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SCUTTLEBUTT #377 - August 11, 1999

NIRVANA'S 1985 record for the fastest monohull in the Fastnet Race has proven remarkably resilient in the biannual ocean-racing classic but it was eclipsed overnight on Monday by another American maxi, George Coumantaros' Boomerang. Skippered by his son, John, Boomerang sailed the 605-mile course five hours and 52 minutes faster than Marvin Green's Nirvana. This was not the best monohull time however, since Ross Field's Maxi One Design, New Zealand, was seven hours and 18 minutes faster though she had the benefit of additional ballast.

The most eyecatching performance came from Catherine Chabaud's canary yellow Open 60 Whirlpool, which swirled into Plymouth the sixth boat home having beaten all four ILC-70 maxis and all eight MODs save for Field's. "Great!" said the smiling Frenchwoman, though the glow did not last long as questions over her boat's rating were raised by two of the ILC-70 maxis, Boomerang and Alexia, owned by Argentinian Alberto Roemmers.

Alexia, though second home among the ILC-70 maxis, was the corrected time winner and a strong contender for the overall handicap honours and the race's main prize, the Fastnet Trophy. Whirlpool, meanwhile, was given a new, less favourable rating yesterday, dropping out of contention for overall honours, after an error by omission of not recording her water ballast.

Shaping the outcome for the bigger boats was a small low pressure system. It paid to be north of it for fresher winds on the way to the rock, and south of it for faster sailing angles on the return. Missing out badly was Ted Turner and Larry Ellison on Sayonara, finishing an unaccustomed last in the ILC-70 maxi division. "The thinking part of the boat wasn't in tune," said Ellison of the tactical error on Saturday night which dropped Sayonara behind. "We should have covered Alexia and Sagamore when they gybed and stayed in the same water." Turner added: "The navigator said we'd do our own thing and sail our own race." -- Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK

To read Jeffery's full story:

FINISHING TIMES of the first 25 boats listed alphabetically: Alexia 0336 Tuesday; Alinghimax 0045 Tuesday; Banque Populaire 1939 Monday; Boomerang 0318 Tuesday; Broceliande 1147 Monday; Chernikeeff, 2347 Tuesday; CLM 2052 Tuesday; Defi Bouygues Telecom 0124 Tuesday; Fujicolor 1127 Monday; Goss Challenger II 0007 Wednesday; Ilbruck 2 0213 Tuesday; Kingfisher 1946 Monday; Rainbow Magic 0158 Tuesday; RF Yachting NZ 0018 Tuesday; Rivera di Rimini 0547 Tuesday; Sagamore 0340 Tuesday; Sayonara 0444 Tuesday; Skandia 0037 Tuesday; Swan Nokia Hamilton 2314 Tuesday; Synphony 0116 Tuesday; Team Group 4 1941 Tuesday; Tonnerre 2317 Tuesday; Whirlpool -Europe 2 0152 Tuesday; 1947 Tuesday; Yess 0400 Tuesday.

Fastnet Race website:

PLYMOUTH-Storming home just after midnight, Ross Field's RF Yachting (NZL) was the clear Maxi-One-Design class winner of the Fastnet Race which culminated the Adecco World Championship. Field beat his nearest rival, Ludde Ingvall with Skandia (EUR), by 18 minutes, but it was Ingvall who took the 600,000 Swiss Francs first prize for the championship with Field having to be content with half that sum for second overall.

It was a fast Fastnet Race and the Maxi-One-Designs displayed just how fast it could be by decimating the monohull course record, set by Marvin Green's 80 foot Nirvana by 7 hours 32 minutes and 2 seconds. The new, ultimate monohull record, set by Ross Field's RF Yachting, is 2 days 5 hours 8 minutes and 51 seconds. All six of the Maxi-One-Designs which completed the course broke the old record.

The double points counting Fastnet Race began on Saturday evening from Cowes in near calm conditions and was almost certainly won and lost in the way in which the boats went out of the Solent and into the English Channel. Ross Field said, 'We deliberately chose to stay to the left hand side going out of the Solent, and we were proved to be correct. We were easily ahead by the Needles.'

Ingvall agreed, 'The winning and losing was at the start. We had a good start,' he said, 'but it might have paid to be bad.' By that he meant that speed off the line was not as important as the position nearest to the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Isle of Wight shore where the current was to begin running to the west and become strongest.

It was a tricky time when the wind dropped to nothing and the ebb tide took over. Without steerage way, Guido Maisto grounded Seac Banche (ITA) on the Shingles Bank and had to be towed clear, enforcing his retirement from the race. 'We had the anchor ready in case of something like that happening,' said Ingvall. It was there that Field's strategy of holding as far left as possible paid handsome dividends.

