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SCUTTLEBUTT #310 - April 14, 1999

AMERICA'S CUP CONTROVERSY - Report by Richard Gladwell
AUCKLAND, NZ -- The NZ Herald reports today that the controversial NIWA buoy has been lifted and removed from the Hauraki Gulf. NIWA, the buoy's owners say that it was always planned to lift the buoy at this time, before shipping it to winter over in Hawkes Bay (off the southeast coast of the North Island of NZ).

Gavin Fisher of NIWA is quoted as saying "We have decided to take it out today. There has always been a fear of sabotage - it is more real one now. We are making certain that there is a high level security surveillance in place. If we feel the risk of the buoy being damaged is too great we will consider keeping it out of the water when it comes back to Auckland." This would be in spite of a contractual deadline with AmericaOne to have the buoy back in the water by October 1 1999.

The saga continues to get a good run in the media. Last night it was first up interview in the "Holmes Show" - a primetime, high rating NZ equivalent of Larry King Live. The sight of the tanned, wind-blown Brad Butterworth, in his Team NZ uniform sitting alongside the bespectacled, boffin-like bureaucrat from NIWA, said more than the words uttered. The basis of the argument was whether the CRI had the moral right to consort with the enemy in this way, and whether they had the right to put their own rather shallow commercial self-interest ahead of the wider benefits to New Zealand of a successful Cup Defence. Effectively the positions of the parties have unchanged, except that Gavin Fisher of NIWA did hint that a solution might be found to accommodate TNZ and remove the anti-New Zealand tag that has been slapped on NIWA in the public perception.

Nippon Challenge's Peter Gilmore was interviewed on Radio NZ yesterday afternoon and confirmed much of the very smoky pricing deals and information negotiations that have typified this affair. It would seem that while the Challengers have been offered a deal at USD25,000 each (NZD 47,150) the price to TNZ for the same slice of data is NZD90,000. Four or five challengers were required to make the deal viable. While several challengers did express an interest in the data at this price, there was no confirmation of a deal forthcoming, until the news broke that AmericaOne had obtained exclusive rights - but could on-sell to others, including TNZ, at a yet to be determined price. However NIWA now claim that they have a right to the domestic use of the data - and could somehow accommodate TNZ on that basis.

One of the Ministers in charge of NIWA, Simon Upton was interviewed this morning on national radio and defended the actions of the CRI. Upton claimed that the finance from AmericaOne paid for a very expensive piece of scientific equipment which NIWA could not otherwise afford. However later it was revealed that buoy had been owned by NIWA for some time and had been deployed in various locations around NZ.

It would also seem that the details of the agreement with AmericaOne have been under wraps for some time.

However the point of contention remains as to whether a NZ government owned organisation should be selling it's service to the highest bidder in this way, or should be acting in the best interests of NZ and putting it's resources behind those charged with defending the Cup.

It also remains to been seen if the buoy will be able to be re-laid for the exclusive use of one challenger, as the right to lay the buoy is presumably governed by a Port of Auckland regulation. However if the present deal is allowed to continue, then surely all other syndicates have equal right to lay their own buoys in a area which is free of all other navigational hazards and right in the sea-highway to the islands of the Gulf.

It will also be interesting to see if one syndicate alone is allowed to operate a weather buoy in the middle of the Cup course, during the LVC and AmCup racing, and have an exclusive feed/use to the data coming from the race area.

It is worth noting that there is very little weather and sea-state information available from the area, and that the data provided by the NIWA buoy, if accurate, would be extremely valuable from a boat design perspective. It's other use would be during the racing to predict the fickle Auckland weather based on comparisons with similar days and weather characteristics.

Needless to day emotions are running high over this issue in Auckland, and it will probably be debated in the NZ Parliament later today. - Richard Gladwell

ADVERTISING - Report by ISAF President Paul Henderson
The ISAF Advertising Code was brought in ten years ago and at that time caused great controversy but after much debate implemented. It was the Executive of ISAF who made it possible for a Category "C" fee to be charged. It is therefore not surprising that in endeavoring to revitalize the Code many question and concerns have arisen.

