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SCUTTLEBUTT #363 - July 20, 1999

Germany won the Kenwood Trophy here today in the final session of inshore racing of the 1999 Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup. Just one point behind were Netherlands, and one point behind them Italy. Conspicuous by their absence from the Kenwood scoreboard were the series leaders Great Britain who suffered their worst day of the regatta by a long way.

There were yet again incidents in plenty, the most dramatic being a full-on T-bone collision between the British Big Boat Venture 99 and her US rival Idler. Approaching the windward mark of the second race, Venture was on port as three boats approached on starboard. Venture safely crossed Brava Q8, then went to duck Rubin and Idler. The British boat just missed the German, then hit the American full-tilt and doing about 9 knots. Venture's bow struck Idler's quarter about 3ft forward of the transom, wiping-out the port side pushpit, lifting the American stern high and swinging the boat through almost 45 degrees . Immediately Venture 99 began a 360 penalty turn in exoneration, but Idler lodged a protest nonetheless, claiming that the turn was insufficient penalty and Venture should be disqualified because serious damage resulted.

As if all that were not bad enough, Stephen Bailey's Nautica Arbitrator had a nightmare of a day, finishing seventh in the first race of the day and last by three minutes in the second. The last place was the result of a bad error that dropped the spinnaker over the bow at the end of the second run and left Arbitrator trawling for several minutes. Only Britain's Mumm 36 saved that nation's day, with a fourth and then a first.

There is no racing on Tuesday. The final race of the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup, the Wolf Rock Race, starts Wednesday morning is expected to be completed Friday night.

After late night protests, current team standings are: 1. Great Britain, 96 points; 1 (tie). Netherlands, 96; 3. Europe, 102; 4. Germany, 108.50; 5. USA, 113.50; 6. Italy, 114; 7. Australia, 133; 8. Commonwealth, 185; 9. France, 217.

Event site:

220 Competitors from 43 nations are competing in this year's Optimist Worlds. Racing for the individual championships ('Beacon Challenge Cup') are today, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tuesday is the Team Competition where Peru defends it's world title. Wednesday is a scheduled spare day. Top ten places after 2 races. 1. CRO STIPANOVIC Tonci 1 2 (3) 2. CRO FANTELA Sime 1 3 (4) 3. POR COUTINHO Mario 4 4 (8) 4. POL CORSKI Karol 5 4 (9) 5. ITA PRESSICH Mattia 2 9 (11) 6. USA LOE Andrew 5 7 (12) 7. ARG GWOZDZ Fernando 11 2 (13) 8. SLO ZBOGAR Jure 10 6 (16) 9. POR LOBATO Francisco 6 10 (16) 10. BRA BORGES Roberta 4 13 (17).

* Nippon Challenge is scheduled to launch the first of its two IACC yachts, JPN 44, on July 20. Japan is one of six challenger syndicates to be mounting a two-boat campaign. Under the rules of the regatta, each syndicate can build only two new yachts. If a syndicate modifies an existing yacht beyond a certain percentage of its original structure, that counts as a new yacht. This has taken place in the case of the Spanish Challenge, which has a new Rolf Vrolijk design and also considerably modified its 1995 yacht for this campaign.

* The Young Australia 2000 campaign has turned to the rough and tumble world of 18ft skiff racing for its coach and manager with the appointment of three times 18ft skiff world champion Rob Brown. The Australian campaign led by veteran Syd Fischer has a strong youth emphasis, with 19 year old Sydney sailor, and world junior match racing champion, James Spithill in charge. He is the youngest ever skipper of an America's Cup entry.

The crew will consist of 11 talented young sailors aged 18-22 as well as four experienced "mentor sailors". Although the three-man 18-foot skiffs are a world apart from the America's Cup scene, Brown is not without experience in the game, having sailed on Australia II in the early stages of the 1983 campaign that ended in Australia winning the Auld Mug.

