“After Sunday, we knew anything could happen “
bow man Chuck Bauerschmidt said, referring to the first race, in which Golden Feather went from first to fifth after finding a hole in de wind. A repeat of that mishap would have been disastrous. But on the last leg of the last race, Golden Feather doubled its lead. Golden Feather finished first for the third time on four races to capture the 1999 World Cup going away. Before the World Cup series began, skipper Eric Voss pulled Golden Feather out of the water and all six crewmen went to work on the boat’s bottom .
“We sanded it, filled a lot of holes and put some go-fast juice on the bottom and that really helped out.”
Golden Feather was able to beat five-time world champion Gefion of Switzerland and two-time titbits Sarissa, with won the first tow races of that year’s World Cup series. In the end, Harry Voss hugged his son and said.
“You did it.” Like Father like son.
Whereas the locals arrived by sea, the foreigners were confined to travelling by air. Tightly packed in a
sardine can with wings I made my passage back to the Rochester Yacht Club which hosted so many 8-
Metre events over the past 70 years. Twelve entries, six moderns and six classics. Sadly not all the classic
Eights on the Lake participated. Weather was great, we had the full spectrum from light and fluffy to a
nice 22 knot breeze. Competition was as tight as could be with the moderns. Everyone seemed to have
favourite but no one seemed to agree on which boat and why. Despite her relatively young age the Pelle
Petterson design Mystery was an untried quantity. Her new keel never tested to full potential, a new pipe
by Proctor, no compromise hardware and Ron back at the tiller. As with any of the Palm fleet, Mystery was
looking impeccable. His Sarissa was sailed by the Etobicoke Iskareen crew, surely a challenge for a crew
use to sailing a classic boat to change to handling a near perfect modern sailing machine. Was Golden
Feather suffering from a case of slow or not, who was to say? Gossip could mislead any of us. Natural,
pretty as ever and in top shape, she did it before in 1995, could they pull it of again or would Octavia keep
her from the silver? On the classic boats the situation was a little different. Norseman was a favourite,
consistent sailing, quick boat, new wardrobe and Ced Gyles sr. at the tiller. Severn II would be he boat to
keep her from victory but few believed it could happen. Bangalore and Quest were to fight their battle
somewhere just behind and that s just what happened. The new boat on the block was Jackeen with
James Countouris, with 21 years the youngest skipper in the fleet. The boat all geared up and, as
rest of the fleet, a new wardrobe to keep her in competition. Last but not least was Conewago. The
Mcinnes family had worked all winter like mad to have her ready, in time. Her winter projects included
adding her truncated stern back on, and that really made her so pleasing again. Interesting to see that
apart from Conewago, all classic Eights seemed to put their money with the same sailmaker. That way it ‘s
hard to gain
where exactly the same size and all were not in the rule. James being the only owner to ask the sailmaker
to correct it gives us something to think about. The sanme goes for the engine issue. Age does not matter
in our class as our common rule has not changed since 1933. I applaud James Countouris, who made a
real effort to conform his boat to the rule. What worries me is that if the others don’t follow the example
that they could have set themselves, the new Lake Ontario generation may leave the class before the
Gurrent generation retires!
(edge over the competition but it does make it easy on the measurer as all the headboards)??
Back to sailing;
The tune up was sailed in light and lumpy stuff. Ralph enjoys that and the proof was in
the bullet. Sarissa kept on going for two more races as Golden Feather started to close in. Mystery sailing
consistent in the top and showing excellent speed and the race was on. The locals on Feather knew the
way in the dark and after a bad first race they maintained superb form. Eric Voss took the right corners
and with impeccable boat handling his crew didn’t mess up once. A headsail change 3 minutes before the
start almost made life impossible for them but somehow they got away with it. Sarissa didn ‘t hold her
early dominance and Ron just kept on sailing very well, grabbing a well deserved second overall in the
series. Gefion made her way across the mountains of Switzerland to make her (fourth?) Atlantic crossing.
A boat with an unrivalled track record and certainly one always respected for all the right reasons. A
second in the first race looked promising but then the wind came, joined by a chop. In one race she loast
her second position to material failure as the spinaker shackle broke. A full speed ride over her kite didn ‘t
help the performance on that leg and the competition didn ‘t stop to give a hand as the rag wrapped
herself arround the keel. The crew kept the spirit up and the last race gave them another second but that
left them 2 points from Sarissa and the podium. A big thank you to Benoit and the crew of Gefion for
showing the sportsmanship and the effort of campaigning this great boat on Lake Ontario again! Natural
sailed well, grabbing two well deserved thirds but failed to reach the podium. Last but not least, Octavia.
Another proof of how difficult it is to combine the organisation of a World Cup with top performance of the
boat. Ken Schwenker and crew improved over the series beating Natural in the last two races but it just
wasn ‘t enough to move Octavia up in the rankings. Christ and Ken Schwenker won their first prize for
having organised such a great event! With the classics the sailing was dominated by the Gyles family.
Norseman winning every single race in his group and Severn II consistently following for second. Between
Quest and Bangalore the race was on all week. Never leaving each other alone for long, they fought it out
and then well over 30 years on board of Quest paid of for Joe. Jackeen was another untried quantity but
most definitely showed plenty of potential. In race 4 they had it all together, sailing safe through the
centre and maintaining excellent boat speed James took a third in his group. It’s just a matter of time and
Jackeen will be up there making troubles for anything carrying a figure Eight in the sails. The final boat on
the list was Conewago. With the crew having worked round the clock to have her ready in time for the big
event, she arrived. in Rochester with the paint still drying. A boat with fame and everyone was delighted for
good old Connie to be there in splendid shape. Last year at the Ted Turner Event, Adam showed that he
could make her go so it’s just a matter of time for that boat to be back where she belongs.
Congratulations to the winning crews on Golden Feather and Norseman. We can look back at a great
event, thanks to Chris and Ken who put in the work to make the 1999 World Cup the fine event it was.
The IEMA General Assembly
The meeting went very well and was most constructive. A highlight being the election of Eugene van
Voorhis as honorary member for life.
Please note that the proposed class rule changes are subject to approval by ISAF and 1 years notice. That
means that they won ‘t come in force before August 2000.
Wishing you all a happy ending of the season!
John Lammerts van Bueren