Redefine normal and enjoy it

Published on May 25th, 2020

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
There are several neighborhood restaurants that my wife and I have been supporting during the coronavirus pandemic, hoping our take-out orders would keep them solid during the business lockdown in San Diego, CA. And when a favorite opened for dine-in on May 21, we jumped at it.

I know that puts us into a category of people willing to take on health risks, but we knew the restaurant layout and owner, and were confident the risks would be minimized. They were, and it was a big step toward normalcy.

An equally big step occurred on May 23 when 39 boats participated in the first race to be held in San Diego Bay since mid-March. The announcement had come out only three days earlier, and the strong response had everything to do with a smart plan and an eager audience.

As an active commercial and military port, the challenge with hosting events inside San Diego Bay is securing permission. However, amid this health crisis, optics are a challenge too, as the harbor is in plain view of government offices and an impatient population. To do this race, the boxes needed to be checked.

But with strong relationships, and a track record for doing what they say, the Organizing Authority was able to work with the Harbor Police and Coast Guard to get their understanding and permission.

As for the plan, it was shorthanded classes and same household crew, using government marks and a bare-bones race committee. It was also about Corinthian spirit to cooperate and appreciate, and with chamber of commerce conditions, it laid the groundwork for future events.

I have said this before, but for those harbors waiting to return to their normal competition schedule, you will be waiting too long. The season is on, people want to use their boats, and there are ways to do it. While major sports leagues struggle to return to their normal, we can redefine ours and still have a great time. We sure did!

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