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SCUTTLEBUTT #228 - December 2, 1998

AMERICA'S CUP
ESPN Inc will televise the 2000 America's Cup, to be sailed off the shores of Auckland, New Zealand. More than 70 hours of programming is planned on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Classic, with nightly race coverage beginning in January 2000 with the challenger semifinals, followed by the challenger finals. (There is no defender selection tournament as New Zealand is fielding only one team.)

The best-of-nine America's Cup series between New Zealand and the top challenger -- the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup -- will begin February 18 and will be televised live in primetime. The agreement also includes special programs before, during and after the event.

ESPN helped to transform the America's Cup from a sport with little awareness to a cultural phenomenon documented on newspapers' front pages. In 1983, ESPN interrupted regularly scheduled programming to carry the seventh and decisive race in which Australia defeated the United States and received record ratings. Based upon that experience, ESPN acquired the rights to the 1987 America's Cup from Australia and earned three CableACEs and numerous other awards with its breakthrough late-night coverage. The network also televised the 1988, 1992 and 1995 events from San Diego. The 1992 telecasts won a CableACE for directing and a Sports Emmy in the Technical Team Remote category.

INSIGHT FROM THE TORNADO WORLDS
(A special report to the 'Butt-heads by Charlie Ogletree and John Lovell from the recently completed Tornado World Championships.)

The regatta is over. We finished in 10th place overall, first North American boat by 10 places. We finished the regatta with a 20th and a 5th place in the final two races. The final race was a great way to end the regatta. We rounded the first mark in 1st place in 18 knots of breeze. We learned we need to improve our downwind speed as each downwind we would lose boats and then we would pass them all back upwind. Unfortunately we finish downwind so our 1st turned into a 5th. Some more hours of training and testing should solve our problems.

Darren Bundock and John Forbes (AUS) are the new World Champions. Roland Gabler finished 2nd and Fernando Leon 3rd. The Australian team has set a new speed standard we all need to work to achieve.

Our next event is the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in January. This event is a qualifier for the 1999 Pre-Olympics in Sydney. Our boats should arrive from Brazil just in time, hopefully. We just ordered a new boat and we are planning to spend a great deal of time next spring racing in Europe. -- Charlie Ogletree and John Lovell

THE LAND OF OZ
After a resounding win in the Tornado World Championship in Buzios, Brazil by Darren Bundock and John Forbes, Australia has three World Champions in Olympic Sailing Classes. It is the first time Australia has had three sailing World Champions in Olympic Classes in any one year, and marks the end of a very successful year for sailing in Australia. Australia finishes 1998 with six world champions:

- Darren Bundock and John Forbes - Tornado Class (Olympic)
- Chris Nicholson and Daniel Phillips - 49er Class (Olympic)
- Colin Beashel and David Giles - Star Class (Olympic)
- Roger Blasse - OK Dinghy Class
- Kerrie Ireland and Jacinta Tonner - Women1s Hobie 16 Class
- Mark Thorpe - Moth Class

Australian Yachting Federation site: http://aussailing.org

TRANSPAC
Rich Roberts noted that first three finishers in the '97 Transpac (Pyewacket, Cheval, and Victoria) will all have different owners/skippers if they sail in the next Transpac Race. Roy Disney has a new boat being built and Pyewacket is seriously for sale; Hal Ward sold Cheval; and Mike Campbell donated Victoria.

Transpac sure is a different game since the IOR 70 rating limit was removed. We seen the cost of line honors escalate dramatically and the ULDB 70s which for many years raced-level for the Barn Door Trophy, have migrated in great numbers to the Great Lakes, where they still rule the roost.

HURRY HURRY HURRY
Santa has been seen leaving the offices of Pacific Yacht Embroidery and Imprintables. Could it be that a lot of racers are going to be surprised at Christmas? For you appreciative boat owners and crew call Frank Whitton (619-226-8033) for your holiday needs. He can produce that something special for you. Time is flying though and don't wait until its too late to deliver before the holidays!!!

LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters may be edited for space (250 words max) and clarity and anything resembling a personal attack will quickly disappear!

> From Neil W. Humphrey (Vancouver, BC, CAN) - TWO THUMBS UP for Peter Johnstones Guest Editorial "Growing the Sport" in SB # 224. Great detail on how to introduce and retain people in our sport. Been there myself as some 30+ years ago my parents enrolled me in a sailing program at Kitsilano Yacht Club. Basically to keep me off the streets.

I caught the sailing bug then. It was a good time too as KYC was a center for dinghy sailing in the late 60's and early 70's. The club had teams sailing in most international and Olympic events. Even the social and cruising events were a good compliment to the all the racing that was going on. It was such a thriving and colorful environment to socialize and compete in.

