SCUTTLEBUTT #470 - December 29, 1999
SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY
* Nippon Challenge can expect to come under fire from its rival
challengers for fraternising with the enemy -- defender Team New Zealand --
in practice sailing on the inner Hauraki Gulf on Wednesday. There had been
an unwritten agreement among the six challengers that will start the Louis
Vuitton Cup semifinals Sunday not to respond to invitations from the Kiwis,
who have had no one to joust with except themselves.
In late October, Team New Zealand's Brad Butterworth, tactician, was asked
how he felt about the challengers no-show policy. He jokingly replied,
"It's rude. It's like inviting somebody to dinner and they don't eat your
food. We invited them to go sailing and nobody wants to go sailing."
Emili Miura, campaign and public relations director for Nippon, said the
team has considered the potential reaction from the other challengers. "We
thought there might be some criticism," she said. "But there are some big
races ahead of us, and if we have an opportunity it makes sense to prepare
against the team which many people say is the best." Besides, she said,
this isn't war. "We've always felt the spirit of the event should be, as
the Deed of Gift says, 'friendly competition between foreign countries.' "
Miura said there is a good relationship between many of the sailors, from
Nippon skipper Peter Gilmour and Kiwi counterpart Russell Coutts, down
through the crew. "People like [trimmer] Simon Daubney have been of great
help to some of our crew in the past," she said. "We have close ties with
Perhaps too close, some peers might say. A full press conference with all
remaining challengers represented is scheduled for Thursday morning. "Peter
[Gilmour] and I will be ready for them," Miura said, smiling. -- Rich
Roberts, Quokka Sports.
Full story: http://www.americascup.org/
* After weeks of waiting and hoping, America's Cup defender Team New
Zealand got its wish today - a chance to check its Cup chances by lining up
one of its black boats against one of the international challengers.
Japan's Nippon Challenge obliged, in a four-hour session on the Hauraki
Gulf that included straight-line speed comparisons on and off the wind, and
a series of starts.
Japan's Aussie skipper Peter Gilmour took the helm of Idaten (JPN-52)
against New Zealand's skipper and Cup-winning helmsman Russell Coutts who
sailed Team New Zealand (NZL-57). I'm an optimist so I'm pretty happy, but
both Team New Zealand and Nippon have agreed not to discuss the results
from today," said Gilmour after he got ashore.
Team New Zealand's Brad Butterworth was a little more forthcoming. "We
think the boats are bloody similar," he said. "We're quite encouraged."
Butterworth described the light Northeasterly conditions as a "shifty,
funny old day" and said it would have been hard for anyone watching to have
appraised the form of the two boats. However his team came away with the
impression that the boats showed similar speed upwind and downwind in
Butterworth confirmed that the Kiwis had approached the Japanese and Dawn
Riley's America True syndicate. "One wanted to do it, and one didn't," he
said. Riley, whose team sent a tender out to monitor the combatants, had a
different slant on the day.
"Well, I would say we're a little bit confused," she said. "I don't see how
it helps the Challengers to sail against Team New Zealand, and we thought
everyone felt that way. Obviously, Nippon doesn't. "It's not against the
rules, it's just against common-sense. But there's no rule against it so
there's nothing for us to say about it. I guess we might give them some
grief in the bar or something, but there's really nothing we can do about it."
Italy's Prada Challenge, currently one of the favourites to win the Louis
Vuitton Cup and go up against the Kiwis, was also on the scene with a chase
boat, including designer Doug Peterson. "I think this helps the Kiwis a lot
more than it helps Japan," said Peterson, echoing Riley's sentiments
Will it happen again? Gilmour says he's open to the idea. "I wouldn't rule
out sailing against Team New Zealand again," he said. "In fact, I think
it's quite likely that we'll do it again, sooner rather than later. But
that will depend on each teams schedule and weather and the like." -- Peter
Rusch and Keith Taylor, Louis Vuitton Cup website
Full story: http://www.louisvuittoncup.com
SAILOR OF THE YEAR
In voting that took place on the Torresen Sailing Site, at
www.torresen.com, website visitors have selected the 1999 Sailors of the
Year. Voters chose Michigan native Dawn Riley as the Female Sailor of the
Year. Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini was named Male Sailor of the Year.
In 1999, Riley has achieved success as the first women CEO of an America's
Cup Team. Her team named America True begins the semi finals of the Louis
Viuitton Cup Sunday 2 January 2000. In a break from America's Cup
preparations, Riley also won the Santa Maria Cup match-racing regatta.
