SCUTTLEBUTT #308 - April 12, 1999
US WOMEN'S CHALLENGE
Newport Harbor YC - After canceling all races on Friday because of big
wind, the Bettina Bent's Trophy Regatta enjoyed a great day of racing
Saturday in the chartered fleet of matched Catalina 37s. The Race Committee
got off 4 races in a 6 to 12 knot westerly. No breakdowns, no protests.
Final results: 1. Stephanie Wondolleck, Richmond YC (12) 2. Liz Hjorth,
California YC (12) 3. Charlie Arms, Women's Yacht Racing Fleet - San Diego
(16) 4. Betty Sherman, San Diego YC (19) 5. Colleen Cooke, Sourthwestern YC
(22) 6. Stephanie Keefe, Newport Harbor YC (23) 7. Pat Seidenspinner, St
Petersburg YC (25) 8. Sandy Scheda, Davis YC (27).
Six Southern California sailors have been suspended for six months by US
Sailing for participating in a brawl at the awards ceremony following a
regatta in Long Beach last June. The incident occurred as trophies were
being handed out in the courtyard of the Seaport Marina Hotel following the
Coast Cadillac/North Sails Race Week.
According to reports, a dispute on the water between crews of two competing
boats carried over ashore and broke out in physical violence near the rear
of the proceedings, which were attended by several hundred sailors. Those
suspended from the boat B32 Again, a B32, were brothers Burt and Jeff
Messano of San Pedro and Aaron Hall of Torrance. Hall is the son of the
owner-skipper, Dixon Hall, a member of Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club. Also
suspended from Zoos, a Mumm 36, were Steve Johnson of Costa Mesa, Don
Thornton of Costa Mesa and Ron Thornton of Dana Point. The boat's
owner-skipper is Dave Brennan of Voyagers YC.
The suspensions were the result of action brought against the principals by
event organizer Bruce Golison under Rule 69 of the Racing Rules of Sailing,
which pertains to "gross misconduct." They are effective April 1 and will
expire on Oct. 1. Until then, none of the six will be allowed to
participate in any local or national event. Earlier, both boats were
disqualified from the regatta. One other participant, David Westover of
Culver City from the Schock 35 White Fang, was exonerated when it was
determined that he was only trying to break up the skirmish.
Golison said, "This sends a message that there is no place in sailing for
this kind of behavior." - Rich Roberts, The Log
Dennis Conner's America's Cup syndicate got some very good news when Ken
McAlpine, Technical Director for the International America's Cup Class
issued Sail Number 55 for the new Stars & Stripes 2000.
"Our syndicate has strong emotional and historical ties to the number 55,"
Conner said with obvious delight. "55 was the sail number of 'Stars &
Stripes 87,' the 12 Meter we sailed in Perth when we brought the Cup back
to America. It's a very positive omen."
Team Dennis Conner's new Reichel/Pugh-designed IACC boat is currently under
construction at New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, RI. "The boat is right
on schedule and is really looking good," Conner explained. "We'll be
sailing it in Auckland in early September." The first races of the Louis
Vuitton Cup Challenger races for the America's Cup will begin on October
For more information: Bill_Trenkle@compuserve.com
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MORE AMERICA'S CUP
The most sophisticated weather information for the America's Cup regatta
has become the sole domain of one of New Zealand's greatest rivals under a
deal which has left Team New Zealand fuming. The arrangement, which will
provide the best technical data for the Cup, is seen by the Government
agency which will supply it to the Paul Cayard-led AmericaOne syndicate as
a straight business deal - nothing more, nothing less.
Team New Zealand has accused Niwa - the National Institute of Water and
Atmosphere Research - of "working with the enemy" in accepting a $200,000
payoff to supply vital information from a sophisticated buoy in the Hauraki
Gulf. Niwa bosses say that is not the case, and that Team New Zealand were
given equal opportunities to be part of the data gathering programme.
