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SCUTTLEBUTT #415 - October 11, 1999

Long Beach, CA -- Sorry but I could not get Chris Ericksen's story to download, so this will have to do. Final Results (after 10 races) 1 VINCE BRUN (49) 2 GIORGIO ZUCCOLI 65) 3 COLLINS/ WOOTTEN /KING /JEFF MADRIGALI (77) 4 DAVE ULLMAN (84) 5 MICHAEL STONE /SHAWN BENNETT (97) 6 ROGER PEACOCK / DAVID JOHNSON (99) 7 JESSICA LORD /MARK BRINK (101) 8 TOM FREYTAG (102) 9 BRIAN PORTER (103) 10 ARGYLE CAMPBELL (106)

GENOA, ITALY - Vasco Vascotto and his team from the Circulo della Vela Muggia are the 1999 J/24 World Champions. The day only produced enough wind to hold one race which ensured that Vasco and crew could not lose as their worst result was a 5th and this kept them on lower points than the next team of Lorenzo Bressani who came second overall.

It was again an early start for the fleet as the race committee tried to hold as many races as possible, but the wind was not forthcoming. The first attempt for a race was held in a northerly that had to be abandoned after one lap when the wind disappeared and then filled in from the south. When the course was reset there was several abortive attempts at starts with shifting winds & a general recall. The fleet finally went away successfully under the first black flag of the regatta where 10 boats were called out of the fleet at the windward mark.

At the end of a very light wind race Flavio Flavini continued the Italian domination of the top spot with his first win of the regatta to bring him up to sixth overall. Andrea Ribolli was second and Tim Healy was third to give top non-Italian sailor in 3rd overall. -- Mark Jardine,

Overall Results (6 races, 1 discard): 1st ITA 456 Vasco Vascotto 13pts, 2nd ITA 428 Lorenzo Bressani 18pts, 3rd USA 5208 Tim Healy 27pts, 4th ARG 4677 Juan Grimaldi 28pts, 5th ITA 444 Roberto Martinez 32pts

Laser champ John Torgenson recently summed up the feelings of a lot of sailors, "It's the best thing I own for sailing, It's awesome." Awesome indeed -it's Camet's new breathable Neoprene Neo-Thermal top. This breakthrough technology senses how hard you're working to insure that trapped vapors (like sweat) disappear quickly. Just one look at this hot new item will sent it directly to the top of your wish list:

* Skipper, helmsman, navigator, tactician, sailmaker -- California's Dee Smith is a good all-round hand to have on any boat, and now America True has him on its Louis Vuitton Cup challenger for America's Cup 2000. What will he do? Whatever needs to be done. "I'll have input," he said. "Just coming in late with eyes open helps to give a different perspective."

Whatever the significance, it continued Smith's roll in 1999 that included:
- His second consecutive Admiral's Cup championship in England as skipper of Innovision 7 for the Netherlands, following a tactician's role with the U.S.'s Jameson in '97
- A victory in the Tour de France a la Voile with Belgium
- First to finish in the Marina del Rey to Puerto Vallarta race on the maxi sled Magnitude
- Second overall on corrected time in the Fastnet Race on the IMS Maxi Alexia
- First in the IMS Worlds at Sardinia back aboard Innovision 7 "It [has] been my best year ever," Smith said.

Smith adds a hometown touch to the San Francisco Yacht Club entry, among an otherwise all-New Zealand afterguard of Cutler, Kelvin Harrap and Leslie Egnot. His home is north of the Bay area in Petaluma, a town on the edge of California's wine country, also known for chickens and the world arm-wrestling championships. His office is anywhere in the world where big boats are racing.

