SCUTTLEBUTT #270 - February 2, 1999
AMERICA'S CUP COMMENTARY
(The following is a brief excerpt from a column in the New York Times by
ESPN, the sports cable network, broadcasts the ocean races for U.S.
television from Auckland, New Zealand. The camera lens fills the screen
with a view of the two 75-foot yachts and their billowing sails: Team New
Zealand and New York's Young America.
So what's wrong with this pretty picture? A lot, if you're a producer for
ESPN. That's because the New York boat's hull and sails are plastered with
huge logos of Fox Sports Net. The division of Fox Television surfaced last
week as Young America's biggest cash sponsor. The network also happens to
be ESPN's most serious cable competitor worldwide.
Fox has set itself up as a thorn that won't be easily plucked from ESPN's
side. The deal has also angered sailors, who blame the New York Yacht Club
for jeopardizing television rights, which ultimately pay for the America's
ESPN could pull out of its television deal in protest. Its agreement is not
yet signed. "This is obviously a serious situation and we're in the process
of reviewing all our options," Geoffrey Mason, executive producer of ESPN's
America's Cup coverage, said Friday. -- Barbara Lloyd, New York Times
To read the full story:
SUN MICROSYSTEMS AUSTRALIA CUP
All the players are now gathered at the Royal Perth Yacht Club for the Sun
Microsystems Australia Cup, and this the seventeenth Cup series has one of
the toughest line-ups ever. This reflects the proximity to the America's
Cup, which starts in Auckland just eight months from now, and by this time
next year, most of the challengers will have been eliminated, as we
approach the Cup match itself, when the challenger meets the defending
Kiwis. Four challenging syndicates are represented here in this event on
Perth's Swan River, and not surprisingly they are the top four ranked
skippers in the series.
Top of the field is Peter Gilmour, a native of Perth, who now lives in
Japan, and will skipper the Nippon America's Cup Challenge in Auckland.
Gilmour and his Pizza-La Match Racing Team, are the current world
champions, the number one of the World Ranking ladder, and Peter has won
this event three times before.
Second on the World Rankings is England's Chris Law, and his Nautica Elite
Racing Team, and Law is the mystery man on the America's Cup scene, trying
to keep the British Challenge alive, but in demand by at least three other
teams. He brings with him a very talented crew, including Olympic silver
medallist and Laser World Champion Ben Ainslie, plus Whitbread Round the
World Race sailor Neil MacDonald, and his regular bowman and mainsheet
trimmer, James Stagg and Jules Salter.
Gavin Brady, is a Kiwi who now lives in America, and will sail with San
Francisco's America True Challenge in Auckland, he is now third on the
World Ranking ladder. Gavin comes to this event fresh from taking second
place at Key West Race Week, in Florida, one of America's biggest
Frenchman Luc Pillot is ranked tenth in the world, and represents France's
Yaka America's Cup challenge, and has been a regular visitor to Perth over
Magnus Holmberg of Sweden, sits on the eleventh rung of the world ranking
ladder, and has finished fourth in the two previous Australia Cups, but has
been here training for a week.
Neville Wittey is Australia's highest ranked match racer, and is the
current Australian Match Racing Champion, standing at twelfth in the world,
he is currently campaigning a Soling for the Sydney Olympics, the match
racing discipline at the Games.
Others incluce Tomislav Basic from Croatia; Denmark's Morten Henriksen is a
past European Match Racing Champion, and the current Danish champion;
Nicola Celon of Italy; and Sebastien Destremau, a Frenchman who has chosen
to live in Perth.
The regatta, which starts on Wednesday (3rd) morning, comprises two round
robin series, so that every skipper sails against each of the others twice,
the top four then progress to the semi-finals, and finals. -- John Roberson
Regatta website: http://sunaustcup.dowdigital.com.au
Slow sails are never cheapno matter how little they cost. But you can
improve your boat's performance with quality racing sails at a price that
is truly affordable. Let the professionals at Ullman Sails help move your
program to the next level. You can get a price quote online right now:
At least eight Corel 45s will be on the start line in Barcelona next
weekend (5-7 February 1999) for the second event in the Majorica Trophy.
