a wally that’s not a wally?

a wally that’s not a wally?

We received this email from a Wally sailor on the docks in Porto Cervo at the Maxi Worlds today.  It seems even the uber-rich aren’t immune to the same handicap racing politics that owners of more pedestrian designs face when the status quo doesn’t want to compete against something a little newer, in this case, an anarchy favorite Goetz-built Wally owned by the indomitable Irving Laidlaw.

The Wally 82 Highland Fling has been banned from sailing in the Wally class in Porto Cervo. The owners of the other Wally yachts present have not allowed Fling to race against them, as they believe the yacht to not be a Wally. This reeks of bad sportsmanship, as the vessel was inspected and passed the requirements for needing to comply with the Wally Class rule – but the other owners in the class have banded together to exclude her.

Do those who have recently built a Wally, and those who are currently building a Wally, have such short sight in their designs that they think will not be able to compete? Have they in reality spent money wastefully building larger versions of  their existing boats?

You make your mind up.  A shame, really, as had Fling competed today in the class, they’d have come in third place, even without the 8% penalty the other owners demanded at their Saturday night crucifixion of Highland Fling before ultimately excluding her.