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SCUTTLEBUTT #455 - December 7, 1999

* After enjoying a run of four days with fantastic sailing conditions, light winds returned to the inner Hauraki Gulf today and ruined the regatta's compelling plot. The wind blew between eight and 10 knots from the south at the start of racing, but died away to zero for an hour halfway through some matches.

Paul Cayard's AmericaOne syndicate survived the ordeal and came out with the overall lead in the Louis Vuitton Cup. Cayard's fourth victory this round, coupled with Prada's second consecutive loss -- to Nippon -- thrust the San Francisco syndicate into the catbird's seat. AmericaOne has 81 points and stands 5.5 points ahead of second-placed Nippon, and eight points ahead of Prada in third.

Two matches -- 6eme Sens vs. Young America, and Young Australia vs. America True -- were cancelled on the third leg when the two-hour and 25-minute time limit expired. At the time, Le Defi BTT and Young Australia were leading. If Le Defi BTT had won, it would have overtaken Young America for seventh in the standings. Young Australia vs. America True will be re-sailed tomorrow, along with the postponed Team Dennis Conner vs. Young America match that was held over from yesterday's racing. Le Defi BTT vs. Young America will be sailed next Tuesday, 14 December, as the last match of the round that could have semifinal implications.

The light winds also foiled the day's highlight match, Nippon vs. Prada, and led to ridiculous deltas in the AmericaOne vs. Spanish Challenge match. AmericaOne led Spain by 30 minutes at the second leeward mark. -- Quokka Sports,

Paul Cayard, sailing AmericaOne (USA-49) dominated the pre-start until about 15 seconds to go when he let Bravo Espana (ESP-47) in through the door to win the start. Luis Doreste led for most of the way up the first leg before leaving the right of the course open to AmericaOne. Kostecki and Cayard jumped at the chance and sailed into better pressure to retake the lead and round ahead by 36 seconds at the turn. The gain went all AmericaOne's way from then on as the wind dropped. On the second run the wind dropped off to nothing and the race lost most of its interest as the boats sat completely becalmed for the best part of an hour. When the wind filled in finally AmericaOne got it first and sailed away to an unassailable lead.

Idaten's Peter Gilmour was on fire at the start, taking the fight to Francesco de Angelis right from the five-minute gun. The Italian skipper gained early control for a few seconds, forcing Gilmour away from the start area below the pin end before Japan's skipper turned the tables. Gilmour spun his boat around hard inside his opponent and broke away to come back on starboard and dominate. He forced de Angelis outside the pin end and started 20 seconds ahead with the Italian in his wake. Idaten opened steadily on the beat and the run until Gilmour failed to cover and the Italians gained ground on a windshift. The Japanese boat made the ground back on the second weather leg only to fall behind during split on the second run when the wind died for nearly an hour. Japan was first to get the new breeze and Luna Rossa fell to third place on the points table. -- Peter Rusch, Keith Taylor and Marcus Hutchinson,

1. AmericaOne 20-6 81 points
2. Nippon 17-8 74.5
3. Prada 22-3 73
4. America True 17-7 65
5. Stars & Stripes 14-10 45.5
6. Spain 11-15 44
7. Young America 14-10 42
8. Abracadabra 9-17 34
9. Le Defi BTT 7-17 32
10. Young Australia 4-20 18
11. FAST 2000 2-24 8

Victories are worth one point each in Round One, four points in Round Two and nine points in Round Three.

The dual nationality status of American crewmembers Jamie Gale and Ralph Steitz has been the subject of long deliberations by the America's Cup Arbitration Panel. Article 13 of the Protocol, one of the principle documents driving the America's Cup, gives the Panel the power to determine matters of nationality eligibility and to impose appropriate penalties for any breaches.

Multiple nationality individuals must comply with two rules in order to become eligible to crew or design for an America's Cup syndicate. The first and most important rule is that the individual complies with the nationality requirements of the country for whom he/she is participating. The individual must be a bona fide resident of that country at least three years before the first race of the 30th America's Cup, ie 19 February 1997. The second rule, provided the first one is met, consists of a submission selecting one nationality for all America's Cup related events. This last rule is only a formal requirement, which has different time limits for individual cases.

On 8 November 1999, the St. Francis Yacht Club/AmericaOne asked the Panel whether Ralf Steitz was eligible to sail for its syndicate. Steitz holds a German passport, although he has been a US resident for longer than three years and sailed with Team Dennis Conner in the 1992 Defender trials and the 1995 America's Cup. The St. Francis Yacht Club alleged it was unaware of his dual nationality. Steitz said he assumed the club knew of his dual nationality.

St. Francis Yacht Club asked whether the selection of one of the two nationalities was necessary if only one of the countries was a challenger or defender. The Panel replied affirmatively, ruling that Article 13 does not limit the countries that trigger the submission requirement to only those countries participating in the America's Cup.

