Scuttlebutt: Riding the Internet Wave

Published on January 18th, 2018

The first major commercial Internet Service Providers hit the scene in the early 1990s, with AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe all showing up in 1995. Hotmail came along a year later. By the end of 1996, just shy of 1 in 10 Americans was on the Internet, but somewhere between then and 2001, Internet usage went from being a relative rarity to normalized.

We like to say that Scuttlebutt was launched in 1997, but it would be more accurate to say how founder Tom Leweck was just combining his curiosity of this new technology with his passion for the sport. He was retired, and his hobby of sharing sailing news to his friends by email was keeping him busy until his attention turned elsewhere. It never did.

And now we are at the 5000th Scuttlebutt newsletter. Who would have thunk it?

The pivotal event was when New Zealand hosted the 2000 America’s Cup. Scuttlebutt was this new source of information, and interest in the publication snowballed. Rather than waiting for newspaper and magazine reports, sailors could now enjoy daily email updates in near real time. Sailing coverage was forever altered and Scuttlebutt was leading the way.

The landscape has changed a lot over the past 20+ years, and while Scuttlebutt has evolved during that time, we continue to follow simple rules that have served us well: be credible, reliable, and responsible. We are not perfect but always seek to respect the game and those that play it properly. Sailing is supposed to be fun, right?

We are eternally grateful for all the support we have received over the years, and look forward to many more years ahead. Sail on! – Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

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