SCUTTLEBUTT No. 1161 - September 20, 2002
Scuttlebutt is a digest of yacht racing news of major significance; commentary, opinions, features and dock talk . . . with a North American emphasis. Corrections, contributions, press releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
The curmudgeon has returned from racing in Nautor's Swan Cup Regatta in Sardinia - although jet lag still controls my weary body, t was a pretty amazing event with more than 100 Swans sailing in one of the most beautiful racing areas on the planet. The unusual race program provided more coastal races than buoy racing, which kept the navigators as busy as the tacticians.
The event started with a long coastal race with winds that reached 35 knots. The big wind and seas blew the rig out of one boat, damaged a boom of another, sheared off three rudders and left the sail repair loft with a massive mountain of carnage. Although the weather for the rest of the regatta was quite benign, some of the Swans never returned to the racecourse.
As David McCreary reported in my absence, the event was deservedly won by a new and very well prepared Swan 70 (Frers), named Fast.net, owned by Thierry de Passemar, a young French sailor from Paris. Fast.net had a crisp new Cuben Fiber and carbon sail inventory, three asymmetrical kites, a Code 0 - plus Larry Leonard and four other Quantum sailmakers to insure the high-tech sails were always properly trimmed.
While there were lots of well-prepared and well-sailed boats, there also were a fair number of 'family and friends' programs - many of which seemed to be having a great time with their roller-furling Spectra jibs. It was easy to have a great time - the water temperature was in the high 70s, there was plenty of bright sun - and the amazing mid-regatta Volvo party was absolutely off the scale.
This was my first European regatta and there were a couple of things that surprised me. While I hate to open the 'starting sequence' thread again, Nautor's Swan Cup Regatta used a 10-minute sequence that was unique in my experience. It was neither the old ISAF System nor anything that resembled the one currently in the rule book. Also, they always started two classes together, which put something like 50 boats on the line at the same time - half of which you were not racing against for anything more serious than overall fleet standings. Tom Stark and his excellent crew on the Swan 45 Rush must have had some interesting discussions on how to find clean air and maintain a lane on a starting line that included two Swan 80s and a 112-foot Swan RS. Aided by tactician Ed Baird, Rush did a good job of it and won Class A.
Nautor's Swan Cup regatta has been scheduled every other year in Puerto Cervo since 1980. It's a very unique experience and after my jet lag wears off I will undoubtedly start being nicer to Swan owners who might invite me to the 2004 event. - www.swancup.com
THE PREZ SAYS
(The following is a reply by ISAF President Paul Henderson to questions asked by Joe Bainton in 'Butt 1160.)
The information Joe Baintion asked about is published each year in the ISAF Annual Report and posted on the ISAF website: www.sailing.org. However, here's a summary for your readers:
OLYMPIC $$$ / ISAF Budget: The Olympics provide 57% of all ISAF revenue. Obviously it is a major source of income. ISAF received US $4.2 million from the Sydney Games and there will be about a 50% increase predicted from Athens. USOC got about $80 million out of each of the last Winter and Summer Games. ISAF Classes pay about 9% of the total ISAF budget.
CHANGING RULES: ISAF gives the Racing rules to each country free. Changing the rules gives no revenue whatsoever to ISAF. It is a major cost not a revenue source to ISAF. They are a revenue source to only the MNAs. ISAF would prefer to keep them the same but the 'rules gurus' and Classes like tinkering.
VOLUNTEERS: Sailing is a participatory sport run by volunteers and like most sports the foundation of sailing is based on clubs and volunteers including all the ISAF Executives who are volunteers including, but not limited to, the President. ISAF has a staff of 14, which when you consider the broad spectrum of sailing, from Youth to Windsurfing to Olympics to Disabled to America's Cup, and the services required, the staff numbers are modest and much less than many of the large Member National Authorities have.
REDUCTION OF OLYMPIC CLASSES: Only the IOC Program Commission has tentatively proposed to reduce, sometime in the future, Olympic Sailing Events from 11 to 10, which is the number of events Sailing had in Savannah. Although they have suggested eliminating keelboats I am sure, at the end of the day, ISAF will be allowed to choose which event is removed. Hopefully that will not happen till 2012.
