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SCUTTLEBUTT #367 - July 28, 1999

GIMLI, MANITOBA, CANADA (July 27, 1999)-After two days of "nuclear" winds at the Pan Am Games sailing event on Lake Winnipeg, today's calmer breezes came as a relief to the 111 sailors competing from 20 nations. The 12-15 knot conditions helped Team USA focus more on strategy and less on strained equipment and sore muscles.

Climbing up the scoreboard one notch each were Mistral Men's entrant Mike Gebhardt (Ft. Pierce/Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) and the Hobie 16 team of Wally Myers (Marmora, N.J.) and Mark Santorelli (Barnegat, N.J.). Maintaining medal positions from yesterday were Team USA's representatives in Finn, Lightning, Laser, Sunfish and Mistral Women's classes.

Gebhardt, a past Pan Am Games medalist (gold '87, silver '95) and Olympic medalist (silver '92, bronze '88), posted a 4-2 today to step up to a bronze-medal position and break a tied score he held yesterday with Canada's Alain Bolduc. "In the second race, I was third almost the whole way around," said Gebhardt. "Then I passed Argentina on a puff in the last 200 yards of the last leg." Argentina finished third in the race, while Brazil won. Both countries are ahead of Gebhardt in overall standings.

Mistral sailor Lanee Butler (Dana Point, Calif.) posted a 1-2 while Canada's defending Pan Am Gold Medalist Caroll-Ann Alie finished 2-1. The two are tied with seven points. Tie breakers go to the sailor having more first-place finishes (or seconds, thirds and so on) in the series; however, those counts are even for Butler and Alie, who are eight points ahead of the next closest competitor.

In similar one-on-one fashion, Finn sailor Russ Silvestri (Tiburon, Calif.) took a 2-1 to Canadian Richard Clarke's 1-2. "After the first race, I decided I'd better get mad and beat him in the second race," said Silvestri. "I'm going to beat him twice tomorrow." With five of 11 scheduled races left to go, Silvestri is in the silver-medal position, only three points behind Clarke.

Laser sailor Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) posted a 2-3 to keep his silver-medal position behind Brazil's '96 Olympic gold medalist Robert Scheidt. "Robert has all firsts, so it would be pretty hard to catch him. Argentina is the closest to me, so I'll be focusing on things like that tomorrow." Argentina is three points behind Mendelblatt in overall scoring.

As they were at the end of racing yesterday, Henry Filter (Annapolis, Md.) and Lorie Stout (Annapolis, Md.) are in fifth in the Snipe class, and Lynn Olinger (Westminster/San Francisco, Calif.) is in fourth in Europe class. -- Barby MacGowan

Complete standing can be found on the official website:

J/24 NAs
Winds were light and the final race presented fluky conditions, as well. Geoff Moore, the winner, described the last race as "the scariest he had ever raced". The fleet turned inside out at the end of the first downwind leg with the first place boat dropping to the 20s. At the end of the first two days, Chicago weather introduced its fury with wild thunderstorms. Half the fleet was still approaching the harbor on one of these days. All were safe in the end largely due to proactive efforts on the part of the Chicago YC Race Committee. -- Betsy Altman

Final results: 1, Moore, Geoff, Pipe Dream, 56 points; 2, Eiffert, Greg, Brain Cramp, 59; 3, Breitner, Dave, Voodoo , 68; 4, Healy, Tim, Blind Squirrel, 77; 5, Crump, Will, Satisfaction, 87; 6, Harden, Bob, mr happy, 87; 7, Fogh, Morten, Fogh Marine, 101; 8, Wolfs, Rudy, Madraelle, 109; 9, Constants, Alfred, Blits, 126; 10, Weil, Peter, Chuck Wagon, 126.

