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SCUTTLEBUTT #312 - April 16, 1999

Yesterday the curmudgeon went to visit the new San Francisco Sailing Center on Treasure Island. Although it was just christened this week the Star Class is already holding their pre-Olympic Trials regatta there this week. There is a dedicated group of Bay Area supporters who are energetically and confidently working to build this center into a model community access facility while simultaneously conducting world class sailing events. The potential of the facility and the commitment of the founders were both apparent. I have no doubt that we will all hear more about this facility as the plans develop.

Following the tour of the Treasure Island facility, a group of some 15 sailing industry leaders gathered at the St Francis YC to discuss the development of our sport. It was a fascinating, insightful and enlightening discussion. If it wasn't already well after midnight, I'd attempt to highlight some of the conclusions, that discussion will have to wait for future issues of 'Butt.

In this morning's USA Today, NYYC Commodore George Isdale called for a complete overhaul of the America's Cup. "Presently, the defender makes all decisions-from venue to the television rights to many important sponsorships. That's akin to Jerry Jones running the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys," Isdale said. He called for a "professional management organization, independent of all existing national and international authorities."

"The time has come for fundamental change," Isdale continued, who quickly acknowledged, "To change the America's Cup in a meaningful way, one has to win it first.

While time appears to be running out for Australia's America's Cup Challenge, syndicate head Syd Fischer remains adamant that the Australian flag will be flying high in Auckland come October. There are signs that a media deal is all but in place to support Fischer's effort. It is also known that three potential sponsors are in the wings. "We will definitely be there," said Fischer in Sydney yesterday.

Fischer also appears to have won another round in the battle to keep professional sanity in the management of the Cup as an event. This follows his refusal to sign the letters of understanding relating to American television network ESPN's coverage of the event. ESPN has now decided not to try to force Fischer to sign. --Rob Mundle, Grand Prix Sailor

For the full story:

New York Yacht Club/Young America Challenge skipper Ed Baird and members of the NYYC/Young America sailing team will compete in the One Design 48 Chesapeake Grand Prix April 28-May 2 on board Starlight, owned by NYYC/Young America supporter Jay Ecklund. "This regatta allows us a great opportunity to get out on the water while our two new Bruce Farr boats are under construction," Baird said.

NYYC/Young America sailing team members racing with Baird on the Starlight crew include: Stu Argo, Jim Brady, Chris Cantrick, Jeff Ecklund, Ross Halcrow, Jerry Kirby, and Tony Rey. - Jane Eagleson

NYYC/Young America website:

-- From Glenn T. McCarthy -- I just received my "Butthead" T-shirt from Frank Whitton and Pacific Embroidery. I can't wait to wear it. I will cherish it forever! If your readers don't have one yet, it is embroidered with "Scuttlebutt Butthead" with a fleet of embroidered spinnakered boats. I will wear it to the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Board meeting this Saturday.

Curmudgeon's comment: I suspect Frank will be delighted to provide the same happiness and pride to other 'Butt readers: 619-226-8033 /

The Australian Yachting Federation has announced the 1999 P&O Nedlloyd Champagne Mumm Admirals Cup Team. The team consists of:

Quest (Bob Steel) in the IMS big class Sledgehammer (Ron Jones) in the Sydney 40 Class A Mumm 36 boat to be chartered in Europe. Currently being organised by Grant Simmer and Ron Jocobs

The event, which is held every second year in Cowes, UK, is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and has been running since 1957. The 1999 Champagne Mumm Admirals Cup will be held from 12 to 24 July. - John Roberson

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 Alan Johnson -- The coaching ban (at some regattas) is also a reaction to overzealous parental coaching not just YC coaches. Some YC's have proposed jokingly total bans of parents at major junior regattas as some were so bad. A parent that wants to re-live his childhood vicariously through his child's sport is as much a problem in sailing as it is in football, soccer or the stage.