This new Corel 45 winter series has attracted the majority of the top Corel
45 racing crews and will have a star-studded cast of the world's top
sailors. Heading the British contingent will be Eddie Warden Owen in
Babbalaas, owned by David Mclean. Babbalaas finished with equal points in
the first regatta but finished in overall second place after the tie break
was established. Faster K Yachting 2, which finished in first place, is
likely to be the favourite to win. With the same outstanding crew of
Bertrand Pace and Luc Gellusseau, they have a strong and well-tuned crew
who have raced together for a long time.
Babbalaas will be joined by other British boats Bounder, owned and helmed
by Chris Little; and Investor owned and helmed by Graham Walker. The
Spanish will defend their home waters with entries La Casera, helmed and
owned by Eugenio Jaudenes who loaned his boat to the Infanta Cristina in
the first race of the Series; and Aifos, skippered by HRH Prince Felipe de
Borbon. Both have finished middle of the fleet and will be looking to win a
few races next weekend.
Indulgence, the only Swedish entry, will be racing again in Barcelona. Also
participating will be Faster K Yachting 1, which has been chartered.
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
We read all of our e-mail, but simply can't publish every submission. Those
that we do publish are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max)
or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Bruce Golison (Regarding your question about Volvo's involvement in
sailing after they are acquired by Ford.) -- Like anybody else to owns a
company, Ford will require Volvo to be profitable. For Volvo to stay
involved with sailing, three things (at least) need to happen.
First, the sailing community worldwide needs to provide Volvo with Volvo
buyers! If they can, Volvo will stay involved in sailing. If not, they
will be gone.
Secondly, is Volvo happy with their experience at the sailing events. Were
they treated well and did they receive everything that was promised as part
of their promotional package by the event owners? Were the events well
done and did they reflect well on Volvo? Did the participants appreciate
Volvo's participation and support of the event? Did the media cover the
event and give Volvo its do for supporting the event?
Thirdly, does the senior management structure of Volvo stay intact? The
people there now are comfortable with what sailors can mean in terms of
If the answer is yes to all of these questions and Volvo has sold cars as a
result of their sponsorship, chances are good that Volvo will be around
sailing for a while.
As an event organizer of Southern California's new "Volvo Inshore
Championships", I know that the three organizations involved with that form
series will do everything in our power to make sure that Volvo remains
involved in sailing! Remember that the same critera for keeping Volvo
involved in our event, applies to any sponsor on any level at other sailing
--From Peter Johnson (UK) -- Alan Andrews said, 'At Key West...IMS
divisions often had closer corrected time finishes than the one-design
classes...' This is not surprising. The RORC Rating Office analyzed a
series of autumn Sunday races, which included strict one-designs, e.g 38s,
30s, and rated classes using CHS (though the actual rating system does not
matter here), in separate divisions over exactly the same courses, the same
day at ten, twenty minute etc intervals. The rated divisions, as at Key
West, had closer finishes (using top half of class for best talent).
We believe the reason for this effect is that rated boats have a different
speed potential and therefore separate on the water, even when being raced
at best potential. There is relatively less tactical interference. Later
the time allowance corrects them back into proximity.
By comparison, the one-design boat has to defeat its opponent by opening up
the gap and frustrating the other boat's potential. (Dirty air, shadowing,
taking a flyer etc). So times open up between the one-design boats.
Meanwhile a close corrected time under any rating rule does not prove the
effectiveness of that rule. Indeed it may indicate that any two given boats
are in 'the wrong order', or at least have been 'pushed closer' than they
-- From Sandy Grosvenor -- There is a small task force of volunteers (in
which I'm involved) already working on solving the US Sailing web site
problem. Our two top priorities are to have a new site that serves as a
communications tools and helps US Sailing "serve the sailors and the
sport". Second priortity is ensuring that the contractual structure of the
site allows us to be empower our volunteer force (and manage that diverse
body of souls).
I agree wholeheartedly with the complaints about the existing US Sailing
site. While it may not seem as tho' we are moving fast enough, we're trying
to balance between "paralysis by analysis" -and - (very important) not
making the same mistakes twice. This task force is currently involved in
evaluating a number of proposals for a site developer (web master), and a
new site provider (site host). Once that is done, we'll turn our attention
to tapping and organizing volunteers to get the content level where it
should be. If you'd like to be one of those volunteers, I'll stick my neck
out and offer to the Scuttlebutt readers to be a point of contact, email:
-- From Larry White -- I'm glad to see the discussion concerning US SAILING
taking a positive turn. Certainly complaints about US SAILING, USYRU and
NAYRU have filled the gaps in conversations among sailors for some years.
