SCUTTLEBUTT 1542 - March 18, 2004
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Auckland, New Zealand - Sporting bodies will be nervously checking their
selection policies after a landmark decision of the new Sports Disputes
Tribunal yesterday. The tribunal upheld two appeals against Yachting New
Zealand's Olympic nominations procedure, opening the possibility of three
sailors losing their chance to compete at Athens in August. The ruling has
wide implications for New Zealand sports administration, raising the
spectre of disgruntled athletes challenging their national bodies' ability
to make binding selection decisions.
Yachting NZ chief executive Simon Wickham said he had received calls from
colleagues in other sports curious to know the tribunal's finding and how
they had been reached. "They are obviously very concerned about the ability
of their selectors to exercise judgment and to make decisions based on
their own selection policies," he said. "Maybe this is the difference
between how sporting minds work and how legal minds work, and I'm certain
there'll be a lot of nervous sports out there at the moment."
In its first decision the tribunal has found in favour of Laser sailor
Andrew Murdoch and 470 class pair Simon Cooke and Alastair Gair, who had
challenged Yachting NZ's nominations of Team New Zealand tactician Hamish
Pepper, and Andrew Brown and Jamie Hunt, the winners of January's Olympic
trials. The tribunal found that Yachting NZ had insufficient evidence that
its nominated sailors could meet one of its new criteria for Olympic
selection - their ability to finish in the top 10. The decisions are final
and binding. - Excerpts from a story by NZ Herald chief sports writer David
Laggat, Full story: http://tinyurl.com/2skos
Major New Zealand sports are confident they will not face the same appeals
that have stung Yachting New Zealand. That view is shared by the National
Olympic Committee, which does not expect an avalanche of appeals following
yesterday's ruling from the Sports Disputes Tribunal in favour of two
yachting crews. Swimming New Zealand and Cycling New Zealand, challenged by
Toni Jeffs and Graeme Miller respectively over selections for the Sydney
2000 Olympics, have moved to close any selection loopholes. - Terry
Maddaford, NZ Herald, full story: http://tinyurl.com/3e4vz
HOLY COW - SET UP MORE CHAIRS!
On next April 8th, it are not less than 26 applicants who will be in the
"Palau de Congresos" of Valencia for the first meeting of interested teams
for the 32nd Defense (of the America's Cup). During the meeting, ACM will
release details about the marketing plan for the event, the services that
will be provided to the teams, and the challenger bases to be located in
the new AC Village," El Bacon de Mar". The validity of any of these teams
must be relativized (an "interested team" doesn't necessarily become a
competitor), but this figure is in itself a good surprise. - Cup in Europe
website, full story: http://www.cupineurope.com/LatestNews/Orga8.htm
DEPTH/TEMP SMARTDUCER AND OCKAM INTERFACE
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http://www.ockam.com or http://www.ockameurope.com
Has your sailing organization ever hosted a U.S. National Championship?
Would you like your members and people in your area to see America's best
in action? US Sailing is currently accepting bids from clubs around the
country to host U.S. National Championships for 2005-2007. Available
Championships include junior, women's, men's, and multihull events. Some
Championships have a set rotation through areas of the country, while
others seek the best site available. If you think your sailing organization
could host a U.S. National Championship, find out which Championships are
still looking for a host club and get information on how to apply. -
FOR THE RECORD
* A day of consistent northwesterly winds has finally powered American
skipper Steve Fossett and his international crew of 12 aboard the 125'
maxi-catamaran Cheyenne past Cape Horn on their Round The World Sailing
record attempt. The world's largest racing catamaran crossed the longitude
of the Cape Horn lighthouse (67-17W long) at 2126 GMT Wednesday - 39 days
16 hours and 16 minutes after their start in France on February 7th, the
fastest RTW crew yet to this milestone - and 2-1/2 days ahead of the world
record holder's pace. Having already sailed more than 18,000 miles, Fossett
and his team now face at least 7500 further miles before they reach their
official RTW starting point at the French island of Ouessant, where their
target is the current world record of 64 days, 8 hours, 37 mins, 24
seconds, set by Bruno Peyron (FRA) in 2002 aboard the 110' maxicatamaran
Orange I. . - http://www.fossettchallenge.com
* Since midday Tuesday, the 11-man crew of the Cap Gemini and Schneider
Electric trimaran have finally been able to see the sky after three days of
fog. But as soon as the fog lifted, the temperature fell rapidly to zero,
as the first iceberg was sighted. "What sends shivers down your spine even
more than usual is that as soon as visibility returns, you spot an iceberg.