America's Cup 2000 website:

Winners win because they pay close attention to details. All details. And there is no question that crew shirts and other regatta apparel fill the void overlooked by so many of the 'also-ran' programs. Although Pacific Yacht Embroidery already provides regatta gear for an impressive list of winners, they will also be happy to work with you. Call Frank Whitton at 619-226-8033. Frank provides the good stuff at affordable prices. (

As of 5:32 PM on Monday, we had finished 32 boats (30 from the Cove Island Course and 2 from the Shore Course) with 200+ to go, but the breeze seems to have filled in nicely, and I can see 15-20 boats on the horizon from Race HQ at Mission Point Resort. - Ted Everingham, Bacardi Bayview Mackinac Race Chairman

Race updates:

The Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING has announced its representative to the Pan Am Games in the Sunfish class, along with an athlete change in the Europe event. Upon approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee, these sailors will represent the U.S. at the 1999 Pan American Games, scheduled for July 24 - August 8, 1999, in Winnipeg, Canada. The Pan Am Games is a multi-sport event held every four years. Competing are the 42 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organizations from North, Central and South America. The Pan Am Regatta will be hosted by the Gimli Yacht Club and is restricted to 140 competitors among the ten sailing events.

SUNFISH: Rochester Canoe Club (Rochester, N.Y.) hosted eighteen sailors for the SUNFISH Pan Am Trials held July 9-11. The entrants, all required to have had a top-20 finish in a Sunfish North American Championship between 1996 and 1999 in order to compete, raced on Lake Ontario. David Van Cleef (Newport, R.I.) won three of eight races in the series posting 18 points overall for the win, with the runner-up amassing 22 points. Van Cleef, a native of Charleston, S.C., has competed on the national level in both the Sunfish and Laser classes, recently winning the 1999 Sunfish New England Championship.

EUROPE: Lynn Olinger (San Francisco, Calif.) will replace 1999 US Sailing Team member Meg Gaillard (Pelham, N.Y.) as the Europe representative to the Pan Am Games. Olinger, a molecular biologist at the University of California - San Francisco, had her best finish this year at the Elvstrom-Zellerbach Regatta where she was third out of 14 Europes.

Previously named to the 1999 Pan Am Games Team are: veteran BOARDSAILORS Mike Gebhardt (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) and Lanee Butler (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) both of whom will be making their third trip to the Pan Am Games; Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jane Codman (Boston, Mass.) who will compete in the LASER and LASER RADIAL events, respectively; Russ Silvestri (San Francisco, Calif.) in the FINN; Wally Meyers (Marmora, N.J.) and crew Mark Santorelli (Colonia, N.J.) in HOBIE 16; Henry Filter (Stevensvile, Md.) and crew Lorie Stout (Annapolis, Md.) in Snipe; and the LIGHTNING team of Andrew Horton (Shelburne, Vt.), with crew Bill Fastiggi (Burlington, Vt.) and Heather Rowe (Peru, N.Y.).

Heading the Pan American Games sailing delegation will be Team Leader Hal Haenel (Los Angeles, Calif.); joined by Head Coach Gary Bodie (Hampton, Va.), Assistant Coach Scott Ikle (Geneva/Manhasset, N.Y.) and Boatright Carl Eichenlaub (San Diego, Calif.) US Sailing Team

The winners of the Pan American Games trials, Olympic and non-Olympic classes alike, become members of the 1999 US Sailing Team. Rolex Watch USA and Sperry Top-Sider sponsor the US Sailing Team. Douglas Gill and Team McLube are suppliers.

US Sailing website:

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

-- From Jim Champ, UK (re French CMAC Boat and IMS) -- This seems to me to me a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the handicap system. The French didn't build a boat with a three foot wide mast because they thought it would be quicker round the course than a conventional rig. They thought it would be slower, but rate better. However as I understand it the intention of IMS is that all boats should be equally handicapped (unlike a proper development rule like the Whitbread 60s, Admirals Cup, or the various dinghy classes). That's why it has the get-out clause about the measurer being able to estimate ratings if the rule doesn't work for a boat - be it fast or slow.

