SCUTTLEBUTT #457 - December 9, 1999
COMMENTARY -- Sean "Doogie" Couvreu
Maybe some of you have been following the information concerning the new
advertising code proposed by the ISAF. From the letter that the president
of the ISAF sent out, I had the feeling that the code was put into effect.
However, after talking to some other people and reading, it seems as though
the decision to implement the code has again been postponed. This greatly
I am currently campaigning a 49er Olympic Class, and, because it is an
Olympic Class, we are ruled as Category C for advertising. I sail the boat
along with my brother. And since we are both still in school, we do not
make enough money to fully fund it. Thus, we have turned to sponsorship.
We have worked very hard for several years to be able to have enough
sponsors to run our campaign. We are entirely funded this way. Now,
according to the new advertising code, an event sponsor is allowed only the
forward 25 % of the hull and maybe some spars. They can advertise on the
sails only if they provide them. If not, the space on the sails is to be
allocated according to the competitors' wish.
In our next major 49er event, the 49er World Championships in Mexico, we
are being asked to give parts of the jib, and lower part of the main to the
event sponsors. This means giving away the prime area on the main (that I
have already sold to my sponsors).
So I am supposed to go to the worlds and put my own sponsors' logos in more
unfavorable parts of the main? What am I supposed to tell my sponsors? I
have worked very hard for my sponsorship and I find it difficult that for a
major event, I have to bump them off an area that they paid for. How am I
supposed to explain that to them? In this sport, we are trying to get more
corporations involved, yet this is the way we treat them? By bumping them
off prime real-estate?
Some how, I find that unfair to the competitor who has worked hard to find
the sponsorship and bring the company into the sport of sailing. In my
case, this is the only way to fund my campaign, and if I bump them off the
area they paid for, a good way to lose my funding. Maybe if more sailors
voice their opinions to the ISAF, we can get this code passed -- Sean
"Doogie" Couvreux, http://www.challenge49er.com
LOUIS VUITTON CUP SUMMARY
Paul Cayard's AmericaOne and Dawn Riley's America True aren't just
competing for recognition in their hometowns, they're also vying for the
overall lead in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination series. The
two San Francisco-based challengers for the America's Cup head the
leaderboard today after AmericaOne defeated the Nippon Challenge and
America True completed a walkover victory against the absent FAST 2000.
Today's conditions were lighter and more frustrating than yesterday when a
180-degree windshift swept the course on Leg 2, turning runs into beats and
vice versa. Although the breeze did fill in to a solid 15 knots yesterday,
that was not the case today as it hovered between four and six knots and
oscillated through 75 degrees all day.
While the matches on the Atlantic Racecourse commenced after only a
10-minute postponement, competitors on the Pacific Racecourse endured a
nearly three-hour delay before their matches got underway. Competitors on
the Atlantic course finished their races as those on the Pacific course
were beginning their second beat. Quokka sports, http://www.americascup.org/
AMERICAONE BEAT IDATEN - DELTA 09:08
AmericaOne (USA-49), skipper Paul Cayard appeared to come out second best
in a vigorous starting line engagement with Idaten (JPN-52), skippered by
Peter Gilmour, but not for long. The Japanese boat grabbed the right side
of the line, starting on port tack five seconds ahead of the Americans and
sailing into a right hand shift that provided it a brief lead. But it was
Cayard who headed out on starboard, sailing into more pressure and a right
hand shift to take control of a difficult windward leg in light air.
AmericaOne, on port tack, crossed its opponent by one boatlength on their
first crossing and enjoyed a slightly bigger lead on the second meeting.
From there, Cayard's narrower boat romped in the light breezes and flat
water, rounding the first mark one minute 19 seconds ahead. On the first
run Gilmour split away to the West and oblivion, sagging into light patchy
airs and rounding the second mark nearly 12 minutes off the pace. The
Japanese boat gained some ground as the wind slowly built but this race
belonged to the Americans.
