SCUTTLEBUTT 1292 - March 24, 2003
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SETTING A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
Led by a working party of top international officials, the International
Judges Conference, being held this weekend in Southampton, England, will
set out to meet a number of objectives to ensure a level playing field.
First and foremost is the need to ensure the playing field is fair. The
interpretation, compliance, judging and policing of rule 42 (Propulsion)
has been inconsistent around the world, and in November 2002 ISAF committed
to address the rules, setting up a working party to tackle all of the
issues in a cohesive way. The first step in achieving the level playing
field was to ensure that Rule 42, as it currently is, is applied in the
same consistent manner across the world.
To achieve this ISAF initiated the International Judges Conference this
past weekend. The first day of the Conference will see the almost 60
delegates be educated in a consistent and accurate approach to the policing
of Rule 42. In turn the delegates have committed to continue the process of
education in their own countries and regions. To support the onwards
education, the delegates will be given the materials to communicate with
and educate judges, sailors and coaches, in essence a "Rule 42 Package",
which can be taught in one-day. The second step in addressing Rule 42 will
be to identify ways in which the rule can be improved. - Experts from a
story on the ISAF website, full story:
THE CUP GOES ON TOUR
The America's Cup trophy has gone on display at the Olympic Museum in
Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday on the first leg of a world tour, Alinghi
said on its Web site. The silver trophy has been on display in central
Geneva since March 8, when 40,000 people turned out to give the
multinational crew a heros' welcome on their return from Auckland, New Zealand.
The trophy will also be displayed in the Swiss cities of Lugano, Zurich,
Lucerne and capital Berne, Alinghi spokesman Bernard Schopfer told Reuters.
"After the Swiss tour, it will go on a world tour, with stops in Paris,
Milan, Tokyo, New York and London," Schopfer said. The cup is due to arrive
back at the Yacht Club of Geneva (Societe Nautique de Geneva), Alinghi's
base in late May, according to the Alinghi spokesman. - CNN.com/inside
sailing, full story:
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* Dennis Conner this weekend won his 4th NZ Etchells title in the ANZDL
National Championships run by Bucklands Beach Yacht Club off Eastern Beach.
Conner who is a member of the local Eastern fleet was able to win only one
race in the regatta however turned in a string of consistent performances
assisted by his crew Brisbane sailmaker Mark Bradford (placed 2nd in 2002
Worlds) and team NZ bowman Joey Allen to finish the clear leader on 19pts.
- Raewyn Bennett
* The date for the 2003 Protector Boats Ski/ Sail Nationals has been
changed to May 2-4 in Lake Tahoe, CA. Now in its tenth year, the nationals
combine a great sailboat regatta on beautiful Lake Tahoe with dual slalom
ski racing at Squaw Valley USA. Classes include Vanguard 15's, Lasers and
Melges 24's. For more information call Ralph Silverman at (775) 762-7245 or
view online : www.skisail.com
* One planned stopover of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was
Shanghai, China, but it just didn't work out. The fleet got close to
Shanghai, but berthing at the Metropolitan Marina Club fell through at the
last minute, and the fleet, after finishing a leg from Tokyo, was told to
anchor at an island group some 50 miles southwest of the entrance to the
Yangtzee. The fleet of eight boats is now on leg 3 of a circumnavigation
that will end in Liverpool, England in late September. - Sail magazine
website, full story: www.sailmagazine.com/Boats/NewsOfTheDay/
Open 50 Everest Horizontal, skippered by Class 2 American Tim Kent, ghosted
into Salvador de Bahia under cover of night to cross the finish line at
03:03:58 GMT Saturday in second place for Leg 4 of Around Alone. Kent not
only notched up his third 2nd place finish in Around Alone, but also
achieved a life-long ambition in the process - to go from Great Lakes
sailor to veteran Cape Horner - his personal 'Everest Horizontal.' - Mary
Just over a day later, after 43 days at sea, Japanese skipper Kojiro
Shiraishi on Open 40 Spirit of yukoh crossed the finish line in Salvador,
Brazil at Sunday 5:02:17 GMT in 3rd place for leg 4 of Around Alone, and
"in perfect time for lunch!" as the skipper joked himself. "Last 24 hours,
very busy, no eat, no sleep!" Indeed, the weather was very squally with
thunder and lightning, and the Finot 40 sailed into view just after a huge
downpour had drifted off to sea. His boat looked spotless and Kojiro said
there was not much work to do. "Just a leak in the keel area to fix," he
This was the first time Kojiro and Spirit of yukoh have finished on the
podium and the pleasure was obvious on the skipper's face. His boat has
performed impressively in the Southern Ocean, tailing Tim Kent on the
bigger Open 50 Everest Horizontal most of the way round.
