no knowledge necessary

“While no previous knowledge is necessary (or even desirable for that matter), it will behove you, as a recipient of this signal honour, to memorise a few simple rules so that you may foul things up as capably as those who have been working at it for years. Prime among these rules is that you have complete and unadulterated power. Your word is law.

Occasionally, in the excitement of gentlemanly competition, one boat will foul another and a protest flag will be flown. Deal with such cases severely and decisively, or you will find yourself having to render decisions on something you probably know nothing about. No one will furnish accurate data on what actually happened and all concerned will be in a highly emotional state. Insinuate that everyone is trying to delude you, disqualify as many boats as possible and imply that all protesting skippers are lacking in sportsmanship. Have a can of beer and try not to come unglued.”

Cliff Hunt – Advice to a new Race Committee member (Yachting 1960)

(In its heyday – from the late 1950s to the mid 80s – the US magazine Yachting ran to 180 pages or more every month. Generously supported by advertisers it published a wealth of historical features, humorous essays, technical analysis and extensive coverage of new designs and international events.)