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SCUTTLEBUTT #383 - August 24, 1999

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, August 24, 1999 - The America's Cup Challenge Association (ACCA) is pleased to announce its partners in the creation of the Official Web Site for the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Races for the America's Cup ( Hewlett-Packard (HP), PSINet Inc. and TWIinteractive will collaborate on the development of a Web Site, set to launch September 1, 1999, offering unprecedented coverage of on-line racing action during sailing's crown jewel event.

The Louis Vuitton Cup will take place in the home waters of the reigning victor - Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - from October 1999 through March 2000. The winner will go forward to race in a best of nine match race series for the America's Cup.

Features exclusive to include:
  • Live racing action using 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional interactive graphics created from a data stream providing positioning information from the boats on the Louis Vuitton Cup racecourse.
  • Live text commentary from the racecourse.
  • Up-to-the-minute digital photography and weather data from the racecourse.
  • Details of all official results, timing deltas and statistics.
  • Access to archives of video feeds from all Louis Vuitton Cup races.
  • Access to live video feeds from press conferences.
  • Access to a high-resolution photo gallery.

David Elwell, Chairman of ACCA remarked, "Traditionally, extended coverage of America's Cup action has not been available until the semi-final rounds of the Louis Vuitton Cup. The Internet promises to change that. New media technologies created by our partners will provide broadcasters, competing syndicates and their sponsors with maximum visibility and return on investment in the early rounds. More importantly it will provide the sailing enthusiast as well as the general public with a level of coverage never before seen."

PSINet, HP, and TWIinteractive have developed a state-of-the-art Internet network to power the ultimate sailing Web Site. In this strategic marketing and technology alliance, PSINet is the Official Internet Supplier for the Site, providing global Internet access, hosting, and network management expertise. HP, as the Official Hardware Supplier, is providing enterprise server equipment and services expertise. Sports marketing and site development talent is supplied by TWIinteractive, the new media group of IMG, the world's leading international sports marketing agency. Both PSINet and the HP have been designated Founding Technology Partners of the ACCA Web Site.

Connectivity and hosting is provided on an integrated server system in Auckland, NZ with dispersed "server farms" in the US, Australia and the UK. TWIinteractive will manage and produce the Site on behalf of ACCA. For all three organizations, this partnership marks an unprecedented enhancement in this prestigious event.

PSINet and HP have collaborated to provide mission-critical hosting for a variety of high-profile Web sites, including, the official NASA Shuttle Web Site that supported John Glenn's return to space and, the official 1998 FIFA World Cup Soccer Site. Together, PSINet and HP have rapidly become the market leaders in supporting high-volume Internet event traffic.

The America's Cup Challenge Association is the organizing authority for the Louis Vuitton Cup. Its objectives are to produce a successful challenger for the 30th America's Cup Match by offering the highest competition possible during the regatta and to represent the interests of all Challenging Yacht Clubs in its dealings with Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. -- Heather M. Pike, ACCA

Event website:

CORK Kingston, Ontario - Robbie Daniel and Jacques Bernier of Clearwater, FL continue to lead in the Tornado North American championship posting three more wins in today's three races. Moving into second place were John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree, who vaulted up from fourth place, posting two seconds and a third on the day. Lars Guck and Eric Jacobsen of Bristol, RI slid into third position after a second, seventh and third place today.

In the Olympic class Laser Gold fleet, Mark Mendelblatt of St.Petersburg, FL is in the lead, with a first, second and third on the day, leaving his with 6 pts after one drop is calculated. Peter Hurley of New York, NY is in second with 11 pts. In third is John Torgerson of Annapolis, MD. -- Julie White


Complete results:

Many of the crews at the J/120 North Americans were sporting new crew apparel from Pacific Embroidery. However, Frank Whitton reports that the Chick Pyle and Chuck Nichols ordered more shirts for their crew on CC Rider than any other team. And CC Rider won the North American Championship. Hmm -- could there be a relationship? One thing for sure, the embroidered A-Sails on the CC Rider shirts were all in perfect trim. Call Frank to find out to upgrade your crew apparel. It's more affordable than you think. (619) 226-8033 (

* Englishman Bryan Willis has been appointed Chief Umpire and Chairman of the Jury for both the America's Cup Match and the Louis Vuitton Cup. The appointment was jointly confirmed today by the two organising bodies, America's Cup 2000 and the America's Cup Challenge Association (NZ) Ltd. (ACCA).

Bryan Willis will chair the International Jury which will hear protests off the water and assign umpires to matches throughout the regatta. He has a wealth of America's Cup experience having served as rules advisor with the Swedish Challenge in 1980, the British Victory Challenge in 1983 and Australia's Kookaburra defence in 1987. In San Diego in 1992 he served on the jury and was lead umpire when umpiring was first used for the event. He is currently Chairman of the Race Officials Committee of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

As Chief Umpire, Willis will manage a team of 16 ISAF certified international umpires and judges from eight countries - Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, together with the US Virgin Islands.

