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Guest Commentary

Published on August 13th, 2012

Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community. Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250 words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.



From Mark Johnson:

The VIDEO OF THE WEEK (Scuttlebutt 3652) is about the best sailing video I have ever seen! What fun! I can only imagine if we had just a few broadcasters and color commentators who had a sense of humor, we’d all enjoy the sports a good bit more. Sure it was done “tongue in cheek” with a total irreverence for the sailors and race crews, but it did hit very close to the mark regarding the craziness and the challenges in understanding our sport. I love Gary Jobson and all he has done to raise the visibility and stature of our sport, but these guys could be my sailing commentators for quite awhile. What fun! Link:


From Richard Burling:

In Scuttlebutt 3652, Debi Schoenherr defends the U.S. Olympic results by noting the high ISAF rankings that most of the Americans had. However, it should be noted that the ISAF rankings and the World Cup rankings are more of an indication of how many regatta a sailor does – the system needs an overhaul.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The World Cup system does benefit those that attend all the events, while the ISAF system averages a sailor’s performance over a two year period. Neither of these systems achieves its goal of accurate ranking, which is why a newly merged system is to be released this fall that will (hopefully) offer a more ‘real time’ assessment of one’s ability.

From John Standley:

I cannot let John Morgan’s letter (Scuttlebutt 3652) pass without comment. I note that he is careful not to say that the 49er the Australians used in the Olympics had measurement issues, but why write a letter like this unless he is trying to imply exactly that?

If Nathan and Iain had something to hide, why would they let other people borrow their boats and equipment? The Kiwis have clearly benefitted by working with them over the past years and they should be gratefully for this.

Also, there are strict measurement processes at all World Championships and at the Olympics, and the correct time to raise these issues is at that time when measurement protests should be made if there are any concerns. Why was a protest not made in the proper manner?

Before John comes back, yes, I do know the chief 49er measurer is an Australian, but I would be extremely cautious before implying he or any other measurer was involved in any skulduggery. John, just accept you have been out sailed by a couple of brilliant sailors, and get on with your job of coaching your Kiwi team to be better.

EDITOR’S NOTE: John Morgan wanted it to be known that he wasn’t commenting on the legality of the Australian boats, but was rather commenting on the one design nature, or lack of it, in the 49er class. These apparent irregularities have been tightened up in the rules. He apologizes for any misunderstanding. Commentary published in Scuttlebutt last week has prompted the Australian and New Zealand sailing federations to make this joint statement:

Btw, this thread is now dead.

From Jan Visser, Olympia, WA:

As I have read over the past few days the various comments regarding Olympic wins or lack thereof, I have given some long careful thought to how our sailors get there. Sailing is expensive, there is no doubt about it, and if the US could support its athletes, I am sure the outcomes would be very different.

Living in the Northwest with Canadian neighbors and friends in the sailing world, we have the opportunity to see young men and women excel in the sport. In the run up to 2012, I was able to see very good sailors take a long hard look at the expense and just say no.

Athletes in other sports seem to express the same thoughts. News reports tell of families with financial hardships (gymnast Gabby Douglass, swimmer Ryan Lochte, etc), and these are the stories of many medalists; those who do not make it to the podium are not heard from. It is a sad day when we spend more on war than on some of the best the U.S. has to present to the world in the competition of the Games.

From Craig Fletcher:

I strongly disagree with Peter Commette in Scuttlebutt 365, who said the failure of the US Team “belongs to those who put in the sacrifice: Dean Brenner, Kenneth Andreasen, our other coaches, our sailors, the ones our sailors beat to get there, and all of their families. It was their effort. Their sacrifice. Not ours.”

As Americans we all have a stake in the United States of America’s sailing them! We should all be questioning and looking for solutions to our countries poor Olympic results. We cannot be reminded often enough “THERE IS NO I IN TEAM”!

COMMENT: While it remains the athlete that succeeds or fails, their performance is a result of the environment wherein their talent as a sailor was developed. So in a way, all Americans are connected to the performance of the U.S. team. Now, the Olympics are not the end all, but for those seeking to represent the U.S. in the future, a new paradigm must be launched which takes a closer look at the skills needed to succeed, with an initiative to gather those skills sooner rather than later. It’s not time to work harder. It’s time to work smarter. – Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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