'We were first out into the Channel and the weather information that we received from France told us to go south,' he said. 'We were the most south boat when the wind came and we got it first,' and he added with a broad smile, 'and from then on the rich got richer.' In no time, RF Yachting was 20 miles ahead of the next boat and the outcome of the Fastnet was almost assured.

It was during the first night at sea that the boats had some really hard sailing, running before the easterly wind of 40 knots. It was fast, wet, and furious and had it's moments for some. A steering failure for Geoff Meek's Rainbow Magic (RSA) during a 50 knot prolonged gust necessitated a spinnaker take-down and ground was lost to the rest of the fleet, which his crew were never able to fully recover.

'The Championship was a fantastic event,' said Pierre Fehmann, the President of the Maxi-One-Design Class Association, 'The level of skippers and crews was extremely high. We are perhaps lucky to have had good winds for all the events and to have had only one technical problem - the failure of Team Henri-Lloyd's mast in Kieler Woche - but that was quickly and efficiently cleared.' He added, 'I am very happy to announce that the programme for 2000 Adecco World Championship will be much the same.' -- Bob Fisher

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

Adecco World Championship Final placings: 1. EUR 74 points 2. NZL 65 3. FRA 43 4. RSA 43 5. BEL 36.5 6. SUI 36 7. SWE 25 8. ITA 9

Event website:

August 6-8, 1999 Mission Bay Yacht Club -- The 1999 US Laser Nationals were held in near perfect Southern California conditions. All 84 Lasers raced in the ocean just offshore from the famous Belmont Roller Coaster. The weekend was filled with mostly sunny skies and a decent breeze blew over the course for most of the races. People were getting sick right and left even though the seas were fairly moderate. I was also victim of the illness that I think was food poisoning but no conclusions were drawn.

The first two days were a bit gloomy with mostly cloudy skies but fairly warm temperatures. The competitors finishing scores began to separate the fleet as nearly everyone was found to be inconsistent in the oscillating breeze. Local San Diegans Alex Camet and myself, Bill Hardesty, were off and running with all near top ten finishes while most others battled with deeper mid fleet finishes that they hoped would be their one throw out race. Camet suffered an over the starting line early in the third race which put the pressure on him to have a good series from their on out. I was maintaining consistent finishes near fifth with one big bummer in race number 9 finishing 53rd, food poisoning partly to blame. Positions 3-8 were changing rapidly with people like John Myrdal, Andrew Childs, Kurt Taulbee, Brett Davis, Peter Hurley, Charles Meade, and others having close scores and most already using their one throw out race.

The excitement all happened on the last day with two races remaining. Camet was in first only one point ahead of myself. Third place was still not totally out of the picture, only 13 points behind me. Camet won the first race on this final day while I was barely able to squeak out a second place after coming back from sixth around the last leeward mark to take some risk and make the necessary gains on the boats that were ahead. I still had my work cut out for me now being two points down and only one race remaining. I would loose any ties so I needed to have two boats finish between Camet and myself in order to take the overall win.

Things got interesting as Camet engaged me with some match race style circling, which we eventually broke off with 45 seconds remaining. Camet pressed tightly into a small hole near the port end of the starting line while I moved up further looking for more room to get a clear start. The line was crowded and neither of us got of the start in the front row. I still had my eye on Camet as I witnessed him being swept into the starting mark. He exonerated himself with 360 degree penalty turn.

Around the first mark I was in 4th with Camet near tenth. It was still quite a nail biter because if I made a small mistake and Camet made a gain he could be back in position. I was moving fast and eventually moved up into the lead while Camet could only move up to sixth. It is always an exciting regatta when it comes down to the last race. -- Bill Hardesty

Final results: 1. Bill Hardesty 36, 2. Alex Camet 39, 3. John Myrdal 61, 4. Andrew Childs 71, 5. Charles Meade 75, 6. Brett Davis 80, 7. Peter Hurley 82, 8. Matt McQueen 103, 9. Andy Lovell 106, 10. Martin Hartmanis 114.

Complete results:

Yes, they have more than 220 stores, and it's true that they do a catalog business that provides access to well over 38,000 quality boating products. But size is not what's special about West Marine. It's their genuine commitment to customer service and customer satisfaction that make them stand out from the others. Their "No Hassle" satisfaction guarantee speaks volumes about that commitment. West Marine will help you enjoy your boat. Stop in one of their stores and you'll see what I'm talking about. I think you'll also enjoy their new website: =100

The next deadlines for the syndicates are:
-- 18 September, yachts must be in New Zealand available for measurement unless a measurement certificate has been issued prior to this date.
-- 4 October, yachts must be in New Zealand.
-- 16 October, all yachts shall have completed measurement.
-- 17 October, the front page of each yacht's measuring certificate must be delivered to the Organizing Authority.
-- 18 October - 23 October '99 (6 racing days) Round One of the LOUIS VUITTON CUP series

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

-- From Chris Bouzaid -- Jim Teeters, Director of Research for US Sailing and technical developer of Ratings Plus has a real problem on his hands. Simply stated the existing VPP programs don't work for all boats.

