SCUTTLEBUTT #209 -- October 30, 1998
OLYMPIC ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Four members of the 1998 US Sailing Team have been named sailing's U.S.
Olympic Committee (USOC) Athletes of the Year. Recipients of the honor in
the Team category are 49er skipper MORGAN LARSON (Capitola, Calif.) and
crew KEVIN HALL (Ventura, Calif.). Laser sailor JOHN MYRDAL (Kailua,
Hawaii) and Europe sailor MEG GAILLARD (Pelham, N.Y.) are Male and Female
Athlete of the Year, respectively.
Bestowed annually, the USOC Athlete of the Year awards are based on
outstanding performance in competition. "These four sailors have made
excellent progress towards making their Olympic dreams reality," said
Olympic Sailing Committee Chair Bob Hobbs (Vernon, Conn.). "They are all
elite athletes in our sport and their dedication and commitment should
inspire us all." As US SAILING's USOC Athletes of the Year, these sailors
will be considered for the overall USOC Team of the Year, Male Athlete of
the Year and Female Athlete of the Year Awards. Slated for announcement in
December, 1998, the USOC award winners will be selected from the Athletes
of the Year recognized by each Olympic sport's national governing body.
Sailing the newest Olympic class boat -- the Australian-designed 49er, a
16-foot double-trapeze skiff with wings -- Larson and Hall have made their
mark internationally at two major events this year. Last May, at the '98
49er World Championship in France, Larson and Hall captured the bronze
medal in the 111-boat fleet and secured the U.S. its 49er berth for the
2000 Olympic Regatta. At the Sydney Harbour Regatta in September, the
first test event conducted by the Sydney Organising Committee for the
Olympic Games (SOCOG), Larson and Hall captured the silver medal, finishing
behind Australia's top Olympic prospect -- two-time 49er World Champion
('97, '98) Chris Nicholson. The duo again finished in the medals at the
49er North American Championship, where they claimed the silver among 22
teams. To round out their resume, they won both the 49er West Coast
Championship sailing in a fleet of 14 boats (Australia's Nicholson was
third), as well as the Nextlink Regatta, which had 17 teams competing.
Larson and Hall bring extraordinary talents to their partnership. In 1995,
Larson was on a meteoric rise up the world match racing ranking list and
was awarded the '95 Omega Achievement Award for Match Racing, an honor that
came with a $10,000 purse. Hall is a brilliant singlehanded sailor with
world youth championship titles to his credit as well as two Laser North
American titles ('91, '95).
John Myrdal, three-time Collegiate All-American and member of the US
Sailing Team since 1995, earned recognition when he finished 15th out of
130 boats at the '98 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World
Championship in Dubai, qualifying the U.S. in the Laser class for the 2000
Olympic Regatta. Additionally, Myrdal won the hotly contested '98 Miami
Olympic Classes Regatta (OCR) in a 34-boat Laser fleet, and finished fourth
out of 118 boats at the Laser U.S. Championships held in rough conditions
early this summer on Cape Cod. However, Myrdal values his performance at
SOCOG's Sydney Harbour Regatta as best reflecting his efforts this year.
"The talent field in the Laser class wasn't restricted to just one sailor
from each country," said Myrdal, who feels finishing fifth in the 42-boat
Laser fleet was a benchmark for his Olympic campaign. Myrdal placed behind
current World Champion and '96 Olympic Gold Medalist Robert Scheidt of
Brazil who won the event, and '96 Olympic Silver Medalist Ben Ainslie of
the U.K. who took the silver.
Meg Gaillard, ranked #2 on the 1998 US Sailing Team in the Europe, was
recognized for her performance at the Canadian Olympic Regatta - Kingston
(CORK), where she bested 25 sailors, including Canadian National Champion
and '96 Olympian Tine Moberg-Parker, to win the event. It was sweet
revenge for Gaillard who had placed fourth to Moberg-Parker's first in the
25-boat Europe fleet at the '98 Miami OCR. Gaillard won both the St.
Francis Fall Dinghy Series in San Francisco and the Europe Midwinters in
Sarasota in 11- and 15-boat Europe fleets, respectively. Earlier in the
summer, at the Swedish Qualifying Regatta for the World Championship, she
placed fifth out of 65 boats. -- Jan Harley, Media Pro
CANADIAN ROLEX AWARD
The Canadian Yachting Association's Rolex Sailor of the Year Award was
presented to Dirk Kneulman. This Award is presented annually to an
individual who has demonstrated sportsmanship, gained the respect of fellow
sailors and provided recognition to the sport of sailing in Canada.
In September 1998, he sailed to top spot in the International Etchells
World Championships in Marblehead, USA. Kneulman's stellar track record
includes acting as shipwright of theCanadian Sailing Team at the past four
Olympic Games and working as an active promoter of the Etchells Class, both
nationally and internationally. He has been the Canadian Champion in
Etchells seven times, Great Lakes Champion four times and North American
Champion twice. Rolex is the official sponsor of this award.
