Skip to main content

Notice to Mariners: U.S.A! U.S.A! (Well, sorta…)

Daniela Moroz on her way to gold in the Women’s Formula Kite class at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France

Daniela Moroz on her way to gold in the Women’s Formula Kite class at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France

Some thoughts on a couple of recent developments on the U.S. racing scene that are more than a little at odds.

To start with, congratulations to the US Sailing Team (USST) and its outstanding showing at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyeres, France, with not one but three podium finishes! Leading the charge was Daniela Moroz taking gold in the Women’s Formula Kite class. Taking silver were Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea in the 49erFX and Nevin Snow and Mac Agnese in the 49er classes.

How great is it to see American sailors with medals round their necks at such a prestigious international regatta after struggling at the 2020 Olympic regatta in Japan? Could this be the beginning of a real turnaround after years of coming up pretty much empty?

“Hyeres provided great conditions and competition for our athletes to test themselves…the cooperative spirit these athletes displayed showed the true power of ‘Team’ within the resurgent US skiff program,” said USST Coach Charlie McKee.

“The sailors are focused, training hard and collaborating…the results from the spring events in Europe are encouraging,” agreed US Olympic Sailing executive director, Paul Cayard, though he cautioned there’s still along way to go between now and the regatta at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Again, so great to see the American team making this kind of statement on the international stage. Fingers crossed these fine young athletes continue to make these kinds of waves in the months to come.

Which brings me to the latest developments in the America’s Cup. This past week, the New York Yacht Club and team American Magic announced they were bringing aboard Aussie 2012 Olympic gold medalist and multi-class world champion Tom Slingsby to help them win the 37th Cup, set to take place in Barcelona, Spain, in the fall of 2024. And while this is a good thing, I suppose, the news also strikes me as yet more evidence as to how far the Cup has strayed from its roots—if for no other reason than the fact than an Australian being brought in to help lead an “American” team has long since stopped being in any way controversial.

Don’t get me wrong. Slingsby is not only a hell of a sailor, he seems like a really good guy: same as his boss, U.S. sailor Terry Hutchinson, American Magics president of sailing operations. If you ever want to see some truly inspiring sailing, check out the video of Slingsby’s 2012 gold-medal race in the Laser class below. The man is truly incredible. Watch video here.

That said, my initial response to the news he’s now sailing for “us” was to realize how increasingly difficult it’s become caring about an “American” team that has now long since been only nominally American—in stark contrast to the US Olympic Team, with which I’m now all in. I suppose it’s a bit like if the U.S track team had somehow managed to lure away Jamaican runner Usain Bolt back in the day; that or maybe getting a bunch of red-hot Brazilian footballers, like Ronaldinho, to play for the United States in the World Cup. I don’t want my home team to buy out the competition, I want my home team to beat ‘em!

Let’s all hope that with Slingsby’s help the New York Yacht Club does, indeed, not only win the Cup, but find a way make it a friendly competition between nations the way it was in the past—something at least a handful of members have reportedly been interested in doing for some time now. How great would it be to see Slingsby out there racing with a bunch of Australians against a truly American crew in some truly exciting match-racing? How great would it be to be as excited about the America’s Cup as Slingsby and his fans were when he won Laser gold in the UK? One can only hope if and when that time comes it won’t already be too late.

May 2022



Just Launched Mid-sized Cruisers

With so many manufacturers dreaming up bigger production boats, more and more mid-sized cruisers fall on the smaller end of their lines. However, “smaller” does not mean less, and the tricks for optimizing larger models have helped with squeezing more enjoyment into less LOA. As more


Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the more


Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and more


A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed more


Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built more


Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, more


A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen more


Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of more