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Waiting for the Wind

The mysteries of sailing comraderie unfold on the docks in Miami. From Gary Jobson's blog for March 11, 2008

March 6, 2009

There we were, a fleet of Grand Prix boats and 1,000 or more anxious crews all in Miami for the Acura Miami Grand Prix. But there was a problem. No wind! Key West suffered the same problem in January when two days were lost, one for no wind and another for too much. What is going on in the world? Is global warming having an effect on sailing? At least stronger winds kicked up later in week.

It was interesting to watch crews mill about waiting for the wind. Cell phones seemed to be in constant use. The professionals spent their time looking after tiny details, more to pass the time then to prepare the boat. And there were dozens stretched out on foredecks and sail bags catching up on sleep.

With everyone in the same boat, I like listening to the conversations around the dock. The pros all talk about the next event. Interesting that they tend to look forward and not back. People from other sports might be surprised that on-the-water rivalries tend to disappear on land.

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Acknowledging Excellence on the Water

For the 27th time in the past 32 years, I attended the Rolex Yachtsman/Yachtswoman of the Year luncheon in New York City. Many years ago this event was a small luncheon for about 20 people in a restaurant. Thanks to Rolex, 110 family friends and sailors gathered at the New York YC to honor this year’s recipients, Sally Barkow and Jeff Linton. I always enjoy the heartfelt speeches by the winners. All are quick to acknowledge the help they received from their crews.

Upcoming US Sailing Conference

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Many committee members of US Sailing will convene in Newport, R.I., March 13 – 16 for a conferences to discuss the sport of sailing. President Jim Capron asked me to look into US Sailing’s Championship Series. I’m looking forward to presenting a number of ideas for consideration. My report will follow in a week or so.

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