Willis recently spent several days in Auckland surveying office and housing sites for the team of umpires and judges. He will return to New Zealand to take up his duties in late September. "The organisers for the Challenge and the Defence have succeeded in putting together a great team of ISAF umpires," says Willis. "I look forward to the challenge of providing a fair and independent umpiring service and jury facility to the high standard appropriate to this prestigious event." -- Heather Pike, ACCA

* Newport Harbor YC is hosting Paul Cayard Thursday, August 26th, for a presentation on the AmericaOne Syndicate. It will be in the style of NHYC's "Big Wednesday" Series, although, obviously, it is on a Thursday. Also, since Thursday night Twilight racing is still going on, the talk will be a little more casual and will follow the racing at about 8:00 PM. Dinner is the standard Twilight Burger Bash. NHYC would like to invite interested local sailors to attend Cayard's presentation. No RSVP required, however we expect a strong turnout, so if guests are planning on eating dinner they should arrive early (6:30 PM). -- Chris Welsh

* Political turmoil in Russia may impact on the Age of Russia syndicate's chances of competing in America's Cup 2000. Vladimir Kuhlbida, Commodore of the St Petersburg Yacht Club, visited Auckland last week but expressed concern that the sacking of the Prime Minister by President Boris Yeltsin had deprived the syndicate of a crucial political ally. Whether the new Prime Minister would continue to support the Russian campaign remained to be seen. He left New Zealand armed with a letter of support and encouragement from the America's Cup Challenge Associaion, whose president, Dyer Jones, expressed the hope that the syndicate would be on the startline on October 18 when the Louis Vuitton Challenger series gets under way. -- America 's Cup 2000,

AND THE WINNERS ARE: Andy Horton, Kate Sheahan and Scott Ilke. They got in the last race Sunday morning, so both fleets got a throwout. It was very close competition. Despite that one day we got no races, a lot of sailors are taking home the memory (and the bruises) from the big winds yesterday and today.

Final results: CHAMPIONSHIP: 1 Andy Horton (20) 2 Jim Allen (21) 3 Tom Allen, Jr. (24) 4 Paul Wurtzebach (33) 5 Phil Grotheer (34) PRESIDENT'S CUP: 1. Rafael Tamayo (14) 2 Patrick Hylant (15) 3 Charles Hess (16).

Complete results:

I think my favorite part is the deep pockets. Sure, I like the great look of my Camet sailing shorts; and the fact that Supplex really dries quickly; and the way the Cordura seat patch stands up to course non-skid patterns. And Lord knows I love the 1/4-inch foam pads that can be inserted into the seat patch to eliminate fanny fatigue. But I still think I like the deep pockets best. They hold lots of stuff, but more importantly -- nothing ever falls out. NEVER. Take a look for yourself - they come in four great colors (Red, Navy Blue, Khaki, Grey):


Class website:

After previous stops in Italy and France, the European Grand Prix for 49ers moved north to Germany, with the third leg just completed in the North Sea town of Eckernforde. 73 teams assembled from around the world, making this the biggest 49er event ever outside of the World Champs. As always, the format was 2 days of qualifying to pick the top 25, then 2 days of finals racing.

The regatta began in classic North Sea conditions, with 20-30 knots of cold, blustery wind and driving rain. The fleet split into two groups, with four races scheduled for each. By the last red fleet race, the puffs had increased to over 30 knots, and the race committee pulled the plug, rescheduling for the following morning. The day was filled with drama, including spectacular cartwheels, jibs ripped in half, numerous broken masts, and the usual assortment of other pitfalls. At one point a large German naval vessel clogged up the downwind gate, wreaking havoc with a fleet already out of control.

At the end of the day, the Spaniards Lopez and de la Plaza on Talgo were on top with an impressive 3 first place finishes in the yellow group. Team McLube, sailed by Jonathan and Charlie McKee, had a solid day to lead the red group with a 1, 2, 4. The Germans Marcus Bauer and Phillip Barth were right on the heels with 3 thirds. Brits Brotherton and Gray had a 1,4, but their rig came tumbling down in the third race. Pre-regatta favorite Renault, winner of Kiel Week and the French Grand Prix, sailed by Australians Adam Beashal and Teague Czislowski, had a rough day, with an OCS in the first race and a broken shroud in the second race. They were leading the final race when the naval ship incident occurred, allowing McLube to slip by just before the finish for the victory. World Champions Chris Nicholson and Daniel Phillips, sailing Bandol, survived the brutal day with a 5, 5, 8.

