SCUTTLEBUTT #411 - October 5, 1999
Chicago Yacht Club held the Vanguard 15 Nationals and the Jimmy Talbot
Memorial Laser regatta over the weekend. Chicago served up typical October
weather (albeit colder than normal with the coldest recorded high on Sunday
of 46 degrees beating the previous coldest temperature by 6 degrees). We
had consistent 14-20 knot breezes and 4-8 foot seas, making it tough going
on the race committee (which ran two circles for the events and had 28
total people involved). 12 safety boats were busy before the first race as
the windiest weather of the regattas came through and encouraged those who
were marginal in their boats and those who underestimated the cold
temperatures to retire.
The Vanguards started the first race with 39 starters of the 59 registered.
The Lasers had 21 competitors with comparable fallout. Boats came from
Florida (to win the Lasers) and California as well as the east coast and
Midwest. The Vanguards were won by a newer Vanguard sailor from Houston,
Kevin Funsch. Team Texas came together with 6 boats on one trailer. The
courses were mostly triangles with windward leewards encouraging as much
surfing (and ooching in the Vanguards) as possible. Competitors went home
saying they had the best rides of their lives on the reaches. -- Betsy Altman
Complete results: http://www.chicagoyachtclub.com/v15/nationals_results.htm
On October 1, the ISAF updated the 'official' world rankings for Olympic
49er: 1 Adam BEASHEL /Teague CZISLOWSKI (AUS) 2 Marc AUDINEAU /Julien
FARNARIER (FRA) 3 Chris NICHOLSON /Daniel PHILLIPS (AUS) 5 Jonathan McKEE
/Charlie McKEE (USA) 6 Morgan LARSON /Kevin HALL (USA)
Laser: 1 Ben AINSLIE (GBR) 2 Michael BLACKBURN (AUS) 3 Robert SCHEIDT (BRA)
23 Mark MENDELBLATT (USA) 33 Bill HARDESTY (USA) 34 Brett DAVIS (USA)
470 men: 1 Gildas PHILIPPE /Tanguy CARIOU (FRA) 2 Alvaro MARINHO /Miguel
NUNES (POR) 3 Johan MOLUND /Mattias RAHM (SWE) 6 Paul FOERSTER/ Bob
MERRICK (USA) 29 Steven HUNT /Michael MILLER (USA)
470 Women: 1 Ruslana TARAN /Olena PAHOLCHYK (UKR) 2 Susanne WARD /Michaela
WARD (DEN) 3 Sofia BEKATOROU /Emilia TSOULFA (GRE) 15 Whitney CONNOR
/Elizabeth KRATZIG (USA) 18 Tracy HAYLEY /Louise VAN VOORHIS (USA)
Soling: 1 Roy HEINER \Peter VAN NIEKERK\ Dirk DE RIDDER (NED) 2 Sergei
PICHUGIN \Sergei TIMOKHOV \Vlad KOROTKOV (UKR) 3 Paolo CIAN \Guido VIGN\ A
Pierluigi FORNELLI (ITA) 14 Jeff MADRIGALI \Craig HEALY\ Hartwell JORDAN
USA 17 Tony REY \Dean BRENNER\ Tom BURNHAM USA
Mistral Men: 1 Aaron MCINTOSH (NZL) 2 Joao RODRIGUES (POR) 3 Nicolas HUGUET
(FRA) 31 Mike GEBHARDT (USA) 56 Peter WELLS (USA)
Mistral Women: 1 Faustine MERRET (FRA) 2 Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) 3 Lai
Shan LEE (HKG) 14 Lanee BUTLER (USA) 52 Cara REID (USA)
Finn: 1 Mateusz KUSZNIEREWICZ (POL) 2 Iain PERCY (GBR) 3 Fredrik LOOF
(SWE) 38 Darrell PECK (USA) 46 Eric OETGEN (USA)
Europe: 1 Margriet MATTHIJSSE (NED) 2 Sari MULTALA (FIN) 3 Shirley
ROBERTSON (GBR) 29 Meg GAILLARD (USA) 52 Hannah SWETT (USA)
Star: 1 Colin BEASHEL /David GILES (AUS) 2 Mark REYNOLDS /Magnus LILJEDAHL
(USA) 3 Alexander HAGEN /Carsten WITT (GER) 5 John MACCAUSLAND /George
IVERSON (USA) 8 Peter VESSELLA /Kevin MURPHY (USA) 9 Eric DOYLE /Tom OLSON
Tornado: 1 Darren BUNDOCK /John FORBES (AUS) 2 Roland GAEBLER /Rene SCHWALL
(GER) 3 Mitch BOOTH /Andrew LANDENBERGER (AUS) 12 John LOVELL /Charlie
OGLETREE (USA) 22 Robbie DANIEL /Jacques BERNIER (USA)
Complete rankings: http://sailing.org/iyru/worldrankings.htm
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Dinghy / One-design page. While everyone knows they're perfect for small
