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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 disappoints me.

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,

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,

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.

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 fulfilled correctly.

America True sailed the Atlantic Course alone, be hAPpy has withdrawn from the Louis Vuitton Cup.

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 (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 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 Laser berths.

-- 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 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 before...

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 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:

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,

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,

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.

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