On 3 December, the Panel issued its final decision declaring that AmericaOne representing the St. Francis Yacht Club had breached Article 13. The Panel imposed a penalty of NZ$500, plus costs of NZ$683 on the St. Francis Yacht Club. Steitz became eligible to crew on 8 November. He had already sailed in seven Louis Vuitton Cup races by this date.

Jamie Gale is a New Zealand citizen and a crewmember of Young America, challenging for the New York Yacht Club. He has had a principal place of residence in the United States for longer than three years prior to the date of the first race of the America's Cup Match, and so complies with the residential requirements for nationality eligibility. On 26 October 1999, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron challenged the timeliness of the submission made for Jamie Gale.

The Panel stated there must be a declaration of a nationality before an individual can serve as crew. The failure to do so rendered the club liable. On 3 December, the Panel imposed on the New York Yacht Club a fine of NZ$2,961. This was half of the total Panel costs. The Panel ordered the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to pay the other half of the costs.

The Panel said that in determining the appropriate penalties for these two cases, it had taken into consideration the fact that there did not appear to have been any deliberate attempt to sidestep the requirements of the Protocol on the part of either the St. Francis Yacht Club or the New York Yacht Club. The omissions were inadvertent, not deliberate. -- Louis Vuitton Cup website

Full story:

Which Maxi boat was the first to be built out of fiberglass?
A Boomerang
B Ondine
C Kialoa
D Evergreen

Answer at the end of this issue of 'Butt

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 Tom Price -- Rob Mundle's comments are well taken, but where sailing as a spectator sport (TV) is concerned, contrary to many other things, Bigger isn't Better. The AC boats are impressive things, but look at all other successful TV sports and you will see that it is the Human that is generally featured. When the object is involved, it's in a small scale, such as a race car. The Cup racing suffers because of scale, as the races are so long, the boats are so big, and because we relate to a human sized world, they appear to be moving at a very slow and ponderous pace.

Now look at the televised 18 footer races, or even better, 49er racing, and you have action that appears to be fast moving, somewhat dangerous and the Humans appear to be involved with the propulsion, not simply riding along. For popular appeal I'd bet on small extreme dinghy racing being of more interest to TV than the larger AC boats.

-- From Stuart Burnett -- I can't help but wonder why so many people who participate in a recreational activity are so often anxious to "grow it" so it will have popular appeal and they can stay home and watch it on television? In sailing these days there seems to be a group of people, who would happily turn sailboat racing into some kind of X-games spectacle if they thought they could make some money on it. Well before you say it's worked for skateboarding, let me tell you, a non-skateboarding parent might buy their kid a skateboard, but a non-sailing parent is not likely to buy their kid an Opti.

We should structure the sport to encourage the participation and enjoyment of the average person, not so someone can make a living on television revenue. People buy the same golf clubs, tennis rackets, and clothes that the pros use, play the same game on similar courses and courts, and therefore appreciate watching the level that the professionals can play the sport at. Watching some guys wipe out on an 18 foot skiff with cameras on their heads might be interesting, but it has as much to do with the racing I do as someone free-falling with a snowboard has to do with the way I ski.

Why don't we admit it, the vast majority of the population will never be interested in sailing for several reasons.

--Neil W. Humphrey (Brutally edited to 250 words) -- We are not yet honest or brutal enough with ourselves to understand we have to repackage a part of our sport to make it entertaining for the general sports spectator. Yes, it has to be a TV sport but going further it also has to be a so called stadium sport that lets spectators, sponsors and TV get a exciting and close up look at a entertaining and professional sport. This has to be done so the sport is cost effective for spectators, TV crews, media, equipment, programming and the sponsors to have close access to the excitement and entertainment of the sport. They have to hear that crew chatter, hear the equipment groan, the sound of speed on the water and the crunching of hulls. How to create a TV and stadium concept for me is one of the single most important factors in repackaging the sport. Presently, this is tough to do when as an example the average around the buoys windward leeward course.

It's not going to be the ISAF who repackages our sport. It has to be a group of amateur and professional sailors, TV executives, media people, sports marketing people, sailing industry reps and big business. These people will not only have the funds, but the business vision of how to make money at repackaging our amateur/professional sport. They will have to understand how to keep the professional repackage sport connected with the amateur or recreational aspect of the sport.

-- From Jordan J. Dobrikin -- Sail Racing was, is, and will be, a niche market, to the mass media. One that needs and deserves to be served, however has not been served well by the broadcast decision makers AS WELL AS the the producers and potential producers of broadcast material.

Sail Racing material should be produced for the reasonably knowledgeable SAILOR, and the "TV sports addicts": for the major niche market broadcast media, Cable &/or Satellite TV. With these tools Sailors and the Sailing Industry can build a larger sailing and VIEWER market (friends, relatives, associates customers, etc.).

