SCUTTLEBUTT #364 - July 21, 1999
GUEST EDITORIAL -- by Robbie Haines
The 1999 Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) just concluded and with it came
a new safety rule that all yacht race organisers around the world should
seriously consider adapting for their races. More than a year ago, TPYC
implemented a rule that requires wearing PFD's from sundown to sunup. A
white strobe attached to the life jacket was also required. Yes, many
people commented that people should not be told what to do but like the
seat belt rule in cars and helmets on motorcycles, TPYC decided to be
proactive and implement this rule. Del Rey Yacht Club used this rule in
their February Puerto Vallarta race with no complaints and, to the best of
my knowledge, there were no grumbles about wearing them in the Transpac. On
Pyewacket, we elected to use the Stearns "fanny pack" style and we sewed a
light to each vest. These PFD's are comfortable and will save a life someday.
Having just sailed 2300 miles, wearing a PFD at night is painless. I've
lost many friends that would have most likely been saved if they had only
worn a life jacket. I encourage all race organisers to at least investigate
this "new" idea. I'm sure 5 years from now we will all say "why didn't we
do this sooner".
Update Wednesday July 21 12:28 PM -- The boats all started at 1100 this
morning, there was no general recall, clean start for all. The start was
downwind, against an ebbing tide. The fleet is headed now towards Bembridge
Ledge, then out into the channel and around the EC2 buoy.
First Position Report -- At No Man's Land Fort: Big Boat Fleet: 1. Idler,
USA; 2. Innovision 7, NED; 3. Venture 99, GBR; 4. Brava Q8, EUR; 5.
Chernikeeff, COM; 6. Breeze 3, ITA; 7. Rubin XV, GER; 8. Quest, AUS; ;
Sydney 40 Fleet: 1. Trust Computer, NED; 2. Blue Yankee Pride, USA; 3.
Turbo UK, COM; 4. Nautica Arbitrator, GBR; 5. Breeze 2, ITA; 6. Merit Cup,
EUR; 7. Blan, FRA; 8. Sledgehammer, AUS; 9. MK Cafe, GER; ; Mumm 36 Fleet:
1. Atara, AUS; 2. Mean Machine, NED; 3. Jeantex, GER; 4. Moby Lines, EUR;
5. Ciao Baby, USA; 6. Breeze 1, ITA; 7. Barlo Plastics, GBR; 8. Alice, COM;
9. Bloo, FRA.
The race is expected to finish some time on Friday. These are the standings
going into the Wolf Rock Race. Each place counts as three and a half points
in this final event. ie, a difference of six places will count as 21 fewer
points on the low-point scoring system. =1. Netherlands (96)=1. Great
Britain, (96) 3. Europe, (102) 4. Germany, (108.5) 5. USA, (113.5) 6.
Italy, (114) 7. Australia, (133) 8. Commonwealth, (185).
Event site: http://mummadmiralscup.org
MISTRAL NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
I would have to say that this was one of the windiest competitons I have
been to in quite a long time. We only had one race where it dropped below
12 knots and that was for only half a race! With such good winds we were
able to have all 11 races in the four days. Three races a day for the first
three and 2 races on the last day. With 11 races we were only able to
discard one race, which means the most consistent person will win.
There were 43 men entered and 20 women from 25 different countries. This
was an important event as it was a qualifying event for the world
championships in the men.
The fleet was missing alot of the top European competitors but the men's
fleet had the top Japanese, Australian, American, Canadian, Italian. In the
women we had the top Polish, Australian, American, and Canadian.
The Australiasians totally dominated the competition. Jon Paul Tobin was by
the fastest man on the water - when it got really windy he was in a league
of his own. But he had a two bad races when it got a little light and
shifty and that was enough to lose the lead to Australian Lars Kleppich.
Who was the most consistant - although not the fastest! Aaron Macintosh
came third followed by Bruce Kendall who got faster and faster as the
regatta went on - now with 3 of them all on the pace the New Zealand trials
are going to be fierce! The down unders really dominated those first 5
places. -- Barbara Kendall, NZL
Results - Men: 1. AUS Lars Kleppich 2. NZL Jon Paul Tobin 3. NZL Aaron
Macintosh 4. NZL Bruce Kendall 5. NZL Shayne Bright 6. JPN Kenjo Motokazu
7. USA Mike Gebhart 8. CAN Kevin sittle 9. ITA Riccarddo Giordano 10. USA
Peter Wells 19. USA Jean Raas 20. USA Doug Stryker
Women: NZL 1. Barbara Kendall 2. AUS Jessica Crisp 3. POL Anna Graczyk 4.
CAN Carroll-Ann ALie 5. USA Lanee Butler 6. JPN Masako Imai 7. POL Anna
Galecka 8. CAN Ami McCaig 9. JPN Eri Mitsumori 10. CAN Dominique Vallee 12.
