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SCUTTLEBUTT #333 - May 28, 1999

Perhaps I can put this issue of acquiring and servicing sponsorship into perspective given my relationship to this industry. I currently represent a global entertainment event which has yet to make its public announcement. This event has a sponsorship agreement with a huge multinational company that is worth more than the collective amounts of all announced current America's Cup sponsorships - it is north of mid-eight figures. The VP of this company who is responsible for the execution of this agreement has 50 other such deals on his desk that he is responsible for monitoring. He has a staff of one.

Sailing is simply not on the radar of very many companies in the US. While the demographics of our sport are attractive, our reach is almost meaningless to all but a handful of companies. And the image that has been perpetuated in this country of the stuffy, drunken, litigious sailor precedes every conversation with non-sailing marketing and/or advertising purchase decision makers. The America's Cup is the bellwether by which all aspects of sailing are judged by those who make these purchase decisions in the media market place. Most of those decision makers still think the Big Boat-Catamaran court case is unresolved, or if they have moved beyond that they laugh about changing the rules in the middle of a series to create a three boat "finals", or worse yet, they simply have a complete distrust of the sport given the recent ESPN/Fox fiasco which was perpetuated by Young America. And if you don't understand the implications of the recent resignation by Rob Sutherland, the CEO of the America's Cup Village, you are very naive in the ways that the sponsorship community operates. Sponsors tend to not participate in events where key hospitality operations people leave without notice only six months before the event begins.

The reason that European and Austrailasian teams/sailors are more easily able to acquire sponsorship as compared to similar entities in the US is because of their relatively undeveloped TV marketplace as compared to the TV media choices available to US media purchase decision makers.

So, with the burden of trying to extract sponsorship money from companies that have extremely limited resources with which to dissect your proposal based on a sport that has an extremely negative image and proven untrustworthiness, there is little left to understand why it is so hard for anyone in the sport to acquire sponsorship dollars for sailing events/teams in the US.

Then to wrap the Olympic veil over the sport probably hurts even more. Companies are trying to wiggle out of their Olympic association as fast as they can - just read the releases from David D'ellesandro, the CEO of John Hancock, if you don't believe me.

And the truth about the Olympics is that the Asian factory workers who make Nikes have more rights and benefits than do the vast majority of people who compete on Olympic teams that Nike sponsors.

The sport of sailing is best served under it's original model - that as a casual recreation for people who can afford to play the game within the structure of their personal resources. To try and make sailing into something like NASCAR is wishful thinking, at best.

San Diego, CA. The conditions on Saturday were excellent with winds ranging from 8 knots in the first and third race to 12 to 15 knots during the second race. The changing conditions kept most boats changing gears consistently during the day. Seas were slightly choppy with a 3 to 4 foot swell and wind from the South changing to the southwest and back during the day. -- James Buley

Final Results (21 boats) 1. Andy Ladow (19) 2. Bruce Nelson (20) 3. Dennis Conner (23).

At noon tomorrow, PDT, (3:00 PM EDT) ESPN will broadcast a 30-minute Gary Jobson Ultimate Sailing program on the Around Alone race. This program shows highlights of all four legs, both the highs and the lows.


Ullman Sails is bringing you this issue of Scuttlebutt. If you enjoy it, order a new Ullman sail for your boat - just like the curmudgeon did. At least check into their web site for information or a price quote. It's more affordable than you think:

* America True's bright yellow boat was christened America True Wednesday but she will not be truly launched until she arrives in New Zealand in a month's time. The plan has always been to keep the boat out of American waters until after her cup campaign. "It doesn't make sense to set up a base anywhere else but in Auckland," Dawn Riley said. "It's more cost effective this way, and we'll get more time on the race track."

America True, or USA51, was designed by Phil Kaiko, who helped draw up the winning America3 boats in 1992 and the legendary OneAustralia (now at the bottom of the Pacific) in 1995.

Her shape was kept under wraps - she remains shrouded in plastic ready for the next part of her journey. The boat was built in Truckee, near the skifields of Tahoe. The boat will go back on the truck and move to Los Angeles, to catch a ship leaving this weekend for Auckland. - Suzanne McFadden, New Zealand Herald

For the full story:

* Syd Fischer will announce next week that he is not building a new America's Cup challenger for next year's match in Auckland but will instead develop his existing 1995 contender, Sydney '95. The announcement will also reveal that the effort, which will start with the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection trials in October, will become the launching pad for a longer-term plan - a fully blown Australian challenge for the Cup in four years.

