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SCUTTLEBUTT #398 - September 16, 1999

Barcelona (Spain), Sept. 15, 1999 - Bruno Peyron signed today the official agreement designating Barcelona as the starting port of The Race. On Dec. 31, 2000, the world's fastest boats will sail forth from the capital city of Catalonia.

Barcelona brings to The Race top-quality infrastructures. Bruno Peyron: "If we had tried to dream up the ideal starting point, we couldn't have done much better than Port Vell, the marina that will serve as the event's focus. Boats literally rest at the centre of the city." Barcelona will also contribute its know-how in organising large-scale events. The team that takes care of the city's involvement in The Race is the same that managed its candidacy for the Olympics.

Sailing finds in Spain fertile breeding ground. Bruno Peyron : "The Royal family are sailing aficionados, and Spanish challengers - Guillermo Altadill and Pedro Campos - could soon turn to reality an project to run in The Race. Lending them a hand was one more reason to come here. The Race must be as international as possible. -

* Spain's involvement in America's Cup 2000 -- until now subdued and at times obscured by the shadow of misfortune -- will become more visible this week as activity intensifies to have the syndicate's challenging yacht, Bravo Espana, sailing by the weekend. There have been signs of feverish activity around the Spanish compound since ESP-47 arrived on Tuesday from Valencia. Its debut on the Hauraki Gulf has been timed for Saturday, several days before skipper Pedro Campos arrives in Auckland.

Bravo, however, will be alone on the Gulf. The boat's trial horse and predecessor, the modified 1995 challenger Rioja de Espana, has been left behind at the team's home base in Valencia. Rioja finished sixth in the '95 Louis Vuitton Cup, but proved noncompetitive for the new thoroughbred despite heavy modifications.

"Basically, we have always been a one-boat syndicate," spokesman Luis Saenz said. "Two sail numbers were issued because we modified the 1995 boat so much it was a new boat according to the rule. What we have here is the racing boat, and we are happy with her because everything that is on Bravo has been fully tested on Rioja. We have carried out in Valencia all of the testing we wanted to do, and we are now looking forward to sailing in Auckland," said Saenz. --Steve McMorran, Quokka Sports,

* The America's Cup Challenge Association (ACCA) and its Official site for the Louis Vuitton Cup, Challenger Races for the America's Cup, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Virtual Spectator Yachting Limited (VSYL). VSYL is an Auckland based company creating the exciting new Internet sports entertainment application, developed specifically for this event, called Virtual Spectator.

In a world's first for the Internet, VSYL will provide a subscription-based live Internet sports broadcast with stunning 3-Dimensional graphic animation. This is made possible through exclusive access to positioning data from all the competing yachts and new hybrid CD-Rom and Internet technology that eliminates bandwidth limitations. With advanced animation technology, Virtual Spectator places viewers inside the racecourse and allows them to control their own Louis Vuitton Cup experience.

Advanced Features include:
- Full race details, including real-time animated coverage of all Louis Vuitton Cup races, boat positions, mark rounding timing deltas, wind speed and direction, weather conditions, digital photographic images from the course, competitor information, and a host of other race details.

- The ability to view a race from any of six camera angles and positions, and replay data just viewed. Boat positions are continually updated using Global Positioning System (GPS) data transmitted directly from the individual boats.

- The ability to view archived races on demand. The play feature includes fast-forward and rewind. This unique feature is independent of time zones, an advantage over global broadcasting.

- Exciting footage of previous America's Cup series, explanations of race rules and strategies by leading America's Cup skippers, syndicate profiles and immediate results.

The Virtual Spectator coverage of the Louis Vuitton Cup starts in October and will continue through the finals in February 2000. Live television coverage begins with the semi-final rounds in January, making this the only place to catch live action during the early rounds of competition. Reservations for this premium service are honored on a first-come, first-served basis. -- Heather M. Pike, ACCA,

It really doesn't make any difference if you need tapered spinnaker sheets or a lazy jack system. The friendly voice who answers the phone at Sailing Supply will have the answers to all of your questions. And that's not all. They will also have the best gear to do the job -- and the best prices. They stock Harken, Samson, Yale, Douglas Gill, Forespar, Lewmar, Ronstan, KVH, Spinlock, Marlow and sooooo many others - and the staff knows exactly which one will work best for your application. See for yourself: (800) 532-3831 /

Which Star sailor won his first World Championship as crew and came back the following year to win as skipper?
A. Lowell North
B. Dennis Conner
C. Malin Burnham
D. Paul Elvstrom

The answer is at the end of this issue of 'Butt.

