Published on September 16th, 2012
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From Scott Whitworth:
As much as I like the qualifying format that the 49er Europeans was trialing (Scuttlebutt 3676), which I recall was also suggested after the Olympics in Scuttlebutt, I see the problems too.
Yes, an elimination format is how many other events are managed, but those events don’t deal with the variables that occur in sailing. The pool is always the same size, the track is always flat. In sports like swimming and track and field, the best prepared athlete tends to win. But in sailing, the best athlete can only be determined by averaging.
To negate the influence of the variables that occur on the race course, a number of races are run. The best athlete might not be determined in one race, but the cream will rise to the top after a series of races. It would be great to have a ‘winner take all’ format, but it is not the fairest format for sailing.
From Kristin Tyther:
Considering that 200-300 million dollars will possibly be spent to find the elusive speed edge to win the America’s Cup, it is hopeful that the small group behind Vestas Sailrocket can take their ideas to Namibia and try to push the speed bar higher than anyone has before (Scuttlebutt 3676).
These are people who are doing it for the right reasons. They are not doing it for a paycheck; they are doing it for the love of the game. If Larry Ellison wanted to set the Outright World Speed Sailing Record, he could likely put it out of reach, but that would screw up an area of our sport where the dreamers can rule.
From Bill Laverly:
I was stunned when I read in Scuttlebutt 3676 how the Australian rower thought she could become an Olympic caliber skiff crew in 3+ years. More amazing was how a Gold Medal winning skipper was willing to partner with this novice. It is one thing for Sarah Lihan to transition from the Laser Radial to Olympic 470 crew, but she probably had 15+ years of sailing experience to help learn the new skills. With that said, it would be awesome if this experiment worked, as it would open up sailing to a whole lot of people tired of going backwards.