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Reply to Scuttlebutt on Demise of Fleet Racing

Technical - Author: Larry Whipple - October 07, 2016

I have only replied to Sailing Scuttlebutt newsletter 10 times since its inception. In this case, I am responding to the article regarding the demise of fleet racing (#4682).

To start, I am a star boat sailor of 51 years. The class was started in 1911 and organized in 1922. I have sailed 24 world championships in the class, and I’m proud to be on one of the two boards that direct the class. The founders of the class made the fleet the core of the class. Not the 1%. We have relaxed our rules to get to upper level championships, but everyone must sail at least 5 races in their local fleet and be a member of that fleet to be able to race in a World or Continental Championship.

The Star boat is not a destination class, it is a fleet driven class. Sure there are exceptions, but over 94% of our class are fleet sailors. We have life long sailors including Bill Buchan, Lowell North, Tom Blackaller, Paul Cayard, John MacCausland, Augie Diaz, Mark Reynolds, George Szabo, Carl Buchan, Dennis Conner, Vince Brun, Eric Doyle, Malin Burnham, just to name a few. This group averages over 30 years of sailing Star boats. Many over 50 years, fleet driven!