After the first day of racing, the buzz around this year’s Alter Cup competition is all about youth (or lack of it) among the competitors. One of the race officials expressed surprise at the many “older” sailors in the group (nine are former champions…a couple from fourteen years ago). Then there’s the “kids”…the youngsters we’re hard pressed to distinguish from the local “Ragnots”…. Sprawled around the yacht club lawn playing video games & skipping stones on Wussy Bay. Only difference is these kids are wiling away the time between their heats of the US Sailing Multihull Championship. And they’re damn good. Past years’ champions include legends like Carlton Tucker and Randy Smyth. That’s rarefied company, man!
What gives? I thought the sport was dying; kids didn’t care for it & we were destined to watch our beloved past time fade into oblivion…but not before it was peopled with nothing but old fat guys who do little more than sit on the decks of their aging Bendyhunterlinas puffing on stogies while swilling Scotch and bemoaning the demise of sailing in this country. Son of a gun…we may be wrong.
We multihull sailors have whined the loudest. We’ve blamed our dwindling regatta attendance on everybody from OPEC (gas cost too much to travel) to the U. S. Olympic Committee (no more multihulls there) to jet skis. Maybe we should look no further than the mirror. Taylor Reiss, Matt Whitehead, Taylor Palmer and Mac Agnese are shining proof there is a bright future for multihull racing in this country. Pete Melvin and his son James are a great example – James says he prefers multihulls because they’re fast. Wow – what a news flash …youngsters like speed. It’s time we got more kids on multihulls . It’s a great boat to share with an adult so it’s easy to coach, a decent used 16 can be had for $1000 – $1500 so it’s a relatively cheap hobby.
And there’s that thing. ..you know..that thing you hate about monohulls. They are just plain slow. And kids find slow boring. Let’s face it, so do we. It’s hard to hold a kid’s attention if things aren’t moving 90 to nothing…they have too many distractions already. So give ‘em what they want…get ‘em on a multihull. –
Stephanie may/Andrew Tatton. Thread on the event here.