Soldini had several notable experiences this year. In February, he
conducted an heroic mid Southern Ocean rescue of French sailor Isabelle
Autissier. This rescue came during the Around Alone singlehanded sailing
race. Soldini went onto win Around Alone in a record time.
In voting that started in October and ended in December, Riley and Soldini
consistently led the voting. Torresen Sailing Site visitors have selected
two sailors who have achieved right to the top of sailing.
Both sailors will be the subjects of a profile in Torresen Sailing Site's
Around the World of Sailing 99-00 Sailing Report. This will be 'e'
published by 1600 Wednesday 29. -- Ike Stephenson
To read the report: http://www.torresen.com/sailingnews.net/report
TELSTRA SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
WARNINGS -- A gale wind warning is current for Eastern Tasmanian coastal
waters and for adjacent ocean waters with a Strong Wind Warning current for
southern Tasmania coastal waters.
* The Papua New Guinea yacht Hi Flyer successfully rescued a crewmember in
a man overboard situation in heavy weather on the East Coast of Tasmania
between Bicheno and St Helens. Reacting immediately to the situation,
experienced owner/skipper Carol Turnbull immediately turned the boat around
and fellow crew members had the crewman, Steve Wayne Smith, 43 of Cairns,
back on board in less than five minutes.
The yacht advised the radio relay vessel, Young Endeavour, that Smith
appeared to be suffering from severe shock and Cruising Yacht Club of
Australia race officials considered a helicopter lift. However, with three
first aid certificated crew on board it was decided on medical grounds to
keep the injured crewman aboard Hi Flyer and effect a transfer at sea to
the Tasmanian police vessel, Van Diemen, which was in the area. At 5.30pm
this evening Hi Flyer was one and a half hours south of St Helens where it
will rendezvous with the Van Dieman.
For the past 24 hours southerly winds of between 30 and 40 knots gusting to
50 knots have presented testing sailing conditions for the smaller boats in
the fleet and a number of crewmembers have suffered minor injuries.
* Two injured crewmen from yachts competing in the Telstra Sydney to
Hobart yacht race are being taken aboard the Tasmanian police boat Pillara
off Tasmania's north East Coast. A crewman from the Victorian yacht Amaya
sustained a broken collarbone, and another crewmember from the yacht Esprit
De Corps has a broken wrist.
The Pillara left Binnalong Bay at 10.30am this morning to meet the yachts,
and had a medical officer from St Helens onboard. Amaya has officially
retired, while Esprit De Corps indicated to race officials it would
continue on to Hobart after their injured crew had been collected.
Another competitor seeking medical attention in Hobart this morning was
Geoffrey Ross, skipper of the Hong Kong registered yacht Yendys, who
injured his ribs during a wild broach. Ross was thrown over the stern of
the boat but was able to clamber back on because he was wearing his safety
There have been thirteen retirements from the race up until midday today.
-- Peter Campbell
* PROTESTS -- MARCHIONESS vs. NOKIA & BRINDABELLA vs. NOKIA -- In
reviewing the protest we have found that the requirements for validity
under rule 63.5 have not been met. Both protests are invalid and the
hearing was closed. The parties have been advised that the International
Jury has reviewed all of the rules applicable to this race and we can find
no indication of crew number limitations under Whitbread 60 rules.
The only crew limits imposed on Nokia, which had entered both IRC and W60
categories of the rac, is under IRC rules which permitted 1620 kg upper
limit. Her crew total was 1262kg. The rules quoted by the protestors
referred to the Whitbread race and were not applicable to the Telstra
Sydney to Hobart race. -- Ken Morrison, Chairman, International Jury
Event website: http://syd-hob96.telstra.com.au/
Team New Zealand will have an extra body on board their black boats next
week - making their intentions clear for the America's Cup. The defenders
want to use on-board umpires - a Kiwi innovation - during the big match in
February. If the challenger accepts, it will be the first time in cup
history that the system will be used.
The challengers, who were told of Team New Zealand's plan through a draft
of the sailing instructions delivered late last week, voted against using
on-board observers for the Louis Vuitton Cup series.
The winner of the challenger series will have their say whether they want
another person on board their boat for the cup match. New Zealand invented
the concept of on-board umpiring for the annual grand prix matchracing
regatta in Auckland. Team New Zealand made it clear earlier this year that
they wanted to use the system in the cup after trialling it during the Road
to the America's Cup regatta.
