COMMENTARY: Using the talent from within

Published on April 8th, 2013

There are a lot of regatta reports submitted to Scuttlebutt World Headquarter, and we need to vet through the stack to determine what is most worthy to be celebrated within the limited space of the Scuttlebutt newsletter. When we received an Optimist report from last weekend in Miami, on the surface it didn’t seem sufficiently relevant until we realized how actually unique it might be. So here we go…

Coral Reef Yacht Club hosted a regatta to offer some competitive racing to Opti sailors that have spent the winter “watching” racing on the Internet instead of sailing. The event was scheduled as a way to shake off the cobwebs and get the sailors ready for the US Team Trials, which this year is being held in Pewaukee, Wisconsin in early May, with the results to determine who qualifies for the continental and international regatta in 2013.

The host club provided some niceties – a fun street party on Saturday night in the dry storage area with piped in iTouch music, beer and wine for parents, and food to keep everyone entertained and well fed, with an Ice Cream Social on Sunday where you could fix your own – including the sprinkles! But that is not what caught our attention. This did…

The racing event was headed by the Coral Reef Yacht Club Youth Sailing Program, using their own boats, facilities and personnel to provide two days of racing for 120 boats. And it was the club’s growing 420 fleet (over 40 members this Spring) running the Gold Fleet races in their entirety, headed by 16-year-old Nathaniel Johannson.

Maybe we are making too much of this, but in this era of perfection, we got the feeling that this event just went for it. So many events now recruit professional race officers, or allow only those people who have taken all the classes, to run the races. But for this event, they used the talent from within their Youth Sailing program, providing a win-win for both sailors and organizers, which got everyone involved and educated.

Sounds like it was a weekend of community. Nice!

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