So how many bergs did we sail through in the past two days," muses one of
the watch captains. As the convergence moves slowly south, so does
Geronimo, but always staying the positive side of freezing point (between 2
and 4 degrees Celsius). Day 20 ended with over 520 nautical miles
point-to-point and was the 4th day that the trimaran has clocked up over
500 miles since entering the Southern Ocean. In the first twelve hours of
Wednesday, her point-to-point average was over 22 knots. She is now 800
nautical miles ahead of the record. - http://www.trimaran-geronimo.com
QUOTE / UNQUOTE - Kevin Hall
"I learned in my '96 Laser campaign that it's not just about time on the
water, but about high-quality, goal-specific time. My primary goals in the
gym were endurance and injury prevention. I might have gone fewer times
than other guys, but when I was there I worked with a trainer and busted
ass." - Kevin Hall will compete in his first Olympics at the 2004 Games in
Athens, representing the USA in the Finn.
FASTEST SAILS ON THE PLANET, PERIOD!
Congratulations to Bob Lane's "Medicine Man" for finishing first in class
and first in fleet in the 2004 San Diego to Manzanillo Race. In the W.D.
Schock Memorial Regatta, David Voss's "Piranha" won the Schock 35 class,
and Ullman Sails finished 1st through 5th in class. Mark Gaudio and John
Papadopoulos won the Lido 14 "A" fleet, with Ullman Sails again sweeping
1st through 3rd positions. The one common thread these winners have is
Ullman Sails. If you're ready for "The Fastest Sails on the Planet," visit
them at http://www.ullmansails.com
* The World Sailing Speed Record (WSSR) Council has ratified the Round the
World, non stop, singlehanded, westabout record of 122 days 14 hours 3
minutes 49 seconds (average speed: 7.43 kts) set by Jean-Luc Van Den
Heede's yacht Adrien from November 7, 2003 to March 9, 2004.
* World Champion Tito Gonzalez of Santiago Chile sailing with his
16-year-old son Diego and Fernando Gallyas topped the 48 boat fleet in the
second leg of the Lightning Southern Circuit, the Miami Midwinter Regatta
at Coral Reef Yacht Club. Second was Thomas Allen, Jr, John Humphrey & Bill
Pictor (Kenmore NY); 3rd Steve Hayden, Barr Batzer & David Hood (Lake Mary
FL). The Circuit continues at St. Petersburg Yacht Club Thursday through
Sunday. Complete results:
* More than 95 J22s have registered to compete in LandRover/ Jaguar of
Annapolis Worlds Annapolis, MD on May 17-21, 2004. Competitors from 18
states, and Italy, Canada, Cayman Islands, France, Netherlands and Ireland
will vie for the J22 World Championship title, hosted by the Annapolis
Yacht Club. Until this year, the largest J22 Worlds was in Holland, with
record 92 boats in the 2000. - www.j22.org/worlds
* The Preliminary Notice of Race for the Mini Class US Inaugural 2004
Boston-Bermuda-Boston (3B) Mini Race is now online. The first leg of this
two-legged double-handed race is from Boston Harbor, MA, USA to a finish
line off of St.George's Harbor, Bermuda. The second leg will be sailed from
St. George's Harbor, Bermuda to a finish line in Boston Harbor, MA, USA.
Mini Class US is the governing body of 6.5 meter (Mini Boat ) sailing in
the United States.