LE DEFI BEAT STARS & STRIPES - DELTA 04:03
Bertrand Pace sailing Le Defi (USA-46) used his starboard tack advantage to
get control of the left of the pair and have the leeward position at the
start. Ken Read sailing Stars & Stripes (USA-55) had the weather position
but soon found that the orange-coloured French boat had better height and
was bounced off to the right. The pair exchanged the advantage several
times up the first weather leg, before Le Defi finally took firm control to
round ahead with a one minute 24 second lead at the top mark. The wind
stayed extremely light but relatively steady on the downwind leg and the
French boat, with a better looking asymmetric spinnaker, pulled big
distances out of the American boat. When the wind started to fill in again
the race became a text book covering exercise which Pace and his team
AMERICA TRUE WON, BE HAPPY DID NOT START
America True sailed the Atlantic Course alone, be hAPpy has withdrawn from
the Louis Vuitton Cup.
LUNA ROSSA BEAT BRAVO ESPANA - DELTA 05:09
Luis Doreste on Bravo Espana (ESP-56) did a nice job at the start, turning
up to the line, and starting with speed to weather of Francesco de Angelis
on Luna Rossa (ITA-48). In the pre-start, Doreste engaged de Angelis in a
dial-up before chasing him downwind of the line. Luna Rossa gybed away to
return to the line first, but Bravo Espana tacked and led the way back to
the line, both boats early. But Luna Rossa was too far to leeward to push
Spain up to the line, and Doreste led across the line by one second. But
the first shift was to the left, favouring the Italians, and on a light air
day, Luna Rossa just showed too much speed for the Spanish. Francesco de
Angelis carried a one minute, 46 second lead around the first top mark and
increased the delta to win easily by over five minutes.
ABRACADABRA BEAT YOUNG AUSTRALIA - DELTA 01:21
Abracadabra (USA-50) started on port tack with Young Australia (AUS-31)
starting on starboard. Australian skipper James Spithill wanted the left
side of the start and won it. Young Australia also won the first cross and
successfully defended its small lead until the top third of the beat. While
both boats were sailing on starboard tack John Kolius on Abracadabra took
over the lead with a bit more pressure to the right and thus lifting. After
tacking back to port Spithill could not cross ahead. From then on,
Abracadabra slowly pulled away to win this match.
Compiled by Peter Rusch, Simon Keijzer, Keith Taylor and Marcus Hutchinson,
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (email@example.com)
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 Clarence Martin -- In Gary Jobson's report on the future of Olympic
sailing (#456) it seems to me that the Olympic committee is going in the
opposite direction from that indicated in the great majority of comments on
redesigning the America's Cup. Larger keel boats, replacing single handed
boats in the Olympics, assures you of nothing but having a few rich guys
who can afford practice boats and hired crews replacing the many young,
just out of college, sailors who make up the aspirant Finn, Europe and
-- From Tink Chamber, Farr International, Inc. -- I believe Matt Jones is
correct. Kialoa IV built by Kiwi Yachts in 1980 was the first fiberglass
maxi. Kialoa III was aluminum and Windward Passage was a wooden boat.
-- From Alan Blunt -- WINDWARD PASSAGE I WAS COLD MOULDED WOOD. KIALOA III
WAS ALUMINUM. CONDOR AND KIALOA IV WERE FIBERGLASS AND BUILT ABOUT THE
SAME TIME. THE 'DEFINITIVELY' FIRST FIBERGLASS MAXI WAS LOL KILLIAM'S
GREYBEARD, BUILT IN VANCOUVER, B.C. IN 1969. IT USED RECTANGULAR
FIBERGLASS TUBES MANUFACTURED AS BOTH LOGITUDINAL STRINGERS AND AS A FRAME
THAT GLASS AND FOAM WERE MOLDED OVER....ALL BUILT IN LOL'S BROTHER'S SEWER
-- From Justin Smart -- Windward Passage was cold molded on the beach in
the Bahamas by Bahamians, among others, in wood (i believe it to be the
first Windward Passage). Great Britain II, a close sistership to windward
Passage, was built by Chay Blythe for the first Whitbread race in 1973. It
was built by soldiers of the British Army, among others, out of fiberglass.
Kialoa II was the first big boat built in aluminum by Boeing, among others,
in Washington . Kialoa III is also aluminum and Kialoa IV is a composite
boat of e-glass, s-glass carbon and kevlar. The venerable GB II pre-dates
all of the above as the first fiberglass true Maxi.
--From Larry Edwards -- What you are missing is that the professional
sailors of the word -- Dennis Conner, Paul Cayard, Marc Pajot, John Kolius,
Ed Baird, Dawn Riley, John Cutler, Russell Coutts, Pedro Campos, Francisco
de Angelis, John Kostecki, Torben Grael, Bertrand Pace, et al., plus their
worthy crews and yacht designers -- want to make big bucks sailing boats.
