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SCUTTLEBUTT #404 - September 24, 1999

US Team Update 9/24 - A special report from Bob Merrick

SOLING - The US Soling team of Jordan, Healy, and Madrigali have won all three of today's matches in the match racing finals. The team from the Netherlands also has three wins. The US team defeated Great Britain, Germany and Sweden. Sweden and Germany were first and second respectively in the fleet racing portion of the event.

470 WOMEN - Louise VanVoorhis and Tracy Hayley are in second, six points behind the Italians and ten points ahead of the Ukrainians with one race left in the series. To win the event the US women will have to win the final race with the Italians placing less than seventh.

470 MEN - Paul Foerster and Bob Merrick have moved up to third with a win in race ten. They also have one race left to go. The British are five points behind in fourth. The Portuguese team finished second in race ten to win the event with a race to spare.

MISTRAL MEN - Michael Gebhardt remains in eighth place with one race to go. Gebhardt is five points out of fifth.

MISTRAL WOMEN - Lanee Butler has moved up to eighth with one race to go.

EUROPE - Meg Gaillard showed her potential with an 8,9 in races nine and ten, moving her up to sixteenth place with a race to go.

FINN - Darrell Peck remains in eighteenth with two races to go.

LASER - Mark Mendelblatt has made a healthy jump up to eighth place with a good string of races that included a win in race 8. The Lasers have one race remaining. Mark is five points out of fourth.

49er - Charlie and Jonathan McKee have moved up to fifth with three races to go. The team is five points behind the Australians in fourth but twenty points out of third.

TORNADO - Charlie Ogletree and John Lovell were in striking distance of third before a disappointing race ten. The pair is in fifth place with a race to go. An OCS in the first race in which the pair finished second has certainly come back to haunt them in the end.

STAR - With two wins in the last two races Philip Trinter and Mark Reynolds have moved into second. Unfortunately the Australian team, five points ahead in first, finished second in both those races. There are two races left for the stars. -- Bob Merrick

NEWPORT, R.I. (Sept. 23, 1999) - After winning two races on Rhode Island Sound, a Massachusetts team skippered by Elaine Parshall (Charlestown) has taken the lead at the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship. After sailing "up the bay" yesterday, 28 teams of six women today tackled the high seas off Newport, R.I., where this prestigious biennial regatta is being held for its eighth time. Parshall credited her tactician, Mary Marshall (Newport, R.I.), with helping her "peg the shifts" and soar to a quarter-mile lead in the 15 knots of breeze that powered the first race.

"I was looking for wind velocity constantly, and we went for that" said Marshall, who also convinced Parshall that she didn't have to tack one last time to make the finish line in the second race. That move may have kept French skipper Christine Briand from sneaking in at the last moment. In that race, Parshall, Briand and skipper Karen Lynch (Scituate, Mass.) jockeyed for the lead around the six-mile windward-leeward course. Briand's second, combined with a third in race one, propelled her to fifth overall, up from 11th on yesterday's scoreboard. She now trails fourth-place skipper Vicki Sodaro (Tiburon, Calif.) by four points. Lynch, who finished 7-3 today, maintains her third-place standing. Yesterday's leader Pat Connerney (Middletown, R.I.) slipped to second overall with finishes of 4-5 today. Five points separate her from leader Parshall. -- Barby MacGowan

STANDINGS: 1. Elaine Parshall, Charlestown, Mass., U.S.A,. 2, 2, 1,1; 6. 2. Pat Connerney, Middletown, R.I., U.S.A., 1, 1, 4, 5; 11. 3. Karen Lynch, Scituate, Mass., U.S.A., 5, 3, 7, 3; 18. 4. Vicki Sodaro, Tiburon, Calif., U.S.A., 7, 4, 6, 8; 25. 5. Christine Briand, La Rochelle, FRANCE, 9, 14, 3, 2; 28. 6. Susan Reddaway, Flowery Branch, Ga., U.S.A., 4, 15, 5, 7; 31. 7.(t) Felicity Clarke, Toronto, Ontario, CAN, 13, 5, 14(PO5), 4; 36. 7.(t) Liz Hjorth, Marina del Ray, Calif., U.S.A., 16, 8, 2, 10; 36. 9. Amanda Clark, Shelter Island, N.Y., U.S.A., 6, 11(P05), 13, 11; 41. 10. Nancy Stark Zangerle, Chardon, Ohio, U.S.A., 3, 11, 8, 20; 42. 11. Judy Woellner, Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A., 14, 7, 14, 16; 51. 12. Yumiko Takano, Fukuoka, JAPAN, 15, 9, 16, 12; 52. 13. Anne Marie Shewfelt, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, 8, 18, 12, 18; 56. 14.(t) Anne Hannan, Stratford, Conn., 29(P11), 12, 10, 6; 57. 14.(t) Laurie Poppen, Muskegon. Mich., 17, 16, 15, 9; 57. (P) = penalty points

