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SCUTTLEBUTT #379 - August 13, 1999

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:

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 hopeful.

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:

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The regatta is over, but the Cottage Park Yacht Club hasn't posting the results yet. Hmm!

Event site:

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 spinnaker.

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:

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:

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

"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 sailors.

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 ( 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:

If a man says something in the woods and there are no women there to hear him, is he still wrong?