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SCUTTLEBUTT #397 - September 15, 1999

(The following discussion from International Judge Richard Gladwell was prompted by Ewan McEwan's commentary in 'Butt #395)

It was interesting to see the comments about Direct Judging. Ralph Roberts (IJ) NZL and I have used a similar system for about five years or so, which we call Refereeing. Nicky and Julian Bethwaite developed a similar system in Australia on the 18ft skiff GPS circuit.

In New Zealand, Refereeing has been used on everything from School regattas to 49er nationals, Optimist age regattas, and Young 88 (30ft keelboats). As well we converse with others around the world who are trying different practices and processes to see if we can develop a better system. At "protest system" regattas we also look at the adjudication from a refereeing viewpoint and try to second guess how refereeing would have worked, or what changes would be required to make it work.

This process of experimentation is pretty well finished. The systems we have used are as follows:

1. Full refereeing:

This is where the referees have full control, there are no competitor to competitor protests. We used this system initially at the Schools Regatta, and then tried other systems. There were no problems with this system, however it would not really work in an event such as a 49er Worlds. It does work well in an Optimist regatta.

2. Voluntary and Referee imposed penalties:

Under this system a competitor who has infringed can take a penalty (270 turn). If the referee imposes the penalty then there is a 360 turn. (There are no protest flags, but a signal or hail of "protest" from a competitor is very useful.) There is also the option for protests for incidents on which a referee has not made a ruling. Again there are no problems with this system. However the penalty must only be a 270/360 and not a 360/720. However with all systems the referee does have the option to impose additional penalties or also take a protest ashore. This system does work well where there is a lot of water for the referees to cover, and they can restrict themselves to working the "hotspots" (start, turning marks, gybe points, finish etc).

In addition to the above we have also tried a system of referee-imposed alternate penalties for OCS. Again this has worked very well.

Initially we ran with full refereeing, but the Appendix ran out to over a page and was getting too complex. So we decided to allow protests. However it is most unusual to get a protest. But on the odd instance when there is a protest, you are often glad for a little more time to consider the incident. We have a points penalty instead of a mandatory DSQ for a rule infringement that is decided by protest.

I agree with the Pro's of the Direct Judging system. The Cons are covered off by the allowance of protests. There is no increase in costs - as we run three on-the-water referees maximum. It is a very good idea to have a another judge or two ashore, for protests, and to handle competitor de-briefs. This gives a detached viewpoint, which is useful if there has been a bit of "discussion" between the competitors and referees on the water. We also use a pro-active system where the referees call "inside rights" at marks for instance. Again this gives the give-way boat a clear indication of what the ruling is going to be if there is an infringement - usually they will take avoiding action rather than force the issue.

There is a lot less acrimony, as the infringements are cleared on the water. The number of penalties are relatively few, and the standard of rule observance is very high. The alternative penalty for OCS solves all the problems, gets the infringing boat(s) to the back of the fleet, but keeps everyone in the race, and in the regatta.

The biggest obstacle to this system is having organisers accept that it can work, and is fair. Sailors that have used it in more than one regatta, now ask for it by preference. And, of course for televised events, it is essential. - Richard Gladwell (IJ) NZL

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (StFYC, 19 boats) - A fist punched the air from behind the wheel of John Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti as he crossed the line in second place in the final race of the Lewmar sponsored Farr 40 World Championship. The punch came as much in relief as in triumph for the skipper who had completed the championship action to win by a single point from Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino, who followed him home. A fall from grace in a major way - a 13th place finish - dropped the leader going into the final race, Jim Richardson in Barking Mad, to third overall.

'It was a great day on the Bay,' said a grinning Kilroy after thanking his crew, led by fellow local ace, John Kostecki. 'I wouldn't have it otherwise. Kilroy triumphed by persistence and despite a 15th in one of the previous day's races. Onorato pushed him hard, but had probably seen his chances evaporate in the lighter breezes of the morning, when he was ninth.

There was an action packed thriller of a final race for the championship with the outcome partly decided at the first mark where Richardson had to perform a 360 degree penalty turn and dropped from eighth to seventeenth in the process. It took him out of contention to retain the title he won last year in Miami and left the battle to continue between Kilroy and Onorato, one which seemed stacked initially in favour of the Italian.

The breeze was up to 20 knots for the final race and it was Onorato who nailed the start at the Committee Boat and immediately tacked out to the right. Kilroy was in the middle of the line and Richardson, as is usual for him, at the pin. Initially, it looked as though the left side was paying, but a shift ten minutes into the race handed the advantage the other way. Onorato was first to the windward mark with Kilroy right behind him.

