SCUTTLEBUTT 1408 - September 5, 2003
Powered by SAIC (www.saic.com), an employee-owned company. Scuttlebutt is a
digest of major yacht racing news, commentary, opinions, features and dock
talk . . . with a North American focus. Corrections, contributions, press
releases, constructive criticism and contrasting viewpoints are always
welcome, but save your bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
US OLYMPIC PROGRAM - Fred Hagedorn
I am pleased that commentaries like Paul Cayard's generate interest and
commitment to our US Sailing Teams. As Chairman of the Olympic Sailing
Committee (OSC) - tasked with supporting and developing those teams.
The Ted Stevens' Sports Act of 1998 tasked each National Governing Body
(NGB) to not only field international teams with the US Olympic Committee
(USOC), but also to develop the overall sport (grass roots, recreation, as
well as international competitive activities). So, US Sailing is doing its
job when it looks at all aspects of our sport and attempts to service them
for the benefit of our sailors and our nation, in accordance with Federal Law.
Further, US Sailing has done something unique, it has tasked one committee
with the responsibility to develop our International Teams, and rather than
risking siphoning-off any of the funds from the USOC that support our
international mission, US Sailing directs that the funds from the USOC may
only be used by the OSC for the benefit of our aspiring athletes.
True, our performance in the last two Olympiads has not equaled our
overwhelming success in 1992. The biggest change is that many countries
have decided at a national level to support Olympic Sport and to especially
focus on Sailing. It is very difficult for our athletes to compete with
sailors who receive a stipend to support their personal expenses as well as
support for most or all of their campaign expenses.
Our model of providing some financial support from the USOC/US Sailing OSC
coupled with personal fundraising by our athletes was extremely successful
for many decades. The difference is that since 1992, many of the other
nations have changed the rules, and our amateurs are competing against well
What are we doing to reverse this trend? First, we have initiated a direct
mail campaign to raise funds to support the OSC's programs. Second, we are
beginning a capital campaign to raise funds for an endowment to provide
on-going support to the OSC and to further expand its programs for youth
development and experience building.
We will continue to lead a transformation of our current reality. We will
also continue to steer the conversation away from the politics of what
organization is best designed to support which participants in our sport,
and back to a focus on our athletes. Enlisting every sailor in the USA to
assist our best sailors in achieving their dreams of Olympic/ Paralympic
Medals and of hearing our National Anthem at the moment of their glory for
themselves and for our country! - Fred H Hagedorn, Chair, US Sailing
Olympic Sailing Committee, http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/
THE OLYMPIC CLASSES
(Olympic gold medallist Bruce Kendall from New Zealand has written a
comprehensive piece about the classes chosen for the Olympic Games, the
means of selection, and the future of windsurfing at this level. That
entire piece is now posted on the Scuttlebutt website and here are a few
excerpts to whet your appetite.)
Yachting is like motor sport. Just as motor sport has many forms of
competition and skill requirements, so does sailing. Optimists are like
Carts, Formula 60 Trimarans are like Formula 1, windsurfing is like bike
racing and so the comparisons may continue.
In my opinion, the Olympic Sailing event should continue to try to show the
range of craft our sport has to offer and offer our sport to the widest
range of people and nations possible. The Olympic Classes need to be able
to sail well in an extremely wide range of conditions, with the emphasis
being on safety, tactics, affordability, spectator-friendliness and, of
course, their being appealing to current and new sailors who may sail them.
The current Olympic Classes more or less achieve these aims. There are some
comments to be made…
- It seems strange there is no keelboat for men with a spinnaker when
this is the most common form of yacht racing in the world.
- The only spectator and media friendly Olympic Sailing event was match
racing and this was dropped after the 2000 Olympics.
- Although the men's double handed and single-handed sailing classes do
attract different size people there are double ups in this form of competition.
