Living in the Scuttlebutt World

Published on June 29th, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Aside from the final In Port Race on July 1, The Ocean Race 2023 is completed… even the Wikipedia page has been updated. Remarkably, the winning IMOCA and VO65 both had cast members from the Morning Light documentary, the 2008 film by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Among the newbie crew getting filmed on the TP52 for the 2007 Transpac Race were Charlie Enright, Mark Towill, and Robbie Kane, and now they are winners on this massive offshore stage.

“I just couldn’t be prouder,” notes Roy Pat Disney, son of Executive Producer Roy Disney. “It’s like watching your kid graduate. For the movie, we basically had a bunch of dinghy sailors and put them on a single boat and they had to figure it out themselves.

“When you think about the scope of around-the-world race and the details, to put it all together and win the whole thing, it’s just– well, every teacher would like students like that.”

It will be Roy Pat’s 25th Transpac Race when his Andrews 68 Pyewacket begins the 2023 edition in the third of three staggered starts on July 1. But as can happen, the wind gods do not treat all starters equally. “Depending on when you start, you either win or lose the whole thing. The early starters got it this time … the race appears already over for us.”

The Annapolis to Newport Race has staggered starts too, but also has overall winners for each day. Hmm…

When the New York Yacht Club American Magic sailing squad was revealed in pursuit of the 37th America’s Cup, there were seven afterguard members and ten cyclors named. Among the afterguard were four USA sailors, three of which that spent their youth years in the Naples Sabot with one coming from scow country.

I have been accused of disliking the Optimist, which is incorrect. What I dislike is the level at which youth training has risen, with homeschooling, elite coaching, and extensive travel as routine. Yes, it was pretty cool to see how well the USA did at the 2023 Optimist Worlds, but what is the end game?

No one gets selected for an America’s Cup team, or succeeds at the Olympic level, unless they found the joy in sailing at a young age. Same goes for staying with recreational sailing beyond the youth years.

When it comes to joy, there may not be a better example in sailing as the Race To Alaska. I recall when Ken Read became skipper of Puma Ocean Racing Team in the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race. He said something like, ‘I’ve done so many windward-leeward races; it was time for something else.’ Racing to Alaska is really something else, and it is the journey – not the outcome – that is the attraction.

When we talk about how the sport struggles with participation, embracing the joy and journey is what connects. There is always only one winner, and with the ever-escalating effort to be that winner, there needs to be something else for the rest of the participants or why would they do it?

At Scuttlebutt HQ, we will be embracing the Fourth of July holiday festivities in San Diego, CA. Wish us luck!

comment banner

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.