Mission Bay YC, (90 boats) Sorry, the MBYC website is not being updated so there is nothing new to report. Regatta website:

Thanks for the suggestion Tom. I bought a Gill Bowman's smock to go with my lightweight Gill Antigua pants to wear at the Chicago Mac and wore them both each night. LOVED THEM! Worn with lightweight Capilene or fleece underneath is a great system. It will have to be extremely wet and very cold for me to ever go back to my old heavyweight and sweaty non-breathable foulies! -- Kevin Brown

Gill website:

After a gruelling first day of the Indigo ISAF World Team Racing Championship on Dun Laoghaire Harbour (Dublin, Ireland), a handful of teams are quickly rising to the top of the 13 nation line-up. Both United States teams are showing impressive form with Josh Adams USA1 scoring a neat eight straight wins to top the leader board. The second American team is also strong as is Britain's first team: both have only dropped a single race each. Similarly, the New Zealand squad had a convincing opening day, especially given their relative inexperience.

Kiwi Team Manager Jim Murdoch remained tight-lipped about his squads opening day performance but Adams of USA1 clearly regards the squad as a threat: "The Kiwis are young but fast and very sharp," he said last night. While sailing their second worlds, Murdoch's team have practiced in New Zealand but only set foot in Firefly dinghies ten days ago at West Kirby for a practice series.

Currently, the round robin should mean the elimination of the weakest teams at the event and lead into a tighter field by Friday when the quarter-finals are due to start. -- David Branigan

Team standings with number of matches won: USA1 - 8; USA2 - 7; NZL - 6; AUS2 - 6; CAN - 6; GBR1 - 5; IRL1 - 5; FRA - 4; RSA1 - 4; GBR2 - 4; NED - 3; AUS1 - 3; CZE - 2; IRL2 - 2; RSA2 - 1; ESP - 1; SUI - 0; SRI - 0.

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

-- From David Feinstein -- The Del Rey Yacht Club would also like suggest to race organizers that they implement a rule about wearing PFD's and strobe lights. In our last Puerto Vallarta Race, there was not one negative comment about this rule. Our plans for the 2001 Race will incorporate this rule, with a recommendation that safety harnesses be employed whenever outside the cockpit.

-- From J. Mark Sims --Before all of you proponents beat yourselves to death by patting each other on the back I would like to point out one thing. Transpac board member Robbie Hanes has instituted the "politically correct" rule requiring the use of lifejackets during the night on Transpac. Yet, by his own admission in Scuttlebutt, his choice of vest ("Sterns" inflatable life vest)is not a Coast Guard "approved" PFD.

-- Peter Huston -- Jeremy Pudney and Jeff Martin ask why US SAILING didn't raise any objections to the new ISAF ad code during the last two ISAF meetings. Simple answer - our best political operative, Tom Ehman, was put out to pasture last November by those with more personal ambition and significantly less experience than Ehman in the ways of ISAF, and certainly in the realm of global sports sponsorship. His opponent's theory was that as Ehman is now living in Germany he could no longer properly represent the interests of US SAILING to ISAF. I sort of like the idea of having the CIA place operatives behind enemy lines. Like him or not, his record, experience and perspective are unique within the sport - who else can say they have played an instrumental role in an America's Cup Defense ('88 and '92) AND have also managed the principle sponsorship of a season championship for a Formula One team (West McLaren Mercedes - '98)?

Ehman is alot of things, including a few would say a real Son of a Bitch - but at least he was OUR Son of a Bitch. ISAF, don't concern yourself with what US SAILING supports or doesn't support, we are but one vote, and absent Ehman's involvement as a US SAILING delegate to ISAF, we, and the sport for that matter, have lost a very valuable resource for the purpose of advancing the subject of sailing sponsorship in a manner that is sensitive to appropriate tradition and yet serves the required interests of advertisers.

-- From Joe Ozelis -- Don't let Glenn (McCarthy) ride you too much about the lack of news from Chicago YC events. CYC's PR people and website are abysmal. It takes more than a copy of MS Front Page and a scanner to produce a useful and informative website. You also need commitment on the part of the club, so that the proper resources are made available, and that the exercise is supported. Unfortunately, CYC often falls victim to it's own hype, and fails to note its rather substantial shortcomings - both on the water and off. I myself am a member of CYC, and serve as a club rep to the Lake Michigan PHRF council, and also sit on its Technical Committee - so I know and appreciate the level of effort needed to contribute in a substantial way to the sport/club activities. However, a club like CYC, with a substantial and talented member base, should be able to find (or pay for !) competent PR and web site personnel - certainly the smaller, less "endowed" clubs in Chicago can and do.

