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SCUTTLEBUTT #406 - September 28, 1999

In the October issue of Sailing World, editor John Burnham took an in-depth look at the sports dominant organizing body, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Following is an excerpt from a letter ISAF President, Paul Henderson sent to Burnham in response to that report.

I have read with interest the very fair report on ISAF in Sailing World. Your observation that ISAF has become a well managed, transparent, and financially solvent International Federation is accurate but not easily achieved without due diligence and a few bruises.

Thanks to the advances in modern communications every sailor can be constantly current on all issues. ISAF posting the new Racing Rules on was an example as the sailors were advised immediately. Several MNAs (Member National Authority) complained that their income would be reduced by ISAF putting them up free on the Web. ISAF did it any way as a service to sailors.

ISAF in 1994, when this regime took over, was spending 5 years revenue in 4 years, and was headed for disaster. After 4 years of tough sledding it was apparent early this year that we were spending 4 in 4 and would have a little surplus. ISAF ExecCom acted immediately and did two things: 1) deleted any registration or membership fee for ISAF International Umpires and International Judges, of which there are over 400. 2) removed any Category "C" levy for all ISAF Classes or other events except the "Special Events" such as Volvo, America's Cup and Grade 1 Match Racing.

The problem facing an International Federation are the same as those facing US Sailing (USSA) times 130 -- the number of independent Member National Authorities. ISAF responsibility is Fair Play and for the most part, International Racing. Therefore not only does ISAF provide the Rules and Regulations for sailors to race, but at the top International Level, ISAF must provide, control and contract for the ISAF services utilized. And naturally for a fee -- both for ISAF to administer Sailing, but also to ensure the ISAF Race Officials contribution is duly recompensed.

One paragraph is an example of the ISAF dilemma where (Gary) Jobson says ISAF should get down to the level of the "casual sailor .. and training and education". Then (USSA President Jim) Muldoon says ISAF should "deal with the sport on a macro level." (Rather confusing, eh!)

What Jobson wants should be the responsibility of yacht clubs and USSA -- not ISAF. Muldoon is closer, but the problem is where does macro end and micro start. Everyone agreed that driving cars was macro and on which side of the road was micro. So UK drives on one side and USA on the other. Fortunately IYRU years ago adopted Starboard over Port.

The drive by USSA to delay the Advertising Code -- which the Star, 470, Tornado, 49er and most classes are lobbying to go with on January 1, 2000 -- is also confusing. This code effects very few in reality. Personally I would only sail with white sails, so that is my bias - but it is not today's reality. The ISAF Council, which overwhelmingly supported the ad code -- originally supported also by USSA when Tom Ehman was there -- has decided to turn the decision of what degree over to the sailors through their classes, dealing with their own MNA. When we brought in the new Racing Rules, which were USSA driven, many MNAs wanted to delay them, including Canada. I was lobbied by USSA to put them through, trusting the system and allowing fine-tuning over the years, and I did actively. The Racing Rules effect everyone. Now the same USSA is asking for delay because they demand the Ad Code be bulletproof.

Racing Rules trust us! Ad Code bulletproof!

Again, let me thank Sailing World for a good article explaining the administration, financial and transparent integrity of ISAF. Good model for most MNAs to follow methinks. Speaking personally, I will endeavor to work on my style but I am getting rather old to change!!

Respectfully, Paul Henderson President ISAF

(A Special report about the US Team from 470 Silver Medalist Bob Merrick)

The US Sailing Team has taken home five medals, out of a possible eleven, from the Olympic test event held on Sydney harbor last week. With three silver and two bronze medals the US team tied the host country Australia in the overall medal count. The Australian team won three gold and two bronze. This event is the one year mark in the countdown to the 2000 Olympic Games.

SOLING (14 boats) Jeff Madrigali, Craig Healy and Hartwell Jordan finished second in the match race event. The team from Sweden beat the US team. After beating the Swedes earlier in the series the Swedish team came back to beat the US sailors 3-0 in the final round.

470 WOMEN (18 boats) Tracy Hayley and Louise VanVoorhis should be happy to have sailed their best regatta of the year at the future Olympic site. Tracy and Louise finished second to the team from Italy while holding off the European and World champion Ukrainian team in third.

470 MEN (29 boats) Paul Foerster and Bob Merrick started the last race of the series in third, eleven points behind the French team in second. After a failed attempt to take the Americans out at the start the French were forced into a bad start and a bad race while the Americans sailed into first and move up to second over all.

