SCUTTLEBUTT #360 - July 15, 1999
GUEST EDITORIAL -- by Bruce B. Nairn
Is there something in the water? The PCers bring socialism to sailing.
Let's see if I've got what's been going on lately right:
Put training wheels on the OCS'ers and give poor little Johnny and Jane a
bit of extra help starting correctly even though it is a clear violation of
rule 41? I don't think so.
For those in PHRF with bad sails, give them a rating credit? This sounds
like pure socialism to me. Hey, wake up, if you want to compete compete.
That means learning how to sail and spending the money that goes with it.
If you can't afford new sails then get a smaller boat or a partner. Winning
has an associated price that must be paid whether it's money, time, or
effort (and most likely a lot of all of them).
As to the Farr 40 class. Wow this is a tiger. Some feathers will get
ruffled but what's new about that? (I know, Augie can steer? Humm, sounds
like a Cat 1 arms race, but so what.)
The French pull out of CMAC. Hey, "IMS" can't handle progress, plain and
simple, with carbon being it's nemisis for quite some time whether as hulls
or spars. Call me ignorant but come on, the French must have had some idea
that this could possibly blow up in their faces. Take the penalty and sail.
And the sponsors? They have got to be just thrilled.
Speaking about Sponsorship. ISAF takes over sailing? What a great and
contentious issue. We'll be talking about this one forever. It's too bad
sailing can't create a good professional level that is well supported by
corporations, media, and fans. If it could, then what's above would most
likely be mostly irrelevant but I'm not holding my hands on my bumm waiting
for it to happen.
Sailing, what a great sport. Too bad we try so hard to drag it down
sometimes. And about golf. Golf is a predominant professional sport because
it has been ruled by an "iron fist". So hire Gary Jobson to run
professional sailing, and do exactly what he says (not that he would be
willing to, but he sure has the expertise, contacts, and knowledge to pull
it off) Failing that remember that sailing is for dreamers, romantics,
idealists, and vagabonds. Tell them what to do? Good luck. It's never
worked for me.
COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT, JULY 14, 1999--The United States team defending the
Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup started racing with a bang today as its big
boat Idler narrowly avoided dismasting in a collision with one boat and
narrowly averted a protest hearing after touching another.
After two intense races on The Solent off Cowes, the US three-boat team of
Idler, Blue Yankee Pride and Ciao Baby, is placed fourth-equal with
Australia and Europe with 28 points in the low point scoring series. These
three boats are all just one point out of third place, currently held by
Germany, with 27 points. The British team leads with 17 points and the
Netherlands team is second on 21 points.
"This was the strangest day on the water that I've ever experienced," said
Ken Read from Newport, RI, helmsman on George David's Nelson/Marek 50
Idler. "At times there were boats banging into each other, rigs locking
together and protest flags blossoming like flowers in the spring. The whole
experience was in character with the bizarre opening of the event and the
ultimate withdrawal of the French boat. I know one thing. The next ten days
are going to be a dogfight."
Read said that Idler was in second place on the second beat of the second
race and sailing to windward on the starboard (right-of-way) tack when the
Netherlands boat Trust Computer, which was running under spinnaker down to
the mark, broached out of control right in front of the American boat. "It
was blowing 27 knots and she went to gybe behind us and broached and rolled
her rig right in front of us," Read said. "The spreader on our mast hooked
into her headstay and ran right up it and over the top of their mast,
wiping out everything it its path before we broke free."
Idler suffered damage to its spreader and rig and requested redress for the
collision. Trust Computer withdrew from the race and headed for the Hamble,
15 miles away to replace the damaged spar.
Idler dropped to fourth place after the collision but recovered well to be
first boat to finish that race and to score a second place on corrected
time. The boat, which is owned and campaigned by George David, of Hartford,
CT, was sixth in the first race after a major wind shift favored the
competition. Idler's record for the day was 6-2.
