SCUTTLEBUTT #379 - August 13, 1999
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
It was announced that the first stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race in
October 2001 will be Cape Town. The Mother City is already looking forward
not only to hosting the world's Premier Ocean race, but also to significant
economic and tourism benefits, which will accrue from the event.
At the press conference in Cape Town today, Helge Alten, Chief Executive of
the Volvo Ocean Race commented: "We are very pleased to announce that the
first stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race will be Cape Town. We are looking
forward to bringing the race to such a beautiful location where the
hospitality and friendliness of the locals is second to none. "The sight of
Table Mountain towering above the bay will be a very welcome sight for the
competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race who, racing in the longest leg of the
race, will have been at sea for up to a month before they reach Cape Town."
The Volvo Ocean Race will start from Southampton, England, on September
23rd, 2001. It makes nine stops during the ten-month race around the world
and finishes in Kiel, Germany in early June 2002. It attracts not only the
world's most intrepid, professional sailors racing boats which are
specially designed and built to excel over the grueling 32, 000-mile
course, but also large international corporate sponsors.
The race carries no purse but Volvo trophies are awarded to the first three
boats at the end of each leg and the honour for which all teams and
sponsors strive - the Volvo trophy for the overall winner. -- Lizzie Green,
Event website: http://www.VolvoOceanRace.org
America True, The San Francisco Yacht Club challenge for America's Cup
2000, announced today that its entire crew is now training in Auckland, New
Zealand. America True is the first challenger to have a complete crew
training on its new America's Cup boat in the Hauraki Gulf. The team is
currently testing and training on two boats in the Hauraki Gulf - Tag
Heuer, raced by Chris Dickson in America's Cup 1995, and America True, the
syndicate's new ACC design by Phil Kaiko. Sailing Director John Cutler is
at the helm of America True.
"She handles quite nicely," said Cutler. "Better than we expected, in fact,
and we're very pleased with her performance against Tag. The extra training
will be worth it come race day. At this point, we're confident there will
be no more than minor adjustments needed."
America True began training on its new boat in July - well before any other
challengers shipped their prized designs to Auckland. The America True
sailing team includes the following members:
Dawn Riley - CEO and Captain of America True and the first woman to lead an
America's Cup campaign.
John Cutler - Helmsperson and Sailing Director. Steers the new America True
boat, USA 51, and commands the sailing crew. Cutler is a two-time America's
Cup veteran and Olympic medalist.
David Armitage - Sail Coordinator and Trimmer. An international sailor who
brings many years of sailmaking knowledge and America's Cup experience to
the team. He sailed with Team New Zealand in 1995.
Carl Barkow - Grinder. An experienced one-design sailor from the Midwest
who has raced competitively for the past 17 years.
Liz Baylis - Cockpit. A veteran sailboat racer and microbiologist from the
San Francisco Bay Area. She has raced at the national and international
level for 25 years.
Ben Beer - Foredeck. A world class sailor and match racer from the Virgin
Islands. He won his first regatta at age nine and is a 2000 Olympic Finn
Jamie Boeckel - Grinder. A match racing veteran who grew up working on
commercial ferry boats in New York. Boeckel now lives in Rhode Island.
Greg Burrell - Grinder. One of the original America True crew members and a
former NFL player. Burrell has more than 20 years of sailing experience.
Merritt Carey - Foredeck. A veteran sailor and lawyer from Portland, Maine,
Carey also joined Riley on the 1993-94 all women Whitbread Round the World
Race team and the 1995 America's Cup.
Lisa Charles - Pitperson. A veteran of America's Cup 1995 on Mighty Mary
and the Whitbread Round the World Race on EF Education. Recently, Charles
has been racing in Europe with various grand prix teams.
Leslie Egnot - Afterguard. An experienced sailor born in Greenville, South
Carolina. Egnot was skipper of the women's team during America's Cup 1995
and is an Olympic silver medallist.
Tom Faire - Pitperson. A boat builder and experienced sailor who competed
in the '97/'98 Whitbread Round the World Race aboard Toshiba.
Daniel Fong - Trimmer. An experienced match racer and sailor who competed
in the '97/'98 Whitbread Round the World Race aboard Toshiba.