The observer stands at the back of the boat, wearing a headset to speak
with the umpire boat following the yachts. The umpire on the racing yacht
can advise the skipper on urgent rule issues, such as overlaps and rights
of way. All decisions would still be made and signalled by the umpires on
Team New Zealand rules adviser Russell Green said the on-board umpires'
role was like a rugby referee "advising the players if it's a ruck or a
maul." "Our view is that it worked extremely well in the Road to the
America's Cup, and it was endorsed by the skippers who were there," he said.
"We've seen a lot of incidents in the challenger series so far where the
skippers haven't known what the umpires were thinking. Having an observer
on board would have saved a lot of problems."
Team New Zealand will start using the system in their in-house racing next
week. Three umpires from the challengers' pool will come over to the
defenders' course each day to help out. Without a defender series, the
Kiwis have been holding practice races since they put both new boats, NZL57
and NZL60, in the water in November. -- Suzanne McFadden, NZ Herald
Full story: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
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 Merrick -- Does anyone know exactly how the Olympic classes are
selected? Evidently it's not done by a vote of countries but rather by some
special committee. Who's on the committee? How do they vote?
--From Jeff Merrill -- Buddy Melges is the Sailor of the Century. A Star
world championship, Olympic Gold medal in Solings and America's Cup winning
skipper is a yachting 'trifecta' difficult to top - the triple crown? And I
have never met anyone more enthusiastic about the sport of sailing and so
willing and eager to share his knowledge.
Buddy's personalilty could skyrocket sailing's popularity if he could be
properly brought to the attention of the non-sailing public. His down-home
sense of humor and hilarious expressions easily compare with the type of
enjoyment we get from baseball great Yogi Berra. (You should have heard
Buddy's on air banter as a TV sportscaster for the 1987 America's Cup in
Perth, unfortunately only broadcast in Australasia).
Buddy's career has been devoted to sailing - boat building, sailmaking and
innovating - I believe he was the first person to ever race with Harken
blocks. And when you add his passion for Scows and participation in the
unbelievable pure speed thrill of ice boating (hey, potential Winter
Olympics Sport?) which he has actively done for decades, you are looking at
THE consumate sailor.
Maybe others have accumulated more hardware (though doubtful), but if I had
the opportunity to vote for the one person who has achieved the highest
success AND best represents the personality and sportsman's ideal that best
reflects our sport, Buddy gets my vote!
-- From Todd Johnson -- There is no one who can compare with Paul Elvstrom
-- From Donal McClement -- Paul Elvstrom must be at the top of the list but
what about Sir Francis Chichester, Rodney Pattison, Sir Robin Knox Johnson
or perhaps the best of the all Sir Peter Blake. And I am Irish -- not British.
-- Randy Smith -- Hey, now we're talking! Sailor of the Millenium. I
guess that means a sailor from anytime between 1000 AD and next week
qualifies. I nominate Christopher Columbus, because without him I probably
wouldn't be enjoying the Southern California lifestyle today.
-- From Kip Meadows -- An interesting suggestion by Craig Fletcher to have
all sailing in the U.S. category 1 only. While we're at it, why not ask
Congress to pass a law requiring Wal-Mart to charge the same prices as
other stores in each city, or require the America's Cup to be sailed in
Sunfish so that everyone will have an equal chance to participate. Sailing
with pros on board is THE best way to take your sailing game to a new
level, as an amateur helmsman/owner. The popularity of the 1D35, Farr 40
and other owner/driver classes which allow pros on board should be enough
evidence to table Mr. Fletcher's recommendation without a second. Perhaps a
better alternative would be to work within another one-design class, or
series of regattas, for Cat 1 sailors only. Sailing needs to broaden, not
narrow, its appeal to grow and survive.
-- From Dan Phelps (Re: Craig Fletcher's comments in 'Butt 469) -- I think
I understand the "spirit" of what you are proposing in segregating the pros
from the amateurs. But, IMHO one of the best things we have going for the
growth our sport is that the Pros do sail with the amateurs. The
opportunity to sail with Pros allows us insights into the thinking and
strategy at the top level of our sport. The opportunity to sail against
Pros gives us the chance to apply what we have learned. In very few sports
are such opportunities so easy to find.
-- From Alexander "Ali" Meller VP International 505 Class -- I am an
amateur. I want to race against the best sailors. I am not interested in
having US Sailing or anyone else limit who can race against me. All
sailors, professional or otherwise, are more than welcome to race in my
class (International 505). I'll even charter/lend one of my 505s to them.
Paul Cayard, Ed Baird, Dawn Riley, Cam Lewis, et al, feel free to contact
me about this (email@example.com).
