SCUTTLEBUTT #413 - October 7, 1999
Beginning next week a total 8 sailors will gain a berth on the team sailing
at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The 49er and men's and women's 470 classes
will sail their selection regatta in St. Petersburg Fla. The Mistral Men's
and Women's board sailing fleets will sail in Indian Harbour Fla. The 49er
fleet will sail 3 races per day with Wednesday 20 October a lay day. The
other fleets will sail 2 races per day also using the 20th as a lay day.
Below find a preview of top teams in each class.
The 470 Men's class favorite is the team of Paul Foerester and Bob Merrick.
They recently medaled at the Sydney Olympic test regatta. Past Olympic 470
sailors Morgan Reeser and Kevin Burnham finished 4th at the class nationals
and won the CORK regatta in Canada showing they still know how to sail a
470 fast. A team that has shown well at past events sailed in St.
Petersburg is Peter Katcha and Jim Elvart. In last years nationals and pre
trials they were the 4th American boat sailing on the same waters as the
The women's 470 class also has a team coming off a strong showing at the
Sydney Harbour regatta. Tracy Hayley and Louise Van Voohris recently
finished 2nd at this crucial test event. Another team of note is Susan
Hofacker and Sharlene Simpson based in Texas. Coutenay Day with past
Olympic and Americas Cup experience has teamed up with Alice Menard. They
were 5th at the recent CORK regatta. Also sailing will be J.J. Isler and
The Men's Mistral sailboard will have to contend with Mike Gebhardt. He is
coming off a Top 10 showing at the Sydney regatta. Mike has also sailed in
past Olympics. California sailor Peter Wells was 10th at this summers North
American championships. Maryland sailor Will James was 11th.
The Women's Mistral fleet sees Lenee Butler coming in off a solid top 10
finish at Sydney. Kimberly Birkenfiled was 12th at the North Americans.
Two American 49er skiff teams have consistently been at the top of the
American rankings. This is the brother team of Johnathan and Charlie
Mckee, 3rd at the Sydney Harbour Olympic test event and the duo of Morgan
Larsen and Kevin Hall winners of the 1999 North America Championship. Other
top teams are Andy Mack and Adam Lowry (3rd at this years Pacific Coast
Championships), Jay Renehan and Chris Lanzinger (4th at the 1999 NA's),
Kris Henderson and Alan Johnson (7th at the NA's) and Spring Lake MI
sailors Chad Hough and David Fox 10th at the NA's and winners of the Royal
Canadian Yacht Clubs Recent event. -- Courtesy of the Torresen Sailing
Torresen Sailing Site: http://www.torresen.com
St. Petersburg Yacht Club: http://www.paw.com/sail/spyc/
US Sailing at http://www.ussailing.org
MELGES 24 WORLDS
Long Beach, California -- It didn't look like it at the beginning, but the
first day of competition at the 1999 International Melges 24 World
Championship Regatta, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, ended up being, in
the words of a race committee member, "a serious Long Beach afternoon."
The conditions must have suited Italian Giorgio Zuccoli just fine. He won
the first race and finished fourth in the second race to end the first day
on top among the 50 teams from four European countries (not four as
previously reported), Canada and the US
The Race Committee moved a mile or more down the Southern California coast
to find a course clear of anchored shipping but found no breeze. But after
a postponement of nearly an hour, the breeze swung to the normal WNW and
settled down. It did not shift again, but built from seven knots at the
start of Race 1 to a solid 18-20 knots by the end of Race 2.
Zuccoli credited good starts and good boatspeed as the keys to his success.
"But," said the Italian sailmaker, long a standout on the European
multihull scene, "it is a long championship." It must have looked long to
Brian Porter of Winnetka, IL: the winner of the Pre-Worlds Regatta
finished a disappointing 35th place in Race 1 but came back strong to win
the second heat of the day. It was a long night, too, for the
International Jury: no fewer than seven protests were filed and three
heard, keeping the five judges led by Stephen Tupper of Canada in the
protest room well into the evening hours. Racing continues through Sunday,
Oct. 10. -- Chris Ericksen, http://www.abyc.org
Standings after two races: 1. GIORGIO ZUCCOLI (ITA) 1, 4 (5) 2 VINCE BRUN
(USA) 6, 2 (8) 3 DAVE ULLMAN (USA) 2 9 (11) 4 TONY WATTSON (USA) 4 7 (11)5
DAVE CLARK (GBR) 12, 3 (15) 6 JESSICA LORD/ MARK BRINK (USA) 5, 12 (17) 7
COLLINS/WOOTTEN/ KING /JEFF MADRIGALI (USA) 11 6 (17) 8 BOB TENNANT (USA) 9
13 (22) 9 BUDDY MELGES (USA) 3, 20 (23) 10 TOM FREYTAG (USA) 8, 15 (23)
BLAZING SKIFFS DOWN UNDER
Over eighty 16-foot skiffs faced the starter for their first two state
title heats. Belmont Skiff Clubs Snarlin' Al Cummings came out and gave the
huge fleet two sailing lessons. With new jibs and spinnakers from Ullman
Sails, he knew he would be fast, but this was with three year old
mainsails! The quality of the construction that Ullman Sails maintain means
that sails will be faster for longer - and Snarlin' Al will be first to
tell you about it.
