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SCUTTLEBUTT #456 - December 8, 1999

Four new registrations have been received for the Volvo Ocean Race, all of which wish to remain confidential at this stage. This brings the tally to 24, including 11 confidential syndicates. Registration for the Volvo Ocean Race is by invitation only, ensuring that a quality racing fleet will be maintained:

- Oceanic, Lucile Shelton, AUSTRALIA
- Yess Syndicate, Peter Bensman, BELGIUM
- Nokia Sailing, Team Nis Olsen, DENMARK
- Danish Ocean Racer, One Stig Westergaard, DENMARK
- D-VOR, Frank Guillouard, FRANCE
- Illbruck Round World Challenge, Andreas Kling, GERMANY
- Team Lawrie Smith, Howard Gibbons, GREAT
- Team Heiner BV, Simon Keijzer, HOLLAND
- Global Team, Gunnar Krantz, SWEDEN
- Professional Yachting Ltd, John Dibley, NEW
- Team Dennis Conner, Bill Trenkle, USA
- Team Rudiger, Mark Rudiger, USA

During November, members of the Volvo Ocean Race team visited Sydney and Auckland to meet with the local organisations that are responsible for co-ordinating the two Southern Hemisphere stopovers. A full schedule of discussions was held in both countries, and plans for both stopovers are well advanced.

Representatives from all the ports of call, together with key members of the Volvo group companies in each country, will meet in South Africa during January for a two-day port conference. -- Lizzie Green,

On a day featuring two make-up matches, Team Dennis Conner and America True scored important victories over Young America and Young Australia respectively. America True's victory nearly assures it of advancing to the semifinals, while Team Dennis Conner's victory keeps Young America on the outside of the semifinals and looking in for at least another day.

Today's races were started in light and variable winds of around five knots from 350 degrees that made the pre-starts less than interesting. Nonetheless, both Team DC and America True won their starts and then survived a nearly 180-degree windshift on Leg 2 to score their victories. -- Quokka Sports,

Ed Baird skippering Young America (USA-58) started this match at the pin, determined to protect the left, but in the light shifty airs on the start line his plans went awry. In a slow-motion sailing lesson, Ken Read, at the helm of Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes (USA-55), chased and controlled the New York boat past, around and below the pin. With time running out, Read led back on port tack, accelerating away to a commanding lead. Read started 1:22 after the gun, Baird 31 seconds later. Baird closed up two thirds of the way through a tough, light-air beat, only to lose out again as Read caught a puff and got clear. Stars & Stripes rounded the weather mark seven minutes inside the time limit for abandonment. Baird got close again as the wind died on the run but it was Stars & Stripes that was first to benefit from the new breeze from the Southwest that turned the next windward leg into a spinnaker run. As the wind got up to a steady 14-15 knots, Baird drew level on the run. He protested Read twice for luffing without rights in a short gybing duel, but both appeals were green-flagged and Read continued his dominance to the finish line.

Young Australia (AUS-31) wanted the left side of the course and steered for the pin end. America True (USA-51), sailed by John Cutler, chose to tack to port early and cross the start line ahead. The shift had gone to the left but the pressure was on the right. America True drew ahead. The patchy wind over the course forced the two back together again half-way up the first leg before Young Australia bounced the Americans back to the right. That may have been James Spithill's big mistake as America True, on tacking to the right, began to sail away again. The second leg saw the wind die and fill in from the reciprocal of the course axis. America True reached it first and was never threatened again. -- Louis Vuitton Cup website,

A request for redress by Young America resulting from the Race Committee's management of Wednesday's match against Stars & Stripes has been dismissed by the International Jury after a brief deliberation. The detailed and complex protest by the New York Yacht Club's syndicate sprang from the unique weather conditions on the Hauraki Gulf, when Young America trailed Stars & Stripes around the course after badly losing the start.

Young America, skippered by Ed Baird, hoisted a red protest flag halfway down the second leg after the wind died and a new wind filled in from the opposite direction. When asked by the Umpires immediately after the finish about the nature of the protest, Baird and tactician Tony Rey said they had not yet decided what exactly they were protesting.