It seems to me that the cause of their upset is that they've spent a great deal of money on what they hoped would be an evasion of the rules, only to find their evasion evaded. Well tough guys, but if you wanted to innovate without the measurer equalising you back again you should have been in the America's Cup campaign - or built a fleet of International Moths!

-- From Lowell North -- I have been racing for 59 years and have seen a lot of measurement rules come and go, mostly go. The best of these in my opinion is PHRF. Perhaps Americap is going to be a wonderful rule, but please don't substitute it for PHRF. PHRF has been with us for more years than any other. I have read that over 97% of US handicap racing is done under this rule. Don't screw it up.

I haven't done anything useful since I was on the IOR committee so when I get back to San Diego about August 1, I will volunteer to be on the local PHRF committee. I'm glad that Terry Harper has appointed Dan Nolan to be one of the big chiefs. He has done a lot for PHRF and I know he will continue his work to make PHRF even better. I agree with the thinking that we should beef up the powers of the National PHRF committee [is there such a body?] and I hope to be part of that group when I have the necessary expertise.

-- From Peter Huston -- IMS is not the type of "tool" that I would suggest as something to help grow the sport at the recreational level. I like top end competition too, but if one is to try and promote the growth of sailboat racing, there has to be a format(s) for the larger portion of the market that does not enjoy doing what is required to sail at a Grand Prix level, or even against Grand Prix level sailors.

I'm not suggesting watering down anything that currently exists. The problems within the America's Cup, Admiral's Cup or other such events are simply reflective of their flawed internal structure. Instead, I suggest that people who want to set their own level of competition format have the choice to do so. Clearly, groups like the 1D35, J120, and Farr 40 have had their own levels of recent success with variations on a similiar theme.

NASCAR seems pretty darn healthy to me, perhaps in large part because there are hundreds of thousands of drivers racing around the dirt tracks of America every Saturday night at a level well below that of Winston Cup. That format obviously provides those drivers with a thrill level with which they are comfortable. Same should hold true for the casual PHRF racer.

-- From Glenn McCarthy -- Ouch! I've been off the computer for a week with the Chicago-Mackinac race. Scuttlebutt skipped right over the event. Any guesses why?

Curmudgeon's comment: That's easy -- whoever is handling PR for the event obviously does not have me on their release list. Curiously, they also ignored the ISAF webmaster.

-- From Dave Rees - I followed with great interest the coverage of the 99 Transpac Race however found it amazing that Vapor could go so long without radio contact and was apparently 'lost' until close to the end. Here in Australia, if you miss a number of radio scheds you risk race disqualification and steps are put in place to search and find the boat.

International Racing has announced a process for all sailmakers to bid for the sailmaking contract for the 49er sails starting after the Sydney Olympic Games. In the request for proposals, the 49er designer Julian Bethwaite writes, "The class is committed to ensuring that within reason it stays abreast of continual developments in sail technology while maintaining its strict one design policy, which has become a keystone of the class and its sailors' expectations.

"In saying this, we are indebted to North's and in particular, Anders Lewander of North Sweden and Michael Coxon of North Australia for their efforts in getting the sails we have at present, for helping us through our teething problems and for the supply of exceptional sails, service and backup. If they happen to re-submit as I hope they will, and we end up with a suit of sails not dissimilar to what we have at present, then I believe that the 49er class will still have been very well served. Or put another way, the present sails set a benchmark that will have to be matched."