Scott Gregory - Pitperson. A Chicago-based sailor who has raced in numerous
International Championship regattas.
Stephen Gruver - Trimmer. An experienced match racer who worked for North
Sails for 16 years.
Kelvin Harrap - Afterguard. A Kiwi sailor who sailed with Chris Dickson in
America's Cup 1995 and two Whitbread Round the World Races.
Peter Heck - Trimmer. A sailor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with match
racing and offshore experience in a variety of classes. Heck currently
resides in Long Beach, California.
Al Palewicz - Grinder. An experienced Maxi Class circuit racer and
America's Cup veteran from Coconut Grove, Florida.
Katie Pettibone - Trimmer. An experienced sailor and match racer who has
competed in America's Cup and Whitbread Round the World Races.
Hal Sears - Grinder. A veteran of three America's Cups and the Maxi Class
circuit. Sears is a Captain in the Miami Fire Department.
John Spence - Mastperson. Spence grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and has
competed in three previous America's Cups including the winning team in 1992.
Latimer Spinney - Pitperson. A veteran grand prix yacht racer who grew up
in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Spinney's many accomplishments include
competing on the 1995 and 1999 U.S. Admirals Cup teams.
David Stevenson - Midbow. A boat builder and a match racer from New Zealand
who worked with Nippon Challenge in America's Cup 1995.
John Sweeney - Trimmer. An experienced sailor who grew up in Tiburon,
California. Sweeney has many racing accomplishments including a recent win
in the 1999 Transpac.
Tucker Thompson - Cockpit. An experienced sailor from Annapolis, Maryland
who has competed at top level big boat and match racing events. Thompson
was a Junior North American and a Collegiate Sloop National Champion.
Brad Webb - Foredeck. A full time professional yachtsman from California.
Webb is the youngest member on the sailing team and is competing in his
second America's Cup.
Jon Ziskind - Trimmer. A veteran racer from Newport, Rhode Island who is an
active one-design and grand prix sailor. -- Gordon, Rebekah
America True web site: http://www.americatrue.org
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The regatta is over, but the Cottage Park Yacht Club hasn't posting the
results yet. Hmm!
Event site: http://www.cpyc.org/star/na/
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Seth A. Radow -- PHRF Plus appears to work as a tool for PHRF
rating boards: Adjust deltas for boats when 1. racing out of local 2.
calculate deltas for various wind speeds and course configurations.
Potentially wonderful tool. Fact remains that primary problem of PHRF has
yet to be addressed.
As a performance based handicap system whose database for establishing
handicaps is derived from "observed performance", it remains impossible for
PHRF to "accurately" establish a baseline for a boat's performance without
taking into consideration the quality of the crew work. The task becomes
feasible only as databases grow dramatically (i.e. more boats in a fleet)
so as to eliminate crew work from the equation.
When a boat has limited exposure in a region, with no historical data, the
ability to accurately establish a base PHRF rating for a boat is, at best,
nothing more than a "guess". Even after a new boat is raced for a period
of time, adjustments to the rating of the boat is based the performance of
that boat and crew performance. Accurate ratings can only be attained
through luck because there may never be enough boats to establish a
database from which to draw accurate information. The end result:
dissatisfied racers with the result being smaller fleets. VPP based
systems allow for true empirical data... observation based systems do not.
-- From Rich Hazelton Editor 48 North -- Been trying to follow the rating
systems debate, but after 20 years of hearing the same arguments it's hard
to keep interested. Like anything else it's the few who want the many to
change so it benefits them. No matter what the system the good sailors will
win and the also rans will bitch about it. Even one design can't eliminate
that. Where's Clarence Darrow when you need him?
Curmudgeon's comment: I couldn't have said it better myself. So on this
high note; I now declare this thread officially dead at least for a while.
-- From Rich Roberts -- While admitting to being a provincial flack, I'd
like to add to the discussion of fast monohulls that the last two
Pyewackets averaged 12.1k and 12.4k in the '97 and '99 Transpacs. That's
downwind, but if you want to talk upwind, check out the new breed of IACC
boats that will hit double digits in very moderate breeze.
