SCUTTLEBUTT #211 -- November 3, 1998
It's hard to ignore the contrast in communications philosophy between the
ISAF and our National Governing Body, US Sailing. During US Sailing's
Annual General Meeting, not a single word of official communications was
released during the five days the delegates met in Bellevue, Washington. In
fact, it took four full days after the meeting ended before USSA posted a
carefully crafted and heavily approved meeting summary 'puff piece'on their
Contrast that with the steady stream of communications for the ISAF's
Annual Conference currently underway in Palma, Mallorca. Every night there
is an interesting and insightful update posted on the ISAF website before
the webmeister goes to bed. In fact the ISAF has devoted a separate web
page specifically to this conference.
The curmudgeon has toiled in the field of communications for the last four
decades -- it's one of the few things in life that I know anything about.
Perhaps that's why I admire people like Ali Meller -- an enlightened
volunteer for the 505 class. During the 505 NAs and Worlds, Ali busted his
tail to insure the world of cyberspace know what a great time the 505
sailors were having in Massachusetts. The same could be said about Alex
Pline, the tireless volunteer of the Snipe Class who spends a lot of time
at major Snipe regattas pounding on a keyboard while others are pounding
down beers. I've never met either Ali or Alex, but I do know they both have
a solid understanding of the importance of communications to a successful
Look at the communications efforts made by organizers of the Whitbread
Race, Around Alone, the GMC Yukon Sailing World NOOD regattas, and watch
the communications blitz at next January's GMC Yukon Yachting Key West Race
Week. These folks also understand the important role of communications to a
US Sailing is constantly looking for ways to get more grass roots support
from their seemingly apathetic constituency. One of the things they plan to
do is 'crank up' an improved web site. Personally, I don't think that will
help a lick if they don't also rethink their philosophy about communications.
What do you think?
Paul Bogataj, a preeminent aeronautical designer and longtime Boeing
engineer, joins the NYYC/Young America design team full-time to concentrate
on appendage development, John K. Marshall, president of the NYYC/Young
America Challenge announced today.
In an exclusive arrangement, Bogataj will focus on appendage design and
provide support to the mast and sail design programs. While at Boeing,
Bogataj performed the original research demonstrating the application of
computational fluid dynamic methods to America's Cup keel design for the
Partnership for America's Cup Technology (PACT) for the 1992 America's Cup
Defense. Boeing supplied the baseline technologies for PACT that were
shared among the American defense teams. He also contributed to the final
appendage design Stars & Stripes '92. Bogataj also conducted the
development of appendages for Stars & Stripes '95. Bogataj was with the
Team Caribbean Challenge before joining the NYYC/Young America Challenge.
A North American Sailing Champion in two classes, Bogataj holds a BS in
Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of
Washington. He resides with his wife and daughter in Tacoma, Washington.
Duncan MacLane is the Design/Technology Project Manager for the NYYC/Young
America Challenge. The principal designers are Bruce Farr & Associates,
Inc., of Annapolis, Maryland, the world's preeminent big boat designers.
Professor Jerome Milgram of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is
the program's senior scientist. Young America design team includes 20 of
the world's leading aerodynamic and hydrodynamic experts, and scientists
from top universities including Dartmouth, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, and the University of Maryland. The NYYC/Young America has
design/technology partnerships with the U.S. Navy and the Canadian National
Research Council. -- Jane Eagleson
For more information on the NYYC/Young America Challenge:
Curmudgeon's question: Could Bogataj's departure from Team Caribbean
Challenge be a precursor of other announcements?
What do you get when you combine MDT (for Multi Directional Threading) with
Stitchless technology? Well, Dennis & Sharon Case did it and they got the
trophy for the Schock 35 High Point Series -- again. Dick Schmidt & Gwen
Gordon did the same thing this past season, and they finished second behind
the Cases. MDT and Stitchless technology are two of the factors that make
Ullman Sails lighter, stronger·and apparently faster. Check out the Ullman
Sails website to learn how you can improve the performance of your racing
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
>> Mark Yeager -- Here are two more perfectly good examples of how John
Bonds and everyone else at US Sailing have completely lost touch with
reality. On one hand you have virtually every sailor in the free world
screaming that they want to be hailed over the VHF on over-earlies, but can
US Sailing accomplish this? Of course not.
