Time for some sandlot sailing
Published on June 25th, 2020
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
What sets sailing apart from other sports is that our game has many games, and COVID-19 requires us to throw away the “How To Run A Perfect Regatta” book. It’s time for some sandlot sailing.
I witness with amusement the eagerness to return to full weekends of windward-leeward racing, influenced by the push for all recreation to re-engage. Stop it! Optimism was fashionable months ago, but false hope is fatiguing. Wake up and smell the Purell.
The U.S. this week saw its highest number of new coronavirus cases in months, with three of the nation’s most populous states — California, Texas and Florida — reporting record-setting highs in daily new cases. States are halting reopening plans and initiating mandatory masks.
Even Mickey Mouse is getting real.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (Anaheim, CA), closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, had planned to welcome back visitors on July 17. Now they don’t know when they’ll open. Hand brake fully pulled.
How can we consider NOOD Regattas, Big Boat Series, and anything else that requires travel and championship-style racing? And wondering if we try, how we possibly can. We don’t know. Can’t know. Can’t find it on a chart. We’re guessing when too many among us don’t know how to behave any way but foolishly.
This is a gap year. Focus on local and low key. Get inventive with formats. Have some fun, and if you can’t color outside the lines, see ya next year. Frustrated? Sure you are, but you know how to make your head feel better? Stop pounding it against the wall.
Use this time as an opportunity. Competitive sailing has gotten too serious. World Championship seriousness had trickled too far down. Reconnect with simplicity. Just go for a sail without purpose. Remember why you like sailing.
When the light turns green again, ease your foot to the pedal, gradually accelerate, and enjoy the ride. Perspective is everything…the sport will thank you.