BTC Velocity sailed by Alan Paris was still 728 miles from the finish at
2200 GMT Sunday, while Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield is still in Ushuaia,
less than 80 miles away from Cape Horn, where his dismasted Open 40 Spirit
of Canada is being rebuilt to complete Leg 4.
Class 2 leader Brad Van Liew's Tommy Hilfiger has won all four of the legs
of the race. - Mary Ambler, www.aroundalone.com
KLOTZ WINS SNIPE PAN AM TRIALS
Chris and Antoinette Klotz from St. Petersburg, FL won the Snipe Class Pan
Am Trials this weekend in Clearwater, Florida. The regatta, plagued with
adverse weather, completed only three races. The competition was very
close, however, with the top four boats within 5 points of each other.
Check the website for a complete report. The weather forecast is terrific
for the Midwinters that starts today in Clearwater; the racing should be
spectacular. Then the class moves on to Miami, FL this coming weekend and
Nassau the following week. Need a real spring break? Sail Snipes.
LONG BEACH OCR
Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach, CA - Mo Hart and Meg Gaillard reinforced their
top rankings in the single-handed Finn and Europe classes, respectively,
with runaway victories in the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 43rd Olympic
Classes Regatta concluding Sunday, but they know it won't be as easy
getting to Athens next year. After winning 5 of 9 races, Hart dropped out
of the last race after a pre-start collision with the veteran Henry Sprague
of Long Beach. Final results were delayed until their two-way protest was
resolved by the race jury in Hart's favor.
Only one boat in each class qualifies for the Olympics. While Hart, 27, and
Gaillard, 29, remain favorites in their groups, competition in the 49er
skiffs took another hitch in pressure when Dalton Bergan and crew Zack
Maxam of Coronado, Calif. won the last three races in light to moderate
breeze to overhaul frontrunners David Fagen, St. Petersburg, Fla., and crew
Bora Gulari, Detroit, at 28 points each.
They almost had to flip a coin to determine the winner. After 15 races over
three days, each team had the same number of first, second, third and
fourth places, so the tiebreaker was Bergan's fifth place in Race 3, which
he actually discarded as one of his two throwouts. "Amazing," winning
skipper Bergan, 25, said. "I thought this would be one of the regattas
where everybody fell into a pecking order." - Rich Roberts,
There are 130 boats in six classes sailing on three Olympic-style courses.
Class winners - Europe (20 boats): Meg Gaillard, Finn (11): Dalton Bergan/
Zack Maxam, Laser (43) Mike Leigh, Laser Radial (28) Parker Shinn, Star
(10): Mike Dorgan/ Eric Weintraub, Snipe (9) Rick Arneson/ Gus Wirth. -
Complete results: www.abyc.org
US SAILING CHAMPIONSHIP REGATTAS
Mallory Cup (Men's Sailing Championship) Lake Norman Yacht Club, Charlotte,
N.C., Highlander, October 20-25.
Adams Trophy (Women's Sailing Championship) Lake Norman Yacht Club,
Charlotte, N.C., Flying Scot, October 20-25.