FASTNET INSIGHT -- By Mark Chisnell
The 1999 Fastnet Race was probably the biggest competitive gathering of
Volvo Ocean Race sailors since the end of the last race. No surprise that
the bulk of the veterans were in the biggest boats - the ILC Maxi's - and,
of course, the two Volvo Ocean 60's. The third V.O. 60, Eric Lindgren's
Spirit (the former Winston from 1993-94) was an owner/driver entry.
John Kostecki came with an all-star cast of experienced Volvo Ocean Race
crew aboard the V.O.60 illbruck, including Tim Kroger (Swedish Match), Juan
Vila (Chessie Racing), Ross Halcrow (Innovation Kvaerner) Stu Bettany
(Innovation Kvaerner), Mark Christensen (EF Language), Stu Bannatyne (Silk
Cut) and Jared Henderson (Merit Cup).
Illbruck have already spent five weeks testing sails in the two boats they
bought from Team EF. And it showed, according to Adrian Stead (Silk Cut),
who was sailing with the competition. The competition was Yess, the new
Belgian syndicate, racing the second Merit Cup - the one that Grant Dalton
left behind. Dalton finally had a chance to see what the boat could do
under race conditions, though without the level of preparation he would
have normally required. Dalton joined Stead (fresh from his triumphant
stint as skipper of the top Mumm 36 at the Admiral's Cup), Ivan Bunner and
Arend Van Bergeijk (BrunelSunergy) and Roger Nilson (navigator on Swedish
Match), as guest stars aboard the Belgian boat.
The race opened with a first night that would score a high number for
degrees of tactical and strategic difficulty. A late high water time meant
an early evening start time was set by the race committee. The tradition is
that the Fastnet always starts on the very first of the ebb, the
favourable, west going tide. Unfortunately, this was so late on the
Saturday in question, that the south-westerly sea breeze died before
everyone had got away. The ILC Maxi and Volvo Ocean 60 start was put back
by fifty minutes. The new start time was after local sunset, and so the
normal night-time transition to the collision regulations had to be postponed.
The fleet struggled out of the crowded Solent in light air, on a black
night. But it was still a tight race at the Needles, as the fleet set a
course to the south-west and Land's End. The south-easterly gradient wind
had returned, and the majority of boats set off on port gybe. The weather
was dominated by two features, a low pressure system in the Bay of Biscay
that was forecast to move north-east up the English Channel during the
period of the race. And the occluded front that was spinning around it,
travelling north across the English Channel.
The first wind shift was expected to go to the north-east - which would
allow everyone to gybe and make starboard the advantaged tack. The ILC Maxi
Boomerang - touting the talents of Volvo Ocean Race veterans Ricky Deppe
(Chessie Racing), Alby Pratt (Innovation Kvaerner) and navigator Steve
Hayles (Silk Cut) - gybed first in her fleet, just south of Anvil Point.
Two of her competitors, Sagamore and Alexia, followed - Alexia was packing
Dee Smith, Grant Spanhake and Dave Scott, (all from Chessie Racing), Jan
Dekker (Silk Cut) and Andrew Cape (Toshiba) navigating. But when the wind
shift came through Boomerang had her nose in front. Aboard the final ILC
Maxi, Sayonara, Mark Rudiger (EF Language's navigator), Guy Barron (NCB in
1989-90), TA McCann (Tokio in 1993-94) and Chris Dickson (skipper of Tokio
in 1993-94) watched the rest of their fleet head off inshore. Sayonara let
them go, holding offshore for better tide - it was to be a disastrous
mistake. In the Volvo Ocean 60s, the illbruck crew's time in the boat was
beginning to show, as the breeze built, the boats all hard running in up to
thirty five knots, down the English coast. Kostecki's team took the first
of several little jumps out of Yess, as the Belgian boat broke a Code Five
The following morning, the approaching occluded front was becoming of more
urgent importance. The wind was dropping again, and by now the boats were
all running downwind towards the penultimate headland before the Irish Sea,
the Lizard. The cloud line of the front was clearly visible to the south,
and aboard Boomerang, Steve Hayles wasn't sure whether to dodge it as long
as possible, or bite the bullet and head for it. Hayles decided to go for
it. They gybed out from the shore, and crossed Sagamore and Alexia by about
half a mile. Amongst the V.O. 60s illbruck also gained on the same move.
