Monday, May 19, 2008

Yellow jersey

There is a Curmudgeon’s Observation that says, “There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.” Well, the same might go for one of the innovative ideas being announced by the organizers of Kiel Week in Germany, which is one of the premier European events. A press release last week from the event publicized how they were presenting “a world premiere in sailing” and how they “want to pass on our recommendations and new ideas to ISAF which may contribute to a better future of sailing.”

The idea they have come up with was to utilize the “yellow jersey” concept, which is widely used in bike racing, wherein the leading crew in each division at Kiel Week would wear the jerseys. This is a great idea, or at least it was when witnessed in action three years ago at the 2005 US Snipe National Championship, held in San Diego, CA. At the end of each day, the pomp and circumstance of the Tour de France would be replicated, and the jersey would be transferred to the new leader, or would be re-awarded if the leader did not change. Great fun at the end of each day, with the traditional flowers being replaced by cool beverages!

Here is the Kiel Week release:
(May 16, 2008) Kiel will present a world premiere in sailing: the world-wide known “yellow jersey” will be introduced to Kieler Woche 2008 (June 21 to June 29). “We want the various spectators to better recognize the overall leading team in each boat class” states Jobst Richter, Race Director of the Kieler Woche organisation. With this novelty in sailing the organizers intend to contribute to a broader understanding for spectators and visitors, as well as a better media coverage of the Grade 1 event Kieler Woche. Like in cycling the No. 1 crew of each boat class will wear the “yellow jersey” on a day to day basis, thus defending the overall lead of the preceding race day. Additionally, the overall second and third teams will wear differently coloured jerseys, which may also change from one crew to another on a daily basis. Although Kieler Woche is 25 years older than the World Sailing Federation ISAF (100th anniversary in 2007), the Kieler Woche organisation wants to contribute with the innovation “yellow jersey” to the development of the sport on international level. “We want to pass on our recommendations and new ideas to ISAF which may contribute to a better future of sailing; we decline to solely react on ISAF’s decisions and conclusions” explains a self-confident Jobst Richter and continues: “We do not try to “invent the wheel”, but the sport of cycling and the famous “yellow jersey” caused us to introduce this striking “uniform” to the International and Olympic part of Kieler Woche 2008 for the first time.

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At 10:34 PM, Blogger Sutter Schumacher said...

Great minds must think alike. The skiff fleet my husband races with here in New Zealand ( has borrowed cycling's yellow jersey tradition for about 10 years. At the end of each day during the R Class nationals, the series-leading skipper and crew receive the yellow jerseys to wear until the end of the next day. But the class has a good-natured twist on the jersey concept: the skipper and crew on the lowest-placed boat that has managed to finish every race receive brown jerseys at the end of the day. (At least the brown shirts are usually received with good humor...)

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Randy said...

I think this is a good idea for events like Block Island Race Week, Key West Race Week, Cowes--esp for crews. The crews would be able to strut their yellow jerseys for a day or so and get a little attention usually the owner/tactitician gets--"Hey, yellow, great job on the bow today, how did you get the afterbirds around the course so quickly!"


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