Matt Whitaker's Mumm 36 from Houston, TX, the small boat on the US team,
placed second in the first race after helmsman Chris Larson, from
Annapolis, MD, led his class for most of the race but missed a windshift in
the shifty 10-12 knot southwesterly breeze. In the second race, Ciao Baby
was pinned behind the fleet at the start and never managed to work her way
clear. She finished fifth with a 2-5 record.
Blue Yankee Pride, Bob Towse's Sydney 40 from Stamford, CT, also fell
victim to the wind shift in the first race and finished eighth. With
helmsman Steve Benjamin from South Norwalk, CT driving, she improved to
fifth place in the second place for an 8-5 record.
Results Day 1 (with team points per race and total low points): 1. Great
Britain (7-10), 17 2. Netherlands (5-16), 21 3. Germany (16-11), 27 =4. USA
(16-12), 28 =4. Australia (15-13), 28 =4. Europe (15-13), 28 5. Italy
(16-18), 34 6. Commonwealth (18-19), 37 -- Keith Taylor
* Jean-Louis Fabry, captain of the French Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup
team and skipper of the French Mumm 36 Bloo, re-entered his team in the
1999 regatta and with Bernard Moreau's Sydney 40 Blan set off for the first
race of the eight-race series. Ortwin and Stephane Kandler's Krazy K-Yote
Two, however, remained firmly alongside the dock. David Minords, General
Manager of the Royal Ocean Racing Club which organises the Champagne Mumm
Admiral's Cup, said 'it is great to see the French team back in the
regatta, although naturally we are very disappointed that Stephane and
Ortwin do not feel able to accept any of the offers that have been made in
the past forty-eight hours.'
The Kandlers' position remained that they would sail against the other 26
boats in the fleet only if they were allowed to use the rating certificate
originally issued by the RORC's measurer John Warren. That certificate
was withdrawn on the orders of Nicola Sironi, chief measurer of the
Offshore Racing Council which is the international body charged with
ultimate responsibility for the administration of the International
Measurement System (IMS) under which the Big Boats in the Champagne Mumm
Admiral's Cup race. The reason for withdrawing the certificate was cited as
the 'innovate design' of the French boat's unusual wing-section mast which,
decreed the ORC Chief Measurer, could not fairly be assessed by the IMS's
mathematical model used to create the boat's handicap rating.
As late as Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, discussions continued to
try and find a solution acceptable to Krazy K-Yote Two. Stephane Kandler
insisted, however, that he would race only if the original certificate was
Wrapping-up the unhappy issue, David Minords commented 'it is of course a
great pity that Stephane and Ortwin feel unable to try any suggested
solution to the problem other than their own -- but we have to remember
that we have 27 boats here, not just one, and the needs of all must be
considered. We must now get on with the regatta, and enjoy what will
undoubtedly be spectacular and very close racing.'
Regular CMAC updates can be found on:
http://mummadmiralscup.org or http://ussailing.org/offshoreteams/ac
A lot of racers put a lot of thought into the colors of their spinnaker,
and after a while that chute becomes their trademark. There is no reason
that trademark should not be faithfully reproduced in the embroidery on the
crew shirts. It can be, and it will be if you let Frank Whitton at Pacific
Yacht Embroidery take care of the details for you. Give him a call to learn
just how affordable quality crew attire can be. Frank delivers:
Pacyacht@aol.com / 619-226-8033
HONOLULU, H.I.-Diminishing trade winds chased Tom Garnier's 35-foot Great
Scot toward Diamond Head early Wednesday afternoon for an apparent claim on
the 40th Transpacific Yacht Race's last outstanding first-place trophy.
