This World Championship smells fishy

Published on October 9th, 2019

The diversity in our sport has bred a multitude of World Championship titles, but not every class organization can award such a title. There are certain standards that must be met to warrant an honor representing international greatness… such as a Class being international.

However, the fact remains there are still a lot of world titles, so many such that it’s hard from the outside to tell what’s what. It’s also hard to stop people from using the label, and while at times it is for marketing, sometimes it’s just pure confusion.

We were hoping it was confusion, but there it was on the Buccaneer Yacht Club website, the 2019 Fish World Championships on October 5-6 in Mobile, AL. But as the Fish Class is not listed by World Sailing to award a world title, it looks like a case of using a big title to shine up a local event.

Of course, the ABC affiliate for Northwest Florida didn’t know any better when they shared this news report to the World Wide Web:

A sailing team from the Pensacola Yacht Club won a world championship this weekend in Mobile. Tom Pace, PYC’s Vice Commodore, skippered the “Blacktip” to the Fish Class World Championship. Stuart McMillan and Brandon Addison joined Pace in the 3-man crew. McMillan is a former world champion. He trimmed the sails and Addison was the tactician.

The “Blacktip” was in second place, one point out of first place in the 7-boat fleet, going into Sunday’s final races. They won Sunday’s first race, then “covered the fleet for the last race for the championship,” Pace explained. In five races, Pace, McMillan and Addison had two first-place finishes, two thirds, and a fifth.

Pace, a former world class professional boardsailor, told Channel 3 the Fish Class is the original Gulf Yachting Association race boat. The 21-foot Gaff-rigged Keel Boat was what the association raced from 1919-1968.

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