These two boats led their fleets into the cloud, crossing the occluded
front. The wind behind it was much lighter, but it was southerly - everyone
was headed down onto course and it was a net gain in speed. Position
reports now put Sayonara up to eighteen miles behind, they had been running
in less breeze all night. Staying north and inshore had paid. It was
effectively the end of Sayonara's race.
Both Maxi and V.O.60 fleets struggled to free themselves from the light
south-east breeze behind the occluded front. As they turned the corner at
Land's End and headed north-west towards the Fastnet Rock, they had to
strike a balance. They fought to get north into the breeze, without giving
up too much straight line distance to the Rock. Slowly the wind shifted and
increased, and the fleet made the transition from delicate light running,
to frantic jib top reaching. Sagamore had done a good job, up beside
Boomerang now, Alexia only minutes behind. The low pressure centre was
moving east and south of them, heading for Holland. Setting up a steady and
quite strong north-easterly flow over the bulk of the race course. The big
passing lanes had shut down. Illbruck was an hour ahead of Yess at the Rock
and it was a done deal.
The front three Maxi's were close enough to have plenty of action left.
Sagamore was first to the Fastnet Rock, with Boomerang right behind her.
Once round, on the next leg, south-east to the Bishop Rock, Boomerang
sailed low and fast on the reach. The breeze lifted - and Boomerang's
southerly position allowed her to sail a slightly tighter, faster angle
than Sagamore, and she slipped through. Then the malign fate of gear
failure struck Sagamore, the spinnaker pole broke off the mast, spearing
through the mainsail. By the Bishop, Boomerang was over five miles ahead,
and with Sagamore having to take a reef for the reach home, Alexia got
through her too. The 1999 Fastnet, was all done bar the arriving and the
celebrating - Boomerang breaking the record for a non-water ballasted boat.
Two years out from the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, illbruck are setting
the pace in the 60 fleet . illbruck's Operations Manager, Thomas
Michaelson who was making a guest appearance on the boat said, "All the way
back to Plymouth we had two guys on the grinder and one man trimming the
mainsheet. We were changing headsails up to four times a watch."
Event website: http://fastnet.org
NANCY LEITER CLAGETT TROPHY
Bayview YC (43 Laser Radials) -- Final results: 1. Corrie Clement,
Metairie, LA (27 points) 2. Katie Clausen, Pt. Richmond, CA (34) 3. Robyn
Rey, St. Petersburg, FL (69) 4. Clemmie Everett, Rye, NY (74) 5. Eliza Ryan
Marblehead, MA (95)
Complete results: http://www.byc.com/
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
"Not much fun if you're three miles from the event." This message comes
from James Petrie, Auckland's harbour master. He suggests you are going to
see a lot more on television than you will ever see from the water. Boat
ramp congestion, and an inability to get close to racing areas, means many
boaties will be better off staying at home. Inexperienced boaties should
stay off the water during racing. With the projected large number of
spectator craft, there is a greater chance of 'misadventure' by many Sunday
TARTAN TEN NAs
South Shore Yacht Club, Milwaukee, WI -- Partners Ken Chambers and Richie
Stearns battled it out at this year's T-10 NA's to claim the overall title
with a last race ace. This tightly contested event saw the top 5 boats
leave the dock for the last race with a fair shot of any one of them rising
to the top. Races were sailed in breezy conditions as an active weather
pattern caused the wind direction to box the compass over 4 days. The
complete story will be posted to the Class web site
(http://www.tten.com/index.html) shortly. -- Gail M. Turluck
Final Results: 1. Dora VI, Chambers/Stearns (8.5) 2. Midnight Oil
Bruesewitz (11.75 3. Brick Road Hemp (12.75) 4. Nuts Riddle (13) 5. Liquor
Box Buckles (18.75) 6. Macho Duck Klaasen (19) 7. US Strilky (31) 8.
Britsar Schram (34) 9. Corsair Koblenzer (41) 10. Kunjani Martin (41)
Complete results: http://www.tten.com/index.htm
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there to hear
him, is he still wrong?