"Niwa put the buoy in the water because we won the America's Cup and
brought it to New Zealand," said Team New Zealand spokesman Brad
Butterworth. "They then came and asked us for money to help recoup the
costs of the project. "In the meantime Niwa has sold the rights to the
information to Paul Cayard and his San Francisco-based AmericaOne
syndicate. In that contract they included the rights of Team New Zealand -
and other syndicates - to have access to a limited version of the available
data but no one can take that seriously.
Come September the buoy will be churning out information which Cayard hopes
will help win him win the coveted Cup and leave Team New Zealand to sail by
the seat of their pants. -- Terry Maddaford, New Zealand Herald
To read the full story:
PARIS, FRANCE -- After consultation with the main world agencies in the
distribution of TV rights, an agreement was signed between TWI and The Race
Event (TRE), organisers of the Race of the Millennium.
This agreement is fully in line with the expectations of the organisers and
the challengers because it guarantees maximum distribution and the greatest
professionalism in the management of TV images of the event. Indeed, TWI a
subsidiary of IMG/McCormack is reputed in sailing circles for its TV
coverage of the America's Cup and the last crewed round the world race in
stages, the 97/98 Whitbread.
TWI will produce and distribute therefore all the TV sporting programmes of
the event (before, during and after). The agreement provides notably for
three "previews", presentation magazines of 26 minutes duration each which
will be delivered just before the start in December 2000. During the whole
race, TWI will also be in charge of a daily TV "feed" production using
images filmed on board the boats. The TWI agency will, moreover, produce a
weekly 26 minute programme and a final 52 minute programme which will take
up the main high points of the event.
So the sporting programmes will be distributed throughout the whole world
to stations having acquired the rights. It is TWI's job today to propose
these to the various TV companies via its subsidiaries on every continent.
This task will be made much easier by the "live TV" system on which The
Race and one of its major partners, the French telecommunications operator
France Telecom are jointly working. The on board technology and digital
transmissions via high output satellite antennae will indeed allow the
whole world to follow the race live. For David Ingham, executive director
of TWI and in charge of sailing : "the potential of The race is impressive
because of the new technologies pressed into service.
If the TV channels can broadcast a "live" programme coming from a boat
hurtling along at 40 knots in the southern ocean, it is going to stimulate
the imagination of broadcasters and incite them to integrate these
documents into their programmes. In terms of coverage of sporting events, I
think we can raise this race into the top 10 sporting events in the world".
The interest in the race, the human and sporting challenge aboard "no
limits" boats, relayed by France Telecom's technological platform, should
ensure maximum TV coverage of the event. This potential, estimated in
numbers of contacts generated and not in number of TV hours, has allowed
the potential of The Race to be compared with that of the major great
international sporting events. Thus The Race/La Course du Millenaire will
be placed in 6th place on a world scale, with more than 6 billion contacts
over 4 months, behind the 5 major sporting events in the world, namely: The
Soccer World Cup, the Summer Olympics, the Athletics World Championships,
the European Soccer Cup and the Formula 1 World Championship.
Trans World International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the International
management Group (IMG), founded in 1960 by Mark Mac Cormack. IMG employs
some 1600 people today throughout the world with 70 offices in 27 different
countries. The key events or legendary sports people they cover or manage
are called Wimbledon, the British and US Open Golf Tournaments, Andre
Agassi, Pete Sampras, Dennis Conner, the Nobel Foundation, Harvard
As for TWI, it was created to produce and distribute televised sporting
event programmes. The agency has been committed to sailing since the 80s,
notably through the America's Cup for which they have managed the TV rights
for almost 20 years. In fact they are preparing the next edition which is
due to start on October 18th in Auckland (Nz). TWI were also responsible
for the very extensive coverage of the 97/98 Whitbread, the crewed race
round the world, on monohulls and in stages which generated some 800 hours
of TV in 190 different countries. This group is the largest independent
producer of sporting events in the world today. It will be producing 5000
hours in 1999.
The Race website: http://www.therace.org/english/
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
We read all e-mail (except jokes) but simply can't publish every letter.
