SCUTTLEBUTT #381 - August 17, 1999
Chicago, IL -- The final day of racing for the Verve Cup started on time on
the sparkling blue water of Lake Michigan, with a light 8-10 knot south
easterly breeze. Three races were completed on Friday in a variety of
conditions that ended with a summer storm passing through the area packing
30+ knot winds. There was no evidence of the wild conditions that resulted
in a cancellation of races on Saturday. Two races were run Sunday for a
total of five for the One Design classes.
Farr 40 Flash Gordon had three points on competitor Voo Doo going into the
final round. Richard Grunsten's Voo Doo pulled a 2, 1 punch finale to take
the overall honors for the regatta. Voo Doo closed the gap in the morning
race by getting a second behind Butch Tompkins' Bandit. The pair engaged
in a gybing duel on the last run to the finish, with Bandit edging ahead
for the gun. During the second race, several boats were OCS at the start,
including Voo Doo's competition, Flash Gordon. Grunsten was pleased with
his team for helping him keep the boat in the lead for the entire second
race. Tom Neill's Nitemare's second and third place finishes on the final
day moved him into third overall. Borys Jarymowcyz on local boat Iskra was
impressed with the level of racing in the fleet after seeing four boats
cross the finish line within 5 seconds. Iskra finished in fifth place overall.
Ed Collins' USA 48 from Vermont and Fred Sherratt's Steadfast from Canada
battled even harder for first place honors in the Mumm 30 fleet. It was a
friendly rivalry amongst the crews who have sailed against each other for
the past two years. It came down to a photo finish between USA 48 and
another competitior, X-Press owned by John Chick and Jeff Diemand. Both
boats crossed the finish line nose-to-nose. USA 48 had to beat X-press to
put a point on Steadfast and take the overall prize, otherwise USA 48 and
Steadfast would have the same scores, and Steadfast would win it on a
tie-breaker. It wasn't until results were published that Collins emerged
as the winner. Tom and Cindy Hirsch's Downhill Express had a great last
day with first and second place finishes which clinched their third place
overall. They gave USA 48 a run for the money on one of the upwind legs in
a 25 tack duel to the top mark. -- Renee Mehl, Farr International, Inc.
Complete Results: http://www.chicagoyachtclub.com/VerveOS.htm
* The America's Cup Challenge Association (ACCA) and Ericsson
Communications Limited are pleased to confirm Ericsson as the official
wireless communications supplier to the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Races
for the America's Cup.
David Elwell, Chairman of ACCA said this relationship would result in a
level of coverage never before possible during the early rounds of Louis
Vuitton Cup racing."The benefits of our arrangement with Ericsson are far
reaching. Increased visibility worldwide is good news for the organisers,
the competitors, the sponsors and, most importantly, the audience. The
races will be accessible to more people than in 1995 with television being
complemented by Internet viewers on official Web Sites using Virtual
In its official supplier role, Ericsson will be showcasing wide-ranging
competencies in wireless, robust networks and Internet Protocol technology
- the three dimensions identified as the keys to success in the New
Telecoms World. Ericsson will provide (on a turnkey basis) Network
Dimensioning, Project Management and Network Operations to ensure a secure
wireless Internet product for the Louis Vuitton Cup.
The agreement includes Ericsson providing a Cellular Digital Packet Data
Network (CDPD) which is capable of transmitting yacht position and wind
information from the racecourse to shore. Once onshore, the data is turned
into two and three-dimensional animation suitable for use on Internet sites
and in television broadcasts. Ericsson will also provide mobile phones to
key administrative and race committee personnel. -- Heather M. Pike, ACCA
Challenge Association website: http://www.acca2000.co.nz/
* Breitling U.S.A. Inc., the Swiss watch manufacturer, has signed an
agreement with Young America, the New York Yacht Club's America's Cup
Challenge to produce a special edition Young America watch, Breitling and
Young America announced today. Watch sales will benefit the NYYC/Young
America Challenge in its bid to win the America's Cup.
The limited edition watch will be a customized Breitling Aerospace watch.
The titanium watch will feature the Young America logo and the team's
techno shark in its design. The watch retails for $2,200.
