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SCUTTLEBUTT #290 - March 16, 1999

(Following is Event Organizer Alistair Murray's summary of the International Sailing Summit held in Melbourne, Australia after the '99 Worlds.)

There was a tremendous level of goodwill generated and the Summit proved to be a great networking opportunity, as well as being serious fun! As I see it, there were four major outcomes which could come about as a direct result of the Summit:

1. The Formation of a Sailing Industry Group in Australia

Everybody was very impressed with Randy Repass' presentation on Sail America and consensus seemed to be that in Australia we should form an industry group based on the "Sail America blueprint", to promote the sailing industry. The "Strictly Sail" NSW contingent in particular seemed to support this concept due to the fragmentation of current representation of the sailing industry and the total lack of representation in some states.

2. The Formation of a Sailing Industry/Sailing Administration Group Worldwide

Likely to be an informal group of interested parties representing most major markets. This group will promote the goals of the Summit and attempt to keep the initiative going into the future.

3. Organisation of Future Sailing Summits

At the de-briefing meeting of the Sailing Summit Committee general consensus was that the Sailing Summit was a great success and that the initiative must be continued.

It was agreed that, although the Sailing Summit would remain as a Boating Industry Association of Victoria project, it should be alternated annually between Melbourne and the northern hemisphere. It was agreed to approach Randy Repass and request that he suggest to the Sail America board that we jointly run the next Sailing Summit in North America, in approximately one year's time. The Annapolis Sailboat Show in October, 1999 was suggested as possible timing. At time of writing we are waiting to hear back from Randy on this.

4. Concrete Ideas for the Promotion of Participation in Sailing

These ideas were generated during the brain-storming session at the end of the second day.

4(a) Specific ideas for the Sailing industry and administrative bodies such as the ISAF, AYF, BIA, Yacht Clubs and Associations to work together to promote sailing.

  • Establish a Sailing Industry Association in each major territory, which would communicate with and involve administrative bodies. In Australia this should be done under the auspices of the Boating Industry Association.
  • These Sailing Industry Associations to manage "Come and Try" Sailing days as well as independent boat shows for Sailing Boats, in conjunction with yacht clubs, associations, etc.
  • Industry expertise to be tapped into to help clubs and associations to be more professional in their promotions.
  • Exhibitions at boat shows to promote the sport and recreation of sailing itself rather than just products. Develop a unified marketing program to be used by retailers, clubs, associations, etc.

4(b) General principles that should apply to the promotion of sailing

Promote sailing as being fun, family orientated, accessible, hassle free, exciting and environmentally friendly.

  • Women and youth need to be targeted.
  • We need to create heroes/role models.
  • Participation needs to be recognised as a priority, as opposed to racing.
  • Barriers to entry need to be removed.
  • Schools and parents are key.
  • Friends need to be invited sailing.
  • You don't have to own a boat to sail.
  • We need to promote the need for better access and facilities.

4(c) Specific ideas for promoting participation in Sailing

Develop "fun formats" for sailing events, ie simple rules and enjoyable events, celebrity and charity events, team races, family/kids races, golden oldies, novices, live ins, etc.

  • Target heroes/role modes.
  • Bring sailing events closer to the beach and make the rules more understandable.
  • Take sailing programs to the schools. Encourage the school/yacht club relationship.
  • Free phone number (1800) to receive information on how to go sailing.
  • Provide exposure for sailing in non-related media. "Prices to be offered for best exposure".
  • Boat clubs rather than "yacht clubs". All clubs to have an "open door" policy.
  • Promote an international "Come and Try" sailing day/weekend. (Perhaps one date in the northern hemisphere and one in the south.)
  • Provide better facilities at clubs, eg creche, playground, electronic games, etc. Make it a fun place to be for kids.
  • Boating weather forecasts on radio.
  • Novice events to give everyone a chance.
  • Survey sailors and non-sailors on what appeals to them.
  • "Invite a Friend" sailing program.
  • Education at yacht clubs on subjects such as boat building, maintenance, safety, etc.
  • Promote "sailing without owning a boat", ie charter boats at yacht clubs.
  • Industry to support clubs through sponsorship.
  • Clubs and associations to create web sites with links to industry and vice versa.
  • Provide ongoing fellowship and recognise achievements for graduates of sailing programs.
  • Clubs to introduce a "Buddy System" for existing members to attach to new graduates/members.
  • Make data on sailing program graduates available to boat owners as part of a "crew contact" program.
  • Yacht club open days.

