SCUTTLEBUTT #406 - September 28, 1999
THE PRESIDENT RESPONDS
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
www.sailing.org 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
SYDNEY HARBOR REGATTA (PRE-OLYMPICS)
(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
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.
ETCHELLS NORTH AMERICANS
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 /
Complete results at http://www.etchells.org
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? http://www.camet.com/
* 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
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 TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
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.
For a free subscription of Scuttlebutt, or to add a new or different email
address, just send a blank email to:
VENDEE GLOBE CHALLENGE
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
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. --
Revised final scores: http://www.ussailing.org/championships/Rolex/results.htm
JUST WHEN YOU THINK TECHNOLOGY IS YOUR FRIEND
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
THE CURMUDGEON'S COUNSEL
If nothing works, do nothing.