SCUTTLEBUTT #353 - July 1, 1999
The curmudgeon recently asked respected PRO Betsy Altman for some insight
about hailing boats that are OCS before the starting signal. This was her
This topic might be called "Airwave of the Future". It is effective, as
Matt Jones will tell anyone (he probably is the papa of the process). Call
any boat on the line in the final minutes before the start and everyone
near him will make a left hand turn.
It is probably best for the SI's to include a warning that hailing boats
may be used. This language might be "The Race Committee may attempt to
identify boats over the line in the final minutes before the start. This
modifies RRS 41 (outside help)." In a large fleet, hailing only in the last
minute may not allow boats sufficient room to duck below the line,
therefore the RC may chose to begin hailing in the final two minutes to the
Most (perhaps all) competitors recognize that the Race Committee is trying
to provide a service to the fleet with the warning hail. This is seen be
competitors in the spirit of making the racing more fun, not as providing
outside help to a few boats.
The Race Committee can continue hailing numbers as close to the actual
start as they wish so long as they don't interfere with their own official
record keeping for the actual start. When I do this, I have a separate team
calling the line for OCS and I generally stop talking to the competitors in
the final 10 seconds or so.
Competitors in our area seem pleased with this process. I wonder what
experience others have had who have used it. -- Betsy Altman
ISAF has issued the World Match Race Rankings to determine the ten skippers
who will be invited to compete in the 1999 Cottonfield Cup ISAF World Match
Race Championship. The event will be held in Skovshoved Harbour Copenhagen
from 16 - 22 August.
The following sailors representing seven different nations have qualified
to contest the World title in Copenhagen : 1. Peter Gilmour 2. Gavin Brady
3. Sten Mohr 4. Bertrand Pace 5. Dean Barker 6. Markus Weiser 7. Magnus
Holmberg 8. Morten Henriksen 9. Jesper Bank 10. Chris Law
If any of the top ten skippers are unable to attend the Worlds the next
place will be offered to Jochen Schumann (GERMANY) who is ranked eleventh
today followed by Jes Gram-Hansen (DENMARK) who has risen from 15th to 12th
since the last rankings on May 4th.
Complete rankings at http://sailing.org/iyru/mrranking.html
The Cruising and Doublehanded classes that started the 40th Transpacific
Yacht Race to Hawaii so spectacularly Tuesday were left drifting Wednesday
in winds of zero to 6 knots, with a mere 30-foot sailboat fighting for the
The early breeze died past Santa Catalina Island and the seas beyond went
flat. At the first daily 8 a.m. roll call, the 10 boats had managed to sail
only 82 to 111 miles in the first 19 hours at average speeds of 5 knots or
In the initial position reports, Two Guys On the Edge-a Sonoma 30 with only
Les Vasconcellos and Bruce Burgess of Waikiki Yacht Club on board-had
sailed 107 miles, closely following the direct line to the islands. The
only boat calculated to be in as good a position was Wendy Siegal's Cal 40
Willow Wind from San Diego at 111 miles.
Bob Pace's Esprit, from Oceanside, and Doug Jones' 49-foot yawl Pacifica,
San Diego, had logged 108 miles each but were following deviated courses.
Vapor, a 25-footer that is the smallest boat ever to race in the 93 years
of the Transpac, failed to radio its position, as required by the rules,
but was not thought to be in distress. Aboard are Bill Boyd and Scott
Atwood of Long Beach.
The smaller racing boats will start Friday, followed by 14 large monohulls
Saturday. Both starts will be at 1 o'clock. - Rich Roberts
Photos of Tuesday's start, daily position reports, crew lists and other
information are available on the race web page: http://www.transpacificyc.org
* Renowned watchmakers Audemars Piguet has decided to play a part in the
conquest of the America's Cup by becoming one of the major sponsors of the
Swiss team. The Swiss team is indeed happy with having the reputed
manufacturer coming aboard on the sponsor's deck and, as a token of
satisfaction, the racing yacht will be christened "be hAPpy". On the
occasion of this autumn races, Audemars Piguet will present a limited
edition of Royal Oak steel and titanium chronographs. - Pauline Bochot,
* Switzerland's America's Cup challengers are crowing about their new boat
- but they have lost a designer and could forfeit their Auckland base and
an old cup boat today for failing to pay their bills. Fast 2000 must come
up with $162,000 by 5pm today or they will be kicked out of the cup
village. Everything on the site, including the cup boat chartered from the
French Esprit syndicate, will suddenly belong to the village company.
