Sailing is supposed to be fun
Certainly family needs was vying for time, but I found the emphasis of windward-leeward race courses had magnified my problem. Gary Bodie, former US Olympic head coach, once said that the demise of one-design racing is partly a result of better race management. I agree. A perfectly set W-L course left little room for part-timers like me, as the fastest win and the less able give up and disappear.
I can already hear people saying, "But isn't the point of a race to provide the fairest test?" And to that I say yes, but while some races are to determine championships, most racing is for recreation. Some races should provide different challenges. Some races should provide variety. Racing should be fun, and when it isn't fun, people leave.
When I heard the annual fall Snipe regatta this past weekend in San Diego would not use W-L courses, I had to experience it. The races used the permanent marks in Mission Bay, and some legs were not perfectly in line with the wind. Courses criss-crossed the entire bay. One race went around an island. This thirty boat fleet was tested in new ways, and for me, it was exhilarating.
This coming weekend is the biggest event of the year for keelboaters in San Diego. It is the Hot Rum Series, where legs are not perfect to the wind, and the inverted start allows the smallest boats to begin first. But people support this event because it is fun. Like sailing is supposed to be. - Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
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