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SCUTTLEBUTT #433 - November 4, 1999

The three-day US SAILING Offshore Championship for the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy was won by Washington skipper John Leitzinger (Tacoma) and his eight-member crew. This event was hosted October 29-31 by the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.) and sponsored by Rolex Watch USA. A fleet of ten crews competed in Navy 44s.

Unseasonal, light winds that never reached a double-digit speed visited the Chesapeake region during this fall regatta. The five-race series consisted of four round-the-buoys races and a 19-mile distance race.

With a 1-4 record on the opening day of racing, Defending Champion Mark Noble from Santa Barbara (Calif.) took an early lead in the series. But the 19-mile distance race shuffled those standings. Leitzinger won the distance race and moved into the lead by two points as the fleet entered the final day of racing.

Point scores were tight as the fleet entered the last day of racing, with only 4 points separating the first- to fifth-place boats. A 2-2 record in the final two races gave Leitzinger the edge he needed to capture this championship.

Leitzinger sailed with a crew of eight, including: Paul Carter, Vickey MacFeidh, Scot Prichard, Lance McDonough, Bob Combie, John Hoag, and Chuck Skewes. Each team is required to include a U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen from the varsity racing team; George Roland rounded out Leitzinger's crew.

Second place was captured by North Carolina skipper Jim Bost. Defending champion Mark Noble captured third place.

The trophy that stands today as the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy dates back to the early 1900s. Lloyd Phoenix was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1861. He became Rear Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, and in 1909, he won this trophy in the club's cruise in his 171-foot schooner, Intrepid. The trophy was resurrected in 1960. The Naval Academy Sailing Squadron (NASS) named the trophy after Phoenix and started a series designed to improve relations with the civilian yachting community.

The original Lloyd Phoenix trophy series was an invitational regatta, organized by NASS, that pitted the best crews from the Chesapeake Bay region against a selected team of midshipmen. When USYRU sanctioned a National Offshore Championship in 1985, this trophy was offered as the prize for this inaugural event.

Today, the US SAILING Offshore Championship for the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy is a fleet racing competition held in offshore keelboats. This event is open to ten teams representing the ten US SAILING areas, with an opening for a crew from the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Squadron (NASS). This year, eight area crews and two NASS teams competed.

Rolex Watch U.S.A. has partnered with US SAILING for close to 20 years and serves as the principle sponsor for US SAILING's 11 adult championships. In addition to direct regatta subsidies and enhancements, the sponsorship supports a national poster program and grants for clinics at several of the adult championships. -- Karen O'Neil

FINAL RESULTS 1. John Leitzinger (Tacoma, Wash.), Area H 2-5-1-2-2 12 points Crew: Paul Carter, Vickey MacFeidh, Scot Prichard, Lance McDonough, Bob Combie, John Hoag, Chuck Skewes; 2. Jim Bost (Rockwell, N.C.), Area D 4-2-4-1-3 14 points Crew: Hubert Berchem, Mikee Chesser, Teresa Decker, Richard Jones, John Ketner, Charles Linebery, Tim Stokes; 3. Mark Noble (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Area J 1-4-5-3-6 19 points Crew: Louis Daniels, Brett Dingerson, Chuck Stevens, Rich Egerman, Tony Stuart, Wally Gordon, Scott Dickson; 4. Todd Jones (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), Area E 3-6-2-4-8 23 points Crew: Paul Ragheb, Matt Purcell, CJ Ruffing, Chris Balliet, Ted Cothran , Richard Hunt, Walter Bernard; 5. Bruce P. Kuryla (Milford, Conn.), Area B 5-1-6-6-9 27 points Crew: Kevin Coady, Larry Welch, Frank Bayers, Bruce S. Kuryla, Kevin Tisdall, Brendan Dobroth, Joe Nesteriak.