That's what scuttlebutts are for, that and getting a drink. Positive
comment and suggestion is harder to find.
Given the new Mission Statement and Strategic Plan, created by Mike
Schoettle's working group under direction from President Jim Muldoon, US
SAILING has a clearer path, one which the Board has approved. Getting on
with it is the challenge, and for all who love the sport, help is what is
needed, help and understanding. Communication is always a problem,
everywhere. Even familiar words don't mean the same thing to different
people. A will to understand each other and to get along go a long way
among people of good faith. Well, at least people care enough to complain,
that's a start. Maybe we can turn that energy into something positive which
will help us all. Sailing is the easy part.
--From Tom Moulds -- Addressing the comment from Glenn McCarthy in #267.
By definition Web sites are a great communication tool for large
distributed organizations of this type. Do to the nature of Web links one
parent site hosts the location of sub-sites that are organized, maintained,
and sometimes hosted by independent organizations. In this manner the
amount and quality of the information is only limited by the willingness of
the sub-committee to publish it. In fact this method works great for large
organizations like the US Navy all the way down to local sailing clubs. Far
as I am concerned any group lead by committee(many bosses)better be on the
forefront of communication, only dictators can afford to be mute.
Performance Catamarans has been charged with building the FJ and 420 for
Catalina Yachts. More than 25 years of experience with maintaining tight
tolerances necessary for one-design competition gained through production
of Nacra, Prindle and the new Inter lines of catamarans will be called upon
when building the doublehanded, centerboard dinghies.
Both the FJ and the 420 have been the longstanding answer for junior and
collegiate programs across the country. The 420 is offered in two versions,
the club version which incorporates a single trapeze and a conventional
spinnaker, and the collegiate version which has both crew hiking and no
spinnaker option. The FJ has a spinnaker. -- Amy Elliott
SAILING IN THE NOOD
On February 19, sailors from across the United States will convene in St.
Petersburg (FL) to compete for regional honors at the opening event of the
1999 GMC Yukon/Sailing World NOOD (National Offshore One-Design), a
nine-event national sailing circuit sponsored by GMC Yukon and organized by
Sailing World Magazine. The three-day event will be hosted by the St.
Petersburg Yacht Club, February 19-21.
The NOOD regattas started with a single event in Newport (RI) over a decade
ago, and the St. Petersburg NOOD was added in 1998. The first-ever winter
opener for this circuit, the '98 St. Petersburg NOOD drew 148 boats and
sailors were tested by a range of wind conditions on Tampa Bay - from light
breezes to stiff 24-knot blows.
A field of 13 classes raced the '98 event. Sixteen classes have been
invited this year, and several national fleets are working to build the St.
Petersburg NOOD into a winter opener for their class. Among the other
classes who have been invited to compete are: Etchells, Henderson 30, J/27,
J/29, Level 130, Melges 24, SR Max, Ultimate 20, Viper 640, and Wavelength
24. The deadline for entries is February 5, 1999. -- Cynthia Flanagan Goss
Sailing World website: http://www.sailingworld.com
Camet International has redesigned their website to better show off their
hot sailing gear. You really should check out their great sailing apparel
and gear bags. Recently Camet added a neat new Mylar and Vinyl/ Polyester
briefcase with an exterior zippered pocket and the bunches of interior
pockets and dividers for separate stowage for documents, pens, calculators,
a cellular phone and business cards. Definitely a good look:
UPDATE - SPEED RECORD
[Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin are attempting to set a speed record
for crossing the Atlantic Ocean (without assistance) in an open 19' Inter
Today, they only had 800 miles to go! Wednesday and Thursday are going to
be tough. Very strong winds and high waves will lead the men towards the
finish line in Guadeloupe. Tuesday, the wind increases rapidly to force 5
(17 - 21 knots) in the afternoon and the evening. Wind direction is still
Northeasterly. On Wednesday and Thursday the wind gets even stronger, force
6, from time to time force 7 Beaufort. Apart from this strong breeze to
near gale force winds, the waves increase in height coming from the North.
Maximum wave heights are expected to be around 3.5 meters on Thursday. --
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Procrastination is keeping up with yesterday