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2024 Olympics: Show up with a boat that measures – Fritz Mueller

SAN FRANCISCO – A Facebook post of note from Fritz Mueller (Miami, FL USA) in response to our Sailing Illustrated post earlier today headlined, "Olympics: World Sailing's radical plan to overhaul 2024 events/classes":

As a Snipe sailor, you know building plans are still available, and anyone could build one in their back yard. It may, or may turn out to be world class. Years ago, I wanted to build a Finn, and despite all efforts to get a set of plans (which were still available when we sailed Finns; John Christiansen even had the aluminum templates for lines) I got no response from the Int'l class. Devoti then controlled the Finn class. When I was in Brasil in the 80's and early 90's sailing Snipes and pop-out (yes, counterfeit) Lasers on the Respresa in Sao Paulo, I was grateful to have Gonzo Diaz and Greg Fisher to help source parts and equipment, still insanely expensive when imported officially. My Snipe, those days (and the beautiful Torbens were just coming out) was then competitive and in wood built in Puerto Allegre – looked like a piece of furniture. My point is, there is an exclusionary nature and ineffectiveness of monopoly builders, that keep the "third world" from developing fleets of competitive boats around the world. In the day, It would have cost me 4x the price for a machined piece of aluminum for a Snipe daggerboard imported from a "builder" in the US or Europe, than if I went to a local machine shop in Brasil. The point I am trying to make, after this hugely winded comment, is that competitive sailing (and especially the Olympics) should not exclude challenged nations from an ability to compete based on a monopoly of manufacturers only accessible by an advantaged few. Show up with a boat that measures to the rule, and you should be good to go. –Fritz Mueller (Miami, FL USA)

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