Pretty In Pink


Pretty In Pink

Yes, we just had our SCOTW yesterday, but there is no such thing as too much of a good thing, right? Helena Scutt not only knows how to get around the course, she knows her way around the books too – was given early acceptance to Stanford. Nice…

Post-OCR and post-cold freeze, hot pink sails are going to heat up Miami – next week is the 29erXX Seiko Superbowl!

The 29erXX is a souped-up 29er: same hull and same foils, but a taller mast, a square-top main, a masthead kite, and a trapeze for the helm. To hike or to trapeze?… hmmm. I don’t think that’s a question. The 29erXX is exactly what women’s skiff sailing needs. Fast-paced, physically demanding, and technical, the 29erXX is a challenge, no doubt. But seeing as the 29er is the most popular youth skiff in the world, I know there are a lot of girls looking for that challenge. In addition, the 29erXX will pull many older ex-29er sailors out of retirement.

As a youth female sailor, both the 29er and the 29erXX have given me so many opportunities. Quite frankly, sailing was just another of the many sports I participated in until I started sailing the 29er and became addicted. I couldn’t get enough of the skiff speed and haven’t looked back. Little did I know, when I had my first sail in the XX, I was in for an even more exhilarating feeling. There was no question – after sailing the 29erXX Gold Cup in Lake Garda, Italy last July, I bought a rig then and there. The boat is durable – it is well-known that older 29er hulls are still competitive, something which cannot be said for most Olympic classes. This reduces costs. Plus, the 29erXX is a fleet that I am not going to outgrow or age out of.

I hope that the 29erXX will be in the equipment lineup for the Rio Olympics in 2016. It makes perfect sense for women to have the 29erXX as their next step just as men have the 49er. The men have two double handed classes in the Olympics, and so should women. Female skiffies should be able to compete on an international level too. The 29erXX was nearly selected for the upcoming Olympics despite the fact that, at present, it is not widely sailed nor widely available. Both advisory committees that are meant to choose the Olympic boats chose the 29erXX, and it was only the executive committee that overruled them by merely one vote. This is impressive considering that the boat design has been final for less than half a year. Yet over 20 boats were sold before the rig was even finalized – in my opinion, this shows that someone can’t wait to get their hands on it and more importantly, they believe in the class and its potential. Myself included.

The sailors entered for the Seiko Superbowl regatta are both male and female, youth and adult, including Jen Morgan Glass (USA), Giulia Conti (ITA), Molly Carapiet (USA), Liz Rountree (USA), Kristen Lane (USA), Hannah Nattrass (AUS).

I’ll be having a blast on the wire next week – oh, and my skipper will be right next to me on the trapeze. Pink sails and all! For regatta updates, check out my 29er blog at: http://29erusa457.blogspot.com   Regatta details: http://www.29er.org/index.php/Seiko-Superbowl-Regatta-Miami.html

Helena Scutt
Seattle, WA