49er (20 boats) Jonathan and Charlie McKee had a fantastic end to the 49er event. The duo finished 1,2,2 in the last three races to overcome a twenty-point deficit and finish in third.

STAR (8 boats) Mark Reynolds and Philip Trinter had their sights on silver until an OCS in the penultimate race dropped them down to third.

LASER (39 boats) Mark Mendelblatt finished seventh in the Laser Class. Mark had a strong finish after standing in the high teens half way through the event.

TORNADO (17 boats) John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree finished in fifth but were in strong contention for third throughout the regatta.

MISTRAL WOMEN (22 boards) Lanne Butler finished eighth.

MISTRAL MEN (36 boards) Michael Gebhardt finished eighth.

EUROPE (25 boats) Meg Gaillard finished sixteenth.

FINN (20 boats) Darrell Peck finished nineteenth.

Huston YC, Galveston Bay - September 20-25, 1999 (24 boats) Final results: 1. Jud Smith / Frazer/Later 16, 2. Marvin Beckman / Wilson/Beatty 21, 3. Chris Clark / Sherry/Bunton 23, 4. Gary Ross / McCann/Helm 25, 5. Ben Altman / Mahon/Scheibner 27, 6. Dirk Kneulman / Sustronk/Vanvostrand 28, 7. Joe Ellis / Maudlin/Scheaffer 30, 8. Jay Lutz / Taylor/Rettick 31, 9. M. Goldfarb / Brink/Wengard 37, 10. Chad Proctor / Brendel/Geiger 42.

Complete results at

I give up -- what am I supposed to do with my old shorts? I used to wear them sailing, but no more. Once you get spoiled by the fast drying Supplex Camet shorts there is no way you'd wear anything else on the racecourse. And personally, I'm totally hooked by their foam pads that pamper my aging butt. And the Camet shorts have such a good look. So now you understand my problem - what do I do with my old shorts?

* If the French syndicate's America's Cup base resembles the Pompidou Centre in Paris, then Young Australia's home is a floating Eiffel Tower. The 100-ton floating crane Hikinui will serve as the unique Australian base during the Louis Vuitton Cup series.

But what would you expect from a syndicate already stealing the limelight with the youngest crew, the oldest boat and the smallest budget? Australia's boat AUS-29 was carried into the village on the deck of the crane and parked in front of the Waitemata Plaza - on the opposite side of the Viaduct Basin to all of the other Cup syndicates on their more conventional land bases. The massive crane, which will carry out other jobs around the village over the next seven months, even towers above the neighbouring waterfront apartment buildings under construction.

The crane will lift the boat on and off a 50m barge each day, where the crew can work on the five-year-old hull. There are three containers on board the barge - for sails, rigging and tools. There is even room for the crew to park their bicycles - their mode of transport from their downtown living headquarters in the old Railway Station.

According to the Young Australia team, the crane-and-barge option was considerably cheaper than a village base on land. The Australians were the last of the 11 challenger syndicates to arrive in the village. All that now remains is for some syndicates' second boats to arrive, before racing begins on October 18, 1999. -- Suzanne McFadden, NZ Herald,

* We had a guided tour of the base and then a free run of the America True premises, a look at USA-51 and USA-39 (Tag Heuer), and then a run out onto the Cup course to see the two Americas Cuppers in action. And yes, we did have a peek or two over the fence to see what the neighbours were up to at Team Dennis Conner and Aloha.

In these days of high security, and the ours to know and yours to find out mentality, getting past the front desk in an Americas Cup compound is like venturing into the hall of the Mountain King. You do so with a bit a trepidation, a slight knot in the stomach, and an awareness that you are being tolerated, but not really welcome.

The atmosphere at America True, today, was quite different. There was a refreshingly open attitude, everyone was relaxed, and there was an appreciative buzz in the air.

Inside the compound, as you mix with the crew, you realize that America True is different. The co-ed crew means that anyone in a yellow jacket could be working anywhere from the front-office to afterguard. In other syndicates, it is a fairly safe assumption that if they're male then they're crew (or serious maintenance) and if they're female then they are in the office, or maybe the sail loft floor.

The America True philosophy is to select for the position on the basis of skill rather than gender. I guess it remains to be seen at the end of the regatta, if this philosophy works as a winning team. However now there is a different attitude one much the same as in the IT industry which is also gender equal.

