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SCUTTLEBUTT #410 - October 4, 1999

St Francis YC has done it again. Their Masters Invitational Regatta provided a marvelous reunion for some of our sports best known 'seasoned sailors,' and was a roaring success by any measure. It was a real 'feel-good' event that showcased former World Champions, Olympic medalists, plus America's Cup and Admiral's Cup Veterans. A true gathering of the eagles -- albeit somewhat "bald eagles." And the user-friendly J/105s once again proved to be perfect boat to test the carefully selected invitees.

While the rules specify that all of the skippers had to be at least 55 years old, the only invited skipper under 60 was John Jennings from Florida. Happily, crewmembers only had to be 45 years old, which really helped when the breeze built into the 20-knot range.

The San Francisco Bay was on its best behavior, dishing up great racing in 10-20 knots of breeze, with both flood and ebb tide conditons. The field was so deep only one skipper -- third place Roy Dickson from New Zealand -- was able to complete the five races with all single digit finishes.

Bruce Munro, Vice Commodore from the host club won the event with a 1-1-9-14-1 series. The curmudgeon tied Munro on points with a 3-2-3-15-3 series, but lost the tiebreaker to take the second place trophy. (Don't ask me what happened in the fourth race when we dropped to 15th. Suffice to say, it once again proved Murphy know what he was talking about when he wrote his much-quoted rule.)

Munro sailed with Ed Bennett, Paul Heikeken, Jim Coggan and Steve Yong. And while it may not be customary to name the crew on the second place boat, I want to publicly thank Anne Hendry, Kevin Riley, Robin Sodaro and Rob Moore. Collectively, they made the curmudgeon look better than he really is!

One final note. It was a real credit to the local J/105 fleet that most of the owners who donated their boats left their A" sails aboard for the regatta. The three boats the curmudgeon sailed were all marvelous prepared with great racing sails. And the owners who came along each day as the sixth member of our crew were truly great guys -- people I'd love to sail with again.

Final Results: 1. Bruce Munro (26) 2. Tom Leweck (26) 3. Roy Dickson (28) 4. Dick Deaver (29) 5. Malin Burnham (34) 6. Lowell North (37) 7. Dennis Surtees (40) 8. Hank Easom (42) 9. John Scarborough (43) 10. Bob Johnstone (51)

Hopefully, St. Francis will post the complete results soon at:

Paula Lewin of Bermuda sailed to her third straight victory in Marblehead at the Reed & Barton Women's International Match Race Championship today. Lewin battled extremely stiff competition in the Semi's requiring a full five rounds to defeat number one ranked Shirley Robertson of Britain. She went on the best Christine Briand of France in the finals (2-0). Lewin had been formidable, sweeping the US circuit in 1998 but stumbled at the 1999 Santa Maria Cup in Annapolis where she missed the cut for the semi-finals. Clearly she's back on her game here and heading to the Worlds in a few weeks.

In the Petite Finals, Marblehead local Dru Slattery, who had been first coming out of the round robin, lost two tough matches against Robertson to end in 4th place.

The event took place in Sonars loaned to the regatta by members of the local fleet. Lewin commented going into the regatta that the "Sonar is easy to sail so the match becomes almost pure tactics." Members of host Eastern Yacht Club had raised money for the racing sails reserved for the match racing.

While most of the team's competing at the Reed & Barton event are headed to the Women's Match Racing Worlds in Genoa at the end of the month, Eastern Yacht Club looks forward to hosting the ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds in 2000. -- Rogina Jeffries

Final Standings: 1. Paula Lewin (BER) 2. Christine Briand (FRA) 3. Shirley Robertson (GBR) 4. Dru Slattery (USA) 5. Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NED) 6. Betsy Allison (USA) 7. Cory Sertl (USA) 8. Nadine Stegenwalner (GER) 9. Marie Klok (DEN) 10. Jessie Cuthbert (GBR) 11. Jane Moon (CAY)


Giovanni Soldini on his 60 foot yacht Fila won the 1998/1999 Single-handed Around Alone Race with a complete inventory of Ullman Sails manufactured by Sergio Fabbi in Rapallo, Italy. Ullman Sails is extremely proud of the fact that there were NO failures in the entire sail inventory that carried Giovanni Soldini around the world in 27 days, 17 hours, 32 minutes, and 32 seconds. While you may not be planning to race in the Southern Ocean, wouldn't it be nice to have the speed and reliability that Soldini enjoyed? It's more affordable than you think.