Richard Marki's Raging Bull was next but hit the mark and almost made off with it sideways as more of the fleet piled through. Downwind the order changed with David Thomson's Peregrine taking the lead and Kilroy also passing Onorato. And that was the way it was to stay for the rest of the race with Thomson doggedly hanging on to win while Kilroy covered Onorato closely to take the championship. -- Bob Fisher

Results: Final standings: 1. Samba Pa Ti John Kilroy (USA) 3-1-2-6-5-15-1-1-2 36 points 2. Mascalzone Latino Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) 5-6-1-2-3-2-6-9-3 37 3. Barking Mad Jim Richardson (USA) 1-2-8-1-1-9-3-4-13 42 4. Southern Star, John Calvert -Jones (AUS) 7-5-3-8-28-10-2-5 50, 5. Flyer, Doug Mongeon USA 4- 7- 6- 11- 11- 1- 2- 12- 9 63 6. Blue Chip, Walter Logan 16- 3- 11- 10- 10- 6- 8- 5- 1 70. 7. Peregrine, David Thomson 16- 3- 11- 10- 10- 6- 8- 5- 1- 70 8. Persephone, Jack Woodhull 13- 10- 9- 9- 17- 7- 5- 11- 8 89.

Event website:

There is a lot of stuff you need (and really should have) when sailing offshore. And that list grows when you're racing under ORC 0-4. But not to worry -- you can do all of your shopping online at the West Marine website. It's all there -- charts, flares, communications gear and even the life raft(s). You probably will also want to look at the personal strobes, EPIRBs, harnesses, jack lines and maybe even a survival suit. They even have a small, portable, manual watermaker in the section with other safety gear:

Italians and Japanese. Frenchmen and Spaniards. Swiss and Australians. Oh, and don't forget the Americans. They're arriving in droves by air and sea, in the giant bays of Antonov cargo planes and on the decks of 300-foot container ships. Slowly but surely the Class of 2000 is infiltrating Auckland, New Zealand, as the clock ticks down to the 18 October start of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the elimination series that will determine who challenges Team New Zealand in America's Cup XXX beginning 19 February 2000.

Eleven syndicates representing seven nations will likely line up for Day 1 of the LVC. Two other syndicates, Age of Russia and Le Defi Sud, remain unlikely wild cards, but haven't officially withdrawn. Regardless of their participation, the field is the biggest since the 1987 Louis Vuitton Cup off Fremantle, Western Australia, when 13 teams from six nations competed.

One thing is certain, the Hauraki Gulf will be a crowded venue with eight two-boat teams (including Team New Zealand) and four one-boat teams practising daily. "The Gulf is a great place to sail, it's like a bay," says Team Dennis Conner helmsman Ken Read. "But it's not very big. We were out practising the other day and kept bumping into Team New Zealand, and it was just the two of us. It's gonna be a small body of water."

The official measurement period for Round 1 begins on Saturday. All teams which have not had their boat measured overseas must have the boat they plan to race in Round 1 ready for measurement. If a boat has been measured overseas, it does not need to be in Auckland until 4 October, 14 days prior to the start of Round 1.

Whether one of the challengers will overcome the defender remains to be seen because the varying conditions of the Hauraki Gulf will make this a wide-open competition. "It is a new contest," says FAST 2000 skipper Pajot. "Just like the 12-Metres made to win in Australia weren't the same as those that won in Newport, one is going to see a new breed win. It is unavoidable." -- Sean McNeill, Quokka Sports,

Curmudgeon's comment: Quokka Sport's new America's Cup website, "The official site of the America's Cup," is now fully operational. It's definitely worth visiting!

A record nine nations will be competing for the Mumm 30 World Championships, which begin in Hamble, England today. The 32 boats come from the U.S., France, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., Sweden, Switzerland and the Channel Islands. Three races scheduled for each of the first three days, two for the final day. Courses of six legs totaling about nine miles will be set upwind and down in the central Solent.

The event is being hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club at Hamble, an internationally-renowned yachting centre on England's central south coast near Southampton. With an all-up crew weight limit of 525kg, most of the boats will race with seven, though a few have plumped for six. Eligibility rules mean a maximum of two professionals per boat and the helmsman must be either an amateur or the owner of the boat. - Laura Jelmini

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

-- From Don Becker (Re: Tom Spoelman's Rules question.) -You cannot be scored DSQ without a hearing. Was a hearing held? If not, you may still be able to request redress, but the protest committee (who is hopefully not the race committee) may grant you a hearing by extending the time limit. See RRS 62 and 63 and 61.3 (last sentence).

-- From Jeff Borland (Re Tom Spoelman's rules question in 'Butt #396) My first question is, did the RC just not score you, or did they actually protest you and have the whole thing go to the protest committee. The answer to this question goes directly to the heart of what you as a competitor need to do.