The blame for lack of information about CYC's race events lies squarely on the shoulders of the club's PR staff, and, eventually, Flag Officers and Board.

-- From Ike Stephenson -- In reference Campbell Field's concern about Cudmore call out Law after his Admirals race disaster. As someone who will admit to following just about any sport reacting such as this is not uncommon. Some coach types will say, gee we can't tell until we see the film. While this maybe more professional, it is counterbalanced by your Mike Ditka's and Harold Cudmore's who are pretty free with their emotions. I don't think it'll be so damaging as such talk is pretty common. Also, perhaps by the time you read this- but certainly today Torresen Sailing Site will have J-24 NA results posted. As a Midwesterner I am familiar with Chicago Yacht Club's anti information bias.... you just do the best you can....

AUCKLAND, NZ, July 28, 1999--"It's better than being there!" With that simple statement, the New Zealand principals of Virtual Spectator, Ltd today introduced their new World Wide Web program for sports fans to follow the blow-by-blow sailing action in the Louis Vuitton Cup race series to decide the challenger for the America's Cup.

When the 13 international syndicates begin racing in the Hauraki Gulf off Auckland on October 18, they'll be under the close scrutiny of a few hundred spectator craft and up to 100,000 virtual spectators linked through the World Wide Web. Enabled by a fusion of CD-ROM, Internet and advanced animation technologies, Virtual Spectator will put its users inside the race course - controlling their own virtual reality aerial views and navigation station views - of competing America's Cup boats on either of two Louis Vuitton courses.

Web users can now make advance no-obligation reservations for this web technology breakthrough - to be released in September - by registering online at Reservations will be honored in the order in which they are made. "We have 100,000 virtual viewer seats available now but we expect these to be snapped up with all the urgency and fervor of a World Cup Football final," said Virtual Spectator Director, Craig Meek. "Major blocks of seats have already been allocated to syndicates and technology partners."

Virtual Spectator, in effect, creates a virtual stadium so that sailing fans anywhere in the world can view the racing in Auckland in full 3D, graphic animation. Or they can see race tracker "snail trails". The detailed boat and sail images on user screens will be generated from graphics data on the CD-ROM which will be animated by race data transmitted from the course by each boat competing in the event. Virtual Spectators will also be part of the nightly Press Conferences.

Box score fans will be able to compare all the numbers. For every race there will be performance analysis data in text form, showing relative speeds and leg times for each boat. They'll have interactive Rules and Tactics information literally at their fingertips to follow the umpires' calls, as well as real-time weather and wind information. Virtual Spectators can also set up their own reruns of significant mark roundings or crucial tactical situations, or choose to go back and view archival coverage of any of the dozens of Louis Vuitton Cup races.

The CD-ROM will also contain America's Cup history including photos and film clips for the last 130 years, boat designs and photos, plus filmed sailing highlights such as the sinking of the Australian challenger OneAustralia in San Diego in 1995.

Users of the program will see the same images and data as the 2,000 accredited media representatives covering the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup. Virtual Spectator, with some special press enhancements will be an integral part of every press kit.

The service starts in October with the first races of the Louis Vuitton Cup series and will continue through the Louis Vuitton finals next January. Live television coverage will not begin until the semi-finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup in early January.

The program was developed by two New Zealand companies from opposite ends of the small country hosting the next America's Cup. Craig Meek of Terabyte, the Auckland-based new media company collaborated with Ian Taylor of Animation Research Limited. Virtual Spectator combines their respective expertise in Internet and animation technologies.