Yesterday the Swiss were given a sail number for their new boat - CH59 -
which now consists of a deck and a laminated hull in a boatyard in Geneva.
But at the same time, one of the boat's designers walked off the project
because he had not been paid. Naval architect Sebastien Schmidt said
yesterday that he had not received a cent for six months. America's Cup
Village Ltd have been owed money since the Swiss began leasing a base in
the Viaduct Basin around a year ago.
On Monday, they paid $50,000 of the $212,000 owing, and have until the end
of the Auckland business day today to front up with the rest. Village dock
boss Grant Davidson said yesterday that ACVL had been more than generous
with their deadline.
There will be no problems filling the 65m x 16m space. Davidson said the
neighbours, Nippon and AmericaOne, were looking for more room, and Syd
Fischer's Young Australia were still interested in a base.
The boat design has now been handed to Dutchman Peter van Oossanen, who
helped draw up Australia's victorious 1983 cup boat, and French cup
designer Philippe Briand. -- Suzanne McFadden, New Zealand Herald
To read the full story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
Slow sails are never cheapno matter how little they cost. But you can
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The trimaran Foncia Immoblier set a blistering pace in the first 24 hours
of her attempt to set a new record for crossing the Atlantic under sail.
Foncia logged 520 miles in the first 24 hours of sailing, at an average
speed of 21.7 knots. The race-proven 60-foot trimaran is co-skippered by
Cam Lewis, from Lincolnville, ME, and the Swiss brothers Yvan and Laurent
Foncia must maintain an average speed faster than 18.5 knots in order to
beat the existing record of 6 days, 13 hours, 3 minutes, and 32 seconds set
in June, 1986, by French skipper Serge Madec sailing the 75-foot catamaran
Jet Services V. On that occasion, Madec averaged 18.42 knots (34.5 kph) for
the 2888-mile crossing. Although 15 feet smaller than Jet Services, Foncia
continued her 21.7 knots average for the first day into the second evening
of sailing. Jet Services' average speed for the first 36 hours was 21.34
knots. At 5:15 pm Eastern Daylight Time after nearly 32 hours of sailing,
Foncia was still averaging 21.76 knots and was 200 miles south of Nova Scotia.
"It was a day filled with drama," Lewis reported via satellite telephone.
"We found the engine compartment filled with water and had to get it pumped
out and get the engine cleaned up in a hurry. We rely on the engine for
charging our batteries and running our watermaker. We don't need it for
propulsion but without it we'd be in trouble!
"We also broke a couple of battens in the mainsail as we shook out a reef,
but we were able to repair them, despite spray like a firehose flying
across the deck. Fortunately the seas are fairly flat and friendly. There
are no monster waves threatening to wash us off the nets between our main
hull and two outer hulls.
The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), based in England, is timing
the record attempt and, will formally ratify the 2,800 nautical mile
voyage. -- Keith Taylor
To follow Foncia's voyage : http://www.yvan-bourgnon.com or
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Daniel L. Phelps -- In response specifically to the comments on
Melges 24 and IOR 50 footers: while PHRF does do a reasonable job of rating
these boats so they could participate on the same line, the truth is that
they should not be on the same line.
This is likely before my time, but my guess is that PHRF was designed with
the club racer, displacement boats in mind. That said, the PHRF rating
given to Melges, metric J-Boats, Vipers and others often puts these
sportboats in a rating band that they don't belong. While these smaller
boats are capable of speeds up to 20 kts, they are also hindered by their
size. When a Melges 24 lines up against an IOR 50 there is no way for the
Melges to get under them if it is blowing. Likewise, with the Melges'
small sail plan, it is impossible to rate the two fairly if the IOR 50 can
put up a 155% genoa in 5 kts of breeze.
