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SCUTTLEBUTT #308 - April 12, 1999

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 18th.

For more information:


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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 University etc.

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:

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 house cleaning.

-- 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 1999 Worlds.

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:, 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 -

-- 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.

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 race management.

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. Yazykov (36.9)

Event website:

One good turn gets most of the blanket.