From Melges 24 racer ‘Franklin’s Tower’:
I’ve sailed in many high-level one-design events, and I’ve never seen an eye-opener like what happened at the recent Melges 24 North Americans in Rochester NY. With two more days to go and just three races left on the official schedule, the owners put together a petition to have more races after being hinted at it by PRO Hank Stuart. "I flew out here to race sailboats, not to knit sweaters," said one competitor.
The petition was unanimous, and the official change was delivered on the water that morning by volunteers in boats. And I’m not trying to toot the Melges 24 horn either – I just want to show all of you that we have the power to make sailing what we want if we just communicate and if our race officers understand our needs. Where do we go from here? Well, maybe the people who spend the big dough to make it all happen can work together like they did at Rochester, and maybe PROs can take a page from Hank Stuart’s playbook to empower the competitors to make every event a little closer to what they think is perfect.