SCUTTLEBUTT #399 - September 17, 1999
HAMILTON, Bermuda - Two unseeded skippers, Andrew Horton (United States)
and Chris Law (United Kingdom), made it through to the quarter-finals of
The King Edward VII Gold Cup, presented by title sponsor Colorcraft. Today,
Horton defeated local favorite Paula Lewin, while yesterday, Law took out
Bermudan Olympic aspirant Peter Bromby. The quarter-finals of this
prestigious, international match racing regatta features skippers from five
countries. Represented nations include Denmark, Germany, Sweden, United
Kingdom and United States.
Going into today's competition, local seeded skipper Paula Lewin, the
second ranked skipper in women's match racing in the world, was tied with
Horton. However, today was Horton's day. He out-sailed Lewin 2-0,
finishing overall 3-1. In a spirited final match, there were close calls.
Horton had trouble with the pre-start, but was able to take advantage of
several opportune puffs of wind to beat Lewin.
"We were able to get a little bit lucky with a couple wind shifts up the
course," said Horton when asked about his performance today. "We like
sailing against Paula a lot; it's really fun. They're really good
competitors, and she's first to congratulate you when you cross the finish
All other skippers advancing to the quarter-finals solidly defeated their
opponents today 3-0, including Magnus Holmberg (Sweden) over Adam Barboza
(United States), Marten Hedlund (Sweden) over Peter Hall (United States),
and Jes Gram-Hansen (Denmark) over David Whelan (United States).
Quarter-finals, best of five series will take place tomorrow, September 17,
at 9 a.m.
Other race action today included The Cybersettle Pro-Am Regatta. Seeded
skippers were matched with sponsors for three fleet races. Skippers
included: Marten Hedlund, Andy Green, Bjorn Hansen, Jes Gram-Hansen, Peter
Bromby, Marco Constant (Green's crew member), Paula Lewin and Markus Wieser.
Following the competition, Cybersettle Chairman Jim Burchetta, presented
Andy Green with $1,000 in prize money. Peter Bromby and Paula Lewin
received $750 and $500 for their second and third place finishes,
respectively. In addition, Cybersettle made matching donations to
Bermuda-based charitable organizations: The Bermuda Sailing Association -
$1,000, The Neverland Foundation - $750 and Windreach - $500. Andy Green
won the first of the three fleet races and Markus Wieser won the second
fleet. - David McCreary, http://www.bermudagoldcup.com
MUMM 30 WORLDS
With over half the races run of the 11 in the Mumm 30 World Championships,
Walter Geurts relinguished his lead over his main rival for the title, Ed
Collins of the U.S. But as the series allows no discards, the eventual
outcome seems set to run all the way to the Saturday finale. Not least, as
once again yesterday, the Solent produced a wide variety of testing
conditions. And the forecast is not just for more of the same, but some
heavy wind which will test both the crews representing 10 nations and 31
boats. - http://www.mummyacht.com/
Standing after six races: 1. Ed Collins/Barry Allerdice, USA (18 points) 2.
Walter Geurts / R Graat, NED (21) 3. Malinda Massimo Mezzaroma/ Antonio
Sodo Migliori, Italy (27) 4. Mark Heeley, UK (32) 5. Nantes & Saint Nazaire
Laurent Sambron, France (45)
ON THE TOP OF THE CHRISTMAS LIST
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item for small boat sailors:
* Spaniard Luis Doreste is a university lecturer in the Canary Islands. In
his spare time he drives an America's Cup boat. Doreste is probably the
only helmsman in this America's Cup who isn't a professional yachtsman. Yet
he is one of the world's best - a double Olympic gold medallist - from one
of Europe's most famous yachting families.
For Doreste, the next 12 months will be the most frantic of his life. He
will make his America's Cup debut behind the wheel of Bravo Espana, Spain's
new white boat which arrived in Auckland this week. He has put his job on
hold at the university in the Canary Islands, where he teaches computer
studies - his profession for 12 years. "I have to work and to sail - all my
life it has been this way for me," he said. "But I think I spend more time
on the water than in the classroom." Yesterday he headed to Sydney to sail
in the pre-Olympics, the final dress rehearsal a year before the Olympic
regatta, to contest a three-man Soling.
In December, just before the semifinals of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger
series, Doreste will duck back to Sydney for a two-boat Spanish trial for
one Olympic place. His opponent is his brother Manuel. A tactician on Bravo
Espana, Manuel will step into Luis' shoes while he is across the Tasman
next week - taking over the wheel of the cup boat next week when she gets
her first taste of the Hauraki Gulf.