On the other hand, you have Bonds and everybody else in the Ivory Tower
forgetting completely and totally that this country was founded on the
principles of freedom of choice and individual liberty. They're too busy
playing Big Brother with their stupid PFD rule. Never mind that a sailor
has enough brains to know when and when not to wear a PFD. Never mind that
in the southern latitudes of the US, the water is warm enough to swim in
the majority of the year. Never mind that 95-100 degrees of heat coupled
with light wind promotes dehydration and heatstroke when being forced to
wear extra clothing. Never mind that the Start/Finish line (where the PFD's
are required) is the ONE place on the whole racecourse where help is always
close at hand. Never mind that all of them in the Ivory Tower are presiding
over a decline in participation across the country (Been anywhere where the
entry list is up this year?), they're too busy playing Big Brother to
notice. (We're from the government and we're here to help you.)
>> From Frank Whitton -- Regarding Dan Nowlan and others who don't think
its fair to monetarily support the ISAF and National Organizations. I feel
differently. We should all equally support them. If we all gave $10
(including each Americas Cup syndicate) we would share equally in the
financial responsibility since we all get the same benefits.
>> From Fred Frye -- The guest editorial by Dan Nowlan was very scary. It
may put an end to many events that are mainstream races for the
non-professionals, those of us who love our sport. I can see real problems
for yacht clubs that ask for sponsorship help. How did these guys (ISAF)
get all the power? I guess when a Corinthian sport becomes
professionalized, "stuff" happens.
>> From Jack Mallinckrodt -- Frank Whitton questions "how IMS can have an
infinite number of ratings for boats based on predicted (wind) 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."
First, IMS scoring, using either PCS or PLS (like AMERICAP) does NOT
require or use "predicted wind velocity". That was discarded long ago as
impractical. Both PCS and PLS, however, have the ability to properly take
into account the slow/fast nature of the race and calculate a time
allowance appropriate to each yacht in those conditions. How that is done
is a longer story than we can tell here but for anyone seriously interested
the documentation is available.
While we all know that there are light wind boats and heavy wind boats,
most don't appreciate just how big a factor this can be. Within our
current SCORA (Southern California Ocean Racing) AMERICAP fleet, there are
yachts which, if handicapped perfectly at 10 knots with any single number
system like IOR or PHRF, would be in error with respect to one another by
as much as 53 seconds per mile at 20 knots wind, and by 125 seconds per
mile at 6 knots. That's a HUMONGEOUS error inherent in any otherwise
perfect single number scoring system.
Nobody thinks IMS is perfect. But it is being constantly improved by ORC.
It doesn't know how to handle asymmetrical rigs very well -- yet. But many
IMS adherents on the east coast and in Europe, have stated that for a large
range of boat types, IMS, properly scored, (PCS or PLS) has led to the most
accurate handicapping we've ever had.
>> From Peter Johnstone -- Sailor of the Year? Anyone can go rack up a nice
victory list, but how many can fundamentally change the course of the sport
through their on-the-water feats. Think about it. Before Cayard, the
Whitbread was a second tier event clearly behind the America's Cup. Cayard
not only won it in his first try, but he elevated it into the pinnacle
event in sailing. He taught a whole generation of offshore sailors how to
do it right, and through his communications, kept the rest of us on the
edge of our office chairs for the better part of nine months reading his
entertaining e-mails. No individual has done a better job of capturing the
imagination and support of everyone, whether sailors or not, since Dennis
winning the Cup back in '87. Sailor of the Year? Give it to Cayard and call
it Sailor of the Decade.
IMS vs. one design vs. PHRF? Who cares? Each have their following. Each
have their benefits and pitfalls. All that really matters is that their are
great choices for different sailors to go sail. There is no one greatest
boat, class, or rule. The beauty of sailing is that there are so many
choices and varieties. No one can ever master all of it, which is probably
why we're all so hooked. In my opinion, those making critical judgements of
other's sailing choices are usually the ones who've sampled the fewest
sailing choices. Sail where you want, enjoy it, and let the participation
numbers do the paring. What may be right in one area may not be right for
the next. The beauty of sailing is that it is NOT homogeneous.
>> From Ty Goss -- As to nominations for the Rolex awards, I think there
isn't much question that Terry Hutchinson is a shoe-in for the award. Not
only has he dominated the J-24 class this year, (Midwinters, NAs,and the
Worlds) But he also won the Mumm 36's at SORC, and was instrumental in
winning the Mumm 30 East Coast Championships in Annapolis. I'm sure with
his racing schedule there are several other bullets in his resume. Let's
face it, this is Terry's year. The wind gods have done him well. I bet he
can almost hear the Rolex ticking now.
