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SCUTTLEBUTT #288 - March 12, 1999

South Portland, ME, March 12, 1999 - The NYYC/Young America Challenge today asked FOX Sports Net, a division of FOX Television, to release the America's Cup team from features of its sponsorship contract objectionable to America's Cup broadcaster ESPN so that plans for the U.S. America's Cup 2000 television broadcast could move forward. FOX Sports Net agreed to accommodate the NYYC/Young America request because they believe it is in the best interest of the overall event and of Young America's effort to bring the America's Cup home.

"In order to support our team and out of respect for the America's Cup, FOX Sports has generously agreed to release us from the contractual obligations that ESPN objected to," John Marshall, president of the NYYC/Young America Challenge said today. "FOX Sports Net agrees with us that our partnership has fueled a dispute that has become a distraction from our mission of winning the Cup. Any uncertainties regarding the broadcast of the event can only continue to hurt the chances of all contenders to raise sponsorship support and Young America needs to continue to focus on winning the America's Cup," Marshall said.

Young America's sponsorship package with FOX Sports Net included logo signage on Young America's sails and the hulls of its two new racing yachts. When Young America signed FOX Sports Net in January, U.S. cable sports network ESPN was in the final stages of their negotiations for the event broadcast rights. ESPN subsequently included stipulations that would prohibit the FOX logos from appearing on the Young America boats. ESPN has since signed an agreement for the U.S. broadcast rights. Final ratification of that agreement is pending.

"When we signed our agreement with FOX Sports Net in January, this sponsorship did not contravene any existing arrangements for the event broadcast and ESPN had not asked for any veto over syndicate sponsors," Marshall said. "Unfortunately that situation changed and this seems to be the best solution to preserve the dignity of the America's Cup and to allow us to continue undistracted towards victory in 2000. Thanks to the significant support we have from individual contributions nationwide, as well as from our other world-class corporate sponsors and suppliers, the necessary funding is in place for construction of our two new Bruce Farr designed boats and they remain solidly on track for summer delivery," Marshall said.

Vince Wladika, spokesman for FOX Sports Net, said, "When we gave money to help build a winning U.S. entrant, we did it for two reasons: to bring the Cup back to America; and it was a good marketing opportunity. When it became apparent the televising network was willing to sacrifice the event along with America's chances of reclaiming the Cup, we felt it was our duty to put our own interest behind that of America's reclamation of the Cup."

Young America website:

GUEST EDITORIAL - By Brad Dellenbaugh
(In 'Butt 286 Peter Huston gave us his views on ways to improve the sport's National Governing Body -- US SAILING. Today we offer Brad Dellenbaugh's thoughts on the subject.)

Peter Huston offers up lots of "constructive" criticism, then waving his magic money wand in the way of a solution. If you build it, they (corporate sponsors) will come. The problems with Peter's suggestions are the reality factors. Perhaps it's a chicken and the egg thing, but adding free members costs (some) money, and the corporate $$$ don't come in the minute you hit a membership threshold.

That said, I actually agree with Peter about increasing membership, eliminating the competitor eligibility rule and building the Association into an organization that would be more marketable.

I think that there should be some nominal or free membership level for US SAILING. How about requiring anyone that races to be at least an "associate" member, but it's free. You sign up on the web and it automatically puts you in the database, so there is minimal cost to US SAILING. Perhaps some of these new members eventually decide to upgrade and/or purchase merchandise or publications online. If you want the benefits of membership such as reduced entry fees, the magazine, insurance, rating certificates, the rulebook, then you need to be a "regular" member with a dues structure similar to what it is now. With more members, the organization would be more attractive to sponsors and eventually, when the big corporate bucks come in, the magic wand can sweep all these dues away. Hallelujah! (By the way, US Tennis and Golf dues are $25/year)

Regarding competitor eligibility, there are just too many problems with the system as it now exists. US SAILING has actually toyed with the idea of a system based on actual ability (called SALT) vice vocation (appendix R). Somewhat of a handicap system, it reflects your proven success (or lack thereof) on the race course. If you win major championships in the last five years, you might be a 10. If you compete in your local club races, you might be a 2. It is self-administered; you would go online, follow the instructions to figure out your rating (1-low to 10-high) based on your best results at your highest level of competition, then enter it on a database. The idea is that everyone could race together, but you might give prizes to the top boats at different levels (average rating of 3, average rating of 5, open). Perhaps it is now time to put this, or a similar system, into play.

