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.
Event site: http://mummadmiralscup.org
OPTIMIST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
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
* 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: http://www.americascup2000.org.nz/fs.html
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.
BAYVIEW MAC RACE
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 updates: http://www.byc.com/mack99/index.html
PAN AM GAMES
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
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: http://www.ussailing.org
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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
-- 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
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 "http://www.49er-sailing.com
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
* 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!
TIP O' THE WEEK
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 @ Sailweb.net
QUOTE OF THE DAY
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: http://www.sailingworld.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with,
"Quit while you're ahead?"