PHRF + will only work if someone can produce a set of VPP's that work for all hull shapes. All the existing VPP's are only useful for specific shapes.

Take the IMS VPP's for example . My 31-foot sportboat gives time to a Farr 40 upwind in all conditions and the Farr 40 gives time to my boat downwind. You don't need to be a Sailmaker to know the controlling element of upwind speed is sailing waterline length and the controlling element of downwind speed is Power to weight ratio. No 31 footer is going to sail upwind faster than a 40 footer in normal sailing conditions.

The biggest single simple improvement that can be made in PHRF is for all yachts to have an upwind and a downwind number and their handicap in any race is determined by the sum of each or the time spent upwind and downwind. See for a greater explanation of the issues.

-- From Christian Fevrier (Re the Fastnet report (Scuttlebutt #376) -- "As it was, Fujicolor II finished at 11.27am yesterday to post a final time of 40 hours 27 mins and lower the record by 3hours 33mins" Tim Jeffery's report is wrong about the new record. Fujicolor bettered the Primagaz record by 5 hours 17 minutes and not 3 hours and 33 minutes. The previous record in 1997 was 1d 21h 44' 47" (635 m) 13,88 kts average speed.

-- From Mike Leneman -- Magnitude did indeed set a new monohull record for the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, 6 hrs. 54 mins. I don't know what exactly the old record was, but it was notably more than that.

Cottage Park Yacht Club, Boston Harbor (36 boats) -- After two of six races:
1 Doyle,Eric Olson,Tom USA 2
2 Bromby, Peter White, Lee Bermuda 5
3 Reynolds, Mark Rick Peters USA 6
4 MacCausland, John Iverson, George USA 11
5 Kohlhas, Jock Yakovenko, D. USA 14
6 Mansfield, Mark O'Brien, David Ireland 17
7 Schofield, Douglas Schofield, Robert USA 17
8 Freeman, James Van Olst, Eric USA 17
9 Braverman, S. Rezac, Ron USA 19
10 Vessella,Peter Murphy,Kevin USA 23

Event site:

The End Around -- Here comes the leeward mark and we are stacked up three boats across all overlapped. Bad news is I'm on the outside. Good news is my bow is forward and I have a bit of clear air and speed because I am reaching just a touch more than the other two boats. Perfect set-up for the end around.

If I slow down and take everyone's transom I am going upwind in bad air and have to tack. If going left is a good thing then maybe this is okay, unless the two boats in front of me also decide that left is good. However, if the beat is neutral or right favored, then I can come out of this leeward mark in a safe leeward position going fast to the right. The trick is to keep my bow poked out in front of the other two boats as they make a fairly hairpin turn around the leeward mark. If I can use my speed to smoothly turn upwind, keep my bow clear ahead and rely on their slowing as they turn sharply I can pull this off.

This is a bold move and the key to making it work is to stay confident and only give the room the inside boats absolutely need. Usually they are yelling so much you can focus on speed and position while they are yelling and slowing. When the end around works you look goldentake a bad position and turn it into a good one. -- The Coach @

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

Work has started on Team New Zealand's second boat. With the registration NZL 60, the hull is parked alongside their No 1 boat, NZL57, which will not be in the water for at least another month. Team New Zealand expects to have both boats competing against each other in trials by November. There are now 18 new America's Cup boats either under construction or already launched.

US Sailing has scheduled two Advanced Race Management Seminars: -- September 25-26, 1999, Corinthian YC, Marblehead, MA -- Designed for people with race committee experience, and especially for those wishing to become Regional and National US Sailing Certified Race Officers. The topics to be covered include RC objectives, competition formats, sailing instructions, RC jobs, RC equipment, race day preparations, starts, setting the course, finishing, post race responsibilities, and scoring The principal instructor will be Tom Farquhar.

-- November 13 14, 1999, Bayview YC, Detroit, MI -- Designed for race committee personnel interested in refreshing and increasing their knowledge of race management. The topics covered will include regatta organization, competition formats, notice of race and sailing instructions, race committee jobs and equipment, race day preparations, starts, setting and maintaining the course, finishing and scoring. The principal instructor will be Tom Farquhar.

For details:

I've never raced Lahaina Race Week. However it must be pretty special because Jake Wood is having Sorcery, his Mull 80 delivered from Marina del Rey, California to Maui specifically for the two-day regatta.

Aim Low; Reach Your Goals; Avoid Disappointment.