USA KIMBERLY BIRKENFELD 14. USA LAURA CHAMBERS 15. USA CHRISTINA MOELLER
16. USA TAYLOR DUCH.
Complete final results: http://www.stfyc.com/
OPTIMIST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
After 8 races: 1. ITA PRESSICH Mattia (18) 2. CRO STIPANOVIC Tonci (27) 3.
CRO FANTELA Sime (37) 4. PER PIAGGIO Alberto (37) 5. GBR MARSHALL Jonathan
(44) 18. USA LOE Andrew (81) 31. USA STORCK Erik (119)
Event site: http://www.voile-martinique.com/optworld99.html
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Team New Zealand's second boat to defend the America's Cup is finally under
way - and it could be the last new cup boat of this millennium. The new
hull has been branded NZL60 and is sitting next to the first defender boat,
NZL57, at a boatyard in Glenfield. Construction of the first boat is
gliding along, but it won't be in the water for at least six weeks. Team
New Zealand's plan has been to have both boats sailing against each other
Around the globe, 18 new generation America's Cup boats are now either in
the water, or in the construction shed. The first boat to be given a sail
number for the 1999 challenger series, Nippon's JPN44, was launched
yesterday. She is the seventh new cup boat sailing at different spots
around the world - the others are in France, Spain, California, Hawaii, and
two in Italy.
Syndicates, both challenger and defence, can build only two new boats. Most
have used up their quota already. If anyone is to get a number now, it will
be the mysterious Russians. They have rebuilt an old 1992 boat and are
waiting to see if it is legal. But time is ticking by. The deadline for the
challengers is now only 10 days away. By August 1, every challenger must
send at least one boat number to the America's Cup Challenger Association
to prove that they are serious.
It looks virtually certain that the British and Hong Kong syndicates will
be cut from the list next Sunday. Australia will use an old 1995 boat,
AUS29, while the second French campaign, Esprit France, could employ FRA40,
the yellow yacht already sitting in Auckland. The serious French team, Le
Defi, have one boat sailing and are seeking money for another. -- 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 Phil Lever -- I get the feeling that the ruling on K K-Yote's
rating came from a value judgement on the percieved performance increases
offered by the spar rather than a re-measurement of the offending spar. If
this was the case, I believe that this amounts to an admission by the ORC
of the complete failure of the IMS as a rule. One cannot expect people to
invest huge amounts of time and capital in a project such as a grand prix
yacht, only to discover that the rules "owners" have not just moved the
goalposts but also most of the markings on the pitch. This apparent change
from statistical to value analysis in this case, must be the killing blow
for the IMS rule.
The alternatives, the much maligned PHRF or CHS value or something along
the lines of the mini-Transat class, so beloved of the French. Nobody would
claim the mini-Transat rule to be perfect, but in the absence of any other
arena for such design innovations and aided by the love of solo sailing,
they are thriving. Their bigger brethren in the 60's seem in similar rude
health but appear to be doing their R&D whilst solo in the worlds oceans -
not so good. The boats are quick, innovative and show some of the best
traits of the Box type rule. Less measurement hassles, faster boats, less
chance of stagnation, the list goes on, much as it did for the ILC classes
a few years ago.
-- From Chris Luppens -- The long term discussion on handicapping has been
"interesting" to say the least, especially when looked at as one who worked
as a PHRF coordinator for a sailing association in the middle of the
country for a few years. Lots of good basic boats around, a few "rockets",
and always lots of complaining! Somehow it all works out. What has really
gotten my attention though is people like Lowell North and Olin J. Stephens
making contributions to Scuttlebutt!. Thanks so much! I can't believe that
Mr. North hasn't "done anything useful " for such a time, but he sure is
right, don't screw up PHRF! Remember how long and well it has served so
many across a such a wide spectrum. US SAILING has a PHRF Committee and
there is a mechanism in place for continuos improvement. Get with them at
US SAILING's really improved web site at: http://www.ussailing.org/phrf/
-- From Frank Whitton -- Here in sunny Mackinac Island the most notable
sight is the line up of 70-foot sleds. The front dock is covered with
California castoffs. What a welcome addition to the Great Lakes and what a
sad day for California. We should all examine the ebb and flow of the
politics that created this.
-- From LJ Edgcomb Commodore, Transpacific Yacht Club (In response to Dave
Rees) -- Understandably, VAPOR's inability to check in was a concern.
However, with the aforementioned safety gear and procedures in place, and
the knowledge that VAPOR was carrying an EPIRB, as mandated, the race
committee felt comfortable that in a life-threatening situation, the
emergency beacon would have been deployed -- as it was for the large
catamaran DOUBLE BULLET II earlier in the race. The Coast Guard credited DB
II's EPIRB with saving the lives of its six crewmen. In addition, the USCG
was aware of, and monitoring, VAPOR's situation very early on. However,
unless an EPIRB went off, or the vessel was long overdue, to send the Coast
Guard on a wild goose chase would be imprudent.
