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SCUTTLEBUTT #380 - August 16, 1999

Crews of yachts competing in the 1999 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will have a much closer personal part to play in safety preparations for the 630 nautical mile ocean classic. New rules for crew experience and training, along with additional mandatory personal safety equipment, are highlighted in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Notice of Race for the 55th race to Hobart released this week.

The Notice of Race contains most of the significant safety recommendations made in the Club's 1998 Sydney Hobart Race Review Committee's Report, covering yacht and personal safety equipment, yacht and crew eligibility, and other safety factors. In fact, hundreds of ocean racing sailors around Australia are already acknowledging the Report's recommendations by attending safety at sea seminars organised by the CYCA and other clubs in most States. "There has been a most positive response by both yacht owners and their crews to the 1998 Sydney Hobart Review Committee's Report," Commodore Hugo van Kretschmar said today. "They have fully accepted the benefits of upgrading the already stringent safety rules and, in particular, to update their personal knowledge in preparing to meet all contingencies at sea."

"More than 300 sailors, including the entire crews of several prominent ocean racing yachts, attended the first safety at sea seminar at the CYCA. "The vast majority of our most experienced sailors realise there is always something to learn when it comes to meeting the challenge of the ocean," he added.

Specific rules involving the crews of competing yachts this year include:

* At least 50% of the crew on each yacht must have long race offshore experience, with details submitted on a crew declaration form. The minimum age of all crew will be 18 years.

* At least 30% of the crew of each yacht must have completed a CYCA Safety Seminar, an AYF Yacht Safety and Survival Course or a CYCA approved equivalent.

* At least one crew member must have a senior first aid certificate or higher qualification.

* At least one crew member must have an HF radio operator';s certificate of proficiency.

* At least four crew members must attend the 1999 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race briefing in Sydney on December 24. To facilitate interstate crews, the Race Briefing will be relayed through a teleconference to specified yacht clubs in other States.

* Mandatory personal safety equipment for each crew member must now include personal high intensity lights or strobes, personal dye markers, safety harnesses that are not more than seven years old, additional harness strops for at least 30% of the crew.

* Each yacht must substantially complete a qualifying race of not less than 150 nautical miles not more than six months before the start of the Race. Qualifying races will include the Sydney-Gold Coast Race and Cabbage Tree Island Race (NSW), Maria Island Race (Tasmania) and Melbourne to Stanley (Victoria). Yachts may seek dispensation from a qualifying race by completing a non-stop passage of not less than 200 nautical miles.

Additional safety equipment that owners must provide on their yacht for this year's race include:

* The number of EPIRBs carried on board must be not less than the number of liferafts carried on board. At least one EPIRB is to be a 406 MHz EPIRB and not packed in the liferaft. Remaining EPIRBs may be 406 MHz or 121 MHz and may be carried on board or packed in the liferafts.

* The new dedicated race frequency of 4603 kHz in addition to all frequencies previously required for the Sydney to Hobart Race.

* A waterproof, handheld VHF marine radio in addition to VHF and HF/SSB permanently installed marine radios.

The Notice of Race is now available from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia or may be downloaded from the Club's website:

The Notice of Race sets out strict time deadlines for the lodgement of entries and other mandatory documentation, with no Applications to Enter being accepted after November 1 and no documentation being accepted after December 21.

This is to enable the CYCA to meet its own race management rules to ensure that each yacht heading to sea on Boxing Day is fully equipped, has achieved stability requirements, and that its crew have met the new standards of experience and pre-racing training.

The Notice of Race also reiterates the International Racing Rules of Sailing Fundamental rule 4 Decision to Race: "A boat is solely responsible for deciding whether or not to start or to continue racing." -- Peter Campbell

Cottage Park Yacht Club, Boston Harbor (36 boats) -- There were two match races within the sixth and final race of the series. Eric Doyle and Mark Reynolds raced for the top honors. Doyle had to beat Reynolds AND place 4th or better. The other match race was between Doug Schofield and John MacCausland for fourth place.