Despite his impressive resume, Smith has never done an America's Cup campaign -- and when he arrived in Auckland he still wasn't sure he wanted to. He was concerned about neglecting his sailmaking business, but this time the Cup comes during a slow period back home. -- Larry Roberts, Quokka Sports,

* Practice racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup continued yesterday with a full-blown first Round Robin, two course, two flig htday being successfully achieved.The Race Committee had the full 150-strong race management complement, spread over two different sections of the Hauraki Gulf, set up and ready to go for a 1030 warning signal. The two courses, named 'Atlantic' and 'Pacific' after two of the three oceans that the America's Cup has been sailed on, have their start sequences staggered by five minutes so as to allow television to cover both courses' starts without interruption. The first race took under two hours to complete in the six-seven knots breezes from the South West in the morning, and the second start sequence got underway as scheduled at 1230 in winds of 14-15 knots still from the South West.

On the Atlantic course were the French syndicate's Sixieme Sens (FRA-46), the Spanish Bravo Espana (ESP-47), the New York Yacht Club's Young America (USA-53) and the Waikiki Yacht Club's Abracadabra 2000 (USA-54). The French won their two races, the first against the Spanish Challenge and the second against Abracadabra 2000, and Young America won their only race sailed against Abracadabra 2000.

On the Pacific course, the Italian Prada Challenge made their competition debut by sailing twice against the America True syndicate's USA-51 and winning both matches. -- Louis Vuitton Cup website,

* When it comes to America's Cup skippers, John Kolius is not a name that leaps to the forefront like Dennis Conner, Russell Coutts and others. This may be due to his lengthy absence from the Cup spotlight.

Twelve years ago, Kolius was considered the key to U.S. Cup success after the 1983 defence selection series. In his first Cup action, Kolius took the 10-year-old Courageous past its new stablemate Defender and to the brink of selection as defender. The New York Yacht Club selection committee eventually picked Dennis Conner's Liberty, but in Kolius a star seemingly had been born.

The Texan wowed Club observers with his sailing ability as well as his quiet demeanour and All-American looks. His sandy brown hair and moustache framed an innocent, boyish face, and he seemed genuinely thrilled to be at the helm of a 12-Metre among the likes of stars such as Tom Blackaller, Gary Jobson and Conner. While those rivals fired potshots at each other throughout the summer, Kolius kept out of the fray and focused on the task of trying to be selected as defender.
The innocence, however, disappeared four years later. His buoyant attitude in '83 led the New York YC to select him as skipper of its America II challenge for the 1987 series off Perth, Western Australia, the first Cup contest held outside of the U.S.

Kolius doesn't mix words when he looks back on that effort, saying sarcastically, "It was an incredibly happy time." He says he knew trouble lay ahead after winning the first race of the round robin, trouble he wasn't prepared to handle psychologically.

"Everybody looked at each other after that race and went, 'Oh, my God, we're slow,'" Kolius recalls. "Without a doubt, it's the worst feeling I've ever had in yacht racing. After that I was absolutely not interested in the America's Cup. Basically, this is something I said I'd never do again."

Kolius, however, didn't cut his ties entirely. Opting for a background role, he kept his hand in the game as a coach and tune-up helmsman for Paul Cayard's Il Moro di Venezia syndicate in 1992 and then as a coach for the America3 women's team in 1995.

When he was approached by the Waikiki Yacht Club and Aloha Racing to return to the helm, his interest re-ignited. It was sparked by the opportunity to have some control not only over the sailing aspects of the campaign, but the critical design process as well. "We're better equipped to play the game this time," he says. Better equipped not just technically, but psychologically as well. A key difference is that Kolius has more confidence in his ability to handle the pressures of this high-profile event.

"I have a lot more miles under me now, and I have a better handle on what the America's Cup is all about, because it's totally irrelevant to any other racing," he explains. "So if the boat is fast, I think I'm mature enough to take advantage of it. And if the boat is slow, I think I'm mature enough psychologically to be able to deal with it or change it."

Something he wasn't capable of in 1987. -- Larry Edwards, Quokka Sports,

* These races don't mean anything." That's the stock comment that accompanies most accounts of the current practice races leading up to the 18 October start of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger trials. But don't tell that to the Young Australians.

