SCUTTLEBUTT #453 - December 3, 1999
COMMENTARY -- Bruce Brown
I have been involved in sailing as a sport for most of my life. I also am
involved in the marine industry. From an individual perspective of
sailing, I see the following happening:
Sailing, like many other sports, is fragmenting. Those that do it for fun
are becoming more distant from those that do it at the highest level. Very
few can identify with the top level skiers, tennis players, runners or even
basketball players. That life is very distant when applied to everyday
life. Most sporting super stars do not relate to the population they so
need to serve to continue to realize the incomes they believe they deserve.
The group that has done a great job of staying in touch with the sponsors
and the public are NASCAR circuit. It is amazing to see the "touch" this
group has with the public. Of course the sponsors are getting their
money's worth when they see the turn-out at any race. It is common to see
25,000 for the open days at a track. Autograph day is an open house event.
Publicity is great for the sport and the sponsors. What a concept! Take
the sport to the people! Make an event work for the people that are paying
the tab! This group has a strong following. If we take the Formula One
market as the top race market in the world (see the America's Cup) and move
into the rank that appeals to the mass market - look at a way to apply this
I continue to seek exposure to the non boating - non sailing world and try
to listen to their input. To them, the America's Cup is as important as
the Formula One title. (No impact at home - does not change the way anyone
lives.) For this sport to ever realize the type of commitment that is
available to NASCAR, we must reach more of the common man (and woman!)
That means an investment from those that love it, to get others involved.
That means take a friend sailing, or a business associate or a neighbor.
It means reaching beyond the "me" and seeing the bigger issue of sharing
something we enjoy by becoming a missionary.
My charge for the Buttheads is to go into your communities and take kids
sailing - take friends sailing and take your family sailing. Make a
commitment to make the next year one that lets everyone enjoy an on the
water experience. Be the one that makes a difference in a new sailor's life.
The reward is a stronger sport, new friends and a different reason to sail.
ISAF Grade 1 Women's Match Racing Event St. Petersburg Yacht Club -- A
double round robin is scheduled, followed by semi-finals finals and
petit-finals. The first day of racing saw 12-14 knots in the morning
gradually diminishing to 6-8 knots in the afternoon. Two teams, Robertson
and Denvir, have sailed six matches, all others have sailed five. --
STANDINGS: Betsy Alison, USA 4 points, Paula Lewin, BER 4 points, Dru
Slattery, USA 4 points, Christine Briand, FRA 3 points, Cordelia Eglin, GBR
3 points, Shirley Robertson, GBR 3 points, Sandy Grosvenor, USA 2 points,
Maria Svedin, SWE 1 point, Arabella Denvir, USA 0 points
LOUIS VUITTON CUP
With the wind blowing steadily at 20 knots today, and gusting into the high
20s, 10 of the 11 Louis Vuitton Cup challengers found the Hauraki Gulf an
explosive playground as gear was damaged and sails blew out.
The biggest mishap occurred aboard FAST 2000's Be Happy, which lost its
mast at the second leeward mark rounding. The team's loss may be the
event's loss as well. FAST 2000 lacks a spare mast and has serious
cash-flow problems. Their return to racing is questionable.
America True broke its boom vang attachment point in the pre-start, and
required a postponement to fix the damage. The team also blew out a
spinnaker on the run to the finish, but still held on for its first win of
The Spanish Challenge was the big mover today on the shuffleboard ... er,
leaderboard. Spain climbed into the sixth and final semifinal qualifying
berth with a walkover victory over FAST 2000. Spain now has 26 points, one
better than Abracadabra and two ahead of Young America, both of which lost
today. -- Quokka Sports, http://www.americascup.org/
FOLLOW THE LEADERS
The lads at the top end of our sport got to where they are by insuring nothing
was left to chance. And Laser champ John Torgenson recently summed up the
feelings of a lot of top sailors with this observation, "It's the best thing
I own for sailing. It's awesome." Awesome indeed -it's Camet's new breathable
Neoprene Neo-Thermal top. This breakthrough technology senses how hard you're
working to insure that trapped vapors (like sweat) disappear quickly.
Just one look at this hot new item will sent it directly to the top of your
wish list: http://www.camet.com
NIPPON BEAT YOUNG AMERICA - 04:55
Ed Baird sailing Young America (USA-53) beat his opponent into the starting
box and took early control before the gun. But Peter Gilmour at the helm of
Idaten (JPN-52) was able to break clear after a minute or two. Gilmour
seemed reluctant to engage before the start and at the gun trailed the
Americans over the line by more than a boat length. But, carrying a bigger
jib, Idaten claimed the favoured right-hand side and had the lead after two
short tacks. A long starboard tack drag race with the boats half a length
apart eventually saw Idaten tack away. Young America went on the attack,
only to be penalised in a subsequent exchange for tacking too close. Japan
led around the first mark and extended on two subsequent legs to draw level
to leeward half way down the run. In a high-risk attempt to unload their
penalty turn and wrest the lead from Idaten, the Americans forced the
Japanese boat to the wrong side of the mark and below it. In the following
sequence that involved six protests (five of them green-flagged), Young
America picked up a second penalty for not sailing a proper course. The
Americans were obliged to take one penalty immediately. In the ensuing
mess, they momentarily lost control, rounding up above head to wind, as
Idaten streaked off on the weather leg. Idaten led the way home through an
uneventful beat and run, finishing 1,200 metres in front of Young America.