There are no great state secrets in the compound. It is a very much a working and maintenance area like any good private boat yard. What is a little surprising is the lack of specialist buildings. It is amazing how standard huts can be adapted to be anything from a sail loft to a computer design office. The attractive, wooden front office complex as already been sold as a sea-side bach to a Kiwi buyer. The maintenance shed, is just that.

America True are running a two boat campaign but with only one new boat (USA-51) and one from the Class of 95 (Tag Heuer). This is another unusual card, that America True have played and so far it looks to have paid off. By using Tag Heuer as a trial horse, they have picked up a boat from a good designer (Farr), well built (by Cooksons), and which should be good benchmark from the 95 regatta, while not causing major maintenance problems associated with a boat of this vintage.

The two new boat campaigns, have to operate in a carefully staged testing environment to work out which is better, and to carefully evaluate changes. Currently none of campaigns have sailed their two new boats in Auckland and with just three weeks to go before the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup one has to ask whether they have run out of runway?

The predictions of many days lost through inclement weather, have not proved to be correct - and the one and two boat campaigns that came early to Auckland, have really hit their straps, got well settled and are now operating off a very solid platform.

My guess is that the other syndicates will be hoping that the opening round of the Louis Vuitton Cup is conducted in short order, and that the time between the first and second rounds can be used for any catch-up that is necessary. They will need the co-operation of the weather Gods.

Alongside Tag, America Trues new yacht, USA-51 looks quite different. Definitely longer and narrower. Looking down from the dock, the lack of beam is very noticeable. However the striking feature is design and building detail that has gone into USA-51. Formula One racecar is the recurring image. The carbon engineering is quite outstanding, but a peek down the forehatch reveals the same high quality approach. This is a superb racing machine even by Grand Prix racer standards.

It is pretty close living between the syndicates in the Americas Cup Harbour. On one side of America true is Team Dennis Conner and on the other is the Aloha Racing Team. At the point where the fence joins the compound and out on the travel-lift pier, there is a good view into the next door compounds. Both look reasonably similar to America True and again no state secrets are revealed Open day or no Open Day.

Even Dennis Conner leans over the fence, and wants to know what is going on, and wanders off to oogle the underbody of Stars and Stripes as she is craned into the harbour. And very nice she is too.

A peek through the other fence on the Aloha side, gives us an end-on view of one of the infamous wing masts. Though it is not as extreme as Young America (USA-53), it interesting to compare it with the standard spars on America True and Stars and Stripes. In section width it seems to be much narrower. And in chord length it is longer. Certainly it appears to be a very clean section from a aerodynamic viewpoint. You get the impression that these masts are about drag reduction.

The closeness of the adjoining compounds is a far cry from San Diego, and as the teams arrive, most seem to be realising that there are not too many secrets. Hopefully the secrecy paranoia will diminish, and the camaraderie increase. -- Richard Gladwell

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

-- From Bob Merrick in Sydney -- Great to hear about Gary Jobson's television deal for the Olympics. Sydney will prove to be a spectacular place for filming with all the high cliffs surrounding the harbor. We had some amateur photographers taking video from the cliffs at the Sydney Harbor regatta and it was just outstanding footage.

-- From Rob Mundle, also in Australia (Re Dennis doing it nicely with the people of New Lambland.) -- Do I hear an echo from Fremantle in 1987? After 1983 and the winged keel fiasco around Australia II in Newport, Dennis was the man all Australians loved to hate. He arrived in Fremantle and did a magnificent PR on the people, somewhat akin to what he's done in NZ. Soon they loved him - and he'd removed a lot of unnecessary pressure from his campaign. Dennis is a master at PR - and good on him.

-- From Gail M. Turluck, United States Sunfish Class Association Master's Coordinator, Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association Graduate Secretary --Pile me onto the bandwagon against any further fees against volunteers in our sport! Imagine the revenue that could be generated to pay for the administration costs if US Sailing placed a "tax" onto sponsorships given to all events in this country (even at 1%!). Organizers could probably live without the 1%, and the 1% would most likely solve financial problems for quite some time. This volunteer simply does not have the personal resources to allow her to take all the described trainings to acquire Judge, PRO, and other certifications (though interested and willing), yet she continues to provide anywhere from 10-30 hours of organizational effort per week. And I'm just one! US Sailing, understand the few of us who respond on this issue are those who are willing to stick our necks out--there are many, many more who are just grumbling to themselves as they sit at their computer today. They'll also be the ones dusting off their golf clubs this Saturday.

