HISTORY: Death, Debate, and Devastation

Published on January 2nd, 2014

Here are some moments in sailing history stored in the Scuttlebutt archives

2009- 5 years ago: Paralympic Gold Medalist Nick Scandone (Fountain Valley, Calif.), 42, passed away Friday, Jan. 2, 2009 – after a long battle with ALS, also commonly called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Scandone won a coveted gold medal with teammate Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) in the SKUD-18 class at the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Regatta in Qingdao, China, this past summer.

2004- 10 years ago: Lou Morgan II, after reading in Scuttlebutt that the U.S. Coast Guard and the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA) will be hosting a workshop at the Miami International Boat Show (in February) to gather industry and public comment on pending legislation that would mandate the use of PFDs on vessels under 20 feet in length, said…

“Our country is certainly in a sad state when the USCG and the PFDMA get together to pass self-serving legislation. Without knowledge of the exact law, I bet the just of it reads, ‘You as a boater are to stupid and ignorant to best decide when and where to use a PFD so we’ll do it for you.’

“I do wear a PFD while sailing 80 percent of the time. I don’t wear one when the temperature is over 90 and the wind is less than 5 knots. I don’t wear one while in my dinghy, traveling the 200 feet, boat to shore, in 6 feet of water on a nice day. We’ve debated this issue at the local club level, national association level and with our state. In my opinion, it’s about living in America, having the freedom to choose. When does the legislation of common sense end?”

1999- 15 years ago: More than 5000 people paid tribute to six sailors who lost their lives during the storm which hit the 1998 Sydney to Hobart fleet in the Tasman Sea. The memorial service, held at Constitution Dock, Hobart, was attended by crews from the 43 yachts which reached Hobart from a fleet of 115 starters, race organisers and volunteers, rescuers and rescue authorities, and the Tasmanian sailing fraternity.

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