For more information:
There were more than 100 teams competing at the 505 World Championships
this year, but the top two boats in the final standings had a full
inventory of Ullman Sails. Ullman Sails also finished 1-3-4 at the 505 NAs.
It probably won't be very long before the other 505 competitors start
catching on and order Ullman Sails too. How about you? You can get a quote
on your new sail ONLINE right now·even if you sail something other than a
505. But hurry to qualify for the Fall discounts now available at many
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
>> From Peter Huston -- To Ali Meller - What is so wrong with being a big
goldfish in a small pond? I could say the same thing about you - that the
non-Olympic 505 class can't possibily be as competitive as is the Olympic
49'er class, but I know that to not be the case. Still, the fact remains
that the 505 is not the "best" class because it isn't Olympic - if there is
even something like the "best" class.
The 505 is a great class, and you do yourself and the class a disservice to
suggest that you and the 505 class are somehow superior to others who enjoy
the benefits of Appendix R. There are many people who have done as you
suggest, in terms of "boycotting" a class, only they left the sport
completely. To suggest that the only alternative for improving as a sailor
is to race only against the "best" is naive.
There are many people who enjoy sailing against like minded sailors who
have similar, but limited, resources in terms of time, money, and talent.
While far from perfect as it continues to evolve, Appendix R helps to
create a portion of this platform. You are free to select the type of
racing that suits you best, why rail against a competitive format which
helps people who have a lower competitive threshold than do you enjoy the
sport as best suits them? If growing the sport as a whole is a goal, then
there must be competitive formats which serve a wide variety of interests.
>> From Kitty James -- You asked several days ago (as you left for
Catalina) whether interest in Around Alone was below the level of the last
Whitbread Race for the Volvo Cup. Yes, I think the interest is considerably
lower at least here in the USA. For one thing the big stars of this race
are the French. They are the top racers in Class I with the latest yacht
designs. That's great for France but not as appealing for a USA audience.
Secondly, there is only one person per boat...none of the great "gotcha
photos" and none of the unplanned "interviews" that enlivened Whitbread.
What singlehander is going to take the time to video himself in his skivies
trying to do something down below?
Third, with Brad Van Lieu doing so well - a member of California YC - there
is a So Cal interest and I can imagine there is a following in So-Cal. But
Brad was not a local super-popular sailor who a lot of people know to the
point of feeling enthusiastic about his campaign. Fourth, and most
frustrating for me.
Quokka Sports has added all kinds of whiz-bang visuals to their website.
Using my 4-year old computer, this site has a way of freezing my system up
like none other. Unlike other sites, I rarely get to read more that one or
two items before my system freezes. Lord knows what would happen if I
cared to check out the photos. I never had that problem covering the
>> From Bobbi Tosse -Re: Tom Moulds 'protest' scenario: The SI's should
have indicated where and when any protests are to filed and should also
have indicated the mechanics being used to notify any interested parties.
>> From Ben Mitchell -- Just a thought on the OCS and the protest
situation. I agree that notice of OCS is the better way and not difficult
to do · and I do the race committee job a couple times a year. Principally
just the Fall One Design at CYC (not really a high stress job) but it does
give one the perspective on race committee work. While the job is very
doable and some people are far better at it than others the overwhelming
number of people doing it are volunteers. I think most racers who have not
done much race committee work should volunteer and do some. This will
accomplish a couple of things: 1) the racers may have a better appreciation
for RC work; 2) race committees will have more volunteers to work with; and
3) competitors will better understand the issues and constraints that the
>> From Frank Whitton- - Thank you to Steve Loeb for identifying an area
where IMS is working. I share your thoughts that IMS has the ability to
produce good racing. Maybe you could enlighten us on how you have adapted
it to be a system people believe in. With regards to Bob Johnstones being
an advertisement for J Boats. NO. He was right on on his analysis because I
have experienced the same problems he puts forth. Also I refer you to many
other Buttheads whose comments mirror mine and Johnstones. Its very
interesting to see that nobody else has stepped forward to supporrt this
system, especially the powers to be. What about it Paul Henderson and US
Sailing( John Wright)?? No comment??? Maybe you should start by telling us
the limitations and explain how it has an infinite number of ratings for
boats based on predicted velocities and how just picking one that is close
to race conditions is an order of magnitude better than IOR ever was and
PHRF ever will be. Just some more comments from the "Unqualified" West
Coast measurer who is getting poor selling shirts and would like some
measuring business to put some food in his baby's mouth.
>> From Rich Roberts -- Yachtie of the year? Paul Cayard. Period.
>> From Betsy Altman -- How about Nick Trotman for Rolex Yachtsman of the
Year. He led his team to victory in February at the World Team Racing
Championships in Miami and followed on through the summer winning the 505
NA's and the 505 Worlds.
>> From Larry Leonard -- I felt it was important to get back to you with
Quantum's vote for Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Of course we are biased,
but our own Terry Hutchinson has had an incredible year ! And it's not over
yet, as he has a chance to improve these results when the J/24 East Coast
Championship begin tomorrow, Friday 10/30.
