What about the ordinary people?
It may interest you to know that the following letter from Dawn Saunders was published in this edition of Yachting World (November 2000):
As an avid reader of yachting world, I was delighted to see the coverage of this seasons racing round up. But what about the "ordinary people"?
Last year, having never sailed out of sight of land, I answered an email posted on a sailing newsgroup for crew for the 1999 Fastnet race. I met the Skipper in a pub in Essex, liked what he had to say, and joined his campaign.
I introduced him to our sailing club, the London Corinthian, and this year a team was put together to compete in the Criterion non-stop Around Britain and Ireland race. The crew of seven were all dinghy sailors with little offshore experience.
Our aim was to finish the race, and the fact that we came first in IRC class 3 and 6th overall was an added bonus, especially as we were the smallest boat in the fleet and the attrition rate during the race was high, as you know.
Reading the write ups of the race, the "ordinary people" donít get a mention. Itís a shame that people with interesting stories are left to one side to make way for those with money and sponsorship. Many "ordinary people" race week in week out, and have amazing achievements without the backing of the big boys.
Sailing has often been described as a rich mans sport, and certainly the yachting press promulgate this in their coverage. The sponsored "big boats" are the in the minority yet receive the majority of the write-ups. Isnít it about time for the tide to change?
Copyright © London Corinthian
Sailing Club, 17th Oct 2000