As the fleet scrambled to put their boats back together, day 2 began rainy but lighter, with an offshore wind featuring big shifts and puffs. The speedy Spaniards continued their winning ways with 2 more good scores. Bandol got on track, with a 1st and 3rd. Brotherton and Gray continued to sail well in the tricky conditions, with all top 4 races. The Germans on Volkswagen had another good day, with only one race out of the top five. Team McLube started off slowly, with a poor first race, but then rallied with a 1, 2, 4 to end the qualifying series in the lead, 1 point ahead of the Brits. Volkswagen's consistency earned them a third. Talgo faded at the end, but hung on to finish the qualifying 4th, just ahead of Nicholson and Phillips in 5th. The French team of Dimitri Deuelle and Phillipe Gasparini rallied to take 6th, followed by Spa regatta winner TNT, sailed by the Bruni brothers from Italy. Eighth was former 505 class World Champion Ian Barker and Simon Hiscock from England on Holt Allen. Both other North American teams qualified for the Gold Fleet, with Tina and Trevor Baylis of Canada in 22nd, and Andy Mack/Adam Lowery on Team Revo squeaking by in 25th.

Each team's qualifying score counts as one race in the finals, with 7 more races to be sailed on the weekend, and no discards. Saturday again saw the shifty offshore breeze of 10-15 knots. The breeze was particularly random at the top of the course, nearest the shore, creating opportunity for boats behind and heartbreak for those missing the last puffs. Race 1 began with Audi from Finland, sailed by Thomas Johanson and Jirky Jarvi, jumping out to an early lead and holding on for the victory. Next were the Italians and Spanish. Team McLube had a poor race, culminating in a disastrous first leeward mark rounding. The 21st place finish did not bode well at the beginning of a no-discard series!

The following race was won convincingly by Bauer and Barth of Germany, after a 6th place in Race 1, giving them the series lead. The Budgen brothers from Britain were second. The McKee brothers had an awesome second beat to finish third, keeping them in contention. Bandol had a rare falter with a 20th place. This was clearly going to be a long, nerve-wracking series with the spoils going to those who could avoid disaster.

Race 3 was dominated by the unknown German team of Markus Steeg and Deml Moritz, sailing their first Gold Fleet regatta. The ever-consistent Bruni brothers were second, moving them past Volkswagen for the series lead, who scored an 10th. Nicholson got back on track with a 3rd, followed by Holt Allen and Team McLube.

The day's final race saw more breeze but a big left shift at the start, causing most of the fleet to start on port tack. As the mayhem cleared, Bauer/Barth, Talgo, Audi and the French emerged in the front row. The Germans rounded just ahead of the snarling pack and skated away on a big puff downwind to take the gun, and re-capture the lead for the regatta. Bruni slipped with a 13th, to end the day 9 points behind in second place. Chris and Dan on Bandol had another solid race, a 4th, to move into 3rd overall despite their previous 20th. Team McLube finished seventh, good enough to secure fourth place, tied with the Finns on Audi. The Spaniards on Talgo were second in this race, moving them up to 6th overall, just ahead of the French and Brits. The Baylis team finished with 3 top 10 scores to hold down 11th place.

Sunday dawned with almost identical conditions, another tactician's nightmare. With 3 races and no discards, it was still anyone's regatta. Holt Allen started out with a bang, playing the left side perfectly to win convincingly. Rensch/Haverland of Germany were second, with Bandol third. Series leader Volkswagen stumbled with an 18th, while Bruni had a solid 5th to retake the lead. McLube rallied to 8th to stay in contention, but just.

The penultimate heat was another runaway victory, this time for the Swiss Team of Chris Rast and Bruno Zeltner. Audi moved through the fleet to finish second, after being nearly last the race before. Bandol from Australia was again rock solid with a third place, while Bruni slipped badly with a 20th. McLube was running about 10th most of the race, but suffered a disastrous last run to finish 17th, taking them out of the running.

So going into the deciding race, World Champs Nicholson and Phillips were the only ones to be consistent all day, and now held the lead for the first time all week. Second was Volkswagen and third Bruni on TNT, both still close enough to win. Barker and Hiscock scored a 5th to moved them into 4th place, just ahead of the French. Team McLube and Audi were tied for sixth, only 2 points back. So realistically, McLube was looking at 4th to 7th going into the last race.

On the final start the black flag was hoisted, so any boat over the line is scored DSQ. The first start was a general recall, with 4 boats nailed, including the French and Team Revo. The next start was a go, with McLube taking the leeward end, counting on more breeze on the left. The fleet split, but coming together mid-beat, it was clear the right pack had a better shift, led by the Ukrainians, Bandol and the Spanish. McLube was leading the right pack but fell out of breeze just before the mark, and boats slipped by on both sides, including the wily Audi team. The McKees rounded the first mark 10th, well behind Audi and just in front of Barker and Hiscock. So it wasn't looking good for moving up in the standings.