Big bucks from from commercial sponsors, who justify their expenses based,
in large part, on media coverage, particularly television exposure. Look at
any big-time pro sport, and the big bucks for the players only come from
fat TV deals.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this. More power to them. If
Michael Jordon can become a gazillionaire tossing a ball through a hoop,
why shouldn't someone else have the same opportunity to make a little
spending money sailing a boat? The problem with sailing is that it's a
much, much harder sell. (Besides, it's put a little spending money in my
pockets as well.)
-- From John McBrearty -- The day that sailboat racing becomes a mass
spectator sport is the day they start equipping the boats with cannons!
-- From Chip Johns President Vanguard Sailboats -- I am always curious why
we think that sailing would make better TV when other sports and activities
that are easier to watch and cheaper to televise are not there yet. If I
were a TV entrepreneur I would be looking for the no brainer success story.
I am not sure that I would pick a sport which was difficult to produce and
was not very interesting to watch in general.
One of the reasons that other sports like golf and skiing have more
participants is that anyone in the US can decide today to learn how to golf
or ski, get in their car and find all that they need to learn the new
sport. These include retail shops which will sell or rent them equipment
and advice, facilities to do the sport (i.e. golf courses and ski areas),
and instructional programs all set up for the new participant.
We do not have these facilities in sailing. We have a very limited retail
shop base, public access facilities are very limited, and instructional
programs for the public are even fewer.
We should work on the fundamentals of our infrastructure with our limited
resources prior to trying to hit the long ball with TV. If we even get the
TV exposure then we don't really have the infrastructure to handle all of
responses! And I do know about the community sailing programs around the
country for all of you that will answer me! How many offer a 1-hr learn to
sail course and then a half day ticket?
-- From Bob Johnstone -- A Second to the proposal from Clare Blunt of
Venice High School . The two hot buttons to grow the sport were described
in Butt #238 (with brackets for further explanation) as follows: "FIRST
have the local Parks & Recreation Dept offer a comprehensive sailing
program (involve the yacht clubs & any other community sailing
organizations) for all ages in their periodic bulletins (that offer
swimming, bowling, badminton, volleyball, tennis, golf, ice-skating, etc.)
mailed to every household in the community. SECOND, as a bridge from YC
junior programs and to deal with peer pressure (sailing is a sissy sport
attitude), get the local high school to (start a sailing and/or racing
program and) offer sailing as a "Letter" sport (along with the badges,
sweaters & jackets)" .
Next thing you know, the local paper starts headlining local winners, who
become heroes to other kids, who then want to become sailors
too...especially when they discover that the harbor is much more fun than
any playground ever was!. As the Curmudgeon might comment, "If it's not
happening in your backyard, it's not happening!"
-- From Keri Shining -- Is there someone from the National Sailing Industry
Association (a part of the largest marine trade association, the National
Marine Manufacturers Association) reading Scuttlebutt? The NSIA is the
largest sailing industry trade group. While we are all focusing on the
volunteer-based U.S. Sailing's efforts, why is no one asking NSIA what its
strategy is for building our sport? Is the NMMA (which contains
mega-companies like Brunswick) Do people even know the NSIA exists?
I recall several years ago an ambitious NSIA program called "Discover
Sailing" that helped boat builders partner with sailing schools by offering
a free day of sailing through the school. What ever happened to this program?
-- From John Rousmaniere -- I find it odd that the TV rating seems to be
such a popular measure of success for an intensely participatory activity
that already engages some 4 million people. But since we can't get way
from the notion that nothing is real unless it is on the tube, recall a
time when sailboat races regularly appeared on television. Back in the
mid-'eighties, two or three times a week on ESPN (even in prime time), we
could find 30 or 60 minutes of side-by-side slalom races between two
sailboards. These races had the basic elements of any successful sport,
beginning with straightforward head-to-head challenges between two
competitors. The rules were extremely simple: start here, snake upwind
through those buoys, and come back before the other guy. The racing was
spectacular to watch, with agile athletes on the edge of control. Empathy
between the observer and the participant was immediate because the
competitors were human beings rather than machines -- the sailors were
larger than their equipment rather than hidden inside it.
The idea originated in the Windsurfer Class back in the '70's, when I was
the class president, and was borrowed from side-by-side slalom ski races.