Three other Div. 4 boats finished earlier, but Garnier's smaller J/35 from
Los Angeles Yacht Club eclipsed them on corrected handicap time.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard's District 2 PAC Search and Rescue Center in
Alameda, Calif. Wednesday morning issued a "fleet group call" for Vapor,
the little Doublehanded division entry from Long Beach that has not been in
radio contact since it started June 29. That alert went via Telex to all
merchant vessels in the eastern Pacific. - Rich Roberts
Event website: http://www.transpacificyc.org
* America's Cup ace Dennis Conner is becoming a veritable Auckland
industry. He was first off the mark with his merchandising shop at the
Stars & Stripes base in the New Zealand Cup Village. Then, he commissioned
a 12m power cat from Auckland designer and fellow Etchells sailor Murray
Ross, which was launched in early July. Named Daintry II, in honour of
Conner's wife, the powercat will be fitted with inflatable side pontoons
and will serve as the tender for Stars & Stripes. Conner's next project is
a bar, which he is opening in downtown Auckland. Last, but not least, he
is, of course, campaigning in the America's Cup, where he is always noted
as one to watch. - America's Cup 2000
* HONOLULU - Hawaii's first America's Cup challengers are working double
shifts to get their second boat finished to catch a ship to Auckland.
Abracadabra 2000 No 2 is still in a boatshed at Ko Olina, a barren
wasteland turned glamour resort on Oahu's west coast, one month behind
Abracadabra skipper and syndicate head John Kolius blames the hold-up on
the new boat's sister ship, USA50, which has been sailing for a month.
"Normally when you buy a boat, you take it away from the shed and sail it.
The trouble here is that we only took the first boat 50 yards away," he
said. "It keeps going back into the shed for little tweaks, so they stop
working on the second boat.
"Everyone wanted to get the first boat perfect, but you just can't do that.
So now the sailors aren't allowed to go in the construction shed, and the
builders aren't allowed near the first boat."
The second Hawaiian boat, which was turned over yesterday, should be out of
the shed by the first week of August. It is likely to be put straight on a
container ship bound for New Zealand. Plans to test the two boats together
off Oahu have been scuppered. But the laid-back Kolius is not rattled by
the delay. "We've been sailing six days a week as we planned. We haven't
missed a day yet," he said.
Kolius, a veteran of five America's Cup campaigns, expects to have his team
set up in Auckland by September 1. That will give them six weeks before the
Louis Vuitton challenger series begins to test the two boats against each
other - not unlike Team New Zealand's lead-up to their victory in 1995 in
San Diego. - 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 Robert Bethune - In the minutes of the meeting of the ISAF Events
Committee as published at http://sailing.org/99midyear/minutes/events.html
, the following text appears:
"It was felt that the timing of the changes should coincide with the new
racing rules in 2001 and the advertising code should be published in the
Racing Rules of Sailing book. This motion was accepted on a vote of 19 in
favour, nil against and no abstentions."
How does this relate to Mr. Nowlan's contention that "ISAF envisions that
this Advertising Code will not be published in the rule books purchased by
sailors, race officials and event organizers"?
-- From Peter Huston - The joke the year in sailing is going to be on the
RORC and ORC for what they have done to the French. Would it not have been
more appropriate for them to issue a measurement certificate and then let a
competitor initiate a protest if they felt it was an invalid rating? And
people think PHRF is arbitrary....???
Forget the new ISAF ad code, with actions like this we will never have new
sponsors attracted to the sport.
The free market NEVER penalizes innovation - the only ones who penalize
innovation are those who are threatened by it.
Admiral's Cup = Emperor's New Regatta. Sorry Champagne Mumm, you tried
your best to support this event, but face reality, this regatta is run by
people still fighting the war, the Revolutionary War.
-- From Raymond Wulff -- How easily we throw stones at PHRF and praise IMS!
-- From Neil W. Humphrey -- We as a sport are struggling due to a lack of a
marketing plan, no thought as to how to structure ourselves to attract new
people and most of all how to be a mainstream entertainment professional
sport with it's roots in amateurism. With limited sponsorship money and a
competitive environment for the sponsor dollars, I'm concerned how the new
ISAF cash grab is going to effect the sport. This is especially true with
PHRF and local races. Am I going to hesitate to contribute to race
organization because some of the money goes elsewhere when maybe that money
should be used to compensate the sport locally and even the volunteers.
Think about it, are we a business or an organization now?
