SCUTTLEBUTT 1664 - September 9, 2004
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(By Fred Hagedorn, US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman (OSC) and
the 2004 USA Olympic Sailing Team Leader.)
First and foremost, the USA had 18 superb athletes on our team. Not just
talented, but also great ambassadors for the USA, and our entire sport! It
was an honor to lead them, and to assist them throughout the Games. We won
two medals, had three fifth-place finishes, one eigth, one 10th and one
11th. All eight boats were in medal contention, but only the two that
brought home the medals had competed in a previous Olympic Games.
Experience at the Olympics does matter!
There are a number of issues and opportunities for every nation involved in
Olympic sailing competition. From the US perspective, we need to make it
possible for more of our athletes to focus exclusively on their sailing,
their fitness and their competitiveness.
Each quad, the US Sailing OSC takes time from the details and asks the
following fundamental questions: Is our trial system working for us, or is
there a better approach? Are we using our funds wisely? What should be the
prioritization of our spending? How can we increase the funds available to
our athletes? What other services should we be providing? How can we better
recruit? This will occur later this fall, and the many ideas that have been
floated by sailors, administrators and pundits will be vetted, considered
and used to revitalize and further evolve our program. We must never stand
still! Any ideas or suggestions are welcome, and I will provide them all to
the OSC Planning team for the next quad. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past quad we introduced broad-based fundraising, increasing the funds
available by more than $500,000. I would like to personally thank all of
the contributors. We also received a $100,000 gift for the endowment of our
Olympic Programs. This next quad needs to see us build this endowment to
provide greater incentive to younger sailors to begin reaching for the stars.
The OSC is essentially a "finisher." We are not funded to build fleets or
to assist much in the early stage development of our sailors. We would like
to assist more directly in the development and training of these emerging
athletes as is being done in other top performing nations. This requires
money! Phillipe Kahn's approach is exciting. When first announced during
the Olympics, I wrote him a note, thanking him and expressing our interest
in talking. We welcome any initiative that allows more USA athletes to be
able to sail in their Olympic equipment. We are not troubled by his
inclusion of non-US Athletes, as it will improve our ability to train with
the best. The Rolex Miami OCR has grown in popularity partly because we
have fostered a series of training camps and competitions in many of the
Olympic classes around the event. This encourages top non-US competitors
and their coaches to come to Florida to stay and train with our athletes.
I am very proud of our sailors. Not just the 18 on the Olympic Team, but
the 100+ who strove through the quad to be on the team! The USA has more
athletes participating in one of our trials than many countries have
participating in all of their trials combined. We have a lot of talent and
interest but we need to make it easier for our athletes to compete without
going to the poor-house in the process!
The term 'day off' is a bit of a misnomer in the America's Cup. The shore
crews were still very busy on Wednesday, preparing the boats for Thursday's
Marseille Louis Vuitton Act match races, while the sailors spent the day
shifting their mental gears for the one-on-one duel of the match race after
several tough days of fleet racing. On Wednesday morning, the Race
Committee released the pairings for Thursday's matches. There are two
flights of three matches scheduled. Each match will be raced on the same
race course, starting at 10-minute intervals.
Teams will earn six points for each match race victory, and no points for a
loss. The match racing points are added to the points won in the fleet
races to obtain a total score. The winner of the Marseille Louis Vuitton
Act will be the team with the most points at the conclusion of racing on
Saturday. The forecast for Thursday calls for light and variable winds in
the morning, building through the early afternoon to a 7 to10-knot
Southeasterly; quite a change from the spectacular 18 to 25-knot winds
enjoy ed on the Rade Sud earlier this week. The outlook for Friday is for
stronger winds again, with 15 to 20-knot Southeasterlies forecast. The
pairings are posted at: www.americascup.com/en/act1/day04/press_release.php
OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALS
Congratulations to John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree, the USA Olympic Silver
Medalists in the Tornado class. The Athens Games capped an outstanding 2004
International Tornado tour for these Olympians. Going into the final race,
only 3 points separated Gold and Silver, which set up a match race scenario
befitting Americas Cup competitors. Ullman Sails is proud to have assisted
John & Charlie in their Olympic quest. If you are looking for an edge, "The
Fastest Sails on The Planet" can be found at your local Ullman Sails Loft,
and visit us at http://www.ullmansails.com
WHAT WENT WRONG?
