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
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
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
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,
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If want to stay dry, check out this terrific smock: http://www.douglasgill.com
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: http://www.calyachtclub.com
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 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
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
John@roake.gen.nz -- 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: http://www.aroundalone.com/
LBYC CATALINA ISLAND SERIES
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,
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.
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
"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: http://www.aroundalone.com/
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Sooner or later, everyone stops smoking.