-- From Bruce Golison -- In response to Mike Nash's comments, I would like to hope that Corinthian sailing and proper behavior is not expected to be limited to the yacht clubs! Besides, I have seen some pretty drunk and disorderly people at yacht clubs over the years. Just because a person is at a yacht club, this does not turn them into a saint.

I know for the great majority of people at our event, they come to compete a high level on the race course and then come back in to responsibly socialize with friends from near and far, and they do not say to themselves, "I am not at a yacht club, so I can act as I wish".

Finally, I would venture to say that the boatowners, crew and their guests who come to our regatta would be greatly insulted by Mr. Nash's comments that they may not be the quality people that yacht clubs attract and that they should be compared to "Raider fans at a tailgate party".

-- From Terry Harper, Executive Director, US Sailing -- US SAILING has mailed a copy of the notice concerning these suspensions (for gross misconduct) to all California yacht clubs and sailing associations, and Southern California member race organizers, such as NOSA. Our Council of Sailing Associations is also e-mailing a copy of the release to all sailing associations.

It is our hope that those who were suspended will act in a Corinthian manner and comply. Failing that, we hope that local organizers will consider the effect upon their own regattas of allowing a suspended competitor to compete. Finally, it is the prerogative of any competitor to protest a boat whose crew member(s) may have been suspended from eligibility.

Unless local organizers and the competitors themselves support such penalties, it will be difficult for any sport to enforce its rules. There is always the prospect, however, of further penalties if a suspended person does not comply.

-- From Shipwreck Schupak -- Having just returned from a quick visit to Sail Expo, I'd like to encourage everyone close enough to walk, sail, skateboard, drive or fly to make the time to visit the show. I've been to quite a few shows on the west coast over the years, and this one is by far the best sailing show since the hey days of Long Beach back in the 70's and 80's.

The industry is out in force with boats inside and out, large and small, hardware, software, equipment and foo foo items. It's refreshing to see that Randy Repass and the Sail America folks are trying to bring sailing back to the mainstream boat buyer.

I can even report on a non-controversial encounter with U.S. Sailing too. Heather Godsey, U.S. Sailing's membership director was on hand and manning staffing the booth (gotta be PC). She even had her filter off at times too. Maybe it's time to take a step back take a breather and stop bashing em on every chance we can.

-- From Dieter Loibner -- Buoygate - As history shows Cayard vs the Kiwis is good for headlines. Cayard won a decision in 1992, which forced the Kiwis to do away with their bow-rigged spinnaker pole starting their tailspin. In 95 the Kiwis hung a bagel on Cayard then helmsman for Team Dennis Conner to even the score with him and Dennis, their tormentors of 1992, 1988 and 1987.

But there is more: on the eve of the fifth and final race TDC found out about John Hess, a former McDonell Douglas fluid dynamicist and teacher at Cal State Long Beach who assisted Team New Zealand with basic logarithms for the CFD that produced superior boats. Hess' emergence shed light on the mystery of TNZ's CFD support, since at that time New Zealand lacked the technical infrastructure for this complex task. Questions were raised whether Hess violated the rule that requires sailors and designers to take up primary residence in the country of their team two years prior to the first America's Cup race. TDC decided to let go of the issue because a) they wouldn't have looked too good filing a protest being down four-zip and no chance to ever win a race in this series and b) it was highly unlikely to get the jury to strip TNZ of their wins after such a lopsided final.

Maybe the Kiwis should consider this incident before they escalate the buoy incident any further.

-- From Ross MacDonald -- Re: The NIWA bouy debacle, give me an inflatable, foulies, cooler full of ales, step ladder and a mobile phone and I'll give you multi-level wind readings for a quarter of a mil!!!

-- From Bill Healy -- Didn't Arthur Knapp win the Star Worlds as Skipper and Crew? In the 20's and 30's?

Curmudgeon's comment - OK Matt, what's the answer?

