65 Race Weeks, and Counting

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: one of the great things about sailboat racing is the fact that there’s a place in the sport for competitors of all ages.
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It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: one of the great things about sailboat racing is the fact that there’s a place in the sport for competitors of all ages. 

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Take, for example, the case of retired sailmaker and veteran sailor Norm Cressy, who at the tender age of 75 marked his 65th consecutive Marblehead Race Week in July. 

Cressy and his crew, including co-skipper Bruce Dyson, scored four bullets on their way to taking first place overall in the 11-boat International One Design class. A crew of collegiate sailors that included Matt Lindblad, the head coach for the MIT sailing team, took second.

“I just enjoy the competition,” Cressy says of his more than six decades mixing it up on the water. “I especially enjoy steering downwind. As far as I’m concerned, the race begins at the windward mark.”

Cressy, who worked for Ted Hood back in the 1950s and whose own company specialized in cruising sails and sails for smaller one designs, says the 33-foot IOD is the perfect boat for older sailors because it doesn’t require aggressive hiking. He says he also has no plans to quit doing what he’s already done for so long and so well. Here’s looking forward to No. 70!

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