pro fatigue

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I’ve seen the final three candidates each for Rolex Yachtswoman and Yachtsman of the year and I know that the vote is close but I have to say, I don’t care.  I don’t care because these are mostly professional sailors who get paid to sail and then not only do they sometimes get a Rolex for being the sailor of the year, they also may get one from winning an event here or there, and they also sometimes win the sailor of the year more than once.  I have pro fatigue.  I’m not interested in professional sailors getting free watches and recognition anymore.

What I would like to see, and I’ll preface this by saying that I’m one of these people, is the same award going to the countless men and women who devote hundreds and thousands of hours of volunteer time to the sport, to help it grow, that keep the regattas that Rolex sponsors, full of sailors.

  • How about the coaches that grow their programs so well because they’re so good at their jobs that word gets out and kids come flocking to the program.
  • How about the race committee volunteer that does such a great job of running races and keeps it fun and social so their race program is flourishing.
  • How about the program creators and directors who work tirelessly to build programs for their communities
  • How about the non-profit/community sailing centers that promote and open the sport to diverse communities.

If Rolex and US Sailing changed their perspective from pro sailors getting fancy watches (yawn….) they would never run out of new people to reward for their service to the sport, never have to give a second or third watch to the same person, and they’d actually be giving a watch to somebody who is building the sport for the future and that watch would be a massive recognition for all of their work and likely would entice others to volunteer their efforts as well, knowing that they too may get the notice that they deserve.  I know that volunteers don’t go into this for the recognition, they do it for the love of the sport, but it’s also okay to recognize and thank them too.

I’ll finish by saying that these volunteers are the ones who keep the pro sailors employed, by building the sport so there’s a need for new sails, new boats, and pro sailors as crew on boats.

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