Alter Cup (Multihull Championship) Clearwater Community Sailing Center,
Clearwater, Fla., Binmare Javelin with spinnaker, April 5-11.
O'Day Trophy (Singlehanded Championship) Oklahoma City Yacht Club, Oklahoma
City, Okla., Laser, August 6-10.
Prince of Wales Bowl (Match Racing Championship) Bayview Yacht Club,
Detroit, Mich., Ultimate 20, September 2-6.
Bengt Julin Trophy (Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship)
Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, Md., J/22, September 27-October 3.
Hinman Trophy (Team Racing Championship) St. Francis Yacht Club, San
Francisco, Calif., Vanguard 15, August 22-24.
Phoenix Trophy (Offshore Championship) Naval Academy Sailing Squadron,
Annapolis, Md., Navy 44, October 31-November 2.
Adams Trophy (Women's Match Racing Championship) Southern Yacht Club, New
Orleans, LA, J/22, November 13-16. - http://www.ussailing.org/championships
Jack Brown Trophy (Championship of Champions) Lake Geneva Yacht Club,
Fontana, Wis., MC Scow, September 24-27.
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LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Letters selected for publication must include the writer's name and may be
edited for clarity or space - 250 words max. This is not a chat room or a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Mark Gaudio: Why must we dilute ourselves into thinking for a
moment that either a 'handicap' or 'box rule' in Grand prix yachting really
makes any difference in the least. By bashing the handicap system in favor
for the latter you are lining the pockets of many. How would the Dali Lama
respond you ask? Wax on, wax off. What your attempting to do is get one
step closer to the Holy Grail, that is infamously referred to as 'one
design'. If it's an edge you seek it must be earned, not purchased. There
is no better yachting, all the rest is moderately competitive sailing at
best. Think about it.
* From Adrian Morgan: The paraphernalia that accompanies top level yacht
racing, the committee boats, the jury, the protest rooms, the safety boats,
the race officers, the starting team, the media liaison has become so top
heavy as to swamp the essential purpose of the sport: sending a fleet
around a few buoys and having fun trying to finish first.
Let's not forget that, almost uniquely, sailing is a pastime as well as a
sport. A boat, unlike a pair of skis, hang glider or a bobsleigh can be
slept on. It is a self-sufficient little microcosm where self-reliance is
the name of the game. More people cruise than race. And crucially a
cruising boat has more reason to be fast and efficiently sailed than a
racing boat. There's a tide to catch, a headland to round and the pub's
closing in half an hour. Now that's a race.
* From Reynald Neron: In his message, Murray Spence regrets that the CYCA
has restricted the entry of (I quote) "exciting yachts" for the Sydney -
Hobart. (In his words, "exciting" means damn, big, damn fast, and damn
expensive!). I would like to point out that the CYCA actually increased the
maximum rating, from 1.60 to 1.61, therefore increasing the capabilities of
Also, increasing the size (and cheque books) of the boats is not helping in
making the race more popular for the rest of the fleet. If focus is so big
on the 2 or 3 boats able to win the line honour trophy, why does the rest
of the fleet really bother? This is probably why we see a decrease of the
fleet in the last few years. While Alfa Romeo changed her bulb after the
race (at what cost?), some owners could not pay for the insurance for their
yachts, but still enjoyed the race.
* From Larry Parrotta (edited to our 250-word limit): The ISAF has
decided what the final qualification standards are for the ISAF "World"
Championship. Four berths decided by being on the US Sailing Team with
other invitations based on past performance but including the 2003 Olympic
Classes Regatta, 2002 & 2003 Pre-Olympic Regatta's, three other World
Championships, other significant 2002 and 2003 Regattas etc... Unless you
sail in most of the major Regattas, you don't have a chance to go to the
According to the Star Class Rules, the primary method of qualifying for the
World Championship is through the local Fleet. If a Fleet has eight active
boats, they can send a boat to the Worlds. We also hold our past World
champions in high esteem and award them a lifetime right to enter any World
Championship. This practice helps to build Fleets and retain people.
