SCUTTLEBUTT #472 - December 31, 1999
TELSTRA SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
In a year in which 16 yachts finished this year's Telstra Sydney to Hobart
Yacht Race inside record time, another record could be set for the number
of yachts which fail to arrive in Hobart before the turn of the century. At
least five yachts, possibly seven, could see in the next millennium at sea
which, according to Race Media Director Peter Campbell, is looming as a
Based on this morning's position reports from the remaining 13 yachts still
battling against 30 to 35 knot southerly headwinds along the Tasmanian East
Coast, five boats seem likely to celebrate New Year's Eve at sea. However,
at least two of these could just cross the finish line on the Derwent River
at Hobart shortly after midnight to what could be an extraordinary welcome
by thousands of New Year's revellers.
As at today's 0305 hours "sked" 37 racing yachts had finished the testing
630 nautical mile race, 30 had retired, leaving 11 still racing, including
several boats that had resumed racing after sheltering most of yesterday in
bays along the Tasmanian East Coast.
For the first 36 hours of this year's race, 30-40 knot nor'easters pushed
the fleet southward at record-breaking speeds. An amazing 16 yachts,
including the 40-footer Sword of Orion, finished inside the previous race
record while Nokia set a new record of 1 day 19 hours 48 minutes and 2
seconds, slashing more than 18 hours off the previous time.
With the frontrunners safely berthed at Constitution Dock, the weather
began to turn on the remainder of the fleet. Headwinds of up to 50-knots
battered the fleet forcing many to retire and others to seek shelter behind
Flinders Island and along the East Coast of Tasmania.
Of those 12 sailors who required medical attention for injuries suffered in
the heavy conditions, just one remains in hospital. Steve Wayne Smith,
crewman off the Papua New Guinean yacht Hi Flyer is in a satisfactory
condition in Launceston General Hospital but is suffering exhaustion after
being washed overboard for a short period of time. -- Peter Campbell
Event website: http://syd-hob96.telstra.com.au/
MATCH RACE RANKINGS
Somehow in the excitement of the Louis Vuitton Cup Series we failed to
notice that new ISAF Match Racing Ranking had been issued on December 14. I
suspect few readers will able to name the top five. Think about it a bit,
and then see how you did. The present rankings follow the Letters Section
in this issue of 'Butt.
RACING RULES OF SAILING for 1997-2000
The following changes to the racing rules take effect on 1 January 2000.
They were approved by the ISAF Council in November 1999. Please note that
definitions of the RRS which would normally appear in italics, do not
appear as such below. Also, this supplement also contains rule changes
published in May 1999, December 1998 and December 1997.
Rule 16 - Renumber rule 16 to 16.1 and insert new rule 16.2:
16.2 In addition, when after the starting signal a port-tack boat is
keeping clear of a starboard-tack boat, the starboard-tack boat shall not
change course if as a result the port-tack boat would immediately need to
change course to keep clear.
Rule 18.2(b) - Replace rule 18.2(b) with:
(b) If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the two-length zone, the boat
then clear astern shall thereafter keep clear. Rules 10, 11 and 18.2(a) do
not apply, and after the starting signal rule 16 applies only if the
right-of-way boat changes course away from the mark or obstruction. If the
right-of-way boat passes head to wind, rule 13 applies and this rule no
Rule 87.2 - Replace rule 87.2 with:
87.2 Notice of Race; Appointment of Race Officials The organizing authority
shall publish a notice of race that conforms to rule M1, appoint a race
committee and, when appropriate, appoint a jury. However, the race
committee, an international jury and umpires may be appointed by the ISAF
as provided by the ISAF regulations.
Rule 89(c) - Replace rule 89(c) with:
(c) an international jury meeting the requirements of Appendix Q. A
national authority may prescribe that its approval is required for the
appointment of international juries for events within its jurisdiction,
except ISAF events or when international juries are appointed by the ISAF
under rule 87.2.
Rule C2.2 - Replace rule C2.2 with:
C2.2 Rules 16.2 and 17.2 are deleted.
Rule D1.1(a) - Delete rule D1.1(a).
Rule Q1.1 - Replace rule Q1.1 with:
Q1.1 An international jury shall be composed of experienced sailors with
excellent knowledge of the racing rules and extensive protest committee
experience. It shall be independent of and have no members from the race
committee, and be appointed by the organizing authority, subject to
approval by the national authority if required (see rule 89(c)), or by the
ISAF under rule 87.2.
LOUIS VUITTON CUP
* It's called the semifinals. Beginning Sunday, 2 January, the super six
teams in the Louis Vuitton Cup face off in a 10-race knockout series to
whittle the fleet down to two finalists.
But the six teams -- AmericaOne, America True, Le Defi Bouygues
Telecom-Transiciel, Nippon Challenge, Prada Challenge and Team Dennis
Conner -- will race as if it were the finals. For four of them, their
multi-million-dollar, three- and four-year-long campaigns will come to an
end. And in the wake of the Young America's meltdown in Round 3, they all
know that advancing to the final round is no certainty.
