SCUTTLEBUTT EXTRA - April 29, 2004
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Following is an unedited copy of a press release that we just
received from US Sailing:
US SAILING PLACES MORATORIUM ON INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX RULE WORKING PARTY
Portsmouth, R.I. (April 29, 2004) - US Sailing has decided to place a
moratorium on its participation with the International Grand Prix Working
Party (RWP) to allow time for wider review of national opinion among U.S.
offshore racing interests. In the meantime, the Offshore Racing Congress
(ORC) and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) will continue the work to
develop a new international handicap rule for Grand Prix racing boats.
The RWP was created to develop a new set of rules that would promote
international competition at the Grand Prix level through encouragement of
fast, fun and sea worthy offshore boats racing within narrow rating bands.
US Sailing has met with the other stakeholders, the Offshore Racing
Congress (ORC) and the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and informed them of
"Launching a Grand Prix alternative Rule represents a major investment in
resources and to ensure success we need to make the best assessment
possible of the community it is meant to serve, from owners and builders to
event organizers," said Janet Baxter, US Sailing President. "An appropriate
mechanism for inviting, organizing and distilling grand prix opinion will
help to define the development of a grand prix program that will suit U.S.
"Although the RWP did a fantastic job at surveying potential constituents,
discussing all the issues of Grand Prix racing and formulating rule
proposals there remain differences on key elements of such a rule," said
Baxter. "In addition, U.S. interests in Grand Prix developments could be
shared by a wider community than has provided formal input to the RWP."
Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC, continues to be enthusiastic about developing
an international rule. "We appreciate the work and involvement of US
Sailing to date and look forward to continuing working with them in the
"We have received strong support from a number of countries and potential
owners to develop a rule that will allow us to recreate the international
yacht racing circuit and we shall continue to work towards this goal,"
comments Chris Little, Commodore of RORC. "We welcome the outcome of US
SAILING's consultation and look forward to continuing working together
towards the rule's creation."
No time limit has been set for the moratorium by US Sailing and they will
continue to stay in close contact with the work of the joint RWP and keep
that group advised of developments and U.S. opinion will be taken into
account throughout all RWP developments.
The RWP is in the process of appointing a manager to co-ordinate the
development of the rule, encourage potential owners to build boats to the
new rule and create an international circuit of events.
A Technical Group under the independent Chairmanship of Andy Claughton, of
the Wolfson Unit, is currently assessing the various technical options of
the proposed rule and will report its recommendations in early May. The
draft rule will be presented to interested parties, including designers,
sailmakers and potential owners for their comments before the rule is
finalized for publication before the end of the year.
For more information about U.S. offshore Grand Prix racing, please contact
Dan Nowlan, US Sailing Offshore Director, at email@example.com.
Curmudgeon's Comment: Obviously there is more to this story, but you now
know as much as we do.