how to ruin racing
There was a time in Dago when the Midwinters were a fairly big deal. Plenty of boats, two days of racing, sometimes super breezy. The Midwinters were cool. Yet, under the tutelage of Southwestern Yacht Club, this once “big” regatta has been reduced to rubble. Not only has the regatta been cut in half – from two days to now just one, but four days before the event, there are a total of ten boats entered. Ten boats. Total.
Wanting to race my Melges 32, there were no boats entered in our new “sport boat only” PHRF Class 1. Because of a couple of world class PHRF whiners, sport boats have been ostracized from “normal” boats, which would be fine if there were enough of both to form healthy classes, but because there aren’t for this regatta, and because this is a so called hi-point regatta – of which almost nobody gives a fuck about – the organizers won’t put us in with boats that are close in speed and all larger than us, because they aren’t “sport boats” – retarded logic, without question.
So if less than 3 boats show up for our class, rather than put us together with other boats as best they can, we will be told to go home and not race. No wonder this fucking sport is in decline.
So I called the so-called Race Chair named Don Stouder and left a voice mail, wishing to discuss our options. Two days later , there has been no return phone call. An e-mail sent has also gone unreturned. Ten Boats. Now keep in mind SWYC has always been subpar when it comes to race management. Theirs is regularly some of the worst R/C work in this town, and their somnambulant handling of the once well-attended San Diego to Ensenada Race, has seen that race fall to what appears to be the brink of extinction. And at their current pace, it will be much sooner than later.
I say this not to bury SWYC ad hoc, nor is this entirely their fault – as we all know, there are a number of factors that are leading to the sport’s decline. Rather, to simply point out what is happening here in this town to PHRF racing. Sure, races like the Hot Rum and the Beer Can Series always draw well, but without the Cortez Racing Association, whose events are almost always fairly well attended, and usually quite fun, there would be virtually no PHRF racing in this town.
SWYC has two good events, and yet they have not only done next to nothing to keep them relevant, my impression is that they act like they want to let them die. There is no promotion, no advertising, no sponsors, no incentives, no buzz. And as long as the people who are in charge of these events don’t bother returning phone calls, or reject offers of help, or make any sort of attempt to improve their races, then these events have almost zero hope of surviving, let alone flourishing. – ed.
Note: We entered. Make it eleven.
February 14th, 2017