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Let’s not stop living

Published on March 16th, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The dominoes keep tumbling as the global health crisis impacts the sailing event schedule. However, the focus of the cancellations are on the larger events which find conflict with government rules on gathering size, impact staff safety, or incur travel restrictions,

While cancelling events has become the socially safe response, or as a one design class coordinator said, “better the overabundance of caution than a judgment of recklessness in hindsight,” the heartbeat of sailing needs to be retained.

And the heartbeat is local racing.

As Scuttlebutt tends to focus on the type of events getting cancelled, our sport grows from the bottom up, and the entry points are in the harbors and lakes that are near us. During this period of reaction and recovery, I’m hoping the local event calendar can somehow remain intact. Mark Maglin is eager too:

“Sailing is the ultimate self-quarantine. From singlehanded dinghies to 50 footers, sailors out on the water are far from crowds with a fresh breeze to blow away any contagion. The skippers meeting can be mitigated by going virtual. Competitors show up, go to their boats, and prepare for the day with appropriate social distances.

“For the after-race social, smaller crew parties scattered around the club or on your boat can replace large gatherings with BYO drinks and food to mitigate cross contamination.

“Sailing has a great opportunity to gain recognition and new participants. Yes, take the pandemic seriously but let’s not stop living. We can do this!”

As most of the continent is still a month (or two) from the meat of the sailing schedule, there is time to catch our breath, adapt our habits, and see about retaining some of the dominoes. The strength of our sport, and the businesses that support it, may depend on it.

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