Nicholas Hayes’ piece on the America’s Cup’s egomania and the “Sailing Industry” has lit a few of you up, though we thought the best counterpoint came from Gunboats founder and long time dinghy builder Peter Johnstone. Title shout to one of those whack new wave bands from 1980 that started so much change…
Show a youngster a Moth on foils, and their eyes light up. Foils are coming in several sports. Laird tows in on big surf. Kiters are trying them. Moths have mastered them for sailing. Foils are a major innovation for water sports. Look at what Paul and the Vesta Sailrocket did to the sailing speed record. Mischa is flying his DNA A-Class regularly, and in control. The progress in sailing right now is incredible. The next ten years have more in store for us than the prior 50.
Today’s youth have awesome choices after junior sailing. Cats, boards, kites, moths, skiffs all offer a lifetime path. The AC45’s and 72’s are in alignment with today’s most exciting aspects of sailing. Coutts is on the right path. The 72’s may prove to be too big of a step, but I have never seen or heard so much talk about a Cup, ever. Outside of the Artemis tragedy, the AC72’s are covering a lot of new ground, and have created a very interesting sailing event. I believe the showcase of the benefits of foils will make this year a pivotal one for the sport, which is ironic when most felt the wingsail would be the star.
The old ways will always be a choice for those not comfortable with development. There is a place for comfort, and development. It is way too early to judge this America’s Cup. From a development standpoint, it is the most interesting sailing event I have seen.
-a sailing industry and community person