4(d) Specific ideas for improving offshore sailing

  • Build and design boats which will hold their value. This can only happen with a universally accepted, consistent, long term design rule.
  • Promote one design offshore sailing.
  • Promote cruising divisions in all bigger races.
  • Have compulsory parties as part of the regatta programs.
  • Introduce rally/rendezvous events, ie without racing.
  • Provide easy and accessible training for crews.
  • Publicise event details through television advertising, phone lines, yacht clubs, web sites etc.

"Becky and I received our official 'Butthead tee shirts in the mail and I must tell you how excited we were. These shirts are way cool and top quality! We are both looking forward to seeing all of our fellow 'Buttheads at the San Diego NOOD flaunting their tee shirts." -- Scott Tobin

You too can get an official Scuttlebutt tee shirt. Just call Frank at Pacific Yacht Embroidery. He's also the guy you want to talk with for all of your embroidered sailing apparel: 619-226-8033 (

Australian fastest ocean racing yachts, headed by Brindabella and Wild Thing, and the winner of the 1998 Telstra Sydney to Hobart Race, AFR Midnight Rambler, are among more than 60 yachts entered for the 1999 Sydney -- Mooloolaba race, starting Saturday week, March 27.

Also heading north to this always popular destination on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, are Australia's most successful IMS racing yachts including Ragamuffin, Quest, Industrial Quest and Atara, and impressive new Vanguard. Australia's newest one design 40-footers, the Farr 40 1Ds, Corinthian Doors and Young Australia, launched only this month, will be up against three Admiral's Cup class 40-footers, the Sydney AC 40s, Loco, Sledgehammer and Sword of Orion.

Middle Harbour Yacht Club had received 60 entries for the 469 nautical mile race up the New South North Coast to Queensland's Sunshine Coast when entries closed today, but several late entries are expected before final entries close on Friday.

Yachts entered for the IMS division include six of the top nine placegetters on overall IMS corrected times in the Sydney to Hobart Race: AFR Midnight Rambler (1st), Ragamuffin (3rd), Industrial Quest (4th), Atara (6th), Quest (7th) and Brindabella (9th). - Peter Campbell

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 Chris Busch -- Rich Robert's final story about Peter Holmberg's victory at the 1999 Congressional Cup failed to mention Matt Smith on the crew list. Matt cut and fractured his finger on the Monday practice, so I was brought in to replace him until he could sail. Matt was back on the boat for the second half of the regatta and deserves a lot of credit for helping his team with the victory-injured. Congratulations to Peter and his team!

-- From Dave White, president, New England Yacht Racing Council -- As a way to get greater participation for the US Sailing ladder events, and to lower the costs of participation, our Council pays the entry fees to all national events. We now see that these cost have risen substantially over the past two years because of (1) cost of borrowed boats, (2) portions of the entry fees sent to US Sailing and (3) the new US Sailing "Head tax" of $25.00 per participant.

We understand the borrowed boat issue, the cost seems to be justified, and we see a need to send some of the entry fees to US Sailing to offset the cost of the events. However, the "Head Tax" is another issue. From what we see, the Championship Committee and the chairpersons of the individual events are getting very little support (either in the form of advertising, promotion etc or most particularly internal support from the staff).

It is my understanding that our Executive Director would like to see the ladder events die a not so natural death --- replaced on the junior side with the Jr. Olympic regattas, but on the Senior side with nothing. With that kind of attitude from the top, how can we expect the staff to cater to the needs of the Championships. And now they want more money! For what? Obviously, if those funds were dedicated to the support of the Championships, and the Chairpersons of the events could see some direct support, and we could see support for the events from our Executive Director, then the cost would be justified.