All points have been thrown out and each team starts equal, with one point
awarded for each victory. Each boat meets the other boats twice. The top
two scorers advance to the final. -- Larry Edwards, Quokka Sports.
Full story: http://www.americascup.org/
* Hopes that the remaining Louis Vuitton Cup contenders might use crew or
equipment from eliminated syndicates were dashed yesterday when the
America's Cup Arbitration Panel issued long-awaited rulings. It was "thumbs
down" from the international five-man panel on all issues except a request
from the French Le Defi Bouygues Telecom-Transiciel syndicate to take over
the now-unused Bravo Espana sail loft and employ several Spanish loft
workers, and a request from AmericaOne to use an "undeclared" dual national
from another team in a non-crew role.
The interpretations of the America's Cup Protocol handed down by the panel
confirmed that the six syndicates still in the running to challenge for the
America's Cup are not permitted to use hulls, appendages, rigs, sails, and
crew from syndicates that have already been eliminated. Team Dennis Conner
had asked for rulings regarding the eligibility of sails, hulls, and crew.
The French just wanted the sail loft. AmericaOne posed a series of
questions seeking a green light to use eliminated Young Australia skipper
James Spithill and several of his crewmembers for starting practice. --
WEEKEND RACE SCHEDULE
Prada / America True
Nippon / Team Dennis Conner
France / AmericaOne
Prada / Team Dennis Conner
America True / AmericaOne
Nippon / France
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 Joseph Bracken (Re: Terence Gallagher's comments) -- Sellout?
Traitor? Did Nippon commit some great transgression, simply because some of
the competitors agreed amongst themselves that they wouldn't sail against
the Kiwis? Maybe, underneath the whines and carps of the offended, this
"free sail" is a better show of true sporting spirit than they would have
Although your idealism is commendable, as far as the America's Cup goes,
the "competitive line" you refer to has been drawn in the sand and trampled
over a thousand times in the last 15 years. The Cup is still a fantastic
event organized and sailed by many extraordinary individuals, but it has
become, in reality, a gathering of mercenaries.
How many competitors are natives of the flag they are representing? How
many of the boats are designed by architects from the home country? The
purity of this international competition has long since been diluted by
corporate sponsorship, professional sailors, technology, media, and all the
usual suspects; there is no sense complaining about it. The stakes are too
high now to pay much attention to anything but winning. Honor, as in many
sporting arenas, often takes second place. Perhaps Nippon and Team New
Zealand chose to put sport before paranoia, honor and grace before winning
at all costs.
-- From Bill Lynn -- Chill out, Terence. It's just sailboat racing.
Besides, do you really think Peter Gilmour cares who wins the America's Cup
if it's not him?
-- From Rick Hooper -- If it were a popularity contest the Olympic Classes
would be Optimist prams, Sunfish, and small J-24 type keelboats. Much to
my dismay, dinghy sailing is almost dead. The hundreds of sailors who sail
weeknight club races on keel boats are certainly athletic. Include the
7-person keelboat ... it will reflect the sport as it is today.
-- From Dan Ibsen, Denmark -- "Sailor of the century" - Paul Elvstrom - 4
Olympic Gold medals (in a row), 15 World Championships in 8 different
classes and numerous other championships and wins in int. regattas. Eight
times at the Olympics, latest in 1984 and 1988 with his youngest doughter
Trine; In 1988 at an age of 60, 40 years after his first Olympic Gold medal
in Torquay, England. In my mind, no other sailor, and only a few other
sportsmen, can show a stream of results, especially in One Design Classes
similar to Paul Elvstrom's, and at the same time be world famous for fair
play and he hardly ever protested against other competitor's.
The secret behind his success was, besides a unique talent, hard physical
training and an incredibly high number of hours spent on the water, both
summer and winter. His contributions to the development of sailing was for
example: a life jacket which did not restrict the movement of the sailor,
sailing boots with non-skid soles, the modern "self-bailer", the ratchet
block, sails sewn in solar pattern, soft and flexible sheeting rope with
Over the years Paul Elvstrom has received several distinctions of honour
for his fantastic achievements as a sailor and sportsman, among those:
1982: Danish Sailing Association's Medal of Honour
1982: IOC's Olympic Order in Bronze
1984: The Prize of Danish Industrial Design
1986: Royal Order of Dannebrog
1990: Beppe Croce Trophy, International Sailing Federation
1996: Sportsman of the Century - Danish Sports Federation
-- From Bob Kiernan -- Sailor(s) of the century, I name Lowell North
because he has had a large hand in the direction our sails have taken. Boat
design had to catch up to the power the sails created. People had to
improve and all together we grow with the technology and became better at
our sport. We should be nominating ourselves for being out there doing it.