Today, walking bye the old club is sad and unsettling to me as I can see how the sport of sailing has NOT GROWN as the club looks like it is just surviving. Looking back from now to the late 60's has our sport grown in numbers or in being marketed to the public any better? I don't think that in NA we have kept pace with our counterparts in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Do these countries have a better understanding of Youth Programs, Sport Growth & Retention, Amateurs Vs. Pros, Amateur to Pro Farm Systems and Marketing to Big Business? We should take a look and see what is different rather than keep dragging the above story on.

>> From Mike Benedict -- Thanks for the sad news on Hugh's passing. I spent many hours on the phone with Hugh during the development of cruising class schemes and rating ideas. We shared his results and ours at SDYC in our Mexican races to refine these ideas. In Hawaii last summer, he saw one more culmination of his hard work in the first Cruising Class in the Transpac. He was as happy then as I've seen him. He was always fun to chat with, and always had the right goal - how to get more people, in more different boats, with more different perspectives involved in our sport. I hope someone will pick up his mission.

>> From Randy Smith -- Now I know why Terry Harper is the Executive Director (of US Sailing). His guest editorial is accurate, well spoken, and puts all the complainers in their place. If you guys spent as much time wet-sanding your bottoms or doing crew practice, the joy of winning more races would far outweigh the burden of wearing live saving gear. Thanks, Tom, for signing the death certificate for this subject!

>> From Derek Webster -- Last weekend, I was down in Texas for the Bruce Cup. Interestingly enough, the Byte rep was down there hawking his wares... notably the 29er. I didn't have a chance to sail it, but a friend did. What I hear is this: The boat will sell for around $5000... not bad, considering that's what a new 420 or FJ will run. The 29er has a self-tacking jib, set on a traveller. The spinnaker halyard is run like a Laser 2 with bow launcher When you pull on the halyard, the sprit goes out as the spinnaker launches.

The early problems with the boat getting up to speed have been corrected. Many of the features are the same as on the 49er. The vang is above the boom, The sail splits at the tack to go around the vang. There is an asymmetrical chute with a sprit. The stern is open and self bailing. - Noticeable differences: Single trapeze instead of two. The wings don't go as far out. The 29er is distributed by Byte Boats, while the 49er comes from Vanguard.

My friend came back stoked, and said the chase boat couldn't keep up, and they were clocked at 17 knots... in 15-20 Knots of breeze.

SYDNEY - HOBART
Entries for the Telstra 54th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race officially closed today with a total fleet of 116 yachts, including entries from Great Britain, Switzerland, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and the USA, as well as well as Australia and New Zealand. Despite some late withdrawals from the original list of yachts applying to enter, it is still the largest fleet for the blue water classic since 1989, other than the 371-boat fleet that contested the 50th Hobart in 1994.

Entries by State and country: New South Wales 62, Victoria 20; Tasmania 12; Queensland 5; South Australia 7; Western Australia 1; Australian Capital Territory 2; Papua New Guinea 2; Great Britain 2; USA 1; Finland 1; New Caledonia 1.

The race record is 2 days 14 hours 07 minutes 10 seconds set by the German maxi yacht Morning Glory in 1996.

For more details: http://www.syd-hob.telstra.com.au

TIP O' THE WEEK
Things You Can do to Stay Focused:
1.Think clearly... think ahead. If you feel yourself getting tense or nervous prior to the start of a race, simply take a few deep breaths, note the tension in your muscles and relax them, clear your head by concentrating on your next move.

2.A quiet boat is a fast boat. Yelling commands, and other forms of nervous energy only detract from the team's focus.

3.A little positive reinforcement goes along way.

4.Imagine yourself executing your next move perfectly.

5.Ask what comes next. Keeping a running dialogue based on this question will focus your thinking on the next best move and will steal your attention away from negative thoughts. -- Contributed by the Coach at Sailweb.net.

YOUR BOAT PICTURE GOES HERE
Would you like a MasterCard with a picture of your boat on it? Would you be more interested if there was no annual fee for the card? Well, you can get one through the North Sails fall catalog. And you can order this catalog online: -- it too is free:
http://www.northsailscatalog.com/

AROUND ALONE
Brad Van Liew, skipper of Balance Bar, the youngest and one of two U.S. entrants in Around Alone 1998-99, will be the guest at a live online conference/chat this Thursday, 3 December. Conference participants may ask questions of Van Liew and race officials.

Access to the conference can be obtained in two ways: either through the standard forum chat/conference link in the CompuServe Sailing Forum, or via the Internet (http://go.compuserve.com/sailing) and try out the new CompuServe Web Forum Chat.

The conference is scheduled for 1800 GMT (2000 Cape Town Time, 1300 EST, 1000 PST, 1900 Paris Time, 0600 Auckland Time). -- Dan Miller

THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
It is always the right time to do the right thing.