Saturday, October 22, 2005


It was good to see in the news this week that US Sailing has awarded its C.R.E.W. award to Sandy Grosvenor. In the usual bureaucratic language of our sport's governing border they say that "The C.R.E.W. award recognizes US SAILING volunteers and staff who effectively set clear expectations, show mutual respect, and are committed to collaboration within the organization." Whatever that means.

All I know is that Sandy is a damn fine race officer and deserves an award just for that. She was the PRO for the Laser Masters US Nationals which were held in Annapolis over 3 days at the beginning of October. It was obvious at the skippers' meeting on day one that Sandy was on top of the job and was committed to keeping sailors informed.

Conditions were not easy. Winds were light all weekend. Every day Sandy was faced with decisions on whether to launch the fleet and, if we did launch, whether to race. In such circumstances there's nothing worse than sitting around at a yacht club wondering what the hell is going on. Sandy avoided that trap through regular announcements over the club PA system.

On the Friday we did launch and sail out to the racing area on Chesapeake Bay. But the winds out there were too patchy and light for fair racing and Sandy wisely avoided forcing us to race in such conditions. Better to have 3 or 4 good fair races over a 3 day regatta than 7 or 8 bad ones where luck is more important than skill.

On Saturday we completed 4 races in light but reasonably consistent winds. More on that in another post.

And on Sunday, Sandy kept us on the beach. It was frustrating because there was actually a decent thermally induced wind in the harbor. But Sandy was in touch by radio with another race committee trying to hold some races out on the bay. From them she learned that there was hardly any wind out on our racecourse. So she had the sense to keep us ashore and did a great job of keeping all 80 competitors informed as the situation developed. Or sadly and more accurately did not develop.

Also, on Friday and Sunday, she chose to abandon all hope of racing at a reasonably early time rather than keep us waiting around till the bitter end of the day.

It's one thing to have a race committee that knows how to run good races. It's also gratifying to come across a PRO who also knows when NOT to race.

Thanks for a good job at the Nationals Sandy. And congratulations on the C.R.E.W. award. Whatever it is for.

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