We neglected to establish an international challenge cup that would have
added the irresistible factor of nationalism -- but I always thought the
America's Cup was already doing that pretty well, even with (gasp!)
amateurs sailing only three months a summer in boats that cost less than a
million bucks, and even without the Internet and television.
-- From Andrew Hurst, Seahorse Magazine -- Love your newsletter but please
can we close the discussion about popularising sailing. It's all been said
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: My wife picked on me at breakfast; Mark Gaudio, Beau
Gayner, Chris Ericksen, Kerry Deaver and others all complained by email
and now the editor of Seahorse is saying, 'enough already.' OK - I get the
message, and now declare this thread OFFICIALLY DEAD.
Pete Goss was present at the Paris boat show, in order to present his
project for the upcoming The Race/La Course du Millenaire. The British
sailor confirmed that his wave-piercing catamaran - the Team Philips - will
be put in the water on January 12th, in Totnes.
The boat, a 120-foot (37 metre) long and 70 foot wide catamaran has twin
hulls which reach 2.70 metres in height, and a central nacelle suspended 4
metres above the water.
Pete Goss : The Race is easier to lose than it is to win. The aim is to
keep from stopping. Given the speed of these boats, if one of them were to
stop, it would suffer a delay which it would have a tough time making up.
The basis for our project rests on three key words: lightness, safety and
reliability. We opted for a bipod rigging, which illustrates this idea of
reliability. If we run into a problem with one of our masts, we can
continue sailing with the second one while repairing the first.
The second innovation here is the wave-piercing concept, the principle of
which consists of not trying to run through the huge Atlantic swells, but
rather of climbing over them. We are obsessed by the safety and
reliability aspects of our boat. We have not forgotten the fact that of
the 16 boats which entered the last Vendee Globe, only 6 made it to the
finishing line. With the boats entered in The Race, most of which will be
new and extreme, the real objective will initially be to finish the race,
and then afterwards to think about winning.
The 70-person team around Pete Goss will continue working even after the
Team Philips has been put in the water. The shipyard, which is open to the
public, has already welcomed 325,000 people. Pete Goss, who feels very
comfortable with his on-going project, also reported that his budget (4
million pounds Sterling) was balanced. The boat enters the waters off
Totnes on January 12th and will immediately begin its training runs, prior
to challenging the Jules Verne Trophy. It will then undertake a northern
European tour before travelling to Barcelona, the starting point for The
Race on December 31st 2000. -- Anne Massot
Online water sports gear leader www.sailingproshop.com announced that they
have signed the 1999 INTER 20 Champion team of Matt Struble and Mike Kletke
to a sponsorship deal for the upcoming Worrell 1000 in 2000. Matt Struble
has brought home ten National Championships and three world championship
all while only being 26 years of age! His most recent National Championship
was in 1999 on the INTER 20 catamaran. The INTER 20 is the exclusive boat
for the Worrell 1000 next May making Struble a contender right out of the box.
Event website: http://www.worrell1000.com
Peter Gilmour, on narrow waterline boats: "Clearly in those conditions they
were faster than us. There's no doubt about it in that light stuff. It will
be interesting to see how things pan out in the future because obviously
you have many boats of different beam waterlines here. I think from what I
can see AmericaOne is one of the most narrow, other than maybe Bertrand's
(Le Defi)." -- Louis Vuitton Cup website, http://www.louisvuittoncup.com
Morgan Larson, who was up the rig during the pre-start: "Fortunately we
didn't get that close today. It's always been a little worry of mine that I
might be able to reach out and touch one of those guys and knowing Peter's
aggressive style I figured today might have been the day to shake hands
with our opponent. -- Louis Vuitton Cup website,
Tom Whidden on Stars & Stripes loss to Le Defi: ""All of us know there will
be races like this in light and fluky conditions. Our team will have no
problem shaking off this race as we prepare for the next few days." Team
Dennis Conner website, http://www.stars-stripes.com/
Projected headwinds delay departure - PlayStation skipper Steve Fossett
advised "The Low we wanted for a Saturday departure is expected to turn
into a Gale and low pressure will develop very south in mid-Atlantic which
would give us headwinds. Not an acceptable pattern. Looks like we will have
one more pattern to consider before closing up for Christmas: Departure
between Monday evening Dec 13 and Wednesday Dec 15.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OXYMORONS