Last Monday, the defender and challenger committees for America's Cup '95 agreed to make a number of changes in how the Super Bowl of yacht racing is run.
"We believe this agreement signals the beginning of a new spirit of sportsmanship between the defender and challenger syndicates," America's Cup '95 chairman Frank Hope Jr. said in San Diego. "From a racing perspective, the agreement is designed to make the elimination series a fair test of sailing and design abilities."
But the agreement also will eliminate or further regulate some of the side-show activities that have surrounded the Cup for a number of years -- espionage, closed boating compounds, bidding wars for top skippers and crews, etc.
The agreement also recommends a centralized location (Commercial Basin) for challenger and defender syndicates that would be opened periodically for public tours.
"The challengers welcome this agreement," said Ernie Taylor, chief executive officer of the Challenger of Record Committee, "as we feel it will generate greater public interest in the event and create an atmosphere whereby the focus of the 1995 races and future events will be on sailing."
The major points of the agreement are:
* In the finals of the challenger and defender selection series, the boats to compete will be named before the first day of the match. In the Cup series, both defender and challenger will be named in a public ceremony before the first day of the match. Previously, a boat did not have to be named before the start of the first race.
* Modifications to keels, trim tabs and other appendages will be allowed before the final elimination series and before the Cup match. Boat underbodies may not be hidden after the yachts have been measured and accepted for the final elimination series and the Cup match.
* Each syndicate -- defense or challenge -- may build or acquire only two new International America's Cup Class yachts built after March 1, 1993.
* Sail inventories will be limited to 15 for the first round and may be complemented by five more in each subsequent round.
* Designers' hulls, appendages, sails and rigs must be declared by June 30, 1993. Crew must be listed by Dec. 30, 1994.
* Use of long-range listening devices, satellites, aircraft, divers, submarines, shadowing vessels and pirating of performance analyses from other syndicates will be prohibited.
Brady on board
Annapolis sailor Jim Brady, Rolex yachtsman of the year in 1990, silver medalist in the 1992 Olympics and Soling match racing world champion, has joined Team Dennis Conner for the 1995 America's Cup.
Brady's position has not been determined, but it is likely he will drive one or both of the two boats Conner plans to campaign.
The Governor's Youth Fishing Derby will be held at 23 locations in the state on Saturday and June 12 and 19. The derby is a noncompetitive program to increase awareness and participation in Chesapeake Bay restoration programs. To register for the derby activities, which include workshops on fishing, boating, water safety and environmental awareness, call FINS (3467) or contact one of the following:
Saturday -- Herrington Manor SP, (301) 334-9180; Sandy Point SP, 1-800-688-FINS; Middle Branch Park, (410) 396-3838; County Home Park, (410) 887-7734; Golden Ring Park, (410) 887-0294; Gwynn Oak Park, (410) 887-1357; Stansbury Park, (410) 887-7155; North Beach Town Pier, (410) 257-6770; Martinak State Park, (410) 479-3721; Piney Run Park, (410) 795-3274; Cunningham Falls State Park, (301) 694-1684; Friends Park, (410) 273-5623; Centennial Park, (410) 313-2762; Seneca Creek State Park, (301) 217-6790; Patuxent River Park, (301) 627-6074; Terrapin Park, (410) 758-0835; Greenbrier State Park, (301) 791-3187; Salisbury City Park, (410) 548-4900.
June 12 -- Gilbert Run Park, (301) 870-2778; Turner's Creek Park, (410) 778-1948.
June 19 -- Point Lookout State Park, (301) 475-4637; Choptank River fishing pier, (410) 943-1065.