"Now we're thinking that we may get into the top six [for the January semifinals]," Young Australia skipper James Spithill says after some surprising early performances. That would be a monumental achievement for what Spithill likes to describe as the campaign with "the oldest boat, the youngest crew and the lowest budget."
Spithill, an accomplished match racer, is at the helm of Syd Fischer's entry as the youngest America's Cup skipper in the 148-year history of the event. He turned 20 last June. -- by Rich Roberts, Quokka Sports.

Who was the winner of the initial Congressional Cup match race hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965?
A Argyle Campbell
B Gerry Driscoll
C Scott Allen
D Henry Sprague

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

-- From J. Joseph Bainton (In reply to Arthur Engel) -- Your editorial overlooks a significant fact. After the 1984 Olympic Games, the LAOOC had a significant surplus of funds. That surplus was dispersed among that the American governing authorities for each of the sports participating in those Olympic Games, including sailing. Thus USYRU received several millions of dollars, whose income in my view it has squandered creating a bloated bureaucracy, rather than supporting the elite sailors for whom the money was intended.

USSA should spin-off its Olympic Yachting Committee as a separate organization to be governed by persons elected by those of us either currently sailing Olympic Class boats or who once sailed Olympic Class boats and have had a meaningful and longstanding relationship with one or more such classes. The "Olympic money" should be accounted for by USSA and then transferred to the newly constituted OYC.

The reason why this will never happen is because if it did, USSA would be forced to declare bankruptcy immediately, since it could no longer poach on the Olympic funds that regrettably are at its disposal -- and not at the disposal of those who created them -- namely the so-called elite sailors.

Instead of continually criticizing the role of elite sailors in our sport, we should instead cherish the fact that -- unlike any other sport of which I can think -- we ordinary folk get to compete head to head with them on a regular basis and -- every now and then -- beat them in a race fair and square.

-- From Peter Isler (re the Red Hornet) -- On that wild ride - the only way to measure speed was the GPS because the speedo paddlewheel was sucking air. The closest feeling I have ever had to that ride is sailing on a high speed run in a 505 - we were a big - 40' dinghy planing a long.

Stan Honey was the man with the GPS - and he knows how to set it up. As I recall the GPS' Cog & Sog were set at 60 second average - and 25 knots was pretty status quo (and that was in a 3 knot ebb tide!!) - Stan felt we were hitting 35 knots in bursts!! Suffice to say - it was very fast.

-- From Gail M. Turluck (In response to GUEST EDITORIAL) -- Arthur Engel on the subject of fees on volunteers, I have to reinforce his message with personal experience. In all the other volunteer organizations I am involved with (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Parent-Teacher groups, Red Cross, etc.), when a volunteer is willing to step forward and provide leadership and certification (education and training), the volunteer organization picks up the tab recognizing the benefit that will be forthcoming from having its volunteers administering in similar fashion. It's only sailing that puts the fee in the wrong place.

It's time for the US Sailing Board to reconsider how things are financed. I know our judge/PRO/umpire shortage would evaporate if the younger, interested individuals didn't have to achieve the financial (and spare time) stature it currently takes to be able to afford 2-3 days per certification and high fees associated therewith. Of course, just like the other groups, meal fees are appropriate but also brown bags should be allowed. The point is to do whatever we can to get our sport to work more effectively.

I've pondered for years how to go about growing our own certified officials in the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association (I've attempted inquiry as to how to get "in" and get certified, but it's hard to reach the right people) and have visualized that the collegiate ranks are a huge, untapped source of leadership for the future. The challenge comes in because doing something like this is threatening to the "ol' boy network" of currently certified people who like having every weekend filled with "duty assignments," whether they're the best qualified to serve or not.

-- From Rob Overton Chairman, Racing Rules Committee US SAILING -- I want to remind 'Buttheads that US SAILING will hold a rules seminar on Wednesday, October 27, 1999 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. The seminar is open to the public and will be led by Dick Rose, with Art Engel, Rob Overton, and Mary Savage (all members of the US SAILING Racing Rules Committee) contributing to the discussion.