USSA website:

The riggers at Sailing Supply are constantly asked to perform inspections of rigging. Inspections are really paramount in keeping your rigging in good order -- to prevent the loss of a mast. But you can do a lot of this yourself, and there are some great hints on the Sailing Supply website: You'll have no problems if you follow their simple instructions. But if you uncover some trouble, just give Sailing Supply a call. They're all sailors there, and they'll be able to fix you up in a hurry: (800) 532-3831

* The America's Cup challengers racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup have formally ratified an agreement that competitors cannot request delays for breakdowns after the five minute, or preparatory, signal for the start of a race. The change applies to the next two rounds and the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup. Under the new rules, challengers can still request delays of up to 45 minutes if they experience equipment breakdowns prior to their preparatory signal.

All 11 challenging teams agreed in principle to the alteration last week during a post-Round Robin One meeting with the Race Committee. On 3 November, after the challengers had formally voted on the revised rule, Regatta Operations Director Vince Cooke advised of the change as Amendment #1 to the Notice of Race.

At the post-round meeting last week, San Francisco's America True syndicate had proposed that the breakdown rule be scrapped altogether. While the challengers could not agree on such a radical step, they settled for banning delays after the five-minute gun.

Condition 14.4 (b) of the Notice of Race has been amended to read:

"When advised by a yacht before it's preparatory signal that it has been disabled, subject to the following:"

The rules still state that during the Final Series of the Louis Vuitton Cup, there will be no postponements for breakdowns "if a yacht is disabled through fault of her own." -- Louis Vuitton Cup website,

* "Dogs off chains" is the way they say it down here, when the wind is blowing so hard you have to lean forward into it to walk across the compound. Oh, and the rain is pelting the offices so loudly and relentlessly that it was hard to hear each other talk during the sailing team meeting. Meanwhile USA 49 sits on its cradle with lines from the mast to keep it safe in the 40+ knot gusts. Curtis Blewett was up the rig today and reported that the boat swayed a bit in the big puffs, which is quite something for a boat sitting in its cradle. The outlook for tomorrow is nasty: 20-30 knots, and for our first race of Round Robin 2 the weather forecasters are predicting 20-25 knots. -- Kevin Hall, AmericaOne,

* A couple of boats were bashed and tempers flared, but overall the first round of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger trials was relatively serene in terms of protests. It was a grateful reprieve from the late-night protest hearings of the days preceding on-water umpiring. The 11 competitors waved their red and yellow striped "Y" protest flags 35 times in 55 races, and the on-the-water umpires validated three of those protests.

With the returns in, the winner is Abracadabra 2000. Eleven "Y" flags were thrown in races involving the Hawaiians, although not all by them. Figures released by the umpires are not broken down into individual boats, just races. Next were Paul Cayard's AmericaOne and France's 6eme Sens with nine each, followed closely by Italy's unbeaten Luna Rossa with eight.

The only three yachts penalised were Asura and Stars & Stripes for pre-start collisions with Bravo Espana and AmericaOne respectively, and Young America for intruding on Asura's right of way. Asura was also penalised in its match against Stars & Stripes for a leeward mark incident. -- Rich Roberts, Quokka Sports,

* After the Swiss came out last Saturday, the French syndicate today opened its doors to the press to frankly discuss the changes made to its boat. A large part of the Yaka Design Team was present.

The Yaka Team, responsible for the design of Le Defi, consists of eight designers. Present at the meeting were Daniel Andrieu, Juan Kouyoumdjian Michel Marie and Jerome Verdrennne. The design team is a combination of experience and young talent. Kouyoumdjian took over, emphasising that some changes were anticipated. Le Defi Bouygues Telecom-Transiciel had come to Auckland to race and to perform well, he said. During brief trials in Lorient, the focus was on the operational part of the boat, not on the design features. Only after arriving in Auckland and sailing against other IACC boats, the Yaka Team realised that the boat had to be altered to be more competitive. Already anticipated alterations had to be expedited.

With the aid of a computerised slide show, the press was taken through the whole process of change. The French pulled off quite an amazing job, considering the available time and the changes made. The whole crew got involved in pulling this stunt off. "It created an even greater bond within the whole team," said Isabel Genis, responsible for Media Relations.

Michel Marie praised the New Zealand companies involved - Marten Marine and Expert Casting were invaluable. Altogether six New Zealand companies worked on the extensive changes. They were joined by three representatives of Multiplast, the boat's builders.

The changes are: less wetted surface of the fin, a more rounded bulb, and added length to the transom. The boat has been remeasured and is legal. The measured waterline length did not change. As Verdrenne noted: "It should at least improve our performance to sixth place, in order to make it into the semi-finals." - Simon Keijzer, Louis Vuitton Cup website,

* America True have two Etchells, one borrowed and another belonging to Kiwi team member Kelvin Harrap. Team members regularly cross the Waitemata Harbour to the Pine Harbour Yacht Club to engage in practice racing. Harrap, who hopes to race in the next New Zealand Etchells championships, often spars with his compatriot and America True helmsman John Cutler. The crew positions on the small boats are rotated, allowing as many team members as possible to improve their knowledge of match racing techniques and tactics.

Team Dennis Conner also travels to Pine Harbour to race Etchells borrowed from Pine Harbour Yacht Club members. "It's become a home away from home for some of our guys and they go over there whenever they get the chance," spokesman Tom Leweck said. "It's usually Ken Read against Peter Holmberg and Peter Isler, so it's racing of a high quality. The two Peters have achieved some significant recognition in the world match race area so it gives young Ken Read a good workout."

During the three-day break granted to AmericaOne to repair their damaged boat in Round Robin One of the challenger series, a group of AmericaOne sailors under skipper Paul Cayard staked out their course outside the confines of the Basin and match-raced. Gavin Brady, Curtis Blewett and Moose McClintock were aboard one boat and Paul Cayard, Terry Hutchinson and Russ Silvestri were in charge of the other.

"The umpires and the judgement calls in the America's Cup have a lot to do with the races," Silvestri said. "The unpredictability is scary. We have to avoid contact at all costs. Rule 16 (Changing Course) puts a lot of pressure on the right of way boat. "Our day of match racing entailed five hours, 12 races, two tiller extensions, a ripped main, a few collisions, a couple of temper flare-ups, a little antagonism plus a few smiles. We encounter five times as many situations in the Etchells as compared to those with the AC boats. Steve McMorran, Quokka Sports,

Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks. But only one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if someone disagrees.

-- From Scott Gordon (Re: Gary Bodie and his idea to make protests a guaranteed "win or lose " proposition) -- This seems similar to how America's National Football League rulebook has evolved with instant replay this year. Coaches may now protest an umpire's call on the field and ask for instant replay "review" of the play. If the call is found to be correct, that coach loses a timeout, a medium strength penalty. (There are a few other wrinkles to the new rule.)

So far, in the first year of the new rule, the arrangement has chilled "protests", but only somewhat. For big plays, in pivotal situations, the head coaches of most teams do not hesitate to call for review of the videotape, even though their success rate has been mixed, at best.

The most surprising result of the change this year is that the arrangement has almost eliminated the controversy which previously surrounded the use of instant replay. Introducing the element of risk seems to create a situation which manages itself.

A variation of this arrangement could certainly work for yacht racing, as Gary suggests.

-- From Bruce B. Nairn (In response to Tom Ehman and John Roberson) -- Somewhere in the middle the two should meet. Perhaps the AC should run in opposite years of the Volvo. In that way the two would garner the full attention of our sport and not compete with each other for dollars, media, sailors, etc. Further it is not much of a reach to see that teams organized for one event could easily carry over to the next, giving continuity to the teams, an obvious "apple" for sponsors too.

Tom is right in assessing the need for a management change for the AC. I'm not so sure about the overall mechanics of the teams, franchises, event bidding etc. that Tom proposes, however controlling the AC expense would seem a good idea. Perhaps it could start by allowing only a one boat program. A one boat program, run every other year, with solidified management for the entire event might make sense.

Also, about Gary Bodie's umpires: How about taking all of the flags away from the competitors. Let the Ump's ump, have all of the flags and make all of the calls. There likely wouldn't be many, and we would get on w/ the sailing...

Curmudgeon's comment: It was suggested yesterday that Ehman should be the 'Czar' of the "new America's Cup game," if his suggested changes happened. "No way," Ehman told the curmudgeon. "I'm the wrong man for the job, and besides, I have no intention of leaving Formula One."