The Breitling Aerospace is a multifunctional titanium instrument featuring
a combined analog and digital display. Functions include minute repeater
(audible indication of hour and minute), chronograph, alarm, timer, second
time zone, date and day of week. With a large LCD digital readout and
oversized hands, the Aerospace is perfectly and instantly legible under all
circumstances. Made of titanium, the Aerospace is both lightweight and
rugged, imperious to corrosion and non-conducive to allergies. -- Jane
NYYC/Young America web site at http://www.youngamerica.org
* Dawn Riley, the first woman to head an America's Cup campaign, is having
"We didn't have enough food for the boatbuilders on the first day. Two
nights later I dreamed the King of Spain came to visit and we didn't have
any sandwiches." Lately, Riley has been sitting bolt upright in her new bed
in an Auckland apartment after nightmares about the bulb on America True's
keel or the gym training schedule.
It comes with the job. And as the start of the challenger series draws
closer, the dreams will probably get worse. But Riley, the 34-year-old
skipper and head of the co-ed America True, is handling it. She believes
she is a born boss. "I love organising. That might mean I'm bossy," she
said. "I probably would have been an efficiency expert if I wasn't a
sailor. It gets my blood going."
Riley admits being frustrated in her last two cup campaigns when she could
not always have her say. "It was hard when I saw money or time being wasted
last time," she said. So she did something about it, and got her own $US20
million syndicate together.
Riley, who was baptised on a boat when she was one month old, is a gal of
She was the first woman to sail in a modern-day cup crew, on America3 in
1992, and was the first female skipper of a cup boat, again with America3,
in 1995. She is the only woman in the world to have two cup campaigns to
her name. "I guess it's something that's unique. You can't deny that the
women's side of sport has really taken off at home [in the United States]
after the women's soccer World Cup." (She watched it as she was moving out
of her San Francisco apartment - a television set and a coffee table the
only furniture left.)
But Riley does not want this campaign to be seen as another novelty. She
wants to be remembered for doing things differently. There is the True
Youth programme, where Riley takes up to 10,000 at-risk kids sailing each
year. There is the retail store in San Francisco, which sells enough
America True hats and tee-shirts to pay for running operations on that side
of the world.
There is her decision to move the syndicate to Auckland earlier than
everyone else. Where other challengers have shied away from a "wild" winter
in Auckland, the Trues have hardly missed a day of sailing on the gulf
since they got serious a month ago. Then the "true" word pops up again:
"Our theory of just telling the truth. No fluff. Just 'this is what we are
doing.'" Suzanne McFadden, New Zealand Herald
Complete story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
KING OF THE HILL
If information is power, we have a shortcut that can make you 'King of the
Hill." Check into West Marine's new website -- it's truly amazing. If you
want to do some comparison shopping, this website has everything you need
to make an intelligent choice whether you're looking for an anchor or
sailing sandals. There is also weather information, discussion groups and
the West Advisor provides valuable information on everything from bottom
paint to wind generators. This is one website you must visit. But do it
when you have some time -- there's a lot there to experience:
470 EUROPEAN CHAPIONSHIP
ZADAR CROATIA -- Final Results: Women (50 boats): 1 JPN Shige /Kinoshita,
20; 2 UKR Taran /Pakholchik, 20; 3 DEN Ward /Ward, 42; 4 AUS Danks /Bucek,
51; 5 NED Westerhof /Verbeek, 57; 6 AUS Armstrong /Stowell, 61; 7 USA Isler
/Glaser, 70; 8 GER Truebel /Grosser, 70; 9 GRE Bekatorou /Tsoulfa, 71; 10
ISR Shany /Anat, 72.
Men (92 boats) 1 SWE Mould /Rahm, 42; 2 SLO Copi /Margon, 51; 3 FRA
Philippe /Cariou, 74; 4 FIN Leskinen /Heinila, 76; 5 UKR Braslevits
/Matvienko, 79; 6 ESP Garcia /Paramo, 89; 7 ESP Martinez /Cantero, 92; 8
FIN Posti /Hongisto, 94; 9 POR Marinho /Nunes, 107; 10 USA Foerster
BEMIS/SMYTHE TROPHY REGATTA
Kaneohe Yacht Club, Kaneohe, O'ahu, Hawaii -- After four races: SYMTHE
TROPHY: 1. Lewis, Andrew, Area H (6 points) 2. Brown, Steve, Area J, (8) 3.
Lake, Bryan, Area J (17) 4. Johnson, Clay, Area C (18) 5. Baranaskas, Brian
Area B (25). BEMIS TROPHY: 1. Thompson, Evan /Hitchins, Pat Area K (7) 2.
Hogan, Scott /Halvorsen, Amy Area J (9) 3. Megla, Matt /Boyd, Jonathan Area
J (17) 4. Schmidt, Andy /Clausen, Katie Area G (21) 5. Gent, Ben /Bancroft,
Elizabeth Area A (19)
Complete results: http://www.hawaii.rr.com/smythe-bemis/
New J/120 NA Champion CC Rider is co-owned by Chick, not Chuck Pyle.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Chris Welsh -- Pity the 17 year old sailor who has circumnavigated
with his family, yet is not qualified to race in the next Sydney-Hobart
Race due to his age...