The focus of the seminar will be Part 2, When Boats Meet and the related definitions. We expect that most participants will already have a working knowledge of the right-of-way rules, and the seminar will focus on translating those rules into on-the-water terms.

The seminar will start at 10:00 AM and run to 4:00 PM, with a break for lunch (not provided). The fee is $35.00 for US SAILING members and $45.00 for nonmembers if they register in advance at, or $55.00 and $65.00, respectively, at the door.

The US SAILING Annual General Meeting begins the next day and continues through the weekend, at the Hyatt Regency. Most committee meetings (including all Rules Committee meetings and daily Board meetings) are open to all US SAILING members. For people with a complaint or suggestion about how US SAILING should be run, this is a great opportunity to come and voice your opinions.

The Safety-at-Sea Committee of US SAILING has just completed their start-up on the website. There is a wealth of information, part that is a little like the "Cops" TV show where all sorts of rescues are described, where to find a Safety-at-Sea Seminar (one day of learning how all of that safety equipment on board works may save the rest of your life), how to contact YOUR local representative to make changes to the Safety Rules (more officially, the ORC Special Regulations), what changes are under consideration currently to the safety rules, if you have been involved with a Rescue - how to nominate a crew for an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal and what has and will be discussed at the meetings of the Safety-at-Sea Committee. When it comes to safety, there is no discrimination between racers or cruisers, its applicable to all sailors.

There is more to add to the website as files are provided from a variety of sources. For example, The Sailing Foundation out of Seattle is putting together their file on the 1999 Harness and Tether Study where 8% of Harnesses and 47% of the Tethers tested failed the ORC drop-test, you will be able to see if you should go out and upgrade your Harness or Tether. During the next three months, the Safety-at-Sea Committee site should double in information. Curious? Go to and take a look. -- Glenn T. McCarthy, US SAILING Safety-at-Sea Committee Web Liaison

If you love getting the inside scoop on what's happening in Auckland, but hate cruising all over the web for America's Cup news, stop what your doing and bookmark the Quokka America's Cup website. They've got the best writers -- lots of them -- and are highly motivated to be the only site you ever need for ALL of the America's Cup news. There is also an incredible collection of great images, the complete schedule, rules and so much more. Even the SIs are published there: Check it out now:

The list of invited skippers for the 1999 Ficker Cup, Oct. 23-24, at Long Beach Yacht Club, was announced by Shannon Gallagher, regatta chairman. The field will include:

Scott Dickson Long Beach YC 2nd - '98 Congressional Cup
Tony Stuart Long Beach YC '99 YRUSC Gold Cup Champion
Betty Sherman San Diego YC
Jeff Madrigali St Francis YC
John Drayton Newport Harbor YC
TBA Winner - '99 Prince of Wales

The Ficker Cup was deeded by legendary America's Cup skipper Bill Ficker, as a training ground for up-and-coming match racers who aspire to international level match racing. The winner of the annual Ficker Cup receives a bid for the following year's Congressional Cup, also held at Long Beach Yacht Club.

The regatta is held in a fleet of matched Catalina 37s owned and chartered by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation. The format for this year's races will be a double round-robin tournament. -- Chip Evaul, LBYC Waterfront Director,,

There's lots of dock talk about the derivation of the name of Larry Ellison's new 191-foot powerboat, Izanami. A normally reliable source told us Izanami was the name of the boat when its original Japanese owner commissioned it. Apparently, somewhere in Japanese folklore Izanami was supposed to be the god who created the world or something like that. Although we may be a bit fuzzy on folklore, we are sure that those people who think they've stumbled onto something by reading the name backwards are simply backing up the wrong tree.

All of the talented sailors listed are past winners of the Congressional Cup but it was Gerry Driscoll from the San Diego Y C who won the first running of the event.