Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hyannis Regatta- Notes from the Committee Boat

At the Hyannis Regatta I had the chance to jump on board the race committee boat and get a glimpse of the starting line from a new perspective. At an event like the Hyannis Regatta where such huge fleets are already managed seamlessly, it seems more useful to just take notes on how it all gets done.

So far, I have been getting quite an education this summer about what it takes to manage a regatta. I'm thinking that the job description for management on the line should read something like this: parent of all boats, logistical genius, orchestrator, conductor. Now knowing how much goes into being responsible for such big fleets- I'm realizing it takes a very specific person to volunteer for the job. 

With the Tom and Beth Duggan on the job- it doesn't seem like all that much can go wrong. When you have Tom calling the line, Beth managing the horns, and a great team to help with the flags and everything else, it's amazing to see how much precision goes into making a good race committee team. Beth who manages the New York Yacht Club racing and Tom who we encountered earlier over the radio of the J Class Regatta- it was clear we were indeed managing with the pros.

Tom had a second to explain his philosophy of race management- that you have to prioritize and multitask all things that need to get done to make the race happen smoothly. After some stories of race committee incidents in the past, it seems that at the end of the day it's the committee's responsibility to really make the call that's going to benefit the entire fleet. 

Aside from the great management and people, one other particular thing does come to mind for me when I think of Hyannis as a venue. As I was motoring out with a race management crew everyone was silent for a second just enjoying the horizon as we rounded the harbor corner. Someone finally said, "I think there's a reason we all ended up on Hyannis. Out of everywhere on the east coast, sometimes you just need a place that has a horizon."

And that's exactly what Hyannis has. As a Californian transplanted to the east coast for college sailing, I couldn't agree more. There's something about sailing with a flat line in the distance that is just refreshing to gaze at. As a sailor, discovering that not all water is the same was an important moment, and sailors from Hyannis seem to agree.

The Hyannis Regatta is the type of event I'm jealous I didn't sail in as a junior, and hope to sail in it someday. Spanning the age gap of fathers sailing with sons, competitive junior sailors, and everything in between- the Hyannis Regatta really was a blast on and off the water.


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