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SCUTTLEBUTT #355 - July 6, 1999

GUEST EDITORIAL -- Frank Whitton
Why would anyone settle for bones when steak is available? PHRF is bare bones with no meat at all. That doesn't mean that they don't taste good. It means that it is the simplest, most easily applied system today. It's also the safest. Not only is it easy to apply but if I win I'm happy and if I lose I can blame it on the lousy handicappers in their smoked filled room.

If, and this is a big if, AMERICAP rates boats accurately, why not give it a try? It may take a big effort on your part in your area to get ratings and educate race committees on scoring and competitors on readjusting their thinking. But why not try? US Sailing has agreed to look at real data and adjust the VPPs to fit the beasts if necessary. Americap has been around for several years and has not been used because US Sailing has failed in its job to promote it. They are changing as we speak and are willing to go to whatever means it takes to provide a measurement rating system that would be accepted by those that want it.

1. Simplicity single number two numbers
2. On the course score as you go score as you go
3. Race committee easy scoring easy scoring
4. Course content very limited multiple configurations
5. Wind velocity none time on time
6 Rating basis past performance theoretical model
7. Penalties good performance none
8. Boat changes stiff penalty re-measuring required
9. Sail change stiff penalty re-measuring required
10. Cost $65 currently $35

All rating systems will work if you apply it correctly and if the users are objective it will work. Misusing a rating system is the single biggest cause of its perceived failure. Mixing apples and oranges will never work to everyone's satisfaction. Old boats verses new boats fit into this analogy. Technology, primarily in materials, has made it impossible to rate them equitably under any system. Race Committees should recognize this and rather than lump boats by ratings should organize classes by technological similarities. Sprit boats verses non-sprit boats is another example for disastrous results. These animals are too different in predictable performance upwind and downwind. Keep all sprit boats together and all non-sprit boats together. Overall trophies should be downplayed. They are meaningless in the real world.

Most of all, competitors have to keep in mind there original goals. What are they on the race course for in the first place. Hopefully, the answer is fun, relaxation and camaraderie. If you want only to win than only one person is happy. After you finish a race look at the results OBJECTIVELY. Did the other guy out sail you, out money you, outguess you, etc? If the answer to any of the above are yes than take your lose like a man/woman and go out next time and try to change the odds in your favor and maybe, just maybe you will win. Even more importantly, don't forget why you are out there in the first place.

Roy E. Disney's new Pyewacket maxi sled sailed a record-tying 337 miles in the past 24 hours, but is still two miles behind the overall leader, Zephyrus IV sailed by Jim Parrish and Bob McNeil. All five boats in Division I logged more than 300 miles is the last 24 hours. Pyewacket's run equaled the 24-hour run set by Mike Campbell's turbo sled Victoria in the record-smashing 1997 race.

Disney told KSSK radio in Honolulu Monday that Pyewacket and Zephyrus IV were back on the same track within sight of each other. Both had already overtaken all but two of the smaller monohulls that started one day ahead of them. Scattered boats reported winds of 16 to 22 knots.

Two Guys On the Edge, one of the two smallest crews with one of the smallest boats ever to sail the Transpacific Yacht Race was leading everybody Monday as good winds continued to blow the fleets along at a possible record pace. This Sonoma 30-footer from Waikiki Yacht Club with Les Vasconcellos and Bruce Burgess aboard, logged 182 miles at an average speed of 7.6 knots. It passed two Cruising division entries--Kim Stebbens' 41-foot Hurricane and Bob Pace's 46-foot Esprit--for the overall lead as it neared the midway point to Hawaii with 1,266 nautical miles to go.

Two Guys is in the new Doublehanded division, along with Vapor, from Long Beach, which at 25 feet is the smallest competitor ever and has been out of radio contact from the start. They started alongside eight larger Cruisers last Tuesday off the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

One boat dropped out Monday. Manouch Moshayedi's 50-foot M-Project from Bahia Corinthian YC reported a broken rudder post at 11 o'clock Sunday night and said it was returning to Newport Beach under power. It expected to reach port at 6:00 Tuesday night. - Rich Roberts

Standings: Division I: 1. ZEPHYRUS IV (1692 Miles to go): -2. PYEWACKET (1694) 3. MAGNITUDE (1717) Division II: 1. VELOS (1793) 2. GRAND ILLUSION (1762) 3. MONGOOSE (1774) Division III: 1. GONE WITH THE WIND (1832) Division IV: 1. TOWER (1656) 2. GLAMA (1689)

Even website:

What was the first boat in Transpac history to sweep the event - 1st to finish, 1st overall and 1st in class?
A. Staghound
B. Morning Star
C. Dorade
D. Circe

Answer at the end of this issue of 'Butt.

