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SCUTTLEBUTT #373 - August 5, 1999

In the Croesus class at Cowes, the races where the tycoons tend to play, Larry Ellison, the Oracle Software chairman, and his co-skipper, CNN boss Ted Turner, scored back to back wins in the ILC-70 maxi division. These successes came in a pair of tight and combative windward/leeward races held south-east of the Isle of Wight in Sandown Bay and proved enough to edge them one point ahead of James Dolan's Sagamore in the Skandia Cowes Week series.

With Alberto Roemmers' Alexia sidelined, repairing a cracked mast in time for Saturday's Fastnet race start, the ILC-70s were down to three, yet the margins were close. Aboard Sagamore, there was a bad case of the Boomerang blues, for George Coumantaros' boat had a major influence on Dolan's results.

Soon after the first start, Boomerang called for water surprisingly early and, in tacking over to give her room, Sagamore switched from a nice, clear air position to one disturbed by Sayonara. It was a similar story in the second race, when Boomerang needed room to tack her round an anchored ship. On both occasions Sayonara came through to control the race. "I've raced these guys for four or five years and for the past three seasons it's been Sayonara, Sayonara, Sayonara," said Dolan.

As the man who launched the Bravo and American Classic Movie channels in the USA - as well as owning the New York Knicks basketball and New York Rangers ice hockey teams, Radio City and Madison Square Garden - Jim Dolan has the wherewithal to do something about it. Hence his second ILC-70 Sagamore, this one launched at the end of last year and meeting her main rivals for the first time in Cowes. She is uncompromisingly a race boat, a carbon fibre shell in which, or on which, there is not one superfluous item. "The first Sagamore was really a cruiser-racer," explained Dolan. "Now we are competitive."

What sets this class apart is not its wealthy owners but the blemish-free yachts they have created with the best designers and builders in the business. Even the decks of these craft are chamoised-off as the crew climb aboard in the morning.

The boat handling is equally immaculate. The owners steer much of the race themselves, including the start. "I think I am an OK helmsman," says Dolan, though conceding he could not hold a candle to Ed Baird, the New York YC's America's Cup skipper, standing at his shoulder. "I am never going to be as good as a guy who goes sailing every day of the week. If I did that, I'd have no business left," says Dolan.

Improvements to facilities ashore and prizes for winners afloat were announced yesterday by the organisers in an effort to make next year's event 'a stunning success' with up to 1,000 competing yachts. Sponsors Skandia Life announced that they will give L2,000 prizes to the top boats in each of the two groups of competing yachts next year and will also give free entry to 10 yachts that enter early. Ashore, some long overdue improvements to the Cowes waterfront are planned including a complete facelift of the run-down Town Quay area and extensions and improvements to both the marinas in town. -- Tim Jeffery, Electronic Telegraph, UK

Maxi (Race 1): 1, Sayonara (E Turner & L Ellison); 2, Sagamore (J Dolan); 3, Boomerang (G Coumantaros); (Race 2): 1, Sayonara; 2, Boomerang; 3, Sagamore.

For the full story:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what do you suppose the OFFICIAL videotape of the Sydney-Hobart Race is worth? Of the 115 starters in this race, only 40 made it to Hobart. After a pleasant start, the race quickly became a battle for survival -- a battle six men would ultimately lose. 80-foot seas and 80-knot winds -- something you never want to see in person. The footage from cameras on board the boats documents the bravery, the terror and the extraordinary rescue efforts. This impressive videotape is now available online and it's only $29.95 plus postage and handling:

After a 12-year absence from America's Cup competition, Britain, the nation that helped start it all, looked set to return for America's Cup 2000, but the Royal Dorset Yacht Club challenge has ultimately failed to find enough traction to make the journey. Britain has never competed in the modern International America's Cup Class, its last outing being in 12-Metres in Fremantle, Australia in 1987. As such, the British are falling further and further out of America's Cup contention and would virtually have to be regarded as a rookie competitor when, and if, they do return.

The British syndicate got off to a very promising start with backing from British Aerospace and Silicon Graphics, but after spending a reported $14 million on the campaign, failed to get enough backing to make a viable attempt. Not all of the start-up money will be wasted. Much of it represents research and development work that would have been done anyway, and the results will likely benefit British sailing projects as diverse as the Olympic Games and the next Volvo Round the World Race. -- America's Cup 2000

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

-- From Neil W. Humphrey -- When I asked the International Sailing Federation why they use ISAF rather than ISF, they said the International Softball Federation has ISF. Funny enough, when searching the web one can also find International Snowboard Federation, International Schoolsports Federation & etc all using ISF.

