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Off and Running

/Sailing World/ gets a refit. From the Editor's letter in our April 2010 issue

March 30, 2010
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dave reed headshot

It’s been four years to the issue-April 2006-since I parked my kester in the editor’s chair and introduced myself in this space as the FNG. By now, I suppose, I could have attained FOG status. I was the guy suddenly shouldering the huge responsibility of caretaking a magazine with more than four decades of recording the sport we all love. I said then that bringing this magazine to you nine times a year is a labor of love, and it’s no different today. The collective passion of the entire staff for the finished product (and its many digital offshoots) has become deeper and more profound over the years. Like many rewarding relationships, the longer it exists the less you want it to change.

So it was a big pill to swallow when someone from corporate ushered the word “redesign” more than a year ago. This eight-letter word has sent many an editor and art director ducking for cover behind their monitors. But, I now agree with whomever it was that got the ball rolling.

It was time.

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The Sailing World of yesterday just didn’t seem to jive with the technical and energetic appearance the sport portrays today. Our boats are different than they were 10 years ago-they’re more beamy and angular, there are more logos and graphics, different shapes, foils, and a lot fewer white upwind sails. Our foul weather gear is tones of grey and black . . . not the techni-colored rainbows of the 1990s. It was like our mainsail luff curve didn’t quite match our mast bend. The sail needed a re-cut.

But as I’m learning, redesigns must be carefully crafted: our brand identity has been cultivated for almost 50 years, so it would be foolish to throw it all away for simply a “new look.” We had to preserve what you’ve come to expect with each issue while adding some surprises.

Enter the art department, two individual workhorses up here in Newport, who also, by the way, design our sister publication, Cruising World, every month. Bill and Dave are the digital artisans that keep these pages fresh and exciting every month, usually under deadline duress. This redesign is very much a reflection of their talents and how they see the sport-both are avid watermen and know the content well.

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What they’ve come up with, and you now have in hand, has an entirely different appearance, but at its core, the essential content is the same, if not better. Call it a course correction or better VMG. We’ve added a soap-box column for Ken Read (Gaining Bearing, p. 30), bolstered our instructional content with more From the Experts columns, and are using more devices to connect you with our ever-expanding online content. Speaking of which, you can also look for the new launch of sailingworld.com in the coming months with more awesome features.

As you might imagine, re-launching both the magazine and the website in short order has been like one long, relentless, heavy-air beat, but we’ve rounded the weather mark and set the big, new crispy kite. We’re planing down the run, having fun, and looking forward to a lot more racecourse ahead. Thanks for reading, and as always, drop me note and let me know what you think.

Dave Reed, Editor
[email protected]

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