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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:

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:

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.

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 regatta apparel, and be absolutely sure they won't lose a dime. It fact, Pacific Yacht Embroidery will guarantee they'll make money. Call Frank Whitton (619-226-8033) for details on how to offset regatta costs while 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 North

* 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 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 collegiate coaches.

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 organization's mission.

"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 country."

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:

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 tie-breaker.

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. -- Bob Fisher

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:

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:

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

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:

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

If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.