If the RC just gave you a DSQ with out a protest committee, well, then you need to request redress, as the RC cannot do that! There are very few times that a Race Committee can not score a boat if they finish properly. Finishing properly has it's own definition, so if a boat finishes properly, the RC must score her in her place. If the RC sees an infraction of the rules, in this case they believed they saw an infraction of RRS 28, they must protest that boat if they want to have the boat DSQ. So, if the RC did protest you, and there was a properly constituted protest committee and hearing, then you needed to be able to prove to the protest committee that you did actually sail the coarse properly.

If there was no hearing, then as the Curmudgeon said, you should have requested redress, as this would be an improper action of the Race Committee, it would have significantly altered your place in a race, and it was through no fault of your own.

-- From Kelly Holmes -- The Sailing instructions at the J24 Southwest Circuit stop at the Houston Yacht Club this past weekend stated "as a courtesy committee will attempt to hail recalls on channel 68: The following are not grounds for redress. Failure of committee to call over earlies, order or sequence of called over earlies, ..."

At start of 2nd race two boats, Bow 59 & another boat were on course side, both had turned down the line so that the bows were not visible to committee. RC called out the sail # since they could not see the bow # identifying it as a sail #. Proper flags displayed in compliance with Rule 29.2. Bow 59, not having a working radio on board, heard no call from committee. Bow 59 finishing the race in 5th position, did not receive a horn and was scored OCS.

The following day, after hearing the RC had called sail numbers, not bow numbers, filed for redress stating rule 62.1A the committee had given false information. Judge ruled in favor of the redress. The judge's original redress decision was handed down 15 minutes prior to awards. A subsequent protest was filed against Bow 59 regarding compliance to Rule 29.1 -- until that time everyone thought they were OCS. This protest will be heard at the HYC NOODS this weekend since one of the judges had gone. Any thoughts?

-- From Frank Whitton -- Dobbs Davis's article on the IRM is interesting but just shows how everyone is groping around to find a system acceptable to all. Unfortunately politics and diversity aren't compatible with a universal be all end all rule. I for one think we need three levels of rating systems. PHRF fits and suits the average boat and recreational racer, IMS is for the grand prix boats and serious racers. We have a need and a void for those that fit in between and it is this area that another system needs to be promoted.

My belief is that Americap fits that void and can be implemented with the least amount of upheaval to the existing fleets. Numerous people and areas in Southern California are charging off in this direction and working with Dan Nowlan at US Sailing to make it happen. We are currently in the process of establishing a working group and will have our first meeting at the US Sailing Annual Meeting in Baltimore on October 28. We invite all those that are interested to come and participate. Who knows maybe not only will you learn about a viable measurement system but also you will be exposed to the countless people and committees that make up your National Authority.

-- From James Nichols -- Sorry, but I just don't see a viable alternative to sponsorship for raising money for Cup campaigns. Something was lost in the translation of my letter; the grist of my satire was that our tax returns could have a box to check if we want $1 to go towards US Cup syndicates. I appreciate (at least, I think I do) the complexity of running a Cup campaign; that's why I thought the analogy with getting a bunch of guys on a football field with their clothes on at the same time was so . . . well, perhaps stupid is too strong a word; prepostorous?

I don't know about anyone else, but put a fork in me - I'm done with this thread.

This September, Gulf Coast sailors in search of intense on-the-water battles will head to Galveston Bay to engage in a three-day contest for regional honors at the GMC Yukon/Sailing World NOOD Regatta. Hosted September 17-19 by the Houston Yacht Club (La Porte, Texas), this regatta is part of a nine-event national racing circuit sponsored by GMC Yukon and organized by Sailing World Magazine of Newport, Rhode Island.

A fleet of some 120 boats is expected. The 1998 Texas NOOD drew sailors from Gulf Coast and Southern states. Texas sailors from the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio areas are expected on the starting line.

This regatta draws a steady core of sailors who return each year to vie for regional honors; at presstime, five defending champions from the '98 Texas NOOD regatta were slated to return. But last year's champions earned their wins in extremely light breezes that trailed into the area after a wave of a tropical storm, followed by a tropical depression, rolled over the area.

"It's a little early for strong winds," predicts Randy Smyth (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), winner of the Corsair Trimaran fleet in 1998. "Light to moderate winds are more the norm at that time of year." If wind averages prove true, 1998's light-air champions may need to gear up for more breeze than last year's light zephyrs that only reached 9 knots.