* Team NZ's second new yacht NZL-60 was launched in the Cup harbour today,
and has just towed out for her first sail. The yacht is noticeably
different from the radical NZL-57. The most obvious point of difference
being in the way the designers have handled the bow - NZL-60 features a
conventionally shaped metre or spoon bow, without the same sharp angle of
attack as NZL-57, which was launched about a month ago.
From the bow area aft there would seem to a lot of similarity between the
two hull shapes. Both are relatively narrow, with quite a high sheer, and
plumb topsides. The stern on NZL-60 looks slightly more pinched than NZL-57
- however it is difficult to make accurate comparisions from the dock.
NZL-60 is currently sailing with a more conventional mast, and not the
"wing" section tested on NZL-57.
Compared to NZL-32, NZL-60 looks like a definite step forward in the same
lineage. The newer boat looks more robust in deference to the higher winds
that may be expected in the Hauraki Gulf, compared to the Pacific Ocean of
The Team NZ approach to this Cup is certainly impressive in the clear steps
that have been taken in the design and testing program.With each new step
you can see the clear foot prints of where they have been and a clear
direction of where they are headed - extending right back into 1995 - and
projecting into February 2000. -- Richard Gladwell, http://www.sailing.org
* Virtual Spectator announced that Raytheon Marine will provide weather
reporting, tracking, and display functions for its revolutionary new
Internet program for live interactive reporting of sporting events on the
World Wide Web.
Virtual Spectator will make its debut on October 18, 1999, at the start of
the Louis Vuitton Cup sailing series in Auckland to select a challenger for
the America's Cup. Although there will be no live television this year, as
many as 100,000 sailing fans around the world will use Virtual Spectator to
follow every tack and gybe in real time on their computer screens.
Raytheon is a significant technology supplier to Virtual Spectator,
implementing its newly-released Raytech software, which provides critical
components like wind instrumentation, weather viewers, real-time weather
feeds, and technical consulting.
Virtual Spectator, in effect, creates a virtual stadium so that sailing
fans anywhere in the world can view the racing in Auckland in full 3D,
graphic animation. The detailed boat and sail images on user screens will
be generated from graphics data on the CD-ROM which will be animated by
race data transmitted from the course by each boat competing in the event.
The service starts this month with the first races of the Louis Vuitton Cup
series and will continue through the Louis Vuitton finals next January.
Live television coverage will not begin until the semi-finals of the Louis
Vuitton Cup in early January. -- Keith Taylor
Web users can now make advance no-obligation reservations for this web
technology breakthrough - to be released before the start of the Louis
Vuitton Cup series - by registering online at http://www.virtualspectator.com
* Practice racing continued on the Hauraki Gulf this Wednesday, with the
first carbon fibre blood being drawn in America's Cup 2000. America True
lost a chunk of its bow and Young Australia a piece of its stern when the
U.S. boat tried to duck the Aussies on a port-starboard crossing in
yesterday's informal fleet race. The boats were sailing upwind with America
True on port tack and Young Australia holding the right of way on starboard
"We crossed ahead, but I guess they didn't think our overhang was that
long," said an Australian crewman, Chris Carroll. "After the race we found
a [square foot] piece of their boat on our transom." Another Aussie
crewman, Nick Boss, said, "We're going to have it framed. They were really
nice about it. They came over to us after the race and apologised, and
offered to help us fix the damage." -- Rich Roberts, Quokka Sports,
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 Madeleine Maddog McJones -- I think Bill Carey is doing the apples
and oranges thing. I think you should not try an compare difficulty in
different size boats especially without indicating off-shore versus buoy
racing. Just call it challenge and enjoy your position on the "sport" boat!
Or perhaps ask a smaller sport boat sailor about comparing difficulty. Add
all of your above and then trapeze wires? It's all relative.