It is believed that a highly competitive sponsorship market that has seen the Sydney Olympics as the star product has had considerable impact on the fund raising efforts by Fischer and his team. This will be Fischer's fifth Cup campaign, a record that will see him equal the number of Cup challenges mounted by the legendary Sir Thomas Lipton. The only difference is that Lipton actually was the actual challenger. Sadly for 72-year-old Fischer, he has not been able to get to the top of the now standard challenger selection process. - Rob Mundle

For the full story:

* All but a handful of the 160 volunteers required to assist with the running of the Louis Vuitton Challenger series have been appointed, according to Vince Cooke, Regatta Operations Director for the Challenger series. All but four or five of those selected were from Auckland, he said. Most came from Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, which is the host club for the Challengers in Auckland, but he said virtually every club in the city and surroundings had somebody represented in the volunteer group.

The volunteers will assist with a wide range of duties, from checking the startline to shifting racing marks. Cooke noted that three of the last four winners of the Louis Vuitton Cup had gone on to win the America's Cup, the most recent being Team New Zealand in 1995.

Letters selected to be printed here are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks.

-- From Glenn T. McCarthy -- One comment on the Peter Harken editorial, You the Man!

-- From Hugh Elliot -- As a business consultant , I can appreciate all the points that Peter Harken makes in his guest editorial. Yes, indeed, all of us who seek sponsorship have to be willing to give full measure for the funds that are supplied and to accept that we are entering into a commercial transaction. If a signage or other requirement is "too commercial", then the club, class or team had better think again about the price that it is willing to pay for the sponsor's dollars.

My difficulty can be found in the last paragraph where Peter says: "Our company is working on it's own requirement rules". When I am talking to a company, I really do not know what forms of sponsorship and fulfillment make a good fit with its marketing plan. Few of us "seekers after sponsorship" are professional marketing people and it would really be much easier, and waste less of everyone's time, if the companies that receive frequent requests for sponsorship had clear guidelines. Perhaps a professional marketing person could do us all a favor and publish an article in the sailing press explaining how we should go about the search for sponsorship?

-- From Mort Weintraub - Peter Harken's The comments are very appropriate. Peter, would you please describe some of the ways that individual teams and regatta organizers could offer value to potential sponsors.

Curmudgeon's comments: If you want to do that Peter, we'll publish it here and send you a free 'Butthead tee shirt.

-- From Nick Gibbens -- Why don't those Aussies figure out it would be a lot more fun to race from Fiji BACK to Coffs Harbour!! How about a race form San Diego to Seattle? Don't expect a big turnout next year.

-- From Richard A. von Doenhoff, Chairman, The Great Ocean Race, New York Yacht Club -- Regarding Speed Records: The original transatlantic race course established by the New York Yacht Club in December 1866, was from the Sandy Hook Lightship to a point due South (true) of the Lizard Lighthouse in Cornwall. This was also the course followed by the transatlantic race in 1905, when ATLANTIC set the longstanding record of 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute, and 19 seconds.

Only after the Sandy Hook Lightship was taken out of service did record-seekers use the Ambrose Lightship (and later Ambrose Tower), which was fixed approximately 2 miles southeast of the Sandy Hook Lightship. The Ambrose Tower was dismantled in 1998, and nothing marks the site today.

For the Atlantic Challenge Cup in 1997 and for The Great Ocean Race in 2002, the New York Yacht Club Race Committee sets the pin end of the starting line at 40 degrees, 29.6 minutes N., 73 degrees, 52.0 West - the site of the former Sandy Hook Lightship.

-- From Randy Smith -- Why don't we sail the Lipton Cup in Farr 40's. The class is at such a high level, flawless boat prep and new sail inventories are standard. No modifications are allowed to hull, rig or blades, and the racing is very close. You can't spend any more than what is already being done. The deck layout is FARR more user friendly than the Schock or the J-120.

Curmudgeon's comment: I can think of two strong arguments against this proposal - 1) SDYC does not have a Farr 40 in the club, and 2) unless Farr 40 sales pick up dramatically, it would be a VERY small regatta.