Sportboats it would seem, need to either start in a similar size vessel
band, or get their own "sportboat" start.
BTW - I am all for PHRF in concept though. As a mechanism to start new
one-designs, or to start club racing programs, it is invaluable.
-- From Dan Nolan, Offshore Director, US Sailing -- Regarding PHRF, rating
systems and US SAILING's plans to provide support. As Offshore Director I
am the front man for shaping and promoting our efforts. The man doing all
the work is Jim Teeters, a Newport, Rhode Island Naval Architect working at
Langan Design Associates. Jim is a long time member of the IMS technical
committee and the author of the Americap VPP's. Although he is under
contract to my office, his efforts far exceed what we pay him. Not only
does he have to come up with a realistic scheme to rate boats whose hulls
have never been measured and there is no designer file available, but it
also has to be affordable. When we home in on what the racers want and it
all works, it will be Jim's doing.
-- From Rob Mundle -- In reply to Tom Ehman's interesting observations on
the six minute protest and umpiring: Umpiring was used at major skiff
championships, particularly 16ft skiff regattas, in Australia in the 1950s
-- From Bruce Golison (In reply to Tom Ehman's comments in 'Butt #352) --
I would like thank Tom Ehman (who I greatly respect) for enlightening us
about our "six minute protest procedure" being linked to USA collegiate
sailing and elsewhere since at least the early 1970s, and in UK team racing
My only question to Tom Ehman and the rest of the world's rules and judging
establishment, why have I and thousands of sailors, race organizers and
the media been subjected to the ridiculously long and dragged out (and in
some cases tortuous) protest procedure that virtually every yacht race uses?
The sailors hate it. Race organizers hate it. The media hates it. If
this system has been around for so long, then shame on the international
and US sailing organizations for making us all go through sitting inside
and outside the protest room for long periods of time (as well as holding
results up too).
My challenge to the rules and judging community is to get this "long
standing system" in place at every event so that we can all enjoy our sport
a whole lot more!
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
* New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts has quashed the strong rumours that
there has been a major falling out between himself and Sir Peter Blake.
Coutts maintains they have a good working relationship, that he would never
put down anyone in Team New Zealand, and hopefully that is the reason why
they are such a strong team. Blake has done a fantastic job and is an icon
in New Zealand and well respected within the team.
* The booze battle seems to be over. Four Viaduct Harbour waterfront bars
will be allowed to stay open 24 hours a day, provided no outdoor seating
(read drinking) is allowed beyond 10 pm (11 pm Friday and Saturdays). Not a
welcome situation as far as the Auckland police are concerned.
MORE MATCH RACING
Five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the year Betsy Alison and her all women's
match race team will go head to head with some of the world's top female
match racers in this year's edition of the Swedish Match Cup that takes
place in Marstrand, Sweden, July 5-11.
Twelve of the top ranked helmsmen and crews will join battle in two Round
Robin series for a place in the semi-finals and finals during the weekend.
Four of the internationally ranked helmswomen and crews will, at the same
time, compete for the Swedish Match Women's trophy. 100,000 enthusiastic
spectators will attend one of the best events in the Match Racing World Cup.
Alison's crew features four members of the America3 1995 Americas Cup team:
Melissa Purdy (Tiburon CA), Joan Touchette (Newport, RI), Merritt
Palm(Baltimore, MD) and Linda Lindquist(Chicago IL). Rounding out the crew
will be Nancy Hood (Newport, RI), a veteran bowman, and longtime crewmember
of Alison's winning match race and keelboat teams. - Merritt Palm
Some of the world's best skippers and crew will contest the inaugural "Race
1 Sydney 40 World Championships", off Cowes, Isle of Wight, starting
Thursday 1st July 1999. Well known names amongst the crews include triple
Olympic medallist Rodney Pattisson, a Briton who is sailing on the
Australian boat Sledgehammer. Also on this boat is Australia's Grant
Simmer, an America's Cup winning navigator, who on this occasion is
tactician on the boat owned by Ron Jones.