Although there is no official confirmation, the (Coutts - Bertarelli)
dispute looks set to make its way into the courts, a bad thing for both the
players and a scenario that the America's Cup could well do without. From
the K-boat affair to One World versus Sean Reeves, protracted legal affairs
have rarely made the event or it's characters look good. But whatever the
individual wranglings, most will be left wondering how such an impressive
and successful team could have degenerated so quickly after a decisive and
historic win. So how did things get to this stage?
"There were a lot of decisions that were made that I didn't agree with but
it was the way that some decisions were made that I disagreed with most,"
Coutts said. "I expected to be more informed. Things changed dramatically
after we won the Cup. We had a very successful formula and one of the best
teams in America's Cup history. I can't really explain what went wrong."
Here Coutts is not alone and while the theories abound as to what lies at
the bottom of the issue, the fact remains that losing Coutts from the
America's Cup is as significant as Schumacher being sacked by Ferrari or
Beckman being dismissed from England.
If the team were to dominate the series and this first America's Cup season
in Europe, perhaps the issue will die down, but for many the early
indications are that the repercussions will continue to be felt for some
time yet and that it's still difficult to imagine the Cup without Coutts.
Excerpts from a major story by Matthew Sheahan on the Yachting World
website. Full story:
FARR 40 WORLDS
Contrary to expectations, the opening day of the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds
produced a fleet leader without professional crew or a two boat program or
even a coach boat. Norwegian Steam owned by Eivind Astrup (Oslo, Norway)
leads the 31-boat fleet after two races. In front of a backdrop that
includes downtown San Francisco, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and
Alcatraz Island, racing got underway on time in eight knots of breeze, with
an inevitable two general recalls from the anxious teams. During the course
of the race the breeze built to around 15 knots. By the start of race two
the westerly sea breeze had filled in and was blowing 20 knots.
Standings after two races:
1. Eivind Astrup, Oslo, Norway, Norwegian Steam, 1-5, 6
2. Peter De Ridder, Monaco, Mean Machine, 7-1, 8
3. James Richardson, Boston, Mass., Barking Mad, 9-2, 11
4. Massimo Mezzaroma, Rome, Italy, Nerone, 10-3, 13
5. Peter Stoneberg, Orinda, Calif., Shadow, 11-6, 17
6. Marco Rodolfi, Comasco, Italy, TWT, 2-16, 18
7. Erik Maris, Paris, France, Twins2, 5-, 18
8. Takashi Okura, Tokyo, Japan, Sled, 3-17, 20
9. Richard Perini, Atamaron, Australia, Evolution, 12-11, 23
10. Alan Field, Temptress, Los Angeles, Calif., 4, 21, 25
Racing continues through Sunday. Three races are planned for Thursday, the
second day of racing.- Media Pro In'l, for more information: www.farr40.org
Regatta photo gallery: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/04/f40worlds
One of the innovations from the 2003 America's Cup is now available for the
rest of the sailing world. Called the T-Ring, 3-time Americas Cup winner
Simon Daubney believes "it will revolutionize how we attach genoas in the
future." The T-Ring replaces the traditional clip-shackles that frequently
fail on genoa sheets. The T-Ring is unbreakable, doesn't cause damage to
masts and shrouds, provides quick and easy sheet application and is less
expensive than the clips it replaces. Distributed worldwide with
applications offered for both family cruisers and the most profile yachts.
Photos and additional information at http://www.t-ring.co.nz
MAXI ROLEX CUP
The recently launched Genuine Risk, a 90 foot boat with a canting keel
designed by Ed Dubois, held the lead Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup throughout the
entire day, winning the competitive racing class. "Our performance was
certainly better than yesterday," said Randall Pittman, owner of Genuine
Risk. "We got a jump at the start and were the first boat around the first
windward mark by about two minutes, leading Pyewacket. Genuine Risk
finished nearly eight and a half minutes in front of Roy Disney's
Pyewacket, correcting out to first place in the racing division by just 51
seconds. Robert Oatley's Wind Oats corrected to third place.
