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SCUTTLEBUTT #209 -- October 30, 1998


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


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 Ullman lofts:


>> 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 Whitbread.

>> 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 committee faces.

>> 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;


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 years ago.

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

Event website:

Depression is really anger without enthusiasm