CONGRESSIONAL CUP - Report by Rich Roberts
LONG BEACH, Calif.-Despite winning all three of his races Thursday, Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Paul Cayard lost ground to front-running defending champion Peter Holmberg and Germany's Markus Wieser as Congressional Cup competition passed the halfway point.

The joker Cayard drew from the deck was a half-point penalty imposed at the end of the day's racing for a pre-start collision with Italy's Francesco de Angelis in the first race of the day. Cayard rear-ended de Angelis seconds before the gun and was flagged for a penalty by the on-water umpires, but he stretched a lead far enough to do his penalty turn near the finish and still win by 29 seconds. According to the match racing rules, (Appendix C6.3) (b) "If the protest committee decides that a breach of a rule has had no significant effect on the outcome of the match, it may (1) impose a penalty of one point or part of a point." Because Cayard won the race and his foul was considered "negligent" and caused damage, the umpires added the further penalty, which could become critical by the time the event winds up Saturday.

Holmberg's only loss has been to Cayard, which means that the Whitbread Round the World Race winner has lost his tie-breaking edge against the Virgin Islander should he beat him again and their other results are equal.

"After the last race the jury came [alongside] me and said they had taken a half-point away from me," Cayard said. "I was shocked. [During] two or three hours of sailing nothing was said. [Gavin] Brady took out my stern pulpit [Tuesday] and didn't get an extra penalty, but he lost the race. I chip the gelcoat and get a half-point. It was like they were trying to get me."

Holmberg leads with a 9-1 record and eight rounds to go. Wieser, who also swept Thursday's races, is 8-2. Cayard is 7 ?-2.

The day's racing was delayed several hours not because of the morning's rain but because there was no wind along with it. The boats didn't leave the dock at the Long Beach Yacht Club until 1 o'clock, two hours after the scheduled start of racing, and then drifted another two hours until they had wind, which built to a solid 10 knots for the last two rounds.

Two former champions had tough days. Gavin Brady ('96-97) admitted to "brain fade" after crossing the starting line early against Holmberg and dropping the first race to France's Luc Pillot, falling to 5-5. Dave Perry ('83-84) slid to 1-9, ahead only of winless Betsy Alison and her all-woman crew.

-- The racing may be seen live today and Saturday by in-house feed on big-screen TV in the Long Beach Yacht Club lounge. Lunch and refreshments will be available. Action is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. daily, wind permitting.

-- Heroine of the week was Molly McCloud of Betsy Alison's crew. McCloud, who helps to care for the Catalina 37 fleet, half-stripped on the chilly day to dive under her boat to clear a spinnaker sheet that had tangled in the rudder.

-- Gavin Brady shuffled his crew on the first day of racing from the list published earlier. The new lineup: Craig Wilson, tactician; Skip Baxter, main; Rich Matzinger, trimmer; Pieter van Nieuwenhuyzen, bow; Tracy Usher, trimmer; Collette McKeever, pit. - Rich Roberts

Results: ROUND EIGHT-Paul Cayard, St. Francis YC, San Francisco, def. Francesco de Angelis, YC Punta Ala, Italy, 0:29; Neville Wittey, Royal Sydney YC, Australia, def. Dave Perry, Pequot YC, Southport, Conn., 0:42; Markus Wieser, Deutscher Touring YC, Germany, def. Betsy Alison, International Yacht and Athletic Club, Newport, R.I., 0:46; Luc Pillot, Club APCC Nantes, France, def. Gavin Brady, Royal Hong Kong YC, 0:26; Peter Holmberg, St. Thomas YC, U.S. Virgin Islands, def. Scott Dickson, Long Beach YC, 0:09.

ROUND NINE-Wittey d. Alison, 1:09; Wieser d. Pillot, 0:40; Holmberg d. Brady, 0:38; de Angelis d. Dickson, 0:21; Cayard d. Perry, 0:43.

ROUND 10-Wieser d. Dickson, 0:18; Brady d. de Angelis, 0:24; Pillot d. Perry, 0:53; Holmberg d. Alison, 0:35; Cayard d. Wittey, 0:30.

