SCUTTLEBUTT #375 - August 9, 1999
Twenty years ago the Fastnet Race was a story of how only 85 yachts from
303 starters finished a storm-racked race. This year it is about how two
yachts have broken clear from the 216-strong fleet to set a blistering pace.
Expectations are high in Plymouth that the outright race record could be
demolished rather than merely broken. Alain Gautier's 60ft trimaran
Broceilande rounded the rock off Ireland's south-western tip at 2.06pm
Sunday with Loick Peyron's Fujicolor II just three minutes behind, ready
for the 218-mile charge back to Plymouth.
With these trimarans almost as wide as they are long and fully powered up
in not much more than 10 knots of breeze, their speed potential is
enormous. Hence their threat on the race record of 44hr 00min 42sec set by
Laurent Bourgnon's Primagaz two years ago. In 1997, though, the multihulls
sailed a 25-mile longer course than the traditional 605-mile Fastnet track
by rounding the EC1 buoy in mid-Channel on the outward leg.
Peyron was "always a bit optimistic" that a new time could be achieved,
anticipating fast sailing sandwiched by a slow start and slow finish.
Ellen MacArthur, of Britain, has chartered Primagaz for the race and is
co-skippering with Bourgnon's brother, Yvan. Renamed Kingfisher, McArthur's
trimaran lost touch with Gautier and Peyron yesterday morning. "We had no
wind for six hours and we now have very light air, about eight knots from
the south-east," MacArthur said yesterday afternoon. "We had fantastic
sailing overnight, averaging 22 knots at times, and we were all very close
until the leading pair got away from us, perhaps by being a bit to the
north of us."
The contrast between the start from Cowes on Saturday evening and the
furious pace set by the multihulls could not have been more stark. Gautier
lead the fleet out of the Solent at Hurst Narrows, taking exactly four
hours to cover the 18 miles from Cowes and having drifted down on the tide
more than sailed. Six hours later Franck Cammas retired his 60ft tri
Groupama into Plymouth with shattered mainsail battens.
Ross Field, of New Zealand, was the fifth boat out through Hurst, heading
the monohull maxis. Guido Maisto retired the Italian Maxi One Design into
Yarmouth, having gone aground on the Shingles Bank in the Needles Channel
and requesting a tow off.
Reports back from the fleet were sketchy but yesterday afternoon Field
seemed to be leading both MOD and ILC-70 maxis fleets. Roger Nilson, the
Swedish navigator on the Belgium Volvo 60 Yess, with the New Zealander
Grant Dalton and Britain's Adrian Stead aboard, reported that they had lost
ground to their prime rival, John Kostecki on the German Volvo 60 Illbruck.
This was thanks to a blown spinnaker and broken sheets which had left Yess
bareheaded for a while. "We were with the ILCs," Nilson reported, "and I
think Sayonara [Larry Ellison and Ted Turner's ILC-70 maxi] may also be
suffering from some problem." -- Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK
For Jeffery's full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
FASTNET UPDATE AT 1130 BST MONDAY
Fujicolor II has won line honours for the 1999 Fastnet, finishing at 1127
AM, Broceliande was second boat in at 1141. Conditions at Plymouth are
southeast at 10 knots, sunny, forecast calls for winds backing east going
northwest, possible showers later today. The next boats are many hours back
and will not finish until this evening.
Fastnet Race website: http://fastnet.org
SKANDIA LIFE COWES WEEK.
Final overall results, ILC Maxis: 1, Sayonara (E Turner & L Ellison) 11.00;
2, Sagamore (J Dolan) 12.00; 3, Boomerang (G Coumantaros) 14.00. Maxi
One-Designs: 1, Rainbow Magic (G Meek) 36.00; 2, Skandia (L Ingvall) 36.00;
3, Synphony (H Bouscholte) 29.50.
WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES
The second largest sports event after the Olympics, with over 6,000
competitors representing over 130 countries, the 20th World University
Games featured sailing competition for the first time in the event's
history. Held in early July in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the biennial
Games were open to student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 who must
be registered for a full course study at a university, or have obtained
their degrees within a year of the Games.