boat sailing, they are also the curmudgeon's choice for offshore races. In
fact, Gill hiking boots are the only boots I've taken offshore for more
than a decade -- years before Gill started advertising in Scuttlebutt.
They're 100% natural rubber with a quick drying lining and a razor cut,
soft compound non-slip sole that gives great traction every kind of deck.
And they're really waterproof. Check them out -- you can order online:
MATT JONES TRIVIA QUESTION
Which Star fleet has won the most World Championships?
B. Western Long Island Sound
D. San Diego Bay
Answer at the end of this issue of 'Butt.
Dennis Conner is to the America's Cup what William Webb Ellis is to the
rugby World Cup: a mixture of mystery, myth, legend and history have made
both these enigmatic characters the subjects of rumour, innuendo,
speculation and lies. Conner is larger than life. A complex character,
his moods can fluctuate from charming to uncouth, shy to arrogant and
even-tempered to darn right nasty faster than a windshift on the Waitemata.
One thing that doesn't change is his passion for sailing and his obsession
with the America's Cup. No matter what you think of him, Conner is the
world's best-known yachtsman. He has won four America's Cups, three
Etchells 22 championships, two Star Word championships, an Olympic medal
and dozens of national championships in the United States.
This sailor understands better than anyone else that tragically, the
America's Cup is not won only on the water, but equally importantly, it is
a business planned in distant boardrooms and often decided in committee
rooms where appeals are finalized hours after the event. Conner knows the
America's Cup game, plays it to perfection but at times leaves you in no
doubt that he hates the corporate crawling he has to do to keep his
I first met Dennis three or four years ago. He had done a deal (Dennis is
always doing deals) with the Sheraton Hotel to speak at a business luncheon
there. I was approached to be the master of ceremonies, and not being
backward about doing the odd deal myself, I accepted on the condition that
Dennis grant me a television interview immediately after he'd spoken.
The deal was done. The audience was packed with Armani suits, Aldo Brue
Italian shoes, Pierre Cardin ties and starched Hugo Boss shirts. Dennis
was more nervous than you or I would be sailing through icebergs in the
Antarctic in 30m seas.
Conner fronts because he has to. It is all part of the game. Even before
he started to speak, he was sweating profusely and anxiously seeking
assurance from anyone within earshot that this audience wouldn't attack
him. Attack him? What a joke. There is more likelihood of Tonga beating
the All Blacks than that happening. The moment he got to the microphone
and steadied himself on the lectern, Conner was in charge.
He is a master showman, an entertainer, decked out in his Stars and Stripes
tie, playing the audience like a concert pianist. He knows what they want
and he gives it to them, cliches tried and tested over time.
As soon as it was over we headed for the next room for the television
interview but not before the usual Conner confrontation. "How long is this
interview?" Dennis asks. "Half-an-hour," I reply.
"That's not what I was told. Ten minutes was the word I was given," he
" Well, Dennis, It's over you. It has always been half-an-hour and the
cameras will roll for that long. I know you're not in the habit of sitting
through the entire interview on New Zealand television but I'd like to
think you'd made it through this one," I answered.