Last year the (ISAF) ExecCom proposed a new Advertising Code which was done in reaction to situations which surfaced as follows: - Several MNA's (Member National Authority) wanted to expand Category "B" which would make Cat"C" irrelevant. - Others wanted to do away with Cat"B" and have only "A" and "C". - New Int. Classes asked for total Cat"C". - Some IC's wanted to get rid of advertising in sails which was the original concept and only allow advertising on hulls. - Event organizers found the responsibility to apply for Cat"C" onerous. - Especially in the larger yacht events it was found difficult when only one or two boats wanted Cat"C" and showed up at a multi-class event. - The larger yachts asked that they be able to buy from ISAF a license which would allow them to enter all regattas with advertising. - It is reality that only ISAF can negotiate the Cat"C" fees derived from the special High-Profile Events such as the Volvo and America's Cup and this should continue.

There was one other issue which was causing sailors to be critical of ISAF although, as usual, ISAF did not cause the problem. ISAF charges a fee for the Cat"C" designation and 50% is returned to the relevant MNA. Some MNA's would charge an additional Cat"C" fee to visiting boats blaming the ISAF fee for the surcharge. The fees charged were much more than the ISAF fee and these MNA's were using this double fee as a revenue producer. Especially in the small one-design classes the sponsorship obtainable for Cat"C" only helps to lessen the cost of a campaign. The extra entry fees charged at a Cat"C" regatta makes it a losing proposition for these sailors. These sailor asked ISAF to look into this disparity.

With all these pressures ISAF ExecCom decided to address the Advertising Code to see if a more equitable solution could be initiated.

The overriding criteria which the ExecCom focussed on was that the individual sailor should decide to what level they personally will carry advertising and that would be done through the ISAF Classes directly to their relevant MNA with no fee accruing to ISAF for these classes.

The proposed Code which was ratified in Palma has the following recommendations: - High-Profile Events will continue to be negotiated by ISAF with an equitable split returned to the relevant MNA. - All ISAF Classes will have the right to decide what Category they will compete under. - To simplify the administration there is suggested 3 categories as follows: Cat"A" No advertizing and all classes sail under this unless they decide otherwise. Cat"B" Advertising on hulls only to help simple sponsorship Cat"C" Advertising on hulls and sails. - No Cat"C" fee will be paid to ISAF for ISAF Classes. Cat"C" fees for these classes now will go 100% to the MNA instead of splitting it with ISAF. This is totally between the MNA and their sailors. - It is suggested by ISAF that only a fee be charged for Cat"C" by the MNA. - Events will not charge extra fees to visiting sailors for Cat"C" therefore all entries pay the same. The sailors has already paid to their own MNA and to be double taxed is not fair. - All non-ISAF classes should adhere to the same criteria set for ISAF classes but this is the responsibility of the relevant MNA. - The few large Yachts who desire to have blanket Cat"C" will be the responsibility of ISAF directly.

It is not surprising that many MNA's are questioning the changes as any new concepts which effect revenues always do. It is hoped that after proper scrutiny and minor adjustments the major policy thrust of the new Advertising Code will be adopted although this can not be accomplished and will not be unless there is consensus to positively move forward. It is only by openly asking the MNA's for their input and having ISAF Council debate the issues and set policy can ISAF operate in the best interests of the sailors. -- Paul Henderson

While bowmen still have to expose their bodies to torrents of angry water, they don't have to get wet anymore. Douglas Gill's new Bowman's Smock has solved that problem. Developed and tested by some the world's top bowmen during the last Whitbread Race, it features breathable GORE-TEX with latex dryseal neck and cuffs to prevent cold water from invading your body parts. If want to stay dry, check out this terrific smock:

The fourteens showed up at California YC this past weekend for the Hi Per 99 regatta. This was the I-14 So Cal Champs. Also sailing were the 505s for their California State Champs and the A class Cats.