In 1995, Meek's highly innovative company provided a breakthrough package of Internet and CD-ROM services to the media for text, photos, audio and video clips for the America's Cup in San Diego, California. It also produced a consumer CD-ROM within weeks of the finish of the Cup. Taylor's group designed and produced the award-winning three-dimensional virtual video used by Television New Zealand to enhance its live television broadcasts for the same event. The 3D virtual imagery looked good on television or on a high-end work station, but what they needed, Meek and Taylor decided, was a hybrid technology that would make similar images accessible to anyone using the Internet and a personal computer. That way, any user could control the viewing.

The breakthrough came with the idea of placing content-rich animation graphics for boats, sails, buoys, and instrumentation for the next America's Cup onto a CD-ROM. The dynamic data such as boat positions and headings, wind speeds and directions would be transmitted on the Internet. "Hybrid allows the best of both worlds," Meek explained. "Bandwidth-hungry content is stored on the CD-ROM and is instantly accessible, while the dynamic data updates constantly from the Internet. The viewer is offered full-motion, animated, visual content in a limited bandwidth environment. The result is instant gratification for sports fans."

Taylor predicted that the technology advancements planned for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup will redefine sports broadcasting and will change forever the way that people view sporting events. "Today we are focussing on live 3D animation," Taylor said. "Tomorrow we will combine this exciting technology with live video streaming on the web. Virtual Spectators will put themselves in the driver's seat . . . or the tactician's seat . . . or the helicopter cameraman's seat!"

When Craig Meek and Ian Taylor formed Virtual Spectator Ltd this year, they joined forces with a consortium of other New Zealand technology businesses to provide enhanced media coverage of sports events over the Internet.

The price of the CD-ROM is US$69.95, plus postage and handling, which entitles the user to a virtual stadium seat for the duration of the Louis Vuitton series. There are only 100,000 seats available. To run Virtual Spectator successfully on a PC, it will need the following as a minimum configuration: Windows 95 or Windows 98, 32 Mb RAM, 95/98 CD-ROM driver, Minimum 800x600 display (SVGA), High color (65,535 color) resolution.

Virtual Spectator is working in partnership with the America's Cup Challengers Association and the official Louis Vuitton Cup Website -- Keith Taylor

Up to now, the existence of Rave seemed more mirage than reality. But on Kauai, Earl Edwards (USA) is currently proceeding with the launch of his maxi multihull. Rave revealed her lines when she left the large tent where she was built, close to the town of Lihue, a cable's length from the beach (for maximum ease of assembly and handling). It is there, on Kauai island (northwestern part of the Sandwich archipelago) that the 100-foot central hull was recently joined to its floats. They measure the same length but are set off 18 feet forward.

The project has considerably changed since its inception. Under the code name "Banana", Earl Edwards originally planned to build a 118-foot monohull able to win the Jules Verne trophy. But in 1986, he changed his mind and went for a trimaran of the same size, with enough potential to run the Race of the Millenium. Her name, "Rave", mirrors the apparent folly of such a design. But it also hints at Edwards' enthusiasm for multihulls. His faith in their superiority rests on two major influences: exchanges with the French skipper Eric Tabarly, and the writings of the Englishman Rob James.

Rave nonetheless displays resolutely Polynesian characteristics. Her central hull thus resorts to a canoe stem, U-shaped sections and curvy lines. The crossbeams rest high above the floats, to easily clear the waves. All these features are proof that Edwards prefers a gentle approach to sailing, rather than trying to force his way through the water. He learnt and honed this approach thanks to intensive sailing, particularly aboard Manu Kai, the 40-foot catamaran launched in 1947 by a fellow Hawaiian, Rudy Choy. With her streamlined bridge, built like an aircraft wing, Manu Kai paved the way for modern multihulls.

After moving to Hawaii, Edwards headed in the 1970's the architectural team of the Windward Marine shipyard, where he mostly designed monohull sailboats. Subsequently setting himself up as an independent builder, he constructed several multihulls for day-charter use off the beaches of Hawaii. And if the Rave project has taken up almost all of his time these last few years, the payoff is proportional to the scope of his dream. Having lived a half-century, Edwards is about to have a fresh taste of sailing exhilaration, with The Race.