Those printed here are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max)
or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Art Engel --There seems to be "controversy" about how US Sailing
maintains its status as NGB for Olympic sailing so it can keep receiving
Olympic monies. Why not form a new org ("New-NGB") that is a "subsidiary"
of US Sailing to be the NGB for Olympic sailing? US Sailing could
designate 80% of the Board members and elite competitors could elect the
other 20%. New-NGB would still be part of the US Sailing group but would
clearly meet the congressional NGB standards. By appointing 80% of Board
seats on New-NGB, US Sailing could maintain its influence and per ISAF
could still call itself "the national authority for sailing in the US".
Elite competitors represent significantly less than one-half of 1% of the
US Sailing constituency (meaning not actual USSA members, but those
impacted in both racing and non-racing activities by USSA actions). Having
such a tiny group representing 20% of Board members on US Sailing is both
ludicrous and dangerous to the recreational nature of our sport. The elite
competitor issue may be relevant to sports like track and field where a
truly elite competitor can make $250,000 or more in a single weekend but
lets face it sailing is not such a sport and never will be.
-- From Bruce B. Nairn -- It would be interesting to see the breakdown of
how US Sailing actually spent their money during the last Olympics. Somehow
I think it would be more beneficial to put a larger portion of the funds
directly in the hands of the competitors and spend less on the entourage.
-- From Nick Longhurst -- I'm amazed at the amount of firepower directed at
US Sailing in 'Butt. They might want to move HQ to Belgrade to feel more at
home. After having sailed and raced in this country for 20 years, it's
clear to me that US Sailing does NOT represent the interests and wishes of
the majority of the athletes represented on racing boats. College and
Olympic programs will always find money, but the sailing which we "big
boys", to use Fletcher's expression, do nearly every weekend needs an
organisation which is more enlightened and all encompassing, venues,
programs and maybe even individual sailor ratings -- because oft times it
'aint the boat but the people sailing it who make the difference between
first and last-- more like golf. Nothing like a new millenium for a little
-- From Hugh Elliot, Chairman, USSA Committee on Sailors with Special Needs
-- Paralympic Sailing was a demonstration event, in one class (3 person
Sonar), in Atlanta and will be a two medal (3 person Sonar and 1 person 2.4
meter) event in Sydney. The USA has qualified for the Paralympic Regatta in
the Sonar Class and we expect to qualify in the 2.4 meter class during the
USOC's support has been exactly ZERO. Operation Gold money was not
available for the 1998 World Championship and our two 1998 grant
applications were declined. I have not yet had a response to my request for
Operation Gold funds for the 1999 Worlds in Spain. After a 1-2 finish in
the Sonar Class in the 1998 Worlds in Newport, and after the Amendments to
the Amateur Sports Act, we hope that USOC will look on us in a kindly manner.
The total 1998/1999 budgeted expenditure - not including acquisition and
fulfillment costs - for the US Disabled Sailing Team is approximately
$28,000. (That is not a typo)
All of the money is contributed by the team's sponsor (WE Magazine:
http://www.wemagazine.com), a grant from Rolex, and unexpended funds from
last year. Douglas Gill and Sperry supply equipment to team members and
coaches. Our coaches (Serge Jorgensen and Betsy Alison) get paid, rather
badly, when there is some money, but contribute much uncompensated time).
Persons wishing to support the US DISABLED SAILING TEAM can make tax
deductible donations- contact Loren Appel or Lee Parks at the US SAILING
office or myself - firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- From Frank Whitton -- My regards to Janet Baxter. It's gratifying to see
someone communicate openly and objectively from Us Sailing. It points out
the dedication and work that is being done by people who receive nothing in
return from their contributions. Whether or not you agree with her position
is irrelevant. More people need to help with the huge work load US Sailing
takes on. How about it Craig Fletcher? Why not join others and me and
contribute your time to make things better.
-- From Ken Brooke, Australia -- Loved the J24 story but feel sorry for the
poor guys up over who put their boats away for the winter. Our 24 sails
every week throughout the year and averages over two races per week
annually. Perth is a great spot!!!!