IMPACT ON ISAF REVENUE: Reduction of a Class will have no financial impact whatsoever, as the revenue share is based on the sport - not on the number of events or athletes. ISAF is in the lowest category lumped together with 20 of the 28 Summer Sports. ISAF in all rankings of Olympic sports is placed in the top 10 of the 28. Also, it should be noted that the IOC President sailed a Finn in the 1968 Olympics against the ISAF President. - Paul Henderson President ISAF
(US Sailing President also has some comments about Joe Bainton's e-mail)
Keeping sailing in the Olympic Games is not all about money for US Sailing. All the money we get from the Olympics comes via the US Olympic Committee and goes back into the Olympic Sailing Program. We operate two separate budgets. The detailed budgets are available every fall at the Annual General Meeting for anyone who wants a copy and there is a pie chart on our website showing the overall spending. For 2002, the Olympic budget was $1,156,000 and the budget for the rest of US Sailing was $4,102,000. Olympic spending was 22% of the total budget.
I am proud that sailing is in the Olympics. Our Olympic Sailors inspire others to sail and to sail better. I know the US Sailing team. They give back to sailing more than could ever be expected. They are dedicated to sailing.
Changing the rules costs US Sailing money. Most of the rules books are provided at no cost as a service to members of US Sailing. The profit on the relatively few we sell does not cover the cost of reprinting for rule changes. Rules changes come about because the volunteer rules committee gets questions and suggestions from sailors and as sailing evolves, changes are needed. We appreciate the sailors that pay the dues that support the rules of our sport. - Dave Rosekrans President, US Sailing
AMERICA'S CUP STORE
Capture the spirit of America's Cup 2003 from the comfort of your home or office with official America's Cup product from the online America's Cup Store. Currently selling clothing ranges for Americas Cup 2003, Team New Zealand, Alinghi, and GBR Challenge. Additional Challenger ranges are coming soon. See also the stylish America's Cup Gold & Silverware including replica America's Cups. Perfect for gifts, promotions, and staff rewards. Worldwide delivery is guaranteed at very low freight rates. store.line7.com/display.asp?uid=21&c=-2
* The Swedish Match Tour has announced that Musto, a UK-based producer of premier sailing gear, is the new "Exclusive Clothing Supplier" of the Swedish Match Tour. Musto will have name and logo presence on all Swedish Match Tour collateral materials, commercial spots on Outdoor Life Network broadcasts of the Swedish Match Tour highlight programs in the United States, exposure on umpire clothing and VIP hospitality at each Swedish Match Tour event. Financial terms of the three-year deal were not disclosed.
* In two years, CORK will be 35-year-old, and to honor the anniversary the event organizers are collecting stories and snapshots for a CORK history book. Those with special stories to tell should contact the CORK office. All photos will be treasured and returned. email@example.com
* Two new grandstands for watching the America's Cup races have been added to the free public vantage points on the North Shore. One overlooks the Rangitoto Channel from the clifftop on the former HMNZS Tamaki, between Cheltenham and Narrow Neck Beaches in Devonport. The other is a platform on a former pa site at Castor Bay and has commanding views of the race course in the Hauraki Gulf. - Wayne Thompson & Ainsley Thomson, NZ Herald, full story: www.nzherald.co.nz
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Jennie Fitzhardinge: There seems to be a belief that if a sport is not followed slavishly by the media, it either doesn't exist, or is in danger of not existing. The first thing people need to understand is that sport: the media/entertainment commodity and sport: recreation enjoyed by ordinary people, are two entirely different things which can coexist but should not be managed as though they are the same thing.
In Australia, in spite of the media's obsession with football and cricket and a handful of overpaid tennis players and golfers, people still fish (more than any other sport), sail, bushwalk, play volleyball, hockey, basketball, netball, badminton, squash, water polo - the list could go on indefinitely.
The lack of media coverage of sailing has no impact on my enjoyment of my regular weekend race - in fact I would hate to see more media coverage result in my Saturday race being changed to accommodate the media - whereas watching the footy over the winter has never once inspired me to take up the game. Some sports are for doers, others are for watchers. Let's keep sailing for the doers.