STANDINGS (10 of 18 rounds)-1. Holmberg, 9-1; 2. Wieser, 8-2; 3. Cayard, 7 1/2-2; 4. Pillot, 7-3; 5. De Angelis, 6-4; 6. Brady, 5-5; 7. Tie between Dickson and Wittey, 3-7; 9. Perry, 1-9; 10. Alison, 0-10.

Event website:

The quality of sailing apparel is measured over years of service, not how an item looks hanging in the store. That's why Douglas Gill works so hard to exceed "industry standards" in everything they do. And they do a lot - a huge and diversified selection of weather gear, jackets, boots, gloves, hats, PFDs and everything you'll need for "layering." Check it all out on their impressive web site:

Clearwater, FL -- Another beautiful day, three more races to finish out the regatta. It looked like the lightish easterly might fight the local thermal, but the breeze backed to the north and strenghtened into the upper teens thoughout the day. George Szabo/Carol Newman Cronin rallied with a 2,1,1 to win the regatta. Andrew Pimental, sailing with Aubrey Eath a University of South Florida student, who was a last minute fill-in for his crew who broke her arm in a hockey game just prior to regatta, squeaked past Greg Fisher/Jerelyn Biehl for second. Henry Filter, reunited with Lorie Stout and Hal Gilreath/Alex Stout were close with 20 and 21 points to round out the top five. Peter Commette and his 8 year old daughter Sheehan had a great regatta finishing 7th and winning race 3. Although they weighed in at 250 pounds she said "they hiked 260 pounds worth!" -- Alex Pline


Event website:

The 1999 Bacardi Cup runs through Friday, March 12th with competitors sailing one race per day.
Five races sailed to date. Top ten through Thursday (one throwout):
1. Ross MacDonaod / Bjorn Kai, 15 points
2. Eric Doyle / Brian Terhaar, 19
3. John MacCausland / Phil Trinter, 23
4. Mark Reynolds / Magnus Liljedahl, 26
5. Peter Bromby / Lee White, 32
6. Peter Vessella / Mike Dorgan, 35
7. Cuyler Morris / Tom Olsen, 37
8. Alexander Hagen / Thorsten Helmert, 45
9. Augie Diaz / Hal Haenel, 45
10. Vincent Hoesch / Florian Fendt, 46

Event website:

We read all of your e-mail, but simply can't publish every submission. Letters that are published are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Bob Fisher -- Prior to the Cup in 1983, Alan Bond built two boats designed by Ben Lexcen, Australia II and the boat which became Challenge 12 when he sold her to Dick Pratt of Melbourne, who campaigned her in Newport, but Bond had had the use of two boats.

-- From Nick Longhurst -- Above all else, the Around Alone race is purely an endurance effort. Single handers sail on an average at 50% - 60% efficiency over a 24 hour period, that and the best weather interpretation seems to be what this race is all about. The point here is that this race could usefully be sailed in one-design boats-- which would have longevity over more than just one race. They don't necessarily have to be lead-mines, but something well designed and inherently stable, since this is probably not the race to be pushing the edge of the design envelope... as we have seen. Having them all built by one constructor would lower costs and increase the number of participants, something which has seemed to be going down over time. The winner of this race should be the one who can maintain the highest level of performance over the whole leg, not the one who spent the most money to buy the best designer and thus get the fastest boat. Doesn't this sound like we've heard it before...

-- From Richard Hazelton -- Intriguing group of letters in the March 9 issue. First of all, I think Peter Huston's wake up call to US Sailing is well founded. Is the organization to promote sailing or only racing sailing? That strongly restricts and intimidates a lot of would-be sailors. What if you join a car club for the fun, weekend outings, do you have to join NASCAR?

On Ike Stepherson's comments that "we have no right to restrain others activities unless they harm others in a forceful manner", that sounds great on the surface, but what about the hundreds of people in boats and planes that are put at risk, not at their own free will, when something goes wrong. Competitors sail and everyone else is responsible. Why are the boats getting more fragile - prize money, what else?

-- From Joseph M Erwin -- Comparing US Sailing to a market driven enterprise distorts US Sailing's role in the sport. US Sailing occupies the same position relative to participants as do other sport national governing bodies under the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. In broad terms that mission may be described as fostering local, regional, and national competition. However, using the logic in the Editorial, if there are 40 million joggers in the US (my guesstimate), and the membership of USA Track and Field (the national governing body of track and field) is only 100,000 (source: USATF's website), then USATF has an even worse share of its "market" than does US Sailing.