Wednesday's course took all three divisions past the Island of Monaci and
along the beautiful coast of Sardinia with the cruising division sailing 26
miles and the racing and Wally divisions sailing just over 30 miles in
breeze ranging from 5 to 12 knots. Following upon yesterday's win, Alexia
again won the Wally division. Mister A took first in the cruising division
repeating their victory from the day before. Thursday is a lay day.
Standings after three races: Racing Division - 1. Pyewacket, 4 points; 2.
Wild Oats, 7; 3. Nokia, 11; Wally Division - 1. Alexia, 5; 2. Tiketitan, 8;
3. Magic Carpet, 11; Cruising Division - 1. Inspiration, 9; 2. Mister A,
10; 3. Viriella, 11.- http://www.yccs.it/
* The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified a new Bermuda to
Plymouth World Record for the yacht Mollymawk sailed by Ross Hobson and a
crew of two from August 16-30, 2004. The new elapsed time world record is
14 days 6 hours 12 minutes 50 seconds, for an average speed of 8.38 knots.
* With only three days to go until the Rolex Swan Cup 2004 commences at the
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, entries rise to over 100 Swans and
has also attracted some of sailing's biggest names: Paul Cayard, Ed Baird,
Tommaso Chieffi, Russell Coutts, Ellen McArthur, Tom Leweck, Volvo Ocean
Race duo Neal and Lisa MacDonald and GBR Challenge team mates Adrian Stead,
Ian Budgen, and Ian Walker. The largest number of Swans in the line up
comes from Italy (30), however United Kingdom (21), Germany (14), France
(9), United States (7) and The Netherlands (6). www.yccs.it
* Anthony Romano, former Managing Director and General Manager of Calvin
Klein Europe, is one of the latest additions to the Luna Rossa team, who
are preparing themselves to make a bid for the 32nd Americas Cup in 2007.
Anthony Romano in the role of General Manager, will look after the day to
day operations, and team management along side Francesco De Angelis. - The
Daily Sail, http://tinyurl.com/4hb6e
* The U.S. Coast Guard Academy recently purchased sixteen Colgate 26
sailboats to replace a fleet of J-22's at its New London, CT headquarters.
The boats will be used for keelboat instruction and recreational boating.
POLARS FOR ROLEX SWAN CUP
Custom polars for Swan 45s and 56s from Teeters Yacht Technology. Ian Moore
(navigator of Zephyrus V in 2002 Pacific Cup): "I have never had such
accurate theoretical polars in any campaign. It was truly impressive."
Ockam or Deckman file formats. Contact Jim Teeters at 401-845-2065 or
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
(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 David Brookes, Executive Director, International Hobie Class
Association: I feel there should be some clarification in the fear of Chris
Ericksen and J A Booker # Butt 163 that ISAF will dictate and run the
Optimist Class. I have to maintain 5 ISAF International classes and 1 ISAF
Recognised Class and all my dealings with ISAF I have nothing but praise
for the staff. All I get from ISAF is assistance and guidance from their
very professional staff. I have no fear going to ISAF with any problem or
seeking assistance as I know I will get the advice which is beneficial to
our classes. ISAF is not there to dictate back to the class, they do offer
a great support system and I am sure the optimist class does benefit from
ISAF. Don't fear ISAF but use them as an organisation that can assist your
* From Jean-Paul Churchouse: Jerry Kaye said having a "a United
States-based corporation as a sponsor for the GBR Challenge is disgusting,
unpatriotic and unacceptable." Isn't Oracle also sponsored by BMW, a German
Company (God forbid). Is this also "disgusting" and "unacceptable" or just
a case of American double-standards?
* From Andreas Stueven: I think Mr. Kaye's comment is out of line and seems
to be contradicting to scuttlebutts policy: no bashing. Besides: what am I
to say as a German national seeing a German America's Cup team fail because
of lack of funding and in the same month a German car company announces its
support for a US team.