* From Robert Middlemas: The barest truth on the subject of increasing the media presence of sailing is money. I know, big surprise. Imagine: Your a professional sailor. It is in your own best interest that your sponsor gets the highest return on their dollars. How does one do that? Enlarge the market. Nothing wrong with that, in this context. It benefits the upper echelon of the sport the most. Then I suppose, through osmosis or the "trickle down" theory, it benefits the rest of us if there is more sponsorship for large national regatta's, such as the NOODs or Key West.
As far was the midweek beer can race or local area weekend regatta, it does not matter a bit. As long as they (we?) don't mess with that, I'd be happy. And there is the possible rub. Trying to retrofit the sport as a whole to fit the needs of a few. I hope this is not happening. What the rock stars do or say has no bearing or effect on the racing I enjoy. It's a world removed. We can dream of sailing in an AC and they can dream of the time when sailing was (to them) just a sport.
* From Rick Hatch: So the odds makers have decided to rank Team Dennis Conner (12-1) well down the list before even the first round of the LVC has begun. I doubt very much that any other team in Auckland, including TNZ, is discounting Stars and Stripes this far in advance of the Big Dance. The blokes at William Hill bookmakers might want to brush up on the modern history of the America's Cup (1983-2000) before publishing their next tabulation. Let the show begin!
* From Dick Squire: You reported on the Big Boat Series in San Francisco, but I was a little surprised at what you didn't report; that is, that three boats were disqualified for infringement of the "Secret Love" rule. For those who don't remember "Secret Love", racing in the Big Boat Series some years ago, was cited and had to pay a fine for crossing the bow of a commercial ship. I don't remember the details of that incident, but I do believe it would be well to remind fellow sailors of our responsibility (and liability, let alone the dangers) of racing across the bow of unwieldy commercial traffic.
* From Art Engel: On average, about 25% of US Sailing's budget is generated from the Olympics (both revenue and expense). If I had to guess, that percentage will probably increase during this Olympics cycle. Readers can get a good feel for where US Sailing gets its money (and some feel for where it spends it) by looking at 'Butt 576, May 24, 2000. www.sailingsource.com/scuttlebutt/576.html
(The current issue of Forbes magazine has a piece about the America's Cup. Here is an excerpt that discusses campaign costs.)
* Larry Ellison has plowed $80 million into his Oracle/BMW syndicate. Cellular titan Craig McCaw and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen have united to fund the OneWorld Challenge with $75 million. Ernesto Bertarelli, the Swiss billionaire and chairman of drug firm Serono International, is spending $69 million. Patrizio Bertelli, chief of Prada, is betting $90 million to avenge his loss to New Zealand in 2000.
"Larry Ellison has a two-story, 10,000-square-foot floating hospitality tent for his sponsors. I'm very jealous," admits (Dennis) Conner.
Research and development can run $15 million. Tacticians now pull in $180,000 a year, skippers as much as $500,000. And the billionaires cover the cost of feeding and lodging teams of 100 or more, plus their families, in hotels.
Full story: www.forbes.com/forbes/2002/0930/400296.html
A DAY OFF
After a day without any of the matches that had been scheduled (there had been heavy squalls on Hauraki Gulf with forecasts for continuing storms on Friday), all the syndicates were invited to Alinghi for a friendly competition to see who was has the best match racing sailor and who is the strongest grinder.
The competition took place in the interactive plaza in the Alinghi base. The centre has been open since May and is available all day for anyone wanting to be grinder tested, sail match racing on computers or try out being a bowman on an America's Cup Class yacht.
To make the game a little harder the animations originally conceived for the general public have been customized. The Grinding Game settings were increased to challenge well trained crew members. A few interesting options were introduced on the Match Race Simulator to make the game more difficult and umpires will also be here to adjudicate the races.
Present are, besides Alinghi, Victory Challenge, Prada and OneWorld also Oracle BMW Racing, GBR Challenge, Mascalzone Latino and a team from the Louis Vuitton Cup umpires.