This logic rests on the fallacious assumption that I have seen in every club with which I have been associated, namely, that every one who sails wants to race. This is just not correct.

Mr. Huston does emphasize the professional versus amateur issue that US Sailing needs to address again --- though this distinction is of more concern for a few hundred sailmakers than for the thousands of families in the small sailing clubs that US Sailing serves. But here, perhaps a sailor handicapping system would be appropriate. US Sailing's "American Sailor" published just such an idea a few years ago, but I have yet to read any Category 1 sailor using or commenting on it for improvement or modification of the current system.

There is much to improve with US Sailing, but considering its mission and resources, it is not doing a bad job.

-- From Robert Bethune -- According to the Coast Guard, in 1996 there were 320,283 sailboats registered in the United States. That figure is definitely an understatement of how many sailboats there are, due to lots of variations in how boats are registered in different states. Let's say that the true figure is 600,000. If there are 4,400,000 sailors, and if the typical boat is owned by two persons--surely an overestimate--that leaves 3,200,000 sailors without boats. That's not a reasonable result, of course. It's simply a demonstration that our statistics are junk.

As for the rest of Mr. Huston's argument, his point that the sport of sailing needs promotion is undeniable. However, there is no particular reason why US Sailing should be the promoter. Their job is to be the US authority that administers and encourages the sport of yachting--i.e., nationally organized, formally sanctioned sailing competition. Sailing as a whole--cruising, gunkholing, daysailing, casual/club racing, youth sailing, etc.--could probably be more effectively promoted by a group with no special assignment or brief for yachting. One such group already exists: the National Sailing Industry Association ( which runs the Discover Sailing program--a good example of the kind of initiative that's needed, and one that US Sailing is not particularly well-qualified to conduct.

Five Simple Ways to Improve Speed 1. Try to point only AFTER you are up to full speed. This allows you to gain maximum lift off the keel and rudder foils. 2. Place telltales on the leeches of your sails (75% of the way up). These will tell you if the sails are free-flowing, or stalled (and might need to be eased). 3. Set your sails for the wind, AND WAVE CONDITIONS. Flatter sails for flatter water... fuller, more powerful sails in choppier water. 4. Know your mode. Your whole team should always know whether you're in point mode(high), or foot mode (fast). Foot mode=bow down, main and jib eased. Point mode - bow up, main and jib trimmed. 5. Number and mark all key control settings onboard. Mark all halyards and controls so fast settings can be easily duplicated. -- The Coach at

Sailing Supply offers more than competitive pricing-they also service what they sell. Harken, Samson, Yale, Douglas Gill, Forespar, Lewmar, Ronstan, KVH, Spinlock, Marlow plus the staff to help you make the right selection - a staff with over 180 years of combined sailing experience. And when you love what you do, you do it better than anyone else. Stop by the Boat Shop -- their San Diego retail outlet - or get same day shipping by phone: (800) 532-3831.

So the Offshore Racing Council is to hold a World Championship for "IMS Class" yachts.
Is this some kind of a joke? Or is it simply a case of bureaucracy gone berserk?
Who on earth ever heard of a World Championship using handicaps, and what on earth is an "IMS Class" yacht?

Just imagine it! Wally Winchdrum turns up with his perfectly maintained, well prepared 20 year-old S&S 34, crewed by a team of little known, but nevertheless skilled sailors, and takes out the "World Championship of Offshore Yacht Racing".

It would make a mockery of the sport! And yet it is not only possible, but the very reason the IMS exists - which is, to equate boats so that it becomes the skill of the crews that determines placings in a race, NOT whether some boats are better or worse or faster or slower than others. Irrespective of whether or not the IMS meets this objective is not the point. It is, however, a total absurdity to give a contest that involves handicapping in any form the title of a "World Championship"

It's about time ORC Councilors took the time to read their own publications, ie. "The International Measurement System", " A handicapping system for Cruising/Racing yachts". Page 11 of the IMS Rule spells out precisely the purpose of the IMS. And it certainly doesn't include even a suggestion of being suitable for determining a "World Champion". -- R W (Bob) Brenac

There's a much longer version of this tirade at:

After all is said and done, more is said than done.