Living in the Scuttlebutt World

Published on January 12th, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
There’s nothing easy about selecting the most accomplished male and female competitor, and the effort will once again be put to the test with US Sailing’s 2022 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards.

I don’t know many years I have been on the selection committee, but changes to the process in 2021 put the system out of whack, and advanced some curious finalists while omitting several strong candidates. It was a lesson in how changes can impact predictably and credibility.

The upheaval led to an analysis of the system which revised how it reviews the 2022 candidates. With the reveal of the three male and female finalists, I’d say they mostly got it right, though it remains a mystery how Peter Duncan, who won the 2021 J/70 Worlds and 2022 Melges 24 Worlds, didn’t make the cut either time.

I have also been on the selection committee for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards in which the greatest accomplishments in the sport are being compared. It has been awhile since the USA has been on that list, but hopefully it may occur if Charlie Enright wins The Ocean Race 2023.

Sail GP

This will be his third effort as skipper, and I met up with him before the start on January 15. The USA hasn’t had a winning skipper since 1997-98 with Paul Cayard and 2001-02 with John Kostecki, though neither victory was enough for the esteemed World Sailor award. Maybe third time will be a charm.

The Racing Rules of Sailing begin with Fundamental Rules which set the standard for our Corinthian sport. I took no joy in sharing how an incident at the 2022 Big Boat Series forgot about sportsmanship and fair play, and can only hope next time a person thinks twice, and better.

There’s another storm coming to dampen Scuttlebutt HQ in Southern California, which I’m sure brings immense sympathy from everyone east of Interstate 5. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. See ya next week.

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