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SCUTTLEBUTT #291 - March 17, 1999

GUEST EDITORIAL - By Terry Harper, Executive Director, US Sailing
I have read Dave White's comment in #290, and feel compelled to address a couple of points.

First, it is true that US SAILING has experienced increased costs for some of its events, partly because we have traditionally supplied boats for many of them, and partly because the daily administrative support is not volunteer in nature. The Board of Directors has been provided with considerable information about participation in our championships at each level -- local, regional and national. As a result, a group of volunteers has been addressing whether our championships can be better formatted to increase participation, to reduce costs, and resolve any other championship issues. Contrary to what Mr. White apparently believes, I, as the Executive Director, do not believe that the ladder events should be eliminated. Nor do I have the authority, or the inclination, to either make or influence those decisions. US SAILING is a volunteer-driven organization, and should, and undoubtedly will, stay so.

The decision of the Board of Directors last October that the entry fee for the championships should be increased has apparently been communicated to Mr. White as a "head tax" by someone, and that is unfortunate. It is what it is -- an increase in the entry fee, in order to provide the type of administrative support that the volunteers have come to expect and demand. Those things must happen once in a while. I, for one, wish everything could be less expensive, but that isn't happening with much these days, is it?

Sunday, Bob Schumacher (pilot) and Bob Dill (designer/pilot) achieved a new world record in landsailing hitting 108.8 miles per hour(175.5 kph) in 25-35 mph winds. Many runs were made in the 90's and over 100 with Bob Dill and Bob Schumacher alternating as pilots in the "Iron Duck" solid wing, three wheeled landyacht. This US achievement replaces the former world record of 94.7 mph (152.7 kph) held by Bertrand of France.

Bob Dill has been developing the Iron Duck for over 7 years in his hometown of Burington, Vermont. The measurement team was headed by Kent Hatch, President of the North American Landsailing Assn (NALSA).

More speed attempts are possible as the NALSA America's Landsailing Cup Regatta begins March 21-26,1999 at the Ivanpah dry lake site on the California side of Primm, NV, 35 miles south of Las Vegas, NV.b -- Mark Harris, NALSA

NALSA Website:

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(The following are excerpts from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from -- US $48 per year.)

* For the record and under the America's Cup rules, sail numbers cannot be allocated until yacht building has commenced, hence what follows indicates that there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Only Prada has been allocated two sail numbers, confirming that they now have two boats under construction. JAP 44, Nippon Challenge; ITA45 Prada Challenge; FRA46 le defi Bouygues Telecom - Transieiel; ESP47 Copa America Desasfio Espanol; ITA48 Prada Challenge; USA49 AmericaOne; USA50 Aloha Racing; USA51 AmericaTrue.

* The Spanish syndicate's general manager, Alfonson Gomez-Jordana, now back in Spain after a flying visit to Auckland to arrange crew accommodation and set up base for their challenge. He confirms that his team have four training yachts at Valencia (on the Mediterranean) and the current training session which began before Christmas will continue right through to June. The challenging boat is under construction and will be completed in April. They have 95 per cent funding in place and have signed a major telephone company as their prime sponsor. In addition, local government is providing funding support.

* Air New Zealand has increased its flights between Auckland and Los Angeles to cope with the influx in Pacific travel. They now have nine flights a week between the two cities.

* For the second year in a row nineteen year old Australian James Spithill won the Coca-Cola Cup international youth match racing regatta in Auckland last week, New Zealand press is forecasting that Spithill is being groomed to be Syd Fischer's helmsman for the Australian challenge, which if correct will make him one of the youngest helmsmen in the history of the America's Cup. Spithill is returning to Auckland in a fortnight trying to qualify for the Steinlager - Line 7 match racing regatta, where he will be head-to-head against most of the world's America's Cup skippers. Spithill helmed Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin in the recent disastrous Sydney to Hobart race.

* Quote / unquote : "The Kiwis will just copy whatever challenger looks good and count on superior sail and gear to win. That's what I'd do if I were them." -- From Paul Cayard in New Zealand and as reported to the Washington Post.

The first round robin of the Dubai Regatta Match Race qualifying round was sailed in perfect weather conditions. The two qualifying rounds will determine which two skippers may continue onto the main event which takes place Monday through Thursday, March 15-18. Amongst the competitors were Andy Beadsworth (GBR), currently ranked number 39 in the world, and Andy Green (GBR) ranked 29. The two remaining teams were led by Englands top skipper Shirley Robertson (GBR) and a local team led by David Summerville (DUB).