Victory, Prada, GBR Challenge and OneWorld have reached the semifinal and OneWorld's Scott Crawford beat Prada in the final.- Sail-World website,
APS IS HAVING A WARP SPEED SALE
Check out our Sale Rack for savings of over 70% off on last seasons' Samson Warp Speed colors. Here's an example. List price on a Melges 24 main halyard with ends whipped is $171.25, but during our sale it's only $61.50. Need new halyards, sheets or guys? Our rigging department can splice any of your rigging needs and have it ready to ship in two business days. Call us at 800-729-9767 to place your rigging order. www.apsltd.com/scuttlebutt.asp
The media coverage of the 2001-2002 Volvo Ocean Race was nothing short of sensational. Over the nearly ten-month period of the race, the television coverage amounted to 996 hours, with 4,152 items, split between dedicated programmes, coverage in existing sports programmes and news reports. The total viewer hours equated to over 92 million, with the total cumulative audience totalling 811 million. An estimated total unique audience of 150 million people followed the Volvo Ocean Race for an average of more than 30 minutes each. Overall results show that the dedicated programmes achieved better ratings than in previous races, as well as better quality and quantity of broadcasts. 71% of the audience watched the Volvo Ocean Race on the news.
Germany was the highest rating territory with a cumulative audience of 274 million people with the UK finishing second overall with an audience figure of 87 million. France marked the event with the third highest market with audience figures reaching 86 million, while Brazil accounted for a figure of 85 million. With two stopovers in the USA, viewing figures there reached a total of 80 million.
In the press, 15,264 cuttings were accumulated. Germany accounted for 29% of the articles, Sweden 18% and the UK 16%. The cumulative circulation of publications featuring the Volvo Ocean Race was 229,585,872. This generated a cumulative readership in excess of 640 million people with each article having an average readership of 43,496 people, although these figures only represent a snapshot of the actual global coverage, which was not monitored. - Lizzie Green, www.VolvoOceanRace.org
SAILING ON TV
September 24, 11:30AM, EDT, OLN: Road to the Louis Vuitton Cup - Episode five takes a look into the variety of athletic backgrounds - including rowing that America's Cup crew members came from. Then witness Spy games - the secretive world of Cup racing. And take a ride on Team New Zealand's 60-foot tender. Then see what the training regimens these athletes endure in order to compete on the Cup teams. And OLN closes with a tribute to the life and achievements of Sir Peter Blake. (Re-air: September 25, 2:30 PM EDT) www.olntv.com/ASTV_1772.cfm
It has been four days since the spectacular sendoff in New York harbor and the Around Alone fleet of 13 Open class yachts is now well out in the Atlantic sailing south of Newfoundland. It has been a wet and windy trip for all the boats with some sailors reporting squalls bringing 40 knots of wind and drenching rain. American sailor Bruce Schwab summed the conditions up with a single word. Yuk!
STANDINGS: Class 1: 1. Bobst Group Armor-Lux, Bernard Stamm, 1821.37 nm (distance to finish) 2. Solidaires, Thierry Dubois, 1886.36 nm (DTF) 3. Garnier, Patrick de Radigues, 1953.78 nm (DTF). Class 2: Tommy Hilfiger, Brad Van Liew, 2123.40 nm (DTF) 2. Everest Horizontal, Tim Kent, 2261.36 nm (DTF), 3. Spirit of Canada, Derek Hatfield, 2271.01 nm (DTF). www.aroundalone.com
J/22 EAST COAST CHAMPIONSHIP
The Annapolis Yacht Club hosted the J/22 East Coast Championship, with 52 boats, in southerly winds of 15 - 20 knots on lumpy seas on the Chesapeake Bay. After seven races with one throw-out, Last year's J/22 North American Champion, Greg Fisher, won the regatta with finishes of 3-1-(11)-1-2-3-1 for a score of 11. Sailing with Fisher were Keven and Jeff Eiber and JoAnne Jones. Second were Ray and Jenn Wulff with 14 points, Nancy Haberland was 3rd with 23 points and Peter McChesney was 4th with 26 pts.
Full results are at www.annapolisyc.org
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Is it true that "actions speak louder than words," or is "the pen is mightier than the sword?"