Maintaining the history of sailing

Published on September 30th, 2021

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Since Scuttlebutt was launched in 1997, we have witnessed how the sport has embraced the internet. More information, more widely shared, than ever before.

You could call this progress, but often maintaining the information is done carelessly. What once was eternally archived in filing cabinets is now stored on websites, and online storage is only as good as its maintenance plan. Here are bad examples from 2021:

• Lido 14 US Nationals: https://lidochampionship2021.com/
• Thistle US Nationals: http://thistlenationals2021.com/
• J/70 Worlds: http://www.2021j70worlds.com/
• ORC Worlds: https://www.orcworlds2021.com/

These websites are unique for their 2021 event, and as sure as the sun will rise in the east, they will be gone in a few years. The annual fee won’t be renewed and all content will vaporize unless backed up elsewhere, but losing online access and search value remains a detriment.

Thankfully, there are class organizations that have launched ‘championship’ websites which they control and allow for directories to be added. An example is the Star Class:

• 2021 North Americans: https://2021na.starchampionships.org/
• 2021 Star Worlds: https://2021worlds.starchampionships.org/

Still, there are other risks such as when an ongoing event website gets a makeover, and the new design obliterates the archived links. But the biggest risks are when third party platforms are utilized for events, as the critical aspect of any maintenance plan is control of the content.

Events love using Facebook, but with all its advantages, the information is no longer being controlled (plus social media is melting our brains). Don’t post anything on Facebook that you aren’t storing somewhere else. However, my greater fear is event management programs.

The best of them all is Yacht Scoring, and when its founder Luiz Kahl recently passed, two thoughts came to mind. First, how sad for such a beautiful person and massive asset to the sport to go too soon, but then also my fear for what would happen to all the information stored in his system.

So it is of great relief that I share an update from the Kahl Family:
————-
As we navigate the tremendous sadness and difficulty of losing a much-beloved brother, son, and friend, we want to take this opportunity to assure you of our personal commitment and interest in keeping Luiz’s legacy and passion, Yacht Scoring, alive and thriving.

This is what he would have wanted and what we will continue to work hard to make a reality.
We are making the needed arrangements to keep Yacht Scoring fully operational with the exception of providing his personal support at or during the events.

We appreciate your understanding and patience as we do our best to keep you informed and his dream alive.
————-
The Yacht Scoring archives go back to 2006… that’s a lot of history that thankfully will be maintained: https://yachtscoring.com/select_event.cfm

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