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

-- From Tom Zinn -- Thanks for posting my website with Eric Steinbergs email. At the time I put it up, I wasn't anticipating a global demand. I had a unbelievable amount of hits on the page...close to 7000 the first day coming from all over the world.

Since there was so much interest in the photos, I rewrote the page and thumb-nailed all the photos which should make viewing much easier and well as decrease the loading time. Each thumbnail is linked to the full size image.

I'll be updating the page with new photos multiple times a week throughout the LV Cup and of course, the America's Cup. (

-- From Mike Wathen (Re. Kelly Holmes' letter in #397) This sort of issue is why many PROs hesitate to hail "OCS" boats. If your instructions stated "as a courtesy the Race Committee will attempt to hail recalls" as you referenced, then sail numbers or bow numbers, boat names etc. are all attempts ( the reference to attempts should be just shortened to just "will"). The instructions should also state that the failure of any of the above "does not relieve a boat of it's responsibility to start properly." It would also be helpful if the Race Committee and the Protest Committee were on the same page so that the ultimate penalty goes to the person who committed the foul not the person who called it.

-- From Cole J Price -- Frank Whitton's letter ('Butt #397) intimates that PHRF is for (less skilled) club racers, while other rating systems are better suited to "grand prix" and "serious" racers. I'll submit to you that the level of sailor (Skipper and/or Crew) in the PHRF areas in which I've raced are equivalent to those anywhere, sailing under any rating system, or one design class. This is because the same sailors who race IMS, Americap and One Design, also race PHRF.

As a result of the discourse and suggestions communicated through Scuttlebutt, I am optimistic that PHRF will continue to evolve into a rating system that is considered credible by an even larger population of sailors. Where practicable, if PHRF considered polars from VPP as one of several factors in the establishment and evolution of ratings, it would add the credibility to PHRF ratings necessary to satisfy all sailors.

Curmudgeon's comment: OK -- Enuf already! I suddenly remember why I killed this thread weeks ago.

-- From Chris Ericksen -- Is Scuttlebutt to become a forum for readers to air beefs about actions or omissions of Race Committees and/or Juries? I certainly hope not. As a regular racer, frequent RC worker and occasional Judge--and a loyal "butthead--I have opinions on Tom Spoelman's rules question in 'Butt #396 and Kelly Holmes' issue in 'Butt #397; out of deference to my fellow 'Buttheads, however, I will keep them to myself.

I used to participate in such discussions in the "" newsgroup and watched the strings get so far off the subject that they were hard to follow and even sometimes misleading; in the end, they seemed to generate more heat than shed light on the subjects. The choice to extend or cut these strings are your, of course, but I for one hope you cut these off and damned quick.

Curmudgeon's comments: Once again, Chris Ericksen and I agree. Henceforth, anyone sending a rules question to the curmudgeon will be directed to ""

The IBM Sydney Harbour Regatta 1999, SOCOG's final Test Event for Sailing in the lead-up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, has officially opened at the Sailing Marina, Rushcutters Bay. After three days of official measuring of sails and boats, competition will start this coming Saturday, September 18, in the biggest regatta ever held on the Harbour and with the highest level of competition outside the Olympic Games.

Some 390 athletes from 57 nations, sailing around 270 craft, will contest the 11 Olympic sailing disciplines, using four courses within Sydney Harbour and two off Sydney Heads, between this Saturday and Sunday week, September 26. Underlining the significance of the regatta is the fact that nine of ten gold medal winning helmspersons at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games are competing, along with nine of the current World Champions in Olympic are representing their nations. In line with Olympic Games rules, there is only one entrant from each nation in each class, with final entry lists for each being available tomorrow.

Sydney Harbour will be in full Olympic mode for the regatta, with Waterways initiating an exclusion zone that will operate between 11:00 and 17:00 hours daily during the regatta, but harbour ferries will continue to operate at reduced speeds, travelling around the perimeters of the courses to maintain their schedules. Speed limits will also apply to all spectator craft.

During the regatta, each class is scheduled to sail two races, with three races a day scheduled for the 49er class. However, if conditions are favourable, organisers will endeavour to conduct up to three race on a day for all classes, as they did in last year's test event.

USA skippers: SOLING - Jeff Madrigali; STAR - Mark Reynolds; TORNADO - John Lovell; 49er - Jonathan McKee; 470 MEN - Paul Foerster; 470 WOMEN - Tracy Hayley; EUROPE - Meg Gaillard; LASER - Mark Mendelblatt; MISTRAL, MEN - Michael Gebhardt; MISTRAL WOMEN - Lanee Butler.

