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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:

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:

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:

It's absolutely the best ocean protection on the planet, as well it should be. Gill's Bowman's Smock was developed and tested by some the world's top bowmen during the last Whitbread Race, and features breathable GORE-TEX with latex dryseal neck and cuffs to keep the water out. If want to stay dry, check out this terrific smock:

AMERICA'S CUP 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 by November.

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:

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:

-- 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:

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 applies.

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 website:

The Romans did not create a great empire by having meetings -- they did it by killing all those who opposed them.