>> From Jim Nichols -- (Regarding the Around Alone website) I noticed the
same 'surfeit' of web gizmos on my first visit to the site - sent an email
to the webmaster suggesting streamlining things a bit, and received an
appreciative response outlining steps taken to do just that. So, quodos to
Quokka for being responsive to input and criticism ... if you don't ask,
you don't get.
>> From Chris Ericksen -- Re Ben Mitchell's recommendation that racers who
have not done much race committee work should volunteer and do some: I
couldn't agree more. As you know, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club relies almost
exclusively on volunteers plucked out of their racing boats once or twice a
year to run races; it is not a coincidence that ABYC is recognized for
excellence in race management. I have one other suggestion, though, to
pass along: I wish those clubs who rely on the same people running races
every time would also require (or at least encourage strongly) that these
people race sailboats at least once a year. There are clubs in SoCal whose
race committees are made up of people who have not raced sailboats in this
decade, and their performance shows.
>> From Dieter Loibner -- My Rolex Vote: Cayard.
>> From Rich Roberts -- How are the world match-racing rankings like an
Russell Coutts wins the Bermuda Gold Cup--a premier event--and drops out of
the top 10 (12th). That's because the rankings cover the last three years
and Coutts' '96 successes have started to drop off the chart. In other
words, he could have sailed off the end of the earth after '96 and stayed
in the top 10 another two years. Sailing is sure hard to explain sometimes.
It seems a little like voting for a dead man -- which some of us in LA will
>> From Peter Huston -- To James Nichols - the issue which surrounds the
use of Appendix R has nothing to do with defining the difference between a
hobby and a sport. Rather, the issue is one of coming to terms with
creating a system that defines the difference between those who wish to
race sailboats as a sport, rather than as business.
Appendix R is hardly the be-all and end-all of an eligibility system. Much
work remains, and continues, to be done in this area. The application of
Appendix R, or any subsequent eligibility system, should be (and typically
is) left up solely to those who currently, and consistently, race in any
class or event. It is the responsibility of ISAF and member national
authorities to give all sailors the infrastructure tools to create
competitive formats other than only "king of the mountain".
Yesterday's 'Butt carried an America's Cup story that apparently originated
from Michael Levitt, communications director of the NYYC. We found it on
the ISAF website and it said in part, "The 1995 America's Cup was
reportedly watched by 40-billion viewers in 172 countries." Two sharp-eyed
readers found a mistake and let us know about it.
Don Anderson wrote to say, "Wow, impressive considering there are only 5
billion people on Earth. I wonder to what other planets it was broadcast?"
And we also heard from Steve Glassman who commented-- "I know, just those
ESPN guys looking to build the ratings during sweeps month (November)."
Thanks guys for keeping us honest.
Cape Town, South Africa -- Giovanni Soldini today finished a disappointing
Around Alone Leg 1 on a dreary, grey morning that held little promise of
joy or sunshine. In Class II, J.P. Mouligne led a trio of competitors who
are now within 1,000 miles of the finish line. Unless something disastrous
occurs, Mouligne, with just 600 miles to go at 0944 GMT, appears destined
to lead Brad Van Liew (786 miles) and Mike Garside (843 miles) home.
ISAF ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Jane Moon has withdrawn her candidacy as an ISAF Vice President today. At
the women's sailing committee with female representatives of other ISAF
committees present Jane Moon was unanimously appointed as the women's
representative on the ISAF council. The three remaining female candidates
for ISAF Vice President are Helen Mary Wilkes, Theresa Lara Anzola and
Nucci Novi Ceppellini. The election for the 7 Vice Presidents, one of whom
must be a woman, will take place on Saturday the 7th of November.
Ser Miang of Singapore has withdrawn his candidacy for ISAF Vice President
due to his International Olympic Committee committments. Remaining
candidates for Vice President are George Andreadis (GRE), Teresa Lara
Anzola (VEN), Fernando Bolin (ESP), Sadi Claeys (BEL), David Kellett (AUS),
Nucci Novi Ceppellini (ITA), Goran Petersson (SWE), Ken Ryan (IRL), James
Schoonmaker (USA), Tom Ehman (USA), Bernhard Stegmeier (SUI) and Helen Mary Wilkes (IRL).
The BUZZ Class was recommended for ISAF Recognized Status, the 49er was
recommended for International Status, both recommendations are expected to
be approved by council later this week.