Event website:

LORIENT-Honours were equally shared between France and New Zealand on the opening day of the French Grand Prix, the fifth event of the Adecco World Championship for the Maxi-One-Design class. It was a day which favoured the bold decision makers and once again proved that the boats are extremely even and that it is the people who make the difference.

There were 12-16 knots of north-easterly breeze between Pen-Men and Le Talud in Les Courreaux and it shifted wildly, so that the race committee had to change the course twice while the race was under way. -- Bob Fisher

Finishing order: Race one: 1. NZL Ross Field RF Yachting 2. FRA Bertrand Pace Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel 3. RSA Geoff Meek Rainbow Magic 4. SWE Gunnar Krantz Team Henri-Lloyd 5. EUR Ludde Ingvall Skandia 6. ITA Guido Maisto Seac Banche 7. SUI Ernesto Bertarelli Alinghimax 8. BEL Hans Bouscholte Synphony

Race two: 1. FRA; 2. NZL; 3. EUR; 4. RSA; 5. SWE; 6. BEL; 7. ITA; 8. SUI.

Event website:

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

* AmericaOne, St. Francis Yacht Club's challenger for America's Cup XXX, has started construction on their second Cup boat. "A number of factors have influenced the design of our second boat," explains Bruce Nelson, AmericaOne's principal designer. "All the information learned while training in New Zealand this past winter, plus another season's worth of weather data from the NIWA buoy on the America's Cup race course, combined with an additional six months of ongoing design research and development, has been incorporated into Boat #2's design. The core design of USA 49 was locked in last December, like most of our competitors, thus Boat #2's design is significantly newer and more refined for the conditions off Auckland."

* Don't Drink -- the message is out. The roads outside marinas will be targeted with compulsory breath testing! This, from the Auckland police. Would-be revellers who spend their day out on the water watching the Cup regatta have been warned - the eleven zippy new police boats are now ready to hit the Hauraki Gulf to patrol the waves and the docks for the America's Cup. The police will be watching over boaties on the water, to make sure they are not only safe but acting within the law.

The latest estimate is that there are 100,000 boat owners in Auckland and supposing only 10 per cent hit the water on any one day, the police will have major logistic problems policing that number of revellers. And to put the subject more into perspective, if a skipper does anything that causes unnecessary risk to anyone else - driving too fast or too close - they have committed an offence. The maximum penalty is NZ$10,000 or 12 month's imprisonment.

Blue skies, strong winds and the possibility of record times greeted the 115 boats in the Sydney to Hobart Race fleet on December 26, 1998. Only 40 of those boats would make it to Hobart. What began as a battle of tactics and speed, quickly became a race for survival -- a race six men would ultimately lose. With exclusive footage from cameras on board the boats, the OFFICIAL RACE VIDEOTAPE documents the bravery, the terror and the extraordinary rescue efforts. You've got to see it to believe it -- 80-foot seas and 80-knot winds. This impressive videotape is now available online:

With 89 entries in the 30th Seal Beach to Dana Point Race the starting area had the feel on an Ensenada start. A new "sport boat" class and a one-design International 14 class created great competition. Class winners: Sport - 1. Whippet 2. Impact Player 3. Eileen; PHRF A - 1. Cheap Sunglasses 2. Rawhide 3. Recoup; PHRF B - 1. Warlayne 2. Callisto II 3. Bingo; PHRF C - 1. Cruz Control 2. Seadora 3. T-Rex; PHRF D - 1. Rosinante 2. Day Tripper 3. Endless Summer; PHRF E - 1. Cindy Bee 2. Encore 3. No Y No; CRUISE - 1. Ducky 2. Rambunctious 3. Sloop du Jour; I-14 - 1. Venga 2. Liquid Kitty 3. None. The Overall Winner was Rosinante. -- John Berry

For full results:

"Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal!" - Winston Churchill