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A Year in Review, First Quarter

Published on December 16th, 2019

Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck reflected on 2019 and shares some of his picks from the first quarter of the year.

Hub of the Olympic Wheel in Miami
The Grand Opening of Regatta Park was in 2015, and today it’s the epicenter of the World Cup Series Miami. As one of only four international events that brings together all 10 Olympic events for a format similar to the Tokyo 2020 Games, it is a massive benefit for this circus to land in North America. Full report.

Editor’s note: There aren’t yacht club bars at Olympic events, so finding that place where people gather is not as easy, but my morning ritual found the spot where a lot of them meet.

Some Serious Ultimate Sailing
While words carry the story of our sport, imagery brings it to life. But when the logistics to get the shot go beyond the usual, a lot has to come together for it to happen. Such was the case for my ride along with photographer Sharon Green. Full report.

Editor’s note: Be wary of photographers with an iron stomach. As I was gasping while the helicopter pilot spun over the Volvo 70 Wizard, Sharon was getting the image that nearly won her the 2019 Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image photo competition.

Drawing the line for the next generation
Designed in 1947 by Clark Mills, the Optimist had the pure intentions as a boat that could be built in a garage by a father and his son. World War ll had ended and it was time to have some fun again, but that fun today has gotten pretty serious. Full report.

Editor’s note: Nothing kills participation faster than an arms race, and when that occurs in what was supposed to be a low-key home built boat, the irony was too much.

Behind the Scenes of High Demand
Held biennially, the 605-mile Rolex Fastnet Race continues to be in high demand. When entries were opened, 180 boats had entered in the first two minutes. After four minutes and 37 seconds, the maximum entry limit of 340 boats was reached, with subsequent requests filtered through to the reserve list. Full report.

Editor’s note: Could it be so easy to gain massive participation by putting a limit on participation? The question was posed to the event that consistently hits their quota.

Managing the impact of professionalism
Nobody could have anticipated the explosive growth of the J/70 Class. What was deemed a dumbed-down sprit boat was in fact what the market wanted, which was a boat with decent performance that could be mastered by a wide swath of the boat buying public. Full report.

Editor’s note: In the absence of banning Group 3 professional sailors, we like sharing examples of how dogs and cats might be able to live together.

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