Corsair racers will be looking out for Smyth, who won the 11-boat Corsair division in 1998 with a perfect string of four first-place finishes. But Smyth, a world-class multihull sailor, is known for these types of performances: This May he won the Worrell 1000, a grueling long-distance race along the East Coast where racers brave all types of conditions as they voyage 1,000 miles up the the Coast from south Florida in 20-foot Nacra 6.0 catamarans.

Among the other returning champions are: Hobie 33 sailor Mike Naugher (Grand Prairie, Texas), who won the Hobie 33 class on a close tie-breaker in 1998; J/24 winner Dave Hinrichsen (El Lago, Texas); Steven Hammerman of Houston, who won the J/80 class with a large seven-point margin; and Bryan Bayerdorffer of Austin, winner of the Melges 24 class.

A field of 15 classes have been invited to compete, including: Catalina 22 (spinnaker and non-spinnaker), Etchells 22, Ensign, J/22, J/24, Corsair Trimarans, Melges 24, J/80, 25-Foot Class, 27-Foot Class, Hobie 33, Level 135, Level 70, Level 105, S2 7.9. Each class must have the minimum number of entries to qualify for their own start. -- Cynthia Flanagan Goss,

We understand that a noted sailmaker was caught dismantling a spinnaker design embroidered on a crew shirt supplied by Pacific Yacht Embroidery. Could it be that the authenticity of the design is to such a level of detail that something could be gained by this? It is clearly apparent the design in question was a triradial asymmetrical reaching chute - somewhat on the flat side. You too can have a custom design of your boat under full sail. Call Frank Whitton at Pacific Yacht Embroidery (619-226-8033) for more details and a quote. What better gift for your crew or family?

After reading Dobbs' report on the IRM, I thought it fun to report on the new IMS Worlds here in Porto Cervo. About 27 boats are here from 11 countries (not bad for first try). Some very good 50 footers and one Maxi Alexia make up class A. I am sailing on the Innovision 7, the Dutch big boat winner in the Admiral's Cup. Some would think that with the experience and speed we showed in England we would just show up and sail. Not so.

When we built the Innovision, we planned two rig configurations. The normal in line, runners with overlapping sails (the AC rig). The second is the no runner, swept back spreaders, 105% head sails. Innovision always had a lot of sail area. I felt that Sardinia with it's famous Mistral winds and smooth water would be perfect to try one of the first modern Grand Prix runner less rigs. We also took some lead out to make here lighter, lower the righting moment to help her in the lighter air.

Well the rating difference were huge. Around 25 seconds a mile upwind. In the first race, we started not so good, sail also, not so well and took a second, by 7 seconds to Brava, very well sailed new Farr 50. The second race the wind blew a little harder, Gavin got a great start and we sailed away from the 50's and won the race by almost 5 minutes on a 12 mile race.

Now, what does everyone else do with their IMS boats? Different boats for different courses is always a good idea. I don't think any rule can be perfect. The IMS does give time when you slow the boat down. People were cutting righting moments down in England, we stayed with more and did just fine in a heavy regatta. Here all the boats have less RM so the risk is less. The rig does have its advantages in handling and speed through the tacks.

Big Question!!!! What happens when it gets light??? I am worried, and will have to stay tuned, but in 18 knots today, Innovision 7 was the right horse for sure.

Ortin Kandler, German owner of the controversial wing-masted 50 footer Krazy K-Yote, plans to race his yacht next year despite July's fiasco in which the boat's handicap rating was hastily and arbitrarily revised on the eve of the Admiral's Cup. Having seen his yacht's original rating swapped for a far less favourable one in the space of 48 hours, Kandler withdrew from the regatta, leaving the French team to compete with just two yachts.

Kandler has spent in excess of L960,000 on a yacht which has yet to race but expects to be in action next season. Though the yacht's wing mast was legal, there was no handicap formula to calculate its speed potential against normal masts, causing the Offshore Racing Council's chief measurer to intervene. -- Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph,

Portsmouth, Rhode Island -- Alex Wadson, founder and president of Aramid Rigging Inc., has purchased Sparcraft Hardware Inc. and relocated operations to the Ted Hood Marine Complex in Portsmouth, R.I. An industry leader, Sparcraft Hardware has manufactured snap shackles and marine hardware for over 15 years.

"Sparcraft snap shackles are highly respected and in great demand industry wide. Products had become increasingly difficult to find under previous management and I saw an opportunity to improve distribution and accessibility," explains Wadson.

Sparcraft Hardware customers can now purchase products through the expanded distribution network, as well as through Aramid Rigging. Presently orders are geared toward snap shackles and hardware for the America's Cup, IMS and grand prix circuits, and the Volvo Ocean Race.Sparcraft Hardware Inc. products are currently distributed nationwide as well as in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. - Justin Smith

What does Geronimo yell when he jumps out of an airplane?