COMMENTARY: An example of honesty and integrity

Published on July 15th, 2013

As the commitment to competition increases, we sometimes forget the manner in which we play the game is as important as the results of the game. Paul Zupan shares a story that gives hope to the future, and provides deserved recognition to the reason…

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Jury that participated in the recent Junior Olympics at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. We experienced the most remarkable display of sportsmanship I can ever recall.

We were approached on the water by Max Brill and Ian Brill of Mission Bay Yacht Club (San Diego, CA), who were competing in the C420 class. They reported how they had been penalized on the water under RRS 42 for the second time the day before, and that their score did not reflect that incident. After returning to the dock on that final day of racing, the jury researched the issue and, in fact, we had made a mistake in scoring that penalty.

After the Race Committee made the correction, I realized Max and Ian were comfortably in first place in the regatta at the time they came to us to report that scoring error. But the correction put them in third place, and out of contention for progression to the Chubb US Doublehanded Championship.

Had Max and Ian simply ignored the error made by the Jury, they would be representing Area J at the US Championships. But instead, they chose to make sure that they were scored properly, and that the proper winner of the regatta progressed to the national event.

Hats off to these two young gentlemen. I can only say we should all aspire to such honesty and integrity. I’m confident they will one day compete at the US Championships because they are as good sailors as they are sportsmen.

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