The protest, filed before the time limit expired, claimed that:
- the wind did not meet condition 14.4 (the start line was not properly aligned)
- mark two was not correctly positioned
- mark three was also not correctly positioned
- the third leg should have been an upwind beat, not a downwind leg (condition 11.2)

Navigator Jim Brady was called as a witness, and testified that the protest flag wasn't hoisted until halfway down leg two. This fact invalidated the first claim.

Peter Reggio, Race Officer for the day, said the Race Committee decided to make the third leg downwind to avoid effectively having three upwind legs in a row. He said the heading for leg three was less than 20-degrees off true, and couldn't be square without taking the competitors over a reef.

The International Jury asked Young America how the action of the Race Committee had prejudiced the syndicate, as both boats sailed the same course.

Rules and tactics coach for Young America, Brad Dellenbaugh, said Young America would have enjoyed a better tactical situation approaching the finish line downwind. (America's Cup races have finished downwind since 1992).

Stars & Stripes afterguard member Tom Whidden, made a statement to the Jury, saying that Stars & Stripes sailed in the same conditions as Young America

The Jury deliberated for less than ten minutes. The Jury found, amongst other things, that the challengers wouldn't have written the 'Purple Flag Rule' (Condition 3.2, which allows yachts to set spinnakers on an upwind leg, after a large windshift has rendered it a free leg of the course), unless they had anticipated that this type of situation could arise.

The request for redress was dismissed. The International Jury will publish it's formal decision on Thursday. -- Keith Taylor, Marcus Hutchinson, Peter Rusch, Louis Vuitton Cup website,

1. AmericaOne 20-6 81 points
2. Nippon 17-8 74.5
3. America True 18-7 74
4. Prada 22-3 73
5. Stars & Stripes 15-10 54.5
6. Spain 11-15 44
7. Young America 14-11 42
8. Abracadabra 9-17 34
9. Le Defi BTT 7-17 32
10. Young Australia 4-21 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.

* Lycos, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCOS), the fastest growing Internet portal and the world's largest online community, today announced its sponsorship of AmericaOne, the San Francisco-based challenger for America's Cup 2000, on behalf of the St. Francis Yacht Club. The sponsorship includes prominent Web exposure and a number of cross-promotional marketing opportunities for AmericaOne. Lycos will receive prominent branding on the boat as she vies for sailing's most coveted award.

Under the terms of the sponsorship, Lycos will receive prominent branding on both the hull and boom of AmericaOne's two new International America's Cup Class boats. The sponsorship will also provide a forum for AmericaOne to participate in various cross-promotional events as well as provide significant Web visibility for AmericaOne's official and supporting sponsors. Lycos' broad audience will have access to America's Cup content via chats, message boards, sailing homepages on and, and the best sailing content and nautical shopping sources on the Web. -- Gina Von Esmarch,

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 Rick Leon -- The following table is the result of a weighted opponent pairing matrix. It predicts the final outcome for the Louis Vuitton Cup. Of course this neglects future potential breakdowns and weather such as today's could also produce un-predicted upsets. The 9 points for each race is divided between the opponents based on their previous races and their record against common opponents in the current round, hence the fractional results. The number in brackets after the team name is the same results only it awards all the points in each race to the team with the highest fraction. These values predict the actual final point totals. (ties were broken by me)

110.2 pts. Prada ( 118 )
107.0 pts. Nippon Challenge ( 101.5 )
106.3 pts. America One ( 117 )
102.2 pts. America True ( 100 )
84.8 pts. Team DC ( 90.5 )
70.6 pts. Young America ( 78 )
59.8 pts. Spanish Challenge ( 53 )
48.6 pts. Le defi Bouygues Telcom-Transiciel ( 41 )
48.0 pts. Abracadabra 2000 ( 43 )
24.5 pts. Young Australia 2000 ( 18 )
8.0 pts. Fast 2000 ( 8 )

A lot can still happen but this is one likely outcome.

