The Year That Was

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So it’s goodbye to 2010, a year that was a vast improvement over its predecessor in almost every respect. In looking back I find few causes for complaint, which is a rare thing indeed for a sailor in the Northeast.

A suspiciously warm spring meant that the essential boat projects got done and the non-essential ones got half done; already I was way up on 2009.

Spring merged into summer and still the sun shone, the skies remained blue, and we enjoyed weekend after glorious weekend of sparkling sailing days and (amazingly for New England) fine, warm breeze. Not to bore you with the details, but we deserved such a summer after the monsoonlike deluges of 2009. In fact, the only times it really rained for days on end were (naturally) on the two occasions I’d blocked time off to install a windlass: a small price to pay.

Anyway, looking back at such a summer—and fall, for in late October we were still sailing in shirtsleeves—got me thinking about other events of 2010, some good, others not so much.

There was America’s Cup 33 and the end of the Alinghi era—good. SAIL’s 40th anniversary—very good. The youngest-circumnavigator circus—bad. Abby Sunderland’s Indian Ocean rescue—good. Abby Sunderland being in the Indian Ocean in winter—bad. The thought of the America’s Cup getting back to what used to pass for normal—good. The decision to hold AC 34 in multihulls—not so good. The lineup of new sailboats at the Annapolis show—excellent.

Apart from that, there actually wasn’t much that stuck in the mind, which is probably a good thing for those of us who would rather concentrate on the sailing than worry about the news. Here’s hoping 2011 is yet another step up.

Back in our 40th anniversary issue last February, we paid tribute to stalwart executive editor Charles Mason, whose stamp had been on every single issue of SAIL. Charles has now decided that 41 years of monthly deadlines and stubborn editors is quite enough. Now he’ll be able to spend more time messing about in boats than writing about them, an enviable situation indeed. His replacement as executive editor is former senior editor Charlie Doane, whose writings are well known to SAIL readers. We’ll miss Charles and his trove of sailing knowledge, but welcome Charlie and the skills and outlook he brings with him.

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