* Hall Spars & Rigging will build the masts for ABN-AMRO, the Volvo Ocean
Race team based in the Netherlands and spearheaded by Roy Heiner. Hall
Spars & Rigging has begun initial engineering studies with the team's yacht
designer, Juan Kouyoumdjian. Hall's engineering team is analyzing the
potential of the new Volvo 70 rule, which includes the addition of a
canting keel and the use of "non-metallic" rigging. Canting-keel boats with
Hall masts include the R/P MaxZ86s Pyewacket and Morning Glory, plus the
West-Coast-based Andrews 80, Magnitude.
* Sponsorship Consulting Ltd (London, England) has been appointed by
international long-term savings company Skandia to handle public relations
activity for Skandia's Set Sail sponsorship portfolio. They will be
responsible for PR coordination, planning and implementation across a
number of properties including Skandia Cowes Week, GB Olympic sailors Iain
Percy and Steve Mitchell, as well as a number of youth sailing and grass
roots initiatives. Sponsorship Consulting will also work closely with Ellen
MacArthur's specialist sailing company, Offshore Challenges, to leverage
lifestyle PR for Skandia sponsored sailors Nick Moloney and Sam Davies.
* Berthon Boat Company has finished painting the last of 12 72ft Global
Challenge race yachts. Berthon was awarded the £500,000 contract last
summer with a package of work which included repainting the hull and decks
of the identical, steel ocean racing yachts. The total refit project is due
for completion in May, when all 12 yachts will sail from Plymouth to St
Katharine Docks in the heart of London for a week of corporate activity.
MATCH RACING RANKING
The latest ISAF match race rankings have been released and Karol Jablonski
is showing that, after two years at the top, he is still a force to be
reckoned with. The top six of the open rankings show little change in terms
of places. All of the top six skippers in the rankings table have now
completed a full eight events, except for James Spithill, who has only
completed six graded events in the last two years.
Since the last rankings were issued on January 15 there has been no change
in the top six of the woman's ranking - Marie Bjorling still leads from her
fellow Swedish competitor and current ISAF Women's Match Racing World
Champion Malin Millbourn. Liz Baylis (#5) is the top ranked North American
followed by Betsy Alison (#8) and Paula Lewin (#9).
Open rankings leaders: 1. Karol Jablonski (POL); 2. Jesper Radich (DEN); 3.
Ed Baird (USA) 3. Mathieu Richard (FRA); 5. James Spithill (AUS). -
Complete rankings: www.sailing.org
QUOTE / UNQUOTE
In all sailing across the board fitness is becoming more and more
important, as the sport becomes more competitive and we need every little
edge. The Tour is a long event, which takes its toll, and fitness is a big
issue. The team will all run a fitness program to prepare themselves for
it. As for me I try to do at least 2hrs in the gym every day. - Rob
Greenhalgh, 18ft Skiff and I-14 World Champion talking about his Tour Voile
(Mumm 30) campaign on the Bang the Corner website.
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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 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 George Sutherland: For reasons that escape me, it appears that many
US Sailing volunteers are fighting hard to keep IRC from getting a foothold
here in the US … in spite of its growing popularity in the rest of the
I think most reasonable people see the advantages of having a measurement
handicap alternative to PHRF, but the overwhelming consensus among US
handicap racers is that Americap is seriously flawed. So US Sailing has now
offered to administer the IRC rule, but for some reason the organization's
volunteers seem to be fighting that decision.
IMS never really got off the ground here in the US, and Americap's
popularity seems to be limited to race organizers. If IRC is a bad rule, it
will fail … but shouldn't we give it a chance? St. Francis YC will be using
IRC at its Big Boat Series this year and I'll bet there are other clubs
that would also like to try it out. Isn't that what the free marketplace is
* From Scott Corder: I am appalled by the deteriorating logic of those who
claim that crew weight limits are adversely affecting the sport. Is their
argument now that weight limits are solely responsible for a decline in
dinghy sailing- and a rise in sport boat participation?