Finally about 1:00 the fog had lifted, and the breeze filled in from SSE enough for a race. The wind picked up steadily throughout the afternoon, and we ended with 10-12. Eric Doyle with Tom Olson won their match race to finish second in the race, and win the Keene Inc Star North Americans.

Mark Reynolds with Rick Peters throw out their 7th place finish today to take second in the regatta. Peter Bromby and Lee White from Bermuda won the last race to finish third. Brothers Doug and Bob Schofield placed eighth in the final race winning their match race with John MacCausland with George Iverson. Paul Sustronk and Dag Nyhof from Canada sneaked in with a fourth in the final race to finish fifth overall.

Final Results: 1. Doyle, Eric / Olson, Tom USA (12) 2. Reynolds, Mark / Rick Peters (14) 3. Bromby, Peter /White, Lee Bermuda (17) 4. Schofield, Douglas /Schofield, Robert USA (31) 5. Sustronk, Paul /Nyhof, Dag Canada (36) 6. MacCausland, John /Iverson, George USA (36)

Event site:

J/120 NAs
Alamitos Bay YC (17 boats) This is where the curmudgeon spent the weekend. We had seven races in 6-16 knots of breeze. Great hospitality, good race committee but sometimes not so typical Long Beach conditions. Mostly sunny, but Saturday was overcast and generally light, lumpy, shifty and shitty. Happily, Sunday delivered wonderful sailing conditions again.

The top four boats were consistently VERY well sailed -- anyone of them could easily have won the championship. In fact, it's obvious the rock stars have discovered this class -- there was a lot of talent around ABYC this past weekend.

Final results: 1. CC Rider, Chuck Pyle & Chuck Nichols (23 points) 2. Zip A Dee Doo Dah, Larry Harvery (25.5) 3. Indigo, Scott & Elliott Birberg (26.5) 4. Hot Tamale, Doug and Tom Jorgensen (30) 5. J Bird, David Janes, (44) 6. Simply Red, Dr. Kelly Vince (with the curmudgeon frequently pointing in the wrong direction) (50).

Complete results:

* New York Yacht Club /Young America Challenge skipper Ed Baird and Sailing Team Manager Kimo Worthington today announced the sailing team for the 1999-2000 America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand. The NYYC /Young America shore support and technical team were also announced at a press conference at the New York Yacht Club's summer clubhouse, Harbour Court, in Newport, RI.

"For three years, we have been working hard at developing our two new racing boats," said skipper Ed Baird. "Along the way, we have worked with many of the best sailors in the world. Most of the group we are announcing here today has been with us for much of that research and development phase. This team collectively represents not only the best sailing talent but also a group dedicated to winning the America's Cup. We are proud of all we have accomplished so far and now are psyched to sail the new boats and start racing."

The sailing team roster includes sailors from around the country and 11 previous America's Cup winners. The starting line-up and specific positions will be named closer to the start of racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races that begins October 18 in Auckland, New Zealand.

In addition to Baird and Worthington, the NYYC /Young America Sailing Team includes Ed Adams of Newport, RI; Stu Argo of St. Clair Shores, MI, Stu Bettany of Auckland, New Zealand, Jim Brady of Cos Cob, CT, Tom Burnham of Newport, RI, Steve Calder of Delray Beach, FL, David Calverley of Austin, TX, Chris Cantrick of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mark Christensen of Auckland, NZ, Jeff Ecklund of Wayzata, MN, Peter Fennelly of San Diego, CA, Rock Ferrigno of New Haven, CT, Jamie Gale of Newport, RI, Ross Halcrow of Annapolis, MD, Wally Henry of San Diego, CA, Chris Kam of Mystic, CT, Jerry Kirby of Newport, RI, Ryan McCrillis of Key West, FL, Tony Rey of Newport, RI, Grant Spanhake of Annapolis, MD, Dave Tank of Chicago IL, Joan Touchette of Newport, RI, Chad Vande Zande of Milwaukee, WI, and Ben Wagner of Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Bob Campbell of Marblehead, MA, is Vice President of Operations for the NYYC /Young America Challenge. Stewart Wiley of Portsmouth, RI is the shore team manager. The NYYC /Young America Shore Support and Technical Team includes Chris Bedford, of Watertown, MA, Gerald "JB" Braun of Marblehead, MA, Ken Brodin of Newport, RI, Wolfgang Chamberlain of Bristol, Craig Christensen, of Auckland, NZ, Steve Connett of Newport, RI, Scott Elwell of Greenwich, CT, Dave Frank of Mattapoisett, MA, Matthew Gurl, of Newport, RI, Bill Handey of San Diego, CA, Dave Hulse of Charlotte, NC, John Mulligan of Seattle, WA, Dave Perry of Holden, ME, Susan Reischmann of St. Petersburg, FL, Bernie Roeder of Newport, RI, Michael Spiller of Jamestown, RI, Amy Vandiver of Boston, MA, and John Vitali of Auckland, New Zealand.

