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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 reply:

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 start.

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

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 lead.

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 less.

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:

* 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, Audemars Piguet

* 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:


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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 Bourgnon.

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 : or

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 and 1960s.

-- 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 even earlier.

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

* 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.

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 Mark Chisnell.

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

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 experimentation.

'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:

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!

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