There also were these considerations: (1) How do you look for a 25-foot
boat in several thousand square miles of ocean?; (2) The RC was advised
that VAPOR had experienced radio problems before the start and attempted to
make repairs; (3) When radio contact was made the team declined an offer of
assistance, and (4) VAPOR was never considered "missing" or "lost" because
they were not overdue, just unreported -- as all racers were for the first
half-century of the Transpac. From 1906 until 1939 there was no radio
call-in and our self-sufficient sailors did just fine. These days, we do
maintain that a yacht with the ability to check in, must. TPYC reserves the
right to penalize a yacht which provides a false position report, or fails
to check in.
-- From Tucker Thompson -- I agree with Dobbs Davis' comments about sailors
trying to defray some of the costs of sailing through advertising
(Scuttlebutt 361). It makes perfect sense and helps the sport and its
sailors grow. Every other major sport has been immensely enhanced by
advertising and professionalism. There will always be minor objections, but
ironically even those that complain stand to gain from the sport's growth
in this direction.
In response to the complaint that one's boat is not "good enough" to
generate enough exposure for advertising, that is like a wooden billboard
complaining that it is not good enough to be painted on. Nonsense! Just
going sailing will generate exposure. It does not matter where you finish
or even if you are racing. Even "traditional" Chinese Junks have had
advertising on them.
It is also ridiculous to assume that just because a boat has advertising on
it that it is faster or better. Anyone can set up advertising on their boat
to help defray the costs of a sailboat campaign whether local or
international. All it takes is a little enterprising forethought on the
part of the sailor. I congratulate those that have been able to do it and
support the growth of this healthy trend within our sport.
Annapolis, MD - Larry Leonard, Founder and Managing Partner of Quantum
Sail Design Group (QSDG announced that four European sailmakers have joined
the Quantum Group. Toni Tio (Spain), Albert Schweizer (Germany), John
Parker and Peter Kay (U.K.) join Giovanni and Daniele Cassinari (Italy) and
John Tahtatzis (Greece) in offering Quantum sails. To handle administrative
and marketing and advertising support functions for the European lofts,
Quantum Europe has been established. Tio, Schweizer, Parker, Kay, and the
Cassinaris are all equal partners in Quantum Europe along with QSDG. Toni
Tio will serve as the Managing Partner of the Group servicing the
organization out of his Barcelona (Spain) loft. Quantum now has 44
representative organizations-with 14 major manufacturing and production
lofts-located in 14 countries.
If you have trouble sleeping on Thursday night / Friday morning turn on
ESPN2 for Gary Jobson's Ultimate Sailing at 1:00 AM PDT (4:00 AM EDT). It's
a re-air of the Santa Maria Cup match racing program.
Jobson's TV Schedule: http://www.jobsonsailing.com/tvsched.html
RATING RULES -- By Chris Bouzaid
Olin Stephens (my hero) makes some good points however until there is a
measurement rule that works, Hooray for PHRF. I have been told that the IMS
rule is not type-forming, if this is the case why are all the IMS boats
"Look a-likes." Can you really tell the difference between the designers in
the appearance of the boats?
I agree with Lowell North 100%. We have both been frustrated by the
different rules. Here is a little story from last week that tells it all.
For some time I have been promised an IOR Club rating for my Thompson 30
sportboat. (Similar to a Melges or Henderson 30) David Pedrick told me that
the IOR Club rule is a fair rule for all designs. The rating finally
arrived last week. When I applied the GPH handicap I was giving the Mumm
30s 50 seconds per mile and the Farr 40s 10 seconds per mile. You don't
need to be Rocket Scientist to realize that is impossible. When I looked at
all the IMS boats entered in the NYYC Cruise my Thompson 30 was the 4th
highest rated boat!
I then compared the different handicaps at different wind angles and
different wind strengths. I discovered that the differentials made
absolutely no sense at all. For example the rule had my Thompson 30 giving
more time to the Mumm 30 upwind as the breeze increased, In fact exactly
the opposite is the real situation.
Downwind it had the Thompson 30 giving less time to the Mumm 30 as the wind
increased whereas it is the opposite again. I was also giving the Farr 40
time upwind and they were giving me time downwind, once again, the opposite
My conclusion is that the IMS rule is a type forming rule that is
understood by a few designers and the present emphasis is on reduction in
rating not increase in speed. The moment you deviate from the "Rule Type"
boat you are SCREWED.
If you haven't noticed it's summer and the curmudgeon will be on his way
to Catalina before most of you have finished reading this issue. 'Butt will
(probably) be back on Monday -- just in time for the exciting conclusion of
the CMAC. In the mean time, you can stay current by checking into the ISAF
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
The Romans did not create a great empire by having meetings -- they did it
by killing all those who opposed them.