- Some of the classes are so difficult to sail in above 25 knots that the
boat hard stand area looks more like a smash up derby. Unseaworthy
equipment can be dangerous, expensive and complicated for the sailors and
- The ergonomics of sailing some of the classes is severely damaging to
- Foot straps on some of the classes can break feet or ankles if the
sailor falls off and stays in the straps. Incorrect training for the
Mistral class can also have adverse physical results… Most of the Mistral
sailors' physical problems are a result of incorrect cross training.
Incorrect participation in any physical performance sport can have negative
The Mistral One Design Class may not look like most of the boards seen on
the beach, but it is arguably the most sea worthy class and the third
fastest in the Olympic Games. It should be noted that the large majority of
windsurfers do not ever officially compete and only want to reach backwards
and forwards at high speed. The current Mistral Olympic Class Equipment has
an excellent pedigree from the professional racing circuit. At considerable
cost, it has been through many years of careful evolution to improve
durability and uniformity in performance. The shear volume of equipment on
the water and its performance in a wide range of conditions has proven to
most who have tried the alternatives that it is still the best equipment
for the Olympic Games Windsurfing Event. - Bruce Kendall, full article:
HIKE YOUR PANTS OFF
From Strap-ons to Droop Suits, APS has all your hard-core sailing action
needs. From the U.S.' West Coast to the Aussie's South Coast, we've gone
global and brought in the best selection of hiking pants available. From
Europes, Ynglings, and Lasers to Stars and beyond, Annapolis Performance
Sailing can fit you with brands like Camet, Gul, Sailing Angles,
Queensport, and SEA (Sail Equipment Australia). Sailing in warmer climates?
Check out Airprene, new, innovative breathable neoprene. For fitting over a
drysuit, check out the strap-on style. Start hiking harder, faster and
longer. Browse APS' selection... http://www.apsltd.com/depts/dept3290.asp
(On September 7th, seventy Mini 6.50 Meter Class Yachts (21' in length),
each sailed by only one person, depart La Rochelle, France in a highly
competitive 4,500 mile (2,812.5 km) to the Canary Islands, and then on to
the finish line in Brazil. Some of Europe's best and brightest
single-handed sailors will be on the starting line along with a notable
newcomer to this kind of sailing, Jonathan McKee. Jonathan sat down with
McLube recently and answered a few questions. Here's an excerpt from a
story posted on the Harken website.)
McLube: What first attracted you to single-handed ocean racing after you've
achieved so much in the high performance one-design and Olympic class arena?
Jonathan McKee: It's a part of sailing I have been interested in for some
time. I love that the challenge is so direct. It's multi-faceted but also
very simple at its core. When I first saw photos of the Minis, I knew I
wanted to do that some day.
McLube: What safety gear and precautions do you have on board Team McLube?
McKee: Obviously safety is one of my biggest concerns. The class rules
require a vast array of safety gear, from life raft to EPIRB, to an
unsinkable hull, so you have a very seaworthy and safe platform to begin
with. In addition I carry an "active echo" device which is very helpful in
avoiding ships at sea. But the real key to safety is your attitude. You
have to slow down and make sure you don't put yourself in any compromising
positions, and make sure you are clipped on in rough weather. Keeping from
getting too fatigued is another key, because you tend to make mistakes when
you get too tired.
McLube: Is it fair to assume that the Mini Transat is the farm system for
single-handed sailing? Does this mean you are interested in possibly
competing in the Vendee Globe or some other major single-handed event?