-- Clare Blunt, Venice High School -- Everyday I read the comments made on expanding sailing to the public. I think that the best way to generate more interest in our great sport is to start with the younger generation. This year, I revived the sailing team at my high school. I talked to all my friends, and got them out on the water. Most of the people who went sailing with me in my Laser or a CFJ, loved it and came back for more. Now I have a full team of sailors, and some good ones at that. Two of the new sailors have already purchased their own boats, and plan on joining a summer program at a yacht club. These people will probably enjoy sailing for the rest of their lives. The way to expose the public to sailing is not through TV coverage, because that will never happen, but by getting people out on the water and showing them how wonderful and exciting sailing really is. Maybe in the future, after sailing has become a globally accepted sport, we will be able to watch an AC race on NBC. But first, we need more people out on the water. We should put more efforts into introducing the sport to juniors on the high school and club levels.

-- From John Celick -- Is anyone else bored with the whining about how to make sailing more popular and the comparisons to other sports and how it plays on TV.

Big news to follow... watching sail boat racing is mostly dull. We are not going to build huge stadiums to race in like Nascar because even in natural viewing areas like San Francisco or San Diego Bay, sail boat racing is hard to follow. It is fun to do and fun to socialize afterwards.

Even on the low end it is fairly expensive, certainly time consuming and extremely difficult to learn to do well. Not everybody has the time, money, energy or patience to learn the sport. Few are even able to identify with sailing (unlike being able to identify, a bit, with race car driving, tennis or even golfing).

What is the objective? Certain sports capture the imagination... others don't. Why do we care if we aren't on TV or often even on the sports page. What am I missing?

-- From Tucker Strasser -- In response to television coverage, what if they had a pre show with Optimist (kids racing) or laser races with 100 plus boats on the line prior to the cup events .That would bring sailing back to the common person and show different types of racing.

In response to sailing Heros, here in the US, television likes to build heroes and then tear them down. So what we need is for one of our top sailors to get arrested after a car chase with, in the car, a transvestite hooker, a gun, a bag of drugs, wearing clothes of the opposite sex, and smoking a cigarette, then sailing and our hero would get 30 seconds of coverage. This does not seem to hurt other sports but gets people talking about that sport.

-- From Craig Leweck -- The recent suggestions on how to grow the sport has put the onus back on us. This is not a new concept. If we all introduce one person to the sport, ta da, the sport doubles overnight. Sounds easy, but it won't happen. Just too many hurdles still exist.

Entrance to sailing remains a problem. Boats don't come cheap, and depending on where you live, neither does sailing club membership. One idea that had some life in San Diego, CA was that during the summer evening race series on Mission Bay, there would be an occasional race designated as one where you HAD to bring a novice sailing with you. This person was generally a workmate or neighbor, someone you see often and were easy enough to ask to go sailing. The boats that sail on Mission Bay are mostly low performance dinghies, and the winds are usually mild. Within the calm waters of the bay, there could not be a more perfect setting to give a novice a very positive sailing experience. Afterwards, a BBQ and cheap drinks at the bar fulfilled the critical social requirements.

The key aspect was that everyone had a novice. If we all do it, than the race becomes much more fun and the playing field remains level. My charge to those who are organizing sailing calendars for the year 2000 is to designate a race or races as a "newbie" race.

How about that for taking the new millennium into our own hands!!

-- From Jim Champ -- I got a bit of an insight into this when I had to sit out a race at the Uk Cherub Nationals this year. I wandered to the end of the harbour breakwater to watch, and to my astonishment the general public were actually watching and following the racing. Some shameless eavesdropping led me to some conclusions. Small fleet racing is best - probably about 10 boats. Enough so its not a procession like match racing, not so many that they are difficult to distinguish. Easy to distinguish hulls - the Cherubs tend to go for bright colours and stripes and spots and things. Capsizes are good! Simple courses are good, but you don't have to worry about tacking upwind and gybing downwind confusing people.

Also worth noting:- The only Americas cup event that was really good to watch was Perth, because of big waves. If you can't guarantee big waves - have small boats! Commentators like having technical stuff to talk about, so not oe designs.

Which of course leads us to what we already know - a skiff like boat is best for TV, after all the only consistently successful TV coverage of racing has been the 18s. However even smaller boats would probably be better. The Cherubs aren't spectacular in light airs, so the rigs need to be bigger, so I guess we are talking about 12ft skiffs or something very close...