The American entry, Blue Yankee, will be steered by Olympic medallist Steve
Benjamin, who also has three world championships to his credit, and he will
be assisted by English Whitbread race sailor Adrian Stead.
Germany's M.K. Cafe will be steered by Markus Wieser, with the crew
including Australians Michael Coxon and Adrienne Cahalan plus Kiwis Mark
Christenson and Kelvin Harrap.
The afterguard on England's Arbitrator includes Chris Law, the only
helmsman to win the Sydney/Hobart race and the Fastnet race in the same year.
The Italians, sailing Invicta, have another Olympic medallist in their
crew, Spaniard Jordi Calafat, while Paolo Cian is currently ranked third in
the Soling class world rankings.
Sailing on the European entry, Merit Cup, is tactician from the America's
Cup winning Team New Zealand, Murray Jones, and he is joined by navigator
Trust Computer Products, which represents the Netherlands, includes in its
crew, Whitbread sailor Erle Williams of New Zealand, and Australia's Andrew
Cape, who is fresh from a victory in the Mini Fastnet race.
The eighth entry, Turbo UK, is sailing for the Commonwealth, and has
Britain's Jonty Sherwill at the helm, while the up-and-coming young Ben
Vines is the tactician on the team.
All these crews will go on to represent their country or region in the
Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, which starts in Cowes on 14th July, and is
regarded as the world championship of offshore racing.
The only team that will sail in the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, but is
not contesting this championship, are the French, whose new sails could not
be completed in time.
The championship, which consists of seven races, is sponsored by the
British company, Race 1, a new organisation in boat management and
chartering, at the competitive end of the market. -- John Roberson
ADECCO CHAMPIONSHIP - Bob Fisher
STOCKHOLM-The entire fleet of Maxi One Designs competing in the Adecco
World Championship has a single question on its lips - 'How do we beat
Ludde Ingvall's Skandia?' Following his victory in the 386 mile
Kiel-Stockholm Race, his third successive event victory, it is hardly
surprising that the rest are asking this question.
Ingvall is slightly bemused by this situation, but says that it is due to
his greater experience with these 80 footers. 'I have been sailing them
for almost three years,' he said, 'and I hope I have found out a great deal
about them in this time.' He admits that there is something different in
the way that he has set up his rig, and that it is due to previous
'We think we know how to squeeze an extra ounce of speed from the boat, and
we are sure that it won't be long before the others catch on to what we are
doing,' he said with a grin. 'It shouldn't take them long, but by then we
hope to be a further step ahead.' Obviously, Ingvall is not going to hand
over his advantage easily.
Ross Field and his crew in RF Yachting have made the most forward steps in
an effort to match Skandia. Their performance in all three events thus
far; the North Sea Regatta at Scheveningen, Kieler Woche, and the
Kiel-Stockholm Race; has shown progressive improvement and Field, who won
the 1993/4 Whitbread race, is such a seasoned and dedicated campaigner that
he will only be satisfied when he has won the championship.
Overall points after three events: 1. Skandia (EUR) Ludde Ingvall (30
points) 2. RF Yachting (NZL) Ross Field (22.5) 3. Le Defi Bouygues
Telecom - Transiciel (FRA) (21) 4. Team Henri-Lloyd (SWE) Gunnar Krantz
(15) 5. Alinghimax (SUI) Ernesto Bertarelli (12) 6. Rainbow Magic (RSA)
Geoff Meek (12) 7. Synphony (BEL) Hans Bouscholte (9) 8. Seac Banche
(ITA) Guido Maisto (5).
Event website: http://www.adecco-championship.com/uk/
The 1999 Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race web site is up and running. The site
has gone through a complete redesign to include all of this year's
information such as NOR, SI, ORC Worksheet and Amendments and a whole bunch
more. The important thing for most (the preliminary scratch sheets!) are
also posted! This year's event already has over 290 boats registered with a
scheduled 20 starts! http://www.byc.com/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS