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SCUTTLEBUTT #454 - December 6, 1999

ISAF Grade 1 Women's Match Racing Event -- After a disappointing day on Friday, when only two flights were completed, the Osprey Cup racing resumed on Saturday morning. Winds in the 6-8 knot range held throughout the morning. There was a brief lull at midday and then somewhat shifty winds of 5-8 knots continued through the afternoon. The first round robin was completed as well as seven of nine flights of the second round robin.

Lewin, Alison, Slattery and Briand advance to the semi-finals which begin at 0900 on Sunday. A consolation round will be held for the others.

First Semi-final Series : Paula Lewin defeated Christine Briand 2-1 Second Semi-final Series:Betsy Alison defeated Dru Slattery 2-1 Petit-final Series: Dru Slattery defeated Christine Briand 1-0 Final Series: Betsy Alison defeated Paula Lewin 1-0

Petit-final and Final Series
1 Betsy Alison USA
2 Paula Lewin Bermuda
3 Dru Slattery USA
4 Christine Briand France
5 Shirley Robertson Great Britain
6 Sandy Grosvenor USA
7 Cordelia Eglin Great Britain
8 Maria Svedin Sweden
9 Arabella Denvir USA

St. Petersburg YC site:

Two significant things happened over the weekend. The Swiss Fast 2000 syndicate 'threw in the towel' and officially retired for the LVC series. They could not gather the necessary support to be allowed to use the mast Spain had offered to replace their fractured rig. And they could not repair their fractured rig. The best quote of the day came from Peter van Oossanen, co-designer of 'be hAPpy': "In hindsight two masts would have been probably better than two keels."

Also, Team Dennis Conner broke their only boat. The structural bulkhead to which the running backstays are anchored separated from the hull. In the process the aft end of the deck got ripped up to about a 45-degree angel sending the 17th man tumbling forward. However, no one was injured and the crew was able to prevent damage to the rig. "This boat will race again in Round Robin Three," said skipper Dennis Conner. TDC was granted a 48 postponement to repair the significant damage to Stars & Stripes and the compound lights have been on ever since.

* AmericaOne and Nippon scored victories over Prada and the Spanish Challenge respectively today by gaining the upper hand in pre-start manoeuvres. For the series-leading Prada Challenge, it was just their second loss in 24 starts. Nonetheless, the Italians remain atop the leaderboard, although their lead is down to one point over AmericaOne.

Light winds returned to the inner Hauraki Gulf today for the first time since Day 6 of Round 2. The first four days of this round were dominated by 12- to 20-knot southwesterlies. Today the southwesterlies blew between 11 and 14 knots, and the seas were flat.

AmericaOne's advantage was gained through a penalty to Prada. The Italians were penalised when skipper Francesco de Angelis stuck his bow in AmericaOne's stern scoop. Nippon's Peter Gilmour gained his pre-start advantage the old-fashioned way: he earned it. He so thoroughly dominated the Spanish Challenge that the match could have been halted a minute before the start; the outcome would have been the same. America True maintained its winning pace with its third victory in four starts this round, while Young Australia picked up nine free points by completing the course in a walkover against the withdrawn FAST 2000. -- Quokka Sports,

Idaten's (JPN-52) Peter Gilmour has been a terror in Round Robin Three and he built on that reputation today. Gilmour capitalised when Luis Doreste on Bravo Espana (ESP-56) was late entering the start box and quickly gained a position of control over the Spanish boat. Gilmour worked his bow to leeward of Bravo Espana and forced Doreste to tack away. Idaten followed and when Spain gybed away, Gilmour hardened up for the line. Doreste was slow in the light breeze and ended up 31 seconds late for the start. The Spanish nearly gained it all back on a massive right shift, but when the wind squared again Gilmour regained the lead. Bravo Espana gained on the each of the first two downwind legs, but Gilmour was strong going upwind and was never really threatened. Spain is still holding down sixth place on the points table but is only two points clear of Young America in the battle to qualify for the Semi-Finals. The Americans have sailed one less race.

Luna Rossa (ITA-48) managed to get on the stern of AmericaOne (USA-49) with two minutes to go before the start. De Angelis was trying to push Cayard towards the start line but he came too close and hit AmericaOne's transom square in the middle. He had not kept clear of Cayard who was clear ahead and as a result the umpires penalised Luna Rossa for infringing Racing Rule 12. The collision damaged the Italian bow and AmericaOne's scoop. Cayard won the start by eight seconds on starboard tack with Prada crossing the line on port tack. Straight after the start Prada found more wind and sailed away from AmericaOne. The Italians led by 18 seconds at the top mark. The boats looked pretty similar in speed. Today was all about finding the new breeze first. Luna Rossa managed to slowly sail away from AmericaOne on the first run and the second beat. On the second run Cayard found more wind and reduced Prada's lead to just 15 seconds on the run. On the last beat Prada accelerated better from each tack and extended its lead again to 37 seconds. AmericaOne sailed well downwind and reduced Prada's lead again before the finish, not leaving De Angelis enough time to execute a penalty turn. While AmericaOne finished Luna Rossa was still turning around the pin end of the finish line.

Three minutes and two tacks into this match Dawn Riley's America True (USA-51) steered by John Cutler had established the lead it would consolidate over the next two and a half hours. Abracadabra (USA-50) led into the starting box at the five-minute gun but skipper John Kolius played it conservatively, running away from his opponent. After three circles, Cutler led back to the line, taking and defending the left. They started together, on starboard with Abracadabra to weather. The Hawaiians survived in the weather berth for barely a minute and a half before tacking away. They were within a boat length for two quick tacks before America True began to ease away. Riley's San Francisco challenger extended on every leg except the second two runs.

Louis Vuitton Cup Website:

1. Prada 22-2 73 points
2. AmericaOne 19-6 71
3. Nippon 16-8 65.5
4. America True 17-7 65
5. Stars & Stripes 14-10 45.5
6. Spain 11-14 44
7. Young America 14-10 42
8. Abracadabra 8-17 25
9. Le Defi BTT 7-17 32
10. Young Australia 3-21 18
11. FAST 2000 2-22 8

Victories are worth one point each in Round One, four points in Round Two and nine points in Round Three.

* U.S. Naval Academy sailing coach Brad Dellenbaugh joins the New York Yacht Club/Young America Challenge as coach and racing rules advisor, skipper Ed Baird announced. A resident of Alexandria, VA, Dellenbaugh is on loan to the Young America program from the U.S. Naval Academy. Dellenbaugh joined the Naval Academy in 1992 to run the offshore sailing program. Under his leadership, the Naval Academy has won the coveted Kennedy Cup three times and the MacMillan Trophy four times.

Dellenbaugh is an International Judge and Umpire, allowing him to provide the Young America sailing team with invaluable insights into the racing rules in his position as the team's rules advisor. -- Jane Eagleson,

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 people disagree.

-- From Peter Huston -- We can talk all we want about how to get sailing on TV by using smaller, faster boats on tighter more live-spectator friendly courses, and probably throwing some aspect of sex into the equation, and sooner or later the ratings numbers will bounce into the stratosphere of something that approaches the numbers generated by the George Foreman No Fat Grilling Machine half hour infomercial.

The only way the rating numbers for sailing to move significantly is with the introduction of prize money - serious prize money - and not prize money for the sailors so much as for the viewers.

We have these silly new game shows in the US right now, each one a copy of the other - "I need to be a Greedy Zillionaire" or some such thing. The ratings suggest that many people enjoy this sort of programming. What will happen when real interactivity is married to this sort of content?

When sailing offers viewers the chance to bet via the internet on their favorite hero and walk away with a pile of cash, only then the sport will grow in popularity with the general public. Internet gambling is illegal some will say - uh huh - like that ever stopped a programmer from trying to get ratings. Click on - "Here's a $100 on Team Trump to show, and give me a $1,000 worth of chances on the Billionaire Sailing lottery".

Be careful what you wish for. That is my final answer.

-- From Leslie DeMeuse -- I really, really appreciate Rob Mundle's comments on the need to make sailing more entertaining on television. We need to reach a broader audience if sailing is ever going to get better airtime on television. I've been producing broadcast television for nearly 20 years. A dear friend of mine, who is an entertainment executive, gave me good advice many years ago about how to reach the masses on TV.

The television Emmy that sits behind my desk is proof that sailing can be entertaining to the masses. How do we reach the masses? Focus on the people, the competitors, profile them, find a hero, someone the viewers can relate to,... and more importantly, someone the viewers can RESPECT. People can relate to people no matter how much they know about sailing. People love to hear about how someone made it to the top of their sport... no matter what sport!

With all the channel surfing that goes on in television, watching a couple of sailboats going around the bouys isn't going to keep the non-sailing viewers long... WE NEED TO TARGET non-sailors... The sailing audience is too small. The only way the sport of sailing will be able to stay on the air or get better time slots is more viewership.

-- From Tim Bohan -- To make sailing TV "marketable" it has to show some excitement. Fast is exciting, and fun. The younger generation is into "extreme sports"...sailing a skiff in high winds would certainly qualify! Now we have an opportunity with the 49er in the Olympics, as well as the 18's circuit and any good catamaran racing in high winds. How do you get up close and make it TV friendly? I think you have to go with the onboard cameras to get anyone to want to watch it.

Watching a "traditional" America's Cup race from a helicopter is about as exiting as watching paint dry and even I won't waste an afternoon watching it. TV producers want excitement with the possibility of carnage! Why else would NASCAR Racing be so popular? Why would anyone want to spend 3 hours watching cars go around in circles? The speed and the thrilling crashes is what people want to see. Why do people who don't windsurf watch Hawaii Wave Jumping? To see the wipeouts!

While I'm not all for crash and have got to have that as a possibility to keep up the interest level. The sport needs more exciting boats like the 49er and the 18's and catamarans if it is ever to capture the TV interest of the non sailors. Perhaps we need to set a minimum on the wind for racing as well...minimum of 10 maximum. How about wave jumping on an 18 foot skiff? Now that's what I'd like to see!

-- From Chris Welsh (Re: Mast for the Swiss) -- Design & build origin is fundamental to the America's Cup? Have I missed something? Let's start with the crew nationalities (for real, not adopted), then talk origin of the sail and boat fiber technology, where the sails are being produced (and who invented that technology), the origin of the hardware and software being used to design the boats and lastly where the designers are located! These boats have worldwide roots from start to finish! Peter Gilmour, hmmmm, doesn't sound like a Japanese name....somebody loan or sell the Swiss a mast and get on with it - and no carping about design & build origin - the real origin rules went out with the concept that the boat had to sail to the race location on its own hull.

From Mark Callahan -- I have a slight correction for you. The present 24hr distance record is held by Steve Fossett and crew on board his yacht "PlayStation". Steve set this record in the waters North of New Zealand and at present the record stands at 580Nm.

800 entries are expected at Ford Cork Week 2000 to be held between 15th and 21st July next. This Regatta had grown at an enormous rate since the middle 80's and is now considered to be the biggest of its kind in the World.

There will be racing in everything from Sportsboats to Maxi's over 5 days. The races will include Windward / Leeward, Olympic, Round the Cans and Coastal Courses with as many as 8, different and fully independent, Race Officer teams, directing operations.

The regatta's new web is now in operation with the Notice of Race and Entry Information. -- Donal McClement, http://www.fordcorkweek

Sometimes the curmudgeon has been known to buy a Christmas present for a close family member that turns out to something I want for myself. If you too are into that 'game, let me make a suggestion. You can still get a copy of the official videotape of last year's Sydney-Hobart Race for only $29.95 plus postage and handling. The footage from cameras on board the boats documents the bravery, the terror and the extraordinary rescue efforts. This impressive videotape is available online:

On Friday we mistakenly ran an announcement promoting a seminar Dave Ullman gave last month. It was a great seminar, but it's been over for weeks, so don't try to sign up. Instead, consider checking out tomorrow night's seminar at the Ullman loft in Newport Beach, California. At 7pm Scott Dickson will be speaking on preparation for regattas. No matter whether your goal is the World Champs or the Wednesday night Intergalactics, you'll want to hear this one. Scott's experience includes Transpacs, Kenwood Cups, Tour De France A La Voile, America's Cup '95 and a string of international match race and one design regattas and will have plenty to offer your local racing program. For more information, 949-675-6970

U.S. skipper Cam Lewis officially announced that he will be on the starting line of The Race in Barcelona (Spain) on Dec. 31, 2000. The construction of his 33-m maxi-catamaran, a sister ship of Club Med, will soon begin at the JMV boatyard in Cherbourg (France). The official launching of the boat is scheduled for September 2000. Cam Lewis is America's most experienced multihull sailor. He was part of Bruno Peyron's crew on board Commodore Explorer during the first Jules Verne Trophy around the world in 1993. Guillermo Altadill from Spain as well as Skip Novak and Larry Rosenfeld from the United States should be part of Team Adventure.

