Here in England the National Union of Track Statisticians (spells NUTS, naturally) numbers some 55 fanatical souls. Most of us are strictly nonathletes, though that doesn't prevent us from organizing our own track meet. Included in the NUTS ranks are a 45.7-second 400-meter man and another who has run 800 meters in 1:48.7, plus an Irish housewife who ran 440 yards in 54.9 seconds at the age of 34.
Assistant Editor, World Sports
We were quite sure that Kelso would get a nice column in your magazine for nosing out "mighty" Malicious and that alltime great Pia Star in the mediocre time of 1:49[4/5] (Faith and Form at Saratoga, Aug. 16). However, on the same day a horse called Native Diver (This Native Never Left Home, July 26) galloped to an easy victory at Del Mar. The race was at a mile and a sixteenth and the Diver carried 131 pounds. He rattled off fractions of 22[1/5], 45, 1:09, 1:34 and a final time of 1:40.
Immediately after the race his owner, Lou K. Shapiro, issued a challenge for a match race between Kelso and Native Diver to determine America's greatest gelding. He is even willing to let Kelso's owner set the time and place. It would be the greatest thing in racing since Swaps vs. Nashua and the only way to convince us Westerners that Kelso is as good as you say.
Native Diver Fan Club
Thank you for sending me the July 19 edition of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED containing the article Rubber Race at Ratzeburg by Mr. Hugh D. Whall. Unfortunately, this report is not entirely correct.
For instance, Mr. Whall writes, "Then the starting gun boomed...." The crews were started, according to the rules of the FISA (F�d�ration Internationale des Soci�t�s d'Aviron), by the spoken command: "�tes-vous pr�ts? Partez!"
Secondly, Mr. Whall notes, "None of the Germans had thought to offer [Vesper Coach Al] Rosenberg a place on the launch." I myself took Mr. Rosenberg and Assistant Coach Dietrich Rose in the regatta launch.
Finally, nobody in Ratzeburg yelled the Nazi call "Sieg Heil!" Mr. Whall claims to have heard. Nobody but he heard the crowd roar "Heil!" in response. I wonder what Mr. Whall intends by this malicious lie.
Coach, Ratzeburg Rowing Club Crew
Ratzeburg, West Germany
? SPORTS ILLUSTRATED regrets that faulty translation by an interpreter and an unpracticed ear combined to mistake the traditional and rapidly spoken German victory salute, "Zicke-zacke Zicke-zacke-Hei! Hei! Hei!" for the better remembered—and best forgotten—"Sieg Heil." Onetime Ratzeburger Dietrich Rose had taught the cheer to the Vesper crew which, with Rose leading, thus saluted the victorious German crew at the presentation of the prize. The "starting gun" was meant metaphorically. As for the launch incident, it is true that Coach Adam did invite Coach Rosenberg to accompany him on his boat, but only after a Vesper man had reminded German officials of the oversight.—ED.
You write off the death of a young Italian skier, Walter Mussner, during the Cervinia Flying Kilometer Ski Race with the obtuse observation: "This sort of skiing is less a matter of skill than of aiming oneself in the right direction-straight down. It has about as much relation to competitive sport as going over Niagara Falls in a barrel" (SCORECARD, Aug. 9).
If this is so then what of downhill skiing or bobsledding? Does not Art Arfons employ skill in steering his jet-on-wheels in a straight line? And why do ski fliers, who seek distance over form, continue to try to shatter the 500-foot barrier?