Interested sailmakers should read the proposal, and contact Julian Bethwaite at "

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

* The America's Cup Challengers Association and the defenders, Team New Zealand, are still at logger-heads over water-space rights in the Gulf, prior to the Cup match next February. The ACCA members are demanding a total of three courses in the area between Rangitoto, the East Coast Bays and Whangaparoa Peninsula, with two set aside for the Louis Vuitton Cup series. Team New Zealand want the designated area divided into four separate courses with two courses for their exclusive use. They say they need two courses to test and race their two new boats, which are expected to be on the water late November. The challenger's argument is that it was Team New Zealand's choice not to stage a defender series, and as a result they do not need the same amount of water as the twelve likely challengers. What was to have been a resolution to the problem by having the harbour master James McPetrie to arbitrate has not eventuated. He told both parties to sort it out themselves. Team New Zealand spokesman, Alan Sefton, in his typical laconic style has said, "We're going to be just as busy as the challengers. We will be very aggressive in our build-up to the Cup - we have racing and testing to do and we find it intriguing that they think they can tell us where we can or cannot sail in our own waters. All we want is a fair solution, and the proposal that's been on the table for 18 months is fair to everyone." Dyer Jones, ACCA head, wants the 1983 protocols to be applied, i.e. each party to have first choice of a course on alternating days. No finalization yet. No resolution as yet!

THE DOWNWIND FINISH -- This is so easy, yet so hard at the same time. You want to look at the finish as if you were starting, whatever end is favored if you were starting is going to be the favored end when finishing downwind. The trick is being able to discern the correct slant of the line while approaching from a good distance away. Use the flags blowing on the committee boat or flag end of the line, or better yet, when the opportunity presents itself make your analysis when heading upwind coming from the leeward mark. This is the perfect time to at least get a look at the line. Usually your attention is on other things, but it can truly serve you to take a quick look. Once you have decided which end is favored, finish all the way at that end, every boat length away from the bitter end translates into extra distance sailed. -- The Coach @

Laser champ John Torgenson recently summed up the feelings of a lot of sailors, "It's the best thing I own for sailing, It's awesome." Awesome indeed -it's Camet's new breathable Neoprene Neo-Thermal top. This breakthrough technology senses how hard you're working to insure that trapped vapors (like sweat) disappear quickly. Just one look at this hot new item will sent it directly to the top of your wish list:

The California YC lost their beloved "Junior Program Mom," Diane Armstrong, who passed away last Thursday evening. Services will be held today at 2:00 PM St. Luke's Presbyterian Church, Rolling Hills, CA.

For racing sailors, chasing the latest wave of technology is part of the game. Older hulls are rapidly traded for boats built from the most exotic: Kevlar, carbon fiber, and sails of polybenzobisoxazole. But for some fleets in New England, tradition rules--and competition is no less competitive in wooden hulls, in designs that have been racing for three generations.

This month in Marblehead (Mass.) traditionalists and cutting-edge racers will share the same patch of water. On Thursday, July 29, designs that are over six decades old and boats with single-digit histories will head to the starting line for the opening races of the GMC Yukon/Sailing World NOOD (National Offshore One-Design Series) at Marblehead Race Week, a four-day regatta hosted by the Boston, Corinthian, and Eastern yacht clubs. This Race Week dates to 1889.

A fleet of some 150 boats are currently entered in 11 one-design classes balanced by a division for larger PHRF-handicapped keelboats. With racers traveling from six states and Canada, the majority of the fleet will be from New England; a handful of Canadian entries and skippers from outside the Northeast region will also compete. The population on the starting line will be diverse-from teenage helmsmen, to skippers in their seventies, to family crews, world-class racers, and a high quotient of 1998 class champions returning to defend their wins.

Racing begins Thursday, July 29, in seven classes. Other classes will sail their opening races on Friday and Saturday, for a three- and two-day series. Racing in all classes concludes on Sunday, August 1. Awards will be presented at Eastern Yacht Club, which will serve as regatta headquarters, following Sunday's racing.

In 1999, the GMC Yukon/Sailing World NOOD includes nine stops in: St. Petersburg (FL), San Diego (CA), Annapolis (MD), Detroit (MI), Chicago (IL), Marblehead (MA), San Francisco (CA), Larchmont (NY), Houston (TX). - Cynthia Flanagan Goss

Event website:

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with, "Quit while you're ahead?"