Strong Medicine Page 2 - Sail Magazine

Strong Medicine Page 2

hat if I told you there is a way to keep post-college sailors in the game instead of letting them drift away? Of mixing generations of sailors? Stirring club spirit? Building relationships between different sailors and regions? Making the game more fun for all sorts of people? Well, I’m telling you.I have to admit I’m not talking about low-hanging fruit. It might be a no-brainer to want it
Author:
Publish date:
tr3.int

In New Orleans, at the Southern Yacht Club, where they team-race aboard Flying Scots, folks tell a similar story. SYC built itself up as a team racing power while it was rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina—no small feat. Last fall it ran the Southern Soiland Cup, for a trophy donated by their friends at Newport Harbor, with entries from three coasts.

“We wouldn’t have this going if we didn’t have the college kids leading the way and educating the rest of us,” says past commodore Corky Potts. “Team racing is the wave of the future because 15-minute races are exciting. The sailing doesn’t kill you if you have a few years on you, and the kids love it. The whole thing is invaluable.”

Flying Scots are an institution on the Gulf Coast. All the clubs own one or more, and virtually everybody has experience in them, so they were the automatic boat of choice. The Bay Waveland and Buccaneer yacht clubs each fielded teams and contributed boats to the 2009 regatta, which SYC won under the windows of its fine new clubhouse. Think 160 years of tradition on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and plenty of forward thinking.

New England remains the epicenter of team racing in the United States. The major players all have club-owned fleets—a heavy ante, but it’s seen as an investment, not just an expense. Around the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club on Long Island Sound, a longstanding tradition of sailing against a single rival club reaches back to 1921. The original team race competition, the British-American Cup, was held aboard 6-Meters. In 2006, the club bought a fleet of used Sonars for its team-racing program.

The British-American Cup is still a big deal, and Seawanhaka uses it as a draw to recruit top talent. The contestants “set an example,” Seawanhaka’s team-racing chairman Al Constants says. “They put together a weekend and have at it with the rest of us. We learned early on that you can’t do this without practice, but when you expose people to team racing they get addicted.”

Those used Sonars, we should note, came from the New York Yacht Club as it upgraded to a new fleet. The sailors of Harbour Court are the undisputed pace-setters in this game, seeding the region with Sonars, aggressively recruiting post-collegiate sailors, and conducting team race events at all levels, including a masters competition.

Of course, there’s a flip side to supplying competitors with the boats they’re going to sail—somebody has to own and maintain them. Then you need umpire boats and umpires, not to mention a handy method of moving teams from boat to boat afloat or ashore. Still, in a sport that many people think is ailing, team racing is growing, and that’s some pretty strong medicine.

Related

SouthernOcean

The 50th Anniversary of the Golden Globe

Here we go! The 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe, the first singlehanded nonstop round-the-world race, is upon us. On July 1 one tribute event, the Golden Globe Race 2018, will start out of Les Sables d’Olonne, France, with a fleet of 19 amateur skippers setting out in ...read more

180621-X01-Landing-Page

Volvo Ocean Race Cliffhanger

After racing over 44,000 miles round the world and battling their way past the world’s great capes, including the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, it’s all come down to the final 700-mile leg from Gothenburg, Sweden, to the Hague. Brunel, Mapfre, Dongfeng: going into the ...read more

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozens of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more