This system has worked since the beginning of the Class. When a World's
Championship is held in Europe, there are a large number of European
participants. When it is held in the United States, the reverse is true.
The World Championship is part of every Star Fleet, not some distant,
unattainable event. The actions of ISAF and the Star Class President have
made a mockery of the rules and history of the Star Class. This year, there
will be no Gold Star awarded in Cadiz, the winner of the event won't get
their name on the World Championship Trophy - the winner will jump through
these hoops for what?
* From Bob Knowles: While I applaud the sentiments of Olin Stephens and
Tom Donlan, methinks the genie is already out of the bottle. With Cup
campaign costs in the $80-100 million range, even the Ernestos and Larrys
of the world have to look to outside funding sources to provide extra bucks
and those sources are going to want and need logos splashed everywhere so
the inevitable TV cameras can beam them around the globe.
What is infecting our sport is what I like to call "spectatoritis" It's
already ruined most other sports and it's cause is the steady decline in
the number of people who actually want to play a sport, but would rather
just sit and watch it! Grossly overweight couch potatoe kids are exhibit A.
Sadly, those who just sit and watch want to watch "pros", highly paid
roving "rock stars" who bounce from team to team. Hence, the end to the
nation against nation tradition in the AC. Why go on; it's there for
everyone to see for themselves.
It puts all of us in a kind of catch 22. We whine & moan in 'butt about OLN
& ESPN's not giving us what we want in AC coverage and at the same time
whine & moan about the decline in numbers in our sport and ask why there
aren't more people out in boats. Can we have it both ways? You can find me
on my boat, enjoying a cold one, bereft of a TV and enjoying the quiet.
* From Jesse Falsone: In reference to Tom Donlan's condemnation of
sponsorship in sailing, there exists smaller, less visible beneficiaries of
corporate sponsorship (compared with the AC, Volvo, etc) in our sport which
everyone should consider before accepting a blanket statement. Many
strictly amateur sailors, both in one-design dinghies and keelboats, attend
large regattas with the direct help of sponsorship dollars.
For instance, the 1998-2001 505 World Championships were all sponsored by
major overseas shipping companies. The greatly reduced rates afforded by
these sponsors made attendance at these regattas possible for many
competitors. Similar sponsorship deals that allowed the reduction of costs,
either through the direct infusion of sponsor services or cash, has made
participation possible on a larger scale for numerous other events
throughout the last decade - ask competitors in any ISAF class.
Additionally, some companies also see value in directly sponsoring sailing
teams, and to a large extent, the branding those companies receive in
return is minimal. They do it for other reasons more in line with boosting
company morale and internal image. How many Olympic dreams have come true
because of corporate sponsorship? Finally, I think most of us have
benefited from regatta sponsors and suppliers in some way, even if just in
the form of a free T-shirt or rum & coke.
* From Ralph Taylor: I have to take mild issue with Robbie Doyle's "One
additional thought: (US Sailing's newly nominated president) Janet Baxter
with her broad based experience I am confident will be ideally suited to
address such matters extremely well."
I sure hope not. To the extent that Ms. Baxter gets tied up with the
propulsion issue, she won't be able to address that many other problems
that US Sailing has. Problems like the relationship with USOC, finances,
the flat or declining membership of the organization, and the need to serve
the cruising members. Besides, that's what we have rules people, including
a whole committee plus an army of judges and race officers, for.
My only horse in this race is to keep sailing a sport that continues to
attract people with a wide range of physical abilities. That, it seems to
me, requires different approaches to the propulsion issue.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
The four stages of life: 1) You believe in Santa Claus; 2) You don't
believe in Santa Claus; 3) You are Santa Claus; 4) You look like Santa Claus.