Complete results:

Veteran America's Cup commentators Jim Kelly and Gary Jobson will return to their familiar roles for the more than 70 hours of ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN Classic coverage of the America's Cup 2000 from New Zealand. They will be joined by native Kiwis Peter Montgomery and Suzy Aiken for the coverage, which will culminate with the best-of-nine finals televised live in prime time commencing next February 18.

Kelly and Jobson have worked together as ESPN's host and analyst on the America's Cup since the memorable 1986-87 event in Fremantle, Australia. At times during the telecasts, Jobson and Montgomery, New Zealand's foremost yachting broadcaster, will switch roles, with Montgomery joining Kelly and Jobson working on New Zealand's domestic coverage. Aiken, a fitness and lifestyle reporter/host in Auckland, will provide feature reports. In addition, Geoff Mason also returns to the event as executive producer. A competitor aboard Nefertiti in 1962, Mason headed ESPN's America's Cup telecasts in 1987 and the international broadcasters' world feed in 1992 and '95.

Programming Summary
- Coverage will begin with America's Cup 2000: Breaking the Spell on ESPN Classic Monday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET. The one-hour show will review the historic 1983 and 1987 America's Cup events, when the U.S. first lost, and then regained, the Cup. It includes a great deal of never-before-seen footage.
- ESPN2 will air America's Cup 2000 Preview: Long Shot Down Under, a one-hour show Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. That day, round-robin racing among 11 yacht clubs from seven countries -- including five from the U.S. -- will begin in Auckland.
- During that stage of the event, five half-hour highlight programs will be aired on ESPN2 -- on November 1, 22 and 28 and December 19 and 26. (There is no defender selection tournament as 1995 winner New Zealand is fielding only one team.)
- ESPN will televise a 60-minute special to summarize the round-robin racing and previewing the Challenger Semifinals Sunday, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m.
- ESPN2's nightly race coverage will start with the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Semifinals January 2 (Jan. 1 at 9:30 p.m. PT), followed by the Challenger Finals (best of nine, January 24 - February 4). Most telecasts will begin at 12:30 a.m. ET (9:30 p.m. PT).

The best-of-nine America's Cup Match between New Zealand and the top challenger will begin February 18 on ESPN2 live in primetime (telecasts will begin at 7 p.m. ET).

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Now that we're automated it's easy to add new names on the Scuttlebutt distribution list. Just tell your friends to send a blank email to:

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

-- From Dan Phelps (Viper 640 Class Secretary) -- This US Sailing fees thing reminds me of something I heard when I began actively volunteering for clubs and organizations - "No good deed goes unpunished."

(Hmm -- sounds like something the curmudgeon might say.)

-- From Paul Miller (regarding Cam Lewis' note about the improvements between the last America's Cup and this one and his comparison to car racing.) -- If indeed there is a 2 minute improvement in speed over a 2-2.5 hour race, that would be about a 1% improvement. If you compare that to the top qualifying times for the Jiffy Lube 300 from 1996-99, you would see their improvement is also about 1%.

-- From Robert Bethune, Editor, Freshwater Seas -- In sailboat racing, an advantage of two minutes means the difference between victory and defeat, so the people who produced it would probably be able to avoid the tractor factory. In other words, if anybody enters a four-year-old boat in this competition, they can kiss it goodbye.

-- From Ken Miller -- I love Cam (tongue-in-cheek) Lewis' stab at IACC boatspeed gains. For this racing to be interesting for spectators (money) you have to have a close race and lots of onboard camera work, kind of like NASCAR... Unfortunately, money and TV has taken over the sport, and fortunately it has also brought it into my boob tube.

Doesn't it seem reasonable to shorten the length of the America's Cup? Five months of racing seems more like a justification to a country's capital improvements than to scoring and development. I can't see any syndicate taking a chainsaw to the hull after losing 3/5 one-point round robin races! It's never going to be 12 metres again. In interests' sake: shorten the season, run it every three years, limit it to one new boat, mandate a fleet race in every challenger's city and then tour those hulks after the cup on a marketing tour.