Saturday's sailing was in light to moderate winds, I'd say 8 to 12 kts. Six races were sailed on Saturday in anticipation of getting blown out the next day in the predicted storm. Paul Galvez sailing with pick up crew Pete Mohler won four of the six races. Brad Ruetenik and Jake Scala were in a big fight for second with Ted Rogers and Tim Burks with one point difference between them. Sanjai Kohli and Sammi won the last race of the day.

Sunday saw the day start dark with clouds, and rain expected shortly. However by race time it didn't look too bad so David Collins sent us off. On the way out of the harbor the south easterly kept building and the rain started. I knew we were in trouble when I saw the planes at LAX landing the wrong way, they never change the landing pattern at LAX unless they have to, it's a big upset. The first thing we did out in the ocean was tip over, then we did it again for good measure. It wasn't too bad, 15 to 20 kts, in flat water, building throughout the day.

The first race on Sunday saw Brad/Jake and Sanji/Sammi 100 yds ahead of Paul/Pete on the first down wind leg when they both pitched it in with kites up, letting Paul and Pete through for the win. The second race was breezy enough that there was carnage and swimming all around the course. Divine Madness lost its rig. Paul and Pete were the only ones to not go swimming and were able to get the win by sailing in safety mode, including not flying the kite the last leg and chicken jibing to get over to the down wind finish. Ted and Tim were able to stay close enough to Brad and Jake to take second on the tiebreaker. -- Pete Mohler

Results: 8 races, one throwout. I 14: 1. Paul Galvez / Pete Mohler 8 pts 2. Ted Rogers / Tim Burks 21 pts 3 Brad Ruetenik / Jake Scala 21 pts 505: 1. 771 Howard Hamlin / Mike Martin 9 pts 2. Andy Buckman, 16 pts. 3.Dave Shelton, 19 pts A Cats 1 Pete Melvin, 11 pts 2. Roger Jenkins, 15 pts 3. Morgan Larson 19 pt.

Complete results:

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 Mike Nash -- I am glad to hear that group at last years Gollison Regatta has been punished for their poor behavior by the USSA. Bruce raises an interesting question about this type of behavior at a Yacht Club. With more and more of the top notch regattas being run outside the traditional Yacht Club venues we will see behavior diminish and the quality of people erode.

With after race parties at a rented hotel, sponsor booths promoting their wares and the Steinlarger girls serving beer, the event is more like a Raiders tailgate party than a sailboat race. Away from the Yacht Clubs we lose the respect for the Corinthian traditions of our sport and for our competitors. You wouldn't swear in front of your mother at the dinner table but once you get down to the sandlot no problem. Behave badly at a Yacht Club and if you are lucky enough to be invited back you will always have to face it's members and your fellow competitors.

-- From Mike Wathen -- It was interesting reading about the six-month suspensions. I concur with the ruling except, how is it to be enforced? Do race committees go to the US Sailing WEB site, SCYA WEB site or the Long Beach post office to see what these "Six Most Wanted" gentlemen look like? Should they have all hands on the rail facing the Race Committee boat during check-in? By the time there is some sort of official notification to local yacht clubs, the six months will have probably expired. This is somewhat of a hollow punishment as there isn't much of a way to enforce it.

Curmudgeon's comment: FYI -- US Sailing is sending out a press release plus notification letters to all Southern California YCs.

-- From Bob Kiernan (regarding an 'OK' name for Lew Beery's new boat) --I have had a great time with naming boats and finally came up with "One Of A Bunch." Hey, I am a member of an eight-kid family. I am on one of a bunch of boats out racing today, Who won today? Oh, One of a Bunch and to top it off it takes one of a bunch of dollar bills to keep the boat going (the logo on the boat is like to word ONE on our currency). When it comes to the "OK" name for Lew Beery's new boat, I thought of the name "OK 4 NOW!"