-- From Raymond Wulff -- I'm tired of continued whining about what US Sailing needs to do for us. This is what we're doing about it in our YRA. Currently CBYRA (Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association) is hosting a crew training seminar open to any individual interested.

Instructors are local Group 1-2-3s who are:
* Locally known for their ability
* Members of CBYRA
* Want to help locally to grow the sport and don't know how else they can participate
* Don't necessarily work in the "Industry"

Participants are anyone. Do they have to belong to a club, YRA, Knights of Columbus, Moose Club, Schriners, Elks, PGA, US Sailing? Nope

With registration of a modest $35, a participant receives a associate membership to CBYRA and inclusion in the seminar. The breakdown consists of 75% non-CBYRA members and 46% women, and is filled a month before the seminar date. All of the seminars in the past assume people know how to crew, so they talk about tactics, or the rules. What about the crew who comes out on one Sunday a month? It is a great way to bring a newcomer off the fringe and onto the green.

The sport is still perceived as accessible only to the elite. Break out of the old paradigms and think of how a seminar like this can help your YRA.

-- From Art Engel -- A number of readers have encouraged attendance at US Sailing Spring and Annual Meetings with the admonition: "Everyone is welcome." There is, however, a major caveat that no one has mentioned - attendance is NOT free. While you can freely visit the hotel at which the Meetings are held, if you want to actually attend any of the numerous Board or Committee meetings that are 99% of the activities (the other 1% being YC receptions that may or may not have a fee) you must pay a fee - $25 for USSA members and $40 for non-members.

I used to recommend that people visit the Meetings when they come to their area. In view of the attendance fees, I no longer do so. For a non-member, taking a "look-see" is the same price as actually becoming a member (and if you do that you get a free subscription to Sailing World). It is not clear whether the fees are intended to discourage participation by average sailors and/or non- ingroup volunteers, but they surely have that effect (the official justification is: needed to offset costs; seems more to me like USSA is just seeking another source of revenue - "mine" the volunteers).

-- From John Roberson, Australia -- Trust the Soling class to be difficult, making their regatta format at the Olympics complicated. Here we are trying to make our sport understandable and simple to the public, and the Solings have to throw in confusion.

What is wrong with the standard match racing regatta format, of everyone in a round robin, followed by semi-finals and finals. Put in quarterfinals if you must, but keep it simple.

With so many America's Cup teams in attendance at this year's Congressional Cup Regatta, there were some pretty spiffy crew costumes on the race course. However, the ensembles with the highest spectator approval rating featured the matching Camet shorts on Scott Dickson's crew. While Camet shorts always get high style points, what the crew liked was the comfort and the fact that the Supplex dried almost instantly. Check them out for yourself:

Long Beach Yacht Club's popular Catalina Island Series is set to kickoff its 32nd season of sailboat racing to and from the resort island, with a new class of competitors - multihulls. Catamarans and trimarans of the ORCA Division will have an official start in each of the ten races, after a successful test-run last summer.

The Catalina Island Series (CIS) is spread over seven months, with the first race in April and the last in October. The series has "changed with the times" in recent years including: the replacement of IOR with Americap several years ago, later Sunday starting times, and the destinations on the island are now all located on the mainland side.

The fleet numbers around fifty boats most CIS weekends, and approximately 100 different boats will enter throughout the season. The 1999 schedule:

Spring Long Point April 10-11
West End July 10-11
Ship Rock July 31-August 1
Isthmus Cove September 11-12
Fall Long Point October 9-10

Saturday starts are 11:00 a.m. in Long Beach's Outer Harbor, Sunday races start at 12:30 p.m. All provide for overnight stays at Catalina; the April and October stanzas finish near the eastern end (Long Point) at times when moorings in Avalon or Whites Landing are more readily available.

For further information or to obtain an entry for the Catalina Island Series, contact the Long Beach Yacht Club Race Office - (562) 493-5173. Sailing Instructions, race photos and results will also be posted at:

You know you're getting old when your wife buys a see-through nightdress and you can't see through it.