Any trends in this sport have always been the result of much broader
factors than the weight of the crew. The economy, design innovations, local
demographics, lifestyle changes, availability of crew, a desire to sail
alone, and even the age or physical abilities of a sailor are just a few
examples. Every sailor I know has faced one or more of these issues at
least once in their career. The truth is that many, if not most, sailors
dabble in several styles of sailing over their lifetimes (and often at the
same time!). Life changes - and fortunately there is almost always a design
that fits what life has handed you! There are so many designs, classes,
fleets and venues open to sailors these days, any sensible sailor can
easily find a pursuit to satisfy their personal desires on any given day.
The bottom line is that intelligent choices made by those who enjoy sailing
have always driven and will continue to drive the success of the sport. If
you don't like the consensus within your Class, then make an intelligent
choice: find a different boat (or two or three?) that works for you, and go
* From Iain Smith: Calling on all true Americas Cup devotees past
competitors and anyone with any sense of history and sportsmanship, don't
go to the Americas Cup HoF until Ben Lexen gets a gong! Heartily agree with
Rob Mundle. Congrats to Brad Butterworth - 2 now out of the 5 who should be in.
* From Adrian Morgan, Scotland: America's Cup Hall of Fame indeed. An elite
club whose selection committee have the privilege of black balling those
they feel aren't worthy of being inducted. I reckon Ben Lexcen would be
chuckling in his grave to know he was still causing waves 20 years after
his Australia II so brilliantly prized the cup from the NYYC. And he
probably wouldn't care if he was indicted or not (or should that be inducted?).
* From Ken Guyer: While I agree that Ben Lexcen is a candidate for the
America's Cup Hall of Fame, it is interesting the latest thread crying for
his induction now include an accusation that "one man" is holding up his
placement in the hall. Just who is it that is currently in should not be in
the Hall of Fame? I cannot see one person on the selection committee that
would be able to stop Lexcen's induction, after all it is a committee vote.
I am sure Ben Lexcen will be recognized in the future. Meanwhile be careful
not denigrate those who have already been bestowed the honor.
* From Ned Hall: Does Rob Mundle really know who is blocking Ben Lexcen
from the America's Cup Hall of Fame? If not, I think the insinuation in his
letter is nasty and uncalled for. Does his letter really have a place in
* From Roger Jolly: Stewart Sumpton claims that "dinghy sailing in the
Untited States is on a decline." Where is the data that supports this claim?
* From Scott Andrews: It was great to see that the Golisons will be
donating $500 to the junior sailing program of the winning Yacht Club Team
Challenge trophy for North Sails Race Week. However, I think that one
caveat of getting the $500 would be to require at least one of the four
boats have a junior sailor on board. Just a thought.
* From Gregory Scot: Kingston Ontario: Mr. Fredrick's comments about the
virtue of "one design" are sadly consistent with the numerous efforts
published prior to his. Scuttlebutt covers a wide variety of subject matter
that have a link to the world of sailing. As I do when reading other
publications, at times I read past articles that don't interest me as much
as others. One such subject is the regular sanctimonious rant by a "one
design" enthusiast that seems determined on preaching how we are on the
road to damnation for showing an interest in a RWR or some other less than
Wicked and impure as it may be, I find these big machines a fascinating
exercise. I have stood on a wharf beside PlayStation and Club Med and find
them a marvel of engineering as I do with some of Mr.Cayard's other
pursuits such as AC racing, or Whitbread 60's which are both "one designs".
RWR sailing has as much claim to a one design designation as any thing
else. It's the science of one design (being any design) that can beat an
elapsed time target. Unlike many courses we race on, RWR is one that never
Sadly, once again I find myself writing about someone trying to save us
from ourselves. Please, leave us to our doomed indulgence.
* From David Swain (In response to Mr. Fredricks' letter): We all love
sailing for a different reason. Some like racing One-Design, handicap, long
distance, buoys and the list goes on. Scuttlebutt is great because there is
something for everybody. If you don't like one article, move on to the
next. It seems to me that not including everything is called censorship.
Keep it all coming.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATION
You know it's the 21st century when you order a second telephone phone line
just so you can get phone calls.