-- From Dieter Loibner -- What do Columbus, and "weird" sailboat designs
have in common? Being different. Around A.D. 1490 Columbus was dismissed
when he first broached the idea of sailing west to get to India, because he
obviously disputed common knowledge that the world is flat. A.D. 1999, the
Schock 40 (canting ballast, canard rudders) and the Wyliecat 48 (48-foot
cat boat) are dismissed from the Big Boat Series because they too defy
common practices. Plus they are rare and nobody is sure about their rating.
St. Francis Flag Officer Steve Task explained that Red Hornet [the Schock
40 prototype] raced in different classes in 1997 and in 1998 and both times
he received complaints from those who felt she did not belong there. He
also pointed out that the club is weary of new boats because they are "out
to make a statement" for marketing purposes. So this time, to avoid
controversy, exotics will not be invited. Task's advice: Go sail other
regattas and figure out where you belong. Or sell enough units to have your
While this may sound right to some, there are other truths that merit
a) You can't make everybody happy, no matter how hard you try.
b) If it wasn't for people like Columbus we might still fear that galleons
fall into the abyss once they reach the edge of the world.
COTTONFIELD ISAF WORLD MATCH RACE CHAMPIONSHIPS
How many sailing events attract a king, two princes and a pope? The
Cottonfield ISAF World Match Racing Championship looks like breaking all
records in the royalty and religion department.
The man who has been know as the King of Sailing since he started
collecting Olympic medals back in 1948, Paul Elvstrom, is here trying to
sell us a new format of competition which he has called "Triple Racing",
but more of that later. Of course no ISAF event would be complete without
the man who has become known as the Pope of sailing, Paul Henderson,
standing next to Elvstrom he makes a remarkable contrast, one being as
rotund and the other is lean. Later in the week, the championship will be
graced with the presence of two members of the Danish Royal Family, His
Royal Highness Prince Henrik, and his son Prince Frederik will join the
king and the pope for a demonstration of "Triple Racing".
On Sunday evening at the SKS/KDY Match Race Centre, skippers and crews were
introduced to the concept of "Triple Racing", and seven of them agreed to
try the new game during their practice sessions on Monday. Described as
"match racing with three boats," it is, of course, not quite as simple as
that, and would possibly be better referred to as a cross between match
racing and fleet racing. For the sake of brevity I will try and simplify
what has the potential to be a very complicated game.
As the name implies, three boats take part in each race, but only the
winner scores a point, second and third place count for nothing. This
really makes being in the lead a very uncomfortable place to be, because
the two boats behind have nothing to gain by fighting each other, and all
to gain by attacking the leader. For the leading boat to cover just one of
his pursuers, leaves the other free find his way into the lead.
A modified gate start is used, which keeps the boats apart, ensuring no
pre-start manoeuvring, so that the race isn't won and lost on the starting
line. Ideally there are also double windward and leeward marks, with a
downwind finish through the gate formed by the two leeward marks. The
tactical nuances are probably more subtle that in match racing, and the
outcome of each race is more likely to be in doubt until the very end.
So what was the verdict on this new cross between match and fleet racing?
England's Chris Law said, "I'm confused", Australian skipper Peter Gilmour,
who is sailing for Japan was non-committal, Dean Barker and team thought it
was OK, but they'll stick to match racing.
The other radical idea that Elvstrom has introduced to his "Triple Racing",
which he is also canvassing for all racing, is allowing competitors to hit
the marks. He points out that in these days of fibreglass boats and
inflatable marks, no damage is generally done, and rarely would any
tactical advantage be made. The man who has bought more innovation to
sailing than most, is still pushing the boundaries after more than fifty
years in the sport. -- John Roboson
IT JUST KEEPS GOING AND GOING
Everyone has a favorite sea bag, but the one the curmudgeon always carries
to weekend regattas is a lot like the 'energizer bunny' - it just keeps
going and going. It's a Camet bag I got in 1997 when I served as a judge
for the Star Class NAs. After two years of weekly workouts plus some trips
to some pretty exotic places, it still looks as fresh and stylish as it did
in '97. Check out the whole line of Camet bags, backpacks and briefcases:
TIP O' THE WEEK
Five Simple Ways to Improve Speed: 1. Try to point only AFTER you are up to
full speed. This allows you to gain maximum lift off the keel and rudder
2. Place telltales on the leeches of your sails (75% of the way up). These
will tell you if the sails are free-flowing, or stalled (and might need to
3. Set your sails for the wind, AND WAVE CONDITIONS. Flatter sails for
flatter water... fuller, more powerful sails in choppier water.