* From Richard Clark: Sounds more like Danny Kaye to me or maybe he is an
expat kiwi from the Blackheart campaign. Emirates Team New Zealand sounds
just fine to me.
* From Denis Farley: Sailing is like no other sport in dealing with the
elements of nature in a complex piece of equipment so that the potential
for bad things to happen in a series of races is enormous. Some of these
bad things include, breakdowns, capsizes, ripped sails, collisions with
other boats, wind shifts, current, incompetent Race Committee, poorly set
courses, and just plain bad luck. I find that most sailors are comfortable
with the concept of throw-outs and I cast my vote in favor.
* From Bruce McPherson (Thoughts on the Peter Huston thread): Here on the
Cape, the Opti and Club 420 are trainers of choice from age 8 up. Burnout
is widespread in some areas.
1) The Opti can be intimidating to some who would do better starting in a
three man crew.
2) The average Opti graduate at 110 pounds is not yet strong enough to trim
a 420 jib in 15 knot winds.
3) Racing in the 420 Class is often restricted to Juniors
4) I suggest thinking outside this current 420 "box:"
A) Encourage Regatta organizers to have an Open Class that uses
International 420 tapered masts. Allow grown-up and college age entries to
add experience and incentive to fleet. (Note that the Club mast does not
teach sail shape well!)
B) Encourage Regatta organizers to run a Novice Class that uses slightly
smaller jibs that 110 pound crews can trim.
* From John Fox: Peter Huston's ideas might benefit Olympic athletes for a
short while but it would be devastating to the popular Laser Radial,
Lightning, J22 Hobie 16, 505, Snipe and other classes that he proposes to
target. Why should sailors who's classes have not opted for Olympic status
be subjected to teams with outside sponsorship, coach boats and so on?
These classes are popular because they are fun to sail, have reasonable
costs, and camaraderie among the competitors. Making them targets of
sponsored teams is wrong and will do nothing to make sailing more popular.
One only has to look at the Olympic classes to see what happens. Except for
the Star Class (of which I'm proud to be a member) there are few if any
active fleets. Even in the Star, the rising costs and dictations from ISAF
are ruining things for many of us.
The best way to produce good sailors is to keep sailing fun and affordable
for all. Sailing flourishes with volunteer supported sailing programs and
regattas. More dollars in sponsorship are proving to make things worse, not
better. My advise is to look at the popular classes and apply the
principles they follow to sailing in general. Do not tamper with and ruin
what is working well.
* From J. Joseph Bainton: Olympic medals do not measure a country's sailing
health. Does ISAF and its constituent MNA's exist to support sailboat
racing generally or one regatta held every four years in 11 classes each
with a fleet smaller than many yacht clubs muster on an average weekend?
The Olympics are great, but they are not remotely the entirety of our
sport. The health of our sport is more accurately measured by world
championships in which 100+ boats participate. It is also fairly measured
by the number of boats that compete in continental and regional regattas.
It is best measured by the number of sailboats racing on any given weekend
When measuring the success of a country's sailing program, it is fair to
ask how talented are the second to fifteenth best teams in that country's
Olympic Classes. Adjustment for population of the country is obviously
required once you get past the second or third team. Perhaps the depth of
talented American teams in the Olympic Classes is something better for the
United States than a single medal of any color. Could it be that America is
doing something right for the sport although perhaps not optimal in terms
of winning one small regatta every four years?
* From John Zuchlewski: Just a few, brief thoughts in response to the
letter from Ned Roseberry regarding the "supreme" sacrifices that U.S.
sailing Olympians made in Athens. Getting to do exactly what you want to,
doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice, supreme or otherwise. Traveling the
world, competing in the sport you love and having it funded, doesn't sound
like hardship but rather privilege. Given the time we live in, sacrifice is
a word probably better left to describe men and women performing in a
different arena then Olympic sailing. As far our disappointing medal count
at the games, I would simply chalk it up to our leisure class getting out
dueled by the rest of the world's this time around.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
Only in America do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to