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SCUTTLEBUTT #297 - March 25, 1999

Some 65 sessions were held throughout the weekend meeting, which took place at Dallas' Omni Hotel, March 19-21. In a final three-hour session on Sunday morning, the Board of Directors sat before over 200 attendees to hear committee reports and vote on motions. Following are some of the key activities that occurred at the 1999 US SAILING Spring Meeting:

RATING ENHANCEMENT -- In Chicago in February, a group of 20 sat down for a conceptual discussion on handicap systems. "We needed to look at the offshore scene with a clean piece of paper," said board member Bruce Eissner, who led the discussion. "We needed to see what the issues were and where the problems lay." Attendees from every discipline of offshore sailing created a model of key factors for success in a handicap system, with guidelines such as: gain wide acceptance among sailors, accommodate change, reduce complexity, enjoy trustworthy administration, minimize rule changes, and other goals.

At the Spring Meeting, the fruits of these concepts were translated into action. Ratings Plus (or the Handicappers' Toolbox) was introduced at the Spring Meeting. The idea is to develop a set of handicapping products that can be used as an elective supplement to existing systems. Each tool could be tried and modified in the field, and each would be open to local introduction and administration.

The Board of Directors allocated seed money to develop the first tool under the Ratings Plus umbrella, called the Delta Project. The Delta Project, once developed, can be used by local PHRF authorities to enhance their current ratings by incorporating the effects on performance of course configurations and/or wind speeds. These deltas are derived from performance trending predicted by US SAILING's Velocity Prediction Program (VPP). Naval architect Jim Teeters has been chosen to do the technical development on the project. "This is not a handicap rule; it's not a new system," said Teeters. "This will be a tool that local fleets can use. What we are trying to do is make a marriage: the best of observational and technical methods. . . I think it has enormous potential."

SAFETY AT SEA -- The Offshore Committee moved to request a change in the ORC (Offshore Racing Council) Special Regulations for Category 0-2 events, recommending that 406 MHz EPIRBs be required, not recommended. As chair John Osmond pointed out, the regulations currently permit devices of lesser quality which give sailors who use them a false sense of security. Several offshore events, such as the Newport-to-Bermuda Race, have already moved to require 406 EPIRBs. Before making the motion, the committee investigated the financial impact on sailors. The units are approximately $750, but several companies rent them for approximately $50. The request will not be formally heard until the ORC meetings in November, so there is time for feedback from US SAILING members (e-mail USSAILING@, ATTN: Safety-at-Sea Committee).

CREATING MORE ACCESS TO SAILING -- "One of the greatest challenges that is going on in the sport is the need for access, access and more access," said Muldoon. In 1998, US SAILING was awarded its largest-ever grant from the U.S. Coast Guard to develop Sailing Smart, a learn-to-sail program for youth. The program is being developed in partnership with the Aquatic Division of the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA), and is targeted toward 10- to 13-year-old youth who do not normally have access to water sports. According to Betsy Altman, who spearheaded the effort, three grant proposals are currently pending for a total of $840,000 (a large portion of which is a U.S. Coast Guard grant earmarked for five years).

Expanding access to sailing was formalized as part of US SAILING's mission, in a new Mission Statement accepted at the 1998 Fall Meeting. Brainstorming sessions on creating more access were held among many committees in Dallas. President Muldoon pointed out that some have criticized US SAILING for focusing on creating better access for sailors who are not yet competitive sailors. "But our sport is still not easy to get into," he said. "We must continue to reduce barriers to entry and access to racing if we are to keep a steady influx of sailing competitors."

COMMUNICATION -- "One of the greatest challenges we face is how we communicate with our members and sailors in order to reduce misunderstandings about what we do, and what we are trying to do." said President Muldoon, in his opening speech. "And we need a communication method so we know what we're doing right and wrong-and how we can change."

Redevelopment of the current web site was flagged as a priority issue for action at the Fall Meeting, held in Seattle in October 1998. After issuing a Request for Proposal that elicited 13 bids for the job of web site developer, Harborwatch Publishing of Burlington (Vt.) was chosen by the Board in Dallas. Harborwatch's two principals are Ken Signorello and Mark Gardner. Brad Dellenbaugh, who was active in developing the site for the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Team, will contract services to Harborwatch. Each committee assigned a web liaison to oversee that committee's material on the site, and hands-on training sessions were held throughout the weekend.