On Monday, Terry and I are off to the Bitterend in Virgin Gorda to lock
horns with some of the Worlds top match race and America's Cup skippers, to
include Paul Cayard, Russell Coutts, Kenny Read, and Chris Larsen.
J-24 Midwinter Championship 1st; Key West Race Week IMS Class 1, 1st; Key
West Race Week IMS Class 1, 1st Fleet; SORC Mumm 36, 1st; All American
Regatta, 1st (sailed in FJ's, top College All American's and Collegiate
Sailors of the Year); J-24 Easter Regatta, 1st; NYYC IMS Spring Regatta IMS
Class 2, 1st; NYYC IMS Spring Regatta IMS Class 2, 1st Fleet; Pilots Point
IMS Class 1, 1st; Pilots Point IMS Class 1, 1st Fleet; J-24 World
Championships, 1st; J-24 North American Championships, 1st; Mumm 30 Lewmar
Cup, 1st; 1D 35 National Championship, 1st;
US SAILING'S AGM
Following is a summary of some of the highlights of US Sailing's Annual
General Meeting (AGM) held last week in Bellevue, Washington:
* Based on guidelines proposed by the United States Olympic Committee
(USOC) and approved on October 11, 1998, athlete representatives shall make
up 20 percent of National Governing Bodies' (NGB) board of directors,
executive committees, and other governing boards and committees. An
individual who has represented the United States in the Olympics, Pan Am
Games, or a world championship in the past 10 years qualifies. Athletes who
are also actively engaged in the sport, by finishing in the top half of an
NGB's national championship or a team selection competition within the past
24 months, also qualify. Some US SAILING committees meet the standard; many
committees do not. With the deadline of November 1999, the task force has
approximately 12 months to establish this new standard.
* Robert Hobbs, chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee reported that
funding is a prime focus right now. According to Hobbs, the committee
received less funding from the USOC in 1997 than in any other year in the
past decade. The challenge at present, as Hobbs said, "is funding what we
need to do."
* In an effort to utilize emerging technology to improve communication
between US SAILING, its members, volunteers, and the public, an aggressive
plan to upgrade the current US SAILING web site was approved.
* A lively discussion on the use of handheld radios for safety and to
notify competitors of starting early was held during a joint meeting of the
Inshore Committee and One-Design Class Council (ODCC). The conclusions:
Members felt that inshore and one-design classes should revisit their
policies on handheld radios in light of their reduced cost and the
important role they can play in safety; members also concluded that racers
want to be called over early, whether by radio or loud hailer, and urged
the Race Management Committee to review this issue and encourage race
committees to serve the interests of sailors.
* High school sailing is growing. Larry White (Niantic, Conn.), President
of the Interscholostic Sailing Association (ISSA), reported a 16.8-percent
growth in this sector in the past year.
* Competitor Eligibility received further clarification. Among the
rationale for some of the changes are: to liberalize the treatment of young
sailors who have not yet reached their 24th birthday; to bring the penalty
for breaking this rule in line with the penalty for breaking other rules;
and to set an expiration date on eligibility determinations. According to
Dave Irish, Chairman of the Competitor Eligibility Committee, the current
system uses the degree of financial interest a competitor has in the
sailing industry as the gauge; the committee may explore a way to also
measure skill and/or accomplishments of a competitor.
* Safety-at-Sea Chairman John Bonds reported that his committee explored
the current policy of requiring racers to wear PFDs (personal flotation
devices) at the finish line of races. The majority (18 to 3) voted not to
change the prescription, and no change in the PFD policy was recommended.
* This year, US SAILING was awarded its largest ever grant from the U.S.
Coast Guard to develop a learn-to-sail program for youth in America. Called
Sailing Smart, the program is created for 10- to 13-year-old youth who
would not normally have access to water sports. Betsy Altman spearheaded
the effort to develop a trio of workbooks and manuals-including an
instructor's manual, a how-to guide for program organizers, and a workbook
for students. To help market the program US SAILING has partnered with the
Aquatic Division of the National Recreation and Park Association.
For the full report:
Mike Golding has saved his best for last. A day after his dramatic bound
from third-place to first, the British skipper of the Groupe Finot Open 60
Team Group 4 today was continuing to blaze for the finish line off Cape
Town and adding miles to a lead that now appears insurmountable. At 0944
GMT Golding was an even 300 miles from capturing a win that as recently as
48 hours ago seemed impossible. At the latest update Golding held a 46-mile
lead over a pressing Isabelle Autissier, who was holding nothing back in a
last-ditch attempt to equal her first-leg Around Alone victory of four
If Golding can continue making the 14-knots-plus average speed he was
averaging early today, he could be in his berth on "victory's row" here at
the V&A Waterfront in the shadow of majestic Table Mountain by sunrise
tomorrow. Autissier and third-place Marc Thiercelin are also expected to
arrive sometime Saturday.
CLASS I (Distance to finish)
1. Golding 300
2. Autissier 346 R>
3. Thiercelin 383
4. Hall 670
1. Mouligne 1645
2. Van Liew 1739
3. Garside 1839
4. Davie 2364
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Depression is really anger without enthusiasm