SCUTTLEBUTT #297 - March 25, 1999
SPECIAL REPORT - USSA SPRING MEETING
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@ compuserve.com, ATTN:
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: http://www.ussailing.org
Race Organizers: Here's a way to help offset your regatta costs. Pacific
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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. (email@example.com).
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
Or the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron: http://rnzys.org.nz
MATCH RACE SIDEBAR
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: http://www.youngamerica.org.
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,
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
(The following is an excerpt from DEFENCE 2000, which is available from
John@roake.gen.nz -- 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 email@example.com, or fax the ISAF Secretariat on
+44 1703 635789.
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?