-- From Maxwell Rosenberg -- The Lipton Cup should not be sailed in J120s. I have raced with Dave Janes on his 120 'JBird' and the downwind tactics are more about speed, not lanes. The boats tend to one or two gybe a run and this would make the downwind legs boring and parade like. The Shocks are more crew work critical and because of this, better at representing a team victory. The issue of the boats being unequal could be addressed by a round robin and regatta sails.

-- From Greg Tice - If John Welty would have put off joining US Sailing until North Sails Race Week, they would have thrown in a T-shirt as well.

-- From Janet Baxter, US SAILING Vice President -- We often get suggestions for give-aways to entice new members. In fact, every member gets one rulebook every four years. The rules are not supposed to change except at the four year cycle, but sometimes they do, so when the rule books are reprinted (for new members and guys like me who leave theirs in the bilge) we print the revised version.

I'm sorry that John Welty got the new member solicitation. We send lots of those, and while we try to not send to current members, that mailing must have failed the "merge/purge" match to current members. Please pass it along to a friend. US SAILING does appreciate your membership, and we hope that you renew faithfully- that is the lowest cost for us, and less hassle for you. Expiration will interupt your magazines, as it takes some effort to start a new subscription.

On Friday, June 11, at 8:30 AM, some 240 sailboats will cast their docklines off and sail away from the Chicago cityfront. But as these boats disperse beneath the skyline, they won't be heading for a leisurely day away from the office. They will be sailing into a competition where the pressure will be full-on at the opening races of the Chicago GMC Yukon/Sailing World NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) Regatta--a national sailboat-racing series where competition tops the scale in intensity and finishes, literally, come down to mere seconds.

Returning to Chicago for the 11th year in a row, the three-day Chicago NOOD--the fifth stop on a nine-event national racing circuit--is hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club, June 11-13, and sponsored by GMC Yukon. Each year, the Chicago NOOD draws the largest fleet in this series. A field of 240 boats from 24 to 70 feet in length will compete in 21 classes, and the vintage of classes will run the gamut: from designs that were launched in the 1970s and have remained virtually unchanged since hull #1 hit the water, to the latest breed of one-design boats to emerge from the offices of U.S. designers.

The Chicago NOOD has drawn one-design, level-rated (of identical speed), and rating-band classes (boats that race within a tight PHRF or IMS rating band). In addition to the one-design classes, the fleets making their way to the starting line include: a 40-Foot Class, IMS, Level 105-117, Level 126, Level 35, Level 36' to 42', PHRF Racer/Cruiser, PHRF 48-51. - Cynthia Goss

Event Website:

Balboa YC in Southern California is looking for a full time Sailing Administrator. This professional position with salary and benefits oversees the planning and execution of BYC's year-round racing program. He or she will support the efforts of club committees, write NORs, Sailing Instructions and help staff and operate a variety of BYC race committee boats. Applicants must have a background in race management, sailing skills and a working knowledge of the ISAF and US Sailing structure. For more information please contact Luis Chavez, General Manager, Balboa Yacht Club 1801 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar, CA 92625. (949) 673-3515 or

The Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING has announced the Team that will represent the U.S. at the 20th World University Games. Held every two years, the World University Games is open to student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 who must be registered for a full course study at a university, or have obtained their degrees within a year of the Games.

The '99 World University Games, which will feature sailing competition for the first time, are scheduled for July 5-12 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, with racing in the Europe, 470 (men and women), Laser and Mistral (men and women) classes. (The U.S. will not send competitors for the Europe and 470 Women's events.)

1999 World University Games Team - Yachting Competing in the Laser event are: Daniel Meade (New Orleans, La.) a junior at the University of Southern California and Eugene Schmitt (Pass Christian, Miss.), a '99 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Doug Stryker (Edison, N.J.) a sophomore at Rutgers, and Taylor Duch (Savannah, Ga.), a freshman at Eckerd College, will compete in the Mistral Men's and Women's events, respectively. Competing in the 470 Men's event are skipper Kevin Teborek (Winnetka, Ill.) with crew Talbott Ingram (Fair Haven, N.J.), both juniors at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, and Steven Hunt (Poquoson, Va.) with crew Michael Miller (Fairport, N.Y.). Hunt is a '98 graduate of the College of Charleston where Miller is a junior. Both 470 Men's teams are members of the 1999 US Sailing Team. Heading the U.S. sailing delegation will be Team Leader/Coach Skip Whyte (Bristol, R.I.). - Jan Harley, Media Pro


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