The U.S. fielded a partial team for racing in the Europe, 470 (men and
women), Laser and Mistral (men and women) classes (no U.S. entrants
competed in the Europe and 470 Women's events). 470 Sailors Bring Home
Bronze Medal: As the U.S. delegation veterans, with some international
competition under their belts, the 470 men's team of Steven Hunt (Poquoson,
Va.) and crew Michael Miller (Fairport, N.Y.) were back on familiar ground
having sailed in Palma this past March. The duo, shocked to find military
guards at the hotel entrance would not allow them in without credentials,
quickly realized that an event modeled after the Olympic Games was not
going to be an ordinary regatta.
Hunt and Miller, who moved into medal position in their 25-boat fleet after
eight races, were able to claim the bronze when they finished fractions of
a point ahead of Spain's number two team on the final day of the event.
Taking gold and silver, respectively, were Poland's Tomasz Stanczyk with
Tomasz Jakubiak, and Spain's Gustavo Martinez Doreste with T. Cantero
Artiles. Also competing in the 470 Men's fleet were Kevin Teborek
(Winnetka, Ill.) with crew Talbott Ingram (Fair Haven, N.J.). The duo,
both juniors at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, finished 15th overall.
Eugene Schmitt (Pass Christian, Miss.), a '99 graduate of the U.S. Naval
Academy, and Daniel Meade (New Orleans, La.), a junior at the University
of Southern California, placed 16th and 19th, respectively, in the 36-boat
Laser fleet, with the gold, silver and bronze medals going to Poland, Spain
and Italy, respectively.
Doug Stryker (Edison, N.J.) a sophomore at Rutgers, finished 21st out of 26
boards in the Mistal Men's event, with the medals won by France, The
Ukraine and Great Britain. In the 16-board Mistral Women's fleet Taylor
Duch (Savannah, Ga.), a freshman at Eckerd College, was 15th, with France,
Germany and The Netherlands claiming medals. -- Jan Harley
It's now possible for race organizers to provide really neat, high quality
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supplying high quality, affordable apparel to the racers. No event is too
small to qualify for this program so just do it!
* " in the end, it'll just be a bunch of guys and another yacht race." --
Brad Butterworth, Team New Zealand in a story by Fred Roswold in 48 Degrees
* With the last sailing day of the two IACC yachts Luna Rossa in Punta
Ala, the final training session for team Prada in Italy has ended. In the
next few days the boats and all the equipment will be prepared for the
shipping towards New Zealand which will require approximately five weeks at
sea; the IACC yachts will be loaded on an oceanic ship of the Saima
Avandero group, Italian leading company in the field of international
transport and integrated logistics. By 20th September the base at the New
Zealand Cup Village in Auckland - already used last year by team Prada from
October to March - will be fully operational again.
Francesco de Angelis, skipper and helmsman of the Italian team, said: "The
main goal of this last training session in Italy has been the tuning,
development and technical know-how of the new boats. It has been an intense
period and we will now prepare the yachts to be shipped to New Zealand. In
Auckland we will have approximately three weeks to set up the yachts, check
their equipment and measure them before the start of the first Round Robin
on 18th October. The main difficulty of an America's Cup campaign is the
fact that for two years you train and prepare your challenge without having
the chance of meeting your rivals and comparing your level of preparation.
However, the fact of having built two new boats has enabled us to carry out
a very interesting and we hope profitable research programme on the water".
-- Alessandra Ghezzi, Prada syndicate
* "The most satisfying part of this two boat testing is to watch our new
boat slowly but surely come together, seeing the infinite number of systems
that the sailing and shore teams put together on the new boat meshing
together to increase the already impressive performance. Hours of side by
side sailing between the "A" and "B" teams will pay off in the long run as
we all work towards our common goal.
"As the difference in speed between the two boats widens, it would seem
tough to stay motivated as the constant "we're lower and slower" feedback
on the "B" boat becomes the standard line. However, this isn't the case.
Every time we lose a speed test on the old boat we know we're making our
new boat better. Should the old boat win it's that much more incentive to
work harder on the new boat to close or reverse that gap. Morale on the
"B" boat is as high as any winning racing boat. Having an experienced
helmsman like Gavin Brady pushing us to perform each maneuver better than
the other boat, we know that we're sailing as hard or harder than any team
on the water." -- David "Moose" McClintock, AmericaOne
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Jerry Kaye (Re: Jim Teeters development of "Ratings Plus" in (Butt
#373) -- This undertaking presents serious pitfalls that must be
considered. As Scotty said of the new Enterprise: "The more they improve
the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up."