He did. He was magic. The moment the cameras stopped and the lights went
down, he was off. No niceties, no pleasantries, the job was done and he was
out of it. We packed the gear and 20 minutes later I was standing on my own
in front of the hotel musing about what made Conner tick.
Suddenly, from behind, there was a gentle poke in the back. I turned and
there in front of me was a different Dennis Conner. He had on a baseball
hat, old sailing shirt, and a pair of shorts, boat-shoes and a huge grin.
Dennis Conner was going sailing and was at peace with his world.
At the end of the day Conner is a sailor. He would be happy sailing in a
P-class around the viaduct basin against Coutts, Cayard and Co for the
One thing remains clear: without Dennis Conner, we simply would not have a
real America's Cup event. -- Murray Deake, Weekend Herald, NZ
* Today, Abracadabra 2000 welcomed one of sailing's premier families, the
DeVos', as major supporters of their America's Cup Challenge. The DeVos'
are one of the original founding families of Amway Corporation, and a
Michigan sailing icon. As Doug DeVos notes, the DeVos family's association
with Abracadabra 2000 is the result of a long-term relationship with
sailing, and with racing competitor, Dr. James R. Andrews. "We've raced
against Jim Andrews and his Abracadabra crew for more than a decade, as far
back as the 50-foot class, and most recently in 1D48s. He's an intensely
focused professional and one tough competitor. The opportunity to join
forces with Jim and his family to compete in America's Cup 2000 is
something we are all looking forward to."
The DeVos' participation in all areas of the campaign will be extensive,
with family members Rich, Doug and Dick taking active roles on the Aloha
Racing Foundation Board of Directors. Rich DeVos joins Richard Scrushy,
(Chairman of the Board and CEO of HealthSouth Corporation), as honorary
co-chairman. Doug DeVos joins Dr. James R. Andrews as co-chairman, and
Dick DeVos joins the campaign as a board member. --DJ Cathcart,
* Dawn Riley was a smiling skipper as her America's Cup boat won its first
race on the Hauraki Gulf yesterday. Don't panic - racing hasn't started
without you. Five boats turned out for a fleet race on the Cup course
yesterday, complete with marker buoys, patrol boats and the starter's gun.
It was the start of a shakedown for the Louis Vuitton Cup race committee
and their volunteers who will control the race course during the challenger
series, which kicks off in 12 days. All the 11 challenger syndicates were
invited to front up at the start-line, and four took up the offer.
America True, Riley's co-ed campaign, brought their new boat, USA51, and
their trial horse, NZL39, for a day's outing. "The race committee cheered
and clapped when we turned up first," Riley said. They were joined by the
French Le Defi, the Spanish Challenge and Young Australia, making their
first real jaunt out on the gulf.
The syndicates who accepted the race invitation are all one-race-boat
campaigns. It is unlikely that any two-boat teams will bother to get into
an inter-syndicate duel before real racing starts. In contrast to what the
challengers had been warned to expect - wild winds in October - the race
start was postponed when there was not enough breeze. But when the gun went
off early in the afternoon, the French boat Sixieme Sens led the small
fleet across the line.
America True headed out to the right side of the diamond-shaped course and
picked up a windshift which put them comfortably ahead for the rest of the
race. "It was a great way to get everyone into race mode mentally," Riley
said. "It was a very gentle introduction in a light breeze." The second
True boat, with Kiwi Leslie Egnot at the wheel, finished third behind the
Spanish Bravo Espanol, and ahead of the French.
The young Australian crew had a day of extremes in their 1995 boat, AUS29.
