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SCUTTLEBUTT #388 - August 31, 1999

The 29th annual BVI Spring Regatta is set for April 6-9, 2000 and will be seeing some format changes and expansion to accommodate growing demand and increasingly varied fleets and requirements.

The BVI Spring Regatta is now part of two major Caribbean racing series: the Caribbean Big Boat Series (CBBS) which includes the Caribbean's yachting triumvirate of Antigua Sailing Week (April 30-May 6), the Heineken Regatta, St Maarten (March 3,4,5) and the Spring Regatta; and the Caribbean Ocean Racing Triangle (CORT) series - first stop is the Heineken International Cup in Puerto Rico on March 24,25, 26 with the Rolex International Cup in St Thomas on April 21,22,23.

To accommodate the CBBS and in response to yacht owners' requests for more racing and more distance, the BVI Spring Regatta is going to increase the racing for the Big Boat Fleet by two days and include some round island races. "We're always seeking ways to improve the regatta and we listen to what the competitors have to say - we're responding to demand. The Big Boat owners want to stretch their legs on longer courses and we're happy to oblige," said Bob Phillips, chairman of the BVI Spring Regatta. Registration for the Big Boats will take place on April 4th with the first race at 10.00am on April 5th.

Plans are also being made to add some destination races for the rest of the fleet as well. "A few years ago people got bored with round island racing and wanted course racing, but the tide has now turned and we're getting more and more requests for round the island racing. However, we'll make sure that we have sufficient races under our belt before we send people off for the day," continued Mr Phillips. Registration will take place on April 6th with the first race at 10. 00am on April 7th. - Alastair Abrehart

Event website:

YACHT CLUB PUNTA ALA, ITALY --71 Star competitors sailing in the Open, this serves as a tune-up regatta for the upcoming Star Worlds which start here on Wednesday September 1.

After four races: 1. ESP , VAN DER PLOEG , TRUJILLO , 17.00, 2. USA , DOYLE , OLSEN 20.00, 3. ITA, BENAMATI , MAFFEZZOLI, 22.00, 4. GER , PICHEL , HURACHER , 25.00, 5. USA , MACCAULAND , IVERSON 26.00, 6. GBR , WALKER , COVEL , 33.00, 7. ITA, SIMONESCHI , MARENCO , 46.00, 8. BRA , GRAEL , FERREIRA , 48.00, 9. ITA , DALI', COLANINNO , 51.00, 10. ITA , SANTONI , DEVOTI , 51.00. 15. USA, SHIEBLER, PETERS, 81.00, 19. USA, REYNOLDS, LILJEDAHL, 100.00, 20. CAN, MCDONALD, BJORN, 106.00.

Star Italian Open site:
Star Worlds site:

Whether you sail inshore or offshore, you simply won't find better value in foul weather gear than the new Gill Tradewinds jacket and trousers. It has all of the features you want - lifejacket/safety harness attachment tabs, reflective strip on chest and hood, peaked hood with draw cord & autolock adjustment that stows in collar pocket, fleece lined, self draining cargo pockets with fleece lined handwarmers. And this great looking breathable "02" gear is really comfortable. Here's the dealmaker: the jacket is only $195 and the matching pants are just $145. What are you waiting for?

The latest black boat is sleek, shiny and swift - and it touched the water for the first time in Auckland yesterday. Oh, and it doesn't belong to Team New Zealand. This black America's Cup boat belongs to the Kiwis' arch-rivals from the New York Yacht Club. And it is already making waves.

The first of Young America's new generation yachts is not painted black, like Team New Zealand's. In fact, it is not painted at all. The black is the carbon fibre of the hull, which has been covered with a clear seal. Young America skipper Ed Baird, who worked on Team New Zealand's Black Magic sisters in the last regatta, said the au naturel look was a ploy to make the boat faster.

"One of the things which has made this boat especially fast is the care we took building the hull," he said. "We didn't need a lot of fillers to make the hull smooth. Boats often need to be painted to cover up the putty. But the fact that you can see the carbon is because we were so cautious building the boat."

Team New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts was not bothered by the rival black colour scheme.
"It has two New Zealanders as its designers - Bruce Farr and Russell Bowler - so why wouldn't they have a black boat?" Coutts laughed.

He was more concerned about the Young America boat's radical new wing mast. "They've gone for a mast much the same as ours, but perhaps an even bigger development than what we made," he said. "But just wait and see what our next mast looks like." -- Suzanne McFadden, NZ Herald

For McFadden's full story:

Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Ike Stephenson -- From Another for the elite club of those that won the America's Cup and an Olympic medal: Randy Smyth '84 Tornado '88 Cup w/ DC.

-- Dieter Loibner -- John Bertrand (AUS) took the Bronze in the Finn class in the 1976 Olympics. Jochen Schuemann (then sailing for East Germany) took the first of his three Gold medals. The lore: Bertrand, in contention for Gold, capsized in one of the races, claiming to have felt Schuemann's hypnotic stares, who was right behind him when it happened. No such mystical magic in 1983, though when he rode the winged keel of Australia II past DC to lift the ewer from NYYC.

Schuemann, of course, went on to win Soling Gold for East Germany in 1988 in Pusan. He repeated that feat in 1996, but that time for unified Germany. In Auckland he has a shot at joining the exclusive club of skippers who have won some kind of Olympic metal and the Auld mug. As the helmsman for the Swiss FAST 2000 syndicate, his odds will be long, however.