-- From Mark Michaelsen -- I am not a big fan of "Selling out" to corporate sponsors but the folks at our local school level have figured this one out. The San Diego school district signed a multi million dollar contract with Pepsi-cola and in return for these big bucks Pepsi has the exclusive right to place their soda vending machines in San Diego schools. No banners, no promotional cards sent home with the kids...just the right to plug their machine in as opposed to "the other guys" brand. The benefit/cost relationship is clear here and Pepsi's market share will increase to 100% in this positioning move with regard to San Diego students. That sounds like an increase in sales for Pepsi but in the big picture you won't even be able to see the increase in their sales graph for the State of California. Pepsi made the move to capture the visibility of the youth demographic. If you don't see the "Coca Cola" banner much you have a much lower propensity to buy it in the stores. Pepsi becomes a habit for life.

Now look at sailing. In the eyes of the marketing dollar: "pristine; white horse; clean cut; wealthy." These are all images sailing carries with it and that means the very high end demographic of consumers. Somebody needs to get on the ball and get creative at US SAILING and start courting the big boys in the corporate world to be the "exclusive" or "official" , , , , sponsor of US SAILING.

From Chris Bouzaid -- When you compare the size of it with the national authorities in other countries you will find that the only country that had a sailing authority anyway near the size of US Sailing was the USSR before it fell over. Now they have nothing.

In most countries your yacht club membership has a levy of something like $5 for the National authority. The yacht clubs deal with the national authority, you deal with the yacht club. You don't have to be a member of the national authority you just need to be a member of a yacht club.

We need to totally privatize our system to eliminate the waste and let the yacht clubs be more responsible to their members.

-- From Graham Kelly -- The evident purpose of the USSA certification programs (now based on an educational requirement) is that USSA considers that the program results in the provision of more competent services, which in turn results in improved racing for all competitors. I don't believe that there is any evidence that the judges or RO's benefit from the programs, and I can't think of anyone else who benefits.

This leads to a logical conclusion that the expense of the program should be borne by the beneficiaries, that is, all the competitors, through their USSA dues. (Of course, this does not address the free-rider problem of competitors who are not USSA members.)

On the expense side, it has recently been suggested that the Race Administration personnel at USSA are spending time correlating the judges list with purchase lists in order to verify that all certified judges have purchased a copy of the USSA appeals (applicable rules require each judge to "own" a copy of the appeals). IMO, this time could be better spent by more productive activities.

I think it is preposterous for USSA to use their rule-making and copyright power to enforce a monopoly on those of us who are willing to make a substantial contribution of time, effort and energy to ensure the fairness of sailing competition. By way of contrast, all the ISAF appeal decisions ("Cases") are available for downloading on the ISAF website. Perhaps there would be fewer protests if USSA followed suit.

-- From Cam Lewis -- Right on Scott Mason and Peter Johnstone and all you other parents sailing and racing with kids on board! Load up the family and have some fun. I had the pleasure of inviting Peter and his son Nick in their first race together last summer on my Quest 30 along with my wife Molly, our son Max in a serious NYYC event in Newport, RI, they actually had a PHRF class! The boys were 5 and 4 years old then. We had lots of fun, finished 2nd in our division right behind a US Naval Academy sloop full of cadets! Before each tack or jibe the Hot Wheels and other toys had to be cleared from the cockpit floor. Everybody we saw on the course gave us the thumbs up for multi aged crew and the boys were thrilled to be out racing with their parents, lets see more of this type of fun sailing in the future!

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (September 20, 1999)--The Olympic Sailing Committee of US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, has announced an entry limit of 32 competitors for the Laser Trials, necessitating a series of qualifying events for sailors in that class. The Trials which will select the Laser representative on the U.S.A.'s 2000 Olympic Team - Yachting are scheduled for April 6-16, 2000, at San Francisco Yacht Club, Belvedere, California.

The three remaining opportunities for sailors to qualify for entry to the Laser Trials are as follows: Laser East - November 18-22, 1999, at St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Laser West - March 2-6, 2000, at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach, Calif.; and Laser Final - March 9-13, 2000, at California Yacht Club, Marina del Rey, Calif.

All three events will qualify the top 10 U.S. finishers not previously qualified. At the Marina del Rey event, however, sailors who qualified at either the East or West event are not eligible to compete, and entries will be restricted to U.S. citizens.