As experienced crewman Rob Brown explained: "We wobbled our way around the
track. "It was our first sail for a while and the boys were just so happy
to get out there after six weeks in boatbuilding mode." Suzanne McFadden,
NZ Herald, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
* AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, Oct. 5, 1999 - The NYYC/Young America Challenge
took stablemates USA 53 and USA 58, both named Young America, sailing on
the Hauraki Gulf together today for the first time. The culmination of an
intensive four-year research and development program, the two new IACC
racing yachts were sailed side-by-side on the America's Cup course just 13
days from the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races for the
Under brilliant sunny skies and in light to moderate breeze on the Hauraki
Gulf, the team lined the two boats up to begin testing between the new
hulls and rigs. Over the next two weeks, the team will also practice starts
and maneuvers in preparation for Round Robin One of racing.
"Today was incredible," said skipper Ed Baird. "We've waited a long time
for this day. To have both our two boats sailing together is a huge step in
our program. We can race and test the boats against each other and push our
crew to learn more and be race ready. Now we will begin to reap the
benefits of our two-boat campaign," Baird said.
An ecstatic Kimo Worthington declared the day "perfect" as the boats were
hoisted from the water at dusk. "It was a perfect day. Flat water, sunny
skies, nine to 12 knots of wind and the Hauraki Gulf had America's Cup
boats dotting the horizon in all directions. It was the ideal day at the
office," declared the Young America Sailing Team Manager. -- Jane Eagleson,
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com)
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Ali Meller, VP International 505 Class Yacht Racing Association --
I believe that anytime the boat and owner or skipper are named, the entire
crew should be as well... so if you list the top ten boats and skippers or
owners, you should list the top ten crews as well. As we are fond of
noting in the 505 class, the crew beats the skipper across the finish line
in every race! We frequently list the crew first in the results.
-- From Ken Guyer (In response to Joe Ozelis comments in Butt #410
regarding media coverage) -- I would have to say that I have met quite a
few people who took up sailing as a direct result of the '87 Cup and the
events held in San Diego. I had the privilege of skippering Stars & Stripes
'86 for more than three years here in San Diego. Invariably I encountered
people from all over the U.S. who came down to look at the 12 meter. The
most reoccurring comment I heard, "I stayed up till all hours just to watch
the races in Australia. Got so excited about what I saw, I tried sailing
and fell in love with it".
This demonstrates that positive media coverage about sailing does sell the
sport to new enthusiasts. What needs to be done is a better job of media
relations within the sport on the local levels. The media needs to be
educated about the sport. Local yacht clubs need to build a relationship
with local media and push for coverage. Understanding how both electronic
and print media operate will result in better coverage of local events.
Joe is correct, it is our job to promote the sport. One of the most
effective tools of promotion for any endeavor is media. But, it is not easy
and quite often the effort seems to be way beyond what little coverage you
get, but it is an avenue to grow both the recreation and the sport. It
takes time and patience, but it is worth the effort.
-- From Don McDougall -- I still remember my 1st "Cup" party, we drank and
sat up and waited to watch the races back in Austrailia. Mostly cruisers
and club racers. Many were turned on and became more active in racing.
Anything that promotes the sport is good, and there are more folks watching
then we may think.
-- From Bill Carey, San Diego, CA -- For my money, working the bow on the
Mumm 30 is harder than any boat I've sailed on. The bow's duties include:
hoisting a huge masthead kite that fills as soon as it is hoisted past the
hounds; dump the jib; end-for-end the extra-long pole in a jibe; hoist the
jib and stow the pole for the douse; single-handedly douse the enormous
spinnaker through one of the smallest forward hatches in sailing (without
stuffing the jib sheets with it); and get to the rail and hike with enough
breath to start calling waves, puffs, and relative boatspeed. In
one-design racing you have to do all these jobs at the last minute to
protect or obtain overlaps. Also, your the only person on the crew who has
to dive through the boom-vang during the tack, and your working with
significant loads on a pretty unstable platform.
I'm sure other people think that bigger boats have tougher bow positions,
but I think that with bigger boats come bigger crews. The bow is split
into bow, mid-bow, and mast positions making everyone's responsibilities
easier to manage. I just wanted to know what other Scuttlebutt readers
(Note: The Mini Transat is a single-handed 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.)
