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SCUTTLEBUTT #422 - October 20, 1999

470 Men (9 boats -- after four races): 1 Paul Foerster /Bob Merrick (6.00) 2 Morgan Reeser /Kevin Burnham (10.00) 3 Steven Hunt /Michael Miller (13.00)

470 Women (7 boats - after four races): 1 JJ Isler /Pease Glaser (8.00) 2 Courtenay Dey/ Alice Manard (9.00) 3 Tracy Hayley /Louise Van Voorhis (13.00)

49er (12 boats - 5 races) 1 Morgan Larson /Kevin Hall (7.00) 2 Jonathan McKee /Charlie McKee (9.00) 3 Andy Mack /Adam Lowry (10.00) 4 Jay Renehan /Chris Lanzinger (10.00)


Nothing new posted for the Mistrals:

Portsmouth (R.I.) October 18, 1999 - One-design champions from all corners of the country traveled to Strom Thurmond Lake near Augusta, Georgia, to vie for best-of-the-best honors at the US SAILING 1999 Championship of Champions Regatta for the Jack Brown Trophy. Sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and hosted October 15-17 by the Augusta Sailing Club, this invitational regatta drew a fleet of 20 two-person crews racing in JY 15s.

John Mollicone (East Greenwich, R.I.) and crew Danny Rabin (Cockeysville, Md.) topped the fleet after three days of racing. Mollicone, who is the JY15 national champion, sailed against other one-design champions who were invited to make a bid for the Jack Brown Trophy.

Each year, current national champions from a variety of one-design classes are invited to compete for this title. If strong past records translate to winning predictions, then West Coast skipper George Szabo (San Diego) looked like the favorite as this series opened: Szabo won the Jack Brown Trophy in 1996 and 1997 and finished fourth in 1998. And after the first day of racing, Szabo-with his wife Stacey as crew-took an early lead in the series. But on Day 2 of the regatta, Mollicone and Rabin became a roadblock to Szabo's return to the top of this championship fleet. With a 1-1-1-5 on the second day of racing, Mollicone captured the lead as the fleet entered the last day of racing. Sunday's final races coincided with Hurricane Irene's move toward the East Coast, and northeast winds hit the mid-20-knot range, with three- to four-foot waves. In the heavy-air conditions, Mollicone won the final two races to hold his lead and sail to shore as the new holder of the Jack Brown Trophy.

Szabo finished second, four points behind Mollicone. After a back injury, Stacey Szabo had to sit out the second half of the series; Sue Putman (Appling, Ga.) filled in as Szabo's crew. Third place was captured by Scott Elliott of Charlotte (N.C.) and crew Shawn Burke of Atlanta (Ga.).

The regatta saw a wide range of wind conditions. Practice racing on the eve of the regatta turned into drifters, and crews were towed to shore in the no-wind conditions. But the breeze filled in at 12 to 15 knots on Day 1, and built to the mid-20-knot range for the final day of racing. -- Karen O'Neil

FINAL RESULTS (10 races/1 discard) 1. John Mollicone/Danny Rabin (East Greenwich, R.I./Cockeysville, Md.) 1-4-4-2-1-1-1-5*-1-1 16 points 2. George Szabo/Stacey Szabo/Sue Putnam (San Diego, Calif./Appling, Ga.) 2-1-2-3-7*-2-2-3-2-3 20 points 3. Scott Elliott/Shawn Burke (Charlotte, N.C./Atlanta, Ga. ) 15*-5-1-8-2-4-9-4-4-2 39 points 4. Dick Tillman/Linda Tillman (Syracuse, Ind.) 9*-6-4.38-1-3-3-7-2-8-5 39.375 points 5. John Drayton/Jennifer Drayton (Newport Beach, Calif.) 7-3-3-4-4-6-8-1-9*-8 44 points 6. Bryce Dryden/Mandy Hofmeister (Acworth, Ga.) 4-2-5-5-5-9-11-14*-3-11 55 points 7. Chet Turner/Lela Summers (Neoga, Ill.) 6-8-15*-6-9-10-10-9-5-9 72 points 8. Edward Cox/Linda Cox (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 3-7-7-12-12-14*-3-7-12-14 77 points 9. David Blanchard/Eric Oppen (Excelsior, Minn./Minnetonka Beach, Minn. ) 8-12-10-13-8-13-16*-8-6-4 82 points 10. George Fisher/Greg Shea (Hilliard, Ohio/Dublin, Ohio) 10-11-9-19*-10-8-5-12-11-6 82 points

US Sailing website:

It's hard to know what German Frers was thinking about when he designed the deck of the Swan 46 back in the early 80s. The huge perforated toe rail on that boat is a bonafide 'butt bruiser.' These days, Swan crews have learned how to cope with the pain by sailing wearing Camet sailing shorts with the optional foam butt pads. They work - not only on a Swan 46, but also on a J/35, a Lido 14, a C&C 38, a Farr 40 You get the idea:

Fresh winds this afternoon closed Day 3 and the halfway point of Round 1 of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Whitecaps speckled the inner Hauraki Gulf as the winds climbed up to 15 knots, the strongest winds yet for competition. The Big 3 -- AmericaOne, Prada and Young America -- continued their winning ways today. Prada ran its record to 6-0 with victories over Spain and America True. The Italian team stands one victory clear of both AmericaOne and Young America. The two Yankee teams are undefeated at 5-0 after each had a bye today. Prada's bye comes in Race 9.