The curmudgeon spent this past weekend attending a US Sailing Association
judges seminar -- and taking the test that follows the class room sessions.
There were nearly 50 of us at Long Beach YC, pretty evenly split between
"wannabes" and judges who were required to re-certify.
How was it? Exhausting and 'mind numbing' are words that come quickly to
mind. However, it would be unfair if I didn't also add words like
enlightening and rewarding.
I've been an USSA-certified senior judge for a bunch of years, and during
that time I've been privileged to work with some truly insightful,
knowledgeable and skillful judges and umpires. I've also worked with a few
bozos, who from my perspective were an embarrassment.
In the past, the problem has always been how to weed out the 'unworthy.'
Well US Sailing's present requirements for mandatory periodic seminars
and testing seem to have taken a huge step towards solving that problem. To
pass the test and qualify for re-certification (or take an essential step
along the path leading to certification) you must answer 85 of the 100
questions correctly. Trust me - that's not a pushover.
Seminar leader Tom Farquhar is an incredibly gifted and knowledgeable
teacher, and he was ably surrounded by Dave Neal, Pete Ives and Jim Capron,
chair of the USSA Judges Committee. Wall-to-wall heavyweights, who did a
great job of covering a lot of ground.
Did I learn? Did I ever! Did I pass the written test? Fortified with Ginkgo
Biloba, I made it with a bit of room to spare.
Obviously, I'm delighted to have this hurdle behind me. More importantly
though, I'm very impressed with this program and the benefits that will
certainly trickle down to racing sailors everywhere. The test will
effectively serve to screen out many of the incompetents, while the seminar
will certainly help bring marginal judges up to speed.
No one can deny this is one area where US Sailing has made some significant
progress towards improving the sport.
John Kostecki probably said it best: "Sailing Supply has the best inventory
of sailing hardware and rigging." He might also have added that the
friendly staff gets enormous pleasure from helping customers make the right
decision. Harken, Samson, Yale, Douglas Gill, Forespar, Lewmar, Ronstan,
KVH, Spinlock, Marlow and much, much more. And they ship the same day.
Give them a call, or stop by their San Diego retail outlet. (800) 532-3831.
VAN LIEW DISMASTED
At approximately 1300 local time (1600 GMT) Sunday, BALANCE BAR, a 50-foot
entry in the Around Alone singlehanded yacht race around the world, was
dismasted in 35 to 40 knots of northeast wind off the eastern coast of
Uruguay. Skipper Brad was below deck when he heard a loud crack from
above. By the time he got topside he could see that his mast had broken
off six-feet above the deck and was hanging overboard in the water still
held by one of the shrouds (cables that secure the mast to the deck).
Van Liew notified the Around Alone Race Operations Center in Charleston,
South Carolina immediately via the COMSAT satellite messaging system and
requested assistance because of his concern about the attached rigging
causing major damage to the hull of the boat. Van Liew, 31, from Los
Angeles, reported no concern for his health and well being.
The closest competitor was Class II (40' to 50') leader, J.P. Mouligne in
Cray Valley, who is currently leading the fourth and final leg of the race
back to Charleston, South Carolina. Mouligne was officially diverted by
Van Liew was sailing with three reefs and a staysail when the dismasting
occurred. He reported that the spar, the boom, and all the rigging and
sails had gone over board. Once Van Liew has been able to release the
overboard rig, he will make a determination as to how he will return to
Punta del Este. Leg 4 of the singlehanded round the world event began
yesterday at noon from Punta.
By 2140 GMT Sunday Brad Van Liew had cleared the rigging from his 50-foot
Around Alone entry, BALANCE BAR which allowed him to begin the process of
constructing a jury rig and begin the sail back to Punta del Este, Uruguay,
some 90 miles away. J.P. Mouligne has been released from his stand-by
position by race operations. -- Dan McConnell
Standings (with distance to the class leader in parenthis). Class I: 1.
Thiercelin, 2. Soldini (22.2) Class II. 1. Garside, 2. Mouligne (1.2) 3.
Event website: http://www.aroundalone.com
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
One good turn gets most of the blanket.