-- From Scott Andrews -- In response to Scott Mason's two submissions to the 'Butt', I would like to further comment on some of the points that he brings up as well as some of the points brought up in the responses buy other readers. The idea of getting kids out racing, especially on bigger boats, is a great idea which enables the sport to continue into the next century. It all starts with parents who race taking the time to get their children on the water. However, one important person here is left out, the jr. sailor whose parents are not big boat racers or even boaters for that matter.

If you race boats, or are a boat owner, you too can help make an effort to get the younger generation involved in taking the next step in racing. Contact the local jr program director of your club or a nearby club and ask if anyone is interested in racing big boats. Sometimes kids aren't really getting the dinghy thing and would like to see what else is available in the sport. Besides, you may find a great crew who doesn't have all of the commitments that older sailors tend to have. As someone who is a first generation sailor, I would have appreciated the opportunity at a younger age to get into big boat racing.

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OAKLAND, CA - The Made in America Foundation, led by skipper Bruce Schwab, has announced its entry in the Vendee Globe Challenge Around the World Race, a spectacular quadrennial solo event that will set sail from Les Sables d'Olonne, France in November 2000. Schwab will sail the Open 60 yacht "Made in America," designed by Tom Wylie and built by Steve Rander of Schooner Creek Boatworks of Portland, Oregon.

The Made in America Foundation team is made up of sailing industry professionals. Schwab, who grew up living on a sailboat, is a professional rigger. He has been head of the Rigging Department at Svendsens Boat Works in Alameda for the last 17 years. Team designer Tom Wylie created the winning boat for the Mini-Transatlantic race (like the Vendee, dominated by European racers) in 1979 for American Norton Smith, the only non-French boat to win that event in the last 11 years. Wylie has since collaborated with Portland boatbuilder Steve Rander on the creation of several successful sailboats, including "Rage", an ultra-light superfast cruiser that twice broke the San Francisco-to-Hawaii Pacific Cup speed record.

"What we are making here is an extremely fast, yet practical boat," says designer Wylie. "This is not a wild, rule-twisted design. The Made in America will feature an easily driven low-drag hull, equally ideal for shorthanded racing or ocean cruising for the average sailor." The mast and rigging concept is a result of combining proven features used on many Wylie boats, with shorthanded rigging developed over the years of Schwab's experience.

Schwab brings to the Vendee challenge a reputation as one of the most athletic solo sailors on the Pacific. He has accumulated a string of victories in Shorthanded Ocean racing, including the title as overall winner of the 1996 San Francisco-to-Hawaii Singlehanded Transpac. He is a former wrestler and boxer, and also a part-time bicycle racer who in 1990 placed 18th in the U.S. National Masters championships.

Private donors have contributed the initial funding for the Made in America team, underwriting design and initial building expenses. Initial grassroot support in the San Francisco Bay Area has been very encouraging. The Foundation is currently talking with potential corporate sponsors to assure the boat's scheduled completion in April 2000. Marine industry companies already involved in the project include MAS epoxies as resin supplier, along with Forespar Mfg. who will supply carbon fiber poles. UK Sails (Ulmer/Kolius) is the official sail supplier.

Once the Made in America is built and fully rigged, Schwab will undertake a Trans-Atlantic solo run as a qualifying passage for the Vendee Challenge, as well as racing the "Europe 1-Star" single-handed Trans-Atlantic race. This race will provide the first chance to match up with European competitors also gunning for the Vendee Globe Challenge. -- Matthew Quint


Four J/120s lined up at the MEXORC, but only Dave Janes' JBird had an Ullman asymmetrical kite. Janes not won only his class - he won the overall trophy in MEXORC. His JBird also won the overall trophy in the Puerto Vallarta Race just a week earlier. Everyone knows that Ullman Sails makes fast asymmetrical spinnakers for little boats like the Melges 24, and now it's obvious they have also broken the code for larger keel boats.

An error was made in the final scores for the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship. Felicity Clarke (Toronto, Canada) should be in sixth place, while Vicki Sodaro (Tiburon, Calif.) moves up to fifth place. -- Barby MacGowan

Revised final scores:

I have no idea why Scuttlebutt was distributed so late yesterday. It left California before 3:00 AM and apparently was drifting around cyberspace for some eight hours before it started to arrive in the 'Buttheads' mailboxes.

Well, let's see what happens today. It's now 5:48 AM PST and this issue is ready to go

If nothing works, do nothing.