San Francisco, CA ( 15 boats) - Final results: 1. TEAM MCLUBE, J. McKee/C. McKee (12) 2. RONSTAN/UN, M. Larson/K. Hall (13) 3. TEAM REVO, A. Mack/A. Lowry (23) 4. 22 T. Baylis/T. Baylis (28) 5. TOYOTA, K. Nakamura/T. Sasaki (40).

Complete results:

Vasco Vascotto and his Merit Cup crew, representing Europe, have grabbed victory in the "Race 1 Sydney 40 World Championships", having completely outsailed Germany's MK Cafe in today's final two races. In light and shifty winds, Merit Cup put in her bid for the title by finishing second in the first of the two races, while MK Cafe struggled home in seventh place, almost wiping out her six point advantage. This left a two boat shoot out in the last race, with which ever of Merit Cup or MK Cafe finished first would take the trophy.

On the starting line, these two mixed it up as if there were no other boats in the race, with the match racing experience of Murray Jones on Merit Cup proving better than the tactics of Michael Coxon on MK Cafe, as the two tacticians tried to position their boats for the start. When the starting gun fired, the European crew on Merit Cup were well placed, and with good speed, while the Germans on MK Cafe were caught flat footed. At the first mark Merit Cup was in third place, while MK Cafe was back in sixth, and Vasco Vascotto's crew almost had their hands on the trophy.

The European crew, which had struggled in the light winds earlier in the series, had certainly done some work to improve in these conditions, and by the second windward mark had taken the lead, going on to win by over two minutes. Karol Jablonski and his MK Cafe team did well to climb up from the back of the fleet, to finish third, but it wasn't good enough, and the title that had seemed almost their's at the beginning of the day had slipped through their fingers.

Britain's Arbitrator, steered by Chris Law, finished the series level on points with the Italian boat Invicta, but third place went to the home team on a countback. -- John Roberson

Final results: 1. Merit Cup, Marco Greggio (17pts) 2. MK Cafe, Thomas Friese (11) 3. Arbitrator, Stephen Bailey (29) 4. Invicta, Massimo Mazzaroma (29) 5. Trust Computer, Jochem Visser (30) 6. Blue Yankee Pride. Farley Towse (37) .7. Sledgehammer, Ron Jones (42) 8. Turbo UK, David Walters (44).

You're unique -- there is no one else quite like you. And your individuality has a lot to do with why Gill makes soooooo many different kinds of foul weather gear. One thing for sure, there is a set in their line that will meet all of your needs. And it will be comfortable, and it will have a lifetime guarantee. Gill's concern for your needs undoubtedly explains why they're growing so fast -- why they're now looking for additional sales people in their Buford, Georgia office. Check out the job postings on their website:

It is no wonder the Swiss America's Cup campaign are calling their new boat "Be Happy". Yesterday the Fast2000 syndicate, hampered by money troubles since their conception, finally paid off their debts to the cup village in Auckland. The $162,000 owed arrived in the bank account of the America's Cup Village Ltd at 4.45pm, allowing the Swiss to stay on their base. Fast2000 have secured a major sponsor, Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet, to help ease their financial woes.

In April, a writ was stuck on the yellow boat the Swiss left behind in Auckland, for fees owed for leasing the base. Around the same time, work came to a halt on the syndicate's boat in Geneva. But now the bills are paid, Switzerland looks more than likely to have their first cup challenge in October. Their new yacht, to be christened "Be Happy", is well under construction, and received a sail number, SUI59, last week.

It is now a full house at the cup village, with 11 teams setting up home. But there may be room for just one more - ACVL would like to squeeze in Syd Fischer's Young Australia syndicate, who have yet to settle on lodgings for the challenger. - Suzanne McFadden, New Zealand Herald

For the full story:

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

-- From David Lackey and Dinny White (Re Guest Editorial, Scuttlebutt #354) -- We have always known that Bouzaid is the "Father of New Zealand Yachting". Now we understand why: he has been at it for 160 years!