Team Dennis Conner returned to the victor's circle with two wins, over Nippon and FAST 2000. Young Australia had its first victory of the day, beating the winless FAST 2000, and Nippon recorded its first victory since Race 1 with a win this afternoon over the young Aussies. -- Quokka Website,

Standings: Prada - 6 points, America One - 5, Young America - 5, Team Dennis Conner - 3, Abracadabra - 3, America True - 3, Spain - 2, Nippon - 2, Young Australia - 1, Le Defi BTT - 1, Fast 2000 - 0.

* The Swiss boat, although always behind, was not outclassed today as it had been in the past. Observation of the boat during manoeuvres showed two helmsman, one steering the bow rudder with the inner wheel to leeward, and one to windward with the outer wheel.

"Rounding the last top mark the Sparcraft clip on the topping lift came opened and the pole crashed down and hit Toshiki Shibata, our bowman on the head. He was knocked unconscious straight away. It appears he has a broken noose, lost several teeth, possibly a broken jaw and we hope not a spinal injury. It is a very painful accident to happen. As soon as we are finished here I will go straight to the hospital and see what his condition is." -- Peter Gilmour, Nippon Challenge

America True has been faster than its opponents on seven downwind legs out of eight. -- Louis Vuitton Cup website,

* Young America President John Marshall filled in for Jim Brady in the afterguard today. Brady spent the day at the hospital with his wife Julia awaiting the birth of their first child. Marshall, an Olympic medallist who is in his ninth America's Cup, today sailed his first America's Cup trials race since Fremantle in 1987. "There's no question it was incredible fun for me to be back in a sailboat race," Marshall said. "The adrenaline was definitely pumping!" -- Jane Eagleson,

* "Two months from now we'll look back at the losses we took yesterday and realize they were really a blessing in disguise," said Stars & Stripes helmsman, Ken Read. "As a direct result of those losses, we made a dozen small changes to the boat for today's races. It was like sailing a totally new boat."

"We're still on the steep part of the learning curve," Read expanded. " We started late, so we have two and a half years worth of catching up to do in a very short time frame. While it was nice to be able to win a couple of races today, it was even more satisfying to see the progress this program in making." -- Stars & Stripes website,

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

-- From Skip Ely -- In Peter Huston's letter in Butt #421 he is making a point about the hunting rule being a problem. I agree, however I take offense at his assertion that it is a problem because of the dreaded owner-driver. Peter uses the term 3 times in his brief expose.

It is not just Peter, the attitude that a yacht owner is a necessary evil is somewhat pervasive among those who consider themselves the elite of the sport. Owner / drivers are not the problem, actually there are many owners who are excellent drivers / sailors, if not most of them. The problem is the rule, and in some cases the supposed rock star tactician who gets his/er driver (owner or not) into a situation s/he can't handle.

Owners and Owner/drivers are helping the sport at this time, most of the yachts participating in even the major regattas are racing under an owner/driver rule or with an owner drivng. Remember owners are what make it possible for there be professional sailors. Sorry I changed the subject, the hunting rule should be reserved for exclusive events that for publicity reasons need to have professionals crashing into each other, or coming close.

Ultimate Sailing, the last boat afloat wins.

-- From Jerry Kaye -- Hunting should be eliminated or modified for fleet racing. Hunting doesn't promote racing. There's always one guy you don't trust NOT to hit you if you're on Port. Collisions and near-misses can make the beginning racer and others find other interests.

The issue is "Hunting-up" violates Rule 16. A Port tacker who is crossing cleanly can, all of a sudden by the course change of the Starboard tacker to high point, NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP CLEAR...with no where to go/no can't tack or cross! Prove to the P/C you were clear! You can't.

An idea for ISAF to consider in addressing this issue (besides eliminating Hunting completely):

Except before the start on opposite tacks on a beat: 1. The Starboard tacker must hold his COMPASS course at/within 3 boatlengths of a Port tacker (if you've hunted down, at THREE BL you have to stay down or turn up to close hauled BEFORE 3 Boatlengths. Any course change thereafter except to stay clear is not permitted.