The four Doreste brothers have always been fierce rivals on the water. "I
have been to four Olympics, but every time I had to beat my brothers to get
there," Luis said. Why don't they sail together? "We are all helmsmen,"
But all four siblings have sailed in the Olympics. Luis won gold in 1984 in
the 470 class, and again in Barcelona eight years later in the Flying
Dutchman. The oldest brother, Jose Luis, won gold in the Finn dinghy in 1988.
Family is very important to Luis Doreste, whose wife is expecting their
second child in February. "Everything is happening at once for me," he
smiles. "But it is all so far from Spain."
Doreste is already finding that the political world of the America's Cup is
very different from the more sedate Olympic arena. "In the Olympics,
everyone sails against everyone else for a year up until the racing starts.
"Here, everyone keeps away from everyone else. In the America's Cup, no one
wants to sail against another boat until the first race," he says.
But Doreste is already fascinated with the cup and what he has seen unfold
in the Spanish challenge's build-up in Valencia. The Spaniards have been
dealt their share of bad luck - crewman Martin Wizner died in an accident
on the training boat, and the mast of their new boat snapped 15 minutes
after she was christened.
But they believe they have turned the corner and brought a quick new boat
to Auckland. -- Suzanne McFadden, NZ Herald, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
* It was a mix of the old and the new America's Cup today when the aged
IACC boat, Sydney 95, was re-christened Young Australia 2000, under the
watchful eyes of 20-year old skipper, James Spithill, and America's Cup
legends Sir James Hardy (syndicate director), and Syd Fischer (syndicate
Julia King, head of Louis Vuitton, Australia, toasted the boat at Garden
Island Naval Dockyard in Sydney and wished the best to Spithill, the
youngest ever America's Cup skipper, and his equally young crew, as they
moved one step closer to the 1999-2000 Louis Vuitton Cup.
Over the past few weeks the team - all aged between 18 and 22 years old -
have been toiling away to bring the previously known Sydney 95 (designed by
Fluid Thinking), used by Fischer in the 1995 event, into shape and racing
trim. 'It's been a massive maintenance program,' said Spithill. 'And by
using our combined skills in areas such as boat building, rigging, marine
electronics and hydraulics, we've been able to prepare the yacht with very
little outside help.'
In addition to putting the boat-work in the team has also found time to get
out on the water and learn how to sail an IACC boat, under the tuition of
Australia's Rob Brown.
Despite little money (approximately US$1 million) and time, compared to his
better-funded rivals, Spithill is quietly confident that the boat and crew
will perform to their optimum in Auckland. Sydney 95's best results in San
Diego were in the medium to fresh conditions -more akin to New Zealand than
Another factor Spithill has on his side is his freshness to the event and
the fact that 1999-2000 is serving as a training platform for an Australian
on-slaught on the Cup in 2003. He has nothing to lose. --
* The men who drive Switzerland's FAST 2000 challenge have set out to
ensure that their campaign reflects its country of origin -- small but
FAST 2000 has come to display, as a prominent badge of pride, the aspects
of their challenge that other syndicates hold to be their disadvantage:
their smallness, their forced economy, their time constraints in
construction of boat and base.
Many cup challengers would hold these factors to be to FAST 2000's
detriment, but the syndicate insists that each perceived disadvantage --
the one-boat nature of their challenge, the limited number of their
personnel -- has a positive flipside.
The Swiss yacht 'Be Happy' was extracted from the belly of a huge Antonov
cargo plane at Auckland International Airport early Monday morning and is
being housed away from the Cup Village while construction of the
syndicate's permanent base continues. FAST 2000 was among the last
syndicates to begin construction of a shore facility, but it has made good
time and expects to have a shed and other facilities ready for use by the
weekend. Work continues concurrently on Be Happy. It is being fully
reassembled after being stripped for transportation.
At the current pace of work, Be Happy should touch the water in Auckland
for the first time on 26 or 27 September and will be formally christened at
its base on 10 October. Twenty of the syndicate's small complement of 38
staff members are now in Auckland and the remainder, including skipper Marc
Pajot, are due by the end of next week.
Despite budgetary constraints and the late acquisition of a principal
sponsor, FAST 2000 has not stinted spending in areas of importance. "Yes,
we have a small budget but we ensured most of our budget went to
technology," Caspis said. "We have still managed almost two and a half
years of computer analysis and work in towing tanks." -- Steve McMorran,
Quokka Sports, http://www.americascup.org/
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- Jan Harley From Peter Campbell's excellent preview of the IBM Sydney
Harbour Regatta had an omission -- the list of USA Skippers should have
included Darrell Peck in the Finn class.