* Switzerland's FAST 2000 syndicate is ready to go sailing in Auckland. After strengthening its financial position in the past three days, the team has declared defiantly: "We will race." "We have a completed boat, we have a completed mast, we have a completed shed, we have 40 people here and they are all being paid, and we now have enough sails to complete the first round robin," said syndicate spokesman Constantin Caspis. Caspis said FAST 2000 was confident its innovative boat Be Happy, which is believed to have a canard rudder, will be at the start line with 10 other challenge syndicates for the start of Louis Vuitton Cup racing on 18 October.

FAST 2000 secured a small amount of additional sponsorship last week that has allowed it to enlarge its sail inventory. "We have been able to buy two new spinnakers and two new genoas," Caspis said. "We don't have as many sails as we will need for the whole Cup, but we definitely have enough to complete round robin one. "As more sponsorship money becomes available we will be able to buy more sails, which will let us complete round robin two and then round robin three.

"It is the same with every syndicate here. Cash flow is always a problem. Your total sponsorship does not become available at one time. It is not all paid in advance but it becomes available on different dates, some in time for each of the round robins. As more money becomes available you are able to buy more things but it is not true that all of the money is available at one time."

"This is not a day by day thing," Caspis said. "Our challenge has been developed over three years and we are here in Auckland with everything we need to begin - not like some other syndicates who never made it to Auckland. We have a small number of sails, certainly, but we have enough. "We spent a lot of money to get our boat to Auckland in an aircraft and we went to that trouble because we intended to race. We will race - Steve McMorran, Quokka Sports,

* Young America, USA 58, the second of the New York Yacht Club/Young America Challenge's two new sleek carbon fiber racing boats, today sailed for the first time. Skipper Ed Baird was at the helm for the maiden voyage with the black-hulled yacht.

In light breeze on the Hauraki Gulf, Young America USA 58 took the first shakedown sail since the boat arrived in New Zealand last week. The NYYC/Young America team took the boat through the paces in the waters that lie between the volcanic Rangitoto Island and Takapuna at the mouth of the Hauraki Gulf and on the site of the actual America's Cup 2000 race course.

"To have both of these boats sailing is a major milestone in our campaign," said skipper Ed Baird. "After four years of hard work it's inspiring to see what we've developed. With two boats our learning curve on the Hauraki Gulf will be very steep, and give us a significant edge in our race preparations."

Like Young America USA 53, the black carbon fiber hull sports techno shark graphics in red, silver and gray. The America's Cup racing yacht was constructed at Goetz Custom Sailboats in Bristol and the state-of the-art mast was built at Hall Spars in Bristol. Goetz and Hall worked closely with the NYYC/Young America design team, led by principal designers Farr Yacht Design, Ltd., in the design and construction of the mast and hull. The appendage program is managed by sponsor Brown & Sharpe of North Kingstown, RI. Many of the design and building team - including Eric Goetz, president of Goetz Custom Sailboats, and Russell Bowler, partner of Farr Yacht Design, Ltd., and Scott Ferguson of Hall Spars, - are in New Zealand working with the NYYC/Young America team to launch USA 58.

The team is expected to begin two-boat testing and training with both new boats on the America's Cup racecourse next week. Racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races for the America's Cup begin October 18 in Auckland. The pairings for the first round of racing will be drawn in an Opening Ceremony in Auckland two weeks from today. -- Jane Eagleson,

* On a quiet afternoon at the American Express New Zealand Cup Village, Abracadabra 2000 sailing and support crews lowered their second IACC yacht USA54 into the water, christening it Abracadabra 2000. Eager to resume sail training that began months ago in Hawaii, the team left the harbor shortly afterwards for their first day of sailing in Auckland waters. USA54 is the second Abracadabra 2000 yacht designed by Andrew Dovell and Ian Burns, partners in Australia's premier yacht design firm, Murray Burns & Dovell.