Tuesday's are meetings of the Events, Racing Rules, Constitution,
Measurement and International Regulations Committees, with a Sailors' and
Coaches Forum. Tonight, the winners of the 1998 ISAF/Sperry Top-Sider World
Sailor of the Year Award will be announced. (Scuttlebutt will honor the
embargo of the ISAF press release and hold off the announcement of the
winners until tomorrow's issue.)
MORE ISAF CONFERENCE
The following is a special "non-official" report to the 'Butt-heads from
the ISAF Annual Conference currently underway in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Canadian Steve Tupper reporting:
OFFSHORE ONE DESIGN -- The committee modified its terms of reference and
admitted "development" classes into its activities thus opening the door to
the many classes of oceanic boats. The committee considered six new classes
asking for recognized status. The Mono Hull 60, Multi Hull 60 and the Farr
40 were recommended for Recognized Status. The J-80 and the Sidney 40 were
deferred to next year as they were deficient in numbers of boats and
The One Design Maxi was accepted subject to getting the two boats presently
under construction launched and in the water. The committee considered and
approved a proposal for ISAF to hold a One Design Offshore Championship
every four years. With the first one potentially held in 2001. Dubai and
France have indicated interest in hosting this event. It would be a
one-week regatta with four or five of the ISAF Classes competing.
YOUTH COMMITTEE -- The major decisions revolved around endorsing a
submission to broaden the number of classes eligible to be used in the
Youth Worlds. This will enable potential host countries to bid for the
event utilizing the International and Recognized classes in their country.
It is likely that Countries will be required to state the classes they
intend to use when hosting around 2 years in advance. The 2000 Youth
Championships were postponed form the original dates early in 2000 to a
date late in the year. This will ease the problem of the events currently
being scheduled close to the South African dates. The Nova Scotia bid to
host the event in 2002 was provisionally accepted and planning can now
begin in earnest.
KEELBOAT COMMITTEE -- Major concerns lay in the Dragon Class rules where
the recent popularity of the class has lead to new builders looking for
ways to optimize boats built within rules that had not been updated for
many years. A revised set of hull measurement rules was presented and
should solve the problems. Most other discussion centered around the
control of keels and especially keel thickness in several classes.
FUTURE OLYMPIC CLASSES -- Following the committee meetings there was an
Open Forum on the future Olympics. Many issues were discussed and old one
rehashed. All aspects of our sport are working hard on securing their
place in the Olympic Program or expanding it. Discussion really centered
around three key issues. Should match racing be a stand-alone event in the
Games? Should there be both male and female match racing? (There is a
requirement by the IOC for sailing to raise the percentage of women
competing in the Games to 30% by 2004. The last games had 19.5%.) How the
events and classes will be picked for 2004?
An added interest was a letter from the IOC suggesting that Sailing should
try to reflect both classic aspects of its sport as well as keeping the
competition athletic. They suggested that we should only consider changing
30% of our events over any one Olympic period.
49er -- The Committee debated a submission concerning the methods of
selecting builders and controlling the actual 49ers that will be sailed in
Sydney. The Sailors want to have the boats selected from a single builder
and built just before the Games. This tends to contradict the concept of
four builders that are to build a uniform product around the world. There
is no doubt that all old boats will be ruled out and that only boats built
to the new tighter building specs will be accepted.
Europe -- There is a great debate about Europe Dinghy masts. Over the last
two years there has been a growing concern about the mast specifications,
which is permitting a development race leading to development of expensive
"Wing" masts. The class has brought a new set of class rules to the
committee, which will rule out the Wing mast development and make the mast
virtually one-design in profile. The debate will continue through the
Events and Sailing Committee and I will report when I feel there is a
Windsurfing -- The windsurfing committee noted the proposals for changing
away from One Design towards Funboard and did not make any decisions to
WOMEN'S COMMITTEE -- The women's committee met and soundly refused the
concept of eliminating this committee. They also held an election and
selected Jane Moon from the Cayman Islands to fill the women's seat on the
Council. There are still two key women's positions to be decided that of
ISAF VP which election on Saturday and the Chairman of the Women's
Committee, which will be appointed by Council.
The election process is starting to heat up with a growing realization
among delegates to the fact that not only is it important to recruit votes
but you must be certain that you get everyone to vote at the right time.
This is because the 7 VPs will be selected by individual votes among all
the candidates remaining after each election round. -- Steve Tupper
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
You can swim against the stream, but don't expect the stream to turn around.