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.
| || || PHRF || AMERICAP
|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: http://www.transpacificyc.org
MATT JONES TRANSPAC TRIVIA QUESTION
What was the first boat in Transpac history to sweep the event - 1st to
finish, 1st overall and 1st in class?
B. Morning Star
Answer at the end of this issue of 'Butt.
ST. FRANCIS/ULTRANECTAR 49ER CHALLENGE
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
Complete results: http://www.stfyc.com/
SYDNEY 40 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
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
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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: http://www.nzherald.co.nz
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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
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 John@roake.gen.nz)
* 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
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ISAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
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: http://www.travel.fi/kuops/results/
ADECCO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
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: http://www.adecco-championship.com/uk/
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.
TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWER
Dorade was the first boat to score a clean sweep in the Transpac Race.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUMS
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?