The top two will continue to the main event and by joined on Monday by Jochen Schuemann (GER), Ed Baird (USA), Tomislav Basic(CRO), Jesper Bank (DEN), Morten Hendriksen (DEN) and Staffan Lindberg (FIN). Eight skippers in total will compete for the title of the first annual Dubai Regatta.

For the full story:

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 Walter Johnson -- I'm in total support of Brad Dellenbaugh's comments in Scuttlebutt #288. There should be a simple national ranking system for the relative skill level of the competitors or groups of competitors on a single boat. It would give club racers the ability to sail on a level basis with the best of the best. In the end the sport would grow and everyone would have a chance to participate. In the end we may have a real data base of how many of us there really are out there on the water on a regular basis.

-- From Frank Whitton - All the negative comments and more regarding US Sailing and its role as our National Authority seem to me to be very true. However, I am rejoining the Association and will be attending the Spring Meeting to air my views and dissatisfactions with what I think is wrong with the bureaucratic policies. It's been so long since I attended these meetings that I don't expect to be recognized until I open my mouth or identify myself. Therefore, for the first ten bureaucrats (non-US Sailing Employees excluded) that do correctly come up to me and shake my hand will receive a free Scuttlebutt Tee Shirt. But they must only promise to wear it at a US Sailing sanctioned event of their choice.

-- From Carol Newman Cronin -- I wish I had Annie Becker's problem with US Sailing membership renewal. My membership expires in June each year, and starting in December or January, I get a renewal notice every month. It's hard to believe sending six notices to someone who will always renew (if only because it's a free subscription to Sailing World) is any more cost- effective than letting the Annie Becker's fall through the cracks.

Curmudgeon's comment - A large number of 'Buttheads wrote to protest US Sailing's practice of sending out renewal notices many many months before the renewal date.

-- From Craig Fletcher -- The International Sailing Summit sounds more like a revival meting than a summit. Bring a buddy, more kids and woman, less competition, more parties and lets just all get along. This is ridiculous. Let's get back to the good old days. Bring your boat, line it up and the best man wins.

-- From Richard Hazelton -- Herb McCormick's comment that there is no prize money involved in the Around Alone race would seem to contradict the FAQ on the Around Alone web site: "prize money announced before the start of the race." And, even if there was no cash prize involved, with an entry fee of $12,500, boats ranging from $200K Class II to $3 million Class I, and just the campaign costing $100K to $2.5 million (all from FAQ on Around Alone site), that's a lot of money floating around. I hope the winner gets more than the silver plate.

-- From Glenn T. McCarthy -- The US SAILING meetings are stuck in a paradox. If they hold their meeting in Keokuk and everyone stays at the Motel 6 at $29 a night, that hotel does not have the meeting rooms necessary to hold the event. If they go to the hotels that have meeting rooms, typically the deal is that the meeting rooms are free, as long as enough US SAILING members rent rooms in that hotel, the hotel room price reflects the cost of paying for the meeting rooms (hence big bucks for a room). Many sailors choke on the cost of the hotel where the meetings are and stay at the Motel 6 down the street. To bring the meetings to different towns across the U.S. is a surmountable feat. A large staff is transported, a business office is established (copiers, faxes, phones, etc.) and presentations are made to assist in sharing and educating all in the process. Art Engel is absolutely right, there is a $25 (US SAILING member) price to attend the meetings. The $25, includes all 3 days and defrays the cost of the whole production.

Have you gone to a first release movie lately? What do you get for the $15-18 you'll spend for your 2-hour experience? Come to Dallas this week and you'll be in the story, making the story, creating the story and will be able to take the story back home to share with others in your sailing community. It is still a value at this price.

The E22 Midwinters at San Diego YC was a five race/ one throw-out series held March 13-14. 39 boats sailed, mostly from SD, Newport Beach and Alamitos Bay YC fleets, but with representation from San Francisco and Seattle fleets.

Andy Ladow of SDYC was the winner with 8.5 pts., including two first places in Sunday's races, beating Dennis Conner with 14.75 pts and Bruce Nelson with 15 pts. Tim Hogan of Newport Beach was 4th, and John Lyon of SD was 5th, with Camets and Peter Isler further down the list.