I submit with the big push by ISAF to secure & control sponsorship dollars worldwide now as a organization/business they seriously need to look at their branding or identity as company. I don't think there is an advertising, marketing or PR firm out there that would recommend having any confusion between a company's Logo and their company name. I can only see the current problem with the International Sailing Federations identity continuing to add to the difficulty of sailors and sailing events to maintain and secure sponsorship. I believe it's time for the International Sailing Federation to lead the way in demonstrating to the sailing community a professional marketing plan for the future of the sport.

-- From Chris Ericksen -- I see in 'Butt #372 that they intend to re-enact the original race in which the schooner-yacht America won "The 100 Guinea Cup" that became the America's Cup. I wonder if they will correct the sailing instructions? There was a beef (perhaps not a protest in the modern sense) after that 1851 race in which an English competitor claimed the NYYC's America did not sail the proper course, having left a bouy that the Englishman felt to be a mark of the cours on the wrong side. The committe found that the sailing instructions were not specific in this matter--the side on which the bouy had been left in previous races was apparently traditional and not required-- and (to use modern usage) disallowed the protest (again, modern usage). In those presumably less litigious times this might have been OK, but probably not these days.

-- From Jordan J. Dobrikin -- It is clear that Sailing/RACING needs and can support both a Measurement Rule, IMS, and an Empirical Rule, PHRF. Both Rules need to be able to effectively, (easily), modified over time. IMS seems to have this capability, so it will be interesting to see how it will fair against the competition of IRM/IRC. PHRF is a somewhat different story. The "simplicity" of plain vanilla PHRF is being sorely taxed.

What is needed is rational discussion and suggestions on how to IMPROVE, PHRF, and some reasonably quick movement towards the implementation of some / all "Improvements". Else PHRF will succumb to it's competitors, Americap, IRM/IRC, even the Portsmouth Rating System (which currently is a strong, viable system for Dinghies, but weak, under developed system for bigger boats). It would be nice to know about PHRF Plus, PHRF+, and/or other improvements that are in use or on the drawing board(s).

-- From Rick Hatch -- It was very rewarding for me to read some positive comments from your readers on the article about RRS 18.2(c). For those who want a brief read for a better understanding of the RRS and who don't make the time to sit on protest committees for several years, I can recommend "Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes", available from US Sailing. The cost (approx. $17 plus shipping) is nominal for the insight that the book offers.

Ludde Ingvall's Skandia (EUR) won the third race of the Cowes Week event in the Adecco World Championship for the Maxi-One-Design class, but it was a hard fought victory with pressure on the leader until she crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron finishing line. Throughout the race, Skandia had been under attack, first from Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel, steered by Jimmy Pahun (FRA), and then by Geoff Meek's Rainbow Magic (RSA).

The 30 mile race was held mostly in the Eastern Solent under grey skies in 16 knots of south-easterly breeze which veered to the south. Only seven boats answered the starter's gun - the missing boat was Ross Field's RF Yachting (NZL) which was damaged in a collision with Gunnar Krantz' Team Henri-Lloyd on Monday. It was in a boatyard in Hamble for repair as the condition of the damage had deteriorated during yesterday's race. Field is to apply for average points for the race he has missed. -- Bob Fisher

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

Points after three races: 1. EUR 28 2. RSA 19 3. NZL 17.25 4. BEL 17 5. FRA 15 6. SUI 11 7. ITA 9 8. SWE 7

Event website:

Summertime sailing is all about T-shirts and short pants. I love it! But what do you do when it gets nasty on the course with big wind and horizontal spray? Or worse yet, rain? Well, thank God for Gill's breathable foul weather gear. Traditional wet weather gear may have kept you dry from the elements, but your body generated so much sweat that the benefits were marginal at best. Forget that. The last time I checked Gill had seven different breathable foul weather outfits. Something tells me there is one just perfect for your needs:

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

Warren Jones was Alan Bond's chief executive and went to Newport with Bond's first challenge in 1974. He does not speak particularly highly of the New York Yacht Club. As to New Zealand's chances, he is now on record as saying that he does not see Team New Zealand as having any home-town advantage. "Defenders get distracted by the home-comforts and the relatives who all interfere and all have something to say" says Jones. He believes Team New Zealand have already made a tactical error in handing the organising of the challengers to its old foe. He compares it to putting the fox back in charge of the chickens. Jones is convinced that, because of this, the non-American teams are on the back foot in the challenger series, so it will be an American team that meet Team New Zealand in the finals in February.

Warren Jones believes "New Zealanders are the best sailors, pound for pound in the world. There isn't another nation that can compare with the Kiwis. They are incredibly sound yachtsmen. They are certainly capable of holding onto that precious trophy."

Few women admit their age; Fewer men act it.