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Courageous IV Helmsman Isler Is Victim of Computer Analysis

Times Staff Writer

Peter Isler is out as helmsman for the Courageous IV syndicate, perhaps the first victim of a computer in the new high-tech era of sailing.

He apparently has joined Dennis Conner’s Sail America effort to win the America’s Cup.

Courageous syndicate chairman Leonard Greene planned to announce today that vice chairman David Vietor will steer the modified boat but denied that Isler had been fired.

“We have never named a skipper prior to this moment,” Greene said by phone Thursday from his Safe Flight Instrument Corp. office in White Plains, N.Y.

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Most sailing publications, however, have regarded Isler as Courageous’ skipper since last fall. He was the skipper of record in the World 12-meter championships at Perth, Australia, last winter.

Isler could not be reached in Hawaii, where he joined Conner’s campaign in an undefined capacity Thursday. Isler was tactician for Dave Perry in the last four Congressional Cups at Long Beach, winning in 1983 and ’84.

Greene said the decision was based on computer readouts. “The committee found that when they compared the computerized analysis of performance of all helmsmen that sailed on Courageous during the training sessions for the 12-meter World Cup, Vietor’s performance was superior,” he said.


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