Neither the Bay of Biscay nor the Mini-Transat needed its dangerous
reputation restated, but that happened last week when big seas and gales
tore the 70-boat fleet to shreds just days after 70 solo sailors set off
from the Breton port of Concarneau.
Amid broken masts, fractured limbs and damaged yachts, 20 have abandoned
the race, 10 are resting ashore and another clutch are simply unaccounted
for because the yachts carry only short-range VHF radios and unreliable
ARGOS position beacons. A passing cargo ship happened upon one dismasted
competitor yesterday, the first the organisers knew of it.
Estimates put the singlehanders still in the race between 19 and 31, though
the numbers back at sea have been boosted by the Pogo class competitors, 18
of whom have restarted as an unofficial race-within-a-race to complete the
Concarneau to Canaries first leg.
Originally created by Bob Salmon, the Mini-Transat has been a singularly
French pursuit for two decades. But Mark Tuner's fifth and Ellen
MacArthur's 17th place in the 1997 event helped make the race more
international. Bennett and Paul Peggs (the Briton rescued last week) are
seeking to emulate MacArthur and French sailors Isabelle Autissier, Yves
Parlier and Laurent Bourgnon, who launched their professional careers with
So why would Cape, who is already at the top of the sport having navigated
Dennis Conner's Whitbread boat twice and raced in the 1995 America's Cup on
oneAustralia, trade down to a yacht small enough to fit into his living
room? "The simplicity attracted me and I was tired of the problems in the
big projects," he said. "Basically I just wanted to do something for
myself." -- Tim Jeffery, Daily Telegraph, UK, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Reports & photography can be found on: http://www.offshorechallenges.com
The annual Aldo Alessio Memorial Race out of St. Francis Yacht Club which
started on October 1st was attended by only three sleds this year, Taxi
Dancer, Mongoose and Grand Illusion. The race has sometimes been under wild
conditions with the finish at the infamous Pt. Conception. Although it was
blowing 25 knots at the point, racers were plagued by light air and 50
degree wind shifts on the way down and all three boats quit and went into
Monterey after 24 hours of unexciting conditions.
The only real excitment in the race was the fact that an intercontinental
unarmed ballistic missle was shot out of Vandenberg on Saturday night and
the boats would be subject to forced course change and/or boarding by the
Coast Guard if they were in the area.
Much like the race, the missle was blown out of the sky by another missle
launched from the Marshall Islands. The boat most affected by this race
result is Taxi Dancer which needed only a second place to take the ULDB 70
Championship Series for the year.
With a DNF by Taxi the trophy will go to Brack Duker's Evolution, unless a
substitute race is put in place by the end of the year. The sleds have two
throw outs in their series. -- Jane Watkins, ULDB 70 Class Director
It's just a phone call away. You can get Harken, Samson, Yale, Douglas
Gill, Forespar, Lewmar, Ronstan, KVH, Spinlock, Marlow and lots more by
phone - at the right price, shipped the same day. And you don't have to
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Sailing Supply will insure you always get the right stuff. Give them a
call, or stop by their San Diego retail store, the Boat Shop: (800)
BLIND SAILING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The World Blind Sailing Championships are scheduled for October 16-22, 1999
at Shake-A-Leg Miami in Coconut Grove. Fourteen countries have registered
for the races. They are Argentina, Canada, England, Finland, France,
Italy, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Spain,
Sweden, and the USA. The schedule of events is as follows: October 16-17
is Practice racing; October 16 is the Italian Blind Sailing Demonstration,
October 17 is the Opening Ceremonies at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club; October
18-22 is Racing; October 20 is International Night; October 22 is the
Awards Banquet. -- Glen Brandenburg, http://www.shakealegmiami.org
TRIVIA QUESTION ANSWER
Shame on you if you didn't know that the powerful San Diego Star Fleet has
claimed the most Star class World Championships.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
You can't have everything; where would you put it?