A Year in Review, Second Quarter

Published on December 17th, 2019

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

It’s about the Beer, not the Boat
I do tire of hearing people compare boats and then using that as a basis for judging what is the better one design class. To me that is short-sighted chest-pounding. The purpose of a one design class is to bring together like-minded people to enjoy comradery and competition in a boat they enjoy and feel competent sailing. When everyone is doing the same thing for the same reason, the beer tastes better at the end of the day. Full report.

Editor’s note: Strong classes endure when it becomes part of a person’s social fabric. If you want to measure success, measure the community… not the boat speed.

Sailing needs a cycle of life
Many decades ago, young people in the USA would be taught sailing, gradually finding what part of the sport was most appealing. Some chose boardsailing. Some chose Hobie cats. Others found themselves on dinghies or keelboats. This was the cycle of life for sailing. Young people came into the sport, gained from adult mentoring, and then replaced those that aged out. But that pattern got disrupted when youth sailing got ‘soccerized’. Full report.

Editor’s note: The formalization of the youth sailing structure has had unintended consequences which are difficult to see by new parents.

Protocol for Championship Prizegiving
With nearly 90 years of history, the International Snipe Class is rooted in many classic traditions of the sport. Among them is celebrating prizegivings where old, famous, and coveted trophies are awarded. Having raced in the class for a few decades, I was well practiced in the skill of pulling blazer jackets out of duffle bags and tugging a pre-knotted tie over my head. There’s just something about well-dressed people getting completely nuts at the end of a regatta. Full report.

Editor’s note: Standardization instills a respectful environment and was pleased to see that a class association was addressing this issue in modern times.

Has America’s Cup gone a step too far?
When the boat for the 35th America’s Cup was changed from 62 feet to 50, Patrizio Bertelli, Chairman of Luna Rossa Challenge, had enough of the Larry Ellison era and withdrew from the 2017 competition. It was a shocker for a team involved since the 30th edition in 2000, but his focus now would be to end Ellison’s reign. Full report.

Editor’s note: And now that Mr. Bertelli has helped to end Ellison’s reign, he’s not so sure he likes the new reign.

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