McKee: I am sailing the Mini as a self contained campaign. So far I have
enjoyed this type of sailing, so I would certainly be open to other
opportunities going forward, but at this point I don't have a particular
race in mind as my next target. I also enjoy double-handed ocean races, so
if the opportunity arose to sail a double-handed ocean race on an Open 60
or something, it would be very tempting! - Full story:
* Today, by 6:00 AM EDT, AC Management will publish on their website the
new shorter 'short list' of cities to host the next America's Cup. The five
cities under consideration - Lisbon (POR), Marseille (FRA), Naples (ITA),
Palma de Mallorca (ESP) and Valencia (ESP) - have been providing detailed
information to AC Management since June. Additionally, representatives from
all five cities traveled individually to Geneva to make final oral
presentations to AC Management. http://www.americascup.com/index_en.php
* Selected standings after the first race of the Star European
Championship in Cascais, Portugal (63 boats): 1. Mark Neeleman/ Peter Van
Niekerk, NED; 2. Michael Koch/ Markus Koy, GER; 3. Roberto Benamati/
Filippo Domenicali, ITA; 4. Peter Bromby/ Martin Siese, BER; 5. Nicklas
Holm/ Llaus Olesen, DEN; 7. Torben Grael/ Marcelo Ferreira, BRA; 10. Iain
Percy/ Steve Mitchell, GBR; 11. Fredrik Loof/ Anders Ekstrom, SWE; 14. Mark
Reynolds/ Magnus Liljedahl, USA; 17. Ross Macdonald/ Kai Bsorn, CAN; 19.
Rick Merriman/ Bill Bennett, USA
Event website: http://www.stareuro2003.com/Home_Event.asp
* North Sails has partnered with Chris Bedford and Sailing Weather
Services to provide free weather forecasts for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup,
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Daily forecasts will
include a weather synopsis of the region, current conditions, hedge, a
detailed wind forecast for the day and an outlook for the following day. If
you would like to receive these forecasts via email, visit North's online
Weather Center at: http://na.northsails.com/ew/EW_main.taf
* Although Hurricane Fabian has not yet moved from its position close to
Bermuda, its projected path has moved east, providing a window of
opportunity for the eight boats of the Clipper 2002 Race fleet to leave New
York. It is planned that the fleet will move to Halifax, from where they
will start Race 15 to the Channel Island of Jersey. The movement of the
hurricane will be the determining factor in selecting the revised start
date for this leg. www.clipper-ventures.com
* Southern Yacht Club ended a nine-year drought with a convincing victory
at the Gulf Yachting Association Lipton Championship held at Pass Christian
YC. Raced in Flying Scots, the event held every Labor Day Weekend, brings
25 plus yacht clubs together annually. Skippers Johnny Lovell, Dwight
LeBlanc, III, Scotty Sonnier and Cardwell Potts scored finishes of 2-1-1-3
respectively to keep the hard-charging Bay-Waveland YC team securely in
second place. The defending champs, PCYC, finished third and a determined
Houston YC team took fourth. Shelby Friedrichs captained the SYC team.
GPS SPEED ON YOUR WRIST FOR $250.00!
That's right, via a highly accurate GPS receiver, this wrist watch provides
real-time performance data by measuring speed and distance. It has a
built-in racing countdown timer, plus all standard watch features. Same
size as normal runners' watches. 12-hour receiver battery life between
charges. Really cool! Come take a look at:
Those who still fondly remember the days when the America's Cup was raced
in 12 Meter boats in Newport will enjoy looking at some excellent photos
taken at the recent 12 Meter Regatta at Nantucket YC:
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 nor a
bulletin board - you only get one letter per subject, so give it your best
shot and don't whine if others disagree.)
* From Roger Jolly: R.C. Keefe is correct, Olympic Yachting does not
exist. That's why it's officially called Olympic Sailing. Yachting is for
the wealthy - sailing is for the rest of us. And yes, in Olympic class
sailing you must be fit, not unlike a gymnast. Isn't that the way it should be?
* From Craig Coulsen (re the comments by Roy Sherman - edited to our
250-word limit): While some race committees fear that they will lose
numbers if the rules (particularly rating and safety rules) are enforced
the opposite is also true in that whenever I as a long time owner I have
thoughts of leaving the sport, it is because I sick and tired of competing
against cheats and dealing with race committees to weak to enforce simple
rules. The prevailing attitude seems to be that, "why should I comply with
the rules if nobody will check and it will make the boat faster". (Why do
people think that removing the floorboards, ice box lids, cabin doors,
toilets and the like is permissible after measurement?)