In my experience, a mistake on a big boat buoy race can be more dangerous
and costly to everyone on the course. Try getting out of the way of
broaching 50-foot sled going 17 to 22 near the break wall. Where a mistake
on a smaller boat can be recovered faster aka waterline and steerage, more
mistakes can be tolerated on smaller boats, bow and stern. By the time you
have a spin-wrap out of a big boat the leg is over. A big boat offshore
race is a different animal, may tend to be longer race requiring a
'different' personality and mental skill set, night work, real seas, repair
and with no breaks between races as well as knowing there is not hospital
near by to replace that finger and lets not even go into loads.
-- From Lawrence Harasym ( In response to Bill Carey's letter) -- "Amen to
that. It's about time the bow gets some credit. We're all guts without
any glory. I do have one comment to challenge the bow duties of a Mumm 30:
try dousing the huge A-chute a Melges 30 carries by yourself when the boat
is on its ear going to weather and you're praying that the chute does not
end up under the pole (don't want to rip it - owners don't like that) or,
worse yet, it ends up under the boat (owners REALLY don't like that)..."
-- From Jack Salerno (regarding Matt Brown's comments in Butt #412 about
the speed of sprit boats running upwards of 30 knots) -- I would suggest
that he adjust the dampening on his knot meter.
-- From Bruce Schwab -- What! Giovanni Soldini not nomimated for the "world
sailing awards"? So much for recognition "regardless of the disipline of
the sport"! I am flabbergasted.
-- From Rick Hatch, Vancouver, BC -- No doubt the nominees discussed in
'Butt #412 are very accomplished sailors (particularly Roy Heiner; and, all
three female nominees -a tough choice). Nevertheless, in a sport that (it
would appear) is trying to capture the public's imagination, rekindle its
enthusiasm and promote participation (thereby encouraging more extensive
sponsorship), why not include a real sailing "hero" in the nominations -
Giovanni Soldini. Surely his rescue of Isabelle Autissier in the 1998-99
Around Alone, in the middle of literally nowhere, has to rank as one of the
great acts of seamanship in our sport. Just because he doesn't compete in
an Olympic class is no reason to miss the opportunity to promote the sport
outside of the racing fraternity.
-- From Mark Gaudio -- There is no question that TV exposure must stimulate
some sort of "new" interest in sailing among the masses that are not
already involved with racing or even cruising. To say that it is
detrimental would not be accurate. To say that it is a necessity would
also be inaccurate. The best way to grow the sport is at the
toddler/junior level. If you can hook them young you stand a good chance of
keeping them. Junior sailing must continue to "reel in" new participants
if we expect to grow.
There are Junior programs that take non-members right here in Newport
Beach. I commend these Yacht Clubs for having the foresight to let people
have access to a Yacht Club Program, without requiring full membership
ahead of time. Junior memberships are also available for a small fraction
of the price.
I dearly hope that the feeling of juniors being "burned out" on local
sailing doesn't enter their vocabulary, as it has to some in the past. It
is important for the parents and administrators of these local programs
(private and public) to keep the level of enthusiasm high, and the "fun
The bottom line is, to keep our sport growing (particularly racing) we must
promote from the "bottom up" and continue to SUPPORT junior sailing at all
levels. And people who apparently share this view and are getting your
youngsters involved in some of the aspects of cruising and light hearted
"fun racing" are to be applauded. KEEP IT UP!
GENOA, ITALY (76 boats) - With the northerly wind now established for 3
days the air temperature had dropped considerably. This provided the
opportunity to catch up with the schedule of racing as the land could not
warm and facilitate a sea breeeze. This resulted in a healthy 15-18 knot
breeze throughout the day. -- Mark Jardine
Results after 5 races (1 discard): 1st ITA-456 Vasco Vascotto 8pts, 2nd
ITA-428 Lorenzo Bressani 13pts, 3rd ARG-4677 Juan Grimaldi 23pts, 4th
ITA-444 Roberto Martinez 24pts, 5th USA-5208 Tim Healy 24pts, 6th ITA-440
Gianfranco Noe 29pts.
J/24 International Website: http://www.j24class.org
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Telstra launched the 1999 Telstra
55th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on a positive note:
* Starting on December 26, 1999, the 630 nautical mile race has been dubbed
the "Sail of the Century" - as the final long ocean race in the world for
the 20th century.
* Telstra, in renewing its sponsorship for a further two years, has
undertaken to provide each yacht in the race with a MiniSat tracking device
as part of a significant upgrading of communications with the fleet.
With applications to enter the 1999 Sydney to Hobart being received at a
steady rate, Commodore Hugo van Kretschmar today predicted that up to 100
yachts will line up on Sydney Harbour for another spectacular start on
Boxing Day, December 26. "Indications are that most yachts that finished
the race last year are fronting up again, while those who were forced to
retire have 'unfinished business' in Bass Strait," the Commodore said.
