As the season rolls around again, Misconception2348 writes this little “College Sailing for Dummies” piece.
Many people ask me just what the deal is with college sailing, and you know what? It’s not that easy to explain. I think the easiest way to explain it, and honestly the way most people are going to understand, is by using the car racing analogy.
TP 52 and AC stuff is like F1 racing. Big budgets, and bigger egos. The VOR and offshore sailing is similar to rally racing – long races, endurance-intensive and often more racing against the clock than other boats. Farr 40, Melges 32 and other similar type OD racers are more akin to formula racing and touring series, smaller budgets with a mix of weekend warriors and seasoned pros. So where does that leave the college scene? To me college is like short track stock car racing. All the boats are the same, the track is short, lots of action, and yes frequently multi-boat pileups. College sailing isn’t the fastest sailing on the planet, but it’s more tactical racing. It’s about making those important decisions quickly, and executing those decisions. It’s about quick racing and more of it. No waiting around for 45 min between races as the race committee screws with the line so that it’s perfect, it’s about getting races in. Most of the venues are small venues that normal “sailors” wouldn’t dream of sailing on, (the Charles, Mystic lake? Wtf?) but it’s those same shifts that keep the race interesting and action packed because at any point the game can change.