A red flag protest by the Americans for interference from a photo boat on
the course at the fourth mark was subsequently withdrawn.
AMERICAONE BEAT ABRACADABRA 2000 -DELTA 03:15
AmericaOne (USA-49) had a fortuitous start and forced Abracadabra (USA-54)
above and to windward of the starboard tack lay line to the committee boat
just before the start. Abracadabra was seven seconds behind and astern of
AmericaOne on the start line. Kolius's team tacked straight away. Cayard
gained some more on the first small left-hand shift and crossed clear
ahead, taking the right side and gaining on the next shift to the right.
After that Cayard bounced Abracadabra away to left three times, defending
the right with success. AmericaOne extended its lead to 41 seconds at the
first top mark. After that Abracadabra never threatened Cayard's team again.
AMERICA TRUE BEAT STARS & STRIPES - DELTA 00:30
This match was a true battle, with the biggest lead being a slender
35-second delta at the second windward mark. Ken Read, helming Stars &
Stripes (USA-55) was nearly able to keep John Cutler on America True
(USA-51) above the layline at the committee boat end. But Read was a little
early, and couldn't hold a luffing position at the line, and Cutler was
able to reach down to cross the start line with good speed. The America
True afterguard pressed the start line advantage by choosing correctly on
the wind oscillations and gaining a little on most of the crosses. Read
fought to break cover and pick his own shifts, but Cutler only left him
alone when the America True camp was sure of the shifts. The only real
threat came on the final downwind leg when America True shredded a
spinnaker, but a replacement was quickly hoisted, and Cutler held his lead
to the finish.
LUNA ROSSA BEAT LE DEFI FRANCAIS - DELTA 00:37
Bertrand Pace on Le Defi (FRA-46) got off to a great start leading
Francesco de Angelis on Luna Rossa (ITA-48) off the line with good boat
speed and in clear air at the committee boat. Midway up the beat, the
Italians had climbed back in to it but at the top mark, Luna Rossa coming
into the mark on port failed to keep clear of the French, with a penalty
resulting. For the rest of the race the French managed to remain in touch
with the Italians, even showing better speed downwind at times. Luna Rossa
was in control on the next beat, leading the French out past the layline
and then gaining as the wind shifted left and it was follow-the-leader into
the top mark. On the next downwind leg, the two boats really mixed it up,
with 14 protests - half from each team -- all green flagged. The Italian
boat gained comfortably on the final beat, gaining the time it needed to
comfortably complete a penalty turn. On the final run to the finish, with
the breeze fresh at 22 knots, Le Defi pressed Luna Rossa and made some
gains, but then lost control of the boat in a gybe, dumping their spinnaker
into the water, and effectively ending its chances of catching up. The
Italians doused their spinnaker well ahead of the finish, completing their
penalty turn in about 30 seconds and going on to cross the line with plenty
of room to spare. -- Louis Vuitton Cup website,
If you're not seeing enough action photos of the IACC boats racing in the
Hauraki Gulf it's obvious you have not been visiting the Quokka website
often enough. Their photographers have totally captured the action --
and the carnage -- with a plethora of super photos. Great stuff. And
when you add in the thoughtful commentary, the daily audio recordings
and unparalleled news coverage, this is one website you MUST visit
every day. http://www.americascup.org/
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. But only one letter per subject,
so give it your best shot and don't whine if people disagree.
-- From Bob Smith, NA -- Suzanne McFadden's comments about the results of
the engineering inquiry of Young America's boat being made available to the
other syndicates misses an important point. If the "trickle-down" of the
America's Cup is to really help the rest of the industry, it must be made
public. Even as a member of the America One design team, I doubt I will
ever see it, much less any composites engineer or designer not on "the list".
-- From Robert Bethune, Editor, Freshwater Seas -- Sailing doesn't need to
become a crash-and-burn, big-bucks TV entertainment sport. Check out these
figures from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, section 7,
available at the census bureau website.
In 1996, 22 million people worked out at their fitness club. 18 million
people went mountain biking. 21 million people participated in "dart
throwing," whatever that is. 53 million people went bicycling. 44 million
people went camping. 22 million people went jogging.
60 million people went swimming.