-- From Mark Michaelsen (regarding small boats talking to competitors between races) -- The coaching ban came after several of the better funded and organized yacht clubs began sending a couple of whalers down to each of the events with their yacht club juniors teams with coaches aboard. The ban is a result of what some of the club's felt was an unfair advantage given to the club's who could afford to send this sort of support versus those who could not. The reality of it was that the kids who practiced a lot and had great coaching staffs did better than those who did not (gee, what's new). On the water coaching during a regatta or not the time spent in the boat is the key along with good information provided to the junior by his program in preparation for the event makes the real difference.

I personally hope that this ban is changed as my daughter is young and will likely be intimidated in her first event and it would be nice to have the emotional support available to her between races so that she is inducted into the game with some level of comfort and fun...

-- From Ken Guyer -- In 1992 Team New Zealand complained that since the US Navy Sub Base at Ballast Point, San Diego Bay, was flying a Team Dennis Conner battle flag from its dry dock, they suspected the Navy, a taxpayer supported entity, was assisting Team Dennis Conner (not true). TVNZ carried the message home to NZ television how unfair this was to the challenging syndicates.

Now they are saying that NIWA should only assist TNZ, who does not want their help, in a spirit of nationalism that duplicates what they protested in 1992. The simple fact is they knew it was happening for months, they decided not to participate. They only complained when Cayard's group stepped forward and paid the tab. So much for friendly competition among nations! Sorry TNZ, you had the opportunity, you declined the help and NIWA found a replacement, tough luck and quit crying.

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

* CHILDISH WRITING FROM IRRESPONSIBLE ADULTS -- It seems to be the stupid thing that some Americans do. Write outlandish fictional stories on April 1. Stories on the Internet on April Fool's day reported that New Zealand Maori's had put a stop to the dredging in Viaduct Harbour, Dickson replaces Coutts as New Zealand skipper, Coutts and Blake are no longer speaking to each other and a host of other ridiculous utterings. Pathetic!

Curmudgeon's comment: It's always nice to hear from our readers.

Event website:

Races #1 - #2 (47 Entrants)
Long Beach to Long Point (26.0 miles, Race #1) PHRF - A , 1. Stealth Chicken, Perry 56, Bruce Anderson VYC, 2. Orient Express, Farr 40, Peter Tong, LBYC, 3. Flyer, Farr 40, Doug Mongeon DPYC, 4. Firebird, N/M 55, Greg Sands, SlBYC, 5. Medicine Man, Andrews 56, Bob Lane , LBYC PHRF - B , 1. Allegiance, Andrews 39, Rob Seymour, SlBYC, 2. Pendragon, Davidson 44, Dave Gray , SSYC, 3. Eris, Olson 30, Jim Kerrigan , BCYC, 4. Four Star, Tartan 10, David Stotler , LBYC, 5. Gambler, Nich 43, Dick Seward , SBYRC PHRF - C, 1. Callisto II, Catalina 34TR, Kobayashi/Hartmann/Belson SlBYC, 2. Southern Comfort, Santa Cruz 27, Cole Price , ABYC, 3. Class Action, Ranger 33, John Monkvic, NYCLB, 4. Gusty Lady, Catalina 34, Fred Woods, LBYC, 5. Blue-Bell, 35' Cutter Don Healey, WHYC, PHRF D - CRUISING 1. Enchanted Lady, Roberts 55K, Andy Sibert SlBYC, 2. Incredible, Swan 55 Rick Gorman, LBYC, 3. Wind Dancer, Catalina 30, Skip Davis, NYCLB, 4. Invictus, Islander 36, Ben Lamson , LBYC, 5. Kalae O'Day 35, George Scholten, LAYC AMERICAP, 1. Passages, Ranger 29, Ron Toman , NYCLB, 2. Indian Summer, Ericson 2-35 Jerry/Bev Fipps LSF, 3. Gator, Frers 38, Tom/Todd Wheatley LBYC, 4. Phase-Loc J/33, Jack Oliver, ABYC, 5. Creeper, Santana 30-30, Kolshus/Mayhew SYC ORCA, 1. IMI LOA OR Cat Dr. Vic Stern, SlBYC, 2. No Name, 21 Multi, Randy Reynolds, LIYC, 3. Sea Smoke, F-24, Bob Anderson, ABYC, 4. McAttack, F-31 , Mike McAllister, ALYC, 5. Bethany, Boyd Schultz, CYC