Measurement data that these new speed projections are based on comes from
IMS measurement stations, so only IMS hulls will have accurate VPPs. IMS
measurements taken on a different rule-derived hull shape, like the myriad
of IOR-hulls out racing, produce VPP numbers as accurate as throwing a dart
at a calendar.
According to Alan Andrews, IMS measurement stations miss many rating bumps
& distortions and don't "read" false skegs and speed robbing or enhancing
anomolies on IOR hulls. US Sailing's proprietary VPP to "compute
differences in boat speed between two course/wind combinations" SHOULD NOT
BE USED on IOR-derived hulls. Until accurate multi-rule measurement
criteria can be developed, Ratings Plus SHOULD ONLY BE USED ON IMS &
ONE-DESIGN hulls as a starting point for more accurate local handicapping.
Local 'cappers should be aware what the two courses are and what the
windspeeds are in the calculations. Windspeed brings into play
Time-on-Time and that compounds inaccuracies.
Southern California PHRF created three ratings: W/L Buoy, Random Leg and
Offwind and is developing this system through empirical observation, time
data and results.
-- Steven A. Wolff, Chair NYYC Team Racing Sub-committee -- Team racing is
clearly a dynamic and growing aspect of the sport. Team racing is expanding
rapidly beyond the "post-collegiate" set to include club-level racers and
regattas across the nation and around the world.
At the New York Yacht Club (NYYC), we have had such a program for over a
decade. For the past three years, the NYYC has presented the YRA of Long
Island Sound team racing championships -- the Glencairn Trophy -- sailed in
a masters and open division. This year, nine clubs from around the Sound
will compete. This year was the 50th anniversary of the Wilson Trophy --
the British Open Team Racing Championships. We spar regularly with clubs
-- at home in Newport or across the country -- just for the fun of it. And
because team racing can be new to many sailors, we host entry-level
regattas in J/22s in Newport and an annual clinic taught by leading
Also this year, as noted in an earlier 'Butt, the NYYC announced a new
regatta and trophy: the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Invitational
Team Race specifically targeted at skippers over 45. Sailed in small keel
boats, it allows older sailors the opportunity to compete without the
premium on boat-handling that planing dinghies like the Vanguard 15 demand.
But most importantly, team racing involves our members in an exciting
aspect of the sport; it allows us to compete locally, nationally or
worldwide and it provides educational opportunities. And is great fun.
I encourage all clubs and sailing associations to explore team racing and
to integrate it into on-the-water programs. It certainly works for us.
On June 1, when Internet users visited the US Sailing website they saw a
new electronic face for US SAILING, the National Governing Body for sailing
in the United States. The original homepage-a static page that charted the
organization's structure- was gone, and its replacement read like a daily
newspaper: with regatta headlines, blurbs on new developments, photos,
reports from US SAILING's leadership and a clear sense of the dynamic role
this organization plays for a broad constituency of sailors across the
country. The new site, however, stood for more than a redesign of an
existing web site: It represented a key step in fulfilling this
"Our overall mission is to encourage participation and promote excellence
in sailing. To do that, we need to be in touch with sailors," said Mike
Schoettle (Rolling Hills, Calif.), chairman of the working party that
spearheaded the redevelopment of the site. "The web is immediate and
current-and the best way for us to communicate with sailors across the
The initial response shows this site to have a broader appeal. According to
figures comparing March 1999 to June 1999 usage, the number of user
sessions in June represented a 48-percent increase. The length of the
average user session had grown by some 38 percent.
According to Schoettle, this site will be in a continued state of
evolution. The hope is that it will become an interactive vehicle amongst
US SAILING, its members and the sailing public. And as the site continues
to create links to other sites of interest to U.S. sailors-such as regatta
news, one-design classes, safety-at-sea developments, etc.-the intent is,
"to create an online sailing community for sailors in the U.S.," said
Schoettle. -- Susan Cook, US Sailing
US Sailing website: http://ussailing.org
ADECCO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
COWES-On a thrilling final day at Cowes Week, Hans Bouscholte and the crew
of Synphony did what they had been threatening all week and won the final
race of the sixth event in the Adecco World Championship of the
Maxi-One-Design class with a degree of ease. In 12-15 knots of
south-easterly breeze, they demonstrated better downwind speed than the
rest of the fleet and pulled away on the long run to the final turning mark
to finish a minute clear.