Already qualified for the Laser Trials are the 1998 and 1999 winners of the U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O'Day Trophy who each received automatic entry to the Laser Trials. They are, respectively, Paul Zambriski (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Mattia d'Errico (San Antonio, Texas).

The remaining Olympic Team Trials are as follows: 470 - October 14-24, 1999, at St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, Fla.; 49er - October 14-24, 1999, at St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Mistral - October 14-24. 1999, at Eau Gallie Yacht Club, Indian Harbor, Fla.; Tornado - March 23-April 2, 2000, at Santa Cruz Yacht Club, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Europe - April 6-16, 2000, at San Francisco Yacht Club, Belvedere, Calif.; Finn - April 6-16, 2000, at Richmond Yacht Club, Pt. Richmond, Calif.; Star - April 6-16, 2000, at St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif.; and Soling - June 1-11, 2000, at St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif. -- Jan Harley

For complete details: Catherine Herrick, 401-683-0800, or

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Just as the largest part of an iceberg lies beneath the surface, a substantial part of the infrastructure of an America's Cup campaign is seldom seen. The most visible aspect of any campaign, like a soaring tip of the iceberg, is the yachts. Featuring wide-open cockpits under masts that tower nearly 10 stories, these boats arrest public attention and become the familiar and accessible faces of each campaign.

However, it is the labyrinthine structure surrounding each yacht -- the people and the organisations -- that forms the challenge corpus and becomes a determinant of success. The boat must be fast, the crew must be skilled and, to a degree, the sponsors must be generous. But, most importantly, the planning must be comprehensive and the organisation complete.

Switzerland's FAST 2000, one of the smallest challenges in Auckland, managed one of the grandest arrivals. Impelled by the pressure of time, FAST 2000 chartered an Antonov 124, a 69-metre transportation jet capable of carrying a maximum payload of 405,000 kilos. Three days after departing Geneva, the jet delivered the team's 75-foot IACC sloop, equipment, personnel and a couple of masts to Auckland. Competing syndicates had the luxury of time on their side, and opted to bring in their teams via container ship. In one shipment, Abracadabra 2000 landed two International America's Cup Class yachts, each about 75 feet long; a 40-foot chase boat; a 60-foot mothership; two masts, each measuring between 100 and 110 feet; eight 40-foot containers; and two 20-foot containers.

With careful planning, the panoply was transported over 7,000 miles and deposited in Auckland on time and unscathed. Abracadabra had help to reduce the hazards of this elaborate operation: sponsors P & O Nedlloyd altered the route of a container ship. Normally, all ships travelling between Honolulu and New Zealand visit the West Coast of the United States. Each stop increases the chance that equipment will be mishandled.

Oetking visited Auckland in February to lay the foundation of Abracadabra's on-site operation, making contact with vendors, assessing base and accommodation sites and preparing the ground for the arrival of crews and equipment. "Nothing goes entirely as planned," Oetking says. "But we're well set up. It's easier because we're pretty lean by most standards. We have about 40 people and at most that could increase by 10."

Italy's Prada Challenge is as sprawling as Abracadabra is lean, and its logistical operation varies in proportion. Prada will have 90 people in Auckland and its needs are voracious. The bulk of its operational equipment arrived in 10 large containers, but a supply line to Italy replenishes stocks, from sailing equipment to the ingredients with which staff chefs feed team personnel. "We always have to consider shipping time which, from Italy, is five to six weeks," says Antonio Marrais, the logistics and services manager. "We have to consider forecasts and possible delays. The problem is always time, because if you lose time you don't find it again."

Spain brought only one yacht, but with it came tonnes of supplies and equipment. Nine containers arrived with the yacht Bravo Espana -- a prefabrication of the challenge base from Valencia. "It took more than two months for everything to be planned," says crew member Luis Saenz. "The dismantling of the base and boat followed a step-by-step procedure. We designed that procedure to load and unload everything with a minimal waste of time." Although the team shipped just one boat, it faced a larger logistical problem. "We are the challenge which had to travel the most distance," says Saenz. "Spain is exactly opposite New Zealand. If you look at our longitude, it is the same as Wellington's. France is closer, Italy is closer."

The team compounds in Auckland show themselves self-consciously to the world. From the public's vantage point, crews hurry, cranes labour and equipment circulates mysteriously. But just as much action goes unseen, and like the submerged mass of a giant iceberg, the part which is undisclosed may be more significant than the view originally suggests. -- Steve McMorran, Quokka Sports

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