A little more than a year now remains to finalise the organisation of The Race. To date, 7 boats are confirmed to take part in The Race/La Course du Millenaire: PlayStation/Steve Fossett (USA), Team Philips/Pete Goss (UK), Club Med/Grant Dalton (NZ), Code Zero 2, Team Adventure/Cam Lewis (USA), Millennium Challenge/Tony Bullimore (UK), Polpharma-Warta (ex Explorer)/Roman Paszke (Poland). To round up the "Top Ten", the three remaining entries would go to ongoing projects such as the 40-m maxi-catamaran of Henk de Velde (Netherlands) and the 36-m trimaran "Rave" of Earl Edwards (USA) under construction in Hawaii.

Event website:

Sydney, Australia - 4 December, 1999 -- Two Olympic Tornado catamaran sailors from Canada early this afternoon were found safe and well after a 15 hour sea and air search in the Tasman Sea off the coast of Sydney. The sailors, Noah Purves-Smith and Jonathan Dick, arrived in Australia just over a week ago to prepare for the Tornado World Championships to be conducted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club in early January.

The pair had been training with about a dozen other Tornado crews from Australia and overseas on the Olympic course area off Sydney Heads, sailing in a 25 knot north-easterly seabreeze. Although, not confirmed, they appear to have broken their mast. The alarm was not raised until about 9 o'clock last night, well after dark, when another Canadian team member reported to Water Police that the pair had not returned from sailing.

The sailors were located on their catamaran off Little Marley, an inlet near Cronulla, a southern beach suburb of Sydney, around midday today after police had extended the search pattern to 50 square miles. They have been admitted to hospital for medical checks, but are believed to be in good condition.

John Forbes, the Australian World President of the Tornado class association worked closely with police from early this morning, bringing together all the other Tornado sailors in an effort to find who had last seen the Canadians at sea. Forbes said the men had been wearing dry suits and buoyancy vests, had water with them but no food. They had some signaling devices but did not have an EPIRB, radio or flares. -- Peter Campbell

It saddens me to let you know that my friend Michael Braney passed away Saturday morning. Mike had just finished a 15-mile training run for the LA Marathon when he collapsed. Several of his fellow runners began CPR immediately while the paramedics were en route. Unfortunately, neither the paramedics nor the hospital staff were not able to revive him, as it appears his heart just stopped beating at the end of his run.

Mike will be deeply missed, but we can be comforted in knowing that he spent Saturday morning enjoying an activity that he loved and he was among many friends when he passed. As you know, there are not enough good things that can be said about Mike and the contributions that he made to our yacht club, the sport of sailing, and to all of our lives. He was a good man and a great friend.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, 11 December at 1330 hours at the California Yacht Club.

Peter Gilmour, skipper of Idaten, on progress: "At this point we think we're probably in reasonably good shape to get through to the main part of the regatta. We are reasonably pleased with that, it's obviously interesting to sail against boats of different speeds and different performance and I think that it's quite good for the team to have struggled as far as we have in previous rounds. We have learnt a lot and been able to translate that into better sailing."

Paul Cayard, on his success against Luna Rossa: "I think it's just one day's race. It's a long road here, the interesting stuff is going to happen in four to six weeks time from now. Prada is still the favourite. They are sailing really well and today we were just fortunate we were able to get a race off them."

Francesco de Angelis, skipper of Luna Rossa, on using his new boat: "It was very interesting to use that boat today, as it has been in the other days. I look forward to using it in the next two days to come. The plan was to get the experience so any opportunity is welcome."

Nippon Challenge's Toshiki Shibata, on when he wears his hard hat: "It's dangerous not only on the boat but (smiling) walking in the city too so it makes sense!"

Louis Vuitton Cup website:

Bill Trenkle on the repair progress on Stars & Stripes: "It's going to be tight, real tight but our whole team is cautiously optimistic that we will be out on the starting line Wednesday for our scheduled race with Young America. Our boat-building team worked straight through last night, and made great progress. And this will be another all-nighter for sure. However, their efforts are really starting to show -- Stars & Stripes is coming back together very nicely."

Team Dennis Conner website:


An optimist thinks that this is the best possible world. A pessimist fears that this might be true.