Bandol maintained their second position, with the Germans out the back and the Italians in 8th, locking up the regatta win. The second beat was pivotal in deciding the other places. McLube worked the right and got close to Audi, but the Audi started covering closely, with the Brits still lurking close behind. But as the breeze got weird at the top of the course Team McLube finlly caught the puff they had been looking for, rounding the last weather mark overlapped with Audi in 5th place. Slipping by on the spinnaker set, it was back and forth down the run in the puffy breeze, but coming through the gate McLube held a 2 length lead, jibing just in front of Audi heading for the finish. McLube caught the boat just ahead right at the finish pin to finish fourth, enough to beat the Finns and the Brits. The Italians held onto 8th, good enough for second in the series. But the Germans on Volkswagen never rallied and finished 21st, allowing the Americans to slip by them for 3rd overall. The other North American teams, Baylis and Revo, wound up 19th and 22nd respectively.

In the end, the German Grand Prix was an unqualified success despite very tricky winds. The Gold Fleet is tougher than ever, with a different race winner each heat. Nicholson and Phillips reasserted their dominance, scoring all top 5 races except one. They now lead the prize money total with a 1, 2, 3 in the first 3 Grand Prixs. The Bruni brothers on TNT continued their solid sailing of late with a well earned second place. Team McLube showed a lot of strength, but made a few too many mistakes to win. Their third puts them in second for overall prize money, combined with their win in the Italian Grand Prix. The record attendance and great TV footage bodes well for the continued success of the Grand Prix series in the future.

So now it's further north to Goteborg, Sweden for the final leg of the 1999 European Grand Prix, with racing beginning Thursday. The overall prize money total is still up for grabs, with the McKees and Brunis ready to pounce if the Australians falter.

Final Results, Gold Fleet top 10: 1 Bandol Nicholson/Phillips Australia 44 pts. 2 TNT Bruni/Bruni Italy 63 3 Team McLube McKee/McKee USA 66 4 Holt Allen Barker/Hiscock Great Britain 67 5 Volkswagen Bauer/Barth Germany 68 6 Audi Johanson/Jarvi Finland 68 7 Talgo Lopez/de la Plaza Spain 77 8 Produitts Latiers Deruelle/Gasparini France 85 9 Produitts Latiers Audineau/Farnarier France 93 10 Rensch/Haverland Germany 105.

Auckland, NZ -- Dennis Conner announced the appointment of the curmudgeon, Tom Leweck, as his America's Cup syndicate's Public Relations Officer. "It's great to have Tom as part of our team," Conner said. "His PR skills and experience coupled with his understanding of the sport will be very valuable to our team."

A retired Public Relations executive, Leweck left corporate life in 1988 as Director of Public Affairs for GTE California. Since retiring, he has written extensively for yachting magazines. Prior to starting his widely read racing e-mail newsletter Scuttlebutt in 1997, he was the West Coast editor of Sailing World magazine.

Leweck has actively and successfully campaigned racing sailboats on the West Coast since the mid-60s. As a skipper, he's won six National and North American championships in both dinghies and keelboats. He's also raced a total of 52 long distance Mexican races -- a record that will stand for a while -- and completed seven Transpac Races to Honolulu.

A former commodore of the California Yacht Club, Leweck was the ULDB 70 Association's Executive Director for seven years. He has also served as president of PHRF of Southern California and of the Cal 20 Class Association. In 1997, the Association of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs named him Yachtsman of the Year.

Leweck will join the Team Dennis Conner sailing team in Auckland later this month for the christening of the new Reichel/Pugh designed Stars & Stripes, USA 55.

Team Dennis Conner is one of thirteen teams challenging Team New Zealand for the America's Cup. Starting October 18th 1999, the Challenger teams will compete for the Louis Vuitton Cup. The winner will race the New Zealanders in a best of nine series beginning February 19th, 2000.

This will be Dennis Conner's eighth America's Cup campaign, having qualified in six of his seven attempts, winning the America's Cup four times. Conner is the only Challenger ever to win the America's Cup and with a determined and focused group of experienced and committed team members he hopes to return the America's Cup to the United States once again.

Team Dennis Conner website:

Curmudgeon's comments: So what's going to happen to Scuttlebutt now that the curmudgeon has a real 'day job?' Hopefully, very little. DC has encouraged me to keep 'Butt going while I'm in Auckland with his syndicate, and I'm certainly going to try. I'm also going to try very hard to maintain its current level objectivity.

'Butt has always been a 'cut and paste' operation -- consolidating material from websites, press releases and e-mail. That's not going to change. While there may be a bit more of an America's Cup flavor during this period, we will certainly not ignore the rest of the racing scene.

So while Scuttlebutt will originate from a different part of the world, and will undoubtedly be issued at a different time of the day, it will still be instantly recognizable as 'Butt. At least, that's the plan.

Living in the lap of luxury isn't bad, but you never know when luxury is going to stand up.