The first wave of sailors departs for New Zealand this month to tune-up the first of the team's two new International America's Cup Class racing yachts, USA 53. As part of today's ceremonies, the "techno shark" graphics in red, silver, and gray were unveiled on a black 25-foot tank test model displayed at the yacht club.

The second boat, USA 58, will arrive in New Zealand several weeks after USA 53. The entire team will be in Auckland by September 15 for training and testing with the two new boats until racing begins mid-October. The team and their families are moving to Auckland for the duration of the America's Cup competition. -- Jane Eagleson

NYYC /Young America web site at

* I continue to be impressed by the wisdom Paul (Cayard) and Bob (Billingham) have demonstrated by selecting Long Beach as our training site. Our long days, like today, are often due to the range of conditions we can find here, the perfect alignment of these conditions with our testing needs, and our desire to take advantage of them. As a bonus, we are continually rewarded with marine life interactions. Dolphins playing in our bow wake have become an almost common (though still appreciated) occurrence. Today we were presented with a special surprise, a pod of playful pilot whales! -- Greg Felton, AmericaOne Sailing Team

Syndicate website:

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It is no accident that there are three Danes in the line up of ten skippers gathered in Skovshoved, Denmark, to contest the Cottonfield ISAF World Match Racing Championships. As this pretty little town, just outside Copenhagen, with its thatched roofs and narrow streets, prepares for what is shaping up to be one of the country's major sporting events, it is obvious that the small marina here has been a hot-bed of match racing for some years.

Morten Lorenzen, chairman of the SKS/KDY Match Race Centre, explains that "about six years ago, someone in the Danish Sailing Federation said that match racing is where there is going to be progress in the sport in the future, and the idea was born". The Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) and Skovshoved Yacht Club (SKS) co-operated in the setting up of the organisation, which now runs fourteen graded match racing events each year, and is completely financially independent. "We got a bunch of designers and sailors together, with the object of creating a fast boat, which was ideal for match racing, and the DS Match Racer was born," says Lorenzen, simplifying the obviously lengthy process.

They started the centre with just two boats, then as funds came in from various sources they added to the fleet, and other sailing venues around the country took up the idea, so that there are now four other match race centres. While the original idea came from the Danish Sailing Federation, Morten Lorenzen says that his centre receives no financial help from the Federation.

Funding comes from four sources, with a quarter of the budget provided by sponsorship, another quarter comes from leasing the boats to events, a further quarter is earned from sailors hiring the boats for practice, while corporate sailing produces the other quarter of the funds. The boats are fully utilized, with a waiting list of people wanting to use them for match race practice, "from 4.00 pm until it is dark, every day through the summer the boats are used," claims Lorenzen.

What is the goal of this hot-house of match racing tuition? "We are just building a sailing community here, it doesn't even have to be match racing as the ultimate object of the exercise," he says, "we have the Nokia Volvo Race project based here, but Olympic Soling sailors, and participation in the match racing circuit benefit, and may be one day the America's Cup."

