For years we have been trying to tell people what winter sailing is like. We greatly enjoy the sport but have found it hard to express our enjoyment to the disbelievers. Now, with Jeannette Bruce's fine story for quotes and Francis Golden's beautiful watercolor prints as visual examples (A Tonic of Wind and Water, Feb. 13), we can adequately tell others of our feelings.
Rear Commodore, University of Cincinnati Sailing Club
Miss Bruce's story on frostbiting is most factual and the pictures are beautiful. However, while some of the dinghies now racing are 11 ½ feet with 72 square feet of sail, most are smaller. There are about 300 of our Dyer Dhows (7 feet 11 inches and 9 feet) and 10-foot Dyer Dinks racing all winter at the western end of Long Island Sound. Most of those boats pictured are Dhows.
Incidentally, the dinghy used by Martin Baker in that New Year's Day challenge of 1932 was our first one. It was built after Colin Ratsey's father kidded us because we were towing an English tender behind our Dutch boat. We are most grateful for your splendid coverage.
Mrs. WILLIAM J. H. DYER
President, The Anchorage, Inc.
Re your article about Italian basketball (Pallacanestro Is the Rage, Feb. 13), I have a few comments to make. Before coming to the U.S. I was a member of the A. P. Partenope team of Naples, Italy—or Jupiter, as Jack Olsen calls it—and I think the article is unfair. A lot of the purported U.S. stars who are over there would not even make the second team of a second-rate school here. Sure, compared to some of the local players they look good, but then, if a second-rate soccer player from Europe were to come here, he, too, would look very good.
I have just finished my first season of European basketball playing for the Oxaco Basketball Club in Antwerp, Belgium, in a league similar to Italy's. Doug Moe need not feel like he is a Lone Ranger. It's the same in Belgium. There are approximately 15 American players beating their heads against the wall due to local rule interpretation and player-coach, coach-owner, owner-newspaper-writer and team-team feuds.
It is a shame to see a country's players held back just because their playing ability is 10 years ahead of the officiating, coaching techniques and spectator conduct. Until these problems are rectified big-time basketball will never truly materialize in Italy, Belgium or anywhere else in Western Europe.
8th Infantry Division
Thanks for the terrific article on Bob Seagren (He Sizzles with a Swizzle Stick, Feb. 20). Everyone knows that Bob is the greatest vaulter in the world, and somewhere he is going to break 18 feet.
I also have a tip for Bob: Score hair cream works just as well as hair spray for holding the hair in place going over the bar.
JOHN KOOISTRA III
Little Rock, Ark.
I can see the trainer's inventory list now:
Adhesive tape—500 miles
Hair spray—12 bombs.
BACK TO BEAVER
I was truly delighted to read Bil Gilbert's excellent story on wolf hunting on Michigan's Beaver Island (Diving for Wolves in Ice Water, Feb. 20). Having spent the last 10 summers there, I can assure you that Mr. Gilbert truly captured the atmosphere that makes Beaver Island what it is—a place where commercialism has not come. Mr. Gilbert's description of Archie La Freniere and The Shamrock Bar was also excellent.
In these hectic times of ours, Beaver surely offers a delightful change of pace. The inhabitants are warmhearted people who really care about others. Also no one is ever in a hurry. Things are taken in stride.
As the natives say, once the sand of Beaver Island gets into your shoes, you will be drawn to the island forever.
ROBERT J. HRIBAR
East Detroit, Mich.
I became rather irate after reading the letter questioning the coaching abilities of Bob Beattie (19TH HOLE, Feb. 20). Dick Mefford can't be too familiar with the U.S. ski team. To begin with, one must analyze the material Coach Beattie has to work with. While most foreign competitors are mature and experienced (average age about 24), the U.S. team is composed of individuals in their teens. Then we must analyze the U.S. training program. The French, to cite the most outstanding example, train incessantly, while the U.S. team, which is composed mostly of students, is able to participate in training only during vacations. In order to compete regularly, it becomes necessary for many members to postpone their education and, thus, jeopardize their futures.
While Beattie is not all hero, he has had a lot of tough breaks, including the death of Buddy Werner and the frequent injuries of Billy Kidd. But, despite all his faults and misfortunes, he is building a fantastic ski program that is going to make the U.S. tops in the near future.
As Billy Kidd's father, I read and hear a lot about skiing, but fortunately I haven't heard of Mr. Dick Mefford as a skier or as an authority on ski racing. His letter should certainly bring a flood of protests.
WILLIAM KIDD SR.
Congratulations on running an article on one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., collegiate wrestling (Mighty Mouse Leads the Way, Feb. 20). But the final national ratings will be decided at the NCAA championships March 23-25. Then, and only then, will Lehigh get a chance to dethrone "little" Lock Haven State College as the pride of the East.
For a long time I have been relating the exploits of the incredible wrestling team that represents East Stroudsburg (Pa.) State to anyone who would listen. Your article about Lehigh makes me want to sound off even more. Whatever Lehigh followers may think, they are not No. 1.
East Stroudsburg, Pa.
With all due respect for Lehigh and its record of 12 straight wrestling wins, I think it is too soon to call them No. 1.
Throughout lo these many years, the balance of power in college wrestling has swung between Oklahoma State and its neighbor to the south, Oklahoma. One only has to look at the NCAA records to see the validity of this statement.
I realize that past records are nothing more than, well, past records, and we are talking about this year. But if Lehigh had to face the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Iowa State, I have serious doubts that they would have a winning streak at all.
When the 1967 NCAA college finals come around later this year it will take more than Mike Caruso and Pappajohn to stop the likes of Dickie Haxel, Roger Mickish, Granville Liggins and the rest of the real No. 1 team—Oklahoma.
PATRICK E. BAILEY
Many thanks for your excellent article on Lehigh University wrestling. Your constant spotlighting of "minor" sports is certainly to be lauded.
IN THE ROUGH
Desmond Muirhead proves his point when he says that golf-course architects have not had a new thought in 100 years (New Twists for an Old Art, Feb. 20). If Gwilym Brown will take a look at the 9th hole at Dorado Beach Golf Club in Puerto Rico, he will see that Muirhead himself has been influenced by masters other than Rousseau, Van Gogh, et al. The 9th at Dorado Beach features a long tee that curls around a lake providing tee shots varying from a 140-yard shot over fairway to a 235-yard poke over water. In fact, it more than somewhat resembles the diagram of the 6th at Soboba Springs shown in your article.
Now let's see, who designed Dorado Beach? Why, it was that old "imitator" Robert Trent Jones.
It will be more than "two or three years" before Muirhead will be in a position to sound patronizing.
R. W. BEATY
I was most impressed by Gwilym S. Brown's fine article on the golf-course architect Desmond Muirhead. It has always struck me that, with the present fantastic worldwide interest in golf, we should be in the middle of a golden age in golf-course architecture. That we aren't must be due to the low standards in this field up till now. It looks as if Mr. Muirhead will initiate this much needed renaissance. Congratulations to SI for leading the way.