Only 4 million people went sailing.
More people went bird watching than went sailing. About 5 times more. How
much TV exposure does bird watching get?
None of those activities have any television exposure to speak of. But all
of them have anywhere from 4 times to 15 times the popular participation of
sailing in all forms, to say nothing of competitive sailing, which seems to
be the only kind of sailing that sailing organizations want to think about.
The only thing that big-bucks TV-entertainment sailing will produce is an
income stream for a small number of media and industry professionals. If
big-bucks TV exposure actually led to increased participation, we'd all be
out there wearing helmets and pads. We aren't. If we genuinely want to make
sailing more popular, as in more ordinary people going out for a sail, we
need to look at what other sports that are genuinely participant sports,
rather than spectator sports, are doing right.
-- From Michael vanBeuren -- Golf and Tennis may have ceased to be
effective comparisons for sailing. In each case, the organizers, players
and officials have worked hard to promote the sport through the athletes.
In each case, the athletes themselves have worked hard to establish strong
junior programs that are more than just Summer camps for kids. In each
case, regular pro-am events are aggressively marketed.
If you think these are "rich men's" sports, explain why Venus and Serena
Williams are the most engaging personalities on the WTA and why everyone
was cheering for Sergio Garcia at the Skins Game last weekend. These
athletes have become wealthy because of their talent, they are not good at
these sports because they are wealthy. It is a lot easier as a novice to
pick up a tennis racket or go to a driving range than it is to go sailboat
racing or sportfishing.
As far as "every doodah in to a boat" goes, Even if there was easy access
to boating for everyone who wanted to go, plenty would still rather play
golf or tennis. The trick is to give "every doodah" a chance to choose.
Escape Boats and Sea Doo are trying to get that done. Make it simpler,
make it cheaper, it is never going to get too crowded. Perhaps when golf
and tennis become so popular and accessible that no one can get a tee time
or an open court, they will go sailing. We should be so lucky.
-- From Peter Johnstone -- Mundle, come out and say it! Televised sailing
is great when it is 49ers or 18 footers on a short course! The 49er circle
at the Sydney Olympic Games is an excellent opportunity to re-package the
image of the sport. Get on it!
-- From Dave Benjamin -- There is currently much discussion about
increasing the popularity of our sport. I think to draw in the public we
will need fast action in boats like Aussie 18's or cats. Coed crews and
large cash prizes will help too. Boats would need to have two onboard
cameras and the courses would have to feature lots of mark roundings and no
long (boring to viewers) legs. They would need to be sailed in high wind
venues. Although we can appreciate light air strategy the public won't. The
sport will have to be redefined. It will no longer be a participator sport
if we make it into a spectator sport. I'm not going to speculate on whether
or not this will be a good or bad thing for sailing in general. Regards,
-- From Tom Hurwitch -- I believe we owe the International 210 class and C.
Raymond Hunt for many of the innovations we take for granted as sailors.
Hunt's boats sported bulb keels (and still do!) long before they were
fashionable. In addition, the 210 class was the first to put windows in
its sails(because of its 150% genoa). I believe as many as 20 innovations
in sailing can be attributed to this time-honored class. Next year the
boat will be 55 years old. By the way, did I mention its beam-to-length
ratio is similar to this year's crop of AC boats. It is only 5'10" wide
and 29'10" long. I guess what they say is true...the more things change
the more they stay the same! http://www.210class.com
What ever happened to Leslie Egnot? A few days before the start of the
Louis Vuitton Cup challenger trials in October, one of New Zealand's most
popular sailors quietly disappeared from the afterguard of America True,
the San Francisco Yacht Club's entry. Her replacement as navigator was a
new recruit, Dee Smith, a veteran of world-class offshore racing. But don't
worry about Leslie Egnot. She remains very much a member of the team.
"I can't complain about being replaced by someone with more experience,"
Egnot said. "I'm thrilled at how the team is going."
Egnot has continued to contribute by driving TAG Heuer, the team's trial
boat, along with another Kiwi, David Barnes, in two-boat testing and
pre-race tune-ups. "We're definitely pushing as hard as we can to keep the
race boat up to speed," Egnot said. "Before a race we go out to the
[windward] mark to get weather info and stay on the radio as long as we
can, talking about conditions, until the race is about to start."
Egnot had a higher profile at San Diego in 1995 when she drove America3's
all-woman (plus Dave Dellenbaugh) boat Mighty Mary. "This is fun in a
different way, without the pressure," she said.
The smiling face, the gentle demeanour and the tall, slight physique say
Bambi, but the spirit says warrior. This is one terrifically tough lady. --
Rich Roberts, Quokka Sports,
Full story: http://www.americascup.org/
Not many people knew it, but Dave Ullman has been in Auckland, coaching
and sailing with Dawn Riley's America True syndicate. And with his help,
America True did just fine in Round One of the Louis Vuitton Series. Dave
is back in California now, and tonight he'll 'tell all' about what he saw
and learned. This seminar will be at the Ullman Sails Newport Beach loft.