Bottom line is that it's time to really understand that we are a unique
recreational sport that is really floundering at making it to the next
level. The next level being how to structure and manage our sport to grow
our amateur/recreational ranks; create a system to grow amateur into
professionals; develop a world wide marketing plan much like other sports
have done before us; understand that sponsorship of sailors and their
equipment has to be limited in the amateur ranks much like it is in other
sports; make professionals only exist in a league of their own like all
other sports; and finally recreate our sport so we understand how to
coexist as amateurs and professionals creating business opportunities that
benefit the full spectrum of the sport.
-- From Rosalind Jarrett (Re: Putting on Your Game Face) -- On the way out
to the race course on Evolution on the first day of Cal Cup 99, Peter Isler
asked everyone on the crew to talk a bit about their position on the boat
and how their job contributed to overall success of the program. That
exercise made the shift from chat mode to race mode. I was aboard doing
runners for just the one day. I don't know how valuable it was for the
regulars, but it certainly was an unexpected blessing that reinforced
names, faces and positions, and helped me to focus. I commend it to
skippers interested in mentoring newer sailors or integrating them into an
-- From Kevin Ellis -- While I have issues with the way handicapping is
handled in PHRF there are some things that can be done in its application
on the racecourse. Race organizers often create classes with handicap
ranges that vary as much as 40 to 60 seconds a mile. There are few things
more frustrating than sailing a clean race and getting beat by a boat that
you can't even see when you finish. Narrowing that range when possible
Have you ever sailed a point to point race, reaching form start to finish,
and seen that the most of the boats in your class are sailing at similar
speeds-when you owe someone 40 seconds/mile you know the system has failed.
Perhaps the new off the wind rating will help with this, we'll have to see
if race organizers choose to use the new ratings.
Another problem is racing dissimilar boats in one class - asymmetrical
boats vs conventional boats. When racing with 15-knots or more wind it
becomes clear that a single rating system falls apart. Ultra lights. like
a J/80 or a Melges 24, plain along while you in your conventional 30 footer
are praying to hook up in some waves. An attempt to keep boats with
similar characteristics together could also be an improvement.
1996 Olympians John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Newport
Beach, Calif.) finished tenth overall at the 1999 Tornado World
Championship to secure the U.S. its Tornado berth for Sydney. (With the
exception of host country Australia, all nations must qualify for entry in
each of the nine classes at the Olympic Regatta.)
With slots guaranteed to the 2000 Olympic Regatta in eight events --
Europe, 470 (men and women), 49er, Laser, Mistral Women, Soling and Tornado
-- attention is now focused on the three remaining events in which the U.S.
berth has not yet been secured. American sailors will have another
opportunity to qualify in the Star and Mistral (men) classes at their
upcoming '99 Worlds (respectively: September 9-19 in Punta Ala, Italy;
November 11-21 in Noumea, New Caledonia), and the Finn class will have it's
last opportunity to qualify a U.S. slot for Sydney at the 2000 Finn Gold
Cup in Weymouth, England, next June.
In all of the Olympic disciplines, the sailor qualifying the U.S. may not
be the ultimate representative at the Olympics. Only the first-place
finisher at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in each event will earn a coveted
spot on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team.
The Tornado Trials have been rescheduled from the Fall of 1999 in response
to concerns from organizers and sailors following the Tornado Pre-Trials in
March. The Tornado Trials will be held March 23 - April 2, 2000, and
hosted by Santa Cruz Yacht Club (Santa Cruz, Calif.).
As previously announced, the 470, 49er and Mistral classes will be the
first to determine their representatives to the 2000 Olympic Regatta. All
three classes will hold their Trials in Florida from October 14-24, 1999,
with the 470 and 49er Trials hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club (St.