Ironically, the worldwide publicity given the stormswept 1998 race has
created even greater potential for international competitors, with the CYCA
receiving positive inquiries from yacht owners in the USA, Russia.
Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and Holland. One of the
strongest indicators to the fleet size is the number of sailors actively
participating in special safety training exercises and seminars being held
by the CYCA and other yacht clubs in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania
and South Australia.
Another pointer to a strong entry for the 1999 Race is the interest being
shown by yacht owners in competing in the mandatory qualifying races which
include the Cabbage Tree Island Race (NSW), Maria Island Race (Tasmania),
Haystack Island Race (South Australia) and the Melbourne to Stanley Race
Applications to enter the 1999 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race close
with the CYCA on November 1, with accepted yachts having until November 26
to submit their formal entries. -- Peter Campbell
TIP O' THE WEEK
What Are You Looking At? Upwind and down, your eyes are the most immediate
source of critical data. Exercising a rhythm when gathering data will keep
all the pertinent information flowing as needed. As you sail upwind check
these areas one by one in succession, when you get done start all over
again. The actual order is up to you, but discipline yourself to check in
on all the areas. Your eyes should be constantly on the move.
UPWIND 1) Luff of jib, check the telltales and keep them flowing. If
you're fast maybe burn a little by pinching just a touch, if your feeling
sluggish (the boat that is) then foot just a bit.
2) The Horizon; cross checking the angle of heel with the feel of the boat
will keep you going fast. Every boat's taste for heel is different, learn
what is fast for yours and maintain it with body weight, steering and sail
3) Water; look out for puffs, lulls, flat water and choppy water. Keeping
tabs on this information will allow you to make good tactical decisions and
will assist you in making slight adjustments to course as you work your way
through the waves.
4) Look Up; the leech of the main, make sure it is trimmed to perfection,
this is the throttle, work it.
5) Look In; the boom and traveller setting. This should just be a quick
check to make certain all is well.
6) Scan; quick check for other boats, right of way boats are one thing,
clear air is another.
7) Leech of Jib; if your boat is set-up so you can see it easily from
where you are steering, check it out. A telltale 75% of the way up with a
window in the main is very handy for checking if the jib has flow.
DOWNWIND 1) Luff of Spinnaker; same as the jib, keep it flowing
2) Horizon; check that angle of heel
3) Water; keep looking for puffs, lulls and waves; this time, however, a
quick look over your shoulder will help in assessing the best possibility
for the next puff.
4) Look Up; check the mainsail, sheet tension and vang tension to make
certain you are keeping that top batten parallel to the boom, adjust that
vang to do so.
5)Scan; look for other boats and make certain your air is clear. -- The
(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
Why is it that fields in the next paddock are always greener? Americans
supporting New Zealand, New Zealand companies sponsoring American
syndicates, Australians supporting Japanese and vice versa and so on and so
on. The mismatch of sponsors is par for the course. The Swiss desperately
in need of sponsorship earlier, must have been dismayed to find
Switzerland's prestigious watch brand, Omega, supporting Team New Zealand.
It is all somewhat hard to understand. But nevertheless, Omega has
announced it has signed agreements to become the official timekeeper for
the Cup defender, Team New Zealand, as well as the Cup regatta. "Omega is
proud to support Sir Peter Blake, the America's Cup and Team New Zealand in
this yachting event, where timing and precision are required," said Omega's
Australasian managing director, Graham Davies.
Millions of people turn to Dr. Laura each day for advice. She's good, but
she really doesn't know much about smart battery chargers, selecting an
auto-pilot, hydraulic steering, antifouling bottom paint, EPIRBs, or how to
select a radar. And I don't think you should look to her for tips on
propeller selection or headsail controls. However, there is information on
all of these subjects and much much more in the West Advisor section of the
West Marine website. It's an incredible resource that can save you a lot of
misery and money: http://www.westmarine.com/
WOMEN'S MELGES 24 NAs
The Women's Yacht Racing Fleet of San Diego is hosting the 7th annual
Women's Melges 24 Southwest Classic which will also be the 1999 Women's
Melges 24 North American Championships. This year's event is on October
30th and 31st, and will be held just outside San Diego bay. Seven races
are planned. -- Erika Lawson
The Notice of Race and Entry Form: http://www.ccs.ucsd.edu/~erika/wyrf/melges.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
(Seen on the back of a passing motorcyclist) -- If You Can Read This, My
Wife Fell Off.