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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 re-instated.

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: or

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: / 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:

* 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 schedule.

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:

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 , 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 existing crew.

-- 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 would help.

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 (Indian Harbor).

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 Laser classes.

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

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 Weisleder

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:

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

* 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.

Indecision is the key to flexibility.