4. Know your mode. Your whole team should always know whether you're in
point mode (high), or foot mode (fast). Foot mode:bow down, main and jib
eased. Point mode: bow up, main and jib trimmed.
5. Number and mark all key control settings onboard. Mark all halyards and
controls so fast settings can be easily duplicated. -- The Coach at
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- The story of the event is the blazing speed and
flawless tactics of world champion mulihuller Randy Smyth from Ft. Walton
Beach, Florida, sailing with his wife Paula at the Prindle 19 Nationals.
After 15 races run by the Alamitos Bay YC in Long Beach, California, July
17-23, Team Smyth scored a remarkable 15 points with a second-place
throwout and a second-place keeper. The rest were bullets.
Team Smyth, who won the Worrell 1000 this year on a NACRA 6.0na, was
sailing a Prindle 19 MX with half of the fleet while the rest were sailing
"classic" Prindle 19s. The MX version has a larger mainsail with a modified
jib which work together to increase the stock Prindle's performance. The
class allows both MX and "classic" versions to race together until all
sailors are on the MX. -- Amy Elliott, Nautical Promotions
Results: Prindle 19 Nationals (1) Randy and Paula Smyth, Ft. Walton Beach,
FL 15 (2) Paul Richter and Lisa Lang, San Diego, CA 35 (3) John Main and
Damon La Casella, Chatsworth, CA 41 (4) Karl and Sharon Wagner, King Harbor
YC 51 (5) Graham Bambery and James Jones, Hawaii 78
NACRA 5.8 North Americans: (1) Scott Klodowski and Georgette Haverluk, Long
Beach, CA 30 (2) Ed and Shirley Cutshall, Long Beach, CA 41 (3) Tom Peters
and Jim Korkosz, Malibu, CA 53 (4) Dan de Lave and Chris Herman, San Diego,
CA 53 (5) Brendon Busch and Christa Litzenberger, San Francisco, CA 57
49er GRAND PRIX
The 49er Grand Prix is moving to the Northern European Series, with the
German GP in Eckernforde this weekend (august 19-22) followed by the final,
the Swedish GP in Goteborg (august 26-29).
This series in its inaugural year has attracted all the top 49er sailors
from around the globe, wishing to be a part of what the high performance
skiff was meant to do for Olympic sailing; to create fast, exciting racing
with an opportunity to watch for spectators on land and television viewers
With all racing taking place in attractive locations on the usual 49er
"crash-and-burn" type short course the series has already been shown on the
major European sport channels, Eurosport and Sky Sport and is scheduled for
Australian national TV in October. All TV fixtures for the Northern Series
will be published on the GP web site,
http://www.eventsbandol.com/49ergrandprix as they are released.
Surprising no one, so far the GP series has been a fight between the top
Australian skiffs Renault (Adam Beashel) and Bandol (Chris Nicholson)
closely followed by McLube (Jonathan McKee, USA).
The pointscorers so far: 1 Renault - Adam BEASHAL/Teaque CZISLOWSKI -
Australia 2 Bandol - Chris NICHOLSON/ Daniel PHILIPS - Australia 3 McLube -
Jonathan McKEE/Charlie McKEE - USA 4 Helly Hansen - Alister RICHARDSON/
Peter GREENHALGH England 5 TNT - Francesco BRUNI/Gabriele BRUNI - Italy 6
Produits Laitiers - Dimitri DERUELLE/Philippe GASPARINI - France 7 WCP -
Tim ROBINSON/Zeb ELLIOTT - England 7 Produits Laitiers - Marc
AUDINEAU/Julien FARNARIER - France 9 MUSTO - Marcus BAUR/Philip BARTH -
Germany 9 Banks Sails - Andy BUDGEN/Ian BUDGEN - England 11 Holt Allen -
Ian BARKER/Simon Hiscocks - England 10 ISA-Supermash - Rodion LUKA/George
LEONCHUK - Ukraine 11 Zap! - Paul BROTHERTON / Mo GRAY England
For more information: http://www.eventsbandol.com/49ergrandprix/
The Rockin' Chair is fueled up and we're heading for Catalina Island --
right now. To stay current while we're gone, check into the ISAF website
(http://www.sailing.org). 'Butt will be back on Monday.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.