Geoff Meek's Rainbow Magic led in the early part of the race with good
speed upwind, but was twice overtaken by the Belgian boat downwind. Meek,
however, kept his head and covered the boats astern to protect his second
place, which was sufficient for him to tie on points with Ludde Ingvall's
Skandia for the event, but by beating him (Skandia was fourth to finish) in
the last race, Rainbow Magic takes the Cowes Week first prize on the
Before the start, Meek and Ingvall made it plain that they were only really
interested in each other. They engaged in a match race style pre-start,
with Skandia 'clamped' to the stern of Rainbow Magic, following her
wherever she went. Meek effected not to notice and concentrated on
starting at the outboard end of the line. He timed his start better and
had the advantage over Skandia, which was not what Ingvall had planned. --
Finishing order: Race five: 1. BEL Synphony Hans Bouscholte 2. RSA
Rainbow Magic Geoff Meek 3. NZL RF Yachting Ross Field 4. EUR Skandia
Ludde Ingvall 5. FRA Le Defi Bouygues Telecom - Transiciel 6. ITA Seac
Banche Guido Maisto 7. SUI Alinghimax Ernesto Bertarelli DNS SWE Team
Henri-Lloyd Gunnar Krantz
Overall points after one discard: 1. RSA 10 2. EUR 8 3. BEL 6.5 4. NZL 5
5. FRA 4 6. SUI 3 7. SWE 2 8. ITA 1
Adecco World Championship: Overall points with one discard: 1. EUR 58 2.
NZL 45 3. RSA 37 4. FRA 35 5. BEL 26.5 6. SUI 23 7. SWE 23 8. ITA 8
Event website: http://www.adecco-championship.com/uk/
SANTA BARBARA TO KING HARBOR RACE
This was a fast one! Final results (93 boats): PHRF A: 1. Pendragon 2.
Arana 3. Roller; PHRF B: 1. Kiwi Sanctuary 2. Nitro 3. Boat; PHRF C: 1.
Wind Dancer 2. Zipper 3. Spray; PHRF D: 1. Cross Fire 2. Prime Time 3.
Whisper; ULDB A: 1. Evolution 2. Alchemy 3. Taxi Dancer; ULDB B: 1. Impact
2. Lina 3. Bay Wolf; ULDB C: 1. B32 Again 2. Defiance 3. Trailblazer; ULDB
D. 1. Cuidado 2. XS 3.Perfect; ORCA: 1. Seawings 2. Bethany 3. Delta Vee;
CRUISING: 1. Grenade 2. Quamichan. First to finish--Magnitude at
18:54:55which may be a new record.
Complete results: http://www.khyc.org/sbrr99.htm
HAVING YOUR STUFF TOGETHER
Lowell North has raced successfully in all corners of the world. He's won
Olympic medals and world titles. For an encore, he sailed his own boat
around the planet. Without question, Lowell North knows his stuff. So where
did Lowell North go when the J/105 on which he's currently racing needed a
new mainsheet? Sailing Supply, of course. They carry all of the good lines
of sailing gear, and their experienced staff will get you EXACTLY what you
need -- at the right prices. Give them a call -- they'll ship your order
the same day: (800) 532-3831 http://www.sailingsupply.com/
Analysis of the Optimist dinghies used by the top ten boys and girls in the
1999 Europeans confirms yet again that the Optimist is a true one-design
where boats from any manufacturer can do well. Boats from EIGHT different
builders were used by the top 10 boys and girls, and several of them were
up to four years old. The implications of this are detailed one the web in
the article "Which boat is fastest?" -- Robert Wilkes
To read the article: http://www.sailing.org/optiworld/ioda-technical.html
Doug Vann, sailor, big wave surfer and a " One Hell of a Guy" passed away
at sea off of Waikiki aboard his sailboat Tiare during the Friday evening
races. Vann had an implanted defibrillator that would kick in when it would
detect any irregularities in the heart beat. He went below to rest and
after some period of time someone went to check on him and he was gone.
They tried CPR and everything else possible, but he didn't make it. At the
recent Transpac Trophy celebration, Vann received the Best Volunteer Trophy
for creating and maintaining Transpac's excellent website. -- Tom Keck
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.