Commenting on the unique aspects of the Abracadabra 2000 design and research program, Dovell noted, "Extensive tank and wind tunnel testing for the weather conditions in Auckland led us in a significantly different direction than in 1995. We've chosen to go with two very different hull designs." Enthusiastic about the program's results and the potential of the two Abracadabra 2000 yachts, Dovell added, "We are extremely pleased with both boats given what we've seen of the competition so far. We're very anxious now to start trialing the two boats against each other, and against the fleet."-- DJ Cathcart,

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

-- Re: From Marcia Ward (Niels Kisling's comments about taking kids on boat deliveries) -- I took my 7 week old son, Noah Ward Johnson on a two day delivery of a Newport 41 (Windjammer) from North Cape YC, Lake Erie, to Port Huron, MI (not as glamorous or as long as Cabo to Laguna Beach, but still, a delivery's a delivery...) three years ago for the start of the Bayview-Mackinac Race. We had a great time on the delivery and then we met the boat on Mackinac Is. after the race for a week's worth of low-key island fun. It's been trips like that one that enables my husband, myself, our son, (and a soon to be new addition) to be involved in the racing scene and which put the kabash to the prediction so many people made that "the racing days are over for you now that you have kids".

Curmudgeon's comment: Anyone who thinks that a delivery from Cabo to Southern California is "glamorous" has never done the trip.

-- Joe Ozelis -- In response to Helen Johnstone Falk's comments ('Butt #409) that "it has simply EVOLVED into a 'big media sport', like any sport does, when the 'big media' discovers how lucrative it can be" and "it is excellent exposure for the 'spectators' who may become 'participants'. I am sure a survey of "spectators" turned "participants" would confirm this."

Well here in my neck of the woods (Chicago), there is NO big media attention paid to sailing or racing. We have several high-profile (usually sponsored) regattas each year (NOOD, Verve Cup, Mac, a One-Design nationals or two...) with zero reporting in the papers or television. The only sailing I see on the "Big Media" is on ESPN - once every three months or so. So obviously the media haven't exactly discovered "how lucrative it can be" - because it's not.

Furthermore, most of the TV sailing audience is comprised of people who already sail. I have yet to meet a single person who decided to take up sailing (let alone racing !) because they saw it on TV or read about it and "it looked cool". Usually people have gotten involved in the sport at the grass-roots level - went for a ride with someone, liked it, and pursued it as a hobby for themselves. Or got involved through a community learn-to-sail program, or summer camp or college. I am hearing reports of declining participation in sailing and sailboat racing - at a time when media exposure of sailing (at least on TV) is at an all time high.

The biggest mistake we could make would be to believe that more media exposure in the form of ESPN specials on the AC or Olympics will have any effect on increasing participation in sailing and sailboat racing. The media will NOT build the sport for us - that's our job.

-- From International yachting journalist John Roberson -- I am seeking your assistance to help me out of a desperate situation. I am currently rebuilding my life after the ultimate disaster. While in London last month, I got robbed of everything except the clothes I stood up in. Laptop, cameras, digital organiser, paperwork, clothing (including foul weather gear), mobile phone, passport - the lot.

Insured? Yes, but........ Backed up? Yes, but........

All this the day before I was due to fly to Bermuda to be official photographer at the Gold Cup, and less than a month before I'm due in Auckland to cover the America's Cup for Reuters. It is the ultimate nightmare. Also gone is the world famous collection of bandanas!

If you can publish this in Scuttlebutt, I would ask that my friends and associates around the world e-mail me their contact details, address, phone numbers etc. My address is

(Note: The Mini Transat is a singlehanded race for boats of 6.5 meters (21 feet) in length. The fleet is currently sailing the first of two legs from France to the Canary Islands.)

Nick Moloney (Wild Colonial Boy), an experienced Whitbread sailor, has had to abandon the race in Gijon after confirmation that he had broken his arm during the storm when he was thrown overboard. A very disappointed Nick praised those still racing - "It was a real shit fight out there! I really do not know how the others are still going."