Long Point to Alamitos Bay (26.9 miles, Race #2) PHRF A, 1. , Flyer 2. Stealth Chicken, 3. Medicine Man, PHRF B, 1. Four Star, 2. Allegiance, 3. Gambler, 4. Eris, 5. Liberty, Olson 911 S/E, Yvonne Levy, LSF PHRF C, 1. Blue-Bell, 2. Callisto II, 3. Cherokee Woman, Catalina 36 Lloyd Clauss , HHYV, 4. Gusty Lady, 5. Class Action PHRF D - CRUISING, 1. Enchanted Lady, 2. Kalae AMERICAP, 1. Gator, 2. Passages, 3. Creeper ORCA, 1. Sea Smoke, 2. IMI LOA

In just a couple of hours the curmudgeon is catching an airplane and flying up to the Bay area for a few days. I'll be spending time at Sail Expo in Oakland and also visiting the new Treasure Island Sailing Center (which was christened yesterday). While in the Bay area I'll be imposing on friends, but they all have phone lines so I hope to be able to issue 'Butt each morning but you never know.

"Fallen, disappointed, sad and defeated. Angry. All of the above." This is how Brad Van Liew felt upon reaching Punta del Este after the dismasting of his boat, Balance Bar. He arrived at 12:45 a.m. local time (0345 Greenwich Mean Time) on very choppy seas with a 15-knot southerly wind. That was then. A few hours later, after being cloaked with support from family, friends and the people he calls the Around Alone family, Van Liew recognized he "was not without recourse." From the depths of depression came the normally ebullient Van Liew: "It would be unfair for me not to try."

And so the young American, consumed by this race for many years, now says he's not giving up yet. By late today, the 31-year-old skipper says he must make a decision. When he dismasted on Sunday, Van Liew was sure, "I was out." Now, he says, he has choices. If he makes a quick decision, and can have his boat with a replacement mast back in the water in 12 to 13 days, "I could make the finish in time."

No longer would he be competing for second place, which he had hoped to snatch from his friend and competitor, the reluctant sailor, Mike Garside (Magellan Alpha). Now, however, he could be in the running for third place, competing against Russian adventurer, Viktor Yazykov (Wind of Change).

Van Liew and his shore crew will consider alternatives today. His shore crew includes his wife Meaghan; former Around Alone competitor Alan Nebauer, who sold Van Liew his boat and then became a member of his shore crew; and others including his mother Marcia. They're considering having a new aluminum mast built in Buenos Aires. If they took that route, no adjustments would be needed. The issue, however, is one of costs. The Van Liews are getting quotes from various sources. Elsewhere in South America, there are ready-built masts.

Then there's Balance Bar's original mast, which was on the boat when Van Liew bought it. That mast is in Newport, R.I., US, and could be air-freighted to Punta. It's the mast that Nebauer used to sail from Australia to Punta four years ago. "It's not ideal," said Van Liew's wife Meaghan, but with repairs it would work.

As Around Alone fans learn about Van Liew's plight, more offers of masts are coming in from the other campaigns. The help, Meaghan said, "has been completely stunning. The shore crews and race sponsors and race administration have been incredibly supportive." Replacing a mast is complicated enough; but there's also the jigsaw puzzle effect as well. Different masts require different sails, and different sails require different rigging.

"With all the resources and all the people I have trying hard to make it happen, it would be unfair for me not to try. We're going to give it our best shot..." -- Carol Pogash, Quokka Sports Staff

Standings (with distance to leader in parenthesis) Class I: 1. Soldini 2. Thiercelin (20.4) Class II: 1. Garside 2. Mouligne (10.0) 3. Yazykov (73.8)

For the full story:

Sooner or later, everyone stops smoking.