Sailing World Weekly - 5 December 2005

A Weekly Digest of Sailing News and Reshaping the Olympic Regatta, a Volvo rookie reports in, Beneteau's latest from the Paris Boat Show, plus results and reports from around the world.

THE FIRST BEAT: Reshaping the Olympic Regatta, Part IBy Stuart StreuliLike many sailors, I was disappointed in ISAF's change to the scoring for the 2008 Olympics. I was hoping they'd do more-a lot more. I was hoping to read about changes, plural; a sign that the leaders of our sport realize that the Athens Olympic Regatta was a PR disaster, that it was among the least-watched events at the 2004 Olympics, both in terms of live spectators and television time; that things need to change.Instead we got one simple alteration to the scoring: the fleet will be reduced to the top 10 boats for the final race, which will count for double points and won't be discardable. This change is a baby step, and I'm not even sure it's in the right direction. The most that can be said about this change is it's the classic compromise made within a bureaucracy; most everyone involved is focused on his or her own agenda and few can look at the big picture and make the decisions that will benefit everyone in the long run.Olympic sailing is in trouble. It's not going to get dropped anytime soon; sailing is an original Olympic sport-even if the lack of wind cancelled the first Olympic regatta in Athens in 1896. However, it will get squeezed. The International Olympic Committee has designs on cutting one discipline for the 2012 Games in London and that should make sailors worried about further reductions in disciplines and/or athlete numbers in the future. ISAF's new president Goran Petersson is concerned. Petersson, who in many respects is the antithesis of the ISAF's previous leader, the vocal and impulsive Paul Henderson, met with the IOC and some Olympic broadcasters before ISAF's annual convention in Singapore in early November. He came away from that meeting frightened enough to make a late submission to change the Olympic scoring for 2008. "What he's been told, and what he reported to us, is that sailing is one of the most expensive sports to televise in the summer Olympics," said a US SAILING representative who attended the convention. "It's also the least appealing to a TV audience. The IOC have told each of the federations that if they want to remain an Olympic sport, they have to do what's reasonable to be TV friendly."For the complete story, Monsoon Cup 2005 Peter Gilmour has won the inaugural ISAF Grade 1 Monsoon Cup. He won the third flight against Russell Coutts to claim a 2-1 victory. Gilmour got a penalty on Coutts in the pre-start when Coutts tried to jibe across his bow but didn't complete the maneuver in time. Coutts led onto the racecourse, but Gilmour gained the lead halfway up the first leg. The pair rounded the second leeward mark overlapped, with Gilmour inside. With the wind skewed slightly right he was able to extend away while Coutts was forced to follow for a bit. Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship 2005 The team of Steve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Evan Walker and Jamie Woods from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have won the ISAF Grade 1 event in Sydney today defeating Stu Pollard, Nathan Outteridge, Ian Quartley and Ben Rarzach from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on a tie-break. Third place went to Western Australia's Torvar Mirsky. Turning Windemon's Weaknesses into Strength When we invited readers to enter our Win a Coach contest we were looking for a team with a strong desire to improve and an ambitious summer sailing schedule that would allow them to work on strengthening weaknesses. The team that stood out among nearly 50 applicants was Dave and Debbie Clasen's Tarten Ten Windemon, from Chicago. From our November/December 2005 issue. US SAILING Expands Mount Gay Rum Speaker Series to 18 Events PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (December 1, 2005) - US SAILING, national governing body for the sport, announced today that it will expand its Mount Gay Rum Speaker Series to 18 events in the 2006 season. In addition to title sponsor Mount Gay Rum, Sperry Top-Sider and Sunsail have also become Official Sponsors of the program. The Series proved to be very successful in its first year with more than 1,500 sailors attending ten events. The 2006 schedule will be announced next month, with events scheduled between January and April. Make the Right Call at the top of the Run Don't you hate it when you round the weather mark in the top group and immediately lose distance and positions to crews that jibe right away? There you are, dread in your eyes, watching your lead slip away. It's worse when you're the one who jibes away, only to witness the rest of the fleet leaving you in their wake. "Why did we just do that?" you ask. Whenever you find yourself in either of these situations, it's usually because you have only a vague plan about what you want to do, and it doesn't pan out. You must have a strategy for exiting the weather mark, one that's based on your positioning, keeping your air clear, and avoiding traffic. From our June 2003 issue.