Petersburg), and the Mistral Trials hosted by Eau Gallie Yacht Club
California's San Francisco Bay will be the location of the Europe, Finn,
Laser and Star Trials from April 6-16, 2000, as well as the Soling Trials
from June 1-11, 2000. Richmond Yacht Club (Pt. Richmond) will host the Finn
class, St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) will host the Soling and Star
classes, and San Francisco Yacht Club (Belvedere) will host the Europe and
The respective venues were chosen after a review of bids from over a dozen
potential host organizations. The selection criteria centered on the
capability of the host organization to run high quality events, the
availability of suitable facilities (including those necessary for
training), and conditions closely approximating those expected in Sydney at
the 2000 Olympic Regatta, scheduled during what is widely recognized to be
the windiest month in Sydney. - Jan Harley
WALL STREET AND CORPORATE CHALLENGE CUP
A team representing the firms FIRST UNION and FRANKLIN TEMPLETON finished
with the top score after nine races in Shake-A-Leg-Newport's Wall Street
and Corporate Challenge Cup. The event was held July 9-10 on Narragansett
Bay in Newport, R.I., and hosted nine corporate sailing syndicates. Each
raised $30,000 to benefit Shake-A-Leg-Newport, a non-profit organization
that provides post-trauma rehabilitation and progressive activities for
children, teens and adults with spinal cord injuries. Competition was held
in vintage America's Cup 12-Meter yachts and featured corporate teams
assisted by celebrity sailors and Shake-A-Leg participants. - Shannon
RESULTS (Finish Position, Firm, Skipper, Total Points): 1. FIRST
UNION/FRANKLIN TEMPLETON, Cam Lewis, Lincolnville, Maine, 402. 2.
PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES, Gary Lash, Newport, R.I., 401. 3. FRIENDS OF
SHAKE-A-LEG I, Anson Stookey, Middletown, R.I., 295. 4. FLEET BANK, Bob
Morton, Little Compton, R.I., 277. 5. MBIA, Mick Harvey, Newport, R.I.,
251. 6. DONALDSON, LUFKIN & JENRETTE, Craig Callen, Jamestown, R.I., 235.
7. FRIENDS OF SHAKE-A-LEG II, Bill MacGowan, Middletown, R.I., 165. 8.
AMERICAN POWER CONVERSION, Halsey Herreshoff, Bristol, R.I., 150. 9.
BROOKESTREET HOLDINGS, Andy MacGowan, Middletown, R.I., 98.
Multihull aficionados will wet their pants when they see the new poster of
Steve Fossett's PlayStation setting the 24-hour world speed record on the
Morrelli and Melvin website: http://www.morrellimelvin.com/page94.html
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
* The Spanish yacht has been launched at Valencia under the watchful eye of
Queen Sophe, who is the yacht's godmother. Half the crew for Spain's New
Zealand challenge were on their 1995 challenge in San Diego. This syndicate
will be bringing two yachts to Auckland, one is their 1995 boat which has
been remodelled. They have 95 per cent of their budget, and the boats are
to be shipped to New Zealand in August. Press releases declare that they
expect to do much better this time round then they did in their San Diego
effort, where they failed to get into the first four. Lack of time, and a
boat that was only finished one week before the first race, all added up to
mayhem for the syndicate at that time. Their spokesman Alfonso
Gomez-Jordana says, "This time we have more money, more time, more
experience and we believe we have a very strong challenge."
* The Cup media organisation will provide journalists with live animated
graphics of the races on a 5m x 1.8m high video wall. They will watch the
computer-generated coverage of the races, and emails of the race
conditions, protests, results of other races, and information about
syndicates. Digital photos will be provided from each day's races and Fuji,
one of the major sponsors, will have a drop desk to collect reporters films
for developing. A chase boat will bring back films after the first mark
rounding, but if reporters want to watch the races live, they can go out on
one of the media boats which will leave from the below the media centre
each morning. After the races are over and the media boats have returned,
the skipper and crew from each boat will be brought to a 130-seat gallery
inside the media centre at 6 p.m. each day for a press conference. The
media centre will operate 18 hours a day, seven days a week and it will
churn out around 1800 pages of press releases a day. There will be 25 full
time multilingual staff employed.
Curmudgeon's comment: Scuttlebutt world headquarters will move to Auckland
in early October to insure that the 'Buttheads get fast, accurate and
insightful coverage of the America's Cup.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
Indecision is the key to flexibility.