The eighth biennial Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship, scheduled for September 19-25, 1999, promises to lure sailboat racing's brightest stars as well as those on the rise for a unique blend of competition, revelry and camaraderie. Hosted by Ida Lewis Yacht Club and headquartered at Sail Newport, the series consists of ten races on the ocean and Narragansett Bay. Since the inaugural event in 1985, over 200 teams from 17 nations have waged battle for the coveted Rolex crown. -- Shannon Geary

For more information, contact Denise McGillivray:

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

* "No ideas whatsoever!" This, from meteorologist extraordinaire, Bob McDavitt, when we asked him if he had a long range forecast for the start of the defender series. "It will be different." - Different to what, we said ? "Well the oceans reshuffle themselves and will settle down during April, May and June, so we will have a greater understanding then of the necessary parameters on which to base our forecast. At this stage, astrologists, and clairvoyants would be better than us. But it will be different! We are beginning to see the end of La Nina." So what does all that mean? Reading between the lines, it is a fair bet that challengers will be experiencing seas/winds different to what they trained in, in 1998. Will keep you posted.

The Auckland 2000 Trust has set up a new web page to cater for the many visitors and organisations expecting to come to Auckland for events like APEC, America's Cup regatta, FIFA Under 17 Soccer World Championships and the millennium celebrations. The VIP service will also be available with free access to business databases and information services. Future potential visitors to Auckland would be well advised to register and receive their updates. (

GETTING BETTER - A report from Peter Campbell
David Kellett, Vice-President of the International Sailing Federation and a former Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is recovering slowly from the spinal injuries he received when the 60-footer Sydney "hit the bricks" in the recent offshore race from Sydney to Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

Sydney crashed into an uncharted "bombora" rock close inshore Stockton Bight, north of Newcastle on the North Coast of New South Wales.The yacht was travelling at 10 knots as the helmsman eased sheets to pass Morna Point, with all the fleet "rock hopping" north to avoid the south running current.

The force of the impact threw Kelllett, who weighs in at over 100 kilos, some three metres from where he was standing near the navigation table in the pilot house. Then he tumbled another metre down into the galley. "I knew I was in trouble when I ended up in a bundle against the forw;ard bulkhead and when they got me to John Hunter Hospital at Newcastle they found two vertabrae had been fractured," Kellett told me yesterday. (The crew sailed Sydney into Port Stephens, north of Stockton Bight, where Kellett and two other injured crew were taken ashore and to hospital).

Kellett said he is still in a steel brace and at this stage cannot sit down or lay down, other than on his side. "It's pretty uncomfortable, but I am getting better and I hope to see me and the boat (which suffered minor keel damage) back sailing in the Sydney Gold Coast Race at the end of July," he added. "In the meantime, I'm confident the specialist will allow me to travel overseas to meet my ISAF commitments." - Peter Campbell

There is a pattern developing, and J.P. Mouligne's followers can only hope it continues. In the last two legs, Mouligne has had slow starts and immediately fallen behind his rival Mike Garside. That, of course, is not the part worth repeating. However, the two have dueled since last summer's Atlantic Alone qualifying race, which Mouligne ultimately won, and the battle continues to this day. In each contest to date, Mouligne has prevailed when all was said and done. Still, for Mouligne's fans, there have been nervous moments along the way of each passage. Garside is not only a nuisance, he is also a formidable threat to Mouligne's dreams of sweeping all four legs of the race. Mouligne's hope is that he will once again shake off a poor beginning and, as he has done in the past, roll past Garside when it really counts.

He's doing everything in his power to ensure that history repeats itself. But at 0944 GMT today, he still had 4,796 miles to go to Charleston and he trailed Class II leader Garside by 24 miles. In third, Viktor Yazykov was some 150 miles behind Mouligne

In Class I, at 0940 GMT Giovanni Soldini was still atop the leader board and was 20 miles ahead of Marc Thiercelin in the DTF column. He had 4,718 miles to go at the early update and was making an average speed of 6.1 knots. - Herb McCormick

Event website:

Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"