The success of the project is reflected in the fact that there are three Danish crews in this world championship, Sten Mohr, Jesper Bank and Morten Henriksen are all in the top ten on the ISAF rankings, and Bank will be going to Sydney in the Soling class, to try and add to his current collection of Olympic medals. -- John Roberson

J/105 NAs
Robert Taylor and his crew repeated as North American Champions in the J/105 Class. The regatta was hosted by the San Francisco fleet and the St. Francis Yacht Club. Taylor, who sails in Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound, studied the local conditions carefully and came out on top of a fleet of 18 that included 12 local boats.

Conditions over the three day regatta were typically San Francisco, with wind building from 10 knots at 11 a.m. to 20 plus by the time the racing ended at 4 p.m. The race committee sailed five leg windward-leeward races each day on Friday and Saturday in the Berkeley Circle area and then on Sunday started the same course on the city front. The last race was a "harbor tour" up to the Blackaller buoy near the gate, then to Harding Rock, to the north of Alcatraz, back to Blackaller, then back to cityfront, and finishing at Anita Rock past the St. Francis YC. -- Nelson Weiderman


Complete results:

The regatta has ended, but there are no results on the Chicago YC website. (Why doesn't that surprise me?):

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Iridium LLC slid into bankruptcy on Friday, unable to pay its debts on a satellite-based mobile phone network that cost billions to build but attracted only thousands of users. The international consortium, led by Motorola, filed for protection from its creditors in a Delaware court under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code.

Iridium, the first of four satellite phone networks to offer service, stumbled out of the starting gate last November. Users complained about complex calling plans with rates of up to $9 a minute, as well as big clunky phones that were in short supply, cost $3,500 and were confusing to operate.

At last count, Iridium had only about 15,000 customers, well short of the subscriber projections used to secure many of its loans. In June, the company introduced a simplified rate structure, slashing charges as much as 65 percent, and unveiled sleeker phones made by Motorola and Kyocera costing about $1,500.

In a statement Friday, Washington-based Iridium said its banks, bondholders and strategic partners have voiced support for the decision to restructure its finances under court protection. Motorola, Iridium's largest investor and operator of Iridium's 66-satellite system, expressed support for the business, saying it will continue to invest in the technology and develop the next generation of Iridium products. "Given the progress being made to date to restructure Iridium's capital structure, we are optimistic that a restructuring plan can be accomplished within 30 days," Motorola said in Iridium's statement. -- AP

The Long Beach YC's Mazatlan Race is set to begin November 10, in Long Beach's Outer Harbor, with a Cruising Division non-stop passage race. The smaller PHRF boats leave on Thursday, Nov. 11, and the sleds, turbos and maxis leave Friday, Nov. 12. A catamaran start is offered, contigent upon interest from multihull skippers.

The El Cid Marina Hotel and Resort is the Mexican host and regatta sponsor. This scenic three-year-old compound, set on the water's edge, will host the hundreds of family, friends and LBYC support people who will fly down ahead of the racers' arrivals.

For a Notice of Race, Official Entry Form and travel information, contact Chip Evaul, LBYC Waterfront Director, 562-493-5173 or

On Friday, August 13, 1999, I was honored to be present at Doug Vann's Memorial Service and I thought I would share with all some of the event. On Friday nights they start an evening race right off the yacht club in reverse order and Doug's normal start time was at 5:32 HST. This Friday the races were cancelled so that family and friends could say goodbye to Doug in a proper sailing tradition.

At 5:32 his wife and sailing companion Sherry, his son Michael, crew and close friends, took Tiare across the starting line and headed out of the harbor to Waikiki Beach. What followed here were 43 other sailboats and power boats all paying tribute.

At Waikiki Beach, Tiare and Golden Eagle formed the center of a circle and 42 boats circled us in true maritime spirit. The at sea service was short and touching and something any sailor would have been proud to have performed for them. There was something about hearing the service in Hawaiian that made it even more fitting for this particular day. Finally Doug's ashes were laid to rest and hundreds of leis were placed upon the ocean to send Doug off as each yacht circled his resting place. It was truly a special occasion made even more special by local tradition and the location. -- Paul Trump

More information:

When the chips are down the buffalo is empty.