-- From Tom Priest -- Regarding breakage of the boats in round one....Anytime you push the edge, you're gonna bust some stuff....IF YOU DON'T, you are probably over-built! That's what the first round is for...relatively cheap benchmarking (you vs. your competitor and you vs. mother nature) It's not cheap in terms of money...but quite affordable in terms of points won or lost. I'd much rather have a fast, fragile boat with a few Band-Aids than a Sherman tank that won't even qualify for the finals...

-- From Dan Toye, Waikiki YC -- If it wasn't for the in-kind support, Aloha Racing/Abracadabra surely wouldn't be there today. This would make the controlling or monitoring of campaign spending extremely difficult, if possible at all. Altho "the arms race" has made raising the sums necessary for an effective campaign almost ridiculous, in that the game has become far more an indicator of a syndicate's marketing and sales capability rather than boat building and sailing skills. you might have a top-notch crew, but without the bleeding-edge, dizzyingly expensive design and contruction components in place - you don't stand a chance. Why there ought to be some re-thinking of the finances of the Cup... it's not exactly 'sporting' when one BUYS their way to the finish line.

-- From Lt. Cmdr. Ed Sherman, USPS -- Sailing people all over the world would love the atmosphere of the America's Cup in the host city. Auckland is probably like Newport in that the entire village is focused on one thing and that is; What's happin' "Out there" (on the sea). If you are there, you get to eat, sleep, drink, watch and talk sailing the entire time for no one wants to hear anything else. During the races in Newport, while Conner was pushing Liberty to the limit, the entire town was filled with loudspeakers broadcasting every tack, every move on the course. What an experience for a sailor to be in a town, walking down the street--shopping, and hear, "Conner just tacked and Bertrand is trying to cover!"

-- From Craig Alan Levin (Re: Bill Riker's Question on best place to watch the racing) -- I was on the Atlantic Course Race Control boat, trying to figure out through binoculars what was happening to Prada's spinnaker in the match against Young America, over on the Pacific Course. Then the Assistant PRO's son told us via cellphone, he was watching it on Virtual Spectator in Philadelphia. I have been told that some spectator boats have Virtual Spectator running while on the race course. Get on one of them!

-- From Andy Green (To Gary Bodie) -- you want the most exciting match racing you have ever seen check out ESPN2on 14th November @12.30 PM ET 'cos I was there. It isn't pretty but I think you'll enjoy it. - I did, in the end.

New Zealand's gold medal winners at the Sydney Olympics will receive a new car under a sponsorship agreement announced yesterday between Holden NZ and the New Zealand Olympic Committee. A Holden Astra City 1.8 litre hatchback valued at $27,000 (NZ) will be provided to every gold medal winner. -- NZ Herald

West Coast yachties should clear their calendars for November 6 and go to San Diego's Sunroad Marina in to learn out about the growing 1D35 fleet . . . and take a test sail. Meet builder Barry Carroll and designer Greg Stewart from Nelson/Marek, and see for yourself why there already are 40 of these hot new boats on the water and racing. Could it be the simple rig without runners or backstay, the amateur/owner driver rule, sail limitations or the tight class rules? Chris Busch will answer those questions from 10 AM to 6 PM ... or before: (619) 804-6335,

On Monday evening, November 1st, Santa Cruz sailor Phil Myers passed away following an eight month battle with cancer. Phil was 54. Phil, a long-time SCYC member and skipper of the Express 27 "Wild Thing" will be missed by all who knew him.

A memorial service will take place at Lighthouse Point (West Cliff Drive) at 0800 Saturday November 6th, followed by a scattering a Phil's ashes in the Monterey Bay where Phil and Wild Thing spent so much time. All are invited to the service and the scattering where we'll meet at the SCYC hoist at 1000 and leave the harbor by 1030. Phil's family and business associates will be on the Chardonnay. Phil's son Bryan and Phil's racing crew (Scott, Steve and Brad) will be on Wild Thing. A celebration of Phil's life will follow at the Yacht Club from 1200 until 1700. -- John Siegel

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.