-- From Paul Lombardi -- Attn, Matt Jones - Trivia Correction, The first Maxi to be built of fiberglass was Winward Passage 1.

-- Casey Woodrum -- From I took a tour of Kialoa III at the '79 Clipper Cup (now Kenwood Cup) and I'm pretty sure she was made of fibreglass. Did Matt Jones mean 1970?

OLYMPIC CLASSES -- by Gary Jobson
The International Sailing Federation met recently in Sydney to discuss future classes for Olympic competition. Historically, the boats have been getting smaller. At one time, all racing was in keelboats. Today the only keelboats are the three-person Soling and two-person Star. There are five single-handed classes and five double-handed classes. In 1988, a women's division was added for the first time in the 470 class. Today there are three divisions specifically for women.

For the 2004 Games there are three keelboat classes being considered. One for men's fleet racing, a second for combined fleet/match racing for men and women, and a third featuring match racing for women only. A final decision is expected by the ISAF in November 2000.

Discussions by the ISAF would be to hold the women's match race competition in a three-person boat that would be supplied. There was talk of a boat evaluation in Newport, and possibly another in Europe following the 2000 Olympics.

Many people within the ISAF hope to maintain five single-handed classes. But clearly something has to give if there are to be three keelboats. It is unlikely that the number of classes would be expanded beyond the current 11.

Both the Finn and the Star were narrowly accepted for the 2000 Games. The Star looks strong in the future, but the Finn might be replaced in favor of one of the keelboats. With the growing interest in one-design offshore racing, many people believe it is time for an Olympic class in a larger keelboat with at least seven crew members. A good method would be for a manufacturer to provide the boats, and for the team to rotate the boats every race. The boats could be pre-sold and delivered to the new owners following the regatta.

My view? Change is in order, and the Olympic fleet should more closely resemble what is actually being raced throughout the world. Coed racing and added keelboat divisions are a good start. -- Gary Jobson,

The second biennial New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex will be held July 14-23, 2000. The regatta provides a unique opportunity for sailors to compete in IMS and PHRF handicap racing in the first half of the week and one-design racing in the second half. IMS racing will constitute the 2000 Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship. One-design classes attending will include: Farr 40, J/35, J/44, J/120, J/105, Melges 24, Mumm 30 and One Design 35.

PHRF Championship - July 14-18, 2000; One-Design Championships - July 20-23, 2000 -- Barby MacGowan

For more information:

Ken Read on Stars & Stripes win over Young America: "We would not have had the chance to get these nine points if it had not been for the extraordinary effort of our boat-building. "The lights have been on in the shed all night long for three days nights as these magicians did everything necessary to allow us to go racing today. This win belongs to them" --

Peter Isler, navigator of Stars & Stripes, on the 180 degree wind shift: "It was one of those days with the wind shifting so much, where I honestly couldn't even remember which leg of the course we were on. You're supposed to have a computer that tells you where you are but instead I had a piece of paper taped to the top of the computer and I kept having to ask Holmberg and Whidden and Kenny and everybody else 'How many legs? Are we on an upwind leg or a downwind leg now?'"

Ken Read, helmsman of Stars & Stripes, on starting from the starboard end of the line: "Starboard tack in these match races is a big advantage in really light air. Peter Holmberg keeps pounding on me 'Don't let 'em off the hook, don't let 'em off the hook!' We get to be starboard tack five days and port tack five days. So you hope that your starboard tack comes on five light days because it is certainly a more powerful tool."

Peter Isler, on the experience of the Mayor of Auckland, Christine Fletcher, as 17th crewmember: "They managed to get a coat of paint on the deck so that it looked almost as good as new except that there wasn't any non-skid back there and the poor Mayor . . . it's hard enough when you start heeling over when we get the breeze in the afternoon and all of a sudden she is there with absolutely no non-skid!"

Ken Read, on Young America getting close three times: "It's kinda turning into our M.O. We can make any race close. No lead is too large for Stars & Stripes!"


THE CURMUDGEON'S CONUNDRUM Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID, that he just whipped out a quarter?