YOUTH SAILING -- The former Olympic Path Working Party, which oversees the Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals and the advanced coaching certification levels, opted to change their name to the Youth Working Party. In two working sessions, this group looked at the big picture in youth sailing. Working Party members and observers all pitched in to a lively discussion as they mapped out the strengths and weaknesses of youth sailing in the United States; looked at the range of programs that currently exist, from grass-roots programs such as camps, Scouts, and community sailing, to elite programs such as ISAF Youth Worlds and the USA Junior Olympic National Sailing Championship; and listed goals that US SAILING should strive for in relation to youth sailing.

"What we are really after is getting more kids involved in sailing-and keeping them involved," said chair Cory Sertl. According to Sertl, these ideas will be distilled into a working set of goals. The Working Party also plans to look at other sports (with access issues similar to sailing) to see how they have handled their youth development.

MORE ATHLETE INVOLVEMENT IN THE GOVERNING BODY -- The Board set in motion bylaws amendments that would increase the number of sailor-athletes on US SAILING's Board and several committees. This was in response to revised U.S. Olympic Committee guidelines regarding athlete participation in National Governing Body governance. Specifically, these will be sailors with Olympic, Pan Am Games, Paralympic Games or world/national-championship credentials. Ted Everingham, Secretary of US SAILING, said, "This is an opportunity to bring in more sailors from this dynamic segment of the sport who we can learn from and who can learn from us."

LATEST RESEARCH PRESENTED -- Attendees heard research results just released this winter on the sailing industry and on sailboat owners-and the news was good: 1998 was a big-growth year for sailboat production. According to the North American Sailing Industry Study, presented by Sailing World editor John Burnham, sailboat production increased by 31% in 1998, compared to 1997 production figures. The biggest growth spurt was in the small-boat area: Production in the under-20-foot category grew by 43%, with the biggest growth area in the under-11-foot segment (72%). The study was coordinated by The Sailing Company (Newport, R.I.).

Board member Janet Baxter presented findings from research coordinated by the Chicago-based National Sailing Industry Association (NSIA) on sailboat owners. Much of the data supports what many believe to be true about sailors. Nearly half (46%) get involved in sailing through friends and family. Individuals who started sailing at an earlier age were generally the most involved in the sport. And sailors proved to be a satisfied lot: 37% said their lives would not be complete without sailing.

A BROADER PURPOSE FOR NATIONAL OFFSHORE COUNCIL -- The group drafted a broader mission statement-to encourage participation and promote excellence in racing and sailing activities in cruising, cruiser/racer, and offshore racing boats. National Offshore Council chair Craig Brown said their intent (to be developed over the next few months by several working parties) was to consider how to change the US SAILING Offshore office from an excellent technical resource to one that is a multi-faceted service center. Their focus would be on communications, service products and business services.

NATIONAL SAIL TRAINING SYMPOSIUM -- This year, for the first time, US SAILING combined its Junior Sailing Symposium and Community Sailing Conference to create a new nationwide forum: the National Sail Training Symposium (NSTS). The feedback from the NSTS (held last January in San Diego) that circulated during the Spring Meeting was highly enthusiastic. Many felt the symposium was an excellent way to draw two ends of the spectrum--those training advanced racers and those working at the grass-roots level--into one forum, to share ideas and create more synergy.

The 1999 US SAILING Annual General Meeting will be held October 28-31 in Baltimore (Md.). - Susan Cook

US Sailing website:

Race Organizers: Here's a way to help offset your regatta costs. Pacific Yacht Embroidery has a program to supply race organizers with regatta apparel at a guaranteed profit. There is no risk to the race organizer. Call Frank Whitton (619-226-8033) for details on how to offset regatta costs while supplying high quality, affordable apparel for the racers. No event is too small to qualify for this program. (

STEINLAGER LINE 7 CUP - Report by Ivor Wilkins
Paul Cayard of AmericaOne and Dean Barker of Team New Zealand continued their winning form at the Steinlager Line 7 Cup in Auckland today and when racing finished halfway through Round Robin Two they shared the lead with 10 wins each. "Anybody can beat anybody out there," said Cayard. "It's tough."

The day nearly finished with Barker clear ahead, but two penalties in his last race of the day against top seed Gavin Brady spoiled his chances. The first penalty came after Barker collided with Brady from clear astern. "At one point I had their spinnaker right over my face," said Brady. The second was for hitting the leeward mark. Nevertheless, Barker nearly pulled off an unlikely win by sailing Brady past the committee boat at the finish, winding off a penalty and only just trailing over the line by 6 seconds. "We felt pretty hard done by with some of the umpiring decisions," Barker said afterwards. "But, that's match racing. It was pretty exciting stuff."