Curmudgeon's comment: I'm not sure Peter deserves all of the blame. His
story was two or three times longer than the digest I presented in 'Butt
#398. In it, Campbell listed the 'heavy hitters' in all of the classes, and
my digest simply picked out the USA skippers from that summary. Apparently,
Campbell does not view Peck as a podium candidate. Time will tell
-- From Russ Lenarz -- I think that it is important to keep the discussion
on rating systems going as it is clear that there are several different
opinions and that maybe it will help improve peoples knowlage on the
subject. One of the problems is that not enough people know all of the
facts concerning systems like IMS, IR2000 and Americap. It is clear that
PHRF is facing some diffacult decisions in the near future as there are
more Grand Prix boats racing under the system now, which is why PHRF needs
to find a solution to improve ratings and possibly create more standard
Curmudgeon's comment: I'm sorry, but we beat this subject to death a month
or two ago. I'm tired of it, and I think most of my regular readers are
too. If and when there are some new developments on which to launch a fresh
discussion, 'Butt will be there. But for now, we're going to give it a rest.
TELL A FRIEND
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The catamaran that won the Jules Verne Trophy in 1994, under the name of
Enza New Zealand and in the hands of Peter Blake and Robin Knox-Johnston,
has had all of her rigging brought down. Under a tent erected in the heart
of Bristol, she is undergoing a complete overhaul.
Tony Bullimore's Millennium Challenge will soon receive new bows that will
lengthen her from 92 ft to about 100 ft. Because they are more buoyant than
the old ones, they will help to avoid nose-diving when surfing on the big
seas of the southern oceans. And to improve further the boat's
seaworthiness, her freeboard will be raised by about one foot.
Six builders are currently taking down the old bows. The operation is
tricky because the front of each float has to be sawn off along two axes:
horizontally to lift the deck and vertically to widen the space between the
sides. Considering a front section of one hull, the cut looks like a "T".
Its branches will then be spread and the cloths of the new skin laminated
straight into place. No moulds are used here; this work is done freehand.
But Nigel Irens, designer of this catamaran launched in 1983 (as Formule
Tag) personally looks over the manuvre. Contrary to the existing
mainly-kevlar skin, the new bows will be all carbon.
Carbospars (GB) has just started studies on the mast that will replace the
one lost in the Pacific in 1998, during Tracy Edwards's attempt on the
Jules Verne (under the colours of Royal & SunAlliance). The new spar will
be 100% high-module carbon and measure 108 ft instead of 102 ft. It will
increase sail area from 296 m2 to 330 m2 . Millennium Challenge thus will
become more efficient in light weather, when catamarans are usually at a
disadvantage against trimarans. Before the end of the year, the catamaran
also will receive a new hydraulic helming system and ballasts. The latter
will be filled only in case of emergency, to prevent the catamaran from
In terms of absolute speed, even all this work cannot bring Millennium
Challenge to the level of much newer and wider multihulls. But this boat
has the advantage of her reliability and relatively reasonable cost. Above
all, she has proven her worth on the water. She will have the opportunity
to do so again even before The Race, for Tony plans to make an attempt on
the Jules Verne Trophy early next year. The eight-man crew could include
Frenchmen and Americans as well as Britons. The possibility of
co-skippering Millennium Challenge also remains open.
Race Chair David Robertson reports that three boats have entered Long Beach
YC's November race to Mazatlan: Roy Disney's Pyewacket, Doug Baker's
Magnitude in the TurboSled class and Dean Burr's Positive Attitude has
entered the Cruising Division. Reportedly, a half dozen other boats are
watching from the sidelines, 'wanting more competition.'
For more information: dcrobertson.MAI@prodigy.net, or
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YACHTPERSONS OF THE YEAR
Nominations for the 1999 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year are
now open. Assuming you're a member of US SAILING, you can submit a
The curmudgeon recently purchased a new home in Marina del Rey, and I'm
moving into it this weekend. (For close friends, it's walking distance from
the California YC and has a great guest room which may increase my number
of close friends.) If everything goes as planned, the move should not
interrupt the normal production and distribution of Scuttlebutt.
* Really close friends my want to note my new phone number: (310) 306-5678.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
It's Hard to Be Nostalgic When You Can't Remember Anything.