Then you have Russell Coutts with Finn Gold in 84 in L.A. and the 95 AC win in San Diego, which makes him the youngest member of the exclusive skipper's club. The lore: The American John Bertrand, not unlike his Australian namesake, lost a shot at Gold in this regatta after he got DSQ'd for hitting the Coutts in the first race. Bertrand ended up with Silver.

-- From Chris Welsh, NHYC -- Amidst global interest, tight time deadlines and immense marketing responsibilities Paul Cayard took time last Thursday night to visit Newport Harbor Yacht Club and make a presentation on the AmericaOne AC Syndicate. On top of taking time for the visit, Paul and Russ Silvestri arrived early and raced Lehman 12's and Harbor 20's with our fleet. This was grass roots contact for our members with the America's Cup, an event that has little grass roots left about it.

Their sailing gave our last night of Summer Twilight racing a buzz of energy and excitement, and the presentation illustrated the cost, complexity, and commitment the syndicates are facing in their efforts to win the Cup. $50,000+ mainsails (life span measured in tens of hours), $25,000 jibs, $15,000 keel winglets, and a staff of 90+ people being housed, fed, and transported start to illustrate why these campaigns are so capital intensive. Paul discussed decisions few of us are aware of like a limitation on sails that can be measured in for the racing (60), the need to lock-in the boat design for each Round Robin series, and the current thinking on what is fast (much narrower boats). Paul also discussed the contributions their partners Ford and Hewlett Packard are making to advancing the design, testing, and manufacturing strengths of America One's assault on the Cup. Besides straightforward wind tunnel testing and computer analysis Ford is actually assisting with manufacturing critical elements of the boat to tolerances previously not achieved in the sailing world.

-- From Seth A. Radow-- Had to go for a round of Virtual Cup during lunch today. New low score 11:18. The computer beat me the first time I played... never again. Took me a few tries to get the steering down.

Finishing first, Tamisov Basic proves that he is indeed a sailor to be reckoned with. Andy Green's second place separates him from the from the pack and places his team among the top ranked match racers in the world, while the last place finish of Phileppe Presti will certainly hurt his standing. Geir Dahl Andersen, Paula Lewin and Dave Dellenbaugh all made a commendable showing. Andy Horton, with a fourth place overall, deserves special notice--though not a first, this formerly unranked sailor has established his world standing with an excellent showing. Tony Rey on the other hand has not helped his international rating with a seventh overall.

Final results of the Knickerbocker Cup 1999 Match Races: 1. Basic 2. Green 3. Andersen 4. Horton 5. Dellenbaugh 6. Lewin 7. Rey 8. Presti

Event site:

The Louis Vuitton Cup is scheduled as follows:
ROUND ROBIN 1 (1 point per win).
18 October - 23 October '99 (6 racing days)
24 October - 5 November (reserve days)

ROUND ROBIN 2 (4 points per win).
6 November - 16 November '99 (11 racing days)
17 November - 26 November '99 (reserve days)

ROUND ROBIN 3 (9 points per win).
2 December - 12 December '99 (11 racing days)
13 December - 24 December '99 (reserve days)

SEMIFINALS: the six best scoring challengers compete in the semifinals.
2 January - 11 January 2000 (10 racing days)
12 January - 19 January 2000 (reserve days)

FINALS: the two best scoring challengers compete in the finals; this series will be held on a best-of-nine basis, i.e. the first yacht to win five races wins the Louis Vuitton Cup.
25 January - 27 January 2000 (races 1-3)
29 January - 30 January 2000 (races 4-5)
1 February - 4 February 2000 (races 6-9)
5 February - 13 February 2000 (reserve days)

Event website:

Laser champ John Torgenson recently summed up the feelings of a lot of sailors, "It's the best thing I own for sailing, It's awesome." Awesome indeed -it's Camet's new breathable Neoprene Neo-Thermal top. This breakthrough technology senses how hard you're working to insure that trapped vapors (like sweat) disappear quickly. Just one look at this hot new item will sent it directly to the top of your wish list:

I'm sailing dead downwind. I'm winning. I'm in a lull. What now?

Perfect, you have the fleet nipping at your heals DDW. They seem to be in a puff and you are definitely in a lull. What to do next? Key tip: Lulls, just like puffs travel straight downwind. So, if you are sailing DDW and you are in a lull and continue the same course, most likely that lull is going to travel right along with you. For the same reason you want to continue to gybe across puffs to stay in them, you want to gybe out of lulls to head in a contrary direction to the course they are headed. Simply put, sail sideways to lulls to get out of them and into better breeze. Once you have "re-positioned" yourself, then you can resume the course DDW in breeze. -- The Coach at

This evening, the curmudgeon is jumping on Quantas flight QF 100 for Auckland. Because of complexities of the International Date Line I have not idea how long the flight is, but I do know that I don't arrive in New Zealand until dawn on Thursday. I should just be shaking off my jet lag when we christen Team Dennis Conner's new USA 55, Stars & Stripes on Saturday. I'll be home early next week, and according to my itinerary, I arrive in California before I leave New Zealand. Hmm. I suspect the International Date Line is somehow involved again.

I hope to issue Scuttlebutt while I'm in Auckland -- at least that's the plan. But if you find you're having withdrawals while I'm flying to NZ, rush out and buy the September issue of Sail magazine. The curmudgeon collaborated with Robbie Haines on a story in that issue that will surely help you get a better start at your next sailboat race.

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