The truth is, that’s just it. So much big-boat sailing is more about whom you know and how many fresh jokes you can tell on the rail. The results are more likely to be determined by weather or rating or if the owner is driving or letting the resident pro take the wheel—or at least that’s the story for the beer tent after racing. It’s rare that any amateur big-boat sailor is evaluated predominantly on his skill and effort. But in tight one-design classes like the Melges 32, especially when those classes are at their peak, there is little room for nepotism, sentiment, or good humor. It’s a bottom-line business and the opportunity to be judged like that, to find out what you’re made of, is quite unique for weekend warriors like myself. And when it comes you either rise to the occasion or you don’t. There’s no money riding on the answer, the ultimate reward is simply the opportunity to come back and do it again sometime. But among the perks of playing in the majors; Crash never mentioned the significant salary upgrade. Had someone offered him the chance to stick around The Show and play, for free, I think it would’ve been an easy decision.