Nick is no stranger to tough ocean conditions - he competed in the last Whitbread on Toshiba and more recently a crossing of the Bass Straits on a windsurfer, and has been put forward as one of the skippers of the Oceanic Volvo Ocean Race campaign. But the Mini Transat this time was tough...and the Bay of Biscay alone in a 6.5m boat possibly tougher than any Whitbread moment. Only 14 boats of the 70 strong fleet have in fact continued without stopping in a port.

Nick had dedicated the whole year to getting to the start line in good shape - doing a major refit on the old boat of Ellen MacArthur's at AMCO in La Trinite and selling his car to pay for the final costs. He lived onboard with his girlfriend for the final 4 months to save money - and this Mini is probably the smallest interior of all! Having had to return to port immediately after the start due to a collision with another competitor he thought about stopping, but he repaired and restarted. -- Offshore Challenges

Reports & photography can be found on:

US Sailing Judges Program to be held in Hawaii, November 27 and 28, 1999 at the Kaneohe Yacht Club, 8:30 am to 4:30 PM. The completion of the seminar and passing the test (given on Sunday) will satisfy the knowledge portion of the certification requirements. It is then a simple step to certification. This Judges training and certification program is organized by Joe Cochran and taught by Ken Morrison. This will be the only opportunity in Hawaii to attend this training.

For reservations contact: Michael Roth, 808-595-4124 / or Joe Cochran, 808-247-4969/

To learn more about the judges program see the following web page:

(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48 per year from

There will be little change to the 1999 weather pattern in the Gulf, October 1999, as compared to October 1998. This from Bob McDavitt of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand. It is going to be a typical New Zealand spring, with mainly west to south westerlies prevailing. There are no abnormals in the parameters lining up for this summer, typically La Nina. However, the transition period from spring to summer will see easterlies prevail, with the change being four weeks later than last year, i.e. early December. February will see winds predominately variable and lighter than normal, which may well prove to be a lottery as far as sailing is concerned. There is a chance that winds may be too strong on some days for America's Cup challenge sailing during February. No major difference from what we experienced in February 1999.

If selection is important to you, you really are going to have a ball browsing the pages of the new West Marine website. They've got it all -- more than 30,000 items from which to choose. It's like having a bookcase full of the catalogs of all of the major marine industry suppliers -- and it's right at your fingertips:

The IOD World Championship ended Thursday with the completion of races six and seven and the crowning of a new world championship team, the first from San Francisco in three decades. Evan Dailey and Tad Lacey, and a crew that included Jim Davis, who crewed for Jake Wosser, SF's last champion, in the '60s, finished very consistently with a 3-4 to win comfortably. - John Burnham

Final results: 1. Evan Dailey/ Tad Lacey, San Francisco, USA (12.5) 2. Penny Simmons, Bermuda (19.4) 3. Bill Widnall, Marble head, USA (20) 4. John Burnham, Fisher's Island, USA (21.75) David Rockefeller, Northeast Harbor, USA (23.75)

Cam Lewis is in the preliminary discussion stages of a WORRELL 1000 challenge for the year 2000. This would not be the first WORRELL 1000 for Cam, he previously sailed the Worrell 1000 in 1985. "Worrell, was my 1st cat race ever, teamed with Tom Linskey on a P19, sponsored by by a Fortune 100 company-Burlington, we placed 2nd to Randy and Jay Glaser, a lot of cat and tri miles have happened for me since." Said Lewis.

Cam and Keith Notary are discussing the possibility that they will team up to challenge Randy Smyth and W.F. Oliver as TEAM Chick's Beach "Part 2" for the millennium title. -- Mark Michaelsen

The Sailboat Industry in Southern California is attempting to bring back a good sailboat show. We have boycotted the summer Long Beach and fall Newport shows and are putting effort into the October Long Beach Show. Like the old Long Beach Sailbaot Show of old but not completely sailboats. We will have 30 plus manufacturers there and 80 plus sailboats, many more than we have had in years. Part of the plan is to have seminars.

What's another word for 'thesaurus'?