With a good viewer base in the niche market industry the MAJORS will be more inclined to give Major Racing Events, Americas Cup, Whitbread, SORC, 18 Footers, 49ers, Mumm Admirals Cup, Fastnet, Sidney Hobart, etc. reasonably adequate coverage, but, don't expect miracles.

The material produced needs much improvement on what has been produced in the past. It needs to be informative, educational, and interesting NOT exciting. I am embarrassed and even sickened with the use of the hyped presentation techniques for excitement and "danger", borrowed from other venues, where there is little or none to work with.

May I also suggest that if we are successful even beyond our wildest dreams, in getting increased media coverage of the Sport of Sailing the increased traffic in/on the North American waterways will be healthful and beneficial to the Sport, Environment and/or Industry, and would be of little or significance with respect to "jamming the lakes and bays with traffic.

-- From Don Becker -- It seems that whenever someone tries to make the sport of sailing more apealing to the unwashed masses it seems to mess it up for the competitors. I remember when a 90 degree reaching leg was added at the finish of a team race regatta to make it more "viewer friendly". On one race the six boats were racked up gunwale to gunwale with the weather boat wraped around the finish mark. The umpires couldn't figure out what happened, much less any prospective TV viewers. Also, what did the competitors in the last Olympics think of the R/C lengthing and shortening the courses to comply with organizer's TV time constraints? Even then we got no TV coverage in the U.S.

The way to grow the sport is to get more people involved sailing. No amount of fussing with the sport will ever make it popular to Monday Night Football couch potatoes.

Improve the game for the participants and then get more participants.

By the way, I think the "carnage" occurring in Auckland it great drama. Just as the America's Cup should be.

-- From Nicholas Longhurst -- The sailing community should not even consider the battle to get our sport on mainstream american television, which has to be considered one of the most myopic in the world. In sailing enlightened countries, Australia/ New Zealand/ France/Britain/Italy to list but a few, top notch sailors are considered media material and are treated as heroes. In the US the messy morass of high buck pro sports swamps all of television and will continue to do so.

The great thing about sailing is that it is made for the internet. Web based programming is beginning to do such a good job reporting on distance races, the last "Around Alone" and "Volvo" races drew large numbers of "hits" and the "A" Cup circus is doing the same, something which undoubtedly makes Quokka happy. New software which shows positioning and course over long time periods, remote cameras on boats, real life or death situations like the Autissier/Soldini rescue work SO well in this medium.

Quokka and other like web based distributors who show growth will eventually attract greater numbers of advertising dollars and what is more important to me, all while keeping the sport honest and "real". My advice, go to the web, develop audience numbers which make sense to smaller industry based advertisers ( the Peter Harkens of this world) with really snappy presentations and build from there. Sailing has such great demographics that once those audience numbers make sense the rest will quickly follow.

Putting on Your Game Face Ever play ball? Baseball, basketball, football, anything. The first thing you did on game day was to put on your uniform, right? The process of putting on a uniform is also the opportunity to transcend yourself from civilian to competitor. It's precisely at this time that athletes put on their game face and begin to focus. Sailors could definitely take a page from this book. Sailing for the most part moves from the social scene on shore to a micro version on the way to the race course with the cry for "let's go sailing" resulting in everyone scrambling from their early morning soda to actual sailing. Taking five minutes for a meeting or private meditation can move everyone's attention from elsewhere to the present sailing conditions. Seems simple, but the better you get the simpler things become. -- The Coach,

Francesco de Angelis, skipper of Luna Rossa, on being shut out at the start by Peter Gilmour: "I think I pushed too much. I could have been more conservative. It's like when you go in the cave of the bear. I think we had the door open until that point and I should have played a little more conservative and I pushed."

Bruce Nelson principal designer of AmericaOne on whether racing should have been abandoned: "That's always a difficult call and a responsibility to place in the hands of the Race Committee. We have time limits set up on the legs for the total race to try to deal with those vagaries in the wind when things go totally bad out there."

Francesco de Angelis, on losing for two days running: "Now it's my time to deal with the problems, it's something that - it's a cycle that happens and you have to face, think of the reason which could be behind a mistake and make a good assessment and start from there."

Bill Trenkle on the repairs to Stars & Stripes: "The boat really feels solid. While Stars & Stripes may not look as elegant as it once did, it's stronger than ever. Mick (Harvery) and his team did an incredible job on an impossible schedule. They made it happen, and because of their effort Stars & Stripes will be on the starting line tomorrow at noon to meet the Young America syndicate."


Kialoa was the first maxi to be built in fiberglass -- the year was 1980.

Despite the cost of living, I've noticed how popular it remains.