-- From Mark Gaudio (replying to Bruce de Vantneer) --If your sailing the course in bad air because of faulty tactics and lousy boat-hanlding-there is no rating system in the world than can help you..if your point is that under perfect conditions with good tactics and boat-handling you are still handicapped upwind with dirty air-you can take some solice that downwind you can slow them down (assuming they are not a minute a mile faster than you and already around the leaward mark)-your point of being the slow boat in the fleet has its low points finishing in a dying breeze-but favorable ones in finishing in a strenghtening breeze.

--From Jordan J. Dobrikin -- PHRF is a very good system, however when it's the only game in town it can post big numbers. PHRF is being asked to be more than it is, or was, intended, to be; however it can, and, should be, be, improved, modified, etc., FROM WITHIN; to be the equal, or better than, the proposed replacements.

PHRF's primary problem has been it's inability to deal with, (in an effective, intuitive, and logical way), different wind, wave and course, from race to race.

With the the power of the computer, and one easily, and inexpensively, available to virtually ALL Race Committees, the slavish insistence of a simple, single number Rating/Handicap is no longer justifiable. Those, infinitesimal, number of boats, that do on the water calculations of their position(s), probably have computers and sophisticated instruments on board any how.

What is really needed, by PHRF, and/or it's successor, is an A#1, skookum, professionally designed and written, intuitive, USER (Race Committee) FRIENDLY, Race Management Computer Program.

The data entry, data management, and report formats, including feeds to the Media via the Web/Email is where the professional help is needed; the Race Scoring/Calculations are "a piece of cake" to any competent, journeyman programmer. There is a "golden opportunity" here, for a potential SPONSOR to get into the Sport, making a major impact, and getting, "big time" EXPOSURE, for a fairly modest outlay.

-- From James Nichols -- Concur with Mike Guccione about the RC telling us how we're lining up on the line. Maybe Bell helicopters could be a sponsor at some regattas, and sip around telling everygody if they're on the right side of the course, lifted or headed? Maybe we should all just sail computer simulators, with PAUSE and RESTART (and, occasionally, ABORT).

-- From Jane Pegel -- It is very disappointing to me that some sailors in the Class I hold in high esteem are ignoring the current International Star Class Yacht Racing Association restriction on combined skipper/crew weight. Some of these are members of the U.S. Sailing Team. Have they no honor? Is this no longer a sport of ladies and gentlemen?

And with respect to lengthy protest hearings: No problem if sailors use their first option, the turns penalty. Do your turns, get back in the race, and enjoy life.

Odds that the 60-foot ocean racing trimaran Foncia would set a new transatlantic record were growing longer today as the high speed sailboat battled light winds close to the end of her 2888-mile voyage. "Its a little tense here right now," American Cam Lewis, from Lincolnville, Maine, reported from an almost becalmed Foncia at 11:00 am Eastern Summer Time (1500 UTC). "Its hard to go from a sizzling 20 knots to sitting becalmed in the parking lot, waiting for the new breeze."

Lewis shares the skippering and the steering duties aboard the big spidery trimaran, aLmost as wide as it is long. There are three other crew aboard for the record attempt. The international team set out from New York six days ago in an attempt to smash the time logged nine years ago by the 75-foot ocean racing catamaran Jet Services V. French skipper Serge Madec set the record of 6 days, 13 hours, 3 minutes, and 32 seconds in June, 1990.

For the first five days, Foncia averaged an amazing 20.22 knots as she sped eastward from Ambrose Light at the entrance to New York Harbor to Lizard Point, marking the entrance to the English Channel. Her daily average was just under 500 miles a day. To eclipse Jet Services time, Foncia had to finish before 10:43 pm Eastern Summer Time on Monday night (0243 Hrs UTC Tuesday). - Keith Taylor

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

* The successful New Zealand red-socks campaign is to be relaunched, seeking support for Team New Zealand from the man in the street. Commenting on how he is hoping for the same support as Team New Zealand got from Kiwis during the San Diego Cup campaign, Sir Peter Blake has taken the opportunity of telling New Zealanders that the 2000 America's Cup is not costing them a cent. Over 90 per cent of the costs to run the regatta in February and March is coming from sponsors - merchandise and television rights will make up the other ten per cent. Public money has funded the Cup Village, mainly from Auckland City assets. But Team New Zealand still has a shortfall. With eight months to go, like every other challenger, Team New Zealand are still "cap in hand" for funds.