I do not know what Mr. Fletcher's reference to "unsavory actions" in the AC
is about. In my opinion, the aspects of the AC that I find distasteful
appear to be caused by the basic premise of the event (match racing by
"national" teams in large very expensive development class keelboats), and
perhaps by a few individuals running the campaigns, not the sailors on the
The USSA should stay out of determining who is an amateur and who is a
professional and leave that to ISAF. If we have to have categories at all,
let us at least have consistent categories country to country.
-- From Bill Cook -- Craig Fletcher drastically overestimates the amount of
money available in the sport of sailing.
-- From Ken Guyer -- Regarding the "alleged" betting by A-1 and A-True team
members and the comments by Steve Savaresen "confirming" the
rumors...pardon me but someone from Young America told Steve that YA
received a call from a member of the America One team and apologized for
what was going to happen. If this is true, then we can now get to the
bottom of this "rumor".
Steve, all you have to do is introduce the media to your friend on Young
America, let them repeat the story so the media can go forward with an
investigation into this rumor. So far all the accusations regarding the
wrongful betting seem to be coming from Young America. The NY Times article
lists its source as a member of YA, you claim your source is from YA. IF
Young America has all this evidence then let them come forward and make a
Otherwise, as with the other threads about YA's troubles and A-True's
decision not to sail, I suggest this thread full of "rumors" be closed,
until someone can come forward with some real and tangible proof.
CURMUDGEON'S COMMENT: I could not have said it more eloquently. This thread
is officially dead until we some more than rumors and allegations.
LOUIS VUITTON CUP
AUCKLAND, N.Z. -- Officially, New Zealand's TAB betting service - yes, they
really do bet on sailboat racing here - lists Stars & Stripes at 10-1,
behind Paul Cayard's AmericaOne from the St. Francis Yacht Club, 2.5-1;
Italy's Prada, 3.25-1; Japan's Nippon, 3.75-1, and Dawn Riley's America
True, 9-1, and ahead only of France's Le Defi, 12-1.
The new millennium that will make its world debut here next weekend heralds
a new order for many endeavors, including the America's Cup. Conner has
dominated sailing's premier event for two decades, often by his success and
always by his lightning-rod presence. But now he is 57, facing the
affliction of age shared by anyone who has been lucky enough to avoid the
alternative. Younger men now sail his boat, and when he returned to drive
it in the meaningless last race of Round Robin 3 this month, losing to
Spain, the day had the air of a farewell tour. Although he still races
smaller boats, Conner has completed the transition from competitor to
entrepreneur as far as the America's Cup is concerned.
Five other challengers died before the sun set on the old millennium and
four more have only two weeks to live. Although Stars & Stripes figures
among the four, the seas are littered with the wreckage of rivals who have
sold Conner short too soon. -- Rich Roberts, LA Times
Full story: http://sports.latimes.com/
CHICAGO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Corporate sponsorship by North American
companies will increase by 14 percent to $8.7 billion next year, according
to an annual survey by a Chicago research and consulting firm that tracks
Driving the increase are the U.S. economy's overall strength, the dollars
being directed toward the summer Olympics and America's Cup yacht race, IEG
Inc. said. Other factors include ``the mad rush to sponsorship'' by dot-com
companies, increased sponsorship by automakers and financial service firms,
and the premium prices paid for more exclusive, less-cluttered events, IEG
President Lisa Ukman said in a statement.
Sports properties will take the largest share of the sponsorship spending,
bringing in $5.92 billion, or 68 percent of the total, IEG said. Rounding
out the top five will be entertainment tours and attractions ($817
million); festivals, fairs and annual events ($740 million); causes ($700
million); and arts ($548 million), IEG said.
Worldwide sponsorship also will grow 14 percent next year to $22 billion,
the consulting firm said. European firms will spend $6.5 billion, Pacific
Rim firms $3.8 billion, Central and South American companies $1.8 billion.
Last year, the number of North American firms spending over $10 million on
sponsorships grew to 67 from 61, IEG said. The top-spending firm was
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. (NYSE:BUD - news) at $170 million-$175 million,
knocking Philip Morris Cos. Inc. (NYSE:MO - news), at $160 million to $165
million, from the top spot for the first time since the study was first
performed 16 years ago.
Rounding out the top five were: General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news) ($125
million-$130 million); and Coca Cola Co. (NYSE:KO - news) and PepsiCo Inc.
(NYSE:PEP - news) (each at $100 million-$104 million), IEG said.
Full story: http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/991227/n8.html
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
A friend is that rare person who asks how you are--then listens to your