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All aboard the bandwagon!

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 1 Sep 2019 23:00 BST
L30, a 30-foot one design keelboat, is dwarfed by a VO65 berthed in Lorient. © L30class.org

If I had a mini maxi, I reckon that is exactly what I would have to call it. Just because you'd get a cast of thousands on board, and subsequently have a grand old time. Now if I had a supermaxi, I think its name would have to be Gravy Train, and I'd need to paint it bright pink, and have emblazoned on the hull and kite a huge panther caricature swinging his tail and holding a massive cigar - think about it... "You're gonna go far."

Enough of the frivolity then, for what we are really talking about here is the offshore event for Paris 2024. It has been a fair old while since keelboats have been in the Olympics, and it is going to be a welcome return to offer that other style of racing, and not just dinghies.

So I am finding it hard to understand that there are people not getting behind it. We've been on this from the get go (even when it all looked really gloom after it got canned initially), as readers will attest. So we think it is just marvellous, as there will be a different style of athlete to be involved.

Yet perhaps even more importantly, the opportunities it presents from a media point of view are quite literally the crucial matter at hand. Sailing is not endearing itself to a new audience in the point and click world. So offering something that attests all that we love about the sport, and having a vessel that can carry cameras and devices to beam it all back to millions is tremendous.

Sailing has already come such a long way in terms of telemetry, so coupled with effective commentary, you start to see the package as entertaining, informative, worthwhile, and able to fill spaces hitherto unused. Smart. As a 72-hour type event, it will enable it to reach a greater audience overnight, and of course for us, that means middle of the day. So aren't we lucky!

The course can be shortened to meet any deadline, or lengthened for that matter, and the kinds of vessels under consideration can handle a much wider range of conditions than the current crop of Olympic craft. Being mixed-gender also goes along way to solving equality issues. Struggling to see any downside, you know...

OK. So cost of craft is a major hurdle, but I reckon the manufacturers will solve that problem, and it will end up kind of being a motivating factor, me thinks. Even if it is not one of the super-exciting crop running around right now. With sailing not exactly top of the pops to anyone alien to what we all love and adore, the notion of embracing something from outside of the envelope needs to be nurtured, cajoled, watered, fed ample protein packs, and given ample sunlight. Here endeth the lesson...

Don't know what I am waxing on about? Check out this video to get a handle on something new.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, our Sail-World readers. Next is our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine for his unwavering faith, support, encouragement, covering my back, playing counterpoint, and dedication to task. After that is my colleague Peter Rendle for allowing me to tap into his wealth of knowledge from over the years. And the reason? Well it is simple. Results in the last while continue to show significant growth, and would not be at all possible without you. Cheers.

Once again I have been lucky to have the ear of the Australian Sailing Team coaches and athletes, and am very appreciative of that. To find the time to talk with me has been very rewarding. Talking of results, wow, what a great effort by the team. Also very lucky to have the steely determination and deft application of ideas from Nicole Shrimpton, assisting me all the way along.

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review like the A-Class Cat Worlds, Fireballs, M32, Magnetic Island, The Ocean Race (does TOR work as a TLA?), the Clipper, TPs from Palma, J/70 Worlds, IMOCAs, AC news, next Marine Auctions event coming up, the maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Maxi Yacht Cup, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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