NEWPORT BEACH (#1198) – It was a light and sunny day when twelve teams from all over the planet gathered in sailing communion at the Balboa Yacht Chapel for the Youth Match Racing World Championship. Flags and fans waived gaily as the event was declared open by a World Sailing Vice President (NZL). The sailors in their team uniforms in all the colors of the rainbow would not have looked out of place on a Milan fashion runway. The two all female teams looked nice, too.
The star of the first day of racing was the weather, as it invariably is for yachting events according to most of the media.
And what fine weather it was! It seemed to many of the few—but typically wealthy—observers of yachting events, more like that other fabulous resort destination, Newport, Rhode Island, than the even more fabulous Newport Beach venue.
The sun came up—as it is wont to do—and then a few clouds flitted across the cerulean blue skies, but not too many, and in very pretty shapes. Happily, the yachtpersons did not have to don their matching “foul weather gear” as it never rained, which sometimes, but not very often, it does, but hardly ever in the summer except when monsoonal moisture arrives from our neighbor to the south—this type of “immigration” being perfectly legal—and at other times, each instance of which is unusual in almost exactly the same way.
In sum, the wind and sea state could only be described as "Champagne conditions"—or at least a reasonable Prosecco—although early in the day it was more like a flat coca cola.
In fact, your intrepid reporter—in keeping with a common yachting journalistic tradition—could go on forever about the weather. What a phenomenen it is! And, of course, there is weather during both night and day although some of the sun burnt Californians would argue that the state is really in a “post-weather” era, at least until the next bout of drought or floods and, of course, the wildfires although those, of course, are not actually “weather” although weather, such as it is from time to time, can contribute to them.
Finally, after the blowing of the Olympic horn, the competition commenced. The pure white boats sailed on a silver sea and the coaches and spectators in the mammoth spectator fleet, consisting of the dinghy PROMOTION, were thrilled when the first hors d’oeuvre was passed on board. “I must say, you chaps do a pretty great raw fish,” said English coach Percy Wanker-Whiteside (GBR), although his subsequent stomach upset was somewhat worrying. But, the scene was nevertheless scintillating.
The wind, much lighter than normal according to local savants, did make for some long days but happily, most observers were used to changing from brunch to afternoon attire and looked stunning throughout.
Oh, and Harry Price (AUS) won.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton is Sailing Illustrated's newly appointed "Correspondent-at-Large." Think of him as our own Geraldo Rivera (Correspondent-at-Large for Fox News) and a jazzy progressive amongst brassy trumpeters. Our more erudite readers will know that Bulwer-Lytton has coined, among other famous phrases, "the pen is mightier than the sword", "pursuit of the almighty dollar," and "the great unwashed". We welcome Edward to our growing stable of world-class scribes, and for providing this superb send-up of all-too-common yacht racing reportage. –TFE