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23 June 2000 Issue # 221
Today's Sailing News
Olympic Sailing: Kiel Week
A few of the USA's Olympic trial winners are competing at Germany's Kiel Week. All of shown at least some good performances.
470 Men: After 7 races Foerester and Merrick have been 1st and have also toted up an OCS. They are 7th with 22 points, 11 out of 1st.
470 Women: 6 races are completed. J.J. Isler and Pease Glaser are 14th. They had a string of 3 top 10 finishes, the best a 5th.
Star: Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljerdahl are 2nd after 4 races. They trail the Brazilian team skipperd by Torben Grael by 2 points.
Mistral Men: Mike Gebhardt is 17th, with a best finish of 6th in the first race.
Tornado: American's John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree are 16th. However, their last 2 races have been 3rd and 1st so a move up the table looks possible.
Mistral Women: Lanee Butler is 8th, with a top finish of 4th.
Readers: I'd like your comment on the following. Are American Olympic sailors better off staying in country or going to events like Kiel Week where there are many more Olympic level sailors? E-mail SD with your thoughts.
America's Cup News, Notes and Commentary
The America's Cup has 3 new players. They come in the form of, as Dennis Conner puts it, "bees". Bees standing for billionaires. New Cup players are:
Ernesto Bertarelli, Swiss pharmaceuticals billionaire
Craig McCaw, Seattle telecommunications billionaire
Larry Ellison, San Francisco computer billionaire
2 of the 3 are American. They have all hired significant sailing talent from New Zealand.
Bertarelli has Coutts and Butterworth.
McCaw has designer Davidson, and Monk, Scantelbury and Taylor middle of the boat sailors.
Ellison has Chris Dickson to skipper and probably Robbie Naismith to trim.
Team New Zealand recently re-signed after guardsman Peter Evan and trimmers Grant Loretz and Tony Rae.
This makes 20 sailors that have stayed with Team New Zealand and 13 that have jumped team/continent/ocean/ship.
Of note is that 2 of these challenges will be American based. Seattle One World Challenge has chosen Aussie Peter Gilmour to run the sailing team. Ellison's California group will have New Zealand's Dickson at the helm. (As an aside both are former skippers of the Japanese Nippon team).
Why aren't there American skippers for these group? I would look to two areas.
One American's don't match race. The only significant match racing by American's is in Solings- and that because you have to.
Second, American sailing is heavy on regulations of professionals. While this may (and I have my doubts) be good for sailing overall, cutting out world class sailors from helm time isn't a good thing. If the US continues to have a negative and penalizing attitude towards talented sailors either the America's Cup will stay overseas, or it will be returned by an American team in name only.
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