Results will be posted on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games web site:

From September 19-25, US SAILING's eighth biennial Rolex International Women's Keelboat Regatta will challenge J/24 teams of six women each to distinguish themselves at one of the world's most prestigious sailing events. Twenty seven teams from five nations will compete in ten races on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.

"Among the 162 competitors are Olympic hopefuls, national and world one-design champions, IMS sailors and even distance and match racing notables," said event chair Denise MacGillivray. "In addition to teams from the Cayman Islands, Canada, France and Japan, 21 U.S. teams are signed up."

Competitors are housed with Ida Lewis Yacht Club members and enjoy nightly social activities at different venues around Newport and an awards gala hosted by Rolex at the historic Rosecliff Mansion. -- Barby MacGowan

Skippers include: Jane Moon, Felicity Clarke, Janie Davis, Susan Reddaway, Melanie Doherty, Sally O'Rourke, Susan Mattis Turnham, Anne Hannan, Nancy Stark Zangerle, Judy Woellner, Pat Connerney, Anne Schultz, Elaine Parshall, Elaine Haher, Christine Briand, Vicki Sodaro, Jeanne Langdon, Jane Lumbers, Liz Hjorth, Yumiko Takano, Anne Marie Shewfelt, Laurie Poppen, Sandy Hayes, Kathryn Connell, Diana Weidenbacker, Karen Lynch, Amanda Clark,

Great Lakes sailors can meet their 'Safety at Sea' requirement for the Newport Bermuda Race and other offshore events with attendance at a Sanctioned Seminar at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit on Saturday, October 9, 1999 - (313) 822-1853. - Tim Rumptz

I don't care what kind of sailing you do -- Douglas Gill's line of foul weather gear and gloves is soooo huge they'll have EXACTLY what you want. And their gear is the most comfortable you can buy. The stuff is so good that Gill guarantees all of it against defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the product. You can shop online, and one look at their website will make you a believer, just like the curmudgeon. Now tell me again - what are you waiting for?

Under challenging conditions, competition between seeded and unseeded skippers was tight today at The King Edward VII Gold Cup, presented by title sponsor Colorcraft. As predicted, the battle between local favorite Peter Bromby, and 12th ranked unseeded skipper Chris Law (United Kingdom) was the most intense of the morning rounds, reaching a fight in the final match in the best of five series. After being down 1-2, Law prevailed to win the fourth critical match to tie the game. Despite carrying a penalty throughout, Law managed to defeat Bromby in this dramatic final match.

When asked if he felt pressure to perform in the final two matches, Law responded, "No, I'm very relaxed and pleased to be here in Bermuda again." With his win today, Law advances to the quarter-finals on Friday, September 17, with his exceptional local crew of Dennis Correia, Stevie Dickson and Michael Tatum.

Other skippers advancing to the quarter-finals include Markus Wieser (Germany) and his team who solidly defeated Jessica Cuthbert's (United Kingdom) all-female crew three matches to one. Andy Green (United Kingdom) and Bjorn Hansen (Sweden) will also advance after defeating Bill Buckles (United States) and local Glenn Astwood, respectively, three matches to one. -- Julie Segel and Christine Ryan:

Results: Markus Wieser 3-0; Andy Green 3-1; Bjorn Hansen 3-1; Chris Law 3-2; Peter Bromby 2-3; Glenn Astwood 1-3; Bill Buckles 1-3; Jessie Cuthbert 0-3.

Rob Mundle's Fatal Storm -- an inside account of the Sydney-Hobart race -- has proven to be a runaway success with readers worldwide, with sensational reviews and great sales. There have been more than 45,000 copies sold in Australia since release two months ago, 30,000 in the United States and the United Kingdom printing this month.

A seasoned journalist who covered the race, Rob Mundle skillfully interweaves over one hundred interviews of survivors, rescuers and family members into a gripping first-hand account of recklessness and heroism. Mundle offers haunting images that are both vivid and unforgettable - the scream of the wind, the roar of the waves, the last sight of a lost crewmember floating face down while his boat is swept helplessly away. -- Kate Thomas

C. Malin Burnham was the Star World Champion crew in 1944 and won the Star Worlds as the skipper in 1945. However, the high spot of his racing will undoubtedly come next month in San Francisco when he once again races against the curmudgeon at the StFYC's Master's Invitational Regatta (OFR).

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.