Team New Zealand's San Diego '95 budget was almost US$20 million, with the projection that the 2000 Defence would be considerably more. Sir Peter Blake says that the syndicate was broke at the end of 1995 and that it would be broke again by March 2000. Team New Zealand now has an even bigger team.

Who would have guessed that breathable Neoprene would be the key to enhancing your sailing enjoyment? And how many of you realize that creating and maintaining a comfortable microclimate close to your skin surface could make all the difference in the world for your sailing comfort? Happily, the folks at Camet International have taken advantage of this technology and produced a Neo-Thermal top -- a top that compensates for how hard your working and sweating by flexing the Neoprene fabric to pump out the vapor. This is a "must have" item for small boat sailors:

The third day of racing at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Finland was abandoned due to a lack of breeze. Tuesday is a rest day. The regatta remains on schedule for six more races (seven for the Mistrals), as always provided the weather cooperates. A hectic schedule over the past two days has ensured that each fleet has completed the required number of races to constitute a championship.

Current Standings: Laser class (after 6 races):1, Francisco Sanchez Ferrer (ESP) 17pts; 2, Jonas Lindberg (SWE) 26pts; 3, Marcin Rudawski (POL) 32pts; ; Laser Radial class (after 6 races): 1, Sara Winther (NZL) 15pts; 2, Sophie De Turkheim (FRA) 23pts; 3, Bonnie Holt (GBR) 25pts; ; 420 boys class (after 6 races): 1, David Deguine & Nicolas Charbonnier (FRA) 9pts; 2, Allan Norregaard & Henrik Jorgensen (DEN) 28pts; 3, Alberto Padron & Antonio Del Castillo (ESP) 29pts; ; 420 girls class (after 6 races): 1, Marie Riou & Anne Claire LeBerre (FRA) 7pts; 2, Sonja Berger & Sabine Walter (GER) 11pts; 3, Rinske van As & Charlotte van Bokkum (NED) 26pts; ; Mistral men class (after 5 races): 1, Chi Ho Ho (HKG) 14pts; 2, Joeri van Dijk (NED) 21pts; 3, Michael Lancey (AUS) 23pts; ; Mistral women class (after 5 races): 1, Marine Begaghel (FRA) 9pts; 2, Belen Hernandez (ESP) 21pts; 3, Wai Kei Chan (HKG) 21pts

For full results:

SANDHAMN-Ludde Ingvall's Skandia (EUR) crossed the finishing line off Stanskobb at 0719 local time this morning to win the Gotland Runt, the fourth event of the Adecco World Championship. Skandia had emerged from the mist of the morning with a reaching jib set, but handed that for a light spinnaker just two miles from the line. It was a slick crew manoeuvre which matched their performance throughout this race.

As Skandia crossed the finishing line, Ingvall took his right hand off the wheel and punched the air with his fist and yelled, 'Yes!' The gesture said it all. 'We worked hard for this win,' said Ingvall, 'we never let up for an instant. It was only because we did that no one got ahead of us - no boat crossed our bow after the start.' He was beaming with the pleasure of winning although dripping wet after his crew had given him the ducking that is traditional for the winning skipper of this race. - Bob Fisher

FINISHING ORDER WITH ELAPSED TIMES AND POINTS: 1. EUR Skandia Ludde Ingvall 40:49:37 20; 2. NZL RF Yachting Ross Field 42:22:43 16; 3. RSA Rainbow Magic Geoff Meek 42:33:20 13; 4. BEL Synphony Hans Bouscholte 42:34:57 10; 5. SUI Alinghimax Ernesto Bertarelli 42:58:53 8; 6. SWE Team Henri-Lloyd Gunnar Krantz 43:14:29 6; 7. FRA Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel Jules Mazars 43:38:20 4; 8. ITA Seac Banche Guido Maisto 43:39:59 2.

ADECCO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER FOUR EVENTS: 1. EUR 50; 2. NZL 38.5; 3. FRA 25; 4. SWE 21; 5. SUI 20; 6. RSA 19; 7. BEL 19; 8. ITA 7.

Event website:

In less than 90 minutes the curmudgeon's 'Rockin' Chair' will be heading for Howland's Landing at Catalina Island. This time we're taking some guests -- our daughter Bonnie and her two sons Brian (11) and Patrick (9). As a result, this will undoubtedly be a shorter than normal visit to the island, and you'll probably get a 'Butt on Friday morning.

Dorade was the first boat to score a clean sweep in the Transpac Race.

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?