Only time will tell who is right. Little could be
done during the race, but Field already had plans afoot in his search for
some extra speed. 'We will re-cut all our sails in the next three days he
said,' when RF Yachting reached Saltsjobaden.
Finishing times : 1. Skandia (EUR) Ludde Ingvall 06:36:44 2. RF Yachting
(NZL) Ross Field 06:48:18 3. Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel (FRA)
Pierre Mas 07:26:44 4. Alinghimax (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli 07:26:44 5.
Synphony (BEL) Hans Bouscholte 07:45:05 6. Rainbow Magic (RSA) Geoff Meek
08:13:53 7. Seac Banche (ITA) Guido Maisto 10:43:53 8. Team Henri-Lloyd
(SWE) Gunnar Krantz DNS
Event site: http://www.adecco-championship.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
One of the hardest things in life to learn is which bridge to cross and
which to burn.