When you suggest to someone that their boat is not in measurement trim for
instance the retort is always "are you saying I am cheating". A person who
knows exactly what the measurement trim is and has abided by the rule yet
made his or her boat faster is not a cheat ,it just means they took a few
hours the actually read the rule book.
Lets be clear about this it up to owners and race committees to together to
solve this problem and each can't just blame the other.People lose faith in
rules whether it be IMS, IRC, PHS or even one design if it leads to what is
considered to be unfair results and any rule system will lead to unfair
results if not all the boats are playing is accordance with the rule.
* From Ross Bateson: My first reaction to Paul Cayard's upset at the US
funding situation was unsympathetic. As one of the world's richest sailors,
one might have thought he would be the last person to begrudge Iain Percy
and Steve Mitchell their sponsorship funding from Skandia. The pair do a
lot of corporate work for it after all, as witnessed in Cowes Week.
However, after looking at the 'fundraising' section on the US Sailing
website I'm inclined to agree that the support isn't really there for
would-be campaigners. The guide essentially details a lengthy list of logos
and slogans that campaigners will be sued for using, rather than handing
out, as I had expected, some handy tidbits on how to raise sponsorship.
* From Adrian Morgan, UK: There's many a slip twixt lip and cup. Doing
well in a pre-Olympics does not guarantee medals at the games. Having said
that, team GBR has built up to its current state of excellence through
years of slow progress and dashed hopes - starting from 1984 when the medal
haul was disappointing compared to the promise of the pre-Olympics. So,
there's hope for other countries yet. It won't be a GBR whitewash, in other
* From Russ Lenarz: I believe that Mike Wathen (scuttlebutt #1402) makes
some very valid comments as to why it is not necessary for PROs to tutor
competitors at the start of any race. First, the Racing Rules of Sailing
are very clear on the issue of being over early and other related issues.
Not only is it the responsibility of the PRO and RC to ensure that there is
a fair start, but it is also their responsibility to ensure that the course
remains fair as well. There have been many occasions where a race is
abandoned during the start sequence due to a major wind shift etc. If the
PRO is busy coaching competitors at the start, He or She may not be able to
react quickly to other issues that could have a negative outcome for the race.
Although there is nothing in the rules that prohibits PROs from making
comments to competitors during the start sequence. They are also not
obligated to do so either. It is also the responsibility of the competitors
to be aware of where they are during the start sequence and make
appropriate decisions if they are in a position that could prove to be in
error on their part.
* From Mike Vining: Ken Legler's remarks are on the mark. I too have seen a
movement to talking and moving signal boats. As a competitor, I know it's
better and I encourage it. It's more work for the PRO, but you didn't take
the job because it was easy, right!?
At Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland a Club PRO a few years ago insisted
that we install anchor wind-lass's on all the club signal boats. It has
turned out to be a great idea. Now "up anchor" doesn't tire out any of the
support crew. Further when there is a minor wind shift, squaring up the
line is a breeze! I think some of the less savvy competitors never even
notice that the end of the line that was favored at 10 minutes is square at
The use of the "Ollie" computerized sound signals box has also helped our
PRO's. These days our PRO's heads are "out of the boat" and on the course
because of these two inexpensive technology improvements. More clubs should
consider their use. Better living through technology!
* From Liza Hughes (Regarding the letter from Eric Matus and his
suggestion that US Sailing extend our efforts into the camp community): I
would like to let Mr. Matus know that we have already forged into the camp
system in order to introduce more youth to the sport of sailing. Two years
ago, US Sailing joined the National Recreation and Parks Association to
form a new sailing program, Sailing Smart, which was developed with the
specific needs of the camp community and park and recreation facilities in
mind. Many camps nationwide are teaching campers how to sail using this
publication. In addition, we also offer a Sailing Counselor training course
designed to prepare camp counselors and staff from community sailing and
scouting programs to supervise small boat recreational sailing activities.
I would be happy to answer questions about any of these programs at any
time, my email address is LizaHughes@ussailing.org.
These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter -I go
somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I'm here after.