So, I nominate "the participants" one and all of us as sailors of this
century. It is a sport, an industry, a challenge, a career and a means to
raise our families in a healthy environment. My last words for this
century: "Fear not the challenge, fear not having the challenge!"
-- From Michael vanBeuren -- The only difference between amateur and pro
sailors is that the pros dedicated themselves to putting time and effort in
to sailing in order to improve their skills. As such, they are now in a
position to sell those skills to amateurs who want to learn. Prices are
agreed upon by what the market will bear. And I don't think it is mandated
anywhere that US Sailing exists for amateur sailors only.
There are two often-cited and venomously-defended positions on this issue.
Some say, "In what other sport can a weekend warrior compete against the
best?" others, like Craig Fletcher, favor and even playing field. What I
think most "pros" will admit is that they are not light years ahead of
amateurs in terms of skill or talent, they have just made more mistakes
more recently and have learned from them. Craig, chances are that you are
not that far off championship pace and you could probably straight-line
your favorite boat with anyone in the world. The pros have spent more time
getting comfortable with big fleets, crowded marks and intense pressure.
-- From Jim Durden -- While we're on the subject of pro-sailing, do any
professional or non-professional Buttheads remember the short-lived PYRA?
(Professional Yacht Racing Association) As a "newbee" to the sport I joined
as a charter member. I was so turned on by the sport I would join anything
that had to do with racing sailboats. I think it was circa 1978. Who
remembers all the details? I recall that the founder sailed off into the
sunset with all the $.
-- From Andrew Burton -- On my boat the guy who does foredeck (Mark Van
Note) is one of the best natural sailors I've met. He also is the BN on a
Farr 40 and races and delivers other big boats for money. He is the
consummate pro. But he is also out every Wednesday night on my Shields
sailing for fun and relaxation. I enjoy having him aboard and he enjoys the
sailing. And there is the point; even the pros sail for fun. Most of these
people are pretty smart, they could earn a much better living doing
practically anything else, but they choose to sail. I say let them. If I
can get out on the racecourse and sail against Buddy Melges or even Dennis,
that's great! It's like a golfer getting to play against Tiger Woods and
Arnold Palmer. Besides, probably the best sailors around are Bill and Carl
Buchan. They are also strictly amateurs. How are you going to keep them
from coming out and beating up on you?
PS I do think paying someone to drive your boat is akin to paying someone
to sleep with your girlfriend for you.
ISAF MATCH RACE RANKINGS -- Issued December 14, 1999
|1 || MOHR Sten || DEN
|2 || HOLMBERG Magnus ||SWE
|3 || PILLOT Luc || FRA
|4 || BANK Jesper || DEN
|5 || GRAM-HANSEN Jes ||DEN
|6 || HENRIKSEN Morten || DEN
|7 || WIESER Markus ||GER
|8 ||BEADSWORTH Andy || GBR
|9 || BARKER Dean ||NZL
|10 || JOHANSEN Jesper Radich || DEN
Other rankings of interest to the curmudgeon:
|11 ||GILMOUR Peter ||JPN
|16 || GREEN Andy ||GBR
|19 ||SCHUMANN Jochen || GER
|21 || WITTEY Neville || AUS
|25 || BRADY Gavin ||NZL
|27 || LAW Chris ||GBR
|28 || PACE Bertrand ||FRA
|32 ||DE ANGELIS Francesco || ITA
|34 || HEINER Roy ||NED
|37 ||HOLMBERG Peter || ISV
|38 || SPITHILL James || AUS
|54 || BAIRD Ed ||USA
|62 || CAYARD Paul ||ITA
|84 ||MADRIGALI Jeff ||USA
Isn't it interesting that half of the top ten are from Denmark; only four
of the top 100 are from the USA (including the US Virgin Islands) and that
Paul Cayard is still listed as an Italian.
By rearranging the letters in "Year Two Thousand" you can come up with "A
Year To Shut Down."
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have
decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again.
I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant. I
want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with
rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.
I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends
on a hot summer's day. I want to return to a time when life was simple.
When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes,
but that didn't bother you, because you didn't know what you didn't know
and you didn't care.
All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all`the
things that should make you worried or upset. I want to think the world is
fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is
possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly
excited by the little things again. `I want to live simple again. I don't
want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork,
depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money
in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones. I want
to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice,
peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.
So . . . here's my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my
401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want
to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first
OK - I know that I can't go back all the way. So I'll settle for second
best -- being the curmudgeon. Happy New Year!
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNCIL
"Valuable things we can learn from dogs: "Never pass up the opportunity to
go for a joyride. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience. Take naps and stretch
before rising. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Be loyal. When someone is
having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently. Never
pretend to be something you are not. Thrive on attention, and let people
touch you. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. On hot days, drink
lots of water and lay under a shady tree. No matter how often you're
scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout...run right back and make
friends. And finally, run, romp, and play daily." - Alan Cundall