The curmudgeon had dinner with Dave just before he left. Trust me --
you'll want to hear what he has to say. And you can. Just call
(949) 675-6970 for the specifics.
Following is an excerpt of the interview Gary Jobson did with Pease Glaser
on the NBC Olympic website:
Pease Glaser, 38, of Long Beach, California, teamed up with 1992 Olympic
medalist JJ Isler for Sydney 2000 in the 470 women's crew. After a grueling
set of trials in October, the pair emerged victorious. Pease has
participated in the Olympic Trials three times (1988 Skipper 470; 1992 and
1996 Skipper in the Tornado Class) in the past but has never won. Now that
she has had time to recover, she and JJ look forward to achieving their
goal of winning a medal.
Jobson: How did you and JJ get teamed up with each other?
Glaser: Independently, JJ Isler and I had been thinking about an Olympic
campaign following the 1996 Games. My husband Jay and I talk about how we
could not keep sailing. We both couldn't be gone from work. Then I said,
"I'm really not ready to quit yet." So Jay told me I should sail and he'll
help out. He'll work so I can go sailing. I started to think about what I
should do. I decided to try and see if I could do it. Then, about a month
later, I ran into JJ. I had been meaning to call her. I saw her at a match
race in St. Petersburg. We were there chatting on the docks. I said, "I'm
kind of thinking about sailing 470s." She said, "Well, so am I." I told her
I'm thinking I'd like to try crewing. She suggested we try it out. When I
thought about the people in the States that I considered sailing with, she
was one of them and happened to be the first person I ran into.
Jobson: Do you find it hard being a crew?
Glaser: No. That actually hasn't been a problem. I've sailed in the last
couple of years with Dave Ullman on the Melges 24 and we have done well.
That was really the first time I had done any crewing. I really enjoyed it.
Dave was great to sail with. The whole teamwork thing is really fun. You
get to see a lot of the race as the crew. I really got intrigued by it.
Jobson: When you are coming down the stretch in the trials, you're going
along but you don't want to think about the end result. But those last
couple races, you must have really been thinking about it a lot. Were you
feeling a lot of pressure when it came down the stretch?
Glaser: We actually put pressure on ourselves earlier in the regatta. We
were very close to winning on Saturday. We wouldn't have to sail on Sunday.
I think we started putting pressure on ourselves even earlier. We didn't
want to have to sail the last two races. That would be much more stressful.
So we probably applied pressure early. We spent a lot of time all week
telling ourselves to focus on the process, not on the results. It was a
very puffy, shifty kind of regatta. You just had to focus on your race and
sailing. The last two races were stressful. Especially after the first race
on Sunday, because we still had to sail the last race. Things were tense,
but we had been ahead since Day 4. All we had to do was not make mistakes.
Jobson: Will most of your training take place in Sydney or the U.S.?
Glaser: Probably very little in the U.S. We hope to spend December and most
of January in a couple other countries other than Sydney. We will spend
time training in Europe.
Jobson: Do you practice with the men at all? Paul Foerster and that crowd?
Will you do any tuning with those guys?
Glaser: Yes. They were actually our training partners for the trials. They
came out and helped us a lot. We went sailing and felt very comfortable
with them. We'll also sail against some European teams. It is a good,
Full interview: http://www.nbcolympics.com/
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
Peter Gilmour, on the return of bowman Toshiki Shibata, injured in Round
Robin One: "Yes having Shibata San back on the boat was a great pleasure
for us after the accident he had in the first round. Yes it definitely
helped to improve the communications. After the finish today I wasn't
particularly concentrating, I just bore off when we were meant to drop the
spinnaker. It got wrapped around the forestay, this terrible wrap and kept
on wrapping and wrapping and I learnt a whole new bunch of Japanese
expletives that I hadn't known before."
Jim Brady on losing two important races: "Well I think we plan to stop that
by winning a lot of races from here on out. But I think it's also
interesting to note we went against two very tough teams and they sailed
very well. . . . Going forward we have more tough teams and right now is
the time we've got to dig deep and sail our boat to its best potential and
start racking up some nine-point wins on the score board."
Peter Gilmour, skipper of Idaten, on whether challengers can waive rules
regarding country of origin provisions so the Swiss Team can borrow a mast:
"Design and build is a fundamental point under which this whole Americas
Cup is built. The Deed of Gift is quite clear on that matter so I don't
think it is a matter that other syndicates can actually waive. . . . We
would like to see them be able to pull this off but I'm not sure that us
signing a piece of paper solves the situation for them."
THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM
Why is brassiere singular and panties plural?