2. Contact is a DSQ (no penalty turns) for the Starboard tacker (unless the Port tacker is tacking-that's covered by Rule 13). Any bearing off to avoid contact (within ONE boat length) by the Starboard tacker is a DSQ for the Port tacker (no penalty turns).

This makes the statement originally conceived in the 97-00 rules that a Port tacker must cross with plenty of room or risk a DSQ. It would also greatly reduce the chances for collision in fleet races.

-- From Carol Newman Cronin (RE: Eric Doyle's racing year) -- Don't forget the crews! As soon as Tom Olsen signed on to Eric's Star program, their level improved dramatically. Tom has won most major Star Championships with a variety of skippers, including the '87 Star Worlds with Ed Adams, and I'm sure his experience can and should be given at least 50% credit for their 99 victory.

-- From Chris Ericksen -- I couldn't agree more that San Diego Star sailor Eric Doyle would be a good candidate for Rolex Yachtsman of the Year: he is not only an accomplished sailor, as his win at the 129-boat Star Worlds attests, but he is also a helluva nice guy. Some years ago Eric was coaching in the San Diego Star Fleet's "Brown Star" Clinic, and took a lot of time to help a couple of near geezers in an old boat to get up to speed; the next day these geezers won a race ahead of '99 Melges 24 World Co-Champion Benny Mitchell and Olympic Gold Medallist Mark Reynolds. He'd get my vote!

-- From Stephanie Keefe -- Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin aare also potential candidates for the Rolex awards. Their 1999 race record: 505 California State Champs 1st; 505 North Americans 1st; 505 World championships 1st (largest 505 worlds ever. 157 boats); 505 Pacific Coast Championship 1st

Howard and Mike took first at the 1999 5o5 World Championships in Quiberon, France, with scores of 2,2,2,1, (DNS) in a fleet of 157, the largest 5o5 Worlds fleet in history. The team also took top honors at the at the 1999 5o5 North Americans in Corpus Christi, Texas, with scores of 1,1,2,1,1,1 and won the 1999 5o5 Pacific Coast Championship in Santa Cruz, California. In addition to their 5o5 sailing, Howard and Mike won a heat at the 18-Foot Skiff World Championships (J.J. Gilitnan Trophy), only the second time in the 60-year history of the regatta that an American Team has won a race.

In addition to their sailing accomplishments, Howard and Mike were the catalysts behind the design of their winning boat and foils. Twenty years ago, Howard designed and built the 5o5 mold that produced the boat the team sailed to victory in Quiberon. Mike refined the design of 5o5 foils, creating new high-aspect ratio blades that the team used in Quiberon. Mike's blades were also used on the second and 12th place boats. Long-standing members of US Sailing, Howard is also a past international 5o5 class president and Mike is the immediate past president of the national 5o5 class.

If you'd like to see some great photos of the America's Cup action down in Auckland, just plug into Quokka's America's Cup website. Not only that, there are audio interviews and all of the latest news written by the most experienced and professional reporting staff ever assembled. It's all in one place -- a URL you should definitely bookmark:

Claudia Wainer, representing Balboa Yacht Club, showed her heels to a talented field in the 1999 Women's One-Design Challenge, sailed October 16-17 at Long Beach Yacht Club. Her final margin of victory over defending champion Val Navarro was 13 points.

The regatta was sailed in the Long Beach Sailing Foundation's fleet of Catalina 37s on Long Beach Harbor. Conditions were nearly perfect for an event sailed this late in the season, and the forecasted Santa Ana winds never materialized. Instead, competitors were treated to 6-12 knots southwesterly breezes both days, which allowed the race committee to get off a full complement of seven races, on windward-leeward courses.

Wainer's victory was really never in much doubt after the first day. She led Navarro by two points on Saturday, and extended the margin in Sunday's first race, with a 2nd to Navarro's 7th. After that, the new champion took no chances and cruised to the easy win.

Wainer is an accomplished Schock 35 helmsman, and had spent time this year practicing in Catalina 37s for the Women's OD. Her team's experience showed - except for one spinnaker wrap approaching a leeward mark, they never set a foot wrong the entire regatta. -- Chip Evaul,

FINAL RESULTS: 1. Claudia Wainer, BYC, 15.0; 2. Valerie Navarro, LSFLB, 28.0; 3. Susan Beckett, CYC, 32.0; 4. Karina Vogen, RYC, 34.0; 5. Carla Thorson, WSA-SMB, 39.0; 6. Linda Elias, LBYC, 44.0.

Today, someone asked the curmudgeon if my notebook PC was running. I told them it was more like walking than running. I spent two hours (and $120) with a tech this afternoon, and now I'm getting messages to "back up everything and replace my hard drive." Right! All of my disks, CDs and programs are in California. However, I just found out Craig Alan Levin is in Auckland. Maybe there is still hope . . .

I started out with nothing, I still have most of it.