Ed Baird, skipper of the Young America team, continued a steady series with three wins in succession in the morning session, but lost momentum with three losses in the afternoon. Nevertheless, he remains tied for third with one of the big movers of the day, Chris Dickson, of New Zealand. Both Dickson and Baird are on eight wins.

Dickson took four America's Cup scalps today - Francesco de Angelis of Prada Challenge, Paul Cayard, John Cutler of America True and Ed Baird. He attributed his change of fortunes to a change of hats, electing to race today in his Tag Heuer cap from his 1995 America's Cup campaign.

The other major mover of the day was Chris Law of Great Britain. Complaining of jet-lag, he started the regatta poorly with only two wins on the first day. But, today he strung five successive wins together before losing a 5-second cliff-hanger to Paul Cayard. Although he was disappointed by the loss, he may have been consoled by its diplomatic value: he is hoping to get a job with Cayard's AmericaOne syndicate for America's Cup 2000.

Top seed and world No.2 Gavin Brady on six wins has some work to do if he is to make it into the final four. "We still have an outside chance of getting through," he said. "We will have to step up our game a bit tomorrow."

Racing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour took place in moderate 13-18 knot easterly winds. The schedule still has five flights to complete in Round Robin Two before moving into the semi-finals and finals on the weekend.

Paul Cayard 10
Dean Barker 10
Chris Dickson 8
Ed Baird 8
Chris Law 7
Dean Salthouse 6
Gavin Brady 6
John Cutler 5
Magnus Holmberg 3
de Francesco 2

Event website:
Or the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron:

NYYC/Young America skipper Ed Baird is competing at the Steinlager Line 7 match racing event this week with a crew of Young America teammates Tommy Burnham, Ross Halcrow, Tony Rey and Kimo Worthington. Here's a comment from Kimo Worthington: "It's amazing how close this racing is. But it's different from Cup sailing. In these races, everything is over in a few minutes, so the start is critical, and you have to fight for very inch. In the Cup, races take two hours or more. Boatspeed will play a much greater role. But it never hurts to be out front from the starting gun, and Ed and Tony Rey are doing a nice job getting us out front on most of the starts." -- Jane Eagleson, Young America

Updates from the Steinlager Line 7 Cup can be found on the Young America web site:

Following on from the success of the 1999 Worlds, the International Sailing Federation is planning a similar regatta, but just for Olympic Classes in 2003, to take place in Europe as a lead-up to the Athens Games in 2004. An Evaluation Committee has been appointed who will meet in mid-April 1999 to consider the bids received from seven countries. A recommendation will be made to the ISAF Events Committee, who will give their final recommendation to Council for a decision at the ISAF Mid-Year Meetings, 1-2 May 1999, Vancouver, Canada.

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

-- From David White -- Just thought Scuttlebutt readers would like to know that the Northeast Sailing Association (Maine, NH and VT) is accepting tax deductible boat donations. All proceeds after expenses are place in our grant/loan fund that supports the sport of sailing, sailboat racing and most importantly US Sailing sponsored events. (ladder events, Jr. Olypmics etc) Tax information along with procedures etc. can be obtained by contacting me at

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

The world biggest race for super yachts is expected to attract about 60 entries. Half power-cruisers and the other half yachts. They will race February 14 - 17, (the week before the actual America's Cup defence) from North Head, (Devonport) to Kawau Island. The winner will get a major artwork as a trophy. The four marquees in the grounds of the historic Mansion House, the former resident of an early New Zealand Governor General, Sir George Grey, will be the scene for a lavish banquet. New Zealand's best wines, seafood, meats and horticultural produce will be the fare of the day. The organisers have turned down sponsorship offers from a world yachting magazine, as well as an offer from an electronics manufacturer to ensure it is a unique New Zealand event.

ISAF is reviewing the (policy for) publishing of 'Making Waves' - the official newsletter of the ISAF. At the present time, the Newsletter is published four times a year and mailed to approximately 3,000 recipients around the world (including Member National Authorities, Committee Members, Classes, Individual Members, Press, Builders, National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations), as well as being published on the website. However, by the time the newsletter has reached many recipients, the information is out of date, and of course the associated printing and mailing costs are high.

With the advent of modern electronic technology we are considering only publishing Making Waves on the website and as a direct e-mail newsheet, and not printing the newsletter. However, before taking any final decisions, the ISAF Secretariat would welcome your input, as recipients of the newsletter, on the future direction and method of transmission of Making Waves. Please send your comments via e-mail to, or fax the ISAF Secretariat on +44 1703 635789.

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