Pick the most deserving candidate

Published on November 18th, 2021

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Before I begin, I want to concede defeat. I sought to change the paradigm, but my words and emotion were not sufficient. It’s okay. Not my first failure. Wayne Gretzky said you miss every shot you don’t take. I took a shot. It missed.

My shot was to maintain the integrity of the elite sailing awards. Seems simple enough. Recruit a knowledgeable jury. Instill guidelines to address bias. Provide standards for assessment. Collect candidate accomplishments. Pick the best.

But to heighten awareness, a trend is to engage the public. You see it with television competitions like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, and now award presentations combine the jury vote with public voting. And it works to increase interest.

However, and please don’t take this personally, but I don’t fully trust the public.

For full disclosure, I am a jury member of several awards, and I see how my sentiment can be misconstrued. The public vote diminishes my influence, but this is okay as long as power is used wisely. I am good with that.

However, for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards, I fear each country will vote for their male and/or female candidate. For the US Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, people will get behind sailors in their genre. Popularity will count, and there will be campaigning to achieve victory.

So I plead for you to vote responsibly. Pick the most deserving candidate. Thank you!

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