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SCUTTLEBUTT #270 - February 2, 1999

(The following is a brief excerpt from a column in the New York Times by Barbara Lloyd.)

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 Cup races.

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: getdoc+site+site+47810+0+ wAAA+America%27s%7ECup

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 international regattas.

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 recent years.

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:


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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.

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 Volvo sales.

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 regattas.

--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 warrant.

-- 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


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:

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:

[Hans Bouscholte and Gerard Navarin are attempting to set a speed record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean (without assistance) in an open 19' Inter catamaran.]

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. -- Hanneke Beers

Procrastination is keeping up with yesterday