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What makes a good regatta?

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  • #16
    Great regattas are a lot like great parties - it's the people.

    If the people aren't folks that you'd like to party and hang out with.... you're in the wrong fleet. All the other stuff: Square lines, where marks are set, wind, current, and especially sponsorship are a distant second (particularly that sponsorship thing). The regattas that get this right, IMHO, include the Three Bridge Fiasco (mentioned above), Vallejo Race on SF Bay, Ensenada Race from Newport Beach, Bermuda International Race Week, and British Classic Yacht Regatta in Cowes. In all of these, the folks who race (or a big piece of them) have done it for years, enjoy each other's company, and the goal of "Wining" the race is usually less important than enjoying the racing and the people.

    Many regatta managers forget that they need to take care of the "Fleet" not the "Winner". The vast majority of competitors will not ever win anything at a regatta and return year after year for something other than a trophy. Yet, few race managers talk to the middle and back of the fleet about what they want, instead focusing on responding to the input of the leaders. That input is frequently utterly irrelevant, and can be quite negative to, what the majority of the fleet actually wants. Regatta managers need to clearly understand who their customers are, and it's not usually the top three boats that pay the freight.

    Beau Vrolyk

    What we're up to on the water:


    • #17
      A good regatta and good racing can be mutually exclusive, and often are.

      A good regatta needs to be well organized, have good breakfasts available for crews, at least decent racing, good food and entertainment afterward, and respectable trophies.

      Remove one or a few of those elements and things start to go gown hill.