Further to the perennial discussion of amateurs v. professional sailors, Andy is a real estate broker, Bruce Nelson (with Vince Brun crewing) a yacht designer, and Dennis Conner is, well, Dennis Conner. To be fair, DC was over early in Race 4 and did not hear the loudhailer recall, but Andy's discard was a 4th place. - Graham Kelly

The Crosswalk Rule -- A simple rule of thumb known as "The Crosswalk Rule." It happens all the time, a starboard tack boat sailing upwind with a port tack boat about to attempt a cross. Without thinking the starboard tacker yells, "Starboard." So, the port tacker tacks to leeward, a few seconds later the windward boat is forced to tack away. Or, perhaps, one boat is sitting on the starting line on starboard with a port tacker approaching to leeward. Instead of defending the starboard tacker assumes the port tacker will tack safely to leeward, unfortunately the port tacker enters and tacks too close and forces the starboard tacker head to wind, the windward boat complains and protests and the ensuing on-the-water argument takes place without regard to the race starting without them. Next time it may be better to institute "The Crosswalk Rule;" just because you have rights does not mean it's to your advantage to assert those rights. Just because you are legally in a crosswalk does not mean that if a truck is barreling toward you it will stop. You may be right, but you're dead. Think about it the next time another boat is about to infringe your rights. -- The Coach at

Snow-bound New England sailors looking for a little sailing action can get it this weekend in R/C model boats at the 1st Annual Yacht Club Challenge at the Strictly Sail New England Boat Show. This is the only winter show for sailors in all of New England. It returns to Hartford, March 18-21 and just three days before the opening, old man winter dumped another foot of the white stuff on the insurance capital.

The yacht club challenge is a match race series open to teams of three members of registered US SAILING yacht clubs. For entries in advance, email Keith Taylor at and leave a phone message at the show press office at 860-493-1300, Ext 243.

The major feature of the four-day show is a special salute to the America's Cup and to the host country of New Zealand. The centerpiece exhibit highlighting New Zealand's preparations to defend of the Auld Mug is just one of many attractions for shore-bound sailors.

The Connecticut Expo Center, 265 Reverend Moody Overpass, Hartford, CT is the venue for this year's show. Located only two hours travel from both New York and Boston, the central Hartford location will assemble the greatest variety of sailboats, products and sailors on the East Coast.

An indoor model sailing pond, sailing seminars, a silent auction of sailing photography to benefit the Leukemia Society of America, and the Discover Sailing feature to introduce newcomers to the rewards and pleasures of getting on the water under sail, are just some of the special attractions.

The Cup feature, sponsored by the New Zealand Tourism Board, promotes the four-month-long challenger elimination trials for the America's Cup, which start next October and culminate with the America's Cup match in the waters off Auckland, New Zealand, next February.

Stress is one of the stealth issues of the Around Alone race. While fans focus on the obviously stressful aspects of the race -- bad weather, ferocious seas and equipment failures -- less recognized is the toll taken by the daily grind of competition.

Stress eats at the sailors in many subtle ways. Veteran racer Isabelle Autissier (PRB) saw a doctor in Auckland, New Zealand, who confirmed that she had developed a stomach ulcer. In an interview in the British magazine, Yachting World, she said sometimes the anxiety became so intense that she had to just accept the fact that she could not perform at her maximum level all the time. There were times when she had to force herself to slow down and rest.

Brad Van Liew (Balance Bar) says he tries to maintain his concentration at a constant 90% level. Van Liew, a commercial pilot, approaches sailing like an aviator. "We talk about omission and fixation in flying," he said, explaining that by fixating on one thing, like a position report, you run the risk of missing other things like checking headings or sail sets. "You can concentrate at 100% in the short term, like when I was pushing hard to catch Mike [Garside] in the Tasman, but I knew it was only short term," he explained. If it's longer than five days, he added, you have to change your mindset.

Russian racer Viktor Yazykov has also found stress to be one of his biggest enemies. As the race has progressed, he said he has learned how to manage his stress levels better. "With time, you get more understanding," he said. "The last leg I got big experience. It's like a parachute jump the first time, when the parachute opens you are already in the Southern Ocean, [so] you don't feel the dangers, but the second time you get a real understanding."

To release the built-up tension, Yazykov has a novel approach. "I go out on the deck without any clothes and take a cold air bath," he said with a laugh, blue eyes crinkling. "It's another stress, but it's a good stress. It takes all the bad stress away." Yazykov said he did this every morning of Leg 3. It also had another benefit -- to anesthetize him to the cold. "I didn't have to start my heater at all," he said.

So, while fans ashore focus on the physical threats these solo sailors face each day at sea, alone onboard their solitary crafts